I am Dr. Vijaya Bhatia, a Hindu associated with the Focolare Movement since 1988. Being in contact with Chiara Lubich I could understand my religion better. That has really made me more generous in sharing my thoughts, my material things, my life and whatever I have but to my surprise whenever I give something it comes back to me in a hundredfold. I have experienced this many times. Once I thought of helping somebody by giving her two of my new dresses and to my surprise the next day I got three dresses from my relatives.
In 2005 my house was submerged in water because of the heavy rains. After I came back, I did not know what to do because I did not have enough money to buy a new house. A few stations away even my cousin’s house was submerged only for a few hours and the damage was not so much. I thought to myself I cannot do anything for my house but at least I can help her. So I rang up a few of my relatives telling them that I would contribute to help my cousin: we collected Rs.50,000. She could not believe her eyes… To my surprise after a few days I got double the amount of money from some unknown source for my house!
One night during the winter season I was cozy in my bed ready to go to sleep when I realized that there were many daily wage workers who do up the road sleeping out in the cold. I could no longer get sleep. I thought of the golden rule: ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. The next day I went to buy blankets for these people. I chose to buy the soft good ones instead of the hard cheap ones. Then I saw that there were many babies and small children among these people. I went to the nearby shop from where they bought things and I asked the shop keeper whether they bought any milk. The owner told me that they did but only for the very little ones and not for the older children and even the adults had tea without milk. I gave the shop owner money so that he could give all these people the milk that they needed and it has been over 3 years that I continue to do this.
One day a patient came to me. She was a Hindu lady suffering from depression, with high blood pressure, sleeplessness, swelling of the body, obesity, etc. Going through her detailed story I understood that all her problems started the day her daughter married a Muslim boy. Since then she started rejecting her daughter. I could understand the suffering of this lady. When I was a child we suffered the partition of India and Pakistan. I was born in Lahore and with the partition we lost everything. We had to leave our home and come to India…however we cannot go on with the hate in our heart that we experienced in the past.
Therefore I explained to this lady that since she had sown the seed of hatred in her soul, the result was a tree of hatred which was the root cause of all her problems. She had to forgive and sow the seed of love in her heart if she truly wanted to be cured. I thought she had understood and gave her some medicine. When she came back she was still with all her problems and I understood that she had done nothing about it. I understood that I had to do her part. So I took the phone, made her speak to her daughter and invite her and her husband to her place for dinner the same evening. After two months, as the relationship with her daughter and with her son-in-law got better her health improved too. One day I had the great joy to see them altogether in my clinic: it was like seeing a living piece in the mosaic of ‘universal brotherhood’.
Witness told during the 4th Symposium Hindu-Christian, Mumbai – 10/14 December 2011