Sebastião Mota de Melo, (Eirunepé, 7 of October of 1920 – Rio de Janeiro, 20 of January of 1990), better known as Padrinho Sebastião, is a Brazilian religious leader, founder of the religious entity CEFLURIS.
But to describe Padrinho and the legacy he left behind, only one who knew Padrinho and lived along to see his journey could really do to make justice to this beautiful man and the unbelievable gifts he left behind to all of us, humanity.
I personally didn’t get to really meet Padrinho in person. I arrived in the Santo Daime fully just two years after his passage to the astral. I was in a work where he was present and I felt his intense and illuminating presence although at that point I was too far off in my own self discovery to really have the awareness of the eminence of his presence and it what it really meant. However, as any Daimista will attest that it is a fact that just happens, I got to know Padrinho in the spiritual world. His voice, his words, his hymns and most of all, the work that he left behind for humanity in the form of Céu do Mapiá and the Santo Daime Path.
I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Mapiá village. In 1998 I arrived there on a pilgrimage with my entire family, including my 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son, to see the place where the Santo Daime utopia existed. I marveled at the beauty of the incredible reality that most of the world was completely oblivious about but there it was, as real as can be.
In the center of the village, near Padrinho’s wife’s sister’s house where I stayed, Madrinha Julia, oh Madrinha Julia, que saudade… Is the last canoe that Padrinho built under perpetual exhibit. It looks more like a transatlantic, given the majestic size of this ship. Padrinho build his canoes early in the morning. He would be up at 4 am. Gather up the ones who would be there with him and to the jungle they went. I was happy enough to meet some of those guys that went with him and hear their stories…
Padrinho Sebastiao was a man that maybe was so far ahead of his own time that the world itself may not have been ready for him. But that didn’t matter. Padrinho chose to go away from the “World of Illusion”, as he himself so often referred to the world we all live in, and he went real close to the Forest, his great teacher and where he chose to take his people and form his community.
There are not many man in History that can come close to Padrinho in what he achieved in his lifetime. You would have to reach out to Ghandi and so on and so forth to compare. Padrinho was illiterate for most of his life and yet, he was wiser and more intelligent than most man of his time. He created an entire path and way of life that not only still exists today but is one of the most important and significant spiritual movements of the 21st century, even though he lived in the 20th. The Santo Daime Church.
Padrinho didn’t create the Santo Daime, in fact, he found the Santo Daime like many of us followers and people around the world do, he was sick and needing something miraculous to help him heal since no doctor could find a solution to his condition.
It is said that when Padrinho started climbing the steps of the stairs that led to Mestre Irineu Serra’s office, where he was awaiting this unknown man arrive with some incurable illness, that Mestre, who was already in his old age, said to his disciples who were present there, My Successor has arrived.
Padrinho soon became a leader on his own right and after Irineu’s passage, led his people to start a community in the forest, to leave behind all the compromises with the old world and start a new spiritual life that didn’t include money or “the Rat race” but consisted of a communitarian lifestyle deep inside the Amazon Jungle.
Padrinho was loved by all who got to know him. He treated everyone with the same respect and knew about every person in his community, what they needed to be healthy and in peace. In the times of Padrinho, the community thrived and overcame seemingly impossible to overcome obstacles, always in the light of this charismatic and mysterious old shaman man, who just inspired everyone who crossed his path with wisdom, joy, lightness and a divine spark that made the Santo Daime path prosper so much and go so far to reach all corners of the earth.
Many who drink the Aya today around the world don’t know but most likely, if it wasn’t for Padrinho, none of this might be happening at this time.
Here’s a little bit of Padrinho for all of you who like me, didn’t get a chance to be with him in person and to know the warmth and fearless beauty of his Divine Presence.