Letters from Ananda members, Part 36

An Example of What I Might Become
Lalita Motyka

I met Swami Kriyananda 17 years ago. I had sent a prayer into the ether that God should guide me where I needed to be and very shortly found myself visiting Ananda Village. I was very skeptical of religious organizations and, also, religious teachers. I had no real experience with spiritual teachers, except what I had read in the papers or heard about, which usually wasn’t very positive.

I have watched Swami Kriyananda all these years. At first, cautiously, then gratefully as an example as to what I, myself, might become. Over the years, I have had many opportunities to spend time with him in a variety of settings. My husband, Stewart, and I went to Italy for our honeymoon and had the great blessing of spending a lot of time with Swamiji and his nephew, who was visiting Swamiji at the time.

In Sacramento, Stewart and I were ministers for 10 years. Swamiji often came and stayed in an apartment that the community had available for him.
I had countless dinners, conversations, and opportunities to see who Swami really is.

Swamiji has been—and continues to be— the greatest example of kindness, divine love, spiritual friendship, and discipleship I could have ever imagined. It has been and is a great blessing to be in his presence and feel my heart and mind uplifted into God’s love. For a devotee, this is an invaluable spiritual opportunity.

Two years ago, I was offered the job of managing the Crystal Hermitage. What is now the Hermitage began as Swami’s private home. At first it was just a single dome structure for his own living quarters. As time passed, his private space became a center for talks, lectures, and other community events. Soon he realized the need to expand his home to accommodate the growing needs of the community. With an inheritance from his parents he created a beautiful and uplifting building and garden which now provides space for group meditations, weddings, meetings, community events, and special occasions for all of Ananda Village. There is also a chapel and a museum/shrine for relics of the master. His own living quarters in all of this is just a small apartment within a much larger structure.

Swamiji built the Crystal Hermitage first by meditating and then receiving inspiration for the numerous and varied aspects that compose the Hermitage.
The home, gardens, beautiful landscaping, majestic mountain views, along with the high vibrations come together to create a place where the community can come for inspiration, upliftment, and satsang. More can be learned about the Crystal Hermitage by reading Swami’s book “The Story of Crystal Hermitage”.

People come from all over the world to visit Ananda and many visit the Crystal Hermitage. Everyone appreciates the beauty, many comment on the wonderful vibrations, many feel blessed just by being there. It can touch people with God and Guru’s presence in a tangible and non-threatening way. Often people visit Ananda just to sit in the gardens, meditate in the Chapel, or visit the Shrine of the Masters at the Crystal Hermitage.

The beauty that has been created through Swamiji’s generosity, is a direct expression of the man who created it. Recently reading Swamiji’s new book, “The Promise of Immortality”, I came across the passage of St, Matthew, Chapter 7. Christ says: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”. Swamiji has said if you want to know him, get to know his music. I can add that if you want to know Swami Kriyananda, visit the Crystal Hermitage, for his vibration and love bless all who come here.

Lalita lives at Ananda Village with her husband Stewart where she serves as the manager of Crystal Hermitage.