Bengali Mystic Sri Anandamayee Ma, Great saint of India (Post No. 3961)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 1 June 2017


Time uploaded in London- 17-45


Post No. 3961


Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.




“Shri Anandamayee Ma is one of the most outstanding (1896-1982) religious figures of modern times and was the last great representative of the Hindu Renaissance that began with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886).”


Atmananda was a Jewish woman born on 7th June 1904 in Vienna (Austria) who became a disciple of the Bengali mystic Shri Anadamayee Ma, died in 1985 in Haridwar. Her flower decked funeral bier was taken in a procession in Haridwar and ritually immersed in holy Ganga river in a place reserved only for Hindu Sanyasins (ascetics). It was the first time that a foreigner was given such an honour and respect. She wrote diary every day and it was published in a book after her death. Atmananda was a pianist and educator. Following information is a summary of some anecdotes from the book:-


“Anandamayee Ma was born in a remote village in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) on 1 May 1896 into a poor Brahmin family and given the name Nirmala (stainless purity). From childhood, she radiated an uncanny beauty and was doted on by all the people in the village. Like all the traditional Hindu houses her house had a prayer room with the pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Anandamayee ma would later say this idyllic world of her childhood that it was a place where there was perfect harmony and order, where everyone whatever their caste or religion (the village was over half Muslim) knew exactly what his or her role or dharma was and was at complete ease with this.


As was the custom, Nirmala’s marriage was arranged when she was 13 years old, although it was several years before she actually lived with her husband who was a bit quite older than her. When they did finally set up house together in 1914 there was never any question of normal marital relations between them.


Difficult it may be for some to understand that the quality of spiritual energy she continually radiated automatically and quite naturally precluded the possibility of her husband (Bholanath) having such desires.


Bholanath, as her husband was called, got far more than he bargained for with Ma and undoubtedly this was not always easy for him. Nevertheless, he persevered in this most unconventional relationship and was ultimately transformed into an outstanding Yogi.


((Because of Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa , Sarada Devi, his wife, became a Sanyasini.

Because of Sri Anandamayee ma (Nirmala), Bholanath, her husband became a Sanyasi.))

During this period of her life, it was noted outwardly Nirmala was a model housewife, performing all her myriad domestic duties to perfection. Inwardly however, quite something different was going on and at times even in the middle of household chores she would go into trance-like state sometimes becoming unconscious and having to brought about by others. After sometime Nirmala and Bholanath moved into a village called Astagrama, where he found employment. Here she became the object of veneration of an ‘eccentric’ local man who was both well educated and religious man. he was convinced that she was an incarnation of the Divine Mother. One day ,when she bowing before her, he spontaneously prophesied , “Now only I call you Ma; one day the whole world will do so”.

Before continuing her life history, one short anecdote:


Yesterday some foreigners asked Mataji questions:

Questioner: How can I get self realization?

Mataji: The Self is Swayam Prakash (self illuminated); so you need not do anything.

Q: But have we not to make an efforts towards it?

Mataji:Yes, there is a veilover the Self and you can remove it by your effort.

Q:What is the process towards this?

Mataji:Do you really want it? Then will you do without questioning what I tell you.

Questioner: (hesitates) I came to India for this purpose and I regard Ramana Maharishi as my Guru.

Mataji: Then you must do exactly as he tells you.If you want Self Realization and nothing else, you shall find a way. There is no doubt about it.

This is really the point and justifies what JK said “f one is in dead earnest, this very seriousness becomes the Guru.”

–to be continued………………….

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