Shri Mataji’s open window
On the Saturday night of 11th March 2006, Sahaja Yogis, devotees of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the Creator of the Universe and World Saviour, were gathered in Burwood, next door to Mother’s house, for their weekly gathering and collective meditation. At that time they did not know that the Goddess was going to bless them with Her divine presence.
When we arrived, the pre-school was locked, so we decided to sit on the front lawn and enjoy the collective singing. We were sitting in the garden near the fence facing Mother’s bedroom. After some time we stopped to meditate. At this point someone came over and quietly told a few of us that Shri Mataji’s window was open and that She was listening to the music and that we should keep singing. A bit later, another yogi passed a written message saying, ‘Shri Mataji is having tea in the bedroom and listening’. No more encouragement was needed to devotees, who get great joy from offering songs at the Lotus Feet of their Guru.
At one stage, a yogi from inside the pre-school wished to play Shri Mataji’s talk for the weekly programme, not realising what was going on outside. When it was explained by one of the musicians what was happening, there was a twinkling smile on that yogi’s face, when he realised that this was the only communion/communication that was necessary. We were also aware that if Mother wanted to sleep, we would have to stop singing. John, who was watching Mother’s window, said, ‘As long as Mother keeps Her window open we can sing.’ This feeling of being very close to Shri Mataji multiplied our enthusiasm and devotion. Our hearts were bubbling with joy.
This seemed to be just a continuation of the previous night, our weekly bhajan night. During the first bhajans, I felt my attention somehow flat, lost on its way, not established in the Sahasrara. Then it started to relax and settle itself. By the tenth song, I could feel myself glorified, established in Sahasrara, with no more efforts or fears. At that point we were all one, one with Her, one with Her eternal glory of God.
A few moments later, a Sahaja Yogi who was looking after Mother came to the fence to tell us that Mother was inviting us to come to Her place to sing more bhajans. We went and all sat in Her courtyard in awe, in auspicious silence. We started singing with unusual power and intensity, while Mother was getting prepared to welcome us in.
Then the curtains opened. We were all invited inside and witnessed the most beautiful and auspicious event. Mother was sitting with Her daughters and instantly I felt a strong power of auspiciousness and love. I felt as the Mother power was multiplied. They were holding Mother’s hands, sometimes looking at Her and talking to Her and requesting another bhajan or qawwali. They were the expression of Mother’s love. They were very happy and Mother closed Her eyes in meditation at times.
We could feel we were in Mother’s full attention and instruments to spread Her love to the whole world. I witnessed my attention going around the world at times. Mother, once again, blessed the whole world with Her love, Her mercy, Her unending compassion. Let us all uphold Her expectations and put all efforts to discipline and respect ourselves truly, as Her children.
John Smiley and Jean-Michel Huet
I felt I was being pulled
In 2006, in Sydney, we were lucky enough to be sitting at the end of the hall almost directly opposite it. When they drew the curtains back Shri Mataji was sitting on the stage. I felt like I was being pulled, pulled towards Shri Mataji. You almost had to force yourself backwards or you’d just go flying forwards. So strong, particularly when you namaskared.
The whole universe was in the room
In February 2006, in Sydney, when we entered Shri Mataji’s room to offer flowers from Turkey, I felt that the whole universe and each planet was in the room, hanging in the ether, but Shri Mataji’s attention was on the earth and She is here for us and is working for us. But our attention is on trivial things and we are not doing our job properly. I felt that everything in the world; the lights in the streets, the traffic, the noise, was in the room. It seemed that there was a fight in the ether with swords and other weapons.
When I experienced this I realised that it happens all the time in my daily life as well, but the experience in the room was much stronger. When I feel it now, I know that it is Shri Mataji working in me, which I didn’t know before. Shri Mataji showed me Her power, and that everything is under Her control.
Thank You, Shri Mataji, for this incredible experience.
Celebration of Holi
‘Wish fulfilling’ was the over-riding feeling of our joyful Holi celebrations with Shri Mataji and Her family at Burwood in 2006. It began when Shri Mataji was noticed reading a book and we got to glimpse Her doing so. Then progressively we were all invited to sit inside with Her. Always Sahaja Yogis feel close to our Divine Mother yet rarely indeed this close, so intimate and so all encompassing. So began this night of music, joy and complete integration. Our children and the collective danced ecstatically in front of Her, music rising to almost frenzied enthusiasm, and intense gratitude at the acceptance of us all as we collectively dissolved into the unity of this completely beautiful experience. We are Her family and Her joy of many colours is our heritage.
Midnight birthday, 2006
Our pretext was that our beloved brothers from Japan were wishing to present flowers and pranams to Shri Mataji and so we were at Burwood the night before Her birthday. We played some bhajans beforehand and then Bagus was asked to play first keyboard, outside, and then solo piano inside the ashram, with dulcet subtle versions of Western songs like It’s a wonderful world.
It was truly memorable. Later that evening I was asked to barbecue some things for our Mother’s dinner, a small but immensely satisfying task. Then not long before midnight we were ushered again into Shri Mataji’s family presence as She and Sir CP were congratulated and sung to at midnight. Then in the most intimate of family settings we shared the birthday cake and subtle nourishments of being beside Her, and we were absolutely happy, in this most perfect of birthdays.
What a time to be alive!
On April 7th, 2006 the collective arranged a very big party in celebration of Shri Mataji and Sir CP’s 59th wedding anniversary at Burwood. It turned out to be a most magical and unforgettable evening, which can only be summed up by the words of a new song written at the time: What a sight, what a life, what a time to be alive! This we sang, as the complete blessings of param chaitanya poured down on all of us. Shri Mataji looked so radiant, I could not think of a more perfect gathering – it was indeed like a gathering in heaven itself.
Just as everything was in this state of perfection, Shri Mataji and Sir CP began showering everyone with gifts; gifts for the cooking team of many completely fulfilled ladies, gifts for the organizers of the many events of this most unforgettable time. Our joy and gratitude overwhelmed us.
A sign that I needed to stay on the stage longer
In 2006 I attended Shri Ganesha Puja in Australia. I had such a strong desire to get married, so I filled out my application with the idea in mind that it would happen then.
After arriving on the camp site, a yogi announced that if there was anyone who wanted to get married at this puja, that there was a bus leaving for Shri Mataji’s house in thirty minutes. All of us ladies got dressed up in our best saris, arrived at Her house in Burwood and stayed until 12 midnight. As the evening progressed, the ladies waiting to be matched moved into the kitchen to help with the cooking. When the talent portion of the night started, we watched it on the internet. In the middle of the programme, a yogi who was looking after Shri Mataji came into the kitchen and asked if there was anyone present from the USA. I was the only one in the room from there, so I felt it was my duty to speak up.
‘Yes sir, I’m from the USA,’ I raised my hand and said.
‘Do you know anything about the tennis?’ he asked.
‘I’m sorry but I don’t,’ I replied.
Then he ran back upstairs to Shri Mataji. The US Open was just finishing and I remembered that Shri Mataji likes to watch tennis, so I realised who that question was coming from. As it turned out I was not matched, and was rather upset, although later got over it.
The next day was the puja. There was a series of gifts for Shri Mataji and I was asked to go on stage with the other brothers and sisters from the USA to present one. I was to present a set of clay wind chimes. The time came after the puja for everyone to line up with their gifts. When it was our turn, we approached Her individually and did namaskar. When I did namaskar, I felt that I wanted to keep my head to the earth but also had to remember not to be greedy with my time near Shri Mataji, for there were so many other yogis waiting to give their gifts. As I lifted my head after doing namaskar, to my surprise Shri Mataji looked up at me and gave me the biggest, sweetest, and brightest smile that I’ve ever seen.
The last time that I was near Her during a puja I had cried and hidden behind a plant. This time, it was very joyous because I was balanced and in the present. For those thirty seconds, which felt like eternity, I was in thoughtless awareness. I did namaskar again and then stood up to leave the stage, but I was unable to because the auntie who was presenting the next gift was kneeling on my sari by accident, so I could not get up until she did. Maybe that was a sign that I needed to stay on the stage longer!
When I returned to my seat I learned from an auntie who I sat next to, that Shri Mataji kept Her attention on me while I was doing namaskar to Her. I came away from the puja feeling extremely satisfied spiritually, healed and very joyful.
Sydney Airport, 2006
While we sat in the Kingsford Smith Room yesterday, 14th April, waiting to farewell Shri Mataji, the memories came flooding back. How many times over the last two and a half decades – since that first visit in March 1981 – have we yogis travelled to the airport with excitement and anticipation in our hearts: for our Beloved Mother was coming to see Her children in the Great South Land of red earth and Shri Ganesha’s swayambhu.
In the first decade the yogis – a small group of about forty – would gather near the exit doors with heart-filled expectation for that initial glimpse, that comforting glance, the divine darshan of their most compassionate Mother. How graciously She moved along the line of eager yogis, accepting each and every offering of flowers with bright greetings!
‘Hello, how are you?’ She would say.
With Her encouraging smile She dissolved all our fears and diffidence. We truly felt there were no obstacles – all that was mere illusion, like clouds becoming more and more wispy and then disappearing to reveal a clear blue sky.
In the impersonal and public domain of the airport, Shri Mataji would sit down and talk to us. And, suddenly and spontaneously, the airport lounge would be transformed into heaven-on-earth, with the Queen of both enthroned before Her devoted subjects, sitting quietly on the ground around Her. Some airport employees – drawn perhaps by curiosity, more probably by vibrations – would hover close by in a bemused state. Many were given their realisation personally by our Mother. As She talked and laughed with us – even on occasion naming our children – the ordinary world seemed to fade and instead we were all enveloped in a light-filled bubble of timelessness.
Yesterday, farewelling our Mother, after the blessing of three months in Australia, was as special and moving an experience: the table laden with beautiful bouquets; the huge chocolate Easter eggs; the room crowded with two hundred or more yogis; our brother Chris’s words of gratitude which spoke for us all; the songs of joy; Sir CP’s sweetest and kindest words that made tears well up in our eyes from overfull hearts. One can only take a deep breath to absorb such abundance.
Yet, much has changed for our collective in over two and a half decades. Before us on the dais sat Shri Mataji, so much more to us now than a Great Queenly Mother at Whose Feet we were once supplicants. She has indeed ‘given us more than we could ask for’. Increasingly, now, I feel, She is becoming the witness of Her own creation. As She recedes from interaction with us on an everyday level, She seems to call us more and more to surrender to the formless, to recognize that God is both immanent and transcendent in the vastness of the universe. We may still wish at times for the words, the smiles, the acknowledgement. Yet, in Her silence She now speaks more directly to our spirits. No longer can we glide along all the streams and tributaries, it is the strong river of eternal life we must flow in now.
I pray for the awareness and clarity to understand that silence, that interior wordless language, and to be able to imbibe it fully into my heart – because it is in the heart that the Divine will need to reside for all the Sahaja generations to come.
Sydney Airport, 2006
A divine glance
In April 2006 after a long wait for Shri Mataji to return to Pratishthan, Pune from Australia I got my first ever opportunity to stay in Mother’s house to help with chores. During this short period of seven days we were blessed with some pujas including the Easter one.
The evening Shri Mataji was leaving for London, She sat in Her car and we were only a few people present at that moment surrounding it. I was standing very close and could clearly see Shri Mataji. She was looking so glorious as usual. As I wanted to thank Her for allowing me to spend those seven unforgettable days in Her holy presence, looking at Her I said in my heart, ‘Shri Mataji, I love You,’ while She was looking at me. All of sudden She looked straight at me and again as I repeated the same words in my heart Mother again looked at me. I was completely drenched in joy as it was a great blessing for me that Adi Shakti Herself responded to my prayers and blessed me with Her divine glance.
The net of heaven is cast wide
My first ever puja was when Shri Mataji came to England for Adi Shakti Puja in 2006. I was drawn to attend by a sense I had never felt before. At the puja I met many yogis and got such a view of Sahaja Yoga as I never had previously – a total sense of community. Lao Tse says it best: ‘The net of heaven is cast wide. Though the mesh is loose, nothing ever slips through,’ The Anglican Prayer book also has a term that comes close: ‘the communion of saints.’
We were singing before the puja, all wearing white kurtas and many coloured saris – though I didn’t know the words it didn’t matter, I clapped like crazy! And then we heard that Mother has left Her home to come and immediately vibrations came, so much. We were dancing with the angels.
When She came into the tent everything settled right down. She was only a speck in my vision as I was towards the back. A small, clear Italian gentleman next to me started quietly crying – face aglow – smiling the widest smile I’d ever seen. Then an ache started in my right heart and grew in ferocity until it felt like a physical affliction. It was as if I became aware of a wound I had had for ages. It felt like my chest was pierced by a spear or sword and that it was slowly being pulled at. At the same time there was such a clear, cool spring coursing through my void, an unstoppable tide rising to my spirit. The experience was all-consuming.
As Shri Mataji left the experience faded and the tent was awash with cool vibrations. I went to bed. The next morning there was a clearly perceptible brilliance coming out of the earth around the stage where Mother sat. What kind of a person, I thought, is surrounded by so much power?
Shri Adi Shakti Puja, 2006
Something very beautiful happened
Something very beautiful happened two days ago (in June 2006). I was at Shri Mataji’s house, where She is staying while She is here, and I had made a card on which I drew Shri Ganesha’s head in pencil, and had written a message inside. I also brought a bunch of roses from me, and one from another Yuva Shakti, which had together been made into a lovely little pink and white bouquet to offer to Mother. Around 1.00 pm, just before Mother’s meal, I was allowed to go in. There was only Mother and a few nurses.
To begin with Mother was looking at one of the nurses and then She turned Her head and saw me, and I lit up with love from Her. I knelt down at Her Feet, and gave Her the card, which She took and held in Her hands. She looked at the Shri Ganesha on it, and at me several times with such softness.
‘Did you do it?’ Shri Mataji said in Marathi or Hindi, but I understood what She said.
‘Yes,’ I said. I was so overwhelmed with love and the attention of Mother that I was nearly in tears throughout my time there. I felt Her enveloping me and holding me safe, it felt like there was nothing but Her, and my love for Her as Her little child. I was with Her there but part of Her. She was holding me so lovingly with Her attention, glance and Motherly love.
Sadhana Didi came in and translated what Shri Mataji was saying, explaining that She was saying that the drawing was ‘beautiful’.
‘Thank You, Thank You Shri Mataji,’ I humbly said many times, fighting back the tears, and I did namaskar. Then I gave Her the flowers, which She smelled.
‘Ganapati,’ She said strongly, but so gently and smoothly, and looked at me. The word penetrated into me. I felt like Her small child, and was lost in Mother’s presence, love and attention. The bond from my heart to Hers was so strong that I never want to forget or not feel that.
I then opened the card again and gave it back to Mother to read, and She held it and read it for some time, and then looked at me with love.
‘To the most Holy Mother,’ it said. ‘Thank You for saving me from the evil forces, from Your innocent, loving, eternally dedicated child, with love…’ I stayed for a bit longer with Mother in that bond with each other, and the card and flowers were put on the mantelpiece in front of Her chair. I did namaskar again and thanked Her again, then left to go through to the kitchen to wash up Her dishes. I felt so full of joy and sweetness, like a toddler again.
Mother is with us, always
Sahaja Yoga has changed over the years, and Shri Mataji has withdrawn much more in a physical sense. But to me it is just so simple now. I always used to suffer from the Western disease of analysing everything and trying to work things out on a mental level. Now it just seems so simple to accept the beautiful vibrations that Mother pours out on us each day and let them do the work.
Although I only saw Shri Mataji from a distance at the two national pujas we were blessed to host in England in 2006, I am far more aware of Her presence than I used to be. It is wonderful to have time with Shri Mataji and I feel so fortunate for all the experiences She has given me over the years but I realise now just how close Mother is all the time no matter where Her physical presence is. It is we that sometimes move away from Her: She is always there, the unchanging source of comfort, fulfilment and love.
After a marvellous tour of Morocco when Sahaja Yogis from various countries held programmes in Casablanca, Marrakech and Rabat, we were invited to meet Shri Mataji in London, in 2006. When we were there we showed Her a DVD of the tour.
‘Are they all Muslims?’ Shri Mataji asked.
‘Yes,’ we replied.
Later Shri Mataji observed that they were true Muslims, good hearted people, and they deserved it. She also said they are very creative and write some wonderful poems. In the DVD we put a saying of Mohammed Sahib, from the Hadith: ‘Paradise is under the Feet of the Mother.’ Shri Mataji read it on the screen.
‘Really?’ She said. ‘Mohammed said this?’ Then, She was looking with a different view, through the eyes of the Virata, ‘Yes,’ She said, ‘Fatima is that Mother.’
Earlier, in 1995, Shri Mataji had asked Wolfgang from Austria to take care of Sahaja Yoga in Morocco. I did not know this, but I am from Austria, and by chance went there on business and did give realisation to some people. We met Shri Mataji at Cabella in 1996, after arranging several public programmes there, and told Her that it was very difficult.
‘As long as they have fear, I cannot help them,’ She said at that time.
A month with Shri Mataji
It was such a blessing for me to cook for Shri Mataji for more than a month. It was the most precious time of my life.
On the 5th of May another Sahaja Yogini and I left the puja site to cook in Mother’s house. As soon as we reached the house, Aunty Saxena from India, in charge of the kitchen, said that today was Sahasrara Day, so make every possible nice thing for the Devi’s bhog (enjoyment). We made lots of things from our heart. In the evening, along with some other Austrian brothers and sisters, we had the opportunity to attend a small puja in the presence of Shri Mataji and sang bhajans. It was always my desire to sing in front of Shri Mataji and it happened that I could sing on Sahasrara Day with the bhajan group. We also sang Mata ka karam, which Shri Mataji liked very much.
On the 7th, the day of the Sahasrara Puja, I again went there and we made different types of sweets for prasad. Some sweets I made for the first time and they all turned out very nicely. I felt as if I was not doing anything and Shri Mataji was doing it all.
The next day when I came to Shri Mataji’s house, an English Sahaja Yogi asked where the boy was who sang Mata ka karam so nicely. The person who sang flew back again from Austria to London and sang it again at the beautiful Shri Buddha Puja on Buddha Purnima day in the house.
The day after was Mother’s Day. There were offerings from different countries. The Austrians also brought beautiful cakes and flowers. On that day an amazing thing happened: around 12 o’clock in the night Shri Mataji asked for aarti, so we all ran up to the living room and sang it. It was like a puja and Shri Mataji was wearing the Austrian shawl which was a collective effort of the ladies in Austria.
Shri Mataji wearing the shawl presented by the Austrian ladies
Shri Mataji liked the shawl very much. This shawl and scarf was worn by Her quite a few times, whenever She went out. The Austrian Mother’s Day card was always in Shri Mataji’s bedroom, just opposite Her chair.
Once Shri Mataji was sitting at the dining table just in front of the kitchen door and we were all busy preparing breakfast. She looked at all of us. We did namaskar, it was a very nice darshan. Kalpana Didi was there for some days and we had opportunity to cook with her. We cooked akhni pulao, Kashmiri chicken, keema, egg curry, moong dal vada. She told us that most of them were from Shri Mataji’s recipes.
We often sat in the corridor while Shri Mataji was sitting in the living room watching something on the TV. We watched a few Hindi films together: Lagaan, Mugal-E-Azam and Dil Chahata Hai. Once we watched the Sahasrara Puja 2006 and sang the aarti; it was very nice. Often when we were free we would meditate on the lawn facing Shri Mataji’s bedroom window, or just in front of Her room. Such deep meditations we had.
Once Shri Mataji played harmonium Herself. We all ran up from the kitchen to see that; it was a wonderful scene. It was such a wonderful evening, just like a music programme in heaven.
Before Kalpana Didi left she gave valuable gifts to everybody in the house. She called me into her room and opened her hand: a pair of very beautiful golden earrings with rubies. I said it was too much. She said it was Mother’s blessings. I was in tears.
Once the French Yuva Shaktis came to give gifts on the occasion of their Mother’s Day and they sang a very soft and sweet song which was very touching. We were sitting in Shri Mataji’s dining area and watching. It was very nice. On the 6th of June the Yuva Shaktis came to sing bhajans. They sang very beautifully and the whole house was full of joy and charged with vibrations. They presented pictures of the Yuva Shakti ashram. It was a wonderful evening.
Suddenly Shri Mataji said She did not want to go in the wheel chair and She wanted to walk, and She walked from the living room to the bedroom. It was the most extraordinary event. The whole house was bubbling with joy, everybody was saying that Shri Mataji was walking. Since then She always walked from the bedroom to the living room and back.
On the 7th of June we, the kitchen team, went to offer flowers to Shri Mataji. We all did pranams. It was such a nice moment.
‘You all cook so many things, nice food and you are spoiling us,’ Sir CP said.
On the 8th of June we watched the Austrian bhajan DVD for the first time, together with Shri Mataji. We sat in the corridor and She was in the living room and liked the bhajans. I was sitting and singing, and felt that I was singing with the other Austrians. It was an amazing moment. I was so proud to be Austrian. After that many times Shri Mataji watched that DVD and specially the song Mata ka karam . Even on the second day of the evening programme of Shri Adi Shakti Puja She watched Mata ka karam, and again when She came back after the puja.
On the day of Shri Adi Shakti Puja, we had the Foot washing ceremony of Mother in the morning. It was like a small puja. Then they asked five ladies of the house to bring the Lakshmi baskets to Shri Mataji. I was one of them. Another lady and I were carrying beautiful Cranberry glass sets. We offered them to Shri Mataji and did pranams. She was very happy. I felt it was the most precious moment of my life. When we came out another lady was asking me about the shopping list and we both said we couldn’t think any more! After some time we started to make the shopping list, cook and so on again. On the puja day, together with some Indian food, I could make Austrian schnitzel.
After Shri Mataji had lunch we all got ready for the puja and waited outside, so that when She went in the car we also jumped in the van. When Shri Mataji was going in the car we all did namaskar and She raised Her hand for blessings. She was very happy during the puja and afterwards, when we were dancing the qawwali in front of Her, She was smiling at us. So sweet. We came back home and made the dinner. When Shri Mataji had finished dinner, I said goodbye to everybody. I was in tears and felt that I was going away from my parent’s house.
For more than a month I had the opportunity to serve God Herself. It was the most precious time of my life. I could make breakfast, lunch, dinner, chai and everything – whatever was in my heart and whatever Shri Mataji wanted. Working there I felt that as if I was not doing anything. She was giving the ideas and I was just moving my hands. There were many things which I made there for the first time, but everything turned out nicely. Once we had to get the dinner ready in forty-five minutes, which is normally quite impossible, but everything was finished at the right time. So, She does it all.
When I came back to Austria I felt that I had come back from heaven to earth. It was really a different world there with Shri Mataji. The birds were always singing, and beautiful blossoms were everywhere. Everything was beyond time. Sometimes dinner was finished at four in the morning, sometimes half past two or three. Everything was so beautiful. We were always full with joy and vibrations. What more can a Sahaja Yogi want?
We are very close
I hesitate to write about the house in Chiswick because for me it was a deeply personal and difficult experience. We had recently seen Shri Mataji for the first time since Her illness, at Chiswick Town Hall, when She arrived in England, and it was a big shock to see Her completely withdrawn.
Some time later I was asked to come to the house in Chiswick because it had been decided that some old yogis should offer Mother a garland for some Sahaja anniversary. I was there with my sister Maureen and Douglas Fry, and my brother Finbar was there too, together with our spouses. We arrived at the house and it seemed a pretty exclusive affair. There was a certain amount of excitement going on because Mother was rumoured to have been interacting with people more than usual that day.
When the time came, the ‘old yogis’ were summoned to offer a garland at Mother’s Feet, which we did although She paid us no attention. Just afterwards however, Mother looked up and caught sight of my brother Finbar.
‘Where is Pat?’ She said, and I was hurriedly summoned back again, while Mother also said, ‘Where is Pat’s wife?’
I made my way back to Mother and knelt on the floor in front of Her. She looked intently at me and I looked into Her eyes. I could not see the Goddess there, something I had previously had a lot of experience of when interacting with Her personally, only Mother’s human personality looking at me as if through a deep mist. I could see that She recognised me.
‘I remember, from the very beginning,’ She said. ‘The only thing that matters is that we are very close,’ (or all very close) and I felt She meant we were very close to the final manifestation of the divine within us.
At one point Mother asked Sir CP a question in Marathi and he asked me what job I was doing. I replied that I was working as a building surveyor, although I was nearing the end of a temporary contract and was uncertain what I was going to do next. Soon afterwards I was surprised to get a great job as a project manager in a multi-million pound Local Authority building renovation programme.
A visit to Kew Gardens
In June 2006 we went to Kew Gardens with Shri Mataji. I went too, because I used to work there. Shri Mataji asked to see the rose garden, so we walked from the main gate to the rose garden. When we reached there Mother asked whether we were allowed to pick a rose. Somebody picked a white or cream coloured one for Her, but it didn’t have a fragrance. Then a couple of Sahaja Yogis ran around the rose garden looking for a rose with a scent, and found a very fragrant red one and Mother smelled it.
‘Ah!’ Shri Mataji said, and after this She was concerned about the children. ‘It is too big for the children,’ She said, and when we went near the pond Mother did not want them to go near the water, but to be near Her. Mother stayed by the pond for a while, watching the birds, and then we started walking back to the gate.
As we were walking back, I had a feeling that Mother was in every tree and leaf and flower, but there She was in front of me!
Shri Mataji visiting Kew Gardens
Sitting near the Feet of God Almighty
I had recently become very interested in photography and was learning almost from scratch at a very fast rate. There was a reason for this, which I was soon to discover.
Two months later Shri Mataji came to London for four days on Her way to Pune, in October 2006. By sheer chance I was in the right place at the right time with my camera and it worked out that I got some really nice shots of Her. The feedback about the pictures was good and the next day I found myself taking pictures of Shri Mataji again. I took the pictures for four days in total. I had been in Sahaja Yoga for sixteen years and never had the chance to be this close to Her. I found myself at Her Feet every day for four days in a row. I had always had a strong desire to have had some time where I could experience what it was like to be close to Shri Mataji, so those four days were like a dream come true.
I found that while I was taking pictures my attention was focused very much on the job at hand. I felt blessed the whole time but there were two moments I remember well. One time I was sitting on the floor at Mother’s Feet and took a short break from the camera. I became overwhelmed by the moment – the thought that I was sitting three feet away from the Feet of God Almighty. I felt totally blessed. This sublime experience occurred in a shop on a busy shopping day in the centre of London! On the last day at the airport when Shri Mataji was leaving, at one point She looked into the camera and smiled, I took a few shots and made a gesture of thanks to Shri Mataji. My Kundalini came up really strongly and my head was tingling all over. It was a great time that I will never forget.
The picture on the next page was taken at St Georges House in Chiswick, West London. The ladies were performing the welcoming aarti and are decorating Shri Mataji’s Feet.
We lived the Cotswolds from 1997 to 2007, near the Seven Springs where there was a gathering in 1982 (Cowley Manor Seminar). In 2006 when Mother visited England I was enjoying the beautiful summer in this area, and got a call that I might want to say farewell to Her at Heathrow Airport, so I went in the early morning in our beautiful country garden, gathered a lovely bouquet of roses and country looking flowers still covered in dew, wrapped it in a silk purple paper and jumped in my car to be on time at the airport. I hadn’t seen Shri Mataji from close for quite a while and suddenly found myself just by Her wheelchair with my flowers. She looked up at me in a very loving way.
‘How are you?’ She said.
‘Shri Mataji I am very moved to be here,’ I replied. She took my flowers and smelled them.
‘From where are these beautiful flowers? You can’t find flowers like these in the shops.’ She asked the person next to Her to name the flowers for Her. All the time She was holding the flowers whilst I described the area they were coming from. She paused and said, ‘Yes I have been there.’
I was melting with joy to have been living for all this time with my family in a village just half a mile from these blessed places and understood why the vibrations were always so strong with an open Sahasrara in this area!
This dream is so fresh in my memory
I once dreamed about Shri Mataji in Genoa, in about 2005. In the dream She took me for a walk and was very dynamic, fresh and young as eternity. She was very close, without any barrier.
‘Look at the sky, at the trees, at the small birds,’ She said to me, and pointed out all the beauty of the surrounding nature. Then She went on, ‘You have to say to all the Sahaja Yogis that I am at the source of all this creation and I am behind everything.’
It was the time when Mother didn’t receive anybody. Nobody was allowed inside. Everybody was saying that these times were finished and that Mother would not receive Her children again.
In the dream, it started in the living room of the castle full of yogis, so full that we had to be outside. When I woke up, a thought came, ‘How it could be? Mother doesn’t receive anyone any more.’
The next year, 2006, I stayed in the castle for one and a half months. Every two days we were around Mother in Her living room, singing bhajans, such as Jago Savera, Namostute, etc, exactly as in the dream!
The Guru Puja cake
Every puja, we used to offer on nice decorated cake to Shri Mataji. So, one Guru Puja, in 2006, we made a nice cake decorated with fresh rose petals, with candles at the sides and one on the top. During the dinner, the electricity failed and our brothers were a little bit panicked to find the cause and put it on again. It took a little time and meanwhile Mother’s apartment was lit with candles. While our brothers were a little tense, Mother was enjoying Herself and happy.
‘Oh, look at such a romantic and soothing atmosphere,’ She said and was laughing.
While sending in the cake, it was still same situation and they asked what the name of this cake was, and one of our sisters said, ‘No special name, it is a Guru Puja cake.’ Then the cake came in and Sir CP, surprised by the candles, asked whose birthday it was.
‘No, it is a Guru Puja cake,’ Mother said. It was such a joy. Many times, our brothers who were serving Mother came back with nice little stories like this which enlightened our hearts and drenched us in an ocean of love and joy.
During the second year of my working in Shri Mataji’s kitchen, we were ten girls sleeping in the mezzanine room in the castle. The ones who had the last shift used to come back at three or four o’clock in the morning and wake us up when they returned, which made me a bit upset. Eventually I asked them to be quieter. The night after, it was around two o’clock and I was trying to sleep. Some people came in and spoke very loudly.
‘Wake up, get ready fast, Mother is calling us into Her room!’ they said.
In one moment all the girls woke up. Within five minutes we were ready and three minutes after, we were sitting in Mother’s room. It was just incredible, a first experience for me, so sudden, so miraculous! One by one, we received a sari from the holy hands of the Goddess at three o’clock in the night. We were there next to Her for quite a long time and the man there asked, ‘Is it finished? Are there any girls remaining?’
‘Three more,’ Shri Mataji said, and three girls came in and each one received a nice sari. After bowing to Mother’s Lotus Feet, we went all downstairs and a big party started. We were all very fresh, laughing and enjoying ourselves, and of course looking at the nice saris which we had been given.
For myself, I promised inside to Mother that I would never complain anymore, even if I did not get any sleep at all.
Serving Shri Mataji
In 2006 the Sahaja Yogis greeted Shri Mataji as She arrived in the Los Angeles airport. Everyone was dressed beautifully and eager to receive Her and we were all able to offer a flower to Her individually. I was in the line and feeling lots of joy in anticipation of giving Her a flower. We were all like angels there to receive our Divine Mother.
After the Realise America Tour in 2006 on the West Coast, the yuva shaktis had the opportunity to go the LA house where Shri Mataji was staying to wash the dishes and serve food in the night. I went along with two other yuva shaktis to the house around 10.00 pm. Shri Mataji was upstairs and the yuva shakti washed the dishes while the uncles and aunties cooked food for Her. One interesting thing that happened while washing dishes was as that there is a little soap dish with a sponge used only for Shri Mataji’s dishes. When I picked up Her sponge, I felt a lot of energy in my body.
The uncles told us the protocol how to offer food to Shri Mataji. We were to carry the plates upstairs to the room and arrange them on the tray. Then we were to serve the food onto the plates with one knee on the ground. When the food was ready we took turns to bring everything upstairs and serve them. I was trying to show as much respect and protocol (and not drop anything). To be that close to Shri Mataji and see Her, it was somewhat unusual, because this was Shri Mataji there right in front of you. Later on in the night we were able to eat the prasad left over from dinner.
A shiny watch
When I joined the Realize America Tour in 2006 all the yuva shakti who were participating had the opportunity to meet Shri Mataji. I had the privilege to offer the bouquet of the tour, and the second time everyone went to offer some rose petals on Her Feet and do namaskar, all of us got beautiful presents. Mother gave me a beautiful diamond-like decorated watch, and at the beginning I wasn’t sure if I could really wear it, because I wasn’t used to wearing diamond-like shiny things.
I was so fortunate I could meet Her a third time, when we offered Her a CD and other material from the tour, and Mother offered me another watch. At that time I wasn’t sure if it was right, but I said, ‘Thank You Mother, but I’ve already got one.’
That watch reminds me of Mother and I wear it very often and everyone notices it and always finds it very beautiful and exquisite.
Shri Mataji’s subtle messages
My wife Ekta and I got our lifetime opportunity to serve Shri Mataji during Her stay at Her Los Angeles residence in 2006. We went there for one week along with five other members of the Chicago collective. This year the new concept of various centres collectively helping with Shri Mataji’s stay started.
On the last day of our stay, we went to seek blessings from Mother and got gifts from Her. We were about to serve the last dinner from us, when Shri Mataji asked for ‘Sindhi Papad’, a special Indian dish from the Sindhi community in India. My wife is a Sindhi but no one knew that there. There was no Sindhi Papad in the house and we could not provide what Mother asked, but later we realised that Mother perhaps indicated about spreading Sahaja Yoga among the Sindhi community. With Her subtle message, when Ekta visited her parents two months later in India, they adopted Sahaja Yoga and have been practising sincerely since then, and are spreading the word in the community.
A great treat to see Shri Mataji
In 2006, when Shri Mataji was leaving America, we barely arrived at LA airport in time; any extra traffic would have caused us to miss all of it. Mother pulled up right after we reached the gate. It was so nice that everyone present was allowed to offer flowers again – Shri Mataji looked well and was so animated. She seemed relaxed, and lingered for many minutes at the top of the Food Court.
Shri Mataji bought French fries and soda for all of us and I saw Her take a French fry Herself. People in that Food Court were spontaneously asking about Her and receiving self realisation. It was a really a great treat to see Her.