Saint Bhau Maharaj lived in rural Maharashtra in the early part of this century. He was popular among the villagers, as he gave guidance to them in their lives. However, some people were averse to his rising prominence. One day, they sent four burly men armed with sugarcane sticks to beat him up.

They selected a moment when nobody was around and entered his room. The Saint welcomed them with a smile. Seeing that he was alone, they started pounding on him.

Sugarcane sticks are nearly as hard as bamboo and can cause serious damage to anyone. As they kept throwing repeated blows on him, they found that he did not resist them. Also, the blows did not seem to affect him at all. Eventually, they started getting tired and finally they all slumped down onto the floor in exhaustion.

Saint Bhau slowly got up and picked up the four sugarcane sticks. He then took a large jar and with his bare hands squeezed the sweet juice out of the sticks. He then proceeded to pour the juice into four cups and offered them to the men, saying they must be extremely tired after their hard work and that the juice would refresh them.

Already dazed by the events and confused with the outcome, they quickly drank the juice and disappeared from the scene.

At home, something unexpected was awaiting them. As they walked in through the gates, they were shocked to see their wives rolling on the ground screaming out in pain. They were shouting that some invisible ghost had beaten them badly with sticks and the pain was unbearable.

The men were struck by the instantaneous outcome of their action and realised that karma may not always take a very long time to materialise, when it comes to a situation involving a Mahatma.

Amma says that karma will boomerang sooner or later. She reminds us that, since most of the time there is a time gap between the action and the outcome, people fail to connect the two events. It might happen across lifetimes or in the matter of minutes, and the ensuing events could be unpredictable and the people involved, different.

In this case, with these miscreants, the result was instant. After consoling their wives, the four men returned to the Saint to beg forgiveness. The saint had only compassion for them.

– Shyam B, Mumbai.