Kashi: An Ancient Tradition
Kashi is the ancient name for Benares or Varanassi, the sacred city in India where, for thousands of years, people have come to seek liberation at the time of death.
It is fitting then that in 1991, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., AIDS activist and person living with AIDS, Bruce Cummings, or Shiva Baba, came to Ma and asked her to create a place in the beauty of Kashi’s grounds where people could come to remember their loved ones.
When Shiva Baba died, he left some money that helped Kashi build the first Memorial Boardwalk over the wetlands of the St Sebastian River in 1994. In the years since the boardwalk was built, the planks have filled up with the names of our many loved ones, friends, family members and even pets.
Every name on the boardwalk holds a story. A particularly poignant section has the name of children who knew who died of AIDS. Another section has people who lived their last days or weeks at the River House. In another area are names of many of the people we would visit in West Palm Beach, at the county home and other resident hospices.
As part of Kashi’s expansion, a second boardwalk was built over the wetlands to the St. Sebastian River to help preserve and conserve the beautiful wetland areas.
The new, 200 foot boardwalk provides access to the river for our many visitors and guests as well as residents of the Village of Kashi, our residential development. The boardwalks provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the Florida river wildlife – alligators (all year round), manatee (mostly the winter, though some year round), turtles and rich bird life – herons, ospreys and the occasional bald eagle.
A Living Memorial
Everyone is invited to keep the memories of their loved ones alive by weaving their names into this tapestry of life and death.
- Boardwalk board: $150 (max 22 characters/spaces)
- 3′ bench: $1,000
- 4′ bench: $1,250
- 5′ bench: $1,500 (see new bench style below)
Email us for more information and to order a memorial option.