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H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi speaking to Margaret Throsby, host of the ‘Morning Extra’ program, ABC Radio. Sydney, Australia. (1983-0315)
Reporter: ..greatest living saint. Her name is Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and She will be my guest after the music.
Reporter: Hi again, as we were on air with publicity. For the Richard Attenborough’s film of his life. But how many people can say they knew Gandhi and knew him well over a period of years? My next guest can, She is Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of the world wide Sahaja Yoga movement and She’s visiting Australia for a series of lectures. Good morning!
Shri Mataji: Good morning!
Reporter: and welcome to “City extras”.
Shri Mataji: Thanks!
Reporter: This isn’t Your first visit to Australia, is it?
Shri Mataji: No, I came a year before this.
Reporter: When were You here last?
Shri Mataji: Same time, about same time.
Reporter: How did You meet Gandhi?
Shri Mataji: My father was a member of the Congress and also My mother and that’s how we were very much very close to him. And Mahatma Gandhi came to stay in a place called Wantha, which was only sixty miles from the place we all lived. So we all used to visit him, first time when I was about seven years of age. And he asked My father if he could give Me to him for his own company, My father agreed and I stayed on with him.
Reporter: How long did You spend with him?
Shri Mataji: Quite some time, I used to go very often, because I used to study also. I would say, I cannot count but I could say every year I used to be with him for about two-three months.
Reporter: And to a seven-year old girl, what sort of a man was Gandhi?
Shri Mataji: Oh, what enamoured Me about him was that he was a very good and kind person and extremely kind to children. Very affectionate. He would have been very angry on a certain point to someone and suddenly he turned round to children and smiled and put out very sweet to them.
Reporter: Were the children good for him?
Shri Mataji: Yes, he was a very tender person inside.
Reporter: You’re described in various publications with a lot of different words, like “Holly Mother”, and Guru, and in one publication I saw You were described as “India’s greatest living saint”. Where all those words come from?
Shri Mataji: From the public, as Mahatma has come from the public. So, that’s how they address Me sometimes, whichever they think it to be.
Reporter: Tell me when You started the life which You’re involved in now.
Shri Mataji: From very childhood I knew I had to do this work. I was very aware from My very childhood. But My father, who was also a great soul, he told Me that “you have to find out media by which You give people en masse Realization, not individual Realization. Because whatever is achieved individually, is never accepted by the masses, and such people are always criticised, or they’re crucified, or if not, they are always misinterpreted. So, you have to find a method by which to give en masse Realization.” And I was quite aware of it, that I have to do this. So, I’ve started working on people, in a way to understand what is human problem is, what are their barriers, why they don’t get Realization easily. And that’s how I’ve worked out all the permutations and combinations that are possible in human beings, why they are away from God, why they are not seeking God or, if they are seeking, why don’t they reach? And I found out the method by which it can be done. Of course, I was aware that we have everything within us, all these things are already built in within us, it has to just happen. But to awaken it en masse you have to have a complete idea of the permutations and combinations of human beings that are facing. And through proper understanding I could achieve a method by which one can give en masse Realization.
Reporter: The Realization You talk about, Realization of what?
Shri Mataji: Realization is of the spirit that you are. You are the Spirit and not this body, mind, or anything. You are the Spirit. The Spirit is like the light in a lamp. Lamp is only useful if there is a light. As we have to become the light.
Reporter: And when the light goes out, where did it go?
Shri Mataji: It doesn’t go out. When a person dies, then if he’s a Realized soul he’s again born as Realized soul.
Reporter: You were born into a Christian family. The God You refer to was a Christian God, was He?
Shri Mataji: No, I took My birth in a Christian family because Indian Christians are the most orthodox Christians and very short-sighted people. They are extremely, because they were the people who are converted people and I thought if I take My birth to a Christian it would be a better idea, because they are very fanatic people in India. And the rest of the people are not so much, like the Hindus are My greatest followers today in India. Muslims are also there, Farsi are there, Sikhs are there, but Christians are very few, My own relations maybe.
Reporter: And Your own relations, how do they feel about Your vocation?
Shri Mataji: Oh, they are happy about it, they are all very helpful, My brother is a minister there, in the cabinet. And he thinks that I am something unique, but he doesn’t think that others can reach that stage, but of course, he believes that they can rise to a point.
Reporter: How many followers have You?
Shri Mataji: I’ve not counted, I think in thousands.
Reporter: Thousands? And they’re all kinds of people?
Shri Mataji: All kinds. Everywhere. We had about representation of twelve countries recently in India, they came down to India. And there are thousands in India also, in the villages, not in the city.
Reporter: I think the word “guru” has been devalued over the years, because we now read of a sixteen-year old gurus who run forty Rolls Royce-s and palatial mansions in the United States and I’m interested to know whether guru is an appropriate word for You and if not, why not.
Shri Mataji: These people are called as a-gurus in our language, in Sanskrit language they are not gurus. Guru means the one who has the gravity. Gravity stands for guru, and the person who has gravity, who’s much higher than you, who can take you to higher, is the person who is the guru. And a mother is always a guru, she treats a child like a child, but teaches a lot by her own practices, and her own precepts. So she is a guru, no doubt. These modern gurus are… I’m happy that you can see through now, because I said about them about ten years back, even earlier, nobody wanted to know that. First time I hear for now in Australia people are aware about that.
Reporter: Well, it’s very hard not to be aware when one sees the life style that they lead. They leave India almost, a man or a woman and they go almost unanimously to the United States, aren’t they?
Shri Mataji: That’s what I was telling them, but nobody listened to Me. I went first to the U.S. to warn them, see, such and such people will be coming and those that will be charging you money you must know they are not God’s people. But they told Me lots of things, like I mean teaching is a thing that you must also charge some money, otherwise nobody is going to take you seriously in America, because people only understand dollar here. I said, then how will they understand God? Is better I go away.
Reporter: Would You describe Your life style now?
Shri Mataji: I’m a wife of a really eminent man, he’s the Secretary General of International Maritime Organization, was elected four times unanimously and I come from a royal family Myself, which was very ancient royal family, which has a calendar made for the dynasty. And also My husband now, as you know, is very well paid and we are living very well. So, I have a double life I should say, one life with My husband, where I have to attend to parties and meet prime-ministers and the queen and all those things. On the other side I have this life of meeting the people who are seekers of truth. So, it does not matter to Me what sort of life I have, as what is comfort is concerned I’m not bothered. I am very comfortable within Myself, I don’t need any comforts, any luxuries. I can travel by Rolls Royce, I can travel by bullock cars, which I do very often and I can sleep under a tree and also under a very palatial place, it makes no difference to Me, it’s all outside.
Reporter: It is hard to reconcile the two different lives that You have?
Shri Mataji: Not at all, because whatever is Me, is Me. Wherever I am, I am, see, doesn’t matter. If other things change, it makes no difference, we think too much about these things, this thinking makes the difference. Say if there is cloud on our head, there is cloud, if there is not, there is not.
Do You charge money to people to come and do You see?
Shri Mataji: Not at all, how can you charge? It’s an insult, how can you charge for love? People don’t understand, that is something that is divine, which you cannot charge money, you cannot, it’s an insult of the divine.
Reporter: A lot have been written about the so called miracles, that cures and so forth. Are those things happened, or is all exaggerated?
Shri Mataji: I think is a … I’ve put it down, very much. It can be done in a much wiser way, but I tell them not to publicise too much of healing and all that, because then all kinds of people try to come. But it’s true that you can get cured of many diseases and I’ve definitely cured people of cancer, of all sorts of incurable diseases, and also My disciples are nowadays curing, you yourself can cure your diseases if you can get your Realization. It is a tremendous thing, it’s a fantastic thing which you are. Human being is a fantastic thing, God has made you so fantastically, only thing it has to be connected to the mains. See, any instrument which is not connected to the mains, has no meaning, in the same way, human beings when they are not one with the divine, they have no meaning. This is real yoga, not the acrobatics that people who try indiscriminately.
Reporter: Our previous guest was talking about yoga, but that was a different kind of yoga.
Shri Mataji: That’s not yoga, that’s very indiscriminate, I think that should be given up completely. Because they have no idea of what is to be done, what is, very indiscriminate and absolutely naïve, I should say. They don’t know what they are doing.
Reporter: How much illness is psychosomatic?
Shri Mataji: Most of it is psychosomatic I think, like most of incurable diseases, like cancer is psychosomatic, this myelitis and all these things are psychosomatic. And there’s another style of reason for diseases, imbalances in life, imbalance. People who think too much, who think for the future, who plan too much, get diabetes and all these diseases. Liver trouble, over-activity, speediness, that’s due to imbalance. Only the imbalance, if it can be corrected, they can be corrected. High blood pressure and all that are due to imbalance. Now there are some which are caused by over-activity, like some people these days are like mad after jogging, the morning till evening, that can cause lot of problem, or going to extremes on any physical strain, or also, we can say some people are sitting in the sun for hours together, it’s extreme behaviour of any kind, you see. This is a very delicate human body and also it is strong, but you should not try to use it like a machine. It’s not a machine.
Reporter: Do you think people should smoke and drink?
Shri Mataji: Not at all, they should not. But in Sahaja Yoga when you come you just give up overnight. Though I don’t tell them “Don’t smoke” or “don’t drink”, otherwise they don’t come to My programme.
Reporter: What’s involved in Your programme?
Shri Mataji: First I bring them to logical conclusions and tell them what they are supposed to be, what they have to become and all the things that they have to achieve. Not through effort, mental effort, or through big money and all sorts of these things, gross things that we try, but by actually understanding that it’s a living process, of our evolutionary process. The epitome of it, and to achieve it we have to just understand that it will happen spontaneously, it has to happen. Of course, as you say, I might enlighten a person, but you can enlighten, if you are enlightened. So, it goes on from light to light. It’s very simple, like one candle if it is ready, one enlightened candle can enlighten that candle. It’s that simple as that. And if it is so simple and within ourselves, why should we make it so complicated and so difficult? It is the easiest thing to do.
Reporter: If it is the easiest thing to do and it’s so obvious, why is the world in such a sorry state?
Shri Mataji: They don’t want to listen to Me, that’s the problem with them, they want to have everything complicated. If something complicated is told to them, they like it because they’re used to mental activity, they want to play about with words and all that. But they don’t know, words are just like a net and you are just caught up into words. I, Myself don’t understand, it is such a simple thing to be yourself, why they don’t do it? But they like all these things, they like all artificial things, like if you have a Disneyland of God, there will be thousands coming to it, or there’s a fourteen-year old boy going with big paraphernalia of his Rolls Royce’s. This is they are impressed by all these things. This is not important. What should impress you, that you have to be you yourself something. You must get your own powers. But they are not interested, they want to live on the powers of this so called guru.
Reporter: It’s interesting because we started this conversation talking about Gandhi and he was as far away from fourteen Rolls Royce’s as could be, wasn’t he?.
Shri Mataji: Ah, he was one man who really practiced everything that he said, tried to practice also, sometimes. He talked about celibacy and all those things, he said, “after a certain age, one should dedicate one’s mind to God and not to all these mundane things”. He believed in the maturity of human beings, that everybody must mature, you can’t behave like a sixteen-year old boy when you are a seventy-year old man. See, you have to mature, then it looks nice on you to be at that age.
Reporter: Do you agree with Gandhi’s philosophy that, for instance, celibacy is something which is to be straight forward?
Shri Mataji: No, he did not say that celibacy should be when you are married, when you want to have children, when you are at a young age, he didn’t say that. Older age of course, your attention automatically should go towards God, automatically. But otherwise also, when you get your Realization, you get very much rhythmically behaving towards these things, you marry well, you have good marriages, excellent marriages you have, beautiful children and you lead a very happy and blissful life.
Reporter: It’s interesting that India is the source of so much spiritual leadership, isn’t it? Why is that?
Shri Mataji: The thing is the climate of India is so made that we don’t have to do too much to fight the forces of nature, see, it’s a very nice place. You can live under a tree, also. You don’t need much. Like in England, when we have to go out, fifteen minutes before that we have to prepare, like it’s ice age. Outside is so dreadful, like a curse of the God is there. So, that’s one thing, and then people started understanding, the nature was so abounding and so much great, that people felt the blessings of God, you see, and they wanted to find out why, why are we here? And the seeking started much before it started anywhere else. And that’s how, traditionally, anybody in India wants that he should get his Self Realization. That’s the main thing, is most important.
Reporter: Yes, this message of Self Realization, that is the message, isn’t it?
Shri Mataji: Yes.
Reporter: I hope You have a happy stay in Australia.
Shri Mataji: I’m having a very happy stay.
Reporter: And may I mention the fact that the Maccabean Hall, at Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, You’ll be staying and the admission is free.
Shri Mataji: Of course, of course, absolutely free.
Reporter: That’s on the 15th, 16th, 17th of March. Thank You for visiting us at City Extras,
Shri Mataji: Thank you. Nice meeting you.
Reporter: Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi,