The Queen of Sahasrara
I attended my first India tour in December 1987 after a year in a half in Sahaj. After landing in Mumbai, a shock for most of the Westerners, driving past kilometres of slums, we were taken to an enchanting fishing village called Alibagh, a few hours away. It was unlike anything I had known before and felt we had been transported back hundreds of years.
We slept in a coconut plantation near the pristine sea with kilometres of unspoiled beaches. The villagers’ lifestyle was in harmony with nature in a way long forgotten in the West that made a deep impression on me. Men would go fishing in their small boats while women in colourful saris would catch fish using nets and wading into the sea.
The whole village was practicing Sahaja Yoga and in the evening they organised a procession to welcome Shri Mataji, with music so joyful one could not resist dancing. While waiting to see Her, the vibrations became stronger and stronger and I felt very moved by the music. Then loud ‘Jai Shri Mataji’s’ were heard and we knew Mother had arrived. The crowd parted to let Her pass and She came walking slowly, so graciously She was almost gliding. When Shri Mataji was in front of me, I bowed to Her in a low and deep namaskar. When my head was bent down with my Sahasrara directed towards Her, I felt a rush of cool breeze through the top of my head as if it was completely opened. The vibrations were so cool and intense that it felt like a stream of water was pouring out.
This was an obvious manifestation of Shri Mataji being in total control of the Sahasrara chakra: because at that moment I had completely accepted and welcomed Her, She had fully opened my last chakra and blessed me with this incredible sensation of lightness and bliss. There was only joy within me and all the yogis around also seemed to be bathing in it.
Mother went into the bungalow that was to be Her residence and after a few minutes came out onto the balcony. The music started again and such a torrent of joy was felt that Shri Mataji started to dance a few steps. After that, a Sahaja Yogi, Mr Koli, came onto the balcony too and showed a unique painting of all the gods dancing in front of the Adi Shakti. Shri Mataji was very pleased with it and compared the yogis dancing in front of Her to it, and said that every yogi should have a copy. Since then a reproduction has been used in some mantra books, and poster copies were given out at some later pujas.
I will never forget that evening where, for the first time, I truly started to realise who Shri Mataji was.
All the gods had a meeting in heaven
After coming to Sahaja Yoga Mr Koli put all the pictures of gods he had in the ocean.
‘If Mother is Shri Adi Shakti,’ he said, ‘I don’t need the other pictures’, but he did not have the heart to throw the picture away of the gods dancing at the Feet of Shri Adi Shakti, which is now in the mantra book.
‘Mother,’ he asked Her, ‘I feel You are the One who is sitting there, but what is the meaning of this picture?’
‘All the gods had a meeting in heaven,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘because they did not know what to do with humanity. Whichever aspect of God was sent to the earth, the people troubled them, i.e. Christ, Shri Rama, Shri Krishna.
‘I will go as a Mother for mankind, and I will go like a normal person with all the worries, sadness and happiness in life,’ Shri Adi Shakti said. ‘I will go through everything and also through all the mayas (illusions).’ This announcement of Shri Adi Shakti was a blessing for the gods, and this was the joyful incident when all the gods are dancing, so Adi Shakti is there to help them.’
Anand Thandev, meaning Joyful Dance, was the name given by Shri Mataji to the picture. After this announcement Shri Mataji said Mr Koli should make thousands of copies of this picture, and give it out to yogis all over the world so each one could have one in his or her house. It brings joy and love to everyone.
The gods had a meeting in heaven
A great honour
I was on the India tour, 1987, when it was mainly around Maharashtra, and we were at a small village called Rahuri. I was coordinating the video team that was documenting Shri Mataji’s tour. It was mainly getting a group of people into a bus, getting there on time, making sure the equipment ran, making sure the local electricity wasn’t out at the moment and trying not to be intrusive on the experience. It was fun but quite a gruelling adventure.
We were at an event where some musicians were playing qawwali, and part of it was going up and making an offering of rupees to the performers. After doing that, Shri Mataji suggested that people go up and make a symbolic offering of a few rupees to the people who were operating the video and audio equipment for the work that they had done. At the time, I was sitting a bit back and wasn’t actually operating the equipment, and wasn’t on stage or anything. People were given this honorary donation at Shri Mataji’s request. It was quite sweet, a symbolic gesture. I didn’t receive anything because I was out of sight.
After the programme I was at a low point, tired and feeling a bit left out. Even though it was a small symbolic gesture of no economic value, I was feeling bad emotionally because somehow I hadn’t rated the acknowledgement of this reward from my Mother. Finally something clicked in my head and a voice seemed to say to me, ‘Your Mother would never do anything to make you feel bad, would never do anything to displease you and make you feel bad about yourself. So know that if you are having this feeling, it is not coming from Shri Mataji.’ I just cried tears of joy, knowing this, believing it and feeling I would always have this trust from Her, even though I hadn’t gotten the outward sign of this approval.
The next day it was time for the Sahaja Yogis to leave and we were having a going away ceremony. Shri Mataji was giving advice to the newly-married people in very humble surroundings at a little farm at Rahuri. She gestured towards me and there was a garland to be offered to Her as She left. I came to the stage and the organizer, Mr. Dhumal gave me the garland and I was able to garland Shri Mataji and She smiled quietly as I did. No one had spoken to Her about my disappointment or the fact that I hadn’t been rewarded for my efforts or hadn’t been recognized. It was this subtle knowledge on Her part that I had been on the video crew and I was rewarded in a way that I never imagined.
It was a great honour to be able to put flowers around the neck of your creator.
She was Shri Mahamaya
On the India tour in 1987 we visited Aurangabad. Shri Mataji’s older brother was living there and he invited all the three hundred or so Sahaja Yogis on the tour to his house. He gave all of us a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and also gave all the ladies a rose. He had a picture of Shri Mataji on the wall.
In the evening there was a music programme at a school hall and we were all sitting and waiting for Shri Mataji and Her brother to arrive. I had to go out for a short time, and when I came back there were Shri Mataji’s brother and a lady sitting on the sofa on the stage. It looked like Mother in physical appearance, but somehow She looked like an Indian lady, the sister with her older brother. She was Shri Mahamaya, because somehow She was being a sister.
The integration of all incarnations
There was an Indian boy from Aurangabad who asked a very good question in a public programme. After answering him, Shri Mataji wrote about it in Her diary.
I was with Shri Mataji, and the diary was a little away from Her on the table. I wanted to get up and get the diary for Her, but She told me not to. She Herself bent to the left side and pulled it towards Her. I wanted to write down what Shri Mataji would say, but Mother said just to listen.
‘One boy asked Me a very good question in the Aurangabad public programme,’ She told me, ‘and that I wrote in My diary and I will tell you. The question was, “This Paramchaitanya is beyond feeling. How can we feel it nowadays?”’
‘From time to time,’ Mother said to him, ‘one by one, incarnations came on this earth and gave Their divine messages. But this incarnation, which is Shri Mataji,’ at this point, Shri Mataji held Her right Vishuddhi finger towards Herself, was in an off-white sari with a red border and I could see Her as the Virata, ‘is the integration of all incarnations, has taken incarnation and is doing the divine work. That is why we feel vibrations, even if they are beyond the feeling of human beings.’
Time on the buses during the India Tour
On one India tour I went on Shri Mataji very kindly gave the boys pale blue cotton scarves to wear with our white kurtas. These proved handy during the long rattling, bumpy bus rides particularly when we needed to protect our mouths from the dust, or required something to tie around our heads and necks when the overhead sun grew fierce. Some of the bus trips went on all day. With the late nights and early starts, the juddering motion and heat, many European Sahaja Yogis quickly succumbed to the need for an afternoon nap. Some enterprising Italian boys tied their blue scarves together using the window bars of the bus, to act as a kind of collective hammock for their forward-leaning napping heads. When the bus came to a sudden stop, and we were all jerked about rather violently, it was quite funny to see them all wake up in unison from their slumber, and gaze around, blinking and startled, crying out, ‘Mama mia, what’s happening?’
My shoulder had the misfortune to become the pillow of an extremely large, well-fed Italian gentleman, who slept for most of the nine hours it took us to reach Ganapatipule as we drove along the winding roads from central Maharashtra to the coast. Every time I shifted my body, or tried to dislodge his lolling head, he’d wake up and earnestly mutter, ‘Sorry, sorry, mi dispiace,’ then happily nod back off a few seconds later, contentedly resettling into position. I tried to adopt Shri Mataji’s advice to just witness and let go, but hand on heart did not completely succeed in achieving this! Limca stops were mentioned, Limca, Mangola and other refreshments were an absolute delight sometimes, reviving parched throats and dehydrated bodies. When we finally arrived at Ganapatipule I rejoiced in the picture post-card setting of blue skies and swaying tropical palm trees, the food, the sea and the music brought us all back to life. It was great to have that cooling evening swim and Shri Mataji was there every day for pujas, entertainments and marriages.
This humble ‘celebrity’
The first time I ever saw Shri Mataji was at Ganapatipule in December 1987. Before arriving at Ganapatipule, I had already heard a lot about Her and how one could feel amazing vibrations and that one felt amazing when one saw Her.
At Ganapatipule we were waiting for Her arrival at the music programme. When Shri Mataji came onto the stage I was thinking that She just like my Nani (maternal grandmother).She was very motherly, relaxed, loving and simple, just like a grandmother. And of course I did not feel any vibrations. Actually at this stage I did not know what vibrations were and how they feel, but Her simplicity and detached humble personality were obvious.
After that, there were many hours of Indian classical music, much to my dislike because I was a typical westernized teenager, although I was Indian. When Shri Mataji was leaving people were bowing to Her, but She had Her hands folded in namaste longer than anyone else. I was amazed at this humble ‘celebrity’ (I was quite young and was into celebrities/Bollywood style, at that stage).
When She had left the stage, and I looked at the empty chair, I felt I was seeing an amazing sight. The stage glowed in a golden light. I looked again and again, rubbed my eyes and looked again. It was glowing. I am unable to express it in words. It was nothing supernatural but it felt like I was looking at the seat of God as it would be in heaven. And no one had told me that She was divine!
Editor’s note: if we see lights like this it means we are a bit off centre.
What name do You suggest?
The first darshan I had of Shri Mataji, and the first time I spoke to Her, was at Ganapatipule in 1987. The marriage ceremony was over. Mother had blessed the couples one by one, the last couple was about to leave and She was in a joyous mood. I took the opportunity to speak to Her.
‘Shri Mataji, our daughter is born. She is one month old. What name do You suggest?’
‘Purnima,’ She replied. This means bright full moon in Sanskrit. I put my head on Her Lotus Feet, and was conscious of a sweet smell.
Now started a mental upheaval. My ego reacted, because Purnima is a traditional name with an ethnic tinge and not much used in modern society. After a month I had a dream, and saw the face of Mother in the form of a very big full moon, bright and glowing and smiling at me.
‘You do not like the name,’ She said in the dream.
‘Mother,’ I replied, also in the dream, with folded hands, ‘You have sent a great yogi to us.’
Editor’s note: Mr. Verma and his wife had been married for many years, but it was only after they both became Sahaja Yogis that they were blessed with a child, a beautiful daughter.