Bede’s mahasamadhi

24 years ago today, 13 May, Fr. Bede entered mahasamadhi. We give thanks for his goodness and grace, his light and his love.


(From Return to the Center)

Where then is this eternal religion––the sanatana dharma…––to be found?  It is to be found in every religion as its ground or source, but it is beyond all formulation.  It is the reality behind all rites, the truth behind all dogmas, the justice behind all laws.  But it is also to be found in the heart of every [person].  It is they law ‘written on their hearts.’  It is not known by sense or reason but by the experience of the soul in its depths.  Of this it has been said:

Thy natural senses cannot possess God or unite thee to him; nay, thy inward faculties of understanding, will, and memory, can only reach after God, but cannot be the place of his habitation in thee.  But there is a root or depth in thee from whence all these faculties come forth, as lines from a center or as branches from the body of the tree.  This depth s called the Center, the Fund or Bottom of the soul.  This depth is the unity, the eternity, I had almost said the infinity of thy soul; for it is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it or give it any rest but the infinity of God.[1]

It is in this depth that all true religion is to be found.  It is the source from which all religion springs, the goal to which it aspires, and it is present in the heart of every [person].  It was from this Center that man fell and it is to this Center that he must return.  Every religion seeks to make this known and to map out the path of return.[2]



[1] William Law, The Spirit of Prayer, ch 11.

[2] Bede Griffiths, Return to the Center, p. 99ff



2 thoughts on “Bede’s mahasamadhi

  1. In Gratitude

    In gratitude for Father Bede’s light, love and Presence still with us 24 years after his mahasamadhi.

    To have a religious heart-mind is to recognize and abide in what Father Bede calls the eternal religion or the sanatama dharma: religion before and beyond all formality and organization. It is found in the heart of every person but in an entirely non-separate way. So it is also every person just as we stand: in our joy and realization but in our sorrow and confusion, too. This is not to say remain in sorrow or confusion but do not separate anything that manifests from divine love or grace. These are difficult, confused times and as individuals we may be in confusion and difficulty; but in a certain sense we have not lost or fallen from the Center nor must we return from what was not lost, even if it may seem that way. With divine grace we must recognize, surrender and begin to live through our true gift of birth, which may be obscured but was never lost. In sacred irony or paradox, we are that Center to which we must return.

    May Father Bede’s Spirit continue to nurture us.

    Richard Simonelli


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