Humility

From Ananta McSweeney

It seems the salient quality of Narada’s life was his humility.

Narada with Swami Kriyananda

When he first came to the village in the mid-70′s he was one of only two certified electricians (the other being Muktan Knowles).  Swamiji lived in the dome and had electricity only from a generator.  Whenever it would go out, Narada would get the call.  I remember many nights holding the flashlight for him, or moving the two 12-volt car batteries out of his way so he could fix the generator and get Swami back in the light. He was always cheerful and eager to help Swamiji, even if it was very cold, wet and dark, which it usually was. He was very devoted to serving Swamiji in any way he could.

One of his greatest aphorisms was, “Why, there’s nothing holding back this project now but a lack of money and common sense!”  It seems that many projects we worked on in the 70′s were especially suited to this truth.

He worked tirelessly on whatever project we were doing.  He spent many long hours for many long months getting the Shower House at Ananda Farm working.  It was the first indoor flush toilet and the first clean water shower at downtown Ananda.  The project involved water, septic and electricity, a pump from the septic tank to a distant leach field. Narada, as always, was cheerful, cooperative in the utmost, joyful despite circumstances beyond our control (El Nino rains flooding the project repeatedly).  Beyond all that, he was also a very professional electrician and absolutely invaluable to the success of the project.  As the project repeatedly went underwater with deluge after deluge, I would ask Narada each morning, “What’s the weather forecast for today?”   And he would affirm, “Santa Ana winds and a drying pattern!”  Miraculously, it stopped raining long enough for us to get the septic tanks in the ground in downtown Ananda.

I seriously doubt anyone could dislike Narada; he was a friend to all who ever crossed his path.  His kindness and devotion to God and Guru will live forever in our hearts.  Jai Narada.

Warp Speed Wiring

From Daiva Glazzard

I recall working with Narada during my early years at Ananda Village(mid-1980s). He worked with the Ananda Builders’ Guild, doing the wiring and plumbing.  We used to joke about him writing a book called “Warp-Speed Wiring and Low-Clearance Plumbing.” He was endlessly cheerful and industrious—qualities I yearned to adopt.  From the beginning, I found myself embraced by his endless friendship, thoughtfulness, delightful sense of humor and sweet devotion.

Sage Divine

From Richard Salva

I had the great pleasure of working with Narada for two years on a regular basis at Ananda Electric during the late ’80s. In a number of heated situations, I never saw my friend anything but calm and centered. Narada has one of the purest and most beautiful hearts I’ve seen on the spiritual path. I believe that, among us, are hidden great souls that may not seem to make a big splash in terms of “Great Deeds and Positions in the Work,” but are quiet saints who silently lift the vibrations of everyone around them. Narada, sage divine, is and was one of those humble and serviceful saints.

We Work Together

From Jayadevi Popkie

Narada Agee was one of the most humble and deeply devoted people I have ever met. One of the first times I really noticed his humble sweetness was when I was introducing him to my parents. He was the boss of a friend of mine. Not only his boss, but the co-founder of the business and inventor of a new solar energy product. When I introduced him he just said “Hi, Jeff and I work together.” He never put himself above others. He was a friend even when in a position of authority.

He was also brilliant and fun. We played on of those games where you have to know strange facts about history and geography and science. We were stunned to realize how much he knew.

Penguin Mission

From Sitabai Betts

I have a silly story of Narada. I worked with Narada for some time at Ananda Power Technologies; he was a founding energy to that solar company. We used to laugh together that someday we’d go out and do our “mission” serving the work, delivering Master’s teachings to new devotees.

One day Narada came to tell me that he had seen a nature program in which an airplane had flown over the penguins of Antarctica, and the penguins all fell over like dominos that had been lined up to all bump over the next one! They had been so concentrated and focused on the airplane that Narada and I decided they would make the perfect congregation, we would just have to minister to them “the good word” and they would be the most attentive focused parishioners we could ever hope for.

As a result, Narada and I would perfect our penguin quacking together in order to learn the new language to be able to go on our mission. It was a joy to always bump into Narada forever after, for years and years, we quacked our greetings! Narada had a joyful upbeat heart and a ready smile that was infectious.

Another friend told a story at lunch today that was funny, maybe you will hear it from another. There was an occasion in which Narada was asked on the job if this was his normal speed of operation, and he answered, “Well, no, I have two speeds.  This one and one that you won’t like much.”

Finally, someone said that we believe Narada was our first Ananda maintenance guy here at Ananda Village. That makes him our patron saint, and we will be honoring him for years to come in our Department!

Travels

Here are Narada’s recollection of his travels, in his own words.

In 1977 I was fortunate enough to go on two tours around the country with Swami Kriyananda and about ten other people.  Being with Swamiji was truly a blessing that I will never forget.  Those two trips were overflowing with sometimes wild and always interesting adventures.  Then in 1980 I went on a pilgrimage to India with four other friends from Ananda.  We went to see Anandamayi Ma, and after many wonderful adventures we finally found her.  In about 1983 I went on another tour around the country for the Ananda Schools.  Then in 1996 I went to Assisi, Italy for three months to help with the construction of the first Temple of Light.  Again there are many great stories to tell.

Going on Tour!

From Kalyani Todd

A year or two after my first meeting with Narada, he came to my door.  Back then I lived in an improved chicken coop with plywood walls with a greenhouse attached to one side which served as my kitchen/dining room. Narada stood in the greenhouse doorway talking to me while I prepared dinner.  He seemed to be struggling with something.  There was an Ananda tour he really wanted to be part of. He told me that each person on the tour needed to pay for his own food on the trip. I asked if he had any money.  He said all he had was $300 he’d put away, but he didn’t want to touch it.  It was his safety net.

I stopped what I was doing, and looked calmly at him. “Narada,” I said, “God asks us to give all we have.  If we hold anything back, He’s not pleased. You need to trust that God will take care of you. This is your opportunity to give yourself completely.”  His inner struggle dissolved as these words reinforced what his own conscience had been telling him. He relaxed, and seriously said, “You’re right. You’re right. Thank you, Kalyani.” He left, and the next thing I heard, he was going on the tour!

Driving Chela

From Durga Smallen

My interactions with Narada were not long.  He did go with us on the 1978 Joy Tours and was a huge asset.  He ended up driving Chela, the van that trailed along behind Sadhu, the motor home.  All the books we carried were in that van and people would take turns driving with him. He was always cheerful and forever helpful in setting up book tables, sets, whatever needed to be done.

Joy Tours

From Maitri Jones

Narada went on the Joy Tours with Swami in the 70′s.  He and I would share the night shift driving of the green van.  He was so tremendously sweet and serviceful. I have fond memories of those late night conversations while we kept each other awake driving between cities.  He always spoke kindly and kept a cheerful attitude, even with very little sleep or privacy during that tour. Ready to serve Master’s ray at a moment’s notice, Narada selflessly performed all the behind the scenes jobs, unloading boxes, setting up tables or lighting, happily doing whatever was needed without complaint or need for ego gratification.  The perfect devotee.

Joy Tour Travelers - Narada is on the far left

 

Joy Tour Dinner - Narada is in the white shirt

 

Indian Pilgrimage

From Nitai Deranja

It was about 1980 when Kalyani had guidance in her meditation that she needed to go to India to see Anandamayi Ma before she passed.  This was a time when Ananda was very rural and there was very little money.  And part of her vision was that I was to go.   I didn’t know how we were going to do it.

Well, word got out in the community, and people got very excited about sending us.  Narada was one of them.  They organized an auction to raise money, mostly selling to each other.  They raised $4,000.

One day Narada knocked at my door and said, ”I’m going with you.”  Narada had been at the laundry and another member of the community had expressed appreciation for how selflessly people had helped raise money for us to go to India, and Narada had been greatly involved in this way. No one else but Swami had been to India at this time.

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