What Love Has Made of Death
On July 12, Robyn went to the hospital to hear conclusively whether she could participate in the clinical trials. In the car on the way, she was having difficulty breathing. It was a fairly brief interviewRobyn was clearly not well enough to undergo any further medical procedures, so the last vestige of the search for a cure was gone. It was time to be totally concentrated in the preparation for her transition. Robyn had no trouble with this. She already sensed that her death was imminent, and she was ready now.
That evening during the daily devotional occasion, attended by many local devotees, Robyn asked Ruth to pass her the tamboura and she played while Ruth chanted. Robyn was a trained musician herself, and the pleasure she had in touching the strings was exquisite to see. When she put the tamboura down, Robyn looked over at a photograph of her that had been taken two weeks earlier and sent to Beloved Adi Da. It was one of the photographs on which He had specifically laid His hands. She said, "See how much suffering there is in that photo. It's not there now. No pain, only happiness." A little earlier while her intimates surrounded her bed, she said with a wave of her hand, "I will let all of you gojust like that!" And she quoted a line of Instruction that Beloved Adi Da had given a few years ago to a devotee who was dying: "Fly to Me like an arrow". "That," she said, "is what I am going to do."
After saying goodbye to Dennis and her sons the following evening, Robyn did not talk very much more. Her medication was much heavier now, to relax the increasing breathlessness. On July 14, her younger son Raphael was sitting with me in the living room reading some of Avatar Adi Da's Teaching on death. "I am going to read something," he said, and he read aloud: "Death is utterly acceptable to consciousness and life." I told him then that these were the first words of Avatar Adi Da Samraj that Robyn had shown to me in the July 1984, seventeen years ago. I suggested to Raphael that he read this passage to Robyn, who was awake. When I told Robyn that Raphael was going to read the first words of Avatar Adi Da that she had shown to me, even in her drugged state she knew. "Oh, yes," she said. "Death is utterly acceptable to consciousness and life."
From this point on, Robyn slept most of the time. By Sunday
morning, July 15, Beloved Adi Da could feel that she needed all
our help to make the transition soon. Her heart was still strong,
but the lungs were giving up, and she needed to be undisturbed
and not drawn down into the body.
He Instructed us to massage upward at her ajna chakra (also called the "third eye") with oil, and to tap her a few times on the top of the head, at the indentation called the fontanelle. This was to encourage the bodily energy to ascend out the top of the head. He recommended silence, as even pleasant sounds such as chanting could bring her attention down, even if she were not outwardly aware.
In the early evening, I left the apartment for a couple of hours to watch a videotape of a recent Darshan occasion with Beloved Adi Da. Beloved Adi Da's Heart-Transmission coming through the video was exactly as He describes in His Ruchiradam Text:
You may (objectively) see My Radiance, but I Magnify It Where I Stand, Where you Stand, Where It Standsfrom the Inside out, White As the Feeling of Being Is.
I returned home still in the "Bright" swoon evoked by this Darshan of Beloved Adi Da, and I went in to sit alone with Robyn. After about an hour of meditating by her bed, I could hear that there was fluid in her throat and that her nose was blocked. But there was no struggle. The sound of her breathing stopped, but her chest continued to move a little. Then there was no movement. Her breath had ceased imperceptibly.
I knew she had died, and I went to the altar to praise
Beloved Adi Da for His extraordinary Grace in Robyn's life. Then
I called the others into the room and went to phone devotees in
Avatar Adi Da's Circumstance. It was still early in the morning
there, but Beloved Adi Da had said that He was to be told
immediately, at any time of day or night, if Robyn had a question
to ask Him or if she died.
When Beloved Adi Da heard of Robyn's death, He remained silent in His room for about an hour. Then He called for chanting and sacred activity to begin at His Hermitage, and He Himself began to give Instruction about the purpose of the three-day vigil that is held after the death of any of His devotees. He gave Instructions that were to be passed on to Robyn immediately by speaking directly into her ear.
We had prepared a place to hold the vigil for Robyn at the
Adidam center close to the apartment where she died, and we moved
her there about five hours after her death.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: People typically use what is usually called a "funeral", or what devotees refer to as a "vigil", as a time for relations and friends and so forth to view the bodily remains. Often it is a situation of mourning, and there are inevitably feelings of sorrowbut that is not the right purpose of the vigil time. Not that there should be suppression of feelings of sorrowit is just that people should have a right understanding of the purpose of the vigil, participating rightly and fully in the process. If they do so, it heals their sorrow and mourning.
The true, necessary, and practical purpose of the vigil time is to serve the person who is passing. It is a process. It is an individual matter, of course, for each person who dies, relative to the exact play and what the person is aware of in the course of the death process. All of that differs from person to person.
The reason for the three-day vigil is that initially the etheric entity [the vital-energy dimension of the person which is conformed, during the lifetime, to the bodily entity] may linger after separating from the body. The person notices that and starts looking at what is going on, sees the body and sees others and feels what others feel.
There is a certain mobility to the etheric entity. After death, the etheric separates from the form of the physical, but it is the same person with that personality. Depending on the person, he or she can become attached or confused, or have difficulty realizing that he or she has died, or feel reluctance, or suddenly have great feelings of attachment to place or to feelings of the body or to the body itself.
If a person has been preparing for death and has relinquished much of his or her attachments and is being served by others, then such difficulties need not represent any significant obstruction during the death process. I am describing the natural state that occurs immediately after death. The real purpose of the vigil is to help the person to relinquish. It is like a second death. The etheric entity must die. It is not a suffering death.
The continuing existence of the etheric is the temporary status of the entity after death. The condition of the individual determines what goes on in the process of relinquishing the etheric. A ghost is simply an etheric entity that cannot relinquish people or places or whatnot, so it remains associated with the physical plane. But that is not desirablethat should not happen. Merely to have a funeral allows people to indulge in their attachment. That is the western notion of a funeraldramatizing attachment. So people do not do what they should be doing. They fail to serve the individual, which leads to confusion.
Initially, a person will be very aware of the environment. So it is important to tell the person what is happening. The person should be told when the body is going to be moved, and everything that is going to happen should be described so that the person is aware of it all. So, in this case with Robyn Lee, when her body is about to be moved, tell her that she is being moved to another place, and give her My Love and Blessings and tell her My Instruction.
My Instruction is this: Relinquish attachment to the body and to all relations and to this gross world, and turn up, above the head, above the mind, to the Light Above. That is My Divine Form. Allow yourself to pass into the Light without reluctance. Other kinds of entities may be seen during this part of the process.
The etheric is attached to the gross, but when the etheric dies, it loosens and returns to the etheric domainceasing to take the form of the individual personal entity and effectively disintegrating. Then the higher (or astral) subtle entity passes into the Pure White Light Above, the "Brightness" Above.
This should all be spoken directly into Robyn's ear, and My already given formal Instruction to those going through the death process should also be continued. Enabling the person to pass into the Pure White Light Above, the "Brightness" Above, is the purpose of the vigil. It is a real purposenot just a ceremony. The vigil should not be about a lot of strong attachment and continuing to want to live and wanting to do more things in life.
Even when a person has had time to let go, there are lingering tendencies that need to be directly addressed. Robyn should be spoken to about turning up, passing upward. She should simply feel the heart-fullness of being, and allow herself to be Attracted to the Light Above.
So the purpose of the vigil time is not to dramatize mourning or doubts or gross-mindedness. The vigil is about serving the person who has passedand also serving everyone else's relinquishment of the person and letting the person go into My Divine Domain.
Robyn and everyone should be reminded (by means of recitation of My Word, and by means of the Instruction I am now Giving) to magnify that relinquishment, rather than invoking the person to stay behind. Everyone should express their feelings of devotion to Me and their relinquishment of any demands for Robyn to remain or return. She must pass into the Light. It is not merely a ceremony. What I am Calling everyone to do in this vigil is real practice, as practical as anything that was done while Robyn was lying ill. That is what should be done during the vigil time. That is the point of the vigil.
Some who are sensitive to the etheric being may be able to feel it loosening and passing. It does not make any difference to the process whether a person with such sensitivity is present or not, but some people may be able to feel what is happening in that regard. Then, after three days, the body should be cremated.
The same thing will happen to everyone some day. This is what the process is about. As I said, as a person passes through the process, he or she relinquishes etheric concentration and starts approaching the Illumination Above. This is the point at which a person may see a tunnel with a light at the end, or he or she may see familiar people who have died. In fact, the person may see anything.
But no matter what is seen or experienced, the person should simply concentrate above the head and mind, and above altogethernot to the left or the right. What lies to the left and the right are states that are less than the Light Itself. One should simply pass into the LightAbove everything that is seen to appear, everything that arises as the process takes place. In this manner, the Divine Sphere becomes the destiny. In such a case, what occurs is still a form of rebirth, but there are higher and lower forms of rebirth.
To the maximum Robyn is capable of in her disposition, she should release into the Light Above, the Pure "Brightness" directly Above, rather than to the right or the left. What appears to be a bright tunnel, and entities of one kind or another in astral planes, is just the content of the astral planes. Robyn should simply be directed to release into the White "Brightness" Above, to relinquish all those subtler apparitions and be Drawn to Me in My "Bright" Form, Drawn to the Divine Form Itself (Beyond all conditional appearances).
This is a summary of the process that takes place after death and what that process serves. Everyone at the vigil should know that this is the purpose of coming there.
Sometime later, Beloved Adi Da Samraj gave further Instruction to Robyn in which He describes the three Attractive Signs to be followed in the death process: the Bliss, the Sound, and the Light.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The person who has passed should hear My Instruction. He or she should be encouraged to be drawn upwards to the "Bright" White Light Above (Above the head, and Above life altogether), and not to be distracted by whatever appears to the left or the right. There are other signs that help that drawing-upward. If the Light is not being seen immediately, there is a strong Attraction felt upwardsit is an Attractive upward Force.
There is also Sound, an upward-moving Sound. It can have any number of qualities. There is no point in describing it. It is an intense vibration that can be heard and that moves high above and attracts the being upward by that. She should be moved by that. And the Light is eventually seen. Even if, at the moment, the Sound is not heard or the Light seen, there is a profound Bliss felt Above.
Without any sensory signs (such as Sound or Light at the moment), this profound Bliss (felt Above) likewise Attracts upward. These signs should be followed: the Attractive Bliss Above, the Attractive Sound Above, the Attractive Light Abovebut particularly the Brilliant White Clear Circle of Light, the Brilliant White Light.
Recently, Robyn remembered a remark I made to another devotee who was dying: "Fly to Me like an arrow." This is what I mean. These threethe Bliss, the Sound, and the Lightare the Arrow that Leads to the Center, Above conditionality.
The White "Brightness" is Brilliant, but completely Attractive and not disturbing to the view. It can be looked at. Its Brilliance is Infinite, and yet It is completely discrete from the surrounding black. There is no blurry edge. Its edge is absolutely clear, against the dark field.
When the White "Brightness" is approached most closely, a kind of "tunnel" may be perceived, and apparitions of various kinds may be seen (entities from the astral planeoften, helpful relations who have passed). She should hold to the center, hold to the upward attraction. She may see My Form in some manner or another in the Light, the Form she is used to here. Or she may simply see the Light, the Sphere, the Circle of Light. That is My Form, the Divine Form.
Let go of everything. Relinquish everything, distracted and Drawnstraight, like an arrowinto That White "Brightness", That Bliss, That Vibratory Force (or Sound). These characteristics may be felt. The Fullness of Bliss may be felt, the Vibratory Force may be heard, the White "Brightness" may be seen. Allow all sense of separateness and otherness to be dissolved Above, in the Unconditional Force of Being Itself, the Divine Domain.
It is not that death is some kind of panacea, or some kind of "straight shot" for the Ultimate. What happens in the death-transition depends on all kinds of factors. In summary, you could say that it depends on Divine Blessing-Grace and on the sadhana the individual has done and the individual's disposition altogether.
The death-process is a time of sadhana. In Robyn's case, there is Blessing-Grace, there is a life of sadhana lived as fully as she hasand she had this last full year of intensive sadhana. So all these things are auspicious. [July 15, 2001]
Around 5.00 a.m. on Monday, July 16, we brought Robyn's body into the vigil room, wrapped in a sacred orange shawl that Beloved Adi Da had placed around His Body and sent to her for this moment of her transition, and the formal ceremony to initiate the vigil began. In all my years as Beloved Adi Da's devotee, I had never experienced the Force of His "Brightness" as I did then. The room was a Sphere of Brilliant Light that consumed my body and seemed to rock the universe. During this time, Beloved Adi Da, in His physical Form, was in a small, private Temple reserved for His use. I intuitively felt that Beloved Adi Da was not only accomplishing an auspicious transition in Robyn's case, but also Blessing countless other beings. And so I was not surprised by this account of the vigil from Trish Mitchell:
Beloved Adi Da Samraj,
I was feeling simple and happy that Robyn was in Your most direct Embrace. Then, unexpectedly, I felt my father in the room. He had died in 1995 in Australia, while I was living at the Mountain Of Attention, and I had not been present at his funeral.
Beloved, I felt my father take my hands in hisI could "see" the little dark hairs on the backs of his fingersand felt him clearly ask for my forgiveness for certain events of the past. There was no movement in me to do anything other than tell him that, of course, he was entirely forgiven, that all was fine between us, and that I loved him.
My heart was overflowing with joyit was clear my father had not left this realm after his death, and, it seemed, had not been able to contact me before this moment. After our "conversation", I saw my father ascend in a stream of golden light. I was left ecstatic with happiness at this incredible completion, which I knew was Given by Your Grace and Blessing, my Beloved Master.
With all His Spiritual Signs and Sublime Instruction, Beloved Adi Da was Giving to Robynand to all of us who loved her, and to all human beingsthe same message that He Spoke after the death of another devotee a few months earlier:
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: I Am What the dead know.
I Am Who they are.
It is not dead.
This Body is Transfigured by the Divine Light.
The "Bright" Is My Only Existence.
The "Bright" is the Divine Condition, Coinciding here.
This Coincidence is horrific to Me.
It destroys the heartit would extinguish the heart.
And I am Working to prevent thatin the case of all. [March 21, 2001]
The title of this article, "What Love Has Made of Death" is a quote from Avatar Adi Da's literary masterpiece, The Mummery. The truth expressed in the following section from chapter 27 of The Mummery is that all the human love is included and dissolved in the Fullness of Love-Bliss That is untouched by death. This is what Beloved Adi Da meant when He said to Robyn that "Death is a 'lie'".
Death requires a loving, fearless, sorrowless, unangered volunteer of me. Death requires the feeling-heart's participationenamored, self-forgetting, and without anticipation.
Death is an un-selfing kind of winda sudden weather, any day. Death is the body's True fidelity to life, to love, and to Realityregardless of the weather and the day.
To die is necessary, in life's poor Mummerybut, it is not Right and True, unless it is enacted from the feeling-heart. To die by yielding bodily, from the feeling-heartas when in the Embrace of body-loveis perfect trust, beyond every thought of the little bed of "I"-and-"other"-in-a-room. Such feeling-death exceeds all loss of human loveby means of the human heart's felt constant Un-denial of the Divine Inherent Fullness of Reality's own Love-Bliss.
The One-True-Heart's Divine True Love must be All-Shown to lifeby means of the body's universal kiss of feeling-heart-Found all-and-Allin death. Therefore, true love's Right death is how the body-"I" keeps faithwith the universe, and What Is.
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