Taking it to the World

Once her children were grown and settled, Nirmala Srivastava could invest more of her attention and time in the public sphere. While her husband headed the UN International Maritime Organization in London, she began her spiritual work with a small group of people there. She also started touring the country, giving lectures as well as the experience of self-realization. Nirmala would soon become known by the honorific title Shri Mataji, meaning 'Respected Mother,' as those around her came to recognize her exceptional spiritual and motherly qualities.

She never charged money for these lectures nor for self-realization, insisting that the awakening of the spiritual energy dormant within all human beings was their birthright and thus could not be paid for. The method of meditation through self-realization developed by Shri Mataji was called Sahaja Yoga. Concentrating her efforts at first in the United Kingdom, she took her message to audiences in small towns and big cities. She travelled the country giving radio and television interviews, holding lectures in public halls, and spending hours after meeting individuals from the audience, patiently listening to their stories and problems and offering advice.

Shri Mataji shaking the Queen's hand in London, UKThis was to be the pattern in the 1980s when Shri Mataji started touring Europe, Australia and North America. She taught Sahaja Yoga  free of charge to all who were interested and took part in lively debates and question-and-answer sessions about the role of spirituality in modern times.

The 1990s saw her travels spread to South America, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific region.

Many honorary awards and doctorates were bestowed upon her from institutions around the world. In 1995, she spoke  at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She also spoke on World Peace at the United Nations.

In 1997 Claes Nobel expressed his admiration for Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga, which he described as "a reference point for determining right from wrong" and as "a source of hope for humanity."

it is the peace that you have achieved, the love that you have developed, the compassion that you can envelope, the amount of relationship and the rapport you can penetrate into others.
Mumbai, January 14th 1985