21. Giving and Receiving

In 1985 Guru offered a New Year’s message to us all:

“Don't expect!
Don't expect!
Give, give and give
If you want to really survive.”

We were in New York at this time and unusually short of pocket money – Subarata had $20 only, and I scarcely any more. Subarata had befriended a new Russian disciple, and upon learning that her new friend had arrived in the United States with even less money than ourselves, resolved to follow literally the advice of the New Year’s message and give her new friend her only twenty-dollar note. Which she did.

At the end of our precarious stay, Guru called Subarata down from the bleachers to say goodbye and told her he was very happy with her, alluding – how could he have known? – to her self-giving spirit. Then he gave her an envelope. Later, when she opened it, she found $700, all in crisp and clean one-hundred-dollar bills. This simple incident deepened her trust that Guru knew everything of her life, and deepened her belief in the invisible, secret truth of grace, that devotion and obedience will take care of everything in our lives – if we dare to believe.