Anandamayi Ma is one of the greatest saints of the 20th century. She was born in 1896 in present-day Bangladesh. Her sweetness and tranquility struck anyone who got a chance to visit her. This is one of the reasons the communities she lived in called her “Our own Ma.”
But what may stand out even today is how accommodating she was. Despite growing up surrounded by Muslims, Anandamayi had space for people of any religion.
One of her famous quotes is, “Whether you worship Christ, Krishna, Kali or Allah, you worship the one Light which permeates all things.” It is one of her greatest teachings our current world could make good use of; there is space and light for everyone and all religions.
The Early Life of Anandamayi Ma
Anandmayi was born as Nirmala Sundari in a small village in the present-day Brahnabaria District in Bangladesh. Her family lived in poverty, and she attended village schools. In school, her teachers considered her an above-average student. This did not stop her mother from worrying about her; Anandamayi Ma was always indifferent with a very happy demeanor. Her mother always thought there was something wrong with Anandamayi’s mental development.
At the tender age of 12, Anandamayi married Ramani Mohan Chakrabarti, under the customs of her culture. After her marriage, she lived with her brother-in-law, where she started developing her spiritual eminence.
At seventeen, Anandamayi moved in with her husband to Austagram, where her husband worked. They had a celibate marriage. It was during this time that she received a lot of revelations.
One night in August 1922, the 26-year-old Anandamayi organized an initiation ceremony in which she explained the rites that were revealed to her. She relinquished her human lifestyle and started living the life of a Saint.
Despite being clueless on this matter, the rites she performed significantly corresponded with those of ancient Hinduism. These rites included:
- Yantra (mystical diagrams)
- Yajna (fire ceremony)
- Flowers offering
One of the revelations also became apparent: she always referred to herself in the third person. For example, she would call herself “this girl” or “this body.” This standard method of speech in Hinduism is used as a detachment from the Ego.
With her divine and spiritual eminence, she traveled widely but often seemed at home everywhere she went. Her aloofness was mysterious.
The Teachings of Anandamayi Ma
The teachings of Anandamayi focused on self-realization. She always stated that the primary calling of every human being is to understand their self-realization. She taught people that all the other obligations are secondary.
In her teachings, she also stated that human beings should focus on actions that rekindle their divine nature. She often refused to be called a guru or a spiritual teacher. This is why she did not give any formal initiations.
She also stated that there is no single spiritual path for everyone to follow. This is why she never advocated for any specific religion. She believed that God reveals Himself to everybody, and everyone should advance according to their inborn nature.
Everyone was welcome to her teachings, despite their religion. To date, the Muslim people of the villages she lived in still call her their own “Ma.”
Anandamayi Teachings on How to Lead a Godly Life
Anadamayi’s teachings typically focused on how to live a God-centered life. She always provided support and inspiration to let people take in the noble lifestyle. She was also a strong advocate of spiritual equality. Before her, the sacred rituals and places were only preserved for men. She, however, opened spiritual leadership for women.
In her teachings on how to live a Divine lifestyle, she often used a lot of jokes, scriptures, songs, silent meditations, and long discourses.
Anandamayi Ma’s Miracles
People who attended Anandamayi’s sessions describe how impactful they were in their lives. Her methods were unique but full of life. Whenever she did public kirtans, she would sway gracefully to some music at the start of her sainthood. Her dances were typically in line with vibrational material through which her spirit left her body and rose.
A light came upon the attendees as her spirit moved around the room. The attendees were always filled with light and realization. This often resulted in healing, deep inner peace, and even revelations. These happenings were typical to all the attendees. Everyone who attended her sessions confessed to experiencing deep divine happiness and peace.
Her charming mantras did not just impact the soul. The impact was evident in her attendees’ spiritual, physical, and mental health and growth. People who visited her said she had a serenity that felt like the wind. Some even described her as the breeze itself. Her very accepting nature took in disciples through her mantra initiation.
Teachings of Sri Anandamayi Ma on Life and Religion
Anandamayi taught her disciples that material life and spirituality were one. She encouraged her followers to do everything with sincerity, love, and compassion. Living in sincerity and compassion should be the order of the day.
This would, in turn, make religion natural and easy for people.
She also taught people to love everyone. Besides, she encouraged people to see the different people as God’s manifestation. For example, working as a cook, waiter, or even serving your parents or friends can be deemed as serving God. This is because God manifests himself in everybody. She told people to do all they could for God’s sake.
Furthermore, she taught people that they remained the same, no matter what they did. For instance, she used to say she was the same person before she came to Earth and will be the same even after she leaves. According to her, the body was just a temporary vessel in which our souls live.
Anandamayi continued serving the people even when she was becoming sick and fragile. Her physical health deteriorated when she was around 90 years old, but that did not stop her spiritual radiance from shining on her disciples and visitors.