Ananda members talk, March & April, 1996: Part 16

A Great Spiritual Hero

March 20, 296 Dwapara [1996].

Dear Everybody,

I went out for a walk this afternoon after work. I stopped by the platform at Brindaban to energize and meditate. I was having difficulty clearing away thoughts about a letter I would like to write my Ananda family. While walking home my mind was still both composing a letter and busily wondering whether or not I should add to the ever-expanding “war of the mailboxes.” (After all, I don’t like wasting trees either!) Still praying for guidance and enjoying my walk through the first-day-of-spring twilight, who should I bump into but Swamiji out for a walk with Alan, Dave, and Maria. He asked me to join their stroll, at the close of which, he invited us inside to read his recently composed letter to all of us. When I finished reading the letter, he asked me what I thought about it. I gave my comments and then said: “When I met you out on the road earlier this evening, I was really wondering whether or not to write a letter of my own. I got eight of them today in my mailbox! Isn’t it getting a little excessive? But I do have some things I’d like to say.” Swamiji replied that it is a good thing now to show support and say what you feel. Yea! So like it or not, my family, here it is — I’ll try to be as brief as I can in the hope of saving trees and your time.

Without Swamiji and Ananda, I would be a dead person spiritually. I was a lesson-taking member of SRF for three years before I ever even heard of Ananda. A few weeks after arriving, I literally kissed the ground, I was so grateful to be here. I had been absolutely starved for the kind of spiritual satsang that Ananda gave me and the quality of spiritual teaching that I heard from Swamiji. And it has only gotten better and better for me over these many years — thank you, Divine Mother!

I don’t care what Swamiji has or has not done. Bring on the sex, lies, and videotapes—I really don’t care! Any sin Swamiji has committed, I could easily match and top it in spades. (Should we all start confessing our sins in public? I really don’t want to, if you don’t mind — I had enough of that being raised a Southern Baptist.) But even if I were as pure as the driven snow, I would still love and support Swamiji with all my heart, as he has loved and supported me for the 21 years I have known him.

If by any chance Swamiji should either be driven from or choose to leave Ananda, I, for one, would fall to my knees before him and beg to be taken along. And I know that most of you would be right there beside me. And I also know that Swamiji knows this and will most likely not leave, not because it would be easier to stay—how much easier it would be to retire from all this mess! God knows how he puts up with all of us! It is because he is a great spiritual hero. I consider it to be among the greatest blessings of my life to be counted as his friend and student.

In closing, let me say how much I love you all, supporters, detractors, and everyone in between. I’m glad for the letters that are coming and I encourage more, as Swamiji encouraged me today to write what I felt—trees or no trees. War is never fun and civil war is the hardest. But this dream of life will go on to its conclusion no matter what; and right now, in this particular dream, I choose to re-affirm that all I have, am. and ever hope to be, belongs, in service and in love, to Master, Swamiji, and Ananda. Let’s hear how you feel now! Time to stand up and be counted, folks!

I am forever your friend in God, and if I can ever help you in any way, just call on me, and I’ll give it my best.

In Master’s love and divine friendship always,

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