Honoring the Mother
March 21 marks the birthday of the Founder of Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Shri Mataji Nirmal Devi, known as Shri Mataji, and affectionately as Mother.
She will be remembered by those hundreds of thousands whose lives She touched, in as many individual stories as the individuals themselves. She possessed the gift of meeting each one, uniquely, as if She had known them forever, and if not remembering the name, the face. When someone had the blessing of encountering Her, whether it was at one of the multitude of free public programs in cities and countries all over the globe, or in a casual encounter while She was shopping, or passing through one of the world’s airports, they would often be greeted with a huge expansive smile, and a “How are you?” This was invariably followed with a discussion of how they were, because that was always Her concern.
Her great ability of being a catalyst for kundalini awakening, was Her gift to every human she encountered. And it was Her mission to pass on this simple process of awakening the individual to their true Self to all of humanity.
At the outset, 1970 India, She began with a handful of students, and by the time She moved to England several years later, She had evolved the system of knowledge and techniques that became Sahaja Yoga. In England it involved a handful of seekers, who she relentlessly “mothered” and educated about the existence and maintenance of their “ own subtle energy systems”, and with the unceasing love of a Mother, She collected and nurtured Her “Sahaja family” throughout Europe,India and the rest of the world.Eventually the numbers swelled to thousands at some programs and collective events.
In those early days of 1972, she made her first journey to USA to give public programs and en-route aboard the ocean liner she composed a poem addressed to the seekers, Her flower Children.
Poem: To My Flower Children
You are angry with life
Like small children
Whose mother is lost in darkness
You sulk expressing despair
At the fruitless end to your journey
You wear ugliness to discover beauty
You name everything false in the name of truth
You drain emotions to fill the cup of love
My sweet children, my darlings
How can you get peace by waging war
With yourself, with your being, with joy itself
Enough are your efforts of renunciation
The artificial mask of consolation
Now rest in the petals of the lotus flower
In the lap of your gracious mother
I will adorn your life with beautiful blossoms
And fill your moments with joyful fragrance
I will anoint your head with divine love
For I cannot bear your torture anymore
Let me engulf you in the ocean of joy
So you lose your being in the greater one
Who is smiling in your calyx of
Self Secretly hidden to tease you all the while
Be aware and you will find him
Vibrating your every fiber with blissful joy
Covering the whole Universe with light.
These words were to become the poetic job description that She tirelessly fulfilled for the next 39 years, awakening individuals and collectives alike to the joy of the Spirit, anointing the heads of all those desiring comfort and solace amid the turbulence of these years of transition and transformation.
The existence of the Great Mother, Comforter and Redeemer has found description in poetry and prophetic pages throughout history. One significant vision comes from the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis. Writing a novel about a bus ride from Hell to Heaven, (referencing William Blake’s work,“The Marriage of Heaven And Hell”) and based on his belief that reality never presents us with an unavoidable “either-or”, he suggests that, with Grace, we are able to embrace both extremes, transforming evil into good. Near the end of “The Great Divorce”, he defines a vision of the Mother of the world.
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce: a dream (1945)
Chapter 12. (excerpt).
The reason why I asked if there were another river was this. All down one long aisle of the forest the undersides of the leafy branches had begun to tremble with dancing light; and on earth I knew nothing so likely to produce this appearance as the reflected lights cast upward by moving water. A few moments later I realized my mistake. Some kind of procession was approaching us, and the light came from the persons who composed it.
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers – soundlessly falling, lightly drifting flowers, though by the standards of the ghost-world each petal would have weighed a hundredweight and their fall would have been the crashing of boulders. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys on one hand, and girls on the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honor all this was being done. …
‘And who are all these young men and women on each side?’
‘They are her sons and daughters.’
‘She must have had a very large family, Sir.’
‘Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.’
‘Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?’
‘No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked upon her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.’
‘ And how… but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat – two cats – dozens of cats. And all these dogs…why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.’
‘They are her beasts’
‘Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.’
‘Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.’
I looked at my teacher in amazement.
‘Yes’, he said, ‘It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life’.
So, as we raise our kundalini energy, we may wish to remember Shri Mataji, who had the vision that humanity could be redeemed, and one by one, could spread that joy of a life led in harmony with the internal Spirit, to the world.
Happy Birthday Mother!