January 31, 2014
The joyous occasion of our beloved Sri Daya Mata's 100th birth anniversary is surely celebrated in the heavenly realms where she now dwells, as well as in the hearts of all of us who have been deeply uplifted and changed by her divine life of devotion to God and her boundless compassion for His children. Souls from all lands and all religions responded to the love and understanding that flowed so abundantly from her God-attuned consciousness, drawing them closer to Him.
From childhood Daya Mataji yearned to know and commune with the Divine as did the great souls in the scriptures. When she saw our guru Paramahansa Yogananda for the first time and heard him speak, she thought, “This man loves God as I have always longed to love Him. He knows God. Him I shall follow!” Perfecting that love became the supreme goal of her own life; and because she never allowed anything to distract her from that goal, she was able to receive fully his spiritual bounty and to be such a pure channel of God's light and blessings in this world. She inspired all of us around her by her humility, her receptivity to Guruji's training, and the one-pointedness with which she lived in the thought of God. Even amidst life's daily challenges and the increasing responsibilities Gurudeva placed on her shoulders, she exuded an inner joy born of utter trust and surrender to the Divine.
“Thy will be done, not mine,” was her motto in all circumstances. She sought no personal recognition, for she wanted only to be a faithful disciple of her Guru; and throughout her years of leadership the criterion of her every decision was,“What would Master want?”; With her whole being she absorbed his guidance and increasingly reflected his nature – both his strength and his infinite tenderness. While fearlessly upholding his ideals, she gave kindness and understanding to all. Shortly before Guruji left this world, when she expressed to him her concern about how his disciples could carry on without him, he replied, “When I am gone, only love can take my place.” Those words remained ever engraved in her heart, and she lived them until she became that love, which nurtured his spiritual family after his passing and has given countless devotees tangible assurance of his sheltering presence.
As the mother of Gurudeva's worldwide family, Daya Mataji cared so deeply for us all. I hold in my heart as one of God's most treasured blessings the divine friendship we shared as we served Guruji's work together for more than sixty years, and cherish the wisdom and love she conveyed from her inner attunement with him. Ever afire with devotion to God and the desire to serve Him, she sought to awaken that enthusiasm in others; and the greatest way we can honor her is to follow with renewed zeal the sadhana Guruji has given. I pray that her example may remind and encourage you that, through your efforts and his blessings, you too can know the divine joy and all-fulfilling love that permeated her life. Jai Guru, Jai Ma!
In God and Gurudeva's boundless love,