Chapter 06: 1984 – August and September, The USA and Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

A Memorable Journey

When I was eighteen I found myself sitting next to the Adi Shakti on a flight to New York. It was such a memorable journey on many levels and I wish I’d kept a diary! Sometimes I would get to take out Her vibrations and sometimes I would just watch over Her as She slept. For periods of the journey She would sit and contemplate and other times She was quite chatty covering a range of subjects and moods. I remember wanting others to be there to share in these pearls.

Shri Mataji spoke of the loneliness of God’s existence, poignantly comparing it to one solitary flower living in a forest with no other flowers.

I am completely alone,’ She said, looking into the middle distance beyond the visible world that we know.

I could only keep my eyes on Her lotus feet and wait. Sometimes when the mood changed I would fall into the web of maya and feel like I could just rest my head on the soft shoulder of my dear Mother, who was wearing a very cosy looking cream cashmere cardigan. At other moments I felt buoyant like a speck of dust dancing in the sun’s brilliance as She would have me chuckling with Her great wit. Shri Mataji gave me a useful run-down of what I was likely to encounter on my first visit to America. She warned that I was likely to see more obesity there than the UK due to some poor eating habits. She also told me that New Yorkers could appear quite rude because they were always rushing here and there but they had really good hearts.

On that journey Shri Mataji also touched the topic of rebirth. In this life She explained, if we form a strong relationship with a mother figure for example an aunt or friend of the family, we may even say ‘I wish you were my mum.’ Then in future lives we could end up being born to that very person. Shri Mataji also said that the highly evolved souls could choose their birth and would often be born in the same place in order to do good for that part of the world. Conversely the wicked would aim to be born again and again in the same place to do the most damage to one area. She explained that some souls who are not so evolved just get scattered like seeds in the winds and are born anywhere. As I looked out of the window of the airplane I imagined such souls being blown about and landing on the Earth just as we were about to.

The next day when we were in a yellow cab waiting at a traffic light a very, very large lady ambled across the road.

I told you so,’ Shri Mataji nudged me and said, and later on when out shopping She approached a young salesman in a shop to ask about an item. Before She could finish Her sentence, he abruptly put his hand up.

Just one moment Ma’am!’ he yelled.

I was upset for his disrespect but Shri Mataji was least disturbed, remaining completely unruffled. She pulled me aside.

Don’t worry, He doesn’t mean to be rude,’ She said, and sure enough, when he was free, the salesman came over and couldn’t have been more charming, attentive and kind.

On this memorable journey among the many lessons, our beloved Mother showed again and again that it is only through the power of great Her love that She could take the trouble to study all Her children so well with such compassionate understanding.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Danya Martoglio

Cats and dogs

I was in New York with Shri Mataji in 1984 when She was on Her way to do a television interview in LA. A local Sahaja Yogini had made her apartment available during the stopover and then went out to work. Shri Mataji then decided to have a bath and I was surprised to hear Her talking to someone in the corridor, when I knew no one else was at home. Perhaps the Sahaja Yogini had forgotten something, or had come back early? I went to see who was there and found Shri Mataji talking tenderly to a large fluffy cat.

So nice to see you! How are you now?’

I observed that from then on the cat did not leave Shri Mataji’s side – and would even sit under Her chair when She went out shopping – and wasn’t even interested in eating food. That broke a few of my conditionings about cats.

During that trip to New York, Shri Mataji spoke about the difference between cats and dogs. Many have heard Her say this – apparently cats are on the left channel of evolution and thus can sometimes see bhuts and can become more easily possessed than dogs. Some cats just let them settle inside without resistance, whereas a dog will usually shake off the bhuts. She explained this is why mediums have used poor unsuspecting cats for their dubious ‘work’ in the past. Dogs exist on the central channel and therefore could be born next life as human beings. It was beautiful to see how all animals responded to Her divine vibrations and how much love She had for each creature great and small.

Danya Martoglio

A good crown

This crown was made by some American yogis (myself included). When Shri Mataji saw it the first time She said of the crown, ‘That is a good one!’ This was for the Krishna Puja in 1984 in New Jersey. The peacock feathers (for Shri Krishna) represent the chakras, the pearls around Shri Mataji’s forehead and hair represent the Sahasrara and the white stone above Shri Mataji’s forehead represents the Agnya chakra. I remember feeling tremendous vibrations as four or five yoginis and I worked on it.

Anna Mancini 

The Shri Krishna Puja crown

She’s got all the candy in Her hands

The first time I met Shri Mataji was in 1984 at the Shri Krishna Puja in New Jersey, America and I was nine years old. My father and I went to where Shri Mataji’s car came to greet Her. My father was helping Shri Mataji towards the tent, and She put Her arm around me, for support. It was like a big teddy bear hugging me and I completely melted into Her arm. It was complete bliss from the car to the pendal.

That weekend was the first time my parents met Shri Mataji and my mother had quite an interesting experience. She had a slipped disc for three months but she had got completely cured in three weeks doing footsoaking and getting vibrations. We met Shri Mataji and my mum told Her this.

This was, of course, to happen.’ Shri Mataji smiled and said, in Hindi.

Even at that age I felt that it was meant for us to come, because so many of our family have come to Sahaja Yoga and have helped to spread Sahaja Yoga in Canada. It was the same time, at an evening programme, that Shri Mataji brought a lot of sweets for the children. She asked all us children to come to the front, and we were singing bhajans for Her. We sang She’s got the whole world in Her hands, and all the children were busy eating the sweets. I sang She’s got all the candy (sweets) in Her hands! and Shri Mataji and everyone just laughed and laughed.

Mohan Gulati

What do you want to do?

It was 1984. I had heard that Shri Mataji often gave advice to people on their careers, and was excited by the possibility of doing that one thing I was ‘meant’ to do. So one day I was given the opportunity.

Shri Mataji, what should I do?’ I asked.

What do you want to do?’ Shri Mataji replied.

Be a teacher,’ I replied, and Shri Mataji said something like, ‘That’s fine,’ as if it was the least important question in the world. I then asked, ‘Shri Mataji, where should I live?’

Where do you want to live?’ Shri Mataji went on.

I then understood that I would not get answers to these questions. Eventually, more than twenty years later, I understood that on one level Shri Mataji was saying to be yourself, and you’ll eventually end up doing the right thing. Of course on another level, when you have the opportunity to ask a question of the Goddess, what questions could have been more trivial on the path to one’s ascent?

Pramod Shete

My family was being looked after

In August 1984 I went to my first Shri Krishna Puja, in New Jersey near New York. I was quite new to Sahaja Yoga as I came in January 1984. At this time I had a lot of emotional problems as I had lost a lot of people in my family very suddenly, when I was only nineteen, and in consequence had nightmares about dead people nearly every night.

On the evening before the puja Shri Mataji said that everybody could come at Her Feet to be worked on. I went there with our French leader and he explained my problem to Her.

Tell her that I am looking after her family, and that she has to look after herself,’ She said, or something similar. ‘She has to put a candle in front of her left hand and put down her right side 108 times every day.’ I can’t remember if Shri Mataji physically worked on me but when I returned home I straight away started to do what Shri Mataji had told me. Every day I would work in the evening on my left side with a candle and put my right side down 108 times. I was also relieved to know that my parents and others were looked after and that She knew about them.

After three months of this regular treatment, the nightmares had gone as well as the depressed state I was in. I did this treatment for three years, after which I never really felt depressed any more. More than twenty years after this advice of Shri Mataji, I still use it when I feel unbalanced. This has allowed me to have a normal life after my first twenty difficult years.

Trupta de Graaf

Shri Mataji was very powerful

After the Shri Krishna Puja in 1984, Shri Mataji worked on everybody. Absolutely everybody could come to Her Feet and She worked on them. She was very powerful and using very strong movements. At one point there was somebody in front of Shri Mataji, and he was quite close to Her. Everybody had their attention on Her and it was a very strong moment. It was as if Shri Mataji had a bow and arrow in Her hand, and everybody was a bit tense, as if to say, ‘What is going to happen?’

She let go Her right hand, and stopped it just a little way from the belly of this yogi, and everybody said ‘Oh!’ I think She worked on all our Nabhis at that moment.

Trupta de Graaf

The power of the lion

My daughter was born July 5th, 1984, and in August we both attended our very first puja in the presence of our Holy Mother, Shri Mataji, the Shri Krishna Puja in New Jersey. I was given the opportunity to bring the baby to Shri Mataji, who took her into Her arms, and kissed her for a long time on her Sahasrara. Then, Shri Mataji gave her the name ‘Narasimha’.  For many days afterward, Narasimha’s fontanel area was moving so strongly, in and out, and she was so peaceful and content. Such a beautiful blessing from our Mother.

Once we returned home to Canada, some Indian ladies mentioned that ‘Narasimha’ is a boy’s name, and maybe I misunderstood Shri Mataji, and the name should be ‘Narasimhini’ which is the girl’s version of the name. 

The next year we were at another puja in California. Once again, I was given the opportunity to speak with Shri Mataji, and mentioned I may have misunderstood the name She gave. Shri Mataji looked at her.

I think we’ll call her Kesar, which means “power of the lion”,’ She said.

Mother, thank You so much,’ I replied. Then there was this little thought that came, wanting to absolutely understand Her gift, and so I asked if She could please spell the name for me, which She did. 

Years later, I realized that Kesar had been born in the Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver – and that both names Shri Mataji gave her were, of course, very appropriate.

Mona Dale

Shri Mataji kissing the baby’s Sahasrara

A divine sartorial upgrade

Towards the end of the Brompton Square era, when the house was already completed – a brightly coloured jewel box of mirrors, Persian rugs, Chinese jardinières, oil paintings, silk walls, intricately carved Indian furniture and statuettes of deities crowding onto niches and shelves – there came a phone call to our house, from someone at Brompton Square simply saying: ‘Mother wants to see you, can you come now?’

My heart leapt up, initially extremely joyous, but then my mind started to race. One naturally wanted to feel prepared for such an audience with the Maha Devi, and that week I’d had a tough time at university – sometimes it was also possible to regard such news ambivalently, as in, ‘Gosh, what have I done? Am I in trouble?’

As I rode the familiar forty-five minute journey from Hampstead to Knightsbridge on the tube, I remember struggling to go silent inside. On the doorstep, with my flowers, and heartbeat thumping rapidly in anticipation, I was greeted by a smiling Sahaja Yogi and told, ‘Go through to Mother’s bedroom.’ There was a festival atmosphere in the room; it must have been in 1984 as Mother had just returned from America. There were a few other Sahaja Yogis with Her in the bedroom already, almost of whom had worked on the house, and She was in a jovial mood, rummaging about, finding gifts, and tossing them about to various people.

I bowed down at Mother’s Feet, and received that bright and familiar greeting full of fondness and loving concern that always made me feel instantly at home and utterly at ease.

Ah, Caleb. How are you? So glad you could come.’ Mother then reached over, grabbed hold of something dark blue which, the next moment, I found lying on my lap – a very elegant double-breasted blue blazer with gold buttons. ‘I have been shopping for you all.’

Next a pair of tan coloured slacks flew toward me – other gifts flew about the room and landed with other people. I felt overawed and humbled by Her generosity. The extremely powerful vibrations added to the light-hearted, party-like atmosphere, and one could not help laughing, which I did, from sheer surprise, pleasure and gratitude as I thanked Mother for Her kindness. Ian Paradine was also there and I remember us both laughing as we tried on our blazers, and stood up so Mother could assess the fit. Mother regarded us both with twinkling eyes, shrewdly taking in the impression we made.

Very nice, indeed, I must say, very smart.’ She then added with satisfaction, ‘Now you must both wear them to my programmes.’

Of course for some time afterwards we did wear them. Riding home on the tube later that day, clutching my new clothes in a bag, which of course were a definite sartorial upgrade from my usual studentish look, I thought to myself, I needn’t have worried about anything, Mother knew everything, everything we thought and felt. She knew our hearts so deeply and She was only Love.

Caleb Williams 

The artist

I was fourteen when I met Shri Mataji and sometimes would get carried away with all the love She showered on us so generously, and would call her nani (grandma) when I was with Her grandchildren. When I first came to England in 1984, I was eighteen, and Shri Mataji took me in Her car for my first tour of London and was explaining everything so lovingly. I remember the colour of the sky was changing to hues of blue, purple pink it was absolutely gorgeous and seemed like it was constantly changing. I was sitting in the back with Shri Mataji and we were both looking up at the sky from the back window.

Isn’t it beautiful,’ She smiled and said.

Yes,’ I said, ‘Shri Mataji, You are artist that created it.’

But sometimes even the artist likes to sit back and enjoy the creation.’ She added.

This is your first trip to Scotland,’ Shri Mataji warned, before my husband and I went to Scotland to visit it his family, ‘don’t be scared you will see many drunk people there, they just fall on the side of the road and drink anytime during the day.’

She was so caring, loving and protective!

Prerna Richards

If you are in My Sahasrara

I had just come from India and we had been with Shri Mataji in Brompton Square and were going to Switzerland in 1984. Shri Mataji didn’t want to take Her grandchildren, because She did not know who would look after them.

I will look after them,’ I had said.

If you are going to look after them, then they can come,’ She said, so we went, and at one point I was unpacking Shri Mataji’s suitcase. My back was turned towards Shri Mataji, She was at the other side of the room and had some Sahaja Yogis with Her, and suddenly I was aware of a very nice perfume fragrance. I just turned around to see what it was.

What happened? Why did you turn round?’ Shri Mataji said, and I replied that I had smelled something. She said that one of the Sahaja Yogis had given Her some perfume and She was trying it on, and She said, ‘If you are in My Sahasrara, then you feel everything that I feel, and when I smelled it you could smell it.’

Prerna Richards

Shri Mataji’s London agent

Before the Ganesha Puja in Switzerland in 1984 Shri Mataji held a public programme in a religious building in Geneva, important for the part it played in the Reformation. The atmosphere became very tense. There were people present who stood and, in anger, argued with Shri Mataji, who just laughed at the drama. There was a man present who had a regular radio programme. We listened to this in the car as Mathias drove to the puja site. He translated bits of it from French as we went. As soon as he arrived at the Alpine resort where the puja was being set up, he reported to Shri Mataji what had been said on the radio. She said the false statements that had been made had to be challenged and corrected. She appointed one of the Swiss Yogis as Her representative in Switzerland and made me Her London agent.

After our return to London, there were many telephone calls, and much to-ing and fro-ing. On one occasion, I called the Swiss Yogi from the ashram in Nightingale Lane. There was only one phone, a coin machine that ate 20 pence pieces. I had a pile of them ready for a long call to Switzerland. One coin clunked in and the connection was made. We talked for over twenty minutes before I realised that my pile of coins was, apart from the first, untouched. The Divine, yet again, had superseded the demands of day-to-day life.

One day a message arrived from the Swiss Yogi. I knew Shri Mataji had a lunch party so the information was written out to be delivered without interrupting. After three o’clock I knocked at the door of Her home in Brompton Square. The door was answered by Shri Mataji’s cook. Speaking very quietly, I asked him to hand Mother the envelope. Very loudly he invited me in. I protested, but suddenly Shri Mataji called from downstairs, asking who it was. I was named, and She told me to join them and have some lunch.

In the mirrored dining room, there was a discussion going on among Sahaja Yogis, about making decisions and taking action. One Yogi from Australia was saying that as a left-sided person, action wasn’t always easy for him.

Brian’s left-sided but he doesn’t have that problem,’ Shri Mataji laughed and said, waving a hand in my direction.

Up to this point, my self-definition was of a yogi with right-sided problems, pushy and planning, so this was valuable news to me. I immediately upped the candle treatment.

Brian Bell

A magic meal

In 1984, at the time of the Shri Ganesha Puja in Zermatt, we were invited to go to the Swiss ashram for some weddings arranged by Shri Mataji. My friend Nathalie and I had only recently come to Sahaja Yoga, and it was a nice opportunity for us to get to know more.

On the day of the weddings Shri Mataji Herself cooked for us. The kitchen was partly outside with big pans and some fires and the food was very delicious. There was some chicken curry, quite hot, with rice and also some dessert. Shri Mataji Herself was sitting on a chair and we were queuing to get the food and She was even serving the dessert, which was some kind of fried bread, with a delicious sauce made with milk, cardamom and nuts. I will never forget that magic meal.

Trupta de Graaf

This mountain is a Swayambhu of Shri Ganesha

In July 1984 Shri Mataji was in Switzerland for the Guru Puja. She was walking in the streets of Geneva. Shri Mataji saw a postcard of the Matterhorn mountain.

This mountain is a swayambhu of Shri Ganesha,’ She said. ‘We should have the Ganesha Puja there.’ So the same year we had the puja in the village of Zermatt, in the mountains and when we were there Shri Mataji showed us how we could see the profile of Shri Ganesha in it. She gave the mountain a name: Ganaraj. From the window of the hotel room you could see that mountain. The sun rose in a special, different way, and the colour in the morning was orange and yellow, and the whole mountain was so beautiful with this colour. Shri Mataji said it was the colour of Shri Ganesha within Her, and He was just doing that to please Her. That was a very beautiful moment.

We had a wonderful puja and Shri Mataji had to walk to the puja place. She was walking so fast that She was almost flying. One of Her names is the daughter of the mountain, and we have a picture of Shri Mataji standing with it behind.

After we left, even though it was the beginning of September, the whole village was completely closed because it snowed for two days non-stop. There was no train or anything. We told this to Shri Mataji, because at that time of the year it never snows there. Shri Mataji said that Shri Ganesha wanted to enjoy the vibrations emitted by the puja, and to be quiet and have peace.

That puja was tremendous, in the nature. If you see a map of the area, it is as if there is a swastika dropped on the earth.

Marie-Laure Cernay

On the mountain train

I was a newcomer to Sahaja Yoga. In September 1984, in the mountain train going to Zermatt in Switzerland for the Shri Ganesha Puja, I was with Shri Mataji and the other yogis. Mother was at about six metres from me, and when She asked a leader, who I was and I felt Shri Mataji was scanning every part of me.

Immediately I felt the cool breeze and became peaceful. I realised at this moment that it was Shri Mataji who did that.

Jean-Pierre L

Zermatt, 2nd September, 1984 (diary entry)

Today we celebrated the Shri Ganesha Puja in the most marvellous scenery, with the most powerful vibrations – in the heart of the Alps, at the feet of the many snow covered peaks with glaciers stretch to the horizon, and at dawn and sunset they were tinted them violet and red. On the night of the puja the moon was exactly half size, and illuminated the whole valley.

The puja to Shri Ganesha was celebrated by sakshat Adi Shakti here because the Matterhorn is one of the Ganesha swayambhus of the world, and Shri Mataji explained that this originated when the ego of humanity developed, and is near Mont Blanc, which is the symbol of the ego. She also spoke of the skiers, and said that skiing is also a product of the ego, and their presence pollutes these places which are so pure. She said that mountains are the aspect of the Father, and the Mother is present in the form of the snow. Water takes into itself all the dirt of the world, and then it evaporates and is purified by the effect of the sun, and returns to the earth pure and on high, in the form of snow. From Her window Shri Mataji could see the whole panorama of the Matterhorn, which in German means the mountain of the Mother.

We Italians, along with the English, had the good fortune to travel with Shri Mataji in the train from Geneva to Zermatt. While we were with Her She explained the relationship of the Matterhorn to Shri Ganesha, Ganaraj, where the trunk and the eyes were.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji with the Sahaja Yogis at Zermatt

A number of Sahaja Yogis including myself offered the puja. At the end all the couples who had been married two days before at the Geneva ashram went to the Feet of Shri Adi Shakti, who blessed them and their Sahaja marriages. There were about two hundred and fifty of us at the puja, and it was perfectly organised by the Swiss.

Alessandra Pallini

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Shri Ganesha Puja Zermatt 1984

The highest light (diary entry)

One of the best moments was when we were leaving Zermatt, and went with Shri Mataji the few metres from the hotel to the station. There were just a few of us Italians left and we were all around Her, helping Her. I took a photo of the group, and afterwards Shri Mataji said, ‘Thank you,’ to me.

Because the person making the bookings forgot to include me, I finished up sharing with Marie-Laure, who was in the room next to Shri Mataji. Because of this I was able to help in serving Shri Mataji and doing some little things for Her.

Just before we left Shri Mataji received all the Italians in Her room. I asked Her a few things, and She said She was very pleased with us. One of the Sahaja Yogis had sung to Her the previous night, and She said his voice had improved so much, he should sing in an opera. The song was Altissima luce e grande splendore (highest light and great, effulgent radiance) The whole group sang the chorus and Shri Mataji enjoyed it very much.

Alessandra Pallini

How Shri Mataji can really read your mind

I went to America with Shri Mataji in 1984, and after the Shri Krishna Puja of that year I flew to London with Her and stayed at Her house in London. Then I travelled through Europe with Her, to the Shri Ganesha Puja at the Matterhorn. There were three deep and burning questions that were very relevant to me. I longed to ask Her these questions but did not dare to. I got home to Australia, and not long afterwards the coordinator contacted me.

Oh by the way,’ he said, ‘Shri Mataji wanted you to know – one – two and three,’ – and these were the specific answers to my three questions, none of which I had mentioned to Her, and only one of which had I mentioned to one other yogi.

Pavan Keetley

Another aspect of Shri Mataji’s cosmic being

In 1984 there was a Shri Ganesha Puja near the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland. This mountain is shaped like an elephant’s head. After the puja I offered Mother a sculpted clay model of Shri Ganesha, and She took it on Her lap.    

After this we went to an Austrian airport, Vienna, to greet Shri Mataji. Mother filled my camera with a great big smile that opened my heart wide to fill it with joy, in a sublime moment. When the film was processed it was a miracle photograph and showed beams of vibrations emanating from Her mouth to Her heart.

Colin Heinson

Shri Mataji at the airport in Vienna

A very, very special experience

In those days, 1984, things worked out very slowly. We didn’t have a mantra book. We didn’t have this, that and we were a small collectivity in Austria. There were about twenty people, and in the following year, about thirty-five. Shri Mataji came once a year and Gregoire de Kalbermatten was always with Mother. One day he had a big meeting in the United Nations, where he was working, and he asked me if I could drive because Mother wanted to go shopping.

Yes, of course. I can drive any car,’ I said and took his Audi and was driving Mother.

Another lady, Sorana, came with us. We were driving in the centre of Vienna. I was so much in a Left Nabhi state and I was so worried about finding a parking space. I had no idea who Mother was. When we were shopping, She just touched me once with Her Nabhi finger. She touched my Left Nabhi, said something to me and that was it. After that, we enjoyed it very much, like always when you are with Mother.

We were in different shops, and then we were sitting in the car nicely chatting, Mother like a very nice lady and somebody was bringing some sandwiches and Coca-Cola, so it was a very, very special experience. Later I could not understand that I had been worrying about such a small thing.

Edith Petermann

This love for art

In the year 1984, if I am not wrong, we went to Vienna with Shri Mataji and visited the palace of Schoenbrunn and She told us the queen, Maria Theresa, who built this castle, was a realised soul. She had sixteen children and built this palace.

We went inside the castle and visited all the rooms and everything. She made us see all the details of the gold of the paintings that were special. In a Chinese or Japanese room, we saw the decoration. Shri Mataji was making us see all the details of the refined art and the beauty and we were just so lucky, how much Mother taught us this love for art and beauty.

Marie-Laure Cernay

Finding Shri Mataji in Vienna

During one of Shri Mataji’s visits in Vienna in the early 1980’s I was fortunate to be at the ashram in Melichargasse, where She was staying, when She was about to go shopping. I was going to accompany Her along with a few other yogis, but when the time for departure came I was busy with some other things and missed joining the caravan of cars following Her to the city.

I had no idea where they had gone shopping. First I was sad that I had missed this beautiful opportunity to be so close to Shri Mataji, but then I thought, why not just get going anyway and try to find Her? I gave a bandhan and started driving. I knew from the previous year that Shri Mataji had visited a well-known tie shop in a busy shopping street in Vienna and I felt that this was a good place to start. When I reached there I immediately found a parking place, which was quite unusual in this area. I got out of my car and walked towards the shop, and there I saw Her car, decorated with flowers, parked right in front of it.

My heart jumped with joy and through the shop windows I could see Shri Mataji and the yogis inside. ‘Thank you Shri Mataji,’ I prayed in my heart, ‘You made it really very easy for me to find You!’ When I entered the shop She turned Her head towards me and smiled.

Ah, here you are! We were waiting for you! What do you think about this tie here? I thought you might like that design,’ and to my amazement She presented me with the most beautiful tie.

Herbert Reininger

McDonalds

This happened after the puja in Munich in September 1984. Two cars with yogis followed Shri Mataji on Her return to the ashram where a meal was prepared for Her. We were all dressed in kurta pyjamas and saris, still had our bindis from the puja and the drive back was not more than twenty minutes. On the way we passed a McDonald’s and Shri Mataji suggested we should have something to eat. We were amazed, happily agreed and parked at the restaurant.

Shri Mataji stayed in the car and a few yogis went to bring Big Macs, Cheeseburgers and Chicken McNuggets, complete with French fries and Coke. I remember sitting in the front seat in Her car, Shri Mataji behind me, eating a Big Mac with one hand and holding the sweet and sour sauce out with my other for Shri Mataji to dip Her Chicken Nuggets into.

What a scene! Dressed as we were, we went shopping with Shri Mataji straight from there and She returned to the ashram only much later.

Herbert Reininger

Another aspect of Her cosmic being

The most joyful time of my life was to see Shri Mataji smiling at me into the camera I was holding, and then to press the shutter to capture this moment of eternity. She would look straight at me to fill the picture frame. It was very difficult to not keep pressing the exposure button of the camera, to try and capture another expression on Her face, so as to reflect another aspect of Her cosmic being.

After the first puja held in Munich, Germany, in 1984, Shri Mataji smiled at me in such a sublime way, to tell me to photograph Her, but I could not, because the camera had run out of film!

      Colin Heinsen

Please take Me home

It was after the first public programme in Milan, in 1984 and I was driving Shri Mataji’s car. Afterwards we were to drive home and although I was quite new to Milan I thought I knew the way. After some minutes we were in front of the Scala, the opera theatre. After one hour of driving we were again in front of the Scala and I had lost my way.

The trip was fine,’ She said, ‘but now please take Me home.’

I am sorry,’ I was quite embarrassed, ‘but I have lost the way.’ She said not to worry.

Go here, go left, go right,’ She said, and so on, and She brought me home. It was the first time She had been in Milan. She knows everything.

Duilio Cartocci

Shri Mataji in Milan, Italy 1984

Shri Mataji went to the heart of all the people

I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1984 and saw Shri Mataji for the first time at Milan airport. It was the 16th of September and it was the first time She had come to Milan because Sahaja Yoga was just starting there. I had had realisation two months before, but didn’t really feel vibrations because I had done a lot of seeking and my chakras were damaged, and perhaps the only one which was working was my Heart chakra. I wanted to have a deep relationship of love.

There was going to be a puja in Milan, the first one, but I was told I was not ready for it. I wasn’t sure about this because I felt only Mother could say whether I should go or not. We went to the airport and maybe there were twenty people from Italy and Switzerland waiting for Shri Mataji. She came out and I went towards Her and She embraced me. It was as if She was a member of my family, whom I had known for a long, long time, but had lost.

Didn’t you want to ask Shri Mataji something?’ someone said when She was sitting in the car, so I asked Her if I could come to the puja.

Everybody who came to the airport can come to the puja,’ She said.

I felt the beauty of this answer because the question came from one person, but the answer was that the permission was given to everyone. She went to the heart of all the people there. When we went to the puja, I didn’t know what it was. But when I saw Shri Mataji, I felt She was the one who makes the connection between the heart and God. It was all so simple, so true, so impressive.

I also noticed Shri Mataji’s way with the children. At the end, She was giving names to the babies and was speaking with their mothers. I saw the children in the hands of Shri Mataji and they were so happy, so content in Her hands. None of them were crying, which was unusual, because usually when babies leave the arms of their mummies, they cry. Many people were giving presents to Shri Mataji. Arnaldo gave Her two beautiful stones.

No, it is too much,’ She said.

Please, Signora, take it,’ he said, with such love, and then She took them.

Sandra Castelli

A memorable night (diary entry)

In September 1984, when Shri Mataji came to do some programmes in Rome, She stayed in a very small flat belonging to the leader on Via Cassia. In the evening there were a number of Sahaja Yogis there, and one of the ladies cooked spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), which Shri Mataji barely tasted. When the lady’s husband arrived later, Shri Mataji was worried and said he should also eat, and that his wife should prepare something for him.

When it was time to sleep, just three of us remained to look after Her, because there was so little space, and we lay out on the floor. In the early morning, at about three or four, Shri Mataji woke up and called us to take Her vibrations. She had me massage Her Feet and Her lower legs energetically, seated on the bed. Then She asked me to massage Her arms, while the other lady continued to massage Her legs. Meanwhile She spoke to us, as She often did to the people who were near Her, making comments both on the local situation and that of the universe. At a certain moment, Shri Mataji said something which made me shiver.

God has still not forgiven the Romans for having killed Christ.’ 

We were dumbfounded. We continued to massage Shri Mataji for maybe two hours – one did not have a sense of time when with Shri Mataji – because She is beyond time. Eventually we returned to our corner of the room and went to sleep. When we woke up later in the morning, Shri Mataji was sitting in an armchair by the window, looking at us in silence and smiling.

She had got up earlier than us, when the sun rose, without calling us.

Alessandra Pallini