Over the years I was always amazed to see how many cards and letters would be coming into Mother Center addressed to Bro. Anandamoy, especially during Christmas and his birthday. And then in the latter years of his life, when he was not able to received phone calls, the calls used to come to me, and I used to hear again and again of devotees whose lives were so deeply touched and molded to a great degree by Brother. People would say, I’ve known him for 20 years, he’s been my counselor for 30 years, he’s been my counselor for 40 years, he’s helped my whole family for more than 30 or 40 years. It seemed like Brother had touched so many lives over the years.
So this afternoon I just want to share a few tributes…This letter was sent to Brother some years ago:
“I can’t find enough words to tell you my gratitude”
“Dear Brother Anandamoy, I’ve wanted to write to you for a while now to express my heartfelt deepest feelings of appreciation and love and respect for you. I know how humble you are, but I still want to express my thanks, adoration and respect for the life of giving and contribution you have lived all these years. I read Master’s Autobiography forty years ago, but only became a true devotee about three years ago, doing all that has been recommended to me.
One of the shining bright spots of leading my way, besides Master’s writings and CD’s, have been the talks you have given on CDs. I have them all and I listen to them all the time. Those CD’s and the others of Ma and Sri Mrinalini Mata have made me feel so much closer to Master, like I was there with you. Your stories of interactions with Master have been heartwarming, funny, self-effacing and very beautiful. And I feel blessed to hear all of your interactions with Master. Your example has truly been a beacon for all to follow on the road to selfless work, destroying of the ego, and learning the truly divine path you have walked as taught by Master. I can’t find enough words to tell you my gratitude.”
This was a letter that came in after Brother’s passing sent to Mother Center:
“…he was the speaking voice of silent Guru”
“I feel close to you at this time of grief for the passing of our beloved Brother Anandamoy. What a great loss for the whole world, and for the SRF family in particular. Personally, though, I cannot feel sorrow, only the great joy of knowing that he is now in Master’s love and embrace. Not that he wasn’t already one with him before. I had the privilege of receiving his counseling several times throughout the years. And every time I had the strong feeling of being in Master’s presence. I felt, and once I even told him, that he was the speaking voice of silent Guru. He listened to me with the attitude of a loving father very concerned for his child. Never scolding, always encouraging like Master. And if he kept silent and very withdrawn, it was the greatest blessing to me just to sit quietly in his presence. How grateful I am. He explained Master’s teachings with such clear, simple and yet pregnant words, an invaluable help for us devotees and our practical application of the techniques.
“I imagine him now in the glory of God, enjoying the well-deserved fulfillment of the spiritual goal. And may he go on guiding and supporting us together with Master and the great ones.”
This is another letter written to Brother some years ago:
BROTHER ANANDAMOY, front row center
“I’ll be eternally grateful for the influence you have had on my life”
“Though I am sixty years old, I wanted to write you a “fan letter” of love and appreciation. You have been driving with me for thousands of miles in the form of your CDs which I listen to constantly in my car. And whenever I am feeling less than enthusiastic about life, I watch one of you DVDs and immediately I am ready to face the world.
“I started receiving the SRF lessons about fourteen years ago and half-heartedly would read them, and make a few attempts at meditating. CDs would occasionally arrive in the mail which I would listen to when alone, which meant when I was driving. I found myself looking for your CDs to make sure I always had one in the car. The second I heard your voice I felt myself relax. And even though today I have listened to them so often I can basically talk along with you, they still inspire me with your wisdom, humor and humbleness. Through your stories I started thinking of Master as a down to earth soul bursting with love. And I even started thinking that he had a sense of humor, which made me love him even more. Little by little I started studying the Lessons more and making meditation a part of my day. This past August I attended the convocation and was initiated as a kriyaban. Throughout the convocation and all the pilgrimages, my emotions were overflowing, watching all the joy and love around me.
“Those feelings have lasted as I reentered my “normal life.” Looking back I realize it was because of you that I started to follow the path with devotion, and I’ll be eternally grateful for the influence you have had on my life. The words “thank you” are so inadequate for my feelings towards you, but I guess they will have to do. Thank you my dear Brother.”
“God will be very happy…”
“Many years ago my husband and I were having a terrible time trying to decide whether or not to have another child. I finally decided I needed to consult with Brother Anandamoy. I called Mother Center and I was very insistent that I needed to speak to Brother. Finally the operator relented, and Brother came to the phone. I said, Brother my husband and I are having a terrible time trying to decide whether or not to have another child. Now I’m not asking you to decide for us, of course. But will you guide me on a spiritual basis so we can make our decision. Brother took a moment to respond. He said, “Well, I can tell you this. If you have another child, God will be very happy. (laughter from the audience) He paused, and then continued, “And if you don’t have another child, God will be very happy.” (huge laughter) …That satisfied me. I thanked him, hung up the phone, and in a few days my husband and I had decided not to have another child. And then I got pregnant.” (huge laughter)
“He was always truly humble…” and Daya Mataji’s Note
This is a note sent to Brother Anandamoy [by Sri Daya Mata]. He had been on his first lecture tour to Europe–seventeen city lecture tour, three months, he had no monastic companion with him, giving all the lectures and kriya initiations and counseling. And then he got back to this country and he had a full program in New York with a kriya initiation. And then he got back to Mother Center, and most of the monks had no idea what he was doing. They thought he was on a vacation. (laughter) And he got a half a day off. (laughter)
But then in May of 1959, Brother sent a Mother’s Day card to Daya Mata. And she sent him a little note back, May of 1959. She wrote to him:
“Many fine things have been written to me about your work, your lectures and talks. And I am proud of you, as I know Master is. Meditate deeply and mentally lay at the feet of our Master all the praise and love that people may offer to you for in that way it cannot harm you spiritually, but will strengthen you and draw you closer Mother and Guru. In Their love, always Daya.”
And that pretty much set the stage for Brother’s whole life. As a minister he touched people, he inspired people, he helped people, but it never affected him at all. He never had any kind of pride. He was always truly humble.
excerpt from Bro. Nakulananda (seen at podium above), Brother Anandamoy Memorial talk
BROTHER ANANDAMOY TALKS, SRF BOOKSTORE