We have always heard of vrat kathas (stories during fasting period). There is Satya Narayan Vrat Katha, Karwa Chauth, Devi path vrat katha just to name a few. Sometimes astrologers prescribe certain story reading during fasting periods to appease the planets. The stories usually involve surreal characters where Gods meet demons or a war between demons and Gods takes place etc. Do these mythological stories work as healing therapy? Let’s find out.
Relationship between myths and healing
A modern reader is often intrigued by these stories. He has no means to deal with myths as it does not make sense in his real life. The problem he faces is universal one; do we blindly read it out of fear or is there a possibility to unfold the layers of hidden meaning?
My healing therapy also includes vrat kathas (story reading while following a vow) but before suggesting, I give my clients the techniques to make it meaningful. Personally, I feel myths have a therapeutic value. They help us heal, gather depleted force to able to bounce back to healthy and vibrant life.
The myths of Hindu scriptures are embedded with archetypal personalities, are rich in cultural information, have rules of social customs and taboos, infused with medical and mystical knowledge etc. They are never to be taken in literal sense because they are presented as metaphors. On a surface level, it is not easy to access a myth; moreover, a myth does not connect to a person who over intellectualizes it.
Preparing mind to read a story
The first step you take while reading satya naraya, karwa chauth and other vrat kathas is to have a child-like innocence. You must feel amazed as if you are going to enter a wonderland. Prepare your mind to enter slowly, wade through its path gently to let it work on you. Ensure that its territory is safe for you to reach inside. Once you have learned to walk reassuringly, it is possible to safely lay your head in its lap so that it begins to work on you. In the meanwhile, try to integrate each experience it has to offer, only then you will be drawn towards it. Only when you dare to immerse into its reality, the myth will show you its magic and allow you to reach the source. In this entire process, do not be afraid that myth will invade your mind to radical thinking or brainwashing techniques. In fact a myth will liberate you of all the restrictions life has imposed on you.
Unfortunately, we are trained to value experiences which are understood by conscious mind. We fear other things and when the mind is threatened, it opts for the defense mechanism. Therefore, while reading a myth of vrat katha, you have lower the defense of rational mind and become a child who opens up in amazement as if the story is real. When you deliberately do such an act of surrender, the myth will enter your consciousness, work as a healing therapy to cure you. With the openness of mind, the story will not overwhelm you with superstition.
Many such myths in our vrat kathas are life enhancing as they inject healthy image of the self, and help us understand our relationship with the cosmos by making us dive deep into our consciousness
Spreading the message
In today’s life we have closed ourselves to everything ancient and even discarded some of it as futile. It is like living on the tree but cutting the roots from where it sprung up. Do you think we will have strong foundation for our children if we cut off roots of ancient wisdom?
Everyone is searching for a deeper meaning of life but we are looking for it in the external world. Being unable to find it we get involved in working for cause or become animal lover or join a movement. However, these endeavors do not lead us to our search in reality.
In post-modern life, we have access to everything once impossible. But, it has not helped us get out of conflict, anger, hatred, envy, pride or agitated state of mind.
When we read, recite, or hear such stories on karwa chauth, Diwali, holi and other occasions, we become open to boundless possibilities. It is important that in today’s life when medical practitioners show one dimension of cure, myths can actually take you into deeper level of consciousness to find the wholeness within you and cure you completely.
Once you feel the story has worked on you, make sure you pass it on to others so that it continues and benefits everybody else. However, do it only when you arrive at an intellectual level to pass it on.
Besides reading and believing in the power of mythological stories, individuals must invest time in Mind Gym to improve the health of mind and achieve inner peace. This can be of tremendous help in reaching the intellectual level.
The myths will show you the path to go inside. These will peel off layers of your consciousness and help you reach the source of your being where there lies the infinite bliss. It takes time to reach that level and even many births but surely we can at least make a start. Therefore, next time you read a vrat katha, read it with an empowered vision so that it connects you to your source.
References: Works of Robert Svoboda