A Sutra a Day: II-10 – Sleeping Angels

Jul 25, 2012 | Philosophy, XSutras, xTmp, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments

On Friday Daniel and I are going to the Central Coast to help produce a workshop sponsored by the Human Awareness Institute. We love these workshops called Love, Intimacy and Sexuality because they serve to bring out the best in the participants – in terms of both their humanity and divinity.
It’s often the case that people don’t recognise their own divinity. In eastern cultures, people greet each other through the day with the gesture of namaste – a salutation which is a constant reminder of our inherent godliness.
In the HAI workshops a story is told that reminds me of the god within but it also is reminiscent of where Patanjali’s Sutra can lead us. It goes like this:

One day, Michelangelo was working on the marble that would become the sculpture David, and a young child came by while he was working. The boy asked Michelangelo why he was working so hard hitting the rock. Michelangelo said to him, “There is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.’”

Interestingly, that marble was originally cut for a sculpture before Michelangelo was born. Three famous sculptors, including Leonard da Vinci, couldn’t see the potential in the marble. But as we know, Michelangelo did. He saw the angel deep at rest within the rock, waiting to be set free.
The message of the story is that for all of us we have a hard exterior that is formed by all of our social and other types of conditioning, but this can be chipped away by the tools of kindness, understanding and awareness.
There is the angel inside us. This person of beauty is intrinsically valuable. To see this, we just need the vision of what we might become. For each of us, no matter what is on the outside, no matter what life looks like now, there is an angel that lays dormant within.

 Te pratiprasava-heyah suksmah

When the obstacles do not seem to be present, it is important to be vigilant.*
*Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.


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