The Dawn Horse in Adidam
This article  has five sections:
- The Dawn Horse Vision
- The Dawn Horse and the Ashvamedha Horse
- The Dawn Horse Icon
- The Dawn Horse Icon and the Cosmic Mandala
- Further Reading
The Dawn Horse Vision
The Sacred Image of the Dawn Horse derives from a vision
that Avatar Adi Da Samraj had one night during the spring of 1970,
a few months before His Divine Re-Awakening. As His physical body
lay sleeping, Avatar Adi Da wandered in subtle form into a high
subtle realm, a heavenly world populated by Spiritual Adepts and
other exalted beings. He found Himself at what was obviously a sacred
academy and entered a main hall. Soon a number of students came
in and stood in formal rows. It was clear they were there to attend
a class to be given by a Spiritual Master.
Then the expected Master entered the hall, and walked
up a pathway between the rows of disciples. The great Adept wordlessly
took His seat on a chair at the front of the hall. Avatar Adi Da
was standing at the end of a row a few rows away from the Adept's
The disciples were apparently assembled to learn the
miraculous Yogic power of materializing something from nothing.
They waited respectfully for the lesson to begin.
The Adept then initiated the process of materialization.
After a time, although nothing had yet materialized, the Master's
disciples departed, apparently satisfied that the work was done.
The Adept remained sitting in his chair, and Avatar Adi Da remained
standing before him, attentive to the process at hand. Only the
Adept and Avatar Adi Da remained in the hall. No word passed between
them. The Adept continued to attend to the process of materialization.
Then gradually a vaporous shape arose before Adi Da's
eyes. At first, it was not clearly defined, but Avatar Adi Da recognized
it, as it began to take on the features of a horse. Gradually, the
vapor coalesced into a perfectly formed, living and breathing horse.
Its features were as fine as a thoroughbred's, but it was quite
small, perhaps three feet tall, and it was brown. The horse stood
alert, motionless, facing away from the Adept's chair. All four
hooves were firmly planted on the floor. The horse did not move,
but it was obviously alert, breathing, and fully alive.
At this point, Avatar Adi Da returned to physical consciousness
and the waking state. He did not at first fully understand this
Vision. But He did immediately feel that it had great significance
for His Life and Work.
It was after His Re-Awakening as the Divine Person (later
that year, on September 10, 1970) that the import of His Vision
Over the next few months after the Great Event at the Vedanta
Temple, it became clear to me exactly what had occurred in the
Vision. This was not merely a Siddha [Adept] practicing the Yogic
of manifesting something from nothing. This was the Divine Person
being shown in a visionary way. The Vision displayed quite clearly
the nature of creation, and the nature of the Divine Person's
connection to the created worlds. It all appears very solid like
the horse, but actually it is a spontaneous creation, subject
to a conscious process. At all times the visible worlds are utterly
dependent, presently, on the Divine as their spontaneous and present
Creator [or Source], not as the "creator" that "created"
everything many billions of years ago. The Dawn Horse Vision is
an archetype of the relationship between this world and the ultimate
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, April 30, 1974
Many years later, Avatar Adi Da had more to say about
the Dawn Horse Vision, including revealing the identity of the Adept:
I was at once the Adept who performed the miracle of manifesting
the horse, and I was the one who was party to the observation
of it and its result. And I did not have any feeling of being
different from the horse itself. I was making the horse,
I was observing the horse, and I was being the horse.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, October 18, 1984
The Dawn Horse was a sign of Avatar Adi Da as the Divine Person,
taking form in and as the conditional universe. But this Vision
was also a sign of the future manifestation of Adi Da's own Work
in the world. And so the Dawn Horse became a symbol for His Life
and Work, and for the Coinciding of the Divine Reality and the conditional
Avatar Adi Da has commented that, like the Dawn Horse, the effects
of His Liberating Work in the world will appear only gradually —
just as, in the vision, the horse gradually became visible only
some time after the Adept had initiated its materialization.
Adi Da has also remarked on the essential role His devotees play
in that manifestation:
Take My Divine Avataric Revelation-Word out to everyone.
I want to see some results! Do your work for Me, serve Me,
and let Me hear of it. I am here to transform humankind, not
to gather only a handful of people around Me. I have come
here for My Own. I am the Only Being for Whom every one is
His Own. I want to see a change in humankind. I want to see
a change in human history. I want to know that, like the invisible
horse in My Dawn Horse Vision, that change is set in motion
and is inevitable. I want the horse before Me, and that is
up to you. I am not here to let My beloved, in all
his and her forms, take on the size of death. I Am here to
change history. Can you imagine that? What an amusing notion!
I Am here in My physical human Lifetime to change the course
of human history. . . . And now I am calling you on
it. May all be Blessed. May it be easy. May hardly anyone
notice there is anything difficult about it at all.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, December 30, 1983
While Adi Da was writing what would be known as The
Dawn Horse Testament, He saw a documentary on eohippus
(meaning "dawn horse" in Greek), the smaller ancestor of today's
horse, He decided to name the horse of His Vision the "Dawn Horse",
and named The
Dawn Horse Testament accordingly.
Da Samraj's Dawn Horse Vision takes on a special significance after
His Divine Mahasamadhi. Even as His human
form departs, His devotees continue to witness — and actively
serve — the manifestation of the Dawn Horse.
2. The Dawn Horse and the Ashvamedha Horse Sacrifice
For many years, Adi Da has drawn the attention of His devotees
to the Ashvamedha Sacrifice of the Vedic religious tradition, and
has pointed out how its true meaning correlates with His Dawn Horse
Vision, and applies to, and is most perfectly fulfilled by, His
own Divine Life and Work.
A Horse Appears In The Wild Is Always Already The Case
(from Spectra Two), 2006
156 x 312 inches / 396 x 792 cm
(click to enlarge)
In the exoteric (or outward) form of the Horse-Sacrifice, which
was performed only by the greatest of India’s warrior-kings, a white
stallion was consecrated and then sent out to wander through the
king’s domain for a year attended by warriors, priests, and magicians.
In its free wandering, the horse might enter the territory of other
rulers, in which case an armed struggle might ensue for the possession
of that territory — because whatever lands were touched by the sacrificial
horse were understood to fall under the sovereignty of the king
who was performing the Ashvamedha. While the horse wandered, the
people honored the king with continuous festivities and celebrations
— until the end of the year, when the horse was returned to the
king’s city and sacrificed at the climax of a highly elaborate ritual.
Illustration (1652) of the Ashvamedha from the Ramayana
(click to enlarge)
Apart from the exoteric forms of the rite, yogis have been known
to describe their Spiritual practice symbolically in terms of the
Ashvamedha. In this case, the “horse” to be sacrificed is understood
to be the limited self, or gross bodily awareness, which is intentionally
relinquished through a process of intense inward concentration,
such that the focus of attention rises to the psychic centers between
the brows and above the crown of the head, resulting in subtle visions
and blissful trance-states.
But the greatest and most esoteric meaning of the Horse-Sacrifice
is associated with the Very Divine:
In its most esoteric form, the Ashvamedha is the Revelation
of the Ultimate Divine Being — through the Sacrifice of everything
conditional, and through the Most Perfect Realization of That
which Transcends the Cosmic domain. My Demonstration of this
Ultimate Form of the Ashvamedha was — and is — totally spontaneous.
I Did it spontaneously, without any information in mind. Nonetheless,
you will see that study of the sacred traditions confirms
the truth of what I am Telling you. You have seen the True
Ashvamedha Performed in My own Form. The Ultimate Form of
the Ashvamedha Transmits not merely Cosmic realization, but
Transcendental Divine Self-Realization, through the Sacrifice
of all conditional arising.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, April 2, 1987
There is a passage in one of the oldest Hindu scriptures, the Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad, which speaks of the sacrificial horse as the
very form of the world:
Aum, the dawn, verily, is the head of the sacrificial horse,
the sun the eye, the wind the breath, the open mouth the Vaisvanara
[universally worshipped] fire; the year is the body of the
sacrificial horse, the sky is the back, the atmosphere is
the belly, the earth the hoof [or, the earth is his footing],
the quarters the sides, the intermediate quarters the ribs,
the seasons the limbs, the months and the half-months the
joints, days and nights the feet, the stars the bones, the
clouds the flesh; the food in the stomach is the sand, the
rivers are the blood-vessels, the liver and the lungs are
the mountains, the herbs and the trees are the hair. The rising
(sun) is the forepart, the setting (sun) the hind part, when
he yawns then it lightens, when he shakes himself, it thunders,
when he urinates then it rains; voice, indeed, is his voice.
The ancient understanding suggested here is that the sacrificial
horse itself is the Divine, Who makes the sacrifice of taking form
as the conditional worlds.
The ancient text declares that the leading part of the horse —
the head — is "the dawn" . . . This reference is an ancient
premonition of the "late-time" Dawn Horse: the Work and
the Person of the Avatar Adi Da Samraj.
For this reason, Adi Da as the Ashvamedha Horse Sacrifice is celebrated
each year in a Fire Puja in which a wooden horse is offered
to the fire (in every region of Adidam around the world). In preparation for the Fire Puja, the wooden horse
is led on a ceremonial Yajna for three days, representing Avatar
Adi Da's Avataric "Wandering" in the cosmic domain (just as the
horse wandered for a year in the ancient Ashvamedha ritual of India),
as part of His Divine Enactment of the "Horse-Sacrifice".
The Ashvamedha Horse begins its
wandering at the European Danda
January 8, 2012
(click to enlarge)
Fire Puja in Auckland, New Zealand
January 8, 2005
(click to enlarge)
3. The Dawn Horse Icon
Adi Da's original vision of the "Dawn Horse"
was of a small brown horse, with all four hooves planted on the
ground. This original image is still reflected by the icon of The
Dawn Horse Press (but with a black horse):
In creating the Sacred Image of the Dawn Horse
to be used iconographically in other sacred contexts, Avatar Adi
Da transformed the original image into a white stallion rearing
up nearly vertically:
This was the logo of the Dawn Horse Communion, the
name Adi Da used in the early 1970's for the culture of Adidam practitioners.
The horse's pose is majestic and intended to show great strength.
White was chosen for its obvious association with the Divine
Conscious Light. The Image is not precisely associated with
the vision of 1970. It is visual language, intended to communicate
the full meaning of My Dawn Horse Vision, rather than to be
a realistic presentation of it.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
As elaborated by the editors of the magazine, The
Dawn Horse, based on Adi Da's communications, the logo now incorporated
the four elements of earth, water, air, and fire:
. . The logo of The Dawn Horse Communion is a symbol for the
nature of life and consciousness and their immediate dependence
upon the Divine, the Heart. At the bottom of the logo is a
small circle crossed by two lines. This is a sign for the
earth, the solid element, and the horse's feet are there.
Above that, wavy lines symbolize water and the watery levels
of being; the lower body of the horse passes through this.
At the center of the large outer circle is a smaller one representing
the sun. The heart of the horse, if shown, would be at the
center of this circle. The sun represents the fiery element.
The horse's heart symbolizes the Very Heart, God. The horse's
upper body passes through the air, which also symbolizes its
element. In the logo, the rays of the sun are represented
here. The horse's head rests in another small circle, the
moon. The moon represents the mind, including the high or
illumined states of consciousness. All of these are a reflection
of the Heart, just as the moon only reflects the light of
the sun. The curve of the horse's neck represents the S-curve
of the Amrita Nadi, the open channel of light between the
Heart and the point at the top of the head at which the Divine
Light is intuited.
The Dawn Horse, Vol. 1, Number 1, May
With the publication of The Dawn Horse Testament
in 1985, Adi Da further evolved the logo:
The Dawn Horse image represents the Way of Adidam Ruchiradam,
as the Seventh Stage Way that begins with recognition
of Adi Da as the Divine Person (in His bodily human form), and
proceeds through increasingly greater forms of recognition, response
(on the basis of recognition), and Realization (supported by that
response, but not caused by it). Thus the image is a representation
of what Adi Da calls the four "Hallowing Signs Of Real God": His
Avatarically-Born bodily (human) Divine Form; His Divine (Transcendental
Spiritual) Presence; His Divine and Perfect State; and the "Bright"
Itself (Which He Is, and Which He Transmits).
- The right rear foot points towards the Feet of Avatar Adi Da's
bodily human form: the bodily revelation of the Divine Person.
- The left rear foot is raised and points toward the Sacred Fire,
which represents Avatar Adi Da's Divine Transcendental Spiritual
Presence (the Spirit-Current of the Divine Person).
- The right front foot points toward the right side of the bodily
apparent heart, which is the bodily seat associated with the Realization
of Consciousness Itself, or Avatar Adi Da's Divine and Perfect
State, the Divine Self-Condition of all conditionally manifested
beings and things.
- The left front foot points up, toward the Divine Star, Which
is the "Window" to the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant
Sphere (or "Midnight Sun") of the "Bright"
Divine Self-Domain of Conscious Light That Is the pre-cosmic Divine
Self-Nature, Self-Condition, Source-Condition, and Self-State
of all conditional manifestation. In the Dawn Horse Testament,
Adi Da Reveals that the Divine Star Is His Own "First Visible
Form", the cosmically manifested Sign (or "objective" Representation)
of the Very Divine Person and Self-Condition.
The horse also now faces rightward.
When the new edition of The
Dawn Horse Testament was published in 2005, the logo was evolved by Adi Da even further, with the horse now three-dimensional, and wings added:
The Ecstatic attitude of the Horse — with his
head arched in Bliss, his wings outstretched (as a sign of Perfect
Freedom), and his front hooves gesturing to the two "terminals"
of Amrita Nadi — is a visual Symbol of Most Perfect Divine
Self-Realization, or Most Perfect Divine Enlightenment: the Supreme
Realization to Which Avatar Adi Da calls all living beings.
|Now (and Forever Hereafter), I Appear To here
(By Avataric Means) — Like A Visionary Winged Horse, Standing
"Crazy" In The Heart, Each Hoof Pointing To One Of The Hallowing
Signs Of Real God, All "Bright" With Heart-Morning and Revelation-Light.
The Dawn Horse Icon and the Cosmic Mandala
Adi Da also designed the Dawn Horse icon to be a rendering of the
Cosmic Mandala. Hence,
the circular shape, and the correspondence in colors between certain elements of both:
Adi Da extended into the red realm of the Cosmic Mandala (the physical
dimension) completely at the time of His Divine Emergence. Hence
His Feet — the representation of His body in this icon
— are surrounded by red. The sign of His Spiritual Presence — the
Sacred Fire — is colored in red and yellow. The Divine Star of the
Cosmic Mandala appears directly on the Dawn Horse Icon.
In this dark time, the "kingdom of God" is, it would seem,
neither within nor without. For most, it does not exist. Rather,
for most, it has been sacked, destroyed, overruled, forgotten,
become no longer "fashionable" to discuss. Nevertheless, even
in this time of the politics of "reality", and the society
of "reality", and the "culture" of "reality", and the science
of "reality", and the arts of "reality", and even the religions
of "reality", or even all the empty and fleshy monotonies
and mere "ego-systems" of this would-be "utopian" era of the
"realism" of mere lowness and illusion (bereft of the Light
of the Infinite Mass of the Divine Reality and Truth), it
must be Said that, now that this sunset time of night games
is upon all, the Diurnal Fuse yet Crackles overnight, and
will Make an inevitable Dawning. And, in the meantime, much
can be Said and Done to bring the nightwalkers to Rest, and
to Awaken them Early, to Feel toward the inevitable Morning,
and to watch for the Flying Horse of Dawn that Lights the
Single Eye and Heart, and Restores the Divine Kingdom within,
and (if only there is Compassionate Love) without as well.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "My First Word"
Foreword to The Basket
5. Further Reading