I am a constable in Maharashtra Police. I have received special training in the use of fire-arms and have fought in numerous police encounters against gangsters. I was therefore picked for the rescue operation in The Taj during the November 26 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Life for me is like walking on a razor’s edge: adventurous, dangerous and uncertain. For support and strength I listen to Narsimha Pranama on my mobile phone. I also have photos of my temple Deities, lectures, and Hare Krsna kirtana on it. So when I was called for duty that night I played the Narsimha Pranama and felt the presence of the Lord with me.

When we reached the hotel, I was assigned to combat a terrorist on the first floor. The terrorist was in a duplex. He would climb the internal staircase and fire from first, second or third floor so confusing us about his actual position. He could see us in open and well-lit area, while he hid in dark.

Amidst cross fire I moved ahead with two other soldiers, one on my either side. Around 20 feet from the window on the first floor, we were pounded by a deafening blast from a grenade, followed by heavy assault fire. I ducked but lost all sense of direction as thick black smoke blinded me completely. When the smoke cleared, my two colleagues lay on the floor dead. I was unhurt; a pillar stood between me and the bullets and exploding shrapnel.

I was dazed. I could not retreat, nor go ahead; my buddies were dead. I took deep breaths and played the Narsimha Pranama again. As the holy vibrations reached from my ears to my heart, I regained my composure and reassessed the situation.

Later we began a combined attack from the front and back. Sharpshooters mounted on a fire-fighter staircase and from the front, they arose to the level of the first floor and took position. We fired relentlessly from inside the hotel. Then a rocket launcher hurled a bomb that set the room ablaze. The terrorist, his body now in flames, jumped out of the window to meet his death.

I prayed to Lord Narsimha Deva. He is always with me. He came out of a pillar to save His devotee Prahlada Maharaja, but for me He came as a pillar.

BTG welcomes articles for this column based on readers’ experiences with the Deities, holy name, sacred books, dhama, spiritual master or even experiences from every day life.

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Subject: My experience