Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Transforming Darshan

At the Chennai Public Programmes, shortly after bhajans and meditation, I was working Security and Crowd Control - checking tokens near the corner of the stage on the men's side. The tokens were to be taken a little further up the line.

The crowd is mostly Indian, but there is an occasional Westerner. I was amazed at the sweetness and patience of the people in line. Once I learned to say 'Token" in Tamil, (which is simple 'Token" except with the appropriate accent!), pretty much everyone smiled, searched for the token, and showed it to me. It was as though they were already experiencing Amma's darshan.

A way back in the line, I noticed a rather large man. When the line was not moving much, he was getting anxious and animated. He was loudly talking and gesturing in a way that I interpreted to mean 'Get this line moving!" His size and gruffiness intimidated me. When he approached me, I hesitated, and then asked to see his token. He showed it to me, not so happily.

A few minutes later, there are about 8 elderly people who need to enter the darshan line from the sidelines. I watch as they were led up to the line, and placed directly in front of the impatient man. I smile inwardly.

Some time passed. I was still checking tokens when I suddenly thought of this man. I wondered how his darshan went. I looked around and saw him already down the exit ramp, walking away from Mother quite slowly. I tried to see his face. He briefly turned towards me and I saw a sweet, peaceful smile. Mother's Grace!

27 January - Chennai
Michael - USA

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