For over two centuries, British ruled India. For over two centuries, British never accepted the Indian tradition. For Indians, they were always the outsiders.
The rulers, instead, built churches and converted many Indians into Christianity. There are few exceptions. One such exception is the story of a British couple who found Baijnath temple in Agar Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and renovated it around 1883. Municipal Body of Agar Malwa attests the authenticity of this story. But the question is, why would a British couple who had no affiliation with Hinduism spend tons of money to renovate the temple?
During the time of British India in 1879, Lieutenant Colonel C Marten was posted in the Agar Malwa area and was fighting against Afghans. Lt Col Martin was then sent to the frontier. He and his wife contacted each other through letters. Even when he had gone to the frontier, he kept sending messages to his wife saying that he was still alive.
After few months, the letters stopped. The battle had gotten intense as the Afghan soldiers were giving the British hard time, and also, the Afghani terrain was never in the favour of the British. Martin’s wife started worrying about him.
Martin’s wife had no ways to communicate with her husband, and that kept worrying her. It started to affect her health. One day, she was riding her horse when she passed by the Baijnath Mahadev temple. There were mantras chanting inside the temple, and she got attracted to it. So, she went it. She saw some Brahmans there, and to them, she communicated all her problems. They told her that Lord Shiva listens to prayers of his devotees and can take people out of difficult situations. She was advised to chant Langhurudri Anustthan of the mandra: “Om Namah Shivaya” for 11 days.
She prayed and prayed that if her husband returns home safely, then she would renovate the temple.
After praying for 11 days, she received a letter from her husband exactly on the 11th day telling her that British had won the war and that he was safe and sound.
There was another tale to that story, however.
In the letter, Lt Col Martin speaks of how a Yogi saved him. He was captured by Afghan soldiers and he felt certain that he was going to die. Right in that moment, he says that a Yogi wearing lion skin with a trident in his hand arrived to the place and disrupted the Afghan soldier. Afghans were forced to draw back and this ensured the British victory over the war, which was looking certain to rather have been a defeat.
He also wrote that the Yogi said he came there to save him because the Yogi was moved by the devotion and prayers of his wife. There is a scripture in the temple that explains this entire story.
Lady Martin was said to have fallen beneath the symbol of Lord Shiva and burst into tears when she read the letter. As promised, the couple donated Rs. 15,000 and got the entire temple to be renovated. They became devotees of Lord Shiva afterward, even when they returned back to their homeland. It might seem that Rs.15,000 might not be much in the present world, but consider the world in 1883, that Rs.15,000 would value to millions of rupees.