Questions And Answers

Who is Shri Mataji?

I remember a fine morning of August 1975, sitting in a suburban train between Hurst Green and London. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was sitting in front of me. I had spent some very intriguing and mind boggling moments in her house, the day before, having felt levels of consciousness whose bliss it is impossible to describe. I was fairly puzzled and asked quite simply: "Shri Mataji, who are you?" She responded something like: "open your hands, close your eyes and ask the question again", suggesting I should ask through my meditation. I did so. After some time - I do not know how much time - I opend my eyes again. Shri Mataji was smiling; she said "So?" I responded "Nothing Shri Mataji, just the silence". She said "I am the silence". But for the rest of the day, I had the feeling of being so light that I was litterally wondering whether my feet were touching the ground; the quality of well being throughout this day of shopping in London was again ecstatic. These states of higher awareness were registered by my central nervous system and cannot be doubted. The perception is direct.

So, who is Shri Mataji? Caiaphas asked Jesus: "Are you the son of God?" When Jesus replied affirmatively, the Pharisees sent him to Pontius Pilatus and to the cross. Sometimes peole ask and do not want to know. Sometimes people ask and do not want to believe. But if we ask because we are genuinely interested, and honest, then, only in meditation can we get close to the subject, in a living and experimental manner. All the rest is words, and words are just that: ambivalent and unconvincing. The history of spirituality shows that spiritual masters are fought by the mainstream establishment when they are alive and worshipped when they are dead in order to take advantage of their legacy. My advice to those who would like to know the truth about Shri Mataji's unique and historical advent on this earth is to get access to self realisation through the proven technique of sahaja yoga and go deeper in meditation where responses unfold.

Gregoire de Kalbermatten

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Is Sahaja Yoga a religion?

If religion means belief, no. If religion means connection with Reality, the Self or the Divine, whatever your language, then yes. Sahaja Yoga is not an organized religion, but it unites the essence of all religions through direct perception of the subtle, divine reality. Sahaja Yoga is moving spirituality from the realm of dogma into the realm of individual experimentation. It is a practice, a direct experience which is felt on our central nervous system and requires no act of faith to substantiate it.

Anyone who has eyes can see that the sky is blue. Anyone who has their self realization, which is achievable effortlessly through Sahaja Yoga, can feel the cool breeze of the Kundalini (in the Vedic tradition) or Holy Spirit (in the Christian tradition) above their head. Self Realization is a happening that opens a new category of perception to better handle our daily life. Its actualization is at the core of the teachings of Sahaja Yoga. In a way we are given a new sense, connected with the cognitive potential of the limbic area of the brain. We all have a powerful radar up there, waiting to start functioning and improve our navigational skills.

No belief is required before or after this happening. History is alas filled with blind faith and contradictory theories, but the evolution of awareness has taken us to a point where, now, it is possible for those who so desire to know a deeper spiritual truth through direct perception. The conclusions we arrive at through our experience and meditation are our own. No one can take them away from us just as it would be futile for anyone to convince us that the sky is actually green. As Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga emphasizes: we become our own masters.

All major religions of the world were started on the basis of the enlightening teachings of higher masters. Over time, because self realization was not yet available to everyone, their truth was buried under concepts and rituals by the people "in charge". They became rich and powerful. The truth and real essence of the religions faded and became a belief. Sahaja Yoga can for the first time integrate and prove these timeless truths, on our central nervous system, through self realization. It is all, in a sense, scientific, practical and part of a higher plan which has unfolded throughout history to reach its climax in these modern times. It is the next step in the evolution of our awareness.

We may say all this is driven by a mysterious force that we could call Divine love. This step of self improvement is within our collective reach and this is not a business or a money making proposition. We need only have the desire to receive it, and then use it for our benefit and the benefit of the human race.

Calin Costian, Dallas, USA

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Does Sahaja Yoga accept other religions?

The word RELIGION comes from a latin word ("religare") which means "to unite". The essence of all major religions of the world is the same: truth. The purpose is the same: to lead a better life, united with the power which created us. The religions were all based on the teachings of Divine incarnations who came on this earth, at different times and places, to guide humanity towards its collective emancipation.

Through the process of Self Realization achieved in Sahaja Yoga, the truth of these religions becomes apparent: it is not not revealed through compliance to dogmas. It manifests through the liberation of our potential for a higher state of well being. We thus come to truly grasp and accept the essence of these great teachings, not on a mental basis, not by trying to reconcile the differences and ritualism which was added to them over the ages by the people in charge, but through our own experience.

Gregoire de Kalbermatten

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Sahaja Yoga and marriages

Like most spiritual groups, and society in general, those who practice Sahaja Yoga also believe in the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is a very important part of life since it creates the basis for having strong and loving families that are the foundation of our society. It is also a great source of joy and balance when both husband and wife are practicing Sahaja Yoga. However, we don't want to see our meditation centers turned into dating centers. Pure attention on our spiritual ascent, as opposed to the attraction we might be feeling for someone sitting next to us, is the best way to achieve a nice, blissful meditation and further our evolution.

In present day Western society, the options for meeting a prospective spouse are many: parties and clubs; dating services, blind dates set up by friends or relatives; churches, the workplace, internet chat rooms, chance meetings in public places, and so on. In many cases, we try to project a personality (witty, intelligent, charming) and/or physical image (dieting and workouts) that don't necessarily reflect who we really are, but what we think others desire. Most of these ideal images are based on what we see and hear in the mass media, i.e. movies, TV, music and advertising. As a result we are often attracted (or repelled) for the wrong reasons.

While many do discover a meaningful relationship and find themselves in a satisfying marriage, the ever-increasing divorce rate would indicate that perhaps we are choosing spouses for all the wrong reasons.

In Eastern society, and even in old Western society, arranged marriages, or at least formal introductions were, and still are the norm. While not all of these marriages may evolve into highly romantic relationships, they can still be highly satisfying marriages based on common values and interests, and especially the joy of children as marriage transforms into family.

Many of those that practice Sahaja Yoga on a daily basis are also interested in having a spouse that does the same. Being able to help each other achieve deeper meditations using Sahaja Yoga clearing and cleansing techniques, as well as becoming a mirror for the other to see themselves for behavioral change, in a calm, loving and compassionate environment, are things highly sought after by those on a spiritual path. Using conventional Western dating techniques doesn't really seem to achieve the goal, and in the interest of keeping the local meditation center a place of pure attention, many have asked our spiritual teacher and founder of Sahaja Yoga, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, for assistance in finding a compatible spouse.

Some of the international Sahaja Yoga seminars provide an opportunity to be introduced to someone else practicing Sahaja Yoga for the purpose of marriage. Shri Mataji matches the couple based on the background and inclinations, but most importantly, she is able to determine compatibility based on the vibrations (subtle aspects) of the couples. The low divorce rate for these marriages shows the success of this method.

After being introduced, the couples are given up to a couple of weeks or so to determine whether they would like to go through with the marriage. There is no absolutely no pressure to go through with the marriage if either person is not so inclined. In fact, the couples are discouraged to go through with the marriage if there is any doubt whatsoever. If things don't work out, then of course divorce is an option, but it is something that rarely happens.

In closing, as author of this article, I would just like to say that my marriage in Sahaja Yoga has been an incredibly beautiful experience, and I never realized I could love someone so deeply and completely. This is not to say there has never been conflict, but what has amazed me is how quickly (measured in minutes, not days or weeks) the conflicts have been worked out. Having a Sahaja Yogi for a spouse has allowed me to witness certain behaviors in myself that need to be changed or eliminated, which is just one of the many ways we are able to help each other in our spiritual ascent.

While marriage in Sahaja Yoga is not for everybody, and not everybody that practices Sahaja Yoga chooses to marry this way, most of us that have, are extremely happy with the result!

Mark Mays, Seattle, USA

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Children and education in Sahaja Yoga

One of the most deeply held commitments amongst people practicing Sahaja Yoga is that of the well-being of our children. There are tens of thousands of remarkably happy and harmonious families practicing Sahaja Yoga around the world, and tens of thousands of remarkably happy, well adjusted children have been born into these families.

Parents in Sahaja Yoga are concerned, as all parents are, with helping their children to grow to adulthood without falling prey to the traps of peer pressure, drugs, violence and immorality along the way. We use the techniques of Sahaja Yoga to help our children stay balanced, alert, healthy and self-aware. As they grow up, we teach them how to meditate, and to understand the subtle inner workings of their own energy systems, to know when they are in a healthy, balanced state and when they are not. We teach them how to treat imbalances within and to take responsibility for their own states of mind and awareness.

We have found that as a result, children in Sahaja Yoga develop a beautiful reverence for goodness, for practicality and for righteousness. They maintain a bright, positive attitude toward life long after children of similar ages begin to show signs of encroaching cynicism and disillusionment.

Seeing the horrors of violence and self-destructive habits, and the subtler negativities of extreme materialism and competition amongst children in our nations' schools, we in Sahaja Yoga have created several international schools for our children, which we feel are healthier alternatives. There is a school for younger children in rural Italy, and another in the mountains of India for older children. These schools promote not only academic excellence, but a continued support for the growth of our children's self-awareness through Sahaja Yoga meditation.

The atmosphere in the Sahaja Yoga schools are both cheerful and serene. Children learn in an environment which is close to nature and full of natural beauty, and spend the day in learning traditional subjects, languages and the arts, as well as having time to play and enjoy together. The international population of the schools gives our children the additional benefit of broader horizons, as they develop friendships with children from many other countries.

Of the many thousands of children in Sahaja Yoga, only a few hundred each year are able to attend these schools. Some families choose not to send their children, others send them for some time, and then choose to keep them in local schools for a time, according to what they feel are the needs of the individual child.

We have found that the Sahaja Yoga schools instill in our children a very deep and unshakable joy in their approach to life. The children who are fortunate enough to attend these schools develop an inner strength by which they are able to withstand the forces of peer pressure when they return to schools in their native countries. As parents, we feel this is possibly the greatest gift we can give them, as our wish is to see them grow up strong, healthy , with a deep respect for all that is divine within and around us, fully able to enjoy life and express themselves.

Steve Wollenberger, Chicago, USA

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Sahaja Yoga - a gentle path

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, stilling the mind and calming the body, has never been the western way. For centuries, Meditation and Yoga (Union) have been regarded by Europeans as an esoteric, Oriental practice of little practical benefit.

But over the last two decades, the increasing speed and pressures of modern living have been matched by an increasing need for ways co cope with them. Medical science is now proving what a growing number of people in the West have discovered for themselves: that the relaxation of true meditation has measurable beneficial effects on all levels of our being, with no damaging side effects.

In the Yoga of true meditation, one develops a conscious awareness of the subtle energy that exists within us all, and a spontaneous connection with the inner mechanism by which it is governed. This integration cannot be forced through exercises, chanting or mantras. It happens as a natural awakening, in just the same way that our body grows and maintains itself, without any conscious effort on our part.

The last few years have seen the evolution of a process whereby this inner integration can take place in ordinary people everywhere, irrespective of age, occupation, race, color and creed. It is not a theory or a concept that has to be worked at. Sahaja Yoga is a solid experience, an actual, physical reality verifiable in ones own nervous system, that leads on to spontaneous improvements in one's well-being and relationship with the world. These include numerous incidents in overcoming alcohol and drug addiction, diseases (such as cancer), heart problems and other physical and mental disorders such as stress, depression and tension.

The word Sahaja means 'in-born', because the purifying and healing energy that is gently awakened lies waiting within every human being from birth.

From that moment one is able to start bringing balance into one's life. As well as the benefits mentioned above, the simple meditation and techniques of Sahaja Yoga bring one onto the central path between such damaging opposites as: Too much lethargy or too much frantic activity - of too much emotion or lack of emotion - of living too much in the past, or thinking too much of the future. So one becomes a calm, joyful personality, confident and able to enjoy living in the now of the present.

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What VIPs say about Sahaja Yoga

"Shri Mataji's discovery brings genuine hope to humanity."
Claes Nobel

This section features letters and speeches given by
  • Ayatollah Medhi Rouhani - leader of the Muslim Shiite faith
  • Claes Nobel - grandnephew of Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Foundation) and Chairman of United Earth
  • Dr. D. Y. Patil, Founder President of the Ramrao Adik Education Society, India.
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Ayatollah Medhi Rouhani

(Letter delivered on Shri Mataji's 72nd birthday, Marh 21, 1995)

To Her Excellency, Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, President of the universal and spiritual movement of Sahaja Yoga.

It is with truly profound respect and heartfelt joy that I offer to you, all my sincere felicitations for this grand birthday of yours, this tremendous day of your birth which exactly corresponds with the New Year which our ancient nation of Iran is about to celebrate, according to her ancestral traditions.

You have dedicated you entire life to the establishment of morality and to the evolution of the consciousness of humanity through love and compassion with the aim of self knowledge. You have for this, founded a movement which all we Muslims believe to be a teaching whose ultimate goal is the knowledge of God. Has not the Prophet proclaimed:

"He who knows himself, knows God" ?

It is obvious that humanity will not find fulfillment until they have established the balance between the material world and spirituality. If once glance through the combined history and culture of our two countries, Iran and India, we can easily perceive that these two nations have offered humanity similar civilizations and have continually raised the flag of peace and peaceful co-existence throughout the world. We still need today to continue this historic mission.

I am convinced that by constant effort and commitment, we can transform this sacred and ancient dream into reality. Thus we must permit all those who are trapped within the wheels and machinery of western civilization, to lighten the loads on their lives; to establish themselves in morality and to warm their hearts with the joy of spiritual life.

In closing I would like to express to you my intense feeling of gratitude and recognition, which I know are shared by all the Muslims of Europe, and in particular the Shiite community, for all your effort and sacrifice in the pursuit of peace.

It is my humble wish that gratitude and recognition which I hold for you, be conveyed to the Government and the people of the India.

Ayatollah Dr. Mehdi Rouhani

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Address delivered by Ayatollah Dr. Mehdi Rouhani at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 3rd July 1997:

If we consider the most ancient evidence left by homo sapiens, we can see that man has always been aware of the existence of a Supreme Being, who is Lord of all things and of all living creatures.

Using every conceiveable means, human beings of every era have always tried to show their feelings of deep respect (and reverence) towards God and to perform what is due to their Creator.

This is why Islam has always stressed the possibility of direct communication with God. Even those who have fallen into idolatry have never denied the existence of the Creator, but have simply put their idols and images in His place. And this is still happening today. This being the case, how can we recognise a true prophet and what is his or her mission?

The mission of the prophets is to reveal the will of God, that is, to provide a logical and tangible explanantion of religion as it is experienced in our daily lives.

Genuine monotheism - the belief in a Supreme Being - means (or implies) the unshakeable oneness of the whole creation between man and God. Monotheism proves then, the pointlessness of idols and of images that come between man and God. The mission of the prophets is thus to set human beings on the right track, and in order to do this, the prophets have used two parrallel and complementary paths:

  • the way of learning, based on theology and philosophy
  • and the way of Self-Knowledge or Self-Realisation
This is why we find in our Holy Book, the Koran, both scholastic discourse and phrases which hint at the "way in" to knowledge of the Highest Self. The concrete means of putting this message into practise is what is offered to us in this age by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

To back up this Truth, if you will allow me. I will quote these words of the Prophet Mahomet, who tells us: "God is closer to man than his own veins." And the Prophet says: "With the knowledge of the Spirit, man will begin to know himself, so as to finally achieve knowledge of God." "With the purification of his inner being, man becomes conscious that he is the Spirit."

It is thus the experience of spontaneous Self Realisation - which is revealed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi - and Sahaja Yoga - which is the practise which she teaches - both spontaneous Self Realisation and Sahaja Yoga are in perfect harmony with the teachings of Islam. It is because of this revelation by Shri Mataji that I have wanted to speak to you tonight.

In similar vein, I should like to end my talk by referring to the condition of women in Islamic countries today. As you know, the position of woman as mother is glorified in the Islamic tradition. The Prophet Mahomet went as far as to say: "We experienced Paradise at our mother's feet."

As a wife, Islam not only acknowledges her complete right to choose her own husband, but pays homage to her in the famous words of the Prophet, who says: "The best amongst you is the one who behaves best towards his wife." Or again: "Women are sent to us by God and men are responsible for keeping them safe." Women are thus considerd to be equal to men in both their responsibilities and in their legal and civic rights.

Today, unfortunately, we have seen that this great insight of the Koran is not always understood and therefore not respected in the varous Muslim countries.

You, Shri Mataji, by virute of your courage, and your sincerity and your purity, by virtue of your untiring travels through the five continents, you are today justly considered to be the Messenger of Peace in the world.

Your exemplary life makes you the perfect symbol and model for Muslim women. May their quest for Justice, their desire to be able to enjoy a true spiritual life in their own dignity, may their quest find an echo in the spiritual approach of the real Islam. This will make it possible to put a stop to all kinds of injustices which are still being committed against women in the name of religion.

It is with this vision and with the aim of defending the rights of women in Muslim countries throughout the world and in particular Afganistan, in Iran and Turkey, that I address this brief talk to you Shri Mataji, and to all the people assembled here tonight.

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Claes Nobel, Chairman of United Earth

This is a summary of a speech by Mr. Claes Nobel, grandnephew of Alfred Nobel (creator of the Nobel Foundation), preceding Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi's programme on Self Realisation and Sahaja Yoga at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 3rd July 1997.

Mr. Claes Nobel spoke of his vision of a world in which human beings would live in harmony and peace, both with themselves and with Nature. However, in order to know how to act rightly to achieve this end, we need a reference point. It is Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who enables us to distinguish what is right by granting spontaneous Self Realisation, through which we can know absolute truth and absolute peace.

He stressed the importance of the inspiring insights of women, particularly in relation to achieving peace, such as those of Shri Mataji. Mr. Nobel distinguished four aspects of peace in his notion of "Earth Ethics". First: inner peace within the individual. Second: the peace among men and nations, religions and races. Third: the peaceful relation with Nature and the Earth in which we listen and respect. And fourth: the peace between man and God, which precludes all violence and war. Shri Mataji enables us to perceive the underlying and eternal spiritual laws which govern the cosmos and life on Earth.

Shri Mataji's followers, whom he had met all over the world, were all radiant with inner peace and balance and should be called "Ambassadors for the Earth." Shri Mataji's gift of Self Realisation gives discrimination to know the truth and to avoid the extremes of blind faith and fanaticism. There had been enough talking about a sustainable future for the Earth. What was needed now was action. An Indian fable pointed the way forward: the greatest fulfilment and satisfaction is attained not by thinking of self, but through a true insight into our collective identity.

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Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi For Global Peace - The Letters of Commendation

by Dr. D. Y. Patil, Founder President


  • Ramrao Adik Education Society
  • D.Y. Patil Education Society, "Madhuli" Opp Nehruplanitaium
  • Dr D. Y. Patil, Pratishthan, Dr. Annie Besant Road,
  • Dr D. Y. Patil, Education Academy Worli, Bombay - 400 018, Phone 4922791/4922891
  • Shri Mouni Vidyapeeth, Gargoti, dist Kolhapur
  • Kasaba Bavada Shikshan Mandal Residence: Bharat-Mauritius Brotherhood, Flat no 104, 10th floor, of Maharashtra, "Madhuli", Opp Nehruplanitarium, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Bombay - 400 018
  • Kolhapur Sahakari Bank ltd. Phone : 4931060
  • Paschim Maharashtra Devasthan Mandal

September 1, 1995

It is a great honour to me to write about SHRI MATAJI NIRMALA DEVI and Her work of giving Self-Realisation through the system of Sahaja Yoga of thousands. By this happening thousands and thousands of people have become very peaceful within. Many students who were not at all good at studies have been able to pass their exams with first class marks, because their awareness improved tremendously. One of the person blessed by Shri Mataji was Miss Shushmita Sen, who won the title of Miss Universe last year. It was not her physical beauty but her inner poise, serenity and dignity which were accentuated in her selection. Many world famous musicians like Ustad Amjad Ali khan, Nishat Khan, Ustad Shafaat Khan, Anup Jalota, Ptd. Debu Chaudhari, Ajit kadkade and many others say that they have achieved their proficiency by Her blessings. Many painters and architects have also been guided by Her.

There are many people who been cured by Shri Mataji of their incurable diseases through the science and practice of Sahaja Yoga. Sahaja Yoga works on the parasympathetic nervous systems and deals with subtle energy centers, which are the roots of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being. Four doctors of Delhi University have obtained their medical doctorates by working on Sahaja yoga subjects. Their are seven doctors in the UK who have done research in the same field. In Russia there are many doctors who are practising Sahaja Yoga. Medical conferences on Sahaja Yoga have been conducted in many countries including France and UK under the guidance of Professor U.C. Rai, former Head of the Department of Physiology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. He has published a book about his findings. This book was released by our President, His Excellency, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma. Shri Mataji has recently been awarded a Ph D. Doctorate in Cognitive Sciences by the University of Ecology, Bucharest, Romania. She has been admitted as an honorary member to the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. She has received many other awards from different countries of the world, specially for Her work in spreading peace amongst countries.

Shri Mataji's fantastic work has been acclaimed universally, because She has established Her programmes for spiritual self-realisation promoting peace among human beings of different races, cultures and countries. In fact I have no words to describe adequately the unparalleled and unique global transformation. She has brought about in so many men, women and children around the world. They are totally moral and chaste; they have developed inner balance and peace; they have formed beautiful families and children; they regard each human being with great consideration and respect. This is the visible effect of the Divine powers of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, who is full of compassion and love for all human beings. Her knowledge of subtle system is perfect and verified scientifically. She is the fount of all knowledge about Self and a great master of spirituality. I have witnessed this most exceptional development with great admiration and respect. Shri Mataji's Sahaja Yoga is the only effective way to achieve global peace within every individual.

I wish, from my heart, to this movement a successful propagation all over the world.

Dr. D. Y. Patil

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