15th November, 2015. Vrindavan
(Trees of Vrindavan)
Last weekend, in Vrindavan, I stayed with the family of Deepak Handa prabhuji. Prabhuji is a very sincere, steady and soft-hearted devotee, it is indeed a good fortune to be able to get association of such a Vaishnava family.
We started our journey back to Gurgaon and as we were crossing Parikrama marg we saw a western mataji collapsing in front of us on the sidewalk. They were two matajis, in their mid thirties, one of them collapsed and a small crowd had gathered. Deepak prabhuji immediately stopped his car to check if everything was fine. Rather reluctantly, I too followed prabhuji, thinking what help can we give as we are on way back to Gurgaon. As we reached the spot we found that one local devotee had already stopped a rickshaw and was requesting them to show them to a nearby doctor whom he knew personally. Another local mataji too checked and as she found that the mataji who had collapsed was back on her feet and someone is taking her to a doctor, she was satisfied and left. I too told Prabhuji let’s leave as everything seems settled, she just seemed weak and may be collapsed from exhaustion or weakness. The only hitch in my mind was to which doctor they were being taken to. I told the local devotee to take them to ISKCON hospital but he was firm to show them to the doctor he knew very well, he insisted that many local devotees see this doctor only.
All seemed settled but Deepak prabhuji refused to leave them like this. He said if we are slightly doubtful then let’s check the doctor. We were getting delayed and I thought by going to the doctor we will get further late and we should just move on. Of course I didn’t say it as Prabhuji seemed firm on helping them. Prabhuji went to park his car properly and I followed the two matajis to the doctor, along with the local devotee who recommended him, the doctor was very close by.
The doctor turned out to an ayuvedic doctor/practitioner. He checked her blood pressure, pulse, etc and said that she is suffering from severe acidity, may be even diarrhea, and that she has lost too much fluid.
He then scolded the devotee who brought her stating that he let this mataji lie down on his couch as she seemed to have passed urine, even stool, in her clothes. Suddenly I could smell the stench and felt repulsed. The doctor, said that he can’t do much instantaneously and the best course is that she drinks some energy drink (ORS) and take some precaution in eating. By this time Deepak Prabhuji had walked inside and started talking to the other mataji. We found that they have a flight the same evening to Norway! She didn’t seem to be in a condition to take a long flight today. We also found that they were staying quite close and finally it was agreed to let them go back to their room, get some rest, drink the ORS and then they can decide whatever action they wish to take. All settled.
Deepak Prabhuji then took the prescription for the ORS and requested the two matajis go back to their room and that we will deliver the ORS to their room or at their reception. I thought that one of the mataji is fine and she can easily pick up the ORS from a nearby chemist on their way back to their room. Still out of courtesy I told Prabhuji let me go and get the energy drinks.
As I came out I saw the rickshaw puller washing his seat as he too realised that it was smelling of urine. He didn’t complain as both the matajis again climbed back in the same rickshaw and left. The only thing in my mind was to quickly leave back for Gurgaon.
As I turned back, and slowly walked towards the main road to find a chemist, I suddenly realised that this morning only I had prayed to one of the trees in MVT to kindly give me an opportunity to serve Dhama or some person in Dhama! Over the last few months it has become a habit for me to pray to the trees in Vrindavan, with amazing results. I had written about it in an early blog few months back (please read it here). I immediately felt utterly ashamed at my internal thought process during this whole incident. I realised that based on my prayer I received an opportunity to help someone in dhama yet I behaved internally like an insensitive moron. I was also relived that I was with Deepak Handa Prabhuji as I am sure that had I been alone I may not have even stopped or stopped and just moved on. But Krishna is so merciful that He ensured that I was with a devotee whose heart was soft. I profusely thanked Krishna and the tree to whom I had prayed in the morning .
In a swift change of mood I was full of excitement and there was sudden spring in my step as I absorbed what really had happened and how my desire got fulfilled within few hours and how close I was to miss it! I knew that had it not been for the presence of Deepak Prabhuji I would have certainly missed it. I went and bought those ORS drinks, then we went together and delivered at mataji’s room.
This incident may sound common but there were many learning for me
- It moved something in my heart. I will try to be more sensitive towards helping others, will pray for a softer heart.
- Remain constantly in the association of devotees, especially in dhama.
- I also learnt a good lesson from Deepak Prabhuji on what does being a devotee really means. I felt utterly ashamed from inside. What kind of a devotee I am with such a hard heart.
- This incident also showed me that if we are conscious in Krishna consciousness then we can clearly see that our prayers are being answered but we have become so blind and hard-hearted that we don’t see them.
- It solidified my faith that all trees in Vrindavan are Kalpa Vriksha (wish-fulfilling trees)
- It also helped me realise that when we pray from the level of our present level of advancement then it helps. I had heard it in a lecture few weeks back that whenever we pray for something then we should pray from the our present level and not try to jump to something higher for which we have no qualification. The example that exalted devotee gave was that if someone gifts us a penthouse in a very fancy building but we find that there are no stairs or lifts for it then it is useless for us. Similarly instead of praying for something very high like Krishna Prema or being present in one of the pastimes of Lord etc., it is better and practical to pray for advancement from our current level to the next level. One can not make progress from an artificial platform. Somehow those words stuck a chord in my heart and from that day my prayers changed and it seems to be working.
In the end, I am copying translation of three verses from Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani, by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura chapter 2, text 21, 22 & 23, glorifying the amazing trees of Vrindavan.
From the branches and roots of the trees of Vraja all Brahmas and Shivas emanate. Although the trees of Vraja are as splendid as the sun, they still are wonderful parasols to shade one from the sun’s rays. They shine with the luster of youth, just as the four Kumaras.
The trees of Vraja were never planted or husbanded. They never grew from any seed. They glisten with many leaves and flowers. They bear many ripe, unripe, and ripening fruits.
The splendid trees of Vrajabhumi are perfectly spiritual in nature and full of all potencies. They are just like the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as the conditioned souls misunderstand the spiritual nature of the Supreme Lord’s incarnations, in the same way they misunderstand the glory of these trees in Vraja.
All glories to the trees of Vrindavan.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.