Lesson 9 – Shri Mataji’s Life and Sahaja Yoga

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, a descendant of India’s royal Shalivahana dynasty, was born in 1923, at noon on the 21st March, the Spring Equinox, at Chindwara in the centre of India, in a Christian family. She was born completely Self-realized and from a young age knew that she had a unique gift which had to be made available to all mankind.

Both 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. He translated the Quran-e Sharif into Hindi language.

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.

Shortly before India’s Independence, Shri Mataji married Mr. C.P. Srivastava who would go on to become one of India’s most respected high-ranking civil servants. Mr. Srivastava held the post of Joint Secretary to the Office of the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, between 1964-1966. Later, he was unanimously re-elected for four consecutive four-year terms, as Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization based in London. He was knighted by the Queen of England in 1989 and received similar honors from many countries for his service to the international maritime community.

After fulfilling her familial duties of bringing up two daughters, Shri Mataji embarked on her main mission. On the 5th May 1970, she was meditating on the many problems of humanity on a lonely beach in India, when a blissful unique 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 of humanity. 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 this experience on to others, just as one candle can be used to enlighten another.

Unlike the many so-called ‘gurus’ of the modern era, Shri Mataji has never charged for her lectures nor 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 the poor and the sick. Among these are a large hostel for destitute and homeless mothers in Delhi, a hospital in Mumbai to treat people using Sahaja Yoga techniques and a music academy to teach Indian Classical music and art.

Shri Mataji’s humanitarian and spiritual work draws admiration not only from countless individuals in more than 95 nations who have personally benefited from her teachings, but also from governments, dignitaries, educational institutions and humanitarian organizations.

Recognizing the scientific and verifiable nature of her teachings, the Petrovskaya Academy of Arts and Sciences in St. Petersburg bestowed an Honorary Membership upon Shri Mataji, telling her, “You are even higher than science.”

Others, such as Claes Nobel, thanked her for giving hope to humanity. She accepted all awards with characteristic humility, praising the efforts of others and insisting on collective, rather than individual, achievement.

You are beauty. You are the truth. And that resides within you. I see that. That is why I love you very much. The only thing is it should be allowed to be cleared. That absolute point must come into your conscious mind. You must feel it in your central nervous system, so that you will have your self-esteem…I do not see any filth around. I see the fragrant diamond in you sparkling. I work day and night to expose it. I am sure one day this world will be full of such beautiful diamonds sparkling all over. All human problems will end at that point. All this imaginary relative world will disappear and you will stand in the truth.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi