I was raised in India, in a very conservative family. I believed deeply in God and the protective power of a guru, and sensed this greater reality around me at all times. Yet I found it difficult to relate to life and became very introverted. With my family and friends, and even after I married and had children, my heart still longed for something deeper.
One day I heard about Ananda Sangha in India and felt a deep calling toward that path. I saw Swami Kriyananda on the Aasta television channel and wrote down the contact number when it flashed on the screen.
At 7:00 a.m. on January 2, 2004, I called the number. Swami Kriyananda answered the phone. For a teacher of his unique stature and worldwide fame, he is very accessible. Still, I was told later, he never answered that phone. It was the public number for all of Ananda in India, and others took care of those calls. He was rarely even near that phone, especially at that time of the morning.
He introduced himself only as the author of the books that Ananda publishes. I recognized his voice instantly, though, and told him, “I know who you are.” I meant more than just his name. In him I knew I had found the teacher I had been searching for all my life. Without hesitation I poured out to him the deepest longings of my heart. We talked for only fifteen minutes, but it was long enough to confirm what I had known the moment he picked up the phone. I had found my Guru, my path, and my spiritual home.