Re: Recollections on Sri Chinmoy: Guru and Father Tom
- Dear Mahiruha,
All of your recollections are so moving and they bring my heart to the fore. You have the writing ability to bring the situation right in front of our inner eyes. That is what makes them so extraordinary for me. I am really waiting for more publications as I personally didn't have many outer encounters with our master.
I already see myself and many others holding a new book in our hands titled: "Recollections on Sri Chinmoy" by Mahiruha Klein.
Thanks again for taking the time to write them down for us to enjoy to read.
- Thanks a lot, Doris. It was a great privilege for me to live in Guru's direct physical proximity for eight or nine years.
I recently celebrated my sixteenth anniversary on the spiritual path with Sri Chinmoy. When I lived in New York, sometimes I would make Prasad to mark special occasions like my birthday or my anniversary. For my seventh anniversary I made corn bread. It was a southern recipe that actually included extra molasses. They turned out great and the disciples told me they really enjoyed it. After the function, one of Guru's attendants told me that he found corn bread crumbs all over Guru's chair, so Guru also liked it!
Sometimes when I'm having a hard time, I just think of all the smiles Guru gave me. I hardly ever spoke to Guru, never went to his house, and didn't have much of an outer relationship with him. But he did smile at me quite often, and I remember those smiles. Sometimes, just thinking of the way he used to smile at me, I can get rid of some of the mental frustration or depression that plagues me from time to time. Like the Buddha holding up a flower, Guru's smiles were extremely eloquent and instructive. Also, you could tell that his smile was meant just for you.
When I got my spiritual name, I called my step father to tell him. He's in his eighties now. When I told him that my Guru had re-named me "Mahiruha", his first response was, "Well, you look like a Morris, you don't look like a Mahiruha."
Then he paused and said, "But you know, I always knew that you would become a great tree (Mahiruha), I always knew that you would be successful in life. And if your mother were still alive, she would be extremely proud of you for this."
I told that story at an evening function, and when I had finished, Guru just smiled and smiled.
On the rare occasions when Guru would call me up for a blessing, I often felt I didn't receive the entirety of the blessing because I was so nervous being in front of so many people. Maybe I should use the word "excited" as opposed to nervous. But, sometimes, when he would bless other people, for example on their birthdays, I felt I received a lot more. One year, I stayed up all night making three hundred-odd custard pies for my birthday. It fell on a Wednesday night. Guru did not call me up or bless me. But he called up a Russian couple and meditated on them for their birthdays (both of them were born almost on the same day, I think). And I really felt deeply and profoundly blessed. I think Guru was happy when disciples identified with each other and felt the purity and power of his universal love.
Father Tom passed away a couple of months ago - Mahiruha's post from a while back - here below - gives such a nice window into the friendship between Guru and Tom Hartman in what was probably the last time they met before Guru's passing in October 2007.
Msgr. Thomas Hartman, Half Of TV Duo Known As 'God Squad,' Dies At 69
<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote :In the spring of 2007, shortly after April Celebrations, Guru had a soulful meeting at Aspiration Ground with his dear priest-friend, Father Tom.
There were still paper streamers, like origami feathers, strung on lines over the court, and many of the beautiful decorations were still up from the Celebrations. Father Tom and Guru have been friends for so many years; it was nice to see them together, a meeting of two old friends. When Father Tom was younger, he used to play tennis with Guru. He has also written many very kind and appreciative articles about Sri Chinmoy. His kindness and concern for Guru and his spiritual children is indescribable.
Father Tom's speech was a little slurred from Parkinson's. And he also had trouble moving. In that, he resembled Guru who suffered from excruciating rheumatism in later life. I just felt like these two great old trees had become stooped and gnarled under the heavy weight of world suffering.
I don't remember much of their conversation, unfortunately. I just remember Father Tom remarking to Guru that "Silent Night, Holy Night" was actually written by a Jewish man, which made Guru laugh. I think they spoke about the oneness of different faiths as all leading to the same goal, but I don't remember any particulars. At one point, Guru mentioned that he has many Jewish disciples, and he also asked his some of his disciples visiting from Israel, a family, to pass by him and Father Tom.
Towards the end of their discussion, Guru started talking about his music. He said his technique is often farther than the farthest from perfection, but that he just follows his inner guidance, his inner pilot. He also says that at the end of every concert he plays either the piano or the organ. He mentioned that at that time, when he plays those instruments, he always sees Jesus Christ as a little boy, standing between His Mother and Father, Joseph and Mary. Sometimes he sees Jesus first and then Mary and Joseph, and sometimes he sees them all together. But whenever he plays the piano or, (I think) especially the organ, he has this vision of the Christ with His parents.
I noticed Father Tom was listening to Guru with utmost respectful attention.
Guru said later, after the Father had left, that when he told the priest about how he has these experiences with Jesus when he plays the piano and organ, that Father Tom believed him. He said that he saw that Father Tom believed him implicitly. He asked "who would have thought a priest would become so close to me?"
That struck me for a lot of reasons. I mean, Guru has seven thousand disciples, and is known all over the world as a great spiritual Master. He has even had serious, profound discussions with two Popes! But he was touched and deeply moved that this Catholic priest believed him when he told him about his inner experiences. One man's faith in him meant more to Guru than all the accolades and awards the outer world could possibly give.
Then, at the end of the program, the two of them meditated together in absolute silence for maybe five or ten minutes. It was a very moving experience for me. The weather was a little cool, the sun was bright, and the wind played with the paper streamers, making them look like fluttering feathers.
Then Father Tom and Guru said farewell to each other and maybe they shook hands and smiled. As Father Tom was leaving, I saw he was walking with great difficulty. Then, when he reached the gate, he turned around and smiled at us and said, "I love you all."
It was a moment I will never, never forget.
- Oh, Sharani, that is sad news. I love the conversations between Guru and Father Tom. On Sri Chinmoy Tv there is at least one video about the two, that I watched a few times already and got such nice inspiration for my own life.