Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born to a Christian family on 21 March 1923. As a newborn also, Mataji emanated such beauty and radiance, that her parents named her Nirmala. Since her parents were both freedom fighters, she grew up in the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi. Her wisdom and understanding was so deep that at time, even Mahatma Gandhi consulted her on important matters. She also took part in the freedom struggle, playing the role of a youth leader.
Just before independence, Shri Nirmala Devi got married to a civil servant, Sir C.P. Srivastava, one of India's most talented civil servants, who was knighted by the Queen of England. Sir Srivastava held the post of the Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister's office in the years 1964-66. As Sir C P moved on to the world stage from the Indian administration (he served as the Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization for 16 consecutive years) Shri Mataji started on the mission to promote spirituality in this materialistic world. On 5th of May 1970, while she was strolling on a lonely beach of Nargol, she felt a divine spiritual experience. With that, she found a way to present her knowledge before people. Thus was born the concept of Sahaja Yoga and Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Yoga Centers. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Sahaj Yoga Centers have been set up more than 75 countries, including India.
A meditation technique, Sahaja Yoga was created by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1970. As a person practices Sahaja Yoga, his awareness enhances to a new dimension, where he can feel absolute truth physically - on his central nervous system. With this, he starts experiencing spiritual development. At the same time, he achieves a physical, mental and emotional balance. He then recognizes the Self or Spirit, which is the source of true knowledge, peace and joy.
The principles of Sahaj Yoga are - Honesty, integrity, spirituality, helping each other in attaining enlightenment, hunting the truth and solving problems by using the latent potential, on both individual as well as collective level. As per Mataji Self Realization is the birthright of every human being.