Friday, April 30, 2010

Call me Muffin

I have had a lot of nicknames and, yes, Muffin is one of them.

In Hinduism, all the energies of the Universe are given different names. And so if God is everything and all energies are contained therein, He (and She) are named accordingly. Then each deity has many names, or nicknames. Each has at least 108 names!

Ganesha = Ganapataye, Devadeva, Amit, etc...

Shiva = Shankara, Shambo, Mahadeva, etc...

Krishna = Govinda, Gopala, Vasudev, etc...

Durga = Kali, Brahmacharini, Mangalya, etc...

And on and on and on....

Sanskrit is the language in which the Yogic scriptures were written and Sanskrit is a science of sound. We know through Western science that sounds are vibrations of energy. We know through the science of Sanskrit that each of these vibrations stimulates a different part of the brain. Most of this science has been lost through the years but modern Yogis are rediscovering it and finding that it correlates to what we know in modern science.

Hindu parents frequently give their children one of the names of a deity so that this vibration is repeated continuously in their home. Similarly other cultures do the same. Jews often give their children biblical names and in Catholicism, we are encouraged to give at least the middle name after a Saint.

My parents named me Kristina Marie, after Christ and Mary. This always went over like a ton of bricks in school when we had to do those projects on "How You Got Your Name".... And then at confirmation I had to choose my own name, after a saint. Bernadette. Then I got married and had to take on that name. In between, I've had a lot of nicknames. My family calls me Krissy; don't laugh. In high school my best friends named me Keebs, after the Keebler elf. Again, don't laugh. It's just that I used to wear the coolest purple boots with my school uniform, the only way to express my individuality.

When I got to college, I didn't want to be called Krissy, so everyone called me Kris. But in college I also ended up with nicknames. Freshman year I had an Indian professor who insisted on calling me Krishna. I always tried to correct him and by the end of the trimester the entire class would yell at him during roll call. I assumed he called me that because I thought he saw an 'h' where there the 't' meets the 'i' in Kristina. (Little did I know then how Krishna would play a huge role in my life and how closely connected Christ and Krishna were. There's a part of me who wonders if Professor Sharoodi knew something I didn't....)

Then senior year of college, my two friends and I had to deliver 10,000 muffins to a banquet, don't ask why. So there we were, 3 girls in tuxedos, loading muffins onto a yellow box truck. And so 'Muffin' stuck.

After college, I thought that even 'Kris' was too juvenile so I had everyone call me Kristina. And that hung on for a long time. Until Yoga found me.

Many Yogis and Yoginis have Sanskrit, spiritual names. I thought it would be cool to have one too. So one day when I was attending a program with my teacher, an enlightened soul, I asked Her for a spiritual name.

She told her husband to give me a name. He wrote it down, along with it's translation, on a piece of paper and handed it to me. It said, "Kumud. Pure like a lotus". Really? Kumud? Ok, they know best. So I sat down pondering 'Kumud'. While I was trying to wrap my head around this, my teacher called me back up. She had another disciple write down another name, again along with the translation. This paper said, "Aruna. Ray of sun". Ok, now that's more like it.

This made me laugh. Did She realize that I wasn't as 'pure' as they had originally thought and She wanted me to know it?? A friend once replied after hearing this story that maybe She wanted me to realize that I wasn't who I thought I was. Much more of a Yogic thought process.

When I researched 'Aruna' I found out that it is sometimes translated as the first rays that chariot the sun over the horizon. In Yoga when you get a spiritual name you kind of grow into it. That's the purpose of a spiritual name; to aspire to the heavens and grow into your full potential.
I never had people call me Aruna. It's been a few years since receiving that name and I feel like it's only been recently that I understand the full meaning and how it relates to me. I think that part of my purpose here is to help others find the light in themselves, kind of like a charioteer of light.

So I may never know what's in a name, but I do know that I hope to live up to the names that both my parents and my teacher have given me.

In the mean time, I'll still answer to 'Muffin'.....

1 comment:

  1. You left out my favorite! I haven't used it it years! Hows Scuzzy? Still in the pillow case?