Rajindar S. Luthar (1926-2004): By Harsh K. Luthar
Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my father Rajindar S. Luthar passing away. I think about him often. He was my guide and counselor.
Like me, my father was a professor. His area was mathematics which he loved teaching. He was also a scholar and enjoyed publishing. He founded a Math Journal called Delta which eventually merged with another journal. He was an excellent cook and enjoyed entertaining at parties. He was truly multidimensional in his views and approach to life. We talked about everything. Politics, food, men and women, money, religion, gurus, relationships, marriage, sex. No topic was off bounds.
My father was not much into visiting temples or holy places but was a staunch Hindu and exemplified all that is best and noble in Hinduism. He often had dreams of various saints, rishis, munis, and gurus and loved to describe them in minute detail to me. He told me that he dreamt about Jesus Christ as well. I asked him how he knew it was Jesus.
“I just knew”, he said, in a matter of fact way.
Throughout his life, my father was very psychic. One time when he was in America, he dreamt that someone very close to him was being electrocuted. He immediately woke up and started praying. The person in the dream was my younger four-year-old brother who had been caught in live electric wires when we (our cousins and us) were playing on the roof of my uncle’s shop in India.
That was back in 1964. From 10,000 miles away, my father had dreamt that someone he loved was in trouble and acted to send his protection and prayers. My brother was very badly burned all over his skin but miraculously survived. He gradually recovered fully and the burn marks on his body eventually disappeared.
Although he was a mathematics professor, my father enjoyed talking about philosophy and religion. He was tolerant and liberal and accepting of all people but at the same time full of humor; sometimes irreverent humor, about religion and gurus. He told me many stories about fake gurus in India. “All these gurus, pretending to be so holy and pious; they love women, sex, and money!” He would say and then have a hearty laugh.
Because I was interested in all those things having to do with yoga and meditation, my father often cautioned me about gurus when I was a teenager and suggested that I be very careful. “Many gurus even like young boys!” he said to me many times in warning. My father left no stone unturned doing his best to make me aware of the realities of life when I was young. Sometimes I thought he was way too overprotective and controlling.
When I reached 30, I started thinking that he did his duty as a father well. When I reached 40, I realized that he was much wiser than I thought. By the time he passed away, I had realized that he was a sage.
Now, I remember my father as kind and generous with smiling eyes. At times, he had a huge all consuming laughter that drew others in. I miss him every day.