Eastern & Western religious philosophy is one of my areas of interest about which I write essays exploring the nature of reality and being.
Sri Daya Mata
"Be Drunk with the Love of God"
As the time of his mahasamadhi (the conscious passing of the soul from the body of an advanced yogi) was drawing near, the great yogi Paramahansa Yogananda gave his disciple, Daya Mata, more and more responsibilities for the administrative work in his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship.
Then just days before the great guru's passing, he told Daya Ma that he would soon be leaving his physical form.
A bit startled by such a revelation, Daya Mata asked him how they would manage without the organization's leader. He answered, "Remember this: When I have left this world, only love can take my place. Be so drunk with the love of God night and day that you won't know anything but God; and give that love to all."
Only Love Could Take His Place
Until her own passing in 2010, Sri Daya Mata lived up to her guru's command superbly. She served as president of Self-Realization Fellowship from 1955 to give that love to all.
It is through Daya Ma's service and dedication that thousands and possibly millions have found a spiritual path that has comforted their souls as they confront the challenges of an uncertain world.
Daya Mata's first book is titled "Only Love" as her guru had instructed her that only love could take his place. And she has lived her life dedicated to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Daya Mata always strove ever to be in tune with what the guru would think and do in any given situation. That is the goal of every SRF devotee, and Daya Ma served as a perfect model.
Travelogue of the Soul
"Only Love" might be considered a travelogue of the soul. In her dedication, Daya Ma has written: "To my revered Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda without whose blessings this devotee would not have found God's love divine—the perfect, all-fulfilling love of Him who is our one Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved."
The book's preface was written by Chakravarthi V. Narasimhan, who served as Under-Secretary General for the Inter-Agency Affairs and Coordination at the United Nations. The book's introduction offers an informative overview of Daya Ma's life and how she became a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda.
The contents features 33 of Daya Ma's lectures delivered at such places as Bangalore, India, Encinitas, California, Hollywood, California, Calcutta, India; most of the talks were delivered at the various ashrams centers in California.
Titles of the talks include the following: "Why Should We Seek God?," "Man's Expanding Horizons," "Our Divine Destiny," "Qualities of a Devotee," which was the original title of this book, "Understanding One Another," and "How to Change Others."
Change Yourself and You Change Others
Some of these talks have also been published individually for the general public. At a recent SRF Convocation, a monk was lecturing on the topic of how we can change ourselves, and he stressed that changing ourselves is the way we change others.
Then the monk told us that he observed on one of his tours that offered a number of SRF publications, the one that was especially popular was "How to Change Others."
He mused about possible expectations of all those interested in changing others and that the surprise that might be in store when they learned that to change others you have to change yourself.
Following the 33 lectures is a section called "Divine Counsel" which consists of 23 short pieces with words of spiritual guidance and inspiration.
Most of these selections are from talks delivered at the Mother Center in Los Angeles. Titles include the following: "God is the Greatest Treasure," "God is the Answer to Every Problem," "The Psychological Battlefield of Good and Evil," and "Self-realization Is Found in Inner Silence."
The Teachings Attract Truth Seekers
"Only Love" is not only a fitting tribute to the great yogi whose teachings continue to attract devotees worldwide, but it is also a continuation of the love and inspiration Paramahansa Yogananda lived to share, coming to a foreign country and founding an organization that has long been dedicated to sharing these teachings with the world.
Through her books, lectures, and service to her guru's teachings, Sri Daya Mata has bestowed on the world a treasure of lasting and ever deepening value.
Scripture of Love: A Talk by Sri Daya Mata
Autobiography of a Yogi - Book Cover
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes