Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hanuman? Really?

It's not that I don't like Hanuman.  I do.  Really.  I mean, who doesn't like monkeys?  It's just that I've always been a Kali/Durga kind of girl.  With a little Ganesha sprinkled in (I mean, who doesn't like elephants?).  So, when I was at the Anusara Grand Circle at Wanderlust, I took Kenny Graham's Hanuman class because I really wanted to play with hamstrings and hanumanasana.  I wasn't looking for a change of heart (if you'll pardon the pun.)  But, as they say, "Life is like a ...." Well, you get the picture.  

As the class began, Kenny talked about the Hanuman story, which I knew, and we got moving.  My heart had already been blown wide open over the previous three days by John, Hareesh, Elena, and the powerful Solstice.  I was ripe for the picking, apparently.  At the end of the class, we had kirtan, chanted for Hanuman and that was the end of me.  My  heart ripped open, and I saw the entire universe within.  Ok, well, not literally, but it was that big of an opening.  You get the picture.  Tears. Smiles. Embarrassment.  When the entire room broke out into dervish riot, I hopped up, and joined in, laughing at myself for feeling self conscious, and dancing away anyway.  How could I possibly feel so much joy?  How could my heart feel so open?  The kirtan got completely out of control, and the sweetest moment came when Kenny simply looked at us and said, "Oops, sorry about your savasana," which was nowhere to be seen. It was perfect.

All the next week, I felt blown open and full of joy.  So I tested this hold Hanuman had on me.  I chanted on my own.  Tears. Joy. Busted open heart.  Hmmm.  Let's try it while driving.  Tears.  Joy. Again, you get the picture.

Ok, maybe you don't pick your ishta-devata.  Maybe it picks you. Clearly, I've got to look into this relationship.

In the Ramayana, to demonstrate his devotion, Hanuman rips his heart open to show that indeed, Sita and Rama are within.  If Sita and Rama are fabled embodiments of Shiva and Shakti, then the entire universe is within his heart. 

So simple.  By serving Rama, Hanuman serves the world and all its potential.  Likewise, if we serve our hearts with the qualities of constant remembrance, fierce devotion and steadfastness, then we too serve the world.  When my heart expands, the universe expands.  When I remain loyal and dedicated to deepest self, my heart opens up. 

What I love about the Hanuman stories are that no matter the task, his intention is simple.  Serve Rama.  So much of life really is simple if we remember what's important to us.  It's just not always easy.  But it's really worth doing. 

This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving this post Lara! Ans yesterday's class with this theme was inspiring and very engaging@