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.'
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.