What story speaks to you the most?

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What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:09 pm

Greetings!

When I was at Mount Madonna, I encountered Hanuman devotees. The stories of Hanuman, with his broken jaw (broken ego) strength to leap across seas and utter devotion are very dear to me; I depend upon them in not only my yoga teaching, but in my life in general.

What stories do you identify with the most and why?

Jai Shri Ram! Jai Hanuman!
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:43 pm

Sakhaiva,

I love the story of how Ganesh got his head. The fact that Shiva could use an elephants head for his son explains that we are all the same in Gods eyes. All of creation is valuable not just people.

Maya
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:51 pm

Do you guys have a link where we can read these stories?
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:08 pm

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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:13 am

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Do you guys have a link where we can read these stories?

After I'd left Seminary and Christianity, I'd found that I've developed a deep aversion to reading virtually anything except memoirs and biographies. I'm most especially repulsed by reading scripture (of any religion) and scholarly commentary. You may laugh, but I really think it's a form of PTSD.

Anyway, I do very much enjoy hearing "ordinary", everyday friends tell stories and why these stories mean so much them. That is how I've been learning and growing in these last years. So, I invite Maya and Sakhaiva to share more, 'cause I'm eagerly listening.
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:11 pm

Chiyo, I know what you mean - there is something profound to hear a story being shared with feeling; gives me chills at times. I think we are wired for it.... it fulfills some deep need.

That beign said, the story of Hanuman comes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. My telling will come from Ramayana....

Once there was a man named Dasharatha who was the king of a place called Aydohya. Dasharatha had four sons; the eldest was named Rama. awas the perfect son and, later, was the perfect mate for Sita, his wife, and he lived his whole live by the rules of dharma. In fact, to this day, Indian's will tell their children to 'be a Rama' Eventually Dasharatha decided to leave his Kingdom to Rama so he could retire in the forest and seek moksha (which was what a respectable king ought to do.) But there was a problem - his new wife wanted her son to be king. To complicate things, Dasharatha had made a promise, an oath, to his second wife early on and therefore, now had to banish Rama for fourteen years and to crown her son Bharata.

Rama, always obedient, goes into the forest for 14 years. Sita and one of his brothers, Lakshman, goes with him.

Now unlike his evil mom, Bharata was a good person and followed the rules of Dharma. He went into the forest to beg Rama to come back and be king; but Rama would stay in the forest for the full 14 years. So Bharata took one of his sandals as a pledge to rule in Rama's place until he returned, leaving Rama, Sita and Lakshman to live in the forest alone.

but they were not alone, for in the forest lived many demons called 'rakshasas' who would disturb the sages when they meditated. Rama and Lakshman fought and destroyed the rakshasas. One day a rakshasa princess tries to seduce Rama, but Lakshmana wounds her and sends her away. So she goes to her brother, the 10-headed ruler of Lanka named Ravana and tells him about how beautiful Rama's wife, Sita, was. Now Ravana(who has a weakness for beautiful women) wants Sita in the worst possible way.

So one day he sends a beautiful golden deer, that was magical, to Sita (who found the deer extremely beautiful and she desired it.) And Rama and Lakshman were away.

Whenever Rama and Lakshman left Sita, they would draw a circle around her as protection; as long as she stayed within the circle, she would be fine no matter what.

But when Sita saw that beautiful golden deer, and wanted it, she took a step outside of the ring and Ravana swooped down and stole her away. When Rama came back, he was utterly heartbroken. This brings us to the part of the story where we meet Hanuman and his great monkey army but before I go on, let me say that in our story, Ravana represents the ego. The demons represent the kleshas that keep us away from samadhi. The circle represents devotion.... Sita, like so many other people, was enticed out of devotion with a desire for something purty... iow,she was distracted.

Now we will meet Hanuman and his monkey army.

Hanuman was perfectly devoted to Rama:





Some say Hanuman was born to Anjana, who was a female Apsara and Vayu, god of the wind. His mother was cursed and turned into a monkey, which is why Hanuman is as he is.

From his father, he was given the gift of flight.

As a child, his mother was not enough for him and he was bored with life. As a child, he was very naughty and would pester the saints as they meditated by creating whirlwinds and other distractions. One day he looked up at the sun in the sky and wanted it so much that he lept for it and soared high in the air, into Indra's heaven. Indra, seeing what Hanuman was doing, threw a lightening bolt and broke Hanuman's jaw, sending him plummeting back to the earth.

Indra eventually appologized to Vayu for this and Hanuman was made into a god.

But since Hanuman was still quite naughty at this point, he was cursed so that he would forget his powers, until Jambavant, king of the bears, reminded him. By this point his power was great - now being humble and devoted.

He was perfectly devoted to Sita and Ram.... an example of his devotion can be found in this story:

Once, Hanuman was presented by certain saints a necklace, fully laden with costly pearls. On getting the necklace, Hanuman plucked each pearl and cracked it with his sharp teeth, looked inside, and threw away all the pearls, one by one, with disappointment. The saints asked him what he was doing. Hanuman replied: ‘They are no good. I do not see my venerable Sri Ram and Sita in any one of them. What is the use of such necklace for me?‘

The saints were shocked. How was it possible to see the images of gods inside pearls? Hanuman clarified:’My gods Sri ram and Sita stay everywhere, in all living and nonliving things. They are inside my heart also.Do you wish to see for yourself?’ The saints asked for proof. Hanuman closed his eyes and prayed with deep devotion ’Hare Ram Jai Sita Ram.’ Then, with his strong hands, he beat his chest and opened his breast and showed them the images of Sri Ram and Sita imprinted there!

The saints were wonderstruck with this miracle. They were extremely happy with Hanuman’s devotion to Sri Ram.

So now back to our story ... Sita was captured by Ravana. Hanuman vowed to get her back for Rama and to do this he lept over oceans and did amazing things. When Lakshman was injured by the demons and needed a certain herb to be cured, Hanuman carried an entire mountain covered with this herb and Lakshman was cured.

In the end, Ravana is destroyed, Sita's purity is proven, Rama becomes king and offers Hanuman his heart's desire; Hanuman asked only to remains so long as people remember the deeds of Rama.


More about Valmiki's Ramayana can be found here: Ramayana

Jai SitaRam!


Last edited by Sakhaiva on Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:55 pm

OT: hey, I found some you tube footage of the temple at Mount Madonna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuklhCuLp00&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kyqJvpDOWI&feature=related

here's some before aarti footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=723NtrhhhlQ you can hear people ringing the bell as they enter (signifying their intent as they arrive)

This little temple gets a pretty large draw each saturday; it is very traditional. I see JT is priest for this service - he was my favorite.

Here is the view from the top of the temple http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sggInxEqt3s

During services wild deer and other critters often meander about - unafraid cuz they know everyone there is veggie.

Sorry Embarassed back to the topic Smile
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:29 pm

An absolutely indespensible electronic resource is Sacred-Texts.com, they have electronic versions of mythological, religious, spiritual, folkloric and historic texts relating to almost every human culture.

http://www.sacred-texts.com

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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:40 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:An absolutely indespensible electronic resource is Sacred-Texts.com, they have electronic versions of mythological, religious, spiritual, folkloric and historic texts relating to almost every human culture.

[url=http://www.sacred-texts.com
http://www.sacred-texts.com[/quote[/url]]

That site will eat HOURS away - yes it is a fantastic resource.

(But it is the great Kali of web sites) Smile
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:17 pm

Chiyo,
What is PTSD?
Something else that I love about Ganesh is that he is friendly with a mouse, I love mice and having an image of God being loving to a creature that is often so hated yet again shows that we are all important.

Thank you Sakhaiva for the beautiful story about Hanuman. I have not read it in a long time.

I do not connect too much to myth myself, I'm more of a philosophical and a scientific minded person.
But as a fellow beliefnet Hindu told me, myth is important, it connects us to religious philosophy and to scientific discoveries in a way that we can remember, so that we can retell it through generation after generation. If it had only been "dry facts" the knowledge would disapear.

Maya

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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:42 pm

Have any of you ever checked out Parabola Magazine?

It's a magazine about Myth, and it is filled with amazing retellings of stories from various cultures.
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:38 am

SG,
No I have never heard of it, I would love to read it. I will look for it next time I go to a magazine store.

Talking about magazines, my very favorite Swedish magazine is now issued in the US in english, it's called Science Illustrated.
It's great, it's a scientific magazine, but written for us regular mortals who are not scientists and geniuses. It's wonderful!

Maya
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:08 am

maya3 wrote:Chiyo,
What is PTSD?

Maya

Here's a short, simple link from the National Institute of Mental Health that explains what PTSD is;

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-easy-to-read/index.shtml
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:09 am

Sakhaiva -

Thank you so much for the story, I haven't had a quite moment to myself to really digest or comment on it, yet. But I hope to find that moment later today... This is just a quick note to let you know that you have not been overlooked and your efforts on my behalf are sincerely appreciated.
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:55 am

Chiyo wrote:
sacrificialgoddess wrote:Do you guys have a link where we can read these stories?

After I'd left Seminary and Christianity, I'd found that I've developed a deep aversion to reading virtually anything except memoirs and biographies. I'm most especially repulsed by reading scripture (of any religion) and scholarly commentary. You may laugh, but I really think it's a form of PTSD.

Anyway, I do very much enjoy hearing "ordinary", everyday friends tell stories and why these stories mean so much them. That is how I've been learning and growing in these last years. So, I invite Maya and Sakhaiva to share more, 'cause I'm eagerly listening.

Well, my love, speaking from the childhood I had, some of the Christian churches can do that to you. No
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:03 pm

Sakhaiva -

That was an awesome story! Now I can better understand why Hanuman is such a joy for you. I like him very much. Very Happy


What does the "Jai" in the phrase "Jai Hanuman" mean?


Last edited by Chiyo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:12 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:OT: hey, I found some you tube footage of the temple at Mount Madonna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuklhCuLp00&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kyqJvpDOWI&feature=related

here's some before aarti footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=723NtrhhhlQ you can hear people ringing the bell as they enter (signifying their intent as they arrive)

This little temple gets a pretty large draw each saturday; it is very traditional. I see JT is priest for this service - he was my favorite.

Here is the view from the top of the temple http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sggInxEqt3s

During services wild deer and other critters often meander about - unafraid cuz they know everyone there is veggie.

Sorry Embarassed back to the topic Smile

Thanks for those links, I've enjoyed them all - But most especially the singing. Guitar
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:11 pm

Thank you Chiyo; I'm glad you enjoyed the links!

"Jai" is sorta like saying "yay" or "hurray" .... so "Jai Hanumanji" is like sort of like saying "praise God almighty" .... sort of.

To me, singing a hymn to the monkeygod is like celebrating humility..... being happy to have one's jaw broken, as it were (yay, my jaw is broken by life again). Repeating the word Jai2, 3 or more times adds more meaning. Taking a step back, it's celebrating all the aspects of Hanuman's story - it's celebrating things like true devotion and service. Karma yoga.

I love to pick apart Hindu stories as the meaning is neverending. I could look at all Hanuman symbolizes.... and then back up and look at him as the Lord Shiva incarnate.... and now there's a boat load of additional meaning to pick apart and learn from. It's all very flavorful to me.

Back to music... have you ever gone to a Kirtan? If not, I highly recommend checking out Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band (whose music is described as 'tasty and spicy') The woman who plays percussion is just amazing; beautiful long red flowing hair and such talent... great stuff.
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Chiyo on Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:28 am

Sakhaiva wrote:

"Jai" is sorta like saying "yay" or "hurray" .... .

I really, really like the "yay" and "hurray" translation. It's sheer, carefree joy! cheers


I love to pick apart Hindu stories as the meaning is neverending. I could look at all Hanuman symbolizes.... and then back up and look at him as the Lord Shiva incarnate.... and now there's a boat load of additional meaning to pick apart and learn from. It's all very flavorful to me.

Whoa! That's almost a bit overwhelming. Shocked

But I like it. What a Face
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:55 pm

I love the symbolism of it too, and I especially love it because it is meant to be symbolic.

Sakhaiva,
I'm always looking for new Kirtan artists, I'll go look right now on youtube!

Maya
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:02 pm

youtube did not work, but I found their website, they sound great!

More spiritual than I've noticed the trend lately.
Have you noticed that Kirtanists are less haunting and more high energy these days?

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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by Sakhaiva on Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:28 pm

True - I think it has more to do with marketing than ... well.... being spiritual. There will always be upbeat - as there should be - and dancing and such, but I wish people did not fear the calm.

Oh man, one of my best memories was my last restorative session at Mount Madonna, Bhavani chanted over us and the experience was so very haunting. You just brought it to mind Smile

Hey, maybe we ought to start a kirtan thread Smile I'd love to hear your experiences.
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:49 am

Sakhaiva,
I'm all for a kirtan thread!

Chanting on mount madonna sounds incredible, wow.

Maya
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:28 am

For those of us who might be me, what is Kirtan?
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Re: What story speaks to you the most?

Post by maya3 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:01 am

Kirtan is spiritual chanting and singing.
Usually a repetition of a mantra, sung several times in a call and response manner.
It's deeply spiritual or fun if it's more upbeat.

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