Yoga with Melissa 124: Ganesh Series: Remover of Obstacles

by Melissa West on April 20, 2012

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I want to remind you that the stories of Hindu Deities represent aspects of ourselves … and particularly today’s story represents how reckless we can be internally in our own internal environment.

Bhasmasur was a devotee of the god Shiva who performed great penance to obtain a boon from the deity. Shiva became pleased and asked him to ask for a boon. Bhasmasur asked for immortality but Shiva said that he did not have the power to grant him immortality. Bhasmasur then asked that he be granted the power that anyone whose head he touched with his hand should burn up and immediately turn into ashes (bhasma). Shiva granted this request, but Bhasmasura thereupon attempted to touch the head of Siva with his hand. Shiva fled, and was chased by Bhasmasur. Wherever Shiva went, Bhasmasur chased him. Somehow, Shiva managed to reach Vishnu to seek a solution to this predicament. Vishnu on hearing Shiva’s problem, agreed to help him out.

Vishnu, in the form of Mohini, (his only female avatar) appeared in front of Bhasmasur. Mohini was so exceedingly beautiful that Bhasmasur immediately fell in love with Mohini. Bhasmasur asked her (Mohini) to marry him. She told him that she was very fond of dancing, and would marry him only if he could match her moves identically. Bhasmasur agreed to the match and hence they started dancing. The feat went for days at an end. As Bhasmasur matched the disguised Vishnu’s move for move, he began to let his guard down. While still dancing, Mohini, struck a pose where her hand was placed on top of her own head. As Bhasmasur imitated her, he was tricked into touching his own head, and hence Bhasmasur immediately burnt up and turned into ashes, due to the power he had recently gained.

Of course we forget that Bhasmasur is a person too with family and he is a Father with a son.

When Bhasmasur’s son, Duraasadan heard of his Father’s death he was completely distraught. So, as these stories go, he did tapas and got boons from Siva so that he would never die and all the devas would now be under his control. Well, for some reason, Siva gave him the boon and there was complete chaos for some time.

… and so this is the chaos that ensues when we experience loss in our own lives the chaos that is felt internally, the chaos of having our lives turned upside down, the chaos of nothing ever being the same again.

All the Devas ran into hiding and even Brahma and Vishnu ran into hiding. Of course, Duraasadan came after them all. Again all the Gods and Devas ran away and Duraasadan continued to pursue them.

The Devas began to petition and pray to Lord Ganesha and Lord Ganesha took the form with 5 faces and 10 hands and was given a Lion. A heavy fight ensued between Ganesh and Duraasandan. Ganesh then took his huge form and placed his feet on Duraasandan’s head and since he took this form known as Gnanam all evil thoughts and the effects of his evil deeds rushed out of Duraasadan.

Lord Ganesh gave Duraasandan the job of destroying evil in Kasi and he remains doing his duty to this day.

The Hindu deities represent aspects of ourselves and their crazy behaviour represents how we can sometimes be so reckless with ourselves internally in our own healing process when we truly need to be gentle – in the story Ganesh comes along and relieves Duraasandan who is being so reckless of all his negativity – if only it were so easy in our own lives. In our own lives we can move through our emotions with therapy and move emotions through our body with yoga as Valerie spoke of at the beginning of the class. In this class we will focus on yoga postures that create release from the body as well as some dramatic re-enactment of the Goddess Mohini because that is just too good to pass up!

In this hatha yoga class we will use yoga postures such as apanasana, lion’s breath and mudras to help move toxins, challenging emotions, waste and anything we need to let go of, through our bodies. Yoga postures such as dancer, Goddess, and tiger will offer a fun dramatic re-enactment of the humorous parts of the story and allow us to laugh even in the most difficult times of our lives.

 

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