It's been one year since Dharmananda is gone from us.
On Sunday, in the bus on the way home our trip to south France we thought a lot about him and sang lots of his songs.
On Monday we went together to the grave and remembered our brother Dharmananda with Swami Vishwananda.
We talked about Dharmananda - the way we remember him, his qualities, his characteristics and told little experiences we had with him. It was touching.
Swamiji gave a short talk while we were all gathered at Dharmananda's grave:
"Through his life, he was a good person, a good devotee - surrendered. He had the grace in this life to be on the spiritual path, and also to sing for God. There are many musicians, many singers in the world, but to sing for God is a different thing. Not every musician or singer has this grace to do that.
Dharmananda found his way and his path in life, and of course it was short. That's why I was saying, you don't need to become old to die. Any time. When the time comes, when the page turns, you will be dead. You will leave this body, but eternally, you will live. So, today we are celebrating his day, where he was born in heaven. This is the way where everyone will go one day. No one will escape that, but you will come back, as the soul always has to evolve itself. One has to come back, and he will come.
For sure in this life you will all meet him, but you will not recognize him as usual. But he will be born again with his same qualities, so it is not a big deal. It will be easy to recognize. This is the great thing you know, when you are born with certain qualities from previous lives, you carry it with you. You carry on, in one life to the other. Same thing with him, he will come back again. Not yet. In some time.
You know, his example - that's what we celebrate, really. His humility, his humbleness - how he was, with each one. He could have been very proud and very arrogant. He was always joyful with everybody. Even there are ups and downs, like usual - you know, in a family, there are always ups and downs. It is not always right. You know that. But his understanding of people - he always tried to understand, he always respected the people's way also. He was never one which always impose himself on anyone. Each one of you who have met him, who have talked with him, been with him: you know how he was.
That's what is the most important - is to understand the people. Especially when you have a certain duty - it doesn't matter what kind of duty. When you work with people - of course you have your duty to do. You have to love and do your duty. But not everybody really understands that. If you know where you stand and you understand the people, the people will also understand you. That's what this man has done. Of course he was pushing everything forwards, but he did it in a very sweet way. He was never imposing himself on anybody.
I remember whenever we would sit around, we would always sing, wherever we would be. Even when once I remember I went to the audio room, he was alone, singing! And then he said, "I am never alone. You are here, and everybody else is around." So now he is here. We are also here! And that's what the family stands for.
Even when you have your ups and downs, you have your agreements and disagreements, but yet, at the end of the day, you have to forget about all this. you have to really hold hands together, strongly. Even when there are disagreements. Afterwards, there are still disagreements, you have to be more stronger with each another.
So take his example. And change. If you see that you have to change, do change. Nobody can tell you to change something or not. But you have to willingly change yourself. So, every year on the 14th of this month we will celebrate Dharmananda's day - to remember this understanding of the people, even after he comes back again.