A Yogi’s Fable | Byron Bay 2015 retreat…

Posted on Oct 27, 2015

A Yogi’s Fable…

Upon commencing our 2015 Byron Bay retreat we were told of an inspiring folk tale to set the tone & motivate us through the retreat journey ahead. A story worth sharing and a message worth remembering…

The scene is set in ancient India, where society operates strictly within the confines of the caste system. Priests take pride of place at the top of the hierarchy, followed by warriors, merchants, workers, and finally the untouchables – seen to be at the bottom of the social spectrum. And so the story goes, of a carpenter and a weaver who would work hard at their trade by day, fulfilling their supposed role within society, and by night would dress up in lavish attire to partake in the festivities of the Sugarcane kingdom.

One fortuitous evening when the king was hosting one of his grand festivals, the weaver locked eyes with the king’s daughter and instantaneously fell in love. Though absolutely delighted, the weaver was also terribly troubled with the predicament that they were from different castes and he simply could not pursue his love. When he shared this distress with the carpenter, he was reminded that the king’s daughter being of the warrior caste, was allowed to marry three times, and that all he had to do was to make a Garuda and present himself to the princess as Lord Vishnu. ‘No problem!’

So that’s exactly what the weaver did. Night after night he would disguise himself as Vishnu and fly his majestic Garuda to the princess’s balcony to steal her heart. As time went on the princess of course had to tell the king & queen of her new love. Following their initial shock, they became overjoyed with the idea that their daughter would in fact advance her social status by marrying Vishnu. So all was well, for a short while at least…

Shortly after this the king received news that his kingdom was under threat and was going to be attacked by a much larger more mighty army. It dawns on the king he must ask a favour of Vishnu- to kill the opposing army on their attack. In hearing this, the weaver spirals into a great panic and realises that either way he plays this out, he will be a dead man. Finally he gathers himself together and figures he must take the more courageous option, get dressed into disguise and fight the battle as Vishnu.

All the while, the real Garuda is watching over the weaver and foresees the situation that is about to unfold. He proceeds to explain this to Vishnu concerned about what will happen if this takes place. Not only will the weaver die, but their reputation as gods will be no longer. So they decide to invest their powers in the weaver. And as the battle goes ahead, the weaver strikes down the opposing king on his first attempt and the army surrenders, leaving Sugarcane kingdom & the weaver to prosper furthermore till the end of time… with his beautiful wife by his side.

Moral of the story?

Whatever you’re endeavouring towards, even if you’re not an expert, give it your absolute best and devote yourself wholeheartedly. Take a risk and invest everything into whatever this is. Whether its yoga, work, relationships etc., immerse yourself, live it, and in due course this will authentically become your truth. One does not have to live within the confines of society’s limitations or expectations. Have the courage to surrender and follow your heart as the weaver did. Maybe, just maybe there will be a Garuda out there that has your back? Simply a metaphor to ponder…

During our retreats story telling is used as a tool to ignite the imagination of the adult mind, to inspire, motivate, and to explore yoga history, mythology & philosophy. Just one of the many highlights of a YTC yoga retreat, and we haven’t even gone beyond the opening circle yet!

Check out our 2016/17 Yoga Travel Company retreat schedule if you are interested in joining us in future!!

Photography & blog post by Georgia Brownlee