I did not come to Vedanta. Vedanta came to me. I had nothing to do with the coming or the going. How could I have? There isn’t any. So in that sense, Vedanta was always a part of me, and I was always a part of Vedanta. I just didn’t know it. I still don't know it.
Swami Ashokananda, my Guru, of course, did know this great karmic joke. He always used to make everyone laugh during his 90-minute forced marches left and right and back again on the platform of the Old Temple at 2963 Webster Street in San Francisco,
My Mother of several lives (at least two, for she told me so) brought me to the Old Temple when I was 12. After Swami Ashokananda’s lecture, she asked me if I liked it - knowing her as I have come to know her better at 83 than at 12, I know she did not mean the lecture but the feeling that was there. I told her I liked it, and she enrolled me in the Sunday school conducted by Mrs. Edith Soulé and Ms. Kathleen Davis. Much of what Sister Gargi relates in her book about Guru, A Heart Poured Out, I actually experienced. Guru always used to stop by on his way to lecture, and we all stood up - of course! - how can you not in the presence, not of power, but truth?
At 16, he had me stay after his lecture, and asked me a few questions; the answer to one was I wanted “to roll in the dust of the world.” He said,, ”No,” in such a gentle way that I cried. He said, “All right all right” and gave me meditation, and that is how I was initiated, and that is how Vedanta came to me in the Presence of Guru Maharaj Ashokanandaji whose mandates I did not follow for several years (as he knew I wouldn‘t) but now obey as he knew I would.
Such patience is an act of supreme generosity. So many spend their lives yearning for a guru as avidly as others yearn for fame and fortune - or a literary agent! - I did not have to do anything. I became gradually aware that not having to do anything was not good karma but a blessing demanding responsibility to what one has been blessed with.
I did not come to Vedanta. I was brought. I am home now.