Swamini Turiyasangitananda: Swami Ramananda first met Swamini in the 1960s when she accompanied her husband, John Coltrane, at their concert series at the Village Vanguard in NYC. Swami explained, ” I saw immediately in Swamini from the very first concert a living manifestation of the Divine Mother. How could she play that way, I was hearing sounds that I had heard only meditating in the higher lokas. Wherever I could hear Swamini and John Coltrane, I followed them avidly. When I was in Rishikesh at the Shivananda Ghat, I saw Swamini there with Swami Satchidananda, since he was a good friend of mine that was our first time to really speak. Her face carried an unparalleled radiance. I watched them meditate alone sitting on rocks by the Ganges. Later when Swamini and I became good friends in California, She reflected that instantly I was recognized as her first child in her first incarnation on earth in Egypt. It was exactly the same recognition for me. She possessed a vast Universal Consciousness and Vedic knowledge. She demonstrated to me great siddhis, not only just in Her divine music…an ageless wisdom, unfathomable psychic depth. Once I noticed her fist was bleeding on her scarred hand from great physical tapas, she plunged her hand into my solar plexus there was such a transference of consciousness I was propelled into Ramaloka. I don’t think this person has ever fully returned from that experience. She will always remain as one of my greatest mentors, and a living expression of all that we hold to be Divine.”
The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Society: The Mother actually sponsored me to India in the 1960s. We had been writing to each other since I became aware of her work in 1964. She was remarkable, ethereal beauty, and possessing tremendous occult powers. I once saw Her stop a cataclysmic storm from destroying Pondicherry. She would invite me to Her room in Pondicherry where She would give private darshan glowing in a green gold aura. When Mother passed a great orb of light arose from the Mahasamadhi of Sri Aurobindo, the ground shook, the rain stopped…I was there! She gave me formidable instruction in my sadhanna. She also sent me on to the Himalayas where I met Sri Anandamayi Ma. The Mother will always hold a special position as a living manifesttion of all that is Divine.
Madame Blavatsky: As a member of the Theosophical Society, I was inivited by Krishnamurti to stay in Adayar for sometime. I resided in Madame Blavatsky’s home and often played her great pipe organ she had brought from England…there was some transference of occult power while playing this great instrument that others said had only been touched by her. I walked daily by the box where letters had arrived from the Mahatmas. In my daily walks through those sylvan dells, graced by butterflies, kodo dragons, and fairies…I felt a communion with Blavatsky that had stayed with me throughout life.
Mother Theresa: I worked with her in Calcutta at her rescue mission. Literally watching her on a daily basis hold cholera victims, babies with AIDS, people marred with the stench of disease in her arms and nurse their wounds. She was a wonderful and tireless karma yogini. I think no ordinary human could endure her job in life…I saw her give smiles, and homes, and food where the situation seemed absolutely hopeless. Her example of faith will live in my heart always.
My Birth Mother: Shakuntala Ma “Mickey” was an amazing woman. Her tireless devotion to others taking bags of food to poor families, constantly smiling, encouraging, uplifting. In over 80 years of life, I never saw my Mother ever angry. She was the most positive person I ever met. She became a great yogi and even took initiation from me. She taught yoga to senior women and even taught 43 women ashtanga class the last day of her life. We would rise every day at 5 am to meditate together. She will always remain my first guru in life and in the words of Swamini “she was a prithi, an angel on loan from heaven”.
Sri Sri Anandamayi Ma: My blessed Gurudevi first started appearing to me in dreams from the age of 9 onwards. Sometimes She would appear several times a night with always the same message….”I am your mother come to India.” When finally that fated day arrived that Mother literally picked me up in her car in the Himalayas…my life was complete. She guided me in meditations so that every knot of my life was released. I watched Her perform all the miracles of a Christ….healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, creating prasad from an empty pot, even raising the dead….She was often seen many places simultaneously often walking on the waters of the Ganges at the Confluence where I was initiated. I would sit quietly in Her loving presence and drink the nectar of darshan. She was complete God consciousness in human form, a living Avatar for this age. It is to Her work our temple is dedicated.
This temple is dedicated to all forms of the Divine Mother living and celestial. We honor every Hindu Goddess: Lakshmi, Durga, Paravati, Savitri, Saraswati, Tripusundari…..every great female saint of the world is honored here. As Sri Sri Anandamayi Ma said, “Ma is Ma.” Our heavenly Mother is honored in every celestial form….from Mother Mary, to Gayatri, to Isis, to Yemanja. May that beautiful Motherly form of God bless us all, nourish and nurture…..and may She hold us all in the palm of Her loving hand. Jai Jai Ma.
– Swami Ramananda, Founder and Puja Swami, Church of the Divine Mother International