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Ayahuasca (Santo Daime)

spiritual leadership

Master Irineu (1930-1971)

Pd. Sebastião (1971-1990)

Pd. Alfredo (1990-present)

Master Irineu

Raimundo Irineu Serra (1892-1971) was born on December 15, 1892, in Maranhão, a city located in the north of Brazil. He was a grandson of slaves who were brought from Africa by the colonisators. Irineu, who became a very tall and strong man, decided at the age of 18 to take the route of the rubber extraction soldiers, heading west into the Amazonian rainforest. While in Peru, befriended shamans acquainted him with the beverage known in the region as ayahuasca.

The Doctrine of Santo Daime

The experience turned out to be a divine revelation from the Virgin Mary, appearing as the 'Rainha da Floresta' (queen of the rainforest), directly assigning Irineu to found a spiritual doctrine, a syncretism which would be centered around the consecration of that immemorially used beverage within the context of the Christian culture and symbolism and taking advantage of the American Indian, Brazilian, African, and Eastern transcendental wisdom. In 1930, Irineu created the 'Doutrina do Santo Daime' in Rio Branco, which was the first centre where people from different origins could drink ayahuasca. The name 'Daime' comes from the Portuguese words "Dai-me Força Dai-me Luz Dai-me Amor" (give me strength, give me light, give me love), and tells that the tea is there for everyone who asks.

Spiritual message

Master Irineu was surrounded by people of several convictions and social ranks. Without any trace of revenge, he achieved an important victory, when he received the sacrament from the hands of a suppressed people of the rainforest. He reconciled the sacrament with the Christian belief - the same belief in which name these inhuman actions of colonisation had initially been committed. This action shows the spiritual contents of his message: a message of universal love and peace, effective for all people on earth.

Alto Santo

In 1945, the group of Master Irineu received a piece of land to create the first community of Santo Daime, which was called Alto Santo. Irineu started to channel messages from the spiritual dimension which came to him in the form of simple chants, hymns, the doctrine’s guiding principle. He also became acknowledged for his assisting, helping, and conducting all of those who became interested in his spiritual work. He naturally began to deal with spiritual healing, mainly approaching the cases in which medicine was fruitless and suffering met no relief.

Mestre Imperador

The Santo Daime worship movement grew up around Raimundo Irineu Serra. In 1971, when he returned to the spiritual dimension, Master Irineu was already known as the 'Mestre Imperador' (master emperor), the monarch of a lineage ready to spread out for the task of bringing the Daime to the world, as it is said in his hymns. It was one of his disciples, Sebastião Mota de Melo, who would take up that responsibility.

South-America (1910-1971)

Raimundo Irineu Serra took the route of the rubber extraction soldiers, heading west into the Amazonian rainforest. While in Peru, befriended shamans acquainted him with their sacred beverage called ayahuasca.

Hinário of Master Irineu

'O Cruzeiro' (130 hymns)
'A Santa Missa' (10 hymns)

Photos of Master Irineu

A young Raimundo Irineu Serra with his wife.
Irineu amongst the 'caboclos', which were his first disciples.
A portrait of Master Irineu.
Master Irineu leading a spiritual work in his community Alto Santo.
A color picture of Master Irineu in the last years of his life on earth.
An illustration of Master Irineu by Guta.