Chapter 08: 1990 – November, South East Asia

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Lotuses and a full moon day

Shri Mataji arrived to visit to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 1st November 1990, a full moon day, from Bombay, to begin Her tour to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This was Her first visit to Malaysia after a lapse of six years. She was greeted at the airport by a large turnout of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis. Arriving back at the centre shortly after mid-day, She was impressed by the lotus flowers that decorated the meditation room. Mother remarked that this was the flower of Shri Mahalakshmi.


Two public programmes

In the evening of the 1st November 1990 there was a public programme attended by about three hundred and fifty people. In Her talk Mother remarked that Malaysia has many left side catches and Her left side was vibrating when She landed in the country. She said that this was also the case when She was last here six years ago. In spite of this, most of the people present got their realisation.

The next morning Mother went shopping in Kuala Lumpur for gifts for the forthcoming India Tour. Every shop Mother went to, She got the best prices. Mother marvelled at the low prices She obtained for the saris and cloth. The prices were typically half those in India even though these goods were imported from there. Undoubtedly, this was the privilege of Shri Mahalakshmi.

In the evening, there was another public programme attended by about four hundred people and as was the case the previous evening most of them got realisation. Afterwards, Mother met the seekers personally on the stage and the programme ended well past midnight.


I knew this lady was very special

I had received my self realisation earlier in the year, but soon dropped out. In November 1990, Shri Mataji was visiting Malaysia again after a long time. As the date came closer, my Mom, KT Tan, asked me to give Sahaja Yoga another try, and to go and listen. I said I didn’t want to. She said that if I didn’t want to listen to Shri Mataji, fine, but she wanted my help in decorating the stage.

So on the day of the programme, my Mom and I went early to the Girl Guides Hall, Brickfields. A night market was setting up on the road outside as we put up decorations within the hall. Clouds started to gather as people slowly trickled in, taking seats. A few yogis from Australia had come to help with the programme. The hall was less than half-full, and loud Tamil film songs were blaring from stalls just outside the hall. Then to cap everything, it started to rain.

As the time ticked by, the audience glanced at their watches. Some got up and left as one and a half hours went by without any sign of Shri Mataji. One of the Australian yogis went up on stage to tell us about the diagram of a person on the chart that hung on a wall. Suddenly, everyone rose to their feet. A breeze seemed to blow gently over us, and I could hear whispers ripple through the crowd.

She’s here! She’s here!’

I looked through a forest of heads towards the entrance. Then I saw Her. A figure in white smiled at us. Her hands came up in a namaste, and the moment I saw Shri Mataji, I felt a curious click inside, the significance of which I could not yet understand. I felt somehow that I knew this lady, and that She was very special. She walked up on the stage and proceeded to talk to us.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Faces glowed after a few words with Shri Mataji

Shri Mataji’s talk at the 1990 public programme was not very long and She asked us to ask questions. Some people came up to the mike prepared for such an occasion, and asked about things I didn’t know about; the relationship between Sahaja Yoga and a religious book they were reading, Her opinion on the unpronounceable name of a guru. Very patiently, She answered all the questions, and all the time, I sat and just looked at Her. I felt a recognition that I could not understand.

What is so special about Her?’ I kept asking myself. I knew there was something, but still could not see what it was. Later, Shri Mataji invited the entire crowd to queue up so She could meet every single person. The line stretched around the hall, and two and a half hours later, Shri Mataji was still meeting people, Her smile always fresh, glum faces glowing after having a few words with Her.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Shri Mataji with the seekers at a public programme in Kuala Lumpur

Cooking for Shri Mataji

In 1990 most of us were very new in Sahaj. We didn’t know much about protocol. In preparation for Shri Mataji’s visit, our small collective decided to cater for everyone at the centre, which was also the leader’s house, where Shri Mataji was going to stay. Luckily a few Australians came a few days earlier to help and guide us. They advised us that at least the food for Shri Mataji should be cooked by the yoginis.

There were about eight yoginis in our collective and we held a quick meeting. We didn’t know if Shri Mataji was a vegetarian or not. After some discussion, we decided each yogini would take care of one meal and those who liked could add on one dish to give variety. The first meal would be lunch, since Shri Mataji was arriving from India around noon. Who would cook the first meal? Nobody volunteered. Maybe we were all afraid we might make mistakes. In the end I volunteered. ‘What shall I cook? Well, I’m a Malaysian Chinese and it is better to cook what I’m familiar with,’ I thought. I cooked several Chinese dishes at home and brought them to the centre.

When Shri Mataji arrived, She only had some tea, talked to the leader for a while and went upstairs. By evening, Shri Mataji had not asked for lunch and we telephoned the yoginis not to prepare dinner since lunch had not been served yet. That evening Shri Mataji went for the first public programme at the Girl Guides Hall in Brickfields. After returning to the house, Shri Mataji said She would like to have food. We asked what food She would like.

Chinese food,’ She replied.

And there was all the Chinese food in the kitchen, downstairs! The food was served in the sitting room upstairs, one course at a time. Shri Mataji asked what it was called, or what was in that dish or how it was cooked.

Send the cook up,’ someone said, after the questions and answers were passed upstairs and downstairs a few times. I was a bit nervous but Shri Mataji smiled and asked if I had cooked all the food. I pointed to the ones I cooked and She asked more questions about them. Then She talked about the Chinese food that She and Sir CP had in Beijing. It turned out that Shri Mataji enjoyed Chinese food because it is very light. Subsequently, we served Her mainly Chinese food, which is not spicy-hot.

It is such an honour and pleasure to be allowed to cook for Our Divine Mother especially when my cooking is just that of an ordinary housewife. Shri Mataji was very forgiving and made me very shy when She thanked me for cooking for Her.

KT Tan

Shri Mataji knew exactly where She wanted to go

The next morning, at Mr Ng’s house, yogis gathered and chatted over breakfast as Shri Mataji ate upstairs. I looked at the faces around the table and thought there was something attractive about them, but couldn’t tell what it was. Shortly after, Mr Ng came downstairs and said that Shri Mataji would like to go shopping.

Young man, would you like to go?’ He looked at me and said. ‘We could use some strong arms to carry all the shopping bags.’ I was burning with newfound curiosity about Shri Mataji, so I agreed, welcoming the chance to see Her again.

We drove in a little convoy to the centre of the city. We were told later that Shri Mataji wanted to buy saris for the upcoming India Tour, but at the time, I had no idea what that was about. I followed at a discreet distance as this group of about eight men walked behind Shri Mataji towards the shops. She seemed to know exactly where She wanted to go, and Mr Ng was by Her side, carrying Her large brown handbag.

Robert Ramesh Tan

The sari thread

Shri Mataji walked into a large store and headed for the counter selling good saris. A bored salesman watched Her approach and took his time reaching for the sari She wanted to see. Within minutes though, I saw at least three salesmen measuring metres of sari material, folding them and taking down yet more piles as Shri Mataji looked over everything and told them that She wanted ten of these in blue, another ten in that colour, but no, She didn’t want those ones. It wasn’t long before all the counter tops were full of multi-coloured piles. Gold threads winked from hues of blues, purples, and rich reds, chasing beautiful designs of amazing complexity. Throughout the entire time, I just watched Shri Mataji.

I watched Her movements and how She spoke to the salespeople; how Her deft fingers touched some fabrics and rejected others. Her keen eyes picked out beautiful pieces of art, and never once did She hesitate. I had never seen shopping on this scale, and I just watched, amazed. At some point, I got a little rude. I was standing about ten feet behind Shri Mataji, and watched as She did everything.

My eyes never stopped staring, and in my mind, I kept asking, ‘What is it that is so special about You?’ and my heart said, ‘I don’t know, but there’s something.’ Suddenly, Shri Mataji turned and fixed me with a penetrating look. She knew what I was thinking!

Shri Mataji moved regally around the store, leaving salespeople desperately trying to keep up in Her wake. Once She was done with the saris, She said She wanted to buy some fabrics, located at another part of the store. To get there, She had to walk past me, and as She drew up, I smiled weakly at Her, a poor attempt at an apology for my rudeness earlier. She did not look at me, and shamefaced, I turned my gaze to the floor. Then, as She walked by, some three feet ahead of me, I saw the light blue part of Her pallu float gently in the breeze behind Her. My eyes followed the rhythmic movement and suddenly fixed on a little thread that had unravelled itself at the end of the fabric. It stuck out about half an inch from the end of the pallu, and as the overhead light caught it in its passage past me, a thought ran through my head.

I remembered bible classes from when I was a youngster in school, and the story of a man who touched the hem of the cloak of Jesus as he walked past. Jesus felt energy drain out of His cloak, and knew that He had been touched by someone. In a split second, as I looked at that thread, I thought of this story and thought that if Shri Mataji was truly great, She would know if I touched this thread. Looking at Her receding figure and not thinking about possible consequences of such an action, I looked back at the thread and, reaching out very deliberately with my right index finger, I touched it.

She stopped, turned slowly and looked at me with eyes that penetrated my being and I could not look away. I knew that She knew what I was thinking. She did not say a word, but there was no need. I felt no more doubts that there was something truly incredible about Her.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Shri Mataji’s face bloomed with a smile

After reeling from that experience, I became aware of some commotion around me. A couple of yogis nearby were talking about Shri Mataji and She was giving self realisation to the people in the shop. A crowd started to gather, and other patrons of the store looked at Shri Mataji with the awe and recognition of people who knew they were in the presence of greatness.

Shri Mataji was standing facing a salesman. He was an old man with red-rimmed, droopy eyes set in one of the saddest faces I had ever seen. His eyes were a milky blur and all his features seemed to curl downwards, as if even his nose, cheeks, mouth and eyebrows felt they would never know joy again. His head was swathed in a bright turban, which seemed to contrast even more with his misery.

Walking cautiously up to him and Shri Mataji from behind his back, I could see, as I turned to face them that his hands were stretched out towards Shri Mataji. She was speaking softly to him and to the yogi standing next to Her. I saw that Shri Mataji’s hands were stretched out toward him, and know now that She was giving him vibrations. As I moved closer for a better look, my jaw dropped as a movement near his chest caught my eye. His shirt was jumping and flapping, just at his heart, as if a bird was trapped under the fabric! I couldn’t believe my eyes, blinked, and looked again. Sure enough, there it was again. Flap, flap. With both his hands outstretched, I knew that there was no way he could flex his chest muscle or subtly move his shoulder to make his shirt flap like that. Shri Mataji gazed with concentration, Her right hand pointed at this strange phenomenon.

It’s caught there, at his heart,’ She said softly. Suddenly, the flapping stopped.

Ahh….!’ I heard Shri Mataji say as Her face bloomed with a smile, and the old man’s face lit up as if someone had switched a light on inside his head. Years melted away from his features, and I could see that he wasn’t an old man after all. His eyes shone bright and clear as if he had just seen some wondrous sight. He smiled, and all his droopy features perked up and he looked completely different, his being seemingly suffused with a newfound strength. Then he bent down, touched Shri Mataji’s Feet and thanked Her profusely while She smiled at him and waved Her blessing. Then She walked off to another part of the store to continue Her shopping.

Robert Ramesh Tan

The broken leg had healed

I was still rooted to the spot, trying to digest what I had just seen when I noticed that the crowd had thickened considerably in the part of the store Shri Mataji was in. I could hear people saying they recognized Her from posters they had seen around town. By the time I had squeezed my way through the throng that stood three or four people deep in that little area, I found that Shri Mataji was sitting on a stool, and a young man was sitting on another one, in front of Her. She was chatting to him, always smiling, but I couldn’t catch Her words. She had Her fan in Her hands, and waved it as She spoke. The heat was quite stifling, and the store’s air-conditioning wasn’t coping well with the crowd at all. My own shirt was sticking to my back and the crowd was watching the entire drama unfolding before them. They jostled to see but no one surged forward. A kind of inner protocol, observed unawares, told them to give Shri Mataji space.

Taking a closer look at the young man seated before Shri Mataji, I realised He was another salesman from the store. A pair of crutches lay beside him on the floor, and I recalled seeing him limp around in the background as Shri Mataji was shopping earlier. Now, She had Her Foot on his cast as She spoke to him. After a few minutes, She told him his foot was now alright and that he could go to his doctor the next day and have the cast removed. He bent eagerly down, taking it in his hands, and seemed about to try and rip it off there and then, but Shri Mataji told him to take it easy and just see the doctor to have that done. He got up and after some tentative experimenting, found his broken leg had healed, and laughing, he pranced about.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Her countenance melted with incredible compassion

Just then, a skinny young Caucasian man burst through the crowd and, falling at Shri Mataji’s Feet, wept like a child, asked Her to save him. He was shaking uncontrollably and all the yogis looked nervously at each other, trying to decide what they should do. Having seen so much for one day, I had stopped asking myself what was happening, and just watched. Shri Mataji spoke to him, and it became clear that he was a young German tourist who had gone travelling in India, Nepal, Tibet etc.

These poor fellows, just see what happens to them! They go to these places and get all caught up,’ Shri Mataji said.

I looked at Her face as She said that, and it seemed to me that Her countenance melted with incredible compassion and pity for Her child. Shri Mataji gave him vibrations and then asked the other yogis to clear his left side. He was asked to sit on the floor, legs stretched out in front of him. To my amazement, he began jumping; and his whole body jumped a few inches off the floor. Yogis gave him vibrations from behind, clearing and trying to bring his subtle system into balance. After he felt better, he was taken back to the Sahaja centre and asked to sit on the earth to clear himself more. By the time he left, his twitching had reduced considerably, and he was then given a number to call up yogis in Germany so that he could attend Sahaja Yoga classes there.

The afternoon was fading into a golden glow by the time we got ready to leave the store with Shri Mataji. Along with the other men, I happily loaded car after car with the results of Shri Mataji’s afternoon out, but I was not the same person who had walked in earlier that day and stared rudely at Shri Adi Shakti. Sometime during the afternoon, my humongous ego had been punctured (thankfully) and in my heart I felt a wave of love and peace wash over me. Without a murmur, it seemed as if my whole being, twisted and tugged in many directions for so long, had suddenly glided weightlessly into harmony, and I knew, deep within myself, that I would never question Shri Mataji again, and would follow Her wherever She might take me. I knew then, without a doubt, whatever it meant, that I was going to be a Sahaja Yogi.

Robert Ramesh Tan

Many gathered round to get their realisation

The next day Mother again went shopping for the coming India Tour. At a shop selling saris and cloth, the manager and all the shop assistants were given realisation by Mother. Not only that, many of the other customers and passers-by who had gathered round also received their realisation. A shop assistant with a fractured foot in a plaster cast received Mother’s attention and was cured. Not doubting Mother one bit, he immediately attempted to remove the plaster cast until Mother told him to do so only when he went to see his doctor.


Malaysia is a part of the Mooladhara

That evening Mother gave presents to the Sahaja Yogis who had assisted in making Her visit a success. A collective present was also given to Mother in appreciation of Her visit. Appreciation was also expressed to the Australian Sahaja Yogis who had come to assist in the organisation of Mother’s visit.

In Her talk, Mother expressed a desire that as many of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis as possible should come to India for the Ganapatipule seminar. Later, talking about Malaysia’s position in the Virata, Mother said that Malaysia is part of the Mooladhara but more towards Shri Ganesha. According to Mother, this was evidenced by the large number of the local Indian population who are worshippers of Shri Ganesha. In ancient times, Malaysia was joined to India, and also Shri Rama visited this area.

The next day, the 4th November, Mother went on to Bangkok to continue the next stage of Her Asian tour. As She left for the airport, Mother graciously expressed Her thanks to those present and said that She had enjoyed Her stay. There was a full turnout of Malaysia’s Sahaja Yogis to see Mother off at the airport. As She sat majestically on a bench in the airport lobby with each Sahaja Yogi offering Her a lotus or a rose, and bystanders were impressed by the grace, dignity and power that Mother radiated.


Is this the time the hands will speak?

It was in the early 1990’s and the Australians were asked to go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to help with Sahaja Yoga in its early stages. By Shri Mataji’s grace, I was able to go with four Australian men. It was a wonderful experience. The yogis were so lovely, so caring. Shri Mataji enjoyed lots of shopping.

Usually, I could never shop all day, but with Shri Mataji I had plenty of energy. People came to Her, asking Her to give them what She had to give and many, many got their realisation.

One man’s hands were shaking and his body, at the left Void, was trembling. Shri Mataji told us later he was a closet drinker and would be in trouble if he didn’t stop. Then a young German came to Her. He was very damaged. Shri Mataji, and some Sahaja Yogis all worked on him — this in the middle of a big shopping centre. They were all sweating. He had had negativity put into him by members of a damaging sect. He was laughing and crying and screaming and barking like a dog.

Stop it. You can stop it right now,’ Shri Mataji demanded. After a while, the boy calmed down and a couple of the men took him back to the ashram. A young girl was watching Shri Mataji working on people.

Is this the time the hands will speak?’ she asked me in awe.

We went to a sari shop.

I’m not sure about these,’ Shri Mataji said, because She’d been looking at some saris. ‘Where are the artists? Come here and have a look at these.’ She said to me, ‘What do you think?’

Very nice,’ I said — God asking my opinion! Shri Mataji bought nearly all the saris.

The programmes were packed. Shri Mataji had us, the Australians, helping. She worked on someone and then referred her to me and pointing to the Vishuddhi. It was unbelievable that you were being asked to do this. People were coming up and asking to be healed.

Diana Selentin

First visit to Thailand

In November, Shri Mataji did as She had promised and stopped in Thailand as part of Her first Asian tour. At the airport I managed to enter through Immigration to welcome Shri Mataji from inside. For some reason the yogis travelling with Her were far behind, and Shri Mataji was standing alone at Immigration. I was so moved to see Her so simple and unaccompanied; She was just like a loving Mother coming to visit Her family. She took me in Her arms and kissed me on my cheeks.

You slimmed down, Janine,’ She said.

I felt so comfortable with Shri Mataji; it was so natural. The paloo of Shri Mataji’s sari was slightly slipping from Her shoulders and without thinking further about protocol, I just took it in my hand and put it back in place. I then felt that it was not the proper protocol, but Shri Mataji just smiled at me. Mother knew that I was impressed and would have felt very shy in Her presence, and She made me comfortable by being so loving and appearing not as the Divine Guru but as a very simple and extremely loving Mother.

Janine Sreshthaputra

Like a dream

A few months after meeting my family in Spain, Shri Mataji did as promised and visited Thailand, giving Her first public programme in the capital. My whole family was still rather new in Sahaja Yoga and we were very impressed to be there and get the opportunity to be so close to our Holy Mother. I was twenty-four years old at the time and my sister was about nineteen. We were there with my mother and few other relatively new yogis from foreign countries.

Shri Mataji, looking majestic and royal, knew how to make us feel comfortable and confident, and sat down in the living room as soon as She stepped in the house. At the same time She was very much like a simple but most loving and compassionate Mother. She looked at us with a blazing smile.

So how does it feel?’ She said, almost as an introduction.

It is like a dream, Shri Mataji,’ I replied.

It is really your love, yours and your sister’s, that brought Me here,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Since you are in Sahaja Yoga, the vibrations of this country have improved’. She later explained that the Mooladhara of our country had improved a lot since we had received self realisation.

We had no words to answer and were engulfed in a silent wave of love. It made me understand that all Sahaja Yogis are much more powerful and important than they believe and have a direct impact on their environment and country.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

No protocol

The first year Shri Mataji came to Thailand, we received Her in a small house by the river. As it was the first time for me and my family to be so close to Her, we were quite impressed. Alex Henshaw from Australia was there as well as Marie-Martine from Switzerland and one or two others who had previous experience looking after Shri Mataji, but no one was appointed to take care of Her.

A few months before, in Europe, Shri Mataji repeatedly stressed the importance of protocol, and that we should not take Her for granted. For instance, we should not impose ourselves and not go to see Her if not invited. However, on the first day of Her stay I spent a long time with Shri Mataji in Her room discussing a wide range of subjects, from politics to economics to overall Sahaj subjects like Mother used to do. I totally enjoyed it, but on the following day started to think that I had spent at least three to four hours with Mother when She might have liked to rest or just be on Her own.

I felt a bit guilty and was sitting in front of Her room in meditation, waiting for Her to wake up. Shri Mataji opened the door, and we entered to serve Her breakfast. It felt very intimate, like being with a very loving Mother as Shri Mataji was smiling and looked totally relaxed in the slightly crumpled white cotton sari She had been sleeping in.

So how are you, Prakash?’ She asked.

I told Her I felt a bit of left Vishuddhi as I thought I had imposed myself too much on Her, taking too much of Her time on the day before. Mother looked at me with laughing eyes.

There is no protocol between a Mother and Her children, and what would I do all alone in this room otherwise without you to keep Me company?’ She said. In a few seconds She totally changed my mood and She added something like, ‘Besides it is such a good opportunity for us to enjoy together, otherwise it is difficult to get the chance with all these other people.’

What Shri Mataji had conveyed was as if She was only there for me and that normally other people are the ones who are between Mother and Her child, preventing them from enjoying being together. Such beauty. The rest of the day was thoroughly enjoyable and from that time onward, the certainty that She was my Divine Mother, always loving me and protecting me never left me.

This was Mother’s way of drenching us with Her love and She created this type of relation with all Her children all over the world – not only with me – in those privileged few days She spent with so many of us, travelling constantly from one country to another. Every time it was the same love, the same trust, teaching us Her divine ways.

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Absolute power

One of the most impressive aspects of Shri Mataji was during public programmes, when She individually worked on newcomers. It was common for Her to stay after the programme and invite seekers to meet Her individually on stage. People would queue for hours and it was common for Mother to stay without a break until past midnight.

It was an extraordinary experience for Sahaja Yogis and newcomers as Shri Mataji would display an absolute understanding of spirituality as well as of human nature. People from different religious backgrounds just needed to recognise Her as the incarnation of the deity they worshipped. For instance, a staunch Buddhist would be asked to repeat, ‘Shri Mataji, You are Shri Buddha Maitreya’, while a Christian may have to repeat, ‘Shri Mataji, You are Mother Mary’ to correct specific catches, and then the Kundalini would shoot up. Mother would know in that second that the Kundalini had pierced the Sahasrara.

Ahhh…done!’ She would often comment joyously, or something similar.

It was not rare to see seekers cry with relief in front of Shri Mataji, unveiling their hearts to the one they instinctively recognised as the Divine Mother, and be comforted, reassured and cured by Her. She would glow with a mix of compassion and absolute power, fully enjoying Herself and at the same time fully concerned for the wellbeing of the person in front of Her. She would instruct Yogis to help Her and give vibrations on stage, controlling the progress of the Kundalini, advising and correcting us if we didn’t give vibrations correctly.

The first programme in Bangkok in 1990 was one of the most impressive in my memory as the first batch of seekers was heavily damaged and reacted very strongly to Shri Mataji’s vibrations. Several people started to shake from walking on the stage and sitting at Her Feet. Others, mostly born realised or very pure seekers, were welcomed like Sahaja Yogis even though they were meeting Shri Mataji for the first time. There weren’t many like this, but their faces would be glowing and their vibrations very good.

How are you? Nice to see you,’ She would say, or something like that, as if welcoming relatives or old friends, and then She would turn to yogis and comment, ‘See his vibrations!’ or, ‘He is a Sahaja Yogi already.’

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Shri Mataji worked all night

I am already here,’ Shri Mataji said when She reached the house we had prepared for Her.

She sat down on the sofa in the little living room. We were only a handful of Sahaja Yogis and we sat down at Her Feet. We started to sing a few bhajans and the vibrations flowed so strongly, working on the left side that the few of us were in, this dreamlike state, both sleepy and in a very deep meditation.

During the night, Shri Mataji kept working on the vibrations of the country and slept very little. In the morning She said that so many bhuts kept coming to touch Her Feet in order to get liberated and that it had disturbed Her. We were in awe at this manifestation of Her Divine consciousness and compassion.

Janine Sreshthaputra

She has always been with us

Shri Mataji visited Thailand five times, from 1990 to 1996, five almost consecutive years, as part of Her South East Asian tours. Among countless unforgettable memories of Her visits, what seem to prevail are feelings of infinite love, great intimacy and untroubled harmony. Mother was welcomed by a handful of yogis whose number increased slightly as years passed and words spread of the rare moments one could share with Mother.

Among the few yogis who were around when Shri Mataji came the first few times were some members of my immediate family, in particular my brother and mother, the latest having settled in Bangkok with the permission of Shri Mataji in 1990 to do pioneer work in publicising Sahaja Yoga. From the very beginning, it was surprising how close and bound to Shri Mataji we felt, as if being in Her company was something totally natural or as if we had been around Her since times immemorial.

Although we had seen the grandiose manner in which Shri Mataji was usually received in European countries, we had to welcome Her in a more modest fashion as only a few yogis were here to assist and resources were rather limited.

The first year for example, in 1990, Shri Mataji was received in my father’s week-end house on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, slightly away from the centre of Bangkok. It was a simple and cosy two-storey house, with three bedrooms on the second floor. Shri Mataji would always request us to stay with Her in the room even though we thought that She may desire some privacy at times.

Don’t leave Me alone here,’ She would say. ‘There are usually so many people around in pujas that we never can spend time together.’

It was a most humbling and deeply moving experience to spend few days in Her company, going shopping with Her, or to the beauty parlour or to eat a pizza or an ice-cream. Shri Mataji would never lose a chance to raise people’s Kundalinis. We all were rather new in Sahaja Yoga. My family started meditating in 1986, and we would never have dreamt of spending so many magic moments in Shri Mataji’s company.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

That feeling of complete protection

After a few months Shri Mataji kept Her word and came to Thailand, to Bangkok. Some Sahaja Yogis came from France, including myself. Shri Mataji travelled from Australia to come.

We were new to Sahaja Yoga, and had never talked with Her, and were in this foreign country, waiting for Shri Adi Shakti. We had put up a lot of posters and rented a room for about three to five hundred people, but only about eighty turned up. Shri Mataji completely gave Her heart on this first Asian tour – we felt a bit uneasy that there were not more that first evening. But Mother did not say a word about the poor turnout and devoted the same motherly and intense attention as we had seen Her doing with the attendance of thousands in other countries. After the realisation session, Shri Mataji insisted on meeting each new seeker personally until midnight and was very happy about the session.

The first public programme in Bangkok, at the Windsor Hotel

For two hours Shri Mataji gave a talk, gave realisation and then received all the people, one by one. One lesson it taught us was that it doesn’t matter how many come, we must put our heart in it. That night I understood that even one single seeker deserves our full attention and we should never get discouraged.

The second day was the same, and again about eighty people came and She worked on each and every one of them with the same love, concentration and attention as if there had been a thousand. She just kept on working on all those individuals. Again miracles happened and She treated each one as if he or she was a long lost child coming back to his or her mother. Many who came were very damaged. Mother put Her fingers into a glass of water and dripped some water which had become vibrated, and one man came back to himself. Then She treated him. There was a man who started to shout. We all jumped back, but Shri Mataji was completely calm.

Come back, look at Me now,’ She said.

Every time the consciousness of that man wavered, he looked at Shri Mataji and became normal again. She cured him, and the next day some of us were caught up on the Left Swadishthan and Centre Heart, except one relatively new yogi from Australia who was very laid back and had been criticised by the older yogis for being more of a tourist than a help, while everyone else was actively trying to contribute.

He is the only one who didn’t catch, because he doesn’t react. This man is a bag of vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said about him, and it made us reconsider what is supposed to be a ‘good’ Sahaja Yogi.

What has happened to you?’ Mother said to me.

I said I thought I had caught from this man, and Mother said yes of course, it was because I had reacted. Mother was just laughing. Maybe we should not be too bothered, and not be afraid to be caught up. For those of us who have not been so close to Shri Mataji, it is difficult to convey that feeling of complete protection we felt when we were with Her.

Prakash Sreshtaputra

Shri Mataji’s purity drew me to Her

The first time I saw Shri Mataji’s poster, in Bangkok 1990, it wasn’t very clear because I was travelling in the bus, but something prompted me to look at it again on my way back from work. The smile on Shri Mataji’s poster was so gracious, full of joy and happiness. I felt that She was pure and innocent like a child, and Her smile was so joyful and so peaceful. I think it was Her purity that drew me to Her. I took time off work to go to the programme.

I was the second person to arrive, even before the Sahaja Yogis, and sat in the front row to get a good view. Shri Mataji was late, because She had to travel a long way to the hotel and the traffic was bad, but I was not bored because Janine started the programme. I couldn’t understand much, but enjoyed the programme.

Shri Mataji came at 8 pm and everybody stood up to pay their respects. She wore a white sari, had a radiant smile and was full of compassion. She apologized for being late, but I didn’t feel that I was waiting at all. She continued the programme, raised the Kundalinis en masse, then asked us to feel the breeze on our heads, whether it was cool or not. I couldn’t differentiate whether the breeze was from the air conditioning or the Kundalini.

At the end of the programme Shri Mataji opened the Kundalini of those who went on stage, one by one. After She finished raising their Kundalinis, some were asked to say the mantra and some She asked the yogis to put three candles around them. When my turn came, Shri Mataji looked simple and yet not so simple, I could not explain. She asked my name, and told me to stretch out both hands towards Her. She held my hands and put attention on me for a while, then asked whether I felt it was cool.

Yes, it’s cool,’ I answered. I could feel the coolness on the hands but not on the head.

Mother, are you Maitreya?’ Shri Mataji told me to say, three times. After that She told me to say, ‘Mother you are Maitreya,’ then She told me to tell others that She is Shri Maitreya.

I learned later that what She asked me to say was the word to open the Left Agnya chakra, and it was the word to reduce the ego so that the Kundalini could pass through. Not everyone was asked to say the same thing by Shri Mataji. To some She asked them to say that She is the Father, to some that She is the Mother and to some that She is the guru, depending on their catches. I waited till there were only a few Thai people left. While I was waiting there were two incidents. First there was a man who started to shake and roar.

It doesn’t matter, I just want to ask your name,’ Shri Mataji said to him, then he calmed down. She did not raise his Kundalini but advised him to go and meditate at the centre so his symptom could improve.

The second case was a man who fainted, and we were all shocked. Shri Mataji dipped Her hand in Her glass of water and sprinkled it on him. He suddenly became conscious and then She raised his Kundalini. Shri Mataji raised the Kundalini until the last person. It was the first and last time that She raised the Kundalini individually in Thailand; thereafter She raised it en masse.

Not long after, in December 1990, with Her love and compassion, Mother invited three of us, expenses paid for, to go to India to join the yogis from other countries at Ganapatipule. It was the highest blessing in my life to receive this gift from Shri Mataji. I had always wanted to go to India since I was a child, and if it hadn’t been for Her I may not have fulfilled my dream. That trip made me understand Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yoga much more. I had the opportunity of doing puja for Shri Mataji on two occasions and would like to thank Her from the bottom of my heart, for Her love and compassion to me, and also all our brothers and sisters that have always helped me.

Payhon Modemuang

Mother Earth incarnated

Driving the car for Shri Mataji was one of the best experiences for me. It was a most privileged moment as we were almost alone with Shri Mataji and through Her Motherly love She made us feel so special. The relationship at that time was very intimate and always from Mother to child, more than from guru to disciple.

What impressed me the most was when Shri Mataji was sleeping in the car, and the effect it had on us. When She slept, Mother pulled us in a different realm and everything around us seems to slow down. The busy streets seemed suddenly silent as if we were enveloped in a cocoon of peace. Also, when She slept Shri Mataji had a gentle snore, like the many sounds of Mother Nature itself. Sometimes it felt like the wind gently blowing in the forest, the rumble of a distant thunder or the purr of a tiger. I felt I was just facing Her aspect of Shri Bhumi Devi (the Mother Earth itself) and although I was driving I was completely in meditation.

I can stay awake the whole night, but in the day I have to sleep for at least twenty minutes. This is what the deities want,’ Shri Mataji once told me in the car.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

A superhuman body

I once had the chance to massage Shri Mataji’s Feet as She was resting one afternoon and lying on the bed. What really surprised me, apart from the torrent of vibrations emanating from Her body, was the softness and smoothness of Her Feet, which were like those of a new born child. She was then aged sixty-seven and how could Mother possibly have Feet so incredibly soft and smooth?

After massaging Shri Mataji’s Feet and hands for some time, I started feeling my Kundalini shooting up in my back and out of my head as if enlarging and becoming solid as a cable. At one point I felt as if the top of my head had been blown off, as if only the all-pervading energy existed.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

I had experienced the absolute truth

In 1990 a friend of mine took me to someone who read your future in the cards. He mentioned that I would meet a special lady who would change my life completely. I did not pay much attention but the next day I took another way home instead of regular one. On that way I saw a small poster hanging on the wall announcing a public programme of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi at the Windsor Hotel on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. I decided to attend the programme and get my self realisation.

During the programme, Shri Mataji gave the realisation to all of the participants and I had a problem to feel the cool breeze. However, She invited each of us on the stage. Soon it was my turn. While approaching Mother, She asked me what kind of a picture I had in my pocket. I took it out and showed it to Her. She told me to throw it away.

I was now kneeling in front of Shri Mataji and surrendered completely to Her. She asked me to stretch out my hands towards Her and to repeat an affirmation of Jesus Christ. I was trying hard to repeat the sentence one, two, three, four … times, but did not succeed. I thought to myself that this lady was very, very patient with me.

However, after ten times I finally succeeded. I was able to say the complete sentence and the Kundalini shot like a rocket through the top of my head. I was in a complete state of bliss and I could feel the tremendous divine energy, the real yoga. That evening I walked home intoxicated with that wonderful vibration, realised that I had experienced the absolute truth and that I needed not to search any more.

John Wyss

He must be in the seventh heaven

This is a recollection of the 1990 tour of South East Asia. Shri Mataji had toured down to Australia, then She travelled to Malaysia, then to Thailand, and Taiwan and then finally Hong Kong. I was fortunate enough to be doing the video filming during this tour, so had the opportunity to spend quite a lot of time with Her.

We were staying with Prakash’s father’s house in Bangkok at the side of a canal. Shri Mataji was upstairs, and She was being attended by a number of yogis. We were sitting downstairs and one person said he had just had an amazing experience rubbing Shri Mataji’s Feet. The thought crossed my mind, that I would like to do the same, and then one of the girls who was looking after Shri Mataji came down and said that She wanted to see me. She called me upstairs.

Yes Shri Mataji, did You want to see me?’ I asked.

No,’ She replied, ‘I didn’t want to see you, did you want to see Me?’

No, Shri Mataji,’ I said.

Well, in any case, while you are here, you can rub My Feet.’

So it was a little play to get me up there to fulfil my desire to rub Her Feet. I started to rub Her Feet, and I was really pressing and massaging. I was using a lot of my strength, and the sweat was coming out of me, and She was telling me to press harder. After some time my arms started to get tired, but I just surrendered into it, and I just got lost in it, and after two and a half hours I just remember my whole body vibrating.

You had better take your rest now, and go off to sleep,’ Mother said.

She had been going in and out of meditation. I remember floating downstairs, and I lay on the floor and fell asleep, felt totally vibrating.

How is Alex?’ Shri Mataji asked the next day. ‘He must be in the seventh heaven by now.’

It was a very sweet experience.

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji cured my sciatica

This happened during Shri Mataji’s first visit to Thailand in 1990. I had developed a sciatica that would hurt my left hip and left leg from time to time. I had also found out that I had a slight imbalance between the height of my left and right hip, which would exert a pressure on the sciatic nerve. One day, Shri Mataji gave me vibrations and put Her Feet on my back.

She enquired about my birth place – Viet Nam, and enquired whether I had fallen in my childhood. I had indeed, when only a few months old. Later that same day, Shri Mataji went shopping in the car, with a few yogis. I thought that I would stay back home and tidy Mother’s room.

Saraswati can come. She can sit on My lap!’ Mother said, as the car was about to leave.

I was barely twenty years old then and light and slim. I ended up not quite on Mother’s lap but squeezed against Her side so that Shri Mataji’s right elbow pressed heavily on my left hip. I later understood that Shri Mataji precisely corrected the imbalance on my left hip, thus fixing the problem. From that day, I never suffered from sciatica again.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Bangkok is My place

During Her first visit in 1990, there were very few people travelling with Shri Mataji and I had the blessings to look after Her quite a lot. One night, Shri Mataji asked me and another yogi to give Her a massage to absorb the vibrations which were flowing so strongly. We started to massage Her lower legs. I was stunned to feel they were so strong and hard, like pillars of marble, not even the strongest athletes could have legs that strong.

We were fast immersed into a dreamlike state, as vibrations were flowing intensely and we were merged in bliss. It went on for hours and Shri Mataji was closing Her eyes, but when we thought She was sleeping She would ask us to massage a different part of Her body. I remember massaging Her arms and shoulders, which were soft like silk. After a long time we thought Mother was sleeping.

I died here,’ She suddenly said very clearly.

After that Shri Mataji didn’t say anything more about it and we were too much in awe to ask. My understanding is that She referred to one of Her past lives, and very likely as Her life as Shri Sita.

Bangkok is My place,’ Shri Mataji said in the following days and also, ‘I have a plan for Bangkok.’

Prakash Sreshthaputra

He just got his realisation

While we were driving around town, Shri Mataji asked us about the origins of Thai people. I told Her that according to historians, the Thai people came from China and settled in Thailand long ago. Shri Mataji’s commented that it was not likely to be so as there are regions with mountains for them to cross when coming from China. She paused for a moment.

Thais are just like Bengalis, they must have come from Bengal,’ She then told us.

She further commented that Thais and Bengalis are very similar, the softness of the language many sounds ending in O and A, the alphabet, the culture and lifestyle with the proximity of the water, the festivals and the aspects of the cultural dances and music. Most important, She pointed to the beautifully relaxed attitude to life that was very similar, and repeated, ‘They are Bengalis.’

Then, while the car was stopped at a signal Shri Mataji illustrated Her point by showing us two young men lying down at the back of a pick-up truck in front of us. They were smiling and enjoying themselves in a typical Thai attitude, and one of them was reading a book about Lord Buddha.

See, he just got his realisation,’ Shri Mataji said, and we could see him looking absolutely peaceful. This is how Her divine compassion was acting.

Prakash Sreshthaputra

Prices should be correct

The first year Mother visited Thailand, She purchased some gold jewels as presents for some of Her family members. Shri Mataji commented the high quality and purity of Thai gold. In the shop, within the compound of a large department store, Mother had a lengthy discussion with the saleswoman, bargaining skilfully and knowing precisely the correct price of the items, judging from their craftsmanship and weight in gold.

After some time, the young saleswoman seemed to get confused, counting and re-counting her profit margin feverishly over and over on her calculator, trying to decide whether or not she could afford the discount Mother was requesting. Mother later commented that it was important that prices should be correct and fair for a market economy to function well and prosper.

My memory and yours are very strong!’ Mother told me, recalling amusingly and in great details the incident on the evening of that same day.

Mother had a great sense of humour.

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Shri Mataji at a market in Gaysorn, Bangkok

You should become a journalist!

This also happened during Shri Mataji’s first visit to Thailand. During the many precious hours we spent by Her side, as very few yogis were around, Shri Mataji enquired about my educational background. I was then a student in a French University, enrolled in an undergraduate course in communication and information.

Can you write well?’ Shri Mataji asked me.

Yes,’ I replied. At school, I had always done well in this field.

You should become a journalist!’ Shri Mataji then said. It was at a time when in Europe and especially France, the media were giving Sahaja Yoga a rough time. Mother deplored the fact that journalists were usually arrogant and aggressive. To my surprise, Mother added: ‘You should blast them!’

Saraswati Sreshthaputra

Shri Mataji put kumkum on my forehead

I followed a false guru who taught a particularly damaging meditation for ten years. Shri Mataji cleared me by giving me vibrated water to drink. She asked Saraswati Sreshthaputra to open the window and asked me to stretch my right hand out of the window, and to put the left hand towards Her. I could feel the negativity just shot out of the window and Shri Mataji asked Saraswati to close it. Shri Mataji put kumkum on my forehead after that.
John Wyss

She put a lot of attention on it

Bangkok was not so easy to arrange as a small town. The slightest thing took the whole day. We had the programme in a big hotel downtown, in 1990, and it was quite successful. There were quite a lot of people.

Mother was very saddened by the child prostitution. The Sahaja Yogis told Her about this when they passed that district in the car. She put a lot of attention on it and, interestingly, after She left, the subject was brought up in the international papers and since then there have been many cases, especially in Switzerland, of people being condemned for going to Thailand for that.

Since Shri Mataji came, much has been done. I remember Her giving bandhans against this child prostitution.

Marie-Martine de Techtermann

It was ten years later

The first time I cooked for Shri Mataji, I cooked some fish. That was in Switzerland.

Many years after I was in Bangkok for Her first programme there. I was helping prepare in 1990. In Bangkok, we did a lot of shopping with Shri Mataji.

Just before She left, we went to a Pizza Hut, ten years after I had cooked for Her and in Bangkok I had found a beautifully carved fish covered in coloured pieces and painted. At the Pizza Hut I offered it to Shri Mataji, as a souvenir. I bent down and knelt to give it to Her and She held it in Her hand.

Oh, that’s because you cook fish so well,’ She said.

It was ten years later.

Marie-Martine de Techtermann

You are the doer

We got to Hong Kong, on the South East Asian tour of 1990, and Shri Mataji had been booked into a very simple hotel – the airport hotel. The room was very small and pokey, not the sort of room one would usually take for Her. The people had only organised a room in their local club, and had invited a few friends along. When Shri Mataji discovered these meagre arrangements, She decided to cancel the programme.

Alex Henshaw

The left and right side
When Shri Mataji was in Hong Kong She mentioned that Lao Tse was working out the left side and Confucius the right side.
Alex Henshaw

I had to go to Hong Kong first

The biggest surprise in my life was one morning in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA – the telephone rang around 6 o’clock one early morning, and over the other end came Mother’s lovely voice inviting me to join Her tour in Taiwan, but Shri Mother dictated that I had to go to Hong Kong first without further explanation. It was a mystery that remained in my head, not to be solved until I reached Taipei, Taiwan.

The Hong Kong collective was still only a contact representative at the South Shore serving as Mother’s stopover at the time. Since I had no idea of why I had to be there, I stayed there nearly five days, and had at least three meetings with the person who was planning the programme for Mother. At the first meeting, he told me the programme was planned at the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club, and people were only allowed to attend the very first Sahaja public programme in Hong Kong by invitation.

He showed me a list of about sixty-five upper class invitees, and the well printed invitation. I told him that Mother would want a public programme for all the seekers who would wish to attend, but the organiser said everything had already been arranged.

Upon arriving in Taiwan, Shri Mataji relayed a message that the 1990 Hong Kong Public Programme had been cancelled. At that point, I had not told anybody about what I had seen in Hong Kong. I suddenly realised the ganas had been looking over my shoulder at the time.

Sarvesh Su

A miracle

Shri Mataji toured Taiwan four times from 1990 to 1996. On receiving Her from Taiwan airport, She said She has been to Taiwan once many years before, and remembered it was like a garden city – so beautiful back then, but now the high rise buildings were mushrooming everywhere.

One day after the public programme, Shri Mataji wanted to go out for a pizza lunch, and so we scrambled to fit into a few cars. After the lunch, She decided to go gift shopping. As we knew, She always bought presents to give to the children (our brothers and sisters) worldwide. Since I left Taiwan nearly twenty years ago, I must admit that I was no longer familiar with the streets of Taipei. After a few mistakes, Mother showed us Her power again. Instead of our leading Her to go shopping, She led us to a street which was totally unknown to Her, and pointed to a building saying there was the store we should visit.

I was in a state of thoughtless awareness and we followed Her into the building, stepping into the elevator. We got to the seventh floor, at Shri Mataji’s instruction, where She asked me to ring the bell on a door that looked like an ordinary apartment house, so I sheepishly did so. I almost dropped to the floor with surprise of what I saw in there when the steel door jarred open. Through the gate I looked inside. Wow! It was a wholesale souvenir jewelry store hiding inside.

I was sure no one was aware that the whole process of coming to this store was a miracle, and that it happened just like the previous year, when we were in New York.

Sarvesh Su

Shri Maitreya is Shri Trigunatmika

This story relates to the first visit of Shri Mataji to Taipei for Sahaja Yoga, in 1990. She had been there before, but this was the first time She came to spread Sahaja Yoga and do public programmes. During the first public programme, which was held in the Chen Hall just beside the Grand Hotel, Shri Mataji was asking the people afterwards to come on the stage and the yogis were working on them. During this time She continued to talk, and explained about Shri Maitreya. Shri Mataji explained on the microphone that this is Shri Trigunatmika.

When Shri Mataji came to a country, She worked intensely on the place. During Her first visit in 1990, She stayed for six days but went out only twice, once to the public programme and once for a small shopping trip. The rest of the time She stayed in the room and worked on the country. On Her later visits when the place was a bit cleared out, She ventured out more.

Harald Knobel

Jade meditation discs

When Shri Mataji came to visit us in Taiwan, we went to the Palace Museum and among the amazing artefacts there, we saw a “Bi’ made of jade. I was looking at the decorative text around the outside my attention was kind of sucked into the hole in the centre and I went completely thoughtless. It was a profound experience, the depth of it. Shri Mataji said later that these jade discs were designed specifically for meditation and that the old sages understood thoughtless awareness very well. This was at a time well before Lao Tse or Confucius.


Jade disc

The need to practice

As Taiwan is one of the countries of the back Agnya, we often got requests to perform exorcism during Shri Mataji’s Asia tour. One boy of seventeen years old had tried to commit suicide by leaping off a building three times, without major injury. He said he heard voices that urged him to do so. We found out that he had had a habit of going to a cemetery in the past and ended up being possessed.

Mother asked the boy to stretch his right arm out of the open window, using a candle treatment on his left arm, which was directed towards Shri Mataji. She was holding an orange, because no lemon was available at the time. I listened attentively, that Shri Mataji was reciting the name of Shri Vitthala Rukmini, for the right Vishuddhi, repetitively. Mother asked all the children and pregnant women to leave the room at that particular occasion. The boy left after he said three voices had gone out of his body. At other times, Mother wanted us to treat people with back pain caused from car accidents and other problems. She said if we didn’t practice, how we would know we have the power?

In Taiwan and Hong Kong Mother talked about Buddhism, Buddha, Lao-Tze, Confucius, Taoism, and even the political relationship of China and Taiwan in great detail. She explained to us that Buddha promised Maitreya’s coming in the future. Maitreya means three mothers (powers) in one – the same as Christianity’s comforter, counselor, and redeemer.

Sarvesh Su

Public programme in Taipei, 1990

Being an interpreter for God

We were in Taiwan in 1990 and we stayed in the famous Grand Hotel in Taipei, which is modelled on a traditional Chinese design. We had gone with Shri Mataji and were staying in a large suite in the hotel. Shri Mataji was enjoying Herself we had served Her dinner and She began to watch the TV. We were flicking the channels and a movie came on – In the Name of the Father, set in Ireland with the actors speaking with an Irish accent.

Shri Mataji found it hard to understand, so She asked me what they were saying, and in the end I was acting like a translator for the whole movie and was telling Her what was going on. It was quite amazing, being an interpreter for God, sitting at Her Feet with this movie going on. I thought I had better not make any mistakes!

Alex Henshaw

Shri Mataji did a bandhan around the shop

On Shri Mataji’s first visit to Taiwan, we went to a wholesale jewellery shop and we walked up the stairs to where they were selling pearls and coral. They also had a lot of jade, and Shri Mataji did a complete bandhan around the shop two or three times. After that, you could see there was something working out vibrationally with the owner. All of a sudden he became very joyful and helpful. When we had first gone in you could see there was something not quite right, but then after the bandhans his face brightened up. Shri Mataji started to look at things, and buy things, and by the time we started to negotiate for the price, the owner had become very helpful and gave a very good price. This was always the case, Shri Mataji always got the most amazing bargains.

Alex Henshaw