I would like to share a brief summary of Shri Mataji`s tryst with a great realised ascetic, Gagangiri Maharaj. My dad was with Shri Mataji at that time and I would like to enumerate whatever he experienced there. This meeting happened sometime in the 1970’s. Gagangiri Maharaj lived near a place called Khopoli, in Maharashtra, which is between Mumbai and Pune. His ashram was located on a small hilltop where he used to stay with his disciples. Once Shri Mataji expressed a desire to meet him and She, along with a few yogis, went to meet him. The following are some of the excerpts from their conversation.
‘Mother, I knew that You would come on this particular day to give me self realisation,’ Gagangiri Maharaj began. ‘I have been waiting for this time for thousands of years. By severe penances and by living an austere life I have been able to clean every chakra form the Mooladhara to the Agnya, but I knew that finally You would help me to jump from the Agnya to the Sahasrara to obtain beatitude and bliss. When You were climbing the hill, I could see You in Your original form of Adi Shakti, accompanied by all the deities dancing in the procession.’
He then offered Shri Mataji a sari and looked at all the yogis who were there with Her.
‘Mother, why are You giving so much to all these people?’ he went on. ‘Do they understand the real worth of it? Do they understand what they have achieved so easily? It took me thousands of years to get my realisation. I had to go through severe penances and live an austere life.’
‘You are a guru and cannot be a mother,’ She replied. ‘I am the Mother and cannot be a guru like you. A mother always gives everything to her children selflessly. A guru will expect his disciple to go through all the hardships before he gets the blessings but a mother cannot do that. So, now you have achieved such a state, then why don’t you help Me in My work?’
‘As You say Mother. I was not lucky enough to have a mother like You, before,’ Gagangiri Maharaj said, and to the yogis added, ‘You all are very lucky to get so much from Mother Herself. So understand the worth of it and grow.’
The next morning, Shri Mataji woke up early and was sitting on the swing outside the ashram. My dad had also woken up by then and he observed that two disclike objects were revolving around Shri Mataji for almost thirty to forty-five minutes.
‘You can leave,” She then said and both of them soared high in the sky with tremendous speed and disappeared. My dad then asked Mother about this and She told him that sometimes Shri Hanumana and Shri Bhairava wanted to be with Her and that the two discs he saw were them.
My greatest good fortune
I came in Sahaja Yoga around 1977. My brother was in Pune at that time and I used to go to many gurus with him. He told me that Shri Mataji had arrived at Rajwada, a large building like a small castle. He said he was going there and if I wanted I could go with him, so we went to meet Shri Mataji.
When I reached there I came to know that the owner of that house was very sick with a knee problem. He could not walk at all and lived all the time on the second floor of the house.
‘Where is the owner of this house?’ Shri Mataji asked when She came there. Someone from the house mentioned that he was upstairs. ‘Tell him that Shri Mataji has come here and he should come down,’ said Shri Mataji, so the people from the house told Her about the knee problem and said that that he could not even walk four steps, so he would not be able to come down. Shri Mataji said to them, ‘Oh, nothing is like that. This time he will come down; at least tell him to come down,’ and he walked down on his own and bowed down to Shri Mataji.
In that house there was an altar that Shri Mataji liked very much. She said that it had some yogic power and the place was very sacred and important. We were about twenty people there and most of us, like me, had come to see Her for the first time. Shri Mataji asked us to have a havan and She pointed at me and told me to say the names and mantras for the havan, 1008 names of the Devi. We also did a puja to Shri Mataji.
She gave me realisation. She put Her hand on my forehead and spoke to me, and worked hard on me. I did not feel the importance what I got that time and Her working on me.
‘You have received self realisation,’ She said, but now at this stage of my life I know that it is my greatest good fortune that I met with Shri Mataji.
Give the garland to Shri Mataji
Once, a few of us went to Rahuri. The Rahuri people wanted to garland all the people from Mumbai.
‘Give the garland to Shri Mataji,’ someone whispered in my ear when it was my turn, because Shri Mataji was standing there and had no garland. So I took the garland and gave it to Her, but Shri Mataji took off the garland and put it on me! I did not know whether to take it or not.
I know you want it
Once at Rahuri when I was seventeen, I was quite late for lunch. There was just one place on the left hand side of Shri Mataji and I had to take it. They began serving the meal and they gave us chapattis without butter or ghee. For Shri Mataji, it was with ghee. I like chapattis with ghee. They brought three or four chapattis for Shri Mataji and She suddenly took one chapatti and put it on my dish. I just had a small dish.
‘No, no, Mother,’ I said.
‘I know you want it.’
Mother knew what you wanted.
Now I have told you
Let me tell you about the programme of Ahmadabad. The family with whom we had to stay were Jains and there was only one Sahaja Yogi. This yogi had a very big bungalow. I waited at the house while the family went to the station to receive Mother, who arrived and saw me.
‘You have come again for Me!’ She exclaimed, and we shared the same room. ‘How can I sleep alone? You have to be with Me.’ Mother said. During the time She slept, the vibrations would descend on Her like a sky all around Her with stars like a small universe surrounding. In the morning, I told Mother what I had seen.
‘This is what has to be witnessed,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘It is your good fortune that you have witnessed all this. Without you, who would have taken care of Me?’
I would prepare tea and food for Mother, as the family we were living with had plenty of food restrictions.
‘The divine has sent you,’ Mother would say again and again.
‘Yes, Mother,’ I said, ‘You are divine and You have called me.’
We would talk for hours together; even have our tea and food together. Since I come from the family of Devi bhaktas, we did all that we could to worship the Devi, like the washing of feet, etc.
The first programmes were at Bordi and once, while returning we saw all the stars following Mother. When She was sleeping, all the stars covered Her and the whole room was filled with scintillating, sparkling stars. The next day, I told Mother about what I had seen the previous night.
‘That’s what I am, and in fact I am everything. Now I have told you,’ She said.
In 1977 at Pune, we gathered there again with Shri Mataji for a puja and a havan. That time there was collective contribution for the programme of five rupees per head. I had strong thoughts that one or only a few people should raise funds and host the programme. In Maharashtra, usually only a few people spend for the whole of a religious gathering, because those who have devotion but not the possibility to pay money, what they will do? So I asked Shri Mataji if it would be better for a few people to pay, who wanted to, instead of the expenses being shared by the entire collective?
Shri Mataji said to me that when you do it collectively it will sustain and grow, and the other way it will not.
About five hundred people would come
There was a place called Amarind Mandir, and in 1977 and 1978 we used to have meetings and there would be a theme – say Kundalini, or left side. One time some negative person threw a stone, as it was in the open air, with a stage, and it landed on the mike near Shri Mataji. In those days about four or five hundred people would come, and nowadays we have the programmes in Shivaji Park, where 200,000 people can come. We used to have programmes in different places around the suburbs of Mumbai.
Shri Mataji is the only doer
Shri Mataji’s programme was to be arranged in 1978 at Paud, now a suburb of Pune, and my brother took some politicians to arrange it. They did this, but they were not in a humble state and were full of pride. They gathered at one place with a jeep to receive Shri Mataji and planned that Her car would go in the front. They would then follow in their jeep with some sort of a funny ego, but it happened that Shri Mataji came two hours late. Before She arrived there, at the place where the political workers’ jeep was waiting, the tyres of the jeep lost their air, so they could not receive Shri Mataji as they planned. Shri Mataji’s car came and passed by and went on towards a temple of the Devi. The programmes were arranged in a big hall nearby, which belonged to the political workers. After Shri Mataji’s car passed by, some time later the tyres of the jeep somehow got their air back like before.
When Shri Mataji was coming out of the temple to go to the hall, a bee’s nest swarmed near the programme hall, and all around the hall bees started flying, and everyone ran away from the place. The organisers were disappointed that all their arrangements had collapsed and programme was cancelled, but they realised that this was how their pride and ego got exposed. They went to Shri Mataji and asked what they should do.
‘Don’t worry, we will work it out in this village, which is on the way,’ Shri Mataji said, and they had the programme there, and also dinner. We realised that Shri Mataji is the only doer, we are just instruments to work it out. After that we went to Bhoogao, another village, and all that area, and Shri Mataji awakened all those places and holy land for Sahaja Yoga.
If anyone will try to trouble my devotees, I will not tolerate it
My brother Vidhyadhar Kalantri was working in the Revenue Department of the Collector’s Office. In the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, in Pune, Shri Mataji told to him that we should do programmes to spread Sahaja Yoga, and he agreed.
‘So, which holy places are around here?’ Shri Mataji asked him. He told Her about the places that are related to Sopandev, the brother of Shri Gyaneshwara, the great Maharastrian saint who was an incarnation of Shri Kartikeya, and some more holy places around. ‘We can go to spread Sahaja Yoga at these places,’ Shri Mataji said. At that time we were about ten or twenty people practising Sahaja Yoga, and because my brother was in a government job he was able to arrange programmes around the villages, arranging venues, transport etc.
We went with Shri Mataji to a temple near Saswad, Pune, and there were beggars around the temple. One of them was blind and he was a Muslim. Shri Mataji pointed at him and told us to call the beggar, so we brought him to Shri Mataji. She asked him to stand up straight, then started giving him vibrations, and at the same time Shri Mataji asked us to move our hands around him to give him vibrations. In a while he got his vision back he could see. We felt very blessed that Shri Mataji made us instruments in this divine work.
This was like in the story of Shri Krishna, when He lifted the huge Govardhan mountain, at the same time He asked all of the people to join hands and lift it. All the cowherds supported the mountain, but it was actually lifted by Shri Krishna. Nevertheless, he gave joy to all the collective and made it seem that they were part of the support to lift the mountain. I felt blessed in the same way, when Shri Mataji asked us to give vibrations to this blind man.
Then we entered the temple, a samadhi of a realised saint. Shri Mataji sat next to it, and at that time the place of the samadhi was open. She touched it and moved Her hand around it with all compassion.
‘This son of Mine suffered a lot,’ Shri Mataji said about that realised saint, ‘but from now on if anyone will try to trouble My devotees, I will not tolerate it.’ She told us not to worry and just to practice Sahaja Yoga, and if anybody tries to trouble us, She would take care of them. Before was different, and the devotees suffered a lot and had no protection.
‘Now I have come to you as a Mother, and from now on whoever tries to trouble Sahaja Yogis or make them suffer or come against them, I will make them straight or give them a left and right.’ Shri Mataji again touched and moved Her hand on the samadhi three times, until She had tears in Her eyes, She again looked at us and told us to be without worries and just practice Sahaja Yoga and She would take notice if someone troubles us.
Why don’t you give in the fourth dimension?
It was January or February 1978. My family and I went to Jaipur and there was a very special sari, which we bought for Shri Mataji and also a number of pearls. These were not real pearls, but looking quite real. My father bought them and I went and gave them to Her.
‘Why are you giving this to Me?’ She asked. So I gave Her, I thought, a smart reply, saying all that You give us is in the fourth dimension and this is all in the third dimension, so it is nothing.
‘Why don’t you give Me in the fourth dimension? Why are you giving Me in the third dimension?’ She said. I still remember that reply.
The classic photo
Way back in 1978, I was staying in Mumbai, with an old Sahaja Yogi. He told me about the photo that we give to new people, the black and white one. It was one of the very first formal photos of Mother. He had taken Mother to a photographer’s studio in Mumbai and Mother had the photo taken in the studio by the photographer. The sari was pink with a gold border.
Humans make mistakes
In 1974 Mother went to Delhi, and She also went to Madras (Chennai) at that time. She was invited by the Indian Government to go to Colombo, Shri Lanka, but it didn’t work out, in about 1978. Mother had planned everything in great detail, and a lot of yogis wanted to go too, for the wrong reasons, because Colombo was a free port and things were very cheap there, so She cancelled it.
One time an Australian brought some electronic goods for us – a flash for the camera and the only tape recorder we had at that time, and things like that. Mother said we should never ask people to bring things from overseas, and She would not want us to ask them for things like that, and said no material relationship should be there between the foreigners and us.
In 1978, I had finished one part of my studies and had a year before continuing. My father told me to be with Shri Mataji. There were about eight to ten Sahaja Yogis mostly from the UK. Shri Mataji asked me to take them out, and to the cinema. Sometimes the visitors would have cool drinks, and I would pay, but I didn’t have much money as I was just a student.
The next year when the Sahaja Yogis came, there was a public programme in Borivali, and in the evening there were about ten to fifteen Sahaja Yogis. We had been lent a bungalow and were staying there.
‘Let Avdhut take you there, but don’t allow him to spend any money on you, because he has spent a lot on you out of his pocket,’ Shri Mataji said. She knows everything.