The Mahatma and his miracle – part 8

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Roj Khorshed Mah Ava, 1381 Yz.

The Mahatma looked down with great compassion at the myna and replied: ‘Dear one, your freedom and re-uniting with your mate is not due to me, but it is solely due to the wish of the Lord, who sees all, who knows all, who is everywhere and who is all powerful. I am merely his lowly agent. It was my good fortune, that I could help you. Offer your gratitude to Him, not to me.’

As this terrific scene unfolded in front of us, there was pin drop silence. We could only look at each other, with tears in our eyes and the great amazement that comes when one has witnessed a miracle. What can one say? It was the commissioner who finally broke the silence and spoke: ‘Only today have I realized how cruel and insensitive man is towards his other fellow creatures.’ Seth Rustomji was overcome with emotion and said: ‘I promise to free all the birds I have imprisoned as soon as we reach home. Pirojshah, I must apologize to you for not listening to your words of advice for such a long time. Please forgive me.’ The Mahatma consoled Rustomji: ‘Have patience, Rustomji. Everything happens only when it is destined to. Do not make haste.’

An attendant arrived and informed the Mahatma that everything was ready. The wise one got up and began walking to the garden and we followed eagerly. We walked for about fifteen minutes until we came to an area which was clear and without any vegetation. Some chairs had been arranged in the center of the maidan. We sat down and the Mahatma informed us that the mate of the myna was very near and approaching us along with his two body guards. An attendant came up to us and handed each of us a pair of binoculars. The Mahatma asked us to look towards the east. I asked the Mahatma: ‘Respected One, who are these two body guards you talk about?’

Smiling at us, the holy one explained that it was extremely dangerous for a small myna to fly over 1000 kilometers all alone. Hence he had arranged a pair of eagles who had escorted the myna on its long and perilous journey. The eagles had two functions. One was to protect the myna from other predatory birds. The second was that whenever the myna got exhausted from the non-stop flying, it would rest its tired body on the greater body of the eagles, who would gladly carry the small myna very easily.

As we were talking, the myna also flew into the maidan and sat down near the feet of the Mahatma. As Rustomji scanned the sky for any signs, he suddenly exclaimed: ‘there, I see two birds like airplanes, coming towards us at great speed. I also appear to see a smaller bird on top of one of the larger ones!’ Soon the myna got very excited and began to chirp happily. The Mahatma said: ‘yes, my dear, he has arrived!’ We all trained our binoculars towards the area and soon the approaching shapes began to get larger in our vision. We saw the silhouette of the two very large eagles as they soared majestically towards us. The small myna could be seen distinctly on the back of one of the eagles. As they soared down towards us, the myna let out chirps of excitement and happiness. Its mate in the sky reciprocated happily. The eagles were huge, with a wingspan of more than six feet. As they descended, they landed near the feet of the Mahatma. A wondrous sight unfolded in front of the eyes. All the three birds walked in a line towards the Mahatma’s feet and placed their heads on the ground and bowed down before the wise one. O what a sight it was!

An attendant came up to the Mahatma with a cup fashioned out of leaves, with very ripe mulberries in it. The Mahatma fed the male myna three of the ripe mulberries and asked the bird gently: ‘How was your journey, little one? Please narrate your experiences to us in English.’ The male myna began: ‘In the name of God, may He bless us all! Respected Mahatmaji, Mr. Commissioner, Seths Rustomji and Pirojshah! About two weeks ago, I received a message that I should go and meet a very advanced wise sage who lives in our area. When I visited this Mahatma, I was told that my partner had been found in Punjab and that I should make arrangements to fly there and get her back to Silhat. The Mahatma in Silhat then introduced me to the two eagles who would be my guides and protectors for this long journey. He instructed me that should I ever feel tired, I should rest my weary body on the back of one of these grand eagles and they would effortlessly carry me on to our destination.

‘The very next day we set out on our expedition. Every morning from 11 am to 3 in the afternoon, we would land on the ground and forage for our food, and then shortly before sunset we would land to eat and rest. The eagles, being carnivorous, would hunt for any small creature. The male would go hunting while the female would remain with me for my protection. The male eagle would also get back sufficient food for the female. In this manner, we flew from Bengal on to our destination. One day, as we landed in a garden for our afternoon meal, I sat on a mulberry tree, eating the fruit, while the eagle stood guard nearby. Suddenly I found out that a man was looking up the tree, directly at me. As I looked into his eyes, I realized at once that this was the dastardly hunter who had separated me and my mate and torn apart our new family. The hunter had strung an arrow across his bow and was prepared to shoot at me. The female eagle saw the whole scene and realized the danger I was in. She immediately flew across and started attacking the hunter with her sharp talons, making fearful shrieks to frighten him further. The eagle lifted off the pagdi the hunter was wearing and hung it up high on another tree. The hunter began climbing the tree in order to retrieve his headgear. As he climbed the eagle attacked him again, making deep gashes on his face and body with her sharp claws.

The fearful hunter descended the tree, leaving his headgear alone. As he stepped down from the tree trunk to the ground, a cobra happened to be passing by. The hunter, without realizing, put his foot on the snake, who immediately raised his hood and imparted his poisonous bite on the hunter’s leg. As the poison started working, the hunter began trembling and shaking in great fear. Soon he died, struggling and frothing at the mouth, near the bottom of the tree. In this manner, this ruthless human, who had imprisoned my poor innocent mate, torn apart our family and caused such pain and suffering to us, was given justice by the Divine One. I offered silent thanks to the Creator for His Divine Justice and also to the eagle who had so valiantly defended me. Soon the male eagle arrived and we narrated the whole incident to him. The eagle congratulated his mate on her fearlessness and dedication to the cause that had been entrusted to them by the holy one.

‘We flew on towards our goal without any other untoward incident. Soon we entered the Punjab state. As we landed in a garden for our daily repast, I observed that a hawk had noticed me and had begun to swirl around me, in anticipation of an attack. The male eagle also saw the hawk and immediately flew towards it to prevent an attack. In a fierce mid-air battle, the male eagle used his powerful talons to rip the hawk’s body to shreds. Then we flew on till today morning, when we finally reached our destination and landed in front of you. I offer my most grateful thanks to the Creator for His mercy and to both the Mahatmas who have blessed us, guided us and protected us on this arduous journey.’ Here ended the narration of the male myna.

[to be continued…]

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram