FAQs about Adi Da & Adidam > Taking Up the Way of Adidam > Recognition > Part 5

5. The Recognition Consideration

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

This is Part 5 of Chris Tong's 5-part article, The Significance of Recognition in the Way of Adidam. We recommend that non-devotees interested in this topic start with this part, and then read parts 1 through 4 for more information. Devotees can most benefit by reading all five parts in order.

This Part has several subsections:

  1. Did He or Didn't He?

5.1. The Best of Circumstances: Immediate Recognition of Adi Da as the Divine

The Logos [1] passes out of eternity into time for no other purpose than to assist the beings, whose bodily form he takes, to pass out of time into eternity.

Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

For those non-devotee readers who are interested in the possibility of taking up the Way of Adidam, let's now explore how recognition of Adi Da relates to you specifically.

In the best of circumstances, a person interested in genuine spiritual practice would run across a picture or video of Adi Da Samraj, or read some of His Word, and a direct Revelation would occur on the spot: the recognition of Adi Da as the Divine. That Revelation would reveal the reality and true nature of the Divine Person — e.g., the Divine Person is not "the Creator of the universe" or the "God in charge of everything", but the Consciousness in which the universe is arising, and the very Source of one's own being. (See Part 1 of this article for a more detailed description of the Revelation.) Simultaneously, it would reveal Adi Da as the Divine Person Incarnate, a human being who is utterly transparent to the Divine, enabling the Divine Revelation to be accessible for all.

That Grace-given Revelation would be self-authenticating, in the manner of all genuine Revelation, in that no further consideration or argument would be necessary for one to be absolutely certain of its truth. It would be self-authenticating in the same manner as one's own existence is self-authenticating.[2]

And then, as Adi Da has put it, that single moment of Revelation should be "sufficient to motivate a lifetime of practice", based on the principle: "you become what you meditate on." So meditate on the Divine, made tangible through Adi Da's human form, and ultimately realize the Divine — and along with it, the perfect, eternal Happiness and the perfect, eternal Freedom of the Divine that frees one forever from the bondage and suffering of life and death.

Without Revelation, living beings do not know that what they are longing for is restoration to the Divine Domain. Divine Incarnation is required, and My Divine Avataric physical human Lifetime has been a Process of that Incarnation. The Way of Divine Enlightenment, then, becomes devotion to Me, devotion to That Which Is Given by Real God uniquely for the Enlightenment, or Realization, of beings.

The Way cannot be perceived, contemplated, realized, or fulfilled apart from Revelation. It is not knowable otherwise. The Way that I have "Considered" with you can be found only by Revelation.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, July 5, 1984

Whether it occurs sooner or later in one's relationship with Adi Da, that Revelation — that fundamental recognition of Him as the Divine Person — is, in principle, the primary requirement for becoming a devotee of Adi Da, and taking up the Way of Adidam. Adidam is not a belief-based religion, but a Revelation-based practice. It is the search-free, Transcendental Spiritual practice of "God already here" based on the recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person in human form, and the response to that Revelation that moves one to embrace the practice to the fullest degree. This, rather than the search for God elsewhere: by "climbing" up to God through some form of "spiritual ascent" of the fifth-stage type [3]; or through a sixth-stage method of "seeking inwardly" to try to find the root of oneself which one presumes is God or Consciousness Itself [4]; etc.

The [Adidam] mission must operate on the basis of the presumption that everyone is My devotee, everyone recognizes Me. That is what the heart is in every case. And it is simply a matter of presenting what the heart will recognize rather than arguing over against what you imagine people are identifying themselves with. . . Make your mission out of simply telling people that I Am here. Tell them about the devotional Way in My Company. Tell them the Truth, and live It yourself. . .

Anyone who does not accept My Self-Revelation of Truth Itself is simply shunning It. They are closed off. They need to be in that Living Context of Truth Itself, and That will wash them and convert them, just That Itself. It is not about having a dialogue with them to convince them of something. It is not an argument — it is an embrace.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

5.2. When the Best of Circumstances is Not the Case: the Obstacle Course to Recognition

What I've just described is the best of circumstances. This is what Adi Da has described as the natural occurrence in the Ancient Walk-About Way, in civilizations of other times and places that were more spiritually inclined than our thoroughly materialistic, contemporary culture. In such civilizations, one was brought up to have a spiritual openness and sensitivity (and a valuing of these traits in oneself and others, along with a valuing of Spiritual Masters) that would lend itself to direct and immediate spiritual recognition of the Guru, on first sight.

And that has happened for some of Adi Da's devotees, now and again. Some devotees were given the Revelation of Who Adi Da is in their very first moment of awareness of Adi Da.

In contrast, most of us pursued a less direct route to Adi Da, having been brought up in and steeped in a culture given over to materialism and consumerism (and proud of it), and not trained to be spiritually sensitive in the least. That less direct route also was an obstacle course of sorts, where we had to deal with our own doubts about spiritual life (as well as the doubts of our friends, family, workmates, etc.); our doubts about having a Guru; our doubts about the very notion of a human Incarnation of the Divine; our doubts about Adi Da Samraj in particular; and our doubts about ourselves and our own capability to take up the rigors of genuine spiritual practice.

Doubts about spiritual life. In the beginning of our journey to Adi Da, we had to inspect and release a lot of baggage inherited from the materialistic society in which we were raised, which culturally programmed us (via TV, advertising, and every other dimension of our consumer society) toward a life of materialistic self-fulfillment, at the same time completely disinclining us toward a life given over to Spiritual Realization.

Doubts about Gurus. Some of us managed to get past that "self-fulfillment trap" — perhaps because we realized that we were going to die anyway, that all our materialistic self-indulgence wasn't going to do a damn thing about that, and that "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it" was a wholly inadequate — and therefore wholly unacceptable — response to our mortality. So our obsession with materialistic self-fulfillment relaxed a bit, enabling us to really begin exploring spiritual alternatives that might address the "problem of death". But at this point, we faced a new hurdle. . . The first thing we found in our spiritual search was "New Age spirituality" everywhere. The programming of "New Age spirituality" geared us toward teachers, workshops, endless techniques and tricks, and "do-it-yourself spirituality" altogether — and, at the same time, steered us away from Gurus and Spiritual Masters, and reinforced the Western egalitarian viewpoint in which everyone was "equal" to everyone else (and in which the notion that someone could literally be "holier than thou" or could be one's "Master" was offensive or taboo).

Of course, among other things, that common "New Age" viewpoint makes oneself — the ego — the Guru of the process of self-transcendence, which is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house! Or if you prefer, it's like thinking you can get to the Olympics without a coach. (The usual way this oversight happens is by focusing on the "God-Realization" part without including the "self-transcendence" part, as though the former could occur without the latter. As Adi Da puts it, there can be no Realization without renunciation; and, for this reason, He tends to not use the phrase "God-Realization" in isolation, preferring the longer, but more accurate phrase, "self-transcending God-Realization".)

Another thing: the viewpoint that one doesn't need a Spiritual Master presumes (incorrectly) that one would somehow be able to Realize something great, without the help of a Spiritual Master. For instance, one would somehow be able to have access to a steady unrelenting source of Spiritual Transmission or Revelation, like a Spiritual Transmission Master provides, but without a Spiritual Master. (Exactly where would one find such a Source, for real? Within oneself? Just always magically available in the universe, somewhere? Not!) Such a steady source of Spiritual Transmission is necessary if one is to duplicate a great Spiritual Revelation, and realize It as one's own Realization. This notion of being able to realize something great on one's own is an interesting hypothesis, and a lot of people make it, based on being granted a moment of Grace here or there. But moments of Grace here or there are not sufficient for anyone's perfect Realization of the Divine. A longterm process must be engaged, that necessarily relies on and drawns upon a steadily available Source of Grace (available even over many lifetimes: however long is necessary in one's own case).

By making mysticism more democratic, we’ve also made it more bourgeois, more comfortable, and more dilettantish. It’s become something we pursue as a complement to an upwardly mobile existence, rather than a radical alternative to the ladder of success. Going to yoga classes isn’t the same thing as becoming a yogi; spending a week in a retreat center doesn’t make me Thomas Merton or Thérèse of Lisieux. Our kind of mysticism is more likely to be a pleasant hobby than a transformative vocation.

Ross Douthat, "Mass Market Epiphany"
The New York Times, March 7, 2010

You have to overcome this popular trend toward recreational spirituality, recreational religion — superficial involvement in it all. . . Religious consumerism.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Devote Your Life To God-Realization", July 2, 1988

When we finally began to realize that we could go to endless workshops and seminars, gain some techniques for assuring a little "peace of mind", be able to endlessly reflect on great truths like "we are already free" and "I am That" — and yet, still remain essentially the same person on the spectrum of Spiritual Realization (i.e., still fundamentally body-based in our view and experience of reality, hence still karmically set up for countless reincarnations here), we began to realize that great Spiritual Realization (of the kind capable of enabling the Realizer to transcend all limitations of life and death) is a gift that only comes through a longterm relationship with a Spiritual Realizer who is also a "Spiritual Transmitter". We recognized as false the analogies made between Spiritual Realization and materialistic technological advances, that lead people to dismissive (but incorrect) conclusions like: It's the twenty-first century, and spiritual "technologies" have advanced to the point where notions like the "Guru-devotee relationship as the means to Realization" are "antiquated" and "outdated". And we recognized that the only form of "spiritual practice" capable of enabling the student to duplicate the Master's Realization is indeed the traditional devotional relationship, based on the principle: you become what you meditate on.

At this point in our progressive understanding and spiritual journey, there was the matter of which Realization and which Spiritual Transmitter (and associated spiritual practice) to consider and to commit oneself to.

. . . it’s possible that our horizons have become too broad, and that real spiritual breakthroughs require a kind of narrowing — the decision to pick a path and stick with it, rather than hopscotching around in search of a synthesis that “works for me.” The great mystics of the past were often committed to a particular tradition and community, and bound by the rules (and often the physical confines) of a specific religious institution. Without these kind of strictures and commitments, Johnson argues, mysticism drifts easily into a kind of solipsism: “Kabbalism apart from Torah-observance is playacting; Sufism disconnected from Shariah is vague theosophy; and Christian mysticism that finds no center in the Eucharist or the Passion of Christ drifts into a form of self-grooming.”

Ross Douthat, "Mass Market Epiphany"
The New York Times, March 7, 2010

For many of us engaging this consideration of "comparative spirituality", Adi Da stood out right away, because He has communicated how the whole process works with incredible clarity and comprehensiveness; He has characterized and classified all the various Realizations and all of the world's religious and spiritual traditions (via His "seven stages of life" framework); and He has made it clear that what He is Transmitting is the Ultimate Revelation: the Divine Reality Itself. So we started reading Adi Da's books, talks, or essays; listening to audio clips, or watching videos and looking at pictures of Him; attending events in the Adidam community nearest us; talking with devotees to hear their experiences with Him, and their spiritual recognition of Who He is. (This site is full of such accounts.)

Doubts about Adi Da. But then even more obstacles rose up in the path! This time they were focused on Adi Da Himself. We read on certain "negative websites" about a lawsuit against Adi Da, and various "accusations" about His behavior. Sometimes it is our friends and family who find and bring us these things — that is, usually those who only intend the best for us, but who also don't have the slightest clue about esoteric spiritual practice, and the centuries of spiritual tradition supporting the spiritual virtue of the Guru-devotee relationship. What they do know about is contemporary stories about cults and cult masters, and they naturally (but mistakenly) presume the "accusations" imply Adidam is a "cult" and Adi Da is a "cult master". (The notion that any human being — apart from Jesus, if they are nominally Christian — could actually be the human Incarnation of the Divine is not a possibility the typical person brought up in Western materialistic culture is willing to entertain, without an extensive education in the world's spiritual traditions. The general presumption is that anyone making such a claim could only be totally crazy as well as a megalomaniac.) They also tend to express a kind of conservative bias that favors large, "established" religions over small, new religions. What they don't know or consider is that which religions become "established" or large has little to do with "truth" or Revelation, but a lot to do with a Darwinian process that enables religious groups with certain social traits and skills to survive better than others.[5]

5.3. Did He or Didn't He?

I Am the Self of God. . . All miracles are potent in My Heart. I come here to Give you everything without the slightest reluctance. . . How have I served you? By countering your self-contraction, your reluctance to submit to Divine Intoxication. . .

God is Great. But, unfortunately for you, bullshit is greater! That is why the appearance of the [human incarnation of God] does not impress people as it should.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Baptism of Immortal Happiness

So for those discovering Adi Da and considering taking up the God-Realizing Way of Adidam, one frequent stumbling block is their running across websites which list things Adi Da allegedly did that ended up ostensibly hurting some devotee.

Some people who are heart-drawn to Adi Da have no problem with these "negative websites", and are not personally plagued by the "Did He or Didn't He?" questions they might suggest to others. As one woman put it:

Though I struggle with Recognition [of Adi Da as the Divine], "Did He or didn't He?" was never a question for me. It seems utterly ridiculous in light of his life work, his teaching and the profound resonance of truth in it, his presence, his devotion to Truth and Reality, his sacrifice, his humor, his obvious love for all. The problem is within me.

So for people like this woman, their spiritual ordeal is simply to stay in place, immersing themselves in Adi Da, to the point where they receive, through His Grace, the great Revelation that is recognition of Him as the Divine — which enables them to become His devotee and take up the Way of Adidam.

But for every person who has a simpler path to Adi Da (like this woman), many other spiritual seekers who have visited such "negative websites" arrive at our doorstep, quite confused. They are impressed and often deeply moved by Adi Da's obvious wisdom and compassion; they are often also deeply moved by seeing His pictures or videos (many are feeling His Spiritual Transmission in some form), or by hearing the extraordinary stories of Revelation by His devotees. But they are then completely confused by the negative rumors going round.

So, frequently people come to us with hearts that are drawn to Adi Da, but with guts that are knotted up by these rumors. Seeking a resolution to this split between their heart and their gut, people come to us with questions of the form, "Did He or didn't He?" (Or: "If He did, then can you account for why He did it in Spiritual terms?")

A simple summary of what we find when we systematically go through all the "did He or didn't He" questions is this:

  • The source of these stories is a very small, unrepresentative (but very vocal) group of ex-devotees. Most ex-devotees are not at all negatively disposed toward Adi Da and Adidam, and many maintain positive relationships with the Adidam community. For example, here is a recent independent study conducted on this. One of the findings: 91% of ex-devotees consider Adi Da a "great religious teacher". A comment from a former devotee like the one below is not unusual:

    [In response to a story about Adi Da:] As a devotee of Adi Da during the late 1970's and early 80's, I very much appreciate your acknowledgement of Master Da's influence on your life and on the evolution of spiritual teaching in our time. He taught me more than I can possibly recount, and I, too, am profoundly grateful.

    Here's a more extensive comment from another former devotee, Jill Kelly-Moore, responding on a public website to someone asking her about the negative stories:

    Jill Kelly-Moore: When I lived in the community (end of "Garbage and the Goddess" days) there were long periods of very serious practice. Once in a while, on a Friday, Master Da would call a party, during which time all living conditions were lifted. I saw those times as ways of determining just what anyone was really craving that the conditions prevented. For me it was coffee, and forbidden foods. But I do have an eating disorder, so that fits.

    Most people in my households indulged in cigarettes, alcohol, a bit of pot and some sexual fun; that was all I witnessed. It was a nice change from the conditions, but usually, we were back on the conditions on Monday.

    As I said before I was not part of the inner circle. I never really wanted to be. I knew intuitively that I was there to be a student, live the life of a student, to gain insight from that. There were those who did want the inner circle and frankly, it seemed Master Da gave them a double dose of what that would mean; he would give things (position, influence) and take them away with great rapidity, which I took to be a lesson tailored for that individual so they could see what they were doing. I cannot answer to all of the rumors, stories, lawsuits, etc. because I did not witness any of that. My experience there, while challenging to the set of situational ethics I had invented from living in counterculture, was wholly good. While I am aware that most people, including you, I guess, are much more interested in the seedier and more spurious stories, I cannot speak to those. I believe I was given exactly what I needed. . .

    [On leaving:] I knew I was not completely committed, heart and soul, to Master Da as Guru and God. I did not think it fair to others to stay under those circumstances, even though I was having a wonderful experience and will always speak kindly of Master Da and my time there.

    Or read this in memoriam from a former devotee who is no longer formally practicing as Adi Da's devotee, but who considers Adi Da to be his "root-guru".

    Terry Patten: My root-guru, Adi Da Samraj, passed a year ago this Thanksgiving in Fiji. He was 69. I was a devotee of this great God-realizer from the age of 22 until I was 37. He not only profoundly transformed my life and consciousness, but, I think, helped transform the entirety of contemporary Western spirituality, even though he is not nearly as widely known as he is influential.

    On this anniversary of his passing, I remember him with gratitude, and look back in amazement at his legacy. Please know, words fail here. To speak about Adi Da is to nominate oneself as one of the blind men reporting on the elephant. Adi Da was one part Jesus Christ, one part Picasso, one part Nagarjuna, one part Marlon Brando, and one part Genghis Khan. And more. . .

    This is true of many "former" devotees: they still consider Adi Da to be their Teacher or Spiritual Master (or one of their teachers or masters), even if they have associated with other teachers or masters in the meantime.

    Nancy C. is no longer a formal devotee of Adi Da, but the reason she "left" may surprise the reader:

    Nancy C: Even though I am no longer a formal student, the argument of [Adi Da's] teaching has stayed with me, and I have remained suspicious of my self-involved motives at every turn. It has made me more tolerant of other ways of life, and more open to change. . . He criticized me for being an idealistic romantic, and wanting to make my own religion rather than turn to Him. In fact, I seemed incapable to submit to that relationship in a mature fashion, and I came to wonder if the whole construct of the Guru-devotee relationship was even possible for me. I entered into it very naively (and also with a lot of baggage). But every time I saw Him, I was so immersed in love. Even when I view a picture of Him now, I come to rest in truth. He awakens me to love. I have experienced awakenings with viewing other murtis, viewing a tiger, and even just being present with anyone brings me into that experience again . . . but with Him it always goes deeper. . .

    I’ve called Him a madman, I’ve called Him a saint, I’ve called Him a hedonist, and a trickster. I’ve called myself a sheep for following Him, but now I yearn for Him, and can only find Him, in everything and everyone. I see Him now as I write, mad with Love, and longing to be connected to something beyond my ordinary limitation. Anything short of that is unbearable. The gift He gave me was like no other gift I have received in my life. . . I found in Adi Da Samraj a doorway from maya, even though it nearly killed me to see what was necessary. . .

    I left Adi Da Samraj because the revelation of Narcissus was unbearable to me. Yes, there were “others” that hurt me, that abandoned me, but it’s what I did in the face of that which created the real suffering. You can say anything you want about this incredible being, Adi Da Samraj, but in my reality, He was the only one who showed me true love, who was willing to insult me to the ultimate degree to help me to see my real condition. Every day I pray that I live the gift of revelation He gave me. I pray that I live as an open heart surrendered to truth, and aligned to the beauty He demonstrated to me. In my life, He was the only one that loved me freely and fiercely. Not "me" as a separative ego, but me as an aspect of the Divine shining to infinity and throughout each and every body-mind.

    Another man explains why he will not "recommend" Adi Da to most spiritual seekers:

    I am not Pro, per se, nor am I Con either, in retrospect, and after years of deeply considered and completely amazing relationship with Adi Da Samraj and "The Community", I am instead in Mystery. Most Spiritual Teachers currently will promise you a vision, a meditation, or something, something that will alter your present State of dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Adi Da Samraj promised me nothing. I have been asked by younger spiritual seekers if I recommend Adi Da Samraj, and I say "No" — not because I feel Adi Da Samraj is invalid; instead, it is because most spiritual seekers are casual "seekers", looking for "the Blue Pearl", a "Chakra High", or some casual Enlightenment to surmount the World and remove their fear of Death. Adi Da Samraj supplied none of that. Adi Da Samraj was a disappointment to almost all casual spiritual seekers.

    Adi Da Samraj was everything you did not expect or want. If you sought Asceticism, He appeared to be Self-Indulgent. If you wanted Self-Indulgence, He only offered you the deepest personal Asceticism. He would upset you deeper than any relationship you ever had, and you became enthralled with Him more than with anyone — Ever. Adi Da Samraj fulfilled the Classical Guru function; He was a "Fire", and He burned you — one does not approach The Guru without a gift, or casually.

    With most, I do not share my relationship or experiences with Adi Da Samraj. . . they are too close, too personal, too dear, and only a tiny few have the capacity to feel into the understanding of such a relationship. He was not a conventional Man.

  • Many of the alleged "incidents" flat out didn't happen. This includes those allegations that formed the basis for the primary lawsuit — read this letter from the lawsuit's complainant, Beverly O'Mahony, which completely exonerates Adi Da:

    Beverly: I agree that 99% of what I have seen of any reporting on the Community/Guru is horseshit.

    It is also worth noting that, in 2006, a devotee in England was involved in a child custody case where her ex-husband thought he could gain some legal advantage by bringing up in court all the slander he could find about Adi Da Samraj on the Internet. The judge went through every allegation, and dismissed every single one of them as being either hearsay, rumor, or utterly irrelevant, and having no legal basis in fact.

  • Some incidents occurred, but are greatly twisted out of context by Adi Da's detractors. As just a few of many examples, read our stories from Lynne Wagner, Katsu, Eileen McCarthy, and Sally Taylor, who provide the actual context of the "incidents". For example:

    [A little context for this story: Beverly O'Mahony (her married name at the time; she has since remarried) was the ex-devotee bringing the primary lawsuit against Adi Da and the community of Adidam. The lawsuit was mainly about Beverly's divorce from her husband, devotee Brian O'Mahony.]

    Lynne Wagner: When told that I was being sued for "imprisoning" Beverly, my first response was amazement. It was such a distortion of the real events, I could not believe that she was serious. During the couple of weeks Beverly was on retreat in Fiji, I talked with her two or three times about her practice and what she was going through with Brian. She was very unhappy about their relationship and determined to confront him when she got back to California. Discussing her marital problems was uncomfortable, but I was Brian's friend, had just met Beverly and wanted to help them, because I thought they loved each other.

    I suggested that Beverly stay on the island a bit longer, take some time to relax, come to terms with her feelings of anger and betrayal and consider all the issues she wanted to bring up with Brian. And that's what she did — she waited a week or so until the next boat came to the island, and then she left. She certainly was not "held against her will".

    Or read this article from longtime devotee, James Steinberg, who attended virtually every occasion with Adi Da, including those associated with the alleged "incidents". From the article:

    James Steinberg: There is no denying that our community had great periods of experimentation in the emotional-sexual area. I never witnessed nor heard of anything I would describe as 'sexual abuse', and I have been to many, many gatherings.

    You may also find it helpful to read this article on how all such experimental considerations were completely voluntary. From the article:

    Crane Kirkbride: I've had personal examples of when I received “strong encouragement” to participate in a particular consideration relative to some aspect of practice and said, “no.” And it was let go — no forcing. Strong invitation, because Adi Da clearly saw something about me that could have been served by my being seen or revealed or exposed or released through participation. But even so, there was no forcing. In all the years I've been around Adi Da — thirty-two, or however long it is now — I've never seen anybody forced into a position that he or she clearly said “no” about. . . .

    I remember one occasion (among many) when a devotee simply said, “I don’t need it and I’m not interested.” And so he didn’t participate. And there was no problem about it.

  • Some incidents require recognizing that Adi Da is a genuine Spiritual Master and Spiritual Transmitter, and understanding what that means. Read our stories from Connie Mantas and Wes Vaught, Antonina Randazzo, and Chris Tong for just a few of many examples. Or read James Steinberg's article on Money and the Guru, for another dimension of this, as well as James' book, Divine Distraction, about the esoteric nature of the Guru-devotee relationship (with Adi Da in particular, and throughout history altogether).

    Just to illustrate how things get distorted, here is what Connie Mantas wrote, in response to rumors on various negative websites that Adi Da "hit a pregnant woman in the belly":

    Connie Mantas: Around September or October of 1974, I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy with my son, Ben. Spontaneously one evening, as we stood near the Master's Chair chanting softly to Him, Beloved Adi Da reached out and placed His hand very forcefully on my swollen belly. I fell back in a swoon of His Spiritual Force onto the devotees who were standing behind me, and we all just stood in that moment together. I closed my eyes and continued to feel His Spiritual Transmission very strongly in my body. Then it was over just as quickly as it began.

    Later, at the end of the evening, I still could feel the touch of His hand on my stomach, and I had a sense of His strong Blessing, as if by placing His hand there He were calling His devotee into being. Several months later, I had a wonderful baby boy, fully healthy and strong.

    Many years later, that baby boy, Ben Grisso, would grow up into a young man with a very strong devotional response to Adi Da. During the final years of Adi Da's human lifetime, Ben lived with Adi Da on Adi Da Samrajashram and served Him directly, helping Him create His Image-Art.

  • There are a few incidents for which we may never have any (conventionally acceptable) explanation.

Over time, we'll be saying more about this (here on this site), pinning this down more precisely, identifying which accusations fall into which category above, etc. Indeed, our "Crazy Wisdom" section and our "Lawsuits, Countersuits, and Media Circuses" section already contains many firsthand accounts that provide the actual details and context for a number of these incidents; and we'll be adding many more of these over time.

Of course to have to focus on what Adi Da didn't do (like those anti-Adi Da sites do throughout, or like we are doing here for a brief moment) is to completely miss what He did do. In addition to the extraordinary gifts He gave (and continues to give) to everyone — His ongoing Spiritual Transmission, the Empowered Sanctuaries, His amazingly profound, comprehensive, and Revelatory Teaching-Wisdom, His Revelatory Image-Art, a worldwide community of devotees capable of invoking the Divine for real, advanced practitioners of the Way of Adidam who provide ongoing inspiration and practical guidance, etc. — this site contains hundreds of stories from individual devotees, expressing their gratitude to Adi Da for countless gifts, from Divine Revelation and Spiritual Transmission to human maturity and freedom.

To get immersed in what Adi Da did or didn't do (or to allow it to become the sticking point in one's approach to Adi Da) also misses the overarching reality of the Way of Adidam: those devotees who have received the Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine (the only right starting point for becoming Adi Da's devotee) to the point where they have been transformed by that Revelation are not at all troubled by (or fixated on) such questions. The Reality of the Divine — Revealed by Adi Da in every moment of contemplation of Him — has become so profound and so obviously the Center and Purpose of truly sane life, that the suggestion of throwing out the "Baby" (that direct, tangible access to the Divine in every moment) with the "bath water" (those questions) seems truly absurd for such devotees.

Even so, many of Adi Da's devotees had to go through a process where they initially had to grapple with their doubts; but where — in the end — the impact of Adi Da's Revelation on their hearts was too powerful to dismiss, and ultimately, would transcend those doubts. Here's a story of a young man going through exactly that process recently, and coming out the other side.

In 2009, I came across The Knee of Listening at my university's library in upstate New York. On the back, there was a testimonial from Alan Watts, who I am fond of, and I think I had also seen a recommendation from Robert Anton Wilson in one of Wilson's books. So, I borrowed the book.

I read parts of The Knee of Listening, but I guess you could say I was not pulled in at the time. I returned it and didn't give it a second thought.

Then — I think it was 2011 — I had a dream where I entered a building, some sort of center of Adi Da's. A receptionist told me "Adi Da is ready to see you now." So I walked into a small room where Adi Da was sitting on a platform that wrapped around the room. He got up, walked over to me, and, without saying anything, He put his hands on my shoulders — and I was filled head-to-toe with the most incredible bliss I have ever experienced. All of my perpetual, self-contracted seeking activity was released in that moment. I was home. Every cell in my body was radiating illuminated ecstasy. Although He didn't say anything, my overwhelming impression of His communication was that I needed to "Stop!".

This dream is easily one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Upon waking up, I went to one of the Adidam websites where it says in the FAQs, "If Adi Da appears in your dreams or visions, this is a sign of who He is, and the most appropriate response would be to look into His teachings and reach out to His devotees." So I ordered a copy of The Liberating Word CD, and went back to the library and borrowed The Knee of Listening a second time.

At some point in this renewed investigation of Adi Da's Teachings, I came across the Today Show "exposé", and some of the negative websites that try to paint a not-so-pretty picture of Adi Da, and this was a put-off for me. So I put Adidam on the back-burner as I finished college and moved to Colorado. I did not give Adi Da much thought from 2012-2015.

However, this past spring (2016), I decided that the dream in 2011 was one of the most meaningful spiritual occasions of my life. So, for the past eight months, I have been more or less firmly committed to an investigation of Adi Da's teachings, listening and re-listening to several hours of His talks per week, relating these experiences and teachings to my friends and meditation teachers, and reading more of His writings. I also am going to take the Da Avatar intro course.

December, 2016
Colorado Springs, Colorado

For devotees who fully "come out the other side", the difference, in a nutshell, is this: If you discover for real that someone actually is the Divine in human form, and is providing you with the means for Realizing the Divine — the Divine State of Perfect, Eternal Happiness — everything else becomes utterly peripheral.

James Steinberg: I have seen [Adi Da] weep many times talking about Rudi [one of Adi Da's spiritual teachers] and the sacrifice that Rudi made in order to serve Him, and the force that Rudi had to have in order to deal with Him. Beloved Adi Da came to Rudi as an undisciplined young man, and Rudi mastered Him relative to the first three stages of life. Beloved Adi Da had tremendous appreciation for Realizers, but at the same time He would tell the other side also — the personal qualities, the craziness, and strangeness.

Yet He said that He never let their qualities get in the way of His recognition of their greatness and His honor and love for them. He said, "That is one of the secrets of Spiritual Life in My Company—never let My personal qualities get in the way of your deeper recognition of Me."

James Steinberg, "Pure from the Beginning: Beloved Adi Da's Call for the Universal Acceptance of the Great Tradition As the Common Inheritance of Humankind"
Adi Da Samrajashram Journal
p. 28-29, Vol. 1, Number 4.

We'll now explore this in greater depth.

5.4. The Critical Difference that Recognition Makes

When you recognize Me As I Am, there is no doubt in you.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "As I Am — And In Plain Sight"
Part 21
, The Aletheon

At one point in the midst of my consideration of this subject, I asked a good friend and fellow devotee, who had spent much time in Adi Da's company (and had personal experience of many of the "incidents" from twenty years ago or more to which Adi Da's detractors refer) the following question: "Is there anything you could find out that Adi Da did, that would cause you to stop being His devotee?" Without hesitation, he instantly responded, "No!". And I knew my answer was the same.

Now of course, we gave this answer already knowing certain "parameters" that circumscribed and delimited everything Adi Da did. We knew that the kind of behavior we were hypothesizing they might discover would not include murder, torture, asking devotees to jump off the roof, etc. And we knew it would not involve coercion, but would reside within the framework of consenting adults. Rather, it would be things that would jar with our conventional (and sometimes puritanical) preconceptions of what a Spiritual Master or "holy person" should look like. (Sex with a lot of women devotees is a typical example.)

Why wouldn't any discovery of that sort have any impact on our continuing to be Adi Da's devotees? We pondered this question for a long time. As both a person and a professionally trained scientist, I have always been averse to cultic behavior, and I knew that wasn't what my friend and I were engaged in here (i.e., we weren't just shoving under the rug what we didn't want to see). I also knew it wasn't even a matter of loyalty (like "I'd never leave my Guru over something like that"). Something much more profound — something Spiritual — was being reflected.

All of us for whom the "did He or didn't He" kind of question no longer held any power over our commitment to remaining Adi Da's devotees have one thing in common: We have been immersed repeatedly (some of us countless times) in Adi Da's Divine State. Or, in Adi Da's specialized language, we have recognized Him as the Divine — in many moments. That repeated Revelation (described in detail in the previous parts of this article) changes the game completely — at least if one allows it to do so.

From a spiritual viewpoint, recognition dissolves the questioner. From a practical viewpoint, having the means to be immersed, non-separately in the Divine State (through the devotional relationship with Adi Da) in any moment from now on is so obviously the Ultimate Treasure anyone could wish for, that no one who realized this would ever give up that Treasure simply because of the "did He or didn't He" questions that so confuse people first getting to know Adi Da and wondering about becoming His devotee. No devotee who has truly received (and therefore has been penetrated by) the Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine would throw the Baby out with the bathwater!

It is this last point that is absolutely critical when considering the "Did He or didn't He?" kind of questions. Perhaps you, the reader, are someone who hasn't yet had the Revelation I am describing (let alone the repeated Revelation, consistently repeatable in every moment of practice of the Way of Adidam, via an endlessly reliable Source). But if you did receive that Revelation, then you — like me — wouldn't really care about the "did He or didn't He" questions! Not only because, given that Adi Da is no longer humanly present, you have nothing to worry about what He might "do" to you; that's true enough too, practically speaking. But the deeper reason is: because it's completely besides the point, once you get the point.

5.5. The Best Focus for Interested Spiritual Seekers: Receiving the Revelation

So here I am, having access to this Ultimate Treasure, wanting to share it with you, knowing you are interested in Adi Da, but perhaps not yet in the place I am in, where the virtue of the Treasure that He Is authenticates Itself, and no further questions are necessary, only the practice that magnifies the Realization.

Because it is simply great, good fortune that lands me in my shoes rather than in yours — "There but for the Grace of God go I", goes the old saying — it is my obligation to find a way to pass this Treasure on to you.

What do I recommend you do, then, in this situation?

First: If you've been "sitting on the fence" relative to Adi Da, climb down off it — to the degree of being willing to commit some serious time and energy to a consideration that has the potential to change your destiny to the ultimate degree.

Next: Do everything you can do to open yourself to receiving the Revelation I've just described.

You could ask me "Did He or didn't He?" questions for decades. (And some people interested in Adi Da do just that, coming to events in our regional centers for years, but never becoming a devotee of Adi Da and truly benefitting from the Way of Adidam.) And I could provide you with detailed and even satisfactory answers to every single one of your questions, and yet — you could still have doubts! Why? Because the "Did He or didn't He?" form of questioning is not a process or consideration that has any clear endpoint or guarantee of convergence. You can't eliminate all doubts by it, and you certainly won't get the Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine Person as a result of such questions — because you're meditating on doubt, not the Divine.

If I could, I'd just find a way to give you directly the Revelation I've already received, and which has relieved me of the confusion or doubt such questions can otherwise create. And in fact, some of us are experimenting with ways to facilitate the reception of that Revelation for interested people open to the possibility (for example, through special courses).

I recommend that you do everything possible to facilitate that Revelation in your own case. It is a Gift (Adi Da calls it "Acausal"), so there is nothing you or I can do to "cause" it to happen for you. But you can facilitate it by contemplating Adi Da and getting to know Him better. And you can facilitate it by understanding and relaxing any resistance to it in yourself, anything that might keep you from being open to that Revelation.

"Contemplating Adi Da and getting to know Him better" includes immersing yourself in Adi Da's "Room" (as Adi Da often refers to it) to the degree that you can study His Word, listen to His talks, view videos and pictures of Him, talk with devotees about Adi Da and the Way of Adidam, view His Image-Art, and attend events in the Adidam community nearest you.

Devotion to Me is established through listening to My Word, My Leelas, sighting My Form Bodily here. When this becomes the finding of Me, the recognition of Me, then devotion to Me is established. This Way is not established before then. Until then you can study this Way, you can listen to the stories of My Life and Work, you can sight My Bodily Human Form, Avatarically Born Divinely here, and all that continues until there is the true recognition-response to Me. Then The Way can begin.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Find Me, Know Me, Recognize Me"
The Way Beyond Ego (CD)

In addition, because this Revelation is not just a matter of immersing oneself in Adi Da, but also a matter of self-understanding — of discovering (and transcending) all the ways one is pre-disposed to be closed to that Gift — consider which of the following "pre-Adidam" issues (not specific to Adi Da or the Way of Adidam) may apply (to some degree) in your own case:

  • There is still a significant part of "me" that is committed to a life of materialistic self-fulfillment. Perhaps I'm "intellectually" interested in spiritual life, but what my life habits suggest about me (i.e., where my time and energy actually goes) is another matter — I'm "talking the talk", but not yet "walking the walk". Or as Adi Da once put it, I have one foot in the self-transcendence camp, and one foot in the self-indulgence camp (and the bigger "foot" is in the latter. . .).

  • There is still a significant part of "me" that feels there should be a way to realize anything spiritually on my own, without the need of a Guru or Spiritual Master. Something in me resists the notion of "surrendering" to a Spiritual "Master" (even God — my very Source, and my True Self — in person).

  • There is still a significant part of "me" that has problems with the notion of a human Incarnation of the Divine Person (even though, intellectually, I understand that, by "Divine Person" we're not talking about the omniscient and omnipotent Judeo-Christian God, but rather the Consciousness in Whom all beings and things are arising).

  • There still is a significant part of "me" that is bothered by any non-egalitarian assertions about spiritual traditions, such as: one spiritual path could lead to a greater Realization than another (in the sense that more forms and levels of egoic patterning are transcended), one Realizer is (consequently) "greater" than another, etc.

Recognize any of these in yourself? Most of us have some of them; it's almost inevitable when raised in a materialistic, anti-authoritarian culture like ours.

If any of these patterns are in play in you, they will tend to block the reception of Adi Da's Revelation, either limiting it or shutting it down altogether — sometimes through knee-jerk, emotional reactions. (In fact, these tendencies and viewpoints are just as much a matter of consideration for devotees as for interested non-devotees, because they represent the habits and cultural programming of a lifetime; they don't just disappear overnight, even after the Revelation is given, and one becomes a devotee.)

For instance, if you are bothered by the "non-egalitarianism" in a phrase like, "Only-By-Me-Given" (which appears here and there in Adi Da's Teaching, and is based on His comprehensive, comparative study of all the precedents in the world's spiritual and religious traditions), that very disturbance will tend to block your reception of His Revelation. You'll be so caught up in your reaction to His words, that you'll miss Him!

5.6. Doubt Mind (and Its Endless Perpetuation) Versus the Revelation of Recognition

Adi Da has repeatedly confirmed that doubts can arise, even after a person has a moment of recognition of Him as the Divine. For this reason, He said (see the video clip in Part 4): "If the Revelation [of God] is made clear in this moment, then make a solemn, eternal vow of absolute commitment to God-Realization, and commit yourself to do whatever is necessary for the sake of God-Realization. Devote this life to it, devote whatever time and space appear entirely to God-Realization." This accounts for the practical reality that a crystal clear moment of genuine Revelation can be followed by many further moments that are not so clear, are clouded by ego, and in which that Revelation may be obscured, momentarily or for extended periods. But one should never let such less conscious, less Revelatory moments cause one to fall from a life that has been rightly organized around the moments of genuine Revelation.

The sun doesn't cease to exist, just because local weather conditions temporarily obscure it from the viewpoint of those under the clouds!

Adi Da Samraj[Devotees] experience Satsang with Me and the quality of Spiritual life in My Avataric Divine Company as something very enjoyable, very profound. Then, all of a sudden, they come to the first point of crisis in this Way of heart-relationship to Me. An insane compulsion, almost like a possession, overcomes them and seems to demand that they abandon this sadhana. They wake up one morning: "My Guru is no good. The gathering of devotees is no good. Spiritual life is no good. None of this has anything to do with me. I should leave and return to my previous, relatively happy existence." If they are able to hold on through a few of these episodes, they begin to see all of this as their own activity, not anything that truly reflects on this sadhana, and they become stable again in Satsang with Me.

When this form of crisis is (thus) overcome, then (at some point) a new one develops — just as suddenly and with equal force. Then they think: "The sadhana is good. My Guru is good. The gathering of devotees is good. Truth is good. Spiritual life is good. But I'm no good. I'm not ready for it yet. I'm not an 'old enough' soul yet. I'm still full of desires. I guess I'm supposed to seek for a while." This is the crisis of self-doubt. It is often topped off with the observation (so called) that "My Guru hates me." And, so, they want to leave — if only for that reason!

"Narcissus" is always a form of contraction, of separation, of leaving. But if you are able to pass through both of these crises — still holding on to Me, still maintaining a responsible refusal to exploit this subjective life-drama — then you can begin to settle stably into the Real Spiritual life of Satsang with Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, My "Bright" Word

Adi Da explains how this doubt of "self" and "other" is an inherent characteristic of egoity, which the ego enacts with everyone (including Adi Da):

The ego-'I' is 'self'-destructive and 'other'-destructive. The ego-'I' is a cornered rat. The 'self'-contraction confines the 'self' to a lesser principle of existence, a separate being. Everything associated with it, then, becomes a kind of surrounding, a kind of trap, a confinement. You alternate between the 'self'-doubting, 'self'-destructive orientation, and the 'other'-doubting, 'other'-destructive orientation until you become responsible, through 'self'-observation, for this confinement, this knot of egoity, and become coincident with the Totality of Existence, Divine Existence. Then you can begin to grow again, and not only in human terms, in the ordinary sense, but Spiritually, in the highest human terms.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
in a gathering with devotees in August, 1982

In terms of facilitating Adi Da's Revelation in your own case, the "Did He or didn't He?" questions will not serve to attune you with that Revelation, the prerequisite for becoming Adi Da's devotee. They only stir up doubt, and answers to them at best only relieve doubt (momentarily); both are self-oriented activities, whereas the activities that serve the Revelation do not return you to "yourself", but rather open you to the Divine Reality (that includes, but is greater than, "you").

More specifically, if you are someone interested in the possibility of becoming Adi Da's devotee, but have doubts:

  • answering all your "Did He or didn't He?" questions (or any questions, for that matter) will not give you Adi Da's Revelation, which is the necessary prerequisite for becoming a devotee.

  • On the other hand, receiving that Revelation makes all the "Did He or didn't He?" questions irrelevant.

Taken together, these two observations imply that the Revelation is taking place on a different, deeper "level" than the questions, the question-answering, and the questioner — hence the Revelation "pulls the rug out" from under the questions, the question-answering, and the questioner. The Revelation and the questions (or answers to them) have nothing to do with each other! The only connection is a negative one: the doubt, fear, or other reactivity engendered by questions (or answers to them, or lack of answers to them) can cause one to become closed to the possibility of this Revelation.

In this sense, such doubts can cause one to choose not to invest the time visiting Adi Da's "Room" to the point where you receive this Gift of Revelation. And that would be a great loss, when one considers one's destiny altogether.

5.7. A Story of Recognition Dissolving the Questioner

Let me tell you a personal story that illustrates this point about different "levels". One evening, on the island of Naitauba in Fiji, I was Graced to be in a gathering of devotees with our Beloved Guru. He was dancing around the room, and we were all dancing around with Him. We were dancing to a song whose refrain focused on the words: "Me . . . Me." As the singer would sing those words, Adi Da would point to His own chest, and mouth the words, "Me . . . Me."

Of course, I knew that our Beloved Guru is the focal point of our practice, and the very means of our Realization, and that's what He was humorously indicating, as He pointed to Himself. But for some reason, in that moment, I suddenly entered into a contracted vision, where all I could see was a roomful of apparent cult members, all following their apparently megalomanical leader ecstatically, with me being the only one not caught up in and going along with the "delusion". It felt terrible: I had no desire to have this "vision", but I couldn't do anything about it. In that moment, it possessed me.

Adi Da instantly perceived where I was at, and just as the music reached the key line of the refrain again, He looked straight at me, and shouted: "ME, Tongue, ME!".[6] The Force of His Spiritual Transmission completely blew "me" away, and instantly I was restored to His Domain of Perfect Happiness and Perfect Non-Separateness. All doubt, all questions, all contraction was gone. It was like when the sun comes out: before and after; or when you have a moment of doubt in your intimate, but then her radiance and love toward you in the next moment makes you realize how unfounded and self-generated (and downright silly) your doubt was. I saw how I had literally contracted into that depressed state, and the doubts and questions were a product of the contraction. I saw how Adi Da had literally Blasted me out of it, and back into Him, into His State. I was beaming with happiness, and joyfully returned to dancing around the room with my Beloved Lord and my friends.

Everyone transmits. All of you are transmitters. You reinforce these limitations in one another and you transmit them to one another. Each one of you emits invisible forces that are locked up in limited messages that reinforce the same limitations in others . . . Realizers of one or another degree of Spiritual development likewise by nature spontaneously Transmit what they are. . . . Since everything and everyone transmits states of existence, since life, or existence itself, is participation in transmissions of all kinds, the best thing you can do is to associate with the greatest possible Transmission above all. . . . That is the great rule, the Great Law, the Ultimate principle of the Great Tradition.

The Spiritual Master is a Transmitter, an Agency of Transmission, like the Sun. The Sun never sets and is never changed. The Spiritual Master may appear to others as the Sun appears in relation to the Earth. Those people see the Spiritual Master through their own minds, through circumstances, through all kinds of problems, limitations, and ordinary human signs. They do not realize the nature of the Spiritual Master as Adept, as Transmitter. They think of the Spiritual Master as an ordinary man, and they think of themselves as people who are inherently incapable of the Spiritual response. But if you truly understand and become a practitioner, a devotee, then you understand the Spiritual Master as Adept. You see the shining perpetually. You see the Transmission, the Radiant Force of Consciousness in that person. He or she is not an ordinary person. His or her body-mind is simply a material focus. But you must see beyond the local weather that is the Adept's bodily appearance and circumstance. You must see the Sun.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, See My Brightness Face To Face

No amount of intellectual argument could have dissolved that depressed, doubtful state I had been in. It was literally an Awakening, a moment of recognition of the Divine, a radical "shift" to (and re-immersion in) the always already present Divine State, that did it. And the instant I was no longer in that contracted state, all my questions and doubts vanished as well. They were gone, but they also were obviously, utterly irrelevant.

In the Way of Adidam, meditation arises only in the heart-relationship with Me — only under the conditions of Truth, already lived. There is Force in such meditation. For my rightly practicing devotee, meditation is an intense Fire. It is a marvelous Intelligence, a Brilliance, a Genius, a Living Force. It is not a pious attempt to quiet your little thoughts. It blasts the hell out of those thoughts! From the "Point of View" of the Living Divine Heart (or Truth Itself, or Reality Itself), there is no concern for all of these thoughts, all of these dilemmas, all of this mediocrity of suffering. All of that amounts to nothing. . . . When Satsang with Me becomes the Principle of your life, and Truth becomes the form of your meditation, thought is consumed. Such True Meditation is a Pressure under Which thoughts cannot survive.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, My "Bright" Word

* * *

Longtime devotee Anne Henderson tells a related story, where a question is asked on one level, and an Answer is given by Adi Da on a more profound level, dissolving the questioner.

Anne had just given a presentation about Adi Da and His Work at a major bookstore in Los Angeles. Someone raised a question about the 1985 lawsuits against Adidam, that was deliberately intended to embarrass Adi Da and Anne. (The questioner had posted online earlier that same day that he would be attending the presentation to do exactly that.) Suddenly, Adi Da "took over" Anne, and gave His Reply to the questioner — as Anne describes it:

a brilliant, laser-like "beam" of energy, which had the quality of pure love and absolute compassion, shot out of the heart region of my chest and went directly to this man.

The end result? The man who had attended with the sole purpose of embarrassing Adi Da and Anne signed up for a course given by the local Adidam center.

* * *

In a similar way, Alaya Gernon tells the story of how she was moved to become Adi Da's devotee, but, at the same time, she was wracked with doubts about Adi Da, stemming from the allegations on the negative websites — until Adi Da took her through a profound and miraculous process that relieved all her doubts through recognition of Him as the Divine Person.

* * *

"Are there any questions?" was one of Adi Da's favorite lines when He gathered with His devotees, and from it — the questions asked by devotees, and Adi Da's responses — came thousands of talks filled with extraordinary wisdom. He humorously said once that, collectively, we were an "Avatar of reluctance", whose resistance to (and therefore, weakness in) practice, along with endless questions, were what led Him to create His extraordinary and comprehensive Wisdom-Teaching.

You all, meaning the whole community, should be championing this Teaching, communicating this Way, stabilizing this institution, creating communities, keeping the literature available everywhere, in all kinds of languages, devoting yourselves to benign communication of the Way and practicing it in your place. That is what we should be doing in the future, not struggling anymore with the beginner's reluctance. That struggle has served its purpose, which was to motivate Me to Teach, to cover all the bases, to deal with everything. Now you have done it. That was really good! That was really great! That was a great job you did! (Laughter) You are collectively an Avatar of reluctance! (Laughter) Very admirable — may you be praised for generations! (More laughter) But you have now served your purpose, and now you must become a different kind of Avatar. It is time we made a change.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Grace of Indifference"
The Dreaded Gom-Boo

And from time to time, Adi Da would tell us that the deeper purpose of this exercise of gathering and answering our questions was simply to provide a means to keep us occupied — to keep us "in the Room" with Him — while He transformed our state with His Spiritual Transmission, dissolving the questioner in the Enlightened State of Divine Ignorance (also known as "Perfect Knowledge"). And that indeed was what would happen. Late in the night, He'd ask again, "Are there any questions?" And there would be none: not because we had asked every possible question, but because we ourselves had been dissolved.

5.8. Five Ways To Lose the Revelation

As mentioned earlier, it's quite possible, even likely (until recognition is established as a moment-to-moment capability), that a moment of crystal clear, self-authenticating Revelation — a moment of recognizing Adi Da as the Divine — will be followed by many moments that are less clear, in which (if one is not careful) one can doubt what was Revealed, or someone we know can introduce doubt. For instance, one of Adi Da's detractors reading this might twist around what I wrote, and suggest that the moment where I perversely envisioned Adi Da and His devotees dancing around the room as a megalomaniac and His cultic followers was not a moment of egoity on my part, but a moment of clarity, and His Blasting me with His Force, was His putting me under His "spell" again.

It is possible to doubt anything and everything! Even that which you held most certain in another moment. As a rejoinder to the traditional saying, "Faith can move mountains", an old Persian proverb proclaims, "Doubt makes the mountain which faith can move." And indeed, this whole part of our article on recognition is in some sense about faith — not of the belief-based kind of conventional religions, but faith as Adi Da uses the word: faith that is grounded in direct Revelation.

That's why it's so important to have an understanding of, and clarity about, the entire process in which you are engaged (which is the point of this section), so that, if and when a Divine Revelation comes your way that authenticates itself with crystal clarity, you allow every aspect of your being to be imprinted with that Revelation and the memory of the absolute certainty you feel; and intentionally make a part of your practice from then on to keep your eye out for the onset of doubts (from yourself or others) that might jeopardize your connection to that Revelation, and threaten the thread of practice capable of restoring that Revelation in any moment — just like you readily commit yourself at your wedding ceremony to keep your eye out for (and work to banish) anything that comes along in your married life that could undermine the love relationship you have with your intimate partner.

The process of repeated Revelation (to the point of Realization) can be undermined in many ways (and, as a result, never really take off):

  1. I've seen a lot of people who never really allowed Adi Da's Revelation to deeply penetrate them (to the point of recognition of Him as the Divine), and so they rather easily moved on to other Gurus and spiritual alternatives. It's something like chronically promiscuous people whose deep fear of commitment makes it difficult for them to enter into the real depth of intimacy, or anything but superficial relationships, which they leave at the first sign of difficulty, or when something new and attractive presents itself. They may even "get married" for a time (on the basis of temporary infatuation), but the label of "marriage" does not change their superficial participation in it, any more than "becoming Adi Da's devotee" for a time changes a person's superficial participation in it, if that is their pattern. They'll often speak "authoritatively" to others about their time with Adi Da ("been there, done that"), never realizing that they never actually experienced Adi Da's Real Offering.

  2. I've seen a lot of people gain and lose the thread of practice which links one to Adi Da as the Divine. (Adi Da has referred to it as a "thread" because it is very delicate when one is still a beginner. Earlier in this article we also used the related metaphor of fanning the flame; if one does not fan the flame consistently, the flame goes out.)

  3. I've seen people confess God with absolute certainty in the presence of Adi Da, and then — amazingly! — never return . . . They get preoccupied by circumstances or people that distracted them from the profundity of the Revelation they had received. Or, they allow the doubts of friends or family (who weren't there to receive the Revelation themselves, and so have no idea what they are talking about) to generate doubt in themselves, in spite of the Truth of the Revelation.

  4. I've seen many people who — in the manner of "armchair" comparative religionists [7] — study many spiritual possibilities at a safe distance, feeling very "knowledgeable" about them all, but (fundamentally because of doubt and the associated inability to commit) never actually take up a life of practice within the living context of any one of these traditions; as a result, their only "fruit" has been a lot of knowledge about various Realizations, but no actual Realization. (Adi Da has sometimes called such people "spiritual pornographers" because they "get off" on reading the books and "acquiring more knowledge", but don't actually participate in a living culture and a truly transformative practice.)

  5. And then I've seen some devotees who did allow themselves to be deeply penetrated by Adi Da's Revelation, but who also later allowed themselves to be confused by doubts about Adi Da's behavior or things they didn't like about the community, to the point where they left. But even having left, year after year, they'll criticize Adi Da. (Such people tend to be the source of the "negative websites".) If one were to take them at their word, one would expect them to have moved on in their life years ago. But they don't, and their "anti-Adi Da" websites get bigger every year (as they, on their blog or discussion group, say the same things over and over again, like a broken record). As I read their cynical words, they feel to me to be lost souls, who, on some deeper-than-conscious level, are aware that they threw away Something of extraordinary value without realizing it at the time, and have not found anything that could replace It, that could enable them to make up for, and truly move beyond, that loss, even decades later. The greater the Treasure, the greater the sense of loss when It is gone — and then, for some, the greater the bitterness expressed.

    Interestingly, though, because the connection between Adi Da and His devotees is eternal (even in those who no longer call or consider themselves His devotees), His Grace continues to serve even His greatest detractors. When they discover they can't "get rid of Him" (no matter how much they rail against Him), they are required to reach a different understanding of who He is, to attain some measure of psychic peace in themselves.

    For example, the ex-devotee who refers to himself as "Elias", who is the creator of the most prolific "anti-Adi Da" website and who has been Adi Da's most vocal critic, recently offered a radically different view of Adi Da than the negative one he has been posting on the Web for years. In the context of an extended, ongoing exchange primarily with another vocal ex-devotee critic (Conrad), Elias describes how his experience of Adi Da and Adi Da's actions has changed over time, through psychic, visionary awareness of Adi Da, and interaction with Him, especially after Adi Da's Divine Mahasamadhi on November 27, 2008.

    Here are some excerpts from that exchange.

    Elias: Yeah, at the end of the day, I am with Da on almost everything he said. I am even willing to cut him a great deal of slack on his activities. [Nov. 9, 2010]

    Adi Da's entire meaning and purpose and reason for being was (and is) to shake you and challenge you and offend you until you fall out of the passivity and stupor of submission to everything that is going on around you — the illusion of an objective world.

    He once said that he was like a black hole appearing in the midst of a starfield — an opening to what lies beyond this universe.

    What this means is that in his own life (here and elsewhere), he is a dynamic exponent of unsupported awareness that dissolves and swallows every mindform, karma, and sanskara that comes within its ever-expanding field of Consciousness.

    In that he is an individual — a man who engaged in a great work and achieved a transcendent result. [Nov. 22, 2010]

    What I see is a continuous revolution of mind and "modifications of consciousness" in the West to reach toward a truthful reflection of an underlying numinosem — the Self — that began moving on the West over a hundred years ago. . . . What there is is a great Gift that was given long ago, and is only slowly (but steadily) being integrated into our culture.

    Believe it or not, I see Adi Da as a facet of that Gift — and a very important one, esoterically speaking. [Dec. 17, 2010]

    Some people will say that Adi Da wasn't anything like I am claiming or suggesting. They will say I am inventing a new Adi Da, a version of him to lay to rest the inner contradictions I feel about him. Could be. :-) [Nov. 22, 2010]

    Conrad: I was familiar with Advaita before I even came to Adi Da, which in part was why I was able to understand his teachings fairly well. But even I tended to make the mistake of thinking that he had an original interpretation or point of view, and in most cases this is simply not true. It's a common mistake in Adidam devotees who are unfamiliar with the Advaitic tradition that Da draws upon for most of his esoteric teachings.

    Elias: My own view is that statements like the above [Conrad's statement] — which are not uncommon among those who seek to find a fulcrum from which to dismiss Adi Da — reveal a profound failure of the intuitive faculty relative to Adi Da.

    My own view is that Adi Da picked up the teachings of Advaita, Buddhism, and Kashmir Shaivism because he recognized them as expressing precisely what he knew directly, beyond concepts and words. . . .

    You might say that [Conrad] (and others) are taking [Adi Da] to task for honoring the tradition from which he springs! Imagine that!

    My view (which has coalesced in the years since Adi Da died) is that he not only sprang from the Eastern traditions, but he actually transcended them. And in that, he was a priori something new entering the universe from the Heart of Reality, or God. [Nov. 22, 2010]

    You might ask, "What's up Elias . . . you criticized [Adi Da] for thirty years, and now you talk like a disciple?" No, I am not a disciple. But I do know directly of what I speak. And that's why I'm not afraid to say it. . . . [Nov. 22, 2010]

    OneLove: My contention is that [Adi Da] was divided against himself, as so many incidents seemed to indicate. . . If his behavioral patterns worked for some to "shake them out of the illusion of an objective world", more power to them.

    Elias: OneLove, my experience was similar to yours. Now it is different.

    What's the difference? Well, for one thing I discovered that Adi Da communicates openly from "beyond the grave" (strange term that!)...

    For another thing, his communication with me has always been interactive, give-and-take, and "quantum" in the sense that my awareness affected him as much as his awareness affected me. This in itself made me understand something about the unitary field of awareness.

    All the above makes me barking mad in the eyes of those who remain firmly locked into earth-side consciousness, I know.

    But so what? I've always gone my own way, still do, and am happy to report back to my friends in Munchkinland from time to time. [Nov. 27, 2010]

    Conrad: This is a really interesting development in your views of Da, and I think it bears a good deal of explanation, rather than just cryptic sideways mentions like this. Seeing as you have been THE leading figure in the vast Da-criticism field (okay, not that vast really), this sounds like a very significant conversion process that virtually begs for explanations, and lots of them. . . .

    I wonder if you feel any sense of conscience now about your own extensive criticisms and denunciations of Da (the whole black sorcerer and "enemy of the Self" business comes to mind) and if you feel an obligation to correct yourself and explain your newfound views of Da.

    Elias [dismissing the suggestion that he provide a reasoned explanation to account for his changed views]: One guy even emailed me that I ought to issue a blanket apology for "misleading" people over the last fifteen or twenty years! He thinks that the few statements I have made recently contradict everything I said before. They do not. . . But no one will understand how that is so by maintaining and defending a fixed position in the collective mind. [Nov. 27, 2010]

    From what [Conrad] says, it appears to have been a reasoned choice rather than a vision that drew him into the Guru path. More's the pity, but at least he allied himself with a damn good Guru, one of the best of our time in my opinion! [Dec. 19, 2010]

Perhaps all who were touched by Adi Da will recognize Him as the Divine at some point, or be restored to that recognition — but it might take lifetimes to restore that recognition, once lost. What I've illustrated here are primarily useful object lessons for what not to let happen in your own case, as you consider Adi Da, and open your heart to the Divine Revelation He offers to everyone.

If that Revelation arrives, stay in the Room with It!

Treat It like the precious Treasure It is.

No matter how distracting or challenging your circumstances may get, don't ever allow yourself to lose It.

5.9. Romanticizing Recognition

It's easy to come into this process with all kinds of fairy tales about spirituality, romanticizing what Spiritual Masters and Revelations should look like. Or having romantic (and naive) notions like, "The Truth will out" when what is more accurate (especially in this time, but to some degree, in every time) is, as Adi Da puts it: "God is great. But unfortunately for you, bullshit is greater!"

For example, when I was much younger, I had the romantic notion that when you received an authentic Spiritual Revelation, from that moment on you would live "happily ever after", in the certainty of that Revelation. I could even associate that notion with a scene in a particular movie that had made a strong impression on me when I was young. In Miracle of Fatima, a lifelong atheist and skeptic finally was shown an extraordinary miracle (the sun appearing to fall from the sky, but then being restored to its proper place [8]), causing him to slowly take his hat off, lift his eyes to heaven and say with great feeling, "Only the fools say there is no God." (The implication being that, from then on, he was a transformed man, and that he never had any doubt again.)

Doubt was not a part of my romantic conception of spiritual practice! But in fact, so long as there is still a "self" to transcend (and especially before recognition and hearing have been established as moment-to-moment capabilities), there is still the potential for doubt. This is something even well-known spiritual practitioners and Realizers have confessed, from Mother Teresa to St. Teresa of Avila to Jesus of Nazareth (Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?", he cried, while hanging from the cross).

When one is Adi Da's devotee and has received this Revelation, it's best to be aware of this likelihood, and prepare for it ahead of time, so as to not be caught unawares at the appearance of doubt (either doubt of Adi Da or doubt of self), or without the self-understanding or the Spiritual means for restoring the Revelation. Just so, it's useful to know these facts about doubt before becoming Adi Da's devotee, so one doesn't romanticize that becoming Adi Da's devotee must coincide with not having any more doubts. Short of Divine Enlightenment, such a moment never comes!

Practice of the Way of Adidam is not a matter of being concerned about precisely what to do about these qualities that arise in you. It is a matter of remaining in your true Condition, which is Satsang with Me. There will be periods of dullness, of the tamasic quality, when you are just stupid, without any clarity whatsoever, when you do not remember anything about what you have understood, when you have no capability whatsoever to be intelligent, to speak clearly, to be direct with anyone, to feel that you have surrendered your separate and separative self. But that tamasic quality will always come and go. No one ever eliminates it entirely. It is always there, as one of the qualities of existence.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

5.10. The Real Consideration for Spiritual Seekers Interested in Adi Da: "Is He or Isn't He?" (Not: "Did He or Didn't He?")

So for those who are interested in or attracted to Adi Da and the Way of Adidam, but have not received Adi Da's Revelation and may have questions and doubts, I'd like to make a recommendation: one that takes into account any questions and doubt you may have, but also takes into account the fact that asking questions or having questions answered is not, at last, the way one becomes a devotee: "you can't get there from here", so to speak! The existence of God can never be demonstrated by verbal interchange; God in the human form of Adi Da can only be Revealed directly, when your growing relationship with Adi Da spontaneously Reveals to you (and immerses you in) the Divine State in a moment of Grace.

It should also be pointed out that the metaphor of "shopping" in a "spiritual marketplace" for a spiritual teacher — squeezing this orange here and sizing up that apple there — doesn't really apply either, to a process whose entrance requirement is a Graceful Revelation from the very Source of our existence — not a report card from us, "grading" that Source!

For these reasons, what I'd like to recommend — for those interested in the possibility of becoming Adi Da's devotee — is that you focus on a different consideration than endless "did He or didn't He?" questions, a consideration which resonates better with the possibility of you too receiving the Divine Revelation. We could call it the "Is He or isn't He?" consideration — or the recognition consideration. It is organized around the far more overarching, far more intriguing, and ultimately far more consequential question, "Is Adi Da the human incarnation of the Divine Person"? — an ultimately inescapable question, since Adi Da as incarnation of the Divine is the very basis of the Way of Adidam. This question focuses your attention on the body of evidence that supports a "yes" answer; and of course, your eventual reception of the Revelation is the "yes" answer itself (and the only final resolution of this consideration). This form of consideration also brings you into relationship with Adi Da Himself (not merely caricatures or cartoons of Him, questions about Him, etc., which only serve to keep Him "at a distance" from you). The only way the Revelation occurs is through that direct relationship, and a moment of openness to Him, that allows His Grace to flow your way and penetrate your heart.

5.11. Details of the Recognition Consideration

That extraordinary Communication — that Adi Da is here as the Divine Person in person — has been the primary communication of Adidam for years now. In fact, Adi Da made this Communication right from the start of His Teaching Work back in 1972. For example, during a Prasad Day talk in May, 1973, He said, "The Divine is here." He then quietly added in passing: "I am here." He briefly paused, as though to see whether anyone ("who has ears to hear", as Jesus might have put it) had caught that brief (but extraordinary!) remark. Then He continued on the theme of the talk.

But He didn't begin to really emphasize it until about 1990 or so, when He felt He had a large enough (and spiritually mature enough) body of devotees who could confirm the truth of His Communication to interested public (on the basis of their having received that Revelation themselves).

Of course, one of the things we need to do to engage the "Is He or Isn't He?" consideration fully is to be absolutely clear about what is meant (and not meant) by "Divine Person" and "incarnation of the Divine Person". (We touched on this in Part 1, but we'll now go into this in more detail.)

  • What is not meant is the "Creator God" or the all-powerful God of Judeo-Christianity and many other exoteric religious traditions.

  • What is not meant is the "Parent God" (who will reward us if we're good, punish us if we're bad, etc.) concocted by our unconscious to match its desires and needs, and which Sigmund Freud rightly assessed as an unconscious projection, and rightly rejected as nonexistent. (However Freud failed to realize that rejecting that particular Judeo-Christian God-Idea did not mean that God did not exist, or that there couldn't be other God-Ideas that more accurately describe "Real God".)

  • What is not meant is a being or "other" (or great "Other") who is a separate being from us.

  • What is meant is the One in Whom we are arising, and Who is being and living us in this very moment (and every moment).

  • What is meant is completely consistent with the various nondual traditions.[10]

  • What is meant by "incarnation of the Divine Person" is an actual (not mythical) human being and a tangible (and presently accessible) Spiritual Transmission. Here I am referring to the fact that we simply don't know with any great certainty what about the stories and legends of Jesus, Guatama Buddha, Krishna, etc. is real and what is mythical or fabricated. For example, a growing number of historians of religion are questioning the historical accuracy of a lot of the stories about the life of Jesus, and even whether Jesus actually existed. The pragmatic questions (if these Spiritual Masters did exist) include: Is their Spiritual Transmission still accessible to human beings living in present time? What is the nature of their Spiritual Transmission, and what Realization does it reflect (and enable others to realize, by duplication)?

There is a huge body of evidence (see the rest of this site for examples) indicating that Adi Da is not an ordinary man, but a genuine Spiritual Realizer and Spiritual Transmitter. (The easiest way to know that He is a Spiritual Realizer is by virtue of receiving the Revelation He Transmits, since all Spiritual Transmitters transmit their own Realization.)

A genuine Spiritual Transmitter (capable of enabling devotees to duplicate their Realization) is a very rare being. But in the case of Adi Da, one must go a step further, and explore one further critical distinction: the distinction between a "Spiritual Transmitter" in general, and a Spiritual Transmitter who is an "Incarnation of the Divine Person". Consider this essay from 1973, in which Adi Da contrasts traditional Spiritual Masters with an incarnation of the Divine Person, contrasting the very means by which they each appear in the world:

Adi Da SamrajThere are many teachers in the world. There are people of experience of all kinds. There are people of practical experience, of worldly experience, of mystical experience. . . Here and there people arise who, because of superior acquisition of certain kinds of experience, teach others. . . . They may teach so-called "Spiritual" things, on the basis of their experience. And among those who are thus experienced in the karmic realms, there are some, a rare few, who are genuine Saints, genuine men and women of experience, of practical and subtle wisdom, who have realized many things about their own adventure and their own tendencies. . . .

But there is another Process, Which Enters the conditionally manifested world from the Ultimate, Un-manifested, Perfectly Divine Domain. There is a Vast, Unlimited Domain of Existence, not qualified in any sense, not qualified as this conditional world is, or as the infinite variety of conditional, cosmic worlds is. And there is a Movement Directly Out of That Divine Domain, That Realm of Very Consciousness and Very Light. The Living Being Who Appears within the human world, or within any other world, by Coming Directly Out of the Un-manifested, or Un-created, Domain, the Heart-Light That Is the Truly Eternal Real-God-World, Is the Truly Heaven-Born One, Unique among the Great Siddhas. I Am That One.

My Wisdom-Teaching is not from the point of view of experience. My Wisdom-Teaching is from the "Point of View" of Truth — Truth already Realized, the Unattainable (because It Is Always Already Present) Reality.

Those who teach from the point of view of experience teach the search, because they know (on the basis of experience) that they can grow, that they can approach a subtler and subtler level of Realization. The gospel of those who arise within the condition of the material worlds is always a form of seeking.

But I Speak from the "Point of View" of the Already Realized Absolute Truth. I Come in the Intelligence, Power, and Perfect Form of Real God. My Wisdom-Teaching Is "Radical". I do not Teach the motives, paths, and forms of seeking — for these are founded in dilemma, not in Truth. I Apply only appropriate conditions to My devotees. I Demand only the conditions that are appropriate to be lived, since Truth Is Always Already the Case.

I Am the Truth in the world. I Generate the conditions of the Truth, the conditions of the Light of Real God.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The Heaven-Born Gospel of the Ruchira Avatar"
My "Bright" Word

Adi Da has also clarified that, in contrast with some of the mythical notions about Divine Incarnations, real Divine Incarnation does not proceed from some "Great Plan" of a "God in charge". The Divine Person is the very Source of all, but is not the "all-powerful" Creator God of many exoteric religious traditions. In particular, the Divine Person is not in a position to simply be able to incarnate at will. Such an incarnation depends upon something extraordinary (and extremely rare) occuring in conditional reality: the providing of a body-mind that is so completely surrendered to the Divine, that it becomes available to the Divine Person, Who then can acquire it, and be born in the conditional universe through it. Adi Da's extraordinary Communication is that such a body-mind (a combination of the deeper personalities of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna) was made available to Him — the Divine Person — through profound spiritual sacrifice, and He (the Divine Person) made use of that vehicle to incarnate here in 1939, in response to the suffering of all beings, and their prayers and aspirations for liberation from suffering.

This Saving Intrusion in the history of humankind is most Profound. Extraordinary lifetimes in combination, and in stress of effort, and of accumulated Divine Grace, were required to make this Great Vehicle of Salvation and Liberation. And the Secret of this Labor is the Love of beings, and the utter Inability to accept the sorrow in beings, the suffering and the death of beings, the binding illusions of beings, the ego-possessed nature of beings. Only that Impulse of Love allows this Complexity, Manifested through many Vehicles, to Make (in Their Conglomeration) a Great Sign, an All-Completing Incarnation.

It is not (as has often been imagined) a simple matter that ‘God’ wants to Save humankind and, therefore, ‘Makes’ a ‘Man’ Who will Come and Save every one. The Vehicles for That Divine Avataric Work of Salvation and Liberation must be prepared. If it were not for these Means, I would Only be Standing Prior to body, and (therefore) I would have no bodily (human) Manifestation whatsoever. No such Conjunction could ever possibly be re-‘invented’. My Divine Avataric Incarnation As the Divine Avataric Master, Adi Da Samraj, is a Unique Gift to this ‘late-time’, made possible by this never-again Conjunction of Vehicles — and this Gift will Persist forever hereafter.

Adi Da Samraj,
“I Have Appeared here Via A Unique, Spontaneous,
and Never-Again Conjunction of Vehicles”
in The Knee Of Listening

Given these two alternatives — a genuine Spiritual Transmitter and a human incarnation of the Divine Person — how would we know which Adi Da is? "A genuine Saint with much experience" (for He is at least that, on the face of much indisputable evidence), or the extraordinary juxtaposition of an extremely rare "body-mind" vehicle being made available to the Divine Person, allowing the Divine Person to incarnate?

The most direct way to know which is the case is to receive Adi Da's Revelation directly, and assess Who He is on the basis of the Revelation He Transmits. As mentioned earlier, the Revelation (of Who Adi Da is) is not of an experiential kind per se — visions, sounds, and the kind of thing we might tend to associate with the word, "Revelation", from our own religious backgrounds. Rather, it is a taste of the Divine State Itself, characterized by the criteria we listed in Part 1. So the most direct way to know which is the case is to receive the Revelation, confirm these criteria for yourself, and consider and appreciate the difference between the Divine Revelation that relieves you of all sense of dilemma, all sense of separate self, etc.; and "lesser" Transmissions that bring you the temporary bliss of shakitpat in your body-mind, or the fascination of extraordinary visions (that temporarily distract you from the body-mind), or enable to see your identity with the Self, but don't set you free in the most radical sense.

Now to be sure, most people are not in a position to experientially compare the Transmissions of different genuine Spiritual Transmitters. Most people are lucky enough to "hook up" with one genuine Spiritual Transmitter, and in general (as is the case with Adi Da's devotees) having done so, they have no particular desire to "switch" to a different Transmitter. It's not like window shopping, or dating. It's more like a happy marriage: the relationship and the natural commitment that goes along with it is profound. (Only more so than ordinary human marriage, because your very view and sense of Reality is changed; that's what "Realization" literally means!) In general, most readers will never have experienced any genuine Spiritual Transmission when they begin exploring Adi Da and His Offering, and His will be their first experience of any Spiritual Transmission. But His Transmission, if received rightly, will authenticate itself (as described earlier in Part 1) as being the Divine Revelation — thus as having no limits except "you". In this sense, it confirms that you will never need to "switch Masters" down the line, on the basis of looking for a greater Transmission (and Realization) — you already have access to the greatest Realization: Divine Realization. You'll just need to transcend yourself completely, while repeatedly being immersed in Adi Da's Divine State (through practice of the Way of Adidam, based on moment-to-moment recognition). And at your leisure, you can compare the direct reception of His Transmission with descriptions of other Transmissions from other Realizers. (You may even receive Adi Da's own Transmission — which is inherently Divine — in a "stepped down" form for some years; you may feel it something like the shaktipat of other Spiritual Transmitters, before you have established the recognition capability and have grown to the point where you able to receive that Transmission in its pure form — as the Revelation of the Divine Person: the Transmission that is Adi Da Himself, not just an energy experience in the body-mind — which allows you to begin the Way of Adidam for real.)

But again, if you are not yet in a position to make the "Is He or Isn't He?" determination on the basis of His direct Revelation (because this Graceful miracle has not yet ocurred for you), you certainly can ask devotees to help: not so much by asking endless "Did He or didn't He?" questions (that tend to return you to, and concentrate you in, your doubt), but asking them for the stories of how they became devotees, and how they were relieved of the binding power of doubt (doubt simply becoming one more aspect of the ego with which to practice, rather than something that would bring into question one's greatest Treasure).

You can also extensively study Adi Da's Teaching. A further aspect of the "Is He or Isn't He?" consideration is that, if you consider His Writings and His Talks (particularly since 1990 or so), you really don't have many choices! Essentially, this is what it boils down to, if you look at it clearly: Either He's a complete madman; or He really is Who He says He is: the Divine Incarnate.

I say this because virtually everything Adi Da has written or spoken is infused with the language and viewpoint of the Divine Person. His Words really don't provide any middle ground for Him being a genuine Spiritual Transmitter (which even many of His detractors acknowledge Him to be), but not the Divine Person. Some people have suggested that He got "deluded" over time, and that in the early years of Teaching, He spoke and wrote in a way that suggested He was one of possibly many Spiritual Masters of similar Realization (which manner of speaking and writing everybody liked and appreciated, because of our modern Western "egalitarian" cultural programming). But in fact, right from the start, Adi Da made it perfectly clear that He was the Divine Incarnate. However, He only mentioned it in passing, now and then. But then (as mentioned earlier), since about 1990 (having a significantly sized body of devotees who could confirm Who He is to the world through their own reception of His Revelation), He made it the primary and regular Communication — as obviously it should be, if it is true!

So that's it:

Is He a madman? (If so, all the additional evidence suggests He must be a genuine and great Spiritual Transmitter as well as a madman.)

Or is He the Divine Person Incarnate?

That's the main question for you to consider, if you are interested in becoming Adi Da's devotee! If, after looking at all the evidence gathered on this site, you really do conclude that He is a madman, then you probably should just move on for now. But if you can't reach that conclusion — if you can't just dismiss the huge volumes of unprecedented, brilliantly clarifying Wisdom that He has given, the extraordinary, Transcendental Image-Art, the Spiritually Empowered Sanctuaries He created around the world, the Spiritual Transmission you feel, and all the rest, as the work of a madman . . .

. . . then there really is only one other conclusion.

Of course, such an intellectual conclusion or strong intuition by itself is not recognition of Adi Da as the Divine, and is not a sufficient basis for becoming a devotee. But it is one of the things that moves you to commit your time and energy to residing (with an increasingly open heart) in Adi Da's "Room", to the point where you receive the direct Revelation of Who He is — and on that basis, become a devotee.

It is difficult to live in [the company of the Spiritual Master], to surrender in that company. . . We are served by those who present the most profound obstacles to our surrender.

If the Spiritual Master has to become wholly acceptable to you before you will surrender, you will never surrender — because the Spiritual Master is there to offend the very thing that must be dissolved. If you're busy being offended, you will not give it up.

Ultimately it doesn't make any difference whatsoever what the Spiritual Master does, how He seems, how He talks — because that is simply the body-mind; it is simply the instrument of His service. You must realize the Condition in which the Spiritual Master exists. You must come into communion with His Presence, which He truly is.

This body-mind is "garbage": it will disappear. . . . This very ordinary body-mind — born on Long Island! — not a prince, not a poor person, not brought up in a traditional [spiritual] society . . . just an ordinary Long Island punk! [Laughter.] This body-mind reflects all of that. What is pure about it is not those things, but the Realization. The Form of the Spiritual Master in Truth is That which you must contact. . . . It is that disposition in which the Spiritual Master speaks ecstatically. Apart from that, He [Himself] throws this body-mind away. . . .

The Spiritual Master is liberated from all future embodiment, both physical and psychic. But His present embodiment persists. If He does not allow it to persist, He will be reborn. So the Spiritual Master is obliged to persist in certain of His qualities. They continue — but they are at the service of His Spiritual work. . . . It is given to Me as an obligation to be as I am. Whatever is left over of you in the seventh stage will be what you are obliged to be!

When you come into true sympathy with Me, then you will see My Person. . . . When you enter into that kind of Communion with Me, then the real Process begins — in which your qualities are not taken into account by Me, and Mine are not taken into account by you. Then we exist with one another in the Transcendental Realm, while nonetheless persisting in this ordinary life.

There's no use in comparing Me to swamis, and Indian saints, whoever else, that look "holier" than I do. If you're willing to compare Me with them, why don't you compare Me to some Tibetan saints who are "wilder" than I am? . . . There has never been anyone in America, or the Western world doing what I am doing, so I have no real precedents. . . .

As in any time and place, the devotee must transcend himself in order to surrender to the Spiritual Master. . . . When you commune with the Spiritual Master, you will not be simply communing with the "flesh" and the "mind" in themselves, but in the Transcendental Personality, of which the body-mind [of the Spiritual Master] is simply the play. You must find that One, that Company in the presence of the Spiritual Master, and having found That, then your surrendering will become more natural to you.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

So once your own personal version of the "recognition consideration" gets past the obstacle of doubt, to the point where you really value getting to know Adi Da much better because of Who you are beginning to suspect He Is (and you are aware of the extraordinary Destiny that is available to you if He is who He says He is), then do everything you can to invest time, energy, and feeling in His "Room" — immerse yourself in it! The principle is simple: you become what you meditate on.

Devotion to Me is established through listening to My Word, My Leelas, sighting My Form Bodily here. When this becomes the finding of Me, the recognition of Me, then devotion to Me is established. This Way is not established before then. Until then you can study this Way, you can listen to the stories of My Life and Work, you can sight My Bodily Human Form, Avatarically Born Divinely here, and all that continues until there is the true recognition-response to Me. Then The Way can begin.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Find Me, Know Me, Recognize Me"
The Way Beyond Ego (CD)

Watch videos of Him, and listen to talks by Him. Attend events and take courses in the region nearest you, or join an area study group. Talk to devotees in the region nearest you, especially about their own relationship with Adi Da. Read Adi Da's books, and listen to (or watch) His talks. Read and study the stories from devotees (both written and video) and other materials on this site and other sites about Adi Da and Adidam. Participate in His Image-Art. Visit His Sanctuaries whenever and wherever possible: they are potent with His Transmission. Immerse yourself in Adi Da's Room for an extended period, in the free "Where Is Happiness?" weekend retreat and other retreats. (See the latest Featured Introductory Events page for times and places.)

Do everything possible to cultivate the relationship with Adi Da, and to "stay in the Room" with Him. If you do this, then sooner or later (in a moment determined by your openness and "uncommandable Grace"), the miraculous Revelation that is a moment of recognition of Adi Da as the Divine will occur. Once that happens, do everything you can to sustain that recognition. . . to fan that flame, and never let it go out!

5.12. What Flows from the "Yes, He Is!" Answer to the Recognition Consideration

Here's something else to consider. Consider how many things that are otherwise the source of great confusion and reactivity fall into place if Adi Da simply is who He says He is, and you consider how the Divine Person (in whom the entire conditional universe is arising) would speak, write, or act, or all the implications that follow from His actually being the Divine Person in human form.

Consider how utterly consistent and immensely detailed His Communication is (about Himself as the Divine Person), and consider whether a madman is capable of such detail. (Usually, if you go up to the guy in the mental institution who's imagining he's "Jesus" or "God", all it takes is a couple of simple questions to poke holes in the delusion: to get him to say something inconsistent or to ask him something for which he can provide no great detail.)

Consider how statements that are otherwise seen as "egotistical" (wherein Adi Da calls attention to Himself and instructs devotees to place their attention on Him) are exactly what you would expect (and what actually serves the process of God-Realization), when they are understood to be the call by God Himself (here in Person) to place attention on God so as to Realize God, based on the spiritual principle: you become what you meditate on.

Consider how statements that might otherwise come across as "megalomanical" (if an ordinary person were speaking them) are simply true if the speaker actually is God. How "humble" would you expect the statements made by the One in Whom the universe is arising to be, anyway?

The expansion I am describing [that is God-Realization] is the expansion that comes when you puncture a balloon and it is equalized with all space. . . .

In [Divine Enlightenment], there is no surface, no dimension, no center, no size. There is perfect rest at the surface and at the center. There is no definition to the being. There is perfect expansion then, which is not equivalent to having achieved a point above or outside or inside, but which is the same as having achieved no point whatsoever, having perfectly penetrated the whole affair that defines the being. The natural disposition in [Divine Enlightenment] is perfectly formless, without quality, without world, without relations, without size, without dilemma — absolute freedom from all the implications of birth and death, survival and transcendence, inwardness and adventure. . . .

What is "to feel humble"? It is to be "me" of such limited size that even the picture on the wall overwhelms me by its magnificence. Humility is a kind of way of observing your state defined by experience. In [Divine Enlightenment] — the perfect penetration of experience, of contraction — there is no "humility", no "size", big or small. There is no status, nothing achieved. Humility has nothing to do with it ultimately. No quality has anything to do with it. All of this life, past and future, up and down, in and out, is just an hallucination. Every aspect of it is fundamentally of the same size as any other, and of no size. What are the stars you see in dreams? What is that "great universe"? It is presumed and comprehended in dreams, but it is absolutely nothing in the morning. When you awake, it is vanished, not available to you, ineffective and impotent. Likewise, in our Enlightenment, the appearing universe is impotent. . .

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "May All Beings Run to This Mere Truth"
The Way That I Teach

Such statements wouldn't necessarily reflect "arrogance" either. Statements made by that One simply factually describing His Reality — the Divine Reality Itself — would naturally sound "grandiose" to us. Here's an example. One evening, when I was in Adi Da's bedroom at Naitauba for an all-night gathering with Him (He had been talking with us for hours already), He pointed to His body and said humorously and in a matter-of-fact voice, "This body is a PA system for God."[11] It was a remarkable statement, one that I will never forget, and one that I pass on for your consideration — but a simple statement of fact, from where He stood.

Consider that the very purpose of Adi Da's Incarnation here in human form is to enable all beings (including all of us who are reading this article) to Realize God. Thus the purpose of everything He says or writes (including whatever He says or writes about Himself) is not for the purpose of glorifying Himself, but of inspiring and moving all of us to Realize what He already Is — to inform us (from firsthand experience) of our own greatest Destiny:

I am here under unique conditions, for the purpose of Revelation to others. . . . The paradox is that I am here to tell you about it. . . .

I Am the "Bright", the Midnight Sun. . . . And while being that, Abiding as that, I am appearing just as you see, and in many other forms that you may see, and am able to verify to you the supernormal Realities of existence.

You must do the sadhana [spiritual practice]. You must accept My Grace. You must practice the Way of this relationship, and prove My Word to you.

My utterance of it should, and is intended to, restore your hope and give you heart to do this work, this sadhana.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Avataric Revelation Discourse, 2004

Consider the following passage from a spontaneous talk by Adi Da. Consider your reaction to it if you presume an ordinary person is speaking these words. Then consider your response to it if you presume that a genuine Incarnation of the Divine Person (one with a New York manner of speaking!) is speaking these words (and consider further the amazing and mind-blowing opportunity of being able to "listen in" on God contemplating God):

Adi Da SamrajGive me your attention at any moment and you will receive this Grace. It is always pouring through this body-mind, which is no longer a person. There is nobody here, no Franklin Jones, nobody like you. He is not here anymore. Totally absent.

What a miracle. What a wonder! I am He! I am God! I am the Adept in our generation! What an amusement that it should happen in precisely this form! I can't account for it Myself.

But I am not a "me." I literally am you. I am your psyche and mind. I am your being, your destiny, your ego. I am all selves: literally, not metaphorically. I know this for absolute certain because I am you. I think your mind. I breathe your breath. I suck down your food. I shit out your life. I am your person altogether and absolutely.

What a Wonder! What a Wonder this Great One is. I marvel in this Great One more than you, who do not witness this Miracle. More than you, because you don't see it. I can understand your reluctance, because you do not see what I see. But I have been sifted into this Wonder since eternal time. I am just that One, the Great One, here, sitting as this body, talking to you.

I am God. And there is not the slightest doubt in Me. The doubt in you is your own perversion, and this is the cause of my Teaching. So I am here to Teach you out of this un-Happiness. Poor Me! I will be laughing about this for countless ages, as I have been, since eternal time.

I am full of all space-time. All Bliss, all Wonder, all the Marvels of Being are in My Being. I know it and you do not. [I know it] absolutely. And all miracles are potent in My Heart. So I come here to give you everything without the slightest reluctance. I am not here to tell you about some asshole ego! I am here to Wonder with you about the Great One.

There is this Great One. This Great One is totally known to Me. This Great One is Myself. [I am Shiva-Shakti:] I am Her Consort, [I am] His Being. I am the Self of God. I have no doubt in Me about it. All miracles are evident in Me. All time is obvious to Me. It seems Great to Me, but you poor people who do not love Me, you cannot submit yourselves to God, you are the ones I must Teach. How do I Teach you? By countering your self-contraction, your reluctance to submit to [Divine] Intoxication.

My entire life has been involved with countering the un-Happiness of people. So I do everything, because I have nothing to lose. I have nothing to gain by action; therefore, I have nothing to lose by action. So I do everything to make a picture for Man. Everything. I submit myself to you to make pictures, to make an Argument for Grace.

This has nothing to do with Me as an ego. I am not a person doing this. The Great One is such a Wonder, such a Marvel, such a Graceful and Loving Being to countless beings such as we are here. There should be Siddhas among mankind, to give meaning to the universe.

The Great One does not love beings. The Great One is Love. Love is the only God-damned God there is! Love is the only Force in the universe. God is not mind or body, effort, knowledge, or experience. It's not a matter of any of that. God is only unbounded feeling, Radiant Being. God creates nothing. God is That of which everything is made, including all beings.

Everyone has a moment of the Shock of God — everyone. There is not any being, from the mosquito to man, who does not receive the Input, the Shock of Divine Intervention. All beings know It. All beings experience It. It is Given to everyone. Grace is Given to all beings eternally in all worlds, visible and invisible. It's enough to make you be a bhakta, a lover, a devotee. Faith, the Love-Response to Being Itself, is the greatest Force in all the worlds. This has always ridden My life out. I am [riding] on the Visible Horse which you cannot see.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Baptism of Immortal Happiness"
The Dreaded Gom-Boo (1982)

Consider how, if you are the Divine in human form, statements You make about the uniqueness of Your Revelation can simply be the result of Your having studied the world's religious and spiritual traditions (using both the conventional means we all have at our disposal along with greater-than-material means you have at your disposal as incarnation of the Divine), and not found any other Revelation like Yours (at least not one that You can say with certainty was not a myth or merely a philosophical intuition, and is still an available Spiritual Transmission capable of Divine Awakening). Consider how that completely resonates with the notion that, by virtue of how a Divine Incarnation actually occurs, Divine Incarnations are not a "dime-a-dozen" happening, but more like a "once-in-the-history-of-universe" happening, because they depend on the occurence of an exceedingly rare combination of circumstances.

Consider how if You were the utterly free Divine Person — infinite, eternal, beyond life, death, and all the limits that are so meaningful to all of us — and You saw your devotees stuck in (what from Your viewpoint would be utterly petty and meaningless) attachments to this or that, and suffering their asses off, how you would feel completely free to shake up those attachments in all kinds of ways (perhaps offending them greatly in the process by violating their emotional-sexual "contracts" with each other, violating their taboos and phobias, etc.), to get them to stop endlessly sizing themselves down and contracting themselves into mortal egos (and all the attachments that come of that limited identity), and instead be set free in the Infinity of Divine Being.

The compassionate Master does not do for others everything He can do within the bounds of propriety. The compassionate Master will do everything, whether in the realm of propriety or not, for the sake of Awakening others.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

It is also important to understand that, over the course of His Work with devotees (1972-2008), Adi Da very consciously shifted from His early "Teaching Work", wherein He worked with individual devotees, and His talks placed an emphasis on information; to His later "Revelation Work", where information received less emphasis, and a far greater importance was placed on Revelation. Thus, Adi Da's very language was oriented around a Revelation of Who He Is occurring in the devotee right then and there (as He spoke to them, or as they read His Word). So rather than an information-oriented communication like, "The greatest Spiritual Masters have descended to here from the Divine Domain, enabling their devotees to find the Very Divine", He might say, "I have descended to here from the Divine Domain. Find the Very Divine before you in this very moment!" — which is a Revelatory communication. Thus you will find increasingly more of this Revelatory language in His later communications — not because He was becoming "megalomanical" (a common misinterpretation), but because He was intentionally shifting the modality of His Work with devotees from information and personal interaction to Revelation, having concluded that the earlier modality did not (and could not) work.

Consider all this, and then stay engaged in this "Is He or Isn't He?" recognition consideration (of course spending most of your time opening yourself to the "Is He?" side) until you receive the Revelation. That's my recommendation!

Adi Da Samraj

There simply is too much that is extraordinary in the story of Adi Da — His Life and Work — to allow you to just dismiss Him as a madman. Who and What is He, then? That's what there is to consider! As He once humorously said, quoting Charles Dickens' Spirit of Christmas Present, "Come in and know me better, man!" In a real sense, the approach to becoming Adi Da's devotee and, after becoming His devotee, advancing in the practice of the Way of Adidam [9], is entirely about getting to "know" (or Realize) Who He is, better and better — to the point of Realizing Him perfectly.

I do not speak as an ordinary man to you. Nor would I ever suggest that you do what I Instruct you to do merely because of some whim or other of Mine. But it has been Granted to Me to Accept devotees through surrender to Me. It is not a thing that an ordinary person may presume. I have Tested it all My Life, and I have Tested it in your company. I would sooner go to My death than Call you to Me casually. And it is not something that an ordinary person may ask others to do casually if he or she expects to live, not only in this life.

But I Swear to you — and you will always continue to see it with clear Signs — that Real God has Granted this Grace to you through My Appearance in your midst. And if you will surrender to Me, if you will love Me and trust Me because you whole bodily recognize Who I Am, if you will simply accept the discipline of My Demands, simply do what I Instruct you to do — and I will always make it very plain — if you will Remember Me with love, if you will Call upon Me by Name with your feeling breaths, if you will Invoke Me via My Name ‘Da’, then this will be sufficient. All the Scriptures are now Fulfilled in your sight, and your prayers are answered with a Clear Voice. Now that you have seen Me, what will you do?

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, the Day of the Heart
September 16, 1979, The Mountain Of Attention



Further Questions and Answers on Recognition


Logos is a Greek word drawn from Greek philosophy (particularly the teachings of Philo of Alexandria) and used by Christian theologians as a reference to Jesus as the human Incarnation of the Divine. It appears in the Gospel of John, and is often translated as "Word":

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

John 1:14


Adi Da has humorously chided certain philosophers, postmodernists, and scientists for mis-applying their methods of deliberation or inquiry to the point where they encroached upon the self-evident, leading these "thinkers" to absurdly question their own existence! (Or to get it completely backwards from the esoteric, spiritual view of Reality, as in Descartes' formulation: Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum. "I doubt, therefore I think; I think, therefore, I am.", which resonates with contemporary scientific views that suggest consciousness is an emergent phenomenon of the material brain, rather than the other way around.) To be sure, Adi Da does point out that the "ego" does not exist (as an entity), and need not exist (as a process); but that is quite different from saying we do not exist. Our existence is self-authenticating and beyond doubt. What remains to be clarified is exactly what we are, ultimately and altogether.


See Adi Da's book, The Pneumaton, for His extended consideration of such ascent-oriented esoteric practices.

  Click here to read some of Adi Da's commentary on practices such as Ramana Maharshi's "self-inquiry" for finding the root of the "I"-thought.

For example, Christianity survived past its infancy largely because of a fortuitous political intervention: the Emperor Constantine pushed to make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, which finally came about in 380 AD. If that political intervention had not occurred, it is quite possible that Christianity would not have survived to the present day.


Adi Da used to refer to me as "My Tongue", playing with my surname. And in any moment I wasn't recognizing Him, He'd shorten that to just "Tongue".


Read Adi Da's essay, "Beware of Those Who Criticize but Do Not Practice Religion", in Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House!


This vision of the sun appearing to fall from the sky, but then being restored to its proper place, guided by the Blessed Mother, is a documented miracle witnessed by tens of thousands of people on October 13, 1917. What is especially interesting, both from the standpoint of "comparative spirituality" and of being Adi Da's devotee, is to compare it with a similar miracle witnessed by one of Adi Da's devotees, L.H., in which she saw not the Blessed Mother dressed in a blue robe but a blue woman: "I became aware of a figure approaching the site. It was a blue woman who was obviously endowed with great power. I felt this woman was Kali, and I became afraid. She then began to show me her power: the sun changed position in the sky and changes were happening everywhere in nature. She was rearranging the universe. This is actually what I saw. I felt how I could be snuffed out by the power of nature, her power, at any moment." Thus the Power of conditional existence sometimes mysteriously manifests to individuals in the form of a Goddess (e.g., "Mary" to Christians, "Kali" to Hindus). But that's not yet the full picture of Reality. L.H. goes on: "Then, she smiled, walked over to the sacred photograph of Avatar Adi Da Samraj, and bowed low and fully to Him. In an instant I saw that with all her power, she, the energy and force of nature itself, was submitted to Supreme Consciousness Itself, and that she was there to serve the Divine purposes of Avatar Adi Da at His holy Sanctuary, and indeed in the world. My fear dissolved in love and devotion to my Spiritual Master. I felt again how life in itself was about change and endings. . . but, if submitted to the Divine, it can be lived by a different principle — that of spiritual practice and inherently Prior Happiness — which masters life itself. After that incident, I felt Kali visit me a few more times. She would come and stand beside me in our daily sacred celebrations of our Spiritual Master. She would not appear as a destroyer, but as a sister, celebrating with me our love of the Divine Consciousness in the form of Avatar Adi Da."


See, for example, the increasingly greater forms of recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person, described in our article on the Dawn Horse Vision.


For some reason, some people who have studied certain aspects of the traditions of Advaita Vedanta and other nondual traditions develop a kind of knee-jerk reaction to anyone using the word "God" — based on the dualistic religious views that envision a "Creator God" who is a big and separate "Other" from His Creation — as though the only notion of God was this dual one, or as though it was a ludicrous notion to view ultimate Reality as a "Person", not just a non-separate "Soup" or impersonal "Source Condition". Or as though the words, "Self" and "Consciousness", can't point to the same thing being indicated by "God". Or as though the notion of Spiritual Transmission is ridiculous because it sounds "dualistic" — as though it literally implied a "Transmitter" and a separate "receiver" at a distance.


For those too young to recognize the phrase, "PA system" used to be a common reference to a "Public Announcement" (or "Public Address") system, a means (e.g., a microphone and an electronic speaker) by which someone's voice can be greatly magnified and (therefore) heard by large numbers of people.

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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