Memories of our Divine Mother: 10. TALES OF INDIA
1) Raolbai said:
What has to happen will happen
Then Mother came back [to India] from USA [in 1972]. We again had program in Dhulia. When She used to come, we would treat Her like a guest. There used to be no aarti, no puja, only warm hospitality. When Mother's car arrived some children sent showers of flowers all around.
Shri Mataji: "How can I walk on such beautiful flowers?" She climbed the stairs to enter a room.
Raolbai: "Mother, I am sorry that you had to climb so many stairs." Shri Mataji: "Oh, it's nothing. My labour has borne fruits, as I see so many of you self realized."
Mother stayed there for four days and during that period I would humbly prepare all things for Her personal use and meditation. For the Self Realization, Mother would ask the seeker to hold Her Feet and requested us to work on the back of the seeker. In this fashion, She would give Self Realization to each and every one. People of Dhulia would be surprised to feel the vibrations all over and Mother would answer all the doubts and questions of every seeker. By the evening time, there was such a large crowd to have Self Realization that we did not know what to do. But Mother effortlessly and with most loving manner, gave Realization to all those who desired.
Mother, later when She left for the house in the car, many seekers followed Her in the house for the blessings of the Devi. Before She left, we all desired for the puja of the Mother. Mother agreed to it and the first puja was performed in the most humble and simple manner. During the puja my sari caught fire, but nothing happened to me. Mother said in very sweet manner that it had to get burnt, so it got burnt.
During that time, we would worship Mother as Shri Mataji only and nothing. She would say, "Do not use photographs, do not use mantras, otherwise you will be lost like before. Here you people have to just use and feel vibrations and that's it."
Later, we all went to Nasik with Mother in Her car. On the way, the car broke down and we had to spend some time in the fields. The car was sent for repair and we meditated in the fields. Then Mother said that maybe this land has some punyas, that one day Mother would come and sit here. "See how nice it is here and we all are enjoying. What has to happen, will happen, but we must always be in joyous mood."
2) Niranjan Mavinkurve said:
We could see Mother's face
One time, I don't know in which year, it was in Bordi and Raolbai, [in] her palm, and we could see Mother's face clearly in the lines near the Vishuddhi. I have seen it myself. She is a very dedicated lady.
3) Gregoire de Kalbermatten said:
This is Sahasrara
After meeting Shri Mataji for the first time [in 1975] I got my first posting with the UN in Kathmandu, Nepal. I had spoken about my encounter with Mother to an old friend, who was a sort of professional Swiss seeker who, unlike me, had gone to India many times and had met many more gurus. He knew a lot about spirituality. As he started responding to me, I got confused because it looked like many people are doing what Shri Mataji says She does. I was not so sure any longer She was "the One." I wrote to Her to tell Her that. She responded sending me a letter that I still have and a picture of Herself. I received Her letter in Kathmandu. The comment on the picture was "This is Sahasrara, on the top of the Virata, whether you like it or not, whether you can accept it or not." It was straightforward. It was splendid. It was so powerful. I looked at Her picture. This has been the first and last time I doubted Her.
Gregoire de Kalbermatten
4) Palinita Mavinkurve said:
The steps of the puja
Pujas [in India] started from about 1978 onwards. What happened was that initially Mother used to call five girls or five ladies or five leaders of the countries. And, as Hindus, we knew some of the stages of the puja. We knew the washing of the Feet, then putting kumkum and offering the garland, worshipping by putting on a crown, like that. Sometimes, at the beginning, Mother used to say, "Do this. Do that." Initially She used to guide us. Then people used to put chandan [sandalwood paste] and they began to know the steps of the puja.
5) Maureen Rossi said:
Getting the special treatment in India
When [the Westerners] went to India there were five of us on that first trip. Gregoire [de Kalbermatten] was in Katmandu on his diplomatic thing and we flew into India. Shri Mataji actually offered me the chance to go with Her. I hesitated and She said, "Never mind." Can you imagine? I was so scared. I was still scared of Her, unfortunately.
We all flew out to Bombay and we were looked after by the Sahaja Yogis so wonderfully. We were taken into their homes. And Shri Mataji always called for us. She called us "the foreigners" and would say, "Where are the foreigners?" And I would feel so sorry for all these thousands of Indians dying to see Mother and there was us always pushed to the front, always sorted out. And you just felt so humbled after what the English had done to the Indians and here we were getting the special treatment in India.
6) Niranjan Mavinkurve said:
The middle path
Pujas were not the thing so much in the early days, that is the seventies. Every time we used to have a program, which was all the meditation at different places, such as Dadar and Andheri. Puja was not given a big stress at that time. There were pujas, but the main stress was not on them. Mother's speeches and giving Realization were the thing. And Mother said, "You must give. One person must give Realization to at least fifteen people." From the beginning this was the slogan, not just doing things like shoebeating. She always said, "You must follow the middle path of the road, don't be too rightist or too leftist. Always be in the sushumna, not on the pingala or ida.
7) Maureen Rossi said:
We came back humbler
She got Her shawl and She got the fire and She put ajwan. There are pictures of us under Shri Mataji's shawl doing ajwan, inhaling ajwan. Shri Mataji was also under the shawl with us. And we had to tie our heads up. You shouldn't go to sleep with an uncovered head afterwards. She gave us a lot of very personal attention. I mean, She really looked after us. We were in such a state. We were [in India] three months and we really believed that we would come back higher. And we came back humbler, I suppose. We realized what an awful, awful state we were in. Shri Mataji always looked after us and made sure we got proper accommodation and the Indian people were so wonderful. They put up with us. We were very disrespectful in our ways. We didn't know. We were given an awful lot of help. Shri Mataji gave us ladies saris of Hers, cardigans. She gave me a coat. And it was all part of this protecting us and protecting us from this awful state we were in.
8) Pat Anslow said:
The Adi Shakti is here
We were in Katmandu and we set off for a picnic up in the hills. We went off for quite some distance up into the hills, all in the car with Shri Mataji. We went up looking for a spot for a picnic and we heard there was a little hermitage sort of a place where a saint lived. So we thought, "That sounds interesting. We'll go up there." So we drove around and eventually found this place. It was a little kind of a hut, a two storey thing, quite nice little place. There was no one there, so Mother said, "This is a nice spot for a picnic." And we were all agog about this yogi that was supposed to live there and we were trying the vibrations and Mother said, "I think he's realized, this yogi."
And we were so excited because we had this great idea of this great sage meeting the Adi Shakti, this sort of cosmic event. All our ideas about seeking were crystallized. We thought that this is going to be an amazing thing and "if only he would appear and meet Mother." And the picnic drew to an end and we were looking everywhere and, anyway, towards the end, sure enough, this chap comes striding down the path and looking exactly like someone out of the comics, with his hair done up in a topknot and everything. And we were on fire with excitement. There was a lot of confused talking and suddenly this chap was sitting down and Mother was behind him with Her Foot on his back. Gregoire's servant said in an aside to us, "He's bonkers. He's crazy. He's out of his mind." And it turned out that this great yogi had gone a bit crazy. He was realized, but he was a bit mad. The whole thing blew all our illusions about the whole style of seeking and the whole thing. And Mother was working on him and he was singing, "The Adi Shakti is under every stone. The Adi Shakti is in the sky." And we were saying, "No, the Adi Shakti is here."
This carried on and then the time came to leave and there were various kids about from the local village and we set off and we discovered that Mother's purse had been stolen. So we trooped back and this chap came out, sort of looked as if to say, "Oh, you again!" And we started looking everywhere for this purse and then we found some local people and they said they would find it. And we went back to the car and we could see all over the hillside this posse running from house to house. And it would go into one house and come out bigger because more people would join up. It ran and ran and eventually they found the purse and brought it back. Mother gave the person who found it a reward. Then She called all the little children to come up and get Realization. And each child She gave Realization to, She gave one rupee. And one of the Sahaja Yogis who was there said, "Shri Mataji, you cannot do this. You cannot pay them for their Realization." And Shri Mataji said, "I am the Adi Shakti. I can do anything I like."
9) Douglas Fry said:
Paying respects to the mountain
We flew into Katmandu from Patna, but we were also told that there were flight excursions around Mount Everest or towards that area. So what happened was a few of them went on the plane to go round Mount Everest. It was only about an hour or two. And when we came back the next day, in the sky there were these clouds that looked like ripples in a pool, when you throw a stone in the water and you get ripples. There was this similar sort of thing, but in the sky. And we pointed this out to Shri Mataji and She said, "Oh, yes. That's because you have been to pay your respects to the mountain and those are waves of joy coming from the mountain." It was quite incredible.
10) Pat Anslow said:
An illustration of Mother
When we were in Katmandu — another thing which comes to mind, an illustration of Mother — when we were in Katmandu was we used to go shopping for things and the locals used to overcharge us. So Mother used to go into a shop first and ask for all the prices and then lean out of the shop and wave. She would call us in and say, "This is so much and this is so much." And the chap's face would drop a mile.
11) Douglas Fry said:
We could see the joy coming out of it
In Katmandu there was this market square and we went there. There was this amazing and fearsome looking statue of Bhairava. And Shri Mataji washed its feet. And Shri Mataji said, "Now look at Bhairava." And we stood there and, as we looked at it, we all went into deep meditation. Its fearsome look changed to a smile and it was actually smiling at us. In that deep meditation we were obviously seeing it in a totally different light and we could see the joy coming out of it.
12) Niranjan Mavinkurve said:
It starting growing a lot
From `75 to `80 it starting growing a lot [in India]. Mataji opened Her own Sahasrara [in 1970] and `75 to `80 we used to have seminars in Bordi and Lonavala. Then it went to Pune and other parts. And She used to have one month's touring program, visiting many districts in Maharashtra and foreigners would come and they would go to attend. It was a tour of at least one month and it was very hectic for Mother. She used to work so hard. And She still does the same thing even today. Amazing.
She used to give discourses on different tattwas, for example prithivi tattwa — in English, the Earth principle, that comes from the Mooladhara. Then the Shiva tattwa, the Shiva principle, then this Vishuddhi principle. In one lecture She would elaborate on one particular topic in Marathi, Hindi and English. In the country districts it was all in Marathi, but then She would give the gist in English, depending upon the crowd. If it was a Hindi crowd, She would speak in Hindi, but basically it would be in Marathi and the gist in Hindi and English.
13) Malcolm Murdoch said:
The first India tours
The first India tour was 1979-80 and that obviously began with flying across from the UK with Shri Mataji and Rustum [Bujorjee]. And we flew into Delhi, the first part of that, and then we stayed at Shri Mataji's — Sadana's house.
And it was a tour, of course, but it wasn't like the ones that followed even the next year because we used to just travel around in either the car with Mother or we used to go in the train between places. And when I say tour, it was a tour, of course. We were there two and a half months.
Of course, we went to Delhi. And it was about — my remembrance of Delhi was that it was a sort of a circle of about half a dozen Sahaja Yogis in Delhi and during that time we had a Shivaratri Puja, which was on the top of Sadana's house — on the roof — and there couldn't have, therefore, have been more than fifty, a hunderd people at the very most because that was the roof, you know. It wasn't that big.
Mother always said Delhi was a bit sort of westernized and that's why it was so bad and they're all too much thinking and corruption and so She was never very so positive about Delhi, but, of course, we know what happened since. And ya, they've become so good.
And, of course, we stopped at Sadana's house and then we actually went down to Bombay and it was really from having been in Bombay, perhaps a couple of weeks or something like that, during that time there were public programs.
I can't remember Mother working on people in Bombay. I mean, the programs were large by English standards, but there weren't fields and fields of people. They were in their hundreds, rather than in their thousands. And after a couple of weeks, we actually set off into the interior — what I would call the interior — of Maharashtra, which is where we went to Pune, Rahuri, [Aurangabad] and all these places.
That lead to the next year, which was the `80-81, which was actually the first — well, the first proper tour, if you'd like to think of it, because that's when they hired the first coach and that was just the one coach, of course, and that fitted in whoever came from England. But then, of course, the majority of the thirty-five or more people were actually Australian. And that constituted the first tour and that really followed the same locations as we'd done on the previous year.
She'd taken us to villages and we had, you know, the procession. I think it was one particular village that we used to go to for maybe two or three years, where, you know, Mother would be on a bullock cart with the banana leaves in big arcs and then the Sahaja Yogis and the band would be in front and go off dancing. And, of course, you lost that shyness of sort of dancing in front and you even lost your shyness of even dancing in front of Shri Mataji. We really enjoyed, really enjoyed it.
Of course, we had a lot of close contact with Shri Mataji on that particular tour because quite often after the pujas, you know, we would go to Mother's room to take the — Mother always used to tell us to take the vibrations and, you know, those that weren't absorbed by the Sahaja Yogis. As Meenakshi said, quite often when you did take the vibrations like that, you know, you'd push hard and you literally shake with the vibrations.
14) Meenakshi Murdoch said:
When you put your hand on Mother's chakras, on Agnya chakra or whatever chakra, you can feel the rotation of the chakra spinning so fast.
15) Maureen Rossi said:
She loved juxtaposition of the different cultures
On Her Birthday Puja, in Bombay, this enormous hall that they had — and this was again our first time of seeing Shri Mataji in that kind of situation for Her birthday and it made us realize what an awful pitiful thing we had attempted to do in England before, compared to what they did. And She wanted us to talk again. One of us talked and then Shri Mataji thought, "Well, perhaps not," and called me across to talk and said, "Can you really do this?" And by then I was so fired up. I was just dying to talk. I don't know, you just sort of wanted to say how Mother had poured love on us and how wonderful it was. But Shri Mataji wanted to have the Westerners tell the Indians about Sahaja Yoga. She loved using the juxtaposition of the different cultures to show. You know, here people tend to think Sahaja Yoga is Indian, but She loved to use the different approaches because each person would have a way of putting it across that would perhaps catch the attention of the other culture.
16) Meenakshi Murdoch said:
I thought that's going to be finished now
During those days Mother would come every week, on a Tuesday, to Hassavidya in Bombay. She would stay there until, say, half eleven, twelve sometimes and after that we used to take up buses to go home and sometimes that happened twice a week. We could see Mother sitting down there and we were all sitting and there were only maybe thirty people or forty at the most. Mother would point the candle and ask everyone to clear the Agnya or things like that. "Look at this candle now." We all would stand in a queue and go at Mother's Feet and Mother would say, "Oh, see. That's there." And I still remember the kundalini rising or throbbing at each chakra and She used to clear it out and that's how it was. And it would be so hot and because I was only a child and I used to fan Mother and once I remember, by mistake, I hit Mother with the fan and I said, "I'm so sorry" and I thought, "Oh, God, that's going to be now finished." And I felt that I had hurt Mother because in India we're so much taught about God that to hurt a person of God is a big sin. And Mother said, "No, no. Don't worry. It's all right. Don't worry."
17) Pamela Bromley said:
Here I am and the Adi Shakti is pouring water
It was my first trip to India, in 1979. I had had my Realization, seen Shri Mataji and been to the Guru Puja in Dollis Hill. I just really wanted to see Her again. None of us could feel the vibrations well in Brighton, so I did the "I Ching." It said I should cross the great water to see the great master. So within a week I was there with a Sainsbury's bag, with absolutely hippie clothes on, looking for Mother. I finally found Mother and apparently I hugged Her and the Indians were shocked because I should have fallen at Her Feet. We went to the puja, which was in a flat in Bombay. I had got this little tiny present. I didn't have any money and we were all queuing up to give the presents and I was the last. So I went up to give this present to Mataji and I was really nervous. Just as I was going up, they put the tray with Mother's food on it and I thought, "Oh, no." And, of course, everyone was there and I was so upset and I went out onto the balcony and thought, "No, I mustn't be upset. It doesn't matter."
And Mother said, "Who has been with Pamela?" And as She went to leave — we were sort of all standing there — She said, "Why don't you come home with Me. I think you have something for Me." And I finished up going to Mother's house and I travelled with Her for the next six weeks.
And when I got to Mother's house, She sat there at a table and we were sitting there and She was eating and I was sitting opposite Mother and She poured me water out into a glass. And She had that lovely look on Her face where She is really enjoying it. And then I think, "Here I am and the Adi Shakti is pouring water." And then She starts talking about shoes. You know how She changes the subject. And anyway, I stayed there and She gave me a sari of Kalpana. The next She said, "See how beautiful she looks now. She looks like a queen." So I was just saying about the little present bit and that was my first experience of India. Pamela Bromley
18) Avdhut Pai said:
I went to Mother's house today
My sister, Meenakshi [Murdoch], she got her own Realization actually the same day [as me] and our mother about two days later. And those days were really very, very physical very close to Shri Mataji to that extent that sometimes my father was not feeling very — he would just desire to go to Shri Mataji. From the work, he used to call Shri Mataji, "Shri Mataji, I would like to come and meet You." He used to go to Her house in — that time sometimes She used to stay in [Her daughter] Kalpana's house. That was when She used to come from England for some time and he used to stay with Her until ten, eleven o'clock and then come home late at night.
19) Meenakshi Murdoch said:
Clear us out some more
And it's funny, he used to come in the evening and he says, "I went to Mother's house today." He used to get this feeling that Mother wants him and he just used to take time off from work and go, tell his boss, "I have to go out" and just go and see Mother. And Mother said, "Oh, Mr. Pai? Oh, good you have come because I was just thinking about you. I wanted something to be done."
20) Avdhut Pai said:
Clear us out some moreSometimes we used to also go there, generally used to have even the dinner in Her house.
21) Meenakshi Murdoch said:
During those days Mother wouldn't go to everybody's houses, but I don't know why, but Mother came three times to our house. And Mother walked in all the rooms and She said this place over here doesn't have good vibrations.
22) Avdhut Pai said:
I've completely cleaned you
I did not smoke many cigarettes in my life, but due to my friends, circles or something, I used to sometimes smoke maybe one or two cigarettes a year. And I still remember in `76 — `76 I went to Goa and one of my friends — it was cold — said, "Oh, we're going to smoke." So I smoked a little bit and in just a week I went back to Bombay and there was a puja and it was on a terrace. There was not much light and I went on foot of Shri Mataji. Shri Mataji said, "Avdhut, do you smoke?" And really, luckily I was gone to Mother's Feet and I couldn't show my face to anybody. My heart stopped for a second. There was another lady called as Acharyabai, Mrs. Acharya, who's one of the twelve old first Sahaja Yoginis. And she said, "No, no no, Avdhut will never smoke." So I didn't say anything.
But then again, `77-78, sometimes I used to smoke with a friend when we went out for picnicking, a picnic and all that. And what happened was in `79 or `80 in Dhulia, there was Mrs. Raolbai and in her house we were to form a havan. And Shri Mataji said, "I need somebody for — to keep his hand on Mine, to keep his hand on My Vishuddhi, wants somebody who has never smoked in his life." So people said, "Ah, Avdhut, Avdhut, Avdhut. Because even the Indians there smoked biddi or cigarettes. So I said, "No, no, no, Mother, I have — I have smoken." And I put my head down. And She said, "Ah, see, he smoked cigarettes, but he has accepted it in front of everybody." I said — I didn't say anything. I said, "She can say whatever She wants, but I was caught once and doesn't want to happen second time."
And in the daytime I was gone with Mr. Suryavanshi from Rahuri. And the whole day we were going about and everything. Evening there was a public program and we're standing outside the hall so that the Rajneesh people should not enter the hall. And suddenly I was smelling of cigarette very strong. I couldn't know because there was absolutely nobody. And I said, "From where is it coming?" And suddenly, I found that it is coming from my fingers. Not only my right and my left Vishuddhi fingers, but at least my right one. And I said, "My God." I showed him. I said, "You are the proof. I did not even touch cigarette today." He said, "Ya, it's true."
We were staying in this Raolbai's house. At home, as soon as we reached Raolbai's house, I immediately washed my fingers with lot of soap, water. Imagine somebody smelling this in Raolbai's house? Anyway — and still the smell was still there. It did not go. And then Shri Mataji was in Her room at night and I just knocked and I said, "Shri Mataji, here is a problem. I am — there's a smell coming." She said, "Yes, yes, yes, because this morning you told Me you have smoked a cigarette, so I'm trying to clean you. So now it's as if you have to tell somebody that `I never smoked in my life' that can be true because I've completely cleaned you, but you should promise Me that you will never smoke in your life." And I said, "Yes, I promise. I'll promise. I am promising you." She took my fingers in Her hand for some time and the smell went away. So that was an experience.
23) Kay McHugh said:
Like the sermon on the mount
Do you remember that village called Karuse? We went to this village and it was an amazing experience because the villagers had come from miles and miles and miles around and they were everywhere. We're in Maharashtra, yes, and way in the countryside and it was a very simple village, very simple village and they had a bullock cart, a simple bullock cart, flat top with palm trees over the top of it and a bullock driver who slowly took Her through the village and we danced in front of it and all the villagers played their music and came and She gave a program.
24) Cheryl Bradshaw said:
We went to a small village just outside of Pune. It was a very dusty place and all the village people came and they were sitting on roofs and walls. They were just everywhere. The program was held outdoors.
25) Kay McHugh said:
It was in the middle of the day and She gave a program there and there were people literally hanging out of the trees and on the tops of ruined walls and hanging everywhere. And I remember we were near the front and I was looking round. I looked around and back and I thought, "This is like the sermon on the mount. They're everywhere." You know, these people were just hanging everywhere, these village people.
26) Cheryl Bradshaw said:
There was an Indian man sitting next to me from Bombay and Mother was speaking in Marathi and he was translating to me what was happening. Mother had said that all these people were worshipping a false god and that there was some priest in this little village that had been taking their money and saying that he was God. Mother said, "I am going to make it rain and if he is God, then he will be able to stop it." Suddenly there was thunder and lightning just in the background.
The next thing it absolutely poured with rain
27) Kay McHugh said:
It was a very short talk in Marathi, but it was an amazing experience and it hadn't rained there for — like they were destitute because it hadn't rained there for ever such a long time. As soon as the talk finished the skies opened and the rain came down and we all had to run for cover and like it was thousands of people.
28) Cheryl Bradshaw said:
She said, "There you go. He would be able to stop that if he was God." This is the translation from the Indian man and it just poured and poured for about one hour. It had not rained for nine months and the Indian people were just totally over the moon. They just danced, sang and ended up covered with mud. Because there had been no rain, it was very dusty and when the rain came, it became very muddy. It was a really joyous occasion.
29) Kay McHugh said:
That was on the first India tour. And we did that quite a few times in quite a few villages, but that particular village I remember because it was — there were so many people and I just had this overwhelming feeling of the sermon on the mount, where people were sort of everywhere, hanging out of the trees and everything to hear what She was saying.
30) Wendy Barrett said:
A new age
Remember about New Year's Eve [about 1980] when we sat in a circle around Shri Mataji and later on when She was leaving to go back to the university where She was staying that night?
31) Kay McHugh said:
We were sitting outside with a big bonfire with Mother. And we were just sitting in front of the bonfire. And apparently She told [Mr.] Dhumal that there was a new — She saw a great light in the sky and that a new star had been born.
32) Wendy Barrett said:
She saw a light in the sky and She said it was a symbol of a new age starting. When we got back to Bombay, we found there was a newspaper where two Australian scientists had found a new star, the dawning of the new age.
33) Bogunia Bensaude said:
This isn't the first time we've met
The first time we saw Mother, that was in Bombay in 1980. There were thirty Australians who went on that tour, five English, two French and one American. My first impression of meeting Mother was She walked through the door with Sir CP, I had a garland for Sir CP and Mother smiled at us all. We were all waiting in anticipation because most of us had never ever met Her, but we had all been in Sahaja Yoga for at least a year. And Her first words were, "This isn't the first time we've met or been together."
34) Kay McHugh said:
Because a saint was buried there
There was another village that we went to [on the first or second India tour], which was the place where those pictures were taken, where the light's coming down. I was sitting next to Cheryl [Bradshaw], who took the pictures, so I can vouch for the fact that it was completely open, no cover. It was an overcast day. It was overcast. There was no sunlight. It was overcast and the reason for [the light in the photos] was because that saint was buried there.
I took the pictures from Cheryl to London on a London trip. And I took the pictures to [Shri Mataji] and took them to Her flat and I said, "These amazing pictures have come out, Mother." And I didn't take all of them. I took about three or four of them and showed them to Her and She didn't exactly say then why [the light] was coming down. I think I was probably too busy talking to Her, rather than hear Her talk. But I said, "There's another picture, Mother, where," I said, "in the series, in the negatives, it's the last one and You have Your hand up over your head like You're saying, "It's enough now." And She laughed.
I found out afterwards that She said it was because there was a saint there. But I remember now that afterwards, after the talk She made us go down to where he was buried and we walked around.
35) Ray Harris said:
It's something you can't really describe
I was in India, first time I went. It was 1980, I think, December `80 or 81 — and all the Sahaj Yogis had gone to a huge program, six thousand people at a village near Pune. They'd all gone on. I was mucking about, you know, with some of these Indians I'd got friendly with, a few of them, and we sort of stayed. One of them said, bizarrely, "You want to come for a haircut? I'm going to the barbers." So I went to the barbers and got my hair cut because I had great big fuzzy hair at that time. But anyway, we got to the program right towards the end and we sort of crept in, but I was feeling really bad, thinking, "Oh God, Shri Mataji's been giving Realization and we've been out about town having a Limca and a haircut." She must have seen us come in because the stage was at the part where the entrance was and there was this huge almost like an amphitheatre and there were thousands. It really was huge. Shri Mataji saw me and this Indian guy coming in. She said, "Come, come, up on the stage." So we just went straight up on the stage. I just sat there feeling like a complete idiot, having just arrived at the meeting, and thought, "Everyone, the leaders and everyone there must have seen me. I'm going to get really told off after this."
At the end of the program, Shri Mataji was consecrating a temple to the Devi, a Kundalini temple, because they did this. In India, all these thousands of villages have these little temples. She was reconsecrating what must have been an old temple to the Goddess, to Kundalini, and She asked me to come up and do a dedication. So I just thanked Shri Mataji and "how wonderful it was to be here" and "on behalf of the Westerners," you know, and after that She gave me a huge hug. I was so shocked. I think it was just getting my haircut.
The feeling of being hugged by Shri Mataji is quite astonishing. I dreamt about being hugged by Shri Mataji several times, even a couple of weeks ago. We're talking about twenty years ago. It's something you can't really describe.
36) Bogunia Bensaude said:
The first time we ever sang bhajans
Something which struck me when reading Babamama's book of memories was that many of the places that he mentions as being significant to the Salve family, especially their forebears, were places we visited in Maharashtra on the tour of 1980. For example, we went to the same railway station, at Rahuri, to which Shri Mataji's paternal grandmother, Sakhubai, escaped with her children through a terrible night of flood and storm. We were at that station quite some time before the train came in.
37) Wendy Barrett said:
That was the first time we ever sang bhajans, I think wasn't it? You know, Indian bhajans, proper, Indian bhajans we learnt on the railway station. And we waited and waited for the train. The train was supposed to come at nine o'clock and I remember that Shri Mataji said that there's an old saying that if you travel on the first of the year, first of January, She said that if you start travelling on the first of the year, it means you'll travel all year and that you won't be able to stop travelling. And the train was delayed for about an hour or so and we sang bhajans and then we went and had a cup of tea. And then eventually the train left at one minute past twelve on the second of January.
38) Kay McHugh said:
How the Indians clean their teeth
India tours — I don't know if this was the first, which was `80-81 or the second `81-82, but we went to a very, very old Rama temple — very old. And She sat out afterwards. We were with [Mr.] Dhumal and She sat out afterwards. We've got some lovely pictures of Her sitting under a neem tree. And She was breaking branches off and giving it to us to chew and saying, "This is how the Indians clean their teeth and they never have teeth problem because they just chew on the branches of the neem tree."
And I remember Dhumal handing the branches out to us and saying, "Chew on it. It's really sweet. It's really sweet" and Mother roaring with laughter because he was tricking us because it's really bitter.
We've got some lovely pictures of Mother sitting under this tree with Her head back laughing and laughing in a white sari with red around it.
39) Linda Williams said:
It is little Nirmala
We did a nativity play to Mother [in 1983] and [my daughter] Bumble had come down from Dharmsala to be in it. The nativity play in the old temple in Delhi — Bumble was always Gabriel because she was tall and thin and blonde.
The Indian Sahaja Yogis had mostly never seen a nativity play and perhaps quite enjoyed it. Mother was, as always, gracious and wonderful towards the children. She gave all of us involved in the production a tile, after the play, which I think I still have, and said, "These are the foundations of the new educational system."
40) Linda Williams said:
I recall the sweetness of the children, with Joseph off walking to one side of the stage and Mary to the other, of our rehearsals of carol singing with the Indian yoginis, of the graciousness and beautiful smile and joy emanating from Shri Mataji, as She sat beside Sir CP on the altar dais.
Visiting Nagpur over the Christmas season and staying in the compound with Shri Mataji and Her family was another great blessing. My memories have a dream-like quality, of the three of us — Tina Cesbron, Linda Williams and I sitting in a semi-circle on the ground of the pendal before Shri Mataji and singing Silent Night. On looking up, I saw Shri Mataji had covered Her head with Her blue sari and looked, for those moments, like Mother Mary. Her face was lustrous and beautiful, young, joyous, serene, yet sad and perhaps wistful. For those brief minutes, amidst that unknowing clan of relations — none of Her family had yet recognized Mother, except perhaps Her daughters — it was as though we were doing a puja.
Earlier that afternoon, while passing Shri Mataji's room, She had called me in to come and have a look. She and Her daughters were seated on the bed looking at photos. Shri Mataji showed me a family grouping. She was standing in the midst of it — a young woman, with the eternally sweet smile and dignity and gravity.
After the play, which was a few days before Christmas, Mother said that at Christmas, the city of Nagpur was arranging for the official unveiling of a statue to Mother's father [PK Salve]. Mother said that any Sahaja Yogis who wanted to go and spend Christmas in Nagpur with Her and the family were welcome to do so. Most people did not go and, in the end, there were, I think, only seven of us.
The ceremony for the dedication of the statue was very grand, with all sorts of dignitaries there, including the vice president of India and the premier for the state of Maharashtra. Mr. Salve's memory was praised in about five languages, a tribute to his genius in that direction and they all said what a great soul he had been and how he had always thought of himself as an Indian, not a Maharashtran or a member of any one religious group. I seem to remember Sir CP also praised Mother, as Mr. Salve's daughter, in his speech.
I remember singing English carols with two Australian ladies and some others and being rather nervous in front of everyone there. There seemed to be hundreds of people, all members of the Salve family. By chance or design, Mother said the place where the statue was put up was very auspicious because it was exactly on that spot that Her father had stood up to and strongly reprimanded a British soldier, who had spoken in an out of turn manner to Mother, many years before when She had been going to school in a tonga.
We all went to the family church on Christmas Day. Those of us who were not part of the family, were given chairs to sit on in the garden outside the church because it was not big enough for everyone. However, the rain came down just after the service started and we all ran inside through a side door and happened to finish up sitting on the floor at Mother's Feet. It was sort of strange to sit in a church service with Mother sitting in the front row of the rows of seats, in the congregation, and Her brother, the bishop, was giving a sermon at that moment.
After the service, all the people in the church, mostly members of the Salve family, went out and began talking to one another outside in the area round about the church. Everyone was dressed in gorgeous silks and jewellery and the men also looked very smart because it was Christmas Day. They were all engrossed in each other's company. The day before, I had heard one person saying they would like to see a miracle done by Mother. After the service, Mother waited for a bit in the church and remained seated until the crowd had cleared somewhat and there were about six or seven Sahaja Yogis there with Her. We had been sitting at Mother's Feet through most of the service and when She got up and walked down the main aisle of the church, we followed Her. We all went out of the main door and there was a portico outside. In one corner there was an old man in a wheelchair. He said in Marathi, "Oh, it is little Nirmala. I was a servant in your father's household." He hadn't walked for years, but Mother said, "Get up and walk." And he did. He got up out of his wheelchair and walked towards Mother. The only people who had seen the miracle were the ones who had already accepted Her as the Goddess, the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary.
There is a similar miracle recorded in the Bible, where Lord Jesus cures someone on the sabbath day in the portico of the temple. Mother later explained that She did not want Her family to recognize Her too soon because otherwise the whole of Sahaja Yoga might have seemed to much like a family affair, which Mother did not want. So at that time, virtually no one in Her family knew who She was, even though She would do miraculous cures on many of the young children. One lady at the family get-together said to me, "We love Auntie Nirmala. It's just when She starts on religion it is too much. We can't follow Her."
41) Bogunia Bensaude said:
Shri Mataji also joined in the hymns and put money on the church plate when it was passed around. Such is Shri Mahamaya.
42) Avdhut Pai said:
They work so hard these feet
In Pune, suddenly [I was given] two first class tickets and she said, "That's for you and Shri Mataji." I said, "Why?" "Because Shri Mataji is going to Bombay and you are the only one who's going to Bombay." I was really — I wanted it very much. I was quite — not afraid, but you know to go with Shri Mataji alone in the train and luckily there was, after there was another two Sahaja Yogis. So the four, we went on the train to Bombay.
43) Kay McHugh said:
They said, "Quick, quick, you got to go on the train and go to Bombay" from wherever we were with Mother "because She wants to talk about this Hong Kong thing." And so I was stunned. So I hitched a ride on a truck to the station and got our bags and whatever and the next thing I'm on the train with Mother, with Avdhut Pai and Terrence and myself and Mother on four seats on the train. And, of course, I was like months, couple of months in Sahaj. I had no idea about protocol. I just knew who Mother was and I knew that you either talked or didn't talk or you sat on the floor or you didn't. I didn't know what to do.
So I'm sitting on the train opposite Mother. She's at the window seat. She's at the window and I'm sitting opposite and I can't remember the things She said, but I do remember that She puts Her Foot to my lap and says, "Look how hard these Feet work. Can you massage them for Me?" So I was massaging Mother's Feet, thinking I was doing Her a great favour. One after the other, She put on my lap and I massaged them. She said, "They work so hard, these Feet." And they were a little bit swollen.
But then later on in the train trip, She — all the time, I was just thinking, all the time I've spent with Her, I used to wonder why She'd do these things, different things. And all the time She was clearing me out. It never occurred to me that's what She was doing. Ya, so thick.
But She had Terrence stand up, I remember, and She was sitting on the train and [he was] pushing down on Her Sahasrara with his hands. And obviously, She was trying to open my Sahasrara, I suppose. But he was pushing down. I mean he was over six foot and pushing down as hard as he could and She kept saying, "Harder," on Her head. Yes, pushing down on Her Sahasrara. And he was pushing and pushing and pushing and She'd say, "Harder, harder." And She was laughing because, you know, he couldn't push any harder. He was actually sweating, he was pushing so hard. And She was sitting there like there was a feather on Her head, you know, and She was laughing and talking and turning Her head. So She was doing something with the Sahasrara. I don't know what, but I still remember him standing there sweating and pushing as hard as he could and She not being affected at all and being terribly charming and talking to people on the train, who were obviously mesmerized by Her.
44) Raolbai said:
Now I have told you
Let me tell you about the program of Ahmadabad. I went from Dhulia and the family with whom we had to stay were Jains. And in this family, there was only one Sahaja Yogi and rest were kind of not impressed with the Sahaja Yoga. This yogi had very big bungalow. I waited at the house while the family went to the station to receive Mother. When Mother arrived here and saw me, She exclaimed, "Arre, you have come again for Me!"
There we shared the same room, as Mother would say, "How can I sleep alone? You have to be with Me." During the time Mother slept, the vibrations would descend on Her like a sky all around Her with stars like a small universe surrounding. In the morning, I would tell Mother what I had seen. Shri Mataji said, "This is what has to be witnessed. It is your good fortune that you have witnessed all this. You see, in this big family, no one is bothered about Me and, without you, who would have taken care of Me?"
I would prepare tea and food for Mother, as the family we were living with were Jain and they had plenty of food restrictions. Mother would again and again say that the Divine has sent you. "Yes, Mother," I said, "You are divine and you have called me."
We would talk for hours together, even have our tea and food together. Since I come from the family of Devi bhaktas, we did all that we would do to worship the Devi like the washing of feet, etc. Mother would tell others that just follow what Raolbai does, as she has been a Devi bhakta and she knows all about the worship of Devi. "All protocols of Devi, worship she knows, so do as she does."
The first programs used to happen in Bordi and once, while returning, we saw all the stars following Mother. When She was sleeping, all the stars covered Her and the whole, whole room was filled with scintillating sparkling stars. Next day, when I told Mother about what I had seen the previous night, She said, "That's what I am and, in fact, I am everything. Now I have told you."
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