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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A subtle truth in the gunny bag

Source: In the Presence of the Divine

Translated by: Sujatha Vijayaraghavan

The camp of Sri Matha was in Karvet Nagar. A family that had come by car from Chennai, planned to return that evening. Everything was ready. As soon as they received Periyava’s command to leave, they could start at once. 

Periyava was seated under a vilva tree. Sabesan’s family prostrated and waited for Periyava’s Prasada. They got it. Sabesan turned to move towards the car. A click of the fingers! Sabesan came back eagerly. A heap of small, broken granite stones lie in a pile at a distance. Periyava pointed to it and said, ‘Put some of these in a gunny sack, tie it up and take it home”.

Everyone was taken aback. Why carry broken granite stones from Karvet Nagar to Chennai? What was unique about these stones? One cannot ask for Periyava’s explanations. So Sabesan took a small pile of broken granite stones in a gunny sack, tied it up and put the bundle in the dicky of the car before he left.

The Puttur road was lined on both sides with a rocky terrain. In the night, four or five me stood in the middle of the road and stopped the car. It was clear they were highway men. They hustled everyone out of the car and searched inside the vehicle. Not a box was to be found. In a fury they opened the dicky. The bundle was there.

“Hey! It’s here!” shouted one of them.

Another tried to pick up the sack. He could not. It was heavy. Together the men took it out of the dicky and hurled it down.

They said, “Go on, go on” urging Sabesan and his family to leave at once. Sabesan drove the car at top speed not stopping anywhere until they reached a village where he halted to breathe once more.

“I was terrified. I was sure that they would tell us to remove our jewels,” said his wife.

“Luckily for us they did not tie us all up,” said his son.

“Thank God they did not smash our car,” said his daughter.

Sabesan turned in the direction of Karvet Nagar and raised his hands in salutation.

The highway men had made a false calculation that there was plenty of money in the heavy sack and so did not care to pay attention to other ordinary gains. Two days later Sabesan came back alone for Periyava’s darshan and submitted the episode to Periyava with wonder and devotion.

“The Lord has saved you,” said Periyava.

True. But Sabesan knew the Lord who saved him. From then on, he never looked on broken granite stones as something insignificant.

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