Our member, Ms G. Mitra Ghosh, writes about an amazing incident that happened during her trip to Varanasi, 25 years ago.
About 25 years back, we visited one of the holiest and oldest cities of India, Varanasi. As it is mainly a temple city, our main purpose was to visit the different temples.
After visiting the Kashi Vishwanath temple and some of the other temples, we went to the Annapurna temple, one of the most beautiful temples in Varanasi. The deity here is named Annapurna Devi, who is said to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati and is worshipped as the provider of food. The gorgeous idol was seated on a silver throne.
I, like the other devotees, offered puja and was extremely happy and satisfied with the way I got a good darshan of Goddess Annapurna. Then, suddenly, a niggling question began to bother me—'I have offered puja with full devotion and purity, but how could I know that the Goddess had accepted my puja?’ Almost immediately, a thought came to me—‘If some unknown person offers me something in the temple, I will think that the Goddess has accepted my offerings.’ I decided to wait there. I waited for quite some time, but nothing happened. Disappointed, I decided to leave.
However, the moment I turned to leave, I felt a touch on my shoulder. I turned around to find a very fair, wide-eyed old lady smiling at me. She took out a guava from her silk bag and said, “I am fasting the whole day today. I want you to have this guava.” I told her, “But I did not fast today, how can I take it?” She said, “So what? You can still have it.” She asked my name and told me that she lived in Varanasi. When I tried to bend and touch her feet, she said that I should not touch her feet inside the temple. Then, she went off with a smile and almost immediately got lost in the crowd. I looked and looked for her, but could not find her in the crowd. With the belief that the guava was a god-sent gift, I kept it with me for quite a long time. I felt at peace that my offering had been accepted by the Goddess.
Many years have passed and though I have been to many other places, this incident is still fresh in my mind and whenever I recall it, I feel overwhelmed.
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