Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blessed Catch

As darshan extended to the morning hours, all along the beach, local fishermen were extending their nets into the ocean just next to the programme site. The net made a semi circle which went out about 1 km into the waters. There were two lines of men tugging on the net - pulling it back to shore - about 30 men in all. Old and young. I asked how long it would be before the catch would come in. They said it would be about an hour.

I headed back to the stage, and after about one hour, I eagerly went back. Like a little kid, I headed to the group which had now drifted northwards, behind the stage. I wanted to see the fish, I wanted to see the fruits of their labor. The net got closer to shore. Soon, it was maybe 50 feet out. Three men went into the waters, between the two ropes, to the central part of the net and started hooting and splashing - directing all the fish into the main net where they would be pulled ashore.

By now about 50 or so people had gathered. For me, it was so wonderful to watch. For how many centuries had this been happening? How many generations of families have been here?

The catch came in and all of us moved closer for a look. There were 2 ft long tuna, small mackerel, and a few other types of fish. Maybe about 300 or in total. It didn't seem like a lot for such hard work and for so many men. Perhaps the size of the entire catch would fill the trunk of a small car. The men began sorting the fish, putting them into small crates. Then an auction began right on the spot - bidding for the tuna, bidding for a full crate. One crate of the larger fish went for 1800 rs. A smaller batch for 1000 rs. In all, we estimated that the take would bring in perhaps 5000 rs. Among the 30 or so men that were there, this meant less than 150 rs each, if the share was equal. One man said that his daily meals depended on the catch.

I asked one English speaking Indian to ask the villagers whether this was a normal catch. One of them answered - totally unprompted - "It's a good catch - for the past two weeks, we've had very little success. We are successful today because Amma's blessings are there." I was humbled and astounded by his simple reference to Amma. I didn't expect such an answer even with Amma giving darshan just down shore.

Later, I told this to Dhyanamrita who passed the story on to Amma. He told me that Amma's response was that she had been thinking about the fishermen's catch earlier that night. Perhaps she had made a silent sankalpa. Perhaps Amma's mere thought was enough to 'stir the waters'. May all the future catches be blessed.
Sri pati , USA
11 Feb 2007, Trivandrum

1 comment:

tamilarasi said...

Om Namashivaya,
I read all the blogs posted here regularly. The blogs give me a feeling of being with amma in all her tour.
Thanks to all bloggers.