A few days before Christmas in 1983, Shri Mataji said that at Christmas, the city of Nagpur was arranging for the official unveiling of a statue Her father, Shri 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. In the end, there were about seven of us.
The ceremony for the dedication of the statue was as it should have been, very grand, with many dignitaries there, including the Vice President of India and the Premier for the State of Maharashtra. Mr Salve was praised and remembered in about five languages, a tribute to his genius as a linguist, and they all said what a great soul he had been and how he had always thought of himself as an Indian, not a Maharashtrian or a member of any one religious group. In his speech, Sir CP also praised Shri Mataji.
There were hundreds of people, including a lot of members of the Salve family. By chance or design, Mother later 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 a rude manner to Shri Mataji, many years before when She had been going to school in a tonga.
In the evening we three Western Sahaja Yogis sang some English carols, and were rather nervous in front of everyone, a gathering of the family. We were all invited 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 Shri Mataji’s Holy Feet. It was strange to be at a church service with Mother, who was sitting in the front row, in the congregation. Her brother, who was a 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 greeting each other in the area round about the church. The ladies were dressed in gorgeous silks and jewellery and the men also looked very smart because it was Christmas Day. Mother remained seated in the church until the crowd had cleared and there were some Sahaja Yogis with Her. Then She got up and walked down the main aisle and we followed Her. We all went out of the main door with Shri Mataji, and only the Sahaja Yogis were with Her at that point. There was a portico outside and in one corner was an old man in a wheelchair. He hadn’t walked for years.
‘Oh, it’s little Nirmala! I was a servant in your father’s household,’ he said in Marathi.
‘Get up and walk,’ said Mother. And he did. He got up out of his wheelchair and walked towards Mother.