My Guru Manifests a Swiss Army Knife

During a recent trip to Prema Drala Ashram, I was blessed with a most amazing gift from my Guru! I had been invited to see a movie with Sambodhi early one Sunday afternoon, but she cancelled on me after Guruji invited her to lunch. Without a trace of disappointment, I switched gears and busied myself again with seva projects. A little later in the afternoon, I got a call from Ron asking me if I wanted to go to the movies with Pranananda and him. Of course I agreed, and, ironically, we would be seeing the same film Sambodhi and I had planned to see.

As we entered the theatre, Guruji scanned the stadium-style seating and settled on a set of chairs about half way up the theatre. I didn’t give a second thought to where we sat, since I was more than happy to follow along, delighted to simply have a chance to be in Guruji’s company and enjoy a film together. About half way through the film, Guruji leaned toward me and quietly mentioned that something had bounced off his foot, asking me if I had dropped something. I scanned my pockets and found everything to be intact, so I whispered that I would look on the floor later, after the film.

The film was so much fun that we found ourselves in hysterical laughter many times. After the credits rolled and the theatre lights came up, I pulled out my cell phone and switched on its flashlight mode, directing it toward the floor in the row of seats in front of where we all sat—the logical place for something bouncing off Louix’s foot to have landed. After a bit of fruitless searching, locating only popcorn and lost candy, Guruji redirected me by saying, “Have you looked up here? Check under the seat where you were sitting.” Although it made no sense to me, having had years of experience informing me that following my Guru’s instructions works, I switched the direction of my searchlight to look under my own seat.

Almost immediately, my light hit an object of interest, and I pulled from under my own seat a small multi-purpose, genuine Swiss Army knife, identical to the one I had left at home in Chicago. I could barely form a sentence, stammering instead, “This is so… You have no idea… Oh, my God, this is so unbelievable!” When I could speak again in complete sentences, I confessed that occasionally during the trip I had quietly and privately missed the utility of my little gadget, which I carry with me almost everywhere. Despite being well aware of not having had it with me, I had said nothing to anyone about it.

As both Ron and Guruji were laughing out loud while I stumbled through various attempts to put my amazement into words, I said, “I always have this little knife with me. It’s just so handy! You know, a hangnail here, a stray thread on my shirt there. I was aware of having to get by without it, and it wasn’t a big deal. But having one delivered to me by my Guru in a movie theatre, which was completely unnecessary, is just so fun!” Retelling the Lila later with a different audience, Pranananda asked the rhetorical question, “What are the odds of that?!” Practically in unison, those present said, “Zero,” and then laughed some more at the beauty of this comical and touching Divine Play.


- Richard N.
Chigago, USA

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