SAN RAFAEL, CA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Nirmala Srivastava, better known as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, esteemed humanitarian, and founder of the Sahaja Meditation movement, passed quietly in Genoa, Italy, on February 23, 2011. Shri Mataji was born on March 21, 1923 in Chindwara, India, to Prasad and Cornelia Salve, direct descendants of the royal Shalivahana dynasty and close friends of Mahatma Gandhi. While she never courted the attention of the rich or powerful, mayors praised Shri Mataji in proclamations, and governors thanked her for her work in the U.S. Always a great humanitarian, Shri Mataji created an international health and wellness center and a shelter for the destitute in her birth country of India.
All who had the great fortune to know Shri Mataji personally were touched by her wisdom, her infectious laughter and her great sense of humor.
Sahaja Meditation is a volunteer not-for-profit organization committed to teaching and sharing the benefits of the Sahaja Meditation practice to any and all people who seek to learn. Meditation is a word which has been defined and interpreted in countless different ways, from reflecting deeply on a subject to sitting quietly with closed eyes and focused attention. The practice of meditation in Sahaja Yoga is simple, and can be done at home or in the office, alone or with others.
Medical studies carried out in Australia and India have shown that the body's healing mechanisms are activated when one meditates in thoughtless awareness, but not when one is simply using a relaxation method such as deep breathing or visualization. Relaxation methods are effective in reducing stress, but have not shown quantifiable medical results, while Sahaja Yoga Meditation has.

A unique feature of Sahaja Yoga Meditation is the fact that it does not offer a single prescriptive route to spirituality. Meditation centres have been established around the world, where this technique introduced by Shri Mataji is taught free of charge. As a newborn also, Mataji emanated such beauty and radiance, that her parents named her Nirmala. On a lonely beach in Nargol, India, she discovered how to give en masse self-realization, a process that awakens the inner spiritual energy in human beings. In fact, to finance a visit in 1972, she sold her jewels to obtain the necessary funds for travel. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, wrote to Shri Mataji on the occasion of her birthday in 2010. She also founded an international academy of the arts, vocational training schools for disadvantaged students and The Theater of Eternal Values, a multi-national group of artists dedicated to spreading the eternal values of theater across continents.
Sahaja Meditation is a form of meditation with roots in the spiritual practice of Sahaja Yoga. Shri Mataji stressed that leaving society behind in order to gain spiritual enlightenment was unnecessary. Determined to share this revelation with the world, Shri Mataji set about teaching others how to tap into their inner energy to become balanced and connected emotionally, spiritually and physically.

She will live on within the hearts and minds of the followers of Sahaja Meditation as well as the countless others throughout the world whose lives have been improved through contact with her.
The basis of the technique is the awakening of this energy which exists in everyone, and it centres on the individual's choice of taking it up and practicing.
Each practitioner has the option to select their own path, rate of progress and spiritual goals. Her wisdom and understanding was so deep that at time, even Mahatma Gandhi consulted her on important matters. It is an experience of effortless meditation, rather than any exercise of mindfulness or concentration. It is because of this wisdom and generosity that many regard her as the most significant spiritual figure of our time.

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