Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

A life dedicated to the emancipation of humanity…




Shri Mataji is a spiritual outstanding personality, known around the world for giving the authentic awakening of the Kundalini. This experience refreshes the millennia teachings provided through the different cultures in search of the Self…


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Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born on the day of the Spring equinox, 21 March 1923, at noon in Chindwara, a small town in the geographical centre of India in a Christian family.

Her father, Prasad Rao Salve, was a direct descendant of the Indian royal dynasty of the Shalivahanas who ruled from 230 B.C. to 230 A.D. in the province of Maharashtra in western India. He was a brilliant lawyer and had mastered fourteen languages. Well-versed in the arts, literature and the sciences, this great erudite man translated the Koran into Hindi and knew the Bhagavad Gîta by heart. Even today, many people still recall this exceptional defender of liberty, the only Christian member of the first legislative assembly of India.


In 1920, Prasad Rao Salve married Lady Cornelia, who had received an excellent education and had a profound knowledge of Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi. Lady Cornelia was the first woman graduate in mathematics at the University of Ferguson; she discovered new methods of scaling down algebraic equations, which became recognised. She studied law.

In spite of her academic success, Shri Mataji’s mother gave priority to her home. She gave her eleven children a strict but loving education.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi spent a happy childhood in the family house in Nagpur, and She was everybody’s favourite. Most of the time, She bounded with energy and engaged Her friends in all kinds of games, plays, songs and dances. Sometimes, however, She could be found alone in a corner of the house, Her face radiating an inner joy.

Early on, She gave proof of Her refined taste for music and the arts. She loved everything that was authentic and natural. The young Nirmala spent Her holidays at Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram. She took part in all the activities of the ashram and it was Her radiant presence which inspired the Mahatma: most of the aspects of his philosophy, such as a correct level of production, moral rectitude in social life, simplicity or the integration of all the religions, foreshadowed ‘Sahaj’ culture.

The Salve family was totally involved in the fight for the independence of India and suffered torture. From 1928 (when She was five years old) Shri Mataji’s parents were regularly put in prison. The children received a traditional education nevertheless imprinted with a great open spirit.

When the time came for Her further education, Nirmala chose medicine in order to learn the scientific terminology of anatomy and human physiology. Yet, at this time, She also followed Her father in struggle of the country to regain its liberty. In 1942 She was at the head of a student movement for the independence of Her country.


In April 1947, after the proclamation of the Independence of India, Shri Mataji married Mr. Chandika Prasad Shrivastava. An eminent member of the Indian administration at the time of their wedding, he later became Secretary to the Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The Shastri family was immediately captivated by Shri Mataji’s personality, and the Prime Minister himself did not hesitate to ask for Her advice and support.

After Her marriage, Shri Mataji consecrated herself totally to Her family, and, during these years, She deepened Her perception of human natureTowards the end of the 1960s, the weddings of Her two daughters marked the end of this period of Her life that had above all been dedicated to Her family.


The family is an essential element of the teaching which accompanies the spiritual experience generously given by Shri Mataji whose own life is an eloquent example.


On the 5th May 1970, Shri Mataji initiated and made available for all the method which permits us to have Self-Realisation en masse. She started to spread this experience publicly with a series of meetings. At that time her husband was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations Maritime Organisation, a post to which he was re-elected for 17 consecutive years. Seventeen countries conferred on him their highest distinctions and he was knighted by the Queen of England. The central office of the Maritime Organisation was in London, and it was there that Shri Mataji started to develop Sahaja Yoga.

The experience of Self-Realisation, which Shri Mataji has the power to give, has given hope to millions of people throughout the world.


She has been travelling the world unceasingly with the sole objective of generously giving the unique experience of Self-Realisation, with many public programmes, seminars and conferences. And so it is that in more than 90 countries now Shri Mataji allowed an ever-growing number of seekers to become open to this new state of consciousness and to have access to their internal Divinity by a natural and spontaneous process, thus transforming all the aspects of their being into a bouquet of blessings.