Chapter 22: 1983 May and June, London, Paris and Madrid

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

A catch on the left Nabhi

In London in 1983, after giving self realisation to all the people present Shri Mataji conducted a Sahaja workshop. She was working on a gentleman from the front, while two other Sahaja Yogis and I were working on him from the back. Shri Mataji asked us to raise his Kundalini and later on to give a bandhan to his Sahasrara.

‘What catches can you feel?’ Shri Mataji asked us.

One by one, the three of us enumerated the different catches but none of us mentioned the catch on the Nabhi.

‘You mentioned so many catches but none of you was able to feel t catch on the Nabhi chakra, and this is the main catch for this gentleman. Do you know why none of you could feel it?’ She commented.

‘No, Mother,’ we said.

‘That is because the Nabhi chakra is also your main catch, so much so that you can’t even feel it,’ She told us. ‘Do you know why the Nabhi chakra is your main catch?’

‘No Mother,’ we said.

‘Because none of you has married yet. Do you know what’s to be done?’ Shri Mataji replied. By now we were looking a bit serious but Shri Mataji was smiling. ‘It looks like I’ll have to find a nice wife for each of you.’ We all laughed. Then Shri Mataji enquired about this gentleman’s profession.

‘I am a priest,’ he replied.

Shri Mataji explained to him that the idea of celibacy as the best way for spiritual ascent is a misguided belief and this was causing an obstacle at the level of his Nabhi chakra. The priest commented that he was bound by his vows, to which Shri Mataji replied that She was not suggesting or encouraging him to break his vows but that the wrong idea that celibacy is the only or the best way for spiritual ascent was the obstacle at the level of the Nabhi chakra. After this his Kundalini rose strongly and his face was transformed.

Luis Garrido

Shri Mataji playing with a child

One day, in the late spring of 1983, Shri Mataji arrived at the Brighton ashram in the morning and distributed presents to the children. Among the presents there were some small brass tea pots, less than an inch high. Some of us thought the teapots were far too small. Shri Mataji was able to read our minds and explained that children prefer things on a small scale, like small tables and chairs, and they appreciate tiny objects very much.

Then Shri Mataji delivered a lecture to all present. Meanwhile a small girl of about four years old kept trying to take some roasted chickpeas from Her side plate. She managed to stop the child from getting to the chickpeas because these were hot spicy ones, not suitable to a child of tender age, but the child kept trying. Shri Mataji interrupted Her talk and commented that usually a small child would have followed Her directions, which raised the question of whether this child was quite hungry. She addressed the mother.

‘Did you give breakfast to your daughter this morning?’

The mother was shocked to realise that with the morning rush to catch the train she had indeed forgotten her daughter’s breakfast. The omission was remedied immediately and the child was taken to the kitchen. By the time Shri Mataji had finished Her talk the child returned to the sitting room carrying her tiny brass teapot. Shri Mataji waved at her and she came forward. Then She started playing with her by inserting chickpeas into the teapot. The little girl found this game extremely funny and laughed out loud every time Shri Mataji did that. Even three chickpeas would have been enough to fill up the teapot but Shri Mataji kept inserting more and more and the child giggled uncontrollably every time the game was repeated. Laughter is contagious and soon everybody was laughing. Gradually it dawned on us that what Shri Mataji was doing went beyond the usual laws of physics. A Sahaja Yogi started to count out loud every time She inserted a chickpea and went up to twenty one. By now we were no longer laughing.

Suddenly the child took the teapot away and rushed back to her mum. As if nothing had happened, Shri Mataji started to greet some of the people She had not met before.

Luis Garrido

Rubbing oil and salt on the hands

A puja to Shri Mataji as Shri Buddha was held in the Brighton Ashram in the summer of 1983. The day before the puja, Shri Mataji arrived and noticed we were all sitting down and feeling rather lethargic, so She gave the example of standing up and instructed us all to sit up and sit down a few times in succession. Then while standing up, She started bending to the front and to the back and then to the left and right just like in an gymnastics class but the movements were gentle and each stretch was held for about one minute. Then it started again and we did a total of four sets. Shri Mataji told us that these exercises were good for the Swadishthan. We all felt terrific doing them with Her.

Once we were all sitting down again we were instructed to rub our thumbs. She rubbed Her own thumbs firmly for about five minutes and we all did the same. After what seemed a long time, some of us had stopped but She told us to continue until no catch was left on the thumbs. She specifically instructed that we should not allow any catch to stick to the thumbs and that we should rub the catch out, and if we wanted we could also rub oil on the thumbs. About a year later a message from Shri Mataji was circulated that rubbing vibrated salt on the palms of the hands and thumbs is another cleansing technique for the chakras.

 Luis Garrido

Clockwise on the Sahasrara from both front and back

In 1983 at a public programme in London Shri Mataji was working on a new person and at the same time a few of us were working on him. Shri Mataji was facing him and the Sahaja Yogis were working from the back. When it came to giving a bandhan to the Sahasrara chakra, Shri Mataji explained that on the top of the head, on the Sahasrara, the direction was clockwise, not anti-clockwise, even though we were working from the back of the person.

Luis Garrido

Gentle rebukes

In 1983 at Brompton Square there was such a close relationship between Shri Mataji and all Her children that we all felt if at any time She gave us a rebuke, She was perfectly entitled to do so, and had earned that right by being so loving and caring towards our wellbeing, both spiritually and in matters of our mundane life. In Her rare rebukes Shri Mataji was very gentle and mindful of not hurting us, like a loving Mother. Her speciality laid in continuously forgiving us and overlooking our faults.

Luis Garrido

Vasco da Gama

In 1983 at Brompton Square Shri Mataji told me a story about Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator who commanded the first ships to sail from Portugal to India in 1498. On landing in South India, he saw numerous statues of Shri Kali and Shri Durga, assumed they were statues of the Virgin Mary and wrote to the King of Portugal informing him that he had reached a land that was more devoted to the Virgin Mary than Portugal. He concluded that Portugal should not wage war against a country of great Christians like India, but that the two countries should trade.

Shri Mataji said that later other Portuguese people came and took a different approach. They even used cannon balls against the statues of Lord Shiva at Elephanta, which gave bad karma to Portugal and explained why Portugal was plagued by certain false gurus from India, but She reassured us that this would stop eventually. She also told us that the Portuguese Sahaja Yogis were not personally responsible for these past mistakes and we should not feel guilty for them.

Luis Garrido

You can have dinner with us, and then I will explain Sahaja Yoga

I am from Delhi, India, and work as a travel agent. I met Shri Mataji at gatherings in my house where She talked to me like any relative would, because I am related to Her by marriage. She asked me about myself and like any other person I said I was fine, but She said there was a problem with one of my chakras. Before I could even understand She was pinpointing the exact area where She felt I had a problem, but wasn’t aware of it. Later I discovered She was propagating Sahaja Yoga. She invited me to stay with Her in London.

Later, when I was going to Canada, there was a delay in the flight, so I stopped over in London and took a walk in the evening, because I didn’t know how to kill the time. I saw Shri Mataji’s picture, and nearby there was a hall where Her public programme was going on. I entered and remembered Her from the party where I had met Her, back home. Shri Mataji was talking to a lot of people and the process of self realisation was to start. The moment I entered the hall She spotted me and asked some people to guide me to the front row. There I was, sitting with my hands towards Her.

‘Did you feel the vibrations?’ She asked, ‘Did you feel the cool breeze?’ but I felt nothing. After the programme was over some yogis took me to Shri Mataji.

‘I’m glad you came,’ She said.

‘Shri Mataji, my flight was delayed,’ I replied.

‘If you are not doing anything, why don’t you come home?’ She said. So they took me to Her car when She was leaving the programme. I sat with Shri Mataji in the car and went to Her house.

‘I am cooking today,’ She told me. ‘If you like you can have dinner with us and then I will explain to you about Sahaja Yoga, and I’m sure you will be able to feel the cool breeze and the vibrations.’

First Shri Mataji gave me good food, and at the dining table told me what Sahaja Yoga is all about. Then She asked me to put my hands out and I could feel the vibrations, the cool breeze. It was the fourth of July and I cannot forget that day.

‘You are the guru,’ Shri Mataji told me, ‘you have to believe in yourself. And it is you who will finally make up your mind what you want out of your life, you will decide, you will do everything.’ I suddenly felt so rejuvenated, that my own self, my being, could make a self discovery. And once that happened there were no obstacles, there were no problems.

Sanjay Talvar

We have won Paris

In 1983, on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June, Shri Mataji gave three wonderful public programmes in a hall in Paris, at the Place St Germain des Prés, famous for being the area where intellectuals used to meet. It was a masterly series of programmes, attracting around 150 – 200 seekers every evening, which was a lot in France at that time.

On the last evening, exactly at the time when Shri Mataji came out of the building, a huge firework burst in the sky.

‘We have won Paris,’ She said before entering in the car, because starting and establishing Sahaja Yoga in France was not easy.

 Christophe Rivaud

I am always with you in your hearts

Before a public programme in Paris, we introduced a newly realised man to Shri Mataji. He told Her he was travelling all around the world to find Her.

‘You don’t have to travel all around the world, I am always with you in your hearts,’ She replied.

Christine Haage

The importance of meditation

I was living in the Paris ashram of Le Raincy in about 1983. Our collective meditations started at a ‘reasonable’ 7.30 or 8 in the morning, but I was often unable to get ready on time or would leave before the end. Occasionally our ashram leader would try to help, saying, ‘If you don’t meditate every day, you can’t grow in Sahaj,’ which made me feel even more guilty.

One day I rebelled, ‘Enough of this left Vishuddhi catch! I am not being honest with the Divine because I am not true to myself. Let’s see if I can do what I enjoy and not feel guilty about it!’ So I stopped meditating altogether and went to the movies instead. As soon as I sat in the car, strong vibrations started flowing, all the way to the cinema, and even more so during the movie.

This went on for about four months, and we went to greet Mother at the airport. When the Goddess appeared through the gates there were no words for the magic of those vibrations, Her beauty and Her smile as She walked towards us.

‘Hello, how are you?’ She said from a distance, and said a few sweet words to each Yogi along the way. I was half hiding at the back but next thing I knew, She was walking towards me.

‘Hello, how are you? Oh much better!’ She said, louder and still smiling, then looking around went on, ‘She is much better, don’t you find?’ Then She looked straight back at me with a delightful playful expression and said, ‘What did you do?’ She paused, ‘Meditate?’ and She winked at me.

Natalie Amram

The four-legged disciple

At Le Raincy, in about 1983, Shri Mataji had been praising dogs and explained to us that they represented the perfect disciple that was always obeying his master, only wanting to please his master and that we, as their gurus, should also be strong and imbibe the qualities of the guru.

‘Mother, which dog is good?’ someone asked.

‘All dogs are good,’ She paused, ‘except bulldogs,’ and laughed, then went on, ‘German Shepherds are good, like the one she has,’ pointing to Vanda, the German Shepherd that was sitting among us. ‘See, she loves everyone.’

Another Yogi that was present asked about boxer dogs, and Mother said that they were journalists.

‘Mother, what about cats?’ Someone asked.

‘Cats are all right,’ She said, then someone asked whether cats were not negative, and Mother replied, ‘No, no, cats are all right. But they have lost their powers.’

Natalie Amram

Take some vibrated water from the puja

In June 1983 my father had just met Shri Mataji for the first time, in Paris. He was a simple countryman, a very deep and loving soul. That year, Shri Mataji invited all the new French people from different parts of the country, about thirty, to come and meet Her in Her room. She addressed a nice word to each individual.

‘I would recommend,’ Shri Mataji said, ’each of you to take some vibrated water from the puja we had together and sprinkle it in your houses and everywhere around, where you feel there is some negativity. It will clear things out!’

My father went back to Brittany with a tiny bottle of vibrated water. The following morning, he decided to go and give a special treatment to the field he had planted with potatoes. A common disease called mildew had been developing amongst the plants, by which the leaves were turning yellow. If nothing was done, the crops were at risk. That morning was foggy and we couldn’t see at two metres ahead of us. Following Shri Mataji’s advice, my father added some vibrated water to the product he prepared to sprinkle around the field. At about two or three in the afternoon, the sun came out and the fog disappeared. My father came running to me.

‘Come quickly, this is extraordinary! Come and see! This is Shri Mataji for sure!’ I rushed to the field and discovered the leaves of the potatoes had turned green again (normally it would take a few days before they could get back to their original colour). Most incredible of all, they had grown by four to five centimetres within a few hours! Our neighbour, a rather gross farmer, was shouting in a strong dialect.

‘How come? I don’t understand! This morning your potatoes were yellow and now they’re green! On top of that, they’ve grown!’ Also, a couple of months later all the village farmers were intensively busy discussing the amazing size of our potatoes compared to theirs.

Guillemette Metouri

Shri Mataji has come on this earth as Shri Mahamaya

These three short stories show how Shri Mataji came on this earth as Shri Mahamaya.

It was in the early eighties, in Paris, and She was resting in Her room. Somebody came in.

‘Shri Mataji is sleeping, take care,’ my wife said.

‘I was not sleeping,’ She said, opening Her eyes. ‘If I was sleeping, this world would be destroyed.’

On another occasion I was taking vibrations from Shri Mataji. She often asked us to do this, and said it helped Her.

‘You know, I have seven worlds to manage,’ She said. ‘I was somewhere else.’

Another time, after a public programme in Paris, also in the eighties, She was very happy with it and we were coming out of Paris to go back to the ashram in the suburb.

‘Patrick, can you see how Lord Shiva is happy with the programme? Can you see the red colour in the sky?’ She said.

‘No Shri Mataji, I don’t see it,’ I replied, because I was driving and there was a lot of traffic.

‘Oh just a minute,’ She went on. The colour that was at the back just came in front of me so I could see it while I was driving.

In the eighties Shri Mataji was very much the Mother with the yogis who were with Her. For example, She would put a shawl around the shoulders of a yogini who needed to be more secure, or warmer, a very motherly gesture.

In the nineties, Shri Mataji was very much the guru, telling us what to do.

Patrick Lantoin

Planes wait for Mother

After Mother’s visit to Paris in June 1983, we were all sitting listening to Her at the airport, prior to Her departure for Spain. I was floating in the awesomeness of the fact that Mother had asked me to travel with Her. I felt a bit shy and nervous from my ignorance of the protocol, so I can’t remember whether yogis looked anxiously at their watches or mentioned something to Mother, but I remember that She scolded us a little.

‘Planes wait for Me, don’t you know?’ She said. After which we instantly forgot all about time. Later Mother got up and the boarding proceeded as normal. As soon as we were comfortably seated and the plane’s door closed, there was the first cabin announcement, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the twenty minute delay due do a technical problem. We are now ready for take-off.’

In fact Mother even offered to pay for my ticket since She asked me on short notice.

‘Oh thank You very much Mother, no need at all. The ticket was very cheap,’ I replied.

‘Yes, the ticket was very cheap, wasn’t it?’ Mother then said with a divine twinkle in Her eyes.

Natalie Amram


Once Mother asked me about my studying and I said that I had trouble with keeping good concentration.

‘You must eat almonds,’ Mother said.

One of the first Eastern Yoginis also told me that Mother had said that eating a small amount of almonds a day is good for the brain.

Natalie Amram

Just checking

During Shri Mataji’s visit to Madrid in June 1983 She often said that the Spanish had a ‘very, very big heart’, more like Indians, and that She hoped that as they were also a developing country, they would not make the same mistake of following the Western ways. She mentioned that there seemed to be only synthetic products in the shop windows.

As often, during Shri Mataji’s tours, there was a shopping trip where She knew the best things for presents, among them a type of warm velvety blanket. She said they would be good for some family members (or maybe Yogis) living in India, and that it was all right if they were synthetic as they were not directly on the skin, and practical for India’s cold nights. Mother lovingly advised the humble and gentle Spanish Yogis on how to organize the packing for the departure flight. I seem to remember that the Goddess even helped with the choice of boxes. I was responsible for the blankets, so tried to think of everything, packing them safely, with care and big labels on all sides.

‘Where are the blankets?’ Shri Mataji asked me, when we were at the airport.

She was looking even after the smallest detail. I had completely forgotten! How could I? I looked desperately at the clock, but it was impossible to go back in the time left. I looked down for a few seconds and, just as I glimpsed up pleadingly feeling that I would not be able to hold the tears any longer, She said with a gracious movement of Her head: ‘Don’t worry, I think of everything!’

I knew then that the boxes were snuggly amongst the other things on the trolley that was arriving, pushed by brothers.

Natalie Amram


While shopping in Madrid with the Sahaja Yogis, Shri Mataji bought Spanish saffron. She said it was good for the left Vishuddhi.

Natalie Amram

The meaning of the word Madrid

Shri Mataji explained to us that Madrid means the place given by the Mother. The word for mother in Spanish is madre.

Fernando Alonso

Somebody equal to Christ

The seeker being worked on in the photo below, by Shri Mataji, is my brother. His Agnya was catching because he was studying Theology and wanted to become a priest.

‘Somebody equal to Christ is alive and on this earth; come to see Her,’ I told him.

This was Madrid 1983. As these were the times when Shri Mataji stayed in the same flat as us, my brother could stay there also for the night. In the morning, when he was leaving, he told me, ‘I would like to say good bye to Mataji’. My brother entered Her room, and explained to Shri Mataji that he just wanted to say good bye, that he was studying theology and wanted to become a priest. She never tried to dissuade him.

‘Now when you administer baptism you will be giving real baptism,’ She just told him.

He meditated for some time but discovered that here there was something else, that Sahaja meditation was not just ‘a help’ for his Christian spiritual life. He had to make a decision. Finally he opted for the priesthood. He was more the type of social-work seeker. He was and still is working for the education of young people. He told me that for one year or so he felt that he was wearing something like a hat on his head.

Fernando Alonso

A wedding reception

Shri Mataji honoured the Sahaja Yogis with Her presence when Ray and Chantal Harris held their wedding reception at my flat at Darwin Court, Regents Park, in June 1983.

Patricia Proenza

Perfect timing

‘Shall we open the presents now?’ we asked ourselves. There was some hesitation, and it was decided, and we opened them. It took quite some time and everybody appreciated every present. The moment the last present was finished, there was a space, ‘Well, what do we do now?’

‘Shri Mataji’s coming,’ someone said. Absolutely perfect timing.

Chris Marlow

A sandalwood box

This is about my wedding in June 1983, in London – a personal experience with Shri Mataji. She actually came over for a short time. There was a party, with about ninety Sahaja Yogis there. It was a very large room and we had already had the ceremony earlier that day.

‘I’m sorry I’m late,’ Shri Mataji said when She arrived. We had been opening presents and talking and as She arrived, the whole place lit up, as it does when Shri Mataji arrives anywhere.

It was lovely before, there were Sahaja Yogis around and our families, but when Shri Mataji arrived it was like the epitome of the whole thing. Everybody started to shine and the flowers looked beautiful and it really was a very awesome thing for Shri Mataji to come to one’s wedding. She made a short speech, saying how the weddings in Sahaja Yoga are not just for the individuals getting married, but they should be for the good of the collective, for everyone to enjoy.

‘I couldn’t find very much. I just found this present,’ She said and gave us a parcel. We opened it and it was a sandalwood box with four elephants on the top and She said, ‘That’s four elephants for your four children.’ And we do have four children, even though we only intended to have two!

There have been one or two weddings where Shri Mataji has attended. They are very, very special occasions. Since then, when everybody goes to weddings, they all enjoy it. Sahaja weddings have always been very collective affairs, not just family affairs — lovely vibrations. Seeing Shri Mataji, you realise all the Sahaja Yogis are your family and all the human race is your family.

Ray Harris