Spiritual Names



I noticed many members of Ananda have spiritual names. What is the significance of this, is it important on the spiritual path and how should one attain one if it is needed? I know that members of the Sikh religion receive a new name, is this similar?

—Kerey, Alaska


Swami Kriyananda gave me the name, Seva. Swami emphasized that Seva means divine service. You can see where this goes, and he was very perceptive to know I needed a goal to work toward in giving strength and energy to my spiritual search. There is no cave for me in the Himalayas this life, but continued thought of how to serve others, so I do not fall into closed-minded self-interested despair. The names Swami gives to each person fits that person well and helps them to go forward on the spiritual path.

To receive a spiritual name ask one who understands the reason such a name and who is very advanced spiritually. It would seem most religious groups have a similar tradition.