Leela of Spiritual wandering
The will to live is lost
It is a very sweet incident. I was sick at that time, not simple fever or cold or something like that. Very serious. All doors opened at a time: diarrhea, vomiting, fever. I never used to have fear that I will die or anything. That time too there was no fear, but I had clearly decided that I am going to die.
The will to live is lost. Understand: The will to live is lost. Body is drained to that extent. Body has lost its ability even to move, completely to that extent. I decided I think I am going to die. The will to live or to heal your self is lost.
I was thinking about what Krishna says in the Gita,
ananyaschintayante maamyejana pariupasate
veshaam nithyabhiyuktaanaam yogakshemyam vahaamyaham.
I take care of all the needs and all the comforts of all those who remember Me and reside in Me.
– BHAGAVAD GITA, chapter 9 (Verse 22)
Krishna promises this in Gita. Then I thought that it is not the time to verify Krishna’s promise but to check whether I really resided in that way.
See, even at that time of desperation, I did not think, ‘Let Me check Krishna out. Will He come to take care of Me and give Me food and medicine.’ Instead I thought, ‘If I am really residing in Him as He says in Gita, If I am really one with Him, remembering Him, nothing but Him, things will happen as He wants. He will do what he promised. Otherwise, there is some problem in Me. Why then should this body be maintained? Let it die. I may take one more body and mind, and at least in that I shall try to do what He said.’
So, it was very strong decision not only not to move the body but also not to ask for any help. And I was lying down under bridge near the Ganges river all alone. Nobody even knew I was lying there.
Because I was having continuous diarrhea, I slept near the Ganges itself. How many times to go to wash? It becomes a big difficulty. I was not even able to move. So I slept on a concrete bench and kept a small Śivaliṅga near Me. I thought if I die, I will leave My body near Śivaliṅga. That Śivaliṅga is still there. Somebody has now installed it!
A young Sādhu appears and takes care
Two days passed like this. Second day noon, suddenly one young Sādhu came to me. It was quite a remote place. More than ten years ago, it was far away from any habitation. There was no possibility for anybody to come there by accident.
This Sādhu suddenly appeared, young Sādhu, and he had brought food in a plate and water in a small tumbler. I ate. He had also brought some medicines. Again that evening he came. Over the next few days he brought Me two meals each day along with some medicines. I do not remember the name of the medicine. He would say, “Hey! Eat this food and take this medicine.” And I did what he asked Me to. That’s all. The medicine looked like a tablet, whether it was ayurvedic or allopathic, I don’t know.
By the second day, I became a little curious… Young Sādhu, he is speaking in English. For no reason at all he was so compassionate and loving and bringing Me food and medicine.
One thing about him attracted My attention. He had a pen studded with very valuable diamonds. This pen was in his shirt pocket. Though I say diamond, they may have been some other costly stones. They were sparkling and looked very expensive. Usually most Sādhus will not carry a pen because most of them do not read or write. Even if they did they will not carry a pen so costly.
Everyday, may be for some four five days, till I became alright he came regularly, twice a day, morning and evening bringing food and medicine. He would spend some time with Me talking few words to give Me courage to live, the will to live or whatever you may call it.
It was a very sweet relationship, very nice feeling. I started thinking, may be I lived like Krishna said. That is why I have been taken care. Suddenly out of nowhere, food and medicine came. I was taken care.
I get better and seek him out
I became alright after a few days. The Sādhu stopped coming. Then I started moving around. I was curious to go and see this young Sādhu who came and gave Me food everyday. I had asked him about who he was, his name, his address and where he lived when he used to come and give Me food. He named a particular ashram nearby and told Me that he was from that ashram. As for his name, he said he was called Shankar Maharaj.
The plate in which he brought food for Me had that ashram’s name engraved on it. In India, this is a custom. In the plates and tumblers they will write the ashram name. I thought let Me go and thank him. So slowly I walked to the ashram. When I found that place, there was only an old Sādhu sitting there. There was a small temple and this old Sādhu sitting on the bank of Ganges.
I encounter an irritated Sādhu
I asked that Sādhu whether I could meet Shankar Maharaj. He was sitting and rolling his prayer beads. He looked up and said, “No, There is no one here with the name of Shankar Maharaj.”
I said, “No, no, a young Sādhu came to me few days ago from this ashram. He gave me food. I want to see that Swami.”
“No, there is nobody here. Go to some other ashram and look.”
I insisted, “No, no, he gave this ashram address only. He gave Me food also. This ashram address and name only was engraved on the plate.”
Then he lifted the head. “What was his age?” He was completely irritated because I was disturbing his prayers.
I said, “Around 30 or 35.” He got very irritated.
He shouted, ”In this whole ashram I am the only Sādhu. Don’t you see My age?”
I did not let go, “No, no, no, he said his name is Shankar Maharaj. He was from here.”
Angrily he shouted, “We have only one Shankar Maharaj here. That is he there. If you want go see him and leave.”
He points to the temple deity!
I looked at what he pointed. It was the small temple. Inside was this white marble idol of Shiva. I went near the idol and I saw that the idol had the same pen that Shankar Maharaj was wearing! There was a shawl that had been wrapped around the idol and this pen was clipped to that shawl.
I was shocked, completely shocked. No Shiva idol will have pen, especially a diamond pen. I went closer and I saw the same plate in which he gave me food placed in front of him. The food on the plate, the offering, the prāsād, was also the same food that he used to bring me.
Then I went to that Sādhu, touched his feet and I asked him, “Where is that pen from? Who gave it? Did somebody give two pens? Or has some other Sādhu got one more pen like that?”
He said, “No, some devotee brought it and placed it at the feet of the idol. I put it on the Shiva statue because I didn’t know how else to use it. The pen was looking very attractive and I thought it looked good if Shankar Maharaj wore it.”
I asked, “Do you have another plate like that?”
“No, this is a small ashram. We are part of a bigger ashram. They gave only one plate for us. How many do you think we will we have?”
You see, it was an old plate. It used to have that dents. The same dents. Same plate!
And I enquired with him, I asked him, “Did anybody take this plate from here?”
He replied, “Will I allow? I lock the door properly and I sit here and take care.”
I said, “That is what I want to confirm, thank you,” and I left.
After that casually I asked that Sādhu, “Even now do you do offer the food and go away locking the door.”
He said, “No, this last one week rats have been coming and eating the food. The food had disappeared. So I stopped closing the door and going away. I sit here and do japa till the naivedya is over. I stay for about half an hour for the food offering ceremony, naivedya, and when it is over I take the plate and go.”
I know which rat ate the food! Poor man, it was his food! After the ritual offering he ate this food and for those few days he must have suffered.
He is still fulfilling his promises
Ananyaschintayante maamyejana pariupasate
Veshaam nithyabhiyuktaanaam yogakshemyam vahaamyaham.
I take care when people reside in me, remembering me, nothing but me. I take care of their needs and comforts.
He is still fulfilling his promises! This is the contract that can never be outdated, which will never be outdated. It is an eternal promise. Still he walks on the road without footwear if some devotee is sick. He was not even wearing a chappal (footwear).
It was such a strong experience, not just the food. It gave so much of inspiration and courage again. Just imagine, when something like this happens in your life, how much more of courage and confidence on this Vedic tradition happens.
Live in a simple way and see the miracles!
See when these things can happen in My life, it can happen in your life also. Let Me tell you very clearly: I know many of you guys are thinking, ‘No, no, Swamiji is qualified. That is why it happened. In our life, it won’t happen.’ Nothing like that! See, the only qualification I had I can say is I did not have this inferiority; that’s all! I neither felt inferior nor superior and I know is he made a statement 5000 years ago and he did not say this contract expires after 200 years. So naturally the contract is still alive. So we know for sure he will fulfill his contract; that’s all.
Gifts happen only just out of compassion. Just be ready, be prepared for miracles. Don’t plan your life too much. Just be simple. You will see so many miracles happening in your life. Living in a simple way is the plan for miracles.