about Adi Da & Adidam > Adi
Da's Mahasamadhi > Use
of the Term, "Mahasamadhi"|
of the Term, "Mahasamadhi"
Q: You describe how Adi Da passed away due
to natural causes, but you refer to it as His "Mahasamadhi". I thought
the term, "Mahasamadhi", was reserved for when Spiritual Realizers,
in a moment of their own choosing, intentionally leave the body. But what you
describe could just as well fit Joe Smith down the street, dying of a heart attack,
A: The term "Mahasamadhi" more
generally indicates the passing of any great Spiritual Master, regardless of what
form that passing may take. More specifically, we use the phrase, "Divine
Mahasamadhi", to indicate the passing of a human Incarnation of the Divine.
fuller answer to your question requires an understanding of the radical difference
between the "spiritual history" of traditional Masters who "took
Mahasamadhi", and Adi Da's "spiritual history" as Incarnation of
the Divine Person. And clearly it also requires understanding the radical difference
between Joe Smith down the street, and a Master like Adi Da Samraj, Whose lifetime
has been a continuous outpouring of Spiritual Wisdom, Revelation, human transformation,
and miraculous occurences — all a demonstration of Who He is (a fraction
of which is presented on this site).
This section is organized as follows:
- Understanding the Master's Realization and Relation to the Physical Body
- Realizers On The Great Path of Return vs. Divine Incarnations
- Many "Reincarnations" Within a Single Divinely Human Lifetime
- Adi Da's Unfolding Seventh Stage Process
- Divine Intention and Divine Spontaneity
1. Understanding the Master's Realization and Relation to the Physical Body
Adi Da once described
how the great Realizer, Rang Avadhoot, was said to have "taken Mahasamadhi"
one day by reading the newspaper until a certain time came, then rapping on His
head three times, and then leaving the body. In contrast, Adi Da described how
Ramana Maharshi's bodily life ended: His body ravaged by cancer, and moaning in
pain right up to the end. Then Adi Da asked the devotees gathered with Him: whose
was the "superior" death?
Of course, many devotees immediately
replied: "Rang Avadhoot's". At least on the surface, it looked
like Rang Avadhoot was demonstrating some kind of "spiritual ability"
that Ramana Maharshi "lacked", making Maharshi's death look (on the surface) rather
ordinary and homely — like the death of Joe Smith down the street.
then Adi Da pointed out that, in fact, the reverse was true: Rang Avadhoot needed
to leave the body to enter His "Mahasamadhi" state (presumably "Nirvikalpa
Samadhi"). The greater Realization of Ramana Maharshi enabled him to be at
rest in His Realization even while the body was in pain, and expressing
its pain openly. In this sense, Maharshi's was the "superior" death,
insofar as it reflected a greater Realization.
So the first point is:
one really needs to know the spiritual context — the nature of the Realization
of the Master, and what that implies about the Master's relation to the physical
body — in order to accurately understand or interpret the circumstances
of the passing of the Master's body.
Let Me read the newspaper,
and rap My Head
when the time comes.
in the meantime,
and forever thereafter,
must rightly use
My forever Descended Presence here.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj,
The Knee Of Listening
2. Realizers On The Great Path of Return vs. Divine Incarnations
The Sanskrit term,
Mahasamadhi, literally means Great State: "Maha" means
"Great"; "samadhi" means "absorptive
state" or "Realization". Traditionally, "Mahasamadhi"
refers to the passing of a Spiritual Realizer who has had many lifetimes of rebirth,
a final lifetime as a great Spiritual Master, and who then "takes Mahasamadhi"
as a once-and-forever, final event — associated with the end of rebirth
and the dissolution of karma. Many of the Hindu traditions (from which the term,
Mahasamadhi, originates) understand Nirvakalpa Samadhi to be that final
"Great State". In the Buddhist tradition, the analogous final state
is Nirvana (literally: the state in which the fire is extinguished). Thus
in the Buddhist tradition, Gautama Buddha lived many lives before His last, final,
and greatest one, as "Buddha"; and His "Mahasamadhi" is understood
by Buddhists to correspond to His permanent entry into the nirvanic state.
Adi Da's own description of His "spiritual history" is strikingly different:
it is a story of Divine
Incarnation, rather than the culmination of many lifetimes of spiritual evolution.
It is a story of the Divine "descending" or "crossing over"
(the literal meaning of "Avatar") to here, in Person.
Da does refer to a very long process required to prepare the unique conjunction
of circumstances that enabled His Appearance here, the "spiritual history"
of His Incarnation itself is very brief: An extremely rare opening occurred in
1939; the Divine Person spontaneously "seized" that opportunity to incarnate;
and that Divine Incarnation lasted a single lifetime (through 2008), during which
the Divine Person completely conformed the body-mind of Franklin Jones to Itself,
enabling it to be the "contact point" through which all future generations
here can have direct access to the Divine Person.
I have no past lives and no future lives in any dimension.
This is my only birth, and it is only apparent. This birth, this body, these conditions
have been assumed and undone in one lifetime, in order to demonstrate the whole
Way and to have a fit vehicle for its present communication. The undoing is effective
in every plane, high, low, gross, subtle, causal, transcendental. This body-mind,
this vehicle or apparent, karmic being, has extensions and destinies in many dimensions,
high and low, past, present, and future. But these are not mine, nor are they
effective in me. This vehicle or karmic being may continue or be taken up by others
after this apparent life is terminated. But I am not expressed in that destiny,
I am before time and space, and no condition has me. I have not appeared for reasons.
It is only that this vehicle has mysteriously, paradoxically coincided with me.
Therefore, I have conformed it to myself and come forth. I stand present without
qualification in this theatre of my apparent birth. Through the Paradox, my mere
Presence has become Instructive. I am not a one, a being, nor a One, a Being,
I am not object or subject, Object or Subject, except I may appear to be so to
devotees, until they Realize me Perfectly.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj,
Breath and Name
These two different kinds of "spiritual histories" correspond
to strikingly different life purposes. In the first type of spiritual history,
the human lifetime of the Master is the very last phase of a many-lifetime purpose
of getting off the wheel of birth and death (to use the Buddhist terminology),
or of finally dissolving all karma (to use the Hindu terminology). Compassion
for others is a secondary motive, in addition to the primary motive to be perfectly
liberated, which has driven the entire spiritual history. The second form of spiritual
history — the history of a Divine Incarnation — starts out
with the karmaless Divine Person, always already not bound by the wheel of birth
and death. Compassion for beings is the sole motive for the (otherwise
unnecessary) Incarnation of the Divine Person. As Adi Da put it: "Love
is how I got to here."
3. Many "Reincarnations" Within a Single Divinely Human Lifetime
story of Adi Da's life and death, then, reflects that great Purpose. He was born
already free and already karmaless. The first thirty years of His
life demonstrate a Divine Descent (see Figure 1 above) rather than the
traditional many-lifetime effort of trying to "ascend" to God. After
Adi Da's "Re-Awakening" in 1970 (in which the Divine Person had conformed
the body-mind to Himself, to the degree of Enlightenment), the remaining thirty-eight
years of His human lifetime would be characterized by an unfolding, seventh-stage
process in which the Divine Person repeatedly "separated" from the physical
body for a short time — a mini-death or mini-Mahasamadhi, if you will —
and then would reintegrate with the physical body in a different way. One might
almost say (in contrast with traditional Realizers reincarnating over the course
of many human lifetimes), that — in the human lifetime of Adi Da, the Divine
Person was "reincarnating" repeatedly, in part with the Intent of making
the "God-Man" vehicle — the juxtaposition of Adi Da's body with
the Divine Person — an ever more effective one for the Revelation and Emergence
of the Divine in conditional existence; and in part, due to the unfolding seventh-stage
process and its stages of Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine
Indifference, and Divine Translation.
In My Childhood, and
throughout My Avataric physical human Lifetime, I have been associated with Events
of Profound Yogic Transformation, Which have resulted in the change of psycho-physical
patterns within This Body-Mind. There have been many Yogic Deaths and other profound
Yogic Events, all associated with the Profundities of My Avataric "Bright" Divine
Spiritual Self-Revelation.... Every time one of these Transformative Events occurred,
the mechanism of This Body-Mind changed.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj,
The Knee Of Listening
"deaths" and "re-integrations" with the physical body represent
the key milestones in the human lifetime of the Divine Person, and each marked
and initiated a new phase of His Work, based on exploring the implications of
the new "re-integration":
With each of these profound
Yogic deaths or Yogic Transformations, there was a Process that required a change
in My Life and Work and Circumstance. It is not a philosophy or a mind or a product
of thought, at all.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, February 19, 2001
Adi Da's "death" on November 27, 2008 was simply
the final death. What all these "death events" had in common was that
the Divine Itself was "working" an unfolding process in the way It was
integrating with the human body-mind, and also was working to accomplish a specific
purpose here — the creation of an
immense Spiritual Mandala of Transmission — that would take the place
of the human body-mind when it finally passed.
Whether the Divine accomplished
that Great Purpose is something that will be seen over time, and which we will
consider separately. But here we simply note that the overarching intent of the
Divine was to persist in animating the human body long enough to accomplish this
purpose. So the notion of an "intentional leavetaking" of the
body — the traditional notion of Mahasamadhi — represents the very
opposite impulse. The Divine was all about staying as long as possible,
in the human form of Adi Da, with a purpose of creating, once and for all, the
final means for liberating all beings, rather than a purpose of individual liberation
(which resonates with the notion of "Mahasamadhi as intentional leavetaking").
against this, however, was the Spiritual reality that, though the human body was
being prepared for, and was conducting, an immense Divine Force — sufficient
for the Divine Enlightenment of all beings — only a relative few (out of
all beings) were actively drawing on that Force. The Spiritual consequence of
that fact was that the unused Divine Force would back up in Adi Da's human body,
repeatedly bringing the body to the point of death. As He described it in June,
The force of My own Transmission Work, My own Avataric
Work, is destroying Me. It's turning back on My own Body, forced back into My
own Body. In the confines of this Body, this Body can't endure this. My Force
of Presence is for the world. I can't work. And My own Force is killing Me. I
am in a physical state right now that I am in danger, and I don't know what to
do with it. . . . I have said it over and over again, and you have seen the results
of slamming it back on Me. That's what every one of those events such as Lopez
were about, every time. And it's happened many times since Lopez . . .
I have been shattered by this lifetime of work. I've been used uncompromisingly
by My Own Prior State. . . . The Body is only this suffering. It's just a tool
being mercilessly put to this purpose. . . .
I am so advanced in this
process now, that there is no waiting time for Me anymore. If I cannot use My
own Transmission Force, I'm going to die soon. I cannot sit here and wait anymore.
This is the end of My Life. . . . I've told you this before, and it was so, and
I did come to the point of death, but was resuscitated. It just was not so finalized
that the Body couldn't resuscitate. The Force of My Person is so profound that
it kept getting Me up off the floor. But I don't see how that's going to happen
again. I have no indication that if this goes on now, I will just continue to
be resuscitated. . . .
I must be able to do My Transmission Work or
it will kill Me. . . . And now, not later, such that I can get this force off
My Heart which is going to kill Me, race up into the brain, and I'm going to die
from heart attack, stroke, or a combination. That's in the works, in this Body,
right now. And it's not just some human disease kind of problem. It's a Spiritual
problem, a Spiritual sign. . . . It is . . . a Spiritual phenomenon, just as all
the previous yogic death events that you all observed.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, June, 2007
backing up of the Divine Force in Adi Da's body from lack of sufficient use was
the primary and ongoing counterpoint to the Divine Purpose of remaining incarnate
and, while incarnate, having as many beings as possible make use of, draw upon,
and become established in, that Divine Transmission. So when, on November 27,
2008, Adi Da went through His final death — whose immediate physical manifestation
(at the level of conventional medical observations) was a natural cause —
a heart attack — we can consider four possibilities:
Adi Da's body simply wore out at its natural time, and He was no longer able to
re-animate it — His mother was 80 when she died in 1995; his father was
76, passing away in 1984. That might suggest Adi Da's passing at 69 was a little
before the body's time, but not unbelievably so.
- His body wore
out before its time, because of the extraordinary extremes it had endured carrying
out Adi Da's Divine Guru function. This included: the ongoing ravagings of Adi
Da's body by the backing up of Divine Force repeatedly; the endless karmas of
others, and the world altogether, taken on in His own body and purified; the "wear
and tear" of extraordinary Teaching demonstrations; the shock of the many
deaths and re-integrations with the body (the shock of the Ruchira Dham event
alone, in April, 2000, left Him in a wheelchair for weeks and much more time before
He recovered the full use of the body); and probably much more that we may never
be aware of.
- The natural cause of death had a deeper, Spiritual
cause: the miraculous "visible Translation" phase reaching a natural
completion, Outshining the human body. (More about this below.)
- The natural cause of death had a different Spiritual cause:
the backing up of His Divine Transmission Force going to completion.
on Adi Da's own descriptions, it seems likely that the deeper reason for His final
passing was probably this backing up of Divine Force (4), in the manner He described
above — something He had "staved off" repeatedly, something that
at some point He would have no means to prevent, and something that finally did
go to completion. This alternative seems particularly likely because as He said
in the above passage (and on many other occasions): "It's not just some human
disease. It's a Spiritual phenomenon." and He described a heart attack as
the likely form it would take on the physical level. He has been communicating
to devotees for years that He is a karmaless being, Who was living in human form
on borrowed time and could pass in any moment for that reason. His was not merely
an ordinary human body with its own genetic and other factors determining its
"expiration date", but rather, a Spiritualized body, uniquely yogically
configured for the Enlightenment of all beings, whose longevity would depend primarily
upon the active devotion of His devotees (i.e., actively drawing upon His Transmission,
rather than letting it back up in His body).
It may be that the fullest
explanation of Adi Da's passing involves several of these factors ((1) through
(4)) at the same time, not just one.
Regardless of its cause, because of
Adi Da's always completely surrendered disposition, as the official
announcement describes, "His Passing was entirely peaceful and free of
any struggle", as in all His death events. This certainly would have been
His manner of passing, regardless of the cause.
It should also be noted
that, even if all of us together had "loved our hearts out" with devotion
to help keep Him incarnate, it still may not have been sufficient, because His
being here for everybody meant that the Divine Force in His body was immense.
His Admonition to us to "Tell everyone I am here" was supported by an
extraordinary Ocean of Transmission, ready to instantly flow to everybody. It
might have taken thousands, tens of thousands, or millions more devotees to more
fully draw upon that Transmission with sufficient strength to keep Him here beyond
a certain point.
4. Adi Da's Unfolding Seventh Stage Process
Yet another possible explanation for the moment
of His passing — an alternative deeper, Spiritual cause — is that
Adi Da's unfolding seventh stage process finally reached its (humanly visible)
conclusion, at a time determined largely by the "logic" of that process,
rather than by the condition of the human body, the Divine Force in His body backing
up (or not), etc.
Adi Da has always described how the seventh stage process,
as manifested in the human body of the seventh stage Realizer, unfolds through
four phases: Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference,
and Divine Translation. Prior to 2000, He had indicated that Translation would
coincide with the physical death of the human body, as the human body (and all
of conditional existence) was "Outshined" (from the view of the Realizer).
What that death looked like from the viewpoint of others might take many forms:
it could take a miraculous form (for example, the Outshining might literally be
apparent to others, as the body vanishes in Light in an instant); or (He suggested
this was more likely) it might take the form of an apparently ordinary death:
[The Spiritual Master's] physical or elemental form may or may not remain behind
as a touchstone of spiritual Influence for future devotees. It may dissolve and
disappear in Brightness at his death, as a devotional sacrifice to the Infinite
Divine, or else, after a period of psycho-physical Transfiguration, or bodily
and mental pervision by Light, or Life-Radiance [while alive in the seventh stage],
the physical body may be left behind at death.
Da Samraj, The Enlightenment of the
In April, 2000, Adi Da went through an event
of "death" and "re-integration" with the body — which
He since has called the "Ruchira Dham event" — which, He said,
coincided with Divine Translation, but in which He was still miraculously animating
the human body. From this vantage point, the period from April 2000 to November
2008 was entirely miraculous — the wonder being that it happened at all,
let alone lasting for eight years. It certainly accounts for why His passing was
instantaneous, unaccompanied by any process: the "thread" connecting
Him to the body was very fragile, and the snapping of that tenous connection was
My Bodily Divine Avataric Appearance here Is
Simply Vanishing while I Stand here As I Am.
My Bodily Divine Avataric
Appearance here Is Constantly "Brightening" — Such That, eventually, I will Simply
no longer Be Evident in This Bodily Lifetime-Form.
This Bodily Lifetime-Form
will Eventually Be Outshined in My Divine "Bright" Disposition and Domain, and,
Thus, Fall Away — without My Making any kind of effort to relinquish It.
am not "causing" My Bodily Divine Avataric Appearance here to be repeated — and
I am not, in any moment, insisting that This Bodily Appearance continue.
I am never dissociating from This Bodily Appearance.
Therefore, I Spontaneously
Continue to Bodily Reveal Myself and the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam.
That Spontaneous Bodily Self-Revelation will Continue — until the Body
is Suddenly and Finally Outshined.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Atma Nadi Shakti Yoga (April-November
What might have been the reason behind Adi Da continuing
to animate the body, even though His seventh stage process had entered its "Divine
Translation" phase? One obvious reason — the same one as always before
— was that His Work here was not yet complete. A second reason may have
been to provide devotees (and the world altogether) with the most direct and full
Revelation of the Divine possible (even in principle), both as a Revelation (and
report or account to humanity of otherwise completely inaccessible details of
Divine Translation Itself) to devotees alive during that eight-year period, and
as a final "adjustment" in His Eternal Connection to here, for the sake
of all future generations.
5. Divine Intention and Divine Spontaneity
The circumstances of Adi Da's Mahasamadhi make perfect
sense in the context of Who He Is. He is the Divine Person in Whom the universes
are arising — unlike the traditional Spiritual Realizer taking Mahasamadhi
and intentionally leaving the body to go elsewhere, Adi Da can't "intentionally
leave" the body to "go somewhere else", because He is already in
His All-Pervading "Mahasamadhi" State, in which there is no "elsewhere":
I Cannot Leave, For My Transcendentally Spiritually "Bright"
Divine Spherical Self-Domain Is Not Some "Where" To "Go To". My Divine Self-Domain
Is Eternal. I Am Eternal, and I Am Always Already Merely Present — here,
and every "where" In The Cosmic Domain.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
As He has said to us
many times, He doesn't "go into" His Divine State — for instance,
in those moments when He closes His eyes, sitting before us and granting us His
Darshan; He is always in His "Mahasamadhi": the "Great State"
that was His before birth, at birth, throughout His life, and after the death
of His body. His life history did not end with an intentional leavetaking of
the body (the traditional sense of "Mahasamadhi"); rather, His life
history began with an intentional acquisition of the body by the Divine Person,
which itself was a "leavetaking" of a unique kind:
in that the resulting
intentional "Entanglement" of the Divine Person with conditional existence
involved a real and profound sacrifice:
My Avataric Lifetime
Is A Divine and Unique Demonstration of Intentional Entanglement — In Which
the egoless Divine "Bright" Self-Nature, Self-Condition, Self-State,
and Divine Transcendental Spiritual Self-Force of My Prior and Perfect Freedom
Is Constantly Self-Revealed In Spontaneous Acts, Great Events, Remarkable Conjunctions,
Extraordinary Processes, and Beyond-Wonderful Demonstrations of Perfect Dis-Entanglement
— For The Sake of all-and-All.
By Means of My Avataric Lifetime
of Divine Self-Revelation, all-and-All who are, as if by accident, entangled here
(and everywhere), in egoic time and space, Are Divinely Avatarically Given All
of Necessary and Perfectly Acausally Effective Means For Perfect Dis-entanglement
— now, and forever hereafter, In Me, and Where and As I Am.
This Is The Key to rightly and truly understanding All of The Acts, Events,
Conjunctions, Processes, and Demonstrations of the Totality of My Lifetime-Evidence.
Adi Da Samraj, My "Secret" Biography
from The Self-Authenticating
Truth (Essays from The
It is in this sense then — based on
Adi Da's radically different history of the Divine Person incarnating —
that we should understanding the term, "Mahasamadhi" (and more specifically
"Divine Mahasamadhi"), in Adi Da's case, and understand the passing
of His human body altogether.
Adi Da's esoteric consideration of
the act of His Incarnation suggest that both Divine Intention and Divine Spontaneity
played a role (along with Divine Responsiveness to human calling and a rare conjunction
of circumstances in a single moment of history that created the opening which
enabled His Incarnation):
My Avataric Incarnation was, in some
sense, simply spontaneous, and not "intentional". In some sense, it
simply "happened". Yet, it was also both intentional and voluntary.
It was not arbitrary, because all the Conjunctions had to occur. At last, I Passed
Down into All and all. It was spontaneous, yet also Eternally Prefigured. It was
Anciently Prophesied. It was somehow "caused" — and, yet, Ultimately,
there is no "cause" for it whatsoever.
Da Samraj, The
Knee Of Listening
Throughout His entire life, Adi Da
has been perfectly surrendered to the spontaneity of His Own Divine Process
— whether expressed as the disposition of prapatti (unconditional
surrender to the Divine) in His "sadhana years" prior to Re-Awakening,
or as spontaneous acts of Teaching, Revelation, or Creation, in the years that
followed. He expressed it poetically:
I am mindless in this
I act without consideration.
When I compare myself to some
I become afraid of my own softness,
this round and thoughtless
But that is my necessity,
the circumstance of my birth.
Must Sing, Inclined To His Weaker Side
Adi Da has often
remarked that He has been as surprised as anyone by something "He just did".
And so it was in perfect accord with that spontaneity and surrendered disposition
that He was simply working on His Art in one minute, and a minute later, He had
article appears in the sections
Da's Divine Mahasamadhi and Adidam in Perpetuity
Questions about Adi
Da and Adidam