The building of the bridge to Lanka is a favorite part of the Ramayana. Not only because it was done mainly by an army of monkeys and other animals, but it was built around one central idea - when the name of Rama was written on the rocks they floated on the water.
My big take away from this is that mantra meditation, the recitation of the names of the Lord, will help us build the bridges to where we need to go to on our spiritual journey. And that our hearts, without Lord Rama, are hard and heavy as stones, but with the Lord, we become light-hearted.
It is said, ‘Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.’ That’s a good definition of light-heartedness. We take our own importance far too seriously at times, which becomes weighty and eventually unbearable, to ourselves and to others.
I know a person who once did an exercise of carrying around a backpack of stones for a week. It was part of his process to let go all the anger, hate, and resentment he carried around with him, to show him how heavy such thoughts and feelings are and that he had a choice to let them go.
We too may have some rocks in our life and our hearts that we have to face. The bridge over to Lanka is a brave bridge to cross. It is to a dark place to face off with a self-centered, arrogant, and uncontrolled king called Ravana. It is also to rescue the beauty, love, and goodness that is Sita. Real lives, real people, and a real story we can all relate to.
What bridges do we need to make in our life? What bridges do we need to cross? One of the most important ones is, on a daily basis, to see Rama (Krishna). If we walk that bridge the waters of our false ego, our fears, our bewilderment with life, will not take over. If we make it an everyday walk, the more difficult bridges we have to build and cross are doable.
With Lord Rama’s name, whatever the journey facing us, it will be clearer and the process to get there easier. Our stone hearts will become lighter and our trust in love better. The power of mantra, the Lord’s name written and spoken, can take us there.