Some weeks ago, during the Nithyanandam course, I had decided that I was ready for a name change. A spritual name is a name chosen by and given by the Master to aid you on your Sadhana. It is chosen for you alone, it empowers and liberates you, and is a clear pointer to the spiritual path you need to take to your enlightenment.
I sent my application to the Welcome Centre in the Bidadi ashram. Once the application is sent to Swamiji he typically takes 2 days to come up with your name. But the sheer difficulty and inertia in getting the attention of the people at the welcome centre, getting them to hand me a form and getting my form processed pretty much suggested to me that maybe the time was not right for me to get the name. This in addition to having to wait 2 weeks only to find that the application did not reach Swamiji, and he had left the ashram to go to Tiruvannamalai, which according to the welcome center staff meant I could only get my name in January (!!!) pretty much took the wind out of the initial intent.
But in the Vaazhum Valaru (Living Legend) talk I meet a woman who told me to just go and ask Swamiji directly during the energy darshan, thereby bypassing all the red tape and possibly having my name given to me in 2 days time after the darshan. Having nothing to lose I did just that.
I wrote my request on a slip of paper (so I wouldn't be tongue tied in front of him as is usually the case!) and handed it over to him when it was my turn to be in his presence. He smiled as he read it and slammed his thumb on my agnya extra hard. The resultant energy flow into my body was felt like a strong wave that descended and rippled. When it was done he gave me the name then and there!!
"Nithya Priyan" he told me. And, he told me the meaning of the name. Nithya Priyan means Eternal Love.
The ways of the Master are unpredictable and surprising indeed! Eternal Love was radically different from what I had thought my path was supposed to be. I had known of the problems associated with my Anahata and my general lack of meaningful relationships in my life as an obstacle to my enlightenment, but I had no idea it would also be the path I am destined to take to my liberation! But in receiving my name and its meaning, and sitting quietly away from the devotees dancing in celebration to the loud kirtans playing, the little clues that have been there in my all along start falling magically in place and a new perspective dawns in a matter of minutes.
I had been an intellectual person for as long as I know, my self worth has always been directly proportional to the size of my bookshelf and the intensity of my heated discussions. Even after meeting the Master I had kept the idea that my path to enlightenment would involve the gathering of knowledge or Gnana. I see now that it was a pretense all along, the seed sown at an early age when I found I could obtain all the approval and attention I seeked from bookwormish pursuits. I was goaded along that falsehood when I realised that I had an IQ of the top 5% of the population, having been evaluated by a Mensa test.
How shrivelled my heart must have looked to Swamiji during that first darshan, when he had put his finger on it! To have had the key to my enlightenment fall into atrophy all this while. To have ignored all the signs and hints in place of the suggestions from a misleading, chattering mind.
For even when I was busy trying to be who I am not, did I not respond to ideas and people in an intense emotional manner? How did I not see my violent mood swings as symptomatic of an untapped and ungoverned source of energy? Why did I not relate to the times when I threw myself so completely into relationships so as to be coughed up completely messed up at the other end? How have I glossed over the truth that the most important decisions I have made in my life were the result of intense emotional impulses, hidden by a patina of post-rationalisation? How does all this relate to the cold, intellectual persona I had thought myself out to be?
And the clues that were given since my coming to India.. during the friendship meditation with Masha in BSP, she told me she saw into my heart and that it was so pure. While talking to a lady during Nithyanandam she had told me I had the warmest smile she had ever seen. And a strange chance meeting with a man who told me Enlightment is possible for me in a very short period, that he had a feeling something was holding me back in the past but no longer. It only dawned in me later the significance of the meeting, when I remembered that he introduced himself as a HEART SURGEON.
As I sat I repeated the name to myself. "Nithya Priyan" I said in wonder at how much in love with the name I was, and how inadequate my old name is compared with it. I repeated it like a mantra and it changed me inside. My heart exploded and the tears began.
So Daniel is dead to me now, he is part of a past patchwork of ideas and experiences borrowed and slapped together in order to be loved and accepted. As Nithya Priyan my awareness feels constantly flooded with a white noise, a feeling of love for everything or nothing in particular, and a concrete connection to my Master who made it all happen.
To have your entire life put in perspective, to have your future path mapped out for you with so much understanding, I can't help but feel blessed. I have big shoes to fill and I will fill it best I can!