Dedication to Ramuji A few days after my arrival in Delhi I met the late Ramchandra Gandhi. I spent a great deal of time with him and he is the one that told me I had to consolidate the many things I’ve studied so I owe this blog to him! I have attempted to type up my notes from our many meetings and have also included various tributes people have written in his honor. The painting above is a dedication Karma Rapgyae made for Ramuji.

To me Ramchandra Gandhi was my “Ramu Mama” (Mama = Uncle) and he called me “Meena Papa” (Papa = an endearing term for baby in Tamil). Ramu mama was an intellectual giant and he unfortunately passed away in June of 2007. He was the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajaji and in him I found a cross-generational companionship that I never thought could exist.

We both felt like we were destined to meet in this life because between us we shared a deep, genuine interest in Truth and not supermarket spirituality. No one has ever treated me with so much love, respect, reverence and real concern and no one ever will. He said that in me he found a true expression of Atman. Just like Ramana Maharshi had his Meenakshi of Madurai he told me that Ramana (his guru) had sent him his very own Meenakshi, me, to ease his depression.

Imagine an intellectual giant with a fierce love of cricket, India and philosophy. In him I found the perfect blend of scholar and practitioner. He truly understood how intellectual knowledge can cloud our direct experience and nonconceptual awareness allows us to approach each moment as fresh and new. I will never forget the countless nights I spent with him at the IIC pub, khadi clad talking about life. I still remember having him listen to this favorite Hindi song of mine, Rasik Balma, with my ipod in the pub and translating the lyrics of this love song with an advaitin twist in his ridiculously posh accent. Or watching a documentary about Ramana Maharshi’s life together on my laptop in the courtyard or him lecturing me on how a Brahmin must act as an expression of Brahman and how I must never seriously entertain Buddhism! He would try to talk to me in Tamil and say, “Papa, I am trying to awaken the dormant Tamil in you!” He would also dismiss my Americaness in a playful manner and say things like, “Sweetheart, you are an Indian woman!” I am incredibly lucky that I was able to maximize my time in Delhi with him and within a few days of moving to this city I met one of the most special people here and forged a friendship that will last lifetimes.

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