Chapter 05: 1987 – August, England and France

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Tell her that I love her very much

As a melodramatic youngster, there was a short time in the summer of 1987 when I banished myself into the wilderness for not going through with something I thought Shri Mataji wanted me to do, until She called me back in Her own unique way, with Her own light and loving touch. How limited my understanding of Her unconditional love – just as an ant can never understand a human being, how could I understand God’s love? That was when I first learnt I could be near Her when not physically in Her presence. 

During this time I did some voluntary work in Scotland. One day I took a lunchtime stroll on my own in the nearby fields. I looked up at the clouds, imagining I could see all sorts of shapes – an elephant, ‘Shri Ganesha’, I said aloud. Then I saw Her holy face smiling down on me and heard Her voice speaking from within my heart.

You are alright,’ She said with great kindness, ‘you mustn’t worry – do what you want to do – I love you!’ The vibrations were gushing up from my feet to my head and tears of joy were rolling down my cheeks.

Before the age of mobile phones, I had to wait till evening to call my mum from one of those charming red phone boxes in the village. As soon as she answered she was bursting to tell me her own news. She had woken that morning with a strong desire to see Shri Mataji and was lucky that this desire coincided with Her midday arrival at Heathrow. At the same time as my magical stroll, my mum was standing at the back of the crowds with her bunch of flowers. Mum also mentioned feeling shy because she too had decided to be quietly away from the Sahaja Yogis for a while. Of course, anyone who stood at the back was much more visible to our compassionate Mother (the shepherd more attentive to those lambs out in the cold) who made straight for my mum, greeting her joyfully, asking how she was. Then Mother asked about me, my mum informed Her I was working in Scotland.

Very good! Scotland has very good vibrations!’ She said, and taking my mum’s hand held it for a moment and simply said: ‘Please, just tell Danya one thing, that I love her very much.’ 

When I finally managed to find my voice, the phone box misting up considerably, I was only able to say: ‘I know!’

Danya Martoglio

Mother is calling you

It was a programme with Shri Mataji at St Martin’s Lane, London, soon after I had been away from the collective in Scotland for some time. I was still a bit shy to come forward into the crowds so arrived late and stayed at the back with the mums and babies, in the doorway.

Please let me have just one glimpse of You, Mother,’ I said in my heart.

Shri Mataji had reached the point in Her discourse when She would offer the yogis a chance to ask questions and very subtly, sweetly and gently She wove my name into the names of the yogis to see if they had any. I bowed in answer.

Danya, you never had any …’ She then said.

The next experience was at the Diwali Puja, I was at the back of the hall with my head down into my bhajan book – where there was a beautiful printed photo of Her Lotus Feet that I was focusing on as I sang Ai Giri Nandini, as I couldn’t really see Mother on the stage. I said to myself – ‘Maybe if I clear myself for a year, I will again have that golden opportunity of decorating Her Feet.’ Then someone tapped me on the shoulder. I was so busy looking at Her photo and singing my heart out, I hadn’t realised that She was calling me!

I need you to show them what to do,’ She said when I went up on the stage.

I am sure I was trembling – with emotion, gratitude and due to the fountains of vibrations flowing from those dear and tender Holy Lotus Feet.

Danya Martoglio

A crown above the bed

In 1987 Shri Mataji was coming to Paris and we were looking for a hotel to receive Her, as the puja was too far from the ashram. We had a specific idea about how to decorate Her bed. We wanted to put a crown and a white veil above the head of the bed, but as it was a hotel we thought that it wouldn’t be possible, because we couldn’t make holes in the walls. So we surrendered and forgot about it.

One week before Shri Mataji came we found a beautiful hotel which had just opened a month before. This was already a miracle because it had the same style as Shri Mataji’s house of Shudy Camps, and the cook was on holiday for the week when Shri Mataji came so we were allowed to cook for Shri Mataji. They also had two huge bedrooms. One was more for a lady and the other more for a man, and as Sir CP was also coming, this was perfect. But the best was that when we first entered the room for Shri Mataji, to see if it was acceptable, there was a crown above the bed with a white veil, exactly as we wanted. When Shri Mataji arrived, we told Her about our desire, and how the crown and veil were there automatically and how the kitchen was free.

Yes, the Goddess is always preparing Her own place when She is coming,’ She answered.

Trupta de Graaf

Shopping with Shri Mataji

Nearly every time Shri Mataji came to Paris, in 1985, ‘86 and ‘87, She asked us to take Her to Marche St Pierre, an area with lots of material shops, and especially one called Marche Saint-Pierre, which has four or five floors of different materials. Shri Mataji would look at everything and touch nearly every single roll of material. One time She bought a lot of synthetic material to offer to some Indian Sahaja Yoginis. She said they like synthetic because it is practical. For us it was strange, because at that time we were quite fanatic and only liked natural fibres like silk and cotton.

It was wonderful to be there with Shri Mataji and to order all these metres and metres of material, to witness Her generosity and to see Her vibrating everything. Also this area is very busy and there are people from all nationalities. These were the best shopping days of my life.

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Shri Mataji vibrating the clothes and materials

I was too full of vibrations

One day after a public programme which Shri Mataji gave in Paris in 1987, we came back to the ashram and after dinner, and talking with some yogis Shri Mataji asked me to stay with Her in Her room. She lay down on the bed on Her side and asked me to sit beside Her and put my right hand on Her leg above the knee. She had Her back towards me, so I sat and as soon as I put my hand on Her, She put Her left hand on my hand very softly and stayed like that. It seemed She was sleeping, although we can’t really know what Shri Mataji is doing.

I thought I had better not move at all, otherwise Shri Mataji would take away Her hand. I was not really sitting comfortably but wanted to stay like that for ever. As there was a little light in the room I could look at Her hand and see a difference of skin colour. Shri Mataji’s hand was darker than mine, but with a tint of dark blue*. I was in complete bliss and although I only had the chance to stay alone with Shri Mataji a few times, this was one of the most special moments, as I felt that I could really absorb Her vibrations. I wished all my sisters in the world could be there. I don’t know how long I stayed like this, but it was at least two hours, and went to bed around three o’clock.

In the morning, I got up for Shri Mataji’s breakfast and was sitting in Her room with another yogi, while She was having tea. I could not think and was a bit dreamy. Shri Mataji looked at me and said I better go to bed, because I was too full of vibrations from the previous night and could not absorb any more. I indeed was feeling full of vibrations.

Trupta de Graaf

*Editor’s note: Traditionally, Shri Krishna’s skin had a bluish tinge, and this blue has been seen in many miracle photos of Shri Mataji, and briefly experienced by many Sahaja Yogis when looking at Shri Mataji.

Shri Mataji at Chartres cathedral

During the Shri Krishna Puja seminar of 1987 in France, Shri Mataji sent a message encouraging the Sahaja Yogis to visit Chartres cathedral. She and Sir CP also paid it a visit. Whilst inside the cathedral She was asked whether the fabled veil of the Virgin which is kept there is genuine. Shri Mataji took a little time.

Yes it was Mine, I can remember it now,’ She said.

Having spent a long time inside the cathedral Shri Mataji exited and was greeted by a crowd of Sahaja Yogis who had just arrived on several buses.

This is a very beautiful place, have a nice time,’ She said to them.

She then added some words, the gist of which was to remember that all this beauty in the church was created spontaneously over many years, and was not the result of following a rigid plan, and the artisans were allowed to express their devotion and the exuberance of their art. A Sahaja Yogi asked Her permission for a photo shooting event. Shri Mataji posed for a photograph surrounded by all the children outside the cathedral.

Luis Garrido

Shri Mataji at Chartres Cathedral

A very strong rose perfume

For several years following my divorce in the 1980’s, I had fallen into a state of total exhaustion and acute mental and physical anguish, but one morning I woke with a strange premonition that something good would happen. I had an immense desire to go to Chartres cathedral to see the Virgin Mary there.

In the cathedral I prayed before the statue of the Virgin. Immediately I smelled a very strong rose perfume, so intense that I turned to see where it was coming from. I walked around the cathedral and the scent followed me round the whole building. As I left the cathedral and stood in the open air in the square by the entrance, the scent was still there. A few yards away from where I was standing I could see an Indian lady wearing a white sari getting out of a car. She looked at me and smiled, and I felt attracted to Her. Suddenly my head emptied of all thought and I could only see this lady, as though nothing else was there. She was still smiling at me. I approached and asked one of the people with Her who She was.

You don’t know Her? Why are you standing here?’ one person said.

Because there is such a beautiful scent,’ I replied. ‘Roses, can’t you smell them?’

It’s Shri Mataji, don’t you know Her?’ said the man.

No,’ I said.

Well, She is here for truth and She can protect thousands of people, like Christ did.’

I felt an explosion of joy within myself, since I already knew somehow this lady was very great, and this was what I had been waiting for. I could not move away now.

Why don’t you join us?’ my neighbour suggested.

I followed the little party into the cathedral. As we walked, I felt a pleasant tingling sensation rising from my feet, through my legs and throughout my body. I had a feeling in my heart which I can only describe as expansion or fulfilment. The rest of that day was spent in joy and bliss and from then on, my sickness and depression disappeared.

Paulette Oddo

Editor’s note: The beautiful cathedral at Chartres, like so many in that area, is dedicated to Notre Dame – Our Lady, Mother Mary.

It was an important moment

Just after Shri Krishna Puja in 1987, in France, we had a meeting at the ashram at Le Raincy, and Shri Mataji was there with a number of Sahaja Yogis. She was commenting on the puja and at some point a young girl asked for an Indian name.

Yes, why not?’ Shri Mataji said, and found a name for her. Then She said, ‘Who else would like a name?’ and we were sixty-three people in the big room at the ashram. Very patiently Shri Mataji gave a name to almost every person. It took a long time because She explained the meaning of every name, as She really wanted to find the right match for every yogi there.

I was a member of this big team of yogis and Shri Mataji gave me the name of Siddheshvara. She explained that it was a name of Shri Kalki, and the main significance of it was that I had the power to give realisation. Some of those yogis are, even today, known only by these names that we were given by Shri Mataji on that day, so it was an important moment.

Siddheshvara Barbier

Shri Mataji at the Shri Krishna Puja 1987

We saw Her Feet on the suitcase

In Paris, in 1987, we were in a hotel with Shri Mataji. I was with Rosie from Australia and Shri Mataji was going to leave, so She asked us to pack Her suitcase. She was sitting in Her chair quite far from us, about four metres, and was telling us where to put what and how to pack a suitcase. We took about half an hour to get it balanced on both sides – the case had space on both sides, then finally we wanted to close it but it was quite full, so it was very difficult. We were pushing on all sides together, very hard, for some time, and all our attention was on the case.

Push!’ Shri Mataji was saying. We were a bit gentle because it was Shri Mataji’s suitcase and we didn’t want to break it. Suddenly we saw Her Feet on the suitcase, close to our hands, and in one go She closed it with Her Feet. We did not hear Her coming over to us and were completely surprised. We looked up and Shri Mataji was standing smiling.

Trupta de Graaf

It is good you sold the houses

About 1987, in Paris, I was with Shri Mataji in Her room, and suddenly She said it was good I sold my houses. I couldn’t remember mentioning to Shri Mataji about the houses I had inherited from my family. She just knew, without my telling Her. My brother and I had inherited a house in Paris, a farm in the South of France, and houses from my grandparents, all of which we sold. I was quite relieved when Shri Mataji said that because sometimes I wondered if my brother and I had been a bit fanatic in selling everything, but She confirmed that it had been a good choice. We wanted to get rid of our past, which was hanging on in these houses.

With the money we got, we went to pujas, sent the children to the Rome and India schools and never regretted it. So with this one little sentence, ‘It is good you sold the houses,’ Shri Mataji helped me to clear more of this heavy past.

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Sound business advice

Shri Mataji asked me about a Sahaja Yogi’s work and I told Her that he had started a company but it didn’t work very well. She said that when you start a company you must start very small and grow slowly.

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After the programmes

In Paris in 1987, Shri Mataji went to the Ladies Room on Her way out and I accompanied Her. There were a number of ladies there and one was a young Sahaja Yogini from Paris who was normally quite shy, and Shri Mataji asked her how she was. This girl, probably from nervousness, started to laugh and could not stop laughing. Shri Mataji also started to laugh, and then we were four or five ladies all laughing in the Ladies Room.

After another programme, Shri Mataji was going out of the hall, I was walking beside Her, and at the exit door a man came to talk to Her. He was obviously a drunkard, the way he was talking, with a very red face and old clothes. He started to tell a long story to Shri Mataji, something like his wife had died and she was still hanging around him as a ghost and he could not get rid of her and missed her. Shri Mataji listened patiently and said it was time to get his realisation and ask his wife to leave him, and reincarnate and get her realisation. Shri Mataji was very kind and gave him a lot of Her time. It was a very good lesson of patience and compassion, to see with how much love She gave to this man even though he was in a really bad state.

Trupta de Graaf

Like a big tree

I was in Shri Mataji’s room in the Paris ashram in the 1980’s and there were a few yogis. Shri Mataji was talking with us very kindly and answering our questions.

You see,’ She told us at some point, ‘even when I am always surrounded by so many of you yogis, actually I am all alone, because I am like a big tree and you are little flowers at the foot of the tree. Even if the big tree is surrounded by these little flowers, the big tree is alone.’

This is the meaning of one of Shri Mataji’s names, the word ekakini – meaning alone.

Ruth Eleanore


This was in Paris in Le Raincy ashram. Shri Mataji called me to massage Her Feet when She was going to sleep, maybe after a public programme or something. I massaged them for a little while but felt very tired. I decided that Shri Mataji seemed to be sleeping, so I tiptoed out of the room and also went to sleep. For a long time I reproached myself that I should have stayed until She sent me away, because so many yogis stayed and massaged Her until She sent them away. So I do not know what is less or more protocol.

Ruth Eleanore

Our attention should be like Arjuna’s

In about 1986/87 Shri Mataji was going to visit us in the ashram of Le Raincy, Paris, and we were preparing for Her arrival. At that time we didn’t have a special service for Shri Mataji, cups, plates and so on, so we went to buy one in the Rue de Paradis near the Gare de L’Est. We found a shop where they sold imitations of expensive services and we bought a nice red one with some gold on it.

When Shri Mataji came She really liked it and asked to go to the shop where we bought it because She wanted to buy some more, as the price was really good compared to the quality. So we went and while the shopkeeper was busy finding things for us Shri Mataji sat on a chair and started to talk about the sari She was wearing, as we had made a remark that it was very beautiful. It had some archers on the border and also on the sari itself.

As Shri Mataji was talking we sat at Her Feet in the middle of this nice shop in Paris, and She told us the story that was on Her sari. It was about Arjuna. His guru, Drona, asked the five Pandava brothers to have a shooting competition. They had to look at a tree and tell what they saw. The other brothers saw different things: one saw a tree, another said that in the tree were some branches, then some leaves and on a branch a bird, and on the bird an eye. Only Arjuna answered that what he saw was the eye of the bird. He shot directly at the eye of the bird, while the others missed it. Shri Mataji explained that this story meant that our attention should be the same as Arjuna’s. It should be on the Spirit, in the same way as Arjuna’s, as he only saw the eye of the bird and not everything around.

It was a very special moment, just the three of us sitting at the Feet of Shri Mataji, and like in the story, we were only listening to Her and were not aware of what was going on around us.

In the end Shri Mataji bought two services, one for Sir CP and one for Her family.

Trupta de Graaf