Can Amma explain the benefits of practicing Surya Namaskarah?
(Question to Amma at the beach on Monday, Sept 14, 2015)
Amma’s Answer – In the olden days, Yoga was part and parcel of daily life. Nearly everyone practiced asanas as a daily routine like brushing their teeth or taking a bath. Surya Namaskarah was an essential part of their practice. It was a natural expression of gratitude to Mother Earth, the One who supports us as our mothers bore us in their wombs.
When Amma was young, she would bow to Mother Earth and offer prayers to the sun. One day a month, women of the local village offered sweet pudding to the sun. There were some women who would also do Surya Namaskarah moderately (not too many times).
Amma’s mother would wake her up early as it was a tradition to complete the daily chores before sunrise. Amma enjoyed tasks like sweeping the house and the yard. She saw the broom as sweeping away the impurities of the world. Damayanti Amma was strict in her training, and to this day Amma never sleeps past sunrise.
People conducted themselves with reverence towards nature. Sunrise and sunset were considered especially beneficial. Morning sunlight before 10 a.m. is good for the body. Now nature is being destroyed. The depleted ozone layer is causing ailments to many beings.
We need to remember our duty to Mother Nature. Surya Namaskarah is a salutation to Lord Surya that reminds us of our duty to Mother Nature. It will greatly improve our physical and mental health. We achieve much simply by being careful and aware of our actions. May we revere God in the beauty of the sun, the trees, mountains, rivers, and all sentient and insentient beings.
Suppose a lover gives his beloved a handkerchief that costs 10 rupees. For the beloved, it is the attitude behind the gift that matters. She would never let anyone else use that handkerchief, much less use it to wipe the floor. We express our love for Mother Nature through our actions towards her. The little things that we can do with love will reverberate throughout the world as peace and joy.