“At the Head…Men and Women of Divine Realization” ~ Paramahansaji

When a Master comes to this world with a God-ordained mission for the upliftment of humanity, he brings with him advanced disciples from past incarnations to assist his work

“There will always be at the head of this organization men and women of Divine Realization.” 

Paramahansa Yogananda


Paramahansaji with second and third presidents of SRF/YSS, Rajarsi Janakananda and Daya Mata

Paramahansa Yogananda ~ Great ones always bring with them spiritual associates from past lives to assist them in their present mission  When Sri Krishna incarnated on earth, Arjuna, a great sage in his previous life, took birth also to be his companion. In the Gita, Arjuna stands as the symbol of the ideal devotee, the perfect disciple…Krishna’s father was the brother of Arjuna’s mother; thus, Krishna and Arjuna were cousins—related by blood, but bound together in an even stronger spiritual unity.”  Paramahansaji, from the Introduction, God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita


“A God-realized Master’s … inner circle of disciples”~~

“A master…has the advantage of being able to select qualified disciples, his spiritual children, from a vast number of followers, and to implant in them the seed of his spiritual vitality so that they can perpetuate the influence of the master’s life…

“Jesus selected his disciples for three reasons: first, because they had not reached, but were near, the final state of realization; and therefore he wanted to assist them in the attainment of perfection.  Second, after reawakening their past spiritual potential for reaching the final state of emancipation, Jesus required their assistance as apostles or model disciples who could be pioneers to propagate the message of Christhood to the masses through ideal living.  Last of all, Jesus knew, according to the plan of the Heavenly Father, that he would have twelve disciples, these particular twelve, to carry out his message to the world…

“And although one betrayed him, eleven carried on his work…

 from The Second Coming of Christ


“…from among loyal followers advanced disciples greatly help the masters in ways common and unique. Even a Christ could scarce fulfill his mission without those who are steadfast and in tune with him.

“Jesus knew the secret law of emancipation inherent in the guru-disciple relationship, and its pact of mutual help, as God began to send to him those disciples destined to help him and to find liberation through his instrumentality.”

also from The Second Coming of Christ


Paramahansaji  (speaking of Tara Mata)~~ “She is a great yogi…who lived many lives hidden away from the world in India.  She has come in this life to serve this work, as did many of you who have lived other lives in India.  God has brought you all here to help me spread the message of Kriya Yoga.”


Rajarasi Janakananda,  President SRF/YSS 1952-1955

Special issue, Rajarsi Janakananda Anniversary Centennial , Self-Realization magazine, Summer, 1992

The scriptures of India say that when a Master comes to this world with a God-ordained mission for the upliftment of humanity, he brings with him advanced disciples from past incarnations to assist his work. So it is with these close disciples around me: I knew them before…


“You are a Hindu yogi of Himalayan hermitages of the past, appearing in this life as an American prince, a Western maharaja-yogi who will light the lamp of Self-realization in many groping hearts.”

–Paramahansa Yogananda to Rajarsi Janankananda, 1932

See also~ RAJARSI JANAKANANDA, Articles List


DM President
Daya Mata, President SRF/YSS 1955-2010

DAYA MATAJI~~ (in India on pilgrimage to the cave of Babaji) 

“… With deep feeling and devotion, I was practicing what we call in India Japa Yoga, repeating the name of the Divine again and again and again…I was taking the name of Babaji. All I could think about was Babaji. My heart was bursting with a thrill indescribable.

Suddenly, I lost all awareness of this world. My mind was completely withdrawn into another state of consciousness. In an ecstasy of sweetest joy I beheld the presence of Babaji…Inwardly I bowed and took the dust of his feet.

Master had told some of us: “You never need concern yourselves about the leadership of our society.  Babaji has already selected those who are destined to lead the work.”  When I was chosen by the board, I questioned, “Why me?”* Now I found myself appealing to Babaji about it: “They chose me. I am so unworthy. How could it be?” I was sobbing inwardly at his feet.

So sweetly, he replied: “My child, you must not doubt your Guru.  He spoke the truth.  What he told you is true.”  As Babaji spoke these words, a blissful peace came over me. My whole being became bathed in that peace, for how long I do not know…

When I opened my eyes I beheld my surrounding with a new perception…”Of course!  I have been here before.”  Everything was instantly familiar to me. Memories of a past lifetime reawakened!  

Every sight, every scene I beheld, was familiar to me…Babaji’s presence remained so strong with me that everywhere I looked, he seemed to be there…

*Footnote: On one occasion Paramahansa Yogananda was asked about the appointing of future presidents of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, who by virtue of their office would represent him as the spiritual head of SRF/YSS as well. He replied, “There will always be at the head of this organization men and women of realization.  They are already known to God and the Gurus.”  

Though Paramahansaji had chosen and trained Daya Mataji for her future spiritual role, she never inwardly took the appointment literally feeling that when the time actually came the Lord would surely choose another in her stead. But neither the will of God nor the express wish of Guru was to be altered by this vain hope of one so wholly qualified, but humbly reluctant. (Publisher’s Note)

from Only Love

See also~ SRI DAYA MATA, Articles List


Mrinalini Mata,  President SRF/YSS  2011 – 2017


In mid-November 2010, after giving more than sixty years to the selfless fulfillment of her promise to the Divine Mother to stay on earth and serve the work of God and her Guru, Daya Mataji became aware that finally the time had come for her departure from the physical body.  Retaining her loving concern for others and penetrating faculties of understanding until the very end, she called to her side the members of Self-Realization Fellowship’s Board of Directors and other dear companions on the path, in order to bestow her final blessings and say farewell.  She repeated with great emphasis what she had said many times to those around her in years past: that it was the will of God and Gurus that the Board of Directors elect Mrinalini Mata to succeed her as spiritual head of SRF/YSS.   SRF Link

Mrinalini Mata:  “And I remember at the desert in those last days and I said to Master once, because he was speaking of when he would no longer be with us. And again it was in relation to the Lessons, I was trying to think of the continuity. And I said, “But Master, who will carry on after you?” I said, “You have appointed Rajarsi, we know that. But beyond that how will this lineage, in other words, be carried on. And he said, “You all whom I have trained, you know my wishes, you will do it. You will carry on.” And I said, “Yes but after Rajarsi, the presidency. And he looked at me and he said, “God and Gurus already know who they are, and when the time comes it will be divinely revealed.  There will always be at the head of this organization men and women of Divine Realization.”

from “In His Presence DVD/Rental

WATCH VIDEO of the above excerpt and more click here

Sri Mrinalini Mata, far left, became Paramahansaji’s disciple at age 14

See also~  SRI MRINALINI MATA, Articles List


MemorialDayaMa7 50 Small Crop
Bro. Chidananda, President SRF/YSS, 2017


Prior to her passing in 2010, late SRF President Sri Daya Mata expressed her conviction to Mrinalini Mata that Brother Chidananda should succeed Mrinalini Mata as president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS.  Mrinalini Mata confirmed this some months before her own passing on August 3, 2017, and affirmed to the Board of Directors her agreement with Daya Mata’s recommendation.

Brother (Swami) Chidananda had then been a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship for forty years, and a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors for eight years.  Almost from the start of his monastic life, he worked closely with Sri Mrinalini Mata, receiving her wisdom-permeated, Guru-attuned training as he assisted her in the editing and publishing of the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and other SRF publications. …

In April 1979, having completed his postulant training, Brother Chidananda was transferred to the SRF International Headquarters at Mt. Washington and was immediately assigned to editorial work in the Publications Department, serving under Mrinalini Mata and her co-editor in chief, Sahaja Mata, both of whom had been personally trained by the Guru to edit his writings and talks for future publication.

Shortly after the passing of Sahaja Mata in 1996, Brother Chidananda was appointed by then President Sri Daya Mata to the SRF/YSS International Publications Council, on which he served with Daya Mata and Mrinalini Mata until Daya Mataji’s passing in 2010… After years of progressively deeper training from Daya Mata, Mrinalini Mata, and Sahaja Mata, he was designated by Mrinalini Mata to succeed her as editor-in-chief of SRF/YSS publications after her passing…

An ordained minister of Self-Realization Fellowship, he has shared Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings during lecture tours and retreat programs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India—as well as at the annual SRF World Convocations in Los Angeles.  He was appointed a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors by Sri Daya Mata in 2009, and also served for many years as a member of the management committee that oversees SRF’s myriad activities and operations under the guidance of the president.

See~ Brother Chidananda, President and Spiritual Head of SRF/YSS




50th anniversary Lake Shrine dvd

Also see the DVD SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary Celebration – Stories of Paramahansa Yogananda by Direct Disciples

(Sister Parvati, Mukti Mata, Uma Mata, Brother Anandamoy, Brother Bhaktananda, Brother Bimalananda) Year 2000

See also ~~

Paramahansaji on the Importance of his SRF/YSS Monastic Order

GURU-PARAMPARA – The Passing of the Spiritual Mantle

Paramahansaji Speaks to Mrinalini Mata about His Successors and the Work


2 thoughts on ““At the Head…Men and Women of Divine Realization” ~ Paramahansaji

  1. Thanks for the precious information about the close direct disciples of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yoganandji and their line of succession.

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