Srajan tells the story of him and Pravino finding their home – and the role of a few statues.
We built our first Big island home amongst the immense Hapu’u ferns and Ohia-lehua trees at Volcano, Hawaii. Nestled at 4,000 feet elevation and just a mile from the Volcanoes National Park, we carved enough space out of the forest for a comfortable home. Saving as much of the native vegetation as possible yet still providing enough access for the builders and using native ohia trees whenever possible provided the home with a feeling of belonging. To create a dignified ambiance we incorporated our four stone statues in the property. These included a meter high Samurai warrior guarding the entrance and a sitting goddess holding a bowl which sat beside the water catchment tank. Additionally a three-faced Kwan Yin was placed at the entry way and a Balinese Buddha brought to the US as a carry-on years ago sat quietly at the edge of the forest. We greatly enjoyed the process of building and finally settled in.
However, despite enjoying our home, within two years we had the undeniable urge to move closer to the coast. We missed the cool trade wind breezes, swims in the ocean, friends and opportunities found in the small city of Hilo. So we put the house on the market.
A good number of offers came in and finally we had serious interest from some people on the island of Oahu. As the price was negotiated one issue kept appearing. The prospective new owners were convinced that the four statues included in the photos of the property were to be included in the sale. We had never intended to do so, both being attached in one way or another to each of them.
Then, to further complicate matters, the volcano at Halemau’mau just a few miles away erupted. Within a short amount of time all the houses in the area fell out of escrow or were removed from the real estate market. No one wanted to buy a home and live under the uncertainty of an active volcano spewing noxious gases.
Except, as it turned out, for our prospects on Oahu who were geologists very interested in studying volcanoes. For them it was a bonus!
So we only really had to reconcile the statue issue to move forward with the sale. As a compromise I suggested that we include two of the statues in the sale – the Samurai and the water goddess. Kwan Yin and Buddha would go with us wherever we were called to “next”. They agreed.
The day after the house sale closed that “next” arrived in the early hours of Monday morning. Online I noticed a 1/2 acre property on the coast that had just gone on the market the previous Sunday. It was an abandoned lot with broken fences that had been used for sheep grazing. The cul de sac property at 350 feet elevation was a former sugar cane field bordered by pasture and two streams with palms, rambutan, avocado, and large mango trees. The profit from the Volcano house sale would just cover the cost of the property. Calling our realtor I suggested we offer the full asking price immediately. He concurred and we did just that. By mid-afternoon there were three back-up offers!
Our offer accepted, the escrow moved along at a snail’s pace. There were many issues to deal with including water access, electric poles to secure, road right of way, etc. A real estate lawyer was hired. Optimistically we moved into an old cane house rental and drew up plans for our next home.
Then one day as I was walking through the chest high grasses at a yet undiscovered corner of the property I noticed some objects covered with weeds and grasses. Much to my surprise what I uncovered was – two stone statues! The first was a goddess with a lotus flower atop her head and the other, a very heavy Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god. Ganesha, the Atman of the Soul, is reputed to be the “remover of all obstacles”. With all that seemed to be impeding the purchase of this property we surely hoped he was going to live up to his name.
Ganesha, the “Lord of Success” did come through for us, as all issues were soon resolved in our favour, and we began the long process of permits and building. A year later we moved into our new house which of course we aptly named “Ganesha”.
Given his new place in our retreat’s pantheon we did wonder if he would continue to serve with his other renowned qualities. Ganesha is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom, and wealth. We haven’t forgotten that he is also known to be the destroyer of vanity, selfishness, and pride.
So to Lord Ganesha we flash a chuka and whisper a grateful Mahalo.
Aloha to all.
Srajan Atosho searched for Chuang Tzu in Japan ’72, and had a vivid dream of Osho after a weeklong fast; studied five years with Zen masters, started Hawaii Outward Bound school, finished college, and Chuang Tzu: took sannyas in Pune in 1978, was in Rajneeshpuram and Pune 2. While visiting Mallorca he met his beloved, Pravina 24 years ago. He taught Avatar in Sedona and ran a nutritional business on Hawaii’s big island. Long fascinated by woven art and painting, they collect and market oriental carpets and Japanese silk scrolls. (Author of Voices of Awakening)