Today, we will learn about Vratas.
You would have seen your family, observing Vrata during various occasions according to the Hindu Calendar.
What are Vratas and why do people fast?
A Simple Amrutam Understanding
The Sanskrit meaning of the word Vrata is “vow, resolve, and devotion”.
According to ancient Hindu scriptures, Vratas are referred to the practice of austerity and abstinence from certain routine activities to achieve oneness with the higher self.
Vrata and the Pattern of the Universe
Interestingly, the Sanskrit word Vrata is made from two simple words “Vr” and “rta” where Vr means will and Rta means pattern. Vrata, as we mentioned in the above lines, is a vow, a vow to achieve oneness with the higher self, to achieve moksha through maintaining the cyclical pattern of the universe.
Everything in the universe has a pattern(rta) of its own, like the seasons, like the sun and the moon. Vratas help in maintaining this pattern and symphony of the universe.
“Our bodies get tired, just like our mind does and we look forward to Sundays and other Holidays in our schedule, to rest and relax. Similarly, when our bodies get tired, we fast, we observe a Vrata, to let our bodily systems relax.”
– As pointed out by an Amrutam Member this morning
Different Types of Vratas/Fasting
Vratas can be classified into different categories based on various factors.
- Kayakia Vratas: Kayakiya Vratas are related to bodily observances.
- Manas Vratas: Manas Vratas are related to mental observances.
- Vachika Vratas: Vachika Vratas are observances of silence.
The above three Vratas i.e. Kayakia Vratas, Manas Vratas and Vachika Vratas req uire us to abstain ourselves from the performance of a certain activity.
Vratas can also be classified according to other different criterions like material or spiritual. Material Vratas are called as Bhautika observances and Spiritual Vratas are called as Adhyatmika observance.
Vratas can also be further be classified based on time as a criterion where Vratas are defined as per the duration of the Vrata. It could be a day-long Vrata, Weekly Vrata etc.
Vrata is a vow to keep the cycles of the universe and yourself intact.
Thank you for visiting Amrutam's Blog again.
On Friday's with Amrutam, we spend the time to learn about various traditions and customs which are prevalent in our families and society and the logic behind these customs and traditions.
In the past few weeks on our blog, we have learned about the significance and the logic behind putting a Tilak, the logic behind ringing temple bells and the significance of Evil eye or “Nazar”.
Keep reading, we'll be learning a lot more about Vratas in the coming few weeks.