The Idol of Baba Balak Nath Ji
My heart flowed with gratitude at the shrine of Baba Balak Nath ji. Not a long time ago, we had come to the shrine with hearts filled with prayers as that day we were very upset for various reasons. I had prayed fervently to come once again when our wishes would be granted. I really feel ashamed to acknowledge that how selfishly we behave in a temple or a shrine where we seek so many favours from Him. And benevolent as God is, he grants them to us.
But today was a special day. It was a day when we again decided to go to the shrine as it was for thanksgiving purpose. All three of us went to Baba Balak Nath Ji’s shrine and our hearts were full of devotion, piety and adoration for his Kindness. Though I was told by many that these being the annual “shraaddh days” so we should go to pay our obeisance some other time. But we decided to go.
The Shrine High Atop the Hill
The ascent to the top, where the sacred idol of the revered Baba ji is kept in a shrine, is awesome for its height and from down below, watching it, one wonders at the time when in the dense forests lived a young child fearlessly! My heart was filled with feelings of awe for the supreme power of a “power” above us all that makes all the things work in the world. From down below the ascent seems tiring but one has to see the devotees crawling on their stomach to reach the shrine. It speaks for the faith that people have in the power and greatness of the shrine.
As these were not considered very auspicious days to visit the shrines, the stairs were empty. So much so, that the monkeys were roaming fearlessly on the staircase much to our concern. The Trust canteen manager gave us a long bamboo stick to scare away the monkeys with.
Our hearts light and happy, as we were on a thanksgiving visit, we strode past the entire staircase at a marvelous speed. Once in the temple, the man of the family went to offer “roat” to the idol at the inner sanctorum whereas I along with the little one headed for the women’s section. It is always so crowded here that it is difficult to get a glimpse of the deity from behind the backs of the men folks. But today it was different. The temple had very few devotees and we could easily, at leisure, gaze at the idol No one to poke us from behind with—move on and move on…
I was carrying the digicam and wanted to take a shot of the shrine but the notice downstairs “Taking photographs is prohibited” stopped me. I looked longingly at the shrine that seemed to invite me to take just one shot. I was so tempted. The benevolent expression on the guard on duty made me ask for his permission to take just a few shots. He talked to the priest and then made a sign to me to go ahead! I was so happy. But when I tried taking the picture the battery was so low that the flash would not work but undeterred I took three shots of the inner shrine, the abode of Baba Balak Nath Ji. I was full of gratitude to the God that I had been permitted to take this photograph.
Up we went to have the “Langar” at the hall and came back with both our stomach and hearts fill. It was time to move. To return home. We sat at the Trust Canteen and returned the bamboo stick that they had given us and had a cup of tea as well. Light hearted we descended the steps of the temple with an ardent desire to come once again to pay our gratitude for having fulfilled another of our wish. I am so sure that a prayer made in the shrine reaches Him and all our prayers are fulfilled. I am looking forward to another pilgrimage to the shrine of Baba Balak Nath Ji in the near future.