Many will remember pujas when Shri Mataji used to hand out gifts at the end, sitting tirelessly on stage into the small hours oblivious both to the cold and the late hour. She would also often give spontaneously to those who came to Her home. Should any guest express pleasure on seeing an object, or should their eyes even linger momentarily on a piece of art, they risked going home with it.
‘Please have it! I was wondering what I was going to give you,’ Shri Mataji would implore.
The gifts given often expressed both Shri Mataji’s great love for Her children– and Her great sense of humour. I recall someone once being given a beautiful ceramic cockerel; in Her own words this was to help them wake up in the morning!
There were also days when Shri Mataji would decide to ‘sort out’ surplus belongings. One would find Her seated among a sea of objects piled up around Her; from saris to crockery. She would then rapidly distribute these vibrated items to the delight of those present. Each gift given so spontaneously, and seemingly randomly, was always highly pertinent to the recipient.
During one of those great sorting out days Shri Mataji was in full flow, hardly looking down at the next object to be given, when She spotted me and said, ‘I want to give something for your father,’ (he had recently come into Sahaj). As She reached down Her hand touched a small ornamental brass wagon, the wagon was carrying an elegant crystal drinks decanter and six crystal glasses, just the ornamental horses were missing to pull the cart. As Shri Mataji handed it to me to carry home, the private significance of the gift was not lost and we shared a little smile as I bowed down in thanks.
As mentioned in an earlier recollection, when all our family first came to Sahaj my father held back from meeting Shri Mataji because he felt ashamed to still be drinking alcohol. Though a life-long seeker, he had struggled to give up drinking. Many times he had gone ‘on the wagon’ – this was the special expression he always used for a period of abstaining, these periods usually lasted no more than six months. One day Shri Mataji asked why he wouldn’t come and my mum told about him wanting to stop drinking completely before meeting Her.
‘But that’s My job! Doesn’t he know it? It’s My job to wash all the sins of the seekers away,’ I remember Shri Mataji exclaiming.
Soon after, he put away his fears and did come to Her Lotus Feet, and as a happy by-product of his self-realisation, was able to stay ‘on the wagon’ till the end of his days.