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Friday, July 05, 2013

Significance of 40 days

Depiction of Jesus and Buddha
From the previous post of Jesus Christ spending 40 days in desert as intense tapas, here are few more interesting things about "40". i realized that the '40' goes beyond barriers of fanatism, religion and faith... Got an amazing resemblance between Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. Remarkably, Buddha started his preachings at the age of 30 just like Jesus. Jesus fasted in the desert for exactly 40 days and nights, while in the dessert he was tempted by the devil (temptations). Buddha also started his ministry in the same way. He fasted for exactly 40 days and nights in the wilderness and is tempted by evil spirits (temptations). Once the ordeal of fasting was over both Jesus and Buddha gathered 12 apostles (disciples) and made them change their names. Buddha and Christ both performed miracles and cured diseases. They both offered their followers eternal salvation. Both spoke mostly in parables (short stories with morals).

Prophet Muhammed
Even Prophet Muhammed had fasted for 40 days in a cave and so have many Saints and Yogis in history. 
  
Muslims even today fast and pray for 40 days during the Ramzan period.

So do Christians fast and pray during the 40-day Lent season, before Good Friday and Easter.








Lord Ayappa Devotees
Even the devotees of Swami Ayyappa visit Sabarimala in Kerala after observing strictly 40 days fasting.

In Hindu system some of the popular fasting period consist 40 days and is called the period One 'Mandal kal'.... Kal means a period and Mandal kal means a period of 40 days.

 
Chaliha Sahib
The Sindhi Hindu community commemorate a festival of thanks to God called Chaliha Sahib. It lasts for 40 days during which time devotees avoid: cutting their hair, wearing clothes washed by soap, drinking milk, eating fried food and wearing shoes. 

Zoroastrians
Zoroastrians also have a 40 day formula for having prayers answered. It is known as the “Chalisa” or The 40 Day Ritual. The procedure includes the following elements: to devote one’s mind completely to one divine being and pray a specified prayer at exactly the same time at exactly the same place everyday for the full 40 days, whilst maintaining strict levels of spiritual and physical purity. In addition to this, the devotee constantly repeats a phrase of the Avesta throughout their daily life for the 40 days in order to “keep the connection”. If the devotee completes this task for 40 days the Yazata to whom the person sought help from will appear in some form to them with the answer to their prayer.
Even women across many religions in Hinduism, Islam, Zoroastrian woman is required to remain secluded with her baby for forty days in order that she may be purified from the impurities of childbirth.

Guru Namak ji
Guru Nanak is also said to have spent 40 days with a Sufi saint in Nahoria Bazar, Sirsa, India where a beautiful Sikh Shrine called the Gurdwara Chilla Sahib is now located. He himself undertook a Chilla / Chalisa (40 days spent worshipping God) at Tilla Jogian, near Bhera Pakistan.



Lord Hanuman
In Hanuman Chalisa, the word chalisa is 'chalis' meaning 40. It contains 40 stanzas and devotees of Hanumanji recites these 40 stanzas for 40 days.In the Hanuman Chalisa are the eight murtis, twelve jyotirlingas, five mukhs and fifteen eyes. (8 + 12 + 5 + 15 = 40). And these forty are sthapit (placed) in the Hanuman Chalisa. If one recites the Hanuman Chalisa wholeheartedly, one actually is having darshan of the eight murtis, twelve jyotirlingas, five mukhs and fifteen eyes. Thus, there is a special reason of reciting the Hanuman Chalisa for 40 days.

Mulla Husayn
Mulla Husayn (of Bahai Faith) spent 40 days fasting and praying before leaving Karbala.

40 days can be seen in various examples of Yogis' and Saints' intense tapas period. 

Finally, could be 'something' with the 40 caves that Bade Baba built in Kanhangad for spiritual seekers to meditate in :)

40 days is also a perfect time according to science for the body to throw out toxins and detoxify if the body is put to fasting or following a strict diet schedule.

Another explanation that a person wrote about the 40-day sadhana: We practice to train the subconscious to release thoughts or habits that do not serve us any longer. It takes 40 days to change a habit, 90 days to confirm the habit once all the blood cells have been renewed and 120 makes the new habit who you are when the subconcious mind has adapted to the new pattern. In 1000 days you have totally mastered the new habit.

So hope that was helpful.......... the 40 days... your time stars now..... lol..

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