Sadhana Hurts

Sadhana Hurts

Crazy Wisdom Magazine

a talk by Da Avadhoota (Adi Da Samraj)

December 19, 1987

Adi Da 1987


DA AVADHOOTA: Practicing stage one in each of its phases is a test of your ability to grow up, to be human, to understand reality and to function in it with a will, and to be transferred to the Great Reality. And if your impulse is strong, you do not waste any time at it. You go to some reality group, there are six guys in a room, they point out “blah-blah-blah” about you. “Oh, shit! Thats completely right. Fuck me! Adios to that. No more! Flat! What do you guys think my discipline ought to be? No, that is not quite precise. What do you say, so-and-so? Oh, that touches everything. Good! That is the best discipline. That is what I am going to do, flat. (Laughter.) And it will cause me great difficulty, no doubt, but that is what I will do.”

That is how you grow. You do not grow otherwise. You guys are all weakening yourselves, consenting to be identified with your early-life complications, early-life adaptations, old adaptations, as if complication is your right. That is nonsense. What about your understanding? What about your will to discipline based on understanding? Change it, then! Do something else! Suffer the heat of it, and grow. Without heat there is no growth, there is no cooking, there is no alchemy, there is no change, things are not thrown into the pot, nothing happens.

Well-you are all in your emotional-sexual problems. How many more gatherings and reality groups are you going to have to talk about it? You have all been considering it in my Company for years on end already. Thats it! That is what there is to say about it. Now, where is the discipline? That is what you do.

It hurts. It definitely hurts. It hurts the body. It hurts the feeling. It hurts the mind. It is just heat. It is just energy. And all the time you are enquiring and feeling beyond it. What a glory! That is how you grow. It is greater than death. It is the domain of love, you see. That is what exceeds limits. Love exceeds limits. Love is not indulgence in desire. It is a heat. It is a purifying force. It is a glow. Ultimately it becomes infinitely Radiant and “Outshines” everything.

The stresses you all suffer are the stresses in your reluctance, your weakness. It is time to start suffering the stress of great commitment, of great strength, of manliness, of humanness, of understanding, of the will to discipline, such that you do something different. Thats it.

And it is difficult, yes. That is why I call the Way of the Heart an ordeal. It is necessarily difficult. In fact, measure it: If it is not difficult today, you are not doing sadhana. Sadhana is difficult. It is a heat. It works against motions, energies, impulse, adaptations. It works against them. It confounds them. It frustrates them. If you dont feel so confounded every day, you are not practicing. You are not doing sadhana.

You all think sadhana is a consolation, a matter of feeling good every day. No. Sadhana is about feeling bad every day-in some sense this is true! If you are going to feel good, pay the dues of encountering that and transcending it. If you are doing sadhana, that is how you justify feeling good. Not by relaxing into your self-indulgent mode, your weakness. No. Do the sadhana intelligently. Be willed. Do the sadhana. You will inevitably suffer difficulties. It will be an ordeal. You can feel beyond it in any moment through self-Enquiry, real practice, real sadhana. And even the stresses, the difficulties themselves, may remain, but they will be peripheral. They will be just the heat in the pot.

You, conceiving of that process intelligently, will be able to endure it because you understand the necessity of it, the virtue of it. Growth hurts! You must hurt to grow. You must burn to grow. Burning is absolutely necessary. You want to feel good. That is why you remain a seeker, self-indulgent, mediocre, weak-willed, and weak-minded. You are on the teat. You are in bed. You are on the genital. You want to pleasurize yourself. You want anything but the necessary principle of ordeal, which is the only principle that allows growth. There is no growth otherwise.

Look at what a woman goes through to produce a child. It is not just sitting there and knitting booties! Every energy, every chemical, in her body is converted to the making of this child. Incredible stresses are in the body. The whole being changes. The whole body-mind changes. It is an imposition. It is a struggle. It is a glory. It is a delight. It is terrible. It is incredible pain in the birth process. That is just one image in life that indicates to you what growth requires, and exactly what you resist. Women eventually want to put kids in a test tube-no stress, only pleasure and intellectual acknowledgement, no work, no pain, no obligation, no commitment. No growth.

DEVOTEE: Love-Ananda, what I am feeling tonight is that the ultimate pain is to sit here while You say there is no change, and yet I know everyone in this room feels there is change. But it does not measure up to what You need, what You require.

DA AVADHOOTA: You look for the way out. You will not consistently encounter the discipline your own intelligence proposes. And that is exactly what you must do. You must propose a discipline intelligently and do it. That is sadhana! That is it!

I can say this having done sadhana, not having been merely born from the forehead of Zeus. Having been born in the ordinary way, having lived the ordinary life, having had to suffer the entire ordeal in every dimension, every stage of life, I know what I am talking about. Even in your company. Teaching you has been an ordeal. To Teach is an ordeal. To serve others in their growth requires participation in their ordeal. That ordeal is terrible! Difficult! Painful! But that is what it takes, and if you are not enduring it every day, you are not doing sadhana.

I expect that people who have been associated with me for a long time have understood this message already, that they have found out that this is what growth requires, that this is what the process requires. You do sadhana. You do tapas. You do renunciation. You do a discipline based on intelligence. You do it every day. You struggle with the limitations that are automaticities in yourself. You feel beyond them. That is what it takes. And you love it. And you move on in the practice and no bullshit. You know what I mean? None. That is what you do.

I am not getting any messages that suggest there is even one person doing it. You are still requiring me to address you about the basic principles of that gesture and to indulge myself in your limitations and problems to somehow inspire you to this tapas, this discipline, this Work, this ordeal, this demonstration.

That is why you constantly invest me in my Teaching Work again, you see. No matter how many times I communicate to you what this Great Matter requires, you fail to respond. You require me to invest myself once again in consideration with you at the lowest level of response because you dont do it. And you say your motive is God-Realization? Knowing what that requires? Self-transcendence absolute? If you have been students or are practicing at level 1.1 or 1.2, I must expect that you are up to it. So where is the response? Where is the endurance, the manliness-for man or woman-that it requires? Where is it?

People who understand this principle get down to it, handle business, and bring me signs. They dont wait for fifteen and a half years and then tell me to wait more. They dont do nine months here with me and change nothing. You people are indulging yourselves in my Company. You are coming to lectures. You are being amused. You are indulging yourselves in my Company. To practice is to suffer, but it is not egoic suffering, you see. It is the suffering associated with transcendence of egoity. Therefore, we do not call it suffering. We call it tapas. We call it the ordeal of practice. We call it renunciation. We call it discipline. It is necessary! Thats it. That is the substance of change! That is the alchemy of change. That is the fire on the pot. Everything must be thrown into it.

Suffer the heat of this sadhana every day. Thats it. Not the heat you think you are suffering because you are failing, but the heat of succeeding, the heat of doing it. Thats it! God is not a tit or a genital hanging down out of the top of the universe. God is That which is Realized only through transcending yourself. God is the Principle of existence itself, realizable only when you uncover and release what you superimpose on existence itself. Reality is the principle of sadhana. To be submitted utterly to reality without superimposing anything on it-that is sadhana. To function in reality without superimposing anything on it is the great tapas, a great ordeal.

Well-doing that, you dont have any time for any silly household nonsense, any silly emotional-sexual nonsense, any lack of discipline, any vagueness, any conventionalities. You dont have any time for any of that. You cant afford it. It is not it! You eschew it. You renounce it. You throw it away. You do something else, and consistently. That is the kind of person who should be in Hermitage. That is the kind of person who should be practicing this Way. That is what the Way of the Heart is about.

Sadhana hurts. It sublimes you. It intensifies and deepens meditation. It moves you into a greater sphere before you indulge in reactivity, before you indulge in self-contraction, before you indulge in the body-mind, before you indulge in conditional identification. There is a Supreme Place of Being Itself. That is Where you locate yourself through sadhana, through discipline, through heat, through ordeal.

Therefore, it is all for meditation. It is all for Samadhi. Not for life-fulfillment, not for personality changes. It is for Samadhi, the Sublimest of all realizations, the unique State, the Absolute! God! Truth! Your entire life must be devoted to that Absolute. That is what it is to be a practitioner of some maturity, some advancement, some sort of seriousness, such devotion. And the mature student is the first to express such potential. Then he moves on to level 1.1, level 1.2, and so on, based on that impulse.

But do not come to 1.1 and 1.2 and start arguing. Where is your impulse? Where is your discipline? Where is your intelligence? Where is your understanding? Where is your capacity to be human, manly, male or female? Where is your endurance? Where is your use of this great heat of self-frustration? The heat of self-frustration is the energy of meditation. It is the seat of meditation. It is the Heart.

On the other hand, it looks like I am trying to inspire you again. What I am looking for is people who have responded and are getting on with it who will give me the goods, give me the gifts, and move on. Give me something to Work with. Retire me from my Teaching Work, yes. Give me a Free Renunciate Order, give me a gathering of devotees, give me a sacred institution, an institution based on the Spiritual Process. Give me those involved in “Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga”, that concentration, that Spiritual sublimity. Give me people manly enough to move beyond the difficulties of discipline in the ordinary human context, instead of this weak-willed, children-of-Israel horseshit, golden-calf making, indulging in the world, being consumers, being racked with ordinary life.

(To one of the men) What difference does it make how Jerry changes, Jerry? Stand prior to Jerry! Understand it, but do it. Do the work of it. Do the meditation. Do it in daily life. Do it in your service. Do it relative to transitions and practice. Do it in your intimate circumstance. Do it as a man. Do it sexually. Do it everywhere.

Cut it! It burns! It burns to cut it. And that burning is the glory you register in meditation and its depth. It purifies. It releases contraction. It releases limitation. It Outshines it. It burns it off. You want to make use of this person, make use of my Company? Then meditate in my Company. Come to me in the right disposition. Come to me disciplined. Come to me with understanding. Receive my Transmission. Move, grow, Awaken.

That is what I am here for.



Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar

“The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us”
Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, 128-133