The first visit to the Ashram in April 2017 had cast a spell on us and our longing for Bhagwan was growing by leaps and bounds! We revisited the Ashram in Ocober 2017, again by a rented vehicle as we were not quite sure how our sedan would fare on the unpaved road. The issue with a rented vehicle was that the drivers from Haridwar would not be ready to go all the way to the Ashram, so we used to go till Chandigarh then change to a vehicle arranged by Sanju. (Sanju is the one who coordinates travel to and fro from Ashram.)
Soon the feeling of buying a new compact car, which could be easily manoeuvered on the Ashram kaccha road (unpaved road), started brewing in Alok’s mind. And the car was bought in November 2017 and the very first trip was to the Divine abode Sri Badrika Ashram! We were all very excited with the prospect of going to our spiritual home on our own. 😊
The Day dawned and we had planned our day in such way that we would reach Ashram well before 5 pm as Swamiji used to come to temple at 6.15 pm. The excitement was very much tangible in the air. With beautiful music playing in the background and SriHari’s name on our lips, we were waiting for the signboard saying ‘Way to Om Swami Badrika Ashram’ to come. With the sight of reaching the destination, we chorused in joy, “Sri Hari Bhagwan ki Jai!”
We had not even finished our jaikara when the car came to a sudden halt. We were startled to see a group of people gathered around a truck and the vehicle was at an oblique position exactly at the turn- Obviously, it was blocking the unpaved road to Ashram! It was at such a unique position that not even a two wheeler could pass from the sides! The truck was carrying the construction material to Ashram and it was in a position of turning to move ahead. Bang! It took a turn and truck’s axel broke! It came to a standstill, blocking the way to Ashram.😔
We couldn’t believe that! In fact, the scene was too weird to be true. We had traveled for 8 hours by road and it was already 4 PM. With just a few hours to go until Swamiji’s darshan,we were actually counting minutes and this whole incident was telling us loudly ‘Can’t go further.’ 😢
Would we able to make it to the Ashram in time? Our hearts skipped a beat. How much time would this truck take to move from there?
None of us had the strength of Bhima, that we could simply shift it aside and zoom past that obstacle. 😐
Alok frantically parked the car on roadside and joined the group of devotees who too were visiting the Ashram and were already finding ways out of this mess. Each devotee was in a hurry to reach Ashram. No wonder, right?😊
Sanju along with his friends, were trying to help the truck driver. Two of his friends had already left for Solan to get a new axel but it would take some time. How much time? Only Bhagwan knew!
What was the most interesting thing about the whole scene was that although every devotee was restless and anxious to reach the Ashram, Sanju along with the villagers were calm like sages! They were standing there with no stress at all, absolutely at peace with themselves and the situation. The observation brought a smile on our faces. I thought, was it not what Swamiji taught us at all times, to be equanimous? The strength of our character is tested when things are not going the way one plans. It was time to put into action what Swamiji taught us.
But some things are easier said than done!
After half an hour of analysis, Sanju declared, “It will take at least few hours to fix the issue.”
We were crestfallen! Would we have to wait here while Swamiji gave his discourse in the temple? And He would have left the temple by the time we would reach.😟
Have you heard of the song ….Deenanath, dayaniya meri avastha! Tumhare hi hatho me hain meri sari vyavastha! It perfectly captures my momentary sentiments of the time.
We prayed to Swamiji, pleading not to keep us waiting there and requested Him to show us the way.🙏 We were standing at His gate, only waiting for His Grace in order to enter into His holy lands.
Alok discussed a few options with Sanju, and by Divine Grace, Sanju came up with a brilliant plan. He told us that there was a different path upwards before the usual road to Ashram. The only problem was that it was new and it was much steeper!😔
Have you all been to the Ashram? Those who have been to Ashram know that the 12 km patch of unpaved road literally makes you sit at the edge and one is completely at His mercy.🙏
Now imagine our reaction- The car was new; Alok was going to drive for the first time on that road all by himself! And above all the different road was also new!
But the urgency to see Swamiji reined Supreme.
All these challenges were nothing before that Divyadarshan.🙏
Sanju guided us towards the road and also requested one local driver to help us reach there. Adorned with faith, we started our adventure.
Though it was an unknown terrain, our faith- our Swamiji was there with us.The one whose name alone can help you cross the ocean of samsara.🙏So was that difficult terrain really a big deal?🙂
Sanju told the driver to lead and we all followed suit. We surrendered to Swamiji and started our journey. With His name as our constant companion, we were following that pilot car. It was a journey,we would never ever forget. The road was new and the drive was surely a camel ride. The turns were sharp and when it was time to go up, it almost looked like the car would simply slide back as it was incredibly steep. Could some unexperienced person drive on such road? Yes! One can, if one has a Guru like Swamiji. 🥰☺️
He says we are never alone and He always speaks the truth. ❤️
We were not alone! He was there with us at all times.🙏
Halfway through the journey, we were almost relieved that it was around 5 PM and within half an hour we would be in the Ashram! Yay!
Then suddenly, we noticed something unusual ahead. The car we were following had stopped suddenly. 😐
Now, what? I shook my head.
The car had stopped midway as there was yet another car blocking the way! Can you imagine the scene?
Our pilot car could not move ahead, so we too parked ourselves right in the middle of road, following us all other devotees stopped too, perplexed to know what was going on.🤔 Were we to reach the Ashram or not? In fact more than reaching, the problem was reaching on time.
Hey Bhagwan! Aur pareeksha nahi!😔
The person whose car was blocking the way told us that the car simply stopped while he was driving, probably some engine issues! Since the driver was alone, he couldn’t shift it on sides all by himself. So a few devotees came forward and helped the car move to the side. It was quite an experience for everyone. Devotees had come from far and wide,only to see first the truck blocking, then the new route and now another car blocking. Though everyone was tired, hope of Swamiji’s darshan gave them enough strength to give the car a ‘dhakka.’ 🙂
Once the blockage was cleared, we all resumed the journey.
The only thing on our mind was…what next? But Swamiji had played enough Leela for a day.
Afterwards, He helped us finish the remaining journey rather smoothly. 🙃 Bhagwan really looked within reach and at 5.45 pm we reached the Ashram. 😌
Alok ran towards the reception, quickly did the registration and we ran towards the room to freshen up. Every minute was precious and we were ready in no time! And 2 mins to 6 PM, we were in the temple.💃 Swamiji entered the temple at 6:15 PM.
And we can never forget His mysterious smile. 🥰😊
The incredible journey had served its purpose. His Leela has deepened our faith and then, it was rock solid! 🙏
After that visit, we have been to the Ashram many times but never ever have we the slightest doubt of whether we would reach in time. We reach so safely as if Bhagwan actually carries us home.🙇♀️
Is it not true that everythining is His play and we merely a part of His Leela?
Leeladhar Bhagwan ki Jai!
All glories to Him alone!