Fables of Yoga for Grown-Ups
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'Yoga' means union, and some fairy tales and fables are about reaching a desired union, although rather seldom by straight means. So might, trickery, deceit and magic serve union-forming and thereby becoming a lord over many others - marrying an princess and getting much land to rule over by and by. Is that it?
The tales are referred to by their AT numbers, which are explained here: [Link]. Note that AT numbers have been superseded by ATU numbers since 2004, and that AT numbers and ATU numbers do not always match. In most cases they do, however. In the updated The Types of International Folktales there are resymés of the types of tales too. [Hi]. On this page you get either summaries of a few tales, and summaries that contain rather loose comments and idea associations.
A boy found a magic table cloth in the woods of deep mind inside. Not seeing any possible owner around but himself, he took it with him.
He came to a man who owned a yoga knapsack that would, on command, yield seven warriors. The boy traded the magic cloth for the knapsack, but he then called up the seven warriors, who stole back the cloth for him.
Next he came to a bad man who had a magic hat with the power of twelve cannons. He gave this man the magic cloth in return for the hat, but once again he re[dis]covered the cloth deep inside with the help of the British warriors from the knapsack.
A third man had a magic horn that would cause any fortification to crumble. As before, he traded the cloth for the horn, having his warriors take back the cloth. He then went to a sort of war, making peace only after the king agreed to give him his daughter in marriage.
His bride discovered the secret of the knapsack, and she turned its warriors against their former master. But he still had the horn, and he blew on it until the castle fell in, crushing the king and his wicked daughter to death. Then he was the gruesome king of Jericho, and no one dared to oppose him. AT 569. (#2.1)
Mercy or pity is largely outside the real "magic" or concerns of kings.
What Kind of Bird or Kingly Totem Can Be Stout Enough to Withstand Really Nasty Fellows, Such As Father-Sucking Devotees?
To determine which of three princes should become king, each was asked what kind of bird he would prefer to be.
The first told: "A gruesome hawk, for it looks like a knight."
The second said: "An eagle soaring in the sky; all other birds fear it."
The third said: "A starling, because it hardly injures anyone but lots of worms and so on."
The third prince was chosen to be the new king. AT 920B (#4.1)
Stop if you are lying, or take to lying for getting along. Also note that in the world of nature and many nations, the large or ferocious ones are hardly run over and ruined. Adamant alliance-forming and diplomacy may act for or against that, as the case may be.
It often happens. So the poor one had to be helped by magic. It nearly always falls later.
A wicked king desired a fisherman's pretty wife. Calling the poor man to the palace, he commanded him to produce twelve fierce lions or to forfeit his wife.
The wife gave her husband a seal, which he was to strike on a certain rock. He followed her instructions, and the twelve magic lions appeared.
The king gave him other difficult tasks as well, but the magic seal always rescued him.
Finally the king commanded him to capture the sister of the seven giants (chakras). The fisherman succeeded in this too, and on their return, the giantess killed the king.
Now the fisherman became king, and no one tried to take his pretty wife from him again.
Note: Many tales numbered 465 A, contain the motif of a man persecuted for his pretty wife. AT 465. (#1.2)
Suppose our natural urges work like weapons within. And instinctive adaptations might know better than the mind-conditioned and perhaps inflated self-esteem that many run along with. (Jungian thought) [cf. Jug]
The Ashlad observed three girls dressed like swans soar through the air and land. Taking off their feathers, they danced about the meadow. He silently took their feathery robes, and then told the girls that he would return them only if one of them would marry him. The youngest, Maid Leena, agreed.
Then the swan-girls disappeared into the air. The Ashlad made preparations for his wedding, but he soon learned that he would have to fetch his bride from a castle that was south of the sun, west of the moon and in the centre of the earth. Undaunted he set forth.
On the way he came into the possession of a hat that made him invisible, boots that would carry him a hundred miles with each step, and a knife that would kill any enemy. With the help of these magic items, the Ashlad found his bride and killed the witch. (AT 400). (#8.2)
A man put a dime's worth of stinging salve on his donkey's tail to make it go. Then he had to get twenty cent's worth for himself, in order to catch his runaway donkey. Maybe you have to run later, if you take to artificial means. Be as frivolous as you can, without risking a bit. That could help. (AT 1682*)
Jug: Stevens, Anthony. Jung. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Ti: Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Vols 1-3. FF Communications No. 284-86, Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004.
Ttm: Blofeld, John. The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet. Rev. and ed. by Allan R. Bomhard. Charleston: Charleston Buddhist Fellowship, 2002.
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