Why our children should have Indian names
"When a child is born, a name is chosen by one of the Elderly people within the
community. The name is in the language of his/her people. The Great Spirit will
identify the child by this name. In ceremonies, prayers, public duties and in
healing rituals all the powers of the Spirit world will be at the service of the
holder of this name.
The name is believed to contain the thinking part of the soul. Around this name there will grow a kind of personality. As this child grows, it becomes more and more important for him/her to use his own name.
When he does well as an upright and useful person of fine character, other generations to come will seek after that name to hold it proudly. Thus a name will live forever.
Before us, we have a special gift from the Great Spirit. To all you people, acknowledge this name and use it whenever you refer to this child. Teach this child the language of our people: encourage him to be strong in our ways.
We must encourage our children to carry our own names, for it will help to keep our culture alive. Our culture is the way of life that the Great Spirit will hear us only by our Native names, for these names come from the Natural World.
THIS IS OUR WAY!" (Origin of this article is unknown.)
[Language is to be used with truth in the heart, says author White Deer of Autumn.]
"Today, the Native American child must also learn the power of the language that his ancestors understood. Whether it be a foreign tongue such as English, Spanish or French, or a Native one, such as Cree, Seminole, or Arapaho, the children must use language with truth in their hearts. They must use it to express their thoughts and gratitude to the concept of the Great Mystery. The Great Mystery is their ancestors' abstract idea of the source and origin of the Universe. In the Mystery all things share equal importance, and all things are part of the Great Mystery. The children must gather around the drums when they can, dance their feelings of life when they can, and listen to the melodies of the flute."
[The names of Lord Krishna reflects aspects of the Native American Traditions:]
Shri Govidampatih...The Supreme Lord of those who know pure speech
Shri Vainavini Vamsanadaya....The One who is the holder of the flute and the Sweet Sound of the flute-melody
Shri Americeshwari...The Lord of America
(Sahaja Yoga Mantra Book)
"[Lord Krishna] was a master musician. He gave lessons to Narada in the art of playing the vina. The music of his flute thrilled the hearts of the Gopis and of all."
[Shri Mataji tells us that we are [now] the flutes who are going to play the Melody of God, [thus] manifesting God's joy on this Earth:]
Tell all the nations and tell all the people, all over, the great message - that the time of Resurrection is Here. Now, at this time, and that you all are capable of doing it. You are the ones who are capable of manifesting God's joy on this earth. You are the flutes which are going to play the Melody of God. I am doing all this to perfect you to be the 'most' beautiful instruments of God. Like the ship is built, is brought to the sea, tried, and found out to be sea-worthy to sail out, when you know everything about the ship, everything about the sea, with complete freedom and wisdom, you have to sail now. Not afraid of any storms or any gales or any typhoons because now all you 'know'. Your job is to cross through."
(Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Australian Sahaja Newsletter, September 28,1996)
[Here is an additional Native story which speaks from the heart:]
"WHY INDIANS MUST SPEAK THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE"
"This man and woman wanted very much to be blessed with a child. They were very poor, but they knew that a child would bring them much happiness. Finally, after eight long years, the woman happily announced to her husband, that she was going to have a child. This brought them much joy. When the great day arrived, a baby girl was born.
Because they had only one child they began to spoil her. They loved their daughter so much that everything else was put aside, and all the attention and love went to her. The father brought and gave his daughter many toys and gifts that they really could not afford.
The mother and father both agreed that their child would not be raised the way they were. They remembered that their Indian ways were slowly dying out, and only the old people still attended the ceremonies. However they still knew the sacred songs and dances. They knew that people were beginning to change and were slowly losing respect for the language that was given to them.
They promised themselves that they would still carry on their Indian ways, but their little girl would learn the ways of the white man, for it seemed to them that this is the only way that Indian people would survive.
When the little girl was old enough to attend school, she was sent to a boarding school in the ciy. They bought her clothes that they really could not afford. They also continued to buy gifts and toys that they could not afford.
They thought they were doing the right thing, but when their little girl was eight years old, she became very sick. She stayed in bed for a long time. Her health did not improve any and one day the Creator took her life back. Her parents were deeply saddened by the death of their only child. They wept and asked the Creator why He took their only possession.
Ten days after they had buried their daughter, she reappeared and delivered a message from the Creator. She told her parents that she met a man on her long journey who asked her what her "Indian" name was. "What is your Indian name?" he asked. He asked her if she knew how to speak her Indian language, and if she knew her sacred laws. She told him that her parents never taught her any of her Indian Culture.
The little girl brought the following message which tells us not to stray from the original teachings. She said, 'I will leave you now, for the Creator has taken me home. He has accepted me because it is not the fault of the young ones if the parents do not teach them the Creator's Laws. Tell our people, if we are to live as a people, then it is our Creator's Sacred Laws that we must carry in order for our Nation to survive.'
She told her parents that this is why the Creator sent her back to remind them and all other people of the Indian race - that He made us who we are for a purpose. He gave us many gifts which we are to enjoy during our life-cycle. He gave our Indian language which we were to use to communicate with Him. He gave us ceremonies by which we express our thanks. We were given our own Native names. This is the name our Creator will recognize. He gave us songs to pay tribute with to all of the life-cycle. He gave us a way of dance to express our joy of living. He gave all this to our people. He also gave us sacred laws which we are to use during our life-cycle."
"This story I have heard many times from my grandparents and other elders. When this story is told today, the elders cry because many of our young people are lost and they have no one left to guide them back to their original teachings."
Michael Mitchell, Watenenriio
[Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi speaks of the necessity to guide children properly in spiritual ways, not to spoil them.]
"I hope you all look after your children, guide them properly and take them to a level of understanding that they understand what is their position, what qualities they should have, why will they be respected."(Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi,Ganesha Puja, 2003)
"Today I just wanted to tell you that children are to be brought up in a proper way. That means that you shouldn't spoil them, firstly...." "So the love of a person should not be such that it should spoil people."(Lane Cover River Park Picnic, Sydney, Australia, April 5, 1994)
" But it is the duty of bigger Sahaja Yogis to look after them; [children] to have better moral standards, to have better lives so that they follow your life and become genuinely good Sahaja Yogis. It's a very big responsibility, perhaps we don't recognize it, we don't understand, but all these are little creatures which are after the image of great souls and they should be brought up in that way, respected in that manner and loved with great care. This is to be understood."(Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Shri Ganesha Puja, 2003)
White Deer of Autumn. The Native Book of Life. Hillsboro, Oregon 97124-6074.Beyond Words Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-941831-43-4(v.2)pp. 42,43
Michael Mitchell Watenenriio
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