A Journey of the Unexpected Flight

By Jagdish Keshav

The helicopter took off at the expected time from Bangalore. The weather outside was conducive and so was the atmosphere inside the chopper. The occupants were Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his entourage. The destination; The city of Neyveli in Tamil Nadu which is roughly about 360kms from Bangalore. The idea behind this trip was that Gurudev would be addressing the gathering at Neyveli Lignite Corporation during the Indian Republic Day celebrations. And prior to that, a visit to the ancient temple town of Chidambaram was on the anvil, for an inauguration ceremony.
The plan was as mentioned above. But what transpired was something else. Bad weather appeared with rain and fog advancing rapidly. The pilot and his co-pilot encountered poor visibility. It was decided to abort the flight and destination was changed to Neyveli.
The function thus took place with gusto celebrating the Republic Day. Festivities got over in that somewhat pleasant weather in this lignite town. It was decided that due to rainy weather ahead, the flight with its occupants would return to Bangalore.
The chopper took off again. After a short while the weather turned bad and the aircraft landed in a paddy field near the village of Seranthangal. Rain poured from the sky. The villagers who were nearby heard the helicopter and realized it had landed nearby. Many rushed out not knowing what had transpired outside in the paddy field. That included men, women and children. And out of the stationary chopper the Gurudev in whites, stepped out followed by the entourage. In rain and slush they walked towards shelter and approached a temple. Incidentally Gurudev had visited this temple earlier, sometime ago. Also coincidentally, a function was supposed to take place at the temple.
The area where the village was located was in a drought like situation since seasonal rainfall that had failed to materialize. Now they all felt that a miracle was taking place in front of their eyes. Rain had arrived with God, they all exclaimed!
At this juncture Gurudev had decided that he would return to Bangalore by road with the group of people that had accompanied him. The message was given to pilots that they should return to Bangalore once the weather would improve. After some rest and refreshments, the group departed.
En-route, while the group was driving towards the ancient holy town of Thiruvanamalai, a group of participants in an Art of Living program in a lighter vein, had spoken of brining Gurudev to the course venue. And voila their wish materialized in that same hour! Gurudev had arrived at the building, making a short stop on the way! Call these incidents a miracle or just a co-incidence!
Another incident that comes to mind is the story of three Kashmiri youth who were running a business in Thiruvanamalai. They head learnt of Gurudev’s good work towards bringing peace to the violence torn valley of Kashmir. They wished to see him but alas could not travel to Bangalore. Their wish too got fulfilled for Gurudev appeared in person at their door-step!
The last miracle that needs attention is the story of priests from the famous Arunachala temple. The temple holds a grand Kumbhabishekam once twelve years. Twice they had approached the Bangalore Ashram to invite Gurudev to be the chief guest. But alas both times they had returned empty handed for Gurudev was otherwise busy with other predetermined schedules. And that day when Gurudev arrived here, Kumbhbishekam was to take place. Who better then Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to inaugurate the rituals at the famous temple town!
Can these above mentioned incidents be merely a set of co-incidents or was there a grander plan for the helicopter to land in that remote village of Serthangal on a rain sodden day, which in turn precipitated the other events cited above? Only God knows!..