Chapter 09: 1994 June to August, England and Western Europe

Recollections - Book by Sahaja Yogis

I felt so clear, and knew what I had to do

It was 1994. I was pretty new in Sahaja Yoga. I had been living in London, but was made redundant and needed a change in my work and wanted to start Sahaja meetings but lacked the confidence. An Indian yogi asked if I would give him a lift to Heathrow Airport for the early morning flight that Shri Mataji was taking and I was there when Her car pulled up. It was quiet, only a very few yogis were about and they went ahead into the terminal.

And how are you?’ Mother said, and I just stared at Her, unable to speak.

Mother must have been helped into the terminal and She was sitting on a chair. Her granddaughter was resting her head on Mother’s shoulder as they waited. Shri Mataji looked at me, straight into my Centre Heart. I felt very clear and without any doubts that I had to go back to the town where I lived, ninety miles from London, start working for myself and begin to run Sahaja Yoga meetings.

Philippa Newman

A rat is nothing like a human

Shri Mataji arrived at Heathrow Airport and it must have been about 1994 or ’95. I went to Her Feet to offer a flower.

Shri Mataji, Anthony is doing a PhD in Neuroscience,’ someone said.

Shri Mataji asked me what I was doing for the PhD and the explanation was that I was looking at the front of a rat’s brain, and the emotional control of blood pressure. This was to see how it applied to human beings, and that made Shri Mataji laugh. It did sound embarrassingly ridiculous to me at that moment too, so we both had a big laugh.

Of course, a rat is nothing like a human,’ She said, so I understood the difficulty of using animal models for humans.

Then Shri Mataji asked me what I thought of the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis which was currently going on in England. She said they should send all the cows to India, because they would look after them properly. She said BSE was something to do with killing so many cows and eating them. She said we shouldn’t be eating the cows, and something about the brain and the spine being involved as well.

Anthony Headlam

Making the buildings beautiful

I first came to Ealing during the repairs in Cabella, in the early 1990’s. Shri Mataji asked a few of the builders to go and start on the rear extension of Ealing, but the building control came in and put a stop on the site so I returned to Austria. Later the permission was given, and then there were more yogis there, from Italy, England and Canada. We finished the extension and started on the internals such as the plumbing, the facade, the driveway and the completion of the roofing. As at any building site there were so many plays that Mother had with us.

On Shri Mataji’s arrival it was so different, many people came and She was always very generous and we enjoyed the vibrations immensely, and the directions as to what to do, and how to get on with the job. Shri Mataji often told us how we were great architects and builders in our previous lives and that we had built pyramids and churches and beautiful places. She also told us that what the people feel when they are looking at beautiful buildings are the vibrations from the builders who worked with their hearts, and that is what people feel and understand. She said that it doesn’t matter which material we use, it is all dead, and the only thing that makes buildings beautiful are the vibrations we give to the material we use.

Hardev Bhamra

Bringing cancer back to its dormant state

My wife, son and I were all in London. While we were there Shri Mataji visited and because Mother had been invited to stay at a yogi’s house in Hounslow we were allowed to go and visit, as She wanted to know how things were going on at Ealing. On arrival we had rather a surprise, Mother had asked me, and another Sahaja Yogi, (Dr) Bohdan Shehovych, who was also there to help work on someone who had cancer. Shri Mataji explained how the cancer cell functions, and then said we all have cancer but it is dormant and it just needs a trigger to become malignant. Through vibrations we can slow down this malignance and bring the cancer back to its dormant state.

Mother then told the lady to leave from a different exit, to put on other clothes, to cover her head with a shawl and to make sure she wore other clothes so the bhuts didn’t recognize her.

Hardev Bhamra

One day he will sing

After the sick lady had left Shri Mataji asked for refreshments, and my wife came in with my son. Mother smiled and asked his name.

Amar, it is from You, Mother,’ I replied, because She had given him this name, which means immortal. She laughed and said one day he would sing. For the last six years he has been singing with the Vienna Boys Choir. Amar was sitting on Shri Mataji’s lap, and for me this was so wonderful to see the love from and to us, Her humble servants.

Hardev Bhamra

The angels and Shri Ganeshas

Shri Mataji enjoyed ornamental plaster work and I have been very lucky to have filled Cabella and Ealing with it. Fitting ornamental plasterwork (cornicing, columns, angels etc) is a two to three man job. When I went to Ealing, yogis were falling over themselves to help and all the joy and enthusiasm went into the work. We put huge ceiling roses up in the main rooms, which took about five of us to fix up. Around the huge roses we fixed little angels playing various musical instruments flying around the roses and ornamental coving/cornicing.

Shri Mataji’s bathroom was incredibly beautiful; it was full of slabs of marble and marble tiles. All around the coving in the bathroom were Shri Ganeshas. To create a beautiful light effect, the coving was dropped down from the ceiling to enable little strips lights to be fitted behind (one of the many brilliant ideas of Shri Mataji). When it was all finished, She went to have a look. My wife Padmini was cooking for Shri Mataji at that time and was there when She first entered Her bathroom. Padmini said She was so excited, like an innocent young child. Shri Mataji was looking up at all of the angels and Shri Ganeshas and called Sir CP.

Come and see, come and see this,’ She said.

Ealing was one of the most beautiful houses of Shri Mataji that I had the privilege to work in. It was perfect for Her in every way.

John Watkinson

14a Montpellier Rd, Ealing

Top left: view from the street, top right: view from the back garden showing new extension

Bottom left: ornamental plasterwork, bottom right: marble bathroom

Editor’ note: At this time Shri Mataji’s London residence was this pleasant house in Ealing, West London. Her flat was on the ground floor of what had formerly been a large Victorian house in a green and elegant suburb. There was a large garden both in front and behind. The upper floors were converted into an ashram for Sahaja Yogis.

Everything will be alright

The first time Shri Mataji looked directly into my eyes, I was three feet from Her Holy Lotus Feet. In Her eyes I saw the whole cosmos, and in Her expression there was only benign compassion, as if to say, ‘Do not worry child, I am here now, everything is OK.’

After everyone got up from that deep and quiet encounter at Her Feet, because we were working on the house at Ealing, I stayed sitting there, after a lifetime of seeking the comfort of the Divine Mother, amidst the maya that had driven me to such extremes of behaviour and adharma. All I wanted was to climb into Her arms as a baby and be loved once again, but instead I, an aging, extremely caught up adult, remained on the ground crying uncontrollably. Someone came in and gently but firmly placed a hand on my shoulder.

Come on, let’s go,’ was advised.

It’s alright, everything will be alright,’ Shri Mataji said.

The second time She caught my eye was some years later at the airport. I had previously found myself too eager to go to the front and be near Her at these events, so I stood at the back and kept Her Feet in my heart, head bowed in bhakti. Then She stopped, I could tell without raising my head. Everything went quiet, there was a little disturbance, I looked up to see, the crowd had parted right in front of me and I saw Her face, looking through the gap, with a smile that said to me, ‘Yes, that’s good.’

After that I could not doubt that God is love, and I am confident that we are all one and the same, by Her divine grace.

Clive Bates

As if She had been there for ever

I remember when everything was finally finished with the building and decorating at Ealing and Shri Mataji was ready to move in. We all know what is involved in moving and how long it takes to sort everything out and get settled in etc. Well, mid-morning I was sweeping up a pile of rubbish and thinking, ‘My goodness, Shri Mataji is supposed to be moving in today.’

Yogis were running around everywhere, laying carpets and all kinds of things. Late afternoon Shri Mataji was sitting in Her room, totally relaxed, with all Her furniture in place, all Her beautiful things around Her as if She had been there for ever.

John Watkinson

Moving to Ealing

We were trying to get Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing ready for Her to move in, working flat out to get the house ready for the Saturday morning. At three o’clock on Thursday afternoon Shri Mataji phoned and asked if they could come tomorrow instead. We pondered for a few seconds and decided that it was possible to finish everything if we worked all night, so we said ‘Yes’. We had a problem with the neighbours who would complain to the council if we made noise out of hours, so we cut the granite for the kitchen worktops before six and proceeded to fit them; people were painting and the carpets were being laid.

At seven am I set off for Shudy Camps to collect Shri Mataji and Sir CP. We eventually arrived at Ealing around midday. Shri Mataji sat in the living room. I was in the kitchen when a message came from Her to ask if the kitchen was ready. We had just put the oven in and the last thing was the water.

Is the water ready?’ I shouted down to Pat Anslow in the basement.

You could say that it is,’ came the reply, and within seconds Shri Mataji appeared at the kitchen door.

Ah, so it’s ready?’ She asked.

Yes, Shri Mataji, the cooker works and the water is on,’ I replied.

I turned on the tap, but having not been run before only a loud hiss of air came out; Shri Mataji and all of us laughed. I turned it on again and this time a stream of black frothy water, from the flux and solder in the pipes, spat out into the sink and we all had a good laugh again.

Later that afternoon however, at about six o’clock, Sir CP began to feel unwell, and his London doctor was called, who quickly diagnosed a serious condition, and immediately arranged to have him admitted to a private hospital and found a top surgeon to operate on him. The doctor could not contact the surgeon at first, but then a miracle occurred. He switched on his mobile phone and the surgeon was on the other end already saying hello. He had picked up his phone and not got a dial tone! Sir CP was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and the operation was performed immediately and was successful. Apparently a couple of hours delay could have been fatal. If Sir CP had still been at Shudy Camps it is unlikely that everything could have moved so swiftly and efficiently, so it is possible that coming to Ealing a day earlier saved his life.

Shri Mataji decided to spend the night in the hospital in an adjoining room although Sir CP was still unconscious. I took Her supper from Ealing and sat with Her for at least a couple of hours while She ate Her dinner and talked about all subjects under the sun. Again, it was a tremendous honour to keep the Adi Shakti company on Her lonely vigil. The next day Sir CP was recovering well from the operation. I remember while driving Her back to Ealing, Shri Mataji was talking about one of Her granddaughters going to America to study law.

I keep telling her,’ She said, ‘there is no law in America, only money.’

Chris Marlow

Exactly as a mother would explain something

Whenever Shri Mataji came to the house after having been away for a while we would greet Her at the door with a garland, and two married ladies would perform a ceremony of greeting. Mother was so gentle and sweet with us and always seemed so pleased to be back at Ealing. We would sit waiting with anticipation and it was so wonderful when we saw the lights of the car and heard Mother’s voice for the first time.

I recall one occasion when the aarti was not being performed exactly in the correct manner and Mother very gently explained how it was to be done and asked that the lady start again. It was exactly as a mother would explain something to her child, which of course is exactly what was happening.

Auriol Purdie

Living a ‘normal’ life

In the mid 1990’s, when I lived in Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing, I was at university and had joined the University Rowing Team. Many yogis told me that I should not row as it was unladylike, but the next time that Mother stayed in the house She commented that yogis should do more exercise and go to the gym occasionally. She also suggested that we should be more selfless and volunteer our time to worthwhile causes. Also many yogis expressed surprise at my choice of subject at university (Molecular Genetics), regardless of the fact that I was doing what Mother had suggested.

Auriol Purdie 

These are My vibrations
One evening I was sitting upstairs reading, at Shri Mataji’s house at Ealing in 1994, and I was told that Shri Mataji wants me to come to Her drawing room and take photos of Her and Her family. When they all gathered I started taking photos.

Are we in focus?’ Shri Mataji asked.
don’t think She was talking about the camera, because I was quite nervous. It was the first time Shri Mataji requested me to take photos. The next day I showed Her the prints of those photos and I apologized about the quality because on all them Shri Mataji’s face was really very white.

Nothing wrong with your camera, these are My vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said.

Lothar Pfeifer

Shri Mataji’s face is pale from the vibrations

A concert in the presence of Shri Mataji

Amjad Ali Khan gave a concert of Indian classical music for Shri Mataji in Her drawing room in Ealing, in 1994. He came with his sons and wife. Shri Mataji was very pleased with his performance and gave presents to all of them. She looked at the photos in Sir CP’s book, the biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri, which was later given as a present to Amjad Ali Khan.

After the concert there was a dinner with Shri Mataji, Sir CP, Amjad Ali Khan with his family and the yogis present Ealing at that time, in the back yard.

Lothar Pfeifer

Suddenly the gift looked perfect

A well-known musician came to play for Shri Mataji at Her home on Montpellier Road in Ealing. He came with his wife and son. Mother chose a beautiful crystal bowl as a gift for the musician’s wife and asked another yogini and me to wrap it. We had a bit of a mad scramble to find enough wrapping paper to cover the large bowl and eventually we tried to make do with a few different coloured bits of paper. During an interval of the music Shri Mataji came to see if we had completed our task and indicated that the wrapping was not suitable, and made a few suggestions. Suddenly the gift looked perfect.

As Mother turned to return to the living room where the concert was being performed I was overwhelmed by the beautiful scent of roses that always followed Mother wherever She was and I did not feel so silly anymore.

Auriol Purdie

Mother said something amusing

Later that same evening Mother and Sir CP were entertaining the musician, his family and other invited guests in the dining room. The chairs had all been moved to the edge of the room and Shri Mataji was sitting talking to the musician’s wife. I was holding a tray of some finger food and as it was appropriate, I went to serve Shri Mataji first. I knelt in front of Mother and offered the tray, Mother was speaking to the lady in Hindi, a language which I happen to understand, Mother said something amusing and I smiled.

The musician’s wife noticed and asked Mother if I understood Hindi, and Mother laughed and took my hand in Hers (I had put down the tray by this point). Mother mentioned to the lady that I had been with Her for some time and had spent many of my childhood years in India which was why I could understand and speak the language. I was very surprised because although, at one time, I was completely fluent in Hindi somehow I assumed that Mother was not aware of this because She never once spoke to me in the language.

I sat there blissful in the fact that Mother was continuing with Her conversation but still holding my hand in Hers. At one point somehow one of my fingers moved and then Mother started to rub my hand as though She was working on the different chakras. Then just as suddenly Mother loosed Her hand and I collected my tray of food to continue my rounds. It was a wonderful experience.

Auriol Purdie

Above – The gift of the crystal bowl

Below – Shri Mataji looking at Sir CP’s biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri

Sir CP’s knighthood

This photo is of Shri Mataji and Sir CP after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London where Sir CP received the order of knighthood. Shri Mataji was sitting with Sir CP in Her flat, and asked me whether I could take a photo. She and Sir CP went to the entrance hall, where this photo was taken.

Lothar Pfeifer

Shri Mataji and Sir CP at Ealing after the knighthood ceremony

Only when I returned home did my day begin

Many of us who lived at Shri Mataji’s house in Ealing had full time jobs. I will always remember the strange feeling of being at work while being aware that at home the Adi Shakti was present. It was the most surreal feeling to leave for work in the morning, travel through the London underground system, carry out a full day’s work and return in the evening, then be asked to iron the sari of the Adi Shakti or to cook a small dish that She might eat or to arrange a bunch of flowers in a bowl that would then be placed on a table in a room that Mother would be sitting in.

It was as though the bulk of my day was unreal and only when I returned home did my day really begin. Sometimes Mother would invite us in and would speak to us or I would be doing something in the flat so I would have a chance to see Her briefly, but each day Mother would give us some blessing that allowed us to experience Her love.

Often I was so involved with whatever task I had that I would not get to bed until the early hours of the morning and yet somehow time was immaterial when Mother was at the house. The next morning I would get up and not feel exhausted but once again make my way to the unreal world that was my work.

Auriol Purdie

Making us all feel special

One time at the airport, it was a bit difficult to get near Shri Mataji, but when I got there She said something which made me feel I had done something good for Her, perhaps because I had done all the electrics at both Her houses, Shudy Camps and Ealing. I don’t remember what She said, except that it made me feel special. She had this quality of making us all feel special to Her.

Barry Humphries

The power of desire

It was Saturday on a Guru Puja weekend in Cabella in the early 1990’s, and I had to bring something to the castle. I ended up sitting in meditation outside the main entrance to Shri Mataji’s living room. Inside the room I could hear Her voice and soon music started. The main Indian musician had arrived that day and I assumed he was now playing for Shri Mataji.

As I was sitting outside the door, listening to the sweetest melodies, sung with so much devotion and bhakti, my desire grew stronger and stronger to be able to enter the room and see who was singing so beautifully. At the same time I knew that it would not have been proper to enter and disturb. So I remained outside. At that moment somebody opened the door.

Come in, Shri Mataji is calling you!’ They said. That was how I learned that pure desire opened the door to my Mother.

Herbert Reiniger

Shri Mataji’s sofa was right next to me

I got to be right next to Shri Mataji and experience and enjoy an indescribable feeling of love and bliss in Cabella in June 1994. The occasion was Guru Puja and I was to join the leader of my country, Thailand, to hand over the present to Her. Because of some misunderstanding, however, I didn’t get on stage and while sitting somewhere in the middle of the old pendal I felt slightly disappointed that although so close I couldn’t get to Shri Mataji.

After the presentation had finished a slide show of miracle photographs was to be shown. For that Shri Mataji’s sofa was placed in the audience. When She was about to come down from the stage to take Her seat, Mother asked for the sofa to be pushed back further towards the centre of the pendal. I just saw Her hand gesturing for people to carry the sofa ever further into the pendal and by the time She stopped the sofa was right next to me. Needless to say I don’t remember any of the miracle photos shown during that slide show, but I do remember Mother’s sari.

Herbert Walland

Shri Mataji knew where we lived

When I was in my first year of college, some days I was not able to have deep satisfaction in meditation. Something was missing and I could feel an uneasiness coming from the Nabhi chakra. 

Please give me satisfaction,’ I prayed to Mother, the night She came in my dream.

Pratishthan, Mother’s house in Pune, was on NDA Road and about half way along was our home, so we often saw Her car passing when She stayed in Pune. One night I had a dream that Mother’s car was passing and it stopped on the road in front of our house.

There are some Sahaja Yogis living here. I’ll wait at their house while you get the car repaired,’ Shri Mataji told the driver in the dream. She came into our home and talked about many things.

Are you satisfied now?’ She said in the dream.

At that moment the driver came in and informed Her that the car was working. We did namaskar and She was ready to leave. The dream finished. That morning I had a superb meditation and my old enemy the Nabhi finger was not tickling any more.

Some years later I had a special afternoon. I was working alone in the kitchen of Cabella and Mother came in. She asked me if I could help Her find some medicine.

Yes Mother,’ I said, and was with Her about half an hour, alone in Her room and She talked about many things, but I was surprised when She talked about my family and asked if we still stayed in those flats. 

Do you know that they started building those flats around the same time I started building Pratishthan?’ She said. 

Ji, Shri Mataji,’ I said, because I never knew this.

Yoggita Singh

Treat your inner system as a machine

In those days we used to meditate with Shri Mataji. She gave each of us some treatment to clear out our problems. After a while though, we could not meditate with Her, but we continued of course with our treatments. After a few weeks, I was alone with Shri Mataji and She asked me how I was. I was very upset with myself as my catch was not going away. So I expressed myself – I was probably crying – I do not remember now. Here is Her explanation – always the most unexpected, sweet Motherly love was poured on you.

Beta (dear son/daughter), if you are driving a motorbike and it fails in the middle of the road, what would you do? Would it get alright if you cry? You will have to see where the problem is and repair it to make it run again. Exactly same way, treat your inner system as a machine, and repair it. You will be fine!’
This lovely answer made me completely relaxed and gave me a new dimension with which to look at things.

Yoggita Singh

Every test is a blessing
My family was originally vegetarian so before marriage I never cooked non-veg food, but after marriage had the chance to work in Shri Mataji’s kitchen. I was very happy but also very scared because in our family we normally cooked very simple food almost without spices. In the beginning it seemed that things went alright but slowly the rhythm of the kitchen and the few hours of sleep started affecting the level of meditation. One day, in 1994, Mother was very angry and when She came in the kitchen, we got scolded badly.

Girls these days like to roam about, go to college, but they don’t want to learn good cooking which is so important for them,’ She said.

Each of these words was so true, especially in my case. I was feeling low because of not being worthy of serving the Devi, and felt like melting into Mother Earth. The next day we cooked all morning with that desperate feeling. In the evening She called us inside Her room and was very calm and sweet.

I’m your Mother, so if I don’t scold you and don’t teach you, how will you become good Lakshmis for your husbands and your collectives?’ She consoled us. Then She looked at me and said, ‘Yesterday I scolded you, but why didn’t you tell Me that your family is vegetarian, and that you never learnt non-veg cooking?’

Mother You know everything,’ I said in my heart, because I didn’t know what to say.

HAah…that’s the point!’ She smiled and became happy again, ‘Annapurna’s ashirwad,’ She blessed us, and promised She would come and teach us how to cook, which She did the next day. When Shri Mataji came in the kitchen, She told us to always give a bandhan and say Shri Annapurna’s mantra before cooking for the collective.

Yoggita Singh


The lady in her dream

Old Maria from Centrassi village, near Cabella, has lived there in a rickety old house high up on a hill all of her life with her brother. From childhood she had been frequently plagued by horrible nightmares of the devil who always overpowered and terrified her. Then one night when she was still quite young she was again being pursued by the devil in her dreams. She found herself bursting into a beautiful room and sitting there was a wonderful lady dressed in the local peasant clothes. The lovely lady chased the devil away with a wave of her arm. From that night on the recurring dreams stopped and never bothered her again.

Years later when Mother arrived in Cabella and Maria saw Her, she recognized Her as the lady who had rid her of the devil. Totally devoted, she keeps her simple house open for Yogis to come and stay and refuses to charge money

Marilyn Leate 

It was very serious

I am originally French, and one time in June 1994 I was in the ashram in Belgium, and was sitting alone in front of Shri Mataji, who was having breakfast. Suddenly She looked at me.

Why did you kill Marie Antoinette?’ She said.

Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France at the time of the French Revolution in 1789. I was quite surprised, and didn’t know quite what to say as I was not very good at history, so I thought I better put my attention on Sahasrara and hoped I would get an answer.

Because of jealousy, Shri Mataji,’ I said suddenly.

Yes, that’s it,’ She replied.

She explained that the revolutionaries were jealous and that is why they killed her. It was OK to have a revolution, because of the poverty, but they didn’t have to kill Marie Antoinette. She explained that it was very serious to have killed the daughter of Shri Lakshmi. Marie Antoinette’s mother was Marie-Theresa, the Queen of Austria, who was an incarnation of Shri Lakshmi. Shri Mataji explained that this is the reason France may have problems.

During the five days I was with Shri Mataji She was talking to me every day about the problem of alcoholism in France and about the fact that the people even start to drink in the morning.

Trupta de Graaf

The manifestation of the Adi Shakti

We were in Belgium in June 1994 for an exhibition of ceramics and terra cotta that Shri Mataji had arranged in Patricia’s house. In the evening we were in Shri Mataji’s room and had seen a film on the video called Cliffhanger.  When the film was finished, everyone went away and She asked another Sahaja Yogi and me to remain in the room. Then She told us to turn off the light of the room and to open the door window, so we opened the window and the cool air came in.

We were sitting at the feet of Shri Mataji in the dark. At a certain point, Shri Mataji told us to look out of the window, and there was a sort of rose coloured light, behind the hedge that divided Patricia’s garden and neighbour’s one, spreading out toward the sky. She asked us look again and the light was not there any more. She said to look again, and the light came again. It seemed that Mother was turning this light on and off in the sky. After some time of this light coming and going, we asked Shri Mataji what this was. She said it was the manifestation of the Adi Shakti, and when She opened Her eyes it was there, and when She closed them it went away. The same night, we were sitting there, and I don’t know how much time had passed, She asked us to look at Her. I didn’t know what to say because I was just looking at Her.

Yes, but what do you see?’ She said.

Every time She turned Her head from the centre to the left, this white light appeared. Shri Mataji said that every time She turned to the left, Shri Vishnumaya manifested.

Rajeshwara from Italy

Shri Mataji wanted to teach us the balance

In the summer of 1994, Shri Mataji was in Brussels and while there She gave a press conference. I was standing outside on the front steps with my son, waiting for Her to leave the building. My son was about three years old and I hung onto his hand tightly, as I didn’t want to lose him in the crowd. When Shri Mataji came out, She saw us.

Don’t hang on to him so tight. Children need a bit of freedom,’ She said.

Just a few days later, we were at an airport in Holland. Shri Mataji and a large group of Sahaja Yogis were walking across an open pedestrian area. My son was running freely, enjoying the excitement.

Catch him,’ She said. ‘You don’t want him to get hurt.’

Shri Mataji wanted to teach us the balance between the two extremes.

Richard Payment

Switzerland has a big responsibility in the world

It was during Shri Mataji’s last stay in Switzerland in 1994. We were sitting around Mother in the garden in the afternoon, on the veranda, in front of Her room. Someone asked Her why it is so difficult to spread Sahaja Yoga in Switzerland. Mother came to Switzerland many times, and we did so many programmes in all the big towns.

Shri Mataji said that Switzerland is a very difficult country and it has a big responsibility in the world, because a lot of the dirty money from mafia and politics comes there and is washed in Swiss banks. It was not nice for us to hear this, because we are just normal people, but we knew this.

Dorota Nocera

Shri Mataji at Givrins Ashram

A deep tunnel

It was in Paris during the Shri Vishnu Puja in July 1994, four months after I received my realisation. As was the case with the other Sahaja Yogis I went in front of Shri Mataji to do namaskar. When I looked at Her, in the eyes I saw they were like a deep tunnel which watched me. I never felt this, even in the photographs where Shri Mataji looked at the photographer, nor in the videos.

Jean-Claude Poulet

Shri Mataji blessed Surinam

When Shri Mataji was in Amsterdam at the ashram in 1994, a Surinam television team came to do an interview of Her for a documentary on Sahaja Yoga. Before it started, Shri Mataji asked me if She looked OK. As in the past I had many times missed the chance to praise Shri Mataji in Her presence, I felt it was a good moment.

Yes, Shri Mataji, you always look very nice,’ I said, or something like that.

No, I mean are the colours of my sari OK? When you are filmed for television, you have to have light colours,’ She replied.

Shri Mataji went to sit in the meditation room. We had a little podium where the altar normally was and we put Her chair there, so the television team was a little lower than Her. They interviewed Shri Mataji and at one point they were talking about Surinam. We brought a map of the world and She blessed Surinam. She was very kind to them, but unfortunately, when they showed the documentary on television they mixed it up with some film about false gurus.

The photo was taken in the ashram of Amsterdam in 1994 during the recording of an interview with Shri Mataji for OM television.

Trupta de Graaf


The TV interview

The house was full of wind and rain

In Holland in 1994 after a programme in Amsterdam, we came back to the ashram with Shri Mataji. The weather was quite nice that day, but when we arrived at the ashram, Shri Mataji stepped out of the car and at the moment She entered the ashram, there was a big clap of thunder and it started pouring with rain. This happened the very moment She passed the entrance door. We were behind Her and had to rush in not to get wet.

Shri Mataji went in Her bedroom, and sat on Her chair. There was a lot of wind and rain and it was really stormy outside. Then Shri Mataji asked us to open all the windows and doors. We did so and had to put towels on the floor because the rain was coming in, and the whole house was full of wind and rain – it must have been a huge clearing out!

Trupta De Graaf

Let’s have this one

That same evening, or that same year, Shri Mataji was in the ashram and She showed me in the most simple way how She knew each and every thought and desire of ours, and She was just there to fulfil our desire. She wanted to see a movie. An Italian Sahaja Yogi brought Her a choice of about three or four videos. Personally I was very fond of the movie The Untouchables with Kevin Costner, and so after seeing all the videos Shri Mataji was hesitating to make a choice.

Oh, let’s have this one!’ Shri Mataji said and of course it was The Untouchables.

Henno de Graaf

By the end he was smiling

It was in 1994, when Shri Mataji came to Holland, and we were lucky enough to be arranging everything. We were staying in an ashram and some people came from an Indian organisation to interview Shri Mataji in the meditation room. I was honoured to be there and we took some pictures, and sat down.

There were two people interviewing Shri Mataji and one was asking the questions. They had to wait quite a long time because Shri Mataji had just come from the public programme, very late. They were not so happy, but we were very happy, in the clouds. They asked Her questions and She answered them very calmly.

The man who was taking the sound was really changing as it was going on. He technically was recording the voice, but this voice which was divine was going through him all the way. His eyes opened, and to begin with he was standing quite firmly, but he got lower and lower, he got his realisation and by the end he was smiling. They both did and were beautiful by the end!

Ludo van Os

Just breathe!

Shri Mataji came to Amsterdam for a public programme and I went with a friend. I had been only a few months in Sahaja Yoga. I had been brought up in a Catholic family, so felt very guilty. This was of course very clear to Shri Mataji at the end of the programme when I came to Her, because She was receiving all the new people. We knelt at Her Feet, and my friend was very ill with lung cancer. More than fifty per cent of his lungs were not functioning, he was on constant medication and could not breathe properly or do much. She pulled up Her right Foot and put it on his Centre Heart. She looked into his eyes.

Breathe!’ She said. He wanted to talk but She stopped him and said, ‘Just breathe!’ He took a breath, and She said, ‘Deeper!’ and he took a second breath. ‘Once more!’ and he took one more breath. Then his body shook twice very strongly, like he had been punched from inside. He took one more breath, and this time it was so deep. He started to cry and everyone standing around started to cry too. I was also kneeling at Shri Mataji’s Feet and was also crying, and She turned to me and put Her hand on my Left Vishuddhi.

Don’t worry, don’t worry! Everything is going to be OK,’ She said.

After that, my friend told me he could breathe, and we walked back home together. We had to run for the bus, and before he could not have run. Shri Mataji had told him he was completely cured and he would be all right if he did Sahaja Yoga, which he did for a little while.

Amala Kumar

Shri Mataji said I had to forgive

The first time I met Shri Mataji was at a public programme in Amsterdam. I went there with my mother and Hemlata was singing Mother, we all belong to You. I was singing this, and I felt this, and my mother was sitting next to me. When Shri Mataji came and was sitting in Her chair I just knew She was the Mother Mary I have always known. I knew She knew me and I knew Her, and it was OK. Afterwards you could go up and She would work on you. I was just a few months in Sahaja Yoga, and I hardly dared to, but the other yogis said to go up. She did what She did with everybody – left side up, right side down. She put Her hand on my Agnya and said I had to forgive.

I forgive, I forgive,’ I said as I stood there.

Now don’t think any more,’ She said, because She knew I was constantly thinking. I went back to my friend, now my husband, and began to cry, and a yogi came up.

It is your heart, which is open now,’ he said.

Birgitte van Os

Everything is with love

Once Shri Mataji was in the Netherlands, and She asked me to massage Her Feet, very thoroughly, and Her ankles. At one point She fell asleep. I did not know what to do and just went on massaging for at least half an hour, if not more. Then She woke up.

It’s ok now,’ She said, and went to bed. Later She told another Sahaja Yogini, ‘He should have gone away, he should have let Me sleep!’

That was a sweet little lesson in protocol – you were enjoying very much and She allowed you very gracefully to come close to do certain things, but still you had to respect the divine protocol, which sometimes, as a human being, you don’t know. That was the mysterious way of the Mother with the children – She allowed you, but She may also have pointed out something about that situation. But still everything was with love.

Henno de Graaf

I am in full control

I was driving to Shri Mataji to the public programme and was supposed to translate Her talk into Dutch, but my throat was completely choked and I could barely talk. I was quite worried as to how I was going to speak on the microphone and how was I going to make myself audible to the people.

Shri Mataji sat down and the moment I approached the microphone, my Vishuddhi completely cleared, and I could speak, and do the translation during the whole of the programme. The moment I got into the car to drive Her back after the public programme my Vishuddhi became blocked again and I really could not speak! It was again one of those little things where Shri Mataji showed you, ‘Don’t worry, I am in full control’.

Henno de Graaf

All that you decided is all right

When our first daughter was born, in July 1994, it was one day before Shri Mataji came to visit Austria. My wife, who is Indian, asked me to ask Shri Mataji to choose a name for our daughter. I did not, because I knew the name since long. Even before my wife was pregnant, when I was in a completely thoughtless state, I knew the name.

The next day Shri Mataji came to Austria and we all welcomed Her (my wife was still in the hospital) and we offered some flowers. Another Indian lady gave birth to her first baby on the same day. This young father and I came forward to Shri Mataji, we showed Her some photographs of our babies and told Her they were born on the same day, because one was fourteen days early and the other was thirteen days late. Shri Mataji listened to our story and looked at our photographs. Finally She gave me back my photograph, looked deep into my eyes and I felt She knew every part of my heart.

All that you decided is all right!’ She said.

Leopold Zeilinger

Like a light in me

When I came to Sahaja Yoga, in the first month, it was very difficult for me to make namaskar to Shri Mataji’s photo.

Shri Mataji came to Austria, where I was and She was two hours at the airport there. I took a flower with me and everyone made namaskar and gave their flowers, but I didn’t. I was about to give Shri Mataji the flower and somehow it dropped by Her and I had to bend down in front of Her to pick it up. Then I did give it to Her and, as I did, She touched my finger and it was like a light in me and I felt full of light.

With this, Shri Mataji showed me that I should do namaskar. Now I always do namaskar.

Aki Echevarria