Tryst with a saint

The other day, I was at the Mathura train station to see off Rajeshwari Dasiji (my newest God-sister) and Subala Charan Dasji. Rohini Dasi was there with me in the car. As I took my position on the Car-wheel to drive back to Vrindavana, I suddenly heard somebody greet me “Radhe Radhe”. I pulled down the car window to find a gigantic figure clad in white with a white turban, a prominent orange round tilaka and an absolute radiant countenance, a saint from the Ramanandi Sampradaya. I greeted him in return and enquired from him as to how I could serve him. He said “I would be happy if you could give me a lift till Vrindavana”. I said “Yes I can, but Sreeman how do you know that we are off to Vrindavana?”. He smilingly replied “Your face and your mannerisms indicated so.” Having spoken to the saint, I was still a bit hesitant to offer lift to a stranger, not because of any fear or any reservations but it was simply that I was not inclined. The saint remained submissively standing at the car-door which prompted me to say “Sreeman hop-in, I shall see you to your destination.”

NoLossThe “stranger” saint got in and made himself comfortable and our 10 km journey to Vrindavana began. The saint was talkative, not of my kind I thought, yet as he spoke I started developing feelings of closeness to him in a very strange way. He was a confidante of Lord Sri Ramachandra and an utter devout. His feelings for Sri Hanuman were selfless and befitting that of a devotee in the Dasya Rasa. I was thoroughly convinced that it was Lord Gauranga’s will that I meet such an elevated personality on the way. On the way we got into the gas station to fill some gas. I signalled to the attendants at the station from the driver’s seat to fill gas; as I hummed a familiar tune describing the Lord’s mood. The saint cautioned me “You should go outside and see these fellows, they are not dependable; they may either leave the petrol tank knob open; they may be even capable of committing thievery if we trust them too much”. I humbly replied “Sreeman, what is the loss anyway? If they leave me un-looted it is the Lord’s wish and if I deserve to be looted, that is the Lord’s wish. What is the need for any protection when we know that we have already surrendered every bit of our being to the Lord? Is there a need to cross-check whether the Lord’s protection is on?”. The Mahatma chuckled and made himself comfortable in the back-seat.

 As we reached Vrindavana, the saint suddenly enquired “Can I visit your place. I want to take Darshana of your deities”. I said “Very well Sriman, I am grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to serve you”. We reached our humble residence; having parked the car we entered the house. The saint took Darshana of the deities and expressed to us about his good fortune of meeting us. He said “I would like to have prasadam from this house” in a stern voice. I replied “There is no question of you going empty-stomach from here. Prasadam is being offered, meanwhile you can have tea”. The Mahatma had tea and then had some light prasadam. As he finished up and was about to leave; I asked him to wait. It is a custom in Sanatana Dharma that if a saint visits one’s residence one should honour him with some “Bhent” (offering) and clothing. I asked Rohini to get some Laxmi (money) and some clothing that is worth being offered to a saint. Fortunately the provisions were there at home. As he received the offerings, he exclaimed looking deeply into my eyes “In fact just before I met you at the train station, I was looted in the train from Gwalior and I did not have any money for my travel to my God-brother’s ashram at Vrindavana. My bag had a pair of white clothes, a loin cloth and about Rs 800/- but by your mercy I have more clothes than I carried and more money than what I had originally taken with me.” I quipped immediately “Sreeman as I said earlier…there is no loss anyways”.

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