A farewell ceremony

Above photo of the “Ganges” at Kashi ashram where the ashes of so many, including Ma’s

I just received this recording of Ma as she recited her River poem.  It was the same poem she
recited when I first met her at the Parliament of world Religions in Chicago in 1993.

In Chicago,
She stood there at the podium and recited and I listened and I cried and wondered why.

Why was this poem, recited by someone who I did not know, bring tears to my eyes?

Why did these words create such a profound stirring in my soul?

At the end of the program, I sought out some folks who were around Ma. She had already left.

The first one I met I immediately asked “Who is that woman who read the River poem?”

“What is this poem all about? Why did it make me cry?”

I was given a card with an invitation to come to an evening that Ma would be giving as an introduction to her workshop.

It was a room on the 7th floor of the hotel where the Parliament was being held

I went early that evening and on arriving, I noticed a small table with a photograph, near the seat for the speaker.

There was hardly anyone in the hall yet, and so i went up to see whose picture was there.

It was a picture of Nityananda, Swami Muktananda’s Guru!

I know him!  What is Ma’s connection with this man?

I found all my answers eventually.

One day, back in Canada, Ma wrote to me through her secretary.  He said:

“Ma asks you, what shall she call you?”

I wrote back:   “Call me what you want.”

She wrote back:  “Your name is Ganga das”  (means ‘servant of the Ganges”)

Of course, the Ganges is the River. I go back to my journal from India and read about my

stay near the River Ganges, my first bath in the River, I see the children playing by the river,

I see the cows straying, the widows who cry and all those things Ma mentions in her poem.


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