Daily Zen

A Real Love Story

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There’s a beautiful, epic love poem from the yogic tradition in Hinduism called Ramayana.

Falling In Love

When Rama, the prince of Kosala, sets his eyes on Sita, a princess, he falls hopelessly and deeply in love with her. Many princes competed to win Sita, the princess. But Rama was the one to win the competition. Rama puts Sita’s interests above all else. He gives her everything she wants and is supremely devoted to her. Rama and Sita pledge their infinite love to each other.

But then, there’s conflict in the land and in the marriage. Sita is not entirely devoted to Rama like he is to her. They are both banished to the jungle.

Sita Is Captured

The 10-headed monster named Ravana disguises himself and sends a golden deer. Sita, the princess, sees the golden deer and gets stung by desire. Through desire, Sita rejects her husband Rama and tells Rama to bring her the golden deer. This allows Ravana, the 10-headed monster to trap Sita and take her prisoner to his island of Lanka, the realm of pure materialism.

After Sita becomes a prisoner to the 10-headed demon king Ravana, she felt trapped in boredom, loneliness, dissatisfaction, and misery. Sita remembers her husband who is far away from her. As she contemplates her husband Rama, she finally surrenders to him completely. It’s a total surrender and devotion to her divine destiny, no matter where it takes her.

Eventually, Sita receives intuitive messages and symbols from her husband Rama who tells her, “I am coming.”

Rama Needs An Army

Rama needs an army to rescue Sita but he’s in the jungle. The only army available is an army of monkeys. There’s no other way to rescue Sita except with an army of monkeys.

But the monkeys are ruled by Vali, which means ‘incurable lust.’ Thus, Rama is not able to rescue Sita unless he destroys Vali.

Rama destroys Vali and hands the kingdom over to Vali’s younger brother Sugriva, who inherits the throne. Sugriva symbolizes ‘self mastery.’ When Sugriva comes to the throne, he repays Rama for killing Vali and Rama is now able to use the monkey army to rescue Sita, his divine love.

The Bridge To Love

Together, Rama and Sugriva build the bridge of meditation and reach the island of pure materialism where Sita is held prisoner. There’s a great battle between the monkey army and Ravana’s army. Rama destroys Ravana, the 10-headed demon king of Lanka and takes Sita to himself in divine union, remembering they are one soul.

Now, there’s no more conflict in the marriage and no more conflict in the land. Rama and Sita are crowned as King and Queen and become legendary avatars of Vishnu and Lakshmi. They give birth to twin boys.

A Soul Marriage

Rama represents the Atman or the Divine Self. When Rama comes together in harmony with Sita, the physical body, Rama is able to shine magnificently and experience his highest potential. Rama ‘revels in every form.’

Sita represents Maya – the illusion of physical form which is missing the Soul or Divine Self. Maya could also describe the false self, or trying to be someone we are not. When Rama and Sita are married, the True Self marries or incarnates into the human realm of physicality.

The True Self sacrifices its divinity for the illusion of “I’m just a human body,” and we try to succeed in the world of materialism without the soul. This ultimately only results in hard work, disappointment, and heartbreak.

Believing we’re just a human body with no soul, we deeply sense we’re missing something vital, our very life force, our life passion. We harbor pain and a sense of lack and unhappiness. We try to alleviate pain and loneliness with mere material desires and are easily manipulated by enticing traps. We get trapped in the suffering of the mind until we surrender to the deeply fulfilling passion called, ‘living from our soul.’

Rescued from the Suffering of the Mind

The monkey army represents the human mind. The ‘monkey mind’ is a Buddhist term that means, ‘confused, indecisive, out of control, hyperactive, or never settled.’ When our human self remembers our Divinity and completely surrenders to our inspired soul or life passion, the mind can no longer overpower us. Instead, we use our intelligence to reach our highest potential in life.

Our infinite soul now lives in perfect love and harmony with our human body and the material universe. It’s now possible to genuinely enjoy the bliss of life in human form without suffering from false desires that only cause pain. As you might have guessed, the sacred union of the masculine and feminine, spirit and matter, is also known as enlightenment or nirvana.

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