from Devadasi & Alex

We sited the house carefully according to the principles of Vaastu, an ancient Indian system for creating harmony between human activity and natural forces. The doorways, windows, and placement of rooms inside had all been carefully worked out. Architectural plans had been drawn up accordingly. Permits had been obtained. Months of work and tens of thousands of dollars of expenses were all coming to a focus now as the bulldozer began to dig out for the foundation.

Harmonizing with Nature is central to our understanding of life. So we had also done ceremonies and prayers to honor and communicate with the devas and nature spirits on our land, telling them our intentions, in the hope that they would welcome and cooperate with our efforts to put our home in the midst of theirs.

There was a small piece of rock sticking out of the ground right in the center of where the house had to sit, but we assumed it would not cause any difficulty. After it was pulled from the ground, we planned to put it in a place of honor elsewhere.

Several hours later the bulldozer had dug four feet down in a circle twenty feet across, revealing that small piece of rock to be a huge granite boulder. Not knowing how much deeper the rock went, or where the edges were, the driver of the bulldozer was increasingly reluctant to continue to dig near it.

“If it hits that granite, my bulldozer blade will shatter into pieces,” he said. “It has happened before and I can’t afford to risk my expensive machine. We need dynamite.” Contractors always “know a guy,” and this man was no exception. It turned out that his “dynamite guy” happened to be in the area, and soon the two of them were looking at the rock, planning where to put the blasting caps.

We didn’t know what to do. On one hand, the granite rock had to be removed. It was sitting exactly where the house had to go. On the other hand, after all our careful efforts to work in harmony with Nature, to begin our house by blasting to smithereens a piece of granite that had been there much, much longer than any of us had been on the planet did not seem like the kind of harmonious house building we were hoping to achieve.

The workers took a lunch break. We went into the small cabin we lived in on the property and prayed to God, Guru, and the devas in charge of the land—and especially the ones in charge of that rock. We promised “Brother Rock” that if he had to be dynamited, he wouldn’t be taken away altogether. We would use the pieces to make stonewalls.

After lunch the driver of the bulldozer continued to level the ground beyond the perimeter of the exposed rock. But he came too close to the four-foot slope he’d dug earlier, and his machine slipped down the incline and the blade hit the stone.

Instead of the blade shattering as the driver had predicted, the granite rock broke into thousands of pieces. Neither the dynamite guy nor the bulldozer man had ever seen or heard of anything like that happening before.

We have many yards of beautiful stonewall now, thanks to the loving self-offering of that big granite boulder.