TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 21, 2014) - On March 21, 2014, people all over the world will be celebrating the 91st anniversary of the birth of H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, spiritual teacher and founder of Sahaja Yoga.
Born into a Christian Family in Chindwara, India in 1923, Her parents recognized the beauty of their child who was born with a spotless brilliance and called Her 'Nirmala', which means immaculate. "My parents knew why I was on this Earth," She delighted in telling those who followed Her teachings, "When I was small, I used to tell my father that it was my desire that, like the stars in the sky, many people on Earth should also shine and spread the light of God".
Shri Mataji dedicated Her life to the spiritual ascent of mankind, visiting every corner of the world. Her message was simple, spontaneous and beyond the eye of the mainstream media. She was intent on spreading Her teachings of spirituality through Her own personal effort and not through the media, which She maintained could manipulate to suit non-genuine interests.
Over a forty-year period, Shri Mataji's vision for a world of peaceful, balanced, enlightened people grew from a handful of followers to an internationally recognized movement, which led to Her receiving the United Nations Peace Medal and two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. She has built hospitals, schools, music and art academies, shelters for abused women and children, as well as establishing the all-important centres for meditation - all based on the techniques of Sahaja Yoga.
Throughout Her life, Shri Mataji showed by Her own example the perfect compatibility of a deeply spiritual life with the ordinary life of a young woman, then wife, mother and grandmother. During Her youth Shri Mataji's family was caught up in India's struggle for independence and the fight for justice and equality. They actively supported Mahatma Gandhi's independence movement and consequently were jailed on several occasions. After India achieved independence, Shri Mataji's father and many of Her siblings went on to serve in the newly-formed government.
As a young woman, Shri Mataji studied medicine and psychology at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana and the Balakram Medical College in Lahore. In 1947, shortly before India's independence, She married Chandrika Prasad (CP) Srivastava, a high-ranking civil servant. The couple had two daughters, Kalpana and Sadhana, and Shri Mataji spent the following years as a housewife, raising Her children and caring for Her husband in his new role as principal secretary to the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
When their daughters were married and settled Shri Mataji began Her public spiritual work. She began by speaking publicly to small groups in India in the early 1970's when interest in spiritual truth and the wisdom of the east was piqued in the 1960's by popular musical groups such as the Beatles. Then in 1974, Her husband's position with the United Nations moved the family to London, England where She drew larger audiences to communicate Her teachings of Sahaja Yoga.
It is estimated that millions of people in more than 100 countries around the world are continuing to teach Her meditation techniques, without charge. Although She passed away on February 23, 2011, Shri Mataji is remembered through Her teachings and fondly by Her words, "You cannot know the meaning of life until you are connected to the power that created you." It is that connection that She sought to give to so many.
For more information, please visit our websites: Canada - www.freemeditation.com; Worldwide - www.sahajayoga.org; Shri Mataji's Life - www.shrimataji.org.
Vishwa Nirmala Dharma Educational Society/Sahaja Yoga International is a world-wide non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and spreading the art of meditation around the world as well as to provide education on our collective spiritual roots. The principles on which Sahaja Yoga International is based are morality, spirituality, mutual help in our evolution, search for truth, and healing our problems using our inner potential on an individual and collective level. Free classes are offered throughout Canada and the world. Information on locations and times can be found on our website: freemeditation.com.
Canada: www.freemeditation.com; Worldwide: www.sahajayoga.org; Shri Mataji's Life: www.shrimataji.org