On February 23, 2012, people all over the world are observing the anniversary of the passing of H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga one year ago. Shri Mataji, as she was affectionately called, was recognized by many as the most eminent World Spiritual leader of the Century.
Born in India on March 21, 1923, Shri Mataji's unique spiritual predisposition was immediately apparent to all who met her, including Mahatma Gandhi. She knew from a very young age that she had a unique gift and wanted first to show, by her own example, the perfect compatibility of a deeply spiritual life with the ordinary life of a householder.
As a young woman, Shri Mataji studied medicine and psychology at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana and the Balakram Medical College in Lahore. In 1947, shortly before India's independence, she married Chandrika Prasad (CP) Srivastava, a high-ranking civil servant. The couple had two daughters, Kalpana and Sadhana, and Mrs. Srivastava spent the following years as a housewife, raising her children and caring for her husband in his new role as principal secretary to the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.