Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi



A story written with compassion

Shri Mataji portrait

Her Life


From a very young age, Shri Mataji actively engaged the world around her. As a little girl she took responsibility for the household while her parents were involved in the struggle for Indian independence. In her teenage years, she, too, joined that movement. She cared for her family, but her concern was not limited to the familial circle. It is an expression in India that for a generous person, “the whole world is his family.”

Her spiritual insight and understanding were recognized at an early age by Mahatma Gandhi. He would often consult her about the daily prayers in his ashram. Her schoolmates looked to her for advice and support as well, and in college, she led her peers in the "Quit India Movement"1. When she married and started a family as a young woman, she continued to have an uplifting effect on those around her.

Once her own daughters were married and settled, Shri Mataji could devote her time and attention to spiritual work. She developed a unique method to help people awaken their inner energy source (known as Kundalini) as well as a meditation technique enabling them to benefit from this energy on a daily basis.

Throughout her life, Shri Mataji found herself face to face with a wide range of people from different countries, circumstances, income levels and cultures, and she related to them all with genuine regard. Whether discussing matters of state with world leaders or family issues with a taxi driver, Shri Mataji was sensitive to what is essential to human beings, and her concern was always one of benevolence.



Sahaja Yoga public program

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is unique in the history of spirituality because she is the first and only one to offer the experience of self-realization en masse. She declared that it is the birthright of all human beings - regardless of religion, race, nationality or circumstance - to receive their self-realization. She also insisted that one cannot pay for the truth or for self-knowledge, thus self-realization has always been, and continues to be, offered free of charge.

Sahaja Yoga meditation is the technique she developed to sustain the awakening experienced through self-realization. The word Sahaja means both 'spontaneous' and 'born with you', describing this subtle energy (Kundalini) which exists in every human being. Contrary to popular belief, Yoga does not designate a series of exercises or postures, but in fact means 'to join, to unite'. The individual unites with their true self, or one can say individual consciousness joins with the collective consciousness. When this union occurs, the integrating force of the kundalini brings balance and peace both within and between individuals.

Shri Mataji studied the human condition for many years, looking for a way to unlock the spiritual potential of human beings. On the 5th of May, 1970, while meditating on the seashore in Nargol, India, she experienced the awakening of her own inner primordial energy. Shri Mataji knew then that it was time to make this experience and knowledge accessible to all human beings. She also knew that this experience could not be forced on anyone, that it must be left to the freedom of each individual to decide for themselves if they wanted it or not.

She began - at first locally, and eventually globally - to offer self-realization, the awakening of the subtle inner energy known as Kundalini, at her free public lectures. Shri Mataji would spend hours after these programs with those who desired to meet her, offering advice or correcting their imbalances using the very energy she had just awakened in them.


"What are you searching? Why are you aimlessly and listlessly running about? The joy that you have searched in material gains, the joy that you are looking for in power, the joy that disappeared in the words of books, the so-called knowledge is all lost in yourself, and you are still searching and seeking! You can pay attention to everything outside yourself. You are lost in your thoughts, like babes in the wood.

But there is great hope that you can rise into the Heaven of thoughtless awareness, which we call Self-realization. I invite you to this feast of Divine Bliss, which is pouring around you, even in this Kali Yuga, in these God-forsaken modern times. I hope you will come and enjoy the spiritual experience of the life eternal.”

Experience it now


You are angry with life
like small children
whose mother is lost in darkness.
You sulk expressing despair
At the fruitless end of your journey,
You wear ugliness to discover beauty.
You name everything false in the name of truth,
You drain out emotions to fill the cup of love.
My sweet children, my darling,
How can you get peace by waging war
with yourself, with your being, with joy itself
Enough are your efforts of renunciation,
the artificial mask of consolation.
Now rest in the petals of the lotus flower,
in the lap of your gracious mother.
I will adorn your life with beautiful blossoms
and fill your moments with joyful fragrance.
I will anoint your head with Divine Love,
for I cannot bear your torture anymore.
Let me engulf you in the ocean of joy,
so you lose your being in the greater one,
who is smiling in your calyx of self
Secretly hidden to tease you all the while.
Be aware and you will find Him,
vibrating your every fibre with blissful joy,
covering the whole universe with light.