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Monday, July 02, 2007

We are destined to become Hansas -- Birds of Heaven

We are destined to become Hansas -- Birds of Heaven

This is the entry for "Hansa" in the glossary of Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry -- Selections, published by the Beas Satsang.

Hansa: A white swan; esoterically, a soul purified by Shabd [the Holy Stream of Light and Sound]. In Indian spiritual literature, a hansa is symbolic of grace and purity; it is believed that the natural drink of a swan is milk or nectar (amrit), and its natural food is pearls, diamonds and rubies, which signify Shabd. It is further believed that the beak of a swan has the unique ability to drink milk (nectar) after filtering out the dirty water or poison of maya with which it is mixed. As long as a soul is conditioned by karma and dominated by mind and matter, it is an ugly crow. Its transformation into a swan begins in Daswan Dwar, where, in the process of its spiritual enlightenment, it sheds its gross coverings. The process culminates in Sach Khand, the region of immortality. Soami Ji generally refers to all souls in Daswan Dwar and beyond as hansas, but he has also occasionally used the term for devoted disciples who are on their way to becoming swans.

O Swan-Soul, Where Are You Going?

Swan, I'd like you to tell me your whole story!
Where you first appeared, and what dark sand you are going toward,
and where you sleep at night, and what you are looking for…

It's morning, swan, wake up, climb in the air, follow me!
I know of a country that spiritual flatness does not control,
— nor constant depression,
and those alive are not afraid to die.
There, wildflowers come up through the leafy floor,
and the fragrance of “I am he” floats on the wind.

There the bee of the heart stays deep inside the flower,
and cares for no other thing.

– Version by Robert Bly, The Kabir Book, Beacon Press