Auntyji (Mrs. Raj Mehta): 2 October 1944–30 March 2021
Another year, another loss. It’s been just over a fortnight since the loss of my beloved Auntyji, the driving force of my mandir and its samaj. She took over the reins of this spiritual endeavour from Guruma when Guruma passed away, over 20 years ago, and soon after, became my mentor and guide on this path.
My attachment to Guruma was like that of a child. For as long back as I can remember, I thought she was my mother – it was only that I was not physically born to her. As a child, I would just keep looking at her in awe as she spoke and sang in front of Thakurji. Her words and voice have always stayed with me.
As a child, I would lose myself in dance as Guruma sang, and so my mother sent me to dance classes. With a bit of training, I have been able to maintain my dancing in front of Thakurji so far. Guruma guided me through all the stages in life – schooling, college, marriage, looking after the children and the elders in the family. She was a constant pole star. All throughout, I danced to her entrancing bani. And finally, it was the day of my rebirth as she chanted the mantra in my ear and took me as her disciple, involving me more frequently in the seva and other tasks.
And suddenly, when all this was becoming so sukhprad, Guruma fell sick and after a short illness, left for her abode in golokdham. This was in 2000, and after she left, I felt I was being sucked into a bog, totally rudderless.
Thankfully, Bade Behenji and Auntyji took on the seva and made a fresh start. Auntyji lifted everyone’s flagging spirits. After a few years, when Bade Behenji also became unwell, Auntyji took up the mantle.
Auntyji had been a professor of mathematics at Nehru College in Hansi, her home town. She was immensely respected in her college and looked up to in her family. She was very well-read and a wizard with words. Before meeting Guruma, Auntyji was associated with the Ramakrishna Mission in Chandigarh, influenced in her bhakti by Paramhansji and Vivekanand, and a regular at Kali temples. She met Guruma in Hansi at the home of mutual acquaintances in Hansi and at that serendipitous meeting, it was as if both knew they had found a kindred spirit. Guruma invited Auntyji to meet her the next time she was in Delhi, and thence began their long and unbroken associaton.
Auntyji’s knowledge in literature and spiritualism was insurmountable. She was a great source of inspiration to me. I consulted her for all my personal matters. She mentored me to take up my MA in Hindi and saw to it that I completed it. She encouraged me to take up dancing again and always supported me when I wanted to leave for classes and exams. She guided me at every step and imbued my life with many qualities.
Today, even in a moment of separation, I feel as if it’s a moment of eternal union where there is no fear of losing.
तुम जाते हो दूर धाम में,
मैं कैसे रहूँ इस अंधेरे संसार में?
मैं किस से पूछूं सारे प्रश्न?
अपनी वाणी की गूंज सुना जाना,
मेरे नयन ढूंढते हैं तुम्हें,
एक बार दर्शन करा जाना।
मैं ढूँढूँ अपनी माँ को,
एक बार गोदी में सुला जाना।