Artist: Simon Pritchard. Painting: Death Of My Father
I guess many of us feel our father is the most lovely, wonderful, beautiful father there is so please forgive me for saying so about my dad! I didn’t always appreciate him. Once in my teens, and I never physically hit another being, before or since, I spat in his face and said ‘I want to kill your sperm’, and punched him and he fell on the floor. That’s how victimized I felt, how deluded I was, how angry and ungrateful. I only tell you this revelation about myself as Narcissus so that you can maybe feel, by the end of reading this story, how Adi Da Samraj, gave me my father. Without Adi Da I don’t believe I would have ever accepted my dad into my heart. I would have been an ego orphan, instead, because of Adi Da I was and am someone’s loving son, still deeply in love with my dad, Edward Cyril Pritchard, though he passed from the body on Friday Christmas Eve 2004 two days before the devastating Tsunami on Sunday the 26th, helped in his transition by Adi Da Himself who Said He had taken a ‘special interest’ in my dad’s transition because of his ‘significant response to Me.’ My dad died in the most capable hands in the universe, Adi Da’s ‘Hands of Bliss’. His spirit, like all spirits, lives on, though I would not have known or experienced this had it not been for Beloved
When I became a devotee of Adi Da in 1985 at the age of 24, my dad and mum were initially very upset, feeling like I was now part of a brainwashing cult, taking orders from a dangerous cult leader My dad had been a staunch Christian but at some point had a crisis of belief, ‘if there was a God how come there is so much suffering?’. Still they could not help but notice that their previously tortured son was looking a lot brighter now he was a devotee. In 1987 or so my dad took an introductory Adidam course with Bill Stranger. He struggled with Adi Da’s confession that He is ‘God’, but he felt attracted to Adi Da’s Person and His Message. My dad’s favourite thing to say nearly every day at least once was, ‘The Time to Be Happy is Now.’ This was the family wisdom passed down to me, though I wasn’t able to live it then. Only Beloved made it possible to first recognize and then accept my inheritance from my father.
My dad had suffered very much in his life, though he was an extremely strong man, highly ethical and moral, very kind and compassionate. Soon after he married my mum who he adored she had a nervous breakdown, and an onset of a very serious obsessive compulsive disorder, that took the form of being in control of the family bladder, she had to be in control of when we pissed or shitted. It took me years to rebel against her insane regime. At age 16 I started pissing in the garden, and stopped asking the permission to piss that was often refused. If she wanted me to go when I had just been, at her command, five minutes before, I would still say ok mum, and when I was in the toilet while she listened outside, I would turn the tap on, and flush the toilet. This would satisfy her, after all she had heard me pissing and flushing the toilet. I asked my dad one day in my teens, as we and my brothers stood in a queue like boy soldiers on parade, why he tolerated this craziness. He said ‘Simon it is a small price to pay, this keeps her anxiety levels down, if we don’t do this, you would not want to witness what I have experienced your mother becoming.’
One day I just had it: ‘mum I’m not going for a piss sorry. I have had enough of this. It’s crazy’ My mum crumpled on the floor and began sobbing and wailing like a four year old girl. I never saw anyone so broken down. My heart broke. ‘Mum its ok, I will go for a piss after all. It’s ok. Please don’t cry.’
My dad said that for years after her breakdown, and even still, he adopted the stoic philosophy, ‘if anything good at all happens in my life, anything positive at all, it’s a bonus.’ He learned to endure suffering and release expectations on life. This was his coping mechanism, and because he was very strong, an effective one. We looked like the perfect happy family unit, except for me, the black sheep of the family, the ‘tortured soul’, the ugly, festering wound on the beautiful, pristine family body. I expected the ‘family therapist’ to sort them all out, especially my mum. ‘Simon your mum isn’t going to change, her patterns are too engrained.’ He had heard how the family karma extended way back: my grandmother, my mum’s mum, had come over to England from Estonia, on her own as a teenager, her whole family killed in the Russian Revolution. ‘Simon you are doing a great job, keep up the good work, you have taken on the baton of the family karma, and you are purifying it.’
Well I was trying through endless therapy sessions and encounter groups and enlightenment intensives to purify it, purify myself, purify this pitch black, relentless darkness that was the foreground and the background of my life, but until I came to Adi Da I always ended up in the same place, a dead end. I wrote a play in my teens. A man tied to a pole by elastic, runs from the pole and stretches the elastic, trying to reach a giant pair of scissors, but the scissors are always just out of reach, and repetitively the elastic snaps him back to the post that he is tied to. Adi Da Samraj, through His twin gifts of Self Understanding and Devotion uprooted the pole and untied the elastic, and who needs scissors then?
Beloved Adi Da Says He purifies not just His devotees but their mum, their dad, sisters, brothers, relatives, ancestors. The devotee is Beloved’s coin. Adi Da has Worked miracles with me and my family, and He is still Working Miracles. Nothing else ever ‘worked’ except devotion to Him. I can tell you if anyone tried ‘on my own’ I did. Noone could have tried, and failed harder.
My mum continued up until her death to be still slightly nutty, but gradually the traces of her ‘family bladder’ and toilet obsession vanished. She became essentially happy towards the end, despite continuing crises in her life and very difficult circumstances.
I can clearly see how Beloved has purified and is purifying each of my close blood relatives. He is still Working to Help and Purify my family as will become clear as my story progresses. There are many things I will have to leave out for the sake of brevity but I will cover the essentials, enough I hope for you to feel the Incredible Power of Unconditional and Radiant Love that Adi Da Samraj was and Is.
When dad heard that Adi Da might visit the UK, he offered on more than one occasion, that he and mum would go and stay with a neighbour and let Adi Da and His entourage stay in his house. He said He would like to come down each morning and make porridge for Him. My dad was very proud of his special recipe for porridge. I don’t know if Adi Da likes porridge, but knowing the Love of my Master if eating some porridge that my dad had made, could in any way bond my dad to Him or free him of karma, he may have eaten some of my dad’s porridge whether it was to his taste or not. At the time my dad’s offer of house or porridge was not passed on, but many years later in 2004 I was able to write to Adi Da and tell him about my dad, and I will tell you soon how that came about.
My intimate partner for 22 years or so was Lenie Koole, and for many years we were serving Beloved Adi Da full-time in various roles. Missionaries in the British Isles, European Territorial representatives, retreat manager and worldwide cultural head at The Mountain of Attention Sanctuary, heads of the Worldwide Mission along with Jeff Forrester, headquartered in Los Angeles, and in the Samrajya at Tat Sundaram. Much of the time Lenie and I had very little money and were living hand to mouth. As I was to tell Beloved Adi Da later in a letter, (when I told him about my dad), Ed Pritchard and my mum, had many times saved us from financial ruin, many times taken us into their house temporarily so we could get financially back on our feet again after some setback or crisis or change in our service. And my dad very much felt that by supporting Lenie and me, for example lending his car to us for missionary tours, that He was serving Adi Da.
Also there was an occasion when a close devotee friend of mine asked for my dad’s support over a custody battle, where the father was trying to claim that Adidam was an evil brainwashing cult, and that his daughter should therefore be with him and not the devotee mother. My dad had a principle role in children’s social services, and he gave written testimony, that was read out in court, that all the people and children he had met in Adidam were definitely not hurt by their connection with Adi Da, and that quite the contrary, he saw only signs that Adi Da was an extremely positive influence for me and my friends, and their children.
The purification of the relationship between my dad and I still continues. As Beloved Helps me understand more and opens my heart more the feeling of present time ‘in love’ with dad gets stronger and deeper.
Adi Da Said to Donovan Train, the man who was my first cultural minister, who transitioned me to be a devotee in 1985.
‘Apart from your father’s personal qualities, which presumably were ego-bound and difficult to endure, you must understand that he is also your inheritance. He was the stream of influence in your early life that would have made you a man, that would have helped you to invest yourself in masculine responsibility. And all you feel about it is hatred, disease, dislike. Whatever there may be in his character or signs or actions to justify it, you are denying yourself your maleness, your male humanity, your own masculine responsibility, your own husbanding obligations. You cannot hate your father forever. You must understand him. You must understand yourself. You must forgive him. You must accept the male inheritance and allow it to be balanced, if you will, in relationship to a woman. But if all you are going to do is dramatize your entire life about a disinclination relative to your father, then you are not only expressing a reaction to him but you are denying yourself your own male humanity, because he is the stream of your inheritance of that obligation. Fathers are how men get to be men…….This is why love and forgiveness must cpme about in all children……… Eventually sooner or later, you must accept the most positive inheritance of the male and the female and overcome your psychological problems about it. Your parents are the only ones you have. They are your seeds of humanity. And you must straighten out your relationship to them.’
When I first read this communication many years ago now, I asked my mum and dad one evening to sit down with me in the living room as I wanted to talk with them. There had been a lot of challenge in my life as a boy, being abused by a paedophile, my mums control of my bladder, chronic physical pain in my spine, mental illness, body dysmorphic disorder, painful apparent rejection by my first crush, and I had been dramatizing being a victim, blaming my parents for birthing me and having birthed me not, to my egoic mind, protecting me from pain. They had been carrying guilt about it all.
On this evening I told them not to be concerned about me anymore because Adi Da was purifying me of everything, that already He had purified much, and that because of His gift of self understanding I realized that there was no one to blame, that the suffering was my own reaction. I told them I was not a victim anymore, that if there was anything to forgive I forgave them, and could they please forgive me to for my reaction to them, my abuse of them. I told them about the oedipal considerations we had, based on Beloved’s Teaching, that I had some understanding now that I was not a victim, that it had suited me to have these apparent ‘problems’ as it gave me a justification for withholding love.
I told them about my ego patterning as Narcissus, and that Adi Da was showing me I could do counter egoic action and practice loving instead of being the victim. I read to them the passage I just quoted, and more of Adi Da’s Teachings on the matter. I told them I loved them profoundly and did not want them to carry any more guilt, that everything was now straight between us. I told them Adi Da loved me and them and everyone, that He wanted to kiss everyone on the lips.
My parents were both sobbing with release and joy, and we hugged and sat together in silence together for a while just feeling the Love that He Is, that wound of Love where ‘love churns and never heals.’
My relationship between me and my parents kept getting happier and closer over the years and it keeps getting happier. My dad became my best male friend, apart from Beloved Himself.
In October 2004 my dad, had an ischemic stroke on the left side of the brain, he fell out of bed and couldn’t get up. Everyone was shocked. Although he was 74 he seemed to be more like a man of 60, until this point, strong and fit. A pillar of strength, not just for my family, but for many others too. We visited him in hospital. He had expressive aphasia. He understood things pretty well, but he was not able to express himself. He could only say a few words with difficulty. A new word he learned he quickly forgot. He seemed to know what he wanted to say but he couldn’t express it. He would get frustrated, confused, bewildered and sometimes depressed.
I requested a Blessing Puja for my dad from Adi Da. In my letter I told Beloved about my dad doing the course many years before, about his offering of his house and desire to make him porridge, his financial support of Lenie and me in our Guru seva and his advocacy of Adi Da in the court custody case. I sent photos of him, mum, Lenie and I, and Beloved would splash the photos with Holy Water, and do His Puja of Mysterious Blessing Work. I was not all prepared for what happened over the next couple of months.
Each time I wrote back to Beloved thanking Him for the Blessing Puja and updating Him about my dad’s condition He would do another Blessing Puja, send His love and blessings to each of us, and my brothers and sister, and sometimes He asked more questions and made comments. He did six Blessing Pujas, and each time I received the Prasad back in the form of dried pressed leaves from His Sukra Kendra and also the photographs, with water splashes on. This is how it is, the debt to Beloved can never be repaid, the more I give back to Him in response to what He Gives to me, the more He Gives again, and so on. It is a Great and Wonderful Mystery. I am so in wonder and gratitude that Adi Da Samraj Is Here!
I felt and feel Beloved taking care of my dad spiritually and it was (and still is) an immense relief for me, more than I can ever express, such that I lost all worry about my dad. I was concerned and I felt the wound very deeply, but I had no fear or anxiety or depression. Over the next several weeks Beloved completely broke my heart over and over again with the Immense Love He showered on me, my dad and my family. He communicated about my dad’s expressive aphasia empathizing with him, saying it must be very frustrating to know what one wanted to say but not be able to say it. The matter of fact way Beloved spoke of my dad’s predicament gave me a sense that although what was happening was very painful, it was something that could be endured, and was not the end of my dad, just that something was changing in his way of being in the world. I had a growing sense that dad was more than what he looked like.
Whenever Beloved Gave His Love and Blessings to my dad and asked a question or communicated something I would tell my dad, and then I would write to Beloved and tell him my dad’s response.
This is an excerpt from one of the several letters I wrote to Beloved.
Beloved Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj,
Gracious Lord of all and All,
Thank You so much Lord for all Your Love and Blessings for Lenie and myself and my parents Ed and Ann. A few days ago we received the Wonderful Prasad of the Blessed photographs and the flowers. Lenie and I visited my dad Ed on Sunday in the hospital and we offered him the Prasad. I told him your words- ‘Love and Blessings to Simon, Lenie and father.’ I told him that you have Your loving attention on Him and are Working with him spiritually to heal him through this Blessing Puja, that some things maybe can be changed, and some maybe not, but that whatever can be changed will by your Grace. He was most obviously moved by Your care and Attention for him and he cried. He cannot speak (only the odd word) but he indicated to my mother that she should look after the Prasad for him at home…..by Your Grace Beloved he seems a little better each time I see him. I tell him that it is the love and intimacy that is important prior to the verbal mind and he acknowledges this. Beloved You have Taught and Showed me this. Thank you so much Lord for your loving attention on him. I can feel you helping him, and I can feel you helping me through all of this become a more loving devotee and a more loving, devoted son.
I love you so much with all my heart
Your devotee forever
There had been enough improvement in my dad’s condition that the plan was my mum would fetch him from the Hospital on Christmas morning so they would spend Christmas day together in their home.
On Christmas Eve I was on a train with Lenie to visit devotee friends for a Danavira Mela gathering, when I had a call that my dad had died from a heart attack. I was broken hearted and shattered, feeling an unspeakable sense of loss. It was like the universe as I knew it had come to an end. My devotee friend Georgia contacted Charles, Adi Da’s doctor on Adidam Samrajashram, and the news was communicated to Adi Da. Beloved Communicated that because of my dad’s ‘significant response’ to Him, He was taking a ‘special interest’ in my dad’s transition from this world, more than He usually would He said than with someone who was not a formal devotee. He wanted to know all the details of my dad’s death, including where my mum was at the moment of death (she was in the same room as my dad but separated from him by a screen). I was overwhelmed by Beloved’s Love and wrote back to Him with the details.
I took the train to my mum’s home. My mum was beside herself with sorrow. I never experienced someone so devastated. That night I sat on the bed with her, the bed she always had shared with dad and I held her for a long time. She was wailing and sobbing uncontrollably. It was even more heartbreaking for me to see her suffer like this, than my heartbreak over my father. Her body was trembling with pain like a rabbit in shock. Her whole body shook with heartrending grief. I talked to her of what Adi Da had taught me about Life and Death, and Love. I read passages to her from Adi Da’s Teaching. She said it helped and wanted me to continue. I spoke of how this was not the end of dad, that together we would find a new way for her to continue to live her relationship to dad, that the form of the relationship had changed now, but the love was and is still the same, that the Essence, of Ed she loved and loves, is the love that she feels in her heart for him, that can never be destroyed. Up until her own death in 2015 I still spoke with her like this regularly, and kept reminding her to live the relationship to Ed, fresh and alive and new in each moment.
The next day Christmas Day, we were told we only had half an hour to view my dad’s dead body as the man in charge at the hospital would be locking up and leaving early for his Christmas lunch.
I wrote to Beloved about the occasion.
‘Beloved Lord Adi Da Samraj,
Great Giver of Joy and Blessed Master of all burning hearts everywhere.
Thank you again so much for Your Blessing Regards of my father, Lenie, myself, my mother and family. I am completely overwhelmed and heartbroken by Your Outpouring of Divine Blessing.
Beloved, on Saturday morning UK time as You were Speaking in the Gathering Occasion, Lenie and I , my mother, Ann and two brothers Tim and David (my sister Sarah was not able to be there) were able to view my father’s body at the Chapel of Rest in Princess Royal Hospital, near Orpington Kent. Because it was Christmas Day and the attendant in charge had to leave early we were only able to view the body for twenty minutes or so.
We gathered around my father’s body and each expressed our deep love for him. Then Lenie and I sprinkled Holy Water around the room and on his body and I anointed his body with Holy Ash. Lenie read a passage from Easy Death and then I whispered in his ear telling him to go to the Bright White Light and go to You and to not be distracted by anything to the left or right. I told him that You were taking care of his death transition and that You had said a short while earlier that You were more interested in his transition because of what You described as his ‘significant response’ to You. I placed Blessed Prasad Flowers from Sri Love Anandashram over his heart region with a Holy Ash Packet and a locket with Your Photograph.
Despite the feelings of poignant profound sadness my family were relieved and grateful to be able to participate in this vigil. Lenie and I felt You Very Present. The wound in my heart was infused with Your Blissful Light.
Just as we left the hospital Malec rang and told me that You had just finished Speaking in the ‘live’ gathering Occasion and that as You were Blessing the Prasad You Said that this was for all beings who had passed away today (Note: The Tsunami had just occurred).
Beloved, after all Your already Overwhelming and Intensely Loving Attention for my father’s stroke and now his heart attack and transition, this Gesture of Yours just completely broke me apart and left me wrecked with devotion and adoration for You.. You had already filled my cup to the brim with Blessings and Love. This further Blessing just Spilled right over the edge. You Give as much as I can receive, and then You Give more and more.
Beloved Lord Adi Da, You have Completely Relieved me of any concern relative to my father’s transition. You have uplifted my whole family through the clarity, strength, and faith, Lenie and I have been able to demonstrate by Your Grace. You have given my mother courage and hope and a way forward that is based on an intuition of Spiritual Truth and a Vision of Life in Death rather than the dead end of a merely mortal meatbody-based philosophy.
Thank You so much.
I am so in love with You and will never be able to catch up with paying the debt of devotion I owe You, because you just keep Divinely Outpouring more and more Love in a torrent that never stops.
I always surrender at Your Feet.
Lenie and I noticed at a ‘wake’ my mum held for dad, that friends and family of dad, were crushed by his death, bewildered and confused, they did not seem to have a wider context in which to understand and process what had occurred. We both felt broken in our hearts, at the same time we felt happy still, clear, untroubled, only because of Beloved, and were thus able to give solace and strength to our friends. We had a reservoir of strength of love and power we were drawing from, and keep drawing from. Who Is Beloved Adi Da Samraj, ‘the Light To Those Who Call For Light’
“It seems trivial to say that everyone dies, but it really is the case. Love your way beyond it. Do not take it. The heart cannot accept it. Do not. You cannot ‘know’ about it altogether, but you can trust it. How do you get to trust it? Seriously ‘consider’ this matter with Me, altogether. The human heart is faith, it is trust. Where there is no emotional contraction in the midst of conditions, that is faith, that is absolute trust. You do not have to be sold it by adding a belief structure. Understand. Enter into devotional Communion with Me for real, and not by ‘self’-concern, but through your devotional recognition-response to Me. Then the Law becomes obvious.”
Avatar Adi Da
Quotes of Adi Da – copyright 2016 ASA