By Fr Joe Pereira
On the occasion of my golden jubilee of the priesthood, I have been able to meet and draw inspiration from people who have made a difference to the Faith Factor in the world.
Pope Francis with the request of my Cardinal Oswald had me concelebrate with him in his private chapel on September 15. It was a moment of Grace to be with a living saint.
Little did I realize that another surprise was awaiting me when I accepted to give a retreat to the all Malaysia WCCM (World Community for Christian Meditation) community in Pedang, Malaysia.
On my arrival at Kuala Lumpur I was told that Mata Mangalam, the successor of Swami Satyananda was willing to meet me. This was like a dream come true. I have always been closely associated with the Pure Life Society by reading their regular magazine but above all by the awareness that Dom John Main the founder of the WCCM got his inspiration from Swami Satyananda!
After paying my respects to his samadhi, I went to meet Ma Mangalam in her humble cottage. There were no words in those moments of stillness and Presence! Her sense of care and concern for the planet and the present day challenges to humanity expressed itself in every word she spoke.
She offered me a special tea prepared as per her combination of herbs. So delicious and so “Satvik.” In the advanced age of 91-93, she was keeping in touch with all the necessary parameters that are essential in the practice of Yoga. Seeing her sharing that special way of holding the body made me think of Guruji BKS Iyengar! He would have been so happy to see Matajie keeping herself so fit and active.
Her loving and protective staff especially her close attendant, Gita said,” If allowed, Mataji would even run around!”
I could feel the atmosphere of lLight and love in her little home. The school and the entire atmosphere emanated the warmth and glow of Mataji.
In the likeness of the founder Swami Satyananda, Pure Life has become a place to bring people of goodwill into one sense of belonging. I spent time in the Hall of Prayer and then visited the “hut” of Swamiji.
It felt the same as being in the Cave of Ramana Maharshi, Julian of Norwich, the chapel of Pope Francis, and the cave of St. John the Evangelist in Patmos.
That the golden Jubilee of my priesthood gave me this opportunity to experience the mystery of Transcendence and Immanence of the Divine within us and around us as i journey with the Community of Meditators whose founder got his inspiration from Swami Satyananda was definitely the hand of providence.
In many ways as I conversed with Mataji, like with Mother Teresa, I felt affirmed and inspired to keep serving and bringing a broken world into wholeness and holiness.
(Fr Joe Pereira is the founder of the Kripa Foundation, Mumbai)