Chapter 01: 1987 – January to March, India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

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.

Shri Mataji at Mr Dhumal’s farm

All the yogis gathered in a big makeshift tent with a podium set up for the music programme. At first we were all expecting to have dinner, at least our stomachs were telling us logically that we were hungry. Instead the concert started with Indian classical music. After several performances, we were offered green sprigs of channas or chickpeas. Eating them was like manna from heaven, we truly enjoyed the offering, with the hope that dinner will be served soon. The music just continued and went on for hours as our attention sometimes got lost in the thought of the dinner. Meanwhile the vibrations was working and balancing us, we started enjoying the music and completely forgot about time and our hunger.

Our Mother accompanied us in the concert and was aware of everything and nothing escaped Her attention. After several hours the music stopped.

You have enjoyed the beautiful music, at first your attention was on the dinner, but the vibrations took your attention away from the food – now the dinner is waiting for you,’ Shri Mataji said. We all had a gratifying smile on our faces.

Joaquin Orús

Around the villages

We were in a village in Maharashtra on one of the India tours in the mid 1980’s and the electricity broke down when Shri Mataji was about to give an introductory talk. She had some of the Sahaja Yogis sing Adi Ma and Jogawa, and then just asked the people to put their hands out and feel the cool breeze, which they did. Also, at that village where there was a procession with Shri Mataji on a bullock cart, and She later told us what the driver had said to Her. He spoke so eloquently about Her; it was like the devotional poetry of Kabir, even though he was a simple countryman. She also said he had been a great king in a past lifetime.

About Paithan – a village which was originally called Pratishthan and had been the capital of the Shalivahanas’ kingdom – or Satavahanas as they were sometimes called – Shri Mataji’s ancestors. We went there once on the tour in 1987, and there were a lot of ruins and it was a very poor village now. Shri Mataji gave a talk, a public programme to the villagers. They did not even have electricity and someone fanned Her with a folded up newspaper, and after the programme we went and had tea in the headman’s house.

Mother told us this instructive story about the sort of misunderstandings created by Westerners. There was a missionary who went to an Indian village. He told the villagers they were sinful and guilty, but they would be saved if they confessed their sins. When the missionary came to leave, the village headman said: ‘Thank you, sir, for telling us something we did not know. You have told us that we are guilty. We did not know that before.’

Linda Williams

Pasta for everyone

In January 1987 Shri Mataji invited 300 Western yogis from the India Tour to stay at Pratishthan. She graciously enquired what they would like for lunch. The Italians, who were rather homesick, promptly responded, ‘Pasta!’ There were only ten packets of pasta in the kitchen and each packet should serve about six people. Shri Mataji started cooking. Everyone had the pasta, and the Italians ate several helpings, yet there was enough left for another meal.

Yogi Mahajan

It was done by silence

My husband and I went to India to look at textiles in Gujarat, not for Sahaja Yoga. When we got back to Delhi we found there was going to be Shivaratri Puja. Shri Mataji asked to see my husband and I went along with him, thinking I would sit outside and wait for him. However we both went in and sat with Mother and somebody had brought the kind of fabrics that we had been looking at in Gujarat. Mother described much more to us and taught us about the symbolism of the designs that these simple fabrics had. I found that relaxed me a lot, looking at something that I had already seen. It was amazing the way Mother worked on me because I was much too shy to say anything. She took Her shawl off and it was very, very soft. She said it was so soft that it would pass through my wedding ring and yet it was as warm as a blanket.

Feel it,’ She said. My husband and I held it.

Then Shri Mataji held it and it was as if the silence was complete. I just felt as if Shri Mataji was saying, ‘I’ve got you.’ I remember this complete feeling of peace and thinking, ‘I wish everybody could feel this idea that we really are just held by Mother.’

She didn’t say anything to me. It was just done by silence and holding Her shawl.

Rosemary Maitland Hume

So tuned in

In 1987, when we were staying with Shri Mataji at a Sahaja Yogi’s house on Prabhat Rd, Pune, a lady called Mrs Bhikule was there and she was so tuned in to Shri Mataji that she would suddenly wake up in the night.

Ji, Shri Mataji,’ she would say, and would go to Shri Mataji’s room.

I was just about to call you,’ Shri Mataji would smile and say.

Deepa Mahajan

A cautionary tale

In the eighties, Shri Mataji came to live in Pune.

Shri Mataji now that You have come to live here all will be well with Pune,’ I said to Her.

No, it does not happen like that. In My presence all the bhuts come out,’ She replied.

Shri Mataji, You must come to my house and have food,’ a Sahaja Yogi from Delhi would ask Shri Mataji daily. She would avoid by making some excuse or the other. One day he insisted.

Shri Mataji my house will be blessed by Your coming,’ he said.

No son, it is not like that. Sometimes skeletons in the cupboard come tumbling out. You must be careful never to insist on My coming. If I want to I will come,’ She told him.

This fact was confirmed when Shri Mataji came to Pune before Pratishthan was built and stayed at the house of a Sahaja Yogi. She could not sleep and was very uncomfortable for two days. On the third day She told us there was something there that was disturbing Her. She told us to look around. Then She pointed to a picture of Her on the wall and said that something was not right with it. One Sahaja Yogi took it off the wall and behind it was a photo of a major false guru, a rakshasa from Bangalore.

See, all these bhuts come tumbling out before Me,’ She said, then left the place immediately.

Deepa Mahajan

He insisted on thanking Shri Mataji personally

It was in 1987 and Shri Mataji invited some of us from Dehra Dun to meet Her in Pune. She was staying in a flat there and overseeing the building of Pratishthan. When we reached Mumbai, one of the Sahaja Yogis from Dehra Dun, Ashwini Koorich, arranged for the five or six of us from Dehra Dun to stay with his Mumbai brother-in-law, an industrialist with a large clothing factory. During the night Ashwini gave realisation to his brother-in-law and gave him vibrations. By the morning a serious spinal defect which he had had from childhood had disappeared and he insisted on driving us up to Pune to thank Shri Mataji.

When we reached Pune we went to the flat where Shri Mataji was staying, and I was a bit nervous, because we had arranged for the Sahaja Yogis from Dehra Dun, but not the Mumbai gentleman, to come and see Shri Mataji. She asked to talk to me in private first, and I explained that our host had insisted on bringing us up, a five hour drive on a working day, and that he had had a miracle and absolutely insisted on coming and thanking Shri Mataji personally. She was very touched, and said it was quite in order, and that She wished other people would do the same.

Linda Williams

This is the atma tattwa

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1986, but in a way was not a Sahaja Yogi, even though indirectly I did a lot of Sahaja Yoga work. I heard Shri Mataji’s tape on the guru tattwa and all the Adi Guru incarnations, and realised what Sahaja Yoga really was. I had read a lot but not experienced before.

One day in 1987 I had the chance to present some of my poetry to Shri Mataji at Pratishthan. About twenty people were sitting there. I started reading it and when I finished I looked at Shri Mataji and She was weeping – the tears were there. Then She opened Her eyes, looked at me, then looked at the ground and I saw that all of us had tears on our cheeks.

This is the soul, this is the atma tattwa which is one. This is the experience,’ She said. I was shocked! Then I realised it is not my poetry but it came from somewhere else.

Although Urdu is not my first language I wrote in Urdu and presented the poems to Shri Mataji. She was very pleased, and liked them very much. She asked other people, including Baba Mama, to talk with me about this. She started explaining what poetry is. She gave me such a nice example.

How do you feel when the moonlight comes through your window? How do you feel when you see a flower in blossom. How do you feel when the bird is flying down? These feelings have to come in your poetry,’ She said, and explained to me the importance of the Swadishthan. Art comes from the Left Swadishthan.

In the Mahabharata there is a character called Eklavya. He wanted to be a student of Drona, the great archer. But he was not allowed to be Drona’s pupil because of his low caste, even though his dedication was true. Shri Mataji explained to me that if your guru is not there physically but your surrender and dedication is true and thorough you can become your own guru. For this your Swadishthan works a lot. The Swadishthan gives you creativity, and the creativity comes through the guru. In this way you can be your own guru. This is what happened with Eklavya, and he became his own guru and he learnt so well, that he was even better than Arjuna, who had Drona present. Eklavya’s dedication was greater, but he lacked humility.

Shri Mataji then said there will be a day when She will not be there and even Her photograph will not be there, but Sahaja Yoga will be there. These were Her words – that Sahaja Yoga cannot be destroyed because it is a living thing. It is an energy.

I wrote a book called The Two Goblets and it was on the news, and Shri Mataji saw the news and the next day called me and gave me a lot of blessings. She often asked me to sing and recite poetry in Urdu in front of Sir CP because he had his education in Urdu

Most of my poetry is about Sahaja Yoga, for example after reading Shri Mataji’s lecture on Krishna Puja, or Fatima Puja, or Hanuman Puja, but one time it was the other way round. One of the leaders took a poem of mine to Shri Mataji and She explained the poem in the puja talk – it was Shri Buddha Puja.

Prakash Khote

Just do it!

In 1987 I was at Pratishthan with my father-in-law, who was an architect. Shri Mataji was building it and at that time it was basically a construction site. Shri Mataji used to sit in the centre of the main hall, which was open at the sides. She would sit on a chair, which was on a large blue carpet. Around Her were hundreds of doors from Taiwan, bathroom fittings, construction workers, and all sorts of things. The front of the house, from a Rajasthani palace, had just arrived and was going to be installed.

At some stage Shri Mataji called me over and said She had a job for me. She presented me with a long rectangular piece of sandstone which was in pieces. It was like a big window, hand carved, with daisy like flowers in a lattice shape, in three pieces and all broken. She wanted me to glue it together with Araldite glue.

The first mistake I made was to think that it was impossible to glue something together so heavy with Araldite. The second mistake was to listen to the suggestions of all sorts of people over the next few days, who would say, ‘Why don’t you do it this way?’ and so on. Then some of us were sitting around with hacksaw blades trying to cut up the sandstone, which was hundreds of years old.

After three days, there was a small and spontaneous Diwali Puja. Shri Mataji called me over to Her.

Just do it!’ She said firmly.

Within half an hour, this thing, which had been in many pieces all over the floor, was glued together with Araldite and a little cement, and the next day it was put up on the wall of Pratishthan, where it still is. What I learnt from this is that Shri Mataji wanted me to see this job through to the end, and make sure it got done as She wanted it, and if we do this all the negativity will just disappear.

On the day of the puja, when I was working on the sandstone, I looked around, and all the Pune Sahaja Yogis had arrived. It was the Shri Lakshmi day of Diwali. They had bought a lot of food and drink and wanted to give

this to Shri Mataji because She had never had anything in the house up to then. So we offered Mother a small puja – coconuts and rice, then they offered Mother a cup of tea and something to eat. They also asked Heir for the blessing of rain, because there had been a drought for three years. We all watched through the window, towards the mountains which Shri Mataji said are the Sahasrara of Maharashtra, and watched the rain come over those mountains, and it poured down in Pune for three days and broke the drought.

It was the most beautiful time to be in Pratishthan because Shri Mataji was building it, and you could see She was working it out. You would go there one day and there was a staircase being built, and the next time you went it had completely come down. She was working on so many things. It was like She was working on the universe, and it was being made and rebuilt and destroyed and rebuilt, and there were so many yogis from all over the world and also from India, working on different aspects of Pratishthan. Shri Mataji was so gracious.

Another time we were sitting in Her room and She was talking, and I was there with my young son. Shri Mataji had a bowl of roasted channa (chick peas) next to Her, as She often did in those days. All of a sudden my son got up and walked up to Her, and picked up the channa and started to hand it out to everybody as prasad. I was trying to tell him to come back and sit down. Then Shri Mataji raised Her hand.

It’s all right,’ She said, and he walked around giving out channa to everybody. Then he put the bowl back on the table and sat down.

Gillian Patankar

Divine singing lessons

I heard Shri Mataji singing many times in Pune when She was teaching the Sahaja Yogis the song ‘Ma Teri Jai Ho’ and ‘Bhaya Kaya Taya’, and She taught us others too. 

Deepa Mahajan

Shri Mataji gave vibrations for a few minutes

In 1987 we were celebrating Shri Mataji’s birthday at Mumbai and Debu Chaudery was invited. But when he came, his hand was fractured and he told Shri Mataji he could not play. So She asked to see his hand, and gave vibrations for a few minutes. Then he was able to play the sitar for over an hour.

Videh Saundankar