Vanamali is another name for Lord Krishna. It means “the wearer of a garland of wild flowers.” Mata Devi Vanamali is a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She hails from the small pilgrim town called Guruvayoor in Kerala. This town is famous for its temple of Krishna. The idol of Krishna in this town is said to have been worshipped by Lord Krishna himself and by his parents. A lot of miraculous properties are attached to it. Mataji’s family members consider themselves to be vassals of the Lord of Guruvayoor.
Mataji has an M.A Honours degree in philosophy from the University of Madras. She passed out with a first rank and was also a gold medalist. Her professor was T.M.P. Mahadevan who is famous for his books on Advaita Vedanta.
Mataji attended one of the first TM courses, which were run in India at the centre called Nandi Hills near Bangalore. She started a TM centre in the town called Trissur for about ten years. In fact she was the first to teach TM to prisoners in the state prison near Trissur called Viyur jail, which was meant for habituals. Weekly sessions were taken for them and she even started a re-habilitation program. Some were set up in teashops and some were employed in the weaving centre that was started for them. It was at this time that she went to the Andaman Islands to review the jails there and give a program on TM.