Eternally Inspiring Recollections of our Divine Mother – Volume 3, 1984 – 1986


Sahaja Yogis’ stories of Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

This book is humbly dedicated to

our Divine Mother, Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

that Your name may be ever more glorified, praised and worshipped

Thank You, Shri Mataji, for the warmth and simplicity and all the many ways in which You showered Your love upon us. And thank You for the great play of Shri Mahamaya that helped seekers to love and trust You, often without yet understanding the Truth that You were and are.

The heart of this book is to remind us of the magic of Sahaja Yoga. The spirit of this book is to help our brothers and sisters all over the world, and also in the future, to know a small part of the beauty and glory of You, Shri Mataji, as a loving, caring Mother whose wonderful power of divine love dispelled and continues to dispel all our uncertainties.

Sift now through the words that we found when we tried to remember. What follows is our collective memory, our story together. We ask Your forgiveness if our memories are less than perfect, but our desire is to share with others the love that You gave us, as best we can.


The editor would like to humbly thank all the people who have made this book possible. First and foremost we bow to Her Holiness Shri Mataji, who is the source and fulfilment of all, and who graciously encouraged the collection of these stories.

Chapter 1: 1984, January and February – India Tour, Maharashtra

Thousands of photos of Shri Mataji

On the India tours, I made sure when I went to India every year that I was always early, up the front and ready, and I have taken thousands of photos of Shri Mataji. In later years we did not have the access like that. The vast majority of photos I took were in India on the tours around Maharashtra, when we would follow Shri Mataji closely around the country. Sometimes, for example, we would see Her on the road. The bus would be travelling to the same place that She was going, and we would see Her most evenings, at the least for a public programme. During the day we would often stop at a little village where She would do a public programme. In between all these formal events, She might take the opportunity to relax in the shade of a tree or something and all the yogis would gather round Her. There were rarely more than a hundred of us on those early tours. I took some casual photos with a very motherly quality.

She was very welcoming. She knew me by name and by what I was doing and that the paramchaitanya was working through me. Whenever I had taken a good photo I knew it, and on the days when my attention wasn’t right I kept taking photos when Shri Mataji was blinking or something like that. It was amazing, these experiences with my attention, as if something was making these photos happen. I just had to be there in the right vibration for it to work.

Matthew Fogarty

God the Mother

It was the first time I’d been to India. I had a suitcase full of Shri Mataji’s things and when we arrived at the airport in Mumbai this suitcase was missing. The others went off to the camp and I had to stay back and deal with the bureaucracy. I finally arrived at the camp and there was nowhere to sleep. My mind was just racing. Then we went out of Mumbai to Rahuri. Someone broke into our room and stole my money, and it was one thing after another. In Rahuri, there was a procession and Mother was on a bullock cart and all the people were dancing in front of Her and going to a programme. I tried to dance and throw myself into this procession and was knocked over and cut my knee right in front of Mother and felt a real idiot.

It the end of the programme, all the Indians rushed to Mother’s Feet, and there was a cordon of people holding everyone back. I had gone up close because I’d never seen anything like this. At a certain point, one of the Indians in the cordon said that the Westerners could come. He grabbed my arm and literally threw me at Mother’s Feet. I would never have done a thing like that otherwise. As I knelt at Mother’s Feet, I thought, ‘Please forgive me,’ because I was in a real state. I felt Her pat me on the back.

‘Excellent, excellent! Tremendous vibrations, wonderful,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘Me?’ I looked up and said.

I got up and walked away and burst into tears. I realised the nature of the Mother. She will do anything, say anything to put you right, to make you feel good. For the rest of the four weeks of the tour, I was just in meditation, no problems at all. It was a deep realisation, especially for Westerners who grow up with the concept of God the Father, who punishes you if you are not all right. Instead, we have God the Mother, who will do anything just to put you right, to make you feel OK.

Robert Hunter

You have to pray

In 1984, during Shri Mataji’s stay in Pune, a few seekers called on Her at Her residence. She told the Sahaja Yogis to give them self realisation. I was trying to raise the Kundalini of one of them but it was not rising. After some time Shri Mataji noticed me.

‘You have to pray. You are nobody to give the self realisation,’ She said, then raised his Kundalini and gave him realisation. While working with the next seeker I remembered Her words. She was talking to a seeker seated at Her left while I was at the right. I prayed to Her in my mind, with folded hands, to grant self realisation to the seeker, and Shri Mataji turned to me.

‘Hm! Now he will get it,’ She said, and the seeker felt beautiful vibrations.

Raman Kulkarni

me. In the south of Maharashtra is the city of Kolhapur which is famous for its Mahalakshmi Temple. Since Mahalakshmi symbolizes the principle of our spiritual seeking and the central channel in which the Kundalini is rising, visiting Kolhapur was a very special experience. Shri Mataji taught us the song Jogawa, which had been sung in the temple for a long time, and we often sang it at public programmes: Udebai, Udebai, udebai ho! to strengthen the rising of the Kundalinis in the seekers. She asked us to walk three times around the little statue of Mahalakshmi like the local people did, in order to pay our respects. Never again have I experienced such an impact of a sanctuary on me. Coming out of the temple I was virtually not of this world, completely enraptured.

Another place of famous worship is the island of Elephanta near Mumbai. Here a deep cave was carved into the rock and sculptures were cut into it. The temple is dedicated to Shri Shiva. The most famous figure is a sculpture of a three-headed Shiva and some yogis said the mantra to Shri Shiva in front of it. Since I rarely feel vibrations, as a cool wind on my hands I was astonished when in front of the figure the vibrations were flowing as if a fridge had been opened. Thus, we came to know the holiness of a place and also learned to discern that so-called holy places may sometimes have most ‘unholy’ vibrations and should be avoided.

The third place was Saptashringi, in the mountains of Eastern Maharashtra. The footpath to the sanctuary of the Goddess Durga went continuously uphill in the glowing heat. If pilgrimage means effort, this was a real pilgrimage. Before the last ascent, via many stairs, to the small figure of the Goddess there were many stalls but Shri Mataji warned us not to eat there, because often negative forces gathered around such holy places.

Thomas Menge

Bassa, bassa

Shri Mataji was on Her India tour along with mostly the overseas yogis and a few Indians. 
On one occasion Shri Mataji asked the yogis to chant and repeat some mantras after Her. So they were in full swing when suddenly a Maharashtrian yogi stood up for some personal reason and crossed before Shri Mataji. She immediately asked him, in a harsh tone in Marathi, addressing him specifically, to sit down, saying ‘Bassa, bassa,’ meaning, ‘Sit down’.

The other, Western yogis, who were already in a deep meditative mood, without realizing that Shri Mataji had addressed the specific Marathi yogi, thought it was another mantra to be chanted.
So they all said in a collective voice, ‘Om Twameva Sakshat Shri Bassa, Bassa Sakshat Shri Adi Shakti Mataji’.

Shri Mataji had a great laugh, seeing the innocence.

Rabi Gosh

This is Shri Rama

It was India tour 1983/84 and Shri Mataji let everyone on tour – over two hundred of us – put our foreheads on Her Feet. She gave us presents, and walked among us at times. All was bliss, in spite of our minor physical woes.

At one point She gave us original Indian ink drawings. She looked into my eyes and handed me a scroll.

‘This is Shri Rama,’ She said pointedly, with a tender smile. I knew my right heart was damaged. The drawing still hangs above my bed, more than twenty years later. When I look at it every day I still see Her smiling, handing it to me and telling me it is Shri Rama.

Jenny Watling

Just my whim

One time I was in India, and I entered Shri Mataji’s room when She was having a discussion with a colleague of Sir CP’s who was a Professor of Mathematics. He was telling Her how he could work out a formula for the vibrations. She listened politely and patiently, nodding and smiling slightly. Then She seemed to decide it was enough.

‘You see,’ She explained to him, reaching over to the coffee table and picking up some object – a bowl or something, ‘you see, if I created this, and if I wanted it to know Me as its creator, then I would have to evolve it up to the level that it could recognise Me as its creator. And that’s all it is, it’s just My desire,’ then She said, ‘No, I don’t have desires, it is just My whim.’

She had confounded him into thoughtlessness with such a succinct and simple explanation of creation and its meaning. Very soon he made his excuses and left. She then laughed and laughed as She pointed to an Indian yogini who had been sitting on the floor next to Her during this conversation.

‘She is feeling sick, poor thing, catching on Void. His Void was so bad. It was full of scorpions and bugs,’ She said.

Sometimes it is not so good to be clever.

Kay McHugh

Saturday, 14th January 1984, India tour diary entry

Arrived at Gokul Hall in Bombay, and met the Australians who had just arrived too. Got up late, had breakfast and the man with the kurtas came; I bought three bottoms and two tops.

At about 5.00 pm we left for a hall for a puja with the Indians and Shri Mataji. It was to the Adi Shakti and the talk was about becoming soldiers and enjoying the maya. During the puja there was a lot of noise and the PA system was not working properly, and people were constantly taking photographs and were in the way. Shri Mataji told the Indians to collect photos from the Australian and French leaders, so there were lots of people walking about, and then many of them went to touch Shri Mataji’s Feet.

With all this going on, I decided this was the time for deeper meditation, so the attention was put on Shri Mataji’s Sahasrara, which was very nice, then on my own, and this was very effective. The Western Sahaja Yogis went to touch Shri Mataji’s Feet, and to me She said, ‘Very good, excellent’. Sat down and had another good meditation.

We were told to go to the beach, about two hundred yards away, so we did, and had a 2.00 am footsoak, and said some mantras to the ocean. Then we had a fire and music on the beach, and used sticks for drums. We boarded the buses and got to bed about 3.00 am.

Derek Ferguson

Sunday 15th January – India tour diary entry

The men left Gokul Hall about 10.00 am for Elephanta Island, outside Bombay. This was where some monks settled many centuries ago and carved some huge caves out of the rock, one with statues of Lord Shiva in His different aspects.

We arrived about 1.00 pm and had a look around the caves, then started back to Bombay for the public programme. We reached the jetty to get a boat at about 5.00 pm. Some Sahaja Yogis left and the rest of us waited patiently for another boat. The other people waiting started to accuse us of gate crashing, then a number of boats arrived and lots of local people were fighting to get on them. Some of us got on but before this some of the English went to get tea. A boat came and the tea drinkers had to run for it – some got on and some did not, so by the time we all arrived back it was 9.00 pm. The people who had come earlier were still waiting.

We took taxis to the train station and then a train to the programme. We arrived just as Shri Mataji’s programme was finishing and people were touching Her Feet. She told me to tell one of the leaders that She would come to the place where we foreigners would go to eat.

Shri Mataji arrived there and gave a talk, and asked us if we had enjoyed ourselves. She said we had to learn about the Indian travel system, and not to drink too much tea, especially the English. She told us we should enjoy ourselves when things become chaotic, and not listen to the people who are complaining. She then talked to an architect about the design for a house, and changed it for him.

Derek Ferguson

Monday 16th January – diary entry

We went to an open air public programme with Shri Mataji, which was very nice, then to a Sahaja Yogi’s house for a meal, then back to the hall, and I thought I would have an early night, but had to sort out the dhobi – the clean laundry – and got to bed about 3.00 am again.

Derek Ferguson

Tuesday 17th January – diary entry

Got up and helped load the buses. We set out for Vaitarna and stopped at a little place called Aarie Colony Guest House, Goregaon. At about 2.00 pm we returned to the buses and went to an open air public programme with Shri Mataji at the house of an Indian Sahaja Yogi, Moreshwara, and there was also a music programme with some Indian fisherwomen. A French Sahaja Yogi sang a song with Moreshwara, to Shri Mataji.

Derek Ferguson

Wednesday 18th January – diary entry

Shri Mataji arrived at about 2.00 pm and stayed in a hotel in Vaitarna. She came to see the yogis at about 8.00 pm because some were sick. She spoke to us, then we went to a music programme at the hotel. Some musicians played and also the same French Sahaja Yogi, who played the tabla, and Shri Mataji put a bandhan around his head with a hundred rupee note to take out negativity, and handed the money to the musicians. She did the same with three other yogis.

Derek Ferguson

Never forget Me

I remember when Mother came to India that year as if it had happened yesterday. I had my self realisation in 1975 but never had chance to meet Shri Mataji personally. That year was special as I was about to meet my Mother in person!

I remember Mother sitting in the garden and looking at the Polaroid photos of Her which had just been taken. She was about to leave for Her bungalow, and sat inside Her car and wound the windows down.

‘Where is Anil?’ She asked.

As we had never met I was sure She was not talking about me. I just kept quiet. Mother kept asking about Anil and in the end She wound down Her car window and looked straight at me.

‘I am calling you,’ She said. I was surprised and went to Her car. ‘These photos are for you.’

‘How do You know my name?’ I asked, because I was young.

‘I know everything about you. Come with Me and I will tell you!’ She laughed.

I went with Her and when we reached Her residence She asked me to hold Her hands. She told me all about myself and then asked me to sing Her something. I sang one of Kabir’s poems. I kept singing and She kept listening with Her eyes closed.

‘Now you know who I am,’ She said.

‘Absolutely,’ I replied.

‘Never forget me, ever,’ and then said She had been looking for me and had finally found me. I will never forget that day.

Jai Shri Mataji!

Anil Shetty

Thursday19th January – diary entry

Got up and went to the river for a swim. The day before, Shri Mataji had arranged in Her talk for a Western style choosing of partners because people became romantic when they went for a swim. First the men arrived and we started swimming in the water that comes from the dam, then the ladies arrived and we swam and had a great time. An Australian Sahaja Yogi helped me to float, then he and I returned to the camp and helped the dhobi wallah distribute the dhobi (washing).

Shri Mataji arrived and we had a short meeting with Her, then some Indian players came for a procession. Before this took place we had a list of people who had been engaged.

We went to the procession and had a great time. None of Shri Mataji’s talks have been recorded so far because the video equipment has broken down. I talked to some local Indian boys about Sahaja Yoga and cricket.

We went back to the camp and Shri Mataji gave a short talk about the English banking system and housing for us in India, also projects where we could come and teach and learn for three months at a time. The day before She said I was much better.

Derek Ferguson

You are all My soldiers

In 1984 we arrived in Vaitarna towards the end of the group and about fifteen or twenty of us went to sleep in the house where Mother was staying. We were sleeping in the hallway and on the floor. In the morning, Shri Mataji came out of Her room, still in Her sleeping sari.

One of the American ladies was having difficulty putting on her sari, so Shri Mataji came over and smiled and laughed and helped her to put it on, talking to her all the time. When She had finished, She stood back and realized She had put it on back to front. So She took it off and then put it on again the right way, talking and laughing. At the end She took the palloo, the end of the sari that is usually left hanging, and tucked it in round the front, as you do if you are working.

There, that’s how the soldiers wear them and you are all My soldiers,’ She said.

Elizabeth O’Gorman

Like an Impressionist painting

One time I was photographing Shri Mataji as She sat in a bullock cart during a procession where lots of Sahaja Yogis danced before Her, at Vaitarna. The flash did not go off and I felt concerned as Mother was looking at me. Suddenly She waved at me to come over to Her. She told me to come and sit next to Her on the bullock cart and photograph the procession from Her viewpoint. After a while of doing this She told me to go forward and climb a tree and photograph Her from the branches of a tree.

After the tour when the film was processed I discovered the picture taken at that moment was a miracle photograph. Later on a copy of the photo was given to Shri Mataji and She said it was like an Impressionist painting.

      Colin Heinsen

From Shri Mataji’s talk at the Guru Puja, Gmunden, 1986

  ’…who has seen the Sahaja Yogis dancing and singing the praise, has seen Me and the villagers of India.  It is very clearly describing that. You can have a look at it, how they saw the real picture of the truth. … he will read out the part which is about the region he saw, which is so clear cut. Those who have been to India have been dancing on the streets of India, in villages, in their villages will remember exactly, what it is, how he saw you all there.

Vaitarna, January 1984 (diary entry)

Vaitarna is a wonderful place deep in the countryside, a little village. There is a dam and a river and it is where Shri Rama and Shri Sita lived or a period of time during their exile of fourteen years. In the river the vibrations were very strong.

Shri Mataji arrived at lunch time, because there was to be a procession in the evening. She was wearing a white sari and looked so beautiful, as always. She was seated under a lean to, with all the Sahaja Yogis in front of Her. I do not recall exactly what She said, but She gave a present of some French perfume to an Indian girl who She was going to get married. The atmosphere was marvellous. There was a light wind which gently moved the trees and refreshed the air, which at this hour can be very hot.

Shortly before sunset the procession began. Shri Mataji was seated on a little seat in a cart pulled by two bullocks. Four large palm leaves and a red umbrella shaded Her from the last rays of the sun. All the Western Sahaja Yogis, the inhabitants of the village of Vaitarna and those who lived round about in the countryside, children from the schools, the country people and the local music band who beat out a lively and demanding rhythm, and a shennai played the melody.

To begin with we were a bit inhibited. Only the Indians danced with an exceptional sense of rhythm, and with a joy that poured out of their faces and the movement of their bodies. It was as if the men were firmly in the centre and the women revolved around them, as if reproducing the movement of creation. The masculine principle of Sadashiva is immobile, and His Shakti goes around him in a circular fashion. It is the feminine principle which creates, acts and loves. When the procession began moving the band went first, then the dancers, then the children and young people in a circle round the edges.

Shri Mataji watched all this great celebration from Her seat. I was not feeling well, and stayed near to Her to photograph Her. She turned to me with a marvellous smile.

‘You’d better go and enjoy yourself,’ She said. So I left my camera with someone, and went and joined the group. After a little uncertainty to begin with I abandoned myself in the general frenzy and began to dance with the Indians who took my hands and led me into the circle of dancers.

Eventually Shri Mataji stopped the procession and called all the Western Sahaja Yogis to Her, so we could be recorded on camera. We had spontaneously learnt to dance and enjoy ourselves, like the Indians. After this, and after a short talk by Shri Mataji, we returned to the camp for supper.

After that there was a puja to Shri Chandra, the moon, so as to refresh us. The night was beautiful, and the waning moon was reflected in the dam, and there was a refreshing breeze. In Her talk, Shri Mataji spoke of the phases of the moon, and how our power and vibrations can decrease (when the moon is waning) and we must be very alert and watch how this affects us inwardly.

Alessandra Pallini

When I came here as Shri Sita

In 1984 we got married in Bordi, and after the marriage we went on the tour, to Vaitarna, Rahuri and two or three other small villages. When we went to Vaitarna we had a havan that night, and the newly married couples got to do it. After that Shri Mataji asked me to come up to Her room and I spent the whole night taking vibrations out of Her Feet. That was quite incredible because before that I had just had a few chances with Her, serving tea and that kind of thing. That night I spent with Shri Mataji was really amazing. She would sleep, but not really sleep, as if She was working things out.

In the morning we got up, and there was a little balcony outside Shri Mataji’s bedroom. We were standing on it and looking out and there was just forest all around. Shri Mataji pointed to the area.

‘This is where Sita Nani was – it was right here,’ She said. ‘This is where I stayed when I came here as Shri Sita,’ and She pointed to the areas, and started describing how there used to be a river there, and how it was all clear, and there was a path. It was like Shri Mataji could see it clearly. Sita Nani was a place where Shri Sita could have a private bath or shower. Shri Mataji was there with Shri Rama and Shri Lakshman, because She was describing the whole area.

‘That is where the river flowed,’ and, ‘There was a path there,’ She said. ‘It has changed a lot since the last time I was here.’

Prerna Richards

Diary entry – Friday 21st January

Got up, had an early breakfast and helped load the bus. We set out for Nasik, where we stayed at a Rama temple. We stayed in the flats section, had lunch and went. Came back, had dinner and went to a music programme with Shri Mataji in the same building, with some ‘for a hobby’ part time musicians. They were excellent, including two small boys who played the tabla very well.

Derek Ferguson

Diary entry – Saturday 22nd January

Got up early, ready for a 10.00 am puja, but breakfast was late so we had it at the puja place – the home of the father-in-law of Hari Jairam, Dr Sangwe. Hari lives in England and is a Sahaja Yogi. Shri Mataji came and we had a very powerful puja to Shri Ganesha, because it was the day of one of his birthdays, which happens every month, so very auspicious. She gave a strong talk about the Mooladhara chakra then we had a havan. We came back to the camp then went to a public programme with Shri Mataji. It was very good, and when we came back I sorted out the dhobi before going to bed.

Derek Ferguson

A look that seemed to last an eternity

I have special memories of the Krishna Puja in Dr Sangwe’s house in 1984. Shri Mataji gave Her legendary talk about the role of men and women, to prepare everybody for the forthcoming marriages. She enchanted everybody with Her humour – the story about the mango tree and the coconut palm. Shri Mataji was indeed the ‘teacher of all teachers’. In spite of the light atmosphere, or maybe because of it, the puja was very deep. After the aarti Shri Mataji assumed the position of a mudra, holding one hand in benediction and the other to protect us from negativity.

At that moment I tried to concentrate on Her bindi without moving my eyes. Shri Mataji always had the ability of giving the feeling to somebody that She was looking straight at him or her. She looked at me from a distance of approximately twenty metres, returning my concentration on Her with such an intensity that it seemed to last an eternity. After some seconds, in which I went extremely deep, I could not bear this look anymore, as if my system was not yet capable of going deeper. When the puja was finished the whole atmosphere was permeated with this depth and at the same time with joy and fun.

Thomas Menge

Clearing a swayambhu

On the India tour in 1984, in Nasik, Shri Mataji took us to a temple dedicated to Shri Rama. The statue in the temple had vibrations but also had catches. Shri Mataji showed us how to clear it. She did it just as if it were a person – raise the Kundalini, give bandhan, feel the catches, clear them – and so on. She explained that even swayambhus can get caught up, when people come and bring all their catches to them, and need to be cleared.

Linda Williams

Nasik, and the village of Anjineri, January 1984 (diary entry)

After Vaitarna we went to Nasik. We stayed outside the town in the lodging house of a large temple made of marble. Shri Mataji stayed in the same place.

We went to a stupendous programme at Anjineri, the place where Shri Hanuman was born. The little, traditional village was in an exceptionally beautiful valley, with a series of rocky, arid mountains behind, of an unusual shape. Just above us, about thirty metres high, there was a rocky spike which Shri Mataji had told us about the evening before and which we could also verify, that looked like the head of a monkey. It was exactly here that Shri Hanuman, the devoted monkey, who was the wind of Shri Rama, was born.

Evening was coming and the sky was the colour of sunset, which in India is particularly strong. The red of the sky contrasted with the yellow of the mountains. The Indians had one rose for each of us, and gave us biscuits and tea, and while some of them prepared the programme, we began to meditate in front of our Indian brothers and sisters, some already realised, and with good, cool vibrations. Shri Mataji arrived, dressed in a white sari and then began to give a programme in Marathi.

The vibrations were very strong. My Kundalini was so high that I did not feel any catches at all. What I saw was the outer aspect of Shri Mataji, Her human aspect, but within I felt Her essence, invisible, eternally the same, immutable. It was a marvellous experience.

When Shri Mataji finished, it was completely night. After a few minutes there was a sense of childlike joy which characterises the programmes in India and is completely different from the European ones. The spontaneity was visible with both the many children present and also the adults, so uninhibited, and joyful, making everyone so happy and full of life.

Alessandra Pallini

Sunday 23rd January – diary entry

We left for Saptashringi, which Shri Mataji said was the place of Shri Adi Shakti in Maharashtra, at about 7.30 am. We arrived, set off up the mountain and when I was about half way up I asked for help from the Goddess. My whole body became light and I floated up the rest of the mountain. Reached the bottom of the last climb and had lunch there, climbed the last leg to the temple and said some mantras, then came back down.

About 2.00 pm we set off for Dhulia and reached there just as Shri Mataji arrived so we saw the performance of Her welcoming aarti. She gave a short talk on what we would be doing for the next two days, and She also told us to take it easy and not use cold water for showers because it could give us problems – one lady got a fever from doing this.

Meanwhile a small girl sang some nice songs to Shri Mataji, and She explained that in India people sing a sweet song to children to wake them up, and She sang a song to Shri Ganesha.

Derek Ferguson

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire

On the India tour, in 1984, we were staying near the shrine of Saptashringi, which we were scheduled to go and visit the next day. Most had already gone to bed, but a few of us stayed up to practice a song under the direction of Brian Bell, which we hoped to present to Shri Mataji at some point. The song lyrics start as follows:

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,

Enlighten with celestial fire.

Thou the anointing Spirit art,

Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

As we were rehearsing, we turned round to see Shri Mataji Herself enter the hall where we were practising. It was completely unexpected and we were thrilled. Brian explained to Mother that we had just been singing a song, ‘Come Holy Ghost,’ and then She came!

‘You’d better not sing that song too often otherwise I will be running all over,’ Shri Mataji said.

She sat with us for a while, in a chair at a table with rungs. She propped Her Feet up on the rungs so that the bottoms were facing towards us; and we opened our hands absorbing the vibrations as they rained down on us.

Kristine Kirby

Monday 24th January – diary entry

We went to Ajanta and looked around the Buddhist caves, then had a footsoak in a garden by the river there, had lunch then left for Aurangabad. When we arrived we had dinner and an early night.

Tuesday 25th January – diary entry

Had a collective six o’clock meditation, where we were asked to put our attention on the Mooladhara and then on the Sahasrara. Had breakfast then left for Ellora. Reached there and saw the caves – very good sculpture, all carved out of the rock, and had a good meditation in front of the Shiva lingam – the Sahasrara started to open. We had an excellent lunch at a restaurant called Kailash there. We boarded the buses and left for Rahuri, and passed through Shirdi, the place of Sai Baba, the Adi Guru.

We reached Rahuri about 7.00 pm. The bus would not start for a while, and when it did we did not know where we were to sleep so we went to Mr Dhumal’s house and on the way a tree tore the tarpaulin off the top of the bus and four cases fell off. We reached Dhumal’s house and found we were supposed to have arrived earlier and were expected at the sugar factory, so we turned around and went there. It was a brand new building and we rushed through it. After that we had dinner in a huge pendal put up especially for us.

Shri Mataji arrived and asked us if we were alright.

Derek Ferguson

Wednesday 26th January – diary entry

Got up, walked down the road from where we were staying and had breakfast. Boarded the buses and went to a village programme, where Shri Mataji gave a talk and then realisation.

We visited a small temple in this village dedicated to Muktabai, an incarnation of Shri Adi Shakti, the sister of Gyaneshwara. He was an incarnation of the disciple principle, Shri Mataji told us. In other places She said he was Shri Kartikeya. He translated the Gita into Marathi for the villagers but had strong opposition from the local Brahmins.

We came back to our base and had a rest, then went out for sugar cane juice and a sing song, and finally came back for a meditation programme where we were staying with Shri Mataji, which was very good.

Derek Ferguson

Thursday 27th January – diary entry

Shri Mataji came about midday and we had a puja to Shri Mahalakshmi. She said Rahuri was where a rakshasa called Rahu was killed by the Goddess, and the kings of those times used to worship Her. There was a link with Shri Mataji’s forefathers, because they used to carry the shawl of the Goddess, so they were called the Shalivahanas. After the puja we each gave a garland to the Devi, and She asked me about my marriage. After lunch we waited for the havan but it was cancelled and we had a bhajans session with some local Sahaja Yogi musicians – very nice.

Derek Ferguson

A very useful boon

In 1984 we were on the India Tour near Rahuri, and the men stayed in a disused schoolhouse. In the night a snake crawled over the sleeping bag of one of the men, and it was a poisonous one. Next morning everyone was scared. Later Shri Mataji spoke to us and gave some very reassuring advice. She told us that as Sahaja Yogis we have a boon that we will not be bitten by snakes or scorpions, and if by chance we are, we will not be seriously harmed.

Linda Williams

Friday 28th January – diary entry

Left for Nandgaon-Shingve, near Ahmednagar, to open a student hostel for orphans, in memory of the late Shri Prasadrao Salve, Shri Mataji’s father. Had a procession and a realisation programme then went to see the land that had been donated to Shri Mataji. We went to a Shri Rama temple, where a peace treaty had once been signed between two groups of warring people.

We went to Mula Dam for lunch which was very pleasant. Shri Mataji spoke to us about Japan and the American people. She said that when She went to Japan they greeted Her as Buddha’s mother. She said the village people were very simple, naïve and good.

We went to a programme in a school with Shri Mataji at Ashok Nagar where there were some children, after which we were given a snack before returning to Mr Dhumal’s farm for dinner. The vibrations were very good and afterwards we returned to the camp.

Derek Ferguson

Saturday 29th January – diary entry

We went to a programme which Shri Mataji gave at Rahuri Khurd, and some of the people said that Sahaja Yoga can change the world. After lunch we split up into two groups: one group went to Sita Nani, the place where Sita used to bathe with hot and cold water, which comes out of the rock in two springs, and the other group went to Ahmednagar, to a school prize giving event and Indian dance session.

Derek Ferguson

Sunday 30th January – diary entry

Got up, loaded the buses and we were ready to leave at 7.30 am. Before leaving Rahuri we collected the dhobi and went on a long drive to Solapur. We reached Dhumal’s mother’s house at about 4.00 pm for lunch. Then we went to the place where some land has been given to us for an ashram, near Vijani Dam, at the crossing of two rivers. There a small puja for the land was performed after which we went for a footsoak in the river just across from the Narasimha Temple.

We boarded the buses and went to a building, and when Shri Mataji arrived She wondered why it had taken us fourteen hours to get there. She told us to cover our Sahasraras against the cold and told us there would not be any snakes tonight.

Derek Ferguson


We had a meditation and breakfast, and Shri Mataji gave a talk on the white man’s ego against India, especially the Sahaja Yogis, and She also spoke to the leaders.

We were given garlands by Mr Dhumal and his son, then we went to the dam for a swim. Shri Mataji arrived and said She had just given a programme and realisation to fifteen hundred people at the dam – workers and staff etc, and asked if we were alright. Before, She had appeared on top of the dam wall and nobody noticed, but as soon as She waved we all looked up and said, ‘Ki jai!’ Then we boarded the buses and went back to the base.

After lunch we went to the Narasimha Temple, at the crossing of the two rivers. The Bhima River is the Shiva River and the Neema River is Vishnu’s. We came back and had a small workshop and seminar on the different aspects of the divine relationships between Sahaja Yogis – brother, sister, father, son etc.

Derek Ferguson


We went to Tuljapur, where there is a temple to Shri Mahakali. Some soldiers asked the people there to give us space and we visited it quickly, then went to a rest house for tea.

We boarded the buses, reached Solapur about 4.00 pm, and in the evening we went to a meeting with medical doctors and students. Shri Mataji worked on some sick people – one lady with breast cancer and some sick children.

Derek Ferguson

A poet from Hyderabad

I developed epilepsy and was admitted to a hospital in December 1979 and my right side starting crumbling and shaking. A friend told me about Shri Mataji and how She gave realisation. I started doing foot soaking and feeling calm and cool – something flowing down from my Sahasrara, so soothing. I read the Maha Avatar magazine that my friend had given me, and surrendered to Shri Mataji. My whole body became light and my chakras and all my body were cleared. I knew that God was working in me and I would be become all right, only with the vibrations. I am so blessed that Shri Mataji cured me and I have written many poems in Her praise. It took three years to become completely all right, and I am still fine, over twenty years later.

In 1984 Shri Mataji was doing a programme in Solapur. We were four or five families, we went to Solapur in south Maharashtra and when we entered the hall we saw the programme was already over and people were around Shri Mataji.

‘It is all right, go up to the stage,’ someone said. There were so many people crowding round but somehow we managed to get there. I had a small notebook in which I had written some poetry of Sahaja Yoga and I gave it to Shri Mataji. She asked where we were from, and we said we had come from Hyderabad to see Her. She said we should not go straight back but should stay, and that we should meet Her again the next day.

The following day we heard that Shri Mataji had arrived and we were not ready for Her. We had to get a chair, and a new cloth, and we didn’t know the protocol. We fell at Her Feet and Shri Mataji asked us to sit down. She gave us three hours of Her time – a group of some ten to fifteen people. First She asked who had written the poetry.

‘Mr Patel has written it,’ somebody said.

‘I enjoyed it very much,’ said Shri Mataji. ‘You have known the depths of Sahaja Yoga.’ I was not able to talk, and just kept quiet, and thought that it was all from Shri Mataji, but She said many times, ‘Very good, very good.’ I wrote that She is Shri Durga, Shri Radha and many other deities, but it is the Kundalini that has told us everything.

Mr Patel

He was fed up with the doctors’ treatment

I first met Shri Mataji in February 1980. After seven months I was transferred from Delhi to Hyderabad and I met Mr Patel. He was completely paralysed but within two years he was cured. I was a new Sahaja Yogi and was amazed, because he had just been doing a few treatments with the photograph.

He had a strong desire to see Shri Mataji, and that year some of the Sahaja Yogis from Hyderabad went to Solapur in south Maharashtra in January 1984. We met Shri Mataji there. She talked to us for three hours and answered all our questions. There were about forty people present. Mr Patel is the man in white behind Shri Mataji’s left shoulder. We told Shri Mataji that Mr Patel had been cured completely from Her photograph.

RR Singh

A miracle

In October 1981, I had trouble with a tooth and the dentist advised extraction. While foot soaking, I requested Shri Mataji to give me some experience of healing like Mr Patel, on whom I was working in those days. Within minutes my hands were stretched around the chair and my mouth opened as if I was on an operating table and something was being done to my tooth, which had been painful for some days. After about fifty minutes of this, the pain vanished. During this process I could feel some cool drops were coming out of my left ear and I could even hear the sound of their falling. After this bloodless operation, my hands became loose and my mouth closed and I could not open it for about two hours. When I met Shri Mataji in Solapur, I narrated the story and asked Her what had happened, and what the drops were.

‘It was your negativity coming out of your ear in the form of drops, and then you were healed,’ She said.

RR Singh

He recognises Me

On the 31st January 1984, the Sahaja Yogis of Hyderabad went to Solapur, and met Shri Mataji for the first time. We took my son, who was only about nine months old, but he had no name. One of the Sahaja Yogis suggested that we should ask Shri Mataji for a name.

He is Sahaj! He is born realised, and see how comfortable he is with Me!’ She said. And that was his name. When She took him in Her arms, he cried ‘Ma!’

‘You do not know who he is, but he recognises Me,’ She said, and She held him in Her arms for three hours.

RR Singh

Wednesday – diary entry

We got ready to go to Pandarpur, and visited the Vitthala temple there. We bathed in the Bhima River, and as we did a face appeared in the clouds, as if Shri Vitthala was welcoming us. We sang the aarti in the temple then boarded the buses for the town.

On the way we stopped for lunch and Shri Mataji was also there, She arrived to see us. We had some sugar cane juice provided by a local farmer, who only wanted Shri Mataji’s photo in return. We saw jaggery (caked brown sugar) being made. Mother told us She had seen vibrations coming down from the sky.

We left there and went to Shasri, to a public programme Shri Mataji conducted in a village. We had dinner and left for Kolhapur, arrived around 1.30 am at a Krishna Temple and went to bed at about 2.30 am.

Derek Ferguson

To save a life

One time we were on the India tour in Maharashtra, in about 1984, and Shri Mataji was not there when the public programme started in some college, a medical college. The boys from the college in the audience started being very rude and boisterous even when Mother did arrive. She stayed and gave the programme, laughing at their rudeness and forgiving them because they were only young students, She said afterwards.

What the medical students did not know until later was that the Chief of Police of the area had been taken to hospital with a severe heart attack, and Shri Mataji was late because She had gone there on Her way to the programme to heal him and most probably to save his life.

Linda Williams

They’re not much trouble

In 1984, my husband was on the India tour and I was at home because I had had our first child. I had been writing a letter to him over a couple of weeks, and somebody who was going to India later, took it. In the letter I wrote that we were expecting our second child. My husband received this letter, and the other yogis told him to go up and tell Shri Mataji the news. Very shyly he did, and Shri Mataji laughed.

‘They’re not much trouble, you know!’ She said. Whenever I was having difficulty, I remembered that.

Caroline Henwood

A memorable evening

4th February 1984, Radha-Krishna temple – India (extract from my diary)

The same evening we had a bhajan programme. Shri Mataji was surreally beautiful in a white and pink sari. We were all sitting on the ground and the singers, who were villagers, had a rhythm, a unity and intensity that was absolutely incredible. The poetry of the evening was such that those who were praising God’s blessings, the greatness of Self Realisation and the saints of Maharashtra like Machindranath finally recognized Who was sitting in front of them. They folded their hands in prayer for a last song. It was very moving and Shri Mataji’s expression was of deep joy; She left blessing us all and the saris were She had been sitting were emitting powerful vibrations, whilst the flower garlands that we had given Her were emitting an enchanting fragrance in this Indian night.

Antoinette Wells

February 1984 – India Tour (extract of my diary)

Yesterday evening we all went to a remote farm in the fields of sugar cane which was in Maharashtra. Shri Mataji was with us and as usual we ate sitting on the ground, the food displayed on large banana leaves; Westerners and Indians, around one hundred people eating together. Afterwards there were bhajans in the middle of the fields and Shri Mataji was explaining the constellations in the sky and the young Indians who were singing were telling the story of a great saint of Maharashtra called Markandeya. 

I noticed that bhajans are different in different regions: here they are in a circle with one or two Indians with wooden instruments with bells and the turn and hop whilst singing.  As the night before we went to sleep at 3 am. I started to feel very sleepy and as I was just behind Shri Mataji’s sofa, which was more like a bench without a back, I feel asleep with my head just behind Her back at about 50cm from Her open dark hair on Her shoulders and back! – I pulled my ears later! – but I slept like a baby a wonderful soothing sleep! Coming from the battles of the west all my vibrations changed and I felt so light. Some Yoginis seeing me kneeling down in my sari, fast asleep, kindly covered my back with shawls.  When I woke up it was dawn and I had the wonderful feeling to be totally protected by the great Goddess the cosmic Mother of the universe who had gathered Her children.  

‘You are all in My body and when you have got a bad liver I feel Mine having a big twist,’ She said to us.

Antoinette Wells 

The Shri Dhanvanteri photo

This is the story of the Shri Dhanvanteri photo. It was taken in Satara, Maharashtra, in February 1984. I was the only one who knew that this photo was taken there. One day I was with an Italian Sahaja Yogi and who is married to an Indian Sahaja Yogini from Satara. He didn’t know I had taken this photo, and suddenly he started telling me this story. Shri Mataji had given this photo to his wife and had said to her that this picture is the one of Shri Dhanvanteri, the one who cures.

The interesting part is this, that his wife is a doctor of ayurvedic medicine and Satara is the place in India which is considered to be the place of ayurvedic medicine and the place of medicine. Shri Mataji was in Satara, and when there She took the form of Shri Dhanvanteri, the one who cures. When Shri Mataji gave this picture to this lady and told her it was Shri Dhanvanteri, it shows She knows exactly which is every aspect She takes. No one knew I took this photo, and no one knew I took it in Satara. So the story is full of coincidences.

Duilio Cartocci

Ocean of love

On my first India tour in 1984, Mother greeted the party at Bordi and upon arrival, settled us down and said we should rest after our long journey. She went on to outline what we would be doing later that evening and said we would bathe together in the ocean at about 7 pm in the evening.

When we sat before Mother later that day, I was wondering when we would go to the ocean to swim. It was after 7 pm and I wondered if this refreshing idea was going to take place. I then considered Mother’s terminology and wondered if the ocean Mother was referring to was Her ocean of love. As this thought dawned, my whole body was consumed in Mother’s divine love.

Sean Kelly

Bordi 1984 – a puja and some magnificent weddings (diary entry)

When we arrived at Bordi, on 17th February 1984, it was wonderful. There were hundreds of Sahaja Yogis at the camp, which was organised by the Indians. They, and about two hundred Western Sahaja Yogis, met together, the largest international meeting I had ever seen.

We did not see Shri Mataji until the next day. There was a wonderful puja to the Devi – Shri Adi Shakti. What was different was that the Feet of Shri Mataji were washed without being touched by anyone, only the water was poured over them, and then the water was distributed to various centres. At the end of the puja all the couples who would be married were presented to Shri Mataji, twenty-four were announced, but in the end twenty-seven couples were married.

Before the havan there was a pause for supper, which was eaten in silence. There were various fires, and around each one were representatives of each country. The vibrations of the puja and havan were incredible, and we, who had just arrived, were astounded by the depth. The vibrational impact of this blessed land of Maharashtra, the seat of Shri Ganesha in this great country which is the Kundalini of the universe, is truly incredible. The power of the earth here is unimaginable.

At the havan the thousand names of the Goddess were read out. The way the Indians do the aarti to our Mother: they make a bandhan with the flame at and around Her Feet. For the havan, Shri Mataji explained that we should read the thousand names, because every one of the names corresponds to one of the nadis in the Sahasrara and these correspond to all the nadis in every chakra. Thus every name which was read purified a nadi, and in this way purifies the whole instrument. Shri Mataji was present, looking magnificent in a green and red sari, with a garland of red and white roses and one red rose at Her Feet.

The evening before the weddings, during the haldi ceremony, Shri Mataji got everything ready for the weddings, including arranging people’s families. For the weddings the couples arrived separately – the young men on horses, looking wonderful and colourful in their red, yellow and green dhotis, and were led into the tent in a line, to where the ladies were. At a sign from Shri Mataji they came slowly closer until each one was in front of his bride. Slowly the ladies put a garland of flowers on their husband and vice versa. Then the couples went towards the fires at the edge of the tent. They offered a puja to Shri Mataji, each one using the puja utensils that they had been given by Shri Mataji Herself. It was a wonderful day. The brides were beautiful in their colourful saris, with gold and silver inlay, and the decorations on their faces and on their heads. The couples were resplendent with joy. Shri Mataji followed every detail and directed the sequence of the ceremony, passing between the couples, and telling them what they should do. The couples were so beautiful and splendid, so right for the exceptional nature of the day. Shri Mataji’s attention was so clearly on all of them – Her eyes were dazzling and the joy emanating from everyone was so great!

Shri Mataji remained with us for a long time, and two miracles occurred. The first one was that for the ceremony of the haldi Shri Mataji asked that the turmeric, from which the haldi is made, and is a yellow root, should be ground up in a mortar, and this quantity would usually take about four days, given the hardness of the root. Nevertheless the Indians began the work and less than forty-five minutes later all the roots were reduced to powder. Another exceptional event was that because of the tide, the sea would, at that time, usually go down hundreds of metres distant, but instead it came very close to the beach and shore, as if to pay homage to the Adi Shakti and Her children the Sahaja Yogis.

Alessandra Pallini

Magical India, Bordi February 1984. Extracts from my diary

We are getting towards the end of our journey and Bordi to me is the epitome. It is by the sea with palm trees, pine trees and a huge beach and it is here that the weddings will take place. Yesterday we had a puja to Adi Shakti and Shri Mataji said that we shouldn’t worship only a specific incarnation in view of avoiding Her incarnation which encompasses them all. She also talked to the new couples and said to the ladies that it was their responsibility to make their marriage successful and they had to please their husbands. Then a small programme dedicated to the yoginis was arranged by the Indian ladies who gave us each a pretty small silver container. Shri Mataji was present and spoke again to the ladies; She called me followed by other yoginis to put a sari around Her. I felt this as a big blessing: Shri Mataji talked about the womb which carries and nourishes, of the feminine force which permeates rather than dominates, and also said that the divine time and its outcome are very different to the projections and concepts of human beings. Yesterday She also spoke about the beginnings of Sahaja Yoga and how everything started from Bordi.

Antoinette Wells 

The need for security

When I lost my husband, my heart beat increased so much that it was like a clock – tick-tock – all the time, and I could count each beat. I could not get rid of that noise in my ears and did not know what to do. Shri Mataji saw me at a Sahaja programme in Maharashtra, and called me.

‘YHou were standing so far from Me,’ She said, ‘but I can hear your heartbeat so clearly. It must be terrible for you to bear. You need a lot of security. I cannot be with you in person, but I will be with you. I can understand that you have lost your security because of the loss of your husband. Do not worry, it will be alright.’

I was quiet but my heart was full of gratitude to Her. She was the only person who understood me and cared for me. I do not know how it happened but immediately my heartbeat became normal and I did not hear it any more.

Pramila Mehra

Pandharpur, 29th February 1984 (diary entry)

Pandharpur is the place of the cult of Shri Vitthala, where there is a temple that houses the swayambhu that depicts Him. It was here that Shri Mataji decided to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage of Shri Shiva and Shri Parvati, Mahashivaratri, on the banks of the River Chandrabagha, which means the place of the moon, the moon surrounding the heart, and also which is on the head of Shri Shiva.

I will describe what I could see and feel during this puja, one of the strongest I have been to. The interior experience was extremely strong, and by the end everyone was very, very tired. We met at about eight in the evening in a multicoloured pavilion, with a very simple altar, without flowers, and appropriate for this deity of the heart.

As soon as She arrived Shri Mataji had a severe and distant expression and observed us with an impenetrable look, such as we could not return. She remained seated for a long time, in absolute silence, and looked both within us and at the dark sky. She was seated on the dais with one leg under Her body and the other towards the ground, and wore a red sari. Her expression was serious and profound, as is the significance of this puja.

After the initial silence, when we waited for the Sahaja Yogis to arrive, Shri Mataji began to speak.

Shri Mataji explained that Shri Vitthala is the Virata, the evolutionary power which is the brain of God. This is the power which is complementary to that of Shri Shiva, the Spirit. In the puja Shri Mataji opened the connexion between Shri Vitthala and Shri Sadashiva, which has made possible the illumination of the brain with the Spirit. The discourse was very complex, and was recorded. Shri Mataji asked us not to try to understand it rationally.

The sense of the talk was that through the illumination of the brain by the Spirit, all our being and actions will become completely illuminated: actions, thoughts, and emotions will become completely integrated and will reflect the light of the Spirit. The detachment will be complete. This is the state of complete stabilisation of realisation, the full maturity of which has so far only just begun in us.

After the talk, the puja was in three phases, to Shri Ganesha, to Shri Vitthala and to Shri Sadashiva. We did not wash Her Feet, because She said that Shri Shiva is totally pure, so what is there to wash? Instead they were decorated, and also Her lower legs and arms, and Her forehead, with geru – a red powder made from the earth of Maharashtra – which is used in the puja of Shri Shiva, along with a white cloth, which was put around Shri Mataji. There was no need for flowers or other decorations. Everything was austere and simple, essential to remember the absolute detachment of Shri Shiva. Shri Mataji said Shri Shiva can even sleep in the cemetery, because his detachment is absolute and nothing can interfere with him – and that is how we will be when the Shiva tattwa is established.

To conclude, we had a havan. The fire, which is the symbol of Shri Vishnu – Shri Vitthala and of the evolution of the central channel, which starts from the Nabhi chakra, comes to be united with the cold of the left side and the heart, the cold of the detachment of Shri Shiva. During the havan the thousand names of the Devi were read out by the Indian leaders, and only the men were close to Shri Mataji, and for every name given we put the leaves of a special plant at Her Feet, while the married couples fed the fire and threw the baddhas in. At the end Shri Mataji had everyone go around the fire and put their hands towards the flames to purify all of us and to make it easier for each one of us to be open. Also, we used the ash from this havan as if it was kumkum, for a bindi on our foreheads.

This puja was the culmination of the tour. Shri Mataji had sat in meditation in front of us for twelve hours without eating or moving.

Alessandra Pallini

A beautiful experience

These were golden moments in my life, when Shri Mataji granted me opportunities to be in HDHer divine presence. They will remain cherished deep within my being for my whole life, as the eternal source of peace, bliss and harmony. I would like to share them with my brothers and sisters, to show Her love, compassion and concern for Her children’s ascent.

In February 1984 Shri Mataji blessed the Sahaja Yogis with a Shivaratri Puja offered to Her Lotus Feet at Pandharpur, near the ancient temple of Shri Vitthala, in Maharashtra. Shri Mataji revealed the existence of seven auras around one’s heart, through which one’s spirit communicates with one’s brain.

The next day, Shri Mataji, the Western Sahaja Yogis and some Indian SahajaYogis travelled to Kolhapur. I returned to Pune for work, but after a few days, She called me to Kolhapur. On reaching there, I learnt that She was not well due to a stomach problem. She called a leader and me the next morning and told us about a public programme which She could not hold owing to Her health, and asked us to do it.

She told us that during the Shivaratri Puja She had put the Vishnu Tattwa into the Shiva Tattwa and hence the stomach problem, which would be all right in a few days. She guided us, and some other Sahaja Yogis and we held the programme under Her attention. It was our first experience to speak and give mass realisation in a public programme. This way She prepared us to take public programmes with Her photograph.

In the evening, I was again in Her divine presence. I prayed in my mind, ‘Shri Mataji, by Your grace let my heart become so big that You can be seated in it,’ and instantly I saw that my heart was as big as Shri Mataji, was around Her and She was seated in it. I felt I was not separate from Her. My Sahasrara felt like fully bloomed lotus. This state lasted for a few seconds, then I offered my salutations, which She accepted and then talked on some other subject.

After four or five years, I recounted this experience to Shri Mataji and told Her it had never happened again.

‘You get it only once,’ She said.

On another occasion, Shri Mataji was working on designs of Pratishthan. A few Sahaja Yogis were also present. This time I prayed and had the same experience on my Agnya. These experiences show how quickly Shri Mataji responds to our prayers.

Raman Kulkarni

Kolhapur, 1984 (diary entry)

When we were at Kolhapur, the seat of Shri Mahalakshmi, Shri Mataji called about fifteen of us, from various countries: Poland, France, England, Australia, Canada and Italy. The day before, Shri Mataji had suffered from a fever and digestive problems. As on other occasions, when this was told to us, it seemed impossible to us Sahaja Yogis that our Mother, Shri Adi Shakti, the one who has created the universe, could be unwell and suffer, what is more, because of our faults. When we were called by the leader, we were told that Shri Mataji had called us because we had faults. We went, a little worried and feeling our left Vishuddhis. When we were in front of Shri Mataji we soon realised that this would be a difficult and hard talk.

She expressed Her discontent towards everyone present, and all our problems, and our slow ascent. She said She was tired of us, and was not sure of our salvation, which was still to be achieved. Then She began to address each person in turn, describing their personal karmic problems, and also those of their country of origin. Everyone was silent and scared. I do not remember everything She said, but these are a few remarks which give an idea.

Of the Polish, she said they were left sided. Of the Germans, She said they were sadistic and masochistic, loaded down with heavy karma concerning their history of Nazism and the Jews. She said the English were too arrogant because of their colonisation, and had to learn humility from the Indians – they were like rats, compared to the Indians who were like elephants. She said the Italians were dishonest and untrustworthy, but She did mention some positive characteristics, such as serenity and a sense of the ridiculous, and a recognition of Shri Mataji.

At this point Her tone became softer, and She said we must think of Her, because She has created us with love and attention, and She loves us. We must observe how much care and attention She has for us, and how much the divine cares about human beings.

By the end all the ladies were crying and the men had soft eyes. Shri Mataji excused Herself for the severity of the discourse, but said it was necessary, to frighten away the bhuts.

Alessandra Pallini

Thursday (diary entry)

Went shopping in Kolhapur, came back about 12.00 noon and went to a programme Shri Mataji conducted in a village which had a lot of coconut palms. We had a tasty meal, then rested, but had to wait for a Sahaja Yogini before leaving, because she had gone off to meditate.

We went to a very good public programme where Shri Mataji gave realisation to over a thousand people, arranged by a sugar king whose business held a world record for production. Then we went to a music programme arranged by the same people – the performers were school children whose instrumental performances had won awards. They did a very good show then we were invited for tea by the two brothers who had arranged the evening. They have many projects going and are going to help Sahaja Yoga.

Derek Ferguson

Friday (diary entry)

Shri Mataji told us we have to rise above food and the other gross aspects of the Nabhi chakra in order to evolve. We had an evening bhajans performance and the leader of the group was an ex-mayor of the town. It was very good and one of the English Sahaja Yogis dressed up as a Brahmin, which woke everyone up.

Derek Ferguson

Saturday (diary entry)

Did some shopping and went to the bank, then to the Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur and felt very good vibrations in the head area. In the evening we went to a public programme with Shri Mataji, then to a music programme at Mr Patel’s farm. Shri Mataji kept us there until after 4.00 am and some people had to fight the left side to stay awake! She mentioned that the collective liver was not good, and also spoke about the perfection of Shri Rama and the imperfection of his father. We got back to base at about 6.00 am.

Derek Ferguson

Sunday (diary entry)

We went to a house in the country for a special dinner then came back for shopping or a rest, then went to a programme with Shri Mataji in a school.

Derek Ferguson

Monday (diary entry)

We had a procession and went to a school for a public programme at Tukaram Vidya Mandir, Mallapeth, on our way to Satara. Reached there and went to a very good programme and went to the place where we had a Shri Ganesha Puja last year – had a bhajans session.

Derek Ferguson

Tuesday (diary entry)

Went to the local river, the Krishna River, and had a footsoak and a wash. Then we had a Ganesha Puja, and Shri Mataji told us to put our attention on our Sahasraras so we could hear, because the sound system failed again. She told us about the excellent qualities of King Shivaji, after which we stayed at a comfortable hotel.

We left for Pune and stopped at a rocky spot for a dinner of yoghurt and sweets because of our bad livers. Arrived in Pune, the Mooladhara of India.

Derek Ferguson

Wednesday 8th February (diary entry)

We went to the place where Gyaneshwara took his samadhi – Allende – there were very good vibrations. We visited the shrine there – a cave.

Derek Ferguson

Thursday (diary entry)

We had a free day, so we could go shopping. We came back and had a question and answer session on Sahaja Yoga, then boarded the buses and went to a public programme with Shri Mataji.

Derek Ferguson

India tour 1984 (diary entry)

One thing which is very evident on this tour is that every place we visited had a corresponding subtle place on our journey, which had a circular form like a chakra – Bombay – Bordi – Vaitarna – Nasik – Aurangabad – Pandharpur – Kolhapur – Pune – Bombay. Apart from its historical and spiritual significance, every place had a subtle importance too. Also the vibrations were very strong: the Mother Earth – the earth element, Shri Vayu – the air element – Shri Jala Tattwa – the water element. Every place in this strongly vibrated land had a powerful effect on our chakras. Shri Mataji worked on us in many different ways.

For example, after we left Aurangabad, on our way to Rahuri, Shri Mataji had us visit a place known as Sitanani, Sita’s Bath. We stopped for a picnic beside a river, and went to see it. Shri Rama and Shri Sita had been here, and Shri Sita wanted to have a bath, so Shri Rama shot an arrow into a cave and a spring of warm water appeared in the cavern. Consequently Shri Sita could have a bath. The vibrations were very strong and obviously had a very good effect on our right sides and our heart. I was in front of this spring, and had my feet in the water, and felt a cool breeze pervading every part of my being. It was as if Shri Rama and Shri Sita were in that grotto, giving love to their devotees. I felt their eternal presence in the silence and peace.

Before visiting Ajanta we went to Saptashringi, (meaning seven peaks) the sacred mountain which is the place of the Adi Shakti in Maharashtra. This mountain represents the middle of the Kundalini of Maharashtra and the vibrations were so strong that everyone’s Kundalini rose so strongly. On the summit is a little temple with a swayambhu of Ambika.

When we returned from there we had an extraordinary picnic on the side of the road, under the trees. The food had been personally cooked by Shri Mataji. It is impossible to express the effect of complete satisfaction in the Nabhi which came over me. Every chakra has its own type of joy, and now we felt the joy of the Nabhi, comforted by the love and food prepared by Shri Adi Shakti for Her children.

After Nasik we went to the Ajanta caves, and the temple at Ellora where there is a powerful Sivalingam, carved out of the rock about fifteen hundred years ago, and again felt very strong vibrations. All these places were part of Shri Mataji’s itinerary for us.

Alessandra Pallini

Chapter 2: 1984 – March – Delhi and Mumbai

She fulfills your desire

In 1984, in Delhi, we had a nose ring, which was a birthday present for Shri Mataji.

‘Take this ring to Shri Mataji. Give it to Her,’ my father said, so I went on the stage and gave it to Her.

‘Why are you giving Me all these costly presents?’ Shri Mataji said.

‘Mother, just give me the very pure desire to give You something,’ I replied and She immediately took the ring.

Avdhut Pai

A school visit

On the same tour about a dozen of us were chosen by the leader to visit a girls’ school in Delhi with Shri Mataji. The leader asked me to write a report about the visit, (I am a journalist) so I trailed behind Shri Mataji with my notebook, writing down everything I heard Her say to the principal who was showing Her around the school.

In the boardroom we were invited to sit round the huge oblong table. I sat in the nearest seat and then realised I was sitting directly across the table from Shri Mataji. Feeling embarrassed, I hoped She didn’t think I sat there on purpose. I tried not to stare at Her but at the same time did not want to look anywhere else. I put my notebook in my bag on the floor. People served us tea. Suddenly Shri Mataji looked directly at me and everyone and everything around us faded away.

‘Where do you come from?’ She said.

‘Australia,’ I managed to say. She looked at me deeply and sweetly.

‘I mean originally.’

I didn’t know what to say; I didn’t know what She meant. I am obviously a white Anglo-Celt. I wanted to give Her the correct answer but didn’t know what it was and couldn’t just sit in silence, so I said: ‘Er, um, my parents are originally from England.’

Shri Mother continued looking penetratingly and lovingly into my eyes, then She turned to Her right and spoke to the principal about the school and suddenly everything came back into focus; we were all still round the boardroom table, having afternoon tea. No one noticed. It took me about two years to work out that She was just reminding me of who and what I am – Her child, conceived in Her heart and born through Her Sahasrara.

Jenny Watling

A story of King Shivaji

On one occasion, in Delhi, Shri Mataji was talking about King Shivaji of Maharashtra. She mentioned that if he had lived longer he would have taken Maharashtra to the gates of Delhi, and also that if Aurangzeb had killed him when he was a prisoner at Aurangzeb’s court, there would have been no hope for Sahaja Yoga in North India. Fortunately he escaped.

Linda Williams

Shri Mataji, how does the Sushumna rise?

Once, when Shri Mataji was going to Patna, my wife and I went to see Her off at the airport. Shri Mataji told me that the day before She came across some people whose Sushumnas just would not rise.

‘Shri Mataji, how does the Sushumna rise?’ I asked Her, being as I was a new Sahaja Yogi.

‘Don’t you know? Give Me your hand,’ She said. She put Her thumb on my palm. Immediately I could feel something rising in me, like the mercury rises in the blood pressure instrument.

Suresh Nigam

A large number of shining Kundalinis

In early eighties, there were very few Sahaja Yogis in Delhi. I was lucky enough that Shri Mataji permitted me to take Her to various programmes and other places. Once, Shri Mataji was conducting programme in Haryana. There She was told about a boy who had never spoken a word. She asked for the boy to be brought near Her and worked on him for some time. Then Shri Mataji asked the boy to say something. To everybody’s surprise the boy spoke for the first time and clearly said ‘Ma’.

On another occasion, we were visiting Khurja, where Shri Mataji wanted to buy some ceramics. After the shopping we came back to the rest house. While resting there She said that there were many Kundalinis there.

‘Where?’ I asked Her.

Shri Mataji asked me to look up and I could see a large number of shining Kundalinis.

Suresh Nigam

Your Mother knows everything

Shri Mataji used to explain things to us in a very simple way. Once, I had gone to Nainital. There I met an old friend, Dr Bhatnagar. Being an enthusiastic new Sahaja Yogi I used to tell everybody about Sahaja Yoga. I told Dr Bhatnagar also. He agreed with me on many points but could not believe that Kundalini Jagaran (awakening) could be so easy. Shri Mataji asked me his name and I told Her. Shri Mataji told me that my friend was an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor.

‘Yes, but how did You know that?’ I said.

‘Your Mother knows everything,’ She replied simply. ‘When you mentioned his name I felt something on My Vishuddhi chakra. This means he works on the Vishuddhi, ENT.’

Suresh Nigam

She said the prayer

After I was married in 1984 I was looking after Shri Mataji in Delhi. I had just served Shri Mataji morning tea, and She was sitting on a chair in Her room. She had just finished Her tea and I was making Her bed. I was tidying up and She said to come and sit near Her. I didn’t have any pain and I didn’t think I had a heart problem, but Shri Mataji asked me to come and sit. Then She had me put my back to Her, and She lifted up both Her Feet, and put them on my back. She put a lot of pressure, and She said that my father had not left me, and he was still worried about me.

Take your rebirth,’ I had to keep saying, ‘because Shri Mataji is my father, and She is my Mother and I am protected now, and – please take your rebirth because you need to take your realisation.’ That was when She said that my heart was catching from him. Oh my goodness I do remember that day! My father had died in 1979 and Shri Mataji used to work on my heart a lot. She would have me turn my back to Her and would put Her Foot on my right heart, because it just would not clear out.

‘I am your father,’ She told me to say. ‘I am your Mother, and if you ask Me to come to your heart, then it will open it up, and you won’t have a catch, because your father is possessing you on your heart.’ Then She said the prayer – you know it.

‘Shri Mataji please come in my heart, please open my heart, Shri Mataji please put Your Feet in my heart, Shri Mataji please let You be worshipped in my heart, Shri Mataji please keep me’ – what was it? – ‘Take me away from illusion. Please keep me in reality.’

Then She asked me to say it back to Her, after I had put my hand on my heart. Then Shri Mataji put Her Foot on my heart and had me say it again.

Prerna Richards

New Delhi, 11th – 19th March, 1984 (diary entry)

This week there were four public programmes at the Marvlankar Auditorium on Raj Marg, near the parliament buildings. There was also a Birthday Puja – there are two this year, one in Delhi and one in Bombay.

There was also a celebration of Holi. This is a festival instituted by Shri Krishna to dissolve the rigidity and seriousness that was in the Indian culture in his time. The Holi celebration was held in the Sahaja Temple at Krishna Nagar, in the presence of Shri Mataji. After the talk of Shri Mataji, coloured powder, red, pink, green, yellow, which had previously been vibrated at the Her Feet, was distributed to everyone and we threw it around with much joy and covered our faces, clothes and bodies with it. It was also thrown over the serious leaders and soon they were laughing from their hearts like mad men, just as Shri Krishna had intended.

There were many, many people at the public programmes. The room was full and the public, as always in India, were immediately won over by Shri Mataji and at the end went to Her Feet. The talks were sometimes in English, and sometimes in Hindi. Given that the talks could be understood by Western people, Shri Mataji referred to scientific and medical explanations as well as descriptions of the chakras, the Kundalini and the Vedas, and also to the divinity which we understand.

Shri Mataji explained to us in one of Her talks that Delhi is Rakshasa Bhumi, an area where many rakshasas are buried and have lived, and they are still present on the vibrational level. Consequently the negativity is very strong, and Shri Mataji has said that the Sahaja Yogis here have to become very strong to combat it.

This week in Delhi Shri Mataji organised for each of us Sahaja Yogis from the West to stay with a Delhi Sahaja family, which was very interesting. We were able to enjoy their cooking and hospitality, and gave presents at the end. I stayed with Yogi Mahajan and his wife, and one evening Shri Mataji came to supper with us. There were a lot of Western Sahaja Yogis as well, and some Indian Sahaja Yogis. Before supper Shri Mataji spoke to us very beautifully and profoundly, and after supper there were some wonderful bhajans, and Yogi’s wife Deepa sang a very beautiful song, looking at Shri Mataji with love and dedication, and Shri Mataji responded with a look of infinite love.

There was also a puja, and two weddings which were held in the presence of Shri Mataji, and after the weddings Shri Mataji asked us all to go to the cinema, to see a film about the leela of Shri Krishna.

Alessandria Pallini

A meeting with a relation

In March 1984 the India tour went to Delhi. Shri Mataji arranged for the foreign Sahaja Yogis to stay with different Sahaja families, but there were not quite enough families for all the foreigners. By chance a close relation of mine came to Delhi at that time for work, and stayed with some friends of my aunt, and they invited me to stay with them. I was not keen to do so, because my relation was not in favour of Sahaja Yoga, and I had to share a room with her, but agreed to because it helped resolve the accommodation problem and kept my relation happy.

After a programme at the Safdarjung Temple, I had to go up to Shri Mataji and ask Her something and to my horror She was very critical towards me.

‘Get out of My sight, I never want to see you again!’ She said, in no uncertain terms.

I was shattered, had no idea what I had done wrong, and went off to a park for some time to sit and decide how I was going to rearrange my entire life, as I was living in India and had my children there in school. In the evening I crept back to the Safdarjung Temple to pick up my daughter and some of our belongings that were there, and as I was trying to get in, I realised Shri Mataji was still there, upstairs in Her room. One of the Delhi Sahaja Yogis saw me and came over.

‘There you are,’ the lady began, ‘Shri Mataji has been so worried about you. She did not know your relation was in Delhi and you had to stay with her. Shri Mataji saw all her negativity on your forehead, and was telling that to go away, not you. Can you go and see Her now?’

I did so and everything was fine.

Linda Williams

The story of a parrot

Once, Shri Mataji came to my father’s house for lunch. Accompanying Her were Raol Bai and a few Delhi Sahaja Yogis. My father is very fond of animals and has had dogs, bears, cheetahs, squirrels and parrots over the years. The wild animals were released in the wild. At the time Shri Mataji came he had a parrot which was not caged. He used to go inside the cage only to sleep, otherwise he would fly all over the house. At breakfast he would come down from my father’s shoulder and sit on the dining table. He would never eat anything from the plate, only from the edge of it where my father would keep a titbit for him to eat. We had a Samoyed dog too.

The day Shri Mataji came, She sat in the garden as it was winter. My father brought the parrot, perched on his finger, to Shri Mataji. She petted it and spoke to it. He cocked his head to one side listening very carefully. The parrot made sounds like Uh? Uh? as it was enjoying the petting. She petted him for quite a while. She also petted the dog.

A week after this incidence the door was left open and the parrot flew out. That was the first time he flew out of the house. We never found him again. 

Deepa Mahajan

His jyotish was very bad

It was in about 1984 and there was a nice man who was one of the Delhi leaders. Shri Mataji told him not to go to work on his scooter, but he did because it was the only way he could get there, and he was run over by a bus and killed.

‘You see, his jyotish (astrological influences) was very bad at that time,’ Shri Mataji said, meaning when the stars are tricky, then one really has to watch out even more than usual.

Linda Williams

Bombay, March 1984, Birthday Puja (diary entry)

The Birthday Puja was on the 22nd. There were about three hundred Sahaja Yogis from Bombay and about fifty foreigners. The talk was in Marathi, but She said just one sentence in English, that the Western Sahaja Yogis had to take peace to our countries, and had to be sweet and gentle, above all in our language. If we shout at people and are aggressive, we take their negativity on ourselves.

At the end of the puja, when Shri Mataji was dressed in ornaments, and decorated, She was offered a collective present, a beautiful pearl necklace with four strands which She immediately put on. She looked at Herself in a silver mirror, which was an antique and came from England. Then everyone could go to Her Feet to offer a garland of flowers.

On the last day we were with Her, we Italians were able to offer Shri Mataji a collective present which She appreciated. She stayed with us for many hours. We were able to go to Her Feet, and in the evening She returned for a music programme. The next day Shri Mataji departed for the south of India, where She said She had to do some tapasya. Imagine, the Adi Shakti, the most powerful incarnation of the divine, doing tapasya! The year before She had told the Bombay leader that She had not eaten for many days. It is one of those things it is not possible to understand.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji is aware of all pure desires

I was very fortunate that while studying in Mumbai I received my self realisation in 1982 from sakshat Shri Mataji Herself and was able to attend many programmes in Mumbai, including her Birthday Felicitation at the Shanmukhananda Auditorium in March 1984.

Having already experienced so much love, protection and so many other benefits from Shri Mataji through Sahaj, I was determined to express my gratitude to Shri Mataji in some way so I decided that I would present Her with a birthday card and a shawl as a birthday gift, which I hurriedly bought on the day of the felicitation, and I did not have time to properly gift wrap it, but had it wrapped in a newspaper.

In those early Sahaja days, Shri Mataji would grant darshan to all seekers at Her Lotus Feet after all pujas, public programmes etc and there was always a bee-line towards Shri Mataji by both Sahaja Yogis and even non-Sahaja Yogis, including at this particular programme. On seeing the long queue forming and the rush, I decided to hold back, being aware of protocols, even though it was going to compromise my chances of presenting my gift to Her. I knew that at some point the leaders were going to stop the people as the queue was too long. My instincts were correct and Shri Mataji departed before I could give my gift. I left with the present in my hand. Deep down within me I was not disappointed because I knew that Shri Mataji was aware of my pure desire and it did not really matter if I was not able to present Her the gift.

While Shri Mataji was being escorted out of the hall a fellow Sahaja friend and I went outside the auditorium and were walking along a drive at the side of the hall. Suddenly the car transporting Her drove down the same driveway and stopped next to us. The side window was wound down and Shri Mataji looked directly at me and asked me in Marathi what I had. I told Her that it was a present and She opened it in the car.

‘Oh, a shawl!’ She said, and then lovingly chided me that I should not have worried to give Her a present. She namaskared to me and then the car drove away.

Later the whole significance of the incident dawned on me and I realized that miraculously Shri Mataji knew of the pure desire I had to present Her with a birthday gift, which did not succeed in the hall but created a beautiful little play whereby She acknowledged and showed me that She does ‘know everything.’ I was touched at Her infinite love and acknowledgement.

Ajeeth Ramphal

Chapter 3: 1984 – April – back to London

A tremendous impact

In this photo below my baby, Madhava, is wrapped up in a bundle, minutes after getting his self realisation from Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport in April 1984. While Shri Mataji put Her hand over Madhava’s head to give him self realisation I held him up in my arms and remember feeling and hearing my own heart beat getting stronger than I had ever heard it before, but together with a blissful sensation that rocked me up and down like ocean waves. This process took a few minutes and Shri Mataji kept silent while doing it. Madhava was only a few weeks old and it was very cold outside the airport. When it was done, Shri Mataji told me to wrap him up completely and not to wake him up.  

Madhava did not wake up during the process or afterwards, which is amazing because the feeling and the motion inside were incredible. It went from the bottom to the top and then from the top to the bottom and then up again.  I couldn’t believe it that the mere act of Shri Mataji putting Her own hand gently over the fontanel bone area of a baby could have such a tremendous impact and yet not wake up the baby up

Luis Garrido

The right poster

The wording on the Porchester Hall poster was the caption that brought me to my first public programme with Shri Mataji in 1984. It was exactly what I wanted to hear!

Erwin Ebens 

Growing rose bushes

In April 1984 we had a programme at the Temple of All Faiths, Hampstead, and afterwards a lot of flowers came back to Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square. I filled up a couple of bathtubs with them but there were quite a few bunches of roses that had drooped over and were dead.

‘Give Me some of those roses,’ Shri Mataji said. She took some of the roses and put the stems on the palm of Her hand. ‘We can bring these back to life with vibrations,’ and She showed me how to do it.

There was no immediate change in the roses, but I put them into the water and the next day they were upright and blooming. When they had finished flowering She told us to take some cuttings so we got some pots and soil, and then Shri Mataji put the stalks into the pots.

‘Because we have given them vibrations, these roses will turn into rose bushes.’

Every single cutting that Shri Mataji put in took root. She showed me how to put vibrated water there, and they turned into beautiful bushes with blooms of all different colours.

Alex Henshaw

I am the Mother

When I was staying with Shri Mataji at Brompton Square in 1984, every so often She would go out shopping to the markets, so we would get up very early, at four-thirty or five in the morning. We would sometimes go for fruit, sometimes for flowers and sometimes for garden supplies. On this occasion we went for garden supplies and to get some pots and potting mix. These were for the rose cuttings that we had got from the puja the previous week. We were trying to create a roof garden.

‘Here’s your mother,’ an English man said to his friend as we approached.

‘Yes,’ She said, very sweetly, ‘that is what they call Me. I am the Mother.’

Shri Mataji warned me that the people were racist at that stall.

‘The English were in our land for hundreds of years,’ She said afterwards, ‘and the Indians were very gracious. They let England leave with dignity and honour, and they praised them. The Indians come here, they work very hard, they buy houses, they start businesses and the English are very racist. The English are lazy, and complacent; they complain and winge and that is why the country has gone down, because they have no self-respect.’

She also said they had become wealthy at the expense of other nations, particularly India, and most of the crown jewels were from India. She said they colonised and took over countries that had ancient civilisations, and thought themselves superior. They learnt nothing of spirituality, and yet they imposed their rule and bureaucracy on India, and never learnt anything from the country.

The times are changing now, and the English are taking to Sahaja Yoga. She said that was a miracle in itself, the fact that the English were turning to spirituality. She said there were some very deep seekers, and they had great saints like William Blake to help them and steer them in the right direction. But, She said, the biggest problem was the Anglo-Saxon brain. It was hard to crack through that and therefore England was a hard place to work out. It is the heart of the universe, but is one of the hardest nuts to crack.

‘I’m Australian, Shri Mataji,’ I quickly said.

‘Yes, I know,’ She said, and laughed.

Alex Henshaw

A present of incense

One day in 1984 at Brompton Square, London, an Indian Sahaja Yogi came all the way from India carrying a gift of very special hand-made incense. There was something regal about this gesture of bringing incense across the sea to Shri Mataji. The moment the box was opened the silence was tangible and we all felt a breeze of cool vibrations enveloping us. The fragrance was overwhelming and it released waves of devotion and joy in our hearts.

In those days we were still learning that in selecting a gift for Shri Mataji it is important to ensure that the item in question was auspicious and produced good vibrations. A few moments later Shri Mataji selected one stick of incense and instructed me to light it and go round the whole house to perfume each and every room, but not to stay longer than half minute per room because She wanted to create just a subtle aroma in the whole house. 

 Luis Garrido

A puja at Brompton Square

Shri Mataji was giving a dinner party at Brompton Square for about fifteen of Sir CP’s colleagues. We went shopping with Her in Southall and to one butcher in particular. We bought a lot of meats of various kinds, quail, lamb, offal, etc – maybe a hundred pounds worth.

Three or four of us were helping in the kitchen to prepare the food. Shri Mataji taught us lots of things like how to chop onions finely, to whack garlic with the blade of a knife to make it easier to peel, and how to gut and prepare quail, of which I did twenty-four. The Indian lady working there was vegetarian and never liked preparing meat, so she used to ask me to do it for her. After a couple of days of preparation finally everything was ready and around six o’clock in the evening we all left before the guests arrived.

The following day there was a lot of food left over (as we guessed there must be as Shri Mataji had prepared so much) and She invited the people who had been working at the house to come for a small puja. So about twenty-five of us sat in the front room at Brompton Square and performed a Gruha Lakshmi Puja which took about two hours. We all washed Shri Mataji’s Feet and I remember the state of heaven I was in, sitting not four feet away from Her Lotus Feet throughout the puja.

Afterwards we all went downstairs to the dining room, which had mirror tiles on the ceiling and mirrors on most of the walls, and had a most sumptuous feast, including quail, with Shri Mataji and Sir CP. We all ate heartily but we still did not manage to finish the food!

Chris Marlow

All the incarnations are within Me at this time

In 1984, I went to see Shri Mataji at Her house in Brompton Square, London. Shri Mataji was visibly saddened.

‘Luis, do you know that people ask Me such strange questions,’ She said to me.

‘No, I did not know, but who asked the strange question?’ I replied.

Shri Mataji did not tell me who had asked Her the question, and I assumed that it must have been a visiting Sahaja Yogi from abroad. Shri Mataji explained that someone had just asked Her whether the boy that She had named as William was the re-incarnation of William Blake.

‘How can you people ask such absurd questions like that?’ Shri Mataji added.

I was living at Chelsham Road ashram, and this boy named William was also living there with his parents. No one there ever suggested the absurd thought that this boy was an incarnation, though he was obviously a very sweet, realised child, and very well behaved. I ventured to ask Shri Mataji the answer to this question.

‘How could he be the incarnation of William Blake?’ Shri Mataji answered, and pointing at Herself said, ‘William Blake is in My body. All the incarnations are within Me at this time. There are no other incarnations out there right now.’

 Luis Garrido

That holy, inimitable fragrance

As I stopped to drink in the fragrance of some gorgeous roses today, I was suddenly transported to Shri Mataji’s side. There again was that holy, inimitable fragrance! The perfume of those magical roses also took me clearly and deeply into a fragrant memory of Shri Mataji preparing to go out for an evening function.

As She sat and waited for the car, Shri Mataji gently dabbed a very tiny drop of perfume of natural flower essence on the back of Her hand. Suddenly the whole house was infused with this divine fragrance – even those at the top of the house were feeling it. It was as if Shri Mataji absorbed the perfume into Her being and it was magnified out of each pore of Her divine body – as if the Mother Earth Herself was so overjoyed to be doing this small puja to the Goddess.

Danya Martoglio

Photos taken at 48, Brompton Square

This was Shri Mataji’s bedroom. There were panels of ornamental plasterwork with silk in the panels. I worked all through the night finishing off the lower section. Much later Shri Mataji invited another Sahaja Yogi and me to spend the night in Her bedroom while She slept in another one.

During the night the whole room became bright with vibrations. We just lay there without speaking knowing that one could see what the other was seeing. The next day Shri Mataji said Her room had become overloaded with vibrations and She wanted us to absorb some of them.

Shri Mataji asked us to make a cupboard to hang Her saris and put Her shoes in. Laurent built it and I covered it in blue Chinese silk inside and purple silk outside. You can see in the photo that even the skirting board was covered in silk.

The left hand photo is a view from the green room, so called because of the green silk on the walls. It also had silk on the doors and gold foil wallpaper on ceiling.

Shri Mataji’s dining room with gold foil wallpaper and glass tiles on the ceiling. This photo is of the ceiling.

I am in the cupboard 

The bedroom of Shri Mataji was very special. I have worked in many houses of Shri Mataji and all of Her bedrooms were always beautiful, but at Brompton Square it was a jewel. The atmosphere at that house was also very special.

Shri Mataji wanted a cupboard made, especially for Her saris and shoes. Outside Shri Mataji wanted purple embroidered silk to match the rest of Her bedroom and inside She wanted China blue silk. The cupboard was approximately kitchen unit height, so to apply the silk to the inside I had to climb right in. I was merrily applying the silk when suddenly Shri Mataji, Her daughter and two grandchildren came into the room. Shri Mataji’s family had just flown in from abroad and wanted to rest. I popped my head out of the cupboard and said to Shri Mataji that I would go and return to do the work later.

‘It’s ok, you just carry on,’ Shri Mataji said. So I continued and they all fell asleep very quickly. While applying the silk, I could not avoid the occasional tapping sound, to which Shri Mataji woke up.

‘Please, come in!’ Shri Mataji said, to which I popped my head out of the cupboard.

‘It’s me, Mother. I am in the cupboard, I should go,’ I said.

‘No, you just carry on,’ She replied.

When I remember this experience it is something like remembering a dream.

John Watkinson

The gentle tide of love

One day Shri Mataji had given me a green necklace and I wore it that afternoon with a white shirt I had, so it really enhanced its beauty. Shri Mataji was lying on the bed having a rest. She was on Her side and Her hand was underneath Her face. She looked so lovely. I knelt down by the bed and She said the necklace looked nice.

I then felt this wave of love from Her touch the shores of my being and permeate it. My love for Her flowed back to Her shores and like this I felt the gentle tide of love go backwards and forwards between us for I have no idea how long. But it was such a beautiful feeling.

She talked about this love being like waves at the music programme at one of the Birthday Pujas. That is really what it is like. It is completely overwhelming that God loves us so much.

Helen Splarn

Vibrating Soho

Shri Mataji told me that when Blake lived in Soho, central London, it was a nice area (not red light like now) and that he lived and worked there because he knew the media giants would come up in that area. A lot of print/newspaper, video production houses and film companies have their offices there. So he vibrated that place and developed his printing technique that illustrated his poems as a way of trying to destroy the monster that would become the media one day.

Helen Splarn

Mirrors and Memories

If ‘Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting’ (Wordsworth), what of the Goddess, who resides in all beings in the form of memory? How did She, in Her form of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, manage the layers of history of all Her past incarnations?

Shri Mataji’s Brompton Square home had many mirrors. The entrance hall was to enter into a tunnel of mirrors – and the whole divine decor was under Her constant supervision. One day I experienced a magical moment when I glimpsed Shri Mataji’s reflection in one of those mirrors.

I was standing near the doorway when Mother entered the house and upon seeing Her own reflection, She did a double take – as if to say ‘Oh! There you are!’

‘You see, I need all these mirrors to remind Myself who I am!’ She said, spotting me, also captured in the mirror, and there was an unspoken ‘now’ in Her explanation.

 Danya Martoglio

The emotion of the drama

One day Shri Mataji invited my parents to Brompton Square when work was nearly finished. She graciously gave them a guided tour of the house before finally settling in the mirrored dining room where She kindly invited them to sit and have tea. She asked if they had any questions; my father tentatively asked Her about what Christ had said on the cross.

‘I have always wondered, did Christ really say, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” when He knew the whole divine plan for opening the Agnya chakra?’

‘Yes He did say that. Even though it had all been decided in the Vaikuntha stage, yet there is still the emotion of the drama,’ She answered.

Danya Martoglio

Shri Mataji’s immense pride in Her son

On that same day I remember my father very sweetly asked Shri Mataji a couple of questions about Christ – perhaps things he had been thinking about all his life – for there was great reverence, earnestness and humility in his voice.

Mother said in regard to the famous moment of Christ’s agony on the cross, when Jesus asked God why He had been forsaken, that it was indeed a moment of drama, ‘in the family’, like a fight or disagreement, in which one person says to the other, ‘Why do you no longer love me?’ but knowing all the while they really do. I too remember the extremely intimate and loving way Mother spoke about Jesus. Her immense pride in Her son was so powerful. It poured out of Her, this love for His strength and absolute obedience. Such as when we all sang carols to Mother at Chelsham Road, and Her eyes filled with tears remembering the infant Christ, Her child as a baby, as if it was yesterday.

Caleb Williams

Christ is so obedient

Mother was in the car once and the sun was going in Her eyes. No sooner had She lifted Her hand to shield them from the glare, when immediately the sun went behind a cloud. 

‘You see!’ She said, ‘Christ is so obedient.’

Danya Martoglio


On another occasion I was working at Brompton Square, and thought, worried, that Sahaja Yoga was not working out in the world, and at that moment Shri Mataji read my mind and took the scraper I was using.

‘You have to have patience,’ She said a few times.

After a few moments I realised what She meant, and carried on with my work with renewed vigour and a more peaceful mind. However, the wallpaper was not coming off easily. As Shri Mataji was doing Her rounds at that time She asked us what the problem was. When we told Her, She asked us to bring the container with the water we were using, then She vibrated it. After that the wallpaper came off very easily. We later discovered tihe problem was because the Sahaja Yogi who had put it up was very right sided and his vibrations made the paper hard to remove.

Derek Ferguson

It’s upside down!

Brompton Square was a hive of activity, and Shri Mataji was redecorating it to sell. She was looking for different wallpapers and found a new wallpaper for the stair well and some of the downstairs parts.

‘I have got this new wallpaper,’ She said, ‘and I want the yogis to put it up.’

She got three of us, and we were all stripping off the old wallpaper, and working at this very intently. We looked at the time and we had been going for hours and hours without a break. The time just went. The vibrations were so strong there that you were completely focused and totally thoughtless. You didn’t feel hungry, you didn’t feel thirsty; the vibrations just sustained you. So we worked all night on this job, because there was a buyer coming the next day. We thought we had done it alright.

The next morning Shri Mataji came downstairs.

‘Oh, it’s upside down!’ She said.

It was one of those patterns which could have gone either way, but She said it was definitely upside down. Later She went out and bought some even better wallpaper for that place. Whenever Shri Mataji went out shopping whatever She wanted was always on sale, so She always got very good bargains at a fraction of the normal cost.

Alex Henshaw

The wallpaper gap

There was some decoration going on at Shri Mataji’s house in Brompton Square. We thought that a particular area could benefit from being wallpapered and we decided to do it while Shri Mataji had gone out, as a surprise. Unexpectedly She returned home while we were at it. She approved of the idea and before going out again reminded us that it was not good to start a job and leave it unfinished. She said not to leave a gap between adjoining strips of wallpaper. Thus we paid special attention to this and once finished we went to bed.

The next day we went to see Shri Mataji and asked Her whether She was pleased. She was, but mentioned that there was a great gap. We told Her it was not possible since we had checked and made sure that there were none. She took us to the exact spot and we could not have missed it the day before, but there it was. We reasoned it might have developed overnight due to shrinkage while drying.

Shri Mataji told us not to worry because it could be corrected with vibrations and all we had to do was to gently push it in the correct direction, but to use vibrations. She proceeded to demonstrate. We all joined Her and also pushed the paper in the right direction but to no avail. We exclaimed that it was too late because the glue had dried, and in fact the paper did not shift a millimetre.

She told us that we had missed the point, that it was the vibrations that did it and not us, and that the vibrations had intelligent powers that we did not understand. After lunch we decided to have a fresh look at the wallpaper gap but could not find it. We were amazed but also silent, and aware we were close to a high subtle power that we couldn’t fathom.

‘The vibrations needed some time to do the job, but we were expecting immediate results,’ one of us said.

 Luis Garrido

A testimony to British honesty

In 1984 there was a young French Sahaja Yogi who was sent to London by his father to research the jewellery market. He spent most of his time going to Shri Mataji’s house. Before going back to France he left a letter thanking Shri Mataji for the nice time he had spent at Her home.

‘I feel this boy should not go home without seeing Me first, and if this means him losing his flight I’ll buy him a new ticket. Tell him to come and see Me before going back to France,’ She told me.

He did and Shri Mataji found out he had failed to do the research for his father, so She gave him a detailed lesson on marketing jewellery in the UK. She taught him that when it comes to silver certain shops are very particular about the need to have the silver hallmark. As for the London Indian shops the accent is on traditional handmade jewellery, the hallmark is not essential and these are two completely different markets. Shri Mataji showed him examples of necklaces that would be appreciated by Western customers so long as the items were delicate and fine and it did not matter if they were machine made or handmade. We were all amazed at Her expertise.

Shri Mataji asked to have a certain jewellery box sent down from Her bedroom. Sir CP offered to bring it down, however he came down empty handed as he could not remember where it was kept. Shri Mataji gave him some hints and he remembered. She made light of the situation by telling us that Sir CP knew each and every detail of matters related to his work, but in household matters he could be quite forgetful. She was in a playful mood and explained that because Sir CP’s name was Chandrika he belonged to the moon, and that planet makes people quite forgetful. We all laughed and in no time Sir CP came down with the jewellery box.

Before it was opened Shri Mataji told us to pay attention because it was a testimony to British honesty. She explained that after India achieved independence, and after Her father had passed away, the British government found a box of jewellery that had been confiscated from Mr Salve and returned it to the family. Had the British not confiscated it, Mr Salve would have given all the jewellery away towards the fight for independence. It was a substantial amount and Shri Mataji explained that this was Her share, as other members of Her family received a portion as well.

‘The reason Indian ladies wear so much jewellery is not a matter of indulgence or luxury, it is just something they do traditionally because it is said in the scriptures that Shri Adi Shakti wore certain items of jewellery and Indian ladies want to emulate the Goddess,’ She told me.

After saying this Shri Mataji passed Her hand repeatedly over a silver necklace to vibrate it and then handed it to me, saying that it was for Carol, my wife, who had a claim to be an Indian lady because she was born in India.

‘Carol, how come your face looks so Indian?’ Shri Mataji asked while she was on her first India tour, to her amazement.

‘Shri Mataji, it could be because I was born in India,’ Carol replied.

‘Being born in this land was a blessing to you and it shows on your face,’ Shri Mataji added.

 Luis Garrido

If we had faith we could move a mountain

Sometimes it would appear that Shri Mataji was busy like any other housewife with matters of Her own household, and was not doing Her usual job of teaching spirituality and yoga, but appearances could be deceptive.

One day in London, in 1984, a large haulage van was brought to Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square, to be filled up with items that were stored in the upper storeys of the house. Some items were very heavy and bulky and there were so many of them. There was no lift and the job involved coming down many flights of stairs to the van. It was just after lunch.

‘Please finish the loading if possible by three o’clock but no later than four o’clock,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘As you know tomorrow I travel away on a long tour, so let us try and finish this job on time,’ Shri Mataji added.

We struggled with some heavy items and none of us believed it was possible to finish this job on time so we gave no answer to Shri Mataji. Come four o’clock, She seemed surprised that we had made such small progress.

‘Please make sure you finish this before it is dark,’ She again told us, but we never believed this would be possible and the job was only completed much later, in the dark, by dinner time.

Then the ignition key of the van broke in the lock, the van could not be moved and it was too late to solve this problem. We knew that if the items were left in the van overnight they could be stolen so we had to do the job again in reverse.

‘I knew there was a problem and that is why I warned you to finish before nightfall,’ She added.

Now at last we remembered that we have spiritual powers. There were only three of us but we said the mantra of Shri Hanuman and then with full faith initiated the unloading. To our surprise it only took half an hour. We were laughing all the way up the stairs, carrying what now seemed very light-weight items. We recalled the words of Christ, that if we had faith we could move a mountain. Through this trivial task of loading and unloading a van Shri Mataji gave us an experience of faith and the miraculous power of Shri Hanuman’s mantra.

 Luis Garrido

A test

Around 1984 Shri Mataji appointed three Sahaja Yoginis of about twenty-five years of age to assume responsibility for coordinating certain aspects of Sahaja Yoga in the UK. Shri Mataji instructed them in several matters including the positive and negative traits of some members of the UK collective.

There was a test in this, because these negative traits were not to be disclosed, yet somehow this information was leaked. Later Shri Mataji explained that this was a mistake that more mature leaders would not have committed. She terminated the appointment of these young ladies and concluded that this had been an important lesson.

 Luis Garrido

Shri Mataji checking Her own talks

In 1984 at Brompton Square we presented Shri Mataji with some transcriptions of Her talks for Her approval. The intention was that once checked and approved they would be circulated to the countries where Sahaja Yoga had centres.

We were surprised to see Shri Mataji going through Her talks with a pen crossing out several sentences and changing others, and in a few instances telling us to write the opposite of what had been transcribed. I was worried that people might say that I had made a mistake when transcribing or that I had changed what was on the tape, and because of I this got permission from Her to add a small comment in the text explaining that the changes had been done by Shri Mataji Herself.

She explained that She knew She had spoken thus at the time, but when She said it, She had a particular person in mind, and as certain comments were aimed at a particular person they did not apply to all. Later Shri Mataji found out that the talks had not circulated abroad as intended and gave instructions for copies to be sent to these places.

On another occasion Shri Mataji was informed that the Easter Puja talk that She had just delivered in the UK had bad sound and too much noisy interference from children. She watched the video tape and commented that She was surprised to see what an interesting and deep talk She had delivered.

Then Shri Mataji asked those of us present to name a Sahaja Yogi especially endowed with intelligence, and he or she would be the one appointed to ensure that this videotape was cleansed of the noise. None of us could think of a Sahaja Yogi specially gifted with intelligence and none of us present felt we fitted the description. To our relief Shri Mataji came up with the name of a Sahaja Yogi who had very good computer qualifications and he was appointed to take the tape to a lab to remove the noise interference.

   Luis Garrido

Did that just happen?

Sometimes Mother would suddenly appear in front of me and ask me to do things for Her. One time we were at the airport to see Her leave. She had passed by and She accepted a flower from me and others and then the crowd would follow Her.

‘How beautiful She is and how fortunate we are to be in able to see Her, and how much I am going to miss Her,’ I was standing there thinking, then suddenly the crowd parted and She was walking towards me. I was transfixed, I could not move and then She was standing in front of me. I felt as though She was inside of me, I was not aware of my physical body yet I could hear Her voice coming from inside me, yet She was standing before me wearing Her camel cashmere coat and silk headscarf tied at Her chin. She leaned in to me.

‘Telma,’ She said almost in a whisper, (I loved the way Mother would say my name) ‘I want you to go to Brompton Square and take care of the house and CP. He does not like to have women around him but he is OK with you. I know you know how to take care of a house very well, OK? And I will see you when I return.’ Then She smiled a knowing smile and walked away.

I stood there with tears in my eyes wondering, ‘Did that just happen or did I imagine it?’ I realised in that moment if I had ever doubted who She was, it was now confirmation. As a child I was made to scrub and clean the house spotless, polishing floors so that you could see your face in them, on many occasions being made to re-polish a floor or re-wash clothes. I would speak to God through my tears and say, ‘Dear heavenly Father, if I was polishing the floors in Your holy house, I know You would see that I have done it to the best of my ability and You would not make me do it again.’

‘What did Mother say? What did Mother say?’ I could hear people asking me after a few moments, coming back to earth.

‘Mother just asked me to go stay at Her house,’ I said.

I have no idea why, but all I know is that I am so grateful to have been born in this time to be able to serve Her, love and be loved by Her to feel and witness countless miracles, Her compassion and tireless dedication to the emancipation of the human race, and all She asks is that we love each other, meditate, recognise Her, and give realisation.

Thelma Fishley Patmore

The golden days 

In my experience the golden days of Sahaja Yoga were around 1984 because the family of Sahaja Yoga was growing and there were many new faces appearing, yet it was still possible for each of us to know Shri Mataji in person and meet hhand speak to Her on any subject. She not only gave advice on Sahaja Yoga and meditation but also on a person’s difficulties in life – She would often help someone find a job, or gain admission to college, She would resolve a situation in which two people or a married couple were upset with each other. Shri Mataji cured many people and gave personal advice for improving health and many people even asked for help with their businesses or job promotions. She also often gave advice on how to bring up children and how to spread Sahaja Yoga – the list is endless.

Gradually we discovered that it was also effective to pray to Her or to meditate on Her whenever we had a problem rather than consulting Her in person. To our amazement these often brought about the desired miraculous result or the relevant inspiration for solving a personal problem.

 Luis Garrido

Some Sahaja Yogis referred to by Blake

We were at Brompton Square and there was a group of us around Shri Mataji. Somebody read out the chapter that talked about the golden builders from Blake. She said who all the Sahaja Yogis were, for example Pat Anslow, Fergy, (Derek Ferguson) the ceilings, Chris Wakefield the bricks and mortar, Linda Williams the curtains, and Laurent Dumont, who was at that time the bricklayer.

Derek Ferguson

Shri Mataji burst out laughing

When we had completed the renovations work Shri Mataji called all the people who had helped: Pat Anslow, John Watkinson, Fergy, and also Chris Marlow and Antonio Scialo. We were all sitting in Shri Mataji’s bedroom and She had bought everybody suits. She was calling each one up to give one to each person.

‘Here’s one for you, Pat,’ She said to Pat Anslow. Then Chris Marlow came up and Shri Mataji gave one to Chris. Pat is short and stocky and Chris is quite tall.

‘Go and try these suits on and come back and show me,’ She said. So everyone came in with their new suits. Fergy’s fitted perfectly, and he thanked Shri Mataji. Then Pat came in and his suit was so baggy – obviously much too big.

‘It’s fine, thank You very much,’ said Pat, being very English. We all laughed, and then Chris Marlow came in and his suit was incredibly small, the trousers were half way up his calves, and the arms about six inches too short. It looked absolutely ridiculous and Shri Mataji burst out laughing.

‘How was that?’ She asked.

‘It’s a little tight, but it’s ok, Shri Mataji,’ said Chris. He was again being very polite and Shri Mataji laughed.

‘No, you go and swap with Pat,’ She said. So they went out and swapped suits, and both suits fitted perfectly. ‘See now they are perfect!’

We were all rolling around laughing.

Alex Henshaw

A loving Mother to all of us

In the early eighties in London, at local Sahaja Yoga public programmes without Shri Mataji in person, it was the norm to first play an audiotape of one of Her public lectures in its entirety and then to give realisation. Shri Mataji’s lectures were held by Sahaja Yogis with great esteem and admiration and the thought of playing just part of Her talk was unthinkable. 

It was by listening to the whole talk that new people often wondered with admiration at Her infinite love, knowledge and wisdom. Everybody felt transformed, including those who had come for the first time. Gradually the video tapes of Shri Mataji were introduced, much to the joy of all present.

At one point the person conducting the meeting started to reduce the time allocated to Shri Mataji’s lecture. This led to discontent amongst Sahaja Yogis who complained to Shri Mataji. Then She came to Chelsham Road and the whole collective had been invited, and this is one of the rare occasions in which Shri Mataji passed a personal rebuke, to the person who had been stopping Her lectures half way through. She seemed visibly saddened by this situation. 

The person responsible for this corrected his behaviour and took no offence. It was understood that Shri Mataji was indeed a mother to all of us and had the right to pass a rebuke, if it became necessary. We all felt that we were part of a great family headed by our beloved Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

Luis Garrido

We don’t run away from negativity

In 1984 at the Temple of All Faiths, in Hampstead, London, Shri Mataji heard that there was a problem in my marriage. She called me over and I was a bit worried about what She would say to me. She asked me what was the matter and I explained that we had terrible negativity in the house.

‘We don’t run away from negativity,’ Shri Mataji said. I remember putting my head in Her lap, and She worked on my back Agnya. She didn’t tell me exactly what to do, but later I realised that we Sahaja Yogis have to become stronger than the negativity.

Melody Hodgson

Never wash your face

In the early days in Hampstead my children used to come to meetings with me. One of my sons was then about seven and very shy. I asked him to give a bunch of flowers to Shri Mataji from us all. He staggered up onto the stage and hung back in a very shy way. Shri Mataji leant forward and gave him a big kiss on his cheek. His absolutely beamed and all his uncertainty dropped away. He turned round and looked at the whole hall of people and just beamed and beamed.

‘Never wash your face!’ I said, when he got back to his seat.

Mary Heaton

Auspiciousness is what is pleasing to the Divine

Sahaja Yoga started in New Zealand in 1984. In April two New Zealanders, Brian Bell and another yogini, who had lived and worked in Sydney, and had got their self realisation there, came back to Auckland. They started running programmes.

After a couple of weeks Brian phoned Shri Mataji, and got straight through to Her. He asked what New Zealand represented in the universe, in the Virata. Shri Mataji took a good minute, answering that the auspiciousness of the universe flows both from, and through New Zealand.

‘What is auspiciousness?’ She then asked. She answered that it is what is pleasing to the Divine.

David and Trisha Sharp

Chapter 4: 1984 – May

Rouen, France, May 1984, Sahasrara Puja (diary entry)

We have just returned from the Sahasrara Puja in France, a country where the ego is so strong. Shri Mataji was with us in Her form as Mahamaya – Her form in this incarnation. There were about three hundred and fifty Sahaja Yogis, from many countries. On the morning of the 5th May Shri Mataji described Her vision of when She opened the Sahasrara in 1970, and we were sitting in a meadow near the marvellous castle, five hundred years old, where we were staying.

At five in the evening everyone was ready in their saris, and white kurtas, in the church in the castle, where Shri Mataji decided to have the puja, for the first time in Sahaja Yoga. She was beautiful in a sari of intense red, which expressed Her joy, serenity and compassion perfectly. Her seat was a throne in the centre of the apse, where usually there would be an altar. She was surrounded by multicoloured flowers, and the multicoloured light of the stained glass, all illuminated by the rays of the sun.

The Holy Trinity

It was such a great scene, and Shri Mataji seemed to be the pulsating heart at the centre of the petals of the Sahasrara. She was sat, chit and anand, the representation of God in Her complete form of truth, wisdom and joy, the trinity, as She said: in the aspect of detachment – the Father, compassion – the Mother and forgiveness – the Son. We were at Her Feet in total silence, rapt in this truly celestial vision, which we were incapable of understanding. Shri Mataji opened our hearts again and repeated, in Her discourse, that this is the only way to reach Her.

‘Surrender to your Mother’s Lotus Feet,’ She said, ‘this is the only way to open the Sahasrara.’

The only way to reach the Mother and the Father is through the Son, Shri Jesus and Shri Ganesha, who in His total dedication incarnated and died on the cross to open the narrow door of the Agnya so the Kundalini could rise and give us the resurrection. The sacrifice of Christ and the opening of the Sahasrara are strongly linked. The joy of all of us was so great and Shri Mataji expressed Her love for us Her children, with such sweetness that many of us were in tears.

The next day we again met Shri Mataji in the church. She asked us questions and clarified many points which were important and unclear, spoke of the necessity of respecting the leaders, and of the horizontal expansion of Sahaja Yoga. She told us not to be afraid to live and work in negative environments, because it is there that our role is most evident and important, and also spoke of the education of children.

The most joyful moment was when Shri Mataji distributed presents. In Her infinite diplomacy and love She called the name of each person who had already received a present of a sari, and told them to call another person, who as yet had not received a present, and to hand them over to them. It was so beautiful, a symbolic expression of the flow of divine love.

Shri Mataji blessed everyone, and prophesied new dimensions in the future, when we will not need Her physical presence, because She will appear beside us, for example, sitting on our bed, or in the street while walking.

Alessandra Pallini

The handbag from Bolivia

However busy Shri Mataji was, every day we expected Her to give a small lecture to all who were at Her house in London. These events were spontaneous and no one knew when they would take place, but they occurred every day. Shri Mataji would sit down and talk about Sahaja Yoga or any topic that was in Her attention. This was on top of any amount of personal interaction one might have had on the day with Her. The collective dimension was as important as the personal one, where Shri Mataji would talk, one to one, to a Sahaja Yogi and explain aspects of Sahaja Yoga relevant to that person’s needs. In retrospect, I’m still amazed that Shri Mataji treated us each of us with so much consideration. 

In 1984, at Brompton Square, Shri Mataji was talking about Bolivia and what a great place it is, and how nice the Bolivian people are, and regretting very much that the native inhabitants had been mass-exterminated by the Spanish invaders. Shri Mataji also said that She had enjoyed visiting Bolivia on one occasion with Sir CP. At this point Shri Mataji’s handbag fell off from the settee where She was sitting and I picked it up and put it back next to Her.

As Shri Mataji continued to talk about Bolivia, the handbag fell on the floor a second time and I picked it up again. Then She said that Sir CP had taken Her shopping in Bolivia, and that all the prices were very favourable, and he had bought Her several leather handbags as well as pair of crocodile shoes with a matching handbag. The handbag fell to the floor yet again, and I put it back again next to Shri Mataji, and then She laughed.

‘Can you believe it?’ She said, looking at the handbag. Nobody had noticed that this was the very crocodile handbag Shri Mataji was talking about. ‘It must be the crocodile telling us, “It’s me, I’m here, I’m the one in the story”‘.

 Luis Garrido

Shoes are the best!

Shri Mataji had a servant who was a bit difficult and he kept doing silly things. One thing he did was to hide Shri Mataji’s shoes.

‘He has hidden My shoes somewhere in this house and we have to try and find them,’ She said, so I had a look around. There was a big steel chest down in the basement. Shri Mataji came down in the afternoon and walked past it.

‘Have a look in there. Open up that chest,’ She said. I opened it up and it was like opening an air-conditioning unit. It had a coolness emanating from it, with all Her shoes in there, where the servant had been hiding them.

‘Shoes are the best! They’ve got so many vibrations,’ She looked at me and said. We laughed, ‘It’s amazing, these shoes are tremendous. Bring them upstairs.’ So I carried them upstairs, pressing them against my heart, because I could feel these incredible vibrations from each pair of shoes. I took them up one pair at a time, to Mother’s room. It took a lot longer, but I just enjoyed the moment of being able to hold Shri Mataji’s shoes against my chest.

Later, I remember cleaning Mother’s room one day and holding a pair of Her shoes against my chest, and feeling the power of the vibrations of these shoes. They were definitely the most vibrating thing around.

Alex Henshaw

The manifestation of vibrations transforming the matter

Shri Mataji had some beautiful handmade Kashmiri silk rugs up on the second floor. She was walking across a rug, a rich red and navy blue one, with lots of colours and a very intricate pattern. As She walked across it the colours became richer. She had Her back to me and I was able to witness the colours move and change in a wave as She walked across it. She got to the end and turned around.

‘Yes, the carpets respond to vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘There is an even better one upstairs, an antique one.’ She had a room called the china room, and everything was green, with jade coloured wallpaper, and a Kashmiri rug with green in it. She took me up and showed me how with the vibrations the colours changed.

She told me that things of beauty have vibrations, and natural things have vibrations, so She said that this is the manifestation of vibrations transforming the matter, and they respond to Her.

Alex Henshaw

That is what you desired, isn’t it?

Shri Mataji knew everything. She knew what you were thinking. One day there were a number of the yogis at Brompton Square, wearing suits, and I had come from Australia as a student. I didn’t have a suit or anything like that. I thought I would have to find time to go out and buy one. However, Shri Mataji kept me busy and there was always something happening.

One day She told me that we were going shopping. She told me to get the car and to go to the East End of London. She gave me directions, and we drove off and arrived there.

‘Park the car here,’ She said. I took Her out and we were outside a tailor’s shop. We walked into the shop, and the proprietor knew Shri Mataji.

‘Hello, Mrs Srivastava. How are You?’ he said.

‘I’m very well,’ She replied.

‘What can I do for You today?’ he asked.

‘I want to buy a suit,’ and She turned to me, ‘for this gentleman.’

‘Oh no, Shri Mataji, I can’t accept it,’ I said. ‘Oh my,’ I thought, ‘She has read my mind.’

‘Yes, I can,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘I’m your Mother. I can buy you a suit. That’s what mothers do,’ and She gave me a beautiful suit, and She said, ‘In any case, that is what you desired, isn’t it?’

After that I thought I would have to be really careful not to desire too much or think of anything.

Alex Henshaw

Time is an illusion

When I was new to London and didn’t know the city very well, Shri Mataji used to direct me and tell me where to drive. One day we drove all the way out to Southall. On the way I was trying to take mental notes of all the landmarks so I wouldn’t get lost on the way back. It was a very slow journey and seemed to take forever. Eventually we got to Southall and did some shopping. Shri Mataji bought some Indian groceries as She was entertaining that night.

On the way back we were talking about racism, and the British, how they came into India for four hundred years and ruled and plundered and pillaged. And how the Indians have come to London and work very hard and are doing very well, yet the English really resent that. My attention was completely on what She was saying. On the way back time seemed to go so quickly, and all of a sudden w/e were back at Brompton Square.

‘See, it didn’t take very long to get back, did it?’ Shri Mataji laughed and said.

‘No Shri Mataji, it seemed to be a lot less time than going there,’ I replied.

‘Time is an illusion,’ She said. ‘When you are at Sahasrara, it is a complete illusion. I watched you, and your mind was trying to remember all the landmarks so you wouldn’t get lost on the way back. You were thoughtless on the way back,’ She laughed.

Alex Henshaw

You’re like a barometer

Shri Mataji would tell me to meditate early and every morning I would wake up at Brompton Square. The first day that I was there, I slept in until about seven thirty and I came down after having had a shower.

‘Did you have a good sleep?’ Shri Mataji said.

‘Yes,’ I replied.

‘From now on you need to get up and meditate early. You need to get up at four o’clock. You need to meditate.’

At that stage She told all the people in England to get up and meditate, to overcome the left side and the lethargy. At Brompton Square it was really easy to get up then, because the vibrations were so good. It was effortless to meditate, and most of the time you were just in this blissful awareness. One day I was upstairs with Shri Mataji, cleaning or moving some furniture, and all of a sudden I felt a very heavy Agnya catch.

‘Ah,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘you’re like a barometer. Somebody has come. Every time someone comes in whose vibrations are not good, you register it. Go downstairs and see who it is.’

I went down and someone who had an Agnya catch had arrived.

Alex Henshaw

Love is more important

There was a little toddler who came one day, because her mother was helping to make curtains for Brompton Square. The little girl was about two and a half, and she knocked over a crystal vase and it smashed on the ground. The mother was so upset, and scolded her.

‘No, it’s all right!’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Everything is ok,’ and She cuddled the little girl, who was crying. ‘Material things aren’t important,’ She said. ‘Love is more important and you shouldn’t scold the child so much for material things.’ It was very sweet.

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji was much respected and loved by the diplomats’ wives

One day Shri Mataji was having a tea party for the wives of the diplomats that Sir CP was working with. I made watercress sandwiches and other snacks for the ladies, and tea, and brought them up, as if I was a waiter. Shri Mataji was sweet, and was entertaining these ladies like a normal housewife, and it was great to see Her like that. Then She turned round to me.

‘He is one of My disciples,’ She said. All the ladies looked at me and smiled. She had been telling them all about Sahaja Yoga and giving them realisation. It was very interesting to see Shri Mataji in that different aspect.

Shri Mataji had so many aspects. One day She was the housewife of a UN diplomat and suffering all the problems of a normal housewife, and at other times She would be the Goddess, and you could see that manifestation working out. The graciousness and love was always present and She was always very much respected and loved by the diplomats’ wives, and others who came to visit but who did not know who She was. She emitted such vibrations, and Her presence was so special, that people knew She was something special.

Alex Henshaw

Have you eaten?

One day we had all been working and we hadn’t bothered to eat and Shri Mataji came down.

‘Have you eaten?’ She asked us.

‘No, Shri Mataji, we’ve been working, we haven’t had time.’

‘You must eat,’ She said, so we went down to the kitchen and there was some chicken. ‘I will make you all some food.’ She made us an amazing chicken dish called Kashmiri chicken. She got pistachio nuts, ginger, garlic, herbs and spices, and pounded them all up in a grinder. She smeared the paste over the chicken, and then, because we had gone back to working, called us later when it was done.

‘It’s ready now!’ Shri Mataji said, and served us this absolutely delicious dish. There were quite a few of us, and She had also made a biryani rice to go with the chicken, and some okra and vegetables, so it was amazing food.

Alex Henshaw

I felt so honoured to be there in Her presence

Every morning I would make Shri Mataji’s breakfast, and one day I brought it in and She was listening to a tape of an Indian bhajan singer.

‘He has become My disciple,’ She said. ‘He has sent Me this tape that he has released.’ It was a really beautiful bhajan. ‘Sit down,’ Shri Mataji said, and She was having Her breakfast and listening to the tape. As She listened She was translating the words of the bhajan – a beautiful one in praise of Shri Mataji. ‘This is beautiful poetry, in praise of Me.’ I felt so privileged and honoured to be sitting in front of Shri Adi Shakti, with Shri Adi Shakti translating to me these Hindi bhajans.

Alex Henshaw

He was cleared

I was alone with Shri Mataji in Her Brompton Square house, in London. Mother gave me a photograph of an Indian man and asked me to check his vibrations. I put the photograph before me and started to tell from Mooladhara to Sahasrara, one by one. When I finished reading his catches, I felt lot of vibrations start to come from the same photograph, then I saw that Shri Mataji was giving a bandhan to his other photograph — and he was cleared.

Shakuntala Tandale

Rising damp

There was a rising damp problem at Brompton Square because of a ruptured pipe in the basement. There was marble flooring and the pipes ran through it to keep it warm. One of the pipes had a split in it and had been leaking and spread to the walls. There was a lot of damp even up to the second floor. We had a damp meter, and it measured off the scale wherever we put it in. We put some humidifiers in to try and dry the place out.

Shri Mataji came up and gave vibrations to the wall. Where the meter reading was off the scale before, they put the meter probe back in after She had given vibrations, and the reading showed only a little bit of damp. It was amazing to see the difference, after giving vibrations all the dampness of the wall went away.

Alex Henshaw

That looks better, doesn’t it?

I witnessed many miracles at Brompton Square. At the bottom of the stairs there was a statue of an Indian boy playing the dholak. One day when I was cleaning the house Shri Mataji walked down the stairs and noticed that the sculpture was not formed properly and was anatomically incorrect. /

‘I need to fix this,’ She said.

I was standing up the stairs and another yogi was a little lower and we were both watching it from different angles. What I witnessed was pretty amazing because Mother started giving it vibrations and I saw the actual shape of the wood change. It was as if the shadows became more defined, along the scapula at the back. It became like plastic before my eyes.

‘Yes, Mother I see,’ the other yogi was saying, but I don’t think he really saw it, and then suddenly he said, ‘Yes Mother, I can see! I can see it’s changing!’ He was excited because he could see it. When Shri Mataji had finished the actual form and shape of the sculpture had changed. There was more definition around the back and the muscles at the back were correct.

‘That’s much better! That looks better, doesn’t it?’ She said. ‘Vibrations have the power to transform matter.’

She explained that through vibrations we can change matter, and that matter responds to vibrations. That was an amazing miracle I actually saw.

Alex Henshaw

Something had happened

Another miracle concerned a handsome wooden figure of a kneeling African man. This was on the banisters at the bottom of the stairs. My husband David and I went to the house one afternoon, and the Sahaja Yogis pointed out this figure that had recently arrived and, at Mother’s instructions, they had placed it on the newel post at the end of the banisters. It certainly was a fine piece of work, but the rounded back of the man hadn’t been carved and was completely flat and smooth.

A few days later we were again called to the house and this time Shri Mataji told us to go and look at the kneeling figure, as something had happened to it. It certainly had! The back was no longer plain and smooth, but you could count all his vertebrae and see his muscles. The yogis told us Mother had raised its Kundalini, and then all the muscles had appeared.

 Patty Prole

It’s all right now, you are cured

Shri Mataji learnt that I had a hole in my heart form birth. One day I took breakfast into Her bedroom at Brompton Square.

‘You never told me you had a heart problem,’ She said.

‘No Shri Mataji,’ I replied.

‘Well, I’d better help you with this.’

She sat me down and put Her Foot on my back over my Left Heart. It was quite an amazing experience because it felt like an incredible blast of vibrations and I could feel the sensation of coolness in my heart blasting the heat out. She went very silent.

‘Turn around,’ Shri Mataji said, and put Her Foot on my chest and went into deep meditation. I could feel layers of stuff coming out from the past, and incredible coolness and joy. She took Her Foot off after five minutes.

‘I had to go back to your previous life to work out some problems, but it’s all right now, you are cured,’ She said.

The doctors had done some tests on this hole, which was actually quite big, and years before they had recommended that I get surgery. I had put off going back to the doctors but after my experience with Shri Mataji I went back and they tested my heart and they found that the hole had become a lot smaller than it was previously. The vibrations from Shri Mataji started the process of the heart healing itself. They still recommended that I have surgery but it was a much simpler procedure, without the need for a Teflon patch as was recommended before. It also meant that I didn’t need to take blood thinning medication for the rest of my life, which would have been the case had the Teflon patch been used. The surgeon was amazed because all the previous tests and x-rays they had done showed there was quite a large hole, and now the hole was visibly smaller. They couldn’t understand why. I attribute it to the vibrations Shri Mataji gave me.

Alex Henshaw

A great sense of peace and homecoming

In 1984 Shri Mataji held a series of public meetings in London and we travelled down to them from Birmingham, where I lived. The first one was my first opportunity to meet Mother in person. I sat in the front row with another girl who had recently started coming to meetings. Afterwards we were told we could go on stage to offer flowers. I hadn’t bought any, not knowing that this was what usually happened, but someone gave me a flower and I queued up to go on stage. When it was my turn I knelt in front of Mother and offered up my flower which She took.

‘Did you get it?’ She asked me and I remember nodding, unable to speak. I stared up at Her and for what must have been a few moments but could have been eternity, I was totally lost. Except lost isn’t the right word because that implies a negative experience and this was wonderful: no thoughts, not even any real awareness of Mother’s face or where I was, no sense of time, it was like being expanded into everything and at the same time feeling a great sense of peace and homecoming. Shri Mataji smiled and touched me under the chin.

‘You are sweet,’ She said, and Her touch brought me back to myself and my surroundings and I realised I must move and let the next person come forward. I went back to my seat and sat in a daze. In a talk a while later Shri Mataji told us to recall the first time we met Her whenever we were experiencing difficulties and each time I do it is like a reaffirmation of that recognition and that this is really where I belong.

Joanne Moore

I know why we’re lost

When I was staying at Brompton Square in 1984, and we went out shopping in the car, Shri Mataji often used to give me directions because I didn’t know London very well.

‘Turn left here, turn right here,’ She would say. Basically I just followed what She said. After driving Her for a couple of months I thought I knew London fairly well. Then one day we were driving back to Brompton Square, and I took a wrong turn and we ended up in North Kensington. We started driving around.

‘We’re lost,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘we’re in North Kensington. Why are we going into North Kensington? Maybe it is to vibrate the area. Just stop and ask someone where to go.’ So we did so and were told we had to go back the way we had come. I seemed to be getting more and more lost, for about half an hour.

‘I know why we’re lost,’ Shri Mataji said finally. ‘I have to go to a function tonight, and I don’t really want to go, and I have to be back at five o’clock, in time to go to it.’ It was already ten past five. ‘When I go to these functions I have to shake hands with all these people, and I take in all their baddhas and bad vibrations.’

Alex Henshaw

She encouraged us to eat heartily

Once I was driving Shri Mataji with a couple of leaders to go shopping in the Indian area of West London, Southall. After a while She suggested that we had some lunch so we went into an Indian restaurant. We sat at a table and ordered. She encouraged us to eat heartily although I found it difficult as I was rather overawed by Her presence. Back in the car I was tongue-tied, so She asked me if I enjoyed the meal which gave me a chance to say that I had, and to thank Her.

Driving down the main shopping area Shri Mataji asked me to stop so She could go to a certain shop on the other side of the road. I pulled over to the left and Shri Mataji started to get out of the c/ar. I realised that I should have pulled over to the other side as She would have to cross the road which on a Saturday afternoon was extremely busy. However as I jumped out of the car to open Her door, I was amazed to see that all the cars were stopped at pedestrian lights fifty yards in either direction and there was not a single car in between. The stretch of busy Southall Broadway was completely empty! On a Saturday afternoon! Shri Mataji slowly crossed the road and the moment Her Feet touched the opposite pavement the lights turned green and the cars continued to race up and down as before. Naturally by the time She came out of the shop we had got the car to the other side.

Chris Marlow

Shri Mahamaya – mid eighties

It is amazing that we could be in Her presence and still function. I am reminded of a favourite photo that Shri Mataji used to keep on Her dressing table, showing Her seated on the puja throne, bedecked in puja finery as befits the Goddess, with crown and red painted hands and Feet. It caught a moment when She was putting on Her glasses to read a letter, holding them with Her kumkum painted hand. Shri Mataji would always chuckle whenever She looked at that photo, saying it captured beautifully Her Mahamaya incarnation.

Danya Martoglio

She’ll be fine!

Shri Mataji would go out shopping quite often. She would ask me to get the car and we would go out. We went shopping for overcoats for Her grandchildren who were coming over to stay in England.

‘I want to buy these nice wool overcoats,’ She said, so we went to one of the big department stores. We were coming down the escalator and there was a lady who slipped and landed on her back quite hard. Shri Mataji quickly ran forward and helped the lady up, and then rubbed her back, low down.

‘Are you alright?’ Shri Mataji asked.

‘Yes, I feel fine,’ the lady replied. ‘I feel really good!’ She walked off and Shri Mataji turned to me.

‘Her Kundalini has come up now,’ She said. ‘She’ll be fine.’ Shri Mataji explained that if She touches the sacrum the Kundalini will often respond spontaneously.

Alex Henshaw

You look very fine

It was the first time I had actually gone to meet Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport. That was in 1984, after getting back from Australia. I was a little nervous about going to the airport. I didn’t have many skirts, and usually wore jeans in those days, and was wearing an acrylic jumper and a skirt a friend had given me. I was a bit worried and when I got to Heathrow there was a small crowd of us. Shri Mataji came out, and walked straight up to me and touched my cheek.

‘You look very fine,’ She said. I had been so anxious about my clothes!

Bel Henshaw

You can’t see in the dark yet

Mother was sleeping in Her bed and I usually slept at the bottom of the bed. She asked me if I had turned the light out, so I did so and then went stumbling back to where I was sleeping.

‘What are you doing? You can’t see in the dark yet, can you?’ Mother said.

Pamela Bromley

Chapter 5: 1984 – July

Leysin, Switzerland July 1984, Guru Puja (diary entry)

This year the Guru Puja was celebrated at Leysin, in the mountains of Switzerland, where about five hundred Western Sahaja Yogis came to worship at the Lotus Feet of our Divine Mother, on the occasion of our recognition of Her as the Adi Guru.

On the morning of the puja Shri Mataji entered the large and beautiful room where we had gathered. As always, when She came in, the atmosphere immediately became indescribably joyful and we had an absolute certainty of being in front of someone absolutely unique, the Mother of the universe, the god of the dance of creation, Nateshwara. Shri Mataji sat down in front of an enormous stained glass window, all decorated with floral motives and various flowers.

In Her talk She spoke again of the qualities of the guru – detachment, forgiveness and compassion. Also She mentioned the qualities of the Void: dharma, honesty, respect and how we must look to correct ourselves and not impose on others. We felt great joy and inner peace, and were honoured to be present.

One moment which for me was very memorable was being allowed to go very close to Shri Mataji to take a photo, when She was in the position of the blessing mudra, immersed in profound meditation and the joy of the Sahasrara. It was as if Her physical body was an ephemeral vehicle for this enormous task of giving out the divine vibrations and the love of God to Her children, another example of the veil of Shri Mahamaya which covers the absolute reality.

In the evening we had another collective meeting with Shri Mataji, and we watched a dance programme of some young men from England and elsewhere doing Indian style dancing. Shri Mataji seemed very satisfied to see Her children so immersed in the arts of India.

The most emotional moment was when everyone was leaving. Before taking the train Shri Mataji took some time to look at the Sahaja exhibition. One of the Sahaja Yogis explained the significance of the photos, and Shri Mataji congratulated another person for having the courage to create such an informative and explicit exhibition. However, She advised certain changes, like taking out the most powerful puja photos, because, She said, the other European countries did not have the depth of the Italians to understand Her true nature.

After looking at the exhibition we waited outside Shri Mataji’s room when She went out to the little railway station. I was walking close behind Her, but even without seeing Her I could sense the infinite love that She had for all of us. It was within me. It was silence.

Alessandra Pallini

A visit to the Isle of Wight

Shri Mataji came to the Isle of Wight for a public programme at the Medina Theatre, Newport on the 24th July 1984. After the programme She stayed overnight with us at our home, where the photos seen below were taken.

To feel inside what is the correct thing

Shri Mataji asked us to start an ashram at Derby in the early 1980’s, which She said would be run according to Her instructions. It was supposed to be a model ashram and when we started it, we were supposed to do certain things like wake up at four in the morning. In the evenings everyone had to sit and meditate and sing the aarti and go through mantras. It had a tremendous effect on us because when you walked in you had a wonderful feeling, like you were in Mother’s physical presence. Everyone who came and stayed there would carry on this state of meditation even when they went to work.

Shri Mataji came and used that ashram as a base when She was doing a tour of the Midlands in July 1984, and She stayed for a week. We had a great meditation room there, and no one was allowed to do anything else in there except meditate, sit and say mantras and do pujas.

One thing Shri Mataji did in that meditation room was really interesting. The ladies had cooked an elaborate meal for Her, but She decided to send out and get fish and chips. We had a lovely dining room all set up for Her, but Mother went and sat in the meditation room, where no one was allowed to eat and drink, and had us all sitting around Her, eating fish and chips.

It was another of those incidents where Shri Mataji was trying to show you not to be conditioned and not to be too set in your ways, but to go with the flow and the vibrations. That’s the key thing, to feel inside on your chakras and in your heart what is the correct thing to do, and not go with rituals.

Bala Kanayson

Editor’s note: at that time, fish and chips was the simplest and cheapest take away food available.

Like a five year old

The first time I met Shri Mataji in person was after six months of Sahaja Yoga in July 1984, during which I had developed a strong, cosmic relationship with Her inside myself. Finally, I was going to England to attend my first puja and sure enough, along with a group of eight other Americans, we saw Her coming down the aisle at Gatwick Airport. I found myself jumping for joy like a five year old child.

When She reached us, I immediately went up and kissed Her on the cheek. She wasn’t just an illusion. Later, I realised I had made a mistake. That kiss would have been all right for a five year old child, but She was very gracious and warm about my indiscretion.

Carolyn Vance

The wind would always blow

During Shri Mataji’s tour of England in 1984, She gave a public programme at the tearooms near the remains of the Roman baths in Bath in July 1984. After Her talk and the experience of self realisation, Mother began to work on members of the audience. As Shri Mataji was working on a gentleman at the rear of the hall, She suddenly stamped Her Foot on the floor.

‘There! Gone with the wind, the wind of the Holy Ghost,’ She said. All the Yogis travelling with Shri Mataji were also helping to raise the Kundalinis of others in the audience. Sean had been working on another gentleman about six or seven seats to Her right in a forward row and was giving a bandhan to the gentleman’s back Agnya. Mother called out to Sean to turn the hand clockwise when working on the head, ‘Anywhere on the head you should turn the hand clockwise.’

Shri Mataji had also looked up at the figures on the cathedral outside the tearooms when touring the city.

‘Look, just like Sahaja Yogis, some are going up and some are coming down,’ She chuckled. On the wall of the cathedral, souls are depicted climbing the ladder or falling from it, all carved from stone.

The following day, Shri Mataji instructed Dr Mathur, one of a party from India, to visit the Roman tearooms again and to check the spot where She had stamped Her Foot. He went in alone, as the venue had now reverted to its tearoom function. On his return, he reported that where Mother had stamped Her Foot a tremendous column of Kundalini emanated from the floor.

Shri Mataji also instructed Dr Mathur to take the party to visit the Glastonbury thorn tree. She explained that Lord Jesus Himself had planted this tree when He visited England and He had blessed the land, saying that the wind would always blow over this place. Shri Mataji told Dr Mathur that the tree Lord Jesus had planted was not to be found in the grounds of the abbey but on an escarpment in the green fields above the town.

Sean Kelly

Editor’s note: The Glastonbury thorn is in Glastonbury, a small town near Bath. It always blooms on or near Christmas Day. Glastonbury is the Agnya of England. When Shri Mataji was being driven from Bristol to Exeter in 1982, someone said, as they were passing Glastonbury, that there was a legend that Christ visited there. Shri Mataji said that he had been ‘all over’. At the Easter Puja in Hampstead in 1984, when adding to the names of Jesus, Shri Mataji said, ‘Salutations to the One who came to England’.


Everything in Sahaja Yoga is completely joined

Shri Mataji had a tour in 1984, which started in London and went up north. To begin with, we arranged a meeting in Ilford, North London, in the Town Hall. I couldn’t go because I was expecting our third child, Sammarth, and Shri Mataji then went on round England and eventually went up to Middlesborough in the north of England. My husband, Mark was organizing Ilford, but we also organized Middlesborough because he came from there and by then the child was old enough for me to travel.

When we were up there, Shri Mataji stayed in a flat of Sahaja Yogis and was going to name our child. She took him, and people were being helpful and making suggestions. Mother named him Sammarth.

‘You should give him an English name as well,’ She said. Mother then named him Samson, so he was Sammarth Samson. She told us what Sammarth meant: powerful, and the one who knows his own reality, and is equal to his name. We were very pleased. Some time later I heard the tape from the Ilford Town Hall, five weeks earlier

‘You have to be sammarth,’ Mother said, ‘you have to know your own reality. You have to be equal to your name.’ It was just an instance of where everything in Sahaja Yoga with Shri Mataji is completely joined and completely flows.

Maureen Rossi

Cleaning the carpet

In the summer of 1984 the Brompton Square house was up for sale, and people were coming to view it. Shri Mataji, Sir CP, and their family who were visiting them at the time, decided to move back to Darwin Court for a month while the viewing continued. Again, we were deeply, deeply blessed that Shri Mataji was staying in our flat. We were informed that it might happen but didn’t know exactly when. Then very late one night we were told that Shri Mataji was arriving the next morning! We were up all night preparing for Her arrival. I kept hoovering (vacuum cleaning) the carpet, which never looked as pristine as was desirable for our Holy Mother. When Shri Mataji arrived quite early, I was still hoovering.

‘You have already hoovered this carpet so many times!’ She looked at me lovingly and said.

Shri Mataji left me a handwritten note before She moved in, requesting me to show Her how to use the washing machine. I still have this note, written on the front of an envelope.

Patricia Proenza

Cooking at the ashrams

Cooking for many, many people was a regular occasion in ashrams, however many people needed to eat, whether it was for a puja, havan or just for the ashram residents, there was never an issue of there never being enough. At Hounslow, in 1984, I remember an occasion when a Shri Krishna Puja was being held there in Mother’s presence and the house was over spilling. I wondered if there would be enough; when serving the food. The large pot, if I remember rightly of chicken curry, didn’t go down until all were served with more left over.

Ann Lewis

The embrace of the Mother Earth

In Hounslow, West London, they bought an ashram and Shri Mataji went and lived there with Sir CP for some time to clear it out and vibrate it. When we went to visit it after Shri Mataji had left, I walked in and you could feel that Mother had been in this house, because it was like you were walking into the womb. It’s hard to explain, but you felt safe. When you’re in Mother’s presence for a long time or in the house where She lived, you feel so safe. In this house you could almost feel the embrace of the Mother Earth around you. It touched you in such a deep way.

Felicity Payment

Hail to the great Mother, the invincible warrior

Some time in 1984, at Heathrow Airport, London, Shri Mataji was being greeted by numerous Sahaja Yogis and flowers were being presented to Her. At one point, a security guard appeared and shouted orders to the Sahaja Yogis to move away. They were engrossed in the presence of Shri Mataji and hardly reacted. He was big and strong and heavily built, almost seven feet tall, and proceeded to push people left and right out of his way, with brute force. Mothers with babies’ pushchairs were toppled down to the ground as he made his way towards Shri Mataji, who was still receiving the flowers and greetings of Her children.

On seeing this, I wanted to inform him of how extraordinarily important Shri Mataji is and that She is hailed all over the world as the most important living saint of our time, and a spiritual Mother who has brought new life to millions of people. I reasoned that if I told him this as well as the fact that Shri Mataji is the wife of a very senior UN diplomat, he would not dare disrespect Her. With great effort, I managed to catch up with him and touched him gently on his arm to get his attention.

‘Sir, please, may I have a brief word, please?’ I asked. He stopped, looked at me with utmost disdain.

‘Are you the one who touched the uniform?’ he demanded, towering from his gigantic height. 

‘Yes Sir, if you don’t mind, let me just inform you who this lady is,’ I replied, and very briefly explained as best as I could. Not for a moment did his expression of rage and contempt soften.

‘If you touch the uniform again your head will be under my foot and I’ll smash your skull,’ he barked, and lifted up his knee for me to see the size of his gigantic boot. I was lost for words. The same instant, a strong force pulled me back, the combined force of four Sahaja Yoginis. 

‘Just leave him, don’t say a word, just stay quiet, please!’ they insisted. These were some of the ladies whose pushchairs had been toppled. None of the ladies and their children made a sound when thrown about. They just maintained their serenity and silence.

From where I was standing, I could see this appalling man opened up by force a wide avenue to charge all the way to Shri Mataji, until he was virtually face to face with Her. The moment Shri Mataji saw him, She made an incredible face in which She revealed the personification of the Eternal Warrior. I felt awe on seeing Shri Mataji’s warrior expression, which I have never seen before or since. With one look Shri Mataji caused this man to bend down and rush away in fear, as if reduced to half size. Shri Mataji did not say a word, but with just one look, She dispatched him.

Hail to the great Mother, The invincible warrior, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, namoh namah.

Luis Garrido

A magnificent tour

Shri Mataji’s Cardiff public programme of the 8th August 1984 was one of the last cities in the last tour that Shri Mataji gave in the UK.

This tour included 12 cities:

Tue, July 24th 1984 public programme in Newport, Isle of Wight, Medina Theatre

Wed, July 25th 1984 public programme in Hove Town Hall (Hove is near Brighton)

Wed, July 25th 1984 interview on Radio Brighton

Wed, July 25th 1984 interview on Radio Sussex, Brighton

Thu, July 26th 1984 public programme in Hove Town Hall

Fri, July 27th 1984 public programme in Canterbury, Friend’s Meeting House

Mon, July 30th 1984 public programme in Sheffield, Library Theatre

Tue, July 31st 1984 public programme in Middlesbrough, Teesside Polytechnic

Wed, Aug 1st 1984 public programme in Derby, Guildhall

Thu, Aug 2nd 1984 interview on Radio Derby

Thu, Aug 2nd 1984 public programme in Leicester

Fri, Aug 3rd 1984 public programme in Birmingham

Mon, Aug 6th 1984 public programme in Bristol

Tue, Aug 7th 1984 public programme in Bath

Wed, Aug 8th 1984 public programme in Cardiff, Wales

Mon, Aug 13th 1984 public programme in Cambridge

Programmes in Cardiff

It was a very intensive tour in which few people were able to attend all cities, except for Shri Mataji, who attended them all and lectured, gave realisation and met with the local Sahaja Yogis and seekers of each of these cities. In between Cardiff and Cambridge there was the usual Raksha Bandhan ceremony, which included a havan.

Because my wife Carol and I, were the only Sahaja Yogis living in Cardiff at the time, Shri Mataji asked us to organise the Cardiff event. The day Shri Mataji came, by a happy coincidence, happened to be Carol’s birthday, so that was a special treat for us.

Shri Mataji told us that it was very important that we invite one of Her relatives who was living in Cardiff, Councillor Varma. He had the privilege of being one of the very first people in the UK to organise a public programme for Shri Mataji back in 1979, namely on the 20th of July 1979, in Cardiff. Shri Mataji said She was very pleased how he had managed to organise everything so well, all on his own. It was essential that this gentleman should receive a special invitation to attend, and it was our job to locate him. Shri Mataji’s instructions were not to invite him over the phone, nor by letter but to invite him in person. The problem was that Shri Mataji did not have his address and phone number and the only information She gave was that he used to be a councillor about seven years before. The local Town Hall had a policy of not giving out addresses or details of ex-councillors. However, we were running a local Sahaja programme in Cardiff and a new person turned up who was from India. We asked her if she knew Councillor Varma.

‘Of course,’ she said, ‘he is my boss, I work for him, but he is no longer a councillor.’ This lady gave us his contact details.

His family came to welcome Shri Mataji when She arrived at Cardiff train station, and from there we all travelled in one car with Shri Mataji to the hall. The car was an estate model, and because of lack of space, Luis had to travel in the luggage compartment, from where he had a long conversation with Shri Mataji. The meeting took place in a meeting room in Cardiff’s St David’s Hall – a well known venue for Welsh concerts. During this car trip Shri Mataji noticed several of Her posters on display in the city and seemed pleased. Then She asked to see a cutting of the newspaper advert that we had put in the local paper. Shri Mataji put Her attention on the advert.

‘What type of people are going to come? Since you mentioned the health benefits of Sahaja Yoga on the advert, there will be people with ailments as well.’

After Shri Mataji left we sent Her a thank You letter for coming to Cardiff and included a transcript of Shri Mataji’s Cardiff talk. The transcript and the letter were written in large handwriting, since we had heard that Shri Mataji preferred large handwriting whenever receiving letters.

A few days later we received a phone call from a London Sahaja leader with a message from Shri Mataji, saying he had been present at breakfast when She read our letter with the transcript. She read Her talk, page by page, and commented that it was an excellent talk for new people, more suitable than The Unique Discovery article, which in those days we used to give to the new people. Shri Mataji commented that this was the first time She had received the transcript of the talk immediately, with the thank You letter. We had transcribed the talk during the night of the 8th of August and had posted it first thing in the morning, with the letter, thanking for a magnificent tour which had been blessed with sunshine and divine vibrations, and had truly been an ascent to the divine.

The posters for advertising this tour were the same for all the cities, the only difference being a different date and a different location. Shri Mataji chose Her photo for the posters as well as the caption on it. The photo chosen by Shri Mataji was the one where She is sitting on the ground in India, and rays of light are falling on Her Sahasrara.

The caption chosen by Shri Mataji was: The Ascent to the Divine. These big posters with a miraculous photo of Mother, together with this impressive caption produced a very powerful result. Some people who did not know that Shri Mataji Herself had conceived the posters commented that they might be a bit too strong, but felt reassured upon learning that Shri Mataji Herself was their designer.

There was a similar situation before the Albert Hall programmes in which Shri Mataji selected Her photo and the caption to some of the posters. Then during one of the programmes, at very short notice, Shri Mataji requested a slide show of Her miraculous photos with a live commentary. Some people were worried that this might not be such a good idea for new people, until they found out that this was suggested by Shri Mataji Herself.

Shri Mataji said Wales is ‘the Maharashtra of the UK’. She also said that the first time She visited there, while travelling through the countryside, She noticed that the old Welsh place names had a strong influence from Marathi language, rather than Sanskrit as some scholars might assume. Shri Mataji also mentioned that on Her first visit in 1979 She enjoyed visiting Newport as well as Cardiff.

In the summer of 1987, Shri Mataji travelled again to Cardiff by train, on the occasion of Sir CP Srivastava’s award of the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Wales.

Carol and Luis Garrido

She said I must be kind to them

It was in August 1984, the fourth time Shri Mataji came to Bristol. I was in Mother’s room with Her. She was sitting on the bed and patted it, and told me to sit next to Her. She started talking.

‘How are your parents now, Ruth?’ My relationship with my parents had been beset with difficulties, so I struggled to think of something positive to say.

‘They’re much better now, Mother,’ I tentatively ventured. At this She threw back Her head and roared with laughter.

‘You know, you are very lucky to be here,’ She said. She said my parents were typical of the generation She had been speaking of at the meeting the previous night – the (Second World War) war generation. She said they were not seekers and had not had happy lives and I must be kind to them.

Ruth Greaves

The history of Western art

In 1984, Shri Mataji paid Her fourth visit to Bristol. By this time we were living in a shared house in Bushy Park. While there, She talked to me at length, while I took notes, about the history of Western art. While this was happening, I was in a state of bliss.

What was needed now, She emphasized, was an art of spiritual exuberance and compassionate power. Various works of art by Gericault, Whistler and the Renaissance portraitists were alluded to in Her talk, not by name, but I could picture them in my mind’s eye. The gist of the talk was that art had increasingly lost its/ connection with spirituality.

Insincerity began to come in with the Baroque, and with industrialization, people became egoistical and self-centred, and quantity began to replace quality. In Freud’s time, an emphasis on the sexualisation of art came in; the mariadas broke down. Artists began to lose their dignity and self-esteem. There is no love in modern art; much of it is sadistic: artists are expressing their unhappiness and moreover, artistic practice is being neglected. As a result, deftness is being lost. The myelin sheath (around the neurons) is beginning to deteriorate in many Westerners with a consequent loss of creative dexterity. Mother mentioned Picasso, a realised soul. I questioned the quality of the great bulk of his work.

‘He was a bit half-baked, perhaps. Still, he reflected his time,’ said Shri Mataji.

The establishment of the Bauhaus represented the climax of the attack on true art, just before Shri Mataji was born. The Bauhaus was the art school founded by Gropius in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. This supraconscious style of architecture and design spread across the whole world. Mother reinforced this point about the Bauhaus later when we were out shopping in Clifton, Bristol, pointing out how the insipid, mass-produced design of various objects was in the Bauhaus manner.

‘There’s nothing sublime in modern art, nothing serene. This is hell,’ She said simply, when it came to the art of the present day, and in case there should be any mistake, She said it once more in a still more solemn voice, ‘This is hell.’

To sum up, She said that sincerity must come back into art. The stress should be on the ascent to the higher realm of the divine. Above all, a compassionately powerful art should be produced. The point of this private lecture was that I should write a book on the subject. She paused and suggested a title or two.

‘Art, Love and Truth,’ She suddenly said. It wasn’t what I’d had in mind but this title demanded an approach in which there was an integration of the intellectual and the heartfelt, the logical and passionate, of head and heart. As soon as She pronounced the name, I felt a rush of energy to my Sahasrara. She stated that Her favourite artists were Michelangelo and Blake.

‘See, your Kundalini rises!’ She said in the course of the talk, when She mentioned Michelangelo.

‘But he wasn’t particularly happy, was he, Mother?’ something prompted me to say.

‘Who would be?’ She replied without a pause.

Chris Greaves

There seemed no chance

Living collectively was in many ways enjoyable and Shri Mataji Herself, when She came to the house in Bristol, said She was prasanya: pleased. But it was hard to do my work there. So, no sooner had She told me: yes, go ahead with this book on art, and another thought came in.

‘If only we had our own house!’ But there seemed no chance of this.

Shri Mataji went back to London.

The very next day a letter came from my grandfather. He had come into some money and wished to pass some on to me, enough to buy a house.

Chris Greaves

A simple, practical solution

During Shri Mataji’s visit to Bristol in 1984, we were looking for a tie for Her husband, Sir CP, on Queen’s Road in Clifton. We went into a department store and Mother touched just about every tie they had, although She didn’t find one to Her liking. It was interesting that this should have happened in Bristol, which She said was the Vishuddhi chakra of England. We left the shop and I thought: I wish She’d buy me something, just so that I could have something from Her. Then I thought: no, it’s wrong to want things like that: it’s selfish and gross. However, we hadn’t gone more than half a dozen yards when Mother turned to me.

‘Let’s go in here, I want to buy you something,’ She said. It was a shoe shop. I chose a pair of shoes, they were very comfortable and we were all ready to get them. Then She spotted another pair. ‘Why not try those on?’ She said. I did so and they fitted too. Which pair was I to choose, though? Before I could even begin to wrestle with this knotty problem, She came up with the solution. ‘You’d better have both pairs.’

Chris Greaves

Every little detail

Our daughter Lakshmi was about one year old. On that day, during Mother’s visit to Bristol in 1984 – I had not yet managed to put tights on her and was trying to walk quickly past Mother’s open door so She would not see this.

‘You must put tights on her or she will catch cold’! She called out to me.

Ruth Greaves

To teach us and help us

At Chelsham Road there was, on the mantelpiece, a framed letter handwritten by Shri Mataji, which dealt with certain aspects of living in an ashram, and was addressed to the people living there. Shri Mataji wrote that it was auspicious for everybody to help keep the ashram clean and the same letter also advised us to develop and maintain the garden.

 In 1984 Shri Mataji sent a large amount of Her furniture to be stored at Chelsham Road. The storage room was full so it was kept in the meditation room. There was so much furniture that when we were meditating together in the morning we were not able to see each other, all we could do was find a small gap between the pieces and hide within the forest of furniture. We could sense that other Sahaja Yogis were there but we could not see them. 

One day Shri Mataji explained why She had sent us so much furniture which She had vibrated to look after. It was to help the vibrations of those of us living there at the time. Then the furniture was sent to another destination and we realised that whilst the situation lasted we had been very privileged. Shri Mataji had gone through this trouble to teach us and help us understand the subtle aspect of Sahaja Yoga, by which everything has a meaning related to vibrations. She gave the hint that looking after one of Her ashrams was very auspicious, but we did not realise until She explained it.

Luis Garrido

Good pronunciation, communication and appearance

On a couple of occasions Shri Mataji encouraged me to make an effort to learn and practice the proper pronunciation of English so that people could understand me better.  She also explained that this would be much to my own advantage.  In those days people used to struggle to try to understand my very strong foreign accent.

Several people were reminded to speak louder in front of Shri Mataji so She didn’t have to make a huge effort trying to hear what they were trying to say. She had much more difficulty hearing non Sahaja Yogis than Sahaja Yogis.  If speaking over the phone with someone with very bad vibrations Shri Mataji used to complain that these would travel into Her through the medium of the phone line and give Her problems.

A Sahaja Yogini who had received a good university education suddenly decided to change her accent into a fashionable working class one, but Shri Mataji reminded her to be herself rather than pretending she never went to school.  She was also reminded to dress more smartly and to take better care of her appearance.

A lady and gentleman who had gone very white haired at a relatively young age were advised to dye their hair.

Luis Garrido

Editor’s note: if Shri Mataji had a problem understanding or hearing someone, they invariably had a bad Vishuddhi.

Chapter 6: 1984 – August and September, The USA and Europe

A Memorable Journey

When I was eighteen I found myself sitting next to the Adi Shakti on a flight to New York. It was such a memorable journey on many levels and I wish I’d kept a diary! Sometimes I would get to take out Her vibrations and sometimes I would just watch over Her as She slept. For periods of the journey She would sit and contemplate and other times She was quite chatty covering a range of subjects and moods. I remember wanting others to be there to share in these pearls.

Shri Mataji spoke of the loneliness of God’s existence, poignantly comparing it to one solitary flower living in a forest with no other flowers.

‘I am completely alone,’ She said, looking into the middle distance beyond the visible world that we know.

I could only keep my eyes on Her lotus feet and wait. Sometimes when the mood changed I would fall into the web of maya and feel like I could just rest my head on the soft shoulder of my dear Mother, who was wearing a very cosy looking cream cashmere cardigan. At other moments I felt buoyant like a speck of dust dancing in the sun’s brilliance as She would have me chuckling with Her great wit. Shri Mataji gave me a useful run-down of what I was likely to encounter on my first visit to America. She warned that I was likely to see more obesity there than the UK due to some poor eating habits. She also told me that New Yorkers could appear quite rude because they were always rushing here and there but they had really good hearts.

On that journey Shri Mataji also touched the topic of rebirth. In this life She explained, if we form a strong relationship with a mother figure for example an aunt or friend of the family, we may even say ‘I wish you were my mum.’ Then in future lives we could end up being born to that very person. Shri Mataji also said that the highly evolved souls could choose their birth and would often be born in the same place in order to do good for that part of the world. Conversely the wicked would aim to be born again and again in the same place to do the most damage to one area. She explained that some souls who are not so evolved just get scattered like seeds in the winds and are born anywhere. As I looked out of the window of the airplane I imagined such souls being blown about and landing on the Earth just as we were about to.

The next day when we were in a yellow cab waiting at a traffic light a very, very large lady ambled across the road.

‘I told you so,’ Shri Mataji nudged me and said, and later on when out shopping She approached a young salesman in a shop to ask about an item. Before She could finish Her sentence, he abruptly put his hand up.

‘Just one moment Ma’am!’ he yelled.

I was upset for his disrespect but Shri Mataji was least disturbed, remaining completely unruffled. She pulled me aside.

‘Don’t worry, He doesn’t mean to be rude,’ She said, and sure enough, when he was free, the salesman came over and couldn’t have been more charming, attentive and kind.

On this memorable journey among the many lessons, our beloved Mother showed again and again that it is only through the power of great Her love that She could take the trouble to study all Her children so well with such compassionate understanding.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Danya Martoglio

Cats and dogs

I was in New York with Shri Mataji in 1984 when She was on Her way to do a television interview in LA. A local Sahaja Yogini had made her apartment available during the stopover and then went out to work. Shri Mataji then decided to have a bath and I was surprised to hear Her talking to someone in the corridor, when I knew no one else was at home. Perhaps the Sahaja Yogini had forgotten something, or had come back early? I went to see who was there and found Shri Mataji talking tenderly to a large fluffy cat.

‘So nice to see you! How are you now?’

 I observed that from then on the cat did not leave Shri Mataji’s side – and would even sit under Her chair when She went out shopping – and wasn’t even interested in eating food. That broke a few of my conditionings about cats.

During that trip to New York, Shri Mataji spoke about the difference between cats and dogs. Many have heard Her say this – apparently cats are on the left channel of evolution and thus can sometimes see bhuts and can become more easily possessed than dogs. Some cats just let them settle inside without resistance, whereas a dog will usually shake off the bhuts. She explained this is why mediums have used poor unsuspecting cats for their dubious ‘work’ in the past. Dogs exist on the central channel and therefore could be born next life as human beings. It was beautiful to see how all animals responded to Her divine vibrations and how much love She had for each creature great and small.

Danya Martoglio

A good crown

This crown was made by some American yogis (myself included). When Shri Mataji saw it the first time She said of the crown, ‘That is a good one!’ This was for the Krishna Puja in 1984 in New Jersey. The peacock feathers (for Shri Krishna) represent the chakras, the pearls around Shri Mataji’s forehead and hair represent the Sahasrara and the white stone above Shri Mataji’s forehead represents the Agnya chakra. I remember feeling tremendous vibrations as four or five yoginis and I worked on it.

Anna Mancini 

She’s got all the candy in Her hands

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in 1984 at the Shri Krishna Puja in New Jersey, America and I was nine years old. My father and I went to where Shri Mataji’s car came to greet Her. My father was helping Shri Mataji towards the tent, and She put Her arm around me, for support. It was like a big teddy bear hugging me and I completely melted into Her arm. It was complete bliss from the car to the pendal.

That weekend was the first time my parents met Shri Mataji and my mother had quite an interesting experience. She had a slipped disc for three months but she had got completely cured in three weeks doing footsoaking and getting vibrations. We met Shri Mataji and my mum told Her this.

‘This was, of course, to happen.’ Shri Mataji smiled and said, in Hindi.

Even at that age I felt that it was meant for us to come, because so many of our family have come to Sahaja Yoga and have helped to spread Sahaja Yoga in Canada. It was the same time, at an evening programme, that Shri Mataji brought a lot of sweets for the children. She asked all us children to come to the front, and we were singing bhajans for Her. We sang She’s got the whole world in Her hands, and all the children were busy eating the sweets. I sang She’s got all the candy (sweets) in Her hands! and Shri Mataji and everyone just laughed and laughed.

Mohan Gulati

What do you want to do?

It was 1984. I had heard that Shri Mataji often gave advice to people on their careers, and was excited by the possibility of doing that one thing I was ‘meant’ to do. So one day I was given the opportunity.

‘Shri Mataji, what should I do?’ I asked.

‘What do you want to do?’ Shri Mataji replied.

‘Be a teacher,’ I replied, and Shri Mataji said something like, ‘That’s fine,’ as if it was the least important question in the world. I then asked, ‘Shri Mataji, where should I live?’

‘Where do you want to live?’ Shri Mataji went on.

I then understood that I would not get answers to these questions. Eventually, more than twenty years later, I understood that on one level Shri Mataji was saying to be yourself, and you’ll eventually end up doing the right thing. Of course on another level, when you have the opportunity to ask a question of the Goddess, what questions could have been more trivial on the path to one’s ascent?

Pramod Shete

My family was being looked after

In August 1984 I went to my first Shri Krishna Puja, in New Jersey near New York. I was quite new to Sahaja Yoga as I came in January 1984. At this time I had a lot of emotional problems as I had lost a lot of people in my family very suddenly, when I was only nineteen, and in consequence had nightmares about dead people nearly every night.

On the evening before the puja Shri Mataji said that everybody could come at Her Feet to be worked on. I went there with our French leader and he explained my problem to Her.

‘Tell her that I am looking after her family, and that she has to look after herself,’ She said, or something similar. ‘She has to put a candle in front of her left hand and put down her right side 108 times every day.’ I can’t remember if Shri Mataji physically worked on me but when I returned home I straight away started to do what Shri Mataji had told me. Every day I would work in the evening on my left side with a candle and put my right side down 108 times. I was also relieved to know that my parents and others were looked after and that She knew about them.

After three months of this regular treatment, the nightmares had gone as well as the depressed state I was in. I did this treatment for three years, after which I never really felt depressed any more. More than twenty years after this advice of Shri Mataji, I still use it when I feel unbalanced. This has allowed me to have a normal life after my first twenty difficult years.

Trupta de Graaf

Shri Mataji was very powerful

After the Shri Krishna Puja in 1984, Shri Mataji worked on everybody. Absolutely everybody could come to Her Feet and She worked on them. She was very powerful and using very strong movements. At one point there was somebody in front of Shri Mataji, and he was quite close to Her. Everybody had their attention on Her and it was a very strong moment. It was as if Shri Mataji had a bow and arrow in Her hand, and everybody was a bit tense, as if to say, ‘What is going to happen?’

She let go Her right hand, and stopped it just a little way from the belly of this yogi, and everybody said ‘Oh!’ I think She worked on all our Nabhis at that moment.

Trupta de Graaf

The power of the lion

My daughter was born July 5th, 1984, and in August we both attended our very first puja in the presence of our Holy Mother, Shri Mataji, the Shri Krishna Puja in New Jersey. I was given the opportunity to bring the baby to Shri Mataji, who took her into Her arms, and kissed her for a long time on her Sahasrara. Then, Shri Mataji gave her the name ‘Narasimha’.  For many days afterward, Narasimha’s fontanel area was moving so strongly, in and out, and she was so peaceful and content. Such a beautiful blessing from our Mother.

Once we returned home to Canada, some Indian ladies mentioned that ‘Narasimha’ is a boy’s name, and maybe I misunderstood Shri Mataji, and the name should be ‘Narasimhini’ which is the girl’s version of the name. 

The next year we were at another puja in California. Once again, I was given the opportunity to speak with Shri Mataji, and mentioned I may have misunderstood the name She gave. Shri Mataji looked at her.

‘I think we’ll call her Kesar, which means “power of the lion”,’ She said.

‘Mother, thank You so much,’ I replied. Then there was this little thought that came, wanting to absolutely understand Her gift, and so I asked if She could please spell the name for me, which She did. 

Years later, I realized that Kesar had been born in the Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver – and that both names Shri Mataji gave her were, of course, very appropriate.

Mona Dale

A divine sartorial upgrade

Towards the end of the Brompton Square era, when the house was already completed – a brightly coloured jewel box of mirrors, Persian rugs, Chinese jardinières, oil paintings, silk walls, intricately carved Indian furniture and statuettes of deities crowding onto niches and shelves – there came a phone call to our house, from someone at Brompton Square simply saying: ‘Mother wants to see you, can you come now?’

My heart leapt up, initially extremely joyous, but then my mind started to race. One naturally wanted to feel prepared for such an audience with the Maha Devi, and that week I’d had a tough time at university – sometimes it was also possible to regard such news ambivalently, as in, ‘Gosh, what have I done? Am I in trouble?’

As I rode the familiar forty-five minute journey from Hampstead to Knightsbridge on the tube, I remember struggling to go silent inside. On the doorstep, with my flowers, and heartbeat thumping rapidly in anticipation, I was greeted by a smiling Sahaja Yogi and told, ‘Go through to Mother’s bedroom.’ There was a festival atmosphere in the room; it must have been in 1984 as Mother had just returned from America. There were a few other Sahaja Yogis with Her in the bedroom already, almost of whom had worked on the house, and She was in a jovial mood, rummaging about, finding gifts, and tossing them about to various people.

I bowed down at Mother’s Feet, and received that bright and familiar greeting full of fondness and loving concern that always made me feel instantly at home and utterly at ease.

‘Ah, Caleb. How are you? So glad you could come.’ Mother then reached over, grabbed hold of something dark blue which, the next moment, I found lying on my lap – a very elegant double-breasted blue blazer with gold buttons. ‘I have been shopping for you all.’

Next a pair of tan coloured slacks flew toward me – other gifts flew about the room and landed with other people. I felt overawed and humbled by Her generosity. The extremely powerful vibrations added to the light-hearted, party-like atmosphere, and one could not help laughing, which I did, from sheer surprise, pleasure and gratitude as I thanked Mother for Her kindness. Ian Paradine was also there and I remember us both laughing as we tried on our blazers, and stood up so Mother could assess the fit. Mother regarded us both with twinkling eyes, shrewdly taking in the impression we made.

‘Very nice, indeed, I must say, very smart.’ She then added with satisfaction, ‘Now you must both wear them to my programmes.’

Of course for some time afterwards we did wear them. Riding home on the tube later that day, clutching my new clothes in a bag, which of course were a definite sartorial upgrade from my usual studentish look, I thought to myself, I needn’t have worried about anything, Mother knew everything, everything we thought and felt. She knew our hearts so deeply and She was only Love.

Caleb Williams 

The artist

I was fourteen when I met Shri Mataji and sometimes would get carried away with all the love She showered on us so generously, and would call her nani (grandma) when I was with Her grandchildren. When I first came to England in 1984, I was eighteen, and Shri Mataji took me in Her car for my first tour of London and was explaining everything so lovingly. I remember the colour of the sky was changing to hues of blue, purple pink it was absolutely gorgeous and seemed like it was constantly changing. I was sitting in the back with Shri Mataji and we were both looking up at the sky from the back window.

‘Isn’t it beautiful,’ She smiled and said.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘Shri Mataji, You are artist that created it.’

‘But sometimes even the artist likes to sit back and enjoy the creation.’ She added.

‘This is your first trip to Scotland,’ Shri Mataji warned, before my husband and I went to Scotland to visit it his family, ‘don’t be scared you will see many drunk people there, they just fall on the side of the road and drink anytime during the day.’

She was so caring, loving and protective!

Prerna Richards

If you are in My Sahasrara

I had just come from India and we had been with Shri Mataji in Brompton Square and were going to Switzerland in 1984. Shri Mataji didn’t want to take Her grandchildren, because She did not know who would look after them.

‘I will look after them,’ I had said.

‘If you are going to look after them, then they can come,’ She said, so we went, and at one point I was unpacking Shri Mataji’s suitcase. My back was turned towards Shri Mataji, She was at the other side of the room and had some Sahaja Yogis with Her, and suddenly I was aware of a very nice perfume fragrance. I just turned around to see what it was.

‘What happened? Why did you turn round?’ Shri Mataji said, and I replied that I had smelled something. She said that one of the Sahaja Yogis had given Her some perfume and She was trying it on, and She said, ‘If you are in My Sahasrara, then you feel everything that I feel, and when I smelled it you could smell it.’

Prerna Richards

Shri Mataji’s London agent

Before the Ganesha Puja in Switzerland in 1984 Shri Mataji held a public programme in a religious building in Geneva, important for the part it played in the Reformation. The atmosphere became very tense. There were people present who stood and, in anger, argued with Shri Mataji, who just laughed at the drama. There was a man present who had a regular radio programme. We listened to this in the car as Mathias drove to the puja site. He translated bits of it from French as we went. As soon as he arrived at the Alpine resort where the puja was being set up, he reported to Shri Mataji what had been said on the radio. She said the false statements that had been made had to be challenged and corrected. She appointed one of the Swiss Yogis as Her representative in Switzerland and made me Her London agent.

After our return to London, there were many telephone calls, and much to-ing and fro-ing. On one occasion, I called the Swiss Yogi from the ashram in Nightingale Lane. There was only one phone, a coin machine that ate 20 pence pieces. I had a pile of them ready for a long call to Switzerland. One coin clunked in and the connection was made. We talked for over twenty minutes before I realised that my pile of coins was, apart from the first, untouched. The Divine, yet again, had superseded the demands of day-to-day life.

One day a message arrived from the Swiss Yogi. I knew Shri Mataji had a lunch party so the information was written out to be delivered without interrupting. After three o’clock I knocked at the door of Her home in Brompton Square. The door was answered by Shri Mataji’s cook. Speaking very quietly, I asked him to hand Mother the envelope. Very loudly he invited me in. I protested, but suddenly Shri Mataji called from downstairs, asking who it was. I was named, and She told me to join them and have some lunch.

In the mirrored dining room, there was a discussion going on among Sahaja Yogis, about making decisions and taking action. One Yogi from Australia was saying that as a left-sided person, action wasn’t always easy for him.

‘Brian’s left-sided but he doesn’t have that problem,’ Shri Mataji laughed and said, waving a hand in my direction.

Up to this point, my self-definition was of a yogi with right-sided problems, pushy and planning, so this was valuable news to me. I immediately upped the candle treatment.

Brian Bell

A magic meal

In 1984, at the time of the Shri Ganesha Puja in Zermatt, we were invited to go to the Swiss ashram for some weddings arranged by Shri Mataji. My friend Nathalie and I had only recently come to Sahaja Yoga, and it was a nice opportunity for us to get to know more.

On the day of the weddings Shri Mataji Herself cooked for us. The kitchen was partly outside with big pans and some fires and the food was very delicious. There was some chicken curry, quite hot, with rice and also some dessert. Shri Mataji Herself was sitting on a chair and we were queuing to get the food and She was even serving the dessert, which was some kind of fried bread, with a delicious sauce made with milk, cardamom and nuts. I will never forget that magic meal.

Trupta de Graaf

This mountain is a Swayambhu of Shri Ganesha

In July 1984 Shri Mataji was in Switzerland for the Guru Puja. She was walking in the streets of Geneva. Shri Mataji saw a postcard of the Matterhorn mountain.

‘This mountain is a swayambhu of Shri Ganesha,’ She said. ‘We should have the Ganesha Puja there.’ So the same year we had the puja in the village of Zermatt, in the mountains and when we were there Shri Mataji showed us how we could see the profile of Shri Ganesha in it. She gave the mountain a name: Ganaraj. From the window of the hotel room you could see that mountain. The sun rose in a special, different way, and the colour in the morning was orange and yellow, and the whole mountain was so beautiful with this colour. Shri Mataji said it was the colour of Shri Ganesha within Her, and He was just doing that to please Her. That was a very beautiful moment.

We had a wonderful puja and Shri Mataji had to walk to the puja place. She was walking so fast that She was almost flying. One of Her names is the daughter of the mountain, and we have a picture of Shri Mataji standing with it behind.

After we left, even though it was the beginning of September, the whole village was completely closed because it snowed for two days non-stop. There was no train or anything. We told this to Shri Mataji, because at that time of the year it never snows there. Shri Mataji said that Shri Ganesha wanted to enjoy the vibrations emitted by the puja, and to be quiet and have peace.

That puja was tremendous, in the nature. If you see a map of the area, it is as if there is a swastika dropped on the earth.

Marie-Laure Cernay

On the mountain train

I was a newcomer to Sahaja Yoga. In September 1984, in the mountain train going to Zermatt in Switzerland for the Shri Ganesha Puja, I was with Shri Mataji and the other yogis. Mother was at about six metres from me, and when She asked a leader, who I was and I felt Shri Mataji was scanning every part of me.

Immediately I felt the cool breeze and became peaceful. I realised at this moment that it was Shri Mataji who did that.

Jean-Pierre L

Zermatt, 2nd September, 1984 (diary entry)

Today we celebrated the Shri Ganesha Puja in the most marvellous scenery, with the most powerful vibrations – in the heart of the Alps, at the feet of the many snow covered peaks with glaciers stretch to the horizon, and at dawn and sunset they were tinted them violet and red. On the night of the puja the moon was exactly half size, and illuminated the whole valley.

The puja to Shri Ganesha was celebrated by sakshat Adi Shakti here because the Matterhorn is one of the Ganesha swayambhus of the world, and Shri Mataji explained that this originated when the ego of humanity developed, and is near Mont Blanc, which is the symbol of the ego. She also spoke of the skiers, and said that skiing is also a product of the ego, and their presence pollutes these places which are so pure. She said that mountains are the aspect of the Father, and the Mother is present in the form of the snow. Water takes into itself all the dirt of the world, and then it evaporates and is purified by the effect of the sun, and returns to the earth pure and on high, in the form of snow. From Her window Shri Mataji could see the whole panorama of the Matterhorn, which in German means the mountain of the Mother.

We Italians, along with the English, had the good fortune to travel with Shri Mataji in the train from Geneva to Zermatt. While we were with Her She explained the relationship of the Matterhorn to Shri Ganesha, Ganaraj, where the trunk and the eyes were.

Alessandra Pallini

A number of Sahaja Yogis including myself offered the puja. At the end all the couples who had been married two days before at the Geneva ashram went to the Feet of Shri Adi Shakti, who blessed them and their Sahaja marriages. There were about two hundred and fifty of us at the puja, and it was perfectly organised by the Swiss.

Alessandra Pallini

The highest light (diary entry)

One of the best moments was when we were leaving Zermatt, and went with Shri Mataji the few metres from the hotel to the station. There were just a few of us Italians left and we were all around Her, helping Her. I took a photo of the group, and afterwards Shri Mataji said, ‘Thank you,’ to me.

Because the person making the bookings forgot to include me, I finished up sharing with Marie-Laure, who was in the room next to Shri Mataji. Because of this I was able to help in serving Shri Mataji and doing some little things for Her.

Just before we left Shri Mataji received all the Italians in Her room. I asked Her a few things, and She said She was very pleased with us. One of the Sahaja Yogis had sung to Her the previous night, and She said his voice had improved so much, he should sing in an opera. The song was Altissima luce e grande splendore (highest light and great, effulgent radiance) The whole group sang the chorus and Shri Mataji enjoyed it very much.

Alessandra Pallini

How Shri Mataji can really read your mind

I went to America with Shri Mataji in 1984, and after the Shri Krishna Puja of that year I flew to London with Her and stayed at Her house in London. Then I travelled through Europe with Her, to the Shri Ganesha Puja at the Matterhorn. There were three deep and burning questions that were very relevant to me. I longed to ask Her these questions but did not dare to. I got home to Australia, and not long afterwards the coordinator contacted me.

‘Oh by the way,’ he said, ‘Shri Mataji wanted you to know – one – two and three,’ – and these were the specific answers to my three questions, none of which I had mentioned to Her, and only one of which had I mentioned to one other yogi.

Pavan Keetley

Another aspect of Shri Mataji’s cosmic being

In 1984 there was a Shri Ganesha Puja near the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland. This mountain is shaped like an elephant’s head. After the puja I offered Mother a sculpted clay model of Shri Ganesha, and She took it on Her lap.    

After this we went to an Austrian airport, Vienna, to greet Shri Mataji. Mother filled my camera with a great big smile that opened my heart wide to fill it with joy, in a sublime moment. When the film was processed it was a miracle photograph and showed beams of vibrations emanating from Her mouth to Her heart.

Colin Heinson

A very, very special experience

In those days, 1984, things worked out very slowly. We didn’t have a mantra book. We didn’t have this, that and we were a small collectivity in Austria. There were about twenty people, and in the following year, about thirty-five. Shri Mataji came once a year and Gregoire de Kalbermatten was always with Mother. One day he had a big meeting in the United Nations, where he was working, and he asked me if I could drive because Mother wanted to go shopping.

‘Yes, of course. I can drive any car,’ I said and took his Audi and was driving Mother.

Another lady, Sorana, came with us. We were driving in the centre of Vienna. I was so much in a Left Nabhi state and I was so worried about finding a parking space. I had no idea who Mother was. When we were shopping, She just touched me once with Her Nabhi finger. She touched my Left Nabhi, said something to me and that was it. After that, we enjoyed it very much, like always when you are with Mother.

We were in different shops, and then we were sitting in the car nicely chatting, Mother like a very nice lady and somebody was bringing some sandwiches and Coca-Cola, so it was a very, very special experience. Later I could not understand that I had been worrying about such a small thing.

Edith Petermann

This love for art

In the year 1984, if I am not wrong, we went to Vienna with Shri Mataji and visited the palace of Schoenbrunn and She told us the queen, Maria Theresa, who built this castle, was a realised soul. She had sixteen children and built this palace.

We went inside the castle and visited all the rooms and everything. She made us see all the details of the gold of the paintings that were special. In a Chinese or Japanese room, we saw the decoration. Shri Mataji was making us see all the details of the refined art and the beauty and we were just so lucky, how much Mother taught us this love for art and beauty.

Marie-Laure Cernay

Finding Shri Mataji in Vienna

During one of Shri Mataji’s visits in Vienna in the early 1980’s I was fortunate to be at the ashram in Melichargasse, where She was staying, when She was about to go shopping. I was going to accompany Her along with a few other yogis, but when the time for departure came I was busy with some other things and missed joining the caravan of cars following Her to the city.

I had no idea where they had gone shopping. First I was sad that I had missed this beautiful opportunity to be so close to Shri Mataji, but then I thought, why not just get going anyway and try to find Her? I gave a bandhan and started driving. I knew from the previous year that Shri Mataji had visited a well-known tie shop in a busy shopping street in Vienna and I felt that this was a good place to start. When I reached there I immediately found a parking place, which was quite unusual in this area. I got out of my car and walked towards the shop, and there I saw Her car, decorated with flowers, parked right in front of it.

My heart jumped with joy and through the shop windows I could see Shri Mataji and the yogis inside. ‘Thank you Shri Mataji,’ I prayed in my heart, ‘You made it really very easy for me to find You!’ When I entered the shop She turned Her head towards me and smiled.

‘Ah, here you are! We were waiting for you! What do you think about this tie here? I thought you might like that design,’ and to my amazement She presented me with the most beautiful tie.

Herbert Reininger


This happened after the puja in Munich in September 1984. Two cars with yogis followed Shri Mataji on Her return to the ashram where a meal was prepared for Her. We were all dressed in kurta pyjamas and saris, still had our bindis from the puja and the drive back was not more than twenty minutes. On the way we passed a McDonald’s and Shri Mataji suggested we should have something to eat. We were amazed, happily agreed and parked at the restaurant.

Shri Mataji stayed in the car and a few yogis went to bring Big Macs, Cheeseburgers and Chicken McNuggets, complete with French fries and Coke. I remember sitting in the front seat in Her car, Shri Mataji behind me, eating a Big Mac with one hand and holding the sweet and sour sauce out with my other for Shri Mataji to dip Her Chicken Nuggets into.

What a scene! Dressed as we were, we went shopping with Shri Mataji straight from there and She returned to the ashram only much later.

Herbert Reininger

Another aspect of Her cosmic being

 The most joyful time of my life was to see Shri Mataji smiling at me into the camera I was holding, and then to press the shutter to capture this moment of eternity. She would look straight at me to fill the picture frame. It was very difficult to not keep pressing the exposure button of the camera, to try and capture another expression on Her face, so as to reflect another aspect of Her cosmic being.

After the first puja held in Munich, Germany, in 1984, Shri Mataji smiled at me in such a sublime way, to tell me to photograph Her, but I could not, because the camera had run out of film!

      Colin Heinsen

Please take Me home

It was after the first public programme in Milan, in 1984 and I was driving Shri Mataji’s car. Afterwards we were to drive home and although I was quite new to Milan I thought I knew the way. After some minutes we were in front of the Scala, the opera theatre. After one hour of driving we were again in front of the Scala and I had lost my way.

‘The trip was fine,’ She said, ‘but now please take Me home.’

‘I am sorry,’ I was quite embarrassed, ‘but I have lost the way.’ She said not to worry.

‘Go here, go left, go right,’ She said, and so on, and She brought me home. It was the first time She had been in Milan. She knows everything.

Duilio Cartocci

Shri Mataji went to the heart of all the people

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1984 and saw Shri Mataji for the first time at Milan airport. It was the 16th of September and it was the first time She had come to Milan because Sahaja Yoga was just starting there. I had had realisation two months before, but didn’t really feel vibrations because I had done a lot of seeking and my chakras were damaged, and perhaps the only one which was working was my Heart chakra. I wanted to have a deep relationship of love.

There was going to be a puja in Milan, the first one, but I was told I was not ready for it. I wasn’t sure about this because I felt only Mother could say whether I should go or not. We went to the airport and maybe there were twenty people from Italy and Switzerland waiting for Shri Mataji. She came out and I went towards Her and She embraced me. It was as if She was a member of my family, whom I had known for a long, long time, but had lost.

‘Didn’t you want to ask Shri Mataji something?’ someone said when She was sitting in the car, so I asked Her if I could come to the puja.

‘Everybody who came to the airport can come to the puja,’ She said.

I felt the beauty of this answer because the question came from one person, but the answer was that the permission was given to everyone. She went to the heart of all the people there. When we went to the puja, I didn’t know what it was. But when I saw Shri Mataji, I felt She was the one who makes the connection between the heart and God. It was all so simple, so true, so impressive.

I also noticed Shri Mataji’s way with the children. At the end, She was giving names to the babies and was speaking with their mothers. I saw the children in the hands of Shri Mataji and they were so happy, so content in Her hands. None of them were crying, which was unusual, because usually when babies leave the arms of their mummies, they cry. Many people were giving presents to Shri Mataji. Arnaldo gave Her two beautiful stones.

‘No, it is too much,’ She said.

‘Please, Signora, take it,’ he said, with such love, and then She took them.

Sandra Castelli

A memorable night (diary entry)

In September 1984, when Shri Mataji came to do some programmes in Rome, She stayed in a very small flat belonging to the leader on Via Cassia. In the evening there were a number of Sahaja Yogis there, and one of the ladies cooked spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), which Shri Mataji barely tasted. When the lady’s husband arrived later, Shri Mataji was worried and said he should also eat, and that his wife should prepare something for him.

When it was time to sleep, just three of us remained to look after Her, because there was so little space, and we lay out on the floor. In the early morning, at about three or four, Shri Mataji woke up and called us to take Her vibrations. She had me massage Her Feet and Her lower legs energetically, seated on the bed. Then She asked me to massage Her arms, while the other lady continued to massage Her legs. Meanwhile She spoke to us, as She often did to the people who were near Her, making comments both on the local situation and that of the universe. At a certain moment, Shri Mataji said something which made me shiver.

‘God has still not forgiven the Romans for having killed Christ.’ 

We were dumbfounded. We continued to massage Shri Mataji for maybe two hours – one did not have a sense of time when with Shri Mataji – because She is beyond time. Eventually we returned to our corner of the room and went to sleep. When we woke up later in the morning, Shri Mataji was sitting in an armchair by the window, looking at us in silence and smiling.

She had got up earlier than us, when the sun rose, without calling us.

Alessandra Pallini

Chapter 7: 1984 – October onwards, India

The Mother of miracles

In August 1983, I was told I had herpes zoster. The right side of my face was covered with blisters and the doctors gave up all hope for the sight of my right eye. When I left the hospital, my right eye was closed permanently. Then my uncle returned from a visit to Mumbai and said he had met a great lady who had cured people of leukemia. He had invited Her to visit Madras.

In October 1984, Shri Mataji visited Madras. She called me and my uncle introduced me. Next day I was invited into Her room. She asked me to sit in front of Her with a candle in my hand and to look at the palm of Her hand through the flame. As I sat there, my mind was concentrated on Her and inwardly I was praying to be freed from all the physical and emotional pain I had undergone. Shri Mataji, the Mother of Miracles, was looking at me full of concern and love. She gave vibrations to my right eye, while a Sahaja Yogi raised my Kundalini. I gazed at Shri Mataji through my left eye. After about fifteen minutes, I could see Her clearly with both eyes. A small lamp was brought to Her, which She held in front of my eye and swung it gently left and right for some minutes. Then I was asked to turn round and She did the same thing to the back of my head. My eye was clear of redness and back to its original size.

Shri Mataji looked at me and smiled and said I was very lucky to have been cured by Her. She asked me to start Sahaja Yoga meditation. I stopped my medication, and since then my eye problem has disappeared. I pray to the Mother of Miracles to help me continue to live with Her blessings and to help me spread Her word of love and tranquillity.

Kavitha Mohan

Shri Mataji came many times

We started Sahaja Yoga in Hyderabad in 1984. Shri Mataji came and did a public programme there for the first time on the 31st October and about two hundred people came. Because there was some disturbance realisation could not be given, but in a side hall Shri Mataji did give realisation to about a hundred people.

When She came the first time She stayed in a guesthouse and before She left we went to see Her. I recited a poem and played a bhajan to Her. She said I spoke very good Hindi, but I could not speak because everything is given by Her. Slowly the Sahaja Yoga centre developed and nowadays we have so many people in Hyderabad and every aspect of my life has worked out and improved.

After that Shri Mataji came many times and we had pujas, and many people got realisation as well.

Mr Patel

Please put the garland at My Feet

On 31st of October 1984 Shri Mataji came to Hyderabad. We had arranged a public programme. It so happened that Mrs Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, was assassinated on that same day. When Shri Mataji had first come into the hall, She did not allow the ladies to put a garland around Her neck but asked them to put the flowers at Her Feet.

‘The Prime Minister has been assassinated and it would not be proper to put the garland around My neck,’ She said. ‘Please put the garland at My Feet.’

We were very impressed at how Shri Mataji was so full of patriotism. Mrs Gandhi was the Prime Minister, and Shri Mataji had great respect for her.

RR Singh

Shri Adi Shakti fulfilled my desire

On 31st October 1984, the day Indira Gandhi was assassinated, was the first public programme of Shri Mataji at Hyderabad. Meanwhile a rowdy mob of people entered the hall and started creating chaotic conditions. During this melee, two foreign Sahaja Yogis stood around Shri Mataji to take Her out. I ran towards a door, opened it and pushed a table with a water drum on it that was behind the door aside so as to make a way for Her exit.

Later, while standing outside, I was surprised to find how the table and drum full of water, which I could not have even shaken, had been moved by me alone. I can definitely say that it was only Shri Adi Shakti, who always cares for our desires, had fulfilled my desire and removed the obstacles from the door, through me.

Kamala Singh

How Sahaja Yoga started in Kolkata

Shri Mataji always said that Sahaja Yoga would start in Kolkata, then called Calcutta, through my father, Mr Jalan. He knew Shri Mataji through another early Sahaja Yogi. In 1984, my father was in Mumbai. We lived in Calcutta. My grandparents were supposed to leave for a pilgrimage but my grandfather developed a bad cough and the trip was postponed. My mother informed my father by phone.

At the same time, Shri Mataji was in Mumbai, and sent a message that She wanted to see my father as soon as possible, so he went to see Her. There were more people there so he sat down. She didn’t speak to begin with but eventually, She asked him how his father was. My father was dumbfounded and said he was all right. As soon as he could leave Shri Mataji’s place, he called my mother and she gave him the unfortunate news that my grandfather had passed away. Shri Mataji had called him to give him the strength to cope with this tragic event.

After a few months, Shri Mataji visited Calcutta to attend a wedding and my father invited Her to stay in our house. When She arrived I was away for a school excursion to Shantiniketan, the school started by the writer Rabindranath Tagore. When I came home, I saw Shri Mataji sitting in our home. As soon as I saw Her, my heart opened, and She gave me a hug with so much love that I did not want to leave Her. I was just a kid with no idea about meditation but I knew She was the One.

After this visit, my parents started meditating and I copied them. Result: I was a joyful and happy person with a very loving and very special Mother! We became Sahaja Yogis and Sahaja Yoga was born in Calcutta.

From the next year onwards Shri Mataji visited Calcutta every year until 1996. Her visits never coincided with my exams so each time She came I didn’t have to pay any attention to school. Once, I thanked Shri Mataji for always coming at a very convenient time for me. She lovingly said that how could She come during my exam time, because who would take care of Her? I’ll never forget that moment.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Like the whole earth and the universe were shaking

At Alibagh on the 1984/85 India tour, Shri Mataji was staying in a house at the entrance to the camp, and one evening She appeared at the balcony with Sir CP and some leaders. All the yogis were by the house under the balcony and we were dancing and clapping with the music like in a procession, singing Her name and really enjoying ourselves. Then came this absolutely magic moment where we saw Shri Mataji also dancing slowly to the music. It felt like the whole earth and the universe were shaking.

Trupta de Graaf

It is in Shri Mataji’s hands

 Nobody is perfect in this world except God – this is what Shri Mataji told me once during Her visit to Alibagh in India. She also told me once that we should forget what the world thinks about us, and to create and to undo our image is in Her hands.

Sandhya Lakshminarayan

One of my strongest experiences in Sahaja Yoga

It was the beginning of my first India tour, in 1984/85, and I had not been long in Sahaja Yoga. We had a procession with Shri Mataji before a public programme in the village of Vaitarna. She sat on a bullock cart and everybody danced in front of it to the rhythm of loud music. After the procession Shri Mataji gave a speech and self realisation to the villagers, and then everybody could go for Her darshan and do namaskar. I was one of the last to go, after some hesitation, because I had a big pain in my centre heart and was not feeling in a very good state. I bowed down to Shri Mataji’s Feet and She gave a little clap with Her hand on my centre heart.

‘Good!’ She said.

At that moment my heart opened completely and I felt as if the sun was in my heart, shining with a tremendous power. I was not receiving energy but rather giving it out from my heart, as if this energy, this love and this joy was going for kilometres around me. Still, after so many years, this experience is one of the most powerful I ever had.

Trupta de Graaf

The wish fulfilling tree

We were at Vaitarna on the India Tour, staying in the guest house of the dam there, and it was evening. I went for a walk in the night with a friend, and as we were going down the road we smelled a wonderful blooming tree. I did not know that you shouldn’t pick flowers at night, so I picked a branch full of white flowers to give to Shri Mataji, who we met later in the evening. I gave Her the fragrant branch.

‘Oh, the aparajita tree! This is the wish fulfilling tree!’ She said.

I don’t remember making a wish but I was so happy to have given it to Her.

Linda Williams

We were all allowed to come to Shri Mataji’s Feet

There was an India tour in the 1980’s we were all allowed to come to Shri Mataji’s Feet and bow down to Her. She had a copper pot next to Her and at the end She showed us the pot, which was full of black soot. This apparently came out of all of us, so She had been cleansing us while we bowed to Her. There was one other occasion when we all went to do namaskar and She touched us all, with Her Foot on our heads. I remember She put Her Foot on my head, at the hairline, and an electrical current went through my head, or it seemed like an electrical current.

Patricia Deene

She was very much the Mother

I was on the 1984/85 India tour; Shri Mataji invited the ladies into Her room and we were allowed to massage Her. Some ladies were massaging Her Feet and I was massaging Her right elbow. We were massaging Her with almond oil, I think, and sandalwood paste and turmeric. It smelled beautiful. Shri Mataji was chatting to us and was very happy and joyful. She was very much the Mother, and enjoyed every minute of it, and so did we.

Leanne Huet

Chapter 8: 1985 – January and February, India

Shri Mataji nestled Her children in a vibrating land

Shri Mataji gave us the most precious and incredible gift when She organized those tours of India that so deepened, strengthened and enhanced our ascent. Firstly, even as we reached the air space over Mumbai, we could feel the stronger vibrations and our Sahasraras opening as we touched down. For Westerners, it was easier to keep the attention centred in India, for we were in the land of Kundalini where meditation is as common as breathing and even the earth of this noble state is vibrated by all the great saints who have walked upon it. Then She had gathered a very large collective of yogis to be together constantly. This meant that at every meditation and collective gathering and even on the buses, the collective vibrations were strong enough to give us the opportunity to be in genuine meditation most of the time.

As if that wasn’t enough of a blessing, Shri Mataji was with us — sometimes even as many as three times in one day. She nestled Her children in a vibrating land, protected them further by giving them the strength of each other’s vibrations and, finally, She doused them in yet another layer of support by giving them a daily injection of Shri Adi Shakti’s power. She also took great care about our food — not too spicy, a great deal of variety of vegetables, always served with liver soothing white rice, moderate amounts of meat, plenty of sweets, fruits and tea. The diet also was designed to enhance our ability to meditate. It was highly nutritious, yet quickly digested so the digestive organs could have some peace and rest.

Shri Mataji allowed us to experience the culture of India through a rich variety of activities. We would travel around with Her, usually by chartered buses, but sometimes She would charter several cars or a train. We’d travel to villages and cities, usually within a hundred mile radius of Mumbai, but occasionally as far north as Delhi and as far south as Madras (Chennai).

We would visit sites dedicated to the deities and great saints, shop in the local markets, attend movies and theatre and we were always treated to the vibrations of Indian classical music. But the primary activity was attending public programmes with Shri Mataji at all these places. She would give an introductory talk, usually in Marathi or Hindi, and then give the audience self realisation. Regardless of the language barrier, we always knew what was going on and could often assist Her. Sometimes She would have us help work on people, so they could feel the vibrations more strongly. Later, when our collective learned to sing in Hindi and Marathi and Sanskrit, She would have us sing before and after the programmes.

In the early days, we would follow the local Sahaja Yogis in a procession-type parade, which would bring Shri Mataji into the public programme arena on a seat on a cart pulled by bullocks. There was dancing: joyful, singing events, usually led by drums and music, sometimes blaring on a portable cassette with a loud speaker. Shri Mataji would always draw huge crowds and they all raised their hands when asked if they had felt the cool breeze at the end of the self realisation part of the programme.

Carolyn Vance

Shri Mataji provided music

The Indians were very curious that these Westerners were visiting their country and attending meditation programmes, but they were absolutely won over when we finally learned to sing songs in their language. Throughout the tour, Shri Mataji provided music programmes, which were profound and fascinating learning experiences. The power of the music helped clear us out and experience the power of the collective.

During the first years of the India tour, each country would entertain Shri Mataji and the yogis, usually with songs from our own countries — singing spontaneously, usually with no rehearsal and very few instruments. She would always treat us to music programmes by professional Indian musicians, dancers and singers. At first, the musicians were often the local group of bhajan singers accompanying themselves with typical Indian instruments, which often ran until the early hours of the morning. We Westerners didn’t have much understanding of this music and often, to our great shame, we’d fall asleep, insulting the musicians and our hosts and failing to absorb the vibrations. Every year, the Indian classical musicians and bhajan singers seemed to get better as our egos got smaller, until finally we were able to enjoy the complex rhythms, absorb the vibrations and feel the joy.

Then another miracle occurred. Some brilliant yogis created a songbook that was distributed to all the yogis on the tour. Now we all had the same songs in front of us, including a few bhajans. We could sing together — the whole lot of us singing the same song. In time the books were expanded to include Marathi and Hindi and Sanskrit songs and we began to learn these. We also took these books home and taught the songs to those that couldn’t join us on the India tour and sang them at pujas even we weren’t in India. And so, Shri Adi Shakti gave a mighty power surge to our collectivity simply by supplying music and helping us learn to enjoy these melodious baths.

Carolyn Vance

An unforgettable Sankranti day

At the start of an India tour, in 1985, when I was living in India, Shri Mataji asked me to go to Her flat in Mumbai, and then said we were going to buy saris for the ladies coming on the tour. There was just Her, one Indian lady and me. We went to a shop and bought up almost the whole shop, it seemed – all traditional handloom Marathi cotton saris. In those days each lady who came on the trip used to get given four of these by Shri Mataji, and we were asked to wear them on the tour, because they were very auspicious. Also at that time, in India, it was considered smart to wear synthetic saris, so when we, the comparatively wealthy Westerners, wore the traditional handloom saris it was an example for the villagers and others.

After this, Shri Mataji said that we were going to see a former freedom fighting acquaintance of Hers. There was an Indian Sahaja Yogini, myself and Shri Mataji. We were in a taxi, and we went to the place where a large textile factory was – a whole suburb. Shri Mataji took us to meet this gentleman who was the Managing Director or someone very important – and his penthouse flat was at the top of one of the factories.

We were offered a wonderful lunch, and he explained that his business was not as good as it had been because so many people now wanted synthetic saris. After the meal, as the host, he came round to each of us, including Shri Mataji, and offered the little sweets made of sugar and sesame seeds which are for Sankranti, because it was Sankranti day. Maybe he did not realise who Shri Mataji was in a divine sense, but he and his wife were wonderful hosts and he had tremendous respect for Her nonetheless.

As we were leaving, Shri Mataji noticed that there was a large wall hanging on the hall wall, of a man showing the chakras inside him – made by one of the family members.

‘See, they know, they understand,’ Shri Mataji said, or something like that.

It was an amazing day and I was so grateful to Shri Mataji for allowing me to meet one of Her friends from Her political days. Within a few years handloom saris became very fashionable once again.

Linda Williams

I am here for you

In December 1984 I was taking part in the annual tour of India with Shri Mataji and about two hundred Sahaja Yogis. I had been struck by the enormous respect and adoration in which the Indian Sahaja Yogis held Her.

In Vaitarna, in January1985, a village some distance from Mumbai, the Indians organized a procession in which Shri Mataji was taken around the village on an ox-cart, decorated with garlands. The Sahaja Yogis, Western and Indian, danced around the cart as it advanced through the village streets accompanied by local musicians.

I started to dance and gradually approached Shri Mataji’s ox-cart. Shri Mataji saw me and greeted me with the gesture of namaste. I approached the ox-cart and started to walk alongside. Shri Mataji extended Her hand and I approached closer to kiss it. At this moment the cart wheel, wooden with an iron rim, ran over my foot.

‘It’s nothing, it’s nothing,’ I said to all those around who were looking at me, horror-stricken. Some people carried me under a tree where one Sahaja Yogini, a nurse, tried to stop the bleeding and an English doctor stitched my foot up. Mr. Pradhan, the leader of the Vaitarna Sahaja Yogis, came over to see me.

‘Shri Mataji is very sorry for what happened,’ he said. ‘She sends Her vibrations and tonight She will work on your foot.’

Mr. Pradhan returned to tell me that Shri Mataji was too tired. She would work on me the next day. I was taken in a jeep back to the bungalow where we were staying. Unknown to me, Shri Mataji was staying in the same bungalow. Next morning, I was sitting in my sleeping bag in the little corridor where we slept, suddenly everyone stood up. Shri Mataji was there, I also tried to stand up and She came towards me.

‘I am here for you,’ She said. ‘Come to My room.’ I followed Her, hopping on my good foot. The other had swollen up and I could not put my weight on it. Shri Mataji, conversing with me all the while, began to give vibrations to my foot. Having first assured Her that I could move all my toes, She put Her Foot on top of mine, at first horizontally, pressing on the toes, and then pressing first on one side of my foot and then on the other, vertically. Her Foot was completely pressed against mine and I not only felt the vibrations on my foot, but had the impression that my foot had become a band of vibrations.

‘Go now and don’t think any more about it,’ She said after some time.

Having entered Mother’s room hopping, I left walking normally and without any pain.

Sandra Castelli

I have been searching for you

In December 1984 I was asked for a music presentation of Devi songs for the programme held from the 17th to 20th January 1985 in the presence of Shri Mataji at Nasik, at the beginning of the India tour. I started selecting the songs, and as I was sorting them out, a voice in my ear said, ‘Take this song, Bhavani dayani’. So I bought a tape which had this song on it. I felt, how would the foreigners appreciate it, because it is classical base song in Zhaptal with a ten beat rhythm? Meanwhile someone gave me a magazine of Sahaja Yoga which had some poems in it. From some of those poems I composed the bhajans Ughada Sahasrara Mate and Amhi bhi ghadalo, and the melody of Jogawa.

On the day of the programme the foreigners came they were all meditating and waiting for Shri Mataji. Then She came, and somehow I felt different and blissful. As Shri Mataji came near to the stage She glanced at me.

‘Oh, you are here! Where were you up to now? I have been searching for you,’ She said and smiled, I felt great honour, and then She blessed us and asked us to sing. She was very pleased and the whole programme went wonderfully and joyously. At the end She asked me to sing Bhavani dayani, and I was surprised that it was the same voice that I had heard in my ear while I was selecting songs for the programme.

Videh Saundankar

The same year we made an audio tape, the first tape of Sahaja Yoga bhajans, which was presented to Shri Mataji at the Guru Puja at Sheffield, England. It included the song Namostute, which is based on the affirmations for each chakras and Tere hi Guna Gate Hai. I also composed the melody of Ai Giri Nandini. When it was given to Shri Mataji She immediately asked to hear it and said how many vibrations were flowing through the songs. She had a thousand copies of the tape made and gave everyone who came to Ganapatipule that year a copy.

Later there was a public programme in Nasik. I heard the talk and felt this was what I had been searching for all my life. Afterwards everyone was going to Her Feet. We were on the stage and presenting music. I went to Shri Mataji’s Feet with my mother, who was very old and had to go to the hospital all the time for her blood pressure. I introduced her to Shri Mataji, and She asked her to put her hands out. Her hands were blackish, but Shri Mataji blew on them and her hands became clear – the hands went a pinkish colour and only the fingers were still a little blackish. After that she never had another attack of blood pressure up to now, fifteen years later.

There was a music programme in front of Shri Mataji in December 1985 in Nasik and She asked us all to go to Ganapatipule also. The music programme there went on all through the night, and everyone was dancing to the beat of Jogawa for a long time because it was so joyous.

Videh Saundankar

This is the real guru

Shri Mataji came to Nasik in 1985 with the foreigners’ tour. Shri Mataji purchased all the silver items for the puja and the ornaments for the marriages at Ganapatipule from the Saraf Bazaar, a gold and silver market in Nasik. My grandmother’s house was there, so my uncle invited Shri Mataji to the house and She and a lot people came there.

Shri Mataji started speaking about Sahaja Yoga to all these people. She explained all about it, and how the people were transformed, and to look into their eyes and see how they were shining. Then a man came up with a photo and asked if the person in the photo was a real guru, but this was a false guru and Shri Mataji said to throw it away.

Shri Mataji started explaining about Samartha Ramdas. Ramdas was an incarnation of Shri Hanuman and She explained how he looked and what he used to do. She said he was short in height and had a powerful personality. He had a long beard, a very strong appearance and a kamandul – water pot. He was a strong saintly person.

‘This is the real guru, not that fake one,’ She said. Samartha Ramdas was the guru of King Shivaji. Shri Mataji explained that Ramdas was Hanuman, and Hanuman took his birth at Anjineri, a place near Tramakeshwar in Maharashtra, and She visited that place. Shri Mataji explained that near there is where Shri Hanuman fell when he tried to catch the sun.

There were very few Sahaja Yogis in Nasik at that time. Shri Mataji visited almost all the temples and one time we were all in a big temple with Her and She suddenly became very angry, and started talking about the false gurus, and the falseness happening near the temples.

Shri Mataji went on talking in this way for at least fifteen to twenty minutes and no one understood what was happening. She was making movements or mudras with Her hands, as if She was throwing weapons and was in a very wrathful mood. She was looking in the air and sky – making quick movements with Her hands and eyes and She was continuously speaking. She spoke of all the false gurus and said their names, and made a subtle war in the air, and started throwing invisible weapons with Her hands and eyes.

Ravindranath Saundankar

On which finger do you feel the catch?

Once at Nasik when I was quite new, in the ‘80’s, there was a man who was lame, and Shri Mataji gave vibrations from Her Feet to him.

‘On which finger do you feel the catch?’ She asked us when She was giving vibrations to him. We immediately pointed our Vishuddhi fingers, and She said, ‘See this is a fact, that truth can be everywhere, and no one says different fingers, everyone says the same.’

Videh Saundankar

Channa (dried roasted chick peas)

In 1985 Shri Mataji came to our house, which is in the old town in Nasik. My uncle was there and my grandma and all these people. Shri Mataji was talking about Kundalini and establishing Sahaja Yoga and She turned to uncle, who was not in a good state then. She massaged his head and we could smell something bad. Shri Mataji mentioned that it was the result of the negativity inside him. After twenty minutes he was completely transformed and he is fine now. While Shri Mataji was working on uncle She was in Her Mahakali form and mentioned that She had to eat bhuts at that time. She looked normal but in the subtle form She was eating all the bhuts. Channa was very important, because Shri Mataji would always eat it and in doing so would put the bhuts in it and destroy them.

Ravindranath Saundankar

We can call ourselves Nirmalites (diary entry)

This was written at Rahuri, Maharashtra, on 22nd January 1985. Today we had a puja to the Devi here, because, Shri Mataji said, in one of Her incarnations She killed the demon Rahu at Rahuri. There are also nine stone swayambhus here, and the nine great ‘naths’ including the most recent, Sai Nath, lived in this area, at Shirdi. The others were examples of incarnations of the disciple principle.

The first puja of the tour, in Bombay, was large, and about a thousand Sahaja Yogis were present, Indians and foreigners. It was Sankranti, the day when the sun crosses from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer, and is the beginning of the hot weather. Traditionally little sweets made of sugar and sesame seeds are given on this day. Shri Mataji spoke to us Westerners about our ego, our livers and our tendency to dominate others. At the end there was an excellent collective meal, the grandest we have had since being here.

There was another puja a few days later on the 19th, at Nasik, where Shri Mataji proclaimed the foundation of the universal religion of Sahaja Yoga, Vishwa Nirmal Dharma. She said we can call ourselves Nirmalites. Then She spoke of marriage and the masculine and feminine roles. For me personally the most notable thing was the announcement of my engagement.

Alessandra Pallini

A very special day (diary entry)

Yesterday, the 26th January 1985, we had the privilege to be present at a puja to the Adi Shakti here at Pune. Shri Mataji explained that the 26th January is a very important and special day, both in Her personal life and because on this day the liberation of India from the English is celebrated. This year the celebration occurred here at Pune, a blessed place where many great saints and incarnations lived, and is the place of Shri Ganesha of the Mooladhara – ie Maharashtra – in the cosmic geography. In Her talk Shri Mataji praised the spirituality of the Indians. The throne on which Shri Mataji was seated was directly below a sculpture of Shri Ganesha, which was made of plaster and was on the wall behind and above. It seemed to symbolise the protection and care of the Mother for the Son and the Son for the Mother.

Alessandra Pallini

Remember this moment

Brahmapuri, in 1985, was another highlight. The pendal was set up by the Krishna River, creating a scene of magic aesthetics. Shri Mataji walked to the river with us, sat down on a stone, put Her Feet into the water and the women were asked to bathe upstream, the men downstream of Her. The sky turned into beautiful shades of pink and those who were there will never forget the moment when Shri Mataji said: ‘Whenever you are troubled in life, remember this moment.’

She brought us to this incredible place, which on a later tour also became known because during a night time programme in a nearby village suddenly stones were thrown at us out of the dark. The paid stone-throwers hurt some of us so badly that we needed hospital treatment. We felt extremely frightened and the whole situation was a challenge of our faith in Shri Mataji’s protection and yet another lesson in courage and serenity.

Thomas Menge

I was Her smile

Later in the tour, we went to Brahmapuri. I felt I had come home, as if I had already lived in this place, and I never wanted to leave. On the second day we went to bathe in the Krishna River, close by. As I was a little shy, I was a little at the side, when someone came to look for me.

‘Shri Mataji is here! We can wash Her Feet! Everyone is coming – come.’ I was so afraid that I did not want to go; I felt guilty because I had received my self realisation a year and a half before, and thought Shri Mataji was not pleased with me. Then I said to myself, ‘It’s OK, if everyone is going to go there.’ I stood in the line, still feeling full of inner fears. 

Shri Mataji was seated on a rock with Her Feet in the river. When my turn came, I don’t know at all what my hands did. I looked at Mother, She smiled at me and for some seconds I did not exist any more. I was Her smile, the whole, one with infinity, and I was in paradise.

Then I understood that this was the personal proof that I was waiting for, and this state I had known there was what I had to attain.

Marie-Joelle Coeuru

My whole body became cool and purified

In 1985 we went to Brahmapuri, for many of us our favourite place as it is by the Krishna River in beautiful surroundings. One day Shri Mataji went to sit on a rock by the river and we could all go one by one to do namaskar to Her while She had Her Feet in the river. We would put our head in the water on Shri Mataji’s Feet and stay there for a while. That day the back of my head was very heavy and I could feel some negativity was there. When my turn came, I put my head in the water on Shri Mataji’s Feet and straight away She put Her hand on the back of my head, exactly where I was feeling the pressure.

I was on my knees in the water and when I put my head up I took some water in my hands from close to Shri Mataji’s Feet, and drank it. From a human point of view this water was quite dirty, but when I drank it I felt my whole body getting cool and purified – it was delicious.

Trupta de Graaf

The most beautiful moment of my life

This is a beautiful memory from the 1985 India tour, at Brahmapuri. We were staying beside the river, the most idyllic camping site. In the morning we all went to the river and a rumour went around that Shri Mataji was arriving, so we made a path of coloured saris and shawls all along the embankment for Her to walk on.

Shri Mataji sat with Her Feet in the water and one by one we went to Her Feet. She told us to get into the river downstream of Her Feet, because the river was pouring over Her Feet and then over us. We immersed ourselves completely, the blue sky was full of vibrations and the river sparkled as it flowed over Her Feet. It was the most beautiful moment of my life.

Sarah Frankcombe

Brahmapuri (diary extract)

Out of my recollections of India tour with Shri Mataji one of them stands out and I cherish it. It was in 1985 at Brahmapuri on the banks of the River Krishna, where Shri Mataji had come to dip Her holy Feet in the water. There were a lot of Sahaja Yogis surrounding Her at Her Feet and I was there too.

‘Look at your hands,’ She said to me, ‘they are pink, the vibrations are hot!’ – I was still carrying the luggage of worries from the West at that point, and Shri Mataji told me to massage Her Feet in the water, and said, ‘Better now?’

I could feel cool vibrations. The circle around Her was so dense that I couldn’t get out so I resorted to sitting on a rock with my feet in the water, a few feet away from Her. On the other side my brother was sitting and Shri Mataji started to talk about the right Vishuddhi.

‘Say, Mother I am not French!’ She said to my brother and me, because both our right Vishuddhis were not in order – later I saw a photo taken from then and one can see a ray of light coming from Shri Mataji’s ankle.

Then I was the witness of an amazing sequence of events: we all began singing the well known Kundalini, Kundalini, and a procession of yogis started to walk in the river water towards the Adi Shakti. There was Said, an Algerian who was around sixty, who suddenly got overwhelmed by a powerful emotion and started to praise Mother, saying: ‘Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar!’

Shri Mataji was silent and was slowly pouring water on his head with Her right hand; we were all very moved. Then a tall Norwegian who was a powerful personality in his country came and bowed with great humility.

‘As I couldn’t baptise you when you were a small baby, I baptise you now,’ Shri Mataji told him.

She advised us to drink the water of the river, which had some clay in it but was so fresh and good to taste.

‘It won’t harm you – it is good for your Nabhis,’ She said.

We were still singing, ‘Mother I adore You, all my life I give You, how I love You.’ I was singing with all my heart. She turned towards me and smiled at me and my heart burst into flowers of joy! Only bhakti can give you such joy.

Antoinette Wells 

I lost any awareness of time and place

I was very young in Sahaja Yoga and was on the India tour with Shri Mataji for about five weeks. It was 1985. We were in Brahmapuri, staying in a big tent by the Krishna River. Every day we had a bath in the river and washed our saris and dried them on the stones. On the other side of the river we could see an old castle and heard that Shri Mataji was staying there. One day we were on the river and I had bathed, foot soaked, meditated, and I had only one dry sari left. I put it on and we heard that Shri Mataji was coming to the river.

We were all very excited. She came, sat on a stone and put Her Feet into the river. Then whoever wanted could come and do namaste to Her Feet. To begin with I was worried that my sari would get wet and I would have nothing to wear, so I lifted it up. I was in the water up to my knees and was concerned about getting wet. We were queuing and the nearer I came to Shri Mataji the more I became thoughtless and didn’t worry, and when it was my turn I hesitated a bit and thought, ‘Can I really touch Her Feet?’

I bowed down to the surface of the water and tried to get near Her Feet. Then some boys behind me said I could touch Her Feet and could even go under the water. I put my whole head and body under the water and touched Shi Mataji’s Feet and held them. I was completely in this Krishna River holding Shri Mataji’s Feet. The river went over me and I lost any awareness of time and place. I don’t know how long I was there under the water, without breathing. After what seemed like a long time someone took my arm and said I could go to the side. I stepped aside and it was the next person’s turn. I was standing beside Shri Mataji, completely wet and completely thoughtless. It was a very deep experience.

Sabine Hackl

You have been appointed by God

We were at Brahmapuri. It was a beautiful place and one time we were all swimming in the dam. Then we heard that Shri Mataji was coming. She came right down to where the water was and sat on some rocks. It was a beautiful scene because yogis sat each side of Shri Mataji, holding saris over Her like a canopy.

‘Mataji, Mataji Your face shines like a thousand suns,’ and, ‘Bathe in the waters,’ they were singing. As She was sitting there She asked all the Sahaja Yogis to come and massage Her Feet. Also She asked a few people, of which I was one, to submerge themselves completely under the water and look at Her Feet under the water. It really was an amazing time – a biblical scene in the present day.

On that same tour, there was a music programme and afterwards we would go up and see Mother, and individually go to Her Feet. When we went up She put a bindi on each and every one of us.

‘Remember, you have been appointed by God,’ She said, as Her finger was on the Agnya chakra putting on the bindi on each of us. It was quite a special time!

Bel Henshaw

Brahmapuri, 28th January 1985 (diary entry)

Today was the fifth puja of the tour, at Brahmapuri, between Pune and Kolhapur. We spent three days at a marvellous camp in large tents, and the organisation and the food was excellent. In the morning Shri Mataji asked us to bathe in the Krishna River, just in front of the little house where She had spent the night. Shri Mataji sat at the side of the river with Her Feet in the water, and then asked all of us to bathe in this highly vibrated water. It was wonderfully joyous and we all sang Her a song while we were there.

The puja began in the late morning and was dedicated to Shri Adi Shakti, and was celebrated in the open, under an awning. Shri Mataji wore a pinkish red sari with celestial embroidery, and Her talk touched on various points, especially the need to enjoy the present, without thinking of the future or the past. The puja was offered by five young men and five girls, and the names of Shri Mataji were read.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji’s favourite photograph

There was a photo of Shri Mataji at Brahmapuri, India 1985 where Mother looks so fragrant and youthful. Mother told me that every Sahaja Yogi should have one. A few years later a Sahaja Yogi told me that Mother had said that this was Her favourite photograph.

Colin Heinson

We went to the cinema

On one of the India tours Shri Mataji invited us to go to a cinema with Her. The film was very Westernised, the sort of film She often complained about. She said these Western ideas would come in and spoil Indian culture, and this was one of these films.

Gunter Thurner

Shri Mataji just knew how to pull you out of a hole

On my first India tour I was the only person of my age. I felt really left out – all my insecurities and lack of confidence were coming out. Then I thought I should forget all this, so I went shopping with my mum and saw these really beautiful saris. I knew I had to get one, so bought one, very cheaply. I put it on for one of the evening programmes; it was brightly coloured, full of elephants, typical Rajasthani. We had to dance, or go in front of the stage, because Shri Mataji was giving presents or something, and somehow She noticed me.

‘Wherever did you get that sari?’ She said. I had felt a little bit ashamed about putting it on, because it was so colourful and stood out so much from the crowd. I felt so melted. Oh Shri Mataji just knew how to pull you out of a hole, to make you feel confident in what you have decided to do!

Katie Headlam

Sangli, 2nd February 1985 (diary entry)

Today we are again near Kolhapur. This time we are staying nearby at Sangli and visiting Kolhapur each day. We went to visit the temple of Shri Mahalakshmi, which is very important and has a swayambhu. Shri Mahalakshmi is the great queen, and it is through Her that we can ascend through the Sushumna nadi. We had a puja to Shri Mataji in this aspect, the sixth puja of the tour. As always at Kolhapur, something is worked out on the level of the Nabhi, and also, the silver and things needed for our wedding were bought here.

Alessandra Pallini

I don’t know which colour I want

It was in 1985 and Shri Mataji was sitting on the stage, in India. There were a lot of silk saris on the stage and we could go to Shri Mataji, and could say, ‘I want a blue sari,’ and Shri Mataji would choose a sari for you from the blue ones. I was waiting, and everyone knew what colour they wanted. I was thinking ‘I don’t know which colour I want, what am I going to say?’ Then I was in front of Shri Mataji.

‘So, you don’t know which colour you want?’ She said.

‘Not at all,’ I said and She chose a brown one for me. Nobody was choosing brown. I wondered why I was given brown, but the next day I put the sari on and everybody saw me and said it suited me so well.

Trupta de Graaf

We went to choose the saris

There was always a big thing about the saris on the India tour. When we arrived, there would be a packet of four saris, with blouses and everything waiting for us. It was exciting because you never knew what to expect and people would get colours they would never normally wear and then discover that these colours actually suited them very well. We felt Sri Mataji playing with us and it was very enjoyable and comforting. We felt Her attention in everything.

When I was to get married, in February 1985, all the couples went to choose their wedding saris, and we were standing in the queue waiting. ‘What colour would you like?’ my prospective husband asked me as we waited. I had some ideas that red would be an auspicious colour and we discussed the various possibilities. ‘I don’t really mind,’ I said ‘as long as it isn’t green, because I had a green school uniform and I wore green for so many years.’ Actually I was hoping that Shri Mataji would choose a sari for me.

One by one everybody went into the room where Shri Mataji was sitting with the saris all spread out in front of Her, and finally it was our turn.          

‘Maggie, this green sari is perfect for you.’ She said, pointing it out to me.

Unfortunately that marriage did not work out, and later, in January 1987 I was about to get married to my present husband. I was a bit worried, hoping that this time it would all work out better. The brides went to Shri Mataji to choose the wedding saris. Again there was a pile of saris in front of Shri Mataji and She picked up a beautiful, rather expensive, even darker green sari.

‘Here you are Maggie, have this one, once and for all.’ She said.

                  Maggie Keet

The culmination of the tour (diary entry)

Bordi, at the beginning of February 1985, was the culmination of our tour, in every sense. It is no coincidence that Bordi is near Nargol, where Shri Mataji opened the cosmic Sahasrara. We had a puja there, the seventh of the tour, and about eight hundred people participated, including Indians from many centres. It was the strongest puja I have attended. Shri Mataji told us that we were at a turning point in the history of Sahaja Yoga, and a new phase is starting, in which we can ascend rapidly, but must not be involved in our little personal problems any more. She said that at this time those who remain will be those who are dedicated to Her, and who have love, compassion and discrimination. It was a very strong talk.

Another important event at Bordi was the weddings. There were fifty-four couples, and they were spectacular and full of joy. First, the night before, we had our hands and feet decorated, then the following morning we had the haldi ceremony and the distribution of the saris.

At about six o’clock the ceremony began. While the young men came on horses, we celebrated a Gauri Puja to Shri Mataji, offering a garland of flowers, kumkum and haldi to Her Lotus Feet. Then we lined up behind a length of cloth which divided the men from the ladies, the men having now arrived. The moment when the cloth fell was very emotional, and we had a sense of being united with our husbands. After that we did the havans and went through the various phases.

At the end, before leaving, we had a private conversation with Shri Mataji. She spoke to various national groups and was very pleased with us Italians and said we were the best. She ate Her food and was very amiable and convivial. Some of us remained in meditation in front of Her until She left, and it was perhaps one of the most sweet and loving moments I have ever had, because of the sweetness of Her loving and silent presence.

Alessandra Pallini

The rays literally kissed Her Feet

It was in about 1985 and Mother was in the old Safdarjung Ashram giving a talk. There was a small pedestal with a throne on which Mother would sit. I was up near the throne where I had a clear view of Her Lotus Feet. It must have been about four in the afternoon and the sun was at such an angle, that the rays had entered the hall. They came closer and closer and literally kissed Her Feet, over a period of about half an hour. The minute after they touched Her Feet, the rays receded again. It was so beautiful.

Jayant Patankar

That is what I wanted!

In 1985 I was a kid and went with my father to some architectural discussions with Shri Mataji, in particular with reference to the Delhi Kutab Ashram, which was then on the drawing board. My father was the principal architect. The Urban Commission in Delhi had thrice rejected it, but finally it got passed.

Shri Mataji wanted a synthesis and integration of styles. Predominantly She wanted to have the Rajasthan style of ornate Indian arches. They were to be used as a feature. Shri Mataji was so fond of all the small stone carved arches, balconies, and columns – these ornate and ornamental features particularly seen in Rajasthan. The Kutab Ashram was the first building to represent Sahaja Yoga in the capital of India, or anywhere. Mother was so keen on getting the right kind of style, because She wanted to integrate the rich architectural traditions of the past blended into a contemporary building. She would have many sketches prepared and would review them. One night we were with Her, we had been sketching with Her and then She said it was getting late, so we excused ourselves.

‘Leave your drawing board behind,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘I’ll work on it.’ Sure enough, the next day when we came, Mother had a sketch prepared on it. She had actually sat and worked on it in the night.

When the plans were finally ready, my father took the drawings to show to Her and they were still rolled up inside the cylinder. As we entered the room, carrying it, Mother started praising them like anything.

‘What a beautiful design,’ She said. ‘Look, it has come up so well!’ We could not understand what She was talking about because we hadn’t opened the drawing up. ‘Yes, that is what I wanted!’ She said, and it was so beautiful. ‘See, I can feel the vibrations, that is how I know it has turned out so splendidly.’ When we opened it, Shri Mataji put Her hands to it and said, ‘See!’ and we did. It was absolutely vibrant.

Jayant Patankar

Self realisation in a dream

My parents went for a public programme in Delhi in 1985. I was a small child and had a high fever that day. Just before Mother was due to arrive, I slept off. Thereafter, Mother arrived, gave realisation and the programme concluded. I kept sleeping and my mother was very upset that I could not get realisation or have the darshan of Shri Mataji. I woke up after a while and my fever had disappeared. I told my parents that in my dreams I saw an ‘aunty’ dressed in white sari and She kept Her hand on my head.

‘Don’t worry, You will be all right,’ She told me.

Then I pointed to one of the posters of Shri Mataji and said that this was the same ‘aunty’. Needless to say, my parents were delighted that I had got my self realisation.

Rohit Nalgirkar

Chapter 9: 1985 – March, Australia and New Zealand

Mother’s Day in Sydney

This photo was taken on Mother’s Day, the 5th of March 1985 in Sydney, at John and Wendy Brownscombe’s parents’ house at Galston. The yogis gathered here to give Shri Mataji presents for Mother’s Day and Shri Mataji talked to the yogis.

Trevor Sandford

It is important to recognise mothers and all the work they do

One year we had a picnic with Shri Mataji at Galston, north of Sydney on the property of John Brownscombe, a Sahaja Yogi. We had Mother’s Day there, and he set up a pendal in the garden. Everyone was sitting at Shri Mataji’s Feet and She spoke about the importance of Mother’s Day and how important it is to recognise mothers, and all the work they do in bringing up children. She said it was a nice function to have. All the children were there and it was very informal. The children were going up to Shi Mataji and giving Her flowers.

Gillian Patankar

In the morning we spent time with Her

In 1985 Shri Mataji stayed in Sydney for two or three weeks, which was longer than She had been before. She stayed in a separate apartment away from the Burwood ashram, where She normally stayed. The gift for the residents of Sydney was that each evening one family or group of people would go to the apartment with Her and sleep the night there and spend a number of hours with Shri Mataji.

We didn’t have any contact when our family arrived in the evening. We were shown to rooms and slept over and in the morning my mum, my dad and my sister spent time with Her. I was about eighteen at the time. When it was my turn, She indicated for me to come and sit in front of Her. She put Her Feet on my back and moved Her Feet all round it. The conversation continued, it was general, and all the time Her Feet were moving and working on my back.

‘Is it better?’ She would ask every now and again, and I made sure I didn’t answer in the complete affirmative, in case She might say, ‘Well that’s fine, you can move away.’

Shri Mataji went on until She had to stop to get ready to go out shopping to an area called The Rocks. Then we blended back to one of the many who were with Her looking at the shops. At one point She looked at me.

‘Are you feeling better now?’ She asked, and I replied that I was much better.

Matthew Fogarty

Guess where your son is now

It was March 1985, and the Sydney yogis were at Burwood Ashram preparing for Shri Mataji’s visit. My youngest son was helping a yogi to finish the bathroom. That afternoon he phoned me.

‘Guess where your son is now?’ he said. ‘Shri Mataji is here a day early. We found your son a clean kurta-pyjama, and he is sitting at Shri Mataji’s Feet while She has Her afternoon tea!’

All the Sydney yogis were rounded up and when assembled, everyone had the amazing blessings of going to Shri Mataji’s Feet. She put Her Feet on our open, upturned hands and paid attention personally to all of us. I remember feeling: ‘How do you know when to get up and go to Her Feet?’ I found the Kundalini was like a column of such power that one’s knees and feet unfolded, and the Kundalini propelled one to Her Feet.

‘Heather has been seeking in the unconscious,’ the leader said.

‘Some seekers do look there,’ Shri Mataji said. I’ll never forget how Her eyes looked: so deep, huge, fathomless, like the sea of the unconscious, when She looked at me and said, ‘You can find God in the unconscious.’ I could feel She was saying that She was who I was looking for, She was God, She was the Great Mother.

Shri Mataji said that when She is in our dreams, She is there, and that dream comes from the centre; but that most dreams get contaminated by other layers of the unconscious before we remember them.

There were many memories of that night in March 1985, when we all went to Her blessed Feet.

‘Ah! An Italian!’ Shri Mataji said when my eldest son went to Her Feet. This amazed me, as years earlier I had been in Italy while pregnant, and wished for a little Italian boy. She knew our slightest thoughts from years before.

Heather Jeffrey

Her eyes widened

Shri Mataji spent hours and hours personally meeting people at public programmes in Australia in the 1980’s. At one programme, I was quite a new, young yogini and so I lined up to meet Her along with hundreds of others. Eventually I came to the stage.

‘I’m not sure whether I can feel it or not,’ I said to Her. Shri Mataji took my right hand and She put my left hand onto the area of my liver. She took the heat from me by stroking my right hand. Then Her eyes widened, She looked up at my Sahasrara.

‘Ah! Got it!’ She smiled and nodded.

It still took me a long time to personally feel the vibrations. After going on the 1990 India tour, I came back to Australia and attended Easter Puja in Sydney. Shri Mataji was in Australia again. I will never forget that time because I was simply looking at Her chair which had been so lovingly painted by the yuva shaktis and suddenly I felt waves of vibrations coming up my spine. Finally I could feel my Kundalini! It had taken at least three years.

Michelle Shete

I realised what I had done

I can’t remember which year it was – it must have been the early eighties, and we had nice lounge chair out at the back of Burwood and Shri Mataji came out. It was very informal, and She was giving directions. She went to sit down and I noticed there were some chappals near Mother’s chair, so I placed them with everybody else’s shoes.

We listened to Mother’s talk and all felt wonderful, and then after that the leader was frantically looking around for Mother’s chappals. At that moment I realised what I had done, and with much haste I picked Shri Mataji’s chappals up, and had the opportunity of placing them on Her Feet.

Dale Simpson

The clouds came

This is a photo of the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja, at Burwood in 1985. We were all waiting outside in the garden and it was very hot, but when Shri Mataji came out for the puja, clouds came and it cooled down.

Fiona Aggarval

I know that you know that I know

It was about 1985, and Shri Mataji was in Australia. I was expecting my first child and I wanted to tell Shri Mataji. We all had a chance to go up to Her. I was able to tell Her.

‘I know that you know that I know,’ She said, and that was all.

Gillian Patankar

This photo was taken in 1985 at Burwood Ashram. Shri Mataji started cooking about mid- day and cooked choley, a chick pea recipe now found in Her cookery book, Cooking with Love. Everyone had this for their evening meal.

Trevor Sandford

Mother, I have waited for You all my life

One year after receiving my realisation, in the early eighties, I saw posters in the town, Sydney, Australia, for Shri Mataji’s upcoming visit. I decided to go to the public programme and got a friend to go ahead and save a seat. I then went in and sat on the front row, where I was as close as I could get to Shri Mataji. After the programme, I took flowers up on stage to Her, which She graciously accepted. The following night I took some barfi for Her and when She went to the cloakroom I followed. When I got there, Mother was standing there and Her form seemed to encompass every corner of the room. I gave Her the barfi, She accepted it and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek which left me on cloud nine. After coming out of the cloakroom, Shri Mother was standing waiting to go down in the lift.

‘Are you going down?’ She asked.

‘Yes,’ I said.

‘Well, come on then,’ my Mother replied. With that I jumped in the lift, much to the surprise of the yogis standing around. ‘You must come to India,’ She said to me while in the lift.

‘Yes Mother,’ I said. When we got out the lift, Shri Mataji got in the car and wound the window down.

‘You must come to India,’ She said again.

The next day I went to the airport to wave goodbye. When I got there, I thought I must have missed Shri Mataji, as no one was around. Then I saw one of the yogis who lived in the ashram, and asked whether Shri Mataji had left.

 ’No, She is just coming down now,’ she said, and turning around I saw Her walking towards me with the yogis walking behind.

 ’Shri Mother, I thought I had missed You,’ I said, and She replied that I had not, linked my arm and we walked arm in arm down to the exit.

‘You must come to India,’ She said once again, when we got there.

After this, I wanted to attend the puja with Shri Mataji in another state and rang the ashram to ask if I was allowed to go.

‘No your vibrations would not be up to a puja yet,’ they said.

However, I prompted them to ring up Shri Mataji and ask if my husband and I could attend.

‘Yes, yes, they can come, their vibrations are OK,’ She said, and consequently we attended my very first puja.

When it was time to leave, after the puja, and not knowing protocol I thought I should go and thank Mother for allowing us to attend. I saw people disappearing through a door, so I walked through it. Down the corridor I saw the lady who was looking after Shri Mataji, and then She asked the lady who was looking after her who I was. She then said my name.

‘Tell her to come in,’ Shri Mataji replied.

I was going to just namaskar to Mother, thank Her and leave, not wanting to take up Her time. However, She asked me to sit at Her Feet, which I did and five minutes later I found my head in Her lap.

‘Mother I have waited for You all my life; where have You been?’ I asked Her.

‘Yes, you are an old soul,’ She said.

Later, after spending what seemed an eternity bathed in the lap of Shri Mother’s vibrations, She presented me with a beautiful silk sari, and I just walked in vibrations and onto the plane. It was the most incredible moment of my life.

On returning home I moved in to the new house with twenty-five children and twenty-five adult yogis. With a great collective and wonderful vibrations in the ashram, I truly realised the potential of living and working together in a new reality. We had a wonderful school for the children where it was a joy to see them learning in harmony with their environment. Suddenly I was given a better job, enabling me to earn good money and book my ticket for the India tour.

Kristie Corden

Shri Mataji was happy

Shri Mataji first visited Brisbane in 1985 and there were very few of us yogis there then, and we were all relatively new to Sahaja Yoga, so did not know much about protocol and how to look after Shri Mataji. We had all moved there from Sydney to try and start Sahaja Yoga in Brisbane and we weren’t very familiar with the city. Shri Mataji suggested we have a meal out after the programme. We were the last car to leave, and the ladies, one with a baby, left their cooking, squeezed into an already full car and off we went.

The first public programme in Brisbane was held in the Brisbane School of Arts and about a hundred and fifty people came. Shri Mataji was happy as they mostly felt the cool breeze and were genuine seekers.

Albert Lewis

The East Chicago Pizza Parlour

Afterwards it was time for the evening meal, and we didn’t know where to go. We found a place called the East Chicago Pizza Parlour and we went downstairs to an underground smorgasbord type tavern. There were small tables but we managed to arrange them so Shri Mataji and about twelve yogis could sit together, and we seated Her at the end of the table, so all the yogis could see Her.

There was a young waitress taking orders and serving drinks. We all settled down and placed our order of pasta and meatballs, and Shri Mataji asked for some hot Tabasco chilli sauce, and everything arrived in due course. We all watched as Shri Mataji put lashings of the sauce onto Her dinner, mixed it in, tasted it and applied some more. I felt hot just looking at it.

Shri Mataji then offered some to me as I was sitting next to Her. It was very auspicious because it was prasad offered by the Devi, and I couldn’t refuse it. I managed to eat some, with my face reddening and tears streaming down my cheeks. By then all the yogis at the table were laughing at my dilemma, but Shri Mataji said not to, because it might embarrass me. She then offered a little to everyone at the table and it was their turn to eat prasad with tears streaming down their faces, and we all enjoyed the joke. Brisbane was a very left sided city.

During the time we were eating our meal there was a man who was quite loud and who had wandered in to join his friends a couple of tables away. I hoped this fellow wouldn’t cause any unpleasantness to Shri Mataji and our party. I put the situation into bandhan with my hands, under the table. Although Mother could not see my hands, the moment I did this, She immediately looked up from Her meal, looked at me, looked at the loud man, then back to Her meal and carried on with the conversation. The whole process took less than two seconds and the fellow immediately calmed down and didn’t create any more disturbances to Shri Mataji or our group.

Albert Lewis

You can’t prepare dinner on International Women’s Day

We were in Brisbane and were staying in the ashram. There were very few of us, so we were doing many tasks each. Shri Mataji was in the car to go to the public programme with my husband and one or two Indians who were with Her. Another yogini and I were standing at the back door and we waved goodbye to Her. My young son was already in bed asleep and we went inside and began to prepare the dinner. About five minutes later the car drove back up the driveway and stopped. Shri Mataji wound the window down and called us over.

‘What are you two doing?’ She said. We replied that we were preparing the dinner. ‘We can’t have that. It’s International Women’s Day. You can’t prepare dinner on International Women’s Day,’ She went on. The lady with me and I weren’t aware of this, but Shri Mataji was. ‘Go and get the baby, and come with us,’ She continued.

I got the baby out of the cot, put a few essentials in a bag, and off we went in the car, to the programme in the city.

Pam Lewis

Never mind!

In about 1985 Shri Mataji was staying with us in Brisbane at a small ashram. At that stage there were about a dozen solid yogis. She was in the bedroom at the ashram and I was looking after Her washing. I was quite unfamiliar with saris in those days and decided to wash one and hang it on the line so the coloured part was at the bottom, so the colour wouldn’t run. When I did so, it did run! I spent twenty-four hours mulling over how I was going to tell Mother that I had ruined Her sari. Finally I plucked up the courage, took the sari in my hand and went into Her room. I told Her the colours had run into one another. She picked the sari from my hand, waved Her hand.

‘Never mind, never mind!’ She said, and began to tell me all about the different types of saris, the different fabrics, and what you do with each one. She went on, ‘This one you should have dry cleaned, but never mind.’

She asked me if I had a sari. I had only been in Sahaja Yoga a year, and I did have a sari that my husband had bought for me in India, but I said I didn’t have one, because I wasn’t even thinking of this one because I hadn’t known what to do with it. So Mother went to Her suitcase and came back with a sari, and gave it to me.

Pam Lewis

We wandered towards a shopping arcade

We were on our way to a programme in Brisbane city, all in one car. The driver stopped the car on the footpath and Shri Mataji and I got out and were left there, while the others went to park the car. We were left alone and wandered towards a shopping arcade which was shut, because it was night time.

We walked through this arcade while waited for the men to join us, stopped at the window of a very exclusive looking shoe shop and Shri Mataji started to give me instructions on the type of shoes that yoginis can wear. They can wear high heeled shoes, but what mattered was the amount of heel there was where it made contact with the ground. The surface area of the heel – She showed me with Her finger how wide it should be to make it safe and be alright for our posture.

Pam Lewis

Shri Mataji was laughing and laughing

In 1985, Shri Mataji was at the ashram in Kew, Melbourne, Australia. We had some remarriages, about twenty-five couples, and we had the haldi ceremony out in the back yard. A very lively event – haldi everywhere! Shri Mataji was sitting watching and mixing the haldi with Her hand. We all got to take a big bowl and apply it to the brides and the men. Then we had the marriages in the evening.

It was such a special ceremony, because during the ceremony Shri Mataji was saying the shlokas from the book, with an Indian man. It is all on video, and Shri Mataji was laughing and laughing. It was such a sweet and melodious laugh. That was what was so special, so childlike, so joyful, and it just tickled your Kundalini and came from your heart. She was so much the Mother marrying Her children.

The next day Shri Mataji cooked lunch for everybody, so we had a lamb biryani. There were these huge pots. She organised this big meal and we were all given a job to do, and mine was to peel the garlic – about a kilo. Mother was directing, and getting big handfuls of spices and throwing them in. She had an apron on, and had big wooden spoons and was stirring with them. She cooked for about a hundred people. Mother made enough for us all to have seconds and it was just delicious. Biryani is not an easy dish to cook even for a few people, but when you are cooking it for a hundred, and everyone was in there doing something – well! The men were mostly keeping the fires going outside, for the big pots.

Leanne Huet

Shri Mataji as Shri Krishna

At Her Birthday Puja in Melbourne in 1985, Shri Mataji had a large kitchen set up in the back garden of the Kew ashram, and, with half a dozen helpers and in view of all the yogis seated on the lawn, prepared dinner. She made three large saucepans of curry, which She designated as hot, for those who like hot, medium for those who like tasty, and mild for those who don’t like hot. The hot curry was certainly hot, and delicious; the medium was actually very mild, but still tasty, and the mild was really quite hot, so that all the people who thought they didn’t like hot, got quite a shock, however they all dutifully ate it and I am sure felt the benefits.

In the puja itself, Shri Mataji gave an hour-long talk which was very entertaining and often hilarious about the stupidity of the ego.

A follow-up programme was arranged for people who had come to Shri Mataji’s public programme in Melbourne on the same week-end. The follow-up was held in the tent erected for the puja, in the back garden at Kew Ashram. After Her talk Shri Mataji invited questions. One middle-aged Indian lady stood up and asked Shri Mataji something, saying that she had not felt anything. Shri Mataji asked her who she worshipped, to which she replied ‘Shri Krishna’.

‘You have to recognise the one who is before you,’ said Shri Mataji.

She drew Herself up and just for a second She became radiant, magnificent and powerful, and transformed into Shri Krishna Himself. It was an astounding moment which almost made me fall over. I do not know if this lady recognised anything but certainly some of the yogis did, so perhaps it was meant for us. This lady and her husband stuck on in Sahaja Yoga and went to South Africa where they did some very good work establishing Sahaja Yoga amongst the Indian community.

I later looked at the video of this programme to see whether the camera had picked up what I had seen, but it was not apparent.

Chris Marlow

She’s God’s child

In March 1985, in the back garden of Kew Ashram, Melbourne, Shri Mataji was cooking three big pots of curry for all of us. I approached Her and showed Her a photo of my daughter, who was still with a false guru, and I was concerned.

‘She’s God’s child,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘May I have that picture? I will put her in My purse and look after her.’

Peter Corden

Shri Mataji waved away the clouds

In Melbourne, in 1985 there were weddings. Shri Mataji recommended they be held on a certain day, saying rain was likely. The weddings were not held on that day for various reasons, but a picnic was. Clouds were forming and Shri Mataji waved them away – they went. They didn’t go away on the day of the weddings however. It poured, but we were in pendals in the back garden.

Before we went to the UK, we had had one last programme at our centre in Woolahra. As everyone was leaving rain was falling in the valley and right up to our doorstep – an amazing phenomenon. We later described it to Shri Mataji and She said it was ritam bara prAgnya – a blessing of nature – the one that skips houses with good vibrations during bush fires.
Frances Henke

Shri Mataji raised the whole of humanity to another plane

When Shri Mataji visited here it was a whirlwind experience of such intensity and sharpness, because She was very much Shri Ganesha. A lot of time was spent sorting and correcting and warning us about protocol and so on.

One of the deepest experiences a number of us remember is a meeting Shri Mataji had with the Australian women in Melbourne at a puja weekend in 1985, where She spoke about the differences between men and women. On that occasion Shri Mataji said She was working Sahaja Yoga out through the women, and it was important for the women to meditate together. It was such a powerful moment. I felt Shri Mataji raised the whole of humanity to another plane in that hour, and felt as if I could almost fly afterwards, feeling so expanded and joyous.

Lyndal Vercoe

The Miracle of the Biscuit
Shri Mataji was waiting for Her flight at Melbourne Airport at the end of Her visit in 1987, Abraham (the youngest one) offered Her his partly eaten biscuit. Shri Mataji then gave a piece of the biscuit to each of the children and returned the biscuit to Abraham in exactly the same partly eaten form in which he had given it. 

John Noyce

Now it is up to the women to save the world

In March 1985 at Kew Ashram in Melbourne, Victoria, Shri Mataji addressed the ladies.

‘Do not stay here in the ashram all day, please go to the coffee shop and talk to people about Sahaja Yoga, go out and meet others!’ She said. ‘I want women to be as capable as the men in doing public programmes. The men have saved the world many times and now it is up to the women to save the world.’

Peter Corden

She had already consoled me in my dream

One year, during the 1980’s, Shri Mataji came to Australia and gave many public programmes. The yogis in Sydney, which is where I was, travelled to Canberra, Melbourne and up to Brisbane, following Her. Some also followed Her across to Perth and New Zealand, and probably other places which I cannot recall. I remember being at a public programme in the reasonably small town of Newcastle and being completely unaware at that time of how extra-fortunate we were to be following Her around to these public programmes and offering puja to Her in almost every state of Australia, within a very short period of time.

In Melbourne, that year, I had quite a profound experience because Shri Mataji came into my dream the evening before the puja. I had gone to sleep with a very stiff neck and She had worked on it – cracking it in my dream. I woke up without any stiffness. Then, during the puja, Shri Mataji was quite stern with us because of some problem at the time. I was sitting very close to the front, near to Her, while She was speaking sternly. Ordinarily I would have felt bad, being in Her direct line of sight at that time. But She had already consoled me in my dream, so I had an incredibly blissful time and felt completely joyful.

Michelle Shete

A strong sense of awe

When Shri Mataji visited New Zealand for the first time, in 1985, there were only a handful of yogis. Brian and Cheryl had had done their best to prepare us before Her arrival as to the correct protocols. We didn’t know quite what to expect and I still wasn’t very good at feeling vibrations. We went to the airport full of excited anticipation. When Shri Mataji appeared I felt no gushing wind or Kundalini or anything of the kind, but simply a strong sense of what I could only describe as ‘awe’. A rakhi sister later told me how at the airport and at the public programme she had felt as though she was alone in the presence of Shri Mataji – that she could hear Shri Mataji speak but all else around her was excluded and there was complete peace.

Soon after returning to the ashram Shri Mataji was seated in the lounge with our small group around Her on the floor. We went to Her in turn to do namaskar in front of Her Feet, and She made the occasional comment or asked a question about some of us. She asked what I did.

‘He is an artist, Mother,’ the leader said, although I was mowing lawns as a job, but I had studied at art school before moving to Auckland. Shri Mataji commented that my Swadishthan chakra was not bad, as often artists have such bad catches on their Swadishthan. This was a reassurance, as we were probably all a bit timid as to what Shri Mataji would be able to see in us.

Bryce Clendon

Come and see

Shri Mataji stayed only about three days on Her first visit to New Zealand and although there was a public programme in a university hall, there was no puja. My first personal encounter with Shri Mataji was quite casual and very simple.

I was living in the ashram and in the morning found myself alone before Shri Mataji who was relaxing on a bamboo-frame sofa with a white daisy-like flower in Her hand. She looked up at me with one of Her charming smiles.

‘Come and see,’ She said. I moved closer and She added something like, ‘Look, it has water drops on it.’ As I bent my head closer I could see that the petals were covered with a myriad of tiny dewdrops. I was in that state of utter thoughtlessness that is probably often mistaken by new yogis as being simply a nervous emptiness.

‘It is beautiful, Shri Mataji,’ I could only respond, smile, and then back away.

Bryce Clendon

We shouldn’t be nervous

I had a tendency to become a little nervous. One day the phone rang and I answered it. Shri Mataji was seated just a couple of metres in front of me. It was an overseas call for Her. When I was growing up in the country there was usually a small panic when a long distance call arrived. We had to race to get the person being called and on a farm this could take time. Seeing as this was a phone call from overseas, and for Shri Mataji, it was all the more reason to get a little nervously excited. I spluttered out the information and gave the phone to another yogi so he could pass it immediately to Shri Mataji.

‘What’s he saying?’ Shri Mataji asked. The other yogi calmly took the phone and events proceeded normally. How embarrassing to feel your nervousness get the better of you in front of Shri Mataji, to the extent that She couldn’t understand what you were saying!

Since then I found it much easier to stand back, watch myself and detach from my nervousness.

Bryce Clendon

Shri Mataji nodded Her head reassuringly

Not long after starting Sahaja Yoga I visited my parents and told them about it. My mother showed some concern but I re-assured her. When Shri Mataji came to New Zealand and a public programme was announced, I invited my parents to come and meet Her in person. To my surprise they accepted. They were used to country roads and driving in Auckland was very difficult for them. Since there were few yogis in New Zealand in those days, I was involved with preparations and couldn’t meet my parents before the programme.

I was asked to drive Shri Mataji to the programme, hence I left my own vehicle to be driven by another yogini, whilst I drove Shri Mataji in the hired Mercedes. I left Her and our leader at the programme hall and went to park the car; and therefore didn’t see Shri Mataji’s entrance. The hall was satisfyingly full of interested seekers. At the end of the programme She invited people to come and meet Her and I found my parents seated in the middle of the hall.

My mother recounted their adventures of trying to find the place. My parents got completely lost in the city, then suddenly my mother spotted my bright yellow van, and as it wasn’t me driving it went to find out who it was. This lady explained everything and led them into the programme. As Shri Mataji had only just arrived, my parents met Her at the entrance as they went in, shook hands with Her and found a place in the audience.

As I chatted with my parents, I watched Shri Mataji greeting the seekers and working on them. One of the early ones to go up was a mother with a baby that cried. Shri Mataji held it, placed Her hand on its Agnya and the baby immediately calmed down. The mother was very happy, and my own mother was also quite impressed. I was eagerly wondering if mm parents had really got their realisation OK, et cetera. I looked up at Shri Mataji, and She looked out directly at me, in the middle of the hall, gave me a big smile, nodded Her head reassuringly and turned Her attention back to the seekers near Her. That was enough for me.

Bryce Clendon

Take a siesta

While driving to the public programme in 1985, Shri Mataji was in the back of the car with Brian Bell. She mentioned New Zealanders ought to take a siesta in the middle of the day.

Bryce Clendon

Auspiciousness in the divine plan

Written on the back of the photo of Shri Mataji holding the blue dish are the following words:

‘In March 1985, when Shri Mataji visited the centre in Auckland, this dish was presented to Her by the New Zealand Sahaja Yogis. She explained how it symbolised the Kundalini, the five elements and the three nadis. She also said that the colours represent New Zealand, which is auspiciousness in the divine plan of things.’

Cheryl Bradshaw

Shri Shiva’s flowers, Shri Shiva’s colour

In the garden of the ashram was a Datura plant with large white hanging flowers. I think someone may have brought some to Shri Mataji, and She said not to use them – She commented that they were the flowers of Shri Shiva. She didn’t elaborate but I presume it is because they are poisonous and hallucinogenic.

I remember a cotton jacket that one of the yoginis used to wear, and was wearing once while with Shri Mataji. She commented that it was the colour of Shri Shiva – a slightly muted mauve.

Bryce Clendon

The clouds moved aside in reverence

Shri Mataji first graced these islands in March 1985. With a small group of yogis She blessed Auckland from the top of Mount Eden, one of a number of dormant volcanic cones spread around the city. The Mount Eden area was very prominent in the early days of Sahaja Yoga. After Her brief but joyous visit, when Her plane took off, it was a cloudy day. However, the clouds moved aside in reverence, and made a bandhan around this heavenly flight as it rose into the sky.

David and Trisha Sharp

She gave each of us Her blessings

When Shri Mataji left New Zealand after Her first visit there were very few at the airport to see Her off – maybe only four or five of us. She gave each of us Her blessings, a big hug, and maybe a kiss on the cheek.

Bryce Clendon

Chapter 10, 1985 – March, India

You are My people

We had a puja to Mother as Shri Durga up at Talnoo in 1985, now the site of the International Sahaja Public School. We offered red rhododendron flowers, which were out in crimson profusion at that time of the year as the mountains were covered in rhododendron forests. The Nepalese ladies, Sahaja Yogis from a nearby village, laid a kukri, a curved sword which is the traditional weapon of the Nepali Gurkhas, at Mother’s Feet after the puja.

‘You are My people, the people of Parvati.’ Shri Mataji had said to them, when these Nepalis first came down to Delhi to meet Mother at the end of 1983. Parvati was the daughter of the king of the Himalayas, and the Nepalis, especially the Gurkhas, are a brave warrior people.

The night before the puja we had had a music evening, and some local villagers were looking in through the windows. Some of the Sahaja Yogis were not sure whether they should be there.

‘These people have a place in the kingdom of God. You city Indians, and most of all you .Westerners, it is not so sure,’ Shri Mataji said of them.

Concerning the three thousand or so people who came from nearby mountain villages to the public programme, some of them had been worshippers of Shri Durga for generations. They said they had been waiting for the Devi, and now Shri Mataji had come, as they knew She would. There was much to learn from the mountain people of the Himalayas.

Linda Williams

Mangli the cow

When Shri Mataji came to Dharmshala in 1985, I related the story of how I had put up a photo of Her in our cowshed so that the vibrations could spread to the cows. One day, Mangli, a brick-red coloured cow who was the tallest, ate the photo on the wall. I was horrified. Shri Mataji laughed and said that the cow was very smart as she ate the vibrations. I also told Her how this cow would greet people by running up to them like a dog, and put her face on their chest or in their bags. If the person was new he would be really terrified.

One day, as I went to Shri Mataji’s room and She told me that our cow Mangli had just come. The cow, and her calf Laxmi, had put their heads in through the mesh door and Mangli mooed to Shri Mataji and She was laughing while narrating this.

The same morning, as I was making tea for Shri Mataji, I noticed about ten to fifteen dogs outside the cottage where She was staying. They were all around and fast asleep. I asked Her about this strange phenomenon as I had never seen so many dogs at one go. Shri Mataji explained that they were sleeping and enjoying the vibrations. They knew who She was and hence had come there. They recognised Her better than the human beings.

Deepa Mahajan

Bhima’s mountain

When Shri Mataji came to Dharmshala, She looked at the dip in the mountain above the Sahaja school called the Dhauladhar range, and told us that was the spot where Bhima* fell down from the heavens and died. It is called ‘Bhima ka Tila’ (Bhima’s mountain), by the locals.

Deepa Mahajan

Editor’s note: Bhima was one of the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Mahabharata.

The planet and the mountains
Another incident happened in Dharmshala when Shri Mataji visited there in 1985. There had been a puja to Shri Mataji in the hall below and we were all walking with Her back to the cottage where She was staying. She stopped and looked up at the sky.

In the sky to the left of Her was a star shining brightly. I thought perhaps this was a satellite as they look quite bright. On the right of Her were the snow peaks of the Dhauladhar Range. She showed us vibrations rising from the Dhauladhars and flowing into the star. At first many of us could not see it, but then She again pointed out and we saw the vibrations, like streaks of light going into the star. She explained that the star was Venus and followed Her wherever She was. Once She acknowledged Venus, it faded away.

I remember this as later I came out to see the phenomenon, but Venus had faded and the vibrations were gone. That was the first time I had seen vibrations outside of photographs.

Deepa Mahajan

We can even cure fractures

There was a Devi Puja and public programme at Talnoo, Dharmshala in March 1985. On the first evening there was a beautiful musical programme in the presence of Shri Mataji and the next day we did the Devi Puja. The next day, the 30th March, Shri Mataji suggested that we all go and visit a temple, which was about five to ten kilometres away. Inside the temple precincts we saw a small artificial pond. I put my foot in the pond at the temple and fell sideways into the pond. I climbed out all right, but had hurt my right wrist, quite badly.

The next day was Shri Mataji’s public programme for the villagers of that area and thousands of people had assembled at the side of a lake nearby. At the end of the programme someone mentioned my accident to Her and She immediately called me to the stage. She inquired what had happened and I told Her that I had slipped and maybe fractured my wrist bone.

‘So what?’ She said, ‘We can even cure fractures.’ She took my wrist in Her hand and I knelt beside Her. Shri Mataji held my wrist for about ten minutes, at the same time talking to the new people who were queued in front of Her. Suddenly She looked at me. ‘How is it now?’ At that moment I was able to take my hand out of the sling, and put it high up in the air.

‘Mother, it is nearly gone.’ Shri Mataji was laughing and I could hear applause of the people all around. I thanked Her and stepped below the stage.

Deepak Midha

Music could be used to help give realisation

What I particularly remember about that programme at Dharmshala was that at one of the meetings with the yogis prior to the puja that was held there Shri Mataji clearly said that music could be used to help give realisation. I had never heard Her say anything like that before and I absolutely thrilled me to hear that music could be a vehicle for realisation to flow through. Now we take it for granted but then it was a revelation.

Matthew Fogarty

A swayambhu to cleanse the whole world

In March 1985 Shri Mataji visited Talnoo, Dharmshala, now the site of the International Sahaja Public School. On the 30th of March a puja was performed to Shri Mataji in Her form as Shri Shailaputri, the daughter of the Himalaya. It was a full moon. After the puja we walked to my cottage.

‘Look at the vibrations coming out of the Himalayas,’ Shri Mataji said as She pointed to the snow clad Dhauladhar mountains. In all humility, I confessed that I could not see anything. Then very graciously She put Her divine attention on me and said, ‘Now can you see?’

I was amazed to see waves of vibrations cascading down the Himalayas.

‘The Himalaya is a swayambhu created to cleanse the whole world,’ I heard Her say.

I did not see the vibrations again.

Yogi Mahajan

The food cannot finish

When Shri Mataji was staying with us at Talnoo in 1985, there was a luncheon for all the yogis. More yogis came than the food was cooked for yet there was plenty left. We kept serving it for two days but it would not finish. We reported the matter to Shri Mataji.

‘It is the blessing of Shri Annapurna. It cannot finish. Just offer it to the river,’ She smiled.

Yogi Mahajan

You are the Shakti!

The classical singer, Parveen Sultana, sang a particular bhajan, Bhavani Dhayani, before Shri Mataji at Shanmukhnanda Hall in Mumbai at the Birthday Puja celebrations in 1985. This was her final song. As she sang something came over her and she connected with the Devi sitting in front of her. Towards the end of the song she threw up her hands in the air. Then she came and fell at Shri Mataji’s Feet and with tears in her eyes cried out, ‘Mother You are the Shakti. I have never sung like this before.’

Deepa Mahajan

Chapter 11: 1985 – April and May, England and Europe

I prayed that it would not come undone

Shri Mataji once slept with Her head upon my right shoulder in a First Class carriage on the London to Birmingham express, in 1985. I prayed that whatever was worked out on my Shri Chakra would not come undone by my own negligence. Just before sleeping, She had been answering questions from a little five year old who sat opposite us.

‘Why are there tunnels?’ the child asked.

‘It’s easier to tunnel through a mountain than to go around it or over it,’ Mother answered, very factually.

Marilyn Leate

Shri Mataji’s glance

My first encounter with Shri Mataji’s physical being was in Birmingham in 1985. Most people, except those who stayed for Her darshan, had left. I stayed were I sat, and She looked over at me, as if to ask, ‘Are you coming?’ By then I already knew, and at that point I left. I was eagerly waiting for the follow-up programme three days later, so I could find myself again, as She had described to us so well in the hall.

Clive Bates

Shri Mataji was given a flower

At the seminar in Birmingham we were all crowded into the hall. Shri Mataji was at the front and was given a flower. There was a strong scent which could be smelt at the back of the room. Ray took a photo of Shri Mataji in a dark shawl, slightly in profile bending Her head over to smell the flower.

Felicity Payment

Easter Puja at Birmingham

In 1985 there was an Easter Puja at Birmingham. We held the seminar and puja at Birmingham University and there was a room for Shri Mataji in one of the halls of residence, a high tower block. All of us tried to make the room as beautiful as possible, and we had chosen the largest room, with a nice view. When Shri Mataji arrived, She looked at the number on the door and laughed.

‘Oh it’s room 208, not 108!’ She said.

There was a public programme on the Friday in the centre of Birmingham.

The puja was all planned and was going to be on the Saturday morning, but we didn’t have quite all the things. The sari was missing, so then it was going to be on Saturday afternoon. Then the sari didn’t arrive Saturday afternoon either so it ended up being on the Sunday. On the Sunday it snowed, and was beautiful. Shri Mataji was sitting in front of a big window and behind you could see the lake at Birmingham University and the snow falling. Shri Mataji said the sari hadn’t turned up because it wasn’t the right time to do the puja on the Saturday.

Maggie Burns

An honour to be there with Her

We were very blessed in the spring of 1985 when Shri Mataji came and spent a weekend with us in Birmingham. She did a public meeting on the Friday evening, and a weekend seminar with a puja on the Sunday. We met Her at the train station on the Friday and Shri Mataji was going to spend the afternoon at a yogini’s house before going to the public meeting. Someone pushed me into the back of Mother’s car.

‘Go on, you go,’ he said. It was such an honour to be there with Her.

When we got to the house the yogini was worried about the dog being a nuisance and had put her upstairs.

‘I like dogs,’ Mother said simply.

After we had eaten lunch, one of the yoginis travelling with Shri Mataji asked the lady who owned the house to let the dog down as Mother wanted to see it. We were all sitting in the living room in a big circle, Shri Mataji in one of the armchairs, some of us on the floor, others sitting on the settee. The dog came in and did a whole circuit of the room, ignoring everyone including its family members until she reached Mother’s chair when she sat down and put her head in Mother’s lap!

The rest of the weekend was spent at some of the halls of residence belonging to Birmingham University. The local ladies shared a floor with Shri Mataji and helped look after Her – we decorated Her room and brought meals up etc. It was just so wonderful to be so close to Mother, to see Her walking to the bathroom, or to take Her in a meal. I always felt so shy in Her presence but She was always so gentle and gracious and kind.

Joanne Moore

The most beautiful backdrop

It was the most glorious thing. It was spring and there were even blossoms. Here was Shri Mataji with an almost floor to ceiling window behind Her and the snow suddenly falling during Her puja talk. It was like She was in a movie or a glass ball that simulates snowfall. Of all the backdrops of all the pujas, perhaps it was the most beautiful. When it happened I think Shri Mataji was talking about maya.

Richard Payment

I was convinced I would never be close to Shri Mataji

In 1985, I was living at the Le Raincy ashram, Paris. I had started Sahaja Yoga in 1984 and had never had the chance to be close to Shri Mataji, contrary to the friends who I came to Sahaja Yoga with. It had been difficult, during the past year, not to be jealous, but finally I came to the point where I surrendered and accepted that I would never be close to Her. I was in this frame of mind when Shri Mataji arrived at the ashram.

She went into the living room and sat on a sofa which has been made ready for Her. As was often the protocol we were going to do a little puja to welcome our Mother, we would wash Her Feet. The living room was full of Sahaja Yogis and some were also sitting in the entrance. I was in the middle of the room surrounded by many brothers and sisters. Shri Mataji greeted everybody and an Indian sister was ready to start washing Her Feet, but somebody else was needed to help.

Shri Mataji looked around the room and suddenly pointed in our direction.

‘You, come,’ She said. As I was convinced I would never be close to Her, and quite satisfied with that I just turned my head towards the back to see who was to come forward. Nobody understood who Shri Mataji meant and it was only after being called four times by Her that I understand She was calling me, so I went forward and do the puja. The water was taken away and we massaged Shri Mataji’s Feet. I was massaging Her left Foot and the more I did so the more I felt hot, and at the end I was really sweating. After that I went back to my place, completely satisfied and shaken at the same time!

Trupta de Graaf

Cooking trout for everybody

In 1985 when Shri Mataji came to visit us in the ashram of Le Raincy, one evening She asked us what we were going to cook for Her. We said we were planning to cook some trout in the oven. She said we should also give that to the yogis who were coming in the evening.

There were about fifty coming so we went to buy the fish, and started to prepare them in our little kitchen. It was a real joke as we didn’t know how to prepare them, so we started by washing them, but when you wash trout they start to produce slime, so when we washed sixty, the whole kitchen was full of slime. We had only one small oven and it took quite some time to cook them, but in the end everybody got trout like Shri Mataji.

It was a real lesson in hospitality, as we had planned something very simple for the yogis. Shri Mataji taught us that we have to take good care of our guests, even if it gives us some work and trouble.

Trupta de Graaf

A swift departure

We were in Vienna, during a Sahasrara Puja weekend, in 1985. I am not certain if the story I am about to tell took place after the puja on Sunday or after the Saturday programme. What I do remember is at the end of one of these amazingly powerful evenings Shri Mataji suddenly announced that She wished to leave, indicating that She was ready to go that very moment – and as I was travelling with Her I rushed to the stage to help Her with Her shoes and accompany Her to the car. 

As Her departure had been quite sudden I didn’t have a moment to collect my belongings, including my shoes. To be sitting in such close proximity in the car with Mother after such a profound evening was quite wonderful and even a little terrifying. I was focusing on Her, and what an awesome blessing it was to be in such close proximity, when suddenly a fleeting worry came in my mind regarding my shoes. I immediately self-censored that thought with another, ‘Danya how can you possibly think of your shoes when in the presence of the Adi Shakti – you should be praying for the emancipation of the universe instead,’ and I didn’t give my shoes another thought. 

Later, when back at the ashram, I realised that Shri Mataji’s swift departure from the puja location had been so unexpected that there were no other yogis to greet Mother nor indeed any yoginis in the kitchen to prepare Her dinner; there was also no evidence of any food prepared for Mother. The yogis had prepared for Shri Mataji to dine at the puja venue, as was often the custom in those days.

Being a young unmarried girl, cooking wasn’t exactly a strong point but I felt Shri Mataji should eat before resting. We were in Her bedroom and I was about to go off to the kitchen to make some tea and explore possibilities.

‘You know, all I really want to eat are some frankfurters,’ She said. I went to the kitchen and the first and only cupboard I opened contained a tin of frankfurters. I prepared them (well within my capacity) and tea and took them up to Shri Mataji and She was kind enough to share some of them with me. 

Shri Mataji soon lay down to sleep and She asked me to rub Her Feet. I lost all track of time and when I imagined some hours had passed I crept out of the room feeling completely drunk with vibrations. I floated downstairs to the kitchen – this time it was full of yogis happily sitting around the table.

As I sat down and joined the joyful crowd I was aware out of the corner of my eye of an Austrian yogi walking in reverentially carrying a pair of shoes on a cushion – I didn’t twig immediately that this was strange, because I had put Shri Mataji’s shoes on Her Lotus Feet at the puja venue. It was only when he got close by that I realised it was in fact my shoes that were placed on the cushion.

‘What are you doing with my shoes?’ I said. I remember the laughter of the other yogis and the crestfallen look on his face. Later I reflected back to my fleeting worry in the car about my shoes and felt there must be a lesson somewhere – perhaps regarding the importance of paying attention to what we desire. ‘If it is shoes you want, here you are! You shall have your shoes brought to you on a silken pillow.’

  Danya Martoglio

The red sari

Shri Mataji choosing a sari to wear for a puja was a joy to behold. From all the heavenly shades in Her sari cupboard, itself a magical universe, She would finally pull one out.

‘Ah ha! Here it is! I will wear this one for the puja,’ She would say with satisfaction.

Once, during Sahasrara weekend in Vienna, I was sitting outside Shri Mataji’s room meditating whilst She was having Her bath in preparation for the puja. More than ever, I recall just wanting to make myself as small as possible and I felt so blessed waiting there because I could also hear Her singing. It was a lilting ancient song; a sacred prayer with stanzas – my heart recognised it even if my mind did not. I had placed the pre-chosen sari on the bed and when Mother saw it there She smiled joyfully and then kindly demonstrated the intricate golden square patterns, on a deep red background, by tracing them with Her gracious hand.

     ‘You see? Each of these little squares represents the mariadas of Shri Ganesha,’ She said.

 Until then I hadn’t really looked properly at the squares on the sari, just considering it absolutely rich and sumptuous. Knowing that everything Shri Mataji did had a deeper meaning, choosing a sari was also imbued with deep symbolism – from the chosen colour to the pattern on it.

Invariably, any time I compliment a Sahaja Yogini on one of their saris, they reply:

‘Shri Mataji gave it to me!’

Danya Martoglio

Sahasrara Puja 1985

Mother arrived and it was raining, raining and raining. The preparation for different holy events in different places was difficult. It was also difficult to transport the things where we needed them and to get ourselves dry, so Gregoire asked Mother if better weather would be possible. Mother in Her deep love did this.

Over Vienna and the village where the puja was celebrated, in Maria Theresa’s castle of Laxenburg deep rain clouds were hanging. But whenever the Sahaja Yogis were going by car or transporting something, wherever it was in Vienna, there was an open hole in the clouds, the rain stopped, the beautiful blue sky looked through and the warm sun sent her blessings on us. After we had finished whatever we were doing, the clouds closed again. It was like that for all three days.

 For the Sahasrara Puja Mother stayed in the castle. The Sahaja Yogis, along with their children also stayed in a part of it. Mother gave us blessings and invited us Lakshmis (mothers and wives) to sit with Her at a big table and like a mother She spoke with us. She told us to be careful with our children. We should not only use our emotions or only discipline, but our style of education should be a mixture of left and right side, integrated in Shri Ganesha’s wisdom. We should sit down nicely with our children and speak to them with love and respect in our hearts and love in our words. She explained that a pregnant mother should not look in the full moon because the energy is too strong for the little baby. At full moon it is better for pregnant ladies to stay at home.

Inge Hanny

Leaving my shyness behind

I made a Shri Ganesha statue out of clay for our ashram in Munich and it happened that it was put on the table next to Shri Mataji when She came in 1985. At that time, we were maybe just two hundred people who attended the puja. The stage was very small and nobody was behind Shri Mataji’s chair to serve Her if She needed something. Our little group of yogis in Munich was just one year old in Sahaja Yoga and we had no experience in preparing for a puja with Shri Mataji.

After the puja talk, Shri Mataji looked a few times at Her empty glass. No one got up or even seemed to see it, but when I saw that She made a gesture to pour Herself water in the glass, I jumped up, leaving my shyness behind and went on the stage.

‘Who has done that little Shri Ganesha?’ She asked, at the very moment when I served Her the glass of water. When I told Her it was me, She looked with big surprised eyes at me.

‘Really?’ She said and then gave me one of Her smiles, which stay in your heart for the rest of your life.

Annegret Kaluzny

I have to find this lady

In 1985 Shri Mataji was in Munich for a puja and a programme, and we went with Her to the airport. There was such a traffic jam on the way there and we were late. Shri Mataji was in a car with the leader and we were four ladies in a little car and we were just stuck. We had bought a big bunch of flowers to give Mother, but it was with someone else, not in our car. When we arrived at the airport, Shri Mataji had already gone through the customs and we didn’t see Her and we were so sad that we couldn’t say goodbye and give Her the flowers.

‘Why don’t you try to go through the customs?’ So someone said to me. I am always very confused at the airport, but I just went through the customs and the people there looked at me in an odd way because I didn’t show them my passport or anything.

‘Oh, I have to go and find this lady. I’ll come back very soon,’ I said, and off I went. Somehow I was in a long corridor and there was Shri Mataji at the very end. I took off my sandals and ran barefoot down this corridor with this bunch of flowers. Then Shri Mataji turned round and looked at me with big surprise and smiled at me, a big smile all over Her face. She opened Her arms and embraced me.

‘How did you make it?’ She said.

Monica Kalousen

One’s attention was on Mother

When launching Sahaja Yoga in Venice, in May 1985, a contingent of Sahaja Yogis’ travelled from Vienna, other parts of Italy and maybe some from Holland and we began putting up posters announcing Shri Mataji’s arrival and first public talk in Venice.

The following day we spent with Shri Mataji sightseeing and shopping. As we walked in St Mark’s Square Mother looked up at the roof of St Mark’s Cathedral and said how beautiful the horses that adorned the cathedral were, and then turning to us said that the reason England had such a bad Nahbi was that it had plundered great works of art from wherever they had been.

We visited St Mark’s Cathedral and as we explored the images and works of art, Mother eventually rested on a seat, and told us to look up at the mosaic on the ceiling. From where She was sitting the perspective was perfect to view the image of Christ with his disciples. Mother pointed out the fact that the disciples who were standing on one side of a river facing towards Lord Jesus on the other bank of the river, had their hands held out towards him taking vibrations, just as yogis do with Mother.

Later Mother wanted to go shopping for some presents for Her family and asked Sean to hold Her handbag as She viewed the jewellery in shop windows. Shri Mataji had already purchased some bracelets in a shop close by, and then She went into another of the stores to purchase some coral necklaces and bracelets. I had to accompany Her into the shop. Gregoire was upset as this shop provided the best quality coral at a more reasonable price and suggested taking the previous purchases back. Mother said this was not necessary – She had a conversation with the proprietor of the shop and asked him what he would do, as his town was slowly sinking into the sea. He smiled and said he would simply move to Rome when he could no longer stay in Venice.

Mother was giving a public programme in Venice that evening and there were between twenty-five to thirty yogis, and one suggested it was time for lunch. He offered to take Mother to a restaurant, but Mother insisted that we all eat together, and despite people’s protestations that we would not be able to find a restaurant at this time of the day with sufficient space, She led us into the small avenues off the square. Soon She found a small restaurant devoid of any customers with only the waiters looking out in expectation. It felt as if we filled the restaurant entirely though one cannot say for sure as naturally one’s attention was on Mother.

Sean Kelly

More time in Venice

We all dined again with Shri Mataji later that evening in another restaurant where She took a table with several of the doctors in Sahaja Yoga and spoke of how doctors should develop some discretion as to where their curative powers should be focused in human beings.

On our last day in Venice, Camillo, Gunter and I decided to obtain a gift of perfume for Shri Mataji and we raced into town to find an appropriate shop. However, all seemed to be closed, so we decided to catch the ferry to the market. Racing through the stalls we suddenly heard Mother’s voice.

‘Feel now, someone is sucking My vibrations,’ She said, and we soon found ourselves directly in front of Her. She asked us why we were there and in the same breath reminded us we didn’t have long before we should get back to the others.

Shri Mataji was heading towards the airport where She was to catch a flight to Rome and had been discussing the significance of the dove as an emblem for the Holy Spirit and where it had originated. No one could offer any reason and I proffered that it was because the dove had brought to Noah the olive branch as a symbol of peace. Mother burst into a smile.

‘Ah, that’s it,’ She said

After this She bade us get back to our coach or we’d miss our transport to Rome.

Sean Kelly

A busy visit

Shri Mataji came to Rome in May 1985 for a public programme and for Shri Ganesha Puja in Guidonia. We organised a series of TV interviews for Her on public (RAI) and local TV, plus a press conference where She spoke on Sahaja Yoga, and gave also realisation to the press people.

Alessandra Pallini

An evening at Rome ashram

At the Rome ashram, after being given a tour inside and out Shri Mataji asked Sean what he thought of it.

‘Too much Mother,’ he said, looking for some appropriate description.

‘Englishmen say too much,’ Shri Mataji immediately replied.

Shri Mataji then allowed us to do a haven and She requested many local herbs be brought from the kitchen to be offered in the fire.

We later were given a meal and Mother played a harmonium afterwards during which ice cream was served. As we listened to the music that followed Shri Mataji pointed out that really cold ice cream was not good for our Vishuddhis and when eventually Mother suggested we eat it She said how ideal the temperature of the ice cream had become.

Sean Kelly

I remember when I was there

I was driving Shri Mataji in 1985 from Rome to Tivoli and the road was quite long. She was sitting next to me and commenting on the landscape. She started speaking about some plants that were found in Palestine and only there, called ‘the blood of Christ’ or something like that. We, in the car, looked at Her.

‘Shri Mataji, have You been in Palestine?’ we asked.

‘No, but I remember when I was there at the time of Christ,’ She replied.

Ruth Eleanore

May I ask You a boon?

Once I was driving Shri Mataji’s car in 1985, during a week in Rome, where we had public programmes. She used to sit in front and every time She entered the car She would put some Indian perfume on our hands. Each day we would go to Rome for interviews with the radio and TV, and to do shopping. Once when we were coming back during the night to Pichini ashram, Shri Mataji was telling us how a man from Canada left Sahaja Yoga and went against Her. I spontaneously put my hand on my heart, and although usually I never asked Her anything, on that occasion I did.

‘May I ask You a boon?’ I asked, and She said I could. So I said, ‘Please, Mother, whatever I do in my life, never let me go against You.’ She smiled, like a mother, a sweet divine Mother.

‘OK,’ She said, and until now I feel this protection on me.

Duilio Cartocci

Shri Mataji had so many interviews (email report)

We have today returned from Rome, where the Shri Ganesha Puja was celebrated in May 1985. Shri Mataji has been in Italy since last Tuesday where She has already spoken at two public programmes in Milan; they went quite well with about three hundred people at each, a bit less than last year when more than a thousand people came to the single programme, but apparently Shri Mother was nonetheless pleased.

Shri Mataji arrived in Rome on Wednesday. Practically the whole of Saturday She spent in giving interviews, mainly for the television but also a press conference on Saturday morning which lasted for three and a half hours and was attended by about a dozen journalists – none of whom took notes – and several Sahaja Yogis. One lady just walked into the programme from the street, where she had felt a cool breeze coming from inside the building. All the journalists got their realisation and most felt the cool breeze; such articles as they produce will supplement two written by Alessandra (Pallini) in Italian, and one by Jeremy (Lamaison) in English, that have already appeared in the press. The first actual media coverage went out on Sunday at noon in the regular TV news broadcast, where the programmes were announced briefly and some silent footage of Shri Mataji was shown, coming from the press conference. About twenty million people were watching.

As soon as one national TV channel had secured an interview with Shri Mataji, all the others wanted to follow suit and several interviews took place. All the journalists concerned were very respectful and asked quite deep questions. While Shri Mataji was in Milan She spontaneously decided She would like a programme to be held in Venice; this has since been arranged for Wednesday, in two days’ time, and a few people went ahead to poster and publicise.

Our coach then drove us to the new ashram in the village of San Angelo Romano, about fifteen miles to the east of Rome, where we arrived about midday. The ashram, Nirmala House, is an extremely beautiful place, a villa with a huge long living room into which all the hundred and fifty visiting Sahaja Yogis were packed on the Saturday evening to take the darshan of Shri Mataji. It is quite a recent building with walls painted a rich ochre-red, surrounded by a large garden. The Sahaja Yogis keep hens, but none had laid any eggs for a while. On Thursday Shri Mataji arrived and the first egg to be laid by one of the ashram’s hens appeared the same day.

Some Sahaja Yogis who had attended the press conference related what had happened – a man who smoked and had a Vishuddhi catch which cleared when Shri Mother was working on him and in doing so gave off such an odour of stale cigarette smoke that someone there immediately opened all the windows! About nine o’clock Shri Mataji arrived, beaming and apologizing for Her late arrival, because She had had so many interviews.

Phil Ward

Merged in Her ocean of silence

Her ocean of silence

In 1985 I had the great opportunity to drive the car of Shri Mataji in Milan and in Rome. After the Shri Ganesha Puja in Rome, Shri Mataji went in Her room to rest a little. At that time we had a havan. After that I went into Her room to say good bye: I was going home. Shri Mataji was there with Alessandra Pallini. Shri Mataji lay down on the bed and took Her Feet out from under the cover and asked me to put my Sahasrara under Her Feet, so I did. She asked me to press my hands on Her Feet, and to press the Feet down on my head. I don’t know how long I was there; it was like entering into a deep ocean, full of silence and nothing else. It was completely silent, merged in Her ocean of silence.

‘Now you are protected, and now you can go,’ She said, or something like that.

I couldn’t image why She did it, but it was a kind of a blessing. After that I met my Brazilian wife and went to Brazil with her to start Sahaja Yoga there, so did not see Shri Mataji for the next three years. In that moment, in Rome, I didn’t know that, but She knew exactly what was going to happen.

Three years later I came for Sahasrara Puja on a beach close to Rome. As soon as I entered Her room, She greeted me as if She had seen me five minutes before.

Duilio Cartocci

Not necessarily for that moment

This is a story about time, and beyond time and time awareness. It was in Rome in the 1980’s and Shri Mataji stayed at Tivoli, where a Sahaja Yogi had a hotel. I had to drive Her back to the airport and was ready with my little car to pick Her up. Usually I’m extremely nervous when it comes to planes and timetables, but for once I was amazingly calm and just waited by the car for Shri Mataji. She came down and I drove Her.

‘You don’t need to worry about the time,’ She told me. ‘You’ve been so nervous. It will be OK to get the plane.’

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I laughed. The one time where I was not nervous, She made a remark to me, that I was nervous about planes and times. It was a little lesson, definitely correct, but not necessarily for that moment.

Ruth Eleanore

A miracle photo

One afternoon in 1985, Mother and Sir CP had an Indian diplomat couple for tea at Brompton Square. They had some problems and I vividly remember how incredibly loving Mother was with them, literally transforming them before our very eyes. As they were leaving, Shri Mataji asked for a photo as a reminder, so I got my camera.

I had a real problem with miracle photos back then. Having just a few years earlier attended art school where I had studied photography, all of these long exposures with moving lights etc could in my eyes be easily explained. Plus I found it all a little insulting to Mother. She was so obviously divine – how She carried Herself, Her gestures, Her speech, not to mention the content of what She was saying.

So, I’m back with my camera, at the end of a roll and had no other film so only took two photos. When I picked them up I was absolutely silenced. In the first Mother has Her hands crossed. In the second She has let them drop to Her sides and there is a gentle ray of light pouring from Her left Swadishthan! On the technical side, the 35mm negative of these two prints had no marks or bends or damage of any kind.

Rome School preparations, 1985

About the Rome School and Rome ashram instructions, Shri Mataji spoke to me on the phone for some time. She asked me to come to Brompton Square to talk more. I went, and then She talked for a long time about this. She asked me to write down all the instructions about how to teach children etc. She paid for an air ticket for me and my daughter to go to Rome, then asked me for my passport and the ticket, which had been booked by someone else. She was not happy that my ticket was not with the group, because I had just arrived to London and did not speak Italian. She took my passport and ticket and gave them a bandhan.

‘Your passport has bad vibrations, so try to get UK nationality and a new passport,’ She said.

‘Yes, Mother,’ I said.

‘You will be staying there for one month, and in that period you will be looking after a little girl. It is your responsibility to clear her Left Nabhi and massage her as she is not able to stand and while crawling she is not able to fold her left foot.’

Mother extended my stay by another five weeks, as the Sahaja Yogis of Rome requested it, and the little girl improved.

I do not remember all the instructions Shri Mataji gave me, as I gave the paper I had written to the Italian leader, but I still remember Mother said that we should make all the children meditate, and should teach them how to water the plants.

Shakuntala Tandale

Chapter 11: 1985, May and June, USA

USA Tour 1985 (diary entry)

We are in the air going from London to New York on 26th May. Shri Mataji, the Adi Shakti in person, will arrive in America in about an hour. Shri Mataji has said this is a very auspicious day, because it is the day of Shri Asthami, an aspect of Shri Durga. On this precise day Shri Mataji has decided to go to America, to fight and defeat the devils and the negativity which is here. Let us hope that Her compassion will overcome the forces of evil!

In the plane, we are accompanied in our First Class seats by an official of Air India. Soon after we took off we went through a bank of clouds with thunder and lightning, and Shri Mataji said Shri Vishnumaya was announcing Her arrival. She gave a bandhan and it cleared. After we had eaten we went to sleep.

When She woke up Shri Mataji spoke a little about the United States. She said that New York had very bad vibrations, like Rome, and the people were very materialistic – all the materialists have incarnated here. While the plane was landing, Indian flute music was played, Shri Krishna has accompanied Shri Mataji to his land, She said.

We arrived in the United States, to the Hamsa, this city of negativity which is New York. Thank You Mother, for having called me to be present at these events, and to be a witness to them.

The following morning we went out with two Sahaja Yogis to go shopping. We spent the morning at Macy’s and bought silver and other presents for the Americans. We ate at a little self service restaurant in the big shop, with Shri Adi Shakti seated on a balcony on a high stool like everyone else! And what did we all have to eat? Hamburgers, chips and tomato ketchup with Coca-Cola to drink. When we left the shop I took a photo of Shri Mataji in front of the Empire State Building, with Broadway in the background.

Alessandra Pallini

Arrival in Los Angeles, 28th May 1985 (diary entry)

Last night we arrived in Los Angeles from New York. All the Sahaja Yogis met us and took us to the house of Dr Worliker and his family. He is a physicist who teaches at the University of California. The atmosphere is so joyous, at the reunion of all the Sahaja Yogis. Shri Mataji spoke about America, saying that at the moment it is a very difficult country for Sahaja Yoga. There are many seekers, but they are lost in materialism, drugs and the excessive ‘liberty’ of this land. The Americans are very, very materialistic and it is difficult to guide their attention to the Spirit. Shri Mataji further said that they are a people without culture, always looking for something new, and they are without roots. Many Americans dress like beggars, and are uneducated and primitive.

Two instances seemed to confirm this: the first a young woman at the customs in New York, and the second a hostess of the ‘People Express’ with which we had travelled. The first woman stopped Shri Mataji at the customs and in an arrogant and uneducated manner, held Her back, making us feel ill at ease and expressing her annoyance, with various racist pretexts, made Her open all Her cases. She put her hands in everything, as if looking for something. And this, despite Shri Mataji having a diplomatic passport!

In the second instance the hostess did not want us to carry our hand baggage with us and took a beauty case away from us, but later it was given back by a man. This gave Shri Mataji the chance to say that in America the men are better than the women. The women have developed their right side too much and consequently have lost their power, and have become aggressive and hard.

Alessandra Pallini

Handmaiden to the Goddess

When I was eighteen I found myself sitting next to the Adi Shakti on a flight to New York, in about 1985. It was such a memorable journey on many levels. Sometimes I would get to take out Her vibrations and sometimes I would just watch over Her as She slept. For periods of the journey She would sit and contemplate and other times She was quite chatty, covering a range of subjects and moods. I remember wanting others to be there to share in these pearls. 
Shri Mataji spoke of the loneliness of God’s existence, poignantly comparing it to one solitary flower living in a forest with no other flowers.

‘I am completely alone,’ She said, looking into the middle distance beyond the visible world that we know.

I could only keep my eyes on Her lotus Feet and wait. Sometimes when the mood changed I would fall into the web of maya and feel like I could just rest my head on the soft shoulder of my dear Mother, who was wearing a very cosy looking cream cashmere cardigan. At other moments I felt buoyant like a speck of dust dancing in the sun’s brilliance as She would have me chuckling with Her great wit. Shri Mataji gave me a useful run-down of what I was likely to encounter on my first visit to America. She warned that I was likely to see more obesity there than the UK due to some poor eating habits. She also told me that New Yorkers could appear quite rude because they were always rushing here and there but they had really good hearts. 
On that journey Shri Mataji also touched the topic of rebirth. In this life, She explained, if we form a strong relationship with a mother figure, for example an aunt or friend of the family, we may even say ‘I wish you were my mum,’ then in future lives we could end up being born to that very person. Shri Mataji also said that the highly evolved souls could choose their birth and would often be born in the same place in order to do good for that part of the world. Conversely the wicked would aim to be born again and again in the same place to do the most damage to one area. She explained that some souls who are not so evolved just get scattered like seeds in the winds and are born anywhere. As I looked out of the window of the airplane I imagined such souls being blown about and landing on the Earth just as we were about to.
The next day when we were in a yellow cab waiting at a traffic light a very, very large lady ambled across the road. Shri Mataji nudged me and said, ‘I told you so’. Later on, when out shopping Shri Mataji approached a young salesman in a shop to ask about an item. Before She could finish Her sentence, he abruptly put his hand up and yelled, ‘Just ONE moment Ma’am!’ I was upset by his disrespect but Shri Mataji was least disturbed, remaining completely unruffled.

‘Don’t worry, He doesn’t mean to be rude,’ She pulled me aside saying, and sure enough, when he was free, the salesman came over and couldn’t have been more charming, attentive and kind. 

Danya Martoglio

It left me breathless

In Los Angeles, we were staying at Dr Worliker’s. In the evening, after a day spent in town, Shri Mataji asked some yogis to massage some parts of Her body to get the vibrations out. While two yogis were massaging Her Feet, She asked me to massage the side of Her head corresponding to the ego and back Agnya. When I placed my hand on Her head, Shri Mataji asked me to press very hard on that area using the palm of my hand and not the fingers. As soon as I touched Her head, I had the most stunning and extraordinary experience to feel that the bones of Her scalp were not rigid and still, as it is for our normal heads. But they were sort of elastic, like rubber, slowly pulsating under my hand, as if they were progressively expanding outwards and then regressing inside in a sort of rhythmical breathing movement, which left me breathless.

She kept asking me to press hard, as much as I could, on that side of Her head, which kept pulsating rhythmically and slowly during the whole massage.

Alessandra Pallini

Singing songs of praise to the Devi

Dr Worliker was a wonderful host. In the boot of his car he always kept an iron to press Shri Mataji’s saris. He gave us girls a sari ironing lesson, saying he’d learnt to iron his mother’s saris.

He took Shri Mataji to his laboratory to bless his work. He had been nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work on peptides (short chains of amino acids). We were in a Mexican restaurant with Shri Mataji and Dr Worliker, who had been describing his research. She told him how peptides were arranged in spirals, which he had missed. We’ll never forget his amazement.

‘Is that so Shri Mataji? Is that so?’ he kept on saying.

The laboratory was not pleasant, with rabbits and other animals, but Shri Mataji went in. Meanwhile, upstairs the staff had prepared morning tea for Her. They had a plain, tasteless, pineapple cake from the supermarket. Shri Mataji and Dr Worliker came upstairs and sat down for tea.

‘How did you know, that is My favourite cake!’ Shri Mataji said so sweetly, and with so much love.

In the car later on there was some discussion about Dr Worliker.

‘What do you think of Dr Worliker?’ Shri Mataji said to my husband.

‘I think he’s wonderful Shri Mother, except when he’s driving You in his Mercedes, hands off the wheel, singing songs of praise to the Devi,’ he replied.

‘We are in no danger when he is doing that,’ Shri Mataji said, and laughed.

Frances Henke

He could hear someone asking his name

One wonderful cure was of a young man in Los Angeles. His name was Gabriel. He came up to Shri Mataji in the dark of a car park after the programme in Beverley Hills. He was deaf in one ear. She asked him to block his good ear and spoke into the deaf ear. After a little while a fabulous smile came over Gabriel’s face. He could hear someone asking his name.

Frances Henke

To save the land of the Vishuddhi (diary entry)

This morning, in Los Angeles, Shri Mataji gave a wonderful talk on creation, which was recorded. Then we went to Hollywood. It made an impression on me, to see Shri Mataji, the Adi Shakti, walking in Her white sari along Sunset Boulevard, which is full of film studios and movie theatres which symbolise the ‘star system’ of Hollywood. We were there to contact a TV presenter who has a popular programme.

Work needed in America

We went to San Diego, a town about sixty miles from Los Angeles, on the ocean. Here there is a fairly large Sahaja Yoga centre, run by Dave and Madhuri Dunphy, who had a baby of about forty days old, that Shri Mataji worked on, and afterwards the baby went to sleep, with one hand towards Shri Mataji and the other on the Sahasrara.

We went to a Chinese restaurant where our Indian companions, Dr Worliker, his wife and two or three others, very kindly invited us and treated us to a meal. After the conversation with the TV employee, Shri Mataji said again that America had not really ‘clicked’, (worked out) like Italy had this year. In fact, the atmosphere and the vibrations were still heavy and in these two cities where we have been recently, New York and Los Angeles, one felt this heaviness in one’s meditation.

Despite the presence of the Adi Shakti, it was very difficult to raise the Kundalini and the attention was very heavy. In Los Angeles as soon as one went out of the Worliker’s house, where Shri Mataji was staying, one felt one’s head in a clamp, particularly in the area of the Vishuddhi and Hamsa. However, Shri Mataji put Her attention on the heart. She said that unless the heart is completely pure and absolutely dedicated to Her, it is not possible to have much growth in Sahaja Yoga.

More than once She expressed Her tiredness concerning the Americans, and towards their slowness to take to Sahaja Yoga. It seemed they did not want to know more, but She said, ‘How is it possible to abandon this land?’

In Her talks She made us understand that also the collectivity of the Sahaja Yogis in America, although much better, had a lot of work to do to stabilise and was still not ready to take a great leap forward. But the Americans had been very active and had taken Shri Mataji in their attention and thoughts, with flowers, ornaments and dedication. The same went for the Indian families living in America, they had made the atmosphere joyous. We sang bhajans with the Indians and the Americans and Shri Mataji became very energetic and was no longer tired. The only thing which seemed to disturb Her were the heavy vibrations of the place. We massaged Her Lotus Feet and put our hands on various parts of Her body to help clear this. Imagine how it felt to put one’s hand on the head of the Adi Shakti!

I had another proof of Her divine nature, physical this time. While She asked me to press hard, with my fingers and my palm, on Her head, I felt under my hand a rhythmic and very strong pulsation which moved the bones of the skull as if it was almost movable, elastic and pulsating. She asked me to push with all my strength on Her right Agnya, which pulsated arhythmically, and went in and out of Her head. What was happening within Her, while we were massaging Her and absorbing the vibrations? Perhaps She was working on Los Angeles, on the Vishuddhi of the cosmos, and the ego, and on the Vishuddhi of those Americans who were still so far from the reality of their salvation.

Alessandra Pallini

Keep smiling

I had been in Sahaja Yoga for three years and met Shri Mataji in India at the beginning of 1983, and in Vancouver later that year; but as I’d spent almost a year completely cut off from Sahaja Yogis and news of Shri Mataji, I was still very new and naive. I bought a necktie and boarded a plane to see Her again in May 1985.

In Los Angeles I found myself sleeping on a living room floor with some jolly brothers in the home of a well-to-do Maharashtran devotee and his family. Shri Mataji slept in the bedroom off the kitchen. I can’t say how many days we spent there, but I vividly recall standing, eating a plate of food in the kitchen, always facing Shri Mataji’s door, when it was suddenly opened by a yogini inside, and God was there in physical form just beyond the other end of the kitchen. I immediately put down my plate and held both hands, palms up towards Her. Through the bustle of activity in between us, She turned slightly and did namaste to me. I immediately clasped my hands together and bowed my head. When I lifted my gaze an eternity later, the bedroom door was closed again as if nothing had happened.

She would come and sit in the living room, with Her assembled adult children on the carpeted floor facing Her. Two points remain fixed in my brain. One was when She mentioned that the baby daughter of one couple there had told Her in a dream, when She was still in India, that America is catching on the Right Heart.

The second point, which is possibly more significant now than it was a quarter century ago, was in answer to a Sahaja Yogi’s query about the Last Judgement. Shri Mataji explained that when the time comes, all the Sahaja Yogis – ‘Whoever we can call Sahaja Yogis’ – will go to India, and the rest of the world will be subject to one thousand punishments. Just one of these punishments will be the feeling of boiling oil inside a person, with no way of stopping it. More recently, I decided that this must already have started, but Shri Mataji mentioned on more than one occasion that God never knew that so many people would become Sahaja Yogis, so the now impractical plan of gathering several hundred thousand of us in India (seems to have) been scrapped.

When I heard we were to go to San Diego for a public programme, I was terrified about what my boss in Vancouver would say if I asked for more days off. However, when I made my request, he replied, ‘San Diego? Have a great time, and see you in a week!’

The next day I was riding in a convoy that included Shri Mataji through sunny California. We stopped at someone’s home for Her to have a snack and rest. We also crossed the Mexican border with Shri Mataji for shopping and a Mexican meal at a restaurant in Tijuana, then a relatively harmless, small village. After the public programme back in San Diego, She fell asleep sitting on the living room sofa at the ashram. She then told us She was working on Mexico as well.

A puja was planned for the coming weekend in New York, but Shri Mataji suggested that She stay a day longer for a Devi Puja to vibrate the new San Diego ashram. Each of us was allowed to wash Her Lotus Feet. That was the absolute peak in my evolution.

‘Keep smiling like that!’ She told me. Afterwards, each of us in that living room was allowed to go forward to be worked on by Her. When my lucky turn came, I was eager for Her to tell me about all my problems. Instead, my case turned out to be quite simple.

‘Don’t feel guilty,’ She said twice, as I bowed before Her, then, ‘everything will be alright. Just meditate regularly.’ I haven’t missed a day since!

Eight years later, when I returned to Vancouver from Europe for the first time in seven years, Shri Mataji saw me after the public programme, when only the yogis were left present. She stopped and looked over at me.

‘Oh, you’re here!’ She exclaimed and continued to walk silently to the elevator, then said to no one in particular about me, ‘He’s Canadian.’

At the airport the following day, She asked if I was coming to Los Angeles. When I replied in the affirmative, She said simply, ‘Good.’ I’m sure I grew an inch taller then, in those generous divine vibrations.

Edward Saugstad

Her grace and blessings

‘Ma, what am I going to do? Everyone has to do some job,’ I asked Shri Mataji when I went to the USA. She looked at me and smiled.

‘Do accounting – there is lots of work here for you. You will find it,’ She said.

I did not have any experience but She said it was the right kind of work for me. I have dealt with money throughout my time here and have never had any problem finding a job.

By HHer grace and blessings all my children and grandchildren are doing well. She gave me the total blessing of Her love – detached love, thoughtlessness and peace, and it makes no difference where I am.

Pramila Mehra

Shri Mataji was stabilising Italian Sahaja Yoga (diary entry)

In these days, during Her talks, Shri Mataji had praised the Italians. She said that in the ashram we had achieved that collective quality, which was a marked by a lack of arguments and struggles between the Sahaja Yogis, and this is the basis of the jump forward of Sahaja Yoga. She spoke of the dedication and recognition of one of the Italian leaders, which was rare in the west, and that in our culture there was a sense of the sacred, the holy. On the negative side, She spoke of the lack of commitment in their work, and a lack of responsibility, the fact that many believe they are artists, but they are just bohemians (dropouts). Many people start some work and then leave it, – this had happened at the ashram in Rome – She said. Many people in Italy like to be like this and do not want to change. The lack of work does not depend on the external situation, but with what is within. It is a big problem and must change, because these people weigh down Sahaja Yoga economically and give a bad impression to others. Many have artistic talents, but they must use them professionally. She hoped people would follow Her advice and Her suggestions.

As far as the rearing of free range, and not hybrid hens were concerned, (She had suggested this activity to some people who were living in the Rome ashram at Guidonia) Shri Mataji said to put some attention on it, enough to keep it going so it does not collapse, and to make it profitable.

It seemed that in America Shri Mataji was putting Her attention on Italy, to stabilise the Nabhi. She always spoke well of the Italians except in these two aspects, one was the sense of responsibility, the right Nabhi, the Raja Lakshmi, and the other was the left Nabhi.

She said that Italy was part of the left Nabhi, in the cosmic geography, the spleen, and our spleen is very hectic. The spleen is the organ in the body which nourishes the body and gives a rhythm to the speed of the action of our movements, and at the moment is not all right.

She gave an example of this. She said that when She says to do something we Italians run off to do it without working out a programme together for the way to do it, with the consequence that there is a great waste of energy. Lack of system. Then She said that when we want something, while in England they know where to find it, we would not know for sure who sold what thing. She concluded by saying that the Italians were very confused people.

What a blessing it has been to be with Her at this time! From London, from where we left, I have been close to Her for the plane journey, in New York all the time, then to Los Angeles where I slept in Her room, at Her Lotus Feet, when we went shopping, and I went in the car with Her when She went to an interview. Her sweetness, Her harmony, Her generosity is unutterable, as is the way Her attention is on everybody. Often I asked myself, how come I had this honour, thus enormous blessing, to be with Her?

Alessandra Pallini

A rest day in New York (diary entry)

We are again in New York. Shri Mataji returned here from Los Angeles on Saturday. We travelled during the night and slept on the plane. All the Sahaja Yogis accompanied us to the airport from Dr Worliker’s, and many came to New York with us, on the same plane. We were put up to First Class, where Shri Mataji ate an enormous club sandwich of many layers, American style, with salad, tomatoes, onions, cheese etc – She just managed to hold it in Her hands while She ate it, and said, concerning this sort of food, ‘What a people!’ After that She slept, at half past eleven. We woke up at four o’clock, and She said to me that I had also slept in the car on the way to the airport, and was somewhat on the left, and told me to raise the right side and bring down the left.

We went to Michael Petrunia and his wife, on Jay Street, Brooklyn, and there spent the day quietly, the first since we had arrived, and Shri Mataji was able to rest a little. She had a bath, and had us massage Her Feet, and Michael and I spent almost the whole day doing this. This enabled the vibrations She had accumulated on Her body to be dispersed.

Alessandra Pallini

New Jersey, June 1985 (diary entry)

Yesterday, on Sunday, at the New Jersey ashram, we had a puja to Shri Krishna at about eleven o’clock in the morning. It was truly Shri Radha and Shri Krishna who walked up the steps of the ashram to come and be adored by Her devoted children of America. She was escorted with great emotion, the short distance, by one of the Sahaja Yogis to the place of the puja. But it was an immeasurable distance, because She was the Devi, incarnated in the role of Shri Krishna, of the Virata, to inundate this country with such blessings, vibrations and wisdom, and with collective love.

It was a beautiful puja and Shri Mataji wore a sari of the colours of Shri Radha – red with a little orange and green, and She wore in a different way from usual. The end of the palu came down over Her right side, towards the left, leaving the left arm uncovered. Shri Mataji explained that Shri Radha is the one who sustains the energy, and is the power, and because of this the left arm has to be uncovered. She spoke of the roles of men and women, and the importance of balance between the man and the woman, and in the family, so that the collective quality of the Virata can manifest, and the Vishuddhi of the Virata can carry out its cosmic role.

At the end She made a bandhan of kumkum on Her forehead, around the bindi, put up the fingers of Her right hand near Her shoulder, and crossed Her Feet in a way that I had never seen, in the position of Shri Krishna. There were a lot of relatively new people at the puja, a little less than a hundred in all. The very strong vibrations had, for a few hours, cut into the band which is always present at the Vishuddhi and the Hamsa.

In the evening, ghee, with ash from the havan, was put on everybody’s Agnyas – the havan having been done in the afternoon when Shri Mataji was resting in Her room.

This puja was very different from the one in San Diego two days before, which was not expected, and was more intimate, perhaps more profound and more fruitful as far as vibrations were concerned, and more similar to the atmosphere of the pujas in Europe. This puja was more symbolic, and represented the ascent of America.

Alessandra Pallini

Three public programmes (diary entry)

The programmes in New York went well and there were about two hundred people, at least for the first two, and they were nearly all fairly normal. There were some freaks and punks, and some fanatic Russian Jews who tried to disturb, but they had been arrested on the third day, because there is a law saying that it is forbidden to disturb religious meetings. Most of the people were very positive, wanted their realisation and had a lot of respect for Shri Mataji. The vibrations were less heavy than in San Diego, and the third night was the best. It was only for those who had come on the previous two nights, and had already had realisation. The atmosphere was lighter and Shri Mataji’s talk was much deeper, and gave a much greater knowledge of Sahaja Yoga than at the other programmes. After these programmes many of the people wanted to meet Shri Mataji in person and She dedicated a lot of time, patience and work to this.

Shri Mataji is truly the Devi, and during Her talks hurled Her darts and Her weapons at all the bhuts of America who have come to obstruct the successful fulfilment of the divine plan. With Her gestures, the expression on Her face, Her eyebrows and above all with Her fiery eyes She manifested Her regal power, which is both subtle and divine. As well as Her aspect as a warrior, She has also come to this land with love towards Her lost children of the Virata, who finally, after these programmes, are starting to open and participate in this ultimate phase of the divine leela.

Shri Mataji mentioned more than once that the major defect of the Americans is that they do not have discrimination, because they have too much Ego.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Krishna and the spoonful of butter

In 1985 in the garden of the Gaddy’s house in New Jersey we were blessed to perform puja to Shri Mataji in the form of Shri Krishna.

I had placed an Indian cotton cloth on the side of the stage in case it was needed as a floor covering at any point. This was the first time I had helped with puja preparations and didn’t really know what was needed. During the puja, the cloth was somehow accidentally offered to Shri Mataji and She asked what it was for. I don’t know what the yogis replied, but Shri Mataji considered for a moment, unfolded it partway and wrapped it around Her lower back on the Swadishthan.

Later on during the puja, Shri Mataji asked for some butter. There was no butter among the items prepared. No one moved or responded and Shri Mataji asked a second time. At that point, I jumped up and ran into the kitchen, which was a complete disaster. I opened the refrigerator and looked everywhere – no butter! Then I looked on the table among the enormous mess and discovered a butter dish, with a bit of clean untouched butter on it. I hesitated to take this as it seemed unfit for the Goddess, but then told myself that if the Goddess has asked for butter, butter must be offered. Unable to find a clean plate or bowl, I scooped it up in a clean spoon and ran out to the puja. I was called forward, and Shri Mataji very graciously ate the butter off the spoon.

Later on, I was able to collect the cotton cloth from the side of the stage. Deciding that the best use of it was to wrap it around my Vishuddhi while I slept, I woke the next morning to a very sore throat! The work of clearing the Vishuddhi had begun.

Pramod Shete

Do you want to get married?

At that puja all the yogis who had received realisation the previous year were introduced to Shri Mataji. At that time there were no yuva shakti, so living in an ashram as an unmarried girl could often be lonely. When I was introduced, Shri Mataji took my right hand in Her right hand and placed Her left hand on my Sahasrara while I wept copiously. I had no thoughts, but just the feeling of holding on to my Mother for dear life.

‘Do you want to get married?’ Shri Mataji asked.

I hadn’t actually thought about it at that point, as I was only twenty, but of course nodded through my tears. Shri Mataji then said something along the lines of, ‘Come to India and I will find you a nice boy.’

It took me almost three years to get there.

Pramod Shete

Chapter 13, 1985 – June and July, Europe

A discussion with Lord Jesus

The day before the public programme in Madrid I was alone in the room with Shri Mataji absorbing vibrations from Her Divine Feet and suddenly She started having a heated debate with someone in a language incomprehensible to me. When Mother realized that I did not see anyone in the room, She interrupted the debate.

‘Javier, I’m having a very strong discussion with Jesus Christ, who refuses to open the Agnya chakra of the Spanish people in the programme of tomorrow. He is angry with them because in His name they exterminated over six million Indians in America,’ She explained.

Later Mother asked me to leave the room and the debate continued. The next day we went to the programme, which was held in a room at the University of Madrid.

‘Javier, do not worry, last night I came to terms with Jesus. He agreed to open the Agnya chakra today provided that I publicly denounce all the atrocities they have done in His name,’ She said.

Thus began the conference: ‘I thank God that Christopher Columbus was wrong and did not come to India as planned, because otherwise I would not be here talking to you, as you would have exterminated us as well.’ The speech continued as strong as this throughout the session and I confess I felt quite tense and feared that after the programme the Spanish Civil Guard would expel us.

‘Those who do not want it can leave the room,’ Mother said before giving self realisation, but to my surprise no one did. After the realisation She very happily said, ‘All have got it,’ and many came to Her Feet to thank Her, crying.

Javier Valderamma

Expelling every impurity

I had this experience twice. Once when I was a student, there was a Sahasrara Puja. I was alone in the ashram because I couldn’t go because I had an exam. In the evening I sat in front of that black and white photograph where Mother is sitting cross-legged and is looking quite fierce — Shri Hanuman. At the time, I didn’t know it was a Shri Hanuman photo. And at a certain point, I began to feel an incredible experience of seeing Shri Mataji’s face transform into the face of Hanuman.

This put me into this very deep state of meditation and the Kundalini was powering out. I felt a sort of rage within me, but I was totally detached from it. I was in total joy, total bliss and peace, but there was this power, which was separate from me, which I can only describe as pure rage and fury against anything that was impure and not the Spirit. I remember the Kundalini expelling every impurity from within me, as if every impurity was leaving because they couldn’t tolerate that condition.

A few years later, when I was in Spain, Mother came and did a public programme. The hall was crowded out and She told all the Sahaja Yogis to come and sit on the stage around Her.

‘No, you don’t come onto the stage. Go and sit at the back by the door,’ She said to me.

‘Okay,’ I thought. I had geared myself up to be sitting quite close to Her and I ended up at the back of the hall.

The hall was a big university lecture room in a university building. This was in 1985 in Madrid in the summer period. It was very hot and She asked me to open the doors at the back to let some air in.

Then Shri Mataji proceeded to give realisation and, at that moment, some young layabouts walked down the corridor making a lot of noise and they peeped in. They saw Shri Mataji gesticulating and showing people how to raise the Kundalini, and they started making fun of Her.

I had exactly the same experience. This rage began to manifest in me, but like before, I was totally in bliss. Without thinking what I was going to do, I stood up and walked out of the hall towards these boys. There was a large group of them and they were very rough looking. Normally, I would have been apprehensive, but I stood up and walked towards them, and they were frightened and ran off. I don’t know what they saw.

I just turned round and sat down again. It was an extraordinary experience.

Robert Hunter

Shri Mataji was pleased.

After the programme we had invited Mother out to dinner in the restaurant of a Sahaja Yogini, who had arranged for a part of the restaurant to be sectioned off for us and arranged the tables in a big U shape. Mother sat at the head, in the middle, with all the Sahaja Yogis on either side of Her. There were about 30 of us, all facing Shri Mataji and easily able to hear what She was saying. Because I was one of the few people who spoke English and Spanish, Mother called me to sit at Her side and translate for Her. I honestly cannot remember the things She said. I do remember the feeling of being in heaven.

Earlier that day, Shri Mataji had suggested performing a puja in the restaurant, after dinner. Of course, we were completely unprepared for this and had great fun in the chaos of madly trying to make arrangements. In the end, it was a very simple affair. Mother did not want any mantras, but asked us to play a tape of some Indian classical music. She then asked us to come up two by two to worship Her Holy Feet with water.

‘Nabhi and Vishuddhi,’ She said when it was my turn, while I was doing namaskar.

As I got up, I looked across at the other person doing namaskar with me. We did not say anything, but our eyes were clearly asking each other “Is She talking about you or me?” For years after that we used to joke about this.

We had prepared a crown of flowers to offer and also loose flowers to decorate Shri Mataji’s Feet. She was wearing one of the white saris that She usually wore for public programmes. She commented that the puja was unique because She did not usually perform pujas in the white saris, because they are meant to represent asceticism. Pujas, on the other hand, are meant to glorify the Divine. My lasting memory of that puja was the experience of seeing Shri Mataji in the state of ‘prasanna’, being filled with ever-increasing joy, like a snowball rolling down the mountain, at the simple knowledge that She was pleased. I think it was the first time I had witnessed this aspect of Shri Mataji and I will treasure the memory forever.

Robert Hunter

A wonderful trip
On June 27th, 1985, Mother came to Spain for two public programmes, attended by over 200 people. It was the first time the Spanish yogis had the opportunity to prepare a programme for Mother and they were nervous and excited.

On the 28th was the second programme, the puja and dinner. It was a wonderful experience to feel so close to Mother, in the literal sense of the word and to take care of Her and the seventeen Sahaja Yogis from England and seven from Switzerland, who came to Madrid to receive Mother at the airport, accompanying the Spanish yogis on hosting and each offering Her a red rose. According to the census of that time, there were only twelve Spanish yogis. Mother said it was a good number when the yogis told Her.
My experience was strong when I met Shri Mataji for the first time, as I had received my realisation in spring, some four months before, only meditating very little at this time. I still did not feel like a yogi or part of the Sahaja group. We were two people who came from the first public programme in Zaragoza, to Madrid. We were invited to meet Shri Mataji, Joaquín and José Luis, a student of psychology. Another José Luis Sancho joined us, the first yogi in Zaragoza, who received his realisation in 1984.

I clearly remember the puja and the dinner with Mother and the Sahaja Yogis, which were celebrated in the same place. It was at a restaurant called Colomba, meaning pigeon, situated outside Madrid. The owner, Rosalia, is a Spanish yogini. When we arrived at the restaurant we were welcomed lovingly by the yogis, me still not knowing why we were at the restaurant, except to meet the Mother of the Sahaja Yogis, nothing more. As we entered the restaurant I noticed some people at the bar drinking some refreshments. We continued inside the restaurant and on the left side of the room, I noticed that they were making preparations for a ceremony, the puja. This upset me a little, as inside of me I felt a sense of resentment and I felt this is ‘not for me, but for them.’ I looked back and noticed that there were chairs being arranged around the entrance to form a sense of privacy. I started to feel trapped, a sense of no escape. Eventually I accepted the situation and decided to stay; perhaps the enthusiasm and encouragement of the yogis convinced me.

Suddenly, without realizing it during the puja, it was time to wash the Feet of Shri Mataji. I went up with a group of three people. I was in front of Mother with two other yogis who started washing the Feet. I followed them and started washing Her instep when Shri Mataji´s hand moved my hand down towards Her heel. I noticed that this part of the foot was rougher by touch, and I went back to Her instep, and again She guided my hand to Her heel. I then realized to obey this, not knowing the work of Mother, She was actually cleaning my left Mooladhara, which I at the time did not realize that I was before the Goddess.

The yogis then started getting up and moving away. I continued in my posture at the Feet of Mother, not knowing what to do next, as this was all new to me. Mother then looked at me and said, “What about you?” She then extended Her hand and made bandhans on my Sahasrara and my hands, looking at me with Her attention and told me to repeat after Her “Mother come in my Sahasrara”. After a little while She exclaimed, ‘Ah better now, alright,’ and gave me this blessing, ‘May God Bless you.’

It’s hard to describe, but I started to feel the significance of the word Mother and from that moment I started to feel different, and lucky to be there. Mother continued talking with the others, and working with each one of us lovingly and thoroughly.

Joaquin Orus

A long night filled with joy

In the second photo you can see me with my bushy beard on the left side of Mother. At that time I was not aware that our Mother does not like Her children to have beards. Once I met a yogi from Russia. After a while I met him again in Rome. He told me that he had a beard before, but Shri Mataji gave him some aftershave as a gift, and he obviously got the message that he had to shave off his beard.

Mother was beautiful in Her white sari and Her long hair. There is also a very young Robert Hunter, then a student in Madrid was also seated beside Her, and our national leader from Spain, José Antonio. Throughout dinner, the joy was flowing at all times. It was indescribable, the joy of that blessed company, with the level of consciousness that each had at that amazing moment. It was a long night filled with joy, in which time took another dimension, and lost its measure. Really we were experiencing a milestone.

The next day, the 29th, Mother and some Spanish yogis left for Paris to celebrate the Guru Puja at Chamarande near Paris.

Joaquin Orus

Water melons

Next day I remember all of us going shopping with Shri Mataji in an open market, and Her delight at the quality of the fruit and vegetables in Spain. Later on that day She was going to catch the plane to France for the Guru Puja and She bought a suitcase-full of fruit to be offered at the puja. I remember that She insisted that we all attend, although I don’t think many of had plans to do so, as most of us were students and penniless. But Shri Mataji gave us no choice in the matter because She bought ten huge watermelons and told us that we had to take them to France by train, to be offered at the Guru Puja. They were, of course, too heavy and cumbersome to carry with Her on the plane. Miraculously they all arrived intact!

Robert Hunter

He’s already fine

When we arrived in Spain, Mother stayed in the house of a Sahaja Yogi. Mother conducted a follow up programme in his house for new people, for which I had to translate. I remember Mother correcting me when I made a mistake and how it occurred to me that She did not really need a translator, or someone to accompany Her on the trip and sit next to Her; She was just blessing me with Her infinite Grace. I remember Mother inviting us all to wash Her Feet one evening. I was the ‘pujari’ of the occasion and, when everyone had had their turn, someone reminded Mother that I still had not washed Her Feet.

Oh, Robert doesn’t need to. He’s already fine,’ She said.

Oh, how wonderful to receive a compliment from the Adi Shakti. If I wasn’t fine before, I certainly was then!

Robert Hunter

My eyes, My arms, My hands

We were preparing Shri Mataji’s visit to Belgium in July 1985 from the city of Ghent and, from a phone box near my university, I telephoned London, to Shri Mataji to ask for some details about Her trip. At one point, She spoke some beautiful and totally unexpected words of encouragement for our preparative work, which was done with the help of Dominique Laprique Sutherland and Bohdan Shehovych.

You are My eyes, My arms, My hands,’ She said. Suddenly, the phone was interrupted as it ran out of money. I had to change paper money and managed to get about fifteen to twenty coins of twenty Belgian francs, about eight pounds Sterling, which I hoped would be enough for the conversation with Mother. I rang back. Mother came on line again and, in Her humorous way, She made some comment about how terrible these phone boxes are, as they take all your money.

After the conversation, I put the phone down on the hook. And now the miracle — to my great surprise, like a jackpot the phone released an avalanche of twenty Belgian franc coins. Non-stop, a continuous stream of coins came out. All the coins I had put in came back. Being against all the normal laws of nature and definitively against all rules of how phone boxes operate in Belgium, it was an incredible and immediate confirmation that when we work for Mother, the rewards come to us quickly.

We went to Paris and asked Mother for the preparation of Her visit, whether She preferred a few quality seekers to be reached or rather masses of many, many people. Mother answered that She preferred many, many people.

We went back and our preparative work started — posters, press releases, organizing a press conference in the International Press Centre, an article with a colour photo of Mother on the front page of the main Brussels paper, Le Soir — which was done with the help of Dominique and Bohdan.

Robbert Ruigrok

Good advice

A small memory of something Her Holiness Shri Mataji told me.

‘A saint never throws his clothes on the floor.’

Mother’s sense of humour of course makes me question every day if I am a saint.

Robbert Ruigrok

Advice on driving
It was in June 1985. Shri Mataji was coming for the Guru Puja in Paris at Chamarande Castle. I drove my car with my wife, a Sahaja Yogini, and my firstborn child to the airport to welcome Mother along with the other Sahaja Yogis.

After leaving the plane and welcoming each one of us Shri Mataji stopped in front of me to reprimand me because I had driven my car too fast, because I was in the right side. As She spoke I felt more and more cool breeze in my body and was quieter and more peaceful.

Jean-Pierre L

Shri Mataji opened our hearts (diary entry)

In Paris, in June 1985, we have just been through the tremendous experience of the Guru Puja at Chamarande, where we found ourselves in front of an unknown aspect of Shri Mataji, dramatic and sad, truly upsetting and an experience which we would not want to repeat. France, this country that Shri Mataji has defined as being full of problems, and ‘the gateway to hell’, has lived up to its nature and has received Her with such inauspiciousness, such a lack of love and of protocol, that She Herself was so horrified that we did not know what would happen.

The main problem was that there were almost no Sahaja Yogis to meet Her with the usual good will and flowers at the airport when She arrived on the 26th June. No one had arranged for the Sahaja Yogis to go there and only two or three were there. The rest of the five hundred and fifty Sahaja Yogis stayed at the camp to listen to someone giving a discourse.

Also, a little later, when Shri Mataji arrived at the castle of Chamarande, again there were very few people to welcome Her because everyone was having supper. Shri Mataji went straight to Her room and was incredulous, angry and disappointed with Her children. She called the leaders to Her in order to find out who was responsible, and while She spoke the glass in the windows shook at Her anger. The leaders apologised profoundly, and asked Shri Mataji to allow them to do the puja on the following day, because She had indicated that She would not do one.

The next day one of the leaders asked us to pray to Shri Mataji to forgive us, because the deities were so angry that they did not want us to do the puja. The only aspect of the divine that remained unmoved and unaffected was that of the Mother.

After breakfast it was announced that Shri Mataji had pardoned us because the Mother aspect of the divine had prevailed over the others. We were reunited in the large tent, in the silence of a meditation without joy, without peace and without depth. When Shri Mataji’s arrival was announced, it seemed that all the tension was dissolved. But as soon as we saw Her facial expression, our insecurity and alarm returned. Then She spoke, saying that only those who had wanted to go to receive Her at the airport could do the puja, and asked them to come to the front.

The silence became even heavier, and the atmosphere during the puja was indescribable in its power, but at the same time Shri Mataji seemed to be tired and listless. She said this was the result of not having Her in our hearts, and our love for Her was not like that of children. The puja was very simple, with no ornaments, crown or offerings, only water offered to Her Feet.

Finally Her face broke into a smile, like a ray of sunlight after a terrible storm. What a relief! Finally our Mother returned to us, and pardoned us. Our hearts opened, smiles reappeared on the faces of the Sahaja Yogis, and the tension was broken.

Presents were given from various countries, including eight china dogs (the dog is the animal of the Adi Guru). Shri Mataji then offered presents to various countries, large glass goblets. She also gave presents to individual Sahaja Yogis. She gave saris or shawls to many ladies, including a sari for me. Finally, when Shri Mataji left the tent, the atmosphere seemed to return to what it is like at all the big pujas, joy and the vibrations flowing, and our faces relaxed and luminous.

The collectivity of five hundred and fifty people felt, in a new way, the presence of Shri Mataji in our hearts. After spending the rest of the day .in the park of the beautiful chateau, we had a marvellous evening of bhajans.

Alessandra Pallini

Editor’s note: some years later, on one of the occasions when She again visited there, Shri Mataji said France was no longer a gateway to hell, and in 2009 blessed the country by attending the wedding reception of Her grandson to a French Sahaja Yogini there.

When the worst and the best meet

Back in July 1985, I was not even a year old in Sahaj, and France was of organising the Guru Puja. A large venue had been found in the Paris area called Chamarande, with wonderful gardens and an 18th century castle, a beautiful place to welcome around four hundred yogis from every corner of the Sahaj world of that time.

The whole organisation was going quite well and on the Saturday morning I felt it would be a unique moment of collective spiritual happening, which it was, but not at all in the way I expected. In the afternoon an Indian Sahaja Yogi gave a lecture about devas and puranas and most of the collective was gathered in the hall. In the middle of this a Sahaja Yoga leader rushed into the hall.

‘What the hell are you doing here? Shri Mataji was at the airport and nobody was there to welcome Her! She is furious! How can such things happen?’ he shouted.

After a great deal of misunderstanding and leadership failure, nothing had been organised to bring the collective to the airport to welcome our Mother and when She arrived only two or three Sahaja Yogis were there in a car to take Her to the puja place. A huge mistake in the protocol of the Goddess and the guru: at first Shri Mataji said that the puja could not take place. 

When She arrived She spent the whole evening and part of the night in Her room. She said the deities were very angry and were threatening. One yogini spent a long time massaging Mother’s Feet while the Adi Shakti was talking to them.

‘You have to forgive, you have to forgive!’ She said.

The atmosphere in the collective was that a complete disaster had occurred: some sat in meditation, some were crying, some were mourning or talking loudly in great tension and all of us were lost in despair.

Around 1.00 am a Sahaja Yogi announced that Shri Mataji had finally agreed to perform puja on the Sunday.

When Mother stepped onto the stage some hours later, She had a closed face and rejected the microphone that was put in front of Her, not wanting to talk. The puja started straight away and after the water was poured on Shri Mataji’s Feet, She addressed the Sahaja Yogis, asking only those who had wanted to go to the airport to come to the front,

‘I’m sorry I have to do that, I promised them,’ She said, referring to the deities.

What was happening shocked me deeply because I could see that Shri Mataji was suffering. She said She would never give France a Guru Puja again.


Danya Martoglio responds

Who could ever forget how we all felt? It is so easy to be wise after the event, on that fateful day I felt quite hot in the hall, and knowing that Mother was due to arrive soon I was waiting outside on the drive when Her car came in. It was such a shock to see Shri Mataji’s usually radiant face clouded like a thunderstorm; it seemed our flowers wilted in our hands under Her piercing fiery glance. Where was our smiling Mother with the reassuring, disarming smile? Even Her hair looked angry as it flowed in dishevelled darts over Her shoulders. Such divine anger, She was a tigress!

I was absolutely terrified when called to Her room. Hardly daring to breathe or utter a word, I just concentrated on taking out vibrations. With the current of energy travelling up my arm and all through my body it was hard to keep my hand still, as it was shaking so much. She told us the deities were enraged and that is why there was such movement in Her chakras. To me it felt as if the wheels of destruction had already started – and She was doing all She could to stop them. One of the names of the Goddess is Shri Bhraanti – the Goddess who resides in all beings in the form of error. This story beautifully shows how it is only when we make mistakes that we can learn and grow.

Shri Mataji had to continuously juggle with placating the deities due to the innocent mistakes of Her ‘young’ Sahaja Yoga children. She would tell the Gods on our behalf: ‘Please forgive them, they are only children,’ and at times would tell us, ‘You see, I have the deities on one side, the Sahaja Yogis on the other side, and I am in the middle.’

When Mother spoke like this it made me feel that sometimes being God must be a very lonely business. 

Danya Martoglio

Helen Splarn also responds

I also remember that puja. Those who had asked or wanted to go to the airport were allowed to go to the front. I was not one of them and sat near the back, even though I could see Shri Mataji and was in the same tent, it was very painfully obvious to me that I was not attending the puja but was only on the outside watching it.

They started to read the 108 names of the Guru and She stopped them after about ten names, saying something like, ‘If you don’t get those, what is the point of reading the rest of the names?’ The look of pain on Her face at the state of Her children was too much to bear.

But it was a defining moment for me, it forced me to make a choice; was I going to give Sahaja Yoga and Shri Mataji my all – or not? That very painful experience actually helped me settle into Sahaja Yoga and I have always felt very grateful to have been at that Guru Puja.

Shri Mataji said the Italians could go forward because an Italian leader had been one of the very few to meet Her at the airport. Her words were ‘one person can save a country or destroy it’.

Helen Splarn

A wave of goodness

The French version of The Advent was launched on a Sunday morning June 30th 1985, at the Palais des Congrès of Versailles. I was invited to this function thanks to the mailing list of UNESCO, not knowing at all what it would be about. There were lots of diplomats and dignified people. There was a very busy man in a blue three-piece suit running back and forth who had organised the small children to greet Shri Mataji with flowers, upon Her arrival.

When Shri Mataji came I had no idea who She was, but I felt a wave of goodness rolling in front of Her, which was going to every person around and would gently splash them with this feeling. I was impressed by the spontaneity with which the children would open the way for Her.

Siddheshvara Barbier

Presentation of The Advent (diary entry)

On the 30th of June, 1985, there was the official presentation of the French edition of The Advent, L’Avenement, to the authorities and journalists, in the Palace of Congress at Versailles near Paris. Also present were some Sahaja Yogis who had been at the Guru Puja at Chamarande. Shri Mataji, simple and enigmatic at the same time, sat on the stage between Sir CP and Gregoire de Kalbermatten, who, with Shri Mataji’s help, had written the book. Two French Sahaja Yogis presented Shri Mataji, and then explained a bit about the book.

After that Gregoire spoke, openly saying that the Lady who was the subject of the book looked like a normal human being, but this was just an optical illusion. He did not say clearly that She was an incarnation, but with his usual linguistic acrobatics, made it clearly understood. There was much joy and commotion among the Sahaja Yogis.

Also, Sir CP’s discourse was moving and beautiful, and was particularly touching when he spoke of Shri Mataji with an affectionate tone, with the familiarity of a husband. Everyone laughed when he said that they were always travelling, they are the couple who travels most in the whole world, and the moments when they meet each other are rare!

At the end of the ceremony, after Shri Mataji had spoken, She inaugurated the book, cutting with scissors a ribbon that had tied it up.

Then there was a chorus of beautiful singers, who sang the bhajan Bayakayataya, and in a glorious finale, a weighty rendering of the aarti, which took the attention to the Spirit, like a great meditative occasion.

Alessandra Pallini

Brussels public programme

The hall in the Shell Building, near the Brussels Midi Station, got so filled with a continuous stream of Brussels seekers that we had to arrange for a second hall to be opened in the same building, where Engelbert Oman headed a second self realisation programme, simultaneously with Mother’s in the main hall next door — an incredible success, thanks to Shri Mataji’s expression of Her wish and vision.

If Mother’s vision backs ours, there is nothing that can stop us.

Robbert Ruigrok

It was really something, that evening in Brussels. At one point, the lobby was more like a train station, so many people were coming and going in different directions, as if looking where they should go. We simply hadn’t expected that large a crowd, so a second room was opened. There were so many people that many yogis could not get into either hall.

As I looked from one room to the next, it was obvious the same meeting was happening in both places. Shri Mataji, and Engelbert, in the second hall were speaking on the same topics, at the same time.

Richard Payment

Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga have been life saving

In a hall in Belgium at a public programme in 1985 Shri Mataji came round the audience and was paying attention to individual people. One lady was being worked on by Mother and was talking to Her. Shri Mataji asked the lady to turn around and put her back towards Her and then Shri Mataji placed both Her Feet on the Centre Heart chakra of this lady, who had a catch there. Shri Mataji gave the catch some considerable attention and the damaged chakra improved. It was such a memorable sight to see this deeply caring gesture.

                                                           Andrew Low

All sorts of seekers (diary entry)

Our stay in Holland was very beautiful and joyful from our very arrival. First was a public programme, on July 3rd, where about 300 to 350 seekers came, people of various qualities and from various backgrounds, from the worst followers of an evil false guru, to westernized Indian residents here, to very elegant old people, one of which was a Chinese hand reader, very composed and smiling.

From the morning of the public programme everything went well, blessed by the ritam bara prAgnya, the divine design of auspiciousness. We, the international collectivity of about eighty people did our best to please our Divine Mother, careful not to lack in attention towards Her in any way.

Alessandra Pallini

I am very happy you have come

My first personal contact with Shri Mataji was in July 1985. There was a public programme on the Wednesday, and on the Thursday was a follow-up. The local yogis had rented a beautiful villa in a park and I was very eager not to be late. I took an early train and was one and a half hours early.

I was reading my paper in the park and waiting for the programme to start. It was about a quarter to seven in the evening and Shri Mataji had gone for a little walk with another Sahaja Yogini. She told the Sahaja Yogini to come and ask who I was. I said I had come for the follow-up programme and the yogini went back to tell Shri Mataji. She approached me and I felt that if an important spiritual Mother comes to you, you close the paper and stand up.

‘Hello, I am very happy you have come,’ She said, and those were the very first words Shri Mataji said to me.

Henno de Graaf.

Not even a bruise

In the summer of 1985 Shri Mataji did a tour around Europe and went by train to The Hague, Holland, for a public programme. The Sahaja Yogis welcomed Shri Mataji at the station with flowers and escorted Her to a car, which was waiting outside. Shri Mataji and three other people were seated in the white Mercedes, and the rest of us were waiting beside the car.

Dr Engelbert Oman was standing next to me just beside the right front wheel of the car. As the car reversed and turned out of the parking space it suddenly seemed to bounce and there was a loud and unmistakable cracking noise and I saw the car drive over Engelbert’s foot. I looked directly at Engelbert and he looked at me. For a split second Engelbert’s face seemed frozen in shock. The next moment Shri Mataji moved across to the window of the car and was waved Her finger at Engelbert. After the car with Shri Mataji had left, Engelbert walked away without even a limp.

Later that evening we went to the public programme in The Hague. The main hall where Shri Mataji was speaking was full, so the organisers opened up a second smaller hall for us. Engelbert gave an introductory talk in this secondary overflow hall where Shri Mataji later gave realisation. I was in the corridor outside showing new arrivals where to find a seat and was giving out literature.

Engelbert told the audience that in the Emergency Unit, nearly every day he saw patients whose feet had been run over by smaller cars and they had completely smashed up feet but his foot had been run over by a large Mercedes. After Shri Mataji had left, he could walk with no pain, so he had run back to his hotel room and taken his shoe off and there was not even so much as a bruise on his foot.

Chris Coles

Only a prickle

In summer 1985, Shri Mataji went by train from Paris to The Hague. The Sahaja Yogis welcomed Her at the station and escorted Her to a car, which was waiting outside. While Shri Mataji and three other persons were seated in Her Mercedes, my friend Engelbert stood next to me near the right front wheel of the car. It started to move backwards, turning to the left at the same time. My attention was fully on Shri Mataji and suddenly I saw Her face go tense for two seconds, afterwards She relaxed and smiled again. During this time, Engelbert, still standing next to me, started to laugh too at this point.

After the car with Shri Mataji had gone, he told me that just now the Mercedes had driven over his right foot. Although his foot should have been completely crushed, he had only felt a prickle.

Werner Steindl

Melting in the infinite joy of the All (diary entry)

Of all this travelling around France, Belgium and Holland, with Shri Mataji, the most beautiful and intensive days were those in Holland, especially for me, starting with the arrival evening when I had the privilege of preparing dinner for Shri Mataji and to organize the kitchen for Her during Her stay in The Hague together with another Sahaja Yogi, whose cooking was praised by Mother.

On the 4th July, I was asked by one of the leaders to come in Shri Mataji’s apartment to make a telephone call to Italy. From that moment I was with Shri Mataji all day. We moved Her room in the main house were we, all the Sahaja Yogis, were staying, and we decorated it as well as we could.

Before we finished decorating She arrived, had dinner and lay down to rest. We stayed for about two hours to absorb the vibrations of Her divine body. I massaged both Her Lotus Feet and particularly Her Nabhi, Her knees as well as at Her toes. I do not believe I will ever forget the sensation in touching Her toes, the delicate skin and the indescribable sweetness of touching Her. Something melted inside you, you feel a great tenderness, a great compassion that is difficult to explain or to compare with anything. Under my hands I felt Her toes and through it I thought I could caress all the deities who reside within Her.

I remembered the Saundarya Lahari of Adi Shankaracharya, where the Devi’s Feet are described as the gems of the lotus flowers in front of which the crowns of the Trimurti: Shri Brahma, Shri Shiva and Shri Vishnu, bow in adoration, and I had a beautiful meditation. Shri Mataji, who was sleeping at that moment, looked like Shri Vishnu controlling the course of the events of the universe, reclining on the serpent Shesha. There is nothing in the world of human experience which you can compare to the effect of the contact with the Lotus Feet of Sakshat Shri Adi Shakti. It is the Sahasrara dimension, the melting in the infinite joy of the All, of which we can have in such an intense and sublime way.

Alessandra Pallini

China and flowers

When we visited Belgium and Holland we were to perform puja to Mother and had been sent out to purchase flowers, fruit, and a present to offer to Her. We came across a shop having a sale and there was a beautiful piece of Jasperware, characteristically blue with fine white cameo figures, depicting the Madonna and Child. After the puja, when this had been offered to Mother, She enquired where it had come from. Sean said it had been made in Germany.

‘May God bless Germany,’ She replied.

There had also been an occasion when offering Mother flowers upon Her arrival in a country when She had asked where the flowers had been grown and Sean can’t recall whether it was Belgium or Holland where a bunch of red tulips had been offered to Mother but he had been able to say they had been grown locally as he’d been informed of this by the vendor.

Sean Kelly

Request sent email 14 05 andy goudry

Life saving

In a hall in Belgium, at a public programme in 1985, Shri Mataji came round the audience and was paying attention to individual people. One lady was being worked on by Mother and was talking to Her. Shri Mataji asked the lady to turn around and put her back towards Her and then Shri Mataji placed both Her Feet on the Centre Heart chakra of this lady, who had a catch there. Shri Mataji gave the catch some considerable attention and the damaged chakra improved. It was such a memorable sight to see this deeply caring gesture.

Once at a public meeting at a London venue in the early 1980’s a man asked a question from the audience after a lecture by Shri Mataji. It came across to me as quite a cheeky, arrogant sort of facetious question, although I can’t remember exactly what the question was at this distance of over twenty-five years. Shri Mataji said that the man was a ‘black heart’ or that the answer was it was because of a ‘black heart’. The man asked what that was, perhaps a bit like the lawyer in the gospel of Luke, Chapter 10, who wants to justify himself by asking, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Shri Mataji told the man he knew very well what a black heart was. I don’t myself know what a black heart is, but I wouldn’t imagine it is very godly.

At a meeting in Sheffield in England in the summer of 1985 Shri Mataji put a question to the audience and asked us if we could tell Her what the most notable good quality of the English or the British was. People made their suggestions, I may have made one myself, that they, or we should I say, are tolerant or reserved or good actors. We spent a long time trying to guess what the answer was and then Shri Mataji said that the English are great scholars, that we can produce very scholarly people. It was a pleasant meeting and quite low key and the Sahaja Yogis sat in the hall as Shri Mataji talked.

Shri Mataji gave a lecture at New Hall College in Cambridge in 1982 and that is how I came to Sahaja Yoga, a lost soul as I was at that time. I had seen a poster advertising Sahaja Yoga on the wall of the common room at Selwyn College and as I had just spent five months doing voluntary work on leprosy in India I was curious to know more about Indian spirituality. Shri Mataji came round and gave me Realisation, She may have even put Her hand on my head. At that meeting Shri Mataji gave some attention to a really incapacitated person who could not walk properly and that person stood up and walked some steps across the hall.

Andrew Low

The first puja to Shri Trigunatmika (diary entry)

July 5th was the puja day. What was missed in the Paris puja was achieved in this holy land where, as Shri Mataji said in Her wonderful talk, this low land, below sea level, welcomes within her the water from the canals and the sea, the element of the guru tattwa. This union between the water and the land is made holy by the flowers that grow here as nowhere else. This is a metaphor of the guru tattwa, which is absolutely incomplete and inadequate without the strength and fusion with the principle of love and forgiveness of Mother Earth.

This holy land has, at the moment, being transformed into a hell, because of the bhuts which have attacked the seekers. The chakra which has been most attacked has been the Mooladhara and the greatest sin is that against the Mother. No doubt Holland will regain its quality in the future, because the puja talk was the celebration of holiness of this country and its seekers.

As a married woman, during the puja I participated, to dress Shri Mataji, to offer fruits and to decorate Her Feet. There were some difficulties in putting on the rings on Her Feet, especially on the Nabhi toe. The ring could be adjusted, but we could not find the right size!

The gift of traditional Dutch clogs

Among the presents, Shri Mataji received a pair of Dutch wooden clogs, red coloured. A detail which I noticed: during the talk Shri Mataji drank many glasses of water and She said that in this way She brings the water principle into the Mother, Herself. The water left in the glass was partly distributed to the Sahaja Yogis present, and partly offered to the water of the moat around the house, in order, perhaps, to awaken those two principles, the Mother and the guru. The love has started again to flow in Her love, the Mother has forgiven Her children. In the meantime the deepest meaning of the Guru Puja was revealed, and this was to put the sweet motherly love in the discipline and the teachings of the guru.

At the end of the puja three saris were offered to Shri Mataji: one pink and green for Shri Mahakali, one dark green and brown for Shri Mahasaraswati and one – that one for Shri Mahalakshmi – was the same colour as the sky when Shri Mataji arrived in Holland, as She said Herself. The three saris were for the three gunas, which merge here and were worshipped here by the Sahaja Yogis. At the first puja ever offered to the three gunas, and decided upon at the last moment, it was thus a ‘coincidence’ for the three saris to be offered to Shri Mataji!

After the puja we had a havan in the garden in front of the main building and one of the leaders said that it was needed to free Shri Mataji’s head from the heavy vibrations.

Another important detail of this puja was that at the end, along with all the other presents that Shri Mataji has received were two more ceramic dogs, which, added to the other eight received at the Guru Puja in Paris, bring the total of the dogs to ten, completing the number of the guru.

Alessandra Pallini

How Shri Mataji resolved an issue

Shri Mataji told us that She wanted to return to Spain after the Guru Puja. She had seen some furniture that She wanted to buy for a house She was building in India. This was fantastic news for the Spanish collective, but also for me in particular because, during the puja weekend, She called me to Her room and invited me to accompany Her on the trip. I was to join Her in England after a few days and fly out with Her. It was the first time such an opportunity had presented itself to me and I was in seventh heaven.

The plane trip out – we had second class tickets and there was very little leg room. Shri Mataji sat in the middle seat and offered me the aisle seat, claiming that I had longer legs. I am embarrassed now that I accepted and did not insist that Her comfort was more important, but Her motherly concern was so genuine and natural that it was disarming. For a long time She told me to look at Her Feet and, as I did so, She began to tell me about them, as if She were talking about two loyal and beloved servants. She explained how they worked so hard, taking Her from place to place, but also how they absorbed and gave vibrations all the time. She made me notice how swollen Her Feet were but nevertheless they never stopped working. Perhaps She was telling me something of how I should be as a devotee of the Adi Shakti. But what I remember most was the awareness of the immeasurable sacredness of Her Holy Lotus Feet, in a way that I had never experienced before.

When it came to lunch time, the airline served us a beautiful piece of rump steak. The part of me that is Argentine set my mouth watering and couldn’t believe its luck. The part of me that is English felt appalled by the dilemma. Shri Mataji was not touching Hers; how could I possibly eat mine knowing what She has often said about eating beef? Shri Mataji saw me hesitating and asked me if I didn’t like streak. I told Her I loved it. She laughed out loud and told me just to eat it and enjoy it.

Many years later I was with Shri Mataji in Cabella, sometime in the mid-nineties, and She was reminiscing with me about our trip to Spain. She reminded me of a conversation during the plane journey about which I had completely forgotten. Shri Mataji had asked me about young people of my age and what they got up to. As She quietly listened, I told Her all about the rock n’roll, the sex and the drugs. At a certain point, Shri Mataji got up and went to the toilet and the conversation ended there. As She reminded me of this story, She also told me that the reason She went to the toilet was to vomit. She had absorbed into Her body all the negativity of the things I was talking about and, as I had since come to learn, this was one of the ways in which She would clear it.

I sat next to Shri Mataji on the plane, squeezed close to each other in our second-class seats, not daring to touch Her for fear that my vibrations might disturb Her. And now I discovered that my conversation had made Her vomit. I felt so foolish when Mother told me this; but gracious as ever, She just laughed and treated it as a big joke.

Robert Hunter

The extendable table

It was June 1985 and Shri Mataji came to Spain twice in a row. The first time was for a public programme and later, to our delight, She came again with a view to buy some furniture. It was then that a series of things, apparently unimportant, happened which helped us to perceive Her message, Her very special presence, Her essence.

We were doing some shopping in a department store in Madrid. We saw a table made of solid wood and it was very nice.

‘This table is good and it is very practical because it is extendable,’ said Shri Mataji. One of the yogis with us examined the table closely on all sides and said that it was not extendable.

‘Yes, it is,’ insisted Shri Mataji while She was already looking at something else. The yogi was puzzled because the table seemed to be made of one piece of solid wood. He asked a sales assistant about the table and the assistant told him it was indeed expendable through a very special mechanism which was not visible at all and made in a way that was not evident.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

What shall I talk about?

When Mother came to Venice in July 1985 She did an amazing programme there. I had been looking after Sahaja Yoga in Venice at that time.

‘What shall I talk about?’ Shri Mataji had asked me on the way to the programme.

‘I don’t know,’ I replied.

‘What are the Italians worried or concerned about?’

I replied that they were very worried about war because at that time the Libyans had shot a missile which had just missed one of the Italian islands called Lampedusa, to the south of Italy. As a result Mother gave an amazing talk about peace.

At the same time, when we were there at Venice, She asked me to wash Her Feet. I noticed that when I washed Her Feet the water became cloudier and cloudier, and almost milky. It was like the Lakshmi quality. Venice is built on a swamp, on water, so it was the Lakshmi quality manifesting.

Jeremy Lamaison

Chapter 14: 1985, July to September – England

Honey and ajwain

Shri Mataji told us about putting honey in the eyes for clearing the Agnya chakra and to try and keep the eyes opened during the process. At Chelsham Road during a collective ajwain sessions with Shri Mataji in person, in 1985, She also went under the collective blanket for a while but kept telling people to keep the eyes open while the smoke was coming up in order to benefit the eyes and the Agnya as well, so the ajwain smoke is also good for the eyes.

Luis Garrido

Instructions on public programmes

In 1985, in London, at Sahaja Yoga public programmes without Shri Mataji in person, it was the norm to first play a tape of one of Her public lectures in its entirety and then to give realisation to the seekers who had come for the first time. By listening to the whole talk new people often wondered with admiration at Her infinite love, knowledge and wisdom.

At one point, in a local London Sahaja Yoga public meeting, the person conducting the meeting started to only play part of Shri Mataji’s lecture and the Sahaja Yogis complained to Her about this. She came to Chelsham Road and the whole collective had been invited, and this was one of the rare occasions in which Shri Mataji passed a personal rebuke, in this case to the person who had been stopping Her lectures half way – She seemed visibly saddened by this. Shri Mataji behaved like a loving mother towards all of us and we felt we were part of a great family headed by our beloved Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

Luis Garrido

Shri Mataji’s ashram visit

Many hours had passed and we were waiting for Shri Mataji to arrive. It was the mid-1980s. We were a small group of Sahaja Yogis, most of us in our early twenties, sitting on the floor of an upstairs room in an ashram deep in the suburbs of South London. We had been informed Shri Mataji was at a function and afterwards planned to come to the ashram to rest. We were filled with longing to see Her but it was getting late. The sense of excitement and joy had been steadily mounting but the hands of the clock continued to move and still nothing happened. Gradually the expectancy Shri Mataji would be with us any moment relaxed, perhaps Her plans had changed and nobody had thought to ring and tell us. I began to wonder if Shri Mataji would really be among us soon: I was longing to see Her, that blazing smile, those fierce-loving Goddess eyes that could pierce your heart, and know its every hope. I glanced around the room, we did not look like a very dynamic bunch; some barely awake.

All of a sudden the plumbing system of the house rumbled loudly into life, and began to make a very strange noise. Pipes in the ceiling clanked and began to shudder in rising octaves. There seemed to be a great wind rushing along invisible flues somewhere. It was truly weird and lasted about five or six seconds, about the same length of time it takes to blow a conch. People were looking around the room a bit puzzled but I felt I knew what it meant.

‘I think the house is telling us Shri Mataji’s car is about to arrive. Why don’t we all go and see if Mother’s coming?’

We got up as one and rushed downstairs. Standing on the gravel of the driveway in the cool night air we just had enough time to clasp our hands together in namaste before Shri Mataji’s white Mercedes turned a corner and drew up. Mother, when She got out of the car, was wearing a gorgeous sari, beaming at us all beautifully with a loving smile, and those familiar ‘How are you’s?’ rang out. She laughed and took us all in with a knowing look.

‘So nice to find you all still awake here, all of you standing and waiting so alertly to see Me!’ She said.

Caleb Williams

Songs of praise

The first time I remember singing the song Mataji, Mataji, Your face shines like a thousand suns, was at Shri Ganesh Puja 1985 in Brighton, UK. We all had gone to the station to greet Shri Mataji on Her arrival and made a corridor of flowers and yogis for Shri Mataji to walk through, and as She got to Her car, all the yogis were surrounding Her. Gregoire started singing those words and we all joined in. It was completely awesome, and how moved Our Holy Mother was really did melt all our hearts!

The next song, two weeks later, was Mother I adore You, sang as Shri Mataji arrived for the seminar, ‘The English are Scholars’ in Sheffield, where Mother arrived, got out of the car, and stood whilst this song was being sung to Her. She looked to the sky and later mentioned that the clouds had taken up the melody of the song. So beautiful. She also mentioned that the grass of the place was the kusha grass that Shri Ganesha liked.

Joan Womack 

Top of Form

Shri Ganesha Puja, 1985

The night before we went to Brighton, we had the privilege of going to Shri Mataji’s house in London, with the leader, and we waited for an hour in the kitchen, hoping to catch a glimpse of Her, and to enjoy Her presence. We could see Her profile and hands while She spoke with the people who were having supper with Her. It was a powerful emotional experience to see Her – one always forgets how marvellous She was.

Shri Mataji decided, completely unexpectedly, to have a puja to Shri Ganesha in Brighton, England. What was to be a small local seminar became a large gathering of Sahaja Yogis, an important and joyous event. We arrived in Brighton, at the Friends Meeting House, in time to see an exhibition on Sahaja Yoga, with beautiful photos and explanations. In the evening Shri Mataji arrived at the railway station and all the Sahaja Yogis were there to meet Her. She came with Sir CP, and was wearing a red sari with blue embroidery.

The night before the puja Shri Mataji organised a wonderful sitar concert for Her children – Nishat Khan, a young Indian, showed us his marvellous art, especially the Bhairavi raga, and took us to a high point of joy – a flow of vibrations on the Sahasrara penetrated throughout our beings, spread waves of love and joy and awakened our Spirit. Shri Mataji enjoyed it very much, this divine music which penetrated all of us, so we felt Her in our hearts in an eternal and divine dimension. The concert finished at about three in the morning but we were not tired. After a short night’s sleep we met again in the morning for meditation. The weather was very English – rain, black clouds and a rough sea for the whole weekend.

In the afternoon, at about six o’clock, we had the Shri Ganesha Puja. It took place in a room that was not that big, and was full of people. There were representatives of all the countries: Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, USA, and many more – about a hundred and fifty people in all. Shri Mataji was a bit severe, She spoke of the need for everyone to have a sense of chastity. Brighton is the Mooladhara of England, the land of Shri Shiva, and because of that the negativity has attacked this chakra so much. At the end, before leaving the room, She even apologised for this seriousness, but explained that it had to be said, and would help everyone to improve. The evening continued with bhajans, from the English, while Shri Mataji was offered presents from various countries. Our present, of a coral necklace, was well received with praise, that it was very appropriate for such a day as this*, and meanwhile Her supper was served.

After that we returned to London.

Alessandra Pallini

*Editor’s note: coral is the jewel of the Mooladhara.

Covered in vibrations

At a Shri Ganesha Puja in 1985, Shri Mataji emphasised that chastity was the most important thing to preserve your innocence. You couldn’t get caught up or possessed or anything, if you had chastity. The next day we went round to Brompton Square to see Shri Mataji or to do some work in the morning and were sitting at Her Feet.

‘I’m sorry I had to say all those things to you in the puja.’ She said, or something like that.

‘Oh, Shri Mataji, it was fantastic,’ I replied, and had hardly got the words out of my mouth when my heart exploded and something happened. I got completely covered in vibrations and couldn’t speak for a while. I just had to close my eyes.

Chris Marlow

Shri Mataji looking at marriage forms

It was in the early 1980’s and Shri Mataji sat regally on an armchair, the Goddess leaning forward contemplating the human destinies at Her Feet, a bundle of A4 pages with photos attached that a particular leader was spreading on the floor. We were in Brighton.

There had been a public programme and puja. It was in the evening, the room was full of vibrations, the mood relaxed, just a few people were there now, huddled, sitting cross-legged, close to Mother. The forthcoming Sahaja Yoga marriages were being discussed. The marriage forms were fanned out, assuming different patterns, some matches remained together for a while and then got re-positioned. Shri Mataji, working quickly, scrutinised the forms and made comments. There were jokes which made us laugh, for example, I remember a comment that two people might be suitable for each other because they both wore glasses. It seemed the whole subject of marriage that many of us took with extreme seriousness, due to our western romantic conditioning, was being handled by Shri Mataji with ease and the greatest light-heartedness, as if to say, how many marriage partners have you had in your former lives, it is just another marriage – not such a big thing. I, back then, still a very young person at the time, looked on from the edge of the circle, fascinated (and a little alarmed, not to say stunned!) at this mysterious process, fluid, almost casual, whereby new Sahaja destinies were being created. Mother seemed in a very jolly mood. She regarded two forms in front of Her.

‘I would say they look good together. Yes these two, this one here and this one there; maybe put them together.’

Off to the side, I heard the leader’s voice.

‘There is the issue of their heights, Mother.’

‘Their heights?’

‘Yes, Shri Mataji. It says here on their forms that the woman is only four feet ten inches in height and the man is six feet four.’

‘What was that you said?’

‘The man is exceptionally tall and the woman is extremely short.’

‘Too tall?’

‘Yes, he is extremely tall and she is much smaller than average.’

Shri Mataji paused and considered.

‘Yes, that would be very funny, maybe it is not so good; we will try something different for them.’

She sat back and laughed and laughed with the infectious delightful laughter that we all loved so much. In the end as I remember it, a much taller woman was found for the very tall man.

Caleb Williams

How difficult it is to be English!

On the Tuesday after the Shri Ganesha Puja in Brighton, we were able to have another blessing of seeing Shri Mataji at Chelsham Rd. There were over a hundred people in the meditation room and it was absolutely full. We had prepared supper, pasta with tomatoes and mixed salad, and had worked all the afternoon.

When Shri Mataji arrived one of the ladies did the welcoming aarti. The talk was aimed solely at the English – the problems of ego, arrogance, lethargy, untidiness, etc.

How difficult it is to be English!

Alessandra Pallini

I think you are coming with us

It was some time in 1985 that we got the big news. My sister Danya, and I stared at each other incredulously, half in disbelief, realising our whole family was about to receive an amazing boon. We had just discovered we would, very shortly, be getting some new neighbours. Due to the need to sell Brompton Square, Shri Mataji and Sir CP were relocating to Flask Walk, Hampstead. This street was a continuation of that on which we lived, at number 15D Well Walk – three minutes away. 

Once Mother and Sir CP had settled in, our family (my mother Magda, father Gwil, Danya, and I) being the nearest Sahaja Yogis in the area, often got invited to help out with some matter or other at the flat, or sometimes just seemed to end up there, basking in the beautiful vibrations. The phone would frequently ring in our flat, and my heart would immediately start to beat a little faster on hearing Shri Mataji’s very distinctive way of clearing Her throat before speaking.

‘Ah, hello? Caleb? It’s Mother here…’

Mother wryly joked about Hampstead’s reputation – for ‘madcap intellectualism’ – and sometimes even seemed rather annoyed due to its boisterous and boozy pub culture. But She had a special and enduring relationship with this area of London. Many of the early UK pujas were conducted at the Temple of All Faiths there. Mother also lectured and gave realisation at Friends Meeting House and at Hampstead Town Hall, repeatedly blessing the district with Her darshan on countless occasions, and She lived in Hampstead for some time. Mother once told us why various poets, painters, and writers had been drawn to Hampstead; because it was the part of the Virata that ‘triggered’ or ‘thrilled’ the heart into beating.

One Saturday morning the phone rang and I answered. It was Mother. She asked for my sister Danya to go around to Her flat and help with some vacuuming. I recall looking on a bit wistfully, as my lucky sister skipped down the stairs, off to see Shri Mataji with a big smile on her face. Though happy my sister could have this blessing, I felt rather left out. Sighing disconsolately, I stumped back to my bedroom and felt an incredible longing to also see Mother. I decided to go to Hampstead High Street, to browse in a favourite bookshop, in order to cheer – or at least distract – myself a little.

The most direct route took me past Shri Mataji’s residence in Flask Walk. As I drew closer I realised Mother and Her driver had just emerged from the building, and were standing on the front step. Mother glanced up, saw me and smiled warmly. I was about ten metres away on the opposite side of the street. I immediately did a namaste, bowing deeply to Her. She gestured me to come over with a wave of Her arm.

‘Caleb, what are you doing now?’

‘Erm …I am going for a walk, Mother.’

‘A walk? Really where are you walking now?’ Mother’s tone was full of slightly mischievous amusement.

‘Actually, I was going to a bookshop, Mother,’ I said, feeling slightly foolish.

‘A bookshop? Really?’ Mother almost hooted, ‘Nothing doing!’ I stood in front of Her, my hands still clasped in namaste. ‘Caleb, I think you are coming with us. We are going to Brompton Square now in the car! Is it alright with you?’

‘Yes Mother, of course!’ I stammered, hardly able to believe what was happening. 

As this conversation was taking place Mother’s driver had slipped off to fetch Her distinctive white Mercedes parked down the street. A minute or two later we were whisked off, just the three of us, in the car. At one point, as Mother’s chariot chugged slowly through the heavy Saturday morning traffic we started to sing a bhajan. In that moment She became extremely regal, Her expression taking on such a look of majesty that I thought to myself: here I am with the ‘queen of the cosmos, the supporter of the worlds, the cause of the sustentation and dissolution alike of the universe’ and She was nodding and smiling along, with a contented look on Her face as we sang these praise-filled words. I have never forgotten that car journey. Or the sweet play of Shri Leela, that went before it.

The events of that morning always remind me of that gentle, hide-and-seek game Shri Mahamaya sometimes played with all Her children, and of those blissful times, when She saw the love we had for Her in our hearts and granted our wishes to be close to Her.

Caleb Williams

The look of love in his eyes

When Shri Mataji was living near us in Hampstead, one day my father saw Her in Her doorway just as She was going shopping and he was on his way to the theatre. He was so thrilled, he phoned from Hampstead tube station, and I remember how excited we were.

‘What did She say?’ we asked in our enthusiasm.

‘Nothing,’ he said, ‘She just smiled at me and I bowed.’

Of course the ‘nothing’ of that moment lived with dad for all eternity! Maybe ten years later in an exchange with our beloved Shri Mataji in Cabella, She mentioned dad.

‘He loves you very much, Shri Mataji!’ I said.

‘Yes, I know. I’ll never forget that day we met in Hampstead, and the look of love in his eyes,’ She replied.

Danya Martoglio


When Shri Mataji was staying in Hampstead in the 1980’s, speaking to a Gemini one day, Shri Mataji was explaining that some people considered Geminis to be superficial, because they sometimes hid their depth. She explained that in Her horoscope the star sign Gemini represented Her Maha Maya aspect. Then, as if to illustrate the point, Shri Mataji cast Her eyes downwards to Her recently varnished toe nails, in honour of a pending diplomatic function.

‘You see! I can paint My nails, go to these parties and everyone thinks I am just a diplomat’s wife, and all the time I am the Adi Shakti, that is Maha Maya!’

Danya Martoglio 

Shri Mataji on literature

I had a few opportunities to talk to Shri Mataji about writers in the mid 1980’s, when I was studying English Literature and Art History at university. For example I remember a conversation about Tolstoy in Mother’s car on the way to Brompton Square from Flask Walk, in Hampstead (where Mother and Sir CP were residing at the time).

I was a huge War and Peace fan and while I was sitting in the back of the car, leaning forward to where Shri Mataji sat in the front and beginning a conversation about Tolstoy, which She concluded by talking about his late novel Resurrection, which She could not praise highly enough saying it was a story of ‘complete transformation’. Another time I remember talking to Shri Mataji about my studies and Her saying quite wistfully, in a tone of voice which surprised me, because it revealed the respect and curiosity She had about certain English writers and periods of English literature; that if She had more time She would have loved to have studied English Literature Herself.

I also remember Shri Mataji mentioning Thomas Hardy (whose writing She appreciated, but whose overall pessimism She commented on wryly) and Her favouring English authors who were popular and well known to a certain sector of the population – I suppose well-read, middle class people, before and after the Second World War: W.S. Maugham, A.J. Cronin, H.G. Wells, etc.  Mother said that H.G. Wells was highly realised.  

There is also a talk She gave at Hampstead Town Hall that mentions some of these people (and of course Shakespeare!) – the talk in which She also spoke of Hampstead as the ‘trigger’ that ‘thrilled’ the heart into beating, and this was the reason so many great artists and poets were attracted there. Mother also once mentioned to me that She had been reading Tennyson one morning (I had just arrived at Brompton Square, to do some work) and he was realised. I also remember Her fluently quoting from Shakespeare in Nightingale Lane.

Caleb Williams

Mother saw the beauty

I remember at one of those meetings at Hampstead Town Hall in London, Shri Mataji was giving Her talk and in walked a lady at the back. She was really rather small, pretty dirty, and had two plastic bags hanging off her. She came in and walked down the centre aisle and, as yogis, we thought, ‘Oh dear, we don’t want this lady too near Mother.’

Shri Mataji greeted her like a long lost friend.

‘How lovely to see you,’ She said. And this smelly, little, old bag lady smiled back and Mother said, ‘Find her a seat.’

She sat right in the front and later Shri Mataji said she was a very old realized soul.

It was such a lesson for us all, that you don’t measure people by what is on the outside. Shri Mataji saw the beauty and, for the rest of us, she was a smelly, old bag-lady.

We wanted to protect our Shri Mataji from someone like that, but Mother knew better.

Mary Heaton

Wimbledon tennis, authors, poets and Shakespeare

Mother certainly loved many old movies. I also remember watching TV with Her in Flask Walk, how could we forget Her love of Wimbledon and enjoyment of the acrobatic prowess of Her favourite players – even those that became angry if they missed a shot?

‘But he is a Sahaja Yogi!’ She would say of a certain born-realised racket wielding tennis prima donna.

I remember Mother discussing books and writers and poets more than films, probably because I was a literature student at the time. I was always amazed by Her knowledge of Shakespeare and Her ability to recall various passages that had greatly moved Her. I remember Mother talking about Romeo and Juliet – ‘A love like Romeo’s – that is so total, so powerful and complete, is very rare.’ And She loved the ‘mercy speech’ from The Merchant of Venice:

‘The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;

It is an attribute of God himself;

And earthly power doth then show like God’s

When mercy seasons justice…..’

As for Blake, we all know that Mother absolutely loved him, and saw many passages as a prophecy of Sahaja Yoga especially those concerning Lambeth, where Chelsham Road ashram, London’s most enduring Sahaja Yoga address was built over many years. 

Caleb Williams

Laughter is the best medicine Mother always loved a good laugh at things, like when She was sitting and telling us stories about various ‘madcaps’ in Sahaja Yoga, and rolling with laughter, so much so that the tears would roll down our cheeks, and that amazing time with Her in that flat in Hampstead – so many incredible moments with Her in that period, so how could it be forgotten? She was relaxing in the evening, flicking though the TV on the remote control to find something to watch, rejecting various programmes, until with satisfaction She arrived at the British classic husband and wife sit-com, ‘Terry and June’. Then She mischievously commented it was good to see a comedy that accurately depicted married life. Caleb Williams
Many flowers threaded together The beautiful metaphors from these divine stories speak straight to the heart, many different flowers all threaded together like a garland to create one meaning – love. Those months when Shri Mataji and Sir CP stayed in the Flask Walk flat were indeed so special. She would phone and we would make the two minute journey, running up the hill, our hearts overspilling with love and a desire to be ‘useful’ to the Goddess. ‘Have you eaten yet?’ She would always say when we arrived. ‘Yes, Mother,’ we would always answer. ‘Really? I don’t believe you! Have something,’ She would playfully say, so our moment of ‘being useful’ was delayed by us sitting at the dining table and eating some highly vibrated breakfast or lunch. One day I was in the kitchen washing a few plates, humming quietly to myself as I knew Mother was sleeping. I had nearly finished my work when suddenly I felt soft waves of joy wash over me and I turned and saw Shri Mataji standing in the doorway. I had not heard Her coming so I don’t know how long She had stood there – it was as if She had just appeared from nowhere. She was smiling benevolently and looking so pleased, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness,’ She said. At that moment dedicated yogis were no doubt carrying Her message, giving realisation and spreading Sahaja Yoga, yet She made me feel so validated and loved – just for doing a few simple dishes! Other times I would be busy cleaning and She would almost admonish me. ‘What are you doing?’ She’d ask incredulously, when one day She found me sweeping a staircase. ‘Leave that, come and sit down.’ Perhaps my attention was too much on doing and not enough on being, yet I welcomed the golden opportunity to sit at Her Holy Lotus Feet. When I had cooled my hot liver She would usually allow me to press Her Feet and would perhaps tell a story. Danya Martoglio
Career advice In 1985 I received some career advice from Shri Mataji, when I was a twenty-two year old university student, and being a typical ‘arts student’, had no practical plan about what to do afterwards. A phone call came requesting me to visit the flat where She was staying. Bounding up the stairs at the appointed time the next morning, my heart felt full of joy. At the door I was met by Mother’s servant and swiftly ushered, clutching my small bunch of flowers, into the hushed, vibration-filled living room, where Mother sat in an armchair in a relaxed mood, reading The Times, a cup of tea by Her side. I greeted Shri Mataji, bowed at Her Feet then sat down cross-legged, on the deep, soft carpet, a few metres away from Her. She went on reading the newspaper. Every few minutes the corner of the paper would droop downward, Mother’s twinkling eye would appear and She would talk to me about one of the stories. I sat there, at Her Feet, hands outspread on my lap, taking vibrations, contemplating Mother’s dignity and authority – the Devi deeply absorbed in world affairs. In the background I could hear the soft, padded footsteps of the servant, and the rattle of some dishes being washed in the kitchen. Once or twice I wondered why I had been summoned, as She seemed in no hurry to talk to me. Perhaps it was simply to absorb the wonderfully strong vibrations, in which case I felt immense gratitude as I seemed to be the only Sahaja Yogi around. After about fifteen minutes, the newspaper was folded away. ‘Caleb, I have been thinking about you,’ She began. ‘Really, Mother?’ I replied. ‘Yes, after you have finished university, maybe you should become a diplomat.’ ‘A diplomat, Mother?’ I said, feeling some surprise. ‘Yes, a diplomat. You would be a good diplomat. Of course, you speak French well,’ Mother added with a certain emphasis. ‘Yes, Mother, I speak a bit of French.’ I said, with some exaggeration. She seemed to consider this admission and nodded. ‘There is the law as well,’ She said. ‘Maybe you should try law. I think you would make a good lawyer. Yes, definitely you could try the law. This would be a good job for you.’ Shri Mataji continued to talk about the law, and added that lawyers could make a decent living and were paid very well. Soon, the conversation swung onto other topics.

Caleb Williams

May God bless you all

The Shri Vishnumaya Puja Seminar in September 1985, in Wimbledon started on Friday with a public programme. Something went wrong with the advertising as the newspaper advert did not bring any public, just three or four new people. 

Shri Mataji commented during the talk that rather than wasting money advertising in newspapers it would have been more auspicious to have Her photo all over town through posters,, and even though a few people came they were not seekers of the required quality. She did not seem pleased, but graciously granted a session of self realisation, which was most beneficial to the many Sahaja Yogis present. At the end, the Sahaja Yogis erupted into spontaneous singing of the famous William Blake hymn, Jerusalem

‘May God bless all those who desired that Jerusalem should be built here in England,’ Shri Mataji then said.

There was joy in the whole audience and Shri Mataji was pleased. She never stayed displeased for long. Every time I heard Shri Mataji say, ‘May God bless you all,’ I felt something deep inside, because no one but Shri Mataji has authority to give this benediction. Even though I was just one of many in the crowd, right at the back of the hall, I felt as if She had spoken straight to me, such was the power of Her words.

The singing of Jerusalem in front of Shri Mataji was done regularly in England, always with the utmost feeling of protocol, sometimes at public events and often at the end of the puja when the atmosphere was at the highest level of spirituality and vibrations, just before Shri Mataji’s aarti.

Luis Garrido

A song of praise

Shri Mataji recommended the whole collective to listen to a particular song sung in praise of Shri Hazrat Ali and the Prophet’s family, entitled ‘Ali, Ali, Ali, Maula Ali, Haq as it was played on a tape recorder. This was during the Shri Vishnumaya seminar in Wimbledon. Shri Mataji had attended a qawali concert by Nusrat Fateh Ali, in London, in which this song was performed.

Luis Garrido

Keep a discreet distance

After my first puja, a Shri Vishnumaya Puja in London on 1st September 1985, I was very new and still had my beard and my Indian scarf. I was staying at Chelsham Road ashram and we heard that Shri Mataji was to go shopping in Southall. I asked the Sahaja Yogis there if it was possible to meet Her there.

‘Well as long as you don’t rush after Her in a shop, and keep a discreet distance, maybe it is ok to go,’ someone said.

I went with another new Dutch Sahaja Yogini, and it took two trains, one underground, one bus, and half an hour delay of a train to get there. As we left Southall Station we thought, ‘How on earth are we going to find Shri Mataji here?’ The very moment we left the station, we were on the pavement and there was Shri Mataji’s Mercedes coming towards us. She asked the driver to lower the window.

‘How are you?’ She asked.

‘These are the new people from Holland,’ the driver replied.

‘Come in the car,’ Shri Mataji said.

So there I was, sitting in the front seat, with the other lady in the back with Shri Mataji. We had just had a two and a half hour train journey across London, so the coincidence of us walking out of the train station and at that very same second Shri Mataji’s car pulling up was the play of the Divine Mother, who was going shopping to one of those wholesale markets. It was agreed that it was very nice to have been in the car with Shri Mataji for about ten minutes, and maybe we should go and enjoy ourselves. We were already in bliss, very happy and we walked away.

‘Henno, Shri Mataji wants you to help Her to do the shopping,’ the driver said, when he came back after about five minutes. So it was just me, because the other girl had gone somewhere and we did not see her any more.

It was a huge wholesale market, where you don’t just buy fifty grams of cardamom, you buy ten bags of it. Shri Mataji put everything in my hand and asked me to put it on the counter. I was only two or three months in Sahaja Yoga, and was enjoying it, of course. We had an incredible amount of shopping, so She asked for some Sahaja Yogis to bring two little mini buses.

‘As you helped Me go shopping, you might as well help Me carry it into My house as well, so why don’t you come to Brompton Square, where I live?’ She said.

Henno de Graaf

Shri Mataji was concerned about this born realised soul

We were in Sheffield, in September 1985. Shri Mataji came onto the stage at a programme, and we, a handful of Sahaja Yogis, ran towards Her. She called me said there was a boy, the son of one of the Sahaja Yogis, who needed to improve his vibrations. Shri Mataji asked me if I could do this. I said that with Her blessings I would. She did not guide me as to how to improve him but with Her blessings and prayers I started helping him.

After six weeks Shri Mataji asked me to bring the boy to see Her at Brompton Square. We went, and She saw him but did not say anything. She was having breakfast and asked me to eat with Her, toast and water melon pieces in a bowl, and tea. I humbly said to Mother that I had eaten before, however, She said that as I had come to Her house I had to eat. So we ate with Her company and in my heart I felt so melted in Her love.

After three months of giving the boy Sahaja treatments, I saw Mother and She asked me what I had done to the boy, because he was much improved, and his cheeks looked pink, whereas before they had an unhealthy grey hue. She was very pleased!

Shakuntala Tandale

The blessings of Her darshan

In September 1985 Shri Mataji came to Sheffield for a public programme at the Memorial Hall, at the City Hall in the city centre.  This is the talk that is known because Shri Mataji called Sheffield the She Field.  This was also the weekend that we had the seminar ‘The English are Scholars’.  I personally was not at most of the seminar because we were told that the present that we had bought Shri Mataji on the occasion of Her visit was not what She would like, and so myself and another yogi had the most exciting time scouring Sheffield for a silver tea set, who never knew that these items were seasonal!

In the afternoon, before the public programme, we went to Shri Mataji’s room in the St George Hotel in the Swallow Chain in Sheffield with tea for after Her afternoon rest.  At some point, I was alone with Shri Mataji, sitting at Her Feet, not knowing what to do about the unmade bed, when Her niece, who was accompanying Her came in and tidied it up. Shri Mataji explained that she wanted to do it so to let her.  Then there was just Mother and me, and She asked me what I thought of all the Indian girls She was sending to England, and I replied that they were really wonderful and that we were learning a lot from them, especially in the protocols, and Shri Mataji seemed pleased.

 As time was getting near for the programme, Shri Mataji handed me some pop socks, those stockings that only go up to the knee, and asked me to put them on Her. I was so amazed to be asked to do this, what a complete privilege, a bit nervous in case I was a bit clumsy doing the job, wow, sitting at the Feet of God, putting on stockings. As I rolled them up to put them on, I noticed as ladder in one of them, what a dilemma!  Did someone point out that there was a ladder or not? Well, they were not going to be seen under Her sari, so I just put them on. How can we comprehend having had moments like this, only as I am writing this do I fully realise what an awesome time that was bestowed on all of us who had the blessings of Her darshan. Thank You so much Shri Mataji, for opening my heart deep enough so that I can reach to the bottom of it to adore You.

 Joan Womack

Behold the Mother

There is a painting by Blake entitled ‘Behold the Mother’. Once in Sheffield, in 1985, when Shri Mataji gave a seminar there, She asked us if we knew what it meant when Christ said, ‘Behold the Mother’. 

None of us gave an answer, so Shri Mataji answered Her own question by saying that to behold the Mother means to hold Her in your heart.

Luis Garrido

A meditation mask of William Blake

In 1985 we acquired a replica of the life mask of William Blake at the souvenir shop of the National Portrait Gallery, made of plaster and painted black. We did not know that the original had been done while Blake was alive and wrongly assumed it to be done after his death. It occurred to us to find out Shri Mataji’s opinion about it. That day She was attending a concert of Indian classical music by the great sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan. Since the Sahaja Yogis had been invited, this was an opportunity to present the mask to Her.

During the interval several dignitaries were being introduced to Shri Mataji. Standing at a distance of three metres, I decided to take the mask out of the box, I removed the lid and lifted the head out of the box by one inch, so that only the Sahasrara was visible. Shri Mataji got a glimpse of it while exchanging greetings with several people and pointed towards the box.

‘Isn’t he beautiful, he is in meditation!’ She commented.

These words answered my question. William Blake was in meditation while the mask was made and we found that in a biography he fell asleep while it was setting.

In 1989, Shri Mataji was making preparations for moving from the UK back to India. At Shudy Camps, Cambridgeshire, She was supervising the packing of fragile objects and the black mask came out of a box. Shri Mataji looked at us and proceeded to answer the question I had in my mind four years earlier. The only thing She didn’t like about the mask was the way it had been painted in black.

In 2003, on a visit to the National Portrait Gallery, we found the replica masks of William Blake are now in flesh colour.

Luis and Carol Garrido

Chapter 15: 1985 – October, Europe

Are you sure that is My size?

I was in Strasbourg in October 1985 with Shri Mataji, and we were shopping. She wanted to buy a coat. We were at a department store and She wanted a white alpaca coat. The saleslady listened to Shri Mataji, and brought what she thought was the right size for Shri Mataji. Shri Mataji put the coat on.

‘Are you sure that is My size?’ She asked.

‘Yes, that is right for you,’ replied the experienced saleslady.

Shri Mataji tried it on, and asked to try a size smaller. Again, when Shri Mataji had the smaller coat on, She asked for a smaller one. Meanwhile I overheard the salesladies talking among themselves, and the one who had given Shri Mataji the wrong size said she had been in the job for thirty years and it was the first time she had given someone the wrong size. Finally, at the third attempt Shri Mataji got a coat of the right size, and the saleslady said to the cashier that maybe she was too old for that job, otherwise how could she have been so mistaken.

Patrick Lantoin

Shri Mataji was laughing so much

The first programme I attended with Shri Mataji was in Strasbourg in October 1985, and Shri Mataji was bursting with laughter and I loved it, and I loved Her. There are some pictures of Her at that programme and She is laughing so much.

Siddheshvara Barbier

Navaratri Puja, Weggis, Switzerland, October 1985 (diary entry)

On Friday evening another Italian Sahaja Yogini and I arrived from Frankfurt – as quickly as possible for fear of missing the arrival of Shri Mataji at Zurich Airport, which was truly emotional. Everyone was lined up on the railings that separated the arrivals and we waited with trepidation for Shri Mataji to appear. After a little time She was again with us. I always forget the great emotion of seeing Her again, the great joy, and every time it seems more beautiful! Then everyone closed around Her to offer their flowers and to show Her a banner. She patiently waited to receive flowers from each person, and when my turn came She said, ‘How nice.’

Then we went to Weggis, on Lake Lucerne, for the great puja to the Devi for the occasion of Navaratri. The gymnasium had been transformed, quickly and beautifully, by our Swiss brothers and sisters, into a place worthy of the Devi. On the back wall was a tapestry on which was a representation of Shri Durga on Her tiger, with Her ten arms and Her hair flying in the wind. Below were flowers of many kinds. Below Her seat was a tiger skin with its head pointing in our direction. Then there were weapons and flags, and silver and bronze puja utensils. There were about three hundred and fifty Sahaja Yogis present, including the English who had come on the express request of Shri Mataji.

We saw Her again the next day, at the puja. At ten o’clock we were waiting for Her, sitting in silence. One Sahaja Yogi led a meditation and another gave a short talk, and it was as if Shri Mataji was with us before She arrived.. When She did arrive She was the Devi. Shri Mataji, wearing a violet coloured sari with gold decoration, looked beautiful as always, smiling as She passed through a long line of Sahaja Yogis. She sat on Her throne in the middle of all the trophies, high on a stage. With Her greatness She dominated the large collectivity of Her Sahaja children, united in adoration of their Mother.

The magnificence of this puja is Her absolute power, Her incredible strength to destroy every type of demon, and the joy of Her victory over the forces of evil. As She said in Her talk, it is for Her devotees, the seekers of truth, that She constantly intervenes, so we can reach the Sahasrara and Her. It is She, with Her constant vigil and Her many incarnations, who has saved us every time from the devils and finally led us to the Sahasrara and Her cosmic being. At the end She said this is a puja of thanksgiving for the patience, the constant, loving work of Mother, the great Devi of Her seeking children.

At the end of Her talk we felt a deep sense of gratitude and love for Her. Then the puja began. First all the children were asked to come up, and then all the people who had not participated in a puja to Her before. They all went up on the stage and took turns to wash Her Feet, to massage them, to put kumkum on them and to decorate them. Then began the part where Shri Mataji is adorned and assumes the physical appearance of the Deity who we had come to worship. This part of the puja was magnificent, regal. Once this adornment was finished, before assuming the traditional mudra, where we sing the aarti, the great Goddess held the weapons that were offered, two swords in Her hands, and assumed the implacable and destructive aspect that She has when She destroys the devils. I seemed to see Her as the shakti of the Devi Mahatmya, where She engaged in battle with the devils Shumba and Nishumba.

First the hymn Jerusalem was sung, then the aarti, as usual. At the culmination of the puja we all experienced, in unison, the great joy of this extraordinary moment, the great apotheosis of the Devi was complete, Her mission on earth, lasting thousands of years, has terminated in this great collective worship by Her children who have been, as She says, transformed into flowers, and the seekers have been saved from the demons, have become united at Her Feet, and in the lotus of the Sahasrara of the universe.

The following day the celebrations continued with a havan. The cable car permitted us to go up from the clouds which covered the Lake of Lucerne and took us to a Sahasrara of soft grass where the splendour of the sun dispersed the darkness, like the Spirit. The metaphor was obvious.

Shri Mataji was in our midst for an improvised havan on the summit of the mountain, lapped by the clouds, which came up from the valley below and were all around except for our little glade. The names of Shri Adi Shakti were read out, and the new people came and sat around the fire and had the place of honour to offer to Shri Agni and throw the baddhas in. After we had thrown in the baddhas of Switzerland and the world, Shri Mataji and the three hundred and fifty people went down the short path towards the cable car. She went down first, and the others waited their turn at the cable station. Shri Mataji greeted the Sahaja Yogis with a loving smile, raised Her hand and said, ‘Good bye, good bye.’

Alessandra Pallini

Exactly what I needed

We were celebrating a puja in Weggis, Switzerland. One day we took the funicular to the Rütli Mountain and after the thick fog had miraculously lifted the moment Shri Mataji arrived, we prepared a havan. The little plateau was directly above a steep slope and She asked some yogis to collect some leaves to decorate the place for the fire. About a metre down the slope there was a bush from which I wanted to pluck some leaves.

‘Take care Thomas,’ I heard Shri Mataji say behind me. These words touched me deep in my heart. She said my name, She worried about me, She had Her attention on me. This does not really explain the impact of Her words on me, but it was exactly what I needed at that moment.

Thomas Menge

A havan in the mountains

At the weekend of the 1985 Navaratri Puja, Shri Mataji had asked us to offer a havan. It was mid-October, foggy and quite cold in Weggis, which lies on a beautiful lake nestled in the mountains of Switzerland. We were very excited about this opportunity; we just had learned that a major false guru had his global headquarters in this very city!

The Swiss organizers chose a place high up on a mountain, overlooking the entire area. We went up by cable car and were a bit disappointed not to be able to see anything of the spectacular view – all was covered in thick fog and we could barely see the yogis walking in front of us as we headed towards the havan place. We helped with the preparations and when we heard that Shri Mataji was coming we all rushed back to the cable car to receive Her.

To our utter amazement the fog opened the very moment Shri Mataji stepped out from the cable car and we were bathed in warm autumn sunshine. Conches and ‘Ki Jai!’ echoed from the mountains all around, and merrily we followed Her, walking to the nearby havan site. 

The fog opened in a circular opening large enough to allow the sun to warm us; it felt like sitting in a warm and cosy room somewhere in this universe as all around was a huge wall of grey mist. We were very comfortable and absolutely protected in this public place, normally quite busy with tourists.

The havan took place with Shri Mataji presiding and giving instructions throughout. It was such a moment of intimacy, our Mother with Her children in a secluded and enchanting place, far removed from earthly influences and conditionings. I was asked to look after the sacred fire and Shri Mataji was watching me very intently as I offered ghee and firewood to Shri Agni. She instructed me to put the ghee on each piece of wood before it went into the fire, which was new to me, and I have been doing this ever since. Mantras along with translations were read and Shri Mataji made many corrections to our translations and explained the meaning of the words in much more depth.

When we reached the end of this havan we felt we had been here with our beloved Mother since all eternity and nothing else really mattered – we enjoyed Her smile, Her laughter, the soothing vibrations, the warmth of the sun – there was nothing else left to desire.

We accompanied Shri Mataji on the short walk back to the cable car and as soon as its door closed and She left, the opening in the fog slowly closed, the sun receded and we were back in the thick wet clouds. But this time we were happy and cheerful, satisfied and joyful, smiling and silent – having a small glimpse of what it meant when Shri Mataji explained that the entire nature, the entire universe is in attendance and support when we meet.

Herbert Reininger

This person is not human

My first meeting with Shri Mataji was in the fall of 1985 at JFK Airport in New York. We had gone to meet Shri Mataji and She was there on a trip with Sir CP for the United Nations. There were maybe a dozen or so Sahaja Yogis waiting at the airport; we were quite shy and quite new to Sahaja Yoga and we had never met Her.

We were standing at the back of this row of people and waiting for Her to come out and didn’t quite know what to expect. We had seen photographs and videos, but suddenly and very quickly this presence appeared, coming out of the exit of the airport and moving fairly rapidly. I became aware of a glowing purple colour surrounding this being.*

‘Oh, this person is not human,’ I thought. It finally struck me that Shri Mataji wasn’t just somebody who was a nice teacher, but someone who was literally not a human being. I felt this amazing colourful kind of glow emanating from Her – not in a visual or psychedelic sense, but almost like an aroma or a beautiful perfume. As Shri Mataji came by and spoke to various people in the group, I suddenly found myself at the front.

‘Well, hello. How are you?’ She stopped and said. It felt as though a cosmic bell was ringing through my skull and echoing off to infinity. Then She smiled and walked on and got in the car and went off to the ashram.

‘Has anyone ever asked you how you felt like that before?’ one of the Sahaja Yogis asked me.

I confessed that no, I hadn’t had that experience before and I was in for a great adventure. This was something I was going to be pursuing deeply for the rest of my life.

Phil Trumbo

Editor’s note: as mentioned elsewhere, if we see colours like this it means we are not totally in the centre.

This was very surprising

When I started practicing Sahaja Yoga at the beginning of the 1980’s my husband was not interested. I really desired that he would meet Shri Mataji and when She was in New York in 1985 I finally persuaded him to attend a programme. He came in late and sat in the back of the hall and Shri Mataji was giving the talk. As soon as She finished talking, he made his move out of the hall towards the stairs, intending to go home. I saw him leave and ran behind him because I wanted to stop him, so that I could introduce him to Mother.

To my surprise when I reached the stairs and came out in the street I saw my husband starting his motorcycle and Shri Mataji was walking very fast towards him. This was very surprising, because when I left the hall She was still on the stage, and there was only one staircase in this building. When I went down the stairs I did not see Mother on the staircase either. So I could not understand how She came down so fast.

So what happened next? Shri Mataji actually stopped my husband and spoke with him for a while. I was really overjoyed.



Our leader from Vancouver was there for Shri Mataji’s visit on the East Coast in 1985. When she came home, she told me that Shri Mataji was going through the marriage applications at some point. When She came to mine, She asked what ‘tardy’ means, as I had written as my number one fault, that I’m always late (in those days, we had to write all our faults on the application).

‘Oh, just like Me!’ Shri Mataji exclaimed, when someone in the room explained that it means being late.

I was so relieved when I was later told this! I married Brigitte two months later, and we live happily ever after.

Edward Saugstad

Those rays were the vibrations

One of the benefits of being a so-called leader, when I lived in New York, was a lot of times one got to ride in the car with Shri Mataji when She was being picked up at the airport, or going to a public programme. She used these occasions to talk about important things, although there was always a lot of thoughtlessness and silence. The information was for all my brothers and sisters as well, so I was very responsible about sharing it with them.

One day when I was in a car with Shri Mataji, the clouds were opening up and the rays were coming through and She said that those rays were the vibrations. Another time I was sitting in front of Her – She was in the back seat and I could feel my chakras spinning. I don’t know whether She was working on me, or whether it was just that Her chakras were so strong, Shri Mataji had such a powerful effect on you.

Carolyn Vance

Driving Shri Mataji

I had the great good fortune to live in Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square in December 1985. I remember Her kind words of encouragement and Her trust and Her faith in us all, even though we really didn’t know the extent of the role we were playing. It was hard for me to be removed from the hurly-burly of the Sahaj collective, from the families whose lives I was privileged to share, from the exciting new friends I had discovered, and to find myself in the silence of Her house. I was forced to witness myself, casting aside the distractions of the outside world. I am grateful every day that She gave me that time. It has informed many decisions in life since, enables reflection through small memories, succour in difficult moments and constantly nourishes my confidence.

Shri Mataji asked me if I would like to be Her driver. I responded that I had never lived in London, and didn’t know my way around. She said I’d be fine, and She would show me which way to go. It led to some hairy moments.

‘Right, on the right,’ She might say.

What did She mean? Should I turn? Change lanes? Should I explain in that split moment that I felt it unwise to travel at speed into the face of three lanes of oncoming traffic? Hyde Park Corner or the Elephant and Castle were not places to question the judgment of the Adi Shakti. We survived, and Shri Mataji always got us to where we needed to be. Then there was parking; Shri Mataji would always find a place, and insist it was fine.

She asked me to leave Her with Sir CP in the car on one occasion while I sprinted into the bus station on some vital errand. When I returned there had been an altercation with a traffic warden and Sir CP was issued with a parking ticket. Shri Mataji didn’t blame me and discussed the relative merits or otherwise of local law enforcement. Sir CP was, as ever, a study in correctness. The car would feel as if we were at the centre of the universe, there was no world beyond, and yet we were starkly reminded of it on occasion.

We would drive to Covent Garden Flower Market at crack of dawn. Shri Mataji would glide about amid the tumult, apparently unassailed by the raucous, ribald atmosphere with scornful Cockney barrow boys and impatient punters. She only had eyes for the huge bunches of gorgeous cut flowers and potted beauties. We would load up the car with armfuls of tulips, hyacinths and chrysanthemums. It smelt like very heaven. Shri Mataji’s face could be seen beaming through the foliage as we drove home.

Some years later in Canberra, there were only a couple of dozen Sahaja Yogis when my son, Christopher was born. He was a couple of months old when Shri Mataji visited us. He was in my arms, and I was in the hallway, and no one else was there. She paused, smiled, asked me his name. As She touched his little bald head and examined his bright blue eyes, I was reminded of the gloriously happy expression on Her face amidst the flowers in the back of the Mercedes years before in London.

Richard Ogden

Laughter is the best meditation

In the ‘80s my brother and I were fortunate to be allowed to help in Shri Mataji’s Brompton Square house. Each day we would travel across London by tube to Knightsbridge. We were full of anticipation, clutching our roses, trying to keep our attention pure, eager to drink in Her vibrations and soak up all the knowledge that She was so graciously imparting.

One day Mother talks to us about the pub culture in the UK and identifies it as the root of many of the country’s problems. She creates such a warm intimacy that it allows for the odd interjection.

‘Yes, Mother and there is even a TV programme that is set in a pub,’ one of us says, referring to Coronation Street. With much kindness, and no doubt to put us at ease, She conveys incredulous interest.

‘Really? A television programme of a pub – I have to see that!’ And the conversation then moves on to other topics.

The next day again it is just me and my brother in Shri Mataji’s bedroom. We are painting roses on the ornate wall cornicing and She is sitting on Her sofa guiding our work. Shri Mataji then starts to speak to us on an aspect of the Goddess, we lay down our brushes to listen more attentively. The atmosphere is utterly serene, timeless and holy. Just then, a banal and mournful television theme-tune wafts into Her bedroom from an upstairs guest room, She glances to where the sound is coming from.

‘Mother, that is the programme of the pub!’ one of us pipes up, excitedly – Her expression is intangible, quizzical yet very kind.

We immediately realise that our comment is totally out of sync with Her current discourse. The juxtaposition of the sublime to the ridiculous is too much for us, how inappropriate to bring such superficial nonsense into Her sacred temple, and all we can do is laugh at our own foolishness. We pull our ears asking forgiveness but cannot stop the laughter, there are tears rolling down our cheeks, we roll on the floor, clutching our stomachs and keep on asking forgiveness. Very graciously we see that Mother is laughing along with us.

‘Laughter is the best meditation!’ She tells us.

Danya Martoglio

The universe is Her play

I have a dear memory of Shri Mataji in Her room one evening, purposefully walking over to Her window, then peeping out through the half open curtain.

‘Ah, there she is!’ She exclaimed.

I wondered who She could have seen out there in the dark, who was standing outside Her window? So I came over to see, and Mother kindly pointed out a bright, luminous star twinkling in the night sky just above Her.

‘You see? There she is, Venus. She is always following Me around.’

Danya Martoglio

Rearranging the universe

Every single thing Our Divine Mother did had a far deeper significance than we could ever imagine – every glance, every breath, every movement was ultimately for the emancipation of this universe. Doing the housework with Shri Mataji could be a real eye-opener – sometimes it seemed that each object in Her home represented a whole country! When I was very new someone also told me that all of Shri Mataji’s personal belongings had their own individual gana to safeguard them, this certainly added to my sense of wonderment – and made me extra careful when doing the dusting. One day Shri Mataji decided to completely rearrange Her dining room beginning with Her collection of tea sets.

‘We’ll move the Russian set next the Chinese one over here,’ She said, ‘that way Russia and China won’t fight.’

The dynamic energy and enthusiasm with which She worked – bangles jangling, Her beautiful black hair repeatedly tossed back – sending ripples of fragrant vibrations to all those around Her, Her contagious playful laughter, had us all swept up in the exquisite Leela as we climbed up and down ladders to pass Her various objects. Tea sets and furniture newly arranged with the room almost to Her liking, She finally turned thoughtfully towards a shelf of beautiful African tribal carvings. Slowly Shri Mataji began to move some heavy brass Indian statues of the Gods and Goddesses much closer to the African ones. Then She stood back to admire Her work.

‘The Goddess needs to look after Her African children,’ She said with great love.

Danya Martoglio


On the 27th November, 1985 in London, at Hammersmith Town Hall, Shri Mataji gave a speech on William Blake, to celebrate his birthday, on the 28th November. At the end of the programme, the yogis gave Shri Mataji a present. (see the enclosed picture)

Yogi: So Garuda takes wing. While we were preparing the programme of Blake’s Birthday Festival Mother, we found out there was an exhibition of Blake’s work in London in one of the galleries and we very much wanted to give You something that was made by His own hands and with the good wishes of all the Sahaja Yogis of England, and we’ve been able to do it for You. 

Shri Mataji: Oh that’s too much, that’s too much, that’s too much.

Yogi: No it’s something special Mother, we hope that it’ll be our pledge to try to do some justice to You as You’ve tried to do some justice to Blake. 

Shri Mataji: I’m so proud of Him, really. Can you – I am not good at opening. Done so well. Oh. What a beautiful one. Trigunatmika. Do you see the trigunatmika is there? What a vision. I mean how can you understand Him without Sahaja Yoga … picture, you cannot … May God bless you. Thank you very much.

Yogi: This is the engraving of the daughters of Job from the illustrations to the Book of Job. 

Shri Mataji: What is? 

Yogi: Daughters of Job. 

Shri Mataji: Trigunatmika. Three powers – the comforter, and the counsellor and the redeemer, three powers, which you will know, later on. We have those three powers within ourselves. Go ahead.

Victor Vertunni

We needed to defend Her

We were at Heathrow Airport to say goodbye to Shri Mataji and Sir CP, because they were going to India, in 1985. Suddenly a man from the airport staff came up behind Mother and when he got near to Her, he started pushing Shri Mataji. We were completely paralysed for a fraction of a second. After that Matthias and others who were near Mother took this man away from the Sahaja Yogis.

Mother explained to us that She allowed this man to come to Her because She wanted us to realise that we needed to defend Her in any situation, if She was attacked like that, or even if She was attacked by words by someone speaking against Her, we need to defend Her. For all of us this lesson was very important.

Dorota Nocera

Chapter 16: 1985 – December, India

And suddenly there was Shri Mataji

I was in the fifth month of pregnancy but I had a very strong desire to go to the India tour. I was in Austria at the time. The tour had already started but it was so cool to go so I flew to Delhi and then was to catch a flight to Pune where Shri Mataji was to have a public programme. My parents-in-law came to see me and I changed my ticket to stay overnight in Delhi to be with them a little while. The next day I went to the airport and we reached there very late. I saw one yogi at the door with flowers, and suddenly there was Shri Mataji.

‘What are you doing here?’ She asked.

‘I’m flying to Pune,’ I replied.

‘So am I,’ She said, smiling. It was wonderful, because there was just Shri Mataji and one person flying with Her, so they asked me if I would like to carry Her beauty case. Before I had left Austria I had been to the doctor about the pregnancy and told him I felt quite weak. He told me not to bother to take iron pills and other tablets, but just to eat enough.

‘You look very weak, what happened?’ Shri Mataji said to me at the airport.

‘I am pregnant,’ I replied.

‘I know,’ She said. ‘Are you taking your iron?’ She knew everything.

Shri Mataji was the last one on the plane so we had a bus just for us – Shri Mataji and Sir CP, and I wanted to stand in front of them, and She told me to sit down. It was very special.

Sita Varda

This place will be used for our international seminars

Just before the programmes at Ganapatipule started, Mr. Chavhan and seven yogis went with Shri Mataji to do a public programme in Ratnagiri. After the programme was finished, they were to catch a ferry back to Mumbai. On being told that this ferry would be very late, Shri Mataji said that they should still leave for the ferry, which was to be taken from a place called Jaigad. I knew that it was way too early and also that there was nothing to do there for timepass.

‘Mother,’ I told Shri Mataji, ‘there is a Ganesha temple on the sea, which we could go and see. It is only about a half an hour away, so we will easily be back in time.’ She said it was OK.

We all packed into cars and went to see this temple. It is at sea level and sometimes the sea enters into the temple at high tide. Shri Mataji went inside the temple, where the swayambhu was, to check the vibrations, then came out and told us that this swayambhu is very awakened and very powerful, much more powerful than the astavinayakas. These are the eight Ganesha swayambhus in and around Maharashtra — swayambhus from Mother Earth.

‘Why didn’t you notice this before?’ Shri Mataji asked Chavhan.

He said that he only came here now for the first time after Sahaja Yoga. She then said that this place would be used for our international seminars. Shri Mataji spoke about the swayambhu. It has got the powerful vibration of Shri Ganesha and also the very powerful vibration of sea, void and power of Adi Guru Dattatreya. So by coming here, at least two chakras can get cleared out, Mooladhara and Void. Chavhan then started thinking about how to arrange all of this and thinking, ‘I don’t know anyone here to do this.’

‘So you are now worried about how to do this,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Don’t worry. I will do everything and will tell you what to do in good time and automatically everything will work out.’ After this, we all decided to go and watch the sunset and have a foot soak.

‘Now I am going to show you a miracle. Look out over the ocean and tell me what you see,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘Mother, we see the waves all coming in our direction from all sides. The waves are coming towards us.’

‘Now watch. I will change the direction of the waves,’ Shri Mataji said.

She then walked towards the south, and the waves all went in that direction. Then She walked in the other direction and the waves all went the other way. When She stood still, all of the waves also stood still. They seemed to be standing, waiting for the next instruction.

‘You may be doubting, and thinking that possibly the wind is doing this, so I will show you again,’ Shri Mataji said, and did everything all over again.

She said this was the second time that She had done this miracle. The first time was in America. After they had finished at the Ganesha temple, they then went back to Jaigad to wait for the ferry. By this time, the sun had set and they were all waiting at the port.

‘Now I will show you all another miracle. The Ganesha temple is in that direction,’ Shri Mataji said, and pointed. ‘Now look. Do you see anything over there?’

‘No, Mother, we can’t see anything,’ they all said.

She again pointed in the same direction and told them to look again. As they looked, they could see, slowly appearing a huge stream of light. It was like a huge cylindrical circle of light, as if thousands of volts were coming out of Mother Earth and going straight into the heavens.

‘There is no other light around here, not even moonlight, so that light is coming from the Ganesha temple,’ said Shri Mataji. ‘This light will not stop until I tell it to. It is coming from the swayambhu of Shri Ganesha and I am taking it out.’

Shri Mataji then asked us if we all had seen this light and should She stop it. All the Sahaja Yogis present said that they had all seen it and that She could now stop it from coming out of the Ganesha temple. The light was there for about ten minutes. We were very lucky to see such a thing and I have not seen anything like that since.

PD Chavhan

Advice at Pratishthan

The construction of Pratishthan began some time in 1985/1986. I was quite ignorant of civil engineering and architecture.

‘Everything in the world has its own principle and there is the principle of all the principles. When you are that principle, you have all the knowledge in the world,’ Shri Mataji said when I confessed my ignorance.

During that period, Shri Mataji, being busy with the construction work, often stayed in Pune. One late evening She was about to retire for the day.

‘Keep Me in your heart, because Sadashiva is in My heart,’ She said.

Raman Kulkarni

Shri Mahakali Puja Nasik, 1985

Towards the end of the Mahakali Puja in Nasik, in 1985, Shri Mataji looked into my camera with such power and strength. When I pressed the button I felt I would go up in a puff of smoke.

Colin Heinson

We have to stand for divinity

When Shri Mataji arrived at the public programme in India there were usually huge crowds who wanted to touch Her. The Western men would often be asked to make a line of protection in front of Shri Mataji. It was in Nasik, on my first India tour, at a public programme, and we were asked to make a line. Somehow my attention lapsed at one point and through my inattentiveness one man managed to break through the line and touch Shri Mataji’s Feet.

Shri Mataji exclaimed in pain, and She was stamping Her Foot which that negative man had touched. She was turning it and you could see She was trying to release the negativity from that person back into the Mother Earth. That was a very important moment for me, because I realised that Shri Mataji is not only here to protect us, but we as Sahaja Yogis, also are there to protect Her. We have to stand for divinity, and if our attention lapses even for a moment, something bad may happen.

Henno de Graaf

You never quite know

I once also had to defend Shri Mataji like that. She saw that and asked me to relax a bit, and let the people come. So you never quite know if you are doing the right job!

Richard Keet

This lady chased me and I ran for my life

In 1985 Shri Mataji told Mr Koli that She would like to come to Alibagh the following year and it was really a surprise because he had started building a bungalow and wanted to invite Her. The building work was going on and the building materials were lying around all over the place.

‘Aren’t you scared that someone will come and steal the materials?’ many village people said.

‘This is Mother’s house and it is well guarded. No one would dare take anything,’ he said. The very next day a man from the village came.

‘Mr Koli, do you have a person protecting your house?’ he asked.

‘No, why?’ Mr Koli said.

‘Because last night I saw someone in a white costume and a blanket over the body,’ the man replied.

‘What were you doing on my ground?’ Mr Koli asked.

‘Please forgive me,’ the man replied, ‘but I actually came to steal some cement and this strongly built person chased me.’ Mr Koli and the villager entered the next room and the thief saw Mother’s photograph. He was shocked and said, ‘that was the person who was guarding your materials. She had a stick in Her hand and as wearing a white sari, a blanket and had a big bindi on Her forehead.’ This shook everyone in the village because they all heard the story.

Lena Koli

The all-seeing devi

One day I went to where Shri Mataji was staying in Mumbai, in 1985. I hovered by the door out ofer sight Her sight. The room was full of people and I had entered very quietly. Mother was working on someone and I was watching intently. He did not seem to be a very deep seeker, but Shri Mataji, as always, was pouring out Her love and concern on him, then suddenly She pointed, or turned to me.

‘There – clear now, Linda!’ She said. I had no idea She was even aware I was in the room.

Linda Williams

Tongues of fire

In Mumbai in about 1985, Shri Mataji had asked that I take out some of Her vibrations, it was night time and, as was Her custom, the bedroom was kept absolutely pitch dark in order to give Her Agnya chakra some rest. By the watchful Indian Ocean She slept and I sat on the floor beside the bed drinking in that sacred and inimitable fragrance: roses, tiger balm, rain washed grass, all the auspicious essences of Mother Earth united in one sweet harmonious note. I had been meditating over an hour and the pulsation on Her shoulder had subsided. The meditative rhythm of Her breathing, like the tide going gently in and out, was so soothing to listen to. In the liquid dark silent stillness, completely thoughtless, my body no longer felt solid. 

Then, in front of my eyes I witnessed what appeared to be tongues of fire suspended in the blackness. The flames were moving gently, as if keeping time with Her breathing, and were mesmerisingly beautiful to see. Feeling completely peaceful and meditative, I did not flinch or make any noise, I just remember saying to myself, ‘I wonder what that is?’ As all the while Shri Mataji had been deeply sleeping, I was surprised when She suddenly spoke.

‘What did you see?’ She asked, as if we had been having a conversation. I described the exquisite flames and She said ‘Ah, that’s My Kundalini,’ then, ‘Very good!’ and promptly went back to sleep.

Danya Martoglio

Garlands and a Shri Ganesha

In 1985 I was fortunate to be staying with Shri Mataji in India. One afternoon She had gone out and I had stayed behind to catch up on some jobs. As there had been many yogis visiting that day, there were lots of flower garlands lying in heaped piles. As I tidied the vibration-drenched bedroom I decided also to use some of the garlands to create a small carpet in front of Her chair. Taking pleasure in the different contrasting blocks of fragrant colour, I randomly chose garlands and fitted them together with the next garland to make an abstract pattern.

When Shri Mataji returned later that evening to have dinner, She looked down at the new ‘carpet’.

‘Ah thank you! I see you’ve made a Shri Ganesha for Me,’ She smiled. 

Pulling my ears I ‘confessed’ that I hadn’t made a Shri Ganesha, I had merely arranged the flowers.

‘Come and see it then!’

She very sweetly invited me to view the arrangement from Her side. Sure enough, looking from that way round, there was clearly a Shri Ganesha looking straight up at his Mother. Shri Mataji told me that doing something with love, and in thoughtless awareness, had allowed this creation to happen in a ‘Sahaj’ way. 

Danya Martoglio

In India with Mother

This photo was taken when Shri Mataji graciously invited me to accompany Her in India for a few months in 1985/6, giving an amazing behind-the-scenes perspective to all the love and care She put into organising the tour; as well as experiencing public programmes and pujas in India without any Westerners. Her kindness knew no bounds, and at the end of all the travelling, when She had to return to London because Sir CP was poorly, She invited me to live in Her house, offering to pay for me to go to the Pune Film School – and there was no way I would accept any more of Her overwhelming generosity.

Danya Martoglio

One huge broad smile

We were all at Brahmapuri. I was only six months in Sahaja Yoga, so I was not that confident yet. Then Shri Mataji announced for all of us to wash Her Feet. I was trying to get to Shri Mataji’s Feet and was one of the very last people, and I thought, ‘Shri Mataji must be tired,’ and, ‘I do not deserve this,’ the typically Western guilt feeling – so I washed Her Feet and bowed down and did namaskar, then looked up and saw one huge broad smile, full of love from Shri Mataji, and realised, ‘Yes, She knows us all.’

Henno de Graaf

Your mantra is ‘I am not French’

It was my first India tour. I had got realisation in the summer of 1985, and there I was in India some months later. We were at Brahmapuri. Shri Mataji had Her Feet in the water and many yogis came to Her. We were introduced to Her and She would work on us in the water. When my turn came She asked me what country I was from. I told Her I was from France.

‘He doesn’t look French!’ She laughed. ‘Your mantra is, “I am not French, I am not French.”‘ Then I had to put my head under the water because Shri Mataji wanted to clear my Agnya. Something to do with my eyes.

‘Now it is better,’ and again She said, ‘he doesn’t look French, he looks Indian.’ The yogis with Shri Mataji were laughing as well. I just remember this, and I was so pleased when Shri Mataji later gave me an Indian name. Later I happened to live in Canada, and after three or four years there it was cool on vibrations to ask for citizenship. I did get Canadian citizenship and I could truly say, ‘I’m not French, I am Canadian.’ Now I have dual nationality.

Siddheshvara Barbier

Thousands and thousands of seekers

It was the first Ganapatipule, in 1985. After the puja, the Sahaja Yogis said I should take permission from Shri Mataji to open a centre. I was quite new in Sahaja Yoga at that time. I explained to Mother that so many people were coming to my place in Calcutta, wanting their realisation.

‘Open a centre!’ Shri Mataji said. Then She asked me what the weather was like at a certain time of year in Calcutta, because, She said, She wanted to go there for about fifteen days. I explained that the weather was fine at that time, and asked Her to please come.

One time I received a message from Shri Mataji through a third person that I was not to run a programme in my centre for the time being. However six months later, I had been going all out to clear out my chakras, Shri Mataji again came to Calcutta, and She again asked me to go and see Her. Shri Mataji looked at me and I felt I had to bow down.

‘Everything is alright! Run the centre!’ She said.

Since then, for the last twenty years, I have been running that centre and thousands and thousands of seekers have come there and by the grace of Mother have got their realisation, and also thousands of schoolchildren.

T Roy

Shri Mataji blessed Trinidad

Just before the end of the India Tour in 1985, yogis were going up to Shri Mataji about personal problems. I desperately wanted to be up there with Shri Mataji, but I didn’t want to go with problems. Then I thought I could go to ask for Her blessings.

When I got to Shri Mataji’s Feet, She started to talk to me in Hindi, so I told Her I was from Trinidad. She asked me about the Indians in Trinidad, and knew that a large number of Indians migrated to Trinidad at the time of the labour indenture. She asked me if there were seekers there and I told Her that although there were lots of spiritual people, I did not feel they were seeking at this time.

Years later, in 1995, I wrote to Shri Mataji asking for Her blessings, as I was going back to Trinidad to start Sahaja Yoga. She read this letter to some yogis when they were in New York for Shri Krishna Puja and then blessed Trinidad.

The first public programme in Trinidad was January 1996, and thanks to Shri Mataji’s guidance the programmes started even though there were no other yogis. I stayed in Trinidad to get Sahaja Yoga established.

Claire Cupen

Ganapatipule, 1985/6 (diary entry)

We arrived at this earthly paradise of Ganapatipule in the evening of 29th December. Shri Mataji arrived at the same time as us. Her car stopped in the little parking area of this tourist spot on the seaside, and She immediately began to meet with Her sons and daughters and to oversee the people, baggage and presents, putting everything in order in about five minutes. It was incredible that after a bus journey of twelve hours Shri Mataji was the first person we met, completely unexpectedly – with such joy.

On the first night we had bhajans until about three o’clock in the morning, and got up at five to meditate and then bathe in the sea, so it was a great cleansing of the left side. There were foreigners from forty-two countries, and with the Indians we were about a thousand people.

Alessandra Pallini

All my problems disappeared

Before going to the Ganapatipule seminar in 1985, I was suffering from severe cold, cough and body ache for several days and was unable to help myself through Sahaja treatment. I went to Ganapatipule, and reached there after an eleven hour bus journey on 30th December 1985. We walked about a kilometre to reach the accommodation site. There was no water or light but somehow we refreshed ourselves and walked another kilometre to the seminar site at Malgond village and reached there at about 8 pm.

Shri Mataji was speaking but I was unable to understand even a single word She said, due to my physical and mental condition and was really thoughtless, automatically. After about forty minutes of looking towards Her I found myself perfectly all right, and all my problems had disappeared. This was a unique surprise to a scientist like me.

RR Singh

A programme in Delhi University

The year after I got realisation I went to Ganapatipule, in 1985. That year the seminar was held at Malgond, a small village near Ganapatipule. There were not many Sahaja Yogis in those days, and I met Shri Mataji on the first day when She was sitting on the stage having Her food. There was not much distance between the stage and the place where I was sitting, because it was not a very formal stage, and just two steps up.

There were not many people around and She looked at me and called me and I went nearer to Her. She asked me who I was and where I came from. I told Her I was a student, and at the university. At that time I was a student leader, the president of the Delhi University Students’ Cultural Body. Shri Mataji was very pleased to hear this, that there were students coming into Sahaja Yoga right from the school levels. I told Shri Mataji that if I had the opportunity I would definitely like to invite Her to the university. She nodded, as if She was agreeing to what I was saying.

A couple of days later Shri Mataji visited the place where all of us Sahaja Yogis from Delhi were staying, in a house in Malgond. So She came there along with other Sahaja Yogis, and some of the important people of the village of Malgond. They were giving some presents to Shri Mataji, and then when She was about to leave and was already in Her car, She looked at me. She opened the door

‘Sandhya, why don’t you organise a programme at Delhi University? I would like to come.’ She said She would be coming to Delhi.

Sandhya Laxshminarayan

You are all in My body

‘You are all in My body,’ Shri Mataji often said, and many experienced how compassionately Her body worked for us all. 

Once I was asked to take tea to Mother, who was in the middle of a leaders’ meeting. I was holding the silver tray when the pot was hurriedly placed on it by another yogini. As I was walking towards the door of Her bedroom, the metal of the tray heated up – and I was already inside the room when it started to really burn me. I didn’t make a sound to show this was happening, wanting to discretely serve tea and leave Her in peace for the meeting. As I approached Shri Mataji’s chair, placing the tray down, I noticed She was massaging Her hand in exactly the spot where the teapot was burning me. Mother broke off Her discourse and turned to speak a few words to me with tenderness.

‘Be careful My child, don’t hurt yourself!’

She then continued to address the leaders whilst still holding Her hand. As I bowed down, I realised there was no burning pain on my hand anymore, only a beautiful cool sensation – and a heart full of gratitude. 

Years later I experienced something similar. In Ganapatipule at the end of 1985, some Sahaja Yogi boys were enjoying themselves on the seashore and not realising the intensity of the midday sun, had got badly burnt. They were brought to Shri Mataji’s bungalow and as a compassionate Mother graciously worked on them, laughing and joking with them.

‘Ah! You look like Greek gods with your suntans now!’ She told them, and lovingly massaged their backs with oil and talc, patiently removing each blister. When Her work was done the boys bowed to Her Lotus Feet, She blessed them and they floated out of Her room on cloud nine. When they had gone, Shri Mataji asked me to massage some talc on Her back. She pulled aside Her sari showing me many heat blisters that had erupted all around Her Nabhi chakra. Her body was Pure Love. She had absorbed their pain (and my pain) in such a matter-of-fact way, yet not letting Her children feel in any way hurt or guilty. 

Mother would occasionally ask me to read Her correspondence to Her. Certain letters written would result in amazing fountains of vibrations flowing out as the deities danced with joy in Her chakras, so pleased to hear their Divine Mother praised! She would have tears of joy in Her eyes and would shine with loving pride for Her children. Many also noticed at some pujas the longer the puja went on, the brighter, younger and more invigorated Shri Mataji would appear.

Danya Martoglio

I was Her smile

It all began in India at the end of 1985 during my first India tour. I had not really understood who Shri Mataji is. In fact I did not understand anything. I did not know anyone and felt guilty and was not sure that I had made the right choice in coming to India. I had heard many things about Shri Mataji, but wanted some personal proof.

The first day we were at Vaitarna, in a magnificent garden, and the atmosphere was particularly peaceful and calm, and I had the impression of coming back after two thousand years. Before my self realisation, being raised in a Catholic family, I always asked myself, ‘Would you have recognised Christ if you had lived at His time?’ And there, at Vaitarna, I knew that I had been there, and that I had followed Him, but always without personal proof of Who Shri Mataji is.

Later in the tour, we went to Brahmapuri. I felt I had come home, as if I had already lived in this place, and I never wanted to leave. On the second day we went to bathe in the Krishna River, which was very close by. As I was a little shy, I was a little at the side, when someone came to look for me.

‘Shri Mataji is here! We can wash Her Feet! Everyone is coming – come.’ But I was so afraid, that I did not want to go; I felt guilty because I had received my self realisation a year and a half before, and thought Shri Mataji was not pleased with me. Then I said to myself, ‘It is OK, if everyone is going to go there.’ I stood in the line, still feeling full of inner fears. 

Shri Mataji was there, seated on a rock with Her Feet in the river. When my turn came, I don’t know at all what my hands did. I looked at Mother, She smiled at me and for some seconds I did not exist any more. I was Her smile, the whole, one with infinity, and I was in paradise.

Then I understood that this was the personal proof that I was waiting for, and this state I had known there was, and that I had to attain.

Marie-Joelle Coeuru

Chapter 17: 1986 – January to March, India

Go and sing

One day in 1985, at Dharmshala I was doing my music practice when I felt the urge to write a song. I had been humming the first two stanzas of a traditional Devi song. I got up and started writing. It kept flowing and the song was made.

That year at Ganapatipule Shri Mataji asked the North Indian ladies to come on stage. I too went and stood with the sari.

‘You have done many pujas, you go and sing,’ She said.

I was wondering, thinking, ‘But I have never done any puja except for one in Vaitarna,’ so I went down and started singing. At that moment they were just starting Her decoration. I opened my book and it opened on the page where my bhajan Tere Charana de Heth was. Nervously I decided to sing it. I was lost in singing and when the song finished Shri Mataji had been fully decorated.

Later the ladies on stage told me that each verse was going exactly as the shringar (puja decoration) was.

Deepa Mahajan


On 2nd January 1986, in the morning, on the seashore near the MTDC quarters, during the haldi ceremony for the Sahaja Yoga marriages, Shri Mataji applied haldi (turmeric) power paste over Her body and also gave it to those of us Sahaja Yogis standing nearby. When I applied the haldi on my body, I found that air was erupting from my whole body. I was surprised to observe the happening and this further strengthened my faith in Sahaja Yoga.

RR Singh

Where is your husband?

The first marriages in Ganapatipule were in January 1986. On the beach at the haldi ceremony, Shri Mataji spoke strongly to us women.

‘If you don’t want to marry, tell Me now. I don’t want you to make a man unhappy. Never argue with your husband. Your only job is to nourish him with your love. If he is doing something wrong, just do a bandhan. You are the left side and all the deities and ganas will help you.’

At 5 pm, all the couples had to meet under the pendal to get their marriage jewellery from Shri Mataji. I was sitting second in the row but my future husband was the only one missing. I was meditating. Suddenly I heard the voice of Shri Mataji.

‘Christine, where is your husband?’ She said.

‘I don’t know,’ I answered.

I tried to meditate but I went completely on the left side, thinking he was like all the other ones who left me.

‘But where is your husband?’ Again the voice of Shri Mataji, and the same answer from me, but this time I went on the right side, angry he didn’t come. I was lost in the turmoil of thoughts and emotions. Again I heard the voice of Shri Mataji and the same answer from me. This time, She started laughing saying to the people, ‘Look at her, She even doesn’t know who her husband is.’ Because of the turmoil in which I was, I didn’t hear that She asked who my husband was. Of course, everyone was laughing and I felt so embarrassed and desperate. Suddenly I remembered Mother’s words, ‘Just give a bandhan.’ I closed my eyes.

‘You know where he is,’ I said while doing the bandhan. I opened my eyes and he was standing smiling near me and took his place in the row.

‘You see, it is working,’ Shri Mataji looked at me and said.

Christine Haage

A drop in the ocean

During the my second India tour in 1985/86, on the morning of the weddings in Ganapatipule, after the haldi ceremony Shri Mataji said we should go and wash in the sea and we would feel like a drop in the ocean. So I went to the sea to rinse the haldi with another yogini. We swam for a bit and at one moment, we were both floating on our backs very quietly and at that moment I felt like I had no more body, like I was a part of the ocean, a very pleasant feeling. I was without limits, just one with the sea. I told my friend and she said she had the same experience. At that moment we had forgotten what Shri Mataji had said in the morning.

Trupta de Graaf

A present for each and every person

During the Ganapatipule seminars in the 1980’s there was always a night when, after the different bhajans given by Indian yogis, after the dance performances, after the grand concert given by a famous artist, Shri Mataji used to give presents to all the Indian Sahaja Yogis and Yoginis. There was a huge queue of thousands of people and Shri Mataji would personally give a present to each and every person and it would last for hours and hours until the sky would whiten with dawn. We, the Western Sahaja Yogis, were sitting watching this divine allegory of infinite love and generosity.

 Christophe Rivaud

You are a cell in My heart

This is a dark story, but instructional. In 1985, when I was living in Dehra Dun, there was a young Sahaja Yogini who was very pretty and vivacious, but had some problems and was very dishonest. At least three prominent Sahaja Yogis felt she should have a Sahaja marriage, although I was not in favour. I tried to warn them about her but they felt I was seeing negativity when there wasn’t any.

At the end of the year she, and I, went to Ganapatipule, and a marriage was arranged for her. The morning before the marriages, Shri Mataji sent a responsible Sahaja Yogi to me.

‘Mother wants to know if you think this marriage should go ahead,’ he asked.

‘I am sure she must be a very nice girl so I suppose it should,’ I replied

I did not know what to say; by this time I was totally confused – I assumed I had misjudged her and most of all did not dare go against the leaders. The marriage went ahead, and after Ganapatipule we were in the villages on the tour, with Shri Mataji.

‘You are a thorn in My heart, why do you give Me such pain?’ She said to me.

I was very shaken, but could not figure out what I had done wrong. As always when Mother got angry, I felt wonderful afterwards, a deep inner peace, because all the negativity ran away.

The following year, Shri Mataji called me into Her room at Ganapatipule. There were four or five prominent Sahaja Yogis with Her.

‘Why did you let that marriage go ahead? The young man that girl married is absolutely ruined,’ She began.

‘I have to obey the leaders, and they strongly implied I was wrong to say anything against her,’ I said.

‘Who runs Sahaja Yoga, Me or the leaders?’ Shri Mataji asked.

‘You do, Mother,’ I replied.

‘Why did you not use your vibrations?’

In fact, I had been too afraid to stand up for myself. Mother went on being angry with me for some time, and then sent the leaders away.

‘Why are you looking so worried? It’s only a drama!’ She said, and was not at all angry anymore.

Some years later the girl caused a lot of trouble for some Sahaja Yogis and Sahaja Yoga. I asked Shri Mataji how this could be, and She said the following:

‘We have to let everyone through the door of Sahaja Yoga.’

Linda Williams

Shri Mataji said exactly what was in my mind

There was a public programme in Ratnagiri, near Ganapatipule, in January 1986. Though I had attended the Ganapatipule seminar just before that, I was quite new in Sahaja Yoga. Many people came to the public programme and at the end the seekers lined up to ask questions to Shri Mataji.

I used to suffer from dizziness most of the time in those days, so I wanted to ask Shri Mataji what treatment I could do for this. In Mumbai (where I am originally from) there were so many people that this would be the best opportunity to ask the question. I stood in the queue and when I neared the stage, Shri Mataji was busy talking and working on new people.

‘Why are you standing here in the queue? You are from Mumbai. Ask your questions in Mumbai,’ a Sahaja Yogi uncle said.

‘Mumbai is so crowded, how can she ask me any question there?’ Shri Mataji said to him, before I said anything. ‘Better tell me now, what is your question?’

I was completely melted in Her love and vibrations, because She said exactly what was in my mind. She asked me to not to eat oily food and take radish leaf water to resolve the problem, and since then I never had the problem again. She showed me so much concern and care after I asked Shri Adi Shakti such a simple question.

Maneesha Shanbhag-Cruz

Crystals from Ajanta

It was the 1985/86 India Tour, in early 1986. I was a part of the video crew and we went to stay in Shri Mataji’s house in Aurangabad. Shri Mataji had some programmes there. We went to visit the caves at Ellora and Ajanta. At Ajanta we did some filming at the Buddhist caves, and collected some souvenirs, including some geode stones, which, when you cracked them open, had amethysts or crystals inside them. We came back to Shri Mataji’s brother’s house, where She was staying, and met with Her in the evening, and everyone was showing Her the stones. Some people offered them to Shri Mataji, but I was a new Sahaja Yogi at the time and did not understand that when they were offering them to Mother, it was an honour to offer anything to Her. So I did not offer mine, as I wanted to keep them.

Meanwhile Shri Mataji was opening up the stones and handling them, and looking at the crystals, and commenting on them. After that She would hand them back to the people who had handed them to Her, beautifully vibrated. I realised that in my own selfishness I had deprived myself of the ultimate pleasure of having Shri Mataji vibrate the stones I had bought.

Whatever you surrender to the Divine, you get back many times over.

Phil Trumbo

India Tour, 1985/6, Rahuri (diary entry)

We are at a large camp near Rahuri, staying by the side of a dam, close to the Ekadesha Rudra temple, where we had a beautiful collective meditation. Last night we saw Shri Mataji at two public programmes. We were late for the programmes and She had to wait for us to arrive before starting. When we entered the room, the vibrations began to circulate and Shri Mataji said that now we not only have the ability to receive vibrations but also to emit them, which is another blessing She has given us. At the end we all went up on the stage to help give realisation to any people who had problems.

Yesterday was also a wonderful day. First we went for a bathe in the river, then we had a meal, then we went to a nearby village for a procession and a public programme. The procession began when Shri Mataji arrived on a bullock cart. It was very short and ended in the village square, which was full of people. It was very impressive to see literally thousands of people waiting for Shri Mataji’s talk. They were silent and attentive, and by the end of the evening could hardly believe what they had received.

On the 12th January, in the evening, we went to a public programme at Shrirampur, near Rahuri. Shri Mataji arrived late and the introduction had been done by two of the Western Sahaja Yogis. The stage was in the form of a large bandhan and Shri Mataji was seated in the centre. At the end everyone was able to come to Her Feet and receive Her darshan. She was so beautiful – She smiled at everyone and was so ‘prasanna’, pleased.

On the 13th we were with Shri Mataji the whole day. She came to the camp at the dam and was seated in the big tent from ten in the morning until late in the night. She spoke to us at length and answered questions on diseases and the Sahaja therapies for them.

At five in the afternoon we had a meal and both we and Shri Mataji had a rest for about an hour. After that we returned to the tent for a music and dance show. Some young Sahaja Yogis performed in front of Shri Mataji, some Bharat Natyam dances, and Shri Mataji was very pleased that they had mastered this classical Indian dance form.

Alessandra Pallini

The Ekadesha Rudra Swayambhu

We were staying in pendals in the dried up area of a reservoir. During that stay we visited the swayambhu there. When the dam was being built many years before, the construction engineers had tried to cover these stones up, but each time they poured cement the next day the stones would re-emerge. Eventually they gave up and built a wall around the swayambhu. Mother spent ages telling us all about medical matters one day there.

The photo shows Shri Mataji making offerings to the stones.

Auriol Purdie 

Medicine for the foreigners

On the India tour we were camping by a dam near Rahuri near an Ekadesha Rudra temple. There was an impromptu medical conference and Shri Mataji answered questions about health, and a lot of people had stomach problems because it was before the days of bottled water. I was living at an Ayurvedic medicines factory then, in Dehra Dun, and had brought a box of bottles of Amritdhara, their famous patent medicine, which is brilliant for bad tummies, as presents for the foreigners. I went up to Shri Mataji and gave Her the box of medicines. She was delighted and thanked me very much. She gave out the bottles to anyone who needed them, which was a lot of people, and it really helped.

Linda Williams

Fragrant music

One day I was in India in one of those magical trips through Maharashtra when Western Sahaja Yogis would board the buses and travel on dusty roads for hours on end to arrive at surprise places like a temple by a river or a village where a programme would be organized. We would always be welcomed with a meal that we would eat with our fingers, sitting on the ground. Delicious vegetarian food would be served on banana leaves. Shri Mataji would very often wonderfully surprise us by meeting us at the programme or She would travel in front of the buses in Her grey Ambassador car with number plates MTJ. So one day we arrived at a music programme organised by a young orchestra of yuva shaktis. Mother was present and I was sitting next to Her with Her bag on my lap and these beautiful young Indian people started to play heavenly music: I felt totally overjoyed and in my heart I was praying, saying to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have children so talented as to express such fragrant music, giving so much joy to people.’

At the end Shri Mataji asked for Her purse and took some money out and gave it to me to give to the yuvas. I was obviously very pleased to have this mission to fulfil and thanked Her and She looked at me with a smile. Soon after I got pregnant with my third child, and not even one year later with our twin girls. As it happens the three of them sing beautifully and now the twins are trained at singing classical Indian music – one professionally – and have delighted lots of people with their voices. What a wonderful leela of the Divine!

Antoinette Wells 

Meeting collectively

When I began running programmes in Dehra Dun, I asked Shri Mataji how often people should meet collectively, and She said that once a week was good.

Linda Williams

Peanut oil can be very damaging

When I was living in Dehra Dun, North India, one of the new Sahaja Yogis there had a daughter who had leukoderma, also called vitilego, a harmless condition where the skin becomes discoloured and gets unsightly white patches. I asked Shri Mataji about it and She said it was caused and/or made much worse by the use of peanut oil in cooking. Sure enough, the lady told me she always used peanut oil for cooking. On another occasion Shri Mataji told us to avoid peanuts as they are very bad for the liver.

Linda Williams

Thirsty work

On one occasion during the India tour Shri Mataji had been standing in the hot sun for a long time while She was purchasing saris for all the Sahaja Yoginis present, and for the weddings. All the Sahaja Yogis had assembled while Shri Mataji chose and negotiated the price of each item. 

Though it was a fair distance to Her house it seemed obvious that someone should get a chair for Her as well as a parasol and some water, so first I brought a large chair.  Seeing it, Shri Mataji gave a sigh of relief but also a mild look of censure as if saying, ‘Why did it take so long?’

I rushed back to the house again and got a big parasol and finally on a last trip a tray with a jug and a glass. On arrival it was very reassuring being greeted by Shri Mataji’s silent loving look. I kept filling up the glass of water, but as soon as water was poured She drank it immediately and in less than five minutes She had drunk a large jug of water.

Shri Mataji seemed amused that I was a perplexed by Her capacity to consume a full jug of water in such a short time.  Though not a single word was exchanged, with Her face alone She was communicating Her joyful playfulness.  

Luis Garrido

Go and see Shri Mataji

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in India in the early 1980’s. All the Australians went to see Her and my bad eyesight was mentioned. The problem is a degeneration which affects more the centre of the eye, so I have a bit of side vision and not much central vision. At that time Shri Mataji said it could have stemmed from living in Jersey, an island to the south of England. Shri Mataji suggested we ate ghee and used fire on the Back Agnya using a ghee lamp.

At Rahuri, when I got married, we were having the legal wedding in a tent next to where Shri Mataji was talking about various cures. We went in at the end of the talk and Shri Mataji asked that if anyone had any physical problems, they were to go and see Her. I felt, as I had just got married, I was fine.

‘Go and see Mother,’ people kept saying to me. I was sitting there, and Mother looked over to me and asked someone why I was looking so unhappy. I wasn’t feeling unhappy, but obviously She felt something, and they must have mentioned my bad eyesight and She asked me to go up to Her, and my husband and I went up. She asked me to look at Her Feet, and ask in my heart for my eyes to see Her Feet. They became a bit clearer, and She asked me to look at Her bangles, then one or two broke. Then She looked as though She was tying something up in Her wrist. After that She got up and walked out and apparently threw something into a lake outside the pendal.

There was another experience in Sydney. This was after a public programme, and a lot of people were going up and being worked on. ‘Oh, to be new again!’ I thought, then found myself in front of Mother. Maybe She asked me to go up. I had to sit at Her Feet, and turn around and sit with my back towards Her. She whispered mantras into my left ear, Shri Vishnumaya, and Shri Vitthala Rukmini in the right ear. Then She manipulated my neck, and after that told me to use ice on the Back Agnya and on the liver, so it changed from fire to ice.

Bel Henshaw

It was the Goddess Vishnumaya

In February 1986, Shri Mataji very sweetly asked me if I could drive Her to Rajasthan and I was delighted. I was quite surprised that I wrote almost twenty-four songs in just a few days, while in Her presence. Finally, we drove back to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. On the way, She asked me if I could go with Her to Mumbai, as She had no one accompanying Her on the flight. She told me that I would have to sleep outside Her room, as She was staying in a one bedroomed flat. She enquired if I would be comfortable and I was simply thrilled.

When Shri Mataji first met me in 1982, She worked on my left Vishuddhi, and just prior to our departure for Mumbai, something extraordinary happened. She was sitting with about forty yogis meditating in front of Her, and I had just entered from the opposite door into the big drawing room of Mrs. Pardal’s home in Jaipur.

I could see Shri Mataji directly face to face. Her eyes were closed and there was complete silence. Then all of a sudden the candle flame on the opposite wall flickered very hard and I heard a swish kind of a sound coming from the left of the room. The moment I turned towards it, I saw a big ball of fire entering through the wall, and it circled around the room so very fast that in a jiffy, and in a wink of the eye, it went through to the other side of the wall and disappeared. Its light was still lingering in the room as I gazed towards this miraculous happening. At that very moment, my eye met Mother’s, as She suddenly opened Her eyes and looked directly into mine. She smiled at me and shut Her eyes again.

None of the forty yogis in the room saw this miracle. They sat unmoved, as if nothing had happened. Soon after, when Mother sat relaxed in Her chair and the yogis had got up and were moving around, I went and asked a few of them if they had seen anything. No one acknowledged it. I could not contain myself and went to Shri Mataji. Before I could even utter a word to Her, She whisperingly told me, by cupping Her fingers around my ear, not to panic, as it was the Goddess Vishnumaya. Then She emphasized that it was my own Vishnumaya that I saw, having just finished with my clearing, and that I was now free from guilt. She told me that I could now freely express myself and I need not fear anyone. She also said there was a lot of potential in me which could be tapped, and She was working on it.

I ran to another room, unable to contain my joy. I returned after a few moments and sat at Mother’s Feet. I had brought a paper and a pen and was writing a poem and reading it aloud to Shri Mataji. She closed Her eyes and began talking in prose and I jotted down every word She spoke. It was filling up the words of my poem and at the end of it a beautiful song was born – Jeevan hai yeh apna. She then asked me to sing it, which I did.

‘It is a true happening in Sahaja Yoga and that is how the transformation happens. You must sing it to all the new people,’ She commented.

Later we travelled in the plane from Jaipur to Mumbai. In the plane She would suddenly fall asleep while talking and I would then start writing poems. She would wake up and enquire how much I had written, then go through the poem with me and correct it. The miracle was that when I narrated the poems back to Her, I would actually sing them as if the music was composed already. She liked the compositions and told me that the ragas I selected were most appropriate to the subject matter of each poem. Amazingly, I had not a clue about it until She actually told me.

‘You must first share it with all the yogis,’ She said. ‘They will simply love it, and then take it to all the seekers of truth. Only music will do the final trick.’

Sanjay Talvar

Shri Mataji at the royal palace

This photo was taken at Jaipur in 1986. I had driven Shri Mataji from Jaipur into the interior of Rajasthan, when She went looking for artefacts to put in Her house in Pratishthan at Pune. In the photo Shri Mataji was seated at the Royal Palace of the Queen of Jaipur. It was the festival of Gangaour (Shri Ganesha and Shri Gauri Mata). At the time of the photo Shri Mataji was listening to my musical compositions, which were created during the journey there.

Sanjay Talvar

Let’s hear a song!

One day Shri Mataji asked me to drive Her from Jaipur to the interior of Rajasthan, when She was looking to build Pratishthan, in Pune, and it was a twelve hour drive. I was very new to Sahaja Yoga and didn’t realise I was sitting with Shri Adi Shakti. She was talking to me like any ordinary person on a journey, and She asked me to sing. She prompted me to sing for the divine, and that actually helped me build up a capacity to write about the divine. I was always very fond of music because my mother studied classical music, and as a small child I used to sit next to her when she was rehearsing. Later I sang in my college competitions.

‘You start making the poem, and I’ll start listening to it and then we’ll see how it develops,’ Shri Mataji said. So the poem was created in the car, and so was the music, very popular music from the Indian films, because I was not able to create anything at that time, but Shri Mataji said that it would happen, and that I should not worry.

‘Let’s hear a song!’ She said. I was a little amazed.

‘Mother, how did You know I sing?’ I said. She didn’t answer that question and it wasn’t relevant. I started to sing.

‘It’s so beautiful; there is so much love in it. How would it be if you could portray your love for the divine with the same emotion?’ She said, when I sang that song.

‘Yes, of course it can be done’, I said.

‘Then let’s change the words of the song,’ She said. This was something She instilled in me, She brought that out. ‘It’s your Swadishthan chakra, the chakra of creativity, that is lying dormant within you,’ She told me. ‘So, what’s really happening is that this is opening up and the seat of knowledge is coming back. As you talk, as you create, as you are being asked to respond, it’s coming out. So just let it come out, just let everything flow.’ I was experiencing that flow and then some words started to come out which I didn’t realise.

‘My God, are they coming from me?’ I said.

‘Yes, you are the source of energy,’ She said. ‘And it’s the chakras. If they are open, this energy just starts flowing through you.’

Shri Mataji would often say when She heard this song, Jago Kundalini Ma, that if people understood the meaning of the greatness of Sahaja Yoga that I was singing about, they would love to know more about it. And lo and behold! I was writing poems which She was inspiring, or rather prompting me, and some beautiful poems got created. It didn’t stop here, because as a musician I was actually creating music along with the creation of the poetry. It was happening so spontaneously that several compositions started to flow out. I think that’s how music started in me, more of a self discovery prompted by Mother’s presence. I am very fortunate for that.

The words, the creation, the sense of music were already there. She just brought it out. My voice wasn’t great and I remember on that journey Shri Mataji kept Her hand on the back of neck. I could not understand, because I was very new to Sahaja Yoga. I didn’t even know that this was the Vishuddhi chakra and She was opening my Vishuddhi. She had Her hand there for a long time.

On several occasions, I had the opportunity of rubbing one of Her toes with oil which actually reflected the Vishuddhi chakra. At some point She made me put my Agnya finger on Her forehead while She was lying down and sleeping. There have been instances where She was directly in contact with my chakras through Her forehead or Her Feet. It must have cleared out all my negativity, to allow the path to be opened and the energies to flow. First, She opened my Vishuddhi, because She had kept Her hand there and had worked on it. After that She asked me to sing and it was as if I had a new voice.

‘Did you know that your Vishuddhi chakra is open?’ She said. Every time there was an opportunity to be with Shri Mataji, She worked on me. The next chakra She worked on, was the heart.

‘Shri Mataji I am getting some funny feelings,’ I said to Her at one of the sittings.

‘It’s your heart. It is opening, and now that it’s opening, why don’t you go into the other room and just create something new, create a poem or a song?’ She said. I went into the other room and came back in five minutes with a song, fully composed and created, which She asked me to sing.

Then She asked me to go and record it, so I did a private recording. When She heard the recording, there were professional musicians playing the harmonium and the tabla. She told me to shut out the harmonium and the tabla and just listen to the voice. Then She asked me to put my hands in front of Her.

‘Can you feel the vibrations?’ She said. I felt the vibrations.

‘Okay, now let’s put on the harmonium and the tabla,’ She said, so we did.

‘Are the vibrations going down?’ She said.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said.

‘Because you are realised and those people who are playing are not realised,’ She explained. So the vibrations can tell you the difference between truth and untruth.

Sanjay Talwar

The Lalita Sahasranama

It was the late evening of the festival of Gudi Padwa, in March 1986. A few Sahaja Yogis wanted to offer puja to Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet on this auspicious occasion. They were seated around Shri Mataji and I was reciting the Lalita Sahasranama in my mind. When a Sahaja Yogini was about to offer the vermilion on Her Lotus Feet She stopped her. After about five minutes, when I had finished the recitation, Shri Mataji looked at me.

‘Have you finished?’ She asked. When I said I had, Shri Mataji told the Sahaja Yogini to proceed with the puja.

Raman Kulkarni

The protocol of the Devi

Once, while listening to Shri Mataji, my eyes met Hers and I looked in Her eyes. It happened for one or two seconds but I felt that I was looking into something like a fathomless but transparent lake and as if I was not myself. I shook myself out of that state and told Her my experience.

‘Never make eye contact with Me,’ Shri Mataji said.

Raman Kulkarni

A programme at Delhi University

I returned to Delhi in January 1986 but unfortunately the university had been closed for about six months because the teachers were on strike. I arranged a programme in Delhi University even though it looked as if no students would be there for it. This thought never struck me when Shri Mataji first asked me to organise it. On 24th of February the programme was held on the campus and on that very day, the university was reopened, and many students came.

That year had been declared a year of peace, so we arranged the function, named Harmony 86, honouring Shri Mataji as an international figure for spreading peace. While organising I had a couple of opportunities to meet Shri Mataji. She was staying at Her elder brother’s residence, and I went there and asked Her who I should invite as the chief guest.

I suggested to Shri Mataji that we wanted to invite the External Affairs Minister. She said She knew him very well, and was very positive about him. I also told Shri Mataji that I had invited the Prime Minister, and his principal secretary. So we sent a formal letter and Shri Mataji gave it a bandhan, because She very much wanted him to come.

‘What sari should I wear to the evening function?’ Shri Mataji said to me when I was about to leave. I was so new to Sahaja Yoga, and I did not know in the real sense Who Shri Mataji was, and I was only a young student and felt shy.

‘Is this a nice sari? A cotton sari?’ Mother said, and I said that it would be all right. Then She blessed me and I left and went on organising the function.

Unfortunately the ministers we initially invited were not able to come, so we invited another minister to honour Shri Mataji, a Muslim man. A number of ambassadors from various countries, such as the then Soviet Union, came. Some local artists performed in front of Shri Mataji: a leading singer, then a leading dancer. The singer was very particular about which songs he sang, because he said he knew he was in the presence of a great saint.

Among others, some Palestinian students helped me to arrange the function and they performed their national dance, the dabka, in front of Shri Mataji. Once the dance was over, She spoke about it, and aid that the cause of the Palestinians was justified but they should not be aggressive. She does not like any form of aggression. Once She had spoken about this, within a couple of years the problem started to get sorted out a little bit.

Sandhya Laxshminarayan

All students should unite and work for the spiritual cause

I expressed a desire that Shri Mataji might form an International Sahaja Students Association. She called some Sahaja Yogis who were students, and dictated a structure to us for an association called ISSA. She dictated every word, right from the basic principles, to promote spirituality. Shri Mataji seemed to be saying that all students should unite and work for the spiritual cause, and help other students. She went through all the details as to how an organisation like that should be.

Sandhya Lakshminarayan

Editor’s note: Although it did not actually happen, and the instructions concerning the Bombay Life Eternal Trust etc are obviously not applicable, the ideas and concepts behind this charter might be very useful if any Yuva Shaktis want to set up students’ societies in their universities.


I N T R O D U C T I O N:

International Sahaj Students Association (ISSA) was formed in the year 1987. The idea of forming this association was conceived in joint consultation of the Students of various Universities for the spiritual welfare and achieving all-round benevolence of the students all over the world through Sahaj Yoga.


1. To be a member of International Sahaj Students Association (ISSA) one should believe in Sahaj Yoga and later take to Sahaj Yoga practice.

2. To be a member one should be a student / teacher / employee of some educational / vocational institution / university and should be above 18 years of age.

3. The member can be from any part of the world.

4. There will be no membership fee.

5. Members will be allowed to exchange presents of nominal charges amongst themselves.


A) For those who do not get self-realization may be because they are mentally or physically sick or are in some trouble. (They will be given all the help and correction).

B) For those who get their self-realization. (Up to the state of thoughtless awareness).

C) For those who practice Sahaj Yoga collectively and individually. (Up to the state of doubtless awareness).

D) Lastly there will be a Committee set up by Life Eternal Trust (Bombay) who will decide about the three Categories mentioned above.

E) Those who are troublesome members or go against the decorum of the Association will be asked very modestly to leave the Association. They can rejoin with the aforesaid committees sanction.


This Association has been formed keeping in view the following objectives:

1. To work out the solutions of the problems of students / employees / teachers welfare all over the world with the help of Sahaj Yoga.

2. To solve the problems of Health through Sahaj Yoga.

3. To achieve enhanced mental capacity through Sahaj Yoga.

4. To create balanced personalities between emotions & actions.

5. Help to solve financial and economic problem through wider vision of Sahaj Yoga.

6.To make young generation aware of the Social problems and to generate collective continuous force to eradicate the evil. International Sahaj students Association will not indulge into Political affairs but take to constructive work for the emancipation of the down trodden and other fields.

7. To create interests among young people to learn the deep culture of their country, thus making them Patriotic People.

8. To oppose all false hoods through collective measures and individual efforts to eradicate the deep rooted mental corruption in our country.

9. To give new spiritual dimension to our education that instills peace and sense of security among students / honour for law / respect of elders & assiduity to studies and work. To create proper image of students all over the world.

10. Such personalities will have to create a new type of peaceful revolution to establish the foundation of the new beautiful world of peace and Pure Love. This can be achieved through transformation of the student’s personality into a new being who is completely integrated, fully empowered with love and absolutely equipped with all the knowledge of the divine power.

11. To revive Art and Craft and Music all over the world in the light of Sahaj Yoga.

12. To study the divine culture of all the religions and all the nations.

C O N S T I T U T I O N:

A) There will be one unpaid secretary and one unpaid Treasurer appointed by LIFE ETERNAL TRUST (BOMBAY).


Fundamentally the Basic Law of Inter National Sahaj Students Association is expressed in a Cardinal Phrase as under:




1. The Secretary in Charge would perform all the functions necessary to the working of the Association.

2. All Secretaries in Charge of various centers would keep in touch with each other for any problem to be sorted out collectively or any programme to be organized collectively.


1. He will maintain record of the Finances spent for his center and should the Life Eternal Trust find any irregularities in the accounts thus the Trustees can suspend the Treasurer.

Plenty of cement

In 1986, during the construction of Shri Mataji’s house, Pratishthan, at Pune, the builders were casting the slab of the first floor, and the cement ran very low. According to the contractor he estimated he would need at least twenty-five more bags. Shri Mataji assured him it was enough. After the floor was laid there were still seven bags left.

Yogi Mahajan

She put Her Feet over the palms of our hands

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1986, and first met Shri Mataji in the leader’s house that year when Shri Mataji came to Kolkata for the Mahakali Puja. There were about twenty-five Sahaja Yogis sitting with Her in that room. Someone cleared me from behind and I felt tremendous vibrations on my Sahasrara. At that moment Shri Mataji looked at me.

‘She is through,’ She said, in Hindi. After that Shri Mataji called all of us, one by one, and She put Her Feet over the palms of our hands. I remember tremendous heat was coming out of my body at that time.

In the night we had a big havan with Her and said a thousand and eight names of Shri Mahakali. Shri Mataji had us start it at about one o’clock and went on until four o’clock. We all felt sleepy, because we have a lot of problems with tantrikas in Bengal. During the havan Shri Mataji’s Feet swelled up so much because so much heat was coming out.

Whenever Shri Mataji came She always liked to hear Tagore songs. From the first programme onwards She asked us to sing Tagore songs in front of Her. So we practised a lot and She would tell us which songs She liked.

Mahua Sarkar

They taste better that way

On that trip to Kolkata in February 1986, Shri Mataji took the parched rice from the roadside stalls; in fact it was purchased for Her. We ate it from the traditional paper cones. She said that we should eat them from paper cones, in the traditional way, because they taste better that way. She even took a local delicacy that is called phutchka – small round things made of flour, with tamarind water in them. People also take them from the roadside stalls.

Gautam Sarkar

Chapter 18: 1986 – April and May, England and Europe

I have brought your fiancée

I came into Sahaja Yoga when I was nineteen and went to university to study drama. I led a quiet life trying to follow Sahaja dharma, and at the end of my third year I began to pray for a wife, even though I was a bit young. Just before my finals I went to the Sahasrara Puja in 1986, at Madesimo, in north Italy. There is a wonderful golden Madonna statue on the hills there, which is usually covered with mist, but sometimes the mist blows away and then you can see it, shining on the hill. We went up to see it in coaches and even Shri Mataji came.

On the night before the puja, there was music and dance. I was sitting at the back and couldn’t see very clearly, or any details about the dancer. She was a young yogini who came on stage in a white dress in order to dance, and before she danced she walked up to Mother’s Feet and bowed. It was a deep symbolic gesture for me. Every artist would love to bow to Mother’s Feet like that. The dance was deep and I was enraptured. I felt the person dancing must have been very deep and I would love to marry someone with that depth.

The next day at the puja, Mother asked all the children to come up and get a name from Her and all the little children went up, plus a much taller person, who was the girl who had danced. I could hear when Shri Mataji gave her the name Purna and asked her age.

‘I will find a boy for you,’ Mother said to her. I secretly hoped it might be me, but put the thought out of my mind and went back and did my finals in England.

Victor Vertunni

Shri Mataji announced the engagement

When I was serving Shri Mataji tea, She just looked at me.

‘Well, you are such a nice girl and now I need to find a nice boy for you,’ She said. This was quite amazing because that day I had decided to go to Mother and ask if I could become a brahmacharini, which means I was to live forever in the collective without being married. I was just sixteen at the time and I had decided that, as I would see Mother on that day, I would have a chance to ask Her. She didn’t give me the time to open my mouth.

After a couple of months, Shri Mataji called the ashram and said She had found a nice boy for me. At the next puja, She announced the engagement, although we didn’t actually meet until She announced it.

Purna Vertunni

She is very beautiful

One day Mother was leaving for somewhere and we were able to go to the airport to see Her off. We found Mother at the airport with a few Sahaja Yogis, sitting at one of the cafes there having a cup of coffee, and we stood at a discreet distance – there were a lot of us there by then. She stood up and I found myself standing behind Her, trying not to be in Her way.

‘So, do you want to get married?’ She turned towards me and said.

‘Yes please, Mother,’ I replied.

‘I have found someone for you. She is Italian. She is very beautiful, she dances and I think you will have a happy life together,’ She said.

‘Thank you very much, Mother.’ I replied, but it still didn’t occur to me as to who it was. Mother smiled and saw how happy I was. She took my arm and we walked together towards the barrier. It was bliss and I felt like Her son or grandson.

Mother left and She smiled and waved and we all smiled and waved and it was one of those really moving occasions. Then one of the Sahaja Yogis told me who it was that Mother had in mind for me.

Victor Vertunni

Shri Mataji said we would have a very happy life together. She was so sweet and She knew I was a dancer and Victor was an actor.

Purna Vertunni

Mother knows everything.

After my finals I went to London and stayed in a rather makeshift ashram in the King’s Cross area. One day Shri Mataji decided to come and visit us because She had been shopping there. It was a converted squat, not grand at all, but Mother came, had a meal and rested. I had previously prayed that my wife, whoever Mother chose for me, should be a very innocent person.

‘Your fiancée is a very innocent girl,’ She said to me when Mother was with us. Mother knew everything.

Victor Vertunni


Once at Heathrow Airport, in 1986, someone was giving Shri Mataji some carnations and She remarked that now that so many Sahaja Yogis have given carnations to Her, this flower is no longer regarded as inauspicious by the deities.

Luis Garrido

Star signs, such as Gemini

I was serving Shri Mataji in Her room, after some years in Sahaja Yoga. It happened to be my birthday and the topic had turned to star signs. Just to give a little context to this story, when I was new, Shri Mataji had quizzed me about my star sign and when I’d told Her I was a Gemini, She hadn’t looked very impressed.

‘Are you sure?’ She had said, looking so fierce that I’d wished I had been born in any other month, if only to bring back Her radiant smile. Magda, my mum, also a Gemini and I were later told by an enthusiastic Sahaja Yogi that some new ladies both Gemini, and both possessed, had recently come and created all sorts of unspeakable problems and then they had gone out of the collective. Another then told us, ‘Gemin’s can be nice to know, but difficult to be’. So it is fair to say that I was a bit ambivalent about my star sign after that and I was quite tentative when Shri Mataji again drew attention to it on my birthday.

‘Ah, so you’re a Gemini?’ She said whilst folding Her arms and sitting back to contemplate, thankfully this time with a smile. She insisted on handing me a present of some very pretty earrings, the jewellery emerging from Her capacious magic handbag. As She opened the bag an exquisite fragrance wafted out and that sublime perfume lingered for days on my earrings. She sweetly told me to enjoy my birthday because people had good vibrations on the day they were born and it was important to celebrate and to share the day with others. This certainly made me feel less shy in accepting Her gracious gift.

‘Do you know the meaning of Gemini ?’ She then asked, offering me the best birthday gift of Nirmal vidya. ‘Well, sometimes Geminis can be very deep but people don’t realise it – and sometimes Geminis can hide their depth.’

With this i could identify – having always wavered at school between being a bit of a class clown (ever ready to put on a funny accent for the amusement of my friends). Shri Mataji then graciously explained the role of Gemini in Her own horoscope.

‘You see, in My case Gemini represents My Maha Maya aspect.’

She then lifted Her beautiful lotus feet to examine better Her recently varnished toe nails that had just been painted for a diplomatic function.

‘I mean, look at these nails! I have to get dressed up and go to a party and be Mrs Srivastava, housewife,’ She said a little disparagingly, ‘and all the time I am the Adi Shakti and nobody realises it. This is Maha Maya.’

She fell silent. She then scrutinised me in that certain way, as if She was seeing all of my past and all of my future in a split second, Her beautiful eyes looking through me and beyond me. This was another one of those moments when I could only bow down and keep my own eyes firmly on the ground, pulling my ears whilst clutching my shiny new birthday earrings.

Danya Martoglio

Top of Form

Bottom of Form


We were at Shri Mataji’s house in Brompton Square in 1986, and after lunch She was sitting and talking to the Sahaja Yogis. Suddenly She looked at Her watch and declared that the time was up, and explained that She had to keep Her word. Mother had promised Sir CP that She would take a long siesta that day and would take some medicine for headache.

‘Does anyone have any Paracetamol or Panadol or something like that?’ Shri Mataji asked.

‘All I have is aspirin,’ one of the Sahaja Yogis said.

‘That will do,’ She said. As I returned with a glass of water Shri Mataji went on, ‘the scientists keep wondering why aspirin has so many wondrous healing properties and the reason why it is so miraculous is because it opens up the Mooladhara.’

Luis Garrido

Sahasrara Puja, Italy 1986

Sahasrara Puja that year was in the Italian Alps. There was a golden statue of the Madonna way up on the mountain side overlooking the place we were staying. On the last morning when Mother was leaving we were all gathered to see her drive away. The cloud had really come down that morning and the statue was completely hidden from view. As Mother left the building and went to the car someone pointed us towards the mountain side. A gap in the clouds had appeared and the sunshine was pouring through straight onto the statue. The rest of the Alps remained in fog!

Joanne Moore

Once more, She taught us a good lesson

In 1986 Shri Mataji came to the ashram of Le Raincy in Paris where I was living with about ten more yogis. As we usually did when Shri Mataji would arrive in an ashram, we did a little puja by washing Her Feet, putting some perfume on Her Feet and doing the aarti. That day the living room where we received Shri Mataji was completely full and there where many guests from abroad.

Shri Mataji said that when She is alone She thinks about nice things which have happened with us, Her children and about nice things She wants to do for us. She said we have to cherish good memories or experiences we had with Her and others or to think about what we could do for Sahaja Yoga and humanity. In this way no bad thoughts would come. She said that we are getting bad thoughts in our heads because we are not in a giving attitude. When we see publicity, we straightaway think of maybe having what is presented. We are not thinking of giving. If we would do so, no thought would come in us. The problem is not that we are surrounded by funny things and that the society is impure, it is just that we are not giving. We still want to have things.

After Shri Mataji had said that we all became quiet and thoughtless.

Trupta de Graaf

You needed to laugh

There was a puja in Dourdan, near Paris, in 1986. My daughter, Radhika, was six months old and I was quite tired between the baby and working. My husband, Kingsley and I were in Shri Mataji’s room. There were a few other yogis, maybe seven or eight. Shri Mataji started telling these hilarious stories and at first I was very shy, impressed to be in Her room, then slowly I relaxed. At the end, I was laughing completely.

‘Ah, now you’ve cleared,’ Shri Mataji said at some point. ‘You needed to laugh in order to clear.’

Ruth Eleanore

She took me in Her arms
It was in May 1986 during a seminar in Dourdan near Paris, before a puja. During the talk I was sitting in the back and at the end of the talk people went out before Shri Mataji, but I stayed there, still in the back. Suddenly Shri Mataji changed Her way to go towards me. Then She took me in Her arms and spoke to me of my husband. I was very surprised.
Monique G

A good liver diet

France being the collective liver, Shri Mataji regularly asked us, every year, to follow a strict diet for the liver, a diet that lasted several weeks. We had done this before and during Her visit, probably in 1986. Our best surprise was that at the end of Her stay, just before taking Her flight, Shri Mataji gathered us together and sat on a simple airport chair. She started distributing big chocolate bars to all of us saying that we had done a good liver diet! 

Gwennael Verez

Chocolate from Shri Mataji

In 1986, when Shri Mataji left France at the airport of Roissy, we had time to have darshan at Her Feet. Shri Mataji was sitting, and She had two suitcases full of chocolate beside Her and every time a person would go to do Namaskar She would give him or her a piece of chocolate. It was a nice surprise for us French yogis, because being the liver of the world we would always try not to eat too much chocolate and were sometimes a bit fanatic about it. Of course Shri Mataji would balance that by giving us chocolate. What a pleasure it was to eat it without feeling guilty!

Trupta de Graaf

Never say ‘No’ to the Adi Shakti

In 1986 Shri Mataji came to Paris and gave a programme in the centre of the city. Before Shri Mataji arrived we had carefully studied the way we would drive Shri Mataji through Paris, so as to go the fastest way possible to the programme hall. On the evening of the programme I was in the car beside Shri Mataji and Christian Zbylut was driving. Just before we were going to cross the River Seine, Shri Mataji told us to go right, while we had planned to go left as it was the shortest way. Unfortunately we both answered Shri Mataji that the way was left, and we went left. However, after a few hundred metres some traffic problems appeared, and we got stuck for a long time.

‘You see, I told you to go right,’ Shri Mataji said to us. Once again She knew it all.

Because of the traffic we arrived late at the programme. All the seekers were waiting for Shri Mataji, as the introduction had already been done. Never say ‘No’ to the Adi Shakti. She knows everything, and especially our egos.

Trupta de Graaf

Mother kissed me on the Agnya

In May 1986, we had received information that Mother was going to arrive two hours later than what really happened. We arrived at Barajas, the airport for Madrid and our hearts almost stopped when we saw Mother sitting in a chair, waiting for us with only two other Sahaja Yogis.

Every time we picked Mother up at the airport and we received Her, each Sahaja Yogi offered Her a rose, and at that time I was in charge of the flowers. I carried my bunch of roses in my arms to distribute them to all of us while we awaited Her arrival. I felt stupid with my bunch of roses to distribute, since it had no sense now. We had failed Her. We arrived late and She had been waiting for Her children. José Antonio was the only one who was there when She arrived.

I fell down at Mother’s Feet, crying and asking Her for forgiveness and She took me by the arm, raised me and kissed me on the Agnya. I laid my head in Her lap and felt very good there.

That afternoon we had a public programme, and the following day, another one.

Anasuya Asuncion

She told me a story

One night in Madrid, in May 1986, when Mother was to go to bed, I was drawing the curtains.

‘What’s your name?’ Mother asked me.

‘Asun,’ I replied.

‘This is very difficult for Me,’ She said. ‘I will call you Anasuya.’

The following day, we offered Mother a puja in the house where She stayed. She was happy because some days before sixteen Spanish Sahaja Yogis had gone to the Sahasrara Puja at Alta Motta in the Italian Alps. Before that time, only two or three Spanish Sahaja Yogis used to go to the Guru Puja. Sixteen yogis was an unusual event and Mother mentioned it during the puja.

So many things happened. The owner of the house where Mother was staying (and where all of us were staying) did the swastika the wrong way in the tray to wash Mother’s Feet. She explained to us the left and right sense of the swastika and how Hitler had used it. She told us about the importance of knowing the protocol and the devotion.

At the end of the puja, when Mother was ready to go to Her room, we began to sing Her the ‘Cantigas’ (Queen of the Sky). Mother stopped, listened to the song with Her eyes full of tears and when the song was finished, She went to Her room.

‘This is too much, this is too much,’ She said.

After the puja, while I was serving food to Mother, She told me a story, which was translated into Spanish by one of the Sahaja Yogis.

The meaning of Anasuya is without envy and without jealousy. The original Anasuya was an incarnation of Shri Mahakali, and the friend and counsellor of Shri Sita. Anasuya was very devoted, with great dedication and surrender. The wives of Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Shiva were jealous of the devotion and dedication of Anasuya and decided to trap her, to test her. The Sahaja Yogi translated ‘the goddesses’.

‘No, no, the wives,’ Mother insisted. She knew that the translation was incorrect.

They disguised themselves as sadhus, holy men that go asking charity and the dharma obliges people they ask to please them. They came to Anasuya’s house and they asked her to cook for them. When Anasuya served them the food they told her that they would not eat if she did not strip naked to serve them. Anasuya asked them to enter the house and, there, they became transformed into innocent babies that she fed, so her modest chastity was preserved. Then, Mother went silent for some seconds, made a gesture with Her eyes.

‘In India, thousands of women have died in the blaze to defend their chastity,’ She said, ‘and currently women, especially in the West, have lost their sense of chastity.’

All the time, I was crying so much. The story is a total surrender to dharma and to chastity. Later, Shri Mataji told the two Sahaja Yogis with Her that they could call me Anu, an abbreviation, the meaning of which is ‘without’.

Anasuya Asuncion

Our first concert with Mother (May 1986)

In the afternoon, we had our first ‘concert’ with Mother in the living room of the house. We sang in Spanish but also dared to sing the Indian songs. Mother translated the song ‘Ragupati Ram’ for us and it was very lovely to have Her so close. She did not only accept, and was pleased with our ‘art’ but also made us understand better what we were singing.

We had already had our artistic baptism at the Sahasrara Puja in Italy. My sister Fe had put words to the music of a well-known Spanish song and thus the song Mataji Jai! was born. My sister asked a Sahaja Yogi with Mother to ask Her for a name. When She’d left, he told us that Mother had given her the name Mamata, meaning compassion.

Anasuya Asuncion

Our meeting with Shri Mataji

Mother came to Spain for the second time in 1986. I had already met Her in 1985. That second time, all my family went to Madrid: my children, their mother and a yogi from Zaragoza.

When we arrived to Madrid, we found the yogis in a street in the city centre. They told us that Mother was in the opposite antique shop with José Antonio, our leader, and some other yogis. We were a bit nervous. Mother was about to walk out of the shop and it was our turn to greet Her. How would we do it?

As always, Mother knows everything about us, but we are not aware of it. She came out of the shop, and we all went towards Her. Mother approached us smiling and someone told Her we were yogis who had just arrived from Zaragoza.

‘How did they come?’ She asked, and we showed Her the van which was parked there. The moment was very emotional. She came nearer and we stood in line opposite Her; it seemed like She was going to shake hands with us, but instead She gave us a kiss on both cheeks. We were a little paralysed with emotion, and the others there were astonished; only Mother knew that we were worried.

‘Lucky you, Mother has kissed you,’ the yogis were saying.

Mother solved our doubts, as always, with much love. Though it was a long time ago, one cannot forget these sensations and emotions which are as strong and fresh as that first day. It was only my family and me that received that greeting; maybe we needed it most.

Joaquín Orus

I only know how to open Kundalinis

At the second puja with Mother in Spain, in 1986 there were scarcely thirty people in the Sahaja Yogi’s flat. We arrived from Zaragoza in the morning and found great activity among the yogis making food for the collectivity. They were preparing Shri Mataji’s food in a special manner, trying to offer Her all the best. Shri Mataji was resting in Her room, and everybody tried to make everything succeed. A Sahaja Yogini was ironing a sari, very carefully. It was a very special silken sari, a sari of Mother. We all felt great joy and happiness. Some people were preparing everything for the Puja, the flowers, the elements, etc.

When it was time to do the Puja, I helped with the decoration and adorned the wall with some flowers, making a bandhan and an Om sign with roses in the centre. The yogis brought the present for Mother, two pictures engraved on metal, something very typical of Toledo.

‘Who wants to wrap Mother’s present?’ somebody said. Nobody answered and I offered to do it. I wrapped it the best I could in a piece of green paper and decided to put an ornament on it. I improvised a paper rose, put three leaves around it and stuck it on a corner of the parcel. During the Puja, when the moment arrived, our leader offered Mother the present. She took it and noticed the flower.

‘It’s a beautiful flower,’ She said. Mother tried to open the parcel, but it was quite difficult, so She gave it back and said, ‘I do not know how to open parcels, I only know how to open Kundalinis,’ showing us Her usual smile. We all smiled with Her. It was opened and Mother saw the pictures. She was enchanted and said, ‘This is Toledo.’ She liked the present, and was very joyous and happy with all of us.

This experience is an unforgettable memory for all of us who were there.

Joaquín Orus

There was a lot of heart! (May 1986)

Mother left the following day. I served Her breakfast, a French omelette, but She ate very little; two or three mouthfuls. I was very worried because Mother did not eat. She told me that everything was fine, that She did not need to eat more as She had enough with my love. Again my eyes were filled with tears.

All of us went to the airport to say good-bye. While Shri Mataji was boarding we sang to Her: ‘Adiós con el corazón que con el alma no puedo’, which means ‘Good-bye with the heart, as I cannot with my soul.’

What a farewell! There was heart, a lot of heart! We came back to the house where Mother had stayed and we spent the whole morning singing and dancing. You could feel the physical ‘attachment’ to Mother. We wanted it to last among us and the songs helped us.

Anasuya Asuncion

Chapter 19: 1986 – Early Summer, Mainly England and Europe

They are very respectful

The couple who were starting Sahaja Yoga in New York moved to a big house in New Jersey. The only place we could find for a puja was to put up a tent in the side yard of this couple. It was a Shri Krishna Puja in June 1986.

There were swarms of locusts at that time, but we didn’t pay much attention. There was a lot of noise from the insects all over the place and in the trees and so on, and Shri Mataji broke off the talk and asked what the noise was. We told her and She began talking again. Then about five minutes later She stopped again, and the noise of the locusts had completely stopped.

‘See, they are very respectful,’ Shri Mataji said.

Carolyn Vance

There is much more

Shri Mataji was moving house and we used to move Her furniture around. On this day, we were moving furniture from a flat in Hampstead and we had a lot of things to move in. I wasn’t that well that day and I had a bit of a temperature. After we had moved everything, Shri Mataji worked on me. She had me put my left hand out and I felt the vibrations all through me.

‘Oh, I must give you something,’ She said.

‘You have already given us something, so much,’ I replied.

‘This is nothing. There is much more,’ She said.

Antonio Scialo

Changing the direction of the wind

Shri Mataji had gone out and meanwhile Her neighbours started burning rubbish in the back garden.  The direction of the wind was such that all the black smoke went straight onto Sir CP’s window and this situation was quite disturbing. 

‘Why didn’t you change the direction of the wind?’  Shri Mataji said to the Sahaja Yogi who was there.

‘Me?  How could I ever do such a thing?’ he asked.

‘Very easy, just move the palm of your hand gently in the required direction and the direction of the wind will change accordingly,’ Shri Mataji replied. The Sahaja Yogi did not seem convinced, thus Shri Mataji told him, ‘Tomorrow, make up a fire of rubbish in the back garden and then make the smoke change direction according to the movement of your hand.’  He tried it and lo and behold it happened just as Shri Mataji said.

Luis Garrido

A gift from Shri Shiva

When I was staying with Shri Mataji in Dulwich, South London in 1986, She said She wanted to have Her hair done at the local hairdresser. I was quite taken aback as I had not imagined that She would go to a local hairdresser. I had at that time cut a lot of my Sahaja Yogi brother’s and sister’s hair and wanted to ask Shri Mataji exactly what it was that She required. She told me She just wanted a little bit trimmed off and a little wavy.

‘Can you do it?’ She asked me.

‘Yes Mother with Your guidance,’ I said.

‘OK, come along!’ She said.

Suddenly I was at the store buying a pair of scissors and a comb. When I returned Shri Mataji was sitting in front of the TV. I then spread a large sheet on the floor to catch every single hair. After putting on my bandhan, asking Mother for Her forgiveness for any mistakes and begging all the deities for forgiveness for any mistakes, I began to comb through Her hair which was pulsating with vibrations. I felt as though She was inside me guiding me, then at the nape of Her neck there was a huge matted knot. I tried for at least fifteen minutes to comb it out.

‘Oh, just cut it off,’ She said suddenly, so with the greatest caution I cut through the knot keeping my attention on Her Sahasrara. Then I wrapped it in a tissue and handed it to Her.

‘Shiva gave this to Me,’ She said.

‘Wow!’ I just said.

She looked at me with such love I literally had tears in my eyes, I then picked up every single hair from the sheet and gave them all to Her. Such a blessing I will never forget.

Thelma Fishley Patmore 

Sheer sublime bliss

I remember once I tried to sneak out to go to the dentist. I had taken Shri Mataji Her breakfast and some tea and I thought I was being clever by waiting until She had laid down, then quickly putting on my coat and telling Antonio Scialo, who was also there, that I would be back shortly. Within seconds Shri Mataji was coming down the stairs so stealthily that we had not heard Her.

‘How did Mother get from Her room so quickly?’ I looked at Antonio and muttered.

‘Where are you going?’ Shri Mataji asked me.

‘To the dentist,’ I replied.

‘Why?’ She asked.

‘Because I have a toothache.’

‘Don’t go to these dentists; they only want to pull out your teeth for no reason. Bring some olive oil and some salt and come here,’ Shri Mataji replied.

I felt like a naughty child that had been caught trying to sneak out. When I arrived in Her bedroom, She summoned me to Her. I gave Her the olive oil and salt and She mixed the salt and oil together with Her index finger and asked me to rub the mixture on my gums.

She asked me to lie down on the floor in front of Her and placed Her Foot on my face. Oh my word! I was in heaven, literally, as I lay there under Her divine holy right Foot, I travelled millions of galaxies away and beyond; there was no pain, no aches, just sheer sublime bliss – I simply have no idea how long I lay there but as Shri Mataji would take telephone calls, organising the universe, yogis would come in and out of Her room, She would occasionally ask how I was feeling. I did not want Her to lift Her Foot from my face ever.

‘I think I need a lot more time,’ I said. She gently kneaded my face with Her Foot, lovingly clearing me out. She sat back laughing so hard, of course I would then laugh too. Needless to say I cancelled my appointment and for about a week I stayed in that bliss… such a great boon.

Thelma Fishley Patmore 

The courage of William Blake

I was staying in Shri Mataji’s house in Dulwich, London in the summer of 1986, shortly after Shri Mataji’s return from Italy. My wife Purna and I were standing on the landing in the stair-well in Shri Mataji’s presence. Shri Mataji was telling us that the housemaid had been stealing from guests. I was requested to speak to her firmly and remind her who Shri Mataji was (Shri Mataji’s compassion is boundless) and to raise my voice if necessary. 

‘You must have courage like William Blake. He was Shri Bhairava with a sword in his hand,’ Shri Mataji then said.

She further advised me to put a bandhan on and shoebeat beforehand, being as shoebeating is a Sahaja Yogi’s vibrational shield and weaponry. The telling off was to no avail, and after being caught in the act the servant was subsequently dismissed. However, I believe it served me more than it served her!

A leader who had just arrived walked into the kitchen while I was telling the maid off. He evidently thought I had had a fit.

‘Victor, what on earth are you doing? Stop shouting, remember where you are. Go and shoebeat yourself!’ He said to me in a shocked tone.

I just had, but of course I couldn’t say anything. It would have given the game away. So I waited for him to leave the kitchen and when he was out of earshot I took up where I had left off. Actually he went upstairs to see Shri Mataji. After some minutes I was summoned upstairs. I thought: here goes….I’m in for it now! Mother sat in majestic splendour with Her back to the window. I bowed before Her.

‘May God bless you,’ She began. I was silent and She sipped Her tea. ‘Well, did you do it?’

‘Er, yes Shri Mataji.’

‘So, how did it go?’

‘Very well, Shri Mataji.’

‘Good,’ She smiled.

I bowed and left. To this day the hapless witness must still think I flipped out in Mother’s kitchen.

Victor Vertunni

A few white lies

Shri Mataji said we should always try to be very gentle with people if we had to say something a little correctional. Even to the extent of telling a few white lies, and pretending that we too had a similar problem, to make the person feel more at ease.

Linda Williams

The neighbours were really blessed

As I walked along the road where Shri Mataji was staying in Alleyn Park, Dulwich, in London in 1986, I felt that the neighbours were really blessed. The trees seemed so beautiful and what I saw had the magic quality that comes from Mother’s proximity.

On arriving at the house, I met David Prole and we waited for Shri Mataji. It wasn’t long until She came. She welcomed us warmly. Shri Mataji talked about the wealth of India in former times, how unimaginably wealthy India was, with buckets full of gold, rubies, diamonds and emeralds. She also told us stories about King Shivaji — the frog in the stone, the mango abscess on Ramdas’s leg and the tigress’s milk*. We had a great architecture session, and looked at the plans for Shudy Camps and for Shri Mataji’s house, Pratishthan, in Pune.

Alan Richards

*Editor’s note: these are well known stories in Maharashtra. One time King Shivaji, who created modern Maharashtra in the C17, was giving out coins to workmen at a fort which was being built. They found a big round stone with absolutely no holes in it, and when it was broken open it contained crystals on the inner side, but also a living frog, sprung full grown from the rock. Swami Ramdas, his guru, pointed out to the king that only God is actually the doer, and can create frogs out of stone. Swami Ramdas, who was an incarnation of Shri Hanuman, wanted to test King Shivaji on one occasion. He had someone put an overripe mango under a bandage on his leg and pretended it was an abscess, and that the only thing to save him would be if someone would suck out the poison. King Shivaji immediately agreed to do this. Then Swami Ramdas said the only thing to save him would be if someone could bring him the milk of a tigress, and again King Shivaji complied.

Shri Mataji expected us to speak out

In 1986 at Shudy Camps Shri Mataji made some arrangements for some items to be sent abroad and somehow they were sent to the wrong country. I was one of the people involved and could feel that She was displeased. Initially I said nothing but finally decided to say that I had followed instructions, for my own defence. She explained that we must stand up and speak in situations like this, or I could have ended up being blamed for causing this problem.

‘We’ll ask the person who gave you the instructions to correct the problem,’ Shri Mataji said. This was not the only time She encouraged me stand up for myself.

Luis Garrido

What is the point of worshiping stones?

On one occasion Carol, my wife, was at the airport in 1986.

‘Why did you prostrate yourself on the pavement outside a house where I used to live?’ Shri Mataji asked her. ‘People are saying that you went there and did that. What is the point of worshiping stones?’

Then Shri Mataji explained that the current owners of the house had written asking Her to make sure that none of Her disciples went there to venerate the place. Even though Carol had never done this, she said nothing in her own defence, and Shri Mataji moved on to greet other people. This matter was never raised again until two years later, when Shri Mataji told me my wife was a very sensible and excellent person but the only thing that did not fit with her personality was her going to prostrate herself before a house.

‘This is strange don’t you think?’ Shri Mataji asked.

I told Her that Carol never did that, and never went near there. Shri Mataji was amazed that none of us ever told Her this. 

‘I’m glad you told Me because I always found it hard to reconcile that behaviour with the character of your wife, the two didn’t seem to go together. I wish Carol had said this at the time,’ Shri Mataji added.

Luis Garrido

Shri Mataji helped us overcome our shortcomings

Shri Mataji was moving house in 1986 to Shudy Camps and gave a certain yogini a list of items to be brought to the new residence, and a list of items to be left behind. At the new residence I heard Shri Mataji rebuking this yogini for not having brought the items that had been agreed. Shri Mataji told her that if she was unsure about what to bring she could have asked. I had been loading the items onto the van and did not know about the two lists, but felt like saying something in defence of this lady. 

‘Shri Mataji,’ I said, ‘the van was completely full – there was nothing more we could have brought.’ 

‘I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you stood up to defend this lady,’ Shri Mataji said.

The lady in charge of the lists explained that she had forgotten about them, ended up choosing the items at random, and if the van had not been filled up with the wrong items there would have been plenty of room to bring the correct ones.

 I wished that I had not defended her, but Shri Mataji was pleased that I did. Had the whole situation not been clarified, and had I kept quiet I might have deduced that Shri Mataji was being a little unfair to the lady in charge of the lists. Shri Mataji had given instructions to this lady before, sometimes even written instructions but she would always disregard them and do whatever she felt like. 

‘I’m worried that when you find a job you won’t be able to keep it because you keep forgetting to follow instructions,’ Shri Mataji told her on this occasion, ‘and I’ve been trying to help you overcome this problem.’

Shri Mataji would not spare any effort until She had helped each and every one of Her disciples to overcome their shortcomings, and She often helped people to find jobs, become more employable or learn new skills.   

Luis Garrido

Some sound advice

This is a story about the importance of everything that Shri Mataji says. Sometimes it could just be advice that Mother gave in passing, not recorded on video or audio tape. On one occasion in 1986, I needed advice and would have liked to ask Shri Mataji in person, but this was not possible. Instead I asked some Sahaja Yogis if Shri Mataji had said anything on the subject of disturbing old graves in a cemetery.

A Sahaja Yogi related that once Shri Mataji was passing by the tall high rise Centre Point office building in Tottenham Court Rd, central London, and She explained that the reason why this building produced great losses, and businesses were loath to take up rental space there was to do with the fact that during the building phase some ancient graves on that land had been treated without due respect, and in particular the grave of a highly realised soul whose mortal remains rested there.

I applied this wisdom of Shri Mataji to a problem at work. I had professional responsibility towards a certain cemetery and a decision had been taken that implied massive destruction to old graves. Unable to convince colleagues and superiors to change course, I resigned in protest. Those who were involved with the destruction of the old graves ended up being sacked and got their professional names tainted with a scandal that even reached the national news. Only I escaped, thanks to Shri Mataji’s advice and the memory of one or two Sahaja Yogis.

 Carol Garrido

The story of a headscarf

In 1986 in Paris, at the end of Shri Mataji’s visit to Le Raincy, the evening before She left I gave Her a woollen headscarf, coloured red, green and violet.

‘Thank you, you know My colours,’ Shri Mataji said when I gave it to Her. After that I thought that probably She would never wear this, and for some years I never saw it again.

In 1990 we went to Romania for the Diwali Puja and welcomed Shri Mataji at Timisoara Central Station. It was 5 am and we were waiting on the platform. When Shri Mataji came out of the train, to my greatest joy, I saw that She was wearing the headscarf I had given Her in Paris. I felt so much love that the whole weekend I was happy, it was like if Shri Mataji was wearing it, She loved me.

In 1992, Shri Mataji came to visit Holland and stayed at Zaandam. After She had come into Her bedroom, She asked me to look in Her suitcase and take out a certain sari. The suitcase was full and I had to look everywhere and while doing so I suddenly saw the headscarf I had given Her years before. My heart was full with joy.

‘I don’t know what is in there, I didn’t pack the suitcase myself,’ Shri Mataji said. She knew that I saw the headscarf and She just made a joke, as She knows everything.

When I was close to Shri Mataji, She always showed Her love for me through these kinds of signs, very subtle, gentle, sweet moments, sometimes with a touch of humour.

Trupta de Graaf

 See, we are all connected

My first strong memory of meeting Shri Mataji was in 1986 and She came to one of our new ashrams in Vienna. We had four in Vienna then. She came after a shopping session, to have a rest. When She was there, we did a small Shri Ganesha Puja, in that we washed Her Feet. The yogis in the room were sitting around the bed where She was, and Shri Mataji took out a perfume and put it on Her right hand. Then She asked everyone in the room to smell their own right hands. Everybody in the room could smell the perfume as if Shri Mataji had put it on our hands, not Hers. The yogis in the room were all smiling and Shri Mataji smiled back.

‘See, we are all connected,’ She said.

Gunter Thurner

That’s your kitchen! How lovely!

We had an ashram in the middle of Vienna and Shri Mataji wanted to go shopping on one of the main shopping streets which were very close. We were told that Shri Mataji might pass by, and that She might come for a snack at lunchtime. We quickly prepared some food and got a room ready just in case. We had no time to get anything special – Her own sheets or anything like that.

Shri Mataji came and ate lunch and said She wanted to rest, so we took Her to the room and someone asked if She was tired and whether Her Feet were tired, so She let us wash Her Feet. She took out a bottle of perfume that was standing there, opened the bottle and smelled the perfume.

‘Oh what a fragrance!’ She said, and we were all very interested.

‘Do you want to smell it?’ She asked. ‘You only have to take your own wrist and smell it.’ Shri Mataji put it on Her wrist, and we all smelled this perfume on our wrists, even though the perfume was on Hers. Then She said She would like to sleep. There were four of us ladies living there, so the men left the room and Shri Mataji lay down on the bed and told each of us what we should do.

‘Massage My left Foot,’ She said to one of my friends, and to another, ‘Massage My right Foot, massage My arm.’ Shri Mataji seemed to fall asleep and snore in a way that was the purr of a tiger. Then suddenly out of the deep sleep She opened Her eyes.

‘Now it’s gone! Now you massage here!’ She would say, and did that a couple of times – one moment She was in deep sleep and the next She would say: ‘Now here! Now here!’ The whole time I felt so bad that I had many thoughts passing through my mind, even though I was massaging Shri Adi Shakti. I realised later that She was working through me. At the time I thought the others were all in bliss and I was in that state with all these thoughts. After about an hour Shri Mataji got up and said we had really helped Her. We all pulled our ears, and She had Her tea and went to the programme. I was standing in the door and asked one of my friends how she felt.

‘I felt so terrible,’ she said. And I thought everybody except me was in such bliss! As soon as Shri Mataji left all the guilt left and I was in complete bliss. I was in meditation, witnessing how I had changed, how I had reacted to all this, and I know we all have to be there one day, in that state.

On this visit we had so little time to get ready that we just threw everything into the kitchen, and we knew we must keep the kitchen door closed so Shri Mataji would not see the mess. What happened was She passed it and the door was wide open. She looked in and grinned.

‘Ah. That’s your kitchen! How lovely!’ She said. As soon as She said that we were all free of our feelings of guilt and felt Her motherly love. She was telling us that it didn’t matter and She knew it was all our love for preparing everything for Her. Shri Mataji would always take away our feelings of not being good enough.

Sabine Hackl

I think you should turn left here

It was the day after the programme in Graz in 1986 and Shri Mataji was leaving our ashram for Munich. As often, everything was late (according to our schedule), and when lunch for Shri Mataji was ready we actually had to leave. She suggested She would eat in the car and asked to sit in front. We quickly rearranged the car and Shri Mataji took Her seat with two ladies sitting in the back serving Her, while I was driving. Shri Mataji made all this seem very normal and while She was eating from Her plate on Her knees She playfully engaged me in a very demanding conversation. I don’t remember the exact topic, but it was about e ‘big things of the universe’, and She asked me lots of questions.

All this was while I was driving through the streets of Graz towards the small airport, a trip of about twenty minutes. We started very late, but Shri Mataji did not leave me any chance to think about that, as She kept the conversation going. Just to be sure, I had practiced the route to the airport prior to Mother’s arrival in Graz, remembering the traffic lights and turns. Graz is not a big city and it was fairly easy to reach the airport from the ashram.

At some point of our trip Shri Mataji looked directly at me and asked me another question, when I realised that I had lost my way. I quickly looked left and right and truly had no idea where we were, I had never before been in this neighbourhood! How was that possible? I made a few attempts to turn left or right to get back on the route, but did not recognize anything familiar around me.

‘I think you should turn left here,’ Shri Mataji said, almost casually, just when I started to feel a sense of panic rising within me. I did as She asked, and saw the airport right in front of us. We had arrived from the opposite direction and how we got there certainly She alone knew.

Herbert Reininger

The kitten at the Feet of the Divine

In Graz, Austria, during Shri Mataji’s first visit there, in 1986 we learnt to distinguish between different categories of cats. When we gave a bandhan to a cat and it continued purring without any other reaction we knew it was OK, but sometimes cats reacted quite violently to our bandhans, with the tail hair standing on end and the cat disappearing with loud shrieks, then we knew it was possessed.

We lived in a nice ashram in the outskirts of the city, next to a forest. Since we had moved there a young kitten visited us almost daily, had a small bowl of milk and then fell asleep right in front of the picture of Shri Mataji’s Feet in the meditation room. We enjoyed these visits and got used to them, considering the little cat as a legitimate member of our ashram.

Then Shri Mataji’s visit was announced. In preparation we turned the whole house upside down and forgot about the cat. When She finally arrived and was standing in the entrance during the welcome aarti, the cat showed up and went straight to the Feet of Shri Adi Shakti! I tried as much as I could to lure it away from there, so as to not to disturb the auspiciousness of the aarti. Shri Mataji noticed my attempts, as well as the cat at Her Feet.

‘Just let her, she knows where to get the coolest vibrations from!’ She smilingly said.

While some animals are definitely very receptive for vibrations, such as Shri Mataji’s dogs in Cabella, I believe it is much more important to remember the billions of humans who still haven’t had a chance to hear about the great advent of Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga.

Herbert Reininger

Summer at Chelsham Road

Once, in the summer of 1986, Shri Mataji came to Chelsham Road to give us a cooking lesson on how to make the base for Indian cooking. First the chopped onions and garlic were fried then the spices were added, then the meat or veg.

She gave us some treatments for the void. One was to eat raw garlic, because the negativity doesn’t like garlic. Another was to eat one green chilli every day. A third one was to drink a glass of salty water once a week. This can have drastic results but again, the negative forces do not like it – and use vibrated salt.

Shri Mataji explained that to begin we don’t necessarily feel catches very well, then we feel them a lot, then eventually we just register them.

One morning Shri Mataji came unexpectedly and at lunch time She was still there. She said She was on a diet and could only have boiled food and asked for boiled chicken, so I boiled a leg for Her, but cheated a bit and put some herbs in the water, because I felt boiled chicken was so tasteless. Then I boiled the rice in the same water with the herbs, too. When the food was served to Her She said it was very nice.

Another time we had made a dish for Her after the puja.

‘Can I have the recipe? That dish was very tasty,’ Shri Mataji asked. But we had just put in what felt right at the time, and could not remember the exact recipe.

Linda Williams

I am in your heart

At Shudy Camps, I had a very strong desire to see Shri Mataji, to ask Her an unanswered question.

‘How can we really know You? How can we really get deeper? I want to get deeper, but how can we really feel You?’ She looked at me, and I can still remember Her face exactly – the look in Her eyes, what She did, everything. She pointed with Her finger and looked at me with Her eyes very concentrated.

‘I am in your heart,’ She said, ‘and I am always there.’ She pointed at my heart and I felt She was really touching me physically.

Sharon Vincent

Shri Mataji’s love and care

In 1986 Mother asked me to come to Her house, Shudy Camps, to help a Sahaja Yogini who was looking after Shri Mataji and Sir CP. The whole day, She kept asking the yogini if I had arrived. Then She instructed that lady to keep food for me when I came, which I did late at night, but this lady told me even if I had eaten dinner already, I should eat the food, as Mother had asked her to keep food for me. So I ate and slept.

The next morning I repaired some of Mother’s blouses, ie stitching work, by hand. For two days I was at Shudy Camps and when I was leaving Mother asked me to choose a sari out of two which She had in Her hands. I humbly requested Mother to give me the sari of Her choice. Then She threw both saris towards me such a way that only one came to my hands, so that was the sari I got from Her.

Shakuntala Tandale

Put Me in your heart

One time Shri Mataji led us in a meditation at Shudy Camps and then invited us to ask questions. I had this question, ‘If you meditate every day and you go thoughtless in meditation and you lead a good Sahaja life, how can you go deeper?’

‘It depends what you mean by “go deeper”,’ She said.

‘To feel more joy, more depth, more devotion,’ I replied.

‘You have to put your guru in your heart. You have to open your heart more and put Me in your heart,’ She said.

Victor Vertunni

We ought to take good care of our health

In 1986 at Shudy Camps Shri Mataji spread joy and bliss around and yet She was constantly sacrificing Her own comfort and personal life, as She dedicated all Her time and energy to emancipating humankind. She did not care what the menu of Her next meal was, and whoever was cooking was not supposed to ask what She would like to eat. She didn’t care if Her dinner took place at 8 pm or 11pm. She often went without sleep, but continued to travel with enthusiasm, one night here and another there. Her concern was always for other people’s comforts. 

Shri Mataji said that sometimes She could be quite cruel to Her body, but none of us should ever do like Her because She was different, and we ought to take care of our health. Mother then worked on a Sahaja Yogi who had eczema on the wrist and explained it was a left Nabhi problem. She spent a considerable amount of time curing what seemed a minor condition, but it was a symptom of a blocked chakra, so received Her loving time and attention. He ended up receiving treatment to all the chakras and was told not to wash up without gloves, as washing up liquid would aggravate the eczema.

‘If I raise My right side I can go on and on without sleep or rest,’ Shri Mataji said. At the time She was travelling intensively and had just returned home.

‘Are you using an ice pack on the liver for a running nose?’ Shri Mataji once asked.

‘No Mother,’ I replied. 

‘Why not?’

‘I never heard of an ice pack for curing a running nose.’

Shri Mataji seemed surprised that no one knew this. She told me that I went to bed that night to put an ice pack on my liver, or I could put some ice in a plastic bag and wrap it up in a cloth. It worked! 

There was another Sahaja Yogi who was extremely thin, and very reserved. Shri Mataji asked him whether he was taking lots of vibrated salt and sugar. 

 ’Certainly not,’ he replied. Shri Mataji asked him why not, to which he replied, ‘taking lots of vibrated sugar and salt would be indulging in extremes.’

‘But if the condition is extreme one might need an extreme treatment, and I would advise you to take a generous amount of vibrated salt and sugar as you are suffering from extreme left and right side problems.’

Another Sahaja Yogi was advised by Shri Mataji to eat plenty of protein and to avoid carbohydrates as he had the tendency to fall into the left side and lethargy. A Sahaja Yogi who enjoyed taking responsibility was advised to stay away from proteins as much as possible. 

 ’Your tendency is to dominate others and to tell everybody what to do, and if you follow this type of diet your health and balance will improve,’ She Mataji told him.

Luis Garrido

A different dimension of time

Shudy Camps was a very magical place and the memories of these days will always stay close to my heart. The house was large and built of red brick. At the back was a large lawn, where tents were erected for puja gatherings, and at the very back was a pond hidden behind some shrubs and trees. Going to the pond was always something of an experience – it was like climbing through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia. I sometimes snuck out there just to have a few quiet moments.

I was blessed to be able to spend quite some time at Shudy Camps looking after Shri Mataji, mostly around the times of the pujas which were held there, but also at other times. Usually I worked in the kitchen, or did some cleaning, or we went on shopping trips into the nearby villages. We worked very hard. At some point there was a routine established, with another lady and me going into Mother’s bedroom every morning, to tidy up and clean the bathroom.

One day as usual we tidied Shri Mataji’s bedroom and cleaned the bathroom, and it seemed not very long to us, maybe fifteen minutes or half an hour, but apparently in the eyes of others we had disappeared for most of the day. So while usually time in Mother’s presence seems to stretch into eternity and a day lasts a hundred years, this was the other way around, and what had seemed a short time to us stretched over most of the day for others.

Sigrid Jones

Chapter 20: 1986 – July and August, Europe and England

Gmunden, Austria, 8th July 1986 (diary entry)

At Gmunden, where the Guru Puja was celebrated there was the delightful setting, the efficient organisation and the beautiful nature, which gave the event a sense of how much we are changed for the better, of how much more perfect the arrangements were.

Shri Mataji praised the preparation of the stage and said that whoever did it had succeeded in truly portraying a sense of the creation. It was a grand scene, painted like the sky, and at the bottom it was full of light, becoming darker as it went higher, into a midnight blue full of stars. All around was a light drapery of a celestial material, studded with spangles and strips of gold and silver, and on the stage where Shri Adi Shakti’s throne was placed, was a large bandhan of many coloured flowers. At the side of the stage were two towers made of little bunches of flowers made by the local Sahaja Yogis.

During the talk, which centred on the principle of the guru as manifesting from the cosmic awareness, I had the impression that the body of Shri Mataji became one with the multicoloured flowers behind Her and no longer had a definite form, but dissolved into the cosmic energy and light that She was talking about. It seemed that She did not want to correct us directly, but wanted us to use our wisdom to understand what is right and what is a mistake, primarily in ourselves, and more generally in others.

Alessandra Pallini

The Marina of Pietrasanta, July 1986 (diary entry)

Again this time was like a dream. From the moment Shri Mataji arrived and spoke to us at the Hotel Tropicana, at the Marina di Pietrasanta, to when She left three days later, we experienced that indescribable atmosphere which uniquely distinguishes time spent in Her presence.

After an hour long discourse at the Hotel Tropicana on Wednesday, we saw Her again on Thursday afternoon in the marvellous setting of the garden of the villa ‘La Versiliana’ to meet Romano Battaglia, a journalist and writer, who organised the meeting there. It took place from 1986, for many years, each year and he invited Shri Mataji to participate. The whole event was excellent. He has understood that Shri Mataji has something truly extraordinary, and has introduced Her to the public with great respect and profound dignity.

In the course of the conversation, when Shri Mataji spoke about evolution and reincarnation, of successive lifetimes which are a means for humans to come closer to being spiritual people, Romano Battaglia asked Her for information about his previous lifetimes and Shri Mataji said he had been a Roman emperor.

The people who frequented the Versiliana, who were a little snobbish, reacted very positively, thanks to the well organised programme. The guests were relaxed and happy to see Shri Mataji, who was received with so much interest and attention.

Alessandra Pallini

A trip to Volterra

Today (July 1986), we left for Volterra to prepare a room for Shri Mataji at the Hotel San Lino. The countryside was beautiful, with fields of sunflowers and maize, and as Shri Mataji has said, it is similar to Maharashtra. We decorated Her armchair, arranged some flowers and She arrived earlier than expected. After a siesta of a couple of hours, at about seven in the evening we went out with Her to go shopping for alabaster, which is a speciality of this area. Not only is alabaster found here, but also there are expert craftsmen who transform it into sophisticated artefacts. As we went into a number of shops, Shri Mataji noted the price and quality of many of these objects. This was in order to buy the collective present for Sahasrara Day, and also various private purchases, for Her new house in England and for one in India.

After a short walk around the main square and that area, Shri Mataji went towards a viewpoint at the edge of the countryside, from where we could take in the view in the direction of the sea. She told us that the Etruscans, who used to live here, were originally Egyptian, and were Zoroastrians, with the influence of the Egyptians and Greeks. She also said that the vibrations of this place were very heavy on the left, while at Marina di Pietrasanta She had spoken of the right side, and above all of the right Nabhi of the Romans. After our walk, we returned to the hotel, and while some of the Sahaja Yogis organised a collective supper, one lady and I stayed with Shri Mataji. While the other lady massaged Her Lotus Feet, I took the opportunity to show Her a photo I had taken at the Guru Puja at Gmunden.

It was a photo in which Her Lotus Feet are reflected on the gold which covered the wooden base on which they rested. In the middle is a painted Shri Ganesha, which is sending a luminous reflection. Shri Mataji very much liked the photo, and asked for copies for our centres, and to take to the Krishna Puja in Switzerland, and also to India. She said that the Indians preferred puja photos, because through these their faith and devotion can be expressed.

She said that She loves flowers so much, wherever She goes, and long ago Markandeya compared the Feet of the Devi to flowers, and described how the Trimurtis, (Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Shiva) worshipped Her toenails, which for them were like diamonds in their crowns. I showed Her the crown that we had almost finished making, in the form of the sun, with seven petals, and another twelve petals at the sides. She liked it very much, but said the colour was too uniform and to change some crystals for others which were lighter, and then She said – a great blessing – that She would take it to India and have it mounted in silver, so it could remain permanently. What an honour – thank You Mother!

Then Shri Mataji spoke about magnolias, saying that the flowers on these plants in India had a much stronger and sweeter smell, without the bitter smell that ours had. She added that if we put vibrated water on our magnolias perhaps the scent would change.

In the evening we were all together, about fifty people, also the new people from Rome and Milan, in a restaurant just outside Volterra, on the road to Cedina – I think it was called ‘Da Stefano’. Shri Mataji was seated facing the group and replied to a question on the difference between the soul and the Spirit. Fortunately the talk was recorded.

Alessandra Pallini

The soul and the Spirit

This talk took place at Volterra, on the 25th of July, 1986. The beginning of this talk was not recorded. In this extract, Shri Mataji is defining the relationship between soul and the Spirit. The analogy She uses involves light, water and the glass that contains the water. The light would be the Spirit, the glass the body and the water which reflects the light, would be the soul. We pick up the talk when Shri Mataji has just given the analogy. One can see an image of chakras reflected in the glass.

Shri Mataji: Then it (the light) comes in there. This (the glass) is the body. All the five koshas, the five auras, koshas, are there. So these five koshas are managed by the five elements, the essence of which can be called the causal element, the causal of the …

Gregoire: The causal of the five elements. What we know as atma in Sanskrit, is it the soul plus the Spirit, or only the Spirit?

Shri Mataji: Jivatma is the soul but atma is the Spirit.

Gregoire; so jivatma is the Spirit but individualized; belonging to one person?

Shri Mataji: No, no, jivatma is the soul, means with these five elements, and these five elements give you your own identity, your own character, your own particularities etc. These five elements – the way they are placed in you. That’s the causal element, the causal of the elements that are within you. Then these causals act on the chakra and through the chakras these causals act on the other, on the grosser side. So from the subtle to the subtler to the, you can say the subtlest. The subtlest we can say is the Spirit, supposing, then the subtler is the soul, and the subtle you have the chakras. And the gross is the body.

Gregoire: So England should reflect on Italy then? (Mother, on a previous occasion, had told us that while England is the Spirit, Italy is the soul of the universe).

Shri Mataji: That’s why all the art grew from here (Italy). Now soul is the essence of all the elements of this Europe, which is here, and England is the reflection. So England has to reflect on Italy.

Another Sahaja Yogi: See, the water in the glass is reflecting the light. England is the light and the light has to shine out of Italy which is the water. I mean the five elements in a way.

Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Gregoire de Kalbermatten, and others

An explanation of Shri Kalki

I convey to you another revelation of Mother, which was given in Volterra, Italy in 1986. With a group of about thirty Sahaja Yogis, we asked Her to confirm that She was the incarnation of the new age, Satya Yuga.

‘No,’ She replied, ‘and tonight I am going to reveal who it is.’

For this purpose we rented a restaurant and had a table arranged in the centre of the room. Shri Mataji sat at the table and asked some of us to sit around Her. The recording of Her speech started at the point of Mother’s explanation of the relationship between the Spirit and the soul and has already been published. There is a photograph of that moment, in which Mother smiles over a glass, where they are seven lights that correspond to the seven chakras, but this is what Mother said previously. She began by saying that the incarnation of the New Age and Satya Yuga was the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Shri Kalki.

‘I am the mother of Shri Kalki and My only goal is to give birth to the incarnation which is the collective being, the Virata. For this I am working on all the molecules which have to make up the chakras of this incarnation. I started in the Mooladhara (Australia) and now I’m still missing the Agnya Chakra (Russia). When all the cells needed for the birth of Shri Kalki will be ready in this world, I will return to India to raise the Kundalini of the Virata (India). When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara (the Himalayas and the largest mountains) Shri Kalki (God, the Spirit in this human world) will put His Feet on this earth, My job will be completed and I will leave the human world.’

‘Mother, will all the Sahaja Yogis be cells of Shri Kalki?’ was asked.

‘No,’ She said, ‘the arrival of Almighty God to earth will result in the beginning of a general awakening among the majority of humanity who are not seekers, and they will meet the Sahaja Yogis who will have to be their guide.’

‘What will happen to the Sahaja Yogis that have become cells of Shri Kalki?’ I ventured to ask.

She stared at me showing that I had understood very little.

‘They will not exist anymore, they will be the Spirit,’ She replied, ‘The drop will become the ocean.’

Asking why, after the arrival of Shri Kalki She would leave, She replied, ‘Because I’m a mother and a mother cannot bear certain things.’

Javier Valderamma

A car journey with Shri Mataji

The next day we again went in search of alabaster, this time to the handicraft factories outside Volterra. I was in the back of the car with Shri Mataji, who made various comments on people and the scenery. She spoke about a lady in Rome who had certain problems, and observing the countryside said that it was similar to Maharashtra and asked if there were any monkeys! Much laughter and someone said that there were not, but the monkeys had become people, but were like monkeys.

In the car, seated next to Her, I felt Her arm pressed against mine on my right side and felt the flow of vibrations that emanated from Her, and – alas! – I felt my catches very clearly.

Thank You, Shri Mataji, for coming to our country to give Your divine message, to illuminate our ignorance, to purify our souls and to comfort our hearts with Your love.

Alessandra Pallini

This evening we returned from Volterra and arrived at the ashram at two o’clock in the morning, after a journey of about six hours. We left Shri Mataji at Pisa Airport at six o’clock. We saw Her for the last time crossing the space between the building and the plane, with Purna (later Purna Vertunni), who will be Her guest in London.

Alessandra Pallini

An amazing journey

In our two year engagement, we didn’t see each other very much, but on one occasion I went to London to see him. Shri Mataji was having a public programme at Versiliana. She used to go there every year. This was one of the first times and I was supposed to take the plane by myself to London afterwards to see Victor. I was very afraid and my mother was a little bit worried because I had never been on a plane before. She took me to the airport and we were going to have to wait a bit for the plane, so we decided to go and have a short look at the city, which was Pisa. We went to this amazing square called the Miracles Square and Mother was just standing there.

‘What are you doing here?’ She said. Somebody explained that I was going to England to see Victor, so She said, ‘Well, you must come with Me. I will take you there because Victor is looking after My house and he is there waiting for you.’

So I had to change my ticket and my mother was so pleased. We told the Sahaja Yogis that I wasn’t to leave alone because I was so young to travel by myself. It was an amazing journey. There was just Mother and me and flying with Her was like a journey in paradise. She kept telling me how Victor was such a good boy and that we would have such a happy life together. She was so very, very sweet. I didn’t look after Her; She was looking after me. She gave me chocolate and coffee to keep me relaxed with Her.

‘Now you have to stay in My house,’ She said when we arrived in London. When I got there, Victor was there, because he had been looking after it, and he didn’t expect me at all.

‘I have brought your fiancée with Me,’ Shri Mataji said. He was so confused and the aarti tray fell on the floor and things like that. I was so shy and red in the face and standing on the other side. ‘You see, men, how they are,’ She said and was laughing so much.

In the couple of days I was there, She was always playing with us, telling Victor we should have walks in the park together and be together and go in the garden to the swing, all this romantic kind of thing.

‘Did he buy you an engagement ring?’ She asked me one day. So I said he had not and She called Victor and said, ‘Do you have money to buy an engagement ring?’ She gave money to him and he got a ring and She wanted to see it. Mother was quite amazing at this time.

We got married two years later, when I was eighteen, and we have had such a happy life together.

Purna Vertunni

We were looked after like Her grandchildren. So many of us know that She has equal love for everybody, no one is higher or lower, more or less important to Her. It is remarkable how many people She has been able to put Her attention on.

Victor Vertunni

We stayed at Shudy Camps

I had my realisation in May 1986 and it was such a unique and tremendous experience. One weekend we were all together with Shri Mataji, and She gave an interview to a well-known Italian journalist at ‘la Versiliana’ an open air café where She has done many public programmes, and after that we had a trip to Volterra with Mother. In the evening we all sat with Her in a restaurant. Before She left, at the airport, She invited the Italians to Shudy Camps to work in Her house.

I felt so happy to be able to live a Sahaja Yoga life and went to England. There were seven of us Italians and we stayed at Shudy Camps for more than two months. One day there was a Raksha Bandhan ceremony in London, and all the people from Shudy Camps where invited. It was held in an ashram and the room was small and full of people. I didn’t know anything about the ceremony and when I heard that women could choose a brother I thought: ‘I don’t have a brother and I don’t need a brother.’ Before the real ceremony between the yogis started, Mother spoke with the Italians and She invited us to personally take a Rakhi from Her.

‘You are My brothers and sisters,’ She said to us.

I was so emotionally touched by these words that my heart opened. I was filled with love for everybody, and of course for Her. When the ceremony started I took my first brothers. There were four of them: Robert Hunter, David Prole and two yogis from Italy. When your heart opens everything becomes different and you can see the beauty in everything and in every human being. It was one of my first discoveries and recognitions in Sahaja Yoga, thanks to what Shri Mataji said and did!

Marco Arciglio

The timing was perfect

There is a song in the songbook, Jerusalem II. We sang it to Shri Mataji when She came to Shudy Camps for the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja 1986, when the house was finished. Someone was playing the piano and quite a few of us were standing in this room by the piano.

Last night as I lay sleeping, there came a dream so fair.’ We began singing, then it goes on and we got to the end of the song, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your eyes and see … behold, in all Her glory, behold Shri Mataji!’ The moment we sang that last line, Shri Mataji walked in through the door and we beheld Her. There She was.

Maggie Burns

Krishna Puja 1986, August, Schwarzsee (email report)

The puja was really fantastic, also the backdrop to Shri Mataji’s chair with the bamboo (just as in Ganapatipule) and the Sudarshan chakra.

Shri Mataji arrived at Bern airport, a little airstrip surrounded by hills and approached by a winding and bumpy road, on Friday afternoon, to be greeted by a hundred or so of Her children, Swiss and others, offering flowers. She immediately left for Schwarzsee by car. About an hour later Shri Mataji arrived at the hotel to the strains of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Brilliant sunshine, it was a tremendously hot day. For the rest of the day, She stayed in Her room, and more and more yogis arrived from all corners of the world. Clouds began to appear in the sky towards the evening.

Some days earlier, a Sahaja Yogi had observed to Shri Mataji that She had no limitations whatever, that She could do anything. She had replied that in fact She has one limitation, which is our free will. So we have to surrender our free will in order for the divine action to flow completely without hindrance and for us to become completely the instruments of God.

Schwarzsee is a little lake surrounded by hills in central Switzerland, very beautiful and with many cows whose bells are heard everywhere. Shri Mataji told us that it was a very appropriate place for the puja of Shri Krishna, who was born in the Lunar dynasty, at midnight, and who worked a great deal on the left side, just as Shri Rama had worked on the right side. The name Schwarzsee means ‘black lake’, also appropriate to the colour of Shri Krishna. Friday night was marked by a tremendous thunderstorm which started about midnight and went on for hours. Shri Mataji had been working all night on the vibrations of the area.

On Saturday She spoke to us three times, in the morning about the childhood of Shri Krishna, in the evening about the Bhagavad Gita, and again in the evening just before the puja. She is completely the divine Guru. European songs and Marathi bhajans were sung.

Shri Mataji arrived in the puja room, where about five hundred Sahaja Yogis were waiting in meditation, at 10:30 pm or so on Saturday evening and the puja began with a very short prayer to Shri Ganesha, after which She instructed that all those present born under the sign of Sagittarius should perform the puja, Saturn (the planet of Shri Krishna) currently being in that sign, which is its own.

The high point of the puja was the presentation of sixteen crowns representing sixteen countries, to the Lotus Feet of Shri Mataji, by representatives of those countries, including the Soviet Union and China, whose representatives currently live in Austria. For Africa, Said Ait Chaalal presented a beautiful crown and silk veil for Fatima. A replica of the crown of Saint Louis, King of France, was presented; the original design was said to have been dictated to him by a messenger from God, hundreds of years ago. Many other beautiful crowns were presented to Shri Mataji, each one expressive of its country, as tribute to the Lord of Lords seated before them.

Editor’s note: After the puja we took the crowns back to the UK on the bus. When we reached the customs at Dover the customs people wanted us to open all the boxes containing the crowns. As they did, the vibrations were so strong that the whole customs shed went absolutely silent. The Sahaja Yogis were told to pack them up and move on.

Gifts and shopping

After the puja ended presentations were made to Shri Mataji of different gifts. The collective gift was a necklace in the form of a Sudarshana chakra, with sixteen blue sapphires radiating out like the petals of a flower from a centre composed of diamonds. The necklace was decorated by further diamonds to make a total of sixteen sapphires and twenty-one diamonds. I had the honour of presenting to Shri Mataji the English translation of the new version of ‘The Advent’.

Shri Mataji left Schwarzsee early Monday afternoon. She was seen off by about a hundred and fifty yogis who had stayed until Monday. She spent Monday evening in Bern at the flat of Kingsley and Ruth, and left for England on Tuesday afternoon, having spent the morning shopping in Bern. During the weekend the hotel manager got his realisation, and attended the puja. He was extremely respectful towards Shri Mataji.

Phil Ward

Three presents from Shri Mataji

We were living at Chelsham Road in 1986. Shri Mataji was at the ashram that day and it was the 23rd of August. My daughter was three on that day and another child, a little boy was there and it was also his birthday and he was six. The children were running around Mother.

A bit later, Mother left with Rustom and later he came back with three presents from Mother — a beautiful Indian dress for Fatima and a beautiful dress too for Auriol and a suit for the little boy.

Guillemette Metouri

Shri Mataji made us laugh a lot

On the 2nd September 1986, we were at Sandra Castelli’s centre, on the Corso Porta Ticinese in Milan. Shri Mataji spoke to us and repeated what She had said at Volterra, that Italy is the soul of Europe, and consequently we Italians have a considerable responsibility, because if we are not clear, our role, which is to reflect the Spirit, and with this the diffusion of Sahaja Yoga, on the greater scale, cannot be achieved.

She said that the main problem with Milan is the Vishuddhi and the Agnya. The element of the Vishuddhi is ether, which in Milan ‘is no good’, the expression of the Vishuddhi is communication, therefore it is going to be improved. Furthermore, the Vishuddhi chakra gives us our facial expression, and in this the character is manifested in each of us. This is not the case with Shri Mataji, She said, because Her face expresses so many different aspects. She mentioned that in Milan many people have a frowning expression, which expresses a lack of satisfaction and contentment, and perhaps this was in order to try to make themselves interesting. She mimicked these sulking expressions, making us laugh a lot!

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji told my father to ask for a wish

It was in 1986, and Shri Mataji was visiting my brother Javier’s house in Milan, Javier phoned my father because Shri Mataji wanted to offer him a boon, or wish. I was beside my father and my father was so emotional that he could not think about any wish and asked me what he should wish for. Immediately and without thinking I told him to ask for complete realisation. So he did.

A few days later, as always, my father did his foot-soak exactly at 6.30 pm and when he opened his eyes it was 10.00 pm. He had an experience that he couldn’t describe in words and when he tried, he always had his eyes full of emotional tears. He compared the experience as being dissolved in the All, feeling like a dot in the immensity, or a drop in the ocean, and the joy was so intense that he couldn’t put it into words. When he talked with other Sahaja Yogis who had had a similar experience, he realised that his wish had come true.

Silvia Vega

You are my flowers

We were at Gatwick Airport in 1986. Shri Mataji alighted from Her car and met us, standing on the grass.

‘I hear you have been doing some very good work in Africa,’ She came across and said to me.

‘Mother, we didn’t bring You any flowers,’ said the person I came with.

‘You are My flowers,’ Shri Mataji replied.

Peter Corden

Collective awareness

I got my self realisation in 1985 and first met Shri Mataji in 1986. The first time I met Mother was in 1986 at Shudy Camps at the Shri Adi Bhumi Devi Puja there. For me it was just amazing to meet so many wonderful people who all felt the same thing. When I got my realisation from a friend, we were talking about love and God and religion, and every time we talked like this my Kundalini would rise. When I met all these other people who felt the same thing it helped me understand this was so beautiful and special, the fact that so many of us could feel the same way.

Hardev Bhamra

A useful present

My first time in Shudy Camps (Adi Bhumi Devi Puja 1986) I was standing on the landing in the staircase when Shri Mataji went upstairs past us. She whisked Her shawl over Her shoulder and it almost hit my face.

‘Wow, She must have cleared something in my Vishuddhi!’ I thought.

Four years later I stood on those same stairs as Shri Mataji distributed presents to the boys who had helped pack Her belongings to ship to India. I was hiding at the back as I was there for a different reason, and hadn’t done any work. I’ll never forget Her Left Vishuddhi strengthening call.

‘Edward!’ She said, which caused me to scurry forward to accept a watch from my Mother. I had received a dark blue and black sweater from Her the day before. She had sent me to Frankfurt to help out there, where I ended up working for a Nazi family in a shop. I used to go home to the ashram crying because the Left Heart catch was so bad — but I never mentioned this. Now, She told me to hold up the sweater to my chest.

‘Now go scare the Germans!’ She said triumphantly.

Edward Saugstad

A Sahaja Yogi’s garden 1986?

I was growing some sweet pea flowers in my gardens in England and I really desired that they would flower in time for the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja. The week before the puja the weather was not very warm and every day I checked to see if the buds were beginning to open but the progress was very slow. On the morning of the puja I went down to the garden and, to my delight, there they were, in full flower for the first time. I picked them all and made a little bouquet. Shri Mataji very graciously took flowers from everyone and as I offered my little bunch to Her, She stopped and smelled them.

‘Ah! A Sahaja Yogi’s garden,’ She said.

Mary Heaton

The best present you can ever have

I went on stage at a puja and gave Shri Mataji a little bunch of flowers. I gave Mother a smile and She just has this special smile, that you know is special and She gives it to you and it’s like the best present you can ever have.

Narayani Pottinger

The purchase of the Campagnano land and the Magliano Sabina property

In August 1986 we were staying with some Sahaja Yogis and Shri Mataji at Ruth and Kingsley Flint’s flat in Bern. Our Holy Mother Shri Mataji spoke about purchasing some land near Rome in the area of Campagnano.

This land was about five and a half hectares in an area north of Rome and was on sale with full planning permission to build two houses. The land was purchased in the name of Mrs Nirmala Chandrika Prasad Srivastava on the 3rd February 1987. The contract was signed by me, in my name, using the power of attorney given to me by Shri Mataji. When the land was purchased Shri Mataji told the leader to start building, with the help of an Austrian architect, Hermann Haage, and he was to develop the projects which Shri Mataji Herself had altered. A few years later, when Shri Mataji decided to sell this land, the houses were not yet built. However the road and the well were completed and the connection of the water pipes and the electric network were established. The value of this land, in the four years that it belonged to Shri Mataji had increased a lot, not only because of the work that had been done, but also because the area had been transformed into a natural reserve with a total block on all new construction.

Alessandra Pallini

Chapter 21: 1986 – September, America, Holland and Belgium

She organized every aspect

I was never a very good driver of cars. I never had a bad accident, but I would make people really nervous and never drove very well. In 1986, someone thought that it was a good idea, when Shri Mataji was visiting New York, that I should drive Her car, to be the chauffeur. I was delighted and terrified at the same time because this was a great honour and a big responsibility. I obviously didn’t want to cause any problems, but I couldn’t turn it down.

I was driving something big, like a Lincoln, around Manhattan and we were going to all different parts of town to buy Indian things and to look for appliances for the kids’ school in Italy and do lots of different missions. I got us lost a couple of times. We ended up going to one place, being so-called lost, which was actually a block from where an ashram was established later on.

We spent some time getting these appliances and things and there was one really sweet moment, when the other folks, who were the organizers, had gone in to look for some appliances in the Indian stores and I was left alone driving Shri Mataji around. It was very hot, in the summertime, and She was in the back and I looked back and realized how much effort She put in to all this activity. She organized every aspect.

‘Shri Mataji, I just can’t tell You how much we appreciate what You do,’ I said.

She smiled and wiped the perspiration off Her brow and we went on. But the remarkable thing was, from that point on, I became a very good driver.

Who knows what happened in that car, that one moment, from being a terrible nervous driver, who drove people crazy, to someone who was pretty competent. So there’s a small miracle for you.

Phil Trumbo

Shri Mataji is the soul of the Earth

It was September 1986, Shri Mataji was to arrive in San Diego and we were all excited. Being that I had yet to meet our Holy Mother I was a little nervous as well. Sahaja Yogis from all over were gathered in a hotel. At around 6 pm we boarded buses and headed for our destination, a small camp outside San Diego. Being from Vancouver the landscape was new to me. Palm trees, beautiful palm trees.

It was getting dark as we pulled into the camp. A large meeting hall loomed up above all the other buildings. There were bunk houses for us all. After getting settled in, we gathered in the meeting hall to await Shri Mataji. We waited and waited and there was no sign of our Divine Mother. At around midnight it was suggested that we all go to bed, as Shri Mataji would probably arrive the following day. After getting all snuggled into my sleeping bag, there was a knock at my door.

‘Mother has arrived,’ a voice said from the other side of the door. I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing the one person I had travelled two thousand miles for. I put on my kurta and headed for the meeting hall. It was dark outside and the double doors to the hall were wide open, casting a light along the path.

I entered the doors and looked around. There were yogis milling about a central figure, Shri Mataji. My jaw dropped as I gazed upon this being; I was in complete awe. Surrounding Shri Mataji was Her aura; it must have been forty to fifty feet across. The first thing that came into my head was, ‘She is not human. There is no way She is human.’

I was in complete awe, gazing upon a being I had no way of comprehending. She was walking around greeting yogis, smiling. I was watching them walking around in Her aura. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but I was seeing it. It dawned on me that Shri Mataji is the soul of the Earth and that this lady walking around was actually the Earth in human form.

Shri Mataji started walking in my direction and as She moved forward I moved back. The awe I felt was overwhelming. It was not that I felt threatened, but as if I had stepped into another world, because this was and is the world of Shri Mataji.

Later that night I recall a yogini saying that Shri Mataji had taken the form of Shri Mahamaya (the great illusion). To this day, if any negative thoughts come to me, I just have to recall that time and they all fade away.

Thank You, Shri Mataji with blessing us with Your presence here on Earth.

Yvon Dion

Editor’s note: as mentioned before, if we do see auras, it means we are not totally in the centre, and this type of perception usually leaves us after we have been in Sahaja Yoga for some time.

The greatness and strength of Our Divine Mother

When I look at this photo of Shri Mataji at the Shri Ganesha Puja in San Diego in 1986, I can only think of the greatness and the strength of Our Divine Mother. She is the Great Mother and the strongest of all. She has taken upon Herself all our imbalances and negativities so that we could ascend and become true Sahaja Yogis.

When this Shri Ganesha Puja was held we were only about a hundred and thirty Sahaja Yogis. Looking at this photo one can see that Mother is very beautiful and gracious. But at the time of the puja the yogis, including myself were not aware of the fact that we were not absorbing Her vibrations that She was trying to give us to clear our Mooladhara chakras.

The day after the puja we were instructed as to how we could improve. In the West, and especially in America, it was wise to go on a liver diet. We were to cleanse our chakras each and every night. The cleansing of the Mooladhara Chakra was of prime importance since in the West the damage was very severe to this auspicious chakra.  

I still remember how in awe we were of Shri Mataji. We could only think of Her greatness and Her great love for us to have gone through so much for us. We promised in our hearts that we would do all that was required of us to continue to cleanse our chakras.

 Anna Mancini

The request for a name

We were attending America’s first Shri Ganesha Puja in California, with Shri Mataji. At some point after the puja, I was surprised to see my son Shaun, who was then five years old, and his Sahaja sister Tessa, who was around four years old, bowing at Shri Mataji’s Feet onstage.  It seems they went together to request a new name, and Shri Mataji blessed them both; Tessa was named ‘Siddhi’ and Shaun was named ‘Vinayaka’. 

The next day, we were sitting with Shri Mataji in the living room of the San Diego ashram, and Vinayaka was very close to our Holy Mother’s Feet. The thought that came into my mind was, ‘Vinayaka is such a unique name, but it is so unusual…..I wonder if there is any way to shorten it?’ At that precise moment Shri Mataji reached down to touch Vinayaka’s head.

‘We’ll call you ‘Vinay’ for short,’ She said.

On our way home back to Canada, Vinay asked if we could throw away the name ‘Shaun’ as he had a new one from Mother.

 Mona Dale

The best kajal

After the Mahalakshmi Puja in Belgium, September 19th 1986. Mother remarked how kajal made the eyes so beautiful and explained that the best kajal was made from the soot of the aarti lamp after puja to Mother.

Sean Kelly

Some people received names (email report)

It was a very intimate puja, but the vibrations were very deep and Shri Mataji gave a beautiful talk on the Sahaja way of doing things, particularly with regard to new people. The puja took place in the upper room of the house of a Sahaja Yogi, in Mechelen, north of Brussels; we were eighty or so yogis squeezed together with the video team.

After the puja in Mechelen, Belgium, Shri Mataji gave names to a number of adult Sahaja Yogis. As Shri Mataji was preparing to leave the room, Richard asked Her if She would kindly give names to a number of small children, and our Divine Mother agreed to do so. The first was a baby, to be followed by some larger children, and suddenly a lady in the back of the room stood up and shyly asked Shri Mataji if she could have a name, too. Shri Mataji smiled and gave her a name, and finally some twenty or thirty people went forward to receive names. Shri Mataji authorized the use of diminutives; for instance, for someone who received the name Brindavan.

‘You can call him Brinda’, Shri Mataji said, and suggested diminutives of some of the children’s Indian names for familiar use.

Phil Ward

Chapter 22: 1986 – November and December, India

Venus, My planet

Shri Mataji always spoke about Venus. I remember an incident in Coimbatore, South India in 1986, where Shri Mataji spent a month. It was the late evening sky and we were sitting with Shri Mataji in the verandah of the Ayurvedic Panchkarma Centre. She was talking on various subjects when I noticed a bright star just above the horizon.

‘That is Venus, My planet,’ She said, reading my thoughts. She continued talking. I noticed the star getting brighter. She suddenly laughed and said, ‘She won’t go, and will get brighter and brighter till I notice her.’

Then She did namaskar to Venus and went on with Her conversation. We saw that the brightness of the star had dimmed and in a while the planet was no more visible.

Deepa Mahajan

The power of Shri Yama

In about 1986, when I was with Shri Mataji, I often used to clean Her comb and brush. She told me to put Her hair in Her vanity case. When She was in Coimbatore I was with Her at an Ayurvedic Massage Centre. After She left She made me shift to Her room. Her hair was lying on the window sill in a few bunches. They would be wound up round and put in Her bag. I did not know what to do with the hair. After I left Coimbatore I took it with me to Bordi and gave it to Her.

‘In My hair resides Shri Yama,’ She said, and also said Her hair has tremendous vibrations flowing from it. ‘That is why I keep My hair open during pujas and programmes,’ She explained.

Deepa Mahajan

I met your son some time ago

It must have been in 1986. In those days all the Sahaja Yogis used to go to the airport to receive Mother. I was a small child and was playing at the airport and running all over the place. Suddenly Mother arrived and I ran directly in front of Her. She gently touched my head and blessed me.

‘Mother, please touch me at this place,’ I said, as I had a small wound on my hand. ‘If You touch here, this will become all right very fast!’ She laughed and touched me on my hand.
I reverted to my playing and my parents were unaware of this incident. Later, my parents were talking to Mother about opening up a new centre.

‘I met your son some time ago,’ She told them, ‘and he asked Me to touch his hand so that his wound healed quickly.’ Nobody else knew that I was the child of this particular couple, but of course, Mother did!

Rohit Nalgirkar

Who has not awaked yet?

In October 1986 we celebrated Kojagiri Purnima, the full moon which falls after Navaratri, with Shri Mataji at the hall in Saneguruji Vidyalay, Dadar, Mumbai where the weekly Saturday meetings took place. She prepared and arranged for the milk drink for all of us. Traditionally, on that night one stays up until 1 or 2 am, and we drink milk mixed with ground pistachio, almond and cashew nuts, and flavoured with cardamom.

Shri Mataji mentioned in that talk that, ‘The Goddess comes to everybody’s house late at night on that day and She asks ‘Kojagarti?’ In Sanskrit this means, ‘Who has not awakened yet?’

That is why on that night many Indians who are not Sahaja Yogis go to the sea shore, but they play cards etc, because they do not understand the significance of that day, which is that they have to take their self realisation.

Shakuntala Tandale

The position of the moon

We were in Kolkata with Shri Mataji in October 1986. A number of us went from Delhi and Dehra Dun, and we were invited to a lunch party where Shri Mataji was going to be. We all sat on the floor, with a number of the Kolkata Sahaja Yogis, and Shri Mataji was in front of us eating Her food. She was talking about the position of the moon – maybe She was saying it was very auspicious – and someone took a photo of Her. When the photo was developed, it was a miracle one, and behind Shri Mataji was the moon!

Linda Williams

Bengal is especially blessed by Shri Lalita

When in Kolkata in 1986, Shri Mataji told us how Bengal is especially blessed by Shri Lalita. She explained that the climate is so benign that one can live so easily, and because of that there is more time for music and art. That is why art and music came up spontaneously in Bengal. She mentioned about Sarat Chandra Chatterji – that he had so many blessings of the Goddess Lalita that Shri Mataji said She felt to call him Lalita Chandra Chatterji. One more thing She said about him, I don’t remember if it was the same occasion or another one, but She was so fond of Chatterji’s writings that when She married, She told Her father that She didn’t want any gift, just the complete works of Chatterji.

After that Shri Mataji said that in spite of all the blessings of the Goddess, Bengal had supported and nurtured so many of these tantrics. This is the reason for the downfall of Bengal, because they had been worshipping tantrics along with the Goddess. She explained that if a tantric comes in the room from one side, Lakshmi leaves from the other. She said that before giving the harsh words one has to give a chocolate!

On another occasion Shri Mataji explained that one should not bare the shoulders, especially women, because one shoulder represents the Lalita Chakra and the other the Shri Chakra. She also said that covering one’s body for the purpose of modesty is also important for men, and that men should always wear a vest or undershirt and the vest should also have little sleeves.

Gautam Sarkar

She knew she should not break the protocol

My mother often looked after Shri Mataji and one early morning, about three o’clock, they suddenly saw that Her room was lit up – the light was switched on. Another lady who was also there knocked and tiptoed into Her room to see if She needed anything. She just looked the other Sahaja Yogini.

‘What are you doing here?’ She said.

‘Shri Mataji, we saw light in Your room and thought maybe You needed something,’ the lady said.

‘What are you doing at such an unearthly hour? You go and sleep now!’ She said.

In those early days we did not know how to behave in front of Shri Mataji and we took liberties with Her. People used to take all sorts of things to Her to be vibrated – dried fruits, cosmetics, and so on, soaps, a tray of lipsticks. Another time – you know we should not take Shri Mataji’s hair unless She gives it to us. My mother wondered if she could have a hair, and the next day she found a comb with Shri Mataji’s hair in it, but she knew she should not break the protocol. She wrapped the hair in a piece of paper, and gave the hair from the comb to Shri Mataji, who put it in Her bag.

Gautam Sarkar

Shri Mataji said I was just like Her granddaughter

At Kolkata airport in 1986, Shri Mataji invited me to be with Her for some time in Pune. No one had ever invited me like this! She also said that whenever I wanted to come, to let Her know, and She would make arrangements for me to be met at the station. We went to Kolkata to be with Shri Mataji, because there was a puja programme a Durga Puja there at that time and I had come with a group of Sahaja Yogis from Delhi. In Pune there was a Diwali Puja, when the house construction was going on. Shri Mataji was staying in a Sahaja Yogi’s house and I was with Her. I had never stayed in anyone’s house like this before.

Before the puja Shri Mataji called me to Her room, and asked if I had a good sari for the puja. I said I had a cotton sari. In those days I never wore a sari, and wore jeans like a student. Shri Mataji had given me that cotton sari, in Kolkata. She said I needed a good sari for the puja, and called me over to Her wardrobe. She opened it and there were lots of saris, and asked me which one would I like to wear. I said this was too much, but She said that I should never say no to Her when She gave me something. So I was in a fix. Shri Mataji selected a beautiful sari for me, a very heavy sari with a lot of gold zari and pink on it. She told me She wore it when She got engaged to Sir CP.

When I got dressed She asked me whether I had any jewellery. I said I had a chain and some earrings, but again She said I had to wear some nice jewellery so She called the lady who was attending to Her, opened Her jewellery box and gave me all this expensive jewellery as well. She helped me to put on the jewellery, then She said I was just like Her granddaughter. It was all going over my head! At the end of the day I returned the sari and jewellery, but imagine, at that time She was almost like a stranger to me, and yet She gave me all these things to wear. Even your own parents would not, maybe give you that.

Sandhya Laxshminarayan

The blessings of Shri Annapurna

During one of Shri Mataji’s visits to Calcutta, in 1986, my father requested Her to invite all the Western Sahaja Yogis for dinner at our house after the public programme. At the end of the programme, Shri Mataji invited all the Sahaja Yogis, Indian as well as Western, which created a logistics issue. Whereas there were about twenty or so Western Yogis, there were about a hundred Sahaja Yogis in total.

I could see my mother was worried, as there wasn’t enough time to increase the quantity of food. She instructed our cook to quickly make some potatoes and I noticed my mother praying, ‘Shri Mataji please enter the kitchen as Annapurna and take care of the dinner.’ Each of the hundred or so Sahaja Yogis ate well and the food was just sufficient. Interestingly, Sarson Ka Saag – an Indian vegetable dish – was left over. We ate this for three days afterwards and still there was plenty over. My mother went to Shri Mataji and narrated the incident; She replied that as Annapurna, She had to make sure this vegetable was plenty for all. She instructed my mother to throw the remainder away because that was the only way to get rid of it.

On one occasion there was a musical evening in the house. At the end Shri Mataji asked for the keyboard and started playing it. She asked me and Dr Khan’s kids, Anand and Monica, to come forward and She taught us He Adi Ma. Also, during one of these trips, Shri Mataji held a session in our house where She described the treatments for each and every disease.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Clearing the Agnya

I was in Shri Mataji’s room when She was working on an Indian lady. Shri Mataji asked me to get some kumkum and put my Agnya chakra finger on the lady’s Agnya chakra, on her forehead. I had my left hand towards Shri Mataji and my attention was on Her Feet. Once the Agnya chakra cleared, She whispered to me to get a wet cloth to clean the auntie’s forehead, because I had made a mess of it with the kumkum. Shri Mataji insisted that the lady should keep her eyes closed and meditate and we cleaned her forehead. Once done, She very sweetly said that children are very good at clearing the Agnya and now her Agnya was cleared.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Three pieces of advice

By a stroke of good fortune I was in the same car as Shri Mataji, sitting next to Her and so aware of this fact in my heart. I wished I could sit on the floor of the car. Then, Shri Mataji put Her hand on me with love to make me comfortable.

She told me three things. One was that we should always light a candle in front of Her photograph otherwise it has to absorb all the negativity. Secondly, when we meditate we need to open our hands fully otherwise the chakras are not open and cannot receive vibrations. The third was that when we sing bhajans and clap we should match our fingers and this helps to destroy the negativity.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

The Mixture Master

Shri Mataji loved Limca. I had recently taken a class where they taught us how to make different drinks using soft drinks and juices. So, I was very excited. One time, when Shri Mataji was visiting Calcutta, I tried these recipes and gave Her something to drink every few hours during Her entire visit. She very kindly indulged me and drank everything I made and called me ‘Mixture Master’. During the same visit, I made gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa) for Her. She indulged me again. Thinking back, I have no idea how could I dare to do so.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

The gift of Shri Yama

In 1986 when Shri Mataji had just left Calcutta, we didn’t touch anything in the room She stayed in for at least three days. The vibrations were so powerful and we had the most amazing meditations there. I noticed Shri Mataji’s hair scattered in the room. I had heard that She was very careful about Her hair and I collected the strands and put them in an envelope. I kept it near my bedside drawer for a year.

The next year, when Shri Mataji came back to Calcutta I wanted to return it to Her. I went quietly to Shri Mataji’s room; I had never dared enter Her room without the permission of adults before and my heart was beating fast. I went to Shri Mataji and did my pranams, gave Her the envelope and told Her I found the hair scattered in the room when She was visiting the last time. She took the envelope and told me it was the gift of Yama (the god of death) and She had to be very careful with it. She seemed happy with me and I felt so happy. That moment has stayed with me.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Listening through the Sahasrara

I was attending a music programme and remembered from Shri Mataji’s talk that we should try to listen to music from the Sahasrara. I tried, felt my Kundalini rise – it was a deliberate effort. I had never enjoyed Indian classical music before this but this time I was in bliss and felt my Kundalini dancing on my Sahasrara to the music being played. I loved the music and dance programme that day and was immersed in joy. Next day, I happened to get the darshan of Shri Mataji, and She said She had seen me enjoying the music the day before.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

A great Bengali writer

Shri Mataji said that when She married Her father asked Her what She would like to take from their house, or maybe it was what She would like as a wedding gift, and all She asked for were the complete works of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, who was a great novelist of the beginning of the twentieth century and came from Bengal.

I recall Mother telling us this in Calcutta in the Jalan’s house in 1987.

Linda Williams

The power of Shri Mataji’s bandhan

In December 1986, just before the foreigners arrived, in Mumbai, I had a narrow escape thanks to Mother. In those days my daughter Auriol was on my passport. I had somehow managed this, and for various bureaucratic reasons if I lost the passport the UK authorities would not put her on another one because she was a South African, not a UK citizen at the time. It was the only way I could get all three of us, my son, my daughter and me, into India because white South Africans were not allowed into India at that time.

We were all invited to a lunch where Mother was staying in Mumbai, a large flat in Colaba. When we got there, I suddenly realised I had left my bag, with quite a lot of money and the precious irreplaceable passport, in a taxi. Someone told Mother and She gave a bandhan, because apart from anything else, a British passport was very valuable in India then. Under normal circumstances the chances of getting it or the money back were absolutely nil. Then someone said, ‘Ring up the Taxi Driver’s union,’ so we did, and an incredibly honest taxi driver had just handed the bag in, untouched, including the money which was in cash, and the precious passport. I insisted on giving him a reward which he grudgingly took.

Linda Williams

A green sari

The India tour of 1986-7 began in Alibagh, in December 1986. On one of the first nights there was an opportunity to buy saris for the weddings. At that point, most did not know if they would be getting married or not. However, we all gathered round as the saris were handed to Shri Mataji, who held them up one at a time and asked who wanted each one. They were all in rich jewel tones of emerald, ruby, sapphire, and so on, with beautiful gold borders. When a green sari was held up, I really wanted it, but was too shy to come forward and claim it. By the time I got the courage, someone else took it. I was very disappointed. After that there were no green saris, but I couldn’t bring myself to get another colour. Then towards the end, another green sari was held up, with an almost silvery-looking gold border. Shri Mataji looked right at me. With no hesitation, I was able to come forward and receive it.

Pramod Shete

On another planet

One evening Shri Mataji was with the Koli family, at Alibagh near Mumbai, and telling stories. She asked all the people to hold Her hands and we were just a few people there. She went into meditation and after about half an hour She came back.

‘It was not easy to come back here, they are not letting Me come,’ Shri Mataji said She was on another planet and there were yogis, or you can say people, who were trying to keep Mother there. She told us She said to them, ‘No, My children are waiting for Me and I must go.’

Ravindranath Saundankar

Shri Hanuman was making his presence known

During the India Tour of 1996, we came to rest under a pendal, which was open on all sides. After a while a strong and a rhythmic ‘breeze’ went around the decorative edging of the overhead cover, despite the fact there was no wind at all.

Shri Mataji smiled and told us it was Shri Hanuman making his presence known. One of the Indian yogis began to read the praise of the Mother by Adi Shankaracharya and Shri Mataji Herself translated it into English for us.

As I looked at Her Feet, I was aware that this whole existence was created through Her love, and through Her love all was maintained. Space, time, they dissolved – for milliseconds, seconds, minutes – I don’t know. As soon as I consciously thought ‘Oh, there is only the love’, I realised that I was no longer in that eternal moment.

Gillian Woltron

Dressing Her daughter for her wedding

I was asked to buy a sari for an older Sahaja Yogini from Australia. She was hoping for a red one. It was December 1986 and we were at Alibagh. Shri Mataji was up on the stage and She brought out hundreds of saris that were first allocated to women getting married. After that anyone else who wanted a sari could come up and buy what was left. So I went up there and one in particular caught my eye. It was a pink lavender colour. As soon as I looked at it, Shri Mataji looked at me. She nodded towards me and from a distance was saying it was for me. I thought, this is not a red sari for an older woman. This is a young girl’s sari.

I went away and told my friends about this incident, and they said it was a sure sign that I should buy it. I didn’t have that much money, but anyway I bought it, and bought a red one for my friend. A few weeks later I was matched and married, and that was my wedding sari. My Mother had had Her attention on me. She was dressing Her daughter for her wedding.

Leanne Huet

I am the Adi Shakti that is there

In December 1986 Shri Mataji was visiting Nasik and there was a garden and a small balcony near Her room. It was one day before the puja. She came on the balcony and asked us to pour water on Her hands, and we collected that water in a bucket. She started rubbing Her palms very hard and they got covered with some black stuff, and the water became blackish, and then She showed Her palm, which was covered with blackish carbon type stuff.

‘This is negativity and the problems of Nasik,’ She said. Shri Mataji said Nasik is a ‘tapo bhumi’ meaning it is a land for tapas, meaning penance. Shri Rama, Shri Sita and Shri Lakshmana came and lived here for many years. They walked barefoot on this land, so this is very special land that has been vibrated by them. Nasik is the place where Shri Rama cut off the nose of a demonic character, the sister of Ravana called Shurpanaka. Shri Mataji also spoke about the Adi Shakti swayambhu near Nasik called Saptashringi.

‘I am the Adi Shakti that is there at the swayambhu,’ She said. ‘You can see that there is a similarity between My face and the face of the Devi at the swayambhu.’ She asked us to visit that place, and to take the foreigners there. This was 1986, when the local Nasik Sahaja Yogis were very shy to interact with the foreigners. Shri Mataji asked that we should speak and mix with them.

Ravindranath Saundankar

There will be a beautiful time coming

During a public programme in Nasik in 1986, after the speech and realization, a few seekers spoke with Shri Mataji. One was asking Shri Mataji what happens about prarabdha, the past karma, deeds that are carried with the seeker into his next birth, after getting realization.

‘Once your Kundalini crosses the Agnya chakra, your prarabdha ends there,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘Please tell us about punar janma, moksha and the next birth,’ one lady asked. Shri Mataji said for Sahaja Yogis, they will have a choice to take their birth if they want, but there will be a beautiful time coming in the future so they will want to come back.

One young boy was suffering from a sinus problem and he asked Shri Mataji how he could get rid of it, and She told him to wear undergarments that give protection to the Centre Heart, and that would solve the problem of sinus.

Ravindranath Saundankar

You just desire, and it happens

Shri Mataji spent some time asking me to write, and when I was trying to make poetry Shri Mataji would put in Her words and hence the poetry became divine, and She asked me to make some music for the poems. As a new Sahaja Yogi I did not know how to compose.

‘Whatever music that you are very fond of, which you have been listening to from childhood, try and sing the words of Sahaj into that music,’ She told me.

The background of Ganesha Stuti is that the words were written by the sage Shri Adi Shankaracharya, and at Ganapatipule, which was my first puja, in 1986, Shri Mataji asked me to sing Ganesha Stuti and I did not know any Ganesha Stuti. There was a lady sitting next to me who had the Shri Adi Shankaracharya book, and she opened a page in which there was the Ganesha Stuti. The music just flowed in the puja and the tune was born.

‘Always pray to Shri Ganesha before you do anything in life,’ Shri Mataji would say. So this was my first composition in music in Sahaj.

The UK was really special. It was here where I wrote and composed Sitting in the Heart of the Universe in 1989. We were at Shudy Camps. It was midnight and we were preparing for the Shri Krishna Puja.

There was another occasion when She asked me to create a puja song for Shri Buddha Puja in Europe. I did so. Although She never heard it before, during the puja She called on me to sing it. What amazed me most was that She knew it all along, as if everything was already worked out, and we really did nothing. It was a kind of a realisation that we were like a flute through whom She blew with the breath of Her Kundalini, and played divine music, and our life was nothing but a prayer at Her Lotus Feet. Her golden words still ring in my ears.

‘It’s an effortless process: Once you are, then there is no other. This is ananya, which means both you and the other are one. Ananya bhakti is the last attainment; is really the true attainment of Sahaj life, of Sahaj bhakti. And after that it’s just silence, because then in silence, everything is. You just work things out. You just desire, and it happens.’

Some of the over one hundred bhajans I have recorded have been virtually written by Shri Mataji. When I last met Her on10th of December 2002 She directed me to take my music across the globe, and predicted that it will be remembered for a long time as a landmark of Sahaja Yoga.

Sanjay Talwar

Bring her here

Before I came into Sahaja Yoga, I knew a girl called Sabine. We had known each other for many years, and I gave her self realization shortly after I received it myself. Shri Mataji did not know our names because we were quite in the background at that time.

After some time it became clear to us that we should either marry or have the relationship of a brother and a sister, if we were to make progress in Sahaja Yoga. At the time, we did not want to marry and so we decided to see less of each other, which was quite hard at first. Every time we came across each other at Sahaja Yoga events, we tried not to see each other. A few years passed.

Now, in Sahaja Yoga we can surrender to Shri Mataji to find the ideal marriage partner for each of us. This I did and, during the annual India tour with Shri Mataji in 1986, I learned that I was supposed to marry an Indian girl. However, the day before our marriages, my fiancèe had not arrived and no one had any news of her. Shri Mataji spoke with her father and I also was able to speak with him, but still the girl did not arrive. So my desire to marry this girl started to ebb. Suddenly, I was called into Shri Mataji’s presence.

‘This Indian girl,’ She said, ‘she’s a little too small for you, but what about this Sabine from Austria?’ I fell flat on the ground. No one had told Shri Mataji that Sabine and I knew each other before and normally Shri Mataji liked to arrange marriages between people from different countries. ‘But still,’ I thought, ‘this won’t happen anyway. Sabine has not come on the tour this year.’

‘Bring her here,’ Mother said.

‘Sorry, Shri Mataji,’ we replied, ‘but she is not in India.’

‘Bring her here,’ Shri Mataji, unperturbed, simply repeated. We found out that Sabine had arrived, unannounced, at that very place just fifteen minutes beforehand from Europe. She was just getting out of the car at Ganapatipule and the people ran and got her. She was an air hostess and had taken advantage of special standby travel arrangements to come to India for a few days.

So the two of us prostrated before Shri Mataji to receive Her blessings, resembling the Austrian flag, with my face very red and hers very white.

We have been married for over twenty years now, and have three beautiful children.

Wolfgang Hackl

This tremendous love for Shri Mataji

In December 1986 I went on my first India tour, with a few other Sahaja Yogis from Canada. A number of gifts were being given to Canada and I was going up to the stage to collect mine. I was hoping to attract just a glimpse from Shri Mataji, some short glimpse or a smile, that we love to see from Our Mother, some type of recognition. But every time I went up Shri Mataji was looking in a completely different direction. After this had happened four or five times it dawned on me that perhaps I should just go up and humbly accept the gift without trying to attract Shri Mataji’s attention, which is the course I took from there on.

One afternoon we had a puja with Shri Mataji. I can remember it being very strong and I felt a great desire to be close to Her, even though it wasn’t possible to be right next to Her. Afterwards I went and meditated near the room I knew She was in after the puja. It was a courtyard and there were a lot of Sahaja Yogis walking around. My wife had just brought me my dinner, and I could feel this tremendous love for Shri Mataji at that time. It seemed to be an extension of the puja, just staying in meditation, and I looked up and I saw Shri Mataji had walked outside Her door onto the veranda, and down the steps to where another fellow and I were sitting.

We both bowed and then She turned round and walked back into Her room. The unusual thing was that Shri Mataji came out and allowed us to bow to Her. There were hundreds of Sahaja Yogis there, and very few people even noticed Her coming out of Her room. I had to ask my wife, as it seemed like a dream! But I knew She was giving a very important lesson – if you have love for Shri Mataji in your heart, it is just like having Her with you. And sometimes that love can actually physically draw Shri Mataji to you. This very special moment has stayed with me for all these years.

Alan Morrissey

Pure joy!

I’m a Canadian Sahaja Yogi who visited India for an unforgettable experience with Shri Mataji in 1986.

As we all sat under the starry Ganapatipule sky, listening to a concert of Indian music, I left for a few minutes. On my way back, almost out of range of the echoing melodies, I heard drumming coming from the other direction. Peering into the darkness down the dirt road, I saw light and dancing shapes, and realised with a leaping heart that Shri Mataji was coming in a village procession towards me. I stood there alone, transfixed like a child at its birthday party. An Indian man with a camera approached me, introducing himself as the brother of one of the first Indian Sahaja Yogis.

‘What do you feel when you see Her?’ he asked.

‘Joy,’ I replied.

‘It’s written all over your face!’ he said.

I found myself alone again in the darkness, in blissful anticipation of the approaching divine darshan. I was vaguely aware of two other yogis running up like children to stand nearby. As Shri Mataji passed me, She turned Her head to look at me and smile. Surely, this is heaven.

Edward Saugstad

Something really happened during the wedding

On the India Tour of 1986-87 I got engaged to my future husband, Henno. During the announcements of the marriages at Ganapatipule, the couples were called one by one and had to get up, but when I was called I got up and then my fiancé was called but nobody got up and they said that it was just an engagement, because he was not on the tour that year. After the announcements I was able to look at Henno’s marriage form, to see what he looked like, just a small photo.

The day after, I was meditating alone and I thought about my new fiancé and suddenly my heart opened completely. I felt a tremendous love for him, even though I didn’t know him at all. It was like my experience in Vaitarna when Shri Mataji put Her hand on my centre heart; the love was flowing from my heart and going very, very far. I felt She was showing me how much you can love somebody. I wrote a letter to Henno and put a small photo of Shri Mataji’s Feet in the letter. When putting my name on the list, the only thing I had asked Her was to match me with somebody who was devoted to Her Feet.

We were married on the 7th January 1988 in Ganapatipule. During the ceremony, when the white cloth was between the men and the brides, Shri Mataji said that the brides should look at the ground and walk very slowly towards the bridegroom. So I did so as well as I could. When the cloth went down, Henno put a garland around my neck and then I put one around his neck and at that moment I felt, ‘He is so sweet’.

At the end of the ceremony, we could go and receive from Shri Mataji the wedding present which was a silver tray with some silver items, from Her hand. We left the camp at seven o’clock the next morning. In the bus I sat beside Henno and suddenly felt that something had really happened during the wedding. It was like magic, because we had already known each other for a year, but suddenly our relationship had really changed. Shri Mataji had tied us together.

Trupta de Graaf

Sharing their happiness

On an India tour in the mid eighties I spent a lot of time with Baskar, an Indian yogi living in Los Angeles. One day we were in the luggage truck, which was driving ahead of the buses to the city he came from. When we arrived Baskar met his old friends and we sat in a big circle on the floor. Since I did not understand a word I just watched. The friendship, the joy to meet again, the way they made fun of each other, the great attention was deeply impressive and I enjoyed watching.

Some time later, Shri Mataji told us about a situation when She was in a train. A lady in Her compartment got annoyed with two men in the next one, who were joking loudly and were very happy to see each other after a long time. Finally Shri Mataji had had enough of the grumpy lady and went and asked the men whether they would share their happiness. Shri Mataji wanted to make us aware of the beauty inherent in this innocent, spontaneous human happiness compared to stiff social conventions and intolerance.

Thomas Menge


  1. Alan Morrissey
  2. Albert Lewis
  3. Ajeeth Ramphal
  4. Alessandra Pallini
  5. Anasuya Asuncion
  6. Andrew Low
  7. Anil Shetty
  8. Ann Lewis
  9. Annegret Kaluzny
  10. Antoinette Wells
  11. Avdhut Pai
  12. Bala Kanayson
  13. Bel Henshaw
  14. Brian Bell
  15. Bryce Clendon
  16. BW
  17. Caleb Williams
  18. Caroline Henwood
  19. Carolyn Vance
  20. Cheryl Bradshaw
  21. Chris Coles
  22. Chris Greaves
  23. Chris Marlow
  24. Christophe Rivaud
  25. Christine Haage
  26. Claire Cupen
  27. Clive Bates
  28. Colin Heinson
  29. Dale Simpson
  30. Danya Martoglio
  31. David Sharp
  32. Deepa Mahajan
  33. Deepak Midha
  34. Derek Ferguson
  35. Dorota Nocera
  36. Duilio Cartocci
  37. Edith Petermann
  38. Edward Saugstad
  39. Elizabeth O’Gorman
  40. Erwin Ebens 
  41. Felicity Payment
  42. Fiona Aggarval
  43. Frances Henke
  44. Gautam Sarkar
  45. Gillian Patankar
  46. Gillian Woltron
  47. Gunter Thurner
  48. Gwennael Verez
  49. Heather Jeffrey
  50. Helen Splarn
  51. Henno de Graaf
  52. Herbert Reininger
  53. Ian Paradine
  54. Inge Hanny
  55. Javier Valderamma
  56. Jayant Patankar
  57. Jean-Pierre L
  58. Jenny Watling
  59. Jeremy Lamaison
  60. Joachin Orus
  61. Joan Womack
  62. Joanne Moore
  63. John Noyce
  64. John Watkinson
  65. Kabir
  66. Kamala Singh
  67. Katie Headlam
  68. Kavitha Mohan
  69. Kay McHugh
  70. Kristie Corden
  71. Leanne Huet
  72. Lena Koli
  73. Linda Williams
  74. Luis Garrido
  75. Lyndal Vercoe
  76. Maggie Burns
  77. Maggie Keet
  78. Mahua Sarkar
  79. Maneesha Shanbhag-Cruz
  80. Marie-Joelle Coeuru
  81. Marie-Laure Cernay
  82. Mary Heaton
  83. Marylin Leate
  84. Matthew Fogarty
  85. Maureen Rossi
  86. Melody Hodgson
  87. Michelle Shete
  88. Mohan Gulati
  89. Mona Dale
  90. Monica Kalousen
  91. Noriani Pottinger
  92. Pam Lewis
  93. Pamela Bromley
  94. Patricia Deen
  95. Patrick Lantoin
  96. PD Chavhan
  97. Mr Patel
  98. Patricia Deene
  99. Patricia Proenza
  100. Pavan Keetley
  101. Peter Corden
  102. Phil Trumbo
  103. Phil Ward
  104. Pramila Mehra
  105. Pramod Shete
  106. Prerna Richards
  107. Rabi Ghosh
  108. Raman Kulkarni
  109. Ravindranath Saundankar
  110. Richard Keet
  111. Richard Ogden
  112. Richard Payment
  113. Robbert Ruigrok
  114. Robert Hunter
  115. Rohit Nalgirkar
  116. RR Singh
  117. Ruth Eleanore
  118. Ruth Greaves
  119. Sabine Hackl
  120. Sandhya Laxshminarayan
  121. Sandra Castelli
  122. Sanjay Talwar
  123. Sarah Frankcombe
  124. Sean Kelly
  125. Shakuntala Tandale
  126. Shruti Jalan Gupta
  127. Siddheshvara Barbier
  128. Spanish Sahaja Yogi
  129. Suresh Nigam
  130. Thelma Fishley Patmore 
  131. Thomas Menge
  132. Trevor Sandford
  133. Tricia Sharp
  134. T Roy
  135. Trupta de Graaf
  136. Victor Vertunni
  137. Videh Saundankar
  138. Werner Steindl
  139. Wolfgang Hackl
  140. Yogi Mahajan
  141. Yvon Dion