Rhythm Of Rituals
Yoga and Total Health|January 2021
Devdutt Pattanaik contrasts linear stories with circular rituals and the effect they have on us
Devdutt Pattanaik

As Ravi entered his cabin, he suddenly felt lost. What was he supposed to do next? He set up his laptop and went straight for the email inbox. Maybe there were emails there to respond. And, in the midst of responding to the emails, maybe he would find a purpose, a task that would make the rest of the day meaningful.

Ravi needs a structure in his life. A plan. But he does not know how to go about it. A business year has just got over, and until last week, the sales target was the destination, and the desire to reach it kept him going. Now the target has been reached, the year is over, and suddenly there is a vacuum. What seemed like a full stop now reveals itself to be merely a comma, a pause, as he waits for a new goal. Is that what life is all about — moving from one target to another target, one year-end to another yearend, one project to another project?

Ravi was raised on fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel which always ended with ‘happily ever after’. But as the exhilaration of reaching last year’s target wanes, Ravi has realized that ‘happily ever after’ is a dream, a fantasy far from reality.

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