TALK  BY RAVINDRA A STUDENT AT THE SATHYA SAI COLLEGE IN BRINDAVAN.

HE GIVE A TALK AT THE SUMMER COURSE IN SPIRITULITY AND TOLD A LOVELY STORY, [ gift of gold] this story appear in the magazine sannidhi produced by the college students.

THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN A MAN WAS JUDGED NOT BY QUALITY OF CHARACTER BUT BY THE COLOUR OF HIS SKIN. THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN MAN KNEW MORE ABOUT KILLING THAN HE KNEW ABOUT LIVING, AND THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN MEN WERE SOLD ON THE MARKET LIKE CATTLES, AND CHAINED LIKE DANGEROUS BEASTS.

YES THOSE WERE THE DARK DAYS THAT MAN LIVED THROUGH, AND THAT HE IS ALIVE TODAY, IS SIMPLE TESTIMONY TO HIS UNDYING HOPE AND OPTIMISM.

IN THAT SPRING, TOM WAS FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, HIS FATHER WAS AN OLD CRIPPLE, WHO HOBBLED ABOUT THE  HOUSE,  ON CRUTCHES, WHILE MOTHER WORKED ON A PLANTATION THAT PROVED BARELY, ENOUGH TO KEEP BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER.

WHEN NOT WORKING SHE WOULD BE HUMMING PSALMS OR TELLING YOUNG TOM PARABLES SHE HAD HEARD FROM HER MOTHER. THUS IT WAS TOM KNEW OF ONLY THREE THINGS IN LIFE SUFFERING, HARD WORK, AND THE BIBLE.

SUFFERING MADE HIM IMMUNE TO SHOCKS, WHICH COULD HAVE SHATTERED A LESSER MAN. HARD WORK GAVE HIM A STRONG BODY AND AN ALERT MIND. WHAT LITTLE HE KNEW OF THE BIBLE AND CHRIST, HAD GIVEN HIM A DESIRE TO SEE THE HOUSE OF GOD, THE CHURCH.                                                                          

THIS DESIRE OF HIS MADE HIM ENROLL AS A WORKER TO HELP IN BUILDING A NEW CHURCH. THIS WAY HE HOPED AT LEAST HE WOULD FULFILL HIS YEARNING.

IT WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE JOB WAS OVER THE NEGROES WERE PAID OFF THE WORK OF DECORATING THE CHAPEL WAS ENTRUSTED TO THE WHITES.

AT LAST THE CHURCH WAS READY FOR CHRISTMAS ON 25TH DECEMBER 1840. AMID GREAT FESTIVITY THE FIRST SERVICE WAS TO BE HELD. THAT EVENING TOM DESPERATELY WANTED TO GO INSIDE THE CHAPEL AND PRAY TO GOD.

HE WAITED TILL DARK AND THEN STEALTHILY SLIPPED IN.  ROUGH HANDS SEIZED HIM AND BEAT HIM TILL HE LOST CONSCIOUSNESS ON THE PAVEMENT. WHEN HE CAME TO HIS SENSES, HE COULD FAINTLY MURMURING VOICES IN THE CHURCH. THE PRIEST WAS READING “ THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT “ …BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN THE SPIRIT FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN…’

TOM GOT UP AND LEANED ON THE SIDE OF THE CHURCH AND WIPED THE BLOOD OFF HIS FACE WITH THE SLEEVE OF HIS SHIRT. ‘WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?

CAN I NOT EVEN GO INTO THE LORD, S HOUSE? HIS THOUGHTS WERE INTERRUPTED BY A GENTLE VOICE. HE SAW A PAIR OF FEET AND STEELED HIMSELF, HIDING HIS FACE IN HIS ARMS AGAINST MORE BLOWS, WHICH NEVER CAME. HE LOOKED UP, LO AND BEHOLD! CHRIST HIMSELF STOOD THERE BEFORE HIM AND WHISPERED, … ARISE MY SON, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?  LOOK I HAVE COME IN ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS. ASK WHAT YOU WANT AND I SHALL GIVE IT.” TOM WAS FULL OF EXALTATION. WORLDS FORMED NOISELESSLY ON HIS LIPS.

HE KNELT AND PROSTRATED BEFORE CHRIST AGAIN AGAIN. “MY LORD” SAID TOM, ‘ I WISH ONLY TO SEE YOUR CHURCH.’ CHRIST SAID, ‘ ASK FOR ANYTHING TOM, … BUT THAT… ASK FOR WEALTH, FAME, CHILDREN OR A PLACE IN HEAVEN. I SHALL GRANT IT.’ BUT TOM WAS ADAMANT… WHEN CHRIST PONDERED FOR A MOMENT AND THEN REPLIED, ‘TOM, I CAN, T   TAKE YOU INSIDE THE CHURCH BECAUSE, I MYSELF AM NOT ALLOWED IN.

THE GREED, HATRED AND JEALOUSY OF MEN HAVE CLOSED THE GATES OF MY OWN HOUSE IN MY FACE… HOW THEN CAN I TAKE YOU INSIDE?  IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE NEARER A MAN IS TO THE CHURCH, THE FURTHER HE IS FROM GOD.

JAI SAI RAM

THIS IS A TALK WHICH MR RAVINDRA GAVE AT

SUMER COURSE IN BRINDAVAN.

 

Courtesy  Ram.Chugani  Kobe  Japan