In 1996 an extraordinary flood occurred in Govardhan. Only cacti and small solitary trees grew around Shailendra Sharma’s house before the event quite not habitual for the place. Since that day flowers, bushes and grass appeared. Here is an eyewitness’ story; later it will be completed with evidence by Shailendra and probably other witnesses watching the Yamuna River make soil around Shailendra’s house fertile and sow his lanes with grass.
Tahatil, a disciple, is telling.
On that day at noon it was raining a little. We came to see Guruji and talk to him. He said: “Now go and practice Parikrama, come after that, see you then.” We were not going to practice, still we bowed and left. We were back at 5 or 6 apparently. Guruji asked: “Well, what are you intending to do next?”
My brother said he would have to get to his office the next day, so he had to get back to town. I decided to stay.
So my brother left, for his work was waiting for him in the morning. I stayed: sat for a while carrying out the practice. Then I entered Guruji’s house and there, at about 6.30, I met Mataji, who said: “Help me to carry all Bhagavad Gita copies printed recently upstairs.” “What for?” I asked. “Yamuna is coming.”
All the books including Bhagavad Gita were downstairs, in the hall, where Guruji is sitting now.
It was queer for me to listen to what Mataji was saying. How can Yamuna come here? Mataji explained that Guruji had met Balaji (Hanuman’s incarnation) who told him to organize Yamuna’s arrival to Govardhan. The Yamuna River is the nearest to that place, all the wells in the outskirts are somehow connected to it and the flood is only possible if caused by Yamuna. Mataji said that Yamuna won’t come literally, by changing its bed, but will appear in a flood. Still I couldn’t get what she meant. But as Mataji told to carry books upstairs, I started doing it.
It was the raining season, yet it didn’t rain often, a short half-an-hour rain used to be followed by dry weather. So it was the first strong flood that place remembers.
I thought that it was not raining much then, but we couldn’t remember Yamuna flooding even when it was showering hard. But in an hour or so the water started flooding Guruji’s land. Soon all the area was underwater.
The water flooded cottages and other buildings, places for Samadhi. Shiva Temple was completely underwater. There was so much water that it reached the first floor of the second building – Babaji Temple. It was impossible to get from Babaji Temple to Guruji’s house. Yamuna reached Shiva Temple top and, accordingly, the first floor where we were rising. I was there at that moment.
Guruji told me to phone my people and let them know that I would get back not on the next day but in a week. He said the telephone would be off till the end of the flood. “Call now or they will worry having no news from you”.
When the water finally reached the level of Guruji’s room upstairs, we all went there. All who could come gathered at the place. There were Mahatmaji; Mataji’s elder sister with her daughter Annu; Mataji’s sister Rokka; Mr. Sharma, the lawyer; Vekramsharma from Gwalior with his son.
Guruji advised to most of them: “Leave now – the flood is coming. It won’t be easy to leave during it”. Mahatmaji, Mataji, her elder sister and me stayed, the others left.
Before the water came Guruji had gave an order to move all the food and the gas-stove upstairs so as to be able to cook there.
In four days the water was up to the neck and it was still rising.
All the grain Guruji had was kept on the ground floor of the second building – Babaji Temple, right opposite Guruji’s cottage.
Pankaji arrived there in about a week. As he said, the water was waist-deep when we came, so we tried to take the drenched tainted grain out.
The water was rising fast and in about an hour it was up the roof.
Guruji had about 15-16 cows. Shailendra ordered to take them together with his bull Gandhi to the pond and keep them tied to the first building – the first Chatri, where we do puja. The cows grazing opposite Guruji’s cottage were taken up the hillside through Chatri, where Babaji Temple is located now, and tied up. Only Gandhi, the bull, stayed, being tied next to the cow-shed.
The water went on rising and Gandhi was still there with no time to untie him.
Mr. Brahmedah told Guruji: “Let me join them for saving cows and Gandhi.” “No, do what I told you – carry the books and the food upstairs.” And he went to save the cattle himself.
From above the roof we saw Guruji, water up his neck, going to untie Ghandi, the last one of the cattle staying there. There was too much water already so he hurried to take the bull to the first building, where the rest of his cattle were.
It was at that time when Guruji was badly lashed by a huge snake but nobody knew it for three days – Guruji didn’t let us know about it.
Only three days later Guruji told us about the snake lash; he didn’t feel well but later Babaji helped him to recover.
The water flooded back in about three days and we sent for a doctor. It was impossible to do it earlier because of the water going down little by little.
Guruji said that the water covered the porch, entered the hall but not the inner room, where Babaji dwelled, just measuring up the floor of Babaji’s room in his house. Babaji’s room is 7 feet above the place where Shiva Temple is located.
The water of that flood was salty and not fit for drinking. So the situation with drinking water became hard. A big bottle of water cost a hundred rupees on the market – quite expensive anyway. Five or six days later Guruji sent me to Babaji to pray, yet I didn’t know the reason why.
I went and prayed Babaji to stop the continuing devastation. I left the place in about a week when the road became carriageable. Going outside I saw water covering the road but not too much – it was subsiding. The road pits and ruts also dried out – only lowlands and narrow streets were still under water about a foot deep. The most of the water had gone. There was no damage except the drenched grain – and no accidents.