When you can see the characters standing there on the battlefield of mind, the ancient wisdom bodies are suddenly much more approachable and accessible.
For instance, the Baghavad Gita is a central theme in an epic called the Mahabarata, a wonderfully romantic, adventurous and sublimely spiritual tale of two warring factions of brothers.
When I approached the Indian philosophies for the first time, it was through the comics. I was 24 and had just met my guru in the Himalayas and embarked upon the path of yoga in earnest and so perhaps the stories hit home. But truly, the comics don’t put on an airs. One needn’t be overly concerned with the precision of the translation or the haughty commentary attached to each verse in a sutra. One is allowed to take the story at face value, enjoy it and let the subtler meanings penetrate slowly as you find yourself gently attracted to a character or an idea.
The Indians have made comics for every God of the Pantheon and rank right up there with Japanese manga and anime. Maybe even surpassing the depth and breadth of the Japanese simply by virtue of the metaphysics wrapped up therein.
Anyway, when I was 14 it was Yogananda’s book that started me on my way. But when my own kid reaches the age of interest in such things you can bet I’ll be breaking out my old comic book collection for her.
Never underestimate the raw power of the well-presented myth or legend. Civilizations are created, preserved and destroyed by the words of these stories. Just as the Indians say that the God Shiva is at once Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. It’s almost as if God really is the Word. In that light it kinda makes sense to be extra careful with what words we intentionally put in front of our eyes, not to mention the ones we think, hear or speak.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.