Sraddha Mata (1895 – 1984)
extracts from the memorial talk by Sri Daya Mata (see complete article below)
Daya Mataji: In the early years of the distribution of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Sraddha Ma prepared, with Master’s guidance, study questions to accompany them…And throughout the years when I was in India, she served as a representative of Guruji’s work and as hostess to the distinguished visitors who came here. Later she went to our Encinitas Ashram Center, where she was its director for many years.
Sraddha Mata’s life was one of complete dedication…never did I see her waver from the path she had set for herself…She was cheerful; she was loyal in word and deed; and she lived this life with devotion to God and Guru that was simply unswerving…There was always such a sweet, divine, and loving relationship between blessed Sraddha Ma and all of us others who came into the ashram in those early years. We loved her, and treasured her friendship…
Because of her physical condition, the last months of Sraddha Ma’s life were rather trying for her. But the devotees who cared for her have told me again and again of her sweet, uncomplaining acceptance of her cross. Let me read something of what they have told me, for it touched me so much:
“Early one morning, Sraddha Ma said to the devotee who was helping her for the day, ‘This is very important; I must tell you.’ She was quite insistent. ‘Please thank all of the beautiful ones who serve Master’s work.’ Over and over again, she expressed her appreciation for those who personally served her during that final period. Whenever we would do anything for her, she would always say, ‘Bless your heart!’ One day when there were two or three of us in her room, she said: ‘If I have ever done anything to offend you, please forgive me. Please forgive me.'”
Such is the attitude of a true devotee of God and Guru. That humility, strength, and spirit of sweetness deeply moved us all. And she also said, “We have had a lifetime of pure friendship together. I love you all; we love each other. Love is the most important thing in the world.”
That was the sweet and loving consciousness in which Sraddha Mata left her body. We will miss her, for she was a true example, whose attitude was: “No matter how many trials come on the spiritual path, no matter what discipline I must take because of the bad habits I cultivated in the past, I will never, never give up. I will go on undaunted to the end.”
And what a tremendous reward she had at the end, when she lived more in the consciousness of that other world, and spoke of its joy and beauty. She told those who were caring for her before her passing: “It is so beautiful here where my mind is dwelling. I wish all of you could see it.” One of them asked her again if what she was seeing was beautiful, and, she said, “Oh, yes, I should say so!”
And that remains with us when we move into the other world. There is never any moment, now and throughout eternity, when we can wander beyond His loving care. What a great source of joy and consolation it is to realize—not merely to understand intellectually, but to realize—how near we are to the Divine! He is just a breath away, just behind this light we behold, just behind this little heart that throbs and keeps us in this world, just behind the thoughts we think. Blessed are we if we fill the mind with lofty, joyous, positive thoughts; with thoughts of faith and courage, of the divine strength of God that supports and sustains us every moment of our existence, both here and beyond.
Sraddha Mata: A Memorial Tribute, SUMMER 1984 Self-Realization Magazine