Chapter 12: 1986 – November and December, India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Venus, My planet

Shri Mataji always spoke about Venus. I remember an incident in Coimbatore, South India in 1986, where Shri Mataji spent a month. It was the late evening sky and we were sitting with Shri Mataji in the verandah of the Ayurvedic Panchkarma Centre. She was talking on various subjects when I noticed a bright star just above the horizon.

That is Venus, My planet,’ She said, reading my thoughts. She continued talking. I noticed the star getting brighter. She suddenly laughed and said, ‘She won’t go, and will get brighter and brighter till I notice her.’

Then She did namaskar to Venus and went on with Her conversation. We saw that the brightness of the star had dimmed and in a while the planet was no more visible.

Deepa Mahajan

The power of Shri Yama

In about 1986, when I was with Shri Mataji, I often used to clean Her comb and brush. She told me to put Her hair in Her vanity case. When She was in Coimbatore I was with Her at an Ayurvedic Massage Centre. After She left She made me shift to Her room. Her hair was lying on the window sill in a few bunches. They would be wound up round and put in Her bag. I did not know what to do with the hair. After I left Coimbatore I took it with me to Bordi and gave it to Her.

In My hair resides Shri Yama,’ She said, and also said Her hair has tremendous vibrations flowing from it. ‘That is why I keep My hair open during pujas and programmes,’ She explained.

Deepa Mahajan

I met your son some time ago

It must have been in 1986. In those days all the Sahaja Yogis used to go to the airport to receive Mother. I was a small child and was playing at the airport and running all over the place. Suddenly Mother arrived and I ran directly in front of Her. She gently touched my head and blessed me.

Mother, please touch me at this place,’ I said, as I had a small wound on my hand. ‘If You touch here, this will become all right very fast!’ She laughed and touched me on my hand.
I reverted to my playing and my parents were unaware of this incident. Later, my parents were talking to Mother about opening up a new centre.

I met your son some time ago,’ She told them, ‘and he asked Me to touch his hand so that his wound healed quickly.’ Nobody else knew that I was the child of this particular couple, but of course, Mother did!

Rohit Nalgirkar

Who has not awaked yet?

In October 1986 we celebrated Kojagiri Purnima, the full moon which falls after Navaratri, with Shri Mataji at the hall in Saneguruji Vidyalay, Dadar, Mumbai where the weekly Saturday meetings took place. She prepared and arranged for the milk drink for all of us. Traditionally, on that night one stays up until 1 or 2 am, and we drink milk mixed with ground pistachio, almond and cashew nuts, and flavoured with cardamom.

Shri Mataji mentioned in that talk that, ‘The Goddess comes to everybody’s house late at night on that day and She asks ‘Kojagarti?’ In Sanskrit this means, ‘Who has not awakened yet?’

That is why on that night many Indians who are not Sahaja Yogis go to the sea shore, but they play cards etc, because they do not understand the significance of that day, which is that they have to take their self realisation.

Shakuntala Tandale

The position of the moon

We were in Kolkata with Shri Mataji in October 1986. A number of us went from Delhi and Dehra Dun, and we were invited to a lunch party where Shri Mataji was going to be. We all sat on the floor, with a number of the Kolkata Sahaja Yogis, and Shri Mataji was in front of us eating Her food. She was talking about the position of the moon – maybe She was saying it was very auspicious – and someone took a photo of Her. When the photo was developed, it was a miracle one, and behind Shri Mataji was the moon!

Linda Williams

Bengal is especially blessed by Shri Lalita

When in Kolkata in 1986, Shri Mataji told us how Bengal is especially blessed by Shri Lalita. She explained that the climate is so benign that one can live so easily, and because of that there is more time for music and art. That is why art and music came up spontaneously in Bengal. She mentioned about Sarat Chandra Chatterji – that he had so many blessings of the Goddess Lalita that Shri Mataji said She felt to call him Lalita Chandra Chatterji. One more thing She said about him, I don’t remember if it was the same occasion or another one, but She was so fond of Chatterji’s writings that when She married, She told Her father that She didn’t want any gift, just the complete works of Chatterji.

After that Shri Mataji said that in spite of all the blessings of the Goddess, Bengal had supported and nurtured so many of these tantrics. This is the reason for the downfall of Bengal, because they had been worshipping tantrics along with the Goddess. She explained that if a tantric comes in the room from one side, Lakshmi leaves from the other. She said that before giving the harsh words one has to give a chocolate!

On another occasion Shri Mataji explained that one should not bare the shoulders, especially women, because one shoulder represents the Lalita Chakra and the other the Shri Chakra. She also said that covering one’s body for the purpose of modesty is also important for men, and that men should always wear a vest or undershirt and the vest should also have little sleeves.

Gautam Sarkar

She knew she should not break the protocol

My mother often looked after Shri Mataji and one early morning, about three o’clock, they suddenly saw that Her room was lit up – the light was switched on. Another lady who was also there knocked and tiptoed into Her room to see if She needed anything. She just looked the other Sahaja Yogini.

What are you doing here?’ She said.

Shri Mataji, we saw light in Your room and thought maybe You needed something,’ the lady said.

What are you doing at such an unearthly hour? You go and sleep now!’ She said.

In those early days we did not know how to behave in front of Shri Mataji and we took liberties with Her. People used to take all sorts of things to Her to be vibrated – dried fruits, cosmetics, and so on, soaps, a tray of lipsticks. Another time – you know we should not take Shri Mataji’s hair unless She gives it to us. My mother wondered if she could have a hair, and the next day she found a comb with Shri Mataji’s hair in it, but she knew she should not break the protocol. She wrapped the hair in a piece of paper, and gave the hair from the comb to Shri Mataji, who put it in Her bag.

Gautam Sarkar

Shri Mataji said I was just like Her granddaughter

At Kolkata airport in 1986, Shri Mataji invited me to be with Her for some time in Pune. No one had ever invited me like this! She also said that whenever I wanted to come, to let Her know, and She would make arrangements for me to be met at the station. We went to Kolkata to be with Shri Mataji, because there was a puja programme a Durga Puja there at that time and I had come with a group of Sahaja Yogis from Delhi. In Pune there was a Diwali Puja, when the house construction was going on. Shri Mataji was staying in a Sahaja Yogi’s house and I was with Her. I had never stayed in anyone’s house like this before.

Before the puja Shri Mataji called me to Her room, and asked if I had a good sari for the puja. I said I had a cotton sari. In those days I never wore a sari, and wore jeans like a student. Shri Mataji had given me that cotton sari, in Kolkata. She said I needed a good sari for the puja, and called me over to Her wardrobe. She opened it and there were lots of saris, and asked me which one would I like to wear. I said this was too much, but She said that I should never say no to Her when She gave me something. So I was in a fix. Shri Mataji selected a beautiful sari for me, a very heavy sari with a lot of gold zari and pink on it. She told me She wore it when She got engaged to Sir CP.

When I got dressed She asked me whether I had any jewellery. I said I had a chain and some earrings, but again She said I had to wear some nice jewellery so She called the lady who was attending to Her, opened Her jewellery box and gave me all this expensive jewellery as well. She helped me to put on the jewellery, then She said I was just like Her granddaughter. It was all going over my head! At the end of the day I returned the sari and jewellery, but imagine, at that time She was almost like a stranger to me, and yet She gave me all these things to wear. Even your own parents would not, maybe give you that.

Sandhya Laxshminarayan

The blessings of Shri Annapurna

During one of Shri Mataji’s visits to Calcutta, in 1986, my father requested Her to invite all the Western Sahaja Yogis for dinner at our house after the public programme. At the end of the programme, Shri Mataji invited all the Sahaja Yogis, Indian as well as Western, which created a logistics issue. Whereas there were about twenty or so Western Yogis, there were about a hundred Sahaja Yogis in total.

I could see my mother was worried, as there wasn’t enough time to increase the quantity of food. She instructed our cook to quickly make some potatoes and I noticed my mother praying, ‘Shri Mataji please enter the kitchen as Annapurna and take care of the dinner.’ Each of the hundred or so Sahaja Yogis ate well and the food was just sufficient. Interestingly, Sarson Ka Saag – an Indian vegetable dish – was left over. We ate this for three days afterwards and still there was plenty over. My mother went to Shri Mataji and narrated the incident; She replied that as Annapurna, She had to make sure this vegetable was plenty for all. She instructed my mother to throw the remainder away because that was the only way to get rid of it.

On one occasion there was a musical evening in the house. At the end Shri Mataji asked for the keyboard and started playing it. She asked me and Dr Khan’s kids, Anand and Monica, to come forward and She taught us He Adi Ma. Also, during one of these trips, Shri Mataji held a session in our house where She described the treatments for each and every disease.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Shri Mataji playing the keyboard

Clearing the Agnya

I was in Shri Mataji’s room when She was working on an Indian lady. Shri Mataji asked me to get some kumkum and put my Agnya chakra finger on the lady’s Agnya chakra, on her forehead. I had my left hand towards Shri Mataji and my attention was on Her Feet. Once the Agnya chakra cleared, She whispered to me to get a wet cloth to clean the auntie’s forehead, because I had made a mess of it with the kumkum. Shri Mataji insisted that the lady should keep her eyes closed and meditate and we cleaned her forehead. Once done, She very sweetly said that children are very good at clearing the Agnya and now her Agnya was cleared.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Three pieces of advice

By a stroke of good fortune I was in the same car as Shri Mataji, sitting next to Her and so aware of this fact in my heart. I wished I could sit on the floor of the car. Then, Shri Mataji put Her hand on me with love to make me comfortable.

She told me three things. One was that we should always light a candle in front of Her photograph otherwise it has to absorb all the negativity. Secondly, when we meditate we need to open our hands fully otherwise the chakras are not open and cannot receive vibrations. The third was that when we sing bhajans and clap we should match our fingers and this helps to destroy the negativity.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

The Mixture Master

Shri Mataji loved Limca. I had recently taken a class where they taught us how to make different drinks using soft drinks and juices. So, I was very excited. One time, when Shri Mataji was visiting Calcutta, I tried these recipes and gave Her something to drink every few hours during Her entire visit. She very kindly indulged me and drank everything I made and called me ‘Mixture Master’. During the same visit, I made gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa) for Her. She indulged me again. Thinking back, I have no idea how could I dare to do so.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Shruti offering Shri Mataji water at Kolkata Airport

The gift of Shri Yama

In 1986 when Shri Mataji had just left Calcutta, we didn’t touch anything in the room She stayed in for at least three days. The vibrations were so powerful and we had the most amazing meditations there. I noticed Shri Mataji’s hair scattered in the room. I had heard that She was very careful about Her hair and I collected the strands and put them in an envelope. I kept it near my bedside drawer for a year.

The next year, when Shri Mataji came back to Calcutta I wanted to return it to Her. I went quietly to Shri Mataji’s room; I had never dared enter Her room without the permission of adults before and my heart was beating fast. I went to Shri Mataji and did my pranams, gave Her the envelope and told Her I found the hair scattered in the room when She was visiting the last time. She took the envelope and told me it was the gift of Yama (the god of death) and She had to be very careful with it. She seemed happy with me and I felt so happy. That moment has stayed with me.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

Listening through the Sahasrara

I was attending a music programme and remembered from Shri Mataji’s talk that we should try to listen to music from the Sahasrara. I tried, felt my Kundalini rise – it was a deliberate effort. I had never enjoyed Indian classical music before this but this time I was in bliss and felt my Kundalini dancing on my Sahasrara to the music being played. I loved the music and dance programme that day and was immersed in joy. Next day, I happened to get the darshan of Shri Mataji, and She said She had seen me enjoying the music the day before.

Shruti Jalan Gupta

A great Bengali writer

Shri Mataji said that when She married Her father asked Her what She would like to take from their house, or maybe it was what She would like as a wedding gift, and all She asked for were the complete works of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, who was a great novelist of the beginning of the twentieth century and came from Bengal.

I recall Mother telling us this in Calcutta in the Jalan’s house in 1987.

Linda Williams

The power of Shri Mataji’s bandhan

In December 1986, just before the foreigners arrived, in Mumbai, I had a narrow escape thanks to Mother. In those days my daughter Auriol was on my passport. I had somehow managed this, and for various bureaucratic reasons if I lost the passport the UK authorities would not put her on another one because she was a South African, not a UK citizen at the time. It was the only way I could get all three of us, my son, my daughter and me, into India because white South Africans were not allowed into India at that time.

We were all invited to a lunch where Mother was staying in Mumbai, a large flat in Colaba. When we got there, I suddenly realised I had left my bag, with quite a lot of money and the precious irreplaceable passport, in a taxi. Someone told Mother and She gave a bandhan, because apart from anything else, a British passport was very valuable in India then. Under normal circumstances the chances of getting it or the money back were absolutely nil. Then someone said, ‘Ring up the Taxi Driver’s union,’ so we did, and an incredibly honest taxi driver had just handed the bag in, untouched, including the money which was in cash, and the precious passport. I insisted on giving him a reward which he grudgingly took.

Linda Williams

A green sari

The India tour of 1986-7 began in Alibagh, in December 1986. On one of the first nights there was an opportunity to buy saris for the weddings. At that point, most did not know if they would be getting married or not. However, we all gathered round as the saris were handed to Shri Mataji, who held them up one at a time and asked who wanted each one. They were all in rich jewel tones of emerald, ruby, sapphire, and so on, with beautiful gold borders. When a green sari was held up, I really wanted it, but was too shy to come forward and claim it. By the time I got the courage, someone else took it. I was very disappointed. After that there were no green saris, but I couldn’t bring myself to get another colour. Then towards the end, another green sari was held up, with an almost silvery-looking gold border. Shri Mataji looked right at me. With no hesitation, I was able to come forward and receive it.

Pramod Shete

On another planet

One evening Shri Mataji was with the Koli family, at Alibagh near Mumbai, and telling stories. She asked all the people to hold Her hands and we were just a few people there. She went into meditation and after about half an hour She came back.

It was not easy to come back here, they are not letting Me come,’ Shri Mataji said She was on another planet and there were yogis, or you can say people, who were trying to keep Mother there. She told us She said to them, ‘No, My children are waiting for Me and I must go.’

Ravindranath Saundankar

Shri Hanuman was making his presence known

During the India Tour of 1996, we came to rest under a pendal, which was open on all sides. After a while a strong and a rhythmic ‘breeze’ went around the decorative edging of the overhead cover, despite the fact there was no wind at all.

Shri Mataji smiled and told us it was Shri Hanuman making his presence known. One of the Indian yogis began to read the praise of the Mother by Adi Shankaracharya and Shri Mataji Herself translated it into English for us.

As I looked at Her Feet, I was aware that this whole existence was created through Her love, and through Her love all was maintained. Space, time, they dissolved – for milliseconds, seconds, minutes – I don’t know. As soon as I consciously thought ‘Oh, there is only the love’, I realised that I was no longer in that eternal moment.

Gillian Woltron

Dressing Her daughter for her wedding

I was asked to buy a sari for an older Sahaja Yogini from Australia. She was hoping for a red one. It was December 1986 and we were at Alibagh. Shri Mataji was up on the stage and She brought out hundreds of saris that were first allocated to women getting married. After that anyone else who wanted a sari could come up and buy what was left. So I went up there and one in particular caught my eye. It was a pink lavender colour. As soon as I looked at it, Shri Mataji looked at me. She nodded towards me and from a distance was saying it was for me. I thought, this is not a red sari for an older woman. This is a young girl’s sari.

I went away and told my friends about this incident, and they said it was a sure sign that I should buy it. I didn’t have that much money, but anyway I bought it, and bought a red one for my friend. A few weeks later I was matched and married, and that was my wedding sari. My Mother had had Her attention on me. She was dressing Her daughter for her wedding.

Leanne Huet

I am the Adi Shakti that is there

In December 1986 Shri Mataji was visiting Nasik and there was a garden and a small balcony near Her room. It was one day before the puja. She came on the balcony and asked us to pour water on Her hands, and we collected that water in a bucket. She started rubbing Her palms very hard and they got covered with some black stuff, and the water became blackish, and then She showed Her palm, which was covered with blackish carbon type stuff.

This is negativity and the problems of Nasik,’ She said. Shri Mataji said Nasik is a ‘tapo bhumi’ meaning it is a land for tapas, meaning penance. Shri Rama, Shri Sita and Shri Lakshmana came and lived here for many years. They walked barefoot on this land, so this is very special land that has been vibrated by them. Nasik is the place where Shri Rama cut off the nose of a demonic character, the sister of Ravana called Shurpanaka. Shri Mataji also spoke about the Adi Shakti swayambhu near Nasik called Saptashringi.

I am the Adi Shakti that is there at the swayambhu,’ She said. ‘You can see that there is a similarity between My face and the face of the Devi at the swayambhu.’ She asked us to visit that place, and to take the foreigners there. This was 1986, when the local Nasik Sahaja Yogis were very shy to interact with the foreigners. Shri Mataji asked that we should speak and mix with them.

Ravindranath Saundankar

There will be a beautiful time coming

During a public programme in Nasik in 1986, after the speech and realization, a few seekers spoke with Shri Mataji. One was asking Shri Mataji what happens about prarabdha, the past karma, deeds that are carried with the seeker into his next birth, after getting realization.

Once your Kundalini crosses the Agnya chakra, your prarabdha ends there,’ Shri Mataji said.

Please tell us about punar janma, moksha and the next birth,’ one lady asked. Shri Mataji said for Sahaja Yogis, they will have a choice to take their birth if they want, but there will be a beautiful time coming in the future so they will want to come back.

One young boy was suffering from a sinus problem and he asked Shri Mataji how he could get rid of it, and She told him to wear undergarments that give protection to the Centre Heart, and that would solve the problem of sinus.

Ravindranath Saundankar

You just desire, and it happens

Shri Mataji spent some time asking me to write, and when I was trying to make poetry Shri Mataji would put in Her words and hence the poetry became divine, and She asked me to make some music for the poems. As a new Sahaja Yogi I did not know how to compose.

Whatever music that you are very fond of, which you have been listening to from childhood, try and sing the words of Sahaj into that music,’ She told me.

The background of Ganesha Stuti is that the words were written by the sage Shri Adi Shankaracharya, and at Ganapatipule, which was my first puja, in 1986, Shri Mataji asked me to sing Ganesha Stuti and I did not know any Ganesha Stuti. There was a lady sitting next to me who had the Shri Adi Shankaracharya book, and she opened a page in which there was the Ganesha Stuti. The music just flowed in the puja and the tune was born.

Always pray to Shri Ganesha before you do anything in life,’ Shri Mataji would say. So this was my first composition in music in Sahaj.

The UK was really special. It was here where I wrote and composed Sitting in the Heart of the Universe in 1989. We were at Shudy Camps. It was midnight and we were preparing for the Shri Krishna Puja.

There was another occasion when She asked me to create a puja song for Shri Buddha Puja in Europe. I did so. Although She never heard it before, during the puja She called on me to sing it. What amazed me most was that She knew it all along, as if everything was already worked out, and we really did nothing. It was a kind of a realisation that we were like a flute through whom She blew with the breath of Her Kundalini, and played divine music, and our life was nothing but a prayer at Her Lotus Feet. Her golden words still ring in my ears.

It’s an effortless process: Once you are, then there is no other. This is ananya, which means both you and the other are one. Ananya bhakti is the last attainment; is really the true attainment of Sahaj life, of Sahaj bhakti. And after that it’s just silence, because then in silence, everything is. You just work things out. You just desire, and it happens.’

Some of the over one hundred bhajans I have recorded have been virtually written by Shri Mataji. When I last met Her on10th of December 2002 She directed me to take my music across the globe, and predicted that it will be remembered for a long time as a landmark of Sahaja Yoga.

Sanjay Talwar

Ganapatipule 1986

Bring her here

Before I came into Sahaja Yoga, I knew a girl called Sabine. We had known each other for many years, and I gave her self realization shortly after I received it myself. Shri Mataji did not know our names because we were quite in the background at that time.

After some time it became clear to us that we should either marry or have the relationship of a brother and a sister, if we were to make progress in Sahaja Yoga. At the time, we did not want to marry and so we decided to see less of each other, which was quite hard at first. Every time we came across each other at Sahaja Yoga events, we tried not to see each other. A few years passed.

Now, in Sahaja Yoga we can surrender to Shri Mataji to find the ideal marriage partner for each of us. This I did and, during the annual India tour with Shri Mataji in 1986, I learned that I was supposed to marry an Indian girl. However, the day before our marriages, my fiancèe had not arrived and no one had any news of her. Shri Mataji spoke with her father and I also was able to speak with him, but still the girl did not arrive. So my desire to marry this girl started to ebb. Suddenly, I was called into Shri Mataji’s presence.

This Indian girl,’ She said, ‘she’s a little too small for you, but what about this Sabine from Austria?’ I fell flat on the ground. No one had told Shri Mataji that Sabine and I knew each other before and normally Shri Mataji liked to arrange marriages between people from different countries. ‘But still,’ I thought, ‘this won’t happen anyway. Sabine has not come on the tour this year.’

Bring her here,’ Mother said.

Sorry, Shri Mataji,’ we replied, ‘but she is not in India.’

Bring her here,’ Shri Mataji, unperturbed, simply repeated. We found out that Sabine had arrived, unannounced, at that very place just fifteen minutes beforehand from Europe. She was just getting out of the car at Ganapatipule and the people ran and got her. She was an air hostess and had taken advantage of special standby travel arrangements to come to India for a few days.

So the two of us prostrated before Shri Mataji to receive Her blessings, resembling the Austrian flag, with my face very red and hers very white.

We have been married for over twenty years now, and have three beautiful children.

Wolfgang Hackl

This tremendous love for Shri Mataji

In December 1986 I went on my first India tour, with a few other Sahaja Yogis from Canada. A number of gifts were being given to Canada and I was going up to the stage to collect mine. I was hoping to attract just a glimpse from Shri Mataji, some short glimpse or a smile, that we love to see from Our Mother, some type of recognition. But every time I went up Shri Mataji was looking in a completely different direction. After this had happened four or five times it dawned on me that perhaps I should just go up and humbly accept the gift without trying to attract Shri Mataji’s attention, which is the course I took from there on.

One afternoon we had a puja with Shri Mataji. I can remember it being very strong and I felt a great desire to be close to Her, even though it wasn’t possible to be right next to Her. Afterwards I went and meditated near the room I knew She was in after the puja. It was a courtyard and there were a lot of Sahaja Yogis walking around. My wife had just brought me my dinner, and I could feel this tremendous love for Shri Mataji at that time. It seemed to be an extension of the puja, just staying in meditation, and I looked up and I saw Shri Mataji had walked outside Her door onto the veranda, and down the steps to where another fellow and I were sitting.

We both bowed and then She turned round and walked back into Her room. The unusual thing was that Shri Mataji came out and allowed us to bow to Her. There were hundreds of Sahaja Yogis there, and very few people even noticed Her coming out of Her room. I had to ask my wife, as it seemed like a dream! But I knew She was giving a very important lesson – if you have love for Shri Mataji in your heart, it is just like having Her with you. And sometimes that love can actually physically draw Shri Mataji to you. This very special moment has stayed with me for all these years.

Alan Morrissey

Pure joy!

I’m a Canadian Sahaja Yogi who visited India for an unforgettable experience with Shri Mataji in 1986.

As we all sat under the starry Ganapatipule sky, listening to a concert of Indian music, I left for a few minutes. On my way back, almost out of range of the echoing melodies, I heard drumming coming from the other direction. Peering into the darkness down the dirt road, I saw light and dancing shapes, and realised with a leaping heart that Shri Mataji was coming in a village procession towards me. I stood there alone, transfixed like a child at its birthday party. An Indian man with a camera approached me, introducing himself as the brother of one of the first Indian Sahaja Yogis.

What do you feel when you see Her?’ he asked.

Joy,’ I replied.

It’s written all over your face!’ he said.

I found myself alone again in the darkness, in blissful anticipation of the approaching divine darshan. I was vaguely aware of two other yogis running up like children to stand nearby. As Shri Mataji passed me, She turned Her head to look at me and smile. Surely, this is heaven.

Edward Saugstad

Something really happened during the wedding

On the India Tour of 1986-87 I got engaged to my future husband, Henno. During the announcements of the marriages at Ganapatipule, the couples were called one by one and had to get up, but when I was called I got up and then my fiancé was called but nobody got up and they said that it was just an engagement, because he was not on the tour that year. After the announcements I was able to look at Henno’s marriage form, to see what he looked like, just a small photo.

The day after, I was meditating alone and I thought about my new fiancé and suddenly my heart opened completely. I felt a tremendous love for him, even though I didn’t know him at all. It was like my experience in Vaitarna when Shri Mataji put Her hand on my centre heart; the love was flowing from my heart and going very, very far. I felt She was showing me how much you can love somebody. I wrote a letter to Henno and put a small photo of Shri Mataji’s Feet in the letter. When putting my name on the list, the only thing I had asked Her was to match me with somebody who was devoted to Her Feet.

We were married on the 7th January 1988 in Ganapatipule. During the ceremony, when the white cloth was between the men and the brides, Shri Mataji said that the brides should look at the ground and walk very slowly towards the bridegroom. So I did so as well as I could. When the cloth went down, Henno put a garland around my neck and then I put one around his neck and at that moment I felt, ‘He is so sweet’.

At the end of the ceremony, we could go and receive from Shri Mataji the wedding present which was a silver tray with some silver items, from Her hand. We left the camp at seven o’clock the next morning. In the bus I sat beside Henno and suddenly felt that something had really happened during the wedding. It was like magic, because we had already known each other for a year, but suddenly our relationship had really changed. Shri Mataji had tied us together.

Trupta de Graaf

Sharing their happiness

On an India tour in the mid eighties I spent a lot of time with Baskar, an Indian yogi living in Los Angeles. One day we were in the luggage truck, which was driving ahead of the buses to the city he came from. When we arrived Baskar met his old friends and we sat in a big circle on the floor. Since I did not understand a word I just watched. The friendship, the joy to meet again, the way they made fun of each other, the great attention was deeply impressive and I enjoyed watching.

Some time later, Shri Mataji told us about a situation when She was in a train. A lady in Her compartment got annoyed with two men in the next one, who were joking loudly and were very happy to see each other after a long time. Finally Shri Mataji had had enough of the grumpy lady and went and asked the men whether they would share their happiness. Shri Mataji wanted to make us aware of the beauty inherent in this innocent, spontaneous human happiness compared to stiff social conventions and intolerance.

Thomas Menge