The foremost disciple of Swami Nityatmananda, Smt. Ishwar Devi Gupta, was instrumental in spreading the word of Shri M. and founding the Trust. She took up and accomplished the publication of Sri Ma Darshan in Bengali, Hindi and English.
She discovered the central theme of Sri Ma Darshan— how to make it possible to live the divine life of joy and peace while living in the household as described in the Vedas. Inspired by this long cherished discovery, she learnt Bengali and at once began to translate it in Hindi as a prayerful offering to Thakur. This she did for her own sake as well as for the sake of her Hindi-knowing brothers and sisters. She also took the onerous task of getting these books and their English translations published.
Sh. Ashish Dasgupta, an earnest devotee and a Trustee, observes : ‘‘It was the earnest wish of Swami Nityatmanandaji Maharaj to propagate the teachings and thoughts of M. to every householder. He lived only to complete the writing and publishing Sri Ma Darshan in sixteen volumes (in Bengali), and left his mortal coil immediately thereafter. He prepared Smt. Ishwar Devi Gupta to do the rest — translation and publication of the book in Hindi and English. Being a housewife, discharging her usual responsibilities, one can visualize how many odds she had to face. She was determined to overcome all difficulties and committed to fulfill her Gurudev’s wish — the publication of Sri Ma Darshan in Bengali, as well as translating and publishing the same in Hindi and English.’’
She guided whosoever came to her and made them ‘her own’ instantaneously. Her personal guidance, care and affection transformed the lives of innumerable people.
In a way, she led a life as exemplified by M. and not only carried his flame, but also passed it on to the next generation of sevaks and devotees. Though initiated into renunciation, she remained in the household and spread the word of Thakur for more than forty years.
Gitanjali, a Press Correspondent of ‘‘The Tribune’’reported in the daily paper on August 19, 2001 after interviewing the then President of the Trust : ‘‘Ishwar Devi, who alongside took care of her children and household chores, says that those days she packed 36 hours in a day. She, however, believes that she couldn’t have achieved what she did without the loving support of her husband (she lost him in 1998) and children, who have achieved top positions in their respective fields.
‘‘Now, even in her failing health, Ishwar Devi oversees the activities of the Sri Ma Trust, which include helping needy persons, arranging seminars and educational tours, bringing out an annual booklet called Nupur on the birth anniversary of Swami Nityatmananda and supervising satsangs and celebrations at Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita Peeth, a temple dedicated to Ramakrishna in Sector 19, Chandigarh.’’
‘‘By serving God in the role allotted to her— that of a householder— this octogenarian has paid a befitting tribute to her spiritual masters, who professed that one could serve and reach Him without living the life of a hermit in a forest. She has truly lived up to the teachings of Ramakrishna, whose advice to householders was: Let the boat be in water, but let there be no water in the boat; let an aspirant live in the world, but let there be no worldliness in him.”
Reverentially known as Didi, Mummy, Mataji, Bahanji etc. among the devotees, Smt. Ishwar Devi Gupta left her body on the Buddha Purnima day, the 26th of May, 2002 at Chandigarh and remained the President of the Trust since 1975.