Adi Da > Carolyn Lee, Ph.D.
Another Reality Was Unveiled
Carolyn Lee, Ph.D.
Carolyn Lee graduated in 1970 from Sydney University
with a Bachelor of Arts (first class honours and the university
medal in Music). After being awarded the Sydney Moss Travelling
Scholarship, she undertook graduate studies at London University
in musicology, focusing in medieval and Renaissance music. Carolyn
was awarded her Ph.D. for a dissertation on secular polyphonic
music in Spain 1450-1530. She was subsequently appointed St Leonard's
Research Fellow at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and
senior lecturer in Music in the National University of Ireland
(University College, Cork). She has been a devotee of Avatar Adi
Da Samraj since 1985. In 1994, she took up residence on the island
of Naitauba, Fiji, the principal hermitage of Adi Da Samraj. From
that time, she has lived in the immediate circle around Adi Da
Samraj, where she has been serving the publication of his Teaching
and chronicling his life and work.
The time was 1986, and the place was Maria Hoop, a village in
southern Holland. I was in my late thirties. I had an academic
career. From my childhood, I had traveled widely and I was familiar
with the highest intellectual and artistic achievements of Western
civilization. But I was quite unprepared for the power of what
I was seated in the chapel of a former monastery with about one
hundred other people, waiting for Avatar Adi Da to come into the
room and take His seat in front of us. He was offering Darshan
— a traditional word for the sighting of a Spiritually Awakened
being. I had no experience of Darshan, or any real sense of what
to expect. I was there because I had already read some books by
Avatar Adi Da, and His Teaching had moved me to want to see Him
Before Avatar Adi Da came in, we waited a long time — hours of
devotional chanting and listening to recitations from His Teaching.
This is how such great beings have been honored by their followers
for centuries. But I had no real framework for that tradition
of devotion to the Spiritual Master — except as it was reflected
in Christianity, where the Master had been alive two thousand
years ago. And so it felt somewhat strange to me.
When Avatar Adi Da entered the room, the whole room changed.
He was of another Place, not of this place. At the same time,
He seemed extremely human, and almost frail. He was dressed very
simply in indigo, with His hair down to His shoulders.
I had never had a Spiritual experience in my life, never seen
anything except the ordinary material reality. But the minute
He sat down, His eyes held me and His face began to "melt". Another
Reality was unveiled. Apparitions of Spiritual Masters of different
times and places flowed over His features. I had no idea who these
beings were, but I could see their distinct qualities — Chinese,
Eventually, the faces passed, and there was just His face. No
more apparitions. But then I became aware that His whole body
was a locus of Light. There was a Radiance around Him — but it
wasn't just an aura. His body was dissolving in the Light. The
Light seemed to be the source of His body, not an emanation of
I blinked numerous times, but the process continued. It wasn't
something happening inside me, a kind of mystical experience within,
or a meditative vision. This event was happening right there in
the room. The Light filled the room, and the shape of Avatar Adi
Da's body disappeared and reappeared in the brilliant golden and
white Light. The Light was not like ordinary light — electric
light or daylight. It was infinitely more refined, and it seemed
alive. It was Bliss, Radiant Feeling — heart-Feeling to infinity.
The room was full and deep and bright, an unbounded space of Joy.
And everything in the room had a fluid quality, not solid at all.
I lost my sense of being located at a particular point in space,
and I seemed to be viewing Him and everything else from different
places in the room.
I was "gone" in amazement, and my heart was on fire. I was undone
with a force of recognition. My heart said, "You are God" — the
Divine Light in human form. And I loved Him — I felt that I had
always loved Him, had always known Him, and yet not until now.
I wept with an aching ecstasy in every cell of my being. And that
was the real beginning of my relationship to Him as His devotee.
The next day, Avatar Adi Da sat in Darshan again. This time,
there was no noticeable magnification of Light but just the vision
of His Form, as tender and exposed as that of a baby lying in
its crib. I was shocked at His vulnerability. I could not comprehend
the paradox. The previous day, I had seen His body as an appearance
coalescing into Form out of pure Light. And now He was almost
painfully present as a totally vulnerable human body, simply Radiating
I felt unable, in that moment, to receive that intensity of Love
— and immediately my life flashed before me, as people say happens
at the moment of death. I saw everything unloving about my life
from my earliest memories to that moment. I saw what I had done
in all my relationships — with friends, family, lovers — that
was all about my own satisfaction, my own agendas, the competitiveness,
the anger, the heartlessness, the failure to be sensitive to anyone
except myself. The intensity of this reflection grew and grew,
until I felt I would explode. I wanted to run from the room.
Then I looked at Avatar Adi Da. His eyes were half-closed in
Bliss, and it was obvious to me that He "knew" everything about
me. And He did not care how it looked. He was there to Draw me
beyond all of it. I knew that some profound, pre-verbal longing
in my being had been boundlessly answered and satisfied — and
that the rest of my life would be devoted to the Revelation that
had just been given to me. It was the undoubted Revelation of
God, yes — but not the "Creator-God" of my childhood religion.
The "God" that had been shown to me on these occasions was not
apart, not separate, not a great "Parent". That One was simply
Light, the inseparable Source and Substance of everything. He
was Bliss, Love, and Joy — humanly Present and yet Radiating from