MEERA MATA (April 6, 1904-September 3, 1982), a loyal and beloved direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda for over thirty-five years, was a Self-Realization Fellowship minister and co-administrator of SRF Hollywood Ashram Center from its inception. She was also the mother of Mrinalini Mata, current President of SRF/YSS. The following are extracts of Sri Daya Mata’s talk at the private memorial service for her given for the SRF monastics.
Excerpts from the talk by Daya Mataji: (see the entire memorial article below)
“…Her life was one of total surrender to the divine will in complete humility and devotion—with trust like that of a child. She went into this final phase of her life with that full faith and surrender. …
(in the beginning) “…she had come here to Mt. Washington to see Guruji, and rode with him in the car back to the Encinitas Hermitage, along with Ananda Mata and myself. As we drove, she and Master talked long and enthusiastically about the Self-Realization teachings. At that time, Meera Ma was about to undergo a very serious operation; but as she spoke with Master, I could see that she was facing it with all the faith and trust that the human soul can put forth when confronting some crisis in life. Throughout her life she faced every crisis with that same total, childlike trust in God. Guruji later said that she was to have left her body as a result of that illness, but her life was spared for God’s work. …
Troubled with many physical difficulties. and often racked with bodily pains, she nevertheless put forth tremendous vitality, strength, and will power to help the work—not only at the Hollywood Ashram Center and Temple, but wherever she was asked to serve.
One of the reasons Guruji highly regarded Meera Mata as a disciple was that she was truly capable of serving this work. In Meera Mata Guruji had someone who couldn’t be balked by even the most difficult task. I know that she never once said to Master,”I cannot do it,” or, “This is impossible.” She always said, “Master, we will find a way!” — and she did!
Guruji also said this to Meera Ma: “The spiritual path will not be easy. You will learn great tolerance, patience, and perseverance.” Meera Ma’s path was not easy, especially after the mahasamadhi of Guruji in 1952, and of Rajarsi Janakananda in 1955. Meera Mata was out in the “front line,” you might say— a liaison between the Mother Center and the members, the world—doing everything she could to help keep this work strong and united after the passing of those two divine souls. She was like a standard-bearer, carrying the symbol of God and Guruji for all to see. She was a pillar of strength and understanding.
Guruji said many beautiful things about Meera Ma. Once, on her birthday, he wrote to her: “This is to wish you a very happy birthday, for the grand mother you have been, not only to your own children, but to all of my children in Self-Realization Fellowship. Your birth has been a joy to your family and to the family of Self-Realization, and will be so ever after.”
Meera Mata once told us how Master had said that in lives to come, she would be the mother of a number of his disciples. He said that she would be a mother to the end. When her own children–two daughters, a son and an adopted daughter— had wanted to leave home to enter Guruji’s ashram, she didn’t hesitate in giving permission, not knowing then that she herself would be free to enter a year later. Very few mothers would have so willingly consented, for her children were only in their earliest teens. She sacrificed her motherly attachment for the blessings her children would receive from Gurujis training.* [*Meera Mata’s youngest daughter, Mrinalini Mata, has served as Vice-President of Self-Realization Fellowship since 1966 (President since 2011).] After she too had entered the ashram, she mothered all of the young ones as readily as she cared for her own. How many souls through the years were blessed by her motherly love and counsel! …
Every time you think of Meera Mata, think of her with great love, because that vibration travels beyond this finite world and reaches out to our loved ones in those other mansions of our Father. I have never doubted it. I have found that continuing link with Guruji, and with all of my loved ones who have gone on. And and so it will be with Meera Mata. Think of all the joyous, loving times we have shared, think of all the sweet and loving things she has said and done, and tell her, “Meera Ma, I love you. I love you.” This touches her, and she rejoices, because she wants us not to feel sadness.
We should never grieve for those who have passed on, for that reaches them, and they think, “Why am I feeling sadness in my consciousness? These memorial services should be as time of joy. Yes, we will have our moments of mourning, but having had them, having said all we wanted to say in those moments of grief, we should lift up our consciousness and joyously realize that as we met in this life, we will meet again. All of us who have truly loved God, and have dedicated our lives to Him, will meet again—in a much sweeter, closer, more intimate way than we have ever known in this life. Such is the blessing of leaving this mortal coil.
Even to the end, unmindful of her age and her sickened body, she devoted herself to helping others, to cooking, to cleaning, to serving in any way she could — in addition to her many administrative responsibilities at the ashram center.
She had total humility in that respect. She never felt. “I am a senior on the Path: 1 am above menial tasks; I have graduated from that stage. No, she had the attitude of a true renunciant of one who has completely surrendered to God: “Wherever I am needed—if it is scrubbing the bathrooms, if it is cleaning in the kitchen, if it is working in the office, if it is speaking before the masses—there I must be.” The higher we get in the love of God, the more we strive to do the meekest, smallest things in the world. Everyone wants to reach the top, but I can truthfully tell you that the way to reach the top is to be down at the bottom, willing to serve with the least. That was the example set by our Meera Ma. …
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