Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2015 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2015
At the age of 103, he tends his
plants and teaches lessons on
the Hindu text, the
Ramayana at the Vishnu Mandir,
Nolan Street, Felicity, every Satur-
No one would ever imagine that
Sadhu Heera Dass, of 14 Caroni
Savannah Road, Charlieville, was
born on February 14, 1913.
In an interview with the Sunday
Guardian, Dass said: "I live life to
its fullest, and I have no regrets. I
look forward to several more years
of healthy life and living unperturbed
by the intervention of death."
He vividly recalled verses from
several of the major Hindu religious
texts and the Bhagvad Gita with con-
His father, Chharoo, and mother,
Bhagwanti, were indentured labour-
ers from Uttar Pradesh, India, who
came to T&T in 1908 in the ship
called Indus, and were assigned to
work at the Woodford Lodge Estate.
When his late parents came to
Trinidad, they became ardent fol-
lowers of the Kabir Panth faith.
Dass was born in Endeavour
Lands, Chaguanas, and then moved
to Tahadille Road, Charlieville, for
approximately 45 years.
He now lives at his present
address, Caroni Savannah Road, with
one of his sons.
He said that at the age of six, he
was initiated into the Kabir Panth
faith by Satguru Mahant Kedar Baba,
who was an indentured labourer
assigned to the La Vega Estate. His
temple still stands at Siewdass Road,
Dass said: "I was one of four chil-
dren, and my siblings were Mungroo,
Dhanarajie and Dhanbassi.
"I was the third child and have
survived all of them. I was married
to Sarandaye, who lived at Pointe-
a-Pierre before our marriage, but
she died in 1984," he said.
Their marriage brought forth 13
children, ten boys and three girls.
Four of his children are now
deceased, and those alive include
Hemraj, Bholan, Hulace, Krishna,
Kesari, Sookdayah, Dolly and
Dass was self-employed as he
planted sugar cane, rice and vegeta-
bles, both for the market and home
"I first owned a bull-cart and later
bought a tractor."
Dass recalled that he was a found-
ing member of a Ramayan group
with the Jagnarine family in Chan-
dernagore for about 35 years.
In addition to his lecture sessions,
which he still maintains, he also con-
ducted Ramayana services at the
Charlieville Hindu Temple every
Thursday evening for 12 years.
As a devout member of the Kabir
Panth religion, he attends service at
the Kedar Baba Temple, Siewdass
Road, Freeport, which is officiated
by Mahant Deochand Dass, his guru.
"My longevity has its source in
that I am full-fledged vegetarian all
my life, ever since ah know mehself.
I never had any dull moments in my
life as I prayed and lived a strict,
peaceful and religious life.
"Never do any bad thing to anyone
including animals, as we are all chil-
dren of the One Supreme Being."
His hobbies include attending to
satsangs and chowkas (religious serv-
ices) and because of this, he never
had a dull moment in life.
He is the recipient of several
awards over the years for both his
religious and community activities,
but the two which remain close to
his heart are the ones which the
Kabir Panth Association presented
to him on his 100th birthday and
more recently, the Caparo Hindu
Organisation to mark the 170th Indi-
an Arrival Day.
Asked about the role of religion
in one s life, Dass said that "religion
does not save anyone from the wrath
of punishment, but one has to save
oneself and this can only be achieved
if one adheres to the teachers of the
great spiritual masters and the scores
of religious texts over the period of
thousands of years.
"There is hope for our country,
despite the crimes, lawlessness,
greed, hate and anger. We all have
to learn this basic fact that we are
all children of the same God.
"Practice what one preaches, live
with noble thoughts and spread
peace and respect at all times.
Trinidad and Tobago remains a
He believes that people today,
youth included, have to go back to
their God, whether one is a Hindu,
Muslim or Christian.
"I believe in the supremacy of
One Being who is the master of all,
and who controls all our actions in
the cosmos of time and space," he
...still teaches lessons
on the Ramayan
At 103 years old Heera Dass lives
life to its fullest.
"My longevity has its source in that I am
full-fledged vegetarian all my life, ever
since ah know mehself. I never had any
dull moments in my life as I prayed and
lived a strict, peaceful and religious life"
Heera Dass tending to
his flower garden.
PHOTOS: PARAS RAMOUTAR
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