Chapter 20: 1986 – July and August, Europe and England

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Gmunden, Austria, 8th July 1986 (diary entry)

At Gmunden, where the Guru Puja was celebrated there was the delightful setting, the efficient organisation and the beautiful nature, which gave the event a sense of how much we are changed for the better, of how much more perfect the arrangements were.

Shri Mataji praised the preparation of the stage and said that whoever did it had succeeded in truly portraying a sense of the creation. It was a grand scene, painted like the sky, and at the bottom it was full of light, becoming darker as it went higher, into a midnight blue full of stars. All around was a light drapery of a celestial material, studded with spangles and strips of gold and silver, and on the stage where Shri Adi Shakti’s throne was placed, was a large bandhan of many coloured flowers. At the side of the stage were two towers made of little bunches of flowers made by the local Sahaja Yogis.

During the talk, which centred on the principle of the guru as manifesting from the cosmic awareness, I had the impression that the body of Shri Mataji became one with the multicoloured flowers behind Her and no longer had a definite form, but dissolved into the cosmic energy and light that She was talking about. It seemed that She did not want to correct us directly, but wanted us to use our wisdom to understand what is right and what is a mistake, primarily in ourselves, and more generally in others.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji’s Holy Feet at the Guru Puja, Gmunden

The Marina of Pietrasanta, July 1986 (diary entry)

Again this time was like a dream. From the moment Shri Mataji arrived and spoke to us at the Hotel Tropicana, at the Marina di Pietrasanta, to when She left three days later, we experienced that indescribable atmosphere which uniquely distinguishes time spent in Her presence.

After an hour long discourse at the Hotel Tropicana on Wednesday, we saw Her again on Thursday afternoon in the marvellous setting of the garden of the villa ‘La Versiliana’ to meet Romano Battaglia, a journalist and writer, who organised the meeting there. It took place from 1986, for many years, each year and he invited Shri Mataji to participate. The whole event was excellent. He has understood that Shri Mataji has something truly extraordinary, and has introduced Her to the public with great respect and profound dignity.

In the course of the conversation, when Shri Mataji spoke about evolution and reincarnation, of successive lifetimes which are a means for humans to come closer to being spiritual people, Romano Battaglia asked Her for information about his previous lifetimes and Shri Mataji said he had been a Roman emperor.

The people who frequented the Versiliana, who were a little snobbish, reacted very positively, thanks to the well organised programme. The guests were relaxed and happy to see Shri Mataji, who was received with so much interest and attention.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji at Versiliana

A trip to Volterra

Today (July 1986), we left for Volterra to prepare a room for Shri Mataji at the Hotel San Lino. The countryside was beautiful, with fields of sunflowers and maize, and as Shri Mataji has said, it is similar to Maharashtra. We decorated Her armchair, arranged some flowers and She arrived earlier than expected. After a siesta of a couple of hours, at about seven in the evening we went out with Her to go shopping for alabaster, which is a speciality of this area. Not only is alabaster found here, but also there are expert craftsmen who transform it into sophisticated artefacts. As we went into a number of shops, Shri Mataji noted the price and quality of many of these objects. This was in order to buy the collective present for Sahasrara Day, and also various private purchases, for Her new house in England and for one in India.

After a short walk around the main square and that area, Shri Mataji went towards a viewpoint at the edge of the countryside, from where we could take in the view in the direction of the sea. She told us that the Etruscans, who used to live here, were originally Egyptian, and were Zoroastrians, with the influence of the Egyptians and Greeks. She also said that the vibrations of this place were very heavy on the left, while at Marina di Pietrasanta She had spoken of the right side, and above all of the right Nabhi of the Romans. After our walk, we returned to the hotel, and while some of the Sahaja Yogis organised a collective supper, one lady and I stayed with Shri Mataji. While the other lady massaged Her Lotus Feet, I took the opportunity to show Her a photo I had taken at the Guru Puja at Gmunden.

It was a photo in which Her Lotus Feet are reflected on the gold which covered the wooden base on which they rested. In the middle is a painted Shri Ganesha, which is sending a luminous reflection. Shri Mataji very much liked the photo, and asked for copies for our centres, and to take to the Krishna Puja in Switzerland, and also to India. She said that the Indians preferred puja photos, because through these their faith and devotion can be expressed.

She said that She loves flowers so much, wherever She goes, and long ago Markandeya compared the Feet of the Devi to flowers, and described how the Trimurtis, (Shri Brahma, Shri Vishnu and Shri Shiva) worshipped Her toenails, which for them were like diamonds in their crowns. I showed Her the crown that we had almost finished making, in the form of the sun, with seven petals, and another twelve petals at the sides. She liked it very much, but said the colour was too uniform and to change some crystals for others which were lighter, and then She said – a great blessing – that She would take it to India and have it mounted in silver, so it could remain permanently. What an honour – thank You Mother!

Then Shri Mataji spoke about magnolias, saying that the flowers on these plants in India had a much stronger and sweeter smell, without the bitter smell that ours had. She added that if we put vibrated water on our magnolias perhaps the scent would change.

In the evening we were all together, about fifty people, also the new people from Rome and Milan, in a restaurant just outside Volterra, on the road to Cedina – I think it was called ‘Da Stefano’. Shri Mataji was seated facing the group and replied to a question on the difference between the soul and the Spirit. Fortunately the talk was recorded.

Alessandra Pallini

The soul and the Spirit

This talk took place at Volterra, on the 25th of July, 1986. The beginning of this talk was not recorded. In this extract, Shri Mataji is defining the relationship between soul and the Spirit. The analogy She uses involves light, water and the glass that contains the water. The light would be the Spirit, the glass the body and the water which reflects the light, would be the soul. We pick up the talk when Shri Mataji has just given the analogy. One can see an image of chakras reflected in the glass.

Shri Mataji: Then it (the light) comes in there. This (the glass) is the body. All the five koshas, the five auras, koshas, are there. So these five koshas are managed by the five elements, the essence of which can be called the causal element, the causal of the …

Gregoire: The causal of the five elements. What we know as atma in Sanskrit, is it the soul plus the Spirit, or only the Spirit?

Shri Mataji: Jivatma is the soul but atma is the Spirit.

Gregoire; so jivatma is the Spirit but individualized; belonging to one person?

Shri Mataji: No, no, jivatma is the soul, means with these five elements, and these five elements give you your own identity, your own character, your own particularities etc. These five elements – the way they are placed in you. That’s the causal element, the causal of the elements that are within you. Then these causals act on the chakra and through the chakras these causals act on the other, on the grosser side. So from the subtle to the subtler to the, you can say the subtlest. The subtlest we can say is the Spirit, supposing, then the subtler is the soul, and the subtle you have the chakras. And the gross is the body.

Gregoire: So England should reflect on Italy then? (Mother, on a previous occasion, had told us that while England is the Spirit, Italy is the soul of the universe).

Shri Mataji: That’s why all the art grew from here (Italy). Now soul is the essence of all the elements of this Europe, which is here, and England is the reflection. So England has to reflect on Italy.

Another Sahaja Yogi: See, the water in the glass is reflecting the light. England is the light and the light has to shine out of Italy which is the water. I mean the five elements in a way.

Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Gregoire de Kalbermatten, and others

An explanation of Shri Kalki

I convey to you another revelation of Mother, which was given in Volterra, Italy in 1986. With a group of about thirty Sahaja Yogis, we asked Her to confirm that She was the incarnation of the new age, Satya Yuga.

No,’ She replied, ‘and tonight I am going to reveal who it is.’

For this purpose we rented a restaurant and had a table arranged in the centre of the room. Shri Mataji sat at the table and asked some of us to sit around Her. The recording of Her speech started at the point of Mother’s explanation of the relationship between the Spirit and the soul and has already been published. There is a photograph of that moment, in which Mother smiles over a glass, where they are seven lights that correspond to the seven chakras, but this is what Mother said previously. She began by saying that the incarnation of the New Age and Satya Yuga was the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Shri Kalki.

I am the mother of Shri Kalki and My only goal is to give birth to the incarnation which is the collective being, the Virata. For this I am working on all the molecules which have to make up the chakras of this incarnation. I started in the Mooladhara (Australia) and now I’m still missing the Agnya Chakra (Russia). When all the cells needed for the birth of Shri Kalki will be ready in this world, I will return to India to raise the Kundalini of the Virata (India). When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara (the Himalayas and the largest mountains) Shri Kalki (God, the Spirit in this human world) will put His Feet on this earth, My job will be completed and I will leave the human world.’

Mother, will all the Sahaja Yogis be cells of Shri Kalki?’ was asked.

No,’ She said, ‘the arrival of Almighty God to earth will result in the beginning of a general awakening among the majority of humanity who are not seekers, and they will meet the Sahaja Yogis who will have to be their guide.’

What will happen to the Sahaja Yogis that have become cells of Shri Kalki?’ I ventured to ask.

She stared at me showing that I had understood very little.

They will not exist anymore, they will be the Spirit,’ She replied, ‘The drop will become the ocean.’

Asking why, after the arrival of Shri Kalki She would leave, She replied, ‘Because I’m a mother and a mother cannot bear certain things.’

Javier Valderamma

A car journey with Shri Mataji

The next day we again went in search of alabaster, this time to the handicraft factories outside Volterra. I was in the back of the car with Shri Mataji, who made various comments on people and the scenery. She spoke about a lady in Rome who had certain problems, and observing the countryside said that it was similar to Maharashtra and asked if there were any monkeys! Much laughter and someone said that there were not, but the monkeys had become people, but were like monkeys.

In the car, seated next to Her, I felt Her arm pressed against mine on my right side and felt the flow of vibrations that emanated from Her, and – alas! – I felt my catches very clearly.

Thank You, Shri Mataji, for coming to our country to give Your divine message, to illuminate our ignorance, to purify our souls and to comfort our hearts with Your love.

Alessandra Pallini

This evening we returned from Volterra and arrived at the ashram at two o’clock in the morning, after a journey of about six hours. We left Shri Mataji at Pisa Airport at six o’clock. We saw Her for the last time crossing the space between the building and the plane, with Purna (later Purna Vertunni), who will be Her guest in London.

Alessandra Pallini

An amazing journey

In our two year engagement, we didn’t see each other very much, but on one occasion I went to London to see him. Shri Mataji was having a public programme at Versiliana. She used to go there every year. This was one of the first times and I was supposed to take the plane by myself to London afterwards to see Victor. I was very afraid and my mother was a little bit worried because I had never been on a plane before. She took me to the airport and we were going to have to wait a bit for the plane, so we decided to go and have a short look at the city, which was Pisa. We went to this amazing square called the Miracles Square and Mother was just standing there.

What are you doing here?’ She said. Somebody explained that I was going to England to see Victor, so She said, ‘Well, you must come with Me. I will take you there because Victor is looking after My house and he is there waiting for you.’

So I had to change my ticket and my mother was so pleased. We told the Sahaja Yogis that I wasn’t to leave alone because I was so young to travel by myself. It was an amazing journey. There was just Mother and me and flying with Her was like a journey in paradise. She kept telling me how Victor was such a good boy and that we would have such a happy life together. She was so very, very sweet. I didn’t look after Her; She was looking after me. She gave me chocolate and coffee to keep me relaxed with Her.

Now you have to stay in My house,’ She said when we arrived in London. When I got there, Victor was there, because he had been looking after it, and he didn’t expect me at all.

I have brought your fiancée with Me,’ Shri Mataji said. He was so confused and the aarti tray fell on the floor and things like that. I was so shy and red in the face and standing on the other side. ‘You see, men, how they are,’ She said and was laughing so much.

In the couple of days I was there, She was always playing with us, telling Victor we should have walks in the park together and be together and go in the garden to the swing, all this romantic kind of thing.

Did he buy you an engagement ring?’ She asked me one day. So I said he had not and She called Victor and said, ‘Do you have money to buy an engagement ring?’ She gave money to him and he got a ring and She wanted to see it. Mother was quite amazing at this time.

We got married two years later, when I was eighteen, and we have had such a happy life together.

Purna Vertunni

We were looked after like Her grandchildren. So many of us know that She has equal love for everybody, no one is higher or lower, more or less important to Her. It is remarkable how many people She has been able to put Her attention on.

Victor Vertunni

We stayed at Shudy Camps

I had my realisation in May 1986 and it was such a unique and tremendous experience. One weekend we were all together with Shri Mataji, and She gave an interview to a well-known Italian journalist at ‘la Versiliana’ an open air café where She has done many public programmes, and after that we had a trip to Volterra with Mother. In the evening we all sat with Her in a restaurant. Before She left, at the airport, She invited the Italians to Shudy Camps to work in Her house.

I felt so happy to be able to live a Sahaja Yoga life and went to England. There were seven of us Italians and we stayed at Shudy Camps for more than two months. One day there was a Raksha Bandhan ceremony in London, and all the people from Shudy Camps where invited. It was held in an ashram and the room was small and full of people. I didn’t know anything about the ceremony and when I heard that women could choose a brother I thought: ‘I don’t have a brother and I don’t need a brother.’ Before the real ceremony between the yogis started, Mother spoke with the Italians and She invited us to personally take a Rakhi from Her.

You are My brothers and sisters,’ She said to us.

I was so emotionally touched by these words that my heart opened. I was filled with love for everybody, and of course for Her. When the ceremony started I took my first brothers. There were four of them: Robert Hunter, David Prole and two yogis from Italy. When your heart opens everything becomes different and you can see the beauty in everything and in every human being. It was one of my first discoveries and recognitions in Sahaja Yoga, thanks to what Shri Mataji said and did!

Marco Arciglio

The timing was perfect

There is a song in the songbook, Jerusalem II. We sang it to Shri Mataji when She came to Shudy Camps for the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja 1986, when the house was finished. Someone was playing the piano and quite a few of us were standing in this room by the piano.

Last night as I lay sleeping, there came a dream so fair.’ We began singing, then it goes on and we got to the end of the song, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your eyes and see … behold, in all Her glory, behold Shri Mataji!’ The moment we sang that last line, Shri Mataji walked in through the door and we beheld Her. There She was.

Maggie Burns

Shri Mataji leaving Shudy Camps

Krishna Puja 1986, August, Schwarzsee (email report)

The puja was really fantastic, also the backdrop to Shri Mataji’s chair with the bamboo (just as in Ganapatipule) and the Sudarshan chakra.

Shri Mataji arrived at Bern airport, a little airstrip surrounded by hills and approached by a winding and bumpy road, on Friday afternoon, to be greeted by a hundred or so of Her children, Swiss and others, offering flowers. She immediately left for Schwarzsee by car. About an hour later Shri Mataji arrived at the hotel to the strains of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Brilliant sunshine, it was a tremendously hot day. For the rest of the day, She stayed in Her room, and more and more yogis arrived from all corners of the world. Clouds began to appear in the sky towards the evening.

Some days earlier, a Sahaja Yogi had observed to Shri Mataji that She had no limitations whatever, that She could do anything. She had replied that in fact She has one limitation, which is our free will. So we have to surrender our free will in order for the divine action to flow completely without hindrance and for us to become completely the instruments of God.

Schwarzsee is a little lake surrounded by hills in central Switzerland, very beautiful and with many cows whose bells are heard everywhere. Shri Mataji told us that it was a very appropriate place for the puja of Shri Krishna, who was born in the Lunar dynasty, at midnight, and who worked a great deal on the left side, just as Shri Rama had worked on the right side. The name Schwarzsee means ‘black lake’, also appropriate to the colour of Shri Krishna. Friday night was marked by a tremendous thunderstorm which started about midnight and went on for hours. Shri Mataji had been working all night on the vibrations of the area.

On Saturday She spoke to us three times, in the morning about the childhood of Shri Krishna, in the evening about the Bhagavad Gita, and again in the evening just before the puja. She is completely the divine Guru. European songs and Marathi bhajans were sung.

Shri Mataji arrived in the puja room, where about five hundred Sahaja Yogis were waiting in meditation, at 10:30 pm or so on Saturday evening and the puja began with a very short prayer to Shri Ganesha, after which She instructed that all those present born under the sign of Sagittarius should perform the puja, Saturn (the planet of Shri Krishna) currently being in that sign, which is its own.

The high point of the puja was the presentation of sixteen crowns representing sixteen countries, to the Lotus Feet of Shri Mataji, by representatives of those countries, including the Soviet Union and China, whose representatives currently live in Austria. For Africa, Said Ait Chaalal presented a beautiful crown and silk veil for Fatima. A replica of the crown of Saint Louis, King of France, was presented; the original design was said to have been dictated to him by a messenger from God, hundreds of years ago. Many other beautiful crowns were presented to Shri Mataji, each one expressive of its country, as tribute to the Lord of Lords seated before them.

Editor’s note: After the puja we took the crowns back to the UK on the bus. When we reached the customs at Dover the customs people wanted us to open all the boxes containing the crowns. As they did, the vibrations were so strong that the whole customs shed went absolutely silent. The Sahaja Yogis were told to pack them up and move on.

Gifts and shopping

After the puja ended presentations were made to Shri Mataji of different gifts. The collective gift was a necklace in the form of a Sudarshana chakra, with sixteen blue sapphires radiating out like the petals of a flower from a centre composed of diamonds. The necklace was decorated by further diamonds to make a total of sixteen sapphires and twenty-one diamonds. I had the honour of presenting to Shri Mataji the English translation of the new version of ‘The Advent’.

Shri Mataji left Schwarzsee early Monday afternoon. She was seen off by about a hundred and fifty yogis who had stayed until Monday. She spent Monday evening in Bern at the flat of Kingsley and Ruth, and left for England on Tuesday afternoon, having spent the morning shopping in Bern. During the weekend the hotel manager got his realisation, and attended the puja. He was extremely respectful towards Shri Mataji.

Phil Ward

Three presents from Shri Mataji

We were living at Chelsham Road in 1986. Shri Mataji was at the ashram that day and it was the 23rd of August. My daughter was three on that day and another child, a little boy was there and it was also his birthday and he was six. The children were running around Mother.

A bit later, Mother left with Rustom and later he came back with three presents from Mother — a beautiful Indian dress for Fatima and a beautiful dress too for Auriol and a suit for the little boy.

Guillemette Metouri

Shri Mataji made us laugh a lot

On the 2nd September 1986, we were at Sandra Castelli’s centre, on the Corso Porta Ticinese in Milan. Shri Mataji spoke to us and repeated what She had said at Volterra, that Italy is the soul of Europe, and consequently we Italians have a considerable responsibility, because if we are not clear, our role, which is to reflect the Spirit, and with this the diffusion of Sahaja Yoga, on the greater scale, cannot be achieved.

She said that the main problem with Milan is the Vishuddhi and the Agnya. The element of the Vishuddhi is ether, which in Milan ‘is no good’, the expression of the Vishuddhi is communication, therefore it is going to be improved. Furthermore, the Vishuddhi chakra gives us our facial expression, and in this the character is manifested in each of us. This is not the case with Shri Mataji, She said, because Her face expresses so many different aspects. She mentioned that in Milan many people have a frowning expression, which expresses a lack of satisfaction and contentment, and perhaps this was in order to try to make themselves interesting. She mimicked these sulking expressions, making us laugh a lot!

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji told my father to ask for a wish

It was in 1986, and Shri Mataji was visiting my brother Javier’s house in Milan, Javier phoned my father because Shri Mataji wanted to offer him a boon, or wish. I was beside my father and my father was so emotional that he could not think about any wish and asked me what he should wish for. Immediately and without thinking I told him to ask for complete realisation. So he did.

A few days later, as always, my father did his foot-soak exactly at 6.30 pm and when he opened his eyes it was 10.00 pm. He had an experience that he couldn’t describe in words and when he tried, he always had his eyes full of emotional tears. He compared the experience as being dissolved in the All, feeling like a dot in the immensity, or a drop in the ocean, and the joy was so intense that he couldn’t put it into words. When he talked with other Sahaja Yogis who had had a similar experience, he realised that his wish had come true.

Silvia Vega

You are my flowers

We were at Gatwick Airport in 1986. Shri Mataji alighted from Her car and met us, standing on the grass.

I hear you have been doing some very good work in Africa,’ She came across and said to me.

Mother, we didn’t bring You any flowers,’ said the person I came with.

You are My flowers,’ Shri Mataji replied.

Peter Corden

Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport, London in 1986

Collective awareness

I got my self realisation in 1985 and first met Shri Mataji in 1986. The first time I met Mother was in 1986 at Shudy Camps at the Shri Adi Bhumi Devi Puja there. For me it was just amazing to meet so many wonderful people who all felt the same thing. When I got my realisation from a friend, we were talking about love and God and religion, and every time we talked like this my Kundalini would rise. When I met all these other people who felt the same thing it helped me understand this was so beautiful and special, the fact that so many of us could feel the same way.

Hardev Bhamra

A useful present

My first time in Shudy Camps (Adi Bhumi Devi Puja 1986) I was standing on the landing in the staircase when Shri Mataji went upstairs past us. She whisked Her shawl over Her shoulder and it almost hit my face.

Wow, She must have cleared something in my Vishuddhi!’ I thought.

Four years later I stood on those same stairs as Shri Mataji distributed presents to the boys who had helped pack Her belongings to ship to India. I was hiding at the back as I was there for a different reason, and hadn’t done any work. I’ll never forget Her Left Vishuddhi strengthening call.

Edward!’ She said, which caused me to scurry forward to accept a watch from my Mother. I had received a dark blue and black sweater from Her the day before. She had sent me to Frankfurt to help out there, where I ended up working for a Nazi family in a shop. I used to go home to the ashram crying because the Left Heart catch was so bad — but I never mentioned this. Now, She told me to hold up the sweater to my chest.

Now go scare the Germans!’ She said triumphantly.

Edward Saugstad

A Sahaja Yogi’s garden 1986?

I was growing some sweet pea flowers in my gardens in England and I really desired that they would flower in time for the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja. The week before the puja the weather was not very warm and every day I checked to see if the buds were beginning to open but the progress was very slow. On the morning of the puja I went down to the garden and, to my delight, there they were, in full flower for the first time. I picked them all and made a little bouquet. Shri Mataji very graciously took flowers from everyone and as I offered my little bunch to Her, She stopped and smelled them.

Ah! A Sahaja Yogi’s garden,’ She said.

Mary Heaton

The best present you can ever have

I went on stage at a puja and gave Shri Mataji a little bunch of flowers. I gave Mother a smile and She just has this special smile, that you know is special and She gives it to you and it’s like the best present you can ever have.

Narayani Pottinger

The purchase of the Campagnano land and the Magliano Sabina property

In August 1986 we were staying with some Sahaja Yogis and Shri Mataji at Ruth and Kingsley Flint’s flat in Bern. Our Holy Mother Shri Mataji spoke about purchasing some land near Rome in the area of Campagnano.

This land was about five and a half hectares in an area north of Rome and was on sale with full planning permission to build two houses. The land was purchased in the name of Mrs Nirmala Chandrika Prasad Srivastava on the 3rd February 1987. The contract was signed by me, in my name, using the power of attorney given to me by Shri Mataji. When the land was purchased Shri Mataji told the leader to start building, with the help of an Austrian architect, Hermann Haage, and he was to develop the projects which Shri Mataji Herself had altered. A few years later, when Shri Mataji decided to sell this land, the houses were not yet built. However the road and the well were completed and the connection of the water pipes and the electric network were established. The value of this land, in the four years that it belonged to Shri Mataji had increased a lot, not only because of the work that had been done, but also because the area had been transformed into a natural reserve with a total block on all new construction.

Alessandra Pallini