Guru Priya Didi - our Didi.
Gurupriya Devi was respectfully accepted as a loving Didi (elder sister) by millions of Ma's devotees and admirers all the world over. After her exit from the stage of life it transpired that years ago, she had formally become a Sanyasi and earned a name and a title benefiting a Sannayasi namely Gurupriya Ananda Giri. So, she is to be known as Swami Gurupriya Ananda Giriji Maharaj. The title is a recognition of Didi's rightful claim to be in the Dasanami Sampradaya of Sannyasis founded by Shankracharya
By reason of her genuine warmth of heart and selfless service, Didi had endeared herself to come into close contact within Shree Shree Anandamayee Ashram. Her imposing appearance, her frowning eyes, queer dress and disheveled hair, loud voice and brisk movements, proved to many quite forbidding, at first sight.
Complete was her surrender to Ma and the one mission of her life was to serve Ma. Her most important duties included , looking after Ma.
In the service of Ma, Didi aimed at nothing short of perfection.
Didi had an intuition for sensing – sometimes anticipating – Ma's Kheyal and she spared herself no pains in implementing it. Anyone who stood in her way would know to his cost, that he was playing with fire.
Daughter Of Dr. Sasanka Mohan Mukherjee , en eminent Civil Surgeon during the British period, Didi was born with a silver spoon in the mouth and brought up in plenty and in prosperous surroundings. In accordance with the social custom, her parents arranged her marriage with suitable bride – groom worthy of the Mukherjee family. But the life of a householder was not in Didi's line. From her childhood she sedulously avoided society.
As soon as father returned from Shahbagh (after seeing Ma), I pestered him with question about Ma. He told me a few things but this did not satisfy me in the very least. However, father said that Sri Ma had asked him to take me along with him on his next visit to Shahbagh. Very likely my father had talked to Sri Ma about me.
The next afternoon, after completing my housework, I hurried to Shahbagh. As soon as I beheld Ma, I went near Her without any hesitation as if She were an old, intimate friend. The fact that I had never before seen Her did not make me at all shy. I eagerly gazed at Her and did pranama. How can I describe what I saw? One look at Her radiant countenance and my head spontaneously bowed down to the ground in adoration.
After speaking to me for a short while, Ma closed the door to the room in which Bholanath and my father were sitting. And now She began to talk to me like an intimate friend. Suddenly She exclaimed; "Where have you been all these days?" Ma smiled and gazed at me intently. While speaking, She gain got immersed into some sort of bhava.
I was as if intoxicated. The next day I went to Ma again and came home after some time. But my heart was restless. Once a day atleast I had to go to Ma. All the rest of the dayu and night I was pining for Her darsans. Sometimes I became so anxious to see Ma that I went to Shahbagh twice in 24 hours.
Gradually I spent more and more time with Sri Ma. By and by father and I became, as it were, members of the Shahbagh family. The number of newcomers increased steadily, but Ma did not discard Her well. She met visitors only at Bholanath's bidding on request and spoke just a few words to them whenever necessary.
Before going to see the patient, Ma had asked me, " well, what do you think ,will the boy get well?'' Without hesitation I had replied " Since you are going there he will certainly got well." Ma repeated Her question three times and every time I replied in the same manner with firm conviction. Ma laughed and told everyone: " Since She says so, he will no doubt recover."
Only much later, when Ma stopped eating with Her own hand, the meaning of Her words became clear when Ma announced, " From today Khukani will feed me". This sacred duty, thus assigned to Didi, was faithfully discharged by her for several decades until she became disabled on grounds of health.
Thus Didi started with household chores and then made herself quite indispensable as ma's personal attendant, nurse, companion and friend. Later, her sphere of activities became much wider foundation of some of our Ashrams and Administration, for several years, of the Anadamayee organization, including religious and charitable institutions.
In August 1980, Didi engaged Ma's special attention. Evidently Ma had visualized that Didi's end, put off from time to time, was at last drawing high.
On the 16th September 1980, she breathed her last at Sri Sri Anadmayee Ashram, overlooking the sacred Ganga, cherished end for a Hindu. On receipt of the news, Ma who had just arrived at Vrindaban rushed back to Varanasi. Following Ma's instructions and under Her inspiration arrangements were made for salil Samadhi (immersion into the waters of Ganga) of Didi's body befitting a Sannayasi.