For several years following my divorce in the 1980’s, I had fallen into a state of total exhaustion and acute mental and physical anguish, but one morning I woke with a strange premonition that something good would happen. I had an immense desire to go to Chartres cathedral to see the Virgin Mary there.
In the cathedral I prayed before the statue of the Virgin. Immediately I smelled a very strong rose perfume, so intense that I turned to see where it was coming from. I walked around the cathedral and the scent followed me round the whole building. As I left the cathedral and stood in the open air in the square by the entrance, the scent was still there. A few yards away from where I was standing I could see an Indian lady wearing a white sari getting out of a car. She looked at me and smiled, and I felt attracted to Her. Suddenly my head emptied of all thought and I could only see this lady, as though nothing else was there. She was still smiling at me. I approached and asked one of the people with Her who She was.
‘You don’t know Her? Why are you standing here?’ one person said.
‘Because there is such a beautiful scent,’ I replied. ‘Roses, can’t you smell them?’
‘It’s Shri Mataji, don’t you know Her?’ said the man.
‘No,’ I said.
‘Well, She is here for truth and She can protect thousands of people, like Christ did.’
I felt an explosion of joy within myself, since I already knew somehow this lady was very great, and this was what I had been waiting for. I could not move away now.
‘Why don’t you join us?’ my neighbour suggested.
I followed the little party into the cathedral. As we walked, I felt a pleasant tingling sensation rising from my feet, through my legs and throughout my body. I had a feeling in my heart which I can only describe as expansion or fulfilment. The rest of that day was spent in joy and bliss and from then on, my sickness and depression disappeared.