Beloved BRO. TURIYANANDA ~ In Memoriam and Personal Sayings

Turiyananda, Baby

Brother Turiyananda following christening ceremony he conducted for the child of a Self-Realization member

In Memoriam: Brother Turiyananda (1926-1990)

BROTHER TURIYANANDA, a Self-Realization Fellowship minister serving at the Lake Shrine, passed away on June 10, 1990.  His dynamic balance of devotion and determination will be keenly missed by the many people who heard his sermons and received his counsel during his nineteen years as a minister at the Lake Shrine, and by those around the world who attended his classes during the annual Convocations in Los Angeles and during his visits to various cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 26, 1926, Brother Turiyananda became acquainted with Paramahansa Yogananda’s life and work through reading Autobiography of a Yogi.   His enthusiasm for Paramahansaji’s teachings led him to enter the Self-Realization Order in 1954, and after ten years as a monk he was invited to take the final vow of sannyas, and the name Turiyananda, “bliss through superconsciousness.”   After serving many years at the Mount Washington and Encinitas ashram centers, in 1971 he was transferred to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, where he spent his remaining nineteen years.

A memorial service was held on June 15 at the Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale, California, in the Hall of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.  The 800-seat hall was filled to capacity.  The service was conducted by Brother Bhaktananda, who conveyed to the assemblage a loving tribute to Brother Turiyananda from Sri Daya Mata.  “Turiyananda served selflessly and enthusiastically,” Mataji said, “and found deep joy in speaking of the blessed Guru and his teachings.  Many are the loving memories we shared in dwelling on the goodness of his soul, and our hearts fill with appreciation for all that he gave to the cause of Self-Realization Fellowship.”  

ma and monks

Bro. Turiyananda, front center; Daya Mataji with Swami Shyamananda; (back left to back right) Bros. Bhavananda, Dharmananda, Mokshananda, Turiyananda, Achalananda, Anandamoy, Premamoy

Brothers Santoshananda and Ramananda spoke briefly about their reminiscences of Brother Turiyananda, providing some insight into his spiritual–and humor-loving—nature.  Brother Ramananda spoke of how Turiyananda’s “cheerfulness, willingness, and enthusiasm were great examples for all of us.”   

Brother Santoshananda, who had known Brother Turiyananda since they were both youths in Switzerland, recalled that soon after Brother Turiyananda had begun to follow Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings in 1953, a well-known Indian saint, Swami Ramdas, visited Geneva.  When Turiyananda went to the swami to ask for a blessing, that saintly soul looked at him with a loving but penetrating gaze and said: “But don’t you have a guru?”   “Oh yes,” Turiyananda replied. “But he is Yogananda; and now he is dead.”   With great power the swami exclaimed: “You are dead; your guru is alive!”   Deeply moved, Turiyananda left Switzerland soon afterward to devote the rest of his life to seeking and serving God in the ashrams of Paramahansa Yogananda.  

Brother Turiyananda’s presence among us will be sorely missed.  The following letter from a member is typical of the many received:

“My husband and I have known and adored our dear Turiyananda for almost 20 years. His devotion to Master and loyalty to this work have struck us both to core.  It has pushed us on, and pulled us up, and encouraged us to keep on.  We will miss him in more ways than we can ever say.”

In the memorial service, Brother Bhaktananda said: “At the call of the Heavenly Father, Turiyanandaji closed a door on this life and entered into the kingdom of light, where there is no disease, pain, or suffering; no disappointments and frustrations mixed with pleasure.  Rather it is a glorious life that awaits all of us—a life of freedom and joy and beauty such as we do not have here on earth ….So while on this side of creation we think of it as death, in the astral world it is a birth into heavenly freedom.  That is what our dear Brother Turiyananda is now enjoying.”

Fall 1990, Self-Realization magazine

Bro. Turiyananda

TURIYANANDA SAYINGS ~~ (from an SRF Devotee newsletter)

In loving memory, here are a few snippets of Br. Turiyananda’s sayings as [an SRF devotee] has written them down. Of course, for a total multimedia experience you have to add, in your mind, Brother’s heavy accent!

 “Our behavior during the day makes our meditation at night.”

“Drop it, and you have to drop it fast!”

“Lord, I would like this very much, but please don’t give it to me!”

“TV re-energizes the bad samskaras of sex and violence. If you take regular baths in low vibrations, you cannot ascend higher.”

“Thoughts have the power of materialization.  Therefore you have to change your process of thought.  There is no other way!”

“Stop worrying about the future of the world.  Surrender your life to God.”

“All my life I have taken care of this body and of this mind, and when I die I discover I am not this body and this mind, and all my life I have taken care of somebody else.”

“You have to be honest and say, Lord, I may have this question but I know I don’t understand the answer.”

Brother liked to quote St. Bernadette Soubirou: “For those who believe, nothing needs to be explained; for those who don’t believe, nothing can be explained.”

“Lord, if You forgive me the little jokes that I played on You, I will forgive you the big one You played on me!”

“If you want non-violence, the first thing you have to do is turn off television.”

“Don’t give too much time to the world.  Let the dead bury the dead, as Christ said. Anyone who does not at least spend one hour daily in meditation, is as good as dead.”

“The Lord is stingy with those who are stingy with Him.”

“You will know who is your guru when God is satisfied with your sincerity.”

“When doing the Recharging Exercises, invoke a reverential feeling.  God Himself has given these exercises to Guruji.  You are to be embraced by God as Christ Energy.”

“Maya will give you all sorts of things to rob you of better things.”

“Anything which strengthens your mind is your friend; anything that weakens your mind is your enemy.”

“You have to learn to immediately counteract any negative thought.  It’s an unseen warfare!”

“Avoid at all times to find yourself in situations where there is violence or riots so you don’t involve yourself in mass karma.  Especially TV revives those bad trends in us.”

“God will help you much more if you willingly discipline yourself.  Otherwise He will use the 2-by-4!”

“Stay away from all horror movies because you may attune yourself to that level.”

“Remember the Bushido code: Complaints are for the weak!”