Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That Unseen Power

Every year, 13th May is a special day for all Art of Living devotees. This day happens to be the birthday of Sri Sri Ravishankar, known and accepted as "Guruji" by millions of his followers. On this day devotees hold special sudarshan kriya sessions and satsangs and yesterday was no different. This day 13th May 2008 turned out to be very special for me. Kriya at the crack of dawn was mind blowing, but more importantly this day demonstrated forcefully the undisputed presence and power of divine grace.

We, Indians, generally believe in divine grace or will of god or a supreme unseen force that guides our destinies. This faith is so complete and unconditional that it baffles many a foreigner and it also invites ridicule from many of our so-called "educated" and "modern" Indians. This behaviour is also very unique to us - beyond a point we surrender to this divine force and leave it at that.

Let me share what happened to me yesterday. I boarded the local train at Churchgate to go home. As is the normal practice, I kept my bag on the luggage rack and settled down to the forty-five minute journey to Andheri. As things would have it, a momentary lapse of attention and I got off at Andheri forgetting my bag on the luggage rack. I realised as I was walking on the platform, and, rushed back to the compartment to retrieve my bag. To my horror the bag was missing. Some eagle eyed light-footed blighter made of with my bag.

I was devastated. The bag contained our passports and we were scheduled to fly to London in four days time. It took me a while to come to terms with what had happened. My wife joined me at the railway station. Subsequent procedures of filing police complaints and getting their FIR took the next one-hour.

On the drive back home, I realised that I was not cursing my carelessness but was quite cool and very much in the present moment. My only prayer was that I should be getting back my passports and just left the whole thing to that "unseen power".

On reaching home, I spoke to the travel agent, the passport agent, some acquaintance in the police, a few close friends......and to my surprise every one advised me to pray, saying, "Only God can save you". It struck me that prayer and surrender is so natural to us that in times of crisis this acts as a major stress buster and helps you to focus on other things.

To cut things short, the eagle eyed fleet footed blighter could find only a cell phone of interest and he dumped the bag on the Vile Parle station where it lay unattended for about two hours before the police constable on duty took it in custody. Before midnight we got the bag and passports back.

I just want to highlight our belief in prayers and when things are beyond our control a sense of surrender. I also experienced first hand the presence of such a power. I believe that it was also divine grace that saw me through this short drama without any damage. Contemplating on the events that unfolded, it became very apparent that this was no ordinary co-incidence. It was that supreme unseen power at work.

I am blessed for I believe, I know and I have experienced. It does not matter if others would choose to call it mere co-incidence.

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