Grampa’s Prayer Mat

Grampa’s Prayer Mat

By Reza Ganjavi

As a little child, I used to sit next to the prayer mat of my grandfather (mom's dad). He did his daily prayers longer than I had seen other people do it -- and much more engaged. Many people I had seen, day in and day out, more than once day, would do the daily prayers as a chore, a duty, fast and to get it done with...

Grampa's were no chore. It was towards the end of his life. What a life he'd had -- emigrate a big family from Tabriz (East Azerbaijan state) to Tehran during the war -- start a new career as a lawyer etc., which is a whole fascinating story on its own...

And now, a man of love, generosity, kindness, largeness, charity, and abundance of giving of the little he had, was nearing the end of his life.

He was infinitely kind to the grandkids - to animals - to life. He played games with us -- made us laugh -- tickled us -- bought us many things -- called our names in rhymes and songs in his sweet Turkish accent... and even though he was not affluent, ordering a chelo-kebab to be delivered for me was a treat I often got. [From the local rice-kebab shop "Shaayesteh" which had its men deliver the hot meals at lunch time atop their heads in large trays. Dome-like metal caps topped the plate the meal was delivered in. I was not a vegetarian back then although earlier I was forced to eat meat so grew to like it despite absolutely hating it as a toddler.]

A large crowd of extended relatives gathered at their house every Friday -- meal served for everyone - games - and the joy of togetherness. [I've written about memories of that era separately.]

"Aagha Joon" as we called him, did the prayer ritual – with sincerity – and then he’d just sit there and go into a state of absorption – nothingness – meditation. And I as a little kid sitting next to his mat witnessed him in this state. It was powerful. He’d sit there after his prayer – on his bent knees – and essentially meditate and slip into trance. I don’t know what he did. I think he recited some verses and said some prayers and then go into a different state. It was intense – mystical -- calm – yet powerful. He would psychologically die – end.

He lived with death while his body was alive. And in his life time he had died to certain habits. He was not a sufferer.

After he died, I had no contact with him whatsoever – he was completely gone, unlike some others who had died, who hang around in some form for a while – or come back – or linger – or perhaps end up in the astral place -- or show up in a dream etc… Or even those who might turn into helpers/guardian angels -- or those great ones who might reincarnate as some great people. I've had insights / visions / contacts / etc. into some of these cases.

No trace of grampa. Except his love, goodness, dignity and other great values, and which do not die. And some of his ways which I see in myself now -- like he used to pick up little crumbs etc., he saw on the carpet before going to bed. He went to bed every night with a perfectly orderly room. And he died with a perfectly orderly life. My dad's mom, "Manna" was a legend...


Some of the many comments:

Awesome story. A lot of people do not have this privilege in life. You are blessed!

A very touching story, Reza. Reminds me of my Grandfather. The circumstances were different than your experiences, of course ,but the respect and affection I felt for him was very similar to what you expressed.

Wonderful post. Thanks.

Pleasant Experience. This is a real stage of 'moksh'. -- -- " No trace of grampa. Except his love, and dignity, and values, and goodness, which do not die."

Very touching, Reza. Grandparents are irreplaceable and never forgotten... What they teach us is beyond any books, etc. I lost my grandmother a little over two years ago, but the wound is still fresh.

Thank u for reminding me of my childhood. What u shared parallels my childhood as well. Thank you for ur openness.

It’s A WONDERFUL SHARING..... My father died in the same way....... It’s ok… This is the way of the lord.. My mother lives who is 94 now...... Let us see what’s in store..... GOD bless your Granddad and you......_/|\_

Beautiful & very touching story, Reza joon.

Beautiful piece about your grandmother, Reza... mostly I loved the part where you remembered her smell followed by your "stream of tears". It brought forth my stream of tears...

Reza joon, first god bless your grandpa you have very good memories. You give a good point you wake up us.

Very nice. Was there anyone pregnant in the family? Maybe he took birth shortly after death.

Reza Ganjavi: Erika, that's a good guess -- actually I've kind of seen that happen a couple of times but in this case I don't think so... but who knows...

Nice to know such wise human.......

Beautiful, Reza. Your grandparents live on in who you have become.

Take solace in how they live on in you, and hang onto those memories!

Reza Ganjavi: The way I see it, Amy, it kind of becomes part of you -- all your influences -- all your teacher -- all life experiences. Maestro Angelo Gilardino says when you play a single note on a guitar your entire life experience is reflected in that. And he's one of the best and biggest minds around. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake says it's morphic resonance -- from culture, ancestors, species, etc. etc. which resonate as relationship in time -- that memory is not stored but it resonates.