Dec 25, 2013

A Well Woven Event

Just as it is difficult to say as to what set of clouds in the sky would come down as rains, equally so is it to say as to which of our dormant wishes might emerge upon the vast invisible expanse of our minds and materialise into an actual incident.
Here's a true event portraying the above truth.
In the first week of October 1963, one Dr. Mata Prasadji, a research-minded educationist who was formerly the Vice-Chancellor of Vikram University came over to Bhadran - my monsoon HQ for spending a few days with me.
Before leaving, Dr. Mata Prasadji entreated me to visit Agra during the Diwali which was then fast approaching. On my accepting his invitation, he informed me that his eldest son Dr. Rajendraji was also to go over to Agra with his family from Saurashtra. He therefore suggested that I may join the party on 14-10-1963 at Mehsana Junction.
As I had earlier planned to leave Bhadran around that date and proceed to Sri Nath Dwara a popular place of Vaishnav pilgrimage, it was convenient for me to agree to join Dr. Rajendraji and be with him atleast upto Marwar Junction where one has to change for Sri Nathji. So, I wrote to Dr. Mata Prasadji's son. He confirmed about his departure and informed me that he and his family members would be at Mehsana to catch the Delhi Express on 14-10-1963 at about 10.40 hours.
Now, I on my part made arrangements and got my seat booked for 14th October 1963. I reached Ahmedabad in time to be connected to the Delhi Express which leaves about 7-35 a. m. or so.
While the train was nearing Mehsana, a stray feeling in the shape of an urge to visit Ambaji – a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Goddess, near Abu Road - flashed in my mind and passed off instantly. Four long years had elapsed since I had last visited that temple. A little later, delightsome memories of my many past visits began surging up across the threshold of my conscious mind-all impelling me to go to Ambaji. But because I had already promised my friends at Sri Nath Dwara and Agra to be with them on definite dates, the time at my disposal wasn't enough to negotiate the trip. So, I dismissed the compelling desire and sat quiet.
As the train was steaming into Mehsana Station, I stood on the doorway of the compartment with a view to spotting my friend Dr. Rajendraji. The train dragged past the long platform and came to a halt at the farthest end. There wasn't much crowd and my Chemico friend wasn't there either.
The Delhi Express usually halts for 25 minutes at Mehsana. I got down and went straight to the waiting room hoping to find Rajendraji there. Not finding him there, I returned to the train and peeped into every compartment without any result. I couldn't believe that he will not have come. So, I went to the enquiry office to check - up if any reservation had been made for Rajendraji and his family members. The clerk behind the counter attended to me and took up a register to find out from therein. Just then, he had to answer a phone - call. While the clerk was so busy, I was restlessly looking into every car that pulled - up in the station - yard. Dr. Rajendniji and party were not in any of them.
As I was waiting there, I heard the guard's whistle. That gave me a jolt and I ran into the platform only to see the tram at the far end of the far-reaching platform, in motion, picking - up speed at every waving of the Gaurd's flag.
The train with my luggage had left. None could have caught it from that distance. I stood on the almost empty platform with a down-cast face, trying to think as to what course I should take either to rejoin the same train or to get back my luggage.
As I was mentally working upon few possibilities, a middle-aged gentleman came to me and querulously questioned, "Swamiji, why, you a Sadhu should look so shrunken and upset? The scriptures and the society expect you people to be moving about, with cheer born out of unconcern largely lit over your faces. "After I told him as to what had set me to appear so, his adverse attitude abated and he appeared genuinely interested in helping me out.”Some of my friends who have been directed in a common dream of last night are to go to Ambaji before noon-today. If they haven't already left, I can request them to give you a lift in their car upto Abu Road station and you can resume your journey by the Delhi Express from there. Now hurry along, "said he.
I was taken to a nearby bungalow. The car hadn't left. He spoke to his friends and I was told that they would first take me to Ambaji by a short-cut and, after their communion at the temple, they would drop me at the Abu Road station before 1340hrs. - the scheduled departure time of the train. The prospect of visiting Ambaji cropping-up so mysteriously made me feel really joyous.
The driver brought the still vehicle to life and we moved on and reached Ambaji when the temple was being closed after the deity had been laid to rest. The ritualistic rules rigidly require that the temple should close by noon and reopen only at 4 p.m. I became despairful. But the moneyed men from Mehsana were shifty enough to tackle the situation. They did some whispering in few ears and planted some vitamin ' M ' in the practical palms of the pliable priests. The scriptural law was broken and the temple was thrown open. Indeed, all physical gates leading to earthly gains open to the moneyed, if they spend. It hasn't been VERY wrongly said mat:—
“Money is sweeter than honey,
It is brighter than sun,
Without money nothing can be done."
We offered our prayers and the temple authorities entertained us with special food reserved for the rich. After all that, we were able to leave Ambaji at about 1240 hours. Somewhere when we were past midway to Abu, the car developed engine-trouble. The driver hurriedly set it right and by the time we reached the station, it was already 1340 hrs, the time by which the train ought to have left.
It was with great relief and satisfaction that I learnt on alighting from the car, that the train was late by 40 minutes. The train was to arrive at 1350 hrs. as against 1310 hrs. and leave at 1420 hrs. after the usual 30 minutes halt. The train arrived after ten minutes and I boarded ray compartment. One can depend upon the safety of one's luggage in the upper-classes, particularly during the day-time. I found my belongings intact.
I Changed at Marwar - Junction - visited Sri Nathji’s temple and taking a convenient train reached Agra on the morning of 16th October 1963 (DIWALI DAY).
The little Bhaiyu - Dr. Rajendraji's son was the first to greet me with a ' Happy Diwali ' on my reaching Dr. Mata Prasadji's doors. When I asked Dr. Rajendraji as to by which train they all had come, he cooly explained, "why, by the Delhi Express, of course! Continuing further, he said, "I knew for certain that you would positively come and that you will contact us. Where then was the necessity for me to publicly exhibit my anxiety, search for you and get out of ease? " As for myself not having seen anyone of them at Mehsana station or none of them having seen me, all that I can say is that it was something very odd and inexplicable.
The circumstances which brought about the materialisation of my visit to Ambaji - with no efforts whatever on my part, obviously reveal that, had I met Dr. Rajendraji at the Mehsana Station, I could not have gone to Ambaji. Had that person who took me to his friends no prior knowledge about his friends' Ambaji’s programme, I could not have visited the Goddess's temple. Had he not taken me to his friends, had his friends left before we reached them, or had there been no accommodation in the car, I could not have gone to Ambaji. Then again, had they planned to take the regular route, instead of the short - cut which they chose at considerable risk of damage to their new car, in that case, they would have dropped me at the Abu Road Station and that also would have come in the way of my having visited Ambaji.
What subtle forces or processes actuated all these seeming chain - coincidences is beyond the possibility of my explaining. Yet, I cannot withhold myself from asserting that while great many of our thoughtfully planned physical actions go barren, some of our involuntary off-shoots of passive desires, at times, mysteriously bring into being a well-- woven event like this.