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Initiation in Another Realm
Aguilar has been a devotee of Avatar Adi Da since March 1983. She has a 22-year
old daughter whom she conceived and raised in the community of Adi Da’s devotees.
Alicia is herself a gifted healer.
was born and raised in the Philippines, and lived in England for eight and a half
years before I came to America. I grew up as a Catholic and never missed even
a day of going church, every day. Even though my family was Catholic, my father
was the traditional village healer. He was a very calm and kind, helpful person.
People called him Amang (Father) Owel (short for Villaruel, his first name). I
remember wanting to learn the ways of healing that my father practiced, but I
was afraid of the power and forces that I felt he dealt with. And he did mention
that there was none of us seven children who were brave enough to learn. However,
one day as I came home from work, I heard this beautiful tiny voice singing classical
tunes. My father was visiting and the voice was coming from just inside the apartment
door. As I opened the door, there was my three-month old daughter in her crib
just having finished singing. My father turned to see me, surprised. He looked
at me and said, “One can even teach birds to sing!” It was clear he had found
someone to teach after all!
Even as an adult, before I went to work, I went
to church and prayed to God. I thought I was really, really suffering of boredom
and loneliness. Even though in England I was able to surround myself with my Filipino
friends, I still felt unhappy. All I did was work, sleep and eat. Eat-work-sleep.
For my vacations I went to different places, different countries, and would feel
temporarily happy, but, I still felt empty in my heart. And, I said to myself,
”This life is useless”, and I felt that God is not listening that I am not happy.
I am questioning “Why? Is there a purpose in this life that I could not find?”
June 1982, I went to accompany a friend to America on vacation. We went to Los
Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; back to Los Angeles; then to San Jose, California.
Through my Filipino friends in San Jose, I met this Caucasian guy, Michael. He
was an ex-seminarian, and so during our first meeting we talked about religion,
because we were both from Catholic families. (My aunt was a nun and we were very,
very close. We were very strict Catholics. We never missed Holy Rosary Angelus
at 6 in the evening. Wherever we were, we ran to come home to do the rosary at
6 o’clock. Every day.)
Michael came over and said, “I have a book for you”. It was The
Knee of Listening. It had a silver cover with a photograph of a man smiling.
I told Michael, “It’s a good picture,” and in return I gave him a little pamphlet
of Mother Mary. It was around 11 pm when Michael left. I began preparing to go
to bed and was looking at the picture on the book’s cover.
I begin to talk
to the book. “Michael said that a lot of people like you. Who are you that a lot
of people like you? You don’t look like Elvis Presley”. I said, “Elvis Presley
is good looking and a lot of people like him!” And I put the book on the couch
next to the bed. It was now almost midnight and I was drowsy — like on the edge
of sleeping and still awake.
Suddenly I saw this fire on top of the book.
It was shaped like a tongue. I said to myself, “Oh my God!” I think I am hallucinating
because I don’t know where the fire is coming from. I said to myself. “Look, it’s
on the book! On top of the book!” So I got up and I looked at the book and then
I turned it over and tried not to look at the book, but I couldn’t help but look
out the corner of my eye. So I turned back and I said, “Oh my God, there’s the
fire!” Then I said to myself, “This is a voodoo! THIS IS A VOODOO! My God! There
is a voodoo in this book! This book is alive. This book is a voodoo because this
book is alive."
My head felt like it was getting bigger . . . my heart
was pounding. I’m kind of scared and excited at the same time. And so I turned
my head around the other way and tried to sleep, and to not think about the book
or touch it. I hadn’t even opened the book! I had just looked at the picture!
I turn over to go to sleep. Immediately, it feels like I am being sucked into
a trance or dream, and I find myself in the house of my grandmother where lived
as a young girl. (My parents lived in a village on a small isolated island, three
hours by boat from my grandmother. My father oversaw the fishery there. My grandmother
lived near the city, so I lived with her so I could go to school.) There, at the
top of the stairs I see this man with a cane. At my grandmother’s house there
are about 15 steps all the way up from the ground to the 2nd floor,
and I was on the bottom. The man standing with a cane is wearing a beanie-type
hat and there are two men standing beside him. The man with the cane looked like
the man on the cover of the book [Avatar Adi Da], but only older. I didn’t recognize
the other two men. I said to myself, “What is this! I own this house! Why is he
the one who is on the top and I am on the bottom! And who are these men!"
And then I said, “Okay,” and started to go slowly up the steps of the stairs.
The man at the top started slowly coming down the stairs. I notice the man has
no hair. I said, “Oh! A bald head and no hair.” Both the other men with him were
We met in the middle of the stairs. He then stretched out his
hand and with his thumb he put oil on my forehead, between my eyes. Inside of
my heart and my head I was screaming, “No! I am not dying yet! Don’t do that!”
I was so afraid, because this reminded me of Catholicism’s extreme unction — when
people are on the edge of dying and the priest puts oil on the forehead. It is
similar when the baby is being baptised, the priest puts oil and water on the
all the men disappeared and I found myself at my father’s and mother’s house on
the island where they lived. I am inside the house, in the living room of my mother’s
and father’s house where I used to sleep. Then I saw myself with my legs crossed.
I said, “What am I doing?” And then I saw this man again — he was by himself this
time — sitting in the air, levitating, with his legs crossed with his hands on
top of his knees. He was telling me over and over again that I don’t understand.
And I said to myself, “Who is this man who acquired the place where I was born
and where I grew up? It’s like I own the house but he is the (master) of the house!”
I said to myself, “This is different!” And I woke up!
When I looked at the
book again, there was no fire anymore. But I was left wanting to find out about
this attraction people felt toward this man and my own curiosity to find out more
From that time on, then, I kept having dreams of communities,
and people. And eventually I came to meet many of them, and then meet Adi Da himself.
I became a formal devotee of Adi Da in March, 1983.
I never told anyone
about this until maybe nine years after it happened. The person I told reminded
me that putting the thumb on the forehead between the eyes is a traditional anointing
of the ajna
chakra done in spiritual initiations in many yogic spiritual traditions.
I did not know that at the time I was first given The
Knee of Listening and had this experience. I also learned later that Adi
Da would do this when He personally initiated a devotee.
note: Alicia had only just that day for the first time heard of Avatar
Adi Da and seen a photograph of Him. It was a photo of Him as a young man from
the cover of The
Knee of Listening. After the time of this story, in mid-March 1983, Adi
Da went to Fiji with a small group of devotees. During that time, on April 3,
1983, Adi Da had his head shaved as a traditional sign of renunciation. The other
men traveling with Him also had shaven heads at the time. It was a period
of intense consideration of initiation into advanced esoteric spiritual practice.]