Sahaja Yogis’ stories of Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
This book is humbly dedicated to
our Divine Mother, Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
that Your name may be ever more glorified, praised and worshipped
Thank You, Shri Mataji, for allowing us to collect these beautiful recollections of Your care. Thank You 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 helps seekers to love and trust You, often without yet understanding the Truth that You 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 dispels 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 have given 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: 1993 – January to March, India
I am sending you to Colombia
In the Indian tradition, after your marriage, we offer oti to the Goddess, in the same way as in the puja we offer, for example, a sari, flowers, perfumes, kumkum, fruits, dry fruits and sweets. When I got married, I got the chance to visit Shri Mataji at Pratishthan in 1993 to offer this oti. I was one of the first Indian yoginis to be married to a Colombian.
‘Colombia is a very beautiful country, people there are very creative and have open hearts,’ Shri Mataji explained. ‘You will like it and you will enjoy it. I know it is very far away, but you have a computer background and you will easily find a job there. Work, and then you can travel to India more often. Try to learn their language and try to go as soon as possible. Find a flight where you can stop for one or two days in Spain. You can stay in the ashram in Spain and I will tell the Spanish leader that you will be going there. In Colombia, I have just bought an ashram. It is very beautiful. Always live in an ashram because it is cheaper and you are protected in the vibrations. I know, and have seen, that you can do it.’
She mentioned so many things in detail in a conversation of just two minutes. She showed much love and concern, and this helped me to surrender, and filled me with courage to go Colombia. Indeed, everything She mentioned about the country is true, we have always lived in an ashram, full of joy and vibrations, I worked as She mentioned and could travel to India. Now, by Her blessings we have moved to Canada, but everything I got from Colombia is unforgettable.
In 1993 Shri Mataji told me to learn Kuchipudi classical Indian dance and recommended the renowned dance master Veempaty Chinna Satyam at the Kuchipudi Arts Academy in Madras, now Chennai. She further said that Kuchipudi is the most vivid Indian dance style and that it resembles the cosmic dance of Shri Shiva.
Since 1993,Richard has been attending international pujas and has, several times, presented gifts to Shri Mataji from Malaysia. On one occasion this conversation occurred.
‘What is this?’ asked Shri Mataji.
‘It’s a fish,’ Richard replied.
‘It’s a dolphin,’ She insisted.
‘No, Mother, it’s a fish.’
‘It’s a dolphin.’
‘No, it’s a fish.’
After a while, he realised what an idiot he had been contradicting Shri Mataji, and thought, ‘My God, what have I done?’ But Shri Mataji was smiling all the time. At other times his mind was a total blank and he did not know what to say, even when he had rehearsed answers many times. On other occasions, when Shri Mataji asked him questions, his answers were always monosyllabic, for example when She was in Malaysia in 1998.
‘How is Malaysia?’ She asked.
‘Fine.’ (This was during a bad economic crisis)
‘How’s the economy?’
On a further occasion Richard had the privilege of carrying a stereo set for Sir CP from Singapore to MTDC, Ganapatipule, India, where Shri Mataji was staying,
‘This is a very good stereo set. It has a good sound system. Sir CP likes to listen to music and this will be good,’ Shri Mataji commented. Throughout the conversation Richard just said ‘Yes,’ to everything. It struck Richard that Shri Mataji appeared to be like any other ordinary person talking, but that facing Her, his mind usually went blank, in that he did not know what to think.
Richard Ng Bek Choon
A Wednesday meeting
In 1993 Shri Mataji came to Nagpur for the wedding of the son of Baba Mama. The function was arranged at the CP Club, Civil Lines, Nagpur. Shri Mataji sat on a sofa and we stood in a chain for security so not too many people should crowd around Her.
Some Sahaja Yogis came forward to ask Her something. Shri Mataji called them to Her, and then they asked Her why there was no meeting at the Sahaja Centre on a Wednesday, and there was one in three other cities. Shri Mataji said that She had a very close relationship with Nagpur, having lived there when She was young for many years. She was also born on a Wednesday.
‘If you people want to have a collective meeting (a ‘centre’) on a Wednesday, then have one.’
Editor’s note: On occasions Shri Mataji has advised against doing various things, like travelling long distances, on a Wednesday. But there are always exceptions.
I wanted to talk to you there
I was in India for Shri Mataji’s seventieth Birthday Puja in Delhi in 1993. At that time I was feeling depressed (I discovered after that I was at the beginning of my second pregnancy) and had it in my mind that I hoped Shri Mataji would not see me in that state. She knew everything, but somehow I didn’t want Her to see me. The whole time we were there I wanted to keep in the back.
We left India and went to Rome for Easter Puja and we were allowed to meet Shri Mataji at the airport. There were two entrances, and everyone said Shri Mataji would come out of door number A, so there was a big crowd waiting there. Just when they said Shri Mataji was about to come, because I had had to go somewhere, I happened to be passing door number B, which was completely empty as all the crowd was at the other door. As I passed the B door it opened and Shri Mataji came out. I was standing there completely alone with Her.
‘Oh, hello, how are you?’ She asked me. I bowed down and She continued, ‘I saw you in India.’ I had tried to hide from Her in India. ‘I wanted to talk to you there, to see how you were,’ She went on, ‘but there were so many people, I did not have a chance. I hope you are well.’
‘Now I am well,’ I said. It was just matter of a couple of minutes, and then all the other people saw Shri Mataji and came over to Her. She was at the airport for about half an hour and everyone was trying to be near Her, and I was standing somewhere in a corner, completely blissed out. All the feelings of guilt, and worry about my vibrations had gone. I felt very well for the whole of the rest of my pregnancy.
Shri Mataji declared the gold to the customs
I worked in customs at the airport, in Delhi. In 1993 Shri Mataji mentioned about the ban on the import of gold into India. At that time it was absolutely forbidden. If we found anyone with gold ‘biscuits’ in his possession, we had no option but to arrest him. Once Shri Mataji mentioned this problem, and then there was a total modification of the Gold Control Act. It has been repealed now. Nowadays people are allowed to bring up to five kilos of gold into the country, with one condition that it should be bought with money earned outside India.
The crown of the story is that Shri Mataji came to India and She brought some foreign marked gold with Her. She declared it to the customs, and gave me the money to pay the customs duty, which was duly paid.
My Mother had not even had lunch
Once I was asked to escort Shri Mataji from the Delhi Ashram up to Noida, for the inauguration of the Noida Centre on 23rd March 1993. We waited on the ground floor of the Kutab Ashram for Shri Mataji. When She came down She was accompanied by Her son-in-law and had a paper bag in Her hand, and was eating out of that. As She came to the last step I could see it contained popcorn, the sort that is obtained from the popcorn wallas – fresh.
‘Look, here, this is what your Mother is eating for lunch!’ She said, and it was almost six in the evening. There were tears in my eyes. My Mother had not even had lunch. So we went to Noida.
I showed them my badge
The day we had the inauguration at Noida in March 1993, afterwards we had a doctor’s conference. After the function Shri Mataji got into the car, and as we were seeing Mother off, She asked me to sit in front next to the driver. I was scared, because my knowledge of the roads of Delhi is quite poor. I could guide the driver on the main roads, and we came from Noida across Nizamuddin Bridge and reached Pragati Maidan.
When we were there, Mother asked me if I had any water with me. I did not, because we had just left suddenly. I was worried, so I asked Shri Mataji if She would care to have some soft drink. She agreed, but there was no shopping centre there, and no stalls selling cold drinks. We turned into another road, which was all government offices, but all closed, and also there was a holiday because of the Muslim festival of Id, so still nowhere to get a cool drink. Then I saw some government building and asked the driver to turn in, and there was a small coffee shop.
I went up the stairs but all the vendors were relaxing and idling and said I could not buy a cold drink. I showed them my badge of Shri Mataji and asked if they knew Who She was. They said they did, and I explained She was in the car down below and wanted a cold drink. Suddenly one boy stood up, got a cold drink, put it in a glass on a tray with a napkin, took the drink down the stairs and gave it to Her in the car.
Next there were some small roads, and I wasn’t sure of the way, but soon Shri Mataji told me She knew the area and could direct because She had lived there, Meena Bazaar. So we got to the conference and Shri Mataji addressed more than two hundred and fifty medical doctors.
Chapter 2: 1993 April to July, Europe
Look at your flower!
It was April 1993 and we were waiting for Shri Mataji to arrive at Rome Airport. It was very, very hot and there were no fans or air conditioning. Shri Mataji’s plane was four hours late and it was so hot! Katey Headlam was in a very smart skirt and jacket, and she had put a yellow daisy, in the lapel of her jacket, but it had completely wilted.
Shri Mataji finally came through, sat down and we were all given the opportunity to offer our flowers. We gathered around Her, about thirty of us, waited on one side and then moved off to the other side after giving our flowers. When it came to my turn, there was a man in front of me who bowed down after giving his flower. Shri Mataji took Her attention from him to me with such love and looked at me like a mother who is so proud of Her child. She made me feel so good, about all the conditionings I’d been through, and all the problems that had been overcome since my realisation eight months before, everything was worthwhile, from that moment on. That one look, seemed to say, ‘Now you are coming up.’ I bowed down and had the joy of offering my flower, and I had the joy of watching other people had at those moments too.
Then it came time for Shri Mataji to go to the Rome ashram, to Her little house there. Just as we were leaving the airport, I saw Katey again and looked at the flower on her lapel. It was as if it had just been picked: fresh, yellow and as if it was a completely different flower from the wilted one earlier.
‘Look at your flower!’ I said
‘Yes, it’s Shri Mataji!’ she replied.
We belong to Shri Mataji’s attention
In my first year of Sahaj life, after a puja near Rome, Italy, our bus was waiting to take us back to Austria. It had been a wonderful weekend and I felt really tired after the puja. I was sitting in the back of the tent watching things going on, on the stage. Yogis were playing and singing bhajans and Shri Mataji was enjoying it. I was too but I was almost falling off of my chair – I was really exhausted and couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand and couldn’t keep my eyes open any more so decided to go to the bus and sleep.
I pulled my ears, made namaskar to Shri Mataji and when I stood up again, She looked directly at me in the back of the tent, folded Her hands and bowed Her head gently. Whoosh! What a wake up that was for me — no more tiredness, no more craving for sleep. Immediately, I knew that She knew me through and through, though I had never met Her personally. I sat down again in awe and pure attention, watching Shri Mataji until She left.
In April 1993, Shri Mataji arrived in Athens for a public programme. She stayed at the Hotel Olympic, right next to the temple of Olympian Zeus in central Athens. That morning, She was going from the hotel to the TV station for an interview. She came out of the hotel and went past me to get into Her car, and all of a sudden I felt my whole body filling up with Her holiness.
Now holiness is a feeling that I cannot explain. You can tell somebody that you are thirsty or hungry or angry, they understand. But holiness? How many people have ever had this feeling, to feel the holiness of the person that is standing in front of them? It was the most unique experience I have ever had with Shri Mataji and I hope that the whole of humanity can experience that, too.
Since then, I had many other experiences with Shri Mataji that point out to the absolute truth that She represents. But the feeling of Her holiness is now getting to be a permanent one, not only when in Her presence, but in everyday life.
A great spiritual centre
During Shri Mataji’s visit to Greece in 1993 She stayed at the house of the leader. She proclaimed that Greece would become a great spiritual centre.
In the beautiful home of our Mother
I got my self realisation in Helsinki in September 1992, right after Shri Mataji’s second visit to Finland. The first time I saw Shri Mataji in Her physical form was at Sahasrara Puja in Cabella in 1993.
We were all standing while Shri Mataji arrived from the right. Without looking up I just felt Her presence so strongly. As my Kundalini shot up like a rocket, I felt as if the whole cranium opened up. The vibrations were so strong that tears started falling down my cheeks. I have never after felt the vibrations that strongly.
One or two years later in Cabella, probably also at Sahasrara Puja, I stayed in Cabella after the puja. I found myself in a car with some American yogis, heading for the airport to see Shri Mataji off. At the airport we were fortunate to sit down at the Feet of our Mother, who was talking so sweetly to Her children. At some point Shri Mataji expressed Her surprise that there were so many American yogis attending the puja.
‘I’m from Finland, Shri Mataji,’ I foolishly raised my hand and said. I felt a bit awkward and I had to repeat myself a couple of times before Shri Mataji could hear me. I afterwards understood that I should not have tried to catch Mother’s attention the way I did, but as usual I had not slept during the nights in Cabella. I had been suffering from severe insomnia for many years and somehow desperately wanted Mother’s attention.
Shri Mataji then asked us where we intended to spend the night. As we did not really have any plans, She suggested that we go back to Cabella and to the castle. She said that we would be shown around the castle, and invited us to stay the night in Her home. So, as offered by our Mother, we returned to Cabella, where we were guided around in the castle. We all stayed the night there and I had the deepest and sweetest sleep of my life, as I felt I was in the arms of my Mother.
Later when the Finnish leader asked Shri Mataji about my sleeping problem, I was told by Mother to forgive my father and to take care of my liver. During the war my father sent me – together with some 20,000 other children – to Sweden when I was under three years old. As to my liver, I had suffered from hepatitis in the late 1960’s, and my liver has probably never fully recovered since.
So, of course, Mother really knew, and cared for, each and every one of Her children.
Yes, I am coming
In June 1993, after Shri Mataji gave a public programme at the Royal Albert Hall in London, She invited the new people to come on stage where She either worked on them or spoke to them one at a time. I am from Singapore, and was a nineteen year old university student studying in England, and had been in Sahaja Yoga for less than four months. There were so many people on the stage, taking their turns to speak to Mother, and when my turn came, I just gently held Shri Mataji’s right hand with both hands.
‘Shri Mataji, will You come to Singapore one day?’ I asked.
‘Yes, I’m coming, I’m coming,’ She replied with a smile, and stared deeply at me for a while. There were so many people waiting to see Her and talk to Her so I had to move on. Later I realised those moments had been an incredible experience of complete thoughtlessness – a kind of vacuum, after speaking to Her and holding Her right hand. It was something quite out of this world.
The year 1993 came in my life with a holy grail of nectar. It was at the Guru Puja, July 3rd – 4th 1993 in Cabella that it all began. A musical performance programme had begun before Adi Shakti Shri Mataji. The whole art theatre was packed with virtuoso artists and Sahaji listeners. At about one o’clock in the morning my turn came and I began to sing. As my first note came out, Shri Mataji blessed me with self realisation. I then immediately came to know the difference between music for mere entertainment and Sahaja music. It is true that music entertains the mind but Sahaja music is much more than that – it touches your Spirit and gives rise to spiritual ascent.
The next day was a Guru Puja day. For this puja, Sahajis from all over the world had gathered. When I heard the words from the speech of Shri Mataji I experienced that Mother’s speech was like music and Her words were mantras. For me this was a very valuable discovery. I was terribly thrilled by it. Even in a technical sense this discovery carried a deeper meaning:
Shri Mataji’s speech, Her thoughts, Her teachings are all Divine Music because in them there is rhythm. There are notes and words which are not mere words but mantras. Sahaja music affects the subtle system through the frequency of the chakras. When Shri Mataji explained anything regarding a particular chakra, She used that musical note whose frequency matched that of the corresponding chakra. This is why Shri Mataji’s speech, thoughts and teachings are all Divine Music and they directly touch the Spirit.
Shri Mataji always gave chaitanya to the world through Her Divine Music and through the music of others. Through it there is a continuously flowing and living spring of chaitanya. Musical notes are the carriers of chaitanya and through these the disciple can acquire spiritual knowledge and growth.
While I was writing the book The Search for the Divine Mother, I had the chance to meet Shri Mataji twice, in 1993 and 1994.
Shri Mataji questioned me about the symbols of the Goddess, namely the dove, the moon and the serpent. She said the dove is the only white bird flying up vertically, therefore it represents the Holy Spirit or Kundalini. Concerning the moon, She said that the moon represents the Spirit, because it reflects the sunlight, as the Spirit is the mirror of God the Father within us. She said that is the reason why in Indian mythology the moon is the brother of the sun.
As for the serpent, She said that the serpent in the Bible is the Goddess that inspired Eve to look for the fruit of knowledge. Shri Mataji explained that Adam and Eve were totally divine, and as such could not be the root of mankind. They had no children as opposed to what the Bible said and should they have had children, these would have been divine and as such could not fulfill the purpose of the creation.*
Human beings have evolved from the animal stage to the human stage. She explained, without specifically using these words, that Adam and Eve were kind of divine prototypes for the human race. I asked Her if Adam and Eve had really lived on earth or if they were in Vaikuntha. Shri Mataji asserted that they really lived on earth in Kashmir.
‘No doubt about it!’ She added, and said that the Gnostics knew this because they were poets.
Shri Mataji wanted to know about Sumer, which is considered to be the most ancient civilisation, for the Western world. When I answered that Sumer was 4000 BC, and Shri Mataji said that Indian civilisation is much older. There is a temple in India that was built at the time of Markandeya, 16,000 years ago. She continued, and explained that all the mathematics we believe comes from Greece, from Pythagoras, was written in Sanskrit much before.
Shri Rama came in 6000 BC and Shri Krishna 4000 BC. She said that the eras, yugas in Indian tradition, last 2000 years, not 10,000 years as is often believed. The prophets: Zoroaster, Abraham and Moses came in about 2000 BC, Christ at the beginning of the Christian Era, and 2000 AD Shri Mataji.
She said that there were planes during the time of Shri Rama. At that specific moment, I thought, but did not express it in words, ‘But if there were planes why don’t we find any trace of this in archeology?’ Shri Mataji captured my thought.
‘There was a gap,’ (I understood a time gap which explains a lot) ‘between two eras when the deluge took place,’ She answered instantly and said that India was at that time submerged.
I explained to Shri Mataji that in the Assyrian mythology, a male god kills the Goddess, whereas in India, the Goddess kills the asuras. She said that the Indians had done it right! Shri Mataji asked me where Assyria was located, and I answered that it was Iraq.
At the end of this conversation, Shri Mataji stopped and contemplated the sky through the window of Her room in the ashram. I bowed down and left Her room and felt that Shri Mataji had taken me on Her wings on an incredible journey through time and space.
*Editor’s note: Extract of an email from Gwennael: ‘Shri Mataji said publicly that the story of Adam and Eve is too complex for human beings to understand.’
You must be completely thoughtless
We were at a public programme in Paris, in July 1993. After the programme the people were asked to come up and see Shri Mataji. All the people went up, and She was working on them and She was one by one asking them.
‘Take this one, he has got Nabhi problem, or this one, he has got Agnya,’ She would say to us. Shri Mataji was directing us.
‘You work on this one, you work on that one. You must be thoughtless when you are working on somebody. You must be completely thoughtless, and say My mantras, and be on your Kundalini. And once you are on your Kundalini and you are working on that person, it clears out very quickly.’ That was when She told us we had to keep on working with the candle and on our vibrations.
You know I never miss a plane
After Her stay in the Belgian ashram, ‘Nirmala House’ in mid July 1993, Shri Mataji left for the airport. We went by car from Everbeek to Brussels and everything went smoothly with Shri Mataji sleeping in the back of the car. We arrived at the end of the highway and approached the ring road around Brussels. We mentioned that the ring road was completely blocked.
‘What should we do now?’ asked the driver of the car.
We decided to go straight through Brussels. In one of the tunnels under the town, where the maximum allowed speed was 50 kms per hour, the driver was going faster. At that moment a sweet voice was heard from the back of the car.
‘You don’t have to go so fast. You know I never miss a plane.’
We arrived at the airport and there was still time for all of the yogis to offer a flower to Shri Mataji.
Bert Op de Beeck
You will become Sahaja Yogis
One day after the public programme in Prague, in 1993, Shri Mataji and about fifteen Yogis were shopping in Novy Bor. At lunchtime Shri Mataji sat down under a big tree and ate some sandwiches. Suddenly She looked down to Her Lotus Feet. There were some ants climbing up Her Feet.
‘Don’t worry, in your next life you will become Sahaja Yogis,’ She smiled and said.
Mother looked at me and I felt better
In July 1993, I had the opportunity to go shopping with Shri Mataji. She came to Germany with the Indian singers. Shri Mataji stayed in the ashram in Frankfurt, then we had public programmes in Berlin and Hamburg. In Berlin we went shopping and I was invited to go along too. We went to a big super store and when Shri Mataji found a necklace She would buy ten or twenty of them.
The leaders went off somewhere for some reason. There were just three of us, ladies. Mother wanted to sit down, so She took us to the shoe department and we sat down there. I was sitting next to Shri Mataji, but I just couldn’t look at Her, and I kept thinking, ‘This is God!’ Meanwhile Shri Mataji was just chatting, and talking, and laughing to the other lady, giving me time to calm down. I can’t remember any of the things She said, but I remember the joy and the naturalness. Slowly I began to enjoy this, and I laughed, and then Mother looked at me, and I felt better.
The shop assistant brought a pair of shoes for Shri Mataji to look at. She touched them, and vibrated them and said they were very nice. Then another sales assistant brought some more. In the next few minutes Shri Mataji vibrated all these shoes that the unknowing Berliners would be buying.
Mother knew just what each of us needed.
Thank you very much
When I first became a Sahaja Yogi, I had the desire that I wanted to meet Shri Mataji personally and wanted to ‘shake hands’ with Her. When I recognized Her as the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost, this desire was not important any more. Three years later Shri Mataji visited Prague, in about 1993. After the evening meditation suddenly I remembered my desire.
The next day after a public programme Shri Mataji was leaving the house (ashram) in the morning to go to the airport. Many Sahaja Yogis were waiting in front of the house and inside, in front of the door of Her room. I was waiting in the kitchen together with some ladies. Suddenly the door at the back of the kitchen opened and Shri Mataji was standing there. We did not expect Her to come from this door.
‘Ah here you are, waiting for Me,’ She said. She was not coming out of the door because there was a small step. The lady travelling with Shri Mataji was behind Her.
‘Hand!’ she whispered to me. Normally it is the job of the leaders or Her attendants to give Shri Mataji a hand. There was no leader around and I was next to the door – so the lady again whispered ‘Hand!’ I understood, and offered Shri Mataji my hand to step over this small doorstep. I was completely thoughtless and full of joy.
‘Thank you very much,’ Shri Mataji said after two or three metres.
After all, they are also My children
In 1993, in Prague, we went to a big carpet store with Shri Mataji. There were three sellers and Shri Mataji got them quite busy, showing Her all the carpets. At the beginning they were friendly towards Mother, but after about twenty carpets we could see they were getting more and more upset. After ten more carpets, although we could not understand them we felt they were probably complaining. At this point one of the Sahaja Yogis turned to the sellers and also began feeling a bit upset with them, and you could see this on the Sahaja Yogis’ faces.
‘After all, they are also My children,’ Shri Mataji suddenly said.
At that time some of the people of the Eastern bloc countries were not very friendly in their work places, because they were not paid well and had to be very particular about rules. A short time later, about five minutes past closing time, we were on our way out. Shri Mataji suddenly asked us to stop because She saw a beautiful vase She wanted to buy.
‘How much is it?’ Shri Mataji asked, and the lady shop assistant started to be very impolite to Mother. This was too much for us, but just at this moment Shri Mataji turned to us with a big motherly smile and said, ‘It must be her liver.’
All the tension turned to humour and we all started laughing. It was a big lesson.
Chapter 3: 1993 August, Russia, Ukraine and Western Europe
The purpose of that talk in Kiev
There were Russian/Ukrainian tours from 1989 to 1996, during which Shri Mataji visited the cities of Moscow, Leningrad – now renamed Saint Petersburg, Kiev and sometimes Togliatti. The sequence of the visited cities each year was different. Usually there were one or two public programmes in the cities visited. Later on there was a puja too during the tour. Shri Mataji visited Moscow and Leningrad a few times more after 1996 without coming to Kiev.
It was at the end of the July tour of 1993. Kiev was the second city, visited after Moscow. The next ones would be Leningrad and Togliatti. Shri Mataji stayed at Ukraina Hotel, then one of the best Kiev hotels. As usual, a lot of yogis from Kiev and other Ukrainian and Russian cities crowded into the hotel lobby and the streets around the hotel in their hope to see Shri Mataji somehow, but admission was restricted. Our leader Galyna was allowed to see Shri Mataji to discuss some local matters and I was blessed to attend her as an interpreter.
We came to Shri Mataji’s suite, took off our shoes, and entered the sitting room. Shri Mataji was sitting on a sofa. We bowed to Her and She invited us to sit next to Her, but we refused and sat on the floor at Her Feet. She did not object. Then She started to ask about our health and said Sahaja Yoga could cure many diseases without taking any medicines and She Herself didn’t take any medicines. Both Galyna and I related that we suffered from some severe diseases before Sahaja Yoga and recovered soon after getting to Sahaja Yoga. Being a Sahaja Yogi for a few years, I considered our recovering was a rather common thing; so I expected the Goddess to speak about some very high or global spiritual matters and not of common Sahaja Yoga things; but I accepted this, Her humanlike Maya. We continued our chatting about some local matters for a while and then took our leave.
The mystery was cleared up in a couple of days when Galyna and I were sitting at the public programme at the October Sport Center in Leningrad. There was a space without chairs before the stage and many yogis were sitting on the floor there. They formed about two dozen lines and Galyna and I also sat there, just in the middle. Shri Mataji started Her talk with an explanation of how many benefits Sahaja Yoga gave to its followers, especially in improving their health. She said many Sahaja Yogis who suffered from severe diseases were now completely recovered and did not take any medicines.
‘Here they are sitting, you can ask them,’ She said suddenly, and pointed directly at us with Her hand! It was unbelievable that She could spot us immediately among the crowd of many hundreds of yogis, but She pointed to us exactly and without any scanning the audience. Then we understood what the purpose of that talk in Kiev was.
Can you cure Me?
Shri Mataji had come in August 1993, and was suffering and walked with difficulty. She came to Togliatti, Russia where I was invited to be with Her.
‘Sasha, can you cure Me?’ She said.
‘God…’ I thought to myself. I could not say it, but I had to try somehow. To say, ‘I will cure You,’ would be super impudence. But I thought for a minute and said, ‘Shri Mataji, I have never treated Gods.’ She was laughing so much, and the other Sahaja Yogis there were rolling with laughter. Shri Mataji clapped me on my shoulder, because I was massaging Her. However, it worked out – in some five or seven days She started walking. The massage helped.
A powerful bandhan
In 1993 I was in Shri Mataji’s wooden house in Moscow and She asked me to take all the puja presents from Adi Shakti Puja from Togliatti to Cabella.
‘I am a little bit worried about the Russian Customs and amount of presents,’ I told Her. I was sitting in front of Her on the ground and continued, ‘I will give a bandhan.’
‘I will give a bandhan too,’ Shri Mataji said, and after She gave the bandhan, She looked deep in my eyes and said, ‘It is cool, isn’t it?’
About thirty Austrian yogis were on Moscow Airport flying back from the Russia tour. I was in charge of the flight tickets and the check-in with a Czechoslovakian airline, which does not exist anymore. We had half a busload of Russian puja presents from over 6000 yogis in our bus to bring to Austria and then to Cabella for Krishna Puja. Without Bogdan’s presence and deep faith in the all-pervading power of God I would have collapsed. He told me and others to put our attention constantly on our Sahasraras. The check-in manager saw the huge amount of luggage we had and just crossed all normal rules and told me to tell my group to take all our luggage and packages like carpets, handmade textiles and vases straight through the Russian passport control and put it on the airplane seats. The Russian officials at the border were quite calm about it and when we left Moscow Airport I broke down and cried about Shri Mataji’s immense power.
Where the children’s camp is held
Shri Mataji said Daglio, where we also have a property and have the children’s camps, would be good to have as a clinic. In this area there is no industry and that is why the air is clear.
Shri Mataji sat on the terrace
I was living up at Daglio, up the valley from Cabella, where the children’s camp is held. We had a house up there and Shri Mataji came up one time. So we cleaned everything and Robert Hunter came with Mother in the car and came to our house. I did the aarti when She came in.
Shri Mataji sat outside on the terrace with Her three grand-daughters. She was drinking coffee and saying how nice it was, the view and everything. Then She went into the room to rest and the grand-daughters went to the mountains to see them.
Later, we came back and Shri Mataji woke up and came out of the room. She said thank you very much to us and then She went. She didn’t talk much because She wanted to rest.
It was like heaven
Shri Mataji once came up to Daglio, the place where we have the children’s camp. She was out on the balcony, and had a meal here on the balcony.
There was quite a mess up there because we used to bring all the stuff up from Cabella. We had hidden all this. We cleaned the bits where Shri Mataji would pass through, but we felt it was too much to clean the whole place. She drove into the place between the two dorms with the car, then walked through the flat and had lunch with Her family. Then She had a rest and put Her Feet towards the valley. It was like heaven and there were just four or five of us yogis here, serving the food. We were outside on the balcony and it was such a blessing.
When Mother came to leave, the driver had already turned the car round, but he couldn’t get the car out past the corner between the buildings. He tried and tried, but he just couldn’t manage it. Then he asked Shri Mataji and She told him to open the big door of the one dorm, and said the car could go through that dorm to get out the other end. That dorm was the one where we had put all the mess, because we had wanted to hide it! So She passed through the dorm and could see everything, but She did not say anything.
It is not important
One time, the men at Cabella who had been working came to give Shri Mataji flowers, but they did not want to come forward because they were in their working clothes.
‘It is not important,’ Shri Mataji said, and wanted to take their flowers.
Shri Krishna Puja August 15th 1993 (email report)
The festivities began after dinner on Friday evening, as we waited for our Divine Mother to join us, and a spontaneous international bhajans team started up. Shri Mataji kindly came to join us at around 11 pm, and blessed our music-making with Her Divine presence in the puja tent.
On Saturday a havan took place at Shri Mataji’s request at which a hundred and eight names of Shri Vishnu were read. The havan was held on the terrace outside the Daglio ashram under a hot sun. After the names all manner of baddhas were offered to the fire for purification by the three hundred or so yogis present.
After lunch, the weekend’s activities carried on with a sporting competition, held on the Cabella village football field. This was at the suggestion of our Divine Mother, who had said that this puja was a good opportunity for games. Several teams, based loosely on countries, were formed. The first game was a tug-of-war, in which our team (Switzerland and Belgium) faced the village sports club (i.e. not Sahaja Yogis). The sports continued with an egg-and-spoon race, a caterpillar race (in which the team members sit on the ground one in front of another, each holding the ankles of the person behind him), wheelbarrow races, a contest of throwing water-filled balloons, and other events.
In the evening, as the last preparations were being made for the evening’s music programme, we were surprised to see all the leaders walking into the tent wearing splendid turbans (actually scarves tied in Gujarati style headdresses) decorated with strings of pearls. These were presents from Shri Mataji; as it was a time for fun, and Shri Mother had made all the leaders like Christmas trees! A musician played some ragas on a simple flute made of hollow bamboo. The concert came to an end around 3.00 am.
As Shri Krishna was born at midnight His puja is often celebrated at night. This year it began early Sunday evening. Shri Mataji arrived at around 7.00 pm., and gave a long and rich discourse about Shri Krishna and the Americas and their problems. The puja seemed quite short, and the leaders of the countries of North and South America offered symbolic crowns to the Lotus Feet of the Empress of the Universe. At the end of the puja, as an expression of our love and gratitude to our Divine Mother, who has given us everything, She was presented with a beautiful necklace of emeralds and other precious stones set in gold. Our Divine Mother offered little toys and dolls, which looked Russian, to all the children who had taken part in the puja.
Shri Mataji requested us all to have our attention very much on America. In particular She asked us to have our attention on the Jews of America, not only because they are so influential there but also because many of the Jews who come to Sahaja Yoga make excellent Sahaja Yogis. Shri Mataji also mentioned the need for us to have attention on the Iranians, whom She will be seeing in a special programme in Los Angeles, and on the American people in general. After a short break we were re-joined by the musicians, who completed the recital they had begun the previous evening with more delightful ragas. Shri Mataji took leave of us around 2.00 am.
The same as when Christ walked on the water
It was in a public programme at Nervi near Genoa in 1993. The place was so beautiful, in a rose garden with thousands of roses. Shri Mataji was standing effortlessly while She was giving realisation to the people, and I, and a few Yoginis seated with me noticed that She was not standing on the stage but was floating a few centimetres above the ground. Her Feet were fully covered and surrounded with vibrations, and the rest of Her body too. It was clear to us that it was the same effect and type of energy as when Christ walked on the water.
After the Shri Krishna Puja in Cabella in 1993, I had the good fortune to be on the same flight as Mother back to London. At Heathrow Airport, while waiting at the luggage pick-up belt, Shri Mataji, seated, turned to me.
‘So you are from Singapore. I saw you at the puja. Did you enjoy it?’ She said in a most sweet and motherly manner.
I replied the affirmative, with my head a little bowed. She remembered me from the brief encounter at the Royal Albert Hall. I had the feeling that Shri Mataji was peering through my entire inner being and working something out.
‘We tried before in Singapore, but it didn’t work out.’ She continued, ‘but don’t worry, they will all get their realisation.’
When we finally got our luggage and Shri Mataji got into Her car to leave, She looked at me once again and with the most radiant and Motherly smile, waved a farewell at me. There was so much motherly love emitting from Her.
I returned to Singapore in 1995 and even though there was not a single Sahaja Yogi there at that time, the words and memories of Mother kept me strong.
Chapter 4: 1993 September, Europe
A gift of eleven years of life
This story is to do with my personal mother coming to Sahaja Yoga, in 1992, shortly after I came. Just before this time she had been quite sick and all the doctors who were treating her were convinced it was a heart defect. She had been suffering from a serious heart problem since she was fifteen years old. We were very worried about her.
A year later Shri Mataji blessed us with a visit. In September 1993 She came to the south of Poland and graciously accepted to stay in my parents’ house. My mother had some personal attention from Shri Mataji. The topic of my mother’s health was never really treated directly, all I know that after Shri Mataji’s visit my mother’s symptoms were never as serious as before and it was only many years later that they came back.
Eleven years later the symptoms of her illness returned and were diagnosed as very dreadful kind of cancer, so it was a blessing that all those years had been given to my mother by Shri Mataji. When my mother applied for a disability pension from the state she was refused, because they said it was impossible for her to have this disease for so many years because it kills in twelve weeks.
Shri Vishnumaya was paying homage
On the same occasion, in 1993, it was the only occasion that Shri Mataji travelled from Warsaw, the capital, down to the south of Poland. It was about three hours on the train, and it was one of the first days of September. It was not raining but there was lightning after lightning in the sky – no clouds, just lightning. The next day Shri Mataji commented that this was Shri Vishnumaya manifesting, because Poland is also the country of Shri Vishnumaya and this deity was paying homage. Shri Mataji said She saw one thousand and one flashes of lightning.
Now I can tell you
Shri Mataji came to Poland six times and I was with Her in the hotel and was usually waiting for Her in Her apartment – cleaning, preparing dinner and so on. Once I somehow went to the hall and was standing next to Mother when She was working on the people. One young man came.
‘Are You God?’ he asked Her.
‘I can’t tell you this because I don’t want to be crucified,’ She answered. After that She worked on him for a while and then She whispered to his ear. ‘Now I can tell you. I am God!’
Can you imagine! She said it!
Hania from Poland
Phoning to God
We were in Poland and I was with Annegret Kaluzny from Switzerland. We were working on people and there were two of us yoginis and five hundred people queuing and we couldn’t give much attention to every single person. So we just gave a bandhan before and the Kundalini did the work. They felt cool or warm, but it worked like that.
Later, when Shri Mataji came to Warsaw, we told Her about this. We said it was like phoning to God.
‘Phoning to God?’ Shri Mataji said. ‘But do you know what it means when you do the bandhan? It is like when you make a circle in the water and it goes deep, like turbulence. And when you do this on your hand, you do the same in the Paramchaitanya. It’s acting immediately.’
Which chakra represents Poland?
On the request of a lot of people, I asked Shri Mataji which chakra represents Poland.
‘Only human beings are creating borders, not God. Poland is a part of the Void, of Europe,’ Mother answered.
She is there
After a programme in Warsaw, the sky was completely pink. Mother told us that whenever the sky is pink, She is there.
He recognised Me
Shri Mataji was in a very small shop in Warsaw, buying some porcelain. A five to six year old gypsy boy and his face, hands and clothes were very dirty. The owner of the shop tried many times to push him out but the little one tried to come closer to Shri Mataji. I was thinking that hopefully he would not spoil Her beautiful sari. Mother took him on Her lap and embraced him.
‘He recognised Me,’ She said.
We felt we were just Her instruments
One day after Shri Mataji had given realisation to 10,000 people gathered for a public programme in a big stadium in the outskirts of Sofia, Shri Mataji asked all people that wanted to be cured should come the day after. This experience was really like being in the Bible! Like Christ, She performed several miracles: one person came half paralysed walking with sticks and left a few minutes after walking freely, not believing himself what had happened. Shri Mataji was asking all the yogis to work on the people.
We felt we were just Her instruments and channels for Her divine vibrations. She called me and asked me to work on a person distant from twenty metres (She really had Her attention everywhere) and to teach him to say Allah hu akbar. He indeed had a strong blockage in the Vishuddhi and I tried to explain him how to say the mantra Shri Mataji had asked me to teach him. I was unsuccessful as this seeker did not speak English and I did not speak Bulgarian. Therefore I worked on his Vishuddhi for a while and after, considering my mission was completed, I came back to work on other people. Shri Mataji called me again.
‘He has to say Allah hu akbar sixteen times,’ She said. I was not at ease with myself, but I did come back and this time wrote to him what to say, which he finally did.
‘Now he got his realisation!’ Shri Mataji told me a few moments later. All this happened while Shri Mataji’s incredible multidirectional attention was working on all people in the room, with one Foot on one person, one hand giving vibration to another one, etc.
I could feel Her love, Her attention
The Hungarian public programme in September 1993 was my first Sahaj trip out of Romania, when I was sixteen. Some days before leaving, my mother started forbidding me to do Sahaja Yoga. She never used to forbid anything and therefore this was very weird. However she allowed me to go to Hungary, as ‘the last time’.
This public programme showed me a very compassionate Shri Mataji, such as I had never seen before. She spent so much time working on and talking to every newcomer. I was below the stage and just prayed to Her that my mum would change and would allow me to do Sahaj as before.
When Mother was leaving we were supposed to go to the airport to bid Her farewell, but our bus was very late. We reached there when Shri Mataji had already received everybody’s flowers, and we were at the back with no flowers and a huge crowd of Sahaja Yogis in front of us. The next moment a Sahaja Yogini started distributing flowers, which solved my first problem. Then there was an announcement, that no one could cross the customs counter, and Shri Mataji had already gone beyond there.
‘Don’t bother about them! Just run and give Her the flower,’ a Hungarian yuva shakti came to me and said.
Suddenly the crowd of Sahaja Yogis, this huge ocean of people, split apart, like Moses’ Red Sea. Seeing the flower in my hand, everybody made way. In two seconds I was at the customs counter. I ran through it before anybody thought of stopping me and reached Mother, who was talking to some leaders and about to enter the boarding passage. Nevertheless She turned, and with a smile took my rose, that matched the colour of HHHer sari. I could not stop my tears. I could feel Her love, Her attention. She knew I was there, and that was very important for me.
Needless to say, after returning home my mother was appeased and later she even took her realisation.
Twelve girls dancing with flowers
In 1993 when Shri Mataji came we performed a dance – Jai Shiva gaya hai! – It was Shri Mahalakshmi Puja, 8th September, when Shri Mahalakshmi was born. The puja was at the Palace of Culture in the centre of Sofia. So we were twelve girls dancing with flowers. After the dance She said, in the puja talk, that the dancers all came from Kashmir.
The Shri Mahalakshmi Puja was celebrated on September 8th, the day when the Virgin Mary was born, in the National Palace of Culture, NDK the biggest culture and congress centre in Bulgaria.
Everything gets its answer
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi visited Bulgaria in September 1993. We had decided to organize a small exhibition of handmade traditional Bulgarian lace and embroidery. I had to bring a big pack of these to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, where Shri Mataji was going to come, but a day before my departure I sprained my ankle badly. The pain I felt was severe, so when the coordinator of the projects connected with Shri Mother’s visit called me that day, I explained, with a fully despairing voice, that I could neither bring the handicrafts nor go myself. She calmed me and said that she would ask the collective to give me a bandhan — and the miracle happened. Half an hour later, the pain in my left ankle was gone.
The following day, I, alongside with numberless other yogis, went to Sofia and welcomed Shri Mataji at the airport.
That same evening, I was one of those lucky ladies, who had the immense honour and blessing to decorate Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet at the small puja that She most graciously allowed us to offer. And then what a miracle — I saw that Her left ankle was swollen and bruised at that same place where mine was before the bandhan. I could freely move around, stepping with my leg, which ankle I had sprained the day before.
On remembering how painful it was, I felt extremely miserable that I had burdened Shri Mataji with my pain. However, some time passed and the worries that were plaguing me got their answer. I read one of Mother’s talks, where She said that She had taken an oath to cure us and to take the pain away and that it shouldn’t make us feel guilty.
A connection between the Bulgarians and the Indians
One year Shri Mataji came and we were at the airport offering flowers to Her. Then She was looking at each one of us, and suddenly said that we had very good noses! We don’t know if this was all the Bulgarian people, but that is what She said. She also said that there was a connection between the Bulgarians and the Indians, that we are very close to the Indians, also in the way we look.
A picture of a swayambhu
On one occasion the Bulgarian yogis offered Shri Mataji a present at the puja. It was a picture of a swayambhu – the Holy Mother Shri Ade Shakti. It is in Bulgaria, on the top of one of our mountains. It is engraved in a rock and it is quite a long way to climb up there. The swayambhu shows a woman riding and killing something with a spear. Shri Mataji said there was a connection between the Indian swayambhus and this one. The name of this place in Bulgaria is Madara, and there are other swayambhus near there, showing the Kundalini.
One with Mother
In September 1993, there was a Ganesha Puja in Cabella. I had married in Ganapatipule in December 1992. They announced that married ladies who had never done a puja before could come to perform it. I had a very big desire to do it, since the beginning of the ceremony, like an inner voice calling me. The Yoginis behind me were pushing me to go on the stage because I was newly married, but I remained seated, because I had did not feel good inside and I could not go in front of Shri Mataji in such a state. Furthermore, I already had the chance to do a puja to Her.
At the end of the puja, the Italian leader asked the ladies to come in front to give the prasad. So I went in front, and surprisingly, not many ladies did and I was the second or third lady to reach the stage, whereas I was sitting quite far back. The leader asked me to come on the stage, but I could not understand what he wanted. I came on the stage and felt very shy. I was in front of Shri Mataji, the leader started to present a plate of prasad to Her and She ate some, then he gave me the plate of prasad and I gave it to other ladies who were arriving, waiting for the trays. It went on and on, tens of trays and dishes circulated one by one from Shri Mataji to the leader’s hands, then to mine, then to the yoginis.
Finally, I did namastey and went back to my place. When I sat down I was in a totally different state, which is extremely hard to describe. Of course, all my thoughts were gone, as absorbed, and I was so deep inside in complete peace. I was floating in heavens – there was no inside or outside. There was no use to talk, no use to smile even, just I was. I was one with Mother.
A revolution and revelation
When I was in London in the 1990’s, Shri Mataji called me to Her house. After giving us some tea and food, we were sitting in Her living room, just two of us, and during the conversation, this message was written as I was going back to Toronto next day. There was no special occasion, except that She visited Canada a few weeks after I brought the letter to the Toronto collective. The top lines on the letter are my hand writing, whereas the message was written by Shri Mataji Herself.
Chapter 5: 1993 – October, America
You are the only one who talks today
In October 1993, I was asked to present Shri Mataji at the United Nations, New York, where I was working as a Senior Regional Officer. As there were numerous situations to solve at work that day, I did not have enough time to prepare the presentation, and an hour before the public programme, I began to organize my thoughts for this special occasion. When Shri Mataji entered the main UN auditorium, which was packed with yogis and new seekers, I received Her with flowers, and She knew I was worried about what I was going to say in front of Her.
‘So, you are going to talk today,’ She said to me.
‘No, dear Mother, You are the only one who talks today,’ I answered, and the presentation went on with no problem. At the end of the programme, She took my hands in Hers and I knew that She knew everything.
The vibrations were so strong
When I was living in Manhattan, it was wonderful to meet the collective and sometimes stay on the weekend, at the ashram of New Rochelle. One Saturday, I slept in a room on the second floor. When I went into the bed which was in that room, I felt very strong vibrations under the sheets, like a strong massage to all my chakras. I felt such a joy and went into a profound rest all night long.
The next morning, I asked one of the Yoginis at the ashram who had slept there, and she told me that our Holy Mother had stayed at that room when She visited the ashram.
United Nations programme
It was September of 1993 when Shri Mataji came to New York, just a few weeks after bombs had been placed at the World Trade Center and at the United Nations. Many Chiefs of State were coming to the UN General Assembly, and because of security reasons, only people with diplomatic identification could enter the premises. We had arranged a public programme at the United Nations, but we asked our Holy Mother if we could change the site to the place where we had been regularly gathering to meditate for the past year, the UN Kindergarten, which was on 45th Street, just across from the General Assembly. The arrangements had to be done only an hour before the programme, and people kept coming in, and we had to keep the doors open onto the street because there was a multitude of people outside who could not come in, but who could see and hear Mother.
New York City had not been an easy place to have a good number of people in Sahaja, but the public programme was a complete success. The next day we went to the airport to see Shri Mataji leave for London. She was sitting at the airport surrounded by all Her children. Shri Mataji called me, and while I was kneeling at Her Lotus Feet, She took my wrist with Her hand and put it up in the air.
‘Manhattan has taken off,’ She said.
I did not know you had a baby
One time Shri Mataji visited the United States, in 1993, She gave a public programme at a Buddhist Temple. People kept coming in until there was not a single place to sit down. I sat at the back. There were around five hundred people and Mother was beginning to speak, when a young oriental couple came in with a baby in their arms. I offered to take care of the baby while Shri Mataji gave realisation, so they could surrender with no distractions. The eyes of both of them shone with the awakened Spirit.
When Shri Mataji was going out, She briefly stopped in front of me with a big smile.
‘I did not know you had a baby,’ She said.
The hall was packed
New York 1993. With upwards of 10,000 entertainment opportunities competing for attention on a Saturday night in Manhattan, the question always is: will anyone show up? Preparations for the programme which had been ongoing for months were now in full swing.
The hall was packed, upstairs balcony full, wall to wall yogis standing, folks queuing outside. There were bhajans in Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit which boomed out, bringing applause from the seven hundred and fifty or so in attendance. After talking, Shri Mataji invited questions. Someone asked why falling in love is so painful.
‘It’s because you fall. One should rise in love,’ Mother responded. Questioned as to what was Her greatest disappointment, Mother countered: ‘I have no appointments or dis-appointments.’ The audience roared its appreciation. Handling enquiries on a wide range of subjects, Mother explained She was an expert on answering questions. The point being proved, self realisation was granted.
Instead of going straight back to the hotel, Mother was driven down to Battery Park, and had pizza with some of the organisers.
The Grand Canyon
Shri Mataji, during Her many, many travels all over the globe, would often ask yogis and yoginis to accompany Her. On one such occasion I had a delightful experience with Her. We were travelling from NY to LA and at one point Mother looked out the window of the plane and commented that it was so ‘chaitanyamay’ (full of vibrations) out there. Looking out all I could see was pitch darkness and lo! within five minutes the pilot announced that we were now flying over the Grand Canyon.
Give the sun a bandhan
All around America, in the Autumn of 1993, in every city, on approaching every airport, we were informed of low ground temperatures — five degrees Centigrade or similar, by in-flight announcements.
In each instance, Shri Mataji just smiled, raised Her right side and, upon landing, the temperature had eased upwards. Often dull days turned into bright sunny ones.
‘Just give the sun a bandhan,’ Mother explained. ‘The sun is being very obedient.’
Coming into Heathrow Airport, England after the tour ended Mother raised the right side and we stepped out into a bright sunny morning.
Mother indicated we should pay more attention to the weather and note down how it supports our work.
Shri Mataji spoke of the Holy Koran
The Vice President of the Islamic Circle of North America and Canada came to meet Shri Mataji in New York in 1993. His responsibilities included liaison with 300,000 Muslims. He hosted a weekly TV programme, shown on Third World Broadcasting. He said his role was cultivating a knowledge of the purpose of life, beyond the material distractions of the late 20th century.
Openheartedly he said he wished to help. To make sure he knew what the subject was, Shri Mataji asked him to sit at Her Feet. He exclaimed that he had wanted to be at Mother’s Feet right from the start, and asked why we had given him a chair. He said that he wasn’t a government minister. Glancing at his watch, the gentleman said it was time to do his Namaas, or prayers. He namaskared to Her, said Allah-u-Akbar, and Mother raised his Kundalini.
‘Look, he’s got it!’ She said.
After this he quoted from the Vedas and the Gita, whilst Mother spoke of the Holy Koran. As he left he was a transformed man, whose watering eyes glistened with a new joy. On leaving he expressed the wish of seeing us again, to work together.
I’ve been waiting for that question
The Mayor of Yonkers, his wife and two children arrived to meet Shri Mataji. This was in a hotel situated on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park, Manhattan. Yonkers is a town of 200,000 people just north of Manhattan.
They were introduced to Shri Mataji and during Her conversation with the mayor, incredible vibrations flowed. Before long, questions turned to ‘What is truth?’ and ‘How do we get this state within?’ Then they just came out and asked for self realisation.
‘I’ve been waiting for an American politician to ask me that question,’ Shri Mataji responded with a big smile on Her face.
Both the children and their father immediately got it, amazed at how easily they felt vibrations.
‘It’s cool,’ the children informed Mother.
The mayor’s wife wasn’t so sure, so Mother invited her to sit at Her Feet, where she was worked on for fifteen minutes or more. Then there was a very powerful moment as the wife burst into tears, unable to choke back the emotion. Her heart chakra had been blocked and had opened; this emotional release is often accompanied by a healthy flood of tears. Mother explained collective consciousness and how now the woman had brothers and sisters everywhere. Shri Mataji indicated to her that she thought too much and vibrated some sugar for her. The whole meeting concluded with much laughter and joy, as this young family stepped out into the turmoil which is New York.
Shri Mataji observed a child.
‘There’s innocence…..and look how we are all glued to it,’ She pointed out, then indicated part of the reason for attacks on children, and child abuse, was that evil forces are frightened of the power of innocence.
United Nations programme
That evening, in October 1993, Shri Mataji gave a short talk to an audience of about a hundred and twenty, over twenty from UN departments. Questions followed on; their nature varied, and Mother’s answers were clear and strong. On morality, Mother indicated marriage was natural and complimentary to spiritual ascent, providing a wholesome environment where children can be raised in a moral way. Other questions touched on the power of the brain.
‘Are we here to move a pendulum?’ Shri Mataji replied, this being the latest trick of one of the false gurus, to lure seekers.
Mother gave realisation and the programme concluded with yogis singing Binati Suniye. All in all, it was a strong and to-the-point programme. On the way home in the car with Her we listened to a tape of the Calgary Boy’s Choir singing a rendering of Binate Suniye, which Mother enjoyed very much.
Back at the hotel Mother watched the movie, Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin, who is portrayed as a fake travelling evangelist. Mother particularly enjoyed his dance steps, which we rewound to watch a second time.
Shri Adi Shakti in Queens
We had a television interview arranged on Asianet Cable TV, in Queens, New York, in October 1993, for the culture and philosophy slot. During the course of the programme, Shri Mataji outlined the historical backdrop behind self realisation and the place of Sahaja Yoga in the modern world. Billed as a fifteen minute interview, the proceedings over-ran and over thirty minutes of footage were recorded.
Renu Mehra, the senior correspondent, presented the show. She was concerned about her health, as she had been off work sick for three weeks. Afterwards, Mother took Renu to Her Feet, saying she would be all right. Shri Mataji worked on her. Renu exclaimed she was frustrated and angry with false gurus, who had obviously done harm to her and others in getting themselves broadcast. Chatting at the end, Renu mentioned that a man called Debu Chauderi was due at 2 pm that very afternoon. Mother suggested, with a laugh, that Renu should ask Debu if he knew of Mother.
By chance or design, Debu and his entourage arrived two hours early. Delighted, with face beaming, because he knew and recognised Shri Mataji, he couldn’t believe he was seeing Shri Adi Shakti in Queens, New York.
As a result of Mother’s visit to New York at the start of the tour in October 1993, the Indian society had requested an additional programme, offering to sponsor it, and supplying the venue and publicity. This was squeezed in, by delaying departure to the evening. As we left the hotel with luggage bound for the airport, Mother was on the way to Queens for the last engagement. A Sahaja Yogi delivered the introduction to a full to capacity hall, reportedly with folks still outside. Mother later said She was happy that Indians in America were now beginning to come along.
Shri Mataji raised Her right side to the left
I was on the flight from New York to Toronto in 1993 with Shri Mataji. At the start of the flight the steward announced that the ground temperature at Toronto was 8° Centigrade, or roundabout there. Shri Mataji raised Her right side to the left a few times.
Before landing Shri Mataji asked me what the temperature was in Toronto and so I answered 8° Centigrade as had been announced on departure. She told me to ask the steward again: the temperature had risen to about 17° Centigrade!
Tuesday morning, on the American tour in October 1993, and it was off to La Guardia Airport, New York, to catch a flight to Toronto.
The Canadian yogis received Mother silently and sweetly; you could sense the peace. Shri Mataji stayed in a hotel, in the Prime Minister’s suite, which was somehow secured at fifty per cent of the normal cost. Two Sahaja Yogis massaged Shri Mataji’s Feet for three hours.
After eating, the advance party set off for the public programme. I gave the introduction, and had to stretch it to seventy minutes, with a slide show of miracle photos and an impromptu question and answer session, before Mother arrived.
‘What did you tell them?’ asked Shri Mataji.
‘Everything!’ I replied.
One of my most beautiful memories
It was 1993 and we were in Canada to help with the Sahaja Yoga public programmes in Toronto. The Canadian yogis in the ashram hosting Shri Mataji asked me and another yogini to go shopping for handkerchiefs for Her in case She needed them or should ask for them.
The yogini and I went to many different shops until we found what we thought were the best handkerchiefs that we could offer the Goddess. We bought twelve beautiful handmade cotton ones, with simple but beautiful designs, then we returned to the ashram and gave the hosting yogis the handkerchiefs to offer to Shri Mataji.
We were in Toronto for about four days, helping with the public programmes: postering, cooking and cleaning the ashram. After all the activities and the programmes, Shri Mataji was ready to leave and we were all at the ashram to say goodbye to Her. As we waited for Mother to come down the stairs, I started to think about the handkerchiefs we had bought for Her. I started to wonder if She had liked them and if they were appropriate for Her.
As I thought about this, Shri Mataji reached the bottom of the stairs. She stopped suddenly, and then smiling, very gently opened Her handbag. She took out a white handkerchief and held it high.
‘Thank you for these. They are very beautiful!’ She stated, still smiling.
I love You, Mother
After talking to the six hundred onlookers at the Toronto programme in 1993, Shri Mataji asked for some questions. A very large, forceful looking one hundred and fifty-plus kilogram man, wearing a dark overcoat, came forward from the back of the hall, down the centre aisle and attempted to climb the steps to the stage. We felt Mother was testing the Centre Heart. He was persuaded to remain in front of the stage and he was tentatively handed the portable microphone.
‘I am Chief Agada from Nigeria,’ boomed the voice. ‘My sister came to this country four years ago and got involved with Your organisation, with Your people! She was ready to commit suicide.’ It felt like there was about to be an unfortunate incident. You could hear a pin drop. ‘With Your people,’ he boomed, ‘she went up and up. They helped her so much.’ Stunned, the audience sat in silence as Chief Agada announced, ‘She loves You, Mother. I want to help You. I want to pay.’
The audience erupted into applause. We had to make him take back the hundred dollar bills he was throwing on the stage. Mother explained that there was no need to pay.
‘How is it You are so powerful? Why do You have so many powers?’ continued Chief Agada.
‘Because I’m a Mother,’ Shri Mataji replied.
‘I love You, Mother,’ Chief Agada’s voice rang out.
The audience broke out into applause and the Centre Heart had opened.
Vancouver Public Programme, 1993
A letter of congratulations was received from the governor of British Colombia, and was read out at the public programme. It thanked Mother for visiting Vancouver. The well-attended programme, with more than five hundred present, went smoothly and after questions and realisation, Shri Mataji received over a hundred people onto the stage.
One lady with hands and body shaking came to Mother’s Feet. She told Shri Mataji how it came and went; it was obviously uncontrollable and quite severe. After a few moments, Mother indicated it was a problem of the Vishuddhi and told her to ask and affirm the following:
‘Are You the Holy Spirit that Christ has sent?’ Then, ‘You are the Holy Spirit that Christ sent.’ The lady’s upper body, arms and hands shook uncontrollably, and then stopped completely.
‘There, look it’s gone now, finished,’ Shri Mataji said.
She worked on a stream of people who had been given mantras by false gurus. Indians whose family deities were Shri Vishnu and Shri Krishna had to ask Mother the question for that deity, (Shri Mataji, are You Lord Krishna?’) before feeling the flow of cool vibrations. One man, a teacher, informed Shri Mataji he was partially blind in the left eye. The remedy, She said he should ask Her a question.
‘Are You the teacher of all teachers?’ and he was to then affirm, ‘You are the teacher of all teachers!’ He did this.
‘How do you see?’ Shri Mataji asked. His eyesight was restored, everyone applauded.
The last person to arrive at Shri Mataji’s Feet, was a thirty something, head shaven man. He presented Her with some beads. She asked what the beads were for, and what the problem was. It turned out he had been seeking everywhere and had been given a mantra and explained he was completely broke on account of having given his house rent to his guru.
Mother instructed him to repeat the mantra he had been given to Her, over and over again. He did this then went thoughtless and lost the mantra. The vibrations flowed incredibly strongly.
‘OK, now cleared!’ Shri Mataji exclaimed. She then said he should ask and affirm, if Mother was Maitreya, the future Buddha. Suddenly he knelt at Her Feet and asked for a name. He was called Mark, so he was named Markandeya. Mother told him he must tell all his friends, so as to end their sufferings.
God gives light to those who want to help
During the car journey back home, after the public programme in Vancouver in 1993 Shri Mataji asked how it was that a damaging cult could use Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient and authentic practice, to market their meditation, which spoils seekers’ Kundalinis. Then She slept. It was after 2.00 am when we woke Shri Mataji. We entered the house, ate dinner and Shri Mataji told us an instructive story, which went something like this.
There was a saint on his way to visit God and along the road, he came across a fellow praying, singing, working hard, trying to get to God. The saint stopped to talk to this chap. He asked the saint if when he visited God, if he would ask when he might meet God. Further on down the road the saint stumbled across another fellow lying in the street, he too enquired where the saint was headed.
‘Ah,’ said the second man, ‘can you let God know I haven’t had my food yet!’
When the saint did indeed meet God, he remembered to pass the messages on.
‘He hasn’t had his food yet,’ God exclaimed and immediately summoned some angels, who took the man his food. Regarding the other fellow, God told the saint to instruct him to work a little harder.
‘You tell both fellows that you saw a giant camel passing through the eye of a needle, when you were with me,’ said God, before the saint left.
‘What did you see when you were with God?’ asked the fellow who was told to work harder. Hearing about the camel passing through the eye of a needle, he responded, ‘Impossible. Just because you saw God there’s no need to lie and tell stories.’ Continuing on his way the saint arrived at the other fellow, who was now eating his food. He too asked what the saint had seen whilst with God.
‘Something impossible, miraculous, unbelievable. I saw a giant camel passing through the eye of a needle.’
‘Why is that impossible? God can do anything – that’s simple stuff for God,’ said the second man, continuing his meal.
It was apparent Shri Mataji had recounted this story regarding folks who are easily impressed with outside miracles obvious to the eye, like the teacher whose eyesight had been repaired. Such cures and healing were all right, in fact Mother said She had already exceeded John’s prophesies in the Christian testament.
‘Yet where are all the people? They get cured but they don’t come back and settle down and deepen, so why bother?’ She said, and went on to say that God doesn’t give the light to those who aren’t going to use it to enlighten others, only to those who wanted to help transform and save the world.
‘The Kundalini gets raised then it drops down again. God gives to those who want to help. People just come for curing; and compassion sometimes runs ahead of wisdom. They are not good lights and it is better to repair lamps able to give light to others.’ Mother recounted stories of folks who had got cured from one ailment, guru, or another and then returned to old patterns of behaviour, and gone down again.
Nostradamus talked about Me
Whilst touring with Shri Mataji in the Americas in 1993, I think in Vancouver, Canada, and being very interested in books, research and knowledge about the advent of the Goddess throughout history, I would often pop out if there was a local large book store. Somehow I was talking about different prophecies whereby Shri Mataji commented, ‘Nostradamus talked about Me in his writing’, at which point upon my next visit to a bookshop I bought two or three different editions of Nostradamus’s Quatrains.
16,000 lightning strokes
I was travelling with Shri Mataji from the airport to the ashram in Vancouver, on Her North America tour in 1993. On the way to the ashram Shri Mataji was talking about Shri Vishnumaya, and about the way She works. When we got to the ashram, She was sitting in the sitting room and some Sahaja Yogis were massaging Her Feet. A thunderstorm came and while She was sitting there, a lightning stroke came right through the room, right in front of Her Feet, as a manifestation of Shri Vishnumaya. We could all see it, in front of Her.
Shri Vishnumaya is the principle of the ether, and the manifestation of lightning and thunder are manifestations of Shri Vishnumaya. When there is a lightning storm it is a manifestation of Her power. Another interesting thing is that there was once a puja to Shri Vishnumaya in North America, and there was a big lightning storm in Canada, and they counted 16,000 lightning strokes. The 16,000 powers of the Vishuddhi, so that’s the way the Vishuddhi manifests in nature.
The weather changed dramatically
A warm autumn day greeted Shri Mataji in Vancouver, along with a hundred or so blissful yogis in October 1993. Arriving after an hour’s drive to Abbotsford, we could easily see the beautiful Mount Baker, snow clad and majestic. Mother took a light lunch and chatted as two Sahaja Yogis massaged Her Feet for nearly three hours. Another yogi, at Mother’s direction, pressed firmly on Her right elbow, which is the Right Nabhi. This person described what felt like an intense pulsation which was the incredible strength of the vibrations in Mother’s arm. This caused the yogi’s arm to move and also his whole upper body and shoulder moved with this intense power. This went on for the best part of an hour and Mother also directed us to Her wrist, Vishuddhi, and various fingers, particularly the Right Agnya. Russia is the Right Agnya, and Mother repeatedly asked what was happening with Russian news.
We flicked through Vancouver’s TV channels and came across a half hour Sahaja Yoga slot. The programmes had become so popular that the station used Sahaja videos as a filler, whenever other shows were cancelled, or if there was a broadcasting gap.
As Shri Mataji’s Feet were massaged, during the course of the afternoon the weather changed dramatically. Thunder and lightning struck the whole house, and this was followed by sheets of rain and hail stones. It had been dry for several months. News reports indicated that in Rapid City, further east, a surprising weather picture was unfolding, temperatures fell from 94° Fahrenheit on Wednesday to an expected 44° Fahrenheit, or lower on Thursday, a swing of 50 degrees. Mother just smiled.
Shri Mataji asked if Eskimos were different from American Indian tribes. She was told that they seemed more innocent, as they hadn’t had to deal with what the American Indians had faced, due to two hundred years of mistreatment at the hands of invaders and settlers.
A mid-morning flight on Friday October 8th, 1993 allowed us to see the cloud break over the Rocky Mountains as we approached Los Angeles. The airport was teeming with yogis excited to see their Mother. A PA system and reception room had been arranged for what seemed like two hundred yogis to greet Her.
As flowers were offered to Shri Mataji, a group of Chinese tourists recognised the innocence and sweetness of the moment and spontaneously added their applause. A yogi was questioned by a couple of travellers.
‘Who is the lady?’ one of them asked.
‘My Mother,’ came the reply.
‘What are you celebrating?’
‘Life,’ he responded.
Shri Mataji was delighted to see yogis who had come from Australia, Canada, South America, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe, Malaysia, and across the United States.
Back at the hotel, Shri Mataji settled everyone down with stories, for example about how Cabella was bought just days before Guru Puja 1991. Discussions soon moved onto the schedule for the next four days. Once these were agreed, the topic changed to predictions in the 12th chapter of the Revelation of John.
Editor’ note: this chapter starts with the following verse: ‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars’. ‘The woman’ refers to Shri Mataji.
A door into the kingdom of God
Saturday, 9th October 1993 witnessed a number of meetings and a programme was arranged for some Iranians in Los Angeles. In the afternoon Shri Mataji went shopping and took twelve yogis to a pizza restaurant. Meanwhile some Sahaja Yogis had been orchestrating preparations to make sure the evening meeting was well attended. Beautiful bhajans filled the room, which heralded the start of a wonderful and worthwhile programme.
‘You are opening a door into the kingdom of God for the Persian people,’ Nellie said to Mother. Not surprisingly there were plenty of questions, and after giving realisation Mother worked on members of the audience.
The need to get together
Shri Mataji met a Native American tribe in Los Angeles in the autumn of 1993. There were two groups of the Tumesh tribe – a younger group and an older group. One of the things they spoke about was of trying to regain property and land. Shri Mataji explained that the Native American people would probably never have any power in the country until they got together, to represent themselves as a national group, to get over the fact that they had been dispossessed.
Shri Mataji hears our thoughts
Before Shri Mataji bought a house in Calabasas, California, She would stay in a hotel. I was asked to decorate the suites. We would bring in every kind of art object and redo the place from floor to ceiling. Once I saw a beautiful, gold-plated Shri Buddha and bought it for Shri Mataji. I placed it on the TV and bowed my head.
‘Shri Mataji, this is for You,’ I said in my heart.
She came and stayed and when it was time to go, the yoginis were helping Her pack.
‘That is for Me,’ She said, pointing to the Buddha.
Native American nations
On Her 1993 tour, Shri Mataji met Native Americans from the Gabrielino/Shoshone and Tongua nations. She received gifts from both groups, which included a sage plant. This is used as a sacred healing and ceremonial plant of all native peoples. After this the meeting began. Shri Mataji recounted how when She first visited the Americas, She had asked to meet with indigenous peoples. At one meeting with Native Americans, Mother told a variety of stories illustrating examples of divine powers, such as the power of the bandhan, and explained the very efficient divine powers of love.
‘You have to take the help of God,’ She said.
On this occasion Shri Mataji was informed that the Europeans used Native Americans as slaves to build missions, forced them to work in them, and once freed, they were not entitled to any land. They had no rights, no title or deed. Mother suggested that some land should be given to the Native Americans. Mother’s guests explained their philosophy of being caretakers, using the land as their ancestors did. One such approach was to never take a decision until its impact on the land for the next seven generations was considered.
‘You are a very natural people,’ Shri Mataji continued. ‘My attention is on you. There is so much land, I am sure something will happen. You have all My blessings and love. Thousands in America have so much compassion, thousands in America have so much concern and thousands in America have so much guilt. They feel inside they have done something wrong. You just start, you’ll get money; money is never a problem for a good cause.’
‘How do we come together, so many dispersed peoples, now we are so few?’ Mother was asked.
‘Hold out your hands. Feel, easily you just get it. You are very close to God. Since you were sitting here, I was just enjoying. You are a very ancient people.’
Shri Viratangata Virata
On Sunday October 10th, there was going to be a big West Coast puja, maybe three hundred or more yogis from around the world. We began the three hour drive to Big Bear Park, and climbing above the Los Angeles smog, you could sense the bright morning would turn out just wonderful. The camp setting was peaceful and just before Shri Mataji arrived we spotted the moon to the left and the sun to the right of Mother’s chair, just another of those small details to be enjoyed.
After the puja, where Shri Mataji mentioned 16,000 yogis in the Americas, we headed off back to Los Angeles. Something had happened to the bhajans in the puja. They were being sung as never before in the land of the Vishuddhi, and the bottle neck was clearing.
Dr Worliker delivered introductory talks to a programme for Indians. Shri Mataji was happy that so many had attended and after giving realisation She stayed to work on the seekers. This is when the full power of the post puja bhajans kicked in. By now a large contingent of yogis had arrived from Bear Mountain and unleashed the joy they were experiencing in song. Any doubt about the role of the Vishuddhi was dissolved.
After a hasty lunch, on the 10th October, we dashed off to a recording studio, where two half hour programmes would be recorded. Questions were wide ranging and Shri Mataji went through the process of realisation on camera.
The studio crew argued with the show host Audrey Hope over the shooting of the second segment, as the studio time had now been well overrun. Mother relaxed in Her chair. It was agreed to go ahead with the second half hour show of Reel Women. Strong statements came in response to questions.
‘Now is the judgement time and if you don’t get it now, you’ll miss out forever,’ was one example Shri Mataji gave.
Afterwards we made our back through the Los Angeles haze. Shri Mataji, having obviously enjoyed Herself, was pleased with the afternoon’s events.
Grateful for lessons in protocol
After the Shri Viratanga Puja in the mountains outside Los Angeles in 1993, Shri Mataji gave a public programme in the Los Angeles area. As She entered the hall, I snapped a photo of Her. Glancing up from behind the camera, Her penetrating glance made me realise the breach in protocol that I had committed.
After Shri Mataji had addressed the audience, there was a short entertainment programme offered by an Indian classical dancer. Then Shri Mataji remained to personally greet the newly realised seekers who desired to pay their respects. I headed toward the front to join in singing bhajans. On my way, I met a Sahaja Yogi who had come from abroad and had lived with us in the early 1980’s. He declined an invitation to join me in singing bhajans on account of having a sore throat. We sat down in the back of the hall and spoke together.
A short while later I was summoned to the front by Shri Mataji. I bowed before Her, and Shri Mataji asked why I was sitting talking at the back. I humbly asked for Her forgiveness, and She told me to go and sing with the bhajan singers.
Back home Shri Mataji came to me in a powerful dream that night. I placed my head at Her Feet and bathed in Her ocean of love. The world, the space, all sense of time dissolved. Waking up, I felt cleansed and forgiven. I am deeply grateful to our Holy Mother, the Counsellor, the Comforter, the Redeemer, for the lessons She has given me.
Shri Mataji can move mountains
I had desired so much to reach the LAX Airport in time, in October 1993, to offer Shri Mataji flowers, even though my flight was arriving slightly after Her plane was scheduled to come. Fortunately, Her plane got delayed and I could reach there on time. The Los Angeles yogis had prepared a chair and an airport conference room for Shri Mataji where She sat and received flowers from all of us.
When my turn came, I was so full of emotion that I did pranams to Her and then kept my head bowed, without looking up to Her, while holding up the rose for Her to take. I was feeling that, as She was God, I could not possibly look Her in the eyes. And, to my surprise, the flower did not get taken from my hand. Seconds continued to pass, and eventually I had to raise my eyes to see why She was not taking the flower. As I was slowly raising my gaze to Her, I could see such a big smile on Her Face, radiating boundless love and joy. She had patiently waited as She wanted me to have Her full darshan, and only when I looked into Her limitless eyes She took the flower from my hand with such infinite grace. Then She looked at me intensely, as if trying to figure out who I was, and asked me where I was from. I said I was from Romania.
‘You are the son of the leader!’ She exclaimed. I confirmed this, and Shri Mataji was very surprised. ‘I couldn’t recognize you – what happened to you?’ I didn’t know what it was, and as I did a quick mental check trying to figure out if it was my vibrations that had gone that bad, Shri Mataji said, ‘You are so thin!’ I had indeed been on a student budget diet, spending the absolute minimum on food, and putting my Nabhi to a big test by eating the same cheap food every single day.
‘I’m working too hard, Shri Mataji,’ I replied, not knowing what to say.
That night there was some food served to the yogis in the same room, after Shri Mataji left the airport, and meeting Her had a great effect on my Nabhi: I was so hungry all of a sudden that I helped myself three times. It marked the end of my Nabhi ordeal, and as I was going to see, good times for my Nabhi were lying ahead (I was going to get married in a couple months). That night, the yogis from Cincinnati teased me that Shri Mataji couldn’t see me at the airport, because of how thin I was.
A couple days later, at the end of the Shri Viratanga Puja in Los Angeles, when I offered the present from Indiana, where I was living at the time, I told Shri Mataji that ever since She had talked to me at the airport, I had started to eat heartily and that my goal was to develop a Shri Ganesha belly. She laughed and then became serious.
‘I need to talk to you, are you coming to New York?’ She said. I had not planned to go to New York, because I surely did not have any extra time off.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ was the only thing that came off my lips.
I had no money, no vacation time left, but knew I was going. Miraculously for my impossible financial situation, a yogi from Cincinnati was going to drive all the way to the East Coast and attend the programmes there, and he offered to take me along. I knew that my difficult professor could kick me out of the programme and I would have to return to Romania, but I pondered: ‘I told Shri Mataji that I will be there, and I cannot let Her down. Besides, Shri Mataji can move mountains if She wants to!’ Upon my return I was all right, all by the grace of Shri Mataji.
A year later, Shri Mataji commented, knowing how much I had to go through at the hands of that professor, that he was not pleased with me because he knew I was putting Sahaja Yoga above my duty to him as a graduate student.
I felt like pulling my ears that She was putting Her attention on such a small thing, as She had to put Her attention on the universe. But then I realised how Her love permeated everything, with Her attention catering to our smallest needs, bringing comfort to us whenever the slightest thing upset us. Such is Her infinite love for us!
Captivated by Shri Mataji’s love
In the fall of 1993, my wife and I made our first trip to California from Cincinnati to attend to a puja with Shri Mataji in attendance. Upon arrival at LAX Airport on a Friday evening, we remained to meet Shri Mataji in an area of the airport reserved for the yogis. After this reception, we drove to the puja site in the San Bernardino Mountains. At this point in my Sahaja Yoga experience I had many doubts and was not yet comfortable with where this was all taking me.
At my retirement the previous June, I began a new business of my own. Because I was new at business, I became very angry with myself when the inevitable mistakes happened during the learning process. But when we were at the puja site, after various treatments and a havan, I noticed my anger beginning to subside. It was taken with preparations for the puja: great food and finally the long sit waiting for Mother to arrive. The waiting was accompanied by many bhajans, and when Shri Mataji arrived, my feelings of anger were gone.
The next day we travelled to our hotel in Santa Monica. Even though the puja had been such a wonderful event, I was ready to go on vacation. So, it was not with great enthusiasm I agreed with my wife to attend a talk by Shri Mataji in Santa Monica that evening. We sat near the back so as to leave early if things ran on too late. As it turned out, the vibrations were so strong during Her talk, and the mood was so light and humorous that I, and it seemed the whole audience of six hundred, were captivated by Mother’s love. After She gave realisation, Shri Mataji made Her exit by walking to the back by a side aisle and greeting certain individuals as She went. When She came to where we were sitting, She came to me, taking my left hand in both Her hands.
‘You seem to be enjoying yourself more now and you’re not angry with yourself any more, are you?’ She said.
‘No Shri Mataji,’ I answered weakly. And the tears came.
The right sort of people
With additional meetings back at the hotel in LA, it wasn’t long before it was time to attend the public programme. Dave Dunphy delivered the talk while the bhajan singers soothed every one down. The programme was a resounding success, not because there were over five hundred people present, but as Mother put it, the right sort of people had come, seekers. After realisation the audience gave Mother a standing ovation and remained standing, in order to get a closer glimpse as Shri Adi Shakti passed by, leaving the hall.
On Tuesday October the 12th, Mother bought presents for yogis, had a number of meetings and dealt with other business. An interview with a radio reporter from The Voice of America took place in the evening. It would be broadcast to the Middle East, in Iran.
At night it was time for farewells before we boarded the ‘red eye’ flight to Washington DC. The 5.45 am flight arrival was met by yogis excitedly greeting Mother to the nation’s capital.
Washington was witness to two programmes, one invitation only. This was targeted at government workers and elected officials. Unfortunately evening voting schedules on important health bills being tabled in Congress worked against elected officials attending. Nevertheless, Shri Mataji was delighted with the twenty or so folks who did show. These were high calibre bureaucrats that oil the wheels in Washington, from government to World Bank officials.
Back at the hotel, relaxing after the day’s events, Mother watched the animated video production of the Ramayana. She enjoyed it immensely, occasionally pointing out a particular character or point.
We all looked our best
When Shri Mataji went to Washington DC there was a very small collective there. I went because I was originally from Washington, the capital. There was going to be a programme at the National Institute of Health and we wanted to do a reception for senators and congressmen. Paul Ellis, the leader, put together a beautiful idea, like a lobbying campaign, and a lot of people came to take these beautiful packages we had made for all the congressmen. We had the programme arranged in a house with a lot of flowers and we all looked our best. Shri Mataji came, and some people came to the programme, but no one from Capitol Hill, because they were having a vote at that time.
Later, Shri Mataji told me that we were too right-sided about our efforts – especially me – and that is was why no elected officials came. When Shri Adi Shakti corrected you, it was quite alarming! But at the same time, you felt Her unconditional love and compassion comforting you. It was like She cared enough about you to help you grow.
City of brotherly love
Immediately after the programme the next evening, in October 1993, we departed by car from Washington to Philadelphia in convoy. The hundred mile journey took several hours and we stopped at some of the fast food stops which adorn the interstate highways across America. We arrived at about four in the morning and mostly fell asleep where we were. It was the first time Shri Mataji was in Philadelphia for a public programme, and you could sense it was going to be a success, as the vibrations could be seen dancing across the sky. Mother was delighted with the response and the turnout.
Snatching ourselves away from Philadelphia, the road train headed off to New York. New York is always a sight to behold, skyscrapers everywhere. Steam poured out on to the sidewalks as we weaved through the web of streets to an eagerly awaited hotel carpet. Four o’clock in the morning, again!
In Her infinite compassion
In October 1993 I jumped in the car (from Cincinnati) and travelled with my Sahaja Yogi friend to see Shri Mataji at all three East Coast programmes. I was beside myself with joy when, at the end of the Washington DC programme, She asked me to work on one of the new people on the stage, together with other yogis from the East Coast.
The day of Shri Mataji’s departure from the USA back to Europe arrived, and I joined the yogis in seeing Her off at the airport. She received flowers from all of us.
‘I want you to come to Diwali in Russia and get married,’ She said when I offered Her mine. The time was very short and I wasn’t sure if I could get the visa etc. and so, forgetting completely for a moment that I was talking to sakshat Shri Adi Shakti, I told Shri Mataji that I would not be able to make it. She looked at me very surprised and asked me again and I said I would not be able to go.
‘All right, forget it, just come to Ganapatipule and get married there,’ She said after the third time.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I replied.
Somehow I knew that things would work out, so was determined to go. In Her infinite compassion, Shri Mataji also said that I should pay only a nominal fee as I was going only for marriage. We all waved Her good-bye as She passed through the gates and waved back to us with a handkerchief, making bandhans with Her hands over us as She was waving. It was a very powerful moment.
Shri Mataji cured me
It was in Cabella at the castle in 1993. One day, when the weather was particularly chilly, I was quite ill with bronchitis or a chest infection and went to consult the doctor in the village, and he gave me a prescription to take antibiotics. I wasn’t so sure about antibiotics, because I heard that they stop the subtle work of vibrations and they can’t usually cure. I went up to the castle to Shri Mataji’s kitchen, to speak with the lady who was looking after Shri Mataji, and asked if she could request Shri Mataji to give advice about this type of medicine. I waited for an answer for quite a long time, and felt so good that I even forgot I was ill. Finally the lady came back from Shri Mataji’s rooms and told me that She said not to take antibiotics, but to work with Sahaj techniques, and while she was telling me what to do I didn’t feel ill any more. While I was there enjoying the vibrations I felt completely healed, and I left the castle singing and smiling happily, and while I was walking back home down to the village I met the doctor.
‘What are you doing out?’ he shouted at me. ‘You were supposed to be sick in bed, but on the contrary, you look completely well and cured. How is this possible?’
I replied that Shri Mataji cured me and I was fine.
Chapter 6: 1993 – November and December, Russia and India
Shri Mahalakshmi Puja
During the first years of Sahaja Yoga in Russia, Shri Mataji came to Moscow several times a year. It was not an easy time for Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet Republics faced a severe economic crisis. On November 12th 1993, Shri Mahalakshmi Puja was offered to Shri Mataji in Moscow.
Bigger halls needed
Sahaja Yoga was spreading in Moscow with the speed of a fire. In Moscow, the hall of the House of Culture ‘Red October’ did not fit all the seekers of truth. Several times afterwards the halls of Sahaja Yoga meetings were changed for bigger ones.
Mother knew you would interview Her
It was my third year in Sahaja Yoga. In St Petersburg, 1993, Mother was giving two public programmes in a big stadium, the Jubileiniy. On the first day, 31st July, many people came, it was so festive. Baba Mama, transmitting love, a sort of childlike joy and benevolence, was conducting his orchestra. The Sahaja Yogis of St Petersburg were sitting all over the stadium with happy faces. Few people had Indian clothes, and most people put on the best clothes they had.
By the end of the programme, when Mother asked those who felt a breeze coming off their head or their palms to raise their hands, a ‘wood’ of hands rose. Like in the previous programmes with Mother; many of the yogis and people who had just got their realisation had tears of joy pouring from their shining eyes, which had become enormous; and a spontaneous dance started on different levels of the stands.
The following day, I arranged to meet one of the sisters, and to go with her to pick some wild flowers for Mother, because we knew that wild flowers gave Her much pleasure. When she arrived, I was already dressed. It was really hot, like the day before. We were ready to go out, but I suddenly decided to change into another suit: a formal one.
‘What are you doing? It is so hot!’ my friend asked me with surprise.
‘I don’t know,’ I said, as I changed.
Having picked some flowers, we arrived at the stadium and Mother started the programme. I was in a row in the middle, when someone touched my shoulder and told me to follow him, because Mother agreed to give an interview after the programme. I was an experienced journalist, but my first reaction was that I felt I was not prepared to interview Mother. I prepared a couple of questions, but my head was completely empty.
We reached the back of the stage and went in. There were many people there and instead of kneeling, I lay down on the floor stretching my hands forward with my palms upwards. It was absolutely natural for me at that moment, and the only possible thing to do. Shri Mataji was sitting in an armchair. Yura, the interpreter, was opposite Mother, and my place was at Mother’s Feet. I sat up and took the microphone. My head was still empty, and I felt as if I were near something unknown to me.
For about an hour I was passing the microphone to Mother and taking it back from Her hands. I was sure She was being very severe with me – Her eyes were like an amplified model of an atom and, although I was concentrated on the work, the feeling of incredibility and half-awareness of a wonderful awe did not leave me. When the work was done, Mother told us to eat the fruits which had been prepared for Her.
As I walked out of that room full of divine vibrations, I understood why I was wearing a formal suit. I watched the video of the interview and Mother was looking at me with such love. Thank You, Mother, I am very happy.
My children’s house
I attended Diwali Puja in Moscow in 1993. It was a wonderful programme and Shri Mataji was sitting between the Sahaja Yogis on the stage. Shri Mataji had Her hand on a big bag of money and asked all the ladies to dance in front of Her, so one by one the ladies came and She was giving us money and we were passing it to the Qawwali group. That time was very difficult for us in Russia and most of us had no jobs or money. I got a chance to go to India tour just after that, miraculously.
I had had realisation one year before, and had not seen Shri Mataji personally. I was waiting for that meeting to see how my heart would respond. We were all working in Mother’s house near Moscow and She was supposed to come there from the airport, but a lot of the work was not finished and we doubted whether She would come. In the morning we came and saw that there was so much to be done, and I felt I could not go to meet Mother at the airport if the house was not ready for Her. So I started working and thought I would get a chance to meet Her some other time. Then a phone call came that Shri Mataji would come, so we changed our clothes and had flowers ready and were all waiting outside the house for Her.
Then we received another call that Shri Mataji’s car was held up in traffic but almost immediately a car arrived with dark window glass, so we could not see who was inside. It was Shri Mataji, and all the other cars and buses were stuck in the traffic. We saw Her hand coming out of the car. When She went inside She called us all inside and allowed us to give the flowers to Her Lotus Feet. For one year I had been praying to the photo, but when I met Her I felt I had known Her for so long, and something started moving in my heart and tears came. She thanked us all for working so hard in the house.
‘I know that all My children have been building this house,’ She said. ‘No matter that the work is not finished. I will not go to any hotel, don’t worry, I will stay in this house because it is My children’s house.’
Shri Mataji is much more
In 1993 we were in Moscow for Diwali Puja, staying in a hotel. Shri Mataji was in that room at times, our luggage was in it, we were sleeping and also cooking there.
‘Very nice saris and a very nice necklace,’ Shri Mataji would say, because I had a necklace and Mother asked where it came from. She was like a mother.
When Mother spoke like this, I felt less in awe, but in my heart I still knew who She was, but I was enjoying. She was making me feel relaxed, but still, I realised that She is much more. Mother gave a public programme, there was the Diwali Puja and also we went to St Petersburg and Togliatti, where She gave programmes. The Diwali Puja was in a big stadium.
On that occasion, Shri Mataji gave all the leaders a sniffing powder to sniff and sneeze. They were all sneezing and everybody was laughing. It is a powder made of some flowers and if you put a little bit near the nose, you start sneezing. It is to clear your nose and the sinus, and for colds and the Hamsa chakra. When you have taken this powder, you keep on sneezing for quite some time so they were all sitting together and sneezing and cracking some joke. Everybody was laughing and enjoying the time with Shri Mataji.
The most gracious smile
In Togliatti, in 1993 there was Shri Shakti Puja. It was held at a tourist centre on the picturesque shores of the Volga River in attendance of up to two thousand yogis, many of which were novices in Sahaja Yoga. After finishing the puja protocol and offering gifts to Shri Mataji there was a big distribution of little gifts from Shri Mataji Herself to the yogis.
First, little girls up to eight years from Togliatti were invited, then little boys, then teenager girls, then teenager boys, and so on, and so on. Many new Togliatti Sahaja Yogis crowded, longing to get the gifts from Shri Mataji. I saw them and thought that I wanted to get a gift too, but the most precious gift for me would be to be in our Great Mother’s holy attention forever, so that She would know about my existence and recognize me. I did not understand then that She knew everything about each human being.
At last all the Togliattians had got their gifts and some active Sahaja Yogis from other collectives were invited to the stage. The invited yogis lined up at the side of Shri Mataji’s chair and their leader gave out the gifts. Shri Mataji did not take part Herself in the gift distributing and was talking with some yogis of Her entourage. When the turn of Kiev came I heard my name too, possibly because I had been Shri Mataji’s translator there, and made my way to the stage. When I joined the line of our yogis I looked spontaneously at Shri Mataji and was astonished to see that She turned to me and with the most gracious smile greeted me with namastey! So She remembered me! I was completely dizzy, so I awkwardly bowed down. I got the gift I desired so much and also learned that we all are in our Great Mother’s attention.
Afterwards there were several other instances when I was blessed to come close to Shri Mataji and even to talk with Her briefly, offering Her our national gifts at pujas, etc.
Faster than an eighteen year old
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.
It was in Russia, during the Diwali Puja Seminar in 1993 when I had two very special personal experiences. I could not go to Bucharest when Shri Mataji went there, as I was preparing a difficult university entrance examination, but, together with another 150 Romanians or so, we took the two-day train journey to Moscow for Diwali. I was so eager to see Shri Mataji after the long year which had lapsed since seeing Her in Timisoara, in 1992, that I would not miss any chance to be in Her presence.
So, together with thousands of other yogis, I was awaiting Her arrival at the entrance of the huge Dynamo Stadium. She arrived, coming from the crisp Moscow air into the hall, which was filled with Her very eager disciples. It was then that I had the sudden feeling that I was not separate from Her, not a distinct individual, but part of Her. The feeling was somewhat puzzling at the time, and overwhelming, so perhaps out of a desire to clarify its meaning, I felt the urge to stay in Her immediate presence as long as possible.
As She was advancing towards Her armchair in the centre of the hall, I tried to walk along the cordon of people that had formed. To my surprise, I realised that I actually had to run to keep up with Her very energetic and rapid walk. I was eighteen at the time, and Shri Mataji was in Her sixties, but She was faster and way more energetic than any of us.
Shri Mataji’s sense of humour
The atmosphere during the long cultural programmes was almost informal, very relaxed and joyful. When one such an artistic programme was about to begin, a photographer popped out of the crowd of several hundreds or thousands of people, asking if he could take a photograph. Shri Mataji seemed to agree, so he started shooting away. Shri Mataji was smiling, apparently at a private joke and a few seconds later signalled to the photographer to have a look at his camera. He stopped, turned it towards himself and, to his dismay, noticed that the cap of the camera lens had been on all along. He took it off and took one more picture.
All those who noticed the scene had a huge laugh.
Shri Mataji misses nothing
It might have been the second India tour I was coordinating, in 1993. I went to see Shri Mataji to talk about it in Delhi in the New Temple. I was wearing a khadi kurta-pyjama, which I had bought cheaply in Delhi. Shri Mataji took one look at it and laughed.
‘What are you wearing?’ She asked, so I walked up to Her and held my arm out. ‘Come here, come here. Oh yes, this is cheap, cheap khadi. You should get decent kurta-pyjamas.’ She proceeded to show me how you can tell the difference between the different types of cotton by pulling the threads apart with Her fingernails. She touched my sleeve. ‘See, that’s thin. You can tell it’s not very good because if it stays together when you pull it apart with your fingernails, then that is very good cotton. So next time buy better cotton.’
We were in Yamuna Nagar about two weeks later dancing round a fire and Shri Mataji suddenly burst out into laughter and pointed at my kurta and, lo and behold, I had a hole in it. It was at the back and I hadn’t noticed. The funny thing was I hadn’t remembered. I didn’t correlate the two things together, but Shri Mataji did. She immediately remembered the conversation about the cheap cotton.
She missed nothing. Her attention was so acute that even the smallest things She noticed and remembered. That’s what really amazed me afterwards, when I thought about it.
Shri Mataji looked far away
We were on the India tour. It was the end of a puja, and Shri Mataji looked very far away.
‘You cannot imagine what Your Father has prepared for you,’ She said.
She had these shining eyes, with joy like you knew She knew exactly what She was saying and it was absolutely true, and there was something that we cannot even think of.
The drum is Shiva’s heartbeat
I was on an India tour and we were in Haryana or somewhere near there. We heard that Shri Mataji wanted to talk to the musicians and all the yogis in a garden. I was learning the dholak that year, so I sat in the front with the other musicians and we played to Mother. Then She started to talk, and I was sitting very close to Her. I was looking into Her eyes – they were so beautiful, like pools, like the sea, only brown. Shri Mataji said that the drum is Shiva’s heartbeat. Then later on She made a comment in Hindi, and I got up to move away.
‘No, you be comfortable,’ She said, but it was strange, because when She had spoken in Hindi, She had asked someone else to move, and I had done what She said as if I had understood. She spoke to all of us for some minutes. I had a shawl over my head and She told me to take it off, and said that in the morning I should leave my head uncovered, and it was in the afternoon that we needed to cover our heads. She also spoke about the Kundalini.
‘Your Kundalinis are your Mother, and that’s why She lets you sleep, but really you should get up at four o’clock in the morning,’ She said. She spoke about craftsmen and people who could make things by hand. There were far fewer of them now so they were getting into a position where their services were very much required. Even in India, having gone through a phase of wanting plastic, people now want everything hand crafted again. Then Mother pointed to one of the trees near there.
‘What tree is that?’ She asked, and nobody knew, and Mother was laughing, but She said we should know more about nature.
The great orchestra conductor
We were at the end of an India Tour. As Shri Mataji walked past I had the smell of a rose garden passing by. We had a puja and at the end the usual happened, which is that some people got up and started trying to move forward, and they created an unholy scramble just at the time when it would be better to sit in meditation. Shri Mataji began to scold the people who were pushing forwards and made us all stand up.
Once normality and order was restored, the post puja process continued and I watched as Shri Mataji directed the people around Her with consummate ease, and She was totally in charge of the entire proceedings. It passed fleetingly through my mind that She was conducting everybody like the conductor of some great orchestra and right at that moment, Shri Mataji turned Her head towards me and spoke. I was unable to hear, not only because I was some distance away but also because it seemed too incredible for me to take in. She was actually speaking to me. Something made me step out from the crowd.
‘Would you like to take a photograph of My Feet?’ Shri Mataji repeated Herself.
Without thinking I walked forward with my camera, which God knows how, was in my hand and ready.
‘Oh but My Feet, they are not decorated,’ She said, as I was about to come up the steps. I had no hesitation inside me – the Feet of God are the Feet of God whether they are decorated or not.
‘Oh that doesn’t matter, Shri Mataji,’ I said – the words fell out of my mouth – and I took my photo.
Don’t cover your head in the morning
It was during the India tour at Yamuna Nagar in 1993/94. There was big garden in front of the house where Shri Mataji was staying, and one nice morning She asked to have a get together and some bhajans. It was around ten o’clock, and sunny, and some of us quickly went to bring musical instruments from the nearby tents where we were staying. Some people were wearing qawwali hats and caps, and Shri Mataji asked them to remove them. Until then we did not know that we should not cover our heads. We went and sat before Shri Mataji with our musical instruments, and She again saw someone wearing a qawwali hat, and that was me.
‘Beta (son) don’t cover your head in the morning,’ She said. ‘The sun’s rays are light in the morning and are very good for the hair to grow. You should cover your head when the sun is hot. Until twelve o’clock, the morning sunshine is good but after that you must cover your head to protect the Sahasrara from the hot sun.’
After some bhajans Shri Mataji pointed to one tree and then another and another, and asked yogis to tell Her the name of that particular tree. Some of them didn’t know them so Shri Mataji told us. She said that we should know all about nature and the names of the trees and flowers.
The Yamuna River
In December 1993, on the India tour, we were staying near the Yamuna River. One night the Yogis built a huge wood fire and Shri Mataji came and sat under a tree by it, and we all gathered around. The musicians started playing, Mother called the Yogis from each country and we took it in turn to dance in front of Her. After a while some large packages were brought to Mother. She had bought us beautiful white cotton shawls. They were most welcome as it was a cool night.
Later, a young Russian girl sang Vishwa Vandita. Her voice was so pure and clear, it rose in the silent night, singing the praise of the Goddess; I had never heard anything so beautiful. There was Shri Mataji sitting under the tree, all the yogis wrapped in their white shawls, this beautiful voice, the stars and the fire. It was timeless, like a William Blake painting. That night Shri Mataji told us that it had been predicted long ago that the Goddess would sit there with Her devotees around Her.
Anonymous Australian Sahaja Yogi
Shri Mataji can stay with Her children
In December 1993, during the India tour, Shri Mataji accepted the Sahaja Yogis’ request to visit Dehra Dun. As is normally done, we were busy finding a suitable place for Her to stay. We were not able to find anywhere and decided to once again try for the Officer’s Rest House in the Forestry Research Institute. I went to the Director General and surprisingly he was unable to accede to my request, even though I had an excellent relationship with him. I tried to explain that She was an international celebrity and the wife of a leading diplomat, but nothing worked. I suggested further that Shri Mataji was the founder of Sahaja Yoga, and gave realisation to seekers. He showed great interest.
‘I know Shri Mataji,’ he said, ‘She belongs to Madhya Pradesh, which is my state.’ He was willing to give another guest house which was not for VVIP’s, but not the one I requested. ‘If She is Shri Mataji, She can stay with Her children,’ he suggested.
‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘She will be pleased to do that, but it is for the children to ensure every comfort is available to Mother, for She works very hard and incessantly.’ The Director General rose, with folded hands, and apologised for being unable to give the rest house. I came back rather dispirited. The next day the Dehra Dun leader was having dinner at my bungalow – an officer’s residence in the FRI, designed like the Officer’s Rest House. It had a very green front full of trees and potted plants.
‘Shri Mataji stays in Her children’s house, and we can arrange Her stay in your house this time,’ suggested the leader with a smile, echoing what the Director General had said to me. We were thrilled with this decision. During our meditation, we saw Shri Mataji knocking at our door. This vision came to me, my wife and our two children at separate times, but we did not believe it, because, we reasoned, how could Mother feel comfortable in this old, shabby bungalow! Now our vision was going to be realised! During the sprucing up of the house, one of the Yuva Shakti broke the statue of Shri Krishna, and felt very sorry. My wife told him not to worry, because sakshat Shri Krishna is visiting, therefore why bother about a statue? Shri Mataji came to Dehra Dun from Yamuna Nagar, where She had accepted a Shri Krishna Puja at Hathni Kund the previous day.
Shri Mataji arrived at my bungalow at noon and remained in the car in meditation for a while, then came out and saw the potted plants. Many of the pots were old and broken, and we had forgotten to remove them.
‘Such nice plants,’ She said joyfully to the man accompanying Her. ‘We should plant these in Pune.’ She entered the house, looked around, and smilingly told my wife, ‘I have come to My house.’ My son took Her picture as She reached the front door. She accepted the lunch which had been prepared by the collective and was very cheerful. We were not supposed to enter Her room, but She wanted to know about tulips, and I was called in. Thus I was blessed. Then Shri Mataji looked at some paintings done by my wife. She asked who had done them, and my wife was called. Shri Mataji greatly admired the sense of colour in them and asked about the details.
These things gave me great joy. Firstly, after the Shri Krishna Puja, She blessed me by visiting my house. Secondly, I felt so happy, because it was my birthday, and thirdly, Shri Mataji desired some of my wife’s paintings for Cabella.
Thank you very much!
I was staying in Nagpur at the Music Academy in the 1993, in the house of Bala Mama, Shri Mataji’s younger brother who was formerly a renowned judge. In the next house was the eldest brother of Shri Mataji, and She was elsewhere in Nagpur. The eldest brother came to know that Shri Mataji was in town, and he wanted very much to see Her. Later She was to leave Nagpur, and we wanted to see Her at the airport.
It was already quite late and we spent a lot of time getting Her brother to the airport to see Shri Mataji off, because he was very elderly. We were not even sure She would still be there. We finally arrived in a rickshaw, and just as we arrived, Shri Mataji came out from all the people.
‘This is great that you came,’ She said to him and had a big talk with him, and he gave Her the flowers I had bought to give – I gave them to him to give to Her. As he did She looked straight in my face.
‘Thank you very much!’ She said. She knew.
Mother really knows we are here
India tour, 1993. It was the last night at Ganapatipule and we were having the weddings. A yogini and I took a little walk down to the entrance to the camp, and we were discussing the fact that we hadn’t seen Shri Mataji, as She did not come with us on the tour that year. We wondered whether She knew we were there. As we walked back to the place where the weddings were to take place, we were caught in the headlights of a car which drew to a stop, as we were right in front of it. As we stood there, we realised it was Mother’s car and She was in the back. We moved, and the car went on.
‘Well Mother really knows we are here now!’ I said to my friend. This was Mother’s little play to tell us She know everything.
Chapter 7: 1994 January to March, India, Australia and New Zealand
Where were you until now?
I had my realisation in 1991. I had a desire to meet Shri Mataji and after three years, in 1994 had the opportunity. There was some work at Pratishthan, and we got the chance to meet Her there. We waited outside and after half an hour Shri Mataji called us in. As soon as we reached Her room, I remember to this day Her wonderful smile and laughter.
‘Where were you until now?’ She said.
Shri Mataji talked a lot to us, and I also remember those words. I felt a lot of vibrations and a thrill running through my body. Shri Mataji spoke to us for about three quarters of an hour. She spoke about some of the former respected political leaders of India, many of whom She knew personally. I was sitting at Her Lotus Feet at that time and experienced Shri Mataji’s love and that She is our Mother.
‘Give them water, give them something to eat,’ She had said when we had reached there. While talking, in between, She would say, ‘Give them something to eat.’
She is Adi Shakti, who is our Mother, and She was so generous and humble, and we have so much to learn from Her.
We were stunned
In January 1994 Shri Mataji came to Bangalore for a public programme. The day after the public programme there was a small gathering with Shri Mataji of local Sahaja Yogis and some performing artists. After the artists had performed, somebody suggested that my son, who was just learning the flute, should play in front of Her. He played without accompaniment, and Shri Mataji liked his playing very much. She spoke about the difficulty of playing wind instruments. Then She wanted to know who the parents were – we were stunned but slowly went towards Her. Shri Mataji asked me what I did for a living, and I told Her I was in the merchant navy. She asked me whether I was working for the Shipping Corporation of India and I said I was with a Hong Kong based company.
‘When you go to Hong Kong, meet the (Sahaja) leader there,’ She said, and She told me his name.
On 16th January 1994, I lost my young nephew in very tragic circumstances, and felt as if a heavy stone had been put across my breast. On 28th January Shri Mataji gave a public programme in Pune, and I went, just to see Mother. In those days, She used to make the seekers raise their hands at the end and ask the question, whether this was the param chaitanya, and if they felt a cool breeze this was confirmation that it was. At this time a heavy ball-like feeling was pulled up within me and left me.
The next day, I went with two other Sahaja Yoginis to Pratishthan, as they had some personal work. I sat outside on the back steps for about three hours and then we were called up to see Mother. I hesitated at the door, but Mother saw me.
‘Oh, it’s you, come in,’ She said, and shook my hands, which I don’t recall, but my friends told me that She did.
I sat with my head down in front of Shri Adi Shakti, feeling bad that I had a bad Vishuddhi, as one Yogi told me that I had, as I had entered Pratishthan in the morning.
‘I had a bad Vishuddhi yesterday and I was wondering if I would be able to make a speech,’ Shri Mataji suddenly said.
My heart just melted with Her compassion and love, imagine Shri Adi Shakti saying such a thing to make me feel good, and that it was okay to have a bad Vishuddhi sometimes! She asked Her lady attendant to get Her some Sitopaladi Churan, and before I could control myself, I told Her that as a child, I took the same thing when I had a cough. She asked the lady to prepare a bowl for me too, mixed with some honey. Then, Shri Mataji offered us some biscuits and tea, and I was just sitting in meditation, hearing the others talk to Her.
Tears of never before felt joy
The first time I saw Shri Mataji was at the 1994 Birthday Puja in Calcutta, just a few months after I had come to Sahaja Yoga. We went to the airport to receive Her, but within a short time it became obvious that I wouldn’t stand a chance to get anywhere near as the waiting area filled up with Indian Sahaja Yogis. By the time Mother came out through the door I was standing quite out of the way, but suddenly a scuffle erupted with the police trying to clear the chaos. Then Shri Mataji suddenly stood before me!
No-one and what felt like nothing was between Mother and me. I became instantly thoughtless and bathed in light and love to the point that tears of never before felt joy started rolling down my cheeks, and Shri Mataji was just smiling at me. What to me felt like time had come to a stand-still must have really lasted only a few seconds, but to this day I vividly remember that radiant smile, and for some reason, Mother’s sari.
I felt Shri Mataji was guiding me
It was at Birthday Puja in Calcutta in 1994 that I first had the privilege to have the sakshat darshan of Shri Mataji in person, in the house of the then leader, where Shri Mataji was staying. An old Sahaja Yogi had taken me to Shri Mataji. First I was sitting outside the room of Shri Mataji and meditating for some time, and then She called us inside the room. It was a great moment for me and I made my pranams to Her, and She saw me.
‘He had to come to Sahaja Yoga,’ She said, ‘because he is the worshipper of Shakti.’ I felt great vibrations and then Shri Mataji said, ‘Yes, he can look after Jaipur.’
So She gave me a responsibility that day to be a collective coordinator. Since that day She pulled me up with great force in Sahaja Yoga, and every moment after that I felt good vibrations, as if She was just holding my hand and taking me, and guiding me to be Her instrument.
A lesson in confidence
In the 1990’s, when Shri Mataji was visiting Calcutta, I was in Her room and She asked me to choose between two petticoats to match Her sari. I was scared to touch Shri Mataji’s saris so did a pranam to the sari in my heart. I believed I wouldn’t do it right as the shades of the petticoats were too close. If Shri Mataji had trouble how could I do it? Just then one of the aunties entered the room and I thought, ‘I am saved!’ I asked for her help but Shri Mataji said no, I should do it. I did my best, Shri Mataji didn’t say anything, accepted it and wore it. I learnt my lesson: have confidence and take responsibility.
Shruti Jalan Gupta
I used to wear pastels but Shri Mataji gave me a fluorescent red salwar-kurta with a lot of gold work on it. Whenever I wore it, I would stand out as it was so bright. I always preferred to blend in, so this was an amazing experience. I enjoyed wearing it each time as it elevated me vibrationally.
Shruti Jalan Gupta
Shri Mataji enjoyed the poem
One day I wrote a poem and hid it behind Shri Mataji’s photograph. I was very careful and particular that no one found out about it. The next day I destroyed it. After a few months, Shri Mataji came to Calcutta and we went to the airport to welcome Her. We offered flowers and when it was my turn, I offered them and bowed down. Shri Mataji said She had read the poem I wrote and loved it. My mouth was open and all I could do was pranams.
Shruti Jalan Gupta
Shri Mataji saved my father
A close relative passed away when my father was not in Calcutta, so my grandmother had to make an overnight journey by car with a few relatives to go to the funeral without him. On the way, they encountered dacoits and were looted. My grandmother lost her jewellery, had a few bruises and was shaken up but unfortunately our driver was shot dead.
After a few months, Shri Mataji visited Calcutta. She told my mother that She saved my father by preventing him from getting back to Calcutta. If he had returned, he would have accompanied my grandmother and would have been shot because he would have spoken out. Nobody had narrated this story to Shri Mataji or any Sahaja Yogi, and my mother bowed down and thanked Her.
Shruti Jalan Gupta
Welcoming Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji had been to Australia a number of times previously but this year was different. We decided that Her home whilst in Sydney, at Burwood, must be renovated in the manner of a palace befitting the queen of heaven. We laboured mightily, enlarging the meditation room, building Shri Mataji a new marble lined bathroom and redecorating Her bedroom and sitting-room suite to be far more majestic than hitherto.
The hall of the Burwood house is quite long and Shri Mataji would use it frequently so it was given the royal treatment. All the decorative mouldings were repaired, the attached columns and their arches were lovingly repainted and there was lots of gilding. The walls were given a rich appearance, mottled forest green over a pale aquamarine field. New carpet was laid and new chandeliers hung. A painting of the Tree of Life, lovingly worked on by the ladies of the collective, was installed in one of the closed up doorways and other artworks by artists in the collective were hung. The only thing remaining was a special photograph of Shri Mataji Herself, to be hung at the far end of the hall, looking towards the front door.
Shri Mataji, after having been welcomed at the airport with love and enthusiasm, went straight to the Easter Puja venue at Bundilla Scout Camp at Parramatta.. Once the concert and puja had run their wonderful course it was the moment to return to Burwood to be there to welcome Her. So, there we were, standing on the footpath outside 10, Clarence Street, with the front door open and the traditional rangoli chalked on the steps. Shri Mataji duly arrived, was helped from Her car and looked up towards the house.
‘Oh look, there I am to meet Me,’ She exclaimed.
For a fraction of a second we stood non-plussed, then it dawned on us. But how had She seen so quickly, or otherwise have known that at the far end of the hall was this beautiful photograph of Her?
I was so eager
In 1994 Shri Mataji visited Perth and Sydney. By Her grace, I was able to do puja to Her in Sydney. I was told by the Perth yoginis to get up quickly when called. When I did, they made a pathway for me and when I got to the stage I was first there, and then felt terrible for being so eager. I have the video of that puja and I don’t look any different to anyone else, but I hardly recognise myself!
Shri Ganesha and Shri Hanuman
In 1994 in Australia, I was driving Shri Mataji in Her car, and at one point She said this.
‘Lord Ganesha will take you to the heart and Lord Hanuman will take you the rest of the way.’
This led me to believe that a fully developed Sahaja Yogi must have both the left and right side fully developed, to be a fully useful instrument for the divine.
The children brought Her flowers
We went on a picnic with Shri Mataji to Lane Cove National Park, Sydney, in 1994. There were lots of children and about seventy yogis.
Shri Mataji arrived and sat in a chair, and admired all the different trees and flowers. All the children were playing and it was very casual and nice. Shri Mataji was talking to different people, and was talking a lot about the trees. We would pick different branches and bring them to Her. She spent a little time smelling the scent of the gum leaves. The children brought Her flowers – it was very lovely and spontaneous and we had such a gracious day with Her. It was very relaxed and like being a part of Her family.
How each face changed
At Brisbane Airport in 1994 we were all going up to Shri Mataji and offering a flower. Two Sahaja brothers were watching at a distance and each time someone went up to namaskar to Mother they looked at each other and smiled as if confirming something. Later they said they were enjoying looking at how each face changed and became pink and glowing after Shri Mataji’s attention flowed over that yogi.
The children wandered off
In 1994 I travelled on the same flight with Shri Mataji, around Australia and to New Zealand, sitting with Her and carrying Her hand luggage. It was wonderful to be flying on the same plane as Shri Mataji, to leave with Her with all the Perth Sahaja Yogis saying goodbye; then to arrive at the next airport to the joyful welcome of the Melbourne Sahaja Yogis. Arriving in Melbourne, Shri Mataji gave a talk to everyone present when She first arrived at the ashram.
We had a public programme one evening and then one afternoon we all went to a national park in the Dandenongs, some hills on the edge of Melbourne. Shri Mataji sat on a chair and spoke to all the yogis sitting on the grass in front of Her. At one point, early in Her talk, She said that some children had wandered off and we should go and get them.
‘Shri Mataji, all the children are here,’ some of the yogis said, looking round. Shri Mataji repeated that some young children had wandered off and we should go and bring them back as it wasn’t safe to let them wander off. She said we should go and bring the children back. She was looking to Her left, into the distance.
I quietly got up and walked around the back of the yogis, in the direction She had been looking towards. Shri Mataji watched me leave. The path led to a small wooden bridge over a fast moving creek, (stream) and along the creek. After walking some distance I met a couple coming towards me bringing two young children with them.
I said I had come looking for two young children who had wandered off. I didn’t know these children at all, but somehow knew these were the ones, because they had strong vibrations. I told them that Shri Mataji had sent me to bring them back and they happily held my hand and walked back with me. The oldest was about four and the younger about two years old.
Some of the Melbourne yogis had brought a woman in a wheel chair towards Shri Mataji and placed her wheel chair next to Her. Shri Mataji spoke to her and she sat next to Shri Mataji for about twenty minutes, while Shri Mataji turned Her attention to other yogis before Her.
She has so much love for us all
The next day the Sahaja Yogi looking after Shri Mataji asked me if I would carry Her hand luggage onto the plane. The evening before, after the picnic, Shri Mataji had asked him to massage Her arm and shoulder. The woman in the wheelchair who had come to see Shri Mataji had received her realisation six months earlier, was terminally ill with breast cancer, with only weeks to live and so had flown down from Queensland to see Shri Mataji before she died. Because she was new to Sahaja Yoga she did not know protocol and was placed so close to Shri Mataji that she could reach over and hold Shri Mataji’s right hand, which she did for about twenty minutes.
Much negativity had been taken by Shri Mataji into Her body, and had caused Her pain in Her right arm and shoulder, so the Sahaja Yogi had massaged these areas for hours. Some of the negativity had entered his arm and shoulder and the pain was such that he could no longer carry the hand luggage. Shri Mataji told him he would be all right in about three days. I asked why Shri Mataji had allowed her to hold Her hand.
‘Shri Mataji is our Mother, She is always giving to Her children, She has so much love for us all,’ he said.
I began to see Mother as God
Shri Mataji came to New Zealand again in 1994, and I was still cooking. I was a little less new, and a little more experienced at cooking for Shri Mataji. It was a Shri Mahamaya Puja and this time there were more people, and we couldn’t fit them all into the meditation room. The men had built a deck out at the back, with a little pendal and this is where we had the puja.
The neighbours were all watching, and clapping along to the music, and then Mother gave a very deep talk about how people worship the Virgin but behave like prostitutes. Nevertheless the neighbours stayed, and listened to the talk, and at the end they clapped and applauded. Before that they had not been positive towards us.
In 1994, She did not come out and talk to us as before. On that visit, however, an Indian Fijian pundit came to see Her. When Mother was leaving She looked at this pundit and told him very clearly what he should do.
Finally I began to see Mother as God, so there was a development through these different visits and encounters with Her.
The land of Shri Kartikeya
Shri Mataji’s last public programme in New Zealand was appropriately held at the Auckland Town Hall, a majestic, classic heritage building. Six hundred people attended the talk, and Shri Mataji gave a very special self realisation, which is often used at programmes.
This completes our recollections of our glorious Mother’s six visits, and five pujas held in these auspicious islands, this land of Shri Kartikeya.
David and Trisha Sharp
Now New Zealand’s flowers will be fragrant
Shri Mataji’s last visit was in March 1994; we were still in the magnificent ashram in Pukenui Road, Epsom. With our heartfelt thanks Shri Mataji allowed us to perform Shri Mahamaya Puja, what a divine blessing for New Zealand! It is a wonderful talk, and is amazingly light in places. During the puja, as the elements were poured through Shri Mataji’s hands, the islands of New Zealand formed in the amrit. This had also occurred at the first puja in New Zealand in 1987 to Shri Ganesha.
Shri Mataji commented on the beautiful flowers. We had found a lovely lady, an Indian from Fiji, who was a florist. She gave us such beautiful flowers for the puja, lots of stunning chrysanthemums and roses. Shri Mataji said New Zealand had such beautiful flowers, whereas the beauty of the flowers in India was in their fragrance. As soon as She said this an unmistakable waft of fragrance and perfume came into the room.
‘Now New Zealand’s flowers will also be fragrant,’ Shri Mataji said. It was a beautiful end to a wonderful event.
David and Trisha Sharp
Shri Mataji explained that the dish She is holding represents the agricultural side of New Zealand.
Chapter 8: 1994 – April, Japan and South East Asia
We need his power
Something nice happened during the first visit of Shri Mataji to Japan in 1994, when we had a public programme. My son Viditama was three years old. Shri Mataji was smiling and laughing at him, because he went on stage and was playing there.
‘We need his power,’ She then said, or something like that. ‘Come here, Viditama, and sit here.’
He just sat and became very quiet. He had been playing around, and he went to Her when Shri Mataji called him, and sat there without moving for the whole programme. He was so cute.
This is Viditama. The name Viditama was given by Shri Mataji in Cabella and it is the name of the creator of Zen. Shri Mataji was very joyful playing with the children.
In the above photo, Shri Mataji is in the Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo 1994. We offered Shri Mataji a book from the aikido creator master Mohihei Ueshiba. She said that he was a realised soul and had very good vibrations.
Shri Mataji waved through the window
When Shri Mataji was leaving Japan in 1994, She went to Haneda Airport, which is a small airport. She used this one because She was going on to Taiwan. On the way to the airport, She was looking through the window.
‘Look at the leaves of the trees on the left side,’ She asked us, ‘they are shaking, vibrating even though there is no wind. It is because I am looking at the left hand side that they are moving. They are saying goodbye to Me.’
We noticed that the trees on the right side were not moving. Then at the same moment that She looked at the right side they stated to vibrate.
I could feel the personal connection with Shri Mataji
On the day of Shri Mataji’s arrival at Narita Airport in Japan, I was holding a video camera. I was not sure when, and which side of the passage Shri Mataji was coming out of the customs area. The group of Sahaja Yogis were waiting for our divine Mother with flowers in front of the gate. Suddenly I felt a strong feeling that She was coming at that moment from a particular side. I didn’t know why but I had held the camera to my face and started recording. As soon as I looked through the view finder, there was Shri Mataji walking towards me. with a broad motherly smile on Her face! This little thing made me feel happy, as I could feel the personal connection with Shri Mataji.
Shri Mataji always tries to find a way to please Her children
I was driving Shri Mataji in Tokyo and there was a cemetery on the right hand side of the road. I apologised for taking Her on a road where there was a cemetery. She said something like, ‘In that case I will just look at the left side of the road, why lose My attention with useless negative things?’
At one point the yoginis of Japan made a cake for Shri Mataji with orange in it.
‘I cannot eat orange, it is very acid for Me,’ She said. Everybody was worried, but She went on, ‘it is OK, I will eat the other part. I just won’t eat the orange.’
There was another situation in Taiwan, in about 1991, and a Japanese lady had made some sushi (raw fish) for Shri Mataji to eat.
‘I do not eat raw meat, I cannot eat raw fish,’ Shri Mataji said when the lady served it, then She said, ‘but you can just steam it, it will be OK.’ So the Japanese lady went and steamed the fish, and then Shri Mataji ate it. How beautiful was the sweetness of Shri Mataji, who always tries to find a way to please Her children.
When Sawako welcomed Shri Mataji at the hotel in 1994, she was supposed to do the aarti. But she didn’t know how to do it. Somehow Shri Mataji smiled at her and took the aarti Herself and showed her how to do it.
‘I am showing you how to do the aarti to Myself,’ She said.
Bruno Descaves, Sawako Watanabe and Kazuko Ishii
Shri Mataji changed the course of life
When Shri Mataji came to Japan in 1994 I was a Psychology student and I was introduced to Her by Bruno. She asked me what kind of Psychology I was doing and I explained I was studying a type that was concerned with the spiritual knowledge of the east.
‘Where did it come from?’ Shri Mataji said.
‘It came from America,’ I replied. Someone was translating for me because at that time I was not so good at English.
Shri Mataji said that the Americans were not much good at that, so I felt it was not such a good idea to go on with that trans-personal psychology and should rather get more into Sahaja Yoga and meditation.
In 1995 I told Shri Mataji that I was studying Jungian psychology and She said that Jung was OK, however there was one point he missed. He said human awareness was layered horizontally, but in fact it is vertical.
After that, Shri Mataji suddenly asked me, ‘What country’s girl do you want to marry?’ I replied that I didn’t know. She said that She was going to have some marriages at Cabella, and Bruno said I was a very young Sahaja Yogi. Shri Mataji replied that there is no young and old in Sahaja Yoga, and that the Japanese boys should marry. I was surprised because I had never thought of marriage, being just a student. She said She was not talking about that year, 1995, but the next, and I did get married in 1996 at Ganapatipule.
My thoughts vanished
During Shri Mataji’s visit to Taiwan in 1994 She was about to leave from Taipei airport. The drive takes about one hour. As always when you were with Shri Mataji I was extremely happy, but also thought this was my one hour to ask Her questions. But instead of having me ask Her my small boring questions, She had me put my right hand on Her Sahasrara on the left hand side of Her head. My thoughts vanished immediately and I experienced a state of extreme joy. When we arrived at the airport and got out of the car a yogi took a series of pictures. In three of those pictures, you could see the white light of the vibrations issuing from my Sahasrara after Shri Mataji had worked on me in the car.
On one of Her visits we were going from the airport to the Grand Hotel, and we were passing through countryside and She said that that part had Shri Ganesha’s red earth.
Welcoming Shri Mataji wearing an apron
In 1994 Carla, another Sahaja Yogini, and I were asked to do aarti to Shri Mataji upon Her arrival at Carla’s house in Kuala Lumpur. We were all dressed up in beautiful saris. We received the news that Shri Mataji had arrived at the airport and the main welcoming party were accompanying Her to the house. We had the aarti tray ready and saw to the last minute details, and after that we were waiting at the doorway in great anticipation. Later the news came that Shri Mataji had decided to go to the shops on the way.
We thought it would be good to start preparing lunch, so we put on aprons to protect our saris. Soon we received news that Shri Mataji was going into the car and we should be ready for Her arrival. We quickly washed our hands, took off our aprons and made sure we looked presentable before going to the front door to wait for Her arrival. After waiting for some time, a message came that Shri Mataji had gone into another shop. We went back to the kitchen, put on our aprons and continued with our food preparation.
After some time a message was relayed to us that Shri Mataji was on the way, the car was nearby. We washed our hands and quickly went to the front door just in time to see the car coming into the driveway. Oh, such joy to see our Divine Mother! She was smiling, and we did namastey and bowed. We were waiting to do aarti but Shri Mataji went to another room first, before we could do it, and only then did I realise that I had gone out to welcome Shri Adi Shakti in an apron.
Shri Mataji was so gracious. She didn’t show any sign She noticed I had come to greet Her with an apron over my sari, and looking so funny. Carla said she tried to tell me I still had my apron on but my attention was completely on our Holy Mother and I did not hear Carla’s whisper at all. The other Sahajis were having a good laugh. Of course I quickly took it off. When Shri Mataji came back She said She saw many people in the back garden meditating. She asked us to call them in. Shri Mataji sat down in the place specially prepared for Her in the sitting-room and Carla and I performed the aarti. Then Shri Mataji spoke to all of us.
The neck and head pain had completely disappeared
An advertisement in the newspaper about Shri Mataji’s public programme on 26th of April 1994 caught my attention and something inside told me I must attend it. I enlarged and made a photocopy of the advertisement and placed it on my table as a reminder. At the programme that evening, I sat in a corner seat two rows from the back.
Shri Mataji was sitting on a slightly raised platform where She could see us and we could also see Her while She gave a talk on Sahaja Yoga. I only caught about twenty per cent of it and during Her talk She was looking at the seekers. When She put Her attention in my direction, I felt very uneasy as I was the only person sitting in that corner. When our eyes met, my head automatically dropped down like when we namastey. My attention was much better after that.
Then came the self realisation process which we went through with our eyes closed. I must admit I opened my eyes a number of times to have a quick peek to see where I had to place my hand. When we were asked to open our eyes and to feel cool breeze over our heads I could not feel anything on my hands but was not disappointed. Instead, I noticed that my neck pain and severe headache which I had been suffering from for over two and a half years had just disappeared! I had ‘cervical spondylitis’ – a tiny bone growing and poking my spinal cord.
When the follow-up classes were completed at the end of 1994, I was also due for retirement from my job in Kuala Lumpur and returned to my hometown in Ipoh, two hundred kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur, and I started spreading Sahaja Yoga there.
Lau Kai Leong
The incarnation of Motherhood
I remember shopping with Shri Mataji in Bangkok, in 1994. I was not living in Bangkok but visited to be there with Shri Mataji. We were in a shopping mall, and it was three or four o’clock in the afternoon and we needed to offer some food to Her, because the amazing thing about Shri Mataji is that She is not really bothered about eating, or about Herself. It is the complete truth.
We had been shopping for hours and never had She asked for any water or food. She never had Her attention on any of those things. So we went to a place which was not befitting the queen of all queens. She did not mention anything. It was a very ordinary restaurant, but it was the only one around. Shri Mataji was not in the least bothered, completely desireless.
‘What do you want to eat, Mother?’
‘Whatever you want to give me, whatever you think is good,’ She said, and then I wanted to pay for the food. This was because I felt it was our greatest privilege to pay for Shri Mataji, and to have Her in my country, and if I could pay for Shri Mataji, I felt it was a blessing for me. But She was very serious about that.
‘No, no,’ She said, ‘you cannot do that, you cannot pay for Me, there is no way you can pay for Me. Because you see, I am so much older than you, I am Your Mother.’ She was the incarnation of Motherhood and this is how it showed.
Shri Mataji’s advice
When Shri Mataji visited Bangkok in 1994, we were only a handful of yogis there. After the public programme, Shri Mataji invited us all to Her suite at the Rembrandt Hotel. We gathered around Her and sat at Her Lotus Feet eagerly waiting for Her to speak. She then encouraged all of us to ask Her any questions that we might have.
I had been practising Sahaja Yoga for about two years and yet I could not feel the vibrations in my hands. I asked Shri Mataji about this. She looked at me intensely for a few minutes and told me that the Hamsa chakra was not clear and that my eyes flickered too much while looking at Her. She asked me to cut up an onion and blacken it on a ‘tava’ or frying pan and then place the pieces around the Hamsa area. After following Shri Mataji’s advice there was considerable improvement.
Chapter 9: 1994 June to August, England and Western Europe
I felt so clear, and knew what I had to do
It was 1994. I was pretty new in Sahaja Yoga. I had been living in London, but was made redundant and needed a change in my work and wanted to start Sahaja meetings but lacked the confidence. An Indian yogi asked if I would give him a lift to Heathrow Airport for the early morning flight that Shri Mataji was taking and I was there when Her car pulled up. It was quiet, only a very few yogis were about and they went ahead into the terminal.
‘And how are you?’ Mother said, and I just stared at Her, unable to speak.
Mother must have been helped into the terminal and She was sitting on a chair. Her granddaughter was resting her head on Mother’s shoulder as they waited. Shri Mataji looked at me, straight into my Centre Heart. I felt very clear and without any doubts that I had to go back to the town where I lived, ninety miles from London, start working for myself and begin to run Sahaja Yoga meetings.
A rat is nothing like a human
Shri Mataji arrived at Heathrow Airport and it must have been about 1994 or ’95. I went to Her Feet to offer a flower.
‘Shri Mataji, Anthony is doing a PhD in Neuroscience,’ someone said.
Shri Mataji asked me what I was doing for the PhD and the explanation was that I was looking at the front of a rat’s brain, and the emotional control of blood pressure. This was to see how it applied to human beings, and that made Shri Mataji laugh. It did sound embarrassingly ridiculous to me at that moment too, so we both had a big laugh.
‘Of course, a rat is nothing like a human,’ She said, so I understood the difficulty of using animal models for humans.
Then Shri Mataji asked me what I thought of the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis which was currently going on in England. She said they should send all the cows to India, because they would look after them properly. She said BSE was something to do with killing so many cows and eating them. She said we shouldn’t be eating the cows, and something about the brain and the spine being involved as well.
Making the buildings beautiful
I first came to Ealing during the repairs in Cabella, in the early 1990’s. Shri Mataji asked a few of the builders to go and start on the rear extension of Ealing, but the building control came in and put a stop on the site so I returned to Austria. Later the permission was given, and then there were more yogis there, from Italy, England and Canada. We finished the extension and started on the internals such as the plumbing, the facade, the driveway and the completion of the roofing. As at any building site there were so many plays that Mother had with us.
On Shri Mataji’s arrival it was so different, many people came and She was always very generous and we enjoyed the vibrations immensely, and the directions as to what to do, and how to get on with the job. Shri Mataji often told us how we were great architects and builders in our previous lives and that we had built pyramids and churches and beautiful places. She also told us that what the people feel when they are looking at beautiful buildings are the vibrations from the builders who worked with their hearts, and that is what people feel and understand. She said that it doesn’t matter which material we use, it is all dead, and the only thing that makes buildings beautiful are the vibrations we give to the material we use.
Bringing cancer back to its dormant state
My wife, son and I were all in London. While we were there Shri Mataji visited and because Mother had been invited to stay at a yogi’s house in Hounslow we were allowed to go and visit, as She wanted to know how things were going on at Ealing. On arrival we had rather a surprise, Mother had asked me, and another Sahaja Yogi, (Dr) Bohdan Shehovych, who was also there to help work on someone who had cancer. Shri Mataji explained how the cancer cell functions, and then said we all have cancer but it is dormant and it just needs a trigger to become malignant. Through vibrations we can slow down this malignance and bring the cancer back to its dormant state.
Mother then told the lady to leave from a different exit, to put on other clothes, to cover her head with a shawl and to make sure she wore other clothes so the bhuts didn’t recognize her.
One day he will sing
After the sick lady had left Shri Mataji asked for refreshments, and my wife came in with my son. Mother smiled and asked his name.
‘Amar, it is from You, Mother,’ I replied, because She had given him this name, which means immortal. She laughed and said one day he would sing. For the last six years he has been singing with the Vienna Boys Choir. Amar was sitting on Shri Mataji’s lap, and for me this was so wonderful to see the love from and to us, Her humble servants.
The angels and Shri Ganeshas
Shri Mataji enjoyed ornamental plaster work and I have been very lucky to have filled Cabella and Ealing with it. Fitting ornamental plasterwork (cornicing, columns, angels etc) is a two to three man job. When I went to Ealing, yogis were falling over themselves to help and all the joy and enthusiasm went into the work. We put huge ceiling roses up in the main rooms, which took about five of us to fix up. Around the huge roses we fixed little angels playing various musical instruments flying around the roses and ornamental coving/cornicing.
Shri Mataji’s bathroom was incredibly beautiful; it was full of slabs of marble and marble tiles. All around the coving in the bathroom were Shri Ganeshas. To create a beautiful light effect, the coving was dropped down from the ceiling to enable little strips lights to be fitted behind (one of the many brilliant ideas of Shri Mataji). When it was all finished, She went to have a look. My wife Padmini was cooking for Shri Mataji at that time and was there when She first entered Her bathroom. Padmini said She was so excited, like an innocent young child. Shri Mataji was looking up at all of the angels and Shri Ganeshas and called Sir CP.
‘Come and see, come and see this,’ She said.
Ealing was one of the most beautiful houses of Shri Mataji that I had the privilege to work in. It was perfect for Her in every way.
Everything will be alright
The first time Shri Mataji looked directly into my eyes, I was three feet from Her Holy Lotus Feet. In Her eyes I saw the whole cosmos, and in Her expression there was only benign compassion, as if to say, ‘Do not worry child, I am here now, everything is OK.’
After everyone got up from that deep and quiet encounter at Her Feet, because we were working on the house at Ealing, I stayed sitting there, after a lifetime of seeking the comfort of the Divine Mother, amidst the maya that had driven me to such extremes of behaviour and adharma. All I wanted was to climb into Her arms as a baby and be loved once again, but instead I, an aging, extremely caught up adult, remained on the ground crying uncontrollably. Someone came in and gently but firmly placed a hand on my shoulder.
‘Come on, let’s go,’ was advised.
‘It’s alright, everything will be alright,’ Shri Mataji said.
The second time She caught my eye was some years later at the airport. I had previously found myself too eager to go to the front and be near Her at these events, so I stood at the back and kept Her Feet in my heart, head bowed in bhakti. Then She stopped, I could tell without raising my head. Everything went quiet, there was a little disturbance, I looked up to see, the crowd had parted right in front of me and I saw Her face, looking through the gap, with a smile that said to me, ‘Yes, that’s good.’
After that I could not doubt that God is love, and I am confident that we are all one and the same, by Her divine grace.
As if She had been there for ever
I remember when everything was finally finished with the building and decorating at Ealing and Shri Mataji was ready to move in. We all know what is involved in moving and how long it takes to sort everything out and get settled in etc. Well, mid-morning I was sweeping up a pile of rubbish and thinking, ‘My goodness, Shri Mataji is supposed to be moving in today.’
Yogis were running around everywhere, laying carpets and all kinds of things. Late afternoon Shri Mataji was sitting in Her room, totally relaxed, with all Her furniture in place, all Her beautiful things around Her as if She had been there for ever.
Moving to Ealing
We were trying to get Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing ready for Her to move in, working flat out to get the house ready for the Saturday morning. At three o’clock on Thursday afternoon Shri Mataji phoned and asked if they could come tomorrow instead. We pondered for a few seconds and decided that it was possible to finish everything if we worked all night, so we said ‘Yes’. We had a problem with the neighbours who would complain to the council if we made noise out of hours, so we cut the granite for the kitchen worktops before six and proceeded to fit them; people were painting and the carpets were being laid.
At seven am I set off for Shudy Camps to collect Shri Mataji and Sir CP. We eventually arrived at Ealing around midday. Shri Mataji sat in the living room. I was in the kitchen when a message came from Her to ask if the kitchen was ready. We had just put the oven in and the last thing was the water.
‘Is the water ready?’ I shouted down to Pat Anslow in the basement.
‘You could say that it is,’ came the reply, and within seconds Shri Mataji appeared at the kitchen door.
‘Ah, so it’s ready?’ She asked.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji, the cooker works and the water is on,’ I replied.
I turned on the tap, but having not been run before only a loud hiss of air came out; Shri Mataji and all of us laughed. I turned it on again and this time a stream of black frothy water, from the flux and solder in the pipes, spat out into the sink and we all had a good laugh again.
Later that afternoon however, at about six o’clock, Sir CP began to feel unwell, and his London doctor was called, who quickly diagnosed a serious condition, and immediately arranged to have him admitted to a private hospital and found a top surgeon to operate on him. The doctor could not contact the surgeon at first, but then a miracle occurred. He switched on his mobile phone and the surgeon was on the other end already saying hello. He had picked up his phone and not got a dial tone! Sir CP was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and the operation was performed immediately and was successful. Apparently a couple of hours delay could have been fatal. If Sir CP had still been at Shudy Camps it is unlikely that everything could have moved so swiftly and efficiently, so it is possible that coming to Ealing a day earlier saved his life.
Shri Mataji decided to spend the night in the hospital in an adjoining room although Sir CP was still unconscious. I took Her supper from Ealing and sat with Her for at least a couple of hours while She ate Her dinner and talked about all subjects under the sun. Again, it was a tremendous honour to keep the Adi Shakti company on Her lonely vigil. The next day Sir CP was recovering well from the operation. I remember while driving Her back to Ealing, Shri Mataji was talking about one of Her granddaughters going to America to study law.
‘I keep telling her,’ She said, ‘there is no law in America, only money.’
Exactly as a mother would explain something
Whenever Shri Mataji came to the house after having been away for a while we would greet Her at the door with a garland, and two married ladies would perform a ceremony of greeting. Mother was so gentle and sweet with us and always seemed so pleased to be back at Ealing. We would sit waiting with anticipation and it was so wonderful when we saw the lights of the car and heard Mother’s voice for the first time.
I recall one occasion when the aarti was not being performed exactly in the correct manner and Mother very gently explained how it was to be done and asked that the lady start again. It was exactly as a mother would explain something to her child, which of course is exactly what was happening.
Living a ‘normal’ life
In the mid 1990’s, when I lived in Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing, I was at university and had joined the University Rowing Team. Many yogis told me that I should not row as it was unladylike, but the next time that Mother stayed in the house She commented that yogis should do more exercise and go to the gym occasionally. She also suggested that we should be more selfless and volunteer our time to worthwhile causes. Also many yogis expressed surprise at my choice of subject at university (Molecular Genetics), regardless of the fact that I was doing what Mother had suggested.
These are My vibrations One evening I was sitting upstairs reading, at Shri Mataji’s house at Ealing in 1994, and I was told that Shri Mataji wants me to come to Her drawing room and take photos of Her and Her family. When they all gathered I started taking photos.
‘Are we in focus?’ Shri Mataji asked.
I don’t think She was talking about the camera, because I was quite nervous. It was the first time Shri Mataji requested me to take photos. The next day I showed Her the prints of those photos and I apologized about the quality because on all them Shri Mataji’s face was really very white.
‘Nothing wrong with your camera, these are My vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said.
A concert in the presence of Shri Mataji
Amjad Ali Khan gave a concert of Indian classical music for Shri Mataji in Her drawing room in Ealing, in 1994. He came with his sons and wife. Shri Mataji was very pleased with his performance and gave presents to all of them. She looked at the photos in Sir CP’s book, the biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri, which was later given as a present to Amjad Ali Khan.
After the concert there was a dinner with Shri Mataji, Sir CP, Amjad Ali Khan with his family and the yogis present Ealing at that time, in the back yard.
Suddenly the gift looked perfect
A well-known musician came to play for Shri Mataji at Her home on Montpellier Road in Ealing. He came with his wife and son. Mother chose a beautiful crystal bowl as a gift for the musician’s wife and asked another yogini and me to wrap it. We had a bit of a mad scramble to find enough wrapping paper to cover the large bowl and eventually we tried to make do with a few different coloured bits of paper. During an interval of the music Shri Mataji came to see if we had completed our task and indicated that the wrapping was not suitable, and made a few suggestions. Suddenly the gift looked perfect.
As Mother turned to return to the living room where the concert was being performed I was overwhelmed by the beautiful scent of roses that always followed Mother wherever She was and I did not feel so silly anymore.
Mother said something amusing
Later that same evening Mother and Sir CP were entertaining the musician, his family and other invited guests in the dining room. The chairs had all been moved to the edge of the room and Shri Mataji was sitting talking to the musician’s wife. I was holding a tray of some finger food and as it was appropriate, I went to serve Shri Mataji first. I knelt in front of Mother and offered the tray, Mother was speaking to the lady in Hindi, a language which I happen to understand, Mother said something amusing and I smiled.
The musician’s wife noticed and asked Mother if I understood Hindi, and Mother laughed and took my hand in Hers (I had put down the tray by this point). Mother mentioned to the lady that I had been with Her for some time and had spent many of my childhood years in India which was why I could understand and speak the language. I was very surprised because although, at one time, I was completely fluent in Hindi somehow I assumed that Mother was not aware of this because She never once spoke to me in the language.
I sat there blissful in the fact that Mother was continuing with Her conversation but still holding my hand in Hers. At one point somehow one of my fingers moved and then Mother started to rub my hand as though She was working on the different chakras. Then just as suddenly Mother loosed Her hand and I collected my tray of food to continue my rounds. It was a wonderful experience.
Sir CP’s knighthood
This photo is of Shri Mataji and Sir CP after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London where Sir CP received the order of knighthood. Shri Mataji was sitting with Sir CP in Her flat, and asked me whether I could take a photo. She and Sir CP went to the entrance hall, where this photo was taken.
Only when I returned home did my day begin
Many of us who lived at Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing had full time jobs. I will always remember the strange feeling of being at work while being aware that at home the Adi Shakti was present. It was the most surreal feeling to leave for work in the morning, travel through the London underground system, carry out a full day’s work and return in the evening, then be asked to iron the sari of the Adi Shakti or to cook a small dish that She might eat or to arrange a bunch of flowers in a bowl that would then be placed on a table in a room that Mother would be sitting in.
It was as though the bulk of my day was unreal and only when I returned home did my day really begin. Sometimes Mother would invite us in and would speak to us or I would be doing something in the flat so I would have a chance to see Her briefly, but each day Mother would give us some blessing that allowed us to experience Her love.
Often I was so involved with whatever task I had that I would not get to bed until the early hours of the morning and yet somehow time was immaterial when Mother was at the house. The next morning I would get up and not feel exhausted but once again make my way to the unreal world that was my work.
Making us all feel special
One time at the airport, it was a bit difficult to get near Shri Mataji, but when I got there She said something which made me feel I had done something good for Her, perhaps because I had done all the electrics at both Her houses, Shudy Camps and Ealing. I don’t remember what She said, except that it made me feel special. She had this quality of making us all feel special to Her.
The power of desire
It was Saturday on a Guru Puja weekend in Cabella in the early 1990’s, and I had to bring something to the castle. I ended up sitting in meditation outside the main entrance to Shri Mataji’s living room. Inside the room I could hear Her voice and soon music started. The main Indian musician had arrived that day and I assumed he was now playing for Shri Mataji.
As I was sitting outside the door, listening to the sweetest melodies, sung with so much devotion and bhakti, my desire grew stronger and stronger to be able to enter the room and see who was singing so beautifully. At the same time I knew that it would not have been proper to enter and disturb. So I remained outside. At that moment somebody opened the door.
‘Come in, Shri Mataji is calling you!’ They said. That was how I learned that pure desire opened the door to my Mother.
Shri Mataji’s sofa was right next to me
I got to be right next to Shri Mataji and experience and enjoy an indescribable feeling of love and bliss in Cabella in June 1994. The occasion was Guru Puja and I was to join the leader of my country, Thailand, to hand over the present to Her. Because of some misunderstanding, however, I didn’t get on stage and while sitting somewhere in the middle of the old pendal I felt slightly disappointed that although so close I couldn’t get to Shri Mataji.
After the presentation had finished a slide show of miracle photographs was to be shown. For that Shri Mataji’s sofa was placed in the audience. When She was about to come down from the stage to take Her seat, Mother asked for the sofa to be pushed back further towards the centre of the pendal. I just saw Her hand gesturing for people to carry the sofa ever further into the pendal and by the time She stopped the sofa was right next to me. Needless to say I don’t remember any of the miracle photos shown during that slide show, but I do remember Mother’s sari.
Shri Mataji knew where we lived
When I was in my first year of college, some days I was not able to have deep satisfaction in meditation. Something was missing and I could feel an uneasiness coming from the Nabhi chakra.
‘Please give me satisfaction,’ I prayed to Mother, the night She came in my dream.
Pratishthan, Mother’s house in Pune, was on NDA Road and about half way along was our home, so we often saw Her car passing when She stayed in Pune. One night I had a dream that Mother’s car was passing and it stopped on the road in front of our house.
‘There are some Sahaja Yogis living here. I’ll wait at their house while you get the car repaired,’ Shri Mataji told the driver in the dream. She came into our home and talked about many things.
‘Are you satisfied now?’ She said in the dream.
At that moment the driver came in and informed Her that the car was working. We did namaskar and She was ready to leave. The dream finished. That morning I had a superb meditation and my old enemy the Nabhi finger was not tickling any more.
Some years later I had a special afternoon. I was working alone in the kitchen of Cabella and Mother came in. She asked me if I could help Her find some medicine.
‘Yes Mother,’ I said, and was with Her about half an hour, alone in Her room and She talked about many things, but I was surprised when She talked about my family and asked if we still stayed in those flats.
‘Do you know that they started building those flats around the same time I started building Pratishthan?’ She said.
‘Ji, Shri Mataji,’ I said, because I never knew this.
Treat your inner system as a machine
In those days we used to meditate with Shri Mataji. She gave each of us some treatment to clear out our problems. After a while though, we could not meditate with Her, but we continued of course with our treatments. After a few weeks, I was alone with Shri Mataji and She asked me how I was. I was very upset with myself as my catch was not going away. So I expressed myself – I was probably crying – I do not remember now. Here is Her explanation – always the most unexpected, sweet Motherly love was poured on you.
‘Beta (dear son/daughter), if you are driving a motorbike and it fails in the middle of the road, what would you do? Would it get alright if you cry? You will have to see where the problem is and repair it to make it run again. Exactly same way, treat your inner system as a machine, and repair it. You will be fine!’
This lovely answer made me completely relaxed and gave me a new dimension with which to look at things.
Every test is a blessing
My family was originally vegetarian so before marriage I never cooked non-veg food, but after marriage had the chance to work in Shri Mataji’s kitchen. I was very happy but also very scared because in our family we normally cooked very simple food almost without spices. In the beginning it seemed that things went alright but slowly the rhythm of the kitchen and the few hours of sleep started affecting the level of meditation. One day, in 1994, Mother was very angry and when She came in the kitchen, we got scolded badly.
‘Girls these days like to roam about, go to college, but they don’t want to learn good cooking which is so important for them,’ She said.
Each of these words was so true, especially in my case. I was feeling low because of not being worthy of serving the Devi, and felt like melting into Mother Earth. The next day we cooked all morning with that desperate feeling. In the evening She called us inside Her room and was very calm and sweet.
‘I’m your Mother, so if I don’t scold you and don’t teach you, how will you become good Lakshmis for your husbands and your collectives?’ She consoled us. Then She looked at me and said, ‘Yesterday I scolded you, but why didn’t you tell Me that your family is vegetarian, and that you never learnt non-veg cooking?’
‘Mother You know everything,’ I said in my heart, because I didn’t know what to say.
‘HAah…that’s the point!’ She smiled and became happy again, ‘Annapurna’s ashirwad,’ She blessed us, and promised She would come and teach us how to cook, which She did the next day. When Shri Mataji came in the kitchen, She told us to always give a bandhan and say Shri Annapurna’s mantra before cooking for the collective.
The lady in her dream
Old Maria from Centrassi village, near Cabella, has lived there in a rickety old house high up on a hill all of her life with her brother. From childhood she had been frequently plagued by horrible nightmares of the devil who always overpowered and terrified her. Then one night when she was still quite young she was again being pursued by the devil in her dreams. She found herself bursting into a beautiful room and sitting there was a wonderful lady dressed in the local peasant clothes. The lovely lady chased the devil away with a wave of her arm. From that night on the recurring dreams stopped and never bothered her again.
Years later when Mother arrived in Cabella and Maria saw Her, she recognized Her as the lady who had rid her of the devil. Totally devoted, she keeps her simple house open for Yogis to come and stay and refuses to charge money
It was very serious
I am originally French, and one time in June 1994 I was in the ashram in Belgium, and was sitting alone in front of Shri Mataji, who was having breakfast. Suddenly She looked at me.
‘Why did you kill Marie Antoinette?’ She said.
Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France at the time of the French Revolution in 1789. I was quite surprised, and didn’t know quite what to say as I was not very good at history, so I thought I better put my attention on Sahasrara and hoped I would get an answer.
‘Because of jealousy, Shri Mataji,’ I said suddenly.
‘Yes, that’s it,’ She replied.
She explained that the revolutionaries were jealous and that is why they killed her. It was OK to have a revolution, because of the poverty, but they didn’t have to kill Marie Antoinette. She explained that it was very serious to have killed the daughter of Shri Lakshmi. Marie Antoinette’s mother was Marie-Theresa, the Queen of Austria, who was an incarnation of Shri Lakshmi. Shri Mataji explained that this is the reason France may have problems.
During the five days I was with Shri Mataji She was talking to me every day about the problem of alcoholism in France and about the fact that the people even start to drink in the morning.
Trupta de Graaf
The manifestation of the Adi Shakti
We were in Belgium in June 1994 for an exhibition of ceramics and terra cotta that Shri Mataji had arranged in Patricia’s house. In the evening we were in Shri Mataji’s room and had seen a film on the video called Cliffhanger. When the film was finished, everyone went away and She asked another Sahaja Yogi and me to remain in the room. Then She told us to turn off the light of the room and to open the door window, so we opened the window and the cool air came in.
We were sitting at the feet of Shri Mataji in the dark. At a certain point, Shri Mataji told us to look out of the window, and there was a sort of rose coloured light, behind the hedge that divided Patricia’s garden and neighbour’s one, spreading out toward the sky. She asked us look again and the light was not there any more. She said to look again, and the light came again. It seemed that Mother was turning this light on and off in the sky. After some time of this light coming and going, we asked Shri Mataji what this was. She said it was the manifestation of the Adi Shakti, and when She opened Her eyes it was there, and when She closed them it went away. The same night, we were sitting there, and I don’t know how much time had passed, She asked us to look at Her. I didn’t know what to say because I was just looking at Her.
‘Yes, but what do you see?’ She said.
Every time She turned Her head from the centre to the left, this white light appeared. Shri Mataji said that every time She turned to the left, Shri Vishnumaya manifested.
Rajeshwara from Italy
Shri Mataji wanted to teach us the balance
In the summer of 1994, Shri Mataji was in Brussels and while there She gave a press conference. I was standing outside on the front steps with my son, waiting for Her to leave the building. My son was about three years old and I hung onto his hand tightly, as I didn’t want to lose him in the crowd. When Shri Mataji came out, She saw us.
‘Don’t hang on to him so tight. Children need a bit of freedom,’ She said.
Just a few days later, we were at an airport in Holland. Shri Mataji and a large group of Sahaja Yogis were walking across an open pedestrian area. My son was running freely, enjoying the excitement.
‘Catch him,’ She said. ‘You don’t want him to get hurt.’
Shri Mataji wanted to teach us the balance between the two extremes.
Switzerland has a big responsibility in the world
It was during Shri Mataji’s last stay in Switzerland in 1994. We were sitting around Mother in the garden in the afternoon, on the veranda, in front of Her room. Someone asked Her why it is so difficult to spread Sahaja Yoga in Switzerland. Mother came to Switzerland many times, and we did so many programmes in all the big towns.
Shri Mataji said that Switzerland is a very difficult country and it has a big responsibility in the world, because a lot of the dirty money from mafia and politics comes there and is washed in Swiss banks. It was not nice for us to hear this, because we are just normal people, but we knew this.
A deep tunnel
It was in Paris during the Shri Vishnu Puja in July 1994, four months after I received my realisation. As was the case with the other Sahaja Yogis I went in front of Shri Mataji to do namaskar. When I looked at Her, in the eyes I saw they were like a deep tunnel which watched me. I never felt this, even in the photographs where Shri Mataji looked at the photographer, nor in the videos.
Shri Mataji blessed Surinam
When Shri Mataji was in Amsterdam at the ashram in 1994, a Surinam television team came to do an interview of Her for a documentary on Sahaja Yoga. Before it started, Shri Mataji asked me if She looked OK. As in the past I had many times missed the chance to praise Shri Mataji in Her presence, I felt it was a good moment.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji, you always look very nice,’ I said, or something like that.
‘No, I mean are the colours of my sari OK? When you are filmed for television, you have to have light colours,’ She replied.
Shri Mataji went to sit in the meditation room. We had a little podium where the altar normally was and we put Her chair there, so the television team was a little lower than Her. They interviewed Shri Mataji and at one point they were talking about Surinam. We brought a map of the world and She blessed Surinam. She was very kind to them, but unfortunately, when they showed the documentary on television they mixed it up with some film about false gurus.
The photo was taken in the ashram of Amsterdam in 1994 during the recording of an interview with Shri Mataji for OM television.
Trupta de Graaf
The house was full of wind and rain
In Holland in 1994 after a programme in Amsterdam, we came back to the ashram with Shri Mataji. The weather was quite nice that day, but when we arrived at the ashram, Shri Mataji stepped out of the car and at the moment She entered the ashram, there was a big clap of thunder and it started pouring with rain. This happened the very moment She passed the entrance door. We were behind Her and had to rush in not to get wet.
Shri Mataji went in Her bedroom, and sat on Her chair. There was a lot of wind and rain and it was really stormy outside. Then Shri Mataji asked us to open all the windows and doors. We did so and had to put towels on the floor because the rain was coming in, and the whole house was full of wind and rain – it must have been a huge clearing out!
Trupta De Graaf
Let’s have this one
That same evening, or that same year, Shri Mataji was in the ashram and She showed me in the most simple way how She knew each and every thought and desire of ours, and She was just there to fulfil our desire. She wanted to see a movie. An Italian Sahaja Yogi brought Her a choice of about three or four videos. Personally I was very fond of the movie The Untouchables with Kevin Costner, and so after seeing all the videos Shri Mataji was hesitating to make a choice.
‘Oh, let’s have this one!’ Shri Mataji said and of course it was The Untouchables.
Henno de Graaf
By the end he was smiling
It was in 1994, when Shri Mataji came to Holland, and we were lucky enough to be arranging everything. We were staying in an ashram and some people came from an Indian organisation to interview Shri Mataji in the meditation room. I was honoured to be there and we took some pictures, and sat down.
There were two people interviewing Shri Mataji and one was asking the questions. They had to wait quite a long time because Shri Mataji had just come from the public programme, very late. They were not so happy, but we were very happy, in the clouds. They asked Her questions and She answered them very calmly.
The man who was taking the sound was really changing as it was going on. He technically was recording the voice, but this voice which was divine was going through him all the way. His eyes opened, and to begin with he was standing quite firmly, but he got lower and lower, he got his realisation and by the end he was smiling. They both did and were beautiful by the end!
Ludo van Os
Shri Mataji came to Amsterdam for a public programme and I went with a friend. I had been only a few months in Sahaja Yoga. I had been brought up in a Catholic family, so felt very guilty. This was of course very clear to Shri Mataji at the end of the programme when I came to Her, because She was receiving all the new people. We knelt at Her Feet, and my friend was very ill with lung cancer. More than fifty per cent of his lungs were not functioning, he was on constant medication and could not breathe properly or do much. She pulled up Her right Foot and put it on his Centre Heart. She looked into his eyes.
‘Breathe!’ She said. He wanted to talk but She stopped him and said, ‘Just breathe!’ He took a breath, and She said, ‘Deeper!’ and he took a second breath. ‘Once more!’ and he took one more breath. Then his body shook twice very strongly, like he had been punched from inside. He took one more breath, and this time it was so deep. He started to cry and everyone standing around started to cry too. I was also kneeling at Shri Mataji’s Feet and was also crying, and She turned to me and put Her hand on my Left Vishuddhi.
‘Don’t worry, don’t worry! Everything is going to be OK,’ She said.
After that, my friend told me he could breathe, and we walked back home together. We had to run for the bus, and before he could not have run. Shri Mataji had told him he was completely cured and he would be all right if he did Sahaja Yoga, which he did for a little while.
Shri Mataji said I had to forgive
The first time I met Shri Mataji was at a public programme in Amsterdam. I went there with my mother and Hemlata was singing Mother, we all belong to You. I was singing this, and I felt this, and my mother was sitting next to me. When Shri Mataji came and was sitting in Her chair I just knew She was the Mother Mary I have always known. I knew She knew me and I knew Her, and it was OK. Afterwards you could go up and She would work on you. I was just a few months in Sahaja Yoga, and I hardly dared to, but the other yogis said to go up. She did what She did with everybody – left side up, right side down. She put Her hand on my Agnya and said I had to forgive.
‘I forgive, I forgive,’ I said as I stood there.
‘Now don’t think any more,’ She said, because She knew I was constantly thinking. I went back to my friend, now my husband, and began to cry, and a yogi came up.
‘It is your heart, which is open now,’ he said.
Birgitte van Os
Everything is with love
Once Shri Mataji was in the Netherlands, and She asked me to massage Her Feet, very thoroughly, and Her ankles. At one point She fell asleep. I did not know what to do and just went on massaging for at least half an hour, if not more. Then She woke up.
‘It’s ok now,’ She said, and went to bed. Later She told another Sahaja Yogini, ‘He should have gone away, he should have let Me sleep!’
That was a sweet little lesson in protocol – you were enjoying very much and She allowed you very gracefully to come close to do certain things, but still you had to respect the divine protocol, which sometimes, as a human being, you don’t know. That was the mysterious way of the Mother with the children – She allowed you, but She may also have pointed out something about that situation. But still everything was with love.
Henno de Graaf
I am in full control
I was driving to Shri Mataji to the public programme and was supposed to translate Her talk into Dutch, but my throat was completely choked and I could barely talk. I was quite worried as to how I was going to speak on the microphone and how was I going to make myself audible to the people.
Shri Mataji sat down and the moment I approached the microphone, my Vishuddhi completely cleared, and I could speak, and do the translation during the whole of the programme. The moment I got into the car to drive Her back after the public programme my Vishuddhi became blocked again and I really could not speak! It was again one of those little things where Shri Mataji showed you, ‘Don’t worry, I am in full control’.
Henno de Graaf
All that you decided is all right
When our first daughter was born, in July 1994, it was one day before Shri Mataji came to visit Austria. My wife, who is Indian, asked me to ask Shri Mataji to choose a name for our daughter. I did not, because I knew the name since long. Even before my wife was pregnant, when I was in a completely thoughtless state, I knew the name.
The next day Shri Mataji came to Austria and we all welcomed Her (my wife was still in the hospital) and we offered some flowers. Another Indian lady gave birth to her first baby on the same day. This young father and I came forward to Shri Mataji, we showed Her some photographs of our babies and told Her they were born on the same day, because one was fourteen days early and the other was thirteen days late. Shri Mataji listened to our story and looked at our photographs. Finally She gave me back my photograph, looked deep into my eyes and I felt She knew every part of my heart.
‘All that you decided is all right!’ She said.
Like a light in me
When I came to Sahaja Yoga, in the first month, it was very difficult for me to make namaskar to Shri Mataji’s photo.
Shri Mataji came to Austria, where I was and She was two hours at the airport there. I took a flower with me and everyone made namaskar and gave their flowers, but I didn’t. I was about to give Shri Mataji the flower and somehow it dropped by Her and I had to bend down in front of Her to pick it up. Then I did give it to Her and, as I did, She touched my finger and it was like a light in me and I felt full of light.
With this, Shri Mataji showed me that I should do namaskar. Now I always do namaskar.
Chapter 10: 1994 September, Eastern Europe
A fortunate mistake!
From 1993 until 1997 I was the interpreter of Her Holiness Shri Mataji on Her Russian and Ukrainian tours. I was the eyewitness of many different situations concerning these tours, but most vividly I remember one case. It was a Scientific Conference in Saint Petersburg in 1994. I was sitting at the table between Shri Mataji and another Sahaja Yogi. For several hours I had interpreted Shri Mataji into Russian and my throat was very dry because the organizers forgot to put the bottle of water before me.
After the conference was over I asked the Sahaja Yogi with Shri Mataji for some water, but he did not hear me. I asked again but again he did not seem to hear or understand my request. Then Shri Mataji opened Her bottle and poured in Her own glass some water and gave it to me to drink. I wasn’t aware that She had heard me, because I was talking only to the Sahaja Yogi with Her. It was the best water I’ve ever drank in my whole life – I’ll never forget this glass of water!
Your vibrations fed us
On the day of the public programme, in Bucharest, in September 1994, Shri Mataji was shopping from 10 am. to 5.00 or 6.00 pm. The lady looking after Her carried a little basket with a few Diet Coke cans for Her. After returning to the palace where Shri Mataji was hosted, we were surprised to find out that we were neither hungry, nor tired. Shri Mataji, as usual, asked us as a careful Mother if we were hungry.
‘No Mother, we already had Your vibrations feeding us,’ we answered, which was true. And the programme was at 8.00 pm! In fact, Shri Mataji had no rest at all before the programme, even though She came at 9 o’clock, allowing us to give the introduction. To us, these prolonged shopping sessions were a lesson of endless love and patience as well, which taught me to be patient in Sahaja Yoga.
Putting Her attention on Romania’s problems
When Shri Mataji returned to the palace after the programme, She was as fresh as a flower. She either asked to watch the Romanian news on the TV (we learned that this was Her way of putting Her attention on Romania’s problems), or desired to watch one (sometimes even two) Indian movies, which She translated for us. We were prepared for this request, having borrowed videotapes from the Embassy of India.
One evening, She watched the movie Ghost with us, and told us it is realistic in what concerned the ghosts. After the public programmes, Mother usually went to sleep at about 3.00 or 4.00 am.
We had rented the queen’s apartments for Shri Mataji, in the palace. The furniture was inspired by the Persian art, and Mother immediately noticed this and referred to the Parsis in India. A pianoforte was in the living room. After the public programme, Mother had asked us which bhajan would we like Her to play at the piano, and then She started to play. As I was listening to Shri Adi Shakti’s interpretation, I fully understood the meaning of the words ‘divine music.’
Cells in Shri Adi Shakti’s body
One morning, after breakfast, Shri Mataji told me that I had a hot liver. She called a Sahaja Yogini and asked her to bring some ice cubes wrapped in a towel. She insisted that I should put the ice on my liver, holding it with my left hand while keeping my right hand towards Her.
‘Now, it’s better,’ Shri Mataji said after several minutes, I then realised that we were really cells in Shri Adi Shakti’s body and She suffered every time something was wrong with us.
In Romania, the problems came from a religious organization. It so happened that one time they put pressure on the Romanian Government to legally ban all the ‘sects’. When I told Mother about that, She said that this organisation would be exposed and we should not worry, then She gave a bandhan.
‘Any time you have a problem, give a bandhan,’ She said.
From that day on the bandhan has helped us many times, no matter how serious the problem was when we brought it to the attention of the Divine.
Even while sleeping, Mother worked on us
Some time after I was appointed leader of Romania, Shri Mataji permitted me to give a massage to Her Holy Feet, using eucalyptus oil. She had taken rest on a sofa and during the massage She fell asleep like a baby, holding Her arms above the head. I felt like the vibrations became stronger than before and realised that even while sleeping, Mother worked on us. On another day, I was given the opportunity to massage Shri Adi Shakti’s Lotus Feet during a puja, in Bulgaria I think.
A small toy-plane
To go to Sofia, we had to fly by Air Bulgaria. We had a big surprise finding how small their aircraft was, with only two dozen places. A short ladder gave us access under the tail of the plane. Shri Mataji made no comment. On such a small toy-plane, we expected to have a very bumpy flight, especially on a hot summer day, with ascending and descending air streams due to natural convection. The presence of Shri Adi Shakti allowed, however, the airplane to hover as smoothly as a car on a modern highway. After that Shri Mataji travelled between Bucharest and Sofia by sleeper train.
The Bulgarians and the Indians
In 1994 Shri Mataji came and we were at the airport offering flowers to Her. She was looking at each one of us, and suddenly said that we had very good noses! We don’t know if this was all the Bulgarian people, but that is what She said. She also said there was a connection between the Bulgarians and the Indians, that we are very close to the Indians, also in the way we look.
I couldn’t believe She knew this
In 1994 I had a little accident with my leg. I was not well and could not walk for four months. I prayed for Shri Mataji to help me, and I cleaned my body – I meditated all the time, but nothing. Slowly I started to doubt, and was in hospital, and they said I would have to undergo an operation. I wrote a letter to Shri Mataji and put it in front of the photo. ‘Mother I leave You all my problems, my life is in Your hands and I just want to be Your instrument.’
The next day it was raining, and I put my hands in the rain. I felt that like the raindrops are one with the rain, we are all one with Shri Mataji. I thanked Her for everything and was sure I would walk again one day. But I accepted whatever was my destiny. I became very humble, and after one week, I couldn’t believe it – I could walk! But then I fell down and had a problem in the other leg. I knew I had to not worry, and this was the lesson in all this. After ten days that leg got better, and after twenty days there was Diwali Puja in Turkey with Shri Mataji. After the puja, we went up to receive presents, and as I went near I heard Her voice.
‘How are your legs now?’ She said. I couldn’t believe that She knew this, that She knew everything. I felt like a small child, and was aware of how great She is, and that She is really my Mother.
Chapter 11: 1994 – September and October, America and Europe
So, you will be here
Shri Mataji was preparing to have Her first programme in Chicago in the summer of 1994, which was about two and a half hours away from where my wife Barbara and I were living. The Chicago collective was very new and with a yogi from Massachusetts who came to Chicago over the entire period, we helped out with the preparations for Shri Mataji’s visit. We had very exciting times trying to coordinate things from a distance, and it was very rewarding to have the blessing to be part of it.
Shri Mataji arrived in Chicago and I had the blessing to hold Her brown overcoat (the same one She wore in Romania in 1990) and Her incredibly soft and fine shawl which She always used. I held them in my arms for about fifteen minutes, trying to pinch myself to figure out if this was real or just a dream.
The yogis drove Her to the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Chicago, where the public programme was to be held in the three hundred seat conference room. Shri Mataji wanted a yogi who was currently in Philadelphia to lead it before Her arrival. However, as he didn’t know about this and was nowhere to be found, Shri Mataji sent word that I should give the introduction. I was practically pushed on the stage to start the introduction. The moment I grabbed the mike and opened my mouth, as if by a miracle the Russian yogis started to sing. It was a godsend. I breathed a sigh of relief and got off the stage as quickly and discreetly as I could. By the time they were finished, the other yogi arrived and gave the programme. Afterwards, Shri Mataji asked him to move to Chicago and lead the collective.
Shri Mataji invited people to come to the stage to meet Her, and I had the privilege to sit by Her side together with two other yogis. At some point during that time, I asked Shri Mataji for Her blessings for us to start programmes in Indianapolis, the capital of our state of Indiana.
‘What do they do in this city?’ She asked me, and gave it a bandhan.
One of my greatest blessings that night was to lead some of the bhajans that Shri Mataji wanted us to sing at the end of the programme. Because the other singers were tired, I found myself singing the bhajans on the microphone all by myself in front of the Goddess and the whole audience who were queuing up to see Her. I sang Jogawa with such force, pouring out all my heart, that Shri Mataji stopped and looked at me with a smile.
I also had the privilege to break a coconut before Shri Mataji got into the car on Her way to the airport, as it is traditional to do this to destroy the negativity. I was also in the car with Her as She was driven to the airport. She talked about how She had come to Chicago a long time back with Sir CP, and how She couldn’t recognize the city as it had changed quite a bit over the past decades.
At the airport in Chicago, my wife and I wanted to take a photograph of Shri Mataji as She got up from Her chair. However, as She was busy adjusting Her shawl, we waited patiently. After She was done, She graciously took a moment to look straight at us and gave us such a big smile, just for the photograph. Our hearts leaped with joy as we snapped the picture. As She left, I did pranams to Her.
‘What about your poems?’ She asked me. I promised to continue to write them. Then She said, ‘So, you will be here, right?”
‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I replied and understood that Shri Mataji wanted us to look after the young and blossoming Chicago collective until Steve Wollenburger found a job and was able to move there. For about a year Barbara and I drove every Friday night to Chicago for the public programme and soon we found close friends, big hearts and great vibrations in the newly formed Russian collective there.
I had finally come home
The first time I saw Shri Mataji was at a rare programme in Chicago in 1994 in a huge lovely hall at one of the hotels. It was just a few months after my self realisation.
We had driven for several hours and through the whole trip piles of questions filled my head, but the joy of reaching there and watching Shri Mataji walk in the hall in person swept all those questions away. She spoke persuasively as She always does. I wished with all my heart for my self realisation, as if it were the first time. After the guests had received their realisation, those few of us from the Midwest sang for Her as best we could. She looked at us and it was much easier to sing than ever before.
She asked to see us by city. My city’s collective, Cincinnati, pushed me to the front because I was the newest one. I felt so awkward and shy to kneel on the white cloth and come close to Shri Mataji. I was surprised by the textures of Her face which I could see so clearly in the bright stage lights. I must have thought from the photographs that She was made of mist and stars. She took my hands on Her lap and looked into them and gazed a long time. I felt She was looking down into every speck of me, to other times and places I could not know.
‘Very good,’ She said, and that was all.
That day was the programme where two men came in dhotis and shaved heads; they followed Shri Mataji closely and interrupted Her, and pressed Her to adopt their style of thinking. She was patient and motherly with them, asking them to dress warmly in such a cold place, reminding them that shaving one’s head will not guarantee a place in heaven. While they persisted I felt a stabbing pain in the right index finger, and it was the first time I felt that chakra.
What I learned that amazing evening was how much She cared for every one of us, but also that we had to ask for Her help. Many of the questions I had come with worked themselves out in time, but even the questions I hadn’t been able to ask myself were answered. When Shri Mataji looked at my hands I knew She understood everything completely and I learned in that moment that I had finally come home.
Forty-five minutes at Her Lotus Feet
During Her North American tour in the autumn of 1994, Shri Mataji stopped in Indianapolis on Her way from New York to Los Angeles. It was a great blessing for the four of us who constituted the small Indiana collective, and we had prepared to receive Her in the airport but She decided to stay on the plane. To our great joy, She called us on the plane and we spent about forty-five minutes at Her Lotus Feet while waiting for the plane to continue its journey.
She talked to us about many things, including why Sahaja Yoga is not spreading in America and why the seekers do not stay. My wife said that Americans are having too much fun, at which Shri Mataji became serious.
‘That’s not fun,’ She said. She compared America with Romania and asked me how come it worked out so well in Romania. I said that the Romanian people were ready for Sahaja Yoga somehow, and when She came they were just there ready to receive it.
‘All right, but why?’ She said. Of course, I had no answer.
Then Shri Mataji talked about immorality, and the horrible carnivals in Brazil where ladies walk about scantily dressed, dancing on the streets. Later on I showed Her the image of the flag of Indiana, which is very Sahaj: on a blue background, there is a golden vertical line like the Kundalini that at the top radiates like the Sahasrara and connects to seven stars around it. She put Her attention again on Indianapolis.
I brought to Shri Mataji’s attention a little website I had put up on my university’s server, which was probably the first web site about Sahaja Yoga, since the web was just being born at that time, mostly in academic environments, before taking the world by storm. I tried to explain how it worked and how I had added a phone number for each country. It was at that time that She instructed that we should not use the 1-800-SHJ-YOGA number on the web, but instead list three numbers – one for the East Coast, one for the West Coast, and one for the Midwest. At that time I could not understand why the 800 number should not be used – only much later on I realised that there was a very simple reason which had escaped me all along: web sites are free to visit but the collective has to pay for calls to the 800 number.
I also mentioned to Shri Mataji about posting to Usenet newsgroups as a way to raise awareness about Sahaja Yoga. She asked me what language these postings were written in and was happy to hear that it was English, and it was universally used on the internet.
I felt Her motherly love
My wife came over in 1994 and we went up on the stage at the Navaratri Puja at Cabella. Shri Mataji very lovingly told me how to cure my liver and how to take care of myself. It was the first time I really felt Her Motherly love – personally. She was just talking in a very loving way, and I really felt that She was my Mother.
Shri Mataji told him what to do
After we married, my husband Marco was very ill. He was actually in a coma, but I had faith that he would be all right. Eventually he got better, and I came to Italy. I took a present up at the puja for India, and when I went up on the stage Shri Mataji said She was happy I had come and asked how Marco was. She said to call him up on the stage too, which happened. Mother said the problem was liver, and asked him to go up to the castle the next day. She didn’t actually meet him, but he was told what to do.
The touch of Shri Mataji’s hands
In October 1994 a group of Sahaja Yogis from France went to Spain to meet Shri Mataji, who was going to do a public programme in Barcelona, and a puja the next day in Zaragoza. We were a group of Yuva Shakti, and at the end of the programme She invited new people to come and see Her. As we were a little bit naughty, we decided to go with the new people to meet Shri Mataji. We wanted to see how She was working on the new people. When I reached the stage and got on it, She just took my hands.
‘What are you doing here? It is passing!’ She asked, as if to say the Kundalini was passing through. I became very shy and just smiled. Shri Mataji asked me a few questions and was still holding my hands.
After doing namastey we stayed, and watched Her working on the new people, and helped to work on the new people. When we left and I was in the car going to the camp at Zaragoza I was trying to remember the touch of Shri Mataji’s hands holding mine, and I couldn’t recall it. It had been as if my hands were the continuity of Her hands. Whenever I do any work for Shri Mataji or Sahaja Yoga, I remember this moment, that our hands are the continuity of Her hands, and we are doing Her work. We are Her instruments.
While we were at the programme, a Sahaja Yogi from France came on the stage and asked if Shri Mataji would give her a new name. At the puja the next day I saw a group of French and Spanish Sahaja Yogis standing together, after all the gifts had been given. They went to Shri Mataji to receive a name, so I joined them, and She gave me the name of Madhavi. Some years later I was watching the video of the puja, a Mahalakshmi Puja, and we had the talk, the puja, and the gift giving session and giving us names, and I saw Her looking deeply into me before She gave me that name.
The most beautiful days of my life
On the 14th October 1994 the third visit of Shri Mataji to Brazil began. I went to Madrid and met Shri Mataji and went with Her on the plane to Brazil. The flight was perfect, we were in the skies next to Her, and it seemed we were in paradise. As always when with Shri Mataji, I did not want to reach our destination. In the plane I was completely satisfied and joyful; I wanted nothing more, only pure joy and recognition of Shri Mataji. Only the pleasure of seeing so many brothers and sisters again, and sharing with them the joy of Her presence, was a good reason to reach Brazil.
For this tour the Sahaja Yogis of the various towns had organised everything perfectly so I, for the first time, was finally able to relax completely and just enjoy Shri Mataji’s presence. I passed the most beautiful days of my life, very serene and profound, every day in contact with Her, from the morning to the night.
We had arranged programmes in Rio, Brasilia and San Paolo, and on the 19th of October Shri Mataji left for Buenos Aires.
Let’s go shopping!
This is the story of the first public programme in Sao Paulo in August 1994. We had just started getting settled in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil when Shri Mataji sent a message for me to return to Sao Paulo to help prepare Her first public programme there, to be held in Her presence a few weeks later, so I took a two day bus trip back to Sao Paulo. We were a team of about six or seven yogis, definitely not enough for the task, but our motivation was high and we were excited to be able to help with the first public programme in this big city of nearly twenty million people.
The hotel suite for Shri Mataji was easy to find, so was the booking of the programme hall but no matter what we tried, no TV or radio station was interested in talking to us, and every single one of the papers refused to write about Shri Mataji. When we pleaded to at least accept a small paid advertisement, but even that was refused. We were stunned. How should we tell the people that Shri Mataji Herself was coming to give them self realisation?
In small teams we went every night to do postering in busy areas, hoping that people would have a chance to see the picture of Shri Mataji inviting them to come to the programme. But every morning the same thing had happened, most of our posters had been removed or replaced by others, almost completely erasing our nightly efforts. We grew more and more concerned as the days passed. We did not stop trying, but on the evening before Shri Mataji’s arrival we had not completed much of what we wanted to do.
The next morning we went to the airport to receive Shri Mataji for the first time in Sao Paulo. We were excited about Her arrival, but deep inside I felt very uneasy about what to say to Her about our meagre preparations for Her programme. After all, She was coming all the way, and what if no one in the city knew about it?
Shri Mataji emerged from the gate, radiant as ever, smiling, received our flowers and on the way to the hotel told us about the successful programme the day before in Rio de Janeiro, where thousands had received realisation. My uneasiness grew, but I could not bear to tell Her about our non-existing preparations here, and Shri Mataji did not ask either.
‘Let’s go shopping!’ She said as soon as we arrived in the hotel. She said She would have the prepared meal later, and asked, ‘Where shall we go?’
I was stunned, it was Sunday afternoon and not much (to my knowledge) was open, when Shri Mataji said we could just drive towards the city centre. I knew there were not many shops open in this direction, but did not say anything. We drove, and when we came closer to the centre the traffic, which is very light normally on a Sunday afternoon, became more and more congested. I asked someone on the road what happened and learned that today was the largest fair of artisans from all over Brazil at the main square. Shri Mataji smiled.
We were just three yogis with Shri Mataji and She kept us incredibly busy buying huge quantities of presents for yogis all over the world. She enjoyed the shopping very much and mentioned how beautiful it was to buy presents for Her children. In less than two hours She had vibrated the entire huge area with tens of thousands of people present and bought jackets, caps, bags, paintings and many more beautiful handmade presents made by artisans from all over Brazil. It really felt like Brazil had come to Her Lotus Feet, offering all its beauty.
Before we left the fair, Shri Mataji suggested having some ice cream. The only place available was a standing-only booth nearby, so She suggested to go there and have some. We ended up enjoying a moment with Shri Adi Shakti standing at an ice cream booth. By then I had completely forgotten about the programme that night.
‘You know why I had to come to this fair today?’ Shri Mataji looked at me and said, ‘Because that way I have invited everyone for the programme tonight. Don’t worry, the hall will be full.’
I looked at Her, tears shot into my eyes and I wished I could have prostrated myself in front of Her right there and then. Of course, She knew all of it, and in playing this beautiful leela She even managed to buy lots of beautiful presents for Her children. What a divine play we were allowed to witness in Her presence!
Needless to say, the hall was full, so much so that people were sitting in the aisles and standing in the back. But even better, there were two TV stations and several reporters from the radio and the papers reporting the event. She had invited them all, seekers and press, effortless and with a smile.
The first time Shri Mataji came to the city of Sao Paulo, the biggest city of Brazil, was in 1994. Sao Paulo had a small collective that Prasad Rao was starting off, and he invited the collective of Bahia to help host Mother and be responsible for Her catering. We had to carry dishes, cutlery, pans, pots, and everything necessary to serve Her, but as we reached Sao Paulo I noticed we had bought no serving set. Immediately I thought, ‘How will we serve Her?’ I looked around and couldn’t find anything. Suddenly, Herbert Reininger came to the kitchen.
‘Mother is asking you to serve the meal,’ he said, ‘but She wants you to prepare only one plate with everything that you had cooked on it.’ Our hearts opened and we smiled, and we understood Her omnipresence. This happened throughout Her stay, all the time She would order everything on only one plate, so we did not need a serving set.
Every field of human knowledge
Shri Mataji spoke to everyone about every field of human knowledge. To me She spoke of plans for houses, of streets to be built, of handicrafts to buy, and other things, and with Eduardo She spoke of subatomic physics. She explained to him of the existence of a subatomic particle which did not follow the known laws of physics; though it is sensitive to vibrations and can absorb them better than human beings, and maintain them longer. She gave the example of an Indian village, where there was a temple of a saint, and She felt the vibrations from a great distance. The great and positive difference is that the human beings could grow and become better through the vibrations.
To Liliale, who is a doctor, She explained how to cure cancer with three candles: one in front of the hand of the patient, one behind the Swadishthan chakra, and the third in the hand of the person working on raising the Kundalini of the person. Cancer, being a problem of the left side, can pass from one person to another, if they are emotionally involved, thus they also become caught up on the Ekadesha Rudras.
Where there was drought is now an orchard
During Shri Mataji’s stay in Rio de Janeiro in October 1994, we were in the living room of the auspicious flat where Mother was hosted. She entered the room and sat on the sofa, looked at me and asked how it was in Salvador, Bahia, the city where She had been to two years before.
‘Very good,’ I answered.
‘She is saying everything is very good,’ Shri Mataji said, and looked at everybody.
She then asked me what was the population of the city of Salvador, and I didn’t know, and She also asked what was the population of the state of Bahia and of the whole of Brazil. I don’t remember what numbers I gave. Shri Mataji went on with questions about the economics in Bahia and I answered that the Northeast region, where Bahia is placed, was very poor because of drought, and that many people were starving. She asked why we did not take these people away from there and send them to other places. I replied that it would be difficult, and our real problem was the corruption and greed of the politicians and powerful people, who would get richer from embezzling the money given for the projects against drought.
‘Which people colonised Brazil?’ She asked.
‘The Portuguese,’ I replied. Shri Mataji said we had less luck than the Indians, because the English people had at least left the English language.
‘I recommend you marry German people and bring them to live in Brazil. The Germans are one of the least corrupt people, and would help to transform the Brazilian people,’ She said.
Shri Mataji asked to see a map of Brazil, and when the map arrived She gave vibrations to the Northeast region. She was silent for a while, then nodded Her head and smiled.
‘Now it’s all right!’ She said.
Twelve years after this auspicious happening, the Northeast region has improved a lot, and is now one of the major fruit exporting areas of Brazil. Where there was drought, it has become an orchard. The president of the country is from this region, and under his government much of the corruption has been exposed, and many corrupt people have been put in prison. This president is conducting many social projects to alleviate the hunger of the poor people.
Shri Mataji worked on a Sahaja Yogi for nearly an hour
In Brasilia, Shri Mataji had a meeting with the president of the Brazilian senate. He had seen the magnificent video prepared by Edmundo, in which he explained Sahaja Yoga. We also, after a rather long car journey, went to see some land that a lady wanted to give, to build an ashram and a Sahaja school. I remember the large amount of attention Shri Mataji gave to one particular Sahaja Yogi from Brasilia, working on him for a long time: and when, one night in the apartment at San Paolo, after a public programme, She worked on him for nearly an hour to put him right.
Shri Mataji sang it so sweetly
I was at Brasilia on some land that a Sahaja Yogi owned in the countryside. It is very beautiful – a dry part of the country, beautiful sky and red earth with a country house and a large terrace. It was in 1994 and although it was a nice house it was not luxurious, and Shri Mataji was very happy to be there. It was the first ashram, the house of Duilio Cartocci. In the evening we all sat outside on the terrace. It was a small gathering and Shri Mataji wanted to sing bhajans. My husband has gone around the whole world singing bhajans, but at that moment he was completely thoughtless and he couldn’t think of a single bhajan. He couldn’t remember any words even though he knew so many.
Shri Mataji started to laugh and asked someone to bring the harmonium. She started to play ‘Bhaiya Taya Kaya’ and taught us this song. She sang it so sweetly and we were all singing it. We were sitting on the floor, and She was sitting with us singing bhajans. We sat on the terrace in the fading sunlight and it was such a beautiful moment.
The most important move
At one point in 1994 we were living in Brazil and my husband had a job in an advertising agency. He took time off from San Paolo to meet Shri Mataji. When She heard he was in this southern town, She asked him what he was doing down there. My husband took notice of this and realised it was not the right place for us. When he got back he was fired for taking leave, so he returned to Shri Mataji.
She told him to go to Hong Kong for his work but said I shouldn’t go. It was the time of transition for Hong Kong, and I was expecting my fourth child, so we understood why Shri Mataji said this. It was the most important move of my husband’s career, because it was the start of the internet, and Hong Kong was so technologically advanced, he worked for a very fine company and they taught him all about web design and computers. After that we have had wonderful opportunities.
She can’t remove the negativity too quickly
There was another occasion where a group of yogis were taking a walk with Shri Mataji and suddenly She started to explain how the subtle system is like a spiral, and the negativity adheres to the inside of this spiral and She can’t remove this negativity too quickly because it can completely destroy our subtle system.
Shri Mataji smiled radiantly at me
I have been in Sahaja since 1991 and I met Shri Mataji for the first time in 1992. In 1993 my father died. When he died, he didn’t go but stayed near to me and I could feel his presence. He didn’t believe in God and came from the family that started the Positivist Movement in Brazil. This family helped with the emancipation of the slaves and had a very strong political influence in Brazil, but they didn’t believe in God.
In 1994 Shri Mataji came to Brazil and She called me and gave me a very strong speech, and was looking behind me. She said I had to tell my father to go away. She told me to put my left hand to the sky and my right hand to Shri Mataji and to tell him to go away. I did so, and suddenly felt something go. At this moment Shri Mataji smiled radiantly at me.
‘Now he knows who I am, and he went where he had to go,’ She said.
I started feeling a very strong fever, and Shri Mataji told me to hold Her hand, and then to go and sleep in my room.
The next day we took a plane to Brasilia. I was ashamed that I had given problems to Shri Mataji. When I got in the plane She was sitting there and gave me a smile and took my hand.
‘Are you feeling better today?’ She asked.
‘Yes,’ I said and thanked Her gratefully.
Gifts from our Mother
In 1994 Shri Mataji came to Argentina. All the way to Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires, where our Divine Mother was expected to arrive, I could not convince my sister Ethel about the protocol that is to be followed with Shri Mataji. My sister had travelled all day from Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego, a distance of about three thousand kilometres, and her deepest desire was to touch our Mother.
But Shri Adi Shakti, the knower of all the pure desires of Her children, took us by surprise with Her infinite compassion. The moment Ethel came towards Shri Mataji to offer Her a rose, Mother extended Her hand and my sister took it between her hands putting Shri Mataji’s hand to her cheeks. Everything was so fast I couldn’t believe my eyes. But my surprise was to grow bigger. Getting into the car, Mother once again looked at my sister and extended Her hand to her. My sister took Shri Mataji’s hand and covered it with her hand.
‘Who is she?’ Shri Mataji meanwhile asked another yogi, the leader.
‘She’s Mabel’s sister and she lives in Tierra del Fuego.’
‘Where is Mabel?’ Mother said when She heard my name.
‘Here, Mother,’ I was only able to say, and at that moment my heart exploded with joy.
Writing these lines I cannot express in words the joy I felt. Shri Adi Shakti Herself was giving thanks to me for a peacock knitted in crochet that I had sent Her the year before.
Shri Mataji cooked for everyone
In 1994, in Argentina, Shri Mataji cooked for everyone. Everybody was cutting the meat.
‘Cut like this. Cut like that,’ She would say. Then She had them put everything in the pot and the Argentinian Sahaja Yogis didn’t have Indian spices. They had other kinds of spices and showed them to Shri Mataji, and She took the bag and opened it and put the whole bag in. It was delicious.
One day the Adi Shakti blessed my country. She cooked for us delicacies that tasted like heaven!
At the time I had the feeling that Mother was working on us, the Argentinian women, cleaning our left Nabhi and teaching us how to be good Lakshmis in the sweet and loving way that She did all things. This was in General Rodríguez, 60 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Shri Mataji had gone shopping and some yogis accompanied Her. The rest of the yogis were expected in the cottage where Mother would spend the weekend with us. Upon arrival lunch was served to Her, but She preferred to eat the collective food which was ‘locro’, a very typical Argentinian dish prepared with corn, pumpkin and other vegetables. She wanted to see what the food prepared for those who had gone with Her was.
‘My children can’t eat that,’ Mother said when She was shown the food.
Then She went to the small kitchen and prepared lunch for them. I took pictures from outside through the window, not wanting to disturb Her.
‘What are you doing there?’ Mother looked at me and asked. After this She asked everyone to leave some room for me so I could enter and take a better picture.
To improve our Nabhis
In 1994, on Her second visit to Argentina, Shri Mataji cooked for us on the property of General Rodriguez, approximately sixty kilometres from Buenos Aires. It was a lamb stew with rice to improve our Nabhis, because Shri Mataji said She was feeling a lot of Nabhi. For that reason, She asked each one of us to take off the skin and cut the potatoes into small pieces and onions. A lot of them were not used, but it was useful for us to put the attention on this preparation. She made food for us for that dinner and also for lunch the next day. There was exactly enough for all of us!
A name for my daughter
Shri Mataji gave my daughter Radhika her name, in Argentina, when she was one year old. That time, when Shri Mataji came to Argentina, there were very few Sahaja Yogis. About sixty people came to the programme in the hall in 1994, in Buenos Aires. My daughter was running around and Shri Mataji saw her and was told she was from Cabella. I had wanted a name, but didn’t want to ask.
At that time in Argentina, Shri Mataji gave many names from the Vishuddhi to many children and She gave my elder daughter the name Radhika.
Shri Mataji said not to worry
It was in 1994 when Shri Mataji stayed in the Buenos Aires ashram during Her visit to Argentina. It was quite a simple house and somehow we managed to decorate it very nicely. The only trouble was with the water supply. We put a special tank on the roof to be ready for any emergency.
On the second day of Shri Mataji’s visit we had a shortage of water so we planned to use the tank, but to our surprise it was empty. We didn’t know what to do so we ran everywhere to get water. We told Shri Mataji and She said not to worry. She continued talking.
‘There is the water coming,’ She said after a couple of hours. We could not hear anything, but after a couple of minutes we heard the water falling into the empty tank again.
Cut it a bit smaller
I am from Argentina. Shri Mataji came to Argentina and a Sahaja Yogi bought a piece of land one hour from Buenos Aires at a place called Fabriles. We were there with Shri Mataji one time and some Sahaja Yogis were cooking. Shri Mataji went into the kitchen and taught us how to cut the potatoes, for example, lengthways not just in half. In the evening She said She would prepare food for us, so the men brought lamb, garlic and also rice. I had to cut garlic, and cut it very small.
‘You have to cut it a bit smaller,’ Shri Mataji said when I gave it to Her, and so I did, and when I gave it back to Her She said it had to be smaller still. I was very new, and I feel ashamed now, but I said that I had already made it smaller. She said it had to be smaller still. Later I realised that maybe Shri Mataji was talking about my ego – that we think things are a certain way but they are not.
Even greater joy
The last time Shri Mataji came to Colombia was in 1994. On that occasion She offered a public programme in a stadium in Bogotá on a cold and rainy night. At the end of the meeting She invited people to go to Her house in India and said that everybody was welcome.
On another day we went to a shopping centre and were asking about men’s shoes. Shri Mataji told us how human beings are so complicated that create different systems for measuring the same thing. She wanted to buy a pair of shoes for a yogi and knew the size according to the Italian system, but there is another number in the French or American systems.
That night we got together in the living room of the ashram, at the house that Shri Mataji had selected in 1992. She was sitting in a chair and many of us were sitting on the floor around Her. There were logs in the chimney and Mother asked us to light the fire. I tried with camphor and some matches but it didn’t work.
‘One has to be confident and believe in what one does,’ Shri Mataji said, and then the fire started burning. In that informal meeting Mother said that if our intention is pure everything is arranged, and told us a story how once She wanted to buy some presents and the driver took a wrong way and they reached a small town, and there was a store with beautiful hand made things that were perfect for the presents. Another time when Shri Mataji wanted to buy presents a man appeared at Her door offering paintings he had done, beautiful landscapes. Mother also described the joy people had when receiving the paintings from Her.
The same or even greater joy I ask Mother to give to people when reading these few and limited memories.
A big public programme in Bogotá
Shri Mataji came again in 1994. She only came for one day, and arrived at three o’clock in the morning, because the plane was delayed. The same day She had a big public programme in Bogotá, on 24th October, 1994. One thousand four hundred seekers received their self realisation. She left the following day.
Every second with You is like eternity
When Shri Mataji arrived in Colombia in the early morning in October 1994, the whole collective was at the airport, even the children.
‘How come all the children are here, and how come they are not sleeping and are all awake?’ Shri Mataji said.
We were all singing when She arrived, and were so emotional, and were just crying. It was like a wave, so touching, there was so much feeling and when She came close to us we could not sing any more. She talked with all of us at the airport, and then went to the ashram. It was a house which She had selected when She came in 1992.
‘I am so sorry I could only stay such a short time,’ Shri Mataji told me.
‘Mother, every second with You is like an eternity,’ it came to me to say.
‘May God bless you,’ She said.
We could not believe She was only with us one day. It was so intense, that the notion of time did not exist. We were on another level. On that day Mother hardly rested. She had just a rest in the morning and after that She went shopping, then came back home.
‘It is nice to come back home, home sweet home,’ She said.
We had a little inner garden with a little inner bridge, and Shri Mataji looked at all the details of the flowers. We had a kindergarten and felt She gave blessings to everyone. The same day we had the public programme and it was raining so much. I was a bit worried.
‘What are you worrying about?’ Shri Mataji laughed. In fact She was just playing, so the real seekers could come. We had one thousand five hundred people, and from them there are some who are still in Sahaja Yoga. They told us that it was raining so much, they did not want to go.
‘That lady is only coming to Bogotá once, so we must go,’ they said. After the programme we went back to the ashram with Shri Mataji and the house was full, there were so many people there. We had a fire and all gathered around the chimney. The fire was a little bit difficult to get going, so Shri Mataji told us to put one hand towards Her and the other towards the fire.
‘You must have faith in what you do,’ She said, and then the fire just started. Then Shri Mataji talked to us about the importance of establishing ourselves, and about taking care of our vibrations. She spoke about how to look after oneself.
Only a two-year passport
‘How are you?’ Shri Mataji asked.
‘Fine, thank You, Shri Mataji,’ I said and gave Her a rose.
‘I want you to arrange for My trip to Miami and back,’ She was coming from Argentina.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji.’
Shri Mataji gave Her passport to me. I don’t speak English very well and they had to explain everything to me. The passport was like two passports really, one glued with the other – a big one with all the countries. I opened it and saw how much She had travelled. It was only a two year’s passport and it was countries and countries.
I looked and it was amazing.
I served tea to Shri Adi Shakti
I lived in Tampa, Florida, USA in 1994. One day another yogini, who lived in Miami called me.
‘Harsh Mehra called and said Shri Mataji is coming from South America. She is going to have a change of planes and go through customs in Miami. If you’d like to greet Her, this is the flight number.’
‘Yes, we have to go serve tea because the last time Shri Mataji was in Florida there was a problem,’ I said, because the tea wasn’t ready. For some reason, it came to me, ‘We have to serve tea.’
So, we had everything ready. We went to the airport and found Shri Mataji. She was with two yogis who were travelling with Her.
‘How did you know I was here? Come with us,’ She said, when I was walking next to Her.
I remember so much. The colour of Her sari was so brilliant; it wasn’t really a fancy sari because She was travelling. Shri Mataji sat down in the airport waiting area. She asked the other yogini to sit with Her because She wanted to speak with her. I was to serve the tea. We got everything out, put the doily on the seat, as we had no table, and served the tea and sandwiches.
‘I’m so sorry what happened with your son,’ Shri Mataji said to me.
‘Shri Mataji, what happened?’ I replied. There was some confusion in my mind and then all of a sudden I realised She was talking about the fact that I just had a miscarriage. I didn’t know it was a son. But when She said that, I remembered. The conversation went on to other things, such as about Florida.
‘Florida is so hot and dangerous,’ She said, and asked about my work. ‘What do you do for work?’
‘I’m a nurse.’
‘Do you work with handicapped children?’
‘No, poor children,’ I replied because I worked in the school system.
‘You can help them a lot,’ Shri Mataji explained. I was so taken aback because in that job I felt really useless. There was so much poverty and the people had such bad Left Swadishthan. That changed so much when She spoke to me. When Shri Mataji left, She shook my right hand and held on for a long time. I was so surprised, thinking, ‘Shri Adi Shakti is shaking your hand.’ She left and we said goodbye.
I had served tea to Shri Adi Shakti. People would wait lifetimes for this and I just got to do it. It was so amazing.
When I went back to the job, I suddenly realised that just being there as a yogi with your attention on all these children who need love — I could almost feel all the love falling on all the children. It was always in my attention, ‘They need so much love.’ I could feel that just by having that thought, the divine attention was coming.
Mother, when will I see You again?
In 1994 I moved to Miami, Florida and I was the only yogi there. In September there was a puja in New Jersey. At the end of the puja as Shri Mataji was leaving, I felt an overwhelming love for Her, and my heart cried out: Mother when will I see You again? I was going back to Miami by myself, where I felt a little isolated.
Three weeks later, Harsh Mehra called to tell me that Shri Mataji was coming to Miami the following day. I was so stunned! I felt such joy and remembered how I had felt at the end of the puja. Shri Mataji was on Her way back from South America to New York and was changing planes in Miami. The next morning Heidi, a Yogini who lived in North Florida, arrived. Heidi and I went to the airport to greet Shri Mataji. When Mother came out through customs, Her face lit up at the sight of three yoginis waiting for Her. We were carrying bags of food, hot tea, china etc.
‘What is this?’ Mother asked.
‘A picnic, Shri Mataji,’ we said, and She laughed.
We were allowed to accompany Mother to Her plane, so we settled down by the gate and served Shri Mataji tea. She blessed us with Her presence for a few hours and spoke to us about various things. Mother asked me what I was going to do in Miami. I said I was going to start a meeting.
‘Who is going to come?’ Mother replied.
I had found a wonderful place to hold a meeting: a club where ladies did volunteer charitable work, but the committee could not make up their minds. The day after Shri Mataji had been in Miami; the president herself called and said that the members would be delighted if we used the club to hold our meetings! We went on doing meetings there for four years, some of the members received their realisation and the club became really successful.
On the Shri Krishna Puja weekend in New Jersey in October 1994, I had the opportunity to help a bit in the hotel room where Shri Mataji rested before and after the puja. I had two tasks. One was to present the Lakshmi baskets from America, which involved carrying extremely heavy baskets, presenting them and going to get more.
My second task was to make Shri Mataji a cup of tea. We had purchased an electric kettle to boil the water, but at the last minute, we discovered it was broken. Our only recourse was a small hotel-style plastic coffee maker. We washed this as well as we could and put the water to heat, with some cardamoms floating in it. These coffee makers do not boil the water, but we heated it as hot as possible and poured the water through the tea leaves. The tea must have been passable, because Shri Mataji drank it. Suddenly the thought occurred to me, ‘What if Shri Mataji wants a second cup of tea?’ Just in case this should happen I put more water on to heat. For some reason the coffee pot began to hiss and splutter. I panicked and looked at the other yogini – should we unplug it? While we were deciding, we heard Shri Mataji’s voice from the other room.
‘It sounds like a hookah in there.’
We immediately pulled out the plug.
Chapter 12: 1994 November and December, Tunisia, Europe and India
Keep to your traditions
Shri Mataji was in Tunisia in November 1994, just after the Diwali Puja in Istanbul. She arrived at the airport and was welcomed by the VIP people. There was a girl who welcomed Her with a bunch of flowers and there was a man from the government — just three VIP people. Shri Mataji was received in a small room at the airport and then She went to the hotel.
The first evening — the whole seminar happened in the hotel and everybody had to book to be there. There were about three or four hundred Tunisian people, they registered and stayed there for the whole weekend. It was the first visit of Shri Mataji.
The first evening She came, She said hello to everyone and then went into the next room. The television people came and they stayed for the whole weekend. Also some journalists came from the newspapers and the following day we had a few articles. They were good articles in the newspaper and Shri Mataji went on television as well.
The good thing about it was that about two days later, She went to see the ceramics because Tunisia is very famous for ceramics. A little group went — Marie-Laure Cernay and Marie-Martine de Techtermann doing the translation. They went to a little town called Narbeul, full of ceramic shops. Mother had been on the TV the day before and one of the people in the street recognized the yogis from the TV.
‘We saw you on the TV with Shri Mataji, and She can cure,’ they said.
‘Yes,’ the yogis replied.
The people wanted to come and see Shri Mataji. But that is actually why we had that private seminar, otherwise everyone would come just to get cured and it would not be possible. Mother gave two public talks in the evening and the last day, on the Sunday morning, She talked to the women. The women were fascinated by Shri Mataji and were very open. I remember the first evening when She came just to say hello, She stayed for five minutes and then went with the journalists and before She went, the ladies from the front row rushed on the stage and took Mother around the waist. There were six or seven of them and they were all round Mother and they wanted to have a photograph. They were kissing Mother’s hands and She was very loving with them.
One thing the Tunisian ladies noticed was that day after day, She was becoming darker and darker in Her face. By the last day, She looked like Shri Mahakali. It was fascinating because the last day She only wanted to speak to the women. It was difficult to keep the men out, but they were not allowed in. Shri Mataji looked very impressive: very dark, red eyes and wearing a white sari, and She spoke to them, mainly saying that they should not follow the French culture. She said they should keep to their traditions because, if they didn’t keep to their traditions, then the fundamentalism comes in.
‘So don’t run after Western ideas.’ Shri Mataji really emphasized on that.
My heart just melted
It was the year that Shri Mataji went to Tunisia. Djamel, Yusuf and I went ahead to prepare. We went to see all the ministers, booked the hotel, did the newspaper articles and so on, and prepared for a hundred and eight yogis and Shri Mataji. When Shri Mataji arrived I was more in the background. Later on there was a big public programme where Shri Mataji gave realisation. Eventually it was finished and Shri Mataji came down the stairs, followed by a crowd of people. I wanted to get a photo of Her but wasn’t quick enough to get ahead, so went by a side way. I came out and there was Shri Mataji in front of me, but I thought it was too late. I just stood there.
‘Stop, Laurent wants to take a picture,’ She said to all the people behind, as She approached. They all had to stop, and my heart just melted. It was a very sweet picture that came out.
Carpets from the souk
A few Yogis organised for Shri Mataji to visit Tunisia in 1994, where She gave realisation to many people. These photos were taken in a carpet store in the souk (market), where Mother also bought a necklace for us to be given in the puja. It was made in the Berber style and consisted out of huge, rather raw diamonds and dark silver. She bought carpets and many other things.
Shri Mataji went there from Istanbul, after Diwali Puja and then went on to Athens.
You can feel the love
In November 1994 Shri Mataji visited Greece for another public programme. Meanwhile arrangements were done for Her to stay at the leader’s house. It was so big that it hosted not only Shri Mataji but also many Greek and also some Italians yogis. It was such a blessing staying under the same roof with our Mother and actually sleep and wake up in Her divine presence but also be able to sit in front of Her lotus Feet, listen to Her, perform for Her, or just be there. She worked so much on us to open up our Agnyas and hearts. She said how nice it was that the floors, made out of marble, were cooling down Her Feet.
Many times I relive Her words in the meditation She led for all of us. When our attention reached the Agnya She indicated that all our love flows from there. She then asked all of us to see if we feel a cool breeze flowing from there. After that She said that this was the love flowing from our Agnya and in reality there was such a thick blow of air and vibrations flowing from there that most of us must have felt it that day.
Floating in bliss
When Shri Mataji was in Athens, Greece, in 1994, one night She stood on the terrace, and the moon had a halo around it.
‘If the moon has a halo, something bad is happening,’ She said, but after a reaction from us She corrected Herself and said, ‘not really bad but….’ and She did not complete the sentence. The next morning we heard that Colonel Joshi, a great supporter of Sahaja Yoga in the Indian army, had passed away.
Another famous story of those days in Athens is that one of the Sahaja Yogis wanted to hear Shri Mataji saying that one of the ladies of the collective had a big ego, so he started commenting on the big nose of the lady.
‘Does not a big nose mean that the person has a lot of ego?’ he asked Her. ‘The nose is the ego, right?’
He was going on that way to get a satisfactory answer until Shri Mataji called his name.
‘N…. nose is nose!’ She said, and we all burst out laughing.
At some point Mother came down the stairs to go to the Athens public programme. When She came down She started coughing a lot and in the car She told me to put my hand on Her centre heart, at the back. We drove at night time through this beautiful city of Athens for a long while and when we arrived, my Centre Heart was so cleared out that I felt almost as if I was in a trance. I cannot remember ever before or after that having felt such a stillness inside. I kept on floating in bliss for the whole evening. Shri Athena had blessed me and whole of Athens on that evening.
From the divine point of view
Shri Mataji had a great sense of humour and you never knew when you would be at the receiving end. It always came when you least expected it and took you by surprise. The delight and joy She received from your predicament was a joy to behold. We were arriving in Italy and the terminal was lined with beautiful yogis, all with flowers to offer Her. Mother was walking and accepting flowers from everyone.
‘That is how you all look to Me,’ She turned, and chuckling mischievously whispered softly in Marathi, while looking at a certain yogini.
Not knowing what She meant I followed Her gaze to the yogini and to my chagrin noticed that the yogini’s badge of Mother on her sari was upside down. I sheepishly joined Her laughter to the fact that humanity was simply upside down in the eyes of the Divine!
Do you know who I am?
One year, there were, as usual, many Sahaja Yogis to say farewell to Shri Mataji, who was travelling from Cabella to Rome, and then going on to India, so there were many witnesses to this event. The car was full – in it were Shri Mataji, Sir CP, two people who were helping to look after Shri Mataji, and the luggage. Javier informed Her that there was a strike at all the petrol stations on that day.
‘Do you know who I am?’ Shri Mataji said to him, and gave him a very strong look, as sometimes She did, in this tremendous way. After this answer he surrendered and drove the car to Rome. It is about 600 kilometres, and they were in a large old Lincoln car that was heavy on petrol. Because of the petrol strike he was nervous, because he knew he could not make it all the way to Rome on one tank. Consequently he arranged for another car with tanks of petrol to follow, but Shri Mataji told him to stop the car from following. Somehow he reached Rome and the next day when he went to fill the tank it was not even empty, which in the normal way would have been absolutely impossible.
I am going from My Mother’s place
Shri Mataji came to Jaipur in December 1994, and She gave us Shri Adi Shakti Puja. The old Sahaja Yogis who came said She was so happy there, and they had not seen Shri Mataji so happy for a long time. She gave a long puja talk, for about one and a half hours, the longest puja talk ever.
‘When I leave Jaipur, I feel that I am going from My mother’s place,’ Shri Mataji said when She was at the airport and there were tears in Her eyes. As soon as the plane took off, it became very hot, even though when She had been in Jaipur it had been very cool.
The country of the Spirit
The India tour of 1994/95 reshaped my life; it was an unforgettably rich and beautiful experience. There was so much depth of vibrations and inspiration and so much information. I felt I was travelling next to Shri Mataji all the time. Her attention was so dynamic and constantly on us. The five weeks were densely packed with programmes, pujas, functions and many performances, most of which She attended.
One of the earliest events was in Delhi. It was the presentation of Sir CP’s book on Shastri, which also happened to be the anniversary of when he met Shri Mataji. This was followed by a Raja Lakshmi Puja in which Shri Mataji talked about the liberation of India, and also about when She was hostess to some refugees from the racial violence, who later became prominent artists.
Kindness and genuine affection
That was the tour, 1994/5, where we stopped in Jaipur, and enjoyed a Shri Adi Shakti Puja. Shri Mataji spoke entirely in Hindi, to the Indian ladies who’d come up to sit next to Her. She told them to honour their traditions and not to follow foolish Western fashions blindly. We also were in Dwaraka briefly, and went to some place with an amazing Shiva temple where I felt like weeping – a big clear out. I didn’t always know where I was much of the time, because there were so many trains and buses! I’d been in Sahaja Yoga just nine months. It was such a rush of joyous colours, languages, music, and very kind faces.
I don’t know if I ever explained about the hospitality that we experienced, from Shri Mataji directly and through the local collectives who welcomed us and honoured us with their amazing big hearts. It was a type of hospitality I’d never experienced before, a vehicle for a great love, and we were often brought to tears. The kindness and genuine affection was beyond anything I’d ever dreamed of, and I felt not only touched but changed by it.
When we see nature we should go thoughtless
There was one day on that tour of 1994/95 which I’ll never forget, when Shri Mataji spent many hours with us. Yamuna Nagar was a breath of fresh air which we enjoyed after many days of travel. In the morning we went swimming at the river, it was cool and clean and clearing. While I was still in the river, Shri Mataji called us to the little garden near Her room.
We sat on the soft earth close to Her, and She wore an amber coloured cotton sari with a red border. She asked us if we knew the name of a nearby tree and I think She called it ‘Kiss-me-quick’, it was tall, stretching but rounded, the flowers were kumkum red and looked like poinsettias. She said that when we see nature we should go thoughtless, that we should just reflect and we should take care of the earth, and use and wear natural things. My heart was leaping with joy.
We also sang a popular bhajan with many of Her names. She said that the dholak was an expression of the heart, as if it were the Spirit speaking to us directly. That was the tour where Shri Mataji had made arrangements for many of us to purchase and learn how to play the dholak. Wherever we travelled we carried thirty or more dholaks with our substantial piles of luggage.
On the India tour in 1994, Shri Mataji brought the Noida Music Group to play for us and there was one fourteen year old boy who was the main dholak player. He was brilliant. The boy, who was an orphan, was discovered by the Noida group and he had a natural talent for playing drums. Shri Mataji said we should learn to play the dholak. She arranged through the Noida group to offer dholaks at a cheap price and said the boy would teach us how to play. So many yogis bought dholaks, we had a special truck to carry them! There were dholaks everywhere! We had a few dholak lessons and the sound of dholaks could be heard throughout the camp. I still have mine.
Shri Mataji had us all dance for Her
That night in Yamuna Nagar we went by buses to the public programme. The town was plastered with posters on every visible surface and the programme was very joyful. Afterwards they served us an incredible dinner with fish, which seemed to be trout, and my first jellabies.
I was so surprised that Shri Mataji returned to us after dinner and we all rushed to sit close to Her. She had us get up and move four times, and it takes several minutes to move over 450 people back a foot – it was a light hearted way to get our attention off struggling for the best seat and when all had settled at last a nice area was left open for dancing. We enjoyed dances by local yogi-artists and then Shri Mataji had us all dance for Her in small groups of twenty or so.
I was so amazed and I’ll never forget that day. How does She do it? Music and nature were my favourite topics, swimming and dancing my favourite activities and we even had fish that tasted exactly like my grandmother’s recipe. But it was not only me. Each person was given special experiences. I felt Shri Mataji was granting so many wishes, hearing the concerns or doubts that we each kept to ourselves, and answering them so magically as the adventures of India tour unfolded.
The good thoughts of a hundred monkeys
Shri Mataji sometimes took on your form of speaking when She was with you, like She adapted. She talked completely differently when She was with certain people. The first time I met Shri Mataji was just when I got married and we were up in Pratishthan. We were standing in the kitchen and peering out into the backyard and Shri Mataji was sitting in the garden and She saw us and waved us to come out. So we did, and sat down.
‘What do you think of the house?’ She said, just as conversation.
‘Shri Mataji, it’s a palace. It’s absolutely fantastic,’ I said. I had these turns of phrase that I used.
‘Yes, it’s just one of My crazy ideas,’ She said, and that’s a thing I say all the time.
The yogis there and I just looked at Shri Mataji like — wow! She is actually just catching the thought, like that. They had never heard Her use that turn of phrase. I had the opportunity to ask Shri Mataji on another point.
I was once in a rickshaw in Delhi, in 1994, with an American fellow who was very scared. It was his first time in India and maybe my third time. I was a little bit scared as well because it was getting near sunset and the rickshaw driver didn’t appear to understand us. He eventually nodded and started off and I put it in bandhan and it was so cool I thought, ‘Forget it. Ah, we’ll get there.’ I relaxed and the American sort of relaxed too. After about five minutes, I had this thought, ‘this driver is completely lost. He doesn’t know where to go. We’re never going to get there.’ But I was in such a nice state, I just looked and thought, ‘you’re in bandhan. You are in Shri Mataji’s attention. Forget it.’ Suddenly, the American grabbed my arm.
‘We’re completely lost. We’re never going to get there. This guy doesn’t know where we are going,’ he said in a panic.
‘I’m thinking his thoughts,’ I thought.
When I saw Shri Mataji, I mentioned this to Her.
‘That’s exactly what happens,’ She said.
We actually catch the thoughts of each other and She explained that that’s how we are going to change the world because sometimes you can catch the negative thoughts from people, but then also the people catch the good thoughts from you.
‘Mother,’ I said, ‘does that mean if we have all this bhakti for You and this love for You, then other people, who don’t even know You, will get that and will catch that and will suddenly just feel something for You?’
‘Exactly, that’s the hundred monkey theory, that when there are a hundred monkeys, one will do something, then another, then a few more, then suddenly all the monkeys do the same thing without quite realising why,’ She explained.
She was saying that that’s how the thoughts work, and was saying the same thing about how to meditate.
Chapter 13: 1995 February and March, Australia and South East Asia
All the yogis did leave
In 1995 I was in Melbourne, Australia after the public programme and I went up to the stage. I let everyone go before me, even though Shri Mataji told me to come forward. I stood at the edge of the stage and looked at Her.
‘Best wishes from Christchurch, and they all send their greetings to You,’ I said.
‘Christchurch?’ She said, and looked at a Sahaja Yogini standing next to Her. She spoke to Mother in Hindi about Christchurch, saying that She had arranged my marriage the year before, to Pam from Australia.
‘Yogis in Christchurch? There are no yogis in Christchurch,’ Shri Mataji said.
Soon after that, one way or another, all the yogis did spontaneously leave.
The blessing of God Almighty
On the day of Shri Mataji’s arrival in Tokyo in March 1995, it had snowed in the morning, and snow in March is unusual. After we welcomed Shri Mataji at the airport, we went to the Four Seasons Hotel in central Tokyo. She was so gracious, and we were allowed to spend some time with Her in Her suite. We could all see out of the window and there was a traditional Japanese garden covered with snow.
‘It is because of Shiv Puja we had in Australia,’ She mentioned about the snow, looking outside. I felt the snow was the blessing of God Almighty, Shri Shiva falling on the land of Japan because of Shri Mataji’s visit. The whole atmosphere was so cool and clear.
How could I leave the flowers?
It was in 1995 and Shri Mataji arrived in Japan. We had prepared everything, and we went to pick Her up at Narita Airport in the morning, The yogis had been staying at my house, and some yogis went to the hotel. It had snowed all night, and we had never seen so much snow in May. We could barely take out the cars. We arrived at the airport, and there was Shri Mataji with so many flowers. She had just come from Australia.
‘How could I leave the flowers?’ Shri Mataji said. ‘All those flowers that they gave Me. So I decided to bring them with Me.’ Later on She said that it was because of the Shri Shiva Puja that they had had in Australia, and She had carried all the snow from Mount Kailash.
One hand out of the window
One time Shri Mataji was in a car travelling through Tokyo and put one hand out of the window and the other to a Sahaja Yogi for clearing. In the Four Seasons Hotel room She asked to open the windows, but they were locked, so She stressed the importance of being able to open the windows for vibrating the country She is in and clearing the negativity.
Shri Mataji also said that if She put both Her Feet flat on the ground the vibrations did not flow, but if She put Her heels on the ground and Her toes a little up, then they flowed. She showed us this in the hotel room after the public programme in Tokyo.
Then She asked us to massage Her Feet. The vibrations were very strong and I can still feel them until now every time that I try to remember the situation. It is really timeless, Kalatit.
Hitoshi Igawa and Bruno Descaves
A very powerful lady
After that programme the sound technician came to us.
‘Who is that lady? She must be very powerful,’ he said to us, and we asked how he noticed that. ‘All the hand meters from the sound equipment were moving up and down when She came on stage! I have never seen that before, ever since I became a sound technician.’
Shri Mataji waved to us
Shri Mataji left us and we were looking at Her plane. Then suddenly we saw Her waving at us through a small window of the plane, even though it was so very far away. We all felt Her hand was getting bigger and bigger, as if She had done it so we could be still with Her. Some of us got so emotional. It was very beautiful, very poetic.
Then the plane took off and we could still feel Shri Mataji waving to us in our hearts.
Seaweed is good for the Nabhi
I cooked a large amount of niku jagger, a special Japanese dish that consists of sliced meat, potatoes, and vegetables in some delicious sauce, for Shri Mataji. She ate all the meat and vegetables but not the potatoes.
‘You people eat too many potatoes, but potatoes are not very good for the Nabhi,’ She said, but afterwards added, ‘Thank you very much for the dinner, I have never eaten so much in My life!’
Another time I cooked onigiri (rice balls). Inside there is kombu, a thick seaweed, that is cooked with soyu, a Japanese sauce, and some sugar, and the whole thing is wrapped with Nori, a paper-like seaweed that is also used for sushi.
‘Seaweed is very good for the Nabhi!’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Oh, and inside the rice ball there is another kind of seaweed, how delicious!’
Shiva is at My Feet
When Shri Mataji came to Taiwan, She always used to stay at the Grand Hotel. The old part of the Grand Hotel was originally a temple to Kwan Yin, and it had been demolished in the beginning of the 20th century. When the hotel was built, in temple style, decorated in red and gold, it again became a temple in a way because it hosted Shri Adi Shakti.
In 1995 Shri Mataji was in the living room of Her suite and we were around Her. We noticed the blue pigmentation on Her Feet. She said She got this pigmentation because once She had an illness, and was given an ayurvedic medicine which contained antibiotics. Because anti-bios means against life, She took upon Herself the poison of those antibiotics and got the pigmentation on Her Feet. I remarked that it is like Shri Shiva, who took the poison and became neelkanth, when absorbing the poison from the churning of the ocean.
‘It is because Shiva is at My Feet,’ Shri Mataji said.
Editor’s note: on occasions Shri Mataji has advised the use of antibiotics, when it is really necessary.
This photo was posed for a journalist who was interviewing Shri Mataji at the time
Shri Mataji and an earthquake
We were in the presidential suite of a hotel, right up on the top of a giant skyscraper in Taiwan. There were about twenty yogis in the room and everyone was watching television. Then they all left the room for some reason and were in another little one that connected with Shri Mataji’s.
Suddenly, an earthquake started. I looked down and the carpet was rippling, all the chandeliers were smashing, everything was falling off the shelves and the paintings were bashing against the walls. It was a very big earthquake. I looked and Shri Mataji was just sitting there. I was the only person in the room; I was feeling so good because I was with Her and just enjoying the whole thing. After it finished, all the other yogis came in and sat down.
‘Why did this happen?’ someone asked.
Shri Mataji said it was the spirits of the dead ancestors that wanted their moksha, self realisation. She said they created that earthquake so that She would give them moksha. She said that they had to come in and take their birth and get their realisation.
Bandhans do work
Shri Mataji came to Hong Kong for a few days’ visit in 1995. We were in a car with Her going to Stanley Market for shopping. On our way we drove past an exclusive residential area on the south side of Hong Kong Island and I pointed to the house where the richest man in Hong Kong lived. Shri Mataji turned to me.
‘The only use for money is for giving. What does this man do with his money?’ She asked.
After having lunch with the yogis in Repulse Bay, we drove Shri Mataji to do more shopping in the Western Market. On our way down from Victoria Peak, Mother looked at the surrounding trees.
‘I know every single tree here,’ She said. The wind was blowing hard and Shri Mataji was concerned that we would get cold when we got out of the car. ‘Let’s give a bandhan,’ She said, and the wind slowed down. ‘Bandhans do work.’
The same boat of spirituality
Usually after Shri Mataji’s shopping expeditions we would go for lunch and one time we went to a very famous restaurant called The Jumbo. It is a floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour. To get there you need to catch a boat. We had a chauffeur driven car for Shri Mataji, and all the yogis came behind by taxi and we all rushed, and all arrived at about the same time. All the yogis and Shri Mataji managed to get on the boat, and we took up every seat.
‘We’re all on the same boat of spirituality,’ I said, and She laughed.
Shri Mataji always loved Chinese food and She loved to try the different types that were on offer. Every time Shri Mataji came to Hong Kong it was a delight to host Her at a Chinese banquet. Sometimes we would order upwards of fifteen dishes, and would all sit round a big round table, and as the collective expanded that became more and more big round tables.
Her eye for detail was incredible
Every time we had the hotel suite, we were able to decorate it with a lot of traditional Chinese handicrafts. It was amazing how Mother would always focus in on the little intricate things, and would always pick up the little things that the ladies had done. She would notice a Quan Yin here, a little carved elephant there, some tablecloth or some embroidery work. Her eye for detail was incredible. She would look around and enjoy everything. Usually the hotel suite was fairly plain, but we would come in and take out all the furniture and put in more appropriate furniture and really beautiful objects. She would always comment on what was there.
I was doing the laundry in Hong Kong. I stayed behind to clean Mother’s room when the others had gone out to lunch because it seemed appropriate that someone should be there. I was meditating and felt Shri Mataji outside, so opened the door and She was walking down the hall with two Sahaja Yogis. I opened the door just as Shri Mataji reached it and She wasn’t going to stop. She knew I was going to open that door, because there was no pause in Her step. As She came in, Shri Mataji asked if I’d had lunch.
‘Yes, thank You,’ I said.
A special time
I moved into the ashram in Hong Kong and lived there with Alex Henshaw and others. We had a very small collective there and when Mother came we used to go to the hotel to visit Her. Once She stayed in the Peninsula Hotel, which is very expensive. I was making silk ties and clothes for men at that time and Shri Mataji bought a few things from me. She said they were very beautiful and that I should continue with that kind of work. I did continue for maybe one year after that.
I had some very beautiful Bangalore silk and we used it to help decorate the stage for Shri Mataji’s programme in the New Territories in 1995. We used that silk to decorate Mother’s chair. We had a screen at the back and covered it with the silk too and we took a photo of the stage design, which turned out to be a miracle photo, as if there was a presence above the chair before She arrived.
The next day, we had lunch with Shri Mataji in the restaurant. The yogis were giving presents to Her and I gave Her some silk.
‘I didn’t really want you to give Me presents,’ She said, but I gave Her this silk, which had been on the stage, because I had heard that Mother was looking for silk. Mother was very pleased and thanked me so much for it.
It was a very special time for me and was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Back in 1996 I was lucky enough to travel to Hong Kong with Shri Mataji and one morning when all the yogis were out, She called me in and asked me to sit at Her Feet.
‘I’ll teach you how to meditate,’ She then said, and I was quite excited by this, face to face with Adi Shakti, learning the art of silence directly from Her.
‘Just watch your thoughts,’ She said.
To watch them, She added, your attention peels away from the thought process and the two waves, the thought wave and the attention wave, hit each other and cancel out; reverse oscillation, She called it. Then the vilambha state begins. She said that you can do this anytime…driving your car, washing the dishes, and you can be in total detached silence.
‘Do it now,’ She said.
So I watched Her and was completely blank. I then said that it was not a good test as it was hard to think in Her presence anyway. She laughed and suggested I try it on the tram back to the ashram. It worked amazingly well. I was able to hold the thoughtless state for as long as I liked.
Shri Mataji answered our questions
The fourth time Shri Mataji came to Bangkok was in March 1995. After the public programme at the Rembrandt Hotel, Mother came from the stage. I was in the entrance area, taking care of reception. I so wished to touch Her, and I had a desire to be near Her. She walked towards me to where I was standing. She looked at me and asked, ‘Alright?’ I was so amazed and astonished, and I was able to touch Her.
One evening Shri Mataji gathered us to sit in front of Her and answer our questions. My daughter, who was about five years old, started asking Her questions and She sweetly answered them.
An Indian name
In 1995, one day while serving Shri Mataji, I decided to ask Her Holiness to bless me with an Indian name. In my ignorance I thought Shri Mataji did not know my name since She has millions of children all over the world. This of course we know is not the case. She knows each and every one of us whether we have had a chance to speak to Her physically or not.
‘You are KT,’ She looked at me and said. I replied that KT are the initials of a very difficult Chinese name.
‘What is this difficult Chinese name?’ Shri Mataji asked.
‘Shri Mataji, it is Keak Tean,’ I replied. She was silent.
‘But this is good. It is Kattyayeni,’ She said. It was not an Indian name which I was familiar with and it did not sink in. Shri Mataji taught me how to pronounce it correctly.
Then Shri Mataji asked if I had been to Kolhapur. I answered that I had not. ‘You must have been. It is on the way to Ganapatipule and is famous for wedding jewellery,’ She said. I very apologetically replied that I had never visited Kolhapur. So Shri Mataji explained that Kattyayeni killed the rakshasa Kolhasur at that place and that is how it became known as Kolhapur. She said I should visit it some day.
I was afraid I might forget this difficult Indian name and asked Shri Mataji how to spell it! She very patiently spelled it for me. I tried to remember the correct spelling and then Shri Mataji took a piece of paper and pencil and wrote, ‘Kattyayeni killed Kholasur,’ and gave it to me. I treasure this precious piece of paper with Shri Mataji’s writing on it.
Shri Mataji asked if my Chinese name was a common one. I told Her it was not, and I had been a school teacher for twenty-five years and had never come across a child with the same name. So Shri Mataji asked me who gave me this name and I explained that it was my mother who named me.
The Kundalinis were floating
Back in 1995 Shri Mataji came to Kuala Lumpur and stayed there for five days. One time we were driving Her out for lunch and the traffic was very slow and heavy. Shri Mataji said it was very interesting to see the Kundalinis floating three feet above the ground, which is how high they would be in the cars. She was not seeing people in cars, but their Kundalinis.
Some personal glimpses
We were deeply honoured to learn many things from Shri Mataji when She visited Malaysia in 1995 and 1996. These are some of the things which were not imparted during formal gatherings and thus were not documented. Shri Mataji, please forgive me if I have misquoted or misunderstood what You said.
Detergents: in 1995 some foreign yogis were also visiting at the time Shri Mataji was in Malaysia. One of them became very ill and when this was reported to Her Holiness, She explained that in the West people are obsessed with cleanliness and use too much detergent which is not good for us. Westerners make their environment so sterile that they have lost their natural immunity: just a little dirt and they get very sick.
The death sentence: in 1996, there was an article in the papers about someone who was found guilty of drug trafficking in Malaysia and was given the death sentence. Our Divine Mother said it was very harsh. I said maybe because of the death sentence, the drug problem is not so bad among our youth both in Malaysia and Singapore, as in other countries. Shri Mataji said that even though what they (drug traffickers) had done was wrong, a life is very precious and should not be taken away just like that. Instead we should show them that they were wrong, rehabilitate them, teach them and give them a chance to correct themselves.
Division of countries: in 1996 there was some tension between two Far Eastern countries, and it was reported in the news. Shri Mataji looked at me and asked whether they should stay divided or be reunited. I was at a loss for words. She then explained that it is not good for countries to be divided, and gave the example of India after independence. She said that they would be much better off united.
Princess Diana: one morning in 1996, the news carried an article about the late Princess Diana’s confession that she was involved with someone. Shri Mataji explained that Diana should have known who she was and her position in life. She should not have reacted to her husband’s ways but kept her dignity and chastity. Women must not take the attitude that what the men can do we can do too. Shri Mataji said we women should be able to absorb everything. We are the ones who hold everything together.
By sheer coincidence
One time I took a plane flight from Sydney to Mumbai. On the Singapore to Mumbai leg, I happened to be on the same flight as Shri Mataji. It was the year after we had a picnic in a park in Sydney with Shri Mataji.
On that day I had taken three full rolls of film and I had them with me the day I was on the flight with Shri Mataji. I was eager to show them to Shri Mataji, and someone made it possible for me to go up to First Class and sit with Her during the flight. There were no other Sahaja Yogis and I was sitting there showing Shri Adi Shakti the photos I had taken of Her. She was admiring them and enjoying them.
‘One better than the next,’ She said. In the early years there was a need for photos and a shortage of them, so I went and bought a camera and made it my thing to do.
Chapter 14 – 1995 March to July, India and Europe
A birthday gift
At my first Birthday Puja in New Delhi, we stayed in a camp in the centre of Delhi. My daughter was asked to dance in front of Shri Mataji. I was asked to present the gift to Mother on behalf of the Thailand collective. It was a necklace, which Mother had touched on Her earlier trip in Bangkok, so Khun Janine thought it was the best gift for Her. When I presented the gift, Shri Mataji smiled and gestured with Her finger as if saying, ‘Aha, this is the one I saw in Bangkok recently.’ Her face was so bright, like beams of light. I just bowed down.
Due to the gravity of the earth
We were gathered around Shri Mataji, in Delhi, in 1995. Sahaja Yogis from various countries were there for an informal chat.
‘See, see, see!’ Shri Mataji suddenly remarked, pointing to each of them. She focused our attention on the varieties of pronunciation. ‘This,’ She said, ‘is due to the gravity of the earth.’ Elsewhere She observed that the Kundalini of Mother Earth passes through each chakra and emerges at Mount Kailash, where it is cool vibrations.
Shri Mataji was full of smiles
In the mid-nineties I spent two years in Nepal. In April 1995 we had a huge programme as Shri Mataji was coming to visit Kathmandu. The programme we had organized in a huge park in Kathmandu was attended by some 25,000 people. Shortly after Shri Mataji had started speaking the crowd became increasingly restless and after some fifteen minutes started to get up and leave. Then, from what I sensed, Shri Mataji said to the crowd that it is known they enjoy Hindi movies so they can easily follow Her talk in Hindi also. It was most amazing to see this huge crowd responding to the softly spoken words by Shri Mataji who didn’t even raise a finger, let alone Her voice. Everybody sat down again quietly and nobody left until the programme was over more than an hour later and Mother had given them all their self realisation.
On the last day of Shri Mataji’s visit to Kathmandu a car was organized to take us to the airport to see Her off, while She went shopping with Lisa for a last time. Although Mother had been staying with us, right next to my room, I hadn’t seen much of Her. There was no more room in the car going to the airport, so I could not go.
I went back to the restaurant I was managing at that time, then had an idea and started to decorate one of the tables. The tablecloth was changed and fresh flowers were brought in. About half an hour after we had finished I received two phone calls. The first came from the people who had gone to the airport, saying that the plane was delayed by one hour and the second call came right afterwards from Lisa, repeating the same news and saying that she would come with Shri Mataji to the restaurant within the next ten minutes as it now was way too early to go to the airport. When Shri Mataji entered the restaurant a few minutes later She was full of smiles and like all the other times, love was just radiating from Her whole being.
‘How did you know?’ She asked, to which I was incapable of answering, as my mouth was stretched from one ear to the other with a huge smile.
If Shri Mataji would just look at me
I met Shri Mataji on 15th April 1995 at a wedding in Calcutta. When I saw Her something tugged at my heart. I felt perhaps She would have the answer to my health problems and I requested somebody close to Shri Mataji if he could kindly get me an audience with Her. He asked me my credentials, I told him and he said that he would try. I knew that it was a very important moment in my life and felt that if Shri Mataji would just look at me, my life would change.
‘Beta, (son) what is wrong with you?’ She said when I went in front of Her.
I told Her that when I was in New York in December 1994, something had happened and my heart had suddenly started beating 200 to 250 times a minute, and I would feel very uncomfortable, but the doctors there could not make out why it was happening. The doctors in Delhi did not have a cure either and told me that I would have to leave the army. Shri Mataji asked me to put my right hand on my heart and my left hand towards Her and repeat after Her, ‘General Joshi! Go and take a rebirth, I am in the very good hands of my Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.’
She asked me to close my eyes, take a deep breath and repeat these words three times and I did it in all sincerity. Incidentally, General Joshi, erstwhile Chief of Army Staff, India, had died in India of a heart attack on the same day and approximately at the same time when I started experiencing this trouble at New York, so obviously a possession had taken place. He was very fond of me and I was formerly his adjutant. He was the one who had sent me to New York, on duty.
‘Now you are cleared. This problem will never take place again, if you learn how to meditate in Sahaja Yoga,’ Shri Mataji said, after my third repetition. ‘The Sahaja Yogis in Delhi will teach you to meditate.’ When I bent down to do pranam She told me to come near to where She was sitting, and tapped me on my back with Her right fist.
I returned to Delhi and learnt to meditate but did not feel any vibrations for about 45 days. Anyway, like a good soldier I kept on meditating, morning and evening. In the middle of May, it was very hot and I was meditating at 4 o’clock in the morning and for the first time an intense experience occurred. The chaitanya started flowing from every pore of my body, like a cloudburst, from my eyes, ears, nose, hands, feet and head. It was such a wonderful experience, and from that day onwards till today it has been a journey full of joy and love.
Needless to say, I have never had that heart ailment again.
The twenty-fifth year
We were building the hangar in Cabella in 1995. I was busy buying the sheeting for the roof, and was going up and down to Torino, because we could not find the large measurements of sheeting locally. Finally after almost three days of coming and going, we measured for it, got it, and paid for it and all those things like that. Then on the fifth of May of that year, I came back to the castle to give the good news to Shri Mataji that we got the sheeting.
‘Shri Mataji is going out, who is going to drive Her?’ someone said. I replied that I couldn’t, because I had been three days in the car without any rest. Then I went up to the castle, and I saw Shri Mataji.
‘Have you got good news for Me?’ She said.
‘Yes, Shri Mataji, we got the sheeting for the hangar,’ I said. She was very happy, and was going to the car to leave for somewhere.
‘Who is driving Shri Mataji?’ said Sir CP’s relative.
‘Rajeshwara,’ someone said.
I was so tired, I did not think I could drive, but somehow I found myself in the car driving Her. We went to Vigevano, about an hour and a half away. We stopped and had a nice pizza, ice cream and a coke with Shri Mataji, at midnight, to celebrate the twenty-fifth year of the opening of the Sahasrara, in the main square of Vigevano with Shri Mataji and Sir CP and a few other people.
Rajeshwara from Italy
Advice for building at Cabella
In 1995 Mother was talking about the things that She wanted us to do in the castle, because we were the builders. We were doing the façade at the time and Mother was saying She would like it to go a little bit faster. We shouldn’t worry about being perfectionists, and we should look at the fact that this is an old house, and in twenty or thirty years someone will come in and do a bit more on it. We shouldn’t make it look like a model, but something real. It was a wonderful time.
At Cabella I was in charge of the building site and was with Mother virtually every day. In most cases it was to help me vibrationally. Some days She would ask me to come down to Her room and I would be sitting there maybe four or five hours and She would not talk to me at all. I would leave, and the other men would ask me what Mother said.
‘Nothing, She just asked me to be there,’ I’d say, and I would be just there enjoying myself!
Your son is well – you surrendered completely
In December 1994, my son Pedro, until then a healthy young man of twenty-one was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare genetic disease that had already taken the lives of my sister and brother. The origin or cure for this disease is not known. I faxed a letter to Shri Mataji. That same night, I felt the cool breeze at the top of my head for many hours. During that interminable month, I worked on my son, clearing his chakras with a candle and a camphor flame, and completely surrendered to the great and benevolent power of our Holy Mother. In May 1995, Pedro underwent a thorough intensive medical examination at the National Hospital of Boston, USA. The cardiologist told us that Pedro’s medical results were now negative and he was in good health.
The next day, I took a plane to Cabella Italy to personally thank the Holy Mother.
‘Your son is well. You surrendered completely,’ She told me before I could talk to Her.
Thank You, Holy Mother.
The greatest master of all time
We were at the airport in Vienna with flowers to say goodbye to Shri Mataji, very close to the exit. She took the flowers and took two or three steps away from us and turned around.
‘And don’t forget, you have to save the world,’ She said to us, and then went away.
There is a very famous astrologer in Austria called Ben Jack. Five Sahaja Yogis did a course on astrology with him. He told us he had done thousands of horoscopes of famous people, especially the ones who had influenced human history. One day we brought him the horoscope of Shri Mataji, and asked him to tell something about it.
The first thing he said was that the aspect of motherhood was like the queen of Austria, Maria Theresa. He said that the subject of this horoscope would continually keep on becoming more and more famous, even after She is no longer in this world. Then he said She had the highest spirituality. Nobody can be compared with Her, and no one can oppose Her. He said no one could create such a horoscope out of their imagination, because nobody could believe that such a person could exist. One week later, this astrologer met us and told us that we have a very great guru or master. Then he said that soon people will not be interested in the outer life, but the inner life, and this time is coming now.
After some months another Sahaja Yogi went to the astrologer, and he was showing horoscopes of many famous people, the writer Goethe, famous politicians and so on.
‘I am going to show you the horoscope of the greatest master of all time,’ he said. ‘Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.’ Then he explained it in terms of astrology.
After all, you are My son
In 1995 Shri Mataji was visiting Sofia, Bulgaria. I was driving Her from the airport to Her hotel, and we happened to pass the central flea market, a permanent site where all sorts of souvenirs and second hand goods were on sale, and also artists would display their paintings and crafts. We knew that this market, by the side of the cathedral, was on the site of the original Roman city’s graveyard so we always felt that the vibrations there were not very good. To my surprise, Shri Mataji noticed the market and asked if we could stop. We walked around for some time and bought many items which She would give as presents.
It was a very hot sunny day. I had the honour of holding an umbrella over Shri Mataji for shade, and finally we went to sit down on a bench and She asked if we would like some Coca-Cola. Someone went off to buy this, everyone sat down and there was a small space at the end of the bench right next to Shri Mataji. She must have noticed me looking down at the space as I held the umbrella. She looked at me and smiled.
‘Come and sit down here,’ She said, ‘after all, you are My son.’
In 1995, Sofia was hosting the annual conference of the World Movement Ecoforum for Peace and Shri Mataji was given a golden medal and honorary diploma for Her work as UN Peace Messenger. The ceremony was held at the Institute of Hygiene. Below is the diploma.
A visit to Romania
On 2nd August 1995, after holding a conference on medical subjects, Shri Mataji was awarded a PhD in Cognitive Sciences by the Ecologic University in Bucharest.
In 1995, on the occasion of a musical evening in Bucharest, Shri Mataji praised the yogis’ singing and said that Romania is the place described as heaven a long time back, and that the Romanians and the Greeks are the ancient gandharvas who used to praise the Divine by chanting.
In 1995 I went to Bucharest, Romania and there Shri Mataji was praising the Romanian yogis in a very positive way for their musical abilities. She told them that they were the Gandharvas come down on the Earth to make this celestial music. She was so happy with the singers and musicians there and was just pouring Her Divine Love on them.
Go to Nagpur
The first time I played for Shri Mataji was in July 1995, during Her visit to Istanbul. I had changed the tuning of a Turkish folk instrument called a jumbush and with my own understanding of rhythm and ragas started to play Indian melodies on it. The event took place in a yogini’s house near the Bosphorus. It was a heavenly evening and I played Vaishnava Janato and Vishwa Vandita for Shri Mataji.
‘Selim, I did not know you were such a great artist. Go to the academy at Nagpur and learn sarod,’ Shri Mataji said when She heard me.
Exactly the time
I was the managing director of a big industrial company in Bursa, but lost my job in December 1994. When I came back to Istanbul we had a big fire at home at 4.30 in the morning, where our dog warned us and we were saved. One week later, in January 1995, some Sahaja Yogis came to our Rotary Club. Having read many spiritual books, I thought, ‘That’s it!’ cleaning the chakras, I was looking for this. First I received my realisation and then took my wife to the centre, saying I had found something great. We were meditating, but I had no job, no money and was fifty-two.
In July 1995 Shri Mataji was visiting Istanbul and we met at the leader’s house. We were sitting in the big living room, while She was in another room with the leaders. As we were listening to the bhajans performed by some Romanian yogis, our leader rushed in.
‘Those who are members of a certain secret organisation* should come,’ he said. ‘Shri Mataji is calling!’
Three men, me included, stood up and went to the room where She was. I was in the front, and Shri Mataji was sitting only one metre away, where I made namaskar to Her. She stared at me.
‘What did you achieve? She asked.
‘They are supposed to be seekers but I think they are limited,’ I said, or something like that. Then, looking into my eyes, She told some stories how people from this organisation cheated with the money which was designated to go to poor countries in Africa. I must have looked very sad, being ignorant of those actions. She began to say funny things, and made everybody in the room laugh. Then She came to the living room and gave a short speech about the left Vishuddhi.
‘You should always repeat the mantra – I am not guilty at all,’ She said. I thought this was addressed to me.
Next day a friend of mine wanted to speak to me. He had some companies including an international real estate company. He asked me if I would accept being the Managing Director of this company.
‘Your company has had no manager for the last six months,’ I replied. ‘You know I have no job, how come that you ask me this today? Besides that, I am a metallurgical engineer and have no real estate background.’
‘You can coordinate. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at home, suddenly I had this idea, that you can do this,’ he answered.
This ‘yesterday afternoon’ was exactly the time when I had been sitting just in front of Shri Mataji. I led the company until 2000, then by the grace of Shri Mataji I created my own company.
*Editor’s note: name deleted, but the dictionary definition of this organisation, originally something to do with building, is ‘a widespread secret fraternal order pledged to mutual assistance and brotherly love’. This is not the Rotary Club organisation, about which Shri Mataji has spoken very positively, comparing the Rotary’s wheel to a chakra.
Chapter 15 – 1995 August, South America
4th Brazilian Tour: end of August 1995. Shri Mataji only went to Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.
Ramana Maharshi was a realised soul
On the 25th of August, 1995, during Shri Mataji’s fourth visit to Brazil, I was at Rio and then Brasilia, and this time we had public programmes in both cities. When Shri Mataji was not resting, we were with Her talking about everything. In Brasilia, on the evening of the 27th of October, She made a little list of various Indian gurus, and cited Ramana Maharshi as a realised soul.
He had to wear his best uniform
I live in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Shri Mataji blessed us and visited us in 1995 and stayed in our house. My husband was not yet a Sahaja Yogi. He had got his realisation and respected what I did as I had been in Sahaja Yoga since 1989.
My husband was happy to let us use the house and I asked him to be there to receive Shri Mataji that day, but he said he had a very important meeting with the governor. He said he would do his best but thought he would have to be out. He had to wear his best uniform to see the governor, as he was then the Chief of Police in Brasilia. So he went, but managed to return five minutes before Shri Mataji arrived, because the meeting with the governor had finished early. He was still wearing his smartest uniform to greet Shri Mataji.
When Shri Mataji arrived many Sahaja Yogis were there to meet Her. She got out of the car and walked directly towards him, and shook his hand. She knew he was not a Sahaja Yogi. The leader explained that he was the owner of the house, and Shri Mataji thanked him. The leader explained that I had married him.
‘But no one told me Angela had got married!’ Shri Mataji said. I never thought it was necessary to say anything to Shri Mataji about this, but She indicated to me and said, ‘You know, she is My daughter?’ After this She sat down on a chair and talked in a very deep sense especially about how there was some contact between my husband and Germany. I don’t remember the talk.
‘How does She know everything?’ my husband said, when She had finished talking.
‘Was he chosen as the Chief of Police after you got married?’ Shri Mataji asked when I went into Her room, and I realised this was true. As he was the Chief we had many facilities and advantages to receive Shri Mataji, and he became Chief just at the right time to do that. When Shri Mataji left She asked me to bring him to India, and one year later I did take him. After that he retired from that job and went to New Jersey where he worked on the ashram there. Recently we have been spreading Sahaja Yoga in Mozambique.
Shri Mataji always heard me
In 1995 I had a strong experience, which gave me the certainty that Shri Mataji comes into our meditations, no matter how simple they are. In my morning meditations, I very much enjoyed singing bhajans, especially the song Namoh namoh Maria.
On one of those days, I felt my spirit surrounded by the sorrow of Christ’s Mother. Ever since, whenever I sang that song, I had the same feeling. At the same year, when Shri Mataji came to Brazil, I had the blessing of being near Her in Brasilia. There, in the middle of a journalistic interview, She asked us to sing Namoh namoh Maria to Her. There, without musical instruments and having just my own voice to conduct the other yogis, Shri Mataji was crying while listening.
To me, it was one more proof that She always heard me, when I give Her my heart during meditation.
The keys of the city
In 1995, Shri Mataji only went to Brasilia and Rio. When in Brasilia, She was again offered the keys of Brasilia, at the public programme.
The hall was full
This picture shown above was from the public programme given by our Holy Mother Shri Mataji in the Theater Avenida in the centre of Buenos Aires, in 1995. Many people came and the hall was full, and about fifteen hundred seekers received their self realisation. There were more people who wanted to see Shri Mataji but they could not enter the theatre because there were no more places inside.
During Shri Mataji’s visit to Argentina in 1995 there was very successful public programme in Buenos Aires. The seekers made a long queue from early morning and when the programme was about to start at seven o’clock in the evening many were left outside without place to sit. The authorities of the theatre closed the doors and would not allow anyone else in. Many seekers were outside the glass doors asking us to give them a place. Some were almost imploring us and we felt that we should do something for them. The authorities of the theatre were very strict and would not change their mind. Then Shri Mataji arrived and we gave a bandhan. We went to ask the authorities again and suddenly they changed their mind.
‘OK, let them in,’ they said sweetly. All those people rushed inside, full of joy to get their realisation. They were all accommodated in the higher part of the theatre: the gallery, which is called Paradise.
South American presents
Many people were giving presents to Shri Mataji in Argentina. Many of them did not have money, so they made the presents themselves. She liked them very much and spent maybe ten minutes with every person who gave Her these hand made things.
They took Her to a craft market in a park. She bought a lot of things there, all handmade. Some of the people were hippy style and there were some funny things also, like a shirt with a funny design. Somebody told me that the next year, in 1995, Shri Mataji again went to that market when She went to Argentina. The next year some people recognised Her and came to say hello to Her and She to them. She gave realisation to some of them, too.
Shri Mataji said that South America cannot develop if they do not appreciate their own things. Usually they look towards North America and Europe, but She explained that they have to be more proud of their own things. Shri Mataji was looking everywhere for porcelain from Argentina. She wanted it from the country itself and couldn’t find any anywhere. They were showing Her English china and so on, but none from Argentina.
Shri Mataji said that South America goes behind Spain. If Spain develops in Sahaja Yoga, then South America will. She also said that the difference between the poor people in India and those in South America was that in India they are pure, whereas in South America the poor have Mooladhara problems.
The seat of the Goddess
In 1995 Shri Mataji again visited Argentina, and on the 30th of August She met with Sahaja Yogis at the Bencich Palace, which we rented for the occasion. There, some presents were given. I was searching for a gift for Shri Mataji and I found some sheepskin and leather rugs. I had to choose between a rounded and a rectangular one. Even though the rectangular one was more practical to my mind, I bought two rounded ones, feeling their vibrations, but I did not understood why. After giving them to Shri Mataji She told us that in India their name is the seat of the Goddess, and at that moment any doubt vanished.
The journalist won the highest award
Also in 1995, during Shri Mataji’s visit we found the best hotel in Buenos Aires, where She stayed. One day a Sahaja Yogi saw a famous journalist leaving the hotel after an interview with a very important politician from a neighbouring country.
‘Do you know that the most important spiritual personality of today is staying at this hotel?’ the Sahaja Yogi told the journalist.
He was very curious and requested us to arrange an interview with Shri Mataji. We asked Her and She agreed, so in less than ten minutes everything was arranged. She gave a beautiful speech and answered precise questions. Shri Mataji was very pleased with the journalist and gave him realisation. That programme was broadcast to all the corners of the country and also to other nearby countries by the most important TV channels of Argentina. The next year that journalist won the highest TV award in Argentina, the Golden Statue – and became the most respected journalist of the country.
The puja was just going to start
Another time in Argentina, the day after Shri Mataji came, I went to the ashram, but was very new. The people said there was going to be a puja, which was something very strong. I decided it would be too strong for me and stayed at home, but I wanted so much to be with Mother and the collective and felt bad that I had not gone.
I went in the night and assumed the puja was over. When I arrived, the Sahaja Yogis said that the puja was just going to start. I had the blessing of doing the puja, in that I had to paint Shri Mataji’s Feet.
In my first years of Sahaja Yoga I felt a tremendous desire to meet my Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. I had the chance in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 1995. I went there with my five year old daughter and it was a very moving and unforgettable experience.
I had the chance to share the cooking for our Mother. When it was the moment to be in front of our Mother – what a feeling of peace and bliss! I looked at Her as a child looks at her own mother with so much love that I started to see a golden shining light as if it were the sun. This grew more and more in sweetness and then, slowly, it went down and I could see the sweet face of our Mother. How much love and compassion! It was so wonderful, astonishing and splendid, like in the Mahabharata where Shri Krishna showed all His grandeur to Arjuna.
When we said goodbye at the airport of Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, I was very excited. I was saying goodbye with my mind and holding my daughter.
‘No! Not yet!’ I heard a male voice saying. Then, Shri Mataji came back and walked close to us.
‘Are you Flora?’ She asked.
‘Yes, Mother,’ I answered.
‘And this is your daughter?’
‘Do you want to get married?’
‘How old are you?’ I forgot my age for the time being. Mother raised Her head and arm towards the sky, and said, ‘To India, in India.’
We bowed and She disappeared behind the desk. We remained lost in the joy and bliss, and pure tears came to my eyes. There were many embraces and congratulations after Shri Mataji had told me to go to India to get married.
Back home in Bolivia, I slowly remembered what happened. I could not hold a conversation in English because I hardly knew any words. ‘That sweet beautiful voice (Shri Mataji’s) sounded in Spanish,’ I thought. This was something sublime and there was no reasonable explanation for that. I was surprised at such a marvellous miracle.
In Ganapatipule it happened again. That time I felt just spirit, and that conversation was longer. I was full of bliss, tremendous peace and love. That is what I call, ‘I was in heaven’. Sahaja Yoga is heaven. This miracle happened again in Cabella and once again I felt immersed in joy. I felt my spirit, and I was in front of God Almighty. She is strength and security every moment; She protects us and guides us to fulfil Her vision of this world. Thank You Mother, thank You for my family, I owe it to You.
Flora from Bolivia
Chapter 16: 1995 September, China
The only speaker who thanked the Chinese government
One of the highlights of Shri Mataji’s visits to China was when She came in 1995 for the convention – the United Nations World Conference on Women. We preceded Her trip by going to Beijing about a week earlier, we set up a booth and must have given realisation to over two hundred people. Because it was raining a lot of people left, so we were able to take over a large stand to give realisation in. Queues of people were getting realisation. We also held a puja in Beijing and had four Chinese ladies performing the puja – the first puja in mainland China – a Shri Ganesha Puja before Shri Mataji actually arrived. The vibrations were very strong.
We received Shri Mataji at the airport and She came to the hotel, and we had again decorated the hotel suite with beautiful items we had bought, and the idea was to give them to Shri Mataji as gifts when She left. She was very happy, and very happy to be in China. She spoke about the Chinese, and what gracious hosts they were.
Shri Mataji gave a very beautiful and moving address and in Her speech was the only speaker who actually thanked the Chinese government, the hosts of the conference. There had been a lot of criticism, especially from some wives of heads of state who had come, but not one delegate had thanked them for hosting. Mother was the only one to thank them for hosting such an important event.
Highlighting the role of women
We went to Beijing with Mother for the UN Women’s Conference in 1995 and we were helping there. Mother was highlighting the role of women.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September/October 1995
In April 1995 we in Hong Kong were asked whether we would be interested in attending the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) UN Forum on Women to be held in Beijing in September in parallel with the UN Fourth World Conference on Women (UN-FWCW). We were of course, very interested. In true Sahaja style we had only one day before the cut-off date for applications, but about 16 yogis managed to apply. We then heard that Shri Mataji was keen to attend Herself. A yogini working for Unifem in New York had suggested Shri Mataji as a guest speaker. Soon afterwards, Shri Mataji was officially invited to speak.
Over the next few months we began to assemble exhibition material and to work out a strategy. It was also becoming apparent through correspondence and the media that the whole event was fraught with bureaucracy. The venue for the NGO Forum was shifted right out of Beijing, and we later heard that this happened at the same time Shri Mataji confirmed Her attendance.
Shri Mataji was invited to participate in a high-level inter-regional round-table, entitled ‘Building Bridges of Hope: Women Speak Out on Peace’. Countless faxes passed between Italy, the UK and China as everything began to fall into place. Because Shri Mataji had been invited to attend the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, She was allowed only to stay at an allocated hotel. It turned out to be a very good hotel with most helpful staff who were, for the duration of the conference, completely under the control of the security police. It was only with the permission of these individuals that we could even consider holding any sort of public event for Shri Mataji in the hotel.
Negotiations through these obstacles took a whole day and required our greatest powers of diplomacy, not to mention witnessing. However, at last we received permission from the head of the secret police to hold a public reception/programme for Shri Mataji. The floor of Her room was also under tight security and only forum or conference delegates would be allowed access.
The great connection that became apparent through this drama was the Conference Liaison Officer at the hotel, a lecturer of English in a Shanghai University. He became increasingly helpful and was truly a godsend. The following morning we went to the Jing Guang Hotel to transform Shri Mataji’s suite from a very dull collection of boring furniture into a beautiful abode for the Goddess, with flowers, artefacts and colourful cushions as well as the silk Afghanistan carpet which Shri Mataji later graciously accepted as a gift from the Hong Kong yogis.
Women have to understand their position in society
This is my story of Shri Mataji when we were in Beijing, China, at the United Nations Women’s Conference in 1995. I was part of the Hong Kong collective at that time and we got the exciting news that Shri Mataji had agreed to an invitation to attend the UN Women’s Conference as a panel speaker. Some of the Sahaja Yogis went too. Some got accredited to go and some just went anyway to support Shri Mataji, and also because there was a parallel NGO forum a week before that. Sahaja Yoga was an accredited NGO so we had a stall there. We also tried bhajans, and many people got their realisation.
Then came the day when we had prepared the hotel for Shri Mataji, and the car was all shining and clean and there were flowers inside. We went to the airport to pick Her up and She was supposed to come on Swissair from Zurich, directly from a puja at Cabella. The people arrived from the plane, and no Shri Mataji. We were getting nervous and She didn’t come. She was not on the flight, because the flight from Milan to Zurich had not arrived, because Alitalia was on strike. The yogis had organized a small private plane for Shri Mataji, but it had reached Zurich fifteen minutes late. Swissair was on time, and decided not to wait, even though the people in the small plane had radioed that She was on Her way, and was a VIP going to the Beijing UN conference. Shri Mataji then flew by Lufthansa, not Swissair. She had to spend the day in Zurich, and that was very nice for the Swiss Sahaja Yogis. Swissair went bankrupt soon after this.
Shri Mataji went on to Frankfurt and flew from there, so the next day we were on the airport in Beijing to receive Her. It was wonderful. She was fresh and radiant and ready to go to the conference.
Shri Mataji takes care of everything
The United Nations Agency where I worked was involved in the preparations for the World Conference of Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. As the chief of the Latin America and the Caribbean Section I was participating in the organization, and the women’s movement was organizing a parallel forum to the conference to take place in Huairu, a city a few hours distant from Beijing. Those less formal forums start a few days before the official conference and are used to highlight some of the more controversial issues. One of the events was a panel on Women and Peace. Shri Mataji was invited by my organization to be part of the panel.
When She arrived, She was led to a small room not far from the hall. As I came into the room and approached Shri Mataji I had the most amazing experience. I felt a strong hard-to-describe bubbling up from the base of my spine to my throat. At the same time I felt my whole body totally covered with goose-pumps. She looked at me and asked someone by Her side if I was a Yogini and he confirmed. My boss, who was by my side, commented afterwards that the room was very cold, with a cool breeze.
It was time for Shri Mataji to join the other panelists in this very huge conference room. A large banner welcoming Her was hanging in one of the walls. It was a great opportunity for me to see Her from very close.
I decided to take advantage of my contacts and found myself a good seat in the front row. The room soon became completely full. The panel opening was about to start when I noticed Shri Mataji’s eyes on me. At the same time I heard Her voice very clearly asking me why was I seating in the front row. I should be in the back with the other yogis distributing Her paper. It was so clear. I did not have any doubt She was talking to me through the subtle means available to Her.
I prepared to leave my place, feeling a bit embarrassed, when I saw a very tall African man coming towards my place and approaching my neighbour in a loud voice. He said that the First Lady from his country wanted to be on that panel and he was looking for a place for her. I immediately offered my place. When the First Lady arrived, all thankful, I gave her a big smile. I was the one that had to thank her for giving me the opportunity to vacate my place in a very inconspicuous way. Shri Mataji took care of everything.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September 1995
Our trip to the airport with flowers and eager faces turned out to be a dress rehearsal, as no one informed us that Shri Mataji was now arriving the following day. An unannounced strike by Alitalia in Milan created a drama that began in a specially chartered flight plane and a bumpy trip over the Alps to Zurich to try to connect with the Swissair flight to Beijing. With great inauspiciousness Swissair would not wait the ten minutes it would have taken for Shri Mataji to board the flight. She was forced to stay overnight in Zurich (although much to the delight of the Swiss yogis), then travel the following day to Frankfurt to take the Lufthansa flight to Beijing.
Wednesday, 13th September found us all at the airport again. There was a moment of panic when we couldn’t see the flight on the arrivals board because it had arrived early. Our Chinese Liaison Officer worked it so that two of us could actually go inside to meet Shri Mataji and help with the luggage. After more than two days of travelling, She emerged through migration radiant, relaxed and beautiful, a glorious sight for Her expectant children.
What a momentous occasion, the Lotus Feet of Shri Mataji on the earth of China once more. She graciously accepted our flowers and then travelled straight to the conference site with half an hour to spare. The yogis arrived at the conference to find Shri Mataji sipping tea in the VIP room, chatting with the other delegates. She looked so fresh, not a crease on Her beautiful deep blue sari.
Shri Mataji was just smiling
When Shri Mataji entered the conference hall it was already filling up. There was a panel of ladies already there, a mixture of peoples and nations from around the world and She was sitting more or less in the centre of this long panel. Most of the speakers were feminists and were talking war talk – we have to win the war against the men, we have to fight the battle, conquer them and this and that. The woman before Shri Mataji was very tall and strong and was literally pounding the table as she spoke.
Shri Mataji was just smiling at us and it was so sweet to see Her there. Then She took the microphone, and the lecture is known, but the contrast was so evident. Her words were of love and compassion, and that women have to understand their position in society, and their role, and the two wheels of the same wagon and everything. The media was thrilled and all the TV cameras zoomed in on Her immediately. When She finished Her talk She got really big applause, and then She left the panel while all the other ladies stayed. The media went with Her; they didn’t bother about who spoke after Shri Mataji. They interviewed Her and She elaborated on Her lecture.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September 1995
The event began with the six speakers along a table facing the audience of about 200. Shri Mataji was respectfully introduced as the second speaker. She read the fourteen page speech She and Sir CP had written, graciously thanking the Chinese government for hosting the event and then enthralling the audience with Her words of wisdom and hope.
‘This is beyond My imagination, the most glorious time in the history of the world, that at this time we are so much aware of the problems of women,’ Shri Mataji began.
Shri Mataji criticised the Swiss banks and the corrupt officials at the receiving end of UN aid who take the money raised for poor children and women. This was applauded loudly by the audience. Then She told them about Sahaja Yoga as the only solution to the word’s problems. The talk was far longer than that of any of the other speakers, although Shri Mataji didn’t read the entire prepared speech.
Some of the others spoke aggressively of the problems faced by women in areas of conflict and several referred to Shri Mataji’s solution for world peace. One woman in particular was very impressive. She is Marta Benevides from El Salvador, and later Shri Mataji said she is born realised. In Her final minute of response, Shri Mataji told the audience a little more about Sahaja Yoga.
One could sense a real interest in, and respect for, Shri Mataji’s message. At the conclusion She was warmly congratulated by many people as She passed through the audience. She took people’s hands, gave realisation and spoke warmly to quite a few people.
‘Thank Her for touching me, I feel wonderful,’ a UNICEF lady delegate from the Philippines asked us.
The Chinese security service
We went back to the hotel and Shri Mataji was able to have some rest. Food was prepared by the yogis for Her.
The Chinese Security Service was concerned about all the foreigners coming into Beijing, because thousands of delegates were swarming into the city. They observed each and every one of them. When we got out of the elevator in the hotel everyone had to sign a big book, including Shri Mataji. To begin with we had to sign this book whenever we went in or out, but after a while everything got more relaxed.
Shri Mataji expressed a desire to meet the Premier of China, as She had met him years before with Sir CP, through his United Nations work, so we tried, but it didn’t work out. The security people became more friendly and spoke English to us. They asked us about Shri Mataji and why we were all so humble around Her, and why we adored Her, and what was so special about Her? So we told them and although they were not ready for their realisation, they were respectful. A few hours later, one of the security men took me into a room and closed the door.
‘We are confused,’ he began, ‘because you are all talking so positively about China, while all the other delegates are very negative about China.’ I replied that I did not know about this. He went on. ‘I am very impressed, not only for what you say about China, but for the respect you show to that lady who is with you and I would like to know more about that.’ So I told him who She was, and why She was here, and the purpose of all this.
Shri Mataji was in Beijing for the UN Women’s Conference. We were in Her hotel room with Her watching the CNN news. The newscaster was talking too fast, and Shri Mataji pointed Her right hand towards the TV and raised Her left channel and brought down his right channel a few times. The newscaster immediately slowed down and spoke more clearly.
‘That’s better,’ Shri Mataji said, and we all laughed.
I have become a movie star!
We organized a public programme, even though it might be forbidden, and distributed invitations to a meeting with Shri Mataji in the hotel, maybe about forty. We booked a hall for about a hundred people, and began with some bhajans. When we were singing Vishvavandita Shri Mataji came into the room. By then the hall was full. I saw some of the security people and they indicated that it was all right.
After we had finished the bhajans, Shri Mataji started speaking. She spoke for over an hour in a very animated way, making jokes, making people laugh, speaking in a beautiful way about China, its rich heritage and culture, and the roots of spirituality, and Confucius and Lao-tse as Adi Gurus and all these wonderful things. Then came the part of self realisation and everything went fine. It was all translated into Chinese and after it was finished the people were so enthusiastic, it was amazing to see how they reacted. Joy poured out from everywhere.
The Kundalini of China
After the formal programme at the UN conference, we arranged a gathering of people. We had arranged it at the hotel where Shri Mataji was staying and we promoted it at the conference. Shri Mataji did not formally give realisation, but did give a beautiful talk about the Yangtze River, and travelling down the river. She said afterwards that this river is the Kundalini of China, and She talked about the relationship between the Tao and the Kundalini, and how Lao-Tse, a great realised master, had described in his poetry about the Mother and Tao.
She also praised the Chinese people for their spirituality and acknowledged that China was a spiritual country. She was awakening the Kundalini of the whole of China, so it was a very special time, and we also had some bhajans. There were some journalists present, and one has recently, in 2006, come to Sahaja Yoga.
The most humble people in the world
During the visit to Beijing, at the UN programme, we tried to organise a public programme in the function room of Mother’s hotel. We invited our friends, our relatives and a few people who we met at the NGO forum the week before and some people attended. We also found a company to film the programme. Shri Mataji told the people who came that the roots of Chinese culture are quite deep and Chinese are some of the most humble people in the world. She made a comparison between the Americans and the Chinese. She also said the Chinese would not accept anyone like a false guru, for example the one who was Mahishasura in a past lifetime, because they have good sense, but warned that the Americans will accept people like this. She said that if Sahaja Yoga spreads in China, it would spread like wildfire. China is a fertile soil for spirituality.
I have become a movie star
I particularly remember three middle aged ladies who had been sitting in the front row. They rushed up to Shri Mataji after the programme, and hugged Her, and kissed Her, and Shri Mataji hugged them and kissed them on the cheeks, and then they pulled out some little note books and wanted to have Her autograph. Shri Mataji obliged, and signed, and wrote little things in their books. Over Her shoulder She smiled at us.
‘Look at this,’ She laughed, ‘now I have become a movie star! I have to give autographs.’
These three ladies had come by bicycle for three days and just by chance stopped over in Beijing to attend this programme, and I have no clue how they heard about it. Shri Mataji asked some of us to stay behind and get this group going, but the person had to leave soon after.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September 1995
The event was covered by Indian TV and an Italian news crew. During the afternoon, in Her hotel room (which She so sweetly admired), Shri Mataji spoke enthusiastically about the conference and discussed the other speakers. Much to our delight, She agreed to our suggestion of bhajans to commence the public programme, and was surprised to hear we had brought harmonium, guitar and dholak from Hong Kong just in case. She rested briefly before coming downstairs, looking so beautiful in a sari that defied description.
A large, elegant function room in the hotel was prepared with chairs and flowers and we managed to hire a professional video cameraman to film it all. By 7:30 about forty people had arrived, mostly Chinese, invited from the NGO at Huairou, some officials from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of press reporters, plus the security police. Many of the seekers had travelled long distances from other provinces, some by bicycle. The Cultural Attaché had received his realisation in Austria the previous year and had met Shri Mataji there. She warmly welcomed him.
The programme was beautiful in every way. Shri Mataji spoke for more than two hours – a beautiful talk full of stories and humour. She spoke of Lao Tse and His description of the Yangtze River, where Shri Mataji Herself has travelled. Describing its beauty, She said She had sat outside on the deck for twelve hours just taking in the splendour of the scenery. She praised the Chinese many times, drawing on similarities between Chinese and Indian cultures. She told so many funny stories, and then patiently listened to and answered many questions.
At the end everyone felt the cool breeze without the realisation process. Then the audience wanted Shri Mataji’s autograph and to be photographed with Her, so for about twenty minutes She obliged them. It was very innocent and sweet and touched Shri Mataji’s heart. She was very happy with the programme, the first in China.
Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the day was the fact that Shri Mataji had arrived after travelling for three days, She had attended two three-hour programs and had waited while Her official UN pass was prepared, She had welcomed all the yogis personally, had given realisation, met numerous people, and had absorbed all the difficult vibrations of Beijing (yes, it was a city transformed – our headaches disappeared). In all these She had been the perfect loving Mother, guru, diplomat, scientist and more. Our sense of awe was beyond words.
They are beautiful
While we were shopping at a carpet shop in Beijing and I was standing beside Shri Mataji in Her wheel chair. I was just looking at Shri Mataji’s Feet and thinking how perfect they looked. At that moment She turned to me and made a remark about them, with a smile on Her face.
‘They are beautiful,’ I said to Her.
Now put your hands out
We were in the hotel, and for a couple of days it was quite busy, but then we had a day when we went to do some shopping. Shri Mataji wanted to buy carpets, so we went to a state run carpet shop. They had the most beautiful silk carpets which were copies of Kashmiri designs. Shri Mataji said that they were even better than the originals. They were handmade and we were looking at all the carpets, and She had Her Feet on some. The manager of the shop came over and was assisting us, because we were looking at so many carpets. The time for the shop to close came, but he kept it open for us because he knew that we were serious about buying carpets. We were asking about prices and they were not cheap, but were reasonable.
You could see that at first the gentleman was flustered, but then Shri Mataji put Her attention on him, and his Kundalini came up and he went thoughtless.
‘Look, this is my cost,’ he said, ‘and I need to make some profit, so give me something, but if you buy so many you can buy at a very cheap price.’ So he gave us a very reasonable price. Shri Mataji bought about seven or eight carpets, really big ones, and you could see that She was really enjoying their beauty.
Another time we went shopping in a department store and this was quite an amazing experience. Shri Mataji bought some china, and carvings, but each time we went to a department the shop assistants in that particular department would get their realisation. Pretty soon there was a big gathering of people including the shop manager, so at one stage there were about twenty people there watching Shri Mataji doing Her shopping.
‘Now put your hands out,’ She said, and was smiling. They did so and all got their realisation, including the manager. They gave Shri Mataji a lot of gifts. By the end we had roughly one ton of shopping to bring back, including the carpets and these had to go to India.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September 1995
In the handful of shops that Shri Mataji patronised over the two free days, the shopkeepers and salespeople filmed and photographed Her, then queued humbly to receive their self realisation. In a large department store, a sweet young salesman told Shri Mataji of a poem he had read about the Goddess Niranjana riding on a tiger. Later, Shri Mataji blessed a yogi’s two week-old baby girl with this name. Sitting in a huge silk carpet shop among piles of beautiful carpets, Shri Mataji spoke about the bija mantras and repeated them over and over to us. We learned so much about qualities of carpets, pearls and terra-cotta. These most glorious moments stretched the days into lifetimes.
‘Now I am going to give you a gift, something you cannot pay for,’ Shri Mataji would everywhere conclude by saying.
Kundalinis would dance, vibrations would flow and smiles of peace would shine on all faces. Perhaps it was our desire that kept Shri Mataji with us an extra day, but eventually even that day ended.
They will teach you everything
We had the chance to do some shopping with Shri Mataji in Beijing. The products Shri Mataji bought there were for the new home of Her granddaughter. Other things were souvenirs and handicrafts, a lot of small things and also the carpets.
When we were waiting for the shopkeeper to check the bill, Shri Mataji was talking to us about the chakras, and said that Sanskrit is a very scientific language. The number of vowels, for example, has a correspondence with the number of petals in the Vishuddhi chakra. At one place, Mother waved to the sales people, and took their hands.
‘Come, come,’ She said, and asked them, ‘Do you feel the peace now?’ Some of them said they did, and She at once told them what their problem was – such as worries about their families or personal problems. She told them to just relax and they would be all right. There were only two Chinese yogis doing the shopping with Shri Mataji, and She pointed to them and said, ‘They will come back and teach you everything.’
When Shri Mataji was shopping, several yogis went with Her. It was interesting to see how Mother did the shopping in that type of a shop. We went in with two other yogis. After half an hour the whole shop was chaos, because Herbert would pick up each carpet and wait for Mother to nod Her head and put it aside. Right after that She asked for things from other shops and bought nearly a ton of products from Beijing.
She didn’t want them shipped straight back to India, but first to Hong Kong and then the Australian yogis could pick it all up on their way to Ganapatipule. It was amazing when these things arrived in Hong Kong – pictures, porcelain, carpets and a lot of tea sets. We filled up a whole room with these things, and when I picked up a small carpet it was so cool on my hand.
Shri Mataji’s autograph
When Shri Mataji was shopping in Beijing, a lot of people realised She was someone special, because of the amount of shopping She did and also the credit card She showed. So they asked for Her autograph in the guest book of the shop. This is a Chinese tradition. People also asked for Her autograph at the Beijing public programme.
He will be ok
When we went to the UN conference in Beijing, my wife’s father was quite ill in the hospital with cancer of the stomach. My wife wanted to go back early.
‘He will be ok,’ Shri Mataji told her. So we stayed, and when we did eventually return, my father-in-law had a successful operation and is still alive eleven years later (in 2006). Before She went to Beijing, we had had lunch at Repulse Bay with Shri Mataji in a restaurant there. At that time we had given self realisation to a relative in mainland China who was quite sick with a serious kidney problem. He had too much responsibility – right side drained out. We had a photo of him and we showed it to Shri Mataji and She made a bandhan on it.
‘He will be all right,’ She had said. And he lived another ten years without the transplant.
From The Divine Cool Breeze, September 1995
During the following two days there was much discussion with Shri Mataji concerning the best way to spread Sahaja Yoga in China. All along it has been felt so important to establish Sahaja Yoga through the official channels, observing all the necessary protocol. Our Chinese liaison officer reported that his superiors in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were extremely pleased with their initial impressions of Sahaja Yogis and particularly with everything Shri Mataji said.
Shri Mataji affirmed that as the Chinese are innately a great spiritual people they will take to Sahaja Yoga very rapidly, but the initial introduction is extremely important. The accompanying political and social transformation would be gradual and gentle. She put a lot of attention on the Premier, Mr Li Peng, whom Shri Mataji and Sir CP had met in the 1970’s. The famous photo of him standing between the Srivastavas was forwarded to him with a letter inviting him most respectfully to meet with Shri Mataji again. However, during such a brief visit, nothing could be arranged.
Shri Mataji suggested that we organize a medical conference and make a submission to the Ministry of Health to assist in official recognition of Sahaja Yoga. She mentioned all the doctors in Australia as being able to help and participate.
Shri Mataji asked Lyndon, a Sahaja Yogi, to stay in Beijing and gave him a lot of advice for his job interviews. He came to ask for Shri Mataji’s blessings before he went for an interview at a Japanese school. For an amazing half hour, She gave him a crash course in Japanese culture. She taught him the correct protocol for an interview, as well as some phrases in Japanese. She told him what questions to ask, all about Japanese gardens, hobbies and the economy. She changed his hairstyle and suggested he wear a dark suit, tie and shoes. He was offered a teaching position in one of the universities in Beijing.
A birthday party
The following morning the Hong Kong collective, as well as the yogis who had come from other parts of the world for this special event, gathered in Shri Mataji’s sitting room. A small aarti was done and Shri Mataji lovingly gave all the ladies gifts of brooches and earrings, matching the right colour with the right girl, and then a huge pile of Swiss chocolate for everyone.
After shopping with Shri Mataji in Beijing, we bought a birthday cake for Lyndon, seen blowing out the candle, in the middle of the three Sahaja Yogis. Then they told Shri Mataji that the following day was also wedding anniversary for Edwin, seen on the right, and Florence. So somehow it was proposed we all blew the candles together in the presence of Shri Mataji, in Her hotel room.
How do I follow You?
As we were moving towards the departure gate, a gentleman who had been watching from afar came forward. He fell at Shri Mataji’s Feet.
‘How do I follow You? I can see You are a great spiritual master. I just want to be Your disciple,’ He said to Shri Mataji, through an interpreter. This gentleman had been a devout Buddhist and had recognised Shri Mataji as Shri Maitreya. We spoke to him afterwards.
Another amazing thing like this had happened at the public programme. The head of the Buddhist movement in China had attended the press conference and programme that we had held in the hotel. He had had a dream of Shri Mataji a week or so before, and also recognised that She was Shri Maitreya.
He is a real seeker
When Shri Mataji left Beijing, at Beijing Airport, suddenly there was a gentleman, a Chinese man, who was also seeing someone off, and he saw Shri Mataji from a distance and walked past Her. He knelt down and namaskared to Mother, just like that.
‘He is a real seeker,’ She said. He was not living in Beijing, and had just come there by chance to see his friend off at the airport, where he recognised Shri Mataji. After that he wrote Her a letter and praised Shri Mataji as a real guru.
A beautiful event
When we were leaving at the airport a TV news crew came and interviewed Shri Mataji, out of the blue, as She was leaving. They asked Her how She had found the conference, and She again thanked the Chinese government for hosting such a beautiful event. It was a very special time.
Ten million saw Her image
At the airport, Central China TV was filming the departure of the delegates of the UN conference. A reporter came to Shri Mataji, and She really thanked the Chinese people for holding such a beautiful conference.
‘I have left My heart in China, as Tagore once said,’ She said.
We didn’t know about the importance of the reporter at the airport. When we returned to the hotel we thought there may be a chance that the evening news might have something about it. At the end there was a special programme of about twenty minutes about the conference. A small part was about the departure of the delegates, what was their view of the conference. They used Shri Mataji’s image as the huge backdrop of the video wall. They used Shri Mataji’s impression, Her quote of Tagore’s feeling of China as the conclusion of the whole programme. When they showed all the names of the film crews at the end of the programme, Shri Mataji’s huge image was there, on the video wall for more than one minute. Ten million people around China saw this image.
‘I have left My heart in China. If the Chinese people invite Me, I will come back,’ Shri Mataji said.
An amazing end to Shri Mataji’s trip to China
I wheeled Shri Mataji in Her wheelchair all the way through Immigration and down to the plane, right through all the security, and She was flying off to Moscow after that.
The final amazing thing was that on the national Chinese news, CCTV, Shri Mataji’s interview was shown in full. After the news had finished, they left the picture of Shri Mataji, showing a whole wall behind which was Shri Mataji’s face. This went on for two or three minutes while the final titles were showing, to millions of viewers across China: an amazing end to Shri Mataji’s trip to China.
Shri Mataji’s picture with its beautiful vibrations
When Shri Mataji was leaving the media were waiting for Her on the airport. The Chinese National TV wanted to have an interview with Her. Shri Mataji agreed, and while She was wheeled through the customs the TV crew followed Her. They asked very sweet questions and Mother answered it in a very beautiful way, and it was an amazingly comfortable atmosphere. The TV people didn’t want to switch off the cameras.
Finally Shri Mataji left and we felt a little sad. We returned to the hotel and somehow turned on the TV. As soon as I turned it on, there was Shri Mataji’s picture on all the national television stations. It was that same interview and the whole was shown. When the news finished, during the credits, which ran for another thirty seconds, they had Shri Mataji’s picture with its beautiful vibrations, as a backdrop. So in that way Mother reached all over China. None of us could ever have dreamed of such an accomplishment.
Chapter 17 – 1995 September and October, Europe and America
The one who enjoys and gives joy
Before Shri Mataji gave me the name Rama I was called Reena. When I had just started Sahaja Yoga, my mother and I went to greet Her at Milan airport, and I had the good fortune to be able to give Her flowers, like a lot of the Sahaja Yogis. My heart started to cry like a flower of joy, because it had been a difficult period of my life. I knelt before Her, and prayed to Mother to give me joy. Soon after that I was married in Sahaja Yoga, with the blessings of Mother, and a week after I was married, I asked Shri Mataji to give me a name. She gave me the name Rama, which means the one who enjoys and gives joy.
Precious gifts for life
In 1995, at Cabella, Shri Mataji had given me a beautiful ring with a topaz, to protect my Swadishthan which has hip prostheses. In the course of different years, She always received us with a big smile, remembering our first names, and pronouncing the name of Mexico (Miheeco) as we pronounce it in Spanish. Twice I had the privilege of receiving beautiful silk saris from Her, and another ring with which I feel totally protected.
Our Holy Mother came to the United States every year during the ’90’s, and when the sacred land of the American Indians was bought at Canajoharie, we enjoyed Her presence there, where Sahaja Yogis came from different countries, especially for Shri Krishna Puja. Mother pampered us with Her presence, and gave us gifts for life, with the vibrations and protection of the Divine, and with a particular message for each of us.
Nobody had any idea what the numbers were
Once I brought a briefcase to Shri Mataji. Originally it had come from Tunisia, but it had been in a shop in Como for some time, and I brought it up to Cabella. It was one of those cases which had a lock which was numbers.
‘Will you try to open this briefcase?’ Shri Mataji asked. I tried every number I could think of. Triple zero, one two, and so on. After about five minutes I still couldn’t do it. Shri Mataji was smiling.
‘Bring it to Me,’ She said, and smiling towards us She moved Her fingers on the lock. After a few seconds there was a ‘click!’ and both the locks were open. She wasn’t even looking at the numbers, and nobody had any idea what the numbers were.
Rajeshwara from Italy
We watched videos
When Shri Mataji first came to Cabella, She used to have the people into Her rooms so they could meditate in front of Her. But when I came we only went to watch movies with Her. Shri Mataji used to tell us what was going on because they were in Hindi or Marathi.
When I was there She came down once to the mezzanine living room and gave us recipes for Indian food. When Shri Mataji came into the castle we took turns to do the aarti to Her. The first time I did it, I had the garland. She was coming in and first you put the garland and then you did the aarti. I didn’t know what to do and She was waiting.
‘You have to put it on Me,’ She said, laughing. Then, of course, I did.
That topic came up many years ago in Europe. The answer was that in our first incarnations as a human being gender is not so fixed. Then as we evolve it becomes fixed. Most ardent seekers, being ancient souls, gender is fixed since long for them.
Shri Mataji laughed
We were all watching a video movie with Shri Mataji in the big room. It was nice because a hundred people were working at the castle that day and She was explaining what it was all about, because it was in Marathi.
Another time we were watching a video and it was quite frightening. I suddenly let out a shout and everybody turned to me. I was behind Shri Mataji and nearly going under Her Feet and She laughed. A lot of times we went in to watch videos with Mother. Mostly it was the men, who were building, because we had to cook.
A violent Hindi movie
One evening after midnight in Cabella the building workers who were staying in the castle were woken up and asked to go upstairs to Shri Mataji`s rooms. We had to watch a Hindi movie which was very violent and also had some romance in it. While watching the movie it felt like it was an exercise in keeping your attention fully in the Sahasrara and a way to be worked on, also there was no joining in with hand movements or making any loud noises, which you would normally do if you were on your own, or making comments about the direction of the movie. We were also tired so had to fight to keep awake.
Mother told me, as I was asking Her, years ago, that Blake and Khalil Gibran were, like Kabir and Shankara, incarnations of Luv and Kush, meaning that Luv and Kush incarnated as Buddha and Mahavira. Later, the Buddha principle incarnated as Kabir, to balance the right side with devotion, and the Mahavira principle as Shankara, then as Blake and Gibran. She said ‘principle’ meaning that it’s not reincarnation as in metempsychosis.
Lord Jesus was a carpenter
Shri Mataji knows what we are thinking when She puts Her attention on us. At Shri Mataji’s castle at Cabella, when about forty yogis were present, She was talking about Lord Jesus, and how He had been a carpenter. As my father has been a carpenter I thought of him, and at the moment She spoke about that She looked exactly at me, so I knew She had read my thoughts.
The unlimited power of Mother’s protection
There was a doctor who was very happy and full of gratitude to Shri Mataji as her daughter had been cured of a severe skin disease. It happened in 1995, just before the Shri Devi Puja in Moscow. The girl was ill and her whole body had a greenish tinge. Nevertheless, she had very subtle, pure vibrations, so we took her with us to Moscow.
In the airport, where we were meeting Shri Mataji, a happy moment was granted to us and, especially to the little girl who was smiling through her pain and waiting for Mother, for the first time in her life. Mother passed by and wrapped us up into vibrations of boundless divine love, and glanced at the girl with such tenderness that all of us thought She was not passing us by accident, but She had done it to bestow a miracle upon the girl. And the miracle happened at once! The girl’s skin began to change in our sight and she had no stains at all by the Shri Devi Puja.
This incident again, for a thousandth or millionth time, showed the unlimited power of Mother’s protection of those who are vibrationally connected to Her.
Shri Mataji met doctors and scientists
In 1995 active work with doctors was taking place. The first group of doctors who Shri Mataji gathered consisted of not more than thirty people but soon She had to prepare a Medical Conference for the next meetings. A talk by Shri Mataji with the scientists and university teachers was organised at the Biological Faculty of Moscow State University.
Time is different for Shri Mataji
Togliatti Airport, Russia, 1995. We were standing waiting to collect our luggage and I was called across to go and talk to Shri Mataji.
‘I have just been told about your husband,’ She said. I was about to say – oh but that happened four years ago – and then She spoke a bit about my husband, and about my son. I realised that even though I had lost my husband some years before, it was that moment that was important, when She spoke to me. Time is different for Shri Mataji.
How things are going to be
When I was in Togliatti, Russia, on one occasion Shri Mataji talked to me for about three hours – just Her and me with my new stepson behind me. She had always pointedly not talked to me about Ireland (my homeland) and on occasion changed the subject when I mentioned it. Here in Russia She asked me what I thought of the Irish. I said that individually they were very good people, but collectively, that’s where the problems were. She said I was wrong, individually they are very nice people, and collectively they’re also nice people.
It was only in 2009, when I read my journal, I checked and noticed that the Good Friday Agreement, between the English and Irish governments, ending hundreds of years of conflict, was signed in April 1998 and followed some months after the event in Togliatti which was in September 1997. It was significant too, that She told me this in Russia, the land of the ego and was working on the Centre Heart (Ireland) through that channel. Had I not read my journal, I would never have seen the connection.
I noticed on a number of occasions that Shri Mataji spoke of how things are going to be, not as they currently are, and some years ago She said how nice Russian policemen were, helpful, friendly, honest, didn’t take bribes etc – somewhat to the surprise of the Russians present.
Permission to stay in Russia
Once, I accompanied Shri Mataji to Russia, and on deplaning we went to the immigration counter. The person checking my passport found that there was no visa slip. Russians issue visas on a separate slip and not on the passport. She asked me if there was a visa slip.
‘Yes,’ I said.
I did not know what to do as the rules in Russia were very strict. At this moment Shri Mataji gave a strange look towards the immigration officer. He immediately asked as to how long we wanted to stay in Russia.
‘Three days,’ I told him, and he took out a slip and gave permission for us to stay for four days. At this point, I confess that I got slightly worried, but Shri Mataji was in a joyous mood.
It was just like in my dream
I had been reading books, seeking for something, and my friend called me to say there was a guru lady in town, so although our house was in a mess because it was being renovated, without water even, I got ready and went to the public programme in Istanbul. Shri Mataji was there and it was in a big hotel. At the end She asked who felt vibrations and everybody put up their hands. I did not feel anything, because I was very mental, and did not believe all the people had felt anything either.
At the end we all went up to Shri Mataji and people were asking questions. Her questions were so sweet, just like a child. All the time She was giving the proper answers. I was very impressed. She said that if people didn’t feel anything they should believe and should come. My friends were so enthusiastic, so we went to the follow up programmes, and although I did not feel anything I felt so good and the people there had so much light in their faces, and many health and other problems cleared up.
Three months later I had a dream that I was in a big hall, and Shri Mataji was there and people were lining up and giving Her things. When it was my turn She gave me a big hug, and I felt a big ‘hwoomph’ from my centre heart. In my dream I said, ‘Thank You Mother.’
I told the people at the centre and they advised me to go to a puja at Cabella. I did not know what a puja was, or about Cabella. Somehow I finished up sitting right in the front at the puja, because a friend insisted and it was just like in my dream, except Shri Mataji did not hug me. She looked at me and I felt something go out of my Centre Heart. I felt so relieved, so happy! All my problems had gone including some cysts on the ovaries. If I had not started Sahaja Yoga I could not have had children, and now we have three.
Sahaja Yoga must go everywhere
It was October 1995 and we were in quietly sitting in Shri Mataji’s hotel room in Westin Bristol Place near the Toronto airport. We were told by one of the Sahaja Yogis that we could write two questions on a piece of paper for Her.
Then we all went shopping with Shri Mataji, to Chinatown, and went to a shop called Honest Ed’s for Christmas toys, stuffed animals and other gifts. Shri Mataji used to buy a lot of stuffed toys for the children from Toronto to be given out to the children at the Christmas Puja in Ganapatipule. After negotiating the price with the Chinese shop owner, Shri Mataji of course gave him self realisation. At Honest Ed’s, after we loaded many gifts into the cars, we all got split up trying to follow the trail of five vehicles which were going quite fast.
Afterwards we caught up with Shri Mataji in Gerrard Street, Indiatown, at a Sahaja Yogini’s clothing and jewelry shop. Mother was about to leave when I saw our Canadian leader take out some papers and I knew what they were. When he gave the notes to Shri Mataji, She paused, read them slowly and then moved quite close and looked at me straight in the eye with Her shining, smiling, deep, questioning, slightly concerned, amused, eyes.
‘Of course you are My son, why do you doubt?’ Shri Mataji said.
‘Mother, if Lord Jesus is Your Son, then are we too most highly blessed?’ I had asked. My other question was, ‘Mother should I spread Sahaja Yoga in Nova Scotia?’
There had been some concern about me trying to do this, and be a leader in Sahaja Yoga, maybe because I was too new, just over a year. At the time I knew many people in Nova Scotia as I’d attended university there for five years.
‘Where is Nova Scotia?’ Shri Mataji asked me.
‘On the east coast of Canada, Mother,’ I replied.
‘Sahaja Yoga must go everywhere,’ Shri Mataji said, turning round to the yogis.
Shortly afterwards Mother left and went to the car and we all bowed. She had worked wonders for us all and I am forever grateful to Her for that sacred moment.
Shri Mataji was playing the instrument
Several times in the hall in New Jersey we performed for Her. In October 1995 Shri Mataji sat through our humble talent shows – pop and rock songs, classical pieces and a very few bhajans. Once I was allowed to play Air on G String, a gorgeous and graceful piece by J.S. Bach. I struggled to play it as freely and sweetly as it should be played and Shri Mataji watched patiently. When I finished I felt that the composer, who had been a musical angel, was grateful that Shri Mataji had heard that piece played that night.
One evening Shri Mataji spoke to all the performers. She told them they would become great musicians and that music will do important work and She encouraged them to grow in their talents. She was always very concerned, supportive to artists, and tremendously inspirational. No artist could play for Her without noticing their performance had transcended to a new level. It was magical to perform in front of Shri Mataji. She was so attentive and it felt that She was playing the instrument, not the hand of the performer.
Being greeted by the Goddess Herself
In 1995 Shri Mataji asked me to move to New York. Living in the ashram with various brothers and sisters was memorable. I was always surprised when Shri Mataji would phone. There would be times when I would come downstairs in my pyjamas, being the first one awake, pick up the ringing phone, and be greeted by the Goddess Herself.
Classical music is best
In New York, Shri Mataji spoke to me about music. She said that of all the types of music, classical is best because once you learn classical you can learn anything. I asked Her about jazz.
‘Jazz is good,’ She responded, and then about pop music, ‘Pop music is also good.’
The arrangements just fell into place
We would help prepare the camp in New Jersey for Shri Mataji’s arrival. Hours of scrubbing, clearing and decorating would transform that dusty, grubby, well trampled place into a small palace, elegantly draped with bright saris. Once I was helping with the stage and we were hopelessly behind schedule. I was getting so flustered and the fabric was determined to slip off the chair over and over again. As happened on several other occasions, Shri Mataji asked us to take our lunch first. Then the chair and all the other arrangements just fell into place.
Shri Mataji took his hands
It was 1995, and Shri Mataji came to see us in Chicago for a public programme. Before the programme I prepared a stand with pictures of Shri Mataji, and when She came She said how nice it was. After the programme I asked Shri Mataji if maybe She could give a name to my grandson. So my son took him to Her in the hotel room. My grandson was about a year old and was shy, and so She took his hands, and he sat near Her, and She gave him an Indian name. I sat nearby, and watched Her Feet, very nice Feet, and spoke with Shri Mataji, and saw Her, and it was wonderful to be there with Shri Adi Shakti.
It was like a cloud
We went to the airport and I told Shri Mataji that I came from Uzbekistan, where my elder son had been tragically murdered. She said She had been to Uzbekistan, and it was a difficult country, but that in the Koran it never said that people should kill each other. Shri Mataji also said Chicago was a hard city, because the mafia and narcotics business from Italy had gone to Chicago. Shri Mataji was in Italy for so long, and so many of them moved to Chicago. When we were at the airport and She was about to take the plane to New York, I put my shawl under Her Feet, and later, when I took it back, it was like a cloud, it was amazing!
Chapter 18: 1995/6 – October to February, India
A major solar eclipse
In October1995 Mother’s flight was coming to Delhi from abroad, and was arriving at about midnight. There were a lot of Sahaja Yogis there but the flight got delayed, then we were told that She was coming on a later flight. However, nobody went back home, and we all sat down on the road outside the arrivals hall, and started singing, and sang all through the night. Mother’s flight arrived at about nine in the morning, and that day there was a major solar eclipse. In India, during a solar eclipse, people are asked not to move, and there are so many precautions, because it is considered very inauspicious, and it was thought that people could even lose their eyesight.
When Mother arrived it was at the time of the eclipse, and maybe this was to do away with this myth. We went back to Noida. After two or three days there was to be a Mahalakshmi Puja down at Nargol, and when we were leaving for Nargol, a Sahaja Yogi told me that his son, who was losing his eyesight, and virtually blind, was totally cured after going to the airport that time. So maybe Mother came at that time to cure that boy on that very day.
Shri Mataji opened the Sahasrara there
At the time of the Diwali Puja at Nargol, in 1995 Shri Mataji was visiting that place after twenty-five years. In 1970 She opened the Sahasrara there. She stayed in the same house when She returned, because it belonged to someone who Shri Mataji knew personally. Some of us Yuva Shaktis cleaned the house beforehand and looked after Shri Mataji when She was there for four or five days. She told us what the structure of the house had been so many years before, and all the renovations that had been done since She was last there. She could remember exactly how the house had been before and how it had been changed even though She had not been there for twenty-five years.
Shri Mataji had spent the whole night at the seashore in 1970, and said how important it had been to open the Sahasrara.
A unique Diwali Puja
With the blessings of, and in the presence of Her Holiness Shri Mataji, a unique Diwali Puja on the international level was held from the 27th of October 1995 to the 29th of October 1995. It was organized at Nargol Beach where 2,500 Sahaja Yogis from India and about a hundred from abroad participated. It was a unique experience for all who participated and also for those who put their full and endless effort to make the Diwali Puja 1995 a thing to cherish in the heart and relish the full blessings of Shri Mataji.
Such beauty and simplicity
Diwali has always been a joyous festival. Shri Mataji celebrated Diwali Puja every year with fireworks and crackers lighting up the occasion. It was at just such a celebration in 1995 that I had been so fortunate and, with the rest of my class, attended the puja in Nargol, India — the very same beach where Shri Mataji had opened the Sahasrara of the world in 1970.
The puja was hosted by the French collective and was set up along the seashore under a big pendal that blew with the sea wind. Though the puja was not so large by Indian standards, the fireworks display was magnificent, especially as I had found myself with the best view and just behind Shri Mataji.
Our class was unusually lucky to come all the way from the north, near Dharmshala, by train. As always, Shri Mataji had so much attention on Her school. So much always happened and we were always so fortunate, such as one of my friends spontaneously, at the right time and place, was the only one there to open the door of Shri Mataji’s car for Sir CP. But the best was always the sweetness and joy Shri Mataji created.
After the puja, our class went up onto the stage to present Shri Mataji gifts from the whole school — wooden candlestick holders we had carved and a crown, handmade with materials that we had put together — not yet completely dry.
As usual though, Shri Mataji beamed with Her big smiles, saying how much older we all were, with the girls of our class in saris now and with the sweetness and simplicity only the Adi Shakti has, commented that Her head was a little bit small for the crown we had made. Such beauty and simplicity we all desire, such sweetness as only Shri Mataji could show.
Like my grandmother
I work at the Belapur Sahaja Yoga Health Centre as the accountant. I got my realisation in October 1995. The first time I saw Shri Mataji was at a public programme that December, and I felt so much love and affection for Her, and cool and nice. I met Her personally when She came to the Health Centre for the first time, and talked personally with Her. I felt just as if She was my grandmother and She asked me curiously and anxiously about my son and family. I felt so comfortable with Her and observed that although She looked like God and we know She is God, She was talking like my grandmother. It is very difficult to explain and understand.
An eternity spent in the Kingdom of God
In December 1995, at Ganapatipule, all the country leaders were asked to see Shri Mataji. We entered the villa and sat around Her on the terrace floor. I offered a freshly printed copy of Bible Enlightened to Mother’s Holy Lotus Feet.
‘Only you could have written this book,’ Shri Mataji told me then, and I was aware that no one else had heard what She told me. The sun went below the horizon and all of a sudden a power failure turned the villa into a total darkness. We stayed like that for about ten minutes, but to me it seemed an eternity spent in the Kingdom of God. The world around ceased to exist.
No disturbance of any kind
In December 1995 we were recording Shri Mataji for a Doordarshan (Indian National TV) programme at Ganapatipule. The recording was set up near the tourist bungalow, in the complex on the seashore where Shri Mataji stayed. When we were about to begin, the sound engineer informed me that the sound quality was not at all clear as it was picking up a lot of ambient noise from the nearby sea shore. I told him not to worry and we would deal with it during the editing.
This conversation took place in Shri Mataji’s presence, although we were quite far away from Her and She could not hear us. However, to our utter surprise some time later She asked if there was any disturbance in the sound recording and also asked if we removed this disturbance by using filters. I answered in the affirmative and was surprised by Shri Mataji’s knowledge of sound recording.
When we were editing the programme in Delhi, much to my surprise, there was no disturbance of any kind in the recording. We did not have to use any filters and the sound was very clean.
Shri Mataji put Her Lotus Feet on my elbow
In 1995 I had an experience which was a real miracle. I had an accident on the highway and fell down from the bus. I fell on my hand and had a multifracture on the elbow, so went to the hospital. At that time Shri Mataji was in Pune, attending a programme to celebrate the seven hundredth anniversary of Gyaneshwara and was to give a lecture there.
‘Where is Prakash?’ She asked when at the function, and the Sahaja Yogis told Shri Mataji that I was in the hospital and was to have an operation. She told them to phone me and tell me not to have the operation, because they would spoil my hand. A Sahaja Yogi phoned me and told me this so I discharged myself and Shri Mataji’s message gave me courage to bear the pain. The next day I was called to go and see Shri Mataji at Pratishthan, and She looked at me.
‘What are you doing?’ She started saying. ‘You are doing unnecessary things and are getting troubles.’
She was shouting at my negativity. She made me lie on the floor and put Her Lotus Feet on my elbow. She asked me to close my eyes and was very angry but I was just flying in the air, so light and there was no pain in my hand and I could move it. She asked me to pick something up and it was very painful. Again She asked me to lie down and again She put Her Lotus Feet on my elbow, on the back this time. I felt the vibrations going into my body and my Sahasrara was totally open. My body was full of vibrations and I felt so light, like a bird in the sky.
I have noticed is that if Shri Mataji had to shout at someone, that person was totally in balance and he or she did not have any baddhas in him – She was shouting at those negativities not at you. It was very important that She did this if we were carrying things with us which were not good.
New Year’s Eve with Shri Mataji
I remember one New Year’s Eve, 1995, I spent at school in India, probably the best New Year’s celebration of my life. My class and a few teachers from Shri Mataji’s school in Dharmshala had just moved down to Pune for three months in order to study harder and excel in our upcoming exams. We were all invited to spend New Year’s Eve with Shri Mataji at Pratishthan, but a friend and I had been left behind because we went out into the town. So, as fast as we could, we found the nicest clothes we had and went back out to catch a rickshaw to be there. Being in Pune only a week, we did not know our way around yet and had trouble giving directions to the driver where to go.
‘Pratishthan, Pratishthan, Shri Mataji’s house,’ we kept saying in Hindi. Eventually, one of us must have said, ‘Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.’
‘Oh, Shri Nirmala Devi’s house,’ the driver brightened and said.
Of course, Pune was the city in which Shri Mataji lived and, when they had programmes, there were banners everywhere, posters on every possible surface and hanging banners across the streets from building to building. Everyone knew Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
Music and decorations
On the 31st of December we took permission from a Sahaja Yogi staying in Shri Mataji’s house if we could offer some bhajans at Her Lotus Feet.
‘Yes, they can come,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘and they must decorate one of the rooms in My house and they must come in the evening and sing some bhajans.’
So we were all there in the daytime, putting some balloons and colourful papers. In the evening, we reached there about eight or nine o’clock and just next to Pratishthan, at the other farmhouse, there was a lot of loud music going on, which was like rock, pop music. Shri Mataji entered the hall at about nine o’clock and it seemed as if She was a bit tired, as if She was fighting all the negativities, especially on the 31st of December, when people do all the drinking.
We were shown the entire house
At Shri Mataji’s request, we were shown around the entire house, floor to floor, room to room. The entire house had been designed and built completely under Shri Mataji’s guidance with the beauty and grandeur of a palace. At night it is all lit up, especially on New Year’s Eve, with lights around the entrance and above the doorway, where Shri Ganesha’s statue resides.
On our way, we also met Sir CP, reading a newspaper and watching the television. After such an awe-inspiring tour, Shri Mataji then provided for dinner with the best pizza and food from Her own kitchen. Afterwards, while waiting for rides home, we got to fire off some crackers and fireworks, along with the rest of Pune, erupting into noise and sound as the clocks struck midnight.
Chapter 19: 1996 March and April, Australia, South East Asia and India
Somehow it protected me
I went to Sydney in March 1996 for the Shri Shivaratri Puja and Shri Mataji was there. At the evening music programme I decided to sit way down the back, because I knew it would be a long evening. Then my name was called – Nigel. For some reason I thought it was Nigel from England.
‘Nigel from New Zealand,’ Shri Mataji then said.
‘That’s definitely you,’ a friend from Christchurch, New Zealand said to me, so I went up through the crowd. There were a lot of other people around Shri Mataji so I waited. The gift had been put at the side. Michael Fogarty was there and he called me forward.
‘This is Nigel from New Zealand,’ he said to Shri Mataji.
‘Come,’ said Shri Mataji but there was no space so the only place I could go was by Shri Mataji’s footstool. I put my elbow on the side of the stool and Her Feet were slightly to the side.
‘Yes, yes,’ She said, and She had this gift and She was about to hand it out to me and I looked up. I saw Her Feet, and the beginning of Her legs, and I looked up and couldn’t see the top. I could vaguely see the gift so I took it and thanked Her. I needed to find some space to bow, and then I had this sensation that something had been put down my spine very gently, and it was like a rod, like when you take a soil sample, as if Shri Mataji had taken it out and checked it and put it back. When I stood up it was like everything had cleared.
She had given me a waistcoat. I treasured it and cared for it and about a year later the New Zealand leader phoned me and asked if I still had the waistcoat. I told him I did and I only wore it if I was sick or had a problem, or at the pujas. Somehow it protected me.
Mother was smiling
In many different airports with my brothers and sisters I have offered a flower to Shri Mataji and would try very hard to experience the actual moment but never could. Always when I looked up Mother was smiling at the next Sahaja Yogi. Then someone sent me a photo after one of Mother’s visits to Sydney and I ‘saw’ my moment.
Almost like a different person
We had lunch at an Italian restaurant in Sydney with Shri Mataji back in 1996. She ordered the lasagna and then every other yogi ordered the lasagna too. She then asked if it was beef. The waiter said it was. Shri Mataji then changed Her order but insisted the yogis didn’t. She commented that it was to do with Her teeth. Everyone was a little mystified but realised it was a test of our conditionings…our Sahaj conditionings!
I had just begun my first serious liver diet and ordered the most basic penne. When it was time for desert I commented to a yogi next to me that I was on liver diet and would pass the desert. Shri Mataji then told the waiter to give me a double dish of ice cream and handed me Her own as well, so I ended up eating almost three bowls of ice cream.
I had skipped work to be at that lunch and was worried about being missing for too long. When I went back to my office the computer system had crashed and everyone had gone home hours ago! On the way out I saw myself in a reflection and got a shock. I looked so clear at that moment that it was almost like looking at a different person.
I saw myself in Her
It was my very first puja with Shri Mataji in Sydney, Shri Shivaratri Puja in 1996, and I sat on the first row with the musicians. The previous evening I sat more or less behind a pole for the entertainment evening and did not see Shri Mataji much. My desire was so much to see Her closer and an aunty told me to sit with the musicians and pretend to be part of the bhajan group.
I did and as Shri Mataji came on to the stage She looked at each and every one of us and when I looked at Her and She looked my way, it was a recognition of a kind where I felt like I saw my total self in Her. She must have cleared my left side from then on because after that my eyes did not experience a dry moment in that puja.
I tried to take pictures because I was so close and my attention was busy with how to get a good shot, but at one moment She looked straight in my lens and I could not push the button down. I have not taken anypictures at pujas since then.
Shri Mataji made sure everyone could see
The first puja I attended in the physical presence of Shri Mataji was the Shri Shivaratri Puja in Sydney, 1996. Being relatively new, I wanted a good seat and went to the marquee early to save seats for myself and two others at the concert on the Saturday, the night before the puja. While waiting in these seats, someone came and asked all those in the front six rows to please move to make room for the bhajan group, but I still had three front seats.
Shri Mataji arrived, gave Her talk, then decided to sit in the audience to watch the concert. By this time my two colleagues had joined me. Shri Mataji’s chair was placed directly in front of us, and She made sure that everyone in front of Her was able to see. I kept saying to myself, ‘but I can’t see’. There was only enough room between me and Shri Mataji’s chair for Her attendants to move behind it.
‘Can you see anything?’ my colleague whispered to me, when the concert was well under way.
‘I can see everything,’ I responded.
‘So can I, but we shouldn’t be able to see anything,’ She replied.
Shri Mataji arriving at Bangkok Airport
A child’s request
This photo, below, was taken on March 16th 1996 in Bangkok. My daughter was asking Shri Mataji if we can have power in Sahaj.
‘Of course, you have the power already,’ Shri Mataji answered, as I remember.
In Hong Kong in March 1996, Lyndon bought a pictorial book from Beijing drawn using traditional Chinese techniques – brush water painting – featuring tigers. He presented it to Shri Mataji.
Delhi, the Himalayas and Kolkata
Apart from the organised India tours, Shri Mataji’s birthday was usually celebrated in India. Many Western yogis took advantage of these celebrations around 21st March to make short trips, for example to the foot of the Himalayas. That year, 1996, we celebrated Shri Mataji’s birthday in Delhi and one week later the puja to Shri Shiva in Calcutta (now Kolkata), so a group of yogis from different countries and I hired a bus and travelled to where the holy Ganges comes out of the mountains into the flatter countryside. The place where we took a bath in the Ganges was in the jungle, and the water was still, dark green and clean.
After the birthday celebrations in Delhi we flew to Calcutta and were welcomed by a suffocating heat. We went from the airport into the town. The windows of the taxis were opened, the airstream cooled us a bit and I felt great joy and lightness. Some hundreds of international yogis were accommodated in a high-rise building, which was not completed, and the floor where we slept on simple mats was still a shell.
One evening I had the privilege of being invited for a dinner in honour of Shri Mataji in the apartment of a yogi who was a businessman and lived in the two upper floors of the high-rise building next to the one where we slept. The upper floor was a penthouse, reached via a big spiral staircase of marble from the floor beneath. We sat in this roof garden with little streamlets, lawns and flowers, listening to soft music coming out of invisible loudspeakers. In the middle there was a little building decorated with traditional Rajasthani sandstone ornaments. The sky was clear, night had started, it was still very warm, but a cool breeze made it pleasant to sit above the bubbling town.
Shri Mataji was sitting in a basket-chair and we all had dinner together. Could there have been anything better? Yes – our happiness increased when Hemlata and Simple gave a concert for Shri Mataji, just harmonium and vocal.
I gave my camera to a Sahaja Yogi sitting next to Shri Mataji, who was sitting in front of a flat table with a glass top, and I saw Her arms reflected in the glass table as if She had four arms. This can be seen in the photo that was taken, and even if this was just a reflection, this moment has remained in my memory as a night full of wonders when I saw the Goddess with Her many arms.
The Goddess came to me in a dream after this. I was in a town. Suddenly all the people started running terrified in all directions, I heard a tiger roar and people were panicking, then I was in front of a high fence. I tried to rescue myself, climbed the fence and could look down at the slums from above. A dark lady came out of a hut and gave me Her hand. I was saved. I woke up in a blissful state and knew Shri Mataji was Shri Mahakali, the dark Goddess.
Calcutta has the most ardent Mahakali worshippers but they often misinterpreted the true nature of the Goddess and the Mahakali cults result in an extreme left side. Shri Mataji said this was the reason for the extreme poverty there. In my dream this principle was revealed to me in all its glory, the protectress of the bhaktas who in Her endless love swallows up the negative forces, and who is depicted with a garland made of the heads of demons.
The Shri Shiva Puja in Calcutta was fantastic, the most beautiful decoration I have ever seen. The base of the stage and he wall behind Srihri Mataji were decorated with clay relief statues – it was timeless and intercultural.
The Rama Tattwa
Shri Mataji’s family always had servants. She said that it was important for us to develop our Rama Tattwa and to have people around us whom we protect, either our children or servants who virtually belong to the house. Shri Mataji never made a difference between rich and poor or well-educated or not.
The pain stopped and Shri Mataji smiled
In September of 1995 I was visiting Darwin, Australia and was bitten by a cattle tick which was carrying a very toxic virus. For the next six months I was plagued with huge seeping boils. Despite homeopathy and the most powerful antibiotics the boils kept coming back, getting worse each time.
In April of 1996 I was on my way back to England and stopped over in Delhi, India. My friend asked a doctor she knew to meet me – he was a general practitioner who also used homeopathy and ayurvedic medicine. He arranged to meet me at a medical seminar he was attending the following day.
We went to the seminar to meet him and sat at the back. Suddenly the boils under my arm started to throb violently. A few seconds later Shri Mataji Herself walked out onto the stage. I was not even aware that She was in India at the time! She sat down and although there were a lot of people in the room, She immediately started to look very intensely in our direction. The thumping pain under my arm got faster and faster and Shri Mataji continued to look intently for about thirty seconds. All of a sudden the pain stopped and She immediately smiled, looked around the room and the conference continued.
Two hours later the boils had shrunk from the size of half a hen’s egg to one quarter of their original size and the following morning they had disappeared completely. Since that day I’ve not had another boil.
Shri Adi Shakti Jai Ho!
In April 1996 I had an appointment to meet Shri Mataji at the new ashram in Delhi. In the morning, as I entered the room, Shri Mataji and Sir CP were just entering the sitting room.
‘See, the Sahaja Yogis don’t recognise Me as Adi Shakti, but this… (a well-known false guru from Pune)… lay on the ground before Me and said “Shri Adi Shakti Jai Ho!”’ Shri Mataji said.
The whole work is done
There was someone living near the new temple in Delhi, and he used to put music on very loudly, so as to try to attract the attention of Shri Mataji.
‘If Shri Mataji just gives me a little bit of Her power,’ he said, ‘I can rule the whole of the world!’
‘You should not have any desires,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘See, I do not have any desires. You should be desireless, and the whole work is done.’
Chapter 20: 1996 May to August, Europe
The Yogis are obligated
During a conversation at Cabella in 1996, Shri Mataji smiled and fondly started talking about various English Sahaja Yogis and how it had all begun in England in the early days. She recounted various incidents of how She had guided, helped and advised so many in various ways. She said that all the stories should be gathered together into a book for people to read. I agreed that this was a great idea, but expressed that there might be a shyness in coming forward and recording such stories.
Shri Mataji acknowledged this notion, adding that the Yogis are obligated to do it, as She had, after all, saved their lives.
Farming is an auspicious profession
We have a farm near Grosseto, in Tuscany, Italy. Shri Mataji said farming is a very auspicious profession, and one of the best you can have. She told me a few things about it, and especially how to vibrate the crops. For the crops that are irrigated, She said to put one of Her photos into the well, which I did. I had a badge with Shri Mataji’s photo on it, which had been made waterproof with a silicon treatment, and we put that in.
For crops which are not irrigated – such as wheat or sunflower – Shri Mataji said that to get the vibrations into the seeds, you have to take a small quantity out of the whole amount of the seeds and put them in front of Her picture. Then you must put it back with the whole quantity of seed and mix it and this will vibrate all the seed, which you have to put in the ground. If you can’t vibrate the ground with vibrated water through irrigation, this is an alternative solution. So even if the farm is big, like ours is, if you vibrate only a small quantity of seed and mix it up, this is enough.
Shri Mataji also said we shouldn’t use hybrid seeds, but only the F1, the first hybridization. It is not good to use seeds which are further hybridized.
Shri Mataji felt my heart
This happened after I had been in Sahaja Yoga for six or seven months, in 1996. Shri Mataji was coming to London for the Royal Albert Hall programme. In those days, I didn’t have any sense of the protocol and when I was invited by our local centre leader to come along and meet Her, I went along in a tracksuit bottom and torn jumper.
When I arrived at the airport everyone was there in suits and nicely gelled hair and I looked really scruffy. I was so anxious to see Shri Mataji because I knew She was Shri Adi Shakti and I had never seen Her before. There was a feeling in my heart of absolute excitement and elation and joy, was so bubbling to see Her and as I got the opportunity to present the flowers to Her, so I went up to Her.
‘Look everyone, this boy is a real Sahaja Yogi,’ Shri Mataji said. I was completely taken aback by this; maybe She felt my heart. I don’t know how good my vibrations were, but She must have felt the love in my heart because we are connected to Her.
‘Jai Shri Parvati Mata,’ I said spontaneously, and presented the flowers to Her.
She looked at me in a solemn way and slightly nodded in agreement and then I walked away, but that feeling will always remain with me. At that moment, I didn’t know that England was the heart of the universe and that the consort of Shri Shiva was Shri Parvati. It just sort of came out.
Shri Mataji was in Bulgaria in July 1996. I am from Sofia and Shri Mataji was in Sofia. Some ladies from another city were staying with me from a small town, very humble ladies. There was a programme with music and dances for Shri Mataji in Her hotel and a meeting with the Bulgarian yogis. These two ladies wanted to give Shri Mataji a gift. It was a box of chocolates and some little napkins they had made. Other yoginis gave Shri Mataji much bigger presents.
The next day some of the ladies in the hotel were saying, ‘How could these ladies give Shri Mataji such small gifts?’ At that moment, someone appeared at the door and asked them to come to see something that Shri Mataji had. She asked to see the small gifts from these two yoginis again and She was so happy to look at these small presents, and was smiling.
In 1996 the public programme was held in the National Palace of Culture, the biggest culture and congress centre of Bulgaria.
She must be very important
We were going shopping with Shri Mataji in Sofia, Bulgaria. There were many shops with handmade bracelets and so on near to the hotel and She wanted to buy some things. The lady who was selling the things in the shop we went into was worrying so much and she was so aggressive, because there were so many people around Shri Mataji, and she was worried about her shop. She was telling us to go away because she didn’t want so many of us in there. But slowly Shri Mataji asked for this and that, and wanted to buy thirty pieces of this, and forty-five of that, and soon everything in the shop was finished.
‘Who is this lady?’ the lady said. ‘She must be very important, because She is buying everything! Otherwise, I would take four or five months to sell all these things. I will give Her a glass of beer.’
‘I don’t drink beer, but thank you,’ Shri Mataji said.
There are a lot of dogs on the streets in Bulgaria. Shri Mataji saw these dogs and said they had such pure eyes, and that She had never seen eyes like this on dogs in other places in the world.
Something major was moving out
In July 1996 Shri Mataji travelled by train from Sofia, Bulgaria to Bucharest, Romania. It was a warm summer night and there was no a/c in the train. Shri Mataji was obviously suffering from the heat and I started fanning Her. She was sitting on the seat and I was kneeling on the floor holding my hands above shoulder level. It was physically quite demanding. I was fanning for about ten to fifteen minutes, and trying to do my best. Suddenly I thought, ‘If I would help Mother by fanning Her in this way I would do it the whole night. I won’t be tired.’ As soon as I had thought this Shri Mataji turned to me and said that She felt a lot of cool breeze coming from me, and this was my compassion and pure desire to help Her. Shri Mataji told me that She felt much better then, and I could stop fanning Her.
We were three ladies travelling with Her, and the same night She asked us to hold our left hands towards Her and our right hands out towards the nature. She told us that She felt a lot of left side, suffering and sorrow in the country of Bulgaria. Instead of travelling by plane for one and a half hours to Bucharest, Mother chose this inconvenient method of transport, spending more than twelve hours in such discomfort, in order to vibrate the entire country. We felt it was like a biblical night, something major was moving out but we were too small to understand what was going on in the big picture of the divine.
To heaven via a chicken leg
The Czech Sahaja Yogis established a beautiful ashram outside of Prague, which was graced by Shri Mataji’s divine darshan on more than one occasion. I was lucky to be there on one of those special evenings. We had all arrived back from the public programme in the city in the summer of 1996. The house was full: full of joyful souls and heavenly chaitanya. I wandered up to the kitchen where Shri Mataji’s food was being prepared and a smiling yogini handed a Sahaja Yogi and me a plate of food.
‘You can share this. This is part of Shri Mataji’s unfinished dinner,’ she said. What an unexpected blessing! There was a chicken leg and we each carefully ate a piece of it and something wonderful started to happen. The vibrations of this small piece of food touched by Shri Mataji were so powerful that we both felt our mouths, throats and eventually our whole heads melt away in a wave of soft lightness! My awareness became heightened and filled to bursting with joy.
A mistake that had to happen
On one of the trips to the north of the Czech Republic, where Shri Mataji was getting glass items, I was driving the car and went the wrong way because I did not see a certain sign.
‘How far is it now?’ Shri Mataji said soon after that, and I answered that we were probably about half way there. She said it was more than that. She started indicating to me that there was something not right, but I did not understand. I was sure it was the right road, as I had been there before.
As we continued I tried to follow the signs, and Shri Mataji was telling me and the others in the car some stories. They were very humorous, and She was talking about some Austrian yogis who got lost in Hungary in the middle of the night, and how they took Her into the forest, or somewhere. We were laughing about all this. She was kind of indirectly pointing out that we were lost but I did not realise it.
At a certain point I could not find any signs to the place where we were supposed to be going and told Shri Mataji I was lost and initially She was a bit upset.
‘After all, I would never have seen that area if we had not come here,’ She said later.
The next day I realised why this mistake had to happen. While driving, Shri Mataji told us about someone in another country who never gave a present to Shri Mataji and never understood about these things. I had never understood how to give a present to Mother. As I was close to the Czech leader, and had been one of the people who had started Sahaja Yoga in Prague, I felt this responsibility to give presents, but I did not know how to do it properly. So the next day She told us about this same leader, and the Czech leader and me understood that this was a lesson for us.
The next day we went to the airport, and Shri Mataji told us how to give proper and auspicious presents. She spoke about this leader who never gave anything to Her, although She gave a lot to him. Somehow it was not a balanced exchange.
We also did not have any idea of what is auspicious to give or how to give it – how far to collect collective money – not to sit on the heads of people, and spend too much, but also not to spend too little, how to honour the guru, and really do it from the heart and not just because you have to do it. This is a very delicate thing for all of us, and this helped us to understand a bit more about all this.
Things work in another dimension
We had one public programme with Shri Mataji in Prague, which was outside near a beautiful fountain, and they made a coloured water ballet with music of Mozart or Vivaldi. It was a wonderful show. However we made a mistake of not cancelling the last water ballet show, which was after our programme. The giving of realisation was going on to about seven or eight hundred people, but we had not left by the time the next group of people came for the later water ballet show, and they were a bit upset that it started late. I felt very bad about this, because it had created a slightly difficult situation. Afterwards we were going back to the hotel, and Shri Mataji put Her hand on my Left Vishuddhi.
‘Don’t worry, it was a good programme, at least four thousand people got realisation,’ I wondered about this, because there had not been four thousand people at the programme, but it was a big fairground, and there were a lot of other people around. It was important for me to understand that things work in another dimension, not always as we see it.
Driving Shri Mataji
One time I was with Shri Mataji in the car when we went to a programme. I asked Her to which chakra the Czech Republic would belong.
‘It belongs to the Agnya chakra, just look at their noses. The noses are very straight,’ She said. The noses of the Slavic people are very straight and sharp. But a few days later, it seems there was a change in some of the chakras and the Czech Republic shifted to the Vishuddhi Chakra, after the separation of Czech and Slovak.
Every year Shri Mataji went with us to the north of the Czech Republic for shopping, where She bought all the beautiful glass chandeliers which are at Cabella, in the castle and at Centrassi. It was my job to bring all these chandeliers to Cabella. Once I was driving the car, and Shri Mataji was alone in the car, waiting until the paying had been finalised by some people. I sat in the car, and was meditating on Her red bindi, which I could see reflected in the driving mirror. While meditating on Her Agnya, I could feel the form of Her Agnya, the whole front of Her head, with the bindi. It was so extremely beautiful. It was emitting so much love, and I couldn’t control my tears.
‘Mother, I feel so much love coming from Your Agnya chakra,’ I told Her, and She just looked wide, as if through many worlds.
‘Yes, He is very powerful,’ She said.
Another time, I was alone in the car with Shri Mataji. I was writing about having beautiful emotions, but when you have to put the emotion into words it gets twisted and somehow you feel that something is difficult, the material aspect of it. I asked Shri Mataji what I should do about this conflict within myself.
‘Give the right hand to Me,’ She said, ‘and put the left hand up and say ten times: Mother, You are my guru, and then seven times – Mother You are my God.’ So I felt this was connected with the Agnya, or the ego or something like that. A bit after that Engelbert from Austria was going round the car, and he was smiling. Shri Mataji saw him.
‘Oh, Engelbert wants to come in,’ She said. So he came in, and started saying that he didn’t like his nose! Then Shri Mataji started to talk about noses.
‘See the noses, if they are round, like Mine, these people are very humorous,’ She said.
I don’t remember any other things She said, but it was a very sweet moment.
A profound person
Shri Mataji always wanted to meet Mr Havel, the President of the Czech Republic. She praised him as a good soul, and said he was a profound and deep person and at one time tried to arrange for forums on how to change the world for the better. We sent him some invitations, but a personal meeting never took place, but we did manage to take the book of Mother personally to him.
The plane was still there
In July 1996 Shri Mataji came to Prague, and the day before She left we went shopping with Her. It was a beautiful blue-sky day, and we went to a big store, and then to a little shop, a private man, who was selling umbrellas.
‘Let’s take one of these umbrellas,’ Shri Mataji said. So we took one. In the evening I felt something was not right and wanted to see the plane tickets for the following day, but somehow did not. We were all, especially Wolfgang Hackl, sure the plane was at eleven the next morning. So we went to bed, and in the morning I woke up agitated. We looked at the tickets, and the plane was supposed to leave at nine o’clock, but it was already eight and Shri Mataji was asleep. On that day She was to fly from Prague to Warsaw and there was a public programme at six o’clock in the evening in Warsaw.
I quickly took Shri Mataji’s luggage, and tried to block the plane. We gave bandhans, and went to the airport, and asked the hostess to hold the plane because there was a VIP coming. They agreed to hold it for ten or fifteen minutes. At the same time, Shri Mataji got up, very relaxed, had breakfast, and came out to the car. As She did so there was the owner of the hotel with all his family, and a camera.
‘Shri Mataji, we would like to have a nice photo of You with all of us together,’ he said. They were very proud that She was there, and in a very relaxed way Shri Mataji posed for them.
At the airport, the patience of the ground staff ran out and they said they were going to leave. We asked them to hold it back a bit more, but they said no. Five minutes later the car arrived and Shri Mataji got out. They went inside, and Wolfgang, the Austrian leader, was there. The ground hostess was shouting at Shri Mataji and saying that because of Her the plane was late. Wolfgang became very sad, and took it personally.
The plane was still there, and they were able to board it. It could not start because it had engine problems and they could not get it to start. Wolfgang could not control his tears. It was a day with a beautiful blue sky, a cloudless day, but then the sky began to get grey and within ten to fifteen minutes big clouds appeared and it started pouring with rain.
‘Because of your love the sky reacts, don’t be sad,’ Shri Mataji said. The whole airport was completely blocked and no planes could leave or arrive, because it was raining so hard. Everyone in the plane was asked to get out again and Mother said now they could speak to the air hostess, because She and those with Her could not leave.
They came back, and we received Shri Mataji again, and I still had the umbrella we had bought the day before so I took it out when She wanted to get into Her car.
‘Shri Mataji, You knew everything, the day before,’ I said and She just smiled.
We went back to the shopping centre and did a bit more shopping. The only plane which left on that day was a little plane, which left at four o’clock, for Warsaw, with Shri Mataji in it.
Something amazing happened
Another story happened at the airport in Prague and Shri Mataji had to go to Russia. There was a programme arranged there, and everything was advertised and ready. In the morning I had to do the tickets and was really on the watch not to make any mistakes. I went over everything three times.
Then I went to the airport, everything on time according to me, and found that Shri Mataji was to leave in half an hour and I had made a big mistake; now for the first time I saw I had written 11.45 not 9.45. I had seen the ticket and the wrong time. Shri Mataji was still in the hotel and I had a big shock. I called and said to tell Her I had made a big mistake, and this was the only flight to get Her to Russia that night, so it would be my fault if She did not get there.
Amazingly, Shri Mataji came about half an hour later by car but when She arrived it was already the departure time of the plane. I had already checked in and everyone was waiting for Her. The lady at the security started to shout at Shri Mataji because She was late. I was so embarrassed and sad because I knew she was shouting at Shri Adi Shakti because I had made a mistake. It was just unbearable. We went to the plane and She tried to soothe me, and there was so much love. I just started to cry, because I had never felt so much love in my life before.
Then something amazing happened. When we went into the airport building there had been an absolutely clear sky, and about five minutes later we were in the building and could not see the sky.
‘See, your tears become the rain now,’ Shri Mataji said. I didn’t know what She meant but when we went outside the whole sky was full of clouds and it started to rain. The yogis who could see the sky said it was a real miracle because there was blue sky, and within a few minutes the whole sky was cloudy and it was raining. Shri Mataji and I got to the plane.
‘You know, this plane will never leave,’ She said.
I did not understand, so we sat down and put on our seat belts, and the captain spoke to us and then we waited and waited. After about fifteen minutes the captain said he was sorry but there was a technical problem. The plane was not going to be able to leave and the passengers had to get off. We did manage to reach Russia because we flew via Vienna and got there in time for the programme.
Shri Mataji later told me that She is bhraanti rupena – that is She leads us into mistakes to show us something. If we are supposed to make a mistake, we will, but it is for our benevolence, because I read those tickets wrongly three times – and if I had read them twenty times I would still have read them wrongly.
A present from Shri Mataji
In 1996 it was the Moscow Festival and Shri Mataji was there. A puja was offered and then, through the leaders, Mother distributed presents – not to everybody but for a group. There were not many people there and after the puja there was an opportunity to come up to the stage. My aunt was seriously ill at that time. The leader gave her a chain as a present from Shri Mataji.
‘Have you got a present?’ Shri Mataji asked her when my aunt approached the stage. In answer my aunt showed the chain.
‘It won’t suit you,’ Shri Mataji said. Mother asked for a box with presents and chose another chain, thicker. Someone gave that chain to my aunt from Shri Mataji. The first chain was taken from my aunt.
‘Do you like it?’ Shri Mataji asked.
‘Yes, I do,’ my aunt answered.
‘Then wear it,’ Shri Mataji replied.
And at that point my aunt understood that the conversion with Shri Mataji was taking place at a distance: she was sitting about thirty metres from the stage and communicating to Mother on the level of thought, because she did not know any English and was not opening her mouth.
At that time the doctors told my aunt that she would only live for three months, but she is still alive today, in 2007.
I saw the sky, the houses and the whole town in Her eyes
In 1996, on the 21st July, Shri Mataji visited Togliatti, Russia. We gathered at the Podsnezhnik Tourist Centre to see Her off. I had a bunch of wildflowers I had plucked when going there, so I put the flowers on Mother’s car.
When She came out the cottage She was so beaming, beautiful, close to the heart, and beloved. I had hidden behind some Indian’s back to be on the safe side but he turned to me, took me for my shoulders and put me before himself. So I was directly before Shri Mataji, stood motionless, and did not know what to do.
I remembered Shri Mataji’s welcome meeting on July 28th in Kiev, during the Russian/Ukrainian Tour of 1993. At that time, She had come from the car and taken roses from the hands of the Sahaja Yogis. When She had come to me, She took the flowers and asked us through the interpreter to keep our palms open and directed to Her.
I extended my hands to Shri Mataji and raised my head, begging for Her pardon for all my protocol violations. Our Holy Mother looked into my eyes. I expected to see Her beaming eyes but I saw in them the sky, houses, the whole town. I stood shocked.
I stood silently and tears were rolling down my cheeks. She stood before me briefly and went into the hotel.
How do you do?
On August 2nd, 1996, Shri Mataji was invited to give a talk at the Ecological University in Bucharest. She was greeted upon Her arrival by the President of the University, accompanied by a member of the Romanian Academy and several deans. Mother was invited to the Principal’s office where She stayed long enough to not disappoint the hosts.
At the end of Her conference in front of a distinguished public, the President of the University presented Shri Mataji with the Diploma of Doctor of Cognitive Science of the University. It was an impressive moment. The audience applauded for a long time. Mother left the stage passing by the audience and, halting before a man I had never met before, She smiled.
‘How do you do?’ She asked him.
Leaving the university, Shri Mataji expressed Her wish to see the city. We realised why: elections were coming up that fall for the President and the Parliament of Romania. On the previous day, we had presented Shri Mataji with photos of the two leading candidates for presidency, and She made a comment about only one of them—the person who later on was to be elected as president. From the car, we had shown Shri Mataji the main institutions: the Parliament, the Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the police and the Secret Service, the Palace of Justice, and others.
In the evening, after the public programme in the Polyvalent Hall, Shri Mataji stayed for a while on the stage. One Sahaja Yogi came to me saying that a general of the army, department head in the Central Military Hospital, had asked for the favour of being received by Shri Mataji. Through this yogi, Mother sent him word to come at the Elisabeth Palace next morning at 9 o’clock.
Next morning I was very surprised to see that the general was precisely the gentleman Shri Mataji had asked, ‘How do you do?’ in the hall of the Ecological University. Mother had just had Her breakfast. The general waited patiently to be received and had brought a rose bud for Her. I already knew him by reputation from a Sahaja Yogi physician who had told me that he was a proud man. Here he had turned into a different man — timid, apprehensive, like a child before his mother.
In the end, Shri Mataji asked me to show him into the living room of the royal apartment where She was hosted. The general entered hesitantly, offering to Shri Mataji the flower which had meanwhile withered. Mother was seated on a couch, surrounded by thousands of flowers brought by the Sahaja Yogis. She graciously accepted the modest flower offered by the general and kept it in Her hand during the entire meeting. This fact strongly impressed him as he confessed later on, to the same degree as when Mother had asked him ‘How do you do?’ on the previous day. The meeting was short. Shri Mataji invited the general to Vashi to meet Dr Rai. The general was extremely happy and next January he went to Vashi for two weeks. Later on, he would write the foreword to the Romanian translation of Dr Rai’s book.
Then, Shri Mataji decided to go shopping. At the bottom of the stairs, a young newspaper woman had asked Mother for an interview. She was even more emotional than the general. When She was asked about the future, Shri Mataji answered that it does not interest Her because She knows it. The statement gave the title of the article which the lady published afterwards. The young woman later became a Sahaja Yogini.
Chapter 21: 1996 – September, Italy, Russia and America
A painting, a flower or a kiss
The first time I saw Shri Mataji, in 1996, I wasn’t a Sahaja Yogini, but I had had self realisation A Sahaja brother invited me to the Magliano ashram because Shri Mataji was there. In Rome it was raining very hard and it was difficult to see the way – my mother was with me and told me it was too dangerous to go. I didn’t understand the address very well either and there was lightning and a lot of rain falling heavily.
Nevertheless, I felt I wanted to go there. When we got near the area, about ninety kilometres from Rome, I didn’t know where to go, but in the dark sky I saw an opening where it was light and felt to go in that direction. The first street didn’t go towards the light, so I came back. My mother continued to say, ‘Go home, go home,’ so I took another street, and another again, until I reached the light in the sky, and finally we reached the ashram.
It was sunny there, while all around it was raining, and there was a pleasant breeze in the air. What a strange situation – and wind came from a little house, against all physical laws, the wind came from the house and went in all directions. In that house was Shri Mataji. There were many people and many children because the children’s school was at Magliano then, and there was joy everywhere. A Sahaja Yogini called Rukmini put a beautiful sari on me, and I was very comfortable.
My mother was a heavy smoker but all the time she forgot to smoke. In late afternoon, in the school room, Shri Mataji met all of us – what a great joy. I didn’t know why, but that was paradise. All the children were around Shri Mataji and She was particularly happy in their presence, and also with their little gifts: a painting, a flower or a kiss.
My heart was full of peace and joy. Jai Shri Mataji!
She knows each one of us
I went to Cabella for Shri Krishna Puja 1996. I was living in Colombia then and used to get the chance to go to a puja once every two or three years. When we reaching Cabella, we could feel lots of vibrations, and in the castle, it was full of joy and bliss. I was travelling with three other yogis from Colombia and we all felt that the Italians were so lucky to get the chance to see Shri Mataji every now and then, whereas we got this so rarely, and thought we were not fortunate enough.
There were two nights of cultural programmes before the puja. During these programmes, Shri Mataji was seated in the audience, in the first row, just in front of the stage. I was sitting with another Indian lady married to a Colombian, at the right hand side of the stage with some other ladies from America. In the middle of the programme, Shri Mataji turned towards us and pointed to me and my friend, and was saying something with Kalpana Didi. My friend and I saw that Shri Mataji was looking at us, so we just put down our heads, and continued with our meditation.
Later the yogini who was attending Shri Mataji during the programme told us that when Shri Mataji pointed us, She was telling Kalpana Didi, ‘These two girls are married to Colombians. One is married to a doctor and another to an engineer.’
She was right. She showed us that we are not less fortunate, even though we may live very far away, Shri Mataji’s attention is always on each one of us and She knows each one of us very well.
The geography of the Virat
The most recent update of the geography of the Virat came about in 1996. In England we were making a newsletter and we faxed an A4 copy of the then known geography of the Virat to Cabella, inviting correction from Shri Mataji. After some time an amended version came back with additional amendments, and we published it in the then UK newsletter. Here is the original file.
I recall a few of the then amendments as being the following: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark were added to the Right Vishuddhi and Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech, Poland were added to the Left Vishuddhi. Also, the Middle East and Nepal were put in.
Butter for Shri Krishna
It was in the late nineties at a Krishna Puja in Cabella, hosted by the Americas. On the day before the puja, around mid-morning, Shri Mataji walked to Her window in Her apartment and looked down and exclaimed that there were cool vibrations coming from downstairs, and wanted to find out what was going on, so I started downstairs to look for the source of these vibrations.
There are many floors below Mother’s apartment and as I walked down I could hear singing so I headed for it. This is what I saw. At every Krishna Puja we made fresh butter to offer at the puja and we made it by shaking Italian cream that came in bottles. There were about thirty yoginis in the dining area of castle shaking these bottles and whilst doing their glass bangles were jingling. There was a melodic rhythm to it and a spontaneous joy writ large on their smiling faces. The kitchen crew had gathered around to sing along and there were many countries represented. After a few minutes I headed upstairs to report.
In the meantime Shri Mataji had changed into a beautiful sari that She wore Gujarati style like Shri Radha has been depicted wearing. She looked ready for a puja and was sitting in Her beautiful chair with Her eyes closed and a faint smile on Her lips.
It was a Krishna Puja in the late 1990’s and we were going to the castle representing our countries and we always brought flowers to Shri Mataji. I was running a bit late and when I arrived at the flower shop in Cabella all the fresh flowers were all sold out apart from a large bunch of blue roses. There was no time to think but it struck me that it was Shri Krishna Puja and blue should be perfect for the occasion. I bought the whole bunch, about twenty of them, and ran off to the meeting with Shri Mataji.
Looking around in the room I saw there were no others with blue roses and it dawned upon me that maybe this was not so auspicious after all. I had never seen blue roses before and I got more nervous to see Mother, because the last thing one wants to do is something wrong or inauspicious. One of the leaders looked concerned when I was to present the flowers on behalf of Norway.
‘Ah, how do they do that?’ Shri Mataji said when She saw the roses, but in a very happy tone. Some people there were trying to save the situation by talking about how they put colour in the water and the flowers turn blue. I did not say anything, as it all just happened around me.
‘May God bless you,’ Shri Mataji said, when I did namaskar. She always knows when it comes from the heart and appreciated those words very much.
Shri Mataji’s beautiful wide eyes saved me
In March of 1986, before I knew about Sahaja Yoga, I was reading a seeking book about a young man who had a guru who was a martial artist and a Zen Master and who worked in Berkeley, California, where I was living at the time. At dawn, they would meditate, practice martial arts, and then run into the hills to get their bodies into shape. I became totally obsessed with the dawn time of the day and would run far and fast into the hills – I would even hurt my body and feel no peace.
About six months after this experience, I discovered Sahaja Yoga. I knew that Shri Mataji was talking about the truth and believed Her with all my heart – but I couldn’t feel vibrations for maybe two years.
Now fast-forward to September 1996. If I am ever to doubt Who Shri Mataji is, all I have to do is remember this moment in time. I was on an airplane with Mother from Vancouver, en route to Los Angeles, sitting right beside Her. I didn’t know this at the time, but She was busy saving me. She had me sing and play on my guitar the songs I wrote for Her during that summer to begin Her public programmes in New York, Toronto and Vancouver.
‘Matt, have you heard of a book called (name deleted)?’ Mother said, out of the blue. I was in shock!
‘Yes Mother!’ I told Her, in a totally excited state. ‘It’s my favourite book! I think that book helped me get my self realisation!’ Mother is just looking at me with Her eyes as wide as can be. That evening there was the public programme in Los Angeles.
‘There is a book called (name deleted) and it says that you have to get up in the morning and torture your body!’ She told the audience.
After ten years, Mother destroyed whatever problem I had picked up from it, with Her beautiful wide eyes, so I could have a chance at ascending.
Vishnumaya announcing the Goddess
On an East to West coast flight to Los Angeles, in September 1996 Shri Mataji took a night flight. There was a tremendous lightning storm going on across the whole sky and heavens as we flew over middle America.
‘Vishnumaya announcing My arrival!’ Shri Mataji commented as we gazed out of the window.
Engulfed in a crowd
After a Los Angeles public programme in 1996 Shri Mataji gestured that She wanted to leave and made Her way from the stage. I made my way towards the steps to join Her.
‘Are you awake?’ She asked as She looked down. It was a double edged question, because on the one hand Shri Mataji was obviously pulling my leg, as earlier that day, due to exhaustion I had overslept a morning outing, but on the other hand it was one of those eternally recurring spiritual questions relating to the state of our attention, our state of consciousness – our state of alertness. That simple question still stays with me.
At the same moment, hundreds of seekers seemed to spontaneously engulf Her. I quickly made my way towards Shri Mataji where they all pushed closer, wanting a closer glimpse, or wanting to namaskar before Her, or to ask a personal question or touch Her sari. The crowd crushed and gently jostled and as I reached Shri Mataji Her shawl was falling from Her shoulders.
It reminded me of that scene in the Christian Bible where so many wanted to just reach out and touch Lord Jesus. I reached for the shawl and somehow wrapped it around Shri Mataji’s shoulders, and then facing Shri Mataji held out my hands palms upturned to act as supports and slowly edged backwards. In this way She was able to move forward, stopping whenever She wished to spend a few moments engaging someone and we slowly made our way the seventy or so metres to the elevator.
Bliss at 30,000 feet
An American Sahaja Yogi, Matt Malley, tapped me on the shoulder.
‘Mother needs you,’ he said, and I made my way to Her seat at the front of the plane and She invited me to massage Her Feet. Often Shri Mataji would request yogis to massage Her Feet to help release and ease the flow of vibrations from them, whilst the yogis themselves were bathed and cleansed in so doing. It was in the middle of the night and the other passengers were all fast asleep. She passed me some Chinese oil, then some Moove cream and finally some eucalyptus oil, which were all quite pungent in a fragrant way. I applied them and got lost in the moment.
After some time a flight hostess came by and said the pilots’ eyes were streaming from the effects of the eucalyptus oil and could we please stop. Shri Mataji smiled, reached for Her bag, pulled out some perfume from Maharashtra and indicated for me to apply this to neutralise all the other aromas. We finished and I returned to my seat in a state of deep bliss and silence, musing at the marvel of the moment.
The girl was going to be all right
The New York public programme was held in 1996 in a chapel, close to the Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and it was a complete success. When Shri Mataji was coming down from the podium, She turned around and came back as we heard someone was shouting and crying in the upper part of the chapel. We heard someone running and coming down the stairs in a very noisy way, and suddenly we saw an Asiatic girl coming up to the podium where Mother was.
Shri Mataji told the girl, in a very strong way, to throw away the medal she had on her chest. The girl obeyed and began to cry as a small child. Shri Mataji had come back and shouted at the bhut to go. She told us that the girl was going to be all right now.
It suits you
Whilst in New Jersey in September 1996 we visited a store to buy gifts for Yogis back in Italy. Sir CP insisted on buying me a suit. How sweet it is he always looks after people! But of course I politely declined.
‘You’d better accept, as Sir won’t leave the store till you have one,’ Shri Mataji sighed and said.
Hearing this I surrendered, accepted Sir CP’s kind invitation and went off to find a suit which would fit. I kept the suit nicely packed in the suitcase when we left America for Europe.
When we arrived at Malpensa, Milan’s northern airport, we made our way to the baggage reclaim. I had about seven different bags etc hanging from my arms and shoulders and all of a sudden there was an almighty ripping sound and the whole arm of my old suit lay on the floor, with some of my shoulder bags tangled around it. It had been ripped clean off by the weight of the bags. I removed what was left and in the airport lounge both Mother and Sir CP enquired where my jacket was.
I knew why Shri Mataji insisted that I had needed a new suit.
I knew I was home
I’ve been a seeker since I was very young. One day, it was a Tuesday and I was sitting at work and thought, ‘Gee, I want to find out about meditation’. On that very Friday one of my clients came in and said, ‘Maryanne, I just found out about Sahaja Yoga and I think you would like it’.
I went to my first meeting in September 1996 and never stopped coming back. Shri Mataji was scheduled to appear at the Cultural Arts Center in New York City sometime in October, and I went to that about five weeks later.
Then I heard talk of a puja with Shri Mataji at Camp Vacamus, New Jersey. I had only been in Sahaja Yoga for about eight weeks; it was all so fast but I was ready. At the puja my seat was centre stage, about thirty feet back from Shri Mataji. I was so impressed because I actually felt like I was home! This lady said She didn’t understand money and neither did I. I had thought there was something wrong with me up until this point, then I heard Her say it is good to be generous and give gifts. I was always like this, but made to feel like I was buying my friends through Western Psychology standards.
As I watched Her speak I saw the most amazing sight I had ever seen. My mouth hung open. I witnessed gold light pouring out of the top of Her head. I sat in awe because it was just streaming up and out of the top of Her Sahasrara. I sat there saying, ‘Oh My God,’ more than a few times, and then when She saw my mouth hanging open it stopped. I also cried a great deal because I knew I was home.
Paint with your heart
In my first year of realisation I wanted to talk with Shri Mataji about painting, about how difficult it was as a job, so I prepared a few questions. Once She was seated and having a rest with the Sahaja Yogis and they left. Being close to Her I came forward and I do not know what happened, but I couldn’t stand and couldn’t speak either. She just put Her hand on my left shoulder.
‘Paint with your heart,’ She said, twice.
Chapter 22: 1996 October to December, Egypt, Europe and India
It was in 1996 at Navaratri Puja in Cabella. Russia was one of the organising countries, and we were doing some work. At the evening programme we had been invited to accept presents from Shri Mataji. When I came to the stage there were six or seven yogis already sitting before Shri Mataji and I sat behind. The leader was sitting next to me and asked me who else had worked with me. I gave him a couple of names but he said, ‘Not those, who else?’
It lasted several seconds, at least it seemed so to me. At the next moment by some force my head was turned towards Shri Mataji. There was nobody between Her and me and I met at Her glance. There was not even a shadow of impatience or anything of that sort in it. She was witnessing how Her children were arguing in front of Her eyes.
The only words I can use to describe Her glance are Shri Gambhira – meaning bottomless depth, the great and bottomless lake of consciousness, uncomprehended by space and time. It`s impossible to say how long it lasted; I really had dissolved in it. After all this, I bowed to Shri Mataji and accepted the present. It was a ring for the right Nabhi finger.
You have to be connected to the mains
Diwali Puja 1996 took place in Quinta do Mar, a camping place by the sea close to Cintra, Portugal. Shri Mataji was staying at a very beautiful hotel there. Coming from an organizing country, I happened to be there with other yogis in order to deliver or pick up something, just a couple of hours before the puja was to begin. When we came out there was a fine drizzle spraying on our faces. We soon noticed that there was something extraordinary about this rain. We were staying in front of the hotel entrance and could see that the water was coming around the left side of the building and going all across the façade and around the other side, as if the rain was turning clockwise all around the hotel in a bandhan manner. When we got in the car and drove away, we found out that it was actually only raining around the hotel. By the time we came to a nearby hill, we saw the most vivid rainbow, perfectly centred over the hotel where Shri Mataji was!
The public programme in Lisbon a few days earlier had been equally miraculous. There was a power cut in the middle of Shri Mataji’s speech and the candle burning on the little table close to Her was the only light in the big hall. She just went on with the speech.
‘You have to be connected to the mains,’ Shri Mataji said when the power was restored several minutes later.
All the yogis who were familiar with Her laughed. People sitting very close to the stage were worrying that those sitting at the end of the hall would have missed a great deal of the speech while there was no sound amplification. No one complained though because Shri Mataji was heard all the way to the back row and everyone thought that the microphone went on working although the lights went off.
After giving realisation, Shri Mataji said there should be some music and suggested that the people should clap their hands, so the Kundalini could work its way through the chakras easier. She called for the bhajan Jogawa. I was sitting on the stage close to Her with the other musicians and was very happy that Shri Mataji wanted to hear a song I really knew how to play. I quoted the first two bars on the harmonium to make sure this was the song she meant. She turned around to me, gave me a big smile and nodded Her head approvingly. This was the greatest compliment I ever got for my music.
The imaginary chairs and the mock microphone
As part of the Diwali Puja weekend in Lisbon, Portugal, 1996, Shri Mataji gave a public programme in the basement hall of the Ritz Hotel. Some new people insisted on standing up at the back, though Shri Mataji asked them to sit down.
She told the story of an architect who was a crook and offered to build a palace to the king, so long as the king gave him a nice parcel of land. The palace was to be built free of charge, however only people of true spiritual vision would be able to see this visionary palace. All the architect wanted was possession of a nice parcel of land and the whole concept of the imaginary palace was a fraud. Many years later when the king came to see the palace the architect described to him how beautiful it was and invited the king to step in and see for himself. Then the architect described how beautiful the throne was. At this point the king insisted the architect should sit on the throne. The architect tried to sit on the imaginary throne. After a few minutes of trying to remain in a very difficult sitting position on a non-existent throne the architect confessed that the whole concept of the palace was a scam and begged for forgiveness.
At this point, in the hall, the electric power went down while Shri Mataji spoke. We could see that there were lights in the other parts of the hotel. Candles were brought in and because there was no power for the microphone system, Shri Mataji invited people to come closer so that they could hear. Again the individuals standing at the back felt reluctant to do so, again She insisted they come closer and sit down but they would not budge. She explained that these were real chairs, not imaginary ones, they had nothing to fear and they wouldn’t fall down. Everybody laughed and at last these people saw their own folly and came forward and take a seat.
Shri Mataji requested the translator to speak via the microphone, though it was out of order since there was no electric power. The translator spoke through the microphone, but after a while gave up because he felt it was pointless. Shri Mataji gestured to him to use it.
‘Shri Mataji, it does not work, there is no electricity,’ he replied.
‘That’s precisely why I want you to speak via the microphone, because I’m trying to fix the electrical fault.’
She gave one him more sentence to translate, and with some reluctance he rendered the translation via the dead microphone. There and then his voice reverberated very loudly and the microphone was working. The electric fault was gone and the electric lights were back on as well. Later, all the lights came back and the Sahaj band beat drums and sang loud bhajans via the microphones. It was all part of the fun and drama of the event. Technical hiccups did not detract from the joy and glory of sitting next to Shri Mataji. The story of the architect had a spiritual meaning. She explained that the false gurus who promise non-existent spiritual powers to their disciples are much more crooked than the architect in that story.
Almost a frozen lake
My first puja was in November1996. I was living in Italy at the time and took a plane from Venice to Milan, intending to fly on to Lisbon, but there was a strike so I had to wait until the next day. The next day I was on the same plane as Shri Mataji. She was asleep, but I could feel my Kundalini bouncing up all the time. We landed in Lisbon and Shri Mataji asked me what I was doing in Venice. I replied that I was staying in Padua, near Venice, studying Italian.
In the evening there was a public programme in a hotel in the centre of Lisbon, in November. There weren’t many people there, and those that there were, were at the back of the room. Then the electricity went out. It didn’t come back on, and they brought candles. Everyone had to move to the front of the room, and I remember sitting on the edge of the stage singing bhajans to Mother for about five minutes.
At the puja, at one point Shri Mataji asked all the unmarried men to go on the stage, so I went up and washed Her Feet, and it was so cool, like a cool lake, or ice, almost a frozen lake. I was so happy. Afterwards we were outside and Mother was getting into the car. We saw Her coming out, and She was in the car, and then somehow She was outside the car again. It was as if She stopped time. The vibrations seemed to leap sky high.
The next day I was at Lisbon Airport, and really wanted to go back to Italy on the same plane as Mother. I had done some shopping and had a whole bag full of things. Shri Mataji asked me what I had in the bag and I said that She had given me so much money, I felt I had to spend it. She laughed. On the way back on the plane there was tremendous turbulence. I came out of the airport with Mother at Milan.
‘May God bless you,’ She said. It was complete bliss, engulfing me completely.
In front of Shri Mataji you go thoughtless
I had the privilege to live at the castle in Cabella for a couple of years. Cabella Ligure is a small village in Italy and Shri Mataji’s house is very big, so everybody calls it the castle or the palace.
Shri Mataji was going to leave for India in November 1996 and we ladies decided to give flowers to Her, so we went up to Her bedroom and all gave Her flowers. We gave a present from the collective; I think it was a handbag, and then Shri Mataji talked individually to a few people. She told them about personal things that they needed to do. Shri Mataji had presents for a number of people, and then we all did namaskar and left.
Shri Mataji’s bedroom is beautiful. It’s got a fireplace on one side. Shri Mataji’s chair is just in front of the fireplace and then there is the bed and a beautiful wardrobe and the entrance to Her private bathroom. The whole room is full of souvenirs and things that Shri Mataji has received from people over the years. There were many beautifully handcrafted objects: porcelain, paintings and whatever you can think of. All these things make it so beautiful when you are inside.
When you were sitting there in front of Her you went thoughtless.
Janaki, look at Me
Our little daughter Janaki fell on her head from a considerable height onto a concrete floor. She fell asleep and did not wake up except for making little whimpering sounds. She had never been like this, and we decided to take her to the hospital, but were able to also show her to Shri Mataji at Her home in Italy.
Shri Mataji said that the subtle negativity, which can lodge in a chakra or channel within us, can do such things with children and She gave Janaki a ‘bad sight treatment,’ as She called it, seven chillies, mustard seeds and salt wrapped in paper.* She asked us if our other children learnt to speak earlier and faster, which was indeed the case. Janaki was very introverted and Shri Mataji worked on her with a candle, moving it around her head. Then Shri Mataji said to the little one:
‘Janaki, look at Me.’
In that instant, Janaki sat up on her own, without remaining on my lap, which she would normally have done in similar situations, and looked at Shri Mataji with absolute big clear eyes. The sun shone in her face and she appeared absolutely still and calm inside — a picture I will never forget. At that moment, I knew that Janaki was completely cured. Shri Mataji gave her a doll. And she was cured.
*Editor’s note: this treatment is good for negative attention. You take the chillies, mustard seeds and salt, vibrate them, wrap them in the paper and make a bandhan around the person to be protected or cleared, holding them in the right hand. Then burn all the items.
The Israeli Sahaja Yogis came to Egypt
Shri Mataji was in Egypt in 1996, in December. She was holding a public programme and before that She received the Israeli Sahaja Yogis who had come to Egypt. She was very happy that they had come to greet Her there in Egypt.
You must write!
On the 1996 India tour I was speaking with numerous Sahaja Yogis from around the world that I had previously met, on the Christmas 1982/83 tour. I was recounting that Shri Mataji had suggested we write diaries of events and miracles that happened to us. Many of these yogis replied, ‘Ah yes. If only I’d …’
On two occasions Shri Mataji had given me a gift of a pen, gold coloured Parker pens, and I had often joked that maybe She was hinting for Albert to write something. I had started to write some Sahaja experiences in an exercise book and I had also started to write a play, a musical, but they were always something that some day I would get around to.
Recently Shri Mataji appeared to me in a dream and told me, ‘You must write!’ Suddenly this was no joke any more, this was serious. I was a little embarrassed but also delighted at this dream, embarrassed because Shri Mataji had appeared in a dream to prompt me after my many jokes, but at the same time, delighted at being useful.
A gift from Japan
Once in Pune before a puja I went to buy a silver set to offer to Shri Mataji as I was the only one representing Japan. In the shop there were two different sets, one more fancy and expensive and the other more simple and within the budget. The vibrations were cool to buy the cheaper one, but the mind was telling me to buy the more expensive one. So listening to it I bought the more expensive.
The puja was wonderful and then came the time for offering the gifts. When they called Japan, I bowed to Mother’s Lotus Feet and offered the expensive silver set.
‘Bruno, please don’t buy such expensive gifts, just a simple one would be lovely!’ Shri Mataji said.
Top of Form
Chapter 23 – 1997 March to June, India and Cabella
These souls are always working
About ten days after our second son was born, in 1997, we took him to Shri Mataji. She held him in Her arms and She gave us the peda. Traditionally the parents give the peda to everyone else, but She gave the peda to us. She said that he was Her child, and how like Her he looked. She said he had come from the moon on Shri Shiva’s forehead and he was a pundit. He had been born at the same time as Shri Mataji had come into Pune and the same time that the moon was sighted over Pune at the feast of Ramadan, so She gave him the name of Chandrakant, which has a meaning for both Hindus and Moslems. The work on the house at Pratishthan had been stopped for some months because of some problem, and She said it was by his desire that it had started again. She said these souls are always working, and this was an infant of ten days, and I think She said it because the power of meditation doesn’t depend in any way on the state of our physical being.
Thank you for coming to India
It was 1997, and it was the first occasion that I went to India for Birthday Puja in Delhi. When I arrived in the middle of hundreds of people at the airport, a young man came to me and said, ‘Jai Shri Mataji!’
It was a complete week of celebrations for the 75th birthday of our Holy Mother. Among all these activities, there was a special recognition of Shri Mataji by the Medical Society of India that declared Sahaja Yoga as the cure of psychosomatic diseases, and they mentioned the miraculous cure of my son, who at long distance had been cured in Mexico. At that time our Holy Mother had tears in Her eyes and full compassion for the young man who was suffering of amyloidosis, a mortal and incurable disease. When the ceremony was over the Divine Mother came out just where I was standing, and I told Her that I was going back to Mexico that night.
‘Thank you for coming to India. May God bless you,’ Shri Mataji stopped in front of me and said.
I wanted to kiss Her Lotus Feet and thank Her for all She had given to me, but we were standing in a narrow corridor surrounded by a crowd of doctors, and I only could bend my head to say ‘Thank You Mother,’ from my heart, and She went out.
The three candle treatment
The three candle treatment was shown to me by our Divine Mother in 1997 when I was subjected to a tantric attack by a colleague in the army. I was posted in Madhya Pradesh, India and was called by Shri Mataji to Delhi when She came to know about my ordeal. I had been fed tantric food and it had gone into my Nabhi, and I had been passing blood for more than three months.
The method is very simple. One candle is placed in front of the photograph, or it can be a diya – oil lamp. The left hand is put towards the photograph with the second candle in front near the left thumb (left Swadishthan). The third candle is put at the back, near the left Swadishthan, a few inches away so as not to burn your clothes. The right hand should be on the Mother Earth. We should avoid sitting on a carpet while doing this treatment – Shri Mataji advised me to sit on the floor, in direct contact with the Mother Earth. As the left side gets heated, the negativity is transferred via the right hand into Mother Earth. We can recite the Shri Ganesh Artharva Sheersha with the attention on the Sahasrara chakra. It is done to clear the left side, especially left Swadishthan and left Mooladhara as both get affected when the left side gets caught up. It should not be done as a ritual but with your heart, with complete faith in the Divine Mother.
When the left Swadishthan is badly caught up black smoke will emerge from the candles. Black soot will collect on the candle and this signifies effective clearance. When the left hand feels cool and light you may stop the treatment and put off the candles. It must be done every time before you settle down for meditation, in serious cases. We must meditate for some time after that with both hands towards the photograph.
The answer to my question as to why a Sahaja Yogi should be affected by a tantric attack was very revealing. Shri Mataji said that everyone who comes to Sahaja Yoga has to be tested. Some tests are easy and some are difficult. Mine was difficult, but after that I have experienced complete lack of fear of negativity, as I know I can handle it.
God came on the earth for a short while
Once Shri Mataji told me to put my back towards the photograph, during three candle treatment, so the Swadishthan was exposed directly to the photo. She told me it would take a long time in clearing and not to get disheartened. For nearly ten years I used to first do three candle treatment for about twenty minutes and then do meditation for about forty minutes, day and night. On that day She also cleared me with Her Holy Feet, worked on my back for about thirty minutes and told me that my chakras had got displaced due to the extremely tough physical training in the army.
How can we ever repay our Divine Mother for what She has done for us? God came on earth for a short while but at times I feel that we did not have the wisdom to be fully conscious of this.
In 1997, I took Jalil, a Sahaja Yogi, from Marrakech, Morroco to meet Shri Mataji at the time of the Birthday Puja in Delhi. When we arrived at Her house in Noida, we were immediately invited in, and were treated very hospitably, being offered sweets and tea. After that we were allowed to enter Shri Mataji’s room, and we namaskared at Her Feet.
Shri Mataji wanted to know details and we told our experience with a man in Morocco called Mohammed. We had had our first workshop in a hotel room in Marrakech, and after about twenty minutes there was such a deep atmosphere of silence. Mohammed opened his eyes and looked at Shri Mataji’s photo.
‘I have had a good communication, and I can feel Her,’ he said, and then said that the silence told him the truth. Later we asked him why this was, and he explained that his father had been a Sufi, and told him that if he ever found something that gave him absolute silence, then at that moment he would meet God. Shri Mataji liked this story very much.
‘You have to prepare Morocco for My coming,’ She said.
Vishwa Nirmala Dharma
‘There exists only one religion in this world, and we call it Vishwa Nirmala Dharma,’ Shri Mataji said to a visiting Sahaja Yogi.
She thanks the children so they learn
Just before my son was born Shri Mataji asked us to come and live at Cabella, because we were living in Milan at that time. We came in 1997, after the baby was born. After the Krishna Puja that year She called me up, in the night, so I went up and Shri Mataji was in Her room. I knocked on Her door.
‘Come in,’ She said. She asked me about another lady from Shillong, (the part of India where I came from), who had got married and was living in America. I was able to ask Shri Mataji about my son, who had a lot of allergies and was full of rashes and so on. She said it was liver. A few hours later my son woke up, and everything was fine: the rashes had gone. There were just a few marks left on his face, and after that day he never had any problems. The next day Shri Mataji sent down some vibrated sulphur and asked me to do this cure with sulphur, water and honey. I had to mix a little bit of gheru and sulphur powder in hot water with a bit of honey.
There were many occasions when wewent up to help Shri Mataji. She used to show us how to fold the saris and blouse and petticoats, She used to arrange everything.
‘Push this in there,’ She would say, so the whole case was properly filled up with no space over. Once Shri Mataji showed me a Paithani sari, and I was so embarrassed because I did not know much about it. I have been here in Italy for many years, but being an Indian I felt I should have known all about these saris. She would often ask one of us for a certain sari, ‘That bengani colour one,’ bengani is purple, but we were so used to thinking in Italian or English that we would miss it. She was always very sweet – She looked at you and watched everything, such as how you fold a sari. One time we couldn’t get all the saris in Her case.
‘No, this is not the way, you have to put them the other way around,’ Mother said, as if She had been watching the whole time, even though we thought She had been sleeping.
On Mother’s Day one year, we all had been to Shri Mataji and most of the people and children had an allergy from the pollen. Mother asked about it and said it was from the liver and everyone should do a strict liver diet. She also said children should wear dark glasses against the strong sun.
Mother supported artists
Mother invested so much time and energy in artists and we have to remember this. Art enriches our life. Artists in Sahaja Yoga often make enormous economic sacrifices to develop their art, to express themselves and to offer that richness to society and the Sahaja collective.
Mother always supported them, especially these great Indian musicians. She supported artists to a great extent, so Sahaja Yoga can be fun and interesting. Mother often gave special attention and special care to artists in Sahaja Yoga. She said artists today are like cactuses in the desert. They are very prickly on the outside. They have to be like that to survive in the desert. But if you want water in the desert, you have to go to the cactus.
Art is spiritual
Shri Mataji said that Indian art is very refined and very dignified, especially the art of miniature painting because it’s – I don’t remember Her exact words, but She explained it was very close to the spiritual, where each and every event of the incarnations is described using seasons, colours and everything.
Shri Mataji spoke about Roman art and about how important it is to build up strong and solid roads and buildings. Then She said that St. Petersburg, which was designed by an Italian, if I’m not mistaken, is so beautiful because it is so well done from every side that you cannot make out which is the back. Whenever Shri Mataji said something about art, it was in some way connected to the Spirit because, for Her, art was a very spiritual experience.
Why do we have these arts?
Once Shri Mataji was talking about the purpose of art.
‘Why do we have these arts around us?’ She asked. She was concerned that if fine art is not given patronage, it will soon die out. She said that the real purpose of fine art is to awaken the subtle sensitivities within us: it should make us thoughtless, not make us think, like modern art.
Shri Mataji spoke about Iranian art, saying it is so dignified and intricate. She also said that Iranian art is one of the world’s best arts, followed by Italian. Akbar Samii brought some artifacts from Iran. Even a small piece of a stone will be beautifully decorated with calligraphy, floral designs and detail. She held these things in Her hands.
‘Look how beautiful those artisans are! I would really like to promote this,’ She said. Shri Mataji wanted to bring fine arts and artifacts from all over the world, so that She could help, because She was very touched by the plight of these craftsmen, who have been exploited by certain entrepreneurs. While Shri Mataji was examining the artifacts from Iran, She told us many things.
‘These stones are black, but when you cut them, they become white,’ She said, and noticed the beautiful way they have of combining materials.
Shri Mataji also spoke about aboriginal tribal art in India. She wanted to bring terracotta from India, to promote or sell these artifacts to Europe.
‘Look at the beautiful artifacts made by these aboriginals,’ She said. ‘You see these colours? You know what you do? You take a mango bark, grind it into a paste, mix it with soil, put it on the pottery and when you put it in the fire, you get rich red colours and all kinds of shades. These things are full of vibrations because they are made by simple innocent people.’
Mother wanted these things to go in each and every house, rather than plastics and all kinds of synthetic materials.
She went into meditation
I was alone with Shri Mataji in Cabella.
‘Mother, will the whole world be saved?’ I asked Her. She went into meditation.
‘Evil was, is and will be. They don’t deserve it,’ She said.
Punyas of previous lives
Once at Cabella, I was in Mother’s room.
‘How is it,’ She asked me, ‘that you people took immediately to dharma in this crazy world after your realisation. Every time we switch on the TV, we see a man with his hands on a woman who is not his wife.’
‘Before Sahaja Yoga,’ I told Her, ‘I didn’t lead a saintly life, but I was always longing for the purity I found in Sahaja Yoga.’
‘This is because of punyas of previous lives. You were all great people,’ Shri Mataji explained.
She knows everything in the cosmos
I had an idea concerning Sahaja Yoga, and had kept it to myself for five years. I even did not tell my wife about it.
‘Sasha, you have an idea. It is wrong,’ Shri Mataji said once, when I was massaging Her at Cabella. So, I did not think of it any more. Then She asked me, taking into consideration that my wife and children were in Russia and I was in Italy, ‘Sasha, do you know what your wife is doing now and where she is?’
‘Where can she be?’ I thought, and I could not look at my watch because I was massaging Shri Mataji. ‘Shri Mataji, I am sorry, I do not know where my wife is and what she is doing,’ I said.
‘And I know,’ She said and started telling me where my wife was, what she was doing and what she was saying and thinking about. Then Shri Mataji said, ‘and where are your children?’
I reckoned that one should be at school and the other – also at school and She again told me where my children were and what they were doing and thinking about.
‘And where is Dr Bohdan?’ He might have been in Moscow or he might have left already.
‘Shri Mataji, I am sorry, I do not know where Dr Bohdan is,’ I said.
‘I know where Dr Bohdan is,’ She said, and started telling me about him, what he was doing and thinking.
Shri Mataji said that She knew everything that is happening in the whole world, about each person and what he is thinking about and doing, absolutely about everybody, not only on the planet but also in the cosmos. She is verily Shri Adi Shakti and knows absolutely everything.
She said that to read thoughts is the easiest thing in spirituality, but as we are only starting we cannot do anything so far. However a time will come when the ego and superego will go down and we will be nearer to Shri Mataji. When you are near Her everything flows in a different way. There is another state there: you are completely in love, as if there is no other world. You are beside God.
My recognition of being Her child
In 1997 I came to live in Cabella. On many occasions we would go into Shri Mataji’s rooms and lift big boxes with gifts, and open them. A few times She would ask us to stay after the job was finished, then She would talk about all kinds of things. Sometimes She would offer us tea and vibrate the sugar, and it was always in that loving, Motherly way.
The first time She actually called me by name, I was very proud somehow, because that was my recognition of being Her child. It was the end of that year that we had a meeting with an accountant who did not speak any English and I was there to translate. That was a very beautiful moment because I was there next to Shri Mataji, next to Her chair, just like Shri Ganesha is sitting, and I was completely empty and there to serve Shri Mataji. One year later a child was born to us – our second one. We got a chance to ask Shri Mataji for a name for our second child.
‘What is the name of your first child?’ She asked us. She gave three different names to the first one: Shridar, then Shrikant, then Shrinath. He finished up with two names, Shrikant and Shrinath. Concerning the second son, and every time we saw Her She would say, ‘I still have not the name of your son.’ It was very sweet, until one day, just five minutes before leaving to go to India, She gave him a name – Varada.
Chapter 24: 1997 – June to December, America, Europe and India
The great find Shri Mataji had made
In a New York hotel room, I remember conversations that led to the discovery of Canajoharie listed in the newspaper for a small sum of just over $100,000. Shri Mataji was so delighted when She found the land, proclaiming that this is how the divine works. The land was already there waiting to be bought by Shri Mataji because the Ganesha principle is extremely efficient and active in Her presence. Soon after Shri Mataji signed the papers for the land, I watched Her hand as She did so, and was thinking what a historic event I was witnessing.
The next day we drove to see the land and Shri Mataji got out of the car to walk on it. A yogi brother and I rushed ahead into the fields joyfully laughing, tackling each other in playful celebration of the great find that Shri Mataji had made.
Shri Mataji knew there would be water
Shri Mataji used to send directions for the projects at Canajoharie. She told us to add salt to the men’s food one day because they were getting dehydrated.
Once we were to try to find a well. Shri Mataji knew there would be water and suggested that we use an old technique of dousing for it. A newly cut twig was placed in my hands. It was new growth in the shape of a ‘Y’. I held the two ends and the stick was parallel to the ground. I walked with my eyes closed, and when I opened my eyes I was shocked to see that no one was there but that the stick had pulled towards the ground with no assistance from me. Several people verified the same experience and that is where we drilled the well.
We have all heard the story of how Shri Mataji found Canajoharie, a small advertisement in the paper was blasting cool vibrations. But it seems She must have put it there for us long ago, nourished and protected it, a brightest green gem in the American treasury.
Why didn’t you wake Me?
During the afternoon of June 18th 1997 Marcus Nobel, great grand-nephew of Alfred Nobel, of the Nobel Peace Prize, came to meet Shri Mataji as he was also to address the audience that evening. As always Shri Mataji was only concerned for his personal comfort and ascent, whilst Marcus was concerned to make sure he would give a fitting introduction.
Shri Mataji talked about Mother Earth, the carbon element and the Ganesha principle, whilst intimating these qualities had been eroded or forgotten in modern day San Francisco and how it would be difficult for Her to travel there. It needed repair. By early evening Shri Mataji retired to take a little rest.
All of sudden we started to sense that time had moved on and that the programme had begun whilst Shri Mataji was sound asleep. A delicate situation seemed to be developing. One of the American Yoginis puzzled as to how we should best proceed. She happened to be wearing bangles. I suggested if she entered the room and jangled her wrists the bangles would gently awake Shri Mataji.
Shri Mataji immediately awoke and discovering the time enquired why we hadn’t woken Her. Shri Mataji has the amazing capacity to strike like lightning when needed and within a short time we were getting out of the car at the Wheeler Auditorium, Berkeley University Campus, just in time for another packed evening public programme.
After a vibrant programme, and after Shri Mataji received seekers onto the stage we eventually made our way back to the car, where an Indian gentlemen stood eagerly waiting to engage Shri Mataji in lively debate about Vedantic philosophy. We had started the day early in Los Angeles, and now here we were in Berkeley debating the ancient Vedas at midnight in a car park. Shri Mataji, who was always patient, displayed tremendous compassion in guiding this aspirant before we made our way back to where we were staying.
Is She the Holy Spirit?
On June 18th 1997 we boarded a plane at LA-X to fly to San Francisco for a public programme at the Berkeley University Campus. After settling Shri Mataji in Her seat we made our way to our seats. Steve Day and Mark Tickell, American Sahaja Yogis, had joined the flight for this journey and one of the flight stewards came over.
‘You know the Indian lady with the red dot (bindi), are you travelling with Her?’ he asked. You knew it was going to be one of those interesting moments.
‘Yes,’ I replied.
‘Is She the Holy Spirit or something like that?’ he continued, to our astonishment.
‘Well yes, but not everyone knows it yet,’ I responded. We had a brief chat, some of his female colleagues joined and we invited them all to hold out their hands to feel the vibrations, then everyone carried on as normal and the flight got underway.
Believe in yourself
I have been very blessed to come close to Shri Mataji a few times. Here is a short narration of one of my most blissful experiences with Our Divine Mother.
In 1997, when Our Divine Mother visited Berkeley Bay Area, we were blessed to be at the public programme held at UC Berkeley Campus. I had a strong desire to offer Her a very fragrant variety of rose that grew in our small patio. I went to the stage, bowed before the Goddess, sat at Her Lotus Feet and offered the humble little rose. Then, I still wonder why, I simply burst into tears. Mother instantly took my right hand into Hers.
‘Kiyun? Kya ho gaya, beta?’ (‘Why? What happened, my child?’) She asked. I was so overwhelmed with Shri Maha Shakti in front of me. I somehow gasped an answer:
‘Ma, aapko itne paas dekh paayungi, main soch bhi nehi sakti.’ (‘Mother, I could have never imagined that I would get to see You this close’.)
‘Believe in yourself,’ Mother said with a smile, radiating love. She had my hand still in Hers. Then, many other seekers got to the stage to enjoy Her loving vibrations, while I was getting immersed in the most blissful experience of my life.
This divine gift of Shri Mataji has a very special place in my heart.
There appeared a great wonder
Things seemed to be on the move within the American collective when Shri Mataji arrived in June 1997. There was tremendous anticipation in the air as many meetings had been arranged with a special New York programme scheduled for the Cathedral of St John the Divine in uptown Manhatten. Lots of invitations had gone out and Claes Nobel, grandnephew of Alfred Nobel, the creator of the Nobel Prize, was supporting the efforts of the Sahaja Yogis in reaching out to the American public.
There was some concern for security. Shri Mataji had even informed Yogi Mahajan and me – we were in charge of security. We gulped and stared at each other quizzically. On the night of June 10th 1997 a group of yogis were deployed with FBI type ear pieces. We had even drafted in a security specialist and NYPD had been alerted. It felt rather exciting. Yogi gave the introductory talk along with slides of miracle photos, following Shri Mataji’s directions. Earlier in the day I had briefed Yogi on Chapter 12, verse 1 of the Book of Revelations wherein it records the following words:
‘And there appeared a great wonder. A lady dressed with the sun. With a moon at Her Feet, wearing a crown of twelve stars.’
Photographic slides depicting these images where projected for the 1200-1500 seekers in the audience that night. By chance the image showing what looked like an orb or moon at Mother’s Feet remained on the large screen throughout the rest of the introductory talk. I mused how by chance this would be subtly aiding proceedings. I returned backstage where Shri Mataji was seated. She looked at me and quietly gestured, is it alright? I confidently intimated yes and nervously helped Mother to the stage.
It was a wonderful programme, even with questions from the audience. After giving self realisation to everyone Shri Mataji met with journalists from the Spanish-American communities, and also from South America. It was the largest programme in America to date and it felt like things had shifted a gear. So much so that a second programme was decided upon – for June 27th 1997, to coincide with Mother’s return to New York after circumnavigating America and Canada.
I called Shri Mataji
In 1997, in Philadelphia, a drunk driver hit our vehicle from behind. Pieces of glass from the shattered back window fell into my baby’s open mouth, but I called for Shri Mataji. The baby held his mouth open in a moment of shock. I was absolutely sure that Shri Mataji directed my eyes to his mouth, because in another moment and he’d have moved to cry or swallow. However, I was able to remove the pieces. Everyone was unharmed and the hospital could not find a single scratch on the baby.
Shri Mataji was in New York at that time, and knew we had been in an accident. It was clear that She had saved us from harm. That week we took the child to the airport and offered Shri Mataji a big bunch of roses. She held the little baby, smiled at him sweetly, kissed him on the throat and all was well.
Editor’ note: Shri Mataji has said that if we think of Her in our most difficult moments, She will instantly be there to help us.
Just one flower
In 1997 we were to drive several hours to see Shri Mataji off at the airport in New York. I bought the best flower I could find the day before, a star gazer lily. I brought it home on the train, babied it with fresh water and was careful never to sniff it or touch the petals. I carried it carefully, in a small vase, the whole trip the next day. We were waiting at the airport, soon Shri Mataji would be there, and that flower suddenly started to give off a lot of fragrance.
When Shri Mataji arrived there were many people to greet Her. It came to my turn and I felt shy. I did namaskar and went back to my place; somehow my eyes were stuck on the floor the whole time. Someone told me that Shri Mataji smiled when She took that flower. That was enough, that was all I needed in life, to know She had enjoyed that fragrance.
She would arrive at the best millisecond
In 1997, we prepared a book of children’s drawings, poems and hand prints. It was a project which took several ladies a long time to put together. We were still adding final touches in one of the cabins when the Kundalini shot up with that bubbling feeling which signals that Shri Mataji was on Her way. All the yogis were in the hall settled and singing wonderfully but we were still rushing to finish that book. Finally we closed it, and tried to run in our best saris to the hall. Just at that moment Shri Mataji arrived in Her car, smiling with Her hands together. It was always like that; She would wait for us, She always knew, and would arrive at the best millisecond.
My first miracle photo
I was in New York in the mid-nineties and there had been a public programme. Afterwards Shri Mataji was going to watch a movie, Dances with Wolves. A yogi came in and said there was a problem with the TV and could I help fix it. So I went down the hall and waited close to Shri Mataji’s room. I waited and waited, but the yogi never came out and asked me in to Her room. I was a bit sad, but thought, ‘that’s life’. A bit later, right after the puja, I took a photo, and it was the first miracle photo I had taken. It was as if She had heard my heartfelt plea, a desire to be close to Her. She was divine compassion.
I just checked the vibrations
Shri Mataji was in Vancouver in the latter part of the nineties, and much to our surprise She decided to look for an ashram in Vancouver. So everyone was poring through the newspapers, and looking through them. Finally there were two prospective homes to look at. One was in the Surrey area of lower Vancouver – one area was highly populated with Chinese people, and the other was in an area with a lot of Indian people.
We drove off to have a look. Some of us were in the car with Shri Mataji and there were a number of other people in another car. We got to the first house and half a dozen yogis got out and went to have a look. Interestingly enough Shri Mataji stayed in the car and didn’t go out. The yogis went through it and came out and told Her all about it. She seemed quite pleased and decided She would put in an offer. On the way back we stopped and had an ice cream. The owner of the store came out and greeted Shri Mataji – he was Indian.
‘I just checked the vibrations. That’s the main thing, the vibrations,’ She joked.
Everyone else had been trying to figure out the best price for the house and all that, but for Shri Mataji all that was important was the vibrations.
In about 1997 I was in the hotel with Shri Mataji, in Toronto. I was in front of Her completely alone and felt awkward. I looked at Her and didn’t know what to do.
‘Just meditate,’ She said.
I could not close my eyes, and had to look at Shri Mataji the whole time. Her face changed form: She changed into three different deities in front of me. When it is a Shri Ganesha Puja She looks like Shri Ganesha, and at a Shri Buddha Puja She looks like Shri Buddha. On that occasion I felt She changed into the three chakras of the Heart Chakra, and my heart was getting worked out looking at Her. Behind Shri Mataji were big windows and the clouds just changed as She did.
Forty days and nights
Although the trip to North America in 1997 was initially scheduled for about twelve days, Shri Mataji ended up staying forty days and nights, and throughout all this time She seemed to be working-out all sorts of issues, and working them out on the subtle level. It seemed to be a testing time, with much essential yet subtle work being undertaken personally by Shri Mataji, so much so that we missed travelling back across the Atlantic to the July 3rd public programme at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
On top of the world
Sometime in early 1997 I remarked to a yogi friend that Sahaja Yoga is growing so quickly, and that there are so many global issues and numbers of Sahaja Yogis taking up Shri Mataji’s attention, that we will never again get those old experiences of spending personal time in Her physical presence. I was to learn an important lesson about making absolute proclamations.
In June, I returned from a puja in New Jersey and decided to go help renovate the façade of Shri Mataji’s castle in Cabella. Shri Mataji arrived with physical complications a month later from the U.S.A, so Her busy schedule was cancelled and She stayed at Cabella. I found myself living, for six months, within a few metres of Shri Mataji Herself and Her indescribably beautiful vibrations!
One night towards the end of my stay in heaven, when the dark, wintry air outside made you glad to get in to a warm, cheery dinner, I suddenly felt like lying back on the hillside above the castle to look up at the stars. I called a Sahaja brother and as we lay there on the frozen earth, looking up at the sea of sparkling diamonds in the black sky, I asked him how, of the six billion souls on Earth, the few of us here had somehow chanced into this divine realm at the top of the world.
In the house below us, God the Mother was eating dinner or enjoying a Hindi movie. The windows glowed warmly down in the castle. When our backs became too cold from the frosty grass, we quietly got up and made our way inside to join the rest of our family. Whatever hardships had darkened our way through the millions of years of our evolution, we were finally home, together, and at peace.
The king of Morocco
At the Shri Krishna Puja in 1997, at Cabella, someone gave Shri Mataji an old painting, a portrait of King Sidi Mohamed ben Aboleth of Morocco. We had bought it because it had very nice vibrations but did not know anything about him.
‘I know him,’ Shri Mataji had said, ‘he was a realised soul.’
I did some research and discovered that he was a king at the time of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria. She was an incarnation of Shri Raja Lakshmi, and this king had established very good diplomatic relations between the two countries. So as the spiritual descendants of this queen, we had to carry on the work.
I am always with you
This little gem took place at Lisbon Airport after Diwali Puja 1997 in Portugal. About 30 yogis were in the airport and one by one Shri Mataji was accepting a flower from them. I began to feel we were putting pressure on Mother, who was staying there and having to accept all our flowers and I held back. However Mother had accepted all the flowers from nearly all the other yogis and it was my turn. When I gave Mother the flower, I began to cry. She asked me why I was crying.
‘I always cry, Mother,’ was what came out. I don’t actually cry so much but that is what I said.
‘You know I can never leave you. I am always with you,’ Shri Mataji replied, knowing really what I felt.
She did come
We went to Lisbon three people were chosen to cook for Mother, one person from each of the hosting countries. I was chosen for South Africa. When it was time to take the food to Mother we were sitting and chatting with Her. Mother asked me where I was from and told me I looked typically as if I had come from India. I told Her that although I was from South Africa my father had been very strict that we should be like Indians. She spoke to me in Hindi and asked me how I had made the dish. She told me not to put too many chillies in it. She said my food was lovely.
At one point She closed Her eyes and it was as if She took some weapon and Her form was so fierce. After some minutes She seemed to come back.
‘What happened?’ I asked Her.
‘Oh I just went to help somebody,’ She laughed and said.
She finished Her food and talked to me again. I asked Her if She would come to South Africa and She said She would, and asked which was the best season to come. In a way She did come because I had an extraordinary miracle, when Shri Mataji appeared at my house.
This is the miracle:
Devibehn lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and runs a catering business from her home. One of Devibehn’s customers knocked at her front door.
‘Who is that lady in the red sari that I saw outside?’ she said to Devibehn, ‘She had such a lovely smile and I felt so warm and comforted, it was as if it was my own mother smiling at me.’ Then the visitor saw the photo of Shri Mataji which Devibehn had in the house.
‘That is the lady I saw outside!’ she said.
‘Are you sure?’ asked Devibehn. She went to have a look, but there was no one there. Then she told her visitor how special Shri Mataji is, but that She had never been to South Africa. Devibehn said the visitor was so lucky to have seen Her outside the house. The lady agreed, but said to Devibehn that she was so very fortunate to have this wonderful lady as her Devi Ma. She also said she had seen Shri Mataji walking round the house as if She was looking after it.
I invite you
After the 1997 Diwali celebration, Shri Mataji sent word for me to come in Her apartment at the ‘Palácio de Seteais’ at Cintra, Portugal. ‘Seteais’ means ‘Seven Sighs,’ evoking the Holy Breeze nourishing the seven chakras. She asked me if I intended to go on the India Tour. My answer was negative. After some time, when She asked me about the Romanian collective, She again asked the same question. Then, I hesitated to answer. She said that many beautiful temples would be seen during this tour.
‘You would not pay for the tour, I invite you,’ She added, noticing my hesitation, and guessing the real reason of my incapacity to go to India. And, indeed, the tour in that year was amazing, including Delhi, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Madras, Cochin, Bangalore, and Ganapatipule.
The scent of roses
Towards the end of an India Tour, it was the puja in Kalwe and as Shri Mataji walked past there was a strong smell of a rose garden.
No tiredness had been felt
On the India tour of 1997/98, I was twenty-two and was invited to help the video team to record the tour. This began with the videoing of the public programme in Delhi. Apart from that programme, Mother did not physically attend the tour before it reached Ganapatipule, via Nagpur, Hyderabad, Madras, Cochin and Bangalore.
There were several joy-filled evening programmes in Ganapatipule, but, while filming Christmas Puja, my attention began to wander. It was focusing more on the pictures that ‘I’ was getting on ‘my’ camera than on Shri Mataji and Her words. After the aarti, the different centres and countries began to offer gifts to Mother. One of the organizers approached the edge of the stage, close to where I was standing with the video camera and tripod.
‘Which country are you from?’ he asked me.
‘South Africa,’ I answered. This was relayed back to Shri Mataji.
‘You must stop filming,’ he said. ‘Shri Mataji says you can film when She comes to your country.’
I sat down. Mother had brought my attention back to Her Feet. After the representatives of Africa had offered gifts to Shri Mataji, Mother spoke to the South Africans.
‘Tell that boy not to worry. He can film when I come to your country,’ She said. What needed no words was Mother’s glance and smile at me across the stage as She said it. It was an all-enveloping feeling, like a small child, I felt. Nothing else mattered.
The next day, the head of the team spoke through the leaders to Shri Mataji, explaining that I was helping the video team. Shri Mataji had not recognized me and thought that only Italians were helping with the videos. After this message, they were sure that I could carry on helping, but having heard other words, my heart was not sure. As it happened, two of the three cameras were sent back to Italy before the New Year’s Puja in Kalwe and help was not needed.
Four months later, I was at Cabella for Shri Adi Shakti Puja and I was again asked to help. I expressed my doubts and my question seemed answered when the bag of cables for one camera could not be found. The other two already had operators, Mother arrived and I found myself seated near Her.
‘How many cameras are there?’ Mother asked one of the leaders.
‘Two, Shri Mataji,’ he answered.
The programme got under way. After maybe half an hour, I noticed Mother look at me. Some yogis next to the video mixing desk whispered towards me and I realised that they were calling me. Mother had asked Her grandson to sit down and I was to take over the operation of that camera. Silently thanking Mother, I did so. The programme must have ended at 4 am the next morning, although I never felt the time pass. Later that day, I met someone who Mother had spoken to about me.
‘That boy must be so tired,’ She had said, but no tiredness had been felt. It had just flowed.
- Ajay Arora
- Akbar Samii
- Aki Echevarria
- Alan Morissey
- Alan Wherry
- Albert Lewis
- Alessandra Pallini
- Alex Henshaw
- Alexander Solodyankin
- Alexandra Dumitrescu
- Alina Ewiak
- Amala Kumar
- Anastasia Polunina
- Angela Cavalcante
- Angela Reininger
- Anjeli Aurangabadkar
- Anna Brasileiro
- Anna Katz
- Anna Mancini
- Annie Calvas
- Anthony Headlam
- Antony Visconti
- Armaity Bhabha
- Arun Apte
- Auriol Purdie
- Barbara Bain
- Barbara Costian
- Barry Humphries
- Bert Op de Beeck
- Bhagwati Singh
- Birgitte van Os
- Bruno Descaves
- Calin Costian
- Carolyn Vance
- Celia Tanaka
- Chris Coles
- Chris Marlow
- Christine Haage
- Christine Driver
- Chuck Wyrick
- Clare Nesdale
- Clive Bates
- Colleen Keetley
- Cristina Matache
- Cynthia Luz
- Dan Costian
- David Sharp
- Derek Ferguson
- Devibehn Kadam
- Digambar Bhal
- Dorota Nocera
- Duilio Cartocci
- Edgar Patarroyo
- Edward Saugstad
- Edwin Hou
- Elizabeth Singh
- Emiliana Blagoeva
- Ezio Prandini
- Flora from Bolivia
- Francisco Fenili
- Franz Mekyna
- Gallina Pashava
- Gary Boneva
- Gautama Payment
- Geoff Godfrey
- George Barberton
- Gerald Lim
- Gillian Patankar
- GK Datta
- Glenda Pollard
- Graciela Vázquez-Díaz
- Greg Teeger
- Guillemette Metouri
- Gunter Thurner
- Gwennael Verez
- Hania from Poland
- Hardev Bhamra
- Harald Knoebel
- Heidi Zogorski
- Henno de Graaf
- Herbert Reininger
- Herbert Walland
- Hitoshi Igawa
- Indumati Patil
- Ivana Banerjee
- Jadunandan Prasad
- James Murdoch
- Javier Valderrama
- Jayant Patankar
- Jean-Claude Poulet
- Jean-Michel Huet
- Jeff Raum
- John Watkinson
- JP Low
- Kamelia Ersan
- Katey Hertell
- Katy Mankar
- Kazuko Ishii
- Kingsley Flint
- Mr Khalatkar
- KT Tan
- Lalitha Swaminathan
- Lau Kai Leong
- Laurent Dumonet
- Lena Kadam
- Lena Koli
- Leopold Zeilinger
- Lily Chen
- Lothar Pfeifer
- Louise Reulland
- Ludo van Os
- Luis Garrido
- Mabel Ortega
- Madhavi Fordham
- Madhavi Rome
- Madhuri Dunphy
- Maneesha Shanbhag-Cruz
- Marco Arciglio
- Marcus Biggs
- Maria Galabova
- Maria Lantos
- Mariano Martinez
- Marie-Laure Cernay
- Marie-Martine de Techtermann
- Marilú Durand
- Marilyn Leate
- Mark Williams
- Maryanne Berman
- Matt Malley
- Matthew Fogarty
- Melody Hodgson
- Michael Fogarty
- Mihaela Balasescu
- Mitesh Gandhi
- MN Jha
- Mohan Gulati
- Nanda Tagliabue
- Nigel Matthews
- Nigel Powell
- Nirmal Gupta
- Ornella Bollani
- Oezlam Gibeau
- Patrick Redican
- Patricia Mays
- Patricia Wolfmeyer
- Pavan Keetley
- Peter Hewitson
- Phil Trumbo
- Phil Ward
- Philippa Newman
- Polyvios Mylonas
- Prakash Khote
- Prakash Shrestaputra
- Pramod Shete
- Rajeshwara from Italy
- Ram Mishra
- Rama Iurili
- Ravindranath Saundankar
- Richard Ng Bek Choon
- Richard Payment
- Rivia Barros
- Robert Hunter
- Rosa Alexevia
- Roxana Sindici
- Sabine Hackl
- Saffet Cicekdag
- Sakshi Deen
- Sawako Watanabe
- Selim Ergen
- Serenella Avoscan
- Sergei Knutov
- Sergei Utenkov
- Shoma Arciglio
- Shruti Jalan Gupta
- Siddhi Bhasale
- Sidsel Mugwort
- Sita Wadhwa
- Stephen Day
- Sudarshan Sood
- Suresh Nigam
- Suresh Thacker
- Suzanne McHutchison
- Tassos Strikos
- Tatiana Liubomirskaya
- Theodore Estathiou
- Thomas Menge
- Toni Grabmeyer
- Tracy Tischuk
- Trisha Sharp
- Trupta de Graaf
- Valeria Ferriera
- Vasant Upadhya
- Victoria Petrova
- Virendra Verma
- Viviana Gentili
- VK Kapoor
- Walter Saatzer
- Werner Steindl
- Wolfgang Hackl
- Yoggita Singh
- Yuriy Dobrovolsky
- Yuriy Vasilyev