Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Princess of Belgium meets Swami - 2


The Princess and the young Prince of Belgium were a regular sight in Brindavan whenever Swami would come there. I‘share here 2 events concerning them.

The Prince ( I do not know if he was the elder or the younger one ) would come inside Swami’s residence area, where we worked, and stand with a group of students for darshan. In the evening, he would go and sit in the students block for bhajans. During the day, one of us boys had to escort him to the foreign canteen for food.

The Prince had received an interview a few days back and Swami had blessed him with a magnificent gold watch.  One of my friends while sitting with the Prince during his lunch, happened to notice the watch and just couldn’t stop raving about it. He said it was as if a gold snake formed the strap to hold the diamond studded dial. A watch fit for a Prince!

I don’t care for watches much, but anything materialized by Swami evoked a childish enthusiasm in me. So each of us boys would try to take turns to escort the Prince and have a look at the watch. Many succeeded and added their own praises to the divine gift. I was the only one left out who hadn’t seen the watch yet. One day I heard that the Royal family had left.

Utterly disappointed, I somehow let go of my obsession to see the watch.

A few days later, Divine grace fell on me. I was called for an interview. Inside, Swami materialized a beautiful watch for a devotee, then went inside to give personal interview to some other devotee. As I tried looking at the watch Swami gave the devotee I wondered how fortunate these souls were; not because they had received a gift of a gold watch; but because something about them please the Lord and evoked such grace from Him.

When I looked up, Swami had emerged and was looking at me piercingly. Before I knew it, He began waving His hand and materialized another gorgeous gold watch. He beckoned me, as I nervously and excitedly went to Swami, He very lovingly strapped the watch on my right hand.

My focus was on Swami’s presence during the interview, it is only when I came out that I saw the watch closely. It was truly beautiful. Some of my friends gathered around me to see it, when suddenly someone remarked “Hey! That’s the same watch that Swami gave to the Prince!”

In 2007 Swami returned from Kodaikanal to Brindavan for the Summer.  Amongst Swami’s guests who had returned were the Princess of Belgium and her friend.  A new VIP house had been built behind Trayee where such guests were to stay. I and 2 other friends were serving there taking care of food arrangements and any other needs of the guests. 

We learned that both the ladies were very sick. Apparently the spicy southern Indian food hadn’t suited them and they had suffered much ill health while they stayed in Kodaikanal. Karma burning in the Divine Presence!

When we learned this, the three of us went out of our ways to ensure their stay there was comfortable. Swami has asked Mrs Ratanlal to send food for them from her house. We brought food from different places, got fruits and coconut water ( which they loved) got ice creams and whatever we could. Our feeling was that these were Swami’s guests and so mustn’t suffer any more then they already have.

Since the guest house was new, it wasn’t equipped well. We did not have proper cutlery. The royal guests not used to eating with hands were having a difficult time. I brought a new set of spoons and forks and soon some new set of plates and bowls also came along.

Within a week we noticed them regaining their health completely and they would participate in darshans and bhajans. Everyday they would thank us and praise us for our efforts. If they had liked something while eat, they would shyly ask us if we could get some more of that thing. We were only glad to oblige Bhagawan’s guests.

Soon the time came for them to leave. Swami graciously blessed them with an interview. Utterly excited they mentioned this to me as I went up to their room to give them some things. They then asked me what was Venkateshwar, what was Tirupati?, .. that Swami again and again mentioned these names to them during the interview. I tried explaining it to them but as we didn’t have much time, I promised to mail them all details.

Then they remarked something that Swami had told them in Kodaikanal  “I know you haven’t been well here , but don’t worry, when we reach Brindavan, I will take very good care of you!”  The Princess and her friend looked at me and thanked us again for our service saying that Swami indeed had taken very good care of them.

Stunned by the remark. I went down and shared this with my friends. We were speechless and overwhelmed and thanked Swami profusely for giving us the opportunity of being His instruments.

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