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Sister Jyoti, Now on Baba’s Lap

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Namaskar!

With great sadness of loss, we wish to announce that our dear loving sister Jyoti Josephine Friedland left her mortal body at sunrise on Sunday, May 1st, at her family home in Charlotte, North Carolina, after 67-years of life. For many months, she had been battling her third round of cancer.

Sister Jyoti was a dedicated Sadhaka, sentient lifestyler, Proutist, mother, community activist, and senior volunteer and leader. She was very active during her life. Most recently, Jyoti was the Bhukti Pradhana of the Charlotte area. She was also serving her Guru Ba’ba’ through Proutist Universal, Girls Proutists, and various Ananda Marga sections, including the Women’s Welfare Department, through the giving of her time, talent, advice, and economic support. At the time of her death, Jyoti served on the Sectorial General Advisory Committee and Board of New York Sector, and the Sectorial ACB of Proutist Universal. Her commitment to protecting and expanding the Ananda Marga Mission was always apparent. Jyoti always supported Ananda Marga’s New York Sectorial Office in various ways throughout the years. We will always appreciate her contributions and sacrifice.

Born in the Philippines, this is where she met an Acarya and continued her spiritual life under her Master’s guidance.

In 1986, she visited India and met her Guru. In 2008, Jyoti toured all of the historical sites of Ananda Marga in India. These experiences were transformational and an inspiration for her.

Not only active with her adopted spiritual path, but Jyoti was also a community and political activist in her local community. In 2016, she ran for a seat on the county commission of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in a pool of twelve candidates and placed sixth – just short of the first four qualifying places. Jyoti founded the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party, which thrives to this day.

With her husband and partner, Madhusudana, she established the first large natural foods supermarket in Charlotte, Talley’s Green Grocery. It is there that she managed and cheffed a small restaurant serving vegan and vegetarian fare to their customers. Later, and until Covid stormed, and her health declined, she was the creative chef of the leading Charlotte restaurant Jyoti’s World Cuisine, where the menu had hundreds of vegan/vegetarian dishes to choose from, each with various options. She offered dishes from all over the world, including India, the Philippines, Mexico, and Thailand.

Jyoti will be missed as she did so much for so many people. At her request, she will be cremated and her ashes spread in Jamalpur, India – a devotional home for her, and the birthplace of her spiritual master, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. She is survived by her husband Madhusudana, son Prabhat, and daughter Madhuri. There will be a private Shraddha Ceremony per the Ananda Marga Caryacarya, and there will be a Celebration of Life for everyone who knew her in Charlotte.

Ananda Marga New York Sectorial Office