Shree Mataji Nirmala Devi
A Life Dedicated to Humanity
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born in 1923 in India to a family of noble descent. As an adolescent, she was the youth leader of Gandhi’s movement for India’s liberation, and her family played a key role in the struggle for the country’s independence. Shri Mataji’s father, a renowned scholar and master of 14 languages, was a prominent member of India’s Constituent Assembly and one of the authors of free India’s first Constitution. Her mother was the first woman in India to receive an Honors Degree in Mathematics.
As a child, Shri Mataji lived with her parents in the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi. Even at a young age, her deep understanding was evident to Gandhi, who frequently sought her advice on spiritual matters. Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru, had tremendous respect for her and often sought her guidance on economical and political matters.
In 1947, subsequent to her studies at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana and the Balakram Medical College in Lahore, Shri Mataji married Sir C.P. Srivastava who was to become one of India’s living legends, knighted by the Queen of England, Joint Secretary to India’s Prime Minister, and who served for 16 years as Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization.
Meta Modern Era, written by Shri Mataji, first published in 1995, offers a deep insight with solutions for the crises of modern times.
"My father felt that I would do something great in this life. I don’t know if he dreamed it or simply understood it, but all the time he used to say, “You have to find out the way of giving en masse Realization.” By Realization he was meaning the need for a deep, spiritual awakening in people.
He gave me a good education in different religions and also a good education about human beings: what are their problems, why do they act the way they do, why don’t they take to God, why are they hypocritical. He told me all kinds of things …"