Granny Tales 101: Chapter 9

Our workshops are finally over so I should be able to write a little more frequently. It’s a warm, bright Sunday morning and I am up relatively earlier than usual as I barely sleep much these days. But today, I woke up with a more positive vibe than the past few weeks and that makes me happy. So I thought why not pen down my thoughts about dadi? I’m beginning my day with a sweet anecdote.

Today, the tale is about my granny and the Sai Baba cart. As a family, we are deeply devoted to Sai Baba. To me, he has been a guide and guru (teacher) who I revere. The Sai Baba cart is something we all look forward to. If you have seen one of my previous posts (titled Photographs), you will find a complete description of it. But I have no qualms about elaborating on it again.

The cart is a small, self-designed vehicle by a few devotees of Baba. It is a like a tiny caravan mounted on a motorbike. In the caravan, one can see the idols of various sizes of Sai Baba, a katori with Udi (vibhuti) and a lamp and incense sticks. The outside of the cart is decorated with colourful pictures of Baba. Playing bhajans and kirtans in praise of the saint, the cart is taken from street to street, to collect contributions from residents. Devotees and followers come running from their homes to contribute and take darshan. Sometimes, passers-by also stop and take darshan.

The cart isn’t merely a symbol of Baba coming home to us but much more. It has come on opportune moments, on days when things have gone downhill and in times when everything has gone well. Most importantly, it has come to repose our faith and convey that no matter what, He (Baba) is with us at all times. The cart has always given me a sense of relief when it comes. My anxiety and fears come down. It has always, I repeat, always come at the right moments and I am ever grateful to Baba for his grace.

So where does Dadi come into this? As a person, dadi wasn’t deeply religious. She believed in pujas and the power of the Divine. Her faith in the Great Ones, including Baba was very strong. But she was not into elaborate rituals in order to express her faith. Her will power was unbreakable because of her faith. As for the cart, she would always make obeisance to it when it arrived.

On days when she felt tired or when she was ill, she would still muster the strength to walk all the way from the room to the front door and see the cart and take blessings. We would smear the udi on her forehead after which she would retire to her room. It didn’t matter if she was in deep slumber or busy in the kitchen or doing something else; if we called out saying ‘Baba Cart is here’ she would leave everything and come to take darshan. Such was her faith and I suppose her pure devotion and unadulterated belief in the Almighty is what ensured her a long and happy life.

She was rarely bothered by illness and was eternally confident (even when she was down with something) that nothing would happen to her because she had the blessings of the Great Ones. This will power and the willingness to become alright combined with this steadfast faith has brought her out of many a difficult situation in miraculous ways.

She was a living example of how faith and devotion can move mountains. The mind cannot entertain doubts in this journey and to have such an unwavering mind is a necessity to get through the trials of this tumultuous world.

I wonder if I’d have sailed through the last couple of months without all the stuff that you taught me, especially this quality of keeping faith. Thank you, dadi, for teaching me some of the most valuable lessons to get me through life. Sending you tight hugs from here!

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