Friday, July 10, 2009

Who is Shri Mataji?

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is unique.

Her words and personality radiate a love that is beyond the everyday. Her compassion is deep. There is no one like her.

Shri Mataji teaches a meditation called Sahaja Yoga. It centres on the natural experience of Self Realization – a profound awakening of the spirit.

But to say that she "teaches" meditation is inadequate. She also teaches peace, tranquility and spiritual ascent. These are her gifts. She also shows us how to look inside ourself and to become our own guru. Her teaching is also a giving.

Many people feel a deep devotion to Shri Mataji because they recognize her uniqueness. When she entered their lives they felt changed. They discovered their better self when they met her.

Shri Mataji was born in 1923, many years before most of us. She was born in British colonial India, a place a world away from our comfortable homes in the West – but not so far, it would seem, from the dwelling place our inner Self. The spiritual roots of India are not foreign to our true being. Our heart knows when it is home.

Shri Mataji fought in the freedom struggle that brought nationhood to over 350 million people. She knew Mahatma Gandhi. The political liberation of 1947 was followed by a spiritual liberation about twenty-five years later. This second revolution took the form of Kundalini awakening. As a gift to each of us, Self Realization is there if we want it.

Shri Mataji's words have been heard by great numbers of people. She has travelled to many countries. Her love has travelled even farther.

Verbs are inadequate when describing Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Born. Married. Founded. Travelled. Said. Lived. These words can map the life of most people, but not Shri Mataji.

Nouns come closer: teacher, founder, guru – and, most importantly, mother.

Words are steps. They describe points in time, but not the totality.

Perhaps qualities are the way. Wisdom. Compassion. Vision. Love. Shri Mataji is all these things. And more.

When describing Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, words point us in the right direction, but they never complete the portrait.

We can only say that we are blessed that she is here now, that our lives overlap with hers, that with joy we can unwrap her gifts in presence of our spirit.

Our understanding completes the portrait.

She is unique. She is love.

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