The Human Love of the Divine Person
Taken from ‘Chronicles of Gatherings from May-July 1992’
fter many weeks of receiving so liberally the Supreme Gifts of Sri Da Avabhasa’s Darshan and Instruction in relatively informal circumstances, devotees at Sri Love-Anandashram began to evidence signs that they were not altogether maintaining a right approach to Sri Da Avabhasa as their Divine Heart-Master, nor were they fully maintaining their practice of the Way of the Heart in all its aspects. Sri Da Avabhasa helped devotees to reestablish their right alignment to Him by critically describing the manner in which they were approaching and relating to Him. As the ego is wont to do, we were tending to transform our devotional relationship to our Beloved Guru into a demand for consoling social contact. We were also showing signs of resistance to the disciplines and demands inherent in right practice of the Way of the Heart. Sri Da Avabhasa made the following Communication to all His devotees:
There needs to be a culture that maintains the form and practices profoundly and irrevocably moment by moment and never relinquishes them. It is not a matter of superimposing a puritanical view on this gathering or this Way of life, but it certainly is a matter of establishing the form of practice as a real and concrete reality and never relinquishing it for any reason whatsoever. The entire culture must understand this.
I got the impression, even relative to the recent celebration with accessories that took place in each region, that right away devotees wanted to use them as a basis for changing their way of life—making casual requests for more parties and so forth, always ready to relinquish the form and the discipline. By making such requests you are indicating to Me that you are just a gathering of social good timers indulging in karmas and wanting to have a smiling social relationship with Me. You are approaching Me with your weak-mindedness and irresponsibility and telling Me that you need My Help. You already have My Help, but you renounce that Help if you renounce your responsibility. You think that My role is to relate to irresponsible people by always helping them out. But that is not My role at all. Those who truly are My devotees express their reception of the Gifts of My Help through their right and consistent devotion and service.
I hope you are all making good strong notes of this conversation. Engrave it on plates and hang it on the walls!
You do not have to be puritanical, but you better be straight as an arrow, manifesting total fidelity to Me and practicing true self-surrendering, self-forgetting devotion to Me without fail. I am not merely telling you this: You must fully establish, worldwide, a true culture of expectation relative to this matter, and you must establish in everyone a right understanding of the reason for self-discipline and how it must be real and consistent—not based on puritanical views, but based on right devotion to Me and on an understanding of what egoity is about and how it is conquered by right devotion. All My Grace comes through this devotion and self-understanding, because, even though it is freely Given, it cannot be received by one who is not founded in right relationship to Me.
Devotees around the world were well aware that recent events at Sri Love-Anandashram were both extraordinary and exceptional in the Sacred History of Sri Da Avabhasa’s Work. Our Heart-Master had made Himself liberally available to devotees, evoking our human love-response to Him, Granting us personal Instruction, Darshan, Criticism, Humor, and Blessing, and Revealing our emotional and sexual addictions starkly, so that we could come to a greater degree of self-understanding. We were intoxicated by His Love and also sobered by the revelation of our limitations and our need for Sri Da Avabhasa’s Help. Again and again, in gatherings and other intimate moments—contacts with Him that we had presumed to be permanently consigned to an earlier phase of His Work—Da Avabhasa had expressed His human Love for devotees in very personal ways, while also Demonstrating His unqualified Freedom and His Passion for a Happiness that exceeded the tragic horrors and pains of this world. All the while, He Called us to transcend ourselves and to love as He does, Freely, even while we bear the knowledge of human suffering in a confused and chaotic world.
We were stunned by the sheer magnitude of Siddhi Sri Gurudev unleashed during this time, in so many different ways. He Worked spontaneously, as always, with every person, sign, energy, and condition that entered His Sphere, but the quality was different. The celebratory occasions, the use of beer and cigarettes, the dancing, the “considerations”, and, most especially, the extended hours in His physical Company night after night, created a magical atmosphere in which our Beloved Guru Freely and Wildly Played with the powerful, beguiling apparition of conditional existence and loosened its hold on each of us. In full view of His devotees He Displayed His Love-Madness, and His infectious Happiness and human “In-Love” Sign spilled over into our hearts.
Those who participated with Him—the Kanyas, Brahmacharinis, Lay Renunciate Order applicants, the devotee staff, Lay Brahmacharya practitioners, and retreatants—were keenly aware that He was provoking a crisis of devotion, submission, self-confrontation, and self-understanding in each and every devotee.
Those in the Lay Renunciate Order applicant group began to see a very sobering vision unfold before their eyes. Earlier, through a year of celibate practice, they had seen very directly how the ascetical tendency denies life and love when it is not engaged on the basis of true self-understanding. Now these same practitioners, after ten weeks of exploring their potential for Yogic sexual sadhana, discovered the destructive and binding force of placing attention in sexual activity and emotional-sexual relations, if it also, like celibacy, is not based on true self-understanding. In the midst of these two extremes, the need for one thing stood out: fidelity to the Guru, true Guru-devotion. It became a time in which the real limits on our devotion were exposed, so that we could address them directly, rather than bypassing them with idealism— in other words, a difficult period, but one rich with the opportunity for real growth and change.
“Bonnie and Julie’s withdrawal from the Da Avabhasa Gurukula was a great Spiritual and human trial, but it reflects the absolute integrity of Sri Da Avabhasa and His Way of the Heart, and—as you will see from Julie’s Leela—it was not merely a necessary but a positive and auspicious occurrence that will make possible the further growth of these devotees in the Way of the Heart.”
Long before this ten-week “reality consideration” had begun, two members of the Free Renunciate Order—Kanya Tripura Rahasya and Kanya Samarpana Remembrance— had been involved in a profound examination of the effectiveness of their four years of participation in practicing stage six in the Way of the Heart. There are, as Sri Da Avabhasa has always made clear, very real requirements in every stage of practice in His Company, which become very great requirements indeed in the advanced and ultimate stages of the Way of the Heart. Discovering that there were specific limitations in their practice that belonged to the first three stages of life, these devotees came to a difficult conclusion in conversation with their Guru: Their practice could only grow in a life-circumstance that effectively addressed the limitations that had become apparent. Thus, Kanya Tripura (now Bonnie Beavan) and Kanya Remembrance (now resuming her given name, Julie Anderson) withdrew from the Free Renunciate Order.
Bonnie and Julie’s withdrawal from the Da Avabhasa Gurukula was a great Spiritual and human trial, but it reflects the absolute integrity of Sri Da Avabhasa and His Way of the Heart, and—as you will see from Julie’s Leela—it was not merely a necessary but a positive and auspicious occurrence that will make possible the further growth of these devotees in the Way of the Heart.
In their transition to a more ordinary circumstance of practice, the exemplary devotion to Sri Da Avabhasa and the faithful service to Him and to the larger culture of devotees that these two longtime devotees have performed for many years was felt by all, as, again, was the integrity of the process in His Company— in which every limit, every reality, every fraction of the ego is directly exposed and the process of growth and outgrowing is always authentic. The “reality considerations”— so intensively engaged by the two former Kanyas and the Lay Renunciate Order applicants—were, for the moment, conclusive: None of them was yet demonstrating the true qualifications for most intensive renunciate practice.
The gatherings that had characterized this period of time came to an end—and devotees began concentrating in the great matter that stood out during this period: the need to intensify Guru-devotion itself. Unexpectedly, on August 1, the night that Bonnie Beavan, Julie Anderson, and most of the former applicants to the Lay Renunciate Order who had come on retreat from California were to leave Sri Love-Anandashram, Sri Da Avabhasa invited all devotees on the Island to what He called the “Last Gathering”— a gathering to celebrate the end of this unique ten-week period.
For nearly nine hours devotees danced ecstatically in the Company of their Sat-Guru, knowing that the energy they put out was their most immediate form of devotional expression to Him. Sri Gurudev exhorted devotees, “Dance with more energy; dance for Me!… Yes, yes, I know you love Me, but I want you to dance for Me!” It was a Call to incarnate devotion to Him in a whole bodily, relational way—a symbol for His Work with us over this entire period.
At one point, when Sri Da Avabhasa was on the porch of Hymns To Me, He turned to Julie Anderson and gestured to her to come forward to receive His Embrace and His Blessing. Devotees, touched by the tender display of human love between their Divine Master and one of His most intimate devotees, wept praises and sighs of love to Him. We witnessed and felt at heart His human Sign and His Divine Nature in perfect symbiosis; the Love of the God-Man—His for His devotees and that of devotees for Him—was Dramatized before our eyes.
“In some real sense, this Embrace epitomized His Divine Emergence”
In some real sense, this Embrace epitomized His Divine Emergence and also characterized this entire period of celebration and consideration. Da Avabhasa’s Compassion for human ordinariness, His heart-breaking Love and Blessing for each being on this planet, His Submission to human incarnation “all the way down to the toes” was expressed in this moving encounter, as it was throughout this period of time. Sri Da Avabhasa’s Sympathy for all things human is profoundly more human, more expressive of feeling, than the usual social habits and rituals by which men and women commonly communicate. In fact, this entire period of time was clearly, in some mysterious way that only the heart can confirm, a demonstration of the ongoing miracle of His Emergence as the Divine Person. After the initial Event of His Divine Emergence in 1986, Da Avabhasa Confessed to His devotees that He came back into the body because He was, through very human impulses, responding to “My own intimate human life and the human existence of others, of all of you.”
Sri Da Avabhasa’s Divine Emergence worked a miraculous Penetration of the human world by the Divine Person. He has Told us that His Emergence is ongoing, ever-increasing—and during this period we surely witnessed a new stage in that Divine Metamorphosis, or His Divine Demonstration of human Love and His human demonstration of His Divine Compassion and Liberality of Giving in relationship to all beings achieved a new and poignant obviousness.
Several moments after Embracing Julie, Sri Da Avabhasa strode into back into Hymns To Me and Embraced Bonnie Beavan as He had Julie. Again, devotees witnessed the rapture and Mystery of God in human Form, of His human Divinity.
The “kirtan” continued as devotees danced ecstatically in front of their Guru, feeding Him with their devotion, celebrating the great Demonstration of His Love and the correspondingly strong revelation of the great need in which we all stand for true devotion and most profound self-understanding. After many hours, Sri Da Avabhasa rose from His Chair and walked from Hymns To Me to His M-cart. Devotees shouted their praises and gratitude as He Gazed Lovingly at us, and then He quietly drove off to rest.