Chapter 18: 1980 – France and Switzerland

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Let us go back to 1980

It was the first time Shri Mataji went to do programmes in France, in April 1980.

After getting off the Calais ferry from Dover, England, we went into a French supermarket. Mother went around and bought cheese and all the things. Then we went out of the supermarket, found a corner of a field and we laid out a cloth. Shri Mataji and others were making sandwiches in the corner of this field.

Malcolm Murdoch

I guess the vibrations were required in that area

Shri Mataji was going from London to Paris in 1980 and some British yogis accompanied Her including my mother and myself. I was only six years old. We travelled by a convoy of cars and crossed the channel in a hovercraft. When we got to France we drove for a while and then stopped at a supermarket to purchase some food for a picnic. Mother had previously given me a ring with an opal set into it and I was wearing it at the time. Shri Mataji asked me to reach into an open freezer and get something out of it, my ring fell off somewhere into the bowels of the freezer. The staff practically took the freezer apart, seeing how upset I was at losing my precious ring but to no avail. Eventually we left it there. I guess as Mother had touched it the vibrations it was emitting were required in that area!

A little later we stopped by the roadside and Mother dealt out the food. I have a memory of one of those traditional French landscapes with one tree and a lot of beautiful country, with us sitting eating a simple picnic with our Mother.

Auriol Purdie

I could trust Shri Mataji with my life

I came to Caxton Hall in April 1980. A friend visited my house and told me about the meeting. She was very impressed with Shri Mataji. I used to go to different meditation groups those days and was never satisfied with anything they had to offer. Prior to that I had a spontaneous experience of Kundalini rising in Poland, where I lived before coming to London, when I felt I became one with the whole of creation and was thoughtless for a couple of days. I was an atheist at the time, and as a result of my experience I suddenly announced to all my friends that God existed and I was going to find Him.

On entering the meeting room in Caxton Hall I saw Shri Mataji sitting on the stage, wearing a white sari. Her black hair was long and loose and two huge Indian oil lamps were burning brightly on each side of her chair. She looked so magnificent; very decisive and strong, so unlike all those people from the other meditation groups who just styled themselves to look serene and ‘very holy’. Shri Mataji did not strive to be anything. She was Herself and in complete control of everything that was going on in the room yet letting things happen on their own accord.

During the realisation session I had a strong experience and went to Mother’s chair to tell Her what I felt. She was looking at me and smiling. She knew all my problems and I felt that I could trust Her with my life. I knew that very moment that my seeking was over and I had come home.

Grazyna Anslow

Shri Mataji’s first public programmes in France

In 1980, Shri Mataji visited Paris and gave Her first public programmes there. Many English Sahaja Yogis came, and we all stayed with Shri Mataji in the tiny flat of a Sahaja Yogini, several storeys up above the street level. It is impossible to describe the joyfulness of these days in the continuous Divine Presence of our Mother.

Firstly there was the historic happening of Her first public programmes in France, then the blissful experience of staying in such close proximity to our Mother for several days. She even allowed as many of us ladies as possible to sleep on the floor of Her bedroom. There were about thirty of us in all in the flat, and somehow so many managed to squash into the small room each night!

During the day, Shri Mataji talked to us and worked so hard on many yogis with various problems. Also She went with us to see the sights, the Louvre, the former royal palace at Versailles and so on. I remember all of us sitting round Shri Mataji on a little lawn outside the Louvre museum. We all slipped into meditation, sitting in complete silence and tranquility, while tourists were milling around us! At Versailles, Shri Mataji again sat with us on the grass, this time sharing a picnic. That was a totally blissful day.

At one of the public programmes, as I looked at Shri Mataji giving a talk, suddenly I felt as if She was going back and back in time, and Her face seemed to transform into the very ancient, beautiful face of a holy being of earlier times.

On the last full day of our stay Shri Mataji held a puja in the flat. Again, words cannot express the power and depth of our Holy Mother’s vibrations, which poured out endlessly, boundlessly, as we sat in total bliss.

Patricia Proenza

Sleeping in Mother’s room

When Shri Mataji held a seminar in England in the early years, and even abroad, the ladies would have the privilege of sleeping on the floor in Mother’s room around Her bed. Before sleeping and upon waking Shri Mataji would talk to us, work on us and allow us to rub Her Feet for hours. One night in Paris, France, in 1980, Shri Mataji asked me to sleep at the bottom of Her bed by Her Feet. One can’t put that feeling into words as it’s beyond comprehension; all of us were transported to another place together. We were healed and wrapped in Her protective Love: to glimpse what it is to be pure and as one.

 Ann Lewis

Everyone wanted to be as close to Shri Mataji as possible

We were staying in a tiny flat in Paris. Shri Mataji had the bedroom and most of the rest of us were sleeping in the main living-cum-kitchen area. It was really small and there were about thirty of us. You could hardly move around and there was one bathroom for all of us. No one had any money to stay anywhere else and, besides, everyone wanted to be as close to Shri Mataji as possible.

Some of the ladies were in a queue for the bathroom, when suddenly someone came and said Shri Mataji needed to use it. So, of course, we all stood back and waited as discreetly as we could. After some time, Shri Mataji finished and came out.

‘I’ve left the water in for you,’ She said to us in the queue, very sweetly, in a loving manner.

I didn’t know what She meant. But we all went inside together, about four of us, and I saw the water still in the bath and sink. The vibrations in the room were very light, almost holy, as if there was a kind of heavenly light in the room. It is difficult to put into words. It was very comforting to be in there, as if you were in a warm embrace. When I put the water from the sink onto my face, I suddenly felt lifted into a different state, transformed as if I had become an angel in heaven. For a short time, I felt pure and whole. It was completely unexpected, but this was the vibrational reality of Shri Mataji’s physical body. It is so pure that even the water coming off it takes on Her purity and cleansing powers.

Felicity Payment

The flowers were actually trembling

In Paris, Mother was sitting in a room and the flowers had arrived. They were all dying a bit and we watched Mother bring them back to life – the flowers were actually trembling. One time She took the flowers and put hot water on them to bring them back to life and they were all absolutely fantastic.

Pamela Bromley

Clearing the negativity

Concerning what Natalie, a French Sahaja Yogi, wrote about what Shri Mataji said about the French having been badly affected by the ancient Egyptians, I now understand something which always puzzled me. In 1980 some of us went to Paris with Shri Mataji, when She first did programmes there and we all went to the Louvre art gallery with Her. I assumed we would go and see some of the beautiful paintings such as the Mona Lisa, but Shri Mataji did not want to. Instead She insisted on going to the section which had rooms of what seemed to me to be rather uninspiring Egyptian sculpture. I now understand that She was obviously clearing the negativity out of these things, so as to help the Parisians.

Auriol Purdie

A firework of vibrations everywhere

I live in Paris but come from Algeria. I got my realisation directly from Her Holiness Shri Mataji in 1980, on the first day of the first public programme in Paris. I was sitting in the first row and near Her greatness. It was like a firework of vibrations everywhere in the small room where the programme was given, and I was struck with wonder at that celestial show. When a sister Sahaja Yogini came behind me to raise the Kundalini, Shri Mataji pointed Her holy finger towards me.

‘Good, good!’ She said.

The experience was like a festival of celestial light, and back home I was still under the effect of that and didn’t stop thinking of Shri Mataji. At once She entered my heart and was my only thought, so loving and so delicious to the soul.

She invited those who wanted to develop themselves in Sahaja Yoga to meet with erHer. I was divinely excited by that invitation, and was only thinking of that day, the second day of the programme, to meet Her again, in the house of an old French Sahaja Yogini. Before meeting Shri Mataji I had practised Hatha Yoga for a long time. It was bad for my heart, gave pain in the chest and a fear of death. I was sitting close to Her Holy Lotus Feet.

‘Shri Mother, my heart is beating fast and it is painful,’ I said.

She told me to close my eyes and meditate on the compassion of Allah, so I did. In my heart I felt a deep silence that made my heartbeats decrease to a normal and quiet level.

Later She started dedicating the book, The Advent, with Her holy name, so I bought one and asked for Her autograph, with joyful excitation, like the fan of an artist. What a great divine artist She was, and we are all Her fans!

I attended my first puja that day. Shri Mataji was sitting up very straight, in a white sari – and Her long black hair flowed over Her shoulders and down Her back, as Shri Mahakali. I was in silent wonder and so happy. During the aarti, I thought, ‘It’s impossible, She is the Goddess!’ because before meeting Her I had a divine love of Lord Shiva and Shri Mahakali, and had beautiful posters of them both.

Salim Benkadi

Just think of Me and I will be there to help you

During the puja we had in that little flat in Paris Shri Mataji asked someone read the part in the Devi Mahatmyam where the deities all go to the Goddess to praise Her.

‘If ever you are in the most extreme and dire situation, think of Me and at that moment I will solve the problem and be with you,’ the Goddess says, or something similar.

‘Stop!’ Mother said, when the person reading got to that point. I don’t remember Her exact words, but She then said something like, ‘That is the boon for today. If ever you are in a dire situation, just think of Me and I will be there with you to help you.’

And She has been, for thousands and now millions of us, again and again and again.

Linda Williams

Because of all you higher selves I came down to this earth

The first time I saw Shri Mataji was two years after my realisation in January 1978. She came to my flat in Genthod, Geneva. She was there in the capacity of a diplomat’s wife and I invited Her for tea, just very naturally. She looked amazing – so beautiful. A strong rose scent was with Shri Mataji when I opened the door of my flat and saw Her for the very first time.

‘Shri Mataji, You look so young,’ I said to Her, in greeting.

‘Well, I take care of Myself,’ She replied. I was in awe to see Her. We went down and sat on the sofa, and She gave me a silver bangle, and I was moved by this present. I put it on.

‘Shri Mataji, I called You so much, and now You are here,’ I said to Her. When I said that, I knew it was not only that I had called Her now in this present life, but I must have called Her for a long time. Her answer, I think it was something like this, and I don’t want to misquote Her.

‘It is because of all you higher selves that I came down to this earth.’

I recall having talked about the disciples of Jesus Christ.

‘What about the disciples?’ I said to Shri Mataji.

‘Only the youngest, only John understood,’ She said.

‘Why did You take this form?’(In this lifetime), I asked Her.

‘Because you would have been afraid.’

She took my right hand, pressed each finger quite hard and put each one in turn in Her ear, as if She would like to hear my chakras.

‘You have a good right side,’ She said. Then She asked me to go on the other side of Her, and then She took my left hand and started to do the same. I did not feel comfortable at this point. ‘Your left side has been damaged.’

At that point I was worried because my little girl had taken Shri Mataji’s shoes and was going, ‘Plonk, plonk, plonk!’ walking around the whole flat with them. I was feeling a bit embarrassed.

‘Don’t worry, don’t worry! She is just vibrating the whole place for you,’ Shri Mataji said, so I felt more relaxed. Also that same day when Shri Mataji came in, my two little ones were four and two years old at the time, and they were jumping on the other sofa, and hiding behind cushions and smiling and laughing. Mother was beaming.

‘They know Me!’ She said, because they were so happy to see Her.

The next day, when my brother and I went to visit Her in the hotel, I brought a pot of Swiss honey to thank Her for Her visit.

‘This is the food of the Kundalini,’ She said. I was delighted to have brought a small present which had pleased Her. Later we sat at Her Feet.

‘Now you have to give realisation to other people,’ She said, and I got a fright.

‘How can we?’

‘Don’t worry, I will help you!’ She turned to me and said, laughing, ‘You must write a diary, because people will want to know later.’

So the same year I started to write the journal, an extract of which you are reading.

Antoinette Wells

Cuddly toys

 When my eldest child was six years old, Shri Mataji came several times to my place in Geneva when we were organizing the first programmes and I said to Her that he used to have nightmares at night. Next time She came, She had brought a furry monkey toy for him and a teddy bear for his younger sister. From that day he never had nightmares anymore and the tummy of the monkey, that he called Hanuman, was totally flat for having put his little head on it every night in his sleep – we still have the monkey!

Antoinette Wells