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A Gift from Ma
January 9th, 2014

I moved to Ananda Village without the necessary funds to pay for the membership training programs that are a prerequisite for living here. I had already spent much time working and saving and I just couldn’t wait any longer.

I felt I was following God’s will in this, so I said to Him, “I’ve done my best. You’ll just have to figure it out.”

I made it through the Karma Yoga Program, which is essentially room and board in exchange for service. Then through Experience Ananda, to explore the community and get a feel for how things worked.

The final course is called Living Discipleship. I was down to $50 and the cost was $1600.

I had spent every spare hour doing outside jobs, but there weren’t enough spare hours to count for very much.

“Master, you are going to have to figure this out,” I prayed.  “I’ve done everything I can do.”

I was working in the goat dairy at this point and happened to mention to the devotee who runs it, what I was up against. A few days later during our lunch, she announced, “I think I know how we can help you.” Virani is a dear person, with a loving heart, and I knew she meant well…but when she described her plan, it was far from pleasing.

“If you can reduce your expenses to nothing,” Virani explained, “then you can quickly save up the $1600.” Her solution was for me to work seven days a week in the goat dairy and live in the milk house.

goats with kalidas hansen

Feeding the yogoata herd

The milk house is a small, cement floored shed with an upper loft. It is 10 feet by 10, with a refrigerator and sink for processing the milk. The loft is where I would live. There was no bathroom and no heater. Ananda Village gets pretty cold in the winter. I could add a space heater, but it would still be rugged.

I had prayed to Master and this was what he brought me. So I accepted, but my heart was deeply disturbed at the thought of living there.

After our lunch meeting, it was my turn to vacuum the temple at the Expanding Light Retreat. As I pushed the vacuum listlessly around the room I never took my eyes off the photos of the masters on the altar. I desperately inquired, “Is this really my next step?!”

The absolute dedication and devotion to God that I saw reflected in their eyes conveyed to me that if I wanted to live at Ananda Village I had to rise joyfully to meet whatever challenges came along, including this one. As Yogananda says, “Living for God is martyrdom!”

I dropped the vacuum and knelt before the altar. With all my willpower I said, “Master, I will do anything for you!” As I said those words, the tension vanished. I felt free and happy.

I finished vacuuming and walked out of the Temple with a completely new attitude. I was going to live in the milk house! I was actually looking forward to it now!

Then I noticed that Lisa, the woman in charge of the Living Discipleship program, was standing a few yards away apparently waiting for me.

“I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said slowly, hiding a smile. “But there has been an anonymous donation made for you that covers full cost of the program.”

I remember being in a state of shock that literally altered my consciousness.

I was walking in a daze down a hallway when I reflected on the events of the last hour. From now on, I vowed inwardly, my mantra will be, “Master, I will do anything for you.”

I never found out who gave the donation. To me it was a gift directly from Divine Mother.

My question to this day is, “If I had not changed my attitude, would Lisa still have been waiting there with that wonderful news?”

Of course we all know that God brings us challenges in order to help us grow…and when that growth has really taken place, the need for that challenge is no longer there and so it quickly dissipates. But really, how does Divine Mother plan things like this?! If I had kept an attitude of self-pity and coldly rejected what life was giving me, would that donation have vanished into the ether?

I tell ya, there’s something very suspicious going on here!

Kalidas and Melody

Kalidas and Melody

 

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10 Responses

  1. Virani says:

    It is funny how things are remembered, says Virani who is writing this with a smile on her face. In the beginning days of Ananda, teepees, trailers, and a renovated chicken coop were some of the housing options. No sacrifice was too small to have the joy of living at Ananda and being part of Master’s vision of a self-sustaining community. To have a 10 by 10 room with a sleeping loft, electricity, hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, phone service, a space heater, a beautiful view of the pond, and shower/bathroom facilities a few minutes away would have been considered the lap of luxury. And now we have even better things to offer!

    I don’t remember the working 7 days a week part (it’s what I do as a volunteer but at that time Yogoata couldn’t afford to pay someone for that many hours) but I can honestly say that working these hours for Master’s goat dairy has been the biggest blessing of my life. As we got to know each other better, I could see we had a different approach to work, and that the market was a much better choice for you at that time.

    Kalidas, God and Master obviously knew what was best for you. I remember the joy we felt when we found out about the donation. I hope that person who gave the donation reads your blog so that they can know they were playing the part of Divine Mother. I am sure they feel glad that their gift was the start of you living here, which has been a blessing for our community. You are a dear and beautiful soul, and now a father to be- what joy!

    Love, light and blessings, Virani

  2. Dambara says:

    Love it, Kalidas, thanks! Jai Divine Mother! :)

  3. Luba Grenader says:

    Dear Kalidas,

    Thank you so much for your post. As I just finished a similar prayer and a plea to Master to yours, although in different circumstances, I found your post in my email box at this moment. It gave me much calm and assurance. I am changing my previous mantra now to yours: “Master, I will do anything for You”. Thank you.

  4. karen says:

    great story, good for you :-)

  5. Kailash says:

    That was very inspiring!

  6. Nancy Phillips says:

    Thank you, Kalidas, for that reminder of how we should approach whatever God sends our way!

  7. Supriya says:

    Kalidas, thank you SO much for sharing this incredible story! I too, along with many others, I am sure, have experienced similar hardships and have asked the same questions, gone through the same struggles externally and internally.
    I myself find my situation changing frequently, but have also come to understand it is for the best, and that I am in challenging situations in order to learn some important lesson or lessons.
    AND! also, that Divine Mother and Guru really do hear our deepest, most heart-felt prayers.
    Though my story was not anywhere near as dire as yours, it is still an amazing one:
    I have an estranged relationship with my brother, which makes me very sad. He regards me as his “mystic crank” of a sister! if ever we talk, it is only because I call him (and happen to find him home!) He wil never return phone messages, never take the initiative to call me.
    On my birthday two summers ago, which also happened to land on the same day as Gurupurnima, I prayed to Divine Mother: “I have a birthday wish for only one thing: to hear from my brother!” I knew that it was an absurd request… both because my brother never called me, AND because he didn’t believe in acknowledging OR celebrating birthdays! Still… I wanted this very badly, for reasons which I cannot even really explain, and prayed about it all day long. Then, at end of day, I attended a very blessed, very beautiful kirtan in honor of Gurupurnima at our beloved Meditation Retreat.
    After the kirtan and climbinb bald mountain (still chanting!) in the gorgeous, full-moon light, I got back to my room in the Happiness lodge (and happy I indeed was!), picked up my cell phone, and dialed in to check my messages.
    You know what is coming: THERE WAS A MESSAGE FROM MY BROTHER WISHING ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I wept. I got chills. Both happen even now, when I think about it…because the impossible had happened, and I knew, beyond all doubt, that only Divine Mother could have made it so. Even more eery…he had called at the exact moment that the kirtan had begun in the Temple! WOW! It truly made me a believer in this beneficent power greater than our little selves… and that power inhabits–and thus can influence the actions–of all creatures here on earth (and beyond, of course!) It is truly an amazing experience to have, yes?
    AND…it is also easy for the mind to forget, to doubt, to minimize these experiences…. so it is always great to have reminders, such as yours, on a regular basis, to strenghten our faith and deepen our understanding.
    Many blessings…. Supriya

  8. Saiganesh says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful story!

  9. Grandmamaji says:

    This is a touching story Kalidas. It reminds me of the need to daily ask God for a teachable spirit. There is much we all still need to learn, When you dropped to your knees with a spirit of total surrender & submissive obedience, your miracle appeared. You are lucky it happened so fast. Often we usually have to wait for answers so our faith will build trust in God. That loft in the winter sure would have been tough! God is GOOD!