Chapter 12: 1988 – October, India

Pratishthan during construction
Derek Ferguson diary entries, mostly Pratishthan
Saturday: Spoke to Shri Mataji about plastering at Pratishthan and about getting a plasterer to work with me. Maybe most of the walls will have to be done again. I gave the plasterer some lessons in technique and he is coming on well.
There is a special ceremony of Shri Krishna that is done every year in Maharashtra, where you form a pyramid to reach a clay pot filled with milk. […]

Chapter 13: 1988 – December, India

Derek Ferguson diary entries
Friday: Worked on plastering the barrel ceiling and saw Shri Mataji leave for Vaitarna, where the tour is at present.
Monday: Spoke to an Australian Sahaja Yogi who had just come from Vaitarna. Shri Mataji had arranged most of the marriages but some people who had put their names down had not come, so there had to be some changes. She said that Sahaja Yoga is the only group where you can get married four times in succession, […]

Chapter 14: 1989 – January to March, India and Nepal

You cannot force anyone
It was January 1989 and I was living in India. I was at Pratishthan and Shri Mataji started to talk about Indian culture with me, and I told Her I was reading the Mahabharata.
‘You see,’ She explained, ‘that all happened because you cannot force anyone into marriage.’
Sita Wadhwa
I think you asked for a name
We went to Pratishthan in 1989 and we’d sit every morning with Shri Mataji and have tea and then work on Her house. […]

Chapter 15: 1989 – April and May, England and Italy

Blindness caused by prejudice
In 1989 we went to pick up Shri Mataji from Heathrow Airport, in London. She was slightly annoyed that when coming out of Customs the airport clerk denied Her access to the VIP exit route, because all the Sahaja Yogis were expecting Her to exit from there and if She came out from another exit She would have missed meeting them. The airport clerk in question did not believe Shri Mataji had VIP status, […]

Chapter 16: 1989 – May, Southern Europe

Go on a liver diet
When I was living in France, we went to the Shri Buddha Puja in Spain in 1989. Shri Mataji was at the airport leaving Barcelona. It was very hot and She came in and looked at me.
‘You’re feeling down, aren’t you?’ Shri Mataji said, and knew exactly how I felt. ‘It’s your liver. Your liver is too hot,’ She said. ‘Go on a liver diet.’ As She walked away She turned and said, […]

Chapter 01: 1987 – January to March, India

India Tour 1986/87 – Mr Dhumal´s Farm
We were on the Maharashtra tour going east to Rahuri, and Mr Dhumal invited all the yogis to stay the night at his farm. We arrived quite late, tired and hot as usual from the long journey.
I had a desire to take a photo of our Mother and saw an appropriate opportunity, as Mother was approaching us towards the house, I quickly went ahead of Her and crouching on the ground in the garden I took this photo. […]

Chapter 17: 1989 – June, The Americas

We reached the programme thirty minutes earlier
In June 1989, we were on a New York City highway, and Shri Mataji was in the car. She was pointing the way to the Sahaja Yogi who was driving Her (he was a taxi driver at that time). Apparently he missed an exit on the highway and lost his sense of direction when trying to get to the Queens World Expo Center. Nevertheless, we actually reached the programme site faster than the other Sahaja Yogi brothers who took off thirty minutes earlier. […]

Chapter 01: 1987 – March and April, England and Italy

Where have you been?
The first clear vivid memory I have of Shri Mataji is when I was introduced to Her at the airport in London, in March 1987. David Prole introduced me, and Mother took my hand and said something very nice to me.
‘Where have you been? Lost!’ She said then and at that moment my life flashed through my mind and I thought, ‘Where on earth have I been all these years?’ When I got my realisation that feeling of coming home was so completely natural and I felt, […]

Chapter 18: 1989 – July, Europe

I don’t get tired at all
In July 1989 Shri Mataji went shopping in Marche St Pierre, in the Arabic area of Paris. There were about five of us with Her, and I am not a shopper – I do not like shopping for more than half an hour. This trip lasted for five hours and it was really hot, in July. Marche St. Pierre was a very cheap place with several floors and Mother was choosing a lot of fabrics. […]

Chapter 03: 1987 – May, Australia

The streets were littered with diamonds
At Brisbane Airport, in 1987, I was standing near the entrance, with a book in which were photographs and written information regarding Sierra Leone.
‘What have you got there?’ Shri Mataji asked me as She came past, so I walked with Her into the lounge area and we discussed the information and viewed photographs. She said it was my destiny to go to Sierra Leone. I asked if Patrick Sheriff, […]

Chapter 19: 1989 – August to October, Europe East and West

Helsinki
After Shri Krishna Puja in England in 1989, our Divine Mother travelled to Finland and the Soviet Union for programmes there. Shri Mataji’s first port of call was Helsinki, where She arrived on Wednesday evening the 16th of August. The following morning a small puja took place, and in the evening four or five hundred people attended Mother’s first programme in a Nordic country. Many enthusiastic and respectful seekers were in the audience, although many had been damaged by contact with false gurus. […]

Chapter 04: 1987 – June to August, England and America

A visit to Hounslow ashram
We were in London in 1987, and had been trying without success to get an appointment with Shri Mataji. She had asked us to see Her and report on our visit to Sierra Leone. However, the circumstances relayed back to us indicated that Shri Mataji had so many people on Her list to see that it would probably not happen. While living in Hounslow ashram, around 10.30 in the morning I answered the phone. […]

Chapter 10: 1989 – December, India

Divine diplomacy
We had a public programme in December 1989 at the King George High School at Dadar, Mumbai. At that time there were many demonstrations in Maharashtra against what was termed as ‘blind faith’ cults, and some people decided that Sahaja Yoga was also one of these blind faith cults, so they came to the entrance of the place where Shri Mataji was having the public programme, and started demonstrating against Sahaja Yoga. Each new seeker who wanted to come to the programme was given a pamphlet against Sahaja Yoga. […]

Chapter 05: 1987 – August, England and France

Tell her that I love her very much
As a melodramatic youngster, there was a short time in the summer of 1987 when I banished myself into the wilderness for not going through with something I thought Shri Mataji wanted me to do, until She called me back in Her own unique way, with Her own light and loving touch. How limited my understanding of Her unconditional love – just as an ant can never understand a human being, […]

Chapter 06: 1987 – September to November, India, England and Europe

They are Your children
It happened that in Kolkata we met Shri Mataji again, in September 1987. At that period She had a puja almost every year there. At the airport we used to go and say goodbye, because often She would be going on to Australia or somewhere like that. We were there at the airport, and Shri Mataji was talking to us all one after the other. She spoke to my mother.
‘Your children are very sweet, […]

Chapter 07: 1987 – December, India

The Queen of Sahasrara
I attended my first India tour in December 1987 after a year in a half in Sahaj. After landing in Mumbai, a shock for most of the Westerners, driving past kilometres of slums, we were taken to an enchanting fishing village called Alibagh, a few hours away. It was unlike anything I had known before and felt we had been transported back hundreds of years.
We slept in a coconut plantation near the pristine sea with kilometres of unspoiled beaches. […]

Chapter 08: 1988 – January to March, India

1987- 88 India Tour
Ah! The white tents on the beach at Ganapatipule, camping under the palm trees.
‘Let’s go early and help with puja preparation,’ my friend said, on the day of the puja.
We set off and ended up making modakas with the Indian ladies in front of a little grass hut. Then as we headed into the pendal to help arrange flowers on the path Shri Mataji would walk, we realised we did not have our puja saris. […]

Chapter 09: 1988 – April to June, England and Europe

Easter Puja, Shudy Camps, April 1988
Shri Mataji’s car entered the courtyard in the same cloudy English atmosphere that had prevailed all day long. When the car’s door finally opened in the middle of the crowd who were waiting, the cloud cover opened and gently allowed a little space, right by the sun, to salute the meeting of the smiling Mother with Her devotees. It was the first time I saw Shri Mataji. As She slowly made Her way through the crowd, […]

Chapter 10: 1988 – July, Europe and America

The dog knew the protocol of the Devi
Shri Mataji came to Munich in 1988 for the Hamsa Chakra Puja. At that time we had a dog called Remo in our ashram there. He was the first puppy of Shri Mataji’s dog from Rome. When Shri Mataji arrived for the puja and was coming into the tent, Remo walked slowly in front of Her to the stage as if to make a way for Her and lead Her to the place of the puja. […]

Chapter 11: 1988 – July to September, Europe and England

I didn’t want to come until you were all here
The first puja that I attended was in Andorra, between Spain and France, in 1988. My wife had asked me to go with her. I wasn’t sure, but eventually agreed, particularly if we could combine it with a family holiday. So rather than going with the UK group we went by train, with our younger daughter. By the time we arrived at the frontier station between France and Andorra in the evening, […]