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24082Happy Birthday Lily-di

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  • arpan_deangelo
    Oct 29, 2009
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      Last night, Wednesday, October 28, we celebrated Guru's sister
      Lily's birthday which is on October 27. Lily was Guru's closest
      sister and was like a mother to him after his parents died when he was
      11 years old. She came to visit New York early in 1978 during the very
      cold winter months and stayed until after Guru's birthday in August.

      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 a 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 31 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 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. But they 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.

      We even took Lily to amusement parks in the summer, the beach, a
      racetrack and other places where she could experience some of the
      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.
      Perhaps the girls are still using some of her recipes.

      Last night we had a very soulful program for Lily incorporated into our
      regular Wednesday evening function. After our usual meditation and
      singing we then had a Candlelight offering for Lily. This was
      accompanied by singing from the Bhajan group members mostly with songs
      about Lily. There was a birthday cake as we sang the birthday songs and
      then some special Prasad, Guru's favorite for special occasions,
      Aloo Pie.

      We then had regular Prasad and an Indian meal as well as we watched some
      videos of past Celebrations of Lily-di's birthday with Guru.
      Guru's love and respect for Lily-di (the `di' is a title of
      respect for an older sister) was a wonderful example to all of us of
      just how much oneness Guru had with his family. It showed us how
      important and inspiring love and respect in a family can be even on the
      human level. I am sure everyone in Guru's family received this kind
      of love and attention from Guru when he went to visit them.
      Unfortunately none of them, except Lily, ever came to America. We were
      so blessed and so extremely grateful for her presence here for those 8
      months. Even now, especially during this function, we can feel her heart
      of love, concern and Oneness for Guru and for all of Guru's
      spiritual children.

      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."


      Gratefully,

      Arpan



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