Yesterday I mentioned that people may get confused about statements in my past diaries that are completely different from what I write today. This is not the only thing however that people get confused about. I have been repeatedly asked about my name, my getup and even the name of our website and would like to write the answers to these questions in today’s diary entry.
Maybe the most common question is ‘Why don’t you remove the title Swami?’ The next question that follows right after is ‘Why are you wearing those spiritual kind of clothes?’
People think this would be the logical thing for me to do. I was a guru and I was spiritual and religious. They associate the word ‘Swami’ with religion and think if I left religion I should also leave this part of my name behind and dress like everybody else who is non-religious.
Now let me tell you what I answer to this: I am what I am. I am not trying to remove a part of my personality nor do I have any hidden history. I tell everybody clearly and openly who I was and who I am now. Why would I have to change my name?
People who ask me about the title ‘Swami’ see it in a religious light. Why don’t you see its original meaning? I already explained once that it means master or owner and I believe that I did not give any religion or guru the ownership of myself. I am my own master and owner and in this way I believe there is nothing wrong if I keep the ‘Swami’ in front of my name. And if you are free from any foreign master, I would not object if you did the same.
I am Swami Balendu and have been Swami Balendu for many years. If I remove the ‘Swami’, the next step will be that people ask me to change my name ‘Balendu’, too. Literally it only means ‘little moon’ but as my father is a spiritual person he chose a name from the scriptures and it is a name connected with Shiva. So will people request me to change this name, too, because I am not religious anymore?
I know many people whose parents chose a name of God for them like ‘Ram Kumar’, ‘Lakshmi’ or ‘Gopal’. These people went their own way in their lives and actually decided to be atheists. Now should they change their names?
Even though I believe that it is not necessary for me to take away the ‘Swami’, I encourage anybody who does not want to use this word, to just call me Balendu. Many of my friends do and I assure you that I am absolutely fine with this, too.
In the same way people ask about the name of our website ‘Jaisiyaram’. It contains the name of God ‘Ram’. We chose this name when we were deeply religious and until now we have changed a lot. But in those 12 years that we already run our website, we feel that it is like a child for us which we have raised, taken care of and helped to grow. No, we won’t change that either.
You may be unhappy about it but I will not sit here in jeans and t-shirt tomorrow, Balendu Goswami, starting a website with a fully different name. I am not going to try and change history and delete this part of me and my life. You cannot just go and take out unpleasant parts of history out of the books. In the same way I will not even remove old diary entries of my blog, as some people have requested.
If you only look at me, hear my name and maybe read the name of my website, I may seem religious to you. If you come a bit closer, you will notice that I am not. I am happy that exactly those people will get attracted who are intrigued by this contrast. It will be those people who can get inspired by seeing my process, the way from being a deeply religious person to a fully non-religious person.
I can’t change my past and I don’t want to. I am who I am and don’t deny any part of that. I keep my personal history open for you to see. Maybe it will show you the way out of a religion, out of a sect, away from a fake guru and from superstition and towards taking your own responsibility.