Evidence > His Name Was Written on the Banks of the River
His Name Was Written on the Banks of the River
Julie Lockwood Smith
Julie Lockwood Smith has been a formal devotee of Adi Da since June 20, 2009. She currently lives in Alaska, and works for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. She received a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1992, and a degree in Integral Studies from JFK University in 2008.
On June 20, 2009, I became a formal devotee of Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj. My gratitude to Adi Da for Incarnating in human form to Speak and Demonstrate Reality and Truth for the sake of all knows no bounds. I am eternally grateful for this greatest Gift that has been Given to all.
On June 20, 2012, I had somehow forgotten that it was the third anniversary of my life as a formal devotee.
I don't remember a lot about the early part of that day except that I felt inexplicably drawn to the water. I kept feeling like I had to get to water. The Chena River and Tanana River kept coming into my awareness over and over, throughout the day. I felt drawn like metal to magnet, like a lover to her Beloved.
At first I thought it was some unusual passing thought, and I tried to shake it off and go on about my day, but it persisted. I have never in my life felt drawn to a body of water in the way I felt drawn that day, so finally I relented to the feeling and told Doug I needed to go to the water. He graciously agreed to go with me.
As we left Ester and passed the turn to Chena Pump Road, I felt a little nudge of regret that we were heading toward downtown and the Chena River instead of going to the Tanana River. But Doug was driving and it felt right to follow his lead, so I didn't say anything.
Doug drove to the Chena River next to the little parking lot behind "Alaskaland", the one where the canoe rentals are. We parked and walked toward the Chena where the sun was sparkling on the water, children and dogs and ducks splashed in the water, and a busy hum of happiness and light pervaded everything. Hand in hand, we walked down the path into Alaskaland, past the playground and over to the Palace Saloon where a show was just getting ready to start about life in Fairbanks.
We have seen this sort of show many times before, but something special happened on this evening. One of the actors, a huge bear of a man, spontaneously began teasing someone in the audience. He continued the teasing again and again, each time with a smile and twinkle in his eye, in such a sweet and tender and humorous sort of way that I found myself feeling full and happy and delighted. I laughed and laughed in a room filled with laughter — full belly laughs, like I haven't laughed before or since.
When the show was over, we walked back to the car, took in the river once more, and then headed back toward home. As we were approaching Chena Pump Road again, Doug asked me if I wanted to go to the Tanana River. I very much wanted to. I was still feeling drawn to the water, and drawn now especially to the Tanana. I was so happy that he asked, so glad that he wanted to.
As he pulled into the boat launch area off Chena Pump Road, I saw children playing off to the left and a line of boat trailers off to the right. Doug turned the car and parked straight toward the river between all the other activities that were going on. I stepped out of the car and walked toward the river.
I had only gone a few steps when I saw, directly in front of me, the word DA written on the banks of the Tanana River. "Da" means Giver. "Adi" means First. "Adi Da" means First Giver. "Da" is the most fundamental root name of the Divine. And there was His Name written on the banks of the Tanana River, Bright before me:
I was stunned. Completely stopped. How did Bhagavan's Name get there? What did it mean?
The only coherent thought I had was that I had to take a picture. There was something unusual happening, and I needed to take a picture. So I went back to the car to get my camera and I took the picture you see above.
Then we went home. That evening I came up with all sorts of ideas about what it might mean, but none of them were very compelling.
The next morning, as I sat in meditation, it finally dawned on me that the previous day had been the third anniversary of my life as Bhagavan Adi Da's devotee. Once again, I was stunned. I had forgotten. But Bhagavan Adi Da had Remembered — and He Revealed Himself to let me know He Remembered.
As I felt into more deeply, I recognized Bhagavan Adi Da's Sign in all that had occurred: the feeling of being inexplicably drawn; the particularity of being drawn to water; the easeful and happy feeling with Doug; the pervasive happy hum at the Chena River; the room full of love and laughter at the Palace Saloon with the so sweet and humorous actor eliciting our delight; Doug's sensitivity to continue to the Tanana and then parking directly in front of Bhagavan's Name, DA.
All of it, every particle: His Sign! All of it exactly like so many stories I've heard about what it felt like to be in His physical Company. All of it felt exactly like Him.
Such wonder. . . Such delight!
Bhagavan Adi Da is forever telling us that the Way is not about techniques or methods or strategies, but about our relationship with Him. He means that literally! I sometimes get confused about what it means to literally be in relationship with the Divine, and then He Intervenes to Reveal Himself and Light the Way. This event was a continuation of His Revelation. . . another pearl on the string of understanding.