Thank You, Kanchan Mama!

Posted by Kishan Laddha on Oct 5, 2019

Our Kanchan dada would have his last journey in his physical body today evening. Firmly believe that his soul will rest in peace and will keep on blessing our noble intentions.

We visited Kanchan dada on 1st Oct, in his village Bhanpur going through health issues. It was an experience to witness his pious smile and blessing. As he saw Jayesh bhai, didi and ESI family members, his joy expanded and extended. While his body is suffering severely, his soul blessed everyone. Feel grace that we have blessing of such individuals around. When JB told him that it is Gandhijis 150th birthday shortly, the smile on his face and twinkle in eyes was incredible!

Pic: Kanchan dada’s last visit to ESI where he spent 10 years after demise of His noble friend Ishwar dada

Our family members from EsI, along with hundreds of friends and villagers and well wishes witnessed the last pilgrimage of him. On the way back expressing gratitude to Kanchan dada, Jayesh bhai shared :

Remembering Kanchan Dada - Jayesh Bhai

Kanchan means essence. In trash there’s also kanchan, kanchan means wealth, abundance, and abundance means contentment (santosh). Where there is no contentment, there is poverty.

I feel outer and inner pilgrimage of Kanchan dada must have started with volunteerism. After his studies, he worked with Gandhian elders, Appa Saheb and Krishna Das Shah as a volunteer. Volunteerism starts as a hobby where we give bit of our time because we are searching for a path or for something else, sometimes due to our restless minds. However when our compassion is connected with someone’s pain, we move from being a volunteer to being a social worker. Our compassion motivates us to do something for the other and thus we become an independent social worker or work for an organisation with an intention to serve the society.

When we become one with our work we realise that work is worship. We need money for sustenance, however an employee gives more importance to money but a social worker needs money for his sustenance. When we further walk in the journey of service, our personal commitment deepens and we move from being a social worker to servant of people (sevak). We surrender to our work with deeper conviction (Sankalp). Money although being essential then becomes secondary to our work.

When we become one with our work(Karma) it becomes meditation. When we work with love it becomes a devotion (Bhakti). And when we work with knowing, understanding and reflection it becomes knowledge (Gyan). Harmony of work, knowledge and devotion (karma, gyan, bhakti) takes us towards equanimity and becomes our deeper practice (Sadhna). So this is how we move from being a volunteer to a social worker, to Sevak and then finally to Sadhak.

Sadhak does not only mean singlemindness but to be broadminded and to be aware in all directions. For eg when we are cutting vegetables, we should also think of the leftovers on how it could be used as compost, we have to also think of the kitchen and how the food is prepared, we have to also think about the person who is going to finally eat it. Thus Sadhna is to be aware in all directions, rooted in equality we move towards Samadhi (intense concentration).

In my understanding, Samadhi means solution. Our minds when finds peace is Samadhi. In this state we are able to go beyond the restlessness of mind, become non-attached with the body and our actions. We become one with the God. Affinity towards our work, co-workers and family is there but without any attachments.

Four days before Kanchan dada left his body, he lovingly caressed my head and gave a gentle smile, I didn’t find any attachments within him and I feel that is truly Samadhi. He was free from his body and thus we were all able to feel his pure spirit. Our deepest gratitude for his life. We collectively make a pledge to work and live like his spirit. “

Posted by Kishan Laddha on Oct 5, 2019 | permalink

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  • Guri Mehta wrote ...

    Dear Kishan, Thanks for sharing this! I am saddened to hear that Kanchan mama has passed on. He was such a steady presence at ESI every time we visited. The journey that he led -- serving wholeheartedly and living with such simplicity is a beautiful reminder to all us.

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    Kishan-bhai: just read the reflections from Jayesh-bhai. Thank you for posting that too. Moved, humbled and quietened