It was the beginning years of the spiritual revolution in America. Yogi Bhajan arrived in 1969 and gave the mantra ‘Sat Nam’, which means ‘your identity is truth’. As a way to learn the ‘truth’ about the world, we used ‘Sat Nam’ in our everyday communication. When you called the ashram, we picked up the phone and said, “Sat Nam”. We also used this instead of goodbye. It was also used to get attention and as a sign of agreement. It could even be used as an expression of anger by adding a stern tone to the words. It became so much a part of our Kundalini Yoga culture that people began calling us ‘Satnamers.’ At first a bit jarring, but we eventually understood this name was both a sign of respect and a reminder of our ability to recognize the truth of our own self.
It is said we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. This does require a leap. To accept we are mostly unaware of our own essence is a bitter pill to swallow. We know that most communication with others is influenced by our subconscious and that most of what we communicate is not with our words, but the non-verbal language. This includes body language, voice inflection, and even mental projection. When we are so unaware of what guides our decisions, we are often miserable.
Recognizing our identity is truth means, all that is untrue, or impure is foreign to our base nature. It is inner pollution we work on with yoga, meditation, breathing practices, and healthy lifestyle choices. Purification is the underlying purpose of all actions since it is our divine nature to be pure. It is their purity that attracts us to babies. We say it is their innocence, or they are closer to God. These are just other ways to describe purity.
Even the last name many adopt in our tradition, Khalsa, means pure ones. In different words, all faiths hint at the inherent goodness within every human being. That goodness is another way to understand the pure nature within.
Our task is to return to a more pure state of being, more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. When we become more conscious of how the sequence we create leads to an outcome, then we can begin to make better choices. With better choices, the consequences of life become joyful, light and purposeful.
We can begin to lighten the burden of this life by bringing more light, more clarity, and greater illumination to the truth of who we are. Sat Nam.