Kathmandu: Sugata’s final rest

 Ananda Kuti, Apriul 2008

Dear Sugata

 

We were a small gathering coming to see you, half a dozen friends in addition to the two monks and us two.

I did not know if it were possible or how it would work inviting the two monks who overlapped your life to both give blessing at the ceremony.

‘No problem’, both of them said independently.

So it was both a Therevadan – Reverend Kumar from Ananda Kuti – and a Mahayana – Shashi Dhoj Tulachan  from Chhairo Gompa, who led the blessing.

 

1955 Sugata ordination

Kumar, I’d forgotten, had officiated at the ordination of your wife, Amita, in place of Amrit Ananda who was away at the time, and his young face is clear beside Sugata’s at his own ordination.

We all arrived late. The full moon festival together with another festival, together with Kathmandus famous traffic jam, meant the ring road traffic was at a standstill. Our taxi dropped far from Swayambhu; we weaved through the pilgrims, climbing the Swayambhu stairs at a strong pace, until out of breath at the top, and with our end in sight, we rested before descending to Ananda Kuti. ‘It wakes up in us some energy’, says Gunilla.

Sumitra and Anita, Thirta’s daughters, the first to arrive, Anita efficiently organising with Dharmamurti two chairs for the monks and a carpet for us. Fr Greg (Sharkey) was the last to fight his way through traffic and pilgrims, arrived, gamely, down the grassy hill the unconventional way. Giri, looking very dapper in a grey suit, translated the words of both monks for the benefit of Gunilla and I. Shashi and his faithful brother. Bharat, heavy with cold, and Bhim, our Anapurana trek organisers and good friends these last 8 years.

Both spoke of how they knew Sugata, his long life. Both ended with their traditional chant.

‘So many verses, I wondered if it was one for each of Sugata’s years!’, observed Gunilla of Shashis’ Tibetan chant.

Gunilla and I scattered the ashes around both the grave of Amita and the Bodhi tree. Shashi respectfully took a small quantity of the ash, enough to press into a tablet, to take up and leave at Chhairo Gompa.

Ananda Kuti, April 2008
 

 

The matter was done.

‘You know, I could imagine living here’, said Gunilla enjoying the playful spirit of our waiter at Kilroys, as we celebrated with an Everest beer that evening.

 

 

 

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One comment

  1. H&B

    Dear sugata,

    rachel created a weblog with a direct-line to you! That is a great idea – now we all can speak to you – and you have no chance for protest 😉

    It’s been one year since we speak together for the last time. It’s been one year since you have left your body. A long year with enough time for bad and strange thoughts, for rash and wanderings thoughts but always for deep and lovely thoughts.

    Now it’s your time to take a look at these two women, who comes to Kathmandu with open and lovely thoughts and the hope to find and understand you! What is it what you see, what do you feel? Can you now believe that they must be in deep love with you … ?

    I try to learn from you (I did it all the time) that everything has a reason, that everything has its time and that everything I do must be deep in heart, with no doubt and no question. Or like Rachel: whatever happens, happens for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.

    In love
    Baerbel

    PS: I’ll start again with gold-plate. Last week I bought mixtion – the twelve hour Original from Lefranc – you know 😉

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