Our Final Farewell to Dad

Our Final Farewell to Dad

Vasrambhai Karsan Ladva – (1932-2024)

 

The soul of Vasrambhai Karsan Ladva, my father, left his body on 2nd February 2024.  He had just turned 91 years old in December. Anything can become a reason for the soul to fly away.  In Dad’s case, it was a fall and a mild heart attack which he survived, but thereafter his health declined and he could not recover the strength to conquer the various complications in his body.  He was in hospital for a week, where the staff looked after him very well, but that was not enough and the soul flew away.

Until his fall and heart attack Dad had been very independent, doing all daily chores by himself.  All his life he has been a strong man with a fierce sense of independence.  So now you know where we all get our traits (sanskars) from!

And no matter how strong we may be emotionally, or how long we may have been working on our spirituality, the loss of our parents although expected, is still a huge test.  For they are the ones who took care of us when we were most vulnerable. They know our strengths and weaknesses. The love, care and altruism that parents show can never be forgotten and is embedded in our hearts forever.  So, although there are tears for many reasons at funerals, some are genuinely of love and respect.

At the crematorium we had photos and videos running of Dad with the family over the years.  We had a lovely heart-warming message by Sister Jayanti by video and several other speeches from family members.  One by my elder and younger brother for Dad, the two sons.  All the family spoke eloquently and from the heart, sharing experiences from their time with Dad and grandad and about his last week in hospital.

Below is my speech and the words shared on the final day of farewell for Dad.

Om Shanti

We are here today to commemorate the wonderful life of Vasrambhai Ladva.  He was a man of God. He was faithful to Mom and to God. He was very devout and he loved his devotional songs.

To give you an idea, we had bhajans in our house several nights a week. The walls of our home were filled with large pictures of the Indian gods Ram, Sita and Hanuman and The Gayatri Mantra. There was none of the modern art of today.

We three sisters follow the path of the Brahma Kumaris and have done so for the past 40 years. Dad had been a student of Raja Yoga Meditation for the past 50 years!  It was not so common in the 1980’s for women from our culture to take on such an ascetic and spiritual life. Yet Mom and Dad both were open minded, and asked us many times what we three sisters wanted in life and that they would support us. 

We chose this path and we three are so grateful that both Mom and Dad, and also our siblings for that matter, that they made it so easy for us to follow our path of spirituality.  We especially appreciate their co-operation when others perhaps had challenges from their families.

Dad and Mom both taught us all very elevated values in life. For example, discipline; every child was encouraged to spend a few moments with God in the morning before coming to the kitchen to get any breakfast.

They taught us the meaning of hard work. I don’t remember any of us sleeping in until late. We all had something to do or get on with in life, even on the weekends.

They taught us values and to respect our elders, and reprimanded us … softly … if we were out of line.

They taught us integrity. They taught us not to give sorrow or take from others what was not rightfully our own. They taught us non-violence. They taught us to forgive.

They taught us to aspire to our goals – I remember my elder brother doing a whole world tour in his early twenties! Only he can explain how he accomplished it!

Our parents became role models for us in this sense.  Dad was a perfectionist and strove for the best. He took a vow of celibacy in his early forties.  And we know how much courage that takes.

Dad’s other qualities…

He had immense courage.
He was steadfast and resilient.
He was a man of few words, but we were all aware of his presence.

Dad was a very good tailor and started a business on his own in his 20’s in Kenya, and he became wealthy and successful.

Dad had the enthusiasm to sing bhajans (devotional songs), and he moved around Kenya with the bhajan mandli (musical band). He had a good singing voice and here in England, as the grandchildren grew, we had our home grown band, singing and playing the tablas and harmoniums along with grandpa.

Still talking of courage, he had the fearlessness to move to England.  Packing up home and family and coming to a new country, without knowing English, and that too with 7 very young children all below 18.

Dad was desperately independent. Always in his self-respect. He never liked asking others for anything and taught us to be independent and stand on our own two feet. I see this trait of independence in all his grandchildren and they also make us proud.

Once we arrived in England in 1973, we landed at our aunt’s home.  Almost immediately Dad bought a house in Forest Gate which became our house and home for many years. This provided security and comfort for the whole family.

I was always awestruck as to how Dad, on a single middle class income, provided for all of us seven siblings without us ever feeling a lack of anything. Mom and Dad were always big hearted, hospitable and generous. We always had people stay over or come to eat. And like Draupadis Akshay Patra or divine bowl there was always enough … for everyone.

Dad once said to me, in his strong and adamant voice which we got accustomed to understand was his way of showing love, that he would rather starve than see us go hungry.  Dad loved to buy the best fruits, even when he would return from other cities in Africa, his gifts would be a variety of fruits.  In England, he would cut these ready for us to eat, bring them to us in the lounge, sharing his offerings on a plate.  This was the way Dad showed his love.

Another aspect of his generosity was in sponsoring families, his close friends and relatives, to come to England and settle. Dad wanted to support them to start a better life in England.

He was generous in providing tickets to the needy to visit the ashram in Mount Abu, India. He once invited a guru from India who stayed with us for about three months to do satsang, and although that was not the goal that got us all disciplined quite quickly!

We are full of admiration and proud of Dad for all he achieved in his life, not speaking about the physical so much but for what his soul became as a result of living a pure and divine life.  We all have some special stories to share about Dad, many about his driving adventures, and of course Dad loved his motorbike.

We are deeply grateful for all his protection, care and advice. He carries his good karma with him on his onward journey, and that is why for such souls we don’t cry but we celebrate a life well lived. 

May all the love and blessings of your family and friends guide you dear Dad in your new life.  We love your great soul Dad and wish you a peaceful, healthy and happy new adventure.

Om Shanti

  

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Tulay

Rest in peace
Om shanti

Shaila Chauhan

Lots of love to the soul. Om shanti shanti

Ana Lopes-Barbosa

I am very sorry for your loss Aruna. May his soul rest in peace and you find comfort in all he taught you and the memories you made. Sending you much love and peace.

bharti ben hira

Beautiful sweet lovely father, Dad, Child of Baba. Beautiful Sweet memories Aruna. It is amazing how Baba has/is sustaining many of our parents generation. They all have shown much courage, strength and simplicity.

Vilas

Sakash of peace to the gracious soul, for a life well lived. What appears to be the man of wisdom, courage and fortitude in facing life’s challenges and being victorious… the characteristic of Baba’s worthy child!

Ajay Dhatrak

Beautifully written article, which exhibits the purity of the soul of your father and your immense love for him; don’t mind my thick finger not registering 5 stars on my mobile screen correctly .
Your family as a whole devoted to BK, is doing a great service to the society. Lots of love and respect towards you and your family for what you all are doing at BK.
Regards.

Shanti

Dear Aruna,
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and personal tribute to your dad with us. We have Baba but having a dad like you have and the sanskars that were instilled by him in you is a blessing. Wishing you much love

Sylvia

That’s beautiful, Aruna, and to celebrate rather than mourn. I wish you and all your family well.

Viv

Very inspiring

Hazel

Such a fitting and lovely heartwarming speech for your wonderful Dad, Sending blessings to you and your family ❤️

Patricia Hochoy Sammy

You were fortunate to have each other. He would live on in your heart and your cherished memories will always be etched in your soul.
May his journey be with ease

Lena Valdeira

A real diamond

Last edited 2 months ago by Lena Valdeira
kasi v chappiti

om shanti my humble note of heartfelt sympathy to you while your beloved DAD attained swarglok bliss.\
Dr.Kasi V chappiti (Kasi Bhai)

Mansukh Shah

Om Shanti shanti shanti we pray that your Dad’s soul rests in eternal peace.

Amarjit Kaur Doowa

Amazing journey of an amazing man… told by an amazing daughter n spiritual being⭐️
Hugzz n love.. sending Baba’s light & might to the whole family.. Om shanti 🙂 All in Thailand appreciate you

Last edited 27 days ago by Amarjit Kaur Doowa