Sri Rangaswamy Iyengar and Smt. Kanakammal were blessed with a female child on the 31st of March 1940 by the grace of Baba. As she was born in a temple dedicated to goddess Soundaravali at Salem, Tamil Nadu,India her parents rightly gifted her with the name Soundara. Maa’s parents were both god-fearing and charitable people. Maa’s father was paralyzed soon after Maa was born and so the family was hardly affluent. The family had very little to eat and survive on, through all of this her father would continue to help the helpless and give whatever little he had to charity. Her father was an ardent devotee of Shirdi Baba and it was he who instilled the subliminal love towards humanity in Maa. Maa’s inborn desire to serve humanity unraveled at the young age of eleven. Maa studied at a nearby convent as a child and seeing the Christian faith was very attracted to the idea of spending one’s life as a nun dedicating herself to God. Maa told her teacher (Sister Mary Louise) that she wanted to become a nun and Maa remained in the convent until Sister convinced her otherwise. Sister explained to Maa that one need not give up one’s own religion to do any kind of service and that all religions are in fact the same. Maa clearly understood this principle and returned home.
At the young age of 20 Maa got married and lived for 38 years in Delhi and in Hosur, India. During her married life devotion to Shirdi Baba grew in leaps and bounds, fueled by the special grace of Shirdi Baba and formal spiritual guidance by her guru Sri Homi Baba.Homi Baba himself was a highly spiritually evolved soul, who lived in Shirdi, for more than 60 years, until he took Maha Samadhi in the year 1995. Thus under the guidance of such a noble soul and further good fortune of being in direct communion with Shirdi Baba, no wonder Maa herself has reached high spiritual levels. In the year 1996 on the 25th of November Maa was initiated into sanyas (monk hood). It is said that by renouncing the family life the person acquires a much greater responsibility for that person must now see the entire world as his/her family and must love everyone equally. Maa has an infinite store of love for all those she meets and it is inevitable that all those she meets become blessed by God’s grace. This renunciation marked the beginning of the arduous journey of Guru Maa’s Godly mission.
Maa’s devotees form one big family that is spread all over the world. They are constantly in touch with her. With many of her devotees residing in U.S.A., Canada, and throughout India; Maa often travels to these places to bless and guide them spiritually, along with setting up fundraisers to enable the carrying out of the activities of the ashram.