Om saha navavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viryam karavavahai
tejasvi navadhitam astu ma vidvishavahai
om shantih shantih shantih
- Invocatory verse from the Kena Upanishad
Translation: Accept us both together. Protect us both together. May our knowledge and strength increase. May we not resent one another.
The moon inspires many- poets, musicians, astronomers. I was inspired by the moon myself, and it was in a planetarium that I had an unlikely spiritual experience. While watching a presentation that showed the different theories of astronomers and scientists throughout centuries, it occurred to me that they all looked up at the sky, watched the stars and the moon at night, and asked: Who am I?
But that was me. My friend who watched the presentation with me fell asleep. That's the thing. What inspires us is a personal experience. Others are inspired by going to church, or reading the Bhagavad Gita, or attending a meditation course, or taking care of children, or a number of other things that I may not consider inspiring. The problem is, we sometimes get too attached to that which inspires us, and we feel that we are right and everybody else is wrong. It is this mentality that causes wars.
The diversity of a mixed-level yoga class is a perfect ground for practicing tolerance. As we are given options in a pose, how do we react or respond to the choices of others? Are we open and ready to accept what others choose to do without any judgment? Are we in the habit of comparing ourselves with others, thus making one person come out as above the other? If a pose inspires us to work harder, can we begin to accept that the experience of another may or may not be similar to ours?
Consider for a moment this source of our inspiration, be it the moon or the sky or a particular form or shape of God. Isn't it more important how we are inspired than what it is that inspires us? If we are so moved by our source of inspiration, then let it make us more accepting than divisive, let it bring us together than apart, let it give us love than hate. What inspires us is personal, but to be inspired to connect with another, to speak that moon language, is universal.