Krishnarada and the Divine Dance

I was a little nervous about introducing this superhero this morning.  Why?  Well, for starters he/she is newer to me than the others we’ve talked about, so I am just beginning to get to know Krishnarada’s stories.  But mostly I was nervous because the concept that this character represents is so darn BIG!  We’re talking nothing less than the order of the universe here.  The idea that there is unity in duality and duality in unity.  That the energy of the universe exists as a source and as the radiance from that source.  That all of nature – ourselves included – pulses with vibratory energy in a dance of co-creation.

A tradition depiction of Krishnarada engaged in the Divine Dance

 

Yeah, whoa.  It feels really heavy and important just writing all of that, much less taking on the project of really getting it!  Let me see if I can hash it out a bit here.

Krishna, the quintessential hottie guy with his chiseled features and lotus-like eyes, is the divine masculine.  Rada, his partner in crime, is the loveliest of all women, the embodiment of the divine feminine.  In objects of art representing them, they are nearly always depicted in a dance.  This is fitting, since they are an inseparable pair.  Rada worships Krishna for the god he is.  At the same time, Krishna is infatuated with Rada, for herself and for the devotion she displays towards him.  So get this….the object of devotion (Krishna) worships devotion (Rada) itself!  That’s a little like a snake eating its own tail, right?  It circles back on itself endlessly – like an eternal dance, the dance of Krishna and Rada.  This dance has a name – the “Raas Lila,” which means “the circular dance of love.”

 

A modern interpretation of Krishnarada, in which they are beautifully depicted as two halves of the same person

This is inherently cool, but what makes it even more potent is the fact that it’s not just Krishna and Rada who are engaged in this dance, it’s all of us.  Clearly we do this dance within all of our relationships, intimate or not.  And as any married person will tell you, the intimacy dance requires amazing sensitivity, grace, and effort.  But so does our relationship to the greater force in the universe – whether you call it God or Grace or Allah or The Force – we dance with that too.  It is said that we are “co-creators” with the divine as we go about living our lives.  We have a plan for ourselves, we take action, we have experiences – all as individuals.  But at the same time, there is a greater force cruising around out there, blowing us about in directions we can’t always predict, see, or understand.  How do we deal with both?  We do what matters to us — to work, to love, to engage – in short, to do our yoga.  But we also have to be open to what we don’t understand, and let that energy guide us as well.    That’s exactly what we mean when we invoke the first principle of Anusara Yoga – “Open to Grace.”  To do this takes sensitivity, devotion, and balance – all qualities we can learn from Krishnarada.

And I suppose it take practice too.

Did we need yet another reason to show up on our mats??

 

For more information about Krishnarada you can check out a few of this links:

Wikipedia on Krishnarada

Dolls of India’s summary of the Krishnarada story

A wonderful blogpost that relates the story (which I told this morning) of Krishna and Uddava, his student

 

 

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~ by bridgetannlyons on January 12, 2012.

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