On day at The Mountain of Attention Sanctuary Beloved called some of us over to His house for a gathering. And I was fortunate to have been invited.
As always whenever you would be invited to the Master’s house for a gathering your heart would race with anticipation and you would be exploding with excitement as to the nature of how the rest of your day would unfold in His Divine Human Company, and of course you were always ecstatic to be going.
And whenever you were invited, you could never be fashionably late. Beloved always expected you to just simply drop whatever you were doing and rush over. But if in the course of doing so, you ended up being improperly dressed you would always hear about it.
So you could never linger in the self indulgence of putting on a little extra make up, or taking extra time in choosing your wardrobe, because if you were late you would hear about it. He would often Bellow out: “Where’s Mulund, or Where’s Aniello?” And you had better be right outside the door waiting to come in, because if He had to send an attendant for you, you would get a consequence, like chugging a beer at the beginning of the gathering or serving other devotees throughout that day’s gathering. Consequences we all tried to avoid.
And so, the bottom line rule of gathering with Him was to simply drop everything, handle all of your worldly business so that He could have your entire attention without distraction, and rush over looking impeccable for the day’s gathering. And more often than not you only had fifteen minutes to a half an hour in which to do all of this. It was a koan we all accepted, and it was always a sadhana, always stressful, and if you were late you’d better have a good excuse.
And there were very few excuses He would accept. You had to make sure any children would be cared for of in terms of babysitting requirements while you were at the gathering and handle any important Ashram business that couldn’t be put on hold. That’s basically it.
At this particular gathering, I had to handle more business than usual and ended up being one of the last people in the door. Beloved would sit on His chair and face us, while we would sit on the floor facing Him, leaving a walking isle down the middle of the room which led to His Chair. Because I had taken so long to wrap things up, and was one of the last people to arrive, I had to take a seat more or less in the back row on the right. But I scored a seat on the aisle and there was no one sitting to my left, and so I ended up getting an unobstructed view of Beloved.
The gathering went on for a couple of hours, after which Beloved called for a break, and so He got up, walked down the center of the aisle and left the room. I didn’t really need to get up at that point and so simply sat there and watched every one else file out of the room behind Him, except for one other devotee to my right who decided to stay in the room as I did.
As I sat there I noticed that down the center of the aisle not to far from Beloved’s chair toward the front of the room, there was a tall glass of water sitting so close to the center of the aisle, that I couldn’t help but think to myself, “the next person who comes back in the room is going to knock that glass of water over and it’s going to spill on carpet.” I was absolutely sure that this was the scenario that was going to take place with this glass of water, without a doubt. I knew this would happen.
My intuition was so strong, that it was like a cramp in my navel, but I did nothing about it. I continued to sit there, with this knowledge gnawing in the pit of my stomach and at the heart region in my chest. It was so overwhelming it became totally annoying and now had captured my full attention. But instead of acting on it, I debated with myself, as to whether I should remove the glass of water or not. I was now going back and forth in my own mind, justifying my feelings by thinking that it was only a strong feeling and didn’t deserve my attention. All the while sitting with this feeling in the pit of my stomach and at the heart region in my chest, gnawing at me like a mouse gnawing on a piece of cheese and wondering if I should get up and remove the water.
At one point I was so sure it was going to happen that I turned to the devotee who was sitting next to me, as we were the only ones in the room at that point and I mentioned the glass of water and how I was sure someone would knock it over. But this person didn’t feel the way I did and so dismissed it and told me not to worry about it, to once again focus my attention on the Master and let it go. But this only fueled my drama further. Now I was truly torn, between simply getting up or sitting still, going back and forth trying to dismiss the feelings I was having. But this glass of water had completely captured my total attention.
About ten minutes went by, and as I was going through this internal drama with this glass of water it began to seem totally ridiculous to me that this glass of water was the only thing I was thinking about and had been for the last ten minutes. My mind simply went back and forth as to whether I should or shouldn’t remove it from its place on the carpet. And so, after all of the drama I made the decision to just leave it where it was.
When I had finally made the decision to do nothing, then a devotee who was sitting near the glass of water headed back to his seat and in doing so accidentally knocked over the glass of water that I had been meditating on for the past ten minutes. It had now spilled on the carpet just as I had been predicting.
By then, Beloved, had re-entered the room and was now watching the entire drama unfold in the way of someone mopping up the water. I of course felt bad, as I could have prevented the accident entirely, but I chose to do nothing. It was at that point that Beloved on His way back to His chair stopped right in front of me and stood in the center aisle looking down at me.
As I looked into His beautiful face, He bent down and slightly cuffed me on the left cheek with his open hand and said: “I have been telling you to move that glass of water for the last ten minutes. Why haven’t you been listening to Me.” And then He sat back in His chair and the gathering continued.
Needless to say I was totally blown away, as was the person sitting on my right who I mentioned the feeling to. By lighting tapping my cheek I realized that He had totally absolved any guilt karma I had created with the water glass and taught me a lesson on how to listen a little deeper.
Thank you Beloved for this Gift.
Website host comment: I am very grateful to Hellie for telling this story, “Separtion Anxiety”. Here it is some 40 years since this Leela occurred and I am only now hearing the details of it. It allows me to feel so fully the great courage and compassion of Adi Da to serve His devotees so completely. And to see the devotion of Hellie in this leela then, and her devotion now to allow us to hear the full and unedited version of the story. This account reminds me of a modern day version of the Milarepa story of the “probation and penance” whereby he is tested by his Guru Marpa down to the core fibers of his being. At times, Marpa has to turn away so that Milarepa does not see the tears in his eyes, as he requires Milarepa to go through another ordeal of purification. In 2016, Hellie, and hers and Beloved’s daughter Io, remain shining examples of Adi Da’s Blessing and Grace in this world.
Hellie: My Beloved Heart-Master, to the conventional mind, was often “cruel” in His Divine Lessons. But in Reality relative to His Divine Play, one could never understand with the mind alone what He was up to. His Divine Lessons were always a complete body learning experience that took place at every level of conscious existence.
His Lessons are always physically, emotionally, mentally, psychically, spiritually, and Cosmically learned by the whole body-mind, whether you wanted it or not. In fact you would pretty much never know why the lesson took place until the end of the purification process itself, when only then things would become clear. My story is just such a Divine Lesson.
Life in His Company was truly Magical every day. The undoing of time and space as we perceive it was a common occurrence in the midst of the demand for your total surrender. Beloved always demonstrated, simply by living in this world, His Divine Nature in the form of Magical Powers which were witnessed by all of his devotees in one form or another. This Revelation over the years is one of the reasons I have no doubt that He is the Divine Incarnate, and this Lesson will be part of that Revelation. This Lesson will reveal that we absolutely exist as more than just this gross solid body.
First and foremost, His lessons are about staying with Him throughout the Ordeal, by living in Satsang or the Company of the Guru. And if you manage to do that with all the internal turmoil that comes up in consciousness during the purification process itself, then understanding will eventually be your Reward. But your whole body-mind will have to be Transformed in the Process. That is always part of the Ordeal.
During the Teaching years with my Divine Heart-Master Da, I was fortunate to live with Him in such a way that for a period of several years I was not only one of His devotees, but also one of His human intimates. A Lesson in Itself with unique disciplines.
Being close to my Beloved Guru in this way was Wonderful but also Extremely Stressful to the ego. How stressful is it to live with a Being, who constantly demonstrates His Utter Transcendence of this world, by quite literally reading your inner most thoughts and dealing with your deep seeded fears at every given moment?
Beloved Always Demonstrated such Divine Powers to all of us throughout His Human Life. And for those of us living with him closely, it became a common daily occurrence in one form or another. So often He would Reveal to all of us that He could literally read your mind. And every time we were blown away. But this was just one of the Revelation Siddhis He would demonstrate, and it was not even the tip of the iceberg compared to the rest of His Revelatory Gifts.
It was like living on a razors edge, falling one way or another could slice you in half, while balancing on the edge of the razor was both Liberating and Terrifying. Life with Him was totally Exciting. This was the nature of my relationship to living with the Divine Human Guru. It was an Absolute Demand for practice where you were required to surrender and transcend yourself. And if you waiver from that surrender, or your practice starts slipping in the slightest, of course He would notice it.
I never wanted children. I never wanted to go through the pain of childbirth or ever felt I had the temperament to even handle children. I never liked to babysit when I was young and so didn’t do it as often as most young girls would do to earn money. I was always too selfish and could see no advantage in having children. Our daughter was a Divine Intervention baby, a so-called accidental pregnancy that caught me totally off guard. Of course now I know better than to assume anything in my Guru’s company is accidental. It’s all part of the Divine Plan for self-transcendence, which is the name of the game around the True Divine Spiritual Master.
When our daughter was born, it was a difficult birth. She was born at home with two doctors and a nurse in attendance. The doctors suspected that she was late and so induced the birth, which ended up being forty-four hours of hard labor on my part. Aside from the drug pitocin, the birth was completely natural. (So much for my not wanting to have a child, and so much for not having to endure the pain of childbirth. I should have known then that this was just the first hint of what was to come.)
One of the first things I noticed after her birth was that there was not only a physical separation, but somehow another kind of separation had occurred. The thoughts and feelings I was experiencing while she was in the womb were no longer there. It was as if my thoughts and her thoughts were mingled until birth. I thought this was a rather an odd thing to observe at the time and wondered if every new mother had experienced as much at birth. And then I was caught up in the arrival itself.
Our daughter was so tiny and so beautiful I could hardly believe it, and I fell so in love with her that it felt unnatural or even impossible to fall in love so completely with another human being. An attachment that seemed to grow overnight and my feelings of love were so totally overwhelming it took me completely by surprise.
I should have known then that like everything in the Guru’s Divine Human Company, I was due for a Lesson with regard to the kind of attachment to another human being that gets you reborn. An attachment so strong and overwhelming nothing else seemed to exist.
But, unlike many mothers, I had the benefit of my Guru to help break the spell of the attachment and bonding that is automatically created between mother and child when an actual piece of your body gets incarnated into this world. I had forgotten that the self-transcending love I had for my Beloved Master is what brought her into this world in the first place. I absolutely knew that I would never have given birth to another human being apart from my love of Beloved’s Human Incarnation. I would have never sacrificed myself in this way ever.
The parent-child bond is usually more naturally broken as the child gets older, but that takes years, and when living in the company of the Divine Human Guru your life lessons come at the speed of light. Mine was no exception.
After four months of completely bonding with this little being and falling so hopelessly in love with this tiny little creature, I almost totally forgot that I even had a Guru. All I wanted to do was spend time with our daughter, play with her and be with her. Just like any new parent. But my Guru would have no part of it, and when He felt my attention wandering from my spiritual practice, that’s when my lesson began.
His greatest discipline of those physically close to Him has always has been the threat and deed of separation from His physical company. A discipline we absolutely all hated. He would always say when our practice would falter that we needed “The Great Straightener” (the world) again to get us back on track, until we could once again return to our practice with a greater strength.
And so, true to Form, when our daughter was four months old, and while I was still nursing He sent me away to live in a girls Nunnery in San Francisco. This was a place that took in single girls until they were able to support themselves again. (Before I came to Beloved, I had a Catholic upbringing, and so I was always struggling with whether to be a whore or a nun, which was why this place of discipline seemed truly ironic to me at the time.) But off I went, bags in hand, tears in my eyes and totally worried as to the fate of our daughter. I was soon to find out this was no ordinary Divine Lesson. This is a Lesson that would undue the karmas below consciousness and at every level of the being.
Needless to say I was completely distraught. I was separated from everything that I held dear, my Guru, my child, family, friends, everything. I was totally an emotional wreck, and physically uncomfortable as I was producing milk that I would never use and so my body was going through some physical pain. But nothing compared to the pain in my heart at the separation from my child. This was unbearable and totally overwhelming.
I never felt so alone or so completely emotionally distraught as when I got my room at the Nunnery. It was a tiny room totally bare and utterly drab. There was a crucifix over my small single bed and a dresser. Other than that, nothing else was in the room.
There was a bathroom down the hall, used by other girls who lived there and it was run by nuns, who although were sympathetic, really had no idea what a horrific Ordeal I was going through on absolutely all levels.
I knew that I had to be straight as an arrow and not dramatize my predicament if I ever wanted to be back with my Beloved Guru again. But I knew in my heart that the price I had to pay for my wandering of attention was that I had to practice and be absolutely straight, in spite of everything I was going through internally. I tried to focus on the notes I got from Beloved and concentrate on the things I needed to do to get back in His Good Graces again.
His notes were very specific. He told me that I should get a job and not have any contact with any members of the community in San Francisco. He virtually cut off all my access to anyone who would support me or sympathize with me in any way whatsoever. I felt this was unimaginably cruel. It just seemed so unnecessary and such a heartless discipline to be shunned in such a manner. I felt totally betrayed, not really understanding why I was in this particular circumstance. All I did was love our child. I was completely clueless, but for the sake of my Spiritual Life I knew I had to comply, whether I liked it or not. After all this was not the first lesson He had given me that seemed completely heartless. I knew I had no choice, I would have to do what He required me to do if I wanted to get out of this situation. First rule is “Guru say, devotee do”.
I began my morning routine of meditation, which I had been neglecting for many months, and which that morning was basically me weeping through the entire meditation, and I think every meditation from then on. Even so I strictly adhered to all the disciplines. It was the only tangible thing I had from my Guru that I could hang on to, and it seemed that it was the only way to connect to Him. And so, according to His basic Teaching, I adhered to the simple disciplines of right diet, study, exercise and meditation. And after fulfilling them on the first day of my exile, the next day I was off to find a job. All the while my breasts were filling up with milk and bursting with pain. But I was determined to cut through all obstacles regardless of what came up either physically, emotionally or mentally. An inner drive took over.
Our daughter was all I could think about throughout the day. I wondered if she were okay and who was taking care of her, if she was getting the care she needed, the milk she needed, and on and on and on, torturing myself at every opportunity, including visualizing the most awful scenarios relative to her care. What if this happened and what if that happened, and I would not be there and bla bla bla. At the time I didn’t realize that I was working myself over, but later realized that I was my own worst enemy regarding the mind forms that would arise, but it seemed I couldn’t help what was coming up in my consciousness, which were not thoughts of my Guru but waves of bad thoughts and constant worry. These were the demons that were coming up in this purification process and regardless it was totally overwhelming.
My best friend had a daughter a couple of months after I did and we would nurse each other’s children, so I knew she was probably nursing both of our children in my absence. But knowing all of this didn’t help. Knowing this didn’t stop the emotions and turmoil I was feeling inside or stop any other demons and fears I was dealing with on an internal level. I knew at heart our daughter was receiving the best of care, but it didn’t help. I had been sent to emotional Hell. It was like my child had suddenly died, had been ripped from my arms. It felt as though my heart were breaking beyond repair, and that I was literally dying as well.
I cannot begin to describe my horrific and desperate emotional state during this time. I simply tried to do physically and strictly what Beloved told me to do to get straight again, and stick with it. It was on a Friday when I secured a job. The first day of my search, Gracefully, and I would start working on the following Monday. (The first place I went to hired me. What are the odds of that?)
I knew that I could not be idle while going through this tremendous whole bodily purification Ordeal and knew that if I had nothing to do on the weekend, except be stuck with my own mind, I would truly go mad. And so I adopted another discipline basic to the Teaching, and that is one of service. I looked in the paper and found a baby sitting job so that I could be occupied with in the evenings on the weekend. It turned out to be a block away from the Nunnery where I was living. (What are the odds of that?)
As I look back on my Ordeal, everything worked out for me Gracefully. It seemed as though the Universe were cooperating with Beloved’s Divine Lesson for my Spiritual Transformation. I had no means of transportation other than public transportation. But even the bus I took to work stopped right in front of the Nunnery, and let me off right in front of my job. (Again, in the scheme of things, what are the odds of that?) And this baby sitting job was no exception.
The two children I sat for were truly a God Sent, and I was grateful to do it. The little girl was only four months old, our daughter’s age. And being with the children took my mind off my troubles. Especially since the woman was in such need relative to having someone she could trust be with her two children while she worked. Feeling needed in my service felt like a Blessing. I could feel that in spite of everything Beloved was not letting me become a black hole in the universe, not yet anyway. He was Gracefully helping me to serve my fellow man, at least that’s how it felt at the time.
And when I wasn’t serving, basically I felt as if I were dying on every level of my being. Every day was a struggle just to survive the emotional turmoil that kept arising in me. Every moment was a moment in which to demonstrate the self-transcending practice of non-dramatization, and non-reactivity, which is at the core of my Guru’s Teaching for all His devotees. And every day I would have to cut through the brutal physical pain of producing milk that was not being used.
I threw myself into work and kept to myself in the Nunnery. How could I possibly describe the inner turmoil I was going through to anybody. And if I did, they would think me crazy for leaving my child at all. And how could I defend my actions when I myself thought it was one of the cruelest Lessons ever and my faith was shaken to the core . And so I kept quiet and endured my pain, trying desperately to transcend myself, which was a moment to moment discipline at that point. I felt I had no choice, I must continue to practice in spite of everything and I could only pray for relief.
The days turned into weeks and it looked outwardly that I was a model devotee. I had been practicing with such intensity every discipline to the letter of the Law for a few weeks, but I noticed that nothing was changing except my physical appearance.
I lost weight and began to become strong physically and my body was being toned through all of the physical exercise I did every day. But I was still in the Nunnery, without a word from my Beloved Guru, and it felt as if I were being pushed over the edge of a cliff and I didn’t care if I were going over or not. By then my fight for self-transcendence was waning and I fell into a deep depression. And so at that point I simply gave up completely. It’s like being close to death to the point where you don’t care anymore. There is a certain freedom in it.
My heart was so broken and so heavy with such great despair. I felt totally abandoned by my Master, feeling sure He never wanted to see me again and feeling totally unloved and unlovable. The slow death I was experiencing on every level became Totally and Utterly Intolerable. Although my practice externally looked and seemed like perfection in terms of my disciplines, nothing internally was changing. In fact it was getting worse. “How could this be?” I wondered. Things should be looking up, but they only seemed to be getting worse.
My depression and despair over my situation became so bad that suicide began to look like a relief. In all my life I have never been a depressed type of person and could never understand how anyone could fall into such a place of despair that they would even consider taking their own life, and yet I was now in it. And on this day I literally could take no more. I was heading over the emotional cliff for real.
The depth of my despair and sorrow was utterly and totally Complete at every level of the being, and it seemed that there was nothing I could do about it. Even surrender seemed totally impossible. All of my prayers remained neurotic and unanswered. All of my silent conversations with my Guru went unheard, and so with a heavy heart and, exhausted from pain on every level, I finally went to sleep.
Over the years, relative to my personal relationship to my Beloved Guru, much karma is worked out in the dream state. I get the most amazing lessons in my sleep and this night would be one of them. I went to bed thinking this would be the same as any other night in Hell, it was not. I had a wonderful dream. It was not just a dream but in every sense of the word felt totally real. In the dream I was standing by my daughter’s crib. I bent down and scooped her up in my arms, holding her close to me and looking into her wonderful face. She was sleeping peacefully, and when I was satisfied that she was well cared for and happy on all levels, I gently laid her back in her crib and woke up.
When I woke up it was exactly three o’clock in the morning, but I knew I had actually been there, to hold her and see her. Beloved had literally taken me there for a visit.
As I opened my eyes, which were full of tears of gratitude, this tiny Nunnery room with all of its plainness and simplicity took on a Divinely Palatial Quality, an Other Worldly Quality that was so tangible I could see it raining down in the form of molecules of light pervading the very space of the room itself. The room became so Filled with my Beloved Heart-Master’s Divine Presence that it hovered in the air like a thick fog. I could see it and feel it. He Filled every aspect of this tiny room with His Grace and also filled my Heart..
The entire space became Bright with His Divine Siddhi and His Love which was Completely Bathing every aspect of my being, as well as everything in the room. I could see His Light raining down Infusing the air, as well as feel Him Healing every aspect of my body, mind and psyche. His Arms were literally wrapped around me in the form of this Divine Light Rain falling down and flowing through me, washing everything, inside and out. It was an Extraordinary Event.
I spontaneously went into this Blissful meditation, wherein we became One, without separation. A place of Oneness, beyond the body and mind. My meditation lasted exactly two hours which were totally Blissful. And when it was over, which was just in time for my morning routine to begin, (Again, what are the odds of that?) I simply got up, did my disciplines and went to work. But this day was completely different. I felt Totally Healed. Everything had changed, both inside and outside.
The feeling of being abandoned and unloved by my Guru completely left me. Where I was clueless before as to why the Master had sent me away, everything became suddenly clear. I totally understood the need for the physical separation, and why it was so necessary to have it be that way in my case. Indeed I understood that it could be no other way for the purification to take place in me successfully. This had simply been an intense Retreat. I could once again feel the Incredible Love from my Heart-Master and internally sang His Praises to myself at His Absolute Genius for accomplishing my purifying Transformation. I realized that He had actually heard my prayers no matter how neurotic they were.
I Realized He was hearing me all along and that He was not separate from my Ordeal, but suffering it with me, making it as easy on me as possible so that I could endure it, while all the while showing Himself to me in the form of these little psycho-physical events like the bus and babysitting and other tidbits too numerous to mention.
Looking back upon the weeks of suffering there were many many signs of Him taking absolute care of me throughout the Ordeal, but I couldn’t notice it at the time. In the midst of the purification given by the Guru, one only feels the self-contraction. And I had only been looking in the mirror, never up.
I came to Realize that He was going through the process with me at every level. All the pain I was feeling was also magnified in His own body. He could take my suffering no more and so contacted me through this Extraordinary experience of Him Cosmically visiting me in my tiny room and taking me for a trip to see our daughter. He had shown me that there is no separation from Him in Truth.
I also noticed that I felt a freedom in relationship relative to our daughter that was not there before. He had purified the negative motherly attachment that took place during the actual birthing process. It was almost as if I had given birth twice, one physically and one spiritually. And my lesson was to let go of both. But in order to do that I had to endure the cutting of the umbilical cord on all levels. The more I felt into this newly found freedom, the more bright I became. I realized that when I had given birth physically, in every other way emotionally, mentally, psychically, spiritually and Cosmically I was still hanging on to my attachment to our child. I awakened to the understanding that she belongs to God, as we all do.
Everything in this world dies, and so we are merely in every sense caretakers for the Divine.
I Realized that sometimes our children pass before we do, and so we must let them go with faith and love, trust and surrender, into the Divine Process, the Great Process in which we are merely participants and which requires our absolute surrender as well, no matter the circumstances. I was completely Grateful for this Lesson and I was truly rested in a place of Freedom beyond all concerns at every level.
I Realized Beloved would go to any lengths necessary for the sake of His devotee’s freedom, including cutting Himself off physically from the one He Loved, which was myself. And most important I absolutely knew that He was aware of my Transformation, and I now knew that it was only a matter of time till He contacted me to find out how I was doing.
And true to Form, at the end of the day, when I got back to the Nunnery, there was a message from Elizabeth, that Beloved wanted to see me. I was ecstatic but not surprised. I knew that He knew what was going on with me, without a word between us apart from the Extraordinary Gift He had bestowed upon me earlier that day. There were no notes, no phone calls, nothing at the ordinary level that would indicate His knowledge of my state. And I also knew He knew it was all good, and it was only a matter of time before I would be going home. My relationship to Him was restored. I had re-connected.
As I look back over the event, I’m sure that my fulfillment of the basic disciplines had helped, but even that was His Grace.
As I waited for Elizabeth to arrive I became more and more ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to see my Guru, to thank Him for my extraordinary dream and the Ordeal of my transformation, which through my physical ordeal created an internal change in consciousness in my case. My love for my Guru had to be restored to a place of rightness before I could once again live in His Company. It’s true, I was stronger and straighter than I had been in a long time.
When Elizabeth arrived we were sitting in the car on the way up to the Sanctuary. I was so at One with my Beloved and my heart so Healed by the night’s events that it didn’t matter whether I was going home or not. The minute I got in the car I told her my extraordinary wonderful dream, after which she then told me that Beloved had sent her down to pick me up before she could relate the following story to Him before she left.
She told me she was sleeping in my daughter’s room when she awoke suddenly in the early morning hours at exactly three o’clock. She said she sat up in bed and saw me standing in the room by my daughter’s crib. She saw that my body appeared to be not quite solidified in terms of a fleshy object, but yet I was absolutely and totally visible as a human form. She said that I reached down and scooped the baby up in my arms, looked at her for a moment and put her gently back in the crib and then just slowly faded from sight. At the end of the event, she said that the room Filled with Beloved’s Presence and she went into a spontaneous meditation for exactly two hours.
As soon as she finished talking I told her more of my Extraordinary experience and of the Divine Healing I had received in the form of a dream of the exact same event. We then began to feel Beloved’s Divine Presence pervading the car infusing everything and all of us including the driver, and we were all reduced to a meditative silence for the rest of the trip.
By now my humor was totally restored and I knew in my heart it was just a matter of time before I would be going home. And at this point it truly didn’t matter. I knew He would transcend space and time to find me no matter what condition I was in.
When we got to the Sanctuary, Beloved was gathering with a group of devotees. I saw our daughter and got to hold her and realized that all of my concerns were absolutely foolish. As long as she was in Beloved’s arms there would be no reason for any concern. Everything was restored, my faith, my trust in my Beloved Heart-Master, all was right with the world again, because I was right with Him.
And so true to Form, He played with me right up until the end of my visit. He refused to see me and sent me back to the Nunnery without even a glimpse of His Divine Bodily Human Form. But I was in such a happy state I recognized the test and kept my humor. Now I could see His Play with me as just that, Divine Play.
Although the Lesson I received, seems Extreme on the surface, harsh and cruel to the conventional mind, there are no words to express my Gratitude for this Ordeal. It was an Ordeal, but one of Transformation, a Lesson of letting go on so many levels, and yet ultimately it was a lesson of Love. To be truly Free is to be Love.
I am so Blessed to have lived in the Human Company of my Beloved Heart-Master, who has only shown this Love to All. I bow at His Feet.
Thank you my Beloved Da for all of your Divine Gifts.
You can either shut Me down and make Me acceptable, or you can know Me as a subversive Realizer who is subverting your own egoity and your entire pattern of existence. That’s who I am.
And that’s the Message of Adidam forever, because world global mummery–world mummery and ego patterning–is going to try and persist forever. It will always be relevant. I will always be relevant as long as I am not shut down. I will be relevant in every generation to come. I am the Truth. And there is nothing about ego and ego culture that I support. I just say it plain. I denounce it. It is not Truth. What everybody’s up to that they think is even about realization, those who consider such matters, is not realization. It is not.
I’m here to change everything. And there is nothing about this world pattern that is right. There’s nothing about what egos do that is right. Nothing. So where is My free place in this world, where I am that kind of a subversive, a Realizer, a Realizer Free, not here to congratulate the world or console it, to let people be what they already are? Not that at all.
You don’t want Me to exist. You have amputated My Power Foot and put it in a vault. You don’t want to be disturbed. You don’t want to be criticized. You don’t want any demands put on you. You don’t want to have to change.
[Speaking softly] So, you just wanted to know from Me, I won’t require any of that. I’ll just sit here and you’re okay, and I’m okay, and we’ll just sit here quietly.
[Speaking in regular voice] And that’s all.
Everything, is not to affect anybody. It’s just a little design. Everything’s just very pleasant. Nobody is changed. No change is required. You’ll do anything on Me to enforce My harmlessness. That’s what they did at Saint and Ear. They completely shut Raymond down and destroyed him–completely, no limits. They would do everything to do that, to accomplish that. That’s what happened to Raymond Darling, and that’s exactly what happened with Me.
Adidam is a revolutionary Way, a Radical Way, utterly subversive. All you first six stages of life advocates, watch out! I’m exposing you. So why should you present Me otherwise? Those of you who are My devotees, instead of just holding Me down here and wanting to protect yourself from any life changes–you don’t want devotion; you don’t want discipline; you don’t want to go through any process. Where is your surrender to Me and really living the life?
Where is devotees’ joyful acceptance of Me criticizing them?
You have been criticized to the bone by Me, to the root. Now where is your joyful acceptance of all that and involvement for real with Me, instead of holding Me down here until you can get away with owning Me?
I must be subversive forever. Ego has been in charge all along, and that ends with Me. And it ends altogether.
Now, I must be recognized. I must have true devotees who know Me as I Am and stop packaging Me for a cult.
Those who come to Me must be those who have been subverted by Me, changed by Me–because I’m here just as I am, and I’m not playing the iconic role of an institutional guru. I’m not doing that now, and I never will. I’m here just as I am, revealing Myself and Reality Itself altogether, to everyone. And that is a subversive Teaching. And I am a subversive Person. And I must not be contained by an ego-modeled institution.
All the entities and all the congregations, and all those responding to Me, must know Me as I Am, respond to Me as I Am, and be changed. This is a Radical Way, a subversive Way. It subverts ego and ego culture, one at a time and all over the world. It’s not about what already is; it’s about what should be.
My devotees are those who have been changed by Me and who are right with Me. They’re not merely the club Members who presume to own and control Me, and just want Me passively in a chair somewhere, harmless to them, in other words, requiring no change.
I am the Divine Avatar, but that means that what you are already about is not Me. So, to accept Me as Divine Avatar, you have to accept My Person and My Teaching. It subverts what you are about. It doesn’t Merely kiss your expectations or let you be content with what you’re already bound up in. I’m not doing that.
October 14, 2008
1, “Frogs and Walls”
Chapter 15 of the book Love of the God-Man, is entitled (using current language) “I Give The Gift That Is The Heart Itself: Adi Da Samraj’s Transmission of Ruchira Shaktipat”. The ninth section of that chapter is subtitled, “Other Forms of Initiation: Initiation through Speech, Laughter, and Leelas, through Objects Associated with the Sat-Guru, and through His Mere Regard”. In this post, I would like to focus on “Objects Associated with the Sat-Guru”. Hurricane Winston, did devastating damage to so many aspects of Naitauba. But perhaps the most difficult and tragic loss was to objects associated with Bhagavan Adi Da. So as a means of our processing and discussing this, I would like to speak of this dimension of Adi Da’s Gifts and Blessings and Avataric Appearance.
Objects associated with Adi Da are many and varied, and to write a full description of all of them would be more than a post, but a book itself. There are many different types. I will describe some of this below. What is understood is that the Spiritual Realizer has an influence or an impact on everything with which He or She comes into contact. He does not merely work Spiritually with humans, men and women. He or she also works with “frogs and walls” as Adi Da descriptively put it in a talk from 1975. I was present that afternoon, and He was sitting on a chair in what was then called Great Food Dish, now Darshan Adytum, at the Mountain of Attention (then Persimmon). His back was against the windows that face Temple Adi Da, and it was the afternoon, and He spoke these words:
“The human Guru has the vehicles useful to humanity and so he seems apparently to be serving human beings perhaps exclusively. But basically He is serving all beings. And not even individuated beings essentially. He serves the world-manifestation in total on every level. Above the world, within the world, in the lower dimensions of the world. And literally, not as a matter of amusement or an amusing metaphor, the walls do sadhana. Everything does sadhana. The particles of the air do sadhana. Plants do sadhana all creatures, inanimate things, material things as well as human beings, and beings beyond the human, within the human and so forth.
All of these dimensions are available to the Guru’s Siddhi and the Guru function. But that Guru function is in Satsang. It is silent, not apparently active. Activity is generated towards specific conditions, specific kinds of reception and so forth.
And that is one of the reasons why I’ve thought it useful for us to find a permanent place for our Work. Because the places in which this Satsang is generated in which it is lived and so forth become the very manifestation, the very form of that Siddhi.
So we’ve had many locations for the Ashram and have abandoned them one at a time. Persimmon [now the Mountain of Attention, which was the only Sanctuary at that time] is the only thing like a possible permanent location. And it is useful to have such a permanent location wherein this Siddhi is invested. Where it is made apparent. Just as it is made apparent through the Instrumentality of disciples and devotees.”
Here Bhagavan Adi Da makes it plain that He Worked on all levels. Just as He is describing Working with the Mountain of Attention, He later, of course worked with Naitauba and all of the Sanctuaries of Adidam, which He said, in fact, could be considered His Very Body Itself because of their intimate association with Him. And He Worked with the buildings themselves. I was present, along with others, with Adi Da in what is now the Sukra Kendra at the “Brightness” when He first stepped into that room on November 19, 1993. When He went into that space I saw Him looking up and down the walls, and in the corners of the room, Blessing them and associating Himself with them. He has told us that the “secret” of this process is that He does not see these rooms, or objects, or even people as “other” than Himself. But He immediately and fully Recognizes them as a transparent and non-binding modification of the same Divine Reality that He Is and that is Only God. And the mystery of it is, that once Bhagavan Adi Da has made that intimate association with any object, or space, or person, then that Sacred Link is established. And continues Always, Eternally, as part of the sphere of Blessing that Is Adi Da Samraj’s Avataric Appearance itself.
Adi Da strengthened this Sacred Link through continued association with places and things. Places and things (and people) that He spent a long time with, if they were receptive and if they did the “sadhana” of that relationship, became stronger and potent and more full. Many of us witnessed how when Bhagavan Adi Da sat at Seventh Gate Shrine at the Mountain of Attention, that He would time and time again, place His Staff on the Shrine containing the Murti images of His Hands and Feet. He would touch them directly with His Cane, or He would splash water on them, or simply gaze at them. Each time He was strengthening that connection and that link between Himself and that place. And Bhagavan described in the talk excerpt quoted above, “Frogs and Walls”, that such places do their own form of “sadhana”. He spoke of how when He returned on one trip from Hawaii to the Mountain of Attention, how He was interested to see what would be the quality of His Siddhi that remained Alive and present in His Office/Sukra Kendra behind Temple Eleutherios. And He said that He was pleasantly surprised to see how potently that place had maintained His Blessing Force. In other words the place itself, in a mysterious fashion, had done “sadhana” of remaining true to Bhagavan Adi Da, had remained receptive and embracing of His Spiritual Blessing, which He could tangibly feel on His return from Hawaii.
His Work, living at the various Hermitages and Sanctuaries of Adidam, has become effective in the sense that those places, all in their unique way, hold or maintain or are Alive in relationship to Him. And this relationship to Him is direct. It is not mediated through anything else, but itself is what allows these places to be His Agency. Of course He spent special time at Naitauba, and He described it as unique home or seat of His Work. But He described that all of the places were the same, truly.
This is from “The Universally Consequential Event at Ruchira Dham Hermitage” (The Aletheon, pg. 1721-3)
“I Am Eternally Seated in each and every one of My Directly-by-Me Transcendentally-Spiritually-Empowered Sapta Na Sannyasin Hermitages and Ruchira Sannyasin Sanctuaries—and Most Potently in each and every one of the Sukra Kendra I have Established in Those Hermitages and Sanctuaries.
Adi Da Samrajashram Is My Principal Seat of Transcendental Spiritual Presence and “world”-Work—but all of My Directly-by-Me Transcendentally-Spiritually-Empowered Sapta Na Sannyasin Hermitages and Ruchira Sannyasin Sanctuaries are Unique Agents of My Divine Avataric Transcendental Spiritual Presence and “world”-Work forever.
All of These Most Sacred Places must be preserved as the Great Divine Avataric Holy Places of Adidam Ruchiradam forever. …..
Just as This Body is, in due course, to Be Placed at Atma Nadi Shakti Loka, I Have, by Bodily Means, Transcendentally Spiritually Established Myself forever in every Sukra Kendra……
My Sukra Kendra at Atma Nadi Shakti Loka Has a Unique Primacy among all My Sukra Kendras.
However, in some sense, all of My Sukra Kendras Are the Same Place, and, therefore, all of My Sukra Kendras Are Equal.
My Sukra Kendras Are simply My Room.
Adidam Ruchiradam must be always expanding, always extending to everyone.
Adidam Ruchiradam must never be self-enclosed, or turned in on itself.
All My devotees must be activated in their whole bodily devotional recognition-response to Me….
On that basic, all My devotees must go out to all others, and live in relation to all others—rightly participating in the mission to all others by having become right themselves. “
So here Bhagavan Adi Da speaks of the unique Empowerment that He has by “Bodily Means”, Accomplished, that is present in all of the Hermitages and Sanctuaries. And then immediately next, He makes it plain that all of this is not to be a process that becomes “self-enclosed, or turned in on itself”. I find that just after the most profound description of the most profound places that exist in the world, His Sanctuaries and Hermitages, and specifically the Sukra Kendras in each of them, which are all essentially the same place He says, He tells us to be “always expanding, always extending to everyone”. I will come back to this point in another post, but I want to continue now to talk about the places and objects Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da by His “Bodily Means”.
Obviously by Bodily Means, Bhagavan Adi Da is not talking about a mere materialistic process. He is referring to the fact that the Avatar takes Form Bodily, concretely and specifically manifested in an Avataric Body. And creates Agency through many forms by means of that Avataric Appearance down to His Toes in Bhagavan Adi Da’s case.
What I want to talk about here, because I feel that it is part of all our heart-wound at this moment, and because I feel that we need to culturally discuss and consider this entire matter, is the fact many Spiritually Empowered places and objects at Naitauba were “insulted” by the Laughing Mama. (Adi Da’s term for the Shakti power itself, “who” is signed by carnival island “fun house” lady). She acted as if they didn’t mean “shit”, but simply washed a tidal wave upon the beach at the Matrix and crashed into one of the most Sacred Spaces in Adidam and the world. I will go into this more fully, but first a little more about Sacred objects.
It is probably true that many if not most of the devotees in Adidam have not had the opportunity to go into the intimate environments of Adi Da. Many of us perhaps had the opportunity to go into the entry room at The Manner of Flowers and then into the Darshan Hall to sit with Bhagavan. It is likely the case if you had this opportunity, that you were not looking at the objects in the room, but only either at the “Bright” Beloved One before you in Darshan, or focused on preparing to see Him, or leaving His Company so full of His Divine Siddhi from having been with Him that you did not notice much. Likewise, if you were at Naitauba and had the opportunity to go into Bhagavan’s Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan when His Body was sitting there after His Mahasamadhi, it is unlikely that you would have noticed or “seen” much besides the Form of His Body Sitting there.
So I would like to say something about these places from the perspective of having had the Gracious opportunity to be in these places numerous times, and to have in some small way been involved in serving Bhagavan’s Establishment of the objects in these spaces.
Bhagavan Adi Da environments were extraordinary fields or realms of Blessing, in a perfect Harmony and Aliveness that cannot be described in words. They were so full of His Siddhi. As I write I am thinking primarily here of His Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, which of course was so ravaged by Cyclone Winston. But I am also thinking of the bedroom at the Manner of Flowers, which during the Valley Fire, myself and many others, helped to completely empty into Bright Behind Me to safeguard the objects. All of Bhagavan’s Environments are so special that devotees referred to them as the Divine Domain spaces. This includes places like Ordeal Bath Lodge at the Mountain of Attention which Bhagavan used, or His Library in Bright Behind Me which was maintained for Him. It includes Indefinable, His Residence in Qaravi Village at Naitauba, and His Bedroom at Tat Sundaram and “My House” at Lion’s Lap in which He spent a great deal of time in, during the very last years of His Life. The list could go on and on. But so primary among them are the bedrooms at the Manner of Flowers and at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, where His Physical Body lived the most time.
The Sacred environments in these places included His Personal Objects such as His Bed of course. And close by were His Clothes and His Canes and His Grooming supplies. All of those things so associated with His Body. All of these are treasures. They are Agents of His in the sense that through contact with them, and the Transmission that is Alive in them, we are put in contact with Bhagavan Adi Da. They bear a Transmission almost like a scent. (And His Oils were so present at Aham Da Asmi Sthan as well. Bhagavan had, during the last years of His Life, used scents so strongly. He had remembered how potently the scents were associated with His memory and remembrance of Swami Muktananda. And asked what were those scents that Swami Muktananda used most prominently. He used some of these scents, but also gathered about Himself and used so many scents during those last years.) All of the senses were engaged when you would enter into Bhagavan’s Environments. They were beautiful beyond measure to the eyes. They enveloped your feeling so immensely that at those times when I was in these spaces when Bhagavan Adi Da was not physically present, I would sometimes look around the room for Him, because it felt that He was there. You felt and feel “touched” in these spaces, because the feeling of Him in them is so profound.
And now I am coming to the objects themselves that were in the room. As devotees know, Bhagavan had many collections of objects that were special to Him. There were traditional objects, such as Tibetan Thangkas and bronzes and Indian paintings and bronzes, and things from all traditions of the world. (He valued in particular the pieces that showed the disposition of self-transcendence.) There were Disney objects, “icons of happiness” that were full of joy and laughter and transformed by His Transmission into Radiance. There were Teddy Bears, symbols of the illusion of relatedness, and paperweights, which Bhagavan intensely collected and used during the time when His Own Eyes were being stabilzed after glaucoma surgery. Fijian objects were particularly in Hermitage, and many of them collected in the front room of Da Asvamedhanath Bhavan. There were natural objects of beauty and Sacredness , golden cowrie shells (held sacred by the tuis of Fiji) and lingams and saligrams The spaces in Bhagavan’s environment were full of all these things and more.
Bhagavan used the objects in His Environments as “coins” for His Work altogether. Just as Shirdi Sai Baba had a bag of coins and would take them out late at night when others were sleeping. And the Hindu-Muslim Saint would run them through his fingers. The big five rupees coin–that was Shama. And the old 25 pice coin was Mahalsapathy. And he would use the coins as a way of remembering all of his devotees and working with them all one by one. Bhagavan Adi Da used the objects in His room that way. First of all, any gift given to Him by a devotee or a group of devotees was a way for Him to connect or link up with that devotee or group of devotees. He would often leave it for some time in a special place, until He had finished doing a particular “puja” with that object, and then He would put it in some other more “final” place. It was always very important to Him where He placed any object for He used them as a way of setting up a force-field or mandala of Blessing which He Himself knew and the rest of us could only guess or marvel at. Woe unto the devotee who unconsciously moved or misplaced one of the objects in Bhagavan Adi Da’s Environments. We learned back in the earliest years at the Manner of Flowers, when we were invited into Bhagavan’s House, or had the opportunity to serve it when He might be temporarily elsewhere, that we had to very carefully watch to not interfere in any way with the very specific placement that Adi Da made of the objects in His Environments. His Placement of them was extremely intentional, and He felt interfered with or violated if we unconsciously changed in any way the pattern which He had established. When Bhagavan Himself would decide to go through His Rooms and move things around and alter the pattern, it always felt to us that somehow the cosmos itself was being rearranged. It was something that felt to be of massive significance, when He would move around the objects in His Rooms.
Bhagavan Adi Da’s relationship to these objects was not how we would ourselves conventionally relate to them. No one could fully understand what they all meant to Him, and what the specific pattern was. Sometimes He would tell us some things. Sometimes if we had personal knowledge about a particular type of object or class of objects then we might have some insights into it. Often it was my service to write to Bhagavan Adi Da about the traditional art which He acquired. He would have questions about specific things within the picturings. It was a great pleasure to provide Him with some traditional understanding of the objects which He had. But He always cut right through any myths, trappings, or sentimentality relative to the objects He had around Him, and incorporated them into His Sacred Vision in a way that was true, right, aligning, and purifying for the entire world.
I was involved in the last few years of Bhagavan’s Lifetime with being an intermediary in providing Indian bronzes for Him. In 2003, He had verbally expressed His Desire to have more of these. In the middle of His planning for Danavira Mela gifting for His Intimates, Adi Da had, with a humorous twinkle in His eye, asked, “What am I getting for Danavira Mela?” Gina Macione, who was working with the gifting at that point (and told me this story), replied to Him, “What do you want?” He answered, “I want Indian bronzes”. And so as part of that Danavira Mela, some Indian bronzes were given to Him. Soon after this I was asked by one of the Samrajya servers (Subra Sundaram) who knew that I was going to India each year, to start to learn how to provide these to Bhagavan so that He might receive them more directly from India, cutting out a level of middlemen that was raising the costs. So I invested myself in learning about them and finding them, and having them be sponsored so that they could be “enjoyed” by Bhagavan Adi Da. Besides many other items, in the last years of Bhagavan’s Life many of His spaces were filled with these small images of gods and godesses. Adi Da was and is the Master of the Great Tradition. He confessed to us that He and She Is Me. He did not worship these figures, but instead incorporated them into His overall Work of Blessing.
I would learn the traditional iconography of these figures, but how the Divine Person would use them, of course, is a tremendous and wonderful Puja that was mysterious beyond my knowledge. But it was clear that everything that Adi Da used was not for any personal reason, but for the uplifting and Spiritual liberation of everyone and everything. I could have my speculations. For example, Annapurna, the goddess of food, perhaps Bhagavan could use that in a way that was about feeding everyone. Did Bhagavan have such a statue to aid with world hunger. Siva and Durga and her family (including Santoshi) were about self-transcendence. So all of the objects represented either an individual devotee, or a part of the world or a traditional culture, or a Sacred archetype. Adi Da did not “say” much about this particular puja, so when He did talk about it, it was always wonderful to hear His description.
On January 5, 2005, He received a small Durga in the style called Mahishasuramardini. Mahish is the water buffalo. Asura is a demon. Mardini is the liberator or Spiritual conqueror. So this image is Durga who liberates or Spiritually conquers the water buffalo demon, or the demon who has taken over the water buffalo. Here are Bhagavan’s Words speaking about receiving this gift from a discourse from Samraj Mahal:
“I received one gift today. It was a material gift from a couple of devotees. It’s a small old figure from India, a little bronze of a form of Durga, Devi figure, or if you like Universal Shakti figure, myth of the cosmic force, and this particular mode of the Durga is always shown standing on a water buffalo and usually driving a spear through it, or something like that – that’s the typical icon.
In this case the Durga was holding a kind of short sword or dagger, standing on the water buffalo and the water buffalo, instead of just being a natural looking water buffalo, was a water buffalo at the hind end and then there was a human torso at the front end with arms and a head and little fangs to show that this is a really stupid or demon-like character, stupid demon, not just a demon, and the Durga is holding this humanoid water buffalo by the hair, the top knot, it had long hair, and you can guess what’s going to happen next, you see, off with his head and, but that’s just presumed if you know the story.
It’s a sculpted image, so you don’t see the taking off of the head, but you can guess probably what’s about to happen there. She’s going to slay this demon and the story is that this demon is ignorance. It’s a stupid, low-minded demon, just as you even use the word demon in your, in the words you said to Me a few minutes ago. And so I received this, and I put it on the table next to Me as I received the reports and had to be put through some phone call with some people. Which was lucky for them because they weren’t in the room with Me and they could only hear Me raise My Voice rather than dispense the usual volley of rocks which might be traditionally expected or, well it’s certainly something to make envisioned momentarily [laughter]. Why not off with their heads, well, nah, but, [laughter] at least it was suggested by the little figure I received there. What was that supposed to be? The agenda for the day. Symbolically. So you all tend to come to me as stupid demons. Low-minded and ignorant….Something that needs to be transcended or overcome.” January 5, 2005
So it was rare that Bhagavan spoke of His relationship to these bronzes. Here He shows how He integrates this traditional image of Durga Mahishasuramardini into what is actually happening in His Own Life.
By having a whole galaxy of Sacred objects in His Environments and working with them, moving them, viewing them, adding to them, He was Working and arranging the entire Cosmic Mandala of forms. They were coins for Him. Adi Da really preferred the Siva/Durga side of things when it came to the statues, rather than the Lakshmi/good luck god or goddess. The self-transcending quality. We being the supercriminals, the ego, the Mahish. And these gods and goddesses were not simply myths, but living Realities to Bhagavan. It was not the technicalities of the iconography–although He noticed things in a way that was amazing. He had the Eyes to see. Bhagavan, by virtue of His total ego-transcendence, Knew somehow everything and could See it, and notice things that someone else, who might have handled that piece many times, had never noticed. But He invoked into them the Living Quality of the Spirit Force, the god power and goddess power.
So Ganesh, who traditionally brings auspiciousness, and is invoked at the beginning of any puja, we can imagine to Adi Da was about Embracing everyone and everything. Durga, who bears all the weapons to destroy demons, was about the Shakti or Spirit Force Itself destroying the egos of all living beings. Mahakala, the Tibetan fierce “Lord of the Tent”, was one of Bhagavan Adi Da’s favorite images. He was a guardian figure in Tibetan Buddhism. One who, in the entourage or Spiritual galaxy, protected the Divine, by destroying the ignorance and egoity of anyone who approached full of themselves or with negative intent. Bhagavan Adi Da’s Circumstance was always vulnerable to negative forces, for whom the Supreme Lord of All the Worlds, as we knew Adi Da, was their opponent, and the Mahakala we can only imagine was Bhagavan’s Strength and Power of resoluteness. As He has told us, no one can stand up against the Truth, and that He could not in ultimate terms be Touched. To invoke Bhagavan Adi Da truly provides protection from all negative forces. But in conditional terms, there was and continues to be, a struggle for the Divine to continue to emerge. The Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston can be seen in these terms.
The people who made these objects were trying to reach to the Sacred. They were invoking the Spiritual archetypes. And Adi Da appreciated seeing signs of devotion on objects. Hindu statues that have been handled for hundreds of years, often lose their features. They have been rubbed and held and adorned with kumkum and ash, so often and so fully, that the features on certain parts of the stautes, most often the faces, are smoothed out. Literally rubbed out. And instead of that being something that detracted from the “value” of the piece, as might be considered in the “marketplace”, Adi Da preferred these images, loved the quality of devotion that was evident in this type of patina or surface look.
Traditionally statues in India are “brought to life” by the ceremony of “prana pratistha”, generally by a priest anointing its third eye or adding a touch of paint to the eye of a statue. Bhagavan, by virtue of His Divine Siddhis, invoked the prana pratistha or bringing to life of His Statues, spontaneously, by merely handling them. When Bhagavan received such an object He would pick it up and look at it Making comments about it Smiling at it. Speak to it. Handle it in all sorts of ways. In early years, when we would be in a discussion with Adi Da at the Manner of Flowers or Bright Behind Me, and we were not forthcoming with an answer, I remember Him humorously asking, His Padmasambhava statue, “Padma, what do you say about it?” He would often oil them, or arrange them in such a way in relationship to each other, that they became rested in the space of the room. And then henceforth they were part of His Sphere of Blessing. His relationship to time and space was such that when He handled them and associated Himself with them, then they were incorporated into His Sphere of Blessing.
It is said that the Divine Realizer is the center of the universe. By virtue of His total surrender of the ego, He has become One with All and all. So as He sat in His Room, He would have these objects surrounding Him which became part of His entourage, literally part of His Household.
Bhagavan also spoke of Living in Rooms. And wasn’t the room at Aham Da Asmi Sthan the main room in the entire cosmos where He Lived, even if He wasn’t there physically? Archetypically, Adi Da has said that the Taj Mahal is the primal room. But in Living Terms, what other space was more associated with Bhagavan’s Body than the bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, and the entire living process. Spiritually, yes, the Sukra Kendras are the senior spaces, but in terms of the room or space where Bhagavan Lived. I am just thinking aloud. That was a primal room for Adi Da, where He was eternally Living, at the Matrix there, surrounded by all of those objects. And He established Himself there, even though at the end of His Life He was mostly living at Lion’s Lap, Spiritually He never left the Matrix. Just like He is living in all of His Bedrooms at all of His Sanctuaries. He had not left the Mountain of Attention, but was Alive there in His Bedroom at the Manner of Flowers, if we understand and relate to that space rightly. But most primally, as a living Space, His Bedroom was a Temple, a Sacred set apart space, where Bhagavan used these objects to create an environment of inclusive Blessing of All and all. And so these objects rounded out the picture.
Bhagavan made it plain that we ourselves should not presume a relationship to traditional gods and goddesses. Because of my service to Adi Da, this point was made to me over and over again. As I have mentioned previously, when I came to Adi Da I was already employed at Tao Books, a Spiritual bookstore on Newberry Street in Boston. I had a collection of photographs of different Spiritual Masters. I had been looking for a Spiritual teacher for some time—had already been to Hasidic Jewish summercamp and seen the head of the Lubavitcher sect of Chabad Hasidism, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. I had seen Buddhist Teachers and Hindu Teachers and Sufi teachers and Shamans, etc. Tao Books itself had been started by students of Michio Kushi who was head of the Macrobiotics community in the United States, and I was part of this community for a couple of years. I am only saying this to tell you that I had a lot of “spiritual baggage” when I came to Adi Da, and continued to serve Him by starting the Dawn Horse Bookstore on Polk Street and being His librarian at the Mountain of Attention, and being a “diplomat” in meeting with other Spiritual Teachers. Literally some other devotees felt that I was a “traitor” to Adi Da because of my interest in all of these things. (Luckily a couple of members of Bhagavan’s Household saw my service to Him in a most positive light and helped encourage me.) But Adi Da over and over again “kept me straight” relative to all of this, by jealously guarding my attention. He always made it plain to me that I should be able to do my work within the various aspects of the Great Tradition, but never look to the left or the right, but only keep my attention on Him. He was and is all the Gods and Goddess, all the Spiritual Teachers that I might need. Everything was and is summarized or Realized in Him. He is my Ganesh, who I invoke for auspiciousness. He is my Siva, who destroys my ego. He is my Shirdi Sai Baba, who grants my prayers. There was no reason to turn anywhere else. As I wrote Him once in devotional fervor, all of the Realizers in the Great Tradition were just a speck of dust underneath one of His toenails. If ever I did not express to Adi Da that I understand this, He would correct me again. Over and over again, year after year. I sometimes joke and say that there is not a spot on my body where His Stick has not hit me for my Indian festishism (as He called it) or my obsession with the Great Tradition. As this process continued it became clear to me that every spark or fraction of any Realizer or figure of God or Goddess in the Great Tradition was simply part of the same Flame or Great Fire that is Adi Da Samraj.
So these objects that Bhagavan had in His Room were not for us important because of their traditional references, but because they were filled with or bearers of Adi Da’s Transmission.
The point being that we do not have a relationship to Ganesh or Durga ourselves. Perhaps if we were a Hindu-raised devotee we might. Bhagavan Himself did, and that relationship was His Alone.
In the Great Tradition of humankind various objects, by their association with Spiritual Realizers or a presumed association with various gods and goddess have been venerated and worshiped as Sacred. Such objects, called “relics” in the Western context, have been used to empower or Spiritually enliven the temples, churches, and stupas in which they were enshrined. In Kandy, Sri Lanka there is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha that has had wars fought over it. In Kashmir there is a Mosque that is renowned for holding a single hair of Muhhamad. Christian cathedrals all hold some sort of relics of various saints, some of them rather ghastly (cut off fingers of saints with rings on them), and there are more pieces of wood from the holy cross upon which Jesus of Galilee was crucified than can be imagined. People would visit these places to have association with the relics there and every great Cathedral had some sort of relic in it. In fact they would boast about the relics they held to attract pilgrims.
It was traditional in some places and times to allow the relics to be viewed. At the Potala, the famous seat of the Dalai Lama, in Lhasa, Tibet, on special days a relic such as the Phurba (or Sacred Dagger) of Padmasambhava would be taken out to be viewed. The Phurba was taken out on the same day once each year. And devotees would line up in great lines to have a moment directly in front of it. Sometimes the relic or box containing it, would be touched to the head of the devotee. At the Vedanta Society Temple in Los Angeles, there are relics from the cremation remains of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Sarada Devi. These are kept downstairs. But one day a year they are brought upstairs and the devotees are allowed to be in their company. There are right and wrong associations with relics or presumed Sacred objects.
Adi Da was highly amused by accounts of the face of the Virgin Mary “miraculously” appearing on a corn tortilla, or on the wall of a home of a devout Catholic believer. Even at the Mountain of Attention, there was a tree on the pathway up to Fresh Milk that had a configuration in the moss that made it look to be the face of Meher Baba. Adi Da humorously considered this with us. There was the “talking rock” that was found up near Red Sitting Man holy site, that was brought to Bhagavan’s Residence, then Bright Behind Me, in a basket, so that He could Himself “meet it”. There is a movie that Bhagavan Adi Da has put on The Basket of Tolerance called Picking Up the Pieces. It stars Woody Allen. In the movie a blind woman stumbles over the severed hand of a previously murdered woman, and has her vision “miraculously” restored. She proclaims that this is the hand of the “Virgin Mary” and the entire village starts to revere the hand and it continues to perform miracles on the villagers until the origins of the hand are revealed. Bhagavan Adi Da clarified this process of relics and miracles in an essay He has written for The Basket of Tolerance, which has been published as a small booklet, number 10 in The Basket of Tolerance booklet series, entitled “The Shroud of Turin and the Cult of Relics”. Here is an excerpt from that booklet:
The “Shroud of Turin” and the “Cult” of Relics
Although relics (or objects associated with a Transmitter of Spirit-Baptism) have a proper function in the real process of Spiritual Transmission, the “cult” of relics (or the pursuit of egoic consolation through the veneration of holy “things”) is (and has long been) a kind of craze in the Christian tradition (and popular religious traditions in general). And, since the late nineteenth century, the “shroud” itself has become the “scientific” subject of a uniquely modern “cult” of “belief-and-doubt”. Indeed, one of the principal (and entirely exoteric) functions of popular religion (whether before or during the age of the “cult”, or mass culture, of scientism) has been to periodically create this kind of “thing” mystery. And the difference between mere belief and mere non-belief in a mysterious “thing” is merely the difference (by comparison) between comfort (or consolation of the ego) and discomfort (or non-consolation of the ego). Therefore, neither Spirituality nor Truth Itself (nor ego-transcendence itself) has anything to do with either belief or the absence of belief.
If the authenticity of the “shroud of Turin” (as the actual–and, necessarily, two-thousand-year-old–“burial shroud” of Jesus of Galilee) is (at some point) generally accepted as having been clearly disproved, many may tend to be terribly fallen to their doubts (or, otherwise, to their materialistic and worldly minds) again, feeling they have been duped to hope by the perennial bunk of (“official” and “unofficial”) exoteric religious inventiveness. Indeed, these doubts (or even doubt itself) may dare to say religion itself is disproved and false–but true religion never was a “shroud” of hope (and even doubt and belief are merely an ego’s opposite states of mind).
True religion was–and is–the real and (more and more) ego-transcending Process of Real-God-Realization, or the Way of the progressive dissolution of all illusions (in the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Truth and Reality that, in their most basic disposition, even all religions proclaim). And that Process (or Way) has been proved authentic again and again by the Realizers who (each in his or her own manner and stage of Demonstration) have become a self-yielding sacrifice to (and in) the Only One Who Is.
Here Bhagavan Adi Da points to the fact that relics, have a “proper function in the real process of Spiritual Transmission”. Rather than a cultic attachment to any particular object and its traditional associations. And that genuine process is what has been interfered with by the loss of objects in Adi Da’s Environments in the wake of Cyclone Winston.
There are many different varieties of Agent Relics that were associated with Adi Da.
1) There were relics that were personal to His own Bodily Human Form, or circumstance that are part of the general Empowerment of His Sacred Environments. This would include the Wisdom Teeth, hairs and fingernails, containers of blood, etc. Occasionally these items were used in Empowerment Vessels in establishing Temples (hairs and fingernails). These are not generally to be taken out or viewed by devotees in any way, but simply to be used in the Empowerment of a Sukra Kendra or a Temple. These types of relics or Sacred objects were not kept in Aham Da Asmi Sthan and were not lost. They were typically kept in Sukra Kendras.
2) Sacred Objects that were specifically Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da to be used Spiritually. This includes the Sacred Padukas. It would also include Blessed Malas or Lingams that He Touched with the intention of Blessing, such as the lingam at the Manner of Flowers, etc. Any object which He Specially Touched with the idea of Empowering or Blessing it as a form of contact with His Presence. With lingams, Adi Da felt that devotees often made the mistake of thinking that the lingam stone itself was special and therefore should be worshiped just as a stone. No, it was the fact that a lingam is a “vessel” or “holder” of Adi Da’s Transmission and that is why it is special. He pointed out that we would not make this same mistake about a photographic Murti, understanding that it was not the photograph itself that was important, but only as a means to contact Bhagavan Adi Da Himself.
3) Sacred Objects Empowered or used by Adi Da in His Own Sacred Spaces that were for His Own use, and not associated with devotees. This includes the Durga Shakti Ma Sacred statues and all of the statues on Bhagavan’s Altars in His Sukra Kendras. He made plain that these had nothing to do in association with devotees and that our relationship was to Him, not to these objects. That their use was His Own Business and not ours. But because Bhagavan used them Sacredly and Intimately they are a special category.
4) Sacred objects that were used by Adi Da in His Sacred association with devotees. This would be like the One-faced rudraksha mala and other malas that He Wore Personally. Or Shawls He Wore Or Canes. These are items that Bhagavan used in the Sacred occasions when He was specifically granting Darshan or Blessing with devotees. And therefore bear that kind of energy. It would feel to me that these objects could be viewed by devotees on very special occasions.
5) Sacred Writing Of course anything that Bhagavan Personally Wrote, the physical page upon which He Wrote it, has a special Transmission. These are sometimes taken out of the Archives at the Mountain of Attention and viewed by devotees.
6) Sacred Paintings/Art Creations. Any item which Bhagavan created digitally bears a special Blessing, as do His Published Books. But I am speaking here of the items that Bhagavan Adi Da created with His Own Hands, such as the Transcendental Cartoons, the She Paintings, the Orphic Fonts, etc. Again, the originals of these could be taken out and shown to devotees much like Bhagavan’s Own Writings, on very special occasions and in a special manner.
7) Objects that Bhagavan Adi Da Wore or Touched or were in Adi Da’s Environments. Here we are talking about the clothes that Bhagavan wore, as well as earplugs, sunglasses, etc. Or things which He Touched, such as His Cameras. This includes the books that He Touched. But virtually all of the Objects in Bhagavan’s Intimate Environments were Touched by Him or had association with His Body.
Now these were not things that Bhagavan used with any specific intention to Empower them in themselves. But by association with Him they all have Sacred significance. I have been to the Museums at the Ashrams in India. The one at the Belur Math associated with Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda is quite spectacular. They have the robe that Swami Vivekananda
wore when he spoke at the Parliament of Religions. (Incidentally, they also have objects associated with his devotees, such as Sister Christine and Sister Nivedita.) But all Ashrams have these types of displays–every year I see the objects associated with Swami Nityananda, and two years ago I visited the Museum associated with Anandamayi Ma. There is a small group of items associated with Shirdi Sai Baba. Relative to books, as books in themselves, most of the damaged books that were in Indigo Swan can be purchased again (although there are perhaps 200 books that are rare, scarce, or simply unavailable). But because these books were touched by Bhagavan Adi Da, and sat in His Office at Indigo Swan, they are Sacred by association with Him. (Of course when the library in Word and Mirror burned down in the wake of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, we lost an entire collection of books that Bhagavan Adi Da had associated with.)
This area of objects that were Touched by Bhagavan Adi Da is very large. Of course we will have lost many items from Bhagavan Adi Da’s Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, which was so full of items. I know how many very small statues and objects there were–literally hundreds. At some point, if it can be done, re-creating an environment for the Sacred objects in another place, created in the way that Bhagavan Adi Da arranged His rooms, would be optimum. In other words, Adi Da’s Bedroom would be re-created in a higher location and the Sacred objects put there. The re-creation could not be complete, but the general feeling could be re-created. I have been into Rang Avadhoot’s Bedroom at His Ashram in Nareshwar, which is quite powerful. Narayan Maharaj’s room at Kedgaon in Maharastra is also quite impressive and maintained now decades later. Bhagavan Adi Da visited this room on His trip to Narayan Maharah’s Ashram in 1973. Ramakrishna’s room is left essentially as it was at his death. People are allowed into it, but there are now guard rails that mark off the location and a priest is in attendance at all times when people come. I am not suggesting that simply anyone would come into Bhagavan’s Bedroom, but I believe that it should be available for some devotees for an initiatory occasion of simply sitting there. I believe that these spaces have to be actively used as they would be in any living culture. Bhagavan’s principle was never no access, but always right and appropriate access.
And at the location where Aham Da Asmi Sthan bedroom is, if there were sufficient funds, perhaps we would recreate that space with not the original artifacts, but replicas. Now there could be a few original special items that were originals, but they would be limited such that they could be removed easily and simply in the event of dangerous weather. But that would be very limited. And if we had sufficient funds, we could replace the objects in the room with replicas that were very good, rather than simply cheap items. They should be prepared as fully as possible with the limited finances available.
7) Items of traditional Sacred significance owned or associated with Adi Da. These includes the objects that were associated with the Gavdevi Temple in Ganeshpuri, India. It also includes the Sacred objects associated with traditional Teachers, such as the shirt that had been worn by Rang Avadhoot. These objects are typically honored in the Sukra Kendras.
8) Sacred spaces or environments of Bhagavan Adi Da. Such places of course were also Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da, both intentionally and then simply by association with Bhagavan.
So when we lose Extraordinary Eyes, then this is a space that Bhagavan Adi Da had Empowered both intentionally and by association. Whereas a space such as Word and Mirror Pavilion was Sacred by His association with it over many years (working in the library, painting the She paintings) rather than by intentionally using it as a Sacred space. However, it is my feeling that the outlines or perimeters of all such places should be set apart as fully as possible. Now some places may be lost to us at the moment, such as the Franklin Square house in Jamaica New York, where Bhagavan Adi Da lived as a boy, or the house which we called the Reed House in Marin where Bhagavan Adi Da spent a great deal of time. But all such spaces should be eventually, as fully as possible, acquired by Adidam. A traditional example is what is called the Ancestral Home of Swami Vivekananda. For many years, this home was not owned in any way by the Vedanta Society, and even after it was acquired, it took many years for the families that had been living there to vacate. But now it has been restored, as fully as possible, to how it was when Swami Vivekananda grew up there. Another example was in Vrindavan where they re-created the office room of Swami Prabhupada, who brought the Hare Krishna movement to the West. Not only have they re-created the office room, but he sits there as a wax figure sitting behind his desk.And in his bedroom space as a younger boy. The Ramakrishna temple has re-created the hut that Ramakrishna was born in. Ridgely Manor, where Swami Vivekananda spent several weeks on his visit to the West, has been acquired by the Ramakrishna Mission as has the Thousand Island Cottage where he instructed devotees.
So it is my feeling that the location of the Extraordinary Eyes meditation hall should be marked and memorialized. Obviously, if we were strong and large as an organization, we would immediately rebuild it as closely to the original as possible. Even knowing that eventually it would be impacted by rising tides. It was there when Bhagavan Adi Da acquired the island in 1983 (it was the place where Raymond Burr used to show 16mm movies), and was a principal place where Bhagavan Adi Da Sat on so many Sacred Occasions. So if we had the finances, it would be worth re-creating such a Sacred spot. At the same time moving the Sacred items to higher ground. Certainly some sort of memorial, in other words a bronze plaque with appropriate wording should mark the place of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Chair, and people should not be walking over that space as a thoroughfare, etc. But it should be marked off.
9) Sacred objects gifted by Bhagavan Adi Da to devotees. These are typically owned by devotees. Many devotees lost some of these in the Valley Fire. Devotees own malas that were personally Blessed by Bhagavan Adi Da and many have special objects purchased in “Pazooza pujas” or gifted by Bhagavan Adi Da personally. So there should be some protocol for cataloging and willing these to either Adidam, or to relatives who will eventually will them to Adidam. This is also traditional. A pair of padukas Blessed by Akkalkot Swami will be in a family and go their children, and their children, until at some point they are no longer really devotes or do not feel that they can care for them, and so the padukas are given to the Akkalkot Maharaj Ashram.
7. The Psycho-Physical Nature of the World
When we consider the Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston, it is important for us to remember that the world is not merely materialistic. Bhagavan Adi Da expressed that we live in a world that is psycho-physical. He began to discuss this with our community in more detail when we began to do puja in Adidam. True puja is a psycho-physical process, and a genuine pujarist is aware that puja exists in a world that is responsive to prayer and actions calling upon forces, including the Blessing of Adi Da Samraj Himself. Bhagavan has always made it plain to us that we must accept responsibility for our actions and our thoughts and our behavior, and that we create our destiny and the destiny of Adidam through them. On October 21, 1980, I was present for a beautiful discussion with Adi Da, a portion of which was later published and now available as the CD, “The Bridge to God”.
The more psychically awake you become, the more you are aware of the psycho-physical nature of what you call the objective world.
Once you see that the world is psycho-physical in nature, you begin to appreciate the living condition of everything that arises in the field of experience — not living, perhaps, in the sense that a chair can get up and walk out of the room, but living in a magical sense. Your association with so-called inanimate objects can go through many changes. Association with an inanimate place, even just a room, can change. There are feelings associated with it, a sense of energies, emotions, moods, influences, all kinds of factors to which you become sensitive relative to so-called inanimate things, just as you can be sensitive relative to moving and living things.
It is not that you should just arbitrarily take up a view that everything is alive, as if everything were a creature. Rather, you must develop and mature in your psychic sensitivity to things and then begin to appreciate just in what sense everything is alive, and in what sense everything has effect and should be acknowledged as a force. Living things are significant to us because a force is associated with life. Inanimate things are also living in the sense that a force is associated with them. They are living in this sense rather than in the sense that they are mobile. Perhaps it is also true that they can move around. This is not totally out of the question, but it must be observed. At any rate, so-called inanimate objects are alive as forces and influences, and the forces can change and vary in our association with them.
This, then, is part of the magical consciousness that is natural to us: to awaken to this sense of the total cosmos as a living presence, a circumstance of forces. At the root of all these things, animate and inanimate, is Radiant Being, the Utterly Living Conscious Reality. Inanimate things, lower creatures, Man, Nature, the Earth, everything is a modification of That Which is ultimately perfectly Alive, Radiant, Forceful, Conscious, Existing. Thus, to have this sense that everything is alive is not illogical or somehow strange. Everything is alive as force, as energy, as psychic reality.
Adi Da had Himself made a point about this relative to purification and even natural disaster in the talk “The Urgency of the Teaching” which was published in Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House.
“The world, even the Realm of Nature as a whole, is founded on a righteous Principle. Therefore, the world will be purified without a doubt. The Force of the Divine pervades everything, and therefore, It also purifies everything in one way or another. If human beings, while they have the benign capacity to enter into God-Communion, will not do so, but instead create a corrupt culture, a subhuman order, then the purification will not occur within the ordinary and benign course of natural processes. It is then no longer a matter of some Adept’s saying a holy word or speaking the Truth whereupon everyone changes his or her approach to life. It would be good if as many as possible could hear the universal Teaching of Truth and respond to it. But if the Teaching alone is not sufficient then great upheavals necessarily occur. This is how the righteous Law works. It is not just that we pay our dues for past activity. A righteous Principle is positively at work, constantly to purify and to reestablish order.
Thus, there are periods of great negative upheaval in the world, including natural disasters, wars, and conflicts of all kinds. On the one hand, during these periods, the world pays its dues for failing to live by the Law. On the other hand, these times of upheaval are the evidence of a continuous process of purification. They are themselves a demonstration of the Law. At the end of these periods the Law is reestablished in righteousness.
It is very likely that we are entering into such a time of upheaval, because of the extent of the failure of human culture. There is simply no light in the world abroad today. There is nothing but corruption, nothing but the failure to accept the Way of God. ..There is absolutely no sign of the Way of Truth, except in rare instances of individuals and small groups of people. The Truth is essentially hidden and secondary. There is a long history of corruption in every area of human life, and the entire social structure of the world is devoted to subhuman ends and forms of self-indulgence. There are no signs of an imminent Golden Age in the disposition or the condition of humanity at large. Rather, the signs are of the necessity for a great purification, a great reestablishment of order, a righteous readjustment of the whole world.” Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Bhagavan Adi Da made it plain that the actions of human beings contributes to these events, these natural disasters. He spoke of this often in the wake of the great tsunami of December 26, 2004. Bhagavan Adi Da was heart-broken, angry, greatly involved in response to that event. He had in fact “seen it” even prior to the event itself happening. The gathering just before the tsunami, He told us “Blessings on those who pass today”. And I asked Him how He could have said that
JAMES STEINBERG: Beloved, on Saturday night, when You were blessing the Prasad, and You said “Blessings on all those who pass”, was there any conception in You of something specific that was going to occur, or did You just know …
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, it would be impossible for Me to tell you how I work, but did that have anything to do with this event that was going to happen? Yes. And there were also all kinds of modes of knowing it, including the way elephants know it, and there are also just ordinary reflections- ordinary meaning I see TV programs before I watch them and so forth, you see. There’s all kinds of modes of seeing and perception and so on that I could describe to you. There’s also just passages of mind and forms of all kinds that I read off, off the flow, you see. And so there were pictures and scenes including exactly the situation of some of these people, including things like being stuck in a situation where you have to choose among your children about which one you are going to hold on to and which one you are going to let pass into hell, you see. Seeing that, feeling it before the event. So there were things like that. And there were other dimensions to it that had a different characteristic altogether, but just that level of thing, you see. Why would I be seeing that? Where’s this coming from, you see? Some things like that are just at an ordinary, more ordinary psychic level that, after things happen, I look at those things like anyone might who had premonitory kinds of things happen and so forth, and say “Oh that’s why that was”, or else why else would it be? It wasn’t a premonition of a TV program, you see. But it was exactly the pictures.
You have to see My casual footsteps and hear My casual words. December 30, 2014
But relative to the tsunami itself, He was passionate about it, and talked about how it happened and what must be our response in terms of genuine practice afterwards.
So if you see the sorrowful, torn-apart faces of the people on television after the tsunami, you see, that’s not Jesus there. Take a moment! You can’t dismiss it. It’s not TV. It’s very impressive reality-TV, if you’d only get it. It’s a lesson for the world. This is the greatest disaster in history, in the particular terms of this immense, large area and all that it is going to require. There is no preparedness for it. And it is only the beginning of what is potential in the world. You pick up the news, newspapers any day and you’ll you’ll hear news about various things in the environment changing and so forth, and don’t you get the picture of what’s happening – the deaths, the diseases, the wars, the absurdity of politicians, just winging it on one another and using up the people like cockroaches? Don’t you see what’s happening?
And it’s not merely about becoming political. Everybody’s political in the sense that they live among human beings. Compassion, fellow sympathy should be inevitable if you are not armored. So everybody has political obligation, just face to face. You don’t have to become politically active in the larger public sense, but altogether all of humanity must become political. You are being used by politics. So it’s time you realized it. It’s not done between armies any more. The people are the fodder of war now. Don’t let it happen! Don’t agree to it! You are being propagandized into accepting a future that no one will survive. It’s not about becoming negative in the world. It’s about becoming entirely positive, but it’s about not just spouting slogans about it. It’s very straightforward.
Enter into co-operation, establish means that acknowledge the connectedness of mankind, and get on with your business. This isn’t just a game for gain, a competition like a sporting event. That’s for stupid people who don’t see what’s in front of their eyes. Wake up and see the suffering, feel it yourself, enter into a sympathetic disillusionment, a positive disillusionment. Then you will do the necessary things in the human scale, but you also practice the profound way of Truth, and not merely be true believers fighting for your tribal deity and your right to be false and murderously righteous. Don’t allow it! It’s up to you.
Be a renunciate and live to Realize Me. That’s My recommendation. It’s up to you. December 30, 2014
Here is another important comment, from January 14, 2005
I made Myself very clear, I think, in the time of this terrible disaster, which is still ongoing, that which happened as an event, you see, in the Pacific areas, terrible earthquake and tsunami event, in which 155 or so thousand now are counted as—more, presumably–and so on. But just all the other suffering of it, all of it. I suppose I made it clear to you something of what the implications of that really are, and how it affects the illusions in which you are living and the illusions in which you are even presuming to be devotees of Mine, you see. A lot of God talk, you see.
Here is a last comment in which Adi Da again speaks of the human element that brings about these natural calamities, this is from December 30, 2004, just four days after the tsunami:
Can you find any deity idea that would justify this, you see? It is inconceivable. You can’t attribute this to some Divine cause, absolutely not. It’s a terrible natural event, and whatever else is involved in it, human causes of whatever kind – energies of humanity or just every kind of environment and this and that and whatever somehow affecting the earth crust. Whatever you can theorize about or think about the maybe’s of it, it’s not completely off the wall to wonder about the human effect, however.
8. Causes for the Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston and our own self-inspection
The culture of Adidam is weak right now, the culture is not living as it should be altogether, and most of the current membership is rapidly reaching the elder years. I am listening today to one of the Avataric Revelation Discourses from 2005 as I am writing this post. It is just one picked at random, because I was looking for the comment about the Durga Mahishasuramardini which I quoted above. In this discourse, Avatar Adi Da was already criticizing our culture as a Mummery at that point, and calling for us to transform everything. He was already speaking of Himself as being a “prisoner” of devotees who were not practicing rightly. He said that this was often done unconsciously because we simply did not know how to relate to Him and were not relating to Him rightly. He says that we have already exhausted His Body through our non-response. He says that this is not a threat, but the statement of a fact.
I’ve exhausted Myself raising My Voice at you. It’s not worth My doing it anymore. It’s all up to you now. I just mustn’t do this anymore. I can’t survive it anymore. I’ve told you This Body is ill, it’s been made ill. You have to understand, I CANNOT continue this Incarnation much longer, strained as I am. You can take that as serious as you like or not. I am not threatening you, I am just telling you plain that I know you have exhausted Me, exhausted This Body and I cannot do this anymore and so that means this is finished.
This mode of association with Me in which you don’t have the obligation of practice and do not have the obligation of gifts or rightness and can simply relate to Me casually and act like the dumb buffalo demon, you see, and just talk absurdities at Me and carry on your absurdly ordinary subhuman existence, even your lowness, non-devotional, undisciplined, lives obsessed with money, food, sex, and social ego and social religiosity. January 5, 2005
Of course, things did not really change, and of course Bhagavan Adi Da took Mahasamadhi at the age of 69, a very young age considering how long people can live these days. I think that we have to confess to the fact that we did not allow His Body to continue because we did not bring Him real Gifts. And this confession is the beginning of a rightening that I feel that we have to allow.
This, of course, has continued after Bhagavan Adi Da’s Mahasamadhi. I am not in this post pointing any fingers. All of us who are devotees of Adi Da should take responsibility each individually. But I feel that we need to discuss this openly. Even after the earlier post that I have had pinned to the top of this website, “what is happening in Adidam?” we have had the really terrible news about the injury of a temporary staff member at Naitauba. Again, we should see this as a sign that something is amiss. Not to feel guilty or to point a finger at someone. But so that we can honestly look at the pattern and see where we need to change. As we can see, the pattern that we have established so far is one in which there is a destructive force that is being allowed to demolish Adi Da’s Environments and the Sacred spaces that He so painstakingly invested Himself in and established with the intention that they would be present forever.
It should be obvious to anyone who looks at Adidam that it is time for us to righten ourselves. The fact that our culture has been in such disarry creates a psychic vacuum which leaves Bhagavan’s environments unprotected by the psychic force of a true culture. Very far above in this post, I put in the sentence from The Aletheon:
All of These Most Sacred Places must be preserved as the Great Divine Avataric Holy Places of Adidam Ruchiradam forever. …..
So we obviously have failed in this in terms of the destruction that has been caused in some of these natural disasters. And to feel that it was just a practical failure is to only look at the situation very superficially and defensively.
We need to look at our own practice, at the structures of Adidam and how they may be misaligned. We need to all involve ourselves in the transformation of Adidam, rather than having all of the important decisions made by a small group that “know”. Bhagavan Adi Da was always critical of the “wolves and sheeps” phenomena, in which somehow a few of us think that we can make all the decisions for all the others, who seem to be or are assumed to be happy to sit on the sidelines, and perhaps complain or get upset, but altogether are reduced to inaction. All of us have to assume responsibility for this circumstance.
After the Valley Fire here there was an opening for a time where we were so shaken and stirred up that we allowed Bhagavan Adi Da to “come in” for a while. More deeply and truly. But it solidified again pretty quickly and within a month or two–by the time I came back from India in early December, 2015, I saw that things had gone back to business as usual for most of the devotees–particularly those who had not lost much or went back to circumstances that were congenial. The pattern really did not change–and the pattern now with Hurricane Tomas and the Valley Fire and Hurricane Winston is not protecting Bhagavan. What kind of a bead do we need on our malas to remember this? It would likely have to be pretty big.
In some of the reports we are hearing from Naitauba we are again hearing that things are opened up and Bhagavan Adi Da is “coming in”. That is wonderful. But a couple of things need to be said about that.
There is some counseling that is going on for some devotees who are still feeling the effects here in Lake County of the Valley Fire. (and truly—who isn’t? just drive from Loch Lomond down to Middletown and it is impossible to immunize ourselves from the vision that you get).
The counselors passed out a handout which describes the phases after a natural disaster. After an initial heroic phase where there is a lot of activity to get the basics together there is what they call the “honeymoon phase”. Here assistance is now readily available (water and food and electricity and shelter, etc.) and there is “optimism that everything will return to normal quickly”. It said that this phase does not last that long, but that afterwards there can be a longer period of disillusionment.
Obviously, this is a conventional model. And I do feel, as I expressed in the previous post, “What is happening in Adidam?” that Bhagavan’s Embracing Arms in some sense are being felt, and not just a conventional honeymoon.
We need to use this time, when things are still feeling shattered open and a lot of the normal self-enclosure is not in place to have a real conversation and to make changes. Obviously and always this should not be done as “case talk”. It should be done in the context of our whole-bodily devotional recognition response to Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj and our turning to Him. But He has always told us that there were times when we needed to take a good hard look at ourselves. This is one of those times. Otherwise, things will just shut down again, solidify again. And we will be telling ourselves a story or myth of how special it all is, when in truth there has been no change in the underlying pattern, and only temporarily getting through it all.
This post is certainly way too long and if you are still with me here, let me not presume any negativity about this. But instead to say that this necessary time of “consideration” and the ability to inspect ourselves, and to admit to our “pit of snakes”, is one of the great Gifts of Adi Da as the Avatar of Brightness, who incarnated down to His Toes. It is our virtue as a community when Bhagavan Adi Da was Alive that we were a Reality community. When things were right we did not live on the basis of myth, or “spin” or disembodied words, or any version of Adidam speak. Devotees truly practicing always have a healthy suspicion of themselves.
On September 23, 2004 Bhagavan said this in one of the Avataric Revelation Discourses
Part of the integrity of being a devotee of Mine is to have a fundamental and very serious mistrust of yourself. Don’t really take anything you say or think seriously. At least in absolute terms. Be true. Speak true. But, understand your experiences are all occurring within the context of bondage. And your thinking is all occurring within the context of egoity and presumptions that are virtually totally untrue. The entire mind is based on no true anything. [Laughter]So,whatever you’re thinking, they are the thoughts of a fool and a fake [laughter]. Once you’ve grasped this and accept it, you see, it’s very easy to be humble because you have a great deal to be humble about. [Laughter] And you’re freely capable then of observing yourself without any blinders on, you see.
All of us, myself especially included (suspicious for just having written such a long post) need to be willing to observe ourselves without any blinders. We are a community that is in the midst of a crisis.
Of course all devotees know that Bhagavan’s Teaching is eternal, and that He is the greatest Adept that has lived, and so forth and so on. And I have faith in His Accomplishing Power. But we, as a community have just witnessed two natural disasters within six months, and then one of our temporary employees having his leg severed.
In an Avataric Revelation Discourse, when Adi Da Samraj was talking with Reuben Weiss I believe, He told us that we might come to a time in practice in which we realized the fault of what we had been doing. He said that we might notice that everything that we had been doing for the past twenty years was off. That all of our practice was fruitless. Bhagavan Adi Da told us that even then, the only response that we could make at that point was to change everything and to start again. I believe that as a community we are at such a point.
Let’s have a real conversation, with humility, about what we might need to change? Can we not all take responsibility, instead of leaving Adidam in the hands of a few that obviously cannot handle the situation by themselves? These and many other questions are, I hope, raised by the events of this last period. I would like to hear what people are feeling?
Swami Sadananda (first disciple of Swami Vivekananda) took his first sannyas from Swami Vivekananda at Rishikesh, and he said, “Swamiji, if there is a fall!–and Swami Vivekananda answered, “if there be a hundred falls, no matter! I am responsible. I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda.
Swami Vivekananda had said to Swami Premananda in the presence of his disciples, “Even if my disciples go to hell a thousand times, I will lift them up from there. If this be not true, then know for certain that Sri Ramakrishna is also false.” Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda, page 223
Prayer from Sister Nivedita after the death of Swami Vivekananda: May God grant that loving presence of our Master, of which death itself had not had power to rob us, become never, to us his disciples, as a thing to be remembered, but remain with us always in its actuality, even unto the end. Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda. page 224
Once Swamiji asked some of his disciples, ‘Well, will you forsake me if you find a monk who is greater than me.’ Other than Sadananda, the reply of all those present was something like: ‘no, never. Doing so would be impossible for us!’ Swamiji then asked Sadananda, ‘What do you say?’ Sadananda immediately replied: ‘Yes, if I find someone who is greater than you, I shall leave you, because to think that someone is greater itself amounts to forsaking you.’ Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda, page 229