As I’ve said , “The pose is not the point.” But, it is often a place to start to explore and connect. Hanumanasana connects the future and the past in one moment, stretching forward and back while rising up from a firmly planted base with an open heart to fly. Hanuman leaped between two worlds to moving mountains and battling forces that would pervert love to an act of possession. He’s a monkey faced deity, who serves Rama, the light with all his force carrying the image of Rama and his divine consort Siva, a manifestation of Lakshmi the Divine Mother and a symbol of prosperity and creativity, or abundance.
Those on a spiritual path will find that as long as we are embodied, we live between two worlds. Sometimes the stretch is almost impossible. I am not going to talk about the asana or even the legend, just use the image to explore. We all seek to thrive not just survive and well, for that we each in so far as it is possible seek the environment where this is possible. Not every one of course has the luxury of choice and really we all just try to do the best we can at any given time or place.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage…” We all play many parts in our lifetimes . One of the yogic questions is to ask “Who am I? ” When I was acting it was my experience that losing myself in a role was often a way to find new horizons but not to step off the edge into indulgence, always maintaining a certain awareness. This is akin to witness consciousness where acting is less for show than for expressing a deeper truth. Life is for living and Karma Yoga is action. We are born into this world and play our parts. Some of us are lucky enough to find something beyond fulfilling roles called Dharma, our destiny.
Somewhere as we emerged from that infinite sea of Purusha, potential, into Prakriti , manifestation we moved from Buddhi divine intelligence to Chitta ,illusion , Manas , the senses, and The Ahamkara or the “I- maker” . I’ll leave that evolution to more expert explanations except to say that maybe the capacity for awareness was the original function but we humans are great forgetters and separated ourselves completely from source in an attempt to become independent, instead finding just the opposite has happened. That’s just a theory of mine that there’s a right sized awareness of self that is not the inflated ego of I, me, mine which is appropriate for a healthy two-year old discovering itself but not so helpful or healthy for a grown human. Ego is quick to assume credit and assign blame , “My way is the right way …”, while I believe the real “I” is without preference, or back to the earlier discussion a human… being.
In this sense, there are many paths to the center. My own is a blending of Christian mysticism and Tantra Yoga. The Christ is in a certain sense, Rama. It is the light in each and every one of us and when illumined is divine. Not that I expect or even claim to be close to that but it seems in our current world as I once heard, “Christ has a lot of fans but very few followers.” As near as I can see, there are many roads to the center and many paths may cross without it being necessary to be the one and only one. Meantime, let’s be kind to one another even those we don’t ‘like’.
Tantra is defined by Rod Stryker in The Four Desires is “That which allows us to safely expand or grow beyond limitation.” Tantra is defined as weaving, “to weave the richness of spiritual experience and everyday life into a single vibrant tapestry.” This tapestry is called Indra’s net where as each strand is woven there is a brilliant jewel reflecting all the other strands. It is also the toolkit or methods which will help us to touch the real nature of who we are and to move towards fulfillment of divine destiny or Dharma. Ultimately it is from this reuniting, a dissolving of self into other while at the same time finding one’s self, that we experience love.
When we step out of the spotlight and become or experience that we are light itself then something magic happens . We see who we really are and maybe who ‘they’ really are. Then there’s no more us and them. At least that’s the theory.
In the meantime, we can find delight as well as challenge, stretching from the inside out and dancing on the edge between darkness and light without fear, or even with it, in this theater of life. Practice Hanumanasana, not the splits of the asana but the leap between two worlds opening your heart to the light .