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Date Posted: 07:51
Author: mukun - 22 Jan 2002
Subject: Beautiful Article

This is a story from the ananda website, and is a beuatiful story of a kriyavan. It's at (you might find it easier to be read on the website)-

“The beauty of yoga lies in its mystery; you never know where it’s gonna take you.”

The Fox 4 newscaster said these lines as an introduction to his story about a young Croatian woman and the surgery she would soon undergo.

The story actually began almost 34 years ago, on a snowy Sunday afternoon, when a little girl was born in Croatia, which was a part of Yugoslavia at the time. She came into this world a few weeks early, with a severe cleft lip and palate. She spent her first months of life in a hospital, undergoing several surgeries, and was released as “case closed”. Those early surgeries left a big scar on her upper lip, a slightly deformed nose (unable to breathe properly) and an improperly developing midface and upper jaw.

The little girl was me.

I can say that I was never “obsessed” with the way I looked, but I did research possibilities of correcting my deformity. Somehow, doors to such correction always got shut in my face. And, like an overzealous helper or an impatient child, I tried to “help” God help me out of this dilemma. In His infinite patience, He surely whispered words I just could not hear, probably something like “Please, child, let me work in peace! “ In the past, I often asked God questions like “Why me? What have I done to you?”

Then, about 8 years ago, I came across the Kriya Yoga teachings. I began grasping the concept of karma, and things slowly started to fall into place. My Grandma used to say “Whatever you do, you’re doing it to yourself.” Although I doubt my Grandma ever even heard the word “karma”, her words mirrored my thoughts, that somehow I had “drawn” this set of unusual experiences and hard lessons to me.

I thought, “OK, this is obviously God’s will. My efforts to change things haven’t worked. There must be a good reason for all this. Thy will be done.” I became determined to give it up to Him, to learn to accept it. And I did so, a little more each day.

The path of Kriya Yoga was drawing me closer to Him. And I’m pretty sure that is what He wanted for me from the very beginning. About 5 years ago, I first visited Ananda Assisi. It was like coming to a different planet. Planet called Home. Although I only spent one weekend there, I remember saying to our group leader Nada Fatovic: “I wish I could spend at least two weeks here!” She replied, “That will come, too.” From then on, I tried to go to Assisi at least once a year.

It is only 6 or 7 hours drive from where I live in Rijeka, Croatia. In July 2000, I came for the Meditation Group Leaders Retreat, for one week only, and was given the chance to stay there all summer! I stayed. Master had heard my wish! He always does.

Towards the end of that stay, the best summer of my life, Shivani Lucki asked to talk with me. Shivani is one of the leaders at Ananda Assisi. I met her in the outdoor gazebo after lunch. We talked about the Ananda work in Croatia, of many possibilities and ideas. At one point, Shivani asked, “Have you ever considered cosmetic surgery?” I said, “Yes, of course, especially when I was a teenager.” She followed with, “Well, if you had a chance, would you do it?” I said, “If I could afford it, yes!”

Everyone knows how expensive such things are; and on my income I wouldn’t be able to pay for it in my lifetime. Shivani replied simply, “Good. I was just wondering if that’s something you’d be open to.” We did not speak of it again, until months later a fortuitous email arrived from, of all places, Dallas, Texas. I had made friends with a woman, Paula Biskamp, who was representing Ananda Dallas at the Meditation Group Leaders Retreat. Shivani spoke with Paula about the possibility of finding someone in America to help me.

Back in Dallas, Paula opened the phone book and began dialing up doctors. Her phone calls produced a sweet little miracle, one which came detailed in an email for me. The email spoke of the World Craniofacial Foundation (WCF), a Dallas based group that specializes in cases like mine, which they do ON A CHARITY BASIS! If accepted, there was the possibility of free facial surgery and orthodontic work by some of the top doctors in the world!

Eric, Paula’s husband, sent another email: Fundraising among the Dallas devotees would provide all that the WCF couldn’t cover, such as my airline flight and several months of lodging, meals & transportation. I almost had a heart attack! That evening, in my meditation, all I could do was pray, “Master, please, guide me! What do you want me to do?” Because sometimes, as much as we want something to happen, when it starts happening, we panic.

Feeling Master‘s guidance, I thought, “What the heck, I‘ll reply and see what happens.” The woman at the WCF said that I should send a couple of photographs. I never thought it would really happen, but I did send those photographs, just so nobody could say I didn’t try. A couple of weeks later, an email arrived: “Congratulations, you have been accepted by the World Craniofacial Foundation as a charity patient.”

That was the second almost-heart-attack! It seemed that the Masters were working towards a miracle. “All” I had to do now was get a passport, and then persuade my bosses to let me go for “awhile”, giving me my job back when I returned! I thought I was probably going to be fired on the spot, but my bosses surprised me completely. Their answer was: “It is a chance that you can not miss, and we’ll be happy to have you back when you return!”

Then, there was the visa. Thousands of Croats apply for the U.S. visa every year. I thought I’d never get it. You must come to the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb at about 3 a.m. and wait in the line until it opens, if you want to hand in your application the same day! But before I could do this, while at work on September 11th, I heard the heartrending news about what happened in New York. My colleague said, “Now you’ll really never get the visa!”

I thought, “Master, is this it? Where is the lesson in this? Never get excited about anything ‘cause it’s not gonna happen anyway?” But in that same moment, something I once saw in a Bon Jovi video flashed before my mind’s eye, “The Lord didn’t bring me this far to leave me now!” And I heard myself saying, “At least I won’t have to stand in a long line outside the embassy, because nobody will want to go to America now!”

My friends kept saying in amazement: “So, you’re going? Really? Now? Aren’t you afraid of the Talibans?” But no Taliban was gonna stop me! The day before I went to the embassy, I made a decision: I’m not spending all night in front of the embassy! I’ll come around 7 a.m., just before they open, and if I don’t make it, I’ll come some other day – at 3 a.m. So said, so done.

I came at 7:15, and, go figure, only one person was there before me! I had a visa before I could say “visa”. So, I emailed to America to set a surgery date. I got all packed and ready to go. But that would not be the end of the struggle. Because of September 11, my airline ticket, which was being mailed overnight from America, got stuck in the cargo hold of some plane. The two week freeze on mail flights would make me miss my surgery date!

But, the Masters were in charge. A message soon arrived, “We have lost your paperwork. You must reapply again, and your surgery date will be reset two weeks later.” What an amazing “coincidence”! Master provided many other “little miracles”. Some were simple, but sweet, like when I forgot to take my jacket from my suitcase at the Zagreb airport.

I thought I was going to freeze during my London overnight, but London was so unseasonably warm that I walked around in a T-shirt! Another little gift: I arrived in Dallas on Thursday for my surgery the next day, which meant missing a Kriya Initiation weekend to be given by Jaya Helin and his wife, Sadhana Devi. But, because of an emergency at the hospital, my doctors moved my surgery to Monday.

And so, I was able to go into my surgery “fully armed” with a weekend full of Master’s blessings! The boon I asked of Babaji at the Kriya Initiation was to come quickly to fulfillment. That Monday, at 2:55 p.m. (the surgery had started at 7:30 a.m.), a chant played in my head and awakened me, “Lord, I am Thine….” I could hear joy in the voice of Dr. Genecov, my surgeon, as he said to me, “You’re doing great, it’s over, everything went well, you’re doing just fine!”

That was on November 12, 2001. Now it’s Christmas. Through a procedure called a Lefort 1, multiple plates were placed in my face, and I have been given a cute new look, the best Christmas gift ever. There will be a follow-up surgery in 5 months, when the swelling goes down, a dermal abrasion, to make my lip look as good as possible. There will also be orthodontic work and braces in the coming months.

As the Immigration Office kindly gave me a rare one–year visa, much more work is now being done than first imagined. Master thought of everything! My extended Ananda family has helped me in many ways, with prayers, with healing energy, and more. I can’t find words to express my gratitude.

I’ve recovered amazingly fast and have never had any pain whatsoever; not even a bruise. Paula & Eric recently discovered that the WCF does not perform surgery on adults, only children. I was reportedly their first adult surgery. When quizzed about this exception, they gave only thoughtful smiles in answer.

Human resources are infinite when centered in God, and “impossible” is not a concept that exists in God. How true was that opening statement, the beauty of Kriya yoga indeed lies in its mystery. I never dreamed it would take me this far! When you find the courage and dare to walk the way, the Masters walk with you.

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