Shri Shri Maa Anandmayee – The Eternal Flame occupies a unique position in the contemporary culture of India. She did not start any new religion or school of thought, yet she attracted people from all walks of life.
Shri Maa Anandmayee, who was initially named Nirmala Sundari Devi, arrived in the world on the 30th April, 1896 in a small village called Kheora in the district of Tripura in East Bengal. She grew up in a climate of religious tradition, music & poetry, love & affection. Being in a state of constant spiritual exaltation, she felt an inward urge to get herself initiated. She found her own self as Guru and got her own initiation on August 3rd, 1922. Her extraordinary personality gained public recognition in Dhaka during the years 1924-32.
Maa spoke only on spiritualism, but made the meanings much easier for a common man to reach the goal. She categorically said that she was practically in need of those persons who were spiritually blind, helpless, and directionless having no experience of true religion or had swayed away in the confusion and contradictions of the present day world. Maa then appeared to rescue them, to heal them and to free them form the bondage of ignorance and suffering, once and for all.
In a language distinctly her own, Maa replied to queries put to her by newcomers. “Surrender yourself to Shree Maa and she will take care ofeverything for she is like an incessant reservoir providing enlightenment to benighted individuals. A man’s belief is greatly influenced by his environment; therefore you should choose the company of the holy and the wise. Belief means to believe in one’s self; disbelief means to mistake the non-self for one’s self.”
She further said, “Try to grasp the significance of all is his and you will immediately feel free from all burdens. None will seem alien, and will be your very own, yourself.”
Maa is the embodiment, in human form, of the ideal relationship between man and God. She was acclaimed the world over as the Divine incarnate and epitome of divine love, bliss, compassion and truth that radiated from her person spontaneously. Maa’s very presence cut the evil of darkness and brought about salvation to aspiring souls, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Smt. Indira Gandhi and Gulzari Lal Nanda are few of Maa’s devotees. Maa had vast number of devotees not only in India but also in France, Germany, England and America. Her heritage continues to inspire people towards moral recovery and reestablishment of civilized behavior of which India was once proud of and in turn attracted the world to its spiritual treasure.