When I came out of the subway on my way to the Consulate, a half a block away there was a huge tree. Every day I used to stop at that tree and pray for two minutes. In my prayer, I used to go all the way to Viet Nam to protect a young boy who was the son of one of my disciples. I had given her the name Durga. Her original name was Irene Silver.
One day Durga had come to me crying. She said, “My son Neil has gone to Viet Nam and I am not getting any letter from him. I am so worried. Every day soldiers are being killed.”
I consoled her and said, “Do not worry. I am sure he is safe.” She thought that I was offering her ordinary human consolation. But every day I used to meditate and pray to the Supreme to send His Protection to Viet Nam.
Unfortunately, the mother did not believe me because she did not receive any letter from her son. I told her that the government would have informed her if her son had died. Finally I said, “All right, you will get a letter.”
One evening in Viet Nam, her son was sitting in a chair, quite relaxed. All of a sudden, somebody appeared before him. I said to him, “Your mother is worrying. Please write a letter to her. I am your mother’s spiritual Master.”
Not long afterwards, his mother received a letter from him. He wrote, “Mother, an Indian gentleman came up to me and said he is your spiritual Master. He looked at me and asked me to write you a letter and tell you not to worry.”
She showed me the letter when she came to the Centre. Can you believe it? Where is New York and where is Viet Nam? For eight or nine months I used to lean against that particular tree and pray before I went to work. And God did listen to my prayers. Her son came back from Viet Nam perfectly all right.
One day Durga invited me to her apartment to meet her son. I went with X. This boy did not care for spirituality, so he stayed upstairs. She was begging him to come down, but he did not want to. Finally, he condescended to come down.
As soon as he saw me, he was so startled because he recognised that I was the Indian man he had seen in Viet Nam. I also looked at him for two or three minutes. Then I said, “Ah, you are German. I can see you are German.” Suddenly he grabbed my hand and took me upstairs to his room. His room was flooded with German souvenirs and pictures of great German leaders. In his last incarnation he had been German.
Unfortunately, these experiences never change anybody’s nature. Nature changes only through prayer and meditation. Some years later I heard that this same young man was in jail in California for beating up his girlfriend.