Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
A “life dedicated to the well-being and benevolence of humanity, completely, and entirely.”
On March 21, 2023 hundreds of thousands of people around the world will celebrate the centenary anniversary of the birth of Nirmala Srivastava, better known to those who have been touched by her teachings as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the creator of Sahaja Yoga. The celebrations will take place both online and at Sahaja Yoga Centers around the world. They will include curated recordings of Shri Mataji’s talks, a musical performance, and a special opportunity to experience first-hand the meditation practice of Sahaja Yoga.
Nirmala Srivastava lived an extraordinary life. She is one of the first — and still few — women gurus. Lovingly called Shri Mataji, “the respected Mother,” she dedicated herself to bringing spiritual awakening to everyone she embraced during her many travels around the world. She never once took money for her teaching, and to this day Sahaja Yoga is free for everyone. Her belief that “You have to be your own guru” is fundamental to Sahaja Yoga.
Born in 1923 in India to highly placed parents of the royal Shalivahana lineage, she spent her early years fighting alongside her parents in the struggle for India's independence, for which she was eventually jailed. Shri Mataji also spent time with Mahatma Gandhi at his Sevagram Ashram. She later studied medicine in Lahore, founded several charities, and raised her own family with husband C.P. Srivastava, who later went on to become the longest serving Secretary General of the UN International Maritime Organization in London.
All the while she continued to search for the best way to help people discover the spirituality within themselves. In 1970, at the age of 47, she shared a new and powerful way to connect with a spiritual practice which could transform their lives. For the following four decades, she tirelessly spread the profound message of Sahaja Yoga across the globe, traveling to over 100 countries to offer the experience of en-masse self-realisation to all those who were seeking their inner spiritual transformation.
The rest of her life is best described by Shri Mataji herself: “My life now is dedicated to the well-being and benevolence of humanity, completely, entirely.”