Swami Gurupriyananda Giri
Sudha Ma was born into a loving and devoted Hindu family in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, and grew up in Hyderbad where she spent the remainder of her childhood. Because she was raised in a family with great spiritual discipline, faith in God, prayer, and worship came naturally to Sudha. Her mother, a teacher, meticulously guided her spiritual training and encouraged scriptural reading from a young age. During her childhood, she had the great privilege of visiting many holy places and meeting and listening to many monks, hoping one day to meet her God-ordained Master.
After completion of her high school education, she enrolled at Osmania University where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. A bright and astute young woman, upon graduation she was offered a position as a lecturer at the same university, which she accepted.
Sudha ma married Harinath Bathina and eventually accompanied him to the United States, where she worked as a research associate at Northwestern University Medical School and at University of Illinois. As a working wife and devoted mother of three children, her life was filled with constant activity. Nonetheless, Sudha ma was able to effectively balance her many family and work responsibilities, including a Sunday school she started for the spiritual education of children. Throughout that time she faithfully continued her sadhana and her life-long search for a guru.
Then, in 1996, by the grace of God, her unrelenting search for a guru ended when she met her beloved Masters, Gurudev Baba Hariharanandaji and Baba Prajnananandaji, and, along with her husband, was initiated into Kriya Yoga. Since then, Sudha ma wholeheartedly dedicated her time to the service of Guru: transcribing discourses, helping with publications, and arranging Kriya lectures at universities, churches, and temples. In addition to that, for the last twelve years, she has been responsible for the publication of our popular magazine Sthita Prajna. A worldwide traveler, Sudha ma has spent time in most of our Kriya Yoga ashrams, in the USA, Europe, and India. In 2009, she generously devoted one year of her life serving as principal at Balashram, our resident school in India for orphaned and under privileged children.
Having successfully completed the first two ashramas of life, and making sure the children were all settled in their own lives, Sudha ma and her husband then entered the third ashrama of life, vanaprastha, taking diksha (initiation) from Baba Prajnananandaji. Following this sacred initiation, she continued her seva and sadhana at the Miami Ashram, Hariharananda Gurukulam, and Hariharananda Balashram. Finally on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri, Feb 20, 2012, blessed with the supreme grace of the Guru, she took the vow of sannyasa, initiation into the monastic order, and became Gurupriyananda, which means 'the bliss of being dear to the Guru.' With complete surrender to her Master and unwavering devotion to the path of enlightenment, Swami Gurupriyananda Giri now continues her quest for Truth while serving in the USA and India Ashrams.