About six months after getting self realisation in Australia, in 1980 a group of us went to India to see Shri Mataji, and travel on a pilgrimage through the villages as She gave realisation to thousands. We met Her in Mumbai, then called Bombay, in a theatre and as we waited for Her to arrive, suddenly we heard, behind the stage curtain, Shri Mataji clearing Her throat. We all felt a thrill and looked at each other. She’s there! Just behind the red curtain!
The programme began and it was in Marathi, but we listened with our hearts and watched Her Feet as they moved about in emphasis to Her words. It was enough to be there. After the seekers had gone home, the foreign visitors were asked to come up and meet Shri Mataji. Most rushed straight up but I felt diffident. What was the proper protocol? How could we just approach Her like any ordinary mortal? Even a queen would not be approached so easily. I stayed with the luggage until someone came and offered to relieve me, and said we were all invited to rest our foreheads on Mother’s Feet.
‘Just place your hands under them,’ they told me.
I watched some others with faces shining as they received this darshan. Then it was my turn. There was no feeling of separateness between the forehead and Shri Mataji’s Holy Feet. It was like being joined to something, a column perhaps, which moved endlessly in both directions, having unfathomable roots and stretching forever upwards.
‘You Australians! Livers are all so hot! You are such seekers. You go through everything… even chillies!’ I heard Her laughingly say.
We’d been holidaying for two weeks on a train journey through Southern India. She promised to take us to the jungle, ‘To see the tigers,’ and to where we would find peace which was unobtainable in the countries we were from. This was the tranquility which we needed to give us rest and melt our egos, ‘Like butter – that’s the only way to deal with ego,’ She told us.