Legends and Warriors

Do you ever wonder where the name warrior pose (Virabhadra) came from or if there is a story behind them?

Legend has it that Shiva’s father in-law Daksha severely disapproved of his daughter Sati’s marriage and would never invite Shiva to any of his parties. One day Sati upset and disappointed by this continued rejection felt the power of the fury that burned inside her, it became so intense that she went up in flames right in the middle of the party, all that was left of her was a pile of ashes.

When Shiva learned about what had happened he too become enraged and in his fury he ripped off a deadlock from his head and threw it to the ground from high on his mountain top.  The dreadlocked snaked to earth to the centre of the party where Sati’s ashes were, here it transformed in to Virabhadra the great warrior who rose out of the ground (think warrior 1, palms together face upturned), when he drew his sword (think warrior 2 arms open), and then he sliced off Dakshas head. When it fell to the ground , Virabhadra bent to pick it up and place it on a stake (think warrior 3 arms reaching forward).

As this is a legend, anything can happen, therefore the distressed spirit of Sati knew that she had to come back from her death and try to reason with Shiva, she found another body and returned to the party to scold Shiva. Sati cried out to Shiva “look what you have done, my father wasn’t being very kind but he didn’t deserve this, how will this help him to accept you?”

Realizing that Sati was right Shiva himself came to the party, when he saw the state of Dakshas head he knew it wouldn’t be suitable to go back on to his body and looked around for something else,  he chopped off the head of a goat and it went on to the body. Shiva breathed a great exhale at the object in front of him and Daksha came back to life. Even in this state, he was so grateful to Shiva that he realized the error of his ways and made amends. There was another party and this time in was in Shiva’s honor.

Often we can react impulsively just as Shiva did, sometimes things don’t go to plan, we often need to deal with conversations that don’t go as we’d expected or disappointments. As a yogi how can we try to resist the impulse in a heated moment? How can we bring bliss to the simple things?daksa_shiva_01

It seems easy to be happy for those who are happy, yet Daksha found this so difficult, as Shiva should have been able to look upon his unkindness to his daughter with indifference.

Maybe this week try to continue to be a warrior off the mat and in the world, be happy, find compassion, delight and indifference.

We can learn from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

“In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel delight for those deemed to be lucky, and experience indifference towards those perceived to be wicked” (Yoga Sutra 1:33)

“In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel delight for those deemed to be lucky, and experience indifference towards those perceived to be wicked” (Yoga Sutra 1:33)

Do you ever wonder where the name warrior pose (Virabhadra) came from or if there is a story behind them?

Legend has it that Shiva’s father in-law Daksha severely disapproved of his daughter Sati’s marriage and would never invite Shiva to any of his parties. One day Sati upset and disappointed by this continued rejection felt the power of the fury that burned inside her, it became so intense that she went up in flames right in the middle of the party, all that was left of her was a pile of ashes.

When Shiva learned about what had happened he too become enraged and in his fury he ripped off a dreadlock from his head and threw it to the ground from high on his mountain top.  The dreadlocked snaked to earth to the center of the party where Sati’s ashes were, here it transformed in to Virabhadra the great warrior who rose out of the ground (think warrior 1, palms together face upturned), when he drew his sword (think warrior 2 arms open), and then he sliced off Dakshas head. When it fell to the ground , Virabhadra bent to pick it up and place it on a stake (think warrior 3 arms reaching forward).

As this is a legend, anything can happen, therefore the distressed spirit of Sati knew that she had to come back from her death and try to reason with Shiva, she found another body and returned to the party to scold Shiva. Sati cried out to Shiva “look what you have done, my father wasn’t being very kind but he didn’t deserve this, how will this help him to accept you?”

Realizing that Sati was right Shiva himself came to the party, when he saw the state of Dakshas head he knew it wouldn’t be suitable to go back on to his body and looked around for something else,  he chopped off the head of a goat and it went on to the body. Shiva breathed a great exhale at the object in front of him and Daksha came back to life. Even in this state, he was so grateful to Shiva that he realized the error of his ways and made amends. There was another party and this time in was in Shiva’s honor.

Often we can react impulsively just as Shiva did, sometimes things don’t go to plan, we often need to deal with conversations that don’t go as we’d expected or disappointments. As a yogi how can we try to resist the impulse in a heated moment? How can we bring bliss to the simple things?

It seems easy to be happy for those who are happy, yet Daksha found this so difficult, as Shiva should have been able to look upon his unkindness to his daughter with indifference.

Maybe this week try to continue to be a warrior off the mat and in the world, be happy, find compassion, delight and indifference.

We can learn from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

“In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel delight for those deemed to be lucky, and experience indifference towards those perceived to be wicked” (Yoga Sutra 1:33)

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