Living from the Heart

– The Gift of Diviyam Jyoti

by Ma Satgit

y son Jyoti was born 19 years ago, for me the beginning of a path of acceptance and unconditional love.

In his first few years, I had no thought that certain simple independencies would not happen.
I assumed the North American norm – he would one day finish school, maybe post-secondary education, live on his own, have friends, maybe travel or possibly marry and /or have children of his own.

But I was in for a unique experience.

When Jyoti was five years old, a pediatric neurologist announced to me that he was mentally retarded. He had the mental functioning of about a four-year-old and it was uncertain if he would ever expand beyond that cognitively. I was shocked. The word “retarded” had never before even entered my mind to describe Jyoti. Slow, perhaps, but not retarded. It couldn't be! And yet it was. (Although I prefer to label it “mentally challenged,” as we all are to varying degrees.)

Fortunately, I had Osho in my life. His repeated emphasis on the importance of the heart versus the head made it possible for me to focus on Jyoti's essential being and his gifts rather than any lack.

I wrote Osho a letter about Jyoti, included his picture and asked if there was anything I needed to do to help him. He wrote back saying that I needed to set aside one hour a day for him, that would be his time to do whatever he wanted to do in it. So began my surrender to Jyoti as my teacher.

I remember one night when it was dark and raining on Salt Spring Island, where we were living. I told him it was “Jyoti's time” and asked him what he wanted to do. He had little language, yet he made it clear to me that he wanted to go outside in the rain. We put on our raingear and ventured out. He gestured to go into the car, so we got in and I put my keys into the ignition expectantly. “Where do you want to go?” I asked. He said, “No go.” I stopped. No go? Then I got it. Just sitting there in the dark, listening to the raindrops as they met the roof of the car. Being together, being the sounds, the stillness and darkness and not going anywhere. This precious moment....

I remember one of Jyoti's teachers, Adolla McWilliams, once telling me that these Special Ones are here on the planet to bring in the heart vibration. Although they don't appear to be “doing” anything, they provide balance by living from the heart. They are precious gems in a society where mental reasoning and intellect are priorities. It is also for those in close contact to learn the ways of love and acceptance.

There were times when acceptance seemed impossible, but struggling against it was futile. How to accept the frustration of having to go over the same concept or task with him hundreds of times without ever knowing success? Or the emotional throes of his extreme frustration and the sobbing of a child continually coming up against his own limitations and inability to communicate and be fully understood? How to accept the need to provide 24-hour care for him, not just for the childhood years, but a lifetime? How do you find a babysitter for a full-grown man?

So it has been, and continues to be, a journey out of the norm. I have inexpressible gratitude for this One. So simple, so innocent and aware. It goes on and on as the body changes (he is now six foot one) but not the mind. Nor does the radiance change as he beams out from the heart, unadulterated and unscathed by the mind's distractions.

I am also grateful for those aspects of my personality that have forged themselves to meet the challenges of protecting such a special being in the context of society. The warrioress or mother bear is fierce and strong when needed.

I have come to know a motherly love not bound by the meeting of expectations but the depth of love for love's sake.

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