Category: OM


Here’s something interesting about swans, or hamsas, as mentioned in the Nada Bindu Upanishad, taken from The Voice of Silence by H.P. Blavatsky

Kala Hamsa, the “Bird” or Swan… “A is considered to be its (the bird Hamsa’s) right wing, U, its left, M, its tail, and the Ardha-matra (half metre) is said to be its head.”
AUM

Some Sanskrit mystics locate seven planes of being, the seven spiritual lokas or worlds within the body of Kala Hamsa, the Swan out of Time and Space, convertible into the Swan in Time, when it becomes Brahma instead of Brahma (neuter).

Aum, Om, ॐ

And from the Hamsa Upanishad :

…one should contemplate upon Hamsa as the Āṭmā in his heart. Agni and Soma are its wings (right and left sides); Omkāra is its head; Ukāra and binḍu are the three eyesand face respectively; Ruḍra and Ruḍrāṇī (or Ruḍra’s wife) are the feet kanthaṭa (or the realisation of the oneness of jīvāṭmā or Hamsa, the lower self with Paramāṭmā or Paramahamsa, the Higher Self) is done in two ways, (samprajñāṭaand asamprajñāṭa).

More mention of swans in the Rig Veda:

Book 5, Hymn LXXVIII. Aśvins.

1. YE Aśvins, hither come to us: Nāsatyas, be not disinclined.
Fly hither like two swans unto the juice we shed.
2. O Aśvins, like a pair of deer, like two wild cattle to the mead:
Fly hither like two swans unto the juice we shed.
3. O Aśvins rich in gifts, accept our sacrifice to prosper it:
Fly hither like two swans unto the juice we shed.

HYMN XXXV. Asvins.  8: Ye fly like swans, like those who travel on their way; like buffaloes ye seek the Soma we have shed.
Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, come thrice, O Asvins, to our home.

HYMN XLV. Asvins: 4: The swans ye have are friendly, rich in store of mcath, gold-pinioned, strong to draw, awake at
early morn, Swimming the flood, exultant, fain for draughts that cheer: ye come like flies to our libations of-the
meath.

HYMN CLXIII. The Horse: 5: With brightly-flarning kine whose udders swell with milk, idth glittering lances on your
unobstructed paths, Put forth their strength, like swans in lengthened order, when they, the Steeds, have reached the

heavenly causeway. 

HYMN CLXIII. The Horse: 10: Symmetrical in flank, with rounded haunches, mettled like heroes, the Celestial Coursers
Put forth their strength, like swans in lengthened order, when they, the Steeds, have reached the heavenly causeway.

HYMN LIX. Maruts. 7: Decking the beauty of their forms in secret the Swans with purple backs have flown down hither.
Around me all the Company hath settled, like joyous Heroes glad in our libation.

HYMN XCVII. Soma Pavamana: 8: The Swans, the Vrsaganas from anear us have brought their restless spirit to our dwelling.
Friends come to Pavamana meet for praises, and sound in concert their resistless music. Ye singers, with the Gods, sages who look on men, ye Kutikas drink up the Soma’s savoury meath.

HYMN LIII. Indra, Parvata, Etc.: 10: Like swans, prepare a song of praise with pressing-stones, glad in your hymns with juice poured
forth in sacrifice.

The Rig Veda: Ralph T.H. Griffith English translation

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Ever since God appeared to me in a dream as a pair of swans, I’ve wondered about the significance of those swans.

Why swans? Why not doves, pheasants, or elephants? Prior to that blessed experience, I had no particular attraction to swans, other than I thought they were a pretty and graceful animal. Occasionally I’d photograph them swimming on a nearby lake, but that was the extent of my interest in the creature, and I didn’t associate swans with anything spiritual.

When this happened, way back in 1999, I was working very long hours, often 7 days a week, and I had no computer or internet access. Very little  time and energy for book stores or libraries either. Soon years had passed, and only recently was I finally able to afford a computer and begin researching swans and how they relate to God and the divine. Unfortunately I’m disappointed to have found very little information which might shed more light on my particular experience.

I do however distinctly recall reading somewhere… possibly in the Upanishads or similar literature, it being said that “In times of great distress God may choose to visit us in our dreams in the form of a swan.” I could kick myself for not bookmarking or remembering the source, and I’m still trying to dig it back up. But at the time I read those words, I was so enchanted and overjoyed by my encounter with God, it didn’t really seem to matter. I didn’t need any outside confirmation that what I’d experienced was a legitimate divine visitation, not merely a dream. Still, it was quite lovely to read the words and discover I’m not the only person on the planet who knows God visits us this way. I fell to my knees, thanking and praising God with tears in my eyes.

Now before I continue, I’d like to explain why I still haven’t published a detailed account of my experience. It’s mostly because I currently don’t have access to my original notes. Not long after this occurred, while the memory was still fresh in my mind, I took pen to paper to accurately describe the experience. Over a decade has passed, and my memories have faded.  So I’d really like to get my hands on those notes before attempting to relate my experience to others. Sadly the notes are buried somewhere deep in storage hundreds of miles away, so I’m forced to hold off on that. And I also want to accompany my story with detailed illustrations, which I’m presently unable to produce because I lack the proper tools. In the meantime, all I can do is keep this website running, in the hope of finding others who’ve had a similar or identical experience, and try to gain more insight into the meaning behind those mystical, magical, miraculous swans.

Clearly the swan, or Hamsa, has great spiritual significance in Hindu belief, and in yoga. The swan is the vehicle or Vāhana of Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswathi. Primarily it symbolizes discrimination. It is told the Hamsa is bestowed with the ability to separate milk from water, or truth from illusion, the eternal from the impermanent, etc.

When I was a teen, first learning about yoga and seeking God, I recall filling a scrap book with magazine clippings. Photo reminders of everything I identified as being Māyā (माया) or illusion. Things like physical beauty, sex appeal, drugs, money, jewelry, fancy clothes and so on. Fleeting worldly delights so many seek, covet and hoard. I did this in the hope it would keep me from falling under their wicked spell and lose my faith. Lose sight of God and eternal truth.

So for me the significance of God manifesting as swans was to say; Don’t lose your ability to discriminate between truth and illusion. Don’t give in to earthly desires, or fear or hatred. Don’t forget who and what you truly are. You are the swan, the Hamsa, and this is your home. I am your home.

It makes good sense, considering how I’d strayed far from God’s light and was drifting deeply into a hellish black abyss of depression, anger, fear, and ignorance.
But why two swans, instead of one, or three or seven? And why did they move together, side by side, and arch their strong wings in perfect sync? Surely there is also importance to this. Surely God knows what he’s doing.

The synchronized pair of swans represented unity and harmony, but perhaps also symbolized duality, as taught in Advaita philosophy.

Advaita (a+dvaita = non-duality) simply means that the Source, by whatever name known – Primal Energy, Consciousness, Awareness, Plenitude, God – is Unicity, Oneness, Non-duality. The manifestation that arises or emerges from the Source is based on duality, the inevitable existence of interconnected opposites: male and female, beauty and ugliness, good and evil. At any moment there are bound to be interconnected opposites. The sage accepts the duality that is the basis of life and is anchored in peace and tranquility while facing the pleasures and pains of life exactly like the ordinary person. The ordinary person does not accept the duality, the existence of interconnected opposites at any moment of life, chooses between them and is unhappy. The sage accepts the ‘duality’ of life; the ordinary person chooses between the interconnected opposites, and lives in the unhappiness of ‘dualism’.

source

So maybe God was reminding me there is no real separation between anything. Not this and that, or up and down, good and evil, earth and heaven, or you and I, or us and God. They’re two halves of the same coin. To attain inner peace we must realize and accept this truth. And never forget everything in this world will at some point turn to dust.. slip through our hands like the sands of time. Only God is eternal everlasting truth.

I suppose I could pick away at the mystery and meaning forever, but it really doesn’t need to be so complicated. The brilliant white light that streamed from the swan’s wings was the true message. The light that came the night I surrendered my soul to God. And that message was… You are dearly loved. I have not forgotten you, little cygnet. You’ve forgotten your true self, that’s all. You’ve forgotten who and what you really are. So now that you’ve finally surrendered yourself to me, here I am and this is where you forever belong.

Thank you Lord, for that wonderful gift. I only wish I could share your message with the world, with something better than crude words. I wish that you would visit every man woman and child this way, as swans of love and light. But I suppose each of us must find you in our own time and way. Maybe the only way we can see those splendid swans is through total unconditional surrender.

It’s never too late to surrender your life and soul directly to God, and if you do I hope the swans will come to you. No need for intermediaries, because he can hear your thoughts wherever you are. But before you do… be sure you’re sincere about it, or you might be ignored. God knows the difference between true surrender and empty promises.

Artwork by Pat Brennan

Who am I?

I am that
I am that I am
I myself am the Swan

Soham (so ‘ham सो ऽहम्) is the Sanskrit for “I myself” or “It is I” or “He is I”.

The mantra is also inverted from so ‘ham (the sandhi of saḥ + aham) to ham + sa. The combination of so ‘haṃ haṃsaḥ has also been interpreted as “I myself am the Swan”, where the swan symbolizes the Atman. “Atman” is the individual soul or essence. The essence that is eternal, unchanging, and indistinguishable from the essence of the universe.

In the Bible, when God was asked what his name is, He answered ” I Am That I Am’. In Sanskrit, the most ancient of languages, the sound of the inhalation is termed So, and the exhalation is Ham. Combined, the word Soham is translated as “I Am He/That”. So, whenever you are doing this technique, you are calling on God. Every breath thus becomes a prayer and adoration. Soham is referred to as the “Mahamantra”, the Greatest Mantra, and is considered along with Om to be the most powerful of all techniques. The divine energy of Soham is limitless heavenly love and light. -source

Related info:

Soham (or Sohum) mantra audio example (mp3) courtesy of swamij.com
Meditation on the white swan (Hunsani)

I am that I am (Vivekananda)

Happy Birthday to Me

49 times round the sun, so many things I want to say to the world before the clock strikes twelve and my stagecoach becomes a pumpkin.

Not nearly enough time now to articulate my many complicated thoughts and feelings, so let me just simplify and say

I love you all. Impersonally, impartially. And I forgive you all. One day, we’ll all understand, almost everything. So let’s work on that goal together, shall we? In the meantime, please stop judging, hating, and hurting one another.

God bless each and every one of you, my many beautiful brothers and sisters.

“The Hamsa Upanishad teaches an ascent through six mystical circles [chakras, lotuses, vortexes] on to the Brahmarandhra at the top of the head. This ascent is had by meditation of the syllable Om as it becomes audible within. Hamsa repetition may help that “thunder”, the medley sound called OM, to come to the fore. Then it is fit to keep it audible as long and often as you can.

OM

This mantra-king (hamsa) has a symbolical interpretation – the individual Atman (soul) is conceived in the form of a bird, a Hamsa (goose, duck, swan).

It is told that the Hamsa and the Paramahamsa (Supreme Swan) are one – that is, the individual and the highest Atman (Spirit) are one and the same in essence.”

-Source

*Many thanks to nvg.org and freesound.org

Brahman

Brahman is now considered to be the one Absolute Reality behind changing appearances. ॐ


Saraswati, सरस्वती, சரஸ்வதி : Goddess of knowledge, music and the arts. She is the consort of Brahma, and is considered to be the mother of the Vedas. There are varying interpretations of the word & name Sarasvati, eg; The one who gives the essential knowledge, or essence (Sara) of our own self (sva)… and, “saras” (meaning “flow”) and “wati” (meaning “a woman”).

Namaste 🙂

I created this site in the hope of finding the rare few souls in this world who have experienced a profound spiritual epiphany involving swans.

Many years ago, I surrendered my soul wholly and unconditionally to God, during a terribly dark and painful time in my life.

It is my unwavering belief, that I was subsequently visited by God, that very same day, in a dream. God appeared to me from within the darkness, manifesting as a pair of snow white swans. The swans glided out of the shadows upon the waters of a long fountain – and in unison – arched their wings high, then swept them across the surface of the water toward me. I was showered with a brilliant burst of white light, and an incredible feeling of love, joy, compassion, understanding, unity, harmony, and belonging, poured through the core of my soul.

I’m gradually writing a detailed account of that blessed experience. However, it may take a long time before my work is complete. I ask that those of you who are interested be patient. My life is constantly changing, often in upheaval, and this is a rather complicated and difficult task.

In the meantime, if you believe that you also were visited by a divine presence or force, God, manifesting in the shape of a swan, or if you know more about this splendid phenomenon, please contact me. I’d love to hear your story and learn as much as I can.

Sincerely,

~Cygnus

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