The Bhakti Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

The Story of Hanuman

15 min - Special


Julia invite us to participate by opening our ears and heart to the art of storytelling with Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band. Sean playfully brings to life the epic story of Hanuman, invoking our imagination and inspiring wonderment, delight, and a deeper understanding of the human condition through Hindu mythology.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Jan 21, 2015
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Namaste dear yogi friends, so happy to be here today with Sean Johnson, Gwendolyn Coleman, and Alvin Young who formed the wild, Sean Johnson and the wild Lotus band. And today we're going to do something kind of fun, they're going to tell you a story. So in Bhakti Yoga, traditionally there are nine modes of devotion and one of them is called Shravanam, which is the art of storytelling. And the idea is that through the stories we evoke a sense of awe, wonder and deeper understanding of the human condition through the stories of the gods and the goddesses. And it is said that, you know, we can read the stories but truly we gain something much deeper if we listen to the stories being told by a saint or what I have read as a genuine Bhakta, someone who has experienced deeper levels of consciousness and mystical experiences.

So on my wonderings I have procured myself a genuine Bhakta over here and Sean truly transmits something much greater than the words as he tells these ancient stories. So with so much pleasure, I welcome them and invite you to open your ears and your heart. Thank you so much. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, or maybe not so far. There lived a Yogi, his name was Ravana, and Ravana took as many teacher training programs as he could.

He did the 50 hour immersion, he did the 200 hour, he did the 500 hour, he did the 5,000 hour, he did the 10,000 hour, the 108,000 hour, and he just kept doing training after training after training until he was pretty good at yoga, ya'll. He could do all the postures including pinky stand, balance on his pinky for hours at a time. With his other hand, do a little pranayama and sing and chant at the same time. He got so good at yoga, he memorized all the sutras, every last one of them. He mastered pranayama to the point where he only needed to sleep for about 30 seconds every day.

It's so much prana flowing through his body. He learned all the different branches of yoga and because he was so naturally gifted at all these forms of yoga, well let's just say he kind of went to his head. So much so that he grew 10 heads. He was so proud of himself. He was so arrogant that these 10 heads grew bigger and bigger and bigger and he actually transformed from a modest yogi into a demon and all 10 heads would laugh together simultaneously.

That sense of arrogance tends to attract a certain element. First thing you know, a lot of other demons gathered around Ravana and they decided to go on an expedition and to eat everything in sight. The big troops of demons gathered across the world and they chanted, ate, ate, ate, ate, they ate everything. They ate all the plants and they ate all the animals and they drank the streams and the rivers and the lakes and the ocean and the world very quickly was becoming a dark wasteland. Now, every once in a while the gods and goddesses up in the heavens, they look down and they notice what's going on down here on the earth and they saw this just charred, clear cut land and decided they would all be reborn as animals and humans to come to the earth to bring the balance and the harmony back between the dark and the light.

This sacred balance had been thrown completely off its axis with the arrogant yogi demon Ravana eating everything, so greedy. One of these divine beings was born as a little monkey. Can we get some monkey sounds you guys? We have to be willing to be playful to really get the full benefit of these stories. And this monkey, he would play all day long.

He was filled with such a sense of natural confidence, such a spirit, such a knowing of his own strength and his place in the world. And just with that natural sincere authentic brightness, he played all day long swinging from tree to tree and he'd eat every piece of fruit in sight, just joyfully savoring the sweetness of each piece of fruit, he loved it, beautiful, beautiful life. One day when he was swinging from one tree to the next, his eyes caught a little hole in the canopy of the jungle and he looked up and he saw something, something he had never seen before, a gigantic piece of fruit, a huge juicy mango just hovering up there in the sky, now between us, it was not a mango y'all, it was actually the sun, but let's let him think it's a mango right now. The monkey looked up and he saw the big mango and his mouth started to water and out of pure innocence, out of pure sweetness, out of the desire to savor, he flew up through that hole in the jungle and he soared up, did we get some flying sounds, he was almost there, so happy to take a bite out of this big giant juicy fruit, but then Indra, the lord of the sky, the god of thunder, I like to imagine him on a Harley Davidson up in the clouds with big muscles and big thunderbolt tattoos running down his arms in a long long goatee that ends in the tip of a lightning bolt and even wild eyebrows that rise out the sides of his head to form the ends of thunderbolts. And Indra doesn't like anybody coming into his sky without asking his permission, giving him some offerings, so he looks at this little monkey who's almost touching the sun and he begins to pump the handlebars on the Harley, he looks at the monkey, he says, you little monkey coming into my sky, I'll show you, he reaches down in the side saddle and he pulls out a thunderbolt and with his big arm he rears it back and with great spite he hurls the thunderbolt at the monkey, it hit the monkey in his jaw and the little monkey fell all the way down, he landed on the jungle floor and something happened that he had never experienced before in his life, for the first time he felt afraid, for the first time he felt anxiety, for the first time he forgot his own strength, his purpose, he felt lost, he had a kind of spiritual amnesia, he forgot who he was, have you ever tried to reach for something out of love or curiosity or passion or adventure and fallen down, have you ever doubted yourself, have you ever forgotten who you are, the monkey lay there and suddenly all his friends, the other animals from the jungle began to gather around him, the anteater crawled up, a giraffe walked up, a big bear stomped up, a little bumble bee fluttered, all his friends, every animal you can imagine gathered around the little monkey and they named him, the bear said, your name's gonna be Hanuman now, broken jaw, and Hanuman looked up at them and he said, I don't know who I am, I'm so scared, I'm so anxious, I'm so afraid and they all began to tell him stories, Hanuman just a few days ago I saw you swing from that tree over there all the way to that tree over there in one swoop it was amazing and the little monkey smiled, oh really I did that and then one of the other animals was a Hanuman, I saw you look up through that hole in the jungle sky and you flew almost all the way up to the sun, I know you can remember who you are don't you remember that and Hanuman began to grow from this little tiny shriveled up scared monkey into a medium sized monkey and his muscles began to pop out, he said, I think I do kind of remember who I am and then another one of the animals would say, Hanuman remember just last week you fought this demon, you kicked that demon butt man, remember who you are and Hanuman grew even bigger, whoa, whoa, yeah I remember now and from that moment forward Hanuman had medicine for this spiritual amnesia and his medicine, the tonic for his anxiety was the company of good friends, the company of good friends, whenever he doubted himself his friends would gather around him and they would remind him and their reminders would set the course of history and eventually Hanuman becomes a great hero, in fact through his efforts he balances the world back again, the poles of dark and light come back into harmony and the great arrogant Yogi Ravana is defeated but that's a story for another time, they all live happily ever after inside us


Emily Perry
1 person likes this.
Love!!! Ravana and all his YTT hours!
Jenny S
2 people like this.
That was engaging! I know this was filmed 2 years ago, yet it feels so appropriate as applied to the world we are living in today. This is must-see storytelling for anyone who doubts themselves, feels fear, and underestimates their great importance to the universe. I just loved this ❤🐒❤️
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Carla F
1 person likes this.
Beautiful! I would love to hear more stories like this. When it is explained this way, I can understand. Thank you and Namaste. 🙏🏻
Els C
2 people like this.
So beautiful, I would like to have more of this
wow. that was amazing xxx
Zoe T
Please, more of this and Sean’s music!!

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