Navaratri-Saraswati, the name
If you’re wondering how is it that someone with my last name also ended up with a name like “saraswati” – this is the story of how I realized the power of a name.
While attending yoga teacher training in Kerala, India with the Sivananda organization in 1990, I requested a name initiation. This is a common practice for many in the yoga community as you recognize that you are entering a different life- hence the idea of being “initiated.” Some students receive it and then don’t use it but for others a lifetime journey begins of discovering the significance of your name, and the energy it brings.
I had never heard of Saraswati and so I asked the puja ritualist, a local priest who does morning and evening offerings, who is she and what does she do? (Wondering why I received this name). He showed me a picture of her and told me she’s the one with the vina-I didn’t know what that was either! But I knew that I connected with her for some obvious reasons, being in the arts and being a word-lover.
When I returned to New York, I sought out a vina teacher and embarked on several years of studying this profound instrument. I had never played a musical instrument before but loved music and sang often. So began my first moments of realizing saraswati energy in my life.
Many other manifestations of Saraswati were reinforced for me: I was never very interested in teaching, although I was a natural at it – and of course this changed as I became more and more a teacher in different ways.
I have since researched her origins and presented at academic conferences with a possible publication of my paper “saraswati: goddess of no husband, no child” pending. She continues to amaze and guide me – as I become closer to Saraswati energy.