As a child I was taught two Sanskrit shloks. One to be recited before I opened my eyes when I woke up from sleep in the morning. And the other before I stepped out of the bed to begin my day. I did it as a task and it became a habit. Looking back, now I can decipher the importance of it in both scientific as well as psychological terms.
The first shlok was-
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी, करमध्ये सरस्वती
करमूले तु गोविन्दः, प्रभाते कर दर्शनम्
karagre vasate lakshmi, karmadhye saraswati/ karmule tu govindah, prabhate kar darshnam
It means - On the tip of you hand resides Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) as fingers are your working tools. In the palm resides Saraswati (goddess of knowledge) which decides your destiny. Open palms are like an open book. And in the base of your hand resides Govind (God of sustenance as your pulse/good health). Wake up to the vision of these three that give you the power to shape your life.
|Invictus - I am the master of my fate:|
I am the captain of my soul.
I would say this shlok and slowly open my eyes. Open palms would be my first sight of the day. To know that the strength rests within you and whatever you do today affects your tomorrow is a great feeling to begin your day with. When we are asleep, our blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, metabolic activities etc are at an all time low. Not waking up suddenly and taking some time to open your eyes gives the body time to adjust and stabilize the body rhythm thus saving us from health problems. As we know, more heart attacks/strokes occur early morning than at any other time in the day.
The second shlok was-
समुद्र वसने देवी, पर्वत स्तन मण्डले
विष्णुपत्नी नमस्तुभ्यं, पाद-स्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे
samudra vasane devi, parvat stan mandale/ vishnupatni namastubhyam, paad-sparsham kshmaswa me
It means - Dressed in the flowing robes of the seas and oceans (just like a draped saree), with mountains as your breasts (source of life giving nectar in form of rivers). O consort of Vishnu, I salute you and beg forgiveness for touching you with my feet.
I would say this shlok right after opening my eyes, before stepping out of the bed. Talking to mother earth before you start your day, everyday. A dialogue that asks for forgiveness for needs which deplete the natural resources (conveyed here as disrespect shown by stepping on the ground) for my own survival. The earth is called Vishnu's wife as he is looked upon as the preserver and she the provider of all resources.
By the time you head for that tube of toothpaste, you are calm, confident, grateful and smiling :)
What a way to start the day!