About Durga Dasi
Durga Dasi is a Trauma Conscious, Bhakti Yoga Teacher and Kirtan Wali based in Southern California; and is a registered member of Yoga Alliance International. She also supports self care in the form of Aveda salon services and is a licensed cosmetologist.
As a student of Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati, Durga Dasi regularly studies the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the shastras of Vedanta and Tantra. She is a shishya (student) at the Ramakrishna Seminary at her home temple, Kali Mandir; and seeks to know and live the principles of Yoga beyond asana and typical Western mentality. She has studied yoga and yogic philosophy in the States and India, and feels most at home on the banks of the Ganga in Mother India.
"Yoga... all of the beautiful eight limbs of yoga... has given me the gift of clearly seeing the things in me that block the Love that I Am from flowing freely. This Practice brings to light the Maya embedded in our minds, polishing the mirrors of our hearts, and allowing us to Know and experience our Divine Nature - what Krsna refers to as Self. He says that Yoga is a journey of the Self through the Self to the Self."
When speaking of her SatGuru, Anandamayi Ma, Durga Dasi lights up. "She came to me in a dream! I had been following another teacher and realized that my heart wasn't resonating with this particular being. So I prayed to Durga Maa, 'please show me Guru'. That very night, I had a dream of Anandamayi Ma. She embraced me and called me Her own."
So, what's all of this about?
"I've been given the precious gift of Yoga... real, heart and mind revealing, Self Knowing Yoga. My life leading up to this point was littered with trauma, fear, self harm... and even a suicide attempt. That I survived all of that is Grace enough. That I have the eyes to see the fingerprints of Grace all over each circumstance leading me here is Ma. I am here simply to serve Her... and lead Her children Home to this same Love that I cannot begin to explain, but can only allow to flow in and through me."
Durga Dasi is a practicing brahmacharini and lives her Practice with her two rescue cats, Alley and Talula from their home in Southern California.
Durga Dasi and her Guruji, Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati
"Love is not something we have... we cannot earn more of it, nor can we diminish it in any way. It's not a possession... it's the essence of Who We Are. We are each an embodiment of Divine Love! The Devi Mahatmya says that we are born of the radiance of Durga Ma's PURE radiance and bliss... how lovely is that?! Each of us, uniquely intentional upon this planet in this lifetime. Love is not what we have, it's Who We Are."
These are the Beings who inspire and guide all that I do. It is by their Divine Grace and unconditional Love that I am on this sacred path of Bhakti Yoga. Jai Ma!
The Form of Divine Love that is my Ishta Devata (most Beloved). She is Mother. She is Devi. She is God. In all I do, I wish to serve Her and embody the Love that She is through me.
"Now and then, the Mother marks a bound soul as Her own. From then on, it's all Her Grace."
-Devadatta Kali, The Veiling Brilliance
"You are bound only by the illusion of bondage, for bondage and liberation belong to the mind alone. See them dissolving now."
-Durga Maa (Devi Mahatmya)
Om Sri Mata Durgayei Namah
Sri Anandamayi Ma
Ma is my beloved Sat Guru. Her love extends beyond all limits of space, time, fear... or anything else blocking our view of Divine Love.
“When by the flood of your tears
the inner and the outer have fused into one,
you will find Her whom you
sought with such anguish,
nearer than the nearest,
the very breath of life,
the very core of every heart.”
― Anandamayi Ma
Om Hridayavasinyai Anandamayai Gurubhyo Mata Namah
The Mother in Her fiercest form of Love, Kali refuses to leave us bound up by ego, shame, and fear. We must go beyond our fear of Her and into Her arms, into Her heart, in total surrender to the Love that She is.
She is Mother. What we love we cannot fear, and She takes us beyond all fear.
"Take refuge in me, let go of your fear, let me slay your illusion of smallness and separation, and you will merge into my infinite bliss."
-Kali Maa (Devi Mahatmya)
Om Sri Mata Kalikayei Namah