Satsanga With Sri Mrinalini Mata

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    In her illuminating expositions of the science of Yoga and of the scriptural commentaries of Paramahansa Yogananda, her compassionate and common-sense counsel on dealing with life’s daily challenges, and her poignant and instructive reminiscences of experiences with the Guru, Sri Mrinalini Mata has blessed the ever-growing spiritual family of SRF with a wealth of lasting inspiration, flowing from the fountain of her life-long attunement with the Guru.

    We would like to share with you now excerpts from just a sampling of her writings and videos from the many classes and talks Sri Mrinalini Mata gave over the course of several decades.

    The Sacred and Ancient Science of Yoga

    The Beginning of Paramahansa Yogananda's Mission

    Time: 4:51

    Sri Mrinalini Mata discusses the origin and unfoldment of Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission to reveal the unity of the scriptures of Krishna and Christ, illuminated by the eternal truths of Yoga. 

    (From the DVD Portal to the Inner Light)


    Kriya Yoga, the Science of God-Realization

    Time: 3:36

    Sri Mrinalini Mata encourages us to practice Kriya Yoga with faith, for it is the science of God-realization, mathematical in its results, and provides tremendous power to be and do good in this world.

    (From the DVD Be Messengers of God's Light and Love)


    Practice Kriya Yoga Every Day

    Time: 2:59

    Sri Mrinalini Mata shares more on the soul-awakening benefits of daily practice of Kriya Yoga, coupled with devotion to God.

    (From the DVD Be Messengers of God's Light and Love)


    The Holy Ghost Aum Vibration

    Time: 2:45

    Sri Mrinalini Mata elucidates one of the central aspects in the esoteric teaching of Jesus Christ, as revealed in Paramahansa Yogananda’s commentary on the Four Gospels, The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You.

    (From the DVD Portal to the Inner Light)


    "Behold, the Kingdom of God Is Within You"

    Time: 1:19

    Insights into the esoteric teachings of Christ and their oneness with the teaching of Yoga.

    (From the DVD Portal to the Inner Light)


    Karma and Samskaras

    Time: 6:10

    An insightful and humorous explanation of how past karma can negatively affect our present state of consciousness, coupled with tips on how we can also rise above such influences.

    (From the DVD Be Messengers of God's Light and Love)


    From the writings of Sri Mrinalini Mata:

    Tomes have been written about the intricacies of the science of yoga and how its techniques of pranayama (life-force control) work to take the consciousness back to God. To read and absorb them would take an entire lifetime, or more! But the practice of Kriya is very simple. The devotee does not have to understand the metaphysics involved. After all, are we running God’s universe? Do the laws of physics only work when we tell them how to work? Of course not! Cosmic laws are constantly operating with or without our knowledge of their operation.

    So when one practices Kriya—and applies not only law, as embodied in the technique, but also love for God, a longing and desire for God in the heart—then automatically the profound metaphysical principles of the yoga science are called into play. By practice of the pranayama technique of Kriya Yoga, which “magnetizes” the spine, concentration becomes interiorized. And when the mind becomes concentrated upon God, and there is devotion in the heart, and one practices the very simple Kriya technique, automatically—without our even having to know the complicated pathways through which the prana revolves up and down the spine, or how the consciousness passes through the chakras (successively finer aspects of the creative Aum Vibration), or what is happening at the spiritual eye (the kutastha)—God’s laws are working to center the consciousness within upon the altar of God-perception. One is tuning in with that great vibratory force of God’s love—that magnetic force of attraction in creation and in every soul. When by devotion plus correct and long practice of Kriya—for years if necessary—the magnetic attraction of the ingoing force becomes stronger in the devotee than the outgoing force of maya that has hypnotized him into thinking the physical body and world are real, then the devotee can enter at will the state of interiorized God-communion.

    (From the book Manifesting Divine Consciousness in Daily Life)

    Remembering Paramahansa Yogananda

    The Master's Great Samadhi of 1948

    Time: 6:45

    A fascinating firsthand account of one of the most awe-inspiring and sublime experiences of God-communion that occurred in the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. 

    (From the DVD In His Presence)


    How to Know You Are Making Spiritual Progress

    Time: 7:17

    Drawing from her training in Paramahansa Yogananda’s ashram, Sri Mrinalini Mata shares humorous and instructive anecdotes that encourage us all to persevere in our spiritual efforts. 

    (From the DVD Be Messengers of God's Light and Love)


    The Teachings Will Be the Guru

    Time: 1:58

    Sri Mrinalini Mata conveys words of assurance spoken by Paramahansa Yogananda about the continuity of his spiritual work that would endure through the teachings and blessings of the SRF line of Gurus. 

    (From the DVD In His Presence)


    Excerpts from talks and writings by Sri Mrinalini Mata:

    Let me relate a little bit of those last years with Gurudeva [Paramahansa Yogananda]. You might say that those of us who came to the ashram in his latter years were “the younger generation.” There were the blessed ones who had come in his earlier years: Daya Mata, Ananda Mata, Durga Mata, the Lewises, and so forth. Then there was a period when many of us came from his San Diego Temple. Master called us, “my San Diego haul.”* So with this new generation Master had, you might say, the joy of a father being with his young children and setting their feet correctly on the path of life. He used to spend a great deal of time with us in Encinitas, in those first two or three years. Many of us were going to school at that time. And I can remember the thrill when we would come home on the school bus and walk up the driveway there in Encinitas, looking up to Guruji’s window to see if he were home. Almost always the little venetian blind would open and you knew that Master was there, and then he would wave so sweetly. Sometimes he would beckon us to come, and then he would share some mango or some sweetmeat with us.

    In the evenings he would call us together, and we would sit around the dining room table, or he would sit in the big drawing room, and we would gather at his feet, and he would talk informally. We often asked him to tell us stories about his training with his own guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. Sometimes we would encourage him to get out the tablas or the harmonium and we would have a long period of devotional chanting with him. Sometimes late in the evening out of the clear blue sky he would say, “Let’s go to the kitchen and cook a curry.” So we would gather some cauliflowers, some cabbages, some potatoes, whatever we could find, and Master would make a curry. And while we helped him, he would play with us by calling for a spatula or the potatoes or some other item with whatever words came into his mind. Once he looked at me, and said: “Put on a ‘General Pershing.’” Immediately I went over to where the aprons were hanging and put one on. I can remember that there was one devotee who always tried to reason it out: “What does a ‘General Pershing’ mean?” If you thought, you’d get it wrong every time! Master would say, “Don’t think. Be in tune.” When your mind was in tune with him, you would get his thought. And he would smile and say, “Pretty good!”

    Master was trying to teach us: “If you have that attunement with me even in small matters, then you will have attunement with the spiritual help I’m trying to give you.” The spiritual consciousness of Guru is that part of his being that is awakened from the cosmic dream, and that is the part with which the Guru wants us to be in constant attunement. This is what Gyanamata understood when she said, “Remember that the Guru is always the guru…even when he is not consciously acting as such.” No matter what kind of a game or what kind of relationship we were engaged in on this plane, Guruji was always trying to touch our souls and our minds and bring them into attunement with that higher plane where he in his divine nature and oneness with God was always dwelling and working.

    (From the Spring 2003 issue of Self-Realization magazine and the audio CD If You Would Know the Guru)


    In early March 1952, he [Paramahansa Yogananda] left the desert for the last time and returned to Mt. Washington. That very last day, when he was ready to go to the Biltmore, where he was to speak at a banquet honoring India’s ambassador, I was walking with him, carrying some things for him. We reached the elevator and he turned around, looked at me and another devotee who was standing there, and he said, “I’m going to the Biltmore and I’m not coming back.”

    You know, there are times when the mind just won’t accept certain things. Deep inside, my soul knew what he meant, but the mind wouldn’t acknowledge it. I rode with him down the elevator. He said some very beautiful, sweet things, and gave me his blessing.

    Part of our tradition with Master, those of us who served him, was that if we weren’t going with Guruji we always went to the car with him. But this time an unusual thing happened. Just a few steps beyond the elevator, he stopped and turned around (I was following behind him) and just looked at me for what seemed like a long time. Then he said, “Now, you go upstairs. You go back.” He waited until I started to go, and then turned and walked on toward the car.

    As I started up the stairs, something inside—again, that was the soul, which knew the drama that was to come—made me stop. I just froze on the steps. It was as though every cell, every bit of my consciousness screamed in great pain and agony, without making a sound. Then the veil of maya again obscured my understanding, and I said, “What is this? How strange. What is this feeling?” And I masked it over. In those days we never went out anywhere without Master. If he took us, we went. If he didn’t, we didn’t go anywhere. But that night he had permitted us to have a little dinner out to celebrate the birthday of one of the devotees. When we came home, Meera Mata met us and told us the news that Guruji had left his body.

    Coming upstairs to his rooms, where his form lay in state—how beautiful it was. Sad, for us, and yet beautiful—how Guruji’s body retained that beauty and how he maintained that communication with us through the beauty of that form. You couldn’t believe that the life had fled. Such a sweet smile, and such an overpowering feeling when you would go into the room. It was a very, very real experience....

    If you would know the Guru, whether he is incarnate or whether he is in Spirit, it has to be on that plane of divine communion—in deeper meditation; in greater selflessness; in giving up more and more of that egoity that wants to fight for its “rights,” that wants to indulge in moods, that wants position, that engages in pettiness and jealousies, in discouragement. If we would know the Guru, it has to be on that plane of divine love, humility, total surrender, in simple fulfillment of the perfect, all-complete sadhana that he has given to us....May he become as real to each one as he was real to us when he was incarnate in that blessed form of Paramahansa Yogananda.

    (From the Spring 2003 issue of Self-Realization magazine and the audio talk If You Would Know the Guru)   

    Meeting Life’s Challenges Through Wisdom, Will Power, and Devotion

    Practicing the Presence of God—Change Your Thoughts, Change Yourself

    Time: 3:58

    Guidance and encouragement to resist negative moods through affirmation of God’s presence within us. 

    (From the DVD Be Messengers of God's Light and Love)


    Excerpts from talks and writings by Sri Mrinalini Mata:

    First of all, we should remember that we ourselves are the creators of our tests. Our difficulties in life are primarily because of our own wrong or misguided actions. That is what produces the unpleasant results we find ourselves having to cope with. And I can tell you one of the greatest ways to do so: Do not be a fatalist....

    So often devotees lament: “I have this trouble in my business. I have this trouble in my meditation, this trouble in my family, this trouble in my body. But what can I do? It is my karma. I must suffer it through.”

    Our guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, never accepted that idea; and he taught us not to accept it. While it is true that the problems we have stem from our own wrong use of free will, we should never, ever allow the mind to accept the limitations imposed by the results of those past wrong actions. Paramahansaji taught us: “You are a child of God. His image is dwelling in your body temple. As He is all-powerful, so are you all-powerful.”

    Since this entire universe of maya-delusion comes from and exists within the cosmic consciousness of God, you might say that the Lord Himself has delusion within Him. But He is untouched by that delusion and refuses to be limited by it. His divine consciousness, being beyond all delusion, keeps power or control over it. In the same way, though we may be moving in a sea of maya—outwardly subject to its relativities of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, sickness and health, success and failure—inwardly we must learn to keep our consciousness unaffected by it.

    Isn’t that what Bhagavan Krishna teaches in the Bhagavad Gita? “The relativities of existence (birth and death, pleasure and pain) have been overcome, even here in this world, by those of fixed equal-mindedness. Thereby are they enthroned in Spirit—verily, the taintless, the perfectly balanced Spirit.” Lord Krishna urges the devotee time and again: “O my devotee, be thou of even mind. Do not let your peace of mind be tossed up and down on the waves of change.” And he goes further, emphasizing just as Gurudeva so much emphasized to us: The Divine is living within you. Use your will. Use that endowment of divinity to resist the karma of suffering....

    Suppose that you are constantly thinking to yourself: “My karma, my samskaras (i.e., present strong tendencies that are the result of actions in previous lives), make me a failure. Therefore there is no use making effort—because no matter what I do I can’t succeed in anything.” So you give up. Your will becomes paralyzed. By the lack of use of the divine will within you, that pattern of failure gets deeper. It is not changed or broken; you are actually adding to it. In this way you may unnecessarily carry the same karmic pattern from one life to another, even for many lifetimes. So, if you have a fatalistic attitude, rid yourself of it. Never accept any limitation suggested by your karma as though it were an unalterable decree of fate.

    (From Self-Realization magazine, Summer 2015)


    The only real relationship is the relationship of your soul and Spirit—the oneness of your soul and your whole being with God. So Paramahansaji would tell us, “In those little gaps of time, if you make love to God, you will feel much more His divine response. And you will see how that love fully satisfies and fulfills your life.”

    Only one thing is needed, which no one else can give you; that is, your own stirring of will and effort to practice what our Guru has taught. I can promise you that even as Divine Mother fulfilled and satisfied every need—every little whim, you might say—that ever passed through Master’s consciousness, so God will do the same for you. You have to work and carry out your responsibilities in this world. God does not intend that you neglect those—and you do not have to neglect them. You will find that as you come closer to God you become a more perfected and balanced human being. You can fulfill your responsibilities more adequately. You can love others more purely; and your relationships with others begin to improve. Your understanding starts to clear, so that whatever conditions you are faced with in life, you can reach an unclouded perspective and see how to guide your life through these labyrinths of experiences. God will show you the way.

    (From the book Manifesting Divine Consciousness in Daily Life)


    You will find that the interior life is the only thing you have to cling to when “the going gets rough” on the spiritual path. If you have the ability to interiorize, to go within where you find that inner relationship with God and Guru and your real Self, then no test, no difficulty, no amount of delusion can shake you from your spiritual striving. Your interior life becomes the only thing that is real to you; and though you live and move in the outer world, you are able to see it, as the blessed Master has said, as just the dream or the drama of God. To those who think it real, it is a nightmare. Those who know it as a dream see how to live and behave rightly, so that the dream, through their instrumentality, can be made a little more beautiful, a little more peaceful. Such a one alleviates the nightmare for other suffering, struggling souls by his own understanding, by his own example. That is what the spiritual life is all about: getting away from the unreal and getting back to the Real. And the only place you can find the Real is in that interior life.

    (From the Winter 2013 issue of Self-Realization magazine and the audio talk The Interior Life)   

    Attunement With the Guru

    In the guru we find everything we need for salvation, which is God’s ultimate response to us. In the form of the guru and in the sadhana[i.e., path of spiritual discipline] he gives to us are all essentials to guide us, to strengthen and inspire us, and take us back to God—except one thing. What will still be lacking is the total grace of God. When He draws us to the guru, it has begun to manifest. When that grace comes fully, we have God Himself. And this fulfillment comes through the guru-disciple relationship. As everything in this universe is run by law, so is our search for God guided by His divine decree: “If you would know Me, My child, recognize Me in My spokesman, My representative: the guru.”

    What is this guru? Paramahansaji explained it in a beautiful way in these simple words: “The guru is the speaking voice of silent God.” We have for the most part prayed to a God whom we have not seen, whose voice we have not heard. We have faith in His word as recorded in the scriptures. We perhaps have faith in the experiences of the saints and the great ones who tell us that He is. But when the guru-disciple relationship is formed, our guru becomes for us the speaking voice of that silent God.

    When the disciple has passed through what he must as a disciple—the fires, the tests of purification—and has been drawn to that point where he is ready to be introduced to God, he realizes ultimately and fully what he may already have known intellectually from the scriptures, what he may even have felt in his heart—that the guru was none other than God. This is the supreme realization of the guru-disciple relationship.

    (From the Fall 2015 issue of Self-Realization magazine and the audio talk The Guru: Messenger of Truth)


    Today, although I no longer have that physical contact with him, I see that the guidance and blessing coming from our Guru is just as real as it was during his lifetime. I know when he is disciplining or guiding me. It is just as tangible, and it can be just as painful! But that guidance and that pain help me to overcome. Similarly in the lives of each of you who is sincerely seeking God, you will find that the Guru helps and guides you on your way. As you do your part on the spiritual path, you will receive his blessings; and through those blessings and your own efforts, you will receive the blessings and grace of God.

    God and Guru will send tests; They will discipline you when you need it. But you learn as you continue on the path—just as we had to learn, and are still constantly learning—to accept that discipline with the right attitude. You realize with every joy and every sorrow that comes to you that this is not just a chance circumstance. It is coming to you from God and Guru, as part of your karma that you are ready to work out at that time, and it comes for a reason. There is a lesson in it for you to learn. Once you learn it, you will find that you are that much freer, that much closer to God. You will be a little less confined to the limitations of this body and this mind; and you will feel that Infinite Power, that Infinite Love and Joy, expressing just a little more in your life.

    (From the book Manifesting Divine Consciousness in Daily Life)


    When Master was with us, he guided us. He told us by a few words, or even just a silent but meaningful glance, when we were going wrong. He told us what we should do in order to behave rightly. He is no longer here in the physical form to point these things out to us. But, as he said to us, “When I am gone, the teachings will be the guru. Through the SRF teachings you will be in tune with me and the great Gurus who sent me.” And I realize now how very truly manifest those words are, because when we have thoroughly assimilated Master’s teachings in his books and in the SRF Lessons, we find that they are a source not only of constant inspiration, but of personal guidance and counsel for us. We find that when we are really in need of guidance, when we are really in need of protection from some force of maya that is trying to delude or tempt us, Master’s words in his teachings will come to our aid if we have made them a part of us.

    (From Self-Realization magazine, Fall 2016)


    [Paramahansa Yogananda] used to say to us disciples in the ashram, “You must know my teachings backwards and forwards.” He repeats the same to each one of you. Don’t put aside any of his publications because you think it is too difficult. Some have said: “Oh, I particularly like this or that book by Gurudeva. But the Bhagavad Gita—it’s very deep! It is a beautiful book, and I know that just by touching it I get great inspiration. But I’ll just leave it there on the shelf for now.”

    I know Master’s Gita commentary is deep! It is the whole science of the universe, the whole science of the Creator, the whole science of what you are and what you must become. But don’t be intimidated by it; I cannot stress this to you enough. During the twelve years when I was working on that publication, I saw how profoundly my consciousness was changed as I delved into the depth and meaning of that wisdom realization of Gurudeva. Don’t get bogged down and think that you have to intellectualize and be able to repeat all of the yoga philosophy and metaphorical symbology. Just read it, just read it! You will see that through his commentaries Guruji is speaking to you. There is so much wisdom there. Peruse those pages and you will see that somewhere along the way you will suddenly get it. Guruji will have got through to you, and you will say, “Oh, I never understood it so clearly before!”

    I have heard devotees in the ashram say this so many times, because I encouraged them in the same way. Some said, “Oh! the Gita’s just beyond me.” I replied, “It’s not! There is so much in there that is so simple, so beautiful, so practical. Don’t stop on each page and think you can’t go farther until you have understood all the deeper metaphysical points. Just keep reading.” And so many have since said, “You know, when I have done that, after a few pages or chapters, I don’t know what’s happened, but I feel that my consciousness has changed, my understanding has changed; my desire to be a different, a better, a more spiritual being has come alive.”

    So don’t put aside any of Gurudeva’s writings as we continue to give you large tomes of his wisdom. He did not produce them just to be put away in some library or storeroom; he produced them to be given to you. Treasure each one; read them, digest them. You will see how just reading, even if you do not think you are grasping everything, suddenly you will find that your mind does open. Your consciousness is being changed.

    (From Self-Realization magazine, Winter 2004)