|Volume 4 - Issue 05 MAY 2006
UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS WITH SAI
RECOLLECTIONS OF CHIDAMBARAM KRISHAN, PART 3
Plate of Grace
Swami then asked, “Have any of you got a flask?” I had a flask and someone else had a flask too. We gave both these flasks to Swami, who gently tapped on the side.He then opened the flasks and they were full of steaming coffee, smelling so good. That is how Swami gave us divine tiffin and divine coffee on the beach that evening.
Surprise Trip to Madras
Things worked out differently. As soon as I reached Puttaparthi Swami suddenly announced, “We are going to Madras,” and got in the car. Even as He did so, He asked me, “Have you got the tank filled?” I replied, “Swami, when I asked You earlier, You told me You had no plans for long distance travel and that I could stay here from Dasara to Birthday. So I did not fill the tank. But now You have changed Your mind and are announcing a long distance trip. What am I to do?” Swami brushed this aside and replied, “Forget all that. Just tell Me how far the car can go with the petrol inside.” I said, “Swami, we possibly could go up to Chickballapur, but maybe we could fill the tank in Penukonda on the way or even in Bagepalli.”
Swami got into the car and I started driving. The moment we left, Swami started ticking me off. He said, “You have made a big mistake. You should have filled the tank earlier. Don’t you know that in life there could be a sudden change of plans? You must know how to anticipate. Events will not always happen with earlier announcements,” and so on. A non-stop barrage of criticism! With all these complaints I was of course feeling very uncomfortable. And all the time I was dreading that something very unpleasant was going to happen.
The Petrol Stations are Dry!
To get on with the story, we reached Penukonda but the bunk there had no petrol. We drove on and reached Bagepalli; no luck there. With great trepidation, I then drove on to Chickballapur, and to my great horror, both the bunks there were dry! In those days traffic was quite light and bunks filled up only once in a while.
Journeys Across The Wilderness
In the 60s, one could drive to Puttaparthi, but prior to that, in the 40s and 50s, one could only go up to Karnatakanagepalli, opposite Puttaparthi on the other side of the Chitravathi River. In those days Swami had a green Dodge car. That car would then be towed by bullock cart across the river from Karnatakanagepalli to Puttaparthi.
Those were truly difficult days. You know what Swami went through to build the Mandir here? Today, we all sit comfortably in the Mandir and sing Bhajans. Swami could have instantly created the Mandir using His Divine powers but He did not want to do it that way. In every Mission of His, Swami has struggled and toiled exactly as we would if we had undertaken that job. This was His way of setting an example in determination and tenacity. He never ever used His Divine powers that would have made things so very simple. Do you know what a hassle it was to bring those huge steel girders to the Mandir site?
Once during construction, Swami was up above giving instructions when He slipped and fell. This incident is not recorded in any book, but it is a fact that Swami fell and suffered an injury on the head. Swami immediately commanded, “Take Me to My room,” and that was done. Swami then asked everyone to leave the room and close the door. Half an hour later, Swami opened the door and came out. There was no trace of any injury except a scar that looked six-months old.
Let me get back to the petrol story. As I said earlier, in Chickballapur we also drew a blank – no petrol in the two bunks there. Swami then asked, “What route are you going to take? And how long do you think you can manage with the petrol you have?” I replied, “Swami, I think with careful managing we may be able to reach Kolar, where we can surely fill the tank.” Swami pondered that for a minute and then said, “You think so? In that case, go ahead but make sure you do not leave Me stranded in the middle of the road.” I said OK but then I was under such stress that I took a wrong turn and entered the road leading to Chintamani instead of to Kolar. I did not realize this when I made the turn. It was only after driving for sometime that I saw a milestone that showed the distance to Chintamani.
The Car Grinds To A Halt
"Maybe You Did Not Read The Gauge Properly"
I removed the cap and opened the tank, after which Swami peered inside. His hands were on the car and He was gently tapping even as He looked deep inside. He then said, “No petrol inside, and also no prospects for getting petrol now, right?” Meekly I responded, “That’s how it looks, Swami.” Swami then said, “Doesn’t matter. You get in and just turn on the switch and look at the meter again. Maybe you did not read the gauge properly.”
I obeyed and got into the car and turned on the switch. I saw the meter and it showed the tank was full. I was puzzled and said, “Swami, I think something is wrong with this meter.” Swami rejected my analysis and said, “How can that be? This is a new car. I think the meter is right. You just turn the key and see what happens.” I did that, and wonder of wonders, the car started! Meanwhile, Swami started laughing, and that was when I realized that by tapping the tank from the outside, in a flash He had actually filled the tank. Swami then said, “Let this not happen again. Always be prepared and be ready for all eventualities.” Back in Quilon, Divine taps produced coffee and now they produced petrol. I digressed somewhat mainly to narrate this incident.
(To Be Continued)...
– Heart2Heart Team
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Vol 4 Issue 05 - MAY 2006
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