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[Listen to Asha read this story] Paula checked herself into the hospital because of severe bronchitis, but I think she knew the cancer had returned for the third time. The doctors tried one more procedure, but in the middle, she went into convulsions and for a few moments her heart stopped. After that, the doctor said, “There is nothing else we can…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] For many years, the only way to drive to Crystal Hermitage, Swamiji's home at Ananda Village, was over two miles of unpaved road, deeply rutted and littered with potholes. For years also, Swamiji’s only car was a big blue Chevrolet, purchased for him from a government auction of used automobiles. Two cars, exactly a…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by Hridayavasi) I went through an extremely painful divorce. One particularly awful day coincided with a huge public event. I held myself together until late in the afternoon. Ironically, it was a compassionate look from a dear friend in the middle of a roomful of people that started me crying again. “I’m goin…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) “You have a serious medical condition called a fistula,” the doctor said to me, “The only remedy is surgery.” I had come to Italy to visit relatives and take care of some business obligations there. As soon as I arrived, I started feeling something very painful in my lower back. Within th…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] For seven years, the man had struggled to resist an attraction to a woman in the community who was not his wife. Finally he said to Swamiji, “I am too unhappy, I can’t go on this way.” “Let me tell your wife,” Swamiji said. “It will be easier for her that way.” “He has done his best to overcome this,” Swamiji said t…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) For 29 years, I was afflicted with a terrible addiction. Not merely a habit, but an addiction, something I needed every day. I tried therapy, 12-Step programs, affirmations, will power. Nothing worked. When I got on the path, I read everything Master said about overcoming temptation and c…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) If I were to choose a spiritual name for myself, it would have to be Gratitude. I started drinking in my early teens. Drugs came later, in the ’60s, just before I turned twenty. All my friends drank, and everything that happened after sundown involved drugs and alcohol. So we were more in…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by Krishnadas) I had an accident that caused a blow to my skull so great I started to exit from my body. I traveled down a tunnel of light and was greeted by friends and relatives who had passed away years before. I came into the presence of a “Being of Light” who enveloped me in pure unconditional love. Thoug…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by Bhagavati) It was the middle of a concert when Swamiji picked up the tamboura to accompany himself while he sang. A tamboura is an Indian instrument that easily goes out of tune. It was dreadfully off-pitch and no matter how much Swamiji tried, he couldn’t tune it. Finally he gave up and began to play it as…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) For years, I had a noticeable wart on my hand. I tried all sorts of medicines, and the usual array of alternatives. But the wart stubbornly remained. One day, I happened to be with Swami as he was walking to his car. He was a little shaky on his feet and rested his arm on my shoulder for …
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) I was a newcomer and had only seen Swamiji in large public gatherings. When I heard he was returning from a trip to Europe and would spend a few days at Ananda’s San Francisco center, I drove four hours to the city to see him. When I arrived at the ashram, I was disappointed to see that a…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) I was with Swamiji and a big crowd of Ananda people in a very public place when I had the sudden intuition that my husband was infatuated with another woman. I turned my back to the crowd and walked away sobbing. Swamiji knew what was happening and after a few minutes he came over to wher…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] On the altar in his meditation room, Swamiji keeps a list of all those who have asked for his prayers. When he meditates, he asks God to bless these souls, and all those who have appealed to him for help. A chronically ill man, whose name was on that list, took several treatments from a gifted psychic healer. “Sudde…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by Carolyn Denslow Riffle) It was always hard for me to be on this planet. Awareness of my own imperfections, and how those imperfections hurt others, caused me to suffer intensely. I had been diagnosed as clinically depressed. It was a cyclical thing and sometimes I had to take prescription drugs for it. Beca…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] Sarcoidosis is a serious disease that causes inflammation of the body tissues. Bharat had it in his lymph system, surrounding his heart. For three years, he suffered from debilitating weakness and almost daily bouts of fever. Finally, the fever abated and his strength began to return. But his lungs had been affected…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) From childhood I carried a deep sadness. Even as a little girl, I knew it came from a past life in which I had experienced the traumatic death of a beloved spouse. It was a kind of “post traumatic stress syndrome” that spanned more than one incarnation. Sometimes, when I was a child, the …
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by Kent Baughman) Right after Swamiji had hip replacement surgery, those of us in the community with medical training took turns staying with him in his hospital room, so someone would always be on hand to help him if he needed it. I used to be a nurse, but then trained as a chiropractor. I was just starting m…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] The minister of the Church of Religious Science in Reno, Nevada, was a friend of Swamiji’s and invited him to address the congregation there. As a guest in someone else’s church, Swamiji was careful not to draw his listeners away from the path they were on, but urged them to follow wholeheartedly the inspiration the…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] A married man had an affair with an unmarried woman. At the time, they both lived at Ananda Village. His name: Danny; hers: Annemarie Bertolucci. When Swamiji heard about the affair, he urged them to end it, and supported Danny when he made the decision to go back to his wife and daughter. Annemarie refused to accep…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] When he moved to India in November 2003, the transition was hard on Swamiji’s body. He took several bad falls, had a near-fatal case of pneumonia, persistent dehydration, and several episodes of congestive heart failure. His friends were deeply concerned, but Swamiji accepted it all cheerfully. Once, when he was rec…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] It was Swamiji’s idea to incorporate Ananda Village as a California city. As a municipality, we would have control over our own land use, planning, and zoning. This would get us out from under the county approval process, which had proved to be cumbersome, expensive, and gave our neighbors too much influence over in…
 
[Listen to Asha read this story] (Told by an Ananda devotee) “Maybe this book will be the one that finally convinces SRF that we need to work together,” Swamiji said. He was referring to his work-in-progress in February 1990, The Essence of Self-Realization, a collection of sayings by Master. When Swamiji speaks of “SRF” in this way, I know he mean…
 
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