Do you remember how the promise of a better world got you excited when everyone was expecting December 2012 to change everything and mark the beginning of a brighter future?
Now we look around and see what’s going on in the world, how much suffering and misery most of the population is going through, and we wonder if anything is really changing. Are we really moving forward or it is just a collective illusion we want to believe in?
It’s easy to lose hope in a world that is clearly collapsing and showing its ugliest aspects on its way down. There is so much darkness and ignorance around, so much injustice and destruction, so much pain and fear, and a strong sense of powerlessness. No wonder why so many people are on antidepressants, drink and use other drugs, and live lives of quiet desperation. After all, this is the Age of Darkness (read further to understand what I’m talking about).
Yet these are also times of great hope for those willing to do the work—the inner light work—to be able to rise above all this and bring in a brighter cycle. These are the times we’ve been waiting and preparing for, through the challenges, trials, and tribulations of lifetimes, and we must remain strong to have a positive impact and lead others out of darkness. This can only happen if we truly understand the purpose behind what we are going through, which of course is not always evident.
The Trials of Highly Evolved Souls
In the great Hindu epic Mahabharata, Yudhisthira, the leader of the Pandavas, was tricked into gambling his prosperous reign, his wife, and his four brothers in a game of dice that he lost. As a result, they were all forced to exile for 13 years in complete anonymity. When he finally returned to claim the throne, his cousin Duryodhana refused to give it back, forcing the five brothers to go to war against the Kaurava clan, with Lord Krishna on their side (ready to restore order).
While in exile, the five Pandava brothers went through many adventures, which are highly symbolic. On one occasion, they sat down on the ground to rest while one of them went searching for water to drink. When he did not return after a long while, another of the brothers went after him. Since he did not come back either, the others followed one by one until only Yudhisthira, the oldest and wisest of the five, remained.
Worried, he finally followed their steps and soon found all his brothers by a lake, lying lifeless on the ground. As he was lamenting his loss, he heard a voice exclaiming, “O Yudhisthira, I warned your brothers not to drink water from this lake which belongs to me, but they did not respect my words. So I have sent them all to the other world. If you too try to take water without first answering the questions I ask, you will suffer the same fate.”
Yudhisthira looked up and saw a crane perched on a tree. He replied that he would not take anything from the crane and that he was ready to answer his questions. The divine crane then proceeded to ask a series of questions aimed at helping spiritual seekers understand the Vedas and Dharma (Divine Law). There is one block of questions that I’d like to mention here:
“What is heavier than the earth? Who is higher than the sky? What travels even faster than the wind? What outnumbers even the number of twigs of grass in this world?” To which the wise Pandava replied, “The mother’s glory excels the earth’s weight. The father surpasses the sky. The mind travels faster than even the wind and one’s worries are more in number than all the twigs of grass in this world.”
Transcending the Mind To Master Matter and Reality
Yudhisthira’s answers clearly show his mastery of Vedic knowledge, but their symbolism transcends any cultural or religious framework. The mother and father relate to the Feminine and Masculine principles, while the mind speed and capacity for worrying are aspects of the human nature we all share and are very familiar with. The Feminine refers to the earth, the material plane of manifestation—that is, the creative potential that crystallizes everything in our reality and in Creation. The Masculine relates to the sky, to the ethereal plane of Consciousness that pervades and animates all matter, and with which we can transform and transcend any reality.
By connecting the mind and its tendency to produce worries to the previous questions, the sacred crane is implicitly correlating the inherent potentiality of the mind with the higher Feminine and Masculine principles, thus suggesting its ability to transcend the elements—what we perceive as our reality. He doesn’t say how or why, he simply clumps these four questions together to trigger the process of self-awareness in the one he is demanding answers from (and in the reader, of course).
Like his European counterpart Sir Galahad, who found the Holy Grail in the Arthurian story, only Yudhisthira was willing and able to answer all the questions the crane asked because of his purity of mind. This was also why he was naively tricked into gambling his reign in the first place and later he was able to save his brothers from many misadventures, including the one by the lake. His loyalty, compassion, patience, and discriminative wisdom guided him every step of the way.
Yudhisthira is like a zen master, completely surrendered to life, even in times of chaos and confusion, and is always willing to do whatever it takes to right a wrong, bring light onto a situation, and avoid inflicting pain to others. His main duty is to honor and protect Dharma (Divine Law), so he is a fair leader, a sharp strategist, and a great diplomat, guided by honor and love. Unlike his self-centered, angry, and jealous cousin Duryodhana, he always chooses what is best for the good of all, and he never gives up, no matter what trials and tribulations he has to endure.
Finding the Light Amongst Darkness
After the famous battle of Kurukshetra, during which Duryodhana is defeated, Yudhisthira reigned for the next 15 years, and Lord Krishna returned home in Dwarka, where he realized that his reign was over and the Age of Darkness (known as Kali yuga) had begun. According to these ancient calculations, it started in 3012 BC and will end in about 427,000 human years.
However, it was also predicted that within that long divine cycle, a shorter period—a wondrous Golden Age—would bring relief for 10,000 years. And this is exactly what we are trying to bring about right now, by increasing our awareness and creative power. We must be willing to face our own darkness to get out of the way and allow the light to emerge. So reignite your inner light with 5 good reasons why you shouldn’t lose hope in the destructive world you see around you:
In a dysfunctional world like the one we currently live in, holding the space for emotional self-expression and self-reflection is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others. To be able to rise above the chaos in the world around you, processing the emotions you go through on a regular basis and learning to manage your vibrational energy should become as important as say, brushing your teeth every day. Why? Because we are living crucial times in the evolution of the planet, and YOU are needed!
Self-awareness marks the difference between living consciously and being run by your unconscious programming, which gets both reinforced and triggered by the mass media. The more you look within, the clearer your patterns become, and you can recognize them even before they get a chance to run your life’s show. Since they are complex and multi layered, there is always more to discover and learn from the fabric of your own life. Each thread is a tendency that leads to a core wound or belief, and also offers you the possibility to create something new with it—the opportunity to step into the higher reality that is opening up.