Chapter 13: 1979 – India, January to March

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

A rare opportunity

Shri Mataji blessed me with an opportunity to accompany Her to meet the minister in charge of Indian television, on the Sahaja Yogis’ suggestions. It was some time in the late seventies when the television was under government control and private channels were not permitted. Shri Mataji reached there at the time fixed for the meeting. However some more people were also waiting for the minister, who arrived late and kept talking to a man for a long time. Although the minister had known Shri Mataji and Her family for a long time, Shri Mataji told us this later, he did not notice Her and She was waiting for more than half an hour. It was a moment of great embarrassment to me since I was involved in the minister’s appointment. Shri Mataji said that the minister should not leave without meeting Her.

In a split second I felt as if a kind of energy filled me from within. I was on my feet and walked straight to the place where the minister was hobnobbing with the man and stood close to him so as to catch his attention. In the normal circumstances no one whom the minister did not know would dare to do it since Indian ministers are very powerful. The minister noticed me in a few seconds and gave me a dirty and scornful look.

‘Sir, Mr N.K.P. Salve’s sister is waiting for you,’ instantly these words came from me.

‘Oh, is it?’ The minister exclaimed, and walked towards Shri Mataji. They talked for a short time, when Shri Mataji told him to spare a time slot for Sahaja Yoga in television programmes, and then She left.

Raman Kulkarni

A question of My attention

There was a big house in Delhi in 1979 where one room was for Shri Mataji and we were staying in the other rooms. Some of the English Sahaja Yogis were there also and outside there was a big pendal and in that we had public programmes every evening.

‘Mother is calling you. She is having a lot of problem with Her left ear,’ Mrs Raolbai said one afternoon.

‘What was the problem?’ we asked. We went in and Shri Mataji was really in pain and I didn’t know what to do.

‘Put your hands to My ears and put some oil with garlic and everything,’ She said.

‘Now what’s going to happen?’ we said. ‘Should we take Shri Mataji to the hospital? Should we call the doctor?’ It went on until about six-thirty when somebody came.

‘Mother, everybody is ready outside,’ he said. ‘People have gathered and they’re waiting for You.’

‘Ah, OK,’ She said and asked us to go out. She dressed in five minutes and came out at about quarter to seven. She gave Her talk and about eighty new people had come. At that time it was a custom that all the old Sahaja Yogis would go on Mother’s Feet at the end. It went on until about eleven-thirty. I was always looking at Mother’s face. She never showed even a sign that She had a pain in Her ear.

‘Either there was no pain or the pain vanished,’ I said to myself, but it was always in my mind. After about two years, I had an opportunity to ask Shri Mataji about this.

‘What was it? Did You really have a pain at that time?’

‘It’s all a question of My attention. Whenever I have pain, My attention was on the pain and when there was the public programme, My attention was on the new people. It was on the Sahaja Yogis. So when My attention is not there, that thing doesn’t exist for Me.’

Avdhut Pai

Mother liked it very much

While we were staying at Ashoka Road with Shri Mataji She showed me that She fulfills your desire, even the smallest desire, even if you don’t really desire. When we were in Delhi, everybody was giving presents to Shri Mataji — blouse pieces, saris, whatever. I was a student and didn’t have enough money to buy Her things and didn’t know what to buy. It happened that my own mother’s sweater had been lost. There was one Mr Varma, who used to take Shri Mataji shopping.

‘My mother’s lost her sweater and you can get good sweaters. Can you buy one and I’ll send you the money from Mumbai?’ I asked Mr Varma. A day or two later, he came to me.

‘I bought a sweater. Mother liked it very much,’ he said to me. I didn’t understand because when I said ‘mother’ to him, he thought I meant ‘Shri Mataji’ and he had bought a cashmere sweater.

‘Very light, but good quality cashmere,’ he said. ‘Mother liked it very much. We said that Avdhut wanted us to buy a sweater for You,’ he said and he bought Her a sweater.

‘No, you should take the money,’ said Shri Mataji to me.

‘No, Shri Mataji, please,’ I said and finally She took the sweater.

Avdhut Pai

Meeting Shri Mataji for the first time

During March 1979 the Sahaja Yogis rented 10, Ashoka Road, Delhi, and set up a shamiana (a kind of tent) in the gardens where Shri Mataji Herself conducted meetings twice a day. After each session She called each person who received their realisation to come and place their hands under Her Feet and offer pranams to Her. No one understood what a big blessing it was to be at Her Feet and how She sucked everything from the subtle being, but everyone felt wonderful after they got up. She just blasted everyone with a deep feeling of bliss and divine vibrations.

The first Sunday after I had received my realisation, and after the afternoon session, another Sahaja Yogi convinced me to stay on and take a nap in the living room. I woke up around 6 pm and shortly afterwards Shri Mataji emerged from Her room. Her whole being was shining with so much light that despite not knowing who She was it was evident She was someone very special. The song which we all sing, Mataji, Mataji, your face shines like a thousand suns, was witnessed that day.

A week after receiving realisation I requested an old Sahaja Yogi from Bombay to arrange for me to meet Shri Mataji. He told me that one could go into Her room but to come out in five minutes. After offering pranams at Her Feet and speaking to Her briefly I got up to leave. Shri Mataji asked me why I was getting up. On telling Her that I had been told to come out, She asked me to sit there and showered me with vibrations while Her grandchildren Sonu and Anand played around. It was one of the most wonderful times. She knew everyone’s desire and always fulfilled them.

Maneesh Singh

Shri Mataji waited and kept on calling

In 1979, Shri Mataji had arrived in Delhi, so on my way to the puja I picked up a garland made of almost dried up orange coloured marigolds. Later Shri Mataji said this type of flower should not be used to give to Her. When Mother was leaving, everyone offered their garlands to Her. They were huge, fresh and beautiful and Her neck was full, the garlands almost touched Her head, with just a little of Her face visible.

‘More! Whoever has a garland, bring it, offer them all, bring, bring,’ She kept on saying. She waited and kept saying, ‘Now bring more.’

I felt She was waiting, but what could I offer? A dried up garland? But She waited and kept on calling until I offered my dried up marigold garland to Her.

A similar incident occurred in 1983, again at Delhi Airport. I got some ranjani gandha flowers to take to Shri Mataji. When She came I was just looking at Her with such awe that I forgot to offer the flowers. She was really close, and She smiled.

‘This is for Me?’ She asked, and took it from my hand. She took them and smelled the flowers and went on Her way laughing! What a time!

Surender Pal Angurala

Shri Mataji said what was in my mind

I had read about Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga some time before in a popular magazine, The Digest of India. There was a full-page article and it talked in detail about Kundalini awakening and Sahaja Yoga. I read it with great interest, but did not know if I would ever get a chance to meet Shri Mataji.

Then about a month later, I was in Delhi for the weekend and happened to see an advertisement in the paper for a programme where Shri Mataji was coming to give people en masse enlightenment. All our family got together and went to the programme. It was wonderful. Having listened to Shri Mataji, I was very, very touched. It was cold, being winter in Delhi, and we weren’t sure whether the cool wind was coming from the weather round about or whether it was coming from the body.

In those days, in the late 1970’s, it was customary that everybody queued up in front of Shri Mataji, who sat on a big chair, and as your turn came, you bowed down and placed you palms face upwards in front of Her and She placed Her Holy Feet on top of your palms and then She verified and declared whether you had got the awakening or not. When I came there, She asked me how I felt. I explained that I wasn’t quite sure whether the wind was coming from all around because it was cold and winter. She called a couple of people who were standing around.

‘Come, take a look at this boy. His entire face has changed,’ She said. Of course, at that moment, I couldn’t assess what I looked like. Shri Mataji said that I had got enlightenment and directed some people to get a book for me, which was named The Advent. I told Shri Mataji I was going away from Delhi because I was a pilot in the Indian Air Force and had been posted to Punjab. She asked me when I had to go. I told Her I had to catch a train the following night and She said I should bring my bags to the programme, then go after that.

That next day, to my amazement, I saw a Kundalini moving at the back of a lady who was sitting in front of Shri Mataji and some Sahaja Yogis were working on her. I was totally dumbfounded when I saw it move up about three inches when the people worked on her.


Let him come

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in 1979. There was a series of public programmes that Shri Mataji held in Delhi. They were in the Mavlankar Auditorium behind All India Radio. In those days Mother used to have week-long programmes, and generally She would address a chakra each day. Every evening She would send the people home and tell them to come back the next day and She would tell us about the next chakra.

My father and I went to all the consecutive evenings that first week. I was about ten years old. At the end of the week, an announcement was made that on the coming Sunday there would be a puja and the address was given. A general condition was made that all those who had felt the cool breeze during the week’s discourse and meditation could come to the puja. My brother and I had felt it but my father had not, so on the Sunday my father had us get dressed and get ready for the puja. Only my father and I went, to Sarva Priya Vihar, and we later came to know that it was Sadhana Didi’s residence in Delhi. It was a one floor house, and Shri Mataji was sitting in the living room. There was a dilemma, because my father had not felt the cool breeze, so he sent me and he stayed back on his scooter across the street.

I was just a boy, and I went and knocked on the door of this house. A tall Sahaja Yogi opened the door and would not let me in. He did not know where this young boy had come from, and I told him that we had been asked to come if we had felt the cool breeze. Somehow Shri Mataji got to hear of all this going on, and told him to let me in.

‘Let him come,’ She said, when the man said I was only a boy, alone. So I went in and even Shri Mataji was wondering how a ten year old boy could have found his way there. She asked me who I was and where I had come from, and I think I called Her ‘auntie’, but She said I should call Her Mother. I told Her that my father had brought me, but it was said that only those who had felt the cool breeze should come to the puja, so he had brought me, but was waiting outside on the street. Then I told Her my full name, Jayant Patankar.

‘You’re Maharashtrian!’ She said. Shri Mataji immediately started talking in Marathi and She said I was to go and call my father. So I went out and across the road, and told my father what had happened. He was a bit hesitant because he had not felt it, but Mother was very nice and kind and explained that sometimes our condition was not perfect, especially, She said, ‘with us grown ups’, as if trying to say it was not only him. She told us to go upstairs onto the terrace, and said She would come up for the puja when She was ready.

It so happened that on that day, our first puja, the sky was completely overcast. The people were rather forward in those days, and were telling Mother not to have the puja on the terrace because it could rain at any moment. Shri Mataji kept on insisting that it would not rain. My father and I were very much at the back.

It was a nice puja. In those days pujas used to take a long time, they could go for half a day or more. There would be the thousand and eight names and so on. We knew what a puja was, being Hindus. All attention was on Shri Mataji and nobody noticed anything else.

After the puja, Shri Mataji told us to look up at the sky. We all looked up and the fully loaded dark clouds had settled around the house in a circle. There was a big opening in the sky, right on top of the house. Mother pointed to the big hole in the sky right above our heads.

‘See, this is like your open Sahasrara,’ She said. Then the miracle happened. Mother asked all of us to look at the clear blue sky and asked us if we could see anything, after we had focused on it for a minute or two. Most people didn’t respond.

‘Yes,’ some said.

‘What do you see?’ She said.

‘We see these little specks of light like spots or dots, and they are luminous and glowing and moving so rapidly, in a random way,’ some people said. I also saw them.

‘These are the vibrations that flow through you,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘And this is the same power to which you are connected, as well.’ I could see all this, although I had not put my hand up. That was my first puja and I remember it as if it had happened yesterday, not twenty-six years ago.

Jayant Patankar

The Indian people sat respectfully at Her Feet

I got my realisation in India in March 1979 at the age of twenty-two. I had been wandering around India seeking the joy I had lost in my life, looking for some kind of yogi. One day I met an Australian who had had a very powerful experience from Shri Mataji, so I went to Delhi to try to meet Her. Shri Mataji had been traveling around India giving public programmes, accompanied by some Indians and about thirteen Westerners and She was now finishing Her tour in Delhi with a week of evening programmes.

I arrived at the given address, a small bungalow in a quiet street surrounded by cool leafy trees, where I was invited in and given tea. Later, they told me to go over to the small pendal on the other side of the garden. There were about fifty people there, and I sat at the back with one other new Westerner, a handful of Western yogis and otherwise mostly middle aged Indian businessmen, like my father.

This struck me as very significant, as I really respected my father’s wisdom and thought, ‘This must be something different from the hippie gurus. These men are like my father and there is hardly a hippie in sight.’

Shri Mataji spoke in Hindi and after She had finished there was a pause. Suddenly all the Indian people rushed up to sit very respectfully at Her Feet. I did not get my realisation that night, but the next night I became completely thoughtless and slept a very deep restful sleep.

I went back to the following programmes; I would go early in the afternoon, which seemed like a very relaxed time, and Shri Mataji would come out and talk to the group.

Felicity Payment

I felt a deep connection inside with Her being

After receiving my realisation in Delhi, in March 1979, I was invited to go with the Sahaja Yogis and Shri Mataji to a seminar in Bordi, on the coast near Bombay.

We all went on the train with Shri Mataji, who was in a different carriage. It was surprising to me how available She was, never requesting special treatment nor was She shut away behind closed doors. We ate with Her, travelled with Her, slept where She slept and She talked with everyone equally, according to their need, in a very Motherly manner. I was told later, that on hearing I was accompanying the group to Bordi, some people had said that I was catching everywhere.

‘Don’t worry, she will be all right,’ Shri Mataji said. In Her compassion She knew exactly what was in everyone’s heart, who were the real seekers.

On Saturday morning we gathered for the beginning of the seminar in a large hut. Shri Mataji, in Her chair, instructed us to stand in front of Her, in a bandhan. There were about forty of us and we faced Her in a semi-circle, with our palms and fingers connected to each other. The person on the left side, at the beginning of the line, had their left hand pointed to Shri Mataji, taking vibrations from Her. The person at the end of the line had their right hand pointed up in the air away from the circle, so we were all collectively clearing out through the person at the end.  Shri Mataji asked if we were all feeling the cool breeze in both hands. Up to this point I had not felt any vibrations. Suddenly I could feel cool pouring out of my right hand, but absolutely nothing in my left side. Shri Mataji asked me to come out of the circle and sit on the floor in front of Her, to put my right hand on my left heart and keep my left hand pointed towards Her.

‘Ask the question,’ She said. ‘Ask, is this the cool breeze of the Holy Ghost? Is this the cool breeze of the param chaitanya? Ask it three times.’

I did, and felt an amazing wind pouring from Shri Mataji onto me. She seemed very big, looming over me, and something welled up inside and rushed up to the top of my head and lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I felt so different, light and happy, like writing poetry, as if I had been given my soul back again.

That afternoon, for the first time in my presence Shri Mataji gave a talk in English. We were a small group, listening to Her words at Her Feet, and as I listened I felt a deep connection inside with Her being, as if She was saying with Her being, not Her words, that everything I had always valued was real and true and important. The words that I remembered from this talk spoke directly to me.

‘Do you think Christ was a namby-pamby skinny sort of fellow? No He was not!’ She said, and in one stroke dissolved the vice-like torment I had been living under, for I had been unknowingly suffering cruelly from anorexia for five years.

I was very moved by the love and joy of the Indian yogis surrounding Her at the time and thought that if they had got this joy and love through Sahaja Yoga then this was what I wanted.

Felicity Payment

Congratulations, you have completely cleared out!

Shri Mataji was so kind, sweet and motherly towards us during that 1979 India visit. There were initially just three of us from the West. One morning She took me out to buy some clothes, holding my hand as we walked along the road. She arranged for Indian Sahaja Yogis to take us to the museum, take us shopping and to see sights of interest. Then on occasions She rebuked us, correcting our imbalances.

Shri Mataji noticed one night that I had removed the pillow on my bed, and replaced it with a few of my clothes. This was because the pillow was as hard as a stone. Shri Mataji asked me why I had removed it, and when I explained, rather ashamed of my lack of detachment, She immediately gave me Her pillow and took mine, saying that She was completely unaffected by such things, that She couldn’t even feel it!

One day, Shri Mataji asked for a bowl of water for Her Feet. When it came, the water was extremely hot, and I was concerned that the water would scald Her Feet. Shri Mataji removed Her Feet so the water could be cooled, and said that She could not even feel the heat of the water on Her Feet.

Every day we were instructed to lay our foreheads on Shri Mataji’s Feet. How blessed we were. The Mumbai Sahaja Yogis would advance on us at this point and vigorously work on our chakras.

These sessions were quite traumatic, but we felt grateful that we were being worked on. One evening, Shri Mataji called me to Her Feet, and I knelt down, waiting for the Indian yogis to call out my catches. But none came. Afterwards, I felt, sadly, that they must have given up on me. Then Shri Mataji called me over.

‘Congratulations. You have completely cleared out!’ She said.

Patricia Proenza

Shri Mataji told us to watch

In 1979, we spent a weekend on the beach at Malad, just outside Mumbai. One morning, Shri Mataji stood in the sea, and we rubbed Her Feet. We were sitting in the water, which meant that we were completely, deeply cleared out, leaving us a state of total stillness and silence. The tide was going out. Shri Mataji told us to watch, that although the tide was ebbing, it would come up to touch Her Feet. Suddenly the water moved forward in a rush and completely covered Her Feet, even moving further up the beach, behind Her.

Patricia Proenza

The whole universe was sparking with joy

Another memory from that 1979 visit to India is of some of the Indian yogis coming back to the Mumbai flat we were staying in – Neelamber – and talking with Shri Mataji into the early hours of the morning, often after public meetings the night before.

Mr Dhumal would often make Shri Mataji laugh and laugh – laughter which was so free, boundless, uninhibited. It felt as if the whole universe was bubbling and sparking with joy! They spoke in Hindi or Marathi so we did not understand what was being said, but we too laughed uncontrollably, enveloped in joy, in utter mirth.

Patricia Proenza

The Kundalini itself was dancing

During one of the concerts we attended in India in 1979 we were sitting near to Shri Mataji, listening to the violin played by a realised soul. I became aware that the sound seemed to travel through my Sahasrara rather than my ears – as if moving directly into Sahasrara. On another occasion, in London, I was most blessed by being able to sit next to Shri Mataji while at a concert of classical Indian music. It felt as if the Kundalini itself was dancing, swaying to the music. On asking Shri Mataji about this experience, She smiled.

‘That’s right!’ She said.

Patricia Proenza

Thank You Shri Mataji, for finding me

In 1979, Shri Mataji said I should go back to England, where the Sahaja Yogis would take care of me. At this time there was only a small group of yogis in Delhi and Bombay, and about thirty yogis in England.

We went to see Shri Mataji off at the train station in Delhi, and there were only about ten of us – it was so informal and joyful and She was so happy and dynamic, giving advice to everyone. I felt if only I could stay with yogis, while I was arranging my travel back to England, then I would be safe. There was one particular yogi whom I really wanted to stay with, because he was so full of love for Shri Mataji. Lo and behold, after some time, Shri Mataji turned to him.

‘She should stay with you until she leaves,’ She said to that very yogi.

‘Yes Mother,’ he replied.

I was so new in Sahaja Yoga, and did not understand what it was all about, but She took care of me and knew what was in my heart. We waved Her off on the train and She smiled and laughed with us. I knew I would see Her in England.

Thank You Shri Mataji, for finding me.

Felicity Payment