"Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) established Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Her unique method of meditation and self realization has transformed the lives of people and communities all over the world Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was born on 21st March 1923 in Chhindwara, India, to an eminent Christian family of the Protestant denomination. From a very young age her family knew of Nirmala’s remarkable spiritual qualities. She studied medicine and psychology at the Christian Medical College in Lahore and later took an active role in the peaceful movement for the independence of India, in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi in whose ashram the young Nirmala stayed on many occasions while on school break. Her father, a multilingual lawyer and scholar, was soon to serve as a member of India's independent Assembly. In 1947, Nirmala married Sir C.P. Shrivastava who was later to hold the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization for a record number of years. The couple had two daughters together. Early in 1970, Nirmala decided to dedicate most of her time to spiritual matters, and after spending considerable time in meditation and contemplation evolved a unique method of giving the spiritual experience of self-realisation on a mass scale – a method which she called ‘Sahaja Yoga’, meaning literally ‘spontaneous’ or ‘built-in’ union with the all pervading energy. For well over 30 years, she travelled the world tirelessly, giving countless public lectures and meditation sessions, to audiences from all walks of life, underscoring that obtaining the experience of Self-realization was a birthright for all interested individuals whom she called Seekers of truth. She received prestigious awards and numerous recognitions and was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace price. Sahaja Yoga, always taught free of charge, is now being practiced in some 95 countries around the world by people from all social, cultural and religious background. An increasing body of scientific literature demonstrates the highly positive benefits of this type of mental-silence meditation for overall physical and emotional wellbeing. Shri Mataji passed away peacefully in Cabella Ligure, Italy on 23 February 2011. Her message and method of meditation has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world.