Salutations Anger

The following passage is from one of my favorite collections. This text has a permanent place in my hiking pack. It is great at the summit and midway, in the woods or when you reach home. Take a look!

"Salutation to the one with righteous wrath, O Rudra; to your arrow salutation also; salutation to your bow, And salutation to your arms of might. That your arrow which is the kindliest of all and your bow which is auspicious And that your quiver which bears the blessing, by that you make us happy." ~ Taittiriya Samhita

This passage is much more revealing and visible in the original language in that it unveils the phrases as a series of salutations, demands and wants. Desires, shown with the word salutation, serve as an appeasement, an offer, praising the ability without wanting to see the possible action or ability.

If we direct ourselves toward emotion, through wants, desires or demands, the practitioner continues to have more wants and to get rid of the emotion or let it rule the kingdom rather than understand it or to tap in. Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist Nun wrote to this effect, highlighting when people seek to use meditation to extract emotions that they view as negative qualities. Further, paraphrasing, she uses our friend anger by example. The origin of the emotion may reveal some healing point for us but the raw energy of it, directed and guided, in essence is attraction, fire, light.

Think of what you can do with attraction, fire, light as an internal quality!

In short, when we seek to eradicate the negative, along comes the positive.

Even basic shifting of our attention can be seen to great benefit. If I look at fire, raw, on a house or on a person it is not enjoyable. However, if I place a ring of rocks around it and produce a campfire then we make s'mores. We all know and can see that fire can burn although it is has no intention to not cause harm. Light, heat and attraction are produced.

When we refer to energy, ideologies of good and bad immediately come to mind. Looking at energy or prana from a yoga perspective, there is neither good or bad. Prana is expressed as a basic unit of measured energy paired with intelligence. Not intelligence like an alien on another planet that is only trying to survive and uses you as a host but intelligent as in grand and connected to consciousness - the fabric of all that exists.

When we look at intelligence and energy as a material it is not something that we are trying to gain. I would argue more that by practice and living we are trying to reduce that which stops our full experience of consciousness with energy and intelligence moving all around and within us. If that is intelligence and energy then it is the same material and energy that started you out as a single cell, prior to having a head, heart and lungs. That still exists, even on a cellular level. When we side with qualities, we move away from potential and true experience.

Perhaps if we rid ourselves of the want for removal of the energy and instead dive into caring for it. If someone is injured do we not care for them? If we are sick do we not care for ourselves or seek care? In those moments we realize that we are not sick forever or injured always. There is change. They are momentary and that even when we are battling there is something inside that does not need protection. This can even tie into our very identity externally and internally.

Taking our attention to the passage, the text asks Rudra to be benevolent to the aspirant because the idea is that Rudra is anger so salutations is paid to Rudra, his arrow, his bow, his arms. Without the arms, no bow, without the bow, no arrow can be shot. All is left is the He, a true example of conscious. The same applies to us.

Practically, relating this to emotion, we embrace the emotion, allowing it without giving it arms, bow, arrow (tools) to destroy. Embracing emotion draws it into sight and allows it be what it is: passing, moving, momentary. Acknowledging that which is happening draw into our field what is beyond emotion or at least coexisting with emotion.

Using yoga (including meditation) to cut quality out of you is violent and aggressive in measure. Now, the process of some yoga paths does create a purification so to speak that will create separation from that which we think and continues misperception and that would include view emotion as a problem.

Further examination or deepening our practice can bring us fully into longing, desire and memory which all play a role in perpetuating emotion as most real and right. The wants can bring about more wants and the salutations can lead to desire to avoid. That without using our own tools or even salutations, we cannot call upon the divine nature of us without discrimination from that which is fleeting.

In essence, we seek true nature, even in glimpses to see there is absolute clarity and something beyond bad and good. There is you.