The Bus Ride

[Listen to Asha read this story]

When Ananda ran a bookstore and café in San Francisco, Vairagi often worked the late shift. Many times all alone, at 11pm, she had to take a city bus back to the ashram. The route went through a rough part of town.

“I want to be a good devotee, and do what is needed,” she said to Swamiji. “There is no one else who can work in the store. But when drunks and people on drugs and others who look like criminals get on the bus with me, I feel scared.”

“It doesn’t sound like the best situation,” Swamiji said. “Is there an alternative? Can you drive your own car or take a taxi?”

“A taxi would be too expensive, and I don’t have a car.”

“Can someone pick you up?”

“Everyone else has their own schedule, Sir. It isn’t practical.”

“Then you have no choice,” Swamiji said. “It is for a good cause, and you've been forced into it. Here is an idea that might help you: As soon as you get on the bus, choose one of the passengers, perhaps someone who frightens you, and pray for him. If that person gets off before you do, then choose someone else. Pray continuously, from the moment you get on, until you get home at night.”

“The very next day, I tried it,” Vairagi said. “When I started praying, I felt like God and Master had gotten on the bus with me, and I was no longer afraid. In fact, the bus ride home became my favorite part of the day.”

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