Puja Season!!!

Bangalore, India: Thousands, nay millions, of Muslims in the city are celebrating Ramadan. Meanwhile, the Hindu Puja Season has begun with Varalakshmi Puja and Raksha Bandhan last weekend. This weekend is Krishna Janamastami.

All of these festivals have one thing in common: food, and lots of it. Most of it isn’t very healthy either. Ramadan comes with lots of fried foods being sold on the streets.

Krishna Janamastami is a celebration of Krishna’s birth. One of the most vivid avatars of Vishnu, Krishna was a lover of (amongst other things and people) BUTTER!

So on this festival, devout Hindus eat fresh, homemade butter, and savory snacks also favored by the little Blue Boy.

Then, on September 1, Hindus across the nation will toast to Ganesh, the God who removes all obstacles. Ganesh, who has the head of an elephant, holds a plate of ladoos, sweets made of lentils and sugar. So naturally, the people enjoy feasting on these as well.

Later, it is Durga Puja and Divali, time to exchange tons and tons of sweets with everyone you meet!

How can we enjoy these festivals while practicing yogic values?  In Modern-day India, it is important to take all these sweets with a pinch of salt!

Eating all these fried foods and sugary sweets can be overwhelming, causing our bodies to reject them in harsh manners. Knowing this, it is useful to turn to the yamas and niyamas to see how they guide us.

Santosh is contentment and aparigraha is non-greed. Yoga thus teaches us to not to be greedy– just eat your share and be content. The next time you’re out on the streets, munching away, remember this!


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