Sep 24, 2013

"Ancient Ties" from Sermons in the Stroms

Those who believe in the factual theory of rebirth will readily believe also in past relationship with other souls here on this earth, with souls promoted to celestial status and / or with souls who have been demoted to satanic planes.
Because it is not given to every one of us to remember, recall or recapitulate our past lives — neither the immediate nor the distant ones, we are prone to attribute many day-to-day happenings to fanciful causes when in fact they are the effects of our past karmas. Our present lives would become a bundle of chaos if we knew all the details of our past lives.
Life here, as is elsewhere, is a series of give and take in the form of pain or pleasures depending upon the nature of our past plus present dealings with the living beings or with the reborn—irrespective of their species.
The following true experience of mine will clarify and prove beyond a!! reasonable doubts the operations of the ancient ties according to our karmas.
Sometime during the close of 1960. one Seth Pushkarbhai A. Nagori of Jamnagar (Saurashtra). wrote to me about a dream in which he saw himself and me doing japa in a Goddess's temple of Orissa and the dream ended in his being directed to visit that place.
Giving me the following details of his dream, he asked me—a wanderer that I am, if I had come by that temple during my extensive peregrination in the country. The name of the Goddess's temple, I was informed, began with the letter ‘ga' of Hindi consonants. I was given to understand that it was a popular shrine and that facing that temple is a fine lotus tank and at the back of the temple is a place of worship dedicated to the great Lord Shiva in a  dilapidated condition.
Even before this letter came to me, as is my wont, my annual Jour program was chalked out on 1st October of that year also and the itinerary included a visit to the famous Jagannath Puri. Yet, feeling that it would be no easy task for me to trace the temple in Orissa, and that apart, not knowing whether the period allotted for the visit to and stay at Jagannath Puri would be sufficient enough for me to freely move about there and locate that temple, I brushed aside Pushkarbhai's peculiar dream.

As planned, I left for Puri from the residence of my very good friend Shri Manibhai K. Amin of Bombay and reached Puri on 13th December, 1960. While there, I made casual queries regarding that Goddess's temple only to learn from the local Brahmins that there was no such shrine anywhere around Puri.
From there I next visited Bhubaneshwar— another important place of pilgrimage and made enquiries about the temple. There also, none seemed to have heard of it.
I returned back to Puri next morning and went to the Jagannathji's temple, worshipped there and later leaving the temple I was descending its steps. When I reached a point not many steps left to the last one, a middle-aged man stopped me and demanded eleven and a half annas from me. That made me feel odd. For, well-dressed as he was, beggary couldn't be his profession, thought I. Nor was he one of the Pandas (religious guides), most of whom harass, hurt and horrify pilgrims. When he found me silent, waving his hands to express unconcern, he said to me, "If you don't want, you need not pay. It is your last birth's debt." How come you know so ?—interjected I. Whereupon, that person, whom, for the convenience of my narration I shall hereafter refer to as Punarjanma said, "First half of every year I spend in Puri—practicing Yoga. I am used to doing my yogic exercises from midnight to sunrise and from 16.00 to 21.00 hours daily. I rest through sleep from sunrise to noon everyday. Today, while asleep, I received the following command in dream. I woke up immediately and came running here.”
“Meet a sadhu at 11.20 a.m. on the eighth step of Sri Jagannathji's temple and collect from him 11 1/2  annas. You both were Muslims in your last birth - jointly doing cooly work in Burma. Both of you died when you were still .in teens. The sadhu owes you the said amount as a result of his last birth's transactions with you. He is now in search of a Goddess's temple about which a friend of his had written to him. The name of the temple is Raag Devi and it lies 8 miles south of Bhubaneshwar. In the front portion of the temple is an old lotus tank and on the rear of the shrine is a Shiva's temple in a ruined state. Take him there. At 11-48 a.m. you are to step into the shop of one Pooriamchand whose cloth store is on the temple road here in Puri. No sooner you do so, you will be given a sum of Rs.7/13/- to meet the expenses of the trip to Raag Devi's temple and back to here."
Incidentally, I must here narrate also another incident in which I happened to casually meet a Mahatmaji in C.P., as early as in 1946. That Mahatmaji whom I had never met before, gave me the following astonishing facts of my past two births.
I was told that in the birth before ia.st I was born in a family of basket makers in EGYPT. When I was about 8 years or so, my parents died. Thereafter, I was taken charge by a Muslim saint who took me to some place near Basra and looked after me. After about 4-5 years stay there, I also died and was reborn somewhere around there itself in a Muslim family again. My parents were farm hands. A businessman from Burma who had gone to Mecca - Madma came over to where we were and bought my parents as slaves and took us all to Burma. I was a babe of four months then. There I grew up into a little lad. Adjacent to our Master's bungalow was a Buddhist monastery and I used to go there to play about. The inmates of that hermitage used to treat me with affection because of my charming Arabian looks and tender age. When I was about 8 years old, my mother passed away and my father became mad. He went away somewhere and a few months later news reached us that he died due to starvation in a far off town.
. In the meantime, our master suffered heavy losses in business and he had to perforce quit the place of his residence. He left me in the monastery. I was with the monks for a fairly good period when all at once, I was driven out of the monastery because of my mischievous conduct. With no shelter and sympathizers, I as a boy of nine began earning my livelihood by carrying loads of people and doing other domestic jobs. At the age of 14 or so, I died.
The place of my present birth is Burma and my Egyptian father of my birth before the last one happened to be my mother this time also born in Barma.
The astounding Samhitas—branch of higher astrological science—have fully corroborated all the foregoing past details about me and they also contain some nice predictions about my future. All of them will certainly come to pass.
Since the time I first came to know about my birth in Egypt, I have been cherishing a deep fancy to visit that country. Next year will see the fulfillment of my vow to spend twelve monsoon seasons in Bhadran, a small town in the rich Kaira District of Gujarat, and God granting, it is my plan to commence my study tour on 19th March, 1965 and walk the distance from Delhi to Cairo. According to my working, it will take me 16 months to reach the beautiful chief city of Egypt. As for my return trip, I shall be making use of conveyances.
Now, coming to our original narration, I paid 111/2 annas to Shri. Punarjanma. From near the temple, he hired a rickshaw for Bhubaneshwar. On the way, he stopped the rickshaw near a road-side cloth shop and entered into it. On the cash counter was seated a gentleman and with the entry of Shri. Punarjanma, that gentleman got up, referred to his watch and without saying anything gave him Rs. 7/13/- which he had kept ready.
Punarjanma said nothing either. He took the amount and we left. We reached Bhubaneshwar and a bus which we boarded from there dropped us near the temple of Raag Devi. Truly, the small temple appeared ancient-there was in front of it what must have been a lotus pond. On the rear end of the temple was also a Shiva's shrine in a ruinous state. We spent some time there and before leaving learnt that, that place was very popular some six decades back and that it used to attract good crowds of devotees. But, with the passage of time, our very old informant told us, it came to be neglected and is now one of the many abandoned temples of our over-religious country.
On the way to Ragg Devi and on reaching back Jagannathji's temple, I asked Shri. Punarjanma to tell me something connected with his present birth. But, he declined to say anything. Explaining his refusal, he said, "by the plan of nature, we met and now that the purpose of our meeting is over, why try to load your head with unproductive information about me?" I did not press further.
He left and I straight away went to Poonamchand-the cloth merchant and asked him to tell me everything about that Rs. 7/13/-. He told me that on the previous night he was directed in his dream to pay that amount to the person who called on him at 11.48 a.m.
I had sufficient money with me and so did, I am sure, Shri. Punarjanma. Any of us could have afforded to spend that little amount. But, the enigmatic entry of Poonamchand in this incident to pay us Rs.7/13/ - towards the expenses of the trip to Raag Devi is nothing but a clear case of his having been our past debtor.
As for the name of the temple which turned out to be Raag Devi instead of it beginning with the letter 'ga' as informed by Pushkarbhai, it is to be understood that the letter 'Ra' before the cga' didn't receive a proper impress on the memory curtain of Pushkarbhai and, as such, he only remembered the last letter ‘ga' on waking.
I left Puri and went to several other places as per my chalked out program and reached Jamnagar on 27th March, 1961. In the meantime, I didn't inform or write to anyone about this wonderful incident. Only on reaching Pushkarbhai's house did I tell him all about it. That didn't surprise him. An entry of March 1961 in his diary contained the details of his wife's trance during which his wife informed him that I had located that temple and that I would myself be speaking to him about it, within an hour of my visit to their house. This feat of Mrs. Pushkarbhai is another proof of the marvelous functioning of the inner mind.
Does not this entire remarkable incident reveal that our lives are most mysteriously inter-woven by karmic relations of both the unknown past and the unintelligible present and that we come here to fulfill the calls of our past commitments and to evolve spiritually???