Experiences on Sri Chinmoy's Path, part 2
by Gunthita Corda (Zurich, Switzerland)
Many years ago, our music group Mountain-Silence was invited to give a concert tour in Hungary. It was wintertime and it was so extremely cold that it was impossible to put up even one poster, since the glue would turn into ice before the poster could be put on the walls. The girl who was in charge of the concert in Budapest was helpless. They had a very big concert hall booked for us, but there was only one week to go and no hope for the weather to change—nor did she have enough money to advertise on radio or television. So she started praying to Guru. From her prayer she got the idea to go to the main train station and at least give out some leaflets to the passengers.
Suddenly a man came up to her with a big video camera and a microphone. He said that he was from the national TV and they wanted to ask some people how this incredible cold weather was affecting them. She then started telling him her problem with postering and that we were coming in only one week. He then said, "So, no problem, just say now all you want to say about the concert into the camera and hundreds of thousands of people will see it and hear it." She couldn't believe her ears and eyes, but she bravely told everything to the TV about the upcoming concert.
Sure enough, the concert hall was completely full. This was quite obvious proof that prayer works, if you pray to the right person.
Everything Will Be All Right
by Bashata (Belgrade, Serbia)
When I was a young disciple in the fall of 1992, our country, Yugoslavia, began to fall apart, just before the civil war began. The Yugoslavian disciples had scheduled a Joy Day in Sarajevo, the capital of the Republic of Bosnia. From Belgrade the most efficient way to reach Sarajevo is by train, but the train would pass through a very dangerous area. We heard that at one specific train station in another Republic, something very bad had started to happen.
Each train would be stopped and armed soldiers would then search the passengers' IDs. They were looking for people with certain last names, who were their enemies from the previous war and were of a different nationality, but were here in their Republic. Once they found such a person, they would take him off the train and kill him in a nearby field. The police from my area, Serbia, wouldn't act to protect the passengers, for they knew they would automatically be executed as well.
My family name and also that of a few other disciples clearly show that our origin is from that Republic. We had a discussion in our Belgrade Centre whether to cancel the Joy Day or whether our Centre should participate or not. We decided to go for a number of reasons. We had been planning the Joy Day for a very long time and disciples there were eagerly waiting for us. We were so happy to go. We also felt that because we had Guru, were leading spiritual lives and were a peace organisation, we couldn't let this bad situation stop us.
On the way to Sarajevo, nothing happened. When we passed through the station, we didn't see any soldiers and we had a most beautiful Joy Day. However, on our way back, everything started. Our train was stopped and soldiers came into each compartment asking for our IDs.
When I gave my ID to the soldier, he opened it and looked surprised when he saw my last name. He immediately questioned me: Where was I coming from? Where was I going? Where do I live? Do I have any relatives in this Republic? Do I know them?
When he started questioning me, I was thinking, "Oh God, what will happen now?" But I answered his questions very calmly. I was alert enough to deny knowing any other relatives. I also showed him my student ID, trying to prove that I was born in Belgrade and studied there and had no connection with any other part of Yugoslavia. I also told him that I was part of the Sri Chinmoy Peace Organisation and was travelling with a group. But the soldier did not look convinced. He kept asking me the same questions again and again. At one point I thought the questioning had finished and I reached for my ID, but the soldier pulled it back and shook his head. Then he stepped out of the compartment and called his officer, "Sir, here. I have found one."
The officer shouted, "Get him off the train."
The soldier continued, "But sir, we have one problem."
The officer asked, "What problem?"
The soldier replied, "It's a girl."
The officer shouted again, "What?" and I heard the sounds of his boots approaching. When he entered my compartment, he started asking questions all over again.
I do not know how I outwardly remained calm, answering his questions confidently and as nicely as possible. Inwardly it is hard to explain the feelings I had. Right from the beginning, I was acutely aware of the life-threatening situation I was in, and this awareness just kept growing and growing. I do not remember whether I was repeating "Supreme", or crying for His Protection, but I remember thinking, "Oh God, this is it. My life can end within a few minutes, just like that."
The officer was still questioning me, looking at my picture, looking at me and judging me. Then something happened. I inwardly heard very powerfully, "No! Everything will be all right!" The life-draining feeling began to decrease. The officer was still looking at me. Then, all of a sudden, he folded my ID, gave it back to me and stepped out of the compartment. At that very moment, God's Grace and Guru's direct protection saved my life.
I know that with my human capacity I could not have done anything. I could not have convinced them or made them realise that I was not the person for whom they were looking, for that is why they were there—to find people like me. I do not know if I will ever be grateful enough to Guru for saving my life over and over again.