Mahatma means Great Spirit; we all love Mahatma Gandhi and recognize his immense merits for the emancipation of humanity, not only of India. Let’s learn more (that is less known) about him.
“Interviewer: How much do you think Mahatma Gandhi influenced the way your Sahaja Yoga developed, your way of thinking now, your technique maybe?Shri Mataji: You see, it was no question of influence because you see, this is another realm I am talking about. Sahaja Yoga takes you to another realm where these problems do not exist. These problems work out with Divine power, not with human powers. And Divine power is there and they work it out eventually in such a smooth manner that there is no need to use these human powers. But his main contribution, I think, was to establish balance in people. Balance in people was the main thing. And make them more Indian and to take out all the slavish mentality that had trickled down into us, make us feel our own self-neglect all these things were there. But the realm in which I was different from his. So the question of influence doesn’t come in. But, I would say that, certain things were influenced by my choice, say, of different prayers. I told him according to the different centres (chakras) within us. I said you do this one, then this one, and he said, “Alright, it’s a good idea”, and he changed. It was so smooth and silently done that it was not made obvious to anyone that we had any rapport on these things nor did he ever ask me about Spirit nor did he ever meditate. He did not meditate because he was not realized. At that time he was not a Realized Soul. His main attention was for this (Indian’s freedom) and he will be born again and he will be Realized. He will be born Realized because he was very, very great. He was a Great Soul, no doubt. He was extremely great as a human being. But Realization is very different. It’s another realm into which human beings go. His meditation was to ponder about things and to guide oneself, but not the kind of meditation where we become Thoughtlessly Aware.. It’s a different dimension in your awareness.”Radio Interview (excerpt), Hong Kong, 1992
Interviewer: Cosa ricorda della sua adolescenza passata in gran parte accanto a Gandhi?
(“What do you remember about your childhood, your young age next to Gandhiji?”)
Shri Mataji: See, my father had taken all the children to Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi said: “You have a big team with you.” My father said: “All right, it’s all for your work.” He said “Give me one.” They picked me out 🙂 and so I was there from the age of five years with him, I used to go back to my parents for my studies, again on holidays, Saturdays and Sundays I used to be with him.Interview (excerpt), Versilia, Italy, August 2001Shri Mataji about her stay in Gandhi’s Ashram: “In this country ( India) we had a struggle for freedom. I was part and parcel of that. My parents were part and parcel of that. They were rich people; quite rich I should say, from every standard. You will be amazed, my father burnt all his suits; they were stitched in England. My mother burnt all her sarees. They used to spin their own clothes and wear them.My father sacrificed everything, every pie that he had, for the freedom struggle. He left nothing for us, not a single…. I should say, of course our family being rich we had silver and gold and all that. But as far as all the cash money was concerned, was spent. And all this silver and gold also, thanks to English, that they took away from us, and they returned us when they went back. This is how we had some silver and gold left in our family.Everything, all that is material, was snatched away. And I know, we lived in beautiful houses, and then we shifted to huts, and lived there. Sacrifices to the maximum. And we were happy about it. Very proud!We had only two changes. We used to wash our clothes, live like very poor people, sleeping on this kind of thing (thin, rough floor mats) for my life, I remember that I never used to take a pillow. I never used chappals (slippers) for ages. I had only one sweater (pullover) made of this kind of material (very rough woollen) Till I passed out and went to medical college, I had that sweater with me. I had only one coat, throughout my education. When I was in Lahore (Medical college), which was terribly cold and sometimes can be like London, it was worn out and finished.But we never grudged, and never grumbled, and never said that our father should have looked after us and done something, why did he just sacrifice everything for the country, Never, never, never.But even today, when you see us, anywhere, they know we are children of such a great man. They have tremendous respect for us.That quality was created, I should say, by Mahatma Gandhi. He made everybody so transformed into a new personality of tremendous sacrifice. Tremendous! You cannot imagine how people lived! All the money we had, everything, that we had, all conveniences, conveyance, all houses, everything was given up, not only by my father but so many of them. Otherwise we could have not got our freedom, this country has sacrificed so much.NOW, after that, WE ARE HERE TO GET OUR FREEDOM, TO GET THE FREEDOM OF OUR SPIRIT. TO MAKE OUR SPIRIT FREE FROM GREED, LUST, FROM OUR ANGER, FROM OUR CONDITIONINGS, FROM OUR TERRIBLE EGO, FROM THE BODY BEING ENSLAVED BY COMFORTS.I must say Gandhiji had a special charm. I do not know how he managed. He was like “Touch of Midas”, touched anybody, he became transformed, you see. And he was an extremely strict man, very kind to me, the children. But he was an extremely strict man. He would not tolerate any nonsense at all!And moreover, what I know about Mahatma Gandhi and other people, what I have seen, how they were. Everybody was not allowed to come in. and anybody who did slightest thing less than- whether he was King’s son or he was anybody’s daughter or anything, any little thing spoilt, ‘anything’, he was chucked out. I have stayed in Gandhi’s Ashram, so I know what it is, and that’s why you know I can go through rigorous life. It is his training. All the children above twelve years had to clean whole of that Ashram area, which is I think in 50 acres of land, – every morning. They had to clean their toilets. Also the toilets of their guests, I have done it. And they were allowed only two dresses. And nothing could be kept, even you cannot see even one paper anywhere, any litter anywhere. So clean, spick and span. And the living places were so neat and tidy. It was all done with cow-dung- completely with cow-dung. Everybody had to take a bath, early in the morning at 4 O’ clock, with cold water. Whether it was Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime minister of India), Abul Kalam Azad, my father, of any age group, or a child. And 5 O’clock, Mahatma Gandhi was there for his lecture.And then, early in the morning at 4 O’clock, you will be surprised, getting up- for me it was alright,- and then to walk in that 50 acres of land to centre of that hall- which was nothing but just an open space surrounded by some sort of huts where Gandhiji was living. To walk all the way after bath, after getting ready, all that. And snakes used to crawl along. Nobody was bitten, of course. I think the snakes understood that people were busy with great job of freeing this great country!And we would sit, just like this and the snakes would be crawling. No lights were allowed. No lights of any kind. We only used sunlight. And when Gandhiji would come- I mean sunlight was not there in the morning, at all- some lantern were brought to put there. And we would see the snakes crawling up.But I never heard anybody complaining, but like a war, drove with such passion, everybody, competing as to, “what I can do, how I can be alright”. Nobody even thought of comfort! Of course they were all about say 50 years, up to 50 years of age or something like that, may be. In the Ashram mostly people were up to 50 years of age, that time.And I have seen by my own eyes the people who had huge cars in the house and things like that, they sold off, they threw it away. They used to come by train to Wardha station and walk down. Gandhiji would not see anybody coming even in Tonga (horse-cart). And they listened to him and obeyed him.Because freedom is of course necessary, political freedom to talk about the God. We could not even make small needle at that time, we were not allowed, by government (British) so much oppressed. So we had to get out of the shackles of slavery. No doubt.”
Shri Mataji about this song: ” “This is a Bhajan you must have heard this time, is very much appreciated by Mahatma Gandhi. The song says Vaishnava Jan to Tene kahiye Pir parayi jaane re, means those who are evolved souls -Vaishnavas – (they) feel the pain of others. You can feel on your fingertips (as vibrations), you see. That’s what it is. So it’s all in praise of all the Sahaja yogis here that Mahatmaji (referring most respectfully to Gandhi as the Great Soul) has liked this song very much saying that these are the people who are Vaishnava Jan, the ones who have achieved their Realization, how they- it’s the description beautifully done in this Gujarathi Bhajan.
I hope you will enjoy it.”