"Just Free and Happy"

Kathleen Ewart

Kathleen Ewart has been a devotee of Adi Da Samraj since 1979. She has lived and served Adi Da mainly on Naitauba Island, Fiji since 1986. Her principal services have included transcribing Adi Da Samraj's spoken communications and tending the most sacred holy sites established by Adi Da.

Kathleen EwartI 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. Eventually 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 away.

For the first minute or so, I was awkward, 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."

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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