It was the mid-90s … the clouds had still not turned ominous to indicate the twists in life’s road ahead. I was back home from Israel … on what culminated as an innately warm and happy holiday.
Packing my bags for the return (to Israel) … a few days before departure, I nonchalantly … unconsciously … reached out for the Autobiography of a Yogi … looked at it, and placed it in the suitcase. Nary a second thought … just as there had been none … for the last many years that it had been lying in our large family book-case. Perhaps, bought by my brother … or Dad. I had noticed it, but NEVER taken it out. And today … thank God, i did!!!!
A few days later, back in Tel Aviv and onward to beautiful Herziliya, i arrived for what was to be a ‘rosier’ turn to my life. There was much promise … my job was safe, the personal life could never have been more solid, money was okay … and the expectation was that the miniscule me would now take some big strides and leave big imprints!
(Aah … so i innocently believed :-)!
Obviously i had not really ‘heard’ of Paramahansa Yogananda … though i had the book; and ‘God,’ though always nestled in the inner recesses of my consciousness; had not suffused my life, as today!
Within the next TWO days, all hell broke loose. The deeper crevices of hell :-). (Oh, what a blessing :-)!
My permanent job fell through! The boss apologized, empathized, but market conditions had changed. He could no longer afford to keep me! THIS, despite an assurance just 4 weeks ago that my position was safe and I could travel w/out any apprehensions :-(.
No work, not much money, non-English speaking country, no real external support systems; rent to pay …. and then, everything else that was of importance and that mattered TREMENDOUSLY, also came crashing down! A long relationship ended! I was suddenly left isolated … betrayed from all sides. The floor was swept away from under my feet; helpless, torn, aghast and broken … to put it euphemistically!
And then, in the cacophony of my inner trauma and all the external demons, a silent call within urged me to pick up the book (Autobiography of a Yogi).
Crestfallen as i was, i eagerly read and absorbed … making frantic calls back home and writing letters – faster than the mail could deliver them – to the Ranchi ashram in India. There were consoling and encouraging responses, prayers of healing … guidance to read Yogananda’s enclosed articles delivered to me by snail mail … to visit the Ashram; and amidst the misty rays of despondency, over the months ahead, my soul felt lifted, churned from the ashes, to embark on a new journey of subtler exploration, understanding and revelation. All the pieces started to fall in place; all the confusion melted away … and in a year, the new me – though still scarred – was carving a new path. Paramahansa Yogananda had arrived in my life … nothing was to ever be the same again … and it had all started with me picking up a dust-covered Autobiography of a Yogi :-)!!!