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’.

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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.

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