Memories of our Divine Mother: 6. EARLY ASHRAMS
The Paraclete Shri Mataji 1) Pat Anslow said:
She got us everything
The first [London] ashram was in Acton and we were there six weeks I think. Gus was there. Gus was an Australian hippie who collapsed in the street, literally dying of hepatitis, and Mother took him up and took him home and looked after him in Her house for six weeks, much to Her husband's alarm because he was literally dying. Mother kept him in Her house all that time and fed him and looked after him and worked on him until he was fit again.
The first ashram we got was just a rented place in Acton. It was a little house at the bottom of a hill right next to a railway line. So out at the back you had trains thundering by and at the front you had lorries sort of making that huge hissing noise on their brakes or revving up to go up the hill. It was quite noisy. Djamel [Metouri] and I slept in the lounge. It was really exciting. Shri Mataji found it and arranged it all for us. She got us everything, [even] the ironing board.
2) Marilyn Leate said:
We were all squashed together
Dollis Hill ashram was a rented house” " very small" " in northwest London. Mother often visited there. She would frequently stay the night. We held pujas there. At one puja She told us all to desire a boon and She would grant it. We used to be all squashed together. It was so small, but everyone got the chance to wash Mother's Feet.
In those days we only sang at the end of the puja when we did aarti. We quite often read the thousand names. I can remember one time though, an Indian Sahaja Yogi sang Oh Ma with his harmonium and Shri Mataji cried.
3) Miodrag Radosavljevic said:
The whole night went in one second
We were in Dollis Hill ashram in about 1978-9, near Neasden in northwest London. Shri Mataji would come at different times of the day, even late at night after some late night meeting and She would come unexpectedly, so we would quickly prepare the bed for Her. And then all the boys and girls, we would get our sleeping bags and would come downstairs as well, to be with Her. So that was quite nice experience. I remember that one night, it was as if I closed my eyes and the whole night went in one second.
4) Marilyn Leate said:
She cleared swiftly
In the meditation room of Dollis Hill ashram I can remember Shri Mataji working on a friend of Hester [Spiro]. The girl was ill from doing TM and Shri Mataji asked to hear one of Her own audio tapes as She worked with Her hands on the spine of the girl, who sat at Her Feet. A tape was played where Shri Mataji lectured about"Mr. Ego,” really making fun of the ego in Her humorous way. Shri Mataji then sat there roaring with laughter at Her own words. We were all laughing uncontrollably. The girl whom Shri Mataji was working on was laughing too. She cleared swiftly.
5) Pat Anslow said:
That nearly got us thrown out
Some of us were squatting. And then we got the other [ashram], the Finchley Road one. That had a baptism of fire. There was an Indian landlord and he had a shop underneath and he had a lot of paint. He moved us in and he wasn't very keen. Mother persuaded him.
6) Maureen Rossi said:
She even paid the deposit on the house and we didn't even think to ask or repay it or work out what was going on. We were coming from nowhere to live, completely destitute.
7) Pat Anslow said:
We had all this frankincense and we decided to clear out the ashram. He went off somewhere. We got all this frankincense on charcoal and went all round the place until it was so full of smoke you couldn't see more than two or three feet. I was in the lounge and I saw this figure feeling his way towards me and it was the landlord who had come back again. He was quite put out at that.
Later on that day, we had this chap come round who was a little bit unbalanced and we were cooking something. We smelled this smell of burning and this chap thought it was electrical burning. There was a paint store in the shop below. He wandered off and said he was going to go and ask for some advice. We were going round saying,” Strange smell.”And suddenly there was this huge uproar and two fire engines turned up and a police car and they all came in and one was outside with a searchlight and broke a window with his axe. The whole ashram was crawling with firemen and then the landlord turned up again. It was like out of a movie” " completely bizarre. That nearly got us thrown out.
8) Marilyn Leate said:
The flames seemed to reach out
There was a havan in the humble terraced-type back garden of the first little ashram in Finchley, a rented flat, above a shop off the Finchley High Street, I think. The havan was in full view of the passing public. How I remember it is that we swung pieces of firewood around our heads and then threw them in the fire at the“Aum Swaha” "" but that can't be right. I can remember that, as Shri Mataji walked around the fire, the flames seemed to reach out and follow Her and She remarked upon this.
9) Rosie Lyons said:
I knew She was speaking such truth
Sometimes we would go down to London to the ashram. My imagination of what would be this holy ashram was sort of different to how it really was" " a lot different. We would meet someone in the doorway with a huge bindi and lemons and chilli hanging off them. It was very different.
Whenever l heard our Holy Mother speak, I knew She was speaking such truth. That was the only thing that really made me stay because the people were pretty bizarre. I was also probably very bizarre too.
10) Linda Williams said:
Looking for Chelsham Road
Mother was looking for a house and finally found Brompton Square. But the year before , we drove around London on another quest, which was looking for an ashram. Mother wanted me to buy a house for an ashram, as She said it would help me because I had been involved in a very wrong thing and had even spent money on buying a house for it. Mother had the use of Her husband's car because Sir CP had one from the UN with a chauffeur. So we would drive around London looking for houses. I didn't have any money, but we were fighting a bankruptcy case and there was a chance we would get some money from it, although nothing was certain.
We looked at a lot of houses, all fairly near Mother's flat in Victoria, and the only area which was not too expensive was south of the river in Lambeth. For example, we looked at one in Wandsworth, which was fairly small, compact and in good condition and had four or five bedrooms, but only had a little yard and no proper garden. Mother did not like it.
We heard that sometimes houses were auctioned by the Lambeth Council and had seen one in Stockwell, which, although needing attention, seemed quite nice. We drove down to Brixton to the Lambeth Town Hall and parked outside in the street. The car driver went into the building to get details of these houses and Mother was in the front of the car. I was in the back. At that time there was quite a lot of unrest in Brixton and there were a lot of economically depressed West Indians living there, some of whom were doing voodoo and things like that. Mother suddenly said that She wanted me to put one hand towards Her and the other out of the car window, so She could let the discomfort She was feeling, as a result of clearing the area, go out of the window into the air. She said,” With Christ there was only one crucifixion. This time, the pain is like a crucifixion every minute of every day.”
Then we went to a house agent called John Marcus at Clapham Common. I asked if they had any houses which needed work on them and had about six bedrooms and were not too expensive. They gave me the specifications of a few, but they were all too expensive. I asked if they had anything else.”We do have one in Chelsham Road, but no one ever wants that one,” said the agent rather dubiously. When I said I might as well have a look, she went into a bottom drawer and after searching for a bit found the piece of paper with the details of 44 Chelsham Road. We went to the house and Mother walked up the short path to the front door in front of me. It was listing to the left and had a structural crack all the way up the right hand side. It was in terrible condition.”This is the house,” She said. “But Mother,” I replied,” it looks as if it is going to fall down.” “Do you really think I would let you buy a house which is going to fall down?”said Mother. The structural crack was due to a bomb blast across the road in the Second World War, in 1941, which had been forty years before. Somehow the owners hadn't got round to fixing it, even though they had lived there ever since.
Later, we returned to the street outside the house agent and sat in the car and Mother said we had to put a holding deposit on the house. I had about ten pence in the bank at the time. I was fairly advanced in my pregnancy, had no job and was certainly in no position to put a holding deposit on a house. I asked Mother what to say to the agent when she asked me how we were going to pay.”Say you are paying cash,” She said. She gave me a cheque for a hundred and eight pounds and told me to use it for the holding deposit. The next day someone else made an offer on the house, even though it had been on the market for two years. About a month later, when the house agent was getting a bit agitated, some money came to me from the court case, but it was about two thousand pounds short. It could have been two million, as I did not have a bean at the time, with no apparent possibility of getting any.
Now, my mother knew I was thinking of getting a house in London, but did not know about Sahaja Yoga. She was, anyway, opposed to anything Indian and to do with seeking, but she offered to give me the two thousand pounds, so I could get the house. Whether it was this or whether there was some other reason, Shri Mataji gave her a miraculous cure some years later, even though she still could not openly accept Shri Mataji. She also became quite wealthy through some very lucky investments, even though when she gave the money she was very short of money, but so far has never seen the connection.
11) Rosie Lyons said:
I remember when Linda bought Chelsham Road and she walked in and she said,” Well, Mother works miracles because I only have something like tens pence” "" or a penny or some small amount of money" "“And we just bought a house.”It was like she was a pauper and she had bought this house. It was so incredible, another miracle.
12) Linda Williams said:
My trustees arranged the purchase of the house and I had to collect the keys from their office in the city. I presented Mother the keys and paid Her back for the deposit on the day of a puja at the Temple of All Faiths, just before She started the talk preceding the puja.
13) Linda Williams said:
The foundation stone of the New Jerusalem
The first joint building project in Sahaja Yoga was the meditation room at the back of Chelsham Road. Everybody contributed work and money and the first celebration we had were some weddings" " Pat and Grezyna Anslow's, I seem to remember" " and later on we had other weddings there, even some in the garden at the back. We had quite a few havans with Mother present in the garden at the back.
One day, just after [my son] Datta had been born, when we were just starting to build the meditation room, I noticed Mother was downstairs in the garden. I could see She was in the garden from the upstairs window, where I was changing Datta's nappy. Chaya Camille was with Mother and one or two other people, men. After I had finished with Datta, I went downstairs and asked what had been going on.”Mother was laying the foundation stone of the New Jerusalem in the back garden of Chelsham Road, which is where She wants the meditation room to go,” someone said.
Much later someone else remarked that this was the first temple ever built to a living deity. Before people only built temples after the incarnation had departed. By this time someone from Brighton who had been reading Blake had showed some parts to Mother about Lambeth and Mother had explained that a lot of what Blake prophesied was about Sahaja Yoga.
There is a Grain of Sand in Lambeth that Satan cannot find
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it: tis translucent & has many Angles .”
We builded Jerusalem as a City & a Temple; from Lambeth
We began our Foundations; lovely Lambeth!
William Blake (Jerusalem)
14) Felicity Payment said:
The embrace of The Mother Earth
I can remember standing in Pam [Bromley]'s house and feeling so much Mother's vibrations there in the house. You know, when She came She just filled it with Her vibrations. And I remember in Hounslow [in west London], they bought this ashram and Shri Mataji went and lived there with Sir CP for some time to sort of clear it out and vibrate it. And I remember when we went to visit it the first time after Shri Mataji had left and I walked in and you could feel that Mother had been in this house. You could feel that Mother had been in this house because it's like you're walking into the womb. It's hard to explain, but you feel like you feel safe. You know, when you're in Mother's presence for a long time or close or in the house where She lived, you feel so safe. And I remember in this house feeling like I" " it's hard to explain what it was like. You could almost feel the embrace of The Mother Earth around you. Do you know what I mean? It sort of touches you in such a deep way.
15) Marilyn Leate said:
And now they want to sell it
There was a time in the mid-eighties when Shudy Camps [near Cambridge England] had just been purchased and was in the initial stages of its renovation, when Shri Mataji seemed not to be happy with our ashram in Hounslow, West London. She even criticized it at an international puja. Rumours abounded that Shudy Camps was the New Jerusalem and“The place to be“And that Mother had withdrawn Her attention from Hounslow ashram and wanted it sold as soon as possible. This was upsetting for those of us who lived there and loved the place. Shri Mataji had stayed there and many foreign brothers and sisters had stayed there too as it was conveniently near Heathrow Airport. One early evening I heard someone entering the ashram and when I went to greet them in the hallway I was amazed to find Shri Mataji Herself walking towards me. She refused Her special chair and came to sit on a very ordinary stool in the dining room. She played with the four children we had there, who offered Her everything they could find to offer, including their toys. Yogis were returning from work and found themselves suddenly at the Feet of Shri Mataji.
We had a number of Her belongings stored upstairs and She described a jacket of Sir CP's which She wanted, so yogis went up to find it. Meanwhile, She spoke with everyone, giving little snippets of personal advice here and there. Then She said very clearly,” What a lovely cosy ashram this is. Such loving vibrations. Such a nice hospitable, family feel and now they want to sell it, I don't know why.”
Sir CP's suit jacket was duly found and Shri Mataji said,” Yes, that's the one“And then asked for it to be put back again where it had been found. She spoke personally to some more of the yogis and then She left.
16) Linda Williams said:
The timing was perfect
There is a song in the songbook,” Jerusalem II.”We remember singing it to Shri Mataji when She came to Shudy Camps for the Bhoomi Devi Puja when the house was finished. We both [Maggie Burns and I] remember someone playing the piano and quite a few of us standing in this room by the piano and singing,” Last night as I lay sleeping, there came a dream so fair"“Then it goes on and just as we got to the end of the song,” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your eyes and see " behold you in all Her glory, behold Shri Mataji!“And just at that moment, as we sang that line, Shri Mataji walked in through the door and we beheld Her. There She was. The timing was perfect.
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 1
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 2
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 3
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 4
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 5
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 6
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 7
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 8
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 9
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 10
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 11
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 12
Memories of our Divine Mother Shri Mataji 13
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