Sahaja Yoga Meditation was created in 1970 by Shri Mataji Nirmala Shrivastava (1923-2011), a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who dedicated her life to selflessly and relentlessly sharing this method of meditation with hundreds of thousands of people in over 100 countries.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born on March 21, 1923 in the geographical center of India. Her parents took an active role in the movement of India’s liberation from under British rule. Shri Mataji’s father, a lawyer and scholar fluent in 14 languages, was a member of the Indian Congress. He was the first to translate Qur’an into Hindi. And Her mother was the first woman in India to receive an honor’s degree in Mathematics.

As a young child, Shri Mataji spent long periods of time at Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram who was impressed with her spiritual depth and wisdom. As an adolescent, she was one of the youth leaders in the struggle for India’s independence. Her vision of universal peace and unity continues his dreams on a spiritual level.  She studied medicine and married Sir C. P. Shrivastava, who later on became Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister of India and Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization.

Shri Mataji’s parents (left) with Mahatma Gandhi

In 1970, after seeing her two daughters happily married, Shri Mataji embarked on her true life’s mission, the emancipation of humanity through Sahaja Yoga Meditation. This method created by Shri Mataji is a system of personal development and transformation which over the next several decades spread to hundreds of thousands of practitioners in over 100 countries.

Shri Mataji toured around the world throughout this period, selflessly spreading her message of individual and collective transformation and insisting that you can never pay for something that is built into every human being and which can be achieved spontaneously (Sahaja). Only in 1990, Shri Mataji conducted more than two hundred events in twenty-six countries, including Brazil, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, France, England, Poland, Spain, Italy, the United States, and many more. The distance she traveled in that year exceeded 83,885 miles, which was the equivalent of circling the globe three times.

For her global humanitarian work, Shri Mataji was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and was honored by the United States Congress, heads of state, and many governments and inter-governmental institutions including the United Nations where she was invited to speak on multiple occasions and was granted UN Peace Medal.

Some humanitarian institutions founded by Shri Mataji

In addition to founding Sahaja Yoga meditation, Shri Mataji has distinguished herself as a great humanitarian by creating a number of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) including:

1. Two international health centers to help patients from all over the world to use Sahaja Yoga Meditation techniques in order to treat their ailments. This health centers have been producing very successful results in alleviating the symptoms of a number of incurable diseases such as cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. (CBD Belapur, Vashi and Noida, India)

2. A charity organization for poor people “Nirmal Prem” in Greater Noida, India to provide shelter  to destitute and homeless women, where they can also optionally learn Sahaja Yoga (Greater Noida, India)

3. An international music academy (PKS Academy, Vaitarna, Maharashtra, India) to promote classical music, as well as classical dance and fine arts.

4. An international theater company whose international cast and crew has successfully toured throughout Europe, Australia, Israel, India and the USA. Its mission to produce performances that promote racial and cultural understanding worldwide (TEV).

5. A number of educational establishments to provide culture, ethics and moral values in children have been established (ISPS-Dharmshala in India, Canajoharie International Sahaj School in USA, Cabella International Sahaj School in Italy and others).

Read about life and work of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi on ShriMataji.org