Sudden Sadhana and Gradual Sadhana

Sudden Sadhana and
Gradual Sadhana


AVATARA ADI DA: You cannot
die in any absolute sense. The process of conditional
existence necessarily goes on, and the only way out of it is
Divine Realization. Until then, this conditional round goes
on and on and on, just as it does while you are alive here.
There are difficulties. There are limitations. It is a
struggle. And even after death you become reinvested with a
mechanism that allows that struggle to continue. It is not
just that you die and you go to heaven or you are associated
with the Divine Self-Condition. That is not how it works.
Sadhana must be done if you are to be moved into the Divine
Self Condition Absolute-or even if you are to be moved into
higher planes.

There is no separate, individual
existence, therefore, in any absolute sense. Therefore,
there is no separate, individual death. On subtler levels,
your conjunction with the unity of conditional existence
persists, and you cannot die. It just goes on. The physical
body dies, fine. Yes, it does. But other aspects of your
conditional manifestation just go on, because they do not
exist alone. They are only modifications of the
that cannot stop.
And those aspects of your conditional manifestation continue
to show signs and experiences. Your previous conjunction
with a form – manifestation continues to enforce itself and
produces another one. That is just how it happens. It is how
it is.

It takes a great deal of compassion
to appreciate these organisms just as they appear. When you
are dead, you are not going to be dead and there is nothing
you can do about it. Believe what you will. Find out. You
cannot die, and that is it. It is impossible. Not because
you have an immortal spark in you, but because you are
simply a manifestation of a universal process and that
process does not come to an end. Therefore, there is no end
to apparently individual existence. The totality continues,
and you are just a modification of it. Even the death of the
body is not the end. At death, the body is reduced to
elements, and those elements are shared within the universal
process and make more forms.

Fine, appreciate the suffering
involved in mortality and limited existence and even want to
go beyond it – good. But without going beyond it, you cannot
bring an end to it. It will continue automatically, just as
your egoic signs continue automatically every day, unless
you do sadhana, or counter-egoic practice. They continue
automatically – because, as I Said, you are part of a
universal process. Because you are under the illusion of
utter separation, you think darkly about death sometimes,
imagining that perhaps it is just an absolute ending. Such a
notion is just the result of a lack of information, a lack
of experience.

DEVOTEE: The old, “Pay me
now, or pay me later” principle.

later you wait to pay, the bigger the price. You cannot die,
but you can suffer death and suffer mortal limitations.
Good, so notice that and want to go beyond and purpose your
life to going beyond. Then you will not just slide into the
lowest common denominator while alive or after death. There
will be greater possibilities, greater transitions. If you
get really serious about it and bear down, you can transcend
the cosmic domain, or conditional existence

It is also true, then, that you can
pay Me gradually or pay Me suddenly. In the traditions of
religion and Spirituality it has been understood since
ancient days that there are really two paths – the gradual
path and the sudden path. You can surrender a little bit, be
purified a little bit, and go a little higher in the planes
of cosmic existence – a bit at a time, lifetime after
lifetime after lifetime, in various forms, in various
planes, and then eventually dealing with the Ultimate
matter. Or, even while humanly alive, you can deal with the
Ultimate matter, go to the root, bypass the evolutionary
process that would make more forms of existence, in whatever
planes. You can deal with that process at the root-level and
transcend conditional existence suddenly, by addressing it
at the quick, at the source, rather than identifying with it
at the periphery and going through a gradual process of
purification. It is up to you.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, prior to
Your Appearance here, there were all kinds of warnings for
those who chose the sudden path, because it was understood
that most people would either die or go mad in the

AVATARA ADI DA: One can die
or go mad just as well in the gradual process. You are all
dying and going mad anyway – you are mad. Your madness,
however, is called “normalcy”, because it is the kind of
madness that is congratulated by the herd. Yet it is still
madness, oblivious to its own truth and constantly confused
by association. Therefore, you cannot get direct about

To participate in what can be called
the “sudden” path, you still must deal with everything else.
But you can deal with it in a manner that is quick, and
quickening. You need not take overly long in the process,
nor identify with those aspects of form that are more
peripheral, and you can be direct in your sadhana,
therefore, toward the “Perfect Practice”, the Ultimate
Practice, or, in other words, the sudden, or most direct,
path and move into that sphere of practice rather

Or you can settle for a more general
practice in My Company that is more gradually purifying and
that takes into account your inclinations to fulfill this or
that or the other purpose or association that is commonly
congratulated and take much longer at it. It is up to you,
you see. Take a look at your experience. Take a look at the
world. If you do not mind continuing with all that, then you
take the less direct, or more gradual, path. On the other
hand, if you mind it completely and just do not want to
suffer it anymore and are not willing to suffer gradually,
if you just want the God-Condition, then you become
seriously directed toward the “Perfect Practice”, and you do
whatever you must do to prepare for it. But you do it rather
quickly, very directly, in other words, so that it can be
quick. It is up to you.

Some people have greater tolerance
for gradualness and associating with suffering, for getting
some good in the midst of it, being positively oriented, and
willing to be purified gradually. Some people have such a
disposition. In some sense, most people have that
disposition. Others, however, are characteristically not of
that disposition. In the Western world, the other
disposition is not congratulated at all. It is really not
very much congratulated elsewhere in the world, either. You
must make the gesture on your own and just stand

It is up to you. You can do it
gradually in My Company. You can do it more quickly. You can
do it with a kind of absolute quickness, too. It is still
the same practice. It is a matter of being sensitive to
yourself and of how willing you are to tolerate elongated
suffering. Find out if you are one of those who are able to
cope with gradual suffering, who are interested in
persisting while doing sadhana but letting the Realization
be gradual. Find out observe yourself and find out – are you
one of those who is just not willing to suffer it anymore,
who does not like it? Hmm? Who is not willing to build in
time, to casually make more incarnations just to watch T.V.
and get laid? Hmm? [Beloved chuckles.]

DEVOTEE: Beloved, last year I
saw one of the films You recommended that we watch, called
Clean and Sober.

AVATARA ADI DA: It is one of
the films on
Basket of Tolerance
. It is
about people involved in drug addiction.

DEVOTEE: I identified myself
so much as an addict of all experience that I was
spontaneously moved to fast for seventeen days and I became
celibate. There was a spontaneous movement in me to respond
to the revelation I had received of what life becomes when
one is an addict.

devotees are Called by Me to relinquish their “addict”
disposition. The ego is an addict. Therefore, all must get
that lesson if they are to volunteer for serious sadhana.
Yet even in that volunteering, even in that doing of serious
sadhana, some can go about it in the more gradual manner.
Others do sadhana in a more direct and quickening manner. It
is up to you, as I have Said. You can do it in either

If you choose the path of
gradualness, you are building in time. Just know that it is
so. You can still practice devotion to Me and enjoy the
fruits of sadhana in My Company, but you are building in
time, and you are building in “form” time, or reincarnation
in one plane or another. Such is the result of that

If you do not want to make that
choice, if you do not want more time, if you do not want to
build in casual time – reincarnations and all the rest –
then you do this practice fundamentally “radically”. You
just do it very directly and quickly relative to every
impediment. And you do not build in any time. That is also a
choice. Neither choice is preferable. It is a personal
matter. You choose.

If you decide superficially to
choose the gradual process, you may be offending yourself,
in other words forcing yourself to experience difficulty
arbitrarily. That is why you must make this choice based on
real self-observation. You must really note about yourself,
are you willing to add time, are you willing to cope with
the necessary suffering of conditional embodiment, or not?
And if really not, then you must practice more intensively,
more directly, more quickly, or in a more quickening manner,
You must measure your own capability for coping with what
conditional embodiment is necessarily about, you see. The
opportunity of the Divine: Self-Domain is available to you,
but you also must practice accordingly. You can do so
gradually, or in a quickening manner. It is entirely a
personal choice, but a choice you should make on the basis
of investing yourself sensitively, noticing your own signs,
your own disposition, and then taking that best
understanding seriously.

If you are of the coping kind, good.
Practice this Way of the Heart. Yes – you can build in
embraces and all the rest that add time. Know that that is
what you are doing.

So. There is a certain way of going
about this Way of the Heart that is quickening. Basically,
it is the celibate renunciate practice. Yet it is not an
ideal. It is not that if you do not choose celibate
renunciation you are a fool. You can choose to practice more
gradually by building in associations that necessarily add
time, but do them as sadhana. Embrace My Word, My
Instruction, the practices that I Call you to engage in
those circumstances. And if you find that you are of the
disposition that chooses to practice more gradually, then
that choice is right for you because you are not of the
renunciate disposition that wants to be free of these
limitations and has no capability to cope with them, really
– not very much anyway. If you are of that renunciate
disposition, then you cannot practice the gradual approach,
just as, if you are of the disposition that is of a coping
nature and does not mind all that much taking some more
time, even many lifetimes, you could not practice the more
“radical” approach. Neither one of them is the ideal. The
choice is a personal matter. You observe yourself
sensitively, and you make the choice. If you want to be the
quickest about it, obviously the celibate renunciate
practice is your choice. If you have more of the disposition
of coping, then you can choose the gradual

The celibate renunciate practice
still involves dealing with all aspects of your human
existence, including your sexuality. Yet it is a relatively
quicker approach because it actively relinquishes the motive
of “bonding”, not just pair-“bonding” in the
emotional-sexual sense but “bonding” to the world, “bonding”
to anything but Me.

Those who choose the gradual
approach gradually transcend the motive to “bonding”, but
the process of transcendence is obviously more gradual in
such people, because they build the “bonding” motive into
their practice. A celibate renunciate relinquishes that
motive, in principle. He or she may discover the “bonding”
motive and have to do sadhana in relationship to it, but the
intention is more direct.

I do no bargaining. I cannot
bargain. Therefore, I was, as you see, very, very quick
about the process of sadhana. Find out about yourself. Find
out how quick you want to be about it. Deciding not to be
utterly quick about it does not mean you cannot be My
devotee. The gradual sadhana is just another version of
being My devotee.

If you want not only to not be quick
about it but want to add even more time and degradation and
make it more difficult to the degree that you would rather
be a worldly ego – well, that is another matter. That is not
a good idea. Just stay with Me and do it as quickly or as
gradually as you like, but do not abandon the principle of
right life, right practice, and ego-transcending
disposition, because then you just volunteer for egoity
itself. Then you are not just coping with difficulties but
you are creating them and making it even more and more
difficult to reach a point of clarity wherein you can choose
the Divine life. To be so reluctant is obviously loony. It
is a necessarily degrading choice, filled with suffering
suffering beyond the point of even having any
discrimination. Therefore, that choice is not it. That is
the relinquishment of the Way of the Heart.

In the context of this devotional
response to Me, however, and practicing the Way of the
Heart, you can choose, based on sensitivity to yourself,
whether to do sadhana relatively gradually or relatively
quickly. You “consider” it. You make your own decision. And,
by the way, you can make a different decision at different
times – perhaps choosing the more gradual at this stage of
your practice or at some other stage, and then eventually
discovering that you have a more intensive disposition. You
may be in a certain disposition early on in your practice of
feeling congenial toward doing it more gradually, building
in relations and more conventional and ordinary associations
that build in time. You should understand that your
disposition is not an eternal one. It can change with
sadhana, with purification. Perhaps at another stage you
will not want to cope with this building in of time anymore
and you will make changes in your practice

DEVOTEE: Beloved, You have
explained that the ego must be fully and completely
transcended if there is to be the likelihood of no

[softly] Oh, yes. That is a big deal,

DEVOTEE: It seems that the
“bonding” motive is so strong it must be a principal cause
of reincarnation.

AVATARA ADI DA: That is it,
the “bonding” motive – not just the motive to pair-
“bonding” in emotional-sexual terms but the motive to
“bonding” with conditional existence and all aspects of the
unity of the cosmic domain, Therefore, yes, fundamental
renunciation is about transcendence of the egoic
disposition, or the self-contraction, but it is also, as a
matter of practice, about relinquishing the “bonding” motive
toward any and all aspects of conditional

DEVOTEE: Until one has no

AVATARA ADI DA: One does in
the meantime, but your disposition is such that it
intensively would go beyond it and you practice on that

The key to the Way of the Heart is
your “Bonding” to Me – not “bonding” to the ego other, the
conventional other, but `Bonding’ to Me, My Self, As I Am,
Who I Am. It is a process of being purified from all
conditional “bonding”. The question is, what disciplines
will you embrace in that process of transcending conditional
“bonding”? There lies the basic difference between those who
go gradually and those who go more directly, and, therefore,
quickly. Nonetheless, the entire Way of the Heart is based
on “Bonding” to Me. Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, as I have Given
it to you, is ego-transcending. Likewise, it transcends all
conditional “bonding”, therefore, progressively at any rate,
it transcends conditionality itself and therefore the world,
or the cosmic domain, or conditional existence itself. If
you would go to the “Perfect Practice” as quickly as
possible, then you must practice most intensively in the
renunciate manner, and, therefore, practice on the basis of
the attitude of relinquishing the conditional “bonding”
motive. Even so, you will still have to work at it, because
the signs of previous adaptation to the “bonding” motive
will still be there to be purified.

By embracing the “bonding” motive,
you add time. By specifically relinquishing it, and
intensively so in your practice, you shorten the

feel that I do not have an impulse to “bond” to someone now
in an intimate relationship, but I feel that I am profoundly
bound to people already-particularly my children, even
though they are older. I have much bondage

everybody does. In the progress of sadhana, all kinds of
“bonding” exists already. If you choose to relinquish the
“bonding” motive, if you choose to become a celibate
renunciate and embrace that sadhana, you must still deal
with the leftovers of all your adaptations to “bonding”.
Notice them. Be sensitive to them. Practice the Yoga of
Ishta-Guru-Bhakti. Become more and more purified of
“bonding”. That does not mean you will be nasty to your
children or other relations – not at all, in fact. But you
will be a renunciate in your disposition relative to them.
You will exhibit signs of compassion rather than ego

The more you relinquish the
“bonding” motive, the quicker the Way. Renunciation is the
key to it, not some address to some particularity, sex, for
example. The “bonding” intention, the ego-based “bonding”
intention itself, is the essence of bondage. The more
directly you address it and practice the relinquishment of
it, the quicker the process in My Company. It does not make
any difference how much “bonding” to the entire world and
specific relations you have done in the past. All that
becomes subject to the most intensive renunciate
disposition, and therefore all of it is purified most

If you linger in it, however, and
play with it, if you are willing to endure its limitations,
then you necessarily build in time, “bonding” time, the time
that “bonding” makes. The impulse to God-Realization most
specifically is associated with the renunciation of
“bonding” to conditional existence in every aspect. To the
degree you do that most intensively, to that degree the Way
will be quicker. To the degree you make compromises and
adjustments to maintain associations, to that degree you
build in time. That is the Law. That is how it is. It is as
simple as that.

last night You were Sitting with us on the deck of the
Turaga Dau Loloma when we were returning to

you men was touching his body, being nervous, and looking
around – wondering what we should do next. He finally got
up. I am remembering that now. [Beloved

Some sat there most intensively, and
some wandered a little bit, you see. That is the kind of
difference I am talking about. Some build in time, and some
are more intensive about it. All can do the sadhana. No
praise, no blame. You must practice your choice.

DEVOTEE: While You were
Sitting with us, I felt You were Giving a real gift of
sensitivity to the impulse to “bond” to conditionality
altogether, moment to moment.

really sit with Me undistracted and not wandering, you must
really renounce – not just in mind or idealistically but at
heart, and most profoundly. You must renounce the “bonding”
motive to everything about conditional existence, not just
sexuality but all relations, all experiences, the world,
this world, every world, every possibility of conditional
experience The more intensively You must renounce this
“bonding” motive, the better you sit with Me, the, more you
receive the more you transcend, the more you are purified.
That is how it is.

You need not necessarily investigate
the “bonding” motive elaborately. You can just remember.
When you put your hand in the fire, or stick your hand in
the honey hive, you remember that it bites back, it is
suffering. There is just a brief noticing, and you move on.
You do not like that pain. There is no reason to choose it.
You do not want to suffer anymore. You do not want to endure
all this passion of sorrow, and fear, and death
volunteering, eating, and pissing, and shitting, and
wandering, and thinking. Rather, you say, as
said, “I would rather
just sit here and look at this tree over there. I do not
want to do any of that stuff anymore. I cannot volunteer for
it anymore. I cannot get up the. energy for it anymore. I
just will not do it.” Stay in this place. Contemplate

All must come to that point sooner
or later. It is just a matter of when. You must be disposed
to it, obviously, by being attracted by Me and doing the
sadhana. You can do it gradually, and that is all right.
Then you will get purified, you are doing the practice that
will make you more purified over time. Such is a worthy
life, a virtuous life. You will always be better off by
doing that practice.

It is just that some have no
interest in being just better off. They just want to get it
over with. You cannot get it over with in an instant, but
you can practice in that disposition and have the whole
process be quickened.

All aspects of your body-mind to now
are associated with adaptations to your own separateness,
but also to others, and to all possible associations. The
vow of devotion to Me, that eternal vow, is associated with
own-body responsibility. It provides you with unique arms in
all associations, all conjunctions. Yet, again, you can do
it gradually, or intensively and therefore more

[Later, the same

DEVOTEE: Beloved, for the
past couple of hours I have been thinking about what You
said about my distractedness in my response to You on the
boat last night.

AVATARA ADI DA: When we were
sitting last evening, in the last hour and a half or so of
our trip?

DEVOTEE: That event was a
profound one for me, although it had all the limitations in
it for me that You just addressed. I remembered a time back
in 1987 when we were in Temple Adi Da in a similar
situation. It was profound in terms of the demonstration of
Your Divine Bhava. You made a similar joke about me back

AVATARA ADI DA: If I did not
love you, I would not have even mentioned it.

DEVOTEE: I know that. A
tractor drove by in Joyful Submission, and my attention went
to it just like that. You remarked that the wandering of my
attention registered a lack of depth in my Contemplation of

AVATARA ADI DA: That is okay.
There is no need to get into heavy self-criticism and
regret. It is just something to notice about yourself. This
is your stage of maturity This is what you do. You know what
you are here to do Ultimately. You must keep on rowing keep
on investing yourself more, and do it better. That is how it
should be – not regret and frustration.

DEVOTEE: In some sense I do
not have regret. What is important to me is that You are
here as the Manifestation of the Divine.

that. Not merely a Manifestation of It, as if Somebody else
is the Divine. I am not Speaking trivially as the Divine. My
Confession of My Self is the Confession about you, as I have
Said. This is your Condition. This is the Reality of all
beings. Yes, I My Self Am That, and your relationship to Me,
in your devotion, your sadhana, is the Way to Realize That,
but you would not be here to do the sadhana, I would not
even have recommended it to you, if My own Condition were
not the Truth of you.

You become included in My Domain, My
Very Person and Condition, even with your
limitations. Therefore, you all have remarkable Leelas to
tell about Me, each in your own fashion and with your
limitations and experience and submission.

[May 24, 1995]

and Eternal Life
– The
Enlightenment of the Whole Body

Personal existence is not a “thing”
or an “entity.” Personal existence is a process. “I” is an
activity, not an object, and not a fixed and eternally
defined subject. The process that is “I” is a temporary and
dependent aspect of a Great Universal Process. The
individual arises, changes, and passes. It is caused and
influenced by an immense and undefinable but ultimately
ordinary and unnecessary pattern of appearances and
disappearances. And the same process is duplicated as
millions and billions and infinite possible variations of
other human or human-like persons. The process, in every
case, is Man, and each individual is an example and a moment
of the same process, as fragile and dispensable as a single
minnow in a maze of duplicate fishes, produced in excess for
the sake of the species itself. And even the species is only
another edible moment in the procession of forms.

The process that is “I” is
integrated as a “person” while it persists, and then it is
disintegrated in the Great Universal Process. The
subtler mechanics of the “person” continue beyond ordinary
death, associated with various forms of experience, and
producing various “lives,” until there is Awakening to the
Way of Life in Truth. Only then is the Divine Destiny
Realized. Only then does the grotesque and marvelous pattern
of limitations fall away completely, in a death that is
Perfect in God-a death that reaches Eternal Life and

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The relationship to the Guru is
Satsang. That is the discovery. That is the process. That is
the secret of the Siddhas. That relationship is the yoga. It
is the universal process. It is the single means. It
is very Truth. Everything else, all bone chewing, is only a
ritual re-enactment of the process that arises spontaneously
and alive in relation to the Guru. At best it is a ritual
re-enactment. Therefore, spiritual life is not the activity
of spiritual seekers. It is the activity of those who
discover their spiritual search is false, fruitless, founded
in dilemma, a manifestation of the same suffering that all
other men are suffering. Spiritual life begins when the
spiritual search is abandoned and Satsang is begun. And
Satsang is a difficult condition, a spiritual discipline
that must be lived from day to day. Anyone can spend an hour
at home every day reciting a mantra or doing a concentration
exercise. Anyone can do ritual repetition of technique from
day to day. In that case, nothing is required beyond your
own willingness to conform to a certain pattern. But the
relationship that is Satsang is a living condition. It
creates conditions that awaken the functions you always
prevent. It demands relationship, it demands fulfillment. So
it is difficult, and it does not fulfill a mans search. It
continually turns him from his search into

Method of the Siddhas

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