In Memoriam: Kamala Silva (1906-1997)
Kamala Silva, a longtime disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, passed away on November 29, 1997. Brother Bhumananda of Self-Realization Fellowship International Headquarters conducted a memorial service for her at the SRF Temple in Richmond, California.
Born Mary Buchanan, she adopted the Sanskrit name Kamala, which Paramahansaji customarily called her; it means “lotus.” Among the thousands who attended Paramahansaji’s first series of lectures in Los Angeles in 1925, Kamala and her mother formed an early association with the great Guru; and after he established atop Mt. Washington the international headquarters of his society later that year, he invited them both to live there for a time and serve his growing spiritual work.
Kamala and her husband, Edward Silva (who passed away earlier in 1997), started a Self-Realization Fellowship Center in Oakland in the late 1940s, and thereafter conducted services and assisted SRF activities in the San Francisco Bay Area—including plans that resulted in the establishment of the current temple in Richmond. For many years she joined the monastics at the International Headquarters for annual Christmas celebrations, until age would no longer permit her to travel.
In a message of appreciation read at the memorial service, Sri Daya Mata wrote:
“To the end of life, her devotion to Guruji did not waver, and I was happy to learn from those who were often with her that she was at peace in Gurudeva’s love. Through the years her allegiance to him and his organization, which stemmed from her deep love for him, remained unchanged and it has always been the foundation of our ongoing friendship with her.”
Paramahansaji wrote to Kamala and Edward Silva in 1950: “Meditate deeply and regularly, doing everything within your power to carry on this great work of God. Keep the light of His love burning on the altar of your hearts, that it may light the way for others. You are both ever with me.”
from Self-Realization Magazine Spring 1998
CLICK HERE TO visit a very nice website dedicated to Kamala and listen to a number of her wonderful talks
[ *Yogananda Site: As explained elsewhere on this site, in the early years when there were not enough monastics Paramahansa Yogananda ordained several householder disciples to teach and give kriya yoga; however, in the last years he gave instructions that all ministers would after his passing be monastics of his SRF Order. See MONASTIC ORDER ]