We were celebrating the Feast of Danavira
Mela and about thirty of us were gathered
with our Beloved Guru, who was giving trays
of small gifts to each devotee who was there
that night. The gift giving had been going
on for hours. I was so moved that, at one
point, I just wept out of sheer happiness.
Tom Closser was sitting close to me. He is
a big muscular fellow, and to be living as
a religious renunciate was quite remarkable
for this man he had a checkered past about
which he sometimes felt deeply guilty. Tom
was also accident-prone, perhaps because of
his deep-seated guilt. On this wonderful night,
Torn had just received gifts from the hands
of Beloved Adi Da and had sat down again near
me when, all of a sudden, he stood up and
began walking toward the door.
I was going to get Lynne, my intimate partner,
who was with the Ashram children. I began
to feel that she had been away too long, that
she should be here to receive her gifts. I
thought that she had probably fallen asleep
with the children and wouldn't return unless
someone went to get her.
Adi Da asked me where she was. When I told
Him, He said, "It's fine I'll give Lynne
her gifts later." In spite of His remark about
Lynne, I decided to get up and bring her to
had hardly turned toward the door when he
tripped over one of his gifts. Down he came
on top of me, and his outstretched arm crashed
through a window behind me. The glass lacerated
the upper part of his arm, instantly causing
profuse arterial bleeding. Warm blood spurted
all over me. We rushed Tom out of the room,
put a tourniquet around his arm, and transported
him to the small clinic. By this time, Tom
had lost a lot of blood and he was in serious
Daniel Bouwmeester, the physician in charge,
ministered to Tom, Beloved Adi Da asked me
to step outside and tell Him in full detail
what was going on from a medical point of
view. While everyone else was panicking, Avatar
Adi Da was simply present, even matter-of-fact.
told Him that our friend Tom had arterial
does that mean exactly?"
means that we have to stop the bleeding for
now and that he has to be operated on as soon
you do that here?"
it is a question of vascular surgery we
can't do it here."
who had since telephoned the nearest major
hospital, which was on a distant island, joined
our conversation at this point. He was very
concerned. He had just found out that there
was no way to get a helicopter to Naitauba
at night, as the pilots could not navigate
in the dark. I looked at my watch. It was
1:05 A.M. It would not grow light until after
five. When He heard this news, Beloved Adi
Da turned to one of the men and said, "I am
going to have to do it Myself."
then accompanied our Beloved Guru into the
clinic to attend to our friend. The place
looked like a war zone. Tom was lying on a
table, his eyes closed, moaning softly. Tom's
intimate, Lynne, was holding his good hand,
crying. Others were milling around, trying
to help out in various ways. There was a general
mood of hysteria. Beloved Adi Da stood next
to Tom, leaning on His staff. He was completely
reinspected the bleeding artery deep in Tom's
upper arm and discovered that he was able
to apply direct finger-pressure such that
the bleeding would stop while circulation
to the arm below the cut could continue.
looked at Tom and sensed that my friend was
already out of his body. I knew this was not
good for his physical well-being.
in a loud, powerful voice, Adi Da summoned
Tom, saying, "Look at Me! Look at Me! Look
feebly opened his eyes.
keep looking at Me! Do you dig Me? Do you?
Do you love your Master? Come on. tell Me!"
friend said, "Yes," still faintly.
love Me! . . . feel Me! . . . breathe Me!
Come on, do it!" Our Beloved
Guru whacked Tom's chest in the heart area
with His hand, and vigorously moved it down
toward Tom's navel. He was saying all this
over and over again, His hands passing down
Tom's body multiple times, tracing the path
that, in this life-threatening situation,
Tom's breath should follow down the frontal
line of his body.
could literally see Tom coming alive again.
For a while, even the bleeding stopped totally.
But, once he was more fully conscious and
alive, Tom's face contorted with the extreme
pain caused by the cut in his arm and the
tourniquet around it.
at Me. Keep on looking at Me. Keep your attention
on Me!! Is the pain really bad?"
Divine Maha-Siddha's questioning changed direction:
"Can you feel how bad the pain is?"
you do observe the pain, don't you? You observe
the pain . . . you are observing the
pain, aren't you?"
I am, Master."
'you' are in the Witness-Position relative
to the pain. You are the Witnessing Consciousness
Itself, painless, timeless, and unqualified.
Can you understand that? Are you with Me?"
I am, Master."
Now can you find the Bliss in Consciousness?
Can you find the Bliss in Consciousness That
is Prior to pain? Can you find that Bliss?
It does exist. I promise you! It does
exist. There is Bliss in Consciousness,
Prior to all pain, Prior to all experience."
watched in amazement as our Beloved Guru,
through His words and His Spiritual Transmission,
drew Tom into the entirely different position
of simply Witnessing and observing the pain
rather than identifying with it.
Adi Da Samraj started joking around with Tom.
"You ruined our celebration! People
will be talking about this for many years,
even many centuries to come." He threw back
His head and laughed.
could hardly believe what was going on. First
Beloved Adi Da brought Tom back to life, literally
from the edge of death. Then He brought him
in touch with That Which Transcends day-to-day
life and bodily existence altogether. And
now He started dealing with Tom's chronic
feelings of guilt, which had, I think, provoked
this whole incident.
listen, Tom. You don't have to be guilty anymore.
What is guilt? Who cares about guilt? Do you
really believe God cares about your guilt?
Do you think I do? Do you think you have to
pay to be free of it? No, Real God is Forgiveness.
I don't give a damn about what happened in
the past. Just give it all up. Give it all
Adi Da took some surgical scissors from our
tray and started cutting the hairs on Tom's
chest, cracking jokes about his hairiness
meanwhile laying His healing hands again
all over Tom's chest.
at daybreak, we heard the sounds of helicopter
blades from afar. The helicopter landed, and
we quickly lifted our friend inside. Daniel
and I then climbed inside to accompany Tom
to Suva, where Fiji's main hospital is located.
As I was carried out of Beloved Adi Da's House
immediately after the accident, I became especially
sensitive to noise, and could hear the voices
of everyone around me. Inside the clinic,
I heard the R.N., who was holding my head,
whisper to someone that I was going into shock.
Just then, I realized that I was moving up
and back, and that I was outside my body.
Adi Da had gone outside, and I could hear
Him talking, but I was still in the room watching
everyone from above. He had been talking about
how serious the situation was, but when He
came inside, He started joking and making
light of it.
I began to move back and forth between two
vantage points: I would hear my Beloved Guru
addressing me from the point of view of the
body, and then I would observe everything
from the higher, detached position again.
Because this switching back and forth was
so uncontrollable, I started to get anxious.
The more anxious I became, the more I seemed
to fix in the out-of-body state.
could tell that Beloved Adi Da was trying
to keep me associated with Him in the physical
body, but the pain and fear kept driving me
out of it. When I was out of my body, there
was no pain. It was very calm and dissociated
even euphoric. Adi Da Samraj was moving
His hand up and down my chest, and He started
kidding me about my tendency to be a "macho
man". He humorously pretended to be dealing
with this self-image of mine by trimming the
hairs off my chest. He began to run His hand
down my chest, snipping little bits of hair
above His fingers. A warm sensation seemed
to drop from the top of my head and fall down
my throat, as if someone were pouring a bucket
of warm water over my head. Wherever Beloved
Adi Da's hand would stay, this sensation,
which was full and alive in ways that were
clearly more than physical, I would be drawn
down into my body to that point. I felt Beloved
Adi Da literally filling me and enlivening
me with His Blessing and His Spirit, and this
helped to draw me back into the physical body.
Adi Da also said wonderful things to keep
my attention on Him. He said, "Do you love
Me? Do you really love Me?" At one point,
I rolled over and He held my face against
His belly. The only thing that I could feel
in that moment was that I wanted to be with
Him forever. It was not just a thought, it
was a physical
the doctors put a tourniquet on my arm, and
it caused incredible pain. I zipped out of
my body again. This time, I had gone even
further up, so that now I was outside the
room. The space-time barrier changed in some
way. Rather than doing things sequentially,
Beloved Adi Da seemed to be maintaining a
conversation with everyone in the room simultaneously
making many actions simultaneously.
last image of the physical realm I remembered
for a while was of my Beloved Guru talking
to some men outside the clinic about my situation.
Then I drifted off further and further. I
started to get anxious. I was trying to get
a physical reference trying to feel my nose
but I realized I could not feel my body
at all. All of a sudden, I lost the anchor
to physical familiarity, and I began to have
visual phenomena. I saw a dark background
with silvery strands (much like what you see
when you press your fingers into your eyes),
and a matrix of light and dark and different
shapes. Everything had the same patina and
an ocher color.
I remember seeing a group of people that I
had known throughout my life. I was standing
around with these people. The meeting was
very warm, and full of familial emotions.
It was very happy, and I felt relaxed again.
I saw what might be described as a tunnel.
I had the sensation of moving, and, as I entered
the tunnel, the people drifted behind me.
I looked up and realized that I was suddenly
in a totally different environment.
new environment seemed to be a normal three-dimensional
space at first, but I realized very quickly
that it did not have the same physical laws.
It had a different perspective, or a different
dimension. It had a very familiar landscape,
almost like the environment where I grew up
in East Los Angeles! I felt comfortable, but
there was also something odd about it.
I began shifting to many different experiences,
and I had no control over any of it. It became
terrifying. In daily life, I am physically
based, and I have some control of where my
attention is, because I can focus it. But,
in this circumstance, because I had no bodily
anchor, I went wherever my attention went.
I had no capability to control attention.
My attention was on one thing for one minute,
and that was my total realityand then the
next moment my attention was somewhere else,
and that became my reality.
this happened, everything changed I did
not even have a memory of the previous experience
or environment. I felt that all these experiences
were in the same dimension, since they had
a similar feeling to them, but I was very
rapidly switching from one fantasy to another
fantasy without any control. Later, I remembered
what Beloved Adi Da has said "While
you are alive, you make mind, but, after death,
mind makes you." It may sound interesting,
but it was actually completely horrific.
became more and more terrified. At one point,
I had the sense that the individuals or entities
in this environment had an intention to keep
me there. They were trying to determine what
experience would keep me most solidly fixed
in this condition. There seemed to be an assumption
that I would stay there forever.
this whole experience, I had forgotten my
relationship with Adi Da Samraj or even
any memory or experience of Him. I did not
feel capable of resorting to Him, and I was
totally subject to this experience, which
was constantly changing and quite disturbing.
In the midst of this, two people, a man and
his son, began trying to help me. They felt
very familiar to me, as if I had been close
to them as I was growing up. They were trying
to help me get back to where Beloved Adi Da
was. I could see the realm where He was
it had some of the qualities of a beautiful
place in Hawaii I had visited once with Him.
These two individuals were trying to help
me concentrate and feel towards Him and this
place, so that I could keep my attention there,
and then I could stay there with my Beloved
they were trying to help me, the other group
of people finally hit upon the one experience
which seemed to control my attention more
strongly than anything else the sense of
being threatened. I was standing in the middle
of a street, and a bakery truck would drive
towards me. It would slam on its brakes and
slide into me. Right before the truck would
hit me, I could feel myself going into panic.
Then the experience would repeat itself.
happened repetitively hundreds, maybe thousands,
of times. I was stuck in that experience.
In the midst of this experience, I "shouted",
but it was not a physical voice. Somehow,
I could, just for a moment, remember and feel
Adi Da Samraj. Then the man and his son created
a situation to help me get out of this endless
cycle with the truck, back to where Beloved
Adi Da was.
I felt myself enter my body again, from the
head down. I was back in the clinic, and Beloved
Adi Da was there. He was talking to me. When
I saw Him, my heart burst with happiness and
relief. I had been so much in need of Him
in that horrifying experience more deeply
and more profoundly than I had ever been in
my entire life. I felt what an incredible
opportunity it is to be physically embodied
in a time and place where He is alive and
what a horror it is to pass through this life
and not realize something greater than being
completely controlled by your own mind and
attention. I was weeping.
Adi Da was touching me. He was very gentle
and humorous. He used whatever means necessary
in any moment to keep me relating to Him directly.
He would speak with me about the Witness-Position,
and He would address my sense of guilt. It
was very amusing: There I was, very nearly
dying, and He was addressing every way that
I was self-contracted and defensive and emotionally
retarded! I could feel His help very directly,
and I was so grateful to be back in His physical
Adi Da told me that a helicopter was coming
to take me off the island. He kept saying,
"Stay with Me." The helicopter arrived, and
He looked after every aspect of getting me
to the helicopter. He asked how long it would
take to get me to the hospital.
was fairly lucid at this point, and pretty
wide awake. They had me in a stretcher inside
the helicopter. Daniel and Frans were on my
right and beyond them was the pilot. I stared
at Naitauba as we flew away, and I felt that
I could continue to remember my Beloved Guru
even at a physical distance or in a different
environment. I knew that that was my practice
I had to continually feel Him, no matter
what the experience was.
soon as we arrived at the hospital in Suva,
they took me to surgery. A big Fijian doctor
and an Indian anesthesiologist introduced
themselves. I was so tired I could not talk
or move. But I could hear, and I responded
with my eyes to indicate that I understood.
Indian anesthesiologist wanted me to count
out loud, if I could starting from ten and
going back to zero. He had a gas mask over
my mouth. He explained that it was to make
me unconscious so they could operate. I could
not speak, but I counted in my mind, "Ten,
nine. . ." to zero. He looked me in the eyes,
and I looked back at him. He smiled and said,
"Okay, do it again." I was trying to show
him that I was counting, so I was blinking
my eyes with each number down to zero again.
perception of everything was heightened. I
could see more clearly than usual and my peripheral
vision was expanded. I could see in this doctor's
eyes that he was becoming concerned, but I
couldn't understand what was wrong. He said,
"Son, I am going to ask you to count one more
time." His voice had started to tremble, and
I became frightened. Again I counted, blinking
my eyes as I did. When I got to zero, even
though I was not unconscious, I kept my eyes
started the operation. I bore the pain as
long as I could but then I started gesturing,
opening my eyes, and trying to shake my head.
The nurse noticed that I was awake. They stopped
and the anesthesiologist increased the anesthetic.
I started to become really terrified because
I felt I was going out of my body again.
was afraid to lose consciousness afraid
that I would go back to this realm I had experienced
before. People make a big deal of out-of-body
experiences and near-death experiences as
if it is all wonderful you see God and your
family. My earlier experience was pleasant
at the beginning, but the deeper I got in
that state, it was just completely and totally
horrific. There was nothing that I have ever
experienced before or since that could possibly
match the terror of being in that situation
where you are just controlled by mind.
was also clear to me that it is not just physical
trauma that can knock you out of the body
any kind of emotional trauma can do this.
I realized that that is what had occurred
at the clinic on Naitauba I had gone into
emotional shock. I had lost a lot of blood,
but that was not what sent me out of the body.
I was in such a state of fear and anxiety
that I was trying to remove myself from the
circumstance. I was choosing not to be bodily
incarnated rather than enduring and feeling
through that strong emotion. Right in the
middle of the operation, I remembered this
about what had happened at the clinic on Naitauba,
and I realized that it was happening again.
I could feel myself retreating at the speed
woke up in the recovery room. Later that day
and over the following days, the Fijian doctor
and the Indian doctor came to see me many
times, sometimes with four or five other doctors.
They would huddle around me and speak in Fijian
or Hindi. Clearly they were curious, but also
I felt their anxiety, as if something was
the third day, I asked the nurse why everyone
was so concerned. She called the two doctors
to explain what had occurred in the operation.
The Indian doctor indicated that they had
given me a lot of anesthetic. In fact, he
humorously said, I had been given enough anesthetic
to knock out a small Fijian village! I tried
to explain that I had been very anxious about
losing consciousness but they told me that
that could not possibly account for my resistance
to the anesthetic. They asked if I had a history
of this kind of thing when I had received
anesthetics in the past, but I did not.
that moment, I remembered that when I was
getting into the helicopter, Beloved Adi Da
had asked exactly how long the helicopter
trip would be, and had pressed His Spiritual
Force into me repeatedly. I had felt this
Force very physically and very powerfully.
I felt like I was hyper-energized. It became
obvious to me what had occurred. I explained
to the doctors that I came from Naitauba,
where my Spiritual Master was, and that He
had given me, while He was taking me to the
helicopter, enough life-energy to survive
the trip. Immediately, the Fijian doctor understood
what I was talking about.
nodded knowingly and said, "Mana". The Indian
doctor glanced at him and said, "Shaktipat"
(meaning the touch of the Guru that transmits
Spiritual Energy). "Yes!" I said. Here, in
this tiny third-world country, these doctors
were completely familiar with what I was talking
the days of my recovery, I tried to maintain
Remembrance of Beloved Adi Da always. I would
still slip in and out of consciousness, but
I felt, when I would begin to lose bodily
consciousness, that my only anchor was my
Remembrance of my Guru. If I did not intentionally
Remember Him, feel to Him, I would just end
up free-associating in the mind-realm. So
I created ways to Remember Beloved Adi Da.
I could move my left arm, so I would trace
the outline of His figure as I remembered
Him standing as I left Naitauba in the helicopter
over and over, thousands of times, just
to stay associated with Him. It became a form
of meditation for me.
weeks later, I returned to Naitauba. I heard
from my friends there that on the evening
I was having the most difficulty in the hospital,
Adi Da Samraj had met with everyone and discussed
my character with them. He had also pointed
out that, if I allowed myself to stay in the
disposition of guilt which is one of my
primary emotions I would literally create
accidents and illnesses to punish myself.
the night I returned, we were called to gather
with Beloved Adi Da. I was incredibly weak,
and incredibly happy to see Him, but I was
also feeling guilty! feeling that I had
dishonored Him and ruined His celebration.
When He called me to show Him my cast, He
put His leg against the cast. I could feel
Him Radiating His Heart-Force and healing
Energy sideways through my entire arm and
into my chest. Then He signed my cast. At
the end of the evening, He shouted to me,
"NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!" and walked out of the