Sahaja Yoga Meditation was created in 1970 by Shri Mataji Nirmala Shrivastava (1923-2011), a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who dedicated her life to selflessly and relentlessly sharing this method of meditation with hundreds of thousands of people in over 100 countries.
As a young child, Shri Mataji spent long periods of time at Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram who was impressed with her spiritual depth and wisdom. As an adolescent, she was one of the youth leaders in the struggle for India’s independence. Her vision of universal peace and unity continues his dreams on a spiritual level. She studied medicine and married Sir C. P. Shrivastava, who later on became Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister of India and Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization.
In 1970, after seeing her two daughters happily married, Shri Mataji embarked on her true life’s mission, the emancipation of humanity through Sahaja Yoga Meditation. This method created by Shri Mataji is a system of personal development and transformation which over the next several decades spread to hundreds of thousands of practitioners in over 100 countries.
Shri Mataji toured around the world throughout this period, selflessly spreading her message of individual and collective transformation and insisting that you can never pay for something that is built into every human being and which can be achieved spontaneously (Sahaja).
For her global humanitarian work, Shri Mataji was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and was honored by the United States Congress, heads of state, and many governments and inter-governmental institutions including the United Nations where she was invited to speak on multiple occasions and was granted UN Peace Medal.
Read more about the life and work of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi on ShriMataji.org
Awards and Recognitions
Shri Mataji’s humanitarian and spiritual work draws admiration not only from countless individuals across the globe who have personally benefited from her teachings, but also from governments, dignitaries, educational institutions and organizations. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and received The UN Peace Medal, in addition to having a large number of other international awards and recognitions.
Shri Mataji’s Awards and Recognitions in North America
“Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the Mother, is recognized internationally as the most significant force in the world today and she will awaken in us the force that will change our life and change the world.”
– Dwight Tillery, Mayor of Cincinnati, September 10, 1992
● New York, USA, 1989-1994: Invited by the United Nations for four consecutive years to speak on ‘How to achieve world peace’.
● New York, USA, 1989: The U.N. Peace Medal as a recognition for Her outstanding contribution to the humanity and World Peace.
● USA,105th Congress, 1997 and 106th Congress, 2000: Honorarium read into Congressional Record by Congressman Eliot Engle commending Shri Mataji for her dedicated and tirelesswork for humanity.
● Cincinnati, USA,1992: Dwight Tillery, Mayor of Cincinnati, proclaimed September 10th as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● Philadelphia, USA,1993: Edward G. Rendell, Mayor of Philadelphia, October 15th as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● Los Angeles, USA, 1993 and 1994: Letter of Welcome and Continued Friendship was granted by Mayor Richard Riordan on behalf of the people of Los Angeles.
● New York, USA,1994: Police escort was granted for a welcoming parade honoring Shri Mataji and celebrating her association with Mahatma Gandhi. The half day march originated on 5th Avenue and encircled Central Park.
● British Columbia, Canada, 1994: Letter of Welcome was granted by the Premier of the Province of British Columbia, Mr. Mike Harcourt, on behalf of the people of Canada.
● Vancouver, Canada, 1994: Letter of Welcome was granted by Mayor Philip W. Owen on behalf of the people of Vancouver, Canada.
● Yonkers, New York, USA, 1996: Letter of Welcome was granted by Mayor of Yonkers, New York. September 26 was proclaimed as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● USA, 1999: Honorary Proclamation by the US Congress which was submitted to the Congressional Records.
● Berkley, USA, 2000: Shirley Dean, Mayor of Berkley, proclaimed June 5th as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● Cincinnati, USA, 2001: Charlie Luken, Mayor of Cincinnati, proclaimed March 21st as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● New York, USA, 2001: Congressional Recognition and 78th Birthday Greetings by House of Representatives.
● Plano, Texas, 2001: Special Recognition on Shri Mataji’s 78th Birthday from Jeran Akers, Mayor of the city of Plano, Texas.
● Texas, 2001: Special Greetings on Shri Mataji’s 78th Birthday from Rick Perry, Governor of Texas.
● Pittsburgh, USA, 2001: Tom Murphy, Mayor of Pittsburgh, proclaimed March 21st as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● New York, USA, 2001: New York State Assembly Honoring Shri Mataji on the occasion of Her 78th Birthday.
● British Columbia, Canada, 2001: 78th Birthday Greetings by the Premier of the Province of British Columbia, Canada.
● Austin, USA, 2008: Will Wynn, Mayor of Austin City, proclaimed March 21 as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
● Prince Edward Island, Canada, 2010: Special Greetings on Shri Mataji’s 87th Birthday from Robert Chiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island.
● Ottawa, Canada, 2010: Warmest Congratulations on Shri Mataji’s 87th Birthday from the Prime Minister of Canada.
● Toronto, Canada, 2010: Special Greetings on Shri Mataji’s 87th Birthday from Premier Dalton McGuinty on behalf of the Government of Ontario.
● Toronto, Canada, 2010: Warmest Congratulations on Shri Mataji’s 87th Birthday from Mayor David Miller and Members of Toronto City Council.
● British Columbia, Canada, 2010: Warmest Congratulations on Shri Mataji’s 87th Birthday from the Premier of British Columbia, Canada.
● Washington, USA, 2010: Birthday Congratulations from the White House by Michelle Obama and recognition of Shri Mataji’s life as an important part of the American story.
● Washington, D.C., USA, 2012: Vincent Gray, Mayor of Washington, proclaimed March 21 as “Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day”.
Shri Mataji’s International Awards and Recognitions
● Italy, 1986: Declared the ‘Personality of The Year’ by the Italian Government.
● Moscow, Russia,1989: Shri Mataji had a meeting with the Head of the Ministry of Health, USSR. Following which Sahaja Yoga was granted a ‘Full Government Sponsorship’ which included funding for promotion and scientific research.
● St. Petersburg, Russia, 1993: Inaugurated the first International Conference on Medicine and Self-Knowledge, which became an annual event at the Academy thereafter.
● St. Petersburg, Russia, 1994: Got appointed as Honorary Member to ‘The presidium of Petroyaska’s Academy of Art and Science’ and was told, “You are even higher than science.” Only twelve people so far have been granted this honor; Albert Einstein is one among them.
● Brazil, 1994: The Mayor of city of Brazilia welcomed Shri Mataji at the airport and presented Her with the ‘Key to The City’, and sponsored all of Her programs.
● 1994: Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
● Romania, 1995: Awarded Honorary Doctorate in Cognitive Science by Prof D. Drimer, head of the Ecological University Bucharest.
● Sydney, Australia, 1995: The Mayor of Sydney officially welcomes Shri Mataji during Her visit to Australia.
● Beijing, China, 1995: Official guest of the Chinese Government to speak at the United Nations International Women’s Conference.
● India, 1995: The Indian Government has granted Shri Mataji a one hour prime time television series, broadcast nationally.
● Sophia, Bulgaria, July 26, 1995: General Secretary of the international ‘Ecoforum for Peace’ expressed appreciation to Shri Mataji and wished realization of Her goals and ideals.
● 1996: Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
● France, May 2, 1996: International Award ‘La Pléiade’.
● India, 1997: The ‘Unity International Peace Award’ by the Unity International Foundations. Shri Mataji’s name included to the List of The Greatest People of The Planet for her fundamental contribution to the scientific and spiritual development.
● London, UK, 1997: Tribute to Shri Mataji at the Royal Albert Hall by Claes Nobel (Chairman of United Earth Organization and grandnephew of Alfred Nobel, creator of the Nobel Foundation). In his admiration speech Mr. Nobel acknowledged: “Shri Mataji’s discovery brings genuine hope to humanity”.
● Delhi, India, 1998: Greetings from the President and Prime-Minister of India on Shri Mataji’s 75th Birthday.
● India, 1998: A road in Navi Mumbai got named as the H.H. Shri Nirmala Devi Marg.
● Pune, India, 2001: Manav Ratna Award in recognition of Shri Mataji’s selfless work for all humanity.
● Moscow, Russia, 2003: Sahaja Yoga awarded “Best diagnosis and therapies of regenerative medicine 2003” by the Ministry of Health of Russia.
● Cabella Ligure, Italy, 2006: Awarded Honorary Citizenship of Italy by the local assembly for the Municipal Office of Cabella Ligure, Alessenandria Italy.