Introduction to the Daime – the Christian Doctrine of Mestre Irineu

Mestre Imperador Raimundo Irineu Serra – Rei Juramidã – Founder of the Doctrine of the Daime

April 2024 Update: This article will be amended with references to direct published accounts of the life of Mestre. We want everything to be factual and give an introduction to the teachings of Mestre Irineu and the doctrine which he established. 

Raimundo Irineu Serra (Mestre Irineu) was born in Maranhao, Brazil in 1890. (or 1891?). He went upstream the amazon. served in military on the border patrol and worked as a rubber tapper. It is when he was working on the borders of Peru that he came into contact with ayahuasca.

The Virgin Mary – Mother of Jesus Christ – appeared to Mestre Irineu. She is the one who taught him.

The Queen of the Forest gave Mestre Raimundo Irineu Serra the mission of replanting the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Mestre Irineu established his own center and began to codify his work. Mestre and his early followers received hymns from the Virgin Mary, and they would sing the hymns over and over and pray. The miraculous reception of hymns is not something unprecedented, as there are many accounts throughout history of Catholic and Orthodox saints receiving hymns from the Virgin Mary. She would appear to them and teach them lyrics and melodies – this phenomenon has been documented happening throughout the world for centuries.

Mestre did not refer to his center as a church, and he did not refer to his teachings as a religion. He didn’t call it “Santo Daime”, he just called it “the Daime”. The Daime is referred to as “Doutrina Crista” – Christian Doctrine. Mestre Irineu suffered a lot of persecution from Catholic and Christian groups but he worked towards amicable relationships and mutual understanding with their institutions.

Many accusations against the Daime were not taking issue with the use of ayahuasca, but directed at Mestre Irineu himself accusing him of practicing sorcery. He wished to dispel that image and give legitimacy and merit to the doctrine he established. He never promoted his teachings to be a “plant consciousness” religion that was something different or alternative to Christianity. Nor did he codify his work with open instructions for his followers to go and plant new centers in his name. Mestre was a proponent of the Rosary and taught the most important thing is not to drink Daime – but rather to pray to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

Mestre Irineu was an ayahuasquero – he referred to himself as one and did not use the term “daimista”. He knew many shamanic techniques, however he did not pass those on after his death. His journey began with a plant dieta. He would blow mapacho tobacco smoke over the daime and whistle chamados – ceremonial “calls” known that are best known to the ayahuasca world as “icaros”. There is even an account of Mestre Irineu giving a bath to someone, similar to what is found in indigenous ayahuasca traditions. He kept his shamanic teachings very close to himself and only seldom shared them. It is said that what Mestre Irineu passed on is only what the Virgin Mary instructed him to leave.

What is so great about Mestre is that he was very humble and everything great he received was from the virgin mary and jesus christ allowing it. He did not engrandize himself and it is not understood that he “channelled” the hymns with his advanced spiritual abilities. Rather, he was a faithful and pious man who recieved these miraculous hymns and put together the format of this work under the guidance of the virgin mary.

“No one should live on daime or live just to drink daime; one must work, study, take care of the family, perform one’s duty and live everything that life gives, always with joy, because everything is part of God. In this way of being, don’t you know?, the days of service serve to straighten the brother, help with his studies, correct what is wrong and walk a little further towards salvation, God willing”

– Dona Percilia Matos regarding the teaching of Mestre Irineu

At the end of the life of Mestre Irineu, he appointed Leoncio Gomes to continue the works at the center which he founded, which is today known as CICLU – Alto Santo. Today this center is still working with the living wife of Mestre Irineu Madrinha Peregrina as its dignitary. Mestre instructed them that he was still to be the leader of the works, even after his death. His followers were to leave an empty seat for him at the table as they went on following the calendar year as Mestre Irineu left it. He instructed that no one is to change the format of the works, or claim themselves to be the new owner of his house and change what he had left.

One of his followers, Sebastiao Mota, went on to found CEFLURIS, later known as ICEFLU. This global religious group is centered in the Amazonian village known as Ceu do Mapia and his is what is referred to as “the Line of Padrinho Sebastiao”. The international expansion of this organization is today what is most known throughout the world as the “Santo Daime” religion. This line incorporates many different teachings that were not promoted by Mestre Irineu, such as cannabis, umbanda, and spiritst incorporations. Most people throughout the world who have come to know the teachings and hymns of Mestre Irineu have done so through the “Santo Daime religion”.

Mestre Irineu gave Daniel Pereira de Matos, founder of the “house of Jesus”, his blessing to start his own group. This group went on to later become known as the Barquinha – now considered to be its own “ayahuasca religion”.

References: TBD


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