A Tribute to my Guru
Offered by Utthal Tindel, a disciple of 35 years who briefly celebrated his birthday October 11th, until news of his master’s passing that very morning cast him into a sea of endless tears.
Oh my Beloved Guru, Oh my Sweet Master, I bow to you and offer the flood of Gratitude-Tears, which has become my life. Although you no longer walk amongst us, you are forever living within our hearts. Indeed you are our very hearts’ breath. We are eternally inseparable – melded in an ocean of love and delight. This is our true reality and our glorious inheritance from you!
Regarding his so-called death, Sri Chinmoy said it best in the final poem of the last book offered during his life on earth, “My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration-Prayers” – part 52, which he gave out the night before he left the body: “My physical death is not the end of my life – I am an eternal journey.”
To me death is a cruel hoax – a sham and an illusion. “Oh death where art thy dominion?” It certainly has nothing to do with the imperishable and magnificent spirit which was, is and shall eternally remain Sri Chinmoy, the most humble and self-giving being who ever graced this earth – and my most beloved Guru. For me the pain of the loss of his physical presence is almost unbearable, but my gratitude-flooded heart will somehow go on and I shall make my life a tribute to this kindest, gentlest, most beautiful and most loving soul.
(By a broken-hearted but healing, once again sometimes smiling and irrepressibly hopeful Utthal (which means Indomitable Wave-Force)
When I pour over the myriad tributes posted on the Sri Chinmoy News site I am overwhelmed with joy at the loving evidence that my Guru touched so many lives. It is not only a great solace but also a vindication for the sacrifice he made. But then, he never considered it a sacrifice at all – not when you love someone, and above all he loved each and every one of us – not just his disciples. He once said that every day he meditated on each individual soul on earth. Impossible says the feeble mind. No, not at all says the oneness-heart, and his was a heart of universal oneness raised to the power of infinity. Impossible was not a word in his lexicon.
What was so heart-breakingly astounding about Guru is that he did it all as a mere human being. Inside beat the heart-soul of an Avatar (there, I said it), but he never once used occult powers to ease the way for himself, only to come to the rescue of others. When he hoisted these “impossible” weights, groups of people and airplanes he did so as a man – not a superman – and then only to inspire us as to what is possible for a human being to do when they are flooded with light – not to show off how he was different. You know the story of the mother who lifted a car to save her child – that’s Sri Chinmoy pure and simple: a brother who just wanted to lift his fellow man in every way possible, with every fiber of his being and at every moment of his life. For that he suffered immeasurably.
In the most profound sense of what it means to be alive – far more than blood coursing through veins – Sri Chinmoy is alive, not only in his music, art, poetry and other writings; not only in the photographs, videos and voice and instrumental recordings we have of him, but in the lives of countless people all around the world who attended a concert, ran a race, went to a gallery, read a book, or encountered him – like the little girl on the streets of Briarwood – or otherwise came in contact with Guru.
The very last time I viewed the supine body of Guru as it lay in the casket at the memorial service on Sunday – late in the evening after all the dignitaries had departed and he was once again alone with his disciples – I perceived him impassively yet unmistakably smiling – beaming with delight and pride that his spiritual children, to whom he gave himself unreservedly, were finally understanding – were finally coming together as a family. If that is the case, and I feel it is, the world has not heard the last of Sri Chinmoy, and his so-called “death” will one day be seen not only as the ultimate sacrifice, but as a brilliant tactical move as well.
Five days after my whole world came crashing down, these philosophical musings are a feeble consolation – compared to the enormous grief which washes over me like a Tsunami every hour or so – but it’s something, and something is better than nothing. On the day I became a disciple Guru asked me if I was strong. I said yes, and always thought he was telling me that the spiritual life required strength. Now I know he was warning me about, and somehow preparing me for, something altogether different and far more difficult to endure. Guru, please help me to transform this life of mine into a mountain of strength – to be of service to the Supreme.
(As regards the photo: One of the pre-eminent aspects of Sri Chinmoy was his wonderful sense of humor – quick as lightening, but with a sweet child-like innocence. He encouraged his disciples to express their own comedic sensibilities, especialy through plays. As one of Guru’s court jesters, so to speak, it was my proudful honour and to give him a good measure of joy, and more than a few good laughs, amidst the pain he suffered, and which seems to go along with being a spiritual master. This photo was from a singing group costume contest in Gold Coast, Australia. Though I was rediculous looking in the extreme, I was delighted to be so to make my master smile.)