Extraordinary Evidence > Adi Da's Physical Touch > Surrender at the Master's Feet

Surrender at the Master's Feet

Chris Tong

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, 1986
(click to enlarge)

When you have surrendered at the lotus feet of the Master,
From the chains of this world you will break free.
Then, in complete control of your mind and your senses,
Within your heart, you will find the Lord.

Adi Shankara, Bhaja Govindam ("Follow Your Heart")

All the world's spiritual traditions talk about the virtue of surrendering at the Master's Feet — it is a kind of metaphor for spiritual practice altogether.

"Surrendering" at the feet of an ordinary person — a king or pharoah, for example — is one thing, and there is a virtue in our modern world having outgrown that sort of tradition, because — whatever else such a person may have (power, fame, etc.) — spiritually, he or she is just an ordinary person like ourselves.

But the ritual of kneeling or prostrating at the feet of such kings and pharoahs is a mimicking of a far more ancient tradition that is genuine, profound, and ultimately, spiritually liberating: surrendering at the feet of a Spiritual Transmission Master.

Adi Da elaborates (bold is mine):

PadukasWhat is the significance of the Guru's feet? The Guru has all kinds of body parts, you know. Why the Guru's feet? First of all, to relate to anyone at the level of his or her feet, you yourself must assume a physical position that is different from the usual stand-up, handshaking, egoic mode. The attitude of surrender is suggested, then. . . .

Another aspect of relating to the Guru through His feet is Yogic. The current of Divine Transmission passes through the Guru's Feet. Every aspect of the Guru's body-mind is registered in various parts of the feet.[1] The feet are the epitome of the body. So various Yogic aspects of Transmission are epitomized in the feet of the Sat-Guru.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
in James Steinberg, Love of the God-Man

To physically touch (or be physically touched by) the Spiritual Master is a great and rare Grace. To physically touch (or be physically touched by) the Feet of the Spiritual Master is absolutely extraordinary, as the following stories illustrate.

Here is a story from one of Adi Da's earliest devotees, Wes Vaught. He describes what occurred when he met Adi Da for the first time, while visiting Him in His home in Los Angeles in April, 1972:

Wes Vaught and Adi Da[Adi Da Samraj] was most obviously Demonstrating His Divine Mood, clearly Indifferent to any sense of limitation, Shining with Blessing Force, replete with native Freedom and the certainty of unqualified Love, Transparent to the pure, sweet Grace of God. . . . I threw myself face down and full-length at His [Adi Da's] Feet. His Feet, somehow, were a perfect point of contact with this Blessing Force. I wept and kissed His Feet, wetting them with tears of relief, joy, gratitude, and also with the anguish that I could not completely let go of myself. Still I tried to surrender, straining with my heart and brain to open more. But I could surrender no more. Quietly, Adi Da lifted His Feet and placed them on my head. All stress left my being. A golden balm of sweet light poured through every cell in my body. A knot opened. I let go, and His brilliant Radiance washed through me. I was Home.

Wes Vaught
"What Have You Been Doing with Your Life?"

Here is another story, from Antonina Randazzo, who often sang for Adi Da at Sacred Offerings:

Antonina RandazzoOver the years, musical occasions with Bhagavan Adi Da became what He referred to as "Sacred Offerings". Musicians were there to make an offering to Him that serves everyone's participation in the fact that He is there granting His Sublime Darshan. It creates occasion for people to give Him their attention. The attention was not on the musicians, we would be there simply to serve the occasion by providing contemplative music. I remember one occasion in 2004 in Samraj Mahal, an exquisite Temple on the island of Naitauba. It is a beautiful open-air Pavilion overlooking the ocean. Tropical breezes waft through the environment and it is wholly conducive and pleasurable to sit in such a pristine setting. This particular evening a lounge-type chair was set up for Bhagavan that allowed Him to sit either cross-legged in His accustomed manner, or to extend His legs and feet out down the length of the chair.

I was particularly appreciative of this change in His chair, as from where I was sitting, and with the chair angled off center a bit, His hands and feet would point directly at me. We sat to the side, but only about five feet away from Him. For a time he did sit cross-legged, but when He unfolded his legs, I felt a Transmission flowing from His Feet that was almost too much to conduct at times. I felt His Divine Touch Infusing my entire being. It rested me in deep contemplation, and the music poured out of me from a much deeper place. It was that feeling again of having my throat and the entire frontal line wide open, and He drew everything out of me effortlessly.

Antonina Randazzo
Devotional Singing: "The Focus Is On The Divine"

The Spiritual Power of the Guru's Feet is not only physical but psychophysical, as this story from Timothy illustrates.

There is a deep mystery about the Guru that perhaps only devotees can understand, because the mind cannot explain it, though I will try here. The mystery is that the Guru’s Feet are extraordinarily attractive and significant in a profound spiritual sense. I can speak this because of an initiatory experience where this was suddenly demonstrated to me.

Sometime in the early 1990's, I was on retreat at The Mountain Of Attention, staying in the retreat building called Pile of Poles. At that time there was, what was called, an empowerment puja, a ritual worship of the Guru, done in a small square temple, called Paduka Mandir, after the main early morning puja in the much larger Temple Adi Da. It was a Sunday morning and I attended with a few others.

Paduka MandirPaduka Mandir is quite small, maybe 20 feet by 20 feet, with a pyramid roof and inside a very high ceiling rising to a point maybe 18 feet up, with a chair for the Guru right in the middle, on a raised platform of about 5 inches, so only a few of us can sit in there while the puja is being done. It is very close and intimate and therefore easy to feel the potency of the Guru’s Blessing-Force. Especially because the temple had been empowered initially by Adi Da from afar, and only physically by Him when He visited later (after the experience I describe in this story).

After the Guru’s form (by way of the large life-sized photograph) is ceremonially washed and anointed with oil, ash, kum kum and flowers, His ceremonial silver sandals, the padukas, which the temple is named after, are also washed and anointed. This is our way of honoring the Guru’s Feet, but is not unique to us — this is a traditional ritual that has been done by devotees for thousands of years. The last offering is flowers. The practice of the devotee while this ceremony is proceeding is to install the Guru down into the front of the body with feeling, receiving Him deeply, so that one's egoically contracted heart swells and softens. It is a mysterious esoteric practice and something of the full mystery of it was about to be revealed to me.

As flowers were offered and gently placed on the silver padukas, I suddenly had a direct physical sensation of my Guru’s Feet penetrating the heart region of my body, as if my chest was actually being opened up physically. It wasn’t painful, but it was shocking and it opened me up profoundly — my body shook vigorously and cried out unintelligibly in spontaneous response to this invasion. It was an esoteric experience of my Guru entering into my body and mind, and awakening me to a greater depth of understanding of His Intimacy with me, the nature of Reality, and the necessary depth of spiritual response to His Company.

Of course my chest was not physically penetrated, it was a psychic experience, but really, it was more than just that, because the openness to Him remains in my body and being as a result of this experience and others, even years later — so this was an initiation. He did penetrate my being and rest His Feet on my heart to such a depth that my relationship to Him is clear beyond even body and mind.

That is what happened. And still does. His Feet remain on my heart. How can I explain it? I cannot, other than this attempt at writing about it. And why try to explain it? This mystery connects me indelibly to Him, into that relationship of depth that reaches across any boundary that might be created that separates me from Him, or this world from that which transcends it, or me from any other being, or anything at all, and so it is the Truth of my existence.

May You be Pleased to Take Your Seat in my heart at all times. May You ever Dwell in my heart.

Ruchira Avatara Gita

Here's yet another story, from my own experience.

In late 1995, Adi Da made Frans Bakker and myself the co-directors of the Adidam Word and Mission Division.[2] We were both living at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Northern California. He invited us to be with Him at Adi Da Samrajashram (in Fiji), in time for the evening of Danavira Mela (Christmas Eve). It was clear that He wanted to directly work with the heads of His Mission in the most wonderful way (at the most wonderful time!), for the sake of their practice, and for the sake of His Mission.

Adi Da welcoming me with a kiss
Adi Da welcoming Chris with a kiss
(Christmas Eve, 1995)

We arrived in Adi Da Samrajashram, and gave Adi Da our gift. (It was a beautiful glass globe of the world, signifying our intent to bring Him the world, so He could liberate all beings — which He then placed in His most sacred temple, the Sukra Kendra.) He then had Frans and I sit at His feet all evening, even as He was receiving gifts from His other devotees, and kissed and embracing each of them, one by one. It was a wonderfully happy evening.

At some point, I spontaneously took hold of both His feet. This is not something I or any devotee ever would do in their "right mind"! But I was not in my "right mind" — Adi Da's Spiritual Transmission had shifted me into a completely different state, in which I was profoundly drawn to Him, even to the point where my mind was dissolving and my body was animating itself to be closer to Him in this way. In fact, I barely noticed that I was holding His feet in my hands, so entranced was I by the Brightness radiating from Him and all around His body. As it would turn out, Adi Da let me continue to hold His feet for the next half hour or so — an extraordinary gift of Grace, almost unbelievable as I look back on it. And at the same time, He and the room got Brighter and Brighter — with Him as the obvious Center and Source of that Brightness — until it became directly obvious that Beloved Adi Da, the room, and everything were all a Unity in this Brightness. It was a sustained moment of clear recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person. And in that moment of recognition, the Brightness enveloped me as well, and "I" disappeared in It.

Because He Is the Great and Only and Very One, devotees should surrender and forget themselves at the Feet of the Divine Heart-Master. Because He Is the Great and Only and Very One, the Graceful Radiance That Flows from the Divine Heart-Master's Feet Releases attention from the ego-"I" and the world. . . His Body is the Tree of Life. His Feet are planted in the Heart of every being's heart — and anything offered at His Feet is Returned in the Form of Radiant Blessings.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Ruchira Avatara Gita

The next thing "I" knew, I was outside the gathering hall, in the open air, after some unknown amount of time had passed. I have no recollection of the time between when I disappeared, and when I "reappeared" — to discover I was being supported on either side by friends who were taking me to lie down. Mind you, I had not passed out — I had passed in . . . to God Knows Where.

Adi Da has always said that, whenever we gather with Him (as we did that night), He works to bring us to a point in the evening where we "disappear", and lose a period of time in our memory; He has said that if we could only allow that to happen, we would never be the same again. It happened for me . . . I was in a state of continual bliss for the next three months. And I can vouch for it: I haven't been the same since. And in my heart, I am still there, holding His Feet.

* * *

You may sometimes objectively see The Divine Self-Brightness of My Avatarically Born Bodily Human Divine Form.

I Always Self-Magnify My Inherent Self-Brightness, Where I Stand, Where You Stand, Where It Stands, From The Inside Out, White As The Spiritual Current Of Being Is. . .

I Am Always Dissolving (Myself, and all-and-All) In My Own "Brightness".
This Is What I Do.
This Is What I Am Always Doing.
This Doing Is Who I Am.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, p. 706, The Knee Of Listening

Linda Oppenheimer, pastel on paper
(click to enlarge)

* * *

"Surrendering at the Guru's feet" is an appropriate metaphor for our practice of the Way of Adidam altogether in every moment, because reception of Adi Da's Spiritual Transmission is possible in every moment (it's not in any way limited by physical distance or by Adi Da no longer being humanly alive) — if we are in that same "entirely surrendered" disposition — regardless of whether we are literally at His feet, or at His feet in mind and feeling. His Spiritual Touch is always available, even long after His human lifetime.

It is not just My devotees who are noticing the signs of My world-Blessing-Work. Others also are feeling My Presence and are responding. . . . My experience is every one. I Extend out and I Touch you. When My Divine Spiritual Body Extends out, Its Touch Touches every one. Every one has felt My Spiritual Touch, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. I am Touching every one right now.

If you were to lie down and extend your body and touch someone's body, he or she would feel it. Well, I am Extended everywhere like that. I am Experiencing all as My own Form. . . . All is in My View, My Touch-Field. No one is unfamiliar to Me. No one feels as an "other" to Me. All is in My Sphere. That suggests How I Work.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Adi Da

And every day, all devotees place themselves at — and touch — the feet of the Guru, in feeling, through the specific means of the daily Guru Paduka Puja. "Paduka" is the Sanskrit word for the sandals of the Spiritual Master. In the morning Guru Paduka Puja, Adi Da's devotees wash the Guru's feet in feeling (typically by watching as the Pudaka pujarist washes a metal impression of His feet or sandals that were Blessed by Adi Da by His having placed His feet in them). This serves their communion with Him in that moment, and then throughout the day.

The Primal Secret of devotee practice is to practice in Satsang — to practice in the Primal Space, as if always sitting in the Company of the Heart-Master. One reaffirms, re-establishes this context of Existence every day through the Guru Paduka Puja.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Primal Space (January 19, 1988)

The Way of the Siddhas is simple and easy, because it does not take billions of lifetimes, but it requires a helluva lot in one lifetime. And yet some day you will look at it and see that it required nothing at all, that you did nothing. It all seemed very dramatic at the time, and yet it involved nothing at all. But you must stop being children. You must be present with force, with energy, with life! You've got to kick ass! And lay it at My feet every time you come to Me, in other words, all day. Eventually you will have laid it all down, and you will have gotten everything back. But if you bring nothing, if you literally bring Me a piece of fruit, be warned!

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Lay It At My Feet"
The Dawn Horse, November 15, 1975

This article appears in
Blessings, Miracles, and Extraordinary Evidence

The Celebration of Da Purnima



This is also a well-known principle of reflexology and acupuncture.


This included the Dawn Horse Press and the Adidam Mission. The idea behind combining these into a single Division (an idea that Adi Da Blessed) was that the needs of the Adidam Mission should inform what mission-supportive books were being published by the Dawn Horse Press — a sensible idea!

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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