Thursday, September 6, 2012

Matsyendra Myth

A long long time ago a young boy was born in a fishing village and nobody knows quite sure why this young boy was unwanted in the village, so the village people through him in the sea and this little boy was swallowed by a huge whale and the whale takes him down down down to the bottom of the sea. at the bottom of the sea is a secret cave and in this cave the teachings of yoga are being song every single day. It is the cave of Shiva and Shakti and the teachings go something like this: Shakti will come to Shiva and say "Shiva what is the secret of the universe?" and Shiva looks at his beloved and says "Shakti you are the secret of the universe, you are the point the universe was trying to make" and their conversations turn into love songs. And sometimes Shiva will come to Shakti and ask "What is my nature" and Shakti will look at him and say "your nature is vasudava you are the dwelling place of light itself. deva is light and vastu the dwelling place".
During this time the little boy is in the belly of the whale and he keeps asking the whale to keep him close to this cave I want to hear these teachings. For 12-16 years the boy stays close to Shiva and Shakti by that sacred cave learning the teaching of yoga. The boy overhears Shiva and receives a transmission of the teaching, and in this way becomes a student of yoga. For the next 12-16 years, Matsyendra lives in the belly of the fish, practicing yoga, and finally emerges as an enlightened master. Then one day the whale raises up to the surface of the water and spit this now 16 year old boy and he is half man and half fish (hence ardha= half matsyendrasna= fish the common yoga pose) and he is now Matsyendra the lord of the fish and he is a great great great teacher of yoga.

Seven years prior to this there was a women doing all these practices trying to get Shiva's attention because she wanted a son. So Shiva came to her and he walked by her in his beggers form and he put a pile of ash into her hands and he said take care of this pile of ash and it will become your son. She was so insulted by this she throw the pile of ash into a big pile of cow dung. Seven years later Matsyendra goes to the women and says "Where is your son, because he is going to be a great teacher of yoga". She looks at him and says "what son, I have no son". He said "yes the pile of ash you were given". She was shocked he knew that and said " I was given no son I was just given a pile of ash which I throw on top of cow dung because that's where it deserved to go". Matsyendra just smiled and said "can you tell me where that pile of cow dung may be?". Matsyendra finds this pile of cow dung and brushes away the accumulated cow dung and there is a young boy, who is a perfect yogi because he has been practicing sadhana there since birth. Matsyendra sprinkles him with ash and names him Goraksha (Go-rakh or “cow ash.”) This little boy name Goraksha becomes Matsyendra's first student and also becomes the founder of modern day hatha yoga. Matsyendra.

I took a class from Tiffany Wood this evening which was part of the Anusara Immersion she is leading out of The Yoga Center. She told this story and she talked about how the things we throw away can be our biggest blessing. Tiffany said at the end of class that it is embracing our biggest challenges that lead to the biggest change rather then throwing away are challenges and/or trying to avoid them. She lead a class with lots of twisting and deep forward. I feel so fortunate to be surrendered by such wonderful studios + knowledgeable teachers and that the teachings of yoga are available to me.

Sianna Sherman
Tiffany Wood

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