By Caleb Williams,Sydney, Australia:
Some book and music related memories ...
I remember one time sitting with Shri Mataji in Brompton Square. She was going through some of Her personal books. We were unpacking them from a box in the first floor living room and She was deciding what She wanted to keep or discard. I was sitting just below Her on the floor and She was seated on a chair. I'd take out a stack of books show Shri Mataji what they were and She'd indicate whether She still wanted them or not. After a while I thought I was getting the hang of it and could fairly confidently predict what would be kept and what would be thrown away. I pulled out a largish illustrated history of the Third Reich full of black and white photos of the Nazi era (I assumed on 'vibrations' and subject matter this would be one Mother would want to 'chuck out'). I confidently motioned as if to put the book in the 'discard pile' and Shri Mataji surprised me by saying "No, give this one here". She took it onto Her lap opened it, and began leafing through. "This is a very good book. It explains very well how they came to power. It is important to know these things". Then she opened up the book on a particular photo, a black and white scene of scantily clad dancers in a decadent Berlin nightclub of the 1920s. "You see this is what was going on in the society of the time - all the morality was gone - so the negative forces could come and easily take over".
Another time She spoke about certain English authors, including Shakespeare and others, which She called 'avadhuta'. A Sanskrit term for those with a mystical or saintly capacity to see clearly, whose powers of penetration and understanding of human nature go way beyond the ordinary. She said the role of such people was to lift us 'beyond' to make our awareness of life deepen. I remember Her quoting with perfect recall a particular line from a Shakespeare play I think it was Romeo and Juliet, in Nightingale Lane Ashram. It was beautiful to hear Mother very briefly speak in this musical, poetic, ornate, Elizabethan language. I could tell She really loved it, there was such a soft and respectful tone in Her voice when She spoke these words from Shakespeare which was very humbling to me, as I was student studying English at the time.
Fergy (Derek) recently mentioned in a post here about the period in Brompton Square when Shri Mataji would regularly read people's minds. Yes, it often happened, and many others I'm sure will have a personal recollection of moments where Shri Mataji told them something in answer to a thought or concern that they had (but had not spoken out loud to Her about) or how She knew about some fleeting notion or desire that happened to cross their mind while working in the house. I had a few experiences of this myself. The one I most particularly remember, occurred when I was fairly new in Sahaja yoga.
It was a day or two after Christmas in the early 80's and I was coming down the stairs (this was before the house was fully done up, I think I'd been painting or scraping walls - my fingers seemed permanently grimed in white paint or scraped plaster at this time). A few days before I had been given a cassette of Gustav Holst's The Planets as a Christmas present by my parents (an orchestral suite in which each planet's astrological character is portrayed in music). I had been listening to the cassette incessantly at home and one of its themes, 'Jupiter- the bringer of jollity', a boundlessly optimistic piece of music was floating through my mind as I went down the stairs that day. I noticed Shri Mataji moving up the stairs toward me. I paused respectfully on the landing to let Her pass, my hands and paint-stained fingers slightly cupped to take vibrations as She went by. Shri Mataji stopped in front of me for just a few seconds. Inside my mind I could still hear with great clarity the jaunty tones of Holst. She looked at me briefly, but with a probing intent, then nodded and said "Caleb, you really do love music very much, don't you?". Before I could say "Yes, Mother", She had continued up the stairs. I went on my way with he Holst theme still replaying in my mind, Mother's words and look reverberating inside, I wondered if She had heard every note of the music I had been remembering as we approached each other on the stairs? It seems there were many moments when each person's mind announced itself like a 'radio' before the Goddess. She only had to put Her attention on us, and tune into what we were broadcasting to know everything.
A realisation story ... meeting Shri Mataji for the second time in London.
I was a 16 year old boy, my mother and sister had already come to sahaja yoga and desiring me to also take an interest had given me The Advent by Gregoire to read. After a week of going through the momentous pages of this book at bed-time, I was convinced. I told my mum I'd like to also meet Shri Mataji and receive self-realisation. She took me to a program and soon I was hungering for more. Back then those of us who lived in London were lucky. You could see Shri Mataji at Caxton Hall almost every week, sometimes more. And there just happened to be another public program Shri Mataji was attending at West Kensington library, 2 days after I'd seen Her for the first time.
The program took place in a medium sized second floor meeting room. I remember my family and I bumping into John Watkinson outside, as we tried to figure out exactly where the entrance was. Inside there were probably no more than fifty people there. The sahaja yogi's were easily recognised by their sweet glowing faces, their hair parted with amla oil, ethnic blouses or floral skirts for girls, a wooly scarf twisted round the neck for boys, though we were approaching the height of summer. My mother Magda and my sister Danya were already 'experienced' attenders of programs having met Shri Mataji a few weeks prior. So they knew what to expect. But that did not in any way lessen their eager mood of anticipation. I noticed the way they both sat forward in their chairs, while the introductory talk proceeded, waiting a little restlessly for Mother to arrive, bunches of flowers carefully balanced on their laps.
Then Shri Mataji came and everyone stood up. She wore a white sari, Her face radiant She was in a breathtakingly dynamic mood. Her eyes lit up and became wide as she advanced into the room, voice ringing with bell-like clarity. "Hello, how are you?" She chuckled as She recognised various sahaja yogis on Her way down to take Her seat. We sat in the second or third row from the front. When Shri Mataji leaned toward the mike and began Her talk we were very close maybe no more than a five or six meter distance away. She spoke about the ocean, and the guru principle. It was profound. But there were jokes as well. At one point I burst into laughter at something She said about gloomy Scandinavians.
At the end She asked us to close our eyes and take our shoes off and we began to go through the realisation process. I'd been able to clearly feel coolness and vibrations a few days before, but I was about to receive a much more profound introduction to the world of Sahaja Yoga. While we had our eyes shut I remember being strongly aware of Shri Mataji's attention traveling around the room, going from seeker to seeker. When it fell fully on me, I knew it immediately. Almost instantly my kundalini rose, the petals of my sahasrara stirred and opened and I felt the grace shimmer down in cooling blissful waves into the ida and pingala channels. My kundalini came up again and the grace continued to descend. I felt so comforted and loved. It was like coming home.
Back then after giving the realisation experience to people Shri Mataji liked to come into the audience and personally work on them. I was standing up, to get a better view of what was going on and thinking about Her talk, and all She'd said about our fingers and the chakras and how they related, trying to remember which finger corresponded to which centre and so on. I really wanted to understand this new system of spiritual knowledge. I was standing near to a woman suffering from arthritis and Shri Mataji had moved behind her and had started raising her kundalini and working on her.
As soon as the thought about chakras and fingers passed through my mind, I felt Shri Mataji's hand reach over and take hold of my wrist. Shri Mataji very matter-of-factly without saying a single word to me then lifted up my left hand and placed it firmly on top of Her own head. A little awestruck I glanced sideways at the cascade of deep black hair that flowed downward across Her shoulders, and pondered the sensation of the palm of my hand being pressed gently against the top of Shri Mataji's head where the hairline was parted ... I still remember the powerful feeling of Her scalp pressing against my hand. Shri Mataji then told me to direct my other hand toward the back of the lady with arthritis and to say what I felt, and in which finger. I mentioned some numbness and tingling here or there, showing Shri Mataji, by wriggling the finger that was burning and Shri Mataji said something like "Yes, that's good, you're feeling it now" and explained some more about what this meant in terms of the subtle centres.
Afterward, I sat in a state of deep amazement with my mother and sister on the train returning to Hampstead from West Ken. I felt completely captivated by the love, trust and openness Shri Mataji had shown me, the way She had picked up on my thought about fingers and chakras and lifted my hand and rested it on Her own sahasrara area while She worked on the lady and very gently instructed me about the meaning of vibrations while She did so. All of it seemed a blissful dream, but it wasn't, it was real. And it was just the start of the story.