And suddenly there was Shri Mataji
I was in the fifth month of pregnancy but I had a very strong desire to go to the India tour. I was in Austria at the time. The tour had already started but it was so cool to go so I flew to Delhi and then was to catch a flight to Pune where Shri Mataji was to have a public programme. My parents-in-law came to see me and I changed my ticket to stay overnight in Delhi to be with them a little while. The next day I went to the airport and we reached there very late. I saw one yogi at the door with flowers, and suddenly there was Shri Mataji.
‘What are you doing here?’ She asked.
‘I’m flying to Pune,’ I replied.
‘So am I,’ She said, smiling. It was wonderful, because there was just Shri Mataji and one person flying with Her, so they asked me if I would like to carry Her beauty case. Before I had left Austria I had been to the doctor about the pregnancy and told him I felt quite weak. He told me not to bother to take iron pills and other tablets, but just to eat enough.
‘You look very weak, what happened?’ Shri Mataji said to me at the airport.
‘I am pregnant,’ I replied.
‘I know,’ She said. ‘Are you taking your iron?’ She knew everything.
Shri Mataji was the last one on the plane so we had a bus just for us – Shri Mataji and Sir CP, and I wanted to stand in front of them, and She told me to sit down. It was very special.
This place will be used for our international seminars
Just before the programmes at Ganapatipule started, Mr. Chavhan and seven yogis went with Shri Mataji to do a public programme in Ratnagiri. After the programme was finished, they were to catch a ferry back to Mumbai. On being told that this ferry would be very late, Shri Mataji said that they should still leave for the ferry, which was to be taken from a place called Jaigad. I knew that it was way too early and also that there was nothing to do there for timepass.
‘Mother,’ I told Shri Mataji, ‘there is a Ganesha temple on the sea, which we could go and see. It is only about a half an hour away, so we will easily be back in time.’ She said it was OK.
We all packed into cars and went to see this temple. It is at sea level and sometimes the sea enters into the temple at high tide. Shri Mataji went inside the temple, where the swayambhu was, to check the vibrations, then came out and told us that this swayambhu is very awakened and very powerful, much more powerful than the astavinayakas. These are the eight Ganesha swayambhus in and around Maharashtra — swayambhus from Mother Earth.
‘Why didn’t you notice this before?’ Shri Mataji asked Chavhan.
He said that he only came here now for the first time after Sahaja Yoga. She then said that this place would be used for our international seminars. Shri Mataji spoke about the swayambhu. It has got the powerful vibration of Shri Ganesha and also the very powerful vibration of sea, void and power of Adi Guru Dattatreya. So by coming here, at least two chakras can get cleared out, Mooladhara and Void. Chavhan then started thinking about how to arrange all of this and thinking, ‘I don’t know anyone here to do this.’
‘So you are now worried about how to do this,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Don’t worry. I will do everything and will tell you what to do in good time and automatically everything will work out.’ After this, we all decided to go and watch the sunset and have a foot soak.
‘Now I am going to show you a miracle. Look out over the ocean and tell me what you see,’ Shri Mataji said.
‘Mother, we see the waves all coming in our direction from all sides. The waves are coming towards us.’
‘Now watch. I will change the direction of the waves,’ Shri Mataji said.
She then walked towards the south, and the waves all went in that direction. Then She walked in the other direction and the waves all went the other way. When She stood still, all of the waves also stood still. They seemed to be standing, waiting for the next instruction.
‘You may be doubting, and thinking that possibly the wind is doing this, so I will show you again,’ Shri Mataji said, and did everything all over again.
She said this was the second time that She had done this miracle. The first time was in America. After they had finished at the Ganesha temple, they then went back to Jaigad to wait for the ferry. By this time, the sun had set and they were all waiting at the port.
‘Now I will show you all another miracle. The Ganesha temple is in that direction,’ Shri Mataji said, and pointed. ‘Now look. Do you see anything over there?’
‘No, Mother, we can’t see anything,’ they all said.
She again pointed in the same direction and told them to look again. As they looked, they could see, slowly appearing a huge stream of light. It was like a huge cylindrical circle of light, as if thousands of volts were coming out of Mother Earth and going straight into the heavens.
‘There is no other light around here, not even moonlight, so that light is coming from the Ganesha temple,’ said Shri Mataji. ‘This light will not stop until I tell it to. It is coming from the swayambhu of Shri Ganesha and I am taking it out.’
Shri Mataji then asked us if we all had seen this light and should She stop it. All the Sahaja Yogis present said that they had all seen it and that She could now stop it from coming out of the Ganesha temple. The light was there for about ten minutes. We were very lucky to see such a thing and I have not seen anything like that since.
Advice at Pratishthan
The construction of Pratishthan began some time in 1985/1986. I was quite ignorant of civil engineering and architecture.
‘Everything in the world has its own principle and there is the principle of all the principles. When you are that principle, you have all the knowledge in the world,’ Shri Mataji said when I confessed my ignorance.
During that period, Shri Mataji, being busy with the construction work, often stayed in Pune. One late evening She was about to retire for the day.
‘Keep Me in your heart, because Sadashiva is in My heart,’ She said.
Shri Mahakali Puja Nasik, 1985
Towards the end of the Mahakali Puja in Nasik, in 1985, Shri Mataji looked into my camera with such power and strength. When I pressed the button I felt I would go up in a puff of smoke.
Shri Mahakali Puja in Nasik, 1985
We have to stand for divinity
When Shri Mataji arrived at the public programme in India there were usually huge crowds who wanted to touch Her. The Western men would often be asked to make a line of protection in front of Shri Mataji. It was in Nasik, on my first India tour, at a public programme, and we were asked to make a line. Somehow my attention lapsed at one point and through my inattentiveness one man managed to break through the line and touch Shri Mataji’s Feet.
Shri Mataji exclaimed in pain, and She was stamping Her Foot which that negative man had touched. She was turning it and you could see She was trying to release the negativity from that person back into the Mother Earth. That was a very important moment for me, because I realised that Shri Mataji is not only here to protect us, but we as Sahaja Yogis, also are there to protect Her. We have to stand for divinity, and if our attention lapses even for a moment, something bad may happen.
Henno de Graaf
You never quite know
I once also had to defend Shri Mataji like that. She saw that and asked me to relax a bit, and let the people come. So you never quite know if you are doing the right job!
This lady chased me and I ran for my life
In 1985 Shri Mataji told Mr Koli that She would like to come to Alibagh the following year and it was really a surprise because he had started building a bungalow and wanted to invite Her. The building work was going on and the building materials were lying around all over the place.
‘Aren’t you scared that someone will come and steal the materials?’ many village people said.
‘This is Mother’s house and it is well guarded. No one would dare take anything,’ he said. The very next day a man from the village came.
‘Mr Koli, do you have a person protecting your house?’ he asked.
‘No, why?’ Mr Koli said.
‘Because last night I saw someone in a white costume and a blanket over the body,’ the man replied.
‘What were you doing on my ground?’ Mr Koli asked.
‘Please forgive me,’ the man replied, ‘but I actually came to steal some cement and this strongly built person chased me.’ Mr Koli and the villager entered the next room and the thief saw Mother’s photograph. He was shocked and said, ‘that was the person who was guarding your materials. She had a stick in Her hand and as wearing a white sari, a blanket and had a big bindi on Her forehead.’ This shook everyone in the village because they all heard the story.
The all-seeing devi
One day I went to where Shri Mataji was staying in Mumbai, in 1985. I hovered by the door out ofer sight Her sight. The room was full of people and I had entered very quietly. Mother was working on someone and I was watching intently. He did not seem to be a very deep seeker, but Shri Mataji, as always, was pouring out Her love and concern on him, then suddenly She pointed, or turned to me.
‘There – clear now, Linda!’ She said. I had no idea She was even aware I was in the room.
Tongues of fire
In Mumbai in about 1985, Shri Mataji had asked that I take out some of Her vibrations, it was night time and, as was Her custom, the bedroom was kept absolutely pitch dark in order to give Her Agnya chakra some rest. By the watchful Indian Ocean She slept and I sat on the floor beside the bed drinking in that sacred and inimitable fragrance: roses, tiger balm, rain washed grass, all the auspicious essences of Mother Earth united in one sweet harmonious note. I had been meditating over an hour and the pulsation on Her shoulder had subsided. The meditative rhythm of Her breathing, like the tide going gently in and out, was so soothing to listen to. In the liquid dark silent stillness, completely thoughtless, my body no longer felt solid.
Then, in front of my eyes I witnessed what appeared to be tongues of fire suspended in the blackness. The flames were moving gently, as if keeping time with Her breathing, and were mesmerisingly beautiful to see. Feeling completely peaceful and meditative, I did not flinch or make any noise, I just remember saying to myself, ‘I wonder what that is?’ As all the while Shri Mataji had been deeply sleeping, I was surprised when She suddenly spoke.
‘What did you see?’ She asked, as if we had been having a conversation. I described the exquisite flames and She said ‘Ah, that’s My Kundalini,’ then, ‘Very good!’ and promptly went back to sleep.
Garlands and a Shri Ganesha
In 1985 I was fortunate to be staying with Shri Mataji in India. One afternoon She had gone out and I had stayed behind to catch up on some jobs. As there had been many yogis visiting that day, there were lots of flower garlands lying in heaped piles. As I tidied the vibration-drenched bedroom I decided also to use some of the garlands to create a small carpet in front of Her chair. Taking pleasure in the different contrasting blocks of fragrant colour, I randomly chose garlands and fitted them together with the next garland to make an abstract pattern.
When Shri Mataji returned later that evening to have dinner, She looked down at the new ‘carpet’.
‘Ah thank you! I see you’ve made a Shri Ganesha for Me,’ She smiled.
Pulling my ears I ‘confessed’ that I hadn’t made a Shri Ganesha, I had merely arranged the flowers.
‘Come and see it then!’
She very sweetly invited me to view the arrangement from Her side. Sure enough, looking from that way round, there was clearly a Shri Ganesha looking straight up at his Mother. Shri Mataji told me that doing something with love, and in thoughtless awareness, had allowed this creation to happen in a ‘Sahaj’ way.
In India with Mother
This photo was taken when Shri Mataji graciously invited me to accompany Her in India for a few months in 1985/6, giving an amazing behind-the-scenes perspective to all the love and care She put into organising the tour; as well as experiencing public programmes and pujas in India without any Westerners. Her kindness knew no bounds, and at the end of all the travelling, when She had to return to London because Sir CP was poorly, She invited me to live in Her house, offering to pay for me to go to the Pune Film School – and there was no way I would accept any more of Her overwhelming generosity.
With Shri Mataji in India
One huge broad smile
We were all at Brahmapuri. I was only six months in Sahaja Yoga, so I was not that confident yet. Then Shri Mataji announced for all of us to wash Her Feet. I was trying to get to Shri Mataji’s Feet and was one of the very last people, and I thought, ‘Shri Mataji must be tired,’ and, ‘I do not deserve this,’ the typically Western guilt feeling – so I washed Her Feet and bowed down and did namaskar, then looked up and saw one huge broad smile, full of love from Shri Mataji, and realised, ‘Yes, She knows us all.’
Henno de Graaf
Your mantra is ‘I am not French’
It was my first India tour. I had got realisation in the summer of 1985, and there I was in India some months later. We were at Brahmapuri. Shri Mataji had Her Feet in the water and many yogis came to Her. We were introduced to Her and She would work on us in the water. When my turn came She asked me what country I was from. I told Her I was from France.
‘He doesn’t look French!’ She laughed. ‘Your mantra is, “I am not French, I am not French.”‘ Then I had to put my head under the water because Shri Mataji wanted to clear my Agnya. Something to do with my eyes.
‘Now it is better,’ and again She said, ‘he doesn’t look French, he looks Indian.’ The yogis with Shri Mataji were laughing as well. I just remember this, and I was so pleased when Shri Mataji later gave me an Indian name. Later I happened to live in Canada, and after three or four years there it was cool on vibrations to ask for citizenship. I did get Canadian citizenship and I could truly say, ‘I’m not French, I am Canadian.’ Now I have dual nationality.
Thousands and thousands of seekers
It was the first Ganapatipule, in 1985. After the puja, the Sahaja Yogis said I should take permission from Shri Mataji to open a centre. I was quite new in Sahaja Yoga at that time. I explained to Mother that so many people were coming to my place in Calcutta, wanting their realisation.
‘Open a centre!’ Shri Mataji said. Then She asked me what the weather was like at a certain time of year in Calcutta, because, She said, She wanted to go there for about fifteen days. I explained that the weather was fine at that time, and asked Her to please come.
One time I received a message from Shri Mataji through a third person that I was not to run a programme in my centre for the time being. However six months later, I had been going all out to clear out my chakras, Shri Mataji again came to Calcutta, and She again asked me to go and see Her. Shri Mataji looked at me and I felt I had to bow down.
‘Everything is alright! Run the centre!’ She said.
Since then, for the last twenty years, I have been running that centre and thousands and thousands of seekers have come there and by the grace of Mother have got their realisation, and also thousands of schoolchildren.
Shri Mataji blessed Trinidad
Just before the end of the India Tour in 1985, yogis were going up to Shri Mataji about personal problems. I desperately wanted to be up there with Shri Mataji, but I didn’t want to go with problems. Then I thought I could go to ask for Her blessings.
When I got to Shri Mataji’s Feet, She started to talk to me in Hindi, so I told Her I was from Trinidad. She asked me about the Indians in Trinidad, and knew that a large number of Indians migrated to Trinidad at the time of the labour indenture. She asked me if there were seekers there and I told Her that although there were lots of spiritual people, I did not feel they were seeking at this time.
Years later, in 1995, I wrote to Shri Mataji asking for Her blessings, as I was going back to Trinidad to start Sahaja Yoga. She read this letter to some yogis when they were in New York for Shri Krishna Puja and then blessed Trinidad.
The first public programme in Trinidad was January 1996, and thanks to Shri Mataji’s guidance the programmes started even though there were no other yogis. I stayed in Trinidad to get Sahaja Yoga established.
Ganapatipule, 1985/6 (diary entry)
We arrived at this earthly paradise of Ganapatipule in the evening of 29th December. Shri Mataji arrived at the same time as us. Her car stopped in the little parking area of this tourist spot on the seaside, and She immediately began to meet with Her sons and daughters and to oversee the people, baggage and presents, putting everything in order in about five minutes. It was incredible that after a bus journey of twelve hours Shri Mataji was the first person we met, completely unexpectedly – with such joy.
On the first night we had bhajans until about three o’clock in the morning, and got up at five to meditate and then bathe in the sea, so it was a great cleansing of the left side. There were foreigners from forty-two countries, and with the Indians we were about a thousand people.
All my problems disappeared
Before going to the Ganapatipule seminar in 1985, I was suffering from severe cold, cough and body ache for several days and was unable to help myself through Sahaja treatment. I went to Ganapatipule, and reached there after an eleven hour bus journey on 30th December 1985. We walked about a kilometre to reach the accommodation site. There was no water or light but somehow we refreshed ourselves and walked another kilometre to the seminar site at Malgond village and reached there at about 8 pm.
Shri Mataji was speaking but I was unable to understand even a single word She said, due to my physical and mental condition and was really thoughtless, automatically. After about forty minutes of looking towards Her I found myself perfectly all right, and all my problems had disappeared. This was a unique surprise to a scientist like me.
A programme in Delhi University
The year after I got realisation I went to Ganapatipule, in 1985. That year the seminar was held at Malgond, a small village near Ganapatipule. There were not many Sahaja Yogis in those days, and I met Shri Mataji on the first day when She was sitting on the stage having Her food. There was not much distance between the stage and the place where I was sitting, because it was not a very formal stage, and just two steps up.
There were not many people around and She looked at me and called me and I went nearer to Her. She asked me who I was and where I came from. I told Her I was a student, and at the university. At that time I was a student leader, the president of the Delhi University Students’ Cultural Body. Shri Mataji was very pleased to hear this, that there were students coming into Sahaja Yoga right from the school levels. I told Shri Mataji that if I had the opportunity I would definitely like to invite Her to the university. She nodded, as if She was agreeing to what I was saying.
A couple of days later Shri Mataji visited the place where all of us Sahaja Yogis from Delhi were staying, in a house in Malgond. So She came there along with other Sahaja Yogis, and some of the important people of the village of Malgond. They were giving some presents to Shri Mataji, and then when She was about to leave and was already in Her car, She looked at me. She opened the door
‘Sandhya, why don’t you organise a programme at Delhi University? I would like to come.’ She said She would be coming to Delhi.
You are all in My body
‘You are all in My body,’ Shri Mataji often said, and many experienced how compassionately Her body worked for us all.
Once I was asked to take tea to Mother, who was in the middle of a leaders’ meeting. I was holding the silver tray when the pot was hurriedly placed on it by another yogini. As I was walking towards the door of Her bedroom, the metal of the tray heated up – and I was already inside the room when it started to really burn me. I didn’t make a sound to show this was happening, wanting to discretely serve tea and leave Her in peace for the meeting. As I approached Shri Mataji’s chair, placing the tray down, I noticed She was massaging Her hand in exactly the spot where the teapot was burning me. Mother broke off Her discourse and turned to speak a few words to me with tenderness.
‘Be careful My child, don’t hurt yourself!’
She then continued to address the leaders whilst still holding Her hand. As I bowed down, I realised there was no burning pain on my hand anymore, only a beautiful cool sensation – and a heart full of gratitude.
Years later I experienced something similar. In Ganapatipule at the end of 1985, some Sahaja Yogi boys were enjoying themselves on the seashore and not realising the intensity of the midday sun, had got badly burnt. They were brought to Shri Mataji’s bungalow and as a compassionate Mother graciously worked on them, laughing and joking with them.
‘Ah! You look like Greek gods with your suntans now!’ She told them, and lovingly massaged their backs with oil and talc, patiently removing each blister. When Her work was done the boys bowed to Her Lotus Feet, She blessed them and they floated out of Her room on cloud nine. When they had gone, Shri Mataji asked me to massage some talc on Her back. She pulled aside Her sari showing me many heat blisters that had erupted all around Her Nabhi chakra. Her body was Pure Love. She had absorbed their pain (and my pain) in such a matter-of-fact way, yet not letting Her children feel in any way hurt or guilty.
Mother would occasionally ask me to read Her correspondence to Her. Certain letters written would result in amazing fountains of vibrations flowing out as the deities danced with joy in Her chakras, so pleased to hear their Divine Mother praised! She would have tears of joy in Her eyes and would shine with loving pride for Her children. Many also noticed at some pujas the longer the puja went on, the brighter, younger and more invigorated Shri Mataji would appear.
Sri Mataji on the beach with the Sahaja Yogis
I was Her smile
It all began in India at the end of 1985 during my first India tour. I had not really understood who Shri Mataji is. In fact I did not understand anything. I did not know anyone and felt guilty and was not sure that I had made the right choice in coming to India. I had heard many things about Shri Mataji, but wanted some personal proof.
The first day we were at Vaitarna, in a magnificent garden, and the atmosphere was particularly peaceful and calm, and I had the impression of coming back after two thousand years. Before my self realisation, being raised in a Catholic family, I always asked myself, ‘Would you have recognised Christ if you had lived at His time?’ And there, at Vaitarna, I knew that I had been there, and that I had followed Him, but always without personal proof of Who Shri Mataji is.
Later in the tour, we went to Brahmapuri. I felt I had come home, as if I had already lived in this place, and I never wanted to leave. On the second day we went to bathe in the Krishna River, which was very close by. As I was a little shy, I was a little at the side, when someone came to look for me.
‘Shri Mataji is here! We can wash Her Feet! Everyone is coming – come.’ But I was so afraid, that I did not want to go; I felt guilty because I had received my self realisation a year and a half before, and thought Shri Mataji was not pleased with me. Then I said to myself, ‘It is OK, if everyone is going to go there.’ I stood in the line, still feeling full of inner fears.
Shri Mataji was there, seated on a rock with Her Feet in the river. When my turn came, I don’t know at all what my hands did. I looked at Mother, She smiled at me and for some seconds I did not exist any more. I was Her smile, the whole, one with infinity, and I was in paradise.
Then I understood that this was the personal proof that I was waiting for, and this state I had known there was, and that I had to attain.