I was touched reading Jogyata's short story for his wife Subarata's birthday; it seemed on the 7th anniversary of her passing she was still very much in his thoughts.
He was so very hollow when it happened all those years ago. They were always “Jogyata and Subarata,” joined by ‘and’ rather than ‘or,’ by heart as well as conjunction—a partnership in it's truest sense. It seemed as though a part of him had been ripped away, and of course in a sense it had. For a while he was ghost-like, like only half a man, yet he took on the responsibilities of another one and a half stoically—at least outwardly so—running a national meditation centre that they had always run together. The story wasn't supposed to end with just Clyde, but when God is the author it seems endings are quite flexible things...
As a new student of Sri Chinmoy, I saw Subarata and her husband Jogyata as people to emulate; I was impressed from the very first meeting with their dedication and intensity, their commitment to the life of meditation; even more so I admired their personal qualities, as much in their example as in the lack of such in my self.
Subarata, whose name was given to her by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy, embodied inspiration—it was the meaning of her name. She gave my very first meditation class, almost like an angel dressed in white at the front of the room (she would of scoffed at such being voiced out loud, then probably been deeply touched) giving a talk which was all-parts inspiration, and I having a meditation experience then and there of sailing in a boat, surrounded by sunshine—Sri Chinmoy's metaphor for the spiritual life as well.
I didn't really know Subarata while alive. I twenty years old and she in her forties, we were of different generations as well as genders, and living a thousand kilometres apart in different cities. On the occasions when I did see her, the occasional visit to Auckland on some project or other, I would try to anticipate what she would say; more often than not she would offer her advice—invited or not—as to what one should or could be doing at any particular moment, well meaning, practical hints I would attempt to circumvent by learning from example.
I didn't mind being so directed, other than at times chastising myself for not seeing something apparent, for I am more than happy to be advised by one wiser than myself. As I have learned, and very much the hard way, the first step to wisdom is the acknowledgment that one is not really very wise.
And so I feel I know Subarata now, at least a little better than I did when she was alive. With eleven years as a disciple behind me, I have perhaps shared a little of what was most important to her—her spiritual life. I can understand her life in the context of my own.