Biography of Anandamayi Ma – Part 1

Anandamayi Ma was born on April 30, 1896 in the village of Kheora, in the district of Tripura, now in Bangladesh. Her father Bipin Bihari Bhattacharya and mother Mokshada Sundari Devi were devout Hindus. Her childhood name was Nirmala Sundari Devi.

Even before Nirmala was born, Mokhshada started having visions of Gods and Goddesses in her dreams. She continued to have these visions even after Nirmala’s birth. Prior to Nirmala’s birth, Bipin Bihari suddenly left home for about 10 months, took to saffron robes and got absorbed in the constant chanting of the name of God. About this Anandamayi Ma said, “My arrival coincided with the period of his mood of renunciation.” The moment of Nirmala’s arrival is very fascinating. Anandamayi Ma herself revealed that her mother did not experience any labor pains and the newborn did not cry out as usual. She said, “Why should I cry. Well, I could see a mango tree through the fencing.” When Nirmala was 10 months old and staying at Vidyakoot, there appeared a man clad in near-saffron standing near her and then bending down. The child crawled to him as if she knew him for ages. He touched her and fondled her with infinite care and then made a gesture in the manner of worship. Turning to the grandmother who was close by watching he said, “This is the Mother, beyond all bonds. No one can confine her to a home.” After saying this, the man suddenly disappeared.

The young Nirmala had an unusual relationship with plants and animals. People noticed her talking with these mute beings. She could hear the call from an old withering mango tree, the fallen fruits of which she collected. Speaking about this she said, “Innumerable are the forms taken by the Lord, who may decide to fulfill a term as a tree.” She said the life force was the same in every living being. Nirmala was married at a young age to Ramani Mohan Chakravarthy (Bholanath). He soon realized that his married life would be quite different from that of the common man. Nirmala on her part never failed to look after her husband’s comforts and tried to manage the household well. Her mother had told her that she should give the same respect and obedience to her husband as she had given to her father. Through out her life Ma was very mindful of her mother’s advice

After her marriage, she was received into the family of Ramani Mohan’s eldest brother Sri Revati Mohan and his wife Pramoda Devi. She remained with them for nearly four years while Ramani Mohan was in Atpara and in Dhaka. As her sister-in-law was often sick, she served her in every possible way and did most of the household work like cooking, cleaning, fetching water, taking care of the children, etc.. In spite of all the hard work she remained cheerful, good-humored, and more than willing to shoulder other people’s burdens.

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