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27. Walter

Walter, a 65 year old American businessman, first came to India in 1972 to visit his son and daughter-in-law who had come a year earlier to join the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

In 1956 W and his family were living in a house about 20 miles north of New York City. The house had a large yard and a driveway about 150 feet long going from the street to the garage, which was at the back of the house. One night during the winter there was a heavy snowfall. The next morning all the roads were completely covered with snow. The city sent ploughs around to clear the roads as was their custom. W and his family went out early to shovel the snow off the driveway so that he could take the car out and drive to work. While W was lifting a heavy shovelful of snow, suddenly he felt a sharp, intense pain in the middle of his back and he fell over on his stomach into the snow. His family rushed to him and carried him into the house to his bed. He was moaning in unbearable pain and could barely move without crying out. A doctor was called to the house and gave medication so that W could sleep. Later he was taken to the hospital and underwent intensive examination.  The doctors discovered that one of the disks in his spinal cord had slipped out of line and was pressing on the spinal nerve. They operated to correct the injury. After that W had to remain in bed for 6 months at home. Frequently his family would awake in the night hearing him cry in pain.

After six months the doctors said he could return to work but for the rest of his life he would have to wear a large girdle 18 inches wide wrapped around his waist. The girdle was fitted with long flat metal rods in the back to hold his back firmly in place. For 18 years W had worn the girdle. Once or twice he tried to live without it for a day or two and immediately the pain would return.

W first visited the Ashram in 1972. At that time his son invited him to have the Darshan of Mother in Her room, but W declined. Again W visited Pondicherry in 1973 and again his son asked him if he would like to see Mother. W said to his son, "You know I don't believe in all this religion and spirituality business. I have never bowed before anyone in my life and I am not about to do so now."  His son replied, "No one said you have to bow to Mother if you don't want to. You can behave exactly as you please."  Finally W decided to see Mother. He was taken to Her room and Mother was very happy to see him. Without even thinking, W went down on his knees before Mother and She held his hand for several minutes."

When W came downstairs from Mother's room, his face was bright red and he was glowing with a big smile. He went up to his son and said, "You never told me it would be like this. There is nothing else you can do except kneel before Mother. When She looked in my eyes I felt my heart swelling so big that I was afraid my chest would burst."

Again in 1974 W came to the Ashram and stayed in a guest house with his son for two weeks. One night W had a dream that he was standing in the Ashram surrounded by a crowd of people and he was presented a special medal or award. The next morning he forgot the dream, but a few hours later an Ashramite came and gave him a present. It was a silver pin with the symbol of Sri Aurobindo. The man explained that Mother herself had worn this pin on her head dress many times. Suddenly W remembered his dream and he was overcome with emotion and could not even speak to thank the man for 15 or 20 minutes.

A few days later, W's son noticed that his father wasn't wearing his girdle. In reply to his son's enquiry, W said he felt so relaxed and peaceful that he wanted to remove it for a day or two and see what happened. The old pain did not return and so he stopped wearing the girdle for the rest of his visit. When he returned to the USA, W's wife was amazed to find her husband without his girdle on. Still W did not put it on and the pain did not return. Now W is 73 years old. He is retired and works very actively in his garden growing flowers and trees. He has never worn the girdle for a single day in the last 9 years.

book | by Dr. Radut