had been living and serving at Adi Da Samrajashram for eight months
when Indoor Yajna
began. I had never had much face-to-face interaction with Avatar
Adi Da, and in those eight months Avatar Adi Da's contact with residents
of the Ashram was very formal. Leading up to this time, my longing
for a more personal relationship with Him had been increasing, and
I had become aware of how I kept myself hidden from Him out of fear,
making the very relationship I so desired impossible.
Then the gatherings began. At first I was self-conscious and
uptight in this intimate setting with Him. One night early in
the period of dancing, we formed a circle around the edge of the
stage with Avatar Adi Da in the center. He moved around the circle
and gestured to devotees to come into the center and dance. He
joked with us as we danced, all the while keeping a keen eye on
everything and everyone.
I noticed that I was standing somewhat alone — with
quite a bit of space on either side of me — and I
felt conspicuous. Avatar Adi Da walked over and stood next to
me on my left. He turned His head slightly toward me, while still
looking straight ahead, and said, "Is it all right if I stand
next to you?"
"Yes, of course," I said, and I reddened in self-consciousness
at His reflection of my self-isolation. In this and many other
incidents Avatar Adi Da drew me and others who were unaccustomed
to such personal contact with Him into His intimate sphere.
As the weeks went by, I experienced both Adi Da's His Sweetness
as well as His piercing criticism of my limitations. Day by day,
I was drawn into more direct relationship to Him as the key to
my practice of the Way of the Heart.
One night in a dream Avatar Adi Da looked into my eyes, His beautiful,
round face very close to mine. In this dream, He kissed me and embraced
me. All the next day I felt in a swoon of love for Him and very
intimate with Him. I hoped there would be a gathering that evening
so that I could somehow express my love for Him.
We did gather that evening, and when the dancing part of the
evening began, Avatar Adi Da did something He had not done before
in these gatherings. He danced with one of my friends —
just the two of them. Then another. It was breathtaking to witness
His Service to my friends, animating in each moment what would
Serve each one — one moment aloofness, another moment
tenderness, another moment command, and the next embrace.
As I watched, I became overwhelmed with the
desire to dance with Him. It was also all the ordinary longing I
had ever felt to express my love, to feel and touch a man, and all
the unfulfilled yearning I had ever felt to be loved and passionately
embraced by a man —
all that surged up in me. There
is no one so attractive to me as Avatar Adi Da, and in this moment
the desire I had always felt in life arose in relationship to Him,
and the emotion moved me beyond mind and self-consciousness.
My overwhelming desire to dance with Adi Da propelled me to the
dance floor. As I lifted my arms and began to dance, He turned
and saw me, and in one quick movement He was dancing next to me.
We danced all over the stage. I felt absolutely on fire with love
for Avatar Adi Da. When the music stopped, He looked at me and
grinned, and I bowed to the floor.
For the next few days my friends and I were
in a swoon. We huddled together many times throughout the day, telling
and re-telling the story of our dancing with Avatar Adi Da. I wanted
to keep that moment before me forever, and I felt so happy for the
Gift He had so Freely Given me. Simultaneously, however, I noticed
a sensation of pain: I felt a craving for more, and then I felt
the impossibility of ever being satisfied. The feeling of pain began
to stand out, particularly as the glow faded.
I felt an ache in my heart as I saw that I was approaching Avatar
Adi Da conventionally and romantically and that I was stuck in
the pain of my own desiring. I also felt more profoundly than
ever that my desires will ultimately never be fulfilled. Altogether,
I was caught in the dilemma of desire for an apparent "other".
I struggled in this dilemma, and I also began
to observe my conventional and idealistic notions about religion,
my life-negative interpretation of the Protestant Christian ideals
I had been raised with.
A month passed and then one night in a gathering, Avatar Adi
Da gave a very passionate Talk about right relationship to Him.
He described the traditional association between Adept-Masters
and devotees in India. Devotees knew how to make use of the Realizer.
They acknowledged the Realizer's unique condition, and their actions
expressed their great valuing of the opportunity to be in the
Company of such a one. He passionately criticized our Western
tendency to seek a conventional relationship with Him.
His Words were excruciating to me because
I felt the truth of them so personally. I felt the pain of my insistence
that He be an "other" who would fulfill me. I felt His passionate
necessity to Give us the Gift of Liberation, beyond any passion
I had ever witnessed, full of the uncompromised Love of One utterly
committed to the Realization of others.
it came to the time in these gatherings where we moved on to dancing.
A few minutes after the dancing began, Avatar Adi Da gestured for
me to join another woman on the stage. I jumped up, grateful for
the opportunity to throw myself into the occasion whole bodily.
When we sat down again, Avatar Adi Da said suddenly, "All right,
Kathleen. You've got it!" and invited me to come up to dance again.
He faced me and touched my arm, and suddenly I felt extremely
awkward. All the feelings of the recent days came up full force.
I I felt I didn't know how to relate to Him rightly and that I
would not be able to dance gracefully with Him. I wanted to run
For the first minute or so, I was
even bumping into Beloved Adi Da. It was agonizing, but I just kept
on going, giving Him all the attention I could.
Then at a certain point I looked into Avatar Adi Da's Eyes, and
was spontaneously drawn into His Ecstasy. My self-consciousness
disappeared, and I lost any sense of my "self" as the one doing
the dance. I was unaware of anything else in the room. A quiet,
feeling space opened up where there was only the two of us, Heart-Master
and devotee. There was no passion or desire as in the first dance.
This dance was happy and full. I tried later to remember the dance,
but I could not. I could only remember the Vision of Avatar Adi
Da's face and eyes in front of me, the fullness of His Body, and
the feeling of Him that Pervaded my being.
When the music stopped I was startled by the
cheering and clapping in the room. I felt in a daze, and I went
to my seat feeling somewhat vulnerable and exposed, but very happy.
I felt full of His Blessing, and grateful for the Vision that
was His free Gift to me. I knew that my relationship to Avatar Adi
Da (and to everyone) is always prior to whatever I might think or
feel it is from the point of view of egoic separation. I saw that
there is no dilemma, no need to strive and cling, but only free
feeling, always already in relationship. I felt the ecstasy of this
relationship to Him as the Realizer.
Avatar Adi Da was now standing alone on the stage. He Said, "How
un-Protestant of you, Kathleen!" Then He thanked me for the dance,
saying that He enjoyed it very much. "It was just Happy dancing,"
He said, "completely unselfconscious but not at all promiscuous!
It was just free and Happy."