Chapter 18: 1989 – July, Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

I don’t get tired at all

In July 1989 Shri Mataji went shopping in Marche St Pierre, in the Arabic area of Paris. There were about five of us with Her, and I am not a shopper – I do not like shopping for more than half an hour. This trip lasted for five hours and it was really hot, in July. Marche St. Pierre was a very cheap place with several floors and Mother was choosing a lot of fabrics. We were all very tired and I couldn’t take it any more; we were all sitting on the edges of the counters, even the men. Shri Mataji was looking very dark – Shri Mahakali that day – very impressive.

Isn’t it amazing?’ She said suddenly. ‘I have just come back from Brazil. I don’t know how I managed it, but within two days I had two pujas and a public programme and I didn’t get tired at all. How could I do that?’

After a few seconds I wasn’t tired any more and we carried on shopping, very fresh and active and as light as butterflies.

Guillemette Metouri

Shri Devi Puja, July 1989 (email report)

Our Divine Mother was last weekend in Melun, south-east of Paris, France, for the Devi Puja for France, Belgium, and Holland. We arrived on Friday evening after driving through hail and thunderstorms from Geneva, Switzerland, which on the one hand relieved France from the worst drought the country has had since 1976, and on the other destroyed half the wine crop in the east of the country, apart from cleansing the vibrations before Shri Mataji’s arrival.

Shri Mataji arrived from London on the Sunday morning, following Her tour of North and South America. We drove to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, to greet Her. She emerged into the arrivals area to be greeted by a few hundred Sahaja Yogis, all with flowers, and Shri Mother appeared very fresh. Then we went back to the camp site to prepare for the puja.

As Shri Mataji had gone up to Her room to rest, initially we did not hurry too much to prepare ourselves for the puja, until a message came round saying that our Divine Mother would be coming down in fifteen minutes. Some time after that a further message came saying that a sandwich and drink were being prepared, and we all relaxed again.

Suddenly a shout went out that Shri Mataji was arriving. We all dropped whatever we were doing and raced to our places with quite some embarrassment. However we were reassured by the divine smile as Shri Mataji took Her place on the stage, which had been decorated with many flowers and with a huge sun and moon painted behind Her throne. Shri Mataji began Her discourse by saying how overjoyed She was at seeing such a meeting of Sahaja Yogis, showing how the collectivity was attracting the Sahaja Yogis from all over. Afterwards the puja took place in a very light and joyful mood with the reading of mantras, including the hundred and eight names of Shri Krishna, and music.

On Monday evening there was a programme in Paris attended by five or six hundred people, and again on Tuesday evening, when Shri Mataji stayed on after Her talk and gave vibrations and advice to people until nearly two o’clock in the morning. She was very pleased with the programmes.

Phil Ward

Shri Mataji was deeply asleep, but She wasn’t

After the Melun Puja in 1989 we were at the hotel with Mother. There was an Indian lady in the room with Her and She still had the kumkum on Her Feet. Then the Indian lady needed to go out, and I had to go in. It was quite impressive to go in alone, in the silence with Mother. She was deeply asleep, but in fact She wasn’t. I started to fan Her and after about twenty minutes Mother was snoring softly, in a very relaxed way and suddenly She opened Her eyes very sweetly.

This is very nice, thank you,’ She said in a very fresh way and was smiling, but then was immediately sound asleep again. I carried on and my arm began to get tired. Later Shri Mataji woke up again and said, ‘You should stop because it is going to hurt your arm.’ Then She went back to sleep and I carried on and later She woke up. But to think that Mother was deep asleep, and She wasn’t at all. She was more aware of me!

Guillemette Metouri

We asked for forgiveness

I am from France, and in 1989 we had a puja with Shri Mataji near Paris. It was in July, and that same year we were celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution. We did a play about Marie Antoinette, and at the end all the yogis asked for forgiveness for what we, as French people, did to the king and queen of France at that time, who were executed by the guillotine. It was very moving and very deep.

Genevieve Brisou

You must admit, this is fun!

In July 1989 Shri Mataji arrived at Munich airport late in the evening, to be greeted by a crowd of Sahaja Yogis from many countries. The next day was the first of two public programmes. Both evenings the hall was full, with perhaps four hundred people, and on the second evening Shri Mataji arrived after quite a long introduction and some music. She took Her place on the stage and spent a few minutes introducing the song Jogawa to the audience, talking about its writer, Saint Namdeva, and explaining how the words of the song invite the Kundalini to rise. She suggested that the audience sang the chorus and clapped their hands to the music. The vibrations were tremendous and at the end Shri Mataji beamed at Her listeners.

You are all very serious people, but you must admit, this is fun!’ She said. She spent the rest of the evening receiving the newcomers on the stage.

Before the two programmes the German national puja was held, in a hall in a village to the south of Munich. Shri Mataji kept everyone guessing until the last minute about which deity would be the subject of the puja; only during Her talk did She reveal that She wanted the worship of the Paramchaitanya, the All-pervading Divine Power, to take place.

Phil Ward

A movie

I travelled with Shri Mataji and it was after the Paramchaitanya Puja in Germany. It was a little town, in July 1989 we all gathered in Her little hotel room after the puja, a group of us sitting on the floor there with Shri Mataji on the chair. She wanted to see a movie and one person came up with a film called Always. It was about a man who was a fire-fighter and he got killed. There was one scene where he had an unresolved issue and he went back as a spirit to the place where he worked. There was a simple man sweeping and he casually, in spirit form, went up to this man and started to make fun of him.

Oh you’re so stupid, so ugly,’ the spirit of the fire-fighter started saying, and so on, and the man suddenly became depressed and then the spirit of the fire-fighter said, ‘Oh what did I do?’

That is exactly how bhuts work,’ Shri Mataji said.

Angela Reininger

Shri Mataji wanted to see a movie

We had a lot of very close contact with Shri Mataji as She travelled to different cities in Germany. At the time my husband Herbert was leader of Frankfurt, and he had started Sahaja Yoga there, in 1986. Shri Mataji went to Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and in East Germany there was a public programme in Dresden, just after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. My contact with Shri Mataji was cooking and ironing for Her, always such a blissful experience. I served Her, and sat at Her Feet while She ate.

Angela Reininger

Shri Mataji’s throne was moved (email report)

From Munich Shri Mataji drove to Lago di Braies, in the north of Italy, for the 1989 Guru Puja. This is in a part of Italy which is culturally and ethnically Austrian, but which was ceded to Italy at the end of one of the world wars. Lago di Braies is a small lake, maybe one kilometre long, surrounded by spectacular mountains. The puja was organized by the Austrians, who had built an enormous decorated stage rising out over the lake for Shri Mataji. It was the largest collective event ever to take place outside India, with nearly a thousand Sahaja Yogis attending from around forty different countries.

On Sunday we had been told to be in the tent for the puja at 10.00 am. A little before that, the message came round that the puja would not start until after lunch; by early afternoon we were all in the marquee awaiting the arrival of the Great Goddess for the Guru Puja. The skies were darkening, and rain started falling; the elements somehow seemed angry. A wind started gusting over the lake and beating at the sides of the marquee, the thin tissue which shaded the stage from the sun began to leak drops of water over the decorations, and still Shri Mataji did not come.

At around five o’clock, the Austrian leader appeared to tell us Shri Mataji had remarked that since Shri Lakshmi emerged from the waters, Her attraction to the water might be too much for the stage supporting Her, so Shri Mataji’s throne was moved under the shelter of the marquee, on a quickly-improvised podium. Shri Mataji finally arrived around nine o’clock and sat down to talk to us. The bad weather had by this time subsided.

Phil Ward

Did you enjoy your tour?

This story starts in Europe and ends in England. In 1989 we went to the Guru Puja on the frontier of Austria, Switzerland and Italy. I asked my daughter to come close to me, rather than be in the front with all the young people. She was not happy and told me that I did not have confidence in her, so I let her go back to the front. But at the end of the puja, Shri Mataji corrected the young people who were in the front. Thus I had my reply and my daughter also. I had the impression that during the tour of Europe, Shri Mataji showed me many different aspects of Sahaja Yoga.

Some days later I had to go to Brighton for the wedding of a Breton Sahaja Yogi. I missed the first boat and at the time decided by the Divine, crossed the channel, the suburbs to the south of London and thought, ‘It is perhaps today that Shri Mataji will finish Her tour of Europe, and will return to London.’ I called an English Sahaja Yogi and he said that Shri Mataji would arrive on that day.

I did not know where I was, but went on, and saw in front of me a car with a photo of Shri Mataji in it. I followed it and arrived at the airport. We were only about twenty yogis, all of them English except me. To greet Shri Mataji at an airport is always a special moment, and She arrived and spoke to all the English yogis whom She knew well. I was very shy, and as Shri Mataji did not speak to me I thought She was angry with me and my daughter because of the incident at the Guru Puja. But just at the moment when She was getting in Her car, She looked at me.

Do you enjoy your tour?’ She asked. With Her special insight She resolved everything and filled me with joy.

Marie-Joelle Coeuru

A symbol of Shri Ganesha

In 1989 we went for the Shri Mahakali Puja in Milan and the Shri Ganesha Puja in Switzerland. Before going to the puja, my son and I went everywhere in Mantua, Italy to find the proper gift we could give to Shri Mataji. Although we didn’t have that much money, we searched for a nice gift appropriate for Her and found a glass perfume holder. I noticed that it had four points on all of its areas and was very beautiful. We offered it to Shri Mataji on behalf of the state of Ohio, USA, because at that time that is where we were living.

When we offered it to Her, She told everyone that the bottle was a symbol of Shri Ganesha and I remember all the yogis applauding.

Anna Mancini

1989 Shri Ganesha Puja (email report)

After the puja and programmes in Milan, Shri Mataji arrived in the mountain village of Les Diablerets, Switzerland, for a Shri Ganesha Puja. This took place in the Salle des Congrès in the village, where the stage had been decorated with a huge mosaic of Shri Ganesha behind the throne. Shri Mataji liked it very much and said that mosaic was a western art form, which the Indians do not have but which they would very much like, and asked us to take it to India.

In the evening there was another musical programme. This started with a Swiss gentleman who played the alphorn and yodeled, then the Indian musicians returned; Shri Mataji had suggested to them that they play something a little more ‘popular’, some film music. They played and sang until well into the small hours. Shri Mataji arrived and Baba Mama asked our Mother what She would like to hear. Qawwali, suggested Shri Mataji.

Qawwali, Shri Mataji?’ replied Baba Mama, and they rose to the occasion for another twenty minutes or so of joyful dancing and singing before Shri Mataji gave us Her final blessings and we left the room.

Phil Ward

Shri Ganesha Puja,1989

It is perfectly possible

It was Shri Krishna Puja in 1989 in Saffron Waldon. I went up to Shri Mataji towards the end of the puja, and because I am an actor, I asked Her about drama and whether it was possible to give realisation through drama.

Yes, yes,’ She said, ‘it is perfectly possible. Don’t worry, I’ll write you a drama. There will be false gurus, and things like this in it, and people would come to see how they are false, and would come to the truth through their seeking and they would get their realisation and get to the spirit, through this kind of drama.’

So it is possible!

Tim Bruce

We were so blessed

Looking at the photo of Shri Mataji’s Feet that Bruno posted on Facebook took me straight back to the times when I performed the part of the puja where young girls applied the ‘atta’ (kumkum) to Mother’s Feet and we placed the rings on Her toes. This used to happen pre-1990 and since there were only a few of us in Europe who were of the correct age (in our early to mid-teens) it was usually the same few who were called up to the stage. I was pulled back to the time in Saffron Walden, UK, when some of us were called up. It was a Shri Krishna Puja and was in 1989. The stage was decorated with planets made from styrofoam and Mother spent some time telling us how to do the kumkum correctly. We were so blessed to have that and I often wonder if Mother did it so that She could fill us with vibrations and work out girls of our age during those times.

Auriol Purdie

A gift from Shri Mataji

I can remember a wonderful Shri Krishna Puja in England. During the puja I looked up at Shri Mataji and She was blue – Shri Krishna blue – and I thought, ‘I am dreaming!’ So I closed my eyes. Then I opened them again and She was still blue. I nudged the lady sitting next to me.

She’s blue,’ I said. The lady smiled at me in a very puzzled way and then continued with her meditation. It was then that I realised that this was a gift from Mother, for me to see – very humbling

Mary Heaton

Editor’s note: In a number of miracle photos Shri Mataji’s Feet have appeared blue. Traditionally Lord Krishna’s skin had a bluish tinge.

Shri Mataji at the Shri Krishna Puja 1989

Shri Mataji had been singing along with us

The 1989 Shri Krishna Puja took place in a large secondary school just outside Saffron Walden, some ten miles from Shri Mataji’s house in Shudy Camps and fifteen miles south of Cambridge. On the day of the puja, we gathered shortly after breakfast to be told that our Divine Mother would not be arriving until the evening, and the puja might last until a record time.

Shri Mataji arrived around nine o’clock. Food was served around half past ten, and the puja proper started some time after one o’clock in the morning. Your correspondent, pulling his ears, admits that he finds it difficult to remember many details of our Divine Mother’s discourse, and suspects that others had the same difficulty keeping alert. However, there was a sudden miraculous arousal when, shortly after the talk, the song Bhaiya kaya taya was sung. This song was composed by an uncle of Shri Mataji, and is a sublime statement in words and music of the power of the spirit, in particular in driving away fear. We did not all immediately understand why this song was so strong, but Shri Mataji said afterwards that we all woke up because She had been singing along with us! The puja ended with our Divine Mother’s departure around seven o’clock, long after the sunrise.

Phil Ward

I would save the kumkum

In the late 1980’s and early ’90’s the young girls between the ages of about eight and sixteen used to put the kumkum and the perfumed oil on Shri Mataji’s Feet at pujas. Now it is the married ladies, but it used to be the young girls. I was just the right age to do this quite a few times, with my friends, because we were very few. This was in England and Europe, and it was amazing to have this opportunity to hold Shri Mataji’s Feet in your hand. I used to go back to school in England after the puja and my friends would ask what I had been doing, and I would say I had been hand painting, and I would save the kumkum as long as possible, to the last bit under the nail.

Alexandra Fuente

The hall was full of these ‘toots’

Most pujas used to start at mid-day or in the afternoon then. That Saturday of the Shri Krishna Puja 1989, we were asked to gather and were told that Shri Mataji wanted the puja to start late on Sunday evening and She was worried if many people would have problems with this new arrangement. Very few hands were raised, so it was agreed to have the puja on Sunday evening. From the afternoon of Sunday, we were called into the main hall and told that Shri Mataji could come any time and we should get ready and meditate.

Night had already fallen when She came in to the sound of flute. She was with Sir CP, which at that time was an indication that the puja time had not yet come. They took their places on the stage and Shri Mataji announced that Sir CP had brought some presents for the children and they were going to be distributed. The atmosphere of the hall, after all the time we had been sitting in meditation, was a bit stern, but after a few seconds it totally changed, with the movements and voices of all the children getting on the stage to have their present, then returning to their parents to show it to them and to other kids, laughing and shouting. Moreover, some presents were T-shirts with little plastic designs of Mickey Mouse that made a noise when you pressed your finger on. The hall was full of these ‘Toooots’ and we became really in the mood for a Shri Krishna Puja. Shri Mataji said in the puja talk later how Shri Krishna had come to break all the conditionings that had been falsely imposed under the name of Shri Rama.

It was then a big fashion among Westerners to get an Indian name from Shri Mataji, but I had decided that I didn’t care about getting one and avoided the big lines after each puja. That day two French boys from the same family had got the same Indian name, and they wanted to ask Shri Mataji if one of them could be given a different one. As they didn’t speak English, I was asked to accompany them on the stage to translate their request. I don’t remember anything about the conversation, but they got a name, and I found myself asking for one too. Shri Mataji looked at me attentively, and then, leaning Her head backward, She closed Her eyes. I just bent my head so that I could get lost into the vision of Her Lotus Feet, still decorated after the puja. I can’t tell how long it lasted. When I raised my head again She said something that I couldn’t understand. I think Baba Mama and his group were just playing a Qawwali loudly.

I couldn’t get the name, so Shri Mataji called one lady attending to Her and asked for a little notebook. She wrote something, pulled off the page and handed it to me. I thanked Her and bowed down with the little paper in my hand.

Devarshi – Saint in the Gods,’ was written on it. No need to say I preciously keep this little paper to this day.

Devarshi Abalain

Tell your mother to take her rebirth

We had a Shri Krishna Puja in England by the seaside in 1989, and I went to see Shri Mataji. It was shortly after my mother had died.

Tell your mother that she must go and take her rebirth,’ Shri Mataji said.

Patricia Deene

Breton music

For the Shri Krishna Puja 1989, in England, we had prepared a cassette of Breton music (Brittany is a part of France, in the north west of the country). We were going to give it to our dear Baba Mama. This magnificent puja lasted from midnight until six in the morning, and in the early morning, with Devarshi, another French Sahaja Yogi, we went to give a present to Shri Mataji.

It was very awe inspiring and we stayed in front of Shri Mataji for a long time. We told Her that Breton music sometimes had similarities to Indian music and She replied that it was because some Indians from Maharashtra had come to Brittany, a very long time ago. It was a very special feeling, to be there with Our Mother, simply, and talking about our common ancestors.

Marie-Joelle Coeuru