Shri Mataji

Shri Mataji as a young student
Family portrait

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Nirmala Srivastava, also known as Shri Mataji, is the first spiritual teacher in history to give large-scale self-realisation as described by many great saints and prophets of the past. Today, millions of people worldwide have experienced their spiritual ascent, described and predicted by these great prophets, thanks to Shri Mataji. Her physical presence has been seen to be the catalyst for the en-masse awakening of the Kundalini. Even more remarkably, merely holding one’s hands, palms upwards, towards a photograph of Shri Mataji is enough to grant self-realisation, as long as there is the desire to receive it. Early life Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, a descendant of India’s royal Shalivahana dynasty, was born to a Christian family in Chindwara, Maharashtra, near the geographic centre of India. She was born at noon on the Spring Equinox, March 21, 1923. She was born with complete Self-realization and knew from her birth that she had a unique gift which had to be made available to all mankind. Shri Mataji and her parents, Prasad and Cornelia Salve, played an active role in India’s fight for independence. Her father, a talented lawyer and close associate of Mahatma Gandhi was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and helped write India’s first constitution. He was a renowned scholar and was fluent in 14 languages.
As a child, Shri Mataji lived for a time, along with her parents, in the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi who affectionately gave her the nickname ‘Nepali’. Even at a young age, her deep wisdom and understanding was evident to the Mahatma. Shri Mataji played a courageous role as a youth leader in the fight for freedom. In 1942 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured for her participation in Gandhi’s “Quit India’ Movement. She later studied medicine at the Christian Medical College in Lahore, in what is now Pakistan.

Sahaja Meditation is born

After fulfilling her familial duties of bringing up two daughters, Shri Mataji embarked on her spiritual mission. On May 5, 1970 she was meditating on the many problems of humanity on a lonely beach in India, when a blissful divine experience filled her whole being and she knew that the moment had come for her unique spiritual gift-the ability to give en-masse Self-realization- to be shared with the whole humanity. Shri Mataji began with a small handful of people in India.She worked wit Western seekers beginning in 1973, after her husband’s transfer to London. Very soon thousands of ordinary people in many countries were getting the blissful experience of Kundalini awakening and discovering for themselves that, using Shri Mataji’s techniques, they could also pass their experience on to others, just as one candle can used to enlighten another. Unlike the many so-called  gurus of the modern era, Shri Mataji has never charged for her lectures or for giving Self-realization. She has always insisted that you cannot pay for your enlightenment and has warned of the dangers of going to the many false, self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ and cults who are only interested in making money and are not capable of giving Self-realization. In addition to her spiritual work, Shri Mataji has also started a number of charitable organizations in India to help poor and the sick. Among these are a large hostel for destitute and homeless mothers in Delhi and a hospital in Mumbai to treat people using Sahaja Meditation techniques.

Gidgeganup near Perth Australia, March 1991 (Matthew Fogarty photo)

Spreading Sahaja Meditation around the world

Since 1970, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi has kept a busy schedule, traveling around the world to teach the techniques of Sahaja Meditation. She has demonstrated her capacity to trigger the awakening of the spiritual power in human beings (Kundalini) at an “en masse” level. Large numbers of people, without distinction of race, religion, age or social status have acknowledged the value of her teachings by establishing Sahaja Meditation centers in over 75 nations. These people who live a normal family life, tap to their inner spiritual power through daily Sahaja 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 prophesied to come when, in these modern times of crisis, thousands of seekers of truth are going to experience this connection with their spirit.

Sahaja Yoga Temple, Delhi, February 1983 (Matthew Fogarty photo)

Sahaja Yoga exhibition, 22 July 1992, Romania 1992, Romania

International achievements and recognition

An official guest in the former Soviet Union, she enabled over 100,000 people to experience their Self-realization. She regularly speaks to audiences of 10,000 to 20,000 in the former Eastern block nations and has filled year after year the Royal Albert Hall in London for her conference on Sahaja Meditation.
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 Meditation or “Vishwa Nirmala Dharma”, which is an established non-profit organization in many countries worldwide. Shri Mataji has been recognized worldwide by several prestigious institutions for her selfless work and for the powerful results of her spiritual teachings. She was declared “Personality of the Year” in 1986 by the Italian government.
 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 prime time television series, broadcast nationally. During the same year, Shri Mataji was an official guest of the Chinese government and was invited 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 Para psychological 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.

NGOs created by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

In her tremendous compassion and concern to alleviate human sufferings, Shri Mataji has been able to create a number of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) 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 Meditation 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 Meditation 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. 

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