H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi visits the Ocean in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. March 1990.
Crown of Thorns starfish
When Shri Mataji came up to Cairns to stay with us for a public programme, She was supposed to leave on the second day in the morning. However, She decided to stay and get a later flight and go out to the Great Barrier Reef. We got a jet-boat out to Green Island, a little island just off the coast, then She went on one of these semi-submersibles and put Her attention on the reef. I had been explaining to Her how the crown of thorns starfish was destroying the reef. It was in disproportionate numbers and it was eating the reef away. She said at that point She would put Her attention on it and they would just disappear.
During Shri Mataji’s visit, She met the mayor of the city, who told Her about an alarming problem that had the whole country concerned and which had worsened over the previous ten years. Due to the delicate nature of the ecosystem, the authorities had no biological or chemical solution to control the starfish, short of physically removing them. So the enormous reef was gradually being destroyed. Within our lifetime, little would be left. These starfish are very large and have a body about the size of a dinner plate. They have ten ‘arms’ that come out from the body and are all covered in thorns, which is why they are called the crown of thorns starfish. They live on live coral and what had happened over about twenty years was their numbers became plague proportions and they moved like a swarm over coral and they ate all the living coral polyps in their path and left the dead bones of the coral there. The scientists were worried that the Great Barrier Reef would die.
Shri Mataji told the mayor that once your powers are awakened through Self Realization you can have an influence on your environment. The mayor was a little sceptical. A day or two later news broke in Australia that something incredible was happening in Queensland. Without warning or explanation, tens of thousands of the crown of thorn starfish had been found dead, floating on the surface of the water above the reef. Shri Mataji just said we should tell the mayor to have more faith in his powers.
After Shri Mataji left, there was an article in the paper saying they just didn’t know where these starfish had gone to, but they had just disappeared.