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Shri Shri Yogmaya Maa :

Early Life:
  Shree Maa Yogmaya devi was born in the year 1259 per the Bengali calendar which is the year 1852 per the English calendar. Her birth place was Dahkul village which is close to the Nadiya district. Her parents were Shri Ramchandra Bahduri and Muktakeshi devi.

She got married to Gosaiji when she was 6 years old and Gosaiji was 18 years old. She grew up in her husband’s house after her wedding. Gosaiji also assumed the role of a teacher for her when she grew up a bit.

When Gosaiji embraced brahmo samaj a lot of obstacles emerged for him. All the hindu community, his close relatives and friends disowned him. He had to leave home with his wife and Muktkeshi devi. Yogmaya maa was still very young at the time but she stood next to her husband in all support and faced all the hardships along with Gosaiji.

Gosaiji once said that whatever he has earned after a lot meditation and penance, Yogmaya maa has achieved all that simply by serving me every day with total dedication. All the women as per the scripture Narayan Gyan can achieve God by simply serving their husbands. But you can’t use logic to achieve this level of devotion.

Maa Yogmaya was always very polite. She used to speak softly and with respect for everyone. She didn’t talk a lot. She was as tolerant and giving as a tree and was always calm in every situation.  She never used to be impatient in the midst of sorrows and hardships. She had to live in very poor conditions but she was never sad from within. Even when sometimes she had to go without meals she wouldn’t be unhappy. She wouldn’t even let anyone know she was going without meals.

She was a very kind lady. If she would see anyone in trouble, she would try to help them to the best of her ability. In the ashram a lot of disciples used to live together. She never used to discriminate among her family and disciples. She used to treat everyone as same and take care of everyone as their mother.  Yogjeevan, her only son was also treated exactly like others. She always had an ever smiling face and divine love for all. If one would spend a few seconds with her they would feel a strange satisfaction and peace from within.

Maa’s contribution:

Maa had a very huge contribution and role in Gosaiji’s spiritual enhancement. She supported Gosaiji’s every endeavor and never stood in his path. She never asked him any questions on how he was running the house or what was he doing for the family. She used to stay happy in every state.

Maa’s Deeksha:

Gosaiji gave her deeksha in Dhaka. Since Shree Maa was already at a very advanced state mentally, immediately after getting Deeksha her body started trembling and lot of different satvik signs were visible and then she lost her consciousness when she saw someone. Gosaiji recited “Hari naam” in her ears and she regained her consciousness.

On describing who she saw Gosaiji said it was Shree Adwait prabhu and that she is very lucky to have seen him just after her deeksha.

Maa’s Transition after “Deeksha”:

After deeksha, Shree Maa’s life changed a lot. She started to rise to the higher level of consciousness. She started worshipping Gosaiji as her Guru and started serving him as a disciple. After a few days of her deeksha Gosaiji with his family visited Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa in Dakshineswar. Swami Ramkrishna on meeting Shree Maa asked Gosaiji when was she initiated because he can already sense some power emanating from her. Then he addressed Shree Maa Yogmaya as Maa and offered his respects towards her. This incident shows the kind of sadhana shakti Shree Maa had in a very short span after receiving deeksha from Gosaiji.

Maa’s affection for all the disciples:

There are certain incidents which highlight the motherly touch Maa Yogmaya used to provide to all the disciples. She used to cook for them and clean the dishes after and take care of everyone visiting Gosaiji. Once, some disciples of Gosaiji went to visit the Adwait prabhu’s place. Suddenly there was extreme of weather and it started raining and thundering. Maa Yogmaya got very restless and worried about the disciples and finally asked Gosaiji to go and look for them. When all of them finally got back with Gosaiji they found Maa in a very restless state eagerly waiting for everyone to get home, safe.

Gosaiji was very strict with all his disciples and very particular everyone follows the instructions. If he found any disciple not following the instructions they were disciplined. One time to discipline one of the disciples Gosaiji turned one of the disciples out of the ashram and told all the other disciples not to help him in anyway else they would turned out too. So the disciple who was turned out started to face a lot of trouble even for meals. But Maa couldn’t see his hardship and provided him with meals and all the other help till Gosaiji took him back.

On another occasion, one of the pregnant disciples was feeling very sick and wasn’t eating. Maa sat down with her and made sure she ate her meal in front of her. Since then the pregnant disciple recovered of her sickness and was able to eat all her meals.

Another disciple, who had lost her father, she went to the disciple’s house and empathized in her sorrow and also had meals with her to make her feel better. She continued this for a few days although it is not allowed to have meals where someone has left for the heavenly abode. Another disciple called Shreedhar was considered crazy by some other disciples because he used to be in different states of mind but Maa used to take care if him, make sure he has meals on time and also protect him.

Maa was very affectionate towards all the disciples and used to take care of them. There are numerous such incidents which show the motherly affection she had towards the disciples.

Maa used to perform all the work in the ashram and after dinner she used to spend the rest of the time in meditation. Gosaiji used to meditate in the sadhan kutir until 12 in the midnight and then from 12am until 4am in the morning used to mediate in the kutir with Maa. Thus both used to practice deep mediation. This they did for a long time.

Maa’s daily prayers:

During the day, Maa used to worship Gosaiji. No one was allowed to see this. However,one of the disciple’s wife, her name was Mrs. Yogmaya guha one day saw this and this how she described it.

“Maa used to go to one of the rooms at 11.00am every morning with flowers and chandan essence and other essence. I also followed Maa one day out of curiosity to see what does she do in that room. I hid behind the window and started watching her. Maa got into the room with a plate in which some fruits, flowers and essence was there. After a few minurtes Gosaiji also came in the room. Maa was in a state of trance and started worshipping Gosaiji’s feet with flowers and essence. Then she offered him fruits. Then she offered the flowers on his head and applied chandan on his forehead. Thus after sometime her worshipping was concluded. She left the room with the Prasad (offerings that Gosaiji ate). That day I felt I was looking at Lord Shiva and Parvati, that feeling is very difficult to express in words. Whenever I remember that incident my mind fills with joy and peace. This was the kind of devotion and love they used to share. Actually, they were at a very  high level of consciousness. Muktkeshi devi had mentioned that many times Maa used to loose her consciousness while worshipping Gosaiji and then Gosaiji had to say Hari naam very loudly to bring her back to consciousness. Gosaiji said that he had to sacrifice his sleep for 12 years to engage in very difficult kind of meditation to achieve Dharma while Maa sacrificed her sleep for 12 years to take care of Gosaiji and achieved Dharma”.

Maa’s calm mind and patience:

Maa had 3 daughters and one son and yet she was never too attached. Her first daughter and the third daughter died while she was alive but she didn’t loose her calm mind. Even when her son was in a very serious and suffering from Dengue fever and Gosaiji got upset and told her maybe he won’t last out. She said with a very calm mind, if the one that has given the kids wants to take them away, he will, you shouldn’t worry about it and leave it in his hands. On hearing this big truth from his wife (Maa Yogmaya) he calmed down. After sometime the child recovered and became healthy.

One day, one disciple asked Maa, What is paap? To this Maa answered, Whatever action which you cannot admit or mention to people is paap for you.

Maa’s Teachings:

Maa was also very reserved and used to talk very little. She never used to start instructing any disciple or anyone. This was not a part of her nature. However, about “How to live in this world” she had give some guidance to her children which are mentioned under:

  • In the world live fearlessly and pray to God everyday.

  • Perform all your duties that you are supposed to in this world but don’t do wrong to anyone.

  • Just make sure you never get away from God.

  • Always be very humble and patient in all situations.

  • Be happy in whatever God gives you and feel satisfied.

  • It is difficult to be happy in this world even if you get everything.

  • If you want to lead peaceful life then focus your attention to God only.

  • In any stage he (God) doesn’t give you up or loves you any lesser. You can only be happy forever if you get him.

  • Milk is a very complete and great food. But if one drop of cow’s urine falls in it, it goes bad. Similarly it goes for friendship.

  • After the end of each day even after having one meal together, if there is love among spouses, there is great happiness in that relationship. However, in mankind in general there would always be some shortcomings.

  • No one is completely without faults. We should learn to forgive everyone.

  • We all make mistakes everyday, if God wouldn’t forgive us, no one could be alive.

  • All the women should try to listen to their husbands as much as they can. One day everyone has to leave this world but if you can leave it for your husbands it will be worthwhile.

  • Guru Kripa is always bestowed on everyone. But since we don’t believe in it we suffer.

  • The one who is always helping us, we must surrender to him  for everything then one can find true peace.

  • In this world sorrows will keep appearing before you. You should always pray that you can get free from “maya” (worldly distractions) and be able to migrate to the ever peaceful world where there is no fear.

  • Take appreciation and criticism as same. This is the first sign of “bhakti” (devotion).

Maa’s hidden powers:

In the times of “Mahabharat” it is said that Draupadi was able to feed unlimited people from one small plate of rice. Maa was also able to do this and many disciples have witnessed this incident umpteen number of times.

Gosaiji had mentioned about her one day, “Never discriminate between me and her (Maa Yogmaya). Whatever attracts you all to me she has all of that in her too. Whoever thinks she is different from me will never be able to understand me.”

On another occasion Gosaiji had mentioned, “She is just like Maa Annapurna incarnated.”

Once Gosaiji went to visit Loknath Brahmchariji with everyone. When Brahmchariji saw Maa he felt like being her son and behave like her son. Maa presented a silk cloth to Brahmchariji and he immediately accepted it and wore it. Then he requested Maa to feed him like a child so Maa did the same. He asked Maa whether he could eat on his own as she after a few bites wouldn’t allow him to eat more cause he may fall ill.

After a few bites Maa asked him to stop eating and said he might fall ill because of overeating. The moment he heard her he was ecstatic and went into trance.

Maa’s revelation to Yogjeevan:

When marriage proposals started coming for Yogjeevan (Maa’s son), he was not ready at all and strongly protested against getting married. Maa called Yogjeevan and told him if you get married, there wouldn’t be any problems in your path of “Dharma”. I have taken birth once to bring you, now you want me to be born again to see you get married. Please fulfill my this desire and get married. Maa’s these statements hold a very deep meaning.

Gosaiji’s sudden visit to Kashi:

After Yogjeevan’s wedding, one day Paramhansji (Gosaiji’s gurudev) instructed him to visit Kashi immediately. Gosaiji left for Kashi immediately and didn’t mention the reason for his visit to Maa. There was some argument between them also for this sudden visit. After this Maa also visited Kashi in a very short while with Yogjeevan.

Gosaiji let Maa stay at Kashi and they used to visit Lord Jagganath’s temple and Maa Annapurana’s temple every day. Also they used to take a dip in holy Ganges every day. After this Maa visited Ayodhaya, where Shree Ram was born. There they visited a lot religious places. After this they went to Shri Vrindavan dham and started staying in the Gopinath bagh in Dauji kund for a few days.

After this Gosaiji asked Maa to go back to Gendariya ashram and take care of Yogjeevan’s new wife and their youngest daughter, Kutuburi. Gosaiji said he needs to live in Vrindavan for at least one year. Maa wasn’t happy to return but she did. After returning, she wasn’t able to live without her Guruji (Gosaiji) and was inconsolable and restless. Her health started deteriorating and she started spending most of the times in meditation. Thus many  months passed. She wrote to Gosaiji asking permission for visiting Vrindavan. Gosaiji advised her not to visit.

Maa couldn’t stop herself and eventually started for Vrindavan. Gosaiji was very unhappy about this and expressed his displeasure. Seeing Gosaiji’s strong reaction Maa went missing the next day. All the disciples started looking for her but couldn’t find her.
They ran to Gosaiji and informed him about Maa. Gosaiji consoled all the disciples and told them Paramhansji (his Guruji) has taken her to Mansarovar in Himalayas. It is in the path to Kailash. On asking when will she return, Gosaiji said she may or may not return. The only bonding she has is with Kutuburi and she may just return for her.

Maa Disappeared for three days:

Thus, three days passed and Maa didn’t return. That time Gosaiji’s daughter Kutuburi mentioned that Maa visits here every day to listen to Geeta Path and I see her and meet her every day. She will visit today as well. After sometime an old came and informed that Maa is sitting in their house for some time. We don’t know when and where she came from but just wanted to inform you. Gosaiji asked Yogjeevan to go and get her immediately. Maa returned and offered her pranams (prayers) to Gosaiji. They started interacting very normally, but Gosaiji didn’t ask her where she was last 3 days.

Gosaiji used to sit in the Veranda for the whole night in meditation. There were a lot of mosquitoes there and Maa like earlier started to fan Gosaiji.

Yogjeevan and Kuladananda asked Maa about her sudden vanishing act. Maa narrated to them how Paramhanji arrived with 5 other great saintly men and took her away. They all were 6 feet tall and had turbans on their head. They asked me take a dip in river Yamuna and the next thing I remember I was on a beautiful mountain. Paramhansji asked these five men to take care of me and protect me. I was able to roam around every where without any restrictions and it was a beautiful experience. They all dropped me back here.

They asked Maa, whether she wanted to return here at all. She said one never wants to return from a place like that but sometimes I used to miss Kutu.

Maa’s change:

After returning from this visit Maa had changed a lot. She didn’t have any attraction towards her kids or anyone. She became very neutral towards everything. Her whole face used to glow with a divine light. Earlier during mediation Gosaiji and Maa used to spend the whole night in meditation without talking. But now they used to interact on lot of topics and spend the night in Satsang.

Maa’s decision to leave her mortal frame:

Gosaiji’s one year stay in Vrindavan was completed and now he wanted to live in Haridwar. Maa said she doesn’t want to leave Vrindavan. Gosaiji said where would she stay? To this she said there is a lot trouble because of this body, now I want to leave this body. She said I wish to leave this body so I can be a part of Nitya “leela” here and stay here forever.

Gosaiji said you have a little daughter and old mother, how can you leave them like this. If you leave them like this they will be devastated.

To this Maa said, in this world there are no permanent relationships. No one is for the other. All this is “Maya”. I don’t have “maya” for anyone now and hence I am not related to anyone. Then she looked up the calendar and said 10th Falgun, she would leave this mortal frame. That day was a very pious day.

On that morning, she started to vomit a lot. Gosaiji as usual had gone out for spending some time with Sadhus. Before he returned to the Ashram, Maa left the mortal frame. After leaving the mortal frame she met Gosaiji and then proceeded to be a part of the “Nitya leela”.

Gosaiji returned to ashram and started preparing for her cremation ceremony. Maa’s body was decorated with Abir and chandan and then she was taken to the Yamuna Ghats for cremation and other rituals and rites. After this Gosaiji asked Yogjeevan to offer some of her remains to river Ganges and rest was brought Dhaka and used for establishing “Naam Brahma”.

Sadhu Shreedhar’s Darshan:

When Maa left her mortal frame, one of the disciples, sadhu Sreedhar was very upset and one day he was weeping a lot for Maa at the bank of the river Ganga. Suddenly he saw Maa emerged from river Ganga and consoled Sreedhar. She asked him not to cry and said she is still here and hasn’t died. Her body has been cremated in the river Yamuna but she is now free and can venture everywhere without any bondage. The body was a bondage for her but now she is completely free and can do whatever she wishes to do. Don’t cry for me, and I am always looking out for you. Saying this Maa disappeared.
Maa’s this instruction was very important and meaningful. Maa wasn’t in her mortal frame at the time but seeing Sadhu Shreedhar in such a sad state she came out and consoled him and also blessed him by appearing before him.

To read in great details about Shree Maa Yogmaya please refer to Shree Shree Bijoykrishna Parijan Part I.


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