Thursday, February 16, 2012

About 'Param Shradhey Shri Radhe Maa'

Born in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab to devout Sikh parents, Shri Radhe Maa was drawn strongly from an early age to Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Devi. As a school student, when other little girls around her played with toys and dollhouses, Shri Radhe Maa kept herself busy with the worship of Lord Shiva and Devi. At school, she convinced friends to turn every lunch hour break into a potluck open to students who were too poor to afford lunch. A popular child, Shri Radhe Maa’s friends would ask her to mediate whenever they had an argument. Assuming a magisterial manner, Shri Radhe Maa would hear both parties out and mete out a fair verdict. It became obvious to her family on the day she was born that she was not an ordinary child. "She is divine. It feels as if Mother Annapurna herself has incarnated in our house," Shri Radhe Maa’s mother said.

When she came of age, Shri Radhe Maa’s parents married her to Sardar Mohan Singh, a prosperous farmer and businessman from Mukerian in Punjab. Her marriage proved to be a turning point of sorts in Shri Radhe Maa’s spiritual journey. During a visit to an ancient Shiva temple near her home in Mukerian she met the venerated saint Shri  Shri 1008 Mahant Ramdeen Das (139-years-old at the time of his death in 2009 according to government records). That the two shared a divine connection was immediately apparent. "Chandi (a fierce form of the Devi) has graced this temple today," said the Mahant. 

While attending to household chores that were part of her wifely duties, Shri Radhe Maa intensified her spiritual practices. Devotees who had begun to notice her requested her to hold satsangs, jagrans, pujas and other religious ceremonies.  She responded by graciously throwing the doors of her house open to all who wished to attend. Several families credited the jagrans held mainly on Tuesdays and Saturdays with solving their personal, financial, familial and professional problems. As Shri Radhe Maa’s reputation spread, individuals as well as families invited her to their homes in the hope that her presence would transform their lives for the better. Her subsequent travels took her not only to cities in India but also to far-flung locations across the globe, including the UK, Switzerland, Middle East and Canada.

In 2003, Sanjeev Gupta of Global Advertisers, a media entrepreneur in the billboards business, met Shri Radhe Maa at a Jagran in Mumbai. The Gupta family also owns MM Sweets, a confectionery superstore opposite Malad railway station in suburban Mumbai. Several devotees in Mumbai have had the opportunity to know Shri Radhe Maa through billboards owned by Sanjeev Gupta that prominently feature her photograph. Gupta says the billboard messages and the pictures of Shri Radhe Maa express his family's gratitude for what she has done for them. "The billboards make no difference to Maa. She does not care for publicity. I do it because she has changed my life,” Gupta told Life Positive, a prominent spiritual magazine on the New Age in India. “She insists that she is an ordinary person and tells us that one must seek what one wants from Lord Shiva who is the ‘giver of givers’. But look at me. Her power has turned my house into a temple. Every day is a day of celebration for us. How can I not feel grateful for her grace? Being the postman for the message of love she has for her devotees is the least I can do,” Gupta added. 

Sanjeev Gupta says that he was but one devotee among hundreds who stood in line for Shri Radhe Maa’s darshan at the jagran. Having had his few seconds in her presence as the line of devotees moved past her, he was asked to move to make way for others. Gupta had asked Shri Radhe Maa if she would come to her house (He meant that the house he lived in with his family was in truth hers). To his surprise, Shri Radhe Maa smiled and agreed. Since that day, the Gupta home is ‘Shri Radhe Maa Bhavan’. It is, in Gupta’s words, primarily her abode and the Guptas count themselves lucky to be living under the same roof as her.

Devotees maintain that Shri Radhe Maa is an ansh avatar (partial incarnation) of the great Goddess Durga. She has however steadfastly refuted all claims to divinity made on her behalf. She rarely speaks and when she does she urges those who seek her blessings to pray to Lord Shiva instead. Shri Radhe Maa considers Mukerian as her karma bhumi (area chosen for divine work), which was also the site she chose for erecting a grand temple that houses images of several deities, including Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. Devotees have sought Shri Radhe Maa’s permission to erect a temple dedicated to her, which she has repeatedly turned down. She asks her devotees to consecrate her image in the sanctum sanctorum of their hearts instead. After all, she has reasoned, answering the big questions in life and solving the problems of devotees is more important than creating temples and ashrams.

Shri Radhe Maa is addressed as Devi Ma by all her devotees including members of her family.


Darshan is the witnessing of grace flowing from a deity or guru. It refers more commonly to the 'sighting' of a deity or guru. Devotees of Shri Radhe Maa have been attending her darshans in increasing numbers over the years. During the darshans, Shri Radhe Maa is dressed, ornamented and adorned as one would a bride. The act, seen in ritualistic terms as offering 'shringar' or adornment to the deity or guru, is undertaken by female members of the Gupta family. Most of Shri Radhe Maa’s darshans are held at the 'Shri Radhe Maa Bhavan', a multi-storey building at Borivali in Mumbai.

Devotees who lines up for darshan are offered tokens by volunteers called sevadars. The devotees await their turn on the ground floor of the Bhavan which also doubles as an auditorium where live musical tributes to Goddess Durga are paid in the form of bhajans.

 Devotees are then invited into Shri Radhe Maa's chamber, which is referred to as a 'gufa' or cave, in groups of 50. Shri Radhe Maa a does not give discourses. She smiles as devotees file past her. The darshan is followed by a serving of prasad by the sevadars.

When she is not giving darshan, Shri Radhe Maa spends her time in partial or complete seclusion in her ‘gufa’ or cave, which is a space inside the Bhavan where she grants darshan. Devotees are not expected to donate towards Shri Radhe Maa's darshan. The food served at her gatherings, the musical performances and the darshan are free. Shri Radhe Maa nevertheless accepts offerings big and small from devotees.  She also gives part of what is offered to her to devotees as a mark of her affection. Her devotees believe that Shri Radhe Maa channels her grace to devotees through her glance or ‘Drishti’ at the time of the darshans.

Those desirous of Shri Radhe Maa’s guidance for particular problems are directed to her attendant Talli Baba (A name given to him by Shri Radhe Maa.) Talli means ‘temple bell’ in Punjabi, Maa’s mother tongue.  

The name marks Talli Baba as the one who has to be contacted before one proceeds for Shri Radhe Maa’s darshan). Talli Baba arranges devotees’ appointments with Choti Maa who is Shri Radhe Maa’s closest attendant or sevadar. Choti Maa hears devotees out in the privacy of her chamber and recommends appropriate solutions in the light of Shree Radhe Maa’s guidance. Shri Radhe Maa, it is believed, is omniscient and all-loving. These virtues are second nature to Shri Radhe Maa and they, devotees say, enter the lives of those who surrender with a pure heart at her feet.


Leading singers, including Anup Jalota, Vinod Agarwal, Arvinder Singh, Sardool Sikander, Master Salim, Panna Gill, Lakhbir Singh Lakha, Anuradha Paudwal, Roopkumar Rathod, Narendra Chanchal Bhojpuri superstar Manoj Tiwari have sung bhajans or bhets for Shri Radhe Maa.

Bhajans or bhets are musical offerings made to a deity or guru. The songs are mainly in Punjabi and Hindi.


As mentioned earlier, Mamtamai Shri Radhe Maa does not give spiritual discourses. She speaks but sparingly. Her words are therefore highly valued by her followers. Shri Radhe Maa emphasises on the need for surrender to God, humility, truthfulness, self-discipline and self-restrain. While she holds that all traditions, teachers, deities and scriptures should be respected, she says it helps if one surrenders to a particular manifestation of divinity/guru/deity of one’s choosing and directs all of one’s devotional energies in that direction.

Sayings/ Vachans

Vachans are words uttered by a guru, avatar or deity for the illumination of devotees/ bhaktas.

• Seek what you wish from the Great Giver – Lord Bholenath.
• It is not really necessary to keep visiting me for darshan. Pray from where you are.
• Address your prayers to the power that governs the universe and all your wishes will be granted
• Don’t chase money for money’s sake.
• Do not bank on mere mortals. Place your faith in the Almighty.
• Trust the One who will never fail you.
• Refrain from criticizing those who have renounced the world for God.
• Do not gossip about monks and speak ill of spiritual teachers.
• The least among the sadhus, saints and monks and other people of God is worthier than you. Never speak ill of them.
• Pray with a pure heart and pray from where you are. He will answer your prayers. There is no need to abandon the world or retreat to a jungle.
• I am where my children are. My cave of retreat (gufa) is their heart.
• Even Lord Yama, the god of death, does not take you before he seeks the permission of your satguru.
•The celestial world has its own rules, its officers and its board of directors just like the corporate world.
• Recognise your shortcomings and also pat yourself on the back for the good that you have within you.
• Praise the one who speaks ill of you. Before long he will become a friend.
• Discipline is imposed from the outside. Self-disciple is a matter of personal effort.
• Speak every word as if it is your last. Always be sweet in your speech.
• When you become friends get as completely involved in furthering the welfare of each other as water mixes with milk.
• My Lord, grant me two wishes: the gift of living gracefully and art of dying with grace.
• He who bears hardships with a smile acquires the respect of others.
• The guru’s grace is the supreme antidote.
• The art of prayer is the art of living.
• Be truthful. Forgive those who wrong you
• Why be lowly when you can be great?
• Offering sincere service is the secret of acquiring all riches.
• One falls in the very ditch one digs for others.
• The true value of a gift is the thought behind the gifting.
• Cut the cords of attachment and expand the circle of love.
• To live without aim is to wander in a wilderness.
• Laughter and anger are enemies of each other.
• The brightest stars emerge out of the blackest darkness.
• When your aims are lofty, your achievements are bound to be great.
• Become more and more forgiving as age creeps up on you. Quit criticizing.
• He who hears bitter words and speaks sweetly in his old age attains to nobility.
• Utter the name of Shri Narayan thrice before you embark on a new venture.
• Ask before you begin a venture – will the Lord be pleased with what I am about to do?
• Look at yourself, not at what others are up to.
• All suffering comes from false pride.
• Bow to all deities but give the pride of place in your heart to one.
• Controlling the tongue is the first step on the ladder of spirituality.
• A saint is one who has the power to retaliate but chooses not to.

For all information, clarifications, events and material connected to Mamtamai Shri Radhe Maa contact Sanjeev Gupta on 9820082849

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