H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of the worldwide meditation movement called Sahaja Yoga, passed away peacefully on 23rd February, 2011 in Genoa, Italy, aged 87.
Hers was a life unlike any other. Whether walking with kings or walking barefoot with Gandhi, it was a journey of extremes managed effortlessly, living as she did with grace, dignity and, always, loving guidance.
Born of a royal dynasty, she conferred as a child with Mahatma Gandhi, living for a time in his ashram, was a medical student and a freedom fighter, was an adored mother, grandmother, great grandmother and the wife of a distinguished diplomat who himself was decorated by the kings and presidents of innumerable countries and knighted by the Queen of England. But incredibly, after all this, with her family grown and settled, she then embarked on an even more extraordinary mission.
Shri Mataji was born to Christian parents in India. Spiritually enlightened, she knew from very early on that her unique spiritual gift must be made available to everyone. And so it was that in 1970 she founded Sahaja Yoga meditation, which she shared freely. Using simple techniques, she discovered a unique process of Self Realisation through which huge masses of people could easily achieve the peace of true meditation. She charged no money, and instead insisted this was a birthright which should be available to all who desired it, at no cost. She said “There can be no peace in the world until there is peace within”.