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snake and ladderI don’t think anyone with an interest in Indian culture at any level will be disappointed by this game. If you have a common area for sitting around and relaxing, you might want to place this game and would prove to be one of the most unusual and truly enlightenment experiences of your life.

This is an enjoyable game because we all have a “chance” to win. An element of chance makes the game very interesting. In these games, everybody is equally likely to win. There is no strategy that you can follow to play better. Eventually everybody will reach the final square. The winner is just the person who reaches the last square first. If you lose it doesn't matter much because you may win another time.

Players travel along the squares sometimes using ladders, which represent good acts that allow the player to come closer to moksha while the snakes were slides into evil.

Only one game of this kind

snake and ladder 2This is the only game, in which each of us is a player acting out one’s role, and the game is “PARAMAPADA SOPANAM” or GYANA CHOUPAD the universal play of cosmic energy. It is this playful nature, creates the world of names and forms – the phenomenal world.

The essence of the player is his ability to assume a role; can enter into any role. But once the player enters the game, assumes the identity of the personality he adopts, he looses his true nature, and gets caught by maya (illusion). He fails to remember the spirit of how to play the game. The karma “dice” decides his moves.

The motivation of this game is to help the player gain the ability to withdraw his identifications and decide how he might become a better player. Contained within the 72 or 108 spaces of the game-board is the quintessence of thousands of years of self-exploration, the heart of Indian tradition.

As the player moves from space to space, square-to-square, he begins to see patterns in his own existence, emerging with ever-deepening clarity as his understanding of the game broadens. His sense of detachment grows as he watches each stage as temporary. And once the temporality of any space becomes a reality for the player, he detaches from that space.

As with all games, here too there is a goal, an object to be attained. Because the essence of the player is his ability to identify, his only chance of “winning” the game is to identify with that which is his Source.

This is Cosmic Consciousness, the essence of pure being, which transcends time and space and knows no limits,  infinite, absolute, eternal, changeless, the All, without attributes, beyond both name and form. The game ends when the player becomes himself, the quintessence of Play. This is nirvana or moksha.

The creators of the game saw it foremost as a tool for understanding the relationship of the individual self to the Absolute.
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