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How to use a spiritual name

August 24 2010

If you have a spiritual name, try to use it in your everyday life. Names are invocations. Each time a person says your name, it is a blessing  for you and for them. Together, you invoke the wisdom virtues inherent in that name.

My name is somewhat hard for people to pronounce. But I have noticed that when a person says it correctly for the first time, there is a broad smile. It feels good!

Whether your name is simple to say or more difficult, you do not want to make it even more challenging. Open the gates for everyone as much as you can. This is why many initiates who live in English-speaking cultures are given names that are spelled phonetically rather than in proper Sanskrit transliteration. A name is a gateway. The vibrational quality invokes the meaning of the name. This is what is important.

But of course, whatever way your teacher spells your name, that is how you should spell it.

For some people, the fact that their relatives or friends have spiritual names is too challenging or upsetting. While it is an important part of your practice to use your spiritual name, your ninety year old grandfather from Romania who is very attached to family names is not going to benefit from your insistence.

Use your courage to bring your spiritual name into your everyday life. You will benefit from being reminded of your divine purpose and unique flavor wherever you are – at work, at play,  and while with your friends on the same path. Your spiritual name will lead you to a greater experience of continuity.

But also use your discrimination and self-reflection to decide when and how to use your name. The name should not become another source of ego gratification with you correcting people’s spelling, or even their pronunciation in some instances.

Courage? Discrimination? Compassion? Your name is already teaching you these.

In Ma’s love,

Shambhavi