MINUTES OF THE SAHAJA YOGA COUNTRY LEADERS MEETING Saturday 16th October 2010 Navratri Puja Meeting Cabella

School, Cabella, Italy Brian Wells, UK Coordinator Chaired the Meeting and welcomed everyone – The meeting started with a Meditation followed by each of the 33 attendees introducing themselves and the country they represented: Sweden, Australia, Italy, Russia, Greece, Turkey, UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cabella, Ireland, Peru, France, Australia, Canada There were 6 agenda items Agenda Item 1: PUJA PROTOCOL Brian – summarised issues and inauspicious behaviour that arose at Ganesha puja, SY’s had been horrified at generally disrespectful behaviour e.g. As Shri Mataji’s car arrived some SY’s banged on the window and took flash photos; Eating through the Puja – talking etc, the vibrations dipped; Crowded entrance & exit for Shri Mataji & family. National coordinators could not get to the stage due to photographers in the way. It was commented that some SY’s had perhaps not had the benefit of Shri Mataji guiding them on Puja Protocol. The traditional Puja Protocol wisdom had been lost and somehow we need to restore that and it was felt that Navaratri Puja would be a good time to do this. Pasquale – we have created a national gift to the world in the form of a booklet on Puja Protocol which we will distribute one copy to each person present at the Puja– Geoffrey described it. Geoffrey – This Souvenir Booklet was made up of extracts from Shri Mataji’s talks and not instructions from Sahaja Yogis and therefore incontestable. As you can read, Shri Mataji talked about historic Pujas to Christ and Mother Mary but as we forgot the intention behind it, understanding of Puja diminished. Everything has a symbolism to it, from grains of rice to offering the coconut etc. When we have the pushing and shoving we are letting ourselves down. As you can read, SM has advised that new people should not come to puja, if you are not equipped you start doubting and cannot take the vibrations, you may not be ready to receive them, vibrations cannot go back, so Shri Mataji has to absorb them. The idea is to help us get us to the state where we can more readily absorb the vibrations to relieve Shri Mataji from having to do this. Hopefully the photographs of the Devi’s feet will remind everyone of the subtle & sublime nature of Puja and how this is going to help resolve everything for them. The booklet will be given out before the Puja, at the registration desk, so everyone can have a chance to read it beforehand and be reminded and informed so as to help start the Puja auspiciously. It is hoped this may help evolve attitudes, and will need to be repeated over time to help re-establish a correct Protocol towards Puja. Peter – there are a lot of people who are unable to attend this Puja, so a suggestion is that the booklet should be included on the website so that for every single Puja throughout the year you have a link to this protocol page which is always available.

There were 5000 copies printed and some booklets will be left for distribution at Diwali and future Pujas. A PDF copy to be posted on the web allowing yogis to download the booklet. ACTION Geoffrey/Robert Alan – It was suggested that yogis/children should not be allowed in the car port area when Shri Mataji’s car arrives and leaves, allowing Mother and the family easy and dignified access (leaders to welcome Shri Mataji)– The front and the side of the stage should also be kept clear/cordoned off allowing easy access and respect to all around. It was requested that hosting countries and Yuva Shakti should implement and monitor this protocol for each Puja. The English have organised a security system to ensure these protocols are observed for Navratri Puja. ACTION Hosting Countries and Yuva's Pasquale – with regards conducting the Puja. Mr Nalgirkar’s sent an email stating that he did not quite understand the idea behind reducing the Aarti to one verse and Shri Mataji’s three great mantra’s being cut, when presentations went on forever. It was explained that wearing the crown for the whole of Aarti is one of the reasons it was cut down in the past, not to tire Shri Mataji unnecessarily. Furthermore there is a requirement to take off the regalia and saris that adorn Shri Mataji as soon as possible so She does not get too hot. Pasquale – reason for Sahaja Yogis losing attention during Puja is when leaders and yogis are on stage either making presentations or offerings, often obscuring views of Shri Mataji, this causes agitation and disturbances. It was suggested to prevent protracted present giving; offerings can be made off stage but in front of Shri Mataji: Of course the international/hosting countries present should be offered on stage as this represents an offering from the whole world. Brian – The difficulty is, since Shri Mataji has withdrawn, a lot of people use Puja to take the chance to be close to Shri Mataji. Understandable, as coordinators we have to help our countries to understand that it is not a party; it needs to be done in an auspicious manner. A lot of people see this as a festival; we have a responsibility to help people to understand this. Prasad is also not party food. There is a difference between a party atmosphere and an auspicious atmosphere. Robert – how do we actually implement these ideas, people do not listen. If you say: Do not let you child run behind the car they ignore it. This is the real problem; no one has established enough authority over the collective to get them to listen. It has to start in their own country where people are given at least minimum of instructions. The hosting countries should ensure that basic rules are adhered too, whether people sit in hangar or outside the hangar. People have to take notice of announcements. When it is someone else turn to hosting then they should be listened too also - this has to be communicated before everyone arrives. It is the prerogative of each group of hosting countries to deliver the Puja weekend and look after Puja Protocol in whatever way they feel is most effective. ACTION Hosting Countries Brian – asked Robert to send an email to Country Leaders setting these points out. ACTION Robert Majid – he thanked the UK collective for the excellent booklet produced and agreed that having the right manner is necessary for everyone. He felt that there was a question of

the stage not having enough room on it for everyone. He suggested some kind of extension to make enough room for everyone. Robert – going to suggest something very similar, collect the gifts before Puja in area next to stage and then people have to come and collect their gifts and give them in a proper dignified manner. ACTION Robert Robert - 5 or 6 members/leaders of the (Country Representatives - Council) to sit down separately and draw up recommendations. ACTION Robert Robert – if Shri Mataji decides to leave before present giving, there is a scrum, everyone just wants to get rid of their gift and go. All presents should be offered in a dignified manner even if Shri Mataji is not there to receive them personally. This should be borne in mind. Agenda Item 2: AUTHORITY OF COUNTRY LEADERS IN DECISION MAKING PROCESSEs Majid – There is a suggestion that the competency has been transferred to national leaders – what is the aim of the competency, what is our job? How can we integrate this into our national body? Currently we have 10 major projects around the world. We should use resources more efficiently at national level. Communications and action is needed internationally, to inform everyone what happens in Sahaja Yoga today. Majid suggested a meeting of national coordinators once a year for one or two days to communicate properly and have more time to share thoughts. Generally such meetings would be held in Cabella when Shri Mataji is in Italy which is easy for Europeans to attend but not for the rest of the world. Sometimes people from outside of Europe only attend a Puja once a year (distance and expense issues) so such a meeting should be organised for when we are able to get a bigger worldwide representation to share ideas and make decisions. Robert: three days before or after a Puja in holiday time would be good to have such a meeting. We could accommodate everyone in the school, rather than on a puja weekend. Maybe in August. Being altogether in Centrassi would be very good. Brian – It would be logistically difficult to bring together around 100 leaders, it is an excellent idea but really hard to execute, numbers are too big. We have to rely on email - just too many people. Majid – very correct… but today the Country leaders have the authority the power of decision making in Sahaja Yoga. If this gathering is looking after what ever we must do - it’s physically impossible to bring 100 people together, but we have the delegates who can represent from each country and they can feed back this interaction. ACTION Thoughts from Country Leaders. Duilio – recalled that there were discussions at Krishna Puja where we were give our thoughts to Dave Dunphy. Who are going to take global decision? Alan – At the request of the Country Leaders a paper was written on Governance –on how will SY be governed in the future? Inspiration and guidance was drawn from Shri Mataji’s talk at Guru Puja 2008 where She mentioned a Central Committee with around 10 people. As a result there was a proposal for the formation of a preparatory group to

develop terms of reference for an international body. At the Krishna Puja meeting leaders were asked to suggest members for this preparatory advisory group. Alan was requested to re-circulate these minutes. ACTION Alan Agenda Item 3: MARRIAGE PROCEDURE & PROTOCOL Robert - certain issues that are seen as pressing, marriages, puja protocol, there is only time here for a short discussion and we can conclude very little. Why don’t we give a mandate for a small group of people to investigate issues and report back? Geoffrey – as has been said earlier - each hosting country has a prerogative to guide the world collective when it gathers for International Puja’s. As Marriages often happened at Shri Ganesha Puja’s, facilitating them often fell into the Australian Collective’s lap. They have been looking after this responsibility. Hari from Australia – suggested that we should not go over the past but look forward to a find solution. The marriage committee only shuffle the papers around but Shri Mataji does everything. It would be better to have a collective process, we should have a committee with representatives from other countries and this should be formed before Christmas just in case there are Christmas marriages. Duilio – Italy. Personal information is given on the forms and he was not happy for other to see these forms. He said he wrote some very strong comments on these forms and was not happy for everyone to see them. Geoffrey – perhaps it is not the best thing for Yuva Shaktis to be a part of checking such things, those involved should have a depth of experience in life to do this. Whilst we may wish to benefit from the vibrational awareness of the YS, we have to consider what effect it may have on them as individuals, particularly when they themselves may reach a time of submitting a form. In the UK we have the idea that these documents are treated somewhat like a doctor would treat a patients records – in strictest confidence. Majid – The problem is we do not know who are the brothers and sisters working on this committee. This is a public matter we need transparency. We must know who is in charge of this committee and when the Sahaja Yogis send in forms they are carefully considered. We send this very precious information; we cannot accept the Yuva Shakti playing with this information. It is one of the most joyful ceremonies in Sahaja Yoga but must be very discrete. Have one representative from each country that we trust and be confident in them. Robert – there are practical problems, this is a long process, working near Shri Mataji, it does not happen in 2 days it goes over several weeks, and this is why a number of people get involved. We have to be careful. Pasquale – we have a marriage committee in UK of 3 people and we have to respect that the signature only comes from those people. The signature must only come from the authorised marriage committee. Majid: Suggested that leaders should have access to this committee anytime and have transparent communication with them, they will check all the forms. Every country should send their forms, as checking of the form is a big thing and they should be sent

early and on time. Discretion and confidentiality is to be maintained. Shri Mataji had asked Mr Nalgirkar to assist in this matter and we should indeed ask him to do so. It was proposed to get 8 to 10 people from the world collectivity - to have a committee – to evolve the situation and report back. ACTION Duilio/Mr Nalgirkar/Hari Mary – Canada. No guide lines have been issued, can someone sign for someone in their own family? Are there any rules about breaking a marriage, once, twice, etc.? We need some guidelines. Kim – Australia. Certain people try everything to get permission to get married - apply through separate countries – 2-3 fake forms submitted every time. We remain vigilant. Duilio – they had someone with a very bad past it would be nice to have a report of such people. Majid – the methods used by others should be circulated and communicated to everyone to give them the idea. Alan – question on disease, are people always truthful about their illnesses? Kim – there are doctors available who can help with any medical issues on a form. Agenda Item 4: UPDATE ON THE RUSSIAN SITUATION Basically things have moved on at a considerable pace in the last few weeks. Krishna from Russia gave an update regarding a recent meeting that had taken place in Genoa, Italy with Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Sir C.P. Shrivastava, Dmitriy Korotaev (with translators) and various other members of the Russian and International Collective and some members of the World Foundation. Krishna expressed that he thanked Shri Mataji for giving Her attention to Russia. He said being in front of Shri Mataji it is only possible to meditate and go thoughtless therefore afterwards we collectively and immediately got together to record what was said. Shri Mataji created SY for the emancipation of humanity and that there will be only love among the humans. It is very important that a Sahaja Yogi is free to exhibit himself and to take part in various Sahaj activities. And this is possible if the yogi will have freedom and liberation inside which is a basic of Sahaja Yoga. Power leads to corruption and destruction, absolute power is absolute corruption. There should be an honest and transparent way of elections like in India. And this method can be taken as an example and also other methods can be taken from the collective decisions. Dmitri has done a big work and now his tenure is completed. He has to step down from his post including the process of election and to pass it on to the new initiative group organization. The election can be conducted only when the collective will settle down and that they understood each other by means of love and when there will one big collectivity and not many groups. There is a need for a new regional and national committee to act on the behalf of the collective. Council is needed and must be only

for spreading love and must be focused on it. Russia is a big and great country and when the yogis will be collective and love each other then Shri Mataji and I will come to Russia again and again, often, it’s a promise. When I came to Russia last time we felt the love of the big collective of the yogis. Hari – all people are equal and allowed to develop in their own country, and will forward the Australian method of committee selection to a number of people in Russia. Majid, at Guru Puja there was a clear cut, collective decision, reached by the Country Co-coordinators for Russia but it was not followed, what is your suggestion of the communication of all this to Russians so they can really listen and remove any doubt and confusion in Russia. How can we help our brothers and sisters in Russia? Alan: Sir said Dmitriy Korotaev should step down and hand over everything to the new organisation. Sir C.P. gave such an inspirational heartfelt talk and every one at the meeting felt emotional. Sir requested that above all love and unity should prevail. Krishna – there is a collectivity in Moscow and more than 80% have come to this collectivity everyone is important and everyone has to participate in everything. It is important everyone is a guru; we have re-opened all centres that were closed, opened up the schools again. Opening one programme for the children and for the Yogini's who are not able to come to the programmes because of children. Ministry of Culture programmes are starting for all SY’s to come to. There were recently 5-6 programmes where 800 people came, it is all very successful. Agenda Item 5: BUILDING A MEDITATIVE MOOD BETWEEN COUNTRY LEADERS Vaibhav (Greece) – we should always check the vibrations before deciding things, feel what the Divine wants. Develop this and implement the same in our countries and people will follow this. We know we should check the vibrations but what does it mean? We have to develop our experience in this. ACTION Country Leaders Pasquale – experience gives you a certain amount of knowledge in the ways things are done. In your heart and mind you want to do what is best for Mother. In UK we see to it - see how you can - whatever you do - will work out the vibrations. With protocol and knowledge we have considered what would be the best to enforce – to help the vibrations, to offer the Puja in the way we have been given - because it will enhance the vibrations and also stabilise the whole Puja pendal. If we change the way we do things at the end then we all respect Mother’s privacy and also our brothers and sisters also. Agenda Item 6: ANY OTHER BUSINESS Geoffrey – this question is to Hari and Kim as they are our brothers and sisters who are nearest to Shri Mataji in daily life …..to perhaps say: How Shri Mataji is. Kim - the answer is how can we really know? Shri Mataji is following Her Divine plan. Kim then brought out some presents from Shri Mataji for everyone, vibrated water from washing Shri Mataji’s feet yesterday for everyone. Shri Mataji very kindly vibrated some oil, so each country can take some vibrated oil and finally SM vibrated some fudge and this was given out.

Robert – next year in June we will be opening a Vashi centre in Cabella in Centrassi - 25 people over the month of June only. This will be put out by Robert he is still working this out. Brian thanked Maureen Rossi (UK) for typing the meeting minutes Brian thanked everyone for their attention and attendance and brought the meeting to a close. Everyone did Namaskar. Jai Shri Mataji.