With 50+ inches of rain in 4 days dropping 19 trillion gallons of water, 40000+ homes (and counting) destroyed, thousands of families displaced from their homes, all major rivers, levees, and bayous overflowing above record flood levels inundating everything in their path, the emergency services getting 1000+ calls every hour, Houston got an infinitesimally small sample of pralayam (deluge) over the last weekend of Aug 2017.
Just a week earlier, the divine couple, Sri Madhuri Sakhi sameta Sri Premika Varadan, were celebrated in the Krishna Janmashtami Utsav that culminated in Radha Kalyanam and Govinda Pattabhisheka anukaranam, where the Lord protected His devotees from Indra’s deluge.
As our Guru Maharaj has taught us how to be in the face of calamity – surrender to Krishna, and chant His Divine Names, the Houston Satsang fell at the feet of Premika Varadan (our Bhagavan Sri Krishna), and Guru Maharaj (His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji) when Harvey was obliterating the city. Throughout the ordeal, hundreds of our brethren from the US, India, Australia and all over the world prayed for us and chanted the Mahamantra. Sri Swamiji, being the incarnate of compassion, was completely moved by our plight and constantly prayed for us throughout the ordeal. He enquired about our safety multiple times in a day.
A mahatma’s smarana (thought) alone is sufficient to bring us all auspiciousness, and here we had Sri Swamiji fully invested in our welfare. On the day of Radhashtami, Sri Swamiji called us at 1 AM IST and poured His love on us.
The Satsang members are spread out all over the Greater Houston area – in the South in Pearland and Manvel, in the South-East in Clear Lake, in the city center in Houston, in the South-West in Sugar Land, Missouri City and Richmond, in the east in Katy, in the North-West in Cypress, and in the North in Spring, and The Woodlands. We are so grateful to the Lord that not one person and one house-hold in our Satsang experienced even a minute of distress, as he held up his Govardhana over all of us as we stayed dry and safe in His love and shelter, to the extent that none of us even experienced loss of electricity, or internet etc. – needless to say about food, shelter and other basic necessities.
By His Grace and His Grace alone, we crossed this gory storm with no impact; our families bonded closer than ever before; our faith in Krishna, His Divine Name, and our Master increased tremendously. We learned first hand, the meaning of ‘Yogakshemam Vahamyaham’, where Krishna takes care of the welfare of His devotees when they surrender to Him.
We know only 3 things in our satsang – Chant Mahamantra, seek refuge in the Guru and Krishna, and celebrate the Lord at all times. While floods ravaged everything outside, we celebrated Radhashtami – the birth of the Divine Mother, like how the gopas went to Krishna while he was lifting Govardhana, oblivious of the magnitude of the calamity and the rescue, and suggested that they play and enjoy in His company.
In Bhakta charitrams (lives of great devotees) we hear stories like Lord Panduranga stood outside Namadeva’s house and protected it, holding the wall from collapsing in the storm. Likewise, our Master saved all of His children and their families, with no scratch, holding all of us in his arms, while he himself was being drenched and his house, Namadwaar, flooded on all sides.
On the first day of the storm, Namadwaar was evacuated, with the Divine Couple, Sri Swamiji’s Padukas, Sri Radha Rani’s Paadham relocated to a devotee’s house. On the night of the landfall, Namadwaar was flooded, and through the next few days continued to get impacted. Now, we go back to him with folded hands and tears in our eyes, seeking His Grace and His Grace alone to re-build his temple, and for us to chant, celebrate and forever be grateful for the life that he has bestowed on us.
Sriram Ramanujam, Houston TX