Chapter 06: 1990 August and September, England and Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Shri Krishna Puja weekend, England, August 1990

After our Divine Mother decided that the Shri Krishna Puja should take place in England so that as many Sahaja Yogis as possible could attend and have the maximum vibrational impact on the Vishuddhi Chakra of the world, the English Sahaja Yogis were looking around for a site for this puja. They found a school but the vibrations were not very nice, so a few yogis gathered for a puja which they dedicated to preparing it prior to proposing it to Shri Mataji. As the puja was going on, a phone call arrived from Shri Mataji saying that the school which had been found was not the place. She had seen just a field sloping down to the sea, flanked by trees on either side, ‘somewhere in East Anglia’. All the yogis had to do was to find it.

On Friday evening four to five hundred Sahaja Yogis arrived in a Boy Scout camp site called Hallowtree – the Tree of Life – just outside Ipswich, on the Orwell estuary with the field, full of our marquees, gently descending towards the water’s edge, beyond which we could see many small boats riding at anchor. All weekend there were generous amounts of good old English rain, a blessing for this country which had experienced an unparalleled seven-week drought and whose parched yellow-brown grass reminded us of India as we arrived.

Shri Mataji spoke to us on Friday evening in a talk which was at once serious and hilarious as She spoke about the silliness of the West, and then sat with us for a short concert of bhajans mainly by the English Sahaja Yogis. Before leaving us that evening, She advised us not to spend the whole night laughing!

Phil Ward

A major havan in Shri Mataji’s presence

On Saturday morning of the Shri Krishna Puja weekend, we all assembled towards the lower edge of the field for the havan. It was the first time for some years that a major havan had been celebrated in Shri Mataji’s presence. Beforehand Shri Mother spoke to us about America, how the Americans are in confusion, but that they are nonetheless good-hearted people, and with more respect for the family and themselves than some European countries. With regard to the Middle East situation Mother described the Americans as fighting against a devil. The havan was to be the longest in memory, as a Sahaja Yogini unhurriedly read out the thousand names of Lord Vishnu and a Sahaja Yogi their meanings. Shri Mataji kindly commented on some of the names for us, and we all responded with ‘Om Swaha’. During the havan the unbroken dark grey of the sky gave way to patches of blue to warm us as we sat around the fire.

After the havan, instead of the usual burning of baddhas, Shri Mataji proposed that a number of negative things should be burned, to each of which we said ‘Om Swaha’ three times. In particular, She spoke very forcefully about fanatics. She also named the false gurus, and other very negative people and institutions. Then various Sahaja Yogis proposed the burning of other baddhas to Shri Mataji, who repeated them to us as we offered the rest of the auspicious mixture to the fire. She commented to us on the power of this yagnya and recommended us to perform havans more often.

Phil Ward

The puja lasted well into the night

On the Sunday morning of the Shri Krishna Puja weekend we re-assembled after breakfast as our Divine Mother came once again to join us. First there was a little drama depicting the boyhood of Lord Krishna performed by some of the English children. And then we were joined by Shri Mataji’s husband, who won several ovations as speeches were addressed to him to congratulate him on receiving the knighthood of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

The rain continued to fall, the puja started quite late on Sunday evening and lasted well into the small hours of the morning. Just before the puja there was a brilliant and mysterious light in the sky, directly over the puja pandal, in a large circular formation, at first golden and then glowing silvery white. In Her talk before the puja, Shri Mataji mentioned the significance of the puja being held in England. A few years ago the Mahashivaratri Puja had been held in Pandharpur, the city of Lord Vitthala in Maharashtra, Lord Krishna’s place as He is Shri Vitthala, the Virata. Now Lord Krishna’s Puja was being celebrated in the island of Lord Shiva, completing the loop.

The puja lasted well into the night, and ended after our Divine Mother had received presents of musical instruments from all the different countries, including synthesisers, guitars, and exotic local folk instruments. The Sahaja Yogis had wanted to invite some Indian musicians but when this did not work out Shri Mataji commented that it was now time for us to perform.

Our sixth and last meeting with Shri Mataji that weekend came on the Monday morning, as She was about to leave the camp site to return home to Shudy Camps. Everyone left was performing the rasa outside the building as She came out and received the respects and the flowers of those present.

Phil Ward

Our true value

The 1990 Shri Krishna Puja, in England, was my first puja in the presence of our Holy Mother, the God I had been searching for since long. Once I recognised Her I had to set eyes on Her to fulfil my greatest desire. I was only four months in Sahaj so was quite new to the protocols, but had had so many dreams and experiences I knew I had to go to England. Finding the money to do that from Australia was another miracle.

At the puja, when the seven ladies were called I so desperately wanted to go, but had little value of my worth and felt there were many ladies much more worthy than me. My mentor prodded me from behind and others were pushing me as they knew my desire. I finally got up and found myself walking down the centre of the pendal that seemed to open up as I walked towards the stage. I thought I could see seven ladies in front of me and was about to turn around but felt so shy I could not. Then as the other ladies got to the front of the stage, they began turning to the right so they could enter from the side. As I got there, Shri Mataji pointed to me to come straight up, so I became the first at Her Holy Feet.

She told me to take my place at Her right Foot. I could not believe what was happening. As the puja got to the part where we coloured Her Feet with liquid kumkum I so wanted to hold Her Foot and rub my whole hand over it. My left hand held Shri Mataji’s heel. I thought just using the right Agnya finger was so little and my desire was to massage Her Feet one day.

You can use all of your hand,’ Shri Mataji said.

I put my entire right hand fingers into the bowl and spread this liquid over Her Holy Foot. It felt so wonderful, so fulfilled – She had heard my desire and granted it. Then my hand passed down Her Foot towards Her toes.

Ah, that’s better,’ She said.

I look back now and see how sweetly She was clearing my chakras and making me realise that we have no idea who we really are and our true value.

Linda Pauling

You must stop thinking

I’ve had the juvenile type of diabetes since I was six. I am now in my forties. In 1990 I was at the Shri Krishna Puja, which was in England, and I went to see Shri Mataji afterwards to ask Her what could be done.

You think too much, you must stop thinking,’ She said to me first of all and then She said, ‘what do you do?’ I didn’t quite hear, so She told me to go over and sit close to Her, and said, ‘What job?’

I am a teacher,’ I replied.

Teaching isn’t good for diabetes,’ She said. The other thing I’ve heard Mother say about diabetes is that is closely linked with guilt.

Maggie Burns

Get the negatives

In 1990 Shri Mataji asked me to go to Shudy Camps and collect Her photos, which were with Her personal mail. While doing this I found a small envelope with Her passport photos. When I was in India a year later I went to the address of the photo shop printed on the envelope and asked the owner if he had more photos.

Oh yes, we have many photos of Mataji,’ he replied.

Then he brought out a little tin box with over a hundred negatives. I ordered a set of prints and showed the album to Shri Mataji. She looked at every page with a big smile on Her face.

I did not age much,’ She said with a laugh, and then, ‘Get the negatives!’

I went back to the shop and told the owner that Shri Mataji wanted the negatives and after a short negotiation he gave a price. With the support of a few yogis I bought them and scanned them in Canada. Now they are with the World Foundation.

Lothar Pfeifer

Some of the photos Lothar scanned

Nothing was the same

When Shri Mataji came to Switzerland in 1990, She stayed in our ashram in Givrins. We had a lot of guests during that time, around sixty people in the house. All our attention was on cooking and preparing for Shri Mataji, trying to make Her stay as comfortable as possible. We had cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners for our guests, but nothing special, as we concentrated on serving Shri Mataji.

It was the second day when we heard Shri Mataji had asked one of the guests what he had for lunch. After that, nothing was the same. She refused what we had cooked for Her and wanted only the food we had prepared for the guests. She scolded us for neglecting our guests and for not taking care of them enough. Then She dictated a long shopping list to buy food because She wanted to cook for everybody. You can imagine how we all felt.

For two days, Shri Mataji spent hours in the ashram kitchen cooking the most delicious snacks and dinners for us and not only for the ashram people and the guests, also for the yogis who stayed in several places around — they had to come for dinner. We were about a hundred and fifty people. She really showed us how to treat and care for guests, and also taught us how to cook and how to keep the kitchen clean while cooking.

Miracles happened, like Shri Mataji wanted a certain spice or ingredients, which we thought were not in the house, She asked us to look for them and they were always found.

It was a great lesson and a wonderful time.

Annegret Kaluzny

Shri Mataji translated for us

Shri Mataji came to the Givrins ashram in Switzerland, and spoke to all the yogis there. At one point someone gave Shri Mataji a letter and She asked for Her glasses, which She used for reading. No one could find them so She opened the letter and read it without them. She answered each question in the letter, and afterwards we found out that the letter was written in French, even though She did not know French.

A few years later we were at Cabella in Shri Mataji’s room and the television was on. The news came on and Shri Mataji wanted someone from Austria to translate it, but there was no one in the room who could speak Italian well enough to translate the news. So Shri Mataji started to tell us everything that the man on the television was saying, even though he was speaking Italian. She said that the ladies also have to know what is going on in the world. She had translated it from Italian, even though officially She did not speak Italian.

Laxshmi Ward

The Holy Spirit Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Mataji arrived in Geneva on Monday evening to be welcomed by a crowd of Sahaja Yogis – mostly local – at the airport. Big posters had been put up all over town for the first programme simply announcing ‘The Holy Spirit Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi’, and some five to six hundred people came to the Salle des Fêtes de Thonex, a beautiful hall on the outskirts of Geneva, to hear Mother.

Shri Mataji mentioned in Her talk that the truth did not need stage-management or embellishment. It is what it is, Her listeners should try out the hypothesis She was presenting and if they found it to be true then to accept it. She mentioned the success of the programmes – an explosion, She said – in Sofia (Bulgaria), the USSR and Paris and went on to mention Her triumph in London at the weekend, when 1,400 people came to the programme. Mother described how the English Sahaja Yogis themselves were amazed at how the ‘snooty’ English, with their stiff upper lip, became so open and joyful under the influence of Her divine vibrations.

On the way to the programme, and also on Her return journey, Shri Mataji was driven on a guided tour of the banks in Geneva, so that She could better put Her attention on each one. The banks do not give us joy, as She pointed out during Her talk, but only headaches.

Prior to the programme, Shri Mataji spent the day resting at Givrins ashram. In the afternoon She went to sit on the lawn, where She spoke with some Sahaja Yogis who were present, translating a few songs into English for Her listeners, and worked on a number of children present, giving them all chocolate. When She gave chocolate to Mathias’ daughter Lakshmi, only nine months old, he pointed out that the baby might not be able to eat it as she had no teeth yet.

Doesn’t matter’, Mother said, ‘she can suck.’

Phil Ward

The rising tide of joy

This letter which follows was given to Shri Mataji before the Shri Ganesha Puja, in 1990 in Austria. In the hotel lobby later, where we were all offering flowers to Shri Mataji, She thanked me for ‘the beautiful letter’. It was an unforgettable, joyful experience!

A few days ago I learned that Shri Mataji, in a mood of abundant joy, had declared that She now gives all Her blessings to Austria. Wondering what this could mean, I went into meditation. After some moments the answer came, that all Her blessings means Shri Ganesha, and that Austria would be filled with His presence.

Now, on this cool, sunny summer morning in Vienna, three days before Shri Ganesha Puja, something tremendous was happening: something a million times bigger than words. While listening to the recording of an earlier Shri Ganesha Puja, a change began to rise in me, like the ocean’s tide swelling by the cool light of the moon. A majestic Presence was entering my being, the room, the city—perhaps the whole world. It was Shri Ganesha Himself. Moving with a graceful fluidity, His presence was transforming everything into a paradise. His immensity, having no bounds, was filling, and somehow expanding, the creation. Within me, I realised that all the impure habits and projections, which I always clung to under my umbrella of guilt, were just hollow illusions. I had felt inferior because I still could not find the Lord of Innocence in my being. Now it seemed crystal clear that I was supposed to simply and purely ask for, and patiently wait for, His Love to open my heart. Now, with only a sudden cool breath of warning, He came: the embodiment of Divine Love and Forgiveness!

My faults had never existed—they were invisible specks of dust made huge through the microscope of my vain doubting. What a fool I had been: tricked, tempted and double-crossed by hosts of empty thoughts! I was thinking that they had some content. Now I see, with the pure vision of my Spirit, that only this majestic Beauty and playful Innocence of the Divine can really exist inside anything real. Only now that He is here, by the Grace of Shri Mataji, does everything begin to have meaning. This meaning, that I begin now to grasp, is more deeply fulfilling than I had ever dared to desire.’

Edward Saugstad

It will always stay in my memory

I want to tell you about the puja I went to with my sister, Heidi, in Tyrol, right up in the mountains, in 1990. The miracle happened after the puja that was held in a big tent on the side of a river coming down the valley in Tyrol.

Towards the end, a terrific thunderstorm started and the rain was pouring down and was coming in on the side of the tent where the ladies were sitting. Some of them tried in vain to right the tarpaulin to stop the water, but Shri Mataji just waved Her hand and the water ran off the side.

As Shri Mataji rose to leave, She made us promise not to go outside the tent for the next half hour, but just to sit in quiet meditation. We heard the thunder and did not see much of the lightning, as the tent flaps were closed.

The next morning, we were told by our landlady at the pension where we were staying that never in her lifetime had she experienced such a storm with thunder and such terrific rain and the lightning actually rolling down the main street, to the utter amazement of the local inhabitants. They all were very worried about our big tent on the banks of the river and came to help us, but could not believe that the river had not come high enough to touch us.

Shri Mataji had saved us and helped us by asking us to stay in the tent for another half hour in quiet meditation. The place where the large tent was pitched was usually the floodplain for when the river came down after such a downpour.

This weekend was the only time I ever attended a puja in front of Shri Mataji and I had been able to present a flower to Her. It will always stay in my memory.

Helga Adams

We can do any job, in a Sahaj way

I work in a bank. When I came to Sahaja Yoga in 1990, I had the idea that it would be great for a Sahaja Yogi to be doctor or a social worker, or to have a job where one can help people. One month later Shri Mataji came to Austria. She gave a short lecture at the airport. She told that wherever a Sahaja Yogi is, he/she can do any job in a Sahaj way.

Even Sahaja Yogis working in a bank, are necessary for Sahaja Yoga,’ She said at the end.

Leopold Zeilinger

The sausage factory

This is a story of a sausage factory, which happened over a period of about nine months. It was about 1990 and Shri Mataji sent a message through the leader of Germany that She wanted me to buy the equipment for a sausage factory. I am a graphic designer and know absolutely nothing about sausage factories. I was living in Frankfurt, where many sausage factories are located.

Sir CP had recently retired and Shri Mataji wanted to move to Pratishthan, and She was concerned that Sir CP might not have enough to do, so they thought this might give him something to do. Herbert and Lisel, who were in Kathmandu doing Sahaja Yoga, had a restaurant and knew how to make sausages. Sir CP had asked Herbert for advice and he suggested going to Germany to find a company that had gone bankrupt, to buy the equipment, ship it to India, set it up and start producing. The equipment was bought and put into storage, which was expensive. At this point it was discovered that it was not possible to ship it to India because it was not permitted to take second hand equipment into that country.

Shri Mataji decided to sell the equipment and I was to be the one to help do this. After the first shock, because I knew nothing about this business, I surrendered to Shri Mataji’s desire and began to learn about the value of the equipment and so on. It turned out to be very difficult to find a buyer. Shri Mataji gave me a hint and I advertised but it came to nothing and every day more of Sir CP’s money was going on storage. I had many opportunities to talk to Shri Mataji, and Sir CP came to Frankfurt, but despite all this the sale of the factory did not go anywhere. Shri Mataji gave me lots of advice, and worked on me over the phone, but nothing worked out. At this moment I was putting all my time and attention on this, because I was really worried that Shri Mataji and Sir CP were losing so much money. Then one day the phone rang and it was Shri Mataji. Without much introduction She came to the point.

Why don’t you let Me help you?’ I took a moment to reflect on that, because I thought I had done everything that I possibly could, and then I realised. Shri Mataji went on. ‘If you think you are the doer, then I cannot help you, because I have to respect your freedom. I have to respect your free decision. If you surrender and let Me do the job, it will be done.’ So I pulled my ears and apologised to Shri Mataji.

Shri Mataji please do it, because I am not capable of doing it.’

The conversation ended, and believe it or not, three days later a buyer appeared out of nowhere, and bought the whole thing, completely unseen, just on my personal assurance, for a price that was way above what we thought we would get. Then he asked for warranty (guarantee), and I called Shri Mataji. She told me to give him warranty, for three years. So I did that and he signed the contract, sent the money and took the equipment. Since then we never heard of him again – no problems.

It was such a lesson, that when Mother wanted something done, to just surrender and not go with my ego.

Herbert Reininger

Shri Hanuman Puja

We prepared a Shri Hanuman Puja in the Schwetzingen Castle, south of Frankfurt in September 1990. It was one of the few Shri Hanuman Pujas celebrated with Shri Mataji and another yogi and I went to the market to buy fruit and flowers.

When we went past a stand with herbs I wanted to buy a bunch of different herbs. Shri Hanuman has always been of special importance to the German yogis. His nine siddhis are an expression of the power of the right side, and He unites these with utter simplicity and humility, plus he is completely devoted to Shri Rama and Shri Sita. This makes him an ideal example for us.

At the end of the puja, Shri Mataji was presented with a symbol of Shri Hanuman: a big club made of papier-mâché decorated in golden colour. I was at the side of the stage and took a photo. I had always been very sceptical about so-called miracle photos, and Shri Mataji played a special trick on me. When I saw the photos I could hardly believe my eyes, Her face looked just like Shri Hanuman. When I showed the picture to Her, She Herself seemed surprised, and the yogis were delighted.

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Shri Mataji as Shri Hanuman

At the end of that puja there was one more beautiful and motherly moment: my friend and I went to the stage with the herbs we had bought.

Shri Mataji, we could not find the Sanjeevani herb, so we brought a lot of the others,’ I said, referring to the herb that Shri Hanuman brought to cure Shri Lakshmana, when he was wounded in the battle with Ravana. Shri Mataji was very happy and explained the names of each herb in Hindi, and their different qualities in medicine and in the kitchen.

Thomas Menge

Keep your attention on your Mother

It was 1990 at the Shri Hanuman Puja in Germany. I had made some gifts for the two centres that there were in Germany at the time and one for Shri Mataji. All the gifts were identical Madonnas and I had painted them and etched the names of the centres in the back, but there was nothing written on the back of the one for Shri Mataji. At the time of giving gifts after the puja I had a moment of confusion as to which Madonna was for Shri Mataji. She looked at me.

You should always keep your attention on your Mother,’ She said. It was so clear to me what She was saying. It had nothing to do with the Madonnas, and Shri Mataji obviously knew I was very troubled at the time.

Angela Reininger

What a nice sari

This happened in 1990 and there was a yogini from Munich and she had to cook for Shri Mataji. She called me and said she would feel much safer if I went and helped her. I went over, but didn’t take a sari. I thought we would do the cooking together and she could do the serving, so I wouldn’t need a sari, but she gave me one anyway.

One day, we were preparing little fried meatballs and one hopped out of the pan and went all over the sari, all along a line of little spots from the top to the bottom. I told my friend that she would have to take the food in with the sari like that and she would have to serve it. But as it happened, the next morning my friend was not around. I was the only one in the kitchen and I had to take the breakfast in to Shri Mataji. As I went in, I tried to hide the dirt on the sari.

Oh, hello, what a nice sari you have. Please come here so I can see and feel it from the front,’ Shri Mataji said.

It got me over this idea that we had to be so perfect in front of Her.

Gisela Matzer

The love streaming out from Her

Once at a public programme in Germany, I was standing by Shri Mataji and fanning Her. As I was fanning Her I was aware of the love streaming out from Her to the audience.

Danielle Lee

Thank You for this opportunity

In September 1990 I got my realisation at a public programme in Amsterdam. I walked into the hall, saw a big photograph of Mother and it felt as if I had come home; as if I knew this lady from another place and another time. I had been seeking for many years.

After a few months Holland had the honour of receiving Shri Mataji in the small ashram near Amsterdam, and the musicians of Nirmal Sangeet Sarita, who came with Her, stayed in my apartment. Shri Mataji received me in Her room in the ashram.

How are you, My child?’ Shri Mataji asked me.

Our leader introduced me; telling how my father was such a desperate seeker that when he was a medical student he had made a hole in his head to get higher awareness. Later my mother remarried a man who was well known in the Dutch literary world, so as I grew up I met many writers, musicians and artists. At one point my mother became addicted to drugs, but when I got my realisation she became much better. Many things like this happened in my life, which were heavy on my shoulders.

When I was sitting at Mother’s Divine Lotus Feet I realised that She knew my past lives and what I had been coping with during this life. It was such a relief to tell my story to Her, and I felt that through me She wanted to know about the cultural and artistic situation in Amsterdam.

Yes, you are a seeker,’ Mother said.

Her face was shining brilliantly like the full moon, and She was laughing at the same time. Thank You, Shri Mataji, for this opportunity where I could open my heart and find solace at Your Feet.

Jaya Huges

Forget the problems and enjoy                       

In 1990 we were living in a village north of Amsterdam. The house was full of yogis, compared to the size of that house. Before Shri Mataji came to visit us, we were looking for a bigger house, a real ashram but nothing was working out. During Her visit Shri Mataji said that we had to find an ashram to rent. For three days She put bandhans for it, every day. After that Shri Mataji was going to Belgium and I was lucky enough to be driving Her car. When we drove by a suburban area near Amsterdam, Shri Mataji pointed with Her hand towards a certain neighbourhood, called ‘Amsterdam South-East’.

I think that somehow you will find an ashram around here,’ She said. During Her stay in Belgium Shri Mataji was still putting bandhans for it. ‘From the programme in Amsterdam somebody will come and help you to find an ashram.’ She also said at one point.

On the Sunday evening we said goodbye to Shri Mataji from Brussels Airport as She was going back to Milan, and we went back to Holland. We had had five wonderful days with our Mother and we knew that after so many bandhans we would certainly get an ashram, but how?

The next morning, on Monday, a lady phoned to our house.

I have a house with fourteen rooms in the South-East of Amsterdam. Would you like to rent it?’ she said to my wife Trupta, who thought that it was a joke or that this was a weird person.

We phoned her back and she did not actually own the house; she was renting it but couldn’t afford it any longer and had to leave. However, she expressly wanted that the next people to move in should be a group and spiritually oriented people. She had seen some posters of Shri Mataji’s programme in the streets and thought that the people behind this lovely Indian Lady could well be the nice group of people she was looking for, but had a hard time finding our phone number because it was not on the poster.

That same evening we went to see the house and it was absolutely perfect. It was in the south-east of Amsterdam, the same area Shri Mataji had pointed out a few days earlier. We registered with the housing corporation that owned the house, but they said many other groups had already applied that it would be very difficult for us to move in, and there were many more legal and bureaucratic obstacles. I phoned Shri Mataji to tell Her about this miracle and that Her prediction was coming through, then mentioned the obstacles.

Henno, you are a Sahaja Yogi, so don’t worry. Everything will work, you just sit back, relax, and enjoy! These problems don’t exist, just watch the drama,’ Shri Mataji answered in a very sure, convincing and loving voice.

So that’s what we did: we sat back, did the necessary things, but most of all, we enjoyed the whole process, as we had the full conviction that this house was going to be ours. We moved into the house four weeks later and started the Amsterdam ashram. When we told Shri Mataji about this miracle She said that we had to tell it to everybody.  

Henno de Graaf

I had never witnessed so much love

I had always been fairly lucky in life, making a reasonable living, owning a home and having a nice wife and children. However, I was a devout atheist and aware that I was living in a state of despair – and worse, was turning into one of those nasty, bitter old men that most people rightly steer well clear of.

I was working in Soho Square, London and one day in September 1990, as I left my office for lunch, I saw a poster of Shri Mataji. My attention was immediately and compellingly drawn to Her face. I read the text on the poster, there was to be a Public Programme at Hammersmith Town Hall that coming Friday evening, the 14th. My ego/conditioning kicked in, and I thought, ‘It’s probably a cult, one of those Indian things.’ But each time I left the office, as if drawn by some magnetic force, I found myself looking at Her face – I had never seen a face like it; it embraced a huge spectrum of emotions and feelings. On the Friday of the programme I found myself at Hammersmith Town Hall and with some trepidation made my way inside.

There was a brilliant introductory talk, straight from the heart, by a Sahaja Yogi. Shri Mataji then appeared, wearing a beautiful white sari. I was transfixed, I had never witnessed so much love coming from a human being, and what She said had me in a state of bliss and wellbeing. When She gave self realisation, to my utter astonishment, I felt the cool breeze on both hands. She invited questions and my blissful state of thoughtless awareness was interrupted by a series of what seemed banal, trivial and irrelevant questions, all of which She answered with equanimity and good grace.

On my way home, as I navigated the Chiswick roundabout, still in a state of complete bliss, I realised that my life would be utterly changed by the evening’s encounter. My despair evaporated like the early morning mist warmed by the sun. After only a few days meditating, I found my cynicism had gone and I could be as a young child again, open to the possibilities of life. Several bad habits disappeared, for example, whereas I had given up cigarettes a hundred times before, from that evening on, I never smoked again.

My gratitude to Shri Mataji is incapable of being expressed in words. She gave meaning and value to my life, and since then I have seen many thousands know the same kinds of transformation.

Alan Wherry

Hours in a moment

It was the Navaratri Puja in Switzerland and Shri Mataji asked fourteen young girls to come to Her Feet and then, later on, She asked just two young girls to stay at Her Lotus Feet. There was myself and another sister and we had to rub Her Feet with red kumkum. We were so full of love rubbing the Feet. I felt like hours were going in a moment. Shri Mataji said something to me in English and, like a child, I looked at Her.

Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said, then asked my sister, ‘What did She say?’ because I was thoughtless, and I just looked in Her eyes. At that time, it was wonderful. I was like a baby.

Susanna Kalipriya Tropsek

A miracle

The first time I met Shri Mataji in person was at the Navaratri Puja in Switzerland, September 23rd, 1990. We used to gather for pujas in big hotels, schools or any place that was suitable. On that occasion, we were going to have our dinner but the food I saw, sausages, hot dogs and fatty Swiss cheese shocked me as it was not suitable for me. I had just started Sahaja Yoga and was desperate because my stomach was in pain. I prayed to Shri Mataji to help me. My prayer was intense and loud in my heart, and in just a few minutes the Sahaja Yogis announced that Shri Mataji was coming to cook for all of us.

It was like a miracle. What Mother cooked for all of us was just what I needed and desired very deep inside me. It wasn’t ordinary food, it was very unusual, it looked like a medicine. I don’t know what ingredients were in it. I have never had anything like that and have never seen it in any cook book. I was shocked and in the same time thrilled with joy. It was served in a little glass jar, a very smooth and oily, a delicate, transparent soup with a touch of herbs, and on the side of the plate green boiled vegetables. Everything was neat and balanced in proportion. There was more, because my leader asked me to sit at the back of Mother’s chair, and I started to feel that all my toxins were coming out, an experience I really can’t explain in words.

The next day at the Navaratri Puja again the leader asked the new people to sit in the front. I saw our Mother in the form of Shri Durga, and Her eyes were looking inside my heart, which was a bit worrying. A Sahaja Yogi said to me that Mother was attacking the negativity attached to our hearts and not to be worried. So I gave all of myself into Mother’s hands and surrendered in joy and with all my gratitude.

The day after the puja, I went back to Milan, into my routine life and thought everything was normal. I went to a drinking and gambling bar to buy my bus ticket (this is normal in Italy, you buy your bus tickets in bars). The smell of alcohol and smoke overwhelmed me and I had to leave rapidly as I felt sick. Near the bar was a flower shop, I ran to the flowers, picked up a huge bunch and buried my nose in them to breathe in the fresh scent. From that day I could not smell or take any alcohol or nicotine, and it happened in just one day.

I am so glad Mother came to live in Italy. She made every day a miracle for us.

Ornella Bollani