TARA MATA ~ Loyal disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda for forty-seven years [from 1924]. Member of Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors; SRF vice-president 1960-66; editor-in-chief of all publications of Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.
See also~ TARA MATA ~ Praises from Paramahansaji
Daya Mata: “Tara Ma came from a quite extraordinary family, to speak briefly about that aspect of her life. Her grandfather, Orson Pratt, was one of the founders of the Mormon religion. He was one of the great astronomers and mathematicians of the Western world. Einstein said of him that only a handful of men, even today, could understand Orson Pratt’s book on mathematics. A prophet and a seer, he seemed to live in another world…During the month of Lahiri Mahasaya’s birth (September 30, 1828), he would go out when everyone else was asleep and pray all night to God. He experienced some great spiritual awakening during that period when Lahiri Mahasaya was born.
“And Tara Ma was very much like her grandfather, spiritually and intellectually. She had one of the most original, keen, penetrating minds of any human being I have ever met. She lived primarily by the principle of discrimination, and early understood the highest wisdom, which is to seek and know God. Wisdom is not wisdom unless it relates to Him. And one cannot relate to God unless one loves Him deeply. Tara Ma’s love for God was not the kind that is displayed before others. She lived it — ardently and profoundly.”
The following are excerpts from A Forerunner of the New Race in which Tara Mata describes her personal experience of Cosmic Consciousness which she had after meeting Paramahansa Yogananda for the first time. [She tells this story as it happened to a Yogoda student, who was actually herself] – Yogananda Site
…Realization that there is a definite Way to contact God, a technique usable by all men in all circumstances, has come with such a liberating shock to many Yogoda students that they feel they have undergone a new birth.
I have one such case in mind—a man who, as soon as he had heard the Yogoda message, was swept up into Cosmic Consciousness. He is the only man of true Illumination, outside of Swami Yogananda, whom I have known personally, though I have heard or read of a number of other Yogoda students who have had a more or less similar experience.
This man was possessed of intense religious faith and aspiration. Though well read in the sacred scriptures of the world…he knew that this intellectual knowledge…did not feed the soul-hunger within him… Under the even tenor of his days there yawned a black abyss of despair—despair that he was worthy of any direct contact with God, since no such experience was given to him…This conviction struck at the roots of his life, and made it seem a worthless and meaningless thing.
Into this dark night of his soul came the light of Yogoda. After attending a few of the public Yogoda lectures, and before taking the class lessons, this man felt the heavy weight of despair lifting from his heart. Returning to his home one night from the last of the public lectures, he was conscious of a great peace within himself. He felt that in some deep fundamental way, he had become a different person. An impulse urged him to look into a mirror in his room, that he might see the new man. There he saw, not his own face, but the face of the Hindu teacher whose lecture he had attended that evening. The flood-gates of joy broke in his soul; he was inundated with waves of indescribable ecstasy. Words that had been merely words to him before—bliss, immortality, eternity, truth, divine love—became, in the twinkling of an eye, the core of his being, the essence of his life, the only possible reality. Realization that these deep, everlasting founts of joy existed in every heart, that this immortal life underlay all the mortality of humanity, that this eternal, all-inclusive love enveloped and supported and guided every particle, every atom of creation, burst upon him with a surety, a divine certainty that caused his whole being to pour forth in a flood of praise and gratitude.
He knew, not with his mind alone, but with his heart and soul, with every cell and molecule of his body. The sublime splendor and joy of this discovery were so vast that he felt that centuries, millenniums, countless eons of suffering were as nothing, as less than nothing, if by such means this bliss could be obtained. Sin, sorrow, death—these were but words now, words without meaning, words swallowed up by joy as minnows by the seven seas.
He was aware, during this first period of illumination and during the weeks which followed, of a number of physiological changes within himself. The most striking was what seemed a rearrangement of molecular structures in his brain…It seemed as though a kind of electrical drill was boring out new cellular thought-channels. ….
Another important change was felt in his spinal column…so that, when he sat to meditate on God…he felt able to sit in one place eternally without motion or consciousness of any bodily function. At times an influx of super-human strength invaded him, and he felt that he was carrying the whole universe on his shoulders. The elixir of life, the nectar of immortality, he felt flowing in his veins as an actual, tangible force….
During the weeks of his illumination, he felt no need of food or sleep….and in sleep he was pillowed on the “everlasting arms,” awakening to a joy past all words, past all powers of description. ….
His family and friends were aware of a great change in his appearance and manner; his face shone with a radiant light, his eyes were pools of joy. Strangers spoke to him, irresistibly drawn by a strange sympathy; on the street-car, children would come over to sit on his lap, asking him to visit them.
The whole universe was to him bathed in a sea of love; he said to himself many times, “Now at last I know what Love is! This is God’s love, shaming the noblest human affection, Eternal love, unconquerable love, all-satisfying love!” He knew beyond all possibility or thought of doubt that Love creates and sustains the universe, and that all created things human or sub-human, were destined to discover this Love, this immortal bliss that was the very essence of life. He felt his mind expand, his understanding reach out, endlessly widening, growing, touching everything in the universe, binding all things, all thoughts to himself. He was “center everywhere, circumference nowhere.” ….
Everywhere he looked, he saw the “atom-dance” of nature; the air was filled with myriad moving pin-pricks of light.
During these weeks, he went about his daily duties as usual, but with a hitherto unknown efficiency and speed. Typed papers flew off his machine, completed without error in a fourth of his customary time. Fatigue was unknown to him; his work seemed like child’s play, happy and carefree. Conversing in person or over the telephone with his clients, his inward joy covered every action and circumstance with a cosmic significance, for to him these men, this telephone, this table, this voice was God, God manifesting Himself in another of His fascinating disguises.
In the midst of his work, he would suddenly be freshly overwhelmed by the goodness of God Who had given him this incredible, unspeakable happiness. His breath would stop completely at such times; the awe which he felt would be accompanied by an absolute stillness within and without. Underlying all his consciousness was a sense of immeasurable and unutterable gratitude; a longing for others to know the joy which lay within them; but most of all, a divine knowledge, past all human comprehension, that all was well with the world, that everything was leading to the goal of Cosmic Consciousness, immortal bliss. ….
We can well imagine…that a race of men, possessing as a normal and permanent faculty this sense of Cosmic Consciousness, would soon turn the earth into a paradise, a planet fit for Christs and Buddhas, and polestar for the wheeling universe.
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