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Date Posted: 11:45
Author: nojdw - 26 Sep 2001
Subject: Tara Mata

Tara Mata:

Paramahansa Yogananda comments about her, Mr.Walters veiws of her, and her veiws on Mr.Walters and his dismissal.

Tara Mata, born Laurie Pratt, was one of Yogananda's first followers in America. She was already a senior disciple when Mr. Walters first arrived on the scene in 1949 as a young man of 23. Twelve years later Mr. Walters was fired from his position in Self Realization Fellowship by a unanimous vote of the SRF board of directors. In his article, "My separation from SRF", Mr. Walters accuses Tara Mata of being a primary force in his removal, which he characterizes as unfair. He even says that Tara's death by a stroke many years later was her karmic punishment for the way she treated him.

J. Donald Walters:

"I always knew that Tara and I would clash someday. Our beliefs regarding what was best for the work were incompatible."

Quoted by J. Donald Walters, "My separation from SRF".

Paramahnsa Yogananda, about Tara Mata:

"Excepting him, (Sri Yukteswar) there is no one with whom I have more enjoyed talking of wisdom and philosophy than my Laurie."

"Her deep wisdom and understanding remind me of my great Guru, Sri Yukteswar."

"It is not necessary for her to meditate in this life. By editing my writings, and because she came here a highly realized soul, she does not require this. I have already set her place for her in heaven."

SRF magazine, Summer, 1971; "Tara Mata, In Memorium"

Tara Mata, quoted by J. Donald Walters in "My separation from SRF"

"The duplicity he (Walters) has shown does not permit me to ever trust him again."

"I have the power to know others thoughts: I know you better than you know yourself. You are a Judas!"

"In another fifteen years he'll be strong enough to divide the work. We must get rid of him now!"

J. Donald Walters:

"Next came the question: Why had I gone too far? Obviously, insisted Tara, this could only be taken as proof that I wanted to build a work of my own- "with SRF's money and SRF's reputation!"

Paramahnsa Yogananda, about Tara Mata:

"Laurie is like a child: without guile; innocent, trusting, loving. But once she begins to see deviousness in anyone toward Self-Realization Fellowship, watch out! She is like a lion roaring."

Paramahansa Yogananda, SRF magazine , memorial article for Tara Mata, Summer, 1971.

Editors note:

Since 1990, Ananda has been engaged in an expensive legal battle with Self Realization Fellowship. The issues: Mr.Walters has basically claimed that he is the true "heir" to Yogananda's mission and teachings, changed Ananda's name to "Church of Self Realization"; has published several books using Yogananda's outdated versions for which copyrights had expired, has attempted to acquire all original manuscripts, papers and tape recordings of Yogananda, renamed Mr.Walters "14 steps to perfect joy" to the "Ananda Lessons in Self Realization" (SRF's lessons are called the "Self Realization Fellowship Lessons") In numerous other ways Mr.Walters has apparently attempted to imitate SRF's style and image. SRF has stated that their goal in the lawsuit was to prevent confusion on the part of the public between the two organizations, due to the increasingly commercial use of Yogananda's image and teachings.

Mr.Walters has also criticised Tara Mata's editing of Yogananda's books.

Paramahnsa Yogananda, about Tara Mata as editor;

"What Miss Pratt has done for this book (Autobiography of a Yogi) I cannot begin to describe. Before she was to go to New York (to edit the manuscript and find a publisher) she fell violently ill. She left for New York just the same. But for her, the book would never have gone through."

Paramahansa Yogananda, SRF magazine , memorial article for Tara Mata, Summer, 1971.

"Nobody but Laurie (Tara Mata) could do the editing to my highest satisfaction. The Lord will bless her with redemption for the immortal service she has given"

Paramahansa Yogananda, in a letter to Rajarsi Janakananda, regarding Tara Mata's work on his "Autobiography of a yogi".

"I am immensly grateful to a Self-Realization Fellowhip student who gave me invaluable aid in the work of editing, revision, and rearrangement"

Paramahansa Yogananda, refering to Tara Mata, in an Author's note he wrote in 1951.

Other quotes attributed to Tara Mata by Mr. Walters in his book, "A place called Ananda":

Mr. Walters states:

"I was accused of deceitfulness and "crafty guile" in deliberately concealing from them the work I'd been doing:

Tara Mata:

"You wanted to us so compromised with the Indian government that we'd have no choice but to go along with you. Your scheme was to split the work and set yourself up as the new guru in India. You lied to us. You connived for personal power. Your attitude reeks of personal ambition. You're a megalomaniac, hypocritical, treacherous to the last degree. You refused to work with Binay, who is doing what he can in Calcutta to serve Master's work. Nothing you can ever say or do in the future will permit me ever to trust you again."

"You're motives are impure, and worse than impure. They are completely self-motivated. You are a traitor to your guru. You are his Judas. You are so disobedient, so insulting, so unbelievably presumptuous that Master drew you to him only near the end of his life to spare you getting the bad karma you'd certainly have received when you left him, hurling insults as you went. You've lied, you've cheated so often that you can no longer even faintly tell the difference between right and wrong. Your delusions of grandeur have inflated your ego to the point where your head is likely to burst. There isn't anyone living in any of our colonies who isn't more spiritual than you. And unless you do something to improve that atrocious personality of yours, you will make nothing but enemies wherever you go."

From pages. 206, 207, "A place called Ananda".

Mr.Walters ends his qoutes of Tara with;

" ...this is only a paraphrase. Tara's answer was much longer, and much more vitriolic. I will not detail the events of the following year. They were many, and very painfull, marking as they did my slow inexorable descent into total disgrace."

Then, a little over a year later, Mr. Walters was suddenly recalled to New York from India. He describes how he arrived on July 27, 1962 and; "the following morning a large manila envelope was shoved under my door. I opened it and found it to contain a document some thirty pages in length by Tara, and a number of letters by other people. The gist of it all was that I was through forever in SRF, and a very good riddance to me."

Tara Mata and Daya Mata then met with him, at his request, the next day.

Mr.Walters describes how, down on his knees, he begged to be able to stay in SRF, even if he only washed dishes from then on. He says Tara replied:

"Never! the least toehold and you'd only work your way to the top again... from now on we want to forget that you ever lived."

"We don't want you ever to lecture again in public. We don't want people to know Master ever had such a despicable disciple."

"You are never again to set foot on any SRF property."

"You are never again to contact any SRF member." You are never to tell anyone you are Master's disciple."

"You think your motives are pure. Well, I assure you, they are most impure. You tried by carefull scheming to get yourself made the new SRF president. Well, it didn't work, did it?"

"You'd stop at nothing short of murder to get what you want! whe then repeated herself with careful deliberation, emphasings wach word: "nothing...short...of murder!"

"But I will see to it before I die that others see you the way I do. You shall never get back into the work. I have the power to know you better than you know yourself."

Mr.Walters goes on to say that "Daya said little during this interveiw, though at one point she intejected a few words in support of Tara's position."

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