The power of prayer
This incident took place in 1951. After finishing my Amarnath yatra, I reached Jagannathpuri via Calcutta. I was very happy to be at the pious place of Jagannathji. I stayed there for few days.
Navratri was approaching and I was wondering where I would perform my fast during that time. My dwelling place in the Himalayas – Shantashram at Devprayag was in a miserable condition. Rain and storm had done much damage and in addition all the approach roads were broken. I also had the option of going to Gujarat, my native place, for Navratri Sadhana.
I could not reach to a conclusion. In such an indecisive state, I left the decision to the Supreme Power and began prayers for His direction. I sat at the temple of Jagannathpuri and started intense prayer. I also decided that I should get firm direction within three days.
One day passed, a second day also passed without any grace. On the third day when I was praying in my bed in the early morning hours, Sharda Devi appeared before me.
She asked, ”Why do you looked tense?”
I told her, “I could not decide where to stay and observe Navratri fasts this year.”
She immediately said, “Observe fast taking only water and stay at Dev prayag.”
As she finished, I asked “where do I stay in Dev Prayag?”
She guided me, "You are not going to stay at Shantashram, but there is a house near the bus-stand, stay there.”
I asked,”Is the house empty?”
She replied, “It’s not empty; an officer is residing there. But you will be staying in his house. All the arrangements will be made for you.”
Sharda Devi disappeared. My happiness knew no bounds. My mother was with me at that time. I told her the whole incident.
We departed for Devprayag. On reaching there, I temporarily put my luggage at an acquaintance's place near the bus stand. Next day in the morning I walked up the hill towards my place at Shantashram. On my way up, I saw a house in which the inspector was staying. Half of what I had in my experience proved true but the most important thing was yet to be proved.
As I walked passed the house the officer came out. He offered his salutation to me and asked,” Do you stay in that ashram?”
I nodded in affirmative and added “Yes, but at the moment it is not in good condition.”
“Yes, I know. The approach road is also damaged.” He said and asked me to come into his house. As I went inside, he said, “Please listen to my humble prayer.”
“What?” I asked.
“Please stay in this house and grace me.”
“But I will observe complete silence during these days” I said.
“Doesn’t matter I will be happy even if I get an opportunity to see you once a day” the inspector told me.
I accepted his invitation and passed not only my Navratri day’s there but stayed for one and half month! Such is the grace of God and His powers!