Chapter 03: 1987 – May, Australia

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

The streets were littered with diamonds

At Brisbane Airport, in 1987, I was standing near the entrance, with a book in which were photographs and written information regarding Sierra Leone.

What have you got there?’ Shri Mataji asked me as She came past, so I walked with Her into the lounge area and we discussed the information and viewed photographs. She said it was my destiny to go to Sierra Leone. I asked if Patrick Sheriff, who lived in Sierra Leone, and received Realisation in October 1985 could come to India.

No!’ Shri Mataji said. ‘He can come to Shudy Camps and the English must pay.’ This did take place at the subsequent Guru Puja in the UK.

Shri Mataji then told me that five English scholars wrote that if a person was black skinned then he or she was primitive, this circulated from England and apartheid took hold. Shri Saraswati who resides in Africa, is the sister of Shri Shiva, so if the English help Africa then He will be pleased. She went on to say that I should arrange a flight and passport for Patrick and have the cost carried by England

The day that Patrick flew out of Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, it rained very heavily that night. It was even reported in the Brisbane Courier Mail that on the following morning the population all over Sierra Leone found the streets littered with diamonds due to torrential rain, the road surfaces were washed away and apparently 14,000 mining licences were issued during the next few days.

Peter Corden

Shri Ganesha is walking ahead of us

In May 1987, in Brisbane, my blessing was to escort Shri Mataji from the car to the stage of the Ithica Auditorium at the Brisbane Town Hall. As we stepped into the foyer I noticed the floor pattern contained multiple swastikas.

Shri Ganesha is here!’ I said to Shri Mataji.

Shri Ganesha is walking ahead of us!’ She replied.

Peter Corden

The vibrations have got better

The first time Shri Mataji came to Canberra in 1987, when She got off the plane She could barely walk because the pain in Her Swadishthan was so bad. We were having Sahasrara Puja up in the mountains at Thredbo and She had to come through Canberra to get there. It was autumn time and we had arranged to drive Her through the trees to show them to Her

What’s wrong with these trees, why are they all dying?’ Shri Mataji said. When we got back to the ashram She asked me what I thought of Canberra, and whether I was happy in Canberra. I said I was.

How can you bear it here?’ She said.

The last time Shri Mataji came to Canberra we went on a picnic, and She spoke about Mother Nature and the beauty of the place. She came three or four times and the last time She praised the place, because the vibrations got better every time She came. She spoke a lot about Berny Griffin, who designed Canberra, and said it was similar to Delhi. He designed some places in Delhi as well.

Sarah Frankcombe

Look how far you have come

We were from Sydney, and received a phone call that Shri Mataji was speaking to the yogis in the Canberra ashram and to come quickly. We got lost in Canberra’s traffic circles and I felt, as we finally crossed the lawn into the ashram that if I was more surrendered, we would not have been late. We duly sat down.

If you have trouble surrendering, just look back, look how far you have come since you got your realisation, and you will have no trouble surrendering,’ Shri Mataji said at that moment.

Heather Jeffrey

We’re going to have a miracle!

In May 1987 Shri Mataji visited Australia. For the Sahaja Yogis, the height of Her visit was a weekend programme in the Snowy Mountains, in the town of Thredbo. Everyone had gone to a great deal of trouble to have a flower to give to Shri Mataji when She arrived on Saturday night. This was not easily done, as florists are few and far between in the Snowy Mountains, but we’d all managed somehow. We all had our flowers ready, but Mother made Her way straight to Her room without taking them. When Shri Mataji came from Her room, She went directly to the meeting hall and spoke to us for quite some time, after which we had a musical programme. Then Mother spoke to us again. By this time, most of us had been holding our flowers for three or four hours and were giving up hope.

I see that you have some flowers for Me,’ Shri Mataji sweetly said, just before leaving. ‘Would you like to give them to Me now?’ So, torn between the horror of offering these dead flowers and the longing to give something to Mother, no matter what, we gratefully and humbly gave the dead blooms to Shri Mataji. They were hanging down and completely finished. They were completely dead: not just slightly dead, but utterly dead. Shri Mataji went back to Her room. After a little while, She asked for the box of flowers to be brought in.

Bring them into the bathroom,’ She said. ‘We’re going to have a miracle. You’ll see, it will be a miracle. Fill the bath with very warm water. Fill it just as if I were going to have a bath.’ As the water was running, Mother was putting Her hand into the bath, vibrating the whole thing.

Now put all the flowers into the bath,’ She said. ‘Make sure all the stems are down in the water.’ When all the flowers were in the bath, Mother said: ‘See, they’re already looking better.’ And they were. ‘You wait,’ She continued, ‘and see in the morning. We’ll use these flowers for the puja.’ Next morning all the flowers were fresh and blooming.

After Shri Mataji has stayed in a place, the auspicious thing is to leave Her room exactly as it is for nine days after Her departure. This was done after Mother’s departure from Australia in 1987. Every day, the ladies would just go in and check the room and each day there would be an indentation of the quilt on the same side of the bed as Mother had slept in. Each day they would shake the quilt and smooth it out, and each day the indentation would be there again, as though She were still sleeping there throughout those nine days.

Matthew Fogarty

Sahasrara Puja, Thredbo, 1987 with the revived flowers

A beautiful double rainbow

In 1987 Shri Mataji and all the Sahaja Yogis were at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains, Australia, for Sahasrara Puja. A newish Sahaja Yogi was going through some personal difficulties, and prayed to Shri Mataji for a sign as he stood outside the hotel gazing at the mountains.

The next moment a beautiful double rainbow appeared, arching from Her room at the hotel, across to a nearby mountain. It stayed there for a long time, finally disappeared, and then came back again.

Judy Dobbie

You’d better hurry

We were meeting Shri Mataji at the airport, which was something Australians weren’t used to doing. I had been given the honour of presenting Shri Mataji with a beautiful garland. It was a very long garland, as high as Shri Mataji. I was holding this garland and it was so heavy and all of a sudden the string broke. It fell on the ground and I was horrified. I picked it up and put it together as best I could, but I was thinking, ‘How can I offer this to the Goddess, because it has been on the ground?’

Eventually Shri Mataji arrived and I was still wondering what to do, when Mother turned round.

Well, if you want to give it to Me, you’d better hurry,’ She said.

Barbara Napper

The order of the names of the deities

On one occasion when Shri Mataji came to Australia in the late 1980’s, I found there were discrepancies in the order in which we said the names of the mantras. One of the common ones was that people would always say Shri Mary-Jesus. The answer came this way.

I’ll tell you about it,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘When it comes to Shri Shiva-Parvati, there is no one else but Shri Shiva, so Shri Shiva always comes first. However when we go onto the Vishnu line, Shri Vishnu incarnated in different forms as time goes by. When we look at Shri Lakshmi-Vishnu, it goes with Shri Lakshmi first because they were a married couple. Likewise when it comes to Shri Sita-Rama, Shri Sita comes first because they were a married couple. When it comes to Shri Radha-Krishna, again they were a married couple so Shri Radha comes first. When we come up to Shri Jesus and Shri Mary this was not a marriage so He goes first.’

When we go to Shri Brahma, to the other line, it is Shri Brahmadeva-Saraswati, so Shri Mother clarified which comes first. Shri Brahmadeva comes first. On the Vishnu line it varies according to whether they are married or not.

Peter Corden

Editor’s note: on other occasions Shri Mataji asked people to say the mantras in a different order. It seems nothing is fixed.

They have noise laws here

After the public programme in Brisbane, we went back to our house, where Shri Mataji was staying. She was seated near the doorway into the hall. The lounge-dining room was quite large and was filled to capacity with yogis, visitors and musical instruments and we were to have an evening of entertainment and bhajans. I was slightly behind and to one side of Shri Mataji.

The music started quite reverently, however as the evening progressed, it became louder and louder. I put a bandhan around the noise factor because some noise pollution laws had recently been passed, and the cut off point for noise was ten o’clock, and in a quiet suburb on a week day night, with the loud bhajans, I was definitely a contender for complaints from the neighbours. I was becoming quietly concerned that this might be an all-night do, and that the neighbours and even the police might come round, as the enthusiasm and momentum of the bhajans showed no sign of abating.

We will finish up now, because they have noise laws here,’ Shri Mataji said, at precisely ten o’clock.

Albert Lewis

Shri Mataji being welcomed into Norman Park House, Brisbane in 1987

Shri Mataji receiving and giving gifts at Norman Park House

It’s part of My plan

After Shri Mataji’s first visit in 1985, we decided to find a sensible restaurant to take Her to after the public programme, the next time She came, in 1986. We found an up-market place by the river, and they had a good singer – a young lady with a beautiful voice who would sing modern devotional songs.

Shri Mataji arrived for Her next visit on a Monday, and the next day She went shopping in the Brisbane arcade, and bought a suit for Sir CP and clothing for various members of Her family. In the evening the programme was at the Brisbane Town Hall and after that we all went to the previously vetted restaurant. We made sure Shri Mataji had the best seat, and all the attending yogis settled around the table.

When the meal arrived, Shri Mataji did not start eating, and we were all waiting for Her to begin, because it is inauspicious to start before the Goddess. I was becoming a little anxious, as two of us had to leave, because on the evening Shri Mataji came we were to do a live radio broadcast on the 4EB station. Shri Mataji was apparently delighted with this new way of spreading vibrations.

Two Indian Sahaja Yogis with us explained that Shri Mataji has no desires and therefore we had to invite Her to eat. We did this, She began to eat, and we all tucked in to the delicious food. The dessert was served and the singer began singing, all was flowing as arranged, and the other Sahaja Yogi and I excused ourselves and left for the radio show.

We arrived at the radio station and began our presentation of ‘Good Vibrations’. The vibrations were good, and the show went without a hitch. We felt a little pious that we were doing ‘God’s work’, and drove home. As we entered the driveway a young Sahaja Yogi came out and told us Shri Mataji had been verbally attacked by the singer at the restaurant! Instant beads of sweat appeared on my brow, and in trepidation I went into the house where Shri Mataji was.

I quietly asked a Sahaja Yogi what had happened. He said that after the singer had finished Her songs She had been introduced to Shri Mataji, and had verbally attacked Her. I apologised to Shri Mataji for what had happened.

It’s alright; it’s part of My plan. They’ll expose themselves,’ She explained. I felt a little better.

Albert Lewis

Anyone who asks for help in God’s name will be answered

We were again in my old car. I was in the back with Shri Mataji and in the front were the driver and another Sahaja Yogi, who told us the following story about a priest who was caught in a flood and was sitting on the roof of his church praying to God to be rescued.

Along came a man in a rowing boat and offered to rescue him, but he refused, saying God would rescue him. The floodwaters kept rising, and the priest kept praying. Along came a helicopter and offered to rescue him, but again he refused, saying God would come and rescue him. The floodwaters kept rising and eventually the roof of the church was covered and the priest drowned. The priest found himself at the pearly gates of heaven, and he asked the gatekeeper why God didn’t rescue him.

Well, we sent you a boat and a helicopter, but you refused to go in them,’ replied the gatekeeper.

At this point everyone in the car was laughing, and Shri Mataji was chuckling to Herself.

Anyone who asks for help in God’s name will be answered,’ Shri Mataji said, almost under Her breath.

On one occasion Shri Mataji came late for a puja, and then apologised to the assembled yogis. She explained that She had had Her attention on people who were not yet Sahaja Yogis, because anyone who asks for help in God’s name will be answered.

Albert Lewis

Shri Mataji’s second precious visit

Shri Mataji’s second precious visit to New Zealand was in May 1987. This followed the Sahasrara Puja in Australia. Shri Mataji stayed at the new ashram in Valley Road, Mount Eden, very close to the mountain itself. The first public programme was held at the Pioneer Women’s Hall in the centre of Auckland. It was full, a beautiful event. Near the end a young Maori girl stood up and sang a Maori song. Shri Mataji came to our country with Her elder brother Bala Sahib, who was such a humble, gracious man. He was a High Court Judge, so wise, very appreciative and down to earth. There was a morning interview with Leonie Breznehan on Radio New Zealand. The interviewer was very polite and humble towards Shri Mataji, and so it also was an auspicious event and an excellent interview.

After Shri Mataji came back, She sat down in Her puja chair, about 10 am. She was so composed whilst we prepared the puja around Her. This was appropriately to Shri Ganesha, and was New Zealand’s first puja. That evening the weather turned bitterly cold and squally.

David and Trisha Sharp

Shri Mataji and Her brother Bala Sahib

Shri Mataji’s brother saw the Kundalinis rise

Shri Mataji’s brother Bala Sahib accompanied Her to New Zealand on Her second visit. He hadn’t previously taken to Sahaja Yoga but he participated in the puja we performed at the ashram, sitting in a chair at the back. After the puja had finished he announced that during the puja when everyone had bowed down to do namaskar he had been able to see the Kundalini in everyone’s back rising.

Maybe, Mother had said, later, that he had gained his realisation during the puja.

Bryce Clendon

There should be another island

During Mother’s second visit a visiting yogi asked Her a question about New Zealand. She replied that New Zealand is Shri Ganesha’s trunk when it goes to the left, which represents auspiciousness, and also that there should be another island somewhere.

Bryce Clendon

New Zealand in the thali

The second time Shri Mataji came to New Zealand, we were privileged to host a Shri Ganesha Puja, and for most of us it was the first time we had ever attended a puja with Shri Mataji. We were all busy getting ready and the announcement was made that Shri Mataji was already sitting there ready waiting for us. There was a great flurry and we all immediately headed to the front room of the ashram. A beautiful talk followed.

Look! There is New Zealand in the thali,’ Shri Mataji commented, when the amrut was poured over Her hands, ‘and very clearly you can see the shape of the North Island and tip of the South Island.’ The thali is the dish in which the liquid falls during the puja. Shri Mataji also had us photograph the soles of Her Feet, and She commented on how white they were.

Janie Frith

During the puja when the ghee or honey was poured into the thali over the previous elements, Shri Mataji pointed out that the puddle had formed the shape of New Zealand’s North Island and the tip of the South Island. Photos were taken to record this before the puja continued.

Bryce Clendon

We have to keep up with the rocket

After a puja, during an early visit to New Zealand, Shri Mataji likened evolution in Sahaja Yoga to a missile, a rocket. One booster pushes us so far, then drops off, the next booster takes over and the rocket goes faster. This happens again and again, and in the process, the rocket gains height, overcoming gravity. We are at the stage where another boost is due, Shri Mataji said, but if we keep hanging on to the used booster then we will be discarded with it. We have to keep up with the rocket.

Brian Bell

The thali at the Shri Ganesha Puja

He was ready for his transformation

During an early visit to New Zealand, Shri Mataji was interviewed live by a well-known radio personality who had a reputation for cynicism and aggression. The exchange began with some hard-hitting questions about religion, the world situation and other contentious subjects. Shri Mataji answered with Her usual relaxed aplomb.

Health became the topic and the interviewer admitted that he was diabetic. Shri Mataji talked about the causes of diabetes and the way in which it can be overcome through self realisation, which She explained. As the interview progressed, the interviewer became more sympathetic and positive.

Are you a Messiah?  A prophet?’ he eventually asked. Shri Mataji didn’t reply and suddenly the interviewer started saying, ‘I can feel this coolness on my hands! When I bring them together it feels as if I’m holding a ball of cool wind!’ He explained how, at the beginning of the interview he was very sceptical, ‘but now I can feel it.’

The workers at the radio station couldn’t believe what they were hearing. What the interviewer was saying was so out of character. They crowded around the studio window to watch and listen.

Later the interviewer said he could feel the coolness in his head. 

What about everybody else?’ he asked. 

They can get it too,’ said Shri Mataji. ‘Just tell them to put their hands out to the radio and they will get it.’

That evening She told us that although the interviewer had a bad reputation, underneath he was quite humble, and so was ready for his transformation. 

That is why he felt it so strongly,’ She said.

The radio programme prompted a number of newspaper articles, all very respectful of Shri Mataji and very positive about Sahaja Yoga. Shri Mataji told this story many times around the world.

Brian Bell

Shri Mataji at the havan in Auckland in 1987

The shawl was a gift from the New Zealand Sahaja Yogis. After the havan Shri Mataji gave presents to all the ladies.

A havan in the garden

On Her second visit a havan was performed, at Shri Mataji’s request, in the back garden of the ashram. Later in the afternoon, She came and sat on a chair on the lawn near where we had had the havan.

I don’t remember if everyone went before Shri Mataji, but I finally had the opportunity to present Her with a small ceramic bowl I had bought a long time before. I used to keep it in a drawer, wrapped in tissue-paper, and would occasionally take it out and admire it. It was quite simple, but had pretty blue hydrangea flowers painted on it and some piercing near the border. The last time I had taken it out to look at it I was amazed at the blast of vibrations that came off it. When I had shown it to our leader, Brian, to ask if I could offer it to Her his immediate remark was, ‘Wow, this has accumulated some vibrations!’

Shri Mataji didn’t pass comment on the bowl but accepted it graciously.

Bryce Clendon

The cactus flower

While living at the second ashram in Auckland I had a small cactus in a pot on the front veranda. I had had it for a long time yet it never seemed to look any different. Three days after Shri Mataji left I noticed it had a yellow flower fully opened right on the top like a Sahasrara.

Bryce Clendon

The Ganesha-like lawyer

This is the story of a case filed against the order of the Pune Collector on 28th May 1987 for demolishing Pratishthan, as the authorities assumed it was a temple, and if so could not be constructed in an agricultural zone. Shri Mataji’s plea was that it was Her personal farm house and not a temple. (Shri Mataji grew both rice and sunflowers on the land, both agricultural crops).

When the matter came up for hearing in the High Court, Her lawyer was not in the court. From nowhere a young boy, dressed as a lawyer, appeared before the judge and requested him to dismiss the case, but also to postpone the hearing by an hour. The Ganesha-like lawyer somehow managed to trace Shri Mataji’s lawyer, who was arguing a case in another court, and brought him to the High Court. After the case was decided in Shri Mataji’s favour, the Ganesha-like lawyer disappeared. No one knew who he was and no one had seen him before.

Yogi Mahajan