Friday, 8 June 2012

A Lord doing Duties on behalf of his absent Devotee - Part-II

A Collection of True Stories
A Lord doing Duties on behalf of his absent Devotee
Sounds Strange, Yet a true story of a Railway Officer!
 (For being declared present and on duty each time he went into Samadhi at his home. Physically he was absent, Yet… to everyone he appeared to be on duty! Then who was carrying out his duties… Wearing his name and face!!! The Railway Officer Quit His Job, When Realized the Truth)

By Vijay Khosla

The tale of Mr. Gupta attaining the state of Samadhi has already been narrated in the previous story. His destiny played a great role in fulfilling that achievement.  

The days were passing on as usually. Mr. Gupta spent more time in concentrating on his meditation besides attending to his office duties as a railway officer. His wife too paid special attention to his needs and kept every thing ready in the Pooja Room for use during Pooja.  

The personality of Mr. Gupta had completely changed. The aura exhibited by his physical being was extra ordinary. His personality was such that his mere presence exuded positive vibes in and around him.

In early seventies, no body had heard of reiki healing at Allahabad, whereas Mr. Gupta was practically healing people suffering from various ailments by waving his palms on the affected part of the body. This boon of healing had gradually developed into him after the incident of taking Samadhi.

As it happened, one day one of his officers fell from the 1st floor while descending the stairs. The officer got hit in the backbone and was suffering from a severe backache. The news of the accident reached up to Mr. Gupta too. Immediately he went to the site of accident and asked the ailing officer to remove the shirt to enable him to inspect the injury. The fellow officer’s shirt and vest was removed and Mr. Gupta found the inflamed bluish spot on the back. Almost without realizing, Mr. Gupta inadvertently extended his right hand to touch the inflamed spot to soothe the pain. He kept on moving his palm and fingers for a minute or two on the inflamed spot.

Lo and behold! The ailing officer stopped crying of pain as the inflammation got greatly reduced and the spot where the officer was hit did not look threatening any more. In fact, a day’s rest was sufficient to recoup. Everybody present over there was surprised at this amazing feat. They praised Mr. Gupta candidly.

The news of healing power exhibited by Mr. Gupta spread like a wild fire and gradually the people suffering from various ailments and inflammations started approaching him and requested him to spread the umbrella of soothing waves emitted by his palms to cure them. Very soon, Mr. Gupta became famous for his healing charisma. Since, he did not charge for his services, a crowd of suffering humanity began gathering at his doors.  

Mr. Gupta was a very busy man now. Besides attending to his railway duties and daily meditations, he was also giving time to serve the mankind with his god gifted healing powers. Normally, he conducted these sessions in an open veranda of his house in the evening. He tried his best to attend to as many people as he could to relieve them of their insurmountable sorrows and physical pains.

But, these lengthy evening sessions started showing their after-affects on his physical being. Mr. Gupta started feeling tired and drained out after these schedules. He felt compelled to reduce the serving hours and made it thrice a week. His last solace to recoup his drained energies was his own temple.

Mr. Gupta used to bathe to cleanse himself and to feel refreshed after the evening session with people. It had become a routine for him before entering the temple. And once inside the sanctum sanctorum of his temple, he shut himself from the outside world. There….inside the temple…he sat in Padmasana at the feet of his deity Radha-Krishna and talked his heart out. He behaved as if Radha-Krishna were present and listening to him. While talking to his deity of Radha-Krishna, he used to get drowsy at times. This drowsiness made his eye lids heavy and compelled him to shut his eyes. When this happened, he knew what to do next and concentrated on his Mantra-Jap with the Rudraksha Mala.

This step usually led him into a trance and cut him off from the physical world. Sometimes, he used to see a globe of bluish light in front of him. Though he did not know… why… but when ever he saw that globe of light…he offered his salutations to pay his respect. Then slowly and very slowly…that globe of light used to advance towards his enter his physical being… uninvited…to overtake him. For a few seconds…a sort of war erupted between his consciousness and subconscious being. And in the end, it was always that super-natural thing which won the skirmish and led him to the wonderful world of subconciousness.  

No harm ever came to Mr. Gupta out of these skirmishes. In fact, on each occasion, Mr. Gupta felt himself very light and soared to infinite heights like a ball of cloud…flying to unknown places. His soul liberated from the bondage of his physical being!

 The very first time when it happened…he was afraid of this advancing globe of light. Yet, within his subconscious he had known with out being told that this globe of light is friendly and has come to make him aware of something unknown to him. That it has paid the visit to be friendly and share some experiences of another world (I shall try to reveal those experiences gained by Mr. Gupta some other time).

In the beginning, his Samadhi used to last for a few minutes. Then the time span began to extend day by day. When it crossed the limit of an hour and Mr. Gupta did not come out of the Pooja Room, Mrs. Gupta got worried and went to the temple in the late evening.

The atmosphere inside the room was full of piety and peaceful. A soothing calmness permeated everything inside the Pooja Room. And the energy pervading the sanctum sanctorum was like a refreshing morning breeze. It was very potent.

She found Mr. Gupta bent at the feet of the deity of Radha-Krishna with his eyes closed. He had his left arm around the ankle of the deity and his forehead was rested on his left arm. The partially visible face was radiant and peaceful and his right hand held the Rudraksha Mala. He was sitting still like a statue at the feet of Radha-Krishna.  

She approached her husband and called out softly. At the same time, she felt that strange refreshing fragrance swirling around Mr. Gupta. The envelope of fragrance had covered Mr. Gupta from all around as if to protect him. She recognized that sweet fragrance from her previous experience. She knew that her husband is well and gone into Samadhi. Therefore, it is better to wait and leave him alone. She went near to the statue of Radha-Krishna and folded her hands in the Namaskar Mudra. She prayed for the well being of her husband and came out of the Pooja Room.

This time it so happened that Mr. Gupta did not come out of his Samadhi for more than four hours. Mrs. Gupta was worried but at each inspection she found her husband well and did not dare to break his Samadhi. Ultimately, he came out of his Samadhi in a normal manner.

The routine of going into Samadhi for lengthy periods by Mr. Gupta kept recurring time and again. Earlier it used to be during his meditations in the evenings. But now, at times Mr. Gupta went into Samadhi in the mornings also and remained in the Samadhi for considerable length of hours. In other words, he got absent from his duty for those many hours unknowingly. Though, Mr. Gupta was worried in the beginning (of this practice), but no one seemed to notice it. Everyone behaved as if Mr. Gupta was present all the times.

Days kept on passing in the usual manner. At times, Mr. Gupta felt it strange that no one takes any notice of his coming late to the office and surprisingly the work also gets done without any pendency. It troubled him but he kept quite.

Then one day, a strange thing happened. Mr. Gupta went into Samadhi in the morning and came out of it in the evening. Therefore, going to office was out of question. On top of that, there was an urgent meeting scheduled for the day. When Mr. Gupta came out of his Samadhi and remembered about the scheduled meeting, he was worried and got anxious to know the fate of the meeting. With great concern, he rang up his superior officer to explain the dilemma.

Once the call got connected, his superior officer was all ga-ga and full of praise of Mr. Gupta’s deft handling of the meeting. He was very happy with the outcome of the meeting. When Mr. Gupta heard all this from his superior officer and realized that he was present in the meeting and had handled it wisely, he became dumb-struck. Slowly, he replaced the phone on its cradle. It became clear to him that his Lord was arranging the things for him while he remained in the Samadhi. He was happy and at the same time astonished also. Finally, he went to his temple and sat at the feet of his deity of Radha-Krishna and prayed for their guidance.

He pondered on the subject of his absentee from the duty and intervention by his Lord on his behalf. At last, he decided in favour of ‘Quitting his Railway Service so that his Lord is not made to intervene on his behalf’. He couldn’t bear that.

He informed his wife of the happenings and his decision thereof as well as submitted his resignation from the Indian Railway Services. In due course, he was discharged from service.   

 His house got converted in to an ashram and that’s where I had had the fortune of seeing him and his wife in person and received their Blessings!

Great are the ways of God! And to decipher his signs…is ‘His Will’…. Amen!

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Lord doing Duties on behalf of his absent Devotee

A Collection of True Stories
A Lord doing Duties on behalf of his absent Devotee
Sounds Strange, Yet a true story of a Railway Officer!
 (The Railway Officer Quit His Job, When Realized the Truth) <Part –I>
By Vijay Khosla  

Spring is the most lovely and lively season in India, when the entire ambience blooms in beauty. The nature blossoms the flowers of varied colours and fragrance during this season. A  fragrant breeze starts dancing on the wings of wind. It is the sweet south wind... carrying the pleasant smell of flowers and refreshing aroma of soils to us. These winds invigorate every living being on this living earth.  

On a day, when there was freshness in the air and we were enjoying a cup of hot tea, the ‘Ba’ (the Gujarati lady to whom I had started calling ‘Ba’), asked to come along to visit the ashram of a devotee of Lord Krishna. Since ‘Ba’ had suggested it, I accepted it then and there. 

Dear reader, in one of my earlier stories, I had introduced a middle aged, religious Gujarati lady who used to get premonitions about the people known to her and usually warned them well before the mishaps. She had become a highly respectable lady and gained immense popularity for her declarations, which used to come true within 48 to 96 hours.

Therefore, when ‘Ba’ asked to get ready for the visit, I was more than ready to accompany. We hired a rickshaw and proceeded towards the ashram. Later on, when ‘Ba’ was comfortable and got into her ‘mood’ of telling the things, she told an interesting story of a devotee of Lord Krishna, whose real name was Mr. Gupta (I don’t remember the full name).

The story of Mr. Gupta, as was told by ever loving dear ‘Ba’:

Mr. Gupta was a high ranking railway officer. He was a married man and lived happily with his wife. Apart from being a married man, he was also an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna from his childhood. It was said that even after joining the Indian Railway Services, there never was any leniency on his part towards his daily regimen of meditation.

Mr. Gupta had converted a small room in to a temple for his meditations at his house. The room was tastefully decorated with the artifacts befitting a small house temple. The walls of the room wore fresh paint to give it a fresh look and a few framed pictures of different deities were hung on the walls. All the framed pictures were covered with garlands of different hues and color. The main deity of the place was a marble statue of Radha-Krishna placed in the north-eastern direction of the room on a wooden dais. The statue was covered with silver and golden brocaded beautiful clothes and complimentary jewellery made of semi-precious stones. The expression on the face of Lord Krishna with his flute was playful, as if he is about to play his flute the very next moment! It was a beautifully carved statue. The energy in the room was pious and peaceful exuding goodness. 

I have said earlier also that the city of Allahabad is a pious city. Therefore, it is a fact that after getting transferred to this city, the meditations of Mr. Gupta took a new turn and grew so steadfast that at times he went in to a ‘trance’ like thing, popularly known as Samadhi.

His tentative beginning to gaining the state of Samadhi was naturally noticed by his wife at the first instance. As it happened, one fine evening he was carrying out his Mantra-Jap with his Rudraksha Mala in his Pooja Room.  While meditating on his mantra, he went into a trance, when and how, he himself never knew…..

When more than an hour had passed and Mr. Gupta did not come out of the ‘Pooja Room’, his wife certainly grew curious and she went to the Pooja Room. The room was filled with an aroma of fresh flowers and the burning incense sticks. The air was thick inside the room.

She found Mr. Gupta seated in Padmasana facing the deity of Radha-Krishan with his eyes closed. His body weight was some what rested on the right hand arm-rest. This arm-rest is usually used to facilitate the movement of Jap-Mala by the fingers to avoid it touching the ground. His face was peaceful, but his fingers were not moving the Rudraksha Mala. He sat almost a statue... without any bodily movement.

Though the fragrance of burning incense sticks was there in the air, but there was also present a very strange refreshing fragrance...inside the room. Mrs. Gupta couldn’t put a finger on the kind of that peculiar fragrance or remember the name of a flower. She approached her husband and called out softly. Since she was nearer to her husband now, she could feel that strange refreshing fragrance swirling around Mr. Gupta. It felt like an envelope of fragrance covering Mr. Gupta from all around. She was astonished at that and called her husband again…

No response from Mr. Gupta.

She bent and touched his shoulder to draw attention.

Again there was no response. Mr. Gupta remained seated in Padmasana with his eyes shut.

She got worried and was about to shake his body to wake him up, when something within her deep soul made her to look at the face of Mr. Gupta. She saw a wonderful radiant face of her husband. She had never witnessed that kind of radiance on his face before. There was almost an invisible aura around his head and a beautiful innocent smile was dancing on his face. He seemed comfortable and peaceful.  

Though she wished, but could not gather courage to touch her husband’s face… in fear of disturbing that beautiful aura dancing around his head.

She wanted to wake him up to reassure herself that everything is fine. Then her attention was drawn to the small movement of his chest while inhaling the air. She quickly placed her forefinger under Mr. Gupta’s nose to confirm respiration. Simultaneously, she placed her fingers on his wrist to feel the pulse. And she was finally satisfied. She exhaled a great sigh of relief upon the realization that her husband was well and no harm had come to him.   

She had heard about the Samadhi, but was not sure of the fact. She had never seen a person in such a state earlier. She was unable to make a decision between waking him up and calling a doctor for help!

At last the wisdom prevailed and she decided against taking any action in this regard. She felt the best option was to wait for some more time… and she sat by the side of her husband... looking anxiously at him!

Shortly after this travail, Mr. Gupta came out of his trance and woke up. He looked energetic and did not remember a thing of his going into trance. It was just a normal evening prayer for him until his wife retold the whole story! When Mr. Gupta heard the whole story, he was astonished at first. Then the realization of achieving the great feat of going into Samadhi on his own stopped him flat in his tracks!

He looked at himself and again at the statue of his lord. His eyes welled up and tears started flowing through his eyes. A great boon had been bestowed upon him by his Lord! These tears were of great joy… and his joy knew no bounds. He was profusely crying with joy. Like a child he opened his arms and called for his Lord…He knelt on the floor and offered his thanks with folded hands in the form of Sakhshaat Dandawat Pranaam as per Hindu philosophy. He was weeping and weeping and kept on offering hundreds of thanks to his benevolent Lord!  

Seeing her husband crying…Mrs. Gupta too started crying. She was a noble lady and understood that her husband was not in pain and paying a tribute in the form of his tears to his Lord. And when she saw her husband offering Sakhshaat Dandawat Pranaam… she too followed suite and lay down on the ground to offer Sakhshaat Dandawat Pranaam to their Lord!

Now, both husband and wife were lying on the ground, side by side and offering Sakhshaat Dandawat Pranaam. It was a noble and pious gesture on the part of husband and wife as both were offering their thanks in their own way!

Finally, the room became quite when their sobs subsided.

Om Shanti!   Om Shanti!!   Om Shanti!!!

                                                                                                                Cont’…d to Part II

Monday, 30 January 2012

When Two Thieves Returned the Goods and Begged for Pardon

A Collection of True Stories
When Two Thieves Returned the Goods and Begged for Pardon
(on being chased by a group of Monkeys!)    
By Vijay Khosla

Dear reader, in my last story on Baba Bajrangi, I had hinted about the present story. It is also an interesting incident happened years ago in the early months of 1971.

As told else where, Baba Bajrangi was a noted disciple and devotee of ‘Hanuman ji’. He lived in a simple hut located on the out skirts of a colony. The hut contained a villager’s bamboo cot with a flat-woven cotton rug known as ‘Durries’ and a few bed-sheets as his bedding, two or three dhotis and three to four aluminum utensils. People seldom saw him cooking the food. Most of the times, his neighbours offered him food and other necessities of living whenever they could spare or felt like.

There was no electrical connection to this hut. A crude oil lamp made out of an empty tin was all that the hut could muster to light his den and he never ever felt a need to improve upon the prevailing living condition. At no time he approached any body to ask for any thing. He had perfected the art of living with bare minimum. Gathering and collecting worldly objects was never his aim. He never wanted to amass a thing. Most of the times, he kept to himself and spoke less. If at all he spoke, he used to talk about ‘Hanuman ji’. Otherwise, he sang ‘Bhajans’. The doors of his hut were open to all and never locked. He was a perfect living ‘fakir’!

Those who knew Baba Bajrangi had very high regards for him. It was very common to find people approaching him, touching his knees or feet to show their regards and seeking his blessings. On every Tuesday, he used to observe fast through out the day and in the evening, he would walk down to the temple of ‘Hanuman ji’ at the Sangam. He was fond of breaking his fast with the temple’s ‘Prasad’, distributed after the ‘Aarti’ in the evening.

One fine day, he was away on his visit to ‘Hanuman ji’s temple at the Sangam. After having his ‘Prasad’ from the temple, he walked back and reached late in the night at his hut. It was dark inside as there was no light. He was tired too. Therefore, he lay down on his cot and slept.

In the morning, he heard people shouting and making a great noise out side his hut. He came out of his hut and enquired. At that he was asked to check the hut for his belongings, because people saw ‘two men hurriedly carrying a bundle of clothes and utensils on their head’! People tried to stop them but those thieves ran away.

On hearing that Baba Bajrangi checked his hut and was shocked for a moment at his findings. But, with out uttering a word, he closed his eyes and slowly took a few deep breath. The exercise calmed his nerves and he smiled. His face was serious but peaceful again.

Baba Bajrangi said: Listen my friends, do not create a scene. Do not bother about those two men. They were needy people, hence carried stuff from the hut. Their need was greater than mine and my Lord Hanuman ji saw it befitting to distribute the things in this way. Therefore, go back to your homes and forget about the whole issue!   

People tried to convince him about the theft and reporting the matter to police. But Baba Bajrangi did not agree to any thing. Instead, he asked the people to try to understand the ways of working of that Almighty!

He declared the whole thing as his litmus test by his lord to find whether his disciple could muster the inner strength to give up the love of having these small few worldly belongings! He persisted on his belief and announced that henceforth, he will live as his lord wishes! He has no complaints to make.

At this statement from Baba Bajrangi, people looked upon him in disbelief. Yet, they started dispersing as there was nothing better to do.

Two days passed with out any fresh developments. The news of the theft had spread like a jungle fire in the near by areas. Baba Bajrangi became more famous at this austerity on his life. Hordes of people were coming to see this living fakir and pay their homage.

Now hold your breath! Here comes the strange but joyful turn to the story!

Two rickshaws approached the hut of Baba Bajrangi in the evening. On one rickshaw, two large jute bags were loaded. One jute bag contained the new utensils made of brass and aluminum and the other bag contained clothes and other household goods. On the second rickshaw, there were two men holding the same bundle of clothes and utensils stolen from the hut of Baba Bajrangi. In fact, these two men were the very same two thieves, who had made their escape good the other day!

While these two thieves were approaching the hut, a great cacophony of hooting and gibbering sounds erupted from the surrounding trees. People were astonished at this and looked up at the trees. A large horde of monkeys was perched up on the trees and staring gravely at the two men alighting from the rickshaw.

Now, these two thieves carried all the bags up to the hut and fell straight away at the feet of Baba Bajrangi. The thieves were crying and openly asking for the mercy. They begged for his pardon for stealing the goods from a sage’s hut. The Baba patted their shoulders and asked them to arise.

The people had gathered by now and asked for their reason of returning the goods. At this, they pointed at the horde of monkeys. They claimed that the day they stole the household goods, they never knew a thing about the Baba. By the evening of the same day, they noticed that a few monkeys were following them everywhere and their intentions were gravely threatening. On the second day, the news of theft at the Baba’s house had reached them also and that’s how they came to know about the Baba Bajrangi, a devotee of lord Hanuman ji! 
In the mean while, the horde of monkeys kept increasing their numbers and surrounded the house of thieves. The monkeys were everywhere and it made the life of these two thieves uncomfortable. They understood that a mistake has been made and its time to amend it and seek the pardon of Baba Bajrangi. They gathered the stolen goods to return and purchased a few more to appease the anger of the Baba and his neighbours.

The story of the thieves greatly impressed every body. Many people felt that these thieves should be pardoned as they have learned their lesson from the book of life. At this, the Baba Bajrangi agreed to, but declared simultaneously that he will not accept anything brought by these two men. It will be better if these goods be distributed among the needy people. He will remain happy with the way his lord keeps him!

With great difficulty and persuasion the Baba agreed to take back his original belongings. But not an iota more!

During this story telling period, no body remembered to keep a watch on the monkeys, hanging outside on the trees. When the matter was solved amicably, the thieves were the first to remember the gravity of monkeys. They came out of the hut and looked at the trees. They were surprised and shouted with joy….. all the monkeys had vanished. There was no trace of monkeys any more on those trees. Everything was peaceful and beautiful once again!

The two thieves gave up the habit of stealing after that.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

When a Monkey Offered Prasad to a Devotee - A True Story

A Collection of True Stories
When a Monkey Offered Prasad to a Devotee
By Vijay Khosla

This story belongs to that period of my life when I was stationed at Bamrauli, Allahabad.  Allahabad is a famous city and lies on the banks of holy ‘Sangam’. According to Hindu myth, the creator god Lord Brahma chose this land where three sacred rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati - would flow into a confluence, thus making it sacred. That sacred land is Allahabad, the "City of God" and I have faith in that saying. I can vouch for that!

My story dates back to the year 1970 as per the Christian era and I was in my early twenties. Here, let me have the privilege of introducing a Gujarati family into the story, with out which the narration will remain incomplete. Besides, I owe a long pending tribute to that grand lady of the Gujarati family.

The lady of the house was in her mid fifties. She was a religious lady with a generous heart and greeted each visitor to her house with an open smile and a warm cup of tea. She used to get premonitions about the people known to her and usually warned them well before the mishaps. She had gained immense popularity and her declarations used to come true within 48 to 96 hours.

My mother is a god-fearing pious woman and I have also borrowed the same beliefs under her shadow. Hence, when I heard about this Gujarati lady and her miraculous observations, the news got me hooked and I became over anxious to meet her.

The opportunity arrived soon in the shape of a friend who introduced me to the whole family. I was introduced to the lady of the house too. At the time she was busily discussing a chapter on holy ‘Ramayana’ to a group of ladies in another room. I started taking interest in her teachings and visited her house quite often. She too noticed my interest in her preaching and began paying attention towards me. Very soon, I became a regular visitor to that noble household.

I had started calling her ‘Ba’ (mother) and in turn, she started taking me to the religious discourses of famous ‘Gurus’ along with her. She would introduce me to the religious people and make me to seek their blessings with out fail. She would tell their stories of greatness or how they achieved their ‘nirvana’ on the way back to home. How many such meetings I attended along with her, I don’t remember. Those were the glorious days of my life and I will ever cherish them!

One day, while coming back from a holy confluence, we came across a very tall well built man. He was more than 7 ft. tall and walking bare-feet. His head too was clean-shaven. His muscular physique was covered with a simple cotton ‘dhoti’ and he was carrying a small piece of cotton sheet (gamcha) on his shoulders. His gait was quick and impressive. His eyes were large and soft. There was a strange kind of peace dancing on his face.

He was Bajrangi Baba!

When ‘Ba’ saw Bajrangi Baba, she ordered to halt the ‘rickshaw’ and we got down. ‘Ba’ called the Baba and we approached him. Bajrangi Baba too halted and due greetings were exchanged. ‘Ba’ ordered me to touch the feet of Bajrangi Baba to seek his blessings and I did accordingly. ‘Ba’ introduced me to the Baba and we departed.

Later on, when ‘Ba’ was comfortable with her surroundings and got into her ‘mood’ of telling the things, she told a surprising story of Baba Bajrangi!

The story of Baba Bajrangi, as was told by ever loving dear ‘Ba’:

Baba Bajrangi was a noted disciple and devotee of ‘Hanuman ji’. It had become famous that Baba Bajrangi had avowed to remain a celibate through out his life. Therefore, at the time when I was introduced to him, he was around 45 years of age and still a bachelor, practicing celibacy.

He had a small simple hut to call his abode with fewer personal belongings to live for. Altogether, there was a cot with meager bedding, a few dhotis and three to four aluminum utensils. He never wanted to collect anything. There was no electrical connection to his hut. People seldom saw him cooking the food. Mostly, his neighbours offered food on their own wish and will. He never locked the door to his hut and never asked any thing for himself. He was a perfect living ‘fakir’.

If at all he spoke, he used to talk about ‘Hanuman ji’. Otherwise, he sang ‘Bhajans’. On every Tuesday, he used to observe fast through out the day and in the evening, he would walk down to the temple of ‘Hanuman ji’ at the Sangam. He was fond of breaking his fast with the temple’s ‘Prasad’, distributed after the ‘Aarti’ in the evening.

The Hanuman Temple is a unique temple at the Sangam. It is the only one in North India where the idol of Lord Hanuman is in a reclining posture. Now, why this idol is in a reclining posture, is another famous story belonging to Ramayana period and I would love to tell that story on some other time!

Well, let us turn back to our main story of Baba Bajrangi. On one fine Tuesday, as the luck would have it, Baba Bajrangi fell ill and ran a fever too. Yet, as per his schedule, he observed his fast and in spite of his feverish condition, he was on his feet to walk down to the Hanuman temple at Sangam. The distance from his hut to the temple was more than seven kms. But nothing could deter the strong will of Baba Bajrangi.    

Somehow with great difficulty, Baba Bajrangi reached the Hanuman temple at the Sangam. Since he was running a fever, he had become weak with physical fatigue. He fell down near the gates to the temple and became unconscious. Though, many people knew him, but strangely enough, no one paid attention to him on that fateful day. He remained unconscious for several hours. Finally, the ‘Aarti’ was over and people started to depart one by one. Yet, no one had taken notice of Baba Bajrangi.

But, behold! Someone was watching, and watching very keenly the condition of this devotee. A small monkey appeared at the gate and entered the temple quietly. The monkey went to the place where ‘Prasad’ offered by the devotees was kept near the idol of ‘Hanuman ji’. The small monkey lifted a packet full of ‘Prasad’ in his hands and turned back walking up-right on his hind legs!

The main priest of the temple saw this and was surprised to find a monkey inside the temple at night time. He was about to shout at the monkey to shoo him away, when he noticed the strange gait and the way that small monkey was carrying the ‘Prasad’ in his hands!

That view left him spell bound! He realized within himself that something extra-ordinary was taking place that night and he is ordained to see it and remain merely a spectator!

He kept quite, but his gaze followed that small monkey. He saw the monkey approach a man who was lying on the ground as if sleeping. The small monkey kept the ‘Prasad-packet’ on the ground and pulled on the hairs of this man and whooped noisily. The small monkey kept chattering and gibbering at the man to wake him up. His efforts woke up the man, who was Baba Bajrangi and he got up with a start!

Again the small monkey came quickly near Baba Bajrangi and gave the ‘Prasad’ packet in his hands! Now, it was the turn of Baba Bajrangi to be surprised. With one eye he was staring at the ‘Prasad’ packet and with the other, he was looking at that small monkey!

It did not take him long to add two plus two! He was a great devotee and understood the intentions of that small monkey cum avatar of Lord Hanuman!

Baba Bajrangi kept the Prasad packet aside and lay down again on the ground with folded hands. It was a ‘Dandawat Pranam’ as per Hindu philosophy. He wept profusely and tried to reach up to small monkey to touch its feet. But, that small monkey plainly hooted at him in its inimitable monkey style!  Finally, that small monkey ran away in the surrounding darkness and was lost to the naked eyes.

In the mean while, the priest had seen the whole thing. He knew Baba Bajrangi and reached up to him with tears in his eyes. He cried out aloud:

Oh, Bajrangi, my friend! You are lucky indeed! See, our Lord Hanuman visited and blessed you with this Prasad! You have won the race to that eternal peace. Blessed you and your parents are! Go home in peace! 

Baba Bajrangi accepted the Prasad gracefully and broke his fast with moist eyes. He had received the Prasad from an avatar of Lord Hanuman!

How many people can lay a claim to that?


Dear Reader,

There is another very famous story of Baba Bajrangi, when two thieves had stolen his utensils and other meager belongings and how they came back with bagsful of utensils and other household goods to beg his pardon with folded hands, within two days!!!

Just relax, and wait for the story to unfold!


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Collection of True Stories - Part VI

A Collection of True Stories
When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part –VI of the Story)

In the morning, we offered our prayers at Mata Ardh Kuwari temple.  Aunt Nirmala even made me to go through the ‘Garbh Joon Gufa’ which we had neglected while climbing. I was thoroughly enjoying the company of aunt Nirmala by now and wished to pass a little more time under her guidance.

Once again we started our descent towards Katra. It was a fine day. The Sun was shining over head. Since it was day time, the visibility was very good and we could see rows of devotees climbing the hill side eagerly to visit Maa Vaishno Devi temple.

We were walking down the pathway and we arrived at another set of stairs. I had gone ahead on the plain pathway leaving behind the stair way, when aunt Nirmala called me and invited me to follow the stair way along with her once again!

The suggestion surprised me and I looked at her face enquiringly. She smiled in return and said calmly, Oh, do not be afraid. If you are careful, no harm shall come to you. See, it is broad day light and we have had a night’s rest. We are fresh and we can easily descend these stairs with out getting tired. Hearing that from aunt Nirmala, a fresh wave of energy engulfed me and I gave my acquiescence with out giving a second thought. 

So, we left the plain pathway and started descending the stairs. The regime of descending order was same as practiced earlier, i.e. I was leading and she was following me from behind.  

We had almost covered the half distance of that stair-case, when from no where a huge dog appeared on the same stair case. The only difference being that we were descending the stairs and that huge bear like dog was climbing the stairs at a sprint. The dog was galloping the stairs effortlessly and was heading straight at us.

My God! What a dog it was? I have not seen the kind of another one so far. The size was huge. It was something in between of a bear and a dog. The physique belonged to a very healthy, energetic and seemingly powerful dog. It had a shiny grey-black coat of fur on its skin. The pointed ears were moving from side to side, ready to pick up even a whisper of sound to alert him. The powerful hind legs were supporting his gait majestically. It looked beautiful but also terrorful.

When I saw that dog shooting towards us, I stopped in my tracks. Aunt Nirmala also saw that huge dog and she chuckled with delight, as if she knew the beast.

She declared calmly on her own, “Oh, Bhairon has come. Vijay, we had neglected to visit him and now he has come to meet us. Alright, do not worry; your ‘yatra’ (pilgrimage) is complete now.  And Yes! don’t be afraid of him. Stand still and let him come up to you. Love him and pat him. I know you can do that. Be brave and stand still”. These were the fast commands uttered by aunt Nirmala to me, while that huge beast of a dog was approaching us.

At last that fearful dog reached us and stopped a few feet away down the stairs. It was staring directly at me, trying to adjudge my response on his arrival. While the dog was staring at me, I noticed that it had soft and friendly eyes. There were no signs of enmity in those eyes. The fact encouraged me to throw a smile at the dog. In the mean while, aunt Nirmala called on the dog as if to break the silence.

She said, “Oye Bhairon, ki haal tera? Aa jaa! (Hello Bhairon, how are you? Come to me!)

The dog called Bhairon heard her and wagged its tail in response. Yet, he kept his gaze at me. Slowly he advanced towards us. Though I was a bit afraid inside my heart, but managed to hold my ground and stood there.

The dog called Bhairon reached near me and he stood on his strong hind legs. While trying to stand in that upright posture, he rested his well muscled front legs on my chest with a thump. The paws of his front legs had long pointed claws.  His great head was just in front of my face and it started sniffing my face and neck ardently. Strangely enough I was not afraid of the beast anymore. His soft and friendly eyes were filled with friendship and welcome. It was just like your pet dog jumping at your chest and trying to hug you and lick you. I could feel that warmth oozing out of him and I too embraced him unflinchingly with my both arms. I patted him lovingly and scratched under and around his neck to please him. 

At last, that great dog got down from my chest and It looked as if he had accepted me as a friend. It looked at me and wagged its tail in a friendly gesture. Then it went up to Aunt Nirmala and sniffed her feet as if trying to touch her feet! She lovingly extended her hand and patted his head with some soft words, which I could not hear. The dog behaved as if he understood what aunt Nirmala said. He withdrew, looked one last time at us and went away majestically in the surrounding bushes. After a few moments, every thing was back to normal as if nothing had happened! 

Finally, we reached Katra. Since, she wanted to visit another temple and I was due to take the bus to Jammu, we parted our company. Before leaving her, I touched her feet again to seek her blessings.

Today, when I think over it, I find myself at a loss. Because, I am sure that either aunt Nirmala was herself an avatar of ‘Maa Vaishno Devi’ or a very pious and noble soul, high in the hierarchy of ‘Religion’ where miracles do not mean a thing.

Only a few lucky ones do come across these things from time to time!

Perhaps, I was a foolish ‘lucky one’ at that one lucky time in my life!!!

Dear reader,

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It gives me great delight to find my stories being read now and then by the people. 
Though I have a lot more to add to these stories, yet couldn't gather the strings of my soul to pen something interesting and meaningful.

God willing, I shall write soon!

                                                                          Hari Om  

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Collection of True Stories - Part V

When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part –V of the Story)

I covered rest of the stairs with shaky and wobbling legs. The moment we reached the plain mountain road, we left the stairs thankfully and opted to walk down the safe gravel filled pathway. Aunt Nirmala cautioned me to keep on chanting the mantra ‘Jai Mata Di’ with each breath religiously.

We kept on walking with a never ending chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’. It was almost dark now. There was no moonlight and visibility was getting poorer and poorer. Come to think of it, I have a vivid memory that perhaps we were only the two souls, going down the hill on that fateful night. Because we did not hear any chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’ either ahead of us or behind.

Occasionally, we did find the people climbing up the hill. They were all in small groups of eight to ten people. Some of the groups were carrying the drums which they were beating along the chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’, while others were carrying battery torches to light the kutcha mountain path. We were the exception, a forlorn odd pair who neither had any torch nor any drum and on top of that we were descending the hill, not ascending like others. At times it felt strange when no group of devotees crossed us for a stretch of fifteen to twenty minutes. Those stretches felt very lonely. Yet we kept on walking down the hill. I was leading and aunt Nirmala was following me. The sound of our chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’ was getting reverted back as a ricochet in the mountains.

We were continuing our journey as usually that at one place aunt Nirmala halted and asked me to hold the other end of her bamboo staff as she was finding it difficult to see her surroundings in the darkness. She wanted me to lead her down the mountain path by holding her staff, as anybody would do to guide a blind man to cross the road. Now, I carried my bamboo stick in my left hand and caught the other end of her staff in my right and led her. We continued our trek down the hill chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ as before.

The path was showered with gravels of all sizes. It was pitch-dark now. Aunt Nirmala advised to remain nearer on the mountain side as a safety measure. A few lights twinkled far off down the mountains and we knew that place to be as ‘Ardh Kuwari’. However, there were no other option open to us except to continue walking.

 I was starting to worry about aunt Nirmala as I noticed that she was not chanting the mantra as vigorously as she was doing it earlier. She was just holding the bamboo staff and trodding down the hill behind me with her head bowed down. We did make a few halts to recover breathes and sat down on stone boulders by the roadside. I knew her to be old and tired, yet we continued with our journey.

We were going down the hill with that incessant chant of Jai Mata Di on my lips, when suddenly I noticed that a faint yet clearly visible circle of ‘greenish light’ had appeared in front of my steps mysteriously. The circle of greenish light was like a beam of torch light but with out any visible beam. It was just a small rounded patch of bluish-green light on the ground which was lighting my path a step ahead of me. I was able to see each and every pebble distinctly in that light.

I was perfectly perplexed and astonished at this.

I looked around to find the source of light. But there was none to be found. It was simply a circle of strange bluish-greenish light moving just a step ahead of me. I looked back at aunt Nirmala several times to check if she was doing this or if she was aware of the things happening!

 But, No! there was nothing unusual. She was walking behind me with her bowed head in perfect innocence. To test that guiding light, I even stopped on the way twice. And it stopped too. Aunt Nirmala inquired, but somehow something stopped me from declaring the source and strange working of that miraculous light !

My heart was telling me that aunt Nirmala is the reason and this noble and pious beam of light has arrived to accompany us and guide us to the safety. I did not understand the source of that light, but it was clear to me that it has come to help us. I offered my salutations to that beam of light several times from the inner core of my heart!

I was completely overwhelmed by this miracle! It was beyond a young man’s comprehension.

I was unable to think anymore. Probably, I started chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ with such fervor that all time limits and surroundings lost their meaning to me. I got drowned myself in the echo of that most holy and pious chant. I did not know anything else. I was following that guiding beam of light blindly with the incessant chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’ on my lips.  

I was lost to everything else and immune to my surroundings in that dark night. I never wanted that moment to end.

Under the influence of this unknown realm, how we reached ‘Ardh Kuwari’, cannot be explained in words. However, this much I remember that before reaching ‘Ardh Kuwari’, aunt Nirmala asked me to leave her staff as she wishes to walk again on her own as she can see her surroundings a little bit better. Hearing that, I put her bamboo staff on the ground and turned to walk towards ‘Ardh Kuwari’.

Lo, behold! The beam of light was gone!

It was no where to be seen. As if it had meant to give us company up to ‘Ardh Kuwari’ only, or perhaps there was some indescribable connection between holding aunt Nirmala’s bamboo staff (in my hands) and the moment I had put it on ground before Ardh Kuwari. Remember, that beam of light had arrived after holding that bamboo staff in my hands. 
Well, whatever the truth might be, the 'charisma' will remain through out my life!
We had reached ‘Ardh Kuwari’ and aunt Nirmala ordered to make a halt for the night. I was tired as well as rightly impressed by that beam of light. The spell of that strange walk under the guidance of that benign 'light' was still afresh in my mind. I gladly accepted her advice and we stayed for the night at ‘Ardh Kuwari’.   

While trying to keep myself warm in the blankets at mid-night and sleep, I kept thinking about that beam of light and aunt Nirmala…. and slept pondering these…. tired but peacefully!

                                                                                                                               Cont'd to Part- VI

Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Collection of True Stories - Part IV

When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part –IV of the Story)

The tone and my declaration was a plain stupid thing to do. I do not know what got into me that I was behaving so adamantly. Aunt Nirmala was very upset. The shadows of anger and sadness were clearly visible on her somber face. It was almost as if she was on the verge of leaving me for my disgraceful behavior, that something changed her mind and she looked back at me.  

She said very sadly almost in resignation, “Alright son, what will I gain by remaining back when you are unwilling to stay for the night. Don't forget that we started this journey together and we ought to finish it jointly”.

I felt sorry and was uncomfortable upon hearing that. I replied:

“No aunt, please don’t do that. Considering your age, you are already tired. Take rest tonight and start afresh your pilgrimage to Bhairon Nath Temple and other places first thing in the morning tomorrow”.

But she did not agree to my suggestion. Instead, she got up and tied carefully her shawl around her. Then she picked up her staff of bamboo stick and looked inquiringly at me as if asking me to make a move. I was taken aback at this show of strength and will power. There were no visible lines of tiredness on her face and she looked fit enough to take on the return journey as well.

Today, when I think over the whole chain of events, it surprises me to the hilt that how could have I been so naïve and foolish that I did not recognize her for what she was and who she was! What a foolish lad I was and perhaps a man I am, even to this day!

But, as the turn of events and time might have it, I just over looked the things.

Mountain-Trek - Courtesy:
 Well, we commenced our return journey. The dusk was spreading its wings and a very little day light was left. The sun had gone behind the hills and the birds were flying back to their nests. A soft cool breeze was blowing through the hills.

After reaching at the first stone stair-case leading down the slope of hill, I preferred stairs to descend the hill and asked aunt Nirmala to follow the plain pathway. Aunt Nirmala was not pleased and instead offered to follow the stairs along with me. I requested her to reconsider my suggestion but she refused plainly. It pricked a little and made me to think how much strong this old woman is at this age? Rather I praised her for that.

We started descending stairs together. I was ahead and she was a step behind. She had advised me to descend slowly, a step each at a time since it had started getting dark. But my youthful stance was almost a slow trot down the hill in place of a single step each time. I was covering multiple steps and after reaching eight to ten steps ahead of her, I used to halt and wait for her slow but steady descend. When she reached up to my stair level, I used to start my trot again playfully.

At one of the stairs level, when she had reached me and I was about to descend the next step,

Oh God, I slipped!

I had already slipped the step and was on the verge of beginning my fall. Within those micro seconds, it flashed in my mind that I am going to fall and hurt myself. I was afraid and my eyes got closed.

The inevitable fall had begun and my eyes were shut with fear, when a strong hand caught me by the shirt collar and held me! The grip on my collar was rock solid. And slowly she helped me to gain my balance. She called my name repeatedly and shook me as if trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes and stared at my surroundings unbelievingly. I got up and stood shakily on my feet. My body was shivering with fear. Whatever had transpired was just unbelievable!
An old and frail woman had just saved me!!

I was trying to recover when I heard her admonish me and she said,
“This was the reason I was not leaving you alone even on these stair steps. I knew some odd is due, but when and where… never knew”.

Now, listen carefully my boy, once we finish this set of stair steps, follow the plain mountain road. It is almost getting dark and I do not want you slipping again. No more descending through the stairs. Is that clear to you?

It was a stern order and I was already shaken. I did not have the courage to think otherwise. I was like a meek lamb.

I thanked her time and again for saving my life.

                                                                                                                         Cont'd to Part...V