One of Sri Chinmoy’s students, an Indian man named Mitra, was shot in the chest in a parking lot in Queens. His wife immediately sent a message to Sri Chinmoy, who asked one of the Centre doctors and myself, as a nurse, to go right away to the hospital. Sri Chinmoy himself came very quickly, but the doctors would not let him into the emergency room. We told them that Sri Chinmoy was the family priest, but they said that the case was not very serious, that the patient’s condition was stable and that he did not need a priest.
The family was about to leave the hospital for a while, but Sri Chinmoy told them most urgently, “Don’t leave — stay here and pray and meditate. His case is very serious. He is dying!” At that point I saw that Mitra’s blood pressure was dropping rapidly, his pulse was weak and thready, and his colour was ashen white. We alerted the doctors, who then saw his condition was critical. He was given volumes of blood and electrolyte solution intravenously to replace lost blood and increase blood pressure.
Because of the position of the bullet near his heart and his deteriorating condition, the doctors were not hopeful. A team of three surgeons operated for four hours. The chief surgeon was surprised that Mitra survived the surgery, but remained very guarded in his prognosis. They had stopped the bleeding and tried to repair the damage to the tissue, but the bullet could not be removed. We all felt Sri Chinmoy’s meditation-power constantly at the hospital and around Mitra and his family. Sri Chinmoy asked me to stay there twenty-four hours a day, and to call him every hour with an update. The family also kept a vigil day and night in the hospital chapel.
In the surgical intensive care unit, Mitra quickly improved, but he was unable to talk because of the endotracheal tube in his throat. With two chest tubes, four IV lines and catheters, he could not move, either.A few days later, when he was taken for an x-ray, Mitra suffered a cardiac arrest. Sri Chinmoy was contacted immediately. He later told us that he had meditated most powerfully and three times he had literally forced the soul back into the body. He explained that he had done so for the sake of Mitra’s children. The soul wanted to leave because the body was so shattered. But the children were still young and needed their father.
The crisis was averted, Mitra steadily improved to the great surprise of his surgical team, and after three weeks he was ready to leave the intensive care unit. It was remarkable that his body could withstand the assault of this massive surgical intervention.
However, Sri Chinmoy kept saying that Mitra was still in danger. Sure enough, on the day he was discharged from the ICU, his pulse shot up to 140. On examination, one doctor discovered a large, bulging aortic aneurysm. The bullet had created a weakness in the wall of the aorta, the major blood vessel coming out of the heart, and now the weakened area was ready to rupture. The doctor faced this life-threatening complication with great sadness. He called in a vascular surgeon, who said he would have to operate within six to eight hours. The surgeon was an Indian man who had heard of Sri Chinmoy, and he kept a photograph of Sri Chinmoy in a high meditative state in his pocket during the surgery. Again, the surgery was successful.
When Mitra was able to talk, he kept repeating over and over, “Guruji, Guruji.” He had one hundred percent faith that Sri Chinmoy would save him: he said he knew he would survive when he “saw Guru in the operating room.” He told us that during his month-long ordeal he had been talking to Sri Chinmoy inwardly and often saw Sri Chinmoy’s form coming out of his photograph. In this way, Sri Chinmoy would talk to him, sing to him, stroke his forehead and so forth. When we told Sri Chinmoy this, he said it was absolutely true; that he had often appeared to Mitra in his subtle form.