Nirmala Srivastava

Nirmala Srivastava
Shri Mataji Nirmala Shrivastava.jpg
Born (1923-03-21)21 March 1923
Died 23 February 2011(2011-02-23) (aged 87)
Known for Sahaja Yoga
Spouse(s)
( m. 1947)
Website http://www.sahajayoga.org/

Nirmala Srivastava (née Nirmala Salve) (21 March 1923 – 23 February 2011), also known as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, was the founder of Sahaja Yoga, a new religious movement sometimes classified as a cult.[1][2] She said "You cannot know the meaning of your life until you're connected to the power that created you". She claimed to have been born fully realised and spent her life working for peace by developing and promoting a simple technique through which people can achieve their own self-realization.[3][4]

Early life

Born in Chindawara, Madhya Pradesh, India to a Hindu father and a Christian mother Prasad and Cornelia Salve, her parents named her Nirmala, which means "immaculate".[5][6] She said that she was born self-realised.[7] Her father, a scholar of fourteen languages, translated the Koran into Marathi, and her mother was the first woman in India to receive an honours degree in mathematics.[4] Shri Mataji descended from the royal Shalivahana/Satavahana dynasty.[7] The former union minister N.K.P. Salve was her brother and the lawyer Harish Salve is her nephew. The Salve surname is one of a number included in the Satavahana Maratha clan.

She passed her childhood years in the family house in Nagpur.[8] In her youth she stayed in the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi.[5][9] Like her parents, she was involved with the struggle for Indian independence and, as a youth leader when a young woman, was jailed for participating in the Quit India Movement in 1942.[5][10][11] Taking responsibility for her younger siblings and living a spartan lifestyle during this period infused the feeling of self-sacrifice for the wider good.[12] She studied at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana and the Balakram Medical College in Lahore.[8]

Shortly before India achieved independence in 1947, Shri Mataji married Chandrika Prasad Srivastava,[10] a high-ranking Indian civil servant who later served Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri as Joint Secretary, and was bestowed an honorary KCMG by Elizabeth II.[13] They had two daughters, Kalpana Srivastava[14] and Sadhana Varma.[15] In 1961, Nirmala Srivastava launched the "Youth Society for Films" to infuse national, social and moral values in young people. She was also a member of the Central Board of Film Certification.

Sahaja Yoga

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi temple in Naddi

Nirmala Srivastava founded Sahaja Yoga in 1970.[16]

Later work

Nirmala Srivastava in her last years

In 2003 a charity house for the rehabilitation of destitute women was set up in Delhi (the Vishwa Nirmala Prem Ashram).[24] She set up the Shri P.K. Salve Kala Pratishthan in Nagpur as an international music school in the same year, to promote classical music and fine art.[4][25]

Until 2004, during her travels, she gave numerous public lectures, pujas, and interviews to newspapers, television and radio. In 2004 her official website announced that she had completed her work and Sahaja Yoga centers exist in almost every country of the world.[26] She continued to give talks to her devotees[27] and allowed them to offer her puja.[28]

She spoke on several occasions about the harms of drinking alcohol[29] and that many people were cured from addiction when they got their self realization through Sahaja Yoga.[30]

Honors and recognition

  • Italy, 1986. Declared "Personality of the Year" by the Italian Government.[31]
  • New York, 1990-1994. Invited by the United Nations for four consecutive years to speak about means to achieve world peace.[32]
  • St. Peterburg, Russia, 1993. Appointed as honorary member of the Petrovskaya Academy of Art and Science.[33]
  • Romania, 1995. Awarded honorary doctorate in cognitive science by the Ecological University Bucharest.[34]
  • China, 1995. Official guest of the Chinese Government to speak at the United Nations International Women's Conference.[35]
  • Pune, India, 1996. On the occasion of the 700th Anniversary of Saint Gyaneshwara, she addressed the "World Philosophers Meet '96 - A Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy" at Maharashtra Institute of Technology.[36]
  • London, 1997. Claes Nobel, grandnephew of Alfred Nobel, chairman of United Earth, honoured her life and work in a public speech at the Royal Albert Hall.[37]
  • A road in Navi Mumbai, near the Sahaja Yoga Health and Research Center, was named in her honor.[38]
  • Cabella Ligure, Italy, 2006. She was awarded honorary Italian citizenship.[39]
  • Cabella Ligure, Italy, 2009. Bhajan Sopori and his son Abhay Sopori composed the raag Nirmalkauns in her honour.[40]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Advies van het Informatie- en Adviescentrum inzake de Schadelijke Sektarische Organisaties (IACSSO) over Sahaja Yoga" (in Dutch). IACSSO. 7 March 2005.
  2. ^ Abgrall, Jean-Marie (2000). Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults. Algora Publishing. pp. 139–144.
  3. ^ Wayne Dyer, "The power of intention" "She is the primordial mother", p56-57, Hay House, 2004
  4. ^ a b c "Sahaja Yoga founder Nirmala Devi is dead". Indian Express. Express News Service. 25 February 2011. Archived from the original on 27 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  5. ^ a b c H.P. Salve, My memoirs (New Delhi: LET, 2000), chapter 1
  6. ^ "Origin and meaning of the name Nirmala". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.[verification needed]
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b Biography at shrimataji.net Archived 4 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine[better source needed]
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b H.P. Salve, My memoirs (New Delhi: LET, 2000), chapter 4
  11. ^ "A message for one and all, The Hindu, 7 April 2003". Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Burke's Peerage". Burkespeerage.com. 8 July 1920. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Portraits of former IMO Secretaries-General unveiled". Imo.org. 21 June 2005. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  15. ^ Rommel Varma; Sadhana Varma. Ascent to the Divine: Himalaya Kailasa-Manasarovar in Scripture, Art and Thought ISBN 978-2-88169-001-3
  16. ^ Jones, Lindsey, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA [Imprint]. ISBN 978-0-02-865997-8.
  17. ^ Srivastava, Nirmala (1989). Sahaja Yoga Book One (2nd ed.). Australia: Nirmala Yoga.[non-primary source needed][page needed]
  18. ^ a b Coney, Judith (1999). Sahaja Yoga: Socializing Processes in a South Asian New Movement. Richmond: Curzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-1061-2.
  19. ^ INFORM staff. "Meditation and Mindfulness". INFORM – the information network on religious movements. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  20. ^ Sudhir Kakar (1991). Shamans, Mystics and Doctors: A Psychological Inquiry into India and its Healing Traditions. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226422798.:191
  21. ^ "Prophecies and Fulfillments". Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Vishwa Nirmala Dharma. 7 May 2017. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Advies van het Informatie- en Adviescentrum inzake de Schadelijke Sektarische Organisaties (IACSSO) over Sahaja Yoga" (in Dutch). IACSSO. 7 March 2005.
  23. ^ Abgrall, Jean-Marie (2000). Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults. Algora Publishing. pp. 139–144.
  24. ^ Arshiya Khanna (16 November 2006). "A New Childhood" (Editorial). Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  25. ^ "Shri P.K. Salve Kala Pratishthan". PKS Academy. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  26. ^ We want the world to know... Archived 21 January 2012 at WebCite "Shri Mataji has completed her work"
  27. ^ "Sunday 23rd March. You have to forgive – Easter puja talk". Shrimataji.org. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  28. ^ Shri Mataji allowed to offer her puja on the occasion of Buddha Purnima Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine (20 May 2008)[better source needed]
  29. ^ "Saturday 17th May. Will power and the menace called alcohol". Shrimataji.org. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  30. ^ https://www.sahajayogaportal.org/en/stop-drinking-with-yoga.html
  31. ^ Rome, Marcus (21 May 2011). "Yogi shared teachings at no cost". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  32. ^ "A Selection of Awards and Recognitions". Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  33. ^ "International Scientific Conference, St. Peterburg". 00:15:46. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.CS1 maint: location (link)
  34. ^ "Medical Conference, Ecological University of Bucharest". 55:17. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.CS1 maint: location (link)
  35. ^ "Fourth World Conference On Women, Beijing, China". Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Public Program at Maharashtra Institute of Technology". Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  37. ^ "Tribute To Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi By Claes Nobel". Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  38. ^ "Awards and Achievements". Archived from the original on 1 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  39. ^ "Cittadinanza onoraria, Il Secolo XIX" (in Italian). Il Secolo XIX. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  40. ^ "Nirmalkauns (Pandit Bhajan Abhay Sopori) in honor of Shri Mataji". 0:14-3:03. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.CS1 maint: location (link)

Bibliography

  • Mataji Shri Nirmala Devi, Meta modern era (New Delhi: Ritana Books, 1997) ISBN 81-86650-05-9
  • Pullar, Philippa (1984) The shortest journey, ISBN 0-04-291018-8
  • Kakar, Sudhir (1984) Shamans, mystics and doctors: a psychological inquiry into India and its healing traditions, ISBN 0-226-42279-8
  • Coney, Judith (1999) Sahaja yoga: socializing processes in a South Asian new religious movement, (London: Curzon Press) ISBN 0-7007-1061-2
  • H.P. Salve [her brother], My memoirs (New Delhi: LET Books, 2000)
  • Gregoire de Kalbermatten, The advent (Bombay, 1979: reprint: New York: daisyamerica, 2002) ISBN 1-932406-00-X
  • Gregoire de Kalbermatten, The third advent (New York: daisyamerica, 2003; Melbourne: Penguin Australia, 2004; Delhi: Penguin India, 2004) ISBN 1-932406-07-7

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