posted by Kamala on Jun 22
Dearest Friends and Family,
Today marks one solar year here, in this very heavy and dense world of awareness. We can’t say Anni left. We can’t think like that. But, we know that we are very grateful to all of you who held her in your hearts and prayed for her. It was indeed a miracle that she was able to go through such an experience without being dead to herself through drugging, morphine, etc.
Br. Gurudas – the one mentioned in Anni’s jokes from her diary some months back – gave Link a copy of an article on the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of prayer. We wanted to share some of its salient points with you.
Dr. Randolph Byrd, a cardiologist, did a clinical study on the effects of prayer – it was something that would satisfy even Uncle Jeff’s tough standards for research; “it was randomized, prospective, double-blind experiment in which neither the patients, nurses, nor doctors know which group the patients were in. He recruited Roman Catholic and Protestant groups around the country to pray for members of the designated group. The prayer groups were given the names of their patients, something of their condition, and were asked to pray each day but were given no instructions on how to pray. Each person prayed for many different patients, but each patient in the experiment had between five and seven people praying for him or her.
The results were striking, The prayed-for patients differed from the others remarkably in several areas:
- They were five times less likely than the unremembered group to require antibiotics (3 patients compared to 16)
- They were 3 times less likely to develop pulmonary edema, a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid as a consequence of the failure of the heart to pump properly (6 compared to 18 patients)
- None of the prayed-for group required endotracheal intubation, in which an artificial airway is inserted in the throat and attached to a mechanical ventilator, while twelve in the unremembered group required mechanical ventilatory support.
- Fewer patients in the prayed-for group died (although the difference in this area was not statistically significant)”
This last point is particularly interesting to us. For, we really couldn’t understand how it was Anni did not get better with all the prayers that were going on for her from around the world and around the clock. Besides the Ashram, she was put on prayer lists in numerous churches, convents, healing groups, throughout the US, EU, India…For myself, if I could put in words, I could only pray Please! Thy Will be done! It was the only thing that would come to me.
Anni was so strong willed…I am certain that prayer is what sustained her…I remember one afternoon, she was restless due to exhaustion and pain, and then suddenly at 6:00, fell asleep for 45 minutes. Later that evening, Priya Raji called and said that she had done an archana for Anni at 6 PM…for the length of the archana, Anni had relief….could rest….
Some other things the study found were that proximity to the prayed for person appeared to be irrelevant. There was no ‘energy’ transferred in scientific terms that are currently understood.
“In spite of the fact that many who pray think that they are ‘sending’ their prayers across space to the sick person, or that they are bouncing them off the Almighty back down to the sick person (God as communications satellite), we must not take these ways of thinking seriously because they do not fit with our observations. That is not to say that God is not involved, only that distance is once again not a factor. And on this fact, all the major theistic religions agree. They have never confined God to a specific place. He is everywhere. He transcends spatial confinement and location. He is non-local, an attribute shared by our own minds. Thus we can say without hesitation that something about us is divine.”
All this is helpful to our understandings.
While joy, as we knew it, will never return to our lives, we are facing the reality of our short lived existence here with more grim determination than before, if such a thing is qualifiable. Our interest in lighthearted banter, food, everything, is pretty much gone. It hasn’t returned. We prefer to be more secluded. There is nothing to talk about really to anyone. Either people know they are in a house of cards, or not. Somewhat recognizing our own state, we have only one prayer – for Truth and Reality, for surely, there, we will know our Anni. We don’t see this tragic event as any sort of assist to spiritual life. We never felt we were not in that direction. If anything, we are grimly more concentrated, and try to find times, as today, to make that concentration even deeper…
After Anni passed, around the 10th day, I had the idea to do some ceremony. When my father, C.F.Willey had passed, I felt a tremendous push to do something around the 14th day. So I called our Pappu, who was near to Amma, and he asked her if there was anything I should do. Her reply was that we should follow whatever traditions the family had. The family had none. We are all a pretty non-tradition hugging group. From her answer, I realized that the ceremonies would be for those of us still in the house of cards, our ease of mind. They had nothing to do with Anni, they would not change anything for her. Love, will always reach her, ceremonies are for our solace, not much more. I guess its like when people grab at Amma, and having pounded her body in someway, think they have gotten something for doing so, advanced themselves in the ‘punya’ credits bank… Really, she is treated like some sort of Irish Blessing Stone. I find it aggravating, but have to distance myself from all that now…Amma has even said (and I noted that for one full year, she kept on saying at the beginning of every ashram satsang) she doesn’t want to be touched, patted, grabbed at…it hurts her…that by touching her without her permission to bless ourselves, is only in our own minds…but that she would take the poundings it that is what it took for us to uplift ourselves…Such a statement shows that all that we need, in within us already, we just have to let it be (different from Leave it Be), and trust in ourselves, somehow, to make it through the fog, to greater clarity.
Nonetheless, Link and I are using the day for silence and more concentration.
Gandhi was also a real practical person, not much bound to outer rituals. I like this interpretation he gave of a Bhagavad Gita sloka
“May you propitiate the gods and may the gods propitiate you, and may you reach the highest good by this mutual propitiation,” says the Bhagavad Gita. There is no separate species called gods in the universe, but all, who have the power of production and will work for the community using that power, are gods – laborers no less than the capitalists.1
We like that. Amma has often said, there is no separate heaven, everything, is right here. We are the devas, the asuras, the human beings, depending upon our ideals and outlooks and what we are self identified with at the moment.
O! we finally got a chance to ask Amma about Anni’s Care Fund during the room interview. She said we could give it to the scholarship fund for poor children. Will do.
I will ask Link to put up a photo of Anni taken when she was about 7 or 8. I call it Anni of our Vows photo.
We finished the video, “How to Love a Bird” starring Joy-Joy. Link will try to put it up on YouTube.
Ammu is in India, on break from school in IOWA, which, from what it sounds like, may be a lake state when she returns there. We want to get her voice recording for Anni’s album, and Karthu and Nirali also want to be able to start work on the album again soon. The more I see what’s out there, the more convinced I am, that the masses of people would be glad for Anni’s songs….people make a big mistake to go down to the lowest common denominator. It just makes us all dumb-dumbs in the long run, and doesn’t pick up the ‘lowest common denominator’ in anyway.
Here, the monsoon is coming in very poorly. Meterologists were hopeful that Saturday would see the restoration of normal monsoon vigor here in Kerala, but, it hasn’t happened. So, you can imagine, its very hot. A type of heat that just sucks the bones into sappiness. Today started off with nice and glowering skies, but, it was just spitty, and behind the clouds, a sense of lightness was there…it hardly rained, and now its blazing sun. Normally monsoons are so delightful…this time, every day, we can dry our clothes. There have only been about 3 good days altogether of rain, and we are half way through the season. Its sad and a little scary to see how fast we are all approaching our planetary crisis…famine is in the offing – the unseasonal rains in spring and untimely government distribution of harvesting tractors ruined that whole crop of rice paddy – now its going under due to lack of rain…two seasons gone…somehow, we can rest assured, that the idols of the media, the rich will still eat well during human famines…. Meanwhile, in other parts of India, Bengal, UP, some 6 states, massive flooding is happening…
Kerala is home to birds that migrate all over the world. As Kerala develops following western models and ideals, the wetlands are filled in, the migrating birds have no where to go, rest, eat….and now with drought, everything is going to get worse…I don’t know why our leaders, seeing the writing on the wall, can’t all agree to halt all production of unnecessary manufactures. Make moratoriums on all vehicular travel, use tax dollars to fund alternatives to petroleum – and there are so many other alternatives out there, but the biggies haven’t figured how to make a buck off it yet - instead of military spending…anyhow, we obviously live in painfully ridiculous times.
Well, on this day, we want you all to know that we are eternally thankful to you all for all your heart prayers and love for our Anni. In her memory, let us all pray for our earth, and the life of the Creation upon it. May we all know and grow into truth and love.
Kamala Aunty, Link and Anni.
1 Harijan. June 25, 1938. Age 68.
 Dossey, L. M.D.Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spritual Search. Bantam Books.
 Dossey, L. M.D.Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spritual Search. Bantam Books.