Skip to comments.Sri Daya Mata, Guiding Light for U.S. Hindus, Dies at 96
Posted on 12/05/2010 12:31:09 AM PST by Cronos
Sri Daya Mata, who for more than five decades was the leader of one of the most influential Hindu groups in the United States and an ardent advocate of the healing power of meditation, died on Tuesday at the groups retreat for nuns in Los Angeles. She was 96.
The society, whose monks and nuns adopt Indian names, teaches that there is a unifying truth behind all religious experience, and the group encourages its members to honor their roots in other faiths. Most members follow a vegetarian diet, practice yoga, chant and meditate
Sri Daya Mata, who was born Faye Wright in Salt Lake City on Jan. 31, 1914, was a daughter of Clarence and Rachel Wright, who were Mormons. Her grandfather Abraham Reister Wright was an architect of the Mormon Tabernacle.
Faye was 15 when she picked up a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita, a sacred Hindu scripture. Two years later, in 1931, she attended a lecture by Sri Yogananda in Salt Lake City.
Soon after, with her mothers blessing, she moved to Los Angeles and joined the society. She took her vows in 1932, becoming one of the first nuns of the Self-Realization Fellowship order. Her mother, sister and two brothers later became members of the society as well.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Yes, I believe it started in Hollywood back in the 1920s/1930s and was popular with some of the early movie people. A bit like the “New Age” movement of the day. I’ve been to the original temple in Hollywood and have driven past the large and ornate temple and grounds in Malibu many times. They also have a retreat facility in Mt. Washington, just north of downtown L.A. Interesting article.
Self-Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920, is a world-wide meditation group which centers on the teaching of Kriya Yoga. It is open to people of all faiths, even atheists and agnostics. Perhaps their most fundamental guiding principal is that all the great world religions have the same truth at the core, despite doctrinal differences, and that truth is a God of boundless love and forgiveness, who is our true Father/Mother.
I have read Autobiography of a Yogi and other books by Yogananda and his own Guru, Sri Yukteswar. I have also attended meditation services in Portland, OR and visited their restaurant and bookstore in Los Angeles. I can tell anyone interested that the members truly live what they teach. It's more than just Sunday morning politeness they possess. One can sense a deep, abiding peace, joy and love in those who regularly practice their meditation techniques.
Quite different from the faddish Eastern Gurus who emerged in the '60's, SRF was founded 90 years ago, and is closely associated with the Yogoda-Satsanga Society of India. They maintain meditation centers in most large Cities in the USA, as well as meditation groups in smaller cities.
There is also the level of nuns and brothers, men and women who practice celibacy and renounce all personal possessions. They live in the many Ashrams and retreats that SRF maintains. The teachings handed down through the long lineage of gurus, of which Yogananda was the last, form the basis of the formal religion of the nuns and brothers. All disciples who are at a lesser level of dedication are encouraged to maintain their own religion, even as they meditate and study Yogananda's teachings.
SRF does not teach that all religions will someday meld into a single, unified body of doctrine. I am told by long-time members that a primary purpose of meditation and study is to bring about a realization of God's overwhelming joy and love within the individual, to experience God within one's own consciousness. Hence the name 'Self Realization Society'. Yogananda means 'wedded to Bliss' when translated literally into English.
Thanks for more information. The one time I visited their facility in Hollywood I was very impressed with the sense of gentleness and peacefulness from the members.
LOL That’s funny!
I think a good lesson is found here in the way her parents behaved to her switching religions, at least her mother being supportive and understanding, though she personally probably didn’t get it.
To give the concept of karma its due, there are some people who just seem destined to migrate to a particular religion, no matter what religion, if any, they were raised in. When parents see this, if they figure out that what their child is interested in is not overtly destructive, in the strict sense, not just theoretically, then being supportive is the best tack.
Trying to force someone to stay in their families religion not only doesn’t work, but it creates a sense of hostility, cuts off communication, and all too often results in a lifetime of resentment.
Instead, by being supportive, the odds are that it is “just a phase”. But even if it isn’t, it still keeps the channels clear, and lets the child figure out their own destiny, while keeping good feelings toward their parents.
Excuse me, but who is the "he" to whom you are referring? This article is about Sri Daya Mata, a woman.
And what cause do you have to make such a sarcastic statement about someone about whom you know nothing?
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. Proverbs 16:25 KJV
She was just another lost soul.
‘Raise up a child in the way that they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.’ ... More fruit of Mormonism?