A believer (or knower) of God will, without hesitation, seek help from the object of his adoration, particularly when in some danger. There are countless times when God's protection has been sought, but there are some stories about this aspect that stand out in ordinary human experience. Two such stories follow, the first about an American Army unit at war:
Over 100 years ago, during World War I, the 91st Infantry Brigade was preparing to enter combat in Europe. The Brigade Commander, a devout Christian, assembled his troops and gave each of them a little card on which was printed the 91st Psalm, the same number Psalm as their brigade. They agreed to recite that Psalm daily. After they had begun praying the Psalm, the 91st Brigade was engaged in three of the bloodiest battles of World War I — Chateau Thierry, Belle Wood and the Argonne. Other American units that fought in the same battles had up to 90 percent casualties, but the 91st Brigade did not suffer a single combat-related casualty.Psalm 91 as in the KJV (to enlarge, please click on the text below):
Though Hinduism has numerous gods in its pantheon, their philosophy is that all leads to the one God; that all is One. Each individual god they adopt and pray to is their perception of God in one of his forms. But it is not the figurine they worship. A Hindu, therefore, sights a Hindu god in his dream or has a vision of a god in real life, and that’s believable because the person reveres that god. But a Christian claiming to see a Hindu god who ends up saving the man’s life…is something which is unheard of. The following relates such a story:
It was 1879, and the British were ruling India. An officer in the British Army, Lt. Col. Martin of Agar Malva, was leading the army in the war against Afghanistan. Col. Martin would regularly send messages of his well-being to his wife. The war went on for a long period of time and Lady Martin stopped getting his messages. This naturally worried her.
One day, while riding on her horse, she passed by the temple of Baijnath Mahadev. The sounds of the conch and mantras attracted her. She went inside the temple and came to know that the Brahmans were worshipping Lord Shiva.
The Brahmans saw her and noticed that she was sad and tense. They asked her what the matter was and she explained everything to them. They told her that Lord Shiva listens to the prayers of devotees and takes them out of difficult situations.
On the advice of the Brahmans, she started the ‘Laghu-rudri Anushtthan’ of the Mantra: ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, for 11 days. She prayed to Lord Shiva that if her husband reaches home safely, then she would get the temple renovated.
On the last of the ‘Laghu-rudri’, a messenger came and gave her a letter. It was from her husband. He had written:
I was regularly sending messages to you from the battlegrounds, but suddenly the Pathans surrounded us from all sides. We were entrapped in a situation where there was no scope of escaping death. Suddenly, I saw a Yogi of India with long hair, carrying a weapon with three pointers (Trishul). His personality was amazing and he was manoeuvring his weapon with a magnificent style. Seeing this great man, the Pathans started running back. With his grace, our bad times turned into moments of victory. This was possible only because of that man of India wearing a lion skin and carrying a three-pointer weapon (Trishul). That great Yogi told me that I should not worry and that he had come to rescue me because he was very pleased with my wife’s prayers.
Tears of joy fell down Lady Martin’s eyes as she read the letter. She fell into the feet of Lord Shiva’s statue and burst into tears.
After a few weeks, Col. Martin returned. They both visited the Baijnath Mahadev Temple to thank Lord Shiva for saving Col. Martin’s life. It was then that he realized the striking resemblance of Lord Shiva to the Yogi who’d appeared on the battlefield to save his life.
Both became devotees of Lord Shiva. They helped in rebuilding the temple premises and donated money for its maintenance. The British couple’s name is engraved on the slab inside the temple premises. To date, the Baijnath Mahadev Temple is the only Hindu temple in the country that was built by British!
Thank you for reading this.