Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank you, Ramesh

I was at Swami Nithyananda's ashram yesterday morning, around eight am, sitting under the Banyan tree in front of the dark and beautiful Dakshinamurthi, when I got an sms from an old friend, 'Are you awake?'

Suddenly, I was afraid. My friend is a Guru- Bandhu, someone I met in Ramesh Balsekar's Satsang. Ramesh had been unwell ever since Sharada passed away two months ago. I looked at Dakshinamurthi and felt my eyes go wet. I got up, hugged him (yes, you can hug this form) and drew the strength to make the call.

'Good Morning, Manju', she said cheerfully.

'Oh, Thank God. I was scared its some bad news.' I said.

'Bad news we have to prepared for, no? After all, he is not talking, he is very unwell, and his mind is alert, it must be so hard for him. For his sake, I hope he leaves the body soon.'

'I disagree. He is enlightened, he can take it. It's not just by talking that a master does his work. If you go and sit near him you will still feel the silence.'

'Yes, you are right. In fact, I am thinking of going to Mumbai to see him. One last time.'

'Do go. And give him my pranam.'

'I will.'

This was around eight in the morning. Around ten, I was sitting in the Anand Sabha of the Ashram, in front of Swamiji's photograph, waiting for a class in meditation therapy to begin. I looked at my silent mobile once again. There were two messages.

'Guruji passed away at nine this morning.'

'Ramesh Balsekar passed away at his residence at nine am. The funeral is at 4 pm.'

I covered my face and wept. I remembered Ramesh's feet, how I loved to look at them, to touch them.

I went near Swami's photograph and did a full prostration.

Thank you, Ramesh. For being the bright and beautiful light in a seekers life. Thankyou for welcoming me in your home day after day, year after year. Thank you for answering my questions, for treating me with so much respect, for cherishing my spiritual self. You gave us a space to sit, and that means so much for lost souls. You connected me with the sangha, the fellow seekers. All we had in common was you, and we became freinds.

Thank you for Ramana, for his photograph on your wall, which you pranamed every morning before the talk. Although you never spoke much of it, there was another photograph in your house. A fresh, sunlit mountain. Arunachala, Ramana's abode. Arunachala, Swami Nithyanandas spiritual incubator.

Thank you, Swami, for holding me in your lap when Ramesh passed away.

What a life! What a ride! Where Masters and Mountains, like mothers pass you on from one to another, watching over you as you play, until the time you can learn to fly.


Nino's Mum said...

hugs, manju.
All of us who read your book have shared an unconcious, perhaps unexpected chord with Ramesh, and I can only imagine your sense of
May he continue to guide you to peace. much love.

Anonymous said...

Today I played the Abhangas again. Wept while Tuzhe roop chitti raho played. "You take the Abhangas with you, Anjali," he had said. I had nodded yes. The enlightened master was asking me to do something, I was happy.

Yesterday we were in a book shop, and I had gotten attracted to this simple and small book on Ramana Maharishi. I got it. Your call came afterwards. I wonder if he was preparing me. This morning was spent reading about Ramana and listening to the Abhangas.

All his smiles are coming back to me, and also, gazing into his kind eyes after touching his feet. I just hope to get the peace that he so comfortably found in God's will and the cosmic law. Thank you Ramesh.

Meeta Jain said...

Dearest friend ,

i identify with your loss as i connected to Ramesh though you book..

this memoir is beautifully written , especially the last para..

..a beffiting ode to a bygone guru by a shishya who will always do him proud by the way she is evolving to understand and express..

lots and lots of hugs

Grasshopper said...

Nino's Mum,

Thank you for the condolences, darling. But how shall I say this? There is really no sense of bereavement. When love is expressed from all sides without any restraint whatsoever, when the fulfillment is complete, then the other becomes you and you become the other.
Yes, there are tears as I shall miss his form, but no, there is no sense of loss or even grief.
I once talked with Ramesh about death. I don't remember all he said, but what I do remember is this:

"The individual consciousness merges with the impersonal consciousness. And so, death HAS TO BE a very beautiful experience. The process of death may be painful, but the actual moment of death has to be extremely freeing."

Rajashree said...

"...the actual moment of death has to be extremely freeing."

So beautiful!

Nino's Mum said...

Beautifully put.
But there is much to learn before I truly understand this.
hope you're well.

Mr Jon said...

Well, I've just got the news and I feel sad.
Farewell Ramesh.
Hari Om.