Thursday, January 29, 2009
There was stillness in the house yesterday. The rhythm of his breath was an invitation to the rhythm of our heart.
Thank you Virendra for letting be in your close circle of friends in such an intimate moment, I said to him couple of weeks ago and again the day before his final departure.
Virendra has many friends and I can't say we knew each other very well on a day to day practical level, but our "connection" started long ago, here in Amsterdam in the faraway 1986.
Three weeks ago we laughed about that. He said do you remember Milena when you paid the Rebalancing Advance Training and you had trouble getting all the "Italian lira" to Holland. At that time he was in charge for the administration of the old Caravansary Osho center in Amsterdam.
And the suddenly it struck me this very gentle man, far away from any power trip of the Commune, looking at me with his wonderful blue eyes trying to help me out on financial things. A detail I had forgotten but that came vividly back in my mind.
Over the years after that, we met again many times in Poona and always he had this gentle beautiful smile as if he was all the time in contact with the secret of life.The giggling laughter of a real sadhu.
I think Virendra knew the art of being watchful, mindful, peaceful with an open heart. I am sure. I tasted his grace in his last days of his life. I breathed into the depth of his meditation, that took me gently deeper inside myself.
He has been facing with an extreme dignity his mortal predicament. He did what he could to help his body recover from the cancer and when there was nothing more to do, he accepted this too.
When in October last year, I found out he was sick, I wrote him an email. He replied:
Sometimes I like to look at your Mountain Girl web diary. Not very often, but once in a while. So I have some contact with what is going on in your world.
Yesterday I included you among the people that I sent the latest news about my health, but is was in Dutch and I don't know whether you can read that.
What it comes down to, is that it is still unknown whether the cancer in my chest is curable of incurable. It will probably take a few more weeks to get that clear.
Basically I am in the same situation as everybody: We know that the body is going to die, and we don't know when it is going to happen - could be today, could be in thirty years. But in my case it is now a ? 50% ? chance that it will be within a few months. It is a wake-up call.
In the meantime I got morphine pills, which really help, and that is a big relieve after all these months of gradually increasing pains.
Thank you for offering your help. For now, help is not needed beyond what my friend Prerna is giving, but that may change.
His wonderful friend and wife: Prerna, an angel on earth to relieve him from many of his discomforts, to comfort him with her sweet devotion, to remind him the joy of being loved, to sit with him in silence and much more that only belongs to the sacred-bond they shared.
At the beginning of January I found an email from her asking if I could pass by at their house.
My heart jumped in joy. And so it started, ...the beginning of the end. Or maybe a new beginning.
These were the last words from him I heard few hours before he left.
The silence deepened.
I was feeling since days a burning aching sensation in my heart. A call of love from the Beloved. The Beloved that Rumi talks about it. Finally that sweet painful longing I was feeling, calmed down and it melted in a cool lake of awareness.
He drew his last breaths.
Only Prerna was next to his bed.
Pratito, Srajan and me were sitting in compassionate stillness in the living room. And yet we felt it.
Yes, Virendra we never born we never died. The cloud doesn't cease to exist just because it turns into rain. But the cloud is in the rain, in the sun, in the grass, in the piece of paper one holds in his hands. We are a continuation. I was quoting from Thich Naht Hanh's book "No death no fear - comforting wisdom for life".
And certainly Virendra had no fear. It was humbling to watch him leaving us. Suddenly he would open his eyes wide and gave us a wonderful smile. You could only smile back at this utter innocence and love that was pouring out of him. And my heart would melt.
Couple of hours before he asked Prerna to send this email to friends. The subject of the email was: the goose is out.
Nu gaat het snel.
Ik ben blij.
When the moment arrived he said to Prerna: Bye bye.
He is continuing his journey. He knows the way.
May God bless his traveling to the other shore and beyond that.
I found a book in his house the day before he died, amongst so many Osho books. "The gift" from Hafiz. I started reading it and Prerna ever so generous told me to take it as his present. There was a paper in it, handwritten by Virendra, with many of his favorite poems. I read them all and choose two of them.
I have learned so much
I have learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
A Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of Itself With me
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even pure
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
Of every concept and image
My mind has ever known.
Virendra on Srajan's sailing boat
When You Can Endure
The words stop
And you can endure the silence
That reveals your heart's
Or that great wrenching-sweet longing,
That is the time to try and listen
To what the Beloved's
may you rest in the Beloved heart.
Finally at home.
The picture that you kindly sent me 2 years ago, of a smiling Utkantha during the Mystic rose in '88, hangs in my house and will always remind me of your wonderful presence on earth.
With an heart full of gratitude,
With a longing that never dies.
Ma Anand Utkantha.
The body of Virendra has been cremated on Wednesday the 4th of February in Amsterdam.
On the 14 of February we will have a Sufi Dancing event in his dedication in de "Oude Kerk" in Amsterdam.
We created a blog in dedication to Virendra: