About Vimala Thakar

 

Vimala Thakar (1921-2009) was a mystic and spiritual teacher. Vimala Thakar was born into a spiritual family in India. As a child many saints used to visit the family residence. Vimala attended university where she studied philosophy. As a young person, before she began her sadhana, Vimala received initiation from the great saint Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982).

During the 1950’s Vimala Thakar was involved in and became one of the prominent members of the Land Gift Movement in India which was led by the activist Vinobe Bhave. Vimala traveled all over India persuading wealthy landlords to donate land to villages and peasant farmers so that they would have a chance to step out of the poverty cycle of indentured labour. It was an incredible undertaking. As a group they didn’t stay in five star hotels; they slept out and in barns and lived off whatever food they were offered by poor villagers. In the end several million acres of farmland were redistributed to the villagers of India.

In the late 1950’s Vimala Thakar had a series of meetings with J. Krishnamurti which she describes as having been the catalyst for an inner transformation. After this, J. Krishnamurti encouraged Vimala to travel overseas and teach. From the 1960’s for around thirty years Vimala Thakar traveled all over the world to Europe, the USA, South America and Australia meeting and speaking with small groups of spiritually minded people who she called friends.

Vimala Thakar was a true radical. She never aligned herself with any particular tradition although she was well grounded in the immense richness of the many centuries of Indian metaphysical and yogic exploration of the human condition. Vimala wasn’t after followers or self-aggrandizement of any kind. Her life was a field of love, encouragement and openness. And as part of that she gave expression in her own language to the timeless ancient teachings of the great rishis of India. The freedom that Vimala embodied was a living reality for her. Life was positively exploding through her.

I had the great good fortune to meet and spend precious time with Vimala in Dalhousie when she was older, after she had stopped traveling. I feel much gratitude to her. As a spiritual teacher, Vimala Thakar was both direct and extremely eloquent, a rare combination. Various excerpts of her discourses follow.