Hello everybody !!!
From May 3rd to May 31st 2010, Yoganjali Natyalayam held its fourteenth annual May Intensive.
This year, Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Amma, decided to focus the May Intensive on the Shat Ripu, the six enemies within : Kama (lust / desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (egoistic tendencies) and Matsarya (jealousy).
The whole month was dedicated to an explanation of the Shat Ripu and their workings, of how they rip us apart and what we can do against it. Besides the theory classes, there were practical classes where we could explore the relationship of each of the Shat Ripu with different Hatha Yoga Practices that can be used as their antidote.
Six groups were formed, each dedicated to one of the Shat Ripu, and the children passed from one to the other during the month of may. The teachers of the groups then prepared a little presentation that was shown at the closing session of the May Intensive. They were great fun for me : indeed, a the end of each presentation I would incarnate one of the Shat Ripu who would then be defeated by the Yogic practice of the children :-). It was fun, but also interesting : indeed I am usually not acting. This little experience made me aware of how acting can evoke unsuspected powers in us and how it can help us to deal with them or to exorcise them.
Here, you will be able to enjoy the presentation on Kama, Desire. Kama is seen as the source of all the other enemies within. It is interesting to note that it can actually be seen from two perspectives. According to Indian thought, on the one hand, Kama is what brings us into the world of Maya, into the cosmic drama or play that we may sometimes not find very pleasant. It is what chains us to the cycle of Samsara, of endless death and rebirth. On the other hand, it is Kama, that makes the world go round. And 'Manifestation' is as much part of 'what is', than is the 'Unmanifest'. From that perspective, if we manage not to be enslaved anymore by Kama but if we master it, it may open up the gates to the understanding of what we are.
There is a story of an encounter of Lord Shiva and Kama. Lord Shiva is, amongst other things, the Lord of all Yogis and represents evolutionary change. Kama is the God of love and of desire. He reminds me of Eros with his bow and arrows, the Love God of the Greek Pantheon who became Cupid in the Roman Mythology.
Lord Shiva was sitting in deep meditation on Mount Kailash, his abode. In order to fight a dangerous demon who wanted to control the whole of creation, Taraka, the Gods decided that they needed to wake up Shiva as only his seed could produce a fighter strong enough to defeat him. They had planned to get Shiva married to Parvati, but he did not seem to be interested.
So the God of Love, Kama, was asked to break Shiva's penance. Very proud of this task and boasting in front of the other Gods that he would do so without problems, he wandered to Shiva's abode in the Himalayas and shot one of his arrows at Shiva.
Shiva was not very impressed, but he indeed got awaken from his deep meditation and felt a desire for Parvati overcoming him. He opened his third eye in the centre of his forehead and reduced Kama to ashes. Rati, Kama's wife was shocked and also the whole of creation was in danger as there was no desire pushing creatures to keep on living. So finally, Shiva accepted to restore Kama to Rati, but only as a mental image, representing true love and affection and not just physical lust.
It was only years later, after heavy penance by Parvati, that Shiva eventually married her. In the end, it seems that Kama's arrow did hit its target ... What had to happen happened. The plan of the Gods worked out : Karttikeya was born and killed the tyrannous Taraka.
In order to fight Kama, we can practice Shiva Surya Namaskar, a kriya that helps us to focus on Shiva's ability to destroy unwanted desire ... or rather to transform it into more subtle forms in a process of evolutionary change by controlling body, emotions and mind .
Enjoy the presentation !!!
Plenty of good energies and of Yogic inspirations to all of you !!!
PS : I will be uploading the presentations of the other Shat Ripu soon. Check them out !!!
Good inspirations to all of you !!!