Mira Prabhu – In Memoriam

Mira Prabhu is now free from the torment of physical suffering caused by her cancer.  Death claimed Mira at a young age when she was on the verge of becoming well known for her writings and spiritual novels. Mira left her body on January 6, 2019, in Tiruvannamalai, India, near the Holy Hill of Arunachala. Her ashes were sprinkled over the Holy Mountain.

Mira was a beautiful soul with a kind heart and I felt her warmth and love that she naturally had for Bhagavan Ramana devotees. We used to post each other’s blog posts on our respective blog sites. Mira often shared my FB posts on her wall. She was always generous in her comments and very supportive as we were both Bhagavan devotees.

Mira was a prolific and gifted writer. She was also a yogini and mystic. She was a devotee of Bhagavan Ramana and also followed Nisargadatta Maharaj’s teachings. Mira had been living close to the Holy Hill of Arunachala in the south of India (where Sri Ramana spent 53 years) before she passed away.

Mira was an amazing woman. She was fiery and fearless and authentic in her expressions. She despised hypocrisy, especially among the so-called spiritual people. She always spoke her truth from the heart without hesitation. She did not suffer fools and charlatans and false prophets silently. When she saw injustice, she spoke up.

Mira and I connected on FB in 2014. Mira seemed to like everything I wrote on my blog and on FB on Ramana Maharshi, Advaita Vedanta, and other yoga-related topics. She would frequently share my writings on her blog and her FB page. I also started visiting her blog and following her on facebook. I realized that she was an extraordinarily perceptive and brilliant spiritual aspirant. Mira and I became part of the mutual admiration society for each other!

In the summer of 2016, Mira asked me to recommend her book on my blog and also review it on Amazon. I was delighted to do it. Ten days later, after I had read more of her essays, I wrote to Mira an email. It stated in part:

“Dear Mira,

“I am a professor and have read literally thousands of student papers and a few books as well. When I read your writing, I find myself thinking, “Mira is so immensely gifted and spectacularly talented with such a mastery of expression and command of the English language”.

“You are able to take the raw experiences of your life and through your knowledge of various fields, subtly weave them in enchanting stories and articles”!

“I feel so happy for you Mira. May all the universal blessings shine on you”…

All Love
_______

Mira was ecstatic on getting my email. I only give part of her response to me below:

Dear Harsh,

What a wonderful message to receive on a beautiful morning in the shadow of Arunachala! You pay me great compliments and I will treasure them because sometimes the inner journey gets hard and lonely and I for one rely on my closest friends (whom I call my “kalyanamitras”) to pull me through. Its been a rough ride all right, but everything in the past turns into light when I consider the grace of Arunachala and Ramana that drew me to this tiny town to know my Self.

Do you plan to make a trip to Arunachala? I would be so happy to meet you in person and might even cook for you, although I know you are a great cook yourself, vegan, am I right? But I can only try! I would also love for you to meet a few close friends too, so, if you get the opportunity to leave what must be a very busy life (based on what I know of the West), please seize the day, Carpe Diem!

Thank you again, Harsh. I’ve been dealing with the usual ups and downs (of living in a small semi-rural town where folks have odd ways of doing things) and was feeling a bit blue – when your email arrived and energized me. Arunachala’s Magic again!

Much love and
Namasthe!
Mira
__________

Mira and I exchanged other emails and got to know each other. We kept in touch. Mira invited me to come to Arunachala where she was living and told me that she was never going to leave there. During most of 2018, I had gotten busier professionally and was not writing as much on my blog. I was on Mira’s general mailing list that Mira sent her articles to and got those on a regular basis.

The last communication I received from Mira was on November 8, 2018. She had sent it to all her contacts. Mira’s email stated, “HI ALL, just to say that I’ve been terribly sick and still trying to get better. Pray if you pray! Love!”  I went on Mira’s Facebook page the same day and there was the exact same message there. I left a heart symbol for her on her FB page in response to her message. I had no idea that that was going to be the last communication from Mira.

I learned a few days ago (March 19, 2019) that Mira had passed away two months earlier in January of 2019. I was so surprised to hear the news. I felt sad that I did not get a chance to say goodbye.

Death freed Mira from her physical pain and suffering. But it left a big gap in the lives of her friends and followers. I will miss Mira immensely.

People of Intelligence Examine Their Minds

We are elated and happy when things go our way. We are sad and depressed when reality unfolds differently than our expectations.

How pitiful is our lot my friends, thrown about here and there with the changing winds! Every day, the world, as perceived via the mind invites us to ride the roller coaster of emotions fueled by fear, anxiety, anger, and hatred. A Sage centered in the Heart of Love is always indifferent to such an invitation.

How truly fortunate to come into the orbit of Sages who give the purest teachings of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and Self-Realization. Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Wise people examine their own minds.”

The Magic Of Palm Reading

My father was a professor of mathematics.

Ever since I was a child, I remember my father reading palms for fun and entertainment. He read palms on demand and instantaneously!

No was ever refused. Someone could come to him off the street and ask to have their palm read. My father would stop immediately, hold the persons hands and look at all the lines on both palms and give his reading.

My father was always positive about what he said and was careful to couch anything negative by emphasizing the power of prayer and the role of will power. His readings were optimistic and he was very enthusiastic about communicating how destiny could be overcome by hard work and sincerely praying to God for help.

My father motivated people. He told them to not focus on their weaknesses and worry, but to enhance their strengths through mantra meditation and prayer.

Anyone who came to our house would have both their palms carefully examined and told about their future and given advice as well to overcome any obstacles!

The picture given above is of my father from the early 1970s. I was serving as his assistant and helping out managing the lines of people who wanted their palms read.

Whenever my father read palms, great crowds would gather.

No one was ever charged. All the readings were completely free.

Are You Ready To Retire? Learn From History: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

I recall a discussion with a colleague in late 2007 about retirement. He was preparing to make that transition in a couple of years. Unfortunately, the stock market started to slide when he was about a year away from retirement.

The market crashed on September 29, 2008. The decline continued and, by the end of 2008, Dow was down to 8,776. Naturally this dramatic decline in the market created serious challenges for people who were close to retirement and had most of their pension in stocks.

We have now entered August of 2017. August and September have historically been the worst months for stocks. This year, increasing international tensions and the potential for a serious conflict between U.S. and North Korea will add further uncertainties to the financial markets.

Although no one can predict the future, it is important that businesses educate their employees on the basics of risk management when it comes to their financial portfolios. HR departments can and should play an important role in preparing their employees to weather all types of market conditions. Ultimately, we are all responsible for educating ourselves on how to best navigate through turbulent and challenging times.

 

The Nature of Joy

I have left all my practices,

and words of the wise

now sound like noises

in the city at lunch time.

On entering the heart of awareness,

I saw that

joy is simply the glow of contentment

devoid of longing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nature of the Ego

“When the ego rises, all things rise with it. When the ego is not, there is nothing else. Since the ego thus is everything, to question ‘What is this thing?’ is the extinction of all things”.

The quote above from Bhagavan Ramana is from ‘Reality in Forty Verses’ (‘Ulladu Narpadu’), v. 26. It can be found in Bhagavad’s “Collected Works”.

Here Bhagavan eloquently points out that one cannot force oneself to give up the ego. The very attempt to discard the ego, is itself based on the assumption of separation from the whole. In other words, the effort to conquer the ego is based on egotism!

Such forced efforts to overcome the ego end up only reinforcing the notion that we are “separate” from the Universal Existence. With such attempts, the nonexistent phantom of the ego appears real in our imagination.

Hence Bhagavan Ramana says, “Question, what is this thing, this ego which manifests as a sense of separateness from the whole”? Where does it come from?”

This inquiry requires us to simply bring our attention to the sense of identity, the sense of “I AM”. It is only by bringing quiet, nonjudgmental attention on the ego, that the ego can be see through as unreal. The method is simple and yet the mind has to be made pure and subtle to grasp it.

Love to all

Namaste