About Us

About us

Our Founder, Sudevi Dasi Ji (Friederike Irina Brunning)

About Mataji

Friederike Irina Bruning (Initiated name: ‘Sudevi Dasi’) was born in the family of Mr.Dietrich Bruning and Mrs. Ursula Ullrich-Bruning on March 02nd, 1958in Berlin, Germany. Her upbringing is normal just like other Christian families.

After finishing school, she went traveling to explore the world. From Germany overland, she went through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and came to Bharat (‘India’).Traveling through Bharat, she went on to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal and from Nepal came back to Bharat. While pursuing spiritual books about yoga and the teachings of different Sampradayas, she found “The Bhagwat Gita” (‘BG’). Later, she would always say, reading the BG was like a revelation of the highest knowledge.

She decided that in order to pursue spiritual life, a Guru is required. She found her Guru in RadhaKund, (Govardhan, Mathura). According to Gurudev’s instruction, she spent the next fifteen to twenty years in Radhakund practising the teachings of Gaudiya Vaishnav Sampradaya and living the life of a Babaji (renunciate).

During these times, she had no connection with cows but started to feed the abandoned cows in the vegetable market when she passed through on the Radhakund parikrama.

At this time also, she started visiting to Gangotri during the summer months to practice sadhana in a more secluded place. 

In the last 10 to 15 years, she has reduced her intake of food items to taking only fruits and milk once in the evening. She insists that she is not a falahari as sometimes she accepts prasad in the form of grain products, though she will normally go for many months without it.

Gurudev

Mataji has taken diksha (‘Initiation’) from Shri Shri 108 Shri Kishori-Kishor-Anand Goswami Babaji Maharaj (Shri Tinkodi Baba Ji Maharaj). Her Guru Maharaj was born on magh purnima in 1907 in Manoharapur, a village in district Medinipur of West Bengal. He was the eighth child of Shri Hari Mohana Gosvami and Srimati Suradhuni Devi; six sons and a daughter had all died before he was born.

In the birthing room, after the midwife cut his umbilical cord, a ritual was performed to protect the child from any subtle negative forces. The midwife placed the baby in her lap and declared, “This child is mine!” Then his mother ceremoniously purchased her son back for three cowries (teen kodi). Thus, Tinkodi became his nickname. [This was done so that jealous or malefic spirits would be tricked into thinking he was only worth three cowries, and not of any consequence to them].

When his mother Suradhuni Devi died young, Tinkodi Goswami was raised by his father and, to a great extent, his wet-nurse or daima. He did not have much interest in studies. There was, however, a spark of bhakti in his heart, which often bothered him and made him think of the insignificance of worldly life. The spark developed into flames, when his father died only a year after his marriage. A wave of renunciation (‘Vairagya’) shook his entire frame. He said to himself, “I must no more waste my life in the irrelevant things”. I must wake up and work for a higher destiny by moving to Vrindavan.

So, one day he silently gets out of home without letting anyone know. He went straight to Govardhan and fell at the feet of Siddha Manohara Dasa Baba of Govind Kund. He expressed his determination to live in Vrindavan and do bhajan under his guidance. Sidha Baba said, “Gosain! The time has not come for you to live in Vrindavan. You must wait till the time comes. Go back and attend to the affairs of the family.” When the time comes, Radharani will herself draw you to Vrindavan. You need not worry”. He went back and carried on with his householder duties and later came back to Vrindavan.

Sri Tinkodi Goswami ji never lived in any ashram, as he liked to stay in densely forested areas. The renunciate life of Mataji’s Gurudev was very difficult and strict. He used to stay in one place sometimes for a few days, and sometimes for a few months. Such was his nature that he would suddenly get up from his Asana having decided that he wanted to move on to a different place and start walking. When few of the disciples who remained in his seva would enquire where he was going, he would casually say that he is going to a certain place and choose a spot where snakes, scorpions and ghosts lived so that the local people won’t come to disturb him every now and then.

He has taken Diksha from his own Goswami father and admires & accepts Shri Sidha Manohar Das Baba ji Maharaj of Govind Kund (Govardhan) as his Siksha Guru. Sri Tinkodi Baba ji spoke very little, ate very little (that too only falahar) and was so engrossed in chanting Harināma day and night that he had to ask people whether it was day or night.

Gaumukh

Gaumukh also known as ‘Gomukh’ or ‘Gomukhi’ is the snout of the Gangotri glacier and the source of the Bhagirathi River, one of the prime headstreams of river Ganga. The word Gaumukh/ Gomukh is derived from two words Gau/Go = Cow & Mukh = Mouth and it literally means ‘Mouth of a Cow’

The place is situated at a height of 13,200 feet (4,023 meters) in the Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, Bharat. It is one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas with an estimated volume of over 27 cubickilo-meters.

Mataji liked to go to Gaumukh every year in the summer from May to September, which is around 18 Km trek from Gangotri, for practising Sadhana and stay in her own cave which was prepared by herself with the help of local people.

Mata ji's Cave

From Gaumukh, she climbed up 5 Km to Tapovan which is a meadow situated at the foot of the mountain Shivling which is also worshipped as a manifestation of Shiva. Shebuilt another Cave in Tapovan for practising bhajan as this place is more secluded than Gaumukh.

Since she was a young foreign lady, people wanted to visit her and disturbed her a lot. Therefore, in order to be more isolated from unwelcome visitors, she walked further up the Ganga Glacier to a meadow called Sundervan, which is situated at a height of almost 4300 meters. It is at the foot of the mountain Kedardome, on the other side of which Kedarnath is situated. There, she made another cave and spend her time, where no people would disturb her due to distance and difficulty of climbing

.

Mata ji's at Tapovan

The locals in Gangotri know her by the name of "German Maie". Once the Gaushala started in 2004, she reduced her time there because the functioning of the Gaushala and the welfare of the cows did not allow her long absences. Even now at increased age, she still goes there every year for a month spend in silence.

During her visit in May 2023, she founds that her Cave was broken in by a bear who had ripped out the window and a piece of the adjoining wall. As everything was under two feet of snow, she couldn’t repair the damage and stayed there as she found it. All stored items including food, clothes and books had been cleared out by wild animals - big and small. She stayed there and practised her bhajan considering the situation as the mercy of Lord Krishna.

How the Gaushala Started

Once she found a calf with broken leg on the road. She took the calf home out of compassion and that was the first case of the gaushala. From there on, she started picking up more calves and cows from the streets, who needed help, and this is how the gaushala came into existence.

Radha Surabhi Goshala has been established for cows who are sick, injured and in need of help. We allow our cows to live out their natural lives, and we keep mother and calf united. We use our goshala milk to feed orphan calves instead of selling it. We provide shelter, food, medical care and Hari-naam kirtan for all of our cows.

For her dedicated and tireless service in animal welfare, in March 2019 the Republic of India honoured Mataji with the Padma Shri, the nation’s fourth highest civilian award. She has also received various other Awards, amongst them a few are mentioned below:

  • World Peace Ambassador,

  • Nishkaam Samaj Seva,

  • Best Cow Care,

  • Shining World Compassionate Award etc.