Chapter 07: 1990 – October, Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Divine cooking

I had my self realisation in June 1990, my life started to take shape and in October 1990 went to my first puja to meet Shri Mataji in person. That day She came in Her form of Shri Durga Devi. 

At Saturday lunch, before the evening programme, I was queuing for the meal but I felt a bit sick when I looked the food that was there, offered kindly by the Swiss yogis. There were some sausages and hard Swiss fermented cheese. I was accustomed to Italian food and was praying, ‘Please, Shri Mataji, help me, I cannot eat this food, why do I feel so sick?’ 

At that magic moment, I saw Shri Mataji in person coming towards us, in the hall where the buffet was placed.

You do not have to eat this food, because I will cook for you,’ Shri Mataji said loudly to everyone, with a smile on Her divine face.

Wow! You couldn’t believe what it meant for me. I was overjoyed. Then Mother prepared an amazing meal, a divine medicine meal. She cooked an amazing soup for us, then at the side on the plate, a few green boiled vegetables. That was just what I desired, and exactly what my human mother used to cook for me when I was sick. But Shri Mataji had cooked in such a divine way, a thousand times better, and that proved to me that I was in front of my real divine Mother.

 I was so thrilled, and enjoyed the enormous amount of vibrations coming from this divine food. The leader from Milan asked me to sit close to Shri Mataji and eat next to Her. At that moment I felt all the toxins coming out of my system, and knew that something amazing was happening to me.

I was not fully aware of the great miracle until Monday morning, when I got back to Milan and went into a shop to buy a bus ticket. This place was drenched with a smell of alcohol and cigarettes, because it sold them both. I felt I was going to vomit so I ran away. I went to the first flower shop that was on the street and saw so many flowers. I held a big bunch in my arms and took a deep breath of the fragrance, then I felt better. I thought I was going mad and apologised to the flower shop lady, and at that moment understood what had happened to me. I couldn’t drink any alcohol or smoke cigarettes anymore. I had completely given up drinking alcohol and smoking over one night, after meeting Shri Mataji in person. 

Ornella Bollani


Shri Mataji in Bucharest, Romania

I first met Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in Bucharest, when She first visited Romania, in October 1990. Even though my parents and I had been in Sahaja Yoga for less than three months, seeing the thousands of people flocking to Her programmes, we realised how fortunate we were to meet Her as Sahaja Yogis and not as first-time seekers, and to be aware of who She was.

As She came through the gates of the Otopeni Airport, She had such an incredibly warm and radiant smile to see Her Romanian children for the first time. She was wearing a Romanian ‘basma’, an embroidered scarf folded in half like a triangle, that Romanian women traditionally wear in the countryside around their heads to protect themselves from the cold. As She was wearing it exactly the way Romanian ladies wear it, it made such an impression on us, since She looked very Romanian!

She received flowers from all the Sahaja Yogis present as we circled around Her singing our two favorite songs Ganesha, Ganesha and Kundalini, Kundalini. When my turn came, I was singing Kundalini, Kundalini and I didn’t know what to say, so I continued singing as I offered the flowers and kissed Her hand as a sign of respect, not knowing at that time that we were not supposed to touch Her unless She asked us to. Shri Mataji smiled so sweetly and nodded Her head as She received the flowers I offered. Some Yoginis even kissed Her on the cheek, so excited they were, but She forgave all our ignorance of the Divine protocol and were overflowing with love.

In the evening of the same day, I was at the ashram – a small flat that had become our operating headquarters during Shri Mataji’s visit – when we received a call from the house where She was staying. Shri Mataji wanted to see all of us who were there. I thanked my stars for hanging around at the ashram so late, and joined the twenty or so Yogis in spending an unforgettable couple of hours in the presence of the Divine. At that time I couldn’t understand what was being discussed, but I could feel the vibrations and I just felt blissed out to be there. At some point Shri Mataji gave a bandhan (at a programme She had had earlier in Bulgaria there had been some vandalism after the programme and She didn’t want that to also happen in Romania), and I felt tremendous vibrations in my hands. It was as if a thick blanket of vibrations had manifested, floating just above the floor.

The next day Shri Mataji had a very big programme in Bucharest where, during Her talk, two religious extremists from Norway jumped on the stage, took the microphone and tried to disturb by bringing their message of a distorted form of Christianity. They were soon very calmly taken off the stage by the Yogis, while Shri Mataji watched the whole scene in a complete witness state. Then She commented on how these two people are an example of where fundamentalism can take you.

The next day Shri Mataji held a press conference in a relatively small room which was packed with reporters and Yogis. She graciously replied to all kinds of questions, some very silly, in a compassionate way and also with Her unique sense of humour. One Hatha Yogi was telling Shri Mataji about the complicated contortions he could achieve and even wanted to do a demonstration. Shri Mataji grimaced and said that She wouldn’t be able to bear it.

You should get married,’ She advised him. Everyone laughed, and we understood how She was teaching him what to do to balance his dry right side.

That evening Shri Mataji had a second big programme in the same prestigious hall, which went very smoothly. Again, many thousands of Romanians received their self realisation during those two days, some also who had come by train from far away cities, and who are now Sahaja Yogis.

Calin Costian

The face of a woman, the face of God

Ten years ago I was working as a reporter. The invitation to attend a conference held by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi took me by surprise. I was reluctant to go because I used to think that awakening Kundalini in Western people wouldn’t be such a good idea. I had witnessed many tragedies as a result of practicing yoga methods without the assistance of an authorized, balanced teacher. Against my own convictions, I went that night at the place where the conference was held, the Palace Hall in Bucharest – Romania. A little bit surprised by the large crowd that was waiting in the theatre, I found myself awaiting the arrival of the ‘Lady’. The noise backstage amplified.

The car is here, make way please, make way!’ a voice was heard announcing. I was told that I could not get the interview I asked for and Shri Mataji was not going to give any interviews for the local media. Very intrigued, I still stood there, in that very narrow hall backstage. Out of a black car came a woman dressed in white, with very black hair and a heavenly smile. Even now I feel like bursting into tears when I remember that moment. Everything is there: emotion, longing, joy that life made me part of such an extraordinary circumstance.

Why did the wonderful lady stop by me? Why me? Wait a moment, She is speaking… But what is She saying? Oooh, She speaks English. Somebody told Her who I was and what I wanted. My hand, but also my heart, seems to rest peacefully in Her palms. I hear, as if in a profound dream, an invitation for tomorrow morning, at 9 o’clock, at Elisabeta Palace. My eyes lost themselves in the eyes of the ‘Lady’. I was watching a face, which seemed beyond matter. The face of a woman, the face of God? It seemed I didn’t actually watch a face, but the reflection of an emotion.

A kind person invited me to take my place in the room. I don’t know exactly what happened next. I don’t remember seeing the people or hearing their voices, only an energy similar to the one produced in the summer by heat, resulting in a trembling image in the distance. I was listening and yet I didn’t record anything. My mind was completely void. Afterwards, while walking home, I was floating. I started to think that I had to make a change, a significant change in my life.

The following day, at 9 o’clock in the morning, I was standing at the entrance of the Elisabeta Palace. I was told that Shri Mataji was not ready yet, and She could receive me.

I won’t leave here until I have the interview!’ I told myself. I was out of breath and my knees were trembling – the emotion before the meeting.

Oh, it’s late,’ a gentleman tells me, ‘Shri Mataji has to go to… I’m sorry,’ he says, ‘but there is no more time for your interview’. Suddenly the hall is filled with people: I’m looking amazed at some Romanian ladies wearing saris. I can focus on two or three faces. Somebody gave me a golden necklace with a medallion in the form of an oak tree. At the beginning I don’t understand the gesture. Why am I being given something precious, a jewel? ‘It is a gift from Shri Mataji, please, have it,’ I am told. I saw You, my dear Mother, coming down that marble stairs, wearing a red sari, illuminated by a smile, radiating the kindness of Love. You said the words I have never understood.

You radiate so much peace, my child!’ My temper is fiery, intense. Time stopped and I knew the interview in itself was not important. I was asking the questions like a little robot, but there was something else that magnetized my attention. It was as is if I was somehow outside myself.

At the bus station later, I felt inside something strange and very profound. A hot – yet cool – energy started to climb from the coccyx area up the spinal cord. And before the bus came, something exploded at the top of my head. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t know why I was repeating to myself: ‘It’s Kundalini, it’s Kundalini!’

Dumitra Dumitrache

We thank our Divine Mother from our hearts

When our Divine Mother Shri Mataji came to Romania for the first time on Monday 15th of October 1990, She was welcomed at the Otopeni Airport with great joy, flowers and songs by a large crowd of Sahaja Yogis, from all over the country.

The next day, the 16th, at the Great Palace Hall, more than four thousand people got their self realisation. The next public programme took place on Wednesday the 17th and the conference hall was full of seekers from Bucharest and all over the country. On Thursday the 18th we parted with tears in our eyes and with an immense joy that the Great Goddess came to our country in response to the requests addressed to Her by thirty Romanian Sahaja Yogis who went to Sofia, Bulgaria, to greet Her at the airport. On that occasion She promised that She would come to Bucharest in the autumn and She did so. On Thursday at the departure at Otopeni Airport, after taking a few steps, She turned back.

Do not be afraid, because now the negativities cannot attack you any more. They cannot act upon you and you don’t have to be afraid of the financial difficulties because all of them will be solved,’ She told us.

We thank our Divine Mother from our hearts for the great opportunity that She gave to us, to spread the truth and the vibrations here and all over the world!

Ortiz Bravescu

The Gandharvas and the city of joy

Sahaja Yoga started in Bucharest in April 1990 with the help of the Swiss (the first yogini from Romania got realisation in Switzerland on the occasion of a public programme with Shri Mataji) and some French yogis. Romanian politics and culture have been for long under strong French influence and it seems that there is a subtle significance of the fact that the French were the first to come and bring the pure knowledge to Romania. On 16th of October 1990 Shri Mataji came for the first time to Romania. Every word touched me and called me in deep loving recognition, sometimes I felt Shri Mataji was looking at me. I was in a new dimension I did not know before and this dialogue of love melted and filled my whole being. I found my true being and I found Mother. Welcome Mother, I’ve been so much missing You!

Her Holiness held six public programmes from 1990 to 1996 in Bucharest, with more than 4000 seekers attending each programme. She has described Romania as part of Left Vishuddhi and has revealed in one of the public programmes that Bucureshti/Bucharest (name of the capital), means ‘City of Joy’, as bucur, the root of the word Bucureshti means ‘joy’ in Romanian, and that ‘Romania’ comes from Ramana, which in Sanskrit means ‘to enjoy the love of God’. Mother also mentioned that in ancient times, before the Christians came, two great Indian saints reached to our land and taught their knowledge. We can find relics of this influence in names of places, rivers and people all over Romania.

Mihaela Balasescu

The divine play

The first time I met Shri Mataji it was at mid October, 1990. She had just arrived at the airport in Bucharest. Her kind face emanated a tremendous but appeasing force. She wore an overcoat of a light brown colour and Her head was covered with a scarf. Some of us came forward to kiss Her hand, ignorant of the fact that nobody was allowed to touch the Goddess without Her permission. A young man started to shed tears, and then Mother put Her hand on his Left Vishuddhi, and immediately he was comforted. The Romanian leader had asked everyone to offer Shri Mataji only one flower, however, some brought large bouquets.

I saw Her again in the Palace Hall, on the next two days, when She gave two consecutive talks. The 4,000-seat hall was overcrowded; some people were seated on flap seats. Then we, the Sahaja Yogis, took our seats on the floor, between the first rows and the stage, creating a cordon around Shri Mataji.

The evening was not devoid of incidents. The girl who did the translation into Romanian was under great stress, so another lady took her place but she did not do a good job either. Then, a gentleman appeared out of the crowd— I used to know him as a religious fanatic. He nonetheless offered his help as a translator. Then, two people, also fanatics, came in front of the stage and started to shout, trying to disturb the programme.

The public started to protest expressing the fact that they had come to listen to the lady and not to them. The most vehement opponent of the two people was the man who was doing the translation on the stage.

Watch them, how they dare to speak of peace!’ he said.

The two troublemakers had to leave the hall. I thought about the divine play, and how that man became Shri Mataji’s instrument.

Dan Costian

I married an Indian

I was lucky enough to attend Diwali Puja in Venice in October 1990. I was working in London at the time and I went to the puja with the English yogis. It was felt right that I should ask Shri Mataji if it was alright to stay in the UK.

After the puja I went up to see Shri Mataji with another lady from abroad, and she was talking to Mother. Then all of a sudden Mother asked me where I was from, and I said Australia. She asked me whether I was going on the India Tour so I said I would go the following year, because I did not have enough money to go that year. Then She asked me if I would like to marry an Indian. At lunch before the puja, I had just been saying that my parents would never agree to my marrying an Indian, and I didn’t think I could do it. Mother picked up this thought, and She looked so beautiful that I went right up to Her.

English?’ I asked.

No, Indian!’ She said, so how could I not say yes?

Yes, Mother, next year,’ I said. She said this with so much love, even though She was correcting me, and the next year I did go on the India Tour, and I married Rajiv, an Indian man.

Fiona Aggarval

Do yogis get numb to miracles?

In 1990 after the Diwali Puja we followed Shri Mataji to Her car and She turned round with Her arm on the door and looked up. 

Mahalaxshmi is pleased, She will turn the sky pink,’ She said.

I looked up. It was around 2 am in the morning and just black sky was there. Shri Mataji left and we all went in to clear the hall etc. Some time later we left for our hotel and on the way I was looking up into the sky and saw a big dark cloud which started to turn purple. I was amazed at that sight.

Look! Shri Mataji said the sky will turn pink and look!’ I called out to everyone and said, pointing to the sky. They looked up and a kind of ‘Yer’ came out of their mouths and they carried on chatting. I was walking behind totally transfixed by that cloud and its purple colouring, I thought, ‘Gosh, do yogis get numb to these miracles after some time?’

Pascuale Scialo

Shri Mataji said She liked Australian films

I was travelling in Europe with another Sahaja Yogini. Just after the Diwali Puja, in Venice, in 1990, Shri Mataji sent a message that She wanted to speak to all the foreign Sahaja Yogis. There was just one other Australian lady and myself. We went up onto the stage after the puja, and as it was Diwali, Shri Mataji was very happy and joyful and beaming. She asked us where we came from, and why we were there, then asked me about my family and the work I had been doing.

Just prior to coming to Europe I had been working on a feature film that was set in the outback of Australia in the 1860’s. It involved a lot of horses, and so I told Shri Mataji I had been working on this film. Shri Mataji said She liked Australian films very much because they observed all the mariadas. She said one of Her favourite films was an Australian film which had some horses in it. So it was very pleasing for me to hear this.

Sandhya Dara