Harshani: 90 Years of Living


Dylan Thomas’s immortal lines ‘Do not go gentle into that good night /
Old age should burn and rave at close of day / Rage, rage against the dying of the light….’ are most appropriate for the oldest of Sri Chinmoy’s New Zealand disciples. Her name is Harshani, a spiritual name given to her by her Guru many decades ago – my knowledge of Bengali and Sanskrit is little but her name embodies some inner aspect of ‘delight’.
Harshani has resisted going into ‘that good night’ for an amazing 90 years and today, Monday, March 13th, 2017, she celebrates a milestone in her long earth journey, nine decades and counting. Harshani was among the very first to respond to Guru’s mission opening up in NZ – many decades ago as a beginner on the North Shore at our ‘learn meditation’ public classes, she often described seeing a serene yogi figure, a young man in a brown simple dhoti, seated on the floor amongst us. She was surprised that I could not share this vision of our teacher in his subtle form. I told Sri Chinmoy of these experiences when he first saw a photo of her – Guru confirmed that these experiences were absolutely authentic, describing their significance in more detail.

Harshani had many inner experiences, not uncommon among those who have a very pure heart and mind along with faith and simplicity – including a conversation in the early hours of one morning with the spirit or soul of Mt Eden, our inner city volcano. She was so delighted by its beautiful rainbow appearance and the visitation. She often saw beings and beautiful entities from other realms, and we knew these experiences to be real, glimpses into other realities that we often sense but seldom clearly experience.
In Mathew 2, there are the lines: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ I’m sure Harshani’s undiminished loyalty and discipleship, her life of unwavering discipline and sadhana, will one day earn her a high place among the lokas of her spiritual master’s many worlds – a good and faithful servant who will have won much grace and will surely enter one bright day into the joy of her Master.

‘Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’
D. Thomas