Can Farewell be joyful ?

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We have heard about many a tearful farewell.
Joyful farewell?
No. But it was so when people of different strata of society came in large numbers to many places to bid me farewell on the eve of my departure from South Africa.
Though the oft-repeated customary expression “miss you” – told or untold – was writ large on every face, yet what a joyful feeling that it unmistakably transmitted to me cannot be described. The reason was pure love. Where love is present joy must be there.
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Here are a few impressions:
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Why sceptic about Farewell?
In any organisation, we find it common nowadays, that an office holder when transferred to another place is given a farewell. I was always sceptic about these farewell functions. So it was natural for me to simply decline any such farewell meeting that people of diverse temperaments offered just before my departure from South Africa. The reason was that those who hold onto microphone and so speak may not be truthful enough and speak a flowery language of praise while harbouring internally inimical thoughts. Whereas the silent majority who may have true feelings of friendliness may not get the chance to voice their feelings!
However I understood within a short time that such deeply devoted people cannot be put off so easily. They invited me on the pretext of a satsang which I am known to be fond of and organised incredible functions without even mentioning the term Farewell !
Mixed feelings
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Swami Vimokshananda received by Swami Saradaprabhananda at Phoenix sub-centre
When I first broke this news of my transfer to our monastic brother Swami Saradaprabhananda sometime in August 2014, I found him seated nonplussed. Slowly managing himself he uttered “I am full of mixed feelings”. He continued, “sad because I shall miss you; glad because Belur Math has decided. It’s Master’s wish. May it be so!”
I was the very first President after the Centre’s affiliation to Belur Math. And it was for me the very first posting in abroad. I came to this country absolutely not familiar with its culture, its people and their mental temperaments while not disconnected from my grooming for 35 long years in “India-Indian” manners.
In spite of my handicaps – real or perceived – brother Saradaprabhananda patiently guided me with utmost reverence on many an issue. I understood his loveable personality shielded completely from the purview of outside world. Only we both knew!
Love that knew no words
The first Satsang and what was innocuously called my last Gospel class, was organised by Pietermaritzburg Sub-centre. Once the Gospel class was over, I came out as usual from the shrine hall. By that time to my great surprise, all those devotees who attended just disappeared. While I was wondering what was happening, the Chairman and other officials led me slowly to upstairs.
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Spontaneous Joyous dancing and singing the name of Sri Ramakrishna by the PMB devotees
There, in the hall, all the devotees and friends and admirers stood up in unison and welcomed me with the spiritual greetings Aum Namo Narayanaya ! Surprise after surprise! The hall was tastefully decorated. Round dining tables with chairs covered in bright white colour were occupied by the people. And lo! devotees unmindful of their age started dancing in joy around me. It was a pure, unsullied joy that I saw in every face. No lectures. No words. No tears. It was all one feeling of Love that touched my heart with joy and would remain so for ever.
The second such satsang was organised by Estcourt Satsang Group. The one distinct aspect of Estcourt satsangs that I noticed whenever I was there, was always the participation of all the sects of Hindu community. Hence it was not surprising to see everyone in their best from different faiths in Swami Sahajananda Cultural hall.
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Swami Vimokshananda reverentially accepting the blessings of children dressed up as Deities of Maha Gayatri Temple in Estcourt

The very entrance into that famous hall was heralded with girls standing in rows with diyas in their tiny hands. The Chairman with other officials and distinguished people from the Estcourt society led me in. I was glad to see Anil Bridgelal on the huge stage. He enthralled the audience by rendering soulfully five bhajans (devotional songs). The most surprising event was just to follow after my lecture. The cute children dressed up as the deities that are worshipped in the Maha Gayatri temple began to arrive one by one to the continuous applause of the audience and blessed me. I stood up reverentially to each one starting from Lord Ganesha and finally to Swami Vivekananda. 

Straight from the hearts
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Chatsworth children enjoying the fire-crackers and lighters
Another Satsang that stunned me was the farewell function organised by the devotees attached to Chatsworth Sub-centre. The entire program was almost one-to-one in the sense that each and every individual who attended there could come near me and talk to me. Each had the occasion to express himself/herself in no uncertain terms which flowed straight from the hearts. The event ended with of course dance recital from the vibrant youth and the bursting of fire-crackers!
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Gorgeously arranged function at Sree Veerabhoga Emperumal Temple in Tongaat
Other organisations too were not exempt from this farewell fever! Notable one was Sree Veerabhoga Emperumal temple in Tongaat that organised a function that struck me as most gorgeous. The devotees of the temple who were enthusiastic about my monthly Tirukkural Class were in the forefront. I couldn’t imagine that I deserved such a grand function. Take the case of reception, or the decoration or the dining or the crowd whatever one can imagine everything was organised so meticulously that it left me speechless.
A solemn meeting was arranged by the local Divine Life Society members who took me round the entire campus and I felt blessed seeing the holy Ganga teerth pond. It was an inspiring moment to think of the long journey that the Holy One Swami Sivananda made from Tamrabarani to Ganga.
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At the Divine Life Society I was presented with useful bags by the Rishi Kumars and Rishi Kumaris
Too Numerous to list
I have too numerous to list. But I have spoken here only about a handful few. The other Sub-centres like Phoenix, Ladysmith, Newcastle and also Dundee-Glencoe devotees with their own unique ways made an indelible mark in my heart. Outside KawZulu Natal, devotees from places like Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Clarens, Stanger etc., did not lag behind. Not to mention the Sri Sarada Devi Ashram that welcomed me for a special occasion of Holy Mother’s birthday when Mataji and her devotees fed me sumptuously as a mother would do for her son! 
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The much familiar Shiva shrine place in Sri Sarada Devi Ashram at Asherville where after a sumptuous lunch prasad the close devotees would sit with me and have spiritual discussions for another two hours…
Besides these, I was invited to Home Satsangs by many, many devotees. The Chennai Ramakrishna Math has taken up a project recently to introduce the concept of Home Satsangs which I am proud to feel that the SA Centre has been doing for many years! These Home Satsangs cannot, – as a few misinformed are wont to do – be looked down upon condescendingly at any cost. I always have the presence of a group of devotees who sing and read from the Gospel followed by question-answer discussion. Spending two hours or so in such absorbing satsangs as everyone who has attended could vouchsafe, was indeed elevating. The residents of such homes felt blessed.
One such home was of a student of my Tirukkural class in Tongaat. A few Tamil speaking people came together to learn the meanings and explanations of the Tirukkural verses. It was enjoyable for me to take a class in English on a Tamil classic with overtones of Vedanta as I found during my study that there exists lots of similarities with Vedantic ideas. I met this group also before my departure.
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Ardent students of my Tirukkural class in Tongaat
I must confess that many and many more devotees who couldn’t meet me personally sent written encomiums that I went through when a flood of emails arrived. Here too the expression of pure, unalloyed love was quite evident though inextricably laced with the ubiquitous “miss you”. 
My heart is full with gratefulness to everyone in South Africa; I am still trying to find suitable words to express! I realise I woefully lack in vocabulary!
Did I ? 
In all these farewell fanfare – whether glaringly glittering or solemnly subdued – what did I see?
I did see the external paraphernalia in its best.
I did see the congregation converge with one purpose.
I did see the grace of our Holy Trio flowing through the wishes of devotees.
But more than these I did see and was moved by the genuine love of the people who without any inhibition acknowledged that in some way or other I really “touched” their lives.
“Did I ?”
“Did I ?” was the question that lingered on when I was seated on the plane that left Durban while my mind was savouring the cheerful chant of “Durga, Durga!” that reverberated all along till I fell asleep!
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 May Sri Durga be with all of us !

|| Aum Shri Raamakrishnaarpanamastu ||
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39 comments

  1. Revered Maharaj,
    Pranam.
    Nice to read your beautiful and touching description of your farewell from South Africa.
    Here at Ponnampet, the inauguration of Sadhu Niwas went off very well on June 2nd,2015. Revered Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj inaugurated the building. About 45 sadhu-brahmacharins and 400 devotees participated in the function.
    We “missed you”, Maharaj! We anticipated your holy presence at Ponnampet before your embarkment to second posting in the west. Hope you will visit Ponnampet during your next visit to India from Singapore.
    With regards,
    Affectionately yours,
    Swami Bodhaswarupananda
    Sri Ramakrishna Sharadashrama
    Ponnampet, India

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Bodhaswarupananda
      How wonderful to get a comment from my monastic brother! Your loving invitation was very much in my attention. But Sri Thakur willed otherwise.
      Do you know that I had planned to participate in the Inaugural Function of the Sadhu Niwas at Ponnampet ashram? I was to travel by car with Swami Abhiramananda from Coimbatore as I was attending a few programmes there. At that time an urgent call from HQ Belur Math directed me to reach Singapore as immediately as possible. Hence I had to forego my trip to Ponnampet.
      Well, as you say next time, when I take some free time, I would definitely try to visit. I have not seen the new Temple that has come up there. Let His Will be done!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  2. Aum namo Narayanaya Maharaj.
    Pranam to our beloved Maharaj. Thank you very much for the message on the blog. Maharaj‘s interaction with us has transformed our lives in South Africa. We thank God for providing us with such a beautiful incarnation of love on the earth.
    Maharaj! Gita class was an opportunity to focus on God, which left me feeling refreshed, and full of energy to take on challenges of days to come.
    I really ‘miss’ the Gita class.
    Mandusha
    Durban, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Mandusha
      Thanks for your valuable response!
      It makes me feel that I should have perhaps ‘completed’ all the chapters in the Gita class. I left at tenth chapter.
      The slow progression of the Gita class – only one verse per day in a week in one hour Talks – could not be avoided. So much to say and the devotees wanted to hear so much. In retro if I had taken 3 verses per day, I think I should have covered all the 18 chapters in my nearly eight year tenure! But that would not have given the joy of discussion either to me or to the listeners.
      Here too in Singapore every Sunday the Gita class is conducted from 6 to 7 pm. Slowly the number of people is increasing. Yes, of course one verse per day!!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  3. Revered Swamiji,
    Pranam.
    I know how hard it is to bid farewel to a place and its inhabitants with whom you have been associated so long. Change of all kinds is but a universal truth and Sri Sri Thakur is the governor of this change. We are simply to bow to His wishes and embrace the new. The same is applicable to people who had to part with you in tearful eyes.
    Wish you good health.
    Pranam!
    Udayan Roy
    Port Of Haldia, West Bengal
    India

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Udayan
      Thanks for your discerning words!
      Yes, unless one takes it as the wish of Sri Thakur, there is no peace of mind too. All actions have to be surrendered at His feet. It is he who is the Doer not me. This thought has to be cultivated all the time.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  4. Beloved Swamiji,
    Not a day goes by that I don’t feel your closeness. Sometimes it is mixed with a longing to be with you and see you, but when I look within…there you are! Shining in Master‘s Grace.
    It is this Divine Grace that guided us…
    Your question, “Did I?” is 100% true that you shone Master‘s Grace by your devotion through your teaching but more often by your silent presence.
    You were inspired when you observed the love when ‘I’ served my mother in her last years, and this gave me strength and greater inspiration to continue and serve the Divine Mother in her form.
    How she loved you and recognised your divinity!
    When she passed you uttered, “Yes, Sarada Ma took her.”
    This not only confirmed the vision in the night, but brought me immense joy and happiness.
    Your saying, “I wonder if Brian can paint the Divine Mother as Sri Ramakrishna saw her?” confirmed the direction given to me by Sri Swami Shivapadananda and inspires me in the present to transmit the planned paintings by Thakur‘s Grace.
    These words will always be with me and my heart shall always sing in the radiance of your kind, loving Self.
    Truly the Holy Trio shines through you, their most eminent son.
    Brian Eriksson
    The Kingdom of Lesotho, Southern Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Brian
      A comment from you has brought me immense joy in thinking about your mother. I still vividly remember her sitting in the wheelchair, holding my hands and blessing me! She was a divinely inspired woman. It is your singular blessing that you could serve her with all your heart during her last sick days. Hope you have begun painting of Sri Ramakrishna‘s visions as you had planned.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  5. Aum Namo Narayanaya. Maharaj,
    I am deeply grateful for our Divine Master‘s grace in making it possible for you to ‘touch’ our lives in South Africa. Through you we have felt a connection which was so uniquely beautiful. Love cannot be learned about… it must be experienced!
    May you continue to ‘touch’ the lives of others as you have ours.
    Sunil Poken
    Bloemfontein, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Sunil
      Thanks for your loving words!
      Yes, the feeling of ‘connection’ between a monk and the devotees through the string of Master is something special. In that case both sides are spiritually elevated. I am glad that you have, as I felt, experienced the ‘touch’ of vibrations. I am grateful for your future wishes too.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  6. Aum namo Narayanaya Maharaj.
    My humble pranam at your holy feet.
    You are certainly only “out of sight” but never “out of mind” to all of us here in SA.
    I think my simple response to your title question would be that “Yes”, farewell can be joyful; when you know that it is temporary.
    I am certain that Master has our lives intertwined in more ways and that we will be in your holy presence in the near future.
    May you continue to inspire us from every corner of the globe.
    Love and best wishes…
    Shaiel and family
    Dundee, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Shaiel
      Thanks for your hopeful words!
      Your “yes” response makes me feel good. As I have been telling that the globe has shrunk to be a village now, it has become easier to communicate. That sleepy town Dundee had a special charm for me. It was always refreshing.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  7. Pranam Maharaj
    Yes Farewell will be joyful and thrilling if the noble SOUL did give its best to the people around when in SA.
    All centres and their devotees have expressed their love for their dear Swami who can only go out of sight but can never escape from their minds!
    All the Singaporeans await to arrest you in their minds!!
    Kudos to your prem and Om
    Swami Tatpurushananda
    Chennai, India

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Tatpurushananda
      Thanks for your ‘policing’ words!
      Who would get ‘arrested’ in this world after all? Does the ‘arrest’ by minds actually provides rest for the ‘crime’ of love? Perhaps not. Yet the ‘prison’ of heart is what everybody yearns to get into!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  8. Om Namo Narayanaya.
    Pranam to Revered Maharaj.
    Farewells can be both sad and joyful.
    One’s sense of attachment to a physical presence dictates that one necessarily feels forlorn when one is deprived of that presence.
    Joy arises in the heart when one comprehends that there must be a higher purpose for whatever happens. This higher purpose might remain obscure to human perception, but to God it must be perfectly clear.
    Maharaj is, even as He reading this, fulfilling this higher purpose – wherever it might be.
    And a minor matter such as our attachment to Maharaj must not stand in the way of Sri Ramakrishna’s mission.
    Did Maharaj ‘touch’ lives here in SA?
    Maharaj did more than that;
    Maharaj touched souls…!
    While there might have been many who openly expressed their feelings during Maharaj’s impending departure, there were certainly many more who accepted this physical separation with silent stoicism. The latter didn’t feel any less.
    Hari Om Tat Sat!
    Nirmala Balkaran
    Ladysmith, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Nirmala
      Thanks for your ‘touching’ words!
      You have rightly remarked!
      In our exuberance we tend to forget or do not realise the ‘another purpose’ of the Divine hand in any change. Here in SA, I felt all those devotees who bid me farewell did understand that whether openly expressed or not and that’s why the farewell was joyful.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  9. Aum Namo Narayanaya Maharaj.
    Our humble pranam at your holy feet.
    I trust that this message finds You well.
    Reading the above post and comments, I could not help but feel your presence, which to me remains unaltered despite the distance. It is heart-warming to read of your SA memories and I trust that there are too many to mention on this space!
    A big thanks for creating the group chat that keeps us spiritually connected and re-charges us consistently daily.
    May you find the same love and joy that you spread in SA in your new home, is our prayer.
    May Master, Mother and Swamiji be with you always !
    Pranam!
    Nerie, Tilly, Letisha and Sushen
    Ladysmith, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Nerie, Tilly, Letisha and Sushen
      Thanks for your prayerful words!
      It is true that the distance doesn’t matter. Wherever I am, still I am accessible. The closeness that you feel evokes lots of memories. Yes, many, many things can be written about my SA experience. Well, perhaps in time to come I may pen down at least a few.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  10. Pronam Maharaj Ji,
    The article was very touching and great realization of finding joy in “Farewell”.
    Your articles are blessings.
    Hope to get inspiration and love for many years to come.
    Always at your feet with pronam.
    Goutam
    USA

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Goutam
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  11. Swamiji
    Ram Ram !
    And please accept my pranaam.
    After reading this, what else is there to say !
    Jai Maa!
    Anila
    Maryland, USA

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Anil
      Ram Ram !
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  12. Om Namo Bhagavate Ramakrishnaya
    Revered Maharaj,
    Please accept my pranam.
    I felt very much thrilled to go through your graphic and touching description of love and affection showered on you by the blessed devotees of South Africa during the memorable joy filled farewell gatherings on the eve of your departure.
    They are invariably joyful since you will be engaged only in Sri Thakur‘s work and are confident that with the Holy Trio guiding you at each and every step, you would certainly continue to ‘fare well’ only wherever you go.
    As very aptly pointed out by Smt.Nirmala Balkaran, you have been ‘touching souls’.
    I am sure that the devotees of Singapore would be immensely benefited by your spiritual guidance and bathed in your selfless love and affection.
    With pranam once again,
    T S Sitaraman
    Hyderabad, India

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Sitaraman
      Thanks for your encouraging words!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  13. Aum Namo Narananaya Swamiji
    Our humble pranam at your Holy feet.
    It feels so good to hear from you once again Swamiji.
    Last week as we arrived home from Saturday’s Satsang and opened my mail and read your message of “Durga Durga”, my heart was pounding and elevated. Again, yesterday morning, having read your farewell message, reinforced your love for all of us.
    Although we sadly ‘miss’ your Presence, Your thoughts will certainly be with us as much as our thoughts will be with you and the many photo’s taken together shields us from ever losing the sight of you.
    Through the Grace of the Holy Trio, you have overcome the many ” Hiccups” and pray that your stay in Singapore is more Blessed than your stay in South Africa.
    Thank You so much Swamiji for ever since interacting with you, I have been spiritually elevated through your love and guidance.
    May Master, Mother & Swamiji guide us through this ocean of Samsara.
    Your Loving Devotees
    Shiva & Mums Moodley
    ——————————-
    P.S. Happy Father’s Day, Swamiji

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Shiva and Mums
      Thanks for your words of feelings!
      Yes, we have many memories of nostalgia. The photo app in my MB Air called ‘ThisLife’ sends me reminders of the past events and shows the photos relevant to that day.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  14. This journey of life
    So full of joys and strife
    We start, we stop — we meet we part

    ‘Tis hard to see a loved one go
    Harder to see a dark tomorrow

    But Love is outside space and time
    And Faith abides in whate’er clime
    What is here but not elsewhere
    What is now but not ever
    Is foolish to hold dear

    So take heart and love this while
    Aye, drown the tear with a smile

    ———————-
    Kissoon Behari
    Chatsworth, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Kissoonbhai
      Thanks for your poetic words!

      Well said well said brother!
      About the journey of life’s weather!
      We know not where we start and stop
      Nor the purpose – a success or flop!
      Only love that stays to the last
      Leave all that happened in the past!
      Lessons are taught by life
      Are there to help us in our strife!

      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  15. Aum Namo narayanaya Maharaj,
    It was soul stirring to read your blog.
    We ‘miss’ you.
    We have very fond memories of you at “Hargovind Nivas” the home that you so aptly named.
    Your majestic and humble presence, at the many satsangs that you graced our home with, is etched in the memories of all of us at Hargovind Nivas.
    Irrespective of how busy you were, you always found the time to accommodate us in your busy schedule.
    With prayers at Thakur‘s Feet.
    Aroona, Hasita, Jelica, Nishta and Sham
    Durban, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Aroona, Hasita, Jelica, Nishta and Shyam
      The Home Satsangs at the Hargovind Nivas were always inspiring and elevated. You used to call only a few people of like minded nature and hence there were no distractions. Readings from the Gospel brought elevated feelings all around us. Not to speak of the sumptuous meals thereafter provided by you!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  16. Aum Namo Narayanaya Maharaj.
    The saying “Parting is such sweet sorrow” is very apt.
    Our farewell to you was with mixed emotions, while we were happy for Maharaj on his new posting, we were also sad that we were losing you, in the sense that we will no longer have the lovely gospel classes and discussions with Maharaj.
    Although Maharaj is out of sight, Maharaj is never out of mind. We constantly think about you and remember your teachings.
    My family and I feel truly blessed to have Maharaj in our lives.
    Durga Durga
    Rani and Family
    Chatsworth, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Rani
      Thanks for expressing your feelings!
      I know this ‘mixed feeling’ has seized most of our devotees at the time of my departure from SA.
      I must say that I really enjoyed taking Gospel Classes in Redhill, Chatsworth and Pietermaritzburg. The devotees who would flock these classes have repeatedly given feedback of its positive vibrations prevailing even in their homes. Attending class on the Gospel had increased multifold their mental strength and determination. It taught them how to face the challenges.
      Even at the stark reality of facing the worst scenario in home or elsewhere they did not lose their faith in Sri Ramakrishna in spite of undergoing traumatic experience.
      You are one of such shining example. The mental poise that is taught in Gita comes so easily to a householder who reads the book – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
      My love to your daughter and two sons.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  17. Our Revered Swamijee
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    To answer the question “Did I?” – YES…
    Swamijee, You left our lives aglow with the brightness of divinity! The constant teaching of “See God in all” will remain embedded in our hearts always. The outpouring of immense love and wisdom from Swamijee are the treasures that we shall cherish forever. Our spiritual journey with Revered Swamijee has been life changing and incredible and I am not sad because its over, i feel blessed and honoured because it happened!
    Till we meet again Swamijee! Durga! Durga!
    With loving Pranam
    Avitha
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Avitha
      Thanks for your positive words!
      Yes, your kind comment that you are “not sad because its over, I feel blessed and honoured because it happened!” sums up your vibrant and soulful feeling. It is a rare quality with many to ‘accept’ what has been willed and not to lament at what has happened.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be with you is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  18. Revered Maharaj
    Aum Namo Narayanaya
    Humble pranam at Swamiji‘s Lotus Feet.
    Swamiji was a pillar of strength to us in more ways than one and has touched our lives that we only know how! For that we are extremely grateful to Swamiji for being a part of our lives and instilling Divine Wisdom and mundane advice to us constantly.
    Maharaj, you are sorely missed, and that is an understatement and words cannot express how we really feel only the heart can do that.
    With loving pranam and good wishes,
    Aum Namo Narayanaya Swamiji.
    Durga! Durga!
    Nisha and Family
    Chatsworth, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Nisha
      Thanks for your appreciative words! There are scores of people who do not understand the worth of holy company and I am glad that you are one of those families who could draw benefit by an intelligent interaction!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  19. Jay Shree Ramakrishna Sharanam and Om Namo Naranaya Swamijee,
    Thanks to you for sharing your experience whilst you pilgrimage various interesting places.
    It does inspire devotees.
    You are as fresh in my mind and thoughts as I had last seen you on your farewell bid to South Africa.
    Am glad to read that you are settling down in Singapore – now I have a reason to visit that country one day.
    We will always remain connected with you.
    Durga Durga and my humble pranam together at the feet of the Holy Trinity.
    Paddy and Nini
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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  20. Aum Namo Narayanaya…
    May Swamiji‘s teachings not be forgotten…not just the religious teachings but life teachings of being humble and treating everyone equal irrespective of the color of their skin or the amount of money they make.
    Thank you Swamiji.
    Farewell Swamiji :)
    Kavishka Bramdev
    Durban, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Kavishka
      I understand the subtle hints from your prayer.
      Yes, the so called ‘devotee’ sometimes behaves so strangely that it appears that he values the wealth and position more than human traits. Though this treating differently is to be avoided in ashram settings at least, yet this behaviour persists. How do you think this can be removed? Only by prayers to Almighty to give every one the real understanding.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!

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