Shri Mataji greeting the Sahaja Yogis
Heathrow Airport, London, April 1985
I prayed that it would not come undone
Shri Mataji once slept with Her head upon my right shoulder in a First Class carriage on the London to Birmingham express, in 1985. I prayed that whatever was worked out on my Shri Chakra would not come undone by my own negligence. Just before sleeping, She had been answering questions from a little five year old who sat opposite us.
‘Why are there tunnels?’ the child asked.
‘It’s easier to tunnel through a mountain than to go around it or over it,’ Mother answered, very factually.
Shri Mataji’s glance
My first encounter with Shri Mataji’s physical being was in Birmingham in 1985. Most people, except those who stayed for Her darshan, had left. I stayed were I sat, and She looked over at me, as if to ask, ‘Are you coming?’ By then I already knew, and at that point I left. I was eagerly waiting for the follow-up programme three days later, so I could find myself again, as She had described to us so well in the hall.
Shri Mataji was given a flower
At the seminar in Birmingham we were all crowded into the hall. Shri Mataji was at the front and was given a flower. There was a strong scent which could be smelt at the back of the room. Ray took a photo of Shri Mataji in a dark shawl, slightly in profile bending Her head over to smell the flower.
Shri Mataji with the rose in Birmingham in 1985
Easter Puja at Birmingham
In 1985 there was an Easter Puja at Birmingham. We held the seminar and puja at Birmingham University and there was a room for Shri Mataji in one of the halls of residence, a high tower block. All of us tried to make the room as beautiful as possible, and we had chosen the largest room, with a nice view. When Shri Mataji arrived, She looked at the number on the door and laughed.
‘Oh it’s room 208, not 108!’ She said.
There was a public programme on the Friday in the centre of Birmingham.
The puja was all planned and was going to be on the Saturday morning, but we didn’t have quite all the things. The sari was missing, so then it was going to be on Saturday afternoon. Then the sari didn’t arrive Saturday afternoon either so it ended up being on the Sunday. On the Sunday it snowed, and was beautiful. Shri Mataji was sitting in front of a big window and behind you could see the lake at Birmingham University and the snow falling. Shri Mataji said the sari hadn’t turned up because it wasn’t the right time to do the puja on the Saturday.
Easter Puja 1985
An honour to be there with Her
We were very blessed in the spring of 1985 when Shri Mataji came and spent a weekend with us in Birmingham. She did a public meeting on the Friday evening, and a weekend seminar with a puja on the Sunday. We met Her at the train station on the Friday and Shri Mataji was going to spend the afternoon at a yogini’s house before going to the public meeting. Someone pushed me into the back of Mother’s car.
‘Go on, you go,’ he said. It was such an honour to be there with Her.
When we got to the house the yogini was worried about the dog being a nuisance and had put her upstairs.
‘I like dogs,’ Mother said simply.
After we had eaten lunch, one of the yoginis travelling with Shri Mataji asked the lady who owned the house to let the dog down as Mother wanted to see it. We were all sitting in the living room in a big circle, Shri Mataji in one of the armchairs, some of us on the floor, others sitting on the settee. The dog came in and did a whole circuit of the room, ignoring everyone including its family members until she reached Mother’s chair when she sat down and put her head in Mother’s lap!
The rest of the weekend was spent at some of the halls of residence belonging to Birmingham University. The local ladies shared a floor with Shri Mataji and helped look after Her – we decorated Her room and brought meals up etc. It was just so wonderful to be so close to Mother, to see Her walking to the bathroom, or to take Her in a meal. I always felt so shy in Her presence but She was always so gentle and gracious and kind.
The most beautiful backdrop
It was the most glorious thing. It was spring and there were even blossoms. Here was Shri Mataji with an almost floor to ceiling window behind Her and the snow suddenly falling during Her puja talk. It was like She was in a movie or a glass ball that simulates snowfall. Of all the backdrops of all the pujas, perhaps it was the most beautiful. When it happened I think Shri Mataji was talking about maya.
I was convinced I would never be close to Shri Mataji
In 1985, I was living at the Le Raincy ashram, Paris. I had started Sahaja Yoga in 1984 and had never had the chance to be close to Shri Mataji, contrary to the friends who I came to Sahaja Yoga with. It had been difficult, during the past year, not to be jealous, but finally I came to the point where I surrendered and accepted that I would never be close to Her. I was in this frame of mind when Shri Mataji arrived at the ashram.
She went into the living room and sat on a sofa which has been made ready for Her. As was often the protocol we were going to do a little puja to welcome our Mother, we would wash Her Feet. The living room was full of Sahaja Yogis and some were also sitting in the entrance. I was in the middle of the room surrounded by many brothers and sisters. Shri Mataji greeted everybody and an Indian sister was ready to start washing Her Feet, but somebody else was needed to help.
Shri Mataji looked around the room and suddenly pointed in our direction.
‘You, come,’ She said. As I was convinced I would never be close to Her, and quite satisfied with that I just turned my head towards the back to see who was to come forward. Nobody understood who Shri Mataji meant and it was only after being called four times by Her that I understand She was calling me, so I went forward and do the puja. The water was taken away and we massaged Shri Mataji’s Feet. I was massaging Her left Foot and the more I did so the more I felt hot, and at the end I was really sweating. After that I went back to my place, completely satisfied and shaken at the same time!
Trupta de Graaf
Cooking trout for everybody
In 1985 when Shri Mataji came to visit us in the ashram of Le Raincy, one evening She asked us what we were going to cook for Her. We said we were planning to cook some trout in the oven. She said we should also give that to the yogis who were coming in the evening.
There were about fifty coming so we went to buy the fish, and started to prepare them in our little kitchen. It was a real joke as we didn’t know how to prepare them, so we started by washing them, but when you wash trout they start to produce slime, so when we washed sixty, the whole kitchen was full of slime. We had only one small oven and it took quite some time to cook them, but in the end everybody got trout like Shri Mataji.
It was a real lesson in hospitality, as we had planned something very simple for the yogis. Shri Mataji taught us that we have to take good care of our guests, even if it gives us some work and trouble.
Trupta de Graaf
Shri Mataji at Le Raincy
A swift departure
We were in Vienna, during a Sahasrara Puja weekend, in 1985. I am not certain if the story I am about to tell took place after the puja on Sunday or after the Saturday programme. What I do remember is at the end of one of these amazingly powerful evenings Shri Mataji suddenly announced that She wished to leave, indicating that She was ready to go that very moment – and as I was travelling with Her I rushed to the stage to help Her with Her shoes and accompany Her to the car.
As Her departure had been quite sudden I didn’t have a moment to collect my belongings, including my shoes. To be sitting in such close proximity in the car with Mother after such a profound evening was quite wonderful and even a little terrifying. I was focusing on Her, and what an awesome blessing it was to be in such close proximity, when suddenly a fleeting worry came in my mind regarding my shoes. I immediately self-censored that thought with another, ‘Danya how can you possibly think of your shoes when in the presence of the Adi Shakti – you should be praying for the emancipation of the universe instead,’ and I didn’t give my shoes another thought.
Later, when back at the ashram, I realised that Shri Mataji’s swift departure from the puja location had been so unexpected that there were no other yogis to greet Mother nor indeed any yoginis in the kitchen to prepare Her dinner; there was also no evidence of any food prepared for Mother. The yogis had prepared for Shri Mataji to dine at the puja venue, as was often the custom in those days.
Being a young unmarried girl, cooking wasn’t exactly a strong point but I felt Shri Mataji should eat before resting. We were in Her bedroom and I was about to go off to the kitchen to make some tea and explore possibilities.
‘You know, all I really want to eat are some frankfurters,’ She said. I went to the kitchen and the first and only cupboard I opened contained a tin of frankfurters. I prepared them (well within my capacity) and tea and took them up to Shri Mataji and She was kind enough to share some of them with me.
Shri Mataji soon lay down to sleep and She asked me to rub Her Feet. I lost all track of time and when I imagined some hours had passed I crept out of the room feeling completely drunk with vibrations. I floated downstairs to the kitchen – this time it was full of yogis happily sitting around the table.
As I sat down and joined the joyful crowd I was aware out of the corner of my eye of an Austrian yogi walking in reverentially carrying a pair of shoes on a cushion – I didn’t twig immediately that this was strange, because I had put Shri Mataji’s shoes on Her Lotus Feet at the puja venue. It was only when he got close by that I realised it was in fact my shoes that were placed on the cushion.
‘What are you doing with my shoes?’ I said. I remember the laughter of the other yogis and the crestfallen look on his face. Later I reflected back to my fleeting worry in the car about my shoes and felt there must be a lesson somewhere – perhaps regarding the importance of paying attention to what we desire. ‘If it is shoes you want, here you are! You shall have your shoes brought to you on a silken pillow.’
The red sari
Shri Mataji choosing a sari to wear for a puja was a joy to behold. From all the heavenly shades in Her sari cupboard, itself a magical universe, She would finally pull one out.
‘Ah ha! Here it is! I will wear this one for the puja,’ She would say with satisfaction.
Once, during Sahasrara weekend in Vienna, I was sitting outside Shri Mataji’s room meditating whilst She was having Her bath in preparation for the puja. More than ever, I recall just wanting to make myself as small as possible and I felt so blessed waiting there because I could also hear Her singing. It was a lilting ancient song; a sacred prayer with stanzas – my heart recognised it even if my mind did not. I had placed the pre-chosen sari on the bed and when Mother saw it there She smiled joyfully and then kindly demonstrated the intricate golden square patterns, on a deep red background, by tracing them with Her gracious hand.
‘You see? Each of these little squares represents the mariadas of Shri Ganesha,’ She said.
Until then I hadn’t really looked properly at the squares on the sari, just considering it absolutely rich and sumptuous. Knowing that everything Shri Mataji did had a deeper meaning, choosing a sari was also imbued with deep symbolism – from the chosen colour to the pattern on it.
Invariably, any time I compliment a Sahaja Yogini on one of their saris, they reply:
‘Shri Mataji gave it to me!’
Sahasrara Puja Vienna 1985
Shri Mataji being assisted by Danya, in blue, and another Sahaja Yogini
Vienna, Sahasrara Puja 1985
Sahasrara Puja 1985
Mother arrived and it was raining, raining and raining. The preparation for different holy events in different places was difficult. It was also difficult to transport the things where we needed them and to get ourselves dry, so Gregoire asked Mother if better weather would be possible. Mother in Her deep love did this.
Over Vienna and the village where the puja was celebrated, in Maria Theresa’s castle of Laxenburg deep rain clouds were hanging. But whenever the Sahaja Yogis were going by car or transporting something, wherever it was in Vienna, there was an open hole in the clouds, the rain stopped, the beautiful blue sky looked through and the warm sun sent her blessings on us. After we had finished whatever we were doing, the clouds closed again. It was like that for all three days.
For the Sahasrara Puja Mother stayed in the castle. The Sahaja Yogis, along with their children also stayed in a part of it. Mother gave us blessings and invited us Lakshmis (mothers and wives) to sit with Her at a big table and like a mother She spoke with us. She told us to be careful with our children. We should not only use our emotions or only discipline, but our style of education should be a mixture of left and right side, integrated in Shri Ganesha’s wisdom. We should sit down nicely with our children and speak to them with love and respect in our hearts and love in our words. She explained that a pregnant mother should not look in the full moon because the energy is too strong for the little baby. At full moon it is better for pregnant ladies to stay at home.
Leaving my shyness behind
I made a Shri Ganesha statue out of clay for our ashram in Munich and it happened that it was put on the table next to Shri Mataji when She came in 1985. At that time, we were maybe just two hundred people who attended the puja. The stage was very small and nobody was behind Shri Mataji’s chair to serve Her if She needed something. Our little group of yogis in Munich was just one year old in Sahaja Yoga and we had no experience in preparing for a puja with Shri Mataji.
After the puja talk, Shri Mataji looked a few times at Her empty glass. No one got up or even seemed to see it, but when I saw that She made a gesture to pour Herself water in the glass, I jumped up, leaving my shyness behind and went on the stage.
‘Who has done that little Shri Ganesha?’ She asked, at the very moment when I served Her the glass of water. When I told Her it was me, She looked with big surprised eyes at me.
‘Really?’ She said and then gave me one of Her smiles, which stay in your heart for the rest of your life.
I have to find this lady
In 1985 Shri Mataji was in Munich for a puja and a programme, and we went with Her to the airport. There was such a traffic jam on the way there and we were late. Shri Mataji was in a car with the leader and we were four ladies in a little car and we were just stuck. We had bought a big bunch of flowers to give Mother, but it was with someone else, not in our car. When we arrived at the airport, Shri Mataji had already gone through the customs and we didn’t see Her and we were so sad that we couldn’t say goodbye and give Her the flowers.
‘Why don’t you try to go through the customs?’ So someone said to me. I am always very confused at the airport, but I just went through the customs and the people there looked at me in an odd way because I didn’t show them my passport or anything.
‘Oh, I have to go and find this lady. I’ll come back very soon,’ I said, and off I went. Somehow I was in a long corridor and there was Shri Mataji at the very end. I took off my sandals and ran barefoot down this corridor with this bunch of flowers. Then Shri Mataji turned round and looked at me with big surprise and smiled at me, a big smile all over Her face. She opened Her arms and embraced me.
‘How did you make it?’ She said.
One’s attention was on Mother
When launching Sahaja Yoga in Venice, in May 1985, a contingent of Sahaja Yogis’ travelled from Vienna, other parts of Italy and maybe some from Holland and we began putting up posters announcing Shri Mataji’s arrival and first public talk in Venice.
The following day we spent with Shri Mataji sightseeing and shopping. As we walked in St Mark’s Square Mother looked up at the roof of St Mark’s Cathedral and said how beautiful the horses that adorned the cathedral were, and then turning to us said that the reason England had such a bad Nahbi was that it had plundered great works of art from wherever they had been.
We visited St Mark’s Cathedral and as we explored the images and works of art, Mother eventually rested on a seat, and told us to look up at the mosaic on the ceiling. From where She was sitting the perspective was perfect to view the image of Christ with his disciples. Mother pointed out the fact that the disciples who were standing on one side of a river facing towards Lord Jesus on the other bank of the river, had their hands held out towards him taking vibrations, just as yogis do with Mother.
Later Mother wanted to go shopping for some presents for Her family and asked Sean to hold Her handbag as She viewed the jewellery in shop windows. Shri Mataji had already purchased some bracelets in a shop close by, and then She went into another of the stores to purchase some coral necklaces and bracelets. I had to accompany Her into the shop. Gregoire was upset as this shop provided the best quality coral at a more reasonable price and suggested taking the previous purchases back. Mother said this was not necessary – She had a conversation with the proprietor of the shop and asked him what he would do, as his town was slowly sinking into the sea. He smiled and said he would simply move to Rome when he could no longer stay in Venice.
Mother was giving a public programme in Venice that evening and there were between twenty-five to thirty yogis, and one suggested it was time for lunch. He offered to take Mother to a restaurant, but Mother insisted that we all eat together, and despite people’s protestations that we would not be able to find a restaurant at this time of the day with sufficient space, She led us into the small avenues off the square. Soon She found a small restaurant devoid of any customers with only the waiters looking out in expectation. It felt as if we filled the restaurant entirely though one cannot say for sure as naturally one’s attention was on Mother.
More time in Venice
We all dined again with Shri Mataji later that evening in another restaurant where She took a table with several of the doctors in Sahaja Yoga and spoke of how doctors should develop some discretion as to where their curative powers should be focused in human beings.
On our last day in Venice, Camillo, Gunter and I decided to obtain a gift of perfume for Shri Mataji and we raced into town to find an appropriate shop. However, all seemed to be closed, so we decided to catch the ferry to the market. Racing through the stalls we suddenly heard Mother’s voice.
‘Feel now, someone is sucking My vibrations,’ She said, and we soon found ourselves directly in front of Her. She asked us why we were there and in the same breath reminded us we didn’t have long before we should get back to the others.
Shri Mataji was heading towards the airport where She was to catch a flight to Rome and had been discussing the significance of the dove as an emblem for the Holy Spirit and where it had originated. No one could offer any reason and I proffered that it was because the dove had brought to Noah the olive branch as a symbol of peace. Mother burst into a smile.
‘Ah, that’s it,’ She said
After this She bade us get back to our coach or we’d miss our transport to Rome.
A busy visit
Shri Mataji came to Rome in May 1985 for a public programme and for Shri Ganesha Puja in Guidonia. We organised a series of TV interviews for Her on public (RAI) and local TV, plus a press conference where She spoke on Sahaja Yoga, and gave also realisation to the press people.
The arrival of Shri Mataji at the Fiumicino Airport, Rome, in 1985
Shri Mataji before the Rome public programme in 1985
Mother said that Rome was one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The press conference in Rome, May 1985
Ganesha Puja, Tivoli Ashram, Rome, 1985
An evening at Rome ashram
At the Rome ashram, after being given a tour inside and out Shri Mataji asked Sean what he thought of it.
‘Too much Mother,’ he said, looking for some appropriate description.
‘Englishmen say too much,’ Shri Mataji immediately replied.
Shri Mataji then allowed us to do a haven and She requested many local herbs be brought from the kitchen to be offered in the fire.
We later were given a meal and Mother played a harmonium afterwards during which ice cream was served. As we listened to the music that followed Shri Mataji pointed out that really cold ice cream was not good for our Vishuddhis and when eventually Mother suggested we eat it She said how ideal the temperature of the ice cream had become.
I remember when I was there
I was driving Shri Mataji in 1985 from Rome to Tivoli and the road was quite long. She was sitting next to me and commenting on the landscape. She started speaking about some plants that were found in Palestine and only there, called ‘the blood of Christ’ or something like that. We, in the car, looked at Her.
‘Shri Mataji, have You been in Palestine?’ we asked.
‘No, but I remember when I was there at the time of Christ,’ She replied.
May I ask You a boon?
Once I was driving Shri Mataji’s car in 1985, during a week in Rome, where we had public programmes. She used to sit in front and every time She entered the car She would put some Indian perfume on our hands. Each day we would go to Rome for interviews with the radio and TV, and to do shopping. Once when we were coming back during the night to Pichini ashram, Shri Mataji was telling us how a man from Canada left Sahaja Yoga and went against Her. I spontaneously put my hand on my heart, and although usually I never asked Her anything, on that occasion I did.
‘May I ask You a boon?’ I asked, and She said I could. So I said, ‘Please, Mother, whatever I do in my life, never let me go against You.’ She smiled, like a mother, a sweet divine Mother.
‘OK,’ She said, and until now I feel this protection on me.
Shri Mataji had so many interviews (email report)
We have today returned from Rome, where the Shri Ganesha Puja was celebrated in May 1985. Shri Mataji has been in Italy since last Tuesday where She has already spoken at two public programmes in Milan; they went quite well with about three hundred people at each, a bit less than last year when more than a thousand people came to the single programme, but apparently Shri Mother was nonetheless pleased.
Shri Mataji arrived in Rome on Wednesday. Practically the whole of Saturday She spent in giving interviews, mainly for the television but also a press conference on Saturday morning which lasted for three and a half hours and was attended by about a dozen journalists – none of whom took notes – and several Sahaja Yogis. One lady just walked into the programme from the street, where she had felt a cool breeze coming from inside the building. All the journalists got their realisation and most felt the cool breeze; such articles as they produce will supplement two written by Alessandra (Pallini) in Italian, and one by Jeremy (Lamaison) in English, that have already appeared in the press. The first actual media coverage went out on Sunday at noon in the regular TV news broadcast, where the programmes were announced briefly and some silent footage of Shri Mataji was shown, coming from the press conference. About twenty million people were watching.
As soon as one national TV channel had secured an interview with Shri Mataji, all the others wanted to follow suit and several interviews took place. All the journalists concerned were very respectful and asked quite deep questions. While Shri Mataji was in Milan She spontaneously decided She would like a programme to be held in Venice; this has since been arranged for Wednesday, in two days’ time, and a few people went ahead to poster and publicise.
Our coach then drove us to the new ashram in the village of San Angelo Romano, about fifteen miles to the east of Rome, where we arrived about midday. The ashram, Nirmala House, is an extremely beautiful place, a villa with a huge long living room into which all the hundred and fifty visiting Sahaja Yogis were packed on the Saturday evening to take the darshan of Shri Mataji. It is quite a recent building with walls painted a rich ochre-red, surrounded by a large garden. The Sahaja Yogis keep hens, but none had laid any eggs for a while. On Thursday Shri Mataji arrived and the first egg to be laid by one of the ashram’s hens appeared the same day.
Some Sahaja Yogis who had attended the press conference related what had happened – a man who smoked and had a Vishuddhi catch which cleared when Shri Mother was working on him and in doing so gave off such an odour of stale cigarette smoke that someone there immediately opened all the windows! About nine o’clock Shri Mataji arrived, beaming and apologizing for Her late arrival, because She had had so many interviews.
Merged in Her ocean of silence
Shri Mataji at the Shri Ganesha Puja in Rome 1985
Her ocean of silence
In 1985 I had the great opportunity to drive the car of Shri Mataji in Milan and in Rome. After the Shri Ganesha Puja in Rome, Shri Mataji went in Her room to rest a little. At that time we had a havan. After that I went into Her room to say good bye: I was going home. Shri Mataji was there with Alessandra Pallini. Shri Mataji lay down on the bed and took Her Feet out from under the cover and asked me to put my Sahasrara under Her Feet, so I did. She asked me to press my hands on Her Feet, and to press the Feet down on my head. I don’t know how long I was there; it was like entering into a deep ocean, full of silence and nothing else. It was completely silent, merged in Her ocean of silence.
‘Now you are protected, and now you can go,’ She said, or something like that.
I couldn’t image why She did it, but it was a kind of a blessing. After that I met my Brazilian wife and went to Brazil with her to start Sahaja Yoga there, so did not see Shri Mataji for the next three years. In that moment, in Rome, I didn’t know that, but She knew exactly what was going to happen.
Three years later I came for Sahasrara Puja on a beach close to Rome. As soon as I entered Her room, She greeted me as if She had seen me five minutes before.
Not necessarily for that moment
This is a story about time, and beyond time and time awareness. It was in Rome in the 1980’s and Shri Mataji stayed at Tivoli, where a Sahaja Yogi had a hotel. I had to drive Her back to the airport and was ready with my little car to pick Her up. Usually I’m extremely nervous when it comes to planes and timetables, but for once I was amazingly calm and just waited by the car for Shri Mataji. She came down and I drove Her.
‘You don’t need to worry about the time,’ She told me. ‘You’ve been so nervous. It will be OK to get the plane.’
‘Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I laughed. The one time where I was not nervous, She made a remark to me, that I was nervous about planes and times. It was a little lesson, definitely correct, but not necessarily for that moment.
Shri Mataji in Ruth’s car
A miracle photo
One afternoon in 1985, Mother and Sir CP had an Indian diplomat couple for tea at Brompton Square. They had some problems and I vividly remember how incredibly loving Mother was with them, literally transforming them before our very eyes. As they were leaving, Shri Mataji asked for a photo as a reminder, so I got my camera.
I had a real problem with miracle photos back then. Having just a few years earlier attended art school where I had studied photography, all of these long exposures with moving lights etc could in my eyes be easily explained. Plus I found it all a little insulting to Mother. She was so obviously divine – how She carried Herself, Her gestures, Her speech, not to mention the content of what She was saying.
So, I’m back with my camera, at the end of a roll and had no other film so only took two photos. When I picked them up I was absolutely silenced. In the first Mother has Her hands crossed. In the second She has let them drop to Her sides and there is a gentle ray of light pouring from Her left Swadishthan! On the technical side, the 35mm negative of these two prints had no marks or bends or damage of any kind.
Mother presented me with incontrovertible evidence that there can be real miracle photos The next day we showed the prints to Shri Mataji and She was so enthusiastic about them, looking at them with big eyes.
Rome School preparations, 1985
About the Rome School and Rome ashram instructions, Shri Mataji spoke to me on the phone for some time. She asked me to come to Brompton Square to talk more. I went, and then She talked for a long time about this. She asked me to write down all the instructions about how to teach children etc. She paid for an air ticket for me and my daughter to go to Rome, then asked me for my passport and the ticket, which had been booked by someone else. She was not happy that my ticket was not with the group, because I had just arrived to London and did not speak Italian. She took my passport and ticket and gave them a bandhan.
‘Your passport has bad vibrations, so try to get UK nationality and a new passport,’ She said.
‘Yes, Mother,’ I said.
‘You will be staying there for one month, and in that period you will be looking after a little girl. It is your responsibility to clear her Left Nabhi and massage her as she is not able to stand and while crawling she is not able to fold her left foot.’
Mother extended my stay by another five weeks, as the Sahaja Yogis of Rome requested it, and the little girl improved.
I do not remember all the instructions Shri Mataji gave me, as I gave the paper I had written to the Italian leader, but I still remember Mother said that we should make all the children meditate, and should teach them how to water the plants.