Religion, Love & Isvara Pranidhana

August 26, 2013

 

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Faith is a tricky word and an even trickier concept. To put something so deep & meaningful into words, let alone into practice can take years or even decades.

Faith is a word that is deeper than hope, more than religion and more intense than a commitment. It has vast meanings and endless possibilities. Just like yoga, it is unique to you & close to indescribable.

The closest I can come to describing my lifestyle, my yoga, my love & my God is with the expression Isvara Pranidhana. It is a sanskrit expression embedded within the yoga sutras, meaning surrender to God {or letting go to the way of the universe}. It is the idea that everything will work out the way that it should.

As a young girl, I grew up Christian. I have a very deep commitment to my church and have an interconnected church family. I dreamed of marrying the man of my dreams at the altar and did so just shy of two years ago.

I always had faith, a deep faith that everything would work out the way that it should and that I was on a path. In college, I took a Judaic studies course and loved learning about another religion and another culture. I then began to ask everyone about their backgrounds and became interested in learning as much as I was able. It’s so interesting to learn where everyone comes from, and what the base of their belief system is and where it stems from. Culture, just like linguistics is one of my favorite subjects!

In the coming years, I discovered yoga! As I’ve mentioned before, yoga is NOT a religion but it is spiritual. It only enhanced my own faith and made me feel closer and more connected. Once I met my husband, my mother in law took me to temple. I loved learning about the hindu Gods and I am always asking questions. My in-laws provide me with as much as they are able, and I love every single moment of it!

When my husband and I decided to get married, we had a chat with my minister. My husband has a beautiful melting pot of religions in his background, including Catholicism, Hinduism and more! As we were talking to my minister, we asked him about the blending of cultures and raising our future children. His response was beautiful & encouraging: “As I observe, almost all religions point UP!” His message to us was to continue living a good life, and looking “up” while blending however we saw fit.

And we have. In my daily life I have yoga & meditation. On Sundays (if I’m able) I’m at church. If I cannot make it to church, I find nature or breath… but I always come back to my faith. My personal mantra: Isvara Pranidhana.

Almost two weeks ago, I took my commitment a little bit deeper. I decided to make my commitment a permanent and open reminder for not only myself but for others to see. As I mentioned, it is so difficult to put your faith into words…. but I’ve tried and I will always keep trying to live a good, positive and loving life.

My surprise is my latest addition.

Isvara Pranidhana tattooed on my right forearm. A constant reminder of practice, breath, faith & love.

 

 

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One of the main intentions and purposes in my life, is to provide happiness, light & love to the world: to YOU! I’ve often heard that “Tattoos have power and magic all on their own. They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul.” – {Michelle Delio} This beautiful message resonates quite deeply with me. It took me years to finally come to this decision and take that leap of faith. I couldn’t be happier to have jumped because I know I have been caught & embraced! THIS is my biggest expression of self-love and I’m so excited to have you on this journey with me!

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I would love to hear from you in the comments below! Do you have any tattoos with a deep and significant meaning? Or perhaps a story and a love of your own faith and your own unique path. Please leave it in the comments below, as I’d love to learn more about YOUR story.

Get out there – do yoga — EXPRESS YOURSELF & make life sparkle
JAI MA!!
Jenny

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply Sabrina at MyMiBoSo August 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    What a beautiful reflection around faith and your spiritual journey, Jenny! I too was raised Christian, and it was actually the testing of my faith that made it stronger! Although I no longer identify with the Christian doctrine, I have a stronger relationship than ever with God, and I agree that all religions with “God is love” at the root are pointing in the same direction :). P.S. Beautiful tattoo! I have one of a vine on my back that reminds me that we are all connected!

    • Reply Jenny R August 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks Sabrina πŸ™‚ I am loving my new tattoo!! I appreciate your insight. Testing of our faith is the biggest test you can weather. Thank you for sharing a piece of your past & your beliefs. I love hearing about everyone else’s backgrounds!! πŸ™‚

      Thanks again. ❀❀

  • Reply Krista August 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    What a beautiful site! I love your openness and authenticity – it can’t help but shine through!

    • Reply Jenny R August 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks krista πŸ™‚ I appreciate the compliment. I try to be as authentic as possible–continuing to spread joy every day!! I hope you have a wonderful evening. ❀❀

  • Reply Yasmine August 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Hi

    What a great story of evolving your beliefs. I am really into interfaith dialogues here in Singapore and love to explore areas of similarity, mediation and misunderstandings!

    Love it

    • Reply Jenny R September 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Yasmine! I appreciate that πŸ™‚ I LOVE exploring other cultures while also maintaining my faith. It creates a wonderful experience. Thanks again for commenting!

  • Reply Laura Kennedy September 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Wow — I stumbled upon your blog today and then read about your tattoo which led me to this post! A few months ago, I also wanted to get a tattoo that resonated with me deeply… something I firmly believed in and wanted a reminder of on my body. I came across the mantra of “Hari Om” which I feel strongly relates to the idea of Ishvara Pranidhana (I was actually thinking about getting that as an alternative as I was more confident in its translation, but decided to stick with my intuition)! For me, Hari Om means the idea of Surrendering to the higher power (whether that is The Universe/The Divine/God, etc) and trusting that things will work out the way they should. I know have it tattooed in a small, neat, sanskrit-looking font on my right ribs.

    Have you ever been introduced to the mantra Hari Om? What is your translation of it? I’m always interested in hearing how other people describe it and it isn’t prominent on the internet (from what I’ve seen on Google anyway)!

    Thank you for your blog — I really enjoyed being introduced to it today!

    • Reply Jenny R September 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Laura!

      Thank you so much for your comment and interest in the blog. πŸ™‚

      My definition of Hari Om is a protection from God. The act that we can see or feel Vishnu, the Hindu God and that you are protected. It is in a sense similar to Isvara Pranidhana. I love that youve gotten it tattooed. Hopefully with more poking around on the blog, I’ll answer additional questions you may have!! I also recently wrote a mantras article for Boho Daily by Tiny Devotions if you’re interested in learning more mantras.

      Jai ma!! Xx jenny

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