Her parents played a key role in India’s Liberation Movement from under British rule. Her father, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and helped write free India’s first constitution. He was a renowned scholar, master of 14 languages, and translated the Koran in Marathi. Her mother was the first woman in India to receive an Honour’s Degree in Mathematics.
Shri Mataji’s involvement in the freedom struggle is remarkable. She was very courageous and played a daring role as a youth leader of this campaign. In the 1942 “Quit India Movement” announced by Gandhi, she was arrested and put in jail along with other freedom fighters for actively participating in this movement.
Shortly before India achieved independence she married Sir C.P. Srivastava, one of India’s most dedicated civil servant officers, who was knighted by the Queen of England. Sir C.P. Srivastava rose in government ranks very quickly though he was an absolutely honest person.
Sir C.P. Srivastava held the post of the Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister’s office of the late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri in the years 1964-66. Afterwards he was elected for 16 consecutive years to be the Secretary General of the United Nati
ons International Maritime Organization. Shri Mataji gave birth to two beautiful daughters.
The birth of Sahaja Yoga
After fulfilling her familial duty of bringing up her two daughters, Shri Mataji embarked on her spiritual mission. Although she knew about her own spiritual consciousness she did not know how to present it to the people of modern times.
As she was meditating on the multiple problems faced by human beings, Shri Mataji had a tremendous spiritual experience on the 5th of May 1970 on a beach of Nargol, which answered her questions. She discovered the historical process of collective Self Realisation through which thousands of people can connect to their Spirit and thereby start their journey to inner transformation.
Spreading Sahaja Yoga
Shri Mataji started to give Self Realisation to people close to her and noticed they were transformed physically, mentally and spiritually. She found that this process is the solution for all human problems, and therefore she decided to spread it all over the world.
She invested her own time and money to talk to people and give them the key to their own spiritual power which can be felt as a cool breeze in the palms of the hands or above the head. Since 1970, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi has kept a busy schedule, travelling around the world to teach the techniques of Sahaja Yoga Meditation. She has demonstrated her capacity to trigger the awakening of the spiritual power in human beings (Kundalini) at an “en masse” level.
Amazingly, this was done without external financial support. Shri Mataji neither charges for Her lectures nor for Her ability to give Self Realisation, nor does one have to become a member of this organisation. She insists that you cannot pay for your enlightenment and to-date, she continues to denounce the false, self-proclaimed “gurus” who are more interested in the seekers’ purse than their spiritual ascent.
Large numbers of people, without distinction of race, religion, age or social status have acknowledged the value of her teachings by
establishing Sahaja Yoga centres in over 115 countries. These people who live a normal family life, tap to their inner spiritual power through daily Sahaja Yoga Meditation and have achieved a complete balance of their lives on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
They understand the integration of all religions and spiritual paths not at a mental level, but through their direct, tangible experience on the central nervous system. Thousands of years ago, the Blossom Time was prophesized to come when, in these modern times of crisis, thousands of seekers of Truth are going to experience this connection with their Spirit.
Since the early 1970’s, Shri Mataji has delivered thousands of lectures, given many television and radio interviews, and been the subject of hundreds of newspaper articles around the world. An articulate speaker, Shri Mataji is the founder and sole director of Sahaja Yoga or “Vishwa Nirmala Dharma”, which is an established non-profit organisation in many countries worldwide.
International achievements and recognition
Shri Mataji has been recognized worldwide by several prestigious institutions for her selfless work and for the powerful results of her spiritual teachings. In 1994, the Mayor of Brazil’s capital welcomed Shri Mataji at the airport, presenting her with the key to the city, and sponsored all of her programs.
In 1995, the Indian Government granted Shri Mataji a one hour primetime television series, broadcast nationally. During the same year, Shri Mataji was an official guest of the Chinese government and was invitied to speak at the International Women’s Conference in Beijing. Also in 1995, she was awarded by the Romanian Ecological University an Honorary Doctorate in Cognitive and Parapsychological Sciences.
She has been recognized and greeted by the mayors of several cities in North America (Yonkers, NY, 1994 & 1996, Los Angeles, 1993 and 1994, British Columbia, 1994, Cincinnati 1992, Philadelphia 1993, Berkeley, 1997). She was given a Proclamation by the US Congress in 1997 which was submitted to the Congressional Records. Shri Mataji was declared “Personality of the Year” in 1986 by the Italian Government.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)
In her tremendous compassion and concern to alleviate human sufferings, Shri Mataji has been able to create a number of NGOs to solve the most immediate problems of the world in the last 25 years. To mention a few:
- An international hospital in Mumbai to help patients all over the world to get a chance to cure themselves through Sahaja Yoga methods. This hospital has been producing quite successful results in curing a number of incurable diseases like cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis etc.
- An international cancer research centre in Mumbai in order to study the effects of Sahaja Yoga methods on curing various illnesses, including psychosomatic diseases.
- An international music school in Nagpur to promote classical music.
- A charity house for the poor people in Delhi, to provide shelter to destitute and homeless people. Also to help them through the process of Sahaja Yoga to become better individuals.