Vibhuti Woes – An anecdote by Srinivas Kalyani Summer 2012, Panipat (Haryana, India)
As I was sitting doodling around in one of my free lectures in college, the heat wave that had engulfed the country was merrily scorching those who were brave enough to wander outside. True, I had decided to stay inside along with many others to feel safer under the roof of my classroom.
I had a very peculiar habit of drinking Vibhuti water (normal water with lots of Vibhuti mixed in it) because I had grown accustomed to the humongous amount of Vibhuti that I used to come back with from Kangra, with love from my Master, Sri Shivananda. I liked to tell myself that the supply of Vibhuti would always be unlimited for me. Hence, I used to drink Vibhuti water and be prodigal with it.
I noticed that my Vibhuti water had finished so I went to the water cooler to refill my water bottle. I was looking forward to adding Vibhuti (always kept inside my bag) to the cool water and a having a refreshing, soothing drink. My Vibhuti container was about one-fourth full. As I opened my bag to get the Vibhuti container, my mouth fell open in horror.
The Vibhuti container’s lid had somehow unscrewed itself in my bag and the inside of my bag was totally covered in Vibhuti. I was dazed for a couple of minutes, completely at a loss to figure out what to do next. It wasn’t the cleaning up that was worrying me, it was the realisation that I had finally done it. I had taken my Master’s love for granted and I had gone to the extent of being careless with something so sacred, so pure…
As these thoughts crossed my mind, a sudden wave of guilt rushed over me. As the free lecture ended, I trudged back to my hostel room thinking about what had happened along the way.
As I closed the door of my room behind me, I knew what had to be done. I needed someone trustworthy to share this incident with. I immediately called my Sai brother Pritesh Soni for advice. As I filled him in on the whole story, he too was at a loss at figuring something out. We decided that it would be best for me to call my Master, tell him everything and seek forgiveness at His lotus feet.
As I reached out for my phone, it suddenly beeped, announcing the arrival of a text message. I was surprised to see that it was from my Master. The contents of the message were concise, yet my heart was pounding as I went through them. The message said, “Sri tum chinta mat karo. Mai apne bhakton ke sath aisi leela karta rehta hun” [Translation: Sri, do not worry. I often grant such experiences to My devotees].
For the second time in 2 hours I had received a major shock. “How on earth did He know?”, I wondered aloud to Pritesh. Both of us kept looking at the text for a long time, saying nothing to each other. With waves of guilt crashing over me, I realised that it was time to clean my bag, and retrieve as much Vibhuti as I could.
Slowly, and very carefully I continued to collect as much Vibhuti as I could from my bag and returned it to the container. When I thought that no more Vibhuti could be recovered, I turned to the container to put its lid back on, only to receive the third shock for the day. The container that was one-fourth full before the Vibhuti spillage, was now about three-fourths full.
As the full impact of what had happened hit me, all my woes were gone in an instant, I was elated beyond measure. I was actually given a considerable amount of Vibhuti by my beloved Master!
The whole incident taught me a beautiful lesson – love from all those who love me can never go wasted as long as it is reciprocated, and respected in equal measure. Love from Sri Shivananda is eternal, His positivity would keep inspiring me all my life.