Hearing is No Small Matter


THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES – The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da (1995-1996) An excerpt from, A Mastered Life – A Gathering “Consideration” with Adi Da Samraj Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, California – December 29, 1995.

Beezone note:

This excerpt was shortened by many paragraphs from the original talk (link to original below). The purpose of this editorial liberty was to focus on the topic of ‘hearing’ that was so eloquently elaborated in this talk by Heart Master Adi Da Samraj.

Hearing is No Small Matter


AVATARA ADI DA: Yes, if you really feel that knot, you don’t want to feel it. Hm? But it is the ground of your ordinary life. You try to distract yourself from it constantly, through seeking and self-indulgence and whatnot. But if you really find out about yourself, find this knot, find what your real experience is, then you won’t want to put up with that. It will oblige you to do sadhana, to feel constantly more and more beyond it.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, I feel this. I feel this need to go beyond that, what this illusion is, very strongly now. It’s something that You Gave me this year.


DEVOTEE: I feel that it’s such a profound vision to see life as an illusion. The Beauty of What is other than that, you know, is just Shining more and more to me.

AVATARA ADI DA: Mm-hm. But to Realize It you must utterly relinquish your self-position. So that doesn’t make life a negative. That just means that that’s what life is about. Life is inherently, by Law, sadhana, God-wardness, going beyond separate self.

Generally, people don’t seem to know anything about that. So by Grace you may become aware of it, and no longer be willing to be distracted by your cover-up, to keep yourself somehow or other unaware of it and becoming very, then, superficial, peripheral, in your mind, your body, your feelings. But all the time you’re motivated by it. you’re always seeking something or other. You even forget what the hell you’re seeking. Or in one moment or other it’s this, that, or the other particular thing, but always avoiding the knowledge, the discovery, of your own action that is producing all of that.

So it is a Grace to find it out. But it is not in itself Graceful. In other words, it’s not a mere pleasure to find this knot, you see, if, having found It out, you must do sadhana. Otherwise, well, maybe you’ll forget a little bit again by getting very superficial, but you’ll give up the opportunity to deal with it.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, I feel that everything in the world is about that. That is all it’s about, is avoiding that.

AVATARA ADI DA: Avoiding this knowledge of this knot. The whole worlds avoiding this knowledge of the knot.

DEVOTEE: Everything that I’ve done, even in Your Company and the practice that You’ve Given us, I’ve had to come to see that everything I do, everything I do, everything I do, …


DEVOTEE: … is intentionally keeping me from feeling that and going beyond that.

AVATARA ADI DA: Well, truly, you’re only willing to feel that knot that motivates you when you simultaneously, Gracefully, discover What Transcends it and are given a Wisdom that communicates itself to you so that you know how to go beyond it. In other words, individuals will automatically dissociate from this depth unless they can somehow come to terms with it through the Graceful discovery of What Transcends it and the finding of Wisdom to deal with it.


Hearing is knowing the self-contraction is your own activity


So when all those things coincide, and all of a sudden you find you’re able to feel this thing that motivates you, this knot, this disturbance, because you know that there’s something you can do about it, then there is the What to Realize that’s beyond it.

But still the sadhana is a matter of actually dealing with this dis-ease. In other words, the religious life, this Way in particular, is not about consolation merely and distraction and so forth, in the conventional sense, or ego-supporting sense. The process, moment to moment, goes beyond the self-contraction, particularly as hearing awakens, that’s when there is most profound understanding, knowing of this self-contraction, and that it is your own activity. But even the sadhana from the beginning is about going beyond this knot and not avoiding it through conventional-mindedness and consolation and such.

So the actual process is to stay in place, in this place of separate self, surrendering to Me, to the point of self-forgetting Communion with Me, true going beyond it. It’s that from the beginning, not merely after hearing. Even from the beginning it is so. But you have to understand that that’s what the sadhana is about, or you will miss the point and think the religious life is about consolation or mere behavior and so forth.

You are to stand in that position of that knot, feeling your own dis-ease, motivation.

DEVOTEE : it’s so painful just to feel that, though.

AVATARA ADI DA: But it’s there anyway. [DEVOTEE: Yeah.] So you must embrace this Way and actually go beyond it.

But that means you have to endure it over the period of your sadhana. There’s not only the fundamental knot itself . There are all of it’s reflections in the body-mind, tendencies of one kind or another, and so on. You have to endure the purification of these things by standing in the knot-position, sensitive to all the limitations of your disposition, and surrender to Me to the point of forgetting it, relinquishing it, keeping the faculties all focused in Me, in this Communion Only then do you make this knot obsolete.

You initially go through a process of purification where the resultant knots, the different kinds of behaviors, attitudes, and so forth, that bind you appear. These must be purified through the initial stages of sadhana, even up to the “Perfect Practice”. So the initial sadhana is purifying, and it’s necessarily, then, a matter of being in touch with this knot in life-difficulties and so on, all tendencies that would make life difficult. Instead of dramatizing them, maintain the discipline of this Way and practice this Communion every moment. It’s not a something that can be forgotten. It’s not merely a thought. It’s a noticing that you never forget. It’s a noticing even beyond the mind.

Now, you can notice it, of course, for a moment, if I Call you to.

[Beloved Adi Da’s Voice becomes quiet.] I mean, isn’t it true, right now? No matter what is arising, you are the Witness of it? [Quiet assent from devotees.]


“Hearing is the first great step…the first dimension of the process is concentrated in the awakening of hearing, because you must enjoy and suffer this capability to stand in the egoic position and feel beyond it. If you don’t do that, then if you faked your way In The Way of the Heart, you are involved in a kind of evolutionary or developmental ego-game. Whereas the Way of the Heart is about the transcendence of egoity.



Sadhana is tapas. You must be in the place of the knot, sensitive to the limitations in your own disposition, but in every moment – instead of dramatizing that – disciplining it, surrendering it to Me, entering into Communion with Me by forgetting the content that is simply the garbage result of not living in Truth in the past. So it has to be made obsolete. All the modifications of the fundamental Reality must be purified and transcended. What there is to Realize is the Unconditional Reality, the Reality that is Always Already the case, even now.

Now you are preoccupied with the modifications of that Reality, that Divine Reality, distracted by them and dissociated from the fundamental Reality by this very knot. As soon as you relax into your fundamental feeling, you feel a knot there. You don’t simply feel the inherent Love-Bliss of Reality – but you do feel It, Flowing through it, but you’re experiencing this knot in the midst of It. To Realize the Divine Self-Condition, you have to go beyond that knot.

If your development in this Way is slow, it’s because you’re stepping outside the process. It’s not that the process itself is retarded.

This is why the hearing matter is so profound and fundamental to this Way. It’s the foundation of the process that must develop, because it’s about finding the self-knot, the self-contraction, finding it as your own activity, feeling it’s disturbed, ill-at-ease characteristic but also even in every moment of such sensitivity enjoying the capability to feel beyond it in this Communion with Me.

So hearing is the first great step beyond the initiation of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga. In other words, the first dimension of the process is concentrated in the awakening of hearing, because you must enjoy and suffer this capability to stand in the egoic position and feel beyond it. If you don’t do that, then if you faked your way on to level 2 and then beyond and so forth, you’d simply be involved in a kind of evolutionary or developmental ego-game. Whereas the Way of the Heart is about the transcendence of egoity.


“Hearing is about that unique understanding in which the self-contraction is not something happening to you. It’s something that you do.”



AVATARA ADI DA: Hearing is what allows that unique process. It has some features to it for which you can find analogies in the Great Tradition, but fundamentally it is utterly unique.

In My Company, (people have) all kinds of experiences. So devotees commonly report experiences, even as beginners, that are in the domain of the advanced stages of life and the Witness-Position, and so on. These experiences should inspire you and give you a sense of what this Way is all about and so forth.


AVATARA ADI DA: But you still have to do the sadhana. The sadhana is staying in touch with your own very action in this moment and going beyond it, forgetting it in Communion with Me. If you just look for experiences-so-called Spiritual experiences, psychic experiences, or blisses in the body, whatever – you’re becoming superficial again. Those experiences may come or go, but to look for them, to avoid the sadhana of staying in place where that knot is and feeling beyond it is to waste the opportunity of this Way.

So experiences may come and go. Devotees have experiences, certainly, and basically they serve to inspire you. that’s about it. The sadhana is just the same thing every moment. It’s not boring. It’s the fundamental living event. But you must persist, moment by moment by moment. To be renounced in this Way is to be in the disposition of going beyond the self-contraction. But it’s also to be in the disposition of renouncing attachment to or search for conditional experiences. In other words, you persist in the fundamental sadhana rather than pursue such things.

Experiences, as I Say, come about spontaneously, but they’re not themselves the sadhana and they’re not something to cling to or to pursue or try to repeat and so on. So you must persist in the sadhana. Of course, that means you have to know what this sadhana is.

So it’s no small matter to hear Me.

You are apparently dissociated from Me, from this Very Condition. The self-knot, the self-contraction, is how you’re doing that. You are doing it. This is what you must discover, and this is what hearing is about. By entering into Communion with Me from that position, moment to moment, going beyond that knot, you enter into the real process of the Way of the Heart, Which is about Realizing the Condition that everybody already knows is True-Light itself, Love-Bliss itself, Consciousness itself, the One Infinitely Conscious Buzz that you are experiencing right now!

But, of course, in the midst of it, you are dissociating from it also, so you feel this knot of contraction. But you also feel this Pervasive Presence when you feel the Depth also, in any moment that you are truly sensitive, anyway.

So the process is about Realizing the Condition That Is, Realizing My Very Person, by going beyond the self-knot, utterly. And at first there is a lot of sequence of purification, as I Said, going beyond distraction by mere modifications. And then there’s entering into the profound Depth of the Self-Radiant Consciousness in the “Perfect Practice”.

The ordinary human disposition is attached to two-sidedness. On the one hand there is pleasure and pursued pleasurable states. On the other hand there is negativity and a kind of lightlessness, or darkness. And you’re attached to a body-mind that is mortal, and that makes it more negative in the balance than positive.

And so you’re always, by tendency, literally un-en-lightened, not lighted, not “Bright”, not Radiant. you’re contracted, not Radiant. Radiance, however, is the inherent Nature of Reality. So the sadhana is – I’ve used many metaphors, like “living in My Kiln”-through Communion with Me, self-forgetting Communion with Me, to Reside in My Self-Radiant Position. It is to be Radiant, rather than self-contracted. Every moment of Communion with Me is this.

With hearing it becomes more profound, and seeing. But it is a “Bright” course of identifying with My inherently Radiant Condition, and thereby being Radiant, becoming Radiant, being Radiant yourself rather than contracted. All of the dark, negative, egoic “self-possessed”, mortal, and so forth lightlessness in you must become Radiant instead. The Way is literally the Way of becoming En-Lightened, becoming Perfectly Identified with “Brightness”. Me.


So it is a matter of constantly becoming Radiant instead of contracted. On Melrose Avenue when I first began to Instruct devotees, I would often use this gesture of closing the fist and then opening the fist.

[Beloved Adi Da makes the Gesture with His right hand held at the center of His chest.] Everybody intuitively felt what that meant. They knew it’s got something to do with energy and all that, too, you know. They felt all that in My Company.

But what does that mean? You can either be contracted and therefore dark and dissociated from the Divine Self-Condition, or you can be Radiant, not only open but Radiating. Hm? And the more you do this sadhana, the more obvious the Disposition of Radiance becomes. Even the “conscious process” becomes a non-verbal feeling beyond contraction. You can do it in every moment relative to everything. Instead of being darkened by the tendencies, you can feel beyond the self-contraction and all the tendencies.

So those who do this sadhana seriously, for real, become “Brighter” and “Brighter”, literally. It is Light. It can even be seen. By some it can be felt. So through this process of purification, you don’t just get thinner and thinner and more and more ascetical. You get Fuller and Fuller, “Brighter” and “Brighter”. Hm? This is how devotees should understand it. They always think in terms of getting disciplined and dried up, so they always want to use something or other to feel good. But, no, this Way is a “Brightening” Way. It is not about self-contraction. It is quite the opposite. It’s not about pleasurelessness, but it is about Happiness itself, Which is greater than ordinary pleasure but allows for it also.


“Hearing is this fundamental responsibility”


DEVOTEE: There’s an Irish saying, Beloved, describing a very happy person, he was so happy he was like a cat milking the sun.

AVATARA ADI DA: Milking the sun? Ah, Tcha. that’s good.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, I felt there was a tacit moment of recognition and a change in what You just Said, where we tend to feel good about ourselves and maybe have a good feeling and so then imagine that’s hearing.


DEVOTEE: And then when You asked us to feel our anxiety, to feel the anxiety there …


DEVOTEE: And right then it snapped into something entirely different, which was just no bullshit.


DEVOTEE: And it’s not this, you know, ideal that’s going on but this actual total recognition, conscious recognition, of the contraction and of Your total Radiance and the Energy that You Are. And I could feel that when I recognized that, that it was just a matter of always surrendering into that. Whenever this is felt …


DEVOTEE: … surrendering into that, and then it more and more becomes that.

AVATARA ADI DA: And not surrendering merely superficially.

DEVOTEE: It’s not superficial at all.

AVATARA ADI DA: Surrendering from that very place of the knot. And that’s the unique hearing capability. Hm? Now, before that capability truly awakens, as I Said, you can make use of self-understanding as I’ve Communicated it to you and various aspects of the sadhana, and be purified of some aspects of the behavioral and emotional and mental aspects of your life, and feel good about that – and should, of course. It’s positive. But it’s not hearing. It’s not itself the sign of hearing. Hearing is this fundamental responsibility. You see?

DEVOTEE: Beloved, this is the most unique difference between Your Teaching and all traditional teachings of all time.


DEVOTEE: In that those traditions generally are about our always experiencing this not feeling good.

AVATARA ADI DA: The traditions are based on the self-contraction. They’re based on a search generated by that.

DEVOTEE: The great path of return.

AVATARA ADI DA: I’ve Communicated to you the uniqueness of this Way from the very beginning, but your grasping of it is slow. All experiencing, and all thinking for that matter, all conditionality, is a development of the self-contraction. It’s a development from a place of anxious dissociativeness, the ego, wanting to expand it’s sphere to feel better and better. And ultimately what will it discover in it’s own utter dissolution? The Divine Condition is to be discovered. But It is simply Reality from the beginning.

So the Way of the Heart is not about that developmental course but about the direct process, in every moment, of Realizing the Divine Self-Condition, going beyond egoity and Realizing That. that’s what this Communion with Me is about from the beginning, then-the direct gesture of going beyond the ego-knot rather than just surrendering with and as the body-mind, founded on the ego, to have experiences.

Hearing is simply the establishment, on the basis of all the foundation practice, the establishment of this capability, most direct, with fullest comprehension, fullest responsibility, so that you can do that sadhana, of going beyond the self-knot, under all the circumstances that may arise in the developing stages of life. They will not then become ego-reinforcing. They will not be deluding. They will simply be purified, like all other tendencies, and you’ll move on to the “Perfect Practice”.

So I’m always trying to find more ways to put it to you. And so you have this Literature now that is very full, and I hope it is fully Communicative. [Devotees praise Beloved’s Source-Texts.] Additionally, conversations still continue from time to time.

DEVOTEE: Like tonight.

AVATARA ADI DA: Like tonight, yes. if you’re claiming to have heard Me, stand in the position of the self-knot and right there – that’s your action, you see? – feel beyond it in Communion with Me through self-surrendering, self-forgetting practice? Are you doing that, or not?

DEVOTEE: Beloved in this moment in this whole conversation You’ve sensitized me more deeply to the self-contraction, and also to You, more profoundly in this moment.

AVATARA ADI DA: Yes, but then again, why haven’t so many of you who have been in My Company for a good long while, and that’s basically all here, why haven’t you heard Me yet?…and you’re also telling Me You’ve heard Me, it’s not very believable, you see.

DEVOTEE: You can tell shit from shinola, Beloved.

AVATARA ADI DA: Yes. You must discriminate. So that’s the first thing I look for in devotees.

Sadhana in this Way of Brightening is about being about going beyond the self-contraction. In other words, there’s a constant “Brightening” or change in the disposition from self-contraction to Radiance.

The more limitations you place on this practice of going beyond the self-knot, the more distracted you are by other things and so on, the more you delay the course and the more you oblige yourself to endure dis-ease. Sometimes without noticing it so much, because you desensitize yourselves. You simply will not go beyond this inherently uncomfortable, painful sensation of existence that’s at the root of everything you do and think. And you’ll move inward. It’s traditionally been called many things, including the state of sin, which means to miss the mark. You’ve become dissociated from the Inherently Radiant “Bright”, the Blissful Divine Self-Condition, and became a seeker instead, you see, instead of a Realizer.

So to practice this Way, you have to do the work of going beyond the ego-knot itself . It is a Graceful process because it’s done in the form of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga. It is a “Brightening” process, a sort of Radiating process, not merely a cutting away or a cold process, emptying merely. It is the Way of Fullness, of “Brightness”, of the “Bright” itself .

But to live it, you Can’t just dance around with conventional religiosity. You must enter into real Communion with Me at the root of the knot. And you must do this consistently. And you Can’t do it if you take vacations from the whole round of disciplines I’ve Given you that covers everything. And you Can’t do it without practicing true Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga moment to moment.

AVATARA ADI DA: The ancient texts are called “Upanishadas”, or some of the ancient texts, a group of them are. It means “at the foot of”. Well, what does that mean? it’s to be established in the discipline at the Feet of the Master and to listen, and hear and see, and Realize. So if there is an occasion such as this, or any occasion of consideration with Me under any circumstances, you should use it rightly, use it to your, advantage.

So let this consideration serve real hearing in you. And whatever correction you have to make in your practice, let it serve your absolute commitment to doing so.


End of Part One. Go to part two.


Original full talk

The Complete Brightening Heart Series – Index

Beezone White and Orange Project* is a study method based on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Blue & Brown Books books. The Blue & Brown Books of Wittgenstein’s were dictated as a set of notes to his student in 1934-1935.

Beezone uses a number of formats for assembling a project. One is to present a short piece directly from Adi Da. Then Beezone will write down the highlighted points from said paragraph and/or a group of like paragraphs.

The second format is ‘thematic’. Beezone will take a ‘theme’ of Adi Da’s teaching and go through various talks and essays and write down a sentence or two related to that theme or topic.

Lastly is a compilation or remix. This is a blend of the two other methods. In this style Beezone will take a number of talks and essays based on a theme. Beezone will then use the ‘cut-up’ method. The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. This method can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.

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This is project is not to be confused with:

Humble One-Liners

DEVOTEE: It is like the left and right (or the world of opposites)…..Life is suffering, and then there is God.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: That is one way of putting it, in your humble one-liner fashion.

Humble one-liners are sufficient for most people to generate in them a sense of feeling consoled. They are like teddy bears.

So a lot of people reduce the religious life to something like one-liners that they pull out to snuggle with. But how can one settle for that couple of sentences worth of comprehension as the attitude of ones existence? It is a profound matter.

The only way to save yourselves from the destiny of religious one-linerism is to constantly and directly study my teaching, read the great traditions, study them. Stay in the process of this great “consideration”, instead of just sitting around and ‘smoking the pipe”, rapping out dharma and consoling yourselves with your teddy bear knowledge…”

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Brightening Heart Series – Index