A story by Stuart Camps
In 1994, two of Adi Da’s devotees in California wanted to gift Him with a young bird. After preparations for its care and housing had been made, a tiny Fischer’s Lovebird was chosen from a local breeder at a nearby bird show. He was only three months of age; very pretty and extremely sweet—though he was also quite punky at times. Adi Da Samraj was residing in Fiji at the time, so a photograph of the new bird was sent to Him along with a description of the bird’s character, and a gift-card from the two people who acquired him.
Adi Da, amused by the tiny fellow (Fischer’s Lovebirds are only about 4″ long), happily accepted this new bird into the zoo. The names that Adi Da gives to the animals in His Company are one of His ways of Spiritually serving and working with that individual. Adi Da spontaneously named the Lovebird “Bogen”, and asked me to look up the meaning of this word. The root meaning of “Bogen” is “to bow”. Over the next year Adi Da enquired regularly about Bogen. On one occasion I sent a report to Adi Da about His animal devotees at the California Fear-No-More Zoo. I mentioned them all and described how each was doing and so forth, but I somehow forgot to make any mention of Bogen. In His reply to my report, Adi Da Samraj only asked, “What about that small bird? He wasn’t even mentioned here?”
In late 1995 Adi Da traveled from Fiji to The Mountain Of Attention in California. Several days after arriving, Adi Da and Bogen met in person for the first time. Michael Macy, one of the devotees who had originally ‘found’ Bogen and brought him into Adi Da’s company, introduced the bird to his Spiritual Master.
At this first meeting with Adi Da Samraj, Bogen scampered all over Michael’s back and shoulders, chirping loudly. He also took a couple of quick pecks at the bough of his favorite millet seeds, offered to him by Adi Da. The connection was enough, however, and Adi Da asked whether Bogen could come to live in His house. Over the following weeks Adi Da’s influence on Bogen served to greatly reduce his nipping and biting episodes. He became calmer and stronger in his character.
Adi Da soon decided that Bogen should live in Fiji with Him. After months of negotiations with US and Fijian immigration departments, Bogen took up residence at Fear-No-More Zoo in Fiji along with Adi Da’s family of other household parrots. There is “Kula Deva” the Collared Lory, “Saakshi” the African Grey, “Hemalekha” the Moluccan cockatoo, and “Pazoozas” the Eclectus parrot. These birds are much larger in size than the diminutive Lovebird was, but Bogen, Napoleon-like in his outlook on the world, presumed unconscionably that he was the top of the hierarchy tree. Adi Da regards this group of birds as part of His intimate family circle. In the midst of it all Bogen, the tiny, remained consistently relational—transformed by the remarkable Grace of the Adept.
Postscript: Late in June of 1998, Bogen died. He showed signs of illness only a couple of hours before he passed away in Adi Da’s own hands, with the Master gently holding and blessing him during his final moments. After his passing a vigil was performed on Bogen’s body, and then Adi Da Himself did a Puja (blessing) on his body, anointing him with water, ash, and kum-kum, and wrapping him in a small piece of orange cloth. Soon after, a second puja was done on Bogen while he lay wrapped in the cloth in a small box. Then that evening Bogen was taken up to a rise above a huge banyan tree at Banyan Bay, where some other of Adi Da’s non-human devotees and friends are also buried. Here, Bogen was cremated and his ashes were placed in the earth near the huge tree.
“I Am here to receive, and kiss, and embrace everyone, everything—everything that appears, everything that is.”
(Adi Da Samraj, November 4, 1993)