Life lessons from two warriors

I found many lessons in the story of the Two Warriors. Lets talk about the warrior who walked away because of the anger that arose in him when he was spat on. In a sense he won because he was able to observe the level of anger in him, he was able to make a conscious decision about what action to take based on the awareness of what was happening to him and his ability to change that anger. He had to make a choice between winning the battle or honoring the code of the warrior since he wasn’t able to do both in the moment. He decided that keeping his honor was more important, he chose to let the enemy go.

What is the impact of letting the enemy go? Well the second warrior was an enemy for some reason, his actions were detrimental in some way otherwise they would not have been engaged in mortal battle in the first place. In walking away the warrior was aware that not only himself but also his clan will continue to be attacked by the enemy, and so they will need to keep their defenses strong until another opportunity presents itself when they could fight again.

So too when I am caught up in anger. When I told my yoga teacher about my difficulties with my mother I saw that the story of the two warriors was a window to look through so I could get another perspective. If I was caught up in anger and couldn’t change it in the moment I have the choice to walk away knowing that we would need to have that conversation another time and I would have to wait for the right moment. Just like those two warriors will have to find another time to complete their battle. In the mean time there would be unpleasant feelings between my mother and I, added to that the issue remains unresolved between us and we would suffer the consequences of that. When I don’t understand another I am missing a vital point of view, my perceptions would be skewed and would affect not only my mother but also other relationships.

Now this warrior in walking away kept his code of honor, his principles remained intact and this he valued highly.  He acted in an honorable way, he kept his self-respect and he upheld the code of conduct of all warriors. Can you imagine what would have happened if he didn’t honor this code? In breaking the code he would have weakened his community. So walking away was a very simple yet extremely powerful action. I had to ask myself what were my principles and would I be prepared to live up to them the way this warrior did.

This way of processing could be source of great stress for some but for me it provides tremendous motivation to deal with my anger. Stress can bring about muddled thinking or that same adrenaline can be channeled into more strategic thinking. In the same way that warrior will have to make detailed plans of how he could conquer his enemy so too I have to make detailed plans for how to conquer my negative patterns. As my mind became engaged in contemplation of the story I noticed that my emotional side became more stable.

There were also interesting lessons to learn from the warrior who did the spitting. In the moment he must have been centered in the core of his being. He was lying on the ground apparently defenseless without his sword but he was able to use the power of his mind, his training, his instinct. Despite the danger of losing his life he was able to think strategically. He was able to come up with a viable solution to his problem. He saved his life in such a simple way.

I learned that being more centered in that consciousness space was the answer. I too could find simple solutions to conundrums in my life. I have the same ability to tap into that same wisdom field. I also learned that when I am sincerely searching the hand of grace is open to me. I had a choice in how I acted when I recognized my anger. I could have continued fuming, blaming my mother inside myself and in fact I had done that but that road was so unpleasant that it drove me to find another way of being. Also I had a choice in the help that was offered to me by my yoga teacher. It took a lot of contemplation to see the other possibilities, the treasure under the surface of the story.

Every time I contemplate this story I find new lessons so it has remained ever fresh in my mind and continues to inspire me. You may find different lessons and I would be very interested to hear them. I hope you too recognize and take the hand of grace that will be held out to you today. That grace may come in unexpected ways you never know what treasures lie in wait for you. Exciting isn’t it?



4 Responses to Life lessons from two warriors

  1. Marlene says:

    In thinking about this story, I found I felt more admiration for the warrior who did the spitting because he was able to use the power of his mind to think strategically, and use his training and instinct to come up with a viable solution even whilst in a seemingly defenseless position.

    I still have mixed feeling about the warrior who walked away. In walking away he may have kept his principles and self-respect intact when he upheld the code of conduct of all warriors. But could his choice of honouring the code of the warrior be the result of pride…the pride of being a warrior and adhering to some clan code that the clan thinks is honourable but may not actually be wise? Recognizing that during a battle everyone in the clan would need to have the same objective, remain cohesive and supportive of one another, I still question whether honouring a group code could sometimes cause one to resort to peer pressure or mob mentality rather than think rationally and independently.

    However, I do feel it was a victory for this warrior to be able to observe the anger in himself and make his conscious decision based on that awareness.

    I never think engaging in a battle or a war is a good solution for resolving issues, so it is hard for me to imagine what is right or wrong in this warrior scenario. I feel like I need to know more about this warrior and the whole story in order to conclude that he made a wise decision because of the price he might have paid. His clan might not be victors if there is a future battle. The enemy could gain more strength in the meantime and be a greater opposing force. This warrior’s clan could lose their land, their territory, their independence, their lives. What if their defenses do not remain strong until there is another opportunity to fight again? Winning the battle must have been important to his warrior clan or they would not have engaged in mortal battle in the first place, putting their own lives at risk.

    Although dealing with the unpleasant feelings of unresolved issues when we walk away is not appealing, I agree with Aarti that it could be a good lesson in patience and emotional control. And I noted her observation that it is a process, so I see that I might need to have the required patience to let the process unfold even though it means I may have to live with some discomfort based on the lack of resolution and accept the impact it can have.

    It seems to me there is a consequence regardless of whatever choice we make and I can see one might be paralyzed with fear of making the wrong decision when the stakes are high. So I think it would be really important to be able to tap into, and trust, the inner guidance.

    Stress usually results in muddled thinking for me so I am curious about your statement on how that same adrenaline (in reaction to stress) can be channeled into more strategic thinking.

    Unlike your experience, Madhavi, I did not find that contemplation of the story caused my emotions to become more stable because it appears that there could be negative consequences resulting from either decision the warrior made, so I found to be more unsettling than balancing. And therefore at the moment I don’t find that this story is bringing me a lot of clarity about how best to deal with anger, but more confusion.

    I like the idea you shared about contemplating our principles to see if we would be prepared to live up to them the way this warrior did. And as you decided for yourself, I can also see how it could be beneficial for me to have detailed plans to conquer my negative patterns.

    • Chan Madhavi says:

      Hi Marlene

      This type of story is one that is designed for long term contemplation, there is no right or wrong interpretation of the story and the interpretation keeps changing depending on how it’s looked at.

      Go with what works for you. You spoke before about the television program that gave you insights. The more important thing is that you keep focused on what inspires you on your journey to self mastery.

      luv madhavi

  2. Henk says:

    Namaskar all,

    If I imagine to be the walking warrior a thought came up, a possibility I could choose. If I were in a battle like him/her and I won in the sense that the other lost his sword and he spat in my face after that, I could also choose to grab his sword and offer him a hand, calmly without anger with love, and help him up. Saying “go off to home, I don’t want to kill you as I don’t want to kill anyone or anything.” and walk away. Or walk away silently wishing peace for him, with the confidence that I will defeat him in every battle after that. Hoping that after a few battles he won’t attack me anyone as I win everytime.

    I found in my personal life that when faced with anger by a close person once in while, I sometimes feel anger, frustation or stonewalling coming up. When vital and focused I transformed those feelings in a breath into peace, love and a more open space. Anger in the other transformed into underlying emotions and a lot of peace after that. A battle one. I lost a few as well. Anger in the other still comes up once in a while, but recalling the victories I realise that I can transform my emotions and in doing so the emotions of the other. I can do this a 1000 times if necessary, if I keep myself vital and focused, on love for instance.

    There are fewer battles I noticed and if one comes I imagine it to be the Universe testing me again, like “you think you know, Henk, mastered this, but let me see it one more time if you really mastered it”. If not, I feel horribly for moments and a new inspiration is born to keep vital and focused.

    The story sticks. What a power a story can have. Thank you, all.

    With all my love, Henk

  3. Victoria Aarti says:

    Namaskar Madhavi

    I have been contemplating your previous post on this very point i.e. the question of what is lost when we walk away. Today’s post gives me a wider perspective on what I had come up with and I am grateful for that as it brings more balance.

    The lesson for me in the walking away, is as you have pointed out, that of lost opportunity, lost advantage, and the consequences of that. The warrior had got so far in the battle but he was not able to follow through to completion, thus leaving the door open for the enemy. Yes it was conscious but he lost his advantage in that moment and there are consequences.

    I thought a bit about how I do this i.e. squander my advantage or not use the opportunities that I am given. Whilst if it is a conscious choice, it could be put to good use with game plans etc. But one bottom line is that I am still losing an opportunity to address or even master an issue.

    If the choice is not conscious, then I am again losing an opportunity, by running away, by not facing; by not working with the challenges and the triggers, by not staying with them. I see more how I avoid and in seeing this, I feel more encouraged and determined to face and master. I also appreciate more that is a process and that does help with what can be intense impatience.

    That said, every opportunity is valuable or even invaluable. Guruji keeps reminding us to not waste a moment and I see that I really owe it to myself to strive for greater awareness to first of all recognise the opportunities, and then to consciously make the most of every opportunity I have.

    With love and thanks

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