Evidence > Other
Entities and Realms > Possession by a Leopard
and Possession by a Leopard
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.
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.
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.”
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. |
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.