Thank you,Doris, for sharing your inspiration and a few of Guru's stories about visiting his sister Lily.
I just submitted a post about our function here in New York celebrating Lily-di's birthday on Oct.27. Then I read your post and I was inspired to include a few of my own reminiscences of 1978 when she came here to New York to visit us and to be with Guru for half a year. Some of these I extracted from a post I wrote last year after we celebrated Lily-di's birthday here as well.
Coming from the very warm climate of Southern India, as she lived most of her life in the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, Lily seemed to have a hard time adjusting to the extremely opposite weather of an icy cold New York winter. I remember her especially in the first month wearing lots of warm coats, hats, gloves, etc. even inside at functions sometimes. But she was always so compassionate and motherly to everyone and loved to be involved in our events.
Celebrating her birthday last night at Aspiration-Ground brought back some of those wonderful moments I personally can remember after 32 years since she was here. Although I did not spend much time with her as some of the Annam Brahma girls and others did, just to get Prasad from her at our Centre meetings or have her present at a function was always very inspiring. It always made Guru happy as well whenever Lily was present at many of the events.
One very amusing event we once had at the original Progress-Promise meditation hall was a Sari contest put on by the boys. Lily was the judge as the boys had to come out wearing a sari to the amusement of everyone. We were judged on how nice the sari was and how it was put on. Some guys even put on wigs to make it look authentic and add more levity to the situation. Lily had to see each one and at times would modestly cover her mouth as she laughed and laughed at some of the amusing `models' and how they wore their saris.
It was fun going up in front of our special guest `judge', but needless to say I did not do well in the scoring. Perhaps I did not spend enough money on my sari or practice wearing it enough. But it was all in the name of fun and Lily-di seemed to enjoy it the most.
We even took Lily to amusement parks in the summer, the beach, a horse racetrack and other places where she could experience a variety of American culture. I cannot remember all the things she did or places that she went but I do remember that she spent quite some time at Annam Brahma cooking with the girls there. I am sure we had her food many times and that it was quite delicious, authentic and fulfilling. I believe that the girls are still using some of her recipes as she was a very good cook and used to cook for Guru every day.
This is one of my favorite songs that the Bhajan Singers sang last night for Lily-di.
In the words of one of Guru's songs about Lily, called: `Jhili Mili Jhili Mili Lily Lily', Guru writes:
"Twinkling, twinkling, Lily, Lily,
You are the Hope-Heart of the World-Mother,
You are the Message-Eye of the World-Father.
You are the waves of
Delight and Peace fathomless of the World-Pilot-Supreme."