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#3488 - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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Betty Camhi sends the following:
The renowned sage Vimala Thakar died on March 11. She was close to J. Krishnamurti and Vinoba Bhave, and was one of the leading spiritual masters of modern times.
Vimala Thakar (born 15 April 1923- passed away on 11 March 2009) was an Indian social activist and spiritual teacher. I give my Tribute Vimala Thakar.
The essence of religion is the personal discovery of the meaning of life, the meaning of truth. Religion is related to the unconditional, total freedom that truth confers on us. It is a revolution of the whole way of living. Religion moves us from the superficial layers of existence and encourages us to go deeper to the roots of life. It is an inward journey to the depths of our being.
Vimala Thakar, The Eloquence of Living.
Nothing in life is trivial. Life is whole wherever and whenever we touch it, and one moment or event is not less sacred than another.
Vimla Thakar the great lover of life
Gujarat Global.com - Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
"The life that the dawn brings us is the only life we have. Life is in the here and now, not in the there and afterwards." This is how Vimla Thakar described life. She is now no more. She died at her Mt. Abu residence at the dawn. But by all means she had a fulfilling life.
The lady who described herself as lover of life in a conversation with a meditation teacher of her group was born in a Brahmin family. She had passion for spiritual life from her childhood and her father encouraged her spiritual interests.
"The awareness of 'something beyond' dawned on me at the age of five," she writes, describing how she ran away from home into the forest searching for God, imploring God to reveal himself.
Later she was influenced by Vinobha Bhave and his Bhoodan movement. She was also impressed by teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. But a meeting with Jiddu Krishnamurti changed everything.
However, her meeting with Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1960 in Varansai brought inner revolution in her. It was a kind of metamorphosis. She describes her meeting with Jiddu Krishnamurti as the "burning ashes became aflame," and she left the Land Gift Movement and the sphere of social action to take up her role as a spiritual teacher, traveling the world to give talks and lead meditation camps.
In an open letter to her friends and former colleagues, she explained her reasons for turning her attention now exclusively to the inner revolution: "No words could describe the intensity and depth of the experience through which I am passing. Everything is changed. It is as if I am born again! . . . My association with the movement is over. Today it strikes me that the true problem is the internal problem of complete freedom! . . .
The only salvation for mankind appears to be in a religious revolution of the individual. . . . As the source of all evil is in the very substance of our consciousness, we will have to deal with it. Everything that has been transmitted to our mind through centuries will have to be completely discarded. The momentum of a million yesterdays is not easy to overcome or to discard if we try to tackle it in a casual way, or if we don't touch it at all."
For the next twenty-two years, Thakar traveled and taught in more than twenty countries, and scores of books of her teachings were published in twelve languages. While she always stayed keenly attuned to the political, environmental, and social currents throughout the world, her teaching for the most part remained focused on the inner revolution of the spirit.
In 1979, however, Thakar rekindled her social advocacy and curtailed her global teaching tours for three years to stay in India, once again traveling from village to village, talking with people about local problems and founding centers for educating villagers in agro-centered industries, sanitation, local self-government, and active democratic citizenship.After this hiatus, she began traveling abroad again, with the focus of her teaching now more fully encompassing her passion for both inner and outer revolution.
When California meditation teacher Jack Kornfield asked her why she returned to development work and to helping the hungry and homeless, she replied, "Sir, I am a lover of life, and as a lover of life, I cannot keep out of any activity of life. If people are hungry for food, my response is to help feed them. If people are hungry for truth, my response is to help them discover it. I make no distinction between serving people who are starving and have no dignity in their physical lives and serving people who are fearful and closed and have no dignity in their mental lives. I love all life."
"Sir, do not let God be a concept and theory to be imprisoned in the pages of the books and in the images and idols of temples and churches. Let him become the reality of life. He is the substance. The invisible, the unmanifest is the substance, the visible and the known is only the shadow. This is the conceptualisation and ideation of the reality that has made man fight...", she said in one of her books.
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