Paramahansa YoganandaMahatma Gandhi Swami ChidanandaJ. Krishnamurti
The Mother of PondicherrySwami RamdasSwami SivanandaDaya Mata
Sitaramdas Omkarnath Mahesh Yogi Swami Gangeshwarananda
Sri Mohanananda BrahmachariSwami ChinmayanandaRaihana TyabjiDilip Kumar Roy

Mother Hamilton


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath in the Himalayas. The Maharishi credits Sw Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Meditation to India and the world. His first global tour began in 1958.

“Maharishi Mahesh Yogi paid a visit to Mataji who received him in the hall in the presence of a fairly large congregation. The Maharshi had brought pandits with him who recited hymns to Devi from various scriptures with remarkable skill and feeling for over an hour. Then Sri Mahesh Yogi talked about his transcendental meditation and his work of spreading it in all countries of the world.

Then Sri Ma also had Her say. At the end Kumaris Chhabi Banerji and Pushpa sang exquisite bhajans. The gathering continued until 11.3O p. m. when Sri Mahesh Yogi took his leave, expressing his wish to come for Mataji’s darshana again and again.”

From an unverified report:
“In 1981 during the Vedic Science course in Delhi, Maharishi sent a large group to the Taj Mahal for a visit. While in Agra, the group heard that the great saint Sri Anandamayee Ma was at her place in Vrindavan, which was on the route back to Delhi from Agra. Maharishi enthusiastically said the group should visit her and to take shawls, saris, fruits, garlands, sweets as our gift.

The group arrived at twilight and meditated in a group outside her house while waiting for their chance to go up to the roof of the house where she gave darshan. While the group was waiting two giant white birds flew low over her house the celestial quality of the sight made everyone gasp.

Dr. Bevan Morris asked the receptionist to inform Sri Anandamayee Ma that we were from Maharishi. But the group had to go up in sections of ten as the space was limited. Dr. Morris went up in the last group, and found that Sri Ananda Mayee Ma was sitting deeply withdrawn not paying attention to the people coming and going, and the pile of cloth, flowers, fruit etc. that had been placed in front of her. At that stage she was very elderly, and near the end of her Earth days. It was immediately obvious to Dr. Morris that she had not been told that this was Maharishi’s group.

He asked the administrator again to please tell Sri Ananda Mayee Ma that these people were sent by Maharishi to see her. The administrator began to speak to her in Bengali and at the point where he said “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi” Sri Ananda Mayee Ma suddenly sat bolt upright and folded her palms together, and then started grabbing fruits and flowers and wrapping them up in packages, and giving them to us to deliver to Maharishi. Then she gave a sublime message of devoted greeting and love to convey to Maharishi. The group upon reaching Delhi delivered this message to Maharishi’s great joy.

On another occasion Maharishi was doing Puja with Sri Ananda Mayee Ma at her place in Haridwar, but finally Maharishi had to go. He told Sri Ananda Mayee Ma, “Ma you stay here and continue, and I will go”. She seemed to agree and let him go, but after a few moments got up and followed Maharishi out to the car, walking a little behind him with the sweetness of a small child. There was a mala wala – a garland salesman – with a basket full to the brim with marigold garlands on the street there, and Sri Ananda Mayee Ma pointed to him so that her assistant purchased the whole basket.

Then Sri Ananda Mayee Ma took the whole basket to where Maharishi was now sitting in the car, and she tipped the whole basket of garlands through the window into his lap”.

Another unverified report: Ma was seated with many devotees in the large hall across the lane from the Ganga side; Maharishi gave a talk to all present not only about Transcendental Meditation but also, I recall, emphasising to Ma’s devotees that such was Ma’s Nature that, if they really wanted to know Her, they needed to transcend, to experience transcendental pure consciousness. Afterwards Ma’s ladies sang very beautifully the Hymn to Narayani from the Durga Saptasati.

Another occasion: Ma was seated to the right of the deity in the little temple across the lane in Kankhal, with Maharishi seated across from Her. On this occasion, Maharishi and his pundit performed puja and arati to Ma. As Maharishi left, Ma followed him out of the temple with her hands folded in namaskar chanting softly “Namo Narayan, Namo Narayan”. Maharishi asked one of his disciples to get some flowers from the flower sellers in the lane. A whole basket was brought and Maharishi walked backwards to his car sprinkling the flowers along the path where Ma walked following him.

When Maharishi was about to get into his car, Ma indicated to one of her disciples to get a basket of flowers and tipped the whole basket over Maharishi as he stood there.

Another story from Farouk Anklisaria, who was an Indian teacher of Transcendental Meditation and a lawyer. Farouk, one day, was arranging a course of instruction in TM for a Justice of the Supreme Court of India. The Justice told Farouk that he was a devotee of Anandamayi Ma and asked if it was still alright that he learned Transcendental Meditation. Farouk told him not to worry since Maharishi and Ma were very good friends. Later, Farouk had the chance to relate this to Maharishi himself.

Maharishi swiftly replied: “No, no! Tell him I worship Her!”

From Ananda Varta, Vol 3 1977.


From a talk given by Baba Ashok Kulkarni at a Matri Katha in 2017.

It was our good fortune that such great personalities (as Mahesh Yogiji) used to come to Ma. And we used to get the benefit of seeing them without making any effort. So, whenever this Mahesh Yogiji visited India, he would land (from his plane trip) in Delhi. He would enquire in advance if Ma would be in Haridwar during the time of his visit. If Ma was in Haridwar, he would come first to see Ma before going to his center in Rishikesh. Occasionally, I would be present here by coincidence. So, I witnessed this. Finding out the news of his impending arrival, many people was waiting in this ashram. Yogiji came.

He had already verified that Ma was in Haridwar. He had arrived from Switzerland. After landing in Delhi airport, came straight to Haridwar. Many people were waiting for him outside and the crowd followed him inside. Ma took him to the Shankaracharya hall. One seat was kept ready for Mahesh Yogiji. He requested Ma to have a seat first. Ma sat. But Yogiji did not take his designated seat. He sat on the floor. Everyone was requesting him to take the seat kept for him. He did not agree. Finally, Ma did a wonderful trick. As he was not listening after repeated requests, Ma said, “Baba if you do not take the seat, then this Body will also sit on the floor”. He immediately took the seat. He is sitting silently, just looking at Ma. Everyone was waiting to see if Baba would say something, but he did not speak at all. Ma says, “Baba, some satsanga”. He says, “I came to listen, not to speak”. It is very astonishing. “Came to listen”. And Ma does not do any speeches or discourses. It was just a jovial interchange. Still, he says, “Came to listen, not to speak”.

And Ma was only talking jovially. She was not doing any discourse etc. But he is listening what he intended to. He himself said this that, “Ma, I have heard”. Here, the ashramites present probably must know about this incident as they all were present there. Yogiji came many times afterwards as well. Usually just like that but started bringing a Shastriji with him. Probably his name was Rangnath Shastri, Rangnath Shastriji Tripathi. He was very knowledgeable in Sanskrit and as Maheshji brought him along, he would prod Shastriji to speak, when Ma would say, “Baba, some satsang?” He was adept in shastra discourses but would also compose some Stutis (Sanskrit poetry of praise) to Ma. He would orate those too. All this used to happen in front of Mahesh Yogiji. I have not assimilated all those shlokas, but there is one that I remember. There he himself says, “the One who always resides in Maharshiji’s heart”. He says that in his stotra while orating his stuti to Ma, that too in front of Maharshiji. Not that it is one of Ma’s devotees. It is his own disciple saying this in front of him, “the One who resides completely in Maharshiji’s heart!” So, I was wonderstruck with this Mahesh Yogi, who would sit on floor, and why he had such reverence for Ma. What unique thing did he see in Ma? Since beginning, I had this question in my heart, about many saints. But I did not know the reason behind this. These high-level saints who have thousands of disciples, following their words to the extreme. It is not that they are pretending to show off their greatness. Not that. High level saints indeed had high reverence for Ma. Why is it so? It came to my mind frequently. But whom to ask? I could not ask Ma.

And how to ask a saint? I did not have that kind of friendship with any of these saints. I was young at that time. Once I got that chance. Maharshiji had arrived. Just like I mentioned before, satsanga was organized in the Shankaracharya Hall. Shastriji also did his discourse. For some reason, he had to leave for Rishikesh immediately afterwards. That too by car. Suddenly, one of his companions brought the news. As he had to leave early, he had stood up immediately after the satsanga. He was coming out. Just then he was informed that the road to Rishikesh was closed for three hours. You know, this was a usual occurrence in the old days. He was thinking, ‘after three hours’, then, Ma, Herself requested him, “Baba, where will you go here and there? Please stay in the ashram itself”. He accepted. Coincidently, the responsibility was given to me to prepare the last room upstairs, in the building where Hansa Didi and all live these days. I had to prepare that room for Maharishiji’s stay. I did that and informed Maharishiji after that. Took him upstairs and asked for any requirement he would have. He did not want anything as he was only resting there. I continued to stand there just in case he needed anything. After a while, it occurred to me to ask him to find out why he was so humble in front of Ma. Why, so humble?

His status is very high. So, patiently, I asked this to Maharishi, “Baba, I want to ask you a question. It is very discourteous on my part, but I have a feeling that no one else could answer this. Thus, I am requesting you. Please pardon me before I commit this audacity”. He laughed and then said, “what is it?” I said, “see, I am a simple servant. Many saints come here, and I have noticed that all of them have very high status of their own. They direct thousands, just like you. But why is it that all of you saints show such deep respect to Ma. An ordinary person like me, come to Ma’s feet because I have some faults. So, I came to Ma with the expectation that She will shower Her grace and fix my problems. But you are guiding thousands yourself. You are all in higher spiritual stages. Thus, the guidance is not incorrect either. So, what is the reason of your reverence to Ma?”

He became very serious after hearing this. Very grave. He stopped for a moment and then spoke to me. He says, “see, we all (i.e., he and all other saints that I was thinking of) guide people just like you said. We do take care of their spiritual path. We guide and uplift them as well. But you want to know about why such reverence for Ma. The force (shakti) behind all of this work that we do, is Ma Herself”. These are the words from Yogiji’s mouth. What feeling he had for Ma? That the power behind the work that all these saints are doing for the upliftment of people, that direct shakti is This (Ma).