Extraordinary Evidence > Other Entities and Realms > Possession by a Leopard

Shaktipat and Possession by a Leopard

Dellanna Adams-Bain

Dellanna Adams-Bain has been a devotee of Avatar Adi Da since 1974. While a devotee, Dellanna obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She worked professionally as a psychologist for many years and also served Adidam as a consultant in her professional capacity. At a certain point in her life Dellanna began experiencing “possession” by an animal entity. This story is about that and Adi Da’s Instruction to her about it.

Dellanna Adams-BainBy July of 1988, I, and my intimate partner, had been devotees for 14 years. I had completed my Ph.D. in clinical psychology a few years earlier, which I did after asking Adi Da if I should do so.

At this time, Adi Da was sitting regularly with devotees in Land Bridge Pavilion at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary and receiving questions. For the past six months I had been experiencing possession by a leopard and being taken on journeys by her. This story is about my initial direct Instruction by Adi Da in this area. His Instruction has since continued, with great loving Regard.

In these earlier years, I often was unable to fully conduct Avatar Adi Da’s Transmission. While sitting with Adi Da in the Pavilion that day I was having trouble breathing and I was being possessed by the leopard. My intimate partner said to me that I had to ask Adi Da a question about all this — but I had never been able to speak directly to Him. I had never even told anyone that these things were happening. Then I recalled that, in The Knee Of Listening, Adi Da had referred to His Own manifesting like the snarl of a wolf, and the yawn and growl of a lion (p.170, 2004 ed.), and also, His reference to the “swooning room”, where Swami Muktananda’s devotees would bark and hoot like animals (p.228). So, I gathered my courage, stood up, and asked Him about that, about His own experience. He answered by giving a full explanation of this phenomena, while I stood there Beholding Him. When He had finished, I began moving to sit back down, when, suddenly, Adi Da Graciously asked me if my question was related to my own experience! I said yes, and there ensued a dialogue during which He drew me out regarding these experiences. He asked for the details of one of the journeys with the leopard, and I responded that I would write to Him about that, since the journeys were rather long and had occurred 2 or 3 times a week for six months. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote, quoting from my spiritual diary:

On February 7, 1988, we installed Your new Murti in our communion hall at home. It was a powerful, joyful event. After 15 minutes of feeling Your Divine Presence very strongly, my breathing became deep and more rapid. I felt that I was being breathed. Then, I became possessed by a leopard. I could “see” the spots down the sides of her body. My hands became claws raised on either side of the head. Only the body was possessed, not the mind. I was growling and hissing with teeth exposed. My feelings were not exactly fear, but it was disconcerting and I felt some apprehension. This continued for 5 or 10 minutes.

The leopard has entered my body frequently when I am deep in mediation. Sometimes, she stays for only a minute or so, then leaves. Often, however, we go on journeys, when after leaving the body she indicates that I should follow her. An incident happened in mid-June while sitting in a Meditation Hall with other devotees. I had gone quickly into deep meditation when the leopard came and possessed the body. I did not want to disturb anyone, so I inhibited all sounds, and opened my eyes, and refused her. I had never done this before. I then closed my eyes and had the image of the leopard in a glass cage, jumping up the side and trying to get out, then finally falling down and lying still. I felt that I was killing her, so I let her take over my body and kept the hissing as quiet as possible. The leopard soon moved out of the body and indicated that I should follow her. She was running with a circle of bright yellow sunlight over her, while all the rest of the forest was overcast. She led me to the rocky rim of a mountain and we went up steeply. Eventually, the leopard descended a path and we made our way down to the floor to a stone seat in the center of a mountainous bowl. Previously, on such journeys, the leopard had always taken me to You, so I expected to see You, Divine Lord, on the seat. The leopard walked straight to the stone seat and sat on it. She slowly turned into a woman, and then finally, turned into You. I stood in amazement, and You, Divine Lord, Said: “There is One, and I am That”, then You pointed to me and continued, “and you are That”. Suddenly, there was no sense of separate self, Only Your Radiant Divine Form. It was a sublime moment of only Your Radiant Presence.

My full report was submitted to Adi Da, and He Graciously continued His Instruction to me, and His Comments were also given to many devotees in our culture and who serve in education. He Said: “A cultural presentation should be made about this. Dell should know that she should just let the process be, to do its work, and not get wordy or highly visible, but to let her practice develop. A presentation would be useful, but she need not give it. Dell can talk about it in small groups, but such consideration has to be kept alive, using her as an example is how it should be done.”

His full response to in July of 1988 was actually very detailed. Here are several of what I felt as the most important points:

Avatar Adi Da: There is evidence of shaktipat and visionary phenomena that may occur even in the waking state. It is in My Company that experiences like this can be dealt with. But apart from that, the experience can be deluding and just involve a person in a fruitless psychic excursion. The reason for this is the production of spiritual infusion or shaktipat or Guru Kripa that has been awakened in Dell by her contact with Me, and by the virtue of My Spiritual relationship with her. But the transmitted Spiritual Force may be experienced based on her practice in life. The Spirit Current can be qualified. On the one hand, it is moving attention toward ultimate liberation. On the other hand, it is tending to take the form of the body-mind of the individual, and it reflects the character of the individual and mind forms are stimulated by it.

So obviously, My first recommendation is that Dell should establish herself in right relationship as a devotee with all the disciplines intact. And it is devotion and surrender itself that allows such processes to develop auspiciously. So, those who receive Guru Kripa are involved in Guru devotion and surrender of self. And that allows the Spirit force to do the liberating work. But, apart from devotion and self-surrender, and responsibilities of discipline altogether, experiences like this are simply indulgence in one’s own mind forms, and tend, therefore, not to be spiritually fruitful.

This particular phenomena is a lower level shakti phenomena relative to the vital purification, and if Dell will look at the content of her dream vision, it is My own Spirit-Presence calling her to devotion and heart conversion.

In Dell’s case, the leopard is a visual personification of the Spirit force of shakti and of My own Transmission. And it is Me, and it leads to Me in the case of the individual who practices as a devotee. The experience is a purification of the vital and conversion of the heart. Therefore, it is significantly associated with the frontal yoga [the very beginnings of spiritual practice]. Also, clearly, it has an ascending character, and advanced practice, depending on the level of responsibility that Dell can develop in her life. There is no need to suppress the phenomena. She should practice as a devotee in real spiritual terms. I noticed that when she brought it up, there was a reluctance on her part, as if it were not something I had already given Instruction on, as if it was curious and strange. No, it is shakti phenomena. What do you think has happened over the 14 years she has been My devotee? She has to be responsible for this. Dell has real signs of spiritual activity and devotion. The impression in the Gathering is that the tendency she was speaking of was mediumistic and psychism, but it is obviously spiritual signs of shaktipat, and that is the process that needs to be nurtured by right spiritual practice.

I responded to these Notes from Adi Da with what I hoped was devotion and surrender. But He was not fooled. He replied that even my response continued to reflect my reluctance, independence, and abstraction, and my lack of understanding that these visions were the evidence of something yet unsurrendered in the vital! And that the devotees who are responsible for the culture “should have a conversation with her”!

So, following these helpful interviews with cultural devotees, I wrote again to Adi Da regarding why I had been reluctant to speak to Him, and why I could not talk straight to Him. Needless to say, the writing of this letter was very painful for me, as I confessed my refusal of the intimacy that He had offered me for many years by then. I also reported on my meditations. This interaction with Adi Da seemed to accelerate the activity of the leopard, which now entered the body 2 or 3 times in each meditation. I also reported on other visions as they occurred, and my developing devotion and understanding.

Again Adi Da responded to my letter saying: “Dell seems to understand something, and what she said made sense”. This was His kind Regard. He also said that based on everything that was true of me altogether, not just any reception of shaktipat, I was not altogether exhibiting signs of advanced practice and that I should simply continue my practice of devotion and surrender as a student-beginner, and be Guided by His Instruction. And so it has been.

Postscript: The following year was a machine of ecstasy, swooning, additional animal possession, visions of saints, and absorptive states. Throughout this difficult period, I was instructed by Avatar Adi Da in how karmic tendencies may be purifying, rather than merely fascinating. By His limitless Grace and Regard, He Guided me through these distractions, always returning me to self-surrendering, self-forgetting, and self-transcending communion with Him, helping me discover how His real Love-Bliss Presence is always tangibly there.

Throughout the time I have just described (and subsequently even as such experiences have continued), I maintained a busy psychological consulting practice, and altogether carried on a very ordinary and fully functional life of spiritual practice, family, marriage, and service in the Adidam community.

I am eternally grateful and heart full of devotion for my Divine Heart Master.

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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