Indian Culture · Indian Religion · Inner View · Personal reflections

“Nobody can take Him away!”

 

 

 

Yes, nobody can take Him away. Nobody.

“वो यहाँ से जाने वाले नहीं…हम उन्हें जाने ही नहीं देंगे…उन्हें यहाँ से कोई नहीं ले जा सकता है…” (He is not the one to go from here…we won’t let Him go. Nobody can take Him away.)

This was declared softly and simply by Maniram, the soft-spoken, pleasant, somewhat shy and gentle-mannered middle-aged taxi driver we had hired for the two days we spent in March of this year in Dwarka, Gujarat. In fact, as we found out later, Maniram was also the owner of this small taxi service that he had started after his early retirement from a government job. He had two grown sons, one of whom was also helping him in this fledgling enterprise of his. He was born and had lived all his life in Dwarka, the holy city of Lord Krishna, Dwarkadhish, Lord of Dwarka.

On the first day Maniram drove us to Okha (and back), from where we reached via ferry to Bet Dwarka (also known as Shankhodhar). This small island is part of the city of Dwarka.  Enroute to Bet Dwarka we first stopped at Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, and on the way back he also drove us to the beautiful Rukmini Devi Temple by the sea.

Next day, Maniram was supposed to drive us in the same taxi to Somnath, a journey of about 250 kilometers during which we were planning to visit a few more places of interest on the route. 

On the first evening when Maniram dropped us back to our hotel, standing just outside the hotel front door we discussed with him plans for the next day’s journey. And in the process of firming up the time of starting the trip and other such details we almost forgot to pay him. We were just about to enter the hotel premises when my husband recalled that he hadn’t paid for that day’s trip.

We immediately turned back and saw Maniram getting in his seat and almost ready to leave. Seeing us walking back, he got out of the car, perhaps thinking that we needed to ask him or tell him something about the next day’s plan. Handing out the money to Maniram, my husband warmly joked with him, saying:

 

“हम तो आपके पैसे देना भूल ही गये थे, पर आप पैसे लेना कैसे भूल गये ?”

(We almost forgot about the money, but how come you did too ?)

Maniram smiled his simple smile and replied:

“अरे कोई बात नहीं सर, पैसे कल दे देते। इसमें कौन सी बड़ी बात थी।” 

(Not a big deal, Sir. You could have paid tomorrow.) 

“और अगर कल हम यहाँ होते ही नहीं , होटल से चले गए होते तो? आपके पैसे तो रह ही जाते न !”

(And what if we were not here tomorrow, what if we would have checked out of the hotel, you would have also lost your money!)

“तो उसमें भी क्या है, सर। द्वारकाधीश है न।”

(So what, Sir? Dwarkadhish is here.)

“और अगर उन्हें भी अपने साथ ले जाते तो ?”

(And what if we were to take Him also with us?)

 

And that’s when he sweetly said, with a smile that almost reached his eyes:

“न! वो नहीं हो  सकता…वो यहाँ से जाने वाले नहीं…उन्हें यहाँ से कोई नहीं ले जा सकता है…”

(Nope! That is not possible. He is not the one to go from here…Nobody can take Him away.)

In those smiling eyes I could just feel his love for the Lord as I just stood there for a few moments and simply looked at him. How simply Maniram had said something so profound. It was his complete faith and trust in the Lord Dwarkadhish, in whose town he had spent almost all his life (except for the few years when he was posted in another city), his love for the Divine, and his surrender to all the ways of working of the Divine that made him say such profound truth in such a simple and most beautiful way, in a way that went straight to the heart of the listener.

Yes indeed, nobody can take the Lord away. Not from the city of the Lord.

Not from the abode of the Lord in a devotee’s heart. That’s where He is always seated, hidden deep inside, whether or not we know of His presence. 

This firm faith, this devotion, this trust that the Divine will provide for us, always and in all ways, is what makes all the difference. Difference in the way we go through our lives, in the way we go through all the works our lives present to us, in the way we walk through all the challenges, all the ups and downs that our lives give us.

This is the type of bhakti, the steadfast love and devotion for the Divine, that takes us on the path of surrender. Surrender to the Highest in us. Surrender of all parts of our being, all our movements, in all ways, slowly and progressively. 

That one moment, that one small conversation, added a whole other dimension to our pilgrimage and made it so much richer. Only Lord Krishna, the Dwarkadhish could have arranged that moment, so beautifully, so perfectly.

Thank you, Sri Krishna!


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This post was picked by BlogAdda for its Spicy Saturday Pick, November 12, 2016

 

 

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25 thoughts on ““Nobody can take Him away!”

    1. Yes, that is very much true. And it is always so enlightening to have conversations with people in these towns, to soak in that spirit of bhakti through casual conversations.
      Thanks for reading and sharing your observation.

  1. I’ve noticed this sense of Bhakti in a lot of temple towns. Of course, there are some that are super commercialized too, but it’s incidents like this that really make you stop and think, isn’t it? Very well written post.

    1. Thank you for your appreciation. And I agree that there is a special vibe of devotion in many pilgrimage towns. As for the commercialism, well that’s the age we are living in, so everything is sort of touched and shaped by this dominant tendency of our times.

  2. I was overwhelmed reading Maniram ‘s reply! How true! How can anyone move the Lord from the place where he dwells – within our heart?
    I loved your post, Beloo! I was misty-eyed by the end of it. Such devotion, such complete trust in Him is the only thing that gives one the strength and belief to face life and all the ups and downs that come with it.

    1. Thank you, Shilpa for your heartfelt comment. I get misty-eyed just recalling that conversation, even after so many months. It was such a special moment that I didn’t even feel like writing about it all these months, I was hesitant that it would somehow take away some of the purity of that moment. But a chance conversation with someone a few days back inspired me to write about it. I am happy that the words of Maniram touched something deep in some of the readers.

  3. It is not just the faith or the feeling of surrender that the residents of such teerths have, but also a love that is so endearing. It is as close a love as one feels for a family member – no, make it a ‘close’ family member – without whom one can’t imagine life. They include Him or Her in their daily lives, sharing not just their prayers, but their very lives. Yes, it must have been such an humbling moment for you. So happy you had this experience. Hugs.

    1. Absolutely! I really love how you say about people making the Lord part of their daily lives, in all ways possible. It is so true. I have also seen this at many such teerths. Thank you for adding this valuable detail, somehow it explains so much about why there is a special vibe at these places, why interacting with people there feels so sincere and genuine.
      You are again right, it was indeed a humbling moment, and a deeply moving and inspiring. May Sri Krishna bless me this kind of bhakti, this kind of love. Hugs.

  4. Bakthi and devotion come from within and is an outcome of belief. Yes! living in chattisgarh’s Temple Town I have come to understand the real feelings of people who can feel their god in the sanctum santorum. They serve him as their own and have their god live around them for real.
    Nice post

    1. Thanks Menaka for your appreciation and for sharing your experience and observation. It is indeed a very different vibe and atmosphere in these temple towns. All life, economic and social life seems to be organised around the main temple, so naturally the Deity, the Lord becomes everything.

  5. There is bhakti all around.. but somewhwre amidst this the cruel form of commercialidation has crept in even in places like Mathura and vrindvan.

    But yes bhakti dwells in our hearts the most which cannot be removed no matter what commercialisation exists outside

    1. It has been a long time since I went to Mathura and Vrindavan, but lately have been to many other temple towns in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. And like you also observe, somehow I too have learnt to see beyond the outer commercialisation. That thing is bound to come because of the nature of our times, but I find there is still a very different and deeper feel to such places that is imbibed by the locals there, so beautifully. Thanks for reading for sharing your observation.

  6. This was such a beautiful post. I was teary-eyed to read about the simple trust Maniram had in the Supreme. The Lord is spoken of affectionately as he used to be when he resided in Vrindavan and Mathura, like He is one of our own. We often forget that this trust and love is what devotion is all about. There are so many temple towns in our country that speak of such simple living and surrender to the Lord. Reminded me of an article by Jaggi Vasudev on how it’s important to live in consecrated spaces.

    1. Thanks Uma for your heartfelt comment. Yes, those words by Maniram still ring in my ears when I recall that incident and leave me misty-eyed. I really feel we are privileged to be born in this country where such purity of emotion of bhakti and trust in Divine is so deeply rooted in the soil, in the soul of this land and her people. If we can’t see it or feel it, it is our own limitation I feel. Indeed these temple towns are consecrated places, and one can feel that when one is there taking in the whole atmosphere of the place. I am happy this post resonated with you so deeply.

  7. Brought tears to my eyes. Maniram’s simplicity, his “Atoot Vishwaas” that no one can take away his Hridaynivaasi and also his generous, trusting nature, all of it shared so beautifully Beloo. I understand that u were hesitant to write about it. What I cherish a lot I don’t speak/write about. Strange feeling that I want to hide that pearl in my heart and guard it 😀 . Our country, the history, the spirituality, art, culture make me swell with pride and loved that you said so in a comment. Also one comment that spoke of the Lord becoming as close as a dear family member and being part of daily life was so lovely. Hugs.

    1. You have said it all, Sunila! This is what makes India unique in the world, this “atoot vishwaas”, this deep spirituality that is in her soil, in her soul….I am so glad this post resonated with you so deeply, knowing a little bit about you, I kind of knew it would 🙂 Thank you for your heartfelt comment.

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