Death in the Family

I’m not sure where to start with this. Sometimes we forget just how powerful we are–the potency of our being . Our words, deeds, and even our thoughts resonate throughout the lives of those we interact with everyday. Indeed, no man is an island. Every life is a ripple upon the great ocean of existence.

One of my Hindu Mentors, Prof. Bharat Gajjar, was fully aware of this. His teachings for Hinduism still buzz in my mind, even beyond our short January together. I had plans to meet him one day soon, to sit at his feet and hear his voice–like those spiritual seekers who learned from the rishis of the Upanishads–as he spoke and anointed me with the sweet teachings and philosophy of Yoga, Meditation, and Dharma.

But that day won’t come, because I just found out that Mentor Bharat has passed away.

Of course, I never met him, and I only knew of him for these last two months. So why am I so grieved? Why is it that when I found out about his death upon waking at 5:28 this morning that my heart collapsed and I nearly fell to my knees? Because he gave himself–his teachings–to me. He and his daughter, Mentor Meeta, offered themselves to me as my Mentors freely and without any thought of reward. My betterment–my learning–was the reward.

I look at this image and I am nearly brought to tears. I am tempted with anger, with thoughts of how unfair it is that I just missed the chance to meet him. But his teachings won’t let me go there. Mentor Bharat would remind me of the importance of detachment from the material world so that we might fully realize our union with the divine ocean of the Self via the teachings of our guru. I am trying, Mentor, I am trying so hard…

So just when I thought Project Conversion couldn’t throw another curve ball, here it is. This is real. This is what I’m facing. One of my Mentors has passed away and I had the chance to learn from him only by the slimmest of margins. I now have another opportunity to give thanks, to give thanks for the life Mentor Bharat lived. I give thanks for his Mentorship and for raising his wonderfully talented, wise, and nobel daughter, Mentor Meeta Gajjar Parker, whom I am sure will carry the flame of her father’s wisdom and love.

Though I sorely wish I could attend the funeral services tomorrow, I am separated by an insurmountable gulf of distance and resources. So to honor Mentor Bharat, I will observe a fast over this weekend until sunset tomorrow, February 27th, the day of his funeral. If you feel so compelled, the Gajjar family, their friends, and I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers regarding his passing. My only hope is that I have honored him by showing others what he has shown me.

Namaste, Mentor Bharat, Namaste.

Om…shanti, shanti, shanti

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=588808295 Sharon Marnell

    Dear Andrew, please be assured of prayers for the journey of Mentor Bahrat’s soul. As I understand it from the Baha’i teachings a life of service prepares the soul for the next stage of life. I think he must be well prepared.
    Sharon

  • Joan

    I am sorry for your loss. We never know who will connect with us most closely, especially with spiritual matters. Thank you for what you are doing.

  • Melissa

    Andrew I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers toward his family as the Goddess takes him back into her arms. I am certain he was honored to be involved in this project and and see his legacy passed on. I am sure also that his family is honored by your memory of him. Someone explained it to me once that a life was like throwing a stone into a pond, the ripples spread and they affect other things, other lives. A ripple can completely change your direction and alter your perception. It sounds as if this man made a few ripples before moving on, just consider yourself one of the ones fortunate enough to have been touched by his life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/phyllis.unterschuetz Phyllis Wilder Unterschuetz

    This is so beautiful – this gift of your heart that you are sharing with the world. Now we all feel connected to your mentor. Such a network of lights!
    Phyllis

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts and prayers. They go so far, and so deep, and are made of healing grace.