SaiRam all. Sharing a beautiful Leela that took place on Diwali day in the year 2018.
I offer seva at a local BABA temple near my home and have been doing so since March 2017, when BABA first called me. From the very first visit to the temple (which was completely unplanned) my seva began, and BABA has lovingly given me many opportunities to serve him. The temple is run solely by volunteers, and it is indeed a very beautiful temple. My seva (on different days) includes taking care of Kakad arti, getting BABA ready for the day, Madhyan arti, ironing BABA's clothes, washing his towels, cooking food for Annadaan on Thursdays, singing bhajans for BABA whenever he gives me the opportunity to do so, and whatever else I am called to do on special occasions and pujas.
In the year 2018, BABA most graciously accepted my offer of robes for him to wear on Diwali day. (We can offer the temple a new sari, and then they stitch it into robes, and put it on BABA) Diwali was on a Wednesday that year, and I went to the temple to offer my seva and help BABA get ready for the day. I made prasad and also took bananas for BABA that morning for his breakfast.
The entire experience of getting BABA ready (along with a few other volunteers) was truly blissful and I was feeling so grateful that BABA had accepted my robes and called me on such an auspicious day to do his seva. Once he was ready we started to get the prasad ready to offer him for the short "Majhe Pandaharpur Arti" and at that time I noticed that one of the bananas I had brought was a little black and a part of the skin had come off. From within my heart I was hesitating to offer BABA this banana, and having second thoughts (but then eventually I did so).
After Arti was over, we were clearing up in the kitchen, when we noticed a man sitting right opposite BABA's main statue which was on the podium, dressed in whitish clothes. He did not look like an Indian, but rather of Hispanic (Mexican) descent. He looked like a homeless man, his clothes were dirty, his hair was a mess, and even from a distance, he had a distinct body odor. The man had been at the temple for a while, and he had been watching us get BABA ready and do Arti very intently the whole time, but we did not think much of it at the time. Suddenly he got up and walking with a slight hunch and walking crooked, (a lot like how BABA used to walk when he was old) he when straight to Dattatreyas statue in our temple, bowed down with great humility and took his blessing.
After he took Dattatreyas darshan, he came to the kitchen, and as was my usual habit, I called out to him (as I do to all who visit the temple) and said, " Would you like to take some prasad" ?
When he heard my voice he turned around swiftly, looked at me straight in the eye, took 2 big steps towards me where I was standing, and then to my astonishment, he bent forward took my right hand and kissed it with a lot of love. I was completely stunned. At this point I realized that his mouth was also smelling of a lot of tobacco !!! Then he thanked me for offering him prasad, and after that what he did next, was amazing.
He leaned forward and took a banana from the big prasad tray (that was full of all kinds of fruits and many bananas as well) .... THE SAME BANANA WITH THE BLACK SKIN that I was hesitating to offer BABA for breakfast initially in my mind, and he put that banana in my hand, then told me very firmly and in a very commanding voice, THIS IS THE BEST BANANA EVER, THIS BANANA IS FROM BABA TO You, make sure you keep it safely and make sure you eat it today !!!!!!
And before I could react or say anything, he turned around, and left the temple without taking ANY prasad for himself.
My volunteer friend who was with me was equally stunned by this experience.
It was only after he left that we realized that man was BABA and he had come to give his sublime and most loving darshan on Diwali. He is antaryami, he was the only one in this world other than me who knew what I had been thinking about that banana, and he picked only THAT banana and gave it to me as prasad, and told me it was the BEST banana and it was from BABA to me !!!!
That was the most beautiful Diwali I have ever had. I shared the banana with as many people as I could and my family also. I felt SO Blessed to have received BABA's darshan on Diwali day and prasad from his own hands. What can I say, words are not enough to express my feelings for BABA.
BABA comes in any form. He will test you by coming in a form you DON'T expect and then HE will test your faith and your love for him. If you pass his test his blessing is forever with you and in turn your love for him will keep on growing. That is his MOST beautiful prasad to us, the flame of devotion that he plants in us and then turns into a raging fire, which consumes all our karmas and changes our way of thinking and enables us to surrender to him forever.
Very often I feel words are woefully inadequate to describe BABA's beautiful Leelas, they have to be felt from the heart.
May BABA bless all.
Love you forever BABA
OM SAIRAM ❤️❤️❤️