There Is Surrender
is one of the founders of this website. The following is an account of his first
experience of direct, tangible Spiritual Transmission.
Avatar Adi Da used to say that
the heart longs to be overwhelmed by God. Much of my "spiritual experience" in
Adi Da's Company has confirmed that — both the longing, and the overhwelming
quality of the Divine Response. It
seems like somtimes we need to be "overwhelmed" in order to be convinced of something
other than our own minds and presumptions. This story is about one of those overwhelming-type
experiences. What was important to me was not so much the experience itself as
was the process and context of the entire happening. It was a lesson in Avatar
Adi Da's Teaching about surrender. It was also direct Instruction about the reality
of this type of Spiritual Transmission and the esoteric anatomy associated with
it. It was confirmation to me of the profundity of the truth of esoteric teachings
of great Masters from all over the world (and the relationship to these teachers),
while at the same time it was a revelation of Avatar Adi Da as a Supreme Master
of it all.
setting was sometime in 1980 or 1981. Avatar Adi Da was regularly sitting with
devotees during Celebration times in Land Bridge Pavilion at the
Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary. Three hundred or so devotees at a time
could fit in there. He had recently Instructed us in a simple "Easy Prayer":
an invocation of Him through silently saying His Name "Da" in the phrase "Radiant
Da, Giver of Life, I surrender", while marking the invocations on one's mala.
We were being encouraged to experiment with this, since, up to this point, we
principally had used the form of invocation called "self-enquiry" He had originally
described in The Knee Of Listening,
where one enquires into the nature of experience (and experiencing) with the question
"Avoiding relationship?" We no longer use either of these practices, but at the
time they could be potent aids to meditation and conscious awareness altogether.
had been a devotee of Adi Da Samraj for a couple of years, but
I couldn't say I was growing in the practice, and was certainly not having any
significant insight or experience. On the one hand, I felt
frustrated. But curiously enough, I also had a daily sense of living the miraculous
and being fundamentally free and happy. A rather paradoxical life! And a
life whose paradoxes require the ongoing development of greater self-understanding
was one of those celebration weekends at the Mountain Of Attention. I had driven
down from Portland, Oregon where I was living at the time. It was the final occasion
of the celebration, which was always a formal, silent sitting with Adi Da Samraj.
Frequently during these occasions, Adi Da would literally look at everyone in
the room, sometimes directly at each individual, sometimes looking just above
the head of each individual, sometimes simply looking above the heads of everyone
as a group, or looking around the room although clearly not looking at anyone
in particular. On this occasion He was looking at each devotee individually.
This day, in my frustrated state, my seeking was exaggerated
to the degree of pathos. I was forcefully trying to surrender. I wanted something,
anything, to happen. I became exasperated asking myself the self-enquiry
question, so I switched to the Easy Prayer, gritting emotion into the beads of
the mala as I ground them in my fingers, pressing them from hand to hand, growling
"Radiant Da, Giver of Life, I surrender".All
the while I was looking at Adi Da as He gazed around the room. As He looked at
each individual there, His head and eyes would come to the area where I was seated
and, at the moment His Gaze would otherwise have been on me, He clearly, obviously,
averted His attention. He skipped me! And not just once. The several times
He regarded the side of the room where I was sitting, the same thing occured.
I was becoming more
and more shattered as the occasion went on, becoming more and more frenetic in
my search. In my desire for His attention, I switched back and forth from one
technique to the other, on the verge of tears of desperation.
in absolute frustration, with a sense of complete incompetence and lack of understanding,
eyes lowered toward the floor, I said to myself, "I give up", and released my
grip on the mala. I looked up in this state of mindless emotional
exhaustion. As I began to lift my head to look up, I could see Adi Da looking
over at the other side of the room. However, just as my head came up, without
hesitation or any kind of intervening gesture, He immediately swung His Gaze over
to where I was sitting and looked directly at me.
He fixed His Gaze on me, a column of magnetic force/light visibly shot from just
above His head to the center of my chest. As it entered, my chest seemed to explode
in a sudden brilliant light, which
seemed to carry its own quality of intense pleasure
and Joy. This light/force then took on a defined movement in the body, like a
contained river, flowing down the inside front of the body to the base of the
body, down around (still inside) the perineum, then up the spine
to a level at about the top of the sacrum. I was being immersed in this
current I perceived as coming from Adi Da. This initial shock of visible Transmission
lasted for about fifteen seconds or so, then Adi Da turned to look elsewhere in
Adi Da's Gaze moved on, I was left sobbing and howling in tears of happiness and
love. As this force and light continued to course in the body, it seemed to release
the body's stranglehold on its own ability to feel. Eventually the experience
lessened and came to an end. Soon thereafter, Adi Da left.
the end of the celebration we all went home. I had made arrangements to stay that
night with a friend who lived close by, rather than immediately drive back to
Oregon. Later that night, before going to bed, I went into their meditation hall.
I was alone in the hall. I was more tired than I thought, so instead of being
able to meditate, I actually drifted off into sleep.
being sound asleep for about 30 minutes or so, I was slowly
awakened by what at first seemed to be a physical vibration. It turns out I was
so tired that I had laid down on my side. As I opened my eyes, I saw the same
column of force and light I had experienced earlier in Adi Da's physical company
being emitted from the photograph of Him that I had been regarding for meditation.
Again it seemed to originate from above His Head, and enter me at chest level.
Seeing and feeling this, I slowly sat up into a proper meditation posture.
The column of force and light continued to come from the photograph as I sat there,
and persisted for perhaps the next twenty minutes.
seemed to me that, now being relaxed from sleep, my experience was different.
This time, over time, the perceptible current from the Murti disappeared,
and then the current itself, in the body, changed from an experience of inward
reception in the front of the body, to a column of "magnetized light", like a
pillar of light and force polarized upwards, standing (not moving) inside the
body, extending from the base of the spine to the neck. There was no emotional
component to it at all, just this clearly perceived and felt column of light/force
in the body, seeming, even, to hold the body upright. I sat there
noticing this, deeply relaxed in contemplation of the photographic image of Adi
Da in that small meditation hall. The experience of this column of light lasted
for about ten minutes, then simply dissipated. I got up and went to bed.
days later, while I was studying Adi Da's Teaching I came across a description
of His Transmission of the Spirit-Current and its movement in the body that exactly
matched what had happened to me. But even more than that corroboration of
the yogic process, I felt truly humbled and instructed in what Adi Da had
always said about true surrender and the
fruitlessness of seeking.
My personal postscript:
Experience is just experience, because there is always the experiencer. Experience
can inspire; it can serve as a goad to more serious practice; it can serve the
psycho-physical purification of the body-mind. But ultimately, Avatar Adi Da's
Instruction (which His Spiritual Transmission also Reveals) is that experiencer
and experience, the knower and the known, the subject and the object, and all
difference is to be understood and transcended.
story appears in the following sections: