´See, God does listen to my prayers´

This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »


In 2001 we were in Brasilia, in Brazil. Usually when we go to a place, we research it. We try to go to different restaurants, thinking about what Guru would like. It’s not a place, like in Asia, where you will find Indian food everywhere. Guru loves his Indian food, and we all do. But there in Brasilia, we did not seem to find any.

One day Guru wanted to have Indian food in a restaurant. I remember I kept saying, “Guru, there is no Indian food here.”

He said. "There is! There is Indian food." He wanted to prove a point.

Earlier in the day this story takes place, Brazil was declared the first Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom Nation in South America. Sri Chinmoy is seated in the middle with Olympic 800m silver medallist Joachim Cruz; Saraswati is at the far left

We were one hour looking. I would run in to each restaurant and ask: “Do you make Indian food?” “No.” “Do you make Indian food?” “No.”

Earlier that day, Sri Chinmoy also launched the Peace Run in Brazil; here he is holding the torch with Joachim Cruz

Alo Devi was getting tired. She said, “Devaji, we could go back to the hotel and the Annam Brahma girls could make you Indian food.”

Guru said, “No. There is a restaurant that has Indian food.”

After an hour or so, maybe an hour and 15 minutes, we went into a place, and I said, “Do you have Indian food? Do you make Indian food?” They said, “Yes, we do. What do you want? We can make you curry vegetables.”

So we went in—Guru, Alo Devi, Savyasachi and myself. We sit down and we were eating. Guru was eating his Indian food—very spicy, very delicious. They made it extremely well. Guru looked at me and said, “You see, you see. I said there is a place that has Indian food!”

So never, never doubt if your Master tells you something. Definitely believe it, because that is the case. We mentally think: “No, this is not that way, because we’re all in our minds. Only the Master knows best. So there was definitely a restaurant that had Indian food.”

Sri Chinmoy related the story to a disciple that evening:

Today I wanted to eat Indian food. Saraswati said that she had already made inquiries, and there is no Indian food available here in Brasilia. I said that there has to be Indian food. If I want to eat it, there will be Indian food. More than two hours we spent looking for it.

...Savyasachi was driving. Poor fellow, he is an excellent, super-excellent driver. Otherwise, somebody else would have done me a great favour and given up. Finally Alo and Saraswati got out of the car and with a little bit of Spanish, Saraswati asked one man. The man said to her in Portuguese, “You should go to see the president of all the restaurants.” He pointed to one restaurant and said, “The owner of that restaurant is the president of the restaurant owners’ association. If you go there, he will be able to tell you whether there is an Indian restaurant here or not.” He said that a few years ago he had eaten in an Indian restaurant, but he did not remember where it was.

We went into the restaurant. It was a huge restaurant and the noise was unbearable. Saraswati spoke to the president. The president said, “This is not an Indian restaurant, but we have an excellent cook. He can easily make Indian food.”

I said, “See, God does listen to my prayers.” Of course, it is human nature to doubt, but again, a challenge is a challenge...

Never give up! It was not an Indian restaurant, but the man was sincere. His cook made the food, and it was really, really delicious. They were so polite.

Sri Chinmoy