The New Life: Kumar – from Non-believer to Believer (Part -1 of 2)

Kumar holding umbrella

Kumar as a young man in the 1930s was an ardent revolutionary involved in fighting for Inches independence from the British Because of his terrorist activities, he was thrown in prison twice and suffered ill-treatment for over ten years. His second prison term was served during World War 11 at Bareilly Detention camp in Uttar Pradesh.

There, he witnessed some other political prisoners offering prayers to Cod, but being a professed agnostic, he laughed at them. However, the years in prison began to lake a toll on him, and he became extremely depressant.

Since the prison authorities regarded him as a regular agitator among the prisoners, they forced him to sit in isolation up near the prison roof that was made of corrugated tin, where the heat from the sun was intolerable. At one point, as an even more unjust punishment, he was put in an underground cellar, from which he knew very few prisoners were ever released. His depression now turned to despair.

Thoughts began assailing his mind over the injustice he was experiencing, and the prospect of never again seeing his wife and widowed mother became unbearable.

One day, from his cell, he suddenly sat up with a Jerk and exclaimed, “God, only God, if He exists, can help me!”

Although raised in a religious family, it had been years since he had offered any prayers Now, unable to remember how to address God properly, he just said in English, “Mr. God, if there is any God, I request You, please get me released from this jail?

Just then, he recalled some Hindu scriptures, which reminded him that all suffering in this life is due to one’s actions in past lives, so he asked himself, why should God intervene and release me from jail?

Though filled with such doubts, it occurred to him that he had to make a promise to God, so he said, “Mr. God, please get me released from this jail, and in exchange I promise to abide by and obey any binding whatsoever You impose on me outside this jail.”

Kumar’s prayer did not end there. He thought to himself, “How will 1 know that God has accepted my bargain? If I am released, how will I know it is God’s doing?” So he added, “Please God, if you have accepted my promise and bargain, then get me released early tomorrow morning, when the gates are opened. If I am released at any other time instead of the following day. tomorrow evening or even a few hours after the gates open tomorrow morning, I will take it that my release was all by chance and not your doing.”

Kumar deliberately chose to be released before dawn, long before 10 AM when the prison superintendent, who would have to sign his release, arrived at his office. Only then would he be convinced that his release was an act of God and not a coincidence. Although he had been an agnostic for such a long time, after offering the prayer, Kumar felt that somehow God would respond. He even collected his belongings in readiness to leave prison.

That night, though he tried to get some rest, he was unable to sleep.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p304


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