Chapter 12: 1985 – May and June, USA

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

USA Tour 1985 (diary entry)

We are in the air going from London to New York on 26th May. Shri Mataji, the Adi Shakti in person, will arrive in America in about an hour. Shri Mataji has said this is a very auspicious day, because it is the day of Shri Asthami, an aspect of Shri Durga. On this precise day Shri Mataji has decided to go to America, to fight and defeat the devils and the negativity which is here. Let us hope that Her compassion will overcome the forces of evil!

In the plane, we are accompanied in our First Class seats by an official of Air India. Soon after we took off we went through a bank of clouds with thunder and lightning, and Shri Mataji said Shri Vishnumaya was announcing Her arrival. She gave a bandhan and it cleared. After we had eaten we went to sleep.

When She woke up Shri Mataji spoke a little about the United States. She said that New York had very bad vibrations, like Rome, and the people were very materialistic – all the materialists have incarnated here. While the plane was landing, Indian flute music was played, Shri Krishna has accompanied Shri Mataji to his land, She said.

We arrived in the United States, to the Hamsa, this city of negativity which is New York. Thank You Mother, for having called me to be present at these events, and to be a witness to them.

The following morning we went out with two Sahaja Yogis to go shopping. We spent the morning at Macy’s and bought silver and other presents for the Americans. We ate at a little self service restaurant in the big shop, with Shri Adi Shakti seated on a balcony on a high stool like everyone else! And what did we all have to eat? Hamburgers, chips and tomato ketchup with Coca-Cola to drink. When we left the shop I took a photo of Shri Mataji in front of the Empire State Building, with Broadway in the background.

Alessandra Pallini

Arrival in Los Angeles, 28th May 1985 (diary entry)

Last night we arrived in Los Angeles from New York. All the Sahaja Yogis met us and took us to the house of Dr Worlikar and his family. He is a physicist who teaches at the University of California. The atmosphere is so joyous, at the reunion of all the Sahaja Yogis. Shri Mataji spoke about America, saying that at the moment it is a very difficult country for Sahaja Yoga. There are many seekers, but they are lost in materialism, drugs and the excessive ‘liberty’ of this land. The Americans are very, very materialistic and it is difficult to guide their attention to the Spirit. Shri Mataji further said that they are a people without culture, always looking for something new, and they are without roots. Many Americans dress like beggars, and are uneducated and primitive.

Two instances seemed to confirm this: the first a young woman at the customs in New York, and the second a hostess of the ‘People Express’ with which we had travelled. The first woman stopped Shri Mataji at the customs and in an arrogant and uneducated manner, held Her back, making us feel ill at ease and expressing her annoyance, with various racist pretexts, made Her open all Her cases. She put her hands in everything, as if looking for something. And this, despite Shri Mataji having a diplomatic passport!

Customs Declaration signed by Shri Mataji

In the second instance the hostess did not want us to carry our hand baggage with us and took a beauty case away from us, but later it was given back by a man. This gave Shri Mataji the chance to say that in America the men are better than the women. The women have developed their right side too much and consequently have lost their power, and have become aggressive and hard.

Alessandra Pallini

Handmaiden to the Goddess

When I was eighteen I found myself sitting next to the Adi Shakti on a flight to New York, in about 1985. It was such a memorable journey on many levels. Sometimes I would get to take out Her vibrations and sometimes I would just watch over Her as She slept. For periods of the journey She would sit and contemplate and other times She was quite chatty, covering a range of subjects and moods. I remember wanting others to be there to share in these pearls.
Shri Mataji spoke of the loneliness of God’s existence, poignantly comparing it to one solitary flower living in a forest with no other flowers.

I am completely alone,’ She said, looking into the middle distance beyond the visible world that we know.

I could only keep my eyes on Her lotus Feet and wait. Sometimes when the mood changed I would fall into the web of maya and feel like I could just rest my head on the soft shoulder of my dear Mother, who was wearing a very cosy looking cream cashmere cardigan. At other moments I felt buoyant like a speck of dust dancing in the sun’s brilliance as She would have me chuckling with Her great wit. Shri Mataji gave me a useful run-down of what I was likely to encounter on my first visit to America. She warned that I was likely to see more obesity there than the UK due to some poor eating habits. She also told me that New Yorkers could appear quite rude because they were always rushing here and there but they had really good hearts.
On that journey Shri Mataji also touched the topic of rebirth. In this life, She explained, if we form a strong relationship with a mother figure, for example an aunt or friend of the family, we may even say ‘I wish you were my mum,’ then in future lives we could end up being born to that very person. Shri Mataji also said that the highly evolved souls could choose their birth and would often be born in the same place in order to do good for that part of the world. Conversely the wicked would aim to be born again and again in the same place to do the most damage to one area. She explained that some souls who are not so evolved just get scattered like seeds in the winds and are born anywhere. As I looked out of the window of the airplane I imagined such souls being blown about and landing on the Earth just as we were about to.
The next day when we were in a yellow cab waiting at a traffic light a very, very large lady ambled across the road. Shri Mataji nudged me and said, ‘I told you so’. Later on, when out shopping Shri Mataji approached a young salesman in a shop to ask about an item. Before She could finish Her sentence, he abruptly put his hand up and yelled, ‘Just ONE moment Ma’am!’ I was upset by his disrespect but Shri Mataji was least disturbed, remaining completely unruffled.

Don’t worry, He doesn’t mean to be rude,’ She pulled me aside saying, and sure enough, when he was free, the salesman came over and couldn’t have been more charming, attentive and kind. 

Danya Martoglio

It left me breathless

In Los Angeles, we were staying at Dr Worlikar’s. In the evening, after a day spent in town, Shri Mataji asked some yogis to massage some parts of Her body to get the vibrations out. While two yogis were massaging Her Feet, She asked me to massage the side of Her head corresponding to the ego and back Agnya. When I placed my hand on Her head, Shri Mataji asked me to press very hard on that area using the palm of my hand and not the fingers. As soon as I touched Her head, I had the most stunning and extraordinary experience to feel that the bones of Her scalp were not rigid and still, as it is for our normal heads. But they were sort of elastic, like rubber, slowly pulsating under my hand, as if they were progressively expanding outwards and then regressing inside in a sort of rhythmical breathing movement, which left me breathless.

She kept asking me to press hard, as much as I could, on that side of Her head, which kept pulsating rhythmically and slowly during the whole massage.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji and Dr Worlikar

Singing songs of praise to the Devi

Dr Worlikar was a wonderful host. In the boot of his car he always kept an iron to press Shri Mataji’s saris. He gave us girls a sari ironing lesson, saying he’d learnt to iron his mother’s saris.

He took Shri Mataji to his laboratory to bless his work. He had been nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work on peptides (short chains of amino acids). We were in a Mexican restaurant with Shri Mataji and Dr Worlikar, who had been describing his research. She told him how peptides were arranged in spirals, which he had missed. We’ll never forget his amazement.

Is that so Shri Mataji? Is that so?’ he kept on saying.

The laboratory was not pleasant, with rabbits and other animals, but Shri Mataji went in. Meanwhile, upstairs the staff had prepared morning tea for Her. They had a plain, tasteless, pineapple cake from the supermarket. Shri Mataji and Dr Worlikar came upstairs and sat down for tea.

How did you know, that is My favourite cake!’ Shri Mataji said so sweetly, and with so much love.

In the car later on there was some discussion about Dr Worlikar.

What do you think of Dr Worlikar?’ Shri Mataji said to my husband.

I think he’s wonderful Shri Mother, except when he’s driving You in his Mercedes, hands off the wheel, singing songs of praise to the Devi,’ he replied.

We are in no danger when he is doing that,’ Shri Mataji said, and laughed.

Frances Henke

He could hear someone asking his name

One wonderful cure was of a young man in Los Angeles. His name was Gabriel. He came up to Shri Mataji in the dark of a car park after the programme in Beverley Hills. He was deaf in one ear. She asked him to block his good ear and spoke into the deaf ear. After a little while a fabulous smile came over Gabriel’s face. He could hear someone asking his name.

Frances Henke

To save the land of the Vishuddhi (diary entry)

This morning, in Los Angeles, Shri Mataji gave a wonderful talk on creation, which was recorded. Then we went to Hollywood. It made an impression on me, to see Shri Mataji, the Adi Shakti, walking in Her white sari along Sunset Boulevard, which is full of film studios and movie theatres which symbolise the ‘star system’ of Hollywood. We were there to contact a TV presenter who has a popular programme.

Shri Mataji at Hollywood

Work needed in America

We went to San Diego, a town about sixty miles from Los Angeles, on the ocean. Here there is a fairly large Sahaja Yoga centre, run by Dave and Madhuri Dunphy, who had a baby of about forty days old, that Shri Mataji worked on, and afterwards the baby went to sleep, with one hand towards Shri Mataji and the other on the Sahasrara.

We went to a Chinese restaurant where our Indian companions, Dr Worlikar, his wife and two or three others, very kindly invited us and treated us to a meal. After the conversation with the TV employee, Shri Mataji said again that America had not really ‘clicked’, (worked out) like Italy had this year. In fact, the atmosphere and the vibrations were still heavy and in these two cities where we have been recently, New York and Los Angeles, one felt this heaviness in one’s meditation.

Despite the presence of the Adi Shakti, it was very difficult to raise the Kundalini and the attention was very heavy. In Los Angeles as soon as one went out of the Worlikar’s house, where Shri Mataji was staying, one felt one’s head in a clamp, particularly in the area of the Vishuddhi and Hamsa. However, Shri Mataji put Her attention on the heart. She said that unless the heart is completely pure and absolutely dedicated to Her, it is not possible to have much growth in Sahaja Yoga.

More than once She expressed Her tiredness concerning the Americans, and towards their slowness to take to Sahaja Yoga. It seemed they did not want to know more, but She said, ‘How is it possible to abandon this land?’

In Her talks She made us understand that also the collectivity of the Sahaja Yogis in America, although much better, had a lot of work to do to stabilise and was still not ready to take a great leap forward. But the Americans had been very active and had taken Shri Mataji in their attention and thoughts, with flowers, ornaments and dedication. The same went for the Indian families living in America, they had made the atmosphere joyous. We sang bhajans with the Indians and the Americans and Shri Mataji became very energetic and was no longer tired. The only thing which seemed to disturb Her were the heavy vibrations of the place. We massaged Her Lotus Feet and put our hands on various parts of Her body to help clear this. Imagine how it felt to put one’s hand on the head of the Adi Shakti!

I had another proof of Her divine nature, physical this time. While She asked me to press hard, with my fingers and my palm, on Her head, I felt under my hand a rhythmic and very strong pulsation which moved the bones of the skull as if it was almost movable, elastic and pulsating. She asked me to push with all my strength on Her right Agnya, which pulsated arhythmically, and went in and out of Her head. What was happening within Her, while we were massaging Her and absorbing the vibrations? Perhaps She was working on Los Angeles, on the Vishuddhi of the cosmos, and the ego, and on the Vishuddhi of those Americans who were still so far from the reality of their salvation.

Alessandra Pallini

Keep smiling

I had been in Sahaja Yoga for three years and met Shri Mataji in India at the beginning of 1983, and in Vancouver later that year; but as I’d spent almost a year completely cut off from Sahaja Yogis and news of Shri Mataji, I was still very new and naive. I bought a necktie and boarded a plane to see Her again in May 1985.

In Los Angeles I found myself sleeping on a living room floor with some jolly brothers in the home of a well-to-do Maharashtran devotee and his family. Shri Mataji slept in the bedroom off the kitchen. I can’t say how many days we spent there, but I vividly recall standing, eating a plate of food in the kitchen, always facing Shri Mataji’s door, when it was suddenly opened by a yogini inside, and God was there in physical form just beyond the other end of the kitchen. I immediately put down my plate and held both hands, palms up towards Her. Through the bustle of activity in between us, She turned slightly and did namaste to me. I immediately clasped my hands together and bowed my head. When I lifted my gaze an eternity later, the bedroom door was closed again as if nothing had happened.

She would come and sit in the living room, with Her assembled adult children on the carpeted floor facing Her. Two points remain fixed in my brain. One was when She mentioned that the baby daughter of one couple there had told Her in a dream, when She was still in India, that America is catching on the Right Heart.

The second point, which is possibly more significant now than it was a quarter century ago, was in answer to a Sahaja Yogi’s query about the Last Judgement. Shri Mataji explained that when the time comes, all the Sahaja Yogis – ‘Whoever we can call Sahaja Yogis’ – will go to India, and the rest of the world will be subject to one thousand punishments. Just one of these punishments will be the feeling of boiling oil inside a person, with no way of stopping it. More recently, I decided that this must already have started, but Shri Mataji mentioned on more than one occasion that God never knew that so many people would become Sahaja Yogis, so the now impractical plan of gathering several hundred thousand of us in India (seems to have) been scrapped.

When I heard we were to go to San Diego for a public programme, I was terrified about what my boss in Vancouver would say if I asked for more days off. However, when I made my request, he replied, ‘San Diego? Have a great time, and see you in a week!’

The next day I was riding in a convoy that included Shri Mataji through sunny California. We stopped at someone’s home for Her to have a snack and rest. We also crossed the Mexican border with Shri Mataji for shopping and a Mexican meal at a restaurant in Tijuana, then a relatively harmless, small village. After the public programme back in San Diego, She fell asleep sitting on the living room sofa at the ashram. She then told us She was working on Mexico as well.

A puja was planned for the coming weekend in New York, but Shri Mataji suggested that She stay a day longer for a Devi Puja to vibrate the new San Diego ashram. Each of us was allowed to wash Her Lotus Feet. That was the absolute peak in my evolution.

Keep smiling like that!’ She told me. Afterwards, each of us in that living room was allowed to go forward to be worked on by Her. When my lucky turn came, I was eager for Her to tell me about all my problems. Instead, my case turned out to be quite simple.

Don’t feel guilty,’ She said twice, as I bowed before Her, then, ‘everything will be alright. Just meditate regularly.’ I haven’t missed a day since!

Shri Devi Puja, San Diego, 1985

Eight years later, when I returned to Vancouver from Europe for the first time in seven years, Shri Mataji saw me after the public programme, when only the yogis were left present. She stopped and looked over at me.

Oh, you’re here!’ She exclaimed and continued to walk silently to the elevator, then said to no one in particular about me, ‘He’s Canadian.’

At the airport the following day, She asked if I was coming to Los Angeles. When I replied in the affirmative, She said simply, ‘Good.’ I’m sure I grew an inch taller then, in those generous divine vibrations.

Edward Saugstad

Her grace and blessings

Ma, what am I going to do? Everyone has to do some job,’ I asked Shri Mataji when I went to the USA. She looked at me and smiled.

Do accounting – there is lots of work here for you. You will find it,’ She said.

I did not have any experience but She said it was the right kind of work for me. I have dealt with money throughout my time here and have never had any problem finding a job.

By HHer grace and blessings all my children and grandchildren are doing well. She gave me the total blessing of Her love – detached love, thoughtlessness and peace, and it makes no difference where I am.

Pramila Mehra

Shri Mataji was stabilising Italian Sahaja Yoga (diary entry)

In these days, during Her talks, Shri Mataji had praised the Italians. She said that in the ashram we had achieved that collective quality, which was a marked by a lack of arguments and struggles between the Sahaja Yogis, and this is the basis of the jump forward of Sahaja Yoga. She spoke of the dedication and recognition of one of the Italian leaders, which was rare in the west, and that in our culture there was a sense of the sacred, the holy. On the negative side, She spoke of the lack of commitment in their work, and a lack of responsibility, the fact that many believe they are artists, but they are just bohemians (dropouts). Many people start some work and then leave it, – this had happened at the ashram in Rome – She said. Many people in Italy like to be like this and do not want to change. The lack of work does not depend on the external situation, but with what is within. It is a big problem and must change, because these people weigh down Sahaja Yoga economically and give a bad impression to others. Many have artistic talents, but they must use them professionally. She hoped people would follow Her advice and Her suggestions.

As far as the rearing of free range, and not hybrid hens were concerned, (She had suggested this activity to some people who were living in the Rome ashram at Guidonia) Shri Mataji said to put some attention on it, enough to keep it going so it does not collapse, and to make it profitable.

It seemed that in America Shri Mataji was putting Her attention on Italy, to stabilise the Nabhi. She always spoke well of the Italians except in these two aspects, one was the sense of responsibility, the right Nabhi, the Raja Lakshmi, and the other was the left Nabhi.

She said that Italy was part of the left Nabhi, in the cosmic geography, the spleen, and our spleen is very hectic. The spleen is the organ in the body which nourishes the body and gives a rhythm to the speed of the action of our movements, and at the moment is not all right.

She gave an example of this. She said that when She says to do something we Italians run off to do it without working out a programme together for the way to do it, with the consequence that there is a great waste of energy. Lack of system. Then She said that when we want something, while in England they know where to find it, we would not know for sure who sold what thing. She concluded by saying that the Italians were very confused people.

What a blessing it has been to be with Her at this time! From London, from where we left, I have been close to Her for the plane journey, in New York all the time, then to Los Angeles where I slept in Her room, at Her Lotus Feet, when we went shopping, and I went in the car with Her when She went to an interview. Her sweetness, Her harmony, Her generosity is unutterable, as is the way Her attention is on everybody. Often I asked myself, how come I had this honour, thus enormous blessing, to be with Her?

Alessandra Pallini

A rest day in New York (diary entry)

We are again in New York. Shri Mataji returned here from Los Angeles on Saturday. We travelled during the night and slept on the plane. All the Sahaja Yogis accompanied us to the airport from Dr Worlikar’s, and many came to New York with us, on the same plane. We were put up to First Class, where Shri Mataji ate an enormous club sandwich of many layers, American style, with salad, tomatoes, onions, cheese etc – She just managed to hold it in Her hands while She ate it, and said, concerning this sort of food, ‘What a people!’ After that She slept, at half past eleven. We woke up at four o’clock, and She said to me that I had also slept in the car on the way to the airport, and was somewhat on the left, and told me to raise the right side and bring down the left.

We went to Michael Petrunia and his wife, on Jay Street, Brooklyn, and there spent the day quietly, the first since we had arrived, and Shri Mataji was able to rest a little. She had a bath, and had us massage Her Feet, and Michael and I spent almost the whole day doing this. This enabled the vibrations She had accumulated on Her body to be dispersed.

Alessandra Pallini

New Jersey, June 1985 (diary entry)

Yesterday, on Sunday, at the New Jersey ashram, we had a puja to Shri Krishna at about eleven o’clock in the morning. It was truly Shri Radha and Shri Krishna who walked up the steps of the ashram to come and be adored by Her devoted children of America. She was escorted with great emotion, the short distance, by one of the Sahaja Yogis to the place of the puja. But it was an immeasurable distance, because She was the Devi, incarnated in the role of Shri Krishna, of the Virata, to inundate this country with such blessings, vibrations and wisdom, and with collective love.

It was a beautiful puja and Shri Mataji wore a sari of the colours of Shri Radha – red with a little orange and green, and She wore in a different way from usual. The end of the palu came down over Her right side, towards the left, leaving the left arm uncovered. Shri Mataji explained that Shri Radha is the one who sustains the energy, and is the power, and because of this the left arm has to be uncovered. She spoke of the roles of men and women, and the importance of balance between the man and the woman, and in the family, so that the collective quality of the Virata can manifest, and the Vishuddhi of the Virata can carry out its cosmic role.

Shri Mataji in the aspect of Shri Radha New York 1985

At the end She made a bandhan of kumkum on Her forehead, around the bindi, put up the fingers of Her right hand near Her shoulder, and crossed Her Feet in a way that I had never seen, in the position of Shri Krishna. There were a lot of relatively new people at the puja, a little less than a hundred in all. The very strong vibrations had, for a few hours, cut into the band which is always present at the Vishuddhi and the Hamsa.

Shri Krishna Puja, New York 1985

In the evening, ghee, with ash from the havan, was put on everybody’s Agnyas – the havan having been done in the afternoon when Shri Mataji was resting in Her room.

This puja was very different from the one in San Diego two days before, which was not expected, and was more intimate, perhaps more profound and more fruitful as far as vibrations were concerned, and more similar to the atmosphere of the pujas in Europe. This puja was more symbolic, and represented the ascent of America.

Alessandra Pallini

Three public programmes (diary entry)

The programmes in New York went well and there were about two hundred people, at least for the first two, and they were nearly all fairly normal. There were some freaks and punks, and some fanatic Russian Jews who tried to disturb, but they had been arrested on the third day, because there is a law saying that it is forbidden to disturb religious meetings. Most of the people were very positive, wanted their realisation and had a lot of respect for Shri Mataji. The vibrations were less heavy than in San Diego, and the third night was the best. It was only for those who had come on the previous two nights, and had already had realisation. The atmosphere was lighter and Shri Mataji’s talk was much deeper, and gave a much greater knowledge of Sahaja Yoga than at the other programmes. After these programmes many of the people wanted to meet Shri Mataji in person and She dedicated a lot of time, patience and work to this.

Shri Mataji is truly the Devi, and during Her talks hurled Her darts and Her weapons at all the bhuts of America who have come to obstruct the successful fulfilment of the divine plan. With Her gestures, the expression on Her face, Her eyebrows and above all with Her fiery eyes She manifested Her regal power, which is both subtle and divine. As well as Her aspect as a warrior, She has also come to this land with love towards Her lost children of the Virata, who finally, after these programmes, are starting to open and participate in this ultimate phase of the divine leela.

Shri Mataji mentioned more than once that the major defect of the Americans is that they do not have discrimination, because they have too much Ego.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji eating lunch at Macy’s, New York 1985

Shri Krishna and the spoonful of butter

In 1985 in the garden of the Gaddy’s house in New Jersey we were blessed to perform puja to Shri Mataji in the form of Shri Krishna.

I had placed an Indian cotton cloth on the side of the stage in case it was needed as a floor covering at any point. This was the first time I had helped with puja preparations and didn’t really know what was needed. During the puja, the cloth was somehow accidentally offered to Shri Mataji and She asked what it was for. I don’t know what the yogis replied, but Shri Mataji considered for a moment, unfolded it partway and wrapped it around Her lower back on the Swadishthan.

Later on during the puja, Shri Mataji asked for some butter. There was no butter among the items prepared. No one moved or responded and Shri Mataji asked a second time. At that point, I jumped up and ran into the kitchen, which was a complete disaster. I opened the refrigerator and looked everywhere – no butter! Then I looked on the table among the enormous mess and discovered a butter dish, with a bit of clean untouched butter on it. I hesitated to take this as it seemed unfit for the Goddess, but then told myself that if the Goddess has asked for butter, butter must be offered. Unable to find a clean plate or bowl, I scooped it up in a clean spoon and ran out to the puja. I was called forward, and Shri Mataji very graciously ate the butter off the spoon.

Later on, I was able to collect the cotton cloth from the side of the stage. Deciding that the best use of it was to wrap it around my Vishuddhi while I slept, I woke the next morning to a very sore throat! The work of clearing the Vishuddhi had begun.

Pramod Shete

Do you want to get married?

At that puja all the yogis who had received realisation the previous year were introduced to Shri Mataji. At that time there were no yuva shakti, so living in an ashram as an unmarried girl could often be lonely. When I was introduced, Shri Mataji took my right hand in Her right hand and placed Her left hand on my Sahasrara while I wept copiously. I had no thoughts, but just the feeling of holding on to my Mother for dear life.

Do you want to get married?’ Shri Mataji asked.

I hadn’t actually thought about it at that point, as I was only twenty, but of course nodded through my tears. Shri Mataji then said something along the lines of, ‘Come to India and I will find you a nice boy.’

It took me almost three years to get there.

Pramod Shete