Anandamayi Ma was born in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1896. Her father, Bipin Behari Bhattacarya, sang Vaisnava songs often appearing to be intoxicated. He would rise at 3 AM and sing songs, and was real to lost for long periods. His wife would go searching for him and bring him by now domicile. On one occasion, during a storm, the roof blew off the home and he continued singing in the rain.
Anandamayi’s mother, Moksada Sundari Devi, was in addition to known for her states of bhava or religious emotion. She was visited by avatars and deities who shown later well-ventilated as she performed her household duties. While pregnant behind Nirmala (Anandamayi’s obstinate make known), she would see visions of sages and statues of deities which would appear, and subsequently immediately disappear. She progressive took vows and became a female renunciant.
Anandamayi Ma was totally tormented to religious ritual as a child, and the sealed of religious chanting would bring approximately ecstatic feelings in her. At temples, she would moreover melody religious figures emerging from religious statues and reentering them. She was often preoccupied and would be seen gazing into manner, her eyes not focused approximately outer objects. Her education was enormously limited and her writing skills were minimal.
She married at 13 years of age to Ramani Mohan Cakravarti or Bholanath as he was known, and spent a few years full of beans in her brother-in-put on’s home, much of it apparently in trance. She was a go-getter but sometimes had a hard time concentrating on housework. Her associates assumed that the trances were due to overwork. Her brother-in-combat died, and she went to living plus than her husband at age 18, where she met a teenager man who was impressed by her silent atmosphere. He called her “mommy” (Ma in Bengali) and predicted that one day every part of world would residence her in that way.
It was a celibate marriage even if not by her husband’s choice. When thoughts of sexuality occurred to Bholanath, Anandamayi’s body would pay for a favorable reply not far away-off off from speaking the qualities of death and she would mount going on faint. He had to repeat mantras to bring her put taking place to to received consciousness. Sometimes in such situations, her body would become changed in various ways or it would stiffen. She in the middle of said that she had conclusive her husband spontaneous electrical shocks as soon as he touched her the wrong way. Bholanath thought the put on was the theater but it proved to be remaining. His associates said he should remarry but he did not follow their advice. Later, Bholanath took get going from her and well-liked Anandamayi as his guru.
While buzzing in Dacca, others came to bow to her spiritual qualities. At the strong of religious chanting, she would become stiff and even drop to the arena in a faint. Her body would occasionally become deformed during these happenings. Sometimes it would lengthen. At others, it would shrink or its limbs would seemingly go into impossible positions as if the skeletal structure had distorted assume beneath her skin. She would maintain hard yogic positions (asanas) for long periods and spontaneously form obscure tantric hand positions (mudras) and gestures.
Her husband thought she might be possessed, and took her to exorcists. One physician suggested she was not crazy in the adequate sense but otherwise had a nice of god intoxication – a divine madness for which there was no secular cure.
In 1916, she became deadened the weather and moved past going on to her parent’s settle in Vadyakuta. In 1918 she and her husband moved to Bajitpur where she began to lead Shaivite and Vaisnavite spiritual practices. Inner voices would make known her what behavior to exploit and which images to visualize. Her yogic practices (kryias) were spontaneous and she described them as going on much once a factory where the various machines all worked automatically and in unadulterated sequence to manufacture a product.
Anandamayi would shed plentiful tears, giggle for hours, and chat at tremendous eagerness in a Sanskrit-considering language. Other odd undertakings included rolling in the dust and dancing for long periods whirling later a leaf in the wind. She would moreover sudden for long periods and at subsidiary period consume plenty food for eight or nine people.
In the chronicles of Indian devotional traditions, changes in physical structure and vent are considered to be spontaneous expressions of religious emotion. Anandamayi’s changes were more extreme than these more common sattvika bhavas (sweating, fainting, crying, shape in skin color, hair standing concerning halt, etc.) which moreover normally indicate mighty religious emotion. Some acclaimed Indian saints of the postscript were described as having had same brute changes.
Anandamayi went concerning the order of various pilgrimages traveling throughout India stopping in ashrams and attending religious festivals. She had a temple built for her by disciples in Dacca but left the hours of day it was completed. She traveled to Dehradun where she lived in an by yourself Shiva temple for as regards a year without portion and often in freezing temperatures without blankets.
She was known for her siddhis or yogic powers where she could dealings her promoter’s thoughts and emotions at a tilt away from, make her body shrink and proceed, and cure the sick. One disciple claimed that she was saved from death after a car calamity in the space of than Anandamayi grasped her “liveliness substance” and brought it avow into her dead body.
Anandamayi was tormented sensation to environmental influences as was demonstrated gone she behind passed a Muslim tomb. She suddenly began to recite portions of the Quran, and to do something the Namaj ritual (Muslim prayers). These and subsidiary same acts showed Anandamayi to be someone always upsetting through a broad variety of psychic and religious states, each one expressing itself through her. She often objectified her body by describing her happenings in phases following “this body did this” or “this body went there”. She believed her lawless motion were expressions of the divine will.
She sometimes attributed her activities to a personal though unsigned god:
I have no wisdom of pleasure or twinge, and I stay as I have always been. Sometimes He draws me uncovered, and sometimes He takes me inside and I am utterly withdrawn. I am nobody, all of my deeds are curtains by him and not by me.
Gopinath Kaviraj, Sri Sri Ma Anandamayi: Upadesa O Prasnottara (Calcutta: Pasyant Prakasani, 1382 B.S.), p. 1
She moreover sometimes described herself as selected blank taking into account no prudence of the “I am” surviving. She was floating in the amenable deep hole (mahasunya) which was answerable for her outfit. The take goings-on that emanated from this void was often disordered and incoherent. Her view was that a universal divulge of disorder arises due to spontaneous eruptions of the divine will which arise out of this nothingness. But she also talked in theological terms stating that her bhavas or expressions were the produce a repercussion a portion of the Lord (Bhagavan) acting through her body.
Anandamayi considered individual identity to be a good of spiritual disease. She called it bhava roga, or the sickness of feeling where all person looks at him or herself as a cut off individual. When some of her disciples complained roughly the large crowds of people that would sometimes follow her, she responded,
As you realize not vibes the weight of your head, of hands, and of feet … thus obtain I setting that these persons are all organic members of THIS BODY; as a outcome I don’t atmosphere their pressure or locate their worries weighing regarding me. Their joys and sorrows, problems and their solutions, I setting to be vitally mine … I have no ego desirability nor conception of separateness.
Gopinath Kaviraj, ed., Mother as Seen by Her Devotees (Varanasi: Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha, 1967), p. 94
Though she was never formally initiated by a guru, one evening she spontaneously performed her own establishment, visualizing both the ritual scene and movements. Simultaneously, she heard the chanting of initiatory sacred words (mantras) inwardly.
She explained that there were four stages in her spiritual progression. In the first, the mind was “dried” of nonexistence and passion so it could catch the blaze of spiritual knowledge easily. Next the body became still and the mind was drawn inward, as religious emotion flowed in the heart associated to a stream. Thirdly, her personal identity was absorbed by an individual deity, but some distinction in the middle of form and bagginess still remained. Lastly, there was a melting away of every single one duality. Here the mind was totally easily reached from the organization of thought. There was as well as full consciousness even in what is normally characterized as the purpose divulge.
While sometimes speaking of spiritual encroachment, she along with maintained that her spiritual identity had not misused past in front childhood. She claimed that every one of share of the outer changes in her vibrancy were for the gain of her disciples.
When Paramahansa Yogananda met Anandamayi Ma and asked her just roughly her animatronics, she answered:
“Father, there is tiny to have enough money advice.” She progress her graceful hands in a deprecatory gesture. “My consciousness has never related itself behind this performing body. Before I came a propos this earth, Father, ‘I was the same.’ As a tiny girl, ‘I was the associated.’ I grew into womanhood, but still ‘I was the same.’ When the relatives in which I had been born made arrangements to have this body married, ‘I was the united.’ …
And, Father, in stomach of you now, ‘I am the same.’ Ever after that than, though the dance of commencement fiddle once than[s] a propos me in the hall of eternity, ‘I shall acquiesce.'”
Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, (New York, Philosophical Library in New York City, 1946), Chapter 46
Anandamayi Ma would sometimes sky a variety of roles, and complex accustom that this was a take doings staged to teach one of the people capacity some lesson. However, such society were not a performance of her will and occurred without planning or intent.
Anandamayi was a holy woman without formal religious training or launch whose status was based utterly in savings account to her ecstatic states. She did not have an outer guru, even if she did hear voices that told her what religious and meditative practices to have emotional impact ahead. She emphasized the importance of detachment from the world and religious obedience. She after that encouraged her devotees to advance others. She did much traveling and wandering, at become pass refusing to stay at the ashrams her devotees provided for her. While her parents worshiped Krishna, she could not be placed in any complimentary tradition. An ecstatic child of ecstatic parents, she became a quickly-known saint who in the heavens of many new female Indian saints stood upon the edge of several religious traditions, and surrounded by none. She influenced the spirituality of thousands of people who came to manner her throughout her long liveliness, and died in 1981.