Chapter 09: 1985 – March, Australia and New Zealand

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Mother’s Day in Sydney

This photo was taken on Mother’s Day, the 5th of March 1985 in Sydney, at John and Wendy Brownscombe’s parents’ house at Galston. The yogis gathered here to give Shri Mataji presents for Mother’s Day and Shri Mataji talked to the yogis.

Trevor Sandford

Shri Mataji on Mother’s Day, 1985

It is important to recognise mothers and all the work they do

One year we had a picnic with Shri Mataji at Galston, north of Sydney on the property of John Brownscombe, a Sahaja Yogi. We had Mother’s Day there, and he set up a pendal in the garden. Everyone was sitting at Shri Mataji’s Feet and She spoke about the importance of Mother’s Day and how important it is to recognise mothers, and all the work they do in bringing up children. She said it was a nice function to have. All the children were there and it was very informal. The children were going up to Shi Mataji and giving Her flowers.

Gillian Patankar

In the morning we spent time with Her

In 1985 Shri Mataji stayed in Sydney for two or three weeks, which was longer than She had been before. She stayed in a separate apartment away from the Burwood ashram, where She normally stayed. The gift for the residents of Sydney was that each evening one family or group of people would go to the apartment with Her and sleep the night there and spend a number of hours with Shri Mataji.

We didn’t have any contact when our family arrived in the evening. We were shown to rooms and slept over and in the morning my mum, my dad and my sister spent time with Her. I was about eighteen at the time. When it was my turn, She indicated for me to come and sit in front of Her. She put Her Feet on my back and moved Her Feet all round it. The conversation continued, it was general, and all the time Her Feet were moving and working on my back.

Is it better?’ She would ask every now and again, and I made sure I didn’t answer in the complete affirmative, in case She might say, ‘Well that’s fine, you can move away.’

Shri Mataji went on until She had to stop to get ready to go out shopping to an area called The Rocks. Then we blended back to one of the many who were with Her looking at the shops. At one point She looked at me.

Are you feeling better now?’ She asked, and I replied that I was much better.

Matthew Fogarty

Guess where your son is now

It was March 1985, and the Sydney yogis were at Burwood Ashram preparing for Shri Mataji’s visit. My youngest son was helping a yogi to finish the bathroom. That afternoon he phoned me.

Guess where your son is now?’ he said. ‘Shri Mataji is here a day early. We found your son a clean kurta-pyjama, and he is sitting at Shri Mataji’s Feet while She has Her afternoon tea!’

All the Sydney yogis were rounded up and when assembled, everyone had the amazing blessings of going to Shri Mataji’s Feet. She put Her Feet on our open, upturned hands and paid attention personally to all of us. I remember feeling: ‘How do you know when to get up and go to Her Feet?’ I found the Kundalini was like a column of such power that one’s knees and feet unfolded, and the Kundalini propelled one to Her Feet.

Heather has been seeking in the unconscious,’ the leader said.

Some seekers do look there,’ Shri Mataji said. I’ll never forget how Her eyes looked: so deep, huge, fathomless, like the sea of the unconscious, when She looked at me and said, ‘You can find God in the unconscious.’ I could feel She was saying that She was who I was looking for, She was God, She was the Great Mother.

Shri Mataji said that when She is in our dreams, She is there, and that dream comes from the centre; but that most dreams get contaminated by other layers of the unconscious before we remember them.

There were many memories of that night in March 1985, when we all went to Her blessed Feet.

Ah! An Italian!’ Shri Mataji said when my eldest son went to Her Feet. This amazed me, as years earlier I had been in Italy while pregnant, and wished for a little Italian boy. She knew our slightest thoughts from years before.

Heather Jeffrey

Her eyes widened

Shri Mataji spent hours and hours personally meeting people at public programmes in Australia in the 1980’s. At one programme, I was quite a new, young yogini and so I lined up to meet Her along with hundreds of others. Eventually I came to the stage.

I’m not sure whether I can feel it or not,’ I said to Her. Shri Mataji took my right hand and She put my left hand onto the area of my liver. She took the heat from me by stroking my right hand. Then Her eyes widened, She looked up at my Sahasrara.

Ah! Got it!’ She smiled and nodded.

It still took me a long time to personally feel the vibrations. After going on the 1990 India tour, I came back to Australia and attended Easter Puja in Sydney. Shri Mataji was in Australia again. I will never forget that time because I was simply looking at Her chair which had been so lovingly painted by the yuva shaktis and suddenly I felt waves of vibrations coming up my spine. Finally I could feel my Kundalini! It had taken at least three years.

Michelle Shete

I realised what I had done

I can’t remember which year it was – it must have been the early eighties, and we had nice lounge chair out at the back of Burwood and Shri Mataji came out. It was very informal, and She was giving directions. She went to sit down and I noticed there were some chappals near Mother’s chair, so I placed them with everybody else’s shoes.

We listened to Mother’s talk and all felt wonderful, and then after that the leader was frantically looking around for Mother’s chappals. At that moment I realised what I had done, and with much haste I picked Shri Mataji’s chappals up, and had the opportunity of placing them on Her Feet.

Dale Simpson

The clouds came

This is a photo of the Shri Bhumi Devi Puja, at Burwood in 1985. We were all waiting outside in the garden and it was very hot, but when Shri Mataji came out for the puja, clouds came and it cooled down.

Fiona Aggarval

Shri Mataji at the Burwood Shri Bhumi Devi Puja 1985

I know that you know that I know

It was about 1985, and Shri Mataji was in Australia. I was expecting my first child and I wanted to tell Shri Mataji. We all had a chance to go up to Her. I was able to tell Her.

I know that you know that I know,’ She said, and that was all.

Gillian Patankar

Shri Mataji cooking

This photo was taken in 1985 at Burwood Ashram. Shri Mataji started cooking about mid- day and cooked choley, a chick pea recipe now found in Her cookery book, Cooking with Love. Everyone had this for their evening meal.

Trevor Sandford

Mother, I have waited for You all my life

One year after receiving my realisation, in the early eighties, I saw posters in the town, Sydney, Australia, for Shri Mataji’s upcoming visit. I decided to go to the public programme and got a friend to go ahead and save a seat. I then went in and sat on the front row, where I was as close as I could get to Shri Mataji. After the programme, I took flowers up on stage to Her, which She graciously accepted. The following night I took some barfi for Her and when She went to the cloakroom I followed. When I got there, Mother was standing there and Her form seemed to encompass every corner of the room. I gave Her the barfi, She accepted it and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek which left me on cloud nine. After coming out of the cloakroom, Shri Mother was standing waiting to go down in the lift.

Are you going down?’ She asked.

Yes,’ I said.

Well, come on then,’ my Mother replied. With that I jumped in the lift, much to the surprise of the yogis standing around. ‘You must come to India,’ She said to me while in the lift.

Yes Mother,’ I said. When we got out the lift, Shri Mataji got in the car and wound the window down.

You must come to India,’ She said again.

The next day I went to the airport to wave goodbye. When I got there, I thought I must have missed Shri Mataji, as no one was around. Then I saw one of the yogis who lived in the ashram, and asked whether Shri Mataji had left.

No, She is just coming down now,’ she said, and turning around I saw Her walking towards me with the yogis walking behind.

Shri Mother, I thought I had missed You,’ I said, and She replied that I had not, linked my arm and we walked arm in arm down to the exit.

You must come to India,’ She said once again, when we got there.

After this, I wanted to attend the puja with Shri Mataji in another state and rang the ashram to ask if I was allowed to go.

No your vibrations would not be up to a puja yet,’ they said.

However, I prompted them to ring up Shri Mataji and ask if my husband and I could attend.

Yes, yes, they can come, their vibrations are OK,’ She said, and consequently we attended my very first puja.

When it was time to leave, after the puja, and not knowing protocol I thought I should go and thank Mother for allowing us to attend. I saw people disappearing through a door, so I walked through it. Down the corridor I saw the lady who was looking after Shri Mataji, and then She asked the lady who was looking after her who I was. She then said my name.

Tell her to come in,’ Shri Mataji replied.

I was going to just namaskar to Mother, thank Her and leave, not wanting to take up Her time. However, She asked me to sit at Her Feet, which I did and five minutes later I found my head in Her lap.

Mother I have waited for You all my life; where have You been?’ I asked Her.

Yes, you are an old soul,’ She said.

Later, after spending what seemed an eternity bathed in the lap of Shri Mother’s vibrations, She presented me with a beautiful silk sari, and I just walked in vibrations and onto the plane. It was the most incredible moment of my life.

On returning home I moved in to the new house with twenty-five children and twenty-five adult yogis. With a great collective and wonderful vibrations in the ashram, I truly realised the potential of living and working together in a new reality. We had a wonderful school for the children where it was a joy to see them learning in harmony with their environment. Suddenly I was given a better job, enabling me to earn good money and book my ticket for the India tour.

Kristie Corden

Shri Mataji was happy

Shri Mataji first visited Brisbane in 1985 and there were very few of us yogis there then, and we were all relatively new to Sahaja Yoga, so did not know much about protocol and how to look after Shri Mataji. We had all moved there from Sydney to try and start Sahaja Yoga in Brisbane and we weren’t very familiar with the city. Shri Mataji suggested we have a meal out after the programme. We were the last car to leave, and the ladies, one with a baby, left their cooking, squeezed into an already full car and off we went.

The first public programme in Brisbane was held in the Brisbane School of Arts and about a hundred and fifty people came. Shri Mataji was happy as they mostly felt the cool breeze and were genuine seekers.

Albert Lewis

The East Chicago Pizza Parlour

Afterwards it was time for the evening meal, and we didn’t know where to go. We found a place called the East Chicago Pizza Parlour and we went downstairs to an underground smorgasbord type tavern. There were small tables but we managed to arrange them so Shri Mataji and about twelve yogis could sit together, and we seated Her at the end of the table, so all the yogis could see Her.

There was a young waitress taking orders and serving drinks. We all settled down and placed our order of pasta and meatballs, and Shri Mataji asked for some hot Tabasco chilli sauce, and everything arrived in due course. We all watched as Shri Mataji put lashings of the sauce onto Her dinner, mixed it in, tasted it and applied some more. I felt hot just looking at it.

Shri Mataji then offered some to me as I was sitting next to Her. It was very auspicious because it was prasad offered by the Devi, and I couldn’t refuse it. I managed to eat some, with my face reddening and tears streaming down my cheeks. By then all the yogis at the table were laughing at my dilemma, but Shri Mataji said not to, because it might embarrass me. She then offered a little to everyone at the table and it was their turn to eat prasad with tears streaming down their faces, and we all enjoyed the joke. Brisbane was a very left sided city.

During the time we were eating our meal there was a man who was quite loud and who had wandered in to join his friends a couple of tables away. I hoped this fellow wouldn’t cause any unpleasantness to Shri Mataji and our party. I put the situation into bandhan with my hands, under the table. Although Mother could not see my hands, the moment I did this, She immediately looked up from Her meal, looked at me, looked at the loud man, then back to Her meal and carried on with the conversation. The whole process took less than two seconds and the fellow immediately calmed down and didn’t create any more disturbances to Shri Mataji or our group.

Albert Lewis

You can’t prepare dinner on International Women’s Day

We were in Brisbane and were staying in the ashram. There were very few of us, so we were doing many tasks each. Shri Mataji was in the car to go to the public programme with my husband and one or two Indians who were with Her. Another yogini and I were standing at the back door and we waved goodbye to Her. My young son was already in bed asleep and we went inside and began to prepare the dinner. About five minutes later the car drove back up the driveway and stopped. Shri Mataji wound the window down and called us over.

What are you two doing?’ She said. We replied that we were preparing the dinner. ‘We can’t have that. It’s International Women’s Day. You can’t prepare dinner on International Women’s Day,’ She went on. The lady with me and I weren’t aware of this, but Shri Mataji was. ‘Go and get the baby, and come with us,’ She continued.

I got the baby out of the cot, put a few essentials in a bag, and off we went in the car, to the programme in the city.

Pam Lewis

Never mind!

In about 1985 Shri Mataji was staying with us in Brisbane at a small ashram. At that stage there were about a dozen solid yogis. She was in the bedroom at the ashram and I was looking after Her washing. I was quite unfamiliar with saris in those days and decided to wash one and hang it on the line so the coloured part was at the bottom, so the colour wouldn’t run. When I did so, it did run! I spent twenty-four hours mulling over how I was going to tell Mother that I had ruined Her sari. Finally I plucked up the courage, took the sari in my hand and went into Her room. I told Her the colours had run into one another. She picked the sari from my hand, waved Her hand.

Never mind, never mind!’ She said, and began to tell me all about the different types of saris, the different fabrics, and what you do with each one. She went on, ‘This one you should have dry cleaned, but never mind.’

She asked me if I had a sari. I had only been in Sahaja Yoga a year, and I did have a sari that my husband had bought for me in India, but I said I didn’t have one, because I wasn’t even thinking of this one because I hadn’t known what to do with it. So Mother went to Her suitcase and came back with a sari, and gave it to me.

Pam Lewis

We wandered towards a shopping arcade

We were on our way to a programme in Brisbane city, all in one car. The driver stopped the car on the footpath and Shri Mataji and I got out and were left there, while the others went to park the car. We were left alone and wandered towards a shopping arcade which was shut, because it was night time.

We walked through this arcade while waited for the men to join us, stopped at the window of a very exclusive looking shoe shop and Shri Mataji started to give me instructions on the type of shoes that yoginis can wear. They can wear high heeled shoes, but what mattered was the amount of heel there was where it made contact with the ground. The surface area of the heel – She showed me with Her finger how wide it should be to make it safe and be alright for our posture.

Pam Lewis

Shri Mataji was laughing and laughing

In 1985, Shri Mataji was at the ashram in Kew, Melbourne, Australia. We had some remarriages, about twenty-five couples, and we had the haldi ceremony out in the back yard. A very lively event – haldi everywhere! Shri Mataji was sitting watching and mixing the haldi with Her hand. We all got to take a big bowl and apply it to the brides and the men. Then we had the marriages in the evening.

It was such a special ceremony, because during the ceremony Shri Mataji was saying the shlokas from the book, with an Indian man. It is all on video, and Shri Mataji was laughing and laughing. It was such a sweet and melodious laugh. That was what was so special, so childlike, so joyful, and it just tickled your Kundalini and came from your heart. She was so much the Mother marrying Her children.

The next day Shri Mataji cooked lunch for everybody, so we had a lamb biryani. There were these huge pots. She organised this big meal and we were all given a job to do, and mine was to peel the garlic – about a kilo. Mother was directing, and getting big handfuls of spices and throwing them in. She had an apron on, and had big wooden spoons and was stirring with them. She cooked for about a hundred people. Mother made enough for us all to have seconds and it was just delicious. Biryani is not an easy dish to cook even for a few people, but when you are cooking it for a hundred, and everyone was in there doing something – well! The men were mostly keeping the fires going outside, for the big pots.

Leanne Huet

Shri Mataji as Shri Krishna

At Her Birthday Puja in Melbourne in 1985, Shri Mataji had a large kitchen set up in the back garden of the Kew ashram, and, with half a dozen helpers and in view of all the yogis seated on the lawn, prepared dinner. She made three large saucepans of curry, which She designated as hot, for those who like hot, medium for those who like tasty, and mild for those who don’t like hot. The hot curry was certainly hot, and delicious; the medium was actually very mild, but still tasty, and the mild was really quite hot, so that all the people who thought they didn’t like hot, got quite a shock, however they all dutifully ate it and I am sure felt the benefits.

In the puja itself, Shri Mataji gave an hour-long talk which was very entertaining and often hilarious about the stupidity of the ego.

A follow-up programme was arranged for people who had come to Shri Mataji’s public programme in Melbourne on the same week-end. The follow-up was held in the tent erected for the puja, in the back garden at Kew Ashram. After Her talk Shri Mataji invited questions. One middle-aged Indian lady stood up and asked Shri Mataji something, saying that she had not felt anything. Shri Mataji asked her who she worshipped, to which she replied ‘Shri Krishna’.

You have to recognise the one who is before you,’ said Shri Mataji.

She drew Herself up and just for a second She became radiant, magnificent and powerful, and transformed into Shri Krishna Himself. It was an astounding moment which almost made me fall over. I do not know if this lady recognised anything but certainly some of the yogis did, so perhaps it was meant for us. This lady and her husband stuck on in Sahaja Yoga and went to South Africa where they did some very good work establishing Sahaja Yoga amongst the Indian community.

I later looked at the video of this programme to see whether the camera had picked up what I had seen, but it was not apparent.

Chris Marlow

She’s God’s child

In March 1985, in the back garden of Kew Ashram, Melbourne, Shri Mataji was cooking three big pots of curry for all of us. I approached Her and showed Her a photo of my daughter, who was still with a false guru, and I was concerned.

She’s God’s child,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘May I have that picture? I will put her in My purse and look after her.’

Peter Corden

Shri Mataji waved away the clouds

In Melbourne, in 1985 there were weddings. Shri Mataji recommended they be held on a certain day, saying rain was likely. The weddings were not held on that day for various reasons, but a picnic was. Clouds were forming and Shri Mataji waved them away – they went. They didn’t go away on the day of the weddings however. It poured, but we were in pendals in the back garden.

Before we went to the UK, we had had one last programme at our centre in Woolahra. As everyone was leaving rain was falling in the valley and right up to our doorstep – an amazing phenomenon. We later described it to Shri Mataji and She said it was ritam bara prAgnya – a blessing of nature – the one that skips houses with good vibrations during bush fires.
Frances Henke

Shri Mataji raised the whole of humanity to another plane

When Shri Mataji visited here it was a whirlwind experience of such intensity and sharpness, because She was very much Shri Ganesha. A lot of time was spent sorting and correcting and warning us about protocol and so on.

One of the deepest experiences a number of us remember is a meeting Shri Mataji had with the Australian women in Melbourne at a puja weekend in 1985, where She spoke about the differences between men and women. On that occasion Shri Mataji said She was working Sahaja Yoga out through the women, and it was important for the women to meditate together. It was such a powerful moment. I felt Shri Mataji raised the whole of humanity to another plane in that hour, and felt as if I could almost fly afterwards, feeling so expanded and joyous.

Lyndal Vercoe

The Miracle of the Biscuit
Shri Mataji was waiting for Her flight at Melbourne Airport at the end of Her visit in 1987, Abraham (the youngest one) offered Her his partly eaten biscuit. Shri Mataji then gave a piece of the biscuit to each of the children and returned the biscuit to Abraham in exactly the same partly eaten form in which he had given it. 

John Noyce

Now it is up to the women to save the world

In March 1985 at Kew Ashram in Melbourne, Victoria, Shri Mataji addressed the ladies.

Do not stay here in the ashram all day, please go to the coffee shop and talk to people about Sahaja Yoga, go out and meet others!’ She said. ‘I want women to be as capable as the men in doing public programmes. The men have saved the world many times and now it is up to the women to save the world.’

Peter Corden

Shri Mataji leaving Kew ashram

She had already consoled me in my dream

One year, during the 1980’s, Shri Mataji came to Australia and gave many public programmes. The yogis in Sydney, which is where I was, travelled to Canberra, Melbourne and up to Brisbane, following Her. Some also followed Her across to Perth and New Zealand, and probably other places which I cannot recall. I remember being at a public programme in the reasonably small town of Newcastle and being completely unaware at that time of how extra-fortunate we were to be following Her around to these public programmes and offering puja to Her in almost every state of Australia, within a very short period of time.

In Melbourne, that year, I had quite a profound experience because Shri Mataji came into my dream the evening before the puja. I had gone to sleep with a very stiff neck and She had worked on it – cracking it in my dream. I woke up without any stiffness. Then, during the puja, Shri Mataji was quite stern with us because of some problem at the time. I was sitting very close to the front, near to Her, while She was speaking sternly. Ordinarily I would have felt bad, being in Her direct line of sight at that time. But She had already consoled me in my dream, so I had an incredibly blissful time and felt completely joyful.

Michelle Shete

A strong sense of awe

When Shri Mataji visited New Zealand for the first time, in 1985, there were only a handful of yogis. Brian and Cheryl had had done their best to prepare us before Her arrival as to the correct protocols. We didn’t know quite what to expect and I still wasn’t very good at feeling vibrations. We went to the airport full of excited anticipation. When Shri Mataji appeared I felt no gushing wind or Kundalini or anything of the kind, but simply a strong sense of what I could only describe as ‘awe’. A rakhi sister later told me how at the airport and at the public programme she had felt as though she was alone in the presence of Shri Mataji – that she could hear Shri Mataji speak but all else around her was excluded and there was complete peace.

Soon after returning to the ashram Shri Mataji was seated in the lounge with our small group around Her on the floor. We went to Her in turn to do namaskar in front of Her Feet, and She made the occasional comment or asked a question about some of us. She asked what I did.

He is an artist, Mother,’ the leader said, although I was mowing lawns as a job, but I had studied at art school before moving to Auckland. Shri Mataji commented that my Swadishthan chakra was not bad, as often artists have such bad catches on their Swadishthan. This was a reassurance, as we were probably all a bit timid as to what Shri Mataji would be able to see in us.

Bryce Clendon

Shri Mataji reading the bible in Auckland, 1985

Come and see

Shri Mataji stayed only about three days on Her first visit to New Zealand and although there was a public programme in a university hall, there was no puja. My first personal encounter with Shri Mataji was quite casual and very simple.

I was living in the ashram and in the morning found myself alone before Shri Mataji who was relaxing on a bamboo-frame sofa with a white daisy-like flower in Her hand. She looked up at me with one of Her charming smiles.

Come and see,’ She said. I moved closer and She added something like, ‘Look, it has water drops on it.’ As I bent my head closer I could see that the petals were covered with a myriad of tiny dewdrops. I was in that state of utter thoughtlessness that is probably often mistaken by new yogis as being simply a nervous emptiness.

It is beautiful, Shri Mataji,’ I could only respond, smile, and then back away.

Bryce Clendon

We shouldn’t be nervous

I had a tendency to become a little nervous. One day the phone rang and I answered it. Shri Mataji was seated just a couple of metres in front of me. It was an overseas call for Her. When I was growing up in the country there was usually a small panic when a long distance call arrived. We had to race to get the person being called and on a farm this could take time. Seeing as this was a phone call from overseas, and for Shri Mataji, it was all the more reason to get a little nervously excited. I spluttered out the information and gave the phone to another yogi so he could pass it immediately to Shri Mataji.

What’s he saying?’ Shri Mataji asked. The other yogi calmly took the phone and events proceeded normally. How embarrassing to feel your nervousness get the better of you in front of Shri Mataji, to the extent that She couldn’t understand what you were saying!

Since then I found it much easier to stand back, watch myself and detach from my nervousness.

Bryce Clendon

Shri Mataji nodded Her head reassuringly

Not long after starting Sahaja Yoga I visited my parents and told them about it. My mother showed some concern but I re-assured her. When Shri Mataji came to New Zealand and a public programme was announced, I invited my parents to come and meet Her in person. To my surprise they accepted. They were used to country roads and driving in Auckland was very difficult for them. Since there were few yogis in New Zealand in those days, I was involved with preparations and couldn’t meet my parents before the programme.

I was asked to drive Shri Mataji to the programme, hence I left my own vehicle to be driven by another yogini, whilst I drove Shri Mataji in the hired Mercedes. I left Her and our leader at the programme hall and went to park the car; and therefore didn’t see Shri Mataji’s entrance. The hall was satisfyingly full of interested seekers. At the end of the programme She invited people to come and meet Her and I found my parents seated in the middle of the hall.

My mother recounted their adventures of trying to find the place. My parents got completely lost in the city, then suddenly my mother spotted my bright yellow van, and as it wasn’t me driving it went to find out who it was. This lady explained everything and led them into the programme. As Shri Mataji had only just arrived, my parents met Her at the entrance as they went in, shook hands with Her and found a place in the audience.

As I chatted with my parents, I watched Shri Mataji greeting the seekers and working on them. One of the early ones to go up was a mother with a baby that cried. Shri Mataji held it, placed Her hand on its Agnya and the baby immediately calmed down. The mother was very happy, and my own mother was also quite impressed. I was eagerly wondering if mm parents had really got their realisation OK, et cetera. I looked up at Shri Mataji, and She looked out directly at me, in the middle of the hall, gave me a big smile, nodded Her head reassuringly and turned Her attention back to the seekers near Her. That was enough for me.

Bryce Clendon

Take a siesta

While driving to the public programme in 1985, Shri Mataji was in the back of the car with Brian Bell. She mentioned New Zealanders ought to take a siesta in the middle of the day.

Bryce Clendon

A gift from the Sahaja Yogis, Auckland 1985

Auspiciousness in the divine plan

Written on the back of the photo of Shri Mataji holding the blue dish are the following words:

In March 1985, when Shri Mataji visited the centre in Auckland, this dish was presented to Her by the New Zealand Sahaja Yogis. She explained how it symbolised the Kundalini, the five elements and the three nadis. She also said that the colours represent New Zealand, which is auspiciousness in the divine plan of things.’

Cheryl Bradshaw

Shri Shiva’s flowers, Shri Shiva’s colour

In the garden of the ashram was a Datura plant with large white hanging flowers. I think someone may have brought some to Shri Mataji, and She said not to use them – She commented that they were the flowers of Shri Shiva. She didn’t elaborate but I presume it is because they are poisonous and hallucinogenic.

I remember a cotton jacket that one of the yoginis used to wear, and was wearing once while with Shri Mataji. She commented that it was the colour of Shri Shiva – a slightly muted mauve.

Bryce Clendon

The clouds moved aside in reverence

Shri Mataji first graced these islands in March 1985. With a small group of yogis She blessed Auckland from the top of Mount Eden, one of a number of dormant volcanic cones spread around the city. The Mount Eden area was very prominent in the early days of Sahaja Yoga. After Her brief but joyous visit, when Her plane took off, it was a cloudy day. However, the clouds moved aside in reverence, and made a bandhan around this heavenly flight as it rose into the sky.

David and Trisha Sharp

Shri Mataji on top of Mount Eden, Auckland 1985

She gave each of us Her blessings

When Shri Mataji left New Zealand after Her first visit there were very few at the airport to see Her off – maybe only four or five of us. She gave each of us Her blessings, a big hug, and maybe a kiss on the cheek.

Bryce Clendon