All stories favor the Mahabharata and also Ramayana that survive through the periods reflect one’s own inner drama in part deep way. That’s why world read lock again and again, and also it stays new and fresh thousands of years after ~ they to be written.

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Gayatri Iyer

We space all aware about Yogacharya T.Krishnamacharya gift a pioneer in making use of yoga (specifically asana and also pranayama) for therapy and well-being. But small did we recognize that he to be a an excellent scholar that our sacred knowledge and traditions. One of his long-standing students Raghu Ananthanarayanan has actually put together an interesting note about Ramayana from a yogic lens based upon his knowledge of various facets of the epic together taught through Sri Krishnamacharya. He has actually used the maker of an innocent conversation between a young, curious child, Chiku, and an elderly teacher Rita, just like the dialogues that supplied to take it place in between student and teachers in ~ ashrams. In my discussions through Raghu ns learnt that he composed this since he was very disturbed ~ watching “Sita Sings the Blues”, a film that narrates the story of oppression that a woman feels. While the animated film is made in one artistic means and was more than likely not intended to be a an adverse portrayal, it nevertheless reflected every the current stereotypical means in i m sorry the Hindu myths room misunderstood.

Chiku: Why is Rama blue?

Rita: What perform you mean?

Chiku: he is constantly painted blue in color, is the not?

Rita: Ah! correctly that’s due to the fact that he is the shade of Vishnu, the shade of N0-Thing, the shade of the dark night sky just prior to the moon rises.

Chiku: climate what is the story every about? Why does my mother keep informing me the story and saying all good boys should be like Rama!

Rita: Ok, however lets keep Rama’s story aside and also let me tell you another story: This is the story of 2 young boys. They were the precious gifts born to an ageing king. When they to be in their at an early stage teens, a wise sage who stayed in the forest asked the King for help. “Your sons have come that age, they must study and also learn. I likewise need to maintain the peace of mine ashram; there space denizens in the forest who store bothering us. Her sons will find out the art of war and the wisdom the the an excellent wise world of the land”. The King thought about it, and also agreed, it was time to let them go. In the ashram the guys learnt wisdom indigenous the sages and helped them come fight off demons and also ogres who frequently disturbed the peace of the ashram. The boys prospered up to it is in courageous and also skillful warriors. They transformed right into wise, brave and also handsome young men.

While they to be going back to your father’s home, they happened to go v a surrounding kingdom. The young princess that this kingdom was particularly beautiful and also gifted. The so happened that the king had actually arranged for her to be betrothed and had invited all the brave eligible suitors indigenous far and also near come his palace on that day. A good test the strength and velour to be planned for the candidates.

When the princess experienced these young guys walk under the main street, she to be so entranced by the elder one the her heart went out to him. The sage that was accompanying the young male urged him come bid because that the challenge. If the maiden fervently prayed for his success, the young male came through the check with great ease. The 2 young guys were married in an excellent pomp and glory, to the princess and also her sister.

When they reached their home, they discovered their dad waiting and eager come hand over his kingdom come his eldest son. However, an intrigue among the majesties wrested the throne away from the son even as the rituals and also celebrations of the crowning had actually begun. The young man had actually to walk away come a woodland for fourteen years.

Chiku: Hey, you are tricking me! You room telling me Rama’s story, yet making it seem prefer a an excellent hero story! This is no the story of a great obedient young that my mommy relates to me!!

Rita: ns did nothing, I just related the story, and also yes it is heroic for a young boy to thrive up in a ar that is beautiful, adventurous and filled with good mentors.

Chiku: So, exactly how are you going to take the story forward!

Rita: over there are countless ways to tell a story, and many an ext ways to analyze them. The many meaningful method is to allow it come evoke the best, the many heroic and also the many sacred in you.

Chiku: Really? are there other ways?

Rita: Yes, unfortunately there are. One have the right to use that to highlight norms and social assumptions. One have the right to make fun of part things human being hold as valuable or use modern-day theories to make the story seem awful and also regressive.

Chiku: That’s not what ns am interested in. Friend have acquired me interested in the story. You re welcome don’t stop, bring on v it!

Rita: Yes, let’s get earlier to the story: the brothers are Rama and also Lakshmana, Sita is the bride, Dasharatha the king and also Vasishta the sage.

Rama and Lakshmana thought around the prospect of walking away right into the forest. They claimed to each other, “if our father that loves united state should fall prey to such palace intrigue, we cannot live and rule this place in one honorable way”. “This is a Dharma Sankata, and the sages told us that only true leaders space the people that can see a Dharma Sankata.”

Chiku: What is a Dharma Sankata?

Rita: A Dharma sankata is a dilemma the one deals with in a case where any an option one makes has actually equal positive and negative impacts. In this instance “If we stay, us make our human being happy, yet we are not wise enough to live approximately their expectations. If us go away, we may lose our appropriate to rule, but we will have actually an chance to discover from life and the countless Rishis that we will satisfy in the forest. We will be able to play the ‘palace intrigue game’ indigenous a location of wisdom.” They said to each various other as they sweet the pros and cons the the Dharma sankata. Lock weighed 4 sides that the dilemma, the plus and minus that the polarity, means of compromising between the two, and also looking for an imaginative solutions beyond the choices presented. And also then they claimed to each other “Let us decide to walk to the forest and face the human being alone. Over there is lot to learn. The sages have told united state that any barrier or demon external is yet a enjoy of seeds of rajas and tamas in ~ that have yet to be burnt.” They debated their thoughts v their young brides long into the night. They were excited by the possibility of a few more year of freedom and also adventure, at the very same time, they were afraid of letting go of the protection of a ready made setup for their future. Yet the sense of adventure and also the have to really discover their true precious prevailed, therefore they went to the king and also conveyed your decision.

Chiku: That’s nice therefore they took complete responsibility!

Rita: Yes, poor Lakshmana to be torn, his mam Urmila to be not all set to go on an adventure, however she urged Lakshmana come go. “You will certainly regret the if you do not finish the journey the Rama and also you carried out together when you went to Sage Vashishta’s Ashrama” she said.

Chiku: What around Bharata?

Rita: Let’s check out what wake up in the story: just after Rama, Lakshmana and also Sita left the kingdom Bharata came earlier from his apprenticeship. The was really unhappy v his mummy intrigue and also rushed turn off to fetch Rama. The two of lock met in ~ the financial institutions of the river and sat under for a long dialogue. Rama took the position that a period of exile to be a an excellent opportunity come learn, introspect deeply and mature as a person. “Why can’t you perform it when you room in the social context, and also in your very own home. Deserve to one not grow and also mature in that an are too?” The four of lock examined every the possibilities that were easily accessible to them. They genuinely evaluate the insights available by each one. It aided each of them really recognize their own positions from different aspects and with a lot more clarity. They finally said to themselves, “our stays are one experiment anyway, the is an chance to learn, come burn our seed of rajas and tamas. Let united state live through the course thrown open to united state by the vagaries of life and discover”. So, lock parted from every other and Rama promise to be earlier after 14 years, and Bharata promise to dominion as regent.

Chiku: that sounds plausible! It makes me feel an excellent that I can have differences and be emotionally churned, but I deserve to still have a dialogue through others.

Rita: That’s great, you space learning just how to hear to a story in a way that helps you to introspect and also grow. Debates and destructive criticism erode you, if enquiry and exploration aid you.

Chiku: Yes, I check out that. The method I watch the story speak me who I am. Mirrors me my thinking and biases. Who knows what taken place a couple of thousand years ago!

Rita: so let’s relocate ahead and now phone call me, what else execute you want to re-examine?

Chiku: Ummm… call me about Ravana thefts Sita.

Rita: ns hope part Yogic viewpoint is ok with you?

Chiku: Sure, ns love it!

Rita: Ok here goes: One’s mind is a mirror. It have the right to reflect the world (prakruti) and it have the right to reflect the divine (purusha). Anyone deserve to see the divine, noted they fulfil a precondition. The persons’ mind and also heart should be completely complimentary of the seeds of rajas and also tamas. Such a mind is dubbed the shuddha satvam, the is fully integrated, and naturally there is no of desire for experiencing pleasure or fear of suffering pain. Dasharatha is a grasp of ten good abilities. His child Rama is gifted through the integration the the ten and also with a mind all set for shuddha satvam. Ravana is his counterpoint. Ravana has numerous extraordinary talents in music, in expertise the world, in understanding the scriptures and so on. However, the is not integrated and is filled through raw emotion.

Chiku: Hey climate Rama and also Ravana room two develops of the same set of potentials?

Rita: Yes. Sita is the feminine facet of this potential. She can either attract and be attractive by Rama, when she resonates through Rama. She can also be attracted to Ravana, once she resonates v her own raw and also incoherent self. Currently to some turning points the the story.

Sita, Rama and also Lakshmana observed the lovely golden Deer and naturally desire touched their hearts. So, Sita want to own it. To be able to catch the gold deer to be the can be fried affirmation that his mastery because that Rama. So off he go in pursuit, the deer was a trick choose all appearances that prakruti are! Rama is trapped in his narcissistic self and also screams the end for help. Lakshmana is recorded in a dilemma. Sita feels guilty, and also forces Lakshmana to go for help though the says, “Rama has actually fallen right into a trap and also he should extricate self from it”. Before he leaves, Laxmana draws three lines in former of Sita. Three borders of ourselves that we cross when fear or desire overpower our discrimination: the limits of physical integrity, the limits of emotional integrity and also the limits of mental integrity. Ravana in his super-vision sees his opportunity and also pays a visit come Sita as himself, shorn of the trappings of a King. That comes as a simple Brahmin seek alms. Sita’s compassion take over, she does not see with the artifice of Ravana, she gives in come her obsession to sell nourishment. The three borders that Lakshmana attracted warn she clearly. They kind fire-walls, however Sita’s is so remote to them.

Chiku: Why walk the boundaries get inflamed?

Rita: Chiku, don’t you always fell a discomfort a deep sense of letting you yourself down, of no living approximately your very own commitment to be the finest that you can be when you room doing miscellaneous compulsive? A deep unconscious voice alerts you every time you overcome a line however you remain deaf come it.

Chiku: Hmmm. Yes i do, something does stroked nerves me, like I come to be anxious or feeling a small guilty, however it is additionally exciting!

Rita: the is the exact same feeling told symbolically in the story. If we know just how to use these sources of energy, they come to be the heat of self-reflection called tapas. This heat will burn away the seed of rajas and also tamas.

Chiku: Wow, This is exciting, call me more.

Rita: together Sita gets abducted her sense of remorse arises, but it is as well late. She is hoping the she does not get lost. Every the signs of mastery end herself that she obtained as presents from she birth loss away, one through one together she gets pulled deeper and deeper right into the Ravana space. This are found later through Rama as he searches because that Sita in the forest. She is no able to avoid herself native going into a dark space.

Rama and also Lakshmana come earlier to the hut and realize what has actually happened. Rama sees plainly that he has actually wasted much of the time he had actually at his disposal. Because that 13 year he live a simple and happy life however forgot to nurture his within growth. “This situation is a wake up call, i was trapped in a feeling of pride and a feeling of having accomplished my complete transformation, i did not live up to the promise of doing tapas in the forest.” Thus, Rama and Lakshmana set out to uncover Sita. On the method they encounter the various animalistic parts of themselves the they have actually not fully mastered. JambavAn the bear, Hanuman the monkey self and also a host of other energies the the self that require to, be own up to are encountered. They interact with this energies and also befriend them.

Sita in the on the other hand is taken to Sri Lanka. She is put in Ashoka Vana, the one room inside Ravana that is beyond his rawness, whereby he i do not care contemplative. The realizes that till his very own being becomes coherent he cannot approach or touch Sita. The will only violate the beauty that craves.

As she sits alone in the forest abode, Sita meditates ~ above herself and also tries to bring clarity to herself. She slowly burns the last seeds of rajas and tamas within. She has seen them in their manifest form and confronts the truth that they are around to engulf her. And also as she walk that, she is able to watch that within Rama as well there is the animalistic and also that the must be able to master this element before lock can meet again in the space of pure light and love. In ~ this allude of her transformative journey, Hanuman the animalistic change ego the Rama find Sita, consoles her and also tells her the Rama is in search of her desperately v his own sAdhana. But Hanuman in an act of uncontained rage tries to damage Sri Lanka. One cannot transform the incoherent and divergent energies the the self through rage. It must be transformed through the intensity of dhyAna.

Chiku: Rita, as soon as you to speak one cannot transform the incoherent and also divergent energies of the self with rage, and one have the right to only carry out so v dhyAna, what does that mean? What is dhyAna?

Rita: Chiku that’s a substantial question can you organize that, come earlier another day and also we will study it?

Chiku: Ok!

Rita: A great war ensues finally. The raw strength of Ravana and the meaningful power of Rama confront each various other in a final test. Each of the 3 protagonists of ours story Sita, Rama and also Ravana are yet an facet of each of us. The raw powerful self, the coherent and also ordered ideal that we have the right to be, and the delicate self, filled with love. Rama rides on Hanuman v his totally mastered life power and also helps Ravana to watch his very own inner fragmentation. The inner friction and fight fall away, the top that have actually been top Ravana anywhere the place autumn away, and he becomes qualified of transforming himself. Rama and Ravana fulfill in the battle-field because that the last time and Rama pays respects to the good talent of Ravana. That asks Lakshmana to get the gift the knowledge and wisdom indigenous Ravana and relieve the of his debt to the gurus (guru rna).

Chiku: are you saying that the story is a symbolic explication of my very own journey the maturation?

Rita: correctly Chiku, all stories choose the Mahabharata and also Ramayana that survive through the ages reflect one’s own inner drama in part deep way. That’s why people read them again and again, and it stays new and fresh countless years ~ they to be written. They reflect the important struggles the every human being being captured in the daily fight for survive aspiring to uncover the divine within.

Chiku: What around Sita and her psychological by fire?

Rita: Oh! Yes, we have to see that with the Yogic lens too. Once Sita comes to meet Rama, she sees how resplendent he has actually become. He has regained the pure excellent luster she saw once he arised from Vashishta’s ashram. She too has actually grown and transformed but when she come close come Rama and also is about to reach out to him, the last vestiges of she desire for him and also her very own sense that guilt remote her. She should see the deep urges the made her remote to the advice the Lakshmana offered her as soon as he drew the 3 lines on the ground. Lakshmana sees her plight and helps she go through the last steps of her tapas, a trial as deep and life transforming as Rama’s fight through Ravana. The final change is complete, and also Rama and also Sita are united in a brand-new universe, one that is replete v satyam, rtam and shAntam. This is the universe of ananda that have the right to be touched just by a shuddha satva mind.

A long silence, then Chiku speaks: Wow that’s a long journey. Room you offering a twist to the story Rita?

Rita: Firstly Chiku, I have been speak this all the time, the twist one gives is a reflection of the psychic of the twister! I like this twist to the ones that look in ~ the story from a feminist “Rama is an oppressor” allude of view, or the twist that states “being Hindu is gift regressive and superstitious”, or dismissing these stories as “mere mythology”, or also worse “I hate anything positive about the Hindu Tradition” suggest of check out ☺

Chiku: Yes, i agree.

Rita: Also, I have used a renowned idea indigenous the dance tradition known as the ula, which traces the inner growth of the nayika attracted to the beauty of Shiva. So, this twist is not mine, and also it is totally consistent with Yoga and also with the deeper elements of Bhakti the is stood for in dance.

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Chiku: Ok, however what is dhyAna? girlfriend promised to fancy more…

Rita: the is growing late Chiku. Go home now, we will speak around it an additional day.