She organized every aspect
I was never a very good driver of cars. I never had a bad accident, but I would make people really nervous and never drove very well. In 1986, someone thought that it was a good idea, when Shri Mataji was visiting New York, that I should drive Her car, to be the chauffeur. I was delighted and terrified at the same time because this was a great honour and a big responsibility. I obviously didn’t want to cause any problems, but I couldn’t turn it down.
I was driving something big, like a Lincoln, around Manhattan and we were going to all different parts of town to buy Indian things and to look for appliances for the kids’ school in Italy and do lots of different missions. I got us lost a couple of times. We ended up going to one place, being so-called lost, which was actually a block from where an ashram was established later on.
We spent some time getting these appliances and things and there was one really sweet moment, when the other folks, who were the organizers, had gone in to look for some appliances in the Indian stores and I was left alone driving Shri Mataji around. It was very hot, in the summertime, and She was in the back and I looked back and realized how much effort She put in to all this activity. She organized every aspect.
‘Shri Mataji, I just can’t tell You how much we appreciate what You do,’ I said.
She smiled and wiped the perspiration off Her brow and we went on. But the remarkable thing was, from that point on, I became a very good driver.
Who knows what happened in that car, that one moment, from being a terrible nervous driver, who drove people crazy, to someone who was pretty competent. So there’s a small miracle for you.
Shri Mataji is the soul of the Earth
It was September 1986, Shri Mataji was to arrive in San Diego and we were all excited. Being that I had yet to meet our Holy Mother I was a little nervous as well. Sahaja Yogis from all over were gathered in a hotel. At around 6 pm we boarded buses and headed for our destination, a small camp outside San Diego. Being from Vancouver the landscape was new to me. Palm trees, beautiful palm trees.
It was getting dark as we pulled into the camp. A large meeting hall loomed up above all the other buildings. There were bunk houses for us all. After getting settled in, we gathered in the meeting hall to await Shri Mataji. We waited and waited and there was no sign of our Divine Mother. At around midnight it was suggested that we all go to bed, as Shri Mataji would probably arrive the following day. After getting all snuggled into my sleeping bag, there was a knock at my door.
‘Mother has arrived,’ a voice said from the other side of the door. I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing the one person I had travelled two thousand miles for. I put on my kurta and headed for the meeting hall. It was dark outside and the double doors to the hall were wide open, casting a light along the path.
I entered the doors and looked around. There were yogis milling about a central figure, Shri Mataji. My jaw dropped as I gazed upon this being; I was in complete awe. Surrounding Shri Mataji was Her aura; it must have been forty to fifty feet across. The first thing that came into my head was, ‘She is not human. There is no way She is human.’
I was in complete awe, gazing upon a being I had no way of comprehending. She was walking around greeting yogis, smiling. I was watching them walking around in Her aura. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but I was seeing it. It dawned on me that Shri Mataji is the soul of the Earth and that this lady walking around was actually the Earth in human form.
Shri Mataji started walking in my direction and as She moved forward I moved back. The awe I felt was overwhelming. It was not that I felt threatened, but as if I had stepped into another world, because this was and is the world of Shri Mataji.
Later that night I recall a yogini saying that Shri Mataji had taken the form of Shri Mahamaya (the great illusion). To this day, if any negative thoughts come to me, I just have to recall that time and they all fade away.
Thank You, Shri Mataji with blessing us with Your presence here on Earth.
Editor’s note: as mentioned before, if we do see auras, it means we are not totally in the centre, and this type of perception usually leaves us after we have been in Sahaja Yoga for some time.
Shri Ganesha Puja, Camp Marston, San Diego, 1986
The greatness and strength of Our Divine Mother
When I look at this photo of Shri Mataji at the Shri Ganesha Puja in San Diego in 1986, I can only think of the greatness and the strength of Our Divine Mother. She is the Great Mother and the strongest of all. She has taken upon Herself all our imbalances and negativities so that we could ascend and become true Sahaja Yogis.
When this Shri Ganesha Puja was held we were only about a hundred and thirty Sahaja Yogis. Looking at this photo one can see that Mother is very beautiful and gracious. But at the time of the puja the yogis, including myself were not aware of the fact that we were not absorbing Her vibrations that She was trying to give us to clear our Mooladhara chakras.
The day after the puja we were instructed as to how we could improve. In the West, and especially in America, it was wise to go on a liver diet. We were to cleanse our chakras each and every night. The cleansing of the Mooladhara Chakra was of prime importance since in the West the damage was very severe to this auspicious chakra.
I still remember how in awe we were of Shri Mataji. We could only think of Her greatness and Her great love for us to have gone through so much for us. We promised in our hearts that we would do all that was required of us to continue to cleanse our chakras.
The request for a name
We were attending America’s first Shri Ganesha Puja in California, with Shri Mataji. At some point after the puja, I was surprised to see my son Shaun, who was then five years old, and his Sahaja sister Tessa, who was around four years old, bowing at Shri Mataji’s Feet onstage. It seems they went together to request a new name, and Shri Mataji blessed them both; Tessa was named ‘Siddhi’ and Shaun was named ‘Vinayaka’.
The next day, we were sitting with Shri Mataji in the living room of the San Diego ashram, and Vinayaka was very close to our Holy Mother’s Feet. The thought that came into my mind was, ‘Vinayaka is such a unique name, but it is so unusual…..I wonder if there is any way to shorten it?’ At that precise moment Shri Mataji reached down to touch Vinayaka’s head.
‘We’ll call you ‘Vinay’ for short,’ She said.
On our way home back to Canada, Vinay asked if we could throw away the name ‘Shaun’ as he had a new one from Mother.
The children with Shri Mataji at the Shri Ganesha Puja
The best kajal
After the Mahalakshmi Puja in Belgium, September 19th 1986. Mother remarked how kajal made the eyes so beautiful and explained that the best kajal was made from the soot of the aarti lamp after puja to Mother.
Some people received names (email report)
It was a very intimate puja, but the vibrations were very deep and Shri Mataji gave a beautiful talk on the Sahaja way of doing things, particularly with regard to new people. The puja took place in the upper room of the house of a Sahaja Yogi, in Mechelen, north of Brussels; we were eighty or so yogis squeezed together with the video team.
After the puja in Mechelen, Belgium, Shri Mataji gave names to a number of adult Sahaja Yogis. As Shri Mataji was preparing to leave the room, Richard asked Her if She would kindly give names to a number of small children, and our Divine Mother agreed to do so. The first was a baby, to be followed by some larger children, and suddenly a lady in the back of the room stood up and shyly asked Shri Mataji if she could have a name, too. Shri Mataji smiled and gave her a name, and finally some twenty or thirty people went forward to receive names. Shri Mataji authorized the use of diminutives; for instance, for someone who received the name Brindavan.
‘You can call him Brinda’, Shri Mataji said, and suggested diminutives of some of the children’s Indian names for familiar use.
Mahalakshmi Puja, Mechelen, 1986