Mrs. Yoya Vallee, an international model by profession, is also a member of the spiritual research team at SSRF. Yoya is hearing and speech impaired, and she is a subtle-artist. This means that she has the ability to visually perceive the spiritual dimension just as we do the physical dimension and her talent as an artist enables her to draw what she sees. While the spiritual dimension affects us on a daily basis, because we cannot perceive it, we remain oblivious to it. It is the drawings from subtle-artists such as Yoya that provide us with a rare window into the spiritual dimension. One of the main differentiating aspects of Yoya’s use of her subtle-ability compared to other subtle-artists is that her drawings of the spiritual dimension are done as a part of her spiritual practice under the guidance of her spiritual guide His Holiness Dr. Athavale.
In this article we will share Yoya’s unique journey from the world of high fashion to a seeker dedicated to spiritual growth.
2. Early years
Yoya was born in Belgrade, part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia on 25 April 1980. Due to an ailment, she became 80% hearing impaired at just ten months of age. This also affected her speech. She began wearing hearing aids when she was only twelve months old. After five years of speech training, Yoya was able to attend school with normal children. It was her first major achievement as it was rare for a hearing and speech impaired child to attend regular school with other children.
From an early age, Yoya’s parents saw to it that she had access to speech therapy. So while other children would be playing, Yoya would have to practise speaking for approximately four hours a day. However apart from her hearing and speech disability, Yoya had a normal childhood.
As a child Yoya loved to draw. Her mother recalls that even at the age of two, Yoya showed very good control over a pencil, and that she could draw a butterfly almost perfectly. Several of her early childhood drawings resembled angels, even though she had not seen one in a story book or on television. At the age of five, Yoya drew her first perfected angel.
Apart from her evident drawing skills, by the age of five, Yoya began to show signs of having subtle-ability wherein she would get subtle-visions. Yoya recalls, “At times even when I was not thinking about anything in particular, I would mentally visualise a picture. In the beginning I would not pay much attention to it as it would only be part of a picture such as a pen in a hand or only half a picture but not making any sense. Sometimes I’d see an entire picture but not conveying any meaning. However 2 or 3 years later, I began to visualise the entire picture within a complete context. When I was seven, I had a vision of some eyes on wings and an animal with wings, which I drew. Several months later, along with my father I visited Sveta Petka, a church in Belgrade. There, on the walls and ceiling of the church, I saw the same picture which I had seen in the vision. I was shocked! I excitedly told my father about the vision that I had some months earlier and how all the details matched what we were looking at here.”
3. Teenage years and Yoya’s turning to Spirituality
Yoya began to attend drawing classes in Belgrade under the tutelage of an artist, but it was more out of a passion for drawing than as a career choice. When she was twelve years old her family moved to Washington DC, USA. There she continued classes in art. For two years she also attended the Summer School Artists’ programme at the prestigious Corcoran School of Art. However Yoya’s interest in stereotype art lessons began to wane.
Yoya explains, “It was during this time that I lost interest in attending art school as we would be asked only to draw an object while I wished to draw independently using my imagination or sketching the visions that I used to get. So I dropped out of art school as it stifled me and started drawing on my own, which gave me much more happiness.”
However Yoya was destined for other things and at the age of 16 she took up modelling. Yoya’s career as an international model sky-rocketed and over the next two years, she travelled extensively on modelling assignments accompanied by her mother. These are a few pictures of Yoya as a high fashion model.
At times during these trips, her mother Dragana, suffered from depression. While Dragana did not have faith in God at that time, she was on a quest to find inner peace and happiness. Yoya continued to draw and the drawings which had a spiritual basis, helped to make Dragana feel better. They also helped her develop a little more faith in God.
Yoya would try to lift her mother’s spirits, yet Dragana felt that something was missing. Yoya recalls, “When I used to try and help her by telling her how much God wanted her to live, my mother would feel that it was not me but someone else who was talking through me. At that time, I did not realise that I was being used as a medium by some spiritual energies.”
Then one day while on a modelling assignment, Yoya and her mother met Mrs. Sharon Clarke Sequeira, who was giving lectures on Spirituality in the US under the guidance of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF). Dragana was attracted to the teachings and visited Sharon frequently to discuss spiritual concepts and principles. However Yoya’s interest in what Sharon was saying only piqued later, when she watched her mother in dialogue with Sharon.
Yoya recalls, “Initially I was not interested in what Sharon was teaching and would sit on a swing in the park and watch them from far. However while they spoke, I would see subtle-visions of a yellow light encircling them. This intrigued me and I began to draw what I saw in the subtle. I later showed it to them. This only reinforced their conviction that the Divine was at work during their discussions. Later, my curiosity about Spirituality got aroused. It was then that my mother asked me to chant the Name of God according to the religion of my birth as she had learned from the guidance of SSRF. I commenced chanting the Name of God when I was 18 years old. I began to perceive the uniqueness of this spiritual practice and therefore my interest in wanting to know more, developed.”
4. Yoya’s transformation from being a medium to a seeker of God
In the early years when Yoya would draw drawings based on subtle-knowledge she would do so as a medium. ‘Acting as a medium to draw’ is drawing under the influence of some entity. When one is a medium, an entity, sort of takes possession of the artist’s mind, intellect and body. What the artist draws is not out of his or her own imagination or creative ability but a vision that is given while being under the influence of the entity.
Yoya describes the feeling of acting as a medium. “When I would get visions as a medium, my face would change and become pale. I would breathe differently and more heavily. I was often unaware of what I had drawn. My mother would have to ask several questions about what I intended to convey through my drawing. Somehow she intuitively knew when I was about to get a vision, a few seconds before I commenced drawing. Visions mostly came fast and very rarely slowly. They would be as large as a television screen and were mostly in Divine colours; colours which we never see otherwise. I could see visions from the past as well as the future and these would come to me in my dreams too. When I would see the vision I would feel good, perceive a lot of energy within me and feel happy. I would wish to see more of it, as it would make me curious. I could see only the main vision; the other things in the vision looked blank. As a medium I could draw as well as speak. Even though I had a speech problem, my voice used to become extremely clear during a vision but I would experience difficulty in breathing. I would speak very fast and later I would be unable to remember what I had spoken. When it was all over, I would feel very exhausted and would feel like I was falling. My face would go white and I would not have energy to even talk. I would also feel very thirsty. All these things are not experienced during normal visualisation by an artist.”
When other seekers of SSRF witnessed Yoya acting as a medium they noticed a lot of changes in her. Yoya’s entire demeanour would change. Even though she was speech impaired, her voice would become very clear for that duration. She would get quite authoritative and would almost sound male. The seekers present would perceive a strong energy emanating from Yoya. They would also notice that the expression on her face would become very intense as if she was concentrating deeply. Along with this her breathing would also become quite heavy.
Later, Yoya made trips to India to meet H.H. Dr. Athavale. He explained to Yoya that the only way to obtain higher spiritual knowledge in countries outside of India, is as a medium and hence it is valuable there as it reinforces faith. However in India, He went on to explain, there are several Saints of the highest spiritual level. They have access to Absolute Knowledge from the Universal Mind and Intellect. Therefore a medium is not accorded any importance in India as one has access to the Knowledge and guidance of Saints. He also said that after one makes spiritual progress there is no urge to see visions of the past or the future through an entity. The reason one loses interest in visions given by entities is that they only give one faith in the initial stages but do not assist one in realising God.
H.H. Dr. Athavale went on to explain to Yoya how she could use her subtle-ability to grow spiritually. By using one’s talents and God given abilities for the spread of Spirituality, one can grow spiritually. Refer to the 6th basic principle of spiritual practice. Also to be able to develop her own ability to perceive the subtle, He guided that she refrain from being a medium but instead, she concentrate on spiritual practice. Under the guidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale, Yoya stopped drawing for over a year and just concentrated on her spiritual practice of chanting the Name of God. This was so as to discontinue any practice of being a medium as it was harmful for Yoya’s spiritual growth. Moreover the subtle-world is rife with negative energies trying to take control of anyone who has sixth sense ability. Negative energies quite often masquerade as positive energies in order to dupe and control a medium and the people who come for advice to the medium. Mediums often lack sufficient sixth sense ability to understand what they are actually dealing with and therefore can be led astray or may even get possessed. If a higher level negative energy masquerades as a positive energy, even a seasoned medium will be unable to tell the difference. It is for this reason SSRF suggests that seekers with an inborn ability to perceive the subtle-dimension only use their talent under the guidance of a Saint who can correctly discern the nature of entities from the spiritual dimension.
Yoya aptly summed up the guidance she received when she said, “H.H. Dr. Athavale explained my mode of self-expression in the following way. While others express their spiritual experiences through words, I express them through drawings based on subtle-knowledge. I talk through my drawings based on subtle-knowledge; it is my way of communication. Rendering service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā) through art is only one of the aspects of spiritual practice.”
Refer to the article on recommended spiritual practice.
5. The process by which Yoya does her subtle readings at SSRF
- Choosing topics: At the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, Yoya is provided with a list of topics for a subtle-reading. The topics are diverse and in the next section, we have shown examples of a number of drawings based on subtle-knowledge that she has drawn using her advanced sixth sense of vision. In some cases, she may also be asked to witness a spiritual research experiment and draw the subtle-energies at work. An example of an experiment is the effect of a colour on a ghost that has manifested in a seeker. Here Yoya would draw the interplay of subtle-vibrations that the colour emits and its effect on the energy of the ghost that has manifested. In this way, Yoya has drawn drawings based on subtle-knowledge on various aspects of life and how they affect us at a spiritual level. The aspects include spiritual benefits or losses caused by the various types of sleeping positions, watching television, wearing black clothes, eating with one’s hands and listening to various types of music.
- Preparation before starting a drawing based on subtle-knowledge: Yoya always starts with a prayer to be able to see clearly what is required of her and for God to get the service unto the Absolute Truth done through her. She also prays for protection that no negative energies influence her ability to perceive the spiritual dimension. Yoya adds, “Apart from prayer there is no preparation as such. I perceive subtle-things in a waking state itself, that is without going into a state of meditation and at will. By this I mean I can perceive the vision I am required to see.”
- Style of drawing: Once Yoya starts to draw, she draws very quickly. She has been known to finish a fairly complex drawing from start to finish in less than half an hour. She also rarely uses the eraser while drawing. Yoya says, “A few seekers who are artists and are able to perceive subtle-visions, see them only for a fraction of a second and hence are unable to draw them later. Due to my photographic memory, I am able to draw even after the vision ceases to exist.”With the grace of H.H. Dr. Athavale and her own spiritual practice, Yoya is able to perceive the spiritual realm like very few other subtle-artists. Along with the drawing based on subtle-knowledge, Yoya provides a detailed text description of the event and the sequence in which she sees the various spiritual vibrations. She also marks the vibrations in alpha-numeric sequence in the drawing based on subtle-knowledge such as 1A, 1B and 1C so that the reader clearly understands the sequence of the vision.
- Checking: Most subtle-artists do not have the good fortune of having their drawings verified. In Yoya’s case, all her drawings are verified by H.H. Dr. Athavale using His advanced sixth sense. In some cases, He may offer suggestions as to how she can improve the element of truth in the drawings. Eventually all drawings are given a score on a scale of 1 to 10 by H.H. Dr. Athavale to indicate the amount of truth in the drawing. Drawings based on subtle-knowledge which have a score below 4/10 (i.e. 40%) are never published as there is not enough truth in the drawing.
- Finalisation of the drawing based on subtle-knowledge: After checking, the drawing goes to a seeker who digitises the drawing based on subtle-knowledge using a graphic program such as Adobe Photoshop. Drawings based on subtle-knowledge published on SSRF have generally completed this step.
The following clip is an excerpt from the video Horrifying Supernatural Encounters. It depicts how Yoya perceives the subtle-dimension and then puts it on paper.
6. Examples of Yoya’s drawings based on subtle-knowledge
The slide show below provides a montage of drawings showing the diverse range of drawings based on subtle-knowledge that Yoya has perceived from the spiritual dimension as part of her service to God.
Slide show content is not available.
7. Changes in Yoya’s subtle ability over the years
- Improvement in subtle perception ability: When Yoya started as a subtle-artist under the guidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale she would get scores of 40%. However as she persevered with her spiritual practice for over a decade under the guidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale, her subtle-perception began to grow in accuracy. In 2010 most of Yoya’s drawings based on subtle-knowledge obtained a score of 80% in accuracy.In the beginning Yoya would add very little explanation to her drawings. However that changed with time when she would write detailed explanations along with her vision. Recently she was given a comb of H.H. Dr. Athavale and asked to draw the subtle-vibrations emanating from it. Without any knowledge of the background of the comb, she perceived that the comb had been used by a highly evolved person. She also was able to perceive that it had been used only once by the evolved person which was indeed the case.
- Improvement in speech: Mr. Cyriaque Vallee, Yoya’s husband, recalls that when he first met Yoya in the late nineties, her speech was barely comprehensible. However in 1999, H.H. Dr. Athavale sent a message to Yoya saying that if she continued to practice Spirituality, her hearing and speech would improve by 30%. Over the years Yoya diligently continued her spiritual practice. Every year her husband and her friends would notice that there was a marked improvement in her speech. Today Yoya is able to speak English, Serbian and quite a lot of French. This is a major achievement for a person who is hearing and speech impaired.
- Personality changes: Cyriaque who has been with Yoya through her spiritual journey says that her qualities have blossomed and there has been a reduction in her personality defects. He sees a definite reduction in her ego and that her spiritual emotion (bhāv) has grown immensely.