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 deal with them or exorcise them.

Here, you will be able to enjoy the presentation on Moha, illusion or delusion.

There is a lot to be said about illusion. In Indian thought, the whole world is Maya, illusion, Lila, a big cosmic play. It is also Tandava, Lord Shiva's cosmic dance ...

So we have to understand that "illusion" is reality ... but reality seen from a certain point of view. In Indian thought, one would say that illusion springs from a dualistic point of view, a point of view of dvaita as opposed to advaita, non-duality. Dvaita is the root cause of avidya, ignorance, or non-knowledge. The leap from Advaita to Dvaita, from Vidya (knowledge) to Avidya is the fundamental leap into creation.

Both are but two sides of a coin. If we identify with "illusion" too much, we get caught up in it. If we manage to experience it for what it is, it becomes a beautiful ornament we are wearing, a melodious tune we are playing, an inspiring dance we are dancing ...

But let's come a bit more down to earth now !!!

Moha reminds me of a nice Tibetan Story. It is about 'Crescent Moon' ... if I do remember it right. Maybe it is about 'Full Moon' ... I will try to check it up. Meanwhile, let us say it is 'Crescent Moon''s story.

Once upon a time, there was a poor man. He was a good and honest man, but somehow he just did not manage to make a living. One day, his luck seemed to be turning. He found a whole bag of barley on the road. He first thought of finding its owner. But none could be found. So he decided to take the bag. He carried it along into a barn where he intended to spend the night. There were a few rats there. So he decided to suspend the bag on one of the roofs' beams. It would thus be protected from the rats and also from some thieves that may come by ...

Once he had hanged the bag on the beam, he started to reflect : "what shall I do with this bag of barley ?? I could sell it. With the money, I could buy some goods and start a little business. I will be able to save some money. So, I will be able to get married. This is wonderful :-). How much I would like to get married !!! Then, with my wife we could run our business together and maybe build a little house. Maybe I could buy some land and even become a farmer myself ... And then, I could have a son. Yes, a son who will inherit all the farm and all my business and who will give me many grandchildren :-) !!!"

While he was thinking about his son, the crescent moon just rose in the sky. He thought, "I will call my son 'crescent moon'". Just when he had this thought, the bag of barley that he had hanged on the roof's beam, fell down and killed him ... Indeed, while he was daydreaming, some rats had gnawed the ropes with which it was attached ...

How often do we not dream about wonderful futures ... forgetting to check and being aware of our situation here and now ...

It somehow also seems that we need "illusions" to feel alive. I remember, many years ago, I had a problem with a flight ticket I purchased. I was supposed to change the original return date within a certain time frame. I forgot to do so. When I realized it, my imagination run wild : what to do ?? I did not have much money. So how to get my ticket exchanged ?? What to say to the Airline ?? What would they say ?? What different strategies could I put in place ?? While doing this, I somehow realized how futile it was : either it was possible to change the ticket, or it wasn't. In the worst case, I would have to buy a new ticket and the problem to solve would then be to see how to go about it. So no need to spend my time and energies thinking about my ticket issue. Especially, as I could only go to the airline's office a month later.

So I just stopped worrying. One month later I went to the Airlines. On my way, I again started to worry and to imagine all kinds of things. But again, I decided to just let it be. When I reached the office, the employee was very helpful and very friendly : I got my ticket changed within five minutes !!!

This was a great lesson for me. What happened ?? I needed to change a ticket and I got it changed. The whole thing took five minutes and was not very "heroic". It was no big deal.

I could have worried for a month, imagined all kinds of strategies, found all kinds of solutions for possible problems. Had I then got my ticket changed, I would have felt like a hero who has fought all the obstacles and finally reached his goal !!!

It made me wonder : do we love our illusions so much because they make us feel like heroes ?? They give us the feeling to achieve things, to be someone. Why are we afraid to just open up to what is here ?? It may be worth a try ... Life may still be interesting then ... actually it may become even more beautiful as we allow some space for enjoying it. Instead of being caught in the chaos of our contradicting imaginations, we may get a glimpse of the cosmos, the harmony surrounding us. Interestingly enough, the world Kosmos comes from a greek root also meaning "ornament".

Give it some space, and Chaos may appear as Kosmos, illusion may become Maya, Lila, Tandava and point to, as the Indians would say, Sat Chit Ananda (I let you check this one out ;-) !!!).

Plenty of good cosmic energies and lots of beautiful inspirations to all of you !!!


Plenty of good and healthy energies and inspirations to all of you !!!


PS : You may want to check out also the videos on the other Shat Ripu in my Yoga Marga / Yoga Inspirations Channel ;-).

Plenty of good inspirations to all of you !!!



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