(January 9th, 2016)

Night sky with lamb

In these few days since my mother left her body, and my siblings and I prepare for her celebratory send-off, it has been perfect to be staying, alone, in her house, where we had spent so much time together. I choose to sleep in her bed, in the sheets she has just slept in – so strong is the urge to immerse myself in what remains of her physicality. Wrapped in her smell, I look from her bedroom window to see through her eyes, hear the sounds she used to hear….

It is hard to believe that, after our holiday time together, Pune-bound last Monday evening I said goodbye to her; by Tuesday evening she had collapsed and by Wednesday evening – before I arrived back from India – she had gone.  I wonder if I am in shock because there is no sadness, no tears, just gratitude – huge and warming – to life for the perfect timing. Yes, she had not been able to wait till I arrived at her deathbed but I am not upset: how can I be when we were given such a beautiful last two weeks together?

*

I have heard Osho explain that it takes a few days for the disembodied consciousness to recall to itself the energy that that person had invested in others.  I am not sure if I feel her with me, or withdrawing from me or if I am simply immersed in the energy field that she left behind her in the house.

I do know that I continue to reach out – out there, somewhere, anywhere – for her.  Not in desperation, not out of clinginess; it is just happening of its own accord.

It reminds me of how whenever I was staying with her over the years I’d occasionally call out to her from another room, ‘Muuuum?’

And she’d respond, ‘Is that my little ewe-lamb calling for its mother?’

***

Maneesha's mother left her bodySeeing her body in the funeral home, so shrunken and changed almost beyond recognition, affirmed what I have felt at other deaths – that the body is in no way the sum total of a person, or even a very significant aspect. Though I bent to kiss her cheek — smoothed of wrinkles and cold as marble – I did not expect to find a remnant of her there. In fact when I straightened up, I said out loud, ‘Mum – this is so not you!’ and then proceeded to take some photos of what was clearly just a corpse.

Then, if not in the body, where to find her?

*

According to the Tibetan Bardo, once it has vacated the body, the consciousness either recognises itself as radiant light or, failing that, looks for another body, to return to life on earth once more. This process can take as long as 49 days, though Osho explains that that is the outer limit: at finding ourselves disembodied, most of us are so bewildered that we look for a couple making love and dive into the womb within 3 seconds! (Good to bear in mind if you ever contemplate suicide as a break from life’s troubles!)

Maneesha and Mum at seaSo, chances are, if she hasn’t dissolved into existence entirely, my mother is already nestled within someone’s womb. In either case, not immediately accessible. Aware of this, still that reaching out…like a little marine creature with its tentacles or antennae waving about, scouring the ocean floor.

Finally, empty-handed, I come back to myself and turn inwards – and there she is. Just as I knew her a week ago, a presence of love and warmth, but now, uncontained. My whole body is plump and soft with tenderness.  Every cell saturated with it.

She is part of me, embodied in me, just as once I was embodied in her. And just as she carried me into life, I know — because it is so with others whom I have loved, my father and with Osho – I will carry her as part of me through the rest of my life. We are one.

We always were. Death has only confirmed it. (Maneesha)

 

13 Comments for Where does love live?


  • Brahmani

    Dear Maneesha, So very deeply beautiful to read, and a lesson to learn to recognize and acknowledge what's up inside of me when I call out for my loved ones already departed. When I call out : better call in. It's more efficient!... Thank you for offering your self so simply and fully. Thank you to your Mum.


    Reply

    • Maneesha

      Beloved Brahmani, thank you so much for your loving comment.


      Reply

  • Paras

    Oh Maneesha, I'm flooded with tears reading this and connecting with you both- so deep and joyful for me - gratitude that it has been so perfect for you.


    Reply

    • Maneesha

      Thank you, Paras! I am touched that you are touched!


      Reply

  • Shirin Raina

    Dear Beloved Maneesha James, greetings, This is with the reference of your precious article on "Where does love live" I couldn't resisit myself in thanking you for sharing such marvellous words about your mum. Tears flooded and I allowed myself to witness such amazing phenomenon of gratitude towards our master through which we came in contact with such incredible disciples or rather devotees like you, who makes us go through these amazing moments which don't know whether it's possible in any other life. Please accept my sincere thankfulness n immense gratitude for sharing such beautiful moments about your mum and how she is just melted in you, which is so v v incredible. Osho's loving grace on you and many more has touched me immensely that I always feel, how I wish I could have seen him at least once in my lifetime, I was 9 when he left his body and at that time had no clue about anything, and I always miss that. How lucky you blessed souls are, who have witnessed his incredible divineness, and how he has just melted among you all. May the infinite love reaches to our master and all of his precious devotees who are leading its methods across the globe beautifully, and you are among them, thank you for sharing such great master pieces and letting us know every time that Death is indeed divine Love and Immense regards Shirin raina


    Reply

    • Maneesha

      Many thanks for sharing, Shirin! love


      Reply

  • Morris Todd

    Beloved Maneesha, With tears of gratitude, thank you for sharing this most beautiful experience and reminder to come back to ourselves and turn inward. I Love you.


    Reply

    • Maneesha

      Thank you, beloved Morris, for your comment. It is lovely to know, as I do now through these comments, that others can relate so deeply to what I felt/feel. Big hug!


      Reply

  • Nidhi

    Beloved Maneesha.... Thank you for sharing so openly your experience with your mum and her leaving....My heart is so touched by your journey....your mum sounds and looks like a wonderful woman...and I can feel the love between you, through your words....so precious and healing to read.... I just love :"is this my little ewe lamb calling for its mother..." Ahhh.... (this is what i will say to myself from now on when I " call out"....) so dear.... In your sharing I so feel and cherish your gentle tender strength....your love for your mother....and your beautiful turnng and gathering up inside.... You have always touched me Maneesha I love you May your mum fly high... I send you a big hug ....and a wish for continued gentleness and depth in this time of transition and integration ... In this mystery....


    Reply

    • Maneesha

      Beloved Nidhi thank you so much for your lovely comment. Very touched. From the oceans and mountains between us.... love you


      Reply

  • Yog Jagruti

    Beloved Maneesha, Wow what a beautifully precious journey u had and have, an ongoing for ever I suppose... I relate to each and every word u said and can say "ditto" Thank u for sharing. Sending love, light and huge hug. Jagruti


    Reply

    • Maneesha James

      Thanks, beloved Jagruti. Much love


      Reply

  • Sw Tushar

    Beautiful.. I love you...


    Reply

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