If you don’t know about this amazing woman, this Indian Saint, a Sage, some say a Guru, I am very happy to be the one to share a little about her with you! Anandamayi Ma was born in 1896 in East Bengal to highly spirited parents who named her Nirmola Shundori (Immaculate, Beautiful Goddess); her mother is said to have had frequent dreams of gods and goddesses during pregnancy and her father was a devotional singer.
As a young girl, her cheerful disposition inspired people around her to nickname her Hari Ma (Mother of Smiles) or Khusir Ma (Happy Mother). Anandamayi means “Joy-permeated” in English. She was sensitive and religious as a child and was prone to ecstatic feelings when she heard the sound of religious chanting.
Throughout her life she maintained these traits and people began to hear what she was saying as incredibly profound. She remained celibate during her marriage and her husband eventually became her devotee. She was not trained to be a guru, but because of her ecstatic states, she was seen as such. She didn’t claim to be a guru, but rather said, “I am the same” woman later in life as she was as a small child.
Anandamayi Ma spoke about detachment from the physical realm and from specific religious devotion. Through her travels from town to town, she provided guidance and comfort to those who came to see her. Always welcoming everyone, she radiated bliss and acceptance. She inspired her devotees to serve others and to see themselves as divine beings.
Too bad such inspiring people are so hard to find these days. Someone truly accepting of everyone, who radiates with unlimited love and light, and inspires us to do well onto others. We could use more of these leaders in our world.
I hope you will follow these links to learn more about Anandamayi Ma and will dedicate a mediation or more to her wise life and light.
The Children of Ma Anandamayi Foundation works to give impoverished children in India a chance to learn and be part of a spiritual community. The link here provides more information on Anandamayi Ma.
The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma is a great book that gives a wonderful history of her life, and includes many incredible photographs of the Indian Beauty.
And, if you can spare 30 minutes, here is a tracking-challenged documentary on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2aCc6i-TkM
And finally a couple quotes:
“To find the Beloved is to find my Self, to discover that God is my very own, wholly identical with myself, my innermost Self.” ~ Sri Anandamayi Ma
“Realization must be all-comprehensive, all-embracing, and one must recognize one’s Self in everything.” ~ Sri Anandamayi Ma