Thursday, June 18, 2009

Inspired Reading

So, I'm almost finished reading the Ramayana, one of the major epics of Indian literature, and I have to say, I can barely put it down.

Nothing is ever simple in Indian cosmology (have you SEEN the depictions of their deities?), and neither are the philosophical-spiritual points of the Ramayana. There are a number of times when the warrior prince Rama goes to kill some human-flesh-devouring, holy-man-terrorizing demon motherfucker, and the creature is actually grateful to be destroyed by this incarnation of Vishnu. Or, the monster is transformed into someone good, because they were under a curse. Much more complex than the standard good-guy-destroys-creepy-bastard storyline.

I was talking to a friend the other day who said that someone was "rotten to the core," and I thought, "Really?" On that deep, deep, fundamental level, I don't think this is the case. That core energy, which is truly hooked-up to the fabric of the Multiverse, is part of the overarching powerful love energy that runs through all of us. No, I don't think that deep part of each being is corruptable.

I do believe we do sucky, horrible, cruel things that twist and derrange our outer expressions, but someday when our deaths come for us, hopefully we can bump it up a notch on the reincarnation ladder and get more opportunities the next time around to practice, to open to love and compassion and then extend that some love out to others.

That's what I'm shooting for at any rate.

If you're interested in a great Ramayana, check out the modern translation and re-telling done by Ramesh Menon.

(Pictured above is the lovely Rama, which I found here.)


Donald Engstrom-Reese said...

Yes, sometimes I do want it to be as simple as 'this is bad, this is good'. But, I now know that that desire is simply a signal to pay attention to what choices I am currently making. It most usually is a symptom of way too little sleep, taking too much on, over stimulation, under stimulation or other choices that have lead me into an unbalance way of walking in the world. In short, it tells me that I am not living a life grounded in moderation, daring to see with clear eyes and an open heart. But honestly, most of the time I am in awe of the lush richness of reality in the multiverse. Amazing and Beautiful.

Rod said...

This is interesting. In Navajo and most native religious life there is no real concept of evil. Bad yes, really bad of course, but not evil. Native cosmologies acknowledges that the world is structured in desirables and undesirables, at least in terms of outcomes. Good and bad. Not good or evil, unfortunately western scholars have the tendencies to see the bad and apply the labels of evil. In my opinion "evil" is a western idea that stems from a cosmos that is heirarchly order from the top (good) down the the bottom (evil). Most scholars tend to order their thoughts in this manner and make a whole slew of incorrect interpretation of other cosmoslogies.

Well thats my take, your posting reminded me of this.

I hope all is well for you. Much love, Rod.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rod, I so miss you. You always pull out the brilliance!!!!