FAITH versus DOUBT

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Abright star in the sky of spirituality, Guru Ramdas, stayed in a remote village of Maharashtra. Devotees from far and wide basked in the blissful warmth of his divine knowledge and grace. Kalyan and Udhav were full time devotees, staying with their master in the Ashram. Both the disciples served their master dedicatedly. But, their approach to attain nearness to the master differed. Udhav always attempted to meet and have dialogues with the master and be with him; while Kalyan always preferred an internal connection in the deep chambers of his heart.

One bright morning while discussing an important plan of establishing a spiritual center, that would preach the teachings and values of Lord Rama, Guru Ramdas slipped into a state of spiritual trance. At that moment, his physical body and eyelids became motionless. It seemed like he was reveling in the endless ocean of Lord Rama’s love. Meanwhile, he saw a divine vision of Lord Rama’s holy statue dancing in the waters of a river. As if it was a hint of the upcoming future, Guru Ramdas soon came out of his state of trance, with a big smile adorning his face. Without wasting another second, he got up and moved hurriedly towards the door, leaving Kalyan and Udhav with these sacred words, “I have to go for the benefit of society and reinforcement of true spirituality. I have to hurry!!”

Kalyan and Udhav, who stood there as mere spectators, were left wondering about the mystery of their master’s sudden departure. Guru Ramdas reached the shores of the holy Krishna River as fast as he could. The waters of the river seemed outrageous, eager to breach the limits and transform into a flood. Enormous whirlpools were making the situation all the more perilous. The arrival of Guru Ramdas brought a ray of hope among the desperate locals, residing by the river. But, to their astonishment, what happened next was horrifying. Guru Ramdas headed straight towards the soaring waters. Residents screamed at the top of their voices to warn the great sage about the dangers of going too close to an overflowing river. Hearing the fearful cries of the concerned devotees, Guru Ramdas turned and waved his hand, telling them not to worry about his physical body. 

Saying so, he dived into the swollen surging river. The waves of the river seemed to have embraced the body of the great Guru. Twice or thrice the body became visible over the fierce waves and then disappeared. Screaming and shrieking, the devotees ran towards the lofty waves that seemed to have gulped their beloved Guru! Those who could swim jumped into the river without wasting a second. Fishermen rowed their boats till midway across the river and threw their giant nets into the water in the hope of at least getting hold of the body of their esteemed Guru. But, every effort went in vain! Even after hours and hours of search and thousands of dives, the Guru could not be found.

Thoughts of the on-lookers changed from bad to worse… maybe his body has satisfied the hunger of the giant fish and crocodiles lingering under the water surface. Kalyan and Udhav were informed about the catastrophic incident. Hell broke loose on Udhav who became almost lifeless on hearing the news. It seemed as if somebody had sucked life out of him and left a dead man behind. On the other hand, Kalyan’s reaction was totally opposite. He was very much sure that it was impossible for Gurudev to have left his physical body because he had an unfulfilled mission to take care of. Sitting in meditation, he established an inner connection with his beloved master and soon opened his eyes, gleaming and glowing with satisfaction. Knowing his Guru’s secret, he hurried towards Udhav’s cottage. As soon as Udhav saw Kalyan, the volcano of emotions building inside his heart exploded with full force. He threw himself on Kalyan’s shoulders and wept uncontrollably.

Totally composed and unshaken, Kalyan said, “Why are you crying? First, if you remember, Gurudev was talking about establishing a spiritual center just before leaving for the Krishna River. Maybe this incident is a part of that mission. Second, the local residents, who have come here with the news, are saying that a heavy flood was expected in the Krishna River as the water was surging very high; but, as soon as the revered Gurudev dived into the river, the water level lowered to normal. I wonder how many lives he has saved today through his divine act!! Third, his body could also not be recovered; so why should we believe that there exists a dead body in the waters of the Krishna River? There might be many more secrets behind our Guru’s sudden disappearance, which cannot be known sitting here. Let’s go to the river and get our Gurudev back with pomp and show!!” 

Kalyan’s words greatly consoled Udhav and without any hesitation, he got ready to accompany him. As the two reached the shore of the Krishna River, thousands of dejected, hopeless, broken hearted devotees were standing there, paying their last respects to the drowned sage. Kalyan and Udhav bowed before their Guru from there and then started speaking to the people, “This is just a small limited river. Even if all the oceans on the surface of the earth merge together, they will not be able to drown our esteemed Gurudev. You will all become witness to a great miracle when like a phoenix rising up from the ashes, our Gurudev will return from the river, alive and unhurt.”

Kalyan’s words kindled hope in every heart and the buoyant devotees accompanied Kalyan and Udhav who sat down in meditation along the shore. Three days later, the Krishna River seemed to be dancing with joy when suddenly an old idol of Lord Rama appeared on the water surface. Behind the idol, was the much, much awaited Guru Ramdas, bearing a divine form and engulfed in a huge bright aura. Everybody was elated!! After three days of Jal Samadhi, their saviour was back among them, in flesh and blood, ever more radiant than before!!

Kalyan’s unshaken faith had won the battle against unfavourable odds. No words needed to be exchanged between the great Guru and his unswerving disciple. Kalyan welcomed his Guru with tears of joy in his eyes and a salutation at his holy feet. In return, the Guru expressed his unconditional love towards Kalyan by embracing him in his arms.

As much as Guru Ramdas’s disappearance had shaken the devotees, his reappearance surprised them even more!! They then knew that the powers and secrets of spiritualism, by far, exceeded the limits of the brain, mind and thoughts!!

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