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23. Water Diviner

He is a tall majestic figure with white hair, grey with age, and he is clad in sparkling white clothes. A man of austere habits and deeply versed in Tamil spiritual literature, he is a bachelor whose face shines with energy and purity. He speaks forcefully as per the tradition of scholars in Saivism and Tamil. He migrated from his native district into our town and settled down to a single life. At a young age, having come under the influence of a realised soul of his place, he shunned family life and the search for material rewards in life. Early in life someone explained to him, perhaps his Guru, that he had the rare endowment of water-divining.

As I was in farming in those days, he was introduced to me as a water diviner. On enquiry in my town where he had lived for 30 years, I realised he was an able water diviner. It was said that no place which he had spotted had failed to disclose a water stream underground. I myself availed of his services for about a dozen wells. Every point he chose proved to have copious water springs underneath. For one of the biggest borewells in South India for agriculture 600 feet deep, he successfully chose the spot.

One day he came to me saying that someone from Auroville had called on him in his absence. He requested me to contact that Aurovilian on his behalf. Auroville is a desert of parched red soil in South Arcot District. He wanted to offer some service to this International city. He was taken there and he located 18 spots suitable for digging wells. All the tubewells that are now working in Auroville are in the spots he had chosen. Mother was pleased by this gesture of service by someone who was not even her devotee. Being a traditional Saivite, he looked on these modern versions of religion (like the Ashram) with a scornful eye instead of veneration.

As we now were relating to each other on water divining, we had more opportunities to meet. He is an elderly, respectable man, immaculate in appearance and spotless in character. As I am far younger to him, discussions with him meant that I would listen in silence and in reverence. Difference of opinion or dissent was not part of our relationship. That being the case, the topics of Mother, Sri Aurobindo or the Ashram were respectfully kept out of our conversations.

One day he asked me somewhat curiously what secret was there in The Mother and added that each time he visited the Ashram and returned home, there was an order waiting for him in the room. I became interested, but was not bold enough to offer any explanation of the fact that Mother was the source of all prosperity and his generous service to Mother had begun to show results in his life. On his insistence I began to give information in little bits with much hesitation. After some time, he began to evince more interest in Mother and asked me whether he could have a Darshan of Mother. Mother was then over 80 and She had stopped leaving her room, receiving only very few people for blessings. In special cases of aspiration, She might agree to receive the person on his birthday. I was delighted at his proposal and I knew Mother would be glad to bless him in view of his pure life and the service he had volunteered. Mother agreed to bless him and receive him on his birthday. I had the good fortune to accompany him to Her. The day before that he came to my house and asked me if there were any formalities or procedures to be fulfilled in going to Mother. His age, his forceful personality, his strong adherence to tradition, my deferential relationship with him-all permitted me to explain nothing. I spoke to him about these matters in monosyllables. Now I quoted the tradition that in meeting great souls we should carry an offering of flowers or fruits. He wanted to know the details. I hastened to add that I had already arranged for a bouquet of flowers from the flower service for him to offer to Mother. He wanted to know if there was anything more. After hesitating, again I quoted the tradition that one may make a token cash offering, if he chose, and added that those who sought blessings for the soul carried flowers and those who sought prosperity from Mother often made a cash offering. He expressed his emphatic personality and declared, "No cash offering is necessary, blessings alone are needed for my continued service."  My mouth was shut forever on this topic with him.

We both went to Mother. She received us with her gracious Smile. He was introduced as the water diviner who had visited Auroville. She blessed us both. We made our pranams and offered the flower bouquets. She gave him a lovely bouquet of flowers and a birthday card and smiled on him. He was touched. Coming out, he exclaimed, "No doubt, Divinity. Mother is great."

For at least six months I could not meet him. Each time I sought him, his room was locked. I didn't know what had happened. The man was totally missing. Finally, he made his appearance, looking tired but happy. He explained how he had been travelling all over the state water divining, as he had been approved by the government as a water diviner. There was something lingering in his mind which he was holding back. Before he left me, he said that in one year he had done as much water divining work as he had done in all his long life. There was something more unexpressed. After much hesitation and beating about the bush, he explained that a great deal of work had come to him, but no money. In one case the government procedure held up payment, in another case some error in the cheque delayed payment, while in certain cases he offered to receive payment when the water was struck, but the farmers did not dig the wells, and so on and so forth. I mustered courage and recalled to him his emphatic statement that he needed only blessings for service and no cash offering was necessary.

Mother says She fulfills the highest aspiration of anyone who meets her, even though the individual never voices it as a prayer. And many devotees have vouchsafed to that fact. Here in this case, the water diviner declared emphatically that he needed only service. And he seemed to have received it in copious measure from all over the state. He sat lost in thought and asked what would happen if he now changed his mind and made a token cash offering. I said it would certainly do him good. Soon he brought me an offering to be given to Mother. I was struck by his generous gesture again. Mother received it with a lovely smile.

Again for several months he was missing. This time as I was lost in a huge pile of work I had almost forgotten him. One day in the midst of heavy work, when there were a dozen guests intending to go to the Ashram, Mr. Mudaliar made his benevolent appearance. I was anxious to know why he had been missing and how his affairs stood. I put aside all work and sat with him. He said he had left for his native place in the neighbouring district, bought a piece of land and a small house, installed a borewell for the land, and arranged for cultivation. Now he had come back to vacate his place here so that he might permanently go back to his place. With a smile he explained that all the money came to him after had made the offering and that money helped him settle down in his old age.

book | by Dr. Radut