Mother fasts three days a week, or more.
Mondays for mindful meditation,
Thursdays for increasing knowledge,
Fridays for unconditional love.
Also the eleventh day of the waxing moon
And the eleventh day of the waning moon.
The five organs of perception,
The five organs of action
And the one mind make eleven.
Controlling all makes potent the fast.
Also all holy days on Tuesdays
To counter martial aspects, inside and outside,
Wednesdays to foil untoward mercurial change,
Saturdays to allay seven-year saturnine gloom,
Sundays to invoke benign energies of the sun.
On those days she knows no hunger. None!
In the posture of prayer humble I see her,
Hoping for fulness, prepared for emptiness.
Ancient chants ripple as waves on the strand.
The silence within who may understand?
I wonder at no need and no hunger,
No private plea, nor protest in prayer.
I see in the unsounded depth of her fast
How the ocean heart lulls personal hunger,
And hungerless she goes singing through her fast,
So all she loves may have a full repast.
Sita Kapadia, born and educated in India, is a CUNY professor of English, emeritus. A versatile educator, writer, poet, and artist, she brings her rich multicultural experience to her work. Now in Houston, Kapadia tends her family and her garden and is currently writing a biography of Kasturba, wife of Mahatma Gandhi.
© 1996 The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.
Reference Citation: Kapadia, Sita. (1996). "Mother's Fasting." WILLA, Volume V, p. 17.