American singer-actor and cultural icon Elvis Presley’s guru Sri Daya Mata, 96, has died in Los Angeles (USA) area.
According to reports, Elvis met Daya Mata, president and sanghamata of worldwide Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) headquartered in Los Angeles, in 1960s, and then kept connection with her throughout the rest of his life, often calling and meeting her for guidance/advice.
Reports suggest that Elvis meditated with Daya Mata, read her book “Only Love”, enjoyed spending time with her, had a feeling of peace in her presence, used to call her Ma (short for mother), turned to her for spiritual guidance frequently, remarked that she was like a saint, had high respect for her and listened to her, queried her for a short-cut for initiation into Kriya Yoga, and asked her questions like: Why did God make me Elvis Presley.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was with a great sense of loss that we bid good-bye to Daya Mata, who was an inspiration and full of divine love who touched many lives on the spiritual journey. She nobly fulfilled her spiritual responsibilities with phenomenal spiritual strength and was spiritual mother to many.
Harmony of religions was very dear to her and her selfless service was exemplary, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, added.
An ex-Mormon, Daya Mata (Mother of Compassion), born Faye Wright (1914 in Salt Lake City, USA), held this position of spiritual and administrative head of SRF for 55 years. Public Memorial Service for her will be held on December 12 in Pasadena (California, USA).
SRF is a worldwide religious organization founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda, who is known for acclaimed spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi” (1946) which has been translated into over two dozen languages. With Mrinalini Mata as the Vice President, it reportedly has about 600 temples, retreats, ashrams, and meditation centers worldwide and has presence in about 175 countries and lays stress on Kriya Yoga. Its sister organization Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India, founded in 1917 at Dakshineswar near Kolkata, reportedly runs over 100 centers, retreats, and ashrams in India and neighboring countries besides 21 educational institutions and some charitable facilities.
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