(January 31, 1914 – November 30, 2010)
March 15, 2011
Tributes to Sri Daya Mata From Around the World
Following Sri Daya Mata’s passing, thousands of messages — emails, letters, and phone calls — poured in to the Mother Center from well-wishers and friends around the world. Some devotees reminisced about inspiration from meetings with Ma over the years, but there were also many from those who had never met her in person yet still felt a close connection to her through inner communion.
The excerpts presented here provide a glimpse of the great scope of people’s personal experiences with this beloved spiritual leader, yet all reflect a unified theme of the unconditional love and compassion that were the essence of Sri Daya Mata.
“I have found, as I suspect many devotees have, that in our beloved Daya Mata’s passing we have been profoundly blessed with deepened meditations and loving intuitions whispered in Ma’s gentle voice direct to our hearts. I have never felt such an immense love as during these past days of joyful memorial. Our beloved Ma continues to bless us even in her ascendance and we will never be the same, of this I am sure.”
“Her passing has brought with it a greater understanding of the tremendously demanding and significant service she provided — not just for all of us, but for the world at large for so many years.”
“It is a great loss not just for us devotees but for the whole world because a great saint and lover of God is not walking this earth anymore. Her life, her message and her example of perfect discipleship inspired us all for decades. As for myself, I can say that I read her books and listened to her tapes so many times that her voice is permanently recorded in my mind and her words are imprinted forever in my heart. She is and will ever be a deep source of inspiration in my sadhana. I thank Divine Mother for having asked her to stay with us for so long. Though saddened for the loss, I am happy for Daya Mataji because she is now free in the infinite ocean of bliss of our Mother Divine. I am sure she will continue to guide us and pray for us from where she is now, at Master’s side.”
“I wrote her several times and I was surprised by her personal interest in each one of us, always answering with thoughts of love and wisdom, practical suggestions to follow the sadhana with patience and love, as she did.
“She was a tangible expression of Divine Mother’s love — an embodiment of Prem, the Prem of our Guru, and the Prem of the Divine!”
“Paramahansa Yogananda said that after he had left his body, ‘Only love can take my place.’ We learn from The Holy Science that Love is the mightiest universal force of attraction, forever pulling creation back toward the Creator. In this world no one can ‘give love’; we can only purify ourselves so that divine love can flow and radiate through us. This is what Sri Daya Mata did beautifully and totally. Wherever she would go, divine love would radiate from her. When she spoke to the annual SRF Convocation, the vibration of her love would fill the entire California Ballroom at the Bonaventure Hotel, and it would be perceived by everyone, even if they were not SRF devotees. Moreover, her love was ornamented and perfumed by her genuine, innocent humility. I do not know of one other example in the whole history of humankind of a leader of a major organization for sixty years that has not tried, at least once, to take credit for the success of the organization. Sri Daya Mata never did; in her writings and talks she always gave credit where credit really belongs — to our Guru and to God. Future generations of SRF monastics and lay disciples alike will be inspired by the exemplary life of Sri Daya Mata to live their own lives in gracious and loving humility.”
“There are the great masters: they are like beams of light that guide mankind in darkness and despair during the chaos of our world; and then there are the disciples with an even more important task: Their work is to maintain and to feed that beam of light, so that it never dies or fades away, so that it can keep guiding us in troubled times. Such was the mission of our revered Sri Daya Mata. She was like a light keeper of the teachings and mission of our Master.”
“It’s difficult to express with words the torrent of feelings associated with the transitioning of a soul such as our most beloved Sri Daya Mataji. The intensity with which she so very closely guarded the purity and the mandates of Gurudeva are without match in the current Dwapara Age.
“Her flawless selflessness, her unwavering dedication, her astounding loyalty, her most dynamic spirituality, and her baffling simplicity are qualities deeply lacking and sorely missing in today’s world; yet she carried on with utter love and devotion for the One we should all aspire to sometime, someday, come face-to-face with — not only setting a perfect and unmatched example, but leaving a legacy not likely to be replicated any time soon.
“The scope of Daya Mataji’s life simply escapes the human mentality. Words can be said, books can be written, but her exemplary attunement to God and Gurudeva’s work will live forever as one that we all, without exception, should look to emulate and implement in our lives.
“She was a true standard-bearer, carrying the flame of the love of God and Guru with the valiancy of a true warrior, willing to give it all for the cause and her King.”
“Express consideration to Mataji, whose love and compassion touched our hearts and filled them with divine enthusiasm.”
“I did not have the privilege of meeting Daya Mata in person, but over the years in my sadhana there were several times she came to me in dreams. One time was during a period of ardent prayer for a dear friend in the weeks before he died. Ma came and pressed her forehead to mine in blessing, intuitively showing me a powerful way to visualize doing the same for my friend during prayer. So you see, Ma’s presence in my life has been there in a very real and tangible way, despite never having met her in the flesh.”
“I don’t want to tell a story; I just want to say that she is in my heart. She is my idol. I want to be like her.”
“In 2003, my mother and my husband were diagnosed six months apart with metastatic cancer, both given a short time to live. They became critically ill at about the same time. I was able to make the final trip to the East Coast and was given the gift of having my mother pass peacefully in my arms. Two days after her passing, I received a call to return home, as my husband’s condition was deteriorating. A few days after I came home, he was in intensive care at the hospital and not expected to live. That night I prayed deeply to Divine Mother, that while I knew She was ever with me, to please give me a human sign to affirm it. I was struggling to maintain my center and the grief was overwhelming at times.
“The very next day I received a call from Mother Center. I was very surprised, as I had not called or written to Mother Center. The beautiful voice said, ‘I would like to schedule an appointment for you to speak to a nun, as we have a message for you from Daya Mata, but before I do that, she has asked me to tell you directly that Divine Mother is with you.’ Hearing those words I dropped to my knees, sobbing in gratitude beyond measure or words. A few moments later a nun came to the phone, read the message of Beloved Mataji and consoled my soul. This was a profound example of beloved Mataji’s perfect attunement with God and Guruji and her great compassion and love for all. I never had the privilege of meeting beloved Mataji in her physical form, but I have her love and compassion etched upon my heart and soul.”
“Being in her presence was an experience I will never forget. We were bathed in waves of her love, which reduced us to tears of joy.”
“For those of us who have literally ‘grown up’ with our beloved Daya Mata and the SRF teachings, it is amazing to have her with us, and feel her love more tangibly than ever. I feel that I have been learning to ride a bicycle all these years, and she was running alongside of me — prepared to steady me if I wavered too much. Somehow I know I will be OK; she taught me through her example what I am supposed to learn — unwavering dedication and appreciation for the guru-disciple relationship and the teachings Paramahansa Yogananda has brought us — and that we are Ever Loved. Now to allow that Love to pass through to all.”
“As I heard of the passing of our beloved Sri Daya Mata it struck me with pain. My whole spiritual life on the path for more than thirty years has been accompanied by the presidency and spiritual leadership of our dear Ma. I took Ma’s book Finding the Joy Within You and read about her near-death experience in 1948. This comforted me and it filled me with gratitude that she undertook this task beyond human imagination to be the bedrock of our spiritual family and the organization of SRF for more than sixty-two years! I believe that she is now completely absorbed in that wonderful love she experienced back then.”
“Whenever I wrote to her, she always answered me; even when I said she didn’t have to, she did anyway. How many people worldwide did she painstakingly take under her wing and write to, counsel, and pray for every day of her life! Daya Ma is a true saint. The most beautiful soul I ever met. My life has been changed greatly because of her example and her unconditional love.”
“I started my own company in 2001. I wrote to Daya Ma seeking her blessings, but really not expecting a reply, knowing her enormous responsibilities and the many demands on her time. To my great surprise, a reply arrived in no time, encouraging the initiative and providing detailed counsel. The tone was warm and intimate, as if she had known me for ages, whereas we had actually never met.
“This has really, really been my good luck charm so far — I have framed Ma’s letter and kept it in my office room all these years. I saw her letter as a good omen when it arrived, perhaps because it was unexpected. Ma’s impeccable character and serviceful nature are beacons of light for those like me in the corporate ‘jungle.’ Her motto of ‘Love, serve, and for the rest, leave it to God,’ has been very inspiring in my business journey. So proud of her for upholding Guru’s ideals in such a blemish-free manner, for eight uninterrupted decades!”
“I never met Daya Mataji in person, but I feel her leaving the body as if I have known her always. To me she represented a mountain of strength and security — just knowing she is there gave me comfort….She is the epitome of wisdom, grace, and love — all in the form of a human being.”
“I cannot fully describe the effect she has had on my life: she has become for me a model of feminine divine beauty and love.”
“Dear beloved Sri Daya Ma….I am so thankful for your letters through the years. Guruji and you have changed my life. Your advice, unconditional love, and unceasing blessings have helped me always. Oh Ma, I love you always. I will still open my heart, mind, and soul for your blessings. Your holy book Enter the Quiet Heart (Die Stimme des Herzens) is my daily Bible!”
“In the late 1970s I was privileged to attend a satsanga that Sri Daya Mata gave for devotees after the Convocation. After her talk she greeted each devotee as they left the chapel. As I pronamed to her, I looked into her eyes. It was like looking into infinity, into God’s eyes. They were endless depths. Never have I experienced this. She smiled and welcomed me to Mother Center, and I left the chapel in a daze. I have never forgotten this experience....
“For those of us who did not know Master, she was the living example of all he taught.”
“Many years ago, I was invited to accompany a group of devotees to meet Sri Daya Mata at Mother Center. As we sat in the library, she gave us an informal satsanga. I was absolutely transfixed by Daya Mata’s eyes. I had heard the phrase ‘oceanic gaze,’ but never before had I looked into someone’s eyes and seen such tremendous depth, strength, and beauty. I feel honored to have walked on this earth at the same time as our beloved Ma.”
“I can not even begin to describe how much Daya Ma has affected my life. For nearly fifteen years, listening to her talks or reading her words have been part of my daily routine, and they have really molded my life. Without fail she has kept me on fire with enthusiasm and spiritual determination and yearning for God. But above all she has helped me develop such an intimate, sweet, loving, trusting, and intoxicating friendship with the Divine Beloved.
“Daya Ma helped me turn my meditations into real times of communion. And she helped me turn my duties into acts of love done within the presence of my God. Ma showed me what it means to be a disciple, what it means to be a friend, what it means to be a humble servant, what it means to be a leader — but most of all she showed me what it means to be a Lover. A Lover drunk with the wine of devotion to God.”
“Her presence, accomplishments, example, will shine like a star for many generations. The very best of India lived in Los Angeles in the form of Sri Sri Daya Mata.”
“Her life story spoke volumes to me. Her devotion to Master was unfailing and her leadership of SRF was amazing. She gave me continuous inspiration as to how to live a spiritual life by practicing deep communion with God. Words cannot describe how much of an influence she had and will continue to have on me for my entire life.”
“Just by seeing her you knew, beyond any shadow of doubt, that Sri Daya Mata was a being of light, all love and goodness. For our family, Sri Daya Mata has been, is, and will be an inexhaustible source of inspiration as well as an example of how a true disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda should be.”
“I always felt love when I thought of Ma.”
“The vast Pacific Ocean no longer separates me from the magnetic presence of Sri Daya Mataji. Our beloved president, leader, teacher, friend has gone to her Guru, into the world of light. Waves of bliss wash our hearts with her sweet joy. Though we are left on the shore, we are not forlorn nor need we grieve that she is there at Master’s side. Guru and Disciple — their love-beams reach worldwide. Mother of Compassion, thank you for your life of grace.”
“Whether on earth or in heaven, Sri Daya Mata lights the path before me.”