I am honored..that my quotation is part of this beautiful man's life... it gladdens me to know that such wonderful people exist.. and his love has transformed me...
Belaben & Mia shared a poem by Ellen Brenneman:
“His journey's just begun
Don't think of him as gone away
his journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.”
And, I thought I’d share:
To Raghubhai, my Ahmedabadi brother, a brother like
I'll miss your smiles, Good Morning!s, Namaste!s,
Kemcho?s, Mazama?s, Aap kese ho?s, Aap kaha par ho?s...I know these are all
from the outer senses, and, to some extent, selfish, as you're likely in a
higher, free-er, lighter place now...your spirit, hugs, love, care, compassion,
empathy, friendship and brotherhood lives on.
You allowed me to play the role of Didi, even
though I'm the youngest of my siblings. And many times, you were like an older
brother to me, even though younger in age, showing me the ropes in Ahmedabad
and supporting me...even though you're the youngest of your siblings (if I
I hope your spirit touches as many, if not more,
lives as you inspired when in the body of Raghubhai. My best of love and
blessings to you, wherever you are.
You taught me about love, from the Bada Dil (Big
Heart) you have-- more than the mere romantic type, a love that knows no
boundaries, goes beyond judgments and preferences, likes and dislikes, a love
that simply is and exists (in, and around, all of us).
It's probably the best lesson and person I could have
learned this from. You’re one of the best teachers I had, of how to live and
serve selflessly. I keep thinking unconditionally
giving can be a complete spiritual path by itself.
You'll always be my Ahmedabadi brother and always
live in my heart. I love you bhaiya.
And this is dedicated to you (my love for you may
be about the same as the love you shared in nearly every interaction I noticed
you had with the world):
Before you know what kindness
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the
Indian in a white poncho lies dead
by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night
with plans and the simple breath
that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.”
--Naomi Shihab Nye
And some quotes that describe how you lived:
“The fragrance always remains on the hand that
gives the rose.” –Gandhi
"Never doubt that a small
group of inspired volunteers can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing
that ever has.” --Margaret Mead
I was blessed to spend Christmas Day in December 2013 riding around with Raghubhai as he delivered meals to the slum community in Ahmedebad. Everyone loved him, and it was obvious why--he had perhaps the purest heart of anyone I have ever met. I could tell he was working so hard, delivering two meals a day to the community, so I asked him if he ever took a day off on the weekends or any vacation time. He looked at my as though my question were strange and said, "The people I feed can't take a vacation from eating, so I can't take a vacation from serving them." He was so sincere and selfless in his response. Raghubai was a living example of Gandhi's message.I will always remember him and I am deeply saddened by his passing. --Heidi
My dear Brother, such good people are not actually taken away from us but it is that God (Uparwalla) realizes that his mission to awaken people like you and me have been fulfilled and that now it's our turn to continue what had been left undone. Don't grief his loss! His presence will be there forever in your beautiful heart.!
I did not know of this young man; yet I am weeping and grieving for his friends, those he served, and the whole world at his loss. May God fill the void left by his passing and move all who read of his life to emulate his love in their own corners of the world.
I am sorry for the loss of your friend (and teacher.) You are right, his legacy will not die. Wishing you peace as you grieve.
I cant believe this, Im crying as I type having only posted this on facebook yesterday and finding out how I could help financially to the organisations that helped Raghu. One can only hope that his food distribtuion work will be continued somehow . I even bought a Tulsi basil online last night o add to my garden.:( Bless you Raghu and may you now have the run of the heavens.
I tired controlling the trickle but just couldn't ... I let it pass down my cheek ... No words to say ... Thanks for sharing this ... May his soul Rest in Peace ... May his Light dwell among us who read his efforts to make this world a beautiful place for the poor and the needy ...
It didn't seem possible at first. I read the news of Raghubhai's passing late last night. I'd just gotten up from meditation, and the words I was reading on the screen made no sense. How could he be gone, just like that? Raghu whose flashing smile I can still see so clearly when I close my eyes. Raghu who made a playful game of sneaking up next to us to touch our feet, before darting away, so quick and graceful on his hands, his incapacitated legs folded neatly beneath him. Raghu who could sing to God with a voice strong-winged as a bird, Raghu who found wholeness in broken places and learned to serve with a love that defied physical limitations. In the brief time I spent with him, he made me want to be a better human being. And now, though I didn't know him nearly as well as many others did, like all his brothers and sisters in service I feel a gaping Raghu-shaped hole in the universe.
After reading the news I sat down in tears, on the cushion I'd just risen from. And as I began to meditate a small voice inside said quietly, "He knew he was here to love and serve. He loved. He served. He lived a full life. Who are you crying for?" And I realized that I was crying for me and all the many of us who simply wish we'd had more time in a world that had him in it. And in that moment there was no grief only a wordless sense of awe and gratitude for the life he'd lived.
One of my favorite memories of Raghu is from several years ago. And it has nothing to do with his countless acts of compassion or his heroic generosity. It was a moment that gave me a glimpse of his whimsical side and his sense for the poetic. We were a big group meditating at Sughad, sitting together under the night sky. At the end of the hour we opened our eyes and went around in a circle sharing reflections. When it was his turn Raghu spoke in Gujarati and his voice was full of laughter. He said before closing his eyes he'd looked up at the sky and seen the crescent moon with a single star below it. "And all through the meditation I was thinking how perfect it would be if the star had been positioned just a little higher. Then at the end when I opened my eyes there it was right where I'd wanted it." We all looked up then, at the beautiful sight of a bright single star cradled in the silver curve of the moon. "I really need to learn how to focus better when I'm meditating," Raghu said smiling sheepishly. And I remember thinking then that he must have the soul of an artist or a poet. Because who else imagines rearranging the stars like that? There are other memories of course. Of sitting down to a meal with him and hearing from someone else how that very morning he'd stopped a woman from committing suicide simply by stopping and listening to her tell her story and giving her a cup of chai. There's the memory of weaving through the slums riding triples with my sister on his scooter laden with gleaming tiffin-boxes. The way I remember it, it was like riding with royalty. Children and puppies and grandmothers and schoolteachers and shopkeepers in tumbledown shacks all seemed to know him -- they came running out of their homes, lifted their hands in greeting, or shouted out his name like he was one of their own. And he was. I remember marveling at how well he knew the lives he served. How he stopped to touch the feet of one, and to check on the health of another, how he delighted the kids and how he never just dropped off food at someone's doorstep, but always went inside and sat down as if this one person was the only person on earth that he needed to be with.
He had such humor and dignity. I think of his straight-backed poise, and his way of looking directly at people when he talked to them. I think of his ready smile and the nobility of his heart. Noble. The word fits him well. He was truly a Noble Friend to all of us who knew him. He was one of those rare people who truly understood that in helping others we help ourselves, and in healing others it is we who heal.
He was such a luminous star in our lives. And I can't help thinking that now maybe he's just changed his position a little -- to find that perfect place in the sky.[Hide Full Comment]
I feel a heaviness and moist tenderness around my eyes reading about Raghu's approach to life. May my life and his cross paths in future incarnations so that I can learn more from him.
Thank you for sharing another beautiful story of giving and kindness. Raghu's memory & his legacy will live for a very long time. Hugs to you all. If anyone wants to join this Friday/Saturday it's our 4th Annual Worldwide Free Hugs (celebrate Valentine's Day and <3) Here's the link on FB:
Thank you Raghu! I intend that I serve in unconditional love for the Highest Good of All. So be it and so it is!
he gave all he had to give and now he is being taken care of...so touched to hear his story and sad for the loss as well...
I, too, worry about my future... especially as an old woman. Will I have enough money, will I be weak, ill and dependent, will I have chronic pain, will I be alone and lonely?..I struggle with my faith in the One Above. Superhero Raghu instructs me and reassures me that all will be as it should. Simply serve and practice gratitude.
I'll do my best to remember him. Thank you for introducing him to me.
Thank you . Truly inspirational to see how Raghu lived his life and left a legacy behind for others to follow . Love & service in it's purest form .
As I read this I see that Raghu loved life. Life loved him right back. He was young at his death but did more for his world than many people who live what we call "lucky long lives". What was missing for him, or in him? Can we ask, not "How long can I live?", but just "How can I live?"