Dilraj Buntha and Parbatie Arjoon, Trinidad.
I used to listen to the tapes and sing along with it and everytime I did that I was having a strange feeling within me. I used to feel a sense of comfort and belonging. When I heard His voice or think of Him, I used to see the whole world.
In the 1970s we acquired a parcel of land in an area where originally, Indian indentures used to plant rice paddies. Although the property was away from the main roadway and difficult to get to, especially at nights, we built a small shack and raised a family there. In the rainy season, the area was wet and swampy, and in the dry season, it became dry and parched. There was no road and very little access to our home. To compound things, my husband, Dilraj, locally known as Bunta, was a drunk. We were the village outcast living in abject poverty.
Sometime in 1986 we saw some strange people accompanying another person who looked like an Indian Swami on the property next to us. They were looking at some lands and later they went across from where we lived. We did not know who they were or what they were doing there. The party left and we continued to live our life. Then we heard that a famous Swamiji form India, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji was coming to build a temple on that land. We were surprise; this swami was going to build a temple on lands that are virtually a lagoon. However, that was not our business, so we didn’t really care.
In 1988 a larger group of people returned, and the Swami was with them. Another villager, Pundit Boloji Ramnarine, approached Bunta seeking his help. The Swami was making hand gestures and pointing here and there. I saw Bunta uprooting some old pea’s stalks and sticking them in the ground where the Swami was pointing. Then he got some tools and, with the help of others, they started digging a hole in the ground. The Swami performed a pooja in the hole and left.
When Bunta came home, he said that they were going to build a temple where the hole was dug. They had a little time to build the building, because the Swami wanted to open the temple before He left, in another two weeks. Lots of people came and the temple was built in fourteen days. Amazingly, during those fourteen days, my Bunta did not take a single drink of alcohol. He seemed to be happy working on this temple; however, I was not at all interested in the temple.
The temple was consecrated and there were lots of festivities. People were saying that this Swami performs miracles and change peoples lives. They were saying that He is God walking on earth and if we pray to Him; all our problems could be solved. During this period I had a lot of problems; Buntha used to drink, we had four children and we didn’t have much. We were very poor and he wasn’t working. When I saw the change in him I said “let me try going.” I started to go to the temple and praying to Him.
There were profound changes in my family’s life from then on. I started getting get help from Sri Swamiji. Bunta finally stop drinking and he was attending programs in the temple. The children and I followed him. I started to feel His presence in everything. I learnt His bhajans and prayers, without using a book; by hearing them only. I used to listen to the tapes and sing along with it and everytime I did that I was having a strange feeling within me. I used to feel a sense of comfort and belonging. When I heard His voice or think of Him, I used to see the whole world.
From a very poor and humble upbringing, living a very pitiful life, suffering the abuse of society, and seeing the wretchedness of the earth, my Sadgurudeva has lifted my family up and allow us to find a place in society. He has given us a home within His Ashrama compound so we can serve Him without fail. The whole family serves the ashrama and serves Him. He created the perfect family.
Silently He takes care of us; neither of the family have had any major health issues. He has taken care of the children’s education and their marriage. He treats us as His family. I love Sri Swamiji because whenever I need anything, I just ask Him and I will get it. Everything comes my way. Even if my life was to go back to what it was before I met Him, I will still hold on to Him. I can’t do without Sri Swamiji; I can’t do without the temple. He has allowed me to meet so many people with beautiful minds, and also allowed me to take care of His devotees.
In 2007, a group of devotees from Trinidad went to the Mysore Ashrama for Sri Swamiji’s sixty-fifth birthday celebrations. I was invited to go as part of the satsangha group. Just before we were supposed to leave I had surgery and I thought there would be too much walking for me so I said that I wouldn’t go. However, I went without even taking a tablet for pain. Everyone except me had some kind of illness. Sri Swamiji took care of everything.
I believe that Sri Swamiji appreciates the services that devotees do at the ashramas. He sees and knows everything and He rewards those devotees. My family will continue doing service to Him and His mission without doubt, till our last breath.
Jaya Guru Datta. Sri Guru Datta.