Chapter 04: 1973 – The Second Batch

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Songs in praise of Shri Mataji

A lot of devotional songs were written at that time for Shri Mataji. She would allow anyone who was poetic, either at the beginning of the programme or afterwards, to do namaskar and sing whatever they had composed. This was before Mother went to England.

‘This one is beautiful,’ or, ‘This one should be set to the harmonium,’ Shri Mataji would say, but I don’t know if they were ever recorded. They weren’t bhajans, just songs in praise of Shri Mataji. They might have been printed in the early books, or souvenirs that were handed out at public programmes.

Once Shri Mataji had a programme on the front lawns of Her house and the yogis were sitting around, and Shri Mataji was holding Her granddaughter. She was attending to Her granddaughter and also talking to the yogis. That place was right next to the ocean.

There were programmes in different halls in Mumbai, sets of two or three programmes. Before Shri Mataji actually gave public programmes it was word of mouth, whenever She was going to have a set of programmes for the people who had already got their realisation. One time the Sahaja Yogis sent hundreds of postcards informing everyone about some programmes.

Anonymous Indian Sahaja Yogini

His search for God led us

Shri Mataji opened the Sahasrara at Nargol in 1970. I am not one of the initial few disciples. I was one of the second batch, so to say. I got my realisation on 12th August 1973. The credit for this goes to my eldest brother, Maruti, who had a yearning to get realisation for a number of years. His search for God led us to meet Shri Mataji. That day we had read an article written by a Marathi newspaper editor about Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga and that led us to approach him in his office. We went to see him and he told us to visit Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, so we left his place and went there about three o’clock. To our surprise nobody was there to tell us about Sahaja Yoga. We came out of the hall and telephoned his office.

‘Where do we find Shri Mataji?’ we asked.

‘Oh, this is not the time,’ he said. ‘You must come after seven in the evening.’

In the evening, we again went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, where Shri Mataji was giving realisation to a few people, about ten or fifteen. We both of us sat there and, this being a very early stage of Sahaja, Shri Mataji was Herself working hard to give realisation and raise our Kundalinis. To my great surprise, when She touched my head, there was a flash and I saw — not knowing it was the Agnya chakra — a Christ crucified. It was for five or six seconds, just a flash. I wondered why I — being a Hindu — should get a vision of a crucified Christ, but I didn’t say anything. I just closed my eyes.

‘You got realisation at the very first sitting,’ Mother said.

In those days we had programmes every day. We used to meet at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in the evening and slowly it spread.

Niranjan Mavinkurve

Shri Mataji taught us so many things

During the Navaratri days we would go up to the terrace of Mother’s building. Mother would come there and give us a lecture and further training. Sometimes we would leave there at four o’clock in the morning, sometimes even six thirty. Around twenty-five people would gather at seven and we would come down to Her flat on the first floor, take some breakfast, tea and disperse. At that time, nobody was allowed to tape record any of Her discourses.

‘No, you must grasp it aurally. No use of tape recorder,’ She said.

Shri Mataji used to let us give realisation in those days. We would put our leg at the Mooladhara and start giving realisation, so that the Kundalini would rise. We gave realisation to many people. At that time the methods were not so much developed and Shri Mataji Herself was doing great research. Now Sahaja Yoga is spreading at internet speed, but initially it took a long time to get realisation. She had to Herself go out and give realisation. She taught us how to do so many things, like balancing of both sides and raising the Kundalini.

Putting on a bandhan came a little later. At that time, there was no bandhan, but a lot of baddhas were coming away. Then Shri Mataji realised that it would be a good idea to put a bandhan. So it was an evolutionary development, and now it is a full-fledged system and people don’t have to do much. Just sitting before the photograph also, one gets it.

Initially, we did not raise the Kundalini like now; that too came later. It so happened that every person used to do a bandhan without realising its implication or its importance. People started criticizing us and so Shri Mataji said that we should not do it in open places, only in a hall or something. People used to go in the trains and do this and others would think, ‘These are mad people, doing this. Maybe they are doing some sort of a magic type of thing.’

Foot soaking and other treatments came later. We used to go to the sea with Shri Mataji, and do foot soaking in the sea. That is how Ganapatipule came in because the sea there is very clean. Before that we went many times to the sea at Bordi. Nargol, where Shri Mataji opened the Sahasrara, is very near there. Of course, not everybody lives near the sea, so the alternative was footbath soaking. Then there was the shoe beating, which She showed us, but whenever Mother said something, people tended to do too much of it.

‘You must put more attention on dhyana, meditation,’ Mother later said to the Mumbai people.

Niranjan Mavinkurve

She was also Mother Nature

This was written by my wife, and goes back to the 1970’s. It was the time of Navaratri Puja, and Shri Mataji used to stay in Mumbai. She told all the Sahaja Yogis to come to Her house for Navaratri. They all got to where She was living on the fifth floor and they went and sat down, and Shri Mataji gave a talk.

Two parrots came along and sat there. My wife said she felt quite strong vibrations. Then Mother sent Sahaja Yogis out to buy food for the visitors and two of them went to do so. When Shri Mataji was garlanded there were these extremely powerful vibrations, and these parrots stayed with Shri Mataji all the way through the puja because She was not only Shri Adi Shakti, She was also Mother Nature.

Douglas Fry

I was just thinking about you

‘I went to Mother’s house today,’ my father would say, when he came home in the evening. He would get this feeling that Mother wanted him and he used to take time off from work and go, telling his boss, ‘I have to go out,’ and go and see Mother.

‘Oh, Mr Pai,’ Mother would say, ‘Good you have come because I was just thinking about you. I wanted something to be done.’

Mother came three times or four times to our house.

Meenakshi Murdoch

Shri Mataji used to go to people’s houses

We used to go to the seashore to Worli. Mother would go to people to heal and clean them in their houses. They were often rich people who came just to get cured, and at that time She used to sometimes go to people’s houses. She came three times to our house. We used to do a puja, after a public programme, and She used to eat and then go home, at perhaps four or five in the morning. Then Mother said She didn’t want to go to people’s houses.

Avdhut Pai

Don’t worry! It’s all right

In the 1970’s, Mother would come every week, on a Tuesday, to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mumbai. We could see Her sitting down there and we were all sitting too, with maybe thirty people, or forty at the most. Mother would point to the candle.

‘Look at this candle now,’ She would say, and ask everyone to clear the Agnya or things like that. We all would stand in a queue and go at Mother’s Feet.

‘Oh, see. That’s there,’ Mother would say. I still remember the Kundalini rising or throbbing at each chakra and She used to clear it out and that’s how it was. It would be so hot and because I was only a child, I used to fan Mother and once I remember, by mistake, I hit Her with the fan.

‘I’m so sorry,’ I said and thought, ‘Oh no, that’s going to be finished.’ I felt that I had hurt Mother and in India we’re so much taught that to hurt a person of God is a big sin.

‘Don’t worry! It’s all right. Don’t worry,’ She said.

She would stay there until, say, half past eleven, twelve sometimes. After that we used to take buses to go home, and sometimes that happened twice a week.

Meenakshi Murdoch

Shri Mataji would go around working on the new people

In the public programmes, from 1973, people used to be worked on, and that was how they got realisation. I remember those times before Shri Mataji went to the UK, because I was doing my school leaving exams and there was a programme every morning and evening in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Then the new person would go on the Feet of Shri Mataji, with the person’s hands under Her Feet, and someone would also be working on that person. Often there would be one person on each of Shri Mataji’s Feet. After the new people, the older people would also go on Her Feet.

Sometimes Shri Mataji would go around working on the new people, but before that She always used to give a small talk, a lecture, both morning and evening. The talks were different; She talked more about conditioning. Sometimes we would have a theme for the talks. In those days we were so close to Shri Mataji, but many people were lost because they did not get to the essence of Sahaja Yoga.

Avdhut Pai

Only a mother’s job

This is a story from about 1973. My mother was just recently introduced to Sahaja Yoga and to Shri Mataji. She was at the early stages of experiencing vibrations, experiencing within herself. At that time my parents were living in Ambanath, which is a suburb of Mumbai, and one day someone rang the doorbell and my mum opened the door, and there was a sadhu or sanyasi wearing saffron robes. He presented himself and said that his guru had sent him because he had heard that my mother was a disciple of Shri Adi Shakti. My mother was dumbfounded because she didn’t expect anyone to come and ring the doorbell and say that. So my mother gave him self realisation, took his contact details and reported this to Shri Mataji.

In fact after a few months Shri Mataji came to our home in Ambanath and wanted to meet this person, and here he was, with his guru, and Shri Mataji told this story in many of Her speeches. This guru was one of the naonath, that is, one of the nine great masters who stay in the Himalayas. He was a disciple of this great master, and then Shri Mataji went to his ashram. We noticed that this man was very silent, very humble, and very respectful towards Shri Mataji, and this was because he had a total recognition of who Shri Mataji was. We had a whole night of bhajans and all night he was just silent, watching Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet very respectfully, as if he was doing some kind of a puja within his heart. At the end he opened up a little bit.

‘Only You can do this job of giving self realisation,’ he said, and also said he had no hope for human beings and Shri Mataji asked why that was. He said that two of his disciples, who after many years of his training, of his meditation, were still smoking and still had a very bad Agnya chakra. He didn’t know how to open it and could not forgive them. He said it was only a mother’s job to help them. So of course Shri Mataji promptly opened their Agnya chakras and gave them self realisation.

These two disciples came running to Shri Mataji’s Feet and thanked Her, and said that their guru was very strong with them. In fact one of the disciples was hung upside down over a well because he was caught smoking. So this was a big memory which is very close to my heart, our first exposure of who Shri Mataji really was.

Sandeep Gadkary

A wonderful miracle

In 1973, a very old Sahaja Yogi, householder, Shri B G Pradhan, was at that time Chief Trustee of Anant Jeevan Trust. He was a very humble and submissive man, and was ready to do any work of Shri Mataji. His age was 74 years.

He and I were good friends. I used to go at least once a week to his house at Mahim. He was an advocate but he had no pride in it. Both of us went to Shri Mataji’s house several times. One day we had gone to Shri Mataji’s house at Prabhadevi at 11 am and She made him stay until 5 pm. After about one or two hours he told me, ‘Phadke, there was a case of mine in the court and the decision was to be announced today. But what to do? I could not tell Shri Mataji that.’ Shri Mataji had looked at them and had smiled to Herself.

In the evening, around 6 pm, he went home. He got a phone call from his client saying that he was very thankful for having been present in the court for the whole day and for fighting the case, which was decided in our favour and so we are coming to you in a short while. All those people came with the court files to Shri B G Pradhan’s house. Shri Pradhan was stunned. He could not understand anything. The client gave him pedhas and congratulated him.

Shri Pradhan started thinking as how could this have happened. I was there for the whole day in Shri Mataji’s house. He had not told the client anything. In fact the whole day constantly the thought bothered in his mind, ‘I had not gone to the court, how did my signature appear on every paper? How was I arguing on behalf of my client and how was my signature on it, how did it happen?’

The next day morning Shri Pradhan went to the house of Shri Mataji and literally fell at the Her Feet and started crying.

‘Shri Pradhan, what happened?’ She calmed him and asked.

‘Shri Mataji,’ he said, ‘the whole day yesterday I was at Your house, and yesterday was the last day of the hearing of the case in the court and the decision was to be given, but because I was here, I was not able to go to the court . But when I went home I received a phone from my client saying, “Shri Pradhan, we have won the case, the decision has been in our favour. The arguments that you made in the court was very good!” Shri Mataji, I am not able to understand anything of this.’

‘Shri Pradhan,’ Shri Mataji replied, ‘if you do so much of My work, I will definitely do your work. I had gone to the court in your form and I fought the case in the court on your behalf.’ Hearing this, Shri Pradhan was filled with emotion. He did not understand anything.

‘Shri Mataji, You did this for me!’ he told Her.

Shri Mataji said yes, and She had signed on all the papers like Shri Pradhan himself. He told us all this the next day and we were very much surprised.

At the time of Shri Pradhan’s death Shri Mataji had gone to purchase something. At that time She felt that She should go to Shri Pradhan, but with the presumption that the shops would be closed She could not go there. She purchased something and went home. When Shri Mataji was passing by his house, at that very moment he died.

Mr Phadke

Shri Mataji Herself corrected the letter

In 1973 Shri Mataji suggested to my sister that I should go in for shipping. I wrote a letter to get the interview, and Shri Mataji Herself corrected the letter. I still remember Her sitting on the chair, with Her spectacles, correcting the letter.

Avdhut Pai