The Breath of God

The Breath of God

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’.”    John 20:22

In the early 1970s, a man considered in India to be one of the greatest holy men, Shri Jagannath Baba, emerged from his solitary retreat in the Himalayas to attend a yoga program. A guru far advanced in his perception of the Self and the quest for the absolute, he had lived as a recluse for about ten years, having transcended earthly desires, and no longer seeking master or disciple. Shri Jagannath had an important reason for leaving the isolated slopes at the roof of the world. His disciple, who had followed him for several years, had heard that Self-Realization was now within the reach of any seeker meeting an outstanding person – Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Shri Jagannath, who was skeptical about this, decided he would investigate by attending a Self-Realization program in Delhi suburb. He was waiting with several thousand people when suddenly a breeze blew through the hall, refreshing the humid heat of the summer evening. At the same instant he saw the Kundalinis of the seekers rise through their fontanelles. Shri Mataji had just entered the hall and was preparing to give her lecture. Shri Jagannath prostrated himself at her feet, calling her “Adi Maya! Adi Maya!”

Saints/Gurus of India

Never, to his knowledge, had such an event occurred before. The awakening of Kundalini was limited to exceptional people, and raising the Kundalini was a difficult task, requiring years of asceticism and purification. With Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, this exceptional process had become almost commonplace. Self-Realization was now a spontaneous and collective event. A new age was dawning for humanity.

Shri Mataji was born on March 21, 1923, exactly at midday, at Chindwara, a town in central India, on the Tropic of Cancer. She belonged to a Christian family, and was the daughter of an eminent member of the Indian Congress Party, Shri Prasad Rao Salve. While she was still a child, she visited Gandhi’s ashram several times. Like the Mahatma, her father was very active in the independence movement, often being on the run from the British authorities. Gandhi used to call her Nepali, and would ask her to compose prayers for recital during morning meditation. After India’s independence, Shri Mataji studied medicine, and married a brilliant senior civil servant in the Indian administration. They had two daughters. Her husband became Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation of the United Nations in the 1970s. By then, with her daughters grown up and married, she decided to devote herself to propagating a simple technique by which Kundalini could be awakened collectively.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi - Founder of Sahaja Yoga

From that time, Shri Mataji constantly traveled throughout the world, awakening the Kundalini and inaugurating the age of spirituality. During 1994 alone, when she was already over 70 years of age, Shri Mataji gave public lectures in several major cities in India, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, North and South America. On each occasion, hundreds and thousands of seekers attained their Self-Realization. Such a punishing schedule bears simple witness to her extraordinary vitality and strength.

Her public lectures, often continuing after midnight, end always with the awakening of the Kundalini. But along with the spiritual awakening conferred by Self-Realization, Shri Mataji frequently offers fascinating information which allows seekers to progress in Self Knowledge. This teaching is of great importance, since it opens the door to spiritual growth at both the individual and the collective levels. The teaching is summarized by the Sanskrit term “Sahaja Yoga”. Sahaja means “born within” and Yoga means “union”.


When the Kundalini rises beyond the fontanelle, the first experience is usually of a cool breeze arising from the top of the head and flowing over the hands. For some it flows over the face as well, or even the entire body. This process is a sign that the Kundalini has been awakened, that genuine realization has been attained. This experience was known in the early days of Christianity and Islam. Mohammed instructed his disciples to pray facing the Kaaba (which of its nature emits the Divine breath) with their palms turned towards heavens, so they could receive the breath and attain spiritual awakening. Orthodox Christian pray in a similar manner, as can been seen in frescoes and icons found over a large area extending from Turkey to Russia. The icons of Theophanos the Greek, and Rublev, are significant in this regard (see illustration). The Gospel of the Egyptians, part in the Gnostic writings discovered at Nag Hammadi, relates the experience of spiritual awakening, and suggests the importance of the position of the hands:

“The Mother was at that place because of the splendid beauty of grace, therefore, I have stretched out my hands which were folded. [19]”

This breath felt on the hands is that promised by Jesus Christ under the name of the Holy Spirit or Spiritus Sanctus, which Chouraki translated as “Holy Breath”.

“When the Holy Breath comes he will guide you into all the truth. [20]”

In Moscow’s Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit is shown as a breath emanating from the mouth of God the Father to illuminate Mary. The same breath was perceived by the old prophets of Israel; its description can be found in several places in the Old Testament:

There was a strong and powerful wind before the Lord,

Which wore down the mountains and split the rocks asunder;

but the Lord was not in the wind.

After the wind, the earth trembled,

A fire raged; but the Lord was not in the fire.

And after the fire the rustling of a gentle breeze…

And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his cloak. [21]

It is the breath, promised in the Old Testament, for Spiritual Rebirth on the Day of Resurrection:

“I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live. [22]”

“I will put breath in you and you shall live;

and you will know that I am the Lord. [23]”

It is the Holy Breath of the Aquarian Gospel which is associated, and even identified with the Mother Goddess:

“God the Mother is the Holy Breath. [24]”

The Gospel according to Philip is similarly inspired:

“When the Holy Spirit breathes, summer comes.

The Mother is eternal truth. [25]”

In the Prashna Upanishad, we are told that the breath is the power of the universe which protects as a Mother protects her children. The Chandogya Upanishad adds that the breath is higher than hope. One of the names given to the Great Goddess in Sanskrit writing is Prana Rupini, which means, she who manifests as the Breath. In the Saundarya Lahari, Shankaracharya mentions the cool breath which emanates from the Goddess.

As well as feeling the Divine breath, Self-Realization is charaterized by thoughtless awareness and a state of calm inner well-being. This state results from the purifying work of the Kundalini on a subtle system which consists of chakras and channels of energy. In this respect Shri Mataji has brought knowledge of the human subtle system (which is the heritage of the Indian spiritual tradition) to its completion. She has defined both the physiological and spiritual role of each chakra and each energy channel.

to be continued…

– Article from the book “The Search from the Divine Mother” by Gwenael VEREZ p.232-237

[19] Gospel of Egyptians 67:4-8, NHL p.218
[20] John 16:13. Again the pronoun “he”, from the Greek, is not justified by the original Aramaic.
[21] II Kings 19:11-13
[22] Ezekiel 37:5
[23] Ezekiel 37:6
[24] The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi, 19:163 (Marina del Rey) p.230
[25] Evangile selon Philippe (Paris 1988) p.99

Ozge Ozkaya is from Turkey and he enjoys compiling articles for He loves playing soccer, watching movies and meditating whenever is possible. :-) He has been in the beautiful world of Sahaja Meditation since 2000.

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3 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?

  • Rahul
    May 8, 2009
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    Absolutely beautiful.Just reading this fills my whole being with Holy Spirit.



  • Giorgio
    May 20, 2009
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    Beuatiful excerpt of a beautiful book as like as the image you have chosen.
    I’ll share on fb.



  • axinia
    May 20, 2009
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    LOVE IT!

    A great post, thanks a lot.



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