The Deepest Personal Love Possible
Rajshree Patel Shares her Experience with Gurudev
This experience is shared by Rajshree Patel (Senior Faculty -Art of Living Foundation)
Have you ever witnessed or experienced a religious festival in India?
Such festivals are, to say the least, frenzied events. I somehow procured an invitation to attend the Navaratri (literally means “nine nights”) celebrations, which honours the nine aspects of the Mother Divine, at the Bangalore ashram. There it was, and continues to be, a celebrations, which honours the nine aspects of the Mother Divine, at the Bangalore Ashram. There it was, and continues to be, a celebration of silence amidst chaos. The atmosphere was simply electrifying. In spite of huge crowds, there was this incredible energy and serenity that I had never felt before.
After the festivities, we were sitting in a group with Bhanudidi, when she remarked: `This is the first Navaratri without Amma.’ I suddenly realized it had been a year since she had passed away. Bhanudidi continued talking about Amma’s last days: `I found her behaviour odd. It was strange that a strong-willed woman like her, who had always been in charge of everything, seemed to be turning over all responsibility. Maybe she was preparing me to take care of the house, children and family. However, she performed all the yagnas fully.’ The day after Navaratri, she was hospitalized.
When Amma (Guruji’s mom) breathed her last in 2000, Sri Sri was at Varanasi. There were about 8000 people whom he had to address the very day he lost the person dearest to him. I was with him that day and saw the depth of his silence, serenity and patience in attending to everybody in those difficult moments. Yet the smile did not fade. To the devotees who were with Guruji at the time, and knew of his attachment to Amma, it was a lesson in equanimity.
Rajshree Patel recalls: `I always knew he loved his mother very dearly, but I did not realize the depth of his love until after she had passed away. At the International Millennium Course in Italy, a month or so after the death of his mother, I discovered yet another dimension to Sri Sri. On one hand everyone is the same to him, his love is impersonal and yet, I was learning, it was deeply personal. We were sitting in an assembly of 1500 to 2000 people. Someone in the front row was holding a magazine with Amma’s photo in it. Sri Sri, with a certain depth in his voice, was speaking of the importance of gratitude in life.
After a brief pause Sri Sri said:
“There was a woman in my life who loved me more than herself.” Everyone sat up. He gestured to the magazine and added: “She was my mother.” A tear of deep love and gratitude for her rolled down his face, and I suddenly felt a total connectedness to him and started crying uncontrollably. And for the first time in all the years that I knew him, I saw the deepest personal love possible, free of attachment and demands, yet full of gratitude.’
Thanks to Kekuji for sharing this.