Chapter 07: 2002 – The Middle East, Europe, America and India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

She is so caring

I am from Dubai. I would like to share a story from April 2002, where Shri Mataji was so caring and She notices and observed each and every one of us. She had millions of children, but She noticed each one of us. We were travelling from Dubai to Turkey with Shri Mataji. When we reached Turkey, there were so many people to receive Her, Sahaja Yogis as well as people from the press. Shri Mataji noticed such a simple thing – that the temperature outside was very low. We had come from Dubai, no shawl, no warm clothes. Immediately She looked at me.

Where is your shawl? Why aren’t you carrying one? It is so cold outside,’ She said. I was really amazed, because so many people were asking Her questions, and the press people were taking photographs, and in the midst of that, She noticed that there was someone who might catch a cold.

Sandya from Dubai

Easter Puja 2002 in Istanbul


After some years of being in Sahaja Yoga I got married to the then leader of Milan, and again had a chance to meet Mother, after the Easter Puja in Istanbul, in the house where She was staying. I was so excited that I didn’t think I could talk to Her, and She must have felt this because She was talking with me through my husband. She asked what I was doing and he said I was a doctor. Shri Mataji said I should come to Milan because we needed doctors in Milan. He explained that I would have to learn Italian first and it would take time. Shri Mataji said maybe I could work as an archaeologist because I had trained in that, and I would not need Italian for that.

There was a lady there who was in pain, and Shri Mataji held my hand and asked me to put my hand to the other lady who was suffering. I felt the vibrations coming through my body to this lady from Shri Mataji, and then going to my feet, into the earth.

At that time Shri Mataji decided I should go to Italy, but then that night She decided that my husband should go to Turkey. This was at Easter Puja. Later I was at the Guru Puja and my sister and I gave a present to Shri Mataji. We went to the stage, and at that moment Shri Mataji told me that my husband would go to Turkey.

Oslem Lamaison

My beautiful shawl

Once during Shri Mataji’s 2002 Easter Puja visit I accompanied Her daughters when they went out for dinner to meet a Sahaja Yogini who owned a restaurant in Istanbul. The weather was cool and they were wearing beautiful shawls. They started talking about shawls, and complimented each other that their shawls were very beautiful. They both told me that my shawl was also very beautiful, but my shawl was the plainest thing you can imagine, light brown, plain and of the most ordinary fabric. I thanked them, but thought, ‘They are too kind, how can my shawl be beautiful?’

The next day, when Shri Mataji was about to go out I got talking to a Sahaja Yogi about how the car would stop in front of the house. The previous time Shri Mataji went out She had stepped on the concrete ground without shoes and Her Feet could have got hurt. The Sahaja Yogi suggested I spread something on the ground for Her to step on. I said I would have liked to, but wasn’t it against our protocol to come to the front and do such a thing? I was just serving in the house and who was I to do that?

No, it’s ok, many Sahaja Yogis have done that in different places,’ he replied. Then Shri Mataji came out, and when She was getting down from Her wheelchair to enter the car, She was without shoes. I did not think, but just took a step forward and spread my shawl under Her Feet. She stepped on it and went in the car. I took the shawl from the ground, still in disbelief that I had the courage to do that. We went inside the house. Then I realised that this was the same shawl I had been wearing at dinner. I knew then that my shawl was beautiful, much more beautiful than any other.

Bilge Celebi

Shri Mataji at Istanbul Airport in 2002

Again Shri Mataji called me

I’d just come to live in Genoa, in 2002. I married at Ganesha Puja the previous year to Giancarlo Fuente, who lives in Genoa. Shri Mataji came to Genoa, and the few of us there all greeted Her with a flower. I was at the back, but She called me forward.

How are you?’ She said. ‘How are your mother- and father-in-law?’ and then She said how friendly the Italian people are, and I really felt Her care.

Shri Mataji had bought a villa in Genoa, and we thought that She would go home after talking to us, because it was quite late. We had prepared it for Her to come, and She came up to the villa. There were candles all the way up the drive and we had prepared a tent in the garden for Her, and covered everything in yellow robes and saris and made it look like an Indian palace. Shri Mataji came and sat down and took everybody’s flowers – about twenty of us – and again She asked me if I was happy.

           Alexandra Fuente

Shri Mataji always had Her attention on the children

In 2002, when Shri Mataji went out from the castle, She liked to see us as She left. Before that we would stay out of sight in the kitchen. For the past two or three years, every time She went out, we were always outside, and the children gave Her flowers. They ran to Her, She accepted the flowers from everyone. And She thanked the children so they learnt these things from Her.

What did Shri Mataji say?’ I asked one little girl.

She said: Thank you very much,’ the child said, or ‘She said goodbye!’ Shri Mataji always had Her attention on the children, and sometimes picked up a child.

Oh he has liver,’ She might say, or whatever it was. One time She vibrated some sugar for the children. If there was something wrong She had Her attention on them and spoke to them.

Shoma Arciglio

On being a pujari (written 2004)

Everything just goes with the flow and sometimes I am conscious of it. At Sahasrara Puja 2002, I had Shri Mataji’s left Foot in my left hand for a while and was rubbing with the right hand, and then we were pressing it – I was aware that this went on for some considerable time. At a certain moment we were no longer taking kumkum off Shri Mataji’s Feet, but we were trying to help the vibrations come out. At that puja She wanted kumkum poured on Her Feet, not water, at the beginning, by the children. We had used kumkum not water for the puja because Shri Mataji had said She didn’t want any water near Her, because of the problems with the right side. It was a message which came, and we had kumkum prepared, but I am not clear what the relationship between the water and the right side would have been. Technically Shri Mataji had been retaining water in Her Feet and legs. We have to keep moving because otherwise the vibrations get stuck in us and don’t flow properly. Anyway I was just pressing, rather than rubbing Her Feet – which we do when Her Feet are wet, and numerous times I would press on the ankle or the Foot.

Ha, yes!’ Shri Mataji would say and make comments, as if hopefully things were working out in some way.

Shri Mataji’s attention was different, and we were just there. You just do what needs to be done, and then it carries on. It has its own flow. There is an amazing bond within the team – Jeremy, Antonio, Pascuale, with Massimo from Rome and Shridara from France. Some of the others have been asked to be pujaris, but I have never been formally invited, and have had to learn that detachment, but each time I have been on the stage: we do namaskar, or touch the stage, before we go up, and each time Shri Mataji has looked around and nodded – and that has always been the moment when in my heart I have been asking if I should be there to help.

At one of my first pujas, Devi Puja in Margate 1989, I saw all the children going to Shri Mataji, and they could all give Her a hug, and I wanted to be a little child so much. I wanted to be small enough to go and give Her a hug and a kiss. But then afterwards I saw people with Her during the puja, and again at Sahasrara Puja, at Fiuggi in Italy in 1990, and I so wanted to be there with them. Shri Mataji has given me that opportunity – often at Cabella.

Anthony Headlam

Mother’s Day (email report)

Today, Sunday 12th May 2002, was Mother’s Day in Italy. Last year Mother received people on this day, and a lot of people, over a hundred, appeared from all over north Italy and even from as far away as Austria. We congregated in the castle in the afternoon and sat around, drank tea, talked in the mezzanine where everyone lives, or downstairs in the old kitchen or even outside the downstairs door in the spring sunshine, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Then about half past six we all went upstairs and started singing bhajans and songs – some in Italian and English – in the hallway outside Mother’s salone. We heard that Mother had been sleeping earlier, but I felt Her working on us all, especially our right sides, which She said were very strong over the previous weekend at the Sahasrara Puja.

After a few more songs, someone came and said that the big door was open and we could go into the salone, where Mother was waiting for us all. She was wearing a red sari and sitting in a white armchair. We went in via the dining room, so were standing to the side and behind Her, by the window.

One by one people came in and gave their flowers, first the centres and countries – lovely bunches. Mother had nice words for everyone, and commented on the Austrians’ beautiful cook book and they had also brought another book, of photos of the recent pujas in India – Shivaratri and Birthday Puja. Mother looked all through the book and liked it very much. A lady gave her flower and someone said ‘Bulgaria’ and Mother seemed pleased to meet her. Then a couple gave some very large flowers, on behalf of America. To begin with, when each person or people came up, Sandeep Gadkary said ‘Torino’ or ‘Milan’, or wherever they came from. We all squashed into corners to make room for more people and the children sat in front.

The whole room seemed to be bathed in light even though someone had pulled the curtain to keep out the strong afternoon sun. There were flowers all over the room, from the puja, in vases, and as always the whole room looked so beautiful, with the oil paintings on the walls – one of the Virgin Mary behind Mother, the lovely furniture, large ceramic pieces, and ornaments on the tables. The ceiling is frescoed – very high, and a lot of light coming in from the tall windows. Mother said She particularly liked the large windows in the castle and that was one reason She bought it.

When everyone had given their flowers to Mother She asked for a song, so a man took out his guitar and we all sang Sitting in the Heart of the Universe, which about summed it up. Mother had Her eyes closed, and one could feel Her radiating Her divine love to each and every one of us – the perfect Mother. After that we left, feeling totally in bliss. We shared prasad as we passed through the kitchen.

Linda Williams

Mother’s Day at Cabella

Attention on every individual

In 2002, our national leader sent the word around that Shri Mataji needed Sahaja Yogis to do some work on Her new house in Genoa. I took two weeks off and travelled to Genoa with a French brother. Upon arrival, we were told that Shri Mataji wanted only to keep the ones who had a specific building skill. I am quite sturdy, but I am a social worker, so was asked to leave. On the morning of our departure, Shri Mataji made the point to meet with us. This was, for me, the perfect occasion to offer to Her in person the biscuits called Tuiles, a local speciality from Normandy that my wife Laxshmi had purchased to be offered to our Divine Mother, as the vibrations were very cool. Shri Mataji was extremely kind. She wanted to know us better, and was delighted to receive the Tuiles. She tasted one.

These are delicious, it would be nice to have more,’ She said.

Such solicitude and attention on every individual made my heart completely open up. In the following months, I made sure that the same biscuits were taken to Shri Mataji in Cabella on the occasion of international pujas.

Thierry Rohr

Her eyes were sparkling (written 2004)

I’ve been in Sahaja Yoga for eight years and I’m from Canada. I had presented gifts to Shri Mataji a couple of times and was close to Her on a few occasions, but there was one occasion specifically that Shri Mataji asked to see me. I had just finished one year of teaching in Cali, Colombia, but there were no yogis there. Then one yogini moved down to Cali from Bogotá. We gave realisation to a number of people there but I decided to go back home.

I went to help at Shri Mataji’s house in New Jersey in August 2001 and was working in the garden. I was walking to the ashram one day and had been praying to Mother to meet Her. I said to myself that I knew it is a maya, this physical form, and You are always with us, and I do feel You in my heart but it was a very strong and sincere desire. I heard footsteps behind me and it was the leader, and he had been looking for me.

Mary, don’t be afraid, this is the greatest day of your life, because Shri Mataji wants to see you,’ he said. I felt such joy and felt humbled that Mother had heard my request. I had to change out of my work clothes, and was given a punjabi to wear, went up to the kitchen, pushed open the door, and Shri Mataji was at the table. She was drinking tea, and Sir CP was on Her right so his back was to me. Her little great grandson was playing in the next room and Her grandson was also there.

Hello!’ She said.

Jai Shri Mataji,’ I replied. She was very sweet, and it was like talking to my grandmother. She had glasses on, Her eyes were sparkling, She was very sweet and calm, and I had a very serene feeling. I walked up to Her.

You’re Mary from Canada,’ She said. ‘What are you doing here?’

I’m helping Lothar with the house right now,’ I said.

But what do you do?’ She asked. Before I went to Colombia I had been a university student, and a tree planter for years. I thought that I didn’t want to say that, because it was not very feminine!

I was a teacher,’ I said. The leader was behind me and asked me what I did in Canada and I said I was a university student, but that I had just completed a year teaching. Shri Mataji asked where I had done this, and I told Her it was in Colombia. Her eyes were very wide.

Colombia!’ She said, and shook Her head. ‘Will you go back there?’

No, I don’t think so,’ I replied, and She looked at me very sweetly and just smiled and nodded slowly. She asked me a couple of other things, and it was just a very short time, and then She was looking at the leader and speaking in Hindi or Marathi. Then She turned back to me.

It was very nice, meeting you,’ She said. I don’t know how to describe those six words, how that amazing grace has many times filled my heart with joy and helped me through hard times. I slowly backed out of the room.

In fact I did go back to Colombia twice, because the vibrations indicated to go. On Shri Mataji’s eightieth birthday I was with Marie-Laure and was able to offer Her a gift on behalf of Colombia.

This is Mary and She is in Colombia again,’ Marie-Laure said to Mother.

Yes, I think this is a very good idea,’ Mother replied.

Mary Downey

Shri Mataji shopping in New Jersey, August 2002

A shooting star

 At Canajoharie, USA, at the Shri Kubera Puja in 2002 I was invited to do the aarti and was standing next to the stage when Shri Mataji entered the pendal. She was walking, slowly escorted by two yogis holding Her arms.

The entrance was in an L shape to the stage with a slight slope (15 – 20 feet long and 2 feet down) towards the angle of the L, exactly where I was standing. To my astonishment, Shri Mataji came down the slope so fast that the yogis were almost running to follow Her. I opened my arms to hold Her in case She might fall, turning the corner at that speed. But contrary to my expectation, She passed in front of me very slowly and went up the three stairs to the stage with the help of the two yogis. 

I could not explain anything, I was thoughtless. I had the impression Shri Mataji was like a shooting star, passing in front of me, like in another time, in another space. It was too sudden and too fast. It seemed I was the only one to witness this; no other yogi standing nearby commented about what had just manifested to me. 

Some time later, I remembered more details.  Shri Mataji was not touching the floor but flying about a foot in the air when She was going fast. It lasted the time of a lightning flash. It was as if She opened a window to show me an aspect of Her divine nature where time and space didn’t exist.

Diane Ruelland

Editor’s note: other people have reported the same phenomenon.

Just what they needed (email report)

On September 5th, 2002, Shri Mataji returned to Cabella from America. Mother arrived late, at about twelve thirty in the night. There were about thirty of us – mostly the Sahaja Yogis who lived at the castle, Centrassi or in the village. Earlier in the evening flowers were given out, mainly for the children to give Mother. When they ran down to the car to greet Her, She told them to go into the big salone, as it was damp and spotting with rain, and a bit cold. We waited in the hall, and Mother came, sitting on Her red chair and carried by about eight strong men. As She passed by, very close She smiled at us.

Shri Mataji went into the big room and two ladies did the aarti to Her. Then the children crowded round and gave their drawings and flowers and She was so happy to see them. We went inside, some of us hovering in the doorway watching the children, but didn’t expect to be allowed to give our flowers as it was so late. Often the adults’ flowers were collected and put in vases, either in Mother’s bedroom or the big room. I

was looking at the back of Her head – a wonderful chance to meditate on Her back Agnya, and to feel very strongly and devotionally the presence of the power and love of God Almighty.

Mother talked to various people, and gave some advice to a father about his son’s health. One little girl had done a nice drawing for Mother, who complimented her, because she looked joyful and bashful and shy in front of Mother. But then surprisingly, the call came – bring flowers to Mother. So we went up one by one and She took our flowers and greeted us. Then Mother left us.

May God bless you all,’ She said, and turned and went into Her room. When Mother went in and out the castle, She gave every single person there just what they needed, in those few short minutes.

Linda Williams

Love itself is only pleased by love

Sometimes I find it takes some event to establish in your heart something you take for granted in your brain. The day after Navaratri Puja in 2002 at Lake Piru, USA, I received a message from Shri Mataji saying that She had enjoyed my singing in the puja. I knew instantly that the song Shri Mataji referred to was the Devi Strotram – Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu, because I felt such an intense feeling of bhakti and rapport with Shri Mataji during this song.

What only occurred to me at that moment was that during that song I had sung without a microphone, so ‘scientifically’ speaking, in any ordinary sense, Shri Mataji could not have heard me. She was listening in a completely different way, a divine way, and was responding to the vibrations and to bhakti.

It made it clear to me the need to sing to Shri Mataji fully from the heart and that by Her most compassionate nature She was in a way ‘bound’ to respond to the love of Her devotees, as love itself is only pleased by love.

Tim Bruce

The nature of America adores Shri Mataji

Some of the recent pujas at Lake Piru were blessed with messages from nature. There was the night of amazing meteorite showers – never have I seen so many shooting stars, like a fireworks display, perfectly timed for the dark hours just after puja. There was another puja there in which the tent was pelted by extremely heavy rain and I felt the skies and the earth were sobbing with gratitude that Shri Mataji had come at last. The park ranger was frightened because he’d never ever seen so much water in that place.

Elizabeth Singh

Gifts to one and all (written 2005)

Shri Mataji is so unbelievably generous. She does not need to bring any gifts for us because seeing Her has always been more than enough to keep a soul feeling incredibly lucky for many years. Yet after so many pujas there was a pin, or earrings, or a necklace for each of the ladies, ties or pens or watches for the men. Many yogis have been given saris or jewellery, even sets of clothing when they worked on special projects. The wedding saris, kurtas, jewellery, Shri Ganeshas and silver puja trays were handpicked by Shri Mataji and She often presented them to each of the couples Herself.

While in northern California, we could attend many functions with Shri Mataji in Los Angeles. These included the birthdays for Her great grandson, who was very young at the time. Always, there were excellent gifts for every child who attended, carefully chosen and age appropriate. Those visits, where fewer than a hundred of us crowded around Shri Mataji in the Los Angeles ashram, were extremely special opportunities. Sometimes there would be little performances which we would all enjoy, and then again, She would hand out gifts, once pendants for each of us, once stunning silver rings with a bright coloured cubic zirconium the centre and exquisite marquisettes all around. They were gorgeous and full of vibrations, because Shri Mataji selected the ring then handed it to each person. They all fitted perfectly.

Once She gave the ladies who had been helping out amazing sets of delicate earrings and bracelets with emerald, ruby or sapphire accents. The night I was there, Shri Mataji ran out of the sets, because several ladies had joined afterwards. She took back the ones She had distributed and gave them to those who were from far cities. The next night She had new sets for those ladies who had returned theirs and those ladies were very contented. The amazing thing was that identical looking boxes were moving all around without being opened. The one that She sent for me turned out to have my birthstone, which I’d always liked very much. I treasure all those gifts that I have received and hope they can carry blessings to future generations.

I was lucky to give Shri Mataji a few tiny gifts. I was like a child without even a penny, scrambling to find some small token to express my affection for my mother. Once we returned a handkerchief which was left behind inside a beautiful Russian box with a miniature of some fairy tale castle. We thanked Her for Canajoharie, which is more beautiful than any fairy tale. Once a golden bangle of the perfect size had been brought from India, and we had to give it, because the first time Shri Mataji came to America, She sold Her gold bangles to pay for the passage.

But no gift has ever been enough to tell Her how much I needed Her, nor how grateful I was to be rescued, nor how Shri Mataji has enriched my life every day, nor how amazing it was that She could be so kind to an ordinary human being full of shortcomings, ignorance and stubbornness. I hope that any reader will know that the gifts She has given to one, She has actually given to all.

Elizabeth Singh

Water for the yogis to drink

Our firstborn son Mehdi unfortunately turned out to be autistic. In our desperation we were looking for a cure or something to help him and this is how we discovered Sahaja Yoga. For us Mehdi, although disabled, brought us into the divine company.

In 2002 we went to Los Angeles, where two pujas were organised back to back. One week before the Navaratri Puja I had a dream. I was asking Mother what was wrong with our son and She told me two things, firstly the Hamsa Chakra was blocked and secondly there was a problem with the absorption of the salt in his stomach. These were the exact words of Shri Mataji. Thus we went to Los Angeles, and the children did the puja with water. Shri Mataji said that at the Shri Ganesha Puja the water had been salty.

Again in this puja the water is salty! Therefore you should give the water to the yogis to drink,’ She added. I was amazed! Then, during the following week while walking among the tents at the puja site, I suddenly heard my son saying a mantra ‘Om twameva…’ he hardly could speak, even in English.

Gariela and Essi

The lamp of love

On 10th of December 2002 I had a chance meeting with Shri Mataji.

One day even I will have to leave this mortal being and it is you people, the Sahaja Yogis, who will have to keep this lamp of love glowing in everyone’s hearts. You will have to take the responsibility to lead all seekers of truth to their ultimate fulfillment through your own self-awakening,’ She said.

Her words left a great impact on me. I was spellbound and a great sense of urgency engulfed me. I shared with Her my dream to bring all the poetry and music She had nurtured in me and the sweetness She had endowed to my Vishuddhi, to collectively reach out to the whole world.

Mother, please do something so unique that Your vibrations from these bhajans will provide instant meditation to all,’ I implored Her. She told me that my work was already done and reminded me of Her golden words when, in 1989, She had predicted this would happen.

Now, the time has come and nothing can stop it from happening. So go ahead. You have My anant ashirwaad (eternal blessings),’ She said.

Sanjay Talwar

You are merely an instrument, surrendered to this power

There were many occasions when Shri Mataji would ask me if I had written something new. So every time when I would go to meet Her, I would make sure I had a new song ready and She would ask me to sing it. She would ask all the yogis present to listen and then She would explain its meaning. What intrigued me most was Her asking me to sing my new song before Her each time it was freshly written and composed. It used to happen very spontaneously with me – the words would just begin to flow – at times, words of which I myself did not know the meaning. Yet Shri Mataji always knew when the song was ready for Her to listen to and I happened to be around Her just at those moments. Mother once commented that my Swadishthan chakra had opened and pure knowledge was flowing through me.

Now you know there is some power working in you,’ She said. ‘Actually you are not the doer. It is that power that is awakened in you that is doing all this through you. You are merely an instrument, surrendered to this power. And I have authorized it to happen, so do not worry about making mistakes, as none will happen. This power is absolutely pure and it is flowing for the benevolence of mankind at large, so never stop its flow. Just keep writing. You must record it all and make it available for all the Sahaja Yogis. It will be a collection worth having for anyone because it has the vibrations. It is eternal music of love.’

Sanjay Talvar

The loving smile of Mother

In 2002 we went to Ganapatipule with a group of Turks. One evening there was going to be a musical programme and it was announced that Shri Mataji could come. I was with a group of ladies, we were ready to get dressed and I saw a Sahaja Yogi coming near to us. He told that he was supposed to find a married foreign Sahaja Yogini to do the aarti for Shri Mataji. I was the only married one among the ladies and I hurried to get dressed. On the way I was crying, overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness and gratitude. This was like a sign from Mother that She is aware of me and my prayers.

I went to the apartment which was prepared for Shri Mataji. After a while She arrived and we did the aarti with an Indian lady. During the aarti I felt that She was looking inside me. I felt much joy the following days and an immense love for Mother.

Next day there was puja and the national present was going to be offered to Shri Mataji. I had carried the present from Turkey. After the puja when it was our turn we went to the stage with a group of Turks. I stayed in the back and I said inside, ‘It’s enough for me the honour of carrying Your present Mother.’ However Mother was looking at me, smiling and pointing at me.

Is she a Turk?’ She said.

Yes, Mother,’ the other yogis replied.

She doesn’t look like a Turk,’ Mother said. She said, showing another yogini with a darker skin. ‘I can see that she is a Turk, but she cannot be Turkish!’ She said, looking at me again. We all laughed and enjoyed this beautiful moment. I always remember this moment and the loving smile of Mother.

Ebru Corches