Silver pages from the SOUL

Silver pages from the SOUL

Indian culture and religious faith are almost synonymous. Almost everybody believes in a divine power, a God who can perform miracles, who guides and rewards and punishes - there are multitudes of heavenly deities that provide comfort and solace to millions.         
My grandmother too, is a very spiritual and god-fearing person. She meticulously prays and sings bhajans everyday, and has taught various shlokas and other religious songs to many people. Once, with her friends, she went on a pilgrimage to various holy places like Badrinath, Kedarnath and other places. She would pay her respects to the deities there and sing some bhajans in praise of the lord at each temple.

At Badri, she set out to the Badrinarayan temple in the evening, even though she was down with fever. She willed herself to go, especially to sing the Vishnusahasranama for the deity. After completing three-fourths of the journey, she could not continue, and came back to the guesthouse in which they were residing. With a raging fever, she lay down on her bed in a half-conscious state.

Suddenly, she heard a clanging noise, and opened her eyes to see where it was coming from. Thinking it was an alarm, she looked at the clock showing 6 p.m, but she realized that the sound was coming from elsewhere.

She then had a curious sensation of being in the Badrinarayan temple in front the lord at Aarthi time. She noticed the priests offering Aarthi in a bowl with two lighted ghee lamps. She was alarmed by the fact that no one was chanting the Vishnusahasranama, and was very puzzled by the silence. She suddenly woke up with a disturbed mind, and waited for her friends to arrive.

When they arrived, she told them about her strange dream, and they looked at one another, astonished. They told her that the Aarthi was offered exactly in the same manner that she described, and also confessed that they were not able to sing the Vishnusahasranama without her.

Another remarkable occurrence served to strengthen my grandmother's faith. She had a very singular dream one night in the early hours of a Tuesday. She dreamt that she had organized a function with some of her relatives, and one of them came up to her to tell her that Sri Ramakrishna and his wife Sharada Devi were leaving. Being their staunch devotee, she immediately began searching for something to present them with.
She searched in every corner of the house, but could not find anything to give them. She went up to Sarada Devi and confessed her plight. Sarada Devi stood up, adjusting the folds of her saree, and pointed to a heap of dried flowers nearby.

She said, 'You can give me something from that.' She bent down, searched among the flowers and drew out a beautiful large red flower and presented it to my grandmother. Just as she was about to receive it, my grandmother woke up. Relating this dream to her friend the next day, she was surprised to see an amazed look on her face. Her friend explained to her 'you had this dream on a Tuesday, and Sarada Devi is always decorated with red flowers on Tuesdays. It's most astonishing.'
Yes, it's astonishing, indeed.
           

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