Celebrating her Light-filled Life
Swami Durgananda (Margaret White) passed into the Light on Friday, July 19, 2013, two weeks before her 89th birthday. She was happy and at peace in the last few weeks of her life with her children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Swami Durgananda was a much-loved friend, disciple and teacher at Yasodhara Ashram. She also lived and taught in Spokane and Victoria, and she toured extensively with Swami Radha and on her own, teaching across Canada and the US.
Swami Durgananda came from a strong family in Philadelphia, attended a Quaker school and then Wellesley College. She raised three children, was a dedicated volunteer and continued her education, gaining a Fine Arts degree and a Masters of Education.
She first met Swami Radha in 1967, and this meeting changed the course of her life. In 1981 she moved from the Eastern US to Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, BC, where she intensified her learning and became a teacher in this yogic tradition. In 1989 she took an initiation to become a swami, (renunciate in yoga tradition).
Swami Durgananda was a fine artist, using her talents in design work and illustrating books published by Timeless Books. She also loved research and history, and her special field of interest was dreams and symbolism. She worked extensively on her own dreams and brought her personal experience into teaching, enriching all of those who took classes and workshops from her.
She was a caring, generous and welcoming person— dynamic, energetic and passionate about the many activities she was part of. At the same time she was humble, down to earth and always ready with a hearty laugh. She lived her commitment to her spiritual path and selflessly served her teacher, Swami Radha. After Swami Radha’s passing, she solidly supported her friend and colleague, Swami Radhananda, who took on the leadership of the Ashram.
In 2006 she published her memoir, In Durga’s Embrace, an inspiring account of her years with Swami Radha from her first meeting in 1967 through decades of learning. Swami Durgananda stands as a fine example of loyalty, dedication and a joyful embrace of the path to the Light.
She is survived by her three children, Wendy, Carla and Richie, and by her spiritual companion and niece, Swami Yasodananda.
A celebration of her life will be held at Yasodhara Ashram on Wednesday, August 7th. Celebrations also took place at Radha Centre Victoria on July 28th, and with her family in Connecticut on July 27th.