Meaning of Keshav
Several years ago, at the end of a weekend intensive with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, she looked into my soul and called me Keshav. As she explained, “It is one who is recognized as a great yogi, teacher and dreamer – who shines most brilliantly like the sun beyond all darkness.” Having someone look into my soul and see me, really see me, was actually both exhilarating and unnerving.
The invitation that Gurumayi extended was for me to see into my own true nature – into no–thingness. A willingness to be exposed, to be very naked, was greater than my desire to hide a general sense of unworthiness. Throughout the years, that story of “me” vacillated between profound expressions of arrogance (super-ego) and looking for love in all the wrong places (ego). As I fell into the fear of exposure, and was willing to bear it without adding a thought or meaning, I experienced a place of profound and vibrant stillness – I was in ecstasy! I was shocked, because that was the very last place that I imagined peace to exist.
Subsequent to the experience outlined above, I embraced the name Keshav emotionally, spiritually and legally. It is a continued reminder to me not to force anything, not to avoid anything and not to land anywhere. My invitation to you is to jump into your fears and to embrace no–thingness without any hope of a reward, or need to know what will happen, and to see for yourself what is neither a thought nor a feeling and does not come and go.
An Ancient Story of Keshav: Keshav, the gana with long hair, once saw Shiva drinking something from his skull bowl. “Lord, I am thirsty too,” he said. Shiva held out his bowl – it contained poison, all the lethal elements of the world. Keshav looked at it and gulped it down, thinking, “Whatever my Lord offers is like nectar to me.” Shiva was pleased by this display of unrestrained devotion. He rewarded Keshav with a vision of the three worlds: heaven, earth, and hell, in the past, present and future. Keshav the great dreamer became one with the cosmos, witnessing what no one had ever seen before: the very heart of the universe, its very essence, its beauty and its ugliness, its eternal flux and its perfect stability. Keshav was in ecstasy!