I rushed down to the luggage belt, waiting for my suitcase. All passengers had their luggage already, and my suitcase was the very last one. As I grabbed it and wanted to rush to the exit, two young fellows stopped me - one being from Germany and one from England. And one of them asked me: "Excuse me, are you traveling with some Euros?" I thought it was a rather odd question, and I confirmed that I was. Then the other chap said: "Could you have a look whether you are missing something?" I thought this to be even a more weird question, and reluctantly I opened my money belt, to discover that indeed I had lost a large amount of money - a thousand Euros!
When realizing this fact, my brain almost stopped working, and I couldn't even think straight. I was simply so shocked, how it had been possible that I lost so much money. I often travel with large amounts of money, and it had never happened to me before that I lost some money! I was always so careful, keeping it in a money belt around my waist, sometimes even underneath my clothes.
The two fellows could perceive my perplexed mind, and looking with great anticipation at me, they asked: "So, how much.....?" I could barely even answer the question, stuttering: "Uh, uh, uh - five hundred! No, a thousand....!" I hardly could pronounce the words...!
Then they handed me back those two folded 500-Euro-notes and exclaimed: "OK, we believe it's yours!" And the young Englishman said: "It is simply too much money to put it into our own pockets! We simply couldn't do it!" And the other fellow added: "To lose a thousand Euros would really spoil your whole trip to Nepal, wouldn't it?!" I could only agree, still in disbelieve what I was encountering here.
The two fellows had been in the queue behind me, and we had engaged in a brief exchange: I overheard their discussion whether or not one needs a passport photo to get the visa. And while waiting in line I thought: "Let me help these two fellows". So I turned around and informed them, that a passport photo was indeed required, and if they didn't have one, they could obtain it in a machine in the corner of the arrival hall. So they went off to get their photo done, and came back to their spot behind me.
One of the fellows further shared: "We found this money on the ground, and we didn't know what to do! We didn't simply want to call out: 'Anybody lost a thousand Euros?! Come and pick it up!'" And the other fellow added: "And we were simply hoping that it might be yours!"
Needless to say, I was flabbergasted! And I could perceive Krishna's presence four-fold. First of all, if my suitcase had come a few minutes earlier, I would have been out the door, and those fellows would not have met me any longer. The fact, that they stated how it was simply too much money to put into their own pockets was obviously Paramatma instructing them from within. The fact that they were hoping it was my laxmi was once again supersoul guiding them from within their heart. And above all, the money was meant to sponsor the first Holy Name Retreat in Kathmandu! Nepal is a poor country, and I knew I had to contribute financially in order for the devotees to be able to participate. We had to rent a conference center for around one hundred devotees, which was not so cheap.
While sitting on the plane and looking out the window onto the Himalaya Mountains, some little doubt had entered my mind, and I was pondering whether it was really worthwhile to spend so much money on a three-day program. Or maybe there were better ways of spending money in Krishna's service? This little doubt had been on my mind. One may say that it was a sign that I had not fully realized "Harer-namaiva kevalam - The holy name alone is everything". Otherwise such doubts would not have entered my mind. And I felt Krishna had answered this doubt in the most sublime manner - making me lose the laxmi which was meant to sponsor the retreat, and then in a mysterious way giving it back to me. It was almost as if Krishna was saying: "No matter how carefully you are trying to hide your money, I can arrange that it will be taken away from you! And since you are using it for propagating the pure chanting of the holy name, I can mysteriously return it." And Paramatma in the two fellows' hearts had made them return it, rather than putting it into their pockets....
Krishna had answered my doubts most perfectly!
It took me the rest of the day to digest Krishna's unusual dealings, marveling at His extraordinary ways of joking with me.....
Your servant, Devaki dd