How to Translate Adi Da’s Word and Keep its ‘Mantric Force’

DEVOTEE: Beloved Ishta Guru Da. Beloved Ishta Guru Da, I am so grateful. Beloved Ishta Guru Da, I am so grateful to be Your devotee. Beloved, I am also so grateful for having the opportunity to speak to You for the first time.


DEVOTEE: Thank You, Beloved, for Your Gift of service. Part of my service to You, Beloved, is in the Translation Guild, translating Your Dharma from English into French. It is a great Blessing, Beloved, to be that immersed in Your Teaching. The profundity of Your Word, Beloved, resides, I find, in its meaning, but also in the mantric force and altogether in the Siddhi that You have infused it with.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Is translating My Teaching from English into French something like changing water into wine? [Laughter.]

DEVOTEE: My question to You, Beloved, is how can our humble work as members of Your Translation Guild be rendered in such a way that it is available to You, that it is available, so that You can infuse it with the same Siddhi and mantric force as it is in the English language, Lord?


DEVOTEE: So, Beloved, I’m wondering how You can infuse our humble translation with Your Siddhi so it can affect people and draw them to You, even in French?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: You expect Me to tell you how I’m going to do that? [Beloved is smiling.]

DEVOTEE: No. I want Your Instruction, Beloved, how we can get out of the way so You can.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, that’s the secret. Get out of the way. Be transparent to My Word. You know both English and French. So, you should allow the English to speak in French without getting idiosyncratic about it or too analytical or trying to transform it somehow instead of just simply letting it flow or be transmuted from one language to another. So, it is about getting out of the way, as you’ve just suggested.

DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: And letting Me speak in French if that’s meaningful for you to hear Me say. I mean, apart from Me saying that which is a rather poetic way of putting it, it is a discipline, doing translation work is a discipline relative to any kind of translating of anything whatsoever from one language to another. And there’s not only translating of My Word which is in English into French, it is to be translated into virtually all languages. And it’s not something that’s really describable – how do you do that? Well, that’s a professional matter. It is a matter of a discipline and of knowing the languages well. But what it comes down to is something rather like getting out of the way and letting Me speak in the other language and not letting your own mind get into the process beyond being simply the discipline whereby you move My Word into the French language, in this case.

DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: So, that’s not exactly a technical answer, but a technical answer isn’t really essentially what you’re asking for anyway. The technical part of it requires knowing the languages well and knowing My Teaching well and not just knowing English well, and knowing the import of My Teaching, knowing what it’s about from the perspective of actually practicing it, is essential. It would be much more difficult for a non-devotee to translate My Word from English to French, than for a devotee to do it, precisely because the devotee would have a presumably, at any rate, an understanding of My Word based on practicing it. And that gives insight and fluidity in moving it from one language to another.

Whereas if there is no understanding of anything but language itself and it becomes simply a linguistic exercise, you can’t possibly find the right words, because you don’t know what I mean. So, it’s important to know My Teaching comprehensively, and it’s important to practice it truly, and then you can get out of the way or simply let it flow in your speech, in your own speech-mind. You will read it in English and think it in French.

DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: And it will be an exact equivalent.


DEVOTEE: An exact equivalent, Beloved?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Exact in the sense of its meaning and essential mode of speaking. But yes, basically, exact equivalent. I mean, there are differences, obviously, of all kinds between different languages, but it must wind up being the same in terms of what it exactly means. It must mean exactly what I mean, not exactly what anybody else means. And so that’s again another way of saying you have to get out of the way. It mustn’t mean what you want it to mean or think it means. It must mean what I mean. And it must mean it in the French, just as it means it in the English.

DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: But the choice of words, and so forth, well that should largely come about rather fluidly. It should be rather spontaneous, because you are so familiar with My intention, My meaning. You are familiar with what the Teaching is about by knowing it as a whole, from having read much of it. And you will have a sense of the nuances of meaning because you practice it, and you know what I’m intending by certain modes of phrasing and so forth. So, it’s that kind of local knowledge, so to speak, of the Way, and My manner of expression that will allow the words to flow from reading it in English off the page and have it immediately translate itself into French in your own thought. It should be that direct. When it’s working best, it should be just that direct. Obviously, there are some times when you may have to do research and stop and study and consider alternative words and so on. But fundamentally, you should have My English Text in front of you and you read it in the English and immediately re-think it in French. It should translate itself in your mind into French. When it’s working most easily, it should be like that.

DEVOTEE: I understand, Beloved. Thank You for this wonderful Instruction, Beloved.


DEVOTEE: It is my constant joy to serve You.


DEVOTEE: Je vous aime, Beloved Sat-Guru. Je vous aime tellement.


DEVOTEE: I love You so much, Beloved, so much. My life is at Your Feet, Beloved.