I wrote the following story as a way to integrate some philosophical discussions we had in a yoga advanced-studies workshop at Heart of the Village Yoga. It is intended to give insights on working with various Hindu Archetypes and Deities, and the concepts of purusa, avidya, duhkha, and the components of Kriya Yoga from Patanjali-Sutra - tapas (the work we do to be healthy and cleanse ourselves, ridding ourselves of toxins and things we don’t need); svadhyaya (self-study and inquiry to develop deeper understanding of ourselves, learning to recognize our next steps); and isvarapranidhana (yielding humbly to the ideal of pure consciousness or the divine, valuing the quality of action over fruits from action). Of course, I also integrated my Four Perspectives!
It had been a long week and Babamanji had lost his way. He felt separated. Amongst friends and family, he felt a little lost. Yes, everyone saw his outward smile, but somehow his thoughts wandered to past memories and he lost his presence.
He decided to spend the evening sitting under some trees and gazing at the constellations. There, he always felt at home. There, he always felt safe. There, he knew he would begin again to find his way and recognize from deep within the true nature of what was going on… and find his natural rhythm with the world again.
As first, as he gazed to the sky, the constellations were not visible. As he consciously slowed his breath down to access a place of inner peace, he started to feel content. He started to see that the constellations were obscured by clouds. He reflected on his ability to at least see the clouds.
As he looked to the eastern sky, he saw the constellation Ganesha, and he was reminded that many of the obstacles that we face in life come from our own thoughts and judgments, our own ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, and our own self-created feelings of separation. In every moment, there is a new opportunity to walk beyond these obstacles and across the threshold to see your higher self and to feel more connected with your true nature. In every challenge, there is a new opportunity to gain knowledge. Things started to get clearer.
As he looked to the northern sky, he saw the constellation Shiva, and he was reminded that life is indeed cycles of transformation, and that it was necessary sometimes for him to lose his way in order to express his true nature again more fully. He was reminded that the practice of yoga would help him find his way and help him embrace his life more fully. As he practiced some meditative yoga, he started to access the knowledge held deep within his subconscious mind – deep within his physical body. He started to access his natural compassionate emotional body. His gaze became more aware. He marveled at the wonder of the sky.
As he looked to the southern sky, he saw the constellation Hanuman… and his heart melted. For a moment or two, the clear image of Hanuman right in front of him took his breath away. He saw himself in the stars. His own light began to shine again. He wondered if he had lost his way because he was not being himself and letting his own light shine, or if it was because of the others who did not see his light? He wondered about all of the judgments people make of others and wondered if people put down in others what they fear in themselves. He wondered about his own ego, his own attachment to how he thought things should be, his own refusal to see truths, or his own fear of living authentically. Of course, these thoughts just seemed to melt away as he let go and settled wholeheartedly into his own feelings of unconditional love and devotion to a more sacred perspective of the world. Being immersed in nature always helped him do that. He felt the warm support of Mother Earth below him. He was reminded that we all come from the same place, that we are all living our lives together.
He started to see the constellation Lakshmi in the background, and he was reminded to embrace life fully, to feel the abundance of nature, and to express beauty and every aspect of his life. It became so clear to him that our bodies are indeed evolved to be happy and to build supportive relationships with one another. Our true nature is really quite remarkable.
By this time, it almost felt like his mind itself was becoming transparent as the evening sky became clearer and clearer. His mind felt still. His body felt at peace. His feelings of love and openness emanated from deep within.
He was humbled by his growing feelings of responsibility and empowerment.
He was humbled by the beauty which surrounded him in all directions – each tree enriching the earth with its own light. Each hillside reflecting iridescent light and vibrant beauty. With a glance northward, he saw his own responsibilities in these infinitely-connected reflections.
As he looked to the western sky, he saw the constellation Saraswati. And he was reminded to just let go and flow with nature, to just be his best self through a sense of moving with grace, gratitude, and openness to whatever comes his way… and to learn to express himself more fully by using his voice. It is time to play music, to read poetry, to sing, to spread joy… and to do his work with vigor.
By this time, as he looked directly overhead, all of the constellations were dancing together. Their light lit up the sky and filled Babamanji’s heart. His soul rested in the peace of the moment. His spirit soared with the stars.
In the background, he wondered if he even saw the constellations of Buddha, Jesus, and Kokopelli… and the images of his father, uncle, and other ancestors. He thought he heard them reminding him of his path… a path that he has naturally always walked… a path that inspires healthy work, self-reflection, and a yielding to the ideal of our interconnected nature.
And then, it was time to walk forward again, with intention, with integrity, with wholeheartedness, and with the wisdom gained from a time to remember.