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Question
Great writing to you Brother William. 10 years back, I had planned to complete 16 Mondays' fast (vrat) devoted to Lord Shiv. However, after 4 vrats, I cut short the plan. Though I later repented and prayed to the merciful Lord to forgive me. What should I do now? Should I start the 16 vrats all again? Can I just pray and ask the almighty to forgive me and I need not complete the 16 Mondays' vrat?

Regards

Answer
Dear Abhishek,

Thank you for your questions.

It is always best to complete any vows you take. It is not uncommon, however, for devotees to find they are incapable of fulfilling sincere vows all at once. My guru used to say that there can be no failure as long as you resume the struggle even after leaving off for a time. Bhagavān Śiva is easily pleased.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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