Eternally Inspiring Recollections of our Divine Mother Volume 5: 1990 – 1992


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 Her 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: 1990 January and February, India and Singapore

How Shri Mataji looks after each and every one of us

In 1990 we were down in Mumbai. We stayed the night in a dharmshala, and were to leave for Ganapatipule, but I got a message to go to Kolhapur. Shri Mataji was holding a public programme in Shivaji College, Kolhapur, and there had been an incident of stone throwing a few days before, at the foreign Sahaja Yogis, at Angapur. There was a concern that the same people would again disturb the Kolhapur programme.

I took two of my colleagues with me, Sahaja Yogis who were quite highly placed. Two local people also accompanied us and we lodged a complaint and a case against these people. After completing all those formalities, we reached Kolhapur and the public programme was on – Shri Mataji was speaking. The entire college compound was full, and there was not a single empty space.

After the programme was over Shri Mataji went to the local Circuit House (official guest house). We were taken there by a Sahaja Yogi, and when we reached there, it was quite late, about eleven o’clock. Shri Mataji was having Her dinner on the veranda, and She immediately called and asked me to be comfortable. I explained I had two other Sahaja Yogis with me, and Shri Mataji asked me to call them too. While eating Her food, She asked the people there to give us some, and we had a morsel of prasad. We had not eaten all day, but we felt satisfied. While eating She asked about our food, and three plates were brought with all manner of things to eat on them. We were very lucky to be able to eat in front of Shri Mataji.

After we had finished, Shri Mataji asked a Sahaja Yogi who was with Her about our staying arrangement. He very kindly gave us his room, and that is how Shri Mataji looked after each and every one of us.

GK Datta

Resolving a quarrel

There was quarrel between three leaders in Maharashtra, so the frustrated yuva shaktis went to Shri Mataji. There was a guest house in which was Her room, and Mother asked them to sit by Her and witness the following drama.
All three leaders were outside, and Mother called the first one, asked him how was everything and all and suddenly changed topic. She told him that other two said that he accepted money and such stuff, and the leader was astonished and said he was really innocent, whereas others did all wrong things and even smoked! Shri Mataji listened to him then told him to wait outside. She called the next one in and told him that first one was saying such and such things about him. This leader also got angry and told everything about the others.

‘OK,’ Shri Mataji said, and asked him to wait outside.

It was the same with the third one, and then She called them all in together. She then told them all what each one was saying. The first one refused that completely and said, ‘He’s my best brother.’ The answer of the others was the same.  
Then Mother talked with the yuvas and said that this was the case with all of the leaders, and that She had to work out Sahaja Yoga with them also.
Abhimanyu Naikare

How politely She talked

I had the chance to go with Shri Mataji to meet a great scholar of Maharashtra. He did great work in Marathi, but he knew some people who were on a committee against Sahaja Yoga. Shri Mataji took me to his house near Satara, and how politely She explained to this scholar what Sahaja Yoga is. She asked why these people were spreading things against us. The gentleman promised Shri Mataji that no one would interfere any more, and after that it stopped.

Shri Mataji handled this so carefully, as if a mother was handling a small child. Another time at Satara some people did some mischief to us at a public programme, and cut off the electricity. Again I saw how politely She talked to the police about this and I realised how a Sahaja Yogi has to keep in a balanced witness state.

Prakash Khote

The coolest Mangal Sutra

At the beginning of India Tour 1989/90 my then fiancé bought a gold mangal sutra in Mumbai for our wedding, which was to take place at the end of the tour at Ganapatipule. He knew I was madly keen on Indian jewellery and especially the stunning mangal sutras. He kept the mangal sutra in his travellers’ pouch, under his clothes for the four weeks of travel through Maharashtra.

On the eve on the weddings, all the couples were invited up to Shri Mataji’s suite at MTDC to collect their wedding jewellery. We all sat together in the beautiful evening light and it was very magical, as we were all sitting extremely close to Shri Mataji. In front of Her was a huge plate of panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas cake, which the Italians had brought for Her. She was offering the cake to us – tasting it after four weeks of a purely Indian diet was just heavenly. At some point my fiancé got the chance to hand the mangal sutra to Shri Mataji. She immediately knew what he desired, and as he passed it to Her he noticed that it was incredibly hot after being in the pouch against his skin for the whole journey. Shri Mataji put it in Her hand and closed Her fist incredibly tightly around it and paused for what seemed like a few minutes with Her attention on it.

‘Ah, that’s better!’ She said. When it was placed back in his hand it was as cool as ice, as if it had come straight out of a refrigerator.

Lene Jeffrey

To touch Her Feet

The first time I went to Ganapatipule was in January 1990, there was such a strong desire to meet the Devi and to touch Her Feet. At the puja, Shri Mataji called all the young boys up to the age of sixteen to go and wash Her Feet. I was just seventeen, as my birthday had been the month before, so I could not go. I didn’t look seventeen because I was short. I looked three or four years younger and people were telling me to go.

‘No, I can’t,’ I said. One part of the heart was saying, ‘Who will recognize me? I can go,’ but the other part was saying, ‘She’s the Adi Shakti. I have to follow the instructions.’ I could not control my tears and started crying in the puja and thinking, ‘What is this, Shri Mataji? If you had just told small children to come and wash the Feet, I would not have had any problem, but I just missed it by one month.’ Afterwards, I was just telling Shri Ganesha in my heart, ‘You are the one who takes us to the Feet of Shri Mataji and if You feel that I am worthy, please somehow take me to Her.’

The next day, I was waiting in the bus to go home, but it did not move for hours. I was feeling very thirsty so I went to the hotel there to drink water, but when I came back, the bus had gone. Fortunately, I was able to find our centre leaders, as we had come all the way from Madras, and told them I would have to join them.

‘You missed the bus?’ They said. ‘We have to go and meet Shri Mataji. Come with us.’

‘Look to the sea, it has turned blue,’ Shri Mataji said when She saw the Madras Sahaja Yogis. ‘It’s showing Me that the Madras Sahaja Yogis have come. It’s reflecting the vibrations of the Madras Sahaja Yogis.’

Usually in Ganapatipule it’s not like that. The Arabian Sea is a different colour from the Bay of Bengal. I was just sitting and they were all talking. I didn’t listen to anything. I did not see Shri Mataji’s face because I was looking at Her Feet. After everything was over, Shri Mataji was laughing and She called me.

‘This is a young Sahaja Yogi from Madras,’ they said and introduced me.

‘He has good vibrations,’ said Shri Mataji.

‘What do you want?’ She asked. I didn’t say anything. She smiled at me and we were leaving and I felt I should tell Her my desire.

‘Mother I want to touch Your Feet,’ I said.

‘Touch them.’

I was very, very happy. My devotion and confidence in Her so increased.

Hari Krishnan


I was on the 1989/90 India tour and I was not okay at all that winter. It was a big test for my family; my husband and my children. I was in India to try to get back in shape, the end of the tour was coming and I still did not feel all right. Shri Mataji sent a message that I should stay on for a press conference, which She was going to give while the tour was at the end in Kalwe. Of course, I said yes.

Then it so happened that the press conference was forwarded, but I decided to stay on anyway. The next day was Sankranti Puja in Kalwe and there were very few Westerners left, so it was mainly for the Mumbai yogis. At the puja I sat among the Indian women. They had all bought garlands of flowers to give to Shri Mataji. I did not have one, but these women gave me bits of their garlands, so I could also go and garland Shri Mataji.

At the end of the puja there were huge queues of yogis getting ready to present their garlands to the Feet of Shri Mataji and I was in their midst. Just before I reached Shri Mataji, She had someone say nobody could come any more because people were too excited and noisy. We were the last ones allowed to present our flowers.

The chaos and confusion did not disturb me and it was one of the times I’ve been most thoughtless. Without really looking at Shri Mataji, I put my old and damaged garland on top of the huge heap of garlands at Her Feet. She was sitting much higher than us. I raised my eyes, after having dropped my garland, and saw Shri Mataji with a big, radiant smile, smiling at me.

This was an extraordinary moment, because I realised that this was why I was supposed to remain in India, not for the press conference, where I played no role at all. I realised, ‘Yes, I’ve reached home’ when I saw this smile of Shri Mataji and I realised in my heart it was okay without husband, without children, without home. It was not important. My home was there with Shri Mataji, at the Her Feet. I felt such tremendous peace, joy and gratefulness for Mother because She kept me in India until I would reach that point, instead of returning home no better than before.

She had pulled me home to Her Feet.

Ruth Eleanore

A dream of Shri Mataji sitting in our car

This was around 1990. Shri Mataji was arriving in Mumbai one day and we were getting ready to go and welcome Her. My wife had had a dream the night before, of Shri Mataji sitting in our car. My wife advised me to clean our car in case Shri Mataji would need to use it. It was untidy and all kinds of marketing tools were on the rear seat. Knowing that Shri Mataji would not be invited to sit in such a car, given the protocol for showing Her respect and love, a good clean car was required, decorated with a nice cloth and some flowers. Because of this I felt She could not possibly choose my car, and off we drove to the airport.

However, like in my wife’s dream, it so happened that Shri Mataji’s daughter Kalpana was unable to come and welcome Her, and to my great astonishment somebody walked straight up to me and requested me to take Shri Mataji in my car. I did my best to adjust the back seat as fast as I could and made sure all the business stuff was put in the boot in a few seconds. Then Shri Mataji came and sat in the car.

‘Ah, you have a nice car!’ She declared smiling. 

SB Singh

Shri Mataji had listened to my request and blessed me

On 5th February 1990, a puja in the presence of Shri Mataji was organized in Hyderabad and we went to attend it from Pune, where we lived. During the puja, lots of garlands and flowers were placed at Her Feet. When Shri Mataji lifted Her Feet one of the small ring shaped ornaments for the toe got lost in the flowers and She desired it to be taken out. The yogis on the dais doing the puja to Shri Mataji were trying to locate it, which was a quite difficult task.

I closed my eyes and prayed to Mother to give me the vision to locate it. When I opened my eyes, my glance directly fell on toe ring, which I showed to Mother. Seeing me, She started smiling as if She had listened to my request and blessed me to accomplish the task.

Kamala Singh

Welcome, Mother of the universe!

In February 1990 Shri Mataji came to Bangalore. I was very new to Sahaja Yoga at that time, and had a lot of doubts and scepticism. It was the first time I met Her and I went with the centre leaders to the airport. We had made some placards and I was holding one.

‘Welcome, Oh Mother of the Universe,’ was written on it. Shri Mataji arrived at the airport and we were singing, ‘Shri Mataji, Your face shines like a thousand suns.’ I was standing there with my left hand to Shri Mataji and right hand was holding the placard. Mother looked at the placard when She came close to me. She folded Her hands in namastey.

Shri Mataji was staying in a guest house, and we all stayed at the same place. I think it was the next day on which there was a public programme at the Town Hall, the Chowdia Memorial Hall. When speaking Shri Mataji said She had come a little later to Bangalore, and said there were ten thousand Sahaja Yogis in Hyderabad. After She had spoken, the seekers were allowed to come on stage. Many seekers were sitting on the floor in front of Shri Mataji.

The centre leader’s wife asked me to sit with them. I was wearing a Sahaja Yoga badge and looking at Shri Mataji, and putting my hands towards Her, like the others there. When I was close to Her, Mother put Her hand on my head.

‘You are wearing a Sahaja Yoga badge,’ She said.

‘Yes, Mother, I am in Sahaja Yoga,’ I replied.

His Agnya is not clearing,’ someone said.

‘Mother, You are Jesus Christ,’ She asked me to say. Then She changed it and said, ‘best say: Mother You are the Holy Spirit’.

I said this, and Shri Mataji asked me to look at Her bindi. But I was looking at Shri Mataji’s face. I had lost my natural mother when I was only five years old, and since coming to Sahaja Yoga She was like a mother to me. So looking at Her face as my mother was more important to me. Mother had Her hand on my head all this time and She noticed that I was not looking at Her bindi.

‘Look here,’ She said, and told me to look at Her bindi. So I did and Mother said, ‘There!’ and I looked blank, but understood She meant the Kundalini had risen. After that She smiled at me and I could feel the Kundalini coming up. At that public programme, Shri Mataji asked me to come to the centre. When She was working on me, with Her hand on my Sahasrara, She again asked me to say, ‘Mother, You are Jesus Christ,’ and then She again changed it and said, ‘Say, Mother, You are the Holy Spirit.’ So I said that a few times. Then She put Her hand or fingers a little above my Agnya chakra at the level of the Virata. I felt some peace that time, and felt very nice and happy and there was some feeling I cannot explain.

When I had first got realisation six months before, I could not bring myself to do pranams to the photo, just namaste was enough for me, but after the public programme, I did pranams to Her and fell at Her Feet for the first time. I was still sceptical and was not even sure about some miracle photos a Sahaja Yogi had taken and showed me. I thought these miracle photos might be due to some high voltage, or high tension wires.

Vinod Munjanath

The first Bangalore puja

The next day we had the puja. There were only about twelve Sahaja Yogis in Bangalore then. I was helping in the house where the puja was to be conducted, and it was a Ganesha Puja. I was told Shri Mataji would come at the right time, and in fact, when everything was ready, Shri Mataji’s car arrived. She stopped the car just in front of the house and the centre leader made pranams to Her, on the road. Shri Mataji asked whether they had any miracle photographs.

‘No Mother,’ the centre leader said.

‘You should have,’ She said. The photo that was taken then, standing with the car behind Her, was a miracle photo, and almost all the photos taken during that puja were miracle photos.

‘You have to make mistakes, and I have to correct you,’ Shri Mataji said during the puja, which was not taped. She also said, ‘if you keep Your Mother happy, you can keep all women happy.’ During the puja I could feel Shri Mataji was working on me, and felt better in every way. I saw that at some moments She was staring at me. I had been told to look at Her bindi, so I did, and after some time Her face became difficult to look at. Then I looked down and She looked somewhere else. We were given the opportunity to pour ghee on Shri Mataji’s hands, and when my turn came, I poured it very thinly, a little at a time, so I could be there longer.

‘Pour faster,’ Shri Mataji said.

During the puja two ladies sang the Mahishasura mardini bhajan, and I could not control my tears. I asked the centre leader afterwards and he said the same thing happened to him, and it happens when the heart opens.

In that house there was an Alsatian dog, and Shri Mataji looked at him. After that the dog started making a whining sound, the way dogs do when they are very pleased. That was the first time I saw that animals can recognise divinity. Shri Mataji asked for the dog to be brought to Her house in Pune.

Vinod Munjanath

At the airport

We went to the airport to see Shri Mataji off. The flight was a little delayed so She was accommodated in the VIP lounge and all of us were allowed to come in. She sat down on a sofa, and when we were asked to sit down some of us sat on the other chairs there. In those days I did not realise the difference! There was one Sahaja Yogi from Delhi and he and I had gone around Bangalore sticking up Sahaja Yoga posters for the public programme.

‘Come, let us go closer and ask for blessings,’ he said at the airport.

‘Why?’ I said. ‘Shri Mataji has already blessed us.’

‘Come, we will ask,’ he said, so we went close and Shri Mataji blessed him by touching his head or shoulder.

‘You are the Yuva Shakti,’ She told him. I also bent down and asked for blessings, and Shri Mataji touched my shoulder.

‘You will be all right,’ She said. All the Sahaja Yogis were able to offer pranams to Her individually.

‘Excellent!’ Shri Mataji said to one man when he knelt.

‘No, the Sahasrara should be towards Me,’ She said when it was my turn, because my head was bent towards the earth, and a Sahaja Yogi lifted my chin so my head was in the direction of Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet. For the first time I experienced a column of cool wind on both hands, as if it was an inch thick. After She left, we all went up to the gallery to see the plane off. I felt as if a part of me was leaving.

Vinod Munjanath

A rendezvous with the Divine Mother

 On 28th February 1990, almost twenty Sahaja Yogis from Malaysia took the short shuttle flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to meet Mother when She arrived in Singapore in the evening on Her way from Bombay to Perth, Australia. We waited in joyful expectation in the large transit area of Singapore Airport for Mother’s plane to arrive from Bombay. Flight AZ 1760 from Bombay arrived as scheduled at 7.25 pm. As we waited at the exit of the ramp leading from the plane, the vibrations became stronger and stronger as Shri Mataji approached us. The joy bubbled over as Mother emerged accompanied by Her grandnephew. A collective garland of braided jasmine flowers was presented, and She then accepted our individual roses.

 We found a nice place near the indoor waterfall and as we sat around Mother’s Feet She spoke to us. In Her talk, She said that Sahaja Yoga is spreading fast because people are now becoming more aware. Noting the large number of Chinese in our group, Mother said that the Chinese will take to Sahaja Yoga easily. She said that the Chinese were wise people with an ancient tradition and that traditional people would take to Sahaja Yoga very easily.

Mother said that China has had great philosophers like Lao Tze, who taught clear cut ideas, and what he preached is truly practised, in the same manner as Sahaja Yoga. But one has to be a realised soul to practise it. Mother also told us that in the Koran there was a complete surah written about Her. In this surah it was stated that The Sent One will give realisation, will make you ‘peers’ and give collective consciousness.  

Mother then graciously dealt with us individually about our spiritual and personal problems. With infinite love and patience She attended to us, teaching and advising us as the Counsellor, the Comforter and the Redeemer. As we sat on the floor around Her we were all given the opportunity to massage Her Lotus Feet. Shri Mataji demonstrated Her love and compassion yet again when it was announced that Her flight to Perth would be delayed by one hour. There were cheers all round that Mother had given us the joy of Her company for an extra hour.

Afterwards Mother, with all of us in tow, went to the shops to buy some presents for Her Australian tour, and in a typical gesture of Her love She bought chocolates for all of us. A Chinese painting which was on display at an exhibition in the transit area and which Mother had expressed an admiration for was presented to Her.

Before boarding Her plane Mother took a sip out of a paper cup of Coca Cola and passed the cup around for all Her children to have a sip of the prasad.


Meeting Shri Mataji for the first time

In early 1990 Mr Ng, the leader of Malaysia, told us that Shri Mataji, on Her way to Australia would be in transit at Singapore Airport for one or two hours. Most of us had not met our Holy Mother yet. This was a golden opportunity. Approximately fifteen of us flew there just to have a chance to meet Her. We waited and were craning our necks to catch the first glimpse when Shri Mataji walked out from the plane. When She saw us, She gave a big smile and said She didn’t know there were so many of us. She said She thought there was only one person and how would he manage if She came to Malaysia, but now She would come.

Shri Mataji’s flight was delayed so we had Her darshan for a much longer duration than expected. We found a quiet area and sat on the carpeted floor at Her Lotus Feet. Shri Mataji talked to us so lovingly, just like a mother, so concerned about Her children.

Later, my husband Ivan said he had three things to ask Shri Mataji. The first was to thank Her for the two shawls Mr Ng brought back to us from India, the second question we can’t even remember now but the third was permission to touch Her Lotus Feet. Shri Mataji asked him to go forward and massage Her Feet. What an opportunity and privilege! Of course many, if not all of us wanted to massage our Mother’s Feet too. In the end all or most of us had a chance to be cleared by our Holy Mother, either by Her working on us directly, listening to our individual problems or through massaging Her Lotus Feet.

I didn’t have any problems and did not know how to go near Shri Mataji. When almost everyone had gone to Her, I approached Her as well. I blush now as I relate this. I didn’t know what to ask or say, yet not I did not want to miss the opportunity to be near Her.

‘Shri Mataji, are my chakras alright?’ I asked. She looked at me and smiled.

‘You can massage My Feet,’ She replied. How happy I was to be allowed to massage Her Foot! I think another person was massaging the other one. We later shared our experiences with each other how strong and solid Shri Mataji’s legs and Feet were. Only years later did I realise that our compassionate Mother was just giving us a chance to clear ourselves by massaging Her Feet and we foolishly thought we were giving our Mother some comfort by massaging Her Lotus Feet. Of course we were sincerely trying to show Her our love and gratitude.

‘Your chakras are alright,’ Shri Mataji said after a while.

How fortunate we were to have such a compassionate, loving and gracious Mother. One of us even asked Shri Mataji to take a group photo with us at the end of the session and She graciously did. She just obliged us like the way mothers humour little children because even though we knew She was very, very special, at that time, we didn’t know who She really was.

KT Tan

Chapter 2: 1990 – March, Australia and New Zealand


A husband and wife came to the public programme Shri Mataji gave in Perth in 1990. They spoke with Her and then came to see Her at the Maylands ashram where She was staying.

Shri Mataji worked on them. They both had AIDS and Shri Mataji said we could cure AIDS, and spoke of someone who had been cured. We were to look after them and do three candle treatment with them. None of us knew about three candle treatment so Shri Mataji showed us how it was done, one candle on the altar, one behind at the Left Swadishthan and one to move up and down the left side, bandhaning each chakra. Shri Mataji explained in some detail about the way the medical results would change, how they would know their AIDS was improving.

‘Go home a different way to the one you came by,’ Shri Mataji said to them when they came to leave the ashram, after She had worked on them.

She explained that negativity would have left them as they approached the ashram and by going home another way it wouldn’t find them. Then She instructed us to put shawls over their shoulders, and scarves over their heads, and they had to be different colours to the clothes they were wearing; so if the negativity was outside it wouldn’t recognize them. We had to disguise them before they left the ashram.

For some time they came to some Sahaja Yogis’ house and we worked on them there with three candle treatment; then they asked us to come to their house. When we got there it had really bad vibrations, with heavy antique furniture, dark paintings and scary ethnic wooden carvings.

When we got home we told everything to a Sahaja Yogi who spoke regularly to Shri Mataji and when he spoke to Her She told us never go back to that house again and to tell them to get rid of all their antique and ethnic things, and to stop attending the particular ‘spiritual’ gathering they were going to, and to practice Sahaja Yoga.

Clare Nesdale

Shri Mataji, You are my Guru

In 1990 when Shri Mataji was staying at the Maylands ashram in Perth, we had the blessing of being there when She returned from doing a radio programme. She walked into the meditation room, sat on Her chair and we followed Her in.

She asked everyone to tell Her if they had any catches. We were to tell Her what we needed work on and come up to Her and She would work on us. There were only a few of us there. She looked at another lady and me and asked us what was wrong with our livers. We told Her we had been on the liver diet for several months. Shri Mataji told us we didn’t need the liver diet to cool down our livers*; we needed to use ice. She called me up and worked on me. She asked if I had been to a false guru and I said I hadn’t, then vibrated a glass of water by putting Her finger in it and gave it to me to drink.

‘Shri Mataji You are my Guru,’ Shri Mataji told me to say, because I had some problem with my Agnya. She got another yogi to bring down my right side and I went into thoughtless awareness.

Heather Symonds

*Editor’s note: on numerous occasions Shri Mataji has asked people to do liver diets, but She often gave specific instructions in specific cases.

The diamond has a flaw in it

We were shopping with Shri Mataji. We were looking at a diamond and Mother was looking at it.

‘That diamond has a flaw in it,’ She said.

‘Oh, no it hasn’t!’ the jeweller said emphatically. He got his microscope out and looked at the diamond, and then said, ‘Oh! Yes, it has!’

Robin and Jo Reid

I remember everything

Over the days Mother was in Melbourne in 1990, She had a public programme at the exhibition buildings. It ended with Her inviting anybody who wanted to come forward, to do so. The hall is large with a wide central carpeted aisle and two smaller side aisles. Shri Mataji was sitting in the very centre at the head and all the people who were slowly moving forward to meet Her.

We joined at the end of the almost hall-long queue and I noticed something remarkable. Right down the central aisle was flowing an intense current. It was unmistakable. If I moved to the sides, it slackened right off, but in the centre it was intense, like a wind off the sea, only rippling through me. The many people in front were like a weak shield to this wind, which was blowing straight through them, as I steadied myself, my vibrations and attention in order to be able to meet its source right ahead of me, which was Shri Mataji.

Then it was the turn of my husband and I to go forward to Her. She was looking at us approach, we both went down to our knees and then I thanked Her for the marriage in Milan.

‘Yes, I remember. I remember everything,’ She said, then She lifted Her right hand up, facing towards us and closed Her eyes, staying motionless as She did at the end of pujas.

‘See what a tremendous marriage I have given you,’ She said to me with Her eyes open.

Mary Anne Gaffurian

A wonderful opportunity

On Shri Mataji’s 1990 tour, we were helping with publicity. I was working for the Melbourne Herald at the time. I advised Shri Mataji that the next day there would be two media appointments, one for a television station and the other for the Melbourne Herald.

Who is to do that? She asked.

‘Fran,’ I said.

‘Well, you mustn’t laugh,’ She said.

That was an impossible request because there was so much laughter in Her presence. The next day I had the wonderful opportunity to ask Shri Mataji about the move into Russia, about SIDS and many other things. On SIDS She said the truth would be unlikely to be printed. Shri Mataji said babies died suddenly in their cots when people indulged in séances, calling on their relatives or friends. The spirit which had taken its rebirth as the baby would leave in answer to the call. Western babies were often isolated in their own rooms instead of being close to their mothers, so their spirits were not strong. She advised parents to keep babies in cots in the parents’ rooms until they were older and stronger. She pointed out that SIDS was not a problem in countries like India and China. Below is a scan of the article.

Frances Henke

She’s so gracious

Shri Mataji came to Cairns twice. The first time She came was in March 1990, and I’d only just moved up there.

‘Why are you moving to Cairns?’ people said.

‘Don’t worry. Shri Mataji will come,’ I replied to my own surprise.

‘Yes,’ She said She would come, and the leader was as amazed as I was when he asked if She would come there.

We didn’t know what to do, because there were only four of us and a few people who had just come into Sahaja Yoga. Shri Mataji came in early March and we’d only been there a couple of months. The other couple had been building a house and it wasn’t quite finished. The phone wasn’t on and we’d moved in the day before. The floors were still cement, but we managed to put carpet in Mother’s bedroom and we painted up to where Mother would see.

Shri Mataji was going to come early, but they couldn’t phone us and tell us because we were in between two houses and the phone was off at both houses, so somebody drove twenty minutes down the mountains to us to tell us.

‘Oh my, She’s coming early!’ we said and literally pushed the painters and the plasterers and everybody out as we were going to the airport to greet Her.

As we were so few we had hired a professional video cameraman, who was the first at the airport and the first to catch Shri Mataji’s eye as She came down the exit gate. He became completely smitten over the next few days as he followed Her around. Shri Mataji was very charming to him, as can be seen on the video.

Kay McHugh

The mayoral reception

The cameraman videoed the mayoral reception which followed Shri Mataji’s arrival, which, I believe, was a world first at that stage. The mayor said that we were honoured to have someone of Shri Mataji’s calibre to visit Cairns and She replied that we were lucky to have a mayor who recognized the importance of our spiritual dimension. Cairns is a small city but She made us all feel special and the ‘press’, The Cairns Post – our only paper, covered the reception and interviewed Mother afterwards and published an article and picture the next day.

Kay McHugh

Shri Mataji enquired about the area

On the way from the reception and press conference Shri Mataji admired the city and said it would be a good place for Sahaja seminars. She rested in the afternoon and quietly enquired about the area and its problems. We mentioned the starfish devastating the reef, the deadly box jellyfish that come in the hot summer months, the infestation of cane toads and the growing of tobacco on the fertile tablelands behind Cairns.

Shri Mataji was concerned about the tobacco growing and said they should plant cotton instead. She then asked whether the soil was black or red. When I said red, She said then plant teak trees. Since then the tobacco growers have been taxed out of existence and most have planted other crops.

Shri Mataji said the jellyfish were a good idea as it is far too hot to be on the beach in our summer months. The problem we had with cane toads, She said, was our fault as we imported them and we had such ridiculously strict quarantine laws. The next year She came back She relented about the cane toads. Shri Mataj graciously allowed us to wash Her Lotus Feet and told us to use the water in the rivers. The toads definitely went down in size but seemed to be spreading slowly over the whole country.

Kay McHugh

An attack on the Mooladhara

We also spoke to Mother about cane toads, which were in plague proportions at the time. She said they were an attack on the Mooladhara from the left Vishuddhi. They were imported from South America originally.

Mother had us do a small puja where we poured water over Her Feet and then She told us to take the water to the headwaters of the main rivers in the area. The numbers have since decreased to where they are rarely seen here.

Sno Bonneau

The magnetism of Shri Mataji’s presence

Drawn by the magnetism of Shri Mataji’s presence many people from around Australia and the world gathered in the house, meditating in the lounge room outside Her room. At 11pm, just as everyone started to think She had retired for the night, Shri Mataji emerged looking rested and radiant and asked for dinner. She ate with us and made everyone there feel their own special connection to Her, filling us with a mellow and contented joy.

The next day we had arranged a TV programme and another interview with the local suburban paper and, of course, the public programme in the evening. Shri Mataji surprised us by doing the TV interview sitting next to the swimming pool with its brand new sods of grass.

Kay McHugh

A moment that had to be taken

A reporter from the local suburban paper of Cairns came to interview Mother. He’d been sitting waiting while She was being interviewed by TV people and he was just amazed at the amount of flowers in the house, and all the comings and goings.

‘All these flowers are wonderful. Could we get a bit of local colour with Shri Mataji on the beach?’ he said.

‘Yes, yes, we’ll go down to the beach,’ She said.

‘Can we bring these flowers with us?’ he asked, and we went down to the beach. He arranged the flowers and there’s a lovely picture of Shri Mataji sitting on the sand with all these vases of flowers around Her with the local background.

Shri Mataji walked along the beach and a video of Her was shot. She talked about how beautiful the area was and how lovely it was for meditation to be able to be in such a beautiful area. She said that She’d like this video sent to Russia because the Russians had a desire to see Her in the water. Shri Mataji was walking on the beach and started to walk down towards the water, and the vibrations were tremendous.

‘Quick, quick, come with your camera!’ I called out to Sno Bonneau, who had one. He was a little bit further down the beach. I thought Shri Mataji was going to walk on the water. She was walking with such purpose and the vibrations were so strong that it looked as if She was just going to walk on top of the water, but then She just got to the water’s edge and seemed to have Her attention away out to sea. Whether this was the moment where Mother was working out this business with the starfish on the reef, I don’t know. Then She turned and smiled and you’ve seen those photos. That turned out to be a very popular series.

It was a very magical time when Shri Mataji came to Cairns in 1990, because we were such a small collective and had such proximity to Her. She was so gracious. She talked to us about cricket and different things and sat in the garden, allowed all these media people to come and speak to Her and take Her time.

Shri Mataji was very tired when She came to Cairns. She’d come from Perth, then to Adelaide, then to Melbourne where She’d been sorting out some problems with the Melbourne collective. She said She left us refreshed, which was another gracious thing to say.

Kay McHugh

Shri Mataji was so complimentary

While we were at the public programme, the baby-sitter, who was a non-Sahaja Yogi, set up a meal that I understood Mother would like — marinated chicken thighs in yogurt.

‘Put it in the oven at about half past nine because, by the time Mother comes back from the programme, it’ll be just finished,’ I said to her.

At the programme, Shri Mataji was so gracious, She stayed and met people. We didn’t get home until really late and the baby-sitter had left the dinner cooking in the oven for ever such a long time. So by the time we presented it to Mother, it was unrecognizable. All the meat had fallen off the bone when we gave it to Her, She looked at it.

‘Well, what is this?’ She said looking slightly puzzled.

‘Oh, it’s chicken, Mother, marinated in yogurt.’ I said, She looked doubtful but She ate it and seemed to enjoy it very much.

We were so busy and there were only four of us. We were doing programmes and cooking and doing different things. She ate every meal and then was so complimentary about them.

Kay McHugh

A perfect example of collectivity

Shri Mataji was supposed to leave on the second day in the morning, but She decided to stay and get a later flight so as to have time to go out to the Great Barrier Reef. We got a jet-boat out to Green Island, which is just a little island just off the coast. She went on a semi-submersible, a boat that goes just under the water and allows you to see the reef and fish. The reef looked beautiful and a great sea turtle swam close to the boat; She smiled and said he was attracted by the vibrations. She said the coral reef was a perfect example of collectivity.

I had been explaining to Shri Mataji the day before how the Crown of Thorns starfish was destroying the reef. It was in disproportionate numbers and it was eating the reef away. Maybe it was at this time because of Her vibrations that the starfish in the area disappeared, or was it the day before when She was walking on the beach?

Later, after Shri Mataji had left, there was an article in the paper saying they didn’t know where all the Crown of Thorns starfish had gone to, but they just disappeared.

Kay McHugh

This is an article from the local Cairns paper, about the disappearance of the starfish and the regeneration of the reef. Quote from the article: ‘it was a mystery where they went or what made the starfish reach plague proportions.’

She looked out to sea

We talked to Mother about the problem of the starfish when we were on the beach and, at that point, She looked out to sea with a very focused gaze for some time and then changed the subject.

Up until this point the Crown of Thorns starfish were completely devastating the reef and scientists had no idea what to do. In the newspaper story, they said it was a mystery where they had gone.

Sno Bonneau

The other end of the world

I was in Austria and Shri Mataji was in Australia. I had to get a very important decision from Her concerning a law case, and I was trying to call Her.

‘Shri Mataji is asleep,’ they said.

I knew She would go to the airplane right after that and it would be too late for a decision from Her. So again we tried to reach Her, and again they said that She was sleeping. I knew She would wake up and then go to the airport, and I knew I had to catch this moment when She was coming out, because everyone would be busy, and no one would go to the phone to call me in Austria to say that Shri Mataji was leaving at that moment.

I tried several times, but with no success. Then I just sat back and said to myself, ‘OK, Shri Mataji, just let me feel when You are ready,’ so I waited. All of a sudden I was so blissed out, so drenched in vibrations that I almost forgot to call. I pulled myself together and called.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji is just going out now, hold on,’ they said, so I was able to talk to Her on the phone.

She was in Australia and I was at the other end of the world, and just on vibrations I got the ten or fifteen seconds where I could reach Her.

Wolfgang Hackl

At the Auckland radio station

Shri Mataji’s third visit came in March 1990, again centred in Auckland, New Zealand. We had grown in numbers and moved to another ashram on the east side of the city, in fashionable Parnell. We were on the edge of the Auckland Domain, a large park and bush area. Shri Mataji allowed us to perform Shri Mahalakshmi Puja to Her. Again, the public programme was well attended, with over four hundred seekers enjoying their enlightenment.

There was a most amazing radio interview on Auckland’s very popular Radio Pacific. The interviewer was a doctor, the most well-known talk back host on New Zealand radio. He had a large ego, was extremely intelligent and was diabetic. He started in his usual confident, ‘on top of it all’ manner and then asked Shri Mataji if She was a prophet or the Messiah or something.

Straight after this, in amazement, he said there was a ball of cool air above each hand. All the staff at Radio Pacific came running out to see what was happening. Shri Mataji later said in the car that She had cured him of his diabetes – She had taken all the heat and negativity into Herself. She asked one of the Sahaja Yogis to help Her and take out some of the heat from Her divine Swadishthan chakra. She also said that he should come to Sahaja Yoga, and follow it up.

David and Trisha Sharp

I think we have had enough

It was 1990, and our family were living in a house in Temple Street, Brisbane. Shri Mataji stayed with us because we didn’t have a collective ashram at that stage. One day Shri Mataji was sitting on the end of the bed and my youngest son, who was just two at the time, had wandered in and She was giving him a cuddle. I went to the door to take him for a bath, and my other son, who was a couple of years older, was standing next to me and looking very jealous, because he wasn’t getting a cuddle too. So Shri Mataji called him over and gave the two of them a cuddle together. While She was sitting there cuddling them She suddenly looked up and looked directly at me.

‘You must send these children to the India school,’ She said.

We were having a music evening, and the music group Nirmal Sangeet had come from India with Her. There were about twenty-five of us in the room singing bhajans in a house we were renting from the landlord who lived next door. We were very aware of noise and wanted to do the right thing to keep this house. It was about eleven thirty at night, and the music was getting louder and louder. I was just out of Mother’s sight in the kitchen, and my husband and I looked at each other and knew the noise was too much. We lifted our hands to make a bandhan, and hadn’t actually even started the bandhan.

‘I think we have had enough tonight,’ Shri Mataji suddenly said.

When She was with us that time, She looked in the paper with us and said we should get an ashram and live collectively. She found the perfect place and it had a room for every single person who wanted to live there. So eighteen months later we were living in this collective ashram. I still had it in my sights that the children were going to India, and a yogi staying with us insisted on giving us the money to get them there initially. We were soon able to pay him back, but it all worked out, as if Mother was helping every moment.

Pam Lewis


It was during the Australian tour when Shri Mataji visited Brisbane, and we were at the Temple Street house. Shri Mataji was seated in Her bedroom, talking to another Sahaja Yogini and myself. In the large lounge dining room, some yogis were seated and singing bhajans. There was also an audio tape of Shri Mataji talking. She instructed that they shouldn’t be singing while Shri Mataji was talking on the tape.

Albert Lewis

Make a film about God

Shri Mataji was in the Brisbane ashram.

‘Have you seen the film Ghost?’ someone asked. This was a film that was out at the time.

‘Why make a film about ghosts?’ She said. ‘You know all about God, make a film about God.’

Peter Corden

She’s totally fearless

During Shri Mataji’s tour of Australia in 1990, Shri Mataji went to Brisbane. She was addressing the yogis at the ashram, and my daughter Sophie, then a little toddler of one year old was there. She was wandering round and walked in front of Shri Mataji with a bottle and wearing a nappy, and looked at Shri Mataji.

‘She is a fearless girl,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘She’s totally fearless.’

Alex Henshaw

Just hold on

It was March April 1990. Shri Mataji had come to Australia that year, and She was flying from Sydney to Canberra. I decided to also fly to Canberra so I could attend the programme there. Without realising how it happened I found myself right behind Shri Mataji, boarding the domestic flight from the tarmac. We were walking up the portable steps and I was directly behind Shri Mataji.

I had my hand on the handrail and saw that a thread of Shri Mataji’s sari had caught on it; it was a red thread. My first response was to take hold of this thread so it wouldn’t pull or tear Her sari. So I held the thread in my left hand, and looked up to Shri Mataji to see if Her sari was ok. When I looked back down at the thread, it had disappeared from my hand.

At that moment I realised it was something symbolic – Shri Mataji was just saying, ‘Hold on to this thread of My sari, just hold on.’

Sandhya Dara

Shoes, by courtesy of Pratishthan

The most vivid memory of my marriage ceremony at Ganapatipule in January 1990 was when I offered a huge hibiscus flower at Shri Mataji’s Feet during the Shri Gauri Puja.

When I came back to Australia after going on the India tour I went to a shoe shop, owned by a family friend and saw a pair of shoes with a lacy cut-out pattern in light brown leather. It reminded me of the carved panelling I had seen at Pratishthan. I knew I had to buy these shoes, as they brought me back to Pratishthan and India, which I missed so much. The shoe shop was owned a lovely lady, who had come to one of Shri Mataji’s programmes in Sydney. She designed all the shoes herself, and used lovely materials and colours. One day my mother-in-law, her friend, told her how these shoes reminded me of a beautiful home in India. The shoe-shop owner paused for a minute.

‘Do you know how I got that design? One night I had a beautiful dream, and in the dream an Indian lady came with a tray full of red flowers and on it was this pair of shoes. So I got up in the middle of the night, and drew the shoes as I had seen them in the dream,’ she said.

A few months later Shri Mataji was visiting Sydney. I was asked to go and talk to Her about fashion and design, as it was my field of work. She wanted to hear about how this industry was working in Australia. I told Shri Mataji the story about the shoes that reminded me of Pratishthan.

‘So now Pratishthan is making shoes for us!’ She said and smiled.

There was a lovely big photo of Pratishthan on the wall of Her room, which we then all looked up at. I spent a long time in the room with Shri Mataji and another Sahaja Yogi. We had such a wonderful conversation, and although it was on the pretence that Shri Mataji wanted information from me, it was of course the other way around – Shri Mataji was working on me the whole time.

She asked me to feel the quality of the sari that She was wearing, and also to take a look at Her whole wardrobe of saris. I noticed how each sari was unique, so beautiful and unlike anything I had even seen in any sari shop in India – there was a quality and beauty in the cloth that I had never seen before. Then Shri Mataji showed me Her shoes and handed them to me, and asked me to look inside Her handbag very closely, sweetly telling me how Sir CP had bought it for Her, and how She had never asked him for anything. I was in a complete time warp, and after some time, as the queue outside Her room was steadily growing, they had to interrupt and get on with the next item on the agenda. I floated out of the room, and floated for many hours after this incredible encounter. I was in a completely blissful state.

Lene Jeffery

Is your mother here?

We were at a public programme in Sydney at the Hilton Hotel. Shri Mataji was there and after the programme all the new people who wanted had gone up on the stage. Then the yogis all started to go up too, and in the end I went. Shri Mataji took my hand, and then spoke to me.

‘Is your mother here?’ I was so surprised that She should say that, it put me straight into thoughtless awareness.

‘No Mother,’ I replied.

‘We thought that you looked like someone here,’ She said, and at that moment my heart just opened. It was as if divine bliss poured out of my heart and for days I was in utter bliss.

Pam Mathews

You only have to think of Me and I am there

It was the farewell night at Burwood Ashram, Sydney. I was sitting right opposite Shri Mataji, down at the end of the room. I felt so sad that She was leaving us, and She said words of such comfort.

‘If you go down deep enough, if you have faith deep enough, you do not have to see My face. You only have to think of Me and I am there. So develop your faith.’

Heather Jeffrey

They just want to know You

I was interviewing Shri Mataji for a radio programme in Australia. I had finished the interview and so wanted to ask the questions that all the yogis want to know the answers to. I was asking about Christ because in Australia we have a big problem with the Agnya chakra and everyone is quite judgmental.

‘What was it like when You were in the incarnation of Mary?’ I asked.

‘Mary used to cry a lot,’ She said and explained Mary was made to witness it all in that incarnation. She was not active, just support.

‘The problem is the concepts,’ She said, giving the example of how they make Christ out to be very thin. ‘It was the opposite. He was very big and strong and very joyful,’ She explained, as an example of how the concept was all wrong.

She was saying that the problem is that when we deal in concepts, we get the Agnya catch. She was saying that that’s the problem with the yogis, and more often than not, they are in their ideas, like: this is the idea or that is the idea.

‘How do we get through that?’ I asked.

‘You have to use your heart. It is only with your bhakti that you can go through that,’ She said.

‘Shri Mataji,’ I said, ‘we love You so much. All the yogis just want to know You as much as they can, but You have this maya around You. The closer You get, the further You are away, because You become like a housewife. So we would just love it dearly if You could just pull back the veil of maya just a tiny, tiny little bit, so we could see Your form, perhaps.’

‘If I did that, you couldn’t handle it. It would be too much. It is nothing like you think it is,’ She said, and laughed.

Mark Williams

Clad in a suit of armour

At Singapore airport, a friend of mine and I had the privilege of being able to join Shri Mataji for the onward flight to Mumbai. We were waiting in the queue of people to go through the metal detector prior to boarding the aircraft. As Shri Mataji started to walk through, all the lights started to flash and the buzzers to sound, and She was called to one side by a security attendant. After we had gone through without a murmur from the alarms, we followed to where She was detained.

Shri Mataji was wearing a typical traditional Indian sari and blouse. The security attendant was using his hand scanner to check for any metal objects and, to his surprise, it continued to sound while scanning Shri Mataji, even on Her bare arms. He checked his device on himself by scanning his arm and it only buzzed when going over his watch. A little confused, he once again scanned Shri Mataji, especially Her bare arms and the device continued to buzz.

According to the metal detector, this Indian lady, wearing only a silk sari with a short sleeved blouse, was clad in a suit of armour. In the confusion and in disbelief in what was happening before his eyes and with a queue of passengers building up and walking through the detector without supervision, he waved to Shri Mataji to carry on. She chuckled and walked on into the boarding lounge.

All this happened in a matter of ten to fifteen seconds. We both saw it and were totally bemused. I doubt that anyone else in that busy airport lounge realised what had happened that early morning.

Albert Lewis

Chapter 3: 1990 – April and May, England and Italy

Tactful advice

I was fifteen and was living in Shudy Camps under the care of some of the yogis who lived there, as my mother had gone to South Africa to spread Sahaja Yoga. I was very innocent to the ways of a Western schoolchild. In India, where I had been living for the previous six years, I had attended a private co-ed school and there were no romantic relationships between schoolchildren and we had no exposure to alcohol and smoking. When I attended the local comprehensive school near Shudy Camps I wanted to be part of the new environment so started to emulate the dress and hairstyles, made friends and started going to parties. I tried alcohol and took a puff on a cigarette, out of curiosity, and did occasionally flirt with the idea of accepting an offer to go on a date, but when it came down to it I knew I was a yogini.

Often Mother would come and stay for a few days and when She arrived we would all gather to greet or offer our respects as She left. On one such occasion I happened to be standing next to a friend who was several years older than me. She was Indian but her mother had been married to a British yogi by Shri Mataji and as Mother was leaving, She suddenly stopped and started to talk to this girl in Hindi (unusual as this girl was from Maharashtra so Mother normally spoke to her in Marathi) but Hindi is a language that I speak. Mother told the yogini not to get sucked into the maya of the Western way of life and to be careful of her ego persuading her that she was ok. I stood there, understanding every word and I very rapidly realised that Mother was not only talking to my friend but also warning me not to let my ego tell me that I was above getting caught up by all these silly things.

Mother had such a wonderful way of gently guiding us. She knew that if She had reprimanded me openly I would probably have been exceptionally embarrassed and upset but because Mother spoke in a language that only She, myself and my friend were able to understand we knew that Mother was protecting us in every way. In every way Mother taught us not only how to grow spiritually but also how to strive to be good, honest, respectful and kind. Would that we could all emulate Her example.

Auriol Purdie 

So thankful for Her love and blessings

I was fortunate to live at Shudy Camps for a few years from 1988 to 1990.

At one time, in 1990, I visited my grandmother and she gave me some smallish amount of money to buy something, I bought two blue pottery candlesticks shaped like daisies and had the desire to give them to Shri Mataji. I asked that a yogi present these candlesticks to Her after a puja and didn’t really think anything more about this other than to wonder if Mother had actually received them.

Around that time I was going through a very teenagery phase and I was convinced that Mother didn’t know me and that I was worthless. So when She called me to speak to Her I went into the room with a myriad of emotions playing through my mind. I sat there in front of Her wishing I could clear my attention and just not think. I wished that I was a better Yogini. I felt guilt but also a bit of insecurity about my place as a Yogini in Mother’s eyes.

As She moved across the room to sit at the dining table I looked about and I noticed, sitting pride of place on the mantelpiece, my two candlesticks. It felt as though Mother was telling me that She loved me and that my very meagre gift had been worth something to Her. When I think back now to all of these little things that Mother did for me, and all of the things that She did for others I am so thankful for Her love and Her blessings. In every sense She was and is the Goddess who cared for us, Her children.

Auriol Purdie

Shri Mataji gave gifts to everyone

There was a time when there were boxes and boxes of gifts. I suppose they must have been years and years of puja gifts, which had been stored at Shudy Camps and Shri Mataji wanted us to go through all of them with Her there, to decide whether they should go to India or Cabella or where. So for days, we were unpacking them and getting out these beautiful gifts.

There were literally hundreds of tea sets, the most beautiful tea sets you’ve ever seen, and literally hundreds of cups and saucers and little side plates and other things like this. In among all this there were small objects, like jewellery and coats, and scarves. As we opened each thing, quite often Shri Mataji would just take something out and just hand it to someone. I remember Bridget Shehovych, Bohdan’s wife, was given quite a number of things — a fur coat and other things. Mother gave me a scarf, which I still wear, a looking glass, a hairbrush, and a little gold and amethyst brooch of intertwined snakes.

Mother was so generous. She gave gifts to everyone there and no one left without having received a small pile of gifts.

Auriol Purdie

The human incarnation of God

One time at Heathrow Airport we were invited to greet Shri Mataji. I had not seen Her for some time and I stood in line waiting to give Her my flowers. Eventually I got to the head of the line and somehow was moved to a spot in front of Mother but a little behind some others. I stood there just taking in Her presence for ages, watching Her interacting with all the other yogis and then eventually realised that I still had the flowers.

At that moment Mother looked up and gave me the biggest smile and called me over. It always astounded me that She remembered all of us by name and not only that, She would always ask me about members of my family, what I was doing in my life etc. I know it was silly to be surprised, Mother was the human incarnation of God, but the Maha Maya was so very, very powerful.

Auriol Purdie

I know everything

I was at Shudy Camps and Shri Mataji was there packing up masses of crockery sets and vases that She had bought from all over the world, and they were to be transported back to India. I was in the background to start with, ten yards away, but got active in the task so She drew me in and asked me to do this and that, and it led to me being about three feet away from Mother for the next three days packing all this crockery.

I would wake up in the morning and go straight to Shri Mataji’s Feet. What I remember from that was the realisation that She knows everything. She was coordinating a number of tasks and at the same time knew exactly the state of each yogi; She was giving instructions to that yogi for a particular reason to work something out. One example was being that close to Mother all the thoughts came out, and you realised how much you were thinking. I was trying to pack something into a box and Mother was giving a lot of instructions to different people.

‘Oh, turn that around,’ She said to me as I was thinking, ‘this doesn’t work.’ ‘No the other way,’ Shri Mataji said, and it would slip in effortlessly. She knew everything I was thinking and I tried to keep my attention in Sahasrara. At one point a tiny little glass thing was lost.

‘Give a bandhan,’ Shri Mataji said and the next moment it appeared. It was amazing to be close to Mother and to see how with very simple household tasks like packing how She could be working on your state of awareness, clearing your Agnya and so on, and getting you into the Sahaja state of acting spontaneously, not thinking, being in Her flow. At a certain point the yogi next to me came out with the part in the Devi Mahatmya – ‘You know everything, You are everywhere at the same time,’ and She turned round to me, in among all this packing, and with one glance said, ‘Yes I know everything, I can see everything.’

Soon after we had packed the crockery in Shudy Camps there was a puja and we were all waiting to receive Shri Mataji at the train station. She came to receive the flowers.

‘How are you now, Steve, after all the packing?’ She said. It was really nice that She remembered that. I had brought my brother to that puja and he had such a strong experience of vibrations in Mother’s physical presence, there at that train station.

Steve Jones

Easter Puja 1990 (email report)

The first puja in the West this year was Easter Puja, held a week after Easter as our Divine Mother only returned from Muscat a day or two previously. Between five and six hundred Sahaja Yogis converged from all over Europe on the Burlington, a hotel on the sea front in Eastbourne, a holiday resort in the south of England. Shri Mataji arrived from Shudy Camps shortly after half past twelve, and, stopping to take flowers and exchange a few words with Her children, emerged into a hotel lobby crowded with yogis. For quite some time Shri Mataji made Her way up and down the lobby, until everyone had had the opportunity to offer flowers and greetings. Shri Mataji seemed very happy to see such a large gathering.

Phil Ward

The fragrance

Sometimes, especially in the early days, in advance of Mother’s arrival I would start to smell an overpoweringly sweet fragrance. It created a heavenly atmosphere and was flowery and rich – like lilies and roses – beautiful. It was very intense and all-pervading and invariably would herald the arrival of Mother a short time later. Once I smelled it on the platform at Eastbourne railway station half an hour before Mother arrived – without a flower in sight.

Ruth Greaves

Where is that little butterfly?

Many years ago I was given the lovely job of listing the gifts that were given at the pujas, so I used to sit on the stage listing the gifts and then I used to supervise them being packed up. On one occasion a large number of gifts had been offered, including some very small ones.

‘Where is that little butterfly that the boy gave Me?’ Shri Mataji asked me in the evening. Luckily I could find it, and it had been made by a small boy. ‘These things are the most important, because they come from the heart,’ She said to me.

Danielle Lee

The bird does not want to return to the shell

Shri Mataji spoke to us that afternoon, at the Eastbourne Easter Puja, about the importance of our vertical ascent. Sahaja Yoga spreads horizontally, and it is we the Sahaja Yogis who do the work, Shri Mataji told us. Sahaja Yoga is indeed spreading very fast, but we must not be complacent about ourselves; every individual must rise, to keep the vertical depth in proportion with the horizontal spread. Mother reminded us how great and important each of us is, and what boons each of us has to bestow upon humanity. She insisted that we must not let ourselves go backwards, to regress to our state before realisation; the bird does not want to return to the shell, and we should not wish to go back to all the old attachments and involvement in family, marriage, job, and other mundane things. We came to seek truth and to be one with God.

Detachment should be there. Sahaja Yogis, when they are deep, can trigger events, such as the newly-realised delegates at the Soviet Yoga conference, who went on to trigger the liberation of Eastern Europe at the end of last year. All of us can have this power, but we must become the instruments through which the Paramchaitanya can act. We all have Mother’s powers at our disposal, but we must be detached like Her, with a great but detached concern for each other and for the world, giving up the limitations which we still choose to carry around with us. Old tendencies of domination, arrogance, and hurting others must also be given up.

After dinner in the evening we were delighted to be joined by our Divine Mother for a concert. The highlight of the evening was the sitar concert by Nishat Khan, accompanied by his brother Safat Khan on tabla. It was a tremendous virtuoso performance, the two blended perfectly together. I have rarely seen Shri Mataji so moved by music; She was leaning forward, tapping the rhythm with Her hand, reflecting and anticipating the nuances of the music in Her expression, and gazing intently at the musicians as She fed them with divine love and energy. Nishat Khan said afterwards that he didn’t know what was happening, his fingers just seemed to be doing things by themselves. Shri Mataji said afterwards that She felt that Shri Saraswati Herself had been playing.

Phil Ward

Shri Mataji, we vow

Shri Mataji had conversations with the leaders at the weekend of the Easter Puja. She said that the political problems of the world are essentially fixed, since Mr Gorbachev has fixed them. All the old East-West tensions are disappearing. But a very serious problem which remains is that of fanaticism, where fanatics believe that they can murder or commit any crime in the name of God, and inflict any arbitrary and cruel punishment on people who disagree with them. Another form of fanaticism also drew Shri Mataji’s attention; sporting fanaticism, especially amongst Sahaja Yogis, where football or some other sport becomes a compulsion and a ritual instead of just spontaneous fun and exercise.

She also talked about the great opportunities in Eastern Europe. She told the German Sahaja Yogis to go ahead now with programmes there, where people have not been spoiled by the ‘freedom’ and materialism of the West and where many excellent seekers are just waiting for their realisation. Shri Mataji was also pleased with the Austrian procedure of holding courses on Sahaja Yoga in different towns in the country, and suggested the Austrian leader speak at an international seminar to tell in more detail how they are doing it.

The puja took place in an oak-panelled school hall a couple of miles from the hotel. The hall was decorated with an enormous fabric sun which hung behind Shri Mataji’s throne. She talked about Christ, whom we had come to worship. The puja was marked by an absence of mantras. Only after the aarti were the three mantras of Sahasrara to be heard. Otherwise the puja was accompanied by music throughout. At the end Shri Mataji asked us all to vow that we would now grow vertically.

‘Shri Mataji, we vow!’ came the response.

Phil Ward

My friend thinks that you are charging too much

The Brighton Sahaja Yogis were hosting the puja in Eastbourne. I was helping with the stage. Other people were cooking and looking after Shri Mataji and doing other things. I sat outside Her room meditating and no more than five minutes later someone came out of the door.

‘Does anyone know anything about Hastings? Mother wants to go there,’ someone said. Hastings is about twenty miles from Eastbourne.

‘I do,’ I said, as I had lived there as a child. I ended up spending the entire day with Shri Mataji, having a picnic, going to the old town and She was buying all types of different crafts. We went into one shop and Mother asked me about a price and I said I thought it was a bit high.

‘My friend thinks you are charging too much,’ said Shri Mataji. We went out of the shop and there was a man busking and singing, Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Pamela Bromley

I felt Shri Mataji’s presence through the closed door

Shortly before the Easter Puja in Eastbourne, I got a seat behind a door of the sports hall where it was taking place, and tried to meditate. Suddenly I felt a strong push in my heart and again I felt the great happiness that I had felt before in Shri Mataji’s presence.

‘Ah, Shri Mataji!’ the yogis said at the same moment.

Shri Mataji had just stepped out of Her car, behind me. I felt Her presence through the closed door and then She came in through it, next to me.

Gisela Matzer

Tears of love

The time I saw Mother cry was very moving. It was the Easter Puja at Eastbourne. Our Beloved Mother and all the yogis were staying in a hotel. A choir of ladies were practising songs, there were no instruments, just approximately thirty ladies singing the Lakshmi Song – so sweet and light and beautiful. It held pure love as the yoginis poured out all their devotion and bhakti to Mother in the form of Shri Lakshmi. I was passing through the room just as it started and was riveted. There was an energy and a silence in the room when they stopped singing. We all stood there transfixed, staring, soaking it in, unable to move. Some were crying or fighting back tears; it was so beautiful.

We looked up, and unbeknown to us Shri Mataji had come in during the performance and was standing there crying. Seeing Mother crying with love touched you at the deepest core. She praised everyone, and asked the music team if they’d recorded it, to which they pulled their ears and said no. I noticed during the song that they had been so enchanted by the singing, they had forgotten to attend to the recording equipment. So it was sung and recorded again, but it wasn’t the same.

Leela Holland

Sahasrara Puja Weekend 1990 (email report)

Shri Mataji told us that the great break-through would come with the 1990 Sahasrara Day Puja. From Shri Mataji’s arrival at Rome Airport on the afternoon of Friday 4th May, the collective happening grew into a mighty crescendo to culminate in this most fantastic of pujas two days later.

Hundreds of Sahaja Yogis thronged the airport concourse awaiting our Divine Mother. On emerging from the immigration formalities with Mr Srivastava, Shri Mataji found Herself in a sea of joyful faces and hands holding out flowers, and She walked up and down in the crowd for nearly an hour taking the flowers from each and every one, smiling through the afternoon heat. Finally every offering had been accepted, and Mother took Her place in Her dark blue Lincoln car to be driven to Fiuggi, the spa and resort town in the hills to the south-east of Rome where the puja was to take place.

On Saturday afternoon the weather changed abruptly, with a mighty thunderstorm which at one point burst directly over Shri Mataji’s hotel with a thunderclap of such fury that windows rattled and the floor shook, like some sublime fanfare saluting the greatness of the One who blessed us by Her divine presence.

The first event of the weekend was a public medical conference in which Sahaja Yogi doctors presented Sahaja Yoga. After all the doctors had finished speaking and answering questions, the meeting climaxed with the arrival of our Divine Mother, who gave a short talk stressing the importance of Sahaja Yoga and then gave realisation to all the newcomers. Her talk was interrupted by occasional power failures, but miraculously we were all able to hear Shri Mataji’s unamplified voice when this happened.

The evening’s programme was a musical concert by Nishat Khan, whom Shri Mataji had invited for the occasion. He played two ragas in this concert which lasted from around midnight until dawn at 5 a.m. First was Raag Mal Kauns and then followed Raag Darbari, the Raga of the King’s Court, at his request. It was tremendous; as the night grew younger (to borrow Baba Mama’s phrase) all of us grew more and more wide-awake. Finally, after brief speeches by Shri Mataji and Sir CP at the end of the concert and remarking that it was a very suitable time, the two musicians played Bhairavi.

Puja had been announced for 12:30, and the Italians had created a whole garden on the stage behind Shri Mataji’s throne, complete with eight arches arranged in a bandhan side by side, and with rock gardens and plants and flowers, the whole being surrounded by a glowing rainbow and with hundreds of fairy lights above to represent the heavens. After some time it was suggested that we should sing some bhajans. We soon could hear the rain beating down on the roof of the hall again, with occasional thunder. Our Divine Mother arrived in the middle of the rain, and, taking Her place on the stage, began Her talk. She had waited many years for this day, She said, smiling as She spoke. A new era was starting from today, in which we must assume our powers and our responsibilities.

As at Easter Puja, there were practically no mantras, music taking their place throughout. All the presents to Shri Mataji after the puja were of ivory carvings, the international present being a two foot high statue of the goddess with many arms and weapons and many blessings, as Shri Mataji pointed out, and with three heads, above which were three further heads, the whole crowned by the head of Lord Sadashiva. At the end of the puja some thirteen hundred Sahaja Yogis were dancing.

Afterwards, one of the children went to Shri Mataji to complain that they had not been able to dance for Her, only the grown-ups had; so our Mother invited the children to come and dance before Her. The evening ended with the Marathi drama which some of the Swiss had so successfully staged in India. Finally Mother took Her leave of us around 10 o’clock.

Phil Ward

Chapter 4: 1990 – May and June, Eastern Europe and America

Shri Mataji’s proposed itinerary, May to December 1990

Programmes in Eastern Europe

The first public programme conducted by Shri Mataji in Moscow took place at the Biological Faculty in Moscow State University in May 1990. Shri Mataji talked to doctors, scientists and university teachers. Right after it, there were more public programmes, in Mosiprotrance on the 12th and 13th of May 1990. The first puja in Moscow was offered to Shri Mataji by the Sahaja Yogis in May 1990.

Starting with 1990, Shri Mataji visited Eastern Europe every year, sometimes coming to places like Russia, Turkey or Romania even twice a year, both for public programmes and pujas. She would spend two to three days in each of these countries, having public programmes, shopping, talking with yogis, and indefatigably doing things at an amazing pace.

Alexandra Dumitrescu

You are a poet

In May 1990, Shri Mataji came to Russia and I met Her for the first time in person. After the programme I came to the stage and told Her that I wanted to abandon the university where I studied mathematics and do only poetry, but that my parents were concerned about my career if I did that.

‘You are a poet, but mathematics is very important,’ said Shri Mataji, looking at me. Then She just held my hand and I felt that all my questions were answered. In complete bliss, I went home after the programme and surrendered to Her suggestion.

The next day I had to go for the exams and I went with full faith to the university. Despite the fact that I did not spend any time preparing, I did just fine and got all excellent grades.

Alla Kulkarni

I never wanted it to end

After a programme at the United Nations in New York in 1990, the yogis were allowed to go up to the stage. It was my first time in front of Shri Mataji. I knelt at Her Feet and then She reached for my hands. She held mine in Hers, and looked into my eyes, and I looked into Her eyes. I felt that I was swimming in a cosmic pool of love. She would cross Her arms and switch Her left with my right and vice versa. I couldn’t say anything. We held hands for the longest time, both of us smiling. She then said that She enjoyed so much and I enjoyed so much.

I don’t know how long we sat there in total bliss. I just know I never wanted it to end.

 Rama Rimokh

A twinkle in Shri Mataji’s eye

Shri Mataji would often bring Her grandchildren to America with Her and we would put them up in Gregoire’s house in New York. They loved America. Shri Mataji would have the master bedroom, and Her grandchildren ended up in the attic above Shri Mataji’s room.

At one stage, quite late at night, the children were up above and there was all this thumping on the floor above us. Shri Mataji laughed and ignored the whole thing, but then it got really loud so one of the mothers went up and hushed them down. Shri Mataji was always the loving grandmother – always with a twinkle in Her eye and always joking. Always more likely to take the children’s sides than their mother’s!

Carolyn Vance

One more flower

Shri Mataji often reminded us that whatever She did was always for our benevolence. Her corrections, whether minor or large-scale, were always subtly suited to our personalities. In my case they often revealed my ego, in a humorous way.

Once, in 1990, at JFK Airport in New York, the Sahaja Yogis had gathered to say goodbye to Shri Mataji. There everyone was, flower in hand, anxious to offer it and to have a last glimpse of Our Holy Mother before She left for Her next destination. On previous occasions at airports I had noticed how the yogis rushed towards Mother, squashing and joggling and thrusting their flowers forward. I also noticed how Shri Mataji ended up receiving every flower – Her path wound, serpentine-like, fulfilling the heartfelt if clumsily expressed desires of everyone present.

So there I was, feeling pretty superior to ‘those’ yogis who lunged forward with their flowers. ‘She will get my flower,’ I reassured myself, ‘She always does,’ with my ego well-satisfied at my humility in waiting at the outskirts of the crowd.

Suddenly the crowd dispersed and the view opened up to reveal Shri Mataji’s back as She headed at an effortlessly high speed toward the boarding gate. I was left standing, the only one still holding a flower. My lesson instantly learned, I rushed towards Her.

‘Shri Mataji, there’s one more flower!’ I cried. She turned around with a huge smile on Her face and took my flower.

Victoria Zbylut

Better now

In 1990, we performed puja to Shri Mataji in the form of Shri Mahakali in the San Diego ashram. Well, ‘we’ is not exactly correct. Sometimes Shri Mataji was able to clear us better when we were asleep. When my one year old daughter was fussing, I went with her into a nearby bedroom, the one where every large photograph of Shri Mataji was placed while She was in the house, and fell sound asleep in the middle of them, until halfway through the puja.

Later that visit, many yoginis were called one by one to get scoldings. I somehow knew I would be one of these. I prayed desperately, ‘Shri Mataji, please do not send me out of Sahaja Yoga,’ one of the biggest fears many of us had in those days.

‘Are you Catholic?’ Shri Mataji asked, because the left Vishuddhi was so bad. She then said that my mother had spoiled me, and asked me to say to Her directly, ‘Mother, I am part and parcel of the whole.’ Finally She said in an almost sorrowful way that once the ego has been blown up, there is very little She can do, as it will always blow up again so easily.

‘Are you racist?’ She then asked. This gave me the biggest shock of all, as I had been brought up to be ‘politically correct.’ However as some of my family was from the deep South, I might have picked up some subtle attitudes. Shri Mataji asked something like, ‘What are you doing about it?’

‘Shri Mataji, I work on myself every day,’ I said.

‘No. You have to change yourself,’ She said.

The following year, we had moved to Los Angeles, and Shri Mataji stayed with us in a very tiny house overfull of yogis. As She was leaving one day, She saw me at the end of the corridor.

‘Better now,’ She said, and almost smiled at me, something I had been waiting for years.

Pramod Shete

Shri Mataji at Lion’s Bay, British Columbia

In the year 1990 the Sahaja Yogis of the Vancouver area were privileged to host Shri Mataji for another public programme and puja. Shri Mataji arrived at mid-day and we washed Her Feet and did aarti to welcome Her. She commented so sweetly that we were all becoming experts in the protocols. The public programme held that evening in downtown Vancouver was very successful and several hundred people again got their realisation. Shri Mataji seemed very pleased with the turnout.

We had been informed a couple of months ahead of time that Shri Mataji had given Her blessings for us to do puja to Her in Her aspect as Shri Saraswati, and we had spent long hours building and preparing. It was decided that the best location for the puja would be on the grounds surrounding the ashram, on a small acreage high above and overlooking the small islands of Burrard Inlet; very private with a western view over the water and with virtually no close neighbours. We rented a pendal to cover Shri Mataji’s chair and stage, and set up seating on the Mother Earth for our visiting brothers and sisters. We prayed for clear, warm weather.

On the Saturday evening there was a fierce thunder and lightning storm; the electricity went off and we had to quickly gather candles to light the large open area inside the ashram where Shri Mataji was speaking to us. Throughout the storm that evening, in the surrounding area there were a total of 16,000 lightning strikes. The following day the major newspapers contained many photos and write-ups describing this most unusual natural phenomenon. At one point during the storm, one of the yogis reported that a bolt of lightning had passed very close to the window of Shri Mataji’s room, just next to where She was sitting. She was just laughing throughout the storm and commenting about the power of Shri Vishnumaya.

The puja day was warm and beautiful, everything freshly cleansed by the rains of the previous evening. The puja was attended by nearly a hundred of us, with visiting yogis and yoginis from as far away as Europe and from all areas of North America. Beautiful gifts of native art including intricate soapstone carvings were offered.

Lori Wills

The qualities of Shri Saraswati

The photo is of Shri Mataji holding a carved wooden mask presented on behalf of the native Indians in the area. We had commissioned a local Native American artist to carve the mask especially for presentation to Shri Mataji and he very nicely finished it for us in just a few short weeks. It is symbolic of the Mother aspect in the native traditions. During Her puja address, Shri Mataji spoke at length about the qualities of Shri Saraswati and emphasised the importance of pure music in Sahaja Yoga.

Vancouver and the lower mainland had once again been immensely blessed by the personal attention and presence of our most Divine Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

Lori Wills

Chapter 5: 1990 June and July, Europe, East and West

Your love has brought Me here

Shri Mataji met my father, who then was a Thai diplomat posted in Madrid, at a public programme in Madrid in 1990. At Madrid Airport, seeing Shri Mataji off, my father approached Mother and introduced himself as the Ambassador of Thailand to Spain. Shri Mataji was pleased about it and told him that She had always wanted to visit Thailand but that She needed one person to be there to assist in preparing for Her coming and public programme. She asked my father’s name and was happy to hear that it was an auspicious Sanskrit one.

‘You are Sreshthaputra, meaning literally “son of the highest”,’ She told my sister, laughingly.

Shri Mataji and Mr Chitrik Sreshthaputra at Madrid Airport

Although my father was not a Sahaja Yogi, Shri Mataji invited him to come to Barcelona for the Shri Mahavira Puja the following day. Without hesitation, he got on a plane along with my sister, a yogini, and attended the puja.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

How Sahaja Yoga started in Thailand

After four years of practicing Sahaja Yoga in Switzerland and attending many programmes and pujas in different countries in Europe, it happened in July 1990 that my husband and my daughter talked to Shri Mataji in Madrid. Mother said that She wanted to start Sahaja Yoga in Thailand, but there were no Sahaja Yogis in that country.

‘Only one person would be enough,’ She insisted. The following day, I met my daughter in Barcelona at the public programme and she told me about her conversation with Shri Mataji. Immediately I felt I should go to Thailand to help as I knew the language, having spent a few years there. After the programme I had the chance to ask Shri Mataji if it was a good idea.

‘Yes, go to Thailand and I will come,’ She immediately said.

Janine Sreshthaputra

Everything was arranged

Hearing about Shri Mataji’s suggestion to have one person settling in Bangkok, my mother, who was a Sahaja Yogini from France, and had also come to attend the puja, immediately requested permission from Shri Mataji to move back to Thailand and prepare for Her coming. Shri Mataji agreed and said that She had just met the Ambassador of Thailand in Madrid the previous day! Within the span of a few hours, on Spanish soil, everything was arranged and decided about the start of Sahaja Yoga in Thailand.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

We stayed at the home of a yogini

When I was a very new Sahaja Yogi I found out that Shri Mataji was going to visit Greece, in June 1990. I asked if it would be ok if I booked myself on the same flight as Mother from Heathrow to Athens, and they said it was. In Athens we stayed at the home of a yogini. Space was very tight and there was only a very small kitchen, so some of our food was brought from a local take-away shop and the first thing served was a special type of macaroni cheese.

We all traveled to the small island of Hydra where Mother would be arriving the next day. It was an idyllic place, free from cars and noise. We stayed in a small house and Mother’s room was near the front door. About two hours before She was due to arrive the room was still completely bare and unwelcoming. Being new to Sahaj, I couldn’t understand how it would all be ready in time for Her arrival, but miraculously and quietly, the Greek yoginis worked together to turn the dark empty room into an exquisite place full of silks, lace, flowers and beauty fit to welcome Shri Adi Shakti.

Danielle Lee

Cannons on the Island of Hydra

Shri Mataji came to Greece, in June 1990 and went to Hydra to have the Shri Mahalakshmi Puja there. It was a great occasion and we all went there in a boat from Athens. When we entered the harbour of Hydra, it was not any special time, and I remembered when we had the first havan in Greece, on Her first visit, and they started shooting the cannon. I told Shri Mataji this story when we were on the boat, and just as I had finished, they again started to shoot the cannons in the harbour. Shri Mataji smiled at me.

‘Like that?’ She said.

Wolfgang Hackl


At the beginning of my Sahaj life, I was very shy and even nervous in the presence of Shri Mataji. I somehow recognized Shri Mataji first as a guru and as a divine personality, and it was more difficult to be comfortable with Her human aspect, when being with Her in person. But being not only divine, but also a very loving Mother, She often played sweet little tricks to make me more comfortable.

One such sweet moment was at a puja in Greece. It was a Shri Mahalakshmi Puja on the island of Hydra and there were about ten adults and maybe twenty-five children from the Rome school. I was only twenty-one years old and quite new in Sahaja Yoga, but because there were so few people at present I could get up on the improvised stage, which was really just an elevation in the middle of a lawn or a back yard.

I gave Shri Mataji a little hand painted plate, which we had bought the afternoon before. After I gave Her the present, it somehow happened that I could sit down about a metre from Her chair, completely in bliss, meditating. Someone put a cup of amrit into my hand and I was sipping it and thinking to myself that this really was the nectar of the gods. After a while Shri Mataji turned to me and said something which sounded like, ‘It is enough.’

It seemed completely normal to me; I was near Her for some time, absorbing the vibrations, being in heaven and I thought, it was enough for now, and that’s ok. So I bowed down, and moved maybe ten metres back to sit on a small stone wall, continuing to meditate and sipping on my cup of amrit, when one of the leaders came to me with a rather strange expression on his face, telling me that Shri Mataji wanted to ask me whether the amrit was sweet enough. Still being in heaven, I was surprised by the question, as it was purely divine beyond any description of taste, but I said yes. At that exact moment also Shri Mataji was looking in my direction and I nodded to Her. Later I realised that it was a very sweet way of Her showing to me that She was not only divine but also a human being, and that it was ok to have a normal, even mundane conversation with Her. And the next day, at the airport, I actually did muster the courage to ask Her a question.

Walter Lerchner

You are the Holy Ghost

Because the puja date changed, I was going to have to fly back the day before the puja in Greece. I called the airline, asking to change my return flight, but they refused, saying the only option was to buy a new one-way flight at three times the cost of the original ticket. Being a student I could not afford this. Another yogini had the same problem, so someone told Shri Mataji.

‘Let’s give it a bandhan,’ She said, giving a bandhan Herself. Then She asked the owner of the house where we stayed to call the airline, and they agreed this time.

On the way back to Athens, we had the blessing to spend time with Shri Mataji, who was sitting on a chair on the deck of a small boat, Her bare Feet towards the ocean, vibrating the Greek sea. As far as I remember, we went directly to the airport. After the check-ins were done, only a few people were standing around Shri Mataji, so I mustered my courage to talk to Her.

‘Shri Mataji, can I ask you a question?”

‘Yes,’ She said graciously.

‘How can I work out my left Nabhi, and gain some weight?’ I was very skinny at the time.

‘You have left Nabhi? Who told you this?’ She looked surprised.

‘I can feel it, Shri Mataji,’ I answered, and someone stepped behind me to work on me.

‘What work do you do?’ She asked.

‘I study Genetics and Technical Physics, but I don’t study much at the moment.’

She asked the person behind me what he felt.

‘Right heart,’ he said.

‘What about your father?’ She asked.

‘He left my mother,’ I said – I felt a bit of sadness about a complex situation.

‘Yes, it is from your father,’ Shri Mataji continued, and then She put Her hand on my left Nabhi. ‘You are Gruha Lakshmi,’ She asked me to say, and I said it a couple of times. Then She said, ‘No, say: “You are the Holy Ghost,” That’s the best.’

So there I was standing in the middle of Athens Airport, with the Divine having Her own hand on my left Nabhi, my whole body filling with vibrations, and saying: ‘Shri Mataji, You are the Holy Ghost.’

Walter Lerchner

Flying on the air

In 1990 a public programme was held in Athens in the presence of our Divine Mother. The hotel was called the Grand Bretagne and the huge hall was packed with people. I had received my self realisation some years before and told myself Sahaja Yoga was something I should do but I never got into it seriously. The photo of Shri Mataji was always in my room as a reminder but I was not practising Sahaja Yoga. At the end of the programme one of the leaders directed me towards Shri Mataji. All of a sudden I heard Her from afar.

‘It is OK, you should not feel guilty for not coming to Sahaja Yoga,’ She said. Somehow at that time I did not even wonder how She knew. She worked on me, and worked on many people that day. She put Her Feet on my back as I sat in front of Her, and put Her Feet on my Heart chakra again and again, asking me if I felt anything, and I was replying no, and this happened three or four times. Now I know that I was feeling so much already that I could not even feel the difference.

‘Now it is OK,’ She said finally.  I walked out of that hall but I was not walking any more. I felt as if I was either flying on the air or walking on the clouds. This great feeling and blissful state remained there for many days that followed.

Polyvios Mylonas

A very moving experience

The programme in Kiev, Ukraine, in June 1990 had been in a sports stadium, an open one, and the stage had been built the further side of the running track and so one felt a little distant. There were a large amount of people, perhaps about fifteen thousand, lined up on that side of the sports stadium.

Mother arrived and at the last minute they decided to bring the stage nearer to the people. It was probably Her second visit to Kiev because there were quite a lot of Ukrainian yogis.

The talk was given and then the most remarkable thing happened. At the end of the realisation talk, half the people in the stadium streamed across the running track and completely surrounded the stage. Mother talked to various people, worked on some and at the end of this public programme we all sang the aarti to Mother, with a thousand people joining in.

It was a very, very moving experience.

Ian Maitland Hume

Absolute harmony

Shri Mataji gave us self realisation in Saint Petersburg in June 1990.

The hall was full and everyone was awaiting this lady. I remember looking at the stage for a long time enjoying the throne and many beautiful flowers, which were very colourful. Each and every colour and hue was represented there, and it was like a fairy tale. While we were waiting for Shri Mataji I was trying to guess what colour She would be wearing. I was trying to think of the ‘right’ colour so it would be of absolute harmony, but whatever colour or hue I thought of did not create a complete harmony in my mind. In my heart I knew that even the colour would give an answer. Shri Mataji was wearing a white sari. Oh, God! Absolute harmony! My mind became still. No more questions.

Maria Dobrinskaya

Editor’s note: Shri Mataji has explained that She would wear a white sari to a public programme because white is the colour of the Adi Guru, and often it would have a red border, the colour of Shri Mahakali. Shri Adi Guru is the giver of wisdom and Shri Mahakali destroys negativity.

Shri Mataji made me thoughtless 

Shri Mataji had the first public programmes in St Petersburg in the summer of 1989. In June 1990 Shri Mataji came to St Petersburg (then Leningrad) from Moscow by train with some Sahaja Yogis and Her granddaughters. I was asked by the Sahaj Committee to be Shri Mataji’s personal interpreter, because not many Russians spoke English at that time. I had only practiced Sahaja Yoga for about six months.

When I met Shri Mataji at the railway station, She looked radiant and was very happy to see us all. People brought many flowers and after handing them to Her She gave them to me to carry to the car reserved for Her. I accompanied Her all the way, translating what people were saying to Her. I was told by the Sahaj Committee to take the flowers to the car and go on a bus, reserved for the yogis, to the hotel where everything was prepared for Her comfortable stay. 

When we got to the car, Shri Mataji and an Indian Sahaja Yogi sat down on the back seat and I was standing with the flowers not knowing what to do. Shri Mataji and the Sahaja Yogis were talking about something. Dr Bogdan, the then leader, was supposed to go with Shri Mataji too because he spoke English and Russian but he was taking care of the luggage, so he took the bus with other Russian yogis. I was new in Sahaj and did not know all the protocol but intuition told me that I should not put the flowers on the seat and the driver (he was not a yogi) encouraged me to go with them because he did not speak a word of English and was afraid that if they asked him something he would not know what to say, so I got to be in the car with Shri Mataji for the first time.

She had a rest in the hotel and did not go out that day. I was there too, helping Indian yogis who were taking care of Her, to communicate with the Russian yogis.  

Next morning Shri Mataji wanted to go shopping and I was asked to accompany Her. In those days She bought gifts in one country for the yogis of another one. It was such a joy to be around Her when She was buying things. She was so natural and polite, showing a great interest in what She was buying.

After shopping Shri Mataji went back to the hotel for lunch and rest. In the evening She was to meet the scientists in the House of Scientists which was located on the beautiful Neva River next to the Hermitage, the famous art museum. Again I had to accompany Her in the car and the professional interpreter was supposed to come in a van with some other yogis and translate.  

For some reason the van did not come on time and Shri Mataji asked me to accompany Her onto the stage and translate for Her. I was not prepared for that and nor was the Indian Sahaja Yogi. He looked more nervous than me. He assured Shri Mataji that as soon as the other interpreter came I could step down and sit in the audience. She started talking about the subtle system and I was fine translating Her. I thought that I just needed to hold on for a short while but what I did not know was that when you are around the Divine Power anything can happen.   

Soon the interpreter arrived and the Indian Sahaja Yogi came on the stage telling Shri Mataji that I could go. She glanced at him and said that I was doing fine and She wanted me to continue. It went pretty well until the scientists started asking questions. It is more difficult to translate from your mother tongue to another language especially if you do not know the subject.  

I started losing confidence and wanted them to stop asking questions. Shri Mataji and I were sitting at a table covered with a red cloth, so nobody saw that my legs started trembling. I looked at the floor and imagined that maybe it would split so I could disappear. At the very moment Shri Mataji put Her right hand on my lap and I felt I was under Her full protection, and had to go on. I could not keep up with the questions and answers so I was saying whatever came into my head. I used all my courage and became completely thoughtless. I was sure I failed but after the programme, to my great surprise yogis came to me, saying that they felt tremendous vibrations and I did very well.

I think Shri Mataji wanted me to experience that so I would be able to translate at the public programmes and medical conferences, which I did for another three years, and on that day She made me thoughtless, so She could speak through me. It was a miracle.

Svetlana Klette

A gift from Mother

Shri Mataji gave gifts to the Russian yogis who were helping Her, like watches for the men and jewellery for the women. When I came to Sahaja Yoga some women said we should stop using cosmetics, but to my surprise the first gift I received from Shri Mataji was a set of high quality Italian make up. She wanted us to be like normal people. Whatever gifts She gave had tremendous value beyond their material form. She also gave gifts to drivers and other people who were taking care of Her. Everybody liked Her. I am sure they all got realisation, through Her gifts and divine attention. 

Svetlana Klette

Recollections of Guru Puja 1990 (email report)

After the drive down through France on a beautiful hot Friday afternoon, the Guru Puja began for many of us when several hundred Sahaja Yogis assembled in the airport in Marseille to welcome our Divine Mother prior to worshipping Her as the Guru of all gurus. Shri Mataji’s flight was late, but when the flight from London finally arrived She walked right through the crowd to where a chair had been set up for Her just outside the concourse building. Here Shri Mataji was able to sit comfortably as we went up to Her one by one to offer a flower and bow before Her Lotus Feet.

After Shri Mataji had received everyone’s flowers and departed, we all drove to Avignon, where we were accommodated in tents on a camp site to the north-west of this beautiful old city. At midnight we were preparing to have dinner and turn in for the night when it was announced that Shri Mataji would be arriving in a few minutes for bhajans. The Goddess blessed us by Her presence until the grey light of dawn started to filter through the roof of the ‘pandal’. It was a festival packed into a few hours, with bhajans from various groups including Nirmal Sangeet Sarita, just back from our Mother’s triumphant tour of Russia, and Sharon Vincent singing modern Sahaja songs. Shri Mataji was seated on the stage with a map of the world as backdrop with lights marking out the different places our Divine Mother has visited on Her travels and where Sahaja Yoga has taken root.

Next day began with breakfast after three hours of incredibly deep sleep, and continued through a relaxed day spent meeting one another, in meditation and foot-soaking in the Rhone river which flowed past the camp site, and visits to Avignon.

After dinner all twelve hundred of us assembled in the pandal and a music programme began with a recital by Nirmal Sangeet Sarita; the world première of a new raga which Baba Mama had conceived while on tour with them. Shri Mataji honoured their creation by giving it a name, Chaitanya Purnima. The highlight of the concert was the young sitarist Nishat Khan. He played Rag Durga, bringing out its dual nature, as a very tender and motherly music and a very strong and fierce evocation of the Divine Mother with all Her weapons on the tiger, battling the evil forces to protect Her devotees. Finally, after the audience rose to their feet for prolonged applause, and Shri Mataji had praised him for the greatness of his art and notably for his humility, he asked to be allowed another five minutes to conclude his concert in the proper manner, with Rag Bhairavi. Shri Mataji commented that by absorbing the vibrations of the music in thoughtless awareness we absorbed better than when She spoke to us, when particularly if She had something hard to say to us, our egos tend to react.

The Guru Puja began on Sunday afternoon. Shri Mataji sat on stage in front of a huge painting of Her house, Pratishthan. Before the puja She had spoken particularly to the women, about how they must overcome certain western characteristics. At the end of the Puja many presents were offered to Shri Mataji, all the national and international presents being of ivory, with ancient and beautiful deities, boats, buildings, and animals in all forms.

Shri Mother took a flight the next morning to London and a hundred or so Sahaja Yogis saw Her off at the airport. We sat on the floor around Mother as She took Her seat on the concourse of Lyon airport, drank tea, and chatted to some local Sahaja Yogis.

Phil Ward

When I saw Shri Mataji for the first time

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in Marseille in 1990. We arrived on Friday afternoon in a camp near Avignon. The mistral was blowing quite strongly and to us it was Her breath. The vibrations were so strong, yogis and yoginis from all over Europe and beyond were pouring into the camp for Guru Puja.

In the evening we went in buses to the airport in Marseille to welcome Shri Mataji. Her plane was delayed and we waited for about four hours. Everyone was singing, meditating, and carrying flowers, and there were a lot of curious eyes from the airport personnel and other travellers. I hardly had any money to go to a puja and didn’t have any money for flowers, but I wanted to give some, and so secretly plucked some lavender from the bushes in front of the airport.

I was very nervous since I felt utterly unworthy to meet Shri Mataji. Near midnight, Her plane landed and we all gathered by the stairs where She would appear. The yogis formed a gateway along the stairs and one after another draped their shawls on the floor. Everyone was singing Kundalini, Kundalini, louder and louder, spreading through the crowd. Then I saw Shri Mataji for the first time. She was walking very fast, as if floating down the stairs and all my doubt of Her being a Divine Being vanished. A vision of heralding angels with clarions paved Her way. To me, and I pull my ears if this sounds disrespectful, She had the form of an egg. Later on I read about the divine cosmic egg, Hiranyagarbha.

We followed Shri Mataji outside the airport, while She was passing through the rows of Sahaja Yogis, as if pulling the right and left channel into the Sushumna and taking us to Sahasrara. She sat down on a chair decorated with a sari, and we formed a circle around Her, singing and clapping. Everyone bowed down and gave a flower, looked up and glowed.

Then a yogini smiled, gave me a gentle push and I was in the middle of the circle. Beforehand a yogi had told me that She was the Goddess of fourteen universes. I felt utterly unworthy of Her attention, but I bowed down, gave my bunch of lavender and She smiled to me. I saw the one who created me, who knew everything about me, and I felt the pure me. A timeless moment, a meeting between the Goddess and one of Her children, a moment known by Her, and a surprise for me. The feeling was vast and spacious, and so deeply comforting.

On Saturday evening Nishat Khan played in total awe of Shri Mataji, or rather She was playing through him. Was it Rag Durga? The tigers’ paws flying over Europe were carrying Shri Durga, who was attending to all Her children’s needs, all the countries’ needs, clearing the way for our Guru, our Mother, who was at the same time deeply bowing down to lift us all up, Her strong arms wielding weapons, and putting us in Her safe heart.

On Sunday before the puja the hall smelled like lavender, but I was sure it had a different fragrance for all of those present.

Irene Hoogmoed

An earthquake of joy

In July 1990, the Guru Puja was supposed to be in Greece, but some weeks before things did not work out and suddenly Mother decided to give the puja to France! An earthquake shook the French collective but we managed to be ready. We found a beautiful place on an island in the South of France near Avignon.

Concerning the whole organisation plan there was one moment which could not be messed up: the arrival of Shri Mataji. Mother was supposed to arrive at the airport on Saturday afternoon. We were around a thousand Yogis attending this puja and in order to get everyone to the airport we rented fifteen buses. The arrivals area was above the main entrance and I will never forget that moment when Shri Mataji appeared at the top of the stairs and saw an ocean of Sahaja Yogis with beaming faces and flowers, all looking at Her. The whole airport was full of Sahaja Yogis from all over the world, and She stood still for some eternal minutes watching us while we were watching Her.

An earthquake of joy shook the place with tsunamis of love and waves of smiling tears. It took two hours for Shri Mataji to cross the hundred metres that separated Her from Her car. Not only the Sahaja Yogis but all the people present in the airport wanted to meet Her – passengers, local people, airport workers, taxi drivers and so on wanted to share the wave of eternal love by giving a flower.


My spiritual Mother

In 1990, I told this story to about two hundred Polish people in Warsaw, Poland, asking them to desire that Shri Mataji would come. It was a Wednesday in May or June. On Thursday morning, Annegret, her baby daughter Laxmi and I went to the post office to call Matthias, in Switzerland. He was Annegret’s husband and the Swiss leader at the time, and was originally from Poland. At this time in Poland, we had to give the phone number to an employee and wait hours there for a connection.

‘Who is this lady on the medallion?’ the employee asked.

‘My spiritual Mother,’ I replied.

She immediately dialled the number and at our great amazement, we immediately got the connection to Switzerland.

‘Mother is coming to Poland in July!’ Annegret suddenly shouted with great joy from the phone box. She did come, and about 2,000 people attended Her first programme in Warsaw.

Christine Haage

Where did you go?

We were travelling with Shri Mataji and were in a hotel in Dresden, in July 1990, for the first public programme there. We were just a few yogis with our Mother and therefore had many opportunities to be in Her presence. I had spent almost the entire day at Shri Mataji’s Feet and I felt a true ‘bliss casualty’, as She puts it.

Then Shri Mataji asked us to leave the room as She wanted to take a rest. When I left, I realised that I had not eaten for quite some time and my stomach was demanding food. Still floating on the cloud of Shri Mataji’s love I decided to rush down to the street to find something to eat. The first place I saw was a McDonalds, newly opened in Dresden. As I did not want to lose too much time searching I had a quick Big Mac and a Coke and returned to Mother’s hotel after just twenty minutes. Shri Mataji was awake when I returned and I entered Her room.

‘What happened to you? She said immediately. When you left Me you were perfectly all right and now your liver is catching. Where did you go?’ Then She asked me to rub Her right Foot. I pulled my ears and realised that to be balanced in Her presence I still had to learn a lot!

Herbert Reininger

Shri Mataji’s first visit in Prague

On the occasion of Shri Mataji’s first visit to Prague in Czech Republic in 1990, we drove all the way from Frankfurt. We had a vague idea about the address of the hotel where Shri Mataji was staying, but none of us had been in Prague before. This was not really a problem, so we drove along quite relaxed looking forward to meeting Shri Mataji soon. Everything went well until after the Czech border, when the traffic intensified immensely. Slowly we moved through crowded two-lane roads until we finally reached Prague much later than anticipated.

Finding the hotel was really easy. We just happened upon it at our first attempt – quite obviously Shri Mataji was guiding us. Our hearts were beating with excitement when we entered the hotel and proceeded up towards Her suite. When we came to the kitchen just outside Shri Mataji’s room we found the usual mix of activities in the smallest possible space: cooking, flowers being arranged, Mother’s sari being ironed, relaxing and enjoying, all of it enveloped in a beautiful fragrance and very cool vibrations. I wanted to relax a bit from the trip and someone offered us a cup of tea and at some point the door opened and someone called me into Shri Mataji’s room.

My heart was beating joyfully and I entered and bowed to Her Feet. I stayed with my head down until I could hear Her voice blessing me, then I looked at Her and saw Her smiling at me. I noticed Wolfgang and another yogi sitting at Her Feet massaging and taking vibrations. Wolfgang was holding Shri Mataji’s right Foot in his hands and obviously did not notice anything else around him. He had tears in his eyes and the most beautiful smile on his lips.

I quietly sat down somewhere on the side. Shri Mataji was just making a comment on Wolfgang who was completely absorbed at Her Feet, laughingly calling him a ‘bliss casualty’. We all laughed with Her, and felt the vibrations growing even stronger.

Then all of a sudden Shri Mataji signalled for me to change places with Wolfgang and he moved to the side, still with his eyes closed and tears flowing over his cheeks. Then the most amazing thing happened to me! As soon as I settled in front of Shri Mataji to take over from Wolfgang She lifted me to the state in which my brother was, almost in an instant, from one moment to the next, just like simply turning a switch! I felt my tears flowing down my cheeks, I had my eyes closed and offered my overflowing grateful heart at Her Feet. How fortunate we are to have such a loving and compassionate Mother! How fortunate we are to be chosen as children by such a powerful Mother!

How fortunate is the universe that Shri Adi Shakti chose to place Her Ocean of Love at the very foundation of creation!

Herbert Reininger

The attitude of an artist

One of the Shri Mataji’s first visits to the Czech capital, Prague, in July 1990, took place just after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Shri Mataji bought some things made of the famous Bohemian lead crystal. While I was walking through the town I saw a fine mirror fitted into a lead crystal frame which I just had to buy for Her, and when I proudly presented it to Her, She was very happy.

‘You have a great sense for aesthetics, you should become an artist,’ She said.

It was wonderful to get so much of our Mother’s attention but I knew there was no way I could become an artist. I came to the conclusion that I could do anything as long as I did it with the attitude of an artist, with creativity, spontaneously and without thinking of money. Thus I made peace with my business career, and I have been very successful.

Thomas Menge

Tell them that I am God

We prepared the first programmes in Prague in July 1990. Shri Mataji came, and we set up meetings with the press, and rented a hall and a house for Her to stay in. The first programme was at the Exhibition Hall in Prague, and three thousand people came on the first day. It was difficult to arrange a translator, but there was an Indian boy, who had just got realisation that evening.

‘Ok, I am going to do it tomorrow,’ he said.

Afterwards we went back to the house and Shri Mataji spoke to me personally, because I was supposed to do the introduction on the next day.

‘Tomorrow, Gunter, you are going to tell them that I am God,’ was one of the things She said.

‘Thank You, Shri Mataji, I am very happy about that,’ I replied. The evening after that we had the programme and again three thousand people came. Shri Mataji told us to do follow up programmes every day in the first week. There were five hundred people coming to the follow ups to begin with, and less towards the end, but that was the start.

Gunter Thurner

She could even feel my desires

Shri Mataji gave the first public programme in Prague in 1990. I was quite young in Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji gave an interview to some local journalists in the big room of the house where She was. It was on the ground floor and was completely filled with Sahaja Yogis. I could not get in, so waited outside.

The door was open, and the interviewer was going on for more than an hour, and after a while I got the desire to see Shri Mataji, just for a short look, thinking that I had come all the way and could not even see Her. I prayed that I might see Her, and at that moment, I looked up and between all the people, perhaps eighty to a hundred, a gap like a street opened up; they all unconsciously moved either to the left or the right.

With a kind and loving expression, Shri Mataji looked at me straight in the eyes for some seconds and I felt that motherly glance as if it was for days of my life. It gave me tremendous relief, and for the first time I felt that deep divine love. It gave me a feeling of awe, and I knew that She could even feel my desires.

Franz Mekyna

Shri Mataji in Bulgaria, July 1990

There were Swiss, French, a Syrian, some Italians and an English Sahaja Yogi to help arrange the programmes. A day or two before the programmes, the TV news featured a Sahaja Yoga programme, and we could see Shri Mataji’s photograph and a Sahaja Yogi presenting Sahaja Yoga with the aid of the chakra diagram. A hall with 2,800 places had been reserved for the programme.

On Tuesday 24th at 11.30 am, one to two hundred people are there, at the airport singing. Shri Mataji arrives, smiling, to be offered bread and salt and a goblet of water in which were floating some flowers, the traditional manner of welcoming a guest in this country. Mother received our flowers offered one by one by us. Anca was there with fifty new Sahaja Yogis from Romania, and Mother had tears in Her eyes because of their devotion, and on their repeated questions and urgings promised to come to Bucharest later in the year. A journalist from the radio was there, and Mother sat down for a quick interview. Later in the day we could hear the echoes of Kundalini, Kundalini, which we had been singing, and the voice of Shri Mataji in the shops in town, and in the places where we were staying, where the programme has a wide audience. Leaving the airport, Mother expressed Her concern that the hall we had rented might not be large enough. Shri Mother went shopping, particularly for local handicrafts, before arriving at Her hotel to rest.

The programme was advertised as starting at 7.00 pm, but when we arrived at the hall at a quarter to six half the people in the tram got off with us and made their way to the hall, where the doors were not yet open. It was impossible to be in Sofia and not know of the programme; people had even come from Plovdiv and Varna, hundreds of miles away. Well before the start, the hall was full, with people crammed into the rows of seats and seated or standing in the aisles and at the sides of the stage.

Shri Mataji gave one brief interview on the threshold of the hall, which was to be broadcast at midday the following day, Mother entered at the back of the hall to be saluted by a rousing chorus of applause. She spoke of freedom and what the West has made of it, tracing a sad picture of life in the USA, England, and France. For giving self realisation, the only answer to the problems of the East as for the West, some people were standing up, as the hall was so full, with anything up to four thousand people, but this proved to be no obstacle for the people concerned.

When She asked who had felt, at least ninety per cent of the hall raised their hands, even at the rear of the hall from where Mother looked very distant and the chakra chart was a small patch on which the colours of the chakras were too far away to be distinguished! But since it was only half past nine, Shri Mataji invited all the seekers to come closer to Her so that She might meet them. For more than two hours Mother was to listen, advise, give vibrations, while the little group of yogis sang bhajans, particularly with the Romanians who already knew several and had very good voices.

Michel Cernay

Press conference

In Sofia in 1990, Shri Mataji had a gathering of twenty journalists, some from TV channels. She arrived at 10.00 am and answered many questions. After a while, probably at 11.30 am, one journalist said that they had no more questions and that they would like to have their realisation. Shri Mataji looked at Her watch and continued talking about various topics, among which was Her family history. Fifteen minutes later another journalist said again that the audience was really eager to obtain their realisation and had no questions. But again Shri Mataji looked at Her watch and continued to talk of Her family, to the bewilderment of everyone in the room! 

Finally, shortly after 12.00 noon She started giving self realisation ‘live’ through the TV channel. One yogi told me that Shri Mataji was waiting for the Mahalakshmi power to rise (it rises at noon) in order to start giving realisation to probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Bulgarians.

Gwennael Verez

A press conference

On the Wednesday, at 10 o’clock, there was a press conference at the Sheraton, Mother’s hotel. Evidently very happy to see such a good audience – some thirty or so journalists from all the leading papers and magazines – Shri Mataji talked and answered some very sensible questions for more than two hours. She spoke at length about Hatha Yoga, which is very widespread here; and said that, yes, She can read thoughts and perceive the deities and other beings present in the room with us, but that Her sole interest was to give realisation. After all, Christ had promised a Comforter, a Counsellor, and a Redeemer. One question was asked about Mother’s family, and She spoke for fifteen minutes in quite some detail about Her parents and others, and about Her husband, who recently received a knighthood from the Queen in England to add to many other honours. She went on to say that many people suffer from the fact that their families are torn apart, in the East as well as in the West, and then, to the astonishment of the Sahaja Yogis present, She went into a discussion of the Sahaja marriages; seventy per year, whose basis is faithfulness and chastity, assuring the security of the heart.

At half past twelve, the journalists were beginning to get impatient for their realisation, and the little ceremony began. Practically all felt the cool breeze, and Mother went on to give vibrations to all the newcomers. Later, as the journalists were served tea at the rear of the room, one man was heard saying that he had been able to leave his crutches, without which he could not previously walk, by his chair close to where Shri Mataji was still giving vibrations, and he was now moving unaided, slowly but surely.

Michel Cernay

The second public programme

Half past seven in the evening. As the Ganesha Stuti was resounding and re-echoing from loudspeakers in the stadium, Shri Mataji’s car crossed the grass slowly and came to a halt near the stage. The audience applauded, thunderously, some ten thousand or so souls, ranked as far as the eye could see on the slopes, the individuals somehow melting into one another in the evening light, rather like the knots in some divine carpet for God’s Lotus Feet. Shri Mataji asked those sitting farthest from Her to come closer and sit in front of the stage, which they did, maybe one or two thousand people moving with the greatest calm and discipline, and leaving a small open space before the stage for the bhajans team.

‘Fortunately Christopher Columbus didn’t make it to India, otherwise perhaps I wouldn’t be here today! Mother spoke at length about the qualities of Christ, how His Mother was the Goddess who had given realisation to the apostles at Pentecost. Then, as She had promised, She spoke about the Spirit, source of peace, knowledge, and above all of love.

It was time to receive realisation. For several minutes, drops of rain had managed to fall. A sudden wind started to blow, a little storm which blew over the vases of flowers on the stage and blew saris draped over the back of the stage into disarray. At this moment, in the stadium, ten thousand hands were pressed firmly onto ten thousand Sahasraras, and Shri Mataji was Herself blowing into the microphone.

‘Is this the cool breeze of the all-pervading power of love?’ The gusts of wind were blowing from our left, but the source of the cool breeze was in front of us, cooler, straight into the palms of our hands. Practically the whole stadium raised their hands to show that they had felt it, and applauded. And then Shri Mataji waved slowly, one long, last time to the crowd, and made Her way from the stage into the car for the airport. Mother remarked how the wind had risen to keep the rain at bay, and expressed Her concern for all the newcomers who would be returning to their homes that they would not be caught in the rain. A few flashes of lightning lit up the sky a little way off, but few drops of rain fell where we were. Those nearest to Her surged forward for a last glimpse, but with no hurry, and as Mother left Her new Bulgarian children they themselves left the stadium, some pausing at the stage to leave flowers where Shri Mataji had been sitting, calmly and quietly, a river of reborn humanity, into the streets and away to their homes.

Since Shri Mataji’s plane had about two hours’ delay, She was discussing various matters with the Sahaja Yogis at the airport, and rearranging Her future travels for the rest of the year. Shri Mataji arranged to visit Bucharest, Romania, for a couple of days on the way to Turkey in October, as She had promised.

Shri Mataji observed that many people are preoccupied here with questions about their health, as the medical services here are very poor, and we had to insist quite often that in Sahaja Yoga we do not become healers nor do we heal others but that each one could learn how to heal himself. Shri Mataji had told us that many realised souls would take birth in the East, and here we were meeting some of them for the first time.

Michel Cernay

The Bulgarians had suffered a lot

Shri Mataji came to Bulgaria in 1990 to start Sahaja Yoga there. She had a huge programme at the stadium of the Akademik in Sofia. She came back a few times after that. She said that Bulgarians made Her cry, and when we saw Shri Mataji our spontaneous reaction was that tears came out. At Easter Puja 1999, after our programme She said that when She went to Bulgaria for the first time She saw that the Bulgarians had suffered a lot, and didn’t know how to enjoy, but that now they know how to enjoy, and now they know the inner joy. And they don’t cry any more.

Gary Boneva

Chapter 6: 1990 August and September, England and Europe

Shri Krishna Puja weekend, England, August 1990

After our Divine Mother decided that the Shri Krishna Puja should take place in England so that as many Sahaja Yogis as possible could attend and have the maximum vibrational impact on the Vishuddhi Chakra of the world, the English Sahaja Yogis were looking around for a site for this puja. They found a school but the vibrations were not very nice, so a few yogis gathered for a puja which they dedicated to preparing it prior to proposing it to Shri Mataji. As the puja was going on, a phone call arrived from Shri Mataji saying that the school which had been found was not the place. She had seen just a field sloping down to the sea, flanked by trees on either side, ‘somewhere in East Anglia’. All the yogis had to do was to find it.

On Friday evening four to five hundred Sahaja Yogis arrived in a Boy Scout camp site called Hallowtree – the Tree of Life – just outside Ipswich, on the Orwell estuary with the field, full of our marquees, gently descending towards the water’s edge, beyond which we could see many small boats riding at anchor. All weekend there were generous amounts of good old English rain, a blessing for this country which had experienced an unparalleled seven-week drought and whose parched yellow-brown grass reminded us of India as we arrived.

Shri Mataji spoke to us on Friday evening in a talk which was at once serious and hilarious as She spoke about the silliness of the West, and then sat with us for a short concert of bhajans mainly by the English Sahaja Yogis. Before leaving us that evening, She advised us not to spend the whole night laughing!

Phil Ward

A major havan in Shri Mataji’s presence

On Saturday morning of the Shri Krishna Puja weekend, we all assembled towards the lower edge of the field for the havan. It was the first time for some years that a major havan had been celebrated in Shri Mataji’s presence. Beforehand Shri Mother spoke to us about America, how the Americans are in confusion, but that they are nonetheless good-hearted people, and with more respect for the family and themselves than some European countries. With regard to the Middle East situation Mother described the Americans as fighting against a devil. The havan was to be the longest in memory, as a Sahaja Yogini unhurriedly read out the thousand names of Lord Vishnu and a Sahaja Yogi their meanings. Shri Mataji kindly commented on some of the names for us, and we all responded with ‘Om Swaha’. During the havan the unbroken dark grey of the sky gave way to patches of blue to warm us as we sat around the fire.

After the havan, instead of the usual burning of baddhas, Shri Mataji proposed that a number of negative things should be burned, to each of which we said ‘Om Swaha’ three times. In particular, She spoke very forcefully about fanatics. She also named the false gurus, and other very negative people and institutions. Then various Sahaja Yogis proposed the burning of other baddhas to Shri Mataji, who repeated them to us as we offered the rest of the auspicious mixture to the fire. She commented to us on the power of this yagnya and recommended us to perform havans more often.

Phil Ward

The puja lasted well into the night

On the Sunday morning of the Shri Krishna Puja weekend we re-assembled after breakfast as our Divine Mother came once again to join us. First there was a little drama depicting the boyhood of Lord Krishna performed by some of the English children. And then we were joined by Shri Mataji’s husband, who won several ovations as speeches were addressed to him to congratulate him on receiving the knighthood of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

The rain continued to fall, the puja started quite late on Sunday evening and lasted well into the small hours of the morning. Just before the puja there was a brilliant and mysterious light in the sky, directly over the puja pandal, in a large circular formation, at first golden and then glowing silvery white. In Her talk before the puja, Shri Mataji mentioned the significance of the puja being held in England. A few years ago the Mahashivaratri Puja had been held in Pandharpur, the city of Lord Vitthala in Maharashtra, Lord Krishna’s place as He is Shri Vitthala, the Virata. Now Lord Krishna’s Puja was being celebrated in the island of Lord Shiva, completing the loop.

The puja lasted well into the night, and ended after our Divine Mother had received presents of musical instruments from all the different countries, including synthesisers, guitars, and exotic local folk instruments. The Sahaja Yogis had wanted to invite some Indian musicians but when this did not work out Shri Mataji commented that it was now time for us to perform.

Our sixth and last meeting with Shri Mataji that weekend came on the Monday morning, as She was about to leave the camp site to return home to Shudy Camps. Everyone left was performing the rasa outside the building as She came out and received the respects and the flowers of those present.

Phil Ward

Our true value

The 1990 Shri Krishna Puja, in England, was my first puja in the presence of our Holy Mother, the God I had been searching for since long. Once I recognised Her I had to set eyes on Her to fulfil my greatest desire. I was only four months in Sahaj so was quite new to the protocols, but had had so many dreams and experiences I knew I had to go to England. Finding the money to do that from Australia was another miracle.

At the puja, when the seven ladies were called I so desperately wanted to go, but had little value of my worth and felt there were many ladies much more worthy than me. My mentor prodded me from behind and others were pushing me as they knew my desire. I finally got up and found myself walking down the centre of the pendal that seemed to open up as I walked towards the stage. I thought I could see seven ladies in front of me and was about to turn around but felt so shy I could not. Then as the other ladies got to the front of the stage, they began turning to the right so they could enter from the side. As I got there, Shri Mataji pointed to me to come straight up, so I became the first at Her Holy Feet.

She told me to take my place at Her right Foot. I could not believe what was happening. As the puja got to the part where we coloured Her Feet with liquid kumkum I so wanted to hold Her Foot and rub my whole hand over it. My left hand held Shri Mataji’s heel. I thought just using the right Agnya finger was so little and my desire was to massage Her Feet one day.

‘You can use all of your hand,’ Shri Mataji said.

I put my entire right hand fingers into the bowl and spread this liquid over Her Holy Foot. It felt so wonderful, so fulfilled – She had heard my desire and granted it. Then my hand passed down Her Foot towards Her toes.

‘Ah, that’s better,’ She said.

I look back now and see how sweetly She was clearing my chakras and making me realise that we have no idea who we really are and our true value.

Linda Pauling

You must stop thinking

I’ve had the juvenile type of diabetes since I was six. I am now in my forties. In 1990 I was at the Shri Krishna Puja, which was in England, and I went to see Shri Mataji afterwards to ask Her what could be done.

‘You think too much, you must stop thinking,’ She said to me first of all and then She said, ‘what do you do?’ I didn’t quite hear, so She told me to go over and sit close to Her, and said, ‘What job?’

‘I am a teacher,’ I replied.

‘Teaching isn’t good for diabetes,’ She said. The other thing I’ve heard Mother say about diabetes is that is closely linked with guilt.

Maggie Burns

Get the negatives

In 1990 Shri Mataji asked me to go to Shudy Camps and collect Her photos, which were with Her personal mail. While doing this I found a small envelope with Her passport photos. When I was in India a year later I went to the address of the photo shop printed on the envelope and asked the owner if he had more photos.

‘Oh yes, we have many photos of Mataji,’ he replied.

Then he brought out a little tin box with over a hundred negatives. I ordered a set of prints and showed the album to Shri Mataji. She looked at every page with a big smile on Her face.

‘I did not age much,’ She said with a laugh, and then, ‘Get the negatives!’

I went back to the shop and told the owner that Shri Mataji wanted the negatives and after a short negotiation he gave a price. With the support of a few yogis I bought them and scanned them in Canada. Now they are with the World Foundation.

Lothar Pfeifer

Nothing was the same

When Shri Mataji came to Switzerland in 1990, She stayed in our ashram in Givrins. We had a lot of guests during that time, around sixty people in the house. All our attention was on cooking and preparing for Shri Mataji, trying to make Her stay as comfortable as possible. We had cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners for our guests, but nothing special, as we concentrated on serving Shri Mataji.

It was the second day when we heard Shri Mataji had asked one of the guests what he had for lunch. After that, nothing was the same. She refused what we had cooked for Her and wanted only the food we had prepared for the guests. She scolded us for neglecting our guests and for not taking care of them enough. Then She dictated a long shopping list to buy food because She wanted to cook for everybody. You can imagine how we all felt.

For two days, Shri Mataji spent hours in the ashram kitchen cooking the most delicious snacks and dinners for us and not only for the ashram people and the guests, also for the yogis who stayed in several places around — they had to come for dinner. We were about a hundred and fifty people. She really showed us how to treat and care for guests, and also taught us how to cook and how to keep the kitchen clean while cooking.

Miracles happened, like Shri Mataji wanted a certain spice or ingredients, which we thought were not in the house, She asked us to look for them and they were always found.

It was a great lesson and a wonderful time.

Annegret Kaluzny

Shri Mataji translated for us

Shri Mataji came to the Givrins ashram in Switzerland, and spoke to all the yogis there. At one point someone gave Shri Mataji a letter and She asked for Her glasses, which She used for reading. No one could find them so She opened the letter and read it without them. She answered each question in the letter, and afterwards we found out that the letter was written in French, even though She did not know French.

A few years later we were at Cabella in Shri Mataji’s room and the television was on. The news came on and Shri Mataji wanted someone from Austria to translate it, but there was no one in the room who could speak Italian well enough to translate the news. So Shri Mataji started to tell us everything that the man on the television was saying, even though he was speaking Italian. She said that the ladies also have to know what is going on in the world. She had translated it from Italian, even though officially She did not speak Italian.

Laxshmi Ward

The Holy Spirit Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Mataji arrived in Geneva on Monday evening to be welcomed by a crowd of Sahaja Yogis – mostly local – at the airport. Big posters had been put up all over town for the first programme simply announcing ‘The Holy Spirit Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi’, and some five to six hundred people came to the Salle des Fêtes de Thonex, a beautiful hall on the outskirts of Geneva, to hear Mother.

Shri Mataji mentioned in Her talk that the truth did not need stage-management or embellishment. It is what it is, Her listeners should try out the hypothesis She was presenting and if they found it to be true then to accept it. She mentioned the success of the programmes – an explosion, She said – in Sofia (Bulgaria), the USSR and Paris and went on to mention Her triumph in London at the weekend, when 1,400 people came to the programme. Mother described how the English Sahaja Yogis themselves were amazed at how the ‘snooty’ English, with their stiff upper lip, became so open and joyful under the influence of Her divine vibrations.

On the way to the programme, and also on Her return journey, Shri Mataji was driven on a guided tour of the banks in Geneva, so that She could better put Her attention on each one. The banks do not give us joy, as She pointed out during Her talk, but only headaches.

Prior to the programme, Shri Mataji spent the day resting at Givrins ashram. In the afternoon She went to sit on the lawn, where She spoke with some Sahaja Yogis who were present, translating a few songs into English for Her listeners, and worked on a number of children present, giving them all chocolate. When She gave chocolate to Mathias’ daughter Lakshmi, only nine months old, he pointed out that the baby might not be able to eat it as she had no teeth yet.

‘Doesn’t matter’, Mother said, ‘she can suck.’

Phil Ward

The rising tide of joy

This letter which follows was given to Shri Mataji before the Shri Ganesha Puja, in 1990 in Austria. In the hotel lobby later, where we were all offering flowers to Shri Mataji, She thanked me for ‘the beautiful letter’. It was an unforgettable, joyful experience!

A few days ago I learned that Shri Mataji, in a mood of abundant joy, had declared that She now gives all Her blessings to Austria. Wondering what this could mean, I went into meditation. After some moments the answer came, that all Her blessings means Shri Ganesha, and that Austria would be filled with His presence.

Now, on this cool, sunny summer morning in Vienna, three days before Shri Ganesha Puja, something tremendous was happening: something a million times bigger than words. While listening to the recording of an earlier Shri Ganesha Puja, a change began to rise in me, like the ocean’s tide swelling by the cool light of the moon. A majestic Presence was entering my being, the room, the city—perhaps the whole world. It was Shri Ganesha Himself. Moving with a graceful fluidity, His presence was transforming everything into a paradise. His immensity, having no bounds, was filling, and somehow expanding, the creation. Within me, I realised that all the impure habits and projections, which I always clung to under my umbrella of guilt, were just hollow illusions. I had felt inferior because I still could not find the Lord of Innocence in my being. Now it seemed crystal clear that I was supposed to simply and purely ask for, and patiently wait for, His Love to open my heart. Now, with only a sudden cool breath of warning, He came: the embodiment of Divine Love and Forgiveness!

My faults had never existed—they were invisible specks of dust made huge through the microscope of my vain doubting. What a fool I had been: tricked, tempted and double-crossed by hosts of empty thoughts! I was thinking that they had some content. Now I see, with the pure vision of my Spirit, that only this majestic Beauty and playful Innocence of the Divine can really exist inside anything real. Only now that He is here, by the Grace of Shri Mataji, does everything begin to have meaning. This meaning, that I begin now to grasp, is more deeply fulfilling than I had ever dared to desire.’

Edward Saugstad

It will always stay in my memory

I want to tell you about the puja I went to with my sister, Heidi, in Tyrol, right up in the mountains, in 1990. The miracle happened after the puja that was held in a big tent on the side of a river coming down the valley in Tyrol.

Towards the end, a terrific thunderstorm started and the rain was pouring down and was coming in on the side of the tent where the ladies were sitting. Some of them tried in vain to right the tarpaulin to stop the water, but Shri Mataji just waved Her hand and the water ran off the side.

As Shri Mataji rose to leave, She made us promise not to go outside the tent for the next half hour, but just to sit in quiet meditation. We heard the thunder and did not see much of the lightning, as the tent flaps were closed.

The next morning, we were told by our landlady at the pension where we were staying that never in her lifetime had she experienced such a storm with thunder and such terrific rain and the lightning actually rolling down the main street, to the utter amazement of the local inhabitants. They all were very worried about our big tent on the banks of the river and came to help us, but could not believe that the river had not come high enough to touch us.

Shri Mataji had saved us and helped us by asking us to stay in the tent for another half hour in quiet meditation. The place where the large tent was pitched was usually the floodplain for when the river came down after such a downpour.

This weekend was the only time I ever attended a puja in front of Shri Mataji and I had been able to present a flower to Her. It will always stay in my memory.

Helga Adams

We can do any job, in a Sahaj way

I work in a bank. When I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1990, I had the idea that it would be great for a Sahaja Yogi to be doctor or a social worker, or to have a job where one can help people. One month later Shri Mataji came to Austria. She gave a short lecture at the airport. She told that wherever a Sahaja Yogi is, he/she can do any job in a Sahaj way.

‘Even Sahaja Yogis working in a bank, are necessary for Sahaja Yoga,’ She said at the end.

Leopold Zeilinger

The sausage factory

This is a story of a sausage factory, which happened over a period of about nine months. It was about 1990 and Shri Mataji sent a message through the leader of Germany that She wanted me to buy the equipment for a sausage factory. I am a graphic designer and know absolutely nothing about sausage factories. I was living in Frankfurt, where many sausage factories are located.

Sir CP had recently retired and Shri Mataji wanted to move to Pratishthan, and She was concerned that Sir CP might not have enough to do, so they thought this might give him something to do. Herbert and Lisel, who were in Kathmandu doing Sahaja Yoga, had a restaurant and knew how to make sausages. Sir CP had asked Herbert for advice and he suggested going to Germany to find a company that had gone bankrupt, to buy the equipment, ship it to India, set it up and start producing. The equipment was bought and put into storage, which was expensive. At this point it was discovered that it was not possible to ship it to India because it was not permitted to take second hand equipment into that country.

Shri Mataji decided to sell the equipment and I was to be the one to help do this. After the first shock, because I knew nothing about this business, I surrendered to Shri Mataji’s desire and began to learn about the value of the equipment and so on. It turned out to be very difficult to find a buyer. Shri Mataji gave me a hint and I advertised but it came to nothing and every day more of Sir CP’s money was going on storage. I had many opportunities to talk to Shri Mataji, and Sir CP came to Frankfurt, but despite all this the sale of the factory did not go anywhere. Shri Mataji gave me lots of advice, and worked on me over the phone, but nothing worked out. At this moment I was putting all my time and attention on this, because I was really worried that Shri Mataji and Sir CP were losing so much money. Then one day the phone rang and it was Shri Mataji. Without much introduction She came to the point.

‘Why don’t you let Me help you?’ I took a moment to reflect on that, because I thought I had done everything that I possibly could, and then I realised. Shri Mataji went on. ‘If you think you are the doer, then I cannot help you, because I have to respect your freedom. I have to respect your free decision. If you surrender and let Me do the job, it will be done.’ So I pulled my ears and apologised to Shri Mataji.

‘Shri Mataji please do it, because I am not capable of doing it.’

The conversation ended, and believe it or not, three days later a buyer appeared out of nowhere, and bought the whole thing, completely unseen, just on my personal assurance, for a price that was way above what we thought we would get. Then he asked for warranty (guarantee), and I called Shri Mataji. She told me to give him warranty, for three years. So I did that and he signed the contract, sent the money and took the equipment. Since then we never heard of him again – no problems.

It was such a lesson, that when Mother wanted something done, to just surrender and not go with my ego.

Herbert Reininger

Shri Hanuman Puja

We prepared a Shri Hanuman Puja in the Schwetzingen Castle, south of Frankfurt in September 1990. It was one of the few Shri Hanuman Pujas celebrated with Shri Mataji and another yogi and I went to the market to buy fruit and flowers.

When we went past a stand with herbs I wanted to buy a bunch of different herbs. Shri Hanuman has always been of special importance to the German yogis. His nine siddhis are an expression of the power of the right side, and He unites these with utter simplicity and humility, plus he is completely devoted to Shri Rama and Shri Sita. This makes him an ideal example for us.

At the end of the puja, Shri Mataji was presented with a symbol of Shri Hanuman: a big club made of papier-mâché decorated in golden colour. I was at the side of the stage and took a photo. I had always been very sceptical about so-called miracle photos, and Shri Mataji played a special trick on me. When I saw the photos I could hardly believe my eyes, Her face looked just like Shri Hanuman. When I showed the picture to Her, She Herself seemed surprised, and the yogis were delighted.


At the end of that puja there was one more beautiful and motherly moment: my friend and I went to the stage with the herbs we had bought.

‘Shri Mataji, we could not find the Sanjeevani herb, so we brought a lot of the others,’ I said, referring to the herb that Shri Hanuman brought to cure Shri Lakshmana, when he was wounded in the battle with Ravana. Shri Mataji was very happy and explained the names of each herb in Hindi, and their different qualities in medicine and in the kitchen.

Thomas Menge

Keep your attention on your Mother

It was 1990 at the Shri Hanuman Puja in Germany. I had made some gifts for the two centres that there were in Germany at the time and one for Shri Mataji. All the gifts were identical Madonnas and I had painted them and etched the names of the centres in the back, but there was nothing written on the back of the one for Shri Mataji. At the time of giving gifts after the puja I had a moment of confusion as to which Madonna was for Shri Mataji. She looked at me.

‘You should always keep your attention on your Mother,’ She said. It was so clear to me what She was saying. It had nothing to do with the Madonnas, and Shri Mataji obviously knew I was very troubled at the time.

Angela Reininger

What a nice sari

This happened in 1990 and there was a yogini from Munich and she had to cook for Shri Mataji. She called me and said she would feel much safer if I went and helped her. I went over, but didn’t take a sari. I thought we would do the cooking together and she could do the serving, so I wouldn’t need a sari, but she gave me one anyway.

One day, we were preparing little fried meatballs and one hopped out of the pan and went all over the sari, all along a line of little spots from the top to the bottom. I told my friend that she would have to take the food in with the sari like that and she would have to serve it. But as it happened, the next morning my friend was not around. I was the only one in the kitchen and I had to take the breakfast in to Shri Mataji. As I went in, I tried to hide the dirt on the sari.

‘Oh, hello, what a nice sari you have. Please come here so I can see and feel it from the front,’ Shri Mataji said.

It got me over this idea that we had to be so perfect in front of Her.

Gisela Matzer

The love streaming out from Her

Once at a public programme in Germany, I was standing by Shri Mataji and fanning Her. As I was fanning Her I was aware of the love streaming out from Her to the audience.

Danielle Lee

Thank You for this opportunity

In September 1990 I got my realisation at a public programme in Amsterdam. I walked into the hall, saw a big photograph of Mother and it felt as if I had come home; as if I knew this lady from another place and another time. I had been seeking for many years.

After a few months Holland had the honour of receiving Shri Mataji in the small ashram near Amsterdam, and the musicians of Nirmal Sangeet Sarita, who came with Her, stayed in my apartment. Shri Mataji received me in Her room in the ashram.

‘How are you, My child?’ Shri Mataji asked me.

Our leader introduced me; telling how my father was such a desperate seeker that when he was a medical student he had made a hole in his head to get higher awareness. Later my mother remarried a man who was well known in the Dutch literary world, so as I grew up I met many writers, musicians and artists. At one point my mother became addicted to drugs, but when I got my realisation she became much better. Many things like this happened in my life, which were heavy on my shoulders.

When I was sitting at Mother’s Divine Lotus Feet I realised that She knew my past lives and what I had been coping with during this life. It was such a relief to tell my story to Her, and I felt that through me She wanted to know about the cultural and artistic situation in Amsterdam.

‘Yes, you are a seeker,’ Mother said.

Her face was shining brilliantly like the full moon, and She was laughing at the same time. Thank You, Shri Mataji, for this opportunity where I could open my heart and find solace at Your Feet.

Jaya Huges

Forget the problems and enjoy                       

In 1990 we were living in a village north of Amsterdam. The house was full of yogis, compared to the size of that house. Before Shri Mataji came to visit us, we were looking for a bigger house, a real ashram but nothing was working out. During Her visit Shri Mataji said that we had to find an ashram to rent. For three days She put bandhans for it, every day. After that Shri Mataji was going to Belgium and I was lucky enough to be driving Her car. When we drove by a suburban area near Amsterdam, Shri Mataji pointed with Her hand towards a certain neighbourhood, called ‘Amsterdam South-East’.

‘I think that somehow you will find an ashram around here,’ She said. During Her stay in Belgium Shri Mataji was still putting bandhans for it. ‘From the programme in Amsterdam somebody will come and help you to find an ashram.’ She also said at one point.

On the Sunday evening we said goodbye to Shri Mataji from Brussels Airport as She was going back to Milan, and we went back to Holland. We had had five wonderful days with our Mother and we knew that after so many bandhans we would certainly get an ashram, but how?

The next morning, on Monday, a lady phoned to our house.

‘I have a house with fourteen rooms in the South-East of Amsterdam. Would you like to rent it?’ she said to my wife Trupta, who thought that it was a joke or that this was a weird person.

We phoned her back and she did not actually own the house; she was renting it but couldn’t afford it any longer and had to leave. However, she expressly wanted that the next people to move in should be a group and spiritually oriented people. She had seen some posters of Shri Mataji’s programme in the streets and thought that the people behind this lovely Indian Lady could well be the nice group of people she was looking for, but had a hard time finding our phone number because it was not on the poster.

That same evening we went to see the house and it was absolutely perfect. It was in the south-east of Amsterdam, the same area Shri Mataji had pointed out a few days earlier. We registered with the housing corporation that owned the house, but they said many other groups had already applied that it would be very difficult for us to move in, and there were many more legal and bureaucratic obstacles. I phoned Shri Mataji to tell Her about this miracle and that Her prediction was coming through, then mentioned the obstacles.

‘Henno, you are a Sahaja Yogi, so don’t worry. Everything will work, you just sit back, relax, and enjoy! These problems don’t exist, just watch the drama,’ Shri Mataji answered in a very sure, convincing and loving voice.

So that’s what we did: we sat back, did the necessary things, but most of all, we enjoyed the whole process, as we had the full conviction that this house was going to be ours. We moved into the house four weeks later and started the Amsterdam ashram. When we told Shri Mataji about this miracle She said that we had to tell it to everybody.  

Henno de Graaf

I had never witnessed so much love

I had always been fairly lucky in life, making a reasonable living, owning a home and having a nice wife and children. However, I was a devout atheist and aware that I was living in a state of despair – and worse, was turning into one of those nasty, bitter old men that most people rightly steer well clear of.

I was working in Soho Square, London and one day in September 1990, as I left my office for lunch, I saw a poster of Shri Mataji. My attention was immediately and compellingly drawn to Her face. I read the text on the poster, there was to be a Public Programme at Hammersmith Town Hall that coming Friday evening, the 14th. My ego/conditioning kicked in, and I thought, ‘It’s probably a cult, one of those Indian things.’ But each time I left the office, as if drawn by some magnetic force, I found myself looking at Her face – I had never seen a face like it; it embraced a huge spectrum of emotions and feelings. On the Friday of the programme I found myself at Hammersmith Town Hall and with some trepidation made my way inside.

There was a brilliant introductory talk, straight from the heart, by a Sahaja Yogi. Shri Mataji then appeared, wearing a beautiful white sari. I was transfixed, I had never witnessed so much love coming from a human being, and what She said had me in a state of bliss and wellbeing. When She gave self realisation, to my utter astonishment, I felt the cool breeze on both hands. She invited questions and my blissful state of thoughtless awareness was interrupted by a series of what seemed banal, trivial and irrelevant questions, all of which She answered with equanimity and good grace.

On my way home, as I navigated the Chiswick roundabout, still in a state of complete bliss, I realised that my life would be utterly changed by the evening’s encounter. My despair evaporated like the early morning mist warmed by the sun. After only a few days meditating, I found my cynicism had gone and I could be as a young child again, open to the possibilities of life. Several bad habits disappeared, for example, whereas I had given up cigarettes a hundred times before, from that evening on, I never smoked again.

My gratitude to Shri Mataji is incapable of being expressed in words. She gave meaning and value to my life, and since then I have seen many thousands know the same kinds of transformation.

Alan Wherry

Hours in a moment

It was the Navaratri Puja in Switzerland and Shri Mataji asked fourteen young girls to come to Her Feet and then, later on, She asked just two young girls to stay at Her Lotus Feet. There was myself and another sister and we had to rub Her Feet with red kumkum. We were so full of love rubbing the Feet. I felt like hours were going in a moment. Shri Mataji said something to me in English and, like a child, I looked at Her.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said, then asked my sister, ‘What did She say?’ because I was thoughtless, and I just looked in Her eyes. At that time, it was wonderful. I was like a baby.

Susanna Kalipriya Tropsek

A miracle

The first time I met Shri Mataji in person was at the Navaratri Puja in Switzerland, September 23rd, 1990. We used to gather for pujas in big hotels, schools or any place that was suitable. On that occasion, we were going to have our dinner but the food I saw, sausages, hot dogs and fatty Swiss cheese shocked me as it was not suitable for me. I had just started Sahaja Yoga and was desperate because my stomach was in pain. I prayed to Shri Mataji to help me. My prayer was intense and loud in my heart, and in just a few minutes the Sahaja Yogis announced that Shri Mataji was coming to cook for all of us.

It was like a miracle. What Mother cooked for all of us was just what I needed and desired very deep inside me. It wasn’t ordinary food, it was very unusual, it looked like a medicine. I don’t know what ingredients were in it. I have never had anything like that and have never seen it in any cook book. I was shocked and in the same time thrilled with joy. It was served in a little glass jar, a very smooth and oily, a delicate, transparent soup with a touch of herbs, and on the side of the plate green boiled vegetables. Everything was neat and balanced in proportion. There was more, because my leader asked me to sit at the back of Mother’s chair, and I started to feel that all my toxins were coming out, an experience I really can’t explain in words.

The next day at the Navaratri Puja again the leader asked the new people to sit in the front. I saw our Mother in the form of Shri Durga, and Her eyes were looking inside my heart, which was a bit worrying. A Sahaja Yogi said to me that Mother was attacking the negativity attached to our hearts and not to be worried. So I gave all of myself into Mother’s hands and surrendered in joy and with all my gratitude.

The day after the puja, I went back to Milan, into my routine life and thought everything was normal. I went to a drinking and gambling bar to buy my bus ticket (this is normal in Italy, you buy your bus tickets in bars). The smell of alcohol and smoke overwhelmed me and I had to leave rapidly as I felt sick. Near the bar was a flower shop, I ran to the flowers, picked up a huge bunch and buried my nose in them to breathe in the fresh scent. From that day I could not smell or take any alcohol or nicotine, and it happened in just one day.

I am so glad Mother came to live in Italy. She made every day a miracle for us.

Ornella Bollani

Chapter 7: 1990 – October, Europe

Divine cooking

I had my self realisation in June 1990, my life started to take shape and in October 1990 went to my first puja to meet Shri Mataji in person. That day She came in Her form of Shri Durga Devi. 

At Saturday lunch, before the evening programme, I was queuing for the meal but I felt a bit sick when I looked the food that was there, offered kindly by the Swiss yogis. There were some sausages and hard Swiss fermented cheese. I was accustomed to Italian food and was praying, ‘Please, Shri Mataji, help me, I cannot eat this food, why do I feel so sick?’ 

At that magic moment, I saw Shri Mataji in person coming towards us, in the hall where the buffet was placed.

‘You do not have to eat this food, because I will cook for you,’ Shri Mataji said loudly to everyone, with a smile on Her divine face.

Wow! You couldn’t believe what it meant for me. I was overjoyed. Then Mother prepared an amazing meal, a divine medicine meal. She cooked an amazing soup for us, then at the side on the plate, a few green boiled vegetables. That was just what I desired, and exactly what my human mother used to cook for me when I was sick. But Shri Mataji had cooked in such a divine way, a thousand times better, and that proved to me that I was in front of my real divine Mother.

 I was so thrilled, and enjoyed the enormous amount of vibrations coming from this divine food. The leader from Milan asked me to sit close to Shri Mataji and eat next to Her. At that moment I felt all the toxins coming out of my system, and knew that something amazing was happening to me.

I was not fully aware of the great miracle until Monday morning, when I got back to Milan and went into a shop to buy a bus ticket. This place was drenched with a smell of alcohol and cigarettes, because it sold them both. I felt I was going to vomit so I ran away. I went to the first flower shop that was on the street and saw so many flowers. I held a big bunch in my arms and took a deep breath of the fragrance, then I felt better. I thought I was going mad and apologised to the flower shop lady, and at that moment understood what had happened to me. I couldn’t drink any alcohol or smoke cigarettes anymore. I had completely given up drinking alcohol and smoking over one night, after meeting Shri Mataji in person. 

Ornella Bollani

Shri Mataji in Bucharest, Romania

I first met Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in Bucharest, when She first visited Romania, in October 1990. Even though my parents and I had been in Sahaja Yoga for less than three months, seeing the thousands of people flocking to Her programmes, we realised how fortunate we were to meet Her as Sahaja Yogis and not as first-time seekers, and to be aware of who She was.

As She came through the gates of the Otopeni Airport, She had such an incredibly warm and radiant smile to see Her Romanian children for the first time. She was wearing a Romanian ‘basma’, an embroidered scarf folded in half like a triangle, that Romanian women traditionally wear in the countryside around their heads to protect themselves from the cold. As She was wearing it exactly the way Romanian ladies wear it, it made such an impression on us, since She looked very Romanian!

She received flowers from all the Sahaja Yogis present as we circled around Her singing our two favorite songs – Ganesha, Ganesha and Kundalini, Kundalini. When my turn came, I was singing Kundalini, Kundalini and I didn’t know what to say, so I continued singing as I offered the flowers and kissed Her hand as a sign of respect, not knowing at that time that we were not supposed to touch Her unless She asked us to. Shri Mataji smiled so sweetly and nodded Her head as She received the flowers I offered. Some Yoginis even kissed Her on the cheek, so excited they were, but She forgave all our ignorance of the Divine protocol and were overflowing with love.

In the evening of the same day, I was at the ashram – a small flat that had become our operating headquarters during Shri Mataji’s visit – when we received a call from the house where She was staying. Shri Mataji wanted to see all of us who were there. I thanked my stars for hanging around at the ashram so late, and joined the twenty or so Yogis in spending an unforgettable couple of hours in the presence of the Divine. At that time I couldn’t understand what was being discussed, but I could feel the vibrations and I just felt blissed out to be there. At some point Shri Mataji gave a bandhan (at a programme She had had earlier in Bulgaria there had been some vandalism after the programme and She didn’t want that to also happen in Romania), and I felt tremendous vibrations in my hands. It was as if a thick blanket of vibrations had manifested, floating just above the floor.

The next day Shri Mataji had a very big programme in Bucharest where, during Her talk, two religious extremists from Norway jumped on the stage, took the microphone and tried to disturb by bringing their message of a distorted form of Christianity. They were soon very calmly taken off the stage by the Yogis, while Shri Mataji watched the whole scene in a complete witness state. Then She commented on how these two people are an example of where fundamentalism can take you.

The next day Shri Mataji held a press conference in a relatively small room which was packed with reporters and Yogis. She graciously replied to all kinds of questions, some very silly, in a compassionate way and also with Her unique sense of humour. One Hatha Yogi was telling Shri Mataji about the complicated contortions he could achieve and even wanted to do a demonstration. Shri Mataji grimaced and said that She wouldn’t be able to bear it.

‘You should get married,’ She advised him. Everyone laughed, and we understood how She was teaching him what to do to balance his dry right side.

That evening Shri Mataji had a second big programme in the same prestigious hall, which went very smoothly. Again, many thousands of Romanians received their self realisation during those two days, some also who had come by train from far away cities, and who are now Sahaja Yogis.

Calin Costian

The face of a woman, the face of God

Ten years ago I was working as a reporter. The invitation to attend a conference held by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi took me by surprise. I was reluctant to go because I used to think that awakening Kundalini in Western people wouldn’t be such a good idea. I had witnessed many tragedies as a result of practicing yoga methods without the assistance of an authorized, balanced teacher. Against my own convictions, I went that night at the place where the conference was held, the Palace Hall in Bucharest – Romania. A little bit surprised by the large crowd that was waiting in the theatre, I found myself awaiting the arrival of the ‘Lady’. The noise backstage amplified.

‘The car is here, make way please, make way!’ a voice was heard announcing. I was told that I could not get the interview I asked for and Shri Mataji was not going to give any interviews for the local media. Very intrigued, I still stood there, in that very narrow hall backstage. Out of a black car came a woman dressed in white, with very black hair and a heavenly smile. Even now I feel like bursting into tears when I remember that moment. Everything is there: emotion, longing, joy that life made me part of such an extraordinary circumstance.

Why did the wonderful lady stop by me? Why me? Wait a moment, She is speaking… But what is She saying? Oooh, She speaks English. Somebody told Her who I was and what I wanted. My hand, but also my heart, seems to rest peacefully in Her palms. I hear, as if in a profound dream, an invitation for tomorrow morning, at 9 o’clock, at Elisabeta Palace. My eyes lost themselves in the eyes of the ‘Lady’. I was watching a face, which seemed beyond matter. The face of a woman, the face of God? It seemed I didn’t actually watch a face, but the reflection of an emotion.

A kind person invited me to take my place in the room. I don’t know exactly what happened next. I don’t remember seeing the people or hearing their voices, only an energy similar to the one produced in the summer by heat, resulting in a trembling image in the distance. I was listening and yet I didn’t record anything. My mind was completely void. Afterwards, while walking home, I was floating. I started to think that I had to make a change, a significant change in my life.

The following day, at 9 o’clock in the morning, I was standing at the entrance of the Elisabeta Palace. I was told that Shri Mataji was not ready yet, and She could receive me.

‘I won’t leave here until I have the interview!’ I told myself. I was out of breath and my knees were trembling – the emotion before the meeting.

‘Oh, it’s late,’ a gentleman tells me, ‘Shri Mataji has to go to… I’m sorry,’ he says, ‘but there is no more time for your interview’. Suddenly the hall is filled with people: I’m looking amazed at some Romanian ladies wearing saris. I can focus on two or three faces. Somebody gave me a golden necklace with a medallion in the form of an oak tree. At the beginning I don’t understand the gesture. Why am I being given something precious, a jewel? ‘It is a gift from Shri Mataji, please, have it,’ I am told. I saw You, my dear Mother, coming down that marble stairs, wearing a red sari, illuminated by a smile, radiating the kindness of Love. You said the words I have never understood.

‘You radiate so much peace, my child!’ My temper is fiery, intense. Time stopped and I knew the interview in itself was not important. I was asking the questions like a little robot, but there was something else that magnetized my attention. It was as is if I was somehow outside myself.

At the bus station later, I felt inside something strange and very profound. A hot – yet cool – energy started to climb from the coccyx area up the spinal cord. And before the bus came, something exploded at the top of my head. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t know why I was repeating to myself: ‘It’s Kundalini, it’s Kundalini!’

Dumitra Dumitrache

We thank our Divine Mother from our hearts

When our Divine Mother Shri Mataji came to Romania for the first time on Monday 15th of October 1990, She was welcomed at the Otopeni Airport with great joy, flowers and songs by a large crowd of Sahaja Yogis, from all over the country.

The next day, the 16th, at the Great Palace Hall, more than four thousand people got their self realisation. The next public programme took place on Wednesday the 17th and the conference hall was full of seekers from Bucharest and all over the country. On Thursday the 18th we parted with tears in our eyes and with an immense joy that the Great Goddess came to our country in response to the requests addressed to Her by thirty Romanian Sahaja Yogis who went to Sofia, Bulgaria, to greet Her at the airport. On that occasion She promised that She would come to Bucharest in the autumn and She did so. On Thursday at the departure at Otopeni Airport, after taking a few steps, She turned back.

‘Do not be afraid, because now the negativities cannot attack you any more. They cannot act upon you and you don’t have to be afraid of the financial difficulties because all of them will be solved,’ She told us.

We thank our Divine Mother from our hearts for the great opportunity that She gave to us, to spread the truth and the vibrations here and all over the world!

Ortiz Bravescu

The Gandharvas and the city of joy

Sahaja Yoga started in Bucharest in April 1990 with the help of the Swiss (the first yogini from Romania got realisation in Switzerland on the occasion of a public programme with Shri Mataji) and some French yogis. Romanian politics and culture have been for long under strong French influence and it seems that there is a subtle significance of the fact that the French were the first to come and bring the pure knowledge to Romania. On 16th of October 1990 Shri Mataji came for the first time to Romania. Every word touched me and called me in deep loving recognition, sometimes I felt Shri Mataji was looking at me. I was in a new dimension I did not know before and this dialogue of love melted and filled my whole being. I found my true being and I found Mother. Welcome Mother, I’ve been so much missing You!

Her Holiness held six public programmes from 1990 to 1996 in Bucharest, with more than 4000 seekers attending each programme. She has described Romania as part of Left Vishuddhi and has revealed in one of the public programmes that Bucureshti/Bucharest (name of the capital), means ‘City of Joy’, as bucur, the root of the word Bucureshti means ‘joy’ in Romanian, and that ‘Romania’ comes from Ramana, which in Sanskrit means ‘to enjoy the love of God’. Mother also mentioned that in ancient times, before the Christians came, two great Indian saints reached to our land and taught their knowledge. We can find relics of this influence in names of places, rivers and people all over Romania.

Mihaela Balasescu

The divine play

The first time I met Shri Mataji it was at mid October, 1990. She had just arrived at the airport in Bucharest. Her kind face emanated a tremendous but appeasing force. She wore an overcoat of a light brown colour and Her head was covered with a scarf. Some of us came forward to kiss Her hand, ignorant of the fact that nobody was allowed to touch the Goddess without Her permission. A young man started to shed tears, and then Mother put Her hand on his Left Vishuddhi, and immediately he was comforted. The Romanian leader had asked everyone to offer Shri Mataji only one flower, however, some brought large bouquets.

I saw Her again in the Palace Hall, on the next two days, when She gave two consecutive talks. The 4,000-seat hall was overcrowded; some people were seated on flap seats. Then we, the Sahaja Yogis, took our seats on the floor, between the first rows and the stage, creating a cordon around Shri Mataji.

The evening was not devoid of incidents. The girl who did the translation into Romanian was under great stress, so another lady took her place but she did not do a good job either. Then, a gentleman appeared out of the crowd— I used to know him as a religious fanatic. He nonetheless offered his help as a translator. Then, two people, also fanatics, came in front of the stage and started to shout, trying to disturb the programme.

The public started to protest expressing the fact that they had come to listen to the lady and not to them. The most vehement opponent of the two people was the man who was doing the translation on the stage.

‘Watch them, how they dare to speak of peace!’ he said.

The two troublemakers had to leave the hall. I thought about the divine play, and how that man became Shri Mataji’s instrument.

Dan Costian

I married an Indian

I was lucky enough to attend Diwali Puja in Venice in October 1990. I was working in London at the time and I went to the puja with the English yogis. It was felt right that I should ask Shri Mataji if it was alright to stay in the UK.

After the puja I went up to see Shri Mataji with another lady from abroad, and she was talking to Mother. Then all of a sudden Mother asked me where I was from, and I said Australia. She asked me whether I was going on the India Tour so I said I would go the following year, because I did not have enough money to go that year. Then She asked me if I would like to marry an Indian. At lunch before the puja, I had just been saying that my parents would never agree to my marrying an Indian, and I didn’t think I could do it. Mother picked up this thought, and She looked so beautiful that I went right up to Her.

‘English?’ I asked.

‘No, Indian!’ She said, so how could I not say yes?

‘Yes, Mother, next year,’ I said. She said this with so much love, even though She was correcting me, and the next year I did go on the India Tour, and I married Rajiv, an Indian man.

Fiona Aggarval

Do yogis get numb to miracles?

In 1990 after the Diwali Puja we followed Shri Mataji to Her car and She turned round with Her arm on the door and looked up. 

‘Mahalaxshmi is pleased, She will turn the sky pink,’ She said.

I looked up. It was around 2 am in the morning and just black sky was there. Shri Mataji left and we all went in to clear the hall etc. Some time later we left for our hotel and on the way I was looking up into the sky and saw a big dark cloud which started to turn purple. I was amazed at that sight.

‘Look! Shri Mataji said the sky will turn pink and look!’ I called out to everyone and said, pointing to the sky. They looked up and a kind of ‘Yer’ came out of their mouths and they carried on chatting. I was walking behind totally transfixed by that cloud and its purple colouring, I thought, ‘Gosh, do yogis get numb to these miracles after some time?’

Pascuale Scialo

Shri Mataji said She liked Australian films

I was travelling in Europe with another Sahaja Yogini. Just after the Diwali Puja, in Venice, in 1990, Shri Mataji sent a message that She wanted to speak to all the foreign Sahaja Yogis. There was just one other Australian lady and myself. We went up onto the stage after the puja, and as it was Diwali, Shri Mataji was very happy and joyful and beaming. She asked us where we came from, and why we were there, then asked me about my family and the work I had been doing.

Just prior to coming to Europe I had been working on a feature film that was set in the outback of Australia in the 1860’s. It involved a lot of horses, and so I told Shri Mataji I had been working on this film. Shri Mataji said She liked Australian films very much because they observed all the mariadas. She said one of Her favourite films was an Australian film which had some horses in it. So it was very pleasing for me to hear this.

Sandhya Dara

Chapter 8 – 1990 – November, South East Asia

Lotuses and a full moon day

Shri Mataji arrived to visit to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 1st November 1990, a full moon day, from Bombay, to begin Her tour to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This was Her first visit to Malaysia after a lapse of six years. She was greeted at the airport by a large turnout of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis. Arriving back at the centre shortly after mid-day, She was impressed by the lotus flowers that decorated the meditation room. Mother remarked that this was the flower of Shri Mahalakshmi.


Two public programmes

In the evening of the 1st November 1990 there was a public programme attended by about three hundred and fifty people. In Her talk Mother remarked that Malaysia has many left side catches and Her left side was vibrating when She landed in the country. She said that this was also the case when She was last here six years ago. In spite of this, most of the people present got their realisation.

The next morning Mother went shopping in Kuala Lumpur for gifts for the forthcoming India Tour. Every shop Mother went to, She got the best prices. Mother marvelled at the low prices She obtained for the saris and cloth. The prices were typically half those in India even though these goods were imported from there. Undoubtedly, this was the privilege of Shri Mahalakshmi.

In the evening, there was another public programme attended by about four hundred people and as was the case the previous evening most of them got realisation. Afterwards, Mother met the seekers personally on the stage and the programme ended well past midnight.


I knew this lady was very special

I had received my self realisation earlier in the year, but soon dropped out. In November 1990, Shri Mataji was visiting Malaysia again after a long time. As the date came closer, my Mom, KT Tan, asked me to give Sahaja Yoga another try, and to go and listen. I said I didn’t want to. She said that if I didn’t want to listen to Shri Mataji, fine, but she wanted my help in decorating the stage.

So on the day of the programme, my Mom and I went early to the Girl Guides Hall, Brickfields. A night market was setting up on the road outside as we put up decorations within the hall. Clouds started to gather as people slowly trickled in, taking seats. A few yogis from Australia had come to help with the programme. The hall was less than half-full, and loud Tamil film songs were blaring from stalls just outside the hall. Then to cap everything, it started to rain.

As the time ticked by, the audience glanced at their watches. Some got up and left as one and a half hours went by without any sign of Shri Mataji. One of the Australian yogis went up on stage to tell us about the diagram of a person on the chart that hung on a wall. Suddenly, everyone rose to their feet. A breeze seemed to blow gently over us, and I could hear whispers ripple through the crowd.

‘She’s here! She’s here!’

I looked through a forest of heads towards the entrance. Then I saw Her. A figure in white smiled at us. Her hands came up in a namaste, and the moment I saw Shri Mataji, I felt a curious click inside, the significance of which I could not yet understand. I felt somehow that I knew this lady, and that She was very special. She walked up on the stage and proceeded to talk to us.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Faces glowed after a few words with Shri Mataji

Shri Mataji’s talk at the 1990 public programme was not very long and She asked us to ask questions. Some people came up to the mike prepared for such an occasion, and asked about things I didn’t know about; the relationship between Sahaja Yoga and a religious book they were reading, Her opinion on the unpronounceable name of a guru. Very patiently, She answered all the questions, and all the time, I sat and just looked at Her. I felt a recognition that I could not understand.

‘What is so special about Her?’ I kept asking myself. I knew there was something, but still could not see what it was. Later, Shri Mataji invited the entire crowd to queue up so She could meet every single person. The line stretched around the hall, and two and a half hours later, Shri Mataji was still meeting people, Her smile always fresh, glum faces glowing after having a few words with Her.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Cooking for Shri Mataji

In 1990 most of us were very new in Sahaj. We didn’t know much about protocol. In preparation for Shri Mataji’s visit, our small collective decided to cater for everyone at the centre, which was also the leader’s house, where Shri Mataji was going to stay. Luckily a few Australians came a few days earlier to help and guide us. They advised us that at least the food for Shri Mataji should be cooked by the yoginis.

There were about eight yoginis in our collective and we held a quick meeting. We didn’t know if Shri Mataji was a vegetarian or not. After some discussion, we decided each yogini would take care of one meal and those who liked could add on one dish to give variety. The first meal would be lunch, since Shri Mataji was arriving from India around noon. Who would cook the first meal? Nobody volunteered. Maybe we were all afraid we might make mistakes. In the end I volunteered. ‘What shall I cook? Well, I’m a Malaysian Chinese and it is better to cook what I’m familiar with,’ I thought. I cooked several Chinese dishes at home and brought them to the centre.

When Shri Mataji arrived, She only had some tea, talked to the leader for a while and went upstairs. By evening, Shri Mataji had not asked for lunch and we telephoned the yoginis not to prepare dinner since lunch had not been served yet. That evening Shri Mataji went for the first public programme at the Girl Guides Hall in Brickfields. After returning to the house, Shri Mataji said She would like to have food. We asked what food She would like.

‘Chinese food,’ She replied.

And there was all the Chinese food in the kitchen, downstairs! The food was served in the sitting room upstairs, one course at a time. Shri Mataji asked what it was called, or what was in that dish or how it was cooked.

‘Send the cook up,’ someone said, after the questions and answers were passed upstairs and downstairs a few times. I was a bit nervous but Shri Mataji smiled and asked if I had cooked all the food. I pointed to the ones I cooked and She asked more questions about them. Then She talked about the Chinese food that She and Sir CP had in Beijing. It turned out that Shri Mataji enjoyed Chinese food because it is very light. Subsequently, we served Her mainly Chinese food, which is not spicy-hot.

It is such an honour and pleasure to be allowed to cook for Our Divine Mother especially when my cooking is just that of an ordinary housewife. Shri Mataji was very forgiving and made me very shy when She thanked me for cooking for Her.

KT Tan

Shri Mataji knew exactly where She wanted to go

The next morning, at Mr Ng’s house, yogis gathered and chatted over breakfast as Shri Mataji ate upstairs. I looked at the faces around the table and thought there was something attractive about them, but couldn’t tell what it was. Shortly after, Mr Ng came downstairs and said that Shri Mataji would like to go shopping.

‘Young man, would you like to go?’ He looked at me and said. ‘We could use some strong arms to carry all the shopping bags.’ I was burning with newfound curiosity about Shri Mataji, so I agreed, welcoming the chance to see Her again.

We drove in a little convoy to the centre of the city. We were told later that Shri Mataji wanted to buy saris for the upcoming India Tour, but at the time, I had no idea what that was about. I followed at a discreet distance as this group of about eight men walked behind Shri Mataji towards the shops. She seemed to know exactly where She wanted to go, and Mr Ng was by Her side, carrying Her large brown handbag.

Robert Ramesh Tan

The sari thread

Shri Mataji walked into a large store and headed for the counter selling good saris. A bored salesman watched Her approach and took his time reaching for the sari She wanted to see. Within minutes though, I saw at least three salesmen measuring metres of sari material, folding them and taking down yet more piles as Shri Mataji looked over everything and told them that She wanted ten of these in blue, another ten in that colour, but no, She didn’t want those ones. It wasn’t long before all the counter tops were full of multi-coloured piles. Gold threads winked from hues of blues, purples, and rich reds, chasing beautiful designs of amazing complexity. Throughout the entire time, I just watched Shri Mataji.

I watched Her movements and how She spoke to the salespeople; how Her deft fingers touched some fabrics and rejected others. Her keen eyes picked out beautiful pieces of art, and never once did She hesitate. I had never seen shopping on this scale, and I just watched, amazed. At some point, I got a little rude. I was standing about ten feet behind Shri Mataji, and watched as She did everything.

My eyes never stopped staring, and in my mind, I kept asking, ‘What is it that is so special about You?’ and my heart said, ‘I don’t know, but there’s something.’ Suddenly, Shri Mataji turned and fixed me with a penetrating look. She knew what I was thinking!

Shri Mataji moved regally around the store, leaving salespeople desperately trying to keep up in Her wake. Once She was done with the saris, She said She wanted to buy some fabrics, located at another part of the store. To get there, She had to walk past me, and as She drew up, I smiled weakly at Her, a poor attempt at an apology for my rudeness earlier. She did not look at me, and shamefaced, I turned my gaze to the floor. Then, as She walked by, some three feet ahead of me, I saw the light blue part of Her pallu float gently in the breeze behind Her. My eyes followed the rhythmic movement and suddenly fixed on a little thread that had unravelled itself at the end of the fabric. It stuck out about half an inch from the end of the pallu, and as the overhead light caught it in its passage past me, a thought ran through my head.

I remembered bible classes from when I was a youngster in school, and the story of a man who touched the hem of the cloak of Jesus as he walked past. Jesus felt energy drain out of His cloak, and knew that He had been touched by someone. In a split second, as I looked at that thread, I thought of this story and thought that if Shri Mataji was truly great, She would know if I touched this thread. Looking at Her receding figure and not thinking about possible consequences of such an action, I looked back at the thread and, reaching out very deliberately with my right index finger, I touched it.

She stopped, turned slowly and looked at me with eyes that penetrated my being and I could not look away. I knew that She knew what I was thinking. She did not say a word, but there was no need. I felt no more doubts that there was something truly incredible about Her.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Shri Mataji’s face bloomed with a smile

After reeling from that experience, I became aware of some commotion around me. A couple of yogis nearby were talking about Shri Mataji and She was giving self realisation to the people in the shop. A crowd started to gather, and other patrons of the store looked at Shri Mataji with the awe and recognition of people who knew they were in the presence of greatness.

Shri Mataji was standing facing a salesman. He was an old man with red-rimmed, droopy eyes set in one of the saddest faces I had ever seen. His eyes were a milky blur and all his features seemed to curl downwards, as if even his nose, cheeks, mouth and eyebrows felt they would never know joy again. His head was swathed in a bright turban, which seemed to contrast even more with his misery.

Walking cautiously up to him and Shri Mataji from behind his back, I could see, as I turned to face them that his hands were stretched out towards Shri Mataji. She was speaking softly to him and to the yogi standing next to Her. I saw that Shri Mataji’s hands were stretched out toward him, and know now that She was giving him vibrations. As I moved closer for a better look, my jaw dropped as a movement near his chest caught my eye. His shirt was jumping and flapping, just at his heart, as if a bird was trapped under the fabric! I couldn’t believe my eyes, blinked, and looked again. Sure enough, there it was again. Flap, flap. With both his hands outstretched, I knew that there was no way he could flex his chest muscle or subtly move his shoulder to make his shirt flap like that. Shri Mataji gazed with concentration, Her right hand pointed at this strange phenomenon.

‘It’s caught there, at his heart,’ She said softly. Suddenly, the flapping stopped.

‘Ahh….!’ I heard Shri Mataji say as Her face bloomed with a smile, and the old man’s face lit up as if someone had switched a light on inside his head. Years melted away from his features, and I could see that he wasn’t an old man after all. His eyes shone bright and clear as if he had just seen some wondrous sight. He smiled, and all his droopy features perked up and he looked completely different, his being seemingly suffused with a newfound strength. Then he bent down, touched Shri Mataji’s Feet and thanked Her profusely while She smiled at him and waved Her blessing. Then She walked off to another part of the store to continue Her shopping.

Robert Ramesh Tan

The broken leg had healed

I was still rooted to the spot, trying to digest what I had just seen when I noticed that the crowd had thickened considerably in the part of the store Shri Mataji was in. I could hear people saying they recognized Her from posters they had seen around town. By the time I had squeezed my way through the throng that stood three or four people deep in that little area, I found that Shri Mataji was sitting on a stool, and a young man was sitting on another one, in front of Her. She was chatting to him, always smiling, but I couldn’t catch Her words. She had Her fan in Her hands, and waved it as She spoke. The heat was quite stifling, and the store’s air-conditioning wasn’t coping well with the crowd at all. My own shirt was sticking to my back and the crowd was watching the entire drama unfolding before them. They jostled to see but no one surged forward. A kind of inner protocol, observed unawares, told them to give Shri Mataji space.

Taking a closer look at the young man seated before Shri Mataji, I realised He was another salesman from the store. A pair of crutches lay beside him on the floor, and I recalled seeing him limp around in the background as Shri Mataji was shopping earlier. Now, She had Her Foot on his cast as She spoke to him. After a few minutes, She told him his foot was now alright and that he could go to his doctor the next day and have the cast removed. He bent eagerly down, taking it in his hands, and seemed about to try and rip it off there and then, but Shri Mataji told him to take it easy and just see the doctor to have that done. He got up and after some tentative experimenting, found his broken leg had healed, and laughing, he pranced about.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Her countenance melted with incredible compassion

Just then, a skinny young Caucasian man burst through the crowd and, falling at Shri Mataji’s Feet, wept like a child, asked Her to save him. He was shaking uncontrollably and all the yogis looked nervously at each other, trying to decide what they should do. Having seen so much for one day, I had stopped asking myself what was happening, and just watched. Shri Mataji spoke to him, and it became clear that he was a young German tourist who had gone travelling in India, Nepal, Tibet etc.

‘These poor fellows, just see what happens to them! They go to these places and get all caught up,’ Shri Mataji said.

I looked at Her face as She said that, and it seemed to me that Her countenance melted with incredible compassion and pity for Her child. Shri Mataji gave him vibrations and then asked the other yogis to clear his left side. He was asked to sit on the floor, legs stretched out in front of him. To my amazement, he began jumping; and his whole body jumped a few inches off the floor. Yogis gave him vibrations from behind, clearing and trying to bring his subtle system into balance. After he felt better, he was taken back to the Sahaja centre and asked to sit on the earth to clear himself more. By the time he left, his twitching had reduced considerably, and he was then given a number to call up yogis in Germany so that he could attend Sahaja Yoga classes there.

The afternoon was fading into a golden glow by the time we got ready to leave the store with Shri Mataji. Along with the other men, I happily loaded car after car with the results of Shri Mataji’s afternoon out, but I was not the same person who had walked in earlier that day and stared rudely at Shri Adi Shakti. Sometime during the afternoon, my humongous ego had been punctured (thankfully) and in my heart I felt a wave of love and peace wash over me. Without a murmur, it seemed as if my whole being, twisted and tugged in many directions for so long, had suddenly glided weightlessly into harmony, and I knew, deep within myself, that I would never question Shri Mataji again, and would follow Her wherever She might take me. I knew then, without a doubt, whatever it meant, that I was going to be a Sahaja Yogi.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Many gathered round to get their realisation

The next day Mother again went shopping for the coming India Tour. At a shop selling saris and cloth, the manager and all the shop assistants were given realisation by Mother. Not only that, many of the other customers and passers-by who had gathered round also received their realisation. A shop assistant with a fractured foot in a plaster cast received Mother’s attention and was cured. Not doubting Mother one bit, he immediately attempted to remove the plaster cast until Mother told him to do so only when he went to see his doctor.


Malaysia is a part of the Mooladhara

That evening Mother gave presents to the Sahaja Yogis who had assisted in making Her visit a success. A collective present was also given to Mother in appreciation of Her visit. Appreciation was also expressed to the Australian Sahaja Yogis who had come to assist in the organisation of Mother’s visit.

In Her talk, Mother expressed a desire that as many of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis as possible should come to India for the Ganapatipule seminar. Later, talking about Malaysia’s position in the Virata, Mother said that Malaysia is part of the Mooladhara but more towards Shri Ganesha. According to Mother, this was evidenced by the large number of the local Indian population who are worshippers of Shri Ganesha. In ancient times, Malaysia was joined to India, and also Shri Rama visited this area.

The next day, the 4th November, Mother went on to Bangkok to continue the next stage of Her Asian tour. As She left for the airport, Mother graciously expressed Her thanks to those present and said that She had enjoyed Her stay. There was a full turnout of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis to see Mother off at the airport. As She sat majestically on a bench in the airport lobby with each Sahaja Yogi offering Her a lotus or a rose, and bystanders were impressed by the grace, dignity and power that Mother radiated.


Is this the time the hands will speak?

It was in the early 1990’s and the Australians were asked to go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to help with Sahaja Yoga in its early stages. By Shri Mataji’s grace, I was able to go with four Australian men. It was a wonderful experience. The yogis were so lovely, so caring. Shri Mataji enjoyed lots of shopping.

Usually, I could never shop all day, but with Shri Mataji I had plenty of energy. People came to Her, asking Her to give them what She had to give and many, many got their realisation.

One man’s hands were shaking and his body, at the left Void, was trembling. Shri Mataji told us later he was a closet drinker and would be in trouble if he didn’t stop. Then a young German came to Her. He was very damaged. Shri Mataji, and some Sahaja Yogis all worked on him — this in the middle of a big shopping centre. They were all sweating. He had had negativity put into him by members of a damaging sect. He was laughing and crying and screaming and barking like a dog.

‘Stop it. You can stop it right now,’ Shri Mataji demanded. After a while, the boy calmed down and a couple of the men took him back to the ashram. A young girl was watching Shri Mataji working on people.

‘Is this the time the hands will speak?’ she asked me in awe.

We went to a sari shop.

‘I’m not sure about these,’ Shri Mataji said, because She’d been looking at some saris. ‘Where are the artists? Come here and have a look at these.’ She said to me, ‘What do you think?’

‘Very nice,’ I said — God asking my opinion! Shri Mataji bought nearly all the saris.

The programmes were packed. Shri Mataji had us, the Australians, helping. She worked on someone and then referred her to me and pointing to the Vishuddhi. It was unbelievable that you were being asked to do this. People were coming up and asking to be healed.

Diana Selentin

First visit to Thailand

In November, Shri Mataji did as She had promised and stopped in Thailand as part of Her first Asian tour. At the airport I managed to enter through Immigration to welcome Shri Mataji from inside. For some reason the yogis travelling with Her were far behind, and Shri Mataji was standing alone at Immigration. I was so moved to see Her so simple and unaccompanied; She was just like a loving Mother coming to visit Her family. She took me in Her arms and kissed me on my cheeks.

‘You slimmed down, Janine,’ She said.

I felt so comfortable with Shri Mataji; it was so natural. The paloo of Shri Mataji’s sari was slightly slipping from Her shoulders and without thinking further about protocol, I just took it in my hand and put it back in place. I then felt that it was not the proper protocol, but Shri Mataji just smiled at me. Mother knew that I was impressed and would have felt very shy in Her presence, and She made me comfortable by being so loving and appearing not as the Divine Guru but as a very simple and extremely loving Mother.

Janine Sreshthaputra

Like a dream

A few months after meeting my family in Spain, Shri Mataji did as promised and visited Thailand, giving Her first public programme in the capital. My whole family was still rather new in Sahaja Yoga and we were very impressed to be there and get the opportunity to be so close to our Holy Mother. I was twenty-four years old at the time and my sister was about nineteen. We were there with my mother and few other relatively new yogis from foreign countries.

Shri Mataji, looking majestic and royal, knew how to make us feel comfortable and confident, and sat down in the living room as soon as She stepped in the house. At the same time She was very much like a simple but most loving and compassionate Mother. She looked at us with a blazing smile.

‘So how does it feel?’ She said, almost as an introduction.

‘It is like a dream, Shri Mataji,’ I replied.

‘It is really your love, yours and your sister’s, that brought Me here,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Since you are in Sahaja Yoga, the vibrations of this country have improved’. She later explained that the Mooladhara of our country had improved a lot since we had received self realisation.

We had no words to answer and were engulfed in a silent wave of love. It made me understand that all Sahaja Yogis are much more powerful and important than they believe and have a direct impact on their environment and country.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

No protocol

The first year Shri Mataji came to Thailand, we received Her in a small house by the river. As it was the first time for me and my family to be so close to Her, we were quite impressed. Alex Henshaw from Australia was there as well as Marie-Martine from Switzerland and one or two others who had previous experience looking after Shri Mataji, but no one was appointed to take care of Her.

A few months before, in Europe, Shri Mataji repeatedly stressed the importance of protocol, and that we should not take Her for granted. For instance, we should not impose ourselves and not go to see Her if not invited. However, on the first day of Her stay I spent a long time with Shri Mataji in Her room discussing a wide range of subjects, from politics to economics to overall Sahaj subjects like Mother used to do. I totally enjoyed it, but on the following day started to think that I had spent at least three to four hours with Mother when She might have liked to rest or just be on Her own.

I felt a bit guilty and was sitting in front of Her room in meditation, waiting for Her to wake up. Shri Mataji opened the door, and we entered to serve Her breakfast. It felt very intimate, like being with a very loving Mother as Shri Mataji was smiling and looked totally relaxed in the slightly crumpled white cotton sari She had been sleeping in.

‘So how are you, Prakash?’ She asked.

I told Her I felt a bit of left Vishuddhi as I thought I had imposed myself too much on Her, taking too much of Her time on the day before. Mother looked at me with laughing eyes.

‘There is no protocol between a Mother and Her children, and what would I do all alone in this room otherwise without you to keep Me company?’ She said. In a few seconds She totally changed my mood and She added something like, ‘Besides it is such a good opportunity for us to enjoy together, otherwise it is difficult to get the chance with all these other people.’

What Shri Mataji had conveyed was as if She was only there for me and that normally other people are the ones who are between Mother and Her child, preventing them from enjoying being together. Such beauty. The rest of the day was thoroughly enjoyable and from that time onward, the certainty that She was my Divine Mother, always loving me and protecting me never left me.

This was Mother’s way of drenching us with Her love and She created this type of relation with all Her children all over the world – not only with me – in those privileged few days She spent with so many of us, travelling constantly from one country to another. Every time it was the same love, the same trust, teaching us Her divine ways.

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Absolute power

One of the most impressive aspects of Shri Mataji was during public programmes, when She individually worked on newcomers. It was common for Her to stay after the programme and invite seekers to meet Her individually on stage. People would queue for hours and it was common for Mother to stay without a break until past midnight.

It was an extraordinary experience for Sahaja Yogis and newcomers as Shri Mataji would display an absolute understanding of spirituality as well as of human nature. People from different religious backgrounds just needed to recognise Her as the incarnation of the deity they worshipped. For instance, a staunch Buddhist would be asked to repeat, ‘Shri Mataji, You are Shri Buddha Maitreya’, while a Christian may have to repeat, ‘Shri Mataji, You are Mother Mary’ to correct specific catches, and then the Kundalini would shoot up. Mother would know in that second that the Kundalini had pierced the Sahasrara.

‘Ahhh…done!’ She would often comment joyously, or something similar.

It was not rare to see seekers cry with relief in front of Shri Mataji, unveiling their hearts to the one they instinctively recognised as the Divine Mother, and be comforted, reassured and cured by Her. She would glow with a mix of compassion and absolute power, fully enjoying Herself and at the same time fully concerned for the wellbeing of the person in front of Her. She would instruct Yogis to help Her and give vibrations on stage, controlling the progress of the Kundalini, advising and correcting us if we didn’t give vibrations correctly.

The first programme in Bangkok in 1990 was one of the most impressive in my memory as the first batch of seekers was heavily damaged and reacted very strongly to Shri Mataji’s vibrations. Several people started to shake from walking on the stage and sitting at Her Feet. Others, mostly born realised or very pure seekers, were welcomed like Sahaja Yogis even though they were meeting Shri Mataji for the first time. There weren’t many like this, but their faces would be glowing and their vibrations very good.

‘How are you? Nice to see you,’ She would say, or something like that, as if welcoming relatives or old friends, and then She would turn to yogis and comment, ‘See his vibrations!’ or, ‘He is a Sahaja Yogi already.’

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Shri Mataji worked all night

‘I am already here,’ Shri Mataji said when She reached the house we had prepared for Her.

She sat down on the sofa in the little living room. We were only a handful of Sahaja Yogis and we sat down at Her Feet. We started to sing a few bhajans and the vibrations flowed so strongly, working on the left side that the few of us were in, this dreamlike state, both sleepy and in a very deep meditation.

During the night, Shri Mataji kept working on the vibrations of the country and slept very little. In the morning She said that so many bhuts kept coming to touch Her Feet in order to get liberated and that it had disturbed Her. We were in awe at this manifestation of Her Divine consciousness and compassion.

Janine Sreshthaputra

She has always been with us

Shri Mataji visited Thailand five times, from 1990 to 1996, five almost consecutive years, as part of Her South East Asian tours. Among countless unforgettable memories of Her visits, what seem to prevail are feelings of infinite love, great intimacy and untroubled harmony. Mother was welcomed by a handful of yogis whose number increased slightly as years passed and words spread of the rare moments one could share with Mother.

Among the few yogis who were around when Shri Mataji came the first few times were some members of my immediate family, in particular my brother and mother, the latest having settled in Bangkok with the permission of Shri Mataji in 1990 to do pioneer work in publicising Sahaja Yoga. From the very beginning, it was surprising how close and bound to Shri Mataji we felt, as if being in Her company was something totally natural or as if we had been around Her since times immemorial.

Although we had seen the grandiose manner in which Shri Mataji was usually received in European countries, we had to welcome Her in a more modest fashion as only a few yogis were here to assist and resources were rather limited.

The first year for example, in 1990, Shri Mataji was received in my father’s week-end house on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, slightly away from the centre of Bangkok. It was a simple and cosy two-storey house, with three bedrooms on the second floor. Shri Mataji would always request us to stay with Her in the room even though we thought that She may desire some privacy at times.

‘Don’t leave Me alone here,’ She would say. ‘There are usually so many people around in pujas that we never can spend time together.’

It was a most humbling and deeply moving experience to spend few days in Her company, going shopping with Her, or to the beauty parlour or to eat a pizza or an ice-cream. Shri Mataji would never lose a chance to raise people’s Kundalinis. We all were rather new in Sahaja Yoga. My family started meditating in 1986, and we would never have dreamt of spending so many magic moments in Shri Mataji’s company.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

That feeling of complete protection

After a few months Shri Mataji kept Her word and came to Thailand, to Bangkok. Some Sahaja Yogis came from France, including myself. Shri Mataji travelled from Australia to come.

We were new to Sahaja Yoga, and had never talked with Her, and were in this foreign country, waiting for Shri Adi Shakti. We had put up a lot of posters and rented a room for about three to five hundred people, but only about eighty turned up. Shri Mataji completely gave Her heart on this first Asian tour – we felt a bit uneasy that there were not more that first evening. But Mother did not say a word about the poor turnout and devoted the same motherly and intense attention as we had seen Her doing with the attendance of thousands in other countries. After the realisation session, Shri Mataji insisted on meeting each new seeker personally until midnight and was very happy about the session.

For two hours Shri Mataji gave a talk, gave realisation and then received all the people, one by one. One lesson it taught us was that it doesn’t matter how many come, we must put our heart in it. That night I understood that even one single seeker deserves our full attention and we should never get discouraged.

The second day was the same, and again about eighty people came and She worked on each and every one of them with the same love, concentration and attention as if there had been a thousand. She just kept on working on all those individuals. Again miracles happened and She treated each one as if he or she was a long lost child coming back to his or her mother. Many who came were very damaged. Mother put Her fingers into a glass of water and dripped some water which had become vibrated, and one man came back to himself. Then She treated him. There was a man who started to shout. We all jumped back, but Shri Mataji was completely calm.

‘Come back, look at Me now,’ She said.

Every time the consciousness of that man wavered, he looked at Shri Mataji and became normal again. She cured him, and the next day some of us were caught up on the Left Swadishthan and Centre Heart, except one relatively new yogi from Australia who was very laid back and had been criticised by the older yogis for being more of a tourist than a help, while everyone else was actively trying to contribute.

‘He is the only one who didn’t catch, because he doesn’t react. This man is a bag of vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said about him, and it made us reconsider what is supposed to be a ‘good’ Sahaja Yogi.

‘What has happened to you?’ Mother said to me.

I said I thought I had caught from this man, and Mother said yes of course, it was because I had reacted. Mother was just laughing. Maybe we should not be too bothered, and not be afraid to be caught up. For those of us who have not been so close to Shri Mataji, it is difficult to convey that feeling of complete protection we felt when we were with Her.

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Shri Mataji’s purity drew me to Her

The first time I saw Shri Mataji’s poster, in Bangkok 1990, it wasn’t very clear because I was travelling in the bus, but something prompted me to look at it again on my way back from work. The smile on Shri Mataji’s poster was so gracious, full of joy and happiness. I felt that She was pure and innocent like a child, and Her smile was so joyful and so peaceful. I think it was Her purity that drew me to Her. I took time off work to go to the programme.

I was the second person to arrive, even before the Sahaja Yogis, and sat in the front row to get a good view. Shri Mataji was late, because She had to travel a long way to the hotel and the traffic was bad, but I was not bored because Janine started the programme. I couldn’t understand much, but enjoyed the programme.

Shri Mataji came at 8 pm and everybody stood up to pay their respects. She wore a white sari, had a radiant smile and was full of compassion. She apologized for being late, but I didn’t feel that I was waiting at all. She continued the programme, raised the Kundalinis en masse, then asked us to feel the breeze on our heads, whether it was cool or not. I couldn’t differentiate whether the breeze was from the air conditioning or the Kundalini.

At the end of the programme Shri Mataji opened the Kundalini of those who went on stage, one by one. After She finished raising their Kundalinis, some were asked to say the mantra and some She asked the yogis to put three candles around them. When my turn came, Shri Mataji looked simple and yet not so simple, I could not explain. She asked my name, and told me to stretch out both hands towards Her. She held my hands and put attention on me for a while, then asked whether I felt it was cool.

‘Yes, it’s cool,’ I answered. I could feel the coolness on the hands but not on the head.

‘Mother, are you Maitreya?’ Shri Mataji told me to say, three times. After that She told me to say, ‘Mother you are Maitreya,’ then She told me to tell others that She is Shri Maitreya.

I learned later that what She asked me to say was the word to open the Left Agnya chakra, and it was the word to reduce the ego so that the Kundalini could pass through. Not everyone was asked to say the same thing by Shri Mataji. To some She asked them to say that She is the Father, to some that She is the Mother and to some that She is the guru, depending on their catches. I waited till there were only a few Thai people left. While I was waiting there were two incidents. First there was a man who started to shake and roar.

‘It doesn’t matter, I just want to ask your name,’ Shri Mataji said to him, then he calmed down. She did not raise his Kundalini but advised him to go and meditate at the centre so his symptom could improve.

The second case was a man who fainted, and we were all shocked. Shri Mataji dipped Her hand in Her glass of water and sprinkled it on him. He suddenly became conscious and then She raised his Kundalini. Shri Mataji raised the Kundalini until the last person. It was the first and last time that She raised the Kundalini individually in Thailand; thereafter She raised it en masse.

Not long after, in December 1990, with Her love and compassion, Mother invited three of us, expenses paid for, to go to India to join the yogis from other countries at Ganapatipule. It was the highest blessing in my life to receive this gift from Shri Mataji. I had always wanted to go to India since I was a child, and if it hadn’t been for Her I may not have fulfilled my dream. That trip made me understand Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga much more. I had the opportunity of doing puja for Shri Mataji on two occasions and would like to thank Her from the bottom of my heart, for Her love and compassion to me, and also all our brothers and sisters that have always helped me.

Payhon Modemuang

Mother Earth incarnated

Driving the car for Shri Mataji was one of the best experiences for me. It was a most privileged moment as we were almost alone with Shri Mataji and through Her Motherly love She made us feel so special. The relationship at that time was very intimate and always from Mother to child, more than from guru to disciple.

What impressed me the most was when Shri Mataji was sleeping in the car, and the effect it had on us. When She slept, Mother pulled us in a different realm and everything around us seems to slow down. The busy streets seemed suddenly silent as if we were enveloped in a cocoon of peace. Also, when She slept Shri Mataji had a gentle snore, like the many sounds of Mother Nature itself. Sometimes it felt like the wind gently blowing in the forest, the rumble of a distant thunder or the purr of a tiger. I felt I was just facing Her aspect of Shri Bhumi Devi (the Mother Earth itself) and although I was driving I was completely in meditation.

‘I can stay awake the whole night, but in the day I have to sleep for at least twenty minutes. This is what the deities want,’ Shri Mataji once told me in the car.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

A superhuman body

I once had the chance to massage Shri Mataji’s Feet as She was resting one afternoon and lying on the bed. What really surprised me, apart from the torrent of vibrations emanating from Her body, was the softness and smoothness of Her Feet, which were like those of a new born child. She was then aged sixty-seven and how could Mother possibly have Feet so incredibly soft and smooth?

After massaging Shri Mataji’s Feet and hands for some time, I started feeling my Kundalini shooting up in my back and out of my head as if enlarging and becoming solid as a cable. At one point I felt as if the top of my head had been blown off, as if only the all-pervading energy existed.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

I had experienced the absolute truth

In 1990 a friend of mine took me to someone who read your future in the cards. He mentioned that I would meet a special lady who would change my life completely. I did not pay much attention but the next day I took another way home instead of regular one. On that way I saw a small poster hanging on the wall announcing a public programme of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi at the Windsor Hotel on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. I decided to attend the programme and get my self realisation.

During the programme, Shri Mataji gave the realisation to all of the participants and I had a problem to feel the cool breeze. However, She invited each of us on the stage. Soon it was my turn. While approaching Mother, She asked me what kind of a picture I had in my pocket. I took it out and showed it to Her. She told me to throw it away.

I was now kneeling in front of Shri Mataji and surrendered completely to Her. She asked me to stretch out my hands towards Her and to repeat an affirmation of Jesus Christ. I was trying hard to repeat the sentence one, two, three, four … times, but did not succeed. I thought to myself that this lady was very, very patient with me.

However, after ten times I finally succeeded. I was able to say the complete sentence and the Kundalini shot like a rocket through the top of my head. I was in a complete state of bliss and I could feel the tremendous divine energy, the real yoga. That evening I walked home intoxicated with that wonderful vibration, realised that I had experienced the absolute truth and that I needed not to search any more.

John Wyss

He must be in the seventh heaven

This is a recollection of the 1990 tour of South East Asia. Shri Mataji had toured down to Australia, then She travelled to Malaysia, then to Thailand, and Taiwan and then finally Hong Kong. I was fortunate enough to be doing the video filming during this tour, so had the opportunity to spend quite a lot of time with Her.

We were staying with Prakash’s father’s house in Bangkok at the side of a canal. Shri Mataji was upstairs, and She was being attended by a number of yogis. We were sitting downstairs and one person said he had just had an amazing experience rubbing Shri Mataji’s Feet. The thought crossed my mind, that I would like to do the same, and then one of the girls who was looking after Shri Mataji came down and said that She wanted to see me. She called me upstairs.

‘Yes Shri Mataji, did You want to see me?’ I asked.

‘No,’ She replied, ‘I didn’t want to see you, did you want to see Me?’

‘No, Shri Mataji,’ I said.

‘Well, in any case, while you are here, you can rub My Feet.’

So it was a little play to get me up there to fulfil my desire to rub Her Feet. I started to rub Her Feet, and I was really pressing and massaging. I was using a lot of my strength, and the sweat was coming out of me, and She was telling me to press harder. After some time my arms started to get tired, but I just surrendered into it, and I just got lost in it, and after two and a half hours I just remember my whole body vibrating.

‘You had better take your rest now, and go off to sleep,’ Mother said.

She had been going in and out of meditation. I remember floating downstairs, and I lay on the floor and fell asleep, felt totally vibrating.

‘How is Alex?’ Shri Mataji asked the next day. ‘He must be in the seventh heaven by now.’

It was a very sweet experience.

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji cured my sciatica

This happened during Shri Mataji’s first visit to Thailand in 1990. I had developed a sciatica that would hurt my left hip and left leg from time to time. I had also found out that I had a slight imbalance between the height of my left and right hip, which would exert a pressure on the sciatic nerve. One day, Shri Mataji gave me vibrations and put Her Feet on my back.

She enquired about my birth place – Viet Nam, and enquired whether I had fallen in my childhood. I had indeed, when only a few months old. Later that same day, Shri Mataji went shopping in the car, with a few yogis. I thought that I would stay back home and tidy Mother’s room.

‘Saraswati can come. She can sit on My lap!’ Mother said, as the car was about to leave.

I was barely twenty years old then and light and slim. I ended up not quite on Mother’s lap but squeezed against Her side so that Shri Mataji’s right elbow pressed heavily on my left hip. I later understood that Shri Mataji precisely corrected the imbalance on my left hip, thus fixing the problem. From that day, I never suffered from sciatica again.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Bangkok is My place

During Her first visit in 1990, there were very few people travelling with Shri Mataji and I had the blessings to look after Her quite a lot. One night, Shri Mataji asked me and another yogi to give Her a massage to absorb the vibrations which were flowing so strongly. We started to massage Her lower legs. I was stunned to feel they were so strong and hard, like pillars of marble, not even the strongest athletes could have legs that strong.

We were fast immersed into a dreamlike state, as vibrations were flowing intensely and we were merged in bliss. It went on for hours and Shri Mataji was closing Her eyes, but when we thought She was sleeping She would ask us to massage a different part of Her body. I remember massaging Her arms and shoulders, which were soft like silk. After a long time we thought Mother was sleeping.

‘I died here,’ She suddenly said very clearly.

After that Shri Mataji didn’t say anything more about it and we were too much in awe to ask. My understanding is that She referred to one of Her past lives, and very likely as Her life as Shri Sita.

‘Bangkok is My place,’ Shri Mataji said in the following days and also, ‘I have a plan for Bangkok.’

Prakash Sreshthaputra

He just got his realisation

While we were driving around town, Shri Mataji asked us about the origins of Thai people. I told Her that according to historians, the Thai people came from China and settled in Thailand long ago. Shri Mataji’s commented that it was not likely to be so as there are regions with mountains for them to cross when coming from China. She paused for a moment.

‘Thais are just like Bengalis, they must have come from Bengal,’ She then told us.

She further commented that Thais and Bengalis are very similar, the softness of the language many sounds ending in O and A, the alphabet, the culture and lifestyle with the proximity of the water, the festivals and the aspects of the cultural dances and music. Most important, She pointed to the beautifully relaxed attitude to life that was very similar, and repeated, ‘They are Bengalis.’

Then, while the car was stopped at a signal Shri Mataji illustrated Her point by showing us two young men lying down at the back of a pick-up truck in front of us. They were smiling and enjoying themselves in a typical Thai attitude, and one of them was reading a book about Lord Buddha.

‘See, he just got his realisation,’ Shri Mataji said, and we could see him looking absolutely peaceful. This is how Her divine compassion was acting.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

Prices should be correct

The first year Mother visited Thailand, She purchased some gold jewels as presents for some of Her family members. Shri Mataji commented the high quality and purity of Thai gold. In the shop, within the compound of a large department store, Mother had a lengthy discussion with the saleswoman, bargaining skilfully and knowing precisely the correct price of the items, judging from their craftsmanship and weight in gold.

After some time, the young saleswoman seemed to get confused, counting and re-counting her profit margin feverishly over and over on her calculator, trying to decide whether or not she could afford the discount Mother was requesting. Mother later commented that it was important that prices should be correct and fair for a market economy to function well and prosper.

‘My memory and yours are very strong!’ Mother told me, recalling amusingly and in great details the incident on the evening of that same day.

Mother had a great sense of humour.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

You should become a journalist!

This also happened during Shri Mataji’s first visit to Thailand. During the many precious hours we spent by Her side, as very few yogis were around, Shri Mataji enquired about my educational background. I was then a student in a French University, enrolled in an undergraduate course in communication and information.

‘Can you write well?’ Shri Mataji asked me.

‘Yes,’ I replied. At school, I had always done well in this field.

‘You should become a journalist!’ Shri Mataji then said. It was at a time when in Europe and especially France, the media were giving Sahaja Yoga a rough time. Mother deplored the fact that journalists were usually arrogant and aggressive. To my surprise, Mother added: ‘You should blast them!’

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Shri Mataji put kumkum on my forehead

I followed a false guru who taught a particularly damaging meditation for ten years. Shri Mataji cleared me by giving me vibrated water to drink. She asked Saraswati Sreshthaputra to open the window and asked me to stretch my right hand out of the window, and to put the left hand towards Her. I could feel the negativity just shot out of the window and Shri Mataji asked Saraswati to close it. Shri Mataji put kumkum on my forehead after that.
John Wyss

She put a lot of attention on it

Bangkok was not so easy to arrange as a small town. The slightest thing took the whole day. We had the programme in a big hotel downtown, in 1990, and it was quite successful. There were quite a lot of people.

Mother was very saddened by the child prostitution. The Sahaja Yogis told Her about this when they passed that district in the car. She put a lot of attention on it and, interestingly, after She left, the subject was brought up in the international papers and since then there have been many cases, especially in Switzerland, of people being condemned for going to Thailand for that.

Since Shri Mataji came, much has been done. I remember Her giving bandhans against this child prostitution.

Marie-Martine de Techtermann

It was ten years later

The first time I cooked for Shri Mataji, I cooked some fish. That was in Switzerland.

Many years after I was in Bangkok for Her first programme there. I was helping prepare in 1990. In Bangkok, we did a lot of shopping with Shri Mataji.

Just before She left, we went to a Pizza Hut, ten years after I had cooked for Her and in Bangkok I had found a beautifully carved fish covered in coloured pieces and painted. At the Pizza Hut I offered it to Shri Mataji, as a souvenir. I bent down and knelt to give it to Her and She held it in Her hand.

‘Oh, that’s because you cook fish so well,’ She said.

It was ten years later.

Marie-Martine de Techtermann

You are the doer

We got to Hong Kong, on the South East Asian tour of 1990, and Shri Mataji had been booked into a very simple hotel – the airport hotel. The room was very small and pokey, not the sort of room one would usually take for Her. The people had only organised a room in their local club, and had invited a few friends along. When Shri Mataji discovered these meagre arrangements, She decided to cancel the programme.

Alex Henshaw

The left and right side
When Shri Mataji was in Hong Kong She mentioned that Lao Tse was working out the left side and Confucius the right side.
Alex Henshaw

I had to go to Hong Kong first

The biggest surprise in my life was one morning in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA – the telephone rang around 6 o’clock one early morning, and over the other end came Mother’s lovely voice inviting me to join Her tour in Taiwan, but Shri Mother dictated that I had to go to Hong Kong first without further explanation. It was a mystery that remained in my head, not to be solved until I reached Taipei, Taiwan.

The Hong Kong collective was still only a contact representative at the South Shore serving as Mother’s stopover at the time. Since I had no idea of why I had to be there, I stayed there nearly five days, and had at least three meetings with the person who was planning the programme for Mother. At the first meeting, he told me the programme was planned at the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club, and people were only allowed to attend the very first Sahaja public programme in Hong Kong by invitation.

He showed me a list of about sixty-five upper class invitees, and the well printed invitation. I told him that Mother would want a public programme for all the seekers who would wish to attend, but the organiser said everything had already been arranged.

Upon arriving in Taiwan, Shri Mataji relayed a message that the 1990 Hong Kong Public Programme had been cancelled. At that point, I had not told anybody about what I had seen in Hong Kong. I suddenly realised the ganas had been looking over my shoulder at the time.

Sarvesh Su

A miracle

Shri Mataji toured Taiwan four times from 1990 to 1996. On receiving Her from Taiwan airport, She said She has been to Taiwan once many years before, and remembered it was like a garden city – so beautiful back then, but now the high rise buildings were mushrooming everywhere.

One day after the public programme, Shri Mataji wanted to go out for a pizza lunch, and so we scrambled to fit into a few cars. After the lunch, She decided to go gift shopping. As we knew, She always bought presents to give to the children (our brothers and sisters) worldwide. Since I left Taiwan nearly twenty years ago, I must admit that I was no longer familiar with the streets of Taipei. After a few mistakes, Mother showed us Her power again. Instead of our leading Her to go shopping, She led us to a street which was totally unknown to Her, and pointed to a building saying there was the store we should visit.

I was in a state of thoughtless awareness and we followed Her into the building, stepping into the elevator. We got to the seventh floor, at Shri Mataji’s instruction, where She asked me to ring the bell on a door that looked like an ordinary apartment house, so I sheepishly did so. I almost dropped to the floor with surprise of what I saw in there when the steel door jarred open. Through the gate I looked inside. Wow! It was a wholesale souvenir jewelry store hiding inside.

I was sure no one was aware that the whole process of coming to this store was a miracle, and that it happened just like the previous year, when we were in New York.

Sarvesh Su

Shri Maitreya is Shri Trigunatmika

This story relates to the first visit of Shri Mataji to Taipei for Sahaja Yoga, in 1990. She had been there before, but this was the first time She came to spread Sahaja Yoga and do public programmes. During the first public programme, which was held in the Chen Hall just beside the Grand Hotel, Shri Mataji was asking the people afterwards to come on the stage and the yogis were working on them. During this time She continued to talk, and explained about Shri Maitreya. Shri Mataji explained on the microphone that this is Shri Trigunatmika.

When Shri Mataji came to a country, She worked intensely on the place. During Her first visit in 1990, She stayed for six days but went out only twice, once to the public programme and once for a small shopping trip. The rest of the time She stayed in the room and worked on the country. On Her later visits when the place was a bit cleared out, She ventured out more.

Harald Knobel

Jade meditation discs

When Shri Mataji came to visit us in Taiwan, we went to the Palace Museum and among the amazing artefacts there, we saw a “Bi’ made of jade. I was looking at the decorative text around the outside my attention was kind of sucked into the hole in the centre and I went completely thoughtless. It was a profound experience, the depth of it. Shri Mataji said later that these jade discs were designed specifically for meditation and that the old sages understood thoughtless awareness very well. This was at a time well before Lao Tse or Confucius.


The need to practice

As Taiwan is one of the countries of the back Agnya, we often got requests to perform exorcism during Shri Mataji’s Asia tour. One boy of seventeen years old had tried to commit suicide by leaping off a building three times, without major injury. He said he heard voices that urged him to do so. We found out that he had had a habit of going to a cemetery in the past and ended up being possessed.

Mother asked the boy to stretch his right arm out of the open window, using a candle treatment on his left arm, which was directed towards Shri Mataji. She was holding an orange, because no lemon was available at the time. I listened attentively, that Shri Mataji was reciting the name of Shri Vitthala Rukmini, for the right Vishuddhi, repetitively. Mother asked all the children and pregnant women to leave the room at that particular occasion. The boy left after he said three voices had gone out of his body. At other times, Mother wanted us to treat people with back pain caused from car accidents and other problems. She said if we didn’t practice, how we would know we have the power?

In Taiwan and Hong Kong Mother talked about Buddhism, Buddha, Lao-Tze, Confucius, Taoism, and even the political relationship of China and Taiwan in great detail. She explained to us that Buddha promised Maitreya’s coming in the future. Maitreya means three mothers (powers) in one – the same as Christianity’s comforter, counselor, and redeemer.

Sarvesh Su

Being an interpreter for God

We were in Taiwan in 1990 and we stayed in the famous Grand Hotel in Taipei, which is modelled on a traditional Chinese design. We had gone with Shri Mataji and were staying in a large suite in the hotel. Shri Mataji was enjoying Herself we had served Her dinner and She began to watch the TV. We were flicking the channels and a movie came on – In the Name of the Father, set in Ireland with the actors speaking with an Irish accent.

Shri Mataji found it hard to understand, so She asked me what they were saying, and in the end I was acting like a translator for the whole movie and was telling Her what was going on. It was quite amazing, being an interpreter for God, sitting at Her Feet with this movie going on. I thought I had better not make any mistakes!

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji did a bandhan around the shop

On Shri Mataji’s first visit to Taiwan, we went to a wholesale jewellery shop and we walked up the stairs to where they were selling pearls and coral. They also had a lot of jade, and Shri Mataji did a complete bandhan around the shop two or three times. After that, you could see there was something working out vibrationally with the owner. All of a sudden he became very joyful and helpful. When we had first gone in you could see there was something not quite right, but then after the bandhans his face brightened up. Shri Mataji started to look at things, and buy things, and by the time we started to negotiate for the price, the owner had become very helpful and gave a very good price. This was always the case, Shri Mataji always got the most amazing bargains.

Alex Henshaw

Chapter 9: 1990 December, India

Shri Mataji asked us to wear business type clothes

A small group of us were leaving one week early to attend the India tour as we could not get later flights. The night before we were due to leave from Shudy Camps, we were asked to go and help load some boxes on a truck. The boxes belonged to Shri Mataji and we were taking them with us on the plane. It turned to be fifty large boxes; it was a little surprising but we decided to surrender to Shri Mataji and not worry. Before Shri Mataji left for India, in Her infinite wisdom, She asked us to wear business type clothes and ties to travel and not to look like hippies.

When we arrived at the Air Canada desk, at London Airport, the attendant said we looked like a nice group of people and asked if we drank alcohol. As we said we didn’t, she upgraded us to First Class. When we told her we had some boxes outside, she said the airline would fetch them and load them on the plane at no extra cost. The sixteen of us travelled from London to Mumbai in the privacy of the second floor cabin and were treated with great care.

Annie Calvas

Magical India continued, diary entry, India Tour, December 1990

After four years it is good to have ones feet on Bhumi Devi again! Yesterday we went for a fabulous sitar programme performed in front of Shri Mataji by two realised souls, Nishat Khan was one of them. At the end their virtuosity was such that I had the feeling the Kundalini was whirling and dancing with joy. It was absolutely above human level and Shri Mataji confirmed later that if music is played at that level and spread all over the world, people will feel the joy of pure art and get their Self Realisation. The programme ended at 4 o’clock in the morning like the day before and on the way back I felt my heart pulsating with the joy of this creative music inspired by the Kundalini.

Antoinette Wells 

A shared joke

After a puja at Pune, one of the leaders was making some announcements and calling various yogis from Maharashtra to come on the stage. Shri Mataji was watching this event and was also directing other yogis at the same time. We yuvas had just finished singing a song before the announcements started and were watching everything and trying to be in meditation. As the announcements proceeded, the leader in question completely mispronounced a rare Maharashtran name, which made me chuckle.

Suddenly I became conscious that I was laughing at the joke with Mother still on the stage, and I looked at Her. To my surprise, She was watching me and laughing at the joke too. I was so surprised, happy and shy, and was completely lost.

Ajit Kulkarni

The bullet went out of your Sahasrara

Mr Prem Mahajan, a Sahaja Yogi of Delhi, was a pilot with Indian Airlines. His flight from Delhi to Shrinagar, Kashmir was hijacked to Lahore. In the ensuing scuffle Mr Mahajan was shot in his skull, and he was aware this had happened. In 1990 I was in Mr Mahajan’s house in Delhi and was privy to a dialogue between him and Shri Mataji there.

‘Mother, the medical examination report at Lahore Airport narrated that the pilot was telling a lie when he said that he had been assaulted with a bullet going through his head. They said that on examination there was no trace of it, not a scratch. Shri Mataji, what happened?’

‘Son, the bullet did hit you in the skull,’ Shri Mataji remarked, ‘but when you called Me – Ma! Ma! I came to you and the bullet went out of your Sahasrara.’

Virendra Verma

Seeing the vibrations

In 1990 the English set off for the tour one week before it began. We went to Pratishthan and we found three or four containers of all Shri Mataji’s possessions from Shudy Camps. We spent the week unpacking these crates and putting the things all round the house. One time She showed us round the house and explained that She designed it very carefully so that there was always a wind blowing through it.

Can you see the vibrations?’ She said. So we all looked in the sky and I saw a lot of blue sky and outside balconies overlooking the gardens, and She stopped, and looked out down the valley at clouds but I didn’t see much else.

‘Look more closely – you can see the white things. There are seven coils – that is the vibrations,’ She said.

‘Shri Mataji, what about the black things? They have also got coils,’ one of the boys asked.

‘Yes, that is the negativity,’ She explained.

Anthony Headlam

The Adi Shakti is just upstairs

Shri Mataji had just moved out of England to Pratishthan, Her home near Pune, in 1990 and it was the Ganapatipule time. The English yogis had brought all Shri Mataji’s luggage and She organized where to put what, the furniture, and then She took care of every one of us so nicely. In the morning She would come down the stairs into the kitchen to instruct the cook not to cook too hot food because the foreigners are not used to it and then She used to ask whether we had our breakfast, lunch, everything. Then sometimes She was sitting with Her family upstairs.

On the ground floor, we were singing bhajans in the evening and to know that the Adi Shakti is just upstairs while you’re singing; it was a very nice feeling.

Ruth Eleanore

Love flowed along that road

I had the good fortune of being in our Holy Mother’s presence for the first time on the India tour in 1990/91. I was looking forward to the tour immensely. We were met in Mumbai by some yogis and then after a day or two we were taken by bus beyond Pune, far up in the hills where Shri Mataji had bought some land for Sahaja Yoga. We were to camp there on a high hill overlooking a valley and it was really lovely. We caught all the breezes and had a wonderful view. On arriving at the camp, we settled into the pendals provided.

Later that day we were to meet Shri Mataji. It had been arranged for Her to arrive in a jeep, all decorated in flowers and banana leaves by the local villagers. We lined ourselves along the sides of the country road below the hill, waiting for Her to arrive. Anticipation was in the air. We could hear drums being beaten and the school children danced around the jeep as it slowly wound its way along the road toward us. Love flowed along that road and I was holding out my hands towards Shri Mataji, hoping to feel the cool breeze.

As the jeep drew nearer, I was surprised to feel the cool breeze, not only on my hands, but on my feet as well. Shri Mataji looked so cool and loving, smiling so beautifully for Her children. The jeep passed us and continued on the road, turning onto a smaller track to wind its way slowly up the hill. As it drove up this hill, the track zig-zagged and we started to follow behind, but we could make a straight line up the hill and therefore see Shri Mataji at every bend in the road. All the yogis and yoginis in their saris and kurtas were walking up this hill in small groups, with the local villagers mixing with us and following our Holy Mother as well.

Margaret Fry

Magical India continued (India tour, December 1990)

After four years it is good to have one’s feet on Bhumi Devi again!

Yesterday we went for a fabulous sitar programme performed in front of Shri Mataji by two realised souls; Nishat Khan was one of them. At the end their virtuosity was such that I had the feeling the Kundalini was whirling and dancing with joy. It was absolutely above human level and Shri Mataji confirmed later that if music is played at that level and spread all over the world, people will feel the joy of pure art and get their self realisation. The programme ended at four o’clock in the morning, like the day before, and on the way back I felt my heart pulsating with the joy of this creative music inspired by the Kundalini.

Antoinette Wells

I want you to enjoy like nothing before (diary entry)

We arrived at Pune for the first puja of the 1990/91 India tour. Shri Mataji arrived about half past two and stayed until about half past six. She welcomed us foreigners and explained that She had bought some land on a hill outside the city, where we could stay.

She explained how the great saints of Maharashtra, and the Indian culture, provided a great basis for culture, and then said that on this tour we would become fearless, baddha-proof, and should no longer worry about getting caught up. We should be ready to face the shortcomings of the Western world and dissolve them with our tranquillity, powers and courage.

‘I want you to enjoy like nothing before,’ She said.

The children from the Dharmshala School washed Her Feet, along with the local Indian children, at the beginning of the puja.

The next day we went shopping for saris to a shop where Shri Mataji often went, then in the evening went to a classical music concert given by Nishat Khan, in the presence of Shri Mataji. She explained that Indian music can only really be enjoyed by realised souls, because it touches the depth of the Spirit. She also praised the musician, Nishat Khan.

At the end of the concert we were able to go up to the stage and offer flowers .As we passed in front of Her one by one, She asked us questions like, ‘Do you have enough bed covers? Is everything alright? Do you like the place where you are camping? Is it too cold at night?’ They were all loving maternal questions to Her children.

Today there was a public programme. First the Westerners sang some Sahaja Yoga bhajans, and then Shri Mataji arrived and spoke at length in Marathi. After that She gave realisation very quickly.

The second part of the programme was unusual. A group of Indian musicians with electric guitars, tablas and other instruments came on the stage and sang the theme song from the TV version of the Ramayana, which was immensely popular at this time. One of the singers was very famous, and had wanted to sing in front of Shri Mataji, but it was only when they started singing songs in praise of Her that the vibrations really flowed. They would have sung the whole night for Shri Mataji, such was the joy they communicated, in Her praise.

Alessandra Pallini

Shrirampur (diary entry)

We are at Shrirampur on December 11th, camped in a pendal in the garden of a sugar cane factory. Shri Mataji is also staying here. After the programmes we were offered sugar cane juice. There was a procession and two public programmes in villages near here. Shri Mataji knew we had wet sleeping bags and lilos, and invited all the ladies to sleep in Her bungalow, just like a mother who is worried about the wellbeing of Her children. We slept in various places including on the veranda. Finally everything settled down and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the countryside, the garden and a canal in front where we could bathe. Soon we were eating, sleeping and sitting and talking right in front of Shri Mataji’s window. It was very joyful to mix with our Indian brothers and sisters.

We had another procession with Shri Mataji, very beautiful, at dusk, with the sky pink and blue. There were a lot of villagers, and us foreign Sahaja Yogis, all dancing. Shri Mataji was on a cart decorated with banana plants and laughed, while we proceeded forward slowly. At the programme the local Sahaja Yogis sang Amhi Mataji cha, and everyone present clapped their hands in unison. One felt such joy in the Kundalini and the Sahasrara, our hearts full of joy and devotion.

We are sitting outside Shri Mataji’s room waiting for the puja to start. Everything is a little late: we have had our food, meditated and have been busy choosing some beautiful saris and dhotis that Shri Mataji has chosen for us, if we want to buy them. Because She bought them in bulk for us the prices are very good.

The puja was finished at about five o’clock, and we took photos of Her. Everything was shining on Her stage, beautifully decorated with saris. Shri Mataji seemed to be on a heavenly throne adorned with flowers and lights, and the gold of the saris behind Her were like stars in the sky. With Her crown of fresh flowers and Her smiling face, She waited patiently for everyone to take photos, continually changing Her expression and the gestures of Her hands. The puja talk also seemed to indicate that we are about to experience a change in the dimensions of Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji warned that some very negative people had tried to create problems for all of us and Her here, but that now we are in Krita Yuga, a time when the paramchaitanya is very active in protecting the seekers, and the time when the saints are tortured is finished. She also told a story of how one time they were meditating in the early morning at Gandhi’s ashram and a cobra came and meditated with them. She said animals are much more sensitive to vibrations than humans and we must never be afraid of them, even tigers and snakes. She mentioned that everything that happens to us is for our benevolence. The paramchaitanya knows everything, and guides and organises us. We must never be afraid, especially the ladies. We must just open our hearts and have complete faith in Shri Mataji.

The next day we bought more saris and dhotis, and about midnight, quite unexpectedly, when most of us were already in bed, Shri Mataji came out of Her bungalow and sat on Her chair to listen to a group of local musicians who came to sing their bhajans to Her. This went on until four in the morning, when supper, which we had quite forgotten about, was served!

Alessandra Pallini

A magical time

We were at Shrirampur, and Mother was staying in a house next to the pendals. Late at night, someone came to tell us that She had asked us all to sleep in Her house as it was going to get cold, so all the yogis moved into Mother’s house with their sleeping bags. It was the biblical multiplication of the fishes with space. Somehow, She managed to fit us all, three or four hundred, in this not so large house. Some of us were in a tiny room; and it was a pretty tight situation. Shri Mataji took things in hand.

‘Come on squeeze in, we can fit ten more here,’ She told us, and we did! So much fun and laughter – Mother looked after us so much, in the tiniest little details!

Annie Calvas

We slept like babies

On the India tour, around 1990, we were staying near Sangamner. Shri Mataji was staying in a house and our pendals were set up next to it. One night we were getting into our sleeping bags, when someone came to tell us we had to move inside the house. Shri Mataji had noticed that it was a cold night and She did not want us to sleep outside.

We picked up our sleeping bags and went in. Under Mother’s supervision, we lay down like sardines. Mother kept bringing more and more Yoginis into this fairly small room.

‘Move,’ She would say, ‘move, there still plenty of space,’ until finally everyone lay down. Somehow Mother managed to fit the whole tour, hundreds of Yogis, into two rooms. Her only concern was to keep us warm. Needless to say we slept like babies.

Christophe Rivaud

The chance to do this honour to the Goddess

We were at the puja in Shrirampur in 1990. This was the second puja I had experienced with our Divine Mother. The leaders announced that some ladies should come up to do puja to Shri Mataji. I had been shy up to this point, but I overcame this and made my way to the front. Many other ladies also were gathering there, but I was asked to stay. I was given some jewellery to put on Shri Mataji — a necklace and an armlet that was to be put on Her upper arm.

I put on the armlet, but I put it on the wrong way around, with the point facing downwards instead of upwards. Shri Mataji smiled sweetly at me and took it off and gave it to me to put on again the right way around. I then put on the necklace and Shri Mataji moved Her hair so I could put it on. This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Margaret Fry

Two days at Pratishthan (diary entry)

We left Shrirampur and went to a public programme at Sangamner, and Shri Mataji has given us a great gift, a great privilege, an invitation to a magnificent meal at Her house. We were all dressed in the multicoloured, shining saris and dhotis that She had chosen for us.

Shri Mataji was seated on a golden throne to receive us, with Her husband. We sat on the floor in the magnificent reception hall and were offered biscuits and little pieces of chocolate. Sir CP gave a beautiful talk, inviting us to Shri Mataji’s house, to see all the details, the artistic treasures and the handicrafts, which Shri Mataji has collected from all over the world.

This house is the most sacred temple to the living God. Every part is an artistic creation which delights the eye and gives aesthetic satisfaction – the floors are marble, the walls inlaid, the windows carved, the ceilings decorated with plasterwork and the antique doors decorated with images of deities, to mention a few details.

Sir CP said it was a great joy to have guests, and that this house was not only theirs, but the house of all the Sahaja Yogis. He gave gifts of shawls, and Shri Mataji showed us some saris, explaining that they were works of art. She ate with us, seated with Her husband and surrounded by children. The invitation was extended and we stayed the night. After supper we had bhajans, and then Shri Mataji announced some more marriages. She spoke a little about marriage, and how neither party should try to control the other. Before leaving Her seat She said there was plenty of place for everyone to sleep, and the sleeping bags were brought in.

She asked us if we had enjoyed our food, and what we would like to eat the next day for lunch. Someone said ‘pasta!’ Everyone laughed. So this morning all the Italian ladies, along with some from India and Switzerland, met in the kitchen. It was a great honour to be in Shri Mataji’s kitchen, the kitchen of the universe, and we all helped chop onions and tomatoes and make the pasta sauce. Then the enormous pots were put on the fire to boil the water. Every now and again Shri Mataji would come to the kitchen, but there was not enough pasta or tomatoes – how were we going to finish the preparation of the meal? Somehow there was enough for all four hundred people..

We thanked Shri Mataji from our hearts for Her generosity and hospitality, and all left for a public programme. Beforehand there was a little procession, and Shri Mataji led it, seated on a cart.

Alessandra Pallini

My marriage interview

In December 1990 at Pratishthan, near Pune, India, there were marriage announcements. I had put my name on the marriage list, but it wasn’t read out. Some time after all the names of the couples had been announced, my name was called. I was asked to come inside the large house. Shri Mataji was waiting for me with two Sahaja Yogis standing on either side of Her.

She had someone in mind for me, She told me, but She had to make certain I was suitable. The yogi standing on Her left, taking the role of the lawyer for the prosecution, said I had failed at an earlier marriage. The other yogi, standing on Her right, took the role of the lawyer for the defence, and said that the woman had cancelled the earlier marriage and I was blameless. Neither of the ‘lawyers’ knew that Shri Mataji had spoken to me personally, in the Vancouver, Canada airport, some time back, and had told me that I had done nothing wrong and I was to, ‘Just forget it, forget it’. The woman involved decided she wanted to marry someone from her own country. Shri Mataji mentioned the name and nationality of the yogini She had in mind for me. I said that I recognized the name.

‘You know her?’ Shri Mataji exclaimed. I assumed She was being humorous. I understood that of course Shri Mataji would know that I knew the yogini in question, having met her more than once and having written a letter to the Divine Cool Breeze, which she edited at the time. Shri Mataji commented that we were both university-educated. She read down my marriage application form. She read about my hobbies and interests, which at the time consisted mostly of reading about cars. She said, ‘All nonsensical. You should read poetry.’

Shri Mataji then proceeded to see if I was really ready to be the husband of the editor of the Divine Cool Breeze. She asked me if was capable of giving love. I didn’t know. So then, in Her compassion, She asked me a much easier question.

‘Can you feel My love?’ I was kneeling before my Holy Mother, perhaps a metre away from Her. I held out my two hands, palms up, towards Her. I felt cool in my hands.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said. That satisfied Her.

A few days later, Linda arrived on the India tour, and we spoke for about an hour. By the time the hour was up, there was a certainty in my heart, a ‘knowing’, that this was my wife. A year or so later, Shri Mataji was sitting on the stage after a public programme in Los Angeles, California. I made Linda approach Shri Mataji with me. I wanted to express my gratitude.

‘Thank You,’ I said to Shri Mataji.

‘Enjoy your marriage,’ She replied.

When we moved to New York in 1996, someone assumed that we had been married before Sahaja Yoga. It was a tribute to how good a match Shri Mataji had made.

Mark Taylor

Shri Mataji thanked us for coming

In December 1990, the French Sahaja sangha invited a group of seven Romanians including myself to go to India. After most of the Yogis attending the India tour were already at Pratishthan, we arrived there and were greeted by Shri Mataji. I remember Her staying at the top of an exterior flight of stairs next to a small room between the first and second floors, where She used to stay at that time, since the house was under construction. She thanked us for coming. I felt overwhelmed: How could it be possible that God would thank you? On the contrary, we were those who ought to be thankful to Her!

Dan Costian

The feeling did not wear off for a long time

The first time I met Shri Mataji that I can remember was in 1990 when I was four. We went to Pratishthan, Shri Mataji’s house in Pune, for some work for the school and we had to wait later than midnight and when we got to meet Shri Mataji I think it was around 2 am — I can’t recall properly. Then there was a puja and after that we went away, but while I was there I got this awesome feeling of love and extreme bliss and it did not wear off for a long time.

Sunny Redican

Waves of bliss

Once on an India tour I had to visit Pratishthan. I was staying at Shudy Camps while Sir CP was there writing His book on Lal Bahadur Shastri, around 1990. He had asked me to try and find some publication which had the Indian Constitution in it. I therefore had a couple of books to deliver, and as the tour was staying at a camp in Sheri, outside Pune, I thought this would be a good opportunity.

I sat down for a couple of hours to clear out, and having done that, I felt reasonably happy about my vibrations, and at least, certain that I had meditated. (I once came before Shri Mataji in the early days who looked at me quizzically and asked, ’Did you meditate this morning?’ to which I replied, ‘Yes,’ but on reflection realised that although I had got up at four o’clock and sat down, I had been plagued with a lot of thoughts and had not meditated properly. Since then I always tried to make sure that I was in thoughtless awareness at least, before entering Her presence). It must have worked as when I entered Shri Mataji’s presence, I namaskared at Her Feet, and as I stood up She commented favourably about the condition of my Kundalini.

Sir CP came in and I gave him the books, which he was grateful for. As I was standing there, I guess looking a little uncertain what to do, Shri Mataji suggested that I should sit at Her Feet, so I was sitting more or less in front of Her about six feet away. The only other person in the room was an old man sitting devoutly on the left side of Shri Mataji’s chair, who She introduced to me as the first Muslim person to get self realisation, and She praised him. He seemed to be very humble and sweet.

She talked a little on various subjects and a few people came and went. I was keeping my attention on Shri Mataji’s Feet and holding inside the idea that I was sitting at the Feet of Shri Durga Herself. At some point I got lost into waves of bliss, drenching my whole body and subtle system in the most exquisite pleasure. When I finally came to, that is back in consciousness of being in the room, I opened my eyes and Shri Mataji was looking at me and gently laughing. I continued to feel waves of the bliss pouring down from the Sahasrara over the whole subtle system, sitting there keeping my attention on Shri Mataji’s Feet. After some time, I started wondering if I should leave. I had heard one should not make suggestions to Shri Mataji, and only leave the presence of the guru when told to, so I waited.

‘You’d better go to the programme now,’ Shri Mataji said finally.

There was a public programme in Pune that evening and She told me to tell the bhajan group a couple of songs She wanted them to sing, ‘Is liye’ and another I don’t remember, which I did when I got there, and took the opportunity to join them on stage.

Chris Marlow

Hot chillies

Shri Mataji was very fond of cooking for people and would sometimes prepare a meal for the whole India tour. Once when Pratishthan was just finished, around 1990, the whole tour, about 350 people, were invited to the house and treated to a most delicious biryani prepared by Shri Mataji Herself.

Another time, around 1987, we climbed up Saptashringi – a cave temple near Nasik, which involved a three mile hike up a stony track to the village and then four hundred steps up to the cave. By the time we had been up and back, walking in hot sunshine, all our water was finished.

On returning to the buses, our dinner awaited, cooked by Shri Mataji Herself, which was a kind of minced meat curry with large green chillies in it, and a big stack of chapattis. It had been packed and delivered to the buses. It was hot, chilli wise that is, and we thought to ourselves that if Shri Mataji had prepared it we had better eat the chillies too. With no water to wash it down it was quite burning, but we found that chewing on the chapattis had a soothing effect, in fact they say that water makes the burning worse. When we arrived at our destination that evening we were most fortunate to have the darshan of Shri Mataji, who asked us how we had liked the lunch, which we all enthusiastically declared to have been delicious.

‘I put the chillies in whole so that you could take them out,’ She said, and then laughed merrily, knowing that we had all eaten them. However one of the interesting things about eating chillies is that about twenty minutes later, when the burning has stopped, you start to feel very cool. Drinking sugar cane juice also has this effect.

Chris Marlow

16th December 1990 Brahmapuri

At the puja at Brahmapuri Shri Mataji explained that Ayurvedic medicine is similar to Sahaja Yoga because it recognises three humours: pitta, for the right side, coffa for the left and vayu for the centre channel, and the people of India knew of this subtle knowledge long ago. She explained how in those days only a few seekers had it, and it was passed down one on one. Gyaneshwara, who lived in the thirteenth century, wrote about it in the Gyaneshwari, which, Shri Mataji said, gives so much joy if one reads it. The puja was of the Shri Chakra and the Shri Lalita Chakra, which are on the shoulders and are responsible for the manifestation of Shri Mahakali and Shri Mahasaraswati.

After the puja Shri Mataji spoke to us again. She explained that animals are totally under the control of God, whereas humans have the possibility to ascend, or to sink to the hells. What is important is wisdom: this is a manifestation of the power of truth, the central channel. She also said that even though eighty per cent of the people who come to programmes do not have faith in themselves, twenty per cent can become Sahaja Yogis. But we must have humility and never make people feel we are superior, and She gave the example of Herself, because She never makes anyone feel inferior.

She explained that we were on the banks of the Krishna River which flows into the Gulf of Bengal, and very close is the source of the Godaveri which flows into the Arabian Gulf. Because we all enjoy this place so much She arranged for us to make a short stop by the river bank. We arrived at three in the morning, slept until six, and at nine departed for Wai, for a public programme at a school, given by Shri Mataji.

Then we went to Sattara, the capital of the Brahmapuri district, is where Ramdas lived. He was an incarnation of Shri Hanuman. Shri Mataji warned that there was a bad problem of corruption in India, but at Sattara the people who had come to make trouble had finished by getting realisation, and we must be alert, and treat these inconveniences as a joke.

About fifty people who were unwell stayed at Brahmapuri. Shri Mataji received them and cured them, and asked for information on them, concerning their comfort. The rest of us went on to Kolhapur.

Alessandra Pallini

Kolhapur (diary entry)

On the way to Kolhapur Shri Mataji told us we would see two swayambhus of Shri Hanuman, and one of Shri Rama, Shri Sita and Shri Lakshmana, found at Angapur by Ramdas.

Shri Mataji told us that some of the money we had given for the tour would be used for buying silver for each couple to have at the weddings, and would also be used for a collective project. At Pune some land has been bought for an ashram and the building at Vashi (Belapur) had been built. Shri Mataji said She did not know how it had been possible, and it must have been Shri Hanuman who did it.

The next day we went shopping in Kolhapur and some of us were fortunate enough to go to the street where Shri Mataji was buying saris. She called us into the shop and advised us to buy the marvellous saris which were so cheap. She touched them, chose them for us and advised us on gifts for people. After lunch we went to a public programme, and the next evening watched a film with Shri Mataji, called Karma, about an evil, mafioso type criminal who in the end gets killed and his organisation destroyed.

On the 20th December we had a beautiful puja to Shri Mahalakshmi. Shri Mataji explained that the plateau of Maharashtra, delimited on three sides by mountains, in the form of the triangular sacrum bone, is the Kundalini of the universe, expressed in three and a half coils in the middle of Mother Earth. Shri Mahakali is at Tuljapur, where She is venerated at Shri Bhavani, and King Shivaji would come many miles on a horse to worship there. It is said his sword was given to him by the devi. Shri Mahasaraswati is at Dhulia, the right side, and Kolhapur is the place of Shri Mahalakshmi, where the devi killed the demon Kolhasura.

Alessandra Pallini

A sense of euphoria

I was not too well by about the third week of the 1990 India tour. It was at the Krishna River where it all came to a head. I was taken to Shri Mataji and laid at Her Feet. She placed Her Feet on me and massaged my head with oil and shouted at the negativity to go away. It was all quite bewildering, but wonderful at the same time because there was Mother really helping me to sort all this out.

After that beautiful experience, I started to have the most extraordinary feeling of thoughtless awareness. For a brief time, I experienced a satchitananda beyond words. We were on our way to Kolhapur and for three days I was still quite ill. My thyroid had collapsed. One of the things Shri Mataji had said while working on me was, ‘You must drink.’ I was very bad at drinking, but I tried to drink at least two litres of water a day.

‘You don’t want to end up in an Indian hospital,’ She said. ‘You might not ever come out again,’ which was enough to frighten me.

What I experienced in those next three days was a sense of euphoria. I don’t quite know how to express it. It seemed as if there was a video playing and about six feet in front of me was a spot and everything was flowing out of me into this spot.

Elizabeth Ravenscroft

Did you enjoy the programme?

I had a desire to see and also to talk to Shri Mataji. When I was on the India tour in, I think, 1991, we had a fantastic day that started very weirdly. We were on the bus and visited a temple. We missed our food and I later heard it was because in that area was some false guru. Later on, we were going to a music programme and Shri Mataji was sitting in the hall.

‘Do you want food or music?’ She said.

She told us the musicians were waiting, so we all said that we wanted the music. We had the most beautiful programme I ever saw and after that, there was the food. I was going somewhere and suddenly I saw a lot of Indians looking very nervous.

‘We need a Westerner! We want a Westerner!’ they said, ‘You’re a Westerner. Come with us.’ I didn’t know what they wanted to do with me. ‘Shri Mataji wants to speak to a Westerner,’ they said. So they took me to the car and Mother was sitting there.

‘Did you enjoy the programme?’ She asked me.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji, it was very nice,’ I said.

It was the first veena programme we had heard and it was certainly the first veena programme I had heard. Although there were three or four hundred westerners there, somehow I was the only one around at that moment.

Piet Vyncke

A useful illness

When I first came to Sahaja Yoga, a yogini asked me what my deepest wish was, and after some soul searching I said it was to sit next to Shri Mataji. She told me that no-one can sit next to Her since She is God.

In December 1990 we went to Brahmapuri, on the India Tour. A lot of yogis were ill, but we were to go to the Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur and everyone was asked to board the buses, also those who were ill. Some yogis had to be carried, then we got a message that all those who were ill were to stay behind. So they got off the buses and were brought to a little house where Shri Mataji was staying. The Indian yogis made shelters against the warm sun and Shri Mataji was sitting in front of the house. All the sick yogis were sitting and lying in front of Her, and many others gave them vibrations. Shri Mataji told us we got sick because we went into the river too late and absorbed too much heat, and that it was not good to take our baths and footsoaks so late since the sun is much hotter in India, and we should take our baths before 9.00 am.

She called us forward one at a time and worked on us. She vibrated bananas and gave them to us, and ajwan tea, and some cloves to chew. She placed Her hands and Feet on the yogis and yoginis, and commented on two young Indian girls who were passing by, telling us how healthy they looked, and how in the West all the women wanted to look thin, but a woman needs gravity.

There was one lady who was very ill, and Shri Mataji asked her what Her profession was. She was an accountant, and had problems with her Nabhi. Shri Mataji told her she should just count and not think, and she smiled.

There was a young boy from Israel of about fourteen, who had severe pains in his Swadishthan. to come closer to Her. He either didn’t hear or was too ill to move, so She stood up, and let Her chair be put close to him. Then She put Her Foot on his Swadishthan, and said, full of compassion, that some children have to suffer so much because of the parents.

Shri Mataji told us that even when we are ill we should make an effort to look neat, and had us comb our hair and put oil in it, since otherwise the heat cannot leave our body. She made a big joke out of it with an English yogi, commenting how English he looked. He was not good at combing his hair so She asked a yogini to help him; he looked embarrassed, but joyful too and we all laughed.

There was an older Indian gentleman, about mid-seventies and very muscular, standing with folded hands, his head slightly bowed towards Shri Mataji. She commented how healthy he looked even though he was quite old, and how strong he looked and how humble he was.

‘Yes Shri Mataji,’ he said in a very humble way.

There was another Indian man walking by with a horse, which was decorated with colourful pieces of ribbon or cloth. Shri Mataji called the man and told us how good the Indian people were at decorating their horses. Then She asked the English yogi, mentioned before, to go and sit on the horse and that made us laugh again.

While Mother was working on the boy from Israel, and Her chair was moved, I found myself sitting next to Her. Her sari was gently blowing in my face; I was overwhelmed and closed my eyes for a moment even though I knew that sitting in Shri Mataji’s presence one should keep one’s eyes open. All of a sudden I felt Her hand on my Sahasrara, She gently massaged my head and I went deep into myself. It was as if the surroundings changed, the house was open from the front and back, the wind blew through it and the colour of the sky changed into a different kind of blue. All the while yogis and yoginis came in and out of the house, as swift as angels, silently attending to Mother. She commented on my depth, and I felt utterly inadequate. She lifted Her hand and I dared open my eyes and look at Her and She smiled.

‘Better now,’ She said.

The night before I had been very ill, high fever, frightful nightmares and while everyone was attending the evening programme with Shri Mataji, I was lying there drifting in and out of reality, and crying. Sometimes a yogini came to look at me. Then I heard Shri Mataji singing, and wished I was there with the rest of my sisters and brothers. And now we were sitting next to Her.

‘You have to thank your illness, since it brought you closer to God,’ Shri Mataji said, and I cried again, but from overwhelming joy.

She then told us to go back to the pendal and rest, and those with Nabhi problems were not to eat the first day, the next day we were to only eat some yoghurt and rice, and the third day we were to eat more rice and maybe some vegetables and chapattis but no meat. We were to take it easy when we felt better and were again eating meat. We thanked Shri Mataji, feeling revived and joyful.

This tour was my first and I have so many memories from it. Brothers and sisters always came back from the India Tour looking completely transformed: shining, joyful and bubbly!

Irene Hoogmoed

A long lost child (diary entry)

December 1990 was my first time at a Sahaja Yoga international seminar held in Ganapatipule. There were thousands of Sahaja Yogis in the pendal waiting for Shri Mataji’s arrival. There was much excitement and breathless anticipation by everyone. When Shri Mataji’s car was arriving, I was all choked up with emotion, and my tears kept flowing and flowing. I couldn’t stop it and was a bit embarrassed in case anyone noticed this. Later on I found that I was not the only one who felt this way. Many others around me had tears of joy. It was as though a long lost child was meeting his Mother after a very long time. I think our spirits responded to Shri Mataji’s presence.

I still feel this every time Shri Mataji arrives but I’m not embarrassed of my tears any more. They are really tears of joy – a child meeting his loving Mother.

Ivan Tan

Decorating Shri Mataji’s Feet

It was a Christmas Puja at Ganapatipule and I had the privilege to decorate Shri Mataji’s Feet with kumkum. It was very hot and the pressure of the crowd could be felt. Mother lifted up both Her Feet, simultaneously, for us to decorate. I marvelled at this – an ordinary person couldn’t possibly do this and stay seated in a relaxed manner.

Shri Mataji had Her Feet lifted the whole time it took all the ladies, who were taking a long time, to put on the kumkum. The next thing I marvelled at was the texture of Mother’s skin. I am not sure what exactly I expected but here was skin that seemed very rough to the touch yet it looked very delicate to the eye. It reminded me of an elephant’s skin. Then the third thing that happened was when She said to us, ‘Hurry up, they are waiting,’ meaning the enormous crowd of Her bhaktas in the pendal at Ganapatipule. She was totally aware of each and everyone’s need.

Greta More

Chapter 10: 1991 – January to March, India

Poetry offerings

I got my self realisation on 21st March 1990, after reading The Advent, and went to Ganapatipule for the seminar at the end of that year. I had no expectations, but suddenly felt filled with such joy, peace, tranquility and energy, that sleep just left me and I felt fresh and happy all the time. I heard my own Sahasrara open and enjoyed the subtle fragrance of sandalwood.

Suddenly, poetry started to pour from me, in a few days I had seventeen poems and on the last day I gave them to someone on the stage to present to Shri Mataji. My name was called out but unfortunately I was not in the pendal at that time. The next morning, I met one of the leaders and he asked me why I did not come up on stage when Mother wanted to meet me. I felt bad that I had missed a chance.

The next day we went to the New Year Puja at Mukund factory, at Thane near Mumbai. After the puja we were standing in a queue to present a flower to Mother. Just as I came near the stage, I saw Shri Mataji, still bedecked with a crown, gesturing with Her finger to come. I looked around to see who She was calling, and a leader came near me and asked me my name, which centre I belonged to and through whom I had come to Sahaja Yoga. Each time he went back and forth conveying my replies to Shri Mataji. I saw Her doing a namaste to me and I can never forget the love and compassion in Her eyes. She showed me Her divinity and I realised how She knew me, in spite of my never ever having been introduced to Her.

After my return from my first Ganapatipule visit in December 1990, poetry and songs just flowed out, my inner experiences, and Mother made me an instrument to record them, lest they get lost. Next year, I had the chance to offer two or three songs to Shri Mataji on stage in Ganapatipule. I always had stage fright and remember standing at the side, just as the item before mine was ending. My heart was thumping and I could feel Mother’s eyes on me. Suddenly, She asked for another artiste to come before me. In the meanwhile, She settled my heart and when I went on stage to perform, I was in complete nirvichara (thoughtless awareness). Baba Mama introduced me as a rare Parsi Zorastrian, and said that it was the most difficult thing in the world for a Parsi to take to Sahaja.

The musicians who accompanied me had no idea what I was going to sing, but the moment I started my song, I knew that Mother saw to it that all went well. I was totally unaware of the thousands strong audience or even of Mother sitting in Her sakshat (physical) form in front of me. My soul just sang out the offerings to Her, who was in my heart. As I prostrated before Her seeking Her blessings She told me that I wrote well, and I told Her that it was She who made me write, as I was not even very proficient in the Hindi language, in which I write my songs.

Every time I saw Shri Mataji at the public programmes, I continued to give my poetry offerings. At one programme in Dadar, Mumbai, my son, who is normally always in the background, desired to go up on stage. I asked a Sahaja Yogi brother to take him but he insisted I should also come along. When my turn came I told Mother that my son wanted to see Her.

‘He’s a very good boy,’ She remarked. Then She introduced me to a Parsi gentleman, saying, ‘Here is a Parsi Sahaja Yogini who writes good poetry’, and told him that She carried my poetry in Her purse. With hindsight I realise that She was only testing my ego, but I fell for the ruse and had one for some time. What is my poetry in comparison to One who is a Master of poetry! I told Her that my son suffered from migraines, and She gave me a simple remedy of giving a teaspoonful of dry powdered ginger with powdered sugar, every morning for a week during cooler months. She joked with the Parsi gentleman, how our Parsi food was spicy and oily, and this creates all this trouble.

Armaity Bhabha

Ritam bara prAgnya

There was a gathering at Pratishthan one day and we were in the garden on the lawn, about five or six of us. It was the day after a puja and Shri Mataji allowed some of the ladies to wash the red kumkum from the puja off Her Feet. She explained ritam bara prAgnya, the power of nature that rules the change in atmosphere and nourishes all the trees and plants. This is also the power which enables you to meet the person you were thinking about. This connection is made through the ritam bara prAgnya.

She spoke about many other things, and about making a Satya Marg Sahaja political party. She was saying how a political party should be, how it should be constituted – a constitution of truth, a political party on the path of truth. This is the meaning of the words Satya Marg. There had been a bandit queen and she had eventually been caught, but she stood for election and got into power. Shri Mataji said under the rule of truth, the true way, this would not happen, and instead there would be rehabilitation centres for such people like her, where they could come to the right understanding of how to behave in society.

She also spoke about the importance of free education for girls, and that they should have all the facilities for education. At that time the head of the opposition party in Maharashtra came to see Shri Mataji, and sure enough is party did instigate this policy when they came to power soon after. She gave him advice on a lot of subjects, on orphans, economics, et cetera, and he was able to carry out a few of Her suggestions including the free education.

When this gentleman came, he did aarti to Shri Mataji and She spoke to him for some time, and what should be done, and although he was not on a position of power when he came to see Her, it was just before the election. He got in with a very big majority. After some years, he had a heart problem and was in hospital. Shri Mataji personally went to see him and cured him in the hospital. After that he was able to go home.

Ravindranath Saundankar

My mother’s place

In 1991, our family was called to Pratishthan by Shri Mataji. Actually my dad was looking after all Shri Mataji’s transportation. Sir C.P wanted to send some material to Delhi on an urgent basis, and was worrying about safe delivery of the material.

‘Don’t worry, Mr Shingwekar is there. He is from my mother’s place (i.e. Shingve village), so better you don’t worry,’ Shri Mataji said to Sir CP, and added that our surname should be Shrigaonkar, meaning one who comes from the holy village, instead of Shingwekar.

We felt very nice and humbly bowed down to Her Lotus Feet. At that time I was just six years old and my sister Praju was four. Shri Mataji said to my parents that Her grandmother, named Jadhav, also used to live in Shingve village.

Ishwari Shingvekar

No ego

It was about 1991, in Delhi. I was travelling with Shri Mataji, and asked Her a question which had been in my mind.

‘What is the thin line dividing self-respect and ego?’

‘A person who has self-respect has no ego,’ Mother replied.

GK Datta

It was a very joyous moment

Shivaratri Puja, New Delhi, 9th February, 1991. The puja was performed in a pendal in front of the Delhi Ashram at Kutab Minar. As I was only two years in Sahaja Yoga I was sitting near the front so as to see the puja and Shri Mataji from close up. I had my camera with me was very enthusiastic to take Mother’s photo.

I took one photo when Shri Mataji was arriving, and some during the puja. After the puja was over the music was going on, and Shri Mataji asked for someone to come and take a photo of Her Lotus Feet. As I was sitting in the front I was asked to come on the stage and take one. It was a very joyous moment and I was very thankful to Shri Mataji for giving me that opportunity.

Rajeev Aggarwal

Stri Dhan

On the 6th of March 1991 Shri Mataji was talking to me on the stage during one of the public programmes held in Delhi. She asked me to come and see Her the following day. She was staying at the main Sahaja Ashram in New Delhi. Accompanying me was my brother and my work director.

‘I have established his realisation,’ Shri Mataji said after giving my director realisation. After this She discussed various issues with him, including Stri Dhan. This is the jewellery made out of precious metals that the girl receives when she gets married. Shri Mataji said it should be kept for her.

Sandhya Laxshminarayan

This photo was taken after I had sung at a puja at Delhi in the early 1990’s. Shri Mataji called me on stage to tell me where I needed to correct my singing.
Sanjay Talvar

A very special moment

This photo, with Shri Mataji in white, is a special moment, when She actually gave me the divine words for my compositions, expressing Her moments of joy. She has Her eyes closed and was in the midst of the creation.

Sanjay Talwar

Sit with them, but do not drink with them
Around 1991, in Delhi, Shri Mataji asked me to practice Criminal Law. I said one has to sit with police officers in the evening and drink alcohol in order to get work.

‘You can sit with them, but you do not have to drink with them,’ Shri Mataji said.

The following year, certain French journalists were writing against Sahaja Yoga, and Shri Mataji said not to go to court but to go to the Press Council.

Later, I asked Shri Mataji why I could not go thoughtless. Shri Mataji said I should put ice on my liver and do footsoak with my right leg in cold water.

Atul Dara

A play in Marathi

It was a time in Delhi in the nineties when Shri Mataji invited a few yogis to watch a Marathi play with Her. My brother, my mum and I were fortunate to receive this invitation. At that time my mum was very new to Sahaja Yoga and could hardly feel any vibrations. So we three went to see the play, and it was in Marathi, a language we could not understand. However we were enjoying the blissful vibrations. My mum, because she was so new, was getting little bit frustrated at not being able to understand and feel anything. A few times she expressed her desire to leave, and wanted us both to come along with her.

Half way through there was an intermission. My mum by that time was totally exhausted and said to me and my brother very strongly that we were leaving. Hearing this, of course my brother and I were not happy, but could not refuse our mother’s request. Consequently, we started walking down the corridor to leave and just then saw Mother and Sir CP walking towards us from the opposite direction. As soon as we saw them, we namaskared to them. Shri Mataji replied with Her beautiful smile.

‘Samajh aa raha hai na?’ She said in Hindi, looking at my mum, meaning, ‘Can you understand this?’

‘Yes,’ my mum replied.

‘Toh phir baithiye,’ Shri Mataji said on hearing this, meaning, ‘Then go and sit inside.’

After this we three went back to the hall, sat and enjoyed the play all the more as then vibrations by then were much stronger. Also my mum could feel the divine love and bliss and throughout the whole of the rest of the play she did not ask us to leave. For this, my brother and I thanked Shri Mataji wholeheartedly, as we never wanted to leave.

 Sony Bansal

Please make me worthy of Shri Mataji’s attention

When I was in Madras, (Chennai), on the India foreigners’ tour in 1991, I got an infected foot. It was very painful. At one point a very kind gentleman drove me and another yogini to a doctor. When he had to leave from there he had to go directly to where Shri Mataji was staying. I’d previously been thinking how unlucky I was to have an injured foot, but then I got to go and sit outside the house where Shri Mataji was in and I thought, ‘I’m so lucky, it can’t get any better than this.’ Then we were invited inside into the kitchen of the house and were offered prasad from Shri Mataji’s meal. I thought, ‘It got even better, unbelievably.’

Then someone came out and asked the yogis I was with, and me, if we would you like to come into Shri Mataji’s room, so I got to go into Shri Mataji’s room and do namaskar and sit at Shri Mataji’s Feet. I felt the world sort of tilt as I namaskared and then sat up. I was sitting in a position where I could see Shri Mataji’s Feet, and it was so crowded that a lot of other yogis would not have been able to. As I came out I couldn’t even feel myself walking on the ground and this golden light was everywhere. I felt so light and joyful, and that lasted until I woke up the next morning.

This had started because I’d been sitting on a beach in the morning, after foot soaking, and I had just prayed, ‘Shri Ganesha, please make me worthy of Shri Mataji’s attention,’ and then I had seen so many vibrations flash at me. Later in the day all this had happened, and I thought, ‘OK. I’ve been considered worthy!’

Katy Mankar

This is Shri Ganesha

In 1990 or 1991 a group of about twelve Russians, including me, went to India for the Christmas Puja and after this we were invited to Shri Mataji’s house, Pratishthan. Shri Mataji invited us to Her room on the second floor. On a floor there were some beautiful warm sweaters of different colours. She told us take all to take a sweater. We were not greedy, and did not want our Mother to spend so much money on us. We felt so happy and joyous, so we sat down and did not move.

‘Please, take one – they are natural, very warm, pure wool. It is so cold in your country (Russia), so also take some warm woolen socks, please,’ She continued.

So much love and care were in this talk that we finally took all of what we were offered. On the previous day we had given Shri Mataji our presents. My daughter, Natasha, had given me a picture she had painted, and I gave it to Shri Mataji. There was an ocean, a beach with sand, and sky, but the colours were unusual, like in all the paintings of the famous Russian artist, Rerih. When I asked Natasha what it was, and she had replied, ‘Ocean, sand and sky.’ So I gave Shri Mataji this picture.

‘This is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘No, Shri Mataji, this is ocean, sand and sky,’ I replied.

‘This is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji said again.

‘No, Shri Mataji, This is ocean, sand and sky,’ I repeated, remembering what my daughter had said.

‘No, this is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji replied again.

I stopped arguing. Back home, I asked Natasha if it was Shri Ganesha, she replied that it was, and was the planet Mars, the planet of Shri Ganesha.

Raya Levitan

Shri Mataji experimented with sunflowers in Her farmhouse in Pune and produced tremendously big ones, more than 12 inches in diameter. They were very heavy and gave on the average 250 mg. of oil. This was reported in the newspaper. The photo shows Shri Mataji with the outsize sunflowers.

Hamid Mehrani-Mylany

Overwhelmed with joy

We had a wonderful puja near Pune in 1991, and most people were already on the buses to leave for the next stay on our pilgrimage. I just enjoyed sitting in the bus, after putting all the luggage and suitcases on top of the buses with many other guys.

Suddenly there was a voice calling for volunteers. They were looking for people who would stay back in Pune for some days to do some work. It was not clear what or for how many days. As there were no people listening to this request I started to feel uncomfortable and in the end found myself with seven or eight other brothers, just with overnight luggage. We took a car to the workplace, and it turned out to be Pratishthan. I felt happy that we had the chance to do our work in the house of Shri Mataji.

I was overwhelmed with joy when it was announced that we have to do our service in the presence of Shri Mataji. Indeed, She stayed with us, giving us all personal advice. I asked myself why my brothers had such joyful faces while cleaning some shoes. Then I realised that these shoes were those of our Holy Mother, and everything was clear, they were so drenched in bliss.

My task was to sort out and find the right keys to a number of suitcases. On a small table I found an immense number of keys. Finally I found a key to open the first suitcase, but no key was found to open the next suitcase, and I got quite nervous. In between I watched another Sahaja Yogi take some saris out from other suitcases. Suddenly Shri Mataji looked to him.

‘You see this sari which you have in your hand, that was of …such and such a puja which your country gave to Me,’ She mentioned, to his surprise.

‘Yes Shri Mataji, You are right!’ he called out in joy.

A short time later, I felt my centre heart suddenly. It had cost me quite something, to look over towards Shri Mataji. Her attention was fully on me and after inhaling deeply the beating of my heart calmed down. Now something completely great and new in my consciousness happened, during Shri Mataji’s attention on me, I had an intuition. I felt the movement of my hand and took a certain key from the large quantity, and was able directly to close a certain suitcase. I was sure I did not do anything.

It was Shri Mataji who was leading my hand and when I looked at Her radiant face, a smile of Her deep love affected my heart. This experience fulfilled me with deep confidence in God. It was first time as it came into my consciousness that the intimate connection to Shri Mataji worked so directly.

Franz Mekyna

A guide at Ajanta

Once after the India tour Shri Mataji invited some of us to go to Pratishthan. Sometimes people would come to get realisation, or to get worked on. Shri Mataji asked some of us to come and help and give vibrations to them. Once there was a man who wanted to get realisation. Shri Mataji cricked his neck and then asked me to work on him. It was very motherly, the relationship She established with us.

‘You should go to Ajanta, to see the caves,’ She said one evening, so two or three of us went. We wanted to see the caves for ourselves, without a guide. We had not had good experiences with guides and there was one man who kept trying to push himself on us, so we said no, we didn’t want a guide. We got back to Pratishthan, and Shri Mataji spoke to us.

‘Did you take a guide?’ She enquired. When I said I had not, I felt She was not so happy. Maybe the guide was supposed to get his realisation.

Gunter Thurner

Chapter 11: 1991 March and April, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand

Shri Mataji knew what was going on

I travelled with Shri Mataji in 1991, from Calcutta to Australia, round Australia and to New Zealand, for one month. During the first part of the journey, between Calcutta and Singapore, we arrived in Singapore Airport. It is like a city and we had to walk from one end to the other, to the next terminal, for our next flight from Singapore to Perth. For most of the way Shri Mataji was very happy, but at one point She was finding the walking difficult. She became quiet and we reached a place where there was a small alcove with a few seats, and nobody was there. Shri Mataji wanted to sit down and the mood was quite serious.

Shri Mataji took a tissue from Her bag and wiped Her face with it. She handed me the tissue and told me to go and place it in the bin. I felt She was actually doing something quite powerful. I went and sat back down and for some time there was silence. Shri Mataji was silent and I felt She was working something out.

Eventually it was time to board our plane, and once on it the mood became light once more. When we eventually arrived in Perth, news had come in the paper that there had been an attempted hijack of one of the planes at Singapore airport. It was exactly at the time that we were sitting there in the airport. It was reported to be a very unusual incident, in that the hijackers for some reason decided to abort their mission of hijacking this plane and were taken into custody. When I was told this news I went to Shri Mataji and told Her. She just looked at me, with an expression that was gleeful and knowing.

‘Oh, really?’ She said, as if to say She did not know, but really She did know exactly what was going on.

Sandhya Dara

Shri Mataji knew what was happening outside

The Malaysians flew into Singapore Airport to meet Shri Mataji when She was in transit from India to Australia. Shri Mataji talked with us as in previous times.

‘Let’s raise our Kundalinis and give ourselves a bandhan,’ She suddenly said, or something similar, and we all did this together with Shri Mataji. We were a bit surprised because we had been told it is not correct protocol to raise Kundalini and do a bandhan in front of Her.

When it was time, we accompanied Shri Mataji to Her departing gate before taking the flight back to Kuala Lumpur. It was only then that we heard that when we were with Shri Mataji in the transit lounge there was a hijacking attempt on the tarmac. There were no announcements because they didn’t want to panic the public. Shri Mataji was with us but She knew what was happening outside.

KT Tan

Australian wildlife

When we were on the flight going from Singapore to Perth, in 1991, there was a documentary on Australian wildlife. They were showing kangaroos and koalas and crocodiles and so on, and very beautiful scenery. Then it came to a crocodile in muddy waters that raised its head from the waters to reveal its massive jaws.

‘Oh, that one’s not so pretty!’ I remarked.

‘Yes,’ Shri Mataji commented, ‘but see how delicately it holds the eggs for its young in among such sharp teeth.’

In the same documentary they were showing the koalas which had been threatened by a disease which was making them go blind. Sadly, Shri Mataji commented that this disease, which is spreading through the koala communities, has been introduced by humans.

Australia has the greatest number of venomous creatures – sea creatures and land creatures which are incredibly poisonous. Later on in the journey, on the subject of Australian wildlife Shri Mataji said that the reason why Australia has these, is that it manifests from the people, and the negativity that manifests from the people. Australians fear themselves, and eventually this goes into the animal life and manifests in the form of this venom.

I asked Shri Mataji what it meant to have fear of yourself, and She replied that it is a fear to go deeper within yourself, because you are afraid of what you will find. This can keep people from coming to Sahaja Yoga or staying in Sahaja Yoga.

Sandhya Dara

Shri Mataji came beaming

At Perth Airport in 1991 we were waiting for Shri Mataji’s arrival. It was 4 am and a long time had elapsed since the sign flashed ‘Landed’. Customs were being difficult.

It was my first time in Mother’s presence and our car had broken down on the way but we got a lift on a small truck delivering newspapers to the airport, so we were in time. After a while tears welled in my eyes. What was there to cry about? Then I realised, ‘Oh, She must be coming’.

At that moment Shri Mataji came beaming through the swing doors.

Christine Driver

This land of Shri Ganesha

In 1991 Shri Mataji arrived at the Applecross ashram and two Sahaja Yoginis began to do aarti to Her outside the main door. After the third bandhan Shri Mataji put Her hand up to stop them. The leader didn’t see this and told them to continue to do aarti, the Sahaja Yoginis hesitated; again the leader told them to continue so they continued and several bandhans later they somehow spilt the oil from the oil lamp down the right side of Shri Mataji’s sari. Now they stopped doing aarti and Shri Mataji came inside and sat down on Her chair in the meditation room.

Shri Mataji asked for talcum powder and a clean tea towel and while She spoke to the whole collective, She sprinkled talcum powder on the oil stain and began to rub it with the tea towel. The stain was thick with oil and was about eighteen inches long and six to nine inches wide. As She rubbed She spoke lightly about Her flight and asked about the schedule for Her time in Perth and after about twenty minutes She showed us Her now clean sari. It was completely clean, with no sign at all of where the oil had been. Shri Mataji told us that this is how we can remove oil from a sari.

While Shri Mataji was rubbing the talcum powder on Her sari She said how She had come to Perth on Her way to Australia. Then She said how blessed we were to be living in this land of Shri Ganesha. Afterwards we talked amongst ourselves, about how Perth and Western Australia do feel like a different country; not quite the same as the rest of Australia.

Claire Nesdale

Shri Hanuman was guiding the car

On one occasion in 1991 we had such rain during Shri Mataji’s visit. No one had ever seen rain like this here before. It was programme night and the drive down from the hills to Fremantle was through a dense screen of rain. Visibility was zero. Shri Mataji said Shri Hanuman was outside guiding the car. At the venue for the programme everyone had to take their shoes off and wade through several inches of water across the square to the town hall.

About ten years later there was a report on the news that the weather bureau people had finally come up with an explanation for it, because they had not predicted the rain. They had a very complicated explanation about an amazing updraft of about 30,000 feet which had drawn a huge amount of water from the Indian Ocean and then dropped it on the city.

Lyndal Vercoe

Rain and a power cut

Concerning the rain on that night, it was not so inviting to get out of the house. Only the real seekers came, and Shri Mataji said the rain kept the others away.

Also at that time, the Shri Mahavira Puja weekend, 1991, the power went off, so we had to use candles. It was the night before the puja. We were all in the sleeper house and the candles all came out and the next day at the puja Shri Mataji said the negativity had to be cleared away. The candles did that.

Sissy Horry

Burma and a born realised soul

When Shri Mataji came to Australia in the early ‘90s I was a very new yogini and was very excited to see Her and be near Her. I was also having a problem on the left side which, upon introspection, I connected to my Burmese past. When Shri Mataji came to Perth I had the opportunity to mention this to Her and also bring to Her divine attention the plight of Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi. Regarding the left side catch, Shri Mataji looked at me.

‘Don’t worry about it. It is now in My attention,’ She said.

At that moment I felt I could let go of the worry and just get on with cleansing myself. I knew somehow that it would eventually work out because Her loving attention was now on it. Regarding Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi, Shri Mataji said that Aung San Suu Kyi was a born realised soul but that she needed to get her self realisation again for things to work out for Burma.

Greta More

Editor’s note: Aung San Suu Kyi is a political figure, a brave lady who has suffered much for her country of Burma.

Jesus was a big man, tall and broad shouldered

This is a short story from 1991 in the Burwood Ashram. We were staying there, and I was so-called looking after Shri Mataji. How can we look after Shri Adi Shakti? – Let’s just say I had an opportunity to give and receive love.

It might have been close to Easter, and being as it is a Christian country, Easter is one of the main celebrations. Shri Mataji was talking a lot about Jesus. She had been talking about the church as well, so the conversation had gone from the church to Jesus. The context was the churches and Australians generally, and probably other Christian nations as well, don’t portray Jesus in an accurate way physically. She said you see images of Jesus where He is scrawny and skeletal, a small man even with red hair. She described Him as a big man, broad shouldered, and quite tall. He had dark hair and a complexion like that of North Indians – dark eyes and an olive type complexion.

I asked Shri Mataji why it was that Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, and She had a quizzical look on Her face.

‘I think it was just the practice at the time,’ She said.

Sandhya Dara


When I first came to Sahaja Yoga back in 1991 there was a man I lived with in an ashram who was diagnosed with AIDS. He had been gay and came into Sahaja Yoga before he found out he was HIV positive. Shri Mataji gave him Her gold ring and told him to take shavings of gold from it every day and insert it into his body at Mooladhara. He had a bad Centre Heart, as you might imagine.

She told me around that time that homosexuality is difficult to cure because the right side only starts at the Swadishthan, meaning you can’t pull yourself out of it using your willpower or right side (the way you might give up smoking or drinking). It’s even worse with lesbians. It is a possession of course.

Mark Williams 

A rainy night in Sydney

How grateful I was that rainy night in Sydney when against all odds I found myself on my way to the theatre where Shri Mataji would speak for the second and last programme that year (1991). I had been actively seeking for several years and had looked everywhere but had not found what I was seeking. I had been invited to the first programme, but said ‘no’, to my friend, because I was tired of all the different seminars, gurus and workshops that ended in vain.

My friend was persistent, and rang me again, (eternally grateful) begging me to go to see Shri Mataji on the second evening and so although I had to work late, had a throbbing migraine, no transport, and it was pouring rain, found myself walking into a packed theatre and instead of sneaking in quietly and finding a place up the back, I just kept walking towards the stage and took my place in the only vacant seat in the second row – as if I was being led.

The musicians had already started and I was struggling with my migraine, wondering whether I could stay because the music was so loud and was like a jack-hammer in my head. I was about to go outside for some fresh air, when I felt an incredible cool and soothing feeling really strongly, coming from my side – I was sitting near the aisle – and I opened my eyes to see this amazing lady in a white sari, Shri Mataji, walking past me. I didn’t expect Her to enter the theatre from the main foyer and walk down the aisle, so to feel the coolness and Her coming was a miracle to me. The talk Shri Mataji gave that night was divinely planned ‘just for me’ as many a Sahaj Yogi has felt, and I was transfixed to Her every word.

As luck had it, we were incredibly blessed to be offered darshan from Shri Mataji after Her talk, and even though I was only in the second row, there was a line to see Her, but I had to be there. When it was my turn to go up the steps to meet our Divine Mother, I followed the protocol I had witnessed while waiting, and did namaskar before kneeling at Her Feet, where I had an overwhelming feeling that I had finally come home, had found what I was looking for all those years – and that She was my Mother.

‘So, you got it!’ Shri Mataji said.

I nodded, although I wasn’t capable of thinking or speaking, I was so happy, but burst into tears and started sobbing uncontrollably in Her lap when She asked me what I did for work. I couldn’t answer that I was a naturopath and a massage therapist. I felt that to say anything was meaningless in front of my Holy Mother.

‘Don’t cry, My child, give it all to Me. That’s what I’m here for,’ She told me.

I am eternally grateful for that moment and blessing, Jai Shri Mataji!

Susi Baumgartner 

A very good day

Shri Mataji was visiting Sydney in 1991, a few months after we had got married in Ganapatipule in early 1990. Because my family were not yogis, we had not told them about our spiritual union in India, so we arranged a simple civil wedding at my parents’ home. Someone who was with Shri Mataji at the time suggested to us that we should present an invitation for our wedding to Her.

‘She will not be able to attend, but it will be very auspicious to invite Her,’ he said, so we had the blessed opportunity to see Shri Mataji in Her room and present the wedding invitation to Her. A part of me was feeling very guilty, as if it was like saying, ‘Our wedding in India does not really count, so we have to put on this other wedding.’ Shri Mataji was of course sweeter than we could have imagined, and She looked carefully at the invitation and the date.

‘Oh that is a very good day. It is the same day I got married and the same day I was christened!’* She said. We were thrilled that this day we had spontaneously chosen, the seventh day of the fourth month was such a special day for our dear Mother, and came to know that many important events took place in Her life on this day. She made me feel completely better and joyful about having this second marriage ceremony.

Lene Jeffrey

*Editor’s note: ‘christened’ means given a Christian name – a Christian ceremony for babies.

Little notes to Shri Mataji

Years ago my daughter, then about twelve, was going through a rebellious stage and ran away from home with her girl friend, and ended up working on a farm under a Child Welfare Order. She had Shri Mataji’s photo in her bedroom and ‘sort of’ meditated and used to write little notes to Shri Mataji and put them on the altar. Years later we were at the airport greeting Shri Mataji and my daughter offered Her a flower.

‘Oh thank you – and thank you for the letters,’ Shri Mataji said.

Peter Hewitson

The red rose

Shri Mataji was leaving Sydney. The message got to our home very late. I picked a deep red rose from my garden, and raced our unreliable old car across Sydney to the airport. I arrived just in time to hand Shri Mataji the rose, as She entered the boarding lounge. She stopped, stood for a moment and smelled the rose. I can still see Her with the rose in Her hand.

Heather Jeffrey

In the presence of God

In Brisbane, in 1991, we had a Shri Bhavsagara Puja, which was a Guru Puja, at the ashram at Highgate Hills. They announced for ladies to come and do the puja, but not on the microphone, so I couldn’t quite hear. I stood up, but then was about to sit down again when Shri Mataji nodded, so I came up to do the puja.

I had the great blessing of being able to paint Her Feet and put the swastika on. I had some problems doing this, and it was a little bit embarrassing because I couldn’t do it properly. But Shri Mataji actually lent down and took my hand and helped me to draw it. There was such a sweetness in the way She did it, with so much compassion and love, as if it wasn’t a problem. I always felt, when in front of Shri Mataji, that I was in the presence of God, and felt so overawed by Her, and by Her Feet, and being fairly new in Sahaja Yoga at that time it was so overawing to be so close to Her, but such a joyful experience at the same time.

Gillian Patankar

This param chaitanya even bewilders Me!

In Brisbane, in March 1991, my wife had excitedly come home with a lovely leather handbag. She carefully wrapped it as a gift for Shri Mataji. Following a weekend at the Brisbane ashram with Shri Mataji, we were able to offer it.

‘You haven’t got a job!’ Shri Mataji said as I entered the room.

‘No, Shri Mother I haven’t,’ I replied.

‘I know, I know!’ Shri Mataji then said.

‘Shri Mataji, please don’t worry about me, I always get a job!’ I said.

‘What have you there?’ She asked my wife.

‘A gift for You, Shri Mother,’ she answered.

‘You open it,’ Shri Mataji said. My wife ripped the paper away from the handbag. ‘This is the handbag we spent all morning looking for yesterday, and she had it,’ She said to the leader. ‘This param chaitanya even bewilders Me!’

‘Kay (McHugh), bring My old handbag and change everything over to this handbag please,’ Shri Mataji said.

I soon got a job.

Peter Corden

A new experience

I remember being overwhelmed by the preparation for the arrival of Shri Mataji in New Zealand in 1991. The time, love and attention to every detail were incredible, right down to the hand painted silk bed cover and cushions. It was a new experience, sleeping in the same house as the divine and helping to prepare Her dinner etc, being there hearing Her talk, seeing Her looking at Her plans for Pratishthan.

All the yogis were introduced and we each did pranams at Her Feet, I remember a drawing of mine of a frog was shown to Shri Mataji. I had recently had an exhibition of drawings in which frogs featured. Shri Mataji then relayed a fable about a frog with a big ego that fell in a well.

She commented on all sorts of things, even our clothing. I had a grey shirt and skirt on that She said would look better with a bit of brighter colour on it, that it would be nice with a bit of red on it!

Shri Mataji was shown a book on New Zealand and the overall feeling was that the country is very beautiful and that auspiciousness flows from New Zealand.

Janie Frith

The Kingdom of God

When Shri Mataji came to New Zealand in March 1991, She came to a rented premises at Parnel, Auckland. Mother came, and She was loving and bright and talkative. My responsibility was the cooking. For prasad the Indians made traditional prasad, but I made a kind of meringue with ginger filling, raspberry meringues and so on. Mother really noticed them after the puja.

‘Who made these?’ She asked, and I stood up at the back and said I had. I realised I had made a mistake in drawing attention to myself, but Mother really enjoyed them. We were all staying in the ashram with Mother when She came.

‘You must meditate,’ Shri Mataji said to me when She was leaving. I thought I had been meditating, but after that I started to work very seriously on myself. Eventually I had a strong experience, and felt I was in the Kingdom of God. At that time Shri Mataji used to phone quite regularly and spoke to Brian Bell, our leader. She would make suggestions and comments, and the very next morning She phoned up.

‘You have all entered the Kingdom of God,’ She said.

This sort of thing happened a lot in those days.

Colleen Keetley

Even the flowers

Shri Mataji had come to New Zealand and She was being taken to the airport to catch the plane, and there was a very famous rose garden in the area. People got married in it — I went to a marriage of Sahaja Yogis there myself — a very beautiful garden. Mother said She wanted to see it.

‘We’ve got to go to the rose garden. We’re not going to get to the airport,’ the driver said. ‘Well, I can’t say anything because of Who Mother is. We’ll have to go by the rose garden.’

‘It’s okay, we can go to the airport now,’ Mother said, as we came to the rose garden.

She said that the flowers just wanted to do namaste to Her as She went past.

Pamela Bromley

Mother bandhaned the situation

I was a somewhat confused seeker before Sahaja Yoga, as were a lot of us at the beginning, and I had a daughter who was a born realised soul. When Mother visited New Zealand She made a fuss of my little girl, saying she was Italian, and that she was born to save me. When we had the puja in Auckland in 1991, she was definitely lacking the effect of a father. It was quite challenging, because she was the only little one in the ashram at the time. At the puja Mother called her up, and was putting a lot of attention on the children.

Later during the puja another child was teasing mine with a lollipop, so my daughter started to yell, because she was hungry and wanted the lollipop. Mother bandhaned the situation, and told me to take her off and give her something to eat. However, in another puja talk Mother mentioned that my child had cried for something quite small, and I realised that I had to raise her to be beyond that sort of thing.

Colleen Keetley

The house could be ours

Shri Mataji’s fourth visit to New Zealand was in 1991, again in March. We were still in the Parnell ashram. This time Shri Mataji asked about the house, a large one with six or seven bedrooms radiating out from the large open lounge area – the puja and meditation room. She asked what the rent was and thought it was rather a lot. She suggested that we should buy a house! This divine trigger led to the yogis searching for our own ashram, which would be ready for Her next visit.

Shri Mataji asked to be taken to an estate agent, and with Hugh Frith She enquired about houses for sale in the Mount Eden area. Meanwhile, next to the estate agent, there was a 50% sale on at the Portuguese Trading Shop. It was full of beautiful porcelain in stunning colours and Shri Mataji bought many presents here. These artistic items receiving well deserved divine attention, being destined to go across the world.

Later two of us yogis went to attend an auction for a beautiful house in Epsom, at the foot of another volcanic cone, called One Tree Hill, a magnificent part of Auckland, with lots of lovely homes, gardens, and parks, very appropriate for Shri Mataji’s house. The auction seemed to be controlled by Shri Adi Shakti. There were not many bidders and bidding stopped a little below the reserve price, just after one of New Zealand’s most beautiful birds flew from where we were observing, and did a swooping dive over the proceedings. We were not bidding, but as the auction finished, an estate agent approached us, saying that if we could raise the reserve price, in other words find that amount of money, the house would be ours. This was such a good offer, and it all worked out, by our Mother’s grace.

David and Trisha Sharp

Tea and a chat

When Shri Mataji came to New Zealand, She would arrive, go into Her room and settle, and would then come out and have a cup of tea. It was in Parnell, in Auckland, in 1991, and I rented some premises there for Her. We all sat around at Her Feet. She talked about Her trip and about Australia, where She had just been, and generally chatted and asked different people different things. She spoke to me about my daughter, as She was drinking Her tea. We had a few bhajans and then it would be time for us to leave, and Shri Mataji would go to bed.

Colleen Keetley

Chapter 12: 1991 April to July, England and Europe

Guilt has no power

Unfortunately I tried for many years, naturally unsuccessfully, to hide ego in left Vishuddhi. So I felt guilty for literally everything. While Shri Mataji was staying with us in the tiny Los Angeles house in April 1991, I was asked to wash Shri Mataji’s sari. It was white silk, with a bright pink border. Not wise in the ways of a Lakshmi, and not being told that one generally dry cleans silk, I found the most beautiful brass thali, filled it with rose water, and immersed Shri Mataji’s sari. There was a vague thought at the back of my mind, ‘Won’t the pink bleed onto the white?’ but I dismissed it – after all what did I know? Sure enough, the pink started bleeding before my horrified eyes! I can’t remember what happened after that but somehow I went through the process to the point of ironing the sari just as Shri Mataji was leaving. I hastily ran out to the car with the sari, and bravely held it out.

‘Shri Mataji, I am so sorry I have ruined Your sari. What can I do?’ I apologised.

Shri Mataji said something along the lines of it being unimportant. Never has the potential for guilt been removed so fast. In front of the Adi Shakti, guilt is entirely powerless.

Pramod Shete

The ganas lifted me

After saying farewell to Shri Mataji at the airport, the yogi who had driven Shri Mataji offered for my family to go back in the same car. Joyfully, I entered the back of the car and sat down. Suddenly I found myself on the other side of the back seat. As there had been no sari covering the seat, I hadn’t realised I had sat down on the side where Shri Mataji had been. The ganas were still guarding Her place.

Pramod Shete

She looks like My cousin

In 1991 we all met Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport. I was briefly introduced by my first name and Mother patted both my cheeks which felt so sweet, and I felt like a small child. Then in about 1993, when I brought my baby boy to see Her at Heathrow, She also patted his little baby cheeks and I thought how She had done the same to me. About two years later we were again at Heathrow Airport and again I was introduced by my first name.

‘Oh, she looks like My cousin,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘It must be my cheeks,’ I replied, because I have wide cheeks like Mother, but I am fair and not at all Indian looking.

On that same occasion I met a yogini who gave me her address in the country and an open invitation to visit. Not long after, I had the offer to house sit in the same village as this yogini and brought my husband and children. My husband had not met many yogis. When we arrived I phoned this yogini and we met for a picnic. I introduced my Irish husband and they turned out to be first cousins, who had never met. All our Kundalini’s shot up! We three remain close to this day. Maybe Mother’s ‘cousin comment’ went across the universe and rebounded back. I don’t know how we would ever have made the connection without Sahaja Yoga.

Nicola Hallums

So, it was your birthday

In about 1991 I was living in an ashram in London – Muswell Hill, and it was about two days before my birthday. I had a fleeting thought – I wondered if Shri Mataji knew when it was our individual birthdays, then I instantly dismissed this as a silly thought.

About two days later we had the great honour of going to Heathrow Airport to meet Mother and we were outside the Queen’s Building, waiting for Her to arrive. I was at the back of a large group of Sahaja Yogis, and as I turned around, I saw Shri Mataji coming towards us. I was at the back and everyone was anticipating Her coming from another direction.

‘Oh, Mother’s coming this way!’ I said. So everyone quickly turned round and rushed towards Her. I was now at the front rather than the back. Shri Mataji came up to me.

‘So, it was your birthday,’ She said. It was the best birthday present I ever had, and it goes to show that Mother does know every single fleeting thought.

Mary Jane Williams

Shri Mataji took care of the most minute details

Shri Mataji was staying at the Muswell Hill Ashram in North London. A yogi was there translating Her book Sahaja Yoga into French. One day I was asked to go and help with the translation. I set off for a day but after three days I was still there. I did not have any change of clothes, so I would wash my clothes at night and wear them again the next day. On the third day, Shri Mataji called me and gave me a lovely pale blue dress. A few days later, Mother was leaving and we went to accompany Her to the airport. I was wearing the blue dress. Shri Mataji noticed.

‘Very chic Annie, very French,’ She said (because I am French).

Shri Mataji took care of the most minute details.

Annie Calvas

A healing balm

In May 1991, Shri Mataji was leaving England to go to the Sahasrara Puja in Italy. We were seeing Her off at the airport. I had lost my husband earlier in the year, and had written to Shri Mataji about it, but had not heard anything. As She came to the door and did not look at me, but put Her hand out onto my left arm and used it as a support, as She walked through the row of yogis giving Her flowers. All the time I could feel Shri Mataji’s hand on my left arm working on my heart chakra.

As Shri Mataji reached the departure lounge She turned to the yogini who was holding the huge bouquet of flowers. She told the lady to hand the flowers to me, while She went away for a little time, and I held this huge bunch of vibrated flowers in both arms. The perfume of the flowers seemed to go into me like a healing balm. Shri Mataji came back, and walked through the departure lounge and I handed the flowers back to the lady. Mother could work on us through flowers, through anything.

Melody Hodgson

Sahasrara Day 1991 (email report)

Our journey to Ischia took us through Italy under stormy skies. The rain was exceptionally heavy between Rome and Naples, and as we got into the bus that was to take us to Naples Airport to greet Shri Mataji the sky was completely covered by dark grey clouds. On arriving at the airport the sky had turned a slightly lighter shade of grey. After about fifteen minutes Shri Mother’s plane landed and we were told She would be coming out by a side entrance from the terminal, so we all swarmed out into the bright, warm sunlight that was bathing the whole area.

That afternoon we sailed over choppy seas to Ischia, a beautiful volcanic island in the Mediterranean about an hour out of Naples. Shri Mataji arrived on the island shortly after us and made Her way to the luxurious Continental Terme hotel, where She relaxed for the rest of the day.

Late that evening, Shri Mataji was sitting on the balcony outside Her room, chatting to Sahaja Yogis who gathered in a little crowd around Her. Her conversation covered many topics. In particular Shri Mataji said that for Her there was no difference between beet sugar and cane sugar, and either can be used as part of a diet for a hot liver condition.

Shri Mataji spent part of Saturday morning giving an interview to a local journalist, and this resulted in a very positive article appearing in the local newspaper next morning, with a beautiful photograph of Shri Mataji on the front page and a long article. The journal pointed out that it was a source of pride for the island that people were coming from all over the world to attend a conference here, and reported Shri Mataji as encouraging the islanders to cherish their old traditions and dharmic ways of life, which had been lost in the big cities.

The puja took place on the Sunday in a sports stadium under a large geodesic dome which Shri Mataji said resembled the petals of the Sahasrara. Her throne stood on a large dais, with rays like those seen on the miracle photos from Sorrento, two years ago, radiating from Her Sahasrara to the walls of the dome. After the puja, which continued with bhajans, many priceless gifts of Chinese jade were offered to Shri Mataji, sculpted into goddesses, ships, trees, vases, and other shapes. She commented that jade is like the human brain as one cannot see what is inside it.

Phil Ward

The pearl earrings

At Shudy Camps in 1991, Mother gave me a pendant and some large freshwater pearl earrings. They were studs, each one made up of many pearls. I was very happy but felt sorry because the posts that went through the ears were not of a metal I could wear, because my skin reacts. I was thinking about this when a Sahaja Yogini came in with another pair of pearl earrings from Shri Mataji, this time on gold.

‘Mother sent these for you and She said, “Tell Ruth they’re real”.’

Ruth Greaves


In May 1991 I went to Shudy Camps at Shri Mataji’s request to do some tailoring for Sir CP, and stayed for two weeks. At this time my daughters were seven and five. I wanted to have another child and had occasionally thought it would be lovely to have twins. I was sitting on the grass looking at the sky. Mother was inside the house. Suddenly a desire rushed into my attention and I prayed, ‘Oh Mother, please may I have twins?’ I was covered with a shower of vibrations and thought, well, I suppose babies are a good thing to be thinking about.

I went home a few days later and soon became pregnant – with twins! They were boys and Shri Mataji named them Buddha and Mahavira at the Shri Buddha Puja at Shudy Camps in 1992.

I later heard from the lady who was looking after Mother while I was at Shudy Camps, that Mother had asked, ‘How many children does Ruth have now?’

Ruth Greaves

Watching a movie

I remember being at Shudy Camps in about 1991 and we were invited up to Mother’s room to watch an animated movie with Her called Fern Gully – The Last Rainforest. It is about the magical creatures of the rainforest fighting to save the forest and defeat an evil creature. Whilst watching the film Mother kept saying that the magical creatures were very small but still very powerful.

Laura Richardson 

Shri Mataji wanted to buy books

One day at Shudy Camps, Shri Mataji asked to go into Cambridge to buy some books. We thought She meant a few. How wrong we were.

We went to Dillon’s bookstore in the centre of Cambridge with Sir CP and a couple of yogis. Shri Mataji started walking round selecting books — not just a few, but whole shelves full and we came to understand that She was buying for Pratishthan for the guest rooms. She bought whole collections of Agatha Christie, AJ Cronin, Somerset Maugham and Sherlock Holmes, books on paintings, flowers, gardens and art of all kinds, novels, biographies, encyclopedias and on.

We finally had all the books boxed up and, to our amazement, they just fitted in the very capacious trunk of the Mercedes with absolutely no room to spare.

Chris Marlow

The British character

Soon after I came to Sahaja Yoga, someone told me that Shri Mataji was fond of PG Wodehouse’s books, which were very light but not superficial. At his best his writing was masterly as well as deeply funny.

Some time in the early 1990’s, Shri Mataji suggested that, as an entertainment at one of the international seminars, the English should put on a series of comical sketches denoting different aspects of the British character. This didn’t happen – but, as a substitute, I thought I would like to give her Pont’s The British Character, a book of finely drawn cartoons from the 1930’s which fulfilled the same function. Hardly had I had this desire than I came across a copy in a local bookshop. I asked someone to present it to Shri Mataji and later heard that She enjoyed it very much.

Chris Greaves

Deepak and Chetak

In the early 1990’s Shri Mataji rang our coordinator in the UK and asked if someone could buy two Golden Retriever puppies, because She wanted to take them back to India. The coordinator asked me to do this as I had experience with dogs. It didn’t take long to find two which I felt were exactly right for Mother. I then had the wonderful job of keeping them for some months until they were old enough to be transported as we didn’t know where they would go exactly. They began to grow and turned into two beautiful golden dogs, both males. Eventually I called our coordinator and asked him to telephone India to request Shri Mataji to name Her puppies, as I needed to begin training them a little.

In the meantime I could see their individual characters developing; one puppy was bigger built, slower, calm and quiet. He used to sit on the back doorstep and just watch the world go by. The other was slimmer, lithe, very fast and could never keep still. He was always on the go and always looking for something interesting.

Eventually the answer of the names came back to me by telephone. Shri Mataji wanted to call them Deepak and Chetak. The coordinator told me that Shri Mataji had instructed us that Deepak meant ‘quiet and watchful’ and Chetak meant ‘lively and very attentive.’

‘I don’t know how you are going to tell which one needs which name,’ he said.

‘Don’t worry about that, I already know which one is which,’ I smiled and replied; Shri Mataji already knew Her dogs intimately, without even seeing them.

 I was very sad the day Deepak and Chetak left for India but these two beautiful friends eventually went to Dharmshala and ended up living with all the children at the school. Many younger Sahaja Yogis will remember growing up with them at the school.

 Rosalyn Tildesley

Who does this rose belong to?

It was the summer of 1991, in Milan, when Shri Mataji stayed in Aldo’s apartment for ten days and we were allowed to go and meditate there every day during our lunch break from work. Normally, we went there with a bunch of flowers or just one flower, and meditated outside Her bedroom door. The fairy tale started when one day, another Sahaja Yogi and I were outside Mother’s room, in deep meditation and enjoying the miracle to have Shri Mataji just around the corner from where we lived. Suddenly the door opened and the then leader of Milan pointed to a rose lying on the sofa.

‘Who does this rose belong to?’ he asked, and I opened my eyes and answered that it was mine. He asked me to go into Mother’s bedroom. I can’t describe in words what I felt, and I was a bit confused because I didn’t expect this could have happened, nor had I expected Shri Mataji’s attention on me. I was enjoying Her divine presence and feeling so good. I was so overwhelmed that I was meeting Mother almost alone, with just one other lady there who was helping with the translation into English.

‘How sweet you are,’ Shri Mataji told me, and I was melted in Her divine love, my whole body and my soul were sucked in Her divine essence, and in one instance She restored my entire dignity and confidence, and I was able to answer Her questions about my life, job and so on, and She suddenly happily said that She was going to buy a castle and there were plenty of rooms and She added, ‘You can come and live there with Me.’ Her compassion and generosity were flooding the entire room, city and universe. (A few months back I had been asked by my landlord to leave my flat, because he wanted it back for his son, so, I was practically without a home, for me and my son)

In one moment Shri Mataji gave me a place in Her heart and a home too. More miracles were to come, and also a chance to grow in Sahaja Yoga, without my asking Her anything. That was the first great miracle. She also advised me to keep my son in Sahaja schools and gave me so much encouragement and advice. Having Shri Mataji with all of us in Milan every day was another miracle. She spoke with us about our own town and She told us the meaning of the word Milan, (it means to meet, union – yoga) and told us also that in the past Milan used to be a very spiritual place.

Ornella Bollani

Everything was exactly right

Before Shri Mataji bought the castle, we went to buy some furniture for it. We thought She would buy this big castle, so we went to this building where they sold furniture, five stories high, near Cabella. We went there and on one floor were beds, one floor cupboards, one floor bathroom things – like that. So from the first floor we started. We were writing, ‘two of these beds, three of these cupboards, three of these mirrors.’

‘You remember those two cupboards down there, make it one cupboard,’ Shri Mataji said when we were going to the second floor. All the time She was changing and after three or four hours, all the time we had to be aware of what She was saying. We couldn’t remember very well, but She did. She bought lots of things after being there for half a day. When Shri Mataji bought Cabella, we thought all this furniture would be too much because Cabella was much smaller, but everything was exactly right for Cabella.

Akbar Samii

A house between Milan and Genoa

When Shri Mataji came to Italy in 1991, She said She wanted to have a house in Italy between Milan and Genoa. A group of people went to look for a castle. My husband and I were with some other people. We went around and saw many big houses, together with other people. One time we were told about the Palazzo Doria, which was for sale in Cabella. This time just my husband and I came and visited it. That day there was a lot of snow on the ground. I took some photos, although before I had not done so when visiting places. It seemed nice, but a bit different from what Shri Mataji wanted. In the meantime people looked at other places, and it seemed Shri Mataji wanted to buy a castle called San Giorgio, near Castel Monferrato. At the last moment She did not want to buy it, and people around Her did not know what to do. An Italian man showed Her the photos I had taken of Cabella.

‘I will buy this one,’ She said.

She went directly to Cabella and the mayor showed the castle to Her and She bought it at once.

Daniella Picciafuoco

The vibrations were right

When Shri Mataji decided to buy a castle in this area of Italy, Alessandria, in 1991, for two weeks we were going to see so many castles in north Italy. She was interested in one of these castles which was huge and had ninety rooms. One floor, for Shri Mataji Herself, was beautiful — on top of a hill. There was a puja coming soon and She wanted to buy quickly, so the puja could take place there. This castle belonged to a father and his children. Then suddenly, Cabella Ligure came along and we went to see this too.

We came there and the car wouldn’t go up from the road down below, so Shri Mataji told us to go and see it. I was alone with Her in the car and the others went up to see it, and were not very happy with it somehow. Compared with the other castle, it was nothing. Then one of the daughters of the owner of the other castle decided not to sell, but Shri Mataji had already bought all the furniture and so on. The things were in a truck at the other castle and we had been cleaning this other castle because it was nearly time for the puja.

We contacted the mayor of Cabella and Shri Mataji came and said She wanted to buy it right then. She bought it, and the furniture, trucks and all, came to Cabella. We had only one evening to prepare everything and for the puja and we put a tent for the puja near the river and somehow it worked out. Shri Mataji said that when She saw Cabella the vibrations were right, and Sir CP was with us and he said how pure the air was.

Akbar Samii

All My love to you and your wife

My husband and I had the unexpected blessing of being able to host Shri Mataji in our home in Milan when She came to find a residence in Italy. She stayed there for about a month from May to June 1991, breaking Her permanence only for a short trip to London.

With Guru Puja being imminent and having signed the contract for the purchase of Palazzo Doria in Cabella Ligure, Shri Mataji readily went there even though there was an almost complete lack of the comforts and necessities required to manage everyday life. For us, the Sahaja Yoginis of Milan, it was a great blessing to bring Her clothes and bedding to our city to be washed, almost as though we didn’t want to cut the umbilical cord that had united us so closely to Her in that period that we had just passed together. Every time we immersed our hands in the bag of things to be washed, waves of vibrations would hit us. The coolness and the perfume that came from Her sheets graced us with a sense of wellbeing and a slight euphoria. One evening, alone in my house in Via Boccaccio, I found myself holding a silk white sari to be ironed.

I have always loved Shri Mataji’s white and immaculate saris. When I met Her for the first time in a public conference in Milan, She was dressed in a white sari. She spoke of truth. She worked, with infinite love, with complete assuredness, with full awareness on the subtle system of all those who desired it. How much love She had!

I was ironing that sari, when I realised that also the atmosphere around me had suddenly become filled with love. The space around me had become completely pervaded – I would dare to say – with tangible molecules of intense pure love! The love was ‘real’ and I was completely immersed in it! It covered everything and it sustained and nourished me, giving me a sensation of deep and intense sweetness. Before then ‘I knew’ that I was immerged in an ocean of pure love. But that evening I had had the indescribable experience of it!

The phone rang. They were calling from Palazzo Doria and Shri Mataji wanted to speak to my husband. I answered that he would be in later, and they told me to get him to call in any case. Then, around midnight, when my husband came in, we learnt what Shri Mataji wanted to communicate to him: ‘All My love to you and your wife’.

Floriana Gandolfi

The most important gift

In 1991 Shri Mataji came to stay in a beautiful flat in the heart of Milan, very near to the place I used to live. Every day we were allowed to go and meditate, in our work break, for some time and in the evenings we could help in the kitchen. We used to have prasad, but the most important gift we had was to drink the water where Mother used to wash Her Hands after dinner, and we started to feel drunk with joy, we couldn’t stop laughing and we could not control our tears of joy. This was happening every time we had some of that water.

With Mother there, it was a never ending miraculous experience.

Ornella Bollani

She created all those rooms

At Cabella, Shri Mataji chose everything Herself for the decoration of the house upstairs, even the architecture, because everything upstairs was all fallen down and there were no rooms there really. There was no room where the computer room is now and She created all those rooms up there.

Nanda Tagliabue

Dreams have a way of telling you things

At Guru Puja in 1991, the first year at Cabella, I was sitting way back in the audience. Shri Mataji called me up to the stage, and She called a couple of times before it clicked that it was me She was calling. So I went up and did the puja to Her, and I She called me up to Her room afterwards. She showed me some miracle photographs that some Sahaja Yogis had taken.

I told Shri Mataji that I had had some dreams. They were like a series, in that I was having them every night but each time a little more was added. They were dramatic, huge waterfalls and things falling from the sky, all in colour, very elaborate dreams. Shri Mataji said She wanted to hear them so I told Her and She listened very closely with great attention. She had a smile on Her face and said that dreams have a way of telling you things that the param chaitanya wants you to know, and that is the way it comes through.

Prerna Richards

A new era

In the 1980’s and ’90’s, Shri Mataji made an enormous amount of journeys all over the world, partly to give public programmes and partly to celebrate the big international pujas in respective countries. The purchase of Castello Doria in Cabella marked the beginning of a new era.

The collective discipline which She imposed on us at that time meant that several times we arranged coaches from Munich to Cabella and nobody went in individual cars. The first time none of us knew the place, we had to navigate using a map and descriptions of the direction, not knowing what was awaiting us. We arrived in Val Bolbera in the middle of the night. The moon was full in a clear sky and cast an enchanting light on the mountains, and there were deep grooves in them. The shadows of the moonlight increased this impression and the mountains looked like the claws of magic animals. This wonderful wild nature had a healing effect and became our new home: the river, which is all the time changing its bed, the untamed growth of flowers, bushes and trees, the picturesque sky, the nightingales greeting us at 4 o’clock in the morning after an Indian concert, and nearby the castle standing in solitary splendour.

The castle was very much in need of renovation. To most of us the old stone building, which looked like a hundred years before, was very romantic and the collective overnight stays in the circus tent near the castle were primitive but natural.

We cooked meals for everybody on the small bridge leading to Shri Mataji’s floor. One day I had kitchen duty, made sure the log fire was burning and stirred the pots. She taught us how to cook biryani in large pots and showed us little tricks – how to close the lid with dough, thus creating a kind of pressure cooker. She would sit at the entrance on an armchair, directing the show, and had pots brought to Her to add different spices and to stir them with a big spoon. Once I sat next to Her on the wall, and was fascinated.

‘Shri Mataji, it’s just like a puja!’ I said.

‘Of course, it`s just the way you look at it,’ She answered, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Thomas Menge

Shri Mataji did not forget Her child

It was one of the first pujas at Cabella, maybe Guru Puja 1991. After the puja was finished, Shri Mataji was still there. I was very tired, very satisfied, and I fell asleep. About two hours later someone woke me up. I saw all Sahaja Yogis in a big circle standing around Shri Mataji in complete silence and I wanted to know what was going on, because one Yogi was in the middle of this circle doing namaskar to Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet.

‘Wow, I would like to do the same,’ said my heart. At that moment someone said I should come forward to do namaskar too! Very shy, I came forward and made namaskar to Shri Mataji, feeling so much joy that I wanted to do that endlessly. Then I stood up to make space for the next to come for namaskar, but I was the last one. There had been a music session before this, and all Sahaja Yogis where dancing in joy and I had not woken up, but at the end Shri Mataji did not forget Her child.

Leopold Zeilinger

Chapter 13: 1991 August, Europe

Shri Buddha Puja, Belgium, 1991 (email report)

By the grace of our Divine Mother the Shri Buddha Puja took place in Belgium in August 1991, in the picturesque small town of Deinze near the North Sea coast. Shri Mataji stayed nearby, with Patricia, the leader. The Belgians had prepared everything for their visitors from abroad in a large sports hall on the outskirts of the town. About four hundred Sahaja Yogis came. In the evening Nirmal Sangeet Sarita gave us a beautiful concert. Shri Mataji did not attend as She was very tired after the programmes in Amsterdam, which were a great success, particularly the second evening when Shri Mataji roundly criticized drug abuse, the dissipated and immoral life characteristic of modern times and certain false gurus; at each point, a few negative people left the hall and the hundreds who remained had a beautiful experience of self realisation.

The puja set had a column of light shining behind the golden throne which the Belgians had made, above which waves of tissue radiated out into the hall. The stage was richly decorated with many flowers. Shri Mataji arrived in mid-afternoon. The puja presents, which will be transported to Cabella, were mainly hand-woven silk carpets. The Swiss presented our Mother with a beautifully framed mirror. Our brothers and sisters from Belgium and Holland presented all their guests with gilt statues of Shri Buddha for their meditation rooms, and transcriptions of all the talks Shri Mataji has given at previous Buddha Pujas, in San Diego and Barcelona. Shri Mataji left shortly afterwards, to receive the Belgian Sahaja Yogis.

Phil Ward

We will cure you

In January 1991 I was operated for a hyperthyroid growth. In August Shri Mataji came to Belgium and when She first set eyes on me, I felt as if my skull was suddenly blown off my head and as if a very powerful explosion took place inside me.

‘We will cure you,’ She said, but a few weeks later I became ill again. The doctor could not find out what was happening and sent me to the hospital for a general check-up. They couldn’t find anything special, except a small increase of thyroid hormone in the blood and decided to reduce the amount of medicine. When your thyroid gland is taken away, except for a small part, you have to replace the hormones it produces normally by pills, and you have to take hormone pills for the rest of your life. Still, a few of the symptoms were disappearing naturally under the influence of Sahaja Yoga. After a few weeks, I decided to reduce the medication.

The following May I could attend a puja with Shri Mataji, and this was followed by a second personal contact with Her. The next day I stopped taking sleeping pills, which I had taken for five years and I continued reducing the hormone pills until zero. The doctors tell me this is quite impossible, medically speaking.

Rida Vindra

Follow these people

The first time I saw Shri Mataji I was not yet in Sahaja Yoga but went to a public programme in Brussels in 1991. The hall was full, and full of vibrations which I felt right away. I did not know what happened to me, but after the programme anyone who wanted was invited to come up front to meet Shri Mataji. I also went, and when I was in front of Her I was so impressed that I just knelt in front of Her, and took both Her hands. She was holding mine very firmly for at least a minute.

‘Now you go and follow these people,’ She said, referring to the people close to Her.

Some time later I was in Sahaja Yoga.

Stefan de Klerk

Lost in the vibrations

This happened in Vienna, at a public programme, and I was asked to do the introduction. Because of this I was very close to the stage when Shri Mataji came. She came to the stage, sat down and started to speak. I was sitting close to the stairs of the podium, and there I got completely lost in the vibrations. I felt attached to a huge, thick, solid column of light. There was nothing between me and this light and it kept me completely thoughtless.

Gunter Thurner

Still the train did not leave

Many years ago, in 1991, Shri Mataji left Vienna via train to Budapest. At the railway station many Sahaja Yogis where there to say goodbye. We sang some songs and Shri Mataji was already sitting in the train. It did not leave – we sang some more songs, and still it did not leave. Shri Mataji came to the window. We were full of love and She was touched by this, and we sang some more songs. Shri Mataji was standing there and had tears in Her eyes. After half an hour’s delay the train left.

Leopold Zeilinger

A concert and a movie

Shri Mataji came to Vienna, Austria, for a public programme and then went to Budapest, Hungary. Many of us remember this journey very well, because of the unforgettable boat trip on the Danube from Vienna to Budapest. My rakhi sister Vimala gave a little violin concert for Shri Mataji on the boat, and a public place turned into a very private space.

The evening before, we had returned from the public programme in Vienna and Shri Mataji stayed in the ashram. After She had dinner, some Indian yoginis, who had been serving Her, and maybe four men, were sitting in Her room and we were watching a video, a Hindi movie, a sociocritical Robin Hood story. Ompuri, an actor Shri Mataji liked very much, played the leading role of the robber who robbed the rich and gave money to the poor. It was in Hindi, so I repeatedly asked Shri Mataji what had been said, or made some comments to which She replied in a very natural way, and I completely forgot about the protocol. Our attention was fully on the film, but because Shri Mataji’s attention was on it as well, a special effect took place, maybe a flow of Her attention to us via the medium of the film. When the yogis and I met in the kitchen afterwards, we were in a state of the deepest and most blissful meditation.

Thomas Menge

The over-riding impression was one of peace

In 1991 we got on the Danube steamer cruise boat and set off on a lovely sunny day down the river. The first part of the day people were singing. Shri Mataji sat on one side of the ship and didn’t talk much. For much of the trip She was actually in meditation.

The bhajans, very soon, gave way to a very quiet atmosphere, as we passed through the Danube scenery with various remains of castles and we passed Bratislava. But the over-riding impression was one of peace, quiet and Shri Mataji in contemplation and meditation, very little talking.

Ian Maitland Hume

Learn a little Indian music

I had my viola with me. Shri Mataji settled down and She was in the main saloon of the boat on the Danube in 1991. The boat started going slowly and I was asked to play, and played a solo of Bach. There was a prayer in my heart that many musicians should come to Mother and praise Her because I always felt music takes you to the centre and close to the spirit.

After I had played, Shri Mataji talked about music and composing. She said it was a very difficult piece that I had played. She pointed to the Agnya chakra and said that if you have to learn music like this, you have to learn it from here and if you do too much — and then She pointed down to the Swadishthan – your creativity will be spoiled.

She was talking about how the Indians study and the difference in learning music. Everything in India comes from Shri Ganesha, even the dancing. They learn all these melodies or ragas, which are already fixed. You cannot invent them. You learn these until you become a master and then you are completely free to do what you like. Then She said that in Western classical music there are no masters because they do not come to this point. There is no freedom. So because there is no freedom, they always remain in these fixed things, which are written down.

The Indian musician is the composer and everything, and is completely connected. He has a perfect technique, which he had to learn, learn, learn, but the Western musicians do not become free in this sense of the word. Shri Mataji mentioned Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar and said Ravi Shankar was like the mother and Yehudi Menuhin like a little child. Ravi Shankar was helping him and he didn’t know how to do anything. Shankar was the master. It is especially because we have to learn without the Agnya. In Indian music there is nothing written down, so you don’t use the Agnya chakra and in Western classical music everything is written down and you have to use the Agnya.

Because this freedom is not there, they started doing jazz music in the West. Shri Mataji did not say anything against jazz. I think She liked jazz, but She said that this is also limited. They think they are free, but they are not because they do not have the mariadas. Because they do not have mariadas, then they cannot get to the freedom.

‘Learn a little bit of Indian music,’ She said to me in the end.

It was so full of love and concern, the way Shri Mataji was telling all this. When She stopped talking, She was leaning back a bit and had a bit of a rest, and luckily I could stay there at Her Feet. I didn’t see anything of the River Danube, but I enjoyed for many hours the Holy Lotus Feet of Shri Mataji.

Vimala Gratz

I feel Shri Mataji is coming

It was several months after being introduced to Sahaja Yoga that, together with a bus full of people from my home town in Northern Transylvania, Romania, we made the ten hour journey to Budapest, Hungary, where we met Shri Mataji for the first time in August 1991. The communist regime had been toppled, and the borders had opened just the previous year, thus the length of the journey, due to the exhaustive border control carried out on everyone crossing towards Western Europe. All of us were very new in Sahaja Yoga and looking forward to meeting Shri Mataji; we felt like little children eager to see their Mother.

Shri Mataji was then visiting Hungary during Her 1991 tour of Europe. When we arrived at Budapest, we met many other people who had come to see Shri Mataji from places even more remote. Some had met Her the previous year, but for many it was the first time ever. We were all very excited and somehow happy, despite the scorching heat in the non-AC bus and arrived at the venue in the heart of Budapest a few hours before the programme. We made good use of the time until the start of the programme by doing a footsoak in the lake nearby, raising our Kundalinis and meditating. Most of us had never travelled abroad, but we felt at home in the middle of a bursting European city.

The programme started and Shri Mataji was expected to come every minute. Suddenly my sister, who was much more into Sahaja Yoga than me at the time, said, ‘I feel Shri Mataji is coming. She is giving vibrations to the people in the hall. I can feel the cool breeze.’ The skeptic in me objected that, ‘It must be just the air conditioning of the room,’ but I was soon proved wrong.

Shri Mataji arrived presently and we were very quiet; even our thoughts stopped. I could feel the cool breeze, which I now knew was not the air conditioning. Later, after She finished talking and giving realisation to people, everyone was invited to shake hands with Her. The more than three thousand people trickled on the stage and instead of shaking hands, they bowed to Her. Seeing their reverence for Shri Mataji, I was convinced that all the people in the hall were Sahaja Yogis but later I realised that less than a sixth of them were. The spontaneous reverence of so many people was impressive.

The organisers of the programme also invited everyone willing to sing bhajans to join Nirmal Sangeet Sarita. We went on the stage and sang some bhajans we had never rehearsed previously, and some more familiar ones. We were having the night of our lives. Shri Mataji was merely one or two metres from us, and we could see the different nuances of Her beautiful black hair, with streaks of henna-coloured threads in it.

She was giving vibrations to everyone who came to Her, while musicians were playing highly rhythmical songs, and some people in the audience were dancing at the foot of the stage. She was also talking to many of the people present. Everyone was in the seventh heaven with joy.

Alexandra Dumitrescu

A very powerful love

When Shri Mataji went to Hungary for a public programme, my mother, brother and I went along with other yogis from Romania, a very joyous and bubbling group of people travelling by coach. The hall where the programme was to take place was very elegant, with red carpets and tapestry and air conditioning; it was in the middle of the summer. Shri Mataji was about an hour late and the hall was full, with people sitting on the stairs and on the floor.

Many left the hall before Mother came, and the whole atmosphere literally changed after their leaving. The hall became a calm and peaceful place and just before She came, a sensation prevailed of being somehow lifted up. When Shri Mataji came, She brought in so much joy. There was just pure joy and love, a very powerful love that cannot be described.

After the programme, there was a lot of qawali singing, and people went onto the stage to meet Shri Mataji. There was a big queue and Mother, in Her beautiful pure white sari, smiling, would work on everyone and speak to everyone with immense compassion.

Many chose not to go to the stage and would just sit and listen to the music. At one point, when just a few were still not fully engaged in that joy, Baba Mama, Shri Mataji’s brother, came towards the front of the stage and when he put his hands in the air and shook his body in the rhythm of the music in a very innocent way, everyone started clapping their hands with full heart, as if he pressed a button for the joy to flow.

Liliana Beaven


It was in Frankfurt in Germany, in 1991, at a public programme prior to my first Kundalini/Adi Shakti Puja, held a day later in Weilberg, and I had come with two Sahaja Yogis from Sheffield, England. During the drive from England I felt cool energy flowing across my palms for the whole journey, so kept them up almost the whole time because I was enjoying it so much. I had only recently begun practising Sahaja Yoga and I was feeling my Kundalini almost constantly.

Eventually we arrived at the hall and I walked up some very wide stairs to a first floor room with big doors. We could hear Indian music coming from inside and when we opened the door there was Shri Mataji glowing on the stage in Her white sari. All this time I was feeling completely open-hearted and a tremendous flow of cool energy. Shri Mataji spoke at length and made some jokes about the Germans, and to my amazement they were all loving them and laughing at themselves. I guess that’s the seekers way. At the end Shri Mataji asked the entire audience to come up and see Her. Strangely enough I didn’t jump up, although I had a tremendous desire to meet Her. Then one of the English Sahaja Yogis came and told me to join the queue.

‘But what if someone really new misses a chance because of me?’ I said.

‘You are new, so get on up there,’ he said.

‘OK, but I’ll give it a while.’

I waited for some time in my seat and watched Shri Mataji working on the people. It was fascinating seeing Her move Her hands around, and one time it looked as though She was pulling something invisible out of someone’s ear. I was transfixed, and my desire to see Her grew and grew, then I just said to Her inside myself, ‘Mother, I really, really want to meet You!’

At that moment She turned, looked over at me, pointed to me and beckoned me to come up. I was absolutely awestruck and looked around me, but it was as if time had stopped and no one moved, then I looked back and She was continuing with Her work. I was filled with doubt and semi-shock, because I was sitting in the fourth or fifth row back and all I had done was think something and She heard me! I eventually got to Mother and bowed down to Her. I was practically stuck to Her Feet, soaking it all up, then very directly She told me to get up and took both my hands in Hers. I was expecting Her to tell me everything that was wrong with me and was convinced She would say, ‘You have to work on this, this and this’.

‘Excellent,’ She said, having summed me up for a moment with a very stern look. She raised Her eyebrows in a majestic fashion. I really couldn’t believe it, and almost said, ‘but Mother… what about,’ then my mind was simply washed out with total silence and satisfaction.

I floated off that stage absolutely overflowing with cool vibrations and glided back to where the English were sitting and something absolutely tremendous happened. The lady was complaining of a sore neck and I went behind her and started massaging her shoulders. After a few moments she turned around with tears in her eyes and told me that she could feel the vibrations on her hands for the first time. I had no idea that she was suffering from some condition to do with the thyroid gland and had never felt the cool.

Dave Libby

While singing the aarti

We were in Germany for Shri Kundalini Puja, August 1991, and at the end, while we were standing and singing the aarti, I put my hands on my son’s shoulders and suddenly we heard the sounds of my son’s bones stretching, even though we were not moving or doing anything. I was a bit shocked and asked my son if he could hear that noise from his bones.

‘Yes mum, I can, very clear and strong,’ he answered. He had some problems with his bones, and at that moment they were all gone.
Ornella Bollani

We could often see Shri Mataji

I was working at Cabella in 1991, and although getting invited to Shri Mataji’s apartments was unusual, we could very often see Her for a while when we were called to work on different parts of the castle. Once we were asked to work under the roof, to carry away some pieces of wood. The man in charge took us through some corridors under the roof and we ended up going through a hole in the wall into a fully equipped bathroom, with all kinds of soaps and creams. As we came out of the bathroom, we found ourselves in Shri Mataji’s bedroom where She was seated, waiting for the work in the bathroom to be over.

One night we were scratching the old wallpaper off the wall in the hall opposite Shri Mataji’s bedroom. A lady stepped out from Mother’s room, asking for some help to change the heater’s gas bottles. As I was the first yogi available, I followed her into Shri Mataji’s room where She was seated in Her armchair, and bowed to Her. While I was changing the first heater’s bottle, the lady left for some reason. It was the kind of moment when you keep trying to put your attention on your attention, bearing in mind that you are just in front of the Adi Shakti, busy with a spanner changing a heater’s gas bottle. Suddenly the electricity went off and I was standing in absolute darkness, just near Shri Mataji, and commenting casually with Her about how long the power cut was going to last.

Devarshi Abalain

Feeling so loved and nurtured

In my early Sahaja life I went through an unsuccessful marriage. I was twenty-three years old and ended up separated after just eight months. I had poured out my heart with lots of expectations, but it didn’t work out.

Once Shri Mataji heard that the marriage was not working well She became very concerned, and for about two years called for me at almost every puja, and nurtured me with Her love and vibrations. She repeatedly told me She felt so sorry, and didn’t understand why it had happened to me.

I never felt so loved, understood and comforted than in those hours spent in Shri Mataji’s room in Cabella where She would show me how She knew me much better than I knew myself. I was quite attached to my then wife although it was clear to everyone else and to Shri Mataji that we could not live well together. I was pretty confused about the situation and after a puja Shri Mataji called me in Her room. To my surprise Mother was lying on Her sofa in the exact same position as the reclining Buddha in Bangkok’s temple, in a simple white cotton sari, welcoming me with Her wonderful smile. Her kumkum was slightly spread on Her forehead and She motioned for me to come near Her.

‘How are you?’ She asked gently.

I sat in front of Her and Mother was lying on Her side, Her face resting on Her hand. Seeing Her like this I knew it was not the Divine Guru talking to me, but the most gentle and loving Mother who wanted me to feel completely at ease and who knew that most of all I needed Her love and comfort. Mother started to talk about my relationship with my ex-wife and then asked me to write Her a letter about this marriage. While I thought I would go back home and send Her the letter in the following days, Shri Mataji asked for a pen and paper to be given to me.

She dictated a very detailed letter about how I felt about this marriage and how my ex-wife behaved, as if Shri Mataji was revealing to me all I had kept deep inside, and She cut all the romantic nonsense that was clouding my judgment about this relationship. It was one of the most amazing experiences ever, as Mother knew me better than I did myself. She dug deep into my heart and my subconscious, revealed the truth of the situation and made me write it down for Her. She gave detailed examples of the problems encountered and even referred to how it would appear in traditional Thai culture. As the words poured onto the paper I felt relieved, and from that moment it became possible to accept the situation and move on.

She asked me start the letter with ‘Most respected Shri Mataji’, to end with ‘Forever Your son’ and to sign my name and give it to Her. This is how Her love kept me going. I came out of Her room feeling so loved and comforted, vibrations flowing. In Her infinite Motherly compassion, Shri Mataji kept an eye on me until She was sure I was completely fine and regularly asked me to come to see Her for one reason or another, while actually ensuring I was OK.

Pascal Sreshtaputra

A very powerful havan

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1982 and after I got married in 1989 Shri Mataji suggested we come to live in Italy, and after a year, in 1991, we were among the first couples to live at Cabella. We were blessed to be in Shri Mataji’s presence when She started to put Her attention on Italy and its problems.

‘You Sahaja Yogis should not do anything. You should just witness the play, and the param chaitanya will expose them,’ Shri Mataji said and laughed very indulgently.

This coincided with a very powerful havan which Shri Mataji asked us to do. She was personally present for the first five hundred names or so – we did the thousand names of the Goddess. As many Italian Sahaja Yogis as could be mustered came to it and it was only a matter of days a number of problems started to be resolved in Italy, on a national level.

This was also a time when Sahaja Yogis had a sort of phobia of watching the news, in case we got caught up. At this time Shri Mataji told us that part of our work was to put bandhans on things when we watched the news, and put bandhans on problems we read about in the newspapers, so our attention could go on these things. Again She said that we shouldn’t take any action, but just sit back and watch the play unfold and the paramchaitanya would expose them.

Victor Vertunni

Acceptable clothing

The first year we were with Shri Mataji in Cabella, we were all newly married girls and living in the castle, and always wore saris. Once I was a bit fed up with wearing one and wore a nice hand embroidered salwar suit of simple cotton. That evening I was sent to Shri Mataji to ask if She would like Her dinner to be served. I was standing before Her while She was busy with the architect, but in my mind I was just asking myself if it was correct to wear a salwar suit in front of the Goddess. I waited nearly five minutes before She noticed I was there.

‘Yes?’ She said, so I asked if She would like Her dinner. At that moment She looked at me from top to bottom and I did not know what to do, then She told me, ‘Yes, you can wear it.’

I could not understand Mother’s reply – so I asked again about the food! And She replied, that yes, She could have Her dinner. Only after two or three days could I realise that She had answered my inner question first, about wearing a salwar.

Smita Barbattini

Concerning kumkum

In 1991, when we were living in the Castle with other sisters and brothers, we had often chance to see Mother as well as to talk with Her. One day, She said She would like to give us all some vibrated kumkum. And for that, She asked each one of us to bring our ‘karanda’ (silver kumkum box). A few of the sisters had a plastic box for their kumkum. When Shri Mataji saw it, She was very upset.

‘I have given you a silver box in your marriage. Where it is? I will not vibrate the kumkum in a plastic box,’ She said.

So those who did not have one, they brought their kumkum on a piece of paper. Again She was very upset and told us always to keep the kumkum in a silver box. She even told us, when we travel we should wrap our silver box in a handkerchief like our grandmothers did, to prevent spreading the red colour around, and take it along with us, but never to take kumkum in plastic. She might have explained about the vibrational effect of kumkum in silver and in plastic, but I do not remember it in detail.

Smita Barbattini


In Cabella Mother once asked us to remove a few orchid plants saying that they attracted Tantric negativities.

Soma Bakshi 

Shri Mataji in Romania

In the first photo, Shri Mataji is on the stairs outside the History Museum, Bucharest, where there was a Sahaja Yoga exhibition, in 1991. Shri Mataji is seen leaving the Museum after visiting the Sahaja Yoga exhibition. The exhibition was a big event which was presented at the National TV programme and another TV programme broadcasted through all the country.  

  Dan Costian

How the world came into existence

During a visit to Prague, we were sitting in one of the beautiful Art Nouveau restaurants with Shri Mataji and a group of twelve yogis, in a kind of a gallery. Two opposite walls of the hall were lined with large mirrors and in the midst of the hall a mighty crystal chandelier was hanging and which was reflected to and fro into eternity between the mirrors, like we sometimes see in a lift with mirrors to the right and left, reflecting our own image a thousand fold.

‘This is how the world came into existence. Shri Ganesha was standing between Shiva and Parvati (Shakti) and He got reflected into eternity so that all matter emerged out of him,’ Shri Mataji said.

We felt electrified. Then Shri Mataji rested Her head on Her hand and closed Her eyes. Feeling like the disciples at the Lord’s Supper, we also closed our eyes for some minutes. It was an incredible meditation.

Thomas Menge

Such is the power of this divine music

This photo was taken in Europe in 1991 at a public programme. After Shri Mataji’s talk, She asked me to sing one of my compositions which She very much liked. While I sang, She was treating the seekers, who had just had their realisation. Baba Mama and Nirmal Sangeet Sarita were with me, and they played the music along. In between attending to the seekers, Shri Mataji would turn Her face towards me, and give me one of Her most compassionate smiles, that I can never ever forget. At the end of the programme, She told me how this music was helping in curing the seekers.

‘See, it works even faster. Such is the power of this divine music, and you are My chosen instruments,’ She said to us. It was one of my most overwhelming experiences.

Sanjay Talwar

Throw away your sticks

In 1991 it was the second programme in Prague. Afterwards there was an old lady sitting and the two people each side of her helped her to walk in. They both helped her to come on the stage, and I was on the stage too at that time. This old lady crawled up onto the stage, centimetre by centimetre. About four metres in front of Mother she stopped.

‘Mother, I know that You can cure me,’ she said. So Mother looked at her.

‘Ok, then throw away your sticks,’ She said. She threw away her sticks and started running down the steps, and I ran to her to stop her falling off the staircase. Without any help she just walked. It was so strong that we couldn’t control our tears. It was a miracle.

‘See, this is what happens if people really believe in Me,’ Shri Mataji said on the way back to the hotel in the car.

Gunter Thurner

The mistake that had to happen

After the first public programme held in Prague in 1991 by Shri Mataji, Gunter and I took the opportunity to meditate outside Shri Mataji’s room. After a while a leader came out and asked us why we had announced a second programme without consulting him. We were concerned that we had made a big mistake, because we had announced the second programme, thinking it would be like the year before, being as Gunter and I were in charge of the preparations for the programmes. However, before we could apologise, Shri Mataji told us it would be as the year before and indeed we would have it.

The next day was a very special programme, because Shri Mataji announced to the new seekers, that ‘I am the Holy Ghost, and I am God also.’ The vibrations were extremely strong, and we felt, ‘What a day for us and for mankind!’

After that very special programme, I was allowed to take the darshan of Shri Mataji’s Feet in the hotel room. While doing namaskar I had both my hands in front of my head, but one hand was closed because I was bringing back the keys of Shri Mataji’s car. She was watching me.

‘What do you have in your hand?’ She asked me.

Still kneeling, I opened my right hand and the keys fell out, and everyone, including Shri Mataji, began to laugh.

‘Very good!’ Shri Mataji said.

At that moment I felt very happy and was sure that the mistake of announcing the second public programme ‘had to happen’.

Franz Mekyna

If you know that, then go

At a public programme in Prague, after Shri Mataji had given realisation, She was working on some people. I saw an old lady walking towards Shri Mataji onto the stage extremely slowly, with a stick. When she reached Shri Mataji someone translated something and then this lady turned round and ran very loudly across the whole stage, holding up her stick and laughing.

In the next puja Shri Mataji told us that this lady said, ‘I know that You can cure me,’ and Shri Mataji said to her, ‘If you know that, then go.’

Leopold Zeilinger

Airports, computers and a failed coup

When Shri Mataji talked about computers, She said that they should not control people.

‘People should not be involved where a lot of people are involved, like in airports,’ She explained.

And indeed, when Shri Mataji left Prague, the whole computer system broke down and no plane could leave or start, everything was blocked. There was always a story going on either through the airport or in the airport. Either coming or going, She demonstrated something very special at the airport. In 1991, when there was the big coup in Russia, when Gorbachev was still in power, and the communists captured him and wanted to come back. That year Shri Mataji went from Prague to Moscow.

‘I have to go and get a rest,’ She said, and landed in Moscow and slept for two hours, and then Gorbachev was free.

‘Next year I will come at the last moment,’ She had said to us the previous year in Prague. We didn’t understand it at the time, but we did later.

Gunter Thurner


We were on the return trip from Prague to Vienna in 1991. Shortly before the border, the Sahaja Yogi with me asked me a question.

‘Franz, are you still learning Czech?

‘Yeah, a little!’ I said.

‘Why do you learn it?’ he asked.

‘You know, the people enjoy it when you ask them how they are and other things in their own language,’ I answered.

‘OK, good, I understand,’ he said.

At the border crossing we had the most unbelievable opportunity to drink coffee with Shri Mataji, who was in another car. None of the yogis present wanted to place their order before She did. At last, Shri Mataji looked around at everyone.

‘What would you like to drink?’ She asked. No one answered so Shri Mataji continued, ‘Would you like coffee?’

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ we all answered.

We actually had such a strong desire to drink a coffee that it was a great relief when She said, ‘Yes, let’s have one. I can manage it with more sugar!’ It was such an eternal moment and a comfort to remember in future times, feeling again that satisfying joy and oneness with the divine. As we prepared to leave, I watched as Shri Mataji held Wolfgang’s arm.

‘Wolfgang,’ She asked him, ‘how do you say thank you in the German language?’

Danke, Shri Mataji. We say danke,’ he replied.

I happened to catch this bit of conversation as I hurried ahead to open the car door for Shri Mataji. She came slowly forward and paused. I was deeply moved when She looked lovingly at me.

‘Danke!’ She said. I will never forget the love in this word, spoken to me in my mother tongue by the highest Mother Herself.

Franz Mekyna

I hoped She would understand

I had written a poem in Russian in the summer of 1991 and wanted to read it to Shri Mataji. I did not know much English at that time, but I hoped that Shri Mataji would understand my heart. She graciously allowed me to read my poem to Her. I sat in front of Her and read Her the whole poem in Russian. She was looking into my eyes with Her big eyes full of love and it was an unforgettable moment. It seemed that the time stopped. Really it was great.

‘This poem has good vibrations. What is it about?’ She said.

I got a little bit confused. I hoped that Shri Mataji would understand the meaning in Russian because my English was too poor to explain. Actually, the poem was about offering my past and my future at Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet. My past was crying like a little puppy and my future is lying before Shri Mataji like a white sheet of paper, in complete surrender, to be written by Her.

‘What is proshloe?’ She asked me. She used the Russian word from my poem that meant ‘the past.’ So I told Her that it means the past and then She asked, ‘What is budusheie?’ – the Russian word meaning ‘future’ that I used in my poem. I told Her that that word means the future.

‘You are a philosopher,’ She laughed and said.

I realised then that She must have understood the poem in Russian, since She asked such questions.

Alla Kulkarni

Joy and relief on their faces

The 1991 Moscow public programme was in a sports stadium and what struck me most on arriving was the enormous care and attention which the Russian yogis had devoted to the floral decorations and the care with which they had done these wonderful floral patterns on the path from the door to the stage, so that it was literally a carpet of flowers.

Because of the size of the stadium, there must have been about twenty thousand people at the programme. This was to set the pattern for all the subsequent visits. There was always a tremendously enthusiastic welcome for Shri Mataji and an abbreviated self realisation process, whereby She asked all those present to put their hands on their hearts and then out towards Her to see whether they could feel the cool breeze.

It was an amazing sensation, twenty thousand people getting realisation, raising their hands above their heads with incredible sense of joy and relief on their faces.

Ian Maitland Hume

She was working on the situation all the time

Shri Mataji arrived on Monday, 19th of August in Moscow: Gorbachev had been arrested, in the city of Moscow there were tanks; Red Square and the main roads were blocked. According to Shri Mataji Gorbachev should have met Her and should have asked for blessings. In the afternoon the Austrian bus with the Indian musicians and some yogis arrived at the house of Shri Mataji.

On Tuesday the 20th of August again we saw lots of tanks, soldiers and people demonstrating. The public programme in the evening was allowed to take place, but it had to be finished at 10 o’clock. It was in a big sports hall which was completely full (about 4000 seekers from Moscow). The stage was beautifully done with lots of flowers, the way to the stage was decorated with flower figures, and we felt that every single petal was placed with full heart and attention. When Shri Mataji arrived Nirmal Sangeet Sarita left to prepare for the departure to Togliatti, situated on the river Volga, about 1000 kilometres from Moscow. After the meditation exercise, which felt much easier than in the West, everyone lifted their hands to show that they felt the cool breeze. Shri Mataji stayed in Her house which was not yet quite finished. All the time you found a group of yogis sitting in front of the house, singing or meditating.

About 700,000 people live in Togliatti, and according to Shri Mataji there are 50,000 realised souls there. 14,000 of them found already their way to the collective and are meditating regularly. We in Togliatti heard that Shri Mataji was at the airport three times for hours together in Moscow but it just did not work out to go to Togliatti. In fact She was working all the time on the situation with Gorbachev! Once She went into Bohdan’s flat to rest for about two hours, and during this two hours Gorbachev was released. Shri Mataji explained when She was sleeping She was in a different level where She could work out things much faster, so things happened with a different speed.

On Friday, the 23rd of August we met Shri Mataji again in Leningrad; there was a public programme in a theatre which was also completely full. Nirmal Sangeet Sarita with Baba Mama again prepared the atmosphere and Shri Mataji emphasised the importance of collectivity to rise; the meditation was very deep and long. Many people went on the stage and guarded Shri Mataji as She left the hall. She returned to Moscow in the night and on Saturday, the 24th of August She took the plane to Cabella.

Manfred Ringhofer

Mother of Russia

I still don’t know if other yogis knew about the attempted Russian coup of August 19th, 1991 that had just happened when we were standing on the bus station, since nobody talked. We were enjoying the Sahaj collective in silence. Our hearts were full of joyful expectation to see Shri Mataji soon and the nature around resounded in our hearts.

Whenever Shri Mataji came to Russia, the whole nature was aware of Her visit and the air became very fresh and the fragrance of flowers spread all around. Then the bus came and we boarded. In the bus, suddenly we noticed that the bus radio was sounding unusually loud and something terrifying was in the tone of the radio. I listened up. They were announcing about the military revolution that ‘finally established the true communist military regime.’ That was difficult to believe. We enjoyed our freedom in Russia since 1985 and gradually it seemed that the dark times were over. Still, the voice of the dictator sounded very familiar.

My whole childhood I spent pretending to be respecting communist values, just like everybody else in the country, but now this ‘military revolution’ seemed like a nightmare. It did not seem real. The reality was that we were going to meet Shri Mataji in the airport and She is the Mother of Russia, the Mother of the World. She is God. What could matter when we were going to see Her face, full of love, very soon?

We were overjoyed when finally She arrived and all the yogis met Her. We were standing completely thoughtless, enveloped in the bliss of Her love. The whole airport hall was full of Sahaja Yogis.

‘I am very sorry what happened to your country,’ Shri Mataji said.

‘We are not living in Russia,’ the Sahaja Yogis answered. ‘We are living in the Kingdom of God. Why should we be afraid?’ That was what everyone felt. We were together with God. Why would we fear anything? When Shri Mataji was in Russia, all the Russian yogis enjoyed very much and I think that time She poured even more love on us, so the political problems seemed just like a stupid game.

‘Whatever will happen to Russia, Sahaja Yogis are not going to be affected because we are now one with the Divine Power,’ we thought. Of course, we had some hopes that Shri Mataji would do something to help, since we thought it must be for a reason that She came exactly on the day when the coup happened and that turned out to be true. While Sahaja Yogis, as Her little children, were carelessly enjoying Her love and protection, She worked very hard on the Russian situation, as we learned later, and at a meeting that occurred a couple of days after the coup was over, Shri Mataji was to leave Russia. Later the same day, the Russian collective thanked Her for saving Russia. She answered very modestly, as if this task of saving Russia was very small.

‘I just lay down for a couple of hours and worked out the situation,’ She said, and added that She felt very strong or powerful during this visit.

Alla Kulkarni

Shri Mataji told me everything I needed to know

The 19th of August, 1991 was a very difficult time for Russia. Military tanks were going through Moscow streets. Gorbachev, then leader of Russia (the Soviet Union) was deposed in a coup. Shri Mataji had told us that he was a realised soul and did a lot for the improvement of international relationships between countries. However, economically there was not much improvement, so he did not get much credit and some negative forces organized a revolt. We thought that Sahaja Yoga might be closed in Russia as a result and were all concerned what would happen to us. Nevertheless Shri Mataji decided to have a public programme as was planned. She was staying in the house renovated for Her in the suburbs of Moscow, called Rastorguevo.  Bogdan was there with some other Russian yogis. He asked me to come to Shri Mataji’s residence in the early afternoon and wait there for Mother’s instructions.  

I was supposed to translate for Her at the public programme for thousands of people that night in Moscow. When it was time to leave for the programme Bogdan told everybody to go by train to Moscow except me. Soon Shri Mataji came out with an Indian Yogi.  Bogdan went to the driver’s seat and the Indian, who always sat next to Her, started to get into the back seat, but Shri Mataji asked me to sit beside Her in the back.

I was very nervous about translating for the programme. I had translated Shri Mataji a few times before, but that day I was not sure that I’d be able to understand everything She would say. In the car She started talking to me woman to woman about different things: where to buy good carpets, and told me the weather in India has six different cycles, and She was surprised how unstable and unpredictable it was in Russia.

I could not understand why She was talking with me about those ordinary things. The atmosphere in the car was very relaxed. Bogdan and the Indian Yogi were having a nice conversation too. She had never talked with me like that before. She was always very nice to me but I never had such a long conversation with Her – about an hour later, we arrived and I was not nervous anymore. I understood that Shri Mataji talked with me about different subjects to give me self-confidence to translate Her that evening. It was such a blessing.  

Svetlana Klette

Studying the tanks

At the time of the first coup or ‘putsch’ Shri Mataji came to Moscow when Gorbachev was kidnapped and held prisoner near Yalta on the Black Sea. The feeling amongst the people was of total depression and paralysis as they felt now they would return to the old totalitarian ways again and the freedom promised by Perestroika would be taken away from them. We lived through those hectic three or four days.

Shri Mataji was the only one to have a programme in the whole of Moscow that evening, because we had booked the hall in an Army sports stadium. All other programmes had been cancelled that night, but we had been pre-warned that at ten o’clock there would be a curfew. Mother gave a beautiful programme, as always, there were about four thousand people and then afterwards they all came around Mother, some with tears in their eyes, going towards Her, and She was just being a Mother radiating continuous love.

We had been instructed to finish at 10 pm as there was a military curfew starting at that time.

They wanted to touch Her, they wanted to be near Her, so slowly She was going back and I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s nearly ten o’clock, it’s five minutes to ten, we still have to get all through the centre of Moscow’, which was under curfew and where martial law was in place.

Mother was still smiling and moving ever so slowly. I drove onto the footpath so that She would not have far to go, and the crowd virtually pressed Her into the car. We had the Moscvitch, Mother’s car, so I mounted the gutter on to the pavement, and parked the car perpendicular to the sidewalk. I opened the back door to the car, as Shri Mataji went backwards, and when She was one metre away.

‘Shri Mataji, Your car,’ I said.

‘Ah, very good,’ She said, looked around, and got in. Then I closed the door and vroom, off we went, trying to beat this curfew. We started our way south from the north of Moscow. I was wondering how we would traverse the centre where rumours suggested that all the streets were closed to traffic.

We are coming down Leningradskaya Street, which is then absolutely dark, because all the lights were off, and all of a sudden I hear, ‘Tuk, tuk, tuk, tuk, tuk.’ Oh God, it’s a flat tyre! And we stopped.

I have never changed the tyre of a Moscvitch, this was the first time. Shri Mataji was sitting on the right side at the back. The flat tyre is the one over which Shri Mataji is sitting. I pulled the car over to the kerb, got out, rolled up my sleeves. I get out the car jack, pump it up, take the wheel off, get another one, and I’m trying to put it on, and it is not going on. And I say, ‘Now look Bohdan, there are four bolts and four holes’, but it just wasn’t going on. I’m starting to sweat. No matter how I tried to twist and turn the tyre, it would not go on. I am looking over at Mother, She had the window a little bit open.

Just then a convoy of sixty heavy battle tanks rumbled past us northward on Leningradsky Prospect. They were large heavy battle tanks, with their commanders directing their tanks from open turrets. Each commander had leather headgear covering their ears, their classic, signature, Red Army tank commander leather hats. Each tank commander is resolute, looking straight ahead, clearly nervous as they face the possibility of opening fire on their own people, but their faces were extremely pale. ‘These are just boys!’ I thought. ‘Boys fight the world’s battles and old men, old politicians stay in their ‘cabinets’ (offices) drink vodka, sherry or port, if they are English. And send them to their deaths. I straightened up and peeked over the window sill into the car.

‘Are You all right Mother?’ I asked. She had put Her little glasses on.

‘Yes yes, I’m studying the tanks,’ She replied as She scanned each of the sixty tanks which roared past. Later I learnt that these were the tanks ordered in by the putschists to help in the putsch and somehow they refused to take part. They were not used. The army commanders decided not to send these tanks out, they stayed still, they waited, and it looked like they were actually for Gorbachev. They were now moving past us to bivouac at the Central Sports complex, under the control of Army Command next to the stadium where Mother had just had Her programme.

In fact, it was the other Sahaja Yogi with us who came to the rescue, he saw two small guide pins which I hadn’t noticed and these enabled the wheel to locate accurately on the four bolts. Later, I learned that this device used to be on post-war English cars, nineteen forty-seven, nineteen forty-eight. My attention went back to the car. I realised that these Russian car rims had two protruding pegs on which you would suspend the tyre while you could bolt the wheel properly to the car. So this Maya kept us out in the street for twenty minutes till my problem was worked out.

I realised that Mother was saving Russia and I was saving a tyre; we each had our duties. Mother used this time to keep Her attention on this world problem. I think these tanks, if they had been put into different parts of Moscow, would have helped the success of the putsch. So they were neutralized by Mother’s holy gaze, holy attention.

So, I am trying to put this wheel on the car, I put this wheel on and we were off. I was in a suit, so I put the jacket back on, and my arms were all black and covered in grease up to the elbows. Then we are going towards the centre of Moscow, down Leningradskaya, not yet Gorky Street, and all of a sudden, in the distance we see men at a temporary barricade.

‘Oh, they won’t let us through,’ I said, and we had to go Rastergoeva, which is south.

‘Bohdan, will we be all right?’ said Mother, in a very small voice. She had opened my centre heart at that moment, and I was about to reassure Her in an excessive way, almost saying, ‘Of course, Mother.’  But I thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute, this is Shri Adi Shakti sitting there, She has given me this huge heart, there is no fear.’ So I said within, ‘I’m sorry Mother, You are the ….’

‘Yes, Shri Mataji, I think we will be all right,’ I said aloud but She was playing.

‘Bohdan,’ She said in a small voice, ‘Turn left.’ My initial reaction was, ‘Well, Mother doesn’t know,’ then I thought, ‘Bohdan, are you mad? What is this thought coming that Mother doesn’t know? You just stay silent.’ This all took one second, very quickly, to neutralise this thought.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said.

‘And left,’ then She said, ‘Turn right here, and right.’ It was dark and I went down some one-way streets the wrong way, I didn’t even ask, look or anything. As soon as we neared a road which appeared blocked, Mother would say, ‘Turn here’ and I would turn. ‘Now turn there,’ and I would do so.

We ended up between houses, Doms, the big blocks of flats that Russians typically live in, so would be off the road, over grass and dirt. We didn’t know if we were going into a ditch, or if we were going up to a wall or a rock. We mounted gutters and went through unfenced yards in the dark. Somehow, with Mother saying, ‘Go left, go right,’ we ended up on the other side of the river going south down the Warsawska Expressway, and I don’t know how, because the whole of the middle of the city was blocked off. We left danger behind us and proceeded towards Mother’s dacha in the country, and peace.

A few days later Mother was to fly to Togliatti where about thirty thousand people were to meet Her in a stadium. When we got to the airport officials said we couldn’t fly because Togliatti was not amongst the several cities stamped on our visas and Mother was refused entry onto the plane. I went around to various organisations and government departments to get the addition of Togliatti on the visas but everyone seemed too scared to stick their necks out and make a decision. Finally we got the appropriate stamps. We again drove Mother to the airport but this time thick clouds set in and again we couldn’t fly. We waited for several hours but the fog didn’t lift. No planes were flying so we returned to Mother’s flat in Moscow.

Mother mentioned She would go to sleep in the bedroom. Baba Mama, Shri Mataji’s brother, went to sleep in the lounge and the rest of us sat in the kitchen for several hours. For the first time since the coup started, we were able to receive an international telephone call from England to inform us that the coup was over. Just then Mother came out of the bedroom.

‘It appears that the coup has failed,’ we said.

‘Yes I’ve been working on that,’ Mother replied in a very simple way. Immediately I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the Being who was standing in front of me, .just simply standing there in a very humble and unassuming way. I walked backwards, bowing again and again. Mother later said that ritambara prAgnya had worked it out where She just had to stay in Moscow so that the coup would fail.

Each time Mother had said something simple like, ‘Yes, yes I am studying the tanks’ or ‘I have been working on that,’ it was a step towards the end of the coup. What an enormity of key work to transform Russia and the world were encapsulated in these simple words coming from a humble yet enormous being. I felt She was the great Mahamaya, yet whom we are privileged to call our Mother.

Bohdan Shehovych

They were caught

In 1991 a few of us went on a bus from London to Warsaw. I went on to Russia, and Shri Mataji left before us. We arrived soon afterwards, and later we were to fly to Togliatti, and we all went to the airport. But when we got there we were told we had to wait and we were taken to a foreigners’ lounge and we found a chair for Shri Mataji.

We had to wait for at least four hours and we didn’t know what was going on. Someone had some salami, and a penknife to cut it with, and somebody had some bread and biscuits. We cut the salami and offered it to Shri Mataji. At a certain point She said to Bohdan that She wanted to go back to his house, because She did not think we would fly on that day. Some of us stayed on with Shri Mataji and went back to Bohdan’s flat, and the next day we left the airport.

The next time we met Shri Mataji we asked Her what was going on. It turned out that the reason we had been locked up in that airport was because it was the time when the people who had organised the coup were trying to flee from Moscow. They were caught heading for the airport we were in, so they had shut down all flights and all movement in and out of the airport in order to seal the exits and catch these people. Shri Mataji had gone back to the flat and went to sleep.

‘I went to sleep, because you see in My sleep I work things out, I work on a different plane and it is much faster,’ She said to us afterwards. While She was asleep they had caught the criminals and Gorbachev was back as President of Russia. We didn’t go to Togliatti but we had a programme in Moscow and I remember walking through Moscow and seeing the tanks rolling into the stadium.

Anthony Headlam

The putsch had collapsed

Shri Mataji was in Russia when the putsch took place. At one point in Her stay, when the confrontation was at its height with tanks in the streets of Moscow and Leningrad, She was given a list of the principal members of the putsch committee, and She retired into Her room asking not to be disturbed. When Shri Mataji emerged two hours or so later, the putsch had collapsed.

Phil Ward

Shri Mataji smiled sweetly

We came back to Moscow after the coup was over, and went to Shri Mataji’s house – a dacha at Rastorguevo near Moscow. Lena Gorbacheva, who drove Shri Mataji, told us that Shri Mataji asked her to drive along the Moscow streets. They drove, and nobody stopped them, even though many streets had military people and weapons, hidden behind the trees. Shri Mataji looked at everything and soon came back. The then leader of Ukraine spoke to Her.

‘Thank You, Shri Mataji very much for all You did,’ she said, and asked Her how She did it.

‘I just went to sleep and worked a little bit,’ Shri Mataji smiled sweetly and said.

Raya Levitan

Shri Mataji was radiant

This story is about time of GKCHP in 1991, when a reaction tried to take over power, from our new born democracy in Russia, and President Gorbachev was under house arrest. On that day we met Shri Mataji at the airport. She was radiant.

‘How are you?’ She asked us.

‘You are with us and we are not afraid. We are in the sky,’ the Sahaja Yogis answered.

The next day Shri Mataji had a public programme in Moscow. As usual, there were about five thousand people there, and we had rented the Dinamo Football Field. This day was described by Doctor Bohdan, who drove Shri Mataji back home from the programme.

Raya Levitan

Chapter 14: 1991 – September and October, Europe

Shri Ganesh Puja, September 1991 (email report)

About four to five hundred Sahaja Yogis arrived at Cabella from all over Europe on Friday and Saturday. We were lodged in two large tents, the men’s tent being also the puja hall. Saturday lunch was held at our Divine Mother’s invitation in the back garden of Her castle. Shri Mataji, helped notably by some of the Indian ladies living in Europe, has been tirelessly busy cooking for those staying in Her house and even for all the hundreds of yogis attending for puja. All the cooking – for hundreds of people – is done over open wood fires at the back of the house, as the local electricity supply is very limited.

On the eve of the puja there was a fantastic concert by Ajit Katkade who sang some classical ragas and later had us all spellbound with his Hansat Ali. He provided the perfect illustration of what Shri Mataji had said at Shri Krishna Puja about humility by telling us ‘of course you people sing this much better.’

In the puja tent was a beautiful backdrop which showed the different swayambhu manifestations of Shri Ganesh as mountains, with the Matterhorn and Ayer’s Rock in the foreground. At the conclusion of Shri Mataji’s discourse, and to sounds of thunder, a further backdrop behind the first was illuminated which transformed these mountains into images of Shri Ganesh.

The presents to Shri Mataji were all painted porcelain statues which She had found in Naples earlier this year. Each of the beautiful little statues represented some aspect of the theme of the mother with her children. Shri Mataji spoke very warmly about these figures, showing how each child was different, and saying what a feeling the sculptor must have for children. She said that of all the countries in the West the Italians had the greatest feeling and respect for motherhood. One Sahaja Yogi from France offered an oven cloth to the Rome ashram, and some little soap and perfume sets to the ladies there. Shri Mataji was very pleased with this gesture, and pointed out how grateful we should be to the people of Rome who are doing so much work for our children. Shri Mataji presented gifts to some Sahaja Yogis.

Phil Ward

The most beautiful are the human beings

On the way from Milano to Prague, we were watching the beautiful autumn colours of the forests from the plane. Mother said that She liked these colours in autumn and the trees looked like the fur of a tiger.

‘Shri Mataji, how beautiful Your creation is,’ I told Her.

‘Yes, but the most beautiful are the human beings,’ She replied.

Christine Haage

Cabella renovations

During the renovation works, the ‘kitchen’ was shifted into the cellar. The old pizza oven, the staircase and the other extensions were pulled down. I remember standing on the bridge holding a big sledgehammer in my hands. It was difficult for me to use brute force in the presence of Shri Mataji, but She cheered us on, ‘Demolish it!’ – and I really came out of my shell under Her guidance. Later the castle was reconstructed and plastered outside.

Many of us liked the ailing antique look of the natural stones, but Shri Mataji was never a friend of antique things just because they were old. On the contrary, She said they often carried the negative vibrations of their time and the people who had owned them. She said that in modern times craftsmen should be promoted, who may produce beautifully decorated furniture, lamps and so on, using the old techniques. She believed that such skills should be retained, and encouraged many yogis to produce carvings, stucco works and other handcrafted things. She was most sceptical with regard to fashion trends and modern designs, which often just served the image of their owner or projected their Egos. Like this, Cabella, Shudy Camps, Pratishthan, the Delhi Ashram and other projects became real gems where many yogis learnt handicraft skills and gave free rein to their creativity.

From then on food was prepared for hundreds of people. It had always been important to Shri Mataji to fix the menu for the weekend Herself and to give details as to how to cook it. Sometimes She sat in an armchair in the middle of this big kitchen, surrounded by gas cookers, large pots and many people moving back and forth, cutting vegetables and so on. One day I came to the kitchen and She was sitting amidst a cloud of steam and cooking fumes. A CD player played the inimitable, celestial music of Kishori Amonkar. We were spellbound by this atmosphere, which seemed to be beyond time and space.

Since we had taken down the broken pizza oven and I had good connections with some factories, I ordered material for two new ovens and with some yogis built them outside the new kitchen. When they were finished, after a puja weekend, I found myself with one of the architects, participating in the rebuilding of the castle, in Shri Mataji’s room.

She explained how a staircase to the top floor could be fitted in the dining room. Since there were no plans it was difficult for us to imagine where it would end. If we now look at the wonderfully carved staircase with the office in the mezzanine and the stairs to the top floor, it seems to be the most self-evident and beautiful thing.

She wanted to give me something for the pizza ovens. I rejected Her suggestion and the conversation went on. I was fascinated by Shri Mataji’s wonderful embroidered shawl, or maybe I was enchanted by the vibrations.

‘Shri Mataji, You look so beautiful in the shawl,’ I said.

‘Oh yes, it’s in South Indian handicraft style… have it,’ She replied.

I felt embarrassed that She took advantage of my remark to give it to me.

‘No, I can’t accept that,’ I went on, and She took off the shawl and threw it two metres to me. What could I say? It is the most holy piece of matter I own.

Thomas Menge

Difficult to confront their Egos

I only once saw Shri Mataji directly confront a young yogi. He had big emotional problems and treated his wife badly.

‘Mr So and So, you know you are crazy. You should try to express your emotions. Try to write poems. Go into nature, for example to a lake, and talk loudly to it,’ She said. After the young man had left the room She said, ‘His emotions are so shattered, people like him just cannot bear more. He suffered too much. It’s very difficult to confront their Egos.’

Thomas Menge

Navaratri Puja, October 1991

I was asked to go ahead of time to the Navaratri Puja at Cabella to take some documents and give a hand to the building work going on. I had heard from some friends who had just stayed there that you couldn’t see Shri Mataji much, but it was a nice place to be before Navaratri. Having no specific skills, I was told to drill the stones of the basement and later to dig next to a wall in the upper garden.

We didn’t see Shri Mataji for a few days, but once we were called to Her dining hall and She wanted us to listen to the new tape by Hemlata and Ravindra Jain. She was really touched by the song, having tears in Her eyes when listening to Vishwa Vandita. She praised the player of the dholak.

Just before the Navaratri seminar, we heard that a miracle had happened. As a lady was massaging Shri Mataji’s Feet, a yellow powder came on the towel, giving a powerful flowery perfume. In the evening we were all called to Shri Mataji’s room. She told that it was the first day of the Navaratri celebrations and explained the meaning of the miracle. It was not taped, but with friends we tried to remember what She said.

‘One day the Sage Narada, who always creates problems, came to ask Shri Krishna why Shri Radha was his favourite among the gopis. Krishna told him to put their devotion to a test. “Shri Krishna is sick. He could get cured if he ate the dust from one of your feet as a remedy”,’ Narada said to the gopis. They were shocked.

‘How dare you ask such a thing to us? It would be an insult to Shri Krishna. Do you wish to make us loose our punyas?’ they all said. Then Narada went and ask Shri Radha. She did not hesitate a second. He took the dust from Her feet and returned to Shri Krishna.

How could Shri Radha do such a thing? Shri Krishna allowed Narada to use His divine vision to look in His heart. In Shri Krishna’s heart is a lotus, and on that lotus stands Shri Radha. Sitting on the lotus flower, Her feet are rubbing the pollen. The dust from Radha’s feet was nothing but this pollen and the powder on the towel. The towel was exposed in the living room at Cabella, and we could feel its vibrations.

Shri Mataji then said that Shri Ganesh was the first step in creation and that all was made to His image. She said that at some point the earth had gone closer to the sun, then to the moon and this could allow the beginning of life.

On the next day, second day of Navaratri, Shri Mataji called us again and gave a lecture on the creation in the Swadishthan, the succession of the Adi Gurus in the Void and the maryadas in the Nabhi. After Shri Mataji had told us about the maryadas, She invited us to stay and watch the Indian film Shrikanth based on Sarat Chandra Chatterji’s famous novel..

On the third day, Shri Mataji addressed us about evolution, starting from the Void and getting to the Heart through the grace of Mahalakshmi’s principle which first incarnated as Shri Rama and Shri Sita. As an illustration, we stayed with Her to watch an old movie version of the Ramayana. I was seated almost next to Mother’s sofa. She was sweetly resting and from my side we could have the darshan of Her Sahasrara. Actually, I remember more of looking at Mother’s Sahasrara than of the Ramayana movie!

There were no more talks because on Friday the Navaratri seminar started. After the week-end some furniture from Shudy Camps was being brought to Cabella. Some Golden Builders and others were busy helping to unload the truck and move things to Shri Mataji’s apartments in an attentive, but smooth and happy mood, as we knew Mother was sitting next door. Instead of going down the slope to fetch some more items, two of us were stopped at the door of the castle and given what looked like a wrapped armchair to be carried to Mother’s room.

Carefully, we entered the room, holding this chair. Shri Mataji, sitting in the middle of the room, was having Her Holy Feet massaged by a lady who was looking after Her. She interrupted Her conversation and asked what it was. Shri Mataji was told that it was a present from an Italian couple, and She made a joke about how things are going to be if people start sending Her armchairs as personal gifts!

The chair was unwrapped and we were about to leave when Shri Mataji handed an English man the letter accompanying the gift. She asked him to read it and he began reading an extract from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. The extract was very beautiful but very stern. All along, Shri Mataji was nodding and smiling.

Yes, that’s the way He is. He is terrible, you know, I must always intercede,’ She commented.

Devarshi Abalain


I remember at Cabella when during the collective morning meditation in Shri Mataji’s living room, She played the bhajan, Vishwavandita, to us for the first time. It was a very strong moment, many yoginis in the room had tears in their eyes and Shri Mataji commented afterwards, that if we had not had these tears coming when listening to this song, there was something wrong with our emotions.

Doris Verez 

I can read minds

At Cabella, it was Navaratri 1991. The English collective was hosting the puja and some of us were in Shri Mataji’s sitting room. Laid out in front of Her on the floor were some beautiful handmade glass lampshades and chandeliers. Shri Mataji was assigning each one to a country as a gift for after the puja. The list of countries grew and grew as there was quite a pile. Portugal was in my head for some reason, it was not coming up in the allocations. They were coming to an end and the activity was blending into the next focus of Her attention. Slightly anxious about the omission, I leaned to the guy next to me.

‘What about Portugal, that wasn’t done, was it?’ I whispered.

‘Portugal,’ Shri Mataji said, to the person near Her side, for one of the very few remaining lamps. just as I said that in his ear.

This made us both laugh to each other. Shri Mataji noticed from across the room and asked why we were laughing. I explained what I had whispered. 

‘Yes I know, I can read minds,’ She said.

 Matthew Cooper

I bow before Your throne

I play the violin and luckily had the opportunity to play for Shri Mataji. I was seeking a lot and went to a seeker’s exhibition and saw the Sahaja stall and a picture of Shri Mataji. At that moment there was a feeling as if the music was rising inside me and I felt I had found the source of creation and She had to be the Creator.

After that, one year later, it was Diwali Puja. It was my birthday and many people went up to the stage to give presents and I thought, ‘What can we give Shri Mataji? The only thing we can give Her is music.’ When I was thinking this, four Czech men went to the stage and presented Shri Mataji with a folk song. So in my ignorance, I took my violin and went to the stage very slowly because I didn’t know if it was going to be okay or not.

‘Shri Mataji wants to see you,’ someone said.

I climbed up to the stage and I was thinking of Bach. At the end of his life, he was writing a very complicated work, which is called The Art of Fugue and even today they cannot analyse it. There is a chorus in it, which goes, Now I go and bow down before your throne.

‘The great Bach wrote that, but could not bow down and here am I, bowing to You,’ I thought and did not feel worthy. But I started tuning the violin and felt completely in Sahasrara. When I started playing in front of Mother, it was as if the sound was made in the Sahasrara, even though I was playing with my hands — total heart, the strongest experience I ever had.

Then I bowed down in front of Mother and felt I never wanted to get up again. Shri Mataji smiled at me and took my hand and put Her hand on my Sahasrara.

That was the greatest present of my life.

Vimala Gratz

She really spoiled us

We lived in Cabella at the beginning. We were quite nervous to begin with, to think we were living like in an ashram, with Mother there upstairs, but when She came, She really spoiled us. We were always up there. We would prepare food for Her and take it to Her and stay while She was eating. When She went to bed, we used to turn down the cover and everything. It was like a family life. She would come down in the kitchen and teach us some recipes and cook with us. We would bring the children upstairs.

Purna Vertunni

Offering aarti and the garland

Mother came into the hangar, or the hall, before any event, not only the puja, and She went and sat down. Then you came towards Her. Sometimes either one or two ladies gave Her a garland before we did the aarti, or sometimes afterwards, and they put it around Her neck. Then two other ladies came with a silver tray with some kumkum, turmeric, rice and sometimes flower petals, camphor and incense.

We lit the incense before Shri Mataji arrived, and then we knelt at Her Feet with the tray in front of us. If Shri Mataji did not make some sign for you to take off Her socks, you left them on, but sometimes She told you to take them off. If She had socks on we usually offered the things in front of Her Feet, otherwise if Her socks were off we offered them on Her Feet. We usually put on the kumkum – each lady took a pinch and put it on Her Feet, and then a pinch of rice, and turmeric, and some put petals of flowers. Then we had some cotton with perfume on it – Kush or whatever. Also you took the cotton and if She gave us Her hand we put it on Her hand too, and if She did not offer Her hand we put it on Her Feet. Then we did the aarti, and lit the camphor, and started on the left of Shri Mataji. Normally you did it three times – usually after three times Shri Mataji made a sign for us to stop. Then we did namaskar and went away. She often said ‘May God bless you’. Then we left, without turning our back on Her.

One time we were doing aarti and we had an oil lamp instead of camphor, but we could not get it to light. We were trying to be delicate in front of Shri Mataji, but in fact were being a bit clumsy, so after some time She just pulled out the cotton wool full of oil, pulled it up, and we could straight away light the lamp. It was to show us to be simple, practical and natural!

Trupta de Graaf

Chapter 15: 1991/2 – November to February, India

My Mother had Her own way of working

This was in 1991 October or November in Delhi whence the soviet Russian ambassador to India came calling with a huge bouquet of red roses. The Adi Shakti got up from Her throne to receive the ambassador.

‘May I shake hands with you?’ She said, and that was the beginning of the breakup of the Soviet Union

Virendra Verma

I have touched them also

Shri Mataji was sorting out metal statues from a big heap, in a house in Delhi in 1991, for the ensuing seminar at Ganapatipule. I was sitting next to Her Lotus Feet and noticing Her connoisseurship, Her testing observation and choice, and felt how lucky and honoured must they be, in whose hands the Queen of the Universe would bestow those gifts, individually. I was quite bemused, but was looking at a small statue of Shri Ganesha.

‘Mother, could You please give me a statue of Shri Ganesha?’ I somehow asked.

‘Why not, why not?’ She said softly and lovingly, as She picked up a small one, placing it in Her hand and lovingly caressing it, before giving it to me. ‘You can take these other two as well, and I have touched them also,’ She said, pointing to two others.

Virendra Verma

Just bhajans

In 1991, we were in a temple in Shrirampur and Shri Mataji asked us to sing some bhajans, including Adi Ma and Jogawa. After that She asked the members of the temple, in a packed hall full of local people, to put their hands out and feel the cool breeze, without giving a talk or explanation other than the bhajans.

Linda Williams

What a lucky life, to grow in Shri Mataji’s garden

Towards the end of the India tour in 1991/92, we were welcomed to Shri Mataji’s home at Pratishthan, Pune. Every detail is so tasteful; handicrafts and antiques are there, lots of light and big spaces. We were treated to the most amazing shennai concert. I was so totally lost in that music, and Sir CP was at Her side when the marriage matches were announced.

Shri Mataji fed us a delicious meal, the best food I have ever eaten. I remember the car waiting for Her outside, covered with flowers. We even walked to the garden which had rows of young rose bushes. What a lucky life, to grow in Shri Mataji’s garden.

Somehow another lady and I missed the buses and were welcomed into the crowded car to drive in front of Shri Mataji to the programme. Four boys wedged into the front seat drove briskly and yelled at everyone to make way for Shri Mataji. I felt I was inside the blast of a conch, announcing Her arrival. It was the best attended programme I ever saw: ten thousand people, and I was one of the last to arrive. It was a thrill to sit behind a sea of motionless human beings, all in meditation. I could barely see Shri Mataji because She was so far away, but She could still reach all of us.

When it was time to leave India, I bravely put my Western clothes back on but my heart was breaking. It wasn’t exactly India that I had experienced. It was the country of the Spirit, which belongs to every human being, which is tied to collectivity and vibrations not just to place. We travelled from site to site, each handpicked by Shri Mataji, a meaningful sequence, sacred places, auspicious events carefully arranged. The blessings just poured on us, spontaneously, powerfully, to gently pull us up together and make us deeper souls who could bring hope to our countries. It was Shri Mataji’s tireless efforts, constant and creative generosity, and Her joy in caring for Her children that completely dissolved so many thoughts and conditionings and made me wish to stay forever in that country She has created for all of us.

 Elizabeth Singh

Heaven on earth

Ganapatipule was heaven on earth: music, stars, sunrises and the red, red soil. Every day the ocean cleaned us, every day we were embraced with so much warmth and kindness. Friends would suddenly appear the moment they crossed one’s thoughts. The swayambhu was incredible. Once Shri Mataji stepped out of the car in front of me and the whole Sahasrara just peeled back like a banana, all the way to the back Agnya as I had never felt it before, and I just couldn’t talk at all. She stayed late with us every evening. The haldi, the dancing, the weddings, the long sublime concerts, hearing fantastic improvisations through the Sahasrara, the wonderful pujas, what more could anyone wish for?

Elizabeth Singh

I came out of the sea there

On one of the India tours, in 1991, I gave Shri Mataji a gift from South Africa of a book which had photos of many places, including one of beautiful wild flowers growing near the sea at a place called Saldana Bay just north of Cape Town. Shri Mataji commented on this, that the flowers went right down to the beach.

‘I came out of the sea there,’ She said.

A year or so later some fossilised foot prints were found, of one of the earliest examples of modern man, and they were just near where the photo had been taken.

Linda Williams

Sahaja Yoga’s level is changing

‘Shri Mataji,’ we asked Her at Ganapatipule in 1991, ‘today whatever is happening in Sahaja, the good and the not so good events, when this is all happening, what should we do?’ She looked at us with affection and put both Her hands in front of Her.

‘This Sahaja Yoga,’ She said in Marathi, ‘its level is changing, and when the level is changing all this is bound to happen. You just do your meditation, and come into balance, and stay in the witnessing state. All this is going to become all right. When the level of Sahaja Yoga is changing all this is going to happen and will happen.’ Shri Mataji told us that a lot of Sahaja Yogis condition themselves.

‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do that,’ they say. She said conditioning should not be present. We have to feel the joy in Sahaj and make our life joyful. I felt the joy and at that time prayed to Shri Mataji that the joy I received on that day – and let all the Sahaja Yogis get this joy. I experienced so much paramchaitanya on that day.

Digambar Bhal

I really felt Her motherly love

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1991. I went to my first puja after about two months and that was the first time I saw Shri Mataji. I was near Her one year later at the announcement of my marriage. I was with my wife-to-be. She looked at us, and wanted Her handbag, but my wife didn’t actually lift the bag from the table. I gave it to Shri Mataji, but Shoma told me later that it was too heavy to lift even though it was a very small bag. I remember the smile Shri Mataji gave, as if She knew something was happening.

Marco Arcilio

You are My daughter
Sitting in the hot and dusty ladies’ tent in Ganapatipule on the afternoon of the marriages in 1991, I laid out the fine brocade pink silk sari, boxes of jewellery and bangles on my old sleeping bag, smiling at the juxtaposition of elegance and functionality. All around there were ladies chatting and laughing flitting about like birds of paradise. Somehow my bridesmaid had disappeared, my own parents were far away in the UK and my close friends were involved in various wedding related activities. To feel lonely in that crowded tent would have been impossible – but I did feel a need for some reassurance perhaps. 

Shortly afterwards an Indian yogini popped her head around the tent and said that Shri Mataji wanted to see Danya at Her bungalow. It had been a while since I’d travelled with Shri Mataji; and during this tour I’d enjoyed no lucky personal audience… I arrived at the MTDC with a feeling of anticipation and shyness. I sat and meditated a while on the soft grass outside her bungalow waiting for all Her meetings to finish. I don’t know how long I waited – enough time to enjoy the ocean breezes weaving through the lush tropical shrubbery. A sense of oneness with the natural beauty settled in me and the fluttering butterflies in my tummy subsided. 

When I went in to see Shri Mataji, She reacted as if I’d been in the room the whole time, with Her gentle casual attitude. She also surprised me by giving me some gorgeous wedding gifts: a precious gold necklace and some silver anklets. She wanted me to wear them during the ceremony.

‘You know you are My daughter!’ is one thing I’ll always remember Her saying at that meeting:

She also said something humorous that I can’t recall exactly, about ‘adopting me’ during the wedding ceremony. I was so overwhelmed by all Her kindness that I floated back to the camp richer in every sense, securely wrapped up in Divine love. I was still without my bridesmaid though. Of course that didn’t matter now and I calmly got ready – wedding sari, make-up and precious new jewellery on my own.

Later when sitting with the other brides waiting for Shri Mataji to arrive at the camp, the wedding organisers told me my couple number was ‘1’ and that meant I was to be beside ‘havan number 1’ during the ceremony. I was secretly pleased! This meant I would be close to the front of the stage and would be able to see Shri Mataji throughout the proceedings. 

Actually, havan ‘number 1’ was the very farthest from the stage, right at the back – almost merging with the night. During the ceremony it was near impossible to see Shri Mataji at all! To have had such privilege earlier in the day, to have been in Her bedroom receiving those beautiful vibrated wedding gifts and tender words – and now to be so ‘very far away’ from Her during the wedding. Was She perhaps trying to tell me something about my limited sense of what it means to be near or far from Her? Something I am still learning about today.

Danya Martoglio

Attention to aesthetics

In about 1992, Shri Mataji was visiting Mumbai and staying with Her elder daughter Kalpana. My friend/neighbour Dolly, who introduced me to Sahaja, was going to meet them. She was carrying a basket of red roses for Mother. She asked me casually whether I would like to send some flowers too. Since she was going by public transport, I did not want to inconvenience her by giving too many flowers and so I made a small posy with few flowers as my offering.

When Dolly returned home she told me that Mother loved the flowers I sent. It seems She enthused about how the colours and textures were placed, the different shades of green in the leaves against the ferns, the pink flowers with delicate lemon and the lilac ones interspersed with white daisies, making a lovely composition. I was of course very thrilled with Her appreciation and would like to make a point that it was not the quantity of offering that ever mattered to Mother. She always paid a lot of attention to aesthetics and that always caught Her attention.

Armaity Bhabha

Business advice

I wanted to be businessman but each attempt resulted in a big loss, even after I started Sahaja Yoga meditation. My family faced very hard times and ultimately, I decided not to do any business.

I met Shri Mataji in 1992 in Pune for some Sahaja activities. During the discussion, She told me to do business in software. I was surprised and nodded my head, but could not gather enough courage to tell my wife about this and I also dropped Her advice.  

The next year, Shri Mataji repeated it. My heart was with Her while my mind commanded the opposite. My remuneration was very good so I never thought of resigning from the job I had then. The third time, I again agreed with Shri Mataji but never acted on it. By this time, I felt guilty of being dishonest to Adi Shakti – before, I had not recognized Shri Mataji as Adi Shakti.

In 1995, the owner of the group I worked for expired and his son took over, then promptly resigned. The remuneration structure of new company was very low, hence I told the new CEO that I wished to resign, but he did not accept my resignation. For the next four months, while enjoying the benefits of employment, I was able to work out my own software business. I told the chairman that I felt bad about drawing a salary without doing his work, but He gave me one month’s extra salary and we had enough to run our house for a year. Still my wife was not sure about my chance of success in business.

I requested Shri Mataji if I could come, with my wife, to meet Her. She not only agreed but instructed others to see that we were not stopped at the gate of Pratishthan. The next day, I discussed with Shri Mataji a Sahaja related subject.

‘Did you start the business of software that I told you to do?’ Shri Mataji said all of sudden.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji. I started last year only,’ I replied

‘Do it with full dedication, it will help your family,’ Shri Mataji said.

My wife’s anxiety was over. She asked me why I had never told her what Shri Mataji said and I explained that before, I was not serious about what Shri Mataji had told me for the last three years.

This was my first experience of Shri Mataji as Adi Shakti, how She enabled me to start a business effortlessly. She worked out everything and removed all the hardships on the way. More important, Shri Mataji knew I told lies, still, She lovingly removed all my doubts and since then I have never had doubt about Her powers.

Sushil Pugalia

Help with a visa

In February 1992 Mother came to our place for dinner after a public programme in Kolkata and my sister had recently got married at Ganapatipule. She was having difficulties getting a visa from the French embassy in Delhi.

When Mother enquired about her visa status, She recommended her to go to the Mumbai French consulate. My sister had heard stories that that consulate was even stricter than in Delhi and didn’t easily give visas but as Mother had asked her to go she went. My sister was surprised by the behaviour of the lady at that consulate as she gave my sister excellent attention. She got her visa and the lady even came out of the embassy to bid her goodbye.


The photo below was taken after a puja and when shown to Mother, She mentioned that the lines of light show Her name written in Urdu.


Some tender saplings of Rudraksha

On a visit to Dehra Dun, India, in March 1992, Shri Mataji was staying at the Forestry Research Institute guest house. We brought some tender saplings of Rudraksha to be vibrated by Her. In Her divine grace She did this, and remarked that the seeds of the Rudraksha tree are worn to control blood pressure. One of the saplings was planted at Dehra Dun, and has since become a big tree.

Virendra Verma

No chillies for the foreigners

In 1992, when Shri Mataji came to Dehra Dun, we prepared food for Her as per the instructions given to us, that there should be no chillies in the food. So we used only two green chillies in the kebabs for thirty to forty people. When Shri Mataji started eating, both the green chillies were somehow, seemingly by chance, on Shri Mataji’s plate. No other person had a single piece.

Neelu Ahluwalia

They look for something higher

In the year 1992, we heard that Shri Mataji was coming to Lucknow and She would have a public programme there. We were all very happy about it. Mother had gone to Dehra Dun, further north and west, before that and She also had a public programme there. A number of Western Sahaja Yogis were travelling with Her and so they all came to Lucknow as well.

Shri Mataji arrived by overnight train from Dehra Dun to Lucknow and things started happening from the very beginning. In India, as we all know, trains never run on time. They are nearly always late, but Mother’s train from Dehra Dun to Lucknow, which was supposed to arrive at eight o’clock in the morning, arrived fifteen minutes earlier than the scheduled time, which was very strange for an Indian train. Quite a lot of Sahaja Yogis had gathered at Lucknow station. They all had flowers and queued up outside and didn’t go on the platform because there were quite a lot of people. Mother came out and saw people queued up on both the sides and She was so happy. She took flowers from each and every individual, got in Her car and went to Her home. We had prepared the house for Mother’s stay there.

The ladies at the house were trying to do aarti to Shri Mataji when She arrived and they were taking some time because the matches were not working. Mother’s house was next door to this doctor’s house and there was hardly any boundary. She knew that these ladies were not able to do it and She wanted to give them some time to get it right. She turned towards the doctor’s house and there was a boy playing.

‘Hello, where is the doctor?’ She said. That gave the ladies enough time to light the aarti and then they were able to do aarti to Shri Mataji. Then She came up and started telling us about the house, which was in the shape of a ship. It was done under Her supervision and She was personally there to supervise all the construction. There were some paintings outside the house in which there was a triangular figure and at quite a height there was a structure like a moon on the wall of the house.

‘You see, everything here is symbolic. This symbolizes a person who lives in this house. That means humans that live on earth, they look at the moon, they look for something higher in life, they look for spirituality and they look towards the heavens for some sort of spirituality,’ She explained. She said the moon shape on the house symbolized this. Every single thing that was done by Shri Mataji had a meaning and a purpose. Right in the middle of the house there was an empty space, which went right up to the top. This was called a well where all the negative air of the house is sucked up automatically and goes out in the atmosphere.

Shri Mataji came in the morning and had breakfast. Then, because Sir CP was from that place, there were a lot of his relatives waiting to see Mother. They were not yogis, but they had tremendous respect for Shri Mataji. They had heard so many incidents where Mother cured people and they had so much faith in Her. Of course, the Sahaja Yogis got a chance to see Her and there were quite a lot of yogis travelling with Mother, Western yogis as well. Shri Mataji was curing some people at the same time.

She had kumkum in Her hand and She would put it on the forehead or on the Agnya and then She asked the people to cover their face and go out of the room through a different door. She explained to us why She was doing that. She said that when they come inside a particular door, the negativity in them cannot face Her and so it stays outside. This was a very new experience for us. We had never before heard Shri Mataji telling us about how She dealt with negativity.

The whole day, Mother was there working on people. She had Her lunch and a rest and in the evening we got ready for the public programme. At the programme Shri Mataji gave a speech about the people in Lucknow and how happy She was that so many people had come. There were fifteen thousand people. It was a surprise for us, as well. Shri Mataji did it all. They all got realisation and just after the programme She went to Delhi. She had arrived in the morning and left after the public programme in the evening.

Akshay Saxena

As if it was Shri Ganesha’s foot

About 1992 Shri Mataji was staying in the Kutab Ashram in Delhi and I had an intense desire to touch Shri Mataji’s Holy Feet – if I could massage Her Feet. I could not bring myself to the point of requesting Mother, but Sir CP was feeling tired. So I asked if I could massage his feet. After a few minutes, Shri Mataji then offered one of Her Feet, and called me by name. So I started massaging Mother’s Feet, and after one Foot I massaged the other one. Once I came close to the ankle, I could feel the folding of thick skin, like an elephant, as if it was Shri Ganesha’s foot.

GK Datta

Chapter 16: 1992 February and March, Australia and New Zealand

The job was half done

When Shri Mataji came to Perth in the early 1990’s, the musicians were on the stage and we played before Shri Mataji arrived to do a public programme, at a theatre called The Octagon. After the formal part of the programme Shri Mataji met everyone one by one. She held their hands and hugged them and greeted them as if She knew them so well.

The musicians continued to play and it had a serene and beautiful quality. When the people were waiting to see Her their attention was all on Her; they weren’t chatting to each other or doing other things. Everyone smiled at the love She was giving to everyone, even if She did not know them.

Later on when Shri Mataji went back to where She was staying, She said how much She had enjoyed the programme and that the music had already got the seekers half way to their realisation before She arrived. She said it was wonderful to walk in and the job was half done.

Matthew Fogarty

These ganas are always with us

I think it was 1992 when Shri Mataji came to Australia. It was very, very dry and hot and we were quite worried. It was about forty-five degrees centigrade and we thought it might be too hot for Shri Mataji and we were quite worried about the weather. She was arriving about 2 am Saturday morning.

Friday evening, a few hours before She was coming, a big thunderstorm came up from nowhere and there was thunder and lightning. This was in February or March and it never rains in those months at all in Perth. It is very dry for about four months each year but suddenly this huge storm came up and it bucketed down. So much water was coming down and the temperature fell about ten degrees. By the time Shri Mataji’s plane came, it was much cooler and quite wet.

We asked Shri Mataji about it and She said that the trees were crying out for water, so it had to rain. The next night was the public programme and we were really worried about people coming. She said that the real seekers would come. The hall was completely packed and people had been waiting to come to the programme with water around their ankles. On the way back to Gidgeganup, the ashram, which was about an hour and a half’s drive from where the programme was, going out of Perth, Shri Mataji passed a whole lot of cars that were stuck on the side of the motorway because there had been so much rain. It was still raining quite heavily.

‘Oh dear!’ She said, and at that point it stopped raining.

‘Do you see the ganas that are coming with us on each side of the car?’ Shri Mataji said a few minutes later. The people that were in the car with Her looked out, and about eighteen inches on each side of the car, just outside the windows, were sort of balls of fire, balls of light — more like white light, about the size of a baseball. Each one — there was one on each side — had a long tail of light that went for about twenty feet and they travelled with the car for about twenty minutes.

‘These ganas are always with us, but this time you can see them,’ Shri Mataji explained.

When they got up to the ashram, there had been a power cut and there was no power at the house where Shri Mataji was staying. They had to light candles all through the house and She said how good that was, and was quite pleased.

‘It will get rid of all the negativity,’ She said.

When Shri Mataji went to Cairns, it started to rain when She was there and then, when She went to Sydney, it started to rain there. It deluged down in Sydney and the whole of New South Wales. The whole state had had a drought for about ten years. That rain, which had started within hours of Her arriving, broke the drought and helped the farming industry of New South Wales.

The meteorologists were talking about the phenomenon of that rain when Shri Mataji came and, even two years later, there were articles in the paper about the rain that came to Perth at that time. They couldn’t work out what had caused the drought to break because the weather patterns at that time were so odd.

Clare Nesdale

A lesson in alertness

This lesson started during Shri Mataji’s visit in Perth in 1992 and was completed when She revisited Australia in 2006. I was very new to Sahaja Yoga in 1992, and quite shy about stepping out, and this was the problem. I, with many other yogis and yoginis, lined the red carpet on either side awaiting Shri Mataji’s arrival at the hanger for the puja. Her car arrived and soon She appeared on the carpet. All heads were turned to Her but somehow I looked down and noticed a small fold in the carpet. To straighten it I would have to step out in front of Shri Mataji and gesture to many yogis/yoginis help pull it out. I told myself I couldn’t possibly get this done discreetly and quickly enough, and, ‘What are the chances of Shri Mataji tripping on that fold? It is so small.’ But She did falter on it.

I was mortified and over the years asked myself, why did I hesitate? I resolved to never again make such a mistake. I got another chance at Shri Mataji’s Birthday Puja in Sydney, 2006.

An enormous seven tiered cake was presented to Her and I didn’t know that some of these layers were fake. I happened to take the top layer, with the candles, onto the stage with another yogini. As we approached Shri Mataji, this yogini let go and I had the honour of placing the last layer onto the stack, and I stepped back. Just then a yogi moved one of the layers and it looked totally unbalanced.

The same voice that had alerted me to the fold in the carpet once more alerted me to the lopsidedness and for a moment I again hesitated, not wanting to bring attention to myself, but if the layers toppled over they would land in Shri Mataji’s lap, so this time, remembering my resolve, I stepped up and moved the layer more to the centre.

Greta More

I remember every tree

While Shri Mataji was staying at Robin and Jo Reid’s cottage at Gidgeganup in 1992, Jo asked Shri Mataji if She thought Her bedroom would be better painted? Robin and Jo had thought Shri Mataji might find the room too dark; it was lined with Oregon planks.

‘Oh no, you mustn’t paint the room, I remember every tree it came from,’ Shri Mataji said.

Jo Reid

This photograph of Shri Mataji was taken in 1992, outside the Reid’s cottage at Gidgeganup, where Shri Mataji stayed for the first time that year. Soon after She arrived in Perth She was taken to the cottage and sat at the front, as seen in the photo. Shri Mataji drank tea and had refreshments, and spoke with the yogis.

Clare Nesdale

The Bodhisattva Maitreya

In speaking to Shri Mataji in Perth in 1992 I offered Her some small curios made of mother of pearl, the only things I could find in Australia that were made in Burma. I mentioned to Her that the Burmese were predominantly Buddhist and that they have been waiting for the Buddha Maitreya for many centuries. Her Holiness Shri Mataji smiled as She listened and then very gently corrected me by saying: Bodhisattva Maitreya, so I later researched the difference between Buddha and Bodhisattva. A Buddha takes samadhi, while a Bodhisattva has taken an oath that they will not take their samadhi while there is even one soul waiting to be saved.

I came to the conclusion that Shri Mataji was the Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Eternal Mother of the three gunas.

Greta More

Such intelligent birds

A funny thing happened in 1992 when Shri Mataji was staying at the Applecross Ashram. We were having the puja at Gidgeganup, and someone asked me to wait until Shri Mataji had finished breakfast and take the little table She had been using in the bedroom, and drive it up in my car to be put next to Her chair at the puja.

I told the man who was driving Shri Mataji that I had to get there before him, with this table. I drove fast, but when I was going along O’Brien Road I looked in my rear vision mirror and there was Shri Mataji’s car coming over the hill behind me.

When we drove through the gates, there was a huge flock of black cockatoos all sitting around the gate, waiting to see Shri Mataji. I’ve never seen them there any other time, but they are such intelligent birds, and so collective.

Lyndal Vercoe

The heavens exploded

At the puja in Perth in 1992, we didn’t have the right kajal for Shri Mataji. Before the kajal, they had to put the bangles on Shri Mataji’s hands. The women who were doing it couldn’t because the size that we had got was far too small for Her hands.

‘Here, give them to Me,’ Shri Mataji said, and did the same thing for each hand. She put the bangles on the first parts of Her fingers, covered Her hands with Her sari and then took the sari back off Her hand. It had not touched the bangles at all, but now they were on Her wrists. She did it to each hand in turn and the people watching just couldn’t believe it because She hadn’t actually tried to force them on. Previously, they couldn’t put them on, but after She lifted Her sari back, the bangles were on.

The next thing that happened was that Shri Mataji wanted the plain kajal and we had the kajal with camphor in it. We didn’t have any plain kajal. So She put on the kajal that had the camphor in it and soon teardrops formed in each eye and started to fall down Her face.

At that point, the heavens exploded and rain just pelted down. We hadn’t quite finished the walls of the ashram when we had the puja and rain was coming in right across the floor. Because Shri Mataji had the sari in front of Her, She couldn’t see us, though I am sure She was aware of what was happening, people having to move to higher ground. When the sari was taken down, we were all in different places. This happened simultaneously with the camphor kajal going on Her eyes and the tears forming in Her eyes and the clouds just letting go.

That and the bangles were the most incredible miracles. Shri Mataji must have taken them off Herself later because there was no way you could have taken them off.

Clare Nesdale

Shri Mataji solved the problem very simply

At a puja held in Australia between 1992 and 1996, I was seated towards the front, near the stage because I was singing with the musicians. I noticed Shri Mataji was having some difficulty getting the bangles on and one of the Sahaja Yogis kept offering her different ones to try on. None seemed to fit easily and finally I saw Shri Mataji put Her hand under the fold of Her sari and a few seconds later Her hand emerged with the bangles on. 

Later I was told that none of the bangles that She tried on were the right size but that the Devi, in order to complete the puja, needed to have on new bangles, so Shri Mataji had solved the problem very simply. 

Greta More

This I cannot deny

We had the puja in Gidgeganup in 1992, where Shri Mataji graced us with Her presence. The ashram was only a concrete floor and roof at that time. We had done our best to make it comfortable for Her, but the weather was determined to make itself obvious. The wind started to blow, the rain started to fall and Shri Mataji pulled Her shawl around Her. I thought, ‘Oh dear, we haven’t been able to make Her comfortable.’

Shri Mataji started to talk again. Again the weather started up. She stopped, looked up for a number of moments. The wind dropped, the rain stopped and it was calm. I thought to myself, ‘I have truly seen a miracle with my own eyes. This I cannot deny.’

Diana Selentin

We talked about it for years

The centre of the roof hadn’t been put in and Shri Mataji had started the puja talk. About ten minutes into the talk, big rain clouds came over and rain started to pour down. Everybody was panicking because it was wetting their puja saris and nobody was moving because it would be impolite.

Shri Mataji looked up, saw what was happening and cut through the air with Her hand, a cut downwards with Her hand, and immediately the rain stopped. It seemed to stop in mid-air and just didn’t come down any more. Everybody looked to see what had happened to it because nobody could quite work it out.

At the very same time, a wind blew up and blew the clouds away within minutes. The big rain clouds had gone and there were just soft fluffy white clouds in their place and after a little bit, fine patches came in the sky.

The Sahaja Yogis talked about it for years afterwards. New people, who had only been in Sahaja Yoga a year or so, couldn’t believe what had happened because one minute you were being drenched with these heavy drops of rain and the next minute it was just cut in mid-air.

Clare Nesdale

The divine gardener

After the puja in Perth at Gidgeganup, Shri Mataji had lunch in Robin and Jo’s house where She was staying. After eating, several of us Sahaja Yoginis, still wearing our puja saris, went down to walk near the lake and stand some distance from the cottage with our hands towards it, feeling the vibrations. Someone came out of the cottage and called to us to go up and get Alex Henshaw to bring his video camera right away, because Shri Mataji wanted him to make film of Her.

I ran up and got Alex and then someone else came out of the cottage and organised moving the cars away from around the cottage, to set a more natural scene. Shri Mataji came out and paused at the front veranda and plucked dead leaves off the wisteria growing up to the balcony.

‘I’m the gardener. I’m taking off the dead leaves,’ She said. She also said this in puja talks, in reference to Sahaja Yogis who leave Sahaja Yoga. She walked around the garden and talked about the sky and the clouds and asked to be filmed with the lake in the background.

Clare Nesdale

Shri Mataji was an actress

After the puja Shri Mataji was at our house at Gidgeganup. We had had lunch and Shri Mataji had been talking about how She had been in plays and had been a good actress and never said the same line twice. Alex Henshaw came down with his video camera and Mother had the table cleared and we put a bowl of fruit in front of Her. Shri Mataji told him to start filming; She picked up a banana, peeled it and started to eat it, and then walked around the room and was posing against different areas in the cottage.

Then, Shri Mataji walked outside and wanted to walk with bare Feet and She looked at the water lilies and the fountain. I answered a question, at least I thought I was answering a question.

‘No, don’t talk. I’m the gardener,’ She said. Then She noticed there were some wonderful things in the sky and She said to Alex, ‘I hope you are filming these and I want to give a copy of it to the Europeans.’

Later we asked for a copy of the film, but the film got lost.

Jo Reid

Shri Mataji laughed in joy with him

On the veranda at Gidgeganup, all the household helpers were lined up in the doorway as Mother prepared to leave for shopping. Baby Joshua Fitzgerald was gazing around at no particular thing. He snapped to attention and started to laugh and babble. He struggled in his father’s arms, reaching towards Shri Mataji as She paused, framed in the doorway of ancient jarrah wood ‘sleeper’ timbers.

‘See – they recognize,’ She said, and laughed in joy with him.

Christine Driver

Hepatitis relieved

I joined Sahaja Yoga at the beginning of the year 1990 in France. I got married in December 1990 and emigrated to Perth, Australia in March 1991. After the India Tour of December 1991, lots of yogis came back with hepatitis, and I was the last to get it, after everybody else. It coincided with Mother’s arrival to Perth in February/March 1992, but being too sick I could not attend the public programme or the puja and could not have Mother’s darshan. Just before getting sick I had crocheted a small cloth or mat, so I gave it to my leader with a letter to offer to Shri Mataji. In the letter I was welcoming Shri Mataji to Australia, letting Her know how happy I was here, and at the end I asked Her to give me a name.

As Mother was at the airport about to leave Perth, two yoginis came to my house to pick me up, because Shri Mataji wanted to see me! I was so weak and all yellow, with one yogini on each side. I was suddenly at Mother’s Feet, in the middle of the airport. Shri Mataji was sitting next to Aunty Jo, our leader at the time, and She had Her hand working on another yogini sitting on the other side of Her. Shri Mataji asked someone to fetch some ice. It came in a cup, She gave it a stir with Her hand and it was put in a plastic bag which was put on my liver.

‘Put your left hand on your liver and your right hand towards Me and ask Me to come in your liver,’ Shri Mataji then said, ‘Not loudly, within yourself, ask me over and over again.’

I felt I must be in a very bad state then because Shri Mataji wasn’t looking at me at all. So I put my head down.

‘Please Shri Mataji come in my liver,’ I started asking within myself. As soon as I asked I started shaking but ignored it and kept on asking.

‘Still shaking?’ Shri Mataji asked after about ten times of my asking.

‘Yes,’ I said with all my courage.

‘Keep asking,’ She said, so I did. After another six or seven times, my body suddenly started to completely relax, releasing the shaking, and then it was like an injection of heaven in my whole body and head. I felt tremendous love for Shri Mataji and lifted my head up, looking for Her eyes. I saw Shri Mataji’s face, big eyes, glasses and big smile leaning forward to me and looking right into my eyes.

‘Feeling better?’ She asked.

My heart was pouring with love, I said in my heart, ‘You are my true Mother, only a Mother can relieve Her child from pain and sufferings, I bow to You.’

‘Yes, Mother,’ I answered. After that Mother praised my small artwork and commented on all the points of my letter, in order, and then She gave me a name.

Meenakshi Pujari

His face suffused with colour and light

In 1992 the yogis were moving along with Shri Mataji as She walked towards Departures at Perth Airport. A small brother and sister were on either side of Her. Mother put a hand on each head and pressed down firmly. The little girl smiled and her face became pink and glowing. The little boy resisted and tried to move away. Then he too surrendered and his faced suffused with colour and light, and he smiled.

Christine Driver

Shri Mataji was still there

Shri Mataji had been driven to the airport and I thought there was plenty of time to have a quick shower at home and still get there before Her. It didn’t happen that way and I arrived late. I wanted to see Her off, so raced to the airport and went to the wrong area. I also wanted to give Her a gift and was racing around trying to find it. I found some dried flowers which were native to Western Australia but having bought them, worried that they were dead. I found the collective and, thank goodness, Shri Mataji was still there. I was of two minds whether to give the gift to Her, but, through the crowd, She beckoned me. I didn’t think that She had seen me.

I gave Her the flowers and She was pleased and asked a lady who grows flowers what the names of the flowers were. She was very interested indeed.

Diana Selentin

She stopped and turned

Shri Mataji was at the airport in Sydney in 1992 and She was travelling to Cairns and then She was to return to Sydney. Most of the yogis were at the top of the escalator and I was the only one at the bottom. She walked out of Her car and straight towards me. As She came to the escalator, She stopped and turned to me.

‘I am coming back,’ She said.

Brian O’Gorman

She smiled at us

While my husband Brian was at the bottom of the escalator, I was at the top, standing with another yogini. When Shri Mataji got to the top of the escalator, She stopped and looked at both our hearts very hard and then said, ‘Everything always works out right in Sahaja Yoga.’ Then She smiled at us and moved on.

‘Isn’t that nice that She said that to my friend,’ I thought, because she had been going through a really difficult time. I said to my friend, ‘Isn’t that nice?’

‘She didn’t say anything,’ my friend said, and I realised that She was actually saying that to me.

Elizabeth O’Gorman

A day shopping with Shri Mataji

This was during Shri Mataji’s visit to Australia in the early months of 1992. A friend and I knew Shri Mataji was to attend an interview at a Sydney radio station and we had decided to be there to welcome Her.

Somehow I arrived late and my friend had already offered our flowers to Shri Mataji, who was sitting on a bench outside the radio station, which was on a busy road in Sydney’s Kings Cross. There were a handful of yogis and my friend and I sat at Shri Mataji’s Feet while we all waited for Her to go in to the interview.

We went upstairs and waited in the hall while the interview took place. After around fifteen minutes Shri Mataji came out and everyone proceeded downstairs. One of the Indian men who was looking after Shri Mataji at that time asked my friend and I if we would like to come shopping with Shri Mataji. We, of course, said yes.

My friend and I went in the car of another yogi and somehow located the others and Shri Mataji in the shopping centre in the centre of Sydney. It was so amazing wandering all over the shopping arcades and department stores with Shri Mataji – we went into many china shops and jewellers. We walked past a display of masks such as children wear for Halloween. They were quite ghoulish and Shri Mataji remarked that bhuts got into people who wear these masks.

When Shri Mataji wanted to buy some make-up for Her daughters we went into one of the main department stores and She bought Shisedo lipstick. My friend and I instantly went back to buy this brand after She left. The last shop was another department store where Shri Mataji wanted to buy a suit for Sir CP, who was not there that year.

We walked out of the shop into the main road and waited with Her for the car to come round. As She got into the car She told us to go and have our lunch, as by then it was around 4.00 pm and we hadn’t eaten all day. Only then did we realise how hungry we were!

Natalie Singh

Just enjoy

I was fortunate enough to have Shri Mataji say this to me on a few occasions when secretly I was feeling troubled and I was blessed to be in Her presence.

‘Just enjoy, just enjoy!’

I knew of course in my deepest being that She was right, and it seemed so simple, but at the time, I have to admit my thoughts turned to the question ‘Yes, but how?’ It took me a few years before I truly felt the gravity of Her statement deeper within, but I always remembered what She said when I was struggling and kept Her words like a mantra and an everlasting goal to work towards and assist me in moving forward. 

Susi Baumgartner

See, they are all vibrations

In about 1992 we were attending the puja in Sydney, held in an Australian bush (forest) setting and Shri Mataji was staying in a tiny single storied wooden cottage in a clearing at the puja site. A group of us were standing quietly, some distance from the cottage with our hands towards it, feeling the vibrations coming from it. The door of the cottage opened and Shri Mataji walked out and called us over to Her. She pointed to the sky, having come out to look at the clouds.

‘See, they are all vibrations,’ She said. There were long thin trails of cloud drifting across the sky above Shri Mataji. We all looked up in awe. The vibrations were strong and we were in thoughtless awareness, and stood with Shri Mataji for some time looking at the clouds.

Clare Nesdale

Shri Mataji kissed my Sahasrara

When I was a child, in Sydney at a programme in the ’90’s, people were going up to Shri Mataji. She looked at me and asked if I had been to some guru or something. Then the man with Her introduced me and She hugged me and kissed my Sahasrara.

I walked back and burst into tears.

Tim Reid

The racism has to stop

Shri Mataji asked me about Australia and what I felt was wrong with the country. It was the early 1990’s, and I said I felt we had a darkness we would not acknowledge, but just swept under the carpet: it was the dispossession of the Aboriginal people.

‘The racism has to stop,’ She said so clearly. At the time, the Labor Government was talking of a treaty with the Aboriginal people, and Shri Mataji, who knew what was going on, said, ‘and not just a treaty. They must be given land.’

At the time I was studying racism, and in Her gracious kindness She came down to my level to discuss these matters. Of course Her words are mantras, and for quite a long time after, racism kept coming up in the media, and then some good laws were passed against racism in Australia.

‘The American Indians were near their self realisation. They must have felt that God had forsaken them,’ Shri Mataji also said during that meeting.

Heather Jeffrey

How could She love me like that?

I first met Shri Mataji in 1992. When She was at the Brisbane Town Hall, at a public programme, after the giving of self realisation, people were able to line up and meet Her. I lined up too, and when I was finally in front of Mother I was unable to move or talk. I went into total thoughtless awareness, and was just standing there looking at Her.

Next I could feel Mother’s very soft cheek. Somehow I was up on the stage hugging Her, with my cheek next to Hers. I have never felt a cheek so soft. I don’t know how I got into that position because I don’t remember moving. It was time to move on and let someone else meet Shri Mataji, and She tapped my cheek with the palm of Her hand and smiled, as if to say ‘Off you go now.’ It felt like She was my grandmother. I sat for a long time in my seat looking at Her, wondering how She could love me like I felt She did, when She had only just met me.

Cornelia Jessop

I am home!

On Her fourth visit to New Zealand, Shri Mataji visited us at an ashram in Parnell, Auckland. We had had about three rental properties for collective living and by then the numbers of yogis wishing to live together had increased. Shri Mataji said it was now time to buy a place of our own, and She was even willing to help us buy it.

We were in a real estate agent’s office and Shri Mataji was asking the yogis to calculate some sums and none of us could do them. She laughed at how She is no good at maths but easily worked out the figures. Our minds just went blank. We drove and looked at the outside of one property. It was huge and was a converted boarding house. Shri Mataji obviously had big plans for us.

We didn’t actually buy anything until the end of the year, about nine months later, but the desire was kindled and amazingly all the yogis pulled their resources together. We had at least twelve adults and children living together, and it was one of the most collective times ever.

Only two weeks after moving into 24, Pukenui Road, Epsom, our Divine Mother graced us with Her divine presence. It was the most glorious time with a Shri Mahasaraswati Puja, public programmes and many, many beautiful moments for us all. She was so pleased with the ashram and commented on everything, even the carpet design, which She liked.

‘Ah, I am home!’ She exclaimed on walking through the front entrance on Her return the following year.

Janie Frith

Shri Mataji raised Her Feet and the flames obeyed

We moved in to our new ashram and had it ready, just, for Shri Mataji’s next visit in February 1992. It was a large homestead in a magnificent location. Shri Mataji allowed us to perform Shri Mahasaraswati Puja here. The talk is amazing for its description of the arts, and the inspiration that flows from Shri Mahasaraswati. Shri Mataji talked about many of the great writers, especially the realised souls. She also spoke about the problems and pitfalls when people move to the extreme right, giving several examples. It was a very joyous puja in Shri Mataji’s new house – Her New Zealand temple. Several Australian yogis came and really added to the great vibrations with their music and their presence.

When the aarti was sung the leader held the silver tray and as it progressed several pieces of camphor melted and merged into a flaming mass. Another tray was slid underneath, and a towel to hold the silver. Shri Mataji’s divine attention came on to the leader. Briefly, the heat got more intense, but as Shri Mataji raised Her Feet, the flames obeyed, and completely died down. After the puja She said we forgot to sing Shri Mahasaraswati’s praises. This was followed by a Sanskrit poem in Her praise, and we said, ‘Bolo Shri Mahasaraswati, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Ki Jai!’

There was a very well attended public programme at Auckland’s Maidment Theatre. Shri Mataji graciously invited all the seekers to come and speak with Her and receive Her blessings. She also invited everyone to come back the next night, and again it was full. On this visit Shri Mataji went down to Christchurch in the South Island, for the first time. She held a public programme there, delaying the start due to negativity in the area. She later told the Yogis that a certain ‘religious’ organisation had a strong negative influence there.

David and Trisha Sharp

A very special soul

Shri Mataji came to New Zealand in 1992 and was staying at the ashram that we had collectively purchased at Pukenui Road. She wanted to see the former Prime Minister, who had set up the non-nuclear power boats agreement, meaning no nuclear powered boats were allowed in our waters, which broke us away from any military agreement with the USA and Australia. The New Zealanders did not want anything nuclear on the land, either.

Mother had a lot of respect for this former Prime Minister. We were to ask him to come for lunch on the Sunday, and Shri Mataji wanted to cook him a full Indian lunch. We managed to get a nice blue tablecloth, and make the room look good, and we were very busy helping Mother to cook.

While She was cooking, Shri Mataji was talking about Her father, and how as a child She loved going camping overnight with him. She said they would light a camp fire and talk, and he would fish, and they would cook the fish. She was reminiscing about those days, and how much enjoyment She got from that.

It was quite a pressure to get the meal done, because it was four courses: chicken, lamb, and so on, and Shri Mataji went to change, then came back and did some more cooking.

She would not sit down, but in the traditional way served everybody their meal. Shri Mataji was sad because the former Prime Minister did not recognise Her. She said he was a very special soul, and Mother had heard him speak in India at a United Nations meeting about nuclear non-proliferation. She was very impressed with him and said he was a man who said something differently.

Colleen Keetley

All you need is faith

On one of Shri Mataji’s visits to Pukenui Road ashram, a lounge had been created, and a TV and video had been installed for Her. The evening after Shri Mataji’s arrival She decided we should watch a video about Saint Hari from India. Shri Mataji asked Hugh to turn on the video and he had no idea how this one worked, so Shri Mataji told him to give a bandhan for the TV to come on and instantly it did.

‘All you need is faith,’ Shri Mataji told Hugh.

Shri Mataji then asked him to sit and watch the movie on how Saint Hari lived through all the torments he was subjected to. In one scene Hari is set on fire for his beliefs and the flames did not consume him.

‘See, all you need is faith and things will work out,’ Shri Mataji said again.

Hugh Frith

A name

Mother came to the Pukenui Road ashram in 1992. She would sit in the lounge of this big old three storey house, which was in a well to do area and was the first place we bought for Sahaja Yoga in New Zealand.

Shri Mataji was thrilled with this ashram, and again we offered Her tea. On this occasion when Mother was leaving I could not find Her hot water bottle and I was rushing around looking for it. At this time everyone was lined up so Mother could name their children, my daughter included. Finally I found the hot water bottle, came back and thought Mother had named all the children and my daughter Shaila was just standing there. ‘Oh, I can’t ask now,’ I thought, ‘because Mother has named them all. What a shame, I’ve missed out.’ But then Mother just looked at me.

‘Her name is Shailavashi, but you can call her Shaila for short,’ She said. ‘It means – the Goddess that sits on the peak of the mountain.’ I remember standing on the steps while Mother was leaving, and we waved at Her, and She waved at us through the window of the car, and it felt like She was really my mum that year. The following year She was more the guru.

Colleen Keetley

A passion fruit soufflé

In 1992 I was cooking for Shri Mataji. I was all on my own, and had never done it before. When Mother first arrived She went straight to Her room, and I was sitting outside in the hall feeling I would not be able to keep my attention in the right place, then I was given a very beautiful vibrational confirmation by Shri Mataji, coming directly to my Nabhi from Her. After that I was able to do the cooking. She was always very appreciative of my food, however, at one point I took Her a dessert, and I wasn’t very strong on the visual side.

‘Hm,’ She said, ‘take it back and present it nicely.’ So I did, and then presented it again and She ate it and seemed very happy.

Shri Mataji wanted to experiment at that time. I made Her a passion fruit soufflé and She saw the seeds. She wanted to soak them overnight to see what happened. She put them in water but did not do anything with them in the end.

Colleen Keetley

I completely dissolved into something exquisite

After the puja Shri Mataji called us into Her room to have a chat. She was lying beautifully on Her couch, had a shawl over Her to keep warm, and was talking. She spoke a lot about my daughter’s father, who was not living with us at the time, and was following a false guru, and was not a positive influence. Shri Mataji suggested I should go to live in Perth, Australia, but not just yet. She was so compassionate about my then husband, and said he was such a seeker, but had unfortunately got caught by this false guru. Shri Mataji said She would let me know when to go to Perth, and She did: She sent me a fax about eighteen months later.

During this time, Shri Mataji was talking about how I cooked well, and could maybe get a job as a chef in Perth. She was very practical, and was talking to the other ladies, very light and delightful, and I noticed Her shawl had slipped, so I very gently picked it up, not wanting to touch Her. As I put the shawl over Her shoulders, I completely dissolved into something exquisite – a lovely experience. I had the same experience when I went up with my little girl to help her pour the water over Mother’s Feet.

Colleen Keetley

We are very responsible for these children

One other thing happened when Mother walked into that puja. Both my child, and another little boy, namaskared as She walked by, to the chair at the end.

‘She namaskars because you do,’ She said about my daughter as She walked past. I understood it to mean we are very responsible for these children, even if they are born realised.

Colleen Keetley

Puja with water

Shri Mataji came to Christchurch at the beginning of February 1992. She had been to Auckland and had done a Shri Mahasaraswati Puja and then had flown down and spent a couple of days in Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand. It is the third largest city in New Zealand. There were about forty people with Shri Mataji, mostly Australians and New Zealanders, and we stayed in a motel. Brian Bell had started Sahaja Yoga there and had a small unit, and had hired a motel for all of us and Shri Mataji to stay in.

On the plane from Auckland to Christchurch, coming into the South Island, Shri Mataji said that She could feel that the depth of the country, and that there were very deep seekers in the South Island. This parallels the folklore of the Maori people that the South Island was the mainland, Të Waipounamu, meaning greenstone waters or the Isle of Jade, and the North Island was fished up by Mauï, a well-known and legendary common ancestor known to many peoples of the Pacific region.

Shri Mataji arrived and there were about three or four of us to meet Her at the airport – everyone else was on the plane with Her. Brian asked if She would like a little tour of the city and She agreed. He took Her on a tour of Christchurch and about an hour and a half later She arrived at the motel, where the rest of us were waiting.

We had set up a little aarti tray: some perfume and flower petals. When Shri Mataji arrived She wanted to have Her Feet washed, so She came in and sat down in the room we had prepared – very sparsely, in this motel. We had no dish or anything large enough to wash Shri Mataji’s Feet in. In the end we had to use a cast iron baking dish. We did puja to Her with water, with Her Holy Feet in this dish.

Pam Mathews

Shri Adi Shakti circled the city

After we had welcomed Shri Mataji at Christchurch airport in 1992, I asked Her if She would like to see something of the city. She agreed and we drove off. We were only about ten minutes’ drive away from the motel where we had arranged Shri Mataji’s accommodation, but the trip into the Port Hills to look down on the harbor and the wide Canterbury Plains took over an hour. We were still far away from our eventual destination when Shri Mataji asked if we were going to be much longer. I told Her it would be a while and She closed Her eyes. Feeling pretty miserable, I realised that the trip should have been much more carefully explained, and that Shri Mataji was in Christchurch to see the seekers, not the scenery.

But, when we arrived at the motel, Shri Mataji was as warm and loving as ever. However, She didn’t mention the trip. Someone said how fortunate we were that the Adi Shakti had circled the city with Her divine bandhan, but it was little comfort to me at the time.

Brian Bell

Shri Mataji said they were absolutely beautiful

Shri Mataji spent a lot of time talking to people, and clearing people. All sorts of people came and then there was a public programme, at the Town Hall in Christchurch, which was about a ten minute drive away from where we were staying. The musicians from Australia had come over, and the yogis started the programme. Shri Mataji waited at the motel and finally we moved to the car with Her and drove to the hall about an hour and a half after it was due to start.

Shri Mataji did not want to stop at the hall, so we drove up and around the huge park in the centre of Christchurch. She looked at all the trees and said how beautiful they were. She mentioned that England had too many trees, but that this park was beautiful. She loved Christchurch and said it was like a Disneyland version of England. There were some willow trees and Shri Mataji said that even in England the willows were not as beautiful as those. I mentioned that the willows had a disease, but Shri Mataji said She would put Her attention on it. There are some botanical gardens in that park and Shri Mataji said they were absolutely beautiful. We arrived back at the hall and it was about two hours after the time that the programme was meant to start.

We went in the hall and a lot of people were leaving. Nevertheless, Shri Mataji gave a lovely talk to the people of Christchurch. About six hundred people got their realisation and afterwards a lot of people went up to Her and She worked on them, so graciously.

Pam Mathews

Watching the video

After the public programme we watched the film of Shakespeare’s play Henry the Fifth. She answered a lot of questions about it and said it must have been a play of Shri Shiva. It was very interesting.

Pam Mathews

A great soul

When Shri Mataji went to Christchurch, we all watched some videos with Her. For me the most memorable one was the Henry the Fifth video. She spoke quite a bit about it.

‘He was a great soul, and in those days you had to fight like that, for good and for the right outcome. But of course we don’t have to do that anymore,’ She explained.

Colleen Keetley

Clearing out the Agnya

Shri Mataji wanted to go shopping in Christchurch and a few of us went with Her. She went to the main centre and bought some woollen suiting for Sir CP. She also went to one of the major department stores and bought lipsticks for Her granddaughters and lots of things.

The main thing She looked at was in a jeweller’s shop, a beautiful square cut diamond ring. Shri Mataji looked at this and tried it on both Her Agnya fingers. Later someone explained to me that the diamond is the stone of the Agnya chakra, and Shri Mataji would have been clearing out the Agnya by looking at this diamond. Shri Mataji said the main problem for New Zealand was fundamentalism. In another shop we showed Shri Mataji a lot of the New Zealand green stone (jade) and this is a favourite of the tourists. She looked at it but made the comment that coral is actually the stone of New Zealand.

There is a beautiful avenue that goes from the city up to the airport, and we were driving Shri Mataji up it, as She was going to Sydney for the Shri Shivaratri Puja. She said how She really liked the houses in New Zealand. She noticed everything – such as that the trees planted along the roadside were magnolias, which were also found in India.

Pam Mathews

She came all the way to Christchurch

The first time I saw Shri Mataji was in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1992. I had seen adverts for Sahaja Yoga in the newspaper before, but I couldn’t find the hall. The person who told me about the advert said this time the lady was actually coming, and I couldn’t believe a person like Her could come all the way to Christchurch.

I went along to the Town Hall and waited and waited, and groups of people left, about a hundred and eighty left, I counted them. I wondered who could be holding Shri Mataji up. I wandered around and came back, and was reading the posters. Then I looked up and there was Shri Mataji approaching with a group of followers and in my mind I thought, ‘Ah, there You are, You’ve come!’ I could see a lightness, a radiance, around Her followers. I waited at the door and Shri Mataji stopped just three feet away. I stepped aside and She also stepped aside. I moved away, and thought that I would have to do that, because I was not one of Her followers. She looked at me and I wondered what was going on.

I went in at the side and listened to Her talk. It seemed like twenty minutes. In that short time She gave me so much wisdom, but even so, I knew She must have much, much more to give.

Nigel Matthews

Look at the moon!

It was the Shri Shivaratri Puja at Glen Rock, near Newcastle, on the 1st March 1992. After the puja while we were sitting on a balcony, eating the meal, some of the men who had doing puja said they had problems with tying up Shri Mataji’s hair on top of Her head. In the end She said She would do it. They were surprised by how easily Shri Mataji did it, with one hand. Then the men went to put the comb which had a crescent moon attached to it into Shri Mataji’s hair, and the mirror that was cut in the shape of a thin crescent moon fell off. The men didn’t know what to do, so they put it on Shri Mataji as it was, the cardboard was a dark red colour with lighter colour were the glue had held the mirror on. The crescent moon shape was at a lower angle than it was meant to be.

‘Look at the moon!’ one of the men said, when they had just finished telling us. The moon had just appeared low in the sky from behind heavy cloud, above the bay. It was a thin crescent moon, dark red and on the same angle as it had been sitting on Shri Mataji’s head. The men were relieved, and understood it was meant to happen that way.

Later a Sahaja Yogi who was helping Shri Mataji told us that She said that She was very pleased with the puja, the vibrations had been very strong and that Shri Shiva was present on earth for the first time at this puja.

Clare Nesdale

Chapter 17: 1992 – March, South East Asia

Suffocation death in infants

On Shri Mataji’s second visit to Taipei, in 1992, it was again the departure time and we were at the airport. I felt compelled to bow down to Shri Mataji, just at the passport control. I got an instant reward. I had never spoken to Her about the research I was doing at my work, but She apparently knew about it, and told me that suffocation death in infants was related to air pollution. After that we had two good publications on the subject in well-known American medical journals.

Harald Knobel

You are the doer

Shri Mataji told me to come and live in Hong Kong, and although it took a year and a half, and She spoke to me a few times about this, that was the first time She had mentioned it. It was very significant, because staying in this little room near the airport, I was not impressed with the place, but Shri Mataji said I would do well there. I finally moved there in 1991, during the hot season. It was quite a transition from Australia.

In 1992 Shri Mataji was coming and it was the first opportunity we had to arrange a programme for Her. We did a postering campaign, had some radio publicity and newspaper articles, in preparation for the public programme.

She came to the hall, the first time we had taken a hall for the Chinese people, and there were about four hundred and fifty people there. Shri Mataji was so happy with it. She gave a beautiful talk and gave realisation, but we did have trouble with the translation, because there wasn’t an established yogi who could translate. Then somebody spontaneously jumped up from the audience and translated Shri Mataji’s words quite accurately.

After the programme I was going back in the car and Shri Mataji was so happy.

‘You’ve done it! You’ve done it! You’ve got the Chinese! This is the first time I’ve seen so many Chinese people.’

‘I didn’t do anything,’ I said. ‘You are the doer.’ She laughed and was very contented.

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji was so pleased that She was looked after so well

Every time Shri Mataji came to Hong Kong we went out shopping. One of Her favourite places was a place called Stanley Market. It is on Hong Kong Island on the south side, and it is like a hawker market and there are a lot of handicrafts. There was one shop in particular which was Her favourite, called Tong’s Linen, that sold hand embroidered sheets and tablecloths. Shri Mataji would go there every time She came to Hong Kong. The shopkeeper knew Shri Mataji very well and was always very happy when She came because he knew that She would buy a lot of things. She was looking at the work one time.

‘See,’ She said, ‘look at this. The Chinese really have the ability to do such beautiful handicrafts. The quality is excellent.’

The price was very good, too. Every time Shri Mataji went shopping there was some sale going on, so She managed to negotiate a really good price for everything. It was delightful to be with Shri Mataji, enjoying the moment, bargaining, showing Her the things that the shopkeeper had. He was so enthusiastic, and would always rush away and show Shri Mataji the best stock he had, that he had saved from the year before. This went on for a number of years, when Shri Mataji was going to Hong Kong regularly. He made sure he had the best embroidery and linen for Her to look at and She was so pleased that She was looked after so well.

Alex Henshaw

You shouldn’t feel guilty

We had been shopping for two days in Hong Kong and I had been asked to keep a list of the things that had been bought. I had to check at home, when it all got delivered, that everything was there. I counted and recounted the pieces and it just didn’t correspond. I was terribly worried because it seemed there was one bag missing that had been paid for. Then I had to go to Shri Mataji and tell Her. To some extent, I also felt guilty because I should have seen to it.

‘You shouldn’t feel guilty because you didn’t cheat them,’ She said at one point.

It was like a revelation because I was feeling so bad. Suddenly, I realised that if someone cheats you, there is no point in feeling bad because you didn’t do so much wrong. After that, it somehow all turned out all right and there had not been any cheating anyway.

Mary-Martine de Techtermann

A face like the moon

In 1992, when my third daughter was born, we named her Olympia when Shri Mataji came to Hong Kong that year – we asked Her for a name. We were at a restaurant at the time, in Repulse Bay, which is over on the south side of Hong Kong Island. It was just after we had been shopping at Stanley Market. The restaurant looks out over the sea, and it is a very nice position.

‘She’s got such a round face, I’ll call her Chandramukhi, which means face like the moon,’ said Shri Mataji. The baby was at the restaurant with us, and she kept touching Mother. Mother was saying, ‘She’s so sweet,’ and the baby was looking at the teacup. We had finished eating and Shri Mataji was about to get up to go back to the hotel.

Alex Henshaw

Don’t be disappointed

As we didn’t have much attendance for the first visit of Shri Mataji to Thailand in 1990, we promised ourselves we would do our utmost for Her next visit. Therefore in 1992, when Shri Mataji came back we had gone all of the way to advertise as much as we could and were full of hope. However, deep within, I still was not very confident and prayed for the programme to be a success.

‘Even if there are not so many people it is alright. It takes some time for the collective to grow and we should not be discouraged,’ She suddenly said, while I was driving the car to take Her to the programme. Shri Mataji knows all our thoughts.

This was when we reached the YMCA hotel where the programme was to take place. Instead of comforting me, Her words almost had the opposite effect, as I started to think that if Mother said that, it meant that there must again be very few people in the programme. I felt a pang of sadness and thought that we had failed our Mother, however when I reached the hall which contained three hundred and fifty seats, it was so full that there were even people sitting on the floor in the alleys.

When it was time to give realisation, Shri Mataji asked me to come on the stage to demonstrate how to put hands on the different chakras. As the people were all closing their eyes to meditate a veil of peace was surrounding all of us. It was such a joy-giving vision and Shri Mataji was really enjoying Herself.

‘Beautiful, so beautiful,’ I heard Her say, while She looked at the audience in front of Her.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

One Namaskar that I will cherish

One day when Mother was in Bangkok for the second time, I had left Her suite late at night to sleep in another room nearby. I came back early the next day, after having purchased some fresh fruits for Mother’s breakfast. When I reached, Mother was already awake and was sitting in the living room with Her nephew, who was accompanying Her that year. I bowed down in a Namaskar when Mother saw me and can still remember the feeling of total surrender in my heart as we all were bathing in joy and vibrations – after all, being around Mother for a few days is definitely a transformative experience. As I was bowing down, enjoying the blissful waves of vibrations emanating from Mother.

‘Excellent, she’s very good! Her Kundalini comes up very straight!” She exclaimed.

From this time, whenever I feel down, I try my best to resuscitate this state of mind and feeling of togetherness I had felt back then at Mother’s Divine Lotus Feet.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Mother can catch our thoughts

On several occasions, as I was taking care of Shri Mataji during Her visits to Thailand, I experienced first-hand how She knows us inside out and how one becomes totally transparent in front of Her. Mother can penetrate whatever layers of our physical, mental or emotional self and address directly the innermost part of our being, or She can hear our thoughts as distinctly as if one had expressed them out loud. Among others, there was an example during Shri Mataji’s second visit to Thailand.

Mother had just finished giving vibrations to a yogi who had been involved with a false guru and who was still caught up on many chakras. She had been giving him vibrations for quite some time, visibly extracting a lot of negativity out of his system, so much so that She asked him to stand in front of Her with his left hand out the window.

The window was left open for a while although the air-conditioner in the room was full-on. We were in one of those luxurious Bangkok hotels, which Shri Mataji commented as unpractical and purely design-oriented. The temperature in the room was rising and I was chewing the question over in my head, without daring to interrupt.

‘Yes, you can close the window!’ Shri Mataji turned round and told me.

I was quite stunned and promptly complied. This example was only one among several which were proof of Mother’s divine nature – and fantastic sense of humour.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Close encounters with Shri Mataji

In March 1992, at the YMCA, on Satorn Road, Bangkok, Thailand I saw the poster of Shri Mataji. I always thought of yoga as a means to attain peace of mind.

That was a room full of people, some standing, about six hundred in total. Khun Janine, Mrs Sreshtaputra, who first introduced Sahaja Yoga in Bangkok, introduced Shri Mataji together with Pascal, her son. I could not completely understand what Shri Mataji was saying as I was far away from Her, but I followed the self realisation process in which She instructed us. My stomach was spinning and only later did I realise that the presence of Mother was clearing my Nabhi. Since then I never missed the weekly programme.

Celia Tanaka

Shri Mataji absorbs all our problems

In 1992 when Shri Mataji was in Malaysia we had an audience with Her in the meditation hall of the centre. I was seated behind the coffee table on Shri Mataji’s left. My job was to refill Her drinking glass.

Shri Mataji spoke to us with great love and at one time a yogi with lower back problem was treated by Her. She asked him to sit in front of Her and Shri Mataji put Her foot against his lower back. I was amazed to see Her Foot starting to swell. It was much later that we learnt and understood that our compassionate Mother absorbs and sucks in all our problems and then clears them out after that.

KT Tan

Chapter 18: 1992 – April, India and Italy

On the banks of the Yamuna River

We had two pujas with Shri Mataji in Yamunanagar, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The first was performed in Emerlin College, where I was educated. That was a Saraswati Puja, in 1992. We were thrilled, because a college is the abode of the Goddess Saraswati and we were having sakshat Saraswati Puja. The next year Shri Mataji came again and we had Shri Krishna Puja. That was performed on the banks of the Yamuna River, at a place almost where the Yamuna comes out of the hills and touches the plains. I remember that the decorations for that puja were all dark blue – Krishna’s colours.

The Yamuna River is where Shri Krishna played, and where He killed the big snake as a child. When He was born in Mathura, He was taken across the Yamuna in the monsoon by his adopted father Nanda to Gokul, where He was brought up. The story goes that the river was keen to touch Shri Krishna’s Feet, and that was why it was rising all the time. Shri Krishna, as a new born child, knew His father would be put to trouble, so He put one foot down, and the moment His foot touched the water it just went down again.

GK Datta

She gave the answer

In 1992 I came to know that Shri Mataji would be visiting Dehra Dun for a public programme. I was extremely happy to learn that She would stay in the Officer’s Rest House at my workplace, the Forest Research Institute, (FRI).

I belong to a community which has worshipped Lord Krishna for many generations, and in our house we had a small temple that was nearly a thousand years old. My parents offered puja to it every day. Since childhood I had a firm belief that I would see Lord Krishna, as my parents had so much bhakti for Him, even though I did not follow the family tradition. I had received my realisation at a public programme some time before, when Shri Mataji had not been physically present, and I had said to the organisers that I could only accept Shri Mataji as the supreme power if I could be convinced that She was Shri Krishna. The gentleman suggested I should ask Shri Mataji Herself.

My golden opportunity came on the morning of the 5th April, when Shri Mataji arrived from Yamunanagar to give a public programme at the Doon School in the auditorium at 10 am. Since my house was about three hundred metres from the FRI Rest House, I decided to try to ask Shri Mataji whether She was Shri Krishna as soon as She arrived. It did not occur to me that my question might be foolish. I went to the rest house and was told She had just entered it, and was asked to wait for a while, because Shri Mataji was having a meeting. After some time, and the organiser came and asked me to arrange for some milk to be brought, because Shri Mataji had asked for some.

We had a cow at home, so I drove back there in sheer delight and fetched a bottle of milk. As I returned, I wondered why Shri Mataji was asking me, who was not even fully in Sahaja Yoga, for milk, and not someone involved with the arrangements at the rest house. I gave the milk to the organiser, and again asked a leader if Shri Mataji was free. Again I was asked to wait, and it was suggested that I talk to Her when She came out to go to the public programme.

I held my hands towards the door and stood in joy. A few minutes later Shri Mataji stepped out, wearing a white khadi sari and holding a brown bag in Her hand. She smiled at us and folded Her hands in namaskar as soon as Her glance met ours. At that moment I felt a strong cool breeze all over my body. I was spellbound and speechless, with absolutely nothing going on in my mind. The world did not exist and time stopped for a while. Shri Mataji walked slowly towards the car, talking to the Sahaja Yogis and She left for Doon School.

I followed Shri Mataji’s car on my scooter, but it disappeared in front of us. Somehow I managed to reach the Doon School, and when we arrived Shri Mataji was just getting out of Her car. Aarti was performed to Her as She reached the stage, and I sat in one of the front rows of the hall. Shri Mataji then delivered Her speech and gave realisation to a packed hall. After that people began leaving, and the Sahaja Yogis surrounded Her on the stage. She was giving blessings, and names to new-born babies. I was standing at a distance watching this and an unbelievable calm came over me. As I looked at Shri Mataji, She gave a loving glance to all in the hall and turned Her face towards me. She paused and nodded twice at me. I had got my answer.

MN Jha

Shri Mataji’s instruments (email report)

I had the privilege of being in Rome when Shri Mataji arrived from India in mid April 1992. She arrived at Rome Airport on Saturday at lunchtime, to be greeted by a crowd of perhaps two hundred yogis, mostly Romans but with a sprinkling from other countries and centres. She took a seat on one side of the arrivals hall to receive flowers from all of us, and the children of Rome ashram sat in front of Her and sang a few songs, beginning with Vishwa Vandita and going on with Shri Ganesh Sits on the Roots of the Tree and Sitting in the Heart of the Universe. For the latter song the grown-ups also sang the refrain, but we did not know the words to the verses, which the children, all singing from memory, did; Shri Mataji told the children that they must teach the song to the rest of us!

The rest of the day Mother spent in Her room, resting and talking to a few Sahaja Yogis. Next morning, before Her departure to Cabella, She kindly came to give us all Her darshan in the ashram sitting room. She sat before us and spoke for a while, a short talk but very important. She said how pleased She was that all over the world Sahaja Yogis are becoming responsible, are taking responsibility for the spread of Sahaja Yoga, and that this is very necessary. It is no longer sufficient, She said, to love Her, nor even to be completely surrendered to Her and to fully recognise Her. We must become dynamic and active in the collective growth and spreading of Sahaja Yoga, as Sahaja Yoga will only be spread by us as Her instruments. Certain basic things are necessary: we must all meditate morning and evening, for instance. We should also know certain songs by heart; and She suggested we could have song competitions between ourselves.

A gentleman from Cuba was visiting the ashram, and he described conditions there as very difficult, as it is not allowed to talk openly about religion. Shri Mataji gave a bandhan to Cuba. She also put Her divine attention to Armenia. Shri Mother said the Sahasrara Puja will be on the following weekend, but on the 5th May itself we should all perform a havan, as this is the day when all wishes are to be fulfilled.

To end Her visit to Rome, we sang a few bhajans, and then Shri Mataji gave us a last blessing and left in Her car for Cabella, where She will be staying until Her return to Rome on Friday for the Easter Puja.

Phil Ward

Usually I did not like this soup

The small children in Sahaja Yoga went to the school in Italy at Rome Ashram. When I was there one day some children were allowed to go to the airport because Shri Mataji was going to come. We went in quite a small van and we went very late. We were very excited and a kind uncle gave each of us a flower to give to Shri Mataji, so we all bowed down and gave our flower. That was the best moment of my life.

When we came back to the school, we had a vegetable soup for supper. Usually I did not like this soup at all, but that day it did not seem bad.

Daniel Keet

Bring children up in nature

Shri Mataji came to Rome Ashram one time. She sat outside under the big tree in the garden where the children played. She spoke about nature, and said Her love and attention were on this house. As She was speaking and praising nature the tree was very gently dropping leaves onto all of us, and Her.

Shri Mataji brought chocolates for the children and dried fruit for the adults and the children all went to Her. If there were any children with problems She worked on them, and after that She left. It was a brief programme, but very intense. Shri Mataji said it was very beneficial to bring children up in the nature and that they would all grow into big trees like the one in the garden there.

Marylin Leate

My Feet are more important than anything else

In 1992 I was working at Cabella and Mother had asked me to come down to see Her.

‘You must come now, Mother wants to see you right away,’ someone came to me and said. I was dusty and filthy and felt disgusted to go into Mother in that condition. In Mother’s room was an old Sahaja Yogi, who had found some Sanskrit names of the Goddess and was reading them to Mother.

‘All these powers which I have in My material body, are here – I don’t remember all these powers,’ Mother commented. ‘It is amazing, when you tell Me the powers that I have, then I re-remember that I have them.’ I was totally flabbergasted and thought ‘Why am I here? Why did Mother call me here?’ then Mother started talking about Her material body.

‘It is My Feet – My Feet are more important than anything else,’ She said. After this Mother asked the two people with Her to massage Her Feet. She didn’t say anything to me and I was just sitting there in my filthy jeans with my dirty hands.

‘Do you want to rub Mother’s Feet?’ said one of the people with Her. But I was so dirty! So she said, ‘Hurry up, and go and wash your hands.’ I was about to leave the room.

‘Where are you going?’ Shri Mataji asked. Then the lady with Mother explained that I was going to wash my hands because I wanted to massage Mother’s Feet as well. So I washed my hands and sat there for half an hour massaging Mother’s Feet. I felt completely awed and wondered how to do it, but remembered that I used to massage my (earthly) mother’s feet, and just had to look at Shri Mataji like my earthly mother. So I started.

‘Do you want to do My little toe a bit?’ Mother said, and then She would say ‘Harder!’

Hari Bhamra

The need to be careful

Once after a puja in Cabella we were up in Shri Mataji’s bedroom and She was counting money with us.

‘It’s strange,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘counting this money is catching on Sahasrara. It’s because I’m not really supposed to have anything to do with money but in this incarnation I have to be very careful that every penny is accounted correctly.’

Naturally we were all amazed that She could do anything that would catch on Sahasrara!

Chris Marlow

Help for my family

There was one really personal day in 1992 when I was there with Mother. She asked me to come and see Her.

‘Mother is waiting for you, just go inside,’ the lady who looked after Her said. Mother was in Her morning clothes, not yet Her day sari. I sat down and She started talking to me. She was so familiar with me and started asking me about my mother, and how I grew up. She knew everything anyway, but it was as if I had to tell Her all the love and joy and pain I had had at home. It was as if She wanted me to dis-attach myself from all this, because I didn’t have a very easy childhood. My mother had to bring four children up on her own. Shri Mataji was asking me questions about my mother and how she was and if she was able to look after us.

Hari Bhamra

Performing puja

When my daughters were small I used to often take them with me even to Cabella. There were just under two years between them. I had never had the chance to go up and do puja on stage but that Sahasrara Puja in Cabella (1992) the English were hosting. My desire to help perform puja was very strong. I knew my older two would be ok with an aunty and as the puja went on the youngest fell fast asleep. When they called for married English ladies I made a beeline for the stage.

We had to decorate Shri Mataji’s Feet and put anklets and toe rings on. It was an overwhelming experience. The thing about being physically close to Mother is that you were automatically thoughtless. It was almost like stepping outside of normal space and time. When we were decorating Her Feet, at one point I felt so overawed that I stopped and sat back slightly.

‘Come on, all of you do it,’ She said and I carried on putting kumkum on Her toes. I remember that Her Feet had a carven quality to them, like an ancient statue, and yet at the same time were smooth and young.

Joanne Moore

What we need is a window

During the refurbishment of the Palazzo in Cabella, in the second year, (1992) Shri Mataji cancelled most of the planned trips and remained in Her apartments and organized the building works. Although Shri Mataji never actually went to see the loft or the basement, She could give accurate details of how to overcome problems and change designs for the better. We were trying to build a kitchen in the basement to cater for the workers and for pujas. Shri Mataji called Michael, the Greek architect, and myself up to Her room to ponder over the design of the kitchen.

‘What we need is a window here,’ She said, putting Her finger on the outside wall on the plans.

‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ we said, gulping hard.

‘What’s the problem?’ She asked.

‘The walls are five feet thick there, Shri Mataji.’ They were made of stones about two-foot cubed.

‘Well, just have a look,’ She said.

So we went down to the basement, which had been a prison. In the next room there was a window, which someone had decided would be better as a door and two French yogis had spent two weeks with jack-hammers trying to lower it down. The job was finally finished by a whole group of Swiss who took a weekend, so we knew how tough it could be.

We started hacking the plaster off the wall at the point Shri Mataji had indicated with Her finger. After a while, we became aware that there was a line in the stonework and a stone archway at the top. It was an old window. By the end of the day, we had pulled out all the stones filling up the hole, and the daylight was flooding in.

The next day, Shri Mataji asked how it had gone and laughed when we told Her how there had been an old window just where She had pointed with Her finger.

Chris Marlow

Not sweet sixteen
We are in a busy market square in Sardinia, Italy, in 1992 and Shri Mataji is buying gifts for Her grandchildren. She glides with effortless grace amongst the shoppers, Her radiance lighting a path through the crowds – did I imagine those angels scattering petals from above? A young stallholder beams, enchanted by Shri Mataji as She blesses his merchandise with Her gracious touch.

‘E cosi bella!’ he whispers as She walks away.

Mother asks me what he has said.

‘He says You are very beautiful, Mother,’ I translate for Her.

‘Really?’ She has a surprised look on Her face, with that unique way of raising Her eyebrows, arching them to the skies She laughs, ‘Well, I am not sweet sixteen any more.’

Danya Martoglio

A Roman holiday in Sardinia

In1992 I was fortunate to accompany Shri Mataji and a group of yogis to Sardinia, Italy where She was to give a public programme. Mother was in a joyful mood from the start, and when we arrived She delighted in pointing out everything, from the vibrant flowers to the diverse selection of foods available. She seemed so pleased with the mix of cultural influences from the Arabic and Greek worlds – especially evident in the sweetmeats that were offered to Her. Everywhere She went the locals were enchanted, from the waiters in restaurants, who fell over themselves to serve Her, ‘She looks exactly like my mother!’ one elderly waiter told me, to the young market stallholders who were captured by Her beauty.

The only blot on the trip was a persistent cough that had been troubling Shri Mataji since leaving Cabella. As the cough worsened, the yogis worried whether She would be able to speak at the programme. Mother decided not to pull out, nor to take any cough medicine. She went ahead and gave the most marvellous speech with a clear voice and everyone got their realisation. Later that night in Her hotel room, the cough returned.

‘You see, My body is made for this work – when I was giving realisation there was no cough – because all the deities came to help,’ Shri Mataji commented.

Before retiring She took one spoon of the very mild cough mixture, rather than the two-spoon dose advised. The next morning was a beautiful sunny day with that magical light that comes from the sea. I was sitting in the room adjoining Mother’s with the yoginis who were preparing Her breakfast. The morning stretched on as we peacefully sat outside Her door enjoying the wafts of cool vibrations with not a sound from within to indicate that She was awake. There was just the joyful bird song coming from outside the window – as I watched them swoop and weave their dance higher and higher, it seemed they were announcing Her presence to the world, ‘She has come!’ they kept singing. 

In those days Shri Mataji’s habit was to get up very early and have some tea upon waking, so pot after pot of water had been boiled and then had cooled down – and again a fresh one was prepared, as we sat and listened to that sweet raga of birdsong. Eventually I heard a sound from Shri Mataji’s room, indicating that She was awake. I gently knocked on the door and tentatively entered with the tea tray. There She was as fresh as a daisy. I was a little surprised by Her first words.

‘Have you ever seen ‘Roman Holiday’?’ She asked.

‘No, Shri Mataji, I have not seen that film yet,’ I answered.

‘Then you must see it! It is a wonderful film – you must get all these old films!’ She told me.

As She sipped Her Darjeeling tea, an unexpected and delightful conversation ensued on the merits of the classic old films with their clear dharmic messages – compared with the more modern ‘Kali Yuga’ fair. The relevance of Her opening gambit became clear when She explained the plot of Roman Holiday, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. (In the film Hepburn’s character is given some medicine before sleeping and then cannot wake up for many hours, and because of this has a big adventure experiencing life as an ordinary girl rather than the princess she is). Unbeknown to Shri Mataji, the cough mixture taken the night before had the tiniest bit of sedative in it, and even if She had taken just a child’s dose, due to the sensitivity of Her body, She could not wake up.

‘I had My own Roman holiday!’ She graciously joked. 

During breakfast Shri Mataji continued to talk about those great old films, each time asking me if I had seen them and I felt so lucky to be sitting there that I wanted to pinch myself – to check that I wasn’t having a dream myself! I can’t remember all the films mentioned, but I do remember Her talking quite animatedly at one point about another Gregory Peck classic She enjoyed, called Spellbound. She even drew some marks with Her fork on Her napkin whilst discussing the clever plot relating to the main character’s phobia of lines.

Danya Martoglio

Enough for everybody

One day in Cabella Shri Mataji had asked to prepare an Indian dish which was called cholay, made with chick peas and potatoes. We were quite a lot of us, builders plus us, about sixty people. She had ordered the chick peas for us, two kilos, but they were in cans, so not even that much when one had removed the water, and already boiled so they would not expand, and certainly not enough for sixty. Also Shri Mataji wanted to try it and taste it when it was ready. We were desperate, because there was not going to be nearly enough, but Sandeep said not to say anything, and to try, so we cooked the dish following Mother’s instructions. Mother tasted it and said it was really well done, and made in the real Indian way. Then we gave it out, and somehow there was enough for everybody.

Anita Gadkary

An ancient house

In 1992 during the Sahasrara Puja weekend at Cabella, Shri Mataji was sitting down in the castle, the sun was shining in Her eyes and She could not see us while She was talking to us. She asked me to close the shutters. I tried my best but the hinges were so rusty, it was impossible.

‘That’s understandable,’ She replied, ‘this place is so old, more than two thousand years.’

Immediately I heard my brain telling me that this place could not be that old because this would make it older than Christ. Out of politeness I said nothing. A week later I was told that archaeological evidence pointed towards Shri Mataji’s house at Cabella having been built over the foundations of an Iron Age fortress that was more than two thousand years old.

 Luis Garrido

A bhajan by Shri Mataji

The melody of Vinate Suniye – a bhajan Mother Herself wrote in 1992 – was one that She had particularly liked from a film at that time.

Caroline Durant

Vinate Suniye

I was in the room in the castle when Vinate Suniye was written down and we sang it to Her for the first time. She even stopped me from playing my bells until She had finished and got everything perfect. In the early 1980`s, on the India tour, Shri Mataji gave out over 200 bells for the Sahaja Yogis to learn to play them at pujas. She tried to encourage us at every moment. She even told me to start a Sahaja Yoga disco.

Derek Ferguson

Chapter 19: 1992 – May and June, England and Europe

I think I have to take these flowers

In 1992, I had just arrived from Cape Town, South Africa, and went to Bristol to stay with a yogi lady-friend. Two hours after I arrived we had a phone call from London saying Shri Mataji was going to be arriving at London airport at five o’clock that day. It was now about half past twelve, so we drove back to London, about a three hour drive.

We arrived quite rushed because it was late and we didn’t have time to get flowers, but a yogi had a big bunch which she very kindly divided up and gave to each of the three of us, who had come in our car. I was a bit concerned because they didn’t look very fresh and it wasn’t what I would have chosen to give to Shri Mataji. The lady had been very kind, and I accepted it because I didn’t have a choice. I decided that because my flowers weren’t so beautiful, I wouldn’t make a great effort to go to Mother with them.

When Mother arrived I stood and watched the crowd surging forward, watching the people take their gifts. Shri Mataji walked all around and as She was going back towards the car, I began to feel a bit heartsore because I had travelled so far to see Her and, although my flowers weren’t beautiful, I still wanted Her to receive them. She bent down to get into the car to leave, my heart cried out so loudly saying, ‘Please, please, Mother, take my flowers. I’ve come six thousand miles to see You.’

Before She actually sat down, She began to rise again and She must have been about fifteen metres away. She turned around and looked at me through the sea of faces, and the people just parted like waves.

‘I think I have to take these flowers,’ She walked right up to me and said.

Of course, the tears just flowed with joy that Mother had heard my prayer and I realised that if our desire is deep enough and if we ask sincerely in our hearts, She does hear us.

Elizabeth Ravenscroft

Shri Mataji held out Her hand

This happened at Heathrow Airport, London. It was some years before I came to Sahaja Yoga, but my mother, Rosemary Maitland Hume, wanted me to go along to the airport with her to see Shri Mataji, so I did.

We arrived at Heathrow and there was a large group of yogis waiting for Mother outside. It was a grey day and raining slightly. She got out of the car and walked between a large crowd of two rows of people and everyone had a flower and they were all giving them to Her. I had a flower with me and, to begin with, I was standing about three rows back, waiting. I slowly got jostled to the back and didn’t know whether I wanted to push forward to give my flower. Everyone had moved on and Shri Mataji was walking away. I was standing thirty or forty metres away from this group of people, watching, and felt a bit out of it.

By now, Mother had come to the end of the line and had taken a flower off everybody. Her car was waiting and She was just about to get into it, then She looked up towards me and smiled and beckoned. I thought She must be beckoning to someone else, so I looked round and there was no one else there. I looked back at Her and again She beckoned and someone standing next to Her said to me to come forward. So I came forward and Shri Mataji had such a sweet look and held out Her hand. I gave Her my flower.

Jamie Hume


I am an Italian, and was at my first puja, in 1992, and I mentioned to my friend that if Shri Mataji was Shri Adi Shakti, She must know all the languages. A few years later I was with the English collective, and we were at Heathrow Airport, London to welcome Shri Mataji. She took the flower I offered Her, and graciously said ‘grazie’ (Italian for thank you) to me. It took me some time to understand Her gentle humour.

Francesco Galuppo

Shri Mataji is one with us and we are in Her

I was a scruffy looking character when I first came into the collective, but Shri Mataji saw through that. For some reason, I used to find myself right beside Her at the airport whenever we went to greet Her, my heart bursting with love, often in my old steel toecap working boots with track suit pants tucked into them, and a scruffy jacket. However, on one occasion, after a long spell as a part-time resident of Chelsham Road, I found myself quite happily at the back of the crowd, up against a wall, Mother fully in my heart. It was such that, I could feel when She was passing near me in the front of the crowd. As Shri Mataji passed I namaskared to Her, though unable to see Her, raising my hands to gesture with my head bowed to Her in my heart.

As I looked up, the crowd, three persons deep, parted right in front of me, everyone standing aside to let something through. It was Her gaze, and there She stood, with Her radiant smile, peering through the crowd at me, as I stood with hands still to my heart. This confirmed what we all know unconsciously, that She is one with us, we in Her and Her in us, bound by love.

  Clive Bates

A matter of privacy

We were at Heathrow Airport to greet Mother upon arrival; She stopped and talked to a yogini who was standing in the crowd two people away from me. I wasn’t actively listening to the conversation, however as Mother continued speaking, spending longer than usual with this yogini, my attention did go to what was being said. I heard a few words to indicate that some deeply personal issue was being discussed. Suddenly there was all this static in my ears. I strained to hear over it, but it got louder, and I could not hear anything! The static went as soon as Mother moved on through the crowd.

Leela Holland

The quality of the name

Shri Buddha Puja in England, May 1992. After the puja there was a queue of parents with babies and children requesting a name. Not being from UK, I was always shy about being too forward around Shri Mataji, so was at the back. It was a long line and She was giving names but not doing lots of interaction.

We were the last to go forward. Shri Mataji smiled and leaned forward in Her chair to take my toddler into Her arms. A memory flitted across my mind of a yogini explaining to never foist our children onto Her. In that split second of hesitancy, with Shri Mataji looking at me, but more importantly, I could feel Her in my brain, where there’s no difference, no separation from Her and my thoughts – and She started to withdraw Her arms. Although I’d processed that it was fine to offer the baby and was holding her up – it was too late, Shri Mataji was settling back into Her chair.

We asked for a name and Shri Mataji went into a deep meditation for a while, we kneeled in front of Her, then She came out of meditation and the name She gave was only two letters different from the baby’s Western name. Shri Mataji said it meant the master. A few years earlier at Heathrow, Mother had pointed at my left Void.

‘That’s your weakest chakra!’ She had said.  Coincidentally, that quality was already evident in the infant. Over the years, even strangers have commented on that quality in the child. Looking around at others who’d had children named by Shri Mataji, one could see the quality of the name in the child and the family, but at times this quality was under attack in the family members.

Leela Holland

Kundalini Puja, June 1992 (email report)

Shri Mataji has pointed out that Kundalini Puja is a new puja, which was never celebrated before the advent of Sahaja Yoga as people’s own Kundalinis were not awakened. Unlike Sahasrara Day, Diwali, etc, it is a puja with no specific date or period of the year. This year for the first time, by our Divine Mother’s Grace, it was being celebrated in Cabella. The puja started early Sunday afternoon. Shri Mataji addressed us first, telling us that the puja was a worship not only of the Adi Kundalini in Herself but also of our own Kundalini.

After the puja, gifts were offered to Shri Mataji from the different countries present. All the presents were of silver, the international present being a huge antique cylindrical vase minutely decorated with scenes from the life of Shri Rama. The present from the host countries was a slightly smaller but similar antique vase decorated with scenes from the life of Lord Shiva. The other presents were smaller, and Shri Mataji commented on each as to how appropriate it was for the country concerned. The French present was a small bowl, decorated with panels around the side, alternately plain and ornate; Shri Mataji said that in French art you always have to leave a lot of empty space.

Phil Ward

A treasured experience

Back in the early 1990’s, my friend Thelma had been shopping with Shri Mataji in London. Thelma told me how she had sat in the back of the car with Shri Mataji and Mother had held her hand. I wondered what that felt like.

Several weeks later I was in Italy with Danya and Enzo Martoglio. We had attended a public programme near Genoa. It was a hot summer’s evening and as we drove home to Enzo’s parents’ along the mountain roads Enzo thought he spotted Shri Mataji’s car. His hunch turned out to be correct. To our amazement Mother was alone in the car whilst a yogi was getting Her pizza. She was sitting in the back; the door was open.

Danya went first and as I stood waiting for my turn to be before Mother, I couldn’t believe our luck! My turn came and I went to Mother’s Feet. As I knelt before Her, She took my hands and held them. This was blissful. With motherly concern She asked me questions about how I had come to Italy. She wanted to know the details of my travel plans, who I had travelled with and so forth. After some time Shri Mataji gestured for me to leave. As I left Her I very gently squeezed Her hand; I didn’t want to go.

Later in the car as the three of us re-countered our experiences with each other and I was remembering what it felt like, it dawned on me that Her hands were so soft, so soft that I was not aware of feeling any bones.

I treasure this experience.

Mary Jane Williams 

The day that any desire would be fulfilled

It was in Cabella at the castle on the Shivaji Day in June 1992. We were gathered there to help, then we heard a Sahaja Yogi say that due to this auspicious day, and also because it was at the conjunction of four yugas, Mother said that any desire would be fulfilled on that day. I didn’t take too much notice, and I carried on with what I had to do. What I actually wanted to do in that moment it was to see Shri Mataji, because I had found a silver coin in Her kitchen and wanted to give it back, after polishing it.

I didn’t realise that all desires in that day were fulfilled so after a short while I found myself to be alone with Mother talking about everything, including art and the silver Urdu coins. She also asked me to touch Her hand made sari and feel it. She advised me as to what brush to use when painting on fabrics, then asked me to sit at Her Lotus Feet and She created a majestic silence, a maha puja, and I went into deep meditation. I could not keep my eyes open; it was so strong and beautiful. I didn’t open my eyes until someone whispered in my ear that it was time to leave the room. I did namaskar to Shri Mataji and while I was leaving I had another desire, that every Sahaja Yogi present that day in Cabella could have the benefit of being with Mother too. After a few seconds Mother called the two men who were with Her and announced that we were going to have a puja downstairs in the main entrance, and to call every Sahaja Yogi present that day in Cabella.

The puja was magnificent and unusual, in that Shri Mataji asked all of us to desire something, for our country, family, nation – everything possible and practical, because that day was so auspicious, and all our desires would be fulfilled. At that moment we all struggled to desire something, because only one desire was paramount, to become one with this ocean of Mother’s love.

While I had been in the room for quite a long time with Shri Mataji, before the puja, She complimented me on the beautiful shawl I was wearing, and She looked at it.

‘How many little elephants are printed in your beautiful shawl, where did you purchase it? She asked, and I was shocked because I didn’t see any elephants; I could see only flowers, so I didn’t know what to say. She was looking at the shawl from some distance, too.

‘Yes Mother there are,’ I replied. I was aware I was lying but a voice within me was telling me, ‘Mother knows everything, She is always right, it is my mistake that I can’t see it.’ When I left the room I asked the other Yoginis to help me to find many little elephants decorating my shawl, and we spent more than an hour finding them, and finally we did. They were tiny, many and beautiful. We were delighted and we started to laugh with joy.
Ornella Bollani

Wish for the world

We were all at Cabella, very few of us, maybe twenty or thirty people. Suddenly the message came, ‘Shri Mataji wants to see everybody in Her room’. Now this had never happened at Cabella – only once again some years later in 2002. It must have been in 1992. We were the Golden Builders so we were living outside of the village but I heard from someone that we were all to go there. She was in the pink hall, the big hall of the castle.

‘These Indians didn’t tell the world that this is a very special day – today there should have been a puja,’ She said, ‘because today there is a placement of the stars in the sky, that hasn’t happened for a very long time,’ (maybe hundreds or thousands of years or yugas). Shri Mataji was speaking about the stars, how they were, and She went on, ‘You can always wish, but today if you wish you can be sure your wish will come true – you can wish whatever you want, for yourself – but better to wish for your country or the world.’

We were all sitting there, and we only had about five minutes and suddenly we all began to wish. I wished for my country, for Holland, but I also wished that one day I would become a deep Sahaja Yogini.

Many people could confirm this story. Shri Mataji was sitting there and after five minutes of silence when we were all wishing, She was speaking a lot and spoke about many other things and said all our wishes would come true, and many people wished for the world. Shri Mataji said that on such an auspicious occasion it was better not to think too much of yourself but to think of the world.

Henriette Hagrasman

She had just plucked us out of Milan for that

Around 1992 my husband and I were living in Milan, Italy. We suddenly felt the desire to go up to Cabella. We got in the car and drove up, a drive of about one and a half hours and when we got there we waited around, we didn’t know for what. Then unexpectedly Shri Mataji passed the word around that She wanted to meet all of us yogis who were then in Cabella in the downstairs hall of the castle. After a couple of hours of everybody coming together, and She wanted us to have a puja but it was so fast there simply wasn’t time, so instead She asked us to all have a meditation together.

‘Today,’ She said, ‘is the most auspicious day in many thousands of yugas. You may ask any boon you desire of Me.’

I went through the ‘save mankind’, and ‘all the personal desires’, ‘different parts of the world’, and so on and it was a very deep moment and you could see how She had just plucked us out of Milan and brought us there for that.

Angela Reininger

The word spread to go to the castle

This is a story of a surprise visit to Cabella. We were living in Milan at the time, it was during the week and we were in Cabella doing some work and visiting some friends. We were there by coincidence. It was one of those wonderful days that just happened, and you are close to Shri Mataji’s house, so you know the attention is there. In the afternoon the word spread through Cabella, that magic network of information that worked there very well, that we should all go to the castle. So we rushed up and there the rumour was that Shri Mataji wanted us to do puja to Her. We were amazed, and did not understand why.

We prepared the puja and Shri Mataji did not come, and evening came and She did not come. It got dark and She did not come, and then the word spread that Shri Mataji was not happy that we did not invite Her for the puja. So we were all sitting there, and it was all prepared, and we had forgotten to invite Her. We pulled our ears in apology, and went upstairs, and that was still in the early days when the entrance to the castle was downstairs. Shri Mataji said She was sorry but it was too late then. It was the most auspicious day in many yugas and She was expecting us to call Her for the puja, and we had not done so. So now we were in a dilemma and the day was almost past as it was eleven thirty in the night. Shri Mataji had been ready to come but there had been this deadlock of protocol. Finally She created a way out. She would not do puja, but She would come and we would have some bhajans.

We all rushed down and soon after that Shri Mataji came and took Her seat in the main hall. It was full of people, maybe a hundred people were there, some had come up from Milan, and Genoa and other places as the word had got around.

‘Let’s have some bhajans,’ She said, and we sang Binate Suniye and some others, and as the last notes finished Shri Mataji looked at us with a long gaze and said, ‘Just ask any boon you want, and it will be granted.’

‘What am I to ask? This is the moment,’ people were thinking. Everyone bowed down and silently asked.

‘It will be granted,’ Shri Mataji said. It was after midnight by then, and then She left us. Afterwards we shared what we had asked. Some people asked something for themselves, like, ‘take me to the Spirit,’ some for others, some for the world.

Herbert Reiniger

I never gave up

Shri Mataji was very concerned for England.

‘I’ve never worked so hard in any other country. I never gave up on England,’ She said.

Then Shri Mataji would go to England and there would be a fantastic programme and everything would work out.

Jeremy Lamaison

Photos taken at the Albert Hall

I got my realisation in 1992 and went along to my first public programme at the Royal Albert Hall.

During the realisation session, Shri Mataji as usual asked the audience to close their eyes. She used to blow into the microphone in those days. I had my eyes tightly shut as She had asked but I could actually see what was happening, which was an amazing experience. As She blew into the microphone I saw huge banks of cool flames coming out of Her mouth, going out and receding each time She took a breath. They came as far as the people sitting in the front row and then went back again. I remember shutting my eyes even tighter just in case I was imagining things, but I could still see. I began to feel as though the whole force of the universe was actually going through me. I inwardly begged Mother to stop, as I could not possibly withstand this force any longer, and it did.

Nearly a year later I happened to be at the airport to meet Shri Mataji. I had given up any hope of getting anywhere close to Her because of the sheer number of people. However, for some reason there I was, face to face with Her. Mother started speaking and I was certain that She was looking straight at me. I could not possibly believe that Shri Mataji was talking to me and was very tempted to look to see who was behind me, but did not because somehow I felt that this would be the wrong thing to do. 

‘You really must see the photographs taken at the Albert Hall, there are hearts and hearts in them,’ Mother said, and then spoke more about the hearts in these pictures, or words to that effect. 

‘Yes Mother,’ I said politely, and perhaps doing a namaste. 

I thought of the near impossibility of finding the Sahaja Yogi who took those miracle photographs at the Albert Hall, but several months later my friend Neville Williams happened to take me to Chelsham Road. I went into the kitchen and there on a mantlepiece were the photographs with all the hearts in them and knew instantly that those were the photographs that Shri Mataji had spoken of.

An experience I will never forget!

Verona Jordan 

Bring peace to Ireland

I had my realisation in 1992, in Dublin, Ireland. I had some very strong experiences including a cure from tinnitus, and some months later Shri Mataji was to be at the Albert Hall in London, so I went with all the other Irish Sahaja Yogis. The programme was great and after Mother had given realisation to everyone She stayed on the stage and people were singing bhajans. Shri Mataji seemed to be looking at everyone, and clearing everyone’s chakras out. The Irish went up to meet Her, and when it was my turn I bowed, did not know what to say, so just smiled for joy as I was so happy. Mother held my hands.

‘Bring peace to Ireland,’ She said.

After this, I had a desire to have eye contact with Shri Mataji once more. There were a lot of people moving around, and I was standing at the front but down off the stage. I caught a glimpse of Mother’s left eye through the crowd. At that moment I felt a tremendous whoosh! Like a rocket, my Kundalini shot up and out of my head, and I felt it coming out of my hands also.

Tamara Donaldson

Chapter 20: 1992 July, Europe

Shri Mataji noticed everyone

When Shri Mataji gave a programme in Amsterdam at the Artis Hall at the beginning of July, 1992, at the end, when everybody had come to pay their respects to Shri Mataji and to be worked on, She asked one of the yogis to go and call a person who was sitting on the floor at the end of the hall. We could hardly see him but Shri Mataji had noticed him.

When the man came in front of Shri Mataji, She started to work on him and it was quite obvious that he was very damaged and probably a drug addict. At one point Shri Mataji, who had a little bowl of channa, chick peas, on the table beside Her, took some of them and offered them to him. She had not done this with anyone else that evening. He put the channa in his mouth, but he could not eat them because his teeth were so damaged and had lost many of them.

That evening, I was sitting beside Shri Mataji throughout the programme. Like Her, I was facing the people sitting in the hall. After the programme, when we went back to the ashram, Henno and I were with Shri Mataji in Her room and She was very happy about the programme. She started to talk in detail about the seekers who had been sitting in the hall.

‘You remember that one sitting on the right in the middle? He was very good,’ and so on. I could recognise a few of the ones Shri Mataji was mentioning, but She had noticed every single person in the hall.

Trupta de Graaf

She always tried to make us feel good

When Shri Mataji came to see us She always tried to make us feel good about ourselves and the country where we lived. When She came to our ashram in Amsterdam, at the beginning of Her visit, She told to Henno and me that Her family had a special relationship with Holland. When you hear that your heart feels happy. She said that they had found some very old Dutch coins in Her family, dating from about 1700. It helped me to settle down and not think that the grass is always greener elsewhere.

Trupta de Graaf

The connection between the liver and the Vishuddhi

In 1992 when Shri Mataji came to our house for few days, it was very hot and I lost my voice just one day before She came. Imagine waiting the whole year for Shri Mataji to come to your house and when She arrives you can’t talk. When I was with Shri Mataji in Her bedroom, She would ask me all kinds of questions, and I could hardly answer, as I had no voice. At one point Shri Mataji asked me why I had lost my voice. I didn’t really know what to say so I put my attention on the Sahasrara.

‘It comes from the liver,’ I suddenly heard myself saying.

‘Yes, it is right. There is a big connection between the liver and the Vishuddhi,’ Shri Mataji said.

She said I was too thin and should do a liver diet. She asked me to bring some ginger powder which She vibrated, and said I should start a diet by taking it twice a day for three days, a big soup spoon of half ginger powder and half sugar. She said I should be careful with fat and milk products, but that I could take chicken. I did this diet for some time and started to gain weight but tried to stop thinking, and that helped to calm down the liver. When I saw Shri Mataji a year later She said I was OK, and I had gained 5 kilos.

About the liver and its relationship with the Vishuddhi, I was with Shri Mataji in Paris, and She said something like America (the Vishuddhi) would not work out unless France (the liver) worked out.

Trupta de Graaf

 A welcome for the Adi Shakti

When we were in Holland in the summer of 1992, Mother was coming. The moment She got off the plane it started to rain. It was pouring so much they could hardly drive the car. As She arrived at the ashram and the car drew up and stopped, the incredibly heavy rain just stopped as if someone had switched off a tap. She got out of the car and the whole sky was lit by lightning.

Shri Mataji walked up the path and the lightning and thunder was going all the time we did aarti to Her. Every time the aarti went round, the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed. She walked in over the threshold and I was the one who gave Her the garland. The moment She was inside, the rain came down again like the tap had been switched back on, and I put the garland around Her neck.

‘Now that’s a welcome for the Adi Shakti!’ She said.

Rachel Ruigrok

Shri Vishnumaya had come to clean the house

This is a story about the house we bought as an ashram in Belgium in the early 1990’s. The vibrations of this house were bad, so Shri Mataji told us to have a havan to clean it. We did a havan in the garden because the house was too small for the collectivity. Some days later, before Shri Mataji’s arrival, there was a big storm and the lightning struck the chimney. No car was touched, but there were stones all over the place. Shri Mataji said Shri Vishnumaya had to come and Herself clean the house because we did the havan outside in the garden instead of actually inside the house. After that Shri Mataji gave a Shri Vishnumaya Puja there.

Bernard Cuvellier

Shri Vishnumaya Puja, 4th July 1992 (email report)

Public programmes were held on the Friday and Saturday nights, in the ballroom of the Metropol Hotel, Brussels, a big room with a pleasant atmosphere. A few hundred seekers crowded in, so the Sahaja Yogis mostly stood at the back. The programme began with a few bhajans from the Sahaja Yogis, and continued with Henno’s introduction. Hemlata and Ravindra Jain’s beautiful music settled down very calm and joyful vibrations even before Shri Mataji began Her address. After the Saturday programme these musicians continued to sing for a long time as Shri Mataji received the new people, followed by some Sahaja Yogis, at the front of the stage. The programme ended about midnight.

On Saturday morning all the Sahaja Yogis assembled at the new Belgian ashram, an old brewery and farmhouse, quite a big building about half an hour south of Brussels, to celebrate the Shri Vishnumaya Puja. Shri Mataji stayed there during Her visit, along with some visiting Sahaja Yogis. The puja was held in the courtyard of the farm, under a large canvas sheet which kept us dry from the rain that threatened. The weather stayed fine during Shri Mataji’s talk, but immediately the puja began and the first drops of water were poured on Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet the heavens opened.

On Sunday Shri Mataji stayed quietly in Her room, receiving some Sahaja Yogis, before leaving in the evening to fly back to Milan with the musicians. About a hundred Sahaja Yogis were present to wave Her off at Brussels airport.

Phil Ward

Guru Puja, 19th July 1992 (email report)

The festivities began late on Friday evening with a music programme. Before the concert began Shri Mataji addressed us briefly to say that since this is Guru Puja we should expect to have to undergo a little tapas and that we should not worry about bodily comforts. Due to the lack of accommodation for so many people, many of us were sleeping under the stars. She also recommended that we keep our attention inside, and not to concern ourselves with socialising around cups of cappuccino, which is bad for the liver!

The highlight of the concert was two songs composed earlier that day by our Divine Mother Herself. Baba Mama introduced them by saying that he had known Shri Mataji for fifty-nine years but had never suspected that She is such a great composer and poet. The songs talk of Shri Mataji’s nature as a guru, and She Herself set them to music in Rag Kafi and Rag Bhairavi. One was Binate Suniye, and the other probably Jai Jai Janani Shri Ganesha Ki. They were sung during the puja.

The international play, the second evening’s highlight, was scripted in every detail, down to the jokes, by none other than our Divine Mother Herself, during the previous days. It represented a group of seekers of truth who travel to see various false gurus. The group afterwards met with parents and relatives of some lost seekers, who told how their near ones had died or suffered terribly at their hands. Then we saw a number of students of another movement, learning ‘flying’ and complaining of how they were getting sore bottoms; and then a fight between female devotees of another one boasting of how easy it was to be seduced by their guru, and yet others boasting of how they would remain virgins all their lives. Then we were taken to a Western setting as TV evangelist Jimmy Sweetheart, complete with dancing girls and studio audience, told in his inimitable way, punctuated with appeals for money, how the Lord had found him in a place of very ill repute and had told him in a voice of thunder, ‘Jimmy, get dressed!’

The puja took place on Sunday afternoon. Shri Mataji arrived shortly after one o’clock in the puja tent, which was full to overflowing, with the sides of the tent rolled up and quite a few people sitting outside and looking in. In Her discourse, long and rich, She treated many topics, starting with the way we must achieve the state of a guru.

Phil Ward

Preparing the ashram before Shri Mataji’s coming

When Shri Mataji visited us in the ashram in Paris or in our house in Holland, we used to decorate and renovate the houses completely, not only the room where She would stay, but the whole house. We used to paint the walls again or replace the wall-paper and repaint the doors. Also we would replace the carpets, make the garden nice, put up new curtains and clean everywhere. Whenever Shri Mataji came to our house in Zaandam, we would prepare our own bedroom for Her as the house was small. We would then move into a very little room with our children, but we were so happy Shri Mataji was coming that we didn’t mind.

Also when She came to Zaandam, we made a shower in our garage as there was only one bathroom which was for Shri Mataji. One morning Shri Mataji asked us what the yogis were doing, always going to the garage. We told Her there was an improvised shower and then She laughed and said we could have used Her bathroom. All this was fun, and part of this wonderful adventure of receiving our Mother.

Trupta de Graaf


At Zaandam one time we were cooking for Shri Mataji and I made some burgers with couscous, basil, paprika and herbs. Shri Mataji liked them very much and asked me what the couscous was.

‘It is couscous, Shri Mataji,’ I answered.

‘What?’ She asked me again.

‘It is couscous Shri Mataji,’ I reiterated.

‘No, it is rice,’ Shri Mataji said.

Then I realised that She had just told us one day before that sometimes you have to learn to talk to people and not to answer by saying ‘No,’ very abruptly or try to always be right. She gave then the example that if it is morning and somebody tells you, ‘Oh, what a nice evening,’ instead of saying, ‘No, it is morning,’ you can say, ‘Yes, very nice,’ because it is more important to be nice to somebody than to argue and try to be clever. So when Shri Mataji said that it was rice, I said, ‘Yes, Shri Mataji.’ I believed I had passed the test.

The next year, when She returned I again made this couscous burger as Shri Mataji liked it very much.

‘What is it?’ She asked me again. Should I say rice or couscous? The year before Shri Mataji had said it was couscous but I knew it was to test me. If I said ‘rice’, She might say it was not.

‘Couscous, Shri Mataji,’ I said.

‘Ah!’ She said. I had passed the test again!

I recently discovered, when looking in Shri Mataji’s cookery book, that there is a spice called Khuskhus which is used in Indian cooking, which might be why Shri Mataji initially said to me that it was not couscous. But the lesson at that time was not to bluntly say ‘No’ to somebody if he or she tells you something you think is wrong.

Trupta de Graaf

Editor’s note: couscous is a type of pasta of North African origin.

Someone has been listening to me

Back in the early nineties, we had a lot of fun following Shri Mataji’s tours through the East Bloc. Two of Sahaja Yoga Austria’s satellites, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, were on the schedule every summer. We normally travelled by car or bus, but one time my wife surprised me by booking me on a flight from Budapest to Prague. It was the same flight that Shri Mataji was to take. I arrived at the tiny airport with two of the Austrian Sahaja Yoga coordinators amidst a sea of flowers held by joyful Sahaja Yogis, seeing Shri Mataji off. As the five of us, including a Sahaja Yogini who was attending Shri Mataji, passed through Immigration, Shri Mataji turned to me.

‘Oh! You’re also coming!’ She said cheerfully.

We sat in the front row of the First Class section in the small jet. On my right sat Hermann Haage reading a newspaper. To my left was an empty seat, the narrow aisle, another empty seat, then Shri Mataji. Her eyes were closed and She appeared to be in deep meditation.

For over twelve years I had grown accustomed to praying to Shri Mataji and enjoying most of my prayers coming true. One of my favourites was the following, ‘Shri Mataji, please bless me with pure attention and pure desire.’ At that moment, feeling a bit shy and nervous to be sitting so close to the Incarnation, I began thinking my prayer in the hope of attaining perfect inner balance, peace and clarity. I got as far as, ‘Shri Mataji, please…’ when She suddenly lifted Her head and looked over at me. I was hoping for a positive response, but I certainly didn’t expect such a personal one. I stopped the prayer and waited till Her head sunk back down on Her chest before quickly finishing my heartfelt, but shaken, request.

I should mention — some years later — that my attention and desiring really have improved.

Edward Saugstad

Like a true compassionate Mother

Shri Mataji again visited Romania in July 1992. Meanwhile, our collective had become much larger, as could be seen when we greeted Her at the airport. From there, She was driven to Elisabeth Palace, a former royal residence. There She was hosted in the king’s apartments.

A small group of Sahaja Yogis waited for Her next to the entrance. Shri Mataji stopped in front of a young lady who, very shy, waited behind the others. Mother asked her why she was so sad and the lady answered that the doctors had diagnosed a cancer tumour in her intestine.

Shri Mataji invited the lady inside, like a true compassionate Mother. There She asked for a glass of water and charged the water with vibrations, putting Her left hand into the glass. She gave the water to the lady telling her to drink from it because it is good for the left channel. While drinking, the lady was asked to hold her right hand through the open window, driving the negativity outside the house. Mother advised her to take ajwan fumigations at her Mooladhara chakra and to sleep with kumkum on her forehead. She called the lady’s husband and told him he had to help his wife. When the patient went for a checkup, the doctor was astonished to see that the tumour had disappeared. The lady lives to this day (sixteen years later).

Shri Mataji sat in an armchair and the leader of France gave Her Feet a prolonged massage. I sat on the floor together with other Sahaja Yogis and absorbed the waves of vibrations She bestowed around Her. A young couple that desired to get married had asked me permission to request Mother’s blessing. In my turn, I entered the apartment and humbly asked for Her accord. Then, to my great surprise, Shri Mataji asked me what I thought about this marriage.

The next morning, Shri Mataji consented to pay a visit to an important exhibition we had organized for Her arrival. The exhibition was hosted in the imposing building of the Museum of National History, and had been presented by the National TV programme while another private programme broadcast its own within the entire country. Mother stopped in front of a picture representing the bust of Plato, which was placed among other great realised souls. She said that Socrates had been a great prophet, while Plato was the one who had distorted the teachings of his master. After visiting the entire exhibition with great patience, Shri Adi Shakti took rest on a couch and we, Her children, sat on the floor at the holy Feet of our Divine Mother.

Dan Costian


After 1992, Shri Mataji gave public programmes in Romania every year in the Polyvalent Hall, where every time 3,000 to 6,000 persons received their self realisation. Each year She used to go for shopping, usually in the ‘Unirea’ (meaning, ‘Union,’ that is, ‘Yoga’) supermarket. There She bought crystals, either uncoloured or cobalt coloured in blue or red. I think they were for Baba Mama’s beautiful collection I had seen during the visit I paid to his house in Nagpur. The building had been designed by Shri Mataji and looked like a palace.

Mother also used to buy many handicrafts. She loved beautiful handmade things: vases, ceramics, tablecloths, high-quality porcelains and dishes decorated with folklore motifs. At other times, She used to buy fabrics for saris, men suits, which She used to ask a Yogi to put on so She could check the size. She would say: this is for X, the other would go to Y, and so on, like a loving Mother choosing outfits for Her children. She would shop for hours, exploring each floor of the huge general store. When She was done, especially with the handicrafts, She left behind empty shelves. The vendors could hardly keep pace with Her, packing. We carried all the packs to the cars outside following Shri Mataji’s Mercedes.

One time, when Mother exited the ‘Unirea’ supermarket, a group of gypsy women surrounded Her. They had recognized Shri Mataji from the countless posters spread all over the capital. Mother gave all of them self realisation by just asking them to hold their palms towards Her. She asked me to invite all the gypsies to the public programme that evening. Then, something strange happened. A young man appeared from nowhere, and came smiling within reach of Shri Mataji offering candies to Her from a paper bag. After treating everyone around, he left us without a word, in the same sudden way as he had made his appearance.

Dan Costian

In the upper photo Sahaja Yogis from different countries were welcoming Shri Mataji when She arrived at Sofia Central Train Station in 1992.  In the lower one Shri Mataji was meeting the yogis at a kindergarten where a beautiful Sahaja photos exhibition was prepared.

Kamelia Ersan

I am quite aware of Who I am

I was with Shri Mataji in Paris, and as always we went shopping. Shri Mataji held my arm as a support. I felt very relaxed and normal and started to talk about deities, about Shri Ganesha. We were looking at the colours of things in the shops. She said that when Shri Ganesha gets angry, He becomes red.

‘That colour suits Me,’ She said.

There was also another story, about Shri Rama. He played the maya on Himself. He was a divine incarnation, but He forgot, and it was Ravana, the demon, who suddenly recognised Him.

‘You are a divine incarnation,’ said Ravana.

‘Well, I don’t know about that, but I have come here to kill you,’ replied Lord Rama.

‘This time I am quite aware of Who I am,’ Shri Mataji commented.

Richard Keet

The French were smiling

We had a public programme in a theatre in Paris in the early 1990’s, and at the end people came to meet Mother one by one. It lasted a long time into the night and they all queued up to come and see Her. We were singing bhajans and it was a very joyful evening. Shri Mataji said it was very different because She could see that the French were smiling and it was on that occasion that She said that Paris was not a gate of hell any more.

Guillemette Metouri

Suddenly we heard a big thunder clap

After the first programme in Warsaw, Poland, in July 1992, some people from a religious organisation distributed a paper against Shri Mataji to all who came to the follow-up. We told the people who came that wherever a big positivity is coming in a country, the darkness wants to fight it. At this moment, all lights of the hall switched off and we were in the darkness some seconds. The people understood the message. We informed Shri Mataji, who was at this time in Austria. She told us not to react, not to have any fear, to go on feeling the joy of giving realisation and that that particular religious organisation will be destroyed by itself.

When Shri Mataji was in Warsaw She spoke about this religious organisation. It was August and the sky was blue, without any clouds. Suddenly we heard a big thunder clap.

‘Shri Vishnumaya is working,’ Shri Mataji said, and laughed.

Christine Haage

She laughed a lot

In Warsaw, Shri Mataji told our daughter Aparna to learn Indian dance. She was sixteen at this time. On the way to the airport, my husband, the driver, was concerned.

‘Shri Mataji, my daughter was never away from me for a long time,’ he said to Her.

‘When my daughters were small, they always tied my sari to the chairs to be sure I would be home when they come back from school. Now, they are married and with their husbands. So Hermann, marriage or education, just enjoy separation,’ She laughed a lot and said.

Christine Haage

The solution to environmental problems

In 1992, during Shri Mataji’s visit to Poland Mother asked me about my husband’s whereabouts.

‘He has gone to establish new centres and give realisation in South Africa for two months and then he will start his studies of Environmental Sciences in September,’ I replied.

‘Tell him to come and work in Cabella,’ was Shri Mataji’s reply, ‘all environmental problems can be solved with vibrations’.

Grazyna Anslow

As though the puja was happening there and then

I stayed on in Poland after Shri Mataji visited Warsaw in 1992 to help with public programmes and to be with this newly formed vibrant Polish collective. One day I went to see my friend, a Polish Sahaja Yogini. She offered to make a dress for me, we stayed up half the night and it was about 11 am when we finally started to meditate. We put our hands out and if the cool breeze could be measured everything would be blowing in this wind, which was on our hands, on our faces, in our hair. It penetrated to the core of our beings and enlightened every cell in our bodies. We were in it together, including the dog, which was usually very lively and lay there totally relaxed. We looked at the clock and almost three hours were gone. Even the next day we still felt we were walking on air.

I found out couple of days later that Shri Mataji was waiting for the plane at Heathrow airport on Her way to Italy for Shri Ganesha Puja at the time of our experience, and commented that the vibrations were so strong, as though the puja was happening. Warsaw is on the same latitude as London.

Grazyna Anslow

Beyond time

Shri Mataji came to Poland and Sahaja Yogis went to airport to welcome our Holy Mother. Some Sahaja Yoginis and I were waiting for Her at the Victoria Hotel in Warsaw, at the door of Her apartment. We heard that Shri Mataji had arrived to the hotel and was going to take the lift. There was a long distance from lift to the apartment, but Shri Mataji appeared immediately in front of us. Then I realised that time could be relative.

Bozena Czachowska

The same colours

Shri Mataji was due to arrive soon and I drove to the airport outside Vienna. It seemed as if the whole of nature was expecting Shri Mataji: rain had washed clean all the leaves and shrubs along the dusty motorway and the trees and shrubs along the way looked as if they had arranged their branches, standing tall and proud in expectance of Her. The sky and clouds displayed the most unusual colours, layers of intense turquoise blue and vibrant pink. When we arrived at the ashram later that day, sitting at Shri Mataji’s Feet, I realised to my amazement that the decoration behind Mother’s chair was created of fabric in exactly those colours of turquoise and pink – Nature had dressed herself in the same colours, in celebration of this auspicious day.

Sigrid Jones

A chance to go in and see Shri Mataji

In July 1992 Shri Mataji was staying in the ashram in Perchtoldsdorf south of Vienna, just a few minutes from my home. We all worked there happily together and in the evening I had to go home. I was envious of all the Sahaja Yogis who were able to stay with our Holy Mother. As I tried to unlock my house door the key broke, so I went back to the ashram and was invited to stay. I was blessed to sleep in the room beside Shri Mataji. It was wonderful!

In the morning we sat in the hallway meditating. When Shri Mataji came out She heard the men snoring loudly in the meditation room downstairs.

‘They’re sleeping well!’ She said.

Because I couldn’t speak English, I never had the opportunity to speak with our Holy Mother. After I meditated in front of Shri Mataji’s room, I intended to go home, but Wolfgang and Hamid suggested that I stay for a while in case there was a chance that I could go in to see Shri Mataji. A little while later Wolfgang’s wife gave me some flowers to put into a vase, and I was allowed to carry them into Shri Mataji’s room. I went to Her table.

‘Do You want the flowers here?’ I asked Her.

‘Yes, thank you very much!’ She answered. It was an absolute miracle for me!

It was such a deep experience when Shri Mataji left the ashram. We all lined up and She thanked us for all our work, and blessed us. After our Holy Mother left we went up to Her room and did namaskar beside Her bed. As I lay my forehead on the bed, there was a fragrance that a mother never forgets: the fragrance of a new-born baby.

Sissy Huber

With a few words She can change your destiny

In the eighties and nineties Shri Mataji would dedicate time to Sahaja Yogis and help them in numerous ways. Many people experienced how, with a few words, She could change your destiny. Shri Mataji not only gave me a husband, who I have been happily married to for eighteen years, but She gave him invaluable career advice, which changed his career entirely. Also due to Her I have a son. At one point I was diagnosed with cancer.

‘No way do you have cancer!’ Shri Mataji exclaimed when She heard about it. She worked on my chakras for a long time to help me to get to the root of the problem. I later had an operation to remove the affected cells, but I am sure that without Sahaja Yoga and Her help it might have turned out to be much more serious.

It is the small things that stay with me most: how with a few words She could bring out qualities in people which were dormant. After one public programme in Munich I went and bowed to Her Feet. It is embarrassing to say this: She then took my hand and kissed it on the back.

‘You are so sweet,’ She said. The next day two people said the same thing to me, something I don’t think anybody had ever said to me before.

Sigrid Jones

You will have My fragrance

In the early nineties we were going to have a puja in Belgium with Shri Mataji. Everything had been organized but on the morning of the puja Shri Mataji sent a message that unfortunately She was not able to come and be physically there.

‘Don’t worry,’ She said, ‘you will have My fragrance.’

During the puja we felt very, very strong vibrations, and a very special fragrance which was like a mixture of flowers that I have never smelled before or after. It was very sweet and heavenly.

Ann Nagels

A most wonderful summer’s day

In Finland in 1992, the Sahaja Yogis erected an awning of saris in the garden. Mother came and sat under it. It was the most wonderful summer’s day and She talked to virtually every member of the Finnish collective, and vibrated all the sugar and salt and flour. Most extraordinary of all was where She asked Raine to put his hand on Her shoulder. You could see he was visibly shaking, as the vibrations passed from Her through him. He had the greatest difficulty in holding his hand steady on Her shoulder, so strong were the vibrations.

It was a very, very peaceful time in that garden, as if Her children were surrounding Her and She talked to everybody as Her children — an intensely close and personal few hours. I shall never forget it.

Ian Maitland Hume

You have to be a good channel

Shri Mataji was talking to us about many things. At the end, She showed us Her leg and it was really swollen.

‘See, this is the Finnish left Vishuddhi,’ She said.

Shri Mataji asked me to put my right hand on Her left shoulder and said that the whole collective should put out their hands and receive the vibrations because they were stagnating in Her Left Vishuddhi and that was why Her leg was swollen. When we started doing this, the left ankle got smaller and smaller and in two or three minutes it was similar to the other leg. Then Shri Mataji asked me to put my right hand on Her back Agnya and when I did so, my hand started trembling.

‘It is not so easy to touch My back Agnya,’ said Shri Mataji, ‘you have to be a good channel to do that.’

Raine Salo

Like the Mother Earth

We were in Finland with Shri Mataji. She was sitting in the house and there was an indoor tree in a big pot and She thought it was strange to have trees indoors, then She asked us what we thought the tree of England was. Of course everyone said oak, but She said no, it was the cedar. She said there is a very beautiful cedar tree at St Albans and we went to have a look at it and it is very beautiful. Also Shri Mataji gave a talk in the garden in Finland.

There was a young man who was not very much in the collective and struggling a bit. He came to this talk, and at some point wanted to read a poem to Shri Mataji. He read his poem, how Shri Mataji was like the Mother Earth and the Mother Earth was green, like Her sari. Mother was overwhelmed by this.

‘See, I am wearing a green sari today, and it is because of Johnny’s love for Me that I put this one on. I didn’t know which one to choose, and I just picked this one, and it was because of his love for Me,’ She said.

Anthony Headlam

Thank You for the talk

We were in the garden of the ashram in Finland and Shri Mataji talked a lot about the Left Vishuddhi. This talk really did something to me. When we left Finland and arrived at Copenhagen Airport there were just a few of us with Shri Mataji. The others had things to do with Shri Mataji’s tickets and I was left alone with Her. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, alone with the Goddess. I was sitting on the floor, and I thought this was good, that I was not sitting at Her level.

‘Come and sit next to Me,’ She said and patted the chair next to me. I sat next to Her, and She was smiling and beaming and all the tension went out of me.

‘Thank You, Shri Mataji, for that talk about the Left Vishuddhi,’ I said.

‘You see, sometimes people can be so cruel,’ She replied. When She said that I felt She understood my whole past. I could see what She was seeing, about the people around me, not my parents, but others who had given me wrong ideas about how we should behave in society.

‘Why try to please others? Why not please yourself?’ She said, and those two sentences are like flowers in a garden that keep growing and manifesting in me differently, every year a different thing comes out from those simple sentences.

Once I had a dream and it puzzled me. Shri Mataji was holding my hand and I was a little girl, about eight years old walking down a dusty red path with woods on either side. In the dream I found a tube of sweets in my pocket, fruit pastels. I offered one to Shri Mataji and She took the orange one.

About three years after that dream I was on the plane with Shri Mataji, coming back from Finland to England. I was in the Second Class part and Shri Mataji was in the front. I had a tube of gum sweets, fruit pastels. I opened the packet and wondered if Shri Mataji would like one. I walked up the plane and offered Her one, and as She touched the packet I got an electric shock as Her finger touched the metal on it. We looked at each other and all the sweets in the packet were orange, and I remembered the dream.

Katie Headlam

Shri Mataji had us laughing

It was 1992 and we joined Shri Mataji in Poland and went to Russia, and from Russia we went to Finland, and there is a nice miracle photo to mark it in the garden of the ashram in Helsinki. After that a few of us were travelling back to Milan with Shri Mataji. Before we had been following as part of an entourage but this time Shri Mataji was aware that Katie, now my wife, and I were there to help with the suitcases, and travel with Her. We flew from Helsinki to Copenhagen and changed planes there to go to Milan. We had a few hours in Copenhagen, and Shri Mataji came off the plane.

I had really been desiring that we could talk with Shri Mataji, because we had been in Her presence a lot, but had not had any experience of talking with Her. We had a long walk to get off the plane and at a certain point there was a sitting area. We sat in the enormous airport near a drinks stand. A lady came and asked us if we wanted drinks, and we looked at Shri Mataji and She looked at us.

‘Yes please,’ we said and Shri Mataji said to go ahead. So we ordered Coca Cola and She ordered tea.

When it came to paying for the drinks, Shri Mataji asked where Her handbag was, and we said we would please like to pay, and She refused. Again we said please we would like to pay, pushing and pushing, as this young boy, which I was, always would. She didn’t exactly say prerogative, but She implied that it is the right of the eldest to look after the younger ones.

‘And I am the eldest here,’ She looked around and said. So we were suitably humbled. Shri Mataji then carried on talking, about universities and the difficulties Her grandson was having about which university to choose, and how Oxford and Cambridge were no longer what they used to be, and Cambridge allowed girls to stay in boys’ rooms. They were really going downhill, so he was going to go to America.

Then, as always, She had us laughing. There were all these very tall people around, because the Danes are quite a tall race, and Shri Mataji looked at them.

‘You see, this tallness, it is just a reflection of ego in the people,’ She said. So this Anthony tried to snuggle down in the chair a bit, and not be too tall!

At a certain moment Shri Mataji started laughing. She was looking in the direction of some screens dividing the  lounge area from the main walkway and we saw a lonely head and shoulders sticking right up above the screens, belonging to a man who must have been over two metres tall. At the same time an air stewardess looking absolutely immaculate in her suit and beret came past on a little scooter – the ones where you have to push with one leg and the other leg is on a two wheeled trolley. Shri Mataji had just been talking about height, ego, and speediness, because there were swarms of people going past us, and then this lady all dressed up but looking totally ridiculous on this scooter kept us laughing. We had our drinks, and after a while it was time to go for our plane.

‘Didn’t we all have fun?’ Shri Mataji said. My desire to talk with Her had been fulfilled.

Anthony Headlam

Chapter 21: 1992 August and September, Europe and North America

A name from Shri Mataji

I am Russian and was in Cabella in 1992 for Krishna Puja, as a volunteer in Palazzo Doria, because there was a lot of reconstruction work going on. I desired to get a spiritual name from Shri Mataji. I was very new in Sahaja Yoga and had met many yogis from Europe to whom She had given a name. I understood that it was not so important, but couldn`t help thinking of it.

When I listened to Mother`s speech during the puja She said we shouldn`t think too much. If we want to find out something we should just ask. Then we would know for sure – either yes or no. That was my answer – I would ask Mother for my spiritual name. There was a moment after the puja when Shri Mataji was alone at the stage. I was standing in front of it and realised – now! I asked one of the leaders if I could ask for a name.

‘Why not?’ he said.

I went to the stage and made a pranam. When I put up my head I saw an architect next to me, who was in charge of the reconstruction work and knew all the workers. He introduced me to Shri Mataji. She asked me some questions and asked me to stay longer in Cabella, so I stayed till Ganesha Puja.

She asked what my name was and I answered. Then there was a moment of silence when I saw Mother`s image lose its sharpness. It looked if She started melting and become liquid like a reflection in water. She was watching me and I felt She knew more about me than I could ever know myself. When She gave me the name Karunakar, I asked Her five times more, because I couldn`t catch it. The same thing happened when I was told the English meaning of the name. Shri Mataji just switched off my ego. She told someone to remember my new name and tell me when I asked them later.

The name Karunakar means compassion and is one of the names of Shri Shiva. I do not know why I was given it, whether it means the qualities I have or the qualities I have to develop in myself. In any case, the name given by Shri Mataji is a mantra that gives us all energy to become worthy of its real meaning.


You are the Holy Ghost

We were working at the palazzo in Cabella in 1992, passing bricks from an upper storey to the ground floor. One Sahaja Yogi threw a brick and I couldn’t catch well. It bent my Left Vishuddhi finger right back. I had to go to the hospital in Novi Ligure near Cabella, and they put my hand in a big plaster. Soon after it was the Adi Shakti Puja and I went with that plaster onto the stage and gave the present from Argentina.

‘What happened to that finger?’ Shri Mataji asked.

I told Her the story. She told me to come to see Her the next day so I did. She told me to remove all the plaster, then held my finger in Her hand for some minutes and made me say three times, ‘Shri Mataji, You are the Holy Ghost that Christ has sent.’ After the third time I felt my Kundalini rising and while opening my eyes I saw Her beautiful smile.

My finger was cured without any further pain or fracture and from that day I realised how She loves and cares of all of us. And I also stopped filling guilty!

Mariano Martinez

Editor’s note: if we feel guilty, we tend to cause an imbalance or ‘catch’ in the Left Vishuddhi.

My first experience

I am Russian, and in 1992 after two or three months in Sahaja Yoga I visited Germany. I called some German yogis, attended the Sahaja programme and moved to their place. A new life started. I was taken to the ashram and soon attended a puja, and after a month it was suggested that I should go to a puja at Cabella. I was given a lift in a car of a couple, pretending to be their child. It was risky! I had only a German visa and we had to cross the Swiss, Austrian and Italian borders. Every time we approached a border we gave a bandhan, enjoyed tremendous vibrations, were not checked even once and reached Cabella.

Palazzo Doria was very different from what we see these days. There were no doors at all, only Mother`s rooms had doors. The day after arriving I woke up at 5 am, had a meditation at the river and went to the castle. I entered a big entrance hall and had another meditation in front of the altar among the sleeping workers, then decided to look around the house. I had no thought of the privacy of Shri Mataji. I felt just like a child who had come back home. I had no idea of the rooms in the house, went up to the third flour and found myself in a big and beautiful room.

Suddenly I felt an irresistible desire to go into meditation. I stopped at the only door of the room and ‘flew away’. After that I had no more curiosity or desire to wander around, and went back to the camp. Later I found out it was only the door that separated me from Mother’s room.

The next day I was in Palazzo Doria with a group of German yogis to bow to Mother and give Her flowers. Shri Mataji met us in Her bedroom and everyone had a chance to bow to Her Feet. Sometimes Mother asked or said something. When it was my turn to go to Her Feet, I innocently kissed them – it happened spontaneously. Mother laughed and said I looked Russian, then asked the leader of the group about me, what I was studying, and suggested I should stay to work in the castle. 

I didn’t understand what was going on. I certainly knew Who Shri Mataji was, what kind of blessing I had received, but there was no deep understanding. I even had doubts whether I should stay or not because of the visa – I had only two days left for Germany, and no other countries. After some time I surrendered and stayed. 

Before Guru Puja I had a chance to present a little watercolour painted by myself, of my dream of Mother walking through a beautiful garden surrounded by glowing vibrations. Shri Mataji looked at it for some time, and now I realise She was cleaning me, and She said that I was my own guru now. 

Konstantin Sterkhov

To lighten up and enjoy a good laugh

Before leaving for the tour to the USA in 1992, Shri Mataji was in Her room in Cabella. She handed me a book of Bob Hope, a famous American comedian, and asked me to take it with me to America. I duly kept it with me all the way around America, waiting for indications from Shri Mataji. She never asked for it and I handed it back to Her in Cabella.

Only afterwards, I realised that it was meant for me, to lighten up and enjoy a good laugh rather than taking things too seriously. After all America is the land of Shri Krishna!

Antony Visconti

A havan for America

Before Shri Mataji’s tour in September 1992, She asked the Sahaja Yogis from all over the world to pray for America so that the people there could take to Sahaja Yoga. The day before the tour started, the whole world, from Australia to England to America, united in doing a havan to help America take off in spirituality in this critical period of its history and the history of the world.

When we left from London to New York on Air India on Monday 7th September, Shri Mataji said that the havan had helped a lot and that things would work out now. This started showing itself to be true immediately on the trip over with more than twenty-five people getting their realisation on the aeroplane. One/ hostess asked for realisation and then three or four others and from then on for about three hours there was a flow of people, mainly Indians but also some Americans, coming to pay their respects to Mother or to get realisation.

Antony Visconti

He was smiling and just enjoying himself

In a public programme in America with Shri Mataji several years ago, after the programme Shri Mataji received all the people who came and stayed there for several hours, receiving one by one. During this procession a man who was spastic from birth – he couldn’t walk properly, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t do anything properly. He went to Shri Mataji, She took some roasted chick peas, passed them over his body and ate them and said She was taking away his negativity. The man became absolutely normal for at least twenty seconds. He was smiling and enjoying himself, but after he left Shri Mataji he went back to the way he was before.

Shri Mataji said he went back to his old identification, his old way of thinking, so that let the negativity come back in. At least he had been able to experience what it means to be free and to be himself and to find his own potential for that short period of time.

Anthony Visconti

A public programme on Mother Mary’s birthday

Shri Mataji was in New York from the 7th to the 9th of September, 1992. The public programme in New York was held in a beautiful theatre overlooking the whole of the city. More than four hundred seekers came and practically all got their realisation, which Mother later explained was achieved with the help of the prayers of the Sahaja Yogis from all over the world. The atmosphere was radiant as Mother received them after the programme and when only the Sahaja Yogis were left, She asked them all to feel the tremendous vibrations coming from Her Feet. Mother felt that showing the miracle slides had helped a great deal in convincing the people about Her.

The America tour was off to a good start in what Mother described as one of the best programmes that had been held there. It was also auspicious that it was held on Mother Mary’s birthday.

A programme was held the next day at the United Nations for UN employees. About forty new people came and due to the limited time Mother said She wouldn’t give realisation. After about ten minutes of answering questions somebody again asked if Mother would give them realisation. She just made them put their hands towards Her and everybody got it. Mother said it was rather slow in the UN but sooner or later they would all take to Sahaja Yoga.

Antony Visconti

Who are You?

I was working in the UN in New York. In 1989, I went on a mission to South America, where I suffered an accident. Back in New York, as I was recuperating and saw hundreds of advertisements posted on the UN boards on different activities. What called my attention was one on Sahaja Yoga meditation, and in spite of my crutches and the difficulty of walking in the snow. I received my realisation, felt such peace in my heart, and from then on never skipped one single week’s programme until I met Shri Mataji personally.

In September 1992, Shri Mataji came to Queens, New York, for a public programme, and afterwards I waited in a long line to come closer to Her, while looking at the shining faces of the yogis around me when I was in front of Shri Mataji.

‘Who are You?’ I asked Her. She smiled and put Her hand on my forehead, and I went into thoughtless awareness.

Graciela Vázquez-Díaz

I knew Shri Mataji would always be with me

This photo was taken at Cincinnati Airport in Ohio in September 1992 after Her Holiness Shri Mataji arrived to hold the public programme at Eden Park in Cincinnati. Shri Mataji is sitting at the airport just after Her arrival and we were all sitting around Her, and She was graciously smiling at us. At that particular moment my life some problems needed to be solved and after meeting Shri Mataji at the airport, seeing Her smiling so radiantly and looking so peaceful, I knew that they would be solved and that She would always be with me to protect and guide me. She is still guiding and protecting me to this day.

 Anna Mancini

Taking pictures of Shri Mataji with my $18 camera

The second time I met Shri Mataji was at Cincinnati Airport in September 1992, where I offered Her flowers together with all the Midwestern yogis, among which was my future wife, unknown to me or her. I remember walking backwards on the walkway, taking pictures of Shri Mataji with my $18 flash-equipped camera.

Calin Costian

I had met the Primordial Mother at long last

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in the Cincinnati airport in the fall of 1992. I had been meditating for eighteen months. During Her visit I was to watch the leader’s two small children so that he and his wife could see to Shri Mataji. We had a nice hotel suite for Her stay and I was to take the children to the airport to welcome Shri Mataji and then would come quickly back so that we would be in place when She arrived at the hotel. I was second or third in line and carrying Mangala, who was one and a half. When Shri Mataji stepped through the door I was amazed at how young She looked. I was twenty-seven at the time and She looked like thirty-five. She was actually sixty-nine, and I had seen photos of Her where She looked like a grandmother, but She had such a freshness and such a vitality that it made a very strong impressions on me.

There was a sweet play where Mangala would look at Shri Mataji and then hide her head in my shoulder and then again she would be drawn to look at Shri Mataji and nestle again. Shri Mataji would smile very encouragingly. I don’t think I said anything at the time. Being near Her was like going before a spotlight, and I could feel which chakras were still not clear.

Leaving the airport, I can remember each and every step was like it had been pre-ordained and written in stone. The gravity of each step made me feel as if each footstep was actually reverberating into the centre of the earth. I had met the Primordial Mother at long last.

Barbara Costian

I experienced heaven on earth

When I put the children to bed that night at the hotel, I sang them a song I had sung many times before. This time my voice had a very different sound. I enjoyed listening to it as if it was someone else’s voice.

‘Auntie Barbara, you sang that song so nicely, it was very sweet,’ Priya, the older girl, said when I finished. It was just from being in the same hotel suite as Shri Mataji, the chakra in my throat was enlightened.

Later that evening, when the children had gone to bed and only the yogis were downstairs, I went to the kitchen to help out. I found a shallow copper bowl in the sink and began to wash it. I put soap on the sponge and cleaned it properly and then when I rinsed it, I realised how beautiful the copper was, how it sparkled, how it shone. I kept rinsing it and realised that it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. I decided I needed to wash it again, just for the joy of it, not for any dirt, so I did and then I got to rinse and rinse. I was so happy in the beauty of that bowl and the play of the light upon it.

Then a yogini came and asked me how I was doing. I told her she had better take that bowl away from me because I could not stop rinsing it. She explained that when Shri Mataji arrived, the yogis had poured milk onto Her Feet as a way of welcoming Her and expressing their gratitude for all the hard work She was doing by travelling all over the world. The milk was collected into the copper bowl I had washed. There is a notion about the dust of the feet of a saint being able to grant you liberation. I experienced heaven on earth that night.

Barbara Costian

The man who became normal for a short time

We were in Cincinnati from the 9th to the 11th of September, 1992. The day of the public programme there was proclaimed ‘Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day’ by the Mayor, recognising Her as the most significant spiritual leader of our time. Mother met the Ohio collective at their new ashram and while meeting and talking to the Sahaja Yogis, fell into a deep meditation. After a while tremendous vibrations started to flow. She said that it was due to the honour bestowed on Her by the city. The programme in the evening saw about two hundred people coming, with the most part getting their realisation. Mother stayed on till late in the night receiving and working on the multitude of people who stayed on afterwards.

During this procession a man who was spastic from birth went before Shri Mataji. He couldn’t walk properly, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t do anything properly. Shri Mataji took some channas and basically passed them over his subtle body and ate them and said She was taking away his bhuts. He became absolutely normal for several seconds, at least twenty seconds. He was smiling and just enjoying himself but a short while after leaving Shri Mataji he went back to the way he was before. So Shri Mataji said he went back to his old identification, his old way of thinking, and that let the bhuts come back in.

At least he had been able to experience what it means to be free and to be himself and to find his own potential for that short period of time.

Antony Visconti

Shri Mataji held a programme in Cincinnati at the same venue (suggestively called Eden Park) as in 1989 when She had given the first programme in that city.

Calin Costian

The vibrations felt like at Her house

A couple days later Shri Mataji went to the Cincinnati ashram. All the yogis assembled in the living room and we were introduced, one by one.

‘Oh, Barbara, it is German, right?’ Shri Mataji said when it was my turn.

Even though my brain was saying, ‘Well, actually it is from the Latin barbarus, barbara, barbarum, etc,’ my head was wagging ‘Yes’ to Shri Mataji. How are you going to say ‘No’ to Her? In fact, by heritage I am mostly German.

‘We have a Barbara; she is very dynamic,’ She then said.

That made me feel good, made me think that someday I might also be dynamic. Shri Mataji spoke to each and every one of us and with Her attention and words She was sorting us all out. She went into a profound meditation afterwards and we needed to be silent. I took the children out of the house and into the back yard. Some time later Shri Mataji looked at the meditation room which had been the basement and which the yogis themselves had renovated.

‘What have you been doing in here?’ She asked when She first saw the room.

We had been having weekly pujas there each Sunday for many months. Shri Mataji commented that the vibrations felt like at Her house.

Barbara Costian

Universities are great places to spread Sahaja Yoga

A few days later Shri Mataji visited the Cincinnati ashram during the day, and sat down in the living room surrounded by all of us. We were all introduced to Her by the local leader. When my turn came, Shri Mataji asked me where I was from. I told Her I was from Romania and told Her my name. She asked me if I was the son of the Romanian leader and I confirmed it. As it happened, I had written a poem called ‘A Seeker’s Song’, which my father had showed to Shri Mataji in Romania just a few weeks earlier. It was my first poem in English and also the first I had written after coming to Sahaja Yoga. It was inspired by a Shri Hanuman Puja I had listened to and had really poured all my heart into it.

Shri Mataji had liked it very much and told me that it was written from the heart, that I was a great poet and that I should write some more poems. Then She asked me where I was now, I told Her I was at Purdue University, and She said that universities are great places to spread Sahaja Yoga.

Calin Costian

So much light

When Shri Mataji left Cincinnati at the airport, She sat on a chair and there were a lot of yogis sitting on the floor around Her, all squeezed in a tight space. Somehow I happened to be right in front. At one point She told a little girl who had a camera that if she took a picture at that moment, it would be a miracle one. Shri Mataji told her that she didn’t need to have the flash on, since She emits so much light that it was not necessary. Then the little girl took the picture. Excited, I also took out my cheap camera but forgot to disable the flash. As a result of my carelessness, none of the many pictures of Shri Mataji I took on that roll came out. I had surely learned a big lesson!

A few days later was the Shri Vishnumaya Puja on the East Coast, my first puja with Her Holiness Shri Mataji in person. That year She decided to sponsor some yogis to come to India Tour. I really wanted to go to the full tour, and put my name on the list. When She saw my name She was happy that I was going, and said I should get married. Eventually the sponsorship didn’t work out, but Her encouragement had lifted my spirits so high and somehow the full sum needed miraculously came up so I was able to go to the full tour.

Calin Costian

What a smile

When Shri Mataji left Cincinnati all the yogis assembled at the airport and had a chance to sit with Her for some time. There was a new ashram being built one hour north, in Dayton, and the leader wanted to point out the yogis who were going to live there. I was one of them and when it was my turn to stand, I did so. I looked at Shri Mataji and felt so much joy. It was like having your mother’s undivided attention on you when you are a small child and I was thrilled by it.

‘Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t you thank Shri Mataji for coming?’ one yogini asked me afterwards. I was beyond any words or thoughts – I could only smile.

‘Wow, what a smile! You were smiling so big and Shri Mataji was smiling back so much, it made us all feel your joy,’ other yogis came later and said.

When Shri Mataji’s plane was taking off we were all looking through the window. We were singing, ‘Mataji, Mataji, Your face shines like a thousand suns.’ I felt so sad at that moment. I had found the One that I had been searching for all this lifetime and probably many more lifetimes and now She was leaving. I just could not get enough of Her. Some of the other yogis felt that way too, and decided to get in a car and drive to Toronto where Shri Mataji was headed, so as to turn the farewell into a new welcome.

Barbara Costian

The biggest obstacle

In Toronto, where Shri Mataji was from 11th to the 12th of September 1992, the programme was attended by more than six hundred people, and once again Mother stayed on till late into the night receiving each one of them, while the Sahaja Yogis sang bhajans, creating a very joyous and harmonious atmosphere. After the programme Shri Mataji said She would have needed only a quarter of the time to work on the people if only they could forgive, and that this ego problem of thinking, ‘Why should I forgive?’ was the biggest obstacle facing the Americans and Canadians.

Antony Visconti

Shri Mataji was honoured by the premier of British Columbia

We flew into Vancouver on the 12th September 1992, to be met by a very joyous group of Sahaja Yogis who had gathered from all over the West Coast and even Hawaii in order to participate in the Hamsa Puja which was planned for the Saturday evening. The puja was forwarded to Sunday morning in order to do it during the day time, and the evening was spent with Shri Mataji in a beautiful resort in the hills just outside Vancouver, listening to truly inspirational music performed by the American Sahaja Yogis. One could only watch in amazement as one talented artist after another performed their own compositions in worship of Mother on a large variety of instruments. It seemed as though at least half the yogis were great musicians and that it would only be a question of time before the Vishuddhi started to express itself to the masses through their music.

The Hamsa Puja was celebrated on Sunday morning by about a hundred and fifty Sahaja Yogis in a relatively short but beautiful puja. Shri Mataji’s talk was deeply felt by all of us, and afterwards She was pleased that we had absorbed all the vibrations from the puja. She talked about the need for discrimination both on the collective and individual level and the need to be able to distinguish between what is good and bad for us through our sense organs which must be looked after, especially the eyes. We are basically all in the same ocean but whereas the non-Sahaja Yogis get lost in it, panic and drown, the Sahaja Yogis, having all the required equipment, can just float in it and enjoy all the beautiful things as they know what to look for. It is important to see the joy in every situation through our discrimination and detachment.

Another important point is that the Hamsa chakra is formless and has no presiding deity, although it is looked after by Shri Buddha, Shri Mahavira, Shri Krishna and Shri Jesus, all of whom depend on Shri Ganesha for the innocence and wisdom which gives discrimination. It is also the Hamsa chakra, which once awakened through spiritual ascent, eliminates our individual and collective karma and is the passage to the Virata and the Agnya chakra.

Mother had a short rest before the public programme that evening. About five hundred seekers came, and most got realisation. Mother left after giving realisation, leaving it to the Sahaja Yogis to work on the people who hadn’t felt the cool breeze. A press conference with the TV was planned for the next morning but Mother said that the job had been done in Vancouver and preferred to go straight on to Seattle in the camper in order to get rest and be there in the morning.

Shri Mataji was honoured by the premier of British Columbia, who recognised and honoured the great work She was doing for humanity in an official declaration.

Antony Visconti

Shri Hamsa Swamini Puja

The Sahaja Yogis of Vancouver and the surrounding area were granted the honour of hosting Shri Hamsa Swamini Puja during September 1992. Shri Mataji was formally invited to come for a visit and She graciously agreed to speak at a public programme in Vancouver and to grant us the privilege of worshipping Her in puja.

Shri Mataji arrived in Vancouver on Friday and was greeted at the airport by many of Her devotees, offering an abundance of beautiful flowers. She was then driven to the ashram in Abbotsford in a large motor home, leased for the purpose of transporting Shri Mataji in some degree of comfort to the various locations She would visit during Her stay. The motor home was fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and relaxed seating area with a comfortable bed, upon which She could rest as well during the drive to Seattle, approximately three hundred kilometres from Vancouver.

A hugely successful public programme was held in Vancouver on Friday evening with many seekers attending and receiving their self realisation. Shri Mataji stayed late to speak with many of the seekers and even gave Sanskrit names to some of the yogi children.

The puja venue was a rustic camp at a site known as Heritage Valley, about a hundred and ten kilometres east of Vancouver, surrounded by trees with several easily-accessible foot-soaking streams. The buildings consisted of a large central hall, suitable for the music programme and the puja as well as several dormitory-style cabins sufficient to accommodate about two hundred people. The kitchen was fully staffed and they happily provided us with excellent meals and cups of tea throughout the weekend. Approximately a hundred and twenty Sahaja Yogis and their families attended. With fine weather to accommodate our camp-out, the weekend seminar and puja were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The last act of worship of Shri Mataji in Canada was when She left the ashram in Abbotsford, one of the yogis smashed a coconut on the driveway in front of the vehicle to remove all the obstacles or negativity from the continuing journey. From there we drove to Seattle to prepare the hotel room for Her stay, with some of the yogis escorting Her across the Canadian-USA border in the motor home. The programme the following evening in Seattle was also very successful.

Lori Wills

Driving to Seattle

We headed out down the highway to Seattle from Vancouver, a three hour drive. Shri Mataji fell asleep in the back of the trailer and we all listened to Indian classical music. One by one, the other yogis in the van fell asleep as well. When we reached the border I presented the border agent with several passports including Shri Mataji’s (two thick passports that were like small books). When the poor agent started asking what the status of people in the van was he was even more surprised. I was an American living in Canada with a US passport but Canadian driver’s license. Another person was Indian with a visa; still another was South African living in Italy travelling on a visa. The agent stopped asking questions and waved us through.

We arrived at about 5 am to the hotel in Seattle. Shri Mataji came out of the vehicle as bright as ever, ready for the day’s activities. We then spent the day looking for a car for Sir CP. There were about five cars with yogis following us as we went from dealership to dealership. Each time we would change direction we would hold up traffic with our 30 foot vehicle backing up and turning while five cars made the same turn. Shri Mataji laughed as She looked out the window, calling the following cars ‘the tail’. Seattle had its first programme and within a year would sprout into a new Sahaj location.

Stephen Day

Vibrating the city of Seattle

Shri Mataji spent a good part of Her first visit to Seattle, on the 14th and 15th September 1992, going around shopping, and when She came back to the hotel She said that we had vibrated the whole of the city. The programme was very positive and was held in a beautiful atmosphere of respect and gratitude that Mother had come to Seattle to present Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji participated in commenting on the miracle slides and later said that it is a really powerful way of convincing people, and that we should try to make it a more complete presentation. The programme was attended by about two hundred people and most got their realisation.

Antony Visconti

Truth is love

The last leg of Shri Mataji’s US tour in 1992, from the 15th to the 17th of September, in Los Angeles, was the most powerful and the culmination of all that had gone beforehand. On the evening of the first day Shri Mataji came to the ashram and addressed a group of about twenty Iranian people in a talk concentrating on the ills of fundamentalism of all religions and how they originated.

She explained how the Koran talks about Sahaja Yoga. She said truth is love, so all the evil of power and money and fighting in the name of God cannot be spiritual. She further said that although She could not go to Iran directly it is being worked out through many people who have had their realisation, even as far back as 1971.

Antony Visconti

They could regain the glory of their being

The atmosphere of the public programme the following night was really electric, starting with the introduction by an Australian Sahaja Yogi, followed by the miracle slides in the presence of Shri Mataji and a short but beautiful sitar performance by Debu Choudhuri who just happened to be in Los Angeles at the time of Shri Mataji’s visit. Mother made all the Sahaja Yogis sit on the floor in front under Her protective wing. We all listened in awe as Shri Mataji expounded all the reasons for the ills of America. She told people very clearly where they were going wrong and said that if they didn’t want to go to their destruction, they would have to change their ways. She spoke about problems like AIDS, sexual abuse of children, Freud, the drug problem and fake gurus who have taken their money and damaged their chakras.

Throughout Mother continued stressing that despite all this, their divinity was intact and they could regain the glory of their being. The crowd of about four hundred were on the edges of their seats and reacted very positively to Shri Mataji’s message. They appreciated someone who could tell them and show them the way out. Most of the people got their realisation, and wanted to meet Mother afterwards. She was really pleased and said that the whole tour had been a success. Jai Shri Mataji!

Antony Visconti

A spiritual blast

One of the most profound events in my life was when I was attending a puja in Pennsylvania, USA, in September 1992. Shri Mataji had arrived for the weekend and we were busy preparing the audio and video equipment for the Friday night programme. We decided to get some breakfast and walked over to the restaurant where there was a long line. My friend and I were standing at the end of the line and facing the elevator doors across the lobby. We were both staring at the elevator door when it opened and Shri Mataji was all of the sudden standing only a few feet away from us.

We were immediately overtaken by a rushing wind like a freight train shooting right through us. It was absolutely amazing because it was as if pure love had just rushed through our bodies with such power and depth that it almost blew us over! It lasted for what seemed like more than a minute at which point we just looked at each other.

‘Wow, did you feel that?’ we both said.

We both did and it was amazing to have such a beautiful, palpable, powerful spiritual ‘blast’ from Mother.

Gregg Hershenson

A song of victory

The culmination of Shri Mataji’s 1992 tour was Her visit to New York, from 17th to the 20th September. Sahaja Yogis from all over America congregated in a beautiful setting on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania to worship Shri Mataji as Shri Vishnumaya. Mother arrived at about 2.00 in the morning and just afterwards a huge thunder and lightning storm announced Her arrival. The puja was attended by more than two hundred yogis in a joyful celebration. Shri Mataji stressed over and over again that the only way to get over left Vishuddhi problem is to face the mistakes and not to feel guilty about them. Feeling guilty only makes us repeat them and after a while we get immune and say, ‘What’s wrong?’

That same evening we were treated to a truly inspired sitar and tabla concert by Debu Chauderi, and after that we stayed up with Mother till five in the morning as a vast showing of talented artists presented their song, poems and dances in a very enjoyable evening. Shri Mataji’s visit to America came to an end with this song of victory.

May all of America find their liberation and joy at the Feet of our Divine Mother!

Antony Visconti


This happened in 1992 during Navaratri in Cabella. It was a time when we had to deal with all kinds of stupid media attacks and once more I had to report them and was rather upset about some incidents that we had.

‘In the end we will be Vijaya!’ Shri Mataji said, when I had finished narrating this.

‘Yes, Yes!’ I nodded and said, but apparently Mother was not satisfied with my conviction behind my ‘Yes’.

‘See the vibrations!’ She told me, while She opened Her hands to make me do the same. So I opened my hands and it was literally like putting both hands into a freezer up to the elbows – absolutely cool. Shri Mataji laughed brightly into my face while I, with mouth wide open witnessed the incredible response that the chaitanya showed on Her saying, ‘In the end we will be Vijaya!’

Wolfgang Hackl

Editor’s note: Vijaya means victorious, or, the one who triumphs over evil.

Chapter 22: 1992 – September and October, South America and Europe

You are My children

We were with Shri Mataji in Barcelona in September 1992. Some ladies were helping Her to prepare Her luggage and they were trying to close one of Her suitcase with some difficulties. Somehow they could not manage with the key. I entered room and try to give a hand. It seemed easy just put the key in the hole and turn it, but I couldn’t make it work and Shri Mataji came over to me to see what going on. I got a bit nervous after two or three tries.

‘Give Me that key,’ She told me. She put the key in the hole in a very ‘incorrect’ position, almost upside down and bent on one side.

‘She is not going to make it, She is putting the key in wrongly,’ I thought. Shri Mataji gave a turn with the key and closed it perfectly well. Then She looked at me.

‘You are My children and you should never feel nervous in front of Me,’ She reassured me.

Mariano Martinez

Shri Mataji had noticed him

We were in a car in Barcelona with Shri Mataji going through a very wide avenue, considered to be one of the widest in the world. It was full of people walking everywhere but we were driving in the middle of the avenue.

‘I saw Prasad,’ Shri Mataji said.

He was a Sahaja Yogi from Brazil. I tried to see him myself but it was impossible to distinguish any individual from that distance. When we came back to the hotel I asked Prasad if he was walking there at that time.

‘Yes, I felt like walking and went to that avenue,’ he told me, much to my surprise. We laughed for joy when I told him that Shri Mataji had noticed him in the middle of the huge crowd from so far away.

Mariano Martinez

We were astonished

During Shri Mataji’s visit to Barcelona in September 1992 we went to help out with the first group that had been formed in Valencia. There was a young man waiting in the queue of new people who wanted Her attention. He had been to a false guru in South America and when he got closer to Shri Mataji She looked at him and passed Her hand over his face as if She was grabbing something from inside his body. She seemed to open Her mouth and eat it. We were left breathless as we watched this exceptional happening and were astonished at the great and special favour Shri Mataji had done to him.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

One night with Shri Mataji

When we went to the airport one time, we all offered Shri Mataji flowers. Afterwards someone took all these flowers and brought them to the place where a puja was to be celebrated. Shri Mataji said that the flowers should spend at least one night with Her, and should not have been brought.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

I’m going to sleep – well officially

There were a number of Sahaja Yogis and we were chatting to Shri Mataji in a Sahaja Yogini’s house in Barcelona. Mother had finished Her dinner and it was getting late.

‘It is time to go to bed. I’m going to sleep – well officially,’ She said finally, and gave a very significant look.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi


During one of Her visits to Spain, Shri Mataji was talking about the liver of the Spanish people and all that was harmful for our livers. When we went to say good bye to Her at the airport, She opened up a plastic bag and took from it a handful of bars of chocolate and gave them to us. We were surprised.

‘But Mother,’ we said, ‘didn’t You tell us that chocolate is harmful for the liver?’

‘Yes,’ She answered, smiling, ‘but this chocolate will not do you any harm.’

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

She removed all my worries

At the last public programme in Madrid, the person who was preparing the chair forgot to put a cushion on it. Nobody realised it was missing because the chair was covered with a sari and everything seemed just fine. When Shri Mataji sat down She could feel there was no cushion. When I realised what had happened I was very worried and feared the consequences. When the programme was over I approached Shri Mataji and apologised.

‘Don’t worry,’ She said. ‘God has given me so many cushions.’

The way She responded removed all my worries.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

Someone must stay to look after it

We were following Shri Mataji’s car on the way to a public programme. Suddenly it stopped and the yogi who was accompanying Mother got out and told us, on behalf of Shri Mataji that somebody should stay in Her room because all the money was there and someone must stay to look after it. Another yogi and myself went back to look after Shri Mataji’s money.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

Stones are dead

In Madrid, in 1992 there was a public programme given by Shri Mataji. It was my first, and straight after the self realisation the new people went up to Her. A woman was showing Her some stones and asking if they were good.

‘Stones are dead, you don’t need them!’ Shri Mataji said. She was wearing the stones to help her.

Pierluca Pieroli

Editor’s note: it is fine to wear jewellery, but Shri Mataji was saying that the stones would not help Her spiritual growth.

Colombia is a very spiritual country

Shri Mataji came in 1992. She said that Colombia was a very spiritual country, because the native people who were living there knew about the Kundalini. You could see that in the pottery, and the jewellery is extremely well designed, and you can recognise it very easily. The people are very simple and they absorb easily, and they have a recognition of Shri Mataji from the heart.

Marie-Laure Cernay

The clouds opened

When Shri Mataji came in 1992 She went to a town called Medellin. It was infamous for its violence and danger. After nine o’clock in the evening you could not go out because anything could happen. When Shri Mataji travelled to Medellin the journey was supposed to be in a medium sized plane, but it was changed for a small one.

‘My family would not have allowed Me to travel in this mosquito plane!’ Shri Mataji said, in a very playful mood. During the flight very dense clouds appeared and Shri Mataji was giving bandhans on Her hands and to the pilots, because we were very close to them. Then the clouds opened just in front of us, as if a giant were blowing some smoke.

‘I hope they have noticed it,’ Shri Mataji said.

When we landed two of us asked Shri Mataji Her permission to translate the Devi Mahatmyam into Spanish.

‘Of course! It describes Me very well!’ Mother answered with a broad smile.

Edgar Patarroyo

A special place

Medellín is my home city. It was so dangerous during the 80’s and 90’s that you could be easily killed or kidnapped. Mother went there in 1992 knowing this and visited Medellín, the most dangerous city on earth during that time. I still remember Her coming down from that small plane without Her shoes, vibrating that land of sufferings, where hundreds of innocent people have been killed.

The people at the public programme were so receptive towards Mother and were allowed to come in front of Shri Mataji at the end and She held everyone’s hands. Mother remarked how many of the seekers asked for peace.

‘You will have it!’ Shri Mataji replied, and mentioned that unconsciously they recognized Her.

Colombia is a special place, She said, because deities visited that country, and it is the fertile land talked about by Christ, Mother said in the puja we had with Her during that year.

William Rivera 

A drawing of Moses

In Colombia, in 1992, a young girl (I think she was maybe fifteen at that time) drew the statue of Moses by Michelangelo as a present for Shri Mataji. The girl was looking for ideas in a history book and found a picture of it and thought that maybe this was what she had to draw. 

Shri Mataji was in Her hotel room in Medellín and the girl came with the drawing. Shri Mataji smiled and pointed at the knee and the Nabhi chakra, explaining that the artist knew about these subtle things. Shri Mataji thanked her for the drawing and took it with Her.

The girl said she didn’t know those details when she chose to draw this picture, but had been feeling her left Nabhi since she came to Sahaja Yoga, and that all her life she had suffered from stomach diseases. Months later she commented to me that her illness had gone for good. 

William Rivera

The journalist at the airport

When Shri Mataji came in 1992, a journalist at the airport was immediately attracted by Her, and asked who She was, and what was the purpose of Her visit. Even in the airport Shri Mataji gave realisation to some people. When we went to the hotel, everybody was offering flowers and fruit to Her. They were so open. They took very good care of Her, and also a journalist who was with Shri Mataji all the time.

We were amazed and fascinated, when Shri Mataji, with Her usual patience and love, explained all about Sahaja Yoga. She explained the importance of forgiveness and then a few of us, and also that journalist, said the Lord’s Prayer, and he got his realisation. He was so amazed that he asked if he could give an introduction before the public programme, which was to happen the same evening.

‘Yes,’ Shri Mataji said.

Marie-Laure Cernay

This lady is absolutely extraordinary

The journalist gave an introduction at the public programme.

‘This lady is absolutely extraordinary, and you have to listen to Her. The message She brings is absolutely unique,’ he said. It was so interesting to see how he was so enamoured, and so optimistic and positive.

That evening about a thousand people came, which was a lot in those days for a public programme. Everyone got their realisation and stayed afterwards, and didn’t want to leave the hall, and they all wanted to see and meet Shri Mataji. She was very pleased at the hospitality, and the way She was received in Medellin, and after Her visit this town changed completely. All the people who were at the head of this violence were either arrested or taken. The town became quieter, safer and more prosperous, and very nice to live in, due to the blessings of Shri Mataji.

When Shri Mataji arrived at Bogotá Airport in 1992; all the yogis were present singing and giving flowers to Mother.

Marie-Laure Cernay

This land has many seekers

Shri Mataji came to Colombia for the third time in October 1992, and offered a public programme in the same big auditorium as on the previous visit. It was full, even before the scheduled time. In that programme Mother spoke about the importance of not feeling guilty, and of forgiveness. After the exercise of giving realisation, it was like a forest, with so many arms up. Shri Mataji was very pleased, and let people to come closer to the stage at the end of the programme. On our way back to the ashram She impressed upon us how important is to take care of the seekers.

We had a seminar in a small town called Sasaima, in a vacation resort. Shri Mataji came early at night and there was a lot of lightning far in the sky. Later, in a very informal meeting in Her room Shri Mataji was asking about history, the Spanish conquerors and other topics. She mentioned that some scientists were doing research on some plants from the Amazon jungle to cure cancer.

‘These people go to the centre of the jungle looking for the cure to cancer without knowing that everything is inside ourselves,’ She said.

The next day we had a puja in a room that was made of wood, and looked like a cottage. Shri Mataji talked about the condor, the emblematic bird of the country, and said that it is the vehicle of Shri Vishnu, and that this land has many seekers. At that time Colombia was having lots of violence and many of us were expecting Shri Mataji to talk in a strong way against it, but instead, She talked about the beauty of nature and the qualities of the people.

 At night the collectivity offered Mother a cultural programme with a comedy about the seeking of truth based on the Don Quixote story, and also some folk dances that She appreciated and enjoyed very much.

‘May God Bless you,’ She was repeating at the end.

 Edgar Patarroyo

The birds were singing

On the same trip Shri Mataji had a two day seminar, cultural programme and a puja. We were all gathered at a beautiful place called Sasaima in the nature with all the yogis, about a hundred of us, and we were sitting on a terrace outside Shri Mataji’s bedroom. We were looking at the landscape, and at the nice trees, flowers and the birds were singing. I was telling Shri Mataji that it looked like India.

‘No, it is more beautiful,’ Shri Mataji said. Also the people at the hotel were there, but they were about ten metres away, because they didn’t dare to come too close. They were around the swimming pool.

‘Just tell them to put their hands towards Me,’ She told me to tell them. They all did and all got realisation. We went back to that place four years later, and they still had Shri Mataji’s pictures there.

When we were there with Shri Mataji we had a beautiful puja, and an evening programme. She gave so much love and care to each one of us and gave a name to each of the hundred or so yogis who were present. First some children came, and were given Indian names, then one by one everyone came. There was one lady, a little elderly, and two years before Shri Mataji had given her a name but it was a bit difficult and complicated and unusual, and she wanted to change it. So she went to Shri Mataji and Shri Mataji gave her the exact same name! Shri Mataji was giving so much love, and strength and care to these new yogis.

Marie-Laure Cernay

Use what is hand made

At the programme in Bogotá the vibrations were a bit heavier, but there were about two thousand people in a huge hall. Everyone got their realisation and Mother was very pleased with Her stay. At that time Shri Mataji already gave the advice to use hand made things and not to use so many imported products. Nowadays we understand the importance of that. She had an interview.

‘Use your own products,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Use what is made in Colombia, use what is handmade.’

She went to see a shop of handicrafts. There are such a nice variety of handicrafts in Colombia, also for children. She bought so many things to give as presents, and vibrated so many things which were there. She showed us all the things which had Kundalinis represented.

Marie-Laure Cernay

The windows were closed

It was October 1992, and because of my profound wish to see our Holy Mother and also hear Sahaja in Spanish, my mother tongue, I travelled from New York to Bogotá, Colombia. A lady in the plane told me that it had not rained in Bogotá for a long time, but when the plane was landing, I knew that Shri Mataji had already arrived because it had rained as it usually does before She arrives.

In the ashram, I had the privilege to talk to Mother on many aspects on how I perceived Sahaja for Latin American countries, in particular for Spanish speaking yogis who cannot send their children to Sahaja schools in Italy or to Dharmshala, not only because of the language, but also because of economic reasons.

Next day, we went with Her in a car to the puja location, which was around two hours away from Bogota. Marie-Laure sat with Mother in the back seat, and I sat in the front with the Colombian yogi who was driving. It was a typical Andean highway, narrow, with the mountains on one side and an enormous drop on the other. It was raining and lightning accompanied us all the way.

‘It is Vishnumaya,’ Shri Mataji said, and She talked about Garuda and the aboriginals such as the Chibchas and Incas who live in South America. I felt that the air conditioning was too cold for Mother, but the yogi driving the car told me there was no air conditioning in the car. I turned around to see if the windows were opened, but they were closed. The cool breeze was covering us.

Before Shri Mataji left Colombia, She selected a house for the new ashram, and decided that a school for small children should be started there.

Graciela Vázquez-Díaz

Your name is Mahadevi

It was a very well organized Shri Vishnumaya Puja in 1992, in the middle of the Andean mountains which are close to Bogotá. For hours, young men and women danced and played typical music in front of Shri Mataji. All the hearts were full of joy, and Mother began to give Indian names to the yogis and yoginis who came to Her. I was at the end of the line, and when it was my turn, I was still hesitating, as to whether I deserved that honour from our Holy Mother.

‘Your name is Mahadevi,’ She said, looking directly into my eyes.

I thanked Mother, while feeling a great happiness in my heart, and knowing of the great responsibility for the gracious name She had given me.

Graciela Vázquez-Díaz

The irises greet the Goddess

At that time I was going through many difficulties. Among others I had surgery, which left me with severe health complications, so went to another doctor. In that doctor’s office I met a gentleman who took me to Sahaja Yoga and after about eight meetings a Sahaja Yogini asked me if I wanted to go to a seminar in Sasaima for the occasion of the arrival of the world-wide Sahaja Yoga leader to Colombia. I had to decline due to my difficulties.

That great Saturday, the Sahaja Yogini called me and asked if I knew anyone who could take four artists to Sasaima, a town one and a half hours from Bogotá. I could not find anybody, so borrowed my daughter’s car and went to pick up the musicians myself, in a house in the north of the city. When I arrived there I found the garage door opened. Inside, there was a white car beautifully decorated. Nobody was around, so I stood by the door. At the top of the stairs was a lady, Shri Mataji, wearing a beautiful sari. She came down.

The musicians and I left first, so we could arrive in time to install the equipment. On the way a slight drizzle was falling, but as we advanced the clouds disappeared and the sun came out, and the car carrying Mother was behind us. When we arrived at the seminar place, we announced the arrival of Shri Mataji. Both sides of the way there were bordered with irises, and the people greeted Her. While Mother passed by, I saw the flowers rising up. Due to my health problems, I thought that I was dizzy.

Mother went to Her room upstairs. That day the artists did not perform and for that reason I had to stay. The next morning I found the Sahaja Yogini, kept telling her how good it smelled there, and she said that there were many flowers and fruit trees. I had never before perceived that special fragrance.

In the hall, Shri Mataji gave gifts to some people, and said that for those who did not receive one, She would give us a gift from Her heart.

‘She remembered me! But how, She does not know me?’ I said to myself. I did not understand anything about the puja, but after that, I was sitting alone at the end of the hall, feeling great happiness and pleasure. Then the people formed a row, which approached Mother.

‘Can I also go?’ I asked, when the row was about to end. They told me that if I wanted to I could. And there, personally, the Divine Mother with Her great compassion and love solved all my difficulties, among them my health. Since that date, October 1992, all the medical examinations say that I am in very good health until now, January 2007.

When the programme finished, Shri Mataji was leaving and She walked slowly by the footpath adorned with yellow irises. She was saying goodbye to us, when suddenly She stopped to thank the administrators of the seminar place. I found myself enjoying such an unforgettable moment. When I observed the footpath that lead to the car, in which Mother was going to return to Bogotá, I saw that as the Goddess walked, the irises that had bent stems became straight again. In my ignorance, I thought again that I really was dizzy this time. But I was calm and relaxed.

Only after some years when I was watching a video of Mother Nirmala, where She was telling us how the nature recognises Her, could I understand the experiences in that wonderful seminar, when I was witness of how the irises saluted Shri Adi Shakti.

Priya Tarquino Cruz

Shri Adi Shakti in person was taking my hand

In 1992 I had the chance to help prepare for Shri Mataji’s coming to Colombia. The puja took place in a town near Bogotá and we also had a cultural programme with folk dances. Next day I had the chance to take breakfast to Shri Mataji and Marie-Laure asked me if I wanted to help in Mother’s room. Together with other yoginis we went into the room and I carelessly took an electric heater without noticing that it was connected, and got an electric shock.

‘Oh Mother!’ I shouted, then a yogini disconnected the heater. Michel Cernay came in and told me that Shri Mataji was asking me to go to where She was. When I went, Mother so lovingly took my hand and was checking it and looking at me with so much love and care that inside me there were just tears, because Shri Adi Shakti in person was taking my hand and working on me.

Later I had the chance to wash and iron some of Shri Mataji’s clothes. When I was ironing I was not able to understand what was happening: I was feeling very strong and cool vibrations coming from Her clothes and after passing the iron over the piece of clothing it was possible to see a kind of a small cloud above it, and as I was moving the iron the cloud was moving apart and then coming together after the iron. When I put my eyes closer I could see vibrations forming the little cloud.

 The next time Mother visited us was in 1994 for one and a half days, and gave us the blessing of feeling it as if it had been a full week, as if She had stopped time for us

Virginia Chisino-Keer

A lesson of generosity and motherly attention

Another day we went to purchase handicrafts at a big store. There Shri Mataji gave us a lesson of generosity and motherly attention because She purchased a very large amount of handicrafts, to give as presents, and when taking any item She was saying thing like:

‘I know this person would like this…’ ‘This will fit this person. …’ ‘This is the favourite colour of this person…..’ ‘Ah, I need three more for these people’s children.’

Shri Mataji also showed how to be good in business, because She was asking for lower prices, but in a very convincing and dignified way. She touched and appreciated each piece, and then She saw some faces of sailors and old seamen.

‘Look, notice their faces, they are happy,’ Shri Mataji commented.

 During that visit, Shri Mataji stayed for about five days.

‘I do not spend so many days even in My house in India or Cabell; it is because of the love of all of you,’ She commented.

Shri Mataji was also looking for a house to be an ashram in Bogotá. We saw some and Mother advised us which one to select, always considering people’s comfort.

 Edgar Patarroyo

Shri Mataji worked on me

My story about meeting Shri Mataji was in Bogotá. Shri Mataji came in and talked to us and it was sensational. I couldn’t help it, the tears were just running. I also felt a lot of heat in my body, but Shri Mataji burnt it all off, from my heart outwards. It took two days. Mother also allowed me to give Her a Foot massage, not that I worked Her – She worked on me.

I also prepared a Sicilian spring soup for Her. She really enjoyed it. I was so nervous though, but I will never forget that moment when I was in Her room and giving Her the food I had cooked. It was beautiful to serve Her, and She asked me where I was from.

I was at that time in Lima, Peru and we were just a few yoginis. We were trying to prepare a crown for Mother, but we didn’t have money so had to do it with cardboard. One girl was very good at it and she did something very pretty with different coloured felt. When I came to Bogotá the people there were preparing a chair for Her with different colours, and the colours were exactly the same as the ones we had chosen for the crown in Lima.

Heidi Mandra

The thali

In 1992 Shri Mataji visited Buenos Aires, Argentina for three days, from the 9th to the 11th of October, and She gave a public programme the 10th in the Broadway Theater.

We didn’t know there was going to be a puja. Also no one brought Mother’s jewellery for it. Shri Mataji decided that there was going to be a puja, so we all rapidly started to get everything ready. For the arrangements we used all the flowers that were in the ashram as there was no time to buy new ones, so there were not enough. When the puja was just starting one sister from Switzerland called me, and told me to make some garlands for Shri Mataji’s Feet, with some other yoginis. She told us to choose the fresh flowers from the flowers in pots, so very fast and without thinking we started working because the puja had already started. When we finished the garlands we realised that they weren’t fresh and beautiful enough for the puja, but there was no alternative, and they went to be used to decorate the Divine Mother’s Feet.

After the marvellous puja and before Mother went to rest someone washed Her Divine Feet in a copper thali. The next day when we were all arranging the things, I heard our brother Daniel asking, ‘Should I clean the thali?’ So we all looked at each other, because we didn’t know what the protocol was.

Daniel found a form printed in the thali. We looked at found that Shri Mataji’s Feet were printed in the thali, and between the two footprints we could see the map of South America and also a baby’s image. Immediately they showed it to Mother, but I do not know what She said. My father took this picture seen above, and one can see all this very clearly. Also we found in the pictures taken then that the flowers of the garlands were beautiful, blooming and full of life.

Silvia Vega

This is a photo of the thali where Shri Mataji put Her Divine Feet during and after the Shri Ganesha Puja in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 11th 1992, in the ashram of Buenos Aires at that time. In the thali you can see very clearly Shri Mataji’s Feet printed after the puja and between Her Feet you can see the shape of South America, in blue.

Francisco Fenili

Blessing the map

On Her first visit to Argentina, Shri Mataji allowed us to do puja to Her in Her form as Shri Ganesha. At the end, we gave Her different presents and we asked Her to bless the map of South America.  When we had finished the puja, and after taking the water out of the thali, we found the miracle. In its base, there was drawn the map of South America!

Marilú Durand


Second Brazilian Tour: 12/10/1992 Salvador with a puja to Shri Mahakali, 15/10/1992 Brasilia and then to Rio de Janeiro.

Duilio Cartocci

Shri Mataji was smiling

On 12th October 1992, Shri Mataji arrived for Her second visit to Brazil at about eleven o’clock in the evening. She arrived at Salvador Airport, having come from Buenos Aires. This time all the collectivity, from Salvador and other cities, had actively participated in the preparation of Her coming and the public programme.

The yogini who was to bring the flowers arrived late so I went in, without anything to offer Shri Mataji, to the baggage claim area, and spoke with an official, to let Her baggage come quickly, seeing Her diplomatic status. Everyone got out of the plane and the bus bringing the passengers, but Mother was not there. This time I was on edge, waiting for Her, not wanting a repetition of when She had stumbled on Her previous visit.

Eventually another bus arrived, and it stopped in front of the baggage claim, and Shri Mataji was there, smiling at me, accompanied by two Sahaja Yogis from Switzerland. I bowed to Shri Mataji’s Feet, because She was still in the bus, and helped Her descend. I accompanied Her out of the customs area where many Sahaja Yogis crowded around Her to offer Her flowers. Shri Mataji did not want to leave the airport until we, and also the Sahaja Yogis with all the luggage, were ready.

Duilio Cartocci

To see Shri Mataji and feel Her vibrations

Rogerio drove Shri Mataji’s car and took a slightly longer route so that when She arrived, almost at midnight, the new ashram was all lit up, with a lot of Sahaja Yogis waiting joyfully for Her. Shri Mataji was welcomed with a song, then my wife Tereza did the aarti to Her and Rivia offered a garland of flowers. Shri Mataji sat down in the living room, where She spoke to many Sahaja Yogis who crowded in. Some could not get in and stood outside the open window and door, to see Her and feel Her vibrations. Then Shri Mataji went into Her room and we spoke more.

At Her request, I began to massage Her Feet for more than an hour. The journey had been very uncomfortable, almost eight hours in a narrow seat in Second Class because there was no First Class available on that plane. Shri Mataji did not sleep at all in the night, and only in the morning when the sun rose was She able to rest a little.

Duilio Cartocci

Salvador would have to save Brazil

The arrival of Shri Mataji at our Salvador ashram was the realisation of a dream of so many yogis and yoginis. Shri Adi Shakti in person, who had come from so far away, was being welcomed in such a modest fashion. She had come to stabilise and save our entire country. She was always joyful, always happy, always full of humour and gratitude for each and every one of us: how much we have to learn!

When She arrived, in the living room of the ashram, She looked at all the Brazilian yogis and yoginis who were there and said that they were very similar to Indian people, and that Salvador would have to save Brazil with the expansion of Sahaja Yoga, and the giving of realisation from there to everyone in the whole country. She was so beautiful, fresh and happy – our beloved Mother.

Tereza Cartocci

Treatment for the liver

When Shri Mataji visited the state of Bahia, Brazil in October 1992, She said that the women had very hot livers. To one of the Brazilian yoginis who was going to live in Europe, Mother gave these treatments.

While the yogini was in Brazil, she was to do the following: cut a lemon in the middle, put a pinch of salt on it, and a pinch of spice, and put this lemon outside the window. The next day in the morning, she was to squeeze it and drink it before breakfast. But, when she would go to Europe, or to another cold place, she should drink ginger tea. She should never drink ginger tea in hot places. Ginger tea is excellent to the liver, but only in cold regions, in cold times, that is in the winter. If ginger is used in this way in a hot climate, the effect is the opposite and it will heat up the liver.

Rivia Barros

For three nights Shri Mataji did not sleep

Mother promised someone She met years before that She would visit Brazil to work against black magic. This She said during a celebration of a Shri Mahakali Puja. During the three nights She spent at Salvador, Bahia, She worked all night against the negativities in a very hard manner, and those were three nights that She did not sleep.

Nowadays, this work of years before has improved the condition of the whole state so much.

Rivia Barros

Soon you will need no medicine

Katia had a pain in the liver, a rare kind of hepatitis. After the yogis begin to work intensely on her and give her vibrations, a doctor appeared in Bahia, nobody knew how, who was one of the best liver specialists in the world, on a vacation. He was a friend of Katia’s doctor, who talked to him about her case, and the specialist decided to see her. From that moment on, with the medical treatment, together with the Sahaj treatment, she got better and left the hospital, changing to a light treatment. This was in April. In October, Shri Mataji came and Katia went to see Her.

‘Don’t worry, what had to be done had been done. Continue the medical treatment and you will soon need no medicine, you’re cured,’ Shri Mataji told her. Indeed she is cured, and alive and well today. Katia says that what cured her was Sahaja Yoga, and even the unexpected appearance of that specialist was divine work.

Rivia Barros

One word

In October 1992, at the end of the talk, when I received my realisation, I went to Shri Mataji and repeated the Eastern greeting, ‘namaste,’ that many were doing.

‘Very good!’ She looked at me and said.

I got back to the audience and those words extraordinarily echoed in my mind and I saw almost my whole life passing by. I remembered the Bible, ‘Lord, I do not deserve that You enter my abode, but tell me just one word that I may be saved.’

Cyro Roberto

Children’s vaccinations

A mother did not want to vaccinate her children, because she had faith in homoeopathy. Then Shri Mataji said that she had to vaccinate them against everything, because these diseases are negativities and children must be protected against them. So, all the children who had not been vaccinated, immediately went for vaccination.

Rivia Barros

Watching Shri Mataji’s Feet

On the auspicious occasion of the visit of Shri Mataji to Bahia in 1992, She seriously called our attention to the fact that the children present there would suck the Left Swadishthan finger, and She observed that one of the girls couldn’t look at Her. When this child came close to Mother, her eyes would roll and start blinking. Shri Mataji called the mother and asked the child to sit in front of Her Feet and keep on looking at them. During this time, Mother talked the other children and gave Indian names to all of them, and noticed the girl with the problem would keep closing her eyes, and Shri Mataji would wake her up.

‘Now it’s all right,’ Shri Mataji said after a certain time, and also gave her and her brother an Indian name.

Rivia Barros

The water pump

At the small farm where Shri Mataji was hosted, there was a water pump which had broken and nothing could be done to make it work. As Mother reached the farm, the pump started to work again. During the three days She remained there, it worked with no problem. As soon as She left, it broke again, permanently!

Rivia Barros

This is the moment

In the morning of 13th October 1992, while Shri Mataji rested, everyone meditated in the garden in front of Her room, trying not to make a noise and trying not to wake Her.

Later in the morning we went to Salvador, where at the Officina Creativa, Isabella’s school, we had an interview with the press, to some journalists and practically all the Sahaja Yogis of Brazil. Shri Mataji spoke of Sahaja Yoga, and also of Her stay in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram.

‘Only a realised soul can understand another realised soul,’ She related. ‘Gandhi asked Me not to speak of the spirit until I had found a way of offering realisation of the spirit on the level of the masses, and this is the moment.’

Shri Mataji returned to the ashram where lunch had been cooked by the yogis. In the afternoon we prepared for the public programme to be held in the Iemanja Room of the Centro di Convençoes, and as always I went a bit early to do the introduction. We showed the miracle photo of Shri Mataji where She clearly announced that She is the incarnation of the Holy Spirit. Shri Mataji arrived and began to speak, Ines translated, and at the end everyone raised their hands confirming their experience of the Kundalini.

Shri Mataji seemed very happy, but I was a little disappointed that so few people had come. The room held 1,200 people but it was only about half full. In the car, on the way home, I told Shri Mataji what I felt, but She was very happy at the good outcome.

Duilio Cartocci

Some very deep and intense times together

Wednesday 14th October 1992, the day of the week when Shri Mataji did not travel, began very peacefully. She seemed to be very satisfied, and many times said that She felt at home, as if She were in India, and that the general atmosphere and the climate were like India. She repeated that She felt so well cared for and so She was well rested. The women of the ashram gave all their attention to Shri Mataji and also the food was excellent.

In truth, I realised that Mother’s trip to Salvador served more to strengthen those already in Sahaja Yoga, more than the new people. All the Salvador Sahaja Yogis and Brazilian yogis had been able to live collectively and near Shri Mataji for a few days. They spent some very deep and intense times together, and we able to participate in a marvellous puja.

Isadora, our last daughter, was only a few months old, and she spent fifteen minutes in the arms of Mother, laughing enthusiastically all the time, and Mother gave her the name Anandamay, which means ocean of joy. After this Shri Mataji met all the children in Her room who wanted to be given a Sanskrit name.

Duilio Cartocci

Do you know Me?

Today, taking advantage of a moment to relax with Shri Mataji, I asked Her if She would like to see our last daughter.

‘Yes!’ Shri Mataji said, and I went to get Isadora, who was in her room. It was very beautiful, especially because Shri Mataji remembered exactly when she was born. Duilio was at Cabella with Shri Mataji when Isadora was born, but Shri Mataji had said not to worry, and everything was in Her attention. And thus it was, more than perfect. Shri Mataji took the baby in Her arms.

‘Ah, do you know Me?’ Shri Mataji immediately said, and gave her a little kiss and then again said, ‘You know, your father was with Me when you were born.’

Shri Mataji said many other things, always holding the baby in Her arms, and she was tranquil and serene. Then began a game of looking at her in a special way, for some minutes, during which Isadora began, for the first time, to laugh heartily, the fullest and strongest laughter of her short life. Then Mother gave her a Sanskrit name – Anandamay, meaning ocean of blessings.

Tereza Cartocci

Four children are enough

On Thursday 15th October, Shri Mataji went to Brasilia. On the plane She sat between Tereza and me. Tereza was giving milk to the baby and Mother looked at her with such love, then looked at me, then at Tereza.

‘Four children are enough,’ She said to us.

Duilio Cartocci

The mayor gave Shri Mataji the key of the city of Brasilia

The second time Shri Mataji came to Brasilia was in 1992. The mayor of Brasilia came to the plane, to the bottom of the steps out of the plane. He received Shri Mataji and gave Her the key of the city of Brasilia and said She was most honoured. It was a very nice and touching ceremony. Then we went to the municipality where they all talked together. We also met the Minister of Education and another very high level minister. Shri Mataji was very happy with them, and said Brazil was very special. These people, even though they were politicians, were very humble in front of the divine.

We stayed at the new ashram on the outskirts of the city. Shri Mataji liked it very much and walked a little in the garden.

Duilio Cartocci

Sahaja Yoga established in Brazil

The President of the Senate, Senator Mauro Benevides, received a visit from the creator of Sahaja Yoga, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, at the Senate President’s Office, on October 15th, 1992. In Her visit to the senate, Shri Mataji was accompanied by a number of Sahaja Yogis One of them, Gustavo Luedemann, from Brasilia was a staff member of the Brazilian Chamber of Representatives, and he got in touch with me to check whether the President of the Federal Senate was a truly honest politician. I had been working in the Senate since 1984 and used to play soccer with the son of the President. I was obviously aware of every piece of information about him and they couldn’t be better. What drew my attention was that his date of birth was the same as that of Shri Mataji, namely, March 21st.

President Mauro Benevides received Shri Mataji with extreme respect. The journalists and all the staff of his office wanted to see Shri Mataji give realisation to the President. After Shri Mataji gave realisation to him and he felt the vibrations, the yogis unanimously said that Sahaja Yoga had been established in Brazil once and for all, since the President of the Senate is also the President of the National Congress and one of the highest-ranking authorities of Brazil’s political class.

Willy Jess

Shri Mataji with President Mauro Benevides in Brasilia

Greeted by a gana

These photos were taken of the arrival of Shri Mataji at the airport of Rio de Janeiro, 1992. It is a sequence of miracle photos where a gana receives Shri Mataji at the airport and opens the door of Her car. They were taken from Her arrival in the Arrivals Hall to up to Her leaving in Her car.

Cynthia Luz

This man touched Shri Mataji’s heart

After Brasilia, Shri Mataji went to Rio de Janiero. There were many seekers there and Shri Mataji was very pleased. When we were in the car, a beautiful Landau driven by Yves, with Orazio, who was originally from Argentina, and myself, Mother gave new names; She gave Orazio a name of Shri Vishnu: Sarvesh, and to me a name of Shri Shiva: Mahesh.

There was a great yogi from Salvador. He was married to an English lady, but she gave him a lot of problems and the marriage did not work out. This man had never seen Shri Mataji before and during the puja in 1992, when we put the sari over Shri Mataji, he was singing a song for Her. It was sung in such a devotional way that Shri Mataji started to cry, so we could feel how this song from this man touched Her heart.

One day while we were going out of our house, a beautiful place a few floors up from the sea, Shri Mataji found Herself in the lift with the English Sahaja Yogini married to the Brazilian yogi. Shri Mataji said to her very strongly that she was making him suffer a lot, that he was Her son, that she was the worst wife, very demanding.

While She was saying this we could see that Shri Mataji was suffering physically, and when She got out of the car She again said that She felt physical pain because of this incorrect behaviour. All this for a Sahaja Yogini who She theoretically did not know, neither her name nor her face.

Duilio Cartocci

How it is with humans

We went with Shri Mataji to a live TV programme, watched by everyone in Brazil. This should have been the best opportunity to spread Sahaja Yoga. Unfortunately on the same programme there was a minister, and the interviewer gave priority to him and left Mother to wait until the time was very limited, so only a few phrases were shown.

During all this time we were with Her, we felt bad at the lack of protocol and respect at the programme. The interviewer, between Shri Mataji and the minister, continued to choose the politician. We wanted to do something, but we could not, because the programme was going out live. When it was finally finished and we were going back to our home, the atmosphere in the car was red hot, but only Shri Mataji was calm, and smiling as always.

She was in the back, next to me at Her left and a Sahaja Yogini at Her right. The lady was crying and I was primly looking out of the window wishing I could give vent to my feelings. Shri Mataji observed how it is with humans: the women cry and the men want to attack the world. Then She gave me two light slaps on the back, and told me to relax. Finally the atmosphere changed, and we all melted in Her infinite love for humanity, and humanity is so limited.

Duilio Cartocci

I am Antarayami

One afternoon, after some hours of shopping, walking around the shops, once I reached home, Shri Mataji called me into Her room to give me money that I had spent. In truth I did not want Her to pay me back for this, and wanted to give a present to Her, knowing how difficult it would be for Her to accept it. In this way, I did not reply when She called me and I remained outside the door, hidden from Her face. Shri Mataji again called me and again I did not respond, thinking that She, not seeing me, would perhaps think I was busy somewhere else.

‘Duilio, come in, because I know you are behind the wall and you can hear Me. Have you not understood that I am Antarayami and I know everything about you?’ She said, the third time She called. So I went to Her.

‘Yes, You are Antarayami,’ I said.

She replied I should know that because that was one of Her names in the bhajan Binate Suniye, which She Herself had composed and taught us personally. She said Shri Antarayami was with Her and knew everything, because She resides within us. She knows everything that we do, and where we are. Another profound lesson given with such gentleness.

Duilio Cartocci

I wanted to obey Shri Mataji but could not

One evening we were in Shri Mataji’s room and She again called another Sahaja Yogi and me to massage Her Feet. I was at Her right Foot and he on Her left.

Shri Mataji spoke to me on many subjects, and then asked me to scratch Her lower leg with my nails. I wanted to obey Her but could not, in case I hurt Her. She again asked me to do it, hard, and again I could not. She smiled and said that I was like Shri Hanuman, because one time She had asked him to scratch Her leg like that, and He could not, for fear of hurting Her.

Then She went to sleep while we went on massaging, and did not stop in case She woke up. After a long time it seemed I had reached the moment to stop massaging, but I did not want to leave the room without Her permission, so remained for perhaps an hour, in meditation in front of Her.

Duilio Cartocci

Chapter 23: 1992 – October to December, Europe and India

Diwali Puja 1992

The first Diwali Puja in the Eastern Block in the presence of Shri Mataji took place in 1992, in Timisoara, close to the Hungarian border.

Mihaela Balasescu

The deep consciousness of divine vibrations

Shri Mataji was in Romania at Timisoara at the time of Diwali Puja in October 1992. I had the great chance and blessing to travel with other Sahaja Yogis in the same plane going to Romania.

For about twenty minutes during the flight I had the possibility to sit just on the left hand side of Shri Mataji. I talked with Her about several aspects of my job and about solar techniques and building. After some time I felt that it would be better to sit in the back and was also aware that I had not the full consciousness about whom I was sitting next to.

Half a day later we again had a wonderful opportunity to meet Shri Mataji in Her apartment in Timisoara, which had been very nicely prepared by the Sahaja Yogis from Romania, and were several hours with Her. After some time I was so drenched in Shri Mataji’s vibrations and we were all not only joyous, but felt the gratitude and love, granted by Her. We were deeply relaxed and drenched in divine bliss. At a certain moment Shri Mataji looked at me.

‘Oh, you are also here! How did you come here?’ In a split of a second, in my mind I answered, ‘Shri Mataji, I came with You in the same plane!’

The next moment I understood what Shri Mataji wanted to bring into the light of my awareness and I just can interpret it like this: Shri Mataji’s question was, ‘How did you come here?’ – meaning in the realm of heaven – the very deep consciousness of divine vibrations and union with Shri Mataji. The experience showed me what a big difference it was to be with Shri Mataji, meaning in Her realm – only with Her permission in deep union, or to have the illusion to see Shri Mataji or to talk to Her, but without that deeper connection.

Franz Mekyna

A lesson of love and patience

During the fall of the same year, 1992, Shri Mataji blessed Romania again with Her holy presence. She came to Timisoara, where Diwali was celebrated for the first time in a country from Eastern Europe. The puja was attended by hundreds of Sahaja Yogis from Russia and other ex-communist countries, but not so many from the West. We had also invited many Indian brothers and sisters. Only two to three months before the puja, the Romanian authorities decided to impose severe restrictions for admitting people from certain countries, including India, into Romania. All our actions ran into closed gates and we gave up. At that moment, we got a call from Italy, announcing that Shri Mataji also needed an entry visa. We went immediately to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where someone suggested to contact the Indian Embassy.

There we found a fax from an Indian Sahaja Yogi who came forward as guarantor to all the Indians on an attached list including all our brothers and sisters invited to Diwali. With the list favourably endorsed by the Indian Embassy, the same day the Romanian authorities gave their consent to the admission of our invitees. Such a quick and sudden change of attitude just a day before the puja was a real miracle. As a matter of fact, Shri Mataji was a bearer of a diplomatic passport and needed no visa.

Accompanied by Sir CP, Shri Mataji arrived by flight from London to Bucharest and from there took the train to Timisoara. This was the city where the Romanian Revolution had started making possible the opening of Romania toward Sahaja Yoga at the same time with the beginning of a new era exempt of Communism. After arriving at the Continental Hotel where an apartment was booked for the guests of honour, Sir CP shared with us his good memories about his former visit to the Romanian shipyards.

In the evening, after fireworks at the city’s stadium, we had the puja and Sahaja Yogis from various countries performed a musical programme. Then, Shri Mataji offered in person presents to each participant (there were hundreds, maybe one thousand) until 6 am. This was another lesson given to us by the Divine Mother: of love and patience. Mother had asked me to tell Her about each lady if they had a long or short hair, so She could accordingly offer them either a hairpin or another ornament. Later on She had told me that women should fasten their long hair. Only the Goddess can wear loose hair.

Dan Costian

Shri Mataji knows us best

In 1992 I was in Timisoara. After the puja Shri Mataji was talking with yogis on the stage. The other Sahaja Yogis walked up to the stage to do namaskar and give their flowers. I also made namaskar and when I raised my head I saw Shri Mataji’s eyes looking through me like X-rays. In this short moment I realised that Shri Mataji knew everything about me, much more than I do myself.

Bozena Czachowska

Hoping to stay closer

In 1992, in October, in Timisoara, after the artistic programme for Diwali, Shri Mataji was distributing presents to everyone in the hall. There were some thousands of people and everyone got a small present, according to his or her age group or gender. Young girls got nicely decorated hairpins and some gentlemen got rings. When my turn came, I went close to Her armchair in the middle of the basketball court, bowed and picked a hairpin. I longed to stay near Her a bit longer, and expressed that wish in my mind. I do not know for how long I was there, next to Her, but it was quite some time.

After a while, She invited me to pick another hairpin, the signal for me to step back. For a long time afterwards I wore the two hairpins to hold the hair on the two sides of the head. Their vibrations were perhaps working out my ego and superego. I went to sit behind Her armchair, where a girl in her early teens was checking the vibrations of the pop singer Michael Jackson. It seemed an unusual thing to do when Shri Mataji was there, but people with all kinds of backgrounds and interests were then attracted to Sahaja Yoga.

When seeing Shri Mataji off at the hotel, the lobby was full with people waiting for Her to come down from Her room. We were all holding flowers in our hands, eager to offer them to Shri Mataji as a sign of our love and gratitude. When She came, She started walking slowly towards the exit, collecting the flowers. Shri Mataji accepted my flower, I again hoped to stay a few moments closer to Her, and for quite some time it seemed that She was accepting the flowers from all the people present without moving from my side.

Alexandra Dumitrescu

Bible Enlightened

We returned with Shri Mataji to the palace, where She was staying in Romania, in 1992, I had the courage to present Mother with the manuscript of the ‘Bible Enlightened’ of which I had just completed the first part. At that time, the book had no title. It was chosen later on by Shri Mataji. She opened the manuscript at a specific page and showed me a mistake I made translating a Sanskrit word. I was amazed: She went directly there! Then She decided the book would be printed in India.

I felt extremely happy being thus encouraged to go on with this work. I had finished reading the Holger Kersten’s Jesus Lived in India and had some uncertainties.

‘Shri Mataji, did Lord Jesus really die on the cross?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ came Her answer, ‘He died, indeed, then He resurrected.’ Then I asked if the Turin Shroud had belonged to Lord Jesus, and Shri Mataji confirmed that fact.

Dan Costian

The tulips bloomed

While we were at Pratishthan from 1992 to ’95, looking after the farm at Shere village and the gardens of Pratishthan at Pune, we were lucky to get the blessings of Shri Mataji. A lot of things happened due to Her blessings which would not have been possible otherwise. These could be termed as miracles.

At the Birthday Puja in 1992 in Delhi the Malaysian Sahaja Yogis had given some tulip bulbs to Shri Mataji. These flowers are found in cold climates and are not available in India. They were packed in a special jar containing some preservative chemical.

The bulbs were sent to Pune to be planted. As the climate of Pune was not suitable for growing tulips, we kept the jar and waited till Shri Mataji came there. We raised our doubts and Shri Mataji instructed us to plant the bulbs and spray water from Her Lotus Feet on them. To our utter surprise, the tulips bloomed and were shown in the flower show held at the Botanical Garden, Pune. This was published in the Marathi Sakal newspaper. Shri Mataji translated the news into Hindi for us.

Satish Chandra Sharma

The cool breeze started falling on the sack of seeds

The Dehra Dun collectivity presented some very good quality basmati rice seeds to Shri Mataji. To vibrate those seeds, Shri Mataji asked us to put the bag of seeds near Her. When we put the bag in front of Her Lotus Feet, we felt that a cool breeze was blowing from them. The whole hall became cool and the chaitanya lahari (cool breeze) from our Sahasraras started coming in a big way. The cool breeze started falling on the sack of seeds.

The crop yield was more than the normal and the taste was also very good.

Satish Chandra Sharma


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