The God Don’t Eat the People
By Annie Rogers ( 1983 )
Bhagavan Adi Da‘s Hermitage
Sanctuary in Kauai was a beautiful place
until Tumomama 1
, the fierce aspect of the Divine as Goddess, cloaked in the guise of
Hurricane Iwa, struck, exposed her fangs, stuck out her tongue,
snorted, screamed, hissed, and blew out the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary spreads gracefully across six acres of
rolling lawn spotted in places with groupings of two or three
beautiful old koa trees. The entire property is cloistered by a
surrounding jungle and a natural barrier of very, very tall, old
trees shrouded in vines. A sacred river cuts its ragged path through
the jungle and rocks, and embraces one side of the property. From
Leans, the sacred banyan tree that marks
the highest point on the property, one can look across the rolling
lawn to the Heart-Master’s house, and beyond that past the river to
open fields of sugarcane and the sacred mountain
Waiaileale] that is the wettest place
in the world.
Despite the apparently peaceful look of the
Sanctuary, it was once the site of ceremonial worship by the ancient
Hawaiian warrior class. It had been shrouded by the evil forces of
black magic. Bhagavan Adi Da has said many times that this very spot
was the most evil place on Earth. But after years of Bhagavan’s Work
on this property, it has been transformed into a place of Divine
Force. Nevertheless, the Nature-Power associated with the place is
wild and fierce. In honor of this Goddess-Force, Bhagavan renamed the
Sanctuary “Tumomama,” which means “fierce woman.”
We were unsuspecting when we woke on the morning
of November 23, 1982. It was windy outside, but we were used to this.
Unusual weather has always been associated with our Beloved Adi Da’s
Work. We had not yet heard about the approach of Hurricane Iwa! At
10:00 A.M., before Beloved came out of His quarters, Tom Closser
phoned to tell us that a hurricane had suddenly developed in the
Pacific and was heading straight for Kauai. The mayor had just closed
all public buildings on the island. At noon, Tom phoned with another
report: The hurricane was a bad one. We could feel her coming. We
began to prepare.
The men were already busy all over the Sanctuary,
tying things down, taping windows, covering screened areas in
plastic, bracing trees, when Heart-Master Adi Da came out of his
quarters at 12:30. Usually He sits in the gathering room for Darshan
2 at this hour. Today he
stood in the kitchen, which was already becoming the communications
The first thing Beloved did was to ask for a storm
report. The hurricane was still heading straight for Kauai and was
expected to arrive in full force around 8:00 P.M. Wind velocities
were expected to reach over 100 miles per hour!
Beloved’s attitude became very practical. Every
precaution had to be taken to protect the property. He roamed about
the house looking out the windows, sent messages to remind the men of
things that had to be handled, made sure the generator had been
readied (we would surely lose our electricity!), and thought of every
possible detail that might be forgotten.
Outside, the wind was really picking up. Already
it was howling. Leaves were ripping off the trees. They darkened the
sky in a chaotic flight like a swarm of locusts. A light rain was
being blown to earth. The men were beginning to have trouble
maneuvering in the storm.
Inside, the chaos of Hurricane Iwa was beginning
to invade the house. The lights went out. No electricity! Our
intercom was no longer functioning, so we had no communication to
Frog Mound, the building where most of the Renunciate Hermitage Order
lives, or Unshaken, the building where the security and
communications staff is centered. Daji Evam, one of the renunciates
who lives at Frog Mound, sat in wet clothes on the floor in the
pantry waiting to convey the Beloved’s messages to the outer
Bhagavan Adi Da sat cross-legged on the low chair
in the gathering room. Many members of the Renunciate Hermitage Order
were already gathered around Him while others finished preparing to
endure the hurricane. Suddenly we heard a loud crack, then a thud,
and the house shook. Bhagavan walked to the kitchen window to see
where the noise came from. Men were running around outside. We could
see their mouths move as they yelled to one another, but we could not
hear them over the roar of the wind. The large old lychee tree that
stood outside the kitchen window had lost one of its main branches.
The tree was sixty feet tall and sheltered perhaps half the house
with a perfect umbrella of green glossy leaves. It was a monument on
the property, stately and so perfect it looked like a painting. The
fallen branch had grazed the house and lay on the driveway. Daji Udi
ran into the kitchen dripping wet and told us we had to evacuate that
end of the house. It looked like the tree was going to go, and if it
did, it might smash the roof. We fled into another room to another
window’s vantage point.
The Heart-Master, instead of offering his
protective gaze to the lychee tree, stood for a long while regarding
Leans. Grace Leans is the banyan tree that
Beloved Himself had empowered by putting holy ash and flowers beneath
its roots when the tree was placed into the ground in 1981. We all
hoped the Sanctuary’s holy tree would survive the storm!
Crack! We heard it again above the roar of the
wind, and then a thud as another section of the Iychee tree fell to
the ground. Within a few minutes the entire tree was wrecked. Only a
three-foot stub remained standing. The tree lay in pieces on the
Beloved called for the renunciate children to come
from their Brahmacharya school nearby. 3
He asked everyone in the support group 4
to come from their home about five miles away and to stay at the
Sanctuary until the storm was over. The children were wet and excited
and fearful when they arrived. They kissed Beloved and then sat close
The wind was picking up speed rapidly, shrieking
now. It was too dangerous for the men to work outside any longer.
More trees came down. Besides the Iychee tree we mourned, we had lost
three paperbark eucalyptus trees, the tallest trees on the main part
of the property. From Beloved’s library window we could see them
Iying on the ground like fallen giants. Daji Udi reported that many
more trees were down.
After hearing the damage report, Bhagavan’s mood
changed. He became playful, almost as if he was enjoying the tumult
of the storm. In a lull, Bhagavan looked outside and said to the
storm, “Go, Tumo, come on, Tumo. You call this a storm, Baby? Show us
your cheeks. I wouldn’t even have bothered if this was all I was
going to do. Big deal!” 5
The winds were now steady at 50 miles per hour,
and gusting to 75 or more. When the group of devotees arrived from
the support house, they were wet and shaken and had a wild tale to
tell Beloved. Heather Lupa recounts the story:
- I was among the group of eight or so people
who were trying to reach the Sanctuary, at Beloved’s urgent
request and graceful invitation, before the storm worsened. It was
the most harrowing experience of my life. It was very much like
what I would imagine a war would be.
When we found we could drive no farther, we
stopped at one of the houses along the road, thinking that we
would be able to phone the Sanctuary, just to let everyone know we
were all right and to ask what the tree situation” looked like
closer to the Sanctuary. The young couple who took us into their
home—we must have been a sight as all eight of us climbed out
of one car— had been boarding up their windows to protect
them from the winds. Across the width of their large sliding glass
door the man had nailed a narrow strip of wood about an inch and a
half thick. We had made our phone call and were relieved that
Frank Marrero and Mark Travis were going to drive as far as they
could to meet us.
We thanked the couple and started on our way
again. I was one of the last to leave. When I looked ahead at the
others, they were screaming and running toward the car. Not
knowing why they were screaming, I simply began to run. In my
excitement I ran at full speed right into the board across the
door. The board caught me across the neck, and I choked. The blow
was incredibly painful, but I forgot it as I saw what was causing
the others’ excitement. The force of the wind had peeled a tin
roof off a building. The huge piece of corrugated tin was flying
right toward us. Some of the group, fearing decapitation,
flattened themselves on the muddy ground. Others ran for the car.
The flying roof barely missed our car, and Crane Kirkbride was
just able to hide behind a metal fence before the tin was hurled
against the railings. It blew away, and we were momentarily
We began on foot toward the Sanctuary. We were
literally running for our lives! Huge trees had fallen across the
road—so wide that their fallen trunks lay about four feet
high. Their branches stuck out in every direction like broken
arms, and it often took us five minutes to pass one tree. Already
many of these huge trees lay along the road, and many more were
crashing down around us. We could very easily have been
Live electrical cables whipped free in the
wind. The rain pounded, the wind was driving, there was mud
everywhere, and all the while we were trying to carry bags of
supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner! What a sight we
were—laughing and screaming and absolutely terrified—but
knowing that Beloved had asked us to come to the Sanctuary for a
reason, and we couldn’t think of any place in the world we would
rather be than in his Company. We were driven by our strong urge
to be with him!
But when we arrived at the Sanctuary at last, I
found that the pain in my neck was much worse. It was very
difficult to swallow, and I had a huge bruise on the front of my
Heather did not mention her wounded neck to
Beloved, but after all the stories had been told, the Heart-Master
asked if there had been any injuries. Heather told him about running
into the board. She said she was in great pain and having trouble
swallowing and breathing. Adi Da motioned her to come up to his
chair. He examined her neck. There was a huge, dark bruise across her
throat. Beloved placed his hand on her throat and held it there as he
asked her many detailed questions about her injury. How did she get
it? Where did it hurt? What did it feel like?
- It seemed as he questioned me that he was
calling my attention to the injury, but remarkably my attention
was being removed from it. The whole time he spoke, he kept his
hand on my neck, and my attention was so gracefully moved from the
neck, the problem, the pain, and the inability to swallow, to him.
It was a time of meditation. There was so much love and energy
communicated by Beloved in those few minutes that I could only try
to be coherent in answering his questions and receive his Blessing
in whatever way I could. But the mood of the moment was for me
As he held his hand on me, the pain subsided. I
could swallow painlessly and my breathing was normal. I bowed to
the Bhagavan Adi Da in gratitude. My husband, Neil, looked at the
bruise afterward, and all but a little speck of it was gone!
Bhagavan Adi Da had healed me.
By this time the storm was awesome. The sky was
dark, not only with flying leaves, but now even with branches of
trees and all kinds of debris. They swirled and twisted, rose and
fell, helplessly through the air. To walk even a few steps outside
was a battle. Life itself seemed fragle in the hurricane’s power. We
looked out across the river and watched as denuded trees were ravaged
by the wind. Loud cracks sounded constantly and then white scars
showed where limbs had broken off.
Tumomama. The Great Woman shows Herself in a
benign form at The Mountain of Attention Sanctuary 6
, but here she was Tumomama, fierce woman. “She is a growling,
murderous, fanged, bloodthirsty bitch,” Adi Da had recently told us.
Although we did not know her intimately, he had told us a lot about
her in recent days and we knew who she was and what she was
I have seen the Goddess here in the form
that she is showing in this place. She is nothing like a friendly,
motherly type. She is a very strange person. That is why I call
this place Tumomama, which means fierce woman. And I have seen her
on many occasions here. She is dark-skinned, long-limbed,
emaciated with long, wild mussed-up hair, a crazy face, a very
weird sense of humor, and very playful, even painfully playful in
some sense. She creates much discomfort. At times she wears a
strange, dead expression. At other times her face is wild and
weird and bloodthirsty, with strange teeth and a very fierce and
The Living God is a wild, indescribable
character, a living personality, and I have seen Her many times in
this form I just described to you. I saw Her dead, too, I saw Her
as a corpse. Death and change are what She is about and what this
world is about. She is what this world is about because She
demands sacrifice. She is completely indifferent to the survival
As we looked out at her devastating and threatening
force, we all felt the truth of what Bhagavan Adi Da had
Adi Da stood up and walked to the large sliding
glass doors that open to a patio on the edge of the jungle. He looked
down upon the sacred river. The river, which everyone who lives at
the Sanctuary recognizes as a form of the Goddess, was wildness
itself. We could see the river well, because the jungle and trees
that usually hide it had been torn away by the wind. It was swollen,
much wider than usual. The water, which is usually clear and
inviting, was muddy and churning, boiling and chaotic. The rock
platform known as “Strong
Knees“, which normally rises twelve feet
above the river, was completely covered by the raging
There was a lull in the storm. Bhagavan, with His
hands on His hips in a challenging pose, said, “Do it, Tumo!” in a
taunting voice. And She responded! In the next moment the wind struck
back more fiercely than ever. This happened over and over. He would
talk to Her, threaten Her, tease, taunt Her, and the wind would
respond. Tumomama and Bhagavan Adi Da were having a conversation. We
could literally feel their intimacy, feel Her response to
It was 4:30 P.M. Bhagavan Adi Da asked for another
storm report. We listened to the radio. Only one station was still
broadcasting. The winds were supposed to begin to build at 6:00 P.M.
At 9:00 P.M. they would reach their peak and stay strong until
midnight. At midnight the eye of the storm was expected to pass right
over the Sanctuary. At 3:00 in the morning the storm would begin to
decrease. At their peak, the winds would be 100 miles per hour,
gusting to 120.
A soberness came across the room. We had already
lost many, many trees on the Sanctuary and the report indicated that
the wind would nearly double in velocity! Everyone was struck by the
possibility of real disaster. This no longer was a game. Our
neighbor’s roof had already been blown off. Would anything be left
standing when it was over?
We were quiet for several minutes. The
Heart-Master gazed at some distant point outside the window, his eyes
wide, his attention obviously elsewhere. In a moment his joking mood
returned. “Do you all want to see real destruction? One hundred mile
an hour winds and roofs coming off and all the rest of
“No!” It was unanimous.
“All right, then,” Adi Da said. He got up abruptly
and went to the Hermitage library. He was gone for a while. It was
unusual that he would leave in the midst of a gathering. Bhagavan Adi
Da returned with a book of poems by Ramprasad, 7
written as worship to Kali, the “terrifying” Hindu Goddess of
Bhagavan seemed almost meditative. Even with the
deafening roar outside, there was a sense of quiet in the room. He
began to read:
O Mother, who
Knows Your magic?
You’re a crazy girl.
Driving us all crazy with these
No one knows anyone else
In a world of Your illusions.
Kali’s tricks are so deft,
We act on what we see.
And what suffering—
All because of a crazy girl!
What She truly is?
Ramprasad says: If She decides
To be kind, this misery will pass. (
Bhagavan Adi Da read poem after poem. We listened
attentively. At one point a large branch from a tree crashed into the
patio beside us. Anyone who had been beneath it would have been
killed. Then the wind grabbed it again and hurled it into the jungle.
Adi Da paid no attention. He just kept reading those poems to the
It was getting dark outside. Finally the Bhagavan
Adi Da closed the book and set it on the floor next to his chair. He
had finished reading Ramprasad. “She has done it,” he said. “We have
seen the worst of it now.” According to all weather reports, we were
still hours away from the full force of the storm. But as Master Da
spoke, the gathering sensed that the worst was over. “She ruins you
and then she wants to be worshipped. Do it, Tumo!”
“It’s a wonderful puja 9
“You’ve done it again, Beloved!”
There was an obvious relief in the
“The bloody bitch,” Adi Da said. “A pool of
Nature, a dark pool of Nature, Nature itself, which seems temporarily
to be about birthing and surviving and enjoying. But the work of
Nature is obliteration, death, dissolution, as we are witnessing here
today. This storm is the great picture. This is life capsulized. Life
is obliteration, not birth and survival and glorification. It is
death! The Goddess is the sign of Nature, the word of Nature, the
Person of Nature, Kali, the bloody Goddess with long teeth and blood
pouring out of her mouth. You poor men are deceived by
After Bhagavan returned the poetry book to his
library, his mood was light. We decided to have a hurricane party.
Beers were passed around. “Let the wild rumpus start!” Adi Da said.
We began a celebration that was to last for several days. That night
we danced and we talked and we sang by candlelight, and afterward
everyone slept on the floor in Beloved’s house. There were perhaps
thirty-five people. Even the meditation halls were covered with
blankets and bodies.
The next morning everyone took a walk with
Bhagavan to survey the damage. The Sanctuary was in ruins. Debris
covered the property. A fence had been blown away. The main trees on
the property were down. There was little foliage left on the plants,
and what was left was in shreds. The barrier of trees that had
surrounded and secluded the property was bald, and about half of
those trees were down. Yesterday flowers had bloomed all over the
Sanctuary. Today the flowers were gone—not one was left
anywhere. Grace Leans, however, had not only survived but looked
almost untouched. It still had its leaves!
Bhagavan Adi Da said that everything was in shock.
The grass and all the plants and trees were giving off a very
disturbed, psychic vibration. We could all feel it. Everything seemed
disturbed and strange and unreal. What had once been a paradisiacal
Sanctuary was in a shambles.
The next few days were an adventure. We had no
water for three days, and the electrical power was out for more than
a week. A generator gave us minimal electricity. We bathed and washed
our hair in the ice-cold water of the sacred river. The support group
lived on the Sanctuary for three days. They had nowhere to go. At
their house (and it would have been a struggle to get there on foot
since the roads were covered with fallen trees) there was neither
electricity nor water nor food. Even if they had been able to get
into town, the markets weren’t open.
But our time together was a Grace. Although we had
already spent three months together, gathering frequently with
Bhagavan , having meetings, discussing his lilas 10
, never had we felt so intimate, so loving, or so dependent on one
Because of our Beloved’s insistence on
self-sufficiency, and because of our sense of community, also
insisted upon by Beloved , we managed quite well. We had food, we had
water to drink, and we had one another.
November 25, two days after the storm, was
certainly the most oddly humorous Thanksgiving we’ve ever had with
Beloved. The island had been devastated by the storm. Iwa was the
worst storm in twenty-three years—over $225 million in damage.
Many hotels and houses were destroyed. Thousands of people on the
island were homeless and living in churches and schools, but the
spirit of community they were forced to enjoy gave them something to
be thankful for on the holiday. As for us, because of Bhagavan’s
Presence and Teaching, we celebrated. The support group was homeless.
Outside everything was wrecked. Inside we had a Thanksgiving feast.
Many of our neighbors were not so fortunate. We went around to all of
them, offering the Thanksgiving turkeys we had received as
We all knew Bhagavan had dealt with the storm. We
had felt his puja when he read the poems. We had seen his
conversation with the storm. And even the newspapers declared it was
a miracle that no one had been killed.
David Forsythe, head of the “Forsythe Committee”
for investigating and documenting unusual phenomena within the
Communion, gave the following report, which corroborates what we
already knew was true:
Sometime after the storm, I was able to make
contact with meteorologists in the U.S. Weather Service who are
responsible for tracking and predicting the behavior of hurricanes
and other tropical storms.
Hurricane Iwa, as it moved toward Kauai, seems to
have suddenly accelerated in its course, moving along its path at
speeds of over 40 miles per hour, whereas hurricanes usually move at
about 17 miles per hour. It went through changes in shape and
structure that normally occur only as a hurricane grows old and
passes out of the tropics. The reports and photographs I studied
showed that Hurricane Iwa began to pick up speed right at the hour
the Heart-Master began to talk to Tumo and do his puja! These changes
reduced the time that Kauai was subjected to the pounding of wind and
surf and undoubtedly prevented greater devastation and damage to the
On Thanksgiving Bhagavan Adi Da finally told us
what he had done with the storm. “Of course I did not create the
storm, but I could have worked to divert it if you had told me about
it earlier. When you did tell me about it, I worked on it. I talked
to the storm, and it responded. I told her to get her ass out, and
the poems by Ramprasad, who was a devotee of Kali, made her lose a
little face.” Bhagavan acknowledged that “it was a
At the same time he warned us that we could not
lose the vision we had seen. “Such force will inevitably create
devastation in this world. Everything we generally find attractive in
this Sanctuary was destroyed. This same force, this force of Nature
will ultimately destroy everything that we find attractive. This is a
part of life.”
Thanksgiving Day turned into Thanksgiving night.
We sang and danced together. Opera, Simon and Garfunkel, rock music,
and reggae. Beloved animated everyone and everything in the room from
his chair. He danced, he coached us to sing, he quipped, he roared,
he mused, and finally in an ecstatic moment, he gave us a final
message about the destiny all men face who are born in the realm of
Nature and about the Realization that transcends the play of Nature,
or the Mother-Power. As a popular reggae song beat through the room,
he spontaneously put to song the lesson of the hurricane.
She eat those folks when they don’t
When they don’t meditate then, She eat
She eat them alive when they don’t
If you don’t meditate, She put you on a mashed
Oh! You get a fever. If you don’t love Her,
you get hot.
Oh yeah! You burn up your fatty. Burn your toes
Oh, your ears. Oh, your ears. They look like
She eat them right then.
Oh! Oh! Ah! Ah! The whole damn thing, She
No respect of Her persons.
She eat everybody!
O Mother we worship you for so many
thousands of years.
All we get is this trouble, all this eating,
all this disturbance
All this disturbance. What is the use of all
It’s better to be eaten! Give up your worship!
This Goddess She going to love you a
Stand firm. Stand firm. She eat your
She eat your knee. She eat your leg, your
She eat your palms, eat your belly
Ah yes! Right up your solar plexus.
I love it. The whole damn thing, She love
You’re all as good as dead. She going to get
Mark my words. You’d better love
Love to be eaten by the Lady.
Mark my words. No meditation, just
Any moment now, She’s gonna eat you
You’re going to feel Her anyway.
She gonna make you feel Her.
She gonna love to eat you.
Ah! The war in the forehead.
Ah! The war in the poor head.
The war between the eyes, between the
Ah! The two hemispheres, they don’t like one
Ah! Each hand, they want to kill each
Ah! The feet, they want to stomp on one
The one thing you got, between your legs.
That’s the only one thing you got.
You don’t need that!
Why you so lively with the sexing
You are poor people.
You don’t eat it—the Mother, she’ll eat
Ah! She’s nibbling on my elbow.
Yes, what a Mother. Oh!
Ah the Woman eat you, but I eat the
I have no fear of the Woman. I take care of the
Woman, you take care of me.
Ah! What a silly Lady. She’s so ugly, so ugly.
Hey, such an ugly Lady. Ah! This bloody tooth.
Ah! This is so silly.
Ah! You are all so unconcerned.
You never saw this Woman.
You never saw me in my big place.
If I can eat the Lady that eats you,
I don’t think you need to worry about the
I think you need to worry about me!
I be eating you next, baby!
I may be eating you right now!
I could eat the Andrew. 11
I could eat the Tricky. I eat the Bodha! I’ll
eat Donut. Ah! And I’ll eat David, and eat Udi there, ‘cept
Bill. Ah! I’ll eat Groot, no sweat! I eat everybody. Ah! The
Lupa. Ya, I’ll ask for our universe.
Ah! The Crane. I try the suppository! No
good. I eat him anyway. Ah! There’s nothing but the ladies
left. They all think they are super-power lady, you know. All
they do is move the hips, and you are altogether fascinated. I
eat them in one gulp. I got the very big teeth, babies. You
never seen no one babble at my feet. I would love to sink these
teeth into these flesh hairs.
Let’s nobody remember, I’m not going to
remember either. I don’t know why I love you! But I love you!
You may not care, I eat you alive, and devour your pleasures.
But I cannot treat you brute-ally. Well, I consort in your
poorness. Ah! So what. I’m going to eat your bodies. Ah! No
fixed time for your poor lives, only eating. Pupupup, Joanne
sandwich! Judith’s flesh, you see.
Ah, no breading, no sorrow, just eat these,
just eat these people, just eat those people. The God eats the
people. Oh, no! The God don’t eat the people! That’s what I was
telling you about, the God don’t eat the people! Ah! The Nature
eat the people. I have to say, the God don’t eat the people.
The God looooove the people! Ah! Nature eat the God, too. Ah!
We all get eaten sooner or later. Ah, so what! To hell with
Nature! Just remember, babies: The God . . . loves the people.
All right! Eh! Ah! Uh! Oh! I don’t know what I do. I don’t know
why I do it. Ah! The poor soul love the God!
I’m going to distract Mother Nature, And all of
you are going to slip out. That’s my Plan. That’s what I gonna
do. I’m gonna do it, I’m already doing it! So, you take
advantage of it. You betcha, she’s occupied with me right now.
You know what I’m talkie’ about, don’t ye? That’s my sadhana.
12 And that’s been
no damn plan at all.
The rest of it is just results. Fortunately,
I intervened. I’m going to distract Mother Nature. While I do
it, you beat it out of here. And I’ll be right behind
This is the only Plan there is!
HURRICANE IWA. This close-up satellite photo of
Hurricane lwa was taken at 2:15 P.M. on November 23, 1982. It was the
last photo taken before the satellite relay station on Kauai was
destroyed by the hurricane. The dotted line shows Iwa’s path. The
black dots indicate where the center of the storm was at various
times that day.
For more on Sri Adi Da and the Goddess; see Shiva-Shakti.
1. “Tumomama” means “fierce woman.” Traditionally the Goddess has
at times been characterized by her all-consuming, all-devouring
nature. However, we need to appreciate the fierceness of the Goddess
in a spiritual light. The word comes from the Tibetan:
“The meaning of the word gtum-mo. The syllable gtum (‘fierce’)
signifies the direct overcoming of all that is not conducive to
enlightenment, that is, all that has to be given up; the syllable mo
(‘mother’) indicates motherhood as producing spontaneously all the
good in virtues, that is, all that has to be attained . . .
‘The ultimate one is gtum-mo in the true sense of the word. It is
gtum because it dispels the darkness of unawareness and mo because it
is the mother who bears (her child) awareness as the noetic act.”
(Herbert V. Guenther, trans., The Life and Teaching of
Naropa [London: Oxford Univ.
Press, 1963] , p. 59)
The fierce aspect of the Goddess has been valued highly by those
most intent in their quest for spiritual freedom. The Goddess is not
merely a metaphor, symbol, or superstition. For the Adept the Goddess
is real, and to not observe, understand, and transcend Her is to
remain bound to a life of suffering and delusion. In the Hindu
tradition, the fierce aspect of the Goddess is represented by Kali,
and the taming of Kali in the Indian Tantric tradition is said to be
a most dangerous course of spiritual practice, but one that carries
the possibility of liberation in a single lifetime, if the difficult
path can be completed.
“Kali is tamed in Tantric sadhana by another kind of
hero—the adept who willingly meets her on her own terms and in
her own sanctuary, who confronts her in the dead of night in the
cremation ground. In confronting the terrible, black goddess, the
adept confronts the ‘forbidden’ dimensions of reality by partaking of
them. He puts the spotlight, as it were, on those darker, murkier
dimensions of his own being. He lets the ghosts and frightening
monsters of his instinctual subconscious being emerge into the light,
where they are aired, studied, consciously accepted, and hence
stripped of their power to bind him. He conquers these hidden
monsters by ritually forcing himself to end that instinctual,
perpetual censorship that insists on blinding him to the realities of
death and pain. By meditating on Kali in the cremation ground, by
surrounding himself with the dead in the place of death, he overcomes
the crippling fear that is the real wrath of the Goddess. He wins Her
boon of fearlessness by confronting Her heroically in a rirual
context that insists on an acceptance of the forbidden.” (David R.
Kinsly, The Sword and the Flute [Berkeley: Univ. of
California Press, 1975] , pp. 147.)
2. “Darshan” is literally “seeing”, or “sight or
vision of”. The term commonly implies the spontaneous blessings
granted by the Adept or Spiritual Master and the Radiant Divine
Being. The Adept gives his blessings by allowing himself to be seen,
meditated upon, or known.
3. “Brahmacharya” is a Sanskrit word meaning
literally “conduct in consonance with Brahman or the Truth.” In the
Hindu spiritual traditions, it has widely been equated with the
lifelong practice of intentional or motivated celibacy by spiritual
aspirants. But this Sanskrit term originally referred to the student
stage of life, generally conceived to occupy the first twenty-five
years of life. During those years, the growing individual (or
brahmacharin) was formally trained in the Way and Truth of existence.
This period generally involved strict celibacy until marriage, or
entrance into the householder’s stage of life. Over time, the term
“brahmacharya” has become synonymous with celibacy itself, even
though the ancient practice of brahmacharya encompassed all of the
common areas of life, induding academic studies, music, art, diet,
work, the Scriptures and so forth.
5. Adi Da’s ecstatic speech about the Goddess
Tumomama is an expression of his uncommon subtle-psychic capacity.
Although uncommon, there are sufficient reports of Adepts whose
involvement with the Universal Life-Energy, the Mother-Shakti, or
Spirit-Power is so profound and constant that the Spirit-Power
manifests as a living personality. The well-known Indian Saint
Sri Ramakrishna, for example, while
serving as a temple priest, was once accused of insanity for
feeding a cat the consecrated food intended as an offering. He
explained to his devotees that:
“The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali
temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me
that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was
Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels
were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the
marble floor was Consciousness—all was Consciousness
I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in
Bliss—the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the
Kali temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine
Morher vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that
was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceved that
all this was the Divine Mother—even the cat.” (The
Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, trans. Swami Nikhilananda
[New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1977] , p.
For the sake of better understanding Adi Da’s relationship to the
Goddess Tumomama, it is useful to point out that there are two basic
attitudes presumed in relationship to the Universal Life-Energy, the
Mother-Shakti, Spirit-Power, or Goddess. The ascetical schools often
develop a negative association with the Goddess-Power, naming Her
“Maya,” “Cosmic Veiling Power,” or the Creative Force of the
universe. Everything created by Maya is subject to a bewildering and
unfathomable display of appearance, change, and disappearance.
Association with manifest existence thus causes the individual soul
to become deluded, trapped in the illusion of appearances, and thus
bound to the subject-object, or egoic, consciousness. The second and
more radical understanding attained by the Adepts is the Realization
of the Universal Life-Energy, the Mother-Power, or Maha-Shakti, as
the Liberating Power. Master Da’s ecstatic references to “the Great
Woman” should be understood in these transcendental terms. The Adept
recognizes Her as the Servant or Consort of the Divine Person, the
Maha-Purusha , Siva, the Pure Consciousness of Eternal Bliss.
“The Living God is always Present. The Living God is a wild,
indescribable Character, a Person ultimately without qualities and
without differences. But in the Play of Nature, God is evident as a
Living Personality. Everything that arises in Nature, not all of
which is beautiful, sublime, or desirable, is evidence of that
Personality. The Play of Nature is a kind of Madness that is not
comprehensible to the ego, which seeks its own survival and the
survival of the things to which it wants to attach itself. Nature is
a Great Sacrifice, a Fire Sacrifice, a Sacrifice of selves, not
merely a place of selves who should be permitted to live
forever.”— The Fire Gospel.
6. The Mountain of Attention
is a Renunciate Sanctuary and Meditation Retreat of Adidam in Lake
7. Ramprasad (1718-75)
was an Indian Saint whose devotion to the Goodess Kali is reflected
in the many poems and songs of devotion he composed throughout his
life, His inspirational writings, still sung today, were favorites of
Sri Ramakrishna, who was also a devotee
8. Ramprasad Sen, Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair:
Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess, translated by Leonard Nathan
and Clinton Seely (Boulder, Colo.: Great Eastern Book Co., 1982), p.
40. (see above Ramprasad page)
9 Puja is ritual worship, traditionally performed by
priests, in which offerings are made to the Divine and the Grace of
God is petitioned and received. This offering or yielding to the
Divine and receiving of Divine Grace is the principle of
God-Communion. In true spiritual practice every action must become
this puja. In the case of an Adept such as Sri Adi Da Samraj, all
action is inherently and spontaneously a form of puja or active
sacrifice to and in the Divine. In some instances, such as Bhagavan’s
magical transformation of the hurricane, the Adept performs a
very visible—if sometimes paradoxical or
incomprehensible—ritual of activities whereby the Divine
Influence is forcefully brought to bear on the course of human and
natural events and destinies.
11. Adi Da refers to the devotees who had witnessed
the storm and who now sat clapping and swaying to His song: Andrew
Johnson, Charles Seage, Daji Bodha, Mark Travis, David Forsythe Daji
Udi, Bill Roesler, Tom Closser, Neil Lupa, Crane Kirkbride, Joanne
Mied, Judith Mazur. He calIs many of them by the affectionate and
humorous names He had given them.
12 Right or true action appropriate to real or
spiritual life. The term commonly or traditionally refers to
practices directed toward the goal of spiritual and religious
attainment. Adi Da uses the term without the implication of a goal,
to mean appropriate action generated not as a means to Truth but on
the basis of prior understanding and Divine Realization.
The Dreaded Gomboo