Chapter 06: 1987 – September to November, India, England and Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

They are Your children

It happened that in Kolkata we met Shri Mataji again, in September 1987. At that period She had a puja almost every year there. At the airport we used to go and say goodbye, because often She would be going on to Australia or somewhere like that. We were there at the airport, and Shri Mataji was talking to us all one after the other. She spoke to my mother.

Your children are very sweet, very nice,’ She said.

They are Your children,’ my mother said.

No, they are your children,’ Shri Mataji said.

Another year, again in Kolkata, I used to write songs and poems for Shri Mataji and whenever there was an occasion I would perform them. One time I was performing in Kolkata, and after the performance She asked me to stay back, near Her, while another Sahaja Yogini, a violin player, came up to perform. Shri Mataji was listening to this beautiful music.

What raga is this?’ She asked me, and I didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t know about all that, I had never learnt classical music.

I don’t know,’ I replied.

Ask her,’ Shri Mataji said so I did. The lady was Bengali and had a Bengali accent, and she was playing ‘hamsa dhoni’ so she said, in Bengali, ‘homsha duni’ so I turned to Shri Mataji and said what I heard.

It is hamsa dhoni,’ Shri Mataji said.

Then later I asked whether I should go on studying – whether to do arts or sciences, and then She said I should take up a career in journalism, because we need a lot of journalists in Sahaja Yoga. So far, I have not done that, because I got married after my bachelor’s degree.

Shoma Arcilio

Some rose-oil perfume

On the 13th of October 1987, Shri Mataji blessed the Gumpi ashram in Vienna with Her visit. She kindly allowed the ladies of the ashram to wash Her Lotus Feet, after which we offered Her some rose-oil perfume, bought in India, to put on Her Feet. Shri Mataji put some on the back of Her hand and told us all to smell the backs of our own hands. Everybody could clearly smell there the scent of the perfume.

Now you have to believe that you are all in My body,’ Shri Mataji said to us.

We were all amazed and delighted.

Brigitte Saugstad

I got completely lost in the vibrations

This happened in Vienna, at a public programme, and I was asked to do the introduction. Because of this I was very close to the stage when Shri Mataji came. She came to the stage, sat down and started to speak. I was sitting close to the stairs of the podium, and there I got completely lost in the vibrations. I felt attached to a huge, thick, solid column of light. There was nothing between me and this light and it kept me completely thoughtless.

Gunter Thurner

Shri Rama Puja, 15th October 1987 (email report)

By the Grace of our Divine Mother, the Shri Rama puja was celebrated on Sunday at the Centre International des Avants, an old hotel on the hillside above Montreux, overlooking Lake Geneva. Shri Mataji arrived on Saturday morning from Bombay, to be met by two leaders at Zürich airport. They flew on with Shri Mataji to Geneva Airport, where Shri Mataji was met by hundreds of Sahaja Yogis, all crowded into the small arrivals hall and holding flowers. Smiling, Shri Mataji walked through the mass of yogis, accepting flowers from each person present. She was so fresh and radiating joy that you would not have believed that She had just had a fifteen hour journey from Bombay, including two late planes and a missed connection in Zürich. As Shri Mataji moved about the terminal building She was followed by yogis singing Kundalini, Kundalini. Everything was remarkably peaceful; the terminal staff and the policemen appeared to enjoy the whole thing, or at least not to be bothered. Shri Mataji then left for Les Avants, with a fleet of cars following.

An hour and a half later, we all arrived, to find that our Divine Mother was not yet there. She had stopped on the way at a motorway service station overlooking Lausanne, for some refreshments, and someone in the car with Her later told us how in the car they had been playing a cassette of songs, with Shri Mataji translating all the words for the people accompanying Her in the car. Shri Mataji finally arrived about an hour later, to the strains of Swagata Agata Swagatam and more offerings of flowers, and went up to Her room to rest.

In the evening it was suddenly announced that Shri Mataji was coming down to the dining room to have dinner with us. Since the dinner was in two shifts of which we were on the second, we were a bit disappointed that we would not immediately be seeing Her, until someone suggested that Shri Mataji should be entertained by music during Her meal. So in we trooped, clutching harmoniums and various others holding tablas, tambourines and bells, and sat down on the parquet floor in front of the table at which our Beloved Mother was sitting taking Her meal in the centre of the large, bright and airy semicircular room, surrounded by tables which seemed to radiate away from Her at which Sahaja Yogis were dining. She smiled at us, and we started to sing and play the old favourites. From time to time Shri Mataji would comment on how a song should be played, how for instance just after climaxes in a bhajan there should be a moment of silence before the music takes off again. When the shift came to an end Shri Mataji told us that we should now take our food, and we were replaced by other groups of musicians who came together informally from a number of different countries – France, Spain, Austria and Germany. The music went on for the whole of the second serving of the dinner.

Next morning the Sahaja Yogis assembled in the puja hall, a long, narrow hall, but from which everyone could see clearly our divine Mother on the stage. A beautiful set had been constructed on the stage. Shri Mataji was to be seated on a golden throne about six feet with red silk cushions, whose legs were supported on carved kneeling lions. Behind Shri Mataji’s head was a large silver disc again inlaid with beads and brilliant as it reflected the video lights. Over the throne was hung a beautiful golden canopy, with a silk cloth draped over the back of the throne. Shri Mataji later commented how comfortable the throne was. To either side of the throne were marble pillars, actually made of covered wood, but very realistic; Shri Mataji said, smiling, that She was surprised that there was so much marble here! Behind the throne was a cotton screen behind which would be seen a ‘forest’ of bamboo shoots, back-lit, to symbolize the forest from which our Divine Mother was emerging after the fourteen years exile.

Shri Mataji entered the puja hall majestically, to music from the film Chariots of Fire. She spoke before the puja about the qualities of Shri Rama: ‘sankoch’ or the formality of the heart, being extremely diplomatic. He was born of the Solar dynasty and is on the right-hand side of our subtle being, and so was extremely mild to counteract its excesses. He controls the inner workings of a number of organs in the head such as the eyes and the lungs and the certain aspects of the throat. Shri Mataji talked for nearly an hour, and then the puja got under way. At the climax of the puja, a golden crown was presented to Shri Mataji. Visually the puja was extremely dramatic and magnificent. For aarti we sang Raghupati Raghava instead of the more usual Sabko Dua Dena. In the evening Shri Mataji was so kind as to join us again for a session of music and poetry. Arneau had written a number of beautiful poems and we combined these poems with live music and a slide show. Shri Mataji enjoyed it very much, particularly the poems.

Next morning Shri Mataji left for Geneva about lunchtime. A few of us were on hand to say goodbye to Her, standing in waiting holding the bamboo shoots which the previous day had been on the stage, to make an arcade through which our Beloved Mother passed on Her way to the car. That evening was the first programme in Geneva.

Phil Ward

Shri Rama Puja, 1987

A narrow escape

Mother’s Divine love was protecting me even before I knew of Her existence. In the early 1980’s a friend asked me to write the script for a documentary on religions in Kashmir and Ladakh. As part of my research, I made an appointment to interview a well-known Tibetan false guru but it fell through at the last minute. A few months later, I was acting in a play in The Hague. As I arrived at the venue I saw posters announcing that this false guru was giving a public programme in the hall next to the theatre and would receive any members of the public, but it was exactly the time I would be on stage.

I only realised what a narrow escape I had had and how lovingly Mother had guided me away from all the pitfalls I had been heading for when I got realisation later that year and met Her face to face for the first time. I went up onto the stage with other seekers after a public programme in Geneva.

This is a new yogini, Mother,’ a yogi said, and She looked at me and smiled. 

I know,’ She said.

She took my hands in Hers and I melted. My heart was filled to overflowing.

Oh Mother, how can I thank You enough for all Your loving care and attention over the years! May I always feel You in my heart and mind and may others see You in me. May I be a worthy instrument for You to work through. May Your will be done, Mother, on earth as it is in heaven.

Elizabeth Matera Matthews

You couldn’t have carried it all anyway

A small miracle happened when Shri Mataji was travelling from Geneva to Brussels in October 1987 as part of Her European tour. Her baggage was loaded onto the plane and our Divine Mother left with two Sahaja Yogis, carrying copious hand luggage.

When they arrived in Brussels, there was no sign of Shri Mataji’s beauty case at the baggage claim and Johan went back to the aircraft to search the cabin, without success. Shri Mataji by this time had already been welcomed by the assembled Belgian yogis and was asking very concerned questions about the whereabouts of the beauty case. No one had taken it as hand luggage and in Geneva we could clearly remember that it had not been checked in with Shri Mataji’s suitcase. All of a sudden, an Indian gentleman appeared out of the crowd, carrying Her beauty case and gave it one of the Sahaja Yogis who had accompanied Her.

I think this is yours,’ he said. He disappeared back into the crowd. Shri Mataji later said that this was Shri Hanuman.

Well, you couldn’t have carried it all anyway,’ Shri Mataji said to Bill.

Bill Hansel

The majority felt the vibrations

After the programmes in Antwerp and Brussels, in 1987, the next evening, a Friday, was Amsterdam. We were warned of the dreadful vibrations of Amsterdam, and were very surprised to see four or five hundred people come to the programme, which took place in one of Amsterdam’s most splendid hotels. We were also impressed with the quality of the people attending, who nearly all seemed to be very intelligent and humble, ready to listen to the advice Shri Mataji and the Sahaja Yogis had to give them. There were one or two conspicuous exceptions, one of whom Shri Mataji asked to leave the hall, which he did. A large proportion had been to false gurus or taken drugs or both, and there were some quite heavy vibrations at first, but at the end of the programme, when Shri Mataji told all the new people to come and sit at the front, on the floor, to receive vibrations, the majority of those present had felt them.

Phil Ward

Brussels and Antwerp (email report)

I had the privilege of attending public programmes in Antwerp, Brussels, and Amsterdam, in 1987. The programme in Brussels took place in a town hall on the outskirts of the city; about four hundred people came, and Shri Mataji stayed until midnight, talking to new people and giving them vibrations.

Next evening in Antwerp, in the huge auditorium of the General Motors factory on the outskirts of the city, about two to three hundred people came. At the end all the new people who wished came to the front of the hall and sat on the floor in rows, while the Sahaja Yogis gave them vibrations and Shri Mataji gave them attention individually from Her place on the stage.

Phil Ward

Let’s go to McDonalds

It was Shri Mahakali Puja in Munich, 1987. I was supposed to cook for Shri Mataji after the puja, but I don’t know what had happened to me. I had no ideas as to what to cook and started to panic a bit. Then after the puja, I was with Shri Mataji in the car to go back to the ashram. In my mind, I was going through what we had bought to cook for Her.

Who will cook for Me now?’ asked Shri Mataji.

Me, Shri Mataji,’ I said and thought, ‘This is it.’

After a puja one should not stay in the kitchen and cook. Let’s go out and have something to eat in the restaurant,’ She said and smiled at me.

My heart was overflowing with love and relief, but all the restaurants were closed because it was early afternoon. The driver of the car mentioned that only McDonalds would be open and this would not be appropriate.

Why not?’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Let’s go to McDonalds. The chicken is good there.’

So we went there and it was brought out to Shri Mataji, who stayed in the car, chips and Chicken McNuggets and Coke. We ate with Her and laughed like children and could hardly believe it. It was so incredible, joyful. Even the blue October sky seemed to feel the same and expressed it in little puffy white clouds.

Look up in the sky and see the clouds,’ She said, noticing it. ‘Even the sky seems to be bubbling with joy.’

Afterwards, Shri Mataji went directly for shopping to town, without going back to the ashram and having a rest. The swastika was still on Her Feet and we were all in our saris.

Annegret Kaluzny

The place of Maria

This story is from 1987, when Shri Mataji was in Munich, at the ashram there. I opened the door to a man who had been knocking. He was a journalist, and wanted to interview Shri Mataji. Mother was in Her room sleeping at that time. I asked the man how he had arranged the interview because we didn’t know about it. He told me that he had been in the Marienplatz, in the centre of Munich, that morning.

The Marienplatz is the place of Maria,’ he said to me. He said he had heard about Shri Mataji a long time before. He always wanted to interview Her, but had never managed it.

When he had been in the Marienplatz, although the day was very hot – because it was the middle of August – he suddenly felt very cool. He turned round and there was Shri Mataji in front of him, and he immediately recognized Her. There were a few other people with Her because She had been out shopping. He was so surprised and went up to Her and asked if he could interview Her.

Of course,’ Shri Mataji had said, and gave him the address to come to. He was writing a book about Mary at that time and seemed to recognize Mary in Shri Mataji.

At the ashram, She came downstairs and was happy to see him. The interview was beautiful and was for the magazine he was working for, New Age 2000 or something like that. The man had a problem on his leg and all the time he was interviewing Shri Mataji, about two hours, She worked on his left knee.

Mara-Madhuri Corazzari

Shri Mataji at Graz, Austria, in 1987

These pictures are from Shri Mataji’s visit and programme to Graz, Austria on October 14, 1987 and from the subsequent Shri Mahakali Puja at Schloss Blutenburg (castle of blood), Munich, Germany on October 16th, 1987.

Shri Mahakali Puja 1987

Shri Mataji at Graz Airport, 1987

Shri Mataji took a very small plane from Graz to Munich, a short but spectacular flight across the Alpine mountains in Austria.

Shri Mataji at Graz 1987

How alone She must be

On the way to Graz Shri Mataji rested in a yogi family house in Gleissenfeld, in the countryside. Near the farmhouse was a mountain, with some rocky cliffs almost looming over the premises. Then the yogi told Shri Mataji that the rock was named Tuerkensturz, because apparently a Turkish man had fallen to his death from those cliffs. Shri Mataji looked at the mountain, and gave it another name, changing the atmosphere of the mountain from a gloomy to a benevolent presence.

She took a rest and I was passing the corridor outside Her room when She came out and asked for some water. I brought the water to Her room where She was sitting on the bed, and was overcome by an overwhelming awe. How alone She must have been, Who created everything and us, and how small and insignificant are we, trying to impress and please Her.

Sigrid Jones

Seven red bangles and a pair of silver anklets

In 1987 I was living in England and was very sorry that I missed Shri Mataji’s programmes in Austria. In October some Austrian yogis came to visit us in England and told us how beautiful it was with Mother in Vienna. Suddenly I had a big, big desire to see Her before She left the UK for another country. I decided to pack my year old daughter Sita into the bus and go to the airport to see Shri Mataji off. The desire grew and grew over the next few days until one morning the phone rang.

Mother would like you to come tonight to Her house to translate something,’ the leader said.

Oh, my God, I had to write it down on a piece of paper to convince myself it was not a dream! I baked an apple cake, made a nice posy of flowers and off we went to London. Shri Mataji came to the door to greet us, we were asked to enter the living room and I found myself sitting next to God on the big settee. Sita looked at Mother.

Ah, she doesn’t recognise Me because I don’t have a bindi today,’ Shri Mataji explained.

My husband ended up talking to Sir CP about stereos. I had nothing much to do except worry about Sita toddling all over the apartment with chocolates in her hand.

You see how difficult it is to be a mother….. and I have so many children!’ Mother said, or something like that.

Before we left we were presented with chocolates and Mother gave me seven big red bangles and a pair of silver anklets – exactly those (with little hearts) which She wore at a puja on the photo which I always carried in my handbag. We stood there, receiving these presents, I looked at Mother’s Holy Feet and saw the whole universe – unforgettable, most precious memories.

Waltraud West

The Chinese guardian lions

Shri Mataji and Sir CP went to China during the cold war; they had received an official diplomatic invitation which made it possible. Whenever time permitted, Shri Mataji would buy ceramics and other works of art and crafts from the countries She visited. This way Shri Mataji assembled an impressive collection of ceramics that represented all the places She went to and the many people She met. Her memory was incredible and if we asked Her about any object She knew exactly what it was and what it meant, the history and the cultural tradition behind it. We were all very impressed with Shri Mataji’s knowledge and understanding of different countries and traditions and the extent of Her interest in their history, art, culture, current aspirations and even the current political affairs, and everyone She had met in all those years of travelling.

She never had a house big enough to display this collection of ceramics and other works of art, and the bulk of it was kept in storage. She told us She was extremely busy as a diplomat’s wife and also with Her mission of spreading Sahaja Yoga, and had not seen some of these objects for twenty years. The plan was to display the whole collection on a permanent basis in India so people who didn’t get a chance to travel abroad could see and enjoy them.

In 1987 Shri Mataji was planning to move back to India from the UK and the whole collection had to be packed for shipping, at Shudy Camps. This also required preparing a detailed inventory for customs’ purposes. Being a large collection and Shri Mataji’s time being limited we all tried to be very efficient and organised. She asked for every object to be shown to Her prior to being packed, took great pleasure in seeing them because they brought Her back special memories and She told us about every piece. Meanwhile time was passing and not much packing was being done.

Once the objects had been shown to Shri Mataji they were taken to the next room for packing. There, the person in charge started telling us off for taking so much of erHer time and asking Her so many questions about every object, so we did our best to accelerate matters. At one time I brought, from the attic, a pair of Chinese guardian lions to show Her. I was stopped by the Sahaja Yogi in charge of packing.

What is the need to show this monstrous ceramic piece to Shri Mataji, let’s just pack it, and not waste Her time. This is so ugly, surely not a piece of art.’ He held onto one of the lions for packing and I escaped with the other to show to Her.

Ah, what a beautiful piece of art! This is from China – I haven’t seen it for a long time, where is the other one that goes with it?’ She exclaimed.

Nowadays these two lions can be seen at Pratishthan, guarding a set of doors.

Luis Garrido

One of the Chinese lions

The divine marriage counsellor

In 1987 at Shudy Camps there was a couple whose marriage was about to break down. The wife, who was not a Sahaja Yogini, felt that if her husband had not joined Sahaja Yoga her marriage might have been more successful. Shri Mataji advised the Sahaja Yogi to give up Sahaja Yoga completely for a time, and to do his utmost to save the marriage. She also explained to the lady that all marriages are sacred.

At Shudy Camps I asked Shri Mataji Her opinion about divorce. 

Divorce is very inauspicious and only to be contemplated as a last resort, when all efforts towards reconciliation have failed or when people are fighting badly all the time, then it needs to be allowed,’ She told me.

A Sahaja Yogini was upset that her husband always refused to accompany her when she attended a Sahaja Yoga function, and she felt like divorcing him. 

Instead of wanting to punish your husband, why not forgive him instead of divorcing him?  You must feel sorry for this poor man and he has done nothing wrong,’ Shri Mataji told her. Later the husband became ill and this Sahaja Yogini felt very privileged to stand by his side, nursing him as a devoted wife.  

Another Sahaja Yogi complained that his wife refused to practice Sahaja Yoga and how upset he was with her. 

I remember you introducing your wife to Me,’ Shri Mataji told him, ‘she is a very nice, good person and you are lucky to have her. Never pressure her into joining Sahaja Yoga and enjoy your marriage.’  

 Luis Garrido

Fragrant moments

Speaking of fragrant memories, those familiar scents like Diorissimo and Rose can evoke the Divine; yet it was Her own special fragrance that came from the very essence of Mother Earth – that is the one we all cherish; the one no perfume house could ever match! Sahaja Yoginis who had the blessed opportunity of caring for Shri Mataji’s vibration-drenched saris will verify that the longer She wore a garment, the more fragrant it became.

I am remembering when Shri Mataji allowed me to prepare the white, satin silk saris She needed to take for Her long realisation tours abroad. Sometimes Her request to wash and iron up to a dozen saris came at very short notice, especially when trips had been spontaneously decided. Then the whole family would eagerly await Antonio, Shri Mataji’s trusted gana, to drop off the familiar burgundy Samsonite suitcase.

On arrival, we would then place it on the sofa beside the altar and tentatively open the treasure chest … as soon as it sprung open, there it was; Mother’s sacred fragrance! A fragrance that immediately infused us with Her grace and brought tears of gratitude to the eyes. We would leave the job till the last possible moment simply so we could keep the fragrance flowing and permeating the house. Also, I am not sure if it was coincidence, but often the request came at a time when I was feeling a bit unsure of myself.

I recall sitting anxiously outside Mother’s bedroom at Shudy Camps once, expecting to be told off for some foolishness, my head sheepishly low when suddenly the door opened and there She was – ‘Ah good, there you are! I’ve got some white saris I need you to wash.’ Phew, no telling off. Spending many hours through the night, washing the holy garments, becoming more cleansed from within as I worked the soap into each tiny kumkum mark … the symbolism was not lost on me!

Danya Martoglio

An old film

In late 1987 Shri Mataji asked my wife Ruth to come up to Her house in Rosary Gardens in London to help make some curtains. One day while she was staying there, Shri Mataji, Ruth, and another yogini had lunch together. Then Mother switched on the TV. Just at that moment, the titles of a film were coming up. It was Gaslight, a 1940 production.

This is good, let’s watch it,’ said Mother, and they watched the film.

The plot of Gaslight revolves around a man’s attempt to drive his wife insane in order to have her committed to an asylum, at which point he will be able to claim some jewellery that is hers by right. Shri Mataji remarked on the clarity with which the actors and actresses spoke in these old films, and also commented on how sweet the heroine was and how dignified she looked in the clothes of that period, particularly in the sweeping, off-the-shoulder ball gown which she wore in one scene. The husband almost succeeds in his plan, but at the last moment the young wife is rescued. Then it is her turn to stand up to her husband and tell him what she thinks of him.

Yes, yes, that’s right, go on, tell him!’ said Mother.

The whole incident was intimate and delightful: the ordinary raised to a higher power.

Chris Greaves

The people looked radiant and transformed (email report)

It was Diwali, at the end of October 1987, about a hundred Sahaja Yogis mainly from Italy, Austria, and Switzerland went to Linate Airport, Milan, to welcome our Divine Mother to Italy and to enjoy Her darshan. As usual, Shri Mataji kindly accepted flowers from all those present and was then driven to the flat in Milan where She would stay. We went to the cinema where the evening programme was to be held, and started to rehearse, and had an awful rehearsal. The cinema stage was black, the seats were black, the walls and floors were black and the vibrations weren’t terribly good. Meanwhile the local Sahaja Yogis were busy transforming the cinema; three bandhans of flowers around the chair of Shri Mataji, baskets of flowers along the front of the stage, and we felt a little better.

By half past six, when the programme was scheduled to begin, we found ourselves becoming as if by magic more relaxed and joyful, and not too worried. As Shri Mataji entered the hall, we sang Namostute followed by Swagata Agata, Shri Mataji taking Her seat on the last line of Namostute. Then Shri Mataji, smiling, asked us to sing an Italian song. It had never occurred to us to do so, so the performance of Churi Churi was completely spontaneous and enjoyed by everyone. The hall, full of about five hundred people, looked radiant and transformed. We had the privilege of staying on stage with Shri Mataji during Her discourse, leaving it only when She gave realisation, and returning afterwards to sing Namostute again and Adi Ma. Shri Mataji said afterwards how pleased She had been with the singing and that it had opened the hearts of the audience.

Phil Ward

Only a Mother could do the job (email report)

The Friday of the Diwali weekend in 1987, a programme took place in Piacenza, south-east of Milan. This was organized by the local Rotary Club and was by more or less by invitation, so mainly local aristocratic and business families came. It took place in a local palazzo, a large, old, and splendid town house hung with Persian and Indian carpets and other decorations and full of beautiful sculpture and paintings.

Here again a vibrational transformation took place; the video crew, the first to arrive, said the place caught at first from head to foot, but by the time we arrived the vibrations had settled down. Shri Mataji was visiting the rest of the house and had not yet come into where the programme was to be held, a dark and lofty room with some tables and benches laid out amongst statues and rolled-up carpets, and with frescoes of angels on the ceiling, which gave very cool vibrations, as later we all held our hands high and asked, ‘Are these the vibrations of the Holy Spirit?’.

As we sang songs Shri Mataji was in the next room, putting Her divine attention upon those present and working on a number of people. At one point a lady came in and declared that she had been completely cured of lumbar problems she had had since her childhood, with tears streaming from her eyes and to the cheers and applause of all present.

One really impressive thing about this programme was the quality of the new people. There were maybe eighty to a hundred people present, including twenty or thirty Sahaja Yogis. Some of the new people were aristocrats, but many came spontaneously to sit on the floor before our Divine Mother to receive realisation from Her. Very humble and dignified people; Shri Mataji commented that other countries, the English, Germans, and ‘the Swi-iss’, She said, smiling at us, had much to learn from the Italians. Incredible questions were posed to Shri Mataji, who talked about Her Divine Nature as I have rarely heard Her talk before in a public programme.

It was asked, is it not dangerous for a female incarnation to come on the earth at this time? What was the need of a Mother? Shri Mataji replied that with modern, complicated, and impure people, Lord Krishna would just have killed them with His Sudarshan chakra, and even Lord Jesus, although the essence of forgiveness and love of humanity, would have lost patience and used His destroying powers, of which He had eleven and just one was enough to destroy the whole creation. So only a Mother, with Her love and compassion and patience could do the job.

After Shri Mataji’s talk, which took the form of answers to questions posed to Her by the lady chairman of the meeting, a televised interview took place with a journalist who had come and got her realisation, and many people came forward to shake Mother’s hand and express their gratitude. It was very intimate and with the backdrop of the carpets and the high, ancient walls it could have come from some Rembrandt painting of the Divine Mother surrounded by Her listeners.

Earlier in the day Shri Mataji had held a press conference which had been attended by eight journalists, who insisted on having their realisation first and then asking questions. There weren’t many questions, but those that came were good ones.

Phil Ward

Diwali Puja 1987 (email report)

On Saturday we all made our way to the place of the puja, a hill resort in spectacular scenery (jagged rocks and sheer cliffs like a Chinese painting) north of Lecco, about half an hour’s drive. Four hundred Sahaja Yogis from all over Europe met in the puja hall to wait for Shri Mataji, who arrived from Milan about 11pm and kindly came to join us.

Mahabhajans it turned out to be, with each national group singing at least one song, with an Indian bhajan between national groups. The French song was particularly beautiful. Before the singing started Shri Mataji talked to us for a while, and gave presents of ties to all the leaders present. The bhajans went on until 4 am., without anyone feeling tired.

Shri Mataji told us a funny story about Rustom Burjorgee. He had once suggested to another yogi that he should ask Shri Mataji to become nirakara, formless, to hasten his spiritual growth. This yogi did so, but She told him that this was not proper. Shri Mataji was at that moment travelling by plane to Calcutta with some leaders. When they got there the people who had assembled to greet Mother could not see Her, or any of those travelling with Her. They had indeed become nirakara, and so completely invisible. Shri Mataji gave a bandhan to the driver of the car so that at least he should see them.

The puja was announced as starting at midday, but shortly after midday we received instructions from Shri Mataji to go for our lunch, and return at 3 o’clock. Our Divine Mother finally came for the puja towards the end of the afternoon; after all, Diwali is a puja to be celebrated at night.

During Her discourse She spoke first about innocence, how after realisation we now have both innocence and knowledge, which is divine knowledge, not worldly knowledge by which we know how to manipulate, dominate, and oppress. Then She spoke of the dangers we face and the wrath of God. During the puja Shri Mataji spoke about the aspects of Shri Lakshmi, as we said their mantras to Her. Then there was more music, particularly Tere Hi Guna Gate Hai, and at the end of the puja, Shri Mataji expressed Her wish that all the musicians should come to India; one or two who would not be able to go otherwise would not have to pay the tour fees; after all, as Shri Mataji said, the musicians are working for the rest of the folk on the tour. The puja ended with the aarti being sung.

See you in India!’ Shri Mataji said as She bid us farewell.

Phil Ward

Like when Christ or Socrates spoke

As an infant in the 1970’s I lived tantalisingly close to Shri Mataji’s house in Surrey, but it was not until a few days before my twentieth birthday that I finally encountered Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji had just arrived back in London from the Shri Rama Puja in Switzerland and a few days later, on the 16th November 1987 She gave a public programme at Porchester Hall. It was one of the rare occasions when She stood to address the audience. I remember thinking that it must have been like that when Christ or Socrates had spoken and I was enraptured by Her talk about the Spirit. After giving self realisation Shri Mataji invited the new people to come onto the stage, so I went to meet Her.

Shri Mataji was in a very joyous mood. She greeted me and talked very much like a mother or a friend. This surprised me as I was very much in awe of Her and could feel that She was an enormously powerful personality. She was all the time gentle and very loving and asked me whether I had felt it. I had, but so far my experience had not been as strong as before, when I first received my self realisation, and I didn’t know why. Shri Mataji then took my right hand in Hers, stroking my palm as She talked and drew the sign of the cross with Her finger on my palm several times.

You have to forgive,’ She said to me, very simply.

Yes, yes, Shri Mataji,’ I immediately replied, because this seemed to me to be so obviously the right solution.

That’s it,’ She looked at me and said, and before I knew it, I was sitting on the floor at Her Feet being worked on by another yogi, with vibrations absolutely blasting through my Sahasrara and in as deep a state of meditation as I have ever been!

Tim Bruce

As you are, so the world will be

It was in London – at Porchester Hall in the mid 1980’s. It was close to the end of a meeting, our Mother had given Her talk and I was standing near the stage.

As you are, so the world will be,’ She said, referring to the yogis as a whole.

Chris Greaves

The origin of the affirmations

The affirmations started with Shri Mataji giving realisation with affirmations at Porchester Hall in London, in the mid 1980’s. After that they were developed by yogis and were based on Mother’s words that She had spoken on different occasions about different chakras.

Grazyna Anslow

Someone who tells the truth

On November 16th 1987 I headed for Porchester Hall in London. I was not quite sure what to expect – someone had given me a poster the day before. I walked into a grand hall full of people and immediately felt at home. There were all types of people, all ages and races, children running, lots of joy and chattering. I sat down, waited for something to happen and enjoy. After a while someone told us we will all get our realisation later. This worried me a little bit, as I had read that one could never get one’s realisation in this lifetime. Suddenly everyone got up and a lady wearing a cardigan and a headscarf came in and She reminded me of my grandmother. This lady, who was Shri Mataji, started talking and made so much sense to me that after five minutes I thought, ‘Here is someone who is telling the truth.’ I knew She was the teacher I had been seeking. We did get our realisation.

You have to be honest and if you feel something, admit that you have felt something,’ Shri Mataji said.

I did feel the cool breeze and I somehow knew that it was something very important. We were invited to go to the stage to meet Shri Mataji. As I got closer to Her, I became very nervous and everything seemed to be in slow motion, I realised much later that it was the strong vibrations. Shri Mataji said a few words to me, did some bandhans on my hand, then burst out laughing and told me to bring sugar the following evening.

I spent the rest of the evening sitting in the front row watching Shri Mataji. I kept wondering, ‘Who is this beautiful lady? She is so genuine, greets everyone with such grace and smile, I have never seen such a smile!’

After the programme I walked home, overwhelmed by all that happened. Next morning, I spontaneously never smoked again, and I had been trying to stop for years.

Annie Calvas

Shri Mataji worked on the left Vishuddhi

At one of Shri Mataji’s programmes at Porchester Hall, I arrived burdened with an unduly large left Vishuddhi catch. In those days Shri Mataji would attend to all the new people individually and then receive flowers from the regulars. The Vishuddhi catch was so bad that even after the talk and realisation session I felt in no condition to get too close to Mother.

After a time of sitting there quietly I saw someone at the end of the queue who I needed to speak to, so got up and went and had a word with this person. By the end of the conversation the queue had moved on and was now close of Shri Mataji. I now felt better, and that giving Her a flower was not such a bad idea. Soon the queue got to the person just in front of me and Shri Mataji asked him how he was. He replied, mumbling that he had a catch on his left Vishuddhi.

I beg your pardon?’ Shri Mataji replied. Again he mumbled something about a bad left Vishuddhi.

What is he saying?’ She turned to me and asked.

He says he is catching on left Vishuddhi Mother,’ I replied, loud and clear.

After that Mother worked on the person’s Vishuddhi, and got up and left without attending to me directly.

Bernard Rackham

I had entered a new dimension and ‘come home’ at last

In 1987 I was forty-two years old and spiritually on my knees, having tried and abandoned drugs and some other seeking paths. One day at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting somebody heard me say, ‘Like a lotus grows clean and pure out of the mud,’ and he homed in on me. I was struck by his happiness – he was always happy. One day he mentioned, ‘I meditate,’ and then he put a leaflet into my hand which said, ‘Shri Mataji in person at Porchester Hall’.

Shri Mataji arrived dressed in white, Her long black hair flowing down over Her shoulders, and walked down the centre aisle of the audience. It was as if everything stopped, or faded away and I just saw Her. The hairs on my arms and at the back of my neck stood on end and I could feel my heart beating. I thought, ‘What’s going on here, who is this?’

She spoke, – such sense – almost voicing my own thoughts and feelings that I had never been able to articulate. Then I discovered She was going to give the experience of self realisation. We all went through the exercise of putting our right hand on different chakras, and She asked us to say different things within ourselves. Then She blew over the microphone.

How many people felt the cool breeze coming from the top of their heads?’ She asked.

I looked around the hall, and everyone raised their hand. I was sitting near the front. Had I been singled out not to ever see or glimpse God? I felt my bottom lip tremble as my despair and disappointment began to well up. Then Shri Mataji’s eyes met mine.

Don’t worry, it’s alright, if you didn’t feel it come up here to Me,’ She said. I knew She was speaking to everyone, but She was looking at me and somehow had felt my desperation and to me that was a rope to a drowning soul. I went up to Her.

I’m so tired of searching,’ I whispered. She asked me what I’d been doing, where I’d been seeking and I mentioned a couple of things. She tutted and shook Her head. She held my hand and stroked it for ages and put Her hand on my stomach, all the time looking right into me. Suddenly I felt my forehead open up like the opening of a cage; there seemed no top to my head.

Oh my God, it’s true!’ I thought. It was wonderful beyond words.

Ah, she’s got it,’ Shri Mataji said to some people standing around Her. She said a few other things that I will keep in my heart, but what She said proved that She knew me, that I had entered a new dimension and ‘come home’ at last.

Jenny Brown

I am eager to be with My children

Travelling from Barcelona to Madrid with Shri Mataji in 1987, we were about nine Sahaja Yogis, and Mother’s bags were checked in together with the bags of the Sahaja Yogis travelling with Her.

Arriving in Madrid, the signs said that the bags were to be collected on belt number 1, where the Sahaja Yogis went. I was standing alone with Mother in proximity to belt number 10.

Javier, please collect My bags that are going around here on belt 10,’ Mother said. I told Her that our bags were going to be collected by the yogis at belt number 1. A little disappointed Mother said, ‘Please pick up My bags because I am eager to be with My children who are waiting for Me outside.’

To my surprise Shri Mataji’s two bags were indeed the only ones turning on belt number 10. Mother went outside and collected all the flowers offered by Her Madrid children, who were waiting for Her, and only when Mother sat inside the car were the rest of the bags delivered. My daughter Anita told me the same thing happened on a trip with Mother in South America.

Javier Valderamma

A chance to be close

When I was a very new Sahaja Yogi I travelled to Spain in November 1987 to see Shri Mataji at the puja. In my heart I really longed to be close to Shri Mataji because I had heard of all the beautiful moments people had spent with Her. I told the other yogi who was with me, ‘All those Sahaja Yogis are very lucky, I wish one day that I might have a chance to be close to Shri Mataji.’

We came to the ashram where Shri Mataji was residing. The sweet thing was that this puja was on my birthday. I saw the Sahaja Yogis waiting outside the house for Her to come out and when She did She smiled at both of us.

The Swiss are there already,’ She said. But there were only us two. Then Shri Mataji went into the car to leave and we all namaskared, and suddenly the car stopped. One of the drivers was waving his hand and calling one of the Spanish Sahaja Yogis. He ran over, wondering what was happening. Shri Mataji wanted the Swiss to come shopping with Her. I couldn’t believe it. It was what I had wanted in my heart, and what I had told my Sahaja brother only two hours before.

So there we were in the car with Shri Mataji, spending the whole day with Her. She took us to a restaurant, it was amazing. Eight or ten Sahaja Yogis and Shri Mataji ordered the food for us; we were like little children loving our mother, and She treated us like little kids. Most of us were around twenty years old.

We have too many choices and we shouldn’t spend so much time ordering the food,’ She said. ‘Everybody, hamburger with french-fries.’ I was told we were not supposed to eat beef in Sahaja Yoga, so I was surprised to hear Mother order it for Herself, but with no egg. She said it was not good to mix egg and beef as it was too much protein or calories for Her. It was an incredibly relaxed atmosphere and. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting there with Shri Mataji.

While we were eating our hamburgers, french-fries, Coke She started to tell how in 1970 She opened the Sahasrara, and explained how the Kundalini shot up and how She could feel it like a volcano and all the colours. While Mother was describing this we sat there with knives and forks in our hands and our Sahasraras completely opened. It was the most amazing thing; there was this mix of complete divinity of Shri Mataji and Her total motherly love.

Now you all have to have some sweet things,’ She said. I felt like I was five years old. ‘All of you, chocolate ice-cream,’ and we all had chocolate ice-cream. So we had had hamburger, beef, egg, french-fries, Coke and chocolate ice-cream. Normally my liver would have exploded! But when I had the chocolate ice-cream I felt my Nabhi become so cold, because the whole food was vibrated. It was if Mother was filling us with food and vibrations at the same time making the Nabhi and Swadishthan become cool. So that was my first experience of Shri Mataji as the all-pervading power. She knows everything that is in all of our hearts and is ready to answer all our wishes if we have the desire within us.

Pascal Shrestaputra


When Shri Mataji came to Madrid in 1987, She stayed at my house. It was a small and humble house because there was no better possibility. We had prepared everything with much detail and we really did our best, and had bought everything we thought Shri Mataji might need.

We were in a car on the way to my there, I was on the back seat with Shri Mataji and there was another person in between us. I felt very nervous to think that She was coming to my house and didn’t know what to do. I started to say mantras inside. After a while Shri Mataji leaned towards me, behind the person between us.

Very good,’ She said.

When She arrived we duly performed all the welcoming protocol. We wanted to offer Her something to drink and She asked for water. Oh no! We had no mineral water for Mother! Luckily there was a shop nearby and we quickly went out to buy some.

Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’ll have Coca-Cola. I just asked for water because I knew that it was missing,’ She said, when the person was explaining all this to Her.

Spanish Sahaja Yogi

Cristian’s healing

Our son Cristian was seven years old. From his birth he had had problems with his throat and his ear, which caused general suffering. The doctor wanted to operate and take out his tonsils.

Wait a little, as our spiritual master is about to come and we have a great faith in Her,’ we told the doctor, who went silent and a little sceptical.

Shri Mataji came to Madrid in the autumn of 1987, and blessed us with a Shri Ganesha Puja. It was celebrated in a cottage in the suburb of Soto de Viñuelas. This puja was more international and there were more people than the preceding ones. We, Cristian’s parents, left the problem to Mother’s attention. In our heart, we hoped that Mother would heal our boy. While the puja was being celebrated, Cristian went to give Mother a flower garland, and, at that moment, our request came up spontaneously, ‘Mother, please, heal our child.’

During the puja, Cristian’s mother offered Mother a ‘jota’, the traditional song from Zaragoza and surroundings. We then asked Mother for a spiritual name for Christian’s little brother.

Ganesha,’ Mother raised Her head and said, after some seconds.

Some months later, Cristian was feeling perfect the doctor told us he was cured from his serous otitis. We felt comforted and grateful to our Mother.

Joaquín Orús

Why did the plane not take off?

 Once, we were returning to India from Milan, via Rome in the late eighties. Sir CP was also with us. The flight got late and we missed the connection at Rome. So the airport authorities made us stay in their hotel near the airport. From the hotel Shri Mataji went shopping and told another Sahaja Yogi and me to wait for Her at the hotel.

The flight departure was at 7.20 pm. We waited for Shri Mataji up to 7.00 o’clock, then went to the airport thinking that now She would directly come to the airport. When we reached airport, there were many Sahaja Yogis waiting for Shri Mataji and the baggage was already loaded by a Sahaja Yogi who was working there. On the public announcement system they were repeatedly announcing our names telling that the flight was being delayed on account of us. The aircraft could not take off because our baggage was in it. Just then Shri Mataji arrived at the airport.

When I told you to wait for us at the hotel, why did you leave without us?’ She asked.

We explained our reason, and then She spoke to every one of the Sahaja Yogis who had come to see Her off and received flowers from them. We boarded the aircraft at about 8.00 pm. As we entered the aircraft, all other passengers and air hostesses booed us. Shri Mataji did not say anything. She just sat down in Her seat. We also sat down.

To our surprise, the plane could not move for two hours after that, due to a technical snag. Shri Mataji told us to go and ask these ladies who were shouting at us, why the aircraft did not take off.

Suresh Nigam