parvati_and_pranabaShortly after Pranaba and Parvati married in 1986, Swamiji asked them to organize a center in Seattle. They were joined by Krishnadas and Uma, along
with Asha and David to help them get started. In 1984 and 1985, Asha and David Praver had done several tours in the area and had made many friends, resulting in a core group of interested devotees. This group was very active and had already rented an ashram house for them. Some of the members were: Susan Maginnis, Mangala Loper Powers, Julie Morgan, Karen Sherman, Mel Bartoo

During this time at Ananda Village in Nevada City there was much building going on. Our Master Plan had been approved and we were rebuilding after the fire. Divine Mother (and Swamiji) seemed to have a plan to help keep us from becoming too attached to our new homes. It often happened that just as we were finishing one of our homes, the residents of that house would be invited to go out to one of our new centers. This happened often enough that it became a joke. (Later we restructured the housing process so that residents could join a housing pool, entitling them to housing on their return to the Village).

Uma: “I loved it because we had been in our new house at Ayodhya for one year, and in the classic tradition we were being asked to give it up to go somewhere else. We had also sold our car so we were quite the renunciates. But, Divine Mother takes care of her devotees, and the core group there had rented us a very nice house in the uma_1986-420x420Ravenna area, so we were well set up for housing. Then, in just a couple of months not one, but two cars had been given to us by generous center members. We began giving our classes and our very first Sunday service in the Greenlake area.

By October 1986 the fledging center had rented space in a strip mall on Aurora Street and gave their first Meditation I series to 30 students and Sunday services to 40 and 50”.

Parvati :“We were surprised at the number of people who came to our programs, but it was as if Master was saying, ‘Don’t worry, this is going to work!’”.

Aurora Street, where the first center was located, is a very busy street. In addition to their classes they held Kriya initiations.

Krishnadas: “One evening we had a lovely and inspiring Kriya Initiation. At the close, when we backed out of the small temple singing “Roses”, there was no where else to go but into the parking lot. As we faced the building we saw beautiful lights being reflected on the pane glass windows of the building, like astral lights blessing the occasion. When I glanced back, it was to a police raid on the motel units next door! Still inspired from the Initiation, everyone was enjoying the lights and oblivious to the situation. We all did best to keep the uplifting vibrations we had received as we returned to the world of Maya”.


Chapter 11: The Festival of Light