In this video clip from the 1988 talk, "What Is Your Intention?", Adi Da criticizes the "do-it-yourself" approach to spirituality that is popular in the world today, and speaks about why a teacher is necessary.
Note: In this talk, Adi Da does not use the word "prophet" to mean someone who predicts the future; rather, He uses it in the traditional Hebrew sense: one who is a fiery critic of all the ways the society is wandering from a life in God, worshipping false idols, etc. Adi Da: "The prophets of ancient Israel were not soothsayers. . . When I speak of My Function as Prophet, it is in that sense — as Critic, not as someone who exercises secondary psychic powers to foretell the future."
Is God a Being, or the Being, taking care of everyone?
If there is a God, then why isn't God obviously just in charge?
Why do individuals who don't believe in God very often seem to have a relatively enjoyable life, and believers just as frequently suffer?
If God is a Parent-Force, then why doesn't the commitment to God bring into your life evidence that you are being protected and sustained?
These are some of the questions that Avatar Adi Da considers with devotees participating with Him in the gatherings from the 1980's presented on this CD. What unfolds is a lively consideration that you too can participate in, wherever or whenever you are, by listening to this CD.
Adi Da: "Nothing in [the devotee] is one with God. So the Divine Activity is generated to make that person one with God. The Divine does the Yoga. The Divine Assumes His Oneness with the devotee. He does not create means, methods to be generated in dilemma, experiential paths by which to realize that Oneness — He simply Establishes It."
"The way for such a devotee, then, is simply to be a devotee: to simply live that relationship as the Principle and Condition of his life. And if he does that, then the conscious and formal Qualities that are native to the Divine Condition are generated spontaneously and intelligently within him."
Adi Da calls devotees to consider whether there is any evidence that a God exists Who one can hook up with through mere belief; and Who will then, like a Parent with Infinite Resources, start granting the believer a better life: reduced suffering, all kinds of earthly benefits, etc.
In this seminal discourse (at The Mountain Of Attention), from the early years of His Teaching Work, Adi Da speaks about the inevitable process of self-revelation and self-understanding that prepares the being for true Spiritual life.
This is a beautiful talk by Adi Da. But it IS very compressed, making quite a few points in a short space, and depending to a significant degree on a familiarity with Adi Da's spiritual teaching. Here are some notes that may help.
Throughout the talk, the technical term, "sadhana" (spiritual practice), is used.
Genuine spiritual practice is not about belief systems, mere rituals, or a little "peace of mind", but rather about actually locating the Divine, through the tangible Transmission of the Spiritual Master.
After a recent illness, a devotee mentions to Adi Da that he notices how the physical suffering of illness was distracting enough that he was not "able" to find Adi Da's Transmission when he is ill.
Adi Da acknowledges this, and responds with three more general points.
1. The illness didn't "make" the devotee lose the thread of practice; rather, he allowed himself to be distracted from God by the illness. When the devotee gets this, and sees how he himself is "doing" the turning away, he'll be able to "do better next time" by not turning away even when ill.
2. Until Divine Enlightenment — in other words, until there is no limit on one's spiritual practice — sadhana (spiritual practice) is always only reflecting back to devotees the remaining limits in their practice: where they are still turning away from the Divine, where they still need to become responsible for not turning away.
In the beginning, the "turning away" is very "crude": even mere physical suffering is enough to distract one from God. (If we find ourselves saying, "what do you mean, MERE physical suffering?" that definitely identifies us as spiritual beginners! :-) ) But as one grows in practice, and ceases to turn away in such a crude manner (as one becomes a "saint", "yogi", "sage", etc.), one discovers that one is still turning from the Divine at an even subtler level of the being (in the mind, the psyche, etc.)
It is only when that "turning away" has been inspected, understood, and transcended in every dimension of the being that Divine Realization occurs.
In this sense, for the genuine spiritual practitioner, physical suffering — along with every other circumstance that reveals to us our turning away from the Divine — is truly a Grace, enabling us to grow in our practice.
3. Where we are turning away is a reflection of what we are identifying with: the body, the mind, the soul, etc. (For example, if physical illness is enough to distract us from God, then the physical body is what we currently are identified with.) God-Realization only occurs when all "identities" less than God are understood and transcended.
In this sense, "there are no winners in God" — the Way is not about seeking, accomplishment, or winning, but rather about surrender to God, sacrifice of self, and ego-death. There's no "one" left to "win"! But the One Who Remains is perfectly, eternally happy.
Adi Da compassionately explains the function of discipline in a variety of ways. Disciplines in the Way of Adidam are intended to be enacted in the context of recognition of and response to the Divine. God cannot be Realized without self being transcended. Disciplines are for the purpose of self-transcendence or the transcendence of the limit that is the self-contraction. "To realize That which transcends limit requires the discipline of limit."
Adi Da Samraj speaks about the obligation inherent in the process of God-Realization. One naturally dedicates one's entire life to God-Realization, in response to the Realizer's gift of the Way of God-Realization. "If that 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."
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