The universe is always speaking to us… sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.
Walking mindfully to the post office this morning with packages to scatter slowly around the world, I made a mental note to buy biscuits for the crippled man holed up on the corner of Parikrama and Bhaktivendanta Marg.
The post office was closed today. I ask, and after some stammering, an attempt at an unfamiliar name, I was told it was a nation wide holiday in honor of some past president with a name something like Umberto. When I posted the closed post office on Snapchat, Mark said, “probably Good Friday.” I think his answer was closer to the truth.¹
Prasadam was in full swing and heavily crowded. Crossing the street to “the shop across the street from ISKCON” I stocked up on Red Bull for the weekend, biscuits and cold drink for the ladies’ snack today, and a couple of boxes of Parle-G biscuits to hand out. I’m thinking these are the ones with the most nutritional value and best taste. Heading back to Parikrama Marg and home, stopping at the fruit stand to buy some bananas to go along with the Parle-G biscuits – man does not live by prasad alone.
The cripple man lives on the corner of Parikrama Marg and Bhaktivendanta Marg for as long as I can remember, as long as I have been here, six years at least. His cot is next to the open water sewers, and he has a rusty old board shack perched askew over the sewer. Next to his cot is a hand made, hand powered wheelchair, which I’ve never seen him use. Resting on the wheelchair is a pair of homemade crutches, and those I have seen him use, as a jury-rigged slingshot to ping off monkeys that come to steal from him. Ratty, old blankets hang like delusional privacy curtains, more blankets piled in the center of the cot propping up the crumpled crippled man.
I walk by and bend to toss fresh bananas and Parle-G biscuits onto this blanket pile, keep on walking, as immediately a large monkey jumps down onto the cot to steal the bananas, but the crippled man is waiting and smacks him with a cane that was hidden under his blankets. I clutch my grocery bag closer and pick up my pace.
About two minutes down along the road, I come to the “wishing well” temple with the single, block cell where a little old lady lives. I duck into the dark room and hand her some bananas and biscuits.
“Radhe, Radhe,” I reply, moving on down the Marg.
A slight bend in the Parikrama Marg and I can see my road turn off straight ahead. Walking, watching the road for crippling potholes and fresh cow shit to avoid, I focus on my breathe.
Across the street, I hear, “Mataji, Mataji!” and keep on walking, generally not stopping to see all the people who would call across the street to me in a day’s walk.
But this guy persists, running from across the street to me, I don’t know him, but he is from the temple I am passing. He runs up to me, and hands me a small, square package.
Smiling, he says, “Mataji, Prasadam!”
The small square is a package of Parle-G biscuits!
I call it prasadam from Krishna/God, you can call it coincidence if you’d like. But I believe there are higher energies at work that will manifest and present to you wonderful things, if you are open to them!
In what way has God reached out to you? Be receptive and open and you will experience God’s touch in your life more and more!
- Turns out the holiday was in honor of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution, and it was also Good Friday. Two holidays in one.