Aloha! We’re currently relaxing on Kauai, one of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, on a two-week vacation that was gifted to us by many friends from Ananda. One hears “Aloha” everywhere here, because it’s a word with multiple meanings: “hello,” “good-bye,” “love,” “compassion,” and “welcome.”
It’s considered one of the most sacred and powerful of all Hawaiian words, having the literal meaning “together in the breath of God.” This greeting is reminiscent of the common Indian one, “Namaste,” which means, “My soul bows to your soul.”
We had a wonderful experience of God’s constant protection after landing in the airport in Kauai. Assuming that we could easily rent a car after arriving, we’d neglected to reserve one in advance. As we waited for the shuttle buses from the different car rental agencies to come pick up passengers, we noticed that everyone but us already had vouchers in their hands.
As the buses pulled up, we asked four successive drivers if they had any cars available for people without reservations. Invariably they replied, “No, everything is already taken.” Starting to feel a little desperate, we put our question once again to the next bus driver who arrived. After putting in a call to his office, he told us there was a chance, and we boarded his bus.
We arrived at their office to a line of about twenty people ahead of us—all with reservations. The thought kept running through our minds, “How will we get to our rental unit across the island without a car?”
After a thirty-minute wait it was finally our turn, and a bright, energetic woman asked our name. Before we could tell her we didn’t have a reservation, she began typing into her computer. She looked up and said, “We don’t have any record of your reservation. Maybe you didn’t complete it properly. How long are you planning to stay?”
“Two weeks,” we answered, a little sheepishly.
She smiled, and in the true “aloha spirit,” replied, “Let’s see what we can do.” After making several phone calls, she looked up, smiled, and announced, “We’ve got a car for you, and I’m going to give it to you at the best possible rate.”
We shook our heads in amazement at the goodness of people, and at God’s ever-watchful eye. The incident reminded us of the time Swami Kriyananda decided at the last minute to go on a vacation to Carmel, California, to celebrate his completion of The Art and Science of Raja Yoga.
It was the height of the tourist season, and having made no hotel reservation, he found only one room available, at a price he wasn’t sure he could afford. As he registered, Swamiji took out his wallet to pay in advance, lest he not have enough money at the end of his stay to cover the cost. The clerk said, “No, don’t pay me. I’ll put you down as a travel agent and give you a free stay.”
I guess God likes to go on vacations sometimes, too. In any case, whether or not He shows Himself so openly, we should remember that His love, which underlies everything, is always with us.
In the spirit of Aloha,