Many of us say that we do Bapu’s Seva. We perform Seva that is assigned to us by Bapu. I feel that we can never serve Bapu. It is just not possible. In fact, Bapu let us do his seva. Should one decided to think about the Seva one performed, one would realize that there were many times when we faced unforeseen obstacles. There have been times when we have felt helpless and the obstacles seemed insurmountable. That is when many of us have surrendered to Bapu and called for his help. After which the same set of tasks were accomplished with much little, much less efforts. That means, if our Sadguru had not provided us with capability and strength, we could not have been able to accomplish these tasks. One must always remember that. My experience is a testimony of this thought. Read on..
I was selected to go to Brazil for a period of 6 months on official work. I was quite happy. However since I am a patient of Hypertension and Diabetes, I was a bit worried. However, on seeking permission from Parampujya Suchitdada, my fear vanished and I departed for Brazil.
Since I was on a business visa, I was permitted to stay in the country for just 3 months. By Bapu’s grace and with the help of Bapu’s nostalgia, these three months passed by rather quickly. I had 15 days’ time off after this assignment. Therefore, I returned to India to get my visa extended. In these 15 days, I went to Suchitdada, got myself checked, bought the medication that he prescribed and took his permission to go back to Brazil for 3 more months.
Since I was going to be away for another three months, we had scheduled Paduka Poojan at my home in India. While Paduka Poojan was in progress, I got a call from Suchitdada’s clinic around 12 noon. Since I was in the midst of Paduka Poojan, I could not attend the call. However, my wife attended it and took the message for me. The message was that Suchitdada wanted to talk to me. On completing Paduka Poojan, I called Suchitdada’s clinic. Suchitdada informed me that for one of the Utsavs, I was expected to bring back some water from Brazil. He asked me to go visit him the next day. Everyone was quite happy. I was under the impression that he would ask me to fetch the water from the ocean there. It was quite an easy task. As a result, I was extremely happy. I knew that I would be able to do this 108% since the ocean was just about 15 minutes away from the place where I temporarily lived in Brazil.
Next day, my wife and I reached Suchitdada’s clinic to meet him. Suchitdada told me that I was expected to bring the water from the mighty Amazon River. This water was to be used for Shrivaradachandika Prasannotsav. I was totally ignorant about the Amazon River. I heard from Suchitdada that Amazon was not only the largest River in the world but it also traversed through the dense, impenetrable forest. I took Dada’s blessings and returned home.
I reached Brazil as per my schedule. While contemplating the water collection endeavor, my days were flying by me rather fast. I was enthused. Before I could realize, a week had passed by.
After a week or so, I began to have some health concerns. It was a Sunday. I went to the grocery store and bought some apple juice. I drank about 2-3 glasses of juice. The juice caused my stomach to get upset and I felt uneasy. I did not have dinner that day. My stomach felt hard. The next day, I went to work without having my usual breakfast. Since I was feeling uneasy, it felt as if the time had come to a standstill. I came back home in the evening. Since I did not feel like eating, and because my stomach was hurting, I had just few bananas and went off to sleep. I had the same trouble on Tuesday as well. As a result, in order to have some light breakfast, I had some tea and toast. The whole day, I felt unwell. I felt as if I was going to throw up but actually, never vomited.
On Tuesday night, it was absolutely unbearable. I then felt that Bapu had to intervene. I stood in front of Bapu’s picture and requested him to let me have some sleep. I then went to bed but in vain. I kept feeling that someone was pressing hard on my stomach the whole time. I must have dozed off soon after. I woke up rather early on Wednesday morning. I felt quite fresh but the stomach ache had not subsided. On reaching office, my friends from office asked me to go to the doctor. First of all, the hospital was not nearby and to add to it, language was a big barrier. I wondered how I was going to explain to the doctor my health condition and problem.
I had also heard that doctors there charged foreigners hefty sum of money for consultation. Should they ask me to get admitted, I wondered who was going to take care of me. Therefore, I did not go to the hospital. I passed my day without doing anything as such. I was feeling quite weak. My eyes had turned yellow. I felt as if I had to curtail my tour to Brazil half way through. However, the water collection was on my mind. My wife, my daughter would call regularly and ask about the Amazon water collection. I had not informed them about my health issues.
On Wednesday, I came back from work. I stood in front of Bapu’s picture and held a glass of water in my hand with Udi in it. I requested Bapu to look into it. I told him that he needed to take care of me since I wanted to fetch the water from the Amazon River. I then drank the water from my glass with Udi in it and slept off at 5 pm. I slept really well. I woke up at about 6 pm. On waking up, soon after I vomited. While I was throwing up, I felt as if a ball like thing was coming out from the spot in my stomach where I had experienced pain earlier. After I threw up, I felt very good. I felt tranquil. Whenever I remember that moment, I experience the same tranquility. Next day as I left for office along with my friends, they asked me which medication I had taken that had made this huge difference to the way I felt and looked that morning. Bapu’s Udi had done the trick for me. It had saved me. I called Suchitdada in his clinic and informed him the entire episode. Suchitdada not only pacified me but also asked me not to worry.
A week had passed by while recovering from this minor health hazard. However, I was feeling quite well after the vomiting episode. While I was thinking about ways in which I could fetch the water from the Amazon, I had another wonderful experience of Bapu’s divine intervention.
One day I had a dream. I saw, in my dream, that I was sitting in front of Bapu’s picture and I was quarreling with him. I was sulking to him that he had sent me to Brazil to get the water from the Amazon River but then he had allowed me to fall sick. My dream continued. I saw in my dream that it was a Thursday. I had gone to Harigurugram for Pravachan. The hall was packed with people. There was silence in the hall. Bapu arrived. He went on the stage, sat down there and said,”One person had come here from outstation. This person was quarrelling with me yesterday. Who is that person? Please come forward right here in front of the stage.” I got startled. I got up and began to walk towards the stage. Everyone was looking at me. Suchitdada was sitting right in front of the stage. He was laughing looking at me. I still remember that Dada’s laughter. Then Bapu asked once again,”Who was quarrelling with me yesterday?” I stood there fearlessly and answered that it was me who was quarrelling with him. Bapu asked,”Why were you arguing?” I then said,”You sent me to Brazil to fetch water from the Amazon but you made me fall sick there. Why Bapu?”
On hearing that Bapu began to laugh. He then called me on stage. I said,”I will not come on stage because if I came there and stood near you, I would not be able to pick a fight with you.” Bapu began to laugh again. The hall was crowded. Everyone in the hall was quiet. They were witnessing an argument between us (By the way, I was still in my dream at this point in time). Seeing Bapu laugh, my eyes welled out. On seeing me cry, Bapu quietened down. Now I saw his eyes being moist. On seeing that I was reminded of one sentence that Bapu had spoken during adhiveshen soon after Aniruddha Pournima that it hurts Bapu to see his devotee cry. On remembering that I began to cry uncontrollably. Bapu called me on stage and gave me a tight hug. These wonderful moments from my dream are almost like panacea for me in my life.
I then woke up. For a moment, I did not realize that I was in Brazil. I then felt quite overwhelmed thinking about the extent to which I had bothered Bapu for my wellbeing. I then regained my composure. The thoughts of this dream did not leave me all through the day. They lingered on my mind.
I felt stressed out with the thought of fetching water from the Amazon. Since people in Brazil commonly do not speak English, language was a big barrier for communication. I could find out from Internet that the Amazon flowed through the City of Manas and it merged into the ocean near the city of Makapa. Barring these two places, the rest of the time, it flowed through dense forest. I enquired with two or three travel agents but due to the language barrier, I could only get some superficial information. Each passing day added to my duress. However, Bapu takes care of most of the things for us!
My search for a travel agent continued. One day, however, I did find one agent. He could manage to speak to me in English. He informed me that the city of Manas was almost 4500 kms away from my current place. He also told me that it would take me almost 6-7 hours to fly there. Based on this information, I booked my flight ticket and a hotel to stay in. Before leaving for Manas, I called Suchitdada and took his permission. He gave it to me instantly. My personal security was a huge concern. I was a bit scared. Moreover, language was a big issue as far as communication was concerned. Since I was traveling alone, I was tense.
I had carried with me little money. I landed at Manas airport in the middle of the night on Friday. The airport seemed deserted. I could see few taxis plying. Once again, due to Bapu’s divine intervention, I met a taxi driver who spoke English. I told him that I needed to fetch water from the Amazon. He gave me all the required information about the river. Half of my task was done right there and then. He dropped me at the hotel around 2 am. On reaching the hotel, I enquired with the owner of the hotel about the River. He helped me get in touch with a travel agent in the morning. However, he demanded quite a lot of money. I was totally confused and felt indecisive. I had to return the same day. Once again I invoked Bapu. Bapu’s photo was with me. I asked him to do whatever he felt was right.
Later I went down to the cafeteria to have my breakfast. At that time, there was a person sitting there at a table. I approached him and on seeking his permission, sat at the table. I don’t know why but I felt much better looking at his personality. Importantly, this person could not only speak English well but could also speak Portuguese. I enquired with him about the Amazon. He gave me all the necessary information and he also agreed to come with me till the port.
He came with me till the port. Both of us went inside the port. The Amazon River was quite far away from the entrance of the port. This port is on the banks of “Black” (Rio Negro) river. One had to take a boat from the banks of this Black (Rio Negro) river in order to reach the Amazon. The Amazon River is almost one hour away from the port. Since it was a Sunday, the Public boats were non- operational. In order to reach Amazon, we had to hire a private boat. Since Bapu had guided us till this point, I knew that the rest of the things would also get accomplished effortlessly. Well, I hired a private boat. Surprisingly, the person who had accompanied me till the port, agreed to come with me by this private boat.
Now, including me and my accomplice, and the sailor, we were three people in the boat. Bapu solved all my hurdles because the sailor spoke in Portuguese and my accomplice translated that in English for me. My journey was progressing without much difficulty. The Amazon River flows from Peru and the Black (Rio Negro) flows from Columbia. The confluence of these two rivers takes place in the city of Manas in Brazil. After the confluence, the river turns into a large river before it merges into the ocean. Black River is 6 kms wide and the Amazon is 17 kms wide. The width of the river post the confluence of these two rivers is almost 23 kms. After an hour, we reached the confluence of these two rivers. The water from Black River is black in color and the water from the Amazon is muddy. Surprisingly, even after the confluence, for a long stretch one can see two distinct colors of these two rivers. One can see a clear line of demarcation between these two rivers for a long stretch. We sailed our boat through the Black river into the Amazon. We then filled some bottles of water from the Amazon. Then we sailed back into the Black river and got few bottles filled from there as well. Come to think about it, meeting that person in the cafeteria, his agreement to travel with me, hiring a private boat were things that Bapu performed for me. Else, it would have been very difficult for me to travel this far to this spot. Had I not hired a private boat, it would have been very difficult for me to sail the boat on either side of the confluence. Since my accomplice was a tall man, he helped me fill the bottles. He could easily bend over and fill bottles. I could not have done it.
We then returned to the port. My accomplice carried the bag full of water bottles. I do not know who that person was but he did not bother me at all. In fact, he was of great help to me. The entire endeavor was uneventful. I took a return flight back to the town where I lived in Brazil.
While returning to India, I was worried if the plastic bottles containing the water from the Amazon and from the Black river would survive the journey from Brazil. Since it is prohibited to carry so much of water as cabin baggage, I had no choice but to put them as check-in luggage. I was worried about the way, it would get handled in transit. Well, in spite of changing my plane five times, there was no damage caused to the bottles. Needless to say, it was Bapu’s miracle.
Today, when I take a pause and reflect on all of these things, I feel so many emotions. Even if one feels that one serves Bapu, in reality, it is Bapu who serves us. First and foremost, by asking a normal devotee like me to fetch water from the Amazon, he exhibited that he did not differentiate between devotees on the basis of one being inferior or one being superior to another (Raja Ranka Bhed Nahi Payee). This was one of the important steps in the execution of Shrivaradachandika Prasannotsav. Who would have sent me to Brazil on office work you think? He cured me of my ailment with Udi in water in a remote place away from family. He made sure I meet a person who knew about the Amazon just so that I could accomplish the work assigned to me by Suchitdada. Those water bottles reached Mumbai without getting damaged in transit. Everything was done by Bapu, I am convinced.
What does all of this mean? He gets his work done. All of us are simply a source, a medium through whom he gets his work accomplished. However, one must be ready to take that effort.
Bapuraya, I bow at your lotus feet and ask you to get such Seva done through me going forward as well.