Our personal energy is immense and can act in heroic ways, however, it is often locked up in our unconscious. The Mahabharata Immersion is an invitation to experiment with oneself, delve unto the depths of the invisible, the unarticulated and the disowned parts of ones self by donning the traditional masks from the Koothu tradition.
The MI is intended to enable the participant to engage with inner work and the Purana fron an “inside -out” location. One wears the masks of the Heroes and in playing out the archetypal drama that occurs at various turning points, views oneself in the mirror of the emerging “here and now re-play” of the eternal motifs of life and of relationships with significant others.
This programme offers participants the opportunity to
- Discover and foster one’s hidden heroic potential
- Introspect upon the relationship between outer and inner process
- Develop a personal foundation of Role effectiveness, interpersonal ethics and intrapersonal discipline
- Introspect upon the way one holds and gives meaning to one’s mission in life
The MI is an opportunity to delve into and express the unarticulated aspects of oneself that affect the structure and flow of one’s life. It allows us to unblock our creative self and live from a place of integrity of the self.
The participant, co-creator of the MI Leaders, Change Agents, and Professionals in th field of Social Services, Management, and the Arts, wishing to delve inwardly and regenerate themselves.
Those who wish to discover and develop creative processes of their own unfolding, thereby facilitating self-discovery in others.
No prior theatre experience is required for this adventure, although prior experience of inne work is always of value. Participants will be required to read the Mahabharata, and discussions will be initiated prior to the start of the laboratory to facilitate the exploration.
Our ancient texts recommend that all leaders and professionals be yogis. The reason is quite simple. Yoga, when practised in a holistic fashion, ensures that a person becomes capable of being the best they can be. Leaders and professionals need to strive continuously to perform at their peak capabilities. This means that one has to make a continuous investment in one’s competencies, one’s inner well being, and one’s health. However, the meaning of Yoga is limited to Aasana and Prananaayama in most people’s minds.
Our myths were written to bring out the meaning of Yoga through the stories that illustrate how different types of minds perceive a situation and how they respond. The Mahabharata portrays the five Pandava heroes as the central archetypes of the human psyche, the Kaurvas as the anti-hero/shadow archetypes, and Krishna as the meditative mind. Through the drama played out by the Paandavas and Kauravas, the text discussed Yoga in the context of familial strife.
The Mahabharata is thus a dialogue on the Yoga of leadership, and dharmic conduct. It is a complete text of Yoga, capturing its philosophical profundity as well as evoking the person by using the narrative of different archetypal heroes who are placed in difficult and trying situations as they delve into themselves and overcome obstacles.
The two main components of the programme are:
- The Learning Theatre
An individual is simultaneously a member of mulitple systems – organisation, society, family, and others. Each of these systems is a complex network of interdependent roles and processes with distinct values and norms. The diverse pulls and pressures of the systems and lack of integration and synergy in oneself result in diffused inner energies and consequently affects the expressions.
The learning theatre is designed to focus on inner energies and enable coherent expressions. An exploration into one’s inner process is enabled by bringing alive ones inner drama and the personas that play out these psychodramas.
- Koothu Enactment
The participants will also work with actors from the Koothu tradition. Having explored the dynamics of heroism within, the participants will be introduced to the nuances of the myth. By working with the traditional masks, music, rhythm, and dance, the rasa of each hero is evoked and explored.
For example, through an exploration of ‘Draupadi Vastraaharanam’ (the disrobing of Draupadi), a powerful field is created wherethe helpless rage of the victimized is contrasted with the blind greed of the opressor and the lack of conviction in the legitimate protector. The indivudal who explores this archetypal drama with authenticity enters the universal motifs of human suffering. Such engagement with one’s dukka is deeply insightful and healing. The stage isthus set for an honest introspection of one’s inner patterns of feeling and thought as well as one’s outer patterns of action.
Ritambhara Ashram, Kotagiri
Ritambhara Ashram, Kotagiri