108 Names of the Moon: Chandra Ashtottara Shatanamavali #35

Moon - a royal planet

Om kṣapākarāya namaha, Salutations to the One who promotes fasting to purify the human form, the human mind.

Kṣapā night (Ved. only used in inst. pl. kṣapābhis); turmeric.
Kṣapā-kara ‘making the night,’ the moon.
Kṣapā-pati the moon; camphor.
Kṣapāha (ºpā-ahan) a day and night.
kṣapā-atyaye at the end of night.
kṣapaṇāni devoid of SB 3.15.17
kṣapā at night
ākāra of bodily features Adi 2.28, Madhya 20.208
ākāra of features Adi 4.79, Madhya 20.172
ākāra form Antya 2.157, Antya 18.58
ākāra form. Adi 2.61
ākāra in the form. Madhya 6.256
ākāra body. Antya 18.68
akāraḥ the first Bg 10.33
ākāraḥ source SB 3.10.11
kamala-ākaram the source of lotus flowers SB 5.2.4

Everything we see, everything we hear, everything we touch, all that we taste and drink, all that we smell affects the mind. All that comes through the senses is food for the mind. The mind is like a camera, it takes the picture of whatever it is pointed at and assumes that form within. So take care before you “click”, take care wherever you address the mind. If the letter does not have a proper address it is marked “Return to Sender”. So also, what we refuse to take in via the five senses returns to its source.

The Soul – the Atma – is either strengthened or diminished by our actions. Think of the electricity. Though the bulbs are many, the electricity is the same. The bulbs differ in their radiance due to the difference in the voltage of the bulbs. Some people complain that the Divine radiance in them is dim. In these people the Divine radiance is dimmed by narrowness of mind. The Divine radiance shines resplendently only in those who have sanctity and strong management of the mind. It is possible to have a broad mind and have self discipline at the same time. But many people today are selfish and narrow minded and their concern is limited only to themselves and satiation of the senses. Unless their sense-control broadens to envelop society and the world, the Divine radiance can never burn resplendently in them.

A form of sense-control is fasting. Pradosh vrat, the fast on the 11th Day – Ekadasi – occurring in two lunar cycles Shukla paksha (the bright half) and Krishna paksha, (the dark half) in the lunar month (masam). In addition to fasting on calendar days, we also fast in the night. It not healthy to eat in the night after the sandhi time. It is not healthy to eat immediately before sleeping, for the food will not be digested properly. Hence, the Moon, the Presiding deity of the Mind and Lord of the Night – is the giver of fasting in the night.

Today we are witnessing rapid and radical changes in almost every field of life – political, economic, social, scientific, and so forth. However, there is no mental, ethical and spiritual transformation. This is because no effort is made to understand the nature and role of the human mind. The food consumed by man provides the source of origin, sustenance and development of the mind. After digestion, the grossest part of the food is thrown out as excreta. The subtle part becomes blood and flesh, while the subtlest part assumes the form of the mind. So the nature of the mind depends on the quality and quantity of food consumed.

While the gross body or the food sheath – Annamaya Kosa – is chiefly derived from food, the subtle part of the water we drink contributes to the life sheath – Pranamaya Kosa. The grosser part of the water goes out as urine. The food sheath and the life sheath provide the basis for the other three sheaths, namely, the Manomaya Kosa – the mental sheath, the Vijnanamaya Kosa – the intellectual sheath, and the Anandamaya Kosa the bliss sheath. This shows the paramount importance of food and drink in moulding and developing the human personality.

Om kṣapākarāya namaha, Salutations to the One who promotes fasting to purify the human form, the human mind.



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