Anandamayi Ma (1896–1982)
Sri Anandamayi Ma, also lovingly called Mataji, was born on April 30, 1896 in the village of Kheora, district Tripura, now in Bangladesh. Her childhood name was Nirmala's Sundari Devi. Her parents Bipin Bihari Bhattacharya and Mokshada Sundari Devi were devout Hindus. Nirmala's formal education was quite elementary. She had an absolute obedience to her parents. As expected from her, she took active part in the preparation for the daily worship of Narayana Shila and recited the devotional songs in the praises of 'Hari'. On February 7, 1909 she was married to Ramani Mohan who later became known as Bholanath.
Sri Anandamayi Ma was a counselor, educator in the spiritual realm, healer and loving mother, all at the same time. She was the source of solace to those who were in distress. In spite of her elementary education, she could converse to all with ease. She was born with spiritual wisdom and could relate to the people in all walks of life, many times through story telling and personal experiences. Her teachings, rich in vedantic wisdom, have been narrated by her disciples in the form of their personal experiences. The state of mind that is completely silent is the state of love. It is in this condition Ma continually and naturally lived.
Mataji had some kind of power to heal others. At times, she would take upon herself the illness of others. The person who had asked for a cure would recover, but Mataji would suffer from the disease for some time, in many cases for days. In one case, Mataji remarked: "We had to learn to endure suffering when it came." “Take it as divine will” - was her message. Many miraculous happenings about Mataji have been recorded. One of them was abudance of rain in Madras during a period of acute scarcity of rain for a prolonged time. This appeared to happen as a result of Mataji's grace in response to a request from a delegation of some people for the rains. Mataji's teachings are universal in all respects. A few of them are : Love is invisible. It can be known only by what it reveals to us - the beauty hidden in the heart of man.
Love is everlasting forgiveness. Wisdom is the capacity to see things in the context of the whole. Try to grasp the significance of 'All is His' and you will feel free from all burdens. Meditation washes away all the hidden uncleanness inside you. Such deep simplicity marked her teachings. Those who had the privilege and fortune of seeing her were made richer in wisdom and acquired peace of mind. She passed away on August 27, 1982.
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