The udi, my life-saver
Just like a sparrow can be drawn to oneself by tying a string to its legs, the Sadguru pulls the bhakta towards Him. Moreover, those bhaktas who hand over their ‘string’ to the Sadguru, with faith and love, will find that the Sadguru uses this ‘string’ to pull them out of any adversity; including death.
It was in 2002, during the anniversary celebrations of the Vikhroli (East) Upasana Centre, that I started coming to Bapu. In fact, as mentioned in the Shree Saisachcharit, it was Bapu who drew me to Him. After that day, with Bapu’s blessings, I became part of the various activities of the organization.
In 2004, my friends and I went to the Dadar Chowpatty to take part in the activity of the re-immersion of Ganpati idols. We had to collect the various idols, put them in a bag and carry the bag in a boat, deep into the sea, for immersion. Only those who could swim were allowed on the boat and I was one of them.
It was 4 pm and the boat had already made two rounds back and forth. Then, while we were on the boat, one our other member mentioned that it being a Saturday, we had to go to the Upasana Centre to put the sound system in place. The boat was anchored in sea. Hence, I jumped straight into the water to swim back. As soon as I dived, I realized that the water was not very deep and there was a small amount of sand in the water. My hands collided violently with this mount and I felt shooting pain.
Although I was conscious, I was not able to swim out of the water. Some of the volunteers then dragged me out of the water. I realized that I had lost all sensation below my neck. The doctors at the site pulled me up and started rubbing my feet. But in vain. I just could not feel anything.
The Pramukh-Sevak of our Upasana Centre, Sharadsinh Lad, was also present there. He took some udi (sacred ash) from his pen, applied it to my head, and gave me some to eat. As soon as I consumed the udi, I felt as if a current had zipped through my body. I suddenly stood up. All the people there were stunned. They asked me if I was feeling better. I joked that not only was I feeling good but I was back on my feet and could even run!
Later, we went to the bus stop at Shivaji Park. Suddenly, my hands started aching a lot. My colleagues applied some Iodex to my hands. But, the pain did not subside. I came to the Upasana Centre and my friend, Prabodhsinh Morje, took me to a doctor. The doctor then directed me to a specialist.
The specialist asked me how I got to Vikhroli. I told him that I had taken a bus. The doctor was astonished on hearing this. He gave me an injection and I went home and slept. Later in the evening, other bhaktas from the Upasana centre came to see me and I narrated the entire incident to them. The next day, at 9 am, I went to meet Dr. Ramansinh Umralkar for a checkup. He asked me to undergo an MRI scan.
The scan showed that there was a gap between the C3 and C4 of my vertebral coulmn!
For the next 5 days I was treated in the hospital. The doctor, after examining all my reports, said that I had been saved only and only because of Bapu’s grace and the injury was very severe....enough to have paralyzed me for life.
Actually, my carelessness had landed me in this situation. I had jumped into the water without gauging the depth of the water. Yet my Bapu saved me. The udi became a lifesaver.
I also realized that when I had dived, it was Bapu who stood between death and me and pulled me out of its clutches.
Bapu! Bless me that I may dedicate my entire life to Your bhakti and seva. That is all I ask of You.
'Indelible though the writings of fate, the grace of the Hari can wipe them clean' says Eknath Maharaj.