She loved me very much that day
Mother was going to come to Mumbai by plane and it was the Sankranti Day, 14th January 1982, and we went to see Her at the airport. Hundreds of people were there and it was the first time I saw Her. When Mother arrived, Niranjan, my husband, introduced me as his wife and Mother took both my hands in Her hands and praised me like anything.
‘Oh, she has got realisation. She is a realised soul,’ She said.
Tears came in my eyes and I bowed down. It was a miracle that I had realisation.
From the 14th January, I became a Sahaja Yogini and at the end of the year, on 28th December, we went to Lonavala to Mother’s puja there. It was our first wedding anniversary. We went to see Mother with some sweets and we gave them out to many people. Mother labelled us ‘a one year old Sahaja Yogi couple,’ and gave us gifts and a beautiful room to stay in for three days. She gave me a beautiful sari, which I still have with me, and a suit piece cloth for my husband Niranjan. She loved me very much that day, like a daughter-in-law.
She took me home
In 1982 I came to India a little before the other Sahaja Yogis. One day the plane carrying some others was supposed to be coming in from Canada. I went to meet the plane and it turned out it was going to be delayed by more than twelve hours, so I came back into town from Mumbai airport on the bus and got down at the wrong stop.
I had very little idea where I was, and didn’t know Mumbai at all. I realised I was round the area of the Jaslok Hospital and remembered that Shri Mataji’s mailing address in Mumbai was sometimes near the Jaslok Hospital. I went into the reception area of the hospital, and completely by chance met Shri Mataji, and She took me home to where She was staying.
I went into meditation
The India tour began with a public programme. It had finished by the time we foreigners got there and at that time after the programme everybody used to go to Shri Mataji’s Feet. There would be a line on one side of the stage. So we stood at the end of the line and when we got to Her, She told me to sit down on Her right hand side a little way away.
I went into meditation. When my eyes were open I saw this reasonably ordinary scene of Shri Mataji talking to different people, and people coming to Her Feet. But when my eyes were closed, I saw Her as if She was casting the Sudarshan chakra on Her right index finger at me. I had come from Canada, and in the Virata the right Vishuddhi is Canada. It was the first time the Canadian Sahaja Yogis had come on the India tour, and there were four of us.
A true spiritual connection
I first met Shri Mataji in Mumbai, India, in January 1982. It was at the end of a public programme, and She was still sitting on a chair on the stage, meeting people. I was told to go up and introduce myself. She said something to me, and I bowed to Her, and then sat on the stage near Her and watched Her. I had been practising Sahaja Yoga meditation for less than a month, and I did not accept any of the stories or theories which I had heard about Sahaja Yoga or Shri Mataji.
I had one amazing experience: once I sat with about ninety other people in India, around Shri Mataji. We entered a state of Sahaja meditation – all of us. Inside my being was exquisite silence. I felt calm and comfortable inside myself. And then I discovered that Shri Mataji and I were one. She asked, where on my head was my attention. And at that moment, that was exactly where my attention was! She was feeling exactly what I was feeling, as if we shared the same nervous system.
A few minutes later, She said where the attention had moved to, and again, that was where my attention had moved to. In this awareness somehow I was connected to Shri Mataji, I entered a state of ecstasy, of divine bliss. I had only one thought: ‘Please don’t stop’. Only now can I more fully appreciate how that one experience taught me that the intimacy of a true spiritual connection is absolutely immaculate and pure. Shri Mataji’s first name is Nirmala, which means immaculate.
I was transformed
I got my realisation on 1st December 1981 in Vancouver, Canada, and shortly after that, three other Canadians and I decided to go on the India tour, and we left in early January 1982.
I cannot ever forget the evening we arrived in India. We were met at the airport in Mumbai by some lovely Indian Sahaja Yogis who took us in a bus directly to a train station and from there to a public programme which was just coming to a close. There were about twenty-five of us and we were instructed to quietly enter along the back of the stage and just be seated while Shri Mataji finished giving realisation and speaking to the group. We sat down and watched and I remember feeling such an amazing flow of vibrations coming from Her, like waves of joy which just seemed to envelope us all.
Following that, each of us was introduced to Shri Mataji personally and each of us bowed down to Her. It was difficult to speak in Her presence and even to say my name, as I felt quite tongue-tied and irreverent, trying to speak at all. I just wanted to look at Her and enjoy Her. After that we were told to wait outside for the buses to come and take us to our overnight stay. I found it difficult to speak to anyone.
During that tour, which took us almost into the middle of March, many amazing things happened to me which at the time I could not explain and did not totally understand. One of the first things that was said to me about Shri Mataji was that She was the Adi Shakti – told to me by an Australian yogini in a very casual conversation. I didn’t know what that meant, or the significance and yet it seemed like a very powerful title. I later became aware of its meaning, or at least the literal translation.
I was touched in a very deep way
That first year, Shri Mataji would often check our vibrations every few days or so to see how we were progressing. Each time I would bow in front of Her, I could feel such powerful vibrations. On some occasions when I would go before Her, I would feel confusion and embarrassment because my chakras were so caught up.
About two thirds of the way through the trip, after we had just completed a long procession through a village with Shri Mataji riding on a bullock cart along with us, we all rested for some time at the end and then were asked to come before Her. This was the first time I felt totally thoughtless and when I sat up to look at Her, after bowing, She raised Her eyebrows and smiled at me with such approval. It was so wonderful to see Her pleased, like a child who has seen their Mother approving their state of cleanliness.
Every day on that tour I was touched in a very deep way but the most profound was when we had just visited a girl’s school. Shri Mataji was walking with us towards Her car and the buses and said to me that I must not be in the direct sun because it was heating my liver. She told me to protect myself by putting my sari over my head.
The vision in Her eyes
We had been at a programme in the afternoon and at the end I was sitting with a group of young Maharashtrian girls. One of them gave me a container of kumkum for putting the red bindi on my forehead. She suggested taking it up to Shri Mataji to ask Her to vibrate it. I wasn’t sure what the girl meant, but decided to approach Shri Mataji. She was sitting on an elevated platform and it was necessary to look up to see Her, as Her Feet were about the height of a table. When I held out my hand with the kumkum in it, I looked into Shri Mataji’s eyes and it was as if She revealed the whole universe to me. I did not understand until later, when reading the Mahabharata, that Shri Krishna had done this with Arjuna.
For about eight hours afterwards I literally could not talk and people wondered what was wrong with me! I couldn’t express the way it had felt to see that vision in Her eyes. That is perhaps the moment I understood, at least more completely, who Shri Mataji was.
Presents, healing and help with a sari
Shri Mataji was so kind and gentle and we were all so full of nonsense. At various villages, while She gave realisation, we were given opportunities to lie in shady schoolrooms nearby and rest. We would fall asleep listening to Her voice over the amplifiers.
She sent us to bathe in rivers and sometimes came and sat on the bank with Her Feet in the water to give it vibrations. She kept inquiring if we had enough to eat and if the food was alright. She came to our rooms and suggested that the Spirit is always tidy and that we needed to be sensitive to that.
Shri Mataji gave us presents at every opportunity. With Her own hands She gave us each item. Gave to each one of us, with Her own hands, little bottles of rare scent distilled from flowers, or from the sea, and even from the earth (Hina). There were gifts of prayer-mats and pottery birds – ducks, which She told us were to make us lighter, and swans, to give us discrimination, all made from the clay of Maharashtra vibrated by the feet of so many incarnations and saints. And She gave us little gold-plated Shri Ganeshas, because Shri Mataji said we needed a little of that element in our pujas.
On countless occasions then we went to Her Feet for cleansing. We were so full of catches, and She worked on us all the time. We watched Her hands as they moved Her invisible weapons. A flick of the wrist as a discus was thrown, and then, a few seconds later, She would catch it.
Once at a public programme we had tried to clear a difficult right heart catch on an elderly lady. Then Shri Mataji came up, looked at the lady’s back and took up the stance of archery and fired the arrow! We felt the catch go and looked at each other and smiled. No wonder we couldn’t move that catch.
Once as we were leaving our guest house for a programme, Mother stopped a yogini who was looking very dishevelled. She called the women to stand around in a screen and then swiftly removed and replaced the same cotton sari which had previously looked so crumpled and shabby and now was crisp and elegant.
‘I designed the sari to be worn firmly,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘It goes around you three and a half times. It must be firm, and the part which goes over the shoulder is loose so you can play with it and re-arrange it, that is very feminine.’ Auspiciousness in every detail! The lady in question looked totally transformed of course.
A tiger safari
We came into Nagpur one morning, early, and were still climbing out of our sleeping bunks.
‘Shri Mataji is here,’ the word came. And there She was, in a bright yellow sari, shining in at the window and telling us to be sure to lock the windows before coming with Her to the jungle.
At the jungle camp we sat around Her chair and She warned us not to go into the lake or the crocodiles might eat our toes! She sent us on a night-time safari in trucks and asked us to notice how quiet the jungle became when we saw the tigers. We were always forgetting this idea of quiet, always talking among ourselves. Once we were delayed at a hotel while our passports had to be re-examined by some authority. We became agitated because we were about an hour late for a meeting in a park with Shri Mataji.
‘Why are you all catching on left Nabhi?’ She asked when we arrived and sat before Her. Someone said that we were afraid we would miss Her because of the delay.
‘I am your Mother. I will always find you,’ She said, and how could we miss Her? Then She took us to the movies to see a modern film about a housewife who was really a goddess in disguise, and at the interval Shri Mataji bought us all ice creams.
No wonder we couldn’t move that one
In Nagpur, in February 1982, there was an elderly lady who had gone to school with Shri Mataji and this lady had a right heart catch, which some of us tried to help to clear, but eventually asked her to sit and wait for Shri Mataji, who was walking around the crowd. Shri Mataji came and greeted the woman and chatted for a minute and then She just stood behind her and placed an invisible arrow in an invisible bow and very obviously drew the string back and fired the arrow and we felt the heart clear.
‘Well, no wonder we couldn’t move that one!’ we said, and looked at each other.
All the time Shri Mataji was there
In 1982 I went on my first India tour. It started in the first week of January and continued until March. There were only eighty-two yogis, mostly English, some Europeans and Americans and large number of Australians. We travelled around Maharashtra in local buses, with no suspension and very hard seats. It was hot sweaty, uncomfortable, physically demanding and one of the most amazing spiritual experiences of my life.
We got to see Shri Mataji nearly every day as we followed Her from town to village to town. She arranged the itinerary so we would visit special spiritual places such as Sitaji’s bathing place in the forest where Rama and Sita were exiled, the temple high up on a hill where Shri Ramdas, the incarnation of Shri Hanuman, took his samadhi, and the town near to where the Adi Guru Shri Sai Nath of Shirdi spent much of his life.
We bathed in cool rivers and lakes with soft mud and came out sparklingly refreshed and clean. Shri Mataji arranged for us to go to see classic Indian movies such as Mother India, Ganga and others which featured very strong spiritual women who were undaunted by life’s challenges and persevered through it all. Memories of these women and these movies helped deeply to shape my early understanding of Sahaja Yoga and the power of the woman.
There were wonderful processions arranged for Shri Mataji through village streets. She would be on a bullock cart lined with palm leaves, with supremely joyful devotees dancing along in front of Her. There were evening programmes filled with hundreds of new seekers, or small intimate gatherings where we would sit at Mother’s Feet and She would talk to us and ask how we were, and take us deeper into the depths of a spiritual plane where there were no words to describe the feelings of lightness and heavenliness that surrounded one. The whole atmosphere would become charged with vibrations and impregnated with in a way one never felt before – accompanied at times by deep physical pains. All the time Shri Mataji was there, guiding us through, comforting us and steadily and thoroughly breaking down all our conditionings and westernisations. The tour culminated of course in marriages.
In 1982 I was on tour with my name on the list to be married. There were about of thirty of us on this list and it was to be one of the first Western collective marriages in Delhi.
One afternoon when we were all sitting in front of Shri Mataji She suddenly asked everyone who had their name on this list to stand up. She then proceeded to methodically introduce each person to the group one at a time and to describe the good points and bad points of each candidate. She was very honest and left no skeletons in the cupboard. I was quite shocked at Her candour.
After Shri Mataji had finished She asked everyone to go away and think about those on the list and to write on a piece of paper who we would like to marry. I was very surprised and found this very difficult to do. I had always thought Shri Mataji would save me the difficulty and choose for me.
However a very nice match was found for me. We were told that we could only speak to our fiancés for two minutes each day and the wedding was in ten days’ time. We were instructed not to talk about our past at all.
A completely new beginning
As the time for the marriages approached, one afternoon it was announced that Shri Mataji had especially asked a merchant to bring wedding saris for the brides to choose from and we should come and select one.
The tables were laid out with shimmering deep reds, verdant greens and soft pinks all embroidered with stunning gold trim and brocade. I was drawn to a pink one but felt this was too left sided for me and that I should branch out and change my style for my wedding. I really wanted a red one, but someone else took it. In the end I took the pink one, urged onto me by my sisters, although I did not feel quite right about this. At the same time my friend found a multi coloured one, heavily embroidered with silver. No one had ever seen anything like it. She was completely awestruck.
‘Isn’t this beautiful! What do you think? I really love it,’ she asked me.
I felt it was way too flamboyant. Everyone would stare at it and I told her this, however she was determined and hung on to it. Just them Shri Mataji arrived and asked all the ladies to line up and show Her their choice. My friend showed Shri Mataji the multi coloured sari.
‘Oh no, this won’t do,’ Shri Mataji immediately said, and picked out a red one for her, putting the rainbow one back in the pile. Then I showed Shri Mataji my pink one and She immediately shook Her head decisively.
‘No you should have this one,’ She said and pulled out my friend’s choice. I was stunned.
‘Do you like it?’ She said, looking straight at me, challengingly. I swallowed hard and surrendered.
‘Yes it’s lovely, thank You,’ I said, which was the only thing I could say, not meaning a word of it, which She knew.
But when I wore that sari on my wedding day, I felt like a completely new person. There was nothing in that sari related to my past. It was like a completely new beginning for me I was wearing a new skin. I was so grateful that She had pulled me out of that left side image I had had of myself and everyone else had of me also. Shri Mataji taught me to respect and enjoy the attention my unique sari brought to me. It was a complete blessing and She orchestrated the whole event, knowing exactly what I was feeling.
We went on to have a beautiful ceremony with twelve couples and a brahmin reciting the wedding mantras with Shri Mataji translating for us all to understand. As I heard each translation I kept thinking, ‘Yes that is what I want to vow. That is just right.’ For the whole of the rest of the day I felt that I was in the vibration of love. This is what the true meaning of the words to be in love meant, I felt I was moving through love .I was in a sea of love and it was sparkling, completely in the present and very wonderful.
I felt in this holy state.
A wonderful leela of the Divine
I was in India on one of those magical trips through Maharashtra when Western Sahaja Yogis would board the buses and travel on dusty roads for hours on end to arrive at surprise places like a temple by a river or a village where a programme would be organized and we would always be welcomed with a meal that we would eat with our fingers, sitting on the ground. Delicious vegetarian food would be served on banana leaves. Shri Mataji would often surprise us by meeting us at the programme, or She would travel in front of the buses in Her grey Ambassador car with number plates MTJ.
One day we arrived at a musical programme organized by a young orchestra of yuva shaktis. Mother was present and I was sitting next to Her with Her bag on my lap – like was often the case for whoever was asked to accompany Her on those days – and these beautiful young Indian people started to play heavenly music. I felt totally overjoyed and in my heart I was praying, saying to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have children so talented as to express such fragrant music, giving so much joy to people!’
At the end Shri Mataji asked for Her purse, took some money out and gave it to me to give to the yuvas; I was very pleased to have this mission and thanked Her: She looked at me with a smile. Soon after I got pregnant with my third child, and not even one year later with our twin girls: as it happens the three of them sing beautifully and now the twins are trained at singing classical Indian music – one professionally – and have delighted lots of people with their voices: What a wonderful leela of the Divine!
The essence of creation
On the India tour in 1982, I was in a car with Mother and we were driving along and it was just after sunset. It was the time of the evening when it was neither dark nor light. Mother stopped the car and got out and we got out with Her.
‘I made the sky so that the trees would be framed against it,’ She said to me as She was looking at everything, while I was commenting on how beautiful it all looked. It sounds like simple words, but it was absolutely fabulous because we were already in a high state and we were looking at this beautiful scene of nature.
These were the few times when She suddenly let you know what She has done in a very matter of fact way, like when She told you of not being able to sleep and having to control the planets or solving some problem or issue way off in another dimension. It’s something that makes you realise that hidden in this apparently human body was the essence of creation.
The power of ragas
At the end of a concert of Debu’s in Delhi in 1982 Shri Mataji asked him to play a particular raga. During the performance I started to remember my mother who had died several years before. I was not sad as such, but to my surprise tears started to run down my cheeks – I am not the type to cry easily. The next day I went to Debu’s house for lunch and remarked on the wonderful performance and how I had cried during the last raga. He said he was also crying as he played and so was Shri Mataji. He said it was a raga that made you think of loved ones you were longing to see. The experience emphasised the explanation that Mother had given us that ragas are very subtle and create an ambience or mood.
Debu Chauderi, the sitar player, often said that every time he played he said it was a puja to Mother, but when he performed in front of Her, he went to another realm spiritually as well as musically.
The prasad of Annapurna
In about 1982, we had food cooked for about a hundred Sahaja Yogis and about two hundred or so turned up at our house in Delhi as Shri Mataji had also come. The cook got very worried, but nothing could be done as the rice had finished and was too late to go to the market at night. But everyone ate and no one said they had not got any food. After everyone left I went to the kitchen to check up on the biryani. There was about half a cup left if scraped from the big dish. The cook left it there and went to sleep.
Next morning he came running up to me.
‘You also saw that there was only half a cup of biryani left, but come and see,’ he said.
I went down and lo and behold the big dish was three quarters full and smelling good. I thought that perhaps he had another dish which he had forgotten to serve, so we distributed it to all the servants and drivers and thought it had finished. Of course there was still a little left at the bottom.
The next morning the same thing happened. It had filled up. We were stumped. Then my husband Yogi told Shri Mataji, and She said that this was the prasad of Annapurna, so better throw it in the River Yamuna. We did that and finally it stopped.
My attention has withdrawn
My faith in the effectiveness of Shri Mataji’s photo, and therefore Her, was established from the very beginning, from the experience of my own transformation, without knowledge or effort. Mother Herself said that initially She was not sure how She would reach the whole world, but after a few years, realised that the photo could do the job, and then She knew it was going to work.
A photo can lose its vibrations. Shri Mataji told us the story of an Indian lady who came to Her in the early days with a picture to ask Her why the image had faded and was going dark. Mother asked if anybody had been negative towards it. The lady said her cousin was very derogatory towards it.
‘That’s it. My attention has withdrawn,’ Shri Mataji said.
She also advised us not to use it as decoration around the house.
Going to Mother’s Feet on a daily basis
On my first India tour, in 1982, there were just two coach loads of Sahaja Yogis. It was a daily privilege to go to Shri Mataji’s Feet. I thought at the time, going to India to receive this blessing was enough, let alone all the auspicious places we visited, the experiences we had and the beautiful people we encountered.
I floated home on a sea of vibrations
When I arrived from Australia on my first India tour, in 1982, I thought I should merge with all the collectives around the world, and especially the Indian collective. It was on the last day of my tour, when the second tour had joined us. I realised that I had not spoken to Shri Mataji at all and probably would not have the opportunity. Shri Mother arrived in Her car, got out and started to walk away from where I stood, and the throngs of yogis all filed in behind. Suddenly She moved in a circle and after what seemed like a few moments She was only about twenty feet away from me.
‘How did you enjoy your first tour of India?’ She asked. I quickly recovered from my surprise and ran towards Her.
‘Wonderful Mother,’ was all I could gesture. She then said She would take Her tea there, and with table and chair quickly in place, She asked me to sit at Her Feet, where She shared Her food and laughter. I floated home on a sea of vibrations and love, sharing these experiences with all my beautiful new brothers and sisters.
Shri Mataji advised me to worship Shri Mahavira
‘What happened to your left side?’ Shri Mataji asked me on the India Tour of 1982. I’d never smoked nor drunk much, and I even had a job. Shri Mataji held my left hand and worked on me.
Just before the tour was to end we were in Delhi at the first temple/ashram at Safdarjung Enclave. I used to suffer from incessant thinking and emotional imbalance and asked Shri Mataji for help. Shri Mataji diagnosed it as a left side problem, and advised me to worship Shri Mahavira, to meditate with my left hand towards Her photograph and my right hand touching my super-ego. The left side problem improved gradually and reciting the mantras of Shri Mahavira and Shri Bhairava gave great relief.
By chance, over twenty years later, I got a job near to the burial site of William Blake who is the same spiritual personality as Shri Mahavira, even though at the time I was not aware of this. William Blake’s memorial stone states that nearby lies William Blake and his wife and my husband and I felt a desire to find the exact location of Blake’s grave. In order to do that we put our hands out and followed the vibrations. About twenty yards away from Blake’s memorial stone, next to a big tree, we felt an incredibly strong divine fragrance and vibrations. Upon thorough research of the burial records it turned out that the place where we felt that divine fragrance and vibrations was the exact location where William Blake is buried. Needless to say, while researching the grave of William Blake I felt an improvement in the condition of my left side.
Shri Mataji Herself commented in the eighties that the grave of William Blake is not adequate for a person of his spiritual stature* and is a sign that in England William Blake is still today not properly appreciated.
*Editor’s note: following Luis and Carol Garrido’s researches, the authorities in London are now going to rectify this situation.
An invitation from Shri Mataji
I was twenty-seven when I met Shri Mataji. Shri Mataji, along with Her brother Baba Mama, came to my house in 1982, in Delhi, in preparation for a wedding between our families. It was a tradition that the bride’s family should please the groom’s family and that, until the marriage took place, they were to be catered for with full devotion and love. My wife and I were entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the groom’s aunt and Her brother – that is, Shri Mataji and Baba Mama. That was indeed the biggest luck of my life. At the time I don’t think I was aware of this great good fortune.
Shri Mataji immediately took charge of both me and my wife and started to tell us about Sahaja Yoga and its amazing powers. I began to wonder, ‘Who is looking after whom?’ Right from the beginning, Her attention was on my Vishuddhi. She started to work on my left Vishuddhi, as I used to often be very sad. She would ask me to sing songs to Her. Baba Mama would silently sit and watch how She worked on me.
A column of birds
At the Shivaratri Puja in Delhi in 1982, in the sky directly above Shri Mataji as we sat in the garden, a lot of birds, all different types, spiralled up as if around an invisible column directly over Her throne.
An eternal moment
Standing in a crowded foyer in Delhi in 1982, I felt I must turn around and there was Shri Mataji coming down the stairs looking straight at me and smiling into my eyes. Her very glance made the Kundalini rise, and such moments are eternal. Or you might suddenly catch just a brief glimpse of Her Feet through a gap in a crowd. The image reverberates in your heart. Then you know what the real meaning of that saying: ‘The eyes are the window of the soul,’ when your heart fills with joy at the merest glimpse of those Lotus Feet.
On the first tour we were really being children, and She was very much our mother. It was so intimate. But in between, in 1983 Shri Mataji told us She could no longer treat us as children because Uranus was leaving the fifth house in Her chart, and entering the sixth house and we had to start to work.
I woke up feeling fantastic.
In 1982, right at the end of the India Tour, there were only a few of us left with Shri Mataji. We were at an old Hindi film called Jyoti. We all got tickets and sat in the hall with all the other people and it was a typical movie with dancing and singing – a very beautiful film. The heroine of the film at one point suddenly became Shri Durga. After that we went back and sat around Shri Mataji while we had our food. When Mother went to bed I slept on the couch where She had been, and had an amazing sleep. I woke up feeling fantastic.
The next day some people were in Her room – some man was there from a bank, and was a VIP sort of person. He was telling Shri Mataji all his problems, and She invited us in to work on him. I felt embarrassed to go in, but we did. He wasn’t satisfied, and Mother asked us if his Kundalini was up.
‘Yes, yes,’ we said, ‘his Kundalini is up!’
He wanted to carry on being worked on. Eventually he went. Shri Mataji explained that was how some of the people were – they would just come into Her room and demand to be worked on.