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!


1 comment:

  1. good post amazingly described by author .author narration is fine and fantastic