savitri

A Hidden Saint

From Savitri Simpson

I first met Jim Agee in the summer of 1975, before he became Narada.  It was my first summer to visit Ananda. I was taking part in the newly formed Apprentice Program led by Prakash and Shivani. I believe that this was his first summer to come to Ananda also. I returned again the next summer and was happy to see that he had decided to move her permanently, for I was always very impressed by his quiet competence and humble joy.

One very early memory I have of him is when a group Apprentices went to a local swimming hole to cool off on a very hot summer afternoon, after finishing our work-day. The vibrations were very definitely “clothing optional” in those days–not at Ananda Village itself, but “off campus,” for sure. So we all joyfully stripped and jumped in. But not Narada. He quietly sat apart from us on a big rock in his swimming trunks—keeping his eyes turned away from the naked bodies all around him. At the time I thought: “What a party pooper! What’s wrong with him?”

As the years went by, I always remembered that day and how quietly he stood by his convictions of what he believed to be the right. No fuss about it and never a word did he speak—but he made his point clearly. That was his way! What a dear and great soul, and how much we will all miss him. Often I’ve thought that we have many “hidden” saints among us at Ananda, and as often as I’ve had that thought, he was one of the ones who came to mind. I know he’d laugh and say: “Who me a saint? Not hardly!” But a true saint would probably not admit it anyway.

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