at 16
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, was born on March 21, 1923 to a Christian family in Chindawara, near the city of Nagpur in Central India.

She is a direct descendant of the royal Shalivahana dynasty. She was born with her complete self-realisation and knew from a very young age that She had a unique gift which had to be made available to all mankind. Both She and Her parents played a key role in India's Liberation Movement from under British rule.

Her father, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and helped write the now free India's first constitution. He was a renowned scholar, master of 14 languages, and translated the Koran in Marathi. Her mother was the first woman in India to receive an Honors degree in mathematics.

Fighting for India's Freedom

As a child, Shri Mataji frequently visited Mahatma Ghandi in his ashram with Her parents.

Gandhi saw the wisdom of this child. Even at a young age, Her deep understanding was evident, and he frequently sought Her advice on spiritual matters.

Shri Mataji's involvement in India’s freedom struggle is extremely remarkable. She was very courageous and played a daring role as a youth leader of this campaign. In the 1942 "Quit India Movement" announced by Gandhi, She was even arrested , put in jail  along with other freedom fighters for actively participating in this movement.

Shri Mataji was born with a complete understanding of the human nervous system and its energy centres. In order to become acquainted with the scientific vocabulary attached to these subjects, she studied medicine and psychology at the Christian Medical College in Lahore.

Sahaja Yoga is Born

In 1970, Shri Mataji, after half a lifetime of meditation and experimentation, succeeded in developing a method by which the residual spiritual energy in man could be awakened en masse. This method of self-realisation has become known as Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji has introduced the practice of Sahaja Yoga in over 90 countries transforming the lives of thousands of people, who now live a more joyful balanced life, and are able to tap their inner spiritual power through daily Sahaja Yoga meditation achieving greater harmony in their lives on all levels—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Shri Mataji has travelled the world offering Her teachings free of charge. She has delivered thousands of lectures, given many television and radio interviews, and been the subject of hundreds of newspaper articles around the world.

Shri Mataji passed away on 23 February 2011.