Chapter 11: 1994 – September and October, America and Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

So, you will be here

Shri Mataji was preparing to have Her first programme in Chicago in the summer of 1994, which was about two and a half hours away from where my wife Barbara and I were living. The Chicago collective was very new and with a yogi from Massachusetts who came to Chicago over the entire period, we helped out with the preparations for Shri Mataji’s visit. We had very exciting times trying to coordinate things from a distance, and it was very rewarding to have the blessing to be part of it.

Shri Mataji arrived in Chicago and I had the blessing to hold Her brown overcoat (the same one She wore in Romania in 1990) and Her incredibly soft and fine shawl which She always used. I held them in my arms for about fifteen minutes, trying to pinch myself to figure out if this was real or just a dream.

The yogis drove Her to the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Chicago, where the public programme was to be held in the three hundred seat conference room. Shri Mataji wanted a yogi who was currently in Philadelphia to lead it before Her arrival. However, as he didn’t know about this and was nowhere to be found, Shri Mataji sent word that I should give the introduction. I was practically pushed on the stage to start the introduction. The moment I grabbed the mike and opened my mouth, as if by a miracle the Russian yogis started to sing. It was a godsend. I breathed a sigh of relief and got off the stage as quickly and discreetly as I could. By the time they were finished, the other yogi arrived and gave the programme. Afterwards, Shri Mataji asked him to move to Chicago and lead the collective.

Shri Mataji invited people to come to the stage to meet Her, and I had the privilege to sit by Her side together with two other yogis. At some point during that time, I asked Shri Mataji for Her blessings for us to start programmes in Indianapolis, the capital of our state of Indiana.

What do they do in this city?’ She asked me, and gave it a bandhan.

One of my greatest blessings that night was to lead some of the bhajans that Shri Mataji wanted us to sing at the end of the programme. Because the other singers were tired, I found myself singing the bhajans on the microphone all by myself in front of the Goddess and the whole audience who were queuing up to see Her. I sang Jogawa with such force, pouring out all my heart, that Shri Mataji stopped and looked at me with a smile.

I also had the privilege to break a coconut before Shri Mataji got into the car on Her way to the airport, as it is traditional to do this to destroy the negativity. I was also in the car with Her as She was driven to the airport. She talked about how She had come to Chicago a long time back with Sir CP, and how She couldn’t recognize the city as it had changed quite a bit over the past decades.

At the airport in Chicago, my wife and I wanted to take a photograph of Shri Mataji as She got up from Her chair. However, as She was busy adjusting Her shawl, we waited patiently. After She was done, She graciously took a moment to look straight at us and gave us such a big smile, just for the photograph. Our hearts leaped with joy as we snapped the picture. As She left, I did pranams to Her.

What about your poems?’ She asked me. I promised to continue to write them. Then She said, ‘So, you will be here, right?”

Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I replied and understood that Shri Mataji wanted us to look after the young and blossoming Chicago collective until Steve Wollenburger found a job and was able to move there. For about a year Barbara and I drove every Friday night to Chicago for the public programme and soon we found close friends, big hearts and great vibrations in the newly formed Russian collective there.

Calin Costian

I had finally come home

The first time I saw Shri Mataji was at a rare programme in Chicago in 1994 in a huge lovely hall at one of the hotels. It was just a few months after my self realisation.

We had driven for several hours and through the whole trip piles of questions filled my head, but the joy of reaching there and watching Shri Mataji walk in the hall in person swept all those questions away. She spoke persuasively as She always does. I wished with all my heart for my self realisation, as if it were the first time. After the guests had received their realisation, those few of us from the Midwest sang for Her as best we could. She looked at us and it was much easier to sing than ever before.

She asked to see us by city. My city’s collective, Cincinnati, pushed me to the front because I was the newest one. I felt so awkward and shy to kneel on the white cloth and come close to Shri Mataji. I was surprised by the textures of Her face which I could see so clearly in the bright stage lights. I must have thought from the photographs that She was made of mist and stars. She took my hands on Her lap and looked into them and gazed a long time. I felt She was looking down into every speck of me, to other times and places I could not know.

Very good,’ She said, and that was all.

That day was the programme where two men came in dhotis and shaved heads; they followed Shri Mataji closely and interrupted Her, and pressed Her to adopt their style of thinking. She was patient and motherly with them, asking them to dress warmly in such a cold place, reminding them that shaving one’s head will not guarantee a place in heaven. While they persisted I felt a stabbing pain in the right index finger, and it was the first time I felt that chakra.

What I learned that amazing evening was how much She cared for every one of us, but also that we had to ask for Her help. Many of the questions I had come with worked themselves out in time, but even the questions I hadn’t been able to ask myself were answered. When Shri Mataji looked at my hands I knew She understood everything completely and I learned in that moment that I had finally come home.

 Elizabeth Singh

Forty-five minutes at Her Lotus Feet

During Her North American tour in the autumn of 1994, Shri Mataji stopped in Indianapolis on Her way from New York to Los Angeles. It was a great blessing for the four of us who constituted the small Indiana collective, and we had prepared to receive Her in the airport but She decided to stay on the plane. To our great joy, She called us on the plane and we spent about forty-five minutes at Her Lotus Feet while waiting for the plane to continue its journey.

She talked to us about many things, including why Sahaja Yoga is not spreading in America and why the seekers do not stay. My wife said that Americans are having too much fun, at which Shri Mataji became serious.

That’s not fun,’ She said. She compared America with Romania and asked me how come it worked out so well in Romania. I said that the Romanian people were ready for Sahaja Yoga somehow, and when She came they were just there ready to receive it.

All right, but why?’ She said. Of course, I had no answer.

Then Shri Mataji talked about immorality, and the horrible carnivals in Brazil where ladies walk about scantily dressed, dancing on the streets. Later on I showed Her the image of the flag of Indiana, which is very Sahaj: on a blue background, there is a golden vertical line like the Kundalini that at the top radiates like the Sahasrara and connects to seven stars around it. She put Her attention again on Indianapolis.

I brought to Shri Mataji’s attention a little website I had put up on my university’s server, which was probably the first web site about Sahaja Yoga, since the web was just being born at that time, mostly in academic environments, before taking the world by storm. I tried to explain how it worked and how I had added a phone number for each country. It was at that time that She instructed that we should not use the 1-800-SHJ-YOGA number on the web, but instead list three numbers – one for the East Coast, one for the West Coast, and one for the Midwest. At that time I could not understand why the 800 number should not be used – only much later on I realised that there was a very simple reason which had escaped me all along: web sites are free to visit but the collective has to pay for calls to the 800 number.

I also mentioned to Shri Mataji about posting to Usenet newsgroups as a way to raise awareness about Sahaja Yoga. She asked me what language these postings were written in and was happy to hear that it was English, and it was universally used on the internet.

Calin Costian

I felt Her motherly love

My wife came over in 1994 and we went up on the stage at the Navaratri Puja at Cabella. Shri Mataji very lovingly told me how to cure my liver and how to take care of myself. It was the first time I really felt Her Motherly love – personally. She was just talking in a very loving way, and I really felt that She was my Mother.

Marco Arciglio

Shri Mataji told him what to do

After we married, my husband Marco was very ill. He was actually in a coma, but I had faith that he would be all right. Eventually he got better, and I came to Italy. I took a present up at the puja for India, and when I went up on the stage Shri Mataji said She was happy I had come and asked how Marco was. She said to call him up on the stage too, which happened. Mother said the problem was liver, and asked him to go up to the castle the next day. She didn’t actually meet him, but he was told what to do.

Shoma Arciglio

The touch of Shri Mataji’s hands

In October 1994 a group of Sahaja Yogis from France went to Spain to meet Shri Mataji, who was going to do a public programme in Barcelona, and a puja the next day in Zaragoza. We were a group of Yuva Shakti, and at the end of the programme She invited new people to come and see Her. As we were a little bit naughty, we decided to go with the new people to meet Shri Mataji. We wanted to see how She was working on the new people. When I reached the stage and got on it, She just took my hands.

What are you doing here? It is passing!’ She asked, as if to say the Kundalini was passing through. I became very shy and just smiled. Shri Mataji asked me a few questions and was still holding my hands.

After doing namastey we stayed, and watched Her working on the new people, and helped to work on the new people. When we left and I was in the car going to the camp at Zaragoza I was trying to remember the touch of Shri Mataji’s hands holding mine, and I couldn’t recall it. It had been as if my hands were the continuity of Her hands. Whenever I do any work for Shri Mataji or Sahaja Yoga, I remember this moment, that our hands are the continuity of Her hands, and we are doing Her work. We are Her instruments.

While we were at the programme, a Sahaja Yogi from France came on the stage and asked if Shri Mataji would give her a new name. At the puja the next day I saw a group of French and Spanish Sahaja Yogis standing together, after all the gifts had been given. They went to Shri Mataji to receive a name, so I joined them, and She gave me the name of Madhavi. Some years later I was watching the video of the puja, a Mahalakshmi Puja, and we had the talk, the puja, and the gift giving session and giving us names, and I saw Her looking deeply into me before She gave me that name.

Madhavi Rome

The most beautiful days of my life

On the 14th October 1994 the third visit of Shri Mataji to Brazil began. I went to Madrid and met Shri Mataji and went with Her on the plane to Brazil. The flight was perfect, we were in the skies next to Her, and it seemed we were in paradise. As always when with Shri Mataji, I did not want to reach our destination. In the plane I was completely satisfied and joyful; I wanted nothing more, only pure joy and recognition of Shri Mataji. Only the pleasure of seeing so many brothers and sisters again, and sharing with them the joy of Her presence, was a good reason to reach Brazil.

For this tour the Sahaja Yogis of the various towns had organised everything perfectly so I, for the first time, was finally able to relax completely and just enjoy Shri Mataji’s presence. I passed the most beautiful days of my life, very serene and profound, every day in contact with Her, from the morning to the night.

We had arranged programmes in Rio, Brasilia and San Paolo, and on the 19th of October Shri Mataji left for Buenos Aires.

Duilio Cartocci

Let’s go shopping!

This is the story of the first public programme in Sao Paulo in August 1994. We had just started getting settled in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil when Shri Mataji sent a message for me to return to Sao Paulo to help prepare Her first public programme there, to be held in Her presence a few weeks later, so I took a two day bus trip back to Sao Paulo. We were a team of about six or seven yogis, definitely not enough for the task, but our motivation was high and we were excited to be able to help with the first public programme in this big city of nearly twenty million people.

The hotel suite for Shri Mataji was easy to find, so was the booking of the programme hall but no matter what we tried, no TV or radio station was interested in talking to us, and every single one of the papers refused to write about Shri Mataji. When we pleaded to at least accept a small paid advertisement, but even that was refused. We were stunned. How should we tell the people that Shri Mataji Herself was coming to give them self realisation?

In small teams we went every night to do postering in busy areas, hoping that people would have a chance to see the picture of Shri Mataji inviting them to come to the programme. But every morning the same thing had happened, most of our posters had been removed or replaced by others, almost completely erasing our nightly efforts. We grew more and more concerned as the days passed. We did not stop trying, but on the evening before Shri Mataji’s arrival we had not completed much of what we wanted to do.

The next morning we went to the airport to receive Shri Mataji for the first time in Sao Paulo. We were excited about Her arrival, but deep inside I felt very uneasy about what to say to Her about our meagre preparations for Her programme. After all, She was coming all the way, and what if no one in the city knew about it?

Shri Mataji emerged from the gate, radiant as ever, smiling, received our flowers and on the way to the hotel told us about the successful programme the day before in Rio de Janeiro, where thousands had received realisation. My uneasiness grew, but I could not bear to tell Her about our non-existing preparations here, and Shri Mataji did not ask either.

Let’s go shopping!’ She said as soon as we arrived in the hotel. She said She would have the prepared meal later, and asked, ‘Where shall we go?’

I was stunned, it was Sunday afternoon and not much (to my knowledge) was open, when Shri Mataji said we could just drive towards the city centre. I knew there were not many shops open in this direction, but did not say anything. We drove, and when we came closer to the centre the traffic, which is very light normally on a Sunday afternoon, became more and more congested. I asked someone on the road what happened and learned that today was the largest fair of artisans from all over Brazil at the main square. Shri Mataji smiled.

We were just three yogis with Shri Mataji and She kept us incredibly busy buying huge quantities of presents for yogis all over the world. She enjoyed the shopping very much and mentioned how beautiful it was to buy presents for Her children. In less than two hours She had vibrated the entire huge area with tens of thousands of people present and bought jackets, caps, bags, paintings and many more beautiful handmade presents made by artisans from all over Brazil. It really felt like Brazil had come to Her Lotus Feet, offering all its beauty.

Before we left the fair, Shri Mataji suggested having some ice cream. The only place available was a standing-only booth nearby, so She suggested to go there and have some. We ended up enjoying a moment with Shri Adi Shakti standing at an ice cream booth. By then I had completely forgotten about the programme that night.

You know why I had to come to this fair today?’ Shri Mataji looked at me and said, ‘Because that way I have invited everyone for the programme tonight. Don’t worry, the hall will be full.’

I looked at Her, tears shot into my eyes and I wished I could have prostrated myself in front of Her right there and then. Of course, She knew all of it, and in playing this beautiful leela She even managed to buy lots of beautiful presents for Her children. What a divine play we were allowed to witness in Her presence!

Needless to say, the hall was full, so much so that people were sitting in the aisles and standing in the back. But even better, there were two TV stations and several reporters from the radio and the papers reporting the event. She had invited them all, seekers and press, effortless and with a smile.

Herbert Reininger

Omniscience

The first time Shri Mataji came to the city of Sao Paulo, the biggest city of Brazil, was in 1994. Sao Paulo had a small collective that Prasad Rao was starting off, and he invited the collective of Bahia to help host Mother and be responsible for Her catering. We had to carry dishes, cutlery, pans, pots, and everything necessary to serve Her, but as we reached Sao Paulo I noticed we had bought no serving set. Immediately I thought, ‘How will we serve Her?’ I looked around and couldn’t find anything. Suddenly, Herbert Reininger came to the kitchen.

Mother is asking you to serve the meal,’ he said, ‘but She wants you to prepare only one plate with everything that you had cooked on it.’ Our hearts opened and we smiled, and we understood Her omnipresence. This happened throughout Her stay, all the time She would order everything on only one plate, so we did not need a serving set.

Rivia Barros

Every field of human knowledge

Shri Mataji spoke to everyone about every field of human knowledge. To me She spoke of plans for houses, of streets to be built, of handicrafts to buy, and other things, and with Eduardo She spoke of subatomic physics. She explained to him of the existence of a subatomic particle which did not follow the known laws of physics; though it is sensitive to vibrations and can absorb them better than human beings, and maintain them longer. She gave the example of an Indian village, where there was a temple of a saint, and She felt the vibrations from a great distance. The great and positive difference is that the human beings could grow and become better through the vibrations.

To Liliale, who is a doctor, She explained how to cure cancer with three candles: one in front of the hand of the patient, one behind the Swadishthan chakra, and the third in the hand of the person working on raising the Kundalini of the person. Cancer, being a problem of the left side, can pass from one person to another, if they are emotionally involved, thus they also become caught up on the Ekadesha Rudras.

Duilio Cartocci

Where there was drought is now an orchard

During Shri Mataji’s stay in Rio de Janeiro in October 1994, we were in the living room of the auspicious flat where Mother was hosted. She entered the room and sat on the sofa, looked at me and asked how it was in Salvador, Bahia, the city where She had been to two years before.

Very good,’ I answered.

She is saying everything is very good,’ Shri Mataji said, and looked at everybody.

She then asked me what was the population of the city of Salvador, and I didn’t know, and She also asked what was the population of the state of Bahia and of the whole of Brazil. I don’t remember what numbers I gave. Shri Mataji went on with questions about the economics in Bahia and I answered that the Northeast region, where Bahia is placed, was very poor because of drought, and that many people were starving. She asked why we did not take these people away from there and send them to other places. I replied that it would be difficult, and our real problem was the corruption and greed of the politicians and powerful people, who would get richer from embezzling the money given for the projects against drought.

Which people colonised Brazil?’ She asked.

The Portuguese,’ I replied. Shri Mataji said we had less luck than the Indians, because the English people had at least left the English language.

I recommend you marry German people and bring them to live in Brazil. The Germans are one of the least corrupt people, and would help to transform the Brazilian people,’ She said.

Shri Mataji asked to see a map of Brazil, and when the map arrived She gave vibrations to the Northeast region. She was silent for a while, then nodded Her head and smiled.

Now it’s all right!’ She said.

Twelve years after this auspicious happening, the Northeast region has improved a lot, and is now one of the major fruit exporting areas of Brazil. Where there was drought, it has become an orchard. The president of the country is from this region, and under his government much of the corruption has been exposed, and many corrupt people have been put in prison. This president is conducting many social projects to alleviate the hunger of the poor people.

Rivia Barros

Shri Mataji worked on a Sahaja Yogi for nearly an hour

In Brasilia, Shri Mataji had a meeting with the president of the Brazilian senate. He had seen the magnificent video prepared by Edmundo, in which he explained Sahaja Yoga. We also, after a rather long car journey, went to see some land that a lady wanted to give, to build an ashram and a Sahaja school. I remember the large amount of attention Shri Mataji gave to one particular Sahaja Yogi from Brasilia, working on him for a long time: and when, one night in the apartment at San Paolo, after a public programme, She worked on him for nearly an hour to put him right.

Duilio Cartocci

Shri Mataji sang it so sweetly

I was at Brasilia on some land that a Sahaja Yogi owned in the countryside. It is very beautiful – a dry part of the country, beautiful sky and red earth with a country house and a large terrace. It was in 1994 and although it was a nice house it was not luxurious, and Shri Mataji was very happy to be there. It was the first ashram, the house of Duilio Cartocci. In the evening we all sat outside on the terrace. It was a small gathering and Shri Mataji wanted to sing bhajans. My husband has gone around the whole world singing bhajans, but at that moment he was completely thoughtless and he couldn’t think of a single bhajan. He couldn’t remember any words even though he knew so many.

Shri Mataji started to laugh and asked someone to bring the harmonium. She started to play ‘Bhaiya Taya Kaya’ and taught us this song. She sang it so sweetly and we were all singing it. We were sitting on the floor, and She was sitting with us singing bhajans. We sat on the terrace in the fading sunlight and it was such a beautiful moment.

Angela Reininger

The most important move

At one point in 1994 we were living in Brazil and my husband had a job in an advertising agency. He took time off from San Paolo to meet Shri Mataji. When She heard he was in this southern town, She asked him what he was doing down there. My husband took notice of this and realised it was not the right place for us. When he got back he was fired for taking leave, so he returned to Shri Mataji.

She told him to go to Hong Kong for his work but said I shouldn’t go. It was the time of transition for Hong Kong, and I was expecting my fourth child, so we understood why Shri Mataji said this. It was the most important move of my husband’s career, because it was the start of the internet, and Hong Kong was so technologically advanced, he worked for a very fine company and they taught him all about web design and computers. After that we have had wonderful opportunities.

Angela Reininger

She can’t remove the negativity too quickly

There was another occasion where a group of yogis were taking a walk with Shri Mataji and suddenly She started to explain how the subtle system is like a spiral, and the negativity adheres to the inside of this spiral and She can’t remove this negativity too quickly because it can completely destroy our subtle system.

Angela Reininger

Shri Mataji smiled radiantly at me

I have been in Sahaja since 1991 and I met Shri Mataji for the first time in 1992. In 1993 my father died. When he died, he didn’t go but stayed near to me and I could feel his presence. He didn’t believe in God and came from the family that started the Positivist Movement in Brazil. This family helped with the emancipation of the slaves and had a very strong political influence in Brazil, but they didn’t believe in God.

In 1994 Shri Mataji came to Brazil and She called me and gave me a very strong speech, and was looking behind me. She said I had to tell my father to go away. She told me to put my left hand to the sky and my right hand to Shri Mataji and to tell him to go away. I did so, and suddenly felt something go. At this moment Shri Mataji smiled radiantly at me.

Now he knows who I am, and he went where he had to go,’ She said.

I started feeling a very strong fever, and Shri Mataji told me to hold Her hand, and then to go and sleep in my room.

The next day we took a plane to Brasilia. I was ashamed that I had given problems to Shri Mataji. When I got in the plane She was sitting there and gave me a smile and took my hand.

Are you feeling better today?’ She asked.

Yes,’ I said and thanked Her gratefully.

Cynthia Luz

Gifts from our Mother

In 1994 Shri Mataji came to Argentina. All the way to Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires, where our Divine Mother was expected to arrive, I could not convince my sister Ethel about the protocol that is to be followed with Shri Mataji. My sister had travelled all day from Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego, a distance of about three thousand kilometres, and her deepest desire was to touch our Mother.

But Shri Adi Shakti, the knower of all the pure desires of Her children, took us by surprise with Her infinite compassion. The moment Ethel came towards Shri Mataji to offer Her a rose, Mother extended Her hand and my sister took it between her hands putting Shri Mataji’s hand to her cheeks. Everything was so fast I couldn’t believe my eyes. But my surprise was to grow bigger. Getting into the car, Mother once again looked at my sister and extended Her hand to her. My sister took Shri Mataji’s hand and covered it with her hand.

Who is she?’ Shri Mataji meanwhile asked another yogi, the leader.

She’s Mabel’s sister and she lives in Tierra del Fuego.’

Where is Mabel?’ Mother said when She heard my name.

Here, Mother,’ I was only able to say, and at that moment my heart exploded with joy.

Writing these lines I cannot express in words the joy I felt. Shri Adi Shakti Herself was giving thanks to me for a peacock knitted in crochet that I had sent Her the year before.

Mabel Ortega

Shri Mataji cooked for everyone

In 1994, in Argentina, Shri Mataji cooked for everyone. Everybody was cutting the meat.

Cut like this. Cut like that,’ She would say. Then She had them put everything in the pot and the Argentinian Sahaja Yogis didn’t have Indian spices. They had other kinds of spices and showed them to Shri Mataji, and She took the bag and opened it and put the whole bag in. It was delicious.

Roxana Sindici

Shri Mataji overseeing the cooking

Shri Mataji cooking

One day the Adi Shakti blessed my country. She cooked for us delicacies that tasted like heaven!

At the time I had the feeling that Mother was working on us, the Argentinian women, cleaning our left Nabhi and teaching us how to be good Lakshmis in the sweet and loving way that She did all things. This was in General Rodríguez, 60 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Shri Mataji had gone shopping and some yogis accompanied Her. The rest of the yogis were expected in the cottage where Mother would spend the weekend with us. Upon arrival lunch was served to Her, but She preferred to eat the collective food which was ‘locro’, a very typical Argentinian dish prepared with corn, pumpkin and other vegetables. She wanted to see what the food prepared for those who had gone with Her was.

My children can’t eat that,’ Mother said when She was shown the food.

Then She went to the small kitchen and prepared lunch for them. I took pictures from outside through the window, not wanting to disturb Her.

What are you doing there?’ Mother looked at me and asked. After this She asked everyone to leave some room for me so I could enter and take a better picture.

Patricia Wulfmeier

To improve our Nabhis

In 1994, on Her second visit to Argentina, Shri Mataji cooked for us on the property of General Rodriguez, approximately sixty kilometres from Buenos Aires. It was a lamb stew with rice to improve our Nabhis, because Shri Mataji said She was feeling a lot of Nabhi. For that reason, She asked each one of us to take off the skin and cut the potatoes into small pieces and onions. A lot of them were not used, but it was useful for us to put the attention on this preparation. She made food for us for that dinner and also for lunch the next day. There was exactly enough for all of us!

Marilú Durand

A name for my daughter

Shri Mataji gave my daughter Radhika her name, in Argentina, when she was one year old. That time, when Shri Mataji came to Argentina, there were very few Sahaja Yogis. About sixty people came to the programme in the hall in 1994, in Buenos Aires. My daughter was running around and Shri Mataji saw her and was told she was from Cabella. I had wanted a name, but didn’t want to ask.

At that time in Argentina, Shri Mataji gave many names from the Vishuddhi to many children and She gave my elder daughter the name Radhika.

Roxana Sindici

Shri Mataji said not to worry

It was in 1994 when Shri Mataji stayed in the Buenos Aires ashram during Her visit to Argentina. It was quite a simple house and somehow we managed to decorate it very nicely. The only trouble was with the water supply. We put a special tank on the roof to be ready for any emergency.

On the second day of Shri Mataji’s visit we had a shortage of water so we planned to use the tank, but to our surprise it was empty. We didn’t know what to do so we ran everywhere to get water. We told Shri Mataji and She said not to worry. She continued talking.

There is the water coming,’ She said after a couple of hours. We could not hear anything, but after a couple of minutes we heard the water falling into the empty tank again.

Mariano Martinez

Cut it a bit smaller

I am from Argentina. Shri Mataji came to Argentina and a Sahaja Yogi bought a piece of land one hour from Buenos Aires at a place called Fabriles. We were there with Shri Mataji one time and some Sahaja Yogis were cooking. Shri Mataji went into the kitchen and taught us how to cut the potatoes, for example, lengthways not just in half. In the evening She said She would prepare food for us, so the men brought lamb, garlic and also rice. I had to cut garlic, and cut it very small.

You have to cut it a bit smaller,’ Shri Mataji said when I gave it to Her, and so I did, and when I gave it back to Her She said it had to be smaller still. I was very new, and I feel ashamed now, but I said that I had already made it smaller. She said it had to be smaller still. Later I realised that maybe Shri Mataji was talking about my ego – that we think things are a certain way but they are not.

Maria Lantos

Even greater joy

The last time Shri Mataji came to Colombia was in 1994. On that occasion She offered a public programme in a stadium in Bogotá on a cold and rainy night. At the end of the meeting She invited people to go to Her house in India and said that everybody was welcome.

On another day we went to a shopping centre and were asking about men’s shoes. Shri Mataji told us how human beings are so complicated that create different systems for measuring the same thing. She wanted to buy a pair of shoes for a yogi and knew the size according to the Italian system, but there is another number in the French or American systems.

That night we got together in the living room of the ashram, at the house that Shri Mataji had selected in 1992. She was sitting in a chair and many of us were sitting on the floor around Her. There were logs in the chimney and Mother asked us to light the fire. I tried with camphor and some matches but it didn’t work.

One has to be confident and believe in what one does,’ Shri Mataji said, and then the fire started burning. In that informal meeting Mother said that if our intention is pure everything is arranged, and told us a story how once She wanted to buy some presents and the driver took a wrong way and they reached a small town, and there was a store with beautiful hand made things that were perfect for the presents. Another time when Shri Mataji wanted to buy presents a man appeared at Her door offering paintings he had done, beautiful landscapes. Mother also described the joy people had when receiving the paintings from Her.

The same or even greater joy I ask Mother to give to people when reading these few and limited memories.

 Edgar Patarroyo

A big public programme in Bogotá

Shri Mataji came again in 1994. She only came for one day, and arrived at three o’clock in the morning, because the plane was delayed. The same day She had a big public programme in Bogotá, on 24th October, 1994. One thousand four hundred seekers received their self realisation. She left the following day.

Marie-Laure Cernay

Public programme in Bogotá

Every second with You is like eternity

When Shri Mataji arrived in Colombia in the early morning in October 1994, the whole collective was at the airport, even the children.

How come all the children are here, and how come they are not sleeping and are all awake?’ Shri Mataji said.

We were all singing when She arrived, and were so emotional, and were just crying. It was like a wave, so touching, there was so much feeling and when She came close to us we could not sing any more. She talked with all of us at the airport, and then went to the ashram. It was a house which She had selected when She came in 1992.

I am so sorry I could only stay such a short time,’ Shri Mataji told me.

Mother, every second with You is like an eternity,’ it came to me to say.

May God bless you,’ She said.

We could not believe She was only with us one day. It was so intense, that the notion of time did not exist. We were on another level. On that day Mother hardly rested. She had just a rest in the morning and after that She went shopping, then came back home.

It is nice to come back home, home sweet home,’ She said.

We had a little inner garden with a little inner bridge, and Shri Mataji looked at all the details of the flowers. We had a kindergarten and felt She gave blessings to everyone. The same day we had the public programme and it was raining so much. I was a bit worried.

What are you worrying about?’ Shri Mataji laughed. In fact She was just playing, so the real seekers could come. We had one thousand five hundred people, and from them there are some who are still in Sahaja Yoga. They told us that it was raining so much, they did not want to go.

That lady is only coming to Bogotá once, so we must go,’ they said. After the programme we went back to the ashram with Shri Mataji and the house was full, there were so many people there. We had a fire and all gathered around the chimney. The fire was a little bit difficult to get going, so Shri Mataji told us to put one hand towards Her and the other towards the fire.

You must have faith in what you do,’ She said, and then the fire just started. Then Shri Mataji talked to us about the importance of establishing ourselves, and about taking care of our vibrations. She spoke about how to look after oneself.

Marie-Laure Cernay

Only a two-year passport

How are you?’ Shri Mataji asked.

Fine, thank You, Shri Mataji,’ I said and gave Her a rose.

I want you to arrange for My trip to Miami and back,’ She was coming from Argentina.

Yes, Shri Mataji.’

Shri Mataji gave Her passport to me. I don’t speak English very well and they had to explain everything to me. The passport was like two passports really, one glued with the other – a big one with all the countries. I opened it and saw how much She had travelled. It was only a two year’s passport and it was countries and countries.

I looked and it was amazing.

Patricia Mays

I served tea to Shri Adi Shakti

I lived in Tampa, Florida, USA in 1994. One day another yogini, who lived in Miami called me.

Harsh Mehra called and said Shri Mataji is coming from South America. She is going to have a change of planes and go through customs in Miami. If you’d like to greet Her, this is the flight number.’

Yes, we have to go serve tea because the last time Shri Mataji was in Florida there was a problem,’ I said, because the tea wasn’t ready. For some reason, it came to me, ‘We have to serve tea.’

So, we had everything ready. We went to the airport and found Shri Mataji. She was with two yogis who were travelling with Her.

How did you know I was here? Come with us,’ She said, when I was walking next to Her.

I remember so much. The colour of Her sari was so brilliant; it wasn’t really a fancy sari because She was travelling. Shri Mataji sat down in the airport waiting area. She asked the other yogini to sit with Her because She wanted to speak with her. I was to serve the tea. We got everything out, put the doily on the seat, as we had no table, and served the tea and sandwiches.

I’m so sorry what happened with your son,’ Shri Mataji said to me.

Shri Mataji, what happened?’ I replied. There was some confusion in my mind and then all of a sudden I realised She was talking about the fact that I just had a miscarriage. I didn’t know it was a son. But when She said that, I remembered. The conversation went on to other things, such as about Florida.

Florida is so hot and dangerous,’ She said, and asked about my work. ‘What do you do for work?’

I’m a nurse.’

Do you work with handicapped children?’

No, poor children,’ I replied because I worked in the school system.

You can help them a lot,’ Shri Mataji explained. I was so taken aback because in that job I felt really useless. There was so much poverty and the people had such bad Left Swadishthan. That changed so much when She spoke to me. When Shri Mataji left, She shook my right hand and held on for a long time. I was so surprised, thinking, ‘Shri Adi Shakti is shaking your hand.’ She left and we said goodbye.

I had served tea to Shri Adi Shakti. People would wait lifetimes for this and I just got to do it. It was so amazing.

When I went back to the job, I suddenly realised that just being there as a yogi with your attention on all these children who need love — I could almost feel all the love falling on all the children. It was always in my attention, ‘They need so much love.’ I could feel that just by having that thought, the divine attention was coming.

Heidi Zogorski

Mother, when will I see You again?

In 1994 I moved to Miami, Florida and I was the only yogi there. In September there was a puja in New Jersey. At the end of the puja as Shri Mataji was leaving, I felt an overwhelming love for Her, and my heart cried out: Mother when will I see You again? I was going back to Miami by myself, where I felt a little isolated.

Three weeks later, Harsh Mehra called to tell me that Shri Mataji was coming to Miami the following day. I was so stunned! I felt such joy and remembered how I had felt at the end of the puja. Shri Mataji was on Her way back from South America to New York and was changing planes in Miami. The next morning Heidi, a Yogini who lived in North Florida, arrived. Heidi and I went to the airport to greet Shri Mataji. When Mother came out through customs, Her face lit up at the sight of three yoginis waiting for Her. We were carrying bags of food, hot tea, china etc.

What is this?’ Mother asked.

A picnic, Shri Mataji,’ we said, and She laughed.

We were allowed to accompany Mother to Her plane, so we settled down by the gate and served Shri Mataji tea. She blessed us with Her presence for a few hours and spoke to us about various things. Mother asked me what I was going to do in Miami. I said I was going to start a meeting.

Who is going to come?’ Mother replied.

I had found a wonderful place to hold a meeting: a club where ladies did volunteer charitable work, but the committee could not make up their minds. The day after Shri Mataji had been in Miami; the president herself called and said that the members would be delighted if we used the club to hold our meetings! We went on doing meetings there for four years, some of the members received their realisation and the club became really successful.

Annie Calvas

The hookah

On the Shri Krishna Puja weekend in New Jersey in October 1994, I had the opportunity to help a bit in the hotel room where Shri Mataji rested before and after the puja. I had two tasks. One was to present the Lakshmi baskets from America, which involved carrying extremely heavy baskets, presenting them and going to get more.

My second task was to make Shri Mataji a cup of tea. We had purchased an electric kettle to boil the water, but at the last minute, we discovered it was broken. Our only recourse was a small hotel-style plastic coffee maker. We washed this as well as we could and put the water to heat, with some cardamoms floating in it. These coffee makers do not boil the water, but we heated it as hot as possible and poured the water through the tea leaves. The tea must have been passable, because Shri Mataji drank it. Suddenly the thought occurred to me, ‘What if Shri Mataji wants a second cup of tea?’ Just in case this should happen I put more water on to heat. For some reason the coffee pot began to hiss and splutter. I panicked and looked at the other yogini – should we unplug it? While we were deciding, we heard Shri Mataji’s voice from the other room.

It sounds like a hookah in there.’

We immediately pulled out the plug.

Pramod Shete