Earth's White Swan
Paramahansa - The Great White Swan
Swans are revered in many religions and cultures, especially Hinduism. The Sanskrit word for swan is hamsa or hansa, and it is the vehicle of many deities like the goddess Saraswati. The Swan is mentioned several times in the Vedic literature, and persons who have attained great spiritual capabilities are sometimes called Paramahansa ("Great Swan") due to their spiritual grace and ability to travel between various spiritual worlds. In the Vedas, swans are said to reside in the summer on Lake Manasarovar (at the base of Mt. Kailas) and migrate to Indian lakes for the winter, eat pearls, and separate milk from water in a mixture of both.
Paramahansa, an enlightened being, has the capacity of changing water into wine, poison into milk, Yin into Yang, black into white. One meaning of Ahan or Aham is the self. Para means higher. A Paramahamsa is one who is in constant contact with the Higher Self, the atma or soul, and this is only possible when the lower self is being constantly cleaned through transmutation of the negative energies of the body—illness; the emotional body—anger, depression and fear; and the mental body—wrong thoughts like selfish desire, ignorance of the soul and selfish attachment.
The Paramahansa signifies purity personified.