Once someone approached master yogi Yogananda to ask: “Given how infinitely vast the universe is, it is surely foolish to think God, the infinite creator of this vast universe, would listen to one single person’s prayers!” Master replied: “Your conception of infinity is too finite! Although the Lord is infinitely vast, He is also infinitesimally small.”
After a period of Karma Yoga program at the Expanding Light Retreat, here at Ananda Village (where we basically helped keeping the retreat clean and guests happy), I started taking on some responsibilities beyond the retreat, and in various departments within the whole village. Partly I was put in the Communications department to do some software work. It was there were my challenges started.
Having now returned to my natural habitat, the laptop (I’m a programmer), I started going back to some of my past tendencies, like getting intensely lost in front of the laptop and inside my mind. The joyful full presence in the moment that had stayed with me throughout the Karma Yoga program, was now visiting me only from time to time. And so I prayed, out of desperation, to rise above the challenge.
I didn’t rise too well. It continued to be a problem.
Meanwhile, something happened, that only later I realized was an answer to my prayer. Out of the blue, one morning, though I am not a juice enthusiast, nor had I ever done juicing, a thought was dropped in my mind to start a juice bar at the Master’s Market, the grocery store in Ananda Village. The idea came with a name too! “Swami’s Fresh Juice Bar.”
Though many souls came and expressed their gladness in having a juice bar in the village, I was still confused how and why all this happened.
And one day, as I was busy cutting celery and beets into pieces, I was reminded why. I remembered that I had told Divine Mother that I forget to love Her in front of a laptop all day. And that’s why She did this for me. The main purpose of this business was for myself; it was to bring a balance in my work so I can work with my hands, but not on a keyboard!
Fast-forward a few weeks, when my initial enthusiasm of starting this business had lowered, and I started to notice the tall financial challenges of keeping it going. While I payed out of my saving money to buy equipment and produce, I also had to start paying my friends who could operate it while I was away at my other jobs. In the Village where pretty much everybody lives on minimum wage salaries, I couldn’t count on many people affording to buy juices often. Not to mention that we are a village of 200 people living in the foothills far from “civilization!”
I knew I was not doing this for money, but I also wanted it to be able to at least sustain itself, to be able to keep serving the community.
So I surrendered it all to Divine Mother and my guru, which means I convinced myself if it is their will for this to be closed down today, I would end it happily. I reminded myself that, in the grand scheme of things, this is so insignificant and inconsequential, even to spend much time thinking about.
But you know, “The Infinite Divine Mother is also infinitesimal.” Even on small mundane matters, if it is Her will, which is always for the best of our higher Self, She is keenly and actively taking care of things for us.
A few days ago, just as I was feeling discouraged, I came to the market to see an anonymous devotee had prepaid for 100 juices (that’s $500) as a gift for our monks at the monastery here at the Village!
Now this kind of thing is so clearly divine and unworldly; it can never come out of any decision committee, board of directors, assembly of experts, or super intelligent minds. Because unlike worldly things, it has no balancing negative polarity to it. It is pure positive energy, pure blessing.
It is a blessing to the bestower of the gift, having done such a kind thing for the monks, such high souls. It is a blessing to the monks, to allow the person the good karma and also to enjoy healthy juices without having to stress their modest budgets. It is a tremendous blessing to me to be able to serve 100 times one of my monk friends. It is a blessing to the the community to help the juice bar sustain itself for a bit longer.
To quote Dan Millman, from his book “Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior”: “God always answers our prayers. It’s just that the answer is sometimes ‘No!'” And I would say the answer is sometimes “No” or “Wait”.
Sister Gyanamata, Yogananda’s great disciple once told him in a letter something along the lines of: “As far as I’m concerned, sir, you are only here for me!” By that comment she is reminding us never to think Infinite Divine Mother is unaware or unconcerned about what is happening with us individually. She is concerned way beyond what we can ever understand.
Here at Ananda Village, we strive to live only for the Guru’s will. And so we are ever taken care of.