1923 - 2011
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Founder of Sahaja Meditation, Died February 23, 2011
World Loses Significant Spiritual Figure of the Modern Era
April 11, 2011 (Ridgefield Park, NJ) – Nirmala Srivastava, better known as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, esteemed humanitarian, and founder of the Sahaja Meditation movement, passed quietly in Genoa, Italy, on February 23, 2011. She was 87 years old.
Shri Mataji was born on March 21, 1923 in Chindwara, India to Prasad and Cornelia Salve, direct descendants of the royal Shalivahana dynasty and close friends of Mahatma Gandhi.
Shri Mataji founded Sahaja Meditation in 1970. On a lonely beach in Nargol, India, she discovered how to give en masse self-realization, a process that awakens the inner spiritual energy in human beings. Determined to share this revelation with the world, Shri Mataji set about teaching others how to tap into their inner energy to become balanced and connected emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Sahaja Meditation is bringing significant benefits to an overworked and spiritually disconnected world, including improvements in the physical and mental health of those who practice it.
Sahaja Meditation has recently collaborated with HealthCorps, the proactive health movement founded by the eminent cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz of the syndicated television programs The Dr. Oz Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Through partnership with HealthCorps, Sahaja Meditation is increasing U.S. public high school students' awareness of the importance of their physical and mental health.
The U.S., and its people, held a special place in the heart of Shri Mataji. In fact, to finance a visit in 1972, she sold her jewels to obtain the necessary funds for travel. She was to visit this country many times over the years, giving free lectures in many cities including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Cincinnati.
Always a great humanitarian, Shri Mataji created an international health and wellness center and a shelter for the destitute in her birth country of India. She also founded, an international academy of the arts, vocational training schools for disadvantaged students and The Theater of Eternal Values, a multi-national group of artists dedicated to spreading the eternal values of theater across continents.
All who had the great fortune to know Shri Mataji personally were touched by her wisdom, her infectious laughter and her great sense of humor. Throughout her notable life, she was known for her eloquence, pragmatism and compassion. She will live on within the hearts and minds of the followers of Sahaja Meditation as well as the countless others throughout the world whose lives have been improved through contact with her. Her generosity, both spiritually and materially, knew no bounds. It is because of this wisdom and generosity that many regard her as the most significant spiritual figure of our time.
Anyone who desires to tap into his or her inner energy, achieve thoughtless awareness, and explore the significant physical and spiritual benefits of Sahaja Meditation can find a free program in their area by visiting www.sahajameditation.com.
Published in New York Times from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2011.