May 5, 2012

The Death of a Teacher. ~ Ram Giri Braun, Ph.D.

Ma Jaya, a devotee of Neemkaroli Baba, Maharajji, was the founder of Kashi Ashram, Florida.

The day we lost our teacher was the day she taught us the greatest lesson of all: to find peace even in death.

The rain was very heavy on the highway. We could barely see the road in the headlights and had to drive at a crawl, feeling more than seeing the way ahead. Right then we both sensed that she had just left her body.

A while later a phone call confirmed our hunch. Then the peace set in. Like a powerful blanket it covered the land.

I lay in bed that evening, under this blanket of peace. It stopped the mind without effort. It had the sense of absolute safety.

When we are at peace with death, it no longer appears as a threat. When we accept that all things must change—and that all change is good—we can embrace whatever happens with gratitude and with grace. Even death.

And after all, this was the essence of what she had taught me, that everything that happens to us, without exception, is a step toward that great awakening for which we live. The awakening to love. Here, again, was the proof.

Love devours all fears and concerns, even the fear of death. It opens our eyes past what we can usually see. When we are open, love streams as powerful medicine from the core of the heart. It breaks us free of the obstructions of lifetimes.

The next morning I took a walk. I remembered a poem I had once shared with her. It ended with the line, “and we bring our harvest into the barn.”

The harvest of our life is the way we have loved, the way we have manifested the immortality of our being in this passing show of a world. The way we have served.

Now she was bringing the harvest of her great heart into the barn, laying it into the lap of God, handing the work of a lifetime to our beloved guru. She touched so many people.

An ecstasy came over me that moment, an ecstasy that doesn’t seem to leave. Life is about that loving, and the love we have shared. And I am still here, sowing my seed, picking the weeds, pruning the branches. I water and fertilize.

And so are you. Don’t burden yourself with thoughts of what you should have done. You did the best you could with what you had. We succeed and we fail as humans, but the eye of the spirit can see no flaws. It loves us completely from inside us, no matter what. We are that love and we are capable to see life, and people, in that pure light.

When I looked at her face the next day, her body glowed in the peace of death. Like a fully ripe fruit, fallen from the tree at the right time, the lines in her face etched in a clarity I cannot describe. Wisdom expressing itself in flesh.

That body is now just a small pile of ash, as all our bodies will be. Nothing lasts except the wisdom and the kind of love that arise in us from behind the veil of time and space.

From there we are harvesting ourselves every moment. We are harvesting our truth. We are harvesting the great song in our heart.


Ram Giri is a spiritual teacher, innovator, accomplished yogi and psychologist. He offers down-to-earth help in overcoming the challenges of life to create profound, quick and lasting solutions. Whether you are dealing with depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship conflicts, or more, his Skills for Awakening® can guide you in the most direct way to joy, courage, inner peace and unconditional love—the true antidote to all pain and confusion. Ram Giri’s direct guidance, in groups or personally one-on-one, is a unique service to spiritual seekers world-wide who struggle with personal challenges. You can reach him at 305-567-1406 or at www.ramgiri.org. Follow him on Facebook.

We invite you to visit our website Skills for Awakening.com and to check our CD “Living with an Open Heart”, guided HeartSourcing by Ram Giri and music by Krishna Das. The CD is also available on iTunes and YogiTunes.



Editors: Alexandra Grace/Kate Bartolotta

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