Shri Mataji - Birth

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born to a Christian family on March 21, 1923 at noon in Chindwara, in Central India. Chindwara, like the holy city of Mecca, is located on the longitude of the Tropic of Cancer. She was a smiling and radiant baby, without any blemish. Hence, she was named Nirmala, meaning immaculate.

Shri Mataji - Parents

Shri Mataji and her family are direct descendents of the royal Shalivahana dynasty, which ruled in the Indian province of Maharashtra from 230 B.C. to 230 A.D. Shri Mataji’s father, Prasad Rao Salve, was a successful lawyer and a master of fourteen languages. He translated the Koran into Hindi. Shri Mataji’s mother, Cornelia Salve, was the first woman in India to receive an honors degree in mathematics. Both parents took an active role in the freedom struggle and encouraged their children to do the same. Shri Prasad Rao Salve was one of the authors of the first Constitution of India and the only Christian member of the Central Legislative Assembly.

Shri Mataji - Youth

Shri Mataji chose to study medicine. In 1942, she led the students in the freedom struggle and was often imprisoned. Once the British put her on ice to torture her, but it didn’t dampen her spirit. She boldly and actively participated in the freedom struggle of India. Mahatma Gandhi, who lovingly called her Nepali, used to seek spiritual advice from Shri Mataji.

Shri Mataji - Family

Shri Mataji married Sir Chandika Prasad Srivastava on April 7, 1947. Sir C. P. Srivastava was a prominent member of the Indian Administrative Services. Later, he became secretary to the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was knighted by the Queen of England for his services as the Secretary General of the International Maritime Corporation.

Shri Mataji has two daughters, Kalpana and Sadhana, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Shri Mataji - founder of Sahaja Yoga

Shri Mataji founded Sahaja Yoga in 1970 with a small group of seekers. Since then, she has traveled constantly all over the world, giving Self realization to hundreds of thousands, teaching Sahaja Yoga and counseling and comforting the seekers. She has offered Self realization to seekers free of any charge. She explains that we cannot pay a mother for her love and compassion. She has healed many ailing seekers all over the world and has established strong family principles in the society.

Shri Mataji as Humanitarian

Shri Mataji has founded a number of not-for-profit organizations including:

Shri Mataji as Author

Shri Mataji has written several books. One of them, Meta Modern Era, offers deep insights and solutions for the crises of modern times.

Awards and Recognition

  • In 1986, Shri Mataji was declared "Personality of the Year" by the Italian government.
  • In 1989, following her meeting with the head of the Russian Ministry of Health, Sahaja Yoga was granted full government sponsorship, including funding for scientific research.
  • In 1994, the mayor of Brasilia welcomed Shri Mataji at the airport, presented her with the key to the city and sponsored all of her programs.
  • In 1995, she was awarded a PhD in Cognitive Sciences by the University of Bucharest, Romania.
  • In 1995, she was an official guest speaker at the Women’s International Conference in Beijing and official guest of the Chinese government invited to speak to the people of China.
  • In 1997, a tribute was paid to Shri Mataji by Claes Nobel (Chairman of United Earth and grandnephew of Alfred Nobel, creator of the Nobel Foundation) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
  • In the United States, Shri Mataji has been invited to the United Nations on four occasions, between 1989 and 1994, to speak on ways to achieve world peace.
  • During the 105th Congress in 1997, Congressman Eliot Engle read an honorarium for the Congressional Record commending Shri Mataji for her dedicated and tireless work for the emancipation of humanity.
  • In order to express their gratitude for her selfless humanitarian work, the mayors of several major cities in the United States have proclaimed special days as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day in her honor.
  • Pune Municipal Corporation bestowed their highest award on 7th April 2008.

Read a few Poems by Shri Mataji