Chapter 08: 1985 – January and February, India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Shri Mataji nestled Her children in a vibrating land

Shri Mataji gave us the most precious and incredible gift when She organized those tours of India that so deepened, strengthened and enhanced our ascent. Firstly, even as we reached the air space over Mumbai, we could feel the stronger vibrations and our Sahasraras opening as we touched down. For Westerners, it was easier to keep the attention centred in India, for we were in the land of Kundalini where meditation is as common as breathing and even the earth of this noble state is vibrated by all the great saints who have walked upon it. Then She had gathered a very large collective of yogis to be together constantly. This meant that at every meditation and collective gathering and even on the buses, the collective vibrations were strong enough to give us the opportunity to be in genuine meditation most of the time.

As if that wasn’t enough of a blessing, Shri Mataji was with us — sometimes even as many as three times in one day. She nestled Her children in a vibrating land, protected them further by giving them the strength of each other’s vibrations and, finally, She doused them in yet another layer of support by giving them a daily injection of Shri Adi Shakti’s power. She also took great care about our food — not too spicy, a great deal of variety of vegetables, always served with liver soothing white rice, moderate amounts of meat, plenty of sweets, fruits and tea. The diet also was designed to enhance our ability to meditate. It was highly nutritious, yet quickly digested so the digestive organs could have some peace and rest.

Shri Mataji allowed us to experience the culture of India through a rich variety of activities. We would travel around with Her, usually by chartered buses, but sometimes She would charter several cars or a train. We’d travel to villages and cities, usually within a hundred mile radius of Mumbai, but occasionally as far north as Delhi and as far south as Madras (Chennai).

We would visit sites dedicated to the deities and great saints, shop in the local markets, attend movies and theatre and we were always treated to the vibrations of Indian classical music. But the primary activity was attending public programmes with Shri Mataji at all these places. She would give an introductory talk, usually in Marathi or Hindi, and then give the audience self realisation. Regardless of the language barrier, we always knew what was going on and could often assist Her. Sometimes She would have us help work on people, so they could feel the vibrations more strongly. Later, when our collective learned to sing in Hindi and Marathi and Sanskrit, She would have us sing before and after the programmes.

In the early days, we would follow the local Sahaja Yogis in a procession-type parade, which would bring Shri Mataji into the public programme arena on a seat on a cart pulled by bullocks. There was dancing: joyful, singing events, usually led by drums and music, sometimes blaring on a portable cassette with a loud speaker. Shri Mataji would always draw huge crowds and they all raised their hands when asked if they had felt the cool breeze at the end of the self realisation part of the programme.

Carolyn Vance

Shri Mataji provided music

The Indians were very curious that these Westerners were visiting their country and attending meditation programmes, but they were absolutely won over when we finally learned to sing songs in their language. Throughout the tour, Shri Mataji provided music programmes, which were profound and fascinating learning experiences. The power of the music helped clear us out and experience the power of the collective.

During the first years of the India tour, each country would entertain Shri Mataji and the yogis, usually with songs from our own countries — singing spontaneously, usually with no rehearsal and very few instruments. She would always treat us to music programmes by professional Indian musicians, dancers and singers. At first, the musicians were often the local group of bhajan singers accompanying themselves with typical Indian instruments, which often ran until the early hours of the morning. We Westerners didn’t have much understanding of this music and often, to our great shame, we’d fall asleep, insulting the musicians and our hosts and failing to absorb the vibrations. Every year, the Indian classical musicians and bhajan singers seemed to get better as our egos got smaller, until finally we were able to enjoy the complex rhythms, absorb the vibrations and feel the joy.

Then another miracle occurred. Some brilliant yogis created a songbook that was distributed to all the yogis on the tour. Now we all had the same songs in front of us, including a few bhajans. We could sing together — the whole lot of us singing the same song. In time the books were expanded to include Marathi and Hindi and Sanskrit songs and we began to learn these. We also took these books home and taught the songs to those that couldn’t join us on the India tour and sang them at pujas even we weren’t in India. And so, Shri Adi Shakti gave a mighty power surge to our collectivity simply by supplying music and helping us learn to enjoy these melodious baths.

Carolyn Vance

An unforgettable Sankranti day

At the start of an India tour, in 1985, when I was living in India, Shri Mataji asked me to go to Her flat in Mumbai, and then said we were going to buy saris for the ladies coming on the tour. There was just Her, one Indian lady and me. We went to a shop and bought up almost the whole shop, it seemed – all traditional handloom Marathi cotton saris. In those days each lady who came on the trip used to get given four of these by Shri Mataji, and we were asked to wear them on the tour, because they were very auspicious. Also at that time, in India, it was considered smart to wear synthetic saris, so when we, the comparatively wealthy Westerners, wore the traditional handloom saris it was an example for the villagers and others.

After this, Shri Mataji said that we were going to see a former freedom fighting acquaintance of Hers. There was an Indian Sahaja Yogini, myself and Shri Mataji. We were in a taxi, and we went to the place where a large textile factory was – a whole suburb. Shri Mataji took us to meet this gentleman who was the Managing Director or someone very important – and his penthouse flat was at the top of one of the factories.

We were offered a wonderful lunch, and he explained that his business was not as good as it had been because so many people now wanted synthetic saris. After the meal, as the host, he came round to each of us, including Shri Mataji, and offered the little sweets made of sugar and sesame seeds which are for Sankranti, because it was Sankranti day. Maybe he did not realise who Shri Mataji was in a divine sense, but he and his wife were wonderful hosts and he had tremendous respect for Her nonetheless.

As we were leaving, Shri Mataji noticed that there was a large wall hanging on the hall wall, of a man showing the chakras inside him – made by one of the family members.

See, they know, they understand,’ Shri Mataji said, or something like that.

It was an amazing day and I was so grateful to Shri Mataji for allowing me to meet one of Her friends from Her political days. Within a few years handloom saris became very fashionable once again.

Linda Williams

I am here for you

In December 1984 I was taking part in the annual tour of India with Shri Mataji and about two hundred Sahaja Yogis. I had been struck by the enormous respect and adoration in which the Indian Sahaja Yogis held Her.

In Vaitarna, in January1985, a village some distance from Mumbai, the Indians organized a procession in which Shri Mataji was taken around the village on an ox-cart, decorated with garlands. The Sahaja Yogis, Western and Indian, danced around the cart as it advanced through the village streets accompanied by local musicians.

I started to dance and gradually approached Shri Mataji’s ox-cart. Shri Mataji saw me and greeted me with the gesture of namaste. I approached the ox-cart and started to walk alongside. Shri Mataji extended Her hand and I approached closer to kiss it. At this moment the cart wheel, wooden with an iron rim, ran over my foot.

It’s nothing, it’s nothing,’ I said to all those around who were looking at me, horror-stricken. Some people carried me under a tree where one Sahaja Yogini, a nurse, tried to stop the bleeding and an English doctor stitched my foot up. Mr. Pradhan, the leader of the Vaitarna Sahaja Yogis, came over to see me.

Shri Mataji is very sorry for what happened,’ he said. ‘She sends Her vibrations and tonight She will work on your foot.’

Mr. Pradhan returned to tell me that Shri Mataji was too tired. She would work on me the next day. I was taken in a jeep back to the bungalow where we were staying. Unknown to me, Shri Mataji was staying in the same bungalow. Next morning, I was sitting in my sleeping bag in the little corridor where we slept, suddenly everyone stood up. Shri Mataji was there, I also tried to stand up and She came towards me.

I am here for you,’ She said. ‘Come to My room.’ I followed Her, hopping on my good foot. The other had swollen up and I could not put my weight on it. Shri Mataji, conversing with me all the while, began to give vibrations to my foot. Having first assured Her that I could move all my toes, She put Her Foot on top of mine, at first horizontally, pressing on the toes, and then pressing first on one side of my foot and then on the other, vertically. Her Foot was completely pressed against mine and I not only felt the vibrations on my foot, but had the impression that my foot had become a band of vibrations.

Go now and don’t think any more about it,’ She said after some time.

Having entered Mother’s room hopping, I left walking normally and without any pain.

Sandra Castelli

I have been searching for you

In December 1984 I was asked for a music presentation of Devi songs for the programme held from the 17th to 20th January 1985 in the presence of Shri Mataji at Nasik, at the beginning of the India tour. I started selecting the songs, and as I was sorting them out, a voice in my ear said, ‘Take this song, Bhavani dayani’. So I bought a tape which had this song on it. I felt, how would the foreigners appreciate it, because it is classical base song in Zhaptal with a ten beat rhythm? Meanwhile someone gave me a magazine of Sahaja Yoga which had some poems in it. From some of those poems I composed the bhajans Ughada Sahasrara Mate and Amhi bhi ghadalo, and the melody of Jogawa.

On the day of the programme the foreigners came they were all meditating and waiting for Shri Mataji. Then She came, and somehow I felt different and blissful. As Shri Mataji came near to the stage She glanced at me.

Oh, you are here! Where were you up to now? I have been searching for you,’ She said and smiled, I felt great honour, and then She blessed us and asked us to sing. She was very pleased and the whole programme went wonderfully and joyously. At the end She asked me to sing Bhavani dayani, and I was surprised that it was the same voice that I had heard in my ear while I was selecting songs for the programme.

Videh Saundankar

Shri Mataji with the Saundankar family

The same year we made an audio tape, the first tape of Sahaja Yoga bhajans, which was presented to Shri Mataji at the Guru Puja at Sheffield, England. It included the song Namostute, which is based on the affirmations for each chakras and Tere hi Guna Gate Hai. I also composed the melody of Ai Giri Nandini. When it was given to Shri Mataji She immediately asked to hear it and said how many vibrations were flowing through the songs. She had a thousand copies of the tape made and gave everyone who came to Ganapatipule that year a copy.

Later there was a public programme in Nasik. I heard the talk and felt this was what I had been searching for all my life. Afterwards everyone was going to Her Feet. We were on the stage and presenting music. I went to Shri Mataji’s Feet with my mother, who was very old and had to go to the hospital all the time for her blood pressure. I introduced her to Shri Mataji, and She asked her to put her hands out. Her hands were blackish, but Shri Mataji blew on them and her hands became clear – the hands went a pinkish colour and only the fingers were still a little blackish. After that she never had another attack of blood pressure up to now, fifteen years later.

There was a music programme in front of Shri Mataji in December 1985 in Nasik and She asked us all to go to Ganapatipule also. The music programme there went on all through the night, and everyone was dancing to the beat of Jogawa for a long time because it was so joyous.

Videh Saundankar

This is the real guru

Shri Mataji came to Nasik in 1985 with the foreigners’ tour. Shri Mataji purchased all the silver items for the puja and the ornaments for the marriages at Ganapatipule from the Saraf Bazaar, a gold and silver market in Nasik. My grandmother’s house was there, so my uncle invited Shri Mataji to the house and She and a lot people came there.

Shri Mataji started speaking about Sahaja Yoga to all these people. She explained all about it, and how the people were transformed, and to look into their eyes and see how they were shining. Then a man came up with a photo and asked if the person in the photo was a real guru, but this was a false guru and Shri Mataji said to throw it away.

Shri Mataji started explaining about Samartha Ramdas. Ramdas was an incarnation of Shri Hanuman and She explained how he looked and what he used to do. She said he was short in height and had a powerful personality. He had a long beard, a very strong appearance and a kamandul – water pot. He was a strong saintly person.

This is the real guru, not that fake one,’ She said. Samartha Ramdas was the guru of King Shivaji. Shri Mataji explained that Ramdas was Hanuman, and Hanuman took his birth at Anjineri, a place near Tramakeshwar in Maharashtra, and She visited that place. Shri Mataji explained that near there is where Shri Hanuman fell when he tried to catch the sun.

There were very few Sahaja Yogis in Nasik at that time. Shri Mataji visited almost all the temples and one time we were all in a big temple with Her and She suddenly became very angry, and started talking about the false gurus, and the falseness happening near the temples.

Shri Mataji went on talking in this way for at least fifteen to twenty minutes and no one understood what was happening. She was making movements or mudras with Her hands, as if She was throwing weapons and was in a very wrathful mood. She was looking in the air and sky – making quick movements with Her hands and eyes and She was continuously speaking. She spoke of all the false gurus and said their names, and made a subtle war in the air, and started throwing invisible weapons with Her hands and eyes.

Ravindranath Saundankar

On which finger do you feel the catch?

Once at Nasik when I was quite new, in the ‘80’s, there was a man who was lame, and Shri Mataji gave vibrations from Her Feet to him.

On which finger do you feel the catch?’ She asked us when She was giving vibrations to him. We immediately pointed our Vishuddhi fingers, and She said, ‘See this is a fact, that truth can be everywhere, and no one says different fingers, everyone says the same.’

Videh Saundankar

Channa (dried roasted chick peas)

In 1985 Shri Mataji came to our house, which is in the old town in Nasik. My uncle was there and my grandma and all these people. Shri Mataji was talking about Kundalini and establishing Sahaja Yoga and She turned to uncle, who was not in a good state then. She massaged his head and we could smell something bad. Shri Mataji mentioned that it was the result of the negativity inside him. After twenty minutes he was completely transformed and he is fine now. While Shri Mataji was working on uncle She was in Her Mahakali form and mentioned that She had to eat bhuts at that time. She looked normal but in the subtle form She was eating all the bhuts. Channa was very important, because Shri Mataji would always eat it and in doing so would put the bhuts in it and destroy them.

Ravindranath Saundankar

Shri Krishna Puja, Nasik 1985

We can call ourselves Nirmalites (diary entry)

This was written at Rahuri, Maharashtra, on 22nd January 1985. Today we had a puja to the Devi here, because, Shri Mataji said, in one of Her incarnations She killed the demon Rahu at Rahuri. There are also nine stone swayambhus here, and the nine great ‘naths’ including the most recent, Sai Nath, lived in this area, at Shirdi. The others were examples of incarnations of the disciple principle.

The first puja of the tour, in Bombay, was large, and about a thousand Sahaja Yogis were present, Indians and foreigners. It was Sankranti, the day when the sun crosses from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer, and is the beginning of the hot weather. Traditionally little sweets made of sugar and sesame seeds are given on this day. Shri Mataji spoke to us Westerners about our ego, our livers and our tendency to dominate others. At the end there was an excellent collective meal, the grandest we have had since being here.

There was another puja a few days later on the 19th, at Nasik, where Shri Mataji proclaimed the foundation of the universal religion of Sahaja Yoga, Vishwa Nirmal Dharma. She said we can call ourselves Nirmalites. Then She spoke of marriage and the masculine and feminine roles. For me personally the most notable thing was the announcement of my engagement.

Alessandra Pallini

A very special day (diary entry)

Yesterday, the 26th January 1985, we had the privilege to be present at a puja to the Adi Shakti here at Pune. Shri Mataji explained that the 26th January is a very important and special day, both in Her personal life and because on this day the liberation of India from the English is celebrated. This year the celebration occurred here at Pune, a blessed place where many great saints and incarnations lived, and is the place of Shri Ganesha of the Mooladhara – ie Maharashtra – in the cosmic geography. In Her talk Shri Mataji praised the spirituality of the Indians. The throne on which Shri Mataji was seated was directly below a sculpture of Shri Ganesha, which was made of plaster and was on the wall behind and above. It seemed to symbolise the protection and care of the Mother for the Son and the Son for the Mother.

Alessandra Pallini

Remember this moment

Brahmapuri, in 1985, was another highlight. The pendal was set up by the Krishna River, creating a scene of magic aesthetics. Shri Mataji walked to the river with us, sat down on a stone, put Her Feet into the water and the women were asked to bathe upstream, the men downstream of Her. The sky turned into beautiful shades of pink and those who were there will never forget the moment when Shri Mataji said: ‘Whenever you are troubled in life, remember this moment.’

She brought us to this incredible place, which on a later tour also became known because during a night time programme in a nearby village suddenly stones were thrown at us out of the dark. The paid stone-throwers hurt some of us so badly that we needed hospital treatment. We felt extremely frightened and the whole situation was a challenge of our faith in Shri Mataji’s protection and yet another lesson in courage and serenity.

Thomas Menge

I was Her smile

Later in the tour, we went to Brahmapuri. I felt I had come home, as if I had already lived in this place, and I never wanted to leave. On the second day we went to bathe in the Krishna River, close by. As I was a little shy, I was a little at the side, when someone came to look for me.

Shri Mataji is here! We can wash Her Feet! Everyone is coming – come.’ I was so afraid that I did not want to go; I felt guilty because I had received my self realisation a year and a half before, and thought Shri Mataji was not pleased with me. Then I said to myself, ‘It’s OK, if everyone is going to go there.’ I stood in the line, still feeling full of inner fears. 

Shri Mataji was seated on a rock with Her Feet in the river. When my turn came, I don’t know at all what my hands did. I looked at Mother, She smiled at me and for some seconds I did not exist any more. I was Her smile, the whole, one with infinity, and I was in paradise.

Then I understood that this was the personal proof that I was waiting for, and this state I had known there was what I had to attain.

Marie-Joelle Coeuru

My whole body became cool and purified

In 1985 we went to Brahmapuri, for many of us our favourite place as it is by the Krishna River in beautiful surroundings. One day Shri Mataji went to sit on a rock by the river and we could all go one by one to do namaskar to Her while She had Her Feet in the river. We would put our head in the water on Shri Mataji’s Feet and stay there for a while. That day the back of my head was very heavy and I could feel some negativity was there. When my turn came, I put my head in the water on Shri Mataji’s Feet and straight away She put Her hand on the back of my head, exactly where I was feeling the pressure.

I was on my knees in the water and when I put my head up I took some water in my hands from close to Shri Mataji’s Feet, and drank it. From a human point of view this water was quite dirty, but when I drank it I felt my whole body getting cool and purified – it was delicious.

Trupta de Graaf

The most beautiful moment of my life

This is a beautiful memory from the 1985 India tour, at Brahmapuri. We were staying beside the river, the most idyllic camping site. In the morning we all went to the river and a rumour went around that Shri Mataji was arriving, so we made a path of coloured saris and shawls all along the embankment for Her to walk on.

Shri Mataji sat with Her Feet in the water and one by one we went to Her Feet. She told us to get into the river downstream of Her Feet, because the river was pouring over Her Feet and then over us. We immersed ourselves completely, the blue sky was full of vibrations and the river sparkled as it flowed over Her Feet. It was the most beautiful moment of my life.

Sarah Frankcombe

Brahmapuri (diary extract)

Out of my recollections of India tour with Shri Mataji one of them stands out and I cherish it. It was in 1985 at Brahmapuri on the banks of the River Krishna, where Shri Mataji had come to dip Her holy Feet in the water. There were a lot of Sahaja Yogis surrounding Her at Her Feet and I was there too.

Look at your hands,’ She said to me, ‘they are pink, the vibrations are hot!’ – I was still carrying the luggage of worries from the West at that point, and Shri Mataji told me to massage Her Feet in the water, and said, ‘Better now?’

I could feel cool vibrations. The circle around Her was so dense that I couldn’t get out so I resorted to sitting on a rock with my feet in the water, a few feet away from Her. On the other side my brother was sitting and Shri Mataji started to talk about the right Vishuddhi.

Say, Mother I am not French!’ She said to my brother and me, because both our right Vishuddhis were not in order – later I saw a photo taken from then and one can see a ray of light coming from Shri Mataji’s ankle.

Then I was the witness of an amazing sequence of events: we all began singing the well known Kundalini, Kundalini, and a procession of yogis started to walk in the river water towards the Adi Shakti. There was Said, an Algerian who was around sixty, who suddenly got overwhelmed by a powerful emotion and started to praise Mother, saying: ‘Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar!’

Shri Mataji was silent and was slowly pouring water on his head with Her right hand; we were all very moved. Then a tall Norwegian who was a powerful personality in his country came and bowed with great humility.

As I couldn’t baptise you when you were a small baby, I baptise you now,’ Shri Mataji told him.

She advised us to drink the water of the river, which had some clay in it but was so fresh and good to taste.

It won’t harm you – it is good for your Nabhis,’ She said.

We were still singing, ‘Mother I adore You, all my life I give You, how I love You.’ I was singing with all my heart. She turned towards me and smiled at me and my heart burst into flowers of joy! Only bhakti can give you such joy.

Antoinette Wells 

I lost any awareness of time and place

I was very young in Sahaja Yoga and was on the India tour with Shri Mataji for about five weeks. It was 1985. We were in Brahmapuri, staying in a big tent by the Krishna River. Every day we had a bath in the river and washed our saris and dried them on the stones. On the other side of the river we could see an old castle and heard that Shri Mataji was staying there. One day we were on the river and I had bathed, foot soaked, meditated, and I had only one dry sari left. I put it on and we heard that Shri Mataji was coming to the river.

We were all very excited. She came, sat on a stone and put Her Feet into the river. Then whoever wanted could come and do namaste to Her Feet. To begin with I was worried that my sari would get wet and I would have nothing to wear, so I lifted it up. I was in the water up to my knees and was concerned about getting wet. We were queuing and the nearer I came to Shri Mataji the more I became thoughtless and didn’t worry, and when it was my turn I hesitated a bit and thought, ‘Can I really touch Her Feet?’

I bowed down to the surface of the water and tried to get near Her Feet. Then some boys behind me said I could touch Her Feet and could even go under the water. I put my whole head and body under the water and touched Shi Mataji’s Feet and held them. I was completely in this Krishna River holding Shri Mataji’s Feet. The river went over me and I lost any awareness of time and place. I don’t know how long I was there under the water, without breathing. After what seemed like a long time someone took my arm and said I could go to the side. I stepped aside and it was the next person’s turn. I was standing beside Shri Mataji, completely wet and completely thoughtless. It was a very deep experience.

Sabine Hackl

You have been appointed by God

We were at Brahmapuri. It was a beautiful place and one time we were all swimming in the dam. Then we heard that Shri Mataji was coming. She came right down to where the water was and sat on some rocks. It was a beautiful scene because yogis sat each side of Shri Mataji, holding saris over Her like a canopy.

Mataji, Mataji Your face shines like a thousand suns,’ and, ‘Bathe in the waters,’ they were singing. As She was sitting there She asked all the Sahaja Yogis to come and massage Her Feet. Also She asked a few people, of which I was one, to submerge themselves completely under the water and look at Her Feet under the water. It really was an amazing time – a biblical scene in the present day.

On that same tour, there was a music programme and afterwards we would go up and see Mother, and individually go to Her Feet. When we went up She put a bindi on each and every one of us.

Remember, you have been appointed by God,’ She said, as Her finger was on the Agnya chakra putting on the bindi on each of us. It was quite a special time!

Bel Henshaw

Brahmapuri, 28th January 1985 (diary entry)

Today was the fifth puja of the tour, at Brahmapuri, between Pune and Kolhapur. We spent three days at a marvellous camp in large tents, and the organisation and the food was excellent. In the morning Shri Mataji asked us to bathe in the Krishna River, just in front of the little house where She had spent the night. Shri Mataji sat at the side of the river with Her Feet in the water, and then asked all of us to bathe in this highly vibrated water. It was wonderfully joyous and we all sang Her a song while we were there.

The puja began in the late morning and was dedicated to Shri Adi Shakti, and was celebrated in the open, under an awning. Shri Mataji wore a pinkish red sari with celestial embroidery, and Her talk touched on various points, especially the need to enjoy the present, without thinking of the future or the past. The puja was offered by five young men and five girls, and the names of Shri Mataji were read.

Alessandra Pallini

Shri Mataji at Brahmapuri 1985

Shri Mataji’s favourite photograph

There was a photo of Shri Mataji at Brahmapuri, India 1985 where Mother looks so fragrant and youthful. Mother told me that every Sahaja Yogi should have one. A few years later a Sahaja Yogi told me that Mother had said that this was Her favourite photograph.

Colin Heinson

We went to the cinema

On one of the India tours Shri Mataji invited us to go to a cinema with Her. The film was very Westernised, the sort of film She often complained about. She said these Western ideas would come in and spoil Indian culture, and this was one of these films.

Gunter Thurner

Shri Mataji just knew how to pull you out of a hole

On my first India tour I was the only person of my age. I felt really left out – all my insecurities and lack of confidence were coming out. Then I thought I should forget all this, so I went shopping with my mum and saw these really beautiful saris. I knew I had to get one, so bought one, very cheaply. I put it on for one of the evening programmes; it was brightly coloured, full of elephants, typical Rajasthani. We had to dance, or go in front of the stage, because Shri Mataji was giving presents or something, and somehow She noticed me.

Wherever did you get that sari?’ She said. I had felt a little bit ashamed about putting it on, because it was so colourful and stood out so much from the crowd. I felt so melted. Oh Shri Mataji just knew how to pull you out of a hole, to make you feel confident in what you have decided to do!

Katie Headlam

Sangli, 2nd February 1985 (diary entry)

Today we are again near Kolhapur. This time we are staying nearby at Sangli and visiting Kolhapur each day. We went to visit the temple of Shri Mahalakshmi, which is very important and has a swayambhu. Shri Mahalakshmi is the great queen, and it is through Her that we can ascend through the Sushumna nadi. We had a puja to Shri Mataji in this aspect, the sixth puja of the tour. As always at Kolhapur, something is worked out on the level of the Nabhi, and also, the silver and things needed for our wedding were bought here.

Alessandra Pallini

I don’t know which colour I want

It was in 1985 and Shri Mataji was sitting on the stage, in India. There were a lot of silk saris on the stage and we could go to Shri Mataji, and could say, ‘I want a blue sari,’ and Shri Mataji would choose a sari for you from the blue ones. I was waiting, and everyone knew what colour they wanted. I was thinking ‘I don’t know which colour I want, what am I going to say?’ Then I was in front of Shri Mataji.

So, you don’t know which colour you want?’ She said.

Not at all,’ I said and She chose a brown one for me. Nobody was choosing brown. I wondered why I was given brown, but the next day I put the sari on and everybody saw me and said it suited me so well.

Trupta de Graaf

We went to choose the saris

There was always a big thing about the saris on the India tour. When we arrived, there would be a packet of four saris, with blouses and everything waiting for us. It was exciting because you never knew what to expect and people would get colours they would never normally wear and then discover that these colours actually suited them very well. We felt Sri Mataji playing with us and it was very enjoyable and comforting. We felt Her attention in everything.

When I was to get married, in February 1985, all the couples went to choose their wedding saris, and we were standing in the queue waiting. ‘What colour would you like?’ my prospective husband asked me as we waited. I had some ideas that red would be an auspicious colour and we discussed the various possibilities. ‘I don’t really mind,’ I said ‘as long as it isn’t green, because I had a green school uniform and I wore green for so many years.’ Actually I was hoping that Shri Mataji would choose a sari for me.

One by one everybody went into the room where Shri Mataji was sitting with the saris all spread out in front of Her, and finally it was our turn.          

Maggie, this green sari is perfect for you.’ She said, pointing it out to me.

Unfortunately that marriage did not work out, and later, in January 1987 I was about to get married to my present husband. I was a bit worried, hoping that this time it would all work out better. The brides went to Shri Mataji to choose the wedding saris. Again there was a pile of saris in front of Shri Mataji and She picked up a beautiful, rather expensive, even darker green sari.

Here you are Maggie, have this one, once and for all.’ She said.

                  Maggie Keet

The culmination of the tour (diary entry)

Bordi, at the beginning of February 1985, was the culmination of our tour, in every sense. It is no coincidence that Bordi is near Nargol, where Shri Mataji opened the cosmic Sahasrara. We had a puja there, the seventh of the tour, and about eight hundred people participated, including Indians from many centres. It was the strongest puja I have attended. Shri Mataji told us that we were at a turning point in the history of Sahaja Yoga, and a new phase is starting, in which we can ascend rapidly, but must not be involved in our little personal problems any more. She said that at this time those who remain will be those who are dedicated to Her, and who have love, compassion and discrimination. It was a very strong talk.

Another important event at Bordi was the weddings. There were fifty-four couples, and they were spectacular and full of joy. First, the night before, we had our hands and feet decorated, then the following morning we had the haldi ceremony and the distribution of the saris.

At about six o’clock the ceremony began. While the young men came on horses, we celebrated a Gauri Puja to Shri Mataji, offering a garland of flowers, kumkum and haldi to Her Lotus Feet. Then we lined up behind a length of cloth which divided the men from the ladies, the men having now arrived. The moment when the cloth fell was very emotional, and we had a sense of being united with our husbands. After that we did the havans and went through the various phases.

At the end, before leaving, we had a private conversation with Shri Mataji. She spoke to various national groups and was very pleased with us Italians and said we were the best. She ate Her food and was very amiable and convivial. Some of us remained in meditation in front of Her until She left, and it was perhaps one of the most sweet and loving moments I have ever had, because of the sweetness of Her loving and silent presence.

Alessandra Pallini

The rays literally kissed Her Feet

It was in about 1985 and Mother was in the old Safdarjung Ashram giving a talk. There was a small pedestal with a throne on which Mother would sit. I was up near the throne where I had a clear view of Her Lotus Feet. It must have been about four in the afternoon and the sun was at such an angle, that the rays had entered the hall. They came closer and closer and literally kissed Her Feet, over a period of about half an hour. The minute after they touched Her Feet, the rays receded again. It was so beautiful.

Jayant Patankar

That is what I wanted!

In 1985 I was a kid and went with my father to some architectural discussions with Shri Mataji, in particular with reference to the Delhi Kutab Ashram, which was then on the drawing board. My father was the principal architect. The Urban Commission in Delhi had thrice rejected it, but finally it got passed.

Shri Mataji wanted a synthesis and integration of styles. Predominantly She wanted to have the Rajasthan style of ornate Indian arches. They were to be used as a feature. Shri Mataji was so fond of all the small stone carved arches, balconies, and columns – these ornate and ornamental features particularly seen in Rajasthan. The Kutab Ashram was the first building to represent Sahaja Yoga in the capital of India, or anywhere. Mother was so keen on getting the right kind of style, because She wanted to integrate the rich architectural traditions of the past blended into a contemporary building. She would have many sketches prepared and would review them. One night we were with Her, we had been sketching with Her and then She said it was getting late, so we excused ourselves.

Leave your drawing board behind,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘I’ll work on it.’ Sure enough, the next day when we came, Mother had a sketch prepared on it. She had actually sat and worked on it in the night.

When the plans were finally ready, my father took the drawings to show to Her and they were still rolled up inside the cylinder. As we entered the room, carrying it, Mother started praising them like anything.

What a beautiful design,’ She said. ‘Look, it has come up so well!’ We could not understand what She was talking about because we hadn’t opened the drawing up. ‘Yes, that is what I wanted!’ She said, and it was so beautiful. ‘See, I can feel the vibrations, that is how I know it has turned out so splendidly.’ When we opened it, Shri Mataji put Her hands to it and said, ‘See!’ and we did. It was absolutely vibrant.

Jayant Patankar

Self realisation in a dream

My parents went for a public programme in Delhi in 1985. I was a small child and had a high fever that day. Just before Mother was due to arrive, I slept off. Thereafter, Mother arrived, gave realisation and the programme concluded. I kept sleeping and my mother was very upset that I could not get realisation or have the darshan of Shri Mataji. I woke up after a while and my fever had disappeared. I told my parents that in my dreams I saw an ‘aunty’ dressed in white sari and She kept Her hand on my head.

Don’t worry, You will be all right,’ She told me.

Then I pointed to one of the posters of Shri Mataji and said that this was the same ‘aunty’. Needless to say, my parents were delighted that I had got my self realisation.

Rohit Nalgirkar