I have a yoga name – Bharat – that I will begin to use on my blog.
A couple of years ago I became a part of a group at Kripalu known as the Acharya Intensive. There are twelve of us, plus our two teachers and several assistants. Swami Kripalu said that one who teaches from life experience and who teaches from love is an acharya. This program is meant to transform us into ones who teach from life and from love. In honor of that journey of transformation, we were each given an acharya name by our teachers.
The name of Bharat shows up often in Indian lore. Bharat is a king, the brother of Rama, as told in the Ramayana. Bharat is even a name of India herself.
There is a Bharat story that I feel close to. There was a yogi named Bharat who had retired to the forest to practice in seclusion. One day he rescued a fawn that had become separated from its mother. Bharat took the baby deer to his hut. He fed it and cared for it as it grew, and in time he came to love the deer. Bharat loved the deer so much that at the point of his own death his final thoughts were of the deer. Final thoughts are important. You may recall that as Gandhi was dying from an assassin’s bullet, he chanted Ram, which is a name of god. Because Bharat’s final thoughts were of worldly things – his love of the deer – he did not attain nirvana. In one version of the story he was reborn as a deer. In another, he was reborn as a man with memory of his previous life. That man was determined to not repeat the mistake of his previous life. He lived as an ascetic and renunciate. To be sure that he was not tempted to any attachment to others, he went about unwashed and naked and pretended to be insane.
We can become so lost in our love of the world that we are unable to move on.
I’ve decided that I oughtn’t wait until I am comfortable wearing a crown to fully receive my teachers’ gift. It was a gift given to me as I am.
So henceforth, Dear Reader, I shall sign my posts as Bharat.