KAREN DARDICK SPEAKS ABOUT HER YEARS WITH SRI DURGA MATA
THE WISDOM OF SRI DURGA MATA
by Karen Dardick
I had the great blessing of meeting Sri Durga Mata in 1977 when she became my spiritual counselor and spiritual mother. Our relationship remained until her earthly passing in 1993. In our many meetings, she spoke of private matters that I can not reveal. She also offered wisdom that is applicable to SRF members. Here are some of her most important words of wisdom. Please note that she NEVER took any credit for herself—she attributed everything to Master. Sri Durga Mata was one of Master’s early and close disciples. She often said that she was an empty shell for Master, and that we, too, should strive to be the same. Karen Dardick
SRI DURGA MATA
"It doesn't matter how many times you fall, as long as you pick yourself up and start again."
Sri Durga Mata ended every counseling session with the admonition to “Be happy. When you’re happy, God is with you. When you’re happy all the time, God is with you all the time.”
You may ask, “How does this match with Master telling us this world is not our home?” Sri Durga Mata explained that Master didn’t tell us not to be happy. God is in the world, too. He made it. Wherever God is, we’re happy. He put us here (on Earth) to be able to be happy. If we’re not happy here, then we won’t be happy in the astral. Being happy, interiorized, is being in tune with God.
SRI DURGA MATA
Depth of concentration is more important than the length. Control our thoughts so we’re not slaves to our minds. God doesn’t discipline or punish us. God doesn’t force us to change—he gave us free will. But our failure to change results in our suffering. Also, meditation is the process. Don’t look for results while meditating. Results come afterward—like calmness, happiness and balance in living. She emphasized the value of Kriya Yoga. Though it seems like a simple technique, it is very, very powerful. It clears debris (seeds of past karma) from the subconscious mind.
The mind has to be calm and collected for God to come. That’s what meditation is for—to train the mind. It is so subtle because God is subtle. So meditate every day to calm the mind. A thought is made of light; this is why thoughts are so powerful. Thoughts are fast and furious, like a comet and its tail. But they come one by one. She said we are not responsible for the first thought (because of so many factors that can cause it), but we are for the second and each thought thereafter. Thought is consciousness—all comes from God initially, but it depends on what we do with it.
Avoid dissecting. By that she meant not to over-think or over-analyze. She used the example of a rose blossom. Enjoy the beauty of the rose. But if one picks it apart, petal by petal, the beauty and the blossom are destroyed. So it is with God and meditation.
Be careful what we think because God does give it to us, even when we don’t want it anymore. Positive-negative: apply principle of changing the thought. For example, if our mind insists on playing negative thought tapes, make the effort to change to the positive. She encouraged us to use affirmations, like
"I am free! I am free!"
SRI DURGA MATA
Another way to control the mind is through chanting. Sri Durga Mata was skilled at chanting. She told me “that is how I got there” (meaning that is how she found God). Master started the custom of her chanting Divine Love Sorrows during the all-day Christmas Meditations. She taught us to chant with feeling and deep concentration. And she encouraged us to chant whenever we could, when we had free time. If other people were around, she said for us to chant mentally. It keeps the mind focused on God and develops devotion.
"He (Yogananda) always sends me the ones with the strong will, the rebels.
The ones no one else can do anything with."
Obedience (to Master) is the most powerful (thing) on the spiritual path.
Don’t do negative affirmations of how difficult something is. Don’t look for results when meditating. Enjoy whatever God gives. Be as good as you possibly can, and then act naturally.
"It is a sin to force our will on another person. Don’t do it."
God made the ego so He can use it. Let Him.
LIVING IN THE WORLD
Evil is all around us. Don’t get disturbed by it or we’ll always be disturbed. Millions of souls are waiting to reincarnate on Earth in a body. Only the strong make it. Good souls come back faster so they can work out their karma and God wants them back and arranges it so they can return to Him faster. The way to live a balanced life is not to want things from anyone. When we get emotional, we don’t think clearly. Remain calm at all times so we can think clearly. Bad habits—we talk ourselves into them, now talk ourselves out of them—e.g. fear or anger. Live from moment to moment. She often said “Take it as it comes”, meaning do not worry about the future.
GEORGE MIRKO, SRI DURGA MATA, SEBASTIAN AND KAREN
WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE IN HER PRESENCE
Sri Durga Mata radiated wisdom and great love. Seeing her in her apartment on the fourth floor of Mother Center was like going to heaven. All problems melted away in her presence. Divine love and joy permeated the apartment. She had keen insight and was very practical. No detail escaped her notice. Sometimes she spoke sharply. She remarked that “it takes a thorn to remove a thorn”. However, she wouldn’t counsel anyone unwilling to be corrected. If we objected or started to argue, she said in a remote tone, “do as you please”.
She wouldn’t impose her will. But because she could see things objectively, following her guidance always led to the best outcomes.
I once commented that I want to be like you, and she said “you all have the privilege to work as I did”, meaning, we have our Guru and the meditation techniques. Apply them.
January 16 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of when beloved Sri Durga Mata left her body in 1993 and rejoined Master. She had been weakening gradually, and Sister Brinda told me that she would call me when the final event took place. I had seen her a few days prior. She no longer spoke and looked at me with her piercing eyes.
It was a painful sight for me for I thought it would be the last time that I would see my cherished spiritual counselor and spiritual mother. But I had asked her on several occasions to promise me that she would come to me to say good-bye when she left this earth plane. She agreed and the promise was one that I knew she would keep.
So when Sister Brinda called me the morning of January 16, I was bewildered. I looked around for her, but to no avail. Heartbroken, I stood before my favorite photograph of her, with tears streaming down my face. "You promised you would come!" I cried. "You left me". I kept on weeping when suddenly, my heart was filled to overflowing with divine love, divine bliss. She had kept her promise, but not in the way I expected.
"Feeling is greater than seeing" she would often say. So rather than seeing her astral (or physical) forms, I felt her divine love. This lasted for several weeks.
I had not been looking forward to the service for her, held at Mother Center. But this, too, was a surprise. When I walked in the chapel, I felt the most incredible stillness and I recalled the saying from the Gita, "Be still and know that I am God".
It has not been easy being away from her wise counsel and love for these years. I am grateful to God and Guru for the tremendous blessings I have received and the opportunity to practice the sacred SRF teachings.
...for the many years of training you gave to this soul and for the many years you allowed me to serve you, and to all who had the benefit of your darshan. In Master's love, we'll meet again.
There are devotees who testify to seeing Ma outside her body, even before they knew she had passed, and I am certain as time goes on, there will be many more testimonials as to the help, guidance and joy being felt by disciples everywhere by her holy and blessed presence.