The satsang on Friday started off with prayers with Mahamantra led by Smt & Sri Ramani and the young Rudra Ramani.
Then we had a round of introductions after which Sri Ramaniji narrated a story from the famous Akbar-Birbal series to bring out the glory of Rama Nama.
The story goes as follows:
“Once Akbar set out to go hunting. He asked his able minister, Birbal to accompany him, to which the latter agreed. They went deep into the jungle. That was when they discovered that they had lost their way in the forest. It was past lunchtime and hence Akbar was extremely hungry. He said to Birbal, ‘Oh Birbal! Let us go and find some food. I am hungry!’ But that was Birbal’s routine prayer-time. It is common knowledge that he chants Rama Nama as part of his prayers. He sat down in a place and started chanting the Rama Nama. Akbar was confused as to why his minister was doing so. Birbal simply said, ‘I cannot forego my daily practice of prayers. So I cannot come along with you.’. Hunger begets anger. Angry that Akbar was, he chided Birbal. He told him, ‘Alright! You sit and chant Rama Nama here. I am going it alone. I will find some food. Let me see how your Rama Nama brings you food.!’ And Akbar set out to the nearest village.
As soon as he saw a hut in the vicinity, he went and introduced himself. The inmates were very pleased to entertain the king. They welcomed him, provided him with as much comforts as possible and also fed him sumptuously. Soon Akbar’s hunger was appeased. He also got to know the directions to the city from the house inmates. Now that his appetite was appeased, he was not angry with Birbal anymore. A compassionate Akbar requested for some food to be packed up for Birbal too, and then returned to the place where Birbal sat, chanting.
At the very sight of Birbal, Akbar mockingly laughed at him. He called him out, ‘Oh! Birbal! Did you know? I found food for myself. I had a sumptuous meal, while you have been foolishly sitting here and chanting the Rama Nama! Tell me now, did Rama Nama feed you?’ Birbal could not help noticing the packet in Akbar’s hands. He asked, ‘Oh! King! What is it that you are holding in your hand?’
Very innocently, Akbar replied, ‘Oh my dear minister, I remembered you when leaving from that house. So I got some food packed up for you. Here it is!’
Birbal replied, ‘Oh your highness! Yes, Rama Nama did give me food!’ A muddled Akbar sought clarification. Birbal replied, ‘What else but Rama Nama could make a great emperor like Akbar bring food for this lowly soul, that too in the thick of this forest!’
Akbar realized the power of Rama Nama!
Soon after Sri Ramaniji was done with the story, Ms. Nirmala Giri from Chennai joined the call. She spoke a few words about Sri Swamiji.
You can read an extract of her talk here.
Then Poornimaji’s trip was announced. And Yaminiji from Chicago gave a brief of the programs at Chicago. This was followed by our Houston satsang members Sri Narayan Daveji’s and Sri Sriramji’s experiences of the hurricane Ike-
Sriramji had his account of how his family braved the Ike hurricane with Divine help:
Check it out here.
Then Sriramji announced about the Mahamantra mass prayer satsang that was being planned for the next three weeks, praying for recovery from Ike at different temples in Houston:
Sri Lakshmi Narayan Temple in NW Houston – Sep 21
Sri Radha Krishna temple at Sugarland and Sri Meenakshi Temple at Pearland in the subsequent weeks.
The 60 minute-long eventful satsang closed with prayers for Ike-relief and Mahamantra Kirtan by Sri Ramaniji’s family!