Praise to the Guru, Body Of Light

Leslie Waltzer


Leslie Waltzer came to Bhagavan Adi Da in 1975, when she was 29 years old. Over the course of her time as a devotee she has seen Adi Da on many, many occasions. She is the business owner of a graphic design company in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has served Adi Da over the years principally through book, print and website design and in service to the Adidam Mission. She raised two children and taught art to many children in the Adidam community. Leslie Waltzer

While preparing to go on retreat on Naitauba, and during my travel there, I felt Bhagavan Adi Da's Presence strongly. You can imagine the shock in finding out that Bhagavan Adi Da's Mahasamadhi occurred a few hours after landing in Taveuni. The grief and sorrow that ensued were heartbreaking. I have always felt great joy in approaching Adi Da Samrajashram by boat. The Island is Him, so majestic and beautiful. Now approaching, I was filled with sadness. My Beloved Master was no longer in the Body. The Island felt still and quiet. There were no smiling faces to greet retreatants. Only a deafening silence.

Much memory is blurred due to jet lag and fatigue. It took about twenty hours of travel. I cannot remember what passed, but next I sat chanting with many devotees for hours on the Veranda facing a window to His bedroom. The constant awareness that on the other side of the glass our Guru sat in Mahasamadhi was almost unbearable. After a time I was invited (as were many small groups) to enter Bhagavan Adi Da's Bedroom. Bhagavan was seated on His bed. This was the last time I would see Adi Da's beautiful Human Form. This last Darshan meant everything to me. (I am crying now to think of it.) His Divine Presence filled the room. One of His daughters sat on one side holding His Hand, a renunciate devotee on His other side. "M", His white scottie dog was laying on the bed in front of Him.

Parama-Sapta-Na Adi Da was entirely wrapped in Orange cloth, except for His face — to see His beautiful Face one last time in deepest Mahasamadhi sleep. I offered a flower at the foot of the bed, prostrated, then sat for a bit. Tears accompanied with words of gratitude spoken silently to the One Who has Served for so long, patiently Teaching and Blessing me for thirty-four years. The reality of Bhagavan leaving the body was stark. Seeing Him in this state brought a finality to the loss of His Bodily Human Form.

I can honestly say that I have never cried so much in my life as in the days that followed. There was a constant sorrow at this great loss.

The next day there was the Procession to The "Brightness", following the truck that carried Bhagavan Adi Da's Body to His resting place. I watched the Master's Body wrapped in orange, surrounded by His family. This brought unbearable sorrow. It was accompanied by heat, struggling to keep up, sweating, and shortness of breath. A kind Fijian in the procession offered to carry my backpack. I don't think I could have made the steep climb from the Matrix to The "Brightness" without his help.

We sat outside The "Brightness" Temple as Bhagavan's Body was carried through the doorway into the Temple — that was it, the final sighting. Then we began chanting as the interment process began. I stayed with the process starting at about 8:30am with chanting on the veranda, through the procession, until the interment was complete at about 10:30pm. Continuous chanting, rounds of tears alternating with ecstasy at His Presence so strongly felt.

I am not one for experiences, and this was nothing I could invent — suddenly toward the final moments of the burial, I felt as though my entire body were literally on fire. My eyes were closed and a vision was given. I could see Bhagavan's Body in the ground. It was no longer a human body, but a body of light in the shape of a human form, kind of like a human shaped glow stick. It was a beautiful sight! And I heard Him speak to my heart saying, "You can always find Me here, and turn to Me here." I felt a great sense of relief. My Guru had found me and was helping me to practice turning without His Human Bodily Form.

The interment was a very intense Puja. This could be seen on the faces of the priests whose faces showed briefly at the door of the Temple. One would come out at different times to give us updates of the process, the level of the dirt in relation to Bhagavan's Body and other details of how Bhagavan's Instructions for His burial were being carried out. It was intense for those of us sitting outside the door. I think it took over eight hours to have Bhagavan lowered into His Chair, and then to place the dirt, rock salt, sacred items and flowers offered by devotees, until His Body was covered and then sealed in the chamber.

Around 5pm, it began to rain. Two lines of men (and a few strong, brave women) passed the buckets filled with dirt and returned the empty buckets to be filled. This went on for hours. My only capacity was to chant non-stop. I did not have the heart to help with the dirt. Quite a scene, with even a note of humor. All these folks chanting, two lines of people passing buckets . . . a serious-sounding chant begins, only to be drowned out by a backhoe passing by with more dirt.

Then it was done, conches blowing, cheering, shouts of praise, tears of grief and relief. Devotees at their best all day, cooperating, tolerant, supportive. Our Beloved Guru was at rest, at last.


I came to Beloved Adi Da with no real idea of what the Guru is. I only knew I was suffering. The first time I saw Him, I thanked Him for His Teaching. He took my hand. When He let go, I felt completely happy, and loved everyone I saw as the Divine (which was far from my usual state!). Those first few moments were a demonstration of Who He Is.   Adi Da and Leslie Waltzer

 

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