Chapter 03: 1972 – Mumbai, Dhulia, Indian Villages and America

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Jump in the ocean 

One day, early in 1972, when I entered Her flat in Napean Sea Rd, Bombay, I saw two lights appear at Shri Mataji’s Hamsa. All my delusions and illusions were absorbed into those lights, until all that remained was just myself, naked in my own being, seeing Her Holiness as if for the first time. It was an experience of unbounded, indescribable joy. Thereafter She placed Her hand on my head.

‘What are you feeling?’ She asked.

‘The ocean,’ I answered.

‘Jump in,’ She then said. She kept Her hand on my Sahasrara for about two minutes. The result was the skin of my whole body, which had dark patches in various parts, like all the joints, eyes etc, due to drug taking, became transformed into one even colour. Gone were all the dark patches.

The resulting blissful state lasted for nearly two weeks.

Anonymous South African Sahaja Yogi

Editor’s note: if we see lights like this it means we are a bit off centre and it will not happen as we become clearer and more centred.

The first seminars

Shri Mataji requested the first seekers to attend a seminar for four days at Bordi beach, a few kilometres to the south of Nargol, in January 1972. Only ten seekers came to Bordi, where Shri Mataji Herself helped all of them to further establish the power felt by them within. After that She arranged annual camps at Bordi every year until at least 1980, which increased the strength of the old Sahaja Yogis and the new seekers. With all Her selfless devotion and persuasion Sahaja Yoga spread like a fire.

Suresh Thacker

The tree

In March 1972 Shri Mataji again visited Nargol for one day along with Advocate Pradhan, the first trustee of the Life Internal Trust of Mumbai. He requested Shri Mataji to show the tree at Nargol under which She sat to open the Sahasrara of the universe. In all the subsequent years after 1975 some Sahaja Yogis, including the Yuva Shakti have been visiting Nargol on 5th May and have benefitted, by increasing their vibrations after meditating under that tree and doing the salt water treatment on the sea shore.

Suresh Thacker

He felt he could be anywhere in the universe

The second experience occurred a short while later in 1972, at Dadar during a programme. There were young and old who had this state of self realisation. The writer was a bit incredulous but decided to approach a teenager, and asked him what it was like to be realised. This question was asked even though the writer had already had his realisation, but refused to accept it. The young man he asked said he felt light. So the writer went and stood next to Shri Mataji.

‘What is it?’ She asked him. He, taken by surprise, did not know what to say and said the first thing which came to mind.

‘I want to feel light,’ he said.

 Shri Mataji placed Her hand on his head and he started just feeling the vibrations pouring in with a limitless capacity to absorb. This continued until he became completely merged, with a feeling that he could be anywhere he chose in the universe, just by wanting to be there. It felt as if he could reach out to the end of the universe in a moment. This lasted for a while and then he was back to being Mr Nothing. On that day it dawned on him that Shri Mataji was no ordinary person or guru, but greater than even the greatest of gurus. This was in the days when we were gradually coming to realise Her true nature as Shri Adi Shakti.

  Anonymous South African Sahaja Yogi

From now onwards it will be like this

In the early seventies, after Shri Mataji started Sahaja Yoga She used to spend a lot of time working on people. She used take the time to teach us how to feel vibrations and would always ask us which chakras were catching. This gave us the opportunity to develop confidence in ourselves. At each programme, She would deliver a lecture and then She would come down from the stage to work on all the seekers. Due to this we would still depend on Her to make the final pronouncement as to whether someone was ok or not.

In those days the writer was a student in Udaipur, India. In 1972 Shri Mataji decided to have a programme in Ahmedabad.  We found out about it and a few of us made our way there to have the privilege of having Her darshan and participating in the programme. As usual Shri Mataji delivered Her lecture and then came the expected time when She would come down from the stage to work on the seekers. To our surprise She remained on the stage and we remained transfixed, not knowing what was going to happen next.

‘They have all got it,’ Shri Mataji said.

We still did not move. This is not how we had rehearsed it in our minds.

‘Go and check,’ She said.

We still did not move. It felt like She, as mothers do with their children, was playing a joke on us. So we very reluctantly went and checked one, then another, and with each checking the smile grew on our faces. They were all blowing gale forces above their heads. We then looked at Her.

‘See, you don’t need to work on them,’ She said, or something like that.

The joy we felt and the tremendous confidence that flowed from this experience was unbelievable. For the first time we pronounced seekers as being realised without any intervention from Her Holiness. I am not too clear on this, but I think Her words were, ‘From now onwards it will be like this,’ and She said She would not have to work on people any more for the Kundalini to rise. The writer would like to ask forgiveness from Shri Mataji and all the deities for any inaccuracies in this account.

  Anonymous South African Sahaja Yogi

Shri Mataji was in a white sari

I got my realisation on the 14th of April 1972 in a big apartment called Jeevan Jyot in Mumbai. Shri Mataji used to receive people in Her house every day in 1972, before going to America. My first experience of meditation was when I was told to sit quiet for some time with closed eyes. It might have been fifteen minutes, but I thought maybe it was two hours. Anyway, then they said I got my realisation and we went to Shri Mataji. She was in a white sari, just sitting there.

‘You can either go and put your head under Her Feet,’ they said, ‘or you can go towards Her hand.’ When my turn came, I was near Shri Mataji’s hand and She put some amla oil on my head and massaged it for me. She asked me how I felt.

‘Very fine,’ I replied. She asked me my name and was very happy to hear it.

Avdhut Pai

Shri Mataji would not let them go without eating food

My sister, Meenakshi Murdoch, got her realisation the same day as my mother and I in 1972. In those days, we were very close to Shri Mataji to the extent that sometimes my father would just desire to go to see Shri Mataji. From work, he used to call Her.

‘Shri Mataji, I would like to come and meet You,’ he would ask. He used to go to Her house. At that time sometimes She used to stay in Her daughter Kalpana’s house. That was also later, when She came from England for some time and we used to stay with Her until ten, eleven o’clock and then come home late at night. We would generally have dinner in Her house.

Shri Mataji used to have people come, and they would get realisation, and before going they would have to eat some food. Shri Mataji would not let them go without eating food. In those days people used to be worked on, and then they used to go on Mother’s Feet or hands.

Avdhut Pai

A reflection of your state

We have a photo of Shri Mataji in our house, and when I went out I would see the photo smiling. One time Shri Mataji told us that the photo is a reflection of your state. It smiles because of your state.

Avdhut Pai

This is Nirmal Vidya

Shri Mataji would explain how we have to remain in the collectivity and behave as Sahaja Yogis. She has always given importance to meditation. She made all of us meditate and one by one put attention on all the chakras, Mooladhara and then upwards.

‘This is Nirmal Vidya and nobody has taught Me all this, nor have I read any book,’ She would say. ‘I have meditated on each chakra and discovered the secrets of each one, like Mooladhara, what it looks like, what are the qualities and so on. Every night I meditate for eight hours. I have worked hard for all of you and now you have to work hard and meditate in the morning.’


The story of Tiffin, Ohio, 1972 onwards

Shri Mataji went to the USA in 1972. She was invited to Tiffin, Ohio, by a seeking group called Lotus. The lady, Helen, who invited Shri Mataji, died some time ago and Shri Mataji often asked about her. While Shri Mataji visited the group they called on dead spirits.

‘Of course they (the dead spirits) wouldn’t come with Me being there,’ Shri Mataji later said.

In the late 1980’s Shri Mataji asked repeatedly for Anna Mancini to have meetings in Tiffin and around 1993 I organized a meeting in Heidelberg, which is one of the universities there, and some of the old group members came and informed us that the group had broken up after Helen died, but I would always silently admire the building, when I was driving by, in which the group had been located, as it was the first place Shri Mataji went to outside India and gave self realisation.

Cornelia Weiker

In a public programme given by Shri Mataji in Paris in 1985, She talked about listing all the false gurus, cults and sects in 1972 in America. She stated that this list was published in the newspapers. She mentioned selling Her bangles and sailing to New York, in other talks.

Karen Cole

I had the opportunity to hold some of the meetings in Tiffin, Ohio, and met many of the members of this seeking group who had spent the week with Shri Mataji in 1972. They were all elderly by the time I knew them. They all spent a week with the Goddess, and then went right on seeking, basically. They never understood much about Her, but had fond memories of the time they spent.

I remember one man who was a farmer and he told me that Shri Mataji had put Her finger in a glass of water for a moment, and had then given it to him and instructed him to put it on his crops. He told me he never understood why She had done that, and asked what I thought. I asked him if he had followed Her instructions and he said he had.

‘How were your crops that year?’ I asked. He said they were fantastic.

In 1972, Shri Mataji also spoke in San Diego at some sort of seekers’ conference.

Steve Wollenburger

To add to what Steve has stated, Shri Mataji spent a week in Ohio with seekers and actually stayed in the home of one of these seekers. She also gave a public programme in Tiffin. In The Advent, Gregoire states that ‘Mr BG Pradhan, an advocate to the Bombay High Court, was with HH Mataji during Her 1972 trip to the USA.’

In 1989 Shri Mataji asked me to organize some public programmes in Tiffin and some other yogis and I actually met some of the people that were in the presence of Shri Mataji in 1972!

 Anna Mancini

Everyone was laughing

It was in 1990, and Shri Mataji was in the Toronto ashram (Canada) and several Yogis were gathered around Her.

‘Is the boy from Tiffin here?’ She asked at one point.

I stood up and Shri Mataji suggested we do a programme in Tiffin. So, Anna and I organized a programme. About fifteen to twenty Yogis came to my house, some from as far away as Boston. About twenty to twenty-five new people came to the public programme, which was quite a good turnout considering the population in Tiffin is less than 20,000.

At New York Airport, in 1995 or 1996, I was with a small handful of Yogis who greeted Shri Mataji when She arrived. She started talking about Her trip to Tiffin in 1972. She mentioned that they were trying to channel dead spirits in Her presence. Shri Mataji started imitating them in a very humorous and playful way. She put Her hands out, palms up.

‘Come, come,’ She said slowly, showing us how they were calling on the spirits. She was laughing the whole time. She went on to say, ‘Of course they wouldn’t come, I was there.’ Again there was more laughter from Shri Mataji as well as everyone around Her.

Gary Weiker

We must always be in a joyous mood

Mother came back to India from the USA in 1972. We again had a programme in Dhulia and when She came we would treat Her like a guest. There was no aarti, no puja, only warm hospitality. When Mother’s car arrived some children sent showers of flowers all around.

‘How can I walk on such beautiful flowers?’ Shri Mataji said as She climbed the stairs to enter a room.

‘Mother, I am sorry that You had to climb so many stairs,’ I replied.

‘Oh, it’s nothing. My labour has borne fruits, as I see so many of you self realised.’

Mother stayed there for four days and during that period I prepared everything for Her personal use and meditation. For the self realisation, Mother would ask the seeker to hold Her Feet and requested us to work on the back of the seeker. In this fashion, She would give realisation to each and every one. People in Dhulia were surprised to feel the vibrations all over and Mother would answer all the doubts and questions of every seeker. By the evening time, there was such a large crowd to have self realisation that we did not know what to do. But Mother effortlessly and in a most loving manner gave realisation to all those who desired.

Later, when She left for the house in the car, many seekers followed Her for the blessings of the Devi. Before She left, we all desired for the puja of the Mother. She agreed to it and the first puja was performed in the most humble and simple manner. During the puja my sari caught fire, but nothing happened to me. Mother said in very sweet manner that it had to get burnt, so it got burnt. At that time, we would worship Mother as Shri Mataji only.

Later we all went to Nasik with Mother in Her car. On the way the car broke down and we had to spend some time in the fields. The car was sent for repair and we meditated in the fields. Then Mother said that maybe this land has some punyas, that one day She would come and sit here.

‘See how nice it is here and we are all enjoying. What has to happen, will happen, but we must always be in a joyous mood.’


A new era

It was the beginning of a new era for me, in December 1972, when I fell at Her Feet and She removed the block in my heart, by tapping Her fist on the back of my Anahat (heart) chakra, making me ice-cold all over my body, and with the feeling of the cool breeze at the Sahasrara.

Suresh Thacker

The first pujas

Shri Mataji did travel outside Mumbai at this time but we were too young to go to the villages. The first puja was celebrated in a village in Maharashtra, and the second one was in Shri Mataji’s house at Jeevan Jyot, about 1972 or ‘73. The classic photograph was taken after that second puja, and was then used on handbills and everything.

We also had pujas with Shri Mataji at the sea, and Shri Mataji would form a chain. She would give Her hand to someone and the clearing just happened through holding our hands together. We would all stand with our feet in the water, even Shri Mataji. I think there were mantras said.

Anonymous Indian Sahaja Yogini