Astanga Yoga London

24th of June 2020
24th June 2020

Louise and I have just enrolled on a mental health first aid course. I figure we’ll all be needing a bit of that.

When I lived in Crete the weather was like we have today, for weeks on end. It was fine as we had the sea and at night everyone slept on their balconies or roofs, awesome star gazing. And although we do see stars in London, it’s nothing compared to when there is little light pollution. It’s amazing that we are still blown away by sunset and sunrise, the moon and the stars and a rainbow or two. Doesn’t matter how often you watch them they still have magic.

So Rama is about to shot his arrow at Ravana. Ravana knows he is about to die, in fact he is rather happy to being killed by Rama himself. But time stands still. Ravana is our ego, all the other demons have come out first, our desires and self pities our fears and anger. And now the final battle with the ego. Rama chants the Aditya hridayam. Valmiki the author of the Ramayana says that the Aditya hridayam is older than the Ramayana. Aditya is another word for the sun god Surya. Hridayam means heart. It is 31 verses long. It follows the usual format for Sanskrit prayers. First there is the intro of Agastya meeting Rama, then Agastya telling Rama how awesome the Aditya Hridayam is destroyer of all sins and anxiety. Then it likens Aditya (surya) to all the gods and sustainer of all life and prana. Then in the middle section is the mantra section. I salute the sun god who rises and sets in the east. Then it finishes with all the results and the way to chant the Aditya Hridayam.

Of course there is a hidden meaning to each verse each word. Unfortunately you just don’t find that on the internet. So it opens with Rama completely exhausted but steady in thought, facing Ravana. So when we have reached the end, we feel exhausted we have no where to go, our mind is focused because of all the yoga practice we have done and yet we no face our own self, our ego. And Agastya turns up. Agastya means many things Canupus star, Daturra flower (drug) and  ‘the piercer’ As he pierces our heart. Ultimately it is the outer guru who turn our vision to our inner guru and this is what Agstya does. We’ll explore more tomorrow. But check out the sunset and sun rise.

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