In my life of 49 yrs I have not done any sadhana. It was only through swamiji that  I attempted embarking on this beautiful journey. The  Nav Durga Sadhana as told by swamiji was to be performed with instructions that a small amount  be kept aside every day for some charity. At the end of nine days it was meant to be  given to a temple or towards any noble cause for a girl child.

My home as given by the govt is on top of a hill overlooking the vast ocean of Bay of Bengal and there is no temple in the vicinity of my hill. Me and my wife started with the sadhana and kept aside some money every day as instructed and thought of giving the money at some temple down hill.  Every day I go to office which is around 20 km from my home and the initial part of the journey is through a beautiful meandering road down hill with beautiful bougainvillea, oleander and golden shower trees all along , a distance of 8kms till one touches the base of the hill.  You must be wondering why am I narrating all this and what has this got to do with the sadhana. Wait till you reach the end of narrative. After the sadhana was over the money kept lying in an envelope for quite some time in my temple and I was wondering when we should we get some time to give away the money.

Many a times kids wait near the base of the hill to get some lift to the top, since no civil buses and vehicles  are allowed to ply on the hill road being a defence cantonment area. One day while driving back home, I saw a girl waving at me and asking for lift and I stopped to pick her up. All the way up, I chatted up with her asking which standard she is in and what is her goal. The girl appeared to be quite intelligent and was studying in class 12th and preparing for medical entrance as her ambition was to become a doctor. Many a times, I have given lift to kids and it always  been the usual chat, regarding studies, subjects, goals in life etc. and when time comes to drop them at the top of the hill the conversation ends by asking where is dad posted or to which unit he belongs so that if I can relate to them, being a part of the small Naval community.

The same questions I asked her and she said her dad does not stay with them and  left them to stay with some other lady. That was shocking as such incidence do not occur in defence without proper legal actions. I asked her then how she is staying in the hill top apartment. Her next reply left me dumbstruck. She said  she stays in the servant quarter of one Naval officer as her mother works as a maid in their house. All through out the journey, I was thinking her to be a daughter of some naval officer. I could not converse any further and knew in my hearts that how difficult her condition would be and was awed by her spirit to do well in life and making all out efforts in such trying conditions. We get perturbed even with slightest difficulties in our life and here was a kid full of life and hope in spite of towering hardships  . I immediately knew where my sadhana kitty should go. A few days later me and my wife called her and her mother and handed over the minuscule amount to her to help her in her  studies and left a word that in future also help will follow. The sadhana led to a kindness act which happened with only Swamijis grace. This reminds me of quotes on Kindness and grace by Kahlil Gibran and Rumi as reproduced below:

Kindness is like snow.

It beautifies everything it covers – Kahlil Gibran


You are so weak. Give upto grace.

The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.

You will need more help than you know      – Rumi


Such is the grace of our Swamiji, who makes the path of kindness so easy flowing and dishes out on our platter to savor.

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Rajesh Om Chatterjee

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