A Celebration of the Life and Counsel of
Sri Durga Mata
"Among my lady disciples, you will have the first seat with Sister, (Sister Gyanamata, Mrs. Bissett) in heaven and in my consciousness." * Letter to Sri Durga Mata from Paramahansa Yogananda*
This peaceful haven of inspiration, deep truth and experience of her direct presence for all, is devoted to the life of an American saint and nun, Sri Durga Mata, one of the original close disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda, the great spiritual teacher who founded Self-Realization Fellowship.
In integrity and honor to true spiritual truth through self purification, we dedicate this Tribute to the realization for all that the veil of separation from all loving saints and true gurus is but an illusion. For those receptive to their love, guidance and great blessings, we too can transcend our limited mortal consciousness to the realization of our own latent divinity.
We are called not to merely view from afar, but to ourselves bloom into the radiance they call us to, by our own selfless love for God in personal self mastery of our own humanity, for we are of His glory.
- "It takes a special incarnation to come to these teachings. lf you are in Self Realization Fellowship now, you have been with Master (Paramahansa Yogananda) in the past." Sri Durga Mata
- We deeply appreciate those who have experienced years of Sri Durga Mata's love, wisdom and divine guidance, and for sharing this with us.
- Sri Durga Mata's book is available here (click/touch picture):
Although Sri Durga Mata left her body in 1993, her radiant guidance, loving presence, and healing intercession is manifesting in practical, everyday documented earthly lives of many.
Her joy in assisting and healing both people and our beloved animals is a practical reality for those on the path of sincere discipleship with Paramahansa Yogananda and to all who love her.
This is not just for the few, or those removed from this world for others to read about revering from afar, but for all to awaken into and experience for themselves. Eternity is within us here and now, as is the Master's love.
Sri Durga Mata was a nun in the monastic order of Self-Realization Fellowship for more than 65 years. During that time, she was an exalted disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self Realization Fellowship/ Yogoda Satsanga Society. She served him and the Self Realization Fellowship organization in numerous ways, including overseeing the organization with Sister Gyanamata during Master's travels.
She was Treasurer and later Secretary, and member of the Board of Directors. Finally as guided by Master she lovingly provided direct counsel to numerous disciples who met with her regularly seeking her example of pure love and wisdom and to follow her supreme example of unsurpassed devotion to Paramahansa Yogananda.
Florina Dufour History
Born Florina Alberta Dufour on November 8, 1903 at 608 D Street East in Iron Mountain, Michigan, her parents were French-Canadian and devout members of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of her childhood was spent in Canada, where she attended a French parochial school.
Her family moved several times, finally to Detroit, Michigan (picture of her home above) where she learned English at the age of 13. To help her family financially, she left school at the age of 15. When she was 19, she married Orta L. Darling. She first met Yogananda when he lectured in Detroit in 1927.
Intensely dedicated to these teachings, she joined a local group providing the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and by 1929, had decided to move to Los Angeles, to be closer to the headquarters and benefit physically from its warm climate.
Yogananda Instructs Durga Mata to Teach
"You are at last doing the very thing I have always wanted you to do." Paramahansa Yogananda In a pivotal life turning point, Florina Darling; 'Durga Mata', describes the event that established her future in teaching her spiritual classes and personal counseling conveying her teachers instructives. Children/families resided in the hermitage and attended her Praecepta classes with the adults.
After I had returned for my second period of living in the hermitage in 1948, one day I went over to the large kitchen where the young children disciples ate and had their living quarters in the North end of the hermitage. When I stepped into the door of the kitchen, they began to ask me spiritual questions. After I left them I was happy to have been of service to them. By the time I reached Rajasi's kitchen where he was standing, Master's meaning of "not being just a housekeeper" came very forcefully to my mind.
Sri Durga Mata Gives Kriya Classes
With the joy of comprehension, I clapped my hands and loudly answered my own questioning mind, so that is what Master meant by me not being just a housekeeper. It all came very clearly to my mind now. I immediately went right back to the children and told them that I was going to take them in hand and be responsible for passing on to them the benefits of the wonderful training Master had so patiently given us, and also I formulated a Praecepta class for the adults of the colony every Monday night where the children could also attend, and then I wrote Master a note to that affect.
The next time I saw Master he joyfully said, "You are at last doing the very thing I have always wanted you to do, and that you did it on your own accord pleases me most."
That Master thought I did not want to do these things bothered me for some time until one day I told Master I would like to clarify a few points with him regarding some of his misunderstanding and some of my motives.
Sri Durga Mata's Minister Certificate
"Sir you said you were pleased that at last I was doing what you wanted me to do with the children and holding meetings every week, etc. Why did you not tell me you wanted me to do so, there is nothing I like better than to encourage and tell all what you kindly gave us, but I am very shy about pushing myself regarding spiritual things, for I don't feel worthy of such, and further, I heard you criticize one of the men for having regular meetings with the boys without asking you first. Therefore, I did not think I had the right to push myself forward."
Master answered, "That other man had another motive, he was trying to outdo Rajasi, who was meditating with the boys. Never compare yourself with that person, further, you should not have to be asked, you have a right to do anything spiritual without asking or waiting until I ask you. Shyness has no place in the spiritual world."