by Ananda Giri: Nearly everyone in the room was moved to tears listening to the story of this middle-aged gentleman. Even the skeptics could not hold back their tears.
March 10, 2012 It is the story of Iswaran from Chennai, a metropolis in the south of India. Dr Iswaran is one of the most reputed physicians in the city who has been offering medical assistance to the children of Chennai for the last twenty years.
“My name is Iswaran and I was born in Porur which is a small suburb in the city of Chennai. My parents loved me very dearly, they believed that a proper education is the only way for a secure future and did everything in their capacity to give me the best education possible.”
“All I could remember growing up was that I wanted to be a doctor and I was very passionate about this. I loved thinking about it and even though I did not know where I got this dream from I was obsessed with it. The thought of serving sick people gave me lots of joy.”
“Every time anyone got injured in the neighborhood, I was the first one to be there with a first aid kit. In fact I would at times find myself applying balm and sticking Band-Aids onto people who were healthy! I do not know why I was so obsessed with it, I just liked working with the human. Healing people was my dream.”
“Obviously not everyone has the same dream or passion as me. We are all unique and Nature (God) has designed each of us for a specific mission or purpose in life. Even our brains are wired differently to suit our specific missions. If you were to give an electronic toy to a six-year-old child and return an hour later you may find that the child has dismantled the entire toy and even tried to re assemble it. Looking at this child you would know that their brain must be wired to be a mechanic and that it is very likely that mechanics would be their love and passion.”
“Some children are designed to be artists, some to be business people. Each of us has a specific purpose. Becoming a physician was my mission in life. This was my love, my dream and I felt my destiny.”
Everyone in the room sat in rapt attention as Dr Iswaran continued narrating his story.
“Living in India in the 1980′s it was not an easy task to become a doctor. The profession not only demanded exceptional skill and intelligence but also good financial strength as well. Medical education in India was ridiculously expensive then and could cost several thousand dollars for each student.”
“I came from a relatively poor family and there was no way that they could afford this amount for tuition fees to pay for my medical studies. Already my parents did everything in their capacity to support my dream. They spent almost their entire earnings on my education and I could not have asked them for more. I had their fullest encouragement and blessings to pursue my hearts desire and this was enough for me to keep moving forward. With such loving parents there was no way my spirit could be dampened no matter how difficult the circumstances appeared to be.”
“The only possible way I could become a medical doctor was to find sponsorship, therefore I put my full intention into manifesting this dream and made all the effort necessary in the hope of winning a scholarship. I studied hard and never doubted for a moment if it would happen or not. After I finished my schooling it was time for me to join a college and I now had to participate in a competitive exam that would determine my eligibility for sponsorship.”
“The top three ranked students would win the scholarship and I was very hopeful that I would be one of them. During the previous academic year the highest score had been 98.1% and I was pretty certain that I could score greater than that. Just as I hoped I did score more than the previous years best ranked student but unfortunately my performance was not good enough for me to win that scholarship. Three other students had outperformed me this year. While I scored an excellent 98.3%, the other three scored marginally better than myself. I was the fourth and that didn’t mean anything, I would not be sponsored.”
“I was so sad and disappointed. My friends told me that I was being tested by life and I did not like this idea. All kinds of doubts started to creep into my mind. I thought maybe that the Universe was conspiring against me and I started to lose faith that I would ever realize my dream.”
“Both my mother and father felt very sad to see me so depressed. They believed that such a narrow miss could only be fate playing its ugly tricks. They tried to comfort me and not fully able to see my pain even suggested that I give up my dream and pursue some other career instead.”
“Becoming a physician was not a career choice for me, it was my life’s passion, my dream, and my love. I could not give it up for anything. After a few days of sadness and despair, I regained my faith. I told myself that I would have to keep trying and never give up. My parents felt happier looking at my much improved mental state.”
“On the advice of my fathers colleagues, we decided to seek admission to colleges outside the city of Chennai as Chennai was highly competitive and we had little chance of success here. With my excellent academic record to substantiate my petition for a scholarship, I was pretty certain that there would be at least one college in the state of Tamil Nadu that would accept me. I was not expecting for the best colleges in the state to accept me, I would be happy just to find a place in a very ordinary medical college.”
“With this new faith my father and myself boarded a train heading south. We visited several colleges in Tamil Nadu seeking for an admission. Finding no luck in Tamil Nadu, we decided to try colleges in the neighboring states as well but still no luck. No college would accept me for free. After nearly a month of non-stop traveling, we decided to return back to Chennai.”
“I felt so angry and disappointed with this unfair system, this unfair Universe and myself. It was a long ride back home and although my father tried to cheer me up nothing could help me feel better. I usually always enjoyed riding on the trains but not this time. We went to bed and woke up quite early the next morning; it would be another four to five hours before we arrived in Chennai. I was still sad and angry with my father trying to comfort me.”
“We had not spoken to anyone for over fourteen hours when a gentleman appeared and seated himself opposite us in the coach. He was very curious to know what was happening between my father and myself. He observed us for a while and became deeply moved by my fathers concern for me. The gentleman could not stop himself, he asked my father to share with him what was happening.”
“My father explained the entire story to him, beginning with my childhood all the way up until this point in time. Listening to my story he was even more deeply moved and asked my father whether we had tried the Madras medical college, which was the number one college in the whole of Tamil Nadu. We could not believe this suggestion after he had listened to all our stories of disappointment. What was he thinking! How did he expect us to find admission into the most prestigious college in all of Tamil Nadu when even the most ordinary colleges would not accept us! Was this gentleman being sarcastic? Much to our shock we realized he really meant it. We tried explaining to him the impossibility of his suggestion, however he persuaded us to give it one last try. We felt that we could not refuse his request, not after seeing his genuine concern for us and so we decided to go there the next morning. We left the train with a very good feeling in our hearts after being with the STRANGE STRANGER WITH A BEAUTIFUL HEART.”
“Madras medical college was one of the most famous addresses in Chennai. It was not far from the place we lived and so we went there the next morning. I felt very excited to be visiting this place and also sad at the same time, excited to be in the college campus because it felt like home but sad because it felt totally unreal to think I would ever be accepted here. The reason we decided to visit the college was not because we believed that I would get accepted but to honor the promise we had made to the gentleman in the train. The very sight of so many students walking around the campus in their white trainee coats put me into a totally different zone!”
We walked to the visitor’s area to wait for our appointment. Soon a young assistant appeared and escorted us to the Director’s office on the second floor. Oh my goodness! I could not believe what I saw there, it was an absolute miracle that was proof enough for me to believe that this Universe is indeed Love, for who should we find there but the very same gentleman that had spoken to us on the train the previous day!”
“I wondered to myself what business this gentleman had being in the Director’s office when it dawned on me that he was none other than Dean of the Madras medical college himself! Both my father and myself were so happy with this turn of events. I had been invited by the very Dean of the Madras medical college to give it one last try here. If felt too unreal to be true but yes it was really true! With tears in his eyes the Dean said, ‘how could this country miss out on such a passionate student. You have the love and kind heart that a doctor needs. You will be a treasure to this college and to the world.” The Dean gave me a hug and welcomed me to the college. I was now where I belonged and it was indeed home to me.”
Let us for a few moments reflect on this strange occurrence
This Universe is intelligent. It has it’s own ways of getting things done. How else could you explain Iswaran’s meeting with the stranger on the train. Why was the Dean traveling on that exact same day? Why did he not find a reservation in first class thereby having to travel in the regular coach? Why was he allocated a seat in the exact same coach that Iswaran was travelling in? And why did that seat have to be right across where Iswaran and his father were seated? Why did the Dean pay such close attention to someone else’s conversation? And why did it make him so deeply moved that he started talking with them? We can go on asking questions and seeking explanations to these strange happenings but we may never really understand. As Steve Jobs so beautifully put it, we can only connect the dots backwards.
As expected there were varied reactions in response to Iswaran’s story from the audience. Some people felt deeply moved and others expressed utter disbelief. Lots of questions and remarks floated around the meditation hall. Could such miracles really happen? Was it Iswaran’s good karma or just a lucky coincidence, a random event? Some people thought, it must be the parents love for the child or that it was the power of prayer. Irrespective of each person’s unique perception, every one in the room was still deeply moved
I am sure all of us. have experienced such remarkable happenings in our life. The question we need to ask ourselves is how did we respond to these remarkable occurrences. Of course we have the freedom to perceive the way we want to perceive. We can call it a chance happening or a lucky day and dismiss all that happened without any further reflection. But what if it was not a chance or a freak coincidence. What if there is Intelligence in action, an Intelligence trying to connect us all. What if this Intelligence is not something separate from us but instead is at the very core of our being. What if this same Intelligence resides in all of us and is immanent in all of Life. What if this Intelligence is the essence of our entire Universe and what if we could connect with this Universal Intelligence.
Maybe instead of dismissing such occurrences, if we reflected on them, if we acknowledged those moments, if we really saw the Love and Intelligence behind these occurrences then our lives would acquire a new meaning. It is in this reflection that we would see the Universal Intelligence in action and experience a deep connection with this Transcendental Self.
It does not matter by what name you call this Intelligence. You can call it God, Collective Consciousness, the Higher Self, Universal Intelligence, Sacred Energy; you can choose to give it any name you are comfortable with. Whatever it may be, this benevolent Force has been there with you for all of time and will forever remain with you because it is an inseparable part of you and in a sense it is you. Connecting with this core part of yourself, you feel whole and complete. Life feels magical. You experience a strength like never before. Einstein said that we could either choose to see everything as a miracle or nothing as a miracle. Connecting with this Sacred Presence, you begin to see everything as a miracle.
Listening to Iswaran’s story it was quite evident that we all have a place in this Universe. If we discovered our place and pursued it with proper intent and effort, then this benevolent Universe would surely support us in realizing this dream. This Universe is Love and it is Intelligent too. It is alive. We live in a RESPONDING UNIVERSE. If you realized this truth you would not feel lonely any longer.
Today Iswaran is one of the more reputed doctors in Chennai. He is a child specialist and spends his weekends traveling to the villages of rural India, offering free medical service to the children of these villages. He believes in supporting this Universe that supports him. Maybe this is what service truly means, it is not really you giving something to someone. Service is more an act of supporting the system that supports you. We live in a Universe that is interdependent.
If there are still questions ringing in your head such as ‘How could this Sacred Self (God) be part of Me (Human)? Are not God and myself two separate entities?’
Then ask yourself another question, ‘In a Universe where everything is interconnected, how could there be two separate entities; a separate Human and a separate God?’