Shree Maa (alt: Shri Ma) is a Hindu saint born near Kamakhya, Assam, India who was called into oceanic silence at a very young age. On Monday morning, it was a very great pleasure and surprise when she appeared with devotees and Swami Satyananda Saraswati, an American swami with whom she established Devi Mandir, an ashram in the Bay Area of California.
The night before, Swami Veda mentioned her alongside names like Shree Maa Anandamayi Maa and said that we should not miss her. Word spread and many families, children, guests and students filled the Meditation Hall for her darshan and kirtan. Swami Veda Bharati sat beside her, a lotus in full blossom.
Shree Maa left her family home very young, inspired by her guru Shree Paramahamsa Ramakrishna to wander the forests of the Himalayas, doing intense sadhana and tapasya, often not moving for long periods of time. She ate no food but sandalwood paste and water, holy tulsi (basil) leaves and occasional juice fed by devotees during those days. She became known as the Goddess of the River or Respected Holy Mother.
She has recorded deeply devotional songs, including many which she herself composed as well as those of Ramprasad Sen, a Bengali saint in her family line, and traditional Hindu Mantras.
Shree Maa speaks humbly and simply of that seamless whole in which all abide. Monday morning, we drenched ourselves in the Ganga of those songs.
Last night, in my sleep, I heard Shree Maa chanting. Something about Narayani, the Spirit-Who-Floats-on-the-Waters. This was a kirtan she sang together with us on Monday which apparently still sings on in us.
Some photos of the event
Note: You can click the photos for full size versions which can be downloaded.