‘Shamrang’ means dyed in the colour of the divine. My naad yoga teacher says it’s the colour of Krishna – the iridescent blue of an evening sky. It’s my ‘spiritual name’ and I received it on 10th February 2010, courtesy of Niranjan Kaur Khalsa Snr. If you’ve ever been to White Tantra, you will have heard her music – she was one of Yogi Bhajan’s original students, and is responsible, among many other things, for divining ‘spiritual names’ for kundalini yogis. So I’ve had my spiritual name for a decade and I have only very recently officially adopted it. Why now?
Deciding to live as Shamrang Kaur hasn’t come easy. I’ve been ruminating on it for the past three years. The name Shamrang has been urging me to take the leap, but there has been so much resistance to it. The main points of contention have been:
1) My parents blessed me with a beautiful name in good faith, and I live by my birth name to honour their good intentions.
2) As dear Juliet observed, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. All names are ‘spiritual’ (not my favourite word). All names have a resonance, an energetic signature, a unique flavour, and Shamrang is as ‘spiritual’ as my birth name, surely.
3) I’ve been teaching as Gemma for more than 10 years! Isn’t it a bit of a task to about-turn and establish myself as Shamrang? Doesn’t it task those around me who have known me for so long as Gemma to now remember to call me Shamrang? Indeed, the yoga studio at which I teach is reticent to change my name on the timetable as the students won’t know who Shamrang is!
Such compelling arguments tossed up by my mind. And yet, Shamrang continues to nudge and cajole me, and finally, after much digging in of heels and gnashing of teeth, I have conceded. I will live as Shamrang.
Of course, it’s not just about changing my name to Shamrang. It’s about something much bigger… it’s about making a commitment. It’s stepping into and owning my destiny on this path. As Nirinjan said when she blessed me with it, “The power of a Spiritual Name is that the more you speak and hear your name, the more it permeates into your being…and the more you will experience its Nadh (inner sound current), bringing you into harmony with your destiny.” The more those around me do me the honour of calling me Shamrang, the more it reminds me to step up to my destiny. And so I start the process myself, and I now call myself Shamrang.
To receive your spiritual name, visit the 3hO website. The header photo is courtesy of the lovely Esther Quade.
Sat nam x