Being of Joyful Service

From Glenda Anderson

My first memory of Narada is working with him the first time I volunteered at Ananda, weeding the temple garden.  As I think back, Narada was usually there whenever I volunteered.  He always had so many projects going, Sunday School classes with the kids,  malas,  creating the path and meditation area in the woods at the temple, the hoop house and garden at the community, the stands made from the temple tiles, etc.

Narada was very kind to me; he frequently thanked me for my services in volunteering.  I like to garden, and wander among the vegetables at the community garden when I’m there.  When I found out Narada had made the plastic tunnels for the vegetable garden, I asked him about them.  He explained he had made the frames for the tunnels from electric conduit by bending the conduit with a tool.  He immediately offered to make some for me, and thanked me for my “many” services once again, saying he would be happy to do it for me.  He did make some for me, which I have used very successfully for the past two seasons.

Narada showed me how to make a mala for my son for Christmas a year ago.  While we were working, I commented on how perfect the crimping tool he had would be for crimping candle wicks into the metal candle bases.  I was using small pliers for that purpose, but they were clumsy.  Narada quickly offered to order one for me the next time he put in an order for mala supplies, as he was going to order one himself.  A few weeks later, Narada gave me his old crimper, saying he had purchased a new one to replace it, and would not take payment for it, again thanking me for my service to Ananda.

One thing I will remember is the amusement I always got watching the patient and loving interaction between Dakshina and Narada as I worked in the temple office.  Dakshina would often be working in the office after Sunday Services, and would never be able to find him when she was ready to go. She would patiently wait or attempt to corral him, often unsuccessfully but with good humor—that was just Narada’s way—totally involved in his projects. Many times, Narada would finally appear after she had gone home, usually in a rush, hoping she was still working and not waiting on him. I think they came to service in separate vehicles most of the time just in case.

When I think of Narada, I think of the joy he brought to the children and the many projects he did for and with them.  I will greatly miss his joyful, friendly face and twinkling eyes.