Meditation and the art of realising the spirit

Nirmala Srivastava, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, an organisation dedicated to spiritual meditation as being key to realise one's potential and worth beyond the body and mind, was born today in 1923.
Nirmala Srivastava - a yogi par excellence; Source: Public Domain

Nirmala Srivastava - a yogi par excellence; Source: Public Domain

Well, India does not have a shortage of Yogis and preachers - far from it. One amongst that rank, the topic for discussion today, is Nirmala Srivastava, born on the 21st of March, 1923. She was born in Madhya Pradesh, to a scholar/ linguist father and a mathematician mother.

She hailed from the prominent Salve family, and with her connections, she was also involved with the Quit India Movement and Gandhi’s Ashram. This was before she became involved in what she would be best known for - spreading and preaching of Yoga. However, she would remain an active contributor to nationalism in India, forming the Youth Society for Films to inculcate national, social and moral values in young people.

She claimed that she was born ‘self-realized’ and then, in 1970, she witnessed the rising of the primordial Kundalini, spiritual energy located at the base of the spine, like a coiled-up serpent. After this rising, she claimed to have realised the immense self-potential of humans and formed the path of Sahaja Yoga.

This organisation and practice was devoted to aiding people in finding out their spirit, claimed that people are beyond the body and mind - hence, in spirit, and focused on meditation as the only way to grow. Anyhow, she warned against ‘false gurus’ and started spreading her campaign of Sahaja Yoga around the world. She toured Europe in 1980, and Australia and North America in 1981, even touring the Eastern European regions under Soviet influence in 1989.

Publishing books, giving public lectures, performing pujas, interviews, tv, radio and newspaper appearances, she consolidated her meditation methods of Sahaja Yoga and founded its centre in Mumbai in 1996. Her message, however lofty it may be, has been received by millions still, who derive some or the other benefit from this practice of dedicated meditation.


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