SRF Santa Rosa Meditation Group

 
September 1, 2017
SRF Announces New President
Brother Chidananda Elected President and Spiritual Head of SRF/YSS
Brother Chidananda official photo for web
    
 
 
 
The Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors is happy to share with you the news that Brother Chidananda has been elected president and spiritual leader of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, succeeding Sri Mrinalini Mata, who served in this position from January 2011 until her passing last month. His appointment was made by a unanimous vote by the SRF Board of Directors on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
Prior to her passing in 2010, late SRF President Sri Daya Mata expressed her conviction to Mrinalini Mata that Brother Chidananda should succeed Mrinalini Mata as president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS. Mrinalini Mata confirmed this some months before her own passing on August 3, 2017, and affirmed to the Board of Directors her agreement with Daya Mata’s recommendation.
Brother (Swami) Chidananda has been a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) for forty years, and a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors for the last eight years. Almost from the start of his monastic life, he had worked closely with Sri Mrinalini Mata, receiving her wisdom-permeated, Guru-attuned training as he assisted her in the editing and publishing of the works of Paramahansa Yogananda and other SRF publications.  
  
An Awakening to Serve God and the SRF Work
Born in 1953 in Annapolis, Maryland, he first encountered the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and his Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas in the early 1970s when he was a student of sociology and philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Drawn by a long-felt interest in India’s spirituality, Brother Chidananda visited the SRF Ashram Center in Encinitas, just north of the university campus, which was a familiar landmark for many of the students living in the adjacent coastal communities.
Some months later, he happened upon a copy of
Autobiography of a Yogi and was instantly captivated by the great wisdom and divine consciousness that spoke from its pages. During his last year at the university, he enrolled for the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons and began attending SRF services in Encinitas. He was deeply inspired by the talks of Brother Anandamoy, who was the minister there at the time, and also benefited from Brother Anandamoy’s personal counsel. It was in this sacred environment—so permeated with the vibrations of Paramahansaji—that he was profoundly influenced by the monks and nuns living there, and the desire to devote his life completely to seeking God and serving the work of Paramahansa Yogananda as a monastic disciple was awakened almost immediately.
Brother Chidananda entered the monks’ postulant ashram in Encinitas on November 19, 1977, and spent a year and a half there under the strict and loving guidance of Brother Premamoy, the saintly housebrother in charge of training the young monks. It was Brother Premamoy who first suggested to Sri Mrinalini Mata that she consider taking this young monk into the SRF Editorial Department. In April 1979, having completed his postulant training, Brother Chidananda was transferred to the SRF International Headquarters at Mt. Washington and was immediately assigned to editorial work in the Publications Department, serving under Mrinalini Mata and her co-editor in chief, Sahaja Mata, both of whom had been personally trained by the Guru to edit his writings and talks for future publication.
Shortly after the passing of Sahaja Mata in 1996, Brother Chidananda was appointed by then president Sri Daya Mata to the SRF/YSS International Publications Council, on which he served with Daya Mata and Mrinalini Mata until Daya Mataji’s passing in 2010. During this time he assisted these two senior direct disciples with the preparation and publication of many works, including Paramahansaji’s voluminous scriptural commentaries (
God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita and The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You) as well as all other SRF publications released from 1980 to the present. After years of progressively deeper training from Daya Mata, Mrinalini Mata, and Sahaja Mata, he was designated by Mrinalini Mata to succeed her as editor-in-chief of SRF/YSS publications after her passing.
Brother Chidananda was given the final monastic vows of
sannyas by Sri Daya Mata in 1997. His monastic name Chidananda means “bliss (ananda) through the infinite Divine Con­scious­ness (chit).” An ordained minister of Self-Realization Fellowship, he has shared Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings during lecture tours and retreat programs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India—as well as at the annual SRF World Convocations in Los Angeles. He was appointed a member of the SRF and YSS Boards of Directors by Sri Daya Mata in 2009, and has also served for many years as a member of the management committee that oversees SRF’s myriad activities and operations under the guidance of the president.
 
 
“Seeking God Together as the One Beloved of Our Souls…”
Speaking to SRF monastics after the election was announced, Brother Chidananda said: “It is with humility, and with the consciousness that Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda will always be the head of this organization, that I ask the prayers and aid of all of you in seeking to fulfill the request of our beloved Sri Daya Mata and Sri Mrinalini Mata to carry on in their footsteps. Their commitment to being pure channels of Gurudeva’s love—their divine example of seeking to attune every thought, decision, and action to his will and guidance—has been my inspiration throughout my life in the ashram; and it is with a sense of that sacred responsibility that I look forward to serving this great work of God and Gurus in the years ahead, trusting in the help, prayers, goodwill, and divine friendship of you all.
“Each of you is Master’s own chosen disciple, and I take the dust of your feet in acknowledgment that it is only as a united spiritual family of Gurudeva’s
chelas that we can, together, continue to advance this great work of SRF/YSS in that spirit of divine love, joy, and self-surrender—seeking God as the one Beloved of our souls in that spirit which our Guru enjoined upon us all and which he proph­esied would be the life and strength of his organization for all time to come. Jai Guru! Jai Ma!”
To the worldwide SRF/YSS spiritual family, Brother Chidananda wishes to convey the following message:
“Dear ones, in the love of God and Guru I greet you all, and ask Their continued blessings on all of us as we walk this blessed path of Kriya Yoga meditation and living in attunement with the Divine brought to us by Paramahansa Yogananda. In his name I am humbly grateful for the opportunity to serve you all, as are all of the monks and nuns in the SRF/YSS ashrams. As a worldwide band of God-seeking souls—whether on the lay disciple or monastic path—let us unite in gratitude for the spiritual blessings of these teachings and in the resolve to deepen our own
sadhana and inner communion with God and the Great Ones. May each one of you feel Their unceasing blessings. Jai Guru!” 

In Memoriam: Sri Mrinalini Mata
(May 8, 1931 – August 3, 2017)
A Special Message From the Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors
  August 4, 2017

  
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Dear Ones,

On August 3, 2017, our beloved Sri Mrinalini Mataji, president and
sanghamata of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India since 2011, peacefully departed from this world. We will miss her deeply. Yet we would want no sorrow to mar the bliss and freedom she is now experiencing in the heavenly realms, where Guruji has welcomed her with boundless joy and pours out to her his divine love and blessings for the faithfulness with which she fulfilled his trust. She was a pure channel for his teachings and the guidance he wished to convey, chosen by him because of her high spiritual advancement from past lives as his disciple and because he knew she had the wisdom and humility to set self aside, seeking only to please God and Guru.

When great souls such as our Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda incarnate on earth for a world mission, God often draws to them close disciples from the past to assist them in their work. Mrinalini Mata was surely such a one. From Guruji’s first meeting with Mrinalini Mata when she was only fourteen years old, he recognized that she would play a vital part in spreading the sacred science of Kriya Yoga that he was ordained by God and the Great Ones to bring.

In this quiet, shy young girl, he saw a purity and depth of understanding that would be able to penetrate to the very core of the divinely revealed truths he taught and present them in print with the power and authenticity of his wisdom. He also realized that she had the capacity to be single-heartedly loyal to his ideals and guidance—a disciple to whom he could entrust the polishing of his priceless gems of inspiration, knowing that she would never stray from his meaning but capture its very essence. With great care he trained her personally to succeed Tara Mata in the momentous task of preparing his writings for publication, and to that task she dedicated heart, mind, and soul. All of us who practice Gurudeva’s teachings, and the generations of devotees yet to come, owe her an eternal debt of gratitude for the purity of her attunement with him, and her decades of selfless efforts, which have given us such a wealth of his divine wisdom.

With an understanding ever rooted in Gurudeva’s vast consciousness, Mrinalini Mataji fulfilled multiple roles during her many years in his ashrams. In addition to her lifetime responsibility for editing Guruji’s writings, she served as vice president for many years, working side by side with Sri Daya Mata to aid the growth of Gurudeva’s work in the West and India. She had a special place in her heart for Guruji’s homeland and rejoiced to see his work flourishing there. When she became president of SRF/YSS after Daya Mata’s passing, she guided his society in the same spirit that Daya Mataji expressed in saying: “Not what do
I want, but what would Master want.” Their example affirmed the changeless truth that Guruji is in charge of this sacred work, and it will always be so.

The lives of those who have inspired us, and helped us grow spiritually, leave an enduring imprint upon our souls. Through her unwavering devotion to God and Guru, her work with Guruji’s writings, and her deep caring for his spiritual family, our dear Mrinalini Mata will ever be enshrined in our hearts. As we unite in sending her our love, gratitude, and prayers, we can be sure she receives those thoughts, and that we will meet again in God’s light and joy. May our lasting tribute to her be our own efforts to apply the truths in Gurudeva’s writings with zeal and persistence until they become a living, transforming power in our lives. That gift, placed at Guruji’s feet, is the expression of gratitude that will most touch her soul.


Yours in divine friendship,

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Brother Achalananda, Vice President
For the Board of Directors of SRF and YSS

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AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda
After a five-year journey to bring Paramahansa Yogananda’s life and teachings to the big screen, CounterPoint Films has announced that its work on
AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is now available in DVD and online.
"Using a seamless mix of re-creations and fascinating true footage, this very even-tempered documentary takes its audience all the way through a saint's life, from his first sensations in the womb to that moment in 1952 when, having recited a poem to a large crowd at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, he exited his body just like that....In between those events he changed the Western world."

ON AWAKE / FROM THE MAUI FILM FESTIVAL WEBSITE:

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. (Apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad.) By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today.

This is the link to the Awake website