Growth in the Way of Adidam: from About Adidam


Growth in the Way of Adidam

Seven Stages of Life

What is the total process
of human growth? What would occur in us if we were able to grow
to the full extent of our potential? Avatar Adi Da Samraj offers
a schema of seven stages of life which represents His Wisdom on
the entire spectrum of human possibility. He has systematically
described not only our physical, emotional, and mental development,
but also all the phases of Spiritual, Transcendental, and Divine
unfolding that are potential in us, once we are mature in ordinary,
human terms. This unique schema, which proceeds from birth to
the final phases of Divine Enlightenment, is a central reference
point in Avatar Adi Da Samraj’s Wisdom-Teaching. It is an invaluable
tool for understanding how we developas individuals, and also
for understanding how the Teachings and practices proposed by
the various schools of religion and spirituality fit into the
entirety of human potential.

The first
three stages of life are the stages of ordinary human growth from
birth to adulthood. They are the stages of physical, emotional,
and mental development, occurring in three periods of approximately
seven years each (until approximately twenty-one years of age).
Every individual who lives to an adult age inevitably grows in
the first three stages of life. In most cases, though, that growth
is not complete.

Stage One: Individuation

The first
stage of life is the process of adapting to life as a separate
individual, no longer bound to the mother. Most important for
the first stage child is the process of eating, and learning to
accept sustenance from outside the mother’s body. In fact, this
whole stage of life could be described as an ordeal of weaning,
or individuation.

physical growth occurs in
the first stage of life (the first seven or so years) as well
as an enormous amount of learning; one begins to manage bodily
energies and begins to explore the physical world. Acquiring basic
motor skills is a key aspect of the first stage of life: learning
to hold a spoon and eat with it, learning to walk and talk and
be responsible for excretion. If the first stage of life unfolds
as it should, the separation from the mother completes itself
in basic terms. But there is a tendency in most human beings to
struggle with this original individuation, or to not accept its
necessity. The result of such resistance is that, by the age of
seven or so, we are left with a chronic (usually lifelong) feeling
of being separate from the source of life and support. (Note that
this feeling of separation from the food source is an overlay
on top of the original feeling and activity of separation that
is the ego itself: the

Stage Two: Socialization

Between the
ages of five and eight years, we begin to become aware of the
emotional dimension of existence;
how we feel and how others respond to us emotionally becomes of
great importance. This is the beginning of the second stage of
life, the stage of social adaptation and all that goes with it:
a growing sense of sexual differentiation, awareness of the effects
of one’s actions on others, a testing of whether one is loved.
These are all the natural follow-ons to the individuation of the
first stage of life. Avatar Adi Da Samraj points out that in the
second stage of life, children naturally develop their psychic
capacity and their sensitivity to etheric energy. For this reason,
children should be encouraged to feel that they are “more
than they look like” — they are not just their physical bodies
— for the sake of their future Spiritual growth. The full process
of growth in the second stage of life is frustrated if we become
locked in patterns of feeling rejected by others and rejecting
and punishing others in return.

Stage Three: Integration

In the early
to mid teens, the third stage of life establishes itself. The key
development of this stage is the maturation of mental
ability — the capacity to use mind and speech in abstract, conceptual
ways — together with the power to use discrimination and to exercise
the will. On the bodily level, puberty is continuing (having begun
during the later years of the second stage of life) with all its
attendant bodily and emotional changes.

The purpose
of the third stage of life is the integration of the human character
in body, emotion, and mind, so that the emerging adult is a fully
differentiated (autonomous), sexual and social human character.
If the process of growth in the first and second stages of life
has proceeded unhindered, then this integration can take place in
a natural manner. If, however, there have been failures of adaptation
in the earlier stages — a chronic feeling of being separate or unsustained,
or chronic feelings of being rejected or unloved, and consequent
difficulties in relating happily to others — then the process of
integration is disturbed. Unfortunately, this is the case for most

Thus, in most
people, the process of the third stage of life becomes an adolescent
struggle between the conflicting motives to be dependent on others
and to be independent of them. This adolescent drama tends to continue
throughout adult life. It is one of the signs that growth has stopped,
that the work of the first three stages of life was never completed:
the conflicted individual is not fully integrated. This is the case
with most of us.

So how does
one begin to grow again? One certainly can find all kinds of conventional
help — psychotherapeutic help, conventionally religious help, conventional
education, etc. — for one’s liabilities in individuation, socialization,
and mental development. But this help is not provided with the “bigger
picture” of the seven stages of life in mind. These forms of
help tend to turn development in the first three stages of life
into a lifelong effort, rather than merely the beginning of a life
dedicated to realizing one’s fullest human potential.

The ideal way
to begin to grow again is by participating in a living culture of
spiritual practitioners, that understands and rightly nurtures each
stage of development. This is Avatar Adi Da Samraj’s recommendation,
and it is the circumstance He has worked to create for His devotees
by establishing the Way of Adidam. Anyone, at any age, who becomes
a practitioner of Adidam can begin the process of understanding
and transcending the limitations of his or her growth in the first
three stages of life and in all the stages of life that follow.
It is that last part — all the stages of life that follow — that
makes Adidam unique.

Avatar Adi Da
Samraj refers to the first three stages of life as the “foundation
stages”, because the ordeal of growth into human maturity is
mere preparation for something far greater: Spiritual Awakening,
and ultimately, Divine Enlightenment. This greater process begins
to flower in the fourth stage of life on the basis of a profound
conversion to love, the natural
human development after individuation, socialization, and mental
development. If, as often occurs in this or that spiritual tradition,
one tries to “skip ahead” to spiritual development without
first having fully established the human foundation for it, one
will tend to use the spiritual practices as a means for dramatizing
one’s human shortcomings: yogis who becomes good at escaping from
this world into other astral worlds because they are not capable
of functioning or relating to others in this one; “holy men”
or “holy women” who develop miraculous powers for the
purpose of showing off and getting attention or “love”,
to compensate for their unconscious feeling of not being loved;
shamans who use their highly developed psychic and etheric capabilities
for “black magic”; and so forth.

Stage Four: Spiritualization

Even while still
maturing in the first three stages of life, many people devote themselves
to religious practices, submitting to an ordered life of discipline
and devotion. This is the beginning of establishing the disposition
of the fourth stage of life, but it is only the beginning. The real
leap involved in transitioning to the fourth stage of life is one
that very few ever make. It is the transition we associate with
saints: nothing less the breakthrough
to a Spiritually-illumined life of Divine contemplation and selfless
service. How does such a life become possible? Only on the basis
of a heart-awakening to the Divine that is so profound that the
common human goals
to be fulfilled through bodily and mental pleasures — lose their

For this reason,
Avatar Adi Da Samraj strongly recommends that young practitioners
in the Way of Adidam do not engage in sexual activity until their
growth in the first three stages of life is sufficient to enable
them to make the transition to the fourth stage of life, which is
ruled by the awareness of, and communion with the Divine Being.
The joy of God-Communion vastly exceeds the pleasure of sexuality,
as one deepens in one’s practice of it. But if one becomes addicted
to the pleasure of sex first, after that point, one may never again
be able to free up enough energy and attention to even find God,
let alone practice God-Communion to the point where the binding
force of sexuality is naturally transcended (whether sexual activity
is still engaged or not) by the joy of God-Communion. This is the
ideal sequence in life; but of course, many of us find the Way of
Adidam later in life, and have to deal with the task of overcoming
the force of habit associated with our self-absorbing addictions
to money, food, and sex. The longer we’ve lived a life given over
to bodily and mental self-indulgence, the more difficult the task
of transcending the force of habit later on
the necessary prereqisite for the transition to the fourth stage
of life.

We have mentioned
that the fourth stage of life is a Spiritually-illumined life of
Divine contemplation and selfless service.
Both elements are necessary. We often point to people who have devoted
their lives to helping others and call them “saints”.
They are good people, no doubt. But they are only saints
that is, in the fourth stage of life
if their selfless service is, first of all, to God, and only then
to others; and that on the basis of awareness of and communion with
God. True saints are Spiritual Realizers, not merely moral human

The purpose
of existence for one established in the fourth stage of life is
devotion, a moment-to-moment
heart-intimacy with the Spiritual Reality. That intimacy is tangible
and ecstatic, and it changes one’s sense of reality. Everything
that appears, everything that occurs, is now realized to be a process
full of Spirit-Presence. This new vision of existence is given through
Spirit-Baptism, an infilling
of Spirit-Power described in many different religious and Spiritual
traditions. The source of Spirit-Baptism is almost always a Spiritually
Awakened Master (either in this life or a past life).

For the devotee
in the Way of Adidam, Avatar Adi Da Samraj’s Spirit-Baptism is first
felt as a Current of energy descending from above the head, down
through the front of the body to the perineum, or bodily base. This
descent is forceful, sublime, and very effective in purifying and
Spiritualizing the human personality, bringing forth the signs of
radiance, peace, and universal love that characterize a Spiritually
Awakened being. By the time the fourth stage of life is complete,
not only has the Spirit-Current descended down the front of the
body but It has turned about at the bodily base and ascended up
the spine to a place deep behind the eyes (called the “ajna
chakra” or sometimes the “third eye”), where It is
felt to rest.

Even though
the fourth stage of life represents a profound and auspicious advance
beyond the foundation stages, in the “big picture” of
the seven stages of life, it is only the beginning
of truly Spiritual growth. Avatar Adi Da Samraj points out that
the primary presumption of (and primary error made by) someone in
the fourth stage of life is that God and the individual personality
are inherently separate from
one another. God is the Sublime “Other” with Whom one
Communes and in Whom one may become ecstatically absorbed at times,
even to the point of apparent union. Nevertheless, such raptures
pass, and one is left with the continuing urge for union with the
Divine Beloved. The individual being is still a separate ego, still
searching, even though the goal of seeking is Spiritual in nature.

Stage Five: Higher Spiritual Evolution


Avatar adi Da SamrajAll
Yogic, and religious (or mystical) practices associated
with the process of Spiritual ascent (via the spinal line
and the brain core, to and through the subtle levels of
mind, and to and through the crown of the head, and, ultimately,
to the “Highest” Realization, above the body,
the brain, the mind, all conditional knowledge, all conditional
experience, and all conditional worlds) may, in some general
sense, be described as “fifth stage” practices.
However, that ascent is made in two distinct phases (or
steps). The first step is associated with ascent to the
“ajna door” (or brain core) [in the fourth
stage of life
], and the second step is associated with
ascent above the “ajna door” [in the fifth
stage of life
]. The first step is associated with bodily
exercises (of posture, breath, and so on) as well as exercises
of feeling (or intentional emotion) and attention (and mind
in general), whereas the second step is almost exclusively
associated with the exercise of attention alone.

Adi Da Samraj,

Basket Of Tolerance


The fifth stage of life could be described as the domain of accomplished
yogis or saints

individuals involved in the pursuit of Enlightenment through mystical
experience (such as the vision of the “blue pearl”, the
vision of Jesus Christ), or the attainment of psychic powers. But
it is important to note that, just as exceedingly few religious
practitioners fully Awaken to the Spiritual Reality in the fourth
stage of life, even fewer would-be yogis or saints become fifth-stage

The important
difference between the fifth stage of life and all the stages of
life that precede it is that awareness on the gross physical plane
is no longer the normal mode of existence. Rather, attention is
steadily engaged in subtle realms,
that is, dreamlike or visionary regions of mind.

The phenomena
of the fifth stage of life arise as a result of the further movement
of the Spirit-Current, now in the higher regions of the brain. In
the fifth stage of life, the Spirit-Current moves from the ajna
chakra through and beyond the crown of the head, and attention moves
with it. At its point of highest ascent, the Spirit-Current triggers
the yogic meditative state traditionally called “nirvikalpa
samadhi” (“formless ecstasy”), in which all awareness
of body and mind is temporarily dissolved in the Divine Self-Condition.
Even though it is temporary, such an experience marks an enduring
change in one’s being. It is now clear that the individuated self
in any limited form whatsoever — physical body or “spirit”
or “soul” —- has no eternal existence or significance.
Only the Divine Condition of absolute Freedom and Perfect Happiness
truly exists. Once the Divine Condition has been glimpsed in the
state of “formless ecstasy”, one’s relationship to embodied
existence is entirely different. One begins to see the body as a
rather arbitrary, even humorous phenomenon.

Even so, a limit
on one’s Realization remains. Nirvikalpa samadhi, the culminating
achievement of the fifth stage of life, is not a permanent Realization.
It is, rather, a fleeting experience. At some point, bodily consciousness
returns, and so does the ache to restore that boundless, Bliss,
free of the limitations of embodiment. What goes up must come down.
For all its profundity, fifth stage nirvikalpa samadhi is held in
place (while it lasts) by a subtle stress, performed by the ego.
It is the ultimate fruit of the yogic strategy to escape
the body by directing one’s awareness upward into infinite Light.

Avatar Adi Da
Samraj reveals that higher mystical experience and the achievement
of profound meditative states in the maturity of the fourth and
fifth stages of life are not
prerequisites for ultimate Divine Enlightenment. The Way of Adidam
provides a means by which most practitioners (except those few who
have karma associated with the fourth and fifth stage phenomena)
can bypass the entire tour of the subtle planes, via Avatar Adi
Da Samraj’s unique Transmission of the Love-Blissful Power of the
Divine Itself.

When, in the
fourth stage of life, the devotee in the Way of Adidam is mature
enough to be steadily receiving and “conducting” Avatar
Adi Da Samraj’s Spirit-Current, a most extraordinary process begins
in the body-mind. The Infusion of His Spirit-Current purifies and
quickens the body-mind in every cell from the crown of the head
to the toes. Every knot in the body-mind is opened up in this ecstatic
reception of Him.

When this sublime
Infusion has completed its work, a great conversion has occurred
in the body-mind. One is no longer susceptible to the fascinations
of visionary experience, even when such experiences arise. Neither
is one moved to direct one’s attention up and out of the body into
the infinitely ascended state of “formless ecstasy”. Rather,
the “ttour” of mystical experience has been revealed to
be simply more of the futile search to be Perfectly Happy via egoic
fulfillment. The pursuit of mystical satisfaction relaxes, and the
devotee is then easily drawn beyond all habits of identification
with bodily states and even beyond identification with the subtle
mind states of the fifth stage of life, into the pristine sixth-stage
understanding of Reality as Consciousness Itself.

Stage Six: Awakening to the Transcendental Self

In the sixth
stage of life, one is no longer perceiving and interpreting everything
from the point of view of the individuated body-mind with its desires
and goals. One stands in the Transcendental Position, Awake as the
Very Consciousness that is the Ground of all that exists. In that
position, one stands as the “Witness” of all that arises,
even while continuing to participate in the play of life. While
life goes on like a movie on a screen, one sees the greater import
of Existence and the non-necessity of all that arises. This is the
beginning of what Avatar Adi Da Samraj calls “the ultimate
stages of life”, that is, the stages of Identification with
Consciousness Itself.

The sixth stage
of life may include the experience of jnana samadhi, which, like
fifth stage nirvikapla samadhi, is a form of temporary Realization
of the Divine Self. However, fifth stage nirvikapla samadhi comes
about through the strategy of ascent, the urge to move attention
up and beyond the body-mind; in jnana samadhi, awareness of gross
and subtle states is excluded by concentration in Transcendental
Self-Consciousness. Nirvikapla samadhi occurs via absorption
in the Divine, whereas jnana samadhi occurs via exclusive
with the Divine.

the most prominent among the great sixth stage Realizers have been
the Hindu and the Buddhist sages, and in some cases, the Taoist
sages, who eschewed the fascinations of experience — physical or
subtle — from the beginning. These great Realizers turned away from
the enticements of “money, food, and sex” in the first
three stages of life, as well as from the attractions of devotional
(fourth stage) rapture and yogic (fifth stage) mysticism. Instead,
the sages of the sixth stage of life have traditionally contemplated
the freedom and purity of Consciousness — to the degree of Realizing
that Consciousness Itself, eternal and prior to any mortal form
or temporary experience, is our True Condition, our True Self.

But even deep
resting in the freedom of Transcendental Consciousness is not Most
Perfect Enlightenment. An egoic stress is holding this Realization
in place, as was the case with the fifth stage Realization of nirvikalpa
samadhi. Sixth stage practice and Realization is expressed by turning
within, away from all conditional objects and experiences (including
the energies and the movements of attention of one’s own body-mind),
and concentrating upon what is felt to be the Source of individual
consciousness. Thus, the root of egoity is still alive. The search
still remains, in its most primitive form. The sixth stage of life
is the search to identify with Pure Consciousness prior to and exclusive
of phenomena.

Stage Seven: Divine Enlightenment

The seventh
stage of life is release from all the egoic limitations of the previous
stages of life. Remarkably, the seventh stage Awakening is not
an experience at all
. The true Nature of everything is
simply obvious. Now the Understanding arises that every apparent
“thing” is Eternally, Perfectly the same
as Reality, Consciousness, Happiness, Truth, or God. And that Understanding
is Supreme Love-Bliss.

Avatar Adi Da
Samraj calls this Divine Awareness “Open Eyes”. No longer
is there any need to seek meditative seclusion in order to Realize
Identification with the One Divine Reality. The Ecstatic and world-embracing
Confession, “There Is Only
God”, is native (and therefore effortlessly perpetual) to one
who enjoys the State of “Open Eyes”. Consciousness is
no longer felt to be divorced from the world of forms, but Consciousness
Itself is directly understood to be the very Nature, Source, and
Substance of that world. And so the life of the seventh stage Realizer
becomes the Love-Blissful process of Divinely Recognizing, or intuitively
acknowledging, whatever arises to be only a modification of Consciousness

The Divinely
Self-Realized Being is literally “Enlightened”. The Light
of Divine Being Flows in him or her in a continuous circuitry of
Love-Bliss, that rises in an S-shaped curve from the right side
of the heart to a Matrix of Light above and Beyond the crown of
the head. This is Amrita Nadi, the “Nerve of Immortal Bliss”,
mentioned in the esoteric Hindu Spiritual tradition, but only fully
described for the first time by Avatar Adi Da Samraj. After His
Divine Re-Awakening in 1970, Avatar Adi Da Samraj experienced the
“Regeneration” of this Current of Love-Bliss, and He came
to understand Amrita Nadi as the Original Form of the Divine Self-Radiance
in the human body-mind (and in all conditional beings and forms).

In the seventh
stage of life, or the context of Divine Enlightenment, the evolutionary
process continues. Avatar Adi Da Samraj describes the seventh stage
of life as having four phases: Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation,
Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation.

In the phase
of Divine Transfiguration, the physical body of the Realizer is
Infused by Love-Bliss, and he or she radiantly demonstrates active
Love, serving the Awakening of others.

In the following
phase of Divine Transformation, the subtle or psychic dimension
of the body-mind is fully Illumined, which may result in extraordinary
powers of healing, longevity, and the ability to release obstacles
from the world and the lives of others.

Divine Indifference ensues. Divine Indifference is a spontaneous
and profound Resting in the “Deep” of Consciousness, Blessing
the world directly from the Heart-Place, rather than Working outwardly
to effect benign changes.

Divine Translation
is the ultimate phase of the entire process of Awakening — the Outshining
of all noticing of objective conditions through the infinitely magnified
Force of Consciousness Itself. Divine Translation is the Destiny
beyond all mortal destinies, from Which there is no return to the
conditional realms.

The experience
of being so overwhelmed by the Divine Radiance that all appearances
fade away may occur temporarily from time to time during the seventh
stage of life. But when that Most Love-Blissful Swoon becomes permanent,
Divine Translation occurs and the body-mind is inevitably relinquished
in death. Then there is only Eternal Inherence in the Divine Domain
of unqualified Happiness and Joy.

Avatar Adi Da
Samraj has described the unfolding Mystery of the seventh stage
of life through the homely image of crocks baking in a furnace:


you place newly made clay crocks in a furnace of great heat
to dry and harden the crockery, at first the crocks become
red-hot and seem to be surrounded and prevaded by a reddish
glow, but their shape is still defined. Eventually the fire
becomes white hot, and its radiation becomes so prevasive,
so bright, that you can no longer make out the separate
figures of the crocks.

is the significance of Divine Translation. At first conditions
of existence are Transfigured by the inherent Radiance of
Divine Being. Ultimately, through Self-Abiding and through
Divinely Recognizing all forms, in effect all forms are
Outshined by that Radiance. This is the Law of life. Life
lived Lawfully is fulfilled in Outshining, or the transcendence
of cosmic Nature. In the meantime, cosmic Nature is simply
Divinely Transfigured, and relations are Divinely Transfigured
by the Power of the Divine Self-Position.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


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