A tremendous impact
In this photo below my baby, Madhava, is wrapped up in a bundle, minutes after getting his self realisation from Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport in April 1984. While Shri Mataji put Her hand over Madhava’s head to give him self realisation I held him up in my arms and remember feeling and hearing my own heart beat getting stronger than I had ever heard it before, but together with a blissful sensation that rocked me up and down like ocean waves. This process took a few minutes and Shri Mataji kept silent while doing it. Madhava was only a few weeks old and it was very cold outside the airport. When it was done, Shri Mataji told me to wrap him up completely and not to wake him up.
Madhava did not wake up during the process or afterwards, which is amazing because the feeling and the motion inside were incredible. It went from the bottom to the top and then from the top to the bottom and then up again. I couldn’t believe it that the mere act of Shri Mataji putting Her own hand gently over the fontanel bone area of a baby could have such a tremendous impact and yet not wake up the baby up
Shri Mataji being welcomed at Heathrow Airport, April 1984
Porchester Hall Public Programme
The right poster
The wording on the Porchester Hall poster was the caption that brought me to my first public programme with Shri Mataji in 1984. It was exactly what I wanted to hear!
Growing rose bushes
In April 1984 we had a programme at the Temple of All Faiths, Hampstead, and afterwards a lot of flowers came back to Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square. I filled up a couple of bathtubs with them but there were quite a few bunches of roses that had drooped over and were dead.
‘Give Me some of those roses,’ Shri Mataji said. She took some of the roses and put the stems on the palm of Her hand. ‘We can bring these back to life with vibrations,’ and She showed me how to do it.
There was no immediate change in the roses, but I put them into the water and the next day they were upright and blooming. When they had finished flowering She told us to take some cuttings so we got some pots and soil, and then Shri Mataji put the stalks into the pots.
‘Because we have given them vibrations, these roses will turn into rose bushes.’
Every single cutting that Shri Mataji put in took root. She showed me how to put vibrated water there, and they turned into beautiful bushes with blooms of all different colours.
I am the Mother
When I was staying with Shri Mataji at Brompton Square in 1984, every so often She would go out shopping to the markets, so we would get up very early, at four-thirty or five in the morning. We would sometimes go for fruit, sometimes for flowers and sometimes for garden supplies. On this occasion we went for garden supplies and to get some pots and potting mix. These were for the rose cuttings that we had got from the puja the previous week. We were trying to create a roof garden.
‘Here’s your mother,’ an English man said to his friend as we approached.
‘Yes,’ She said, very sweetly, ‘that is what they call Me. I am the Mother.’
Shri Mataji warned me that the people were racist at that stall.
‘The English were in our land for hundreds of years,’ She said afterwards, ‘and the Indians were very gracious. They let England leave with dignity and honour, and they praised them. The Indians come here, they work very hard, they buy houses, they start businesses and the English are very racist. The English are lazy, and complacent; they complain and winge and that is why the country has gone down, because they have no self-respect.’
She also said they had become wealthy at the expense of other nations, particularly India, and most of the crown jewels were from India. She said they colonised and took over countries that had ancient civilisations, and thought themselves superior. They learnt nothing of spirituality, and yet they imposed their rule and bureaucracy on India, and never learnt anything from the country.
The times are changing now, and the English are taking to Sahaja Yoga. She said that was a miracle in itself, the fact that the English were turning to spirituality. She said there were some very deep seekers, and they had great saints like William Blake to help them and steer them in the right direction. But, She said, the biggest problem was the Anglo-Saxon brain. It was hard to crack through that and therefore England was a hard place to work out. It is the heart of the universe, but is one of the hardest nuts to crack.
‘I’m Australian, Shri Mataji,’ I quickly said.
‘Yes, I know,’ She said, and laughed.
A present of incense
One day in 1984 at Brompton Square, London, an Indian Sahaja Yogi came all the way from India carrying a gift of very special hand-made incense. There was something regal about this gesture of bringing incense across the sea to Shri Mataji. The moment the box was opened the silence was tangible and we all felt a breeze of cool vibrations enveloping us. The fragrance was overwhelming and it released waves of devotion and joy in our hearts.
In those days we were still learning that in selecting a gift for Shri Mataji it is important to ensure that the item in question was auspicious and produced good vibrations. A few moments later Shri Mataji selected one stick of incense and instructed me to light it and go round the whole house to perfume each and every room, but not to stay longer than half minute per room because She wanted to create just a subtle aroma in the whole house.
A puja at Brompton Square
Shri Mataji was giving a dinner party at Brompton Square for about fifteen of Sir CP’s colleagues. We went shopping with Her in Southall and to one butcher in particular. We bought a lot of meats of various kinds, quail, lamb, offal, etc – maybe a hundred pounds worth.
Three or four of us were helping in the kitchen to prepare the food. Shri Mataji taught us lots of things like how to chop onions finely, to whack garlic with the blade of a knife to make it easier to peel, and how to gut and prepare quail, of which I did twenty-four. The Indian lady working there was vegetarian and never liked preparing meat, so she used to ask me to do it for her. After a couple of days of preparation finally everything was ready and around six o’clock in the evening we all left before the guests arrived.
The following day there was a lot of food left over (as we guessed there must be as Shri Mataji had prepared so much) and She invited the people who had been working at the house to come for a small puja. So about twenty-five of us sat in the front room at Brompton Square and performed a Gruha Lakshmi Puja which took about two hours. We all washed Shri Mataji’s Feet and I remember the state of heaven I was in, sitting not four feet away from Her Lotus Feet throughout the puja.
Afterwards we all went downstairs to the dining room, which had mirror tiles on the ceiling and mirrors on most of the walls, and had a most sumptuous feast, including quail, with Shri Mataji and Sir CP. We all ate heartily but we still did not manage to finish the food!
All the incarnations are within Me at this time
In 1984, I went to see Shri Mataji at Her house in Brompton Square, London. Shri Mataji was visibly saddened.
‘Luis, do you know that people ask Me such strange questions,’ She said to me.
‘No, I did not know, but who asked the strange question?’ I replied.
Shri Mataji did not tell me who had asked Her the question, and I assumed that it must have been a visiting Sahaja Yogi from abroad. Shri Mataji explained that someone had just asked Her whether the boy that She had named as William was the re-incarnation of William Blake.
‘How can you people ask such absurd questions like that?’ Shri Mataji added.
I was living at Chelsham Road ashram, and this boy named William was also living there with his parents. No one there ever suggested the absurd thought that this boy was an incarnation, though he was obviously a very sweet, realised child, and very well behaved. I ventured to ask Shri Mataji the answer to this question.
‘How could he be the incarnation of William Blake?’ Shri Mataji answered, and pointing at Herself said, ‘William Blake is in My body. All the incarnations are within Me at this time. There are no other incarnations out there right now.’
That holy, inimitable fragrance
As I stopped to drink in the fragrance of some gorgeous roses today, I was suddenly transported to Shri Mataji’s side. There again was that holy, inimitable fragrance! The perfume of those magical roses also took me clearly and deeply into a fragrant memory of Shri Mataji preparing to go out for an evening function.
As She sat and waited for the car, Shri Mataji gently dabbed a very tiny drop of perfume of natural flower essence on the back of Her hand. Suddenly the whole house was infused with this divine fragrance – even those at the top of the house were feeling it. It was as if Shri Mataji absorbed the perfume into Her being and it was magnified out of each pore of Her divine body – as if the Mother Earth Herself was so overjoyed to be doing this small puja to the Goddess.
Photos taken at 48, Brompton Square
This was Shri Mataji’s bedroom. There were panels of ornamental plasterwork with silk in the panels. I worked all through the night finishing off the lower section. Much later Shri Mataji invited another Sahaja Yogi and me to spend the night in Her bedroom while She slept in another one.
During the night the whole room became bright with vibrations. We just lay there without speaking knowing that one could see what the other was seeing. The next day Shri Mataji said Her room had become overloaded with vibrations and She wanted us to absorb some of them.
Shri Mataji asked us to make a cupboard to hang Her saris and put Her shoes in. Laurent built it and I covered it in blue Chinese silk inside and purple silk outside. You can see in the photo that even the skirting board was covered in silk.
The left hand photo is a view from the green room, so called because of the green silk on the walls. It also had silk on the doors and gold foil wallpaper on ceiling.
Shri Mataji’s dining room with gold foil wallpaper and glass tiles on the ceiling. This photo is of the ceiling.
I am in the cupboard
The bedroom of Shri Mataji was very special. I have worked in many houses of Shri Mataji and all of Her bedrooms were always beautiful, but at Brompton Square it was a jewel. The atmosphere at that house was also very special.
Shri Mataji wanted a cupboard made, especially for Her saris and shoes. Outside Shri Mataji wanted purple embroidered silk to match the rest of Her bedroom and inside She wanted China blue silk. The cupboard was approximately kitchen unit height, so to apply the silk to the inside I had to climb right in. I was merrily applying the silk when suddenly Shri Mataji, Her daughter and two grandchildren came into the room. Shri Mataji’s family had just flown in from abroad and wanted to rest. I popped my head out of the cupboard and said to Shri Mataji that I would go and return to do the work later.
‘It’s ok, you just carry on,’ Shri Mataji said. So I continued and they all fell asleep very quickly. While applying the silk, I could not avoid the occasional tapping sound, to which Shri Mataji woke up.
‘Please, come in!’ Shri Mataji said, to which I popped my head out of the cupboard.
‘It’s me, Mother. I am in the cupboard, I should go,’ I said.
‘No, you just carry on,’ She replied.
When I remember this experience it is something like remembering a dream.
Another view of the dining room
Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square, Knightsbridge
The gentle tide of love
One day Shri Mataji had given me a green necklace and I wore it that afternoon with a white shirt I had, so it really enhanced its beauty. Shri Mataji was lying on the bed having a rest. She was on Her side and Her hand was underneath Her face. She looked so lovely. I knelt down by the bed and She said the necklace looked nice.
I then felt this wave of love from Her touch the shores of my being and permeate it. My love for Her flowed back to Her shores and like this I felt the gentle tide of love go backwards and forwards between us for I have no idea how long. But it was such a beautiful feeling.
She talked about this love being like waves at the music programme at one of the Birthday Pujas. That is really what it is like. It is completely overwhelming that God loves us so much.
Shri Mataji told me that when Blake lived in Soho, central London, it was a nice area (not red light like now) and that he lived and worked there because he knew the media giants would come up in that area. A lot of print/newspaper, video production houses and film companies have their offices there. So he vibrated that place and developed his printing technique that illustrated his poems as a way of trying to destroy the monster that would become the media one day.
Mirrors and Memories
If ‘Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting’ (Wordsworth), what of the Goddess, who resides in all beings in the form of memory? How did She, in Her form of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, manage the layers of history of all Her past incarnations?
Shri Mataji’s Brompton Square home had many mirrors. The entrance hall was to enter into a tunnel of mirrors – and the whole divine decor was under Her constant supervision. One day I experienced a magical moment when I glimpsed Shri Mataji’s reflection in one of those mirrors.
I was standing near the doorway when Mother entered the house and upon seeing Her own reflection, She did a double take – as if to say ‘Oh! There you are!’
‘You see, I need all these mirrors to remind Myself who I am!’ She said, spotting me, also captured in the mirror, and there was an unspoken ‘now’ in Her explanation.
The emotion of the drama
One day Shri Mataji invited my parents to Brompton Square when work was nearly finished. She graciously gave them a guided tour of the house before finally settling in the mirrored dining room where She kindly invited them to sit and have tea. She asked if they had any questions; my father tentatively asked Her about what Christ had said on the cross.
‘I have always wondered, did Christ really say, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” when He knew the whole divine plan for opening the Agnya chakra?’
‘Yes He did say that. Even though it had all been decided in the Vaikuntha stage, yet there is still the emotion of the drama,’ She answered.
Shri Mataji’s immense pride in Her son
On that same day I remember my father very sweetly asked Shri Mataji a couple of questions about Christ – perhaps things he had been thinking about all his life – for there was great reverence, earnestness and humility in his voice.
Mother said in regard to the famous moment of Christ’s agony on the cross, when Jesus asked God why He had been forsaken, that it was indeed a moment of drama, ‘in the family’, like a fight or disagreement, in which one person says to the other, ‘Why do you no longer love me?’ but knowing all the while they really do. I too remember the extremely intimate and loving way Mother spoke about Jesus. Her immense pride in Her son was so powerful. It poured out of Her, this love for His strength and absolute obedience. Such as when we all sang carols to Mother at Chelsham Road, and Her eyes filled with tears remembering the infant Christ, Her child as a baby, as if it was yesterday.
Christ is so obedient
Mother was in the car once and the sun was going in Her eyes. No sooner had She lifted Her hand to shield them from the glare, when immediately the sun went behind a cloud.
‘You see!’ She said, ‘Christ is so obedient.’
On another occasion I was working at Brompton Square, and thought, worried, that Sahaja Yoga was not working out in the world, and at that moment Shri Mataji read my mind and took the scraper I was using.
‘You have to have patience,’ She said a few times.
After a few moments I realised what She meant, and carried on with my work with renewed vigour and a more peaceful mind. However, the wallpaper was not coming off easily. As Shri Mataji was doing Her rounds at that time She asked us what the problem was. When we told Her, She asked us to bring the container with the water we were using, then She vibrated it. After that the wallpaper came off very easily. We later discovered tihe problem was because the Sahaja Yogi who had put it up was very right sided and his vibrations made the paper hard to remove.
It’s upside down!
Brompton Square was a hive of activity, and Shri Mataji was redecorating it to sell. She was looking for different wallpapers and found a new wallpaper for the stair well and some of the downstairs parts.
‘I have got this new wallpaper,’ She said, ‘and I want the yogis to put it up.’
She got three of us, and we were all stripping off the old wallpaper, and working at this very intently. We looked at the time and we had been going for hours and hours without a break. The time just went. The vibrations were so strong there that you were completely focused and totally thoughtless. You didn’t feel hungry, you didn’t feel thirsty; the vibrations just sustained you. So we worked all night on this job, because there was a buyer coming the next day. We thought we had done it alright.
The next morning Shri Mataji came downstairs.
‘Oh, it’s upside down!’ She said.
It was one of those patterns which could have gone either way, but She said it was definitely upside down. Later She went out and bought some even better wallpaper for that place. Whenever Shri Mataji went out shopping whatever She wanted was always on sale, so She always got very good bargains at a fraction of the normal cost.
The wallpaper gap
There was some decoration going on at Shri Mataji’s house in Brompton Square. We thought that a particular area could benefit from being wallpapered and we decided to do it while Shri Mataji had gone out, as a surprise. Unexpectedly She returned home while we were at it. She approved of the idea and before going out again reminded us that it was not good to start a job and leave it unfinished. She said not to leave a gap between adjoining strips of wallpaper. Thus we paid special attention to this and once finished we went to bed.
The next day we went to see Shri Mataji and asked Her whether She was pleased. She was, but mentioned that there was a great gap. We told Her it was not possible since we had checked and made sure that there were none. She took us to the exact spot and we could not have missed it the day before, but there it was. We reasoned it might have developed overnight due to shrinkage while drying.
Shri Mataji told us not to worry because it could be corrected with vibrations and all we had to do was to gently push it in the correct direction, but to use vibrations. She proceeded to demonstrate. We all joined Her and also pushed the paper in the right direction but to no avail. We exclaimed that it was too late because the glue had dried, and in fact the paper did not shift a millimetre.
She told us that we had missed the point, that it was the vibrations that did it and not us, and that the vibrations had intelligent powers that we did not understand. After lunch we decided to have a fresh look at the wallpaper gap but could not find it. We were amazed but also silent, and aware we were close to a high subtle power that we couldn’t fathom.
‘The vibrations needed some time to do the job, but we were expecting immediate results,’ one of us said.
A testimony to British honesty
In 1984 there was a young French Sahaja Yogi who was sent to London by his father to research the jewellery market. He spent most of his time going to Shri Mataji’s house. Before going back to France he left a letter thanking Shri Mataji for the nice time he had spent at Her home.
‘I feel this boy should not go home without seeing Me first, and if this means him losing his flight I’ll buy him a new ticket. Tell him to come and see Me before going back to France,’ She told me.
He did and Shri Mataji found out he had failed to do the research for his father, so She gave him a detailed lesson on marketing jewellery in the UK. She taught him that when it comes to silver certain shops are very particular about the need to have the silver hallmark. As for the London Indian shops the accent is on traditional handmade jewellery, the hallmark is not essential and these are two completely different markets. Shri Mataji showed him examples of necklaces that would be appreciated by Western customers so long as the items were delicate and fine and it did not matter if they were machine made or handmade. We were all amazed at Her expertise.
Shri Mataji asked to have a certain jewellery box sent down from Her bedroom. Sir CP offered to bring it down, however he came down empty handed as he could not remember where it was kept. Shri Mataji gave him some hints and he remembered. She made light of the situation by telling us that Sir CP knew each and every detail of matters related to his work, but in household matters he could be quite forgetful. She was in a playful mood and explained that because Sir CP’s name was Chandrika he belonged to the moon, and that planet makes people quite forgetful. We all laughed and in no time Sir CP came down with the jewellery box.
Before it was opened Shri Mataji told us to pay attention because it was a testimony to British honesty. She explained that after India achieved independence, and after Her father had passed away, the British government found a box of jewellery that had been confiscated from Mr Salve and returned it to the family. Had the British not confiscated it, Mr Salve would have given all the jewellery away towards the fight for independence. It was a substantial amount and Shri Mataji explained that this was Her share, as other members of Her family received a portion as well.
‘The reason Indian ladies wear so much jewellery is not a matter of indulgence or luxury, it is just something they do traditionally because it is said in the scriptures that Shri Adi Shakti wore certain items of jewellery and Indian ladies want to emulate the Goddess,’ She told me.
After saying this Shri Mataji passed Her hand repeatedly over a silver necklace to vibrate it and then handed it to me, saying that it was for Carol, my wife, who had a claim to be an Indian lady because she was born in India.
‘Carol, how come your face looks so Indian?’ Shri Mataji asked while she was on her first India tour, to her amazement.
‘Shri Mataji, it could be because I was born in India,’ Carol replied.
‘Being born in this land was a blessing to you and it shows on your face,’ Shri Mataji added.
If we had faith we could move a mountain
Sometimes it would appear that Shri Mataji was busy like any other housewife with matters of Her own household, and was not doing Her usual job of teaching spirituality and yoga, but appearances could be deceptive.
One day in London, in 1984, a large haulage van was brought to Shri Mataji’s house at Brompton Square, to be filled up with items that were stored in the upper storeys of the house. Some items were very heavy and bulky and there were so many of them. There was no lift and the job involved coming down many flights of stairs to the van. It was just after lunch.
‘Please finish the loading if possible by three o’clock but no later than four o’clock,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘As you know tomorrow I travel away on a long tour, so let us try and finish this job on time,’ Shri Mataji added.
We struggled with some heavy items and none of us believed it was possible to finish this job on time so we gave no answer to Shri Mataji. Come four o’clock, She seemed surprised that we had made such small progress.
‘Please make sure you finish this before it is dark,’ She again told us, but we never believed this would be possible and the job was only completed much later, in the dark, by dinner time.
Then the ignition key of the van broke in the lock, the van could not be moved and it was too late to solve this problem. We knew that if the items were left in the van overnight they could be stolen so we had to do the job again in reverse.
‘I knew there was a problem and that is why I warned you to finish before nightfall,’ She added.
Now at last we remembered that we have spiritual powers. There were only three of us but we said the mantra of Shri Hanuman and then with full faith initiated the unloading. To our surprise it only took half an hour. We were laughing all the way up the stairs, carrying what now seemed very light-weight items. We recalled the words of Christ, that if we had faith we could move a mountain. Through this trivial task of loading and unloading a van Shri Mataji gave us an experience of faith and the miraculous power of Shri Hanuman’s mantra.
Around 1984 Shri Mataji appointed three Sahaja Yoginis of about twenty-five years of age to assume responsibility for coordinating certain aspects of Sahaja Yoga in the UK. Shri Mataji instructed them in several matters including the positive and negative traits of some members of the UK collective.
There was a test in this, because these negative traits were not to be disclosed, yet somehow this information was leaked. Later Shri Mataji explained that this was a mistake that more mature leaders would not have committed. She terminated the appointment of these young ladies and concluded that this had been an important lesson.
Shri Mataji checking Her own talks
In 1984 at Brompton Square we presented Shri Mataji with some transcriptions of Her talks for Her approval. The intention was that once checked and approved they would be circulated to the countries where Sahaja Yoga had centres.
We were surprised to see Shri Mataji going through Her talks with a pen crossing out several sentences and changing others, and in a few instances telling us to write the opposite of what had been transcribed. I was worried that people might say that I had made a mistake when transcribing or that I had changed what was on the tape, and because of I this got permission from Her to add a small comment in the text explaining that the changes had been done by Shri Mataji Herself.
She explained that She knew She had spoken thus at the time, but when She said it, She had a particular person in mind, and as certain comments were aimed at a particular person they did not apply to all. Later Shri Mataji found out that the talks had not circulated abroad as intended and gave instructions for copies to be sent to these places.
On another occasion Shri Mataji was informed that the Easter Puja talk that She had just delivered in the UK had bad sound and too much noisy interference from children. She watched the video tape and commented that She was surprised to see what an interesting and deep talk She had delivered.
Then Shri Mataji asked those of us present to name a Sahaja Yogi especially endowed with intelligence, and he or she would be the one appointed to ensure that this videotape was cleansed of the noise. None of us could think of a Sahaja Yogi specially gifted with intelligence and none of us present felt we fitted the description. To our relief Shri Mataji came up with the name of a Sahaja Yogi who had very good computer qualifications and he was appointed to take the tape to a lab to remove the noise interference.
Did that just happen?
Sometimes Mother would suddenly appear in front of me and ask me to do things for Her. One time we were at the airport to see Her leave. She had passed by and She accepted a flower from me and others and then the crowd would follow Her.
‘How beautiful She is and how fortunate we are to be in able to see Her, and how much I am going to miss Her,’ I was standing there thinking, then suddenly the crowd parted and She was walking towards me. I was transfixed, I could not move and then She was standing in front of me. I felt as though She was inside of me, I was not aware of my physical body yet I could hear Her voice coming from inside me, yet She was standing before me wearing Her camel cashmere coat and silk headscarf tied at Her chin. She leaned in to me.
‘Telma,’ She said almost in a whisper, (I loved the way Mother would say my name) ‘I want you to go to Brompton Square and take care of the house and CP. He does not like to have women around him but he is OK with you. I know you know how to take care of a house very well, OK? And I will see you when I return.’ Then She smiled a knowing smile and walked away.
I stood there with tears in my eyes wondering, ‘Did that just happen or did I imagine it?’ I realised in that moment if I had ever doubted who She was, it was now confirmation. As a child I was made to scrub and clean the house spotless, polishing floors so that you could see your face in them, on many occasions being made to re-polish a floor or re-wash clothes. I would speak to God through my tears and say, ‘Dear heavenly Father, if I was polishing the floors in Your holy house, I know You would see that I have done it to the best of my ability and You would not make me do it again.’
‘What did Mother say? What did Mother say?’ I could hear people asking me after a few moments, coming back to earth.
‘Mother just asked me to go stay at Her house,’ I said.
I have no idea why, but all I know is that I am so grateful to have been born in this time to be able to serve Her, love and be loved by Her to feel and witness countless miracles, Her compassion and tireless dedication to the emancipation of the human race, and all She asks is that we love each other, meditate, recognise Her, and give realisation.
Thelma Fishley Patmore
The golden days
In my experience the golden days of Sahaja Yoga were around 1984 because the family of Sahaja Yoga was growing and there were many new faces appearing, yet it was still possible for each of us to know Shri Mataji in person and meet hhand speak to Her on any subject. She not only gave advice on Sahaja Yoga and meditation but also on a person’s difficulties in life – She would often help someone find a job, or gain admission to college, She would resolve a situation in which two people or a married couple were upset with each other. Shri Mataji cured many people and gave personal advice for improving health and many people even asked for help with their businesses or job promotions. She also often gave advice on how to bring up children and how to spread Sahaja Yoga – the list is endless.
Gradually we discovered that it was also effective to pray to Her or to meditate on Her whenever we had a problem rather than consulting Her in person. To our amazement these often brought about the desired miraculous result or the relevant inspiration for solving a personal problem.
Some Sahaja Yogis referred to by Blake
We were at Brompton Square and there was a group of us around Shri Mataji. Somebody read out the chapter that talked about the golden builders from Blake. She said who all the Sahaja Yogis were, for example Pat Anslow, Fergy, (Derek Ferguson) the ceilings, Chris Wakefield the bricks and mortar, Linda Williams the curtains, and Laurent Dumont, who was at that time the bricklayer.
Shri Mataji burst out laughing
When we had completed the renovations work Shri Mataji called all the people who had helped: Pat Anslow, John Watkinson, Fergy, and also Chris Marlow and Antonio Scialo. We were all sitting in Shri Mataji’s bedroom and She had bought everybody suits. She was calling each one up to give one to each person.
‘Here’s one for you, Pat,’ She said to Pat Anslow. Then Chris Marlow came up and Shri Mataji gave one to Chris. Pat is short and stocky and Chris is quite tall.
‘Go and try these suits on and come back and show me,’ She said. So everyone came in with their new suits. Fergy’s fitted perfectly, and he thanked Shri Mataji. Then Pat came in and his suit was so baggy – obviously much too big.
‘It’s fine, thank You very much,’ said Pat, being very English. We all laughed, and then Chris Marlow came in and his suit was incredibly small, the trousers were half way up his calves, and the arms about six inches too short. It looked absolutely ridiculous and Shri Mataji burst out laughing.
‘How was that?’ She asked.
‘It’s a little tight, but it’s ok, Shri Mataji,’ said Chris. He was again being very polite and Shri Mataji laughed.
‘No, you go and swap with Pat,’ She said. So they went out and swapped suits, and both suits fitted perfectly. ‘See now they are perfect!’
We were all rolling around laughing.
A loving Mother to all of us
In the early eighties in London, at local Sahaja Yoga public programmes without Shri Mataji in person, it was the norm to first play an audiotape of one of Her public lectures in its entirety and then to give realisation. Shri Mataji’s lectures were held by Sahaja Yogis with great esteem and admiration and the thought of playing just part of Her talk was unthinkable.
It was by listening to the whole talk that new people often wondered with admiration at Her infinite love, knowledge and wisdom. Everybody felt transformed, including those who had come for the first time. Gradually the video tapes of Shri Mataji were introduced, much to the joy of all present.
At one point the person conducting the meeting started to reduce the time allocated to Shri Mataji’s lecture. This led to discontent amongst Sahaja Yogis who complained to Shri Mataji. Then She came to Chelsham Road and the whole collective had been invited, and this is one of the rare occasions in which Shri Mataji passed a personal rebuke, to the person who had been stopping Her lectures half way through. She seemed visibly saddened by this situation.
The person responsible for this corrected his behaviour and took no offence. It was understood that Shri Mataji was indeed a mother to all of us and had the right to pass a rebuke, if it became necessary. We all felt that we were part of a great family headed by our beloved Mother, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
We don’t run away from negativity
In 1984 at the Temple of All Faiths, in Hampstead, London, Shri Mataji heard that there was a problem in my marriage. She called me over and I was a bit worried about what She would say to me. She asked me what was the matter and I explained that we had terrible negativity in the house.
‘We don’t run away from negativity,’ Shri Mataji said. I remember putting my head in Her lap, and She worked on my back Agnya. She didn’t tell me exactly what to do, but later I realised that we Sahaja Yogis have to become stronger than the negativity.
Shri Mataji naming babies at the Temple of all Faiths, Hampstead, 1984
Never wash your face
In the early days in Hampstead my children used to come to meetings with me. One of my sons was then about seven and very shy. I asked him to give a bunch of flowers to Shri Mataji from us all. He staggered up onto the stage and hung back in a very shy way. Shri Mataji leant forward and gave him a big kiss on his cheek. His absolutely beamed and all his uncertainty dropped away. He turned round and looked at the whole hall of people and just beamed and beamed.
‘Never wash your face!’ I said, when he got back to his seat.
Auspiciousness is what is pleasing to the Divine
Sahaja Yoga started in New Zealand in 1984. In April two New Zealanders, Brian Bell and another yogini, who had lived and worked in Sydney, and had got their self realisation there, came back to Auckland. They started running programmes.
After a couple of weeks Brian phoned Shri Mataji, and got straight through to Her. He asked what New Zealand represented in the universe, in the Virata. Shri Mataji took a good minute, answering that the auspiciousness of the universe flows both from, and through New Zealand.
‘What is auspiciousness?’ She then asked. She answered that it is what is pleasing to the Divine.
David and Trisha Sharp