It has been a week now since we have come back from Cabella but we still wanted to share with everybody the experience of this year's Sahasrara Puja over there.
Where to start? Perhaps even it is a bit back to front, with Monday morning meditation on the stage. Mother's chair was covered in the most beautiful silk sari, the same colour as Mother's skin tone and decorated with red and pink roses. Over her chair was draped the sari the ladies had held during the actual Puja, in Mother's favourite colour pink, so bright and soothing at the same time and decorated with intricate details and yet more roses. Doing namaskar in front of Her chair and putting my head where Mother's feet have rested so many times in the past I could feel a coolness that confirmed Mother was there the night before too. And the sweet scent of flowers that always preceded Mother's arrival surrounded me, filling me with a sensation of immense joy and surrender.
Meditation was deep and joyful. Every now and then I would open my eyes and all I could see was the love with which our brothers and sisters had decorated the stage. On either side of Mother's chair were two columns of crimson red and white roses, from floor to the ceiling, so skilfully arranged they looked like stairways to heaven...although Heaven was already down there where we were sitting. There were beautiful bouquets of expensive flowers mixed with equally beautiful ones made of wildlife flowers picked in the fields round Cabella. Shri Ganesha was sitting at Mother's feet, his wrists and ankles sweetly decorated with small, colourful bangles and the smile on his face yet another confirmation that Mother had blessed us once more with Her Divine love.
The night before we had listened to a Sahasrara talk dating back more then 20 years in which Mother instructed us that we were now entering the second phase, a phase where She would not be there in person anymore but we would still see her, and we should not be surprised if this happened.
This was the first Sahasrara Puja in Cabella performed entirely in front of Mother's picture, in Her Nirvikalpa form I think they say. We were tentatively approaching every phase of the Puja, trying not to make a mistake, trying to please our Mother with our devotion. It was with compassion that we watched people who had in the past been so physically close to Mother hesitate slightly as they arranged a garland of flowers around her photograph and then bow down to the photograph in full faith. We all stood up and sang Swagata and Mother's Puja photo was carried onto the stage from the entrance She always used. The ladies who decorated Mother's feet and put perfume to them did so as if they were doing it for the first time, with similar devotion and love. Then the children offered the rose petals and brought joy to all the people assembled.
In the end, the Yuvas from all the hosting countries were asked to perform the Aarti and spontaneously they reached across to touch each other's right shoulder. It was all so beautiful it is difficult to find the right words to describe it in its full majestic power.
And then, after the meditation the ladies from from the hosting countries started to distribute the Prasad, and it kept coming and coming and coming!! They offered us fresh fruit and sweets and all sorts of homemade biscuits, and I am not joking there were tons of it, all made and presented with such love and humility. And after that they gave us presents, little bags of vibrated kum-kum, salt, cane sugar, oil and water, and beautiful photos of Mother with Mother's promise to her children printed on them, and hand crocheted doilies for our altars and small hand stitched bags containing petals from flowers Mother had personally vibrated, and lavander and soap...and so much I cannot even remember.
Then the music started to play and then we had fireworks and we wished each other Happy Sahasrara Day and it was one of the happiest days of our lives