Nirmala Devi Srivastava (1923– )
Modern Hindu teacher, and wife of a United Nations diplomat.
She was born on March 21, 1923, in Chindawara, a small
hill station near Nagpur, India. Although born into a Christian
family, she has embraced the concept of the basic truth of all
religions in a universal teaching, based on ancient Hindu concepts
of kundalini, the latent power believed to reside in the
human organism and to be an evolutionary force in nature.
Kundalini operates as a psycho-physical force in human beings,
as the dynamic of sexual activity and also, when properly
aroused, as the mechanism of higher consciousness and Godrealization.
Kundalini yoga is concerned with the opening of chakras or
psychic centers in the body, culminating in an energy flow to
the highest center in the head. The arrival of kundalini energy
in the top of the head is believed to result in an expansion of
consciousness and mystical awareness.
On May 5, 1970, Nirmala Devi experienced the awakening
of the sahasrara chakra (the highest center) through kundalini
arousal and perceived a vision of her ability to communicate
this arousal to other individuals (an ability generally termed
shaktipat). She began teaching other people a technique called
Sahaja Yoga (inborn technique) in order to transform their
lives.
A center was established in New Delhi, India, and through
the decade centers came into being in Great Britain, Australia,
France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, and more recently
in the United States. Known to her followers as ‘‘Mataji,’’ Nirmala
Devi travels to centers abroad, keeping contact in different
countries. A bimonthly magazine, Nirmala Yoga, is published
from the international headquarters at 43, Banglow
Road, Delhi 110007, India. In the west the movement may be
contacted at Nirmala Palace, 99 Nightingale Ln., Clapham
South, Balham, London, SW12, United Kingdom or at 12416
Reva St., Cerritos, CA 90701.
Sources
Barker, Eileen. New Religious Movements A Practical Introduction.
London HMSO, 1989.
Coney, Judith. Sahaja Yoga. Richmond, Surrey, UK Curzon
Press, 2000.
Pullar, Philippa. The Shortest Journey. London Hamish
Hamilton, 1981.
Nixon, Queenie (ca. 1918–1989)
British transfiguration medium. Her psychic gifts manifested
in childhood, when she grew up in the care of two aunts,
both Spiritualist mediums. She spent 35 years as a medium,
traveling widely in Europe, North America, and Australia. In
addition to trance communications through her spirit guide
‘‘Paul,’’ she manifested the rare phenomenon of transfiguration,
when her features reportedly took on the appearance of
deceased persons speaking through her.
These transfiguration demonstrations would sometimes last
as long as three hours, with various personalities manifesting.
In 1967, infrared photographs captured a record of such appearances,
including what appeared to be clouds of ectoplasm
around her face. Two newspapers accused her of fraud, but the
reporters in each incident had neither interviewed her nor attended
her séances. She died at the age of 71, following several
heart attacks.
NLPR See National Laboratory of Psychical
Research

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