The Power of Prayer

By Swapan K Banerjee

When we reached the Ashram, Lord Krishna had already been put to bed for His siesta. The temple would reopen at 4 pm, the Ashramites told us.

We were saddened not to be able to take a look at Lord Krishna. But we felt compensated when Sarada, the lady in charge of the Ashram, allowed us to enter her room by the riverside. We knew that she usually kept her distance from the visitors. But when she saw signs of disquietude on our faces, she broke her habitual reserve and asked if there’s anything bothering us. We told her that our friend’s family was in deep trouble and there seemed to be no solution to it.

“There’s a solution”, she said. “When all else fails, pray with every fibre of your being. Only the other day I was reading a Journal and came across this account of events in someone’s life.” She continued as we listened with rapt attention.

A gentleman was on his way to attend a meeting. A huge jam in front brought his taxi to a standstill. Just as he got down and started walking towards the venue, a torrential rain set in. Quite drenched he hurriedly went into a bylane and stood quite insecure under the awning of an old decrepit house. Just then the door of the house opened and an elderly lady invited him in, sat him on a chair and offered him a towel to dry himself and said: “I’ll prepare tea for you but it’s prayer time. Please excuse me for a few minutes.” She then went indoors.

“It was still raining hard. After a while, the lady returned with a cup of tea. The gentleman was surprised to see a hint of tears glistening on her eyelids. He asked: “Is there anything the matter?” The lady wiped her eyes and said: “It always happens at the end of the prayer. I have a family problem. We have tried to solve it with whatever we had. Now it is beyond us and the only way left is to seek divine intervention.”

“What’s your problem if I may ask?”

“My daughter’s only son is suffering from a strange disease. He is now getting weaker by the day. Someone told us that there’s a doctor in the country who could probably cure this. But that would be very expensive. We’ve no money at all.”

“Do you know the name of the doc?”

“Dr. Ka.”

The gentleman sat silently for a while and then said: “I’m the doc you are looking for. Let me have a look at your child. Don’t worry about the money.”

Under his treatment, the boy gradually got well and eventually led a normal life.

We sat silently for some time, our hearts suddenly brimming with a sense of newfound security. Sarada spoke again: “In life, there is nothing certain. One can never stop life’s unfolding. But prayer, if it is genuine, often brings about the miracle that passes human understanding.”

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Swapan K Banerjee is a freelance writer specialising in literary features. His literary write-ups have been featured in several anthologies. Banerjee is well-known for his books Rusty & I: Up-close with Ruskin Bond (Rupa) and People Who Meet People: Interviews with the Stars (Westland), which are available on Amazon. Banerjee resides at Serampore, in the state of West Bengal, India.

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