your name, your mantra
When I moved to India a few years ago, I heard about the importance of names in the Indian traditions. The name is almost like your mantra. You become the meaning of your name. So I was very interested in learning the meaning of names and I would constantly think if “that person” represented the meaning of her/his name. How lovely it was to hear the meaning of my dear friend Supriya, which is “beloved”, and think “she is exactly that!”
That time, I fell in love with the name “Leela”, which means “play”, not just any ‘play’ but the divine play that is the universe, that is life itself.
Later, I read a post from my guru on the significance of Krishna’s teachings and the place of Leela, where he says:
“Leela means, it is the path of the playful — we explore the most profound and the most serious aspects of life, but playfully. Otherwise Krishna won’t be there. The reason why the most profound dimensions of life have been missed by a vast population of the world is because they do not know how to be playful. To explore this path playfully, you need a heart full of love, a joyful mind, and a vibrant body. Only then there is Leela. To explore the most profound dimensions of life in a playful way, you must be willing to play with your awareness, with your imagination, with your memory, with your life, with your death. If you are willing to play with everything, only then there is Leela. Leela does not mean just dancing with somebody. It means you are willing to dance with life. You are willing to dance with your enemy, you are willing to dance with the one whom you love, you are willing to dance at the moment of your death. Only then there is Leela.” (Sadhguru)
To explore this path playfully, you need a heart full of love, a joyful mind, and a vibrant body — this is what I wanted for myself, for everyone. This line has been guiding me on everything I do and how I take care of my body, heart and mind.
During my pregnancy, Sachin always thought we were expecting a girl. I was so sure we were having a boy and had such a hard time to find a name for him. We actually went to the hospital without a boy’s name… Then the most beautiful surprise happened: a girl! That vibrant body, loving heart and joyful mind was born so playfully. She had a name, her mantra, the perfect meaning for her life and for what she is helping me to become: Leela.