Recently Anasuya survived an agressive form of cancer,
she shares her experience in the interview below.
She also published a book on her experiences with Kaliji.
The book is full of beautiful photos and great stories.
Q: How did you meet Kaliji?
A: I met Kaliji in 1989 in Santa Cruz. I was thinking of finding a yoga class and a friend said: “You should go see Kali Ray.” I liked her name (smiles).
I met her the very next week…
She was scheduled to be a guest speaker at our weekly meeting of the Healing
Connection. She spoke for maybe 30 minutes and before she finished
I knew that I could not live without her (smiles).
Q: Were you ever interested in yoga before?
A: Not so much though I was involved in healing and other spiritual practices.
I was just beginning my new microscopic blood analysis business so I was interested in seeing what what was out there and making connections. I was clearly not expecting to find anyone like Kaliji, I didn’t even know she existed in my world. But there she was and I thought to myself “Who is she?”. She spoke so eloquently about yoga with such wisdom and humor. After that I went to TriYoga class but she was not there – she was gone for India for 6 weeks. I kept thinking about her all this time. When she came back, I went to her classes and never left.
Q: So you saw all those speakers and teachers, what was it about Kaliji that made you stay?
A: The very first second I heard her speak, I knew that she knows what she is talking about. I knew nothing about India and I certainly was not looking for a Guru, or so I thought. I was just interested in finding someone who knew something real. My experience had been that much of the spiritual truths of the new age movement were conceptually based and the rest was religious dogma so we were pretty much on our own. But after listening to her speak, it was obvious to me that she had some higher connection and a greater understanding of the mysteries of life.Â Her words were filled with a universal truth that I felt deeply. She recognized this Source as Mother Goddess which resonated with me and (finally) a blessing for planet earth.
Q: Did you start attending TriYoga classes?
A: Yes, I must say that the moment I got to her class, I was hooked (laughs). So for me, I came to TriYoga because of Kaliji herself. I knew she was from another planet (laughs), cosmically knowledgeable. I was mesmerized during every class. She was really very funny in her playful manner so there was always much bliss and laughter flowing with Kaliji.
Then, by accident, thinking I was coming to class, I found myself at chanting with Kaliji and Mercury. I quickly felI into that joyful devotional experience feeling my spirit sing and this means of blissing out remains one of my favorite.
Q: How did Kaliji’s presence change your life? Your outlook on the world, yourself, others?
A: She is the catalyst for change. I had a spiritual aspect to my life but it was more like a continuous searching: “Time is running out I’d better figure out what is going on here”. With Kaliji, all those desperate feelings got alleviated.
Just being around Kaliji, by seeing the way she lives her life, her daily teachings, her view on things, it all influenced me to relax knowing all is taken care. What others would get upset and angry about, Kaliji would just laugh, because she has such a great understanding, she does not take herself so seriously. Just by being around Kaliji, I began to feel at ease in my spiritual self and every aspect of my life.
It didn’t take long to get introduced to her vegan lifestyle which in itself makes for more conscious changes because the way we eat affects everything in daily life.
Over the past 20 years with Kaliji I have witnessed amazing changes in myself and all who come close to this Devi energy. Everybody has different ways to relate to her, different things that inspire them and different ways to express it. There are simply so many Kaliji’s and they are all lovely, inspiring and the perfect antidote for whatever is needed. So often I watch with amazement,
“Wow, that’s a completely different person from the one who originally came”.
It is beautiful to see how Kaliji affects people.
Q: Has your understanding of Kaliji and your connection with her been changing?
A: Always. Relationship with her is not stagnant. There is always something to learn with her. It does not matter what the subject is, either yoga classes or life situations.Â Just as her TriYoga flows evolve with kriyavati, so are we also affected by the awesome power of this transformative devi energy.
Q: You have been going through cancer… disease that is not easy to keep smiling through. We all kept admiring your attitude to it. Does Kaliji’s presence play an important role for you to be able to go through this the way you do?
A: Absolutely, how could it be otherwise? The importance of her presence in my life has not changed since the first day I met her. I have been through my share of difficulties and all kinds of transformations. Cancer was just another of those experiences, a challenge that demands attention and comes with great uncertainty.
Q: Would it be different for you if you did not know her?
A. This cancer diagnosis, especially being such an aggressive form was a heart stopping experience when it first presented itself very dramatically in my case.
My initial thoughts were of death and pain and my attachments to this life and fears of the unknown. But I didn’t linger there. I was busy finding doctors, getting exams, dealing with insurance (that was a challenge), once I made it through the beauracracy all I had to deal with was the cancer so I just relaxed and followed the course laid out for me. And of course I did have Kaliji not only in my heart but totally in my corner with every bit of her shakti constantly showered upon me. So I don’t really know how I would have fared without Her devi force because it is always with me.
It would have been so much harder to face if Kaliji were not in my life because
I would not have had years of Her shakti or the yoga teachings that have become ingrained or personal transformations from facing fears and demons in the light of her divinity. Kaliji’s inspiration in lifting my attitudes, strengthened the mind, giving courage and opening my heart is inherent in everything for me including cancer. With Kaliji, It is hard to take anything of this world too seriously, because she is so cosmic and all it takes is a few words, a few reminders, just tuning into her energy, feeling the essence of that yogi spirit, all inspiration to face such challenges with greater ease.
Q: Do you think the healing that took place is a miracle? It was a very aggressive form of cancer, wasn’t it?
A. I had a 10 cm tumor, the cancer itself was very rare, the aggressiveness was the worst. Everything about it was sort of doom and gloom. But doctors kept being amazed at my good results. I don’t know about a miracle because it could have been a better miracle not to have the cancer in the first place. (ha) Who knows. I just felt so grateful and blessed by the universe through it all and surely that affected my attitude and made it easier going through some harsh treatments and all the rest. First of all, I had Kaliji when diagnosed. Her presence alone is enough to keep one, not only from being terrified, but laughing through it all. And I had the best doctors, treatment and lots of support from my family, friends and community so I had plenty to be thankful for, and I am alive which I continue to celebrate.
Q: Since you met Kaliji, did you feel lucky to be in TriYoga community?
A. Triyoga is an international community creating a spiritual matrix for Triyogis everywhere. Community with Kaliji is a very unique place to be where every person has their individual way of connecting with her and of being part of the community as they wish. Everybody chooses what they want to do and in which ways they want to participate. For me that is being close to the source so I am indeed lucky to be fulfilling my dharma in this manner.