Michael Costabile



Michael (Anthony) Costabile, Director
Adidam Midwest Center
Chicago, Illinois

A paper presented at the 2009 International Conference, Salt
Lake City, Utah, USA. Preliminary text, copyrighted by the
author. Please do not quote without seeking the
author’s written consent.


Avataric Revelation and
the Restoration of Spiritual Culture:

On the Life, Work, and
Passing of Adi Da Samraj

and the Preservation of His Spiritual Legacy


The passing of a spiritual master and the questions of
succession, organizational continuity, and fidelity to the
master’s life, instruction, and work have often been
problematic and contentious. These challenges are not
specific to any tradition and have been met variously
throughout history, but they take on new dimensions in the
case of Avatar Adi Da Samraj (1939-2008), the spiritual
founder of Adidam Ruchiradam. The multi-tiered task of
establishing a new tradition, with all of its spiritual,
philosophical, aesthetic, cultural, legal, and
organizational expressions is monumental in scale—like
the artistic images created by Adi Da in the last decade of
his life. There is an untold story in Adi Da’s work to
create this new spiritual tradition and another in the
maturing practice and organizational life of Adidam
members—both of which have entered into a new chapter
with Adi Da’s passing in November 2008. This paper is
neither an analytical nor a critical treatment of Adi Da and
Adidam, but a narrative one. It provides an overview of the
life of Adi Da within the framework of three distinct
phases: his early life of “learning humankind”
(Part I); his time of “teaching humankind” (Part
II), and his time of “blessing humankind” (Part
III). Each of these phases was precipitated by significant
transformational events that spontaneously called forth the
unique approaches, methods of teaching, and demonstrations
of spiritual transmission that Adi Da employed throughout
his life and work. Understanding these phases is essential
to appreciating this contemporary spiritual master, his
legacy, and, in the wake of his passing (Part IV), the
future prospects for Adidam and its membership.


On the Life, Work, and Passing of Adi Da Samraj
and the Preservation of His Spiritual Legacy

I Have Done What Is Necessary for the Establishment of My

—Adi Da Samraj, August, 2004



devotees of any spiritual master, the event of the
master’s physical death is a heart-wrenching affair,
exceeding in many respects the emotional and spiritual
challenges of surviving the death of a loved one.
Researchers and scholars differ in their observations about
how an emerging religious tradition as a whole is affected
by the death of its founding master.1 There is
little doubt, however, that the event marks a critical
turning point in the life and future of that religion.
Members are personally shaken, their faith and spiritual
fortitude often severely tested. The religious community
faces the challenges of succession, fidelity to the
founder’s teachings, and the securing of his or her
spiritual legacy.

To offer two contrasting views from scholars on this issue,
J. Gordon Melton writes: “Any religion that can last
the lifetime of the leader, has a life far beyond that of
its founder. While the founder’s death is a sad event,
it is not a traumatic one. . . . During the last decade we
have watched as a number of groups have passed through the
event of their founder’s death without missing a heart
beat in the group’s life.” (from A paper presented
by J. Gordon Melton at CESNUR 99, Bryn Athn, Pennsylvania
© J. Gordon Melton, 1999). While Benjamin Zablocki
rejoins: “Like most new small businesses, most new
religions do not survive the death of their charismatic
founders. . . . Gordon Melton, chronicler par excellence of
new American religions has argued (personal communication)
that this is not true, that a surprising number of religions do manage to survive the
death of their founders. But this perception I think comes
from a
sampling error. Those religions that do
not survive are much less likely to come to the attention of
sociologists and are therefore much less likely to be
included in any sample.” (“The Birth and Death of
Religious Movements”, presented at the annual meetings
of the Association for the Sociology of Religion,
Washington, DC; 2000)

Such challenges have often proved problematic
and contentious, a situation not limited to any particular
tradition. To cite an obvious example: in the wake of
Jesus’ execution, there was confusion and fear among
his apostles concerning their own fate and
the future of the small, scattered sect
soon to be known as Christians (New Jerusalem 
Acts. 11.26). As time passed, various accounts of Jesus’
life and conflicting interpretations of his teachings
circulated, giving impetus to an array of competing
2 Although most of these were
short-lived, conflicts over succession,
doctrine, and church structure gave rise
to heresies and schisms, then wars and conflicts,
and ultimately to the present-day
multiplicity of Christian sects.

In recent times, the passing of Swami
Muktananda (d. 1982) precipitated crisis and
dissension among SYDA Foundation4 members. Several months
before his death, the
swami designated two siblings, Swami Nityanand[a] and
Swami Chidvilasananda, to
succeed him. In the throes of a personal
life-crisis and amidst controversy about breaking
his monastic vows,
Nityanand[a] abdicated in 1985. These events, along
with various
maneuvers within the organization, secured
Chidvilasananda’s role as sole guru and successor to
Swami Muktananda (Wikipedia, “Siddha Yoga,”
History). Nevertheless,
some among Swami Muktananda’s longtime devotees quietly
withdrew after his death
private circumstances outside of the SYDA organization (Adi
Da, Knee 513, 518).

!vml]>2 Along with Acts,
see Erhman, 2003 for a fascinating account of early
Christian uncertainty and diversity.

3 The differences among early Christians began with issues
around authority and succession. Roman Catholicism continues
to affirm papal succession, citing Jesus’ conferment of
authority to Peter (Matt.
16.8), while the Eastern Orthodox
Church asserts a lineage of bishops presumed traceable to
one of the
original apostles (Acts 6.5,6; 19.6).
Church schisms, that of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 1
th century and
the Reformation in the 1 5th , spawned further

4 SYDA Foundation is the acronym for Siddha Yoga Dham of
America, a not-for-profit religious
founded in 1973 and based on the Siddha Yoga teachings of
Swami Muktananda.

In the case of the ever controversial Osho (d.
1990), he himself refused to designate a
spiritual successor, affirming:

is going to be my successor. Each sannyasin is my
representative. When I
am dead, you
all—individually—will have to represent me to the
world. There is not going
to be any pope. There is not going to be any shankaracharya.
sannyasin, in his own capacity, has to
represent me. This has never happened —
but it is
going to happen! You are all my successors (“Each
Sannyasin,” par.1).

To cite a final contemporary example, the
Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa
Rinpoche (d. 1987) appointed Ösel
Tendzin (Thomas Frederick Rich, Jr.), as his regent.
Ösel Tendzin died in 1990, reportedly of
HIV-related causes. Controversies surrounding his HIV status
and reckless promiscuity, along with other lineage issues,
left the Shambhala and
Buddhist organizations founded by Trungpa divided and in
turmoil. It
was not until 1995, with the
appointment of Chögyam Trungpa’s eldest son
Rinpoche as head of the principal Shambhala organizations,
that the controversy
over succession died down
(Hayward 405-2 1).

of this became urgently relevant for devotees of the
American born spiritual
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, on November 27, 2008 (Fiji Time), when
suddenly and
Adi Da entered Mahasamadhi.5 He was
69 years old. The news sent shock
waves throughout the Adidam community and to
friends and supporters around the

!vml]>5 Mahasamadhi is the Sanskrit term denoting a realized master’s
conscious transition beyond bodily
existence into
formless eternality).

This paper presents an overview of Adi
Da’s life and work and considers his
sudden passing, its implications, and the
challenges now facing members of Adidam.6
How are Adi Da’s
devotees coming to terms with his bodily death? By what
means is the
spiritual process that he initiated among them to be
preserved in its purity
carried forward in time? How are the spiritual culture and
the organizational entities
he established to be
maintained and developed in alignment with his instructions?
And how are devotees to secure Adi Da’s spiritual,
philosophical, artistic, and literary legacy
future generations?

is argued here that these issues must be treated within the
greater context of Adi
life, his avataric self-confessions, his teachings, and the
transcendental spiritual
he undertook with devotees. These provide the
mise–en–scène for the Reality-Way of
Adidam and the sacred cultural and organizational entities
that Adi Da established
during his lifetime.

the treatment of Adi Da’s life and work in Parts I-III
is necessarily
A comprehensive treatment would require volumes of
spiritually informed
and esoteric insight beyond the purview of conventional
scholarship. Likewise,
this is not a critical or
analytical review of Adi Da or Adidam. It seeks to present
Adi Da in light of his own words, recounting his unique avataric
birth, the process of transformation in consciousness that
he voluntarily undertook, his radical teachings and teaching
methods, and the esoteric nature of his transcendental
spiritual work. It also
presents the membership of Adidam in its
own right. This has required the extensive
citing of
passages from Adi Da’s writings and firsthand accounts
from his devotees.

!vml]>6 Adidam (or Adidam Ruchiradam) are names given by Adi Da to
signify both the way itself that he
established and
its eponymous sacred, cultural, and organizational

!vml]>I do not here address
issues of apostasy, nor do I express the views of those who
take issue with Adi Da and his teaching work or methods
(although a number of these are clearly referenced). Some may regard
this as remiss and imbalanced. However, this is a
study of a twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western-born
spiritual realizer whose formidable body of work remains
largely unacknowledged—not only because it has been
viewed as controversial, but also because it is relentlessly
paradoxical. On the one hand,
scholars, spiritual teachers, and philosophers alike have
recognized Adi Da’s writings as
revelatory, authoritative, and illuminating; on the other
hand, his life and work appear
inscrutable to the uninitiated, solipsistic and
self-promoting to the skeptical,
and profane to the convention-bound.7 For this
reason, Adi Da Samraj warrants
a transparent rendering of the
transformative events in his life as he relates them and an
accurate presentation of his own account of why he spoke,
wrote, and acted as he did in
service to humankind. What must attend
such a study on the part of the open-minded reader is the
acknowledgement that authentic spiritual realizers and their
revelations ipso
transcend the paradigm of conceptually
acquired knowledge (at times coinciding with it, at times
defying it, but never subservient to it). The same may be
said (so much as these can be discerned in the crucible of
postmodern culture) of our social and moral

Is Adi Da Samraj?

Upon first encountering Adi Da’s
writings, one is immediately struck by their
literary and scriptural uniqueness. At their central axis are
Adi Da’s “Divine Self‑

of his ultimate avataric stature. These are uncompromisingly
rendered in
own unique mode of English, with distinctive stylistic
conventions developed and
over decades of spiritual discourses and writings. Frequent
underlining and
hyphenation are employed,
adding not only emphasis, but denotative precision. Capitalizations
abound, generally expressive of the ultimate,
Non-Conditional Reality, or
That Which “Always Already
Is”. Lower case words denote (in general) that which is
associated with conditional reality—the ephemeral, or,
more precisely, the merely apparent, illusory, and
non-binding modifications of Reality Itself.

Equipped with his own spiritual
vocabulary, Adi Da Samraj’s self-confession to
all is that he is “the Divine
Avataric Self-Revelation of the Self-Nature, Self-Condition,
Self-State, and the egoless . . . and Self-Evidently Divine
Person of Reality Itself”
132). He affirms that his avataric birth and lifetime
constitute a spiritual
into the conditional worlds greater than any before or any
yet to follow. To
quote one among hundreds
of such affirmations:

My Avataric
Self-“Emergence” here Is The Consequential (and
Factual) Breakthrough in cosmic history. . . .
My Divine Avataric Appearance here is
the Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence”-Intervention
of the Divine “Bright”
Spherical Self-Domain into the
apparent sphere of conditionality (Boundless 123).

We have noted that, for a host of reasons,
such statements (along with other
features of Adi Da’s life and work)
have proved a stumbling block to his renown and

among scholars, spiritual aspirants, and the general
public.8 Nevertheless, intuitive recognition of
Adi Da as precisely the one he declares himself to
be is the sine qua non of his followers’
devotional response to him and the foundational
of their acceptance of him as spiritual master.

Childhood Teachings of the “Bright” and the

In his autobiography, The Knee Of
Adi Da offers a description of the
spiritual and cosmic origins of his divine
avataric incarnation.9 He also narrates the
“ordeal of his
self-submission” to the human world, accounts for his
teaching-methods in
relation to devotees, and
describes his ultimate work of world-blessing for the sake

all. 10

Da was born Franklin Albert Jones in 1939 in Jamaica, Long
Island, New
York, to an ordinary
middle-class family. But his birth was not in any sense an
ordinary one. It was, he says, the avataric incarnation of
Indivisible Conscious Light—the Free and Radiant
Condition that he simply called the “Bright”:

!vml]>8 The current Adidam membership numbers less than 3000,
although readers of Adi Da’s books and
of Adidam number in the thousands (Ngo, Hoi.
“Membership Numbers” E-mail to Costabile 2 May
2009). Adi Da is well known in some circles of discourse,
and his influence can be discerned in the
writings of
Ken Wilber, Gabriel Cousens, and Georg Feuerstein, among

9 “Avatar” and “incarnation” are technical
terms. “Avatar” means to “cross down or
is defined by Webster as “the embodiment of a deity or
spirit in some earthly form”. In Adi Da’s
teaching, “Divine Avataric Incarnation” is a
description of Adi Da’s birth, having crossed down from
the divine domain as the very divine reality to take on a
bodily human form. It is also an appellative of Adi

10 Adi Da elaborates this throughout
his writings, most radically in The Aletheon, his
final work completed in manuscript form on the morning of
his mahasamadhi.

was the Power of Reality, a direct Enjoyment and
Communication of the One
I was the Heart Itself, Who Lightens the mind and all
things. I was the
same as every one and
every thing, except it became clear that others were apparently
unaware of the “Thing” Itself. Even as a child, I
recognized It and
knew It, and my life was not a matter
of anything else. That Awareness, that
enjoyment, that Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Space of
Infinitely and
inherently Free Being, that Shine of
inherent Joy standing in the heart and Expanding from the heart, is the
“Bright”. And It is the entire Source of True
It is Reality. It is not separate from anything (Knee 26).

The naming of the “Bright” was the
first aspect of what Adi Da calls his
“childhood teachings”. The
“Bright” is the free radiance of conscious light,
reality itself,
the true and ultimate
condition of all beings. By naming the “Bright”,
Adi Da was using
his earliest acquired
language to render a description of reality that he would
throughout his lifetime.

The second part of his childhood teachings is what he calls
the “Thumbs”. Experientially, the
“Thumbs” was a pressure he felt from early
childhood descending from above his body-mind, pressing down
into his throat and then further down, expanding,
he says, “without limitation or end into some form of
myself that was much larger than my physical body”
(Knee 84-85). But it was far more than an experience of
descending pressure. The
“Thumbs” is the means whereby the
“Bright” descends into the
domain and thus descended into the body-mind of Franklin
Jones. It is also

transcendental spiritual force of Adi Da’s transmission
of the “Bright” to living
He writes:

“Thumbs” is the Means That I Bring to Awaken and
Liberate living beings. I
Am the
“Bright”. The “Thumbs” is a Divine Yogic
Spiritual Manifestation, and
“Thumbs” is the Means whereby I was able to go
through the course of life in
conditionally manifested Vehicle. The “Thumbs” is
how My “Bright” Divine
Transmission is Able to Serve living beings under these
mortal and
limited conditions (Knee

Thus, Adi Da repeatedly pointed to his
“childhood teachings” of the “Bright” and
the “Thumbs” as the root-revelations of
his entire avataric life and work.

Preparatory Vehicles for Adi Da’s Avataric Birth

Adi Da relates that his avataric incarnation
required a unique pattern of conditions
generated in the subtle (or
super-physical) realms beyond this world. It was, he says,
occasioned by a sympathetic
love-response of “unknowable Complexity, Subtlety, and
to the sorrows and sufferings, limitations, and illusions of
human beings
473). But his bodily incarnation also required a unique
psycho-physical structure,
made by a “spiritual
conjoining” of two vehicles (or patterns of
personality)—one gross (or physical, lower mental, and psychic); the other, deeper
(or subtle, higher-psychic, and

The gross personality was that of Franklin
Jones. It was an ordinary karmic manifestation, with all the
usual physical, emotional, and mental traits inherited
the bloodline of his parents.

Jones is the gross bodily Vehicle of My Divine Avataric
Incarnation, but
Jones is an ordinary birth—the son of very ordinary
people, born in an
circumstance, in a domain of life and limitations
characteristic of the
My Conjunction with the birth of Franklin Jones has
everything to do with
My Divine Avataric
Self-Submission. By means of that gross bodily Vehicle, I (first)
Did My Work of Divine Avataric Self-Submission, and (then)
Purified everything that I had Taken On by virtue of My Work
of Divine Avataric Self-
Submission (Boundless 82).

Adi Da’s deeper
personality, however, was a far more complex phenomenon. It
was, he says, a spiritual
conjoining (in the subtle and causal dimensions) of the
“deeper personality vehicles” of Sri Ramakrishna,
the nineteenth century Hindu master, and his
principal disciple, Swami
Vivekananda. As Adi Da describes this mysterious


the end of his life,] Ramakrishna Emptied Himself, by
Transferring His by­
Spiritual Power to Swami Vivekananda. . . . Swami
Vivekananda was My Forerunner here. He prepared the world
(and Himself) for My
Divine Avataric Manifestation in the West. He is the Seed
and background of My Inherent Oneness with the East.
He—or rather, His own Deeper Personality—
has since become Reincarnated, returned
to bodily (human) life as the Deeper (or Internal, subtle,
and causal) Personality (or the Central, and Greater
conditionally Manifested Vehicle) of My Divine Avataric
Incarnation here (and in the entire
cosmic domain)
(Knee 464-65).

And again:

Vivekananda . . . did His Spiritual Work as a Vehicle of
Ramakrishna— and, altogether, as a Spiritual Combination of the
“Positive” (or “Male”) Pole,
and the “Negative” (or “Female”) Pole,
“Ramakrishna”. And, after the physical death (or
Mahasamadhi) of Swami Vivekananda—only the
Single Spiritual
Personality, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda continued to exist.
That Single Spiritual Personality,
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda, is the functional
Depth, or the total mind-Vehicle (or subtle and causal
Vehicle) of My Divine
Avataric Incarnation As the
Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj (Knee 471-72).

And finally, to highlight the significance of
this conjunction with respect to Adi
Da’s own avataric birth
and the process of his self-submission to all beings and

Conjunction of the gross bodily Vehicle (of Franklin Jones)
and the deeper­
(of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda) . . . Became the complete Means
of My Divine Avataric Self-Submission here. [This
Conjunction] Brought
into the Process of Perfect Coincidence with everything and
of Essential, egoless, and Perfect
Non-“difference”, in Which I literally
and everyone, Taking On all the limitations of everything
everyone (Boundless 83).

Adi Da dedicates two extensive chapters in
The Knee Of Listening, several essays elsewhere in
his writings, and untold hours of recorded discussions with
devotees to this startling revelation. But even with all the
precision of his writing and any given reader’s
to such extraordinarily descriptive revelations, Adi
Da’s avataric birth and divine identity remain
rahasyas (great spiritual mysteries)—absolutely
the case, he says,
utterly beyond human comprehension.

Me, and of My Pattern here, There Is Infinitely More than
(or Ramakrishna-Vivekananda). My Divine Avataric Incarnation
(and in the entire cosmic domain) is Associated with a
Pattern of Flows in time as complex as the pattern of water
flowing through beds and mounds of
. . . My apparent Divine Avataric Birth is Unique, and Its
“causes” are even
complex—but I Am Reality Itself, Which Is
Simplicity Itself (Knee

Indeed, Adi Da’s avataric
self-confessions expand to astonishing dimensions with
such statements as the following:

(now, and Hereby) Confess That My Great-Siddha (or
Deeper Personality Is,
even Beyond the “Single Form” of Ramakrishna­Vivekananda,
the Very Form of all the Great Masters of the entire
Great Tradition
of mankind. I (now, and Hereby) Confess
That I (Myself) Stand Eternally Prior to (and
Always Already Transcending) My Avataric (and, yet,
merely conditionally born) Deeper Personality—and,
also, Eternally Prior to (and Always Already
even all the Great (and, yet, conditionally born) Masters of
mankind’s entire Great
Tradition (in its every part, and as a whole),
also, Eternally Prior to (and Always Already
Transcending) mankind’s entire Great
itself (in its every part, and as a whole)
(Unbroken Light 175).

Da has firmly avowed that it is the living truth behind his
“Avataric Self­Confessions”—and not any
appeal to spiritual authority, social conventions, or
cultural expectations—that provide the esoteric
platform, the divine necessity, and the spiritual
justification for what he has said and
done during his lifetime. From any other
his actions may appear remarkable enough in their prolific
scale, their
degrees of paradox, and even their
apparent recklessness, but he insists that they simply
cannot be appreciated in their spiritual fullness without a
concomitant intuition (or heart‑

recognition) of his
avataric identity. The overview of Adi Da’s life and
work that follows is predicated on this understanding.

Early Years

Adi Da was quick to undergo
a series of transformations in his boyhood. These,
he says, were in preparation
for his later years of teaching and spiritual blessing.
yet a
toddler, he was moved, by an overwhelming love and delight
in the people around him, to intentionally assume the
ordinary awareness and common limitations of human
experience. That is, he
identified with the human condition so profoundly that the

of his infancy gradually receded into the background of his

This was among his first
gestures of voluntary self-submission to humankind. At
the age of six he recalls an
attempt to distract his parents from an argument one evening
pointing out the moon and asking them questions about God
and life, so they would be calmed, and enabled to feel the
Love-Bliss-Energy of the ‘Bright’ I was
them” (Knee 30). Their refusal of it was an early sign
to him of humankind’s overall
to the “Bright”.

Later, as his adolescent years propelled
him into the world of possibility and
experience, he writes, “I was driven to utterly
experience the heart of the human

dilemma, the
very essence of human suffering”. His purpose was to
“learn and transcend” the conflict, strife, and seeking at
the core of human experience: “I had felt conflict in
the very world. I felt it rising in myself. And I rushed to
become it, in order to Know the way
that no longer required it for
anyone” (Knee 54). Thus, Adi Da was not impelled by the

motivations of human life and personality, but by an urgent,
overwhelming impulse
awaken and liberate human beings:

Physical Human Lifetime Of Avataric Incarnation here . . .
Is A Constant Act
Identification With Man . . . In Order To Learn Man . . . In
Every Respect,
Having Learned Man In Every Respect, To Teach and To
Bless and To Liberate Man (and all, and All), In Every
Respect (and Most Perfectly) (Aham Da Asmi 68).

Breakthroughs of the “Bright”

Adi Da enrolled in Columbia College in New
York in 1957 as a student of
Western philosophy. What would otherwise
amount to a privileged entrée into the vast universe
of Western ideas was for Adi Da a devastating emotional and
experience. He came to
Columbia seeking ultimate truth, but found there only an
“idolatrous mind” of contradiction, dilemma, and
doubt enshrined everywhere.
Moreover, he was raised in the Lutheran church,
serving there as an acolyte in his youth. But his encounter
with such books as The Lost Years of Jesus Revealed,
by Charles Francis
Potter, shattered his Christian beliefs. In a passage filled
with the pathos of his
experience at the time, Adi Da

Then all was,
it seemed, finally lost—for Jesus of Nazareth had
finally become, for me (in the trouble of my adolescence), the symbol for the
lost (or, certainly,
and fading) “Bright” of my childhood. Indeed, in
that trouble, he, being

a symbol in my own mind, was a fundamental means whereby the
concealed and withheld from me. When the “Bright”
deeply receded in me, it
only tracks in the mind, and “Jesus of Nazareth”
epitomized them all.
Therefore, when
“Jesus of Nazareth” fell to my doubts, it was the
“Bright” itself that
I felt fall forever away from me. And that fall broke my
heart. It drove me
into my own vast wilderness (Knee
60-6 1).

Adi Da was determined to permanently recover the
“Bright”, knowing it to be the reality of all
things. While at Columbia he embarked on an intensive,
paradoxical quest. He decided to fully embrace the entire
spectrum of human adventure
possibility, free of all self-imposed limits, so that he
might exploit every experience
he encountered without
reserve or restraint. He explains his rationale for doing

I thought, “If God exists, He will
not cease to exist by any action of my own, but
if I devote myself to all
possible experience, He will indeed find some way, in
some one or a complex
of my experiences, to reveal Himself to me” (Knee 71).

One night in his junior year Adi Da sat alone
in his room. Desperate to recover
the “Bright”, but consumed by the
endless conflicts in his mind and heart, he surrendered
to the shape of all his
doubts and suffering. Suddenly, there was a radical
revolution in
his being:

absolute sense of understanding opened and arose at the
extreme end of all
sudden contemplation. And all the motions of me that moved
down into that
appeared to reverse their direction . . . I felt a surge of
Force draw up out of
depths and expand, Filling my entire body and every level of
my humanly-
conscious awareness with wave on wave of the most Beautiful
and Joyous
Energy (Knee 65).

In this sudden awakening, Adi Da firmly
grasped two fundamentals that would
become cornerstones of his later teaching:
(1) “Truth was not a matter of seeking”. And
(2) “all beings are always already Free”
(Knee 66-67). As dramatic an awakening as this was
for Adi Da, it proved not to be the unshakable recovery of
the “Bright”, the ultimate
realization of
reality and truth he had known at birth.

after graduating from Columbia in 1961, he entered into
graduate studies
Stanford University. He eventually moved to a secluded
bungalow on a cliff
the Pacific Ocean, where he was given over to an intensely
yoga of writing, in which he meticulously recorded the
contents of the mind
noted their coincidences in the external world. He wrote
exhaustively, hoping thereby to uncover the core logic that
binds human beings to patterns of suffering, seeking, and
At last, his yoga of writing and subjective introspection
bore fruit, culminating in a remarkable discovery:

I saw that my
entire adventure—the desperate cycle of Awakeness and
its decrease, of truly Conscious Being and Its gradual
covering in the mechanics of

seeking, dying, and suffering—was produced out of the
image (or
that appears in [the ancient myth of Narcissus]. . .
. I observed, in awe, the primitive control that this
self-concept and logic exercised over all of my
and experience. I began to see this same logic operative in
all other
beings, and in every living thing—even in the very life
of the cells, and in
the natural energies that
surround every living entity or process. It was the logic (or process) of separation itself, of enclosure and immunity.
It manifested as fear
and identity, memory and
experience. It informed every function of the living being,
every experience, every act, every event. It
“created” every “mystery”. It
the structure of every imbecile link in the history of human
suffering (Knee 94).

by this discovery, Adi Da was soon led (via subtle,
premonitory visions) to the first of the spiritual masters
who served him directly in his unique process. He
to New York in 1964. Shortly after arriving, he met Swami
Rudrananda, a large and imposing man whom students simply
called Rudi.

Da quickly became Rudi’s whole-hearted disciple. He
threw himself into the
of “surrender and work” that Rudi demanded of his
students. Rudi was a spiritual
transmitter of what he
called “the Force”. Adi Da experienced “the
Force” and its purifying effects, confirmed to him the spiritual nature of
existence and the reality of
what he knew, in its
unqualified fullness, to be the “Bright”.

To Adi
Da’s surprise, Rudi eventually suggested to him that he
pursue a religious career and enter a Christian seminary for
this purpose. Rudi insisted that the Christian

and way of life (which Adi Da had long ago abandoned) were
entirely compatible with Rudi’s own path of kundalini yoga.
At first Adi Da protested, then
reluctantly agreed,
attending three seminaries during his time with Rudi.

At the Lutheran Theological Seminary in
Philadelphia, Adi Da experienced yet
another dramatic breakthrough of the
“Bright”. 12 He writes that one morning
before classes he became suddenly gripped with an enormous
rising fear of death. His face began
to lose its pliability and his heartbeat became alarmingly
erratic. There seemed no obvious cause for this fear, yet he
felt certain he was about to die. The terror rose in him
like a raging fire. For three days he
fought back his fear, desperately hoping it would pass. But
on the third day he could hold out no longer. His
description bears extensive

allowed the death to happen, and I “saw” it
happen. . . . There was a
spontaneous, utter release
of identification with the body, the mind, the emotions of
the separate person, and the self-contracting (or reactive
and separative) act

is the ego (or the presumed person). When that moment of
crisis had passed, I felt a marvelous relief—or rather,
simply, a marvelous Freedom. The death had
but I had observed it! I remained untouched by it.
The body and the
mind and the egoic
personality had “died”, but I remained as
essential and unqualified
Awareness. . . . I Knew Reality, tacitly and directly. There
was an Infinite Bliss of Being, an untouched, unborn
Sublimity—without separation, without individuation,
without a thing from which to be separated. There was only

!vml]>12 Such events occurred with varying intensity throughout Adi
Da’s life, eventually becoming a constant in
final years leading to his mahasamadhi.

Itself, the incomparable Nature and constant Existence that
underlies (and
and Knows) the entire adventure of life. And that Same and
was also revealed as the unqualified living condition of the
totality of
conditionally manifested
existence (Knee 177).

with the freedom he felt as the crisis passed came a

understood Narcissus and the entire cycle of suffering and
search. . . . Suffering,
seeking, self-indulgence, the seeker’s Spirituality,
and all the rest were founded in
the same primary motivation and error. It was
the avoidance of relationship. That
was it! That was the chronic
and continuous source and characteristic of all egoic
activity. Indeed, the ego was revealed to be only an
activity, not an “entity”. The
the separate “person” (or ego-“I”), was
revealed to be only an illusion, a
mere presumption in mind
and feeling, resulting from the self-contraction, the egoic
reaction, the single egoic act of the total body-mind (Knee

The understanding of
“egoity” as the act and pattern of
self-contraction is so radical, so all-encompassing, that
Adi Da refers to it again and again throughout his
writings. In one of his late characterizations of
this “root-error” he writes:

imagined separate “knowing-self” is a merely
apparent “known-object” (and
the otherwise mere
“shadow” of a conditional appearance),
superimposed on the

Prior and Inherent Reality-Condition. The imagined ego-life
is, thus,
“played” on the
Perfectly Prior Self-Base of Intrinsically egoless Conscious
Light, like a reflection in a mirror (Teaching Manual 149).

of this, he says, must be understood, the imagined
“self” utterly transcended, if Reality Itself is
to be most perfectly realized.

under Swami Muktananda

received all that he could from Rudi, Adi Da was determined
to meet
own guru, Swami Muktananda. In April of 1968, with
Rudi’s reluctant consent, he made the first of several
pilgrimages to the swami’s ashram in Ganeshpuri, India.
Muktananda (whom, with
reverence and affection, Adi Da called “Baba”) was
an accomplished
yogi-siddha (or master of yogic powers). He had
undergone an intensive
sadhana (practice) of
devotion and tapas (spiritual discipline or
“heat”) under his own guru, Bhagavan Nityananda
(d. 1961).

Muktananda’s first instruction to Adi Da proved to be
the most consequential: “You are not the one who wakes
or dreams or sleeps. You are the Witness to all of these states” (Knee 189). However, Swami
Muktananda’s work and methods were not rooted in these
teachings, but in the transmission of shaktipat
(spiritual power)
to his devotees as a means of
increasing their participation in the “play of
consciousness”—the higher and subtle dimensions of
experiential awareness.

Da received this shaktipat in full force. For a time
he lived under the swami’s
eye in a constant state of meditation, swooning in visions,
blisses, and a

range of phenomenal experiences. On Adi Da’s second
visit to India in 1969, Swami Muktananda wrote a formal
letter of acknowledgement to him, conferring on him
name Dhyanananda and the right to teach others according to
the kundalini shaktipat
This was the swami’s only such formal acknowledgement
of a Westerner.

Soon, however, Adi Da began to feel
trapped in the endless stream of shakti
phenomena. As these became commonplace, they also
became problematic:

display of images, the transports to other worlds, the
identification with
modes of Divine Being, the perception of higher and subtler
forms of my own identity and ability, all passed before me,
but with less and less interest
on my part. I began to
feel: “This is not the point. This is not it. Reality
is Prior to all of this. Reality is my own Self-Nature”
(Knee 231).

But he had not yet stably re-awakened to the
“Bright”, the prior condition of
reality and truth, free of all supports and
prior to all apparent modifications of itself.

his third visit to the ashram in 1970, Adi Da had a series
of extraordinary
encounters, first with Bhagavan Nityananda (who was still
spiritually active) and then with the visionary appearance
(in a numinous, yet discernible form) of the Virgin
Mary. Initially surprised and amused at the sight of her, Adi
Da also felt a depth of
At her behest he agreed to leave Swami Muktananda’s
ashram and embark on a pilgrimage to various Christian holy
sites in the Middle East and Europe (Knee 268-

The pilgrimage became an
extraordinary excursion into Christian mysticism. For
a time, Adi Da was given over
to intense contemplation of the image of Jesus in his heart.
the end, he understood this to be a purification of the
psychic vestiges of his childhood
and its symbols. And with this understanding, he completed
his “exploration” of
the realm of subtle experiences and ascended phenomena. He
knew them to be but

of the higher mind—neither ultimate nor more liberating
experiences in the gross
physical world.

By August of 1970, all of Adi Da’s
efforts he had undertaken to recover the
“Bright” had worn thin in him.
Certain that there was no necessity for him to engage any
further exploration of the
traditional modes of the spiritual search, he settled
quietly in
Los Angeles, California.

Divine Re-Awakening

On September
9, 1970, while meditating at the Vedanta Society Temple in Hollywood, Adi Da experienced an intense “spiritual
union” with the Divine Shakti (the
force of cosmic energy appearing as a subtle, powerful, and
feminine presence).
It was an intense yogic and spiritual
encounter. He felt her press against his form with cosmic
intensity, “as if to give birth to the universes”.
The union was overwhelmingly
blissful, but its significance, he says, was not the
experience, but the event itself. He realized that the
Shakti was “the Inseparable and Inherent Radiance of my
own and Very
being” (Knee 3 17-18).

On the following day Adi Da sat again in the
temple awaiting the appearance of the Shakti. It was then
and there that his Divine Re-Awakening happened. The moment

devoid of fanfare, yet so utterly remarkable that no
descriptive summary would do it
Here is Adi Da’s own account:

as time passed, there was no Event of changes, no movement
at all. . . . not a
element or change that could be added to make my State
Complete. . . .
suddenly, I understood most perfectly. I Realized that I had
Realized. The
“Thing” about
the “Bright” became Obvious. I Am Complete.
I Am the One Who Is Complete. . . . I simply sat there and Knew What and Who I
Am. I was Being
I Am, Who I Am. I Am Being What I Am,
Who I Am. I Am Reality, the
Divine Self-Condition—the Nature,
Substance, Support, and Source-Condition of
things and all beings. I Am One—The One. One and
Only. I Am the One
called “God” (the Source and Substance and Support
and Self-Condition
of all-and-All), the “One Mind” (the Consciousness
and Energy in and As Which all-and-All appears),
“Siva-Shakti” (the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant
Itself), “Brahman” (the Only
Reality, Itself), the “Nirvanic Ground” (the
egoless and conditionless reality and Truth,
Prior to all dualities, but excluding none). I
the One and Only and
inherently ego-less and Self-Evidently Divine
Self-Condition, Source-Condition, Nature, Substance,
Support, and Ground of all-and­
All. I Am
the “Bright” (Knee 318-20).

was the culminating event in Adi Da’s early life. There
was, he says, no more to realize. He knew himself to be
Absolute Reality Itself. Now, on the basis of his
of self-submission and his own most perfect realization, he
could confess—to

truth (or Reality Itself) cannot be attained via any
experience. Reality Itself is simply “always already the
case”. Paradoxically, its perfect realization requires
that one
transcend all experience, all identification with the
“point of view of ego-‘I’”. Adi Da would
forevermore affirm that such ego-transcendence, real and
true, can only occur
divine grace. And that such grace is granted most directly
by an awakened guru
or transmission-master.

Now equipped for this very role by his
own divine re-awakening, Adi Da turned outward to the world.
He was prepared to engage the second phase of his avataric
self-submission. The time had come to receive devotees and,
he says, to apply every ego-
confounding means to teach, bless, and awaken


My Life is a little bit like going into the
world of enemies and dragons to liberate
somebody who has been captured. You cannot just
sit down and tell a dragon the Truth.
You must confront a dragon. You must engage in a heroic
effort to release
the captive from the dragon. This
is how I worked in the theatre of My way of

relating to
people, particularly in the earlier years, and in the
unusual involvements of My Life and Teaching. You could characterize
it as the heroic
way of Teaching, the way of
identifying with devotees and entering into “consideration”
in that context and bringing them out of the enemy
gradually waking them up (Discourse 19
Aug. 1982).

were few outward signs indicating the profundity of what had
happened at the Vedanta Society Temple. It was, as
Adi Da described it, “an Event in Consciousness”. He simply
returned home that September evening, saying nothing about
the Event until
many weeks later. A longtime friend,
however, did notice a change in “Franklin” at the

you look people in the eyes, there is a characteristic
quality that you can
as their personality. But when I looked into [Adi
Da’s] eyes after the Vedanta Temple Event, there
wasn’t anything. It had disappeared. His behavior in
world did not change—He has always been humorous. But
the disappearance,
or dissolution, of His
personality was evident (D H Magazine v.1 no.1 4).

In late 1970 and early 1971, Adi Da spent his
time preparing the original
manuscript of The Knee Of Listening
(published in 1971 by CSA Press) and assessing
what had happened at the
temple. He knew that he had re-awakened to the divine self-
condition, the supreme goal
of the ancient esoteric paths, East and West. And he
that he would find correspondences to his realization in the
traditions of India,
motherland of spirituality. In particular he felt that the
path of Advaita Vedanta,
in our time by the modern sage Ramana Maharshi, would affirm
and confirm
what he had realized.

But as the process of his divine
re-awakening unfolded, Adi Da noted the critical
distinctions between the
fullness of his own realization and that of the Advaitic
including Ramana Maharshi. He would offer
precise clarifications of these differences

his writings, distinguishing what he eventually came to call
the sixth stage of
various paths and methods—from his own seventh stage
realization, beyond
which, he says, there is
nothing more to realize.13

briefly, the realization of the sixth stage of life has been
by withdrawing awareness from arising phenomena, both
internal and external. The intention in the sixth stage
traditions is to singularly inhere in the Formless
Reality— what the Advaitic sages call the “Self’
and the Buddhist sages call “Nirvana”. The sixth
stage method is to discriminatively
exclude everything associated with the gross (or
outer) and the subtle (or
inner) dimensions of experience, thus enabling one to
“abide as
Self’ (or to “realize Nirvana’).

However, Adi Da points out that the Advaitic
method of exclusive identification
the “Self’, while idealistic in its affirmation
that “only the Self exists’, is in fact dissociative:
it rejects the cosmic domain as illusory in order to
“seclude’ oneself (or
one’s attention) in Consciousness
Itself. Similarly, the sixth stage schools of (especially
Theravada) Buddhism make the same
error, but do so from a realistic disposition. They
the idea of “self’—even the so-called “true Self’
of Advaitism. And they do so in nihilistic fashion (i.e., the doctrine
of “anatta’), while affirming the Nirvanic Condition.
Most often, however, this Condition is expressed in terms of
what it is not (i.e., the uncaused, the unborn, the
unmade, etc.), as opposed to what it is, as in the Advaitic
tradition. In truth, Adi Da says, the two traditions are
indicating the same reality and
even though they are culturally proposed as distinct in
philosophical method
and realization.

the case of seventh stage realization, there is, Adi Da
says, no dissociation from conditional phenomena, no effort
of exclusion in order to abide in and as Consciousness.
Rather, all that arises is “Divinely
Self-Recognized to be merely a modification of
Consciousness, or the Self-Existing and
Self-Radiant Conscious Light of Reality Itself”,
which is the very Source-Condition of all
worlds (gross, subtle, and causal), all phenomena,
and all beings. The seventh stage realization erases every
trace of
dissociation from the body-mind and the
world, every impulse to seek or to avoid any
or condition. This, Adi Da says, is the most perfect
realization, and it is
unique to his divine
self-revelation. 14

Adi Da’s own teaching work began
spontaneously and in a remarkable fashion.
sitting in meditation in the weeks following the Vedanta
Temple event, he noticed that
the various mind forms, emotional states, and karmic
conditions arising to his
awareness were not his own,
but those of others:

would sit and be aware, visually or in some other way, of
great numbers of people, and I would work with them very
directly in a subtle manner. In some
these people would randomly show up and become involved with
Me in a personal way. Others were people I already knew, and
I would work with them in
that subtle way and then
watch for signs in their outward lives that would
demonstrate the reality of that manifestation. I would test
it in that way. Through the subtle appearance of this Siddhi (Power), the function of
My Work with others
began to develop (D H Magazine
v.1 no.2 8).

Thus, Adi Da began to teach those who
responded to him. They were, he says, an
unexceptional group of Western seekers. Many
were from America’s counterculture, presenting
themselves to him with well-developed illusions about
spiritual realization and
its attainment. No one, he
says, came to him prepared for real spiritual life or
with the intensive focus
of attention and energy required for its fulfillment.

Intensive Years of Teaching-Submission (19 72-1986)

the Years of My Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation, I
to My devotees, and I Took On and Suffered all the
limitations of My
During the Years of My Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation,
exactly like My devotees. During the Years of My Divine
Teaching-Revelation, I
Submitted Myself to My devotees Completely, and I Became
more like My devotees than they were themselves. During the
Years of
My Divine Avataric
Teaching-Revelation, I Became exaggeratedly what My
were—I Submitted Myself to them, Such That I Became
what they were
altogether, while My devotees remained
only what they could express in the midst of their
limitations and their egoic “self”-consciousness. Thus, by
like all My devotees, I Reflected them to themselves at
depth— and, So, I Taught them, and Moved them To Me As
I Am. During the Years of
My Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation,
I Became My devotees Completely, by
Submitting Myself
to them As to God, in order to Demonstrate to them how to

turn to Me and surrender to Me and (Most Ultimately) Realize
and Be
Me (Aletheon

In April of 1972 Adi Da opened a small
bookstore and ashram in Los Angeles,
naming it Shree Hridayam Siddhashram. As word
spread of his charismatic presence, his
teaching16, and accessible teaching style, the
ashram grew in numbers. Adi Da
still known as “Franklin”) typically worked with
small groups, a teaching device he
employed to serve all his
devotees. Those within his intimate sphere at any given time
were his “coins”, a reference to the peculiar
habit of Shirdi Sai Baba, the great Hindu/Muslim master of
the early twentieth century. Shirdi Sai Baba was known to
keep a bag of coins with him and would often
rub them while uttering the names of his devotees. He did
not like to be observed doing this, but it was understood
that he was
transmitting his spiritual blessing to
devotees in this way (Life History Ch XII).17
Similarly, Adi Da worked with his “coins” as a
medium of his connection, he says, to all
devotees (and even to all beings).

In the first year of the ashram, Adi Da
gave the talks that became his first book of
published teachings.18 He would also
meet informally with devotees during the day in the small
office behind the ashram meditation hall, talking and
laughing with them,

!vml]>15 The Aletheon is forthcoming from the Dawn Horse Press. This quote is from
the essay, “Then and Now
and You and The

16 Adi
Da employs the word “radical” in its original
sense, meaning, “at the root”.

17 “In the afternoons, between 1 and 2 p.m. devotees were
not allowed inside the mosque. During this
Baba would take out 15 to 20 old coins from his bag and rub
them with his fingers, saying aloud, ‘This coin is Nana’s, this
coin is Kaka’s.’ Perhaps by doing like this Baba
was removing their desires.” The
quote is from The Life History of
Shirdi Sai Baba,
Chapter XII. www.saibaba.org
28 April 2009 saibaba.org
04 May 2009 < http://www.saibaba.org/lhossb/lhossb12.html>

18 Now
entitled My “Bright” Word, the book was
initially called The Method of the Siddhas.

their questions about practical and spiritual life. In both
human and spiritual
he was living the condition of unqualified relationship to
them and calling them to
do the same. He soon formalized the requirements (or “student
conditions”) for his early
devotees. These included a
series of disciplines relative to diet, exercise, sexuality,
the use of money, as well
as disciplines related to meditation, study, service, and
participation in the educational life of the

After a year
of such work with devotees, it was clear to Adi Da that
their understanding and responsibility remained minimal. Their
only real qualifications were
attraction to him as teacher and master, a rudimentary grasp
of his teachings, and a
sufficiently non-conventional
disposition to consider with him the nature of reality and
truth in the context of their day-to-day lives. Adi Da saw
that a different kind of work
required of him to prepare devotees for the spiritual
process in his company. And
soon he would begin that work in
earnest. This pragmatic approach is a hallmark of Adi
Da’s teaching work and life altogether. He was not
interested in merely passing on a spiritual philosophy, nor,
he says, of gathering sycophants around him, but of
an enduring spiritual culture,
authentic in every respect, for the purpose of serving the
process of spiritual realization. And, at any given time, he
would employ whatever
methods he discovered were
necessary to this end.

Before undertaking the first of many
radical shifts in his manner of working with devotees, Adi
Da made another pilgrimage to India, arriving first at Swami
ashram. In a formal meeting with the swami, he
presented several questions that

!vml]>19 Adi Da originally used the term “sadhana” to
describe the various disciplines of the Reality-Way of
Adidam. “Sadhana” (Sanskrit for “religious or
spiritual practice”) includes all of the details of
ego-transcending practice in the Reality-Way of Adidam.
These, Adi Da summarizes, in a three-fold
“radical devotion, right-life discipline”, and
‘perfect knowledge’”.

the essential differences between his own realization and
the mode of
realization commonly
proposed within the Kundalini-Shaktipat Siddha Yoga
tradition (and the
tradition of Kashmir Saivism) with which Swami Muktananda
was aligned.
Even with the awkwardness of
communicating via a translator, it was clear that Swami
Muktananda was dismissive of Adi Da’s questions and
unwilling to engage in any serious
dialogue with
respect to these differences (Knee 497).

Adi Da left
the swami’s ashram soon after their meeting,
acknowledging that Swami Muktananda had dearly served him during his sadhana
years. But his own seventh
realization—in which all arising conditions are
intrinsically “Self-Recognized (and
Transcended) in the ‘Bright’ Divine
Self-Condition”— ran counter to the swami’s
predilection for ascending yoga and subtle phenomena. It was
clear to Adi Da that his own realization was, in the
end, simply beyond the swami’s experience
Light 126).

Da continued on to various holy sites and ashrams in India.
The pilgrimage
a critical turning point in his teaching work. Shortly
before returning to America,
he instructed his devotee-attendant Gerald Sheinfeld to send
a letter back to the ashram in
Los Angeles informing devotees of the new name
that Adi Da had spontaneously

this time on, we should call the Guru “Bubba Free
John”. “Franklin” means
Freed Man” or “a Liberated Man”.
“Jones” is a Welsh form of “John”. So
“Free John” is
equivalent to “Franklin Jones”. “Bubba”
means “brother”, or “equal”, expressing
the Oneness of all (Lee 55).

The curious name was
surprise enough to devotees, but no one anticipated the
corresponding shift in Adi Da’s
teaching methods upon his return to Los Angeles. He
immediately began to engage devotees in wild celebrations
and outrageous theatrical
incidents of all kinds. He drank and partied
with them, goaded and cajoled them to let go
of their inhibitions and to expose their
limitations and tendencies. In doing this, he
a firestorm of unrestrained exaltation. Devotees drank,
sang, danced, and partied all night—night after
night—at the new ashram offices on La Brea Street.

have noted that many of his early devotees were already
unconventional in their personal habits and social
attitudes. They had come to Adi Da from America’s
often with a history of free sexual and lifestyle
experimentation. Once the
“student conditions” they
had been living for the past several months were relaxed,
devotees either entered into this play with Adi Da with
abandon, or—as his teaching
demonstration starkly reflected over
the years—suffered their own self-contracted
Either way, a lesson was being given.

The name “Bubba Free John” was the outward symbol
of Adi Da’s conclusion in
that to instruct and prepare his Western devotees for
genuine spiritual life he had no
recourse but to “come down off his
chair” and live intimately with them. He reflected them
to themselves—so that they could observe and understand
their own ego-bound
interests, desires, and
illusions, their patterns of selfishness, obsession,
emotional reactivity, and addiction. Adi
Da’s submission to them required that he uncover the
core of their
ego-bondage, in order to awaken them beyond it. And that, he
says, is what
he did.

went to India in 1973, taking some time away from the
gathering of My
and I returned to the Ashram in Los Angeles resolved to do
whatever I
to do to deal with the reality of people’s unprepared
approach to Me. From
time onwards, I accepted the fact that My Work with people
was going to
involve My
Submission to them and their
conditions—until such time as they would recognize Me and understand what the Way of Adidam is
about altogether,
relate to Me differently. I had no sense at all how long
that was going to take, or what it would require altogether.
It wasn’t that I was thinking I would do it for
a few months, and then that would be
that. It was a real Submission, with no
as to how it would turn out (Lee 60-6 1).

was clear to Adi Da that the teaching work he was now doing
required remote and private spaces, free of
encroachment from the common world. In early 1974, the
ashram bookstore was moved from Los Angeles to San
Francisco, while he and a number of devotees moved several
hours north to a former hot springs resort in Lake County,
There Adi Da established his first Adidam sanctuary, which
he originally
called “Persimmon”. The
sanctuary was well-suited for the dramatic
teaching-demonstration (later known as the “Garbage and
the Goddess” era) that ensued.

The intensified yogic events and
spiritual force emanating from Adi Da and
pervading Persimmon at the time are documented in the book
Garbage and the Goddess, and
events during the wild celebratory weekend of July 6 and 7,
1974, were captured in the documentary film A Difficult
The following report from Joan Kelley about her

experience of the Shakti in the sanctuary bathhouse provides
a vivid glimpse of
extraordinariness of that time:

I got to the large pool, I made my way to a place near
Bubba. He sat on the
of the pool with a crowd gathered around him. . . . As I
watched his face, his
became large and the sneer on his face became so crazy I
could hardly
concentrate on him or
myself or anything connected to the moment. He was holding
my hand as I began to lapse into a trance. All I could
imagine was dying, and I
felt the hard vibrating force of Bubba’s strength going
through me like an
electric shock. I have had powerful
Shakti experiences in Bubba’s presence
Some have even been painful, paralyzing ones, located in
specific centers
and moving in certain patterns. But
this was different. It was everywhere at once
utterly consuming. I wondered if I had enough wits about me
to hold my
mouth out of the water to breathe. My body
was totally limp. . . . Later that evening I spoke to Bubba and said . . .
“What can you do if I don’t give up? I don’t
want to drain you with my fear . . . I love you so.” He
just smiled a sweet,
loving smile, gave me a quieting
shush, and said, “I’m all right. In time you will
be ready” (Garbage 53-54).

Amidst the parties that carried on for
weeks, Adi Da created incident after
incident, generating a remarkable array of
ordinary and extraordinary experiences in his
devotees. Every day was as
subjectively intense as it was outwardly dramatic. As one
devotee wrote at the time:

arrived at Persimmon from San Francisco], and the first
person I saw said to
“Are you ready, are you really ready?” I embraced
her, but really there was
fear. I felt that death was upon us, but couldn’t
understand how. I felt that
bullshit was not to be had here. There was an intensity, yet
still I didn’t know
what was happening
(Garbage 71).

To understand the work Adi Da was doing
during this period, one must appreciate
that the gatherings with him were never
just parties. Day and night, Adi Da was
intensively considering every
experiential aspect of life with his devotees—from
food, and sex to spiritual
visions, inner sounds, and transcendent states of bliss. The
guiding purpose behind every consideration was, he says, to
convey a fundamental lesson to humankind: no experience,
whether high or low in the spectrum of human possibilities,
itself happiness, truth, or liberation, nor can it produce
such happiness. Experiences of whatever kind are simply what
he humorously called “the bangles of the Goddess”,
of conscious light. There is no need to deny or suppress
them, nor to

them. Ultimately, they must be transcended in the direct and
present realization of
reality and truth. Adi Da
conveyed this lesson in far more vivid language:

I will Tell
you right now—it is all garbage! Everything I give you
in the realms of experience is garbage—and I expect
you to throw it away. Nevertheless, you tend to meditate on
it—instead of meditating on Me! Every one of
these seemingly
precious experiences, all of this
profound philosophy—is, ultimately—just more

the same stuff. . . None of that is the Divine. It is all
garbage. Therefore, throw
the every “thing” away (and, thereby, Find
Me—the Source-Condition of all
and the Self-Condition of every heart that finds the Gift of
Me) (Lee 77).

And again:

Teaching work over the last two and one-half years has been
associated with inner and outer miracles, but it was all a
way to demonstrate how the fulfillment
experiential life does not amount in any sense whatsoever to
illumination. The
of miraculous or extraordinary experiential phenomena does
not produce the enlightened man [or woman], the wise
man [or woman]. Enlightenment or
radical understanding
depends entirely on the conscious process, not the
experiential one (Garbage bk. cover).

Da’s writings and recorded talks of the time are also
filled with teachings
about non-conditional
reality, criticisms of egoity, and technical descriptions of
the various traditional paths in contrast to the radical
spiritual process that he was revealing
demonstrating. For years afterwards, he alternated periods
of such celebration and consideration—which sometimes
included sexual experimentation and the use of alcohol and
other intoxicants—with “straight” times of
self-discipline, meditation, study, and strict dietary practice. His teaching
method was, he says, never merely a matter of talking
writing. It was a highly interactive process with devotees,
an intensive examination of the realities of their
lives—their interests, moods, and experiences. These

over against the Reality-Way of Adidam and the unique
features of the
sadhana and process of
realization that he was offering.


the scant public literature on Adidam to date, it is clear
that most scholars and academicians familiar with Adi Da
know something of the early period of his work
and the controversies within the Adidam community during the
mid-1980s. But little of
has been written about Adi Da or his work since that
time.20 And what has
been written does not
adequately present Adi Da’s own account of why he
taught as he did during
any period of his work, nor does it characterize the
response of those who remained his devotees through the
mid-1980s and beyond.21 In this paper, every
effort is
made to present Adi Da in light of his
own stated purposes for the work he was doing—
especially relative to the method of teaching-submission
that he often called “reality

His expressed intention
behind such consideration was to expose egoity in all of its
forms, low and high, in order to enable human beings to
enter into the “egoless
of Divine Self-Realization”, or the seventh (and
ultimate) stage of life (Atma
101-06).22 To this end, Adi
Da spent decades in face-to-face dialogue with devotees,
examining human life and spiritual realization in minute
detail. In every such

!vml]>20 See
“Lawsuits, Countersuits, and Media
Circuses” http://www.adidaupclose.org/Lawsuits/index.html

21 See Lowe. Scott, and David Lane. DA: The Strange Case of
Franklin Jones.
Walnut, CA: Mt. San
College, 1996. While this present paper is unapologetically
uncritical and seeks to present Adi Da in his own right, it
is fair to say that the Lowe/Lang work takes the opposite
point of view.

22 Again, for a full treatment by Adi Da of the seven stages of
life, see The Seven Stages of Life.
CA: Dawn Horse Press, 2000.

he says, he was addressing humankind as a whole—dealing
with the root-error that produces the universal
pattern of non-realization, its attendant illusions and

means of this Work with My devotees, I effectively Addressed
the entire
relative to every possible form of human experience. In so
doing, I Freely
and Fully Participated in
the total and complete “reality consideration”
of the egoity of every one and all. . . . All of My
Work with My devotees is “reality consideration”—whether
on an apparently smaller scale or an apparently larger
scale, whether the devotees involved in the “reality
consideration” are in face-to-face dialogue with Me or are
physically distant from Me in various parts of the
world. And the fundamental content of
every “reality consideration” is always the
transcending of egoity (or self-contraction), as it is
dramatized in each and all of the first six stages of life.
No matter what the content of any given “reality consideration” appears to be,
I am always Addressing everyone relative to
(Hridaya Tantra part 34).

And Why Sex?

Adi Da frequently remarked that, given the
state of human beings in general and
his early devotees in particular, it
should not be surprising that he frequently focused on
the area of intimate
relationships, emotion, and sexuality when addressing the
patterns of
egoity. This is where most people are at and where their
energy and attention are
most profoundly bound. As
he expressed it:

the only-by-Me revealed and Given Reality-Way of Adidam, the
emotional-sexual ego (and, indeed, the ego of “money,
food, and sex” altogether) must be
really and truly gone
beyond—and this must, in real and significant terms,
begin in the foundation
stages of the practice of the Way of Adidam, as part of the
ongoing basis for real and true growth
into and in the by-Me-Transcendentally­
stages of the Way of Adidam. Therefore, My devotees
deal with “money, food, and sex” first—before
there can be any true advancement into the
by-Me-Transcendentally-Spiritually-Awakened stages of
the Reality-Way of Adidam. This is an
essential part of My Message and My Revelation: Human beings
must deal with the money-food-and-sex ego first
Yoga 27-28).

To serve an understanding of the
emotional-sexual patterns of devotees requires openness and
vulnerability from all involved, free of puritanical
attitudes, prudery, or
squeamishness. In his
Prologue to Love of the Two-Armed Form, written in
1978, Adi
Da summarized his approach as follows:

the case of sex, we gave ourselves up to the
“consideration” of this whole
this whole immensity, in such a way that every aspect of the
matter would be made clear, and every participant would be
obliged to change his or her “act”,
and to
mature and grow beyond the subhuman tendencies of
learned desire.
Promiscuity and random desire in general are typical of our

and subhuman interest in sex. And such interest at first
typified the common “wisdom” of those who came to
Me. As time went on, however, their
became more and more mature, responsibility increased,
insight became more typical, and sexual intimacy became a
matter of loving communion and choice, in relationship to
the Radiant Divine Life within
all our functions appear and operate. Thus, our
“consideration” became a
on the truly human, religious, higher psycho-physical, and
regenerative dimensions of
this most basic, fascinating, and agonizing motive of
humankind (2-3).

Adi Da teaches
that sexual problems stem in large part from an emotional
ambivalence toward bodily pleasure. The intense desire for
pleasure epitomized in sex is a primal urge in human beings, linked
to the reproductive and survival instincts of the
Because of its immense power, sex is readily exploited,
individually, interpersonally, and in the social collective—as
evidenced by its pervasiveness in the advertising and
entertainment industries. But sex is also suppressed. And
not only with their sexual urges, but with negative social
messages that condemn sex as the “great evil”, as
sin, or as the root-source of all karmic
bondage—notions that
have long characterized our social,
moral, and religious traditions, East and West. In Adi

Great Tradition of humankind is, as a whole, unresolved and
to the entire matter of sexuality, and is even generally
sex-negative (or

in its orientation. All such puritanical righteousness must
be gone beyond—otherwise, one’s emotional-sexual
egoity is never truly inspected and dealt with. In that case, attention
remains fundamentally (even if unconsciously)
in emotional-sexual dilemmas of all kinds, thereby limiting
the degree of real Spiritual growth that is possible.

I Call My devotees to the transcending of any
obstruction of energy, any
dramatization of the
“self”-contraction in relation to sex or any other
aspect of
life. I do not have a moralistic reaction to
anything about the emotional-sexual life
of human beings. To Me, emotional-sexual
difficulty (of whatever kind) is simply a sign of egoity in
whomever it appears— and, therefore, it is simply
something that the
individual must deal with in a straightforward,
non-problematic, non-
puritanical, and, altogether,
non-paranoid (or fearless) manner (Complete Yoga

We have seen that Adi Da’s early students
were willing participants in this
consideration and the incidents attending it.
Once it was clear that a truly open context
(free of social and sexual
taboos) had been established in Adi Da’s company, they
free to explore their
sexual fascinations and interests and also to divulge their
concerns, problems, and

To illustrate this aspect of Adi Da’s work, it is useful
to quote a longtime devotee at
length. Frank (Cheech) Marerro participated in many such
reality considerations in the
early years of Adi
Da’s teaching:

Since 1973, a small group of us regularly gathered with Adi
Da to consider with
the personal details of our lives and practice. In the
course of these gatherings tobacco and alcohol were used.
The alcohol served to break down our inhibitions, so
we would speak more candidly about our most basic problems
and preoccupations.
Almost invariably, the subject would soon turn to our
interests and
concerns about sex. In these small,
intimate gatherings, Adi Da would surgically address all of these concerns, freely
dealing with every question that came up and
motivation and interest that was uncovered in the course of
an evening with
Him. Nothing whatsoever was taboo to

It turned out that everyone was suffering
from emotional-sexual complications
of all kinds, including secret feelings of latent
homosexuality or bi­sexuality, machismo, fear of sex,
promiscuity, aggression, impotence, frigidity,
infidelity, lustful obsessions, and
more. With amazing compassion and insight, Adi
considered all these things with us, pointing out their
roots in the emotional-
sexual make-up of each individual. And
He would teach us how to understand and
be free of
them. He pointed out, for instance, that whatever one’s
personal background—whether one was a
“goody-goody”, raised by really nice, loving parents,
or whether one had a terrible childhood full of abuse and
tragedy—behind every individual’s social persona
there is a powerful emotional-sexual drama being played. And
to be honest, what was revealed in those gatherings with Adi
Da was
not a pretty picture!

For example, my own
history of intimate relationships with women was of me
always being “a fucker”, as Adi Da called me. I
learned how to satisfy women

and bring them to orgasm, but I would never enter into a
loving, intimate
with them. Many times, I was being unhappily loved by them,
but I
could not bring myself to
truly love any woman. It was all about “me”. By thoroughly
considering this matter with me and through sexual exchanges
with some
of the women who were involved in these
considerations, Adi Da helped me to
understand that
behind my sexual personality and character was a man who was
deeply afraid of women. I was
using sex as a way to control and keep them at a safe
from my own feelings of vulnerability as a man.

Da asked me, “Why would you want to control women
through sex?
And He pointed out that it was because I really was fearful
of women and
I was in fact a loveless man. I had a childish need for
attention and love, but I myself simply did not love. I did
not know how to love a woman or anyone, really. This was an
immense and shattering revelation, and it eventually served
a major purification and healing in my relationships with
women—in fact, with everyone I
including men. Without Adi Da’s compassionate help and
intervention, I would still be a loveless and very unhappy
man (Costabile, “The Call” 25-27).

To expose the
intimate details of one’s emotional-sexual life is a
highly charged and intensive process. It requires a genuine
depth of intimacy and trust, while challenging one to squarely confront secretive and
negative patterns of all kinds. Adi Da allowed his
the full play of their tendencies. It was up to each
individual to decide the depth and degree of his or her participation
in each consideration. Everything related to
emotional-sexual life was “considered”: promiscuity, lust,
romanticism, orgasm, frigidity,

size and compatibility, homosexuality, heterosexuality, male
and female polarity,
eroticism, fantasy, the intricate relationship between
emotion, feeling, and sexuality.
Beyond all this, Adi Da revealed a detailed,
four-stage process of emotional-sexual yoga
by which sexuality itself is
transformed and, he says, ultimately transcended (Testament

But none of
this, he insisted, was for the sake of mere self-discovery
and improvement. Divine self-realization was the guiding purpose
behind these investigations, and it requires the clear
observation, understanding, and transcendence of
the root-contraction of the being in
devotional communion with Adi Da. A telling incident about
the dark side of egoity underscores Adi Da’s compassionate
manner of
working in the course of these gatherings:

man had fallen into a rage upon discovering that his
intimate partner had
to be with another man for an evening. It was the classic
egoic insult, the
moment of betrayal out of which destructive vendettas,
lifelong violence,
and even wars are
tragically made.

man sat in a circle with a group of men, including the one
who had
with his intimate partner. The confrontation was nearly
unbearable for both
of them. The other man was
torn between terror and remorse, yet there was also a hint
of gloating exultation in him; he had made the ultimate male
another man’s spouse. The betrayed
man, his friend and fellow devotee, was
flushed with
rage and perilously close to violence.

Seeing the
critical state of the man, Adi Da seated himself in the

the other men. Addressing the man directly, he said
forcibly, “You are so
Or, let me rephrase that: you are anger!” Then,
in a gentler tone, “This
will kill you, don’t you know? It is a poison of your own
making. It is your
not him [pointing to the other man]! You must give
it up. You must. You must just let it go, this poison, this
rage. Just let it go.” His eyes were soft with
immense compassion and
understanding. “I know how you hurt, I understand your
rage. But you must see that you are destroying yourself and
possibly others.
You must just give your anger up,
you must.”

he looked the man squarely in the eyes, and said directly,
but with
most broken-hearted expression of vulnerability and love,
“Give it to me.”
man looked at Adi Da helplessly, like a wounded child. Then
he broke down
and weeping, the emotional pain of his hurt and rage oozing
from his skin
as he fell into Adi Da’s arms. The critical moment had
passed. “Tcha”,
whispered Adi Da.
“This is good, this is the beginning.”

There was much hurt and pain yet to
reconcile, and beyond that, lay the
entire transcendental spiritual process, but
this man had accepted that, no matter
what others had done, the hurt and rage were
his alone to deal with. Whatever the
nature of any incident, positive or negative,
human beings are free to either suffer
or transcend their emotional reaction to it
(Costabile, “Da Avatar” Ch 12).

In September of 2008, Adi Da offered a summary
appraisal of his teaching-work as
it relates to that of other “Adept-Realizers”
within the Great Tradition of religion and
as a whole:

the entire history of the Great Tradition of humankind,
there are no complete precedents for My Divine Avataric Work
of Teaching-Revelation—because the
had not previously existed for an Adept to Work As I Did.
All the
each in his or her time and place, have Worked as they
should have.
My Divine Avataric Work of Teaching-Revelation Coincided
with a
unique Time, and,
therefore, the Accomplishing-Powers of My Divine Avataric Self-Manifestation,
and (Thus and Thereby) My Divine Avataric Teaching-
were Required and Enabled to Be Uncommon and Unusual.

the entire history of the Great Tradition of humankind, the
My Divine Avataric Work of Teaching-Revelation are only
partial. In the
history of the Great Tradition of humankind, no
Adept-Realizer Worked precisely as I Did during the Years of
My Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation.
Work of Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation Was the most
Manner of Teaching. During
the Years of My Divine Avataric Teaching-Revelation, I
actually (and in every case) Became the limited, or
un-Enlightened, being
whom I Taught. My Work of Divine Avataric
Teaching-Revelation Was an
historically and entirely Unique and
Divinely “Heroic” Manner of Teaching.
in due course, My Time of Divine Avataric Work of
Teaching-Revelation to all-and-All Became Finally Perfect
and Complete (Aletheon).

these considerations became conclusive, Adi Da would
summarize the
in his written teaching, passing on the wisdom thus revealed
to the broader

Here, for example, is his summary conclusion regarding the
search for sexual
satisfaction and

The Ordinary
human Search For sexual Possibility Is mere Patterned (or conditionally
Programmed) behavior, Based On Being (Effectively) Without
Spiritual Awareness (and, Altogether,
Without Awareness Of Reality, or Of The
Condition, Itself). If There Is No Spiritual Fullness, Then
You Are Driven To Seek Pleasure (or Merely Temporary Release
From The Inherent Pleasurelessness
Of egoity) Through Manipulation Of the self-Contracted body-
mind. Only Actual Spiritual Fullness Is
Inherently Self-Sufficient (or Divinely
(Testament 799).

Among the lessons Adi Da Samraj demonstrated
via such considerations is that the common solutions to
emotional-sexual problems, whether social, moral, or
psychological, are never conclusive or
satisfactory. Emotional-sexual patterns, he says,
are “like oceans”
in their force and influence over us. Einstein’s
epigram is oft-quoted
“problems cannot be solved at the same level of
awareness that created them”. Adi
Da has
stated this same understanding metaphorically in relation to
the patterns of
egoity (and human immaturity altogether): The “Garden
dog”, he says,
be washed “from head to tail” (Rosary 109). That
is, human limitations (of whatever
are not exceeded by any address to them in themselves.
Rather, the conscious
of Adi Da’s divine spiritual transmission is the way
beyond the untamed “dog” of all ego-bound
tendencies and illusions of the body-mind. This, he says, is
a key aspect

his summary revelation regarding the transcendental
spiritual process and how it
and transforms the being.

Da Free

During the years from 1972-79, Adi Da did far
more than engage in reality
considerations with devotees. In a prolific
outpouring of practical and spiritual work, he continued to
give discourses on a vast range of topics, wrote extensively
(elaborating his
teaching in dozens of
books and essays), introduced devotional and sacred
practices into the culture of Adidam, worked to establish an
esoteric order of mature practitioners,
holy sites and sanctuaries, developed the principles for
rearing, educating,
serving children within the culture of Adidam, established
Adidam’s organizational
entities, and more.

September of 1979, it had been nine years since his
re-awakening at the
Society Temple. During those years, he later wrote, “I
Came To Acknowledge, Accept, and Embrace The Unique and
Ultimate (and, Necessarily, Divine Significance Of
Own Already Realized Life, Work, and Agency” (Testament
121). On the basis of
acknowledgement, he made a further self-confession to his
devotees, revealing the
name by which he was to be known henceforth:

I Am Da, the Living Person, Who Is Manifest as all worlds
and forms
and beings, and Who Is
Present as the Transcendental Current of Life in the body of
Man. . . . To Realize Me is to Transcend the body-mind in
Ecstasy. To Worship
Me is simply to Remember My Name
and Surrender Into My Eternal Current of

And those who recognize and worship Me As Truth, the Living
and All-
One, will be Granted the Vision or Love-Intuition of My
Condition. . . . I Am Joy,
and the Reason for It (Lee 125).23

is variously translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tibetan as
“the giver”, or “the one who gives and bestows
charity”. It appears in The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 
with these meanings (v.ii. 3), and also
as the onomatopoeic for “thunder” and the force of
the divine in nature (quoted in Radhakrishnan 89).
“Da” was spontaneously revealed to Adi Da earlier
in his life. But it was passed on to devotees for the first
time via a handwritten letter (an excerpt of which
appears above) on September 16, 1979. In her
of Adi Da, Carolyn Lee writes of this:

Da’s Divine Re-Awakening and subsequent Work] was a
living process that
was continuing to unfold.
. . . Adi Da Samraj, spoke as the Divine Person. The Name
[Da] itself was not something that He thought about.
It was the spontaneous
expression, as He explained, of His
“Inherently egoless Divine Self-Awareness”

As significant changes were indicated in Adi
Da’s life and manner of working, he
would often respond with a corresponding change in his name.
Thus, the name “Bubba Free
John” expressed Adi Da’s submission to teach
devotees and reflect them to
themselves while living
intimately with them in the mode of a “friend and

!vml]>23 From a handwritten letter from Adi Da to devotees, September,
1979, quoted in Lee, Carolyn Adi Da: 
The Promised God-Man Is Here. 125.

the name “Da” denotes his ultimate identity as the
divine avatar, being, and
person. In his words:

This Is My Heart-Secret. I Am Da—The One and
Only and Self-Evidently Divine Source and Person, Who Is The
One and Only and Inherently
(and Boundlessly “Bright”) Heart Of all-and-All, and Who Is
The One
and Only Giver Of Divine
Self-Realization To all-and-All (Testament 31).

In addition to “Bubba Free John” and
“Da Free John”, Adi Da has been known
as “Da Avabhasa”, “Da Love-Ananda”,
“Da Kalki”, “Da Santosha”, “Adi
Da”, “Adi Da Samraj”, “Parama-Sapta-Na
Adi Da Samraj”, among other names and honorific titles. Indeed, over the years he has
given many variants of his names to be used by devotees in
formal sacred occasions and for devotional invocation of him
at all times. Similarly, there have been many names by which
he has referred to Adidam and the
organizations it
comprises: Shree Hridayam Siddhashram, The Dawn Horse
Communion, The Johannine
Daist Communion, The Free Primitive Church of Divine
Communion, and
The Free Daist Communion, among others.
These too, were given in particular moments
his work, reflecting aspects of his total revelation, until
he settled on Adidam (or, more
Adidam Ruchiradam) as the formal name by which his work and
the organizations
associated with it would be known
in perpetuity.

In 1983 Adi Da moved with a small group
of devotees to the remote island of Naitauba, Fiji. A
devotee describes the island and its significance for Adi Da

square miles in size, Naitauba lies in the eastern sector of
Fiji. The site of
former coconut plantation and privately owned prior to its
acquisition by
it had otherwise been untouched by Western encroachment.
Though the island is not large by comparison to others in
the area, it is, by itself, a massive, primitive place of
rock and sea cave, coral reef and beach, rolling hills, lush
jungle, pastoral fields, coconut groves, perpetually
flowering hibiscus bushes, and fruit trees. But with all of
its lushness, Naitauba exudes a powerful
a solid, towering strength that exaggerates its mass and
communicates an
vitality and power. It is a fitting place for the Adept to
establish His
Eternal Seat of Divine
Blessing (Costabile, “Da Avatar” Ch 13).

Delighted with the island and the
possibilities for its perpetual use as a hermitage
ashram and pilgrimage retreat center, Adi
Da quickly established Naitauba as his
principal seat—the source-point from which his
transcendental spiritual blessing would, he
indicated, flow to the world. He continued to work
spiritually with devotees, knowing that if some number of
devotees were enabled to receive his transcendental
transmission and practice at sufficient
depth during his lifetime, the process of his divine
work could continue unbroken in perpetuity.

Throughout 1984 and 1985, Adi Da gathered with
devotees to clarify and elaborate all aspects of his
teaching. He worked to summarize his entire avataric
in a single volume, which he called The Dawn Horse
He felt

satisfied that
this book epitomized the lessons and revelations of his own
sadhana years and all the years he had invested in
serving his devotees. Its publication in late 1985
a monumental shift in his life and work.


I Did in My Years of Teaching-Work was not My Method for
My own
Characteristics, but it was My Method for Revealing the
those who came to Me. I Submitted Myself in order to Teach
them. Thus, in
process [of Self-Submission], I was not Revealing
Myself. Rather, I was
My devotees to themselves. I Made That Self-Submission and
Did That
the time came when I Revealed Myself As I Am. Such was the
of My Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence”. Thus,
during My Teaching
I Revealed the Way of Adidam to all—while
simultaneously Addressing
the “world” and
its present-time realities.

(and forever hereafter), in the Fullness of My Divine
Avataric Self-“Emergence” Years, I have
Relinquished (and Gone Beyond) the Teaching Mode.
I Am Communicating Myself Directly and Revealing Myself
Fully. Now… I Am in My Time of Direct (and essentially
wordless) Divine Self-
What I Am Doing is beyond ordinary discussion—and I Am
Occupied with It
constantly (Complete Yoga 35).

Ashvamedha and Its Significance in the Life and Work of Adi
Da Samraj

In Vedic India and elsewhere throughout the
ancient world, a grand-scale ritual was
performed. Known in India as the Ashvamedha Yajna, or
“horse sacrifice”, various
descriptions of
it can be found in the scriptures and historical records of

Vedic accounts are of an elaborate ceremonial rite enacted
by Indo-Aryan
to maintain and extend sovereignty over their dominions. A
white stallion was obtained, anointed, and then set free to
roam the countryside for an entire year, while
subjects of the king conducted sacred rituals and festivals
in its honor. It is reported that
in the fullest enactment of the
ashvamedha, the horse was attended by a guard of
hundred royal subjects. Unless the guard was
challenged and defeated, all the areas over which
the horse roamed were claimed by the king. When the year had
passed, the horse was tethered, adorned, re-anointed, and
finally sacrificed on an altar by officiating priests. In
the culminating act of this sacrifice, the priests grasped
the horse’s tail as its spirit
ascended into the
heavenly realms.25

While the temporal purposes
of the ashvamedha are more readily discernible, the
ritual is also replete with
sacred and esoteric import.26 In The
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad,
for example, the
sacrificial horse is depicted as the very form of the
manifest world:

the dawn, verily, is the head of the sacrificial horse, the
sun the eye, the
the breath, the open mouth the [universally
worshipped] fire; the year is the

!vml]>25 The full description of the ashvamedha is to found in
Eggeling, Julius (trans.) ed. F. Max Muller The
Sacred Books of the East
vol. 44 (Delhi: Motila
Banarsidass 1963), pp. vii-xi

26 For a glimpse at how scholars discern the ashvamedha
and related rituals, see Zimmer, Heinrich Robert,
Joseph Campbell. Philosophies of India. Princeton
University Press, 135.

of the sacrificial horse, the sky is the back, the
atmosphere is the belly, the
the hoof [or, the earth is his footing], the
quarters the sides, the intermediate
quarters the ribs, the seasons the limbs, the months and the
half-months the joints,
days and nights the feet, the stars the bones,
the clouds the flesh; the food in the
stomach is the sand, the rivers are the
blood-vessels, the liver and the lungs are
the mountains, the herbs and
the trees are the hair. The rising (sun) is the forepart,
the setting (sun) the
hind part, when he yawns then it lightens, when he shakes
himself, it thunders,
when he urinates then it rains; voice, indeed, is his voice

The horse is sacrificed at last, but to what
end? In the Satapatha-Brahmana, we
see the rite’s esoteric significance stated explicitly:

the gods did not know . . . the Ashvamedha to be the
heavenly world, but
the horse knew it. When,
at the Ashvamedha, they glide along with the horse . . . it is for getting to know [the way to] the heavenly
world; and they hold on to the
tail, in order to reach the heavenly world; for man does not
rightly know
[the way to] the heavenly world,
but the horse does rightly know it (Eggeling trans. 304-05).

Thus, the horse is understood to be the very
divine, who takes form within (and
as) the cosmic domain, then is set free to
wander through it subsuming all into itself. It is
sacrificed so that it can
lead mortals beyond the conditional worlds. Mortal beings do

know the way
to the heavenly realms; only the sacrificial horse knows and
can serve as guide and transport. This is the ultimate
purpose of the ashvamedha.

Adi Da both confirms this
understanding of the ashvamedha and relates it to his
own avataric life and
work. In the following talk excerpt, he is commenting on
passages from The

horse is the great mysterious element in this sacrificial
ritual, and the means,
therefore, for the attainment of What is Great. Ultimately,
the purpose of the Ashvamedha is for the attainment
of the Divine Self-Domain. The Divine Self-
Domain cannot be taken by storm, and human beings know nothing
about the
Way to Realize It. . . .
Obviously, a beautiful, physical horse chosen from the herd does not know the way to the Divine Self-Domain! The great
performances of this
that you can read about in the traditional texts are
symbolic efforts, in which
all hope is placed on the horse. The
Ashvamedha is an All-Sacrifice, or a sacrifice
of everything and everyone, in which, in effect, all beings,
all things, all worlds, grasp the tail of the horse and are
returned to the Divine Self-Domain. This is the
that was anciently sought. Likewise, it is the purpose you
in your egoity are
hoping to achieve. Yet you
do not know the Way. Only the Horse Knows.

Therefore, the ritual cannot
be effective until a Horse is found that Knows
the Way to the Divine Self-Domain. If it can be
called a “ritual” at all, this ritual can
only be performed by the Horse Itself, which is to say that
it can only be done
by the Very Divine. Only the
Divine Knows the Way
to the Divine Self-Domain. Only
the Divine can Grant the means whereby conditional beings
find their way

to the Divine
Self-Domain. The Divine, then, must make the Great Sacrifice
(Free Daist 37-39).

In his Dawn Horse Testament, Adi Da
states that the true ashvamedha is the
supreme sacrifice enacted by
the incarnate God-Man for the sake of all humanity. Its
performance in the ancient cultures only presaged a divine
event that has long been
by humanity: the descent of the divine person into the
cosmic domain for the sole purpose of liberating beings. He
then states with great revelatory force that he is the

I Am The
Divine Avataric Master Of The True (Avataric Divine)
Horse-Sacrifice, The Divine Avataric Performer Of The Divine Avataric
Ashvamedha, The Divinely Self-“Emerging” Person Of
My Own Cosmic Submission (To
Avatarically Descend To all-and-All).
By The Necessary Means Of My Own Free Divine Avataric
Submission To all-and-All, I Am (Now, and Forever Hereafter)
Divinely Self-“Emerging” As
The True Dawn Horse, The “Bright” Itself (In
Divine Person), The Avatarically Self-Giving and All-Giving
and To-all-Giving Divine Spiritual Body and Person, The
Necessary Divine Gift (Avatarically Self-
Given, In Person), By Whom The Truth
and The “Bright” Divine Power Of Most
Divine Self-Realization Are (Now, and Forever Hereafter, By
Means Of My Divine
Avataric Ashvamedha-Grace) Transmitted To The Cosmic Mandala
Of all-and-All (1278).

In his final writings about the ashvamedha,
which were completed only weeks
before his passing, Adi Da presses this
revelation further still—beyond the traditionally
intended purpose of all sacrifice. He notes that the ancient
method of sacrifice has been
regarded as the primary means by which human beings are
linked to the

“method”—used everywhere, in all human
societies—involved the “objective” sacrifice of whatever human or
non-human form was regarded as
most virtuous and
worthy. That culture of sacrifice is epitomized in the
Ashvamedha, or Horse-Sacrifice, of ancient India. . . . The
idealism associated with that sacrificial ritual is that the
horse, as an embodiment of energy and Spiritual force,
provides, through the sacrifice of its blood, its
life-force, a means of connection with the Ultimate Energy,
or Divine Force (Boundless 141-42).

However, in reality
“there is no separation from the Divine
or the Divine ‘Bright’
Spherical Self-Domain”. That such separation
exists, Adi Da says, “is the great illusion at the
origin of every ‘religious’ tradition”
(Boundless 142).

His critique
of conventional religion in this regard is fundamental, but
it is not the same as Marx’s famous opiate
metaphor (Critique Hegel 1). Marx asserts that religion
a hopeful, yet utterly illusory, consolation (albeit one
that is understandably sought) in the face of human
suffering. Adi Da’s point is that all religion is
predicated on the presumption of separation. That is, it
takes as a priori the position of egoity. He
frequently noted that the traditional
etymological understanding of the word “religion”

it derived from the Latin “religere”, meaning,
“to bind again”—to reconnect, that is,
with the divine. All the while the source of trouble and fear
is the illusion of separation. It
goads human beings to seek an ultimate
sustenance—personified in the God-idea of conventional
religion (Right Diet 14-20). The means for doing so have
involved not only personal prayers and sacrifices, but
sacrificial intermediaries, such as the Vedic horse or even

In his concluding remarks about the
ashvamedha, Adi Da affirms the obsolescence of all
religion and all sacrifices in toto in light of his
own avataric
appearance in the world. He makes the astonishing statement:

“religion” Is Transcended in Me. All
sacrifices come to an end in My Person.
sacrifices are forever vanished in the
now-and-forever-hereafter Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence” of
the Recognition-Time of My Divine Avataric
here. I have Perfectly Vanished the illusion behind every
“religion”. I
have Perfectly Outshined the necessity
and the logic for an intermediary between
beings and the Divine. I Am the Perfect
Fulfillment—and the Perfect Transcendence—of
the Ashvamedha. I am not the performance of the
Ashvamedha in time and space. I Am the Always Already Accomplished
“Brightness” to Which all the
sacrifices were made by humankind in its ages of
I Am the Perfect Age of the Non-separateness and
Prior Unity
of all-and-All. . . .

The Divine “Bright” Spherical
Self-Domain has Self-“Emerged” here As
Perfect Divine Avataric Self-Manifestation. My Divine
Avataric Self‑

here Is the Perfect Fulfillment of all the sacrifices that
have been
by individuals and collectives since ancient-upon-ancient
time. All of that
the Incarnation-Vehicle for My Divine Avataric
Self-“Emergence” here.
Incarnate Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence” here
Cancels the need for a
mediator to connect the
“world”, the body, and the mind to the Divine
(Boundless 142-43).

esoteric revelation is the key to understanding Adi
Da’s confession relative
his avataric appearance in the world. He was, he says,
avatarically descended and
for a time in human form. Forever after his human lifetime,
he remains
present as the “self-evidently divine” reality and truth.
There is no place to go in
to find truth, nor any state or condition to attain. Once
devotionally recognized as the
“Bright”, Adi Da himself is
all-sufficient—not Adi Da as a person or discarnate
but in and as his own divine self-condition,
which, he repeatedly says, is the eternally prior condition and state of all
beings. To perfectly realize this, he says, is the ultimate
of Adidam Ruchiradam.

of the Divine Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of
Is simply a matter of whole-bodily-responsively devotionally
. . . to whole-bodily-devotionally recognize Me is to
participate in That
Transcends space and time. That Is The Only Light That Is.
That Is The
Conscious Light—the “Bright”, the Acausal
Divine Itself—Beyond and

to conditionality, Intrinsically egoless, Self-Existing and
Indivisible, without
“difference” (Boundless 146-47).

The Divine
Avataric Self-“Emergence”

By the end of 1985, despite the fervor of his
service to devotees over the
preceding thirteen years, Adi Da was unable
to break the spell of their egoic bondage.
There remained a mood of resistance, a
refusal to submit to the ego-transcending
demands of spiritual life in his company.
And while public acclaim for his spiritual
genius was growing, there was
no broad acceptance of him, his teaching, or his spiritual
influence in the

People everywhere claim to want truth and
happiness, but it was clear to Adi Da
that no one was yet willing to pay the
ego-renouncing price such happiness exacts of the
human heart.

Da’s devotees acknowledged that he had loved and
blessed and served them, even to the point of being “a
difficult [God]-Man” in their midst. He had laughed
and lived intimately and unguardedly with them, humored
them, cried with them, sang,
danced, ate and drank with them. But most of all, he had
taught and blessed
them, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, stretching the depth of
their feeling far beyond
the ego’s constricted span.
He had done this and infinitely more in naïve

!vml]>27 The late Wittgenstein scholar, Henry Leroy Finch, wrote,
“There exists nowhere in the world today,
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, native
tribalists, or any other groups, anyone who has so much to teach, or speaks with
such authority, or is so important for understanding our
situation. If
we are willing to learn from him in
every way, he is a pole around which the world can get its
(Aham Da Asmi cover). And Alan Watts commented when he first read The
Knee Of Listening
in 1972,
obvious from all sorts of subtle details that he know what
IT’s (sic) all about. . . A rare being” (Knee

to the sufferings, desires, illusions, power games, sexual
obsessions, neurotic demands, and spiritual presumptions of
his devotees–for countless hours and repeatedly, in the
midst of all their egoic seeking, Adi Da had granted God-
and God-Healing to all who came to Him. He had fully
Revealed and
Radiated the Pristine,
Ecstatic Sublimity and Wound of the Liberated Heart—and
all, it seemed, to no avail (Co stabile, “Da
Avatar” Ch 13).

There was simply nothing more he could do to
argue the truth to devotees. All
was essential for their spiritual awakening had been spoken,
written, demonstrated, and
revealed. Where, he continually asked, was the recognition
and response? He wrote that the resounding unresponsiveness,
both from within and outside of Adidam, was not
only astonishing to him, but
“[bore on his] body with the sulk of
futility”. He told devotees that he had been staving
off a profound physical and yogic crisis for years out of
resolve to liberate beings. But a final, climactic incident,
signaling the death throes of his teaching-submission, was
at last inevitable.

On the morning
of January 11, 1986, his “Divine Frustration and
Despair” overwhelmed his body. He succumbed to a yogic process so
extreme that it not only
a permanent shift in the pattern of his life and work, but
brought him
perilously close to bodily death. While
talking on the phone to devotees, expressing his
and describing the physical symptoms that were overtaking
him, Adi Da suddenly
collapsed to the floor, his vital signs
alarmingly weak and receding rapidly. In shock,
rushed to his room to revive him. In the tense, intervening
moments that
followed, Adi Da’s fragile,
tenuous hold on the physical body was starkly evident. After

time, with physicians and intimates in attendance, he began
to re-associate with the
body. He later explained that this occurred only because of
his immense love,
and sympathy for all beings.

began to Speak of My Great Sorrow for the billions of
humans, and all the other
in this humble realm. I was Drawn further into the Body
through a very
human impulse,
a love-impulse, as I became Aware (once again) of My
Relationship with My
devotees, in the process of resuming the Bodily state. Thus,
I was Attracted back by very human
connections—not by My Impulse to Divinely
Liberate humankind, because that Impulse
is Always Already the Case. In the midst of this Attraction
to human connectedness, I Assumed an Impulse toward
human existence more profound than ever
before—without any reluctance relative to sorrow and
death. . . . In that Great Event, I spontaneously Made a
different kind of Gesture toward all,
which was (in some fundamental sense) the
of the Bodily Embrace that I would Give to all human beings,
and even
to all who are self-conscious and dying in
this place—by Fully Assuming This Body, in the
apparent likeness of all, and Accepting the sorrow of
mortality, without the slightest reservation (Knee 618).

The Years
of Extrication

that moment, Adi Da writes that the spiritual energies
animating his body-
mind underwent a radical
shift. It was imperative that he extricate himself from his previous mode of teaching. This, he says, was essential to
preserve the physical body, but

to create the undisturbed psycho-physical environment
required for his work of silent
and blessing. To this end, he called devotees to transform
their relationship to him: no longer would he submit to
them as he had done for so many years in order to reflect
(and urge them beyond) their egoic limitations. Rather, on
the basis of their
devotional recognition, devotees were to reverse the pattern
of their relationship to him.
time had come for them to submit and conform themselves to
him—a calling Adi Da
would reiterate relentlessly, even
while devotees continued to resist for many years to

But the die was cast in the yogic event that
Adi Da came to describe as the
of his “Divine Avataric
Self-‘Emergence’”. It was, he says, his
complete descent into the human body, “down
to the toes”, but also into the entire cosmic domain
conditional manifestation:

Through that effortless, will-less
Integration with human suffering, something
about My Divine Avataric Work became more profoundly
Accomplished and more Auspicious than ever before. I
have not dissociated from My Native (or
Divine State of Being. Rather, I have Accomplished your

more profoundly than you (yourself) are sensitive to it. On
January 11, 1986, I Became this
Body—Utterly. And My Mood is different. My face is sad,
but not without Illumination. Now I Am the Murti, the
Icon—Full of My Own Avatarically Self-Transmitted
Divine Spiritual Force, but also completely what you are,
Suffered constantly. I have no distance whatsoever from this
suffering anymore (Knee 619).

It is fair to say that
devotees were stunned and uncomprehending of the profound
changes in Adi Da after that fateful event. He began a fast
that was to continue for four
months. He traveled to
California and gathered with devotees there, dressed in
orange (the traditional
color of renunciation) and emanating a fierce intensity and
presence. He described
himself as “an ascetic on fire”, making the demand
renunciation his passionate calling. For a
time, devotees outwardly conformed to his
renunciate requirements: raw diet, celibacy, intensive
service, and the esoteric practices
in what is now his Lion Sutra. But their
responsiveness was again short-lived,
over the months devotees felt they could not sustain the
radical practices in life or
that Adi Da enjoined.

The process of extricating himself from his
teaching-submission began to unfold
painstaking cycles: Adi Da would continually call his
devotees to respond to him by
their own egoic impulses and fully embracing the way of life
he was
giving. This, he made
clear, was the inevitable demonstration-response of their
devotional recognition of him. And it was the means for
their liberation. However, seeing their
lack of responsiveness yet again, he would engage them anew
in various reality-
considerations as ever before. All the
while, he was working to free himself from this
and to stand “Simply Divinely Self-Revealed As I Am,
In and As Reality Itself”.

Even though Adi Da stated and re-stated his need for devotees
to understand what
occurred in January of 1986, it would be another fourteen
years before he himself
compelled by a continuing series of profound yogic crises to
end his self-submission work firmly and finally.

!vml]>Throughout those fourteen
years (and remarkably, even beyond), Adi Da recapitulated
his entire teaching several times over. Each time, beginning
essentially from
scratch, he presented his basic
arguments about seeking, the self-contraction, the root-error of egoity and
“point-of-view”, while also revealing anew the
self-existing, self-radiant nature of consciousness and
truth and the means of devotional recognition and
responsive communion with him that are
the essence of the Reality-Way of Adidam. He
also enumerated the complex details of reality-practice and
the transcendental spiritual process at every level,
including its divinely self-realizing fulfillment in the

the Great Event of January, 1986, My Divine Avataric Process
has Been an
from the patterns with which I had Become Conjoined. That
Extrication (rather than dissociation or detachment) has
Been a Process of
(or “Tapas”, of the “Heat of Purifying
fire”). That Process of
has Been not only the Purification of the Combined Vehicle
of My
Avataric birth, but also the Purification of all of Its
associations and
relations. By Means of the
Process of My Divine Avataric Renunciate Demonstration,
all-and-All have Been Purified by Me. . . . That
Purification of
all-and-All Began with the Great
Event of January 1986 and Culminated fourteen years later,
in the Ruchira Dham Event of April 2000 (Boundless 85).

Outshining “Brightness”

On March 9, 1999, symptoms of heart-stress
that Adi Da had suffered nearly
continuously since 1986 increased to alarming
levels. Physicians were summoned, but
could detect no physical signs of heart
attack. Adi Da indicated that these were yogic
symptoms caused by the
intensity of his spiritual work and by energy-forces backing
in him due to
resistance from devotees and the world. The following day,
dressed in
renunciate orange, he left
his residence at Adi Da Samrajashram and sequestered himself
in his mahasamadhi temple
located on a grassy knoll near the middle of the island. He
had been following news reports of the conflict in the
Balkans, which had escalated
and it was clear to devotees that he was working spiritually
with the
negative forces surrounding the conflict.

For forty-three days Adi Da remained in
seclusion, receiving radio and printed news reports of the
developments in Kosovo. During that time tremendous storms
on the island, often with
massive bolts of lightning, deafening thunder, winds, and
tumultuous rains. The
crackling storms struck the terrain all around his
Devotees reported that the phenomena within the natural
world seemed equal in
intensity to the Kosovo
conflict—an elemental sign of the war and of Adi
Da’s contravening spiritual work in relation to its
dark forces.29

Adi Da continued his spiritual work with the
Kosovo conflict until it was
announced that a UN Security
Council Resolution had been achieved in late June. Adi Da

!vml]>29 Ruchiradama Nadikanta, a formal renunciate member of Adidam,
was attending to Adi Da’s practical
at the time. She offers this firsthand account: “One
night, it seemed that the war [could have been]
occurring right there at the ‘Brightness’. . . .
[There were no bombs or bullets], but the thunder
was so
deafening loud it shook my body like a barrage
of artillery fire. And the lightning was so bright, just
blasting across the sky—the whole field lit up. During
the night, the winds were so powerful it felt as though
the tent where I was staying was going to be lifted off the
ground. The agitation in the atmosphere
was extreme” (Knee 648).

later wrote that during his seclusion at the
Outshining “Brightness”, he suffered a breakdown
of the various systems in the body “to such an extent
that I nearly lost
Association with physically incarnate existence

entire Yogic . . . syndrome can be characterized as My being
“thrown out” of
Body (and up into the Divine “Bright” Spherical
Self-Domain of Eternal
Light) by the force of
resistance to Me that was being manifested in the gathering
of My devotees and in the world altogether (Knee 658).

During his seclusion, Adi Da also wrote a
summary essay recapitulating his entire
life and re-confirming his work in the
form of “three Great Processes”: his own
(apparent) early-life sadhana prior to
his divine re-awakening; his self-submission work
with devotees; and his transcendental blessing
work with the world. He indicated that all of this was an
immensely difficult struggle “beyond the capability of
any words to describe”:

My Divine Avataric Life and Work is,
Itself, an Expression of an Extraordinary
and Incomparable Ordeal that is not at
all within people’s experience. I can only
Say that much about it. . . .
All that was necessary for Me to Do, for the Sake of
this conditionally
manifested domain is Done. In the midst of the unspeakable

and Ordeal at the “Brightness”, I Established My
Divine Avataric
Work As a Sphere of “Bright” Influence That cannot
ever be destroyed. I
Persisted until It was
Done—and That Is That (Knee 659).

The Ruchira
Dham Event

In July of 1999 Adi Da returned to the United
States—first to Da Love-Ananda
Mahal, his sanctuary in Kauai, Hawaii, where he stayed for
several months, and then to the
Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in California. The ordeal at
The “Brightness” (his
mahasamadhi temple) in 1999, he says, initiated another extreme yogic
crisis in his body
that culminated nearly a year

April 12, 2000 Adi Da was being taken to a devotee’s
residence on Lopez
in the state of Washington as he journeyed up the coast from
northern California. While on the ferry to the island, Adi
Da began to feel weak with the recurring bodily
he had been suffering. When he reached the house on Lopez,
he was helped into a jacuzzi. But it became
increasingly obvious to an attending devotee that he was
losing his hold on the body. Soon he was carried from the
jacuzzi to an easy chair and
to his bed. Devotees massaged him vigorously, especially his
feet and extremities, in
an effort to draw him back into the
body. As devotee Stanley Hastings recounted the

is impossible to describe the love that was being expressed
by Beloved Adi Da
those who were with Him. His eyes were flowing with tears,
as were
His hands and feet were cold and numb. He felt great
pressure on His chest and had difficulty breathing. Both of
his arms and hands would continually cramp up and convulse.
. . . At one point, after His eyes were closed for a while,
Adi Da opened them slightly and softly said, “I am
here. Can you see Me

Up Here?”
We all said “yes”—and we could. He was
Evaporating the entire room in His Light. He was Way Up and
Beyond the apparent “here” where we were. Then He continued in a very soft voice: “My Room is
Larger than you think. I close My eyes and I am in My Room,
Infinitely beyond. This is just a small
of It.” His eyes were streaming with tears, and He
looked around at us
slowly as He went on, “But
this place is good for love.” He was quiet then for a
long time (Knee 663-64).

In a remarkably vivid yogic description of
this event, Adi Da writes that there was an
“‘Urdhvareta’ or complete Upturning of all
the Body’s energy flows”. He closed his
eyes and it was “the
‘Midnight Sun’—the Divine ‘Bright’
White Orb, Self-Existing and
Self-Radiant, On the Infinite Black Field
of all potential (and not yet prismed, or broken)
light”. Then he moved into “association with a
vibrational field of energy made of all the colors of the light-spectrum . . . the
entire light-field of the Cosmic Mandala was in Front
Me” (Knee 678):

Am a Spherical Form of “Brightness”,
Including everything—from the blue
and its subtle planes to the yellow-red field and this gross
plane. Initially, to My left, I was concentrated in the blue
light, and simultaneously Seeing (from
above) the total expanse
of water, beyond the house. . . . The “vision” was
fundamentally indescribable,
because it was Seen from a “point of view” not
located in the Body. And, yet, the
expanse of water became simultaneously
visible with
the room in which My Body was located. . . . At that point,
to My

the sphere of yellow became apparent—focused down
toward the Body in
manner, from above and outside it. It was a yellow, tinged
with red and orange. Coincident with Seeing the yellow
sphere, the Process of Re-Integrating
the Body began. . . . I Saw My intimates gathered around My
bed, and they
all in flames—the flames of the yellow-red
realm—but they were not
consumed. My Body was
numb, without awareness. All of this, beginning with the
blue light, was the progressive Process of
Re-Integration with conditional
existence” (Knee

Effectively, he said, the entire process
“was death—in terms of the Body. . . . It
was the Infinitely Profound Samadhi of Outshining.”

Da was brought by ambulance to the local medical clinic.
After examination
was determined that his symptoms, although extreme, were not
those of a heart attack,
nor were there imminent signs then of physical death. Adi Da
later described the event as
one of “Divine Translation”, the
ultimate phase of the seventh stage of life, which, he
says, could not otherwise be
physically survived by a human being.30 It was a
demonstration for all
beings of the fulfillment of the complete process of divine
realization and of his
divine self-revelation to the world. In 2008 he wrote of
that event:

I Am yet
Appearing bodily here, in a Non-ordinary State—Able to
Confirm to you, for your Sake, that Divine Translation Is the Real and
Divine Great Destiny
of all-and-All. Divine
Translation is not a myth. Divine Translation is not an

!vml]>30 For Adi Da’s description of the four phases of the
seventh stage of life see The Dawn Horse Testament Of The
Ruchira Avatar
(383-85). See a simple summary see also
The Boundless Self-Confession (176).

Divine Translation is not a mere and “local”
apparition of brain phenomena. Divine Translation is not an
hallucination. Divine Translation is not a
“maybe”. Divine Translation is not a mere
“philosophy”. Divine Translation is not merely to
be “believed in”. I Affirm and Confirm to you:
Divine Translation
Real—and Divine Translation Is the Ultimate and Perfect
Demonstration of Real God. . . . If you [live and fulfill
the Reality-Way of
Adidam] the Truth of Divine
Translation will, inevitably, Be Realized and Proven in your
own case (Boundless 57).

“The Ruchira Dham Event”, as Adi Da
came to call it, was the continuation of his
Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence” in
1986. He described it as the “Seal” on that event.
yogic terms, it was also its precise opposite.
Whereas his Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence”
was his fullest bodily descent into the conditional
worlds and his
submission to all in the humble
circumstance of earthly embodiment; the Ruchira Dham
was “My Direct Ascent, to the Primal
‘Bright’ Spiritual Self-Condition of
Light” (Knee 680).

wrote that “At the ‘Brightness’ (and
afterwards), I was Struggling with the
forces of this time—and, ultimately, I had to Endure
the ‘darkness’ and Suffer it to
point of naked death” (Knee 673). It was a yogic death
of such intensity that the gross
deeper personality vehicles were cindered to ash. Physical
life persisted, but from
point onward, Adi Da’s body was like a shroud, or
transparent gauze—so fragile that
passing day was effectively stolen from the natural course
of things by his sheer will
and persistence. He
described how Divine Translation “Shatters the
body-mind, and

Obviates the body-mind’s foundation of
existence” (Boundless 58). Nevertheless, he was not yet
prepared to finally relinquish it, even though nothing
substantial remained of it at
root. In summary, he wrote
of his condition:

no longer have the capability to associate with people in
any conventional
whatsoever. This is not merely a matter of My Disposition.
to do so literally no longer exists in Me. In the Great
Events of Yogic
Which I have Undergone, there was the actual Disintegration
of the various
of patterning that I Carried by virtue of the Born Vehicle
of Franklin Jones
the Deeper-Personality-Vehicle of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda
(and all the “Causative” Births that Preceded Them). In each
Great Event of Yogic Death, an
of that patterning fell away—because I had Sufficiently
Done the Work I was Born to Do with that aspect of the
“Equipment” of This Divine Avataric
(Final Work 18).

is difficult to characterize the effect that the Ruchira
Dham event had on devotees. Many rushed to Lopez Island
from around the world to see their master and
astounded as much by the magnified intensity of his
spiritual presence as they were
shocked by his
physical fragility. As one devotee wrote:

arrived at Lopez Island only a day or two after the Ruchira
Dham event. I was
invited to the door of Adi Da’s bedroom. He was sitting
on the bed, propped up by
pillows, with several devotees attending him seated

around the room. He looked to me extremely
feeble and almost etheric. His head
bent down toward his chest like a weight he could not hold.
But as I stood in the doorway with my hands held upward
in prayerful beholding of him, he lifted
head and gazed into my eyes. The vastness of his gaze and
the thickness of his
presence were like infinite
oceans of blessing-force and feeling. I whispered that I loved him, weeping now with devotion
and gratitude at a vision of divine beauty
profound that no description could do it justice (journal

Adi Da says that he maintained his
association with the body in order to complete
his work in the physical world for the sake of all future
generations. He was also determined
to grant his physical darshan to devotees for as long as
possible. 32 He
characterized all of this as a
“More-Than-Wonderful Manifestation of My Divine
Avataric Grace” (Boundless 58). But from April 12, 2000
onward, his self-submission
work was over and done
with—or so it should have rightly and finally been.

In actual fact, Adi Da began a series of
gatherings with devotees from around the world via the
internet in August of 2004, continuing with these gatherings
as he traveled
one last time to California in 2005-06.
Again, he re-capitulated his entire teaching, but with
an increasing emphasis on his “Perfect Practice”
teachings and his ultimate self-
of the seventh stage of life. These teachings would take
their summary written form in what are now his three
“Great Revelation-Books”: The Aletheon, on
the seventh
stage Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam;
The Gnosticon, on the sixth stage

!vml]>31 From an anonymous
devotee’s private journal.

32 Darshan is Sanskrit for the sighting of a realizer or of a
revered object or manifestation of the divine. It is
the greatest gift to the beholder—in the case of a
realizer, the vision of God in human form.

teachings of the great sages (and his own transcendental
of Adidam-Ruchiradam), and The Pneumaton, on the
devotional and spiritual
traditions of humankind
(and his Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam). Adi Da made his
final refinements to The Aletheon manuscript on the
morning of November 27, 2008, the day of his mahasamadhi.

Image-Art and Global Peace

At the “Brightness” in 1999, Adi Da
spontaneously added a new non-verbal
dimension to the communication of his divine
self-revelation. Since childhood, he had
had the intention of
communicating through the medium of the visual arts, and now
he began the process in earnest, first using a camera,
shooting in black-and-white (with
multiple-exposure complexity) and eventually adding all
kinds of digital
to his artistic process. Over the next nine years, he
produced images of ever-increasing technical sophistication,
nuance, and beauty, in the multiple thousands. Art critic
Donald Kuspit characterized them as “icons meant for
meditative immersion . . .
ever-changing images . . . perceptually
riveting, indeed, sometimes excruciatingly
intense, but always balanced
and even sublime sensory experiences” (Spectra Suites
In 2007, Adi Da was
invited to mount a solo collateral exhibition at the
52nd Venice
Biennale. Critical acclaim
for his image-art continues as of this writing.

Adi Da described his images as egoless visual
communications of “Reality (Itself), Truth (Itself),
and The Beautiful (Itself)”, universal in their
accessibility. He writes:

purpose of the art I make and do is to “assist”
the viewer in the profound (and
“subjective”) process of participating in
Reality (Itself and altogether)—
beyond all effort to
“objectify”. Beyond separate “self”,
beyond mind, beyond mere
“talk”, and, altogether, beyond “point of
view”. . . . Right and true art can  (and must)
illuminate (or serve to En-light-en) the lives of those
who rightly and
truly make or use it. So be it”
(Transcendental Realism 73, 92, 95).

In the final years of his life, Adi Da was
concentrated in creating these images and
finalizing his summary teachings. He
continued his transcendental spiritual work with
devotees and his silent blessing-transmission to
the whole of “earthkind” (his inclusive term
for all living beings). He also composed the essays that now
comprise Not-Two Is 

The book is his final wisdom-treatise on world
peace. In it Adi Da issues his call for a global cooperative
forum to collectively enact “the working presumption of
unity” in our human dealings with one

needs to be supported everywhere is cooperative,
participatory existence for
the entire human
population globally—and the establishment of a Global Cooperative
Forum to express and implement that reality. A Global
Forum representing humankind as a whole
would operate on the principle of “prior
unity”—meaning an acknowledgement of the
fundamental unity of
humanity and of all existence
(Not-Two 45-46).

Da’s final two years were essentially passed in
silence, except for necessary
speech and communications
regarding various aspects of his work. As with The 
his final words for inclusion in
Not-Two Is Peace, along with his instructions
preparing the manuscript, were given on the morning of his


Adi Da formally and finally declared the end of
his self-submission work on July 10,
2007, when he fully embraced what he called
“Parama-Sapta-Na Sannyas”, his final
disposition of “Divine

the end of all of his years of self-submission and all his
efforts to awaken humankind thereby, Adi Da had, he says,
conclusively (and paradoxically) demonstrated
that the method of self-submission does not and cannot work.
That is, only his egoless
divine self-revelation, and not any address to
the ego in its presumed separateness,
enables the process of transcendental
spiritual awakening. Knowing that he had long seen
the futility of his self-submission, one might ask
why he persisted in it with such intensity and for so long a
time. Of this he writes:

It was absolutely Necessary that I Do  everything, in order
to See if My Blessing
and Liberation of beings were possible by Means of My
Self-Submission. I have
with Absolute Conclusiveness, that Such is not

there is no purpose in any continuation of My
Impulse to continue
Working in the Manner of Self-Submission utterly Vanished—most
conclusively, on July 10, 2007. The fruitlessness of My
Submission became so overwhelmingly obvious that
That Effort entirely Fell


But Adi Da was never only engaged in his
self-submission work of reflecting egos to
themselves. He was always, he says, simultaneously revealing
himself as he is:

I am whole-bodily-responsively devotionally recognized, the
ego sees itself
in Me, and sees the
“world” on Me (or in My Person), as in a mirror.
All of My years of
Divine Avataric Self-Submission-Work have been a Sign of how
I have
been approached as a Mirror—rather
than being approached As I Am.
I have Always Been
Revealing Myself As I Am—Stimulating the
of the water in order to Awaken “Narcissus” to the
Water Itself, to the
Nature, Condition, and State of
My Own Person (Boundless 156-57).

July 10, 2007 on, Adi Da says that he embraced
Parama-Sapta-Na Sannyas, his radical renunciate disposition,
standing entirely apart from any submission to
or the world and expressing only his free blessing toward

[Now] I Am a Sapta
Na Sannyasin, Utterly Free. I Did My Submission‑

!vml]>35 From the unpublished essays, “I Stand Free Apart and Not
In The Middle Here”, and “Adidam Is No-
Practice Is Perpetual Reality-Practice”, forthcoming in
The Aletheon.

This Is How I now Am—As I Am [and the]
Blessing [of all and All] Is simply My Nature, My State, My Intrinsic
Condition of Self-Radiance

Parama-Sapta-Na Sannyas, then, is the ultimate
mode of Adi Da’s divine self-
revelation and, he affirms, the entirely
sufficient means for the realization of reality and truth.
Nevertheless, devotees
recognize that the practical teachings and
wisdom-revelations given by
Da during his years of self-submission remain among his
essential gifts to humankind.
considerations, insights, instructions, and revelations
about ordinary life (the “money­
food-and-sex ego”) are available to humankind as a
whole, now and in perpetuity. As one

is a way to live in the fullness of our common
humanity—profoundly given
to love and self-yielding in relation to the Divine Reality
and to all others. How to
do so
with a truly open and wounded heart is a fundamental
wisdom-lesson conveyed
all the Teaching-Work done by Adi Da during the entire epoch
of His Self-
Submission (Costabile,
“The Call” 52).

“Secret” Biography

proceeding to an account of Adi Da’s mahasamadhi
and a discussion of the future of Adidam, here is Adi
Da’s own final statement of the significance of his
life and appearance in the world:

!vml]>36 From the unpublished essay, “Adidam Is No-Seeking
Practice Is Perpetual Reality-Practice”,
in The Aletheon.

My Avataric
Lifetime Is A Divine and Unique Demonstration of Intentional
Entanglement–In Which The egoless Divine “Bright”
Self-Nature, Self-
Condition, Self-State, and Divine
Transcendental Spiritual Self-Force of My Prior
Perfect Freedom Is Constantly Self-Revealed In Spontaneous
Acts, Great
Events, Remarkable Conjunctions,
Extraordinary Processes, and Beyond-Wonderful Demonstrations of Perfect
Dis-Entanglement–For The Sake of all­
By Means of My Avataric Lifetime of Divine Self-Revelation,
All who are, as if by accident,
entangled here (and everywhere), in egoic time and
Are Divinely Avatarically Given All of Necessary and
Perfectly Acausally
Effective Means For Perfect
Dis-Entanglement–now, and forever hereafter, In
and Where and As I Am. This Is The Key to rightly and
truly understanding All
of The Acts, Events, Conjunctions, Processes, and
Demonstrations of The
Totality of My
Lifetime-Evidence (Boundless 49).


Adi Da
’s Mahasamadhi and the Days That Followed

Adi Da Samraj was working in his art studio at Adi
Da Samraj ashram (Naitauba, Fiji) on the afternoon of his
passing. It was his custom each morning to address various issues
related to his overall work and to continue developing his
latest spiritual writings.
After his midday meal, he would turn
his attention to his image-art (rendered in a highly
sophisticated digitized medium). Often he would grant
darshan to devotees in the early

!vml]>evening before
returning to his secluded forest retreat for the night. This
was the
anticipated pattern of his day on November
27, 2008.

At 5:05 PM, however, Adi Da suddenly collapsed in his art
studio. Attendants
to ease his fall to the floor. His physicians arrived only
moments later and applied every available medical procedure
to revive him. Devotees gathered in vigil outside the art studio offering chants and prayers
for their master’s revival. But from the moment of
Adi Da’s collapse, there was no pulse and no heartbeat.
At last it became obvious that the physicians could do no
more. In a shocking moment of somber acknowledgement, it was
announced that Adi Da Samraj had passed beyond the physical

His body was lovingly wrapped in orange cloths and carried
in solemn procession
the green expanse of lawn to his house. There it was
prepared, seated in half-lotus asana, for mahasamadhi darshan
in Adi Da’s bedroom, while a three-day vigil
on the veranda outside. All was quiet and solemn, amidst
preparations for his
interment. As word went out from
Naitauba, devotees around the world were left to
the stark, unimaginable reality of their master’s

Devotees streamed to
Adi Da Samrajashram to honor their beloved heart-master. On
the morning of November 30, Adi Da’s orange-shrouded
body was transported to the
small white temple
there in an open vehicle, accompanied by a procession of
devotees, Fijian residents, family, friends, and supporters
amidst an outpouring of devotional

Inside the temple,
Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani, the senior member of
the Ruchira Sannyasin Order of
Adidam,37 performed the interment according to
instructions. Outside, as the searing summer heat gave way
to drenching rains,

devotees chanted and held vigil. Only after evening settled
over the meadow was the interment completed and the burial
chamber sealed. Then all present took pause in the palpable
presence of their master to feel and contemplate anew that
his bodily human
was suddenly and irrevocably ended. A year-long vigil of
mourning was announced, and devotees and friends
were invited to Adi Da Samrajashram to honor Adi
Samraj at his mahasamadhi seat. A steady stream of
visitors to the island hermitage
continues as of this

In the torrent of
emotions surrounding Adi Da’s passing, communications
sometimes confused and confusing. Some felt
it possible that he would re-inhabit the body,
citing accounts of realizers in the past, such as Shirdi Sai
Baba, who reportedly re­
his body three days after his presumed mahasamadhi
(Rigopoulos 8 1-99).
These feelings are understandable. Some
expressed the disbelief, denial, or irrational hopefulness
that often attends such moments.39 All of this
was short-lived. In the end
devotees did not require illusions,
but reconfirmations of what they already knew at heart:
their relationship to Adi Da is eternal, and that he is
“not gone from here”. Instead, it is as he always
affirmed: “Even After My Avatarically-Born Human
Physical body Is dead, I Am (Myself) Infinitely Present and
every where Alive” (Aham 73). The overwhelming
experience of devotees from the moment of Adi Da’s
passing is that he
remains transcendentally spiritually
active in every sense. An excerpt from a letter
by James Steinberg, who was at Adi Da Samrajashram at the
time of Adi Da’s
mahasamadhi, underscores this affirmation. The letter was sent
electronically to all
devotees on December 2, 2008,
less than a week after Adi Da’s passing:

!vml]>38 See The Divine
Mahasamadhi of Parama-Sapta-Na Adi Da Samraj
for a full
account of these events.

39 See
Kübler-Ross, Elizabeth, On Death and Dying
Touchstone edition, 1997.

are now many devotees from all over the world at Naitauba.
Some have
been here previously or are here for the first time in many
years. There is
change and healing occurring through the Gift of Bhagavan
Adi Da’s Blessing. But what is most healing for all is the
Divine Mystery of His Continued
Presence and Blessing of
us all.

note to those who simply were not able to come and are
feeling the sorrow and longing to be here: It has
been the testimony of those who have just arrived that they
felt Bhagavan Adi Da so tangibly where they lived at the
time of
His Mahasamadhi and afterwards. The truth of
His Promise to Always Be with us is being fulfilled now,
moment by moment. It is for all of us to truly practice turning
to Him via body, emotion, mind, and breath, and so Realize
that we will never lose our relationship to Bhagavan Adi Da
Samraj. He was never simply the
Body-Mind, but Is
always the Very and Eternal Divine Person.

In the weeks that followed,
the intimate tone of such communications connected
devotees to one another and
reinforced their practice of devotional communion with Adi
Da. Relevant excerpts from Adi Da’s writings were
posted on the Adidam websites and
sent via email to
devotees. An example from his later writings:

I Am the
Divine here-Presence—now, and forever hereafter,
Divinely Avatarically Self-Revealed and Self-Given to all-and-All, in
Always Already
Perfect Coincidence with all-and-All,
and Intrinsically As all-and-All. I Am

Avatarically Self-“Emerged”. . . . I Am here—and My
Divine Avataric
here cannot be reversed. My Divine Avataric Self-
“Emergence” here Is
Universally and Eternally Established (Boundless 144, 146).

Various long-time devotees gave internet
presentations, reading from Adi Da’s
teaching and recounting the stories, lessons,
and realizations of members in the wake of
Adi Da’s bodily death.
These helped to seal the intimate connection among devotees
further reinforce the
knowledge of their master’s continued presence and
influence in
lives. Yet, all of that said, it was a time like no other,
and many members grieved openly over their great loss. For
some time to come, these extremes— mourning and
disbelief on the one hand, and the tangible magnification of
Adi Da’ s living presence on
the other—were to live side by side
within the culture of Adidam and in the feeling-
depths of devotees.

Emotional Patterns and the Message of Mortality

We have seen
that, for devotees, the relationship to Adi Da is both a
deeply personal and a deeply spiritual matter. Adi Da’s death
has precipitated a sustained and
confrontation with the ineluctable fact of mortality within
the culture of Adidam.
Ultimately, such a
confrontation is required of everyone, even though it is
mightily resisted and suppressed in the common
world. Indeed, as Ernest Becker observed in the final years
of his life, the universal denial of death motivates
virtually everything that
human beings
° In The Knee Of Listening, Adi Da affirms
this same understanding

!vml]>Ernest Becker makes this point masterfully in his culminating
philosophical treatise, The Denial of

recounting the dramatic “death event” he
experienced as a seminarian: “All my life I had been
constantly brought to this point. All the various seeking
methods of my life had
constantly prevented this experience from going to its end.
All my life I had been
preventing my death”
(Knee 177).

Adi Da teaches that the only satisfactory answer to the fact
of mortality (and to
heart’s yearning for what is greater than the ordinary
human possibilities) is ego-transcending spiritual practice
and divine self-realization. Remarkably, everything else,
all the common searches and enterprises of humankind, is a
futile denial of our
destiny. The fundamental desperation at the core of human
experience is transcended only when one embraces the eternal
spiritual reality amidst the insecurities of
this brief and mortal
life. This is not unique to Adidam. On the contrary, it is
to religious and spiritual understanding.

Nevertheless, within
the culture of Adidam, members more deeply acknowledge
full responsibility for participating in the process of
transcendental spiritual realization
rests squarely with each individual. This is as Adi Da has
always insisted: he did not appear in the world to fulfill
humankind’s childish expectations for salvation.
Rather, he came to liberate humankind
from all such illusions and to transmit the divine spiritual
reality directly to those prepared to receive it with
fullest human and spiritual responsibility. The shocking
confrontation with mortality that overwhelmed devotees on
27, 2008 served to reinforce this understanding.

Esoteric and the Practical Dimensions of Adidam Ruchiradam

There are two obvious levels at which Adidam
members are coming to terms with
their master’s mahasamadhi and the
future of Adidam. The first and senior level is
esoteric in nature. It
relates to the reality-process of transcendental spiritual
Adi Da revealed and established during his lifetime—and
how this process is to be
served, and advanced in the case of each devotee and within
the collective
of Adidam. It is predicated on the intrinsic acknowledgement
by devotees that
Da’s Divine Avataric Self-“Emergence” is
eternally established and that devotional
communion with him is both
the means and the way of divine self-realization.

The second level is firmly rooted in the first
and has to do with all the practical workings,
organizational structuring, and cultural and managerial
hierarchy within
Adidam—how these relate to the life and
practice of each devotee and to the public at large. We
begin with the spiritual and esoteric issues faced by Adidam

in 2009, Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani wrote a series of
communications to the Adidam membership on behalf of the
Order. She focused primarily on the esoteric (or
transcendental spiritual) dimensions of Adidam Ruchiradam
and how these can be understood, preserved, and
by devotees now and into the future. In a letter dated April
11, 2009 she wrote:

Avatar Adi Da
Incarnated in His Bodily Human Form so that His eternal Form
could be recognized, located, and realized by all. Devotees
must deeply recognize
Eternal Form in order to have this Way continue. . . . All
His Play
was only a reflection of us, but His Play
was to Reveal Himself as the Eternally

Divine Reality Itself. The entire Secret of His Incarnation
was that
He did was so that we could locate and identify Him in this

In this paper we have traced Adi Da’s
life as an avataric incarnation—a unique
spiritual manifestation involving an
extraordinary human birth and a subsequent process
of self-submission and self-revelation.
Its appreciation in these terms by members derives
not from any belief or mere personal
conviction, but from an actual intuitive recognition of
Adi Da in precisely the manner that he describes. It is also
rooted in the understanding
true spiritual awakening as Adi Da described it requires
intensive participation in the
Reality-Way that he
revealed and established during his lifetime.

the various traditions of Hinduism, the leelas of a
spiritual master—his or her
especially in “play” with devotees—are
understood to constitute a revelation in and
of themselves. The legendary Krishna leelas are
rendered in countless ways, with
little or no concern over issues of historicity. The
leelas serve to delight, inspire, and instruct,
regardless of their factuality.41 The hagiography
of venerated saints, mystics, and
in all traditions serves a similar purpose, although the
traditions of the West
generally emphasize
historicity over myth and legend.

Adidam, however, Adi Da insisted that events be told exactly
as they
happened—not as
mythological accounts and not with any embellishment of
facts or circumstances—but
as reports of his actual doings. Much care has been taken to

!vml]>41 Although many today regard the Krishna stories as legendary,
the historical existence of Krishna is still affirmed by
some writers. For example, Sri Aurobindo writes in his
Essays on the Gita, “The historical
Krishna no doubt existed. We meet the
name first in the Chandogya Upanishad where all we
can gather about him is that he was well known in spiritual
tradition as a knower of the Brahman . . . We have also in
the Harivansha an account of the life of Krishna, very
evidently full of legends, which perhaps formed the
of the Puranic accounts” (19-21).

and validate the accounts of Adi Da’s life and work,
including an extensive
archive created for this purpose. The understanding behind
this archival
is that all of Adi Da’s actions have significance in
the greater context of his
revelation. Again, this is not predicated on beliefs or
doctrines, but on an esoteric
appreciation that the pattern of his manifestation—now
and into the future—has (and
continues to have) a transformative effect on
the substrata of patterning within the cosmic
domain. As Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani
writes in a letter to devotees:

critical Reality of Revelation of Adi Da’s Divine
Eternal Form can only be known through both the Agency of
His Word and the Pattern of His Living. The Leelas Prove His
Divine Avataric Existence—that the Divine literally did
Down [or Avatarically
descend into this realm]. The Divine actually Broke through
into the Pattern of human existence in all of the cosmic
worlds. That
proving of His Divine Avataric
Existence is the story to be told—that the Eternal
Person does Exist as the Source of all beings and everything
(11 April 2009).

Devotees of Adi Da accept as a spiritual fact
that he is the eternal revelation of
Real God and Truth. This is not different
from the understanding of devotees within other
guru traditions:

Gurudev is the
touchstone that surpasses all. Gurudev is a tank of the
nectar of immortality. Gurudev exists from the beginning of
the beginning, from the

of ages and persists through all aeons. Gurudev, the true
Guru, is
Supreme Reality and the
Supreme Lord (Guru Arjan, Ruchira Gita xliv).

Thus, all aspects of the guru’s
manifestation have transformative force, as well as
significance.42 It is useful to quote again from
Ruchiradama Quandra
Sukhapur’s letter in
this regard:

process at root [the fundamental spiritual process]
is our future direction. It is
the sacred [and spiritual] form that one gives over
one’s life—mind,
heart, and entire being—to be Blessed by the Divine.
Functional activity is
lower activity, and it is something Bhagavan requires to be
done with great
tapas. However, it must be
subordinated to the Spiritual Process.

Rather than making functional activity the
senior dimension of our lives,
we must now make the cultural dimension, the
Spiritual process itself, the primary Reality. Essentially,
the instruction from Adi Da is that we meditate, be silent,
speak no case (meaning that we refrain from
relating to others in terms of their egoic
limitations, but rather only in light of their true
condition of egoless reality
itself) (11 April 2009).

Communion and Transmission

In the 1974 documentary film, A Difficult
one devotee notes that
individuals go through various phases in their
relationship to “Bubba”. As the
relationship develops, he
says, “you [begin to] like him or love him so
much that pretty
all you want to do is be with him”. The interview makes
clear that the relationship
to Adi Da is similar in
many respects to any genuine love-relationship. However, it
also has its unique features and intensity. To illustrate this,
Adi Da has often invoked the allegorical legends of Krishna
and the gopis (the cow-herding maidens of Vrindavan)
described in the Bhagavata Purana. The gopis pined
for their beloved Krishna with such
fervor and
passion that they forgot about everything else in their
lives. Beside themselves with longing, they wandered off in search of
him.43 Krishna played on this attachment,
at random to the gopis, only to intensify their longing. By
these means, the
gopis became utterly absorbed in
Krishna. As the legend has it, their overwhelming
to him became the principle of their spiritual

Now, in the post
mahasamadhi epoch of Adidam, Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur
Rani is pointing to the same principle of attachment
illustrated by the Krishna
legend. But, as she emphasizes, such
attachment must become a spiritual matter, not just
human (or allegorical) one for Adi Da’s devotees. That
is, for the esoteric process

!vml]>43 (1) Srî S’uka said: ‘When
the Supreme Lord so suddenly disappeared were the young
ladies of Vraja just as sorry not to see Him as
she-elephants missing their bull. (2) The smitten ones who
in their hearts were
overwhelmed by the movements,
affectionate smiles, playful glances, charming talks and
other games of
enticement of the husband of
Ramâ [Krishna], enacted absorbed in Him each
of those wonderful activities. (3) The dear ones lost in the
movements, smiles, beholding, talking and so on of their
Beloved – who factually
thus was speaking through the women their bodies – doing so
intimated intoxicated by Krishna’s
‘He’s all in me!’ (4) So all together singing aloud about
Him, searched they like mad hither and thither in the forest
and inquired they with the trees for the Original
Personality present alike the sky inside and outside: (5) ‘O
as’vattha [holy fig tree], o plaksha [waved-leaf
fig tree], o nyagrodha [banyan], have you
the son of Nanda [Krishna], who has gone away after
He with His loving smiles and glances stole our minds
(Prabhupada Ch 10 Canto 30 1-5)?

by Adi Da to take hold and mature, devotees must
“locate” him spiritually, and they must be willing
to make the esoteric spiritual process itself the enduring
focus and
reality of their lives. This is in keeping with Adi Da’s
teaching-admonitions to devotees
all along. And it clarifies
what he expressed years ago: that his physical body was the
greatest advantage for devotees, but it was also their
greatest impediment. That is, to be attached to Adi
Da’s physical appearance alone, without engaging the
profundities of
practice in his company, is itself a form of bondage and was
never the purpose
intention of his work with devotees. What remains after his
physical passing, then, is
the spiritual process itself, as it is tacitly revealed by
him and practiced in relation
his eternal presence and state.

The Silver
Hall Process

To make this understanding concrete during his
lifetime, Adi Da regularly sat with maturing devotees in a
spiritually empowered meditation hall adjacent to his
principal residence at Adi
Da Samrajashram.44 He did this for many years
prior to his
(as he had done at random with maturing devotees throughout
all the years of his
In this set-apart hall (and elsewhere at various times) he
initiated devotees into a
spiritual intimacy with him of extraordinary depth. The
sittings involved the simple,
yet profound, practice of
“searchles sly beholding” Adi Da, while allowing
both the transcendental process of standing at the
“root-position of consciousness itself” (beyond
prior to identification with the body-mind) and the
egoless reception of his transcendental spiritual transmission to “happen”
as they will. More precisely, as Adi Da

the esoteric nature of these extraordinary transmission
sittings: “I Happen”.45
indicated that truly egoless participation in this process,
coupled with persistent,
ongoing devotional communion with him even outside of the
sittings, “acausally enables”
all that is revealed via his “Perfect
Knowledge Teachings”46 to spontaneously
he said, is how his transmitted spiritual grace works (and
will always work) to
awaken devotees.

Appreciating that this quintessential
dimension of his work is ongoing and must
continue in direct relationship to Adi
Da’s eternal divine form—yet obviously without his
physical presence—mature
devotees (under the guidance of the Ruchira Sannyasin
Order) resumed these
transmission sittings immediately after his passing. They
persisted in the
moment-to-moment process of “searchlessly
beholding” Adi Da at all times. This was in keeping
with Adi Da’s admonition that these sittings (and the transcendental spiritual process he reveals and
“acausally enables”) should continue in
This is the esoteric key to a spiritually authentic Adidam
into the future. Here is
a testimonial report from a devotee who participated in the
first such “transmission
following Adi Da’s mahasamdhi:

evenings ago, I was invited to the first formal Transmission
sitting since
Adi Da’s Passing. The extraordinary pressure of His
Divine Presence
into my body was so potent and forceful that I could hardly

!vml]>45 These practices
and the process indicated above are described in Adi
Da’s Aletheon (forthcoming).

46 See Adi Da’s The Teaching Manual of Perfect Summaries
for his “Preliminary ‘Perfect Knowledge’
His Teaching on the “‘Perfect Practice’”
of Perfect Knowledge” is given in The Dawn Horse

intensity. My head felt pressed to the floor with this
pressure, and then,
my head and neck would be stretched back and upward as I sat
upright and felt the
brilliant force of His Presence flooding my head and body from
above with waves of radiant light. Even more so, the clear
of His always-already Divine State
Outshined apparent differences, and the Prior
singular Reality that Bhagavan Adi Da always Reveals, beyond
conditionality, was simply, self-evidently so.

So the Transcendental Spiritual signs of
Avatar Adi Da’s Presence and
State are overwhelmingly obvious here. I
myself feel that I have been doing little
than “searchlessly beholding” Adi Da Samraj since
His Mahasamadhi. This I take to be His Grace and Gift, for
which I am so incredibly grateful (Update 1).

From reports such as this one, Adi
Da’s spiritual presence was obvious to
devotees and served as a powerful source of
blessing and inspiration to them in the weeks
immediately following his passing.

Handling Business: the
Practical Dimension

After the initial days of the mahasamadhi
vigil, members holding leadership positions within the
cultural and organizational entities of Adidam began to meet
confer (many via teleconference from around the
world). Their concern was the preservation
of Adi Da’s teachings, his artistic work, and all that
he had established
spiritually and organizationally
during his lifetime. Among the first steps taken was the

of formal communications, publications, and other media
about Adi Da, his
mahasamadhi, and its

discussions were also held about how to advance Adi
Da’s work and his
globally in this time of world-crisis; how to call
higher-level attention to his
contributions to religion, esoteric spirituality,
philosophy, the arts, global conditions, world peace, and
his ultimate revelations regarding the nature of reality and
the process of divine self-realization.

Question of Succession

As it turns out, the issue of succession had
long ago been settled by Adi Da and
expressed unambiguously, both in his
formal writings and in legal documents stating his
resolution. In “No Seeking / Mere
Beholding” he writes:

I Am Beyond the “point of
view” of the body-mind-complex, or total
psycho-physical ego-“I”, of My any and every

Therefore, there can be no substitute or
successor for Me—and even My
Words and My “Representation”-Forms are (now,
and forever hereafter) merely
Extensions of Me—neither
substituting for Me nor succeeding Me, but only
Means for turning My any and every devotee to Me
(Beyond and Prior to My Words, Beyond My
“Representation”-Forms, and Beyond the ego-“I”, or
total body-mind, of My any and every devotee) (manuscript 17).

Adi Da’s writings are filled with
descriptions of how his work and influence are to
continue beyond his lifetime. As early as 1974, he was
making both the spiritual and
practical provisions
for his passing:

devotees themselves will be the special instruments of this
work beyond my
It is my expectation that I will not leave behind me a
special individual
who can assume conscious
responsibility for my work as a whole. Rather, the total community will share my complex functions at the level
of life and the
spiritual functions will be performed
through the Community as a whole by the action
of the Divine Siddhi, which I have regenerated here. Thus,
the practical
work should be shared by many, and
organized much as it will have been during
lifetime. The sources of the teaching should remain in the
form of my books,
other collected writings, and
recordings of my talks. Devotees who have the
for instruction should make use of these resources and keep
always available in published forms (Garbage

Later, in the first edition of The Dawn Horse Testament,
published in 1985, Adi Da
spoke of a lineage of “Murti-Gurus”, who would
serve, not as his replacements or
successors, but as primary human touch
points for contacting his transcendental spiritual presence
after his death. Adi Da removed this provision from
subsequent editions of the
text—because it eventually became
entirely clear to him that it would simply not be possible
for an individual devotee to rightly function in this
manner. He was determined

no contentious politics or egoic motives of any kind
undermine the essential integrity
all he was to establish during his lifetime.

his single purpose was, in the words of Ruchiradama
Rani, “to re-connect all cosmic worlds to That Which Is
Reality Itself, or Truth
at the ‘root’,
prior to any separate identity in time and space”
(Boundless 189-90). Devotees understand this to be a divine function, uniquely
his own; it simply cannot be
by any one else. There is a paradox here: Reality Itself is
one and indivisible—
not the exclusive province of any
religious tradition or spiritual revelation. But Reality
Itself must be realized as such. In the common experience of
human beings, it is not. Thus, Adi Da’s avataric
incarnation was an appearance and work within the
conditional worlds, done once for the sake of perfectly
revealing this Reality, and never to be done
In his most radically paradoxical language he proclaims to
one and all:

“world” is totally non-necessary. There are
infinities-upon-infinities of
all flying out of apparent nowhere. There is an endless
profusion of “world”-illusions—as many as
there are dreams. No one can Wake Up Most
without My Divine Avataric Intervention. My having been Born
was all that was required.
My having been Born here Is the Gift. I Am The Teaching.
I Am The Revelation. I Am The One To Be
Realized. I Am (Boundless

From this standpoint (affirmed by Adi Da and
his devotees), his unique avataric Guru-function is not to
be (and, truly, cannot be) assumed by anyone after his

the devotional relationship to Adi Da—in (and as) his
divine body, his eternal
presence, and his
self-revealed state—is the Reality-Way of Adidam. That
relationship is the means whereby Adi Da reveals and
self-transmits the egoless condition of Reality
to all beings. Therefore, the devotional relationship to him
as avataric master is to remain eternally accessible to all,
without mediating influences of any kind. During his
Adi Da took every conceivable means to ensure that this
would always be so.

his original inclusion and later removal of the Murti-Guru
is in keeping with the pattern of “reality
consideration” he employed throughout
life (and most dramatically during his teaching years with
devotees). He always freely considered issues large and
small, based on whatever factors were indicated in any given
moment or

to his “reality considerations” were the play of
contrasting possibilities
the testing of tentative conclusions—sometimes many
times over and at varying
a firm and final conclusion was arrived at. In this manner
Adi Da considered every area of human life and every aspect
of his teaching—from the range of
disciplines” to esoteric meditation to the matter of
succession after his passing. It is this reality-process,
intensively engaged without pre-conceptions or fixed
notions, that accounts for the refinements,
additions, and elaborations he frequently made to his
teaching over the years.48

His final writings, however, bear the mark of ultimate and
decisive resolution. They
are free of every trace of his self-submission-work. He says
of them that they
simply do not take the egoic point
of view, or the self-contracted body-mind, into

!vml]>48 It should be noted that his essential teaching of radical
truth and reality-realization in Satsang with him as
and spiritual master was never changed or made

Instead, they speak only from the intrinsically egoless
reality-position of prior
and indivisible conscious light. As such they speak radical
truth, without compromise or concession to egoity.

Adi Da worked
with great intensity to complete these writings. Just weeks
before his passing, he formally designated five texts as principal
among all his written works:
Aletheon, The Gnosticon, The Pneumaton, Transcendental
and Not-Two Is 
All of these (and several others) were
written, compiled, and finalized by Adi Da
early 2006 and his passing in November of 2008.

Authority, Sacred Structures, and Sacred Entities

the years Adi Da brought the same degree of consideration to
the legal and
aspects of Adidam, as he had to matters of ultimate
realization. By 2007, with the publishing of The Orders
of My True and Free Renunciate Devotees,
he had formally
established Adidam’s structure of five formal
practicing orders, four sacred
entities, and four congregations.

!vml]>49 Following is a brief indication of
the content and focus of each of these texts (Boundless 206,
213, 216):

The Aletheon: The Divine Avataric Self-Revelation of
His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj.
Ruchira Avatar Adi Da’s Completing
exposition of the “Seventh Stage” Way of Adidam

The Gnosticon: The “Perfect Knowledge”
Reality-Teachings of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi
Avatar Adi Da’s examination of the Transcendental
Teachings of the Great Sages and
the Transcendental
Spiritual Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam.

The Pneumaton: The Transcendental Spiritual
Reality-Teachings of His Divine Presence, Avatar
Da Samraj.
Avatar Adi Da’s discussion of the devotional and
Spiritual traditions of
humankind, particularly as
seen in Christianity and Hinduism, and the Transcendental
Spiritual Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam.

Not-Two Is Peace: The Ordinary People’s Way of
Global Cooperative Order.
Da’s vital
wisdom on the root of human conflict,
the limits and errors of conventional religion and politics,
and the
necessity and means for global
cooperation, tolerance, and peace via “the working
presumption of prior

Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence
With Reality Itself.
writings on the tradition and purpose of
true art, and on the profound artistic, philosophical, and
revelatory elements of His own image-art.

The fact that Adi Da will not have a successor
does not mean that Adidam is
of cultural leadership. Adi Da designated the collective
Ruchira Sannyasin Order as “the senior, hierarchically
central (entirely renunciate and non-managerial) one and only
culturally governing authority” within Adidam (Orders 3
3-34). The first generation
of these renunciates has
been identified by Adi Da himself. Demonstrating unique maturity in spiritual fidelity to him
and a life of perpetual retreat, they are collectively
responsible for aligning and guiding the practicing culture
of devotees, ensuring the
rightness of all sacred activities, and
maintaining the purity and spiritual alignment of the
hermitage sanctuaries and holy sites
within Adidam—especially those directly linked to
Da during his lifetime (Orders 36). About this renunciate
order, Adi Da writes:

full members of the Ruchira Sannyasin Order of Adidam are
(now, and forever hereafter) Called and Empowered by Me to
Function (collectively) as the
physically living, (human)
Instruments of My Divine Avataric Blessing-Work, and, by their unique (and uniquely authoritative) cultural
service (simply by
and practicing example) to provide all other practitioners
of the
only-by-Me Revealed and Given Way of Adidam
with the principal Good Company (of fellow devotees) that is
necessary for the inspiration and guidance
of their
practice of the Way of Adidam (35-36).

Within the Ruchira Sannyasin Order, Adi Da has
identified another order of
renunciate devotees, which he calls the Sapta Na Sannyasin

members [of this order] are those of My seventh
stage Ruchira Sannyasin devotees in whom the
Transcendentally Spiritually manifested sign of Priorly
indifference has been uniquely intense and life-pervading,
such that a life
free of all social, organizational, cultural, and public
obligations becomes
both appropriate and
necessary (Orders 37).

The managerial responsibilities within Adidam
fall to members of the Lay Renunciate Order, who are
hierarchically accountable to the Ruchira Sannyasin Order.
The full practice of Adidam is also
progressively adapted to by members of the two lay
congregationist orders, as shown here:

Five Practicing Orders of Adidam Ruchiradam


Formal Name Of

Type of Order

Melrose Lay
Congregationist Order
of Adidam Ruchiradam

Practicing and
Service Order

The Clear-Lake
Forward Lay
Congregationist Order
of Adidam Ruchiradam

Practicing and
Service Order

Muliwai Lay
Renunciate Order of
Adidam Ruchiradam

Formal Renunciate
Lay Cultural And
Managerial Service

The Naitauba Ruchira
Sannyasin Order of

Sannyasin (Legal
Culturally Governing

The Sapta Na
Sannyasin Order of
Adidam Ruchiradam

Sannyasin (Legal
Renunciate) Order
That Simply
Embodies the
Authority of


Organizational Entities of Adidam Ruchiradam

The Divine Avataric Samrajya of Adidam
and protects Adi Da Samrajashram and Adi Da’s sacred
environments on Naitauba Island. It oversees,
and supports the life-circumstance for members of the
Ruchira Sannyasin Order and has responsibility for preserving
Adi Da’s teaching, holding the copyrights to all of
writings, his artistic work, and the media materials
produced in his name.

The Divine Avataric Holy Domains of
Adidam Ruchiradam
has responsibility for preserving the
remaining Adidam hermitage sanctuaries—two in northern
California, one
Hawaii, and one in northern Washington state. It also holds
in trust the sacred treasures
Adidam Ruchiradam, including the archives of Adi Da’s
writings, talks, and sacred

items associated with his

Divine Avataric Holy Institution of Adidam Ruchiradam
(also called AdiDaSala) is the organization that publishes Adi Da’s
teaching, maintains the principal Adidam websites, and makes
his spiritual work broadly available in the world. It also
oversees the educational services
provided to devotees and the public and is linked to the
regional centers of Adidam around the world.

The Divine Avataric “Bright” House
of Adidam Ruchiradam
for and manages the practical and cooperative life of
devotees, including cooperative living,
educational services related to the “right-life
disciplines”, cooperative businesses,
clinics, and end-of-life services.

The Four
Practicing Congregations of Adidam Ruchiradam

Da’s intention was that all human beings be given the
opportunity, based on their spiritual impulse and practical
circumstance, to participate in the devotional
to him. To make this possible, he created four
“congregations” of the Reality-Way of Adidam:

The First Congregation of Adidam Ruchiradam comprises
those who
the full and most intensive process of “radical”
devotion, right life, and
Knowledge” in the Reality-Way of Adidam. This
congregation serves the fulfillment of the entire
transcendental spiritual process, potentially including the
awakening to divine self-realization.

The Second Congregation comprises
the gathering of Adi Da’s devotees
who engage the foundational process of
“radical devotion”, right life, and the
beginning “consideration” of
Adi Da’s “Perfect Knowledge” teachings.
adapt to the full range of disciplines.
Those who are moved to enter the First
Congregation necessarily engage a period of adaptation within
the second congregation.

The Third Congregation of Adidam Ruchiradam comprises
those who respond to Adi Da and are moved to embrace a
simple practice of “radical devotion” to him and
support of his work. Members study Adi Da’s teaching,
a simple name-invocation practice, offer services and
provide financial
support to the public
mission of Adidam.

The Fourth Congregation comprises
those from indigenous and traditional
cultures who devotionally
respond to Adi Da and are moved to embrace a simple
life of practice and service
in relation to him. They too engage a simple name-
invocation practice in devotion to Adi Da
(Boundless 172-73).

Thus, there is no successor to Adi Da Samraj.
If one understands (and accepts)
Adi Da’s unique avataric appearance, revelation, and
function, it is clear that no successorship
is possible. There is, however, the process of devotional
and transcendental
spiritual communion with him forever
after his lifetime. There is an order of legal renunciates,
designated by Adi Da, with senior cultural governing
authority for the continuation of his work and the alignment
of Adidam to his instructions. There are Adi Da’s
authoritative writings, the oeuvre of his artistic images,
and the hermitages and sanctuaries he spiritually empowered.
And within these sanctuaries, there are many
spiritually empowered temples and holy
sites. Finally, there is the collective of all
devotee-practitioners. These are the abiding features of the
Reality-Way of Adidam
Ruchiradam and the means by
which it will continue, now and into the future.

“How can the physical presence of
the Master be imagined?” they will ask in the
year 2300. They will not
only have to read The Dawn Horse Testament, they will
enjoy the Presence of
My living devotees, linked in Revelation with the devotees
who survived in My
Company while this Body Lived (Discourse 30 Nov. 1985).


While Adi Da Samraj was physically alive and
doing his avataric work, the
primary focus of Adidam was essentially
centripetal. That is, the attention and energy of devotees
were focused on Adi Da—the devotional relationship to
him, the services of
attending to him bodily, responding to his
callings and instructions, and direct accountability
to him for service in the extended areas of his work. No one
among his
devotees would argue that this was
anything but appropriate and necessary. It was essential to
each one’s own spiritual practice and expressive of the
devotion devotees
naturally felt for their divine

But they were also challenged by Adi
Da’s fiery demands as he worked at an
astonishing pace and intensity to bring
an entirely new spiritual revelation into the world.
From any conventional
standpoint, his actions during his years of submission-work
sometimes inscrutable, always spontaneous,
seldom predictable, and, as he characterized them,
sometimes seemingly “crazy”.51 They
were, he says, his free response to the
“configuration of totality” appearing within the
sphere of his own circumstance
(and simultaneously within the spheres beyond, visible and
invisible). To
appreciate his freedom and to be moved
and inspired by his actions required (and

!vml]>50 This was true even though Adi Da fiercely criticized any and
all cultic attachment to him—meaning the
childish dependency and man-in-the-middle approach to him,
which inevitably results in “the scapegoating
game”. His devotees were by no means immune from these
criticisms. On the contrary, the tendencies and patterns of
cultism were pointed out by Adi Da time and again, always
with the calling to
observe, understand, and
transcend them in true devotional communion with him and
“right-life” practice in his company. (See the essay,
“Do Not Misunderstand Me—I Am Not
‘Within’ you, but you Are in Me,
and I Am Not a Mere ‘Man’ in the
‘Middle’ of Mankind, but All of Mankind Is
Surrounded, and Pervaded, and
Blessed By Me” (Aham 5-24). See also The Mummery
for Adi Da’s scathing literary indictment

51 “Adi Da uses the term ‘Crazy’ to point to His
Spontaneous Mindless Freedom, both while active in bodily
(human) Form and forever after . . .” (Testament
1285n17). For Adi Da’s usage and meaning of the word
“Crazy” in reference to himself and his work, see
The Dawn Horse Testament of the Ruchira Avatar  
(219-20, 262-63,
988-89, 1251-53).

to require) the intuitive recognition and certainty that Adi
Da is indeed a
liberated divine avataric master. As one early devotee wrote
in his diary after a
evening of drinking and partying at Adi Da’s house in
November of 1975:

can understand the content of what this Being is doing
without loving
and being in that room with him and actually hearing and
seeing and feeling
heart all that went on there. Because without the sadhana
practice], without the Satsang [practice of
devotional turning to Adi
it would all have another meaning, and its spiritual import
would be entirely
lost. But with the sadhana
and Satsang, the exquisite perfection of his every action is
an amazement to behold (1).

Overall, Adi Da’s devotees now clearly
see and affirm that he was always
aligning, and correcting the pattern and process that would
survive his lifetime—the pattern of Adidam
Ruchiradam (which, in esoteric terms, is the primary
of his own divine being). The multitude of references in his
writings and
discourses to “now, and forever
hereafter” likewise attests to this intention on his
part. He
was simply doing all that was necessary
and possible for the divine liberation of human
As he expresses it:

compassion is the origin of the Adept’s willingness to
do anything—not
now in terms of the potential to do something terrible and
the willingness to do
anything outrageous yet benign for the sake of liberating

The compassionate Maha-Siddha does not do for others
everything He can
within the bounds of propriety. The compassion of the
Maha-Siddha is such
He will do everything, whether in the realm of propriety or
not, for the sake
of Awakening others (Fire
Gospel 110-11).

And again,
more radically expressed:

Function Freely As The Source, In My Avatarically
Self-Manifested Divine
With My Devotees. I Am . . . Free Among all. I Am Not The
I Am Not Obliged By ordinary vows and rules. I Stand Apart
From all
limitations and all
restrictions. I Am . . . Free Of all ordinary obligations. I
Am here Only By Vow and Obligation Of My Own, For The Sake Of
all-and-All. I
Do Whatever and All I Must Do For The
Sake Of The “Bonding” Of every one and
All To Me, and, Altogether, For The Sake Of The Divine
Liberation Of all­
I (Myself) Appear To Me here and every “where” (As
My Very Self) In
the bodily form of each and every
conditionally Manifested being, and (In Order That My
Revelation-Service Become Effective In each and every one)
each and
every one Must Come To Me and Be My True
Devotee (Testament 119).

Adi Da’s legacy now hinges on the ability
of devotees to reverse the centripetal
motion that characterized their lives with
him while he was bodily alive. Impelled now by
their intensified devotion to
Adi Da and their ever-deepening experience of his eternal
presence and transmitted blessings, it is
incumbent on devotees to find him spiritually

active everywhere as they turn outward in service to the
world. (This is not true of the formal renunciate devotees,
whose practice remains one of perpetual retreat within the
hermitages and sanctuaries of Adidam.) The spiritual
practice of each devotee remains
specific to his or her own degree of
recognition and response to Adi Da. But the practical work
of all devotees is to make Adi Da’s teaching, his
literary writings, and his artistic work broadly available;
to preserve the sanctuaries and holy domains of Adidam; to
develop its
cooperative sacred culture; and to do all of this in the
context of devotional
communion with Adi Da
Samraj. This remains the collectively stated intention of
Adidam members.

It should be emphasized that securing Adi Da’s legacy
does not depend on the
of his devotees alone. Adi Da has bequeathed a trove of
spiritual teachings, artistic
literary works, and leelas to humankind, and these are only
now finding their
respective audiences
within the public domain. It is for scholars, clerics,
thinkers, opinion
leaders, and practitioners of various traditions to acquaint
with Adi Da and to
avail themselves of the spiritual wisdom and esoteric
contained in his
works. Those who do so with openness and receptivity will
Adi Da’s
religious and artistic genius, his indefinable presence, and
the abiding relevance
of his teachings to an
imperiled and spiritually impoverished world. Adi Da’s
work was done with a few for the sake of all. He bequeaths
his spiritual legacy to the collective of
humankind, where the
need for his enlightened wisdom and spiritual revelations is
greater and more urgent than ever before.



Adi Da Samraj. Aham Da Asmi (Beloved, I Am Da).
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 2003.

–. Atma
Nadi Shakti Yoga.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press,

Enlightenment of the Whole Body. Middletown, CA: Dawn
Horse Press, 1978.

–. Garbage
and the Goddess.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press,

–. Hridaya Rosary (Four Thorns of
standard edition. Middletown, CA:
Dawn Horse
Press, 2005.

–. Love of
the Two-Armed Form.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press,

–. My
“Bright” Word.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse
Press, 2005.

–. My Final
Work of Divine Indifference.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse
Press, 2007.

Is Peace,
third edition. Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse
Press, 2009.

“Radical” Transcendentalism. Middletown,
CA: Dawn Horse Press, 2007.

–. Ruchira
Avatara Gita.
Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press,

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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
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