Many of you have known me as Kelsey. For a few days, months, years….or the whole 28 years I’ve been on this planet. While I like the name given to me by my parents it is clear to me that now is the time to make a change. 10 years ago I was given a Spiritual name that is very dear to me. From now on, I will be known as Nirmal. Read on to find out more about this tradition:
In the Kundalini Yoga tradition there is the opportunity to request your spiritual name. When Yogi Bhajan (the master of Kundalini Yoga) was alive he personally meditated on each request for a spiritual name and would send you a letter with your new name. I requested (and received) my name from Yogi Bhajan in 2002. I remember clearly opening the envelope, standing outside in our driveway and feeling completely pleased and connected to the name.
Even though I felt an immediate resonance with the name ‘Nirmal’ I was hesitant to use it right away. For a while it felt to personal and sacred to share with others. And then I was concerned that others would think it was weird or it would be confusing in my various school or work circles. More and more over the years I have become aligned with my identity as a Teacher and Trainer of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. The more I follow that path the more people call me Nirmal. And the more I like it and crave that name to be my whole identify.
Why would a name have such an impact on me? For one the beautiful and sweet meaning, Nirmal can be translated in many ways. In the letter he wrote to my Yogi Bhajan translated it as “the Flow of Harmony.” A more literal translation (Nir= No, Mal= stain) is stainless. I’ve also heard “immaculate.” A spiritual, or destiny name, is both a signifier of who you are in this lifetime and a call to live your highest destiny. While I think the idea of “flow of harmony” pretty neatly encapsulates who I am I also feel that it is something I will strive towards my whole life.
So more and more over the years I have been called Nirmal. It is to the point that I very much associate only with the name Nirmal. And I am transitioning to using this name in all arenas of my life. I would like to humbly request that you all make the effort to switch over to calling me this name. I know there will be times you forget and I will try to gently remind you until it is just the name that rolls off your tongue when you see or think of me.
But this brings up a good point….how do you pronounce it anyway?!? The first syllable ‘Nir’ sounds just like the word ‘Near.’ The second syllable ‘mal’ sounds like the second half of the word ‘normal.’ So, there you have it….Almost Normal, but not quite (sort of like me, wouldn’t you say?) J
Each time you call me Nirmal you are not only making me radiantly happy you are also offering a blessing and a prayer for me that I might fulfill my destiny on this planet. Using someone’s spiritual name is a loving act of service and I very much appreciate your kind efforts in this area!
If all of this talk of spiritual or destiny names has piqued your interest you could consider getting your own! Before he died Yogi Bhajan trained Nirinjan Kaur in his system of numerology and meditation to select spiritual names. I know people who have gotten their names from Nirinjan and feel a similar resonance and connection. There are no requirements to get a spiritual name. To learn more or request your own: http://www.3ho.org/spiritual-names/
If you still have questions about this tradition, pronunciation or my decision to be known as Nirmal I am more than happy to discuss with you…just let me know!
And here are a few more lovely articles about people who’ve taken on their own spiritual names: