By Richard J. Oddo
from Challenge; Spring 1990, p 60
Hidden quietly within the folds of society, there lie vortexes of energy. They are capsules of consciousness radiating the light of their divine nature. Though the Earth holds dear its many places of power, it also nurtures a dynamic energy that releases power expressed through the sincerity of great devotion and spiritual practices. Two beautiful souls, whose conviction is to focus their heart into surrender and love, abide in humility within the barren tidelands of San Francisco. Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda have come to America quietly, directed by their heart, to unite the Motherland and the Fatherland, and have dedicated themselves to worship in sincerity for a vow of one thousand days within the walls of an inconspicuous sacred temple. Sacred not because of exterior beauty, but sacredness expressed as the devotion of their heart.
In India, Shree Maa dedicated her life to service and love, and by a vision she has come to give and unite. Though her devotees in India call for their Mother to return, she stays where her dedication demands. Likewise, Swami Satyananda has come to speak with Shree Maa as one voice. For twenty years he wandered the Motherland of India, a Westerner communing unto his soul and dedicating himself to great austerities. He also leaves the mark of greatness in India, where people cry for his return. But softly, gently, they both worship, building seeds of great love and carting them to the fertile soil they nurture, to lovingly watch new life bloom forth as buds in the hearts of all they touch. The fragrance is open to all with no demand of expectation; all are embraced with unconditional love. Here in this humble and sacred temple, all can feel the truth of their divinity, and find the strength to live it.
Shree Maa was born in very humble surroundings. From her earliest childhood, she embraced spiritual truth and shunned the influences of a material society. Pouring her heart out in devotion, she was blessed in her youth with visions of the divine and was guided to share the wisdom inherent in her soul. Thousands come to her daily for her guidance. Ashrams and shrines are located throughout India, and now in the United States, to honor this humble soul of divine love. Her gentle yet powerful story is compelling, and her decades of dedicated service are ardent proof of divinity made visible through sincerity.
Swami Saytananda’s life is the encompassing dream of every pilgrim around the world. Born within a forgetful society, he left the comforts of a false dream to embark in faith into his heart. He went to India to seek truth, and there he wandered every corner of its vast wealth of spiritual heritage. For twenty years he imbibed the fragrance of communion until meeting Shree Maa. Together, they traveled widely, performing celebrations of worships to tens of thousands at a time. Millions have seen these two beautiful souls in India and the West, and have drunk their nectar of simple spiritual embrace. Here, hidden among the factories of Martinez, California, their song is muffled by the clamor of society’s woeful cry; yet their song is sweet and fills this stifled air with fragrance, and all are welcome to imbibe its sweetness.