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Copyright 2001 Realization.org.

 

 
 
  EXPERIENCE
 

Autobiography of a Monk
By Shri Acharya Abhidhyanananda Avadhuta

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Leaving my Master's Family

 

About a year before my master left his body, he took me on a spiritual journey that in due time made me a stranger to his organization. He initiated the journey by visiting me repeatedly in dreams and occasionally in his ethereal form. Through audible words and by intuitive transmission, he conveyed the message that the Divine living within him and his body were not the same. He insisted again and again that I must quit being attached to his physical form and to the expressions associated with it. He was very particular in his repeated warnings that the missionary organization he had created was out of his control. He told me that he was about to leave his body and that I must be open to leaving his organization at the same time.

This turn of events was very much against my thinking, as I was a fanatical devotee of his organization, the teachings of which I thought equivalent to those of my master's own teachings and realizations. I sometimes hoped that the dream visitations and his intuitive communications were a product of bad monastic cooking and my skeptical nature.

My master died in October of 1990 -- not in 2005 as preached by his cult. His physical departure brought a great sense of relief to me. It freed my heart of that painful contradiction between his personal messages to me and the official communications attributed to him by his organization.

But after some time, I became overwhelmed by a profound sense of loss and grief -- I had lost everything: my friend, my "parent," my mentor, my master. At the time of his death, I did not know that it would take me five years to come to grips with his departure from my life and eight years to truly say that there was no more emotional pain.

Then there was an experience that profoundly disturbed my sense of identity and made me fear that I was becoming an egomaniac. When my master left his body, I felt that the Divinity within him was entering me. This sensation was overwhelmingly strong and was not of my imagination -- I clearly remember being amazed, alarmed, confused and satisfied (all at the same time) about the continual process of his Being entering my body and my mind, ripping my soul's identification with mind and body apart. This sensation was particularly palpable when I ambled around his body lying in state in the waiting room of his house. (That same room where I met him alive only a few days ago!) It peaked when we monks waited with lay disciples and newspaper reporters while his body was being consumed by the final flames of cremation. This inner event ended a few days after. Several other close disciples, both monastic and lay, reported experiences similar to mine. (There are many extant tantric texts that describe similar experiences by disciples after their guru's passing.)

Being overwhelmed by feelings of loss and by the emerging realization of my deeper identity with the Divine overshadowed the increasing feeling that, with his death, there was little left for me to do in my master's missionary organization. With my master's death, the easily accessible physical medium for the Universal Teacher Principle was lost. At the time, no one in his organization dared to replace him in his role. By that time, however, I had already received enough spiritual lessons to take me to the Destination; and my interpretation of the movements of the Spirit were as good as of any other monk or nun, even if my abilities were yet to mature.

Once again, I pulled myself from the comfort of my now unproductive attachment and forced myself to refocus and recall the initial purpose of joining my master's organization. I had wanted to know the Divine and serve Its creation. I had apprenticed with my master in order to absorb his knowledge and to know his being -- make it my own and then share it with humanity. (Whether or not that purpose was accomplished by the time of his death is unclear, as I was young and emotionally immature when he left his body.)

Nonetheless, remaining in a leaderless organization was not an option, however overwhelming my attachment to the group was and however practical the comfort of the group's logistical support was. Thus, I had to face another loss -- this time of my spiritual family. In any case, I needed more space than my master's organization could provide.

 

Copyright 1991-1999 Abhidhyan Yoga Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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This page was published on Realization.org on May 25, 2000.


Copyright 2001 Realization.org. All rights reserved.