A Wedding Anniversary Gift

On 17 Jan 2009, we had a big program at our house to welcome  the Deities of Gaura-Nitai and Jagannatha-Baladeva-Subhadra. The next day, my wife and I had to attend a meeting at Mira Road, Mumbai, at 8:30 am. After taking rest at midnight, we got up early to leave for Mira Road.

We left home at 7:45 am and took a cab to go to Dadar railway station. At the station, my wife suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my beads! I left my bead bag in the cab.” We rushed back outside hoping to find the cab, but it was gone. We frantically looked for the driver everywhere but couldn’t find him. Disappointed, we gave up the search and went to attend the meeting, all the while mourning over the loss. An ISKCON devotee receives beads on which their spiritual master has chanted. These beads are sacred and precious.

When we would go out, my wife would often say, “Don’t carry your initiation beads,” as I would often forget them. But this time she took her initiation beads and regretted it.

Two days later, she had a dream in which someone came and returned the cloth bag carrying the beads. We had tried to locate the taxi driver but couldn’t find him. We asked other drivers where they reported lost-and-found articles. They directed us to their office at Grant Road, where drivers deposited articles left by passengers. We thought of going there but wondered, “Who will hand over a bead bag?” So we dropped the idea.

We reported the incident to our spiritual authorities. “It is a serious thing,” they said. “You have to pay a fine and might also be chastised for losing the sacred beads.”

A week passed. We went to Pune for some work and returned on January 27. Due to travel fatigue I could not attend the maìgala-arati in the temple on returning.  January 29 was our wedding anniversary day.

On this day, I left home for the temple to attend the morning program as usual. But as soon I reached the spot where we had boarded the cab on January 17, someone shouted, “O Maharaja, Maharaja.” (I generally wear dhoti-kurta, so most people call me “Maharaja.”)  When I looked across the street, I saw a man shouting, and in his right hand, he was holding my wife’s bead bag. I recognized him he was the same cab driver. When I saw those sacred beads, I paid my respectful obeisances. I happily went to collect them. The man then informed me how he had been searching for us for the past few days. I told him we had been out of town. “I know what happens when you lose your beads,” the man continued. “Mein bhi mala jaap karta hoon. Mujhe bhi malum hai kitni takleef hoti hai jab japa mala kho jaati hai. (I also chant the holy names, so I know how painful it is when you lose chanting beads.) I therefore kept these beads carefully. My friend, who also chants, advised me to return the beads. I thanked him very much for this invaluable service.

Immediately after collecting those beads, I rang up my wife, “I have a surprise gift for you today. Guess what.” She couldn’t. “Your beads are with me.” “What a miracle!” she exclaimed.

I met that taxi driver twice after the incident, and I invited him to visit our temple. I pray that Lord Krsna gives His mercy to him.