|Artist: Sanjay Patel|
Sunday, April 1st is the celebration of the birthday of Rama, hero of The Ramayana, destroyer of the demon Ravana, incarnation of Vishnu.
I am not a Hindu, but I do have a strong connection with Rama (even more so with Hanuman—more about that next week in time for his birthday).
Rama, both in the religious aspect and as a character in a story, represents an ideal. He is the ideal King, son, husband, leader, master, brother, always acting with righteousness—that is to say acting as an extension of Truth. The word of a King cannot be wrong, so his words are true. The son must obey the word of the father, and he does so even though hardships will befall him.
We have these representations of ideals so that we may know how to act, how to live correctly. Rama is considered to have been an actual living, breathing human. If one person can act this way, it demonstrates to others that right action is attainable.
Hard sandals to follow.
The story of The Ramayana captivates me at each reading. It is filled with fun stories which explain very complex Vedic law. Many of the poses we do in asana class are representative of characters from this story (either the original by Valmiki or the more recent one by Tulsidas), such as Kakasana, Vasisthasana, Visvamitrasana, Dhanurasana, Anjanyasana, Virasana, Bharadvajasana, Parighasana, among others, which act as a modern connection to the ideals of their namesakes.
Come hear some stories this week. Let me tell you about Rama. It doesn’t matter what religious affinity we have—stories of goodness are meant to inspire us to try to be better. We may succeed or fail in various amounts, but once the seed is planted, it will grow.
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram