Essays on the Gita

Track Running Track 106

It was like a bombshell on the President and on me. It was something which was planned and the plan was being broken. And then the President said: "What is the reason?" and the Secretary said, "Calcutta High Court has stayed the powers of the President and President shall not sign this particular ordinance." He said:"There is no law where a President cannot sign an ordinance if he wants to." So the Law Secretary said, "You are right, Sir, but the judge has gone mad and he has issued a stay order. As long as a stay order remains in operation, it binds the President. It is a wrong decision, but wrong or right, as long as it is the decision of the judge, it binds you. Therefore, please, my advice is: do not sign it."

Now, we had a great need to get it signed as soon as possible, so the Prime Minister heard of it, she told me: “You fly to Calcutta and get this stay lifted, so that the ordinance can be issued.” So on the 7th November I was in Calcutta and I went to meet my lawyer, a Government lawyer, and I explained to him the importance of the ordinance that was to be issued, the necessity of it, and the decision taken by the Cabinet in pursuance of which this was to be done.

To my mind, it was an ordinance connected with a very important Divine's work, therefore I was directly involved in it personally. My lawyer said: “The High Court of Calcutta is in a 'Puja holiday' just at that time, and the High Court will reopen on the 17th November. And as soon as the Court opens, I assure you that I will take up your case first and plead for your case.” So I said:“17th November is completely useless for me, because even if the stay is lifted the Parliament will be in session on that day, and the moment the Parliament is in session, no ordinance can be passed. So it is of no use to me.” So my lawyer said: “Sir, What can I do now? This is the situation; nothing can be done before 17th of November.”

So we were completely blocked. Then I told him, “Look, there must be a vacation judge who can hear it.” So he replied: “It is this very vacation judge who has put the ban on it!” So I said, “it does not matter, even if he has done it, the argument can be put before him and he can change his own opinion after hearing the argument.” “All right”, he said, "I'll just now ring him up and find out if the judge is prepared to listen to the argument."

He went inside his office room and then rang him up and came back after three minutes and said, "Sir, I tried and he says that he will not hear this case until 17th November. But he promises that on 17th November he will take this case first.” So this was of no use!

The internal feeling at that time that arose in me was that of a `burning fire' in my being. This was an impossibility, which was staring my eyes, my whole being, and I wanted that this has to be done! That was my fundamental will, you might say, it had got to be done, it was a part of the Divine's work which had to be done. And then I prayed and I said, “Oh, Lord, if it is not Your will that this should be done, please make me defeated. I'll be absolutely uncomplaining whether this thing happens or does not happen.” And in this prayer of complete dispassionate equality I said, “I put the whole question at Your feet.” And then I heard a voice, which said, “Speak to the judge yourself.” These were the words I heard. And immediately I turned to my lawyer – I do not think anybody else heard these words but I can testify to the fact that I did hear these words “Speak to the judge yourself.” I turned to the lawyer and said to the lawyer: “Can I speak to the judge myself? Can you tell the judge that I want to speak to him myself?” And the lawyer laughed, he said, “Mr Joshi, what are you talking? I have just now spoken to the judge and it will be prejudicial if you speak to the judge yourself.” So I said, “does not matter, but I must speak to the judge, I am at an impasse now. I do not know really what has to be done but I must do my best.” So he went inside once again under my great pressure after ten or fifteen minutes of a debate, he went inside. And in two minutes he came back and he said, “Mr Joshi I have experienced a miracle.” These were his first words. “The judge has told me that he will listen to the argument today at four o'clock and he will lift the stay order.” These were the two lines that the judge said in reply to this request made by my lawyer who said, “I simply told the judge, 'Mr Joshi wants to speak to you', he said before I could even finish the sentence he said ‘You tell Mr Joshi that I'll hear the case today at four o'clock and I will lift the stay.’”

This actually really has happened!

At four o'clock (there were of course many things that happened thereafter we cannot go into now. One day I'll tell you the whole story which is a very interesting story), but at four o'clock the judge came in his own house to listen to the case and by five o'clock, the case was finished and he gave me the order in writing lifting the ban on the ordinance! I came back here and on the 9th morning, the ordinance was issued!

These are the concrete facts, so that nobody can say that there is a kind of an imaginary story. There was a fact that the judge had said he will not hear the case and there were circumstances in which he was quite free to make these statements, yet the ordinance was passed on the 9th of November – which is a fact of history! And what is it that had happened, how did it change? It is śruti that changed the whole thing. I had not even an idea that I must say I wanted to speak myself! It is what I heard, “Speak to the judge yourself.” And I merely mentioned to my lawyer and he mentioned these words to the judge on the phone and this was the reply. So I personally believe that there can be śruti.

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