Chapter 07: 1976 – Malaysia and England

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

The beginning of Sahaja Yoga in Malaysia 

This is a personal account of the beginning of the history of Sahaja Yoga in Malaysia in 1976, by Hamim. Hamim’s father owned a company which was the local agent of the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and he was a personal acquaintance of Sir CP who was then the Chairman of SCI. Shri Mataji mentioned an incident in Kuala Lumpur in which many people were miraculously cured. Here an excerpt from that talk:

 ‘I was in Kuala Lumpur… he was the speaker of the assembly, at his residence, and there were at least thousand people. And sixty percent were sick, and forty were attending to them.

I was alone, no Sahaja Yogis, nothing. Luckily, they had a big garden, and it was quite warm day. I said, “All right, let’s go in the garden.” I made them sit in the garden and I asked the Mother Earth, I said, “You better now do the job and I’m sitting down.” And everybody started feeling better.

One thing I’ve never before seen being cured was what you call in English language, polio, and a little boy, about eight years of age was sitting on the ground, his parents had brought him on the back and put him down. He just got up and started walking, and the parents suddenly realized he’s missing, “Where’s he gone?” And he was running in the garden.’

Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi: The Subtlety Within

Caxton Hall, London, 9th June, 1980

The wife of the Chairman would be staying with us

It was 1976 and our family firm was an agent for the Shipping Corporation of India. Some months into the year, my father was informed that the wife of the Chairman of the Corporation would be visiting Kuala Lumpur and staying with us. This caught me as quite unusual. Captains of ships that plied the eastern routes that called at our port, Port Swettenham, as Port Klang was then known, occasionally did bring their wife or family along, but their preference however was to be taken shopping or sightseeing in the daytime and be returned to the ship by nightfall.

As it came closer to the arrival date we were informed that Shri Mataji had already arrived in Penang, the first port of call in Malaysia by ship. A few days later She would be arriving in Kuala Lumpur by air and had requested that the press be invited to come to the airport to interview Her. Once again we were all puzzled.

Hamim from Malaysia

Shri Mataji emphasized on the importance of meditation

Shri Mataji arrived at our house by late morning and spent some time getting to know us. In the course of the day, She inquired as to the Islamic prayer postures which we explained and went through the motions. She too went through the motions and at each posture, paused silently as if sensing something subtle. Later that day She made us take certain postures and gestures and gave certain members of the family realisation and also clearing. She followed that up with more gestures in order for us to feel the subtle energies streaming out of our bodies, especially the hands and the top of the head.

Shri Mataji emphasized the importance of meditation after realisation or Kundalini awakening as the core practice of all true spiritual paths and religions, especially the mystical aspects known as Yoga in Hinduism and Sufism in Islam. This was familiar ground to me as I had already been building up my knowledge base in this area since the earliest time I can remember. She said this was because I was born realised and was drawn to the knowledge of the spirit, due to latent memories of an earlier experience. Shri Mataji herself spent time meditating in the privacy of Her room whenever the opportunity arose in the midst of Her busy schedule during Her stay.

  Hamim from Malaysia

She was using spiritual energies

Next morning Shri Mataji’s interview at the airport to the press was reported in a few newspapers. Later that morning some people turned up after reading the article. Shri Mataji had a chair brought out to the extensive lawn in front of the house and sat under a large shady tree and instructed them where to sit, and what to do, as She talked to them collectively. She then explained a little about the basis of what She was practising and how She would help them with their problems. Shri Mataji then talked to them one at a time as they related their problems, and She started working on them, but She already knew what was wrong with them.

Shri Mataji dealt with a whole variety of physical, mental and spiritual problems that covered everything from chemical imbalances, glandular malfunction and impairment, diabetes, early cancer, cardiovascular problems, immobility problems of the skeletal system, arthritis, gout, long term effects of debilitating diseases, nervous system problems, blindness, depression, multiple personalities and possessions. As the hours went by more and more people trickled in and She continued to work on the people until it was way past lunch time.

We, as hosts, were getting very uneasy, that Shri Mataji had not had Her lunch even at 3.30 in the afternoon. On repeated urging, She came in for a quick small lunch (throughout Her stay She ate so little that it was unbelievable how She was able to sustain Her activity level). She did say at some point that She was using spiritual energies, coming into Herself through the top of Her head, and was not so dependent on food for sustenance.

Hamim from Malaysia

Unusual and miraculous phenomena

Shri Mataji left for the lawn immediately after lunch and asked me to join Her. She asked me to stand beside Her with upper arms outstretched and palms directed to the person She was treating. She said this would help speed up the healing process, as She continued to work on the people into the early part of the night with flood lights on. Shortly before 8.00 pm She asked those who were still there who She had not treated to come back the next day. It was obvious that there was a good response to the publicity that day, and expecting more of the same the next day, She requested that pieces of paper with numbers be prepared for a queuing system for the next two days. The crowd came earlier the next day and as before She worked tirelessly on the people.

 I observed unusual and miraculous phenomena on many occasions during those few days. This was especially apparent in cases of possession resulting in mental problems and multiple personalities. Whenever Shri Mataji was told by a relative that it was the turn of someone who was possessed, they would immediately start behaving in some strange way. Some went into a vigorous bending forward and backward motion. Slowly the motion would slow down like a pendulum about to stop its rocking. Then gradually they would come to their senses and be cured.

All those whose problems were due to occupation by sub-personalities and possessions were asked to leave by a different route from what they had taken to enter the premises. For this purpose a second gate, which was rarely used was opened up. Shri Mataji said the possessing spirits were very mechanical and after being purged from the body would be waiting at the familiar points and could be easily tricked this way.

There was also the case of a man who came on crutches, and a blind man, both of whom had quick, dramatic recoveries. On the afternoon of the third day Shri Mataji brought in a group of people chosen from the three days, and in the privacy of her room She gave instruction on the practice of Sahaja Yoga and how to form a centre.

Hamim from Malaysia

Shri Mataji related the knowledge of the spirit and soul

As the dates Shri Mataji was available as mentioned in the press article were over, there was no crowd on the morning of the fourth day. Some did turn up later in the day and She attended to them in the hall of the house. Earlier that morning Shri Mataji insisted She wanted to cook for the family and spent some time in the kitchen preparing a splendid dish called ahkni pulaw for lunch, which She served to the family.

In the time available, in the early mornings and nights of Her stay Shri Mataji related about the metamorphosis of the knowledge of the spirit and soul, and communication between the creator and human beings, from eons ago to the present. Also about the Primordial Masters, the founders of the great religions of the world and their crucial roles as teachers of truth and also as defenders of the good in holding at bay the forces of evil and destruction, of mechanisms set into creation by the celestial forces which mankind inadvertently initiates to their own detriment.

 Shri Mataji related about the periodic rise and fall of civilizations due to the increase and dwindling in numbers of people who had reached a certain maturity in the practice of highly spiritual ways. She also conveyed something about the events that would transpire in the near and distant future. She explained about the state of human civilization in modern times, which was off on a tangent from what was normal and good.

She spoke about immorality, unhealthy values, extreme emotions and involvement in blind rituals, witchcraft and black arts which were running rampant. She related how these activities had increased to a level where they had reached a threshold point at the collective level in current times. This had resulted in the opening of a doorway within the being to a dimension from which very evil beings were coming through. She told about the agenda of these beings and their one weakness. It was thus necessary to teach people Sahaja Yoga as their shield against the ills of all these occurrences. She said all the various problems of humankind could be summed into two broad categories consisting of immorality in all its forms and ignorance concerning spiritual duties and practices.

From Kuala Lumpur Shri Mataji left for Singapore to carry on Her mission.

 Hamim from Malaysia

This is Sahasrara, on the top of the Virata

After meeting Shri Mataji for the first time in 1975, I got my first posting with the UN in Kathmandu, Nepal. I had spoken about my encounter with Mother to an old friend, who was a sort of professional Swiss seeker, who, unlike me, had gone to India many times and had met many gurus. He knew a lot about spirituality. As he started responding to me, I got confused because it looked like many people were doing what Shri Mataji says She does. I was not so sure any longer that She was the One. I wrote to Her to tell Her that.

She responded by sending me a letter that I still have and a picture of Herself.

‘This is Sahasrara, on the top of the Virata, whether you like it or not, whether you can accept it or not,’ was the comment on the picture. It was straightforward. It was splendid. It was so powerful. I looked at Her picture. This has been the first and last time I doubted Her.

Gregoire de Kalbermatten

Like learning to ride a bike

When Shri Mataji came back to England in 1976, after we had first met Her in 1975, we didn’t have public programmes. We just had meetings at a private house. At one stage She called me and said that She had to go to an Indian ladies’ meeting somewhere in West London and She wanted me to come and talk about Sahaja Yoga. We’d never done anything like that before and I was twenty-one. Shri Mataji took me on the tube (London Underground train) and all the way there She told me what to say and what was going to happen.

‘It’ll be all right,’ She assured me.

I just couldn’t believe this and we walked from the tube. Imagine — going on the tube with Shri Mataji! We got to the meeting place and the Indian ladies were very respectful of Mother, which was something new for me to see, how they regarded Her. They understood about touching Her Feet, whereas we had just been told, ‘Put your hands under Her Feet to get the vibrations.’ So it was again a new experience to see that.

Shri Mataji asked me to sit in front and She sat a little way from me and told me what to say, then someone translated. It was like learning to ride a bike, She sort of gave me a final push and I was off and She didn’t have to prompt me anymore because suddenly here were people who actually wanted to know about Shri Mataji. It didn’t matter that they didn’t understand me and they had to wait to have it translated. It was this incredible surge of feeling that I could tell people about Mother and it was my first experience of talking to people. The way Shri Mataji literally hand-led me along that path was incredible – I didn’t want to stop.

‘Well, thank you very much. Come and have some tea,’ they said eventually.

We went back home by tube.

Maureen Rossi

The first public programme

At one stage, through some connection of Shri Mataji’s, we were going to have a public meeting in Cambridge in 1976, the first one. It was in an old people’s home. To get there we all went in Shri Mataji’s big official car and there wasn’t much space. I had nearly cut the top of my finger off and She held it nearly all the way there. When we got to Cambridge, Mother had to really labour to get any attention out of these people — it was very stony ground.

Maureen Rossi

Shri Mataji burst out laughing

We went to our first public programme in England with Shri Mataji. It was in Cambridge. Somehow Shri Mataji had been invited to talk at a Christian old peoples’ home. We all travelled down with Shri Mataji in Her car. She gave a powerful talk, which completely stunned the congregation, and the programme ended with Her inviting the audience to get their realisation at one end of the room and someone attached to the home shepherding his flock out of a door at the other! Several times in the weeks that followed Shri Mataji would burst out laughing at the thought of it.

Pat Anslow

We joined in as best we could

We were introduced to pujas and havans at Shri Mataji’s house in Hurst Green. An Indian Brahmin from Southall was called to officiate and we joined in as best we could. We would sit there while he went through the mantras and did everything. The aarti took the form of a record being played which had the Om Jai Jagad Shri Hare aarti on it. It was the music of Sabko Dua Dena, but it was the original aarti.

There was a small trickle of seekers coming to see Shri Mataji during this time, mostly people we had invited, but no one else ‘stuck’ during this year.

Pat Anslow

‘I remember in the beginning, we had six, seven hippies from England’

Her Holiness Shri Mataji’s words in a puja talk, some years later


In 1976 we went away for a seminar in Weston-super-Mare. We went to Shri Mataji’s niece there and spent a weekend at the seaside. The whole idea was to get us out of the London environment so that Shri Mataji could work on us and clear us out some more.

Douglas Fry

Shri Mataji sat on a park bench

On one occasion, in 1976, we all went on the train to have a seminar in Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town near Bristol, in the South-West of England, in a room above an Indian restaurant owned by a niece of Shri Mataji.

At Weston-super-Mare Shri Mataji sat on a park bench down near the sea front while we all sat across the path from Her on the grass. She spoke to us in Her usual forthright and authoritative style.

Pat Anslow

Shri Ganesha’s anger

During the baking hot and dry summer of 1976 in the UK Shri Mataji told us that the unusually hot weather was being caused by Shri Ganesha’s anger at the space probe the Americans had landed on Mars. She explained that the spacecraft carried the gross vibrations of the people who had created it and these vibrations were polluting his planet, Mars.

Shri Mataji told us that She was trying to persuade Shri Ganesha to forgive those who had done this and to stop creating all the heat, but we were rather ‘hard line’ at this time and said that we were in full agreement with Shri Ganesha and thought he should continue to punish everyone! Shri Mataji just smiled at us and we went off on a camping trip, confident that Shri Ganesha would keep the weather nice and sunny, but the first night there was a torrential rainstorm, we had a river flowing through our tents and spent the night sitting in the car!

Pat Anslow

Shri Mataji was endlessly patient

Shri Mataji came everywhere with us in the 1970’s. It was a long time before we actually had a car for Her to travel in. Before that She went everywhere by tube with us. We would stand in one of the aisles, Shri Mataji would be explaining something and we would have our hands towards Her.

When we went to Weston-Super-Mare in western England, we all went on the train together. We didn’t understand how to look after Mother or anything. She was endlessly, endlessly patient.

Pat Anslow

I was seeing Shri Mataji as a child would

I saw Shri Mataji as a child would. Every time I saw Her, I would run up and hug Her. She was like a big friend; it was very different. She was very accessible to people in those days and yet it didn’t quite have the intensity that people have had in encounters with Mother later on.

I remember my aunt, Maureen Rossi, saying that Shri Mataji was very direct and sociable, especially with the ladies, in a way that She wasn’t with the men. But generally, in talks and at other times too, you would notice that at a certain moment some aspect of Her would come out, something very serious and quite didactic and sometimes a great jocularity. She did have that, but it was much more toned down in those days.

Kevin Anslow

The sky opened up like a great big halo above us

At one particular puja, one of the very early pujas, we had a havan outside. We had a book of the thousand Sanskrit names of the Goddess, and we were sitting round putting offerings on the havan, and Shri Mataji was actually reading the names of Herself!

‘This is very strange,’ She pointed out, ‘because you’ve got the Goddess, reading the praise of the Goddess, which is rather unusual,’ but Shri Mataji was the only one who could read them. Whilst we were there, and it was really cold outside because it was late in the year, the sky opened up like a great big halo above us. The sky was quite dark but there was a whole light patch above where we were, because the vibrations that were given out had caused the sky to open.

Maureen Rossi

A huge wind came up

At one stage Shri Mataji took us outside in the evening, into the garden and we had a havan. She was trying to clear us and we all stood there, and suddenly Shri Mataji said something like, ‘That’s it!’ A huge wind came up and disturbed all the leaves, and you just felt like the disciples gathered around Christ. Shri Mataji worked so hard all the time on us – no matter what. She tried everything to try and clear us out.

Douglas Fry