Who Guides Durga Ma?

The Visible Presence of God

It is assumed that guidance comes through one’s linage, which is essentially correct. Students rightly wanting to know my sources have often asked me about my lineage, and I have answered this question literally. But I have not given a complete answer until now.

I am guided by the Divine Mother.

Those of you who know me, knowing that my teaching lineage is a line of male masters, may wonder at this declaration. I will try to explain by revealing to you, several signs that presented themselves to me over a period of time:

1.  In the early days of my sadhana, twice I had the darshan of the Divine Mother. The first time it was She who drew me to Her. Though I didn’t realize who She was at the time, She gave me my second encounter with the Divine Light.1

2.  The second time I met Her was through Swami Kripalu. He took me to another world to receive Her darshan. It was here that I recognized Her from the previous encounter, though a year went by before I realized who She was, and that where Kripalu had taken me was siddha loka, the world of the adepts.

3.  Someone asked Kripalu what he thought of Anandamayi Ma. With his hands palms together and humble voice, he said simply, “She is God.”

4.  Yogeshwar asked me to “bring back the worship of the Goddess” without telling me what he meant by this or how to do it, and gave me four books on female masters. That all the women masters in these books had a man behind them in one way or another—a husband, a devotee, a sponsor—I found confusing. (I was aware that in Indian temples gods often have a shakti behind and above them, but goddesses do not have a male deity behind them.)

5.  Swami Kripalu came to me in meditation and advised me on something that was an issue in my life at the time. I remembered his words verbatim, and do to this very day. That same morning, as Bhavani and I were driving to see a property for sale north of Santa Rosa, I told her about the visitation and what Kripalu had said to me. When we reached our destination, the woman who answered the door turned out to be someone I had met in passing at the post office a couple of times, and though we recognized each other, she did not seem surprised to see me at her house.

She asked me if I had a guru. I said yes. She asked if his name was Kripalu and said that she had a message for me from him. She went on to say that he had come to her in a dream, told her his name and that I was coming. He also told her what he had said to me that very morning so that I would know that the message was truly from him. I did as he asked.

6.  In a bookshop in Marin County, I saw a book on Anandamayi Ma displayed in the center of the room and made a bee-line for it. The moment I picked it up, she zapped me so strongly with her shakti that a loud sound burst out of my mouth. I was blissfully stunned. When I became aware that everyone in the store had witnessed this and was starring at me, I stumbled out the door and couldn’t speak for a while. Anandamayi Ma has since had a place on my altar and in other rooms of any house I have lived in.

7.  Last night, I encountered the Divine Mother again and learned from Her that it is She who has provided for me, protected and guided me.

As I write this, I am reminded of the first encounter with Her. One piece of this experience involved a child lying on a couch whom I watched grow from infancy to adulthood within seconds. At the time I thought I must be seeing myself from birth to the current time, but upon seeing the Mother standing nearby at a window, I looked away from the child-now-adult, my attention fully on the Mother and the Light and the speed at which we were traveling through it. I now realize that She had been conveying to me through the growing child, that it was She who had watched over me since birth from this place of Divine Light.

So the situation is this: My connection with my teaching lineage remains in tact through Kripalu. I am guided by my Divine Mother. She is my counsel, my ally and my heart.

As She loves me, I love You,
Durga Ma



1 The first was the White Swami. See Living the Mysteries.


Kripalu’s Song

Kripalu9Swami Kripalu

In the whole of my life You are the Master alone.
How can I give You this body mind I don’t own?
From the very beginning this whole Life is Thine.
How could I be such a fool to call it mine?

Where ever I look I see Your beautiful face
So how can I ask for Your darshan’s1 Grace?
Not for a moment am I separate from Thee
So then how can I do Yoga Lord, please tell me?

My image is only a thought in Your mind
So how can I install any idol of Thine?
The play of illusion is Your blessed Grace
So how can I reach its end in that case?

The core of my heart is really Your sitar,2
So how can my fingers ever reach it there?
You are the speaker and the listener, too;
How then can I ever speak in praise of You?

Master, all of creation is Yours alone
So how can I ever act on my own?
When step by step my will is defeated by You,
Then how can I win You O Kripalu3?

In the whole of my life You are the Master alone.
How can I give You this body mind I don’t own?
From the very beginning this whole Life is Thine.
How could I be such a fool to call it mine?



1 Darshan – The grace bestowed by being in the visible presence (darshana) of the guru. The grace of direct perception of God.

2 A sitar is an Indian stringed musical instrument.

3 Kripalu, ‘compassionate, giver of Grace.’


Durga Ma