Nov. 9th, 2011
My friend from the ashram school called me last week and told me that her father had died. I couldn’t believe it; just the other day I was at sitting on their couch, talking to her dad about this and that. He was a strong and healthy man who taught boxing. Its hard to understand how he could have succumbed to a heart attack.
I went to visit her today. Seeing her and her mother grieving made my heart ache. She conversed with me well enough, but she would often get a faraway look, as if the desolation of her father’s death has stolen the sparkle from her eyes.
Life is so precious. It is so easy to take our family members for granted, they have been a part of our lives longer than anyone. We think our family will be always there until they aren’t.
In Hinduism, the body of the deceased is burned, and the ashes spread on a sacred or significant body of water. Once when I was at the beach with the British architects, we watched a funeral procession. The body was carried along the beach in a decorated float, and people silently walked alongside. The path was spread with garlands of flowers, to make a beautiful path to the next life.
“On the day of Thy transcending
the mortal remains of Thy living,
I asked Thee again and again
with tears incessantly streaming
from the depths of my being:
O Lord of self-efflugent Light,
O Lord of Bliss everlasting,
Why hast Thou forsaken me,
who sought none but Thee
to lead me on Thy path of Bliss?
Deep came Thy reply,
ringing sure and clear, echoing in my vacant heart:
“I’ve not left you, be sure,
O my daughter of Delight.
I shall ever be by your side
and lead you through
every ebb and perilous tide.”
-Kailas Jhaveri, ‘Awakening,’ Aug 2011, Sri Aurobindo Society