Void of every baser passion and with every virtue blest!”
‘Rama’ or “Sarveshu Ramante lti Ramah,” or that which revels in each of us, is the pure light energy of consciousness, the Atman, the Self with a capital ‘S.’
Rama, our conscious Self, can only born in Ayodhya. Yuddha, you see, means conflict. Ayodhya means where there is no conflict, or where conflict has ended.
“Thus Ayodhya, “virgin city,”–faithful to her haughty name,–
Ruled by righteous Dasa-ratha won a world-embracing fame,
Strong-barred gates and lofty arches, tower and dome and turret high
Decked the vast and peopled city fair as mansions of the sky.”
In North East India, Ayodhya is an out of the way, dusty little town with a big old Rama temple guarded by barbed wire and men with sticks. I know. Here the conflict has not yet ended. The men with sticks are constantly vigilant of other men with sticks, cameras and more probably bombs looking to disrupt and upend the dusty, sacred Rama temple.
“Thus was ruled the ancient city by her monarch true and bold,
As the earth was ruled by Mann in the misty days of old,
Troops who never turned in battle, fierce as fire and strong and brave,
Guarded well her lofty ramparts as the lions guard the cave.”
Our inner yuddha is the constant disrupting and upending tug-of-war between the other men with sticks that are our sensory perceptions, demanding that we identify ourselves as what we do, what we think, what we had for breakfast. “I am a Hungarian lawyer for the E.U.,” or “I am a woman hear me roar” or “I am a gay republican.” Where we are born, what job we fall into, our gender, our shoes, preferential sex position or what brand of dogma we are media fed are not our true Self. One taken by habitual identification to everything around them and the distracting tug-of-war of the senses can have no piece of peace nor quietude to hear the voice of the Self.
Underneath the Under Armor, when we are not pushing agendas, or pushing pencils around our desk, when we are not in line at Starbucks, or doing in-line acro-bed-tics or watching Family Guy after wards, when we are quiet and still, we can return to who we were before the ten tender years of rote education, before the public tongue lashings of the moral minority curved our backs and curbed our vision. When we are quiet and still, when we enter meditation, we transcend the sensory influences, we enter Ayodhya of the story Ramayana, where conflict ends.
We may find Rama here, in the Ayodhya we create in moments of meditation. But we don’t generally meditate all the day long. Ayodhya itself is fleeting. It is built upon a base as stable as we are. Ayodhya must be ruled with self-control.
“Like the ancient monarch Manu, father of the human race,
Dasa-ratha ruled his people with a father’s loving grace,
Truth and Justice swayed each action and each baser motive quelled
People’s Love and Monarch’s Duty every thought and deed impelled,”
Enter Rama’s father, Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas, as he likes to be addressed.
In Yoga philosophy we are a temple with ten Indriyas, or doors. Five entrance doors, five exit doors, and there are lines at each one; no velvet ropes. All the derelict influences are welcome.
The five entrance doors, or Jnanendriyas, (Jnana means knowing. Indriyas are the means through which we know) are: The ability to smell, the ability to taste, the ability to see, the ability to touch and the ability to hear.
The five exit doors, or Karmendriyas, (Karma means action. Here Indriyas are the means through which we act), are five means of expression: Elimination through the anus, procreation via the genitals, moving with the feet, grasping with the hands, and speaking through the mouth.
Consciously witnessing these Indiyas (ten senses), like being the doorman watching revolving doors, is the beginning of Yoga meditation. We will notice that what all the doors have in common is that they are doors, they are not the building, nor the doorman. We become conscious that there is an in dweller, a doorman witnessing, who by the act of witnessing, is separated from that which is seen. This “I” is independent of actions and senses. Sorry David Bowie, I am the DJ, but I’m not what I play.
The ten doors are utilitarian, they should serve us well. As I witness their activity, I can also question whether my mind is in control of them, or if the Indrayas are controlling me. This is the difference between Udhya and Ayodhya.
Though the Indrayas, the five Jnanendriyas and five Karmendriyas, are our t.v. to the world news, the buttons on our t.v. are all out of whack. The antenna doesn’t work well, so the picture isn’t very good. The senses are not reliable instruments of reality. Our perspective is skewed by our past experiences, our identifications and habitual thinking. When we know this with our whole being, we will start to draw inward for a better view. This is Pratyahara of Asthanga Yoga. Withdrawal of the senses is like taking a hand out of a glove, yet like all else, we can use the senses as tools to become more conscious of our Self. Perhaps I’ll veer onto this path in the next post.
The ten Indriyas doors are the first five chakras (root, genital, navel, heart, throat).
Operating from the 6th chakra between the eyebrows (unless you have a unibrow), Rama’s father, ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas, as he likes being addressed, is the mind, the HQ for the lower five chakras.
Information, like the smell of fresh donuts, is imported through the five doors of jnanendriyas to Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas. Then Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas, the mind, gives the instructions through the five doors of karmendriyas to eat the donut.
The 7th chakra emits consciousness energy for the mind, Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas. It’s consciousness energy battery is at the base of the spine, but we’ll get there later as well.
After Rama’s father, Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas, as he likes being addressed, leaves the stage, the first five lower Chakras are the the main characters of the Ramayana.
“By these rites ordained for Rama, such the news my menials bring,
Let my Bharat, and not Rama, be anointed Regent King,
These are Queen Kaikeyi’s wishes, these are boons for which I pray,
I would see my son anointed, Rama banished on this day!””
Remember in the last post, Rama’s father, Ruler of all Ayodhya, Dasartha, the one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas, as he likes being addressed, fell victim to those Indriyas. Oops! Under influence of Kaikeyi (tamas guna), he (mind), disregards his (it’s) duty towards Ram (the sacred Self) in order to offer undue favour towards Bharat (the body). We do this every day when we follow the aroma of donuts (the senses) instead of listening to Rama (common sense, or the sacred Self).
“Wearing skins and matted tresses, in the cave or hermit’s cell,
Fourteen years in Dandak’s forests let the elder Rama dwell,”
Rama is made to leave the ‘place of no conflict’ and transverse the wilderness of the conflicting senses, not to return to Ayodhya for fourteen years.
We can look at our own lives, back through our years and perhaps notice how we have had abrupt changes occurring roughly every seven years. Like every energy current in the universe, we are waves, fluxing and ebbing, spiraling through evolutionary cycles. The first seven years of our life our body changes most noticeably, If you own children you’ll know that at the age of fourteen we have become way more emotional, by twenty-one we tend toward more intellectual pursuits. Our seven years cycles follow this pattern of physical, emotional, intellectual evolution.
In the Ramayana the voice of our sacred Self is away on vacation as his world spins through the cycles of first physicality and emotionalism until it’s time for the mind to take prominence once more. That is when we become cognizant to fight the battle with the senses for our Rama temple.
The Ramayama is the story of an awakened spiritual seeker. It is our own story, as we follow our path through the wilderness of ignorance in search of the divinity hidden within. Each and every character in this most ancient of mythologies, Indian or otherwise, dwells within us as an aspect of our conscious energy or Chakras. We can read the Ramayana as a spiritual analogy, on a metaphysical level or as a hands-on, Do-it-your-self manual for our own power plant.
“Ram” is the energy releasing mantra for the Manipura Chakra, which defines our personality. In the next post we will see how Sri Rama represents our individualized consciousness (Atma), who’s counter part, Sita, is (shakti) or in the language of the tantra, the serpentine Kundalini.