Tuesday, February 09, 2010

‘God can never harm you’


By Shevlin Sebastian

When Kochi-based industrialist S.S. Agarwal enters his office, the first thing he does is to stand in front of a photo of Lord Ganapati hanging on a wall. His lips are moving visibly. A few minutes later, Agarwal turns around, and with a broad smile, he greets his visitor. So what did he pray for?

“I asked God to please give us enough so that we are able to feed ourselves, as well as others who come to our door,” he says. Agarwal also recites a few shlokas, including the Gayatri Mantra.

“God is great,” he continues. “You can ask Him for anything with a deep desire in your heart and He will provide.”

Agarwal gives some examples. Around 30 years ago, he had gone to see a possible bridegroom for his sister in Bangalore. “The boy lived in a beautiful house,” says Agarwal. “I remember the red brick walls, marble floors and the well-kept garden.” Agarwal whispered to himself, ‘Dear God, I want a house like this.’

A few years later, when he moved from Salem and settled down in Kochi, the first house that he rented was an exact replica of the house in Bangalore. Later, he also built a house in the same style.

In 1973, Agarwal had opened a flour mill in Mangalore. Looking through the sixth floor window of his office he could see a steel mill on the opposite side. “I was fascinated by the way the scrap was being unloaded, and how magnets and cranes were used to move things,” he says. “I told God that I wanted a similar steel mill.”

In 1995, Agarwal opened a steel mill in Binanipuram, a suburb of Kochi.

To invoke God’s power so that he can fulfill his dreams, Agarwal prays to Lord Ganapati, Satyanarayan, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga.

“Durga is also known as Aparajita,” he says. “She is the destroyer of evil.” And suddenly he puts his hands inside his shirt pocket and brings out a small plastic packet which contains dry flowers. “These are known as Aparijta flowers,” he says. “When you keep them with you, nobody can defeat you.”

He tells a story of how a businessman in Coimbatore owed him Rs 60 lakh and was not making the payment. But Agarwal prayed to Aparajita, touched the flowers of ten, and told himself, ‘I must not lose.’ Later, through fortuitous circumstances, he got the payment.

But life is not always fortuitous. Sometimes, bad things occur. So, does Agarwal get angry with God when that happens? “Not at all,” he says. “God can never harm you, because His nature is to be good.”

He says unfortunate events occur because of one’s negative actions. “It is the law of karma,” he says. “So why blame God?”

So who is God? “I believe in an Almighty God,” he says. “You can call it Bhagwan or Jesus Christ or Allah. All religions are different rivers which are flowing towards the same source: a spiritual power which animates the Universe.”

(The New Indian Express, Kerala)

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