This years Hall of Fame inductee is the former Merna Brown, Class of 1949, who was internationally known, loved, and highly regarded as Sri Mrinalini Mata, the president of the international organization the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) before her passing on August 3, 2017.
Merna graduated from San Dieguito in 1949, already haven taken her final vows and been given the name Sri Mrinalini Mata by Yogananda himself. She served as vice-president and editor-in-chief for over forty years before becoming the president of SRF in 2011.
As is written on the SRF website:
Mrinalini Mata was only fifteen years old when she was accepted for ashram training as a renunciant by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1946. When she met the Guru in 1945 at the SRF San Diego Temple, he had instantly recognized her as one who would play a key role in his work in years to come. Thus, with her parents’ permission, on June 10, 1946, she came to live at the SRF Hermitage in Encinitas, where she finished her final years of high school and simultaneously received Paramahansaji’s personal guidance.
Knowing the exceptional quality of this disciple from past incarnations, Paramahansaji bestowed on her the final vows of sannyas in 1947, after she had been in the ashram only about a year. He chose for her the monastic name “Mrinalini,” signifying the purity of the lotus flower, an ancient symbol of spiritual unfoldment.
From the very beginning of her life in the ashram, he spoke to the other disciples about the role he envisioned for her — especially her future responsibility as editor of his SRF Lessons, writings, and talks. “She was destined for this work,” he said in a handwritten letter to Rajarsi Janakananda in 1950. “God showed it to me when I first saw her spirit.” He devoted much time to personally training and guiding her during the final years of his life.
Among the works that have been published as a result of her efforts are Paramahansa Yogananda’s masterful commentary on the four Gospels (entitled The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You); his critically acclaimed translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (God Talks With Arjuna); several volumes of his poetry and inspirational writings; and three lengthy anthologies of his collected talks and essays — and more works are in preparation.
We hope you will join us on Friday, October 13, 2017, when we induct Sri Mrinalini Mata into San Dieguito’s Hall of Fame.
See also “Satsanga with Sri Mrinalini Mata.”