Not fiction, yet miracles happen. 

The sky split open; doomsday had come. The sky darkened. The resounding thunder not only shook the earth but pierced the souls of all those who were present. The flashes of lightning were blinding; these could be seen even with eyes closed. The lightning morphed into the shape of a being. Am I daydreaming? It had been raining for less than a minute. The tent suddenly collapsed under the weight of water and dragged the new temple of Hanuman Ji with it. Everyone stood frozen, silent spectators to the impending curse. What have we done?

___ 🐵🐵🐵 ___

We lived in abject poverty within an extended family. One common bathroom and toilet. Dadi maa’s funeral pyre had yet to cool, and my uncle sealed our entrance with concrete and cement prohibiting our access to the bathroom and toilet. He also sealed our access to the front entrance, confining us to the back.  

Mom said we had to visit a priest. The first prediction that Pandit Ji uttered was that we needed the grace of Hanuman Ji. He firmly instructed us to fence the courtyard and limit intrusions. As soon as this was to be done, Hanuman Ji had to be established. There was no other way out, no other salvation, and no other grace. 

“Only Hanuman as a rakshak can deliver you from your miseries..” Yet the years of torture made me sceptical. Faith was strong, but the fates?

It was the first puja we would be doing at home by a priest in my 23 years of existence. An arm’s length sheet of puja samagri was to be ordered. Mom personally was out looking for Hanuman Ji’s idol. 

I borrowed a tent and poles from the Social Welfare Centre. The whole thing was mounted with the help of mother. Everything was ready; puja samagris, prasadam, and 7 curry food for the family members attending. Even with our limited means, we gave everything we had until we had not a rupee left for the month’s groceries, not that we had a lot of it. 

When the priest came he said I couldn’t perform the prayer. My dad had to perform it as the head of the family. The priest wouldn’t hear a word. Well, you cannot argue with holy men. The sun was not benign on that day. The scorching heat from the sun and the sultry from the hawan kund were penance in themselves. The brightness was such that I could see white everywhere. Yet it was not sweat that fell from my face, it was a stream of tears when offering my heartfelt prayers to Hanuman Ji. If you are here, accept me and give me your blessings. A cool breeze ruffled the twin flags upon which Hanuman Ji was seated. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. 

The prayer was over after the aarti. One last thing; the priest was handing the coconut to father, but seeing that he was dazed and his hands weren’t steady, decided to ask me to break it. Finally, something I could do!

“Make sure to break the coconut in one go!”

The intense stare of everyone on me was overwhelming. Everyone expected me to fail. Picture a lanky guy, thin as you can go, 48 kgs in weight. A coconut 2.5 times the size of his palm. Yet it was familiar as I had carefully removed all the husk. Scraping it with a knife and polishing it until it was smooth. I closed my eyes and visualised Bajarang Bali in my mind. A sweet perfume infused the air accompanying the gentle breeze. I lifted my arm and brought the coconut down on the side of the stone. With a loud crake, it broke in half, the coconut water flying in all directions, drenching me from head to toe, the Hanuman Ji’s temple which I had crafted with my own hands, and all yajmans present. 

The resounding thunder at that exact moment couldn’t be construed as a mere coincidence. The sun disappeared behind the clouds and such a deluge started that everyone started to flee inside. Everyone stared at me mouth agape. What just happened? The priest smilingly placed his palm on my head and rushed inside the house. 

The feeling of warmth didn’t stay long. The outpour was such that the tent buckled under the weight of the water. I rushed with a stick. I managed to press into the fabric and reduce the weight by half. All the water gushed onto me, drenching me from head to toe. I had the feeling of being submerged in a lake to reemerge. The tent slammed into Hanuman Ji’s temple and dragged it. 

Was it sheer will, adrenaline or something else, that my lanky arms held to the temple as if my life depended on it, burying my feet into the floor to prevent being carried forward? The tent and metal kept barraging at my back, yet I held. Mom and sister rushed out to help me. The temple had moved halfway from its position. The idol of Hanuman Ji was placed just like that, with no cement or glue. Yet It hadn’t moved, nor had it wobbled. 

Since that day, our cursed life improved drastically. My devotion for Hanuman Ji deepened to such an extent that I embarked on a journey. It has been 5 years since I diligently fast every Tuesday. Why? I have no answer. It’s been months since I wanted to do puja and hawan at home for Hanuman Ji. How Guru Ji hears my prayers is His divine grace only. Through the Sadhna app, I was able to do the hawan. The day that I am able to do the hawan is nearing. I can feel it.

I cannot express my gratitude sufficiently to Swami Ji for everything that He is doing. The Hanuman Temple within the Sadhna app is changing my life. Thank you. You are everything. My tears of gratitude are surrendered at your holy feet. 

🌺Jai Shri Hari!🌺