Flooded gutter and clean Floaters.

Faith in Gajanan Maharaj calls us every year to Shegaon, the land from where he appeared before the world. On a similar such pilgrimage we disembarked the train at Shegaon station. It was 11.30am, a bright sunny morning of July, usually a peak rainy season in India. A slight glaze though was visible all around, clearly telling us that it had rained recently. We came out of the station and were surrounded by rickshaw and Tanga drivers (Horse cart) multiple voices said the same thing “Chala Bhaktaniwas, Chala Anandsagar”. (Translation: Ride to Bhaktiniwas or Anandsagar) Tanga, a rare ride for we city dwellers was selected to take us to Bhaktaniwas (Stay facility provided by temple trust).

Bhaktinwas Shegaon.

The newly built concrete road took us by surprise as we were ready for a bumpy ride and sweet sound of wooden wheels getting into a pothole, like last year.  The greenery in Shegaon was also eye pricking as this part of Maharashtra generally has scanty rainfall. Nevertheless, the smell of soil due to first rains was very welcoming. The 10minuntes ride ended with a strong pull of lead ropes on the horse and a pat on his back.

After checking in Bhaktaniwas we immediately left for temple, a 5minutes walk through numerous shops. Most of the shops continuously play recorded chanting of ‘Gan Gan Ganaat bote’ with a background music (a mantra said by Gajanan Maharaj) and sell photos, books of him. The road is exactly opposite to the clean and disciplined environment inside the temple area.

Volunteers are regularly seen cleaning the premises, guiding the pilgrims in rows to the sanctum. The sanctum is below the ground, where Saint Gajanan Maraharaj took samadhi. We took his blessing after waiting in a long queue of about 2 hours. To calm ourselves after such rush we went to meditation hall.

Gajanan Maharaj Temple.

The calm, silent meditation hall has pictures of Gajanan, one of the pictures always catches my eye it depicts his divine power in which he tells his follower to bring in water from a nearby stream. The follower takes the pumpkin (used as vessel back then) and goes to the stream to find it extremely unclean. Still with faith he dips the pumpkin in the stream and when he takes out the pumpkin, he surprisingly finds water completely clean and potable. I wished I could be there to see such a miracle.

Gajanan Maharaj Water Story.

There are many such miraculous stories of him one such story has made Prachin Mahadev Temple where the above-mentioned follower first time met Maharaj. We took Rickshaw to go to that temple as it had started to rain. The 15mins journey was through small road parallel to a gutter on one side and brick houses with steel roofs on the other side. By now the wind and heavy showers had started to make thunderous noise of the steel roofs. To add to this the rickshaw was making funny noises from the water entering through slowly flooding gutter and potholes.

We somehow reached the temple prayed within minutes and again sat into the same rickshaw. The rickshaw within first 200metres gave tremendous jerks and halted in between the flooded gutter. The driver without trying simply said, “Hi 2-stroke gadi ahe mama pani lagla ki banda padti, ata urlela chalat ja.” (Translation: This is a 2-stroke vehicle and thus cannot run in this water, you can walk the rest part.) With no choice we got down the rickshaw and started walking in that dirty and shit smelling water. It was extremely dirty, in fact one of our members also said that she was about to puke. Nevertheless, we kept walking thinking that all out clothes would surely be in dustbin now. We were horrified at the thought that we might be smelling the same.

In that heavy rainy afternoon, we saw a tractor entering a small lane. We ran towards it letting all the dirty water splash more. The kindness of driver allowed us to sit uncomfortably in his tractor. The discomfort grew with the thought of me still wearing dirty floaters. This made me remove my Floaters.

To my disbelief, my floaters were cleaner than they were before also my legs were softer and completely clean, the clothes smelled of my Chandan attar. Everyone was awestruck looking at their feet. I though was now mentally in the meditation hall calmly looking at the same photo but instead I could see myself instead of Maharaj’s follower with pumpkin.

“Bodies are cleaned by water, the mind is cleansed by hard truth.”

-Horace Mann (Edited)

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Abhishek Purohit


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