A Good Question

from Swami Kriyananda

My way of leading has always been to give others as much responsibility as they are willing to accept. Still, starting the first Ananda community required that I spend a great deal of time making sure the community developed in a way that would be pleasing to Master.

It was difficult at the beginning, but eventually the community began to thrive and my direct involvement became less necessary. I felt another phase of my life was beginning, when I could do more of the serious writing Master wanted of me, to complete the legacy he had left for me to carry out.

At the same time, the community I had started near Assisi, Italy, was taking hold, and I felt I was more needed there than in America. But I couldn’t live right in the center of the community; I would have no privacy and no time to work. Besides, I felt the writing I had to do now required a certain separation, even from the communities I myself had started. Solitude would allow me to think expansively about my Guru’s mission. Important though Ananda is, it is only one part of what he gave me to do. I asked Master for guidance.

Soon after, on a visit to Ananda Assisi, I was sitting in the dining room. An Italian woman, to whom I later gave the name “Premi,” was sitting across from me. At that time she was quite new. Out of the clear blue sky she said to me, “Why don’t you come live here?”

Another woman, Sigrid, from Germany, also new to the community, heard Premi speak. “I feel God wants you to live here,” Sigrid said. “If you agree, I will lend you the money to get the place you’ll need.”

It was the right moment. That very day we found an ideal piece of property. Nearby, but secluded. I still needed money to build a home. Although I have founded communities and written many books, I am not a rich man. I take no salary and no royalties. Whatever has come to me has gone back into developing the work that I do.

It is a policy with me not to go into debt. I never use credit cards unless I can pay them off completely at the end of every month.

In a catalog I found a decent prefabricated house that could be built by volunteer labor at not too high a cost. People pitched in and soon it was ready.

The land I bought with Sigrid’s money was more than I needed for myself. Several community members bought portions of it, and in that way we were able to return to her all that she had lent me.

The house in Assisi proved to be just the quiet haven I needed. There I found the inspiration, through God’s grace, to continue in the way He guided me in my service to Him.