Good Car-ma

from Diksha

A car is something that takes me from here to there. That’s everything I know about cars. So twice, when I had to buy one, I wisely turned the project over to God.

The first time I had just moved to Palo Alto, California. You can’t live in California without a car, so ignorant or not, I had to plunge ahead.

I found a free newspaper that included a listing of cars for sale. One blurb seemed to jump out at me, saying, “This car is for you!” When I called the owner, he told me he was a devout Christian. What that had to do with his car, I don’t remember; but for me it clinched the deal. He believed in God; I believed in God. Without further investigation I bought the car. It served me well for many years.

Eventually, circumstances changed. I didn’t need that car as much and couldn’t afford to keep it. I was no better at selling a car than I was at buying one. The car had come from Palo Alto, so that seemed the right place to sell it, even though I now lived two hundred miles away.

When I got to Palo Alto, I drove the car to Stanford University and found a bulletin board where I posted a handwritten note about the car. As I turned to walk away, a man tapped me on the shoulder.

“I want to buy your car,” he said.

“Do you want to see it first?” I asked. I had bought it sight unseen; I thought other people might shop for cars the same way I did. He took it for a short ride and gave me the money that very afternoon.

Three years later circumstances had changed, and once again I needed a car. I wrote on a piece of paper a few details of what I was looking for: small, efficient, low mileage, color white, and a price I could afford. I put the paper on my meditation altar and asked God to take care of it.

Four months later a friend needed my advice about some major purchases. I was very busy and I’m not fond of shopping, but helping a friend trumped everything so I said yes. In the middle of our shopping trip, I needed to use the bathroom. The nearest one was in a car parts store, a place I would never have entered otherwise.

I saw a free magazine there listing cars for sale. When my hand touched the magazine, I knew it would show me the car I was supposed to buy. I took the magazine home, laid it on the table, and said, “God, You have to guide me.” Then I began to turn the pages. Halfway through, there it was: small, practical, low mileage, white, and just what I could afford. I called the owner and immediately liked the sound of his voice.

“I want to buy your car,” I said. He lived six hours away, so I asked him to hold the car until I could get there. To prove my commitment I sent him a few hundred dollars.

Soon after, a friend took me to pick up the car. She couldn’t believe I was buying a car sight unseen! But I was certain. The car turned out to be in mint condition. The owner was a mechanic! I drove it for seven years and it never gave me a single problem.

The next car was an outright gift from a generous friend. By that time I was married. My husband’s contribution was to name the car Lakshmi, which means goddess of prosperity. Lakshmi is still with us and working fine, so, for now, that’s the end of the story.