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of a Travelling Preacher, Chapter 13
night I had my first good sleep in months. I have a back problem which
seems to be slowly getting worse, but last night it gave me no pain. A few
months ago I had tests done in India, and the doctors said that two of the
disks in my upper back are quite damaged, most likely resulting from the
accident I had in South Africa several years ago. I suspect that the area
was initially weakened from 10 years of carrying a book-bag and 30 years
of playing heavy mrdungas. Constant travel also adds to the stress on the
disks. I suppose these are what could be termed occupational hazards in
the service of the Lord.
the past few months the pain has become quite intense, so much so that
sometimes when lecturing I lose my concentration. But mainly the pain
manifests at night when I lay down and pressure shifts to my back. For six
months I have tried many different medical remedies, with no relief. So as
a last resort I recently wrote to Hari Priya dasi, who lives in South
Africa. Although a white South African, Hari Priya is a certified sombona,
a tribal doctor trained in the art of natural healing as practiced among
the Zulus - a prominent South African tribe. I am generally very
conservative in dealing with alternative medicine, what to speak of any
"mystical" medicine. I generally prefer the allopathic approach,
though I am well aware of the undesirable side affects that often
accompany it. However, in the past I experienced remarkable results from
Hari Priya's healing.
after my accident five years ago (when I was hit from behind by a van and
thrown 20 meters down the road), I was laid up in bed for five months.
According to the police report I should have been killed, but surprisingly
my injuries, although very painful, were limited to badly damaged
ligaments, muscles, and cartilage in my knees and legs. My short-term
memory was also adversely affected. Most doctors said I'd have trouble
walking for the rest of my life. They recommended surgery to try to
correct the problem. At that point Hari Priya stepped in. She visited me
and said she would call in her "angels" to help me. I thought,
"Angels! What in the world are you talking about?"
that night I had an amazing dream. I was laying down on a bed of flowers
in a beautiful forest. I was surrounded by handsome men and beautiful
women bearing effulgent wings. They were bent over my knees applying a
golden ointment, while singing prayers in glorification of the Supreme. At
one point I told them, "I have to go and do service now!"
smiled at me in a compassionate way and said, "Service can wait for
now. We've been sent to treat you. Be still for once in your life!"
When I asked who they were they replied in unison, "We're angels of
mercy!" At that I woke up.
being conscious of it, I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. On the
way back to my bed, I stooped over and put a Prabhupada bhajan in the tape
recorder. Then I got back in bed and pulled the covers over me. Suddenly
it dawned on me - for months I had been unable to go to the toilet
unassisted! My eyes opened wide when I realized I had just walked back and
forth to the toilet alone. Of course, my legs hurt from the endeavor, and
my doctor probably would have scolded me severely - but I had done it! I
reflected on my dream as if it was a real-life experience and thought to
myself, "What's going on here? Angles of mercy! Is this real?"
asked about dreams, Srila Prabhupada said they are generally nonsense, but
I suppose there are exceptions to the rule. I don't know if angels
actually came to help me, but when I saw Hari Priya that day and shared my
dream with her she just nodded her head convincingly and smiled.
the weeks that followed I made rapid progress in my recovery. Boy, were
the devotees surprised when they saw me dancing at the Ratha-yatra
festival one month later on the streets of Durban! My final conclusion:
Srila Prabhupada said, "The best plan is the one that works."
writing to Hari Priya about my back I asked if angels needed visas to
visit Russia and if they could tolerate the cold! She said she'd inquire.
After last night's painless sleep I must say, "Bless those angels
© CHAKRA 04 May 2001
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