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13. Rishyasringar

It was a rainy morning in November. As I went to bed after twelve in the night, I was still asleep. There was a steady downpour of rain outside. Robert came up to my bed and urged me to come down saying, "There is water all around our house. Water has entered the neighbouring houses. They have come over to our house for safety. Come quickly. We have to decide what to do."  I went downstairs and looked outside. Our house was at the far end of a new colony and, as usual, the roads were not yet laid. There was a sea of water everywhere. Inside the other two adjacent houses, already there was one or two feet of water. The colony was close to the main drainage canal of the town. The canal's banks were overflowing, and the watermark was more than a foot above the bank. By then the entire colony had vacated their houses and shifted to a raised place two streets beyond. Rescue teams had come with men, ropes, vans, etc. helping people to evacuate. The water level was just about to reach my doorstep. I could see men wading through hip-deep water at a distance and deeper still just outside my house. The rescue team announced that a lake had breached and it would be dangerous for us not to vacate. We contacted the Collector's office and police headquarters to find out the truth. We were informed that no lake's bunds were broken, rather the rainfall had been 14 inches that night and, hence, the heavy flooding of all low-lying areas. I was relieved to know the facts and decided against vacating the house. We moved upstairs.

Robert had returned from America only two days earlier. I joked with him saying, "You have brought with you heavy rains. Mother calls rain Grace. You carry Her Grace and that is why this downpour. You are like Rishyasringar of our Puranas."  On his request I told him the story of Rishyasringar. He was interested and intrigued. He said that wherever he went there used to be rain, even in off-seasons, and he used to consider it a bother. He said that I put a positive construction on this aspect of his life, which, he said, might be true in some measure. Suddenly he recalled his very first visit to the Ashram during a non-rainy month. He very vividly remembered that there had been heavy rain at the time. I assented because I had met him at the gate of the Ashram when he came with my friend, and I took both of them to the Samadhi and other places. I too remembered that it was a rainy day. But neither of us had noticed until then that wherever Robert went there was rain.

I know that when we come to Mother and accept Her, our life undergoes a transformation. Generally in one year man rises to a social level twice as high as before. If he is part of an institution and accepts Mother's way of life in his own life, sooner or later he rises to the topmost post of that institution, however low he started. If there are any capacities in him such as writing, dancing, speaking, skills of organisation, luck, etc. these capacities will continue to increase. If there are defects such as short temper, ill luck, etc., they will soon disappear. It struck me that Robert had had this capacity to invite rains wherever he went before he came to Mother. Now it had increased beyond all proportions and brought down the deluge of 14 inches in one night on his arrival from the USA.

Though Robert continued to give me instances of rain in places that he visited, as a Westerner he found it difficult to accept the Rishyasringar in him. Anyway, I decided to keep a watch over the future. He too amusingly agreed to report to me in future about his visits from this point of view.

After a few months stay in India, he returned to California. Southern California is a desert where the rainfall in a year is less than 10 inches. Drinking water for the largest city there, Los Angeles, comes through pipelines from a river a few hundred miles away. Robert on his return wrote long letters. At the end of one he mentioned there had been 30 inches of rain in one month and there were floods in Los Angeles, which were unheard of. After some time, he said he was moving to his aunt's house in New York. That year water scarcity had affected the eastern part of USA. Even newspapers in India began to report on those details. New York City announced that there was water in their reservoirs only for forty more days. Another city nearby had only seven days supply left. Tight restrictions were imposed on the use of water. Robert reached New York in February. In New York it rains every month and the rainfall is about two inches. February has a normal fall of 2.1 inches. A few days after Robert reached there, there was a heavy rainfall for one full week and the reservoirs filled up again. The rain gauge recorded six inches for the month.

After his stay in USA, Robert wrote to me saying he was returning to India in October. I wished him to return in summer, as we still lived in the same house and the municipality had not laid the roads. I was afraid of another flood around the house. I wrote back to Robert saying, "You are most welcome and the rains you bring are God's Grace. That too is equally welcome. But please bring down the rain only in installments!"  Robert did arrive again in November and the rains arrived too in copious measure with him. But this time it was only six inches on the day of his arrival.

Once we had an occasion to work with the Tata organisation. They liked the ideas of our Society regarding rural development. Fifty years ago, the Tatas had chosen to install a chemical plant in a desert. They wanted the factory in a place with the least rainfall, as they made large quantities of common salt in open pans to be used in the factory. As the salt would be lost in the rain, they located their factory in Kutch, where the annual rainfall is less than 10 inches. Around the factory they chose 40 villages from which their workers came for rural development. On their request, we sent Robert to them to study the area and report. He did so. Two years later, it was reported in the papers that Kutch was visited by heavy rains that season. So, I was looking for Tata's speech on the occasion of their annual meeting. When it did come, it quoted Tata saying, "Unusually, this year there were heavy rains in Kutch. All salt was washed away. In one day the factory area recorded 20 inches of rain, a thing unheard of in the history of Kutch."

book | by Dr. Radut