Pratishthan during construction
Derek Ferguson diary entries, mostly Pratishthan
Saturday: Spoke to Shri Mataji about plastering at Pratishthan and about getting a plasterer to work with me. Maybe most of the walls will have to be done again. I gave the plasterer some lessons in technique and he is coming on well.
There is a special ceremony of Shri Krishna that is done every year in Maharashtra, where you form a pyramid to reach a clay pot filled with milk. I watched it, and one of the boys came over and said Shri Mataji said I should join in. They attempted the pyramid several times without success, meanwhile other people were throwing water over us. Then a small boy broke the clay pot and coconut milk poured out over everyone and the boys ran round trying to soak everyone who had not already been soaked. Shri Mataji watched for some time from the balcony then went in. Later She sent some sweets down as prasad. The Shri Krishna Puja is tomorrow morning.
Sunday: Shri Mataji was very disappointed with the Sahaja Yogi ladies from Delhi because they have become very Westernised. I showed Her photos of the Birmingham ashram to be. She said the English Sahaja Yogis should buy it immediately and showed Her a book about Caribbean family life. She said someone should write to the author and tell him/her about the negativity that is their main problem, and that the young West Indians should learn about Sahaja Yoga. They would not need to be told about Shri Mataji to begin with; the recognition could come afterwards.
She spoke about AIDS. She said it was not good to swim in public swimming baths and said someone caught it from the swimming pool at the Blue Diamond Hotel in Pune. They had tested negative before coming to India. It is OK to swim in a pool only used by Sahaja Yogis. She mentioned that seven more people had been diagnosed with AIDS in Pune, and it was not good to swim in some seas, e.g. England’s.
We talked about the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Shri Mataji said that at least Paul had not touched it.
Shri Mataji tried to make the Indian Sahaja Yogis live collectively, even the retired yogis, but they are very fond of their food and do not like the collective kitchen idea – but they will change. She said that India is like an elephant which is chained up but once it breaks free it will be a very different country.
I was floating in vibrations
In 1988, I came to Mumbai for the Ganesha Puja. One day before there was a music programme and I was sitting there. Shri Mataji indicated to me, like calling, but I was next to many people. I did feel She was calling me, but said to myself, ‘She doesn’t know me. Why should She call me?’ and thought maybe She was calling someone else. After the programme, the committee leader was sitting there.
‘Shri Mataji was calling you. Why didn’t you go?’ he said.
‘I did feel that, but She doesn’t know me. Why should She call me? I have never met Her.’
The next day, after the puja, I was standing in the queue to offer a flower and garlands to Shri Mataji and She called me, and then I understood. In my hand I had some poetry which I had written that was wrapped in paper and I offered it to Her. I was so happy inside and so joyous.
‘What is it? Is it poetry?’ She asked me, but She knew — because it could have been anything. Someone was there offering Her a sari.
‘No, don’t bring a sari. See, this poetry is the best gift,’ She said.
She patted my face and I was floating in vibrations for at least three or four days after that. So my one strong desire was fulfilled, to go near Her and be with Her. Just that touch on my face was more than anything else.
Derek Ferguson diary entries, Pratishthan
Sunday: At the hall Shri Mataji spoke about how we should behave with people, and not force Sahaja Yoga onto new people, and to speak nicely to them.
Tuesday: I went to Pune to register with the police at the Foreigners Department, on Shri Mataji’s instructions, with another Western Sahaja Yogi, and they said we did not need to register until we had been there for two weeks, 27th of November 1988.
Monday: Wanted to see Shri Mataji so went with a very strong desire. Usually a lot of people are there, but it was quite late, about nine in the evening. The place was empty and Shri Mataji came out and called me and it was great. We spoke about the plaster, and that She was trying to reduce the work I had to do, and how when She was away lots of things that She did not want done were done, for example the ceilings were plastered.
Shri Mataji talked about AIDS and said it came from Zambia, where they have a lot of copper in the soil. The copper affected the green monkeys, then it went to the Westerners that way. She also said the way to cure it was to give the patients injections of platinum or gold.
(To someone else present at that conversation, the following was reported: the green monkeys had had HIV/AIDS for centuries, but unlike humans they are not so immoral so it was not serious. Shri Mataji explained that the AIDS virus needs the copper molecule to reproduce, and the virus attaches itself to copper in the body. One has to introduce platinum or gold into the body – so the AIDS virus attaches itself to the platinum or gold and destroys itself)
She spoke about a politician who had recently started a centrist party in the UK and this lady came to see Shri Mataji, but only for herself. The lady told Her that she wanted to form a centre party to stop the politics moving from right to left all the time, but Shri Mataji told her that at least there was some movement. We asked if there is anything that could be done to lift the curse that is on England. Shri Mataji said that the English Sahaja Yogis take things for granted, mainly because She is there, and it was wrong, and that is why it is not lifting. She talked about the English royal family. She was expected to curtsey before the queen, but politely refused, and did namaskar instead.
We also talked about the possibility of my coming to live in India and starting a school to teach the children how to plaster. Shri Mataji said it would not be allowed for me to buy a flat because of the laws of the country, but we could invest the money we earned and live off the interest and live in an ashram in Pune, which the Sahaja Yogis are going to start building. There are two plots of land, one that is ready now and one which will be in two years’ time. Shri Mataji also spoke about the possibility of buying a house with someone in England and using the money to live on.
She mentioned that England will go bankrupt mainly because of allowing people to borrow so much money on credit and they do not have an industry to fall back on like America, and that factories are closing all over England.
In the evening Shri Mataji spoke to the Indian Sahaja Yogis about forming a political party and calling it the Old Congress and getting some Sahaja Yogis to stand. She spoke about how the English politicians do not take bribes, and that the Indians do, but you cannot get anything done.
She also told some jokes – one about a king who sent a man to the sea to count all the waves coming on to the shore. So the man sat down and some merchants came along and said he was blocking their way and he would have to move. He explained that he could not unless they paid him some money first. They made an agreement to pay him, and he got a lot of money and built a palace with it.
Shri Mataji also spoke about a leading Indian politician and said he was stealing money from the country and putting it in a Swiss bank account, and due to Sahaja Yoga and the Sahaja Yogis She knows the name of the bank. Before it was thought that it was 60 crores of rupees, but now it was known that it was about 400 crores, (about 25 million pounds in 1988). She said She had high hopes for him in the beginning. She said when a community goes down, a good person always rises, like a lotus in mud.
Today was my best day – everything went like a dream.
Tuesday: Got up early and went to the flat, the part of the house which is finished enough to live in. Shri Mataji was already up, and She mentioned that the trouble I had getting the plaster mix right was necessary and now something else had worked out. She was now going to tile a lot of the wall areas to decrease the amount of plastering.
In the evening I was called again, to say my work would be reduced even more by having the ceilings wallpapered, and getting the Sahaja Yogis to bring wallpaper from London. I was also asked to supervise the workers doing the tiling. Shri Mataji mentioned to the architect that She wanted to reduce the plastering because of the effect of the dust on me.
Wednesday: Shri Mataji said I should go to the puja in Bombay, and then on the tour, as I am already in India. In the evening we were all called to watch an Indian TV programme with Her, about someone trying to get their own back on someone else.
Thursday: Shri Mataji asked me to remove some tiles from Her bathroom, but it was not possible. The Indian plasterer has picked up the English method of plastering very well.
Yesterday Shri Mataji asked me to make sure I had my train tickets as the last time the Sahaja Yogis missed the puja. She explained that today was the day of the puja to Shri Ganesha but because of convenience, i.e. people having to go to work, we have to have the puja on Sunday. Also when the Indians celebrate it nowadays, some unruly elements have crept in causing trouble. In the evening there was a TV programme about the celebrations and Shri Mataji said they get drunk and do the Samba dance, which is not auspicious, and also start looting. People on the TV were saying that Shri Ganesha should not be worshipped in such a bad way.
Shri Mataji said Baba Mama liked the way that I moved my shoulders when playing the bells. She said the Indians do not do this; they move the lower part of their bodies, which is represented by the Kundalini. She said I should teach the Indians how the shoulders move, and also should learn to play bigger bells.
Shri Mataji and Baba Mama at Pratishthan
Derek Ferguson diary entries, when in India and working at Pratishthan
Friday: Shri Mataji asked me to read the details of the tour, which was very well planned. She spoke to the Indians about the house saying She wanted the work speeded up. She saw the plasterer doing some different work and said he should work with me all the time. She also spoke in English, saying that when the Adi Shakti separated from God, there was an explosion or eruption of sound like a volcano, without any percussion.
Saturday: I woke up early, because Shri Mataji was to leave at 6.00 am to catch the 7.30 train to Bombay. After the ladies did the aarti we bowed down and Shri Mataji asked me to put my hands wide apart, away from my head, to receive the vibrations better, and to cup my hands upwards to receive the grace from the divine. She gave another English Sahaja Yogi some money, and said, ‘Take this, you will need it,’ then left for Pune railway station.
Took the bus to Pune and the train to Bombay with my friend Anil, an Indian Sahaja Yogi. We reached Bombay at 8.30 pm, and arrived at the programme ten minutes after Shri Mataji. We listened to a lady singing and then Shri Mataji spoke to the Indians about Indian culture, saying that Hindi should be spoken by the Indians in preference to English. They should not take the example from the West, and the Westerners have now come full circle and are coming back to Eastern ways.
Shri Mataji also spoke about memory. She said that the lady was singing without any notebook, and so we should also learn the songs by heart. We should have a good memory, and then we would be able to be more spontaneous, and sing better. She said that the level of Sahaja Yoga had gone up.
Shri Mataji also said that we should teach the children classical music from a young age, otherwise they will have no joy, and seek outside excitement. They might laugh at you and ask, ‘Why are we learning this type of music?’ if you teach them later. Finally She said this was the first time that Shri Mataji had separated from God and come on this earth.
Sunday: I left the house and caught a rickshaw to the puja hall. Reached there about 12.30 and Shri Mataji arrived about 1.30. She spoke in Hindi, about the attention, saying that at the moment She is releasing a lot of energy – like the space rockets, one stage pushes the next upwards even faster. If our attention is alright and is on our Sahaja goals, we will rise very fast, but if our attention is not on the right thing then there will be problems. She also spoke about innocence, saying that some Sahaja Yogis appear very innocent on the outside, but inside they are not, so we should try to be on the inside how we appear on the outside.
Monday: Arrived back at Pratishthan and about 9.30 pm Shri Mataji returned from Bombay and we watched TV with Her. As She was going to Her room, She said She had seen many people and cured a lot of them.
Tuesday: Went to the flat earlier than usual, at about 6.45 am, because Shri Mataji was already up. She spoke about the ceilings, and I was shown a book about a marble palace in Calcutta. She worked on one of the architects, saying that his Nabhis were catching, then he mentioned that he had had cancer and they had taken out some bone marrow for testing. Shri Mataji worked on him and he said that there was always a pain at the base of his neck, so She explained that the Kundalini was trying to clear the way and was being obstructed. She gave him some mantras while working on him, and suddenly he began to catch on his right Agnya. Shri Mataji explained that the ego starts to operate when we are told that there is a problem but said it is like being told that there is a spot on Her sari – She is not the sari and we just have to clean it. If we are attached to our body, then we start to catch on the right Agnya etc.
She also mentioned that as well as having good vibrations, we should have a healthy body and after realisation that becomes easier, because the Kundalini clears things. She said I had lots of problems when I first came, but had cured myself, and asked me how I did it. She said that my spine and sitting position were fine now. Last night, while we were watching TV, water was dripping on me from above, and Shri Mataji read my mind.
‘Yes, Fergy’ She said, ‘there is a problem there, the roof is leaking and needs fixing – so if we do think, think things that are good!’ Later on I discovered that all we foreigners might have to leave the house and commute there daily from Pune, because the house was going to be inspected by the authorities, but She said I could stay because I looked Indian.
Wednesday: I went to the flat late today because Shri Mataji slept late. She said that She was going to stay at Her house until about the 16th November and not go to Australia because She wants to hurry up the work, also because a lot of money had been wasted by the Sahaja Yogis. As compensation for not going to Australia, about fifty extra people could come to India on the tour. She said people’s luggage would have to be much less this year – about 20 lbs weight, even 10 lbs, because otherwise it takes about three hours to unload the buses.
Shri Mataji spoke about a hurricane, Hurricane Gilbert, which went around the Caribbean and then on to Mexico, saying it was nature that was working but people do not connect the two things together – when they don’t realise what they are doing wrong, nature tries to stop them doing negative things through flooding, lightning etc.
She spoke about my grandmother, saying that instead of my mother going to Jamaica, we could pay for my grandmother to come to the UK, because the English authorities would not mind. Shri Mataji also asked if my mother was realised, and I said she was. Shri Mataji said that she should not go to Jamaica.
Shri Mataji asked about the high price of saris in England, and said that the Indians overcharged people.
‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ was one of Her quotes.
Thursday: Shri Mataji spoke this morning about the greenhouse effect, saying it was caused by the behaviour of the people, and the droughts in America were caused by them allowing drugs into the country.
She mentioned that at the time of the Ganesha festivals, there is an elephant constellation in the sky, which has the effect of making the rain pour. This year the rain is even more, because of the behaviour of the people. I mentioned that the vibrations were very strong this morning, and Shri Mataji said it was Her desire, which was working things out.
The younger architect was being worked on and She mentioned that his overactive right side was making his heart catch, and he should try to have some emotional feelings, especially towards Her, like gratitude for what She has done for him. She said it should be an emotional, not a mental feeling, otherwise the chakra would not clear. He also had to ask Shri Mataji to come into his heart.
Friday: Shri Mataji said I should take more carbohydrates in food, and less protein, because the liver was in need of them. She said that bean sprouts and rice in the morning were very good. There are some Punjabi people who eat this, and they are very strong.
Shri Mataji showed me some plain marble pieces which had been coated with wood varnish, which had changed them completely. She also had some of Her furniture and some tiles coated with this, and it gave a very rich effect.
She mentioned that She may employ a cook to give the Sahaja Yogis a chance to do something else. She also said I should move upstairs to start plastering there now.
Mr Patankar, the senior architect, came today with his son.
Another saying of Shri Mataji is ‘19/20’. When trying to match things they should not be too close together, like two reds – but pink and red would be alright, also cloth and wood on the walls, but not cloth and tiles.
There were two stories about water. When they first started building, there was no water, but there was a farmer next door who had a well which gave water for only two days a year, during the monsoon. He would take water from it and by the next day it would be dry, so the Sahaja Yogis asked him if they could use it. He said yes, but there is no water in it. A Sahaja Yogi then attached a hand pump to it and started pumping, and it has not stopped giving water ever since. The farmer was amazed.
Secondly, Shri Mataji asked the contractors to drill for water. They had been asked to dig as far as 180 feet, so when they struck water at 30 feet, they carried on drilling, and the water which was there disappeared. Shri Mataji was very angry, so the well was left for a while.
‘Why don’t you put some vibrated water down the well?’ She said one day. They did, and when they lowered a container down, they struck sweet water at 33 feet.
Saturday: Started work on the bathroom near my room. The ceiling has to be done before the fittings are put in. Shri Mataji came round the house with Sir CP and Her daughter, and came into the room.
Monday: Got some more instructions from Shri Mataji about the work and She went to a Marathi play with the Indian Sahaja Yogis.
Friday: Went to see Shri Mataji and She worked on me for a while and gave me some breathing exercises – breathe in, hold my breath for a while, then breathe out. She mentioned that it was the liver causing the chest problem, as I had caught a chill in my chest after going to the play and that the liver was very hot. She raised my Kundalini a few times and the vibrations started to flow much stronger and said there must be a badha in my heart chakra which has not yet gone. She also said we should not drink tap water because it was contaminated, and arranged for some purified water to be given to us.
Saturday: Woke up feeling much better, and went to see Shri Mataji. She spoke about various treatments – basil tea, breathing exercise, ice on the liver, liver diet and taking Liv 52. She said that both channels had been affected, but the chest problem was because of the liver.
Monday: Mr Patankar told Shri Mataji that I still wasn’t well so She asked to see me immediately. She asked someone to get an ice pack to put on my liver and some radish leaf tea, which cooled everything down straight away. She smiled and told me to have just radish leaf tea, rice, dal and chapattis for the next three days.
Later I saw the plasterer, he also had liver problems and had not come to work that day. We managed to show him to Shri Mataji, as She was on Her rounds, and She said that a Sahaja Yogi who was there should move his left to the right, and take him to be worked on. Then Shri Mataji came and worked on him, and the fever went away. She told him to take B complex, tulsi (basil) tea, and to go to sleep, which he did. Different people, different treatments.
Wednesday: Feeling much better. Spoke with Shri Mataji and She said I should let the poisons pass through my system and She did not want to give me anything to stop it happening, and said I was alright now.
She gave a good suggestion for the bathrooms – to have smooth cement ceilings instead of plaster of Paris, because of the steam. We also gave a bandhan to get more plaster of Paris, because we were told supplies in Pune were finished. However, I sowever, I spoke to a man in Pune who had a plaster factory and managed to order some.
Thursday: Went to see Shri Mataji this morning and She told me to use more ice on the liver. She explained that radish leaf tea was a more long term thing, but ice was instantaneous. She asked me not to think, and spoke about the liver, saying that when it is out, you get a lot of heat in the body and as a reaction your body feels the outside cold even more and you have to put a lot of clothes on to keep warm. She also said heat from the liver makes the chest inflamed, and heated up. She spoke about the dust in the house, saying it is too much and that I should wear a mask or cloth to cover the mouth, and try not to mix the plaster too much myself, because it affects the chest and the Swadishthans also get affected if the liver is out.
Shri Mataji mentioned earlier that She does not like to live in cities any more and prefers to live outside, especially in Her old age.
Friday: Watched a Hindi movie in the evening, very violent. Shri Mataji said that there were a lot of true life things happening in it, that She was glad to see it, so She could put Her attention on them.
Saturday: A few Sahaja Yogis came in the evening, and Shri Mataji spoke about an eminent Maharashtran politician, saying he was trying to start a casino and an alcohol factory in Bombay.
Monday: Went to see Shri Mataji this morning and spoke about bringing some ceiling roses to India, and She said I was looking better than in England, and that She had told the cooks not to prepare so much oily food, because She was ‘looking after our livers’.
I mentioned that sometimes people don’t like it if you say you are happy, so Shri Mataji said you should say to them, ‘Don’t you want to be happy?’ and you should say you are in joy and that everything is alright with you.
Tuesday: Shri Mataji spoke to us again about food, saying that the ladies should feed us certain types of food which are not hot on the liver and that all the Sahaja Yogis should go on a liver diet for a month, no meat, no oily food. They should give us things made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk, and should give us milk without cream. They should give Her some sugar to vibrate, for us.
She said I should learn to drive when I got back to England, and could do that as a job sometimes. She also liked it that I had started to do some molding work, and said they pay a lot for that. She said I should put more attention on other things, and less on myself.
Today was the first day of the nine day Navaratri festival of the Goddess, so there was a small puja in the evening at about 8.30, with Shri Mataji. They did aarti, then we said some mantras and bowed down. After that we received some prasad.
‘The vibrations were too much; they were very strong,’ Shri Mataji said. She also said we should treat the house like an ashram, and there is a puja on the 16th, so we should do our meditation in the mornings.
The food has improved a lot since She has changed the diet to a liver one. When I asked if I should have some vitamins, being as we were not eating meat, She said it would not be necessary. I asked why my liver was not good, and Shri Mataji asked if I had taken drugs. I said no, and then She said it was because I was a seeker before realisation, and that had damaged it, so ‘what to do?’ She said I should take a shower which was as cold as possible.
We had a puja at about 8.30 pm, the Pune Sahaja Yogis turned up at 10.00 and Shri Mataji asked why they were so late. They said it was because they were doing puja at the main centre. She told them off, saying why were they doing puja in Pune when She was here in person? She told them they were catching on left Sahasrara, which was very serious for a Sahaja Yogi.
One Mahabharata was enough
In 1988, Shri Mataji stayed in Pune for Navaratri and blessed the Sahaja Yogis by receiving pujas on all nine days.
‘When you look down, you should be able to see My photograph in your heart,’ She said in one of the puja talks.
On the sixth day there was a puja in a big hall attended by many Sahaja Yogis. At that time there was a television serial of the Mahabharata every Sunday, which the Sahaja Yogis liked to watch.
‘I have not seen this Mahabharata. The one that I have seen is enough,’ Shri Mataji said.
Derek Ferguson diary entries, when in India and working at Pratishthan
Wednesday: We had another Navaratri Puja in the evening, at about 6.00 pm, and Shri Mataji said that for the next ten days we will have pujas. At this one someone read an extract from the American newsletter, praise of the Goddess by Markandeya from the Devi Mahatmyam. Shri Mataji mentioned that while he was reading them, when we worship Her, we get the benefits, not Her. It is for us to benefit from these pujas. She said things like health and wealth were right side powers. We then tried to have some music, but there was no electricity, due to the main power feed breaking down and the harmonium was broken, so we gave up. We’ll be better prepared tomorrow. This is the Shri Durga Puja, and on the last day Shri Rama kills the demons.
Thursday: We had a very strong puja in the evening and they read out the Kavach of the Devi. Shri Mataji explained what the different sayings meant, for example ‘May the Goddess protect me from the West’, means from the Western ways of life, and not the physical direction, as in north, south, east and west. She said that when we are surrendered to Her properly, then everything works out, but when we are not, we are not protected, we can have problems, but are not to blame Her. She said the Western life style was a joke. She said the vibrations were so much that Her body was shaking, and that the pujas were needed to help the vibrations spread.
Friday: Finished reading the Kavach of the Devi, and Shri Mataji said the Sahaja Yogis should ask for a boon that they get a good chief minister who will help them spread Sahaja Yoga. She emphasised that Sahaja Yogis should put a bandhan on more regularly to protect themselves, otherwise not to blame Her if bad things happen. They gave Her a sword to hold after the puja.
Saturday: Shri Mataji went out for Diwali shopping and other things in the afternoon, and came back about 7.30.
The Delhi leader, who is a doctor, and some Delhi Sahaja Yogis came to the house and spoke about some experiments done in Delhi University and at the army hospital in Delhi. They do all the tests on the new Sahaja Yogis, and those who have been doing it for some time – blood tests, ECG, brain tests etc. It has all been passed, and they are now doing tests on hypertension and epilepsy.
We had a continuation of the puja and Shri Mataji explained the meaning of a song. There were very strong vibrations, and She said we all had to fulfill our destiny.
Sunday: Stayed at Pratishthan for a while until Mr and Mrs Naik came to invite Shri Mataji to the puja. They offered Her fruits and flowers and then did the aarti, and when She was leaving got Her to vibrate a coconut which they broke in front of the car. The puja was in Hindi. Then there was a havan, without Shri Mataji. She came back at about 9.30 pm for a music programme with a singer, a young girl who was very good, and other musicians were with her.
Monday: Lots of people came to see the house and also to see Shri Mataji if they could. She did see them, and then got ready for the puja. Mr Kulkarni, the Pune leader, read out some more pages and Shri Mataji explained some more things for us. The Pune Sahaja Yogis sang some songs, then Shri Mataji left.
Tuesday: Went to see Shri Mataji this morning with Mr Patankar, the chief architect, about some plaster plates made from a design on glass. She mentioned it would be better to stick the glass directly on to the ceiling instead of the plates, so less maintenance will be needed. I gave Her some flowers, and a copy of an Indian design magazine.
The room for today’s puja has been changed to a bigger one to hold all the people. Shri Mataji spoke about the Agnya chakra, saying that heaven was not our destiny. We have to rise higher and get over our ego, super ego and comforts etc. A Sahaja Yogi was asking Shri Mataji some questions, and She told him off, saying you should not ask questions during the puja. Mr Kulkarni read out some more praises of the Devi, and Shri Mataji translated them.
Thursday: Shri Mataji came to where I was working, and said She wanted some more plaster ceiling roses put up.
They made an effigy, outside, of the brothers of Ravana, out of sackcloth and straw. When Shri Mataji came down they set it alight, and it was filled with big bangers, which were very loud. When it was finished, She went back inside, and mentioned that She wanted it to rain today, and I felt a few drops. When Shri Mataji went to Her room they did the aarti. I showed Her some photos, which She liked. She called us and gave shirts to all of us, and also a lunghi for each of us, for sleeping in.
Friday: This morning Shri Mataji spoke about the English, saying that even though they conquered India, they have not yet conquered themselves. She also spoke about Shudy Camps, about selling it, and about the good weather that they have had there. She talked about the need to include music in the tapes that are sent abroad.
The Pune Sahaja Yogis came to see Shri Mataji with some books by realised souls, to start a library – a very good collection, some Hindi, some English.
Monday: Found out about 10.30 pm that there is going to be an event on the terrace because it is a full moon night. Shri Mataji came out briefly at about 1.15am, then we all went downstairs for some prasad, a sweet milky drink.
Thursday: Somebody broke one of the marble staircase pieces and Shri Mataji said that someone was making mischief against the marble man, who was a Muslim. There are two contractors here today, and Shri Mataji told everyone off, which was good, because now they will watch each other. Twice the staircase marble was broken. There was a lot of shouting.
Shri Mataji wanted to tape a message for the Australian Sahaja Yogis as Hamid was going to Australia. The tape was stamped Sony but it was a fake tape and twisted in the machine so they could not get it done yesterday. There is a factory in India making fake everything, and putting false labels on things like tapes. We watched a video of the TV series, the Mahabharata, and the Sahaja Yogis record it and play it to Shri Mataji when She is ready to watch it.
Friday: Shri Mataji spoke about cement and how expensive it is in India, so we are going to find out about the Feb Company’s products. We talked about what needs to be done in the house, then I showed Her some of my songs and She said I should teach the Indians, so that the English can be surprised.
Left the house and tried to avoid seeing Shri Mataji because I was going to Pune. Quickly walked past Her door to go down the stairs, and She was there talking to the Muslim contractor.
‘Where are you going?’ She said.
‘To do some shopping.’
She said (very humbly – it was embarrassing) She was only asking me because She wanted some buckets, and I could get a lift with one of the Pune Sahaja Yogis. She is always looking after us.
Saturday: One of the Western Sahaja Yogis had to go to Bombay, so we were awake early, about 5.30 am. Mumbai is the real name of Bombay – it means the bay of the Mother.
Sunday: I was given a bucket and jug for our bathroom. There is one for every bathroom, from Shri Mataji. There were hundreds of saris in the big room in Her flat; for the tour group.
A Sahaja Yogi had asked Shri Mataji for a favour, and She had said ‘Yes’ to that person. Later on, I found out that She had said ‘Yes’ so as not to hurt his ego, but he should not have asked in the first place, so as not to put Her under any pressure.
Monday: There was a lot of commotion today because the plaster masons were quarrelling. One got drunk and started to fight with another, and they said they would not work with each other. Shri Mataji had to reprimand the drunk one, because he had promised to give up drinking a month before. She told him that the Sahaja Yogis had given up bad habits, and now these people were taking to them.
Ravi the labourer went to a doctor, who told him he had jaundice, so he was very worried. I told him only Sahaja Yoga can cure him, because the doctor said he could not do anything. I told him some remedies, and in the evening he got a shirt from Shri Mataji, as a Diwali present. All the workers got a present and some got shawls.
Later on I was invited, with some other Sahaja Yogis, to have a Chinese meal at a restaurant, then came back with a meal that had been brought for Shri Mataji by Anil, a Pune Sahaja Yogi, but She said She did not take anything fried at the moment. We watched a programme of Indian music on the TV – mainly bhajans, with Shri Mataji, and saw a man playing the bells. He had an assortment of bells set up and She said this was the new modern way.
Tuesday: Went to see Shri Mataji this morning about Sunil, the worker. She said She would cure him and that She had invented a new medicine for the liver that only needed a drop in a cup to be effective, it was made with the cooling effect of the full moon.
Shri Mataji talked about Australia, saying that a certain lady from the UK had gone there and all the Australians were adversely affected by her. She said that when they come to India She is going to give them all lemons and chillies to put under their pillows. She also mentioned that they should stay longer, after the tour, to get the full effect of India.
She asked me how I was feeling and I said that since going to the pujas in the house every day for ten days, I felt very light. She said that She had arranged for there to be eight pujas on the tour, so that people can clear out and feel much better. Shri Mataji showed me the saris She had chosen for the ladies on the tour. They were a new design, very nice, of cotton but with silk sari designs on them.
Shri Mataji said that the Indian race of Aryans even ruled Britain once.
Shri Mataji’s granddaughter Aradhana was there, and innocently started to play some pop music, and She told her to stop it. Later Shri Mataji explained that pop music numbs the limbic area, and that is why people go wild when they listen to rock music. Also your sensitivity gets less. She mentioned that you cannot reason with these young people because they do not read the newspapers etc. She said that people at Aradhana’s college had even started taking drugs and doing all the things that the West is trying to get rid of and when the Indians take to anything bad they do it worse than the people in the West.
Sunil was called but Shri Mataji was eating, so She told him his complaint was not that bad and he should ask Chanda, the Sahaja doctor, for some Sahaja treatments. He had to get a bottle from the kitchen, so while he was there She worked on him for some time and told him to do the treatments. Then She blessed him with a long life and he left very happy!
Shri Mataji spoke about all the arranging She is doing for the saris, how She has to arrange for some tailors to sew everything. She said She is still waiting for the money and sizes from the English and some people had still not paid for the tour, but She has managed to keep the cost of the tour the same for the fourth year running. Shri Mataji said She was trying to finish certain jobs before She went on the tour, for example the front stonework.
She talked about mosquitoes, saying that although there are about 2,500 types, there are only two sorts that cause malaria, and the rest are just parasites. They even bite Her, and the cure is plain water, rubbed into the sting. The Sahaja Yogis who had caught malaria on the tour were frantic for water, and had drunk water which was not clean. She was going to tell people to bring water containers for the tour.
Shri Mataji said the plastering was going alright, and She is still trying to reduce my workload. She asked what fruit I like, and told the ladies to get pineapples, chikkus, guavas and papayas for us, but no fried food. She is going to take the medicine She has made to England, but people could come to India and have it instead.
Shri Mataji mentioned that tomorrow She will be busy – Aradhana is going to Riyadh for a month. Earlier in the morning She said the Australians should not feel so patriotic about their country now they had come to Sahaja Yoga. They wanted Her to come to Australia especially, because their bicentennial was being celebrated.
Friday: Went to see Shri Mataji about going to Bombay on Sunday, for my visa. She said that Her car would be going so I could go with it. She talked about the Pune rakshasa – a false guru, saying that a very important politician here was supporting him and taking money from him and allowing him to stay here. There are thousands of his disciples in the town, all paying him a lot of money. He gives off so much heat but Shri Mataji is the complete opposite; Her body temperature is very low, which is, She said, what a divine person’s should be.
She talked about South Africa, saying She feels very bad about the situation there and She is doing so much to help the Africans, indirectly. She mentioned that when India got independence, they did it in a different way than the Africans. Even though thousands of Indians got killed, before independence they did not even know how to make needles – everything was made in the UK. All the gold, diamonds and precious metals were taken from India.
She spoke about the Olympic Games, and said that 1948 was the first time they did things like high jump and long jump, and it would take the Indians a long time to develop. They were very good at sports like wrestling, and after Sahaja Yoga was fully established, the games would probably stop anyway.
Shri Mataji said that it needed an English MP of either party to say something about South Africa before things could work out. What they are doing there was very bad, because they are all human beings like us. She told us that an English politician had come to see Her only for her own gain and not to help others, and that some Sahaja Yogis were like that, coming for what they could gain for themselves: power, money, possessions etc.
She mentioned that in Chile and Argentina, the European people who had gone there had wiped out nearly all the native people. Some had escaped and had gone to Bolivia and Colombia. Before Shri Mataji went to the public programme in Colombia this year, She had gone before, in 1978, with Sir CP, and someone had asked Her, if She was a very spiritual person, whether something could be done for their country, as America was giving them so much trouble, so She blessed the country. When Shri Mataji first went the place was full of shanty towns, but when She went back in 1988, it was fully modernised, with a new airport, escalator complexes, and the people travelled First Class, a big change.
Shri Mataji said that a very wealthy Sahaja Yogi had left Her in the lurch by withdrawing the support he was giving without prior notice, so She had to pay out of Her own pocket, which was wrong. But the Sahaja Yogis had spoken to him and now he had changed.
Later, after work I had dinner then went to see Shri Mataji. After some time She came, and when She saw me said there was an article about Jamaica in the paper. Found the article, but it was about what the Fiji people were doing to the Indians, and also what was happening to people in Guyana. She said that people were invited there, but when they got there they were treated like slaves. The people from Guyana had invited Her to speak, but She had told them ‘next year.’
She spoke about the English, saying the word English came from a word in Marathi or Hindi meaning the little finger, so there was no need for them to consider themselves so highly. Even the Channel tunnel would not change them, because they had lived in India for over three hundred years, and it had not changed them.
She spoke about a cult who do sacrifices to Kali, and the leader of the Calcutta centre had been a follower until one day he was in their temple and Shri Mataji appeared to him, and he immediately knew that what he was doing was wrong, so he collected all the people together and told them, then drove all the way to Lucknow, because he knew the leader of the cult would try to kill him. He went to Shri Mataji with two policemen as bodyguards, and told Her the story. She said he should not worry and She would protect him. They then arrested the leader of the cult, and while he was in prison lots of politicians were killed, so they released him. Now the man who escaped is a Sahaja Yogi, so he is ok. He had personally seen the leader kill twenty-eight people – because he was the leader’s right hand man – they were ‘Kali sacrifices’, and are attacking Indians all over the world.
Shri Mataji said that some things that the Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, is doing are bad for the country, like copying America, but the English cannot, because they do not make enough goods. She mentioned this morning that even if people say it is wrong for the Africans to fight, who are they to say anything? The South African (apartheid) government is being supported by the British, who should not do so. They have to fight for their freedom.
Was feeling good this morning so when I bowed down to Shri Mataji, it was nice to hear Her say that I was ok. She mentioned that Sahaja Yogis should wear Her badge when they come to India so they do not get confused with being followers of the Pune rakshasa. She told the Indians to take certain examples from the English, various technical things and certain ways of life etc, but one of the Indians said that the English don’t even respect their parents, so how can we follow their ways?
Saturday: Yesterday I asked Sunil to bring a sugar cane stalk for me to give to Shri Mataji. He brought it today, but the opportunity did not arise. A Sahaja Yogi was in Shri Mataji’s presence, and She noticed that his hand was shaking slightly. She told him it was a sign of nervousness, from the right side. He agreed, and a few moments later he was fine.
Sunday: Tried to offer the sugar cane again, but still no success. Later on in the evening, with Shri Mataji’s permission, I got ready to go to Bombay to sort out my visa.
One of the Sahaja Yogis told Shri Mataji that Delhi University wanted some more information on how the vibrations work, to be able to sanction money for studying the effects of vibrations. Shri Mataji explained that they are a living process and contain electromagnetic force, our emotional force, and our evolutionary power, so how can they be measured or explained? You can only see the effect, She said, because science is a limited thing and the vibrations are beyond science. The Sahaja Yogi mentioned that the Delhi University Chancellor believes in Sahaja Yoga because he has seen it himself and when he is with Sahaja Yogis he feels much better. Shri Mataji said he has to decide whether he wants to go ahead because She cannot explain to him how it works. Plus the human mind is very limited.
Went to get ready and came back, then managed to offer the sugar cane to Shri Mataji. She asked who it was for and I said it was for Her. She said She would eat it Herself, but it was about nine feet tall!
I went to sort out a few things and when I came back discovered there was a puja going on. We said the mantras to Shri Gruha Lakshmi and Shri Anapurna. While the placing of the flowers was going on, someone had left the TV on, and there was a quiz programme on. There was a question about a piece of music, and Shri Mataji asked me what it was. I said it was Bonanza, but I was wrong, it was a tune from the film, The Magnificent Seven. While we were sitting down Shri Mataji said we should absorb the vibrations.
Wednesday: Waiting for Shri Mataji to arrive from shopping. She arrived at 4.25 pm to sort out the saris – some very nice silk designs. Some ladies washed Her Feet with soap and put ice in the water.
‘You see what I have to do for you people,’ She said. She did not go to the music programme which had been arranged for Her because She had to sort out so many saris. She mentioned that the English have still not sent their money or their sizes yet.
Thursday: Went to the programme. The music was good and they had fireworks and it finished at about 3 o’clock in the morning. Shri Mataji talked about the liver, saying that most Indian food is very heavy, and in the north they also have ghee in their food but their livers are not bad because they do not think a lot. The only people who get diabetes and jaundice in India are those who think a lot – planners, architects etc.
Shri Mataji said it is the concentrated milk in the chocolate that gives you a bad liver. She mentioned that Her mother was a very strict dietician and did not feed them any food which was bad for the liver. Shri Mataji did not start drinking tea until She was 45 years old. If babies are born with jaundice, it is because their mothers are worrying about what will happen at the birth.
The programme and the puja were very full – about a 1000 Sahaja Yogis in Mumbai, and about 300 in Pune. Not all came to the puja because of the expense, it was the equivalent of 2.65 pounds, but the wages are low. In the puja talk Shri Mataji spoke about Shri Lakshmi, saying we should be very generous, like a door which is open so the wealth can flow through it, but if it is closed the flow will stop. There should be ventilation, otherwise there can be no flow from Shri Lakshmi. We should be like a lotus, or a rose petal – very soft towards other people. The joy of giving is greater than the joy of music, which we experience in Sahaja Yoga. We have to be like a lotus because not even water sticks to a lotus.
Shri Mataji’s plane leaves at 2.00 am on Friday and arrives in London at 6.30 am. She said that She does not want all the young babies to be brought to the airport so early, but some still want to come to see Her. Helped pack all the things that She is taking to England.
I have held on to that experience ever since that day
It was Diwali Puja 1988 at Shudy Camps in England, my first puja. I’d previously talked to the Yogi who’d been helping me to come into Sahaj, and asked him if I would be able to meet Shri Mataji at the puja, and he said it might be possible. The puja was held in a large marquee in the grounds of Shudy Camps.
When the puja was finished we gathered outside and Shri Mataji came out and walked between us all. My mentor had spent a lot of time with Shri Mataji from the early days in Sahaja Yoga in England and he was able to speak to Her and introduce me. I didn’t know how to greet Her, so I held my hand out to shake Hers. She stood directly in front of me – She didn’t smile, She held my hand very firmly and looked into me. We stood there together, Shri Mataji holding my right hand. She just stood looking at me intensely. I couldn’t think anything. I didn’t know how long we stood there like that; it could have been five minutes or it could have been an hour. Other Yogis also told me they didn’t know how long we had stood like that with Shri Mataji holding my hand. She was raising my Kundalini in a very strong way, and I went completely thoughtless, but the other Yogis told me they also had gone thoughtless in a deep way.
I’ll never forget it and I have held onto that experience ever since that day.
Presents for everyone
Shri Mataji used to give presents to all the Sahaja Yogis at Diwali Puja. In the mid -eighties most of the Sahaja Yogis who attended puja when Shri Mataji was there, used to get presents. I was standing in the puja hall and She saw me and called me, and gave me a hand bag as a Diwali present, which I have still got with me.
At another puja Shri Mataji gave most of the English Sahaja Yoginis some silver rings. When She gave me my ring, She told me to get it gold plated as otherwise the ring would give rashes. She had tremendous concern about small things.
The maya of being physically close to Shri Mataji
I had a Chemistry degree, but had been doing a bit of gardening and wanted to ask Shri Mataji what I should do with my life, but the words didn’t come out and I didn’t want to impose.
‘Tell me about yourself, I don’t know much about you,’ Shri Mataji said at one point.
I told Her what I was doing and She had obviously picked up my thoughts and desires, and said I should go to Germany. It was quite a surprise because I was married to an Austrian and I thought I would go to Austria.
‘Austria?’ I said.
‘No, Germany,’ She corrected me. As She said that I felt really cool vibrations on my hands. About a week later we moved to Germany so that was definitely a life changing experience. The other key thing I remember from those days was the maya of being physically close to Shri Mataji as opposed to being close to Her in your meditation.
‘Mother is outside,’ someone would say when we were at Shudy Camps, and one would rush out and bow down. Some days I was not that clear and felt uncomfortable being close to Mother. One morning Dr Bohdan took us all out onto the grass early about 5.30 am and I felt really good. We went to meet Mother and Her eyes went big, She gave me a smile and I knew She could see I was in a good state. All day my connection with Her was so much better, meaning the Goddess could be three feet away or a million miles away. If you are connected it doesn’t matter how near or far you are, and if you are not in a good state it doesn’t matter how close you are to Her. It gave me an insight into the maya of being physically around Her. You can slip into the illusion that She is a human being, but if you can go to Sahasrara you can be more aware of the subtleties of what She is doing.
Other nice moments were when Dr Bohdan’s son Lenin, who was about two, would come in and Mother would play with him. Once I was alone with Shri Mataji and Lenin.
‘Who’s that? It’s Steve!’ She said, and I felt my Centre Heart opened up when Shri Mataji called my name like that.
Shri Mataji working on a yogi at Pratishthan
Derek Ferguson, diary entries, Pratishthan
Sunday 10th November: Shri Mataji was to arrive at Bombay Airport from England at about 11.40 pm but She only came out at about 1.30 am. She was going to speak, but the PA system was not very good, so She took flowers and garlands and only spoke to a few people. I had come to Bombay for my visa, so had a good excuse to go to the flat where Shri Mataji was staying.
‘I did not see you there,’ She said, referring to the airport, so we brought up the luggage and sat down, and She was speaking about politics.
Monday: Slept for a few hours then went upstairs to Shri Mataji’s flat. She was still sleeping so I went to the visa office and they told me I could only have a one month extension. I went back to the flat and Shri Mataji was sorting out saris.
‘They’ve arrived,’ She said, told me to sit down.
Tuesday: I went upstairs and Shri Mataji was talking to Baba Mama about the arrangements for the tour – what food, fruit etc to have, and even the Christmas arrangements. I took a bus to Pune from Bombay, and Shri Mataji arrived at about 12.00 o’clock, and made more arrangements for the tour via the leader in London.
Wednesday: It was a full moon, and Guru Nanak’s birthday. Shri Mataji had a small puja and spoke in Hindi about money, saying we should be satisfied with what we have.
She told a story about Her saris, saying that some people had not paid for the saris that She had bought for them and lot of bad things had happened as a result. For instance, an English Sahaja Yogi went abroad – he used to collect the money for the pujas, but he started to pocket it and now he has gone mad and is in an asylum. Then there was a Sahaja Yogini who accidentally did not pay for one, and she lost the job she had held for eighteen years. However, she realised she had not paid for it, and even before she actually did she was given an even better job than before. Just by paying or not paying for Shri Mataji’s saris, so many things happen.
She said when the incarnations came they spoke about things the others had missed, but did not know that people would stick on to each religion separately, like Mohammed told people not to drink, so the Muslims tend not to drink alcohol, but they smoke, and Guru Nanak said don’t smoke so the Sikhs, who follow him, may not smoke but some of them drink like fishes.
Thursday: Now that Shri Mataji is back a lot of people come to see Her, some unofficially. She has only been having orange juice recently. She came out this morning, and then not until 11.00 pm. Harsh Mehra, Anil, Anil’s fiancée, Sita from Austria and Harsh’s wife were there. Shri Mataji said that Anil’s fiancée should go on a liver diet and should take some iron because she was looking very pale. Anil’s fiancée said the doctors had told her she was very anaemic. Shri Mataji explained that when you have a bad liver, you do not feel like eating, so you lose weight and lack appetite, then you get anaemia. As She was about to leave Shri Mataji saw me.
‘What is all this I hear about you having half a cup of milk in your tea?’ She said. I told Her it was not me. Then She called one of the ladies and asked her and she said I wasn’t drinking much tea. Shri Mataji said it had to be another Sahaja Yogi from England who is working here, and he should stop drinking so much tea. She said we can drink mint, basil (tulsi) and radish leaf tea. She said She is still working on us, and all the good will be gone if we are not careful. Just a few drops of milk are all we can have because milk is very bad for the liver. Also we can have kokum drink.
Friday: Shri Mataji told me to do the ground floor hall next, because She wants to invite the Sahaja Yogis here on December 15th, so the walls have to be plastered and the floors polished. While we were in the hall Shri Mataji mentioned that She was walking barefoot because the house was, at that point, horrible, because a lot of the work has not been done properly, so She has to tear things down and put a lot of things right. She said even the house needs vibrations.
When Shri Mataji finished in the hall, She went upstairs and a few of us went into Her living room with Her. She had Her hand on Her liver and asked for some water to put Her Feet in. She also drank lots of water and then one of the ladies dried Her Feet and massaged them. (In the leader’s house in Bombay they had even put ice in the water then massaged Her Feet with a homeopathic cream and eucalyptus oil.)
After this Shri Mataji started to talk about London, saying that the Hampstead meetings were going very well. When She met the young people in London She saw from their eyes that they were seekers but were lost. Anywhere there were steps they would hang around with nothing to do, such as in Shaftesbury Avenue. One thing which had affected them was punk rock, which was no more, and drinking alcohol. She said that now they were break dancing. She felt very sorry for them and had given them bandhans. She said that the rich were getting very rich but the poor were getting worse off, the country was going down and the only thing going up was the pound, which enabled Her to keep the India Tour the same price for the last few years. There are forty English people coming this year, which was good, She said.
Shri Mataji at Pratishthan during the building work
Derek Ferguson diary entries – Pratishthan, November and December
Saturday: In the evening we all watched the news with Shri Mataji, then there was a short film on about before Independence, and how badly the Indians were treated by the British.
She spoke about some people who wanted to get married and said there were a lot of older ladies but not older men. A lot of the ladies who wanted to get married were over fifty, which was unheard of in India. She spoke about Germany and said it is going well and they are getting a lot of Sahaja Yogis. She mentioned the different plots of land She has here, which are being held up by technicalities, including the land for the school.
Sunday: We watched the TV version of the Mahabharata with Shri Mataji. The time of the episodes was brought forward from 11.00 am to 8.30 am. Even the Sahaja Yogis were not going to the Sunday programmes so they could watch and Shri Mataji told them off. She mentioned that She was taking some tea and Sita fruit and was even doing a footsoak.
After everyone had gone Shri Mataji spoke to me about England and said that She had visited so many places in that country but the response has not been good even after all these years. She said that She has now lost interest in Shudy Camps, because the English were treating it like a holiday resort, and She wants to sell it. Shri Mataji mentioned that the English were very dry and a leading politician was a racist, even in her heart. She spoke about the people at the Customs in London and said they cannot detect the guilty people well, and often catch the wrong ones. They were even going to cut open the Indian Sahaja Yoga musicians’ tablas and they opened up the harmonium to see what was inside. The musicians had explained that it had to be hollow to sound right, so the Customs people made them play the tabla just to check.
There is a lady who has been coming for the past week to massage Shri Mataji, and her husband is a barber, so Shri Mataji has arranged for him to come and cut the Sahaja Yogis’ hair, including mine. I told Her that the Indians keep asking where I get my hair from and I say it comes from God. Shri Mataji laughed at this and said it is because people here would like to have this kind of hair, they regarded it as royal hair.
She told us that people should work spontaneously and not do too many drawings and plans, and gave the example of a French Sahaja Yogi who was not very good at anything, so tried marble work, but was too much into drawing and planning and the workers could not get on well with him. Then he changed to plumbing and was still making mistakes, but he is much better now. Less planning and more work, Shri Mataji said.
Monday: Went to Anil’s house and Harsh was there – he had a present for Anil’s wife from Shri Mataji – a photo frame, so she could have a photo of her husband to see when he was away.
Wednesday: Today I had to go to Bombay to renew my visa – Shri Mataji said I should go straight away – so I took the bus into Pune and the train to Bombay.
Thursday: The leader gave me the name and address of a Sahaja Yogi who could help me with my visa. I went to his office, near VT Station, and he told me to go to the visa office and say I had come for a puja, and to give him a ring if there were any problems. I went to the police office but the man there wanted some money. I told him I did not have any. He told me my papers had disappeared and to come back the next day, but then another man came and saw Shri Mataji’s badge that I was wearing, and said he would help me.
I phoned the Sahaja Yogi who said he would help me, and we found a friend of his. When we told them I was from Jamaica, and part of the Commonwealth, he said there would be no charge and no problems with the visa. When the Sahaja Yogi told them I was with Shri Mataji and doing Sahaja Yoga, my papers suddenly turned up, they signed and stamped them and my passport. I thanked the Sahaja Yogi, after which I returned to Pune.
I saw Shri Mataji and told Her the story, which She liked very much, and said we should wear Her badge all the time, even in Pune.