Eulogy to Robert Adams ❦ January 21, 1928 to March 2, 1997
In this work I've endeavored to capture a bit of the taste of my life with Robert, and what I learned from him and through my own inquiry. Though human in form, Robert was not a man even when he acted like one. Robert was truly not of this world. He let it do its thing without being bothered by it. The world to him really was an illusion. He even devoted an entire Satsang lecture to telling everyone that he was good for nothing. His only reality was nothingness, and into his nothingness, I came looking for myself.
How Robert met death himself is a tribute to the power of his teachings. He met death as a friend, a liberator from a body weakened by age and disease. The brief eulogy that follows shows his clear mastery over death ― and this mastery is the surest measure of any man's depth.
On Sunday morning, March 2, 1997 at 3:00 a.m., Robert Adams, the great guru and disciple of Ramana Maharshi, entered Mahasamadhi surrounded by his family and devotees in Sedona, Arizona.
He spent his last days telling devotees secrets about their lives and giving explicit instructions as to who and what to avoid during the turbulent period following his passing, and also what positive actions they should take. To each of the others he gave something they wanted or needed. Two people he told to start Satsang. To a few others he handed on the responsibility for taking care of his family.
Late in the evening, hours before he passed, a great, peaceful energy permeated his bedroom, and he began smiling and laughing. He told devotees and family that Ramana Maharshi had entered the room along with Christ, Buddha, and many other saints and sages. He pointed towards each for his devotees' and family's sake, and asked whether they could see them. He talked to Ramana and the others, just as he did in a vision he had shared with devotees ten years before. Nicole, his wife of 43 years, said she had never seen Robert more joyous or happy as when he was surrounded by these saints. His last spoken words were to his family, devotees and to these saints.
For the last days, his face and body were aglow, and he radiated an energy that invigorated everyone. Everyone felt that Robert was working on them at a subtle energy level, transforming and purifying. During these last days he requested complete silence throughout the house. Devotees said he could hear their slightest whisper, no matter where they were in the house, and he would call out for silence.
Robert faced his passing with an attitude of happiness and excitement, as if he were embarking on a great journey. Robert, as a young man was always traveling to all the corners of the world. He embraced his final journey on this plane with obvious relish.
Robert's little dog, Dimitri, had died just a few months before. Dimitri was the closest thing to an attachment Robert ever had. Robert many times said, "Dimitri keeps me grounded. When he passes, so will I." And so it was.
The two nights before he passed, devotees and family took him outside for a last look at a mountain called Capital Butte, which looks almost identical to Arunachala. He pointed upwards towards the mountain and said, "Snow." The devotees could not understand what he meant, for there was no snow on the mountain. For the next two days, Nicole states, Robert would repeat the word ‘water' over and over again, and sometimes made movement as if he were swimming in a deep pool of water.
As if in compliance to his inner state, the external world took on an aspect of water. Snow began to fall, gently at first, then with a growing fury. Within hours everyone in the house was trapped by the snow, unable to leave, and thus they were blessed to witness the great Jnani's Mahasamadhi in complete isolation from the outside world. Hours before his death, the snow ended.
Robert was fully conscious when he died, and smiled to the end. Minutes before he died he held his daughter's head and ran his hands through her hair, mouthing words he could not pronounce, "I love you; I love you, I love you!"
He said there was no more pain, only “tingling.” The last hours he spent alone with his family, and no one but they know his absolute last words, because he could speak no longer and communicated by gripping Nicole's hand. A devotee outside his house saw a meteor fall at the time of his Mahasamadhi. The next morning, there was no sign of the snow that had trapped them for two days; it had melted overnight.
At 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, his beloved devotee Mary Skene, felt Robert nudge her in the ribs as she lay in the bedroom next to his. She thought to go inside the bedroom where Robert lay surrounded by his family, but thought better to leave them alone together. He died with a smile on his face.
Mary was chosen to anoint his body with fragrant oils. He was dressed in white linen and silk shirt and pants. Everyone who saw him was overwhelmed by his beauty. His face was radiant, and his skin soft and unwrinkled as a baby's. A gentle smile lay on his lips, and the house was bathed in his peaceful energy. Parts of his body remained warm for days, especially his feet and his chest.
He was cremated on Wednesday, March 5, 1997, and his ashes will be kept in an urn at the Ashram house for Darshan.
A great teacher such as Robert is so very rare. To get even a glimpse of such a guru in one's life is a blessing. More so the blessings he gave all of us who served him through the years. Robert will be sorely missed by all his devotees, his family, and all of mankind.
Robert was a very strange man. He was so quiet and self-effacing, that few knew him at all. Most everyone felt they knew him, some even felt him a close friend. In fact though, they only knew their projections. He was the perfect psychoanalyst, never disturbing the images people projected onto him. His ever-present, yet barely perceptible smile made him appear bemused by all the activities and fantasies others had about him. Still, despite his aloofness, his ever present silence, and his detachment that made it appear he didn't care, he was always there, in a low-key affectionate way, filled with humor and offbeat wit.