I’ve just had the great and amazing privilege to attend an unprecedented event in the center of India. On the 2008 spring equinox, just as fellow-human beings all over the world coincidentally enjoyed their annual religious celebrations ~ which happened to fall on the same day this year ~ I found myself surrounded by thousands of joyful faces out in an
ancient, rural landscape, all drawn together for one of mankind’s most universal of celebrations: a birthday party! And this was indeed a very special birthday party, as it marked the eighty-fifth year of a universally benevolent person who has become loved and respected throughout he world for her ongoing efforts to integrate humanity: H. H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
The rustic living conditions and the atmosphere of mutual affection seemed to bring out the real insides of the countless doctors, students, lawyers, artists, accountants, social-workers, secretaries and all the other international visitors gathered there to honor the highest that we know: the spirit of unconditional love put into practice.
As if called together by Mahatma Gandhi to his ashram (located nearby), we, of all religious backgrounds, came enthusiastically to participate in something that would sincerely unite us above our trivial, mundane concerns. The cooling, dramatic winds, rain and lightning that manifested there, most uncharacteristic for this time of year, inspired awe in the heart of the beholder.
The moving felicitations for Shri Mataji ~ known affectionately the world over as ‘Mother’ ~ featured messages of acknowledgment and honor from many dignitaries, including the U.S. president and his wife, and the prime minister of Canada.
I came away from that timeless moment of joyful music and celebration with the feeling that we are, after all, naught but small children involved in our games ~ and that the house of our Parents has yet to reveal all the glory and wonder in store for us … one family under one roof.