Asha Praver's Monthly Letter
May 2006

Dear Friends,Asha Praver photo

In 1987, when David and I moved to Palo Alto, at Swamiji’s request, to take responsibility for the community here, the word “Ananda” meant Ananda Village. Even though we had Ananda centers in several cities, and group houses in each of them, the definition of Ananda was still that one rural community.

In fact, the various other Ananda centers were seen mostly as “feeders” for the Village. It was almost assumed that if you were serious about the path, you had to move to the Village.

David and I, among others, felt there must be devotees of Master whose destiny it was to form, serve, and live their spiritual lives in other communities. Otherwise, Master’s work would never grow. And that seemed a most unlikely outcome.

Now, almost twenty years later, the whole discussion is moot. Ananda is a worldwide movement. Many deeply dedicated Ananda devotees have never lived at the Village. In Europe and India, many have never even visited. Master’s ray and Swamiji’s guiding influence are not limited by geography, or, for that matter, by time and space.

Now, in a certain way, the same discussion is happening in regard to Swamiji. In other words, it is a new time. Conditions are changing again. Swamiji may visit America again after this year, but no one can say for certain. He celebrates his 80th birthday in May. No one can say for certain even how long he will be on the planet.

Just as there were many souls who were destined to give their lives to Master through Ananda, but not destined to live at the Village, so, I believe, many souls will be touched by Swamiji’s consciousness, but their way of receiving that consciousness in the present and in the future will be different than it was in the past.

Already I have seen how it has worked for so many of you. Swamiji’s books, music, his recorded talks, and even getting to know him through those of us who have had more years in his company, have opened inner doorways that lead to receptivity and attunement.

On the altar at the Mandir we have a cherished fragment of Master’s hair and his robe that we keep with the healing prayer book. In times of need, devotees hold that framed relic and through it, the power of Master flows into them.

If mere inanimate objects can hold and communicate the vibrations of Master, think how much more power Master can channel through a living instrument, especially one like Swamiji, who has dedicated his entire life to serving in just this way.

It is not a question of “getting to know Swamiji” in terms of personal interaction. Although, even in the largest crowd, there are times when one suddenly finds he is standing next to you speaking like an old friend. Mostly, though, now it is getting to know him inwardly.

Naturally, being in his presence is a priceless opportunity to be in the vibration of the one he serves—Master.

Life is short, spiritual opportunities like this are rare. We encourage you to make the effort to be in his company as often as you can during his visit to America.

You can keep abreast of Swamiji’s schedule by calling the Sangha or checking out the calendar on the website at www.ananda.org.

Joy to you,
David & Asha