Chapter 09: 1990 – December, India

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

Shri Mataji asked us to wear business type clothes

A small group of us were leaving one week early to attend the India tour as we could not get later flights. The night before we were due to leave from Shudy Camps, we were asked to go and help load some boxes on a truck. The boxes belonged to Shri Mataji and we were taking them with us on the plane. It turned to be fifty large boxes; it was a little surprising but we decided to surrender to Shri Mataji and not worry. Before Shri Mataji left for India, in Her infinite wisdom, She asked us to wear business type clothes and ties to travel and not to look like hippies.

When we arrived at the Air Canada desk, at London Airport, the attendant said we looked like a nice group of people and asked if we drank alcohol. As we said we didn’t, she upgraded us to First Class. When we told her we had some boxes outside, she said the airline would fetch them and load them on the plane at no extra cost. The sixteen of us travelled from London to Mumbai in the privacy of the second floor cabin and were treated with great care.

Annie Calvas

Magical India continued, diary entry, India Tour, December 1990

After four years it is good to have ones feet on Bhumi Devi again! Yesterday we went for a fabulous sitar programme performed in front of Shri Mataji by two realised souls, Nishat Khan was one of them. At the end their virtuosity was such that I had the feeling the Kundalini was whirling and dancing with joy. It was absolutely above human level and Shri Mataji confirmed later that if music is played at that level and spread all over the world, people will feel the joy of pure art and get their Self Realisation. The programme ended at 4 o’clock in the morning like the day before and on the way back I felt my heart pulsating with the joy of this creative music inspired by the Kundalini.

Antoinette Wells 

A shared joke

After a puja at Pune, one of the leaders was making some announcements and calling various yogis from Maharashtra to come on the stage. Shri Mataji was watching this event and was also directing other yogis at the same time. We yuvas had just finished singing a song before the announcements started and were watching everything and trying to be in meditation. As the announcements proceeded, the leader in question completely mispronounced a rare Maharashtran name, which made me chuckle.

Suddenly I became conscious that I was laughing at the joke with Mother still on the stage, and I looked at Her. To my surprise, She was watching me and laughing at the joke too. I was so surprised, happy and shy, and was completely lost.

Ajit Kulkarni

The bullet went out of your Sahasrara

Mr Prem Mahajan, a Sahaja Yogi of Delhi, was a pilot with Indian Airlines. His flight from Delhi to Shrinagar, Kashmir was hijacked to Lahore. In the ensuing scuffle Mr Mahajan was shot in his skull, and he was aware this had happened. In 1990 I was in Mr Mahajan’s house in Delhi and was privy to a dialogue between him and Shri Mataji there.

Mother, the medical examination report at Lahore Airport narrated that the pilot was telling a lie when he said that he had been assaulted with a bullet going through his head. They said that on examination there was no trace of it, not a scratch. Shri Mataji, what happened?’

Son, the bullet did hit you in the skull,’ Shri Mataji remarked, ‘but when you called Me – Ma! Ma! I came to you and the bullet went out of your Sahasrara.’

Virendra Verma

Seeing the vibrations

In 1990 the English set off for the tour one week before it began. We went to Pratishthan and we found three or four containers of all Shri Mataji’s possessions from Shudy Camps. We spent the week unpacking these crates and putting the things all round the house. One time She showed us round the house and explained that She designed it very carefully so that there was always a wind blowing through it.

Can you see the vibrations?’ She said. So we all looked in the sky and I saw a lot of blue sky and outside balconies overlooking the gardens, and She stopped, and looked out down the valley at clouds but I didn’t see much else.

Look more closely – you can see the white things. There are seven coils – that is the vibrations,’ She said.

Shri Mataji, what about the black things? They have also got coils,’ one of the boys asked.

Yes, that is the negativity,’ She explained.

Anthony Headlam

The Adi Shakti is just upstairs

Shri Mataji had just moved out of England to Pratishthan, Her home near Pune, in 1990 and it was the Ganapatipule time. The English yogis had brought all Shri Mataji’s luggage and She organized where to put what, the furniture, and then She took care of every one of us so nicely. In the morning She would come down the stairs into the kitchen to instruct the cook not to cook too hot food because the foreigners are not used to it and then She used to ask whether we had our breakfast, lunch, everything. Then sometimes She was sitting with Her family upstairs.

On the ground floor, we were singing bhajans in the evening and to know that the Adi Shakti is just upstairs while you’re singing; it was a very nice feeling.

Ruth Eleanore

Love flowed along that road

I had the good fortune of being in our Holy Mother’s presence for the first time on the India tour in 1990/91. I was looking forward to the tour immensely. We were met in Mumbai by some yogis and then after a day or two we were taken by bus beyond Pune, far up in the hills where Shri Mataji had bought some land for Sahaja Yoga. We were to camp there on a high hill overlooking a valley and it was really lovely. We caught all the breezes and had a wonderful view. On arriving at the camp, we settled into the pendals provided.

Later that day we were to meet Shri Mataji. It had been arranged for Her to arrive in a jeep, all decorated in flowers and banana leaves by the local villagers. We lined ourselves along the sides of the country road below the hill, waiting for Her to arrive. Anticipation was in the air. We could hear drums being beaten and the school children danced around the jeep as it slowly wound its way along the road toward us. Love flowed along that road and I was holding out my hands towards Shri Mataji, hoping to feel the cool breeze.

As the jeep drew nearer, I was surprised to feel the cool breeze, not only on my hands, but on my feet as well. Shri Mataji looked so cool and loving, smiling so beautifully for Her children. The jeep passed us and continued on the road, turning onto a smaller track to wind its way slowly up the hill. As it drove up this hill, the track zig-zagged and we started to follow behind, but we could make a straight line up the hill and therefore see Shri Mataji at every bend in the road. All the yogis and yoginis in their saris and kurtas were walking up this hill in small groups, with the local villagers mixing with us and following our Holy Mother as well.

Margaret Fry

Magical India continued (India tour, December 1990)

After four years it is good to have one’s feet on Bhumi Devi again!

Yesterday we went for a fabulous sitar programme performed in front of Shri Mataji by two realised souls; Nishat Khan was one of them. At the end their virtuosity was such that I had the feeling the Kundalini was whirling and dancing with joy. It was absolutely above human level and Shri Mataji confirmed later that if music is played at that level and spread all over the world, people will feel the joy of pure art and get their self realisation. The programme ended at four o’clock in the morning, like the day before, and on the way back I felt my heart pulsating with the joy of this creative music inspired by the Kundalini.

Antoinette Wells

I want you to enjoy like nothing before (diary entry)

We arrived at Pune for the first puja of the 1990/91 India tour. Shri Mataji arrived about half past two and stayed until about half past six. She welcomed us foreigners and explained that She had bought some land on a hill outside the city, where we could stay.

She explained how the great saints of Maharashtra, and the Indian culture, provided a great basis for culture, and then said that on this tour we would become fearless, baddha-proof, and should no longer worry about getting caught up. We should be ready to face the shortcomings of the Western world and dissolve them with our tranquillity, powers and courage.

I want you to enjoy like nothing before,’ She said.

The children from the Dharmshala School washed Her Feet, along with the local Indian children, at the beginning of the puja.

The next day we went shopping for saris to a shop where Shri Mataji often went, then in the evening went to a classical music concert given by Nishat Khan, in the presence of Shri Mataji. She explained that Indian music can only really be enjoyed by realised souls, because it touches the depth of the Spirit. She also praised the musician, Nishat Khan.

At the end of the concert we were able to go up to the stage and offer flowers .As we passed in front of Her one by one, She asked us questions like, ‘Do you have enough bed covers? Is everything alright? Do you like the place where you are camping? Is it too cold at night?’ They were all loving maternal questions to Her children.

Today there was a public programme. First the Westerners sang some Sahaja Yoga bhajans, and then Shri Mataji arrived and spoke at length in Marathi. After that She gave realisation very quickly.

The second part of the programme was unusual. A group of Indian musicians with electric guitars, tablas and other instruments came on the stage and sang the theme song from the TV version of the Ramayana, which was immensely popular at this time. One of the singers was very famous, and had wanted to sing in front of Shri Mataji, but it was only when they started singing songs in praise of Her that the vibrations really flowed. They would have sung the whole night for Shri Mataji, such was the joy they communicated, in Her praise.

Alessandra Pallini

Shrirampur (diary entry)

We are at Shrirampur on December 11th, camped in a pendal in the garden of a sugar cane factory. Shri Mataji is also staying here. After the programmes we were offered sugar cane juice. There was a procession and two public programmes in villages near here. Shri Mataji knew we had wet sleeping bags and lilos, and invited all the ladies to sleep in Her bungalow, just like a mother who is worried about the wellbeing of Her children. We slept in various places including on the veranda. Finally everything settled down and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the countryside, the garden and a canal in front where we could bathe. Soon we were eating, sleeping and sitting and talking right in front of Shri Mataji’s window. It was very joyful to mix with our Indian brothers and sisters.

We had another procession with Shri Mataji, very beautiful, at dusk, with the sky pink and blue. There were a lot of villagers, and us foreign Sahaja Yogis, all dancing. Shri Mataji was on a cart decorated with banana plants and laughed, while we proceeded forward slowly. At the programme the local Sahaja Yogis sang Amhi Mataji cha, and everyone present clapped their hands in unison. One felt such joy in the Kundalini and the Sahasrara, our hearts full of joy and devotion.

We are sitting outside Shri Mataji’s room waiting for the puja to start. Everything is a little late: we have had our food, meditated and have been busy choosing some beautiful saris and dhotis that Shri Mataji has chosen for us, if we want to buy them. Because She bought them in bulk for us the prices are very good.

The puja was finished at about five o’clock, and we took photos of Her. Everything was shining on Her stage, beautifully decorated with saris. Shri Mataji seemed to be on a heavenly throne adorned with flowers and lights, and the gold of the saris behind Her were like stars in the sky. With Her crown of fresh flowers and Her smiling face, She waited patiently for everyone to take photos, continually changing Her expression and the gestures of Her hands. The puja talk also seemed to indicate that we are about to experience a change in the dimensions of Sahaja Yoga.

Shri Mataji warned that some very negative people had tried to create problems for all of us and Her here, but that now we are in Krita Yuga, a time when the paramchaitanya is very active in protecting the seekers, and the time when the saints are tortured is finished. She also told a story of how one time they were meditating in the early morning at Gandhi’s ashram and a cobra came and meditated with them. She said animals are much more sensitive to vibrations than humans and we must never be afraid of them, even tigers and snakes. She mentioned that everything that happens to us is for our benevolence. The paramchaitanya knows everything, and guides and organises us. We must never be afraid, especially the ladies. We must just open our hearts and have complete faith in Shri Mataji.

The next day we bought more saris and dhotis, and about midnight, quite unexpectedly, when most of us were already in bed, Shri Mataji came out of Her bungalow and sat on Her chair to listen to a group of local musicians who came to sing their bhajans to Her. This went on until four in the morning, when supper, which we had quite forgotten about, was served!

Alessandra Pallini

A magical time

We were at Shrirampur, and Mother was staying in a house next to the pendals. Late at night, someone came to tell us that She had asked us all to sleep in Her house as it was going to get cold, so all the yogis moved into Mother’s house with their sleeping bags. It was the biblical multiplication of the fishes with space. Somehow, She managed to fit us all, three or four hundred, in this not so large house. Some of us were in a tiny room; and it was a pretty tight situation. Shri Mataji took things in hand.

Come on squeeze in, we can fit ten more here,’ She told us, and we did! So much fun and laughter – Mother looked after us so much, in the tiniest little details!

Annie Calvas

We slept like babies

On the India tour, around 1990, we were staying near Sangamner. Shri Mataji was staying in a house and our pendals were set up next to it. One night we were getting into our sleeping bags, when someone came to tell us we had to move inside the house. Shri Mataji had noticed that it was a cold night and She did not want us to sleep outside.

We picked up our sleeping bags and went in. Under Mother’s supervision, we lay down like sardines. Mother kept bringing more and more Yoginis into this fairly small room.

Move,’ She would say, ‘move, there still plenty of space,’ until finally everyone lay down. Somehow Mother managed to fit the whole tour, hundreds of Yogis, into two rooms. Her only concern was to keep us warm. Needless to say we slept like babies.

Christophe Rivaud

The chance to do this honour to the Goddess

We were at the puja in Shrirampur in 1990. This was the second puja I had experienced with our Divine Mother. The leaders announced that some ladies should come up to do puja to Shri Mataji. I had been shy up to this point, but I overcame this and made my way to the front. Many other ladies also were gathering there, but I was asked to stay. I was given some jewellery to put on Shri Mataji — a necklace and an armlet that was to be put on Her upper arm.

I put on the armlet, but I put it on the wrong way around, with the point facing downwards instead of upwards. Shri Mataji smiled sweetly at me and took it off and gave it to me to put on again the right way around. I then put on the necklace and Shri Mataji moved Her hair so I could put it on. This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Margaret Fry

Two days at Pratishthan (diary entry)

We left Shrirampur and went to a public programme at Sangamner, and Shri Mataji has given us a great gift, a great privilege, an invitation to a magnificent meal at Her house. We were all dressed in the multicoloured, shining saris and dhotis that She had chosen for us.

Shri Mataji was seated on a golden throne to receive us, with Her husband. We sat on the floor in the magnificent reception hall and were offered biscuits and little pieces of chocolate. Sir CP gave a beautiful talk, inviting us to Shri Mataji’s house, to see all the details, the artistic treasures and the handicrafts, which Shri Mataji has collected from all over the world.

This house is the most sacred temple to the living God. Every part is an artistic creation which delights the eye and gives aesthetic satisfaction – the floors are marble, the walls inlaid, the windows carved, the ceilings decorated with plasterwork and the antique doors decorated with images of deities, to mention a few details.

Sir CP said it was a great joy to have guests, and that this house was not only theirs, but the house of all the Sahaja Yogis. He gave gifts of shawls, and Shri Mataji showed us some saris, explaining that they were works of art. She ate with us, seated with Her husband and surrounded by children. The invitation was extended and we stayed the night. After supper we had bhajans, and then Shri Mataji announced some more marriages. She spoke a little about marriage, and how neither party should try to control the other. Before leaving Her seat She said there was plenty of place for everyone to sleep, and the sleeping bags were brought in.

She asked us if we had enjoyed our food, and what we would like to eat the next day for lunch. Someone said ‘pasta!’ Everyone laughed. So this morning all the Italian ladies, along with some from India and Switzerland, met in the kitchen. It was a great honour to be in Shri Mataji’s kitchen, the kitchen of the universe, and we all helped chop onions and tomatoes and make the pasta sauce. Then the enormous pots were put on the fire to boil the water. Every now and again Shri Mataji would come to the kitchen, but there was not enough pasta or tomatoes – how were we going to finish the preparation of the meal? Somehow there was enough for all four hundred people..

We thanked Shri Mataji from our hearts for Her generosity and hospitality, and all left for a public programme. Beforehand there was a little procession, and Shri Mataji led it, seated on a cart.

Alessandra Pallini

My marriage interview

In December 1990 at Pratishthan, near Pune, India, there were marriage announcements. I had put my name on the marriage list, but it wasn’t read out. Some time after all the names of the couples had been announced, my name was called. I was asked to come inside the large house. Shri Mataji was waiting for me with two Sahaja Yogis standing on either side of Her.

She had someone in mind for me, She told me, but She had to make certain I was suitable. The yogi standing on Her left, taking the role of the lawyer for the prosecution, said I had failed at an earlier marriage. The other yogi, standing on Her right, took the role of the lawyer for the defence, and said that the woman had cancelled the earlier marriage and I was blameless. Neither of the ‘lawyers’ knew that Shri Mataji had spoken to me personally, in the Vancouver, Canada airport, some time back, and had told me that I had done nothing wrong and I was to, ‘Just forget it, forget it’. The woman involved decided she wanted to marry someone from her own country. Shri Mataji mentioned the name and nationality of the yogini She had in mind for me. I said that I recognized the name.

You know her?’ Shri Mataji exclaimed. I assumed She was being humorous. I understood that of course Shri Mataji would know that I knew the yogini in question, having met her more than once and having written a letter to the Divine Cool Breeze, which she edited at the time. Shri Mataji commented that we were both university-educated. She read down my marriage application form. She read about my hobbies and interests, which at the time consisted mostly of reading about cars. She said, ‘All nonsensical. You should read poetry.’

Shri Mataji then proceeded to see if I was really ready to be the husband of the editor of the Divine Cool Breeze. She asked me if was capable of giving love. I didn’t know. So then, in Her compassion, She asked me a much easier question.

Can you feel My love?’ I was kneeling before my Holy Mother, perhaps a metre away from Her. I held out my two hands, palms up, towards Her. I felt cool in my hands.

Yes, Shri Mataji,’ I said. That satisfied Her.

A few days later, Linda arrived on the India tour, and we spoke for about an hour. By the time the hour was up, there was a certainty in my heart, a ‘knowing’, that this was my wife. A year or so later, Shri Mataji was sitting on the stage after a public programme in Los Angeles, California. I made Linda approach Shri Mataji with me. I wanted to express my gratitude.

Thank You,’ I said to Shri Mataji.

Enjoy your marriage,’ She replied.

When we moved to New York in 1996, someone assumed that we had been married before Sahaja Yoga. It was a tribute to how good a match Shri Mataji had made.

Mark Taylor

Shri Mataji thanked us for coming

In December 1990, the French Sahaja sangha invited a group of seven Romanians including myself to go to India. After most of the Yogis attending the India tour were already at Pratishthan, we arrived there and were greeted by Shri Mataji. I remember Her staying at the top of an exterior flight of stairs next to a small room between the first and second floors, where She used to stay at that time, since the house was under construction. She thanked us for coming. I felt overwhelmed: How could it be possible that God would thank you? On the contrary, we were those who ought to be thankful to Her!

Dan Costian

The feeling did not wear off for a long time

The first time I met Shri Mataji that I can remember was in 1990 when I was four. We went to Pratishthan, Shri Mataji’s house in Pune, for some work for the school and we had to wait later than midnight and when we got to meet Shri Mataji I think it was around 2 am — I can’t recall properly. Then there was a puja and after that we went away, but while I was there I got this awesome feeling of love and extreme bliss and it did not wear off for a long time.

Sunny Redican

Waves of bliss

Once on an India tour I had to visit Pratishthan. I was staying at Shudy Camps while Sir CP was there writing His book on Lal Bahadur Shastri, around 1990. He had asked me to try and find some publication which had the Indian Constitution in it. I therefore had a couple of books to deliver, and as the tour was staying at a camp in Sheri, outside Pune, I thought this would be a good opportunity.

I sat down for a couple of hours to clear out, and having done that, I felt reasonably happy about my vibrations, and at least, certain that I had meditated. (I once came before Shri Mataji in the early days who looked at me quizzically and asked, ’Did you meditate this morning?’ to which I replied, ‘Yes,’ but on reflection realised that although I had got up at four o’clock and sat down, I had been plagued with a lot of thoughts and had not meditated properly. Since then I always tried to make sure that I was in thoughtless awareness at least, before entering Her presence). It must have worked as when I entered Shri Mataji’s presence, I namaskared at Her Feet, and as I stood up She commented favourably about the condition of my Kundalini.

Sir CP came in and I gave him the books, which he was grateful for. As I was standing there, I guess looking a little uncertain what to do, Shri Mataji suggested that I should sit at Her Feet, so I was sitting more or less in front of Her about six feet away. The only other person in the room was an old man sitting devoutly on the left side of Shri Mataji’s chair, who She introduced to me as the first Muslim person to get self realisation, and She praised him. He seemed to be very humble and sweet.

She talked a little on various subjects and a few people came and went. I was keeping my attention on Shri Mataji’s Feet and holding inside the idea that I was sitting at the Feet of Shri Durga Herself. At some point I got lost into waves of bliss, drenching my whole body and subtle system in the most exquisite pleasure. When I finally came to, that is back in consciousness of being in the room, I opened my eyes and Shri Mataji was looking at me and gently laughing. I continued to feel waves of the bliss pouring down from the Sahasrara over the whole subtle system, sitting there keeping my attention on Shri Mataji’s Feet. After some time, I started wondering if I should leave. I had heard one should not make suggestions to Shri Mataji, and only leave the presence of the guru when told to, so I waited.

You’d better go to the programme now,’ Shri Mataji said finally.

There was a public programme in Pune that evening and She told me to tell the bhajan group a couple of songs She wanted them to sing, ‘Is liye’ and another I don’t remember, which I did when I got there, and took the opportunity to join them on stage.

Chris Marlow

Hot chillies

Shri Mataji was very fond of cooking for people and would sometimes prepare a meal for the whole India tour. Once when Pratishthan was just finished, around 1990, the whole tour, about 350 people, were invited to the house and treated to a most delicious biryani prepared by Shri Mataji Herself.

Another time, around 1987, we climbed up Saptashringi – a cave temple near Nasik, which involved a three mile hike up a stony track to the village and then four hundred steps up to the cave. By the time we had been up and back, walking in hot sunshine, all our water was finished.

On returning to the buses, our dinner awaited, cooked by Shri Mataji Herself, which was a kind of minced meat curry with large green chillies in it, and a big stack of chapattis. It had been packed and delivered to the buses. It was hot, chilli wise that is, and we thought to ourselves that if Shri Mataji had prepared it we had better eat the chillies too. With no water to wash it down it was quite burning, but we found that chewing on the chapattis had a soothing effect, in fact they say that water makes the burning worse. When we arrived at our destination that evening we were most fortunate to have the darshan of Shri Mataji, who asked us how we had liked the lunch, which we all enthusiastically declared to have been delicious.

I put the chillies in whole so that you could take them out,’ She said, and then laughed merrily, knowing that we had all eaten them. However one of the interesting things about eating chillies is that about twenty minutes later, when the burning has stopped, you start to feel very cool. Drinking sugar cane juice also has this effect.

Chris Marlow

16th December 1990 Brahmapuri

At the puja at Brahmapuri Shri Mataji explained that Ayurvedic medicine is similar to Sahaja Yoga because it recognises three humours: pitta, for the right side, Kapha for the left and vayu for the centre channel, and the people of India knew of this subtle knowledge long ago. She explained how in those days only a few seekers had it, and it was passed down one on one. Gyaneshwara, who lived in the thirteenth century, wrote about it in the Gyaneshwari, which, Shri Mataji said, gives so much joy if one reads it. The puja was of the Shri Chakra and the Shri Lalita Chakra, which are on the shoulders and are responsible for the manifestation of Shri Mahakali and Shri Mahasaraswati.

After the puja Shri Mataji spoke to us again. She explained that animals are totally under the control of God, whereas humans have the possibility to ascend, or to sink to the hells. What is important is wisdom: this is a manifestation of the power of truth, the central channel. She also said that even though eighty per cent of the people who come to programmes do not have faith in themselves, twenty per cent can become Sahaja Yogis. But we must have humility and never make people feel we are superior, and She gave the example of Herself, because She never makes anyone feel inferior.

She explained that we were on the banks of the Krishna River which flows into the Gulf of Bengal, and very close is the source of the Godaveri which flows into the Arabian Gulf. Because we all enjoy this place so much She arranged for us to make a short stop by the river bank. We arrived at three in the morning, slept until six, and at nine departed for Wai, for a public programme at a school, given by Shri Mataji.

Then we went to Sattara, the capital of the Brahmapuri district, is where Ramdas lived. He was an incarnation of Shri Hanuman. Shri Mataji warned that there was a bad problem of corruption in India, but at Sattara the people who had come to make trouble had finished by getting realisation, and we must be alert, and treat these inconveniences as a joke.

About fifty people who were unwell stayed at Brahmapuri. Shri Mataji received them and cured them, and asked for information on them, concerning their comfort. The rest of us went on to Kolhapur.

Alessandra Pallini

Kolhapur (diary entry)

On the way to Kolhapur Shri Mataji told us we would see two swayambhus of Shri Hanuman, and one of Shri Rama, Shri Sita and Shri Lakshmana, found at Angapur by Ramdas.

Shri Mataji told us that some of the money we had given for the tour would be used for buying silver for each couple to have at the weddings, and would also be used for a collective project. At Pune some land has been bought for an ashram and the building at Vashi (Belapur) had been built. Shri Mataji said She did not know how it had been possible, and it must have been Shri Hanuman who did it.

The next day we went shopping in Kolhapur and some of us were fortunate enough to go to the street where Shri Mataji was buying saris. She called us into the shop and advised us to buy the marvellous saris which were so cheap. She touched them, chose them for us and advised us on gifts for people. After lunch we went to a public programme, and the next evening watched a film with Shri Mataji, called Karma, about an evil, mafioso type criminal who in the end gets killed and his organisation destroyed.

On the 20th December we had a beautiful puja to Shri Mahalakshmi. Shri Mataji explained that the plateau of Maharashtra, delimited on three sides by mountains, in the form of the triangular sacrum bone, is the Kundalini of the universe, expressed in three and a half coils in the middle of Mother Earth. Shri Mahakali is at Tuljapur, where She is venerated at Shri Bhavani, and King Shivaji would come many miles on a horse to worship there. It is said his sword was given to him by the devi. Shri Mahasaraswati is at Dhulia, the right side, and Kolhapur is the place of Shri Mahalakshmi, where the devi killed the demon Kolhasura.

Alessandra Pallini

A sense of euphoria

I was not too well by about the third week of the 1990 India tour. It was at the Krishna River where it all came to a head. I was taken to Shri Mataji and laid at Her Feet. She placed Her Feet on me and massaged my head with oil and shouted at the negativity to go away. It was all quite bewildering, but wonderful at the same time because there was Mother really helping me to sort all this out.

After that beautiful experience, I started to have the most extraordinary feeling of thoughtless awareness. For a brief time, I experienced a satchitananda beyond words. We were on our way to Kolhapur and for three days I was still quite ill. My thyroid had collapsed. One of the things Shri Mataji had said while working on me was, ‘You must drink.’ I was very bad at drinking, but I tried to drink at least two litres of water a day.

You don’t want to end up in an Indian hospital,’ She said. ‘You might not ever come out again,’ which was enough to frighten me.

What I experienced in those next three days was a sense of euphoria. I don’t quite know how to express it. It seemed as if there was a video playing and about six feet in front of me was a spot and everything was flowing out of me into this spot.

Elizabeth Ravenscroft

Did you enjoy the programme?

I had a desire to see and also to talk to Shri Mataji. When I was on the India tour in, I think, 1991, we had a fantastic day that started very weirdly. We were on the bus and visited a temple. We missed our food and I later heard it was because in that area was some false guru. Later on, we were going to a music programme and Shri Mataji was sitting in the hall.

Do you want food or music?’ She said.

She told us the musicians were waiting, so we all said that we wanted the music. We had the most beautiful programme I ever saw and after that, there was the food. I was going somewhere and suddenly I saw a lot of Indians looking very nervous.

We need a Westerner! We want a Westerner!’ they said, ‘You’re a Westerner. Come with us.’ I didn’t know what they wanted to do with me. ‘Shri Mataji wants to speak to a Westerner,’ they said. So they took me to the car and Mother was sitting there.

Did you enjoy the programme?’ She asked me.

Yes, Shri Mataji, it was very nice,’ I said.

It was the first veena programme we had heard and it was certainly the first veena programme I had heard. Although there were three or four hundred westerners there, somehow I was the only one around at that moment.

Piet Vyncke

A useful illness

When I first came to Sahaja Yoga, a yogini asked me what my deepest wish was, and after some soul searching I said it was to sit next to Shri Mataji. She told me that no-one can sit next to Her since She is God.

In December 1990 we went to Brahmapuri, on the India Tour. A lot of yogis were ill, but we were to go to the Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur and everyone was asked to board the buses, also those who were ill. Some yogis had to be carried, then we got a message that all those who were ill were to stay behind. So they got off the buses and were brought to a little house where Shri Mataji was staying. The Indian yogis made shelters against the warm sun and Shri Mataji was sitting in front of the house. All the sick yogis were sitting and lying in front of Her, and many others gave them vibrations. Shri Mataji told us we got sick because we went into the river too late and absorbed too much heat, and that it was not good to take our baths and footsoaks so late since the sun is much hotter in India, and we should take our baths before 9.00 am.

She called us forward one at a time and worked on us. She vibrated bananas and gave them to us, and ajwan tea, and some cloves to chew. She placed Her hands and Feet on the yogis and yoginis, and commented on two young Indian girls who were passing by, telling us how healthy they looked, and how in the West all the women wanted to look thin, but a woman needs gravity.

There was one lady who was very ill, and Shri Mataji asked her what Her profession was. She was an accountant, and had problems with her Nabhi. Shri Mataji told her she should just count and not think, and she smiled.

There was a young boy from Israel of about fourteen, who had severe pains in his Swadishthan. to come closer to Her. He either didn’t hear or was too ill to move, so She stood up, and let Her chair be put close to him. Then She put Her Foot on his Swadishthan, and said, full of compassion, that some children have to suffer so much because of the parents.

Shri Mataji told us that even when we are ill we should make an effort to look neat, and had us comb our hair and put oil in it, since otherwise the heat cannot leave our body. She made a big joke out of it with an English yogi, commenting how English he looked. He was not good at combing his hair so She asked a yogini to help him; he looked embarrassed, but joyful too and we all laughed.

There was an older Indian gentleman, about mid-seventies and very muscular, standing with folded hands, his head slightly bowed towards Shri Mataji. She commented how healthy he looked even though he was quite old, and how strong he looked and how humble he was.

Yes Shri Mataji,’ he said in a very humble way.

There was another Indian man walking by with a horse, which was decorated with colourful pieces of ribbon or cloth. Shri Mataji called the man and told us how good the Indian people were at decorating their horses. Then She asked the English yogi, mentioned before, to go and sit on the horse and that made us laugh again.

While Mother was working on the boy from Israel, and Her chair was moved, I found myself sitting next to Her. Her sari was gently blowing in my face; I was overwhelmed and closed my eyes for a moment even though I knew that sitting in Shri Mataji’s presence one should keep one’s eyes open. All of a sudden I felt Her hand on my Sahasrara, She gently massaged my head and I went deep into myself. It was as if the surroundings changed, the house was open from the front and back, the wind blew through it and the colour of the sky changed into a different kind of blue. All the while yogis and yoginis came in and out of the house, as swift as angels, silently attending to Mother. She commented on my depth, and I felt utterly inadequate. She lifted Her hand and I dared open my eyes and look at Her and She smiled.

Better now,’ She said.

The night before I had been very ill, high fever, frightful nightmares and while everyone was attending the evening programme with Shri Mataji, I was lying there drifting in and out of reality, and crying. Sometimes a yogini came to look at me. Then I heard Shri Mataji singing, and wished I was there with the rest of my sisters and brothers. And now we were sitting next to Her.

You have to thank your illness, since it brought you closer to God,’ Shri Mataji said, and I cried again, but from overwhelming joy.

She then told us to go back to the pendal and rest, and those with Nabhi problems were not to eat the first day, the next day we were to only eat some yoghurt and rice, and the third day we were to eat more rice and maybe some vegetables and chapattis but no meat. We were to take it easy when we felt better and were again eating meat. We thanked Shri Mataji, feeling revived and joyful.

This tour was my first and I have so many memories from it. Brothers and sisters always came back from the India Tour looking completely transformed: shining, joyful and bubbly!

Irene Hoogmoed

A long lost child (diary entry)

December 1990 was my first time at a Sahaja Yoga international seminar held in Ganapatipule. There were thousands of Sahaja Yogis in the pendal waiting for Shri Mataji’s arrival. There was much excitement and breathless anticipation by everyone. When Shri Mataji’s car was arriving, I was all choked up with emotion, and my tears kept flowing and flowing. I couldn’t stop it and was a bit embarrassed in case anyone noticed this. Later on I found that I was not the only one who felt this way. Many others around me had tears of joy. It was as though a long lost child was meeting his Mother after a very long time. I think our spirits responded to Shri Mataji’s presence.

I still feel this every time Shri Mataji arrives but I’m not embarrassed of my tears any more. They are really tears of joy – a child meeting his loving Mother.

Ivan Tan

Decorating Shri Mataji’s Feet

It was a Christmas Puja at Ganapatipule and I had the privilege to decorate Shri Mataji’s Feet with kumkum. It was very hot and the pressure of the crowd could be felt. Mother lifted up both Her Feet, simultaneously, for us to decorate. I marvelled at this – an ordinary person couldn’t possibly do this and stay seated in a relaxed manner.

Shri Mataji had Her Feet lifted the whole time it took all the ladies, who were taking a long time, to put on the kumkum. The next thing I marvelled at was the texture of Mother’s skin. I am not sure what exactly I expected but here was skin that seemed very rough to the touch yet it looked very delicate to the eye. It reminded me of an elephant’s skin. Then the third thing that happened was when She said to us, ‘Hurry up, they are waiting,’ meaning the enormous crowd of Her bhaktas in the pendal at Ganapatipule. She was totally aware of each and everyone’s need.

Greta More