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My earthly father introduces me to mother earth

August 28, 2010

On Earth Day 2010 my father’s earthly remains, clarified by fire, were consigned with prayer in the waters of the holy River Ganga.

The hills of Uttaranchal in the foothills of the mighty Himalaya mountains bore silent testimony as a gibbous moon looked on. When I looked up, I saw the pole star, and remembered the days of my childhood when Dada would point it out to me “That is the evening star. It is the brightest star in the sky. It is also the morning star. In English it’s called Venus. In Hindi, we call it Dhruv tara.”

One star shining in the Milky way galaxy, watching a new star being born from the ashes of his physical body. “When someone dies, he becomes a star.”That is what I remembering hearing in childhood.

As we grew, my father would point out trees to us as we walked. Its name, its special characteristics. My love of earth and of trees and his lessons; who knows what came first?  He would talk to us of other lands, and people in other countries, some of whom were our relatives or close friends, and so from childhood, his favorite quote was very real to me. “Vasudev kutumbakam. The whole earth is family.”

Seven years ago my parents visited the Everglades. As a special concession he agreed to put mosquito cream, but as it turned out there were no mosquitoes that day! How my mom laughed, because I had insisted they spray the offending stuff even under their clothes!

As we waited on the banks of Ganga mata [Mother Ganga, River Ganges] for the last rites ,  I gazed out at the wooded hills of Uttaranchal. Somewhere there is mystical abode of the Goddess Suradevi,  not known even to those who live there, except sages. One such had come down to us with a simple, clear message – Pray, Pray, Pray, Gaia is calling you. In the blessed time that I knew him, through an online community and later through phone calls [“a marvelous invention’, my mother says], Eli, or Swami Shraddhsudhasharanda, became as my spiritual father, something he neither sought nor one that was ever spoken between us. We spoke of his mission, and he saw my devotion to mother Earth,sharing in my joy at signs that she was giving her blessings.

Swamiji left for the hills, to be in samadhi [deep meditation] in his sookshma state [non-material body]. So there I was, one father flowing into the Ganga and another who had consigned his body to the sacred space of Suradevi.

I felt the embrace of them all, father, mother, spiritual father,  Mother Earth,  and a being who is rising from Goddess   into a oneness called Gaia.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara permalink
    August 30, 2010 10:46 am

    These are precious memories of your mothers and your fathers, Meenakshi. You’ve been so blessed with wise teachers. Their lessons stay deep within us, don’t they?

  2. September 1, 2010 9:46 am

    Barbara, you’re right; I’ve been blessed beyond measure. And that continues with friends as you.

  3. September 4, 2010 7:27 pm

    “The whole earth is family.” That teaching is wonderful in itself, Meenakshi. Next time I look up and see the stars I will think of your father. Bless you, and him, and our Gaia.

    • September 8, 2010 12:38 am

      Looking upwards with you, Kathy! I was in the school hostel once, for a few weeks and each time I missed my family, I’d gaze at the moon thinking that they were looking at the same moon, and somehow they’d seem closer.

  4. November 24, 2010 7:21 pm

    Tears of joy reading this article. You make the web seem like we are together sharing rituals as you have with your most sacred family. Bliss to you for these gifts you share.

    • November 26, 2010 8:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy. When I see the writing reflect back through you, the words take on meanings in another dimension.
      Truly, you are my family too, and that is why I share.
      Mitakuye oyasin

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