Chapter 19: 1992 – May and June, England and Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

I think I have to take these flowers

In 1992, I had just arrived from Cape Town, South Africa, and went to Bristol to stay with a yogi lady-friend. Two hours after I arrived we had a phone call from London saying Shri Mataji was going to be arriving at London airport at five o’clock that day. It was now about half past twelve, so we drove back to London, about a three hour drive.

We arrived quite rushed because it was late and we didn’t have time to get flowers, but a yogi had a big bunch which she very kindly divided up and gave to each of the three of us, who had come in our car. I was a bit concerned because they didn’t look very fresh and it wasn’t what I would have chosen to give to Shri Mataji. The lady had been very kind, and I accepted it because I didn’t have a choice. I decided that because my flowers weren’t so beautiful, I wouldn’t make a great effort to go to Mother with them.

When Mother arrived I stood and watched the crowd surging forward, watching the people take their gifts. Shri Mataji walked all around and as She was going back towards the car, I began to feel a bit heartsore because I had travelled so far to see Her and, although my flowers weren’t beautiful, I still wanted Her to receive them. She bent down to get into the car to leave, my heart cried out so loudly saying, ‘Please, please, Mother, take my flowers. I’ve come six thousand miles to see You.’

Before She actually sat down, She began to rise again and She must have been about fifteen metres away. She turned around and looked at me through the sea of faces, and the people just parted like waves.

I think I have to take these flowers,’ She walked right up to me and said.

Of course, the tears just flowed with joy that Mother had heard my prayer and I realised that if our desire is deep enough and if we ask sincerely in our hearts, She does hear us.

Elizabeth Ravenscroft

Shri Mataji held out Her hand

This happened at Heathrow Airport, London. It was some years before I came to Sahaja Yoga, but my mother, Rosemary Maitland Hume, wanted me to go along to the airport with her to see Shri Mataji, so I did.

We arrived at Heathrow and there was a large group of yogis waiting for Mother outside. It was a grey day and raining slightly. She got out of the car and walked between a large crowd of two rows of people and everyone had a flower and they were all giving them to Her. I had a flower with me and, to begin with, I was standing about three rows back, waiting. I slowly got jostled to the back and didn’t know whether I wanted to push forward to give my flower. Everyone had moved on and Shri Mataji was walking away. I was standing thirty or forty metres away from this group of people, watching, and felt a bit out of it.

By now, Mother had come to the end of the line and had taken a flower off everybody. Her car was waiting and She was just about to get into it, then She looked up towards me and smiled and beckoned. I thought She must be beckoning to someone else, so I looked round and there was no one else there. I looked back at Her and again She beckoned and someone standing next to Her said to me to come forward. So I came forward and Shri Mataji had such a sweet look and held out Her hand. I gave Her my flower.

Jamie Hume

Grazie!

I am an Italian, and was at my first puja, in 1992, and I mentioned to my friend that if Shri Mataji was Shri Adi Shakti, She must know all the languages. A few years later I was with the English collective, and we were at Heathrow Airport, London to welcome Shri Mataji. She took the flower I offered Her, and graciously said ‘grazie’ (Italian for thank you) to me. It took me some time to understand Her gentle humour.

Francesco Galuppo

Shri Mataji is one with us and we are in Her

I was a scruffy looking character when I first came into the collective, but Shri Mataji saw through that. For some reason, I used to find myself right beside Her at the airport whenever we went to greet Her, my heart bursting with love, often in my old steel toecap working boots with track suit pants tucked into them, and a scruffy jacket. However, on one occasion, after a long spell as a part-time resident of Chelsham Road, I found myself quite happily at the back of the crowd, up against a wall, Mother fully in my heart. It was such that, I could feel when She was passing near me in the front of the crowd. As Shri Mataji passed I namaskared to Her, though unable to see Her, raising my hands to gesture with my head bowed to Her in my heart.

As I looked up, the crowd, three persons deep, parted right in front of me, everyone standing aside to let something through. It was Her gaze, and there She stood, with Her radiant smile, peering through the crowd at me, as I stood with hands still to my heart. This confirmed what we all know unconsciously, that She is one with us, we in Her and Her in us, bound by love.

  Clive Bates

A matter of privacy

We were at Heathrow Airport to greet Mother upon arrival; She stopped and talked to a yogini who was standing in the crowd two people away from me. I wasn’t actively listening to the conversation, however as Mother continued speaking, spending longer than usual with this yogini, my attention did go to what was being said. I heard a few words to indicate that some deeply personal issue was being discussed. Suddenly there was all this static in my ears. I strained to hear over it, but it got louder, and I could not hear anything! The static went as soon as Mother moved on through the crowd.

Leela Holland

The quality of the name

Shri Buddha Puja in England, May 1992. After the puja there was a queue of parents with babies and children requesting a name. Not being from UK, I was always shy about being too forward around Shri Mataji, so was at the back. It was a long line and She was giving names but not doing lots of interaction.

We were the last to go forward. Shri Mataji smiled and leaned forward in Her chair to take my toddler into Her arms. A memory flitted across my mind of a yogini explaining to never foist our children onto Her. In that split second of hesitancy, with Shri Mataji looking at me, but more importantly, I could feel Her in my brain, where there’s no difference, no separation from Her and my thoughts – and She started to withdraw Her arms. Although I’d processed that it was fine to offer the baby and was holding her up – it was too late, Shri Mataji was settling back into Her chair.

We asked for a name and Shri Mataji went into a deep meditation for a while, we kneeled in front of Her, then She came out of meditation and the name She gave was only two letters different from the baby’s Western name. Shri Mataji said it meant the master. A few years earlier at Heathrow, Mother had pointed at my left Void.

That’s your weakest chakra!’ She had said.  Coincidentally, that quality was already evident in the infant. Over the years, even strangers have commented on that quality in the child. Looking around at others who’d had children named by Shri Mataji, one could see the quality of the name in the child and the family, but at times this quality was under attack in the family members.

Leela Holland

Kundalini Puja, June 1992 (email report)

Shri Mataji has pointed out that Kundalini Puja is a new puja, which was never celebrated before the advent of Sahaja Yoga as people’s own Kundalinis were not awakened. Unlike Sahasrara Day, Diwali, etc, it is a puja with no specific date or period of the year. This year for the first time, by our Divine Mother’s Grace, it was being celebrated in Cabella. The puja started early Sunday afternoon. Shri Mataji addressed us first, telling us that the puja was a worship not only of the Adi Kundalini in Herself but also of our own Kundalini.

After the puja, gifts were offered to Shri Mataji from the different countries present. All the presents were of silver, the international present being a huge antique cylindrical vase minutely decorated with scenes from the life of Shri Rama. The present from the host countries was a slightly smaller but similar antique vase decorated with scenes from the life of Lord Shiva. The other presents were smaller, and Shri Mataji commented on each as to how appropriate it was for the country concerned. The French present was a small bowl, decorated with panels around the side, alternately plain and ornate; Shri Mataji said that in French art you always have to leave a lot of empty space.

Phil Ward

A treasured experience

Back in the early 1990’s, my friend Thelma had been shopping with Shri Mataji in London. Thelma told me how she had sat in the back of the car with Shri Mataji and Mother had held her hand. I wondered what that felt like.

Several weeks later I was in Italy with Danya and Enzo Martoglio. We had attended a public programme near Genoa. It was a hot summer’s evening and as we drove home to Enzo’s parents’ along the mountain roads Enzo thought he spotted Shri Mataji’s car. His hunch turned out to be correct. To our amazement Mother was alone in the car whilst a yogi was getting Her pizza. She was sitting in the back; the door was open.

Danya went first and as I stood waiting for my turn to be before Mother, I couldn’t believe our luck! My turn came and I went to Mother’s Feet. As I knelt before Her, She took my hands and held them. This was blissful. With motherly concern She asked me questions about how I had come to Italy. She wanted to know the details of my travel plans, who I had travelled with and so forth. After some time Shri Mataji gestured for me to leave. As I left Her I very gently squeezed Her hand; I didn’t want to go.

Later in the car as the three of us re-countered our experiences with each other and I was remembering what it felt like, it dawned on me that Her hands were so soft, so soft that I was not aware of feeling any bones.

I treasure this experience.

Mary Jane Williams 

The day that any desire would be fulfilled

It was in Cabella at the castle on the Shivaji Day in June 1992. We were gathered there to help, then we heard a Sahaja Yogi say that due to this auspicious day, and also because it was at the conjunction of four yugas, Mother said that any desire would be fulfilled on that day. I didn’t take too much notice, and I carried on with what I had to do. What I actually wanted to do in that moment it was to see Shri Mataji, because I had found a silver coin in Her kitchen and wanted to give it back, after polishing it.

I didn’t realise that all desires in that day were fulfilled so after a short while I found myself to be alone with Mother talking about everything, including art and the silver Urdu coins. She also asked me to touch Her hand made sari and feel it. She advised me as to what brush to use when painting on fabrics, then asked me to sit at Her Lotus Feet and She created a majestic silence, a maha puja, and I went into deep meditation. I could not keep my eyes open; it was so strong and beautiful. I didn’t open my eyes until someone whispered in my ear that it was time to leave the room. I did namaskar to Shri Mataji and while I was leaving I had another desire, that every Sahaja Yogi present that day in Cabella could have the benefit of being with Mother too. After a few seconds Mother called the two men who were with Her and announced that we were going to have a puja downstairs in the main entrance, and to call every Sahaja Yogi present that day in Cabella.

The puja was magnificent and unusual, in that Shri Mataji asked all of us to desire something, for our country, family, nation – everything possible and practical, because that day was so auspicious, and all our desires would be fulfilled. At that moment we all struggled to desire something, because only one desire was paramount, to become one with this ocean of Mother’s love.

While I had been in the room for quite a long time with Shri Mataji, before the puja, She complimented me on the beautiful shawl I was wearing, and She looked at it.

How many little elephants are printed in your beautiful shawl, where did you purchase it? She asked, and I was shocked because I didn’t see any elephants; I could see only flowers, so I didn’t know what to say. She was looking at the shawl from some distance, too.

Yes Mother there are,’ I replied. I was aware I was lying but a voice within me was telling me, ‘Mother knows everything, She is always right, it is my mistake that I can’t see it.’ When I left the room I asked the other Yoginis to help me to find many little elephants decorating my shawl, and we spent more than an hour finding them, and finally we did. They were tiny, many and beautiful. We were delighted and we started to laugh with joy.
Ornella Bollani

Wish for the world

We were all at Cabella, very few of us, maybe twenty or thirty people. Suddenly the message came, ‘Shri Mataji wants to see everybody in Her room’. Now this had never happened at Cabella – only once again some years later in 2002. It must have been in 1992. We were the Golden Builders so we were living outside of the village but I heard from someone that we were all to go there. She was in the pink hall, the big hall of the castle.

These Indians didn’t tell the world that this is a very special day – today there should have been a puja,’ She said, ‘because today there is a placement of the stars in the sky, that hasn’t happened for a very long time,’ (maybe hundreds or thousands of years or yugas). Shri Mataji was speaking about the stars, how they were, and She went on, ‘You can always wish, but today if you wish you can be sure your wish will come true – you can wish whatever you want, for yourself – but better to wish for your country or the world.’

We were all sitting there, and we only had about five minutes and suddenly we all began to wish. I wished for my country, for Holland, but I also wished that one day I would become a deep Sahaja Yogini.

Many people could confirm this story. Shri Mataji was sitting there and after five minutes of silence when we were all wishing, She was speaking a lot and spoke about many other things and said all our wishes would come true, and many people wished for the world. Shri Mataji said that on such an auspicious occasion it was better not to think too much of yourself but to think of the world.

Henriette Hagrasman

She had just plucked us out of Milan for that

Around 1992 my husband and I were living in Milan, Italy. We suddenly felt the desire to go up to Cabella. We got in the car and drove up, a drive of about one and a half hours and when we got there we waited around, we didn’t know for what. Then unexpectedly Shri Mataji passed the word around that She wanted to meet all of us yogis who were then in Cabella in the downstairs hall of the castle. After a couple of hours of everybody coming together, and She wanted us to have a puja but it was so fast there simply wasn’t time, so instead She asked us to all have a meditation together.

Today,’ She said, ‘is the most auspicious day in many thousands of yugas. You may ask any boon you desire of Me.’

I went through the ‘save mankind’, and ‘all the personal desires’, ‘different parts of the world’, and so on and it was a very deep moment and you could see how She had just plucked us out of Milan and brought us there for that.

Angela Reininger

The word spread to go to the castle

This is a story of a surprise visit to Cabella. We were living in Milan at the time, it was during the week and we were in Cabella doing some work and visiting some friends. We were there by coincidence. It was one of those wonderful days that just happened, and you are close to Shri Mataji’s house, so you know the attention is there. In the afternoon the word spread through Cabella, that magic network of information that worked there very well, that we should all go to the castle. So we rushed up and there the rumour was that Shri Mataji wanted us to do puja to Her. We were amazed, and did not understand why.

We prepared the puja and Shri Mataji did not come, and evening came and She did not come. It got dark and She did not come, and then the word spread that Shri Mataji was not happy that we did not invite Her for the puja. So we were all sitting there, and it was all prepared, and we had forgotten to invite Her. We pulled our ears in apology, and went upstairs, and that was still in the early days when the entrance to the castle was downstairs. Shri Mataji said She was sorry but it was too late then. It was the most auspicious day in many yugas and She was expecting us to call Her for the puja, and we had not done so. So now we were in a dilemma and the day was almost past as it was eleven thirty in the night. Shri Mataji had been ready to come but there had been this deadlock of protocol. Finally She created a way out. She would not do puja, but She would come and we would have some bhajans.

We all rushed down and soon after that Shri Mataji came and took Her seat in the main hall. It was full of people, maybe a hundred people were there, some had come up from Milan, and Genoa and other places as the word had got around.

Let’s have some bhajans,’ She said, and we sang Binate Suniye and some others, and as the last notes finished Shri Mataji looked at us with a long gaze and said, ‘Just ask any boon you want, and it will be granted.’

What am I to ask? This is the moment,’ people were thinking. Everyone bowed down and silently asked.

It will be granted,’ Shri Mataji said. It was after midnight by then, and then She left us. Afterwards we shared what we had asked. Some people asked something for themselves, like, ‘take me to the Spirit,’ some for others, some for the world.

Herbert Reiniger

I never gave up

Shri Mataji was very concerned for England.

I’ve never worked so hard in any other country. I never gave up on England,’ She said.

Then Shri Mataji would go to England and there would be a fantastic programme and everything would work out.

Jeremy Lamaison


Shri Mataji at the Royal Albert Hall, London

Photos taken at the Albert Hall

I got my realisation in 1992 and went along to my first public programme at the Royal Albert Hall.

During the realisation session, Shri Mataji as usual asked the audience to close their eyes. She used to blow into the microphone in those days. I had my eyes tightly shut as She had asked but I could actually see what was happening, which was an amazing experience. As She blew into the microphone I saw huge banks of cool flames coming out of Her mouth, going out and receding each time She took a breath. They came as far as the people sitting in the front row and then went back again. I remember shutting my eyes even tighter just in case I was imagining things, but I could still see. I began to feel as though the whole force of the universe was actually going through me. I inwardly begged Mother to stop, as I could not possibly withstand this force any longer, and it did.

Nearly a year later I happened to be at the airport to meet Shri Mataji. I had given up any hope of getting anywhere close to Her because of the sheer number of people. However, for some reason there I was, face to face with Her. Mother started speaking and I was certain that She was looking straight at me. I could not possibly believe that Shri Mataji was talking to me and was very tempted to look to see who was behind me, but did not because somehow I felt that this would be the wrong thing to do. 

You really must see the photographs taken at the Albert Hall, there are hearts and hearts in them,’ Mother said, and then spoke more about the hearts in these pictures, or words to that effect. 

Yes Mother,’ I said politely, and perhaps doing a namaste. 

I thought of the near impossibility of finding the Sahaja Yogi who took those miracle photographs at the Albert Hall, but several months later my friend Neville Williams happened to take me to Chelsham Road. I went into the kitchen and there on a mantlepiece were the photographs with all the hearts in them and knew instantly that those were the photographs that Shri Mataji had spoken of.

An experience I will never forget!

Verona Jordan 

The photograph of the hearts at the Albert Hall

Editor’s note: In the upper photo Shri Mataji can be seen seated on the stage, and below She is standing up, at the top of the golden stream of vibrations going down to the bottom left hand corner.

Bring peace to Ireland

I had my realisation in 1992, in Dublin, Ireland. I had some very strong experiences including a cure from tinnitus, and some months later Shri Mataji was to be at the Albert Hall in London, so I went with all the other Irish Sahaja Yogis. The programme was great and after Mother had given realisation to everyone She stayed on the stage and people were singing bhajans. Shri Mataji seemed to be looking at everyone, and clearing everyone’s chakras out. The Irish went up to meet Her, and when it was my turn I bowed, did not know what to say, so just smiled for joy as I was so happy. Mother held my hands.

Bring peace to Ireland,’ She said.

After this, I had a desire to have eye contact with Shri Mataji once more. There were a lot of people moving around, and I was standing at the front but down off the stage. I caught a glimpse of Mother’s left eye through the crowd. At that moment I felt a tremendous whoosh! Like a rocket, my Kundalini shot up and out of my head, and I felt it coming out of my hands also.

Tamara Donaldson