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Interview Radio KFI, Los Angeles (USA), 25 September 1983.
Broadcaster: Good morning. We hear a lot about gurus and various spiritual leaders these days, and a lot of times it’s hard to tell real ones from phony ones. And recently there was a segment on a news program – Sixty Minutes – talking about some false guru and today, to talk about that and a lot of other things, we have a woman who has many names – and You’ll have to let me know which – what You prefer to be called. But You’ve been called Holy Mother, Founder of the Sahaja Yogi Movement – is that the right way to say it? Anyway, You’ve also been called a faith healer, a saint, a Goddess – so many different names! Anyway, I’d like to welcome Shri Mataji. I’m not very good at Indian names. But anyway, You were born in India, were active in India’s struggle for independence from England, and personally knew …
Shri Mataji: No, not from England, in India only.
Broadcaster: OK. And personally knew Mahatma Gandhi and now You’re a grandmother and married to a United Nations diplomat in London – so many different roles. Welcome to Los Angeles.
Shri Mataji: Thank you.
Broadcaster: I can’t wait to hear a little bit more about what You’re doing and how You feel about things. Well, with so many descriptions of Yourself, how do You prefer to be known to Americans? Do You have a … particularly, like, how would You prefer I addressed You, let’s say?
Shri Mataji: As you said, Shri Mataji’s a good name: it means The Divine Mother, or a Holy Mother. Now, the thing is, we have to understand that, at this point of history, we are standing at a very precipice of our … either a complete destruction or a complete ascent. And at this time only, as you said before, there are many fake gurus and fake people who come and say that they are here to save you. Now, this emergency has been created because we have developed ourselves into a huge, big tree, and the tree has to find its own source of nourishment. And, unless and until that is done, there will be always a fear that all this tree is going to collapse. The history has shown us, so far, that the God the Father – because, at the time of Abraham and Moses, they talked about Him – and then about the Son of God, but they never talked about the Mother part of it. Because Mother is very important: how can you have a father and a son without a mother, is an absurd thing?
Shri Mataji: And they just wanted to say about Holy Ghost that it’s a mystery; they never wanted to say that it is the Mother. If you see in the consciousness of people today, they are very conscious of the feminine side of the women. Of course, I am against feminism, because that’s not the way: we are not to become men. It’s not the question of men becoming women, women becoming men, because it is a pendulous movement. You see, you move from one to another. But, if it is a living, evolutionary process, then you have to move spirally and reach at a higher point than what you are. So, the nourishment comes to you from the Mother Earth – represented within you as the Holy Ghost – is the power that we call as Kundalini, in the ancient times; this is the most ancient knowledge of our country, traditionally accepted. Even in Greece, it was accepted because it is placed in the sacrum bone, and the sacrum means ‘Sacred’, means the Greeks knew that the bone is sacred and has something sacred in it.
Now, this was also known to Mohammed Sahib, because He called it [Assus ?]. In the bible, it is described as the Tree of Life, and also it is said that, “I will appear before you like tongues of flames.” And these are the subtle centers within us, but in those days it had to be ambiguous. The whole system was not to develop the nourishment: it was to develop the Father and the Son. But at this juncture of the history, we have to have our nourishing, soothing Power awakened within us, so that we completely get drenched into it and fulfilled. By this Power, we become the Spirit that is described by Christ. Christ didn’t say that, “I am the destination,” He said, “I’ll send you the Holy Ghost. I’ll send you a Comforter, I’ll send you a Redeemer, I’ll send you a Counselor.” He talked of the future; even Mohammed Sahib said that, “At the time of resurrection, your hands will speak.” So nobody can say that it’s all over with Christ, all over with Mohammed Sahib. Or nobody can say that we have to wait for two thousand years, because if you see that if someone is there, present, who can do this nourishment, you have to accept the fact. And we never accepted any one of Them. When They died, of course we had big temples and churches all over the world.
Now, this nourishing force was known to very great seers of India, about fourteen to sixteen thousand years back. The reason is that India has no organized religion. It has all freedom for people to go into meditative understanding of the whole subject. Moreover, all such people had no interest in money, no interest in talking to others and finding out or reading books, but they wanted to find it within themselves. And they found out that there is a power within us which can give us this new ascent in our evolution. So this is the real breakthrough time. Naturally people, when they came to know that ‘the time has come’, there are many false things for sale in the market.
Broadcaster: Well, how can one tell the difference? I mean, how could I see that You are any different from someone else who keeps saying the same things?
Shri Mataji: That’s correct. I am happy that you at least think about it. We must use our brains, and if you don’t use your brains then you can fall prey, because you are naïve about it, so it’s better to keep yourself open and understand that a person who is really going to do something Divine will not take any money from you. Cannot: such a person is a parasite, and a parasite cannot give you anything. First and foremost thing people don’t understand. Then the second things I realized, when I saw some of the psychologists, that the problem with the intellectuals here was that they started exploring everything through their mental projections. And the idea they have about reality’s rather confused; to them, ‘unconscious’ means whatever is unconscious is a mixed bag. You see, whatever you don’t feel on the central nervous system, for them is an ‘unconscious’. But everything is not unconscious. For example, somebody makes you jump on your seat, they say, “Oh, the sensation is Divine.” What is the interest of the Divine to make you jump? Or somebody gives you a diamond, you say, “Oh, it is Godly.” What is the interest of God in giving you diamonds? So, before us, we have Christ, we have so many other people to understand, that They did not do all these things and if these people from the last sixty years, they have started doing some sort of a jugglery like that – you should not go in for that.
Broadcaster: Now, you talk about Christ, but we don’t usually think of Indian culture as thinking very much about Jesus Christ – what is the relation here? I mean, You believe in Jesus Christ?
Shri Mataji: Very much, very much, because Christ is described about fourteen thousand years back in India: we never went out to the bible to find out about Him. You are so much bound by bible that we do not even realize that Christ was such a great character, that thousands of bibles cannot contain Him and there must have been some revelation about Him in some other scriptures also. And in Indian books, if you see the scriptures, the description of the Mother Goddess, He is described as Mahavishnu – and all His description tallies with Christ, and He’s called as the Support of the world. And so, Christ has been described in Indian scriptures, because there is no organized religion. Moreover, all these ancient books were never translated; those people went from here to study Indian scriptures were just to find out how they could justify Freud, to use Indian scriptures to justify Freud. So they went into the loopholes of the whole scripture, took out few things here and there – not into the depth of it – and they wrote books which are really shocking to Indians. I mean, if any Indian who is a scholar would say that, “What sort of a thing; it is never written, we have never seen!” So like that, all the negative things they have picked up and published these things, saying that, “Even in the olden times, you see, people used to do these things and that thing.” So, everything that is published is not scripture, and to understand scripture, you have to become a higher personality.
Broadcaster: OK, well how does one become a ‘Higher Personality’? How did You become a Higher Personality?
Shri Mataji: I was born; My thing is that I was born like that, but you can become higher because within you, God has placed all the arrangements, all the mechanism. Only thing, you have to be connected. The mechanism is called as the Kundalini, which is placed in the triangular bone, and when it ascends, just like a living thing – like a seed being sprouted when you place it in the Mother Earth. Now you don’t read about, do you, you don’t sort of pay for it, just you have to place it there; the Mother has the capacity to nourish the seed and to sprout it. And the seed has everything in it, that’s how it works. So it is spontaneous happening within yourself. But the another misunderstanding people have, that anything – unconscious thing – that happens to you, for that you have to go to your subconscious and these stratas is all absolutely wrong: this will make the whole nation mad. I really tell you, this is what people are doing, this parapsychology and all that – it’s a very dangerous stuff. Actually, God is the greatest organizer; He’s not going to put you in such a way that you have to go through your subconscious and then your unconscious and all that. The unconscious, if it is the Kundalini, is part of it. It ascends through the central path – they are not placed on top of each other, but they are placed vertically. On the left-hand side, we have the Subconscious and the Collective Subconscious; on the right-hand side, we have the Supra-conscious and the Collective Supra-conscious, meaning the Future side. And in the center is the Present, where the Parasympathetic lies. And, when this Kundalini rises – this is the actual Baptism – where the Kundalini rises, passes through these subtle centers and comes out of your fontanel bone area, where you really feel the cool breeze of the Holy Ghost coming out of it. So the Holy Ghost, according to Sahaja Yoga, is the Mother, and that is placed within you, is your own; that’s your Mother. And She’s the one who nourishes you.
Broadcaster: Well, You talk a lot about the Mother, and I’m not sure I understand exactly what You’re getting at all the time, but usually, when people think of Gurus and such, they think of men. But from what You’re saying, it seems more natural even that it would be a woman than a man.
Shri Mataji: Yes, of course. You see, the gurus were there before and there are also today many gurus who are – who are good gurus in India, but they don’t want to go out anywhere, and they also call Me Mother, you’ll be surprised. They also, all of them; one of them is about hundred and eight years of age, he also calls Me a Mother. So, the Mother is the representation of that power within you which is waiting to nourish you, first of all, and then to take you to your second birth, by which you become the Spirit.
Broadcaster: So, if I wanted to do that, what would I do? I mean, I’ve talked to other people who say meditation is the way, but, from what You say, that sounds like you’d be just going too far inside yourself, digging for something that it might not just miraculously appear…
Shri Mataji: Yes, it is, it is – it looks miraculous when I say that, but see how many things are miraculous. The way we breathe is so simple, the way we have become human beings: so simple. We take everything for granted; everything that is done by the living force are all miraculous things to look at, but it is not, because it is all built within you. Just like this instrument now you have, supposing I don’t know what it’s supposed to be …
Broadcaster: The microphone?
Shri Mataji: All right, I know, but supposing I’m a villager and I don’t know what is a television – I have never seen a television – and you show Me that this box will show you now a big drama, or something, so I will not believe it. And you put it to the plug and immediately you’ll start seeing it and say, “How? It’s miraculous!” You see, it’s like that: if you are put to the mains, whatever you are, you are a computer yourself, you’ll start working it out.
Broadcaster: Hmm. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the faith healing aspect of Yourself, because I think this, what You’re mentioning, may touch on that. We say, “Oh, that’s miraculous, how can You do that? How can You cure someone who’s been in a terrible accident?” Or something like that. Well, how does that work?
Shri Mataji: Now, we have to understand that there is no faith healing – it’s not faith healing. It is whether you have faith or not I have … people can get cured even when they are under comas, so they don’t even know if somebody’s going to heal them or not. It is the same nourishing quality of your own; it is within you, it’s your own, not Mine. Only thing, I know how to handle it and awaken it, is a different point. But if you are awakening it, you can do it. So, in – medically, you should say – in a simple way, that we have an autonomous nervous system within us, all right? Now, what is this ‘auto’? Who is this ‘auto’? They just brand it ‘autonomous’. We don’t want to find out who is this ‘auto’. Now, this ‘auto’ is the Spirit within us and the Kundalini is the force that is within us – unconscious – that gets awakened and enlightens our parasympathetic nervous system. Now, I’ll explain to you what is a sympathetic and a parasympathetic a little bit, all right?
Shri Mataji: Sympathetical nervous system is, supposing you want to run fast – you run fast and your heart goes into a palpitation; this is done by sympathetic because it attends to your emergencies. It attends so you can work it out: sympathetic nervous system. Left and right: according to Sahaja Yoga, left is for your emotional side and right is for your physical and mental side. Now what happens that, when you stop, the heart is brought to normal automatically, and that automatic happening takes place because of the parasympathetic, which is in the center. But this parasympathetic is not yet fully developed and not at all can be governed by our attention, in the sense that we cannot manage it: it happens automatically. So, when you get this awakening in the center, it nourishes that parasympathetic, to begin with. By the nourishment of the parasympathetic, all your centers get nourished and your diseases get cured, and it’s automatic; it’s so simple.
Broadcaster: It’s so simple, but it sounds so hard.
Shri Mataji: Hard to understand, but to work out is the simplest. As I told you now, supposing I come into this room, and you tell Me that, “All right, if you want to have the light, you put on the switch,” and all the lights come out. It’s miraculous to see but there is a mechanism behind it – there’s a huge, big organization behind it, and a very great history behind it, no doubt. All this is evolutionary history and mechanism is there, but better get your light first and then talk about it. It’s a headache!
Broadcaster: OK. So, how do we get the light that You’re talking about?
Shri Mataji: The light is the Spirit within you, and, when the Kundalini rises, this force rises – you can actually feel it rising, you can see it with naked eye sometimes. You can even hear it with your stethoscope. When it pierces through here, then you start feeling the cool breeze through your hand, so, for the first time, you start feeling the all-pervading Power. And you become – again, I say, it is actualization, it is not giving lectures or anything like that, it’s an actualization. When it actualizes the experience, then you become collectively conscious. Like I said that, “Have you got pain in your lower foot?” because I could feel a little pain Myself. Because who is ‘the other’? There’s nobody who is the other, everybody becomes part and parcel of you. You can feel others on your fingertips.
Broadcaster: Well, like I can feel a cool breeze in here, but I couldn’t say for sure whether it was the air-conditioning or …
Shri Mataji: It is so, it is so because – correct, you should not say that it is that. Also is correct. But, if you see the cool breeze now, you use it and, by this, you can cure people, then, won’t you believe it? Supposing I give some Indian money, and you don’t know what it is. Unless and until you spend it, how will you know? Once you start spending it, you’ll be amazed and just now, if you see, there is no thought in your mind; you are relaxed.
Broadcaster: (after a short pause and then laughing) For people just tuning in, we have about ten minutes left here and I want to mention again, Shri Mataji, here from India, and You’re going to be in the Los Angeles area again soon – at the end of the show, I want to make sure that we find out what Your schedule is and what not, so people can come hear You in person.
Shri Mataji: Thank you very much.
Broadcaster: You came to America with a goal in mind: what would You like to accomplish? At the very beginning of the show, we talked about there are a lot of false gurus and sects and things like that, and I think You want to help …
Shri Mataji: Yes, I fought all of them from1970, I’ve been telling about them and I’ve been talking about them and against them and everything; I have done all that is possible under the sun. And I want to warn people – you have to be very careful, you see, you have to be absolutely a free person; you cannot bound yourself by anything. You have to be a free person to receive your ultimate freedom; that one must understand. You cannot be bound by this, that nonsense – of wearing this kind of a dress and that kind of a thing – it cannot be. If it has to happen, it should be happen in complete freedom; your freedom is to be respected, that’s first thing. Secondly, you can’t pay for it and, thirdly, you must see the person who lives on your money – what is the style of his life is?
Broadcaster: If he’s driving around a fleet of Cadillacs, there might be something wrong.
Shri Mataji: You see, for a person who is a saintly person, never bothers about comfort. I don’t know, but I have been, somehow or other born in a rich family – I could have been born in a poor family, makes no difference – and we are very well-off people, whatever it is. But if you ask Me, I can sleep on the street. I have no idea of comfort at all, no idea of comfort and all this misidentifications of prestige and all that, nothing at all. So, because you are above all these things, you see it’s such a joke going on. So that’s what at least should be in a person; if he’s interested in buying cars and this and that, you should know he’s a person of the same type as you are – or maybe, of a much lower type – to take money from others, cheat them and then enjoy.
Broadcaster: Is this the same way with gurus in India? There must be many, many of them.
Shri Mataji: Not in India: people are wiser. They are not so naïve and they don’t have money, thank God.
Broadcaster: Now, You’re spending a lot of time now trying to tell people about the evils of false sects and what not, how to make their life better, but You hadn’t done this all of Your life – I understand You raised a family and such before – if You still had children, would You not be out here doing this right now?
Shri Mataji: Actually, everything is managed so well, that I didn’t have to think of all these things; I never plan out thing[s]. What happened that, first I wanted to study human beings as they are – their permutations and combinations, their problems, what they are, and why they cannot get en masse / a mass Realization. It should happen en masse and it is happening; thousands of people can get it at a time. If they are simple people, they get it so fast. And I tried to study them, by My own meditative method, what is the problem? So first I studied the Indian people and their style and everything, and I mastered that. And then I studied the Eastern and the Western and all sorts of people, otherwise, to know what’s the problem is with them: why can’t they ‘become’ en masse? Like, when there’s a blossom-time, so many flowers suddenly become the fruits so, what is the thing to be done? And I found out a method within Myself, and I worked it out. And in 1970 – first time – I, sort of, opened out the last bit of it, and that’s how I could do it. So, it was when I was, that time, about 47 years of age, and then for three years I worked, and then I came to your country, when – it was ’73 – to tell them about all these false gurus: this thing, that thing. But they started teaching Me wisdom that, “If You don’t talk about money, nobody will look at You. Everybody understands money here, You must ask for dollars, dollars, dollars.”
Broadcaster: Yeah, very capitalistic here.
Shri Mataji: Yeah I know, but you cannot capitalize God; you cannot organize Him, you cannot purchase Him. We have to humble down. We cannot purchase everything. Can we purchase everything?
Shri Mataji: That’s what it is: we have to humble down and that’s how I had to go away. And I didn’t come here for some time, because I was sure that they have to learn it; unless and until they learn it – that money’s not everything – they are not going to listen to Me. And they were quite rude to Me about it, you see, and I was surprised they couldn’t understand love.
Broadcaster: Do You think that Americans are any different now, do You think it’ll be easier?
Shri Mataji: Oh, they are much better, they are much better …
Shri Mataji: Because they have learned from these gurus that they are hopeless people, that they have troubled them so much. Also, now there are some diseases that have come to frighten them. Otherwise, they used to brand Me as Victorian and all sorts of things; when I told them, “We must have sanity about our life, our sex life”, they were very angry with Me in the beginning.
Broadcaster: Well, when You were here before, it was in the middle of the sexual revolution and the feminist movement, and so I can see how You would face some …
Shri Mataji: Yes, they all were quite aggressive with Me, I must say. But it’s all right, I don’t mind because the right time has to come and it has come today and My children are now married, and My two daughters, they have children – and My husband himself is a very busy man, he has to travel a lot and he himself understands that this is the only solution for the whole world. Because transformation must take place, that’s the point is.
Broadcaster: Well, women are still feeling rather feministic – I mean, they … you know, it’s … there hasn’t been a real trend that I can see toward mothers staying in the home and everything, for one thing, because of the economic situation; it’s very hard for families to have just one breadwinner …
Shri Mataji: I know but it is to be understood in a very subtler way – and a very wider way also – that I do not mean by making women feminine: I’m meaning the feminist qualities – means of compassion, of love, of nourishment, of soothing. Once upon a time, say, Napoleon was a hero, all right? But today, it is not: it is Mahatma Gandhi today is a hero, who was a man of compassion. So I’m saying the qualities of femininity; it’s not the woman or a man, it’s not the point. Even the man has to get that quality by which he nourishes; he doesn’t destroy, but he nourishes people, he soothes them and he fulfills their complete attainment.
Broadcaster: Do You think that the Western way of life – the Western family life – is all wrong, or do You think, with just some minor modifications, that it can still work? I mean, it’s very hard for the mother to stay home with the children these days, and the father to be out working, and that kind of thing.
Shri Mataji: No, no, not necessarily – you see, the father and mother, as I said, both have to be more feminine towards life. Not to be masculine. Masculine is to dominate, to compete and to try to develop in a relation to each other. That’s a different thing, but this is a temperament where you just nourish people. And it flows, you don’t have to do anything; it just flows, it emits. You don’t have to do anything about it, it just flows and you don’t have to tell anyone about it, you can just work it out.
Broadcaster: OK, so You aren’t necessarily for the real, set roles for men and women …
Shri Mataji: No, no, no – not at all, not at all. Any man could be that; as I said, Mahatma Gandhi was like that or, you had Mr. King who was like that, so many people …
Broadcaster: Martin Luther King …
Shri Mataji: Yes, all of them were like that – I would say Abraham Lincoln very much was like that. He was a Realized Soul and he was a great person.
Broadcaster: Well, You mentioned Mahatma Gandhi – we have a couple of minutes left, what was it like being around him?
Shri Mataji: Oh, he was a very sweet person because – I was a child when I joined, he used to call Me Nepali because My face has little Nepali features – and you see, he was very strict, with everybody else, I should say, with all elders, and all that, but with children, he was very sweet, extremely sweet person. And he would sit down with Me, very seriously ask Me very sweet questions and things. It fills Me with great pride and happiness that we had such a great man in our country, who delivered us from the bondage of slavery, which is the worst thing that one can have. And I Myself took a very dynamic role for that; Myself, I went to jail and they gave Me electric shocks and put Me on the ice and all sorts of things they did to Me …
Broadcaster: How terrible!
Shri Mataji: Yeah, horrible – I was about eighteen years of age, that time, and … but doesn’t matter; My father himself was sent to jail and My mother, she was sent to jail, and quite problems. But then My father was the member of parliament and all that. Whatever has happened has happened; we should forget about it.
Broadcaster: It’s in the past.
Shri Mataji: All in the past …
Broadcaster: Do You think that movie “Gandhi” was a realistic portrayal?
Shri Mataji: Yes, it was quite realistic, in the sense, whatever was shown was realistic, and it was nice they didn’t show much of it because it doesn’t look gracious. I think it was all very nicely done. But one thing is there, after all – you see, Gandhiji had his own style of talking, and Indians don’t talk that way, you see, in that sharp, brilliant manner; they talk in a very … I should say, very persuasive, sweet manner. So, I think that actor was good but little bit sharp in his answers and rather over-brilliant.
Broadcaster: OK, well we have about a minute left, and any final words that You’d like to close with?
Shri Mataji: I have to just say that we have to know ourselves; it’s all our own and the time has come. This is the blossom-time and America has the greatest responsibility to do it, because so many great saints are born here; they are seekers, they should not be lost, and I’ll give My last breath to save them.
Broadcaster: So You think America is a real important place for the world?
Shri Mataji: Very, very important place for the whole world, because they are placed at the Vishuddhi Chakra, as we call it in our Sahaja Yoga language – is a very … they have the responsibility, and they have to understand that this is how they have to find themselves. That’s very important.
Broadcaster: Well, best of luck with Your tour here, I hope You have an enjoyable visit – more enjoyable than the last one.
Shri Mataji: Thank you very much.
Broadcaster: Well, thank you very much for joining us, and let me mention that Shri Mataji will be giving programs at the First United Church of Hollywood, and that’s at 6817 Franklin Avenue. That’s at Franklin at Highland, and that will be tomorrow – Monday – and also Tuesday at 7pm. That is free, and, if you’d like more information, you can call 487 5104. My name is Sharon Dale, thanks for listening.
H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi