About the death of a father

Greetings from New Zealand! When we were in Hamilton, the chat went to parents and how our own spiritual lives impacted our parents. Sri
asked me to tell the story of my father. It seemed that so many people commented that they were touched by the story that I decided to post it here. Forgive its length!

     When my father passed away, it was not completely unexpected. He had already experienced 5 heart attacks and 2 bouts of congestive heart failure. On March 17, my younger brother called me from New York about 10 am with the news, and I immediately made 2 phone calls…
one to my friend Ashrita to inform Sri Chinmoy, and a second to make a flight reservation. Within an hour or so, I received a message back from Ashrita that Sri Chinmoy said to come to his home and to please bring a photo of my father. Sri Chinmoy added that I could come anytime until 2:00 am.
      Now my father’s passing occurred at a time in my life when I felt a little shaky, spiritually speaking. I was just opening my chiropractic office, spending a lot of money in the process, and perhaps my meditation time was sacrificed a bit as all this was
happening. The net effect was that I wasn’t feeling particularly good about myself spiritually.
      As a result of this, I was not exactly prepared to stand in front of my spiritual Teacher. At this point, I must add that this is a completely wrong attitude. I’ve learned this since. There is no more important time to stand in front of your spiritual Teacher as
when you are feeling least worthy. But that was not my wisdom at the time of this significant occurrence and now Sri Chinmoy himself told
me to come down to his home.
      My flight arrived late in the evening, about 11 pm-ish. I made my way to Hartsdale where my brother and father lived, showered and
then drove down to Jamaica. It was 1:00 am when I finally found
myself standing on the street in front of Sri Chinmoy’s home. The
lights were for the most part off.
      I stood there for a few minutes, with a photo of my father,
affectionately surrounded by his 4 sons. It was clear which one was
my father, both from an age standpoint and also from a focal
standpoint. He was clearly the source of all the family vanity.
At this point, all my insecurity came forward. I knew I wasn’t in a particularly good consciousness. I thought to myself, “Gee, the lights are out. Maybe I should go home, get in a good morning
meditation and then come back in the morning.” In this way, I could say to Sri Chinmoy that I was actually there, but because the lights
were out, I didn’t want to bother him. Very fortunately, my stupidity was corrected by another thought, “Your father has passed away. For
God’s sake, this is for him not for you!”
      I gathered my courage and went to the side door and knocked…very gently, and I mean very, very gently. I thought that if no one
answered, then I could definitely go home and be able to tell my teacher the next day, “I even knocked!” There was no answer.
      If I knocked a second time and there was no answer, I was free,
so I knocked again, this time just a little bit harder. With that, the lights came on, the door at the top of the stairs opened and I could see Sri Chinmoy looking out at me.
      I could hear him as he descended the steps, “Oh I am so sorry, good boy, so sorry.” Then as he opened the door, “Did you bring a picture?” “Yes” as I handed him the picture feeling it needed no
further explanation as anyone would know which of the 5 men was my father.
      I was so surprised when Sri Chinmoy asked, “Which one is it?” I shrugged off my surprise, and simply pointed to the man in the center of the photo. “This one,” I clarified.
      “Which one?” again he asked. “This one” with a bit more emphasis.
       “Which one?” “This one!”
       “Which one?” “This one!!”
       “Which one?” At this point, I no longer understood why it wasn’t obvious. Then it occurred to me that maybe Sri Chinmoy had received a message that my brother has died and perhaps that was the source of his confusion. With that, I finally clarified…
       “This one. That’s my father!”
      At long last, it became all clear. With his eye’s closed, soulfully, lovingly and softly Sri Chinmoy repeated over and over, “I am your eternity’s father. I am your eternity’s father. I am your
eternity’s father. I am your eternity’s father. I am your eternity’s father.” Perhaps 20 times he said it, and with each utterance all my inner insecurity-angst dissipated to be replaced with my teacher’s
unvanquishable love. Then he opened his eyes and said, “I will do everything for your father that I can.”
      As I was left, he put the porch lights on, waved, and smiled at me most compassionately and lovingly…a smile I will never forget.

By: Pradhan Balt

Chicago Sri Chinmoy Centre

Originally Posted on Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group:  Thu Dec 26, 2002

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