The Adept – Adi Da Samraj


The Right Approach to the

For the person steeped in a
materialistic view of the world or’, even a conventional
religious understanding of existence, the Adept is a sheer
impossibility or a naive myth that has to be reinterpreted
to make any sense at all. But shortsighted denial or
“demythologization” of the Adept does not at all curtail his
spiritual Function and Influence. This becomes evident to
those who enter the orbit of his Presence and find
themselves transformed by it.

The Adept is an offense to the
worldly ego, the haughty intellect that deems itself to have
all the answers. He is an intruder into the life of
Narcissus, the “usual man,” who contemplates his own image
in the pool of his habits and addictions. To see the Adept,
a person must look up from the pool and make an altogether
different gesture. That gesture goes beyond mere childish
dependence, worship, and awe, just as it goes beyond
rebellious refutation or querulous defiance.

The Adept Is Not a Cultic

The spiritual relationship
between Adept or Guru and devotee or disciple has been
vastly misunderstood by the popular mind. Fawning servitude
and mindless adulation have no place in this sacred
relationship of mutual self-transcendence or love-surrender.
The popular caricature is largely derived from the failure
of immature devotees to relate to the Adept not as a parent
figure or God-substitute but as a transparent symbol of the
Divine Reality and as a living Agent of spiritual

Spiritual surrender to the Adept
does not relieve a devotee of personal responsibility and
application, nor does it deprive him of his “personality” as
often feared. Rather, what the relationship to the Adept
undermines is, the devotee’s exclusive identification with
the body-mind and its changing conditions. Instead of living
as a fearful ego, deeming itself locked into a bodily casing
and associated with private thoughts, feelings, and
sensations, he gradually Awakens to the Fact that there is
only the One Identity that is Being-Consciousness, in which
his own body-mind and all other phenomena appear and


Spiritual Master is not a Surrogate God or a Substitute
Sacrifice, but a God-Pointer, a Proof of God and the Way, a
Demonstration, a Sign, an Agent of Transmission, and an
Awakener of those who are willing to surrender their
self-possession. The Way Itself is to live in Freedom, not
to be bound by self, any other, or Nature as a whole.
Therefore, the relationship to the Spiritual Master is the
Context and the Means of Free Realization, and not a
justification for popular egoity, childish dependency,
adolescent reactivity, conventional social behavior and
fulfillment, or any other goal or tendency of the deluded

The Hymn of the Master, pp.


No thought or figure or any
perception arising in the mind is, in itself, God. No thing,
no body, no moment or place, in itself, is God. Rather,
every moment, place, thing, body, or state of mind inheres
in God. Whatever arises should be recognized in God, not
idolized as God. Then all conditions become Reminders that
draw us into the ecstatic presumption of the Mysterious
Presence of the Living One.

A Transcendental Adept or true
Spiritual Master is a Transparent Reminder of the Living
One, a Guide to Ecstatic Remembrance of the One in Whom all
conditions arise and change and pass away. Such an Adept is
not to be made into the Idol of a Cult, as if God were
exclusively contained in the objective person and subjective
beliefs of a particular sect. Rather, right relationship to
an Adept Spiritual Master takes the form of free ecstatic
surrender to the Living Divine based on recognition of the
Living One in the Revelation of Freedom, Happiness, Love,
Wisdom, Help, and Radiant Power that Shines in the Company
of the Adept. Right relationship to a true Spiritual Master
is the most fundamental basis of the universal process that
is true religion, and there is no basis for “religious
differences” at the level of actual practice and

Scientific Proof of the Existence
of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House! pp. 314-15


childish individual depends on the Spiritual Master as on a
parent, seeking his loving attention, expecting to be
nurtured and consoled and fascinated and saved from death by
his Company. He wants to be saved from that for which he
must himself be responsible – which is the demand to love
and be a sacrifice, even to the degree of death.

The adolescent individual identifies
with the Spiritual Master, thinking himself to be identical
and equal to the Realization of the Spiritual Master, and
thus requiring no Grace, no practice, no transformation.
Such an individual likes to engage in casual association
with the Teaching and Person of the Spiritual Master,
disguising a secret need and intention to becom truly the
Master’s equal (at least in the eyes of others) by mere
association. Such a one also likes the glamorized sense of
himself that he appears to acquire or about which he boasts,
because his casual friendship with the Spiritual Master
seems to indicate an acknowledgment of his own superior
qualities. He wants to be known for being what he can only
Realize in eternal sacrifice in o that which includes him
but which is not him in his exclusive

The mature individual or true
devotee is free of childish and adolescent approaches to the
Spiritual Master. He is neither childishly dependent, as
upon a parent, nor adolescently independent, as in revolt
against a parent. Rather, he turns to the Spiritual Master
freely, in love and service, in gestures of surrender to the
Process and the Reality that are always Present and
Awakening in that Company. Such an individual is not
motivated by the neurotic dilemmas and the self-protective
searching for solution that characterize the usual man. He
has been awakened to intuition of his own Real Condition and
to the native activity of love in service. He has been
awakened through “hearing” the argument and “seeing” the
Presence of the Spiritual Master. Thus, he is not bound or
afraid. He is free to surrender in love to the Agent of his
own Destiny, and in such surrender in love he fulfills the
Law of practice wherein Grace may be given and
transformation made.

The Enlightenment of the Whole
Body, pp. 97-98


The cultic guru fascinates and
pleases you and lulls you into attachments to himself and
his methods. He just keeps you asleep in front of the TV
set. He doesn’t really serve you. He exploits you, perhaps
cause he himself has so much doubt about the world and about
the Divine. And he himself suffers a poisoned vision of his
disciples. He doesn’t dare to master his disciple, he
doesn’t dare create another difficult moment for him. “This
poor guy. I know what, I will give him a mantra! Come here,
come here. I know it has been heavy, but from now on you
just recite `Harry Umpt-ump,’ and the Lord will set it
straight for you.” But the true Guru doesn’t have such an
option. He has to get up and arm-wrestle that idiotic
disciple. He must curse at him again and be difficult with
him, and also continue to maintain himself with humor.
Disciples and devotees are as much of a test for the Guru as
his own sadhana1 ever was. If there is anything
that can make you lose your humor, it is a disciple! But you
cannot get into the habit of believing your disciple,
whatever his number, whether he plays stupid, or “poor me,”
or whether he is getting angry, or having a difficult time,
or whatever he seems to be doing. None of that is

1. ” Sadhana,” a
Sanskrit word, is right or true action appropriate to real
or spiritual life. The term commonly or traditionally refers
to spiritual practices directed toward the goal of spiriFual
and religious attainment. Master Da Free John uses the term
to mean appropriate action generated not as a means to Truth
but on the basis of prior understanding


The temptation to create the cult
must continually be wiped out. Disciples must not be
consoled and fascinated and made unconscious in the cult.
They must be quickened. They do not want the crisis of this
real intelligence to occur. They want to be served with all
those things that will allow them to continue in the drama
that they are already creating in order to justify
irresponsibility, self-indulgence, and the cycle of concerns
that is their peculiar suffering. So the Guru, knowing his
disciple only wants to sleep, must continue to shake him and
offend him. And he must be offensive with humor, so that he
doesn’t wind up creating a negative effect on his disciple,
but actually serves that transformation, that

The Dawn Horse, vol. 2, no. 1
(1975), pp. 4-5


John the Beloved always wrote or
spoke as an intimate devotee of a Spiritual Master. That is,
he was communicating about the Way of true worship, or
ecstatic bodily Communion with the Living God, but he always
acknowledged his own Spiritual Master (who initiated him
into the practice of esoteric Communion with the Living
Spirit) as if his Master were identical to the Spirit and
thus to God. This is a habit of acknowledgment that is
typical of all oriental esoteric societies. It represents a
profound acknowledgment and appreciation of the mechanism of
initiation, guidance, and ecstatic participation enjoyed in
the unique spiritual and esoteric relationship of the
devotee and his or her Spiritual Master.

No heresy or delusion is contained
in this manner of acknowledgment, unless, as has been the
case with the exoteric Christian Church that survived the
time of Jesus and John the Beloved, the language becomes
exoteric and exclusive. That is, if the language of the
ecstatic acknowledgment of a Spiritual Master by his true
devotees is inherited by a nominal or exoteric cult, that
individual tends to become exclusively identified with the
Divine Reality. The result of this is that the Living God
ceases to be the principle of experience and practice, but
abstracted ideas or beliefs and symbolic personalities
become, again, the idolatrous basis of the religion. And the
religion, or cult, then ceases to understand itself as one
of many possible traditional communities involved in
esoteric worship. Instead, the cult tends to see and
communicate itself as the only community that possesses the

Scientific Proof of the Existence
of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House! p.


The Adept Is a

Because the Enlightened being is not
what he seems to be, that is he is not a particular
body-mind or ego, he constantly frustrates the expectations
of those who come into association with him. The ego
experiences the Adept’s Presence as a direct threat to its
survival. This provokes the “usual man” to defend himself
against the Adept’s Influence by falling into an even deeper
contraction. Only the genuine devotee can withstand the
Adept’s Intensity, because he approaches the Enlightened
Teacher in the disposition of self-transcendence. He thus
turns what is otherwise only an unsuspected source of
aggravation into the “heat” of spiritual

The Guru does not come to satisfy
devotees or disciples. A satisfied disciple is still the one
he was. The Guru is only interested in the utter, radical
dissolution of that whole limitation that appears as his
disciple. He is not here to satisfy that limitation, to make
it feel comfortable. He is here to return men to their own
experience, their always present, chronic experience, their
dilemma, their unconsciousness. He is here to return men to
that, not to prevent them from seeing it, not to keep them
obsessively involved with symbols or yogic stimulations of
light or sound, or some complex vision of God, some image of
Reality, so they will never experience and recognize their
own state. The Guru moves by non-support. He undermines the
disciple. He skins him! He does not torture him for fun, but
he undermines that process which is his

The Method of the Siddhas, p.


The Guru is a kind of irritation to
his friends. You can’t sleep with a dog barking in your ear,
at least most people can’t. There is some sort of noise to
which everyone is sensitive, and it will keep them awake.
The Guru is a constant wakening sound. He is always annoying
people with this demand to stay awake, to wake up. He
doesn’t seduce them within the dream. He doesn’t exploit
their seeking. He is always offending their search and their
preference for unconsciousness. He shows no interest in all
of that. He puts it down. He is always doing something prior
to the mind. He always acts to return you from the mind,
from fascination.

The Method of the Siddhas, p.


Satsang is not here to make you
forget that drama of your suffering. The Guru has not come
to console you with pleasant and hopeful distractions. He
always functions to return you to that state, that activity
of avoidance. Satsang does not fulfill your search. Satsang
acts, by a subtle frustration of your search, to return you
to your dilemma, so that it may be understood. The power of
intensification that is alive in Satsang is active in the
very seat of dilemma. The Shakti2 of Satsang
operates in the dilemma. The crisis in consciousness is
sadhana. The suffering and the intensity is sadhana. Sadhana
is not merely the pleasantness, it is not the forgetfulness,
not the easiness, not the drifty-blissful, smiling and
stupid meditation of a man sitting cross-legged in a dog
costume. Sadhana is living intelligence, conscious in
dilemma, but with intensity. The sadhana of Satsang with the
true Guru makes a difference!

2. “Shakti” is a term
for the living conscious Force or Divine Cosmic and
Manifesting Energy or Spiritual Power, the Life-Current of
the Living God. When capitalized, the term refers to the
universal or perfect Divine Power. When written in lower
case, the term refers to that same Power in the form of
various finite energies and activities, high or low, within
the individual, as well as the generative power and motion
of the cosmos

It is not that the disciple should
not go through the dilemma of his suffering. He must go
through it. It is only that, even though he is going through
it, he should continue to maintain himself in the condition
of Satsang. The greatest mistake people make is to abandon
Satsang when they begin to experience its “tooth.” No, even
this crisis in relation to Satsang itself must come. It
comes in everyone’s case, now or later. And it comes in an
incredibly powerful and seductive form, usually very soon
after one begins to experience the Guru’s discipline. And it
always involves the feeling that you should abandon Satsang,
abandon this mad Guru. The first form of this crisis is
always a personal conflict with this work and this place.
And if the disciple gets through that one and stays, the
next time it comes in the form of self doubt rather than
Guru-doubt: “It’s not working for me. This sadhana is not
possible in my case. I’m damned. I’m too crazy. I’m not
ready for it.” But if the disciple gets beyond these two
times, from then on, for the most part, he deals with all
such phenomena as qualities of his hidden strategy, this
avoidance of relationship, the drama of

The Method of the Siddhas, p.


Spiritual life is a demand, it is a
confrontation, it is a relationship. It is not a method you
apply to yourself. Your “self’ is this contraction, and this
contraction is what must be undermined in spiritual life.
Therefore, the Guru comes in human form, in living form, to
confront you and take you by the neck. He does not merely
send down a grinning photograph, to be reproduced with a few
fairy comments for everybody to believe. The traditional
images and records of past help serve very little. At best
they may help a person move into a position where he can
actually begin spiritual life. But Truth must come in a
living form, absolutely. Truth must confront a man, live
him, and meditate him. It is not your meditation that
matters. Truth must meditate you. And that is the Siddhi or
marvelous process of Satsang. Even while Truth is meditating
you in Satsang, you are busy doing more of the usual to
yourself, waking yourself up, putting yourself to sleep,
reacting in every possible and unconscious way to the force
of Satsang, but you are being meditated.

You cannot be “meditated” by one who
is not alive. Even if you believe in one who is no longer
alive in human form, you cannot provide the necessary,
living means for this meditation. Truth must come in living
form, usually in the human vehicle of the Guru, the true man
of understanding. Spiritual life involves this marvelous
process, this Siddhi, this Satsang. If this Siddhi or living
spiritual process is not activated, it doesn’t make a damn
bit of difference what exotic or humble spiritual methods
you apply to yourself, for it will always be of the same
nature. It will always amount to a form of this contraction.
All of your methods, all mantras, all yogic methods, all
beliefs, all paths, all religions are extensions of this
contraction. Truth µtself must become the process of
life, and communicate itself, create conditions in life, and
make demands, restoring the conscious participation of the
individual. Dead Gurus can’t kick ass!

The Method of the Siddhas, pp.


Merely to be in the Company of the
Spiritual Master does not produce Enlightenment, or even
pleasurable experience! People who are intimately associated
with the person of the Spritual Master may not be devotees
at all. They may, in fact, have a great deal of difficulty,
or their life may be very pleasurable but without spiritual
consciousness. In the history of the spiritual and religious
traditions there are countless stories of individuals who
have been close to the Spiritual Master (or to an individual
with a spiritual function of one or another kirtid or
degree) who ultimately betrayed that individual or were very
unhappy in his (or her) company.

There is only one Law, and its
demonstration in any individual’s case depends on whether he
or she is self-possessed or self-surrendering. Those who are
self-possessed will be purified, but the force of the
Spiritual Master offends them or manifests as difficulties
in their lives. Without any malicious intention on his part,
or even any intention at all, the Force of the Spi itual
Master can cause pain, difficulty, suffering, and even
illusion in the case of an individual who presumes to enter
into and exploit the Company of the Spiritual Master without
surrendering, like a thief who has come to steal. Such
individuals may have difficulty or seem to be enjoying
themselves, but in any case they delude themselves in the
midst of enjoyment.

Those who approach the Spiritual
Master as devotees are likewise purified, but they are also
transformed and ultimately Enlightened. Their history is
benign, but not merely pleasurable in the conventional
sense. Those who approach the Spiritual Master as devotees,
in the mood and action of true surrender, by virtue of that
relationship are given the Grace, the Force, the Power of
transformation and liberation by the Spiritual Master.
Nevertheless, they are responsible for the results of their
actions. The Spiritual Master cannot determine the destiny
of the individual beyond this choice for which the
individual himself is responsible. The Master can work in
all kinds of ways to instigate this choice, to awaken the
individual to choose to surrender, but until he (or she)
realizes surrender, the Law determines his experience. If he
is not surrendered, he is deluded. His spiritual life, to
whatever degree he may think he is involved in such a life,
becomes difficult and offensive to him. Anything pleasurable
that he realizes in the Company of the Spiritual Master
serves to delude him and make him more self possessed. Once
the individual is awakened by the argument and Presence of
the Spiritual Master, however, then the Force of that
Company begins to purify and transform him. The Company of
the Spiritual Master serves the self-transcendence, the
surrender, the sacrifice in God, that the individual’s total
life must ultimately represent. Therefore, those who
surrender to the Spiritual Master are

Vision Mound, vol. 2, no. 11
(1979), pp. 34-35


The Spiritual Master Incarnates the
Radiant Transcendental Consciousness as Man. Thus, he
manifests not only human qualities but the Divine

All experiences, positive or
negative, arise within or as modifications of the same
Divine Radiance or Transcendental Consciousness. Therefore,
those who presume to live in the Company of the Spiritual
Master are given experiences, but always according to the
Law of God. If they surrender themselves to the Spiritual
Master in God, and if they constantly transcend themselves
through Love-Communion with the Living God under all
conditions and via all psycho-physical functions, then they
are given the benign Destiny that purifies and Enlightens.
However, if they approach like thieves, merely imitating
devotees in order to gain self-glamorizing experiences and
worldly status, or if they simply refuse the Spiritual
Master, and thus the Divine Person, by their self-possessed
and self-meditative ways, then they are given the negative
or self-defining destiny that binds the bodymind to its own
limits and excludes the Realization of the Radiant
Transcendental Consciousness.

This is the Divine Law, and its
effects are inevitable.

The Bodily Location of Happiness,
p. 71

Selections from Talks and Essays by
Da Free John on the Nature and Function of the Enlightened


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven