Anandamayi Ma

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Sri Anandamayi Ma

Sri Anandamayi Ma ( Bengali : আনন্দময়ী মা, Ānandamaẏī Mā; * April 30, 1896 ; † August 27, 1982 ) was a religious leader and is one of the most famous Hindu women in India of the 20th century, in whom female masters are socio-religiously little recognized were. Among her supporters were personalities such as Indira Gandhi . Her influence on society is evident to this day in the veneration of her tomb (samādhī), which is usually reserved for male masters.


Ma was born as Nirmala Sundari on April 30, 1896 in Kheora, Bengal . Her parents were Bipinbihari Bhattacharya and Mokshada Sundari Devi. Her father was a well-known singer and follower of the god Vishnu . She was married at twelve and moved in with her husband Bholanath in 1914 at the age of 18 . He became her student in 1922 and died as a sannyasin in 1938 .

Ma died on August 27, 1982 in the Kishenpur Ashram in North India ( Dehradun ). Her body is kept in the Mahasamadhi Temple in Haridwar on the banks of the Ganges in northern India.

Spiritual development

In 1917 she began her six-year sadhana . At first she uttered the name of the god Vishnu "Hari" as a mantra because her parents were Vishnuites. Her husband was a follower of the yoga god Shiva , whereupon she switched to the mantra "Shiva". She danced to the mantras and then dwelt in a quiet meditation . After a few months, she began doing yoga postures ( asanas ) that apparently came to her mind spontaneously without ever having learned them. She practiced one way of hatha yoga . She visualized the forms of various deities, identified with them, thought of their names as a mantra and tried to activate the " Kundalini energy" in them.

According to legend, Ma is said to have spent three years in "great calm" ( Raja Yoga ) from 1922 after she had “charged her body and mind with spiritual energy ” . She is said to have hardly spoken (Mauna), acted little and mostly just sat there. The “awakened Kundalini energy” is said to have cleansed your body, mind and soul by itself.

Yogananda wrote of her in his autobiography of a yogi that she had explained to him: “My consciousness has never identified with my body. I was the same before I came to this earth. I was the same as a little girl. As a young woman, I was the same. When I got married, I was the same. Now before you I'm still the same And after my death I will be the same in the hall of eternity. "


Anandamayi Ma was a master of hatha yoga and developed "creative yoga". Creative yoga consists of physical exercises ( Hatha Yoga ), spiritual exercises ( Bhakti Yoga ), meditation ( Raja Yoga ) and the path of comprehensive love ( Karma Yoga ). Creative yoga has parallels to the yoga of synthesis by Swami Sivananda , who knew it and admired it very much.


The legend continues in 1922: Her husband is said to have explained to her that without initiation by a guru there is no deeper progress on the spiritual path. Then she is said to have solemnly decorated her room and lit incense sticks and then consecrated herself. She is said to have connected with her “inner guru”. A mantra is said to have appeared spontaneously in their mind. She is said to have drawn the associated mandala (meditation picture) on the floor and subsequently meditated with this mantra. At the end of her sadhana, she is said to have reached a state of “great inner happiness”, which corresponds to her name “Blessed Mother”. She is said to have had the wish, " May all beings experience this indescribable joy ". She wanted to share her enlightenment with the whole world and therefore worked the rest of her life as a spiritual master in India.


Ma traveled the Indian subcontinent for over 50 years . Her followers established 28 ashrams in India, Europe and the United States (Hawaii). They founded the Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha in Varanasi . Ma taught the unity of all religions and thus addressed people of different religions.

Ma did not give lectures, but answered questions. Their advice was mostly directed individually to the respective questioner. She taught both a life of renunciation as a yogi ( ascetic ) and the spiritual life in a family. She recommended that everyone meditate daily. The core of their teaching read: “The highest calling of a person is to strive for self-realization. All other obligations are secondary. ”She promised her blessings to all people who consistently practice 15 minutes each day. She loved telling stories, singing, dancing and laughing: "Whenever you have the opportunity, laugh as much as you can.


  • Anandamayi Ma: Words of the Blessed Mother. Mangalam Verlag S. Schang, Rastede 1994, ISBN 3-922477-84-4 .
  • Aymard, Orianne: "Ānandamayī Mā", in: Brill`s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Brill Online 2016.
  • Bhaiji: Anandamayi Ma. How it revealed itself to me. Mangalam Verlag S. Schang, Urach Vöhrenbach 1986, ISBN 3-922477-90-9 .
  • Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila. Shri Anandamayi Ma. Your life - your teaching. Mangalam Verlag S. Schang, Lautersheim 1999, ISBN 3-922477-05-4 .
  • Hallstrom, Lisa Lassaell: Mother of Bliss-Ānandamayī Mā (1896-1982). Oxford, 1999.
  • S. Schang: Matri Darshan. A photo album about Shri Anandamayi Ma. Mangalam Verlag S. Schang, Rastede 1983, ISBN 3-922477-87-9 .
  • Swami Sivananda: Sadhana. A textbook on techniques for spiritual perfection. Mangalam Verlag S. Schang, Lautersheim 1998, ISBN 3-922477-07-0 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Sri Anandamayi Ma  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Aymard, Orianne: "Anandamayī Mā.", In: Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Brill Online 2016
  2. cf. Hallstrom, Lisa Lasall: Mother of Bliss - Anandamayī Mā (1896-‐1982). Oxford, 1999; P. Vii
  3. cf. Aymard, Orianne: "Anandamayī Mā.", In: Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Brill Online 2016.
  4. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 21 ff.
  5. Bhaiji, page 173rd
  6. Bhaiji, page 175th
  7. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 61 ff.
  8. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 61 ff.
  9. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 61 ff.Bhaiji, page 173 f. S. Chang: Matri Darshan.
  10. Anandamyai Ma: Words of the Blessed Mother. Page 9.
  11. Anandamyai Ma: Words of the Blessed Mother. Page 90.
  12. Swami Sivananda: Sadhana. Page 138 f.
  13. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 65 f.
  14. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 76.
  15. Bhaiji, page 174 f.
  16. Yoga-Vidya: Anandamayi Ma Bhaiji, page 172. S. Schang: Matri Darshan.
  17. ^ S. Schang: Matri Darshan. Bithika Mukerji: Matri Lila . Page 324 ff.
  18. ^ S. Schang: Matri Darshan .