Solace in faith

Mrs. Rajalakshmi Sastry, M.A., B.ed.,

God is watching you in all that you do. Whatever you do, be conscious of His presence. I remembered these words of His presence. I remembered these words of Mahaswamigal, in the midst of my crying. It was nearly 17 years ago in Madras. I was crying from my heart leaning on a wall in that small room in my in-law's house in Madras. We, and my husband, arrived there only the previous day. I had brought with us plenty of homemade sweets and savouries and gifts for my in-laws. Everything was going on in that house cheerfully till that fateful morning. All of us had our morning tea and I was helping my mother-in-law in arranging flowers for puja. We were happily talking about the household matter. My sisters-in-law were also joining in our conversation now and then in the middle of their cooking chores.

Suddenly my father-in-law entered the room, where we were sitting, and looked at me very angrily, turned towards my mother-in-law and asked "why is she arguing with you, Lakshmi? She has no right to argue with anybody in this house". We were all taken aback. We could not understand the reason for his unnecessary anger towards me. Of course, he was an advocate, who could create "reasons".

"We are not arguing, we talking", I said, standing up from my seat. "You shut up. Don't argue with me" he shouted at me. My husband, who cold have heard clearly everything from the next room, came to my rescue. But no use; the old man made the ugliest comment one can make in this earth about a married woman. "She is barren, She is a runaway woman..." This was too much for me. It was true that I was "childless" even after seven years of our marriage, but to call me a "runaway woman"! No doctor had declared me as a barren and I was praying God Almighty to bless me with a healthy child all these seven years.

I burst out when I heard these harsh comments from my own father-in-law. My mind and heard bled with an endless pain. I felt like running away to a place where I would get mental solace. But where? Where? To whom, to whom? I did not know. A sudden numbness, a sudden emptiness, as if I was left alone in an island with no affection, no love, no sympathy .... Oh God; but where is God! Where to go? Where? Where? Suddenly, something in me whispered "Kanchi". Yes, I got the answer. My numbness vanished, I remembered the words of Mahaswamigal. "God is watching you. In all that you do, be conscious of His presence". I opened my eyes. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law tried to console me. They asked me to eat and drink something. I didn't talk to anybody, I didn't eat anything. I packed my suitcase, took some money from my husband's purse and got ready to go out of that house. "Where are you going?" my husband asked. I answered softly "To Kanchi. I want to see Mahaswamigal".

"I am also coming with you to Kanchi" he said. He stuffed his dress and other necessary things in my suitcase. Then my mother-in-law rushed towards us "Please don't go anywhere, please. I am sorry, come inside, in the name of God". I turned and answered weeping, but firmly, "Yes. I am going to see God in Kanchi, the living God. With His blessing I will get a child within one or two years and come inside this house." They were stunned.

Alas! At Kanchi we came to know that the Mahaswamigal was out of station. We got the "Darshan of Sri Jayendra Sarasvathi Swamigal. When I was standing in the queue for the darshan I was mentally praying to Mahaswamigal for his blessings since I had read somewhere that `prayers' were granted by the Living God even from a distance. When my turn came, I stood before Sri Jayendra Sarasvathi Swamigal and bowed before Him. I cried silently and said softly, "Please bless me. I want a child, a healthy intelligent baby...." I could not say anything more, I was sobbing. All that time I was silently putting my wish before the Mahaswamigal in my mind. Sri Jayendra Sarasvati Swamigal did not say anything, but raised His hands and blessed with a smile. He smiled with an expression of "I know everything"... I felt suddenly the utmost faith and tranquillity in my mind. I mentally placed all my worries in the `lotus feet' of the Mahaswamigal. We returned to Hyderabad.

One year passed. What a wonder! I got a lovely son. I named his `Karthikeyan', since he was the gift of Lord Siva. He was the product of the blessings of the Sankaracharya, the Living God of this Yuga. My son is now 16 years old.