Spiritual Transmission > The Spiritual Transmission Master

The Spiritual Transmission Master:
A Functional Explanation for Guru Devotion


Chris Tong, Ph.D.


Adi Da as Spiritual Transmission Master

If there is a single greatest point of confusion about Adidam and Avatar Adi Da, it is this: the idea and the tradition of the Spiritual Transmission Master is completely absent from contemporary culture. This article explains how Spiritual Transmission Masters transmit their Spiritual Realization to their devotees, and how devotees Realize the Master's State by duplication, in accord with the principle: "you become what you meditate on."

Throughout human history, help has been available for connecting us with greater-than-material dimensions on an ongoing basis during our lifetime. But, to a great extent, we have lost our awareness of such help, and now that help is almost a complete secret. We are all familiar with religions, spiritual paths, scriptures, rituals, techniques, and spiritual teachers. But all these are, at best, of secondary help. The primary help — and the great secret in the spiritual traditions of humankind — has been the Spiritual Transmission Masters. These rare, holy human beings appear every now and then throughout human history. All the great religions have such a Transmission Master as their source, but most people (even followers of that religion) are not aware of their great function as Transmitters. Such beings have Realized a higher, Spiritual dimension of Reality. But — more than that — they then are able to transmit the awareness of that dimension to other human beings. Thus, they themselves serve as a portal to another reality. The lifelong practice of devotees of such a Spiritual Transmission Master is to "tune in" to the Master's Spiritual Transmission. With time and diligent practice — in accord with the spiritual principle, "you become what you meditate on" — devotees duplicate the Realization of their Master, and ultimately (if their practice during life was sufficient) end up in that higher plane after death.

The Spiritual Transmission Master is the esoteric secret at the heart of all the world's religions. It is a secret that hides in plain sight amidst all the many other details we associate with a religion.

We can find it in Buddhism. On one occasion, when Gautama the Buddha held up a flower, out of all the disciples in the room, Kashyap smiled, signifying that he alone had received the Buddha's wordless Transmission. Gautama Buddha acknowledged Kashyap's reception of his Transmission: "I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters, but is a special Transmission outside the scriptures. This I entrust to Kashyap."


The Spiritual Transmission of Gautma Buddha
The Spiritual Transmission of Gautama Buddha


We can find it in Christianity. What is most significant in the story of Jesus is not his teachings or his miracles, or even the religion that was founded in his name. What is most significant is when Jesus said to two fishermen (Peter and Andrew), "Come, follow me!" and they, responding to his Spiritual Transmission, dropped everything and followed him.


The Spiritual Transmission of Jesus of Nazareth
The Spiritual Transmission of Jesus of Nazareth



We can find it in Hinduism. When the "gopi" cowherd women heard Krishna playing his flute (which symbolizes his Spiritual Transmission), they (in an enchanted state) dropped their ordinary lives and followed him.


The Spiritual Transmission of Krishna
The Spiritual Transmission of Krishna



And so this is the sign of a genuine Spiritual Transmission Master, illustrated most obviously in the stories of Jesus and Krishna: the Spiritual Revelation transmitted in the company of the Master is so profound, so overwhelmingly attractive and blissful, that one readily leaves behind one's conventional life, intuitively recognizing that a Greater Alternative and Greater Destiny is being made available. The blissful state of the Master is always the immediate reason for following him and for being in his company. But the longterm consequence (of lifelong devotion to the Master's Spiritual Transmission) is salvation: permanent movement into another dimension of reality. You don't enter the Christian heaven on the basis of mere belief in Jesus, being a good guy, and going to church every Sunday. You do so by finding Jesus's Transmission, and communing with it, and through such lifelong "mystical communion" with Jesus in his heaven, you too acquire first the taste for heaven, and then access to the kingdom.

* * *

Just as there is spiritual help for moving from this material dimension to a more auspicious, spiritual dimension, there is also Divine help for our ultimate destiny of Awakening altogether from the dream of conditional existence, as the Very Divine, Whose State is Perfect, Eternal Happiness. But that Divine help is exceedingly rare. Once in a very long time, circumstances combine in such a way as to allow the Divine Person to incarnate as an apparent human being "in the dream". That extraordinary human being — or Avatar — is a Spiritual Transmitter of a very special kind: He or She Transmits the Awakened State of the Divine Person. Truly, such a human being is the Divine, in Person, here. The devotees of such an Avatar have the possibility, through meditating on their Master's Divine Transmission, to Awaken altogether, Realizing the Very Divine Person.

Adi Da Transmitting the Force and State of the Divine to Aniello
Adi Da Transmitting the Force and State of the Divine to His devotees in 1974 (© 2011 ASA)
(click to enlarge)

The Way of Adidam is all about just such an exceedingly rare Divine Incarnation, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, and the Divine Realization made possible for all by His eternally available Divine Transmission.




Spiritual Transmission Masters vs. cult masters


If there is a single greatest point of confusion about Adidam and Avatar Adi Da, it is this: the idea and the tradition of the Spiritual Transmission Master is completely absent from contemporary culture.

Indeed, without being aware of the existence of Spiritual Transmission Masters, when one sees pictures of devotees prostrating before another man, or engaged in some kind of devotional expression, one cannot help but think "cult" and "cult master" because that it is the only contemporary concept available for "explaining" such behavior. The idea that the devotee may be prostrating at the Master's feet because they are receiving an overwhelming Spiritual Transmission radiating from the Master never crosses one's mind! That Transmission is why followers of the Master are not merely His students but His devotees, and why growth in the Way is not primarily about techniques or even disciplines, but fundamentally about deepening the relationship with the Spiritual Transmission Master.

In fact, these concepts of "Spiritual Transmission Master" and "cult master" are like day and night, the latter being a kind of degraded mimicry of the former. If you examine the stories of cult masters like Jim Jones or David Koresh, you may find they had some degree of charisma that enabled them to attract followers. But the bottom line is this: they were ordinary men; no one had a spiritual experience or Revelation in their company! The Spiritual Transmission Master is not at all an ordinary man. Hundreds of Avatar Adi Da's devotees can attest in detail to the Divine Transmission they not only have felt tangibly in Avatar Adi Da's physical Company (or as they contemplate Him now, throughout the day), but have been completely dissolved by, entered into His Divine State of Perfect Happiness.


Michael ShawI felt Beloved Adi Da's Spiritual Transmission thick in the room. I saw Him as the center of a field of visible, Love-Blissful, Conscious, breathable Light. He was simply Divine Love-Bliss. There was no longer a sense of being a separate self — just the profound peace of realizing there is nothing to seek, nowhere to go, nothing to attain. This was Reality Itself, and it was not separate from "me". I had no sense of my usual persona or contracted self. It was sort of like waiting all your life for a package to arrive, and then when it comes you aren't there — but you are so happy that you don't mind at all!

Michael Shaw (devotee)


One purpose of this article is to help people interested in Avatar Adi Da and the Way of Adidam understand the confusions and controversies about Avatar Adi Da that are out on the Web. In some sense, they all tend to presume and build on the view of Avatar Adi Da as an ordinary man — He is not!

So the first form of helpful discrimination we can offer is this: If you run across a web page that makes all kinds of controversial allegations about Avatar Adi Da or Adidam but fails to mention the hundreds of stories of people experiencing Avatar Adi Da's Divine Transmission (some of which you can read on this website), know immediately that there is nothing objective about that web page, and that it is not capable of providing anything like an accurate account of Avatar Adi Da because the author of the web page does not acknowledge (and may not even be aware of) the reality of Spiritual Transmission Masters.


Michael ShawI clearly remember the first time I saw a devotee of Adi Da bowing before Adi Da's image. I found it repulsive. Had this person gone mad? Why would he give himself away? Why give so much power over your life to somebody else? As if he wasn't smart and capable himself? It just felt wrong.
Cult-y.
Sect-y.
I would rather die than bow.

Yet vertebra by vertebra, I find my spine bending forward.
I am in full resistance.
I would rather die than bow.
Spine! What are you doing? What is happening?
This is madness.

Yet my body wants to bow.
My body wants to bow more than my head wants to prevent it.
My body wants to bow.
My cells want to bow.
I feel it.
I cannot understand it.

My head is now lightly touching the floor.
And a wave of relief relaxes my body.
As if something in me had been begging for this moment to happen for thirty years.

Anke Hans (devotee)



Adi Da Transmitting His Divine Blessing
Adi Da Transmitting His Divine Blessing
(click to enlarge)


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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