By Nayaswami Narayan
July 16, 2019
Bamm! Did a baseball just hit me in the calf? While playing soccer last week, I felt a hard strike to my lower calf and heard a popping sound at the same time. I fell to the ground immediately. Looking around to see where the errant ball came from, I slowly realized no one hit me. I had just ruptured my Achilles playing soccer while making a simple move with no other player around me. Ouch!
Although it was excruciatingly painful, I could not have injured myself at a more auspicious place or time. I was at Ananda Village and it was the Fourth of July. We were celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ananda.
What stands out from the experience is not the pain but the kindness I received from my friends. Their support and love towered above any throbbing in my body. Adam ran and purchased me a kombucha drink. Carmenza softly held my hand. Pushpendra iced the injury. Premdhara allowed me to squeeze his arm (with my other hand) so I could channel the pain. Frank went and got Dharmadevi and Bharavi so they could come and take me to urgent care. Aumkara pulled out an energy healing gadget channeling some healing frequency to the injury. Adriana dropped flower essences down my throat. There was one woman, I don’t even know her name, who came over to give me healing energy. Whoever you are, thank you!
When this type of experience happens it’s a natural knee jerk to ask, “Why me?” And it’s good to introspect, of course, so we can learn our life lessons. However, when the emphasis becomes our little self, therein lies our trouble. Within “Why little me?” lies a big problem: the complaining filled path of delusion.
“What did I do to deserve this?” Or, “Jeez, it happened on Ananda’s anniversary I must have bad karma.” We can become superstitious and self absorbed which only increases our deluded self definitions.
Once one of Paramhansa Yogananda’s disciples lamented to him that he did not have good karma. Yogananda replied very emphatically: “Remember this: it takes very, very, VERY good karma for a person even to want to know God!”
Yes, surely, this injury was my karma. But as Nayaswami Jyotish shared in a recent blog (Beating Karma at Its Own Game), “Good karma is that which moves you closer to God, and bad karma is that which moves you farther away from Him.” As Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Circumstances are neutral.” What makes it good or bad is which way we break (no pun intended!) inwardly. Do we choose to complain or be grateful?
Did this experience bring me closer to God? Absolutely! All I could do in that moment was surrender and receive support from friends. I’m comfortable playing the role of servant and giving to others. My role suddenly shifted to lying down and receiving. Divine Mother is helping me balance my nature. Thank you, God and Guru!
So rather than asking the question “why me” my friends at Ananda reminded that this injury is in fact Divine Mother and Guru’s grace. Who could ask for better friends?
True strength comes not from our body but being open to God’s love. And His love manifested so strongly through my friends on the Fourth of July. Kindness is strength. The loving kindness expressed through my spiritual family gave me true freedom of heart on Independence Day.