“Let us know that the highest great Lord of Lords, the highest Deity of Deities, the Master of Masters, His high power is revealed as manifold, as inherent, acting as force and knowledge.
There is no Master of His in this world, no Ruler of His, not even a sign of Him.. He is the Cause, the Lord of the Lords of the organs, and there is of Him neither a Parent nor Lord.
He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all Pervading, the Self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the Witness, the Perceiver, the only One, free from all the qualities.
The wise who perceive Him dwelling within their self, to them belongs eternal happiness and serenity, not to others.. He who knows this God as primal cause, through Sāṁkhya (reason, reflection) and Yoga (self-discipline), achieves Mukti (freedom, Moksha)” – Svetasvatara Upanishad
DISCLAIMER : This is not a true story but a heart touching human story based on a real life incident that I have heard from a great man, a few years ago, in a spiritual meeting in Hyderabad.
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“Saab, there’s also a strong belief around this place that the people of this village were all Tirupati Balaji’s servants and priests in their past lives.
According to my grand Mother, it is further believed that some of these villagers remember their past lives and also tell clearly what they were in that life and how they have served Balaji in Tirupati Temple in that life.
Saab, everyone in this village is a great devotee of Balaji.. They submit all their problems to Him and believe, it is He Who had given them this life and it is He Who is shaping their destiny”.
Coming out of that frozen state, that man, slowly turned his head towards Joginder and asked, “then why did we come here, Joginder”..
After quietly staring into the eyes of his boss, for a few silent seconds, Joginder slowly raised his right hand and pointing it towards Bhagawan Sri Venkateswara on the arch, said,
“No saab, we didn’t come here.. He brought us here”..
For almost a minute, that man, with his head lifted up, just kept staring at the deity of Bhagawan Sri Venkateswara on the arch.. His mind was full of many clueless doubts and unanswerable questions.
In a way, he was at that moment, in a dazed state of ‘to be or not be’ and ‘to believe or not believe’.. That was an absolute state of a hapless parenthetical interposition, for that man, of an insignificant mortal in an eternal continuum.
Reading his boss’s mind, Joginder told him in a low tone, “saab, even if you stand here the whole of your life and keep looking at Him, you won’t be able to understand Him a bit.. So, let us go inside the village, without wasting any more time here, and find out if there’s anyone there who can offer us some food today.. Am feeling hungry”.
Slowly shifting his looks from the Holy Lord to Joginder, that man said,
“Joginder, why is that everything we are doing today is going against us; why is that we are suffering so much now; why is that we are brought here; and why is that we are blocked here from all the corners of the world.. This was exactly what am thinking looking up at the statue of that Man on the arch.
Do you mean to say that Man, in the form of a statue, is doing all this, Joginder..?? Is He so capable..?? Is He so powerful..?? Is He really controlling our lives..?? Who is He.. ??.. What is He for me..?? Is He the God you all are so madly talking about since morning..??
Is He shaping my destiny, your destiny and the destiny of each and everyone living on this planet, Joginder.. ?? Is that what you are trying to say..?? Is that what you want me to believe too..??
Oh, commmmmeon Joginder, just because am listening to you doesn’t mean I would believe whatever nonsense you utter.. It’s just a coincidence that we have come here today, to this so called village of Gods, Devgaon, and got stuck.
It’s just a normal act of Nature, Joginder, and nothing more than that.. Come out of your stupid beliefs and childhood stories which you heard from your granny long ago.. Think with your brain and not with your heart.
Learn to be always practical and analytical in life, Joginder, and try to perceive everything from a human point of view and not from a God’s point of view.. It is man who made God and not the other way as is propagated by some opportunists of this world.
Weak minds like you fall prey to such sayings and strong minds like me reject them outright.. Whether or not you believe, Joginder, for people like me God is a big joke.. Did you get my point..??”
Saying so, that man paused and sarcastically kept staring at Joginder..
Joginder was hurt..
Deeply and deeply hurt..
Not because his arrogant boss was humiliating him with harsh words but because he’s uttering nonsense about God more so about His Lord Balaji Whom he trusts, his family trusts, the people of Devagaon trust, the whole of India trusts and millions around the world trust.
Unable to utter a word against his boss, Joginder just kept looking at him..
Then with pain..
And then with sympathy..
He just couldn’t understand, “why is that God had not blessed his boss with some belief in His glory”.. For a moment, Joginder thought of giving a fitting reply to his boss but had paused as though a Divine Hand had prevented him from doing so.
Instead, he quietly lifted his head and looked at the Deity of Bhagawan Sri Venkateswara on the arch.. He got the message..
The eyes of the Holy Lord Venkateswara, at that moment, were staring straight at Joginder as though instructing him, “you don’t need to do anything, my dear, am already on the job”.
With a chill running down his spine, Joginder quickly closed his eyes and recited the only Sanskrit rendering, he knew about Lord Venkateswara since his childhood, which his grand Mother – a great devotional singer – had taught him.
“Venkatachala nilayam, Vaikunta pura vaasam.. Pankaja netram, Parama pavitram.. Sankha chakra dhara Chinmaya roopam.. Venkatachala nilayam, Vaikunta pura vaasam”
(A Purandhara Das krithi on Lord Venkateswara composed in Raag Sindhu Bhairavi.. This is the most popular devotional being played on the Tirumala Hills, since time immemorial, a number of times in a day, even today).
While reciting that devotional, Joginder silently prayed to the Holy Lord to grant some wisdom to his boss, whom he loves the most.. Praying so, he once again lifted his head and looked at the Deity of Bhagawan on the arch.
This time, Joginder noticed a gentle smile on the coral lips of his Holy Lord as though telling him, “poor fella, I have kept ready a much bigger plan for your arrogant boss, in Devgaon.. Take him into the village and you shall see what’s going to happen”.
Joginder silently nodded his head and slowly opened his eyes with a smile but was shocked to see his boss standing close to him and staring into his face.. Seeing Joginder opening his eyes, that man, shaking his head, sarcastically told Joginder,
“You have traveled too far into madness Joginder.. You need treatment”.. Laughing out loudly at his boss, Joginder said,”chaliye saab, let us go inside the village.. We shall know why we have come here and who needs treatment”.
Saying so, Joginder quickly moved forward, without waiting for any response from his boss, and started majestically walking into the village, like a true boss; and that man, Joginder’s actual boss, followed Joginder like a true servant.
Twist Of Roles And Twist Of Fate
Walking so, both Joginder and that man slowly crossed the arch and finally entered the mystic ‘Devgaon’ village – the village of Gods – wherein their destiny more so the Divinity that is shaping their destiny was waiting for them.
For a moment, after crossing the arch and entering the village, both Joginder and that man could not understand where they have come, as a pleasant breeze had welcomed them.
That breeze was there earlier too, when they were on the other side of the arch, but that was cold and heavy while this breeze is pleasant and gentle.. Joginder didn’t notice that difference but that man certainly did.. “How come..??” He asked himself..
What baffled that man the most at that moment was not the pleasant breeze emanating from the West side of the village but the loud ringing of the huge bells coming from the Temple, in the East side of the village.
That man, for the first time in his fifty years of life, had noticed an inexplicable serenity in that place and an indescribable bliss in the whole atmosphere.. Slowly walking behind Joginder, he was trying to analyze,
“What are those energies here that are adding so much of serenity to this place”
Unable to analyze or understand, that man stopped thinking and silently followed Joginder.. Though the intensity of the rain had miraculously reduced, it was still heavily raining there in Devgaon, at that moment, and still pretty dark.
Drenching in that heavy rain, both Joginder and that man have quickly started searching for a house that would offer them some shelter, some food and if possible some hot Ginger Tea on arrival
As they were so searching, Joginder suddenly stopped at one place, in the middle of the road, and kept looking at a beautiful house that was slightly on an elevated place at the entrance of the village.
Wearing an ethnic look and design, that house was more like a cottage in the middle of a Hermitage than a house in the middle of a village.. It was surrounded by many beautiful trees and colorful flowers, all around..
Looking at that house, that man, to his utter surprise, had also noticed a great aura around that house.. A bright Golden light was glowing out from that house as though many oil lamps were lit inside the house.
When viewed from a distance, that entire house was looking like a beautiful oil lamp lit in the Garbha Griha of Tirumala Temple.. Although a complete atheist, that man could still notice Divinity in and around that house.
Quite surprisingly he was also feeling peaceful, within himself, looking at that house.. He quickly turned his head and looked at Joginder.
As though awestruck by the sudden appearance of a Divine Light in front of him, Joginder was, at that moment, looking with awe and dismay at that house..
Exactly, at the same time, he too turned his head and looked at his boss.. In flash of a second, he could read the message in his boss’s eyes, and slowly walked towards the wooden gate of that house..
That man silently followed.. Walking up slowly, after entering through the wooden gate, both Joginder and that man reached the main entrance of the house.. Stopping at that point, Joginder turned his head and looked at his boss..
Understanding what Joginder was asking, that man silently nodded his head..
Slowly turning towards the main entrance, Joginder hesitantly walked close to the closed door of the entrance and gently pressed the calling bell button.
Almost for a minute, there was no response from inside..
With a little surprise, both Joginder and that man looked at each other..
Just when Joginder was about to press the calling bell button again, they both heard the soft sound of someone opening the door.
Joginder quickly walked back to his position and kept looking at the door..
So was that man..
After about a couple of seconds..
As both Joginder and that man were looking with great curiosity at the opening of the door..
That door was slowly opened..
A 50 – year old gorgeous looking lady, wearing a simple Orange colored cotton saree with a large Bindi embellishing her face, appeared behind the door.
Both Joginder and that man were stunned into silence looking at that sparkling noble lady..
There was a great glow in her face more so a great radiant light that was resembling the radiance of a thousand oil lamps.
Looking at Joginder and that man, she didn’t say like we ordinary mortals say, “who are you and what do you want”, instead she said, “please come inside.. It’s raining heavily out there”.
Marveled At Her Humility
Both Joginder and that man hesitantly stepped into the house..
A gentle aroma of incense sticks and a mild recorded chanting of “Om Namo Venkatesatya” have immediately greeted them ..
Enjoying the aroma and also the Divine chanting of “Namo Venkatesata”, Joginder slightly paused at the door..
After watching Joginder pause, that man too paused..
Looking at them pausing, that lady smiled gently – like the blossoming of a flower and the colors of a Rainbow – and said,
“No need to hesitate.. Please come in.. I shall get dry towels for you.. Both of you are fully drenched”.
Nodding their heads, like a subject in a magic show nods it’s head to the instructions of the Magician, both Joginder and that man quietly walked inside..
Seeing them coming inside, that lady quickly turned back and went into the house and returned, after about a minute, with two dry Turkey towels in her hands.
Handing them over to Joginder and that man, she said in a musical tone, “Feel at home and feel comfortable.. Dry yourselves with these towels.. In the meantime, I shall make some hot Ginger Tea for both of you”..
Suddenly feeling a lump in his throat, that man quickly looked at the eyes of that lady.. Not paying much attention to that man, she just turned back and walked into the kitchen..
Unable to bear with his curiosity, that man hurriedly whispered in Joginder’s left ear, “abey Joginder, how does she know that we are dying for Ginger Tea”..
Lifting both his hands and offering a big ‘Namaskar’ to a life size portrait of Bhagawan Sri Venkateswara in the hall, Joginder said,
“Mera kuch samajh mein nahin aara saab.. Par pucca jaanta hoon.. Aaj koi chamatkar hone wala hain”. (Am not able to understand anything sir, but, am sure, a miracle is certainly going to happen today).
After About Five Minutes
That lady, with a tray of three Tea cups, walked into the hall – wherein, a fully dried up Joginder was standing in one corner and that man was sitting in a cane sofa – and offered a Tea cup each to Joginder and that man and then went and sat, with the third Tea cup in her right hand, in another cane sofa that was just opposite to that man.
For about two minutes, there was absolute silence in the hall except a mild sound of the lips sipping piping hot Ginger Tea.. By speaking at that silent time, none of the three there wanted to spoil the enjoyment of sipping a fine aromatic Ginger Tea.
After about two minutes, that man was the first person to speak.. Getting up from his place and gently placing the empty Tea cup in the tray on a Teapoy there, that man smiled at the noble lady and said,
“Good gracious.. Am extremely thankful to You, Your Kindness, for serving me the most wonderful Ginger Tea that I have ever tasted in my life.. To be honest with You, Your Kindness, am surprised that You didn’t even ask us who we are and where we are from.. Instead, You just invited us both into your house..
We are complete strangers to You but You still did that, Your Kindness.. This is something that we cannot even imagine in our city of Bombay where people are extremely cautious about dealing with strangers”
Smiling musically again, like a ‘Jhaala’ played on a Sur Bahar Sitar, the noble lady said,
“How can we be strangers, my dear friend, when you are sent to my home by the Divine.. Whether it’s a casual meeting between two individuals or a crucial meeting between two heads of Nations, the Cosmos design all the meetings on Earth..
Unless so designed, no meeting takes place here.. So we are not strangers.. In fact, we three of us may have met each other many times before.. Of course, may not be in this life but certainly in our previous lives..
Otherwise we wouldn’t be meeting today.. Because, every meeting here on Earth is prewritten in detail, much before your birth and my birth, in the Book of Cosmos”.
Mesmerized by the authority with which she had spoken, that man just remained quiet for a few seconds, silently admiring the glowing radiance in the vibrant face of that noble lady, thinking,
“There’s something so captivating about this lady.. Something so mesmerizing.. Otherwise, for my Nature, I wouldn’t have been so humble in front of her.. What an aura she has around her face.. She’s not an ordinary lady.. She’s someone special.. Someone certainly Divine”.
Exactly at this point, that man shivered with jerks all over his body with his sudden usage of the word ‘DIVINE’, inadvertently though, in his thoughts.. Quickly composing himself, he said,
“That is so sweet of You, Your Kindness.. Can’t agree with you more.. We both are from Bombay.. I have an emergency in Ahmedabad in the evening today.. All the flights were cancelled due to water logging in the Bombay airport.
We decided to go by road and took the highway.. When we were on our way to Ahmedabad from Bombay, we were asked to go back by the Police as there was an oil spillage on the road.
Then my driver, Joginder, told me he knows this route that connects the highway after a few kilometers.. Unfortunately, our car was stuck in heavy rain as a huge tree had blocked the road in front of the car.
At the same time, the Earth behind the car was caving in.. Left with no other option, we both jumped out of the car and came running this way and found your sweet home”.
The noble lady smiled again, this time like the running brooks, and then showing the large portrait of Lord Venkateswara to that man, said,
“Inscrutable are His ways, my friend.. But I thank Him from the bottom of my heart for giving me an opportunity to offer you some service today”.
Exactly at that point..
Someone knocked on the door..
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