I got my self realisation on 21st March 1990, after reading The Advent, and went to Ganapatipule for the seminar at the end of that year. I had no expectations, but suddenly felt filled with such joy, peace, tranquility and energy, that sleep just left me and I felt fresh and happy all the time. I heard my own Sahasrara open and enjoyed the subtle fragrance of sandalwood.
Suddenly, poetry started to pour from me, in a few days I had seventeen poems and on the last day I gave them to someone on the stage to present to Shri Mataji. My name was called out but unfortunately I was not in the pendal at that time. The next morning, I met one of the leaders and he asked me why I did not come up on stage when Mother wanted to meet me. I felt bad that I had missed a chance.
The next day we went to the New Year Puja at Mukund factory, at Thane near Mumbai. After the puja we were standing in a queue to present a flower to Mother. Just as I came near the stage, I saw Shri Mataji, still bedecked with a crown, gesturing with Her finger to come. I looked around to see who She was calling, and a leader came near me and asked me my name, which centre I belonged to and through whom I had come to Sahaja Yoga. Each time he went back and forth conveying my replies to Shri Mataji. I saw Her doing a namaste to me and I can never forget the love and compassion in Her eyes. She showed me Her divinity and I realised how She knew me, in spite of my never ever having been introduced to Her.
After my return from my first Ganapatipule visit in December 1990, poetry and songs just flowed out, my inner experiences, and Mother made me an instrument to record them, lest they get lost. Next year, I had the chance to offer two or three songs to Shri Mataji on stage in Ganapatipule. I always had stage fright and remember standing at the side, just as the item before mine was ending. My heart was thumping and I could feel Mother’s eyes on me. Suddenly, She asked for another artiste to come before me. In the meanwhile, She settled my heart and when I went on stage to perform, I was in complete nirvichara (thoughtless awareness). Baba Mama introduced me as a rare Parsi Zorastrian, and said that it was the most difficult thing in the world for a Parsi to take to Sahaja.
The musicians who accompanied me had no idea what I was going to sing, but the moment I started my song, I knew that Mother saw to it that all went well. I was totally unaware of the thousands strong audience or even of Mother sitting in Her sakshat (physical) form in front of me. My soul just sang out the offerings to Her, who was in my heart. As I prostrated before Her seeking Her blessings She told me that I wrote well, and I told Her that it was She who made me write, as I was not even very proficient in the Hindi language, in which I write my songs.
Every time I saw Shri Mataji at the public programmes, I continued to give my poetry offerings. At one programme in Dadar, Mumbai, my son, who is normally always in the background, desired to go up on stage. I asked a Sahaja Yogi brother to take him but he insisted I should also come along. When my turn came I told Mother that my son wanted to see Her.
‘He’s a very good boy,’ She remarked. Then She introduced me to a Parsi gentleman, saying, ‘Here is a Parsi Sahaja Yogini who writes good poetry’, and told him that She carried my poetry in Her purse. With hindsight I realise that She was only testing my ego, but I fell for the ruse and had one for some time. What is my poetry in comparison to One who is a Master of poetry! I told Her that my son suffered from migraines, and She gave me a simple remedy of giving a teaspoonful of dry powdered ginger with powdered sugar, every morning for a week during cooler months. She joked with the Parsi gentleman, how our Parsi food was spicy and oily, and this creates all this trouble.
Ritam bara prAgnya
There was a gathering at Pratishthan one day and we were in the garden on the lawn, about five or six of us. It was the day after a puja and Shri Mataji allowed some of the ladies to wash the red kumkum from the puja off Her Feet. She explained ritam bara prAgnya, the power of nature that rules the change in atmosphere and nourishes all the trees and plants. This is also the power which enables you to meet the person you were thinking about. This connection is made through the ritam bara prAgnya.
She spoke about many other things, and about making a Satya Marg Sahaja political party. She was saying how a political party should be, how it should be constituted – a constitution of truth, a political party on the path of truth. This is the meaning of the words Satya Marg. There had been a bandit queen and she had eventually been caught, but she stood for election and got into power. Shri Mataji said under the rule of truth, the true way, this would not happen, and instead there would be rehabilitation centres for such people like her, where they could come to the right understanding of how to behave in society.
She also spoke about the importance of free education for girls, and that they should have all the facilities for education. At that time the head of the opposition party in Maharashtra came to see Shri Mataji, and sure enough is party did instigate this policy when they came to power soon after. She gave him advice on a lot of subjects, on orphans, economics, et cetera, and he was able to carry out a few of Her suggestions including the free education.
When this gentleman came, he did aarti to Shri Mataji and She spoke to him for some time, and what should be done, and although he was not on a position of power when he came to see Her, it was just before the election. He got in with a very big majority. After some years, he had a heart problem and was in hospital. Shri Mataji personally went to see him and cured him in the hospital. After that he was able to go home.
My mother’s place
In 1991, our family was called to Pratishthan by Shri Mataji. Actually my dad was looking after all Shri Mataji’s transportation. Sir C.P wanted to send some material to Delhi on an urgent basis, and was worrying about safe delivery of the material.
‘Don’t worry, Mr Shingwekar is there. He is from my mother’s place (i.e. Shingve village), so better you don’t worry,’ Shri Mataji said to Sir CP, and added that our surname should be Shrigaonkar, meaning one who comes from the holy village, instead of Shingwekar.
We felt very nice and humbly bowed down to Her Lotus Feet. At that time I was just six years old and my sister Praju was four. Shri Mataji said to my parents that Her grandmother, named Jadhav, also used to live in Shingve village.
It was about 1991, in Delhi. I was travelling with Shri Mataji, and asked Her a question which had been in my mind.
‘What is the thin line dividing self-respect and ego?’
‘A person who has self-respect has no ego,’ Mother replied.
It was a very joyous moment
Shivaratri Puja, New Delhi, 9th February, 1991. The puja was performed in a pendal in front of the Delhi Ashram at Kutab Minar. As I was only two years in Sahaja Yoga I was sitting near the front so as to see the puja and Shri Mataji from close up. I had my camera with me was very enthusiastic to take Mother’s photo.
I took one photo when Shri Mataji was arriving, and some during the puja. After the puja was over the music was going on, and Shri Mataji asked for someone to come and take a photo of Her Lotus Feet. As I was sitting in the front I was asked to come on the stage and take one. It was a very joyous moment and I was very thankful to Shri Mataji for giving me that opportunity.
On the 6th of March 1991 Shri Mataji was talking to me on the stage during one of the public programmes held in Delhi. She asked me to come and see Her the following day. She was staying at the main Sahaja Ashram in New Delhi. Accompanying me was my brother and my work director.
‘I have established his realisation,’ Shri Mataji said after giving my director realisation. After this She discussed various issues with him, including Stri Dhan. This is the jewellery made out of precious metals that the girl receives when she gets married. Shri Mataji said it should be kept for her.
This photo was taken after I had sung at a puja at Delhi in the early 1990’s. Shri Mataji called me on stage to tell me where I needed to correct my singing.
A very special moment
This photo, with Shri Mataji in white, is a special moment, when She actually gave me the divine words for my compositions, expressing Her moments of joy. She has Her eyes closed and was in the midst of the creation.
Sit with them, but do not drink with them
Around 1991, in Delhi, Shri Mataji asked me to practice Criminal Law. I said one has to sit with police officers in the evening and drink alcohol in order to get work.
‘You can sit with them, but you do not have to drink with them,’ Shri Mataji said.
The following year, certain French journalists were writing against Sahaja Yoga, and Shri Mataji said not to go to court but to go to the Press Council.
Later, I asked Shri Mataji why I could not go thoughtless. Shri Mataji said I should put ice on my liver and do footsoak with my right leg in cold water.
A play in Marathi
It was a time in Delhi in the nineties when Shri Mataji invited a few yogis to watch a Marathi play with Her. My brother, my mum and I were fortunate to receive this invitation. At that time my mum was very new to Sahaja Yoga and could hardly feel any vibrations. So we three went to see the play, and it was in Marathi, a language we could not understand. However we were enjoying the blissful vibrations. My mum, because she was so new, was getting little bit frustrated at not being able to understand and feel anything. A few times she expressed her desire to leave, and wanted us both to come along with her.
Half way through there was an intermission. My mum by that time was totally exhausted and said to me and my brother very strongly that we were leaving. Hearing this, of course my brother and I were not happy, but could not refuse our mother’s request. Consequently, we started walking down the corridor to leave and just then saw Mother and Sir CP walking towards us from the opposite direction. As soon as we saw them, we namaskared to them. Shri Mataji replied with Her beautiful smile.
‘Samajh aa raha hai na?’ She said in Hindi, looking at my mum, meaning, ‘Can you understand this?’
‘Yes,’ my mum replied.
‘Toh phir baithiye,’ Shri Mataji said on hearing this, meaning, ‘Then go and sit inside.’
After this we three went back to the hall, sat and enjoyed the play all the more as then vibrations by then were much stronger. Also my mum could feel the divine love and bliss and throughout the whole of the rest of the play she did not ask us to leave. For this, my brother and I thanked Shri Mataji wholeheartedly, as we never wanted to leave.
Please make me worthy of Shri Mataji’s attention
When I was in Madras, (Chennai), on the India foreigners’ tour in 1991, I got an infected foot. It was very painful. At one point a very kind gentleman drove me and another yogini to a doctor. When he had to leave from there he had to go directly to where Shri Mataji was staying. I’d previously been thinking how unlucky I was to have an injured foot, but then I got to go and sit outside the house where Shri Mataji was in and I thought, ‘I’m so lucky, it can’t get any better than this.’ Then we were invited inside into the kitchen of the house and were offered prasad from Shri Mataji’s meal. I thought, ‘It got even better, unbelievably.’
Then someone came out and asked the yogis I was with, and me, if we would you like to come into Shri Mataji’s room, so I got to go into Shri Mataji’s room and do namaskar and sit at Shri Mataji’s Feet. I felt the world sort of tilt as I namaskared and then sat up. I was sitting in a position where I could see Shri Mataji’s Feet, and it was so crowded that a lot of other yogis would not have been able to. As I came out I couldn’t even feel myself walking on the ground and this golden light was everywhere. I felt so light and joyful, and that lasted until I woke up the next morning.
This had started because I’d been sitting on a beach in the morning, after foot soaking, and I had just prayed, ‘Shri Ganesha, please make me worthy of Shri Mataji’s attention,’ and then I had seen so many vibrations flash at me. Later in the day all this had happened, and I thought, ‘OK. I’ve been considered worthy!’
This is Shri Ganesha
In 1990 or 1991 a group of about twelve Russians, including me, went to India for the Christmas Puja and after this we were invited to Shri Mataji’s house, Pratishthan. Shri Mataji invited us to Her room on the second floor. On a floor there were some beautiful warm sweaters of different colours. She told us take all to take a sweater. We were not greedy, and did not want our Mother to spend so much money on us. We felt so happy and joyous, so we sat down and did not move.
‘Please, take one – they are natural, very warm, pure wool. It is so cold in your country (Russia), so also take some warm woolen socks, please,’ She continued.
So much love and care were in this talk that we finally took all of what we were offered. On the previous day we had given Shri Mataji our presents. My daughter, Natasha, had given me a picture she had painted, and I gave it to Shri Mataji. There was an ocean, a beach with sand, and sky, but the colours were unusual, like in all the paintings of the famous Russian artist, Rerih. When I asked Natasha what it was, and she had replied, ‘Ocean, sand and sky.’ So I gave Shri Mataji this picture.
‘This is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji said.
‘No, Shri Mataji, this is ocean, sand and sky,’ I replied.
‘This is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji said again.
‘No, Shri Mataji, This is ocean, sand and sky,’ I repeated, remembering what my daughter had said.
‘No, this is Shri Ganesha,’ Shri Mataji replied again.
I stopped arguing. Back home, I asked Natasha if it was Shri Ganesha, she replied that it was, and was the planet Mars, the planet of Shri Ganesha.
Shri Mataji’s sunflowers
Shri Mataji experimented with sunflowers in Her farmhouse in Pune and produced tremendously big ones, more than 12 inches in diameter. They were very heavy and gave on the average 250 mg. of oil. This was reported in the newspaper. The photo shows Shri Mataji with the outsize sunflowers.
Overwhelmed with joy
We had a wonderful puja near Pune in 1991, and most people were already on the buses to leave for the next stay on our pilgrimage. I just enjoyed sitting in the bus, after putting all the luggage and suitcases on top of the buses with many other guys.
Suddenly there was a voice calling for volunteers. They were looking for people who would stay back in Pune for some days to do some work. It was not clear what or for how many days. As there were no people listening to this request I started to feel uncomfortable and in the end found myself with seven or eight other brothers, just with overnight luggage. We took a car to the workplace, and it turned out to be Pratishthan. I felt happy that we had the chance to do our work in the house of Shri Mataji.
I was overwhelmed with joy when it was announced that we have to do our service in the presence of Shri Mataji. Indeed, She stayed with us, giving us all personal advice. I asked myself why my brothers had such joyful faces while cleaning some shoes. Then I realised that these shoes were those of our Holy Mother, and everything was clear, they were so drenched in bliss.
My task was to sort out and find the right keys to a number of suitcases. On a small table I found an immense number of keys. Finally I found a key to open the first suitcase, but no key was found to open the next suitcase, and I got quite nervous. In between I watched another Sahaja Yogi take some saris out from other suitcases. Suddenly Shri Mataji looked to him.
‘You see this sari which you have in your hand, that was of …such and such a puja which your country gave to Me,’ She mentioned, to his surprise.
‘Yes Shri Mataji, You are right!’ he called out in joy.
A short time later, I felt my centre heart suddenly. It had cost me quite something, to look over towards Shri Mataji. Her attention was fully on me and after inhaling deeply the beating of my heart calmed down. Now something completely great and new in my consciousness happened, during Shri Mataji’s attention on me, I had an intuition. I felt the movement of my hand and took a certain key from the large quantity, and was able directly to close a certain suitcase. I was sure I did not do anything.
It was Shri Mataji who was leading my hand and when I looked at Her radiant face, a smile of Her deep love affected my heart. This experience fulfilled me with deep confidence in God. It was first time as it came into my consciousness that the intimate connection to Shri Mataji worked so directly.
A guide at Ajanta
Once after the India tour Shri Mataji invited some of us to go to Pratishthan. Sometimes people would come to get realisation, or to get worked on. Shri Mataji asked some of us to come and help and give vibrations to them. Once there was a man who wanted to get realisation. Shri Mataji cricked his neck and then asked me to work on him. It was very motherly, the relationship She established with us.
‘You should go to Ajanta, to see the caves,’ She said one evening, so two or three of us went. We wanted to see the caves for ourselves, without a guide. We had not had good experiences with guides and there was one man who kept trying to push himself on us, so we said no, we didn’t want a guide. We got back to Pratishthan, and Shri Mataji spoke to us.
‘Did you take a guide?’ She enquired. When I said I had not, I felt She was not so happy. Maybe the guide was supposed to get his realisation.