Right Effort in the Teaching of Adi Da Samraj – A Beezone Study

‘Right Effort’

A Study by Beezone


‘Right Effort’ in the Teachings of Adi Da Samraj

“The Effort Toward (or away from) Union
Has Nothing to Do with Realization of Me”


In the teachings of Buddhism, there is the idea of the Eightfold Path (Sanskrit: Astangika-marga) the last of the Four Noble Truths. The Eightfold Path can be divided into three sections; Understanding and Motive, Morality, and Mind Training. Listed individually the eight areas of practice are; Right Understanding or Views, Right Aims or Motives, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Samadhi.

This study is about one aspect of the Eightfold Path, ‘Right Effort’ as it relates to the teachings of Adi Da Samraj.

An essential element of Adi Da’s teaching involves the real inspection of one’s motivations, intentions and the manner of how attention is inherently focused a ‘search’, or what he calls “seeking”. Another central, if not the most central element of Adi Da’s teaching is how one is to put their attention on the Guru. Therefore ‘effort’ or the movement of energy and attention in the practice of sadhana is, not only basic, but at the core of one’s response to Adi Da’s “Call” to’ “Listen To My Call, and Hear My Voice At Heart, and See My Heart Itself”.

“I am trying to impress you all and everyone who will read this what the process of listening, hearing, and seeing is really all about.

There’s No Escape, There’s Only Realization, 1996

For many, a spiritual path is all too commonly taken up as one would take up, in the manner which Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche coined as, ‘Spiritual Materialism’. This term refers to how the initial realization or how one begins a spiritual path is contaminated by ego, even when the approach or response seems noble. The process then continues, faulted, even though progress is corrupted and any realization attained, ego based. ‘Right Effort’ properly understood
must be distinguished
from the corrupting influences of ego and the attendant dualistic mind. ‘Right Effort’ should be understood as having NO OPPOSITE. True motivation or ‘Right Effort’ would then be, in itself, complete and outside the confines of time, space and causality.

“The motivated meditator is involved in a process of exclusion and reduction. He is always turning from conditions, sensations, thoughts, etc. toward what is prior to them, what transcends them, what witnesses them, etc. But one who understands no longer turns in this way, for this turning is a part of that which his understanding has penetrated”

Adi Da Samraj, unpublished notes



Since that 20th Century, the ‘cat has been out of the bag’. The once cautiously guarded secrets of the esoteric teachings are now tauted about by every investigator of truth as their inherently free and natural state. Which paradoxically it is!

We live in a world of mind where there are only opposites, right and wrong or as Adi Da has referred to is as, the world of ‘Klik and Klak‘. My point being, ‘Right Effort’ is slippery and easily misunderstood notion which very easily and often does become usurped by ego (self-contraction). {The Mummery – by Adi Da Samraj}

If you follow my argument, you see it goes into the realm of philosophy, and uses contradictory logic. How can something ‘in time’ (‘Right Effort”) be out of ‘time’? How can one realize something that they are already aware of? This kind of logic can only be understood as a paradox. Paradoxically statements about ‘Right Effort’ point to ‘subtle’ and ‘transcendental’ domains of consciousness. In these realms, statements, using language (logic), can only rightly be understood when the utterances of the Realizer and ears of the listener are in heart communion.




A young man from Colombo, Sri Lanka, said to Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi:

YOUNG MAN: J. Krishnamurthi teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration and effort. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practice meditation?

Bhagavan: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain that state and abide in it, that is all right. To do so effort is necessary.

After this exchange it is reported that Bhagavan quoted some verses from the great Tamil poet and saint, Thayumanavar, the gist of which is as follows:

Though all the scriptures have said it and though we hear it daily from the great ones and even from our Guru, we are never quiet but stray into the world of Maya (illusion) and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate effort is needed to attain that effortless state.

Thus, Ramana Maharshi addressed the questioner in his ‘real nature’, his ‘choiceless awareness’. But then brought up the paradox of having to use ‘effort’ to achieve a natural effortless state.



The ‘mind’ is a tool for thinking and therefore the basis of action. For practical purposes, this is not only useful but essential for daily living. But what about subtler activities such as meditation or other spiritual disciplines. How should ‘mind’ or ‘attention’ be directed by a conscious decision of the mind? Since there is ‘no place’ to go isn’t directing one’s mind for the sake of realization akin to what Alan Watts use to refer to as ‘pull oneself up by their bootstraps? If it is true, we’re left with again with, to use another phase from Alan Watts, “Gurus pick your pocket and then sell you your wallet”.



In the Way of Adidam (The Way of the Heart) Adi Da has continually and seemingly forever made reference to ‘putting your attention on the Guru’ giving his devotee a directive.

“Become responsible for the effort that is your self and every aspect of your body-mind, is to receive my Blessing, which is always given. Give me your attention at any moment and you will receive this Grace” – The Adept

“(Your) attention must not be fitful. You must be dissolved, in a constant state of dissolution Natively. So unsteadiness altogether is what prevents the (real sadhana), the lack of equanimity, the lack of one-pointedness.

So any preparation for the (sadhana) basically involves all that, purification, steadying, balancing, establishing the asana, the poise of equanimity, or one-pointedness, free of the efforts of attention. So what’s happening in your lives as sadhana is the process of release of energy and attention from the things that are binding to you”. – When The Well Never Leaves the View, you are There – Adi Da Samraj, 1996.

The statements surely indicate that the devotee must ‘do’ something like direct his or her attention (and therefore mind) to an object (of some kind). But, there is a paradox here.



The paradoxical problem is that there is no place to go, nothing to achieve but yet effort and ‘the path’ exists. The ‘prescription’ seems simple though actual realization is not.

Listen to Adi Da instruct his devotee(s) about the blessing she received the night before in a darshan occasion. She is asking about ‘true hearing’, “her effortlessness surrender” and what is required in understanding Ista-Guru-Bhakti Yoga.

In his response, he says, “it is NOT proper to call it effort”. He then continues by saying “effort is not the proper word” to use in describing her response. But then, in the next sentence says, “that doesn’t mean that the word ‘effort’ is not properly a word to use” and you should just ‘do nothing’ and wait for something to happen.

Listen to the audio and then consider His ‘no’ than ‘yes’ paradoxical response.



DEVOTEE: I wondered whether that (what I experienced last night) was an intuition of what the yoga of Ista-Guru-Bhakti Yoga is. That, there was nothing that could distract me from that. And I felt that, if I was somehow, brave enough, vulnerable enough to experience that last night in a fully conscious state. I wondered if True Hearing is something that is based on that level of effortlessness.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: In any moment of true communion that is so. But the practice does involve responsible dealing with yourself. It requires intentional dealing with yourself. But as I said to you the other evening its not proper to call it effort. Because you do it in the context of devotion to me, response to me. So, effort is not the proper world. But that doesn’t mean that the word effort is not properly the word to use. That you do nothing and wait for it to happen to you. You must exercise yourself rightly and intelligently. Notice what there is to notice that diminishes the fullness of communion with me and change those things intentionally and do those things consistently.

This is definitely required. But don’t call it effort. But don’t presume your suppose to wait around for it to happen. It is your obligation. It’s the kind of obligation that is there at the very beginning of this Way, not later. It’s the foundation.”



“Suffer the paradox instead of the confusion. It will only be a paradox to you if you turn to Me. If you continue to do it yourself you’ll be confused.” – Adi Da Samraj, 1975


It is clear in his response Adi Da is using the term ‘right effort’ in two ways. He says, on one hand is not proper and on the other that it is proper.

Adi Da points out that the the term ‘effort’ is not proper because responding to him occurs in a devotional context (true hearing).



The effort that is proper or right is one of the heart, in consciousness, not of mind alone. The effort of mind alone is always in a dilemma, and has a strategy for an outcome. It’s either wanting to approach someone or something or is in the form of an avoidance. The effort of the heart, in consciousness, is a feeling matter (tacit) and therefore much more subtle then logic, mind or thought. A true response, or right effort, is based on not only recognition (true hearing) but realizing the inherent dilemma of mind (self), the state of being in a double bind where the only resort is Grace.

“Turning to Me is not a dissociative strategy. You are not moving away from something and turning to something else. It is not a movement of attention from something to something else. In your presumed practice of turning to Me, you have added the “method” of turning away from what is in the field of view of the faculties. That is not the practice. That is something you are egoistically adding to the practice. Some form of religion. You are applying a willful religious “method” of your own, and not simply resting the faculties in Me. That is the cult. That is narcissus. You have put a priest between yourself and Me. It is your own ego, your own mind. It is performing the practice for you. You must relinquish your association with this priest.” – Adi Da Samraj, 1996


To understand ‘right effort’ or ‘turning’ in the teaching of Adi Da Samraj one must have the basis of ‘right understanding’. The practitioner needs to understand the practice, the ‘doing’ of His Instruction. To try and take his instruction and apply it as you would to any other form of teaching is to take Him in his gross form as if he were only a teacher.

This, of course, is necessary for the beginning but not anywhere near or close to the subtle nature of his Call.



The ground and root of Adi Da’s teaching are based on ‘self-understanding’ or ‘right understanding’ which inherently requires a ‘right approach’ based on “right effort.”

The approach, based on recognition, requires a change, a change in ‘point of view’.. Why does it require a change in point of view? Because you in your recognition, based on self-understanding ‘see’ something about, not only Who He Is, but who you are!

This ‘who you are’ is NOT what you had previously seen. In Adi Da you see ‘Divinity’ in you – you see ‘this contraction’. In the ‘understanding’ (revelation) if embraced requires an intentional and conscious act based on ‘the law’ in your recognition. It is an obligation in this something you recognize.


For more on this see:

HEARING in the teachings of Adi Da Samraj

The Paradox of ‘Turn to Me’

The Effort Toward Union Has Nothing to Do with Realization of Me

Beezone Study – Transcendence