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THE QUEST – A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO RITAMBHARA with RAGHU Part 1

I met Raghu in 2009, at a lab called Learning Theatre. I was 25, and although to many people I might have seemed perfectly normal, deep down inside I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Truth be told, I was lost. I didn’t know where I was going, I only knew that I …

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What does ‘Being a Hindu’ mean  in the Current Context?

The following is a conversation between the members of RASA concerning the debate that has risen in the past few years in India. Raghu: A few things have been bothering me for quite some time. This whole question of ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hindu power’ is actually becoming worse and worse because of the elections, not because …

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The Family Saptaswara – rasAtmik Moments of Togetherness

Exploring the Sapta Swaras as a Family By Priya Nagesh During the first week of May, Ritambhara Ashram hosted a Family Saptaswara– an experiment of sorts where the Saptaswara framework was improvised in two ways: a) for the context of parenthood/family and b) for children. The program included some sessions/activities in parallel for parents and …

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Exploring Contemporary Issues though the Itihasa Purana (Part 2) – Mahabharata Immersion

Mahabharata Immersion (MI) is an offering from Ritambhara, an invitation to experiment with oneself, delve unto the depths of the invisible, the unarticulated and the disowned parts of ones self by working with the stories from the great epic. The following is a conversation between Gayatri Iyer and Raghu Ananthanarayanan, the creator of the MI, on …

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Exploring Contemporary Issues though the Itihasa Purana (Part 1) – Mahabharata Immersion

Mahabharata Immersion (MI) is an offering from Ritambhara, an invitation to experiment with oneself, delve unto the depths of the invisible, the unarticulated and the disowned parts of ones self by working with the stories from the great epic. The following is a conversation between Gayatri Iyer and Raghu Ananthanarayanan, the creator of the MI, on …

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Dhyana – Part 2

We are all aware about Yogacharya T.Krishnamacharya being a pioneer in using yoga (specifically asana and pranayama) for therapy and well-being. But little did we know that he was a great scholar of our sacred knowledge and traditions. One of his long-standing students Raghu Ananthanarayanan has put together an interesting note about what is dhyAna …

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Viewing the Sabarimala issue through a Yogic Lens – Part 2

One would wonder that when so much is being said and talked about in the Sabarimala case, what more could a sangha discuss? The news, opinions etc., give facts, legalities or opinions but do they question some of the basic notions of how we are talking about equality, discrimination, rituals from an inferior lens? The …

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Viewing the Sabarimala issue through a Yogic Lens – Part 1

One would wonder that when so much is being said and talked about in the Sabarimala case, what more could a sangha discuss? The news, opinions etc., give facts, legalities or opinions but do they question some of the basic notions of how we are talking about equality, discrimination, rituals from an inferior lens? The …

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Temple Visits: A Dialogue

Sashikala Ananth and Anita Balasubramaniam anchor a program called Temple Tales; a unique Ritambhara offering that exposes participants to the history and social relevance of temples in our contemporary world. They weave stories about the history of the buildings and the science of temple architecture into the tangible physical experience of the modern day visitor, …

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Why is Rama Blue?

We are all aware about Yogacharya T.Krishnamacharya being a pioneer in using yoga (specifically asana and pranayama) for therapy and well-being. But little did we know that he was a great scholar of our sacred knowledge and traditions. One of his long-standing students Raghu Ananthanarayanan has put together an interesting note about Ramayana from a …

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The Gandhian way through a Yogic lens – Part 2

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi, the Ritambhara members engaged in a deep reflective dialogue on Gandhiji, his life, and his message. It seemed a fitting tribute to listen and let oneself be evoked by the many facets of Gandhiji that are brought alive in people today. None of us can claim to know Gandhiji …

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The Gandhian way through a Yogic lens: Part 1

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi, the Ritambhara members engaged in a deep reflective dialogue on Gandhiji, his life, and his message. It seemed a fitting tribute to listen and let oneself be evoked by the many facets of Gandhiji that are brought alive in people today. None of us can claim to know Gandhiji …

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Parenthood: Blind, Failed, or a new possibility?

I recently offered a one day version of the Parenting Inside Out program at a school, where parents and teacher participated in the exploration of what it means to be a parent and a teacher. The program is based on the approach that is the basis of our work at Ritambhara, which has evolved by integrating yoga …

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Kaya Madhya Sutram – A Conversation

    “The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” -Euripides   The Experience of Internal Alignment   Are there moments when you have a feeling …

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INSIGHTS FROM PARENTING INSIDE OUT

    Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you -Kahlil Gibran   Kahlil Gibran  really set the stage for us to think of our relationship with …

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Taking A Step Further in Parenting Inside Out

  At the end of the three and a half days of the Parenting Inside Out retreat, held at Tiruvannamalai, I am left with a sense of wholeness and adhikaram in myself and increasing sraddha in the tradition that I feel I belong to now. A Starting Point The retreat was held at Achalam farm, home …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 6

How does one imagine the new, or is it a vision that comes to a mind that is neither projecting itself nor meekly following another? Is there an intent that we are born with? These were questions that came up often during the Mahabharata Immersion. So it came as no surprise to us when the …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 5

We present ourselves to the world through masks. The persona that we call the ‘actor’ is the mask, and this mask is energized by the other personas, namely the victim, the guardian, the judge, the beckoner, the fiend, and the dreamer. The rasa anubhava is closely linked with what is energized/ triggered. The exploration of …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 4

Our identities are created through an engagement with our world. They are not rigid and hard entities. The mahabhArata is a tale of destruction that ensues when people in power rigidify their identity. One can only feel threatened by reality as it emerges since the ever changing world will only sometimes conform to our needs …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 3

What of dritarAshtra? The scene the group sought to explore was the one where duryOdhana insists upon vidura taking the letter of invitation to the game of dice to yudhishtra. gAndhAri was the fourth protagonist. A petulant duryOdhana demands that his father do his bidding. dhritarAshtra demurs, and gAndhAri takes the side of duryOdhana. She …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 2

Yogacharya Krishnamacharya once said that the mark of a healthy person is the ability to feel the nava rasas deeply and appropriately, and then return to shAntam the moment the context has passed. We explored this through techniques used in traditional theatre. This exploration threw up a lot of introspection in the group. The group …

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An Immersion into the Mahabharata – Part 1

Madam Blavatsky says in the Secret Doctrine, “…All this is very puzzling, to one who is unable to read and understand the Purana-s, except in their dead letter sense. Yet this sense, if once mastered, will turn out to be the secure casket which holds the keys to the secret wisdom. True, a casket so …

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