In the Life, Teachings and Community of Adi Da Samraj
everything of you. Unfortunately for you, a huge amount of
what it requires is all kinds of things that really you
don't want anything to do with."
Adi Da Samraj, 1982
"The force of the inner temple
grants integrity to the outer temple. Without that, this
institution is emasculated"
Adi Da Samraj, 1987
If anyone has been a steady student of the teachings of Adi Da Samraj it does not take long before they will be confronted by his incessant 'complaint' of the failure of his 'work' and the lack of response of his devotees. The failure of his devotees to Recognize Adi Da and their inability to bring students into The Way of the Heart (The Way of Adidam) seems to be a foremost 'shout' heard from Adi Da throughout his lifetime as Spiritual Master. His shout is paradoxical and not an absolute 'mark' of how it should to be understood and what it signifies. The full import of this ever incessant criticism is not only to his devotees, but the world at large.
There are two aspects to the criticism that Adi Da (or anyone else for that matter), had of his devotee. The first is in the conditional nature or background from which the criticisms and assessments are made, and the second is what real sadhana demands.
Experience in and of itself and its potential success and failures have always been the subject of all religions. The Christians call it sin, the Buddhist, dukkha and Hindus call it Maya or illusion and Islam, Dhanb. All these terms point to the nature of conditional life and the individuals state in it. It is clear from all religions that human beings are 'flawed' and life in and of itself is a dead end street, literally!. But the real import of the nature of this doom's-day failure has more to do with the individual than with Real Nature of conditional existence.
In 1977, Adi Da addressed directly this failure in an essay in The Enlightenment of the Whole Body:
My Work Is Necessary, but It Must Also Fail
Truth does not win. Fundamentally, the entire affair of the communication of Truth to mankind has been a failure, and it will always be a failure. It is a fruitless enterprise - if we consider its results in terms of the true and perfect Awakening of great numbers of people and the Divine Transformation of human society as a whole. However, since a few in every generation are prepared to respond to the Teaching of Truth, the communication of Truth must be continued in the world.
A few in every generation become a Sacrifice in God, while mankind in general ignores, denies, and otherwise betrays the Teaching, the Way, and the Agents of God. This is so, not only because of the subhuman evolutionary stage of mankind at this time, but because the embodied soul is naturally motivated toward its own experiential fulfillment, not the transcendence of itself. Therefore, only a random few in any generation Awaken, while all others are oblivious in their bewildered intoxication.
The times are bad, but they are not extraordinarily so. The times are merely bad, as the common world of desire must always be. But Truth is prior to desire and the world. Therefore, in My lifetime, a few may Awaken in My Company. This Teaching and the Community of My Devotees may even survive for countless generations as a Witness to the Truth that Awakens and Enlightens the soul of Man. These Good Events may come to pass, or they may not. There is a Way in God, but there is no Way to win.
Clearly this is both a simple and complicated matter. For Adi Da, this failure took a very ominous turn when on January 11, 1986, in complete despair at what He felt to be the failure of His Life's Work, Adi Da Samraj fell to the floor in his house on his Hermitage Island in Fiji. He had fallen into a deep Yogic "Swoon", in which only the faintest of life-signs were seen by the doctors and devotees that ran to his aid. This incident, later to be known as 'death event', marked a pivotal turning point in the way in which Adi Da would from that time forward would 'work' with his devotees. This event marked the time in Adi Da's life he moved away what was know as his 'teaching demonstration' to what now would be called his 'Blessing' work. "That submission to others became summarized in the Death Event in 1986 and was brought to an end there, and now a new Work continues as a potential, if people will make use of my Company. If they will not, there is no Work going on." - Dawn Horse Magazine, 'There is Nothing Left But the Ash', Adi Da Samraj, 1988
"In a moment this method was relinquished....due to the failure of My Teaching Work...this was a despair collapse bodily and emotionally....and utter relinquishment of the body...giving up the body..then the turnabout...the despair disappeared...no more giving the body up to death...I was simply (as always) simply 'standing In and As my True Nature." - Saniel Bonder - Dawn Horse Testament, In Praise of the "Bright" Divine Teacher, 1991
It must always be kept in mind that Adi Da taught in a world, that by many observers, is less than perfect! In the essay, My Work Is Necessary, but It Must Also Fail it could be seen that Adi Da was prophesying his own failure and therefore his death. It seems a little 'dark' to suggest this but where does conditional existence leave all of us? Whatever the reasons the outcome in this world is the same and we are only left with Divine Paradoxes.
Adi Da: (with a smile) When you all glow in the dark!
Throughout Adi Da's work, in developing his teaching, establishing a community and developing mature practitioners, failure was always in the forefront. No matter where one delves into the teaching or blessing years you will always hear His Shout!
The Spiritual Master is indeed a voice that rises in this wilderness, to Awaken every neighbor from the illusion of his acre of land, his ordinary pond, his body-mind. It is a necessary voice, the voice that sounds whenever the Truth of human experience is Revealed to one who is Awake. Therefore, such a one speaks, even with urgency and anger. It is the prophetic voice, the awful shout, expressed with all the gestures of frustrated Divinity. - The Enlightenment of the Whole Body, p. 152
During Adi Da's life, he was imprisoned, abstracted and ignored by self-guruing devotees, as he called them. If anyone actually reads and studies the teachings of Adi Da and gets an over arching view of what he went though, it is actually depressing and frustrating. This is most evident after what is known as 'Lopez Event' in 2000. In the communications Adi Da gave to his devotees their failure was most evident. It is heartbreaking and frustrating because his devotees continually tried to respond in every possible manner they knew how. He said that his devotees were ignoring him, but they were also frustrated. They were frustrated because they did not truly 'Understand' Him or for that matter themselves. Devotees responded and at times did not respond but the response never completely 'answered' His Shout.
The community in all its forms was always called into a 'crisis' of conscience. His devotees were always needing to respond and at the same time feeling the complete inability to do so in a manner that would please the Guru. "Do what always pleased the Guru and nothing else" was the edict but the reality was hardly or ever so. Clearly this 'lack of response' was not a business, ethical, or behavioral issue, it was a spiritual matter. He was calling for real response with a true devotional based on 'hearing' and 'seeing', based on self-understanding, which are the core matters in any discussion about Adi Da, his teaching or community. The impass was laid out within a true 'double bind' - a call to respond and the inability to do so! Grace was truly the calling.
"There is a secret...that is most fundamental to sadhana in the Way of the Heart. Allow yourself to be cooked, to be burned alive, to avoid nothing. To be, in this moment, in such a place where surrender is not even your only choice, where it is only inevitable this is the secret of most effective sadhana. It is the secret of renunciation. It is why renunciation is the secret of Realization, bereft of all means, all strategies, only There, without resorts of the egoic kind, in Place with the One Who Is,only devotion and not by choice. There is no choice. Giving yourself no choice whatsoever is the greatest principle of sadhana."
This is tapas. Tapas is the fire of transformation, the inner workings of purification which religion and spiritually are all about. It is only those who persist in this 'fire' are the ones that are 'cleansed' of their sins, as the Christians would say.
"You must take up this Way as a whole life. Just sitting here with whatever attention you have freely available at the moment is not sufficient to change your presumption in the future. It will simply establish you in the moment, more or less, in this consideration of Ignorance. But the discipline is obliged upon you in every moment. You must take it up as a way of life. You must be constantly available to the Spiritual Master, constantly available to his instruction, his argument, his disciplines, his Company. The life awakened in his Company serves the penetration of the dream. When that Realization becomes summary, most radical, in your case, then you are simply happy. Until then, you enjoy it more or less profoundly in some moments, and at other moments the usual life grinds in on you. But then you have the discipline to occupy you rather than the right you ordinarily assume to dramatize your self-possessed tendencies and illusions. The whole affair of this practice ultimately serves perfect transformation in Truth.
Difficulties persist because the ordinary life or dream persists. Things continue to arise. So there is heat in the process. But the heat is your advantage. The heat is not some negative side effect. The heat is free attention, available for this profundity. Secondarily, it is painful in a sense, but it is free. It is available force, attention. Free attention is not otherwise so available, because it is usually sunk into dramatizations and distractions. Now it is without an object. It cannot find a way to be relieved. It is hot. And so it can consider itself, the occasion itself.
If, through true bearing, you will be committed to such present consideration, and if you will persist in it and not restrain yourself from the whole discipline of my Company, that same enlightenment that is now argued to your face will also be true of you." - Bubba Free John The Paradox of Instruction
In the End, as in the Beginning and So in the Middle
In 1975 Adi Da wrote an essay entitled, "I am John" published in The Enlightenment of the Whole Body that parallels what he wrote in The Dawn Horse Testament (1991).
"I have lived as a serving brother among my devotees. Since childhood I have been called Bubba, meaning brother. And by this role and all its friendly excesses I have made my friends to see themselves. Thus, when they had learned their lessons in my own form, they began to "hear" and "see" me through God-Feeling. And when I felt them grow transparent through that love, I sought a place of Solitude in which to wait in Brightness. I am John, through whom God is Gracious, and who is therefore Free among the living." - 1975
I Am That Which, By Myth and Error Sought, Mankind Has Avoided At Every Turn and Phrase. I Am The One Whom Mankind, By Seeking, Has Lost and Failed To Realize. I Am The One From Whom Mankind, By their Failure To Realize Me, Is Now (but Not Forever) Separate and “Different”. I Am The One and Only (and Self-Evidently Divine) Person—Who Has Come (and, Now, and Forever Hereafter, here Stands) To Remove the ego From Religion (and, Thereby, To Make Religion True). - 1991
What is this Failure all about? What had been Adi Da calling his devotees to endure and ultimately pass through? "The...great crisis of life is this process of serious understanding of un-Happiness and conversion to the Way of Happiness (rather than the futile search for Happiness). Such understanding is what I call "hearing" and such conversion is what I call "seeing." It is only when such hearing and seeing prevail that the practice of the Way can begin."
Adi Da Samraj has always said The Way of the Heart, in and of itself, was not a conventional path. It did not respond to the 'ways of the world'. The ways of the world had to do with the first three stages of life or what he called the foundational stages of human development. Spiritual life had to do with tapas, self-observation, devotion, self-understanding and Sadhana. The never compromising Spiritual Master is the 'nature' of the game. The game is not about perfection or a simple matter of a method.
The institution should refuse to be reduced to a dull, low energy, hyped, worldly communication. We must be more than an institution. We must be committed to a lively, vigorous, intelligent, sophisticated, stable, cool, and Enlightened communication of the Way of Truth. Some games should simply never be played. Some games you only suffer profoundly until you drop them. Therefore, do not begin them. Simply refuse to function in certain ways. Look at other religious organizations, you can see something in all of them that reveals how they have compromised themselves. Some things should just never be done.
The Spiritual Master should be known for maintaining a commitment to authenticity, to a true and free communication of the Teaching of Truth, and to the Way of life that necessarily follows. Likewise the institution should be so known. It is in this principle that we can see the struggle. In our attempts to grow and make peace, you make compromises, and bit by bit you stray from the center. You then find conflict between what you are trying to do and what you are supposed to be. We should not do anything that we could not do and still practice the Way at the same time. Have some class.
The failure is in reducing a radiant, happy, expansive and creative process to a dull, rote, low energy and 'failed case' orientation to his Shout. As he wrote in Breath and Name in 1977, "The most destructive of these habits or points of view that weaken the transforming power of the heat of your discipline is that of concern relative to the tendencies that characterize your life." Sadhana is a process, a moment to moment that involves all aspects of life many of which the individual has no 'voice' in at all. There is the Law and the demand to fulfill it. The more purified one becomes the more one sees the 'gap' between what is Real and what is not and what is keep the two apart!
"My approach...is the Adept's approach, not the lineage approach. It is the Source of Teaching, the circumstance in which true Teaching is generated. I refused to accept the conventional role. Can you not see the difference between the conventional role of institutional figures and the unconventional role of a free Adept? This Way is the Adept's Process. It is a non-institutional Process. And our institution is the bearer of this kind of Teaching.
Devotees must do real samyama, rather than opt for the traditions in a way that shows a weakness on their part to understand the Adept. You can read all kinds of traditional literature, but you must understand the actual living process or else you will fail to communicate it in Truth. Everyone must practice the art of Agency of Spiritual Transmission, and devotees must become serious about it. Let those who practice with depth and power and strength and faith come forth, and let them communicate the living Teaching, the Living Reality. Let them practice the Way and thus in every moment be an Agency of Transmission. Let them help others make this adaptation to the Living Reality. This is their service!"
Adi Da's criticism is real and the frustration he and everyone with a heart feels is not a 'goad' in the traditional sense:
"Life is a creative opportunity, motivated by frustration of the impulse of life toward ecstasy. There is no factual end to the struggle. There is at best a human maturity, in which frustration is not permitted to become negatively dominant, permitting no change or motion. Rather, frustration is maintained as a positive or creative circumstance for motion, change, and, ultimately, ecstatic participation in the Transcendental Reality. In any case, the Law will be fulfilled."
"The meaning or purpose of individual human existence is not evident in the bare fact of birth and experience. Rather, the meaning and purpose of individual human existence is Man, or the ultimate ritual of Incarnation.
The test of human existence is in our confrontation with frustration and fear. We are not born merely to exist and to experience. We are not born for our own sake. We are born in God and for the purposes of God, Who is the Living One, the Radiant Being in Whom all beings and things are arising and changing. We are born to transcend ourselves in ecstatic Love-Communion with the Present Divine.
Those who are overcome by frustration and fear recoil or turn back upon themselves, and.... - The Ritual of Incarnation - 1978
It's All Up to You Ladies and Gentlemen
In His Divine Formless Form, He Stands Prior, Standing In Place, One, Already Accomplished, even in the mists of the appearance and the Shout of Failure, the 'heaps of yes-and-no' or any opposite the mind can manufacture. The Play is there, the call is Inherent, and One Has Appeared.
The heart must be permitted to achieve a universal feeling-ecstasy!
And Beauty is not in the matter-world of thing and death-but only in the singled universe of the True Loved-One!
Where everything that lives will be dog-withered by the pack of time, fear arises-at the crown and bowel, where times orderly extinctions twist the heart between the North-and-South!
And sorrow fills the mind, between the eyes-and feels the belly suck the danger of all the unwanted changes made by time!
And anger burns a laser-breath of all-destroying speeches-helpless in the klik-klak darks resistance to all wanted change of times unwanted changes!
Therefore, the cosmic universe of temporal and all-destroying Nature must be Transfigured by undying Love!
Undying Love Is the universal Principle of re-"Connect", in the rush-to-dying world of Natural heaps of yes-and-no!
The world of Man is an eternal shift of necks-a shuttle of Loves own faces, floating in a drown of moments-until the "He" and "She" of Me, like the fingertips of lovers, Touch, through the infinite transparency of a single tears True Water-and Touch away, Together, at the Single of Infinity, Where "We" were so deeply Torn ! - I Am The Icon Of Unity" From He-and-She Is Me
In 1971, a couple of months after his awakening in the Vedanta Temple in Los Angeles, Franklin Jones wrote these words.
"It is now the early summer of 1971. Several months have passed since I began to enjoy the radical life of understanding."
"I have come to create a radical change. Therefore, I have not come to oppose any of the fundamental and remarkable movements of human creativity. I have only asked you to understand. I have come to bring consciousness to your judgments, your surmise of the entire event. I have come to make the abandonment of all dilemmas possible. I am for all the kinds of perfection and science here. I am thoroughly in favor of a great world. But I am also one who is entirely free of necessity, the perfection or imperfection of this world or any other. In any case, I am the one who is real and free, who survives all worlds. Therefore, if you are with me, we can enjoy these possibilities with humor, grace and love.
I am reminded of Sri Ramakrishna, on fire within, consumed in God, communicated with all the forms of truth, but spending his time alone or in the company of a few friends. His heart yearned for those to whom he could communicate his gift. He would cry for the devotees he knew must come. Where are the devotees? His whole being yearned for the children who would appear.
I have spent my life in rooms. I have enjoyed the companionship and the attention of a few friends. But my life is for the sake of this communication of understanding. The rooms cannot contain me. My friends cannot satisfy me. I am surrounded by great forces of love and truth that I hold off like beasts in the corners of my room. All of this waits for those who must come. But I am motionless and confounded until they come. My fulfillment waits on those who must come. My life has not been for myself. I already possessed it before I came to this birth. My life is for those who must come. But where are they? I am going mad with my own words. I would exhaust myself in experiences and every excuse for love, every possibility for a word with another. Where are they? When is my time to come? At times I don't know whether to come or go. I have been exiled here. All the means for my escape have been denied to me. I am allowed no passage to another place, another country. I would achieve my dominion in another world, but I am forced to keep these rooms, this exile in a hostile realm. I am waiting for you. I have been waiting for you eternally. My fulfillment is the very world. But I am not heard. My gestures are unseen. The powers of my delight are not enjoyed. Even my own bliss is not available to me. All things depend upon your visit. Where are you?"
I Will Be Heard - Adi Da Samraj
Growing, Standing Still or Dying - Adidam today - An Exercise by Beezone
"There wasn't sufficient evidence, sufficient response, sufficient clarity. So we've had to examine the whole matter step by step, stage by stage, starting from the most basic level of the beginning. But I think in this examination of all of this, with those who have been associated with me for so long, what is being made plain is that the gifts and the lessons have been already given. The only thing lacking here is this Joyous Response, this Inspired Response, that will regenerate all the things that were your responsibility before.
I've even said to you many times in these gatherings; it is difficult for me to imagine that there aren't at least some in this world-wide gathering who are prepared for practicing stage six. If they'd only consider it, go through this process of recapitalization, reexamination of it all, and embrace their responsibility, the obligation. I would think that there would be some who are already prepared for practicing stage six. And certainly, others prepared for the various devotee stages.
I told you at the beginning when you all were just being students there, remember, I can't imagine after all these years nobody has heard me".
In the very beginning of my Teaching Work, I've communicated the Radical Consideration, the Radical Argument. You must respond to the degree that makes you capable of radical practice, or the Perfect Practice. So, I've had for many, many years consider with you that entire progress. But it's not suppose to be something that takes you a thousand lifetimes. It's not a piecemeal idealism, or idealistic practice, in which you basically fret over your impulses to be identified with the ordinary humanity, your conventional motivations as a human being.
That progressive practice is supposed to prepare you for the Radical Practice in its Ultimate form, the Perfect Practice.
The Perfect Practice is practiced in the context of the sixth stage of life. Therefore it inherently transcends the sixth stage of life, not eventually, inherently. It takes place in the context of the sixth stage of life but transcends it inherently. So do all the other stages of practice.
The listening and hearing process inherently transcends the first three stages of life, inherently does so, when you fully develop it. When it becomes true hearing, it inherently transcends the first three stages of life. It's not that then there's a long lot of stuff to do, as a hearing sadhana. It's direct. The hearing sadhana inherently transcends the first three stages of life, so the work becomes complete, readily. This is why in the first edition of The Dawn Horse Testament have to define the hearing stage as a separate sort of period. Because it's a most direct principle, that allows you to move on to the devotee stages.
I observed that you were finding loopholes, and not taking that process completely into account. I, therefore, I recommended some details that will help you avoid those loopholes.
Hearing, the sadhana based on hearing inherently transcends the first three stages of life, just as the sadhana based on seeing inherently transcends the fourth stage of life, and the fifth if necessary, and the sixth. The Way of the Heart transcends the psycho-biography of the ego, inherently.
Everything from the student response up to hearing is a process leading up to hearing. Everything up to hearing if your consideration, your time integrating yourself with this Radical Way. From the time of the confession of hearing, you become most fundamentally obliged, engaged with the Way of the Heart itself. You become capable of the Way of the Heart itself is capable, of transcending all of the egoic stages of life. So, from the time of hearing, you must do so, effectively, as described in each stage.
In that effective sense, we could say the Way of the Heart begins at the point of true hearing. It's the first of the three great signs. The first is Hearing, the second is Seeing, and the third is Identification with the Witness-Position of Consciousness. Everything that proceeds hearing is a process whereby the individual becomes integrated with that process that inherently transcends eogity. This is why the Hearing Confession is so profound. It's the cutter, the foundation that effectively moves through all the phycho-biography of egoity. From the time of that confession, you are obliged to that demonstration.
If you have heard me there is NO MORE dramatizing your egoic reluctance. You will have understood it all. You will have thoroughly observed it all, to the point of most fundamental understanding of self. Therefore this mechanism of refusal, of balking, resistance will have been thoroughly understood by you. Most fundamentally understood.
You must establish a culture on that foundation. You must demonstrate your response in the form of that culture. You must all develop an inspired and inspiring Way, and you must do it collectively, in the culture and the institution, in both the inner and outer temple. There must be these signs.
If there aren't these signs then I say to you, you haven't heard me".