Raimundo Irineu Serra Order
The History of the Doctrine
The doctrine is originated from the christian faith and a pagan drink easily found in the western part of the Amazon forest called Ayahuasca. This drink meant a strong vehicle of search, however it only found a road when the Doctrine of our Mistress of Conception gave it direction. It was from this union that the Christ of the New Era, “Juramidan” was awaken. The Christ that is accessed only spiritually and that inhabited our Master Raimundo Irineu Serra. The moral precepts of the Doctrine are founded in the New Testament of the Bible, the ritual has indian origins and the vision of the world is spiritist. In theses models the format of the old esoteric schools is observed. The hymnals and its contents show a surprising meaning after the strength of the Daime manifests itself. This strength is the true God that inhabits and gives life to all beings.
Master Irineu's History
The "Céu do Gamarra" church is part of a major spiritual link which has its roots in the state of Acre, or properly saying, Maranhão.
Here we tell a little of the history of the Master of this doctrine as stated by some of his contemporary partners, who left us some reports on the life of this holy man.
On December 15th, 1892 in the town of Vicente Ferrer, state of Maranhão, Raimundo Irineu Serra was born – The founder of The Santo Daime doctrine, which we have a great honor and privilege to belong to. Master Irineu, the son of Mr. Sancho Martinho Serra and Mrs. Joana Assunção Serra, descended from slaves and was a strong and tall man – 1,98 meters tall (6.6 feet tall), and wore shoes number 48 (15.5 USA).
He left his hometown at the age of 15 and went through many places before his arrival in Acre, around 1912. He worked as a rubber taper in the regions of Xapurí, Brasiléia and Serra Madureira.
He also worked for the Frontier Committee on the marking of the borderlines limiting Acre, Bolivia and Peru. It was during this time that he had his first contact with ayahuasca – a beverage that had been used in indigenous rituals since the time of the Inca civilization and also popular among a great part of the caboclo population in the Amazon region.
In the town of Cobija in Bolivia, he met the brothers Antônio Costa and André Costa, who coincidently were his compatriots from Maranhão. They told him about the beverage which had been introduced to them by a Peruvian caboclo called D. Crescêncio Pisango, also known as Huascar.
Huascar was an old Inca king who used to teach his wisdom and knowledge to Pisango. So they invited Master Irineu for a ritual which used ayahuasca.
At first he did not want to go, but then he thought: "I’m coming. If it proves to be good, then I will take it my Brazil, for of evil things my country is already full". For the first and the second time he drank it, he felt nothing; however at the third time, he had his first "mirações" – visions of the astral world. He was sitting on a circle together with 12 people when Pisango approached and "dived" into the big bowl, where the ayahuasca was being served, being noticed solely by Master Irineu. The Peruvian asked him to invite the group to look inside the bowl and report what they were seeing. They answered they could only see the beverage. So Pisango explained the Master that he was the only one able to work with the ayahuasca for he was the only that could see what he had seen with that drink.
At a different night they again took the brewing. At this occasion Antonio Costa was in the bedroom and the Master in the living-room – where those sessions were held. Then Antonio called for our Master, who was enchanted by the beautifulness of the moon and said:
- Raimundo, there is a lady here named Clara and she wants to talk to you.
- Why won’t she talk to you?
- I don’t know, but she says that she has followed you as from Maranhão and she has an orange on her head to give you. She also says that she will look for you in the next session.
Time went by and the master was eager for such a day to come soon.
And so it was. On a beautiful moonlit Wednesday night, the Master was lying down in a hammock to appreciate the delightful starry night when the power of the ayahuasca started to get to him intensifying his visions. The moon got closer to him. (Later on, this outstanding vision inspired him to receive from the Astral his first hymn: White Moon/Lua Branca). The Lady sitting in the center of the moon - with an eagle in her head which was set to fly - said:
- Who do you think I am?
- For me, a Goddess.
- Would you dare calling me by Satan?
- Hail Mary! Never!
- You imagine I am a princess but I am not. I am the Universal Queen. Do you think that anyone has ever seen what you see now?
- I guess so, my Lady. (The Master judged that many others that had drunk the ayahuasca could have had that vision too).
- You are mistaken. What you see now no one has ever seen, you are the only one. I will give this world for you to govern, but not yet. First you must be prepared. You are a man now; you are going to work and keep your halter very short. You are going through a preparation in order to make sure you truly deserve this. You must spend eight days in the forest feeding only of cooked non-salty manioc, with water – nothing more. And you must not hear or see no woman at all.
The following day he confined himself to the forest with the purpose to fulfill the orders of the Queen. It’s told that on the fourth day he was tempted with a bunch of intentional frightening visions. The woods seemed alive, It seemed they were all laughing at him; little caboclos appeared from everywhere making contact with the animals that approached. He shot up with his rifle, because the noise of the shots brought him comfort in that situation. (Until today it is common to have firework displays during the spiritual ceremony in order remind the participants of this passage in the life of Master Irineu).
It is also told that Antônio Costa was once at home preparing his friend that insipid sweat manioc when he thought about putting a bit of salt in it, but changed his mind all of a sudden. When the Master came back from the jungle, he told his partner that he saw what his friend was about to. Antônio was baffled:
- My goodness! Man, how do you know that? I Can see that you are really learning.
On his eighth day on the forest, the Queen reappeared for him, and handed him the orange as a symbol of the universal globe.
He asked her to turn him into as a healer and she answered:
- It’s done and everything is in your hands.
She also warned him that he would have much work on that mission and could not take any personal advantages out of it. (Even nowadays the Daime cannot be commercialized; otherwise we would be in discordance with the orders of the Queen).
As a matter of fact, the Master quickly understood that the Lady was the Holy Virgin Saint Mary, Our Lady of Mercy. He had received that mission, and from that moment on he had to prove himself and make himself what he had to be.
During some years our Master went through difficult spiritual ways leading him between the certainty and uncertainty; truth and lie - for the one who walks this road knows that the line which separates the principles of what is right from what is wrong is very tenuous. However the Sovereign Virgin appeared many other times to the master, giving him strength, comfort and faith, and in one of these apparitions, the name of the drink was revealed to him.
The verb to give ("dar") is the origin of the word Daime. In some hymns of the doctrine there are the expressions "dai-me amor" (give me love), dai-me fé" (give me faith), "dai-me cura" (give me healing); because whomever drinks Daime must be prepared to receive the gifts from God contained in this sacred beverage.
He also received from the Virgin the title of the Chief of the Juramidan Empire and the foundations of the Santo Daime ritual. The Divine Mother taught him how to sing the hymns that he would receive from heavens; these would come to be the testament of his mission and would be gathered in a hymnal which he called "O Cruzeiro". Yet, the Master was a very simple and humble man and judged himself unable to sing. For this reason, the Queen of the Forest came to him one day and said:
- Look, I will give you some hymns and you won’t whistle anymore, you will learn how to sing instead.
- Oh, do not do this to me, my Lady, for I cannot sing at all.
- But I will teach you! Stated her.
And as the Master always used to contemplate the moon, she said:
- Now you will sing, my son.
- But how? He insisted.
- Open your mouth, Am I not telling you to?
The Master obeyed and started to sing White Moon (Lua Branca) - his first hymn, when he reminded of his first "miração" as earlier mentioned.
On the 20’s , the Master and the Costa brothers founded a center named "Círculo de Regeneração e Fé" (Circle of Regeneration and Faith) – CRF – in the city of Brasiléa, state of Acre. Some people decided to join him, and however few, they managed to found an association.
Yet, for the Master’s discontentment, some misunderstandings with Antônio Costa and other constituents made him decide to leave that Center. He moved out to Sena Madureira and then to Rio Branco, where he joined the Territorial Guard. (During this period he met Germano Guilherme - a friend that stayed by his side for many years). The master stayed at this corporation until the beginning of the 30’s, even becoming a sergeant, but then he asked to be released.
Later, as he had made many friends, a colony on Vila Ivonete, a neighborhood near Rio Branco, was donated to him. There the Master started his public work with the Daime. On May 26th, 1930 he made his first ceremony or "trabalho". There were only three people: Our Master, Zé das Neves and another participant whose name is unknown. Zé das Neves says that he worked with him for 41 years and 41 days.
At his home, which was also used as a spiritual center, a small group was soon formed, the participants of this group were Germano, Maria Marques, João Pereira, Daniel Pereira and Zé das Neves. A little later Antônio Gomes also joined them, being each and all of them exponents of our doctrine.
At that time our Master was pursued and even asked to come to the police station, he was never arrested though. For these reasons he took his way wood inwards. In that period he received a donation from the then governor Guiomar Santos, whom also provided him a position as "Espalhado" and a colony: "Custódio de Freitas". At this place he founded the CICLU – "Centro de Iluminação Cristã Luz Universal": The main church. Moreover, he set upright a 5 meters (16,5") wooden cross of caravacca on a cement surface.
In The Alto Santo he sheltered more than forty families that worked in a community work project, something which was very common in Acre. The group had a self-sustainable system in which they lived from what they cropped, managing to sustain inhabitants this way.
Master Irineu was a man of great charisma. Owner of a tremendous calmness and patience, he attracted a great number of people; people searching for the healer, who was already popular in Rio Branco. Those people would discover a good-hearted patriarch, always ready to help the ones in need - the self-proclaimed "shadow-tree".
As time went by, he became a much respected person in the region. He used to solve difficult cases with love and firmness; since the discipline has always been an important role on the Santo Daime doctrine.
The Master became an excellent counselor for those people who followed him and asked him for his blessings.
Little by little the doctrine acquired its own features: the Master’s hymnal "O Cruzeiro", getting bigger and bigger, receiving hymns that told of the spiritual experiences and daily events lived by those people. Other partners also started to be inspired on their own hymns, and used to come to the Master to assure their learning. Among them, there was one who stood out: Sebastião Mota de Melo.
He progressed further despite his little time in the doctrine, earning his valuable hymnal, and soon began to be called Godfather Sebastião.
The years went by and everything grew at great speed. The church used to be crowded with people coming from all over. Master Irineu conducted his work with great happiness and pleasure, but as he used to say in his hymnal, he found himself weak and tired. And on July 6th, 1971, our Master left his body. And now, from the fields of the Astral, he still governs this Holy Doctrine. As for us, his "Godchildren", we still feel his love and strength, which are vital for our spiritual growth. So grand was the repercussion of his death that the Governor of Acre made it an optional day off in state-run enterprises and sponsored vehicles in order to transport people to his vigil and burial. A crowd attended to his funeral for the last goodbye.
The Master will always be deeply missed and left a tremendous feeling of gratitude on the hearts of his people.
From then on, the decisions regarding the command of the church, were in the hands of a few to be taken. The president of the doctrine at the time was Mr. Leôncio together with a director. Also there was the widow of the master: Mistress Peregrina. Time was responsible for setting things down. And in the end, everyone had their own importance.
And those who surrounded our master positioned themselves accordingly to their own understanding.
Godfather Sebastião's History
Master Inrineu had many friends and followers from whom stood out: Germano Guilherme, Maria Damião, Antônio Gomes and João Pereira. These people gave origin to one of the most important hymnals of the doctrine that is called the hymnal of the dead. This hymnal describes the life of the founder of the doctrine under 4 different angles. There were also others that were: João Pedro and Mistress Peregrina, his wife, Mister Tetéu, Tetê, Rita Gregório and Sebastião Mota de Melo, that was, after Master Irineu, the figure with the highest notoriety in the doctrine. He was the great maintainer and divulger of these precepts. With his long white beards and his wife, Godmother Rita, brought this such relevant knowledge to the world at their time. For his venerable mission, example of humbleness and dedication, he got the title of Godfather of the Godfathers. Thanks to only his love and insistence, now there are churches all around the world, as he never had any material reward for that. He was considered the father of the alternative people for giving shelter to beggars, walkers, lost marijuana smokers and people who had no longer hope in their communities. He never had any prejudice against anyone and for that he was deeply misunderstood. Godfather Sebastião even had problems with the police because he gave shelter even to drug dealers, leading them to honest labor, awaking their spiritual conscience and making them believe in the laws of God. Truly, many have been cured. After leaving the Alto Santo, he founded three communities: Colônia 5000, where he lived at first, Seringal Rio do Ouro which for uncountable difficulties he left, to finally establish at the Céu do Mapiá, there being his last road on earth. In 1990 he left this world in Rio de Janeiro in the company of his grandchildren, who loved him deeply. After his passing, the Céu do Mapiá Village develops throught the administration of his son Alfredo Gregório de Melo, present representative of his communitarian legacy.
History of the Church
Everything started in 1985 with the presence of two elders of great wisdom and strength, Godfather Mário Rogério and Godfather Corrente. They were both friends and followers of Godfather Sebastião and through them, in 1987, Godfather Sebastião established the Céu do Gamarra Church. In 1989, some of Godfather Sebastião’s churches formed the Cefluris and others continued as before, which was what happened with Céu do Gamarra that continued to receive its directions straight from Godfather Sebastião. After his passing, the Céu do Gamarra continued in the same path, maintaining the patrimony of all knowledge received in its origins. Today, the Céu do Gamarra is dedicated to keeping the historical memories, the hymnals, the rituals, the brewing of the Daime as obtained directly from its idealizer, who asked that it was kept this way. Everyone who arrives has the right to know what the doctrine is like, pure and uninfluenced as it was in the beginning. Godfather Sebastião always told us that the Master asked, before his passing, that we did not allow his doctrine to be changed. The Objective of the Céu do Gamarra has been to keep the will of its founder and of its greatest divulger.