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Ma Jaya Bhagavati

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Member since: Mar 03, 2012

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati is a spiritual teacher, mystic, and visionary. She teaches that divinity is ultimately beyond words and without form, yet manifests in countless ways to lead us to liberation. She tells us that all paths of love can lead to spiritual awakening.

Besides teaching and writing, Ma Jaya's accomplishments include starting an interfaith community; developing Kali Natha Yoga, a modern system drawn from ancient roots; guiding service projects in India, Uganda, and the US; working to end religious prejudice against the LGBT community; founding a model community for low income seniors; and creating a large body of sacred art.

Born into a Jewish family in 1940, Ma Jaya grew up in a cellar apartment in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, just a short walk from the ocean and the famous Coney Island Boardwalk. As a young girl, she found love and solace among the homeless people who lived under the Boardwalk. Welcoming her, they taught her many lessons about life, especially, "There are no throwaway people." She grew up to dedicate her life to humanity.

Enrolling in a weight loss class in 1972 led her to learn a simple yogic breath that would ultimately bring about her spiritual enlightenment. Her personal spiritual journey moved quickly and at times chaotically. As a thoroughly modern urban woman, she tried to live a normal life and raise a family; at the same time, as a person of rare spiritual gifts, she daily opened to a series of mystical visions and experiences. She had an experience first of Jesus Christ, then of Shri Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, and finally her guru, Shri Neem Karoli Baba. As early as 1973, she began to "teach all ways," giving a contemporary voice to the great truths that underlie all spiritual paths.

In 1976, Ma Jaya moved to Florida and founded Kashi Ashram, a spiritual community that embraces all religious and spiritual paths, where she continues to teach and serve. She offers the example of a spiritual life alive with love, faith, creativity, service, and the rituals of many traditions. Emphasizing individual spiritual growth, she teaches seekers at all levels and does not ask her students to follow any particular set of doctrines or beliefs. Or, as she often says, "This is not a religion!" She encourages her students to use what she teaches within their own faiths or traditions, and to practice kindness.

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