- Dear Doris,
Now I know why I was inexplicably crying a couple of days ago. I had the sense there was some sad news pending as the cause of it but I didn't even know Dodula was sick.
My favorite image of her is a beautiful photo I took of her under a tree outside at Pujaloy. She will, as you say, forever be a sweet and special child of God.
- Dearest Doris, what a beautiful poem. It embodies the sadness that we feel on the loss of our dearest and sweetest sister Dodula and the joy that her soul must feel to be back in Heaven. Thank you for sharing.
- Dear Sharani and Bigalita, thank you so much for your kind replies. Yes, we are rarely aware of how deeply we are connected inwardly with one another.
Thanks to your artistic eye, Sharani, your very good camera and that you sent me the Pujaloy pictures some years ago, (and your unintended reminder of it), we are now having a very beautiful white framed image of Dodula in our Winterthur meditation room and I will also bring another one to our Zurich Centre and a third one to Baldegg where the funeral ceremony will take place. I am sure the Sisters will be moved when they see it. It's really extraordinarily beautiful. Dodula's favorite colors were white and light-blue. The leaves of the tree are touching her hair gently while she seems to contemplate on God. Thank you again, Sharani.
Dear Bigalita, in times of death or any other adversity our hearts seem to come forward more powerfully, but often we are drawn back to daily affairs all too soon. How I wish we could remain in a soulful consciousness all the time.
It is true that I felt both (sadness and cheerfulness) when I wrote the poem. One of Dodula's strengths was to always remain cheerful and let the tiniest incident turn into a celebration. It was especially moving for me when I visited her in the hospice a few days before she left the earth. She did not speak but when she looked at me and raised her arm a little it was as if Guru was looking at me. Her soul had come to the fore so powerfully. This silent gesture of hers gave me some inenarrable reassurance. Everything was good...
Dodula has told us many stories over the years that now will be collected and published in a book. I happened to live with Dodula for some time and so will definitely contribute to it if possible.
One little miracle story: A few days ago, Gunthita went to Dodula's place to pick a nice photo of her for our Centre shrine and found a bird drawing that Dodula won in a raffle some years ago in NY. Gunthita somehow remembered that Guru made an interesting comment on that occasion. Before he drew a name he said he inwardly saw Dodula's name in golden letters. When Gunthita looked at the date it said "March 27, 1999".
So, we should not be too sad as Dodula would not approve of it. :-)
* * *
- Dear Doris,
Nearly a week ago I set on my computer and saw Kedar´s website -www.srichinmoyphoto.com- there was a very beautiful photo of Guru entitled ´Guru Sri Chinmoy´.
As I have been usually doing for months, I saved it and started working. A few minutes later, due to some good reason I ignore, I wanted to see that Guru´s photo again on the site but instead there were two beautiful photos of Sri Chinmoy and Dodula with her birthdate and passing date.
I felt deeply shocked first. Then I looked at her face again and saw much joy and determination, the same feelings I got the times we briefly talked on a Xmas. Trip and in Celebrations -I slightly remember also that she mentioned white and light-blue as her favourite colours! :-)
From the special meeting you had with Dodula last time, I just got inspired to share this poem in her sweet memory:
O Lord of Nature, sovereign Sun of All!
Who, if not Thou, will speak of Thee?
Thy Smile of Grace through Eternity
Frees all aspiring souls from night´s dumb call.
Reality unique! Thou art the ring
Of the lowest chasm and spanless height.
In Thee they feel their haven bright;
In Thee all beings move and wave and wing.
To see Thy all-transcending mystic Form,
No vision have we of golden gaze;
Thou art the Noon of all our days.
The veerless Pilot of our death´s stark storm."
Guru Sri Chinmoy [unofficial]
in ´Grace´. Aum Publications. NY. 2003
Thank you so much, Doris, for posting such divine experiences and stories about Dodula´s life.
- Thank *you*, dear Suchana. It is very true, Dodula was a cheerful person full of energy and dynamism.
Thank you also for the beautiful poem.
I just returned from the funeral service. Although it was a very, very soulful ceremony I rather had the feeling of celebrating a special event with Dodula present. So it was not surprising when a young women told us how she came to know about Dodula's passing. She told us that while meditating with closed eyes Dodula's face appeared before her, therefore she sensed something special must be going on. Then she called the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
There is so much to tell about Dodula's life that it would go beyond the scope of the discussion in this site. I really don't know where to begin.
But one sweet story is still sticking in my mind that made us all heartily laugh today. When Dodula was twenty years old she decided to become a nun. She had to pass several examinations before the final acceptance. One part of the examination was to behave very self-conscious and to walk confidently and upstanding. As she was a little nervous she tried a trick that would help her. At the end of the examination the examiner asked her what her current thoughts were. Honestly as she was she recited an advertisment she read some days before on some poster on a wall: "A strong man must smoke stogies."
The Sisters and Dodula's family received the picture that Sharani took from Dodula some years ago with great joy and gratitude.
- Dear Doris,
How can I even venture to express how poignant and touching your writing is here about Dodula and of course also the remembrances shared by others about Sushsumna here on the Inspiration Group as well.
I walked a labyrinth tonight at that church I spoke of here just yesterday. As the rhythm of one's steps circle in and out, back and forth, a shift to another dimension takes over in much the same way that meditation and prayer transform perception and consciousness.
Even with tangible experiences and understanding of the soul, reincarnation and God's unconditional love, I felt as I journeyed through the labyrinth that I continue to feel grief and sadness when loved ones leave this earth behind.
I even wrote about seeing and feeling Guru completely alive when I went to New York for the weekend in mid-February. With vivid moments like that, how can I then occasionally cycle through still missing his human presence on earth desperately even though it is over 5 years later? Or to still miss a beloved pet who died 5 months ago?
As I exited the labyrinth, I felt like I wished I could discuss, debate and ponder these existential and cosmic issues until the paradox inherent in them loosens its grip. To some it must seem contradictory to need to do grief work when I believe so completely that the soul lives forever and my faith is also so alive. And to others they might be saying, why talk about it, just sit down and meditate to answer all life's questions.
All I know is that as I neared the end of the labyrinth, I felt something more akin to "join the club". Life and death is and will forever remain a mystery not to be solved or figured out -- except through the grace of ever deepening spiritual growth and wisdom.
I actually felt quite sincerely happy on the International Day of Happiness recently. I have a lot to be grateful for in my life right now - starting with things as simple and immediate as the sharing and sense of community offered here in the spirit of dedicated self-giving and kindness. In closing, I cherish your poem and remembrances in celebration of Dodula's life.
- Dear Sharani,
How can *I* even venture to express myself in proper English? :-)
I am so glad you expressed your feelings. It is natural that we want to share our experiences with others. I felt like sitting again at Aspiration-Ground and listen to you like back then in 2007. I would have loved to hold your hand and tell you, "What advice can I give as I am too often in the same boat." Of course we do miss Guru still, what are five years? We are human beings and Guru was an enlightened human being. Many have said it - he was the most beautiful being that walked the earth and will, according to his own statement, never come back.
I liked what you said: "Life and death is and will forever remain a mystery not to be solved or figured out -- except through the grace of ever deepening spiritual growth and wisdom."
What helps me often is Guru's concept of the Life-Tree. We, "the leaves" are not able to really touch one another, there will always be some seperation, no matter how close we may feel. Only if the leaves identify with the root, they will find true fulfilment. But I hope I do not sound too wise cracking. You felt this inner connection when you cried without knowing why.
During the funeral ceremony of our Dodula we recited "Our Father". I love this prayer, but I took the liberty to inwardly add "...and on earth...".
One thing I learned from Dodula is to do my best (which is synonymous with perfection). This was her advice to me in a moment I did not know how to execute a specific task in the Madal Bal health food store (that unfortunately does not exist anymore). It was so simple but I still try to live by it although it does not always work.
Dodula was a remedial teacher by profession. She worked with maladjusted children for over 30 years! I was moved when I was told that the two young men who caught my attention at the farwell party, (because of their unusual outer appearance), were two of her "sons". She had told me a lot of stories about that time and about her work with those children.
Perhaps it was destined that she parted a few days before Easter. She was so close to Christ. Who can bear to hear about or even witness his crucifixion?
But she was a strong person and would possibly tell us the same that Guru expressed in the song Minit Doshek that speaks about the last minutes of his beloved sister Lily. I received the music to it today from one of the "Children Singers" in Munich, Germany.
"When your life was in fleeting ten minutes,
You appeared and said to me,
"Do not worry about me, do not worry.
Here on, you must accomplish many things
For your Supreme.
To inundate you with an indomitable courage
From Heaven I shall smilingly come and visit you.
Peace and satisfaction from you
I will offer to all humanity."
While listening to the Tribute Mix on Shoutcast Radio, that Michael put together with great empathy (btw., he said in an earlier post that he is putting playlists together since he was fifteen years old), I was wondering who Guru was referring to in the lines of a song he composed: "I came with an endless smile, I leave with a breathless cry."
As I said already, I will not go to NY for April Celebrations, it is still too cold for me. Even in Switzerland the sun does not want to shine, but the flowers are at the ready...
Wishing you all a beautiful and happy time at Aspiration-Ground.
- Just to clarify: I think Doris was referring to a song composed by Sri Chinmoy and sung by Temple-Song-Hearts. It's called "I Give" on Temple-Song-Hearts XIII, and "With A Sleepless Smile" on Sri Chinmoy Songs:
With a sleepless smile I give.
With a breathless cry I live.
The seed of peace I sow.
My golden boat I row."
It's a beautiful song and beautiful arrangement worthy of being heard many times. Please support the music of Sri Chinmoy and disciples by buying CDs of their work whenever possible, or buying their music for download on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Thanks again to Doris and all for listening to World Harmony Mix, and thanks to the contributing artists.
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, doris.cott <no_reply@...> wrote:
> Dear Sharani,
> While listening to the Tribute Mix on Shoutcast Radio, that Michael put together with great empathy (btw., he said in an earlier post that he is putting playlists together since he was fifteen years old), I was wondering who Guru was referring to in the lines of a song he composed: "I came with an endless smile, I leave with a breathless cry."
> As I said already, I will not go to NY for April Celebrations, it is still too cold for me. Even in Switzerland the sun does not want to shine, but the flowers are at the ready...
> Wishing you all a beautiful and happy time at Aspiration-Ground.