21 Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect at a weekly meeting?
The meetings usually start with a short introduction to Sahaja Yoga Meditation at beginner’s level, followed by an explanatory video, a guided meditation session and finally a collective meditation workshop. Some sessions offer light refreshments at the end of the evening during which time there is further opportunity to mingle, ask questions and socialize.
Do I need to bring a Mat or wear special clothing?
With Sahaja Yoga Meditation we generally sit on chairs to achieve Yoga, effortlessly & spontaneously. As such no exercises (Asanas) are required, nor mat or special clothing. Just come as you are.
Do I need to pre-book or register?
There is no need to pre register for a weekly meeting. You are welcome to just show up to any session.
Do you need to be fit & flexible?
Sahaja Yoga Meditation does not involve any strenuous physical exercise at all. It focuses upon achieving Yoga through awakening the subtle energies within, which once awakened, naturally & effortlessly establish a remarkable state of deep inner meditation. This is all done whilst sitting comfortably on a chair.
Are the classes really free?
Yes, Sahaja Yoga is always free of charge. Sahaja Yoga is a non profit community charity registered in the UK. You may like to make a voluntary contribution towards the room hire, but there is no obligation to do so.
How long do classes last?
Typically classes last approximately 90 minutes. Sometimes light refreshments might be offered after a session.
Who runs the classes?
Weekly Classes are run by experienced practitioners, who offer guidance and help so that you can master the simple techniques in your daily life. They are all unpaid volunteers.
I’m a little confused; you mention ‘achieving’ yoga. Is this a meditation class only or is it also a ‘yoga’ class, i.e a form of physical exercise on mats to increase suppleness etc? Or both? – would love it if you would clarify.
Yoga is a state one can achieve. The idea of exercising or becoming supple to achieve Yoga is something, which has become popular in the West. Yoga exercises (Asanas) along with breathing exercises (Pranayama) might often be employed traditionally by a Yoga Teacher/Guru to help a student prepare and hone the physical body and attention to a point that one would be ready to receive ones awakening, sometimes called Jagruti, Self Realisation or Yoga. Sometimes this might be over a 12 year training period. Sahaja (Spontaneous) Yoga starts with the actualisation of this awakening and achievement of Yoga (which translates as Union). Hence instead of engaging in a 12 year process – one gets to taste the experience of Yoga effortlessly as a product of one’s pure desire to achieve it. Hence, no bending, stretching, exercises or poses are needed to achieve Yoga and enjoy the fruits of this actualisation.
So what is the point of Yoga?
Sahaja means easy and spontaneous. Yoga means union with the Divine – so this is what you get – an easy and spontaneous union with the Divine or all pervading power – whatever you like to call it. This is the aim of all Yoga even if today people have forgotten this point. The difference is that with Sahaja Yoga we get the experience straight away, in the present moment. It is all worked out effortlessly, all we need to have is the innate, pure desire to achieve this connection.
Can anyone do it?
Yes, the living energy within our being, which is key to true Yoga meditation, is usually activated in the first session. The basics of ‘how to meditate at home’ are also explained, so you will have everything you need to make a start. Questions are welcome and answered as clearly as possible.
Is there a need to keep attending weekly classes?
Most people report that they progress faster by attending the weekly classes on a regular basis. Some even attend multiple classes on different evenings to further nourish their organic growth. Also, the experience of meditation is often more enjoyable and powerful in a collective setting, as our individual attention can be strengthened in a collective setting. Ultimately, there is so much wisdom and knowledge to be gained. Each week you can learn about different aspects of the inner subtle system, chakras, the spirit, human evolution and practical tips and techniques to enable you to master and cleanse your own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. To become a master of any art, time, desire, love and patience are essential ingredients.
What is the value of the video extracts shown?
Most often the video extracts shown each week contain insights into different aspects of the subtle system, tips on overcoming unhelpful ego and conditionings, helpful observations on life, humourous insights into human behaviour etc. Most often the subtle effect of listening to these talk extracts can be felt on the palms of your hands, often felt as a cool wind, draught or breeze.
Who is Shri Mataji?
Shri Mataji can most readily be described as a Guru or teacher. During her life, Shri Mataji gave countless public lectures and interviews to newspapers, television and radio stations across the globe. With characteristic humility, she gave thousands of talks to packed audiences worldwide, in both modest venues and huge arenas. Whether speaking at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia, the Royal Albert Hall in London, sports stadiums in India, the United Nations in New York, or addressing crowds in rural villages, she continued to share her profound knowledge for free. It is extracts from these moments which we show each week so that everyone can experience Shri Mataji’s teachings first hand.
Why do some people seem to respect & revere Shri Mataji?
Shri Mataji is most often revered for her untiring efforts to spread the unique technique of spontaneous self-realisation, called Sahaja Yoga. This technique is always shared for free and promises a breakthrough in the individual’s awareness so that they are empowered to “Know Thyself” in a new and subtle way that brings understanding, guidance and ultimately spiritual liberation. In short, uniquely, Shri Mataji is tangibly able to ‘deliver the goods’ spiritually speaking.
When did Sahaja Yoga start?
On 5th May 1970, meditating on a beach at Nargol in Gujarat, Shri Mataji had a profound experience that opened the way for Her to start giving en-masse Self-Realisation and teaching Sahaja Yoga. Fulfilling many ancient promises and prophecies, She actualised a verifiable process by which seekers of truth could easily gain “second birth”, the direct connection with the Divine established through the awakening of the innate maternal spiritual energy called Kundalini. As a result of this happening, a person may know the deepest self and enjoy the silence and peace of true meditation. She often said: “There can be no peace in the world until there is peace within”.
I’d like to learn & teach Sahaja Yoga?
Shri Mataji always wanted individuals to become their own guru. Perhaps Her greatest achievement was to enable Her followers to pass on the same transformative experience that they had received, as one enlightened candle enlightens another. She charged no money for Sahaja Yoga, insisting that genuine spiritual enlightenment is the birthright of every human being and should be freely available to all who desire it.
Why did Shri Mataji travel the globe?
For more than forty years, and even at an age when most would consider retiring, Shri Mataji ceaselessly travelled the globe, addressing crowds of thousands, bestowing the experience and knowledge of Sahaja Yoga, thereby transforming the lives of millions.
Did Shri Mataji visit England?
For many years Shri Mataji lived in England, where She personally presented Sahaja Yoga programmes throughout the land in venues ranging from tiny village halls in Yorkshire to the Royal Albert Hall. Nothing was too much trouble for Her, as She laboured with supreme generosity, love and patience to give Her gift of Self-Realisation to as many as possible. She always started Her talk with the words: “I bow to all the seekers of truth”. Shri Mataji had a deep love for the British and all that is great about these Isles, their peoples and cultures, and would often emphasise the spiritual significance of England as the New Jerusalem prophesied by William Blake, describing this country as “the Heart of the Universe”.
Did Shri Mataji do any charitable work?
She was a compassionate philanthropist who established an international holistic health centre and a centre for medical research in Mumbai, along with a charitable foundation and refuge for destitute women and children in Delhi. A great connoisseur, patron and promoter of the Arts, She founded an international classical music and arts academy at Vaitarna, in India. She received numerous awards and commendations worldwide. Her great work of spreading Self-Realisation through Sahaja Yoga meditation in more than a hundred countries is ongoing and continues to enlighten and enrich.
Across the years another aspect which might be termed charitable work is the way Shri Mataji would attend on each seeker who came to her for guidance and help. In a very discreet manner Shri Mataji would often do a workshop with each and every seeker that came to meet her during which thousands of people obtained relief from all sorts of physical illness and sometimes psychological illness, as well as those who suffered everyday conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.
How can Sahaja Yoga help with world peace?
Through Her life, work and teaching, Shri Mataji established a living integration of all the great religious traditions, thereby laying a firm and lasting foundation for cross-cultural unity, universal love and world peace. Ayatollah Dr Mehdi Rouhani acknowledged Her as “the messenger of peace”, and Claes Nobel fittingly described Her as “avatar of the modern era”.
Why is Shri Mataji sometimes refered to as ‘Mother’?
Shri Mataji is a profoundly knowledgeable and inspiring spiritual teacher. She was an incomparably loving Mother, as much as a gentle guide and true guru to Her followers. Uniquely engaging, amusing and eloquent as a communicator, She could nevertheless be fearlessly outspoken whenever truth required it.
To those who drew in close to hear her message of personal transformation she was like a Mother gently raising and nurturing each individual in response to their own needs. Yet Shri Mataji all the while reminded all those in attendance that the impetus for individual ascent lay within.
Expressed within the sacrum bone at the base of the spine as the feminine mother Kundalini energy, She’s the one who responds to our pure desire for Her to awaken. It is due to this mirthful play that in the hearts of Her followers, as comforter, counsellor and redeemer, She is affectionatly regarded as the all-compassionate Divine Mother.
We hope these few words are useful and helpful for you on your journey of personal ascent.
You are welcome to join one of the Free weekly meetings in London