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,

You are welcome to forward your comments on . If you have a true story based on ‘Adhyatam’, please mail it to us on above mail ID. We will try to accommodate it.



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