Once upon a time, there was a beginner yogi aspiring to renounce the world. He wanted to be a hermit and live in the forest nearby. One day he took a few essentials and went into the forest. It was an entire day’s walk. Practicing japa, the journey turned out to be a very enjoyable one. He reached the thickest part of the jungle, where humanity had not yet entered.
There he found a cave where he started to meditate. His supplies would last him a few weeks, and he did not worry about the future. He had come away from his Guru’s ashram of intense activity to focus single mindedly on meditation.
He prayed to God deeply to bless his efforts though he knew he had ignored the suggestions of his wise seniors at the ashram. They had asked him to wait for the right time, when with maturity, his endeavors would come to fruition in the best possible way.
During the time he spent there, he noticed a very interesting phenomenon. A limping wolf stayed a little further from him. This limping wolf was not capable of hunting. He was curious about how the wolf survived. One day he witnessed a rather strange incident. A tiger brought a piece of meat and dropped it near the wolf’s den. The wolf gratefully accepted this gift and had his share and kept the remaining food for the next few days. This became a recurrent incident. He couldn’t believe his eyes.
So this beginner yogi thought, Aha! If God takes care of even the limping wolf, he would surely take care of me after my supplies are over. So he kept praying to God for a similar miracle to happen. He expected that food would come his way. He decided to just sit and focus on his breath. Days passed but things weren’t going as planned. Finally starving almost to death, he made his way back to his Guru’s ashram.
Once he got back to his routine of seva and meditation, this question kept haunting him, what did I do wrong? One day as he was serving his Guru, a thought popped up: “You were thinking of yourself as a limping wolf. Maybe God wanted you to be like the tiger who was ready to share his treasure with others.”
Now this thought awakened in him a deep desire to not only find God but also to share Him with others. He was resolved to act like the tiger who was happy to share his prize. In one of his meditations this desire to share took form. He felt inspired to build a seclusion retreat for others in the jungle so that they too could enjoy the bliss of deep inner communion in the sacred grove.
He discussed this longing with his Guru and with the intune seniors at the ashram. They were happy to see this change in him. The Guru gave him his blessings as he proceeded to build a place of seclusion for other truth seekers. Finally, he was tasting the bliss of God by sharing this blessed experience with others. The spirit of joy and harmony was manifest in all those who served and visited this seclusion retreat.
I have realized the importance of giving and see the same truth in action in Ananda everywhere. Even in dire need, giving to others attracts what we need. Swami Kriyananda did the same during the financial crisis of litigation. He printed out his book ‘Do it Now!’ and sent free copies to devotees. I really hope that this story and Swamiji’s example inspire us to keep giving even during challenging times.
I would take this opportunity to also share our deepest gratitude from the monastery for all your prayers, blessings and support. As you know, Ananda India Monastery has purchased a 4.5 acre plot in Boonga, Haryana, close to Chandigarh in June 2021. (Chandigarh is a few hours north of Delhi.) We are building the monastery as Swamiji envisioned – creating an uplifting environment to support monks in their deep communion with God, along with their joy-filled and intense Seva.
The Gurukripa Hermitage Monastery blessing was held on February 26, 2022 with Nayaswamis Jaya and Dhyana. Rain showers blessed us at the beginning of the event and, in a short while, the skies cleared for us to have a very special blessing ceremony! We performed a strolling kirtan where we showered rose petals and blessed the land with the holy water from the Ganges, River Jordan, and the Sea of Galilee.
Let us continue to give ourselves completely to God in seva and meditation. We are grateful to all souls who have shown this by their willing and joyful living examples. Aum Guru!