Chapter 01: 1990 January and February, India and Singapore

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

How Shri Mataji looks after each and every one of us

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

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

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

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

GK Datta

Resolving a quarrel

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

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

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

Abhimanyu Naikare

How politely She talked

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

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

Prakash Khote

The coolest Mangal Sutra

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

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

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

Lene Jeffrey

To touch Her Feet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has good vibrations,’ said Shri Mataji.

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

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

Touch them.’

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

Hari Krishnan

Home

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

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

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

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

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

She had pulled me home to Her Feet.

Ruth Eleanore

A dream of Shri Mataji sitting in our car

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

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

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

SB Singh

Shri Mataji had listened to my request and blessed me

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

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

Kamala Singh

Welcome, Mother of the universe!

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Agnya is not clearing,’ someone said.

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

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

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

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

Vinod Munjanath

The first Bangalore puja

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

No Mother,’ the centre leader said.

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

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

Pour faster,’ Shri Mataji said.

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

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

Vinod Munjanath

At the airport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vinod Munjanath

A rendezvous with the Divine Mother

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

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

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

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

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

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

WB Ng

Shri Mataji at Singapore airport in 1990

Meeting Shri Mataji for the first time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KT Tan