In Memory of a special encounter
As I sat on the slope of the hill near the Observatory of Berkley, California, on a mild and breezy night in the month of August 1975, I had no clue that this moment was going to change the entire course of my life.
A new friend from Mumbai, a student at the university, was sitting next to me. He was bright, open-minded, and we chatted about many things. When he told me about a woman he’d met, a spiritual Grand Master, a lady from India now settled in London, England, I was intrigued. When he told me that She was the Avatar of the present time, I was astonished. How could such an intelligent guy say such a thing? Yet his conviction was impressive. The lights of the San Francisco Bay were glittering down below. Her name was Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and She was living in Hurst Green, near Oxted in Surrey.
With a friend from Pacific Palisades we went for a while touring with a trailer, escaping bears in the Yosemite National Park , getting lost in the rugged fiary of Bryce canyon, onwards to the Utah deserts, Mesa Verde and other fascinating arid landscapes of the South West. On the rim of the Grand canyon, I prayed for a rainbow and got a splendid one within five minutes. Things, at last, were going well. Back in California I met again my new Indian friend. He told me that, in the meantime, he had gone to London and the enigmatic lady had told him I should come to see her. I decided to check for myself.
I flew to the UK and called Her from a flat near Holland Park in London. The voice on the phone had a distant echo but was welcoming, calm and soft; I had the impression it came from far away, as if piercing through the whirling lavender clouds that I was visualizing in my mind.
I rang the bell, a servant opened the door. She came to welcome me in the hall, dressed in a white sari. I kissed her hand a bit ceremoniously, in contrast with my olive America jacket and worn out jeans. Years later she would still remember I was on occasion wearing Ray Bun sunglasses. She offered me some tea; there was a lovely statue of the god Krishna. We talked a lot. She said: “I will have to test you”; I laughed: “o you can test me”. I felt I would leave it to her, what could I do about it? I felt so free, with the relaxed confidence of a child because she exuded the unconditional love of a mother.
What follows this first encounter is narrated in a book called The Advent. It was, very literally, to be the discovery of the meaning of the Holy Grail.
In her home in Oxted, Shri Mataji showed me the first chapters of a book on the Creation, which left me spellbound. “This is fantastic”, I thought, “but it will fly above the heads of most people.” I wondered aloud whether someone should write an introduction to it. She gently invited me to go ahead. This became eventually a book that I wrote in Kathmandu, sending Her the chapters one by one. She would comment, explain and give Her advice. The postman bringing Her letters was always received with the brightest of smiles in my little house in Nagpokhari, behind the King’s palace.
Eventually, two years later, I returned to London and settled in Finchley for a time . I felt it would be much better if She would personally check the final manuscript. I was part of a small group of friends, keen to meet Shri Mataji whenever we could, and I had a good excuse for those visits as I was struggling with the writing of what had become a seemingly never ending introduction.
Living in William Blake’s Albion, England’s green and pleasant land, listening to Her revelations was the way it all started for me.
As for these writings of Shri Mataji, I understand an Opus Magnum is now in preparation; pages have been collected and a manuscript is being processed with a view to publish it in 2012.
On the 13th august 2011, I returned with a party of friends to the house in Surrey where we had met the great Avatar. This was the house where I had been welcomed with huge kindness, where I had experienced the Ambrosia, flowing from the top of my head and bringing a sacred bliss and delight to every cells of my being.
The trees had grown, the house looked a bit derelict, the whiteness and the light had gone, it all looked smaller and much more grey. Yet a pervading silence, still floating around, healed our poignant nostalgia.