Today marked the final day of the two months long (4 hours per week) SaptaSwara Online program by Ritambhara. SaptaSwara is a unique framework of self-exploration that my mentors Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan and Smt. Sashikala Ananth designed few decades ago. I feel lucky enough to be part of the community that is being mentored by them to take forward this precious work.
SaptaSwara framework draws inspiration from Indic Knowledge Traditions of Yogasutras, Natya Shastra and Vastu Shilpa Shastra. It enables an individual to take a deep dive into the depths of their psyche and mind, and reflect upon some of the fundamental questions of life in an experiential and deeply evocative manner. The seven swaras that constitute SaptaSwara are:
- Maitri – Exploring key questions around the relationships in my life.
- Karma – Exploring the deeper location from where I act in my life.
- Dharma – Exploring the larger context within which I exist and interact with the people and world around me.
- Jñāna – Exploring the world of knowledge and my unique ways of seeking, imbibing and sharing knowledge.
- Ramya – Exploring how I experience beauty, rhythm and delight in my life.
- Yoga – Exploring the integration of my energies.
- Abhyāsa – Exploring the continual application of what I learn and the insights I touch upon in daily living.
These seven swaras are, in effect, the seven notes of life that enables one to live a life of dignity and peace.
There were many powerful reflections that participants shared today as they looked back at their journey through these weeks. One of them which resonated with me very well was shared by a writer who reflected on the difference between writing from hurt and joy. While it is true that many great works of art and literature has arisen from the pain of the artist, there is also an unhealthy fantasy built around pain as the only source of inspiration for works of art. But as we step deeper into the inner work space, we realise this is not the case.
From my own personal experience, I can look back and see a tangible difference in the experience of writing when I write from a space of pain vs joy. I’ve written many poems at a time when I was going through lot of hurt and stress. While the writing process helped uplift me in some ways, it felt cathartic than healing. Whereas these days when I am writing, I’m more in touch with a sense of beauty and joy within me. And I’m finding this experience of writing a deeply healing and nourishing space for myself. While I acknowledge the value of pain in taking the first step towards connecting to the self, I am coming to realise one needs to learn how to engage with this pain in a meaningful manner, so it can open up the possibility to touch the deeper spaces of joy and beauty within us. And that well spring of joy an beauty is available within each of us to touch and draw nourishment from.
Engaging with SaptaSwara has definitely helped me discover the rhythm, joy and beauty within and without in my life.
What inspires you to create? Is it pain or joy or something else?
I’d love to hear.