Artist: Simon Pritchard. Painting: The Husbanding Of The Goddess
April 3rd 1990 – Adi Da Samrajashram.
Excitement was mounting. Adi Samraj would soon be granting Darshan in ‘The Giving Coat’. Determined to get as close as possible to my Guru I sat myself down on the floor in the front row, just right of centre, the best ‘seat’ in the house. I relaxed and seated in the half lotus pose prepared myself for this momentous occasion. The Head Priest who will remain nameless tapped me on the shoulder. He said because I was tall I must sit at the back! I was pissed off, and told him I really wanted to be physically close to Adi Da, but he was having none of it, so I got up and walked to the back of the hall. The Priest placed me half behind a pillar right at the back of the room! I said ‘I can’t see from here, there’s a pillar in the way and my eyesight is poor as well.’
The priest (actually a wonderful person and devotee) was what Adi Da calls a ‘solid’ type, someone with a tendency to rigidity in his thinking patterns and in his case at this particular time it seems, a deficiency in his ability to empathize. He put his head near where my face was and said ‘no you can see from here! It will be fine.’ I was really upset now and argued with him that my experience was that I could not see Adi Da’s Chair properly, whatever his experience might be, but he was adamant that I could see perfectly well from where he had positioned me, and by now the conch had blown. Adi Da was Walking towards the Temple. It was too late to do anything more about the situation.
I felt angry and uptight for the whole of the Darshan Occasion. I could not see Adi Da very well and He seemed too far away. I could not feel Adi Da at all. I was stuck in my head and negative emotion, my feeling heart all locked up.
After the occasion was over we went back to our retreat quarters. We were told that Quandra Sukhapur Rani would be arriving soon with some ‘Notes’ – communications from Adi Da Samraj.
She sat at the front of the room and read out His Communication to us based on His observations of us in the Darshan Occasion. Beloved Adi Da Samraj Said that He had noticed that we were just staring at Him, not receiving Him Spritually, sitting there like ‘sticks’ He said. He commented that we were the most devotionally retarded group of retreatants He had ever had. He noted that one devotee was even sitting behind a pillar right at the back of the hall! Why would anyone He Said pay all that money to travel to a remote island in Fiji, to see his Guru, and then sit right at the back behind a pillar! He could not understand why anyone would do that!
(Adi Da’s Notes to us)
‘If you are too rigid to express your devotion to Me, you should be breaking through that rigidity by engaging more in demonstratively expressive devotional practices (such as pujas, full feeling prostrations, chanting, and all the forms of ecstatic devotional singing, including vigorous kirtan). If you cannot feel Me responsively and be intensely moved by the sight of Me, then you should not come to Me for My Darshan, your presumptuous ego, you must animate your devotion to Me.’
‘Devotion to Me is something that you must do. It is not something to merely think about doing, nor is it something that, as an active sadhana, merely happens to you. It is something that you must practice, intentionally. As you will discover, or as perhaps you have already discovered, the seed of your devotion to Me is My Gift to you, but it is not in any particular moment, necessarily shown to you in a dramatic way. You must, as often as necessary, re-‘’Locate’’ (or re-Discover) the ‘’Place’’ in you where I have already Given this Gift to you (there where you inevitably respond to and spontaneously feel My Inherent ‘’Bright’’ Attractiveness), and then you must practice, or intentionally animate and magnify, that feeling-devotion to Me. If it is just a little ‘thread’, or only a ‘thimbleful’, then you must throw your body to the floor and yield your heart , so that the ‘’vessel’’ that you are becomes larger to receive My Grace.’’
Quandra Sukhapur Rani then talked to us passionately about the retreat process, how we were in a unique situation on this remote island on retreat in the Company of our Great Heart Master, God in bodily (human) Form, a situation where we could drop our social face, not care what we looked like and be ecstatic. She said we could just drop the mind and express our devotion freely and spontaneously, not hold ourselves back, but instead give Adi Da our devotion wholeheartedly, be Happy and Free and show it all over our bodies, all over our faces!
She spoke with a fierce and loving intensity –
‘you can completely, totally let go here, and become an ecstatic. If you do not feel your devotion, Sri Gurudev tells you what to do: put your head to the floor and beg for that devotion. Be demonstrative. Why should the socialized persona exist in this situation when He is our Liberating capacity? Why do we still reinforce social conventions with eachother? Why not for once let eachother use the freedom of this place to express what we truly feel? You did not come here just to receive a good feeling in a Darshan occasion. If you are not feeling devotion you should be weeping on the floor. You should be doing a thousand full-feeling prostrations. You should be chanting as much as you can. You should do whatever you need to do to penetrate rigidity. How can you tolerate it in yourselves? Why is there such complacency? Why do you not do the work of the yoga? There is no doubt of anyone’s love for Sri Gurudev.
You just are not allowing yourself to feel the very Gift that you came to receive. And you are the only one creating this situation, because He is Giving everything. How can you not feel devotion when a Being is utterly Sacrificing Himself before your eyes?. It is just you turning away. The Way of The Heart has nothing to do with that. It is about ecstasy. So why do we not allow one another to feel that ecstasy? Because to feel ecstasy is the greatest taboo. Sri Gurudev gave a talk about that in the early days: to confess God, to speak about your ecstasy, your Divine Realization – to speak in that form, to live in that form, to exist with that degree of ecstasy, is, in the common world, totally unacceptable. That is why we have created a sacred community, so that we have a place for itYou have to get out of shape. You are going to have to lose face. You are not going to look good all the time. You may even look like a fool. So what?
‘You must do whatever it takes to maintain your relationship with Sat-Guru Da Love-Ananda. It is such a profound relationship. It calls forth the deepest and purest emotion. It is not conventional feeling but extraordinary love and devotion. And so you have to contact that and exist in that. If Sri Gurudev’s Criticisms apply to you do not become remorseful. Use that moment to become more devoted to Him. If you have to throw yourself down on the ground, throw yourself down on the ground. Do what you have to do.
‘Be intelligent and feel what the body-mind is doing, how it is separating you from the One you love. You have to master it. You have to stand in a Greater Position. After you have had the Vision of the Sat-Guru, how can you tolerate the Intrusion of the bodymind? Sri Gurudev has Given us devotional acts to practice throughout the day. All day long we are supposed to be involved in an ecstatic Dance or Puja that allows and cultivates our devotional response. That is what everything we do is for.
‘You must become ecstatics – you must. Otherwise life is a torment. You must enter into His Sphere and be profoundly attracted. You must indulge yourself completely in His Attractiveness. Do not be afraid to be drawn, to be Attracted. It is an extraordinary Gift. When you come into His Company, show your attraction to Him all over your body. Let Him know how attracted you are to Him. Do not hold back. This way is an extraordinary commitment. It is a lifelong commitment to ecstasy. It is a commitment to a Divine way of life versus the mechanical nature of this conditional world, which just ends in death with no result, nothing to it,’
Beloved wanted a response from us. I told Quandra Sukhapur and my fellow retreatants my story: ‘I was the guy behind the pillar!’ I confessed to her that instead of staying true to my devotion I had some allowed myself to become institutionalized. When the priest told me to go to the back I could have just moved with my heart impulse and disobeyed him! I was all backed up with the feeling of frustration and anger, both with the priest and myself, and I spoke to Quandra Sukhapur with a lot of emotional charge in my voice, half confessed with insight into my act, but still half expressing the role of victim, one who was suppressed by the ‘authority’.
Quandra Sukhapur Rani was wonderful in that moment and I have never forgotten it. She received my anger as devotion, and didn’t recoil or try to tone me down, or calm me, or criticize me. Rather she let me express myself fully and then said, (words maybe not exact but very close), ‘Simon the Institution will always try to suppress you, but Da Love-Ananda needs the Institution as the vehicle of His World Work. Always serve the Institution with your whole body, mind and heart, but always keep your relationship with Da Love-Ananda direct and pure.’ This simple sentence has served me immeasurably over the years and still serves me every day. I consider it is the single most important thing anyone has ever said or communicated to me apart from Adi Da Himself
Quandra Sukhapur also communicated that Beloved Adi Da wanted us to know that His Siddhis (Spiritual Powers) were All Accomplishing and that when ‘activated by devotion’ they could ‘Accomplish anything at all, with no limits in time or space past, present or future.’ Adi Da Said that we should do the Prayer of Changes with full faith that this is the case. He Said we should be praying not for Realization but something more humble, like true seriousness in our spiritual practice, or right and full devotion to Him.
Quandra Sukhapur asked us if we had this faith in Beloved Adi Da’s All Accomplishing Powers. Did we have the faith that He can Change anything at all in the past, present or future? I remember one retreatant said he he found it easier to have faith that Adi Da could change the present or the future, but he was struggling with how Adi Da could change the past. Quandra Sukapur Rani Said that Adi Da could Change the past, even for example the Battle of Hastings could be changed, the date, anything or everything about it!
Over the next several hours all of us on retreat entered into ‘reality consideration’ discussing, confessing and examining the limits we had brought to the Darshan occasion. It was a challenging, emotional and freeing process in which we dropped into deeper heart intimacy with Adi Da and eachother.
Through His Criticisms Beloved Adi Da was Showing us His Power Foot. He had initiated a profound process in us individually and collectively, whereby His Spiritual Transmission was Penetrating our egoic armouring, Reaching into the core of our Being, to Awaken us from our thought-ridden, suppressed, self-obsessed stupor. Our conventional minds full of doubt, contracted and loveless were unbeknownst to us, being uprooted by the Divine Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Who was through the Force of His Divine Intention, His Divine Will, His Darshan, His Glance, His Instruction, His Criticisms, His Demand, His Tests, His Love, His Energy, His Transmission, Planting Himself Deeper and Deeper in our Hearts.
Since arriving on retreat at Adi Da Samrajashram I had been fluctuating between feeling heart-connected to Adi Da and being in a dissociative state.
Even though I had been madly in love with Adi Da since 1984, even though I had seen him at Mariahoop, Netherlands in 1986 and even though He had already given me many revelations that He was God in a human form, still the very first occasion I saw Him in on this retreat, prior to the Darshan occasion I just described I had this strange sensation that Adi Da and the kanyas were puppets, like I was watching a Thunderbirds set. I had seen so many videos and photos of them on Naituaba and now I was here it looked unreal, like I was watching the scene on television. I became paranoid, thinking I was maybe trapped in a weird cult and had been brainwashed. At one point I felt a sense of rising panic, feeling that maybe I had made a grave mistake.
As Beloved says He is the ‘Sunlight over the well’ and in His Presence all the creepy crawlies in the subconscious mind, come crawling up the sides of the well, out of the darkness, to be purified in the Light. Well Beloved Adi Da made sure I would soon feel the Reality of Who He Is, that if anyone was a puppet, a heartless machine, controlled by my own robot mind – it was me not Him. He drew me into relationship through His Beauty, His Grace, His Love and His Magnetic Power.
So it was that on April 5th two days after the previous Darshan occasion where Adi Da had described us as ‘sticks’, followed by the Notes and intense ‘reality consideration’ I was sitting in ‘the Giving Coat’, now Temple Adi Da with the other retreatants waiting for Darshan.
The pattern at this time was that the conch shell would be blown, the ‘hooting’ noise signalling that Adi Da was beginning His Walk to the Giving Coat. Those minutes of waiting while He was walking were tremendously exciting I can tell you, like counting down for the Apollo rocket to launch to the moon, but moreso! The anticipation would mount until the excitement was boiling over. We would twist around towards the entrance behind us, to our right, with our hands raised in a devotional gesture. Then we would twist some more and strain to catch a glimpse of Him through the open-to-the-air windows, before He entered the room, and then He would stride like a lion through the door, walk majestically to the front of the room and take His Place on His chair, folding His legs elegantly in a yogic asana.
Now He would look around the room, gazing at different people seemingly randomly and spontaneously. When He gazed at me, a fixed expressionless gaze deep into my eyes and heart, I felt my heart respond with a trembling feeling of bliss, then when this was accomplished His gaze turned to someone else. Throughout the Darshan I would feel the waves of bliss subside and then at some point He would look at me again and the trembling with bliss would begin again. Then it would fade. Then He would look at me again and the delicious sweet feeling in my heart would happen again. This pattern kept repeating. At some point I had the sense that we were ‘spinning tops’ and that Adi Da’s glance was ‘spinning our hearts’, when the spin slowed down He would glance at me again and keep my heart ‘spinning’.
Suddenly I felt this magnetic pull towards Him. His spiritual transmission penetrated deep into me and I felt magnetized to Him, like He was a gigantic all-powerful magnet and I was a metal filing helplessly drawn to Him. The power of this force was electronic and all-consuming. I would like to say it was just extremely blissful. It was overwhelmingly blissful and it was also terrifying. I felt out of control, like I would be swallowed up forever in this whirlpool of power and force. I was surrendering and resisting alternately. I was not able to fully surrender to this volcanic energy, this vortex of love-power. At the same time I was left with no doubt of the reality of the power of His spiritual transmission and His capability to fully enlighten people through His Divine Siddhis (spiritual powers). I felt ‘wrecked’ in a wonderful way, my mind torn apart and shattered. I was so filled with bliss and His transmission coursing through my body that I could not stand up. As He walked out of the room I slithered several feet in his direction like a snake. I wanted to crawl and slither after Him forever! I was madly attracted to the God-Man in my heart and in every cell of my being. He had really ‘got me.’
I was not the only one who was becoming unhinged and broken open by the Force of Adi Da’s Spiritual Transmission. Kanya Samatva Suprithi wrote at the time –‘The Darshan event held a few days after retreatants received Heart-Master Da’s Call to devotion marked a change in their response to Him. Devotees were no longer merely silently meditative. Today, for the first time in many years, devotees were wild in response to Sri Gurudev’s Presence. Everyone in the room ‘let loose – allowing themselves to be moved by Sri Gurudev’s Transmission without self –consciousness. Weeping, sobbing, wailing, calling of His Name, the most outrageous and difficult and body-wrenching kriyas, mudras, wild laughter, spontaneous praises and all kinds of deep, guttural moanings filled the room, while some were simply drawn into the deep Stillness of His Heart. Devotees allowed themselves to be swept up in His Spirit-Current. It was as if the entire group of retreatants together had come to a point of utter frustration with their suppressed response to Him, and they broke through that limit by His Grace.’
Earlier that day, unknown to the retreatants, Adi Da had Revealed His New Name – Da Kalki! Adi Da had been working intensively on The Dawn Horse Testament, going through it page by page to add His most recent Instructions to the text. On this particular morning one of the editors Frans van den Bosschereceived The Dawn Horse Testament manuscript back from Adi Da and was doing his usual daily processing of the changes Adi Da had made in the text, preparing the Guru’s Hand-written changes for entry into the computer version of the manuscript. Suddenly, Frans came running out of his office, unable to contain himself, and ran over to devotees in a nearby office to spread word about Adi Da’s latest changes. They were astounded by the significance of what they read:
‘This is The Dawn Horse Testament Of The Late-Time Avatar, Da Kalki, The Incarnation and Ther Master Of The Heart, The Very (and Truly) Human God-Man, The Mleccha Guru…..’ (The Dawn Horse Testament, Epilogue, 1990 version)
According to the Krishna tradition of Hinduism, cosmic history has already witnessed the appearance of nine Avatars of Vishnu, but the tenth and completing Avatar remains to come. He is named “Kalki” and will appear in the terrible era of the Kali Yuga, when God has been forgotten, heroically conquering the forces of darkness and restoring all to the Divine Condition.
A devotee had recently sent Adi Da a gift of a Kalki medallion he had acquired in India. Simultaneously, another devotee sent Beloved Adi Da an explanation of the Kalki tradition, and praised Him as the true and final Avatar, the Divine Liberator Who Fulfills the Kalki prophecy in this present dark and godless age. Avatar Adi Da Graciously Received this gift of acknowledgement from His devotees and accepted “Da Kalki” as His principal Name.
However, as devotees gradually found out more about the Kalki tradition, we came to feel that the Name “Da Kalki” was not a fully right representation of Avatar Adi Da. Kalki was already associated with a particular tradition of Hindu mythology. Also, the typical portrayal of Kalki in this tradition is in political, and even aggressive, terms.
Therefore, in 1991, Avatar Adi Da accepted the Name “Avabhasa”, and He confirmed that, while the impulse behind the offering of the Name “Da Kalki” had been entirely right, some of its associations were, indeed, not appropriate in a Name for Him.
Even so when we first heard about Adi Da changing His Name all of us on retreat were ecstatic. The Name signified to us that Adi Da was conquering our hearts. We had been ‘sticks’, shut down, unresponsive. Da Kalki was waking us up, waking us to ecstasy to Love-Bliss.
Over the next days we began to communicate to Beloved Adi Da about the spiritual, psychic and mystical experiences we were having in meditation and Darshan occasions. Devotees reported deepening reception of Adi Da’s Blessing-Transmission, quieting of the mind and blissful revelations. Some of these experiences were quite exaggerated. During meditation one man would sometimes pace to and fro on all fours at the front of the meditation hall growling like a lion or tiger. Another man developed a kind of back-flip as an effect of Adi Da’s Spiritual Transmission. I began to have a regular experience in meditation of the visionary form of Swami Nityananda thrusting his (ginormous) penis down through the core of my head to my groin which felt like it had turned into a vagina! (Glad to say it hadn’t!) This was very blissful and intoxicating, in my head, in my groin and in between! I very much looked forward to each meditation, anticipating exquisite pleasure.
Adi Da received our communications and gave us feedback. He did not question the authenticity of devotees’ experiences or criticise the validity or positive nature of the process we were individually and collectively undergoing, but He pointed out that we were showing a tendency to become fascinated by these experiences and seek for them and cling to them. He Said that we were experiencing the effects of His Spiritual Presence, not His actual Spiritual Presence, nothing wrong with, but He forcefully reminded us that all seeking for experience and clinging to experience is a profound error to be transcended.
On April 14th Quandra Sukhapur Rani read Da Kalki’s Notes to us:
‘The first capability practitioners must realize is that they must practice listening-devotion to Me, and in that process observe themselves until they come to the point of true hearing or most fundamental self-understanding. Such true hearing, then, is the capability for direct self-transcendence in every moment. Without that capability of direct self-transcendence, the individual cannot make right, true, and full use of My Spiritual Transmission, and the Transmission of My Condition ultimately.
This ordeal of listening and hearing is the first ordeal Of the Way of the Heart, and that is what student-beginners and those in the Intensive listening-hearing phase are involved in. All the foundation, functional, practical, relational, and cultural disciplinesare established are made effective by this. Retreatants often come here expecting to receive advanced and ultimate Revelations, but it is not appropriate or even possible to have such Revelations or Realizations because of their karmic limitations. They may experience various effects of My Spiritual (and always Blessing) Presence, but they cannot make use of them in a fundamental and ultimate sense. The real matter for beginners is Contemplation of Me in My bodily (human) Form. The foundation of most fundamental self-understanding has to be practiced at the beginning and in all of the stages as well.
There should not be a taboo against having feelings of My Spiritual (and Always Blessing) Presence. But there must be be this foundation in the listening and hearing process. You must make this devotional resort. You must observe yourself and understand yourself, and in due course become able to directly transcend the self- contraction. It is only when there is that capability that you can move on to the seeing stage, when My Spiritual (and Always Blessing) Presence becomes of use and a matter of real responsibility. Until you have established the hearing foundation, there is no use in having all kinds of Spiritual experience. Likewise, the listening and hearing process depends on the establishment of a true devotional relationship to Me and right acknowledgement of Me in the true traditional manner. It depends on the total culture of respect, and on an understanding of how the devotional relationship to Me works beyond the materialistic complex of the universe and the materialistic complex of what a human being is. This demonstrative and full devotion and true feeling – Contemplation of Me, and this listening process of self-observation and self- understanding, must be developed. You must go beyond all the presumptuousness and fascinations about the advanced and ultimate phenomena of religious and Spiritual life.’
Something that was very significant for me was a purification in me of problem consciousness relative to spinal pain (in my back, neck and jaw) that I had had since a child. For as long as I can remember there has been an imbalance, twisting and compression, a torque in my spine that gives me continuous extraordinary pain and discomfort, and there was a feeling in me, an idea, that somehow this pain barred me from Realization since I have always felt so wedded to this pain in the body.
One of these days on retreat a devotee told a leela of a healing that Beloved Adi Da had done on another devotee many years before, and said that when the devotee who had been healed communicated his leela in Beloved’s Company someone had asked Beloved Adi Da, ‘why don’t you heal all devotees who have health problems of their illness and disease?’ His answer was that some devotees He heals immediately, others He lets them keep their illness a while because they have things to learn from the situation, and other devotes He allows them to keep their health difficulty their whole life, ‘for spiritual reasons.’ When I heard this communication I felt very emotional and relieved at a profound depth in my heart of a burden I had been carrying, a sense of guilt and despair lifted off me.
Soon after each devotee was partnered up with a resident of Adi Da Samrajashram, a long-time devotee of Beloved Adi Da, who acted as a confidante. I told my friend about my twisted and compressed spine and the pain, and I said ‘that’s another good reason to Realize God – to be free of this pain.’ He said to me ‘Simon you don’t need any other reasons to Realize God, loving Adi Da Realizing Him, is Sufficient motivation’. This devotee himself had a spinal challenge, his spine was very curved. He told me that Adi Da had told him that when he would be seeing Him, in the Spiritual Stages, the force of Adi Da’s Spiritual Transmission would straighten his spine. Also my friend told me that Adi Da had Himself suffered greatly from pain in His spine, and that he and other close ‘old-time’ devotees had experimented with many types of seating arrangement for Sri Gurudev in an attempt to make it possible for Him to sit more comfortably.
This plus my experience on retreat of feeling Adi Da so deeply that at times I could feel beyond the pain to Him dissolved my doubt, my sense that I was barred from Realization. I was infused with Hope and a new Clarity and growing Faith and Heart-Happiness. I felt that Beloved Adi Da was directly Working with me to Liberate me from bondage to suffering. His Love and Tenderness and Commitment to the Freedom and Happiness of His devotees was breaking my heart.
Another significant happening for me was a recurring image I had in meditation of a children’s story I very much enjoyed when I was a kid: ‘A Fish Out Of Water’ by Helen Palmer – the wife of Dr Seuss, who had written the original story.
On meditation retreat on Adi Da Samrajashram in 1990, this story kept coming up spontaneously in meditation. The story is about a boy who buys a fish, named Otto, from a pet shop. The pet shop owner, Mr. Carp, gives the boy instructions on how to care for the fish, including strict feeding instructions: “Never feed him a lot. Never more than a spot! Or something may happen. You never know what.” When the boy ignores these instructions out of compassion for his new pet, Otto begins to outgrow his fishbowl. This leads the boy to move him into several different vases and a bathtub until the house fills up with water.
The boy requests help from a police officer and the fire department, who help him take Otto down to the local pool. There, they drop the fish in, causing it to expand to the size of the pool and scare off all of the swimmers. Unsure of what to do, the boy calls Mr. Carp. Mr. Carp is not surprised as boys always ignore his feeding instructions, and he comes as quickly as possible. Mr. Carp dives into the pool and pulls Otto below. Eventually, Mr. Carp brings the fish back up to the surface returned to its normal size. He refuses to say how he did it, but tells the boy to never overfeed Otto again. So, the boy decides after the adventures he had that day that he will never overfeed his fish again.
I felt Adi Da was giving me Instruction through this story, to obey Him and follow His Instructions and not be independent, that if I don’t obey Him I get unwanted results and big dramas, like the boy disobeys Mr Carp and feeds Otto too much fish food with disastrous results
I told this story to my fellow retreatants during a Leelas and Confessions occasion. These were ecstatic occasions we had every so often throughout the retreat. Devotees took turns to spontaneously go to the front and speak, beginning, ‘I am Narcissus and ……..’ At some point Beloved Instructed to change this opening to ‘I am a devotee of Da Love-Ananda and I am Narcissus.’ It was so wonderful, so happy and intimate to share with eachother what was occurring for each of us on retreat. We could express ourselves without fear of being judged. Our usual egoic armouring was being shaken loose by Beloved Adi Da. He created a space of trust and freedom, a space where each of us could just be ourselves, and be seen for who we are without self concern. These occasions were unspeakably Happy.
Adi Da was also Working with each of us collectively and individually. One devotee asked for permission to lie down in meditation because of her bad back. Beloved Communicated to her that her bad back had not stopped her having sex but when it came to meditating suddenly it was a problem! Beloved wanted to know which devotees had had previous teachers and gurus and who these past teachers were. He gave individual instruction to free devotees from past binding attachments to teachers and spiritual practices from their past, so that they could wholeheartedly accept Him as their Master. His Love and Commitment to each devotee’s God Realization was completely overwhelmingly heart-breaking. He stressed throughout this retreat that were here for Guru Diksha, to be initiated by Him via reception of His ‘’Ruchira Shaktipat’’ or the ‘’Bright’’ (Ruchira) Descent of Divine Power (Shaktipat). He needed us all to be free enough of our karmic attachments to be available to Him.
Many of us were going to leave the Island on the same boat, which was just a few days away. Beloved Adi Da kept making the point that the retreat was not over up until the last second. He criticized us for thinking and daydreaming about our departure and exhorted us to intensively practice being on retreat right until we left on the boat, to not let up the intensity. He also began to criticize us very fiercely for being institutionalized and suppressed in our devotion. He Said we were making the retreat into a programme, treating this time like we were on a church summer camp, rather than living and truly cultivating the spontaneous, moment to moment, ecstatic, devotional relationship to Him.
A turning point came when all the retreatants rebelled against the retreat form, and instead of just doing what were being told by our retreat manager (although paradoxically that obedience was appropriate up until that point) we took musical instruments outside into the open air, walked over to the lawn of Adi Da’s House, Indefinable, and began ecstatically chanting to Him, longing to see Him, longing for Him to step outside of His house and Give us His Darshan. On this occasion He didn’t and stayed inside the House
Each evening we would participate in the arate. Beloved Adi Da was critical of us that we were not bringing enough energy to the arate. We weren’t ecstatic enough, our devotion shut-down. This particular evening, a few hours after the chanting occasion on the lawn of His House we gave our full energy and devotion in the arate, with loud, ecstatic chanting, wild with devotion. As we left Temple Adi Da we looked over at Adi Da’s House, Indefinable, and could see Adi Da’s Form, his back and the back of His head, in the window of His House. It felt like He was Pleased and was rewarding us with His Sublime Darshan, the Sighting of His Beautiful bodily (human) Form that dissolves all dilemma in the mind, and awakens the Heart to Happiness and Peace.
The next day, April 19, Thursday afternoon, was our last Darshan occasion and then some hours after that many of us would be leaving on the boat. We seated ourselves in Temple Adi Da and waited for Beloved to arrive. Then a devotee came and said it wasn’t clear if Beloved would be coming to give His Darshan because He was disturbed about a report He had received from representatives of the wider spiritual community. As a collective of devotees worldwide we were not handling our responsibilities to protect and preserve His Sacred Treasures – His Own Form, and that of His Gurukula, His Sanctuaries, and His Sacred Teaching Word. It was a stalemate situation. The signs of devotees’ continued unresponsiveness made it difficult for Him to Grant His Darshan. He enacts such a specific process of Heart – Submission in formal Darshan that the whole event must be honourably engaged by devotees – in the right devotional setting and mood.
We all engaged in the Prayer of Changes for the stalemate to break, for things to be right between devotees and our Beloved Guru. Then to our disappointment Kanya Remembrance walked into the Temple and took the trays of Prasad from the front of the Hall, back outside of the Temple. It did not seem auspicious. It looked like Adi Da would not be coming. Our hearts fell.
Then a devotee resident rushed into the Temple with ecstatic news! She told us in a flurry of great excitement that the Guru would be giving Darshan on the porch of His House, Indefinable (Indefinable is the House He Stayed in when He was in the Village). We started to walk out of the Temple, not Realizing that Beloved Adi Da was already Seated on His Porch of His House, ‘Run, Run’, someone shouted, your Guru is waiting for you.’
At this point thirty or so retreatants fled across the grass, running towards our Guru, Who Looked Absolutely Beautiful, Seated on His porch, not on a chair, but just on a cushion directly on the step of the porch. I remember seeing one older lady practically leaping over a hedgerow, we were breathless with devotional ecstasy, I think all of us lost our minds in Happiness even before we reached to Him. We all sat down on the grass in front of Him. His Spiritual Transmission was Pouring through the air, as He Gazed out to Infinity, His Eyes soft with a Heart-Broken, Most Blissful Love Beyond Measure. Some devotees began weeping, some crying, some screaming, some calling out His name, some just quiet at complete peace. Waves of His Blissful Transmission flooded and reflooded this small group of people, Graced beyond measure.
At some point I was laughing, then crying, then laughing again, I was seated very close to Him, and then I felt as though He sliced my mind in two pieces. I felt like my mind split open like an apple being sliced in two by a Divine Sword, and it was as though I was seeing everything in not three dimensions but in infinite dimensions. The imaginary walls of apparent separation dissolved and we were seated in Paradise with our Guru, just this Force and Power and Stream of Infinite Love that He Is, All Pervading, Just Happiness. Time and Space seemed to dissolve in Joy. All of our hearts were broken open simultaneously. It was incredible and indescribably Happy. Beloved Looked at devotees individually, and then would Look away from that person to someone else, and then later on would Look again. He was feeding us through His eyes with His Immense Spirit Love, and we were brimming over with Joyful Feeling.
Beloved gestured with His hand for devotees to come forward to receive a cookie Prasad. He was swollen with Love-Bliss that He could barely move His Arm. I moved forward and knelt at His Feet, He put a cookie into my hand, pressed it into me. One devotee’s hand. Her fingers were stiff with the force of His Transmission. I watched Him gently open her fingers to press the Prasad cookie into her hand. Kanya Remembrance was standing over Him fanning Him, she looked triumphant with a huge smile on her face, as she watched Adi Da’s Mastery of all of us, Celebrating His Victory in all our hearts.
It was a window in Time and Space, a Window to The Happiness and Unconditional Love that is always already Here, a Portal to Reality, An Unveiling of The Truth, An Uncovering Of Our True Self
He Is That and at some point in every apparent ‘ones’ cosmic adventure Every apparent ‘one’ will find out That He Is Here and Has Always Been Here, that There is only Him, and He Is the Infinite Being of Love, The True Identity of each of us, Eternally Happy and Free
Of That There Is No Doubt
Jaya Adi Guru Da
All quotations – Copyright 2016 ASA
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