FAQs about Adi Da & Adidam > Adi Da's Mahasamadhi > The Way of the Bone

The Way of the Bone:
The Addict's Revision of Adidam
vs. the True Way

Chris Tong, Ph.D.

Adi Da Samraj

I will Always Love My devotees.
That Love is absolutely not breakable.
I will Always Love You—Always.

Prove your love of Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
My "Bright" Form

Question: I'm a devotee. While Adi Da was still alive, my whole practice every week was oriented around Adi Da's newest gifts to us (His books, His image-art, His communications to devotees, etc.) I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to do now, after His Divine Mahasamadhi.

Brief answer: In the relative quiet after Adi Da's Passing, we may finally have the space to feel a fundamental error many of us may have been making in our practice: that the Way of Adidam is not just a matter of receiving Adi Da's Gifts, but is a relationship, characterized by mutual gift-giving. No significant growth in the Way of Adidam will ever happen otherwise.

One of the most remarkable signs of Adi Da's human lifetime was His role as Da: the great Giver of Gifts to His devotees and the world. Adi Da spent many hours of each day creating extraordinarily potent Transcendental Spiritual Gifts: His books, His Image-Art, His essays and talks, the Hermitage Sanctuaries and Sacred Places, His daily, oral communications (aka His Notes), His Darshan. From the beginning of His work with devotees in 1972 to the time of His passing in 2008, His Gifts to us were a ceaseless torrent, even overwhelming in a sense. For instance, we hardly had time to "digest" or "assimilate" His Wisdom on one topic, before He gifted us with another essay or talk on a different topic.

With our Beloved Master's passing, that stream of humanly manifested gifts has ceased, even as (at the same time) we are assured of the eternally available Gift of His Divine Presence — which is sufficient for Divine Realization. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the stream has slowed rather than ceased, insofar as there is an immense backlog of His humanly manifested gifts. It will take years before all that He gave His devotees and the world is released in an accessible form. Even in the next few years alone (I am writing this article in May, 2009), we will see the publication of The Aletheon, The Gnosticon, The Pneumaton, and (at long last! for those of us who have been waiting for it for years) The Basket of Tolerance.

And this is not to mention the thousands of works of Image-Art yet to be released or fabricated, the tens of thousands of hours of unreleased recordings in the Adidam Archives, etc. Or the thousands of Adi Da's Gifts that, having been given by Him, keep on giving: His Sanctuaries, His Murtis, His books, His Image-Art, etc.

Even so, in the relative quiet after Adi Da's passing, His devotees may finally have the space to feel a fundamental error that many of us may have been making in our practice of the Way of Adidam, that is keeping us from growing in the practice. The purpose of this article is to identify that error, so that those of us who are making it can correct it immediately.

(For non-devotee readers, consider this a glimpse into the extraordinary challenges that must be surmounted in creating a new and enduring spiritual tradition in general, and Adidam in particular. Prospective devotees are being invited not only to an individual Spiritual practice, but to a collective "house-raising": the establishment of Adidam — the Way, the organization, the Sanctuaries, etc. — in perpetuity, for the benefit of all future generations.)

Since 1986, Adi Da has criticized us for continuing the "Teaching Years" disposition in relation to Him. Fundamentally, His criticism has been a reference to our not "making the switch" (after the initiation of His Divine Emergence, on January 11, 1986) to a practice based on submitting to Him, rather than on Him submitting to us. During the Teaching Years, the forms of His submission to us were extraordinary: from uninhibited, Crazy Wise play and consideration with us in every area of human life; to miraculous displays of higher-stage phenomena and transport into higher states. But there were three key lessons Adi Da drew for us during that period:

  1. No matter how incredible a particular experience, it was not God-Realization.

  2. Any state He gifted us with (by virtue of His Transcendental Spiritual Realization) was temporary, because it was His Gift, not our Realization, and no such state could possibly last without our taking responsibility for realizing it. It was easy to get so caught up in the extraordinary state that we could miss the point about Who was giving us the state. It was like the scene in one of Christopher Reeve's Superman movies, where Superman is flying with Lois Lane, and is holding her only by a single finger — to the point where she gets the (mistaken) sense that she is flying: until he (accidentally) lets go, and she instantly plummets downward. (He catches her, of course.) For stories of devotees getting this point that the really important matter was not the extraordinary states (and getting fascinated with, lost in,and karmically bound by them), but the relationship with the Master Who was capable of gifting us with these extraordinary states, read A Cosmic Journey and Visits to Other Worlds.

  3. The actual principle for Realization — the one at the core of the ancient Guru-devotee relationship — is the one Adi Da introduced at the beginning of His Teaching Work: You become what you meditate on. Hence the practice is to contemplate the Master's State, in order to Realize it. This process of our submitting to our Guru rather than Him submitting to us is what leads to permanent Realization, rather than temporary shifts of state that are essentially just "riding on the Master's coattails".

All the experiences that arise in the midst of your sadhana are drawing you into the non-conventional form of cognition and perception, in which all things that arise are known directly, as they are, prior to the separate self sense. Through the agency of all of that, the intuition of your prior Condition is given. It is temporarily touched and felt via these non-conventional perceptions and cognitions. When you return to the functional levels that are lived conventionally, the sensation that was gained in the previous extraordinary state lingers for awhile, but you have got to begin to use what is implied, what is truly shown to you in those extraordinary states. They are not the Truth. They are not to be held onto for their own sake, the way an addict holds onto his drug highs. They are actually statements about the truly unconventional nature of what you call the ordinary. If you do not then begin to comprehend the ordinary in unconventional terms, your extraordinary and spiritual experiences are not serving you. They are totally useless in that case, because they have nothing to give you in themselves but bondage to the forms of limitation they also represent, as well as a pattern of fascinated inclinations for the extraordinary in itself. Such a way of fascination, high or low, is at war with the realization of life in Truth.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Garbage and the Goddess

Over the years, Adi Da criticized us repeatedly for creating revisions of the Way of Adidam. In some sense, one of the easiest (and therefore, most common) revisions to fall into during Adi Da's human lifetime — given His prolific, non-stop, Gift-Giving — was to equate "the practice of Adidam" with merely showing up to receive the next Gift: the next essay, the next set of Notes from Him, the next Image-Art presentation, the next Internet Darshan, or the next retreat to Naitauba to see Adi Da in person and be "rejuiced" in one's practice. It certainly was easy to mistake all this for "the practice", since it occupied all of us to such a degree: the Gifts were so frequent, so potent, and (to the unsubmitted ego) so addictive. But in fact, this was not the practice:

You never establish lawfulness with Me. You are always detached and self-involved. This is a cult of egos that has been so coddled and accommodated for thirty-five years that now you think your revisionism is the Way that I have Revealed.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, June 22, 2007

Listen (below) to Adi Da's very humorous and wonderfully instructive talk from 1987, The Way Of Fun, about how, after being around His devotees, He "finally got it", that "it's time for the Siddhas" to adapt to modern times, "time for the Truth to change". This new way ("The Way of Fun") — for realizing God without requiring self-transcendence — will "require nothing of you except to really dig those Divine Vibes." The talk is Adi Da's wonderful reflection of how the ego is always trying to revise the Way into something that is self-fulfilling rather than self-transcending. "So whatever kind of association you have with Me . . . as long as it's fun, you're happy to do it. But if it requires anything of you, your resistance comes on immediately."

We could call this alternative version of the Way of Adidam the "addict's revision", since it is all about receiving the next spiritually (or intellectually, or emotionally) stimulating "hit" from our Beloved Guru.

The ego is an addict. Ego is itself addiction to the body-mind. So the transcending of the body-mind point of view is the transcending of addiction. Everything that leads up to the Perfect Practice is a process whereby modes of addiction are transcended — in some cases, are transcended in a process of outgrowing, and in other cases, it requires a rather immediate, early understanding of certain things, particularly the grossest kinds of addictive behaviors, and you drop it. That's it. It's right there at the beginning.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, April 24, 2005

Many devotees are aware (in some general sense) of our Master's Teaching about the ego-"I" as an addict — particularly in areas where the "addiction" analogy is really obvious (e.g., diet, sex, etc.) — but we may not have considered how that applies even to our relationship with Him: how we revise the Way of Adidam itself into an addiction, by taking His Spiritual Transmission to body or mind, as an egoically self-fulfilling experience. In contrast, true "Divine Distraction" is about transcending self by submitting whole bodily to our Master. We often talk about feeling or communing with His "State" (while actually remaining "me" having body-mind "experiences") . . . whereas self-transcendence (and God-Realization) only occurs when we also submit to His Person:

DEVOTEE: I have always carried this belief that God is Energy, Light, Consciousness Love-Bliss, the Condition of existence, and everything is made of That.

ADI DA: Fine. But God Is That. You are abstracting the Characteristics of the Divine from the Divine.

DEVOTEE: I do not understand.

ADI DA: You are separating the Divine Characteristics from the Divine. You are devoted to the Characteristics, not to the Divine, not to the Very Person. You abstract the Characteristics from the Divine, and then you superimpose them on yourself — the "Love" in you, the "Love-Bliss" in you, the "Divine Self" in you. Where is God? Where is the Divine Person? Where is the One to Whom you must submit? Where is the One Who has those Characteristics, the One Who is to be so characterized? Where is That One? You are involved in yourself, and even superimposing the Divine Attributes on yourself — Love, Love-Bliss, Consciousness, Divine Self — as if That is you. That Is God, the Person Whom you must Realize yet, and the Person Whom you will not Realize without the utter transcendence of your egoic self by submission.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Your Heart Must Be Moved", Heart Conversion Talk Series
later republished in Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Up?

[Adi Da, speaking as the Divine Person:] I am not merely Principle. I am Person, Fullness of Being, Love-Blissful Self-Consciousness, without the slightest difference or separation or otherness or relatedness or separation.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

You must Remember Me as you pass through all these movements. The True Heart is the foundation of the manifesting Light. Without the Intuition of Very God, mere involvement with the manifestations of the Light is illusion.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

So the important thing to notice about all of this "Gift reception" — including going on retreat to Naitauba to "get reconnected to Him", or "get rejuiced" — is that the "flow" is all one way: from Adi Da to us. For any of us for whom this receiving of Gifts has been the sum total of our "practice", we most definitely have been continuing the "Teaching Years" error, making our Master submit to us, without doing much submission to Him in return. We have been using Him to satisfy, rather than transcend, ourselves.

For example, Adi Da has always said that we should return to see Him on Naitauba only after we had made much good use of the last retreat with Him, and showed the signs of further growth — that, in fact, it was spiritually unlawful to be given access to Him otherwise. But the whole notion of going on retreat to get "reconnected" or "rejuiced" typically reflected the fact that we had largely squandered the Gifts He gave us the last time, and had gone back to square one. (We wouldn't need to get "reconnected" if we had maintained our practice and hadn't dissociated from Him.)

The prerequisite for any Spiritual growth, whatever form it may take, even in the egoic evolutionary terms, is the disciplining of this life-vehicle, the purification of sub-human and ordinary human existence. Do you think you can bypass it because you live in this friendly egalitarian time? Everybody thinks they can bullshit one another and believe the latest paperback or television garbage. You want to perpetually come into My Company unprepared for My Spiritual Blessing and call that the "Way of [Adidam]". Understand that you have to deal with life, straighten it out, purify it, make it straight, prepare themselves for the Divine Intervention.

You all want God to be your slave and give you all kinds of experiences to make you feel good and make this world a terrific wonderful place and give you intimates and friends, a long life, amusements, distractions. You want to call that "religion". That kind of religion is about you. Real religion is about God, Truth, That Which is Inherently Divine, Great, Absolute, Self-Existing, Self-Radiant, All Love-Bliss. You will not Realize That until you are crushed into non-existence, as you fear death will do. . . You have to receive God in life and be submitted utterly.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Crashing Down of My Divine Grace"
Heart Conversion Talk Series, February 12, 1993

You must understand the nature of your relationship to Me and function appropriately in it. That is the Law, and that is how you will grow.

Do the ego-transcending practice. Be rightly related to the Divine Avataric Master, and show that sign in His Divine Avataric Company. And always be ready, then, to receive the greater Gift, That Which Enables you to grow further. Show the evidence of the fact that you have received My Gifts and Lessons, and have been made competent by that, are responsible for it all. That is your obligation.

Always come to the Divine Avataric Master with your hands filled with the gifts, the signs of your responsibility, based on what you have already received, and with your heart open to receive a Gift That Enables further growth. You should not come asking for the same lesson to be given to you again because you have not accepted responsibility for the Gift already Given, or the Lesson already Given. This is inappropriate and irresponsible, and does not permit growth — and, in fact, presents an obstacle to receiving anything further.

I Am Saying this to you now. I have Said it to you many times before. So this is a very important lesson to learn — a very important Law, then, for you to fulfill.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, February 25, 1988

You must become strong enough, you must have that capacity for self-control — not like the solid (single-minded desire, you see), but like one who understands, so that you can consistently live this discipline, so that you are not always coming to Me at zero, wanting some sort of energy zapping to make you feel good and then you feel intoxicated for a little while and then you go and do what you have always done. That's not Enlightenment, that's not yoga, that's not mysticism, that's not God-Realization. It's just an extension of your childhood, your earlier adaptations trying to conform to this Teaching.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, March 3, 1978
"Low, Middle and Higher Self: The Evolution of Understanding"

You should not have access to Me without change. If you recognize Me, that changes you. You respond, you do service. You have enough gifts to show up, and you come to Me prepared for Blessing, changed sufficiently to come into My Company for My Regard. You do not bring your unchanged, giftless state into My Company. That is a desecration. That must not be done. That is desecration of what is Holy.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

We may find the same thing in our daily practice: going to the meditation hall each morning to get "rejuiced", but then dissipating that reinvigorating Communion with Adi Da throughout the rest of the day by our failure to engage moment-to-moment practice in all the various circumstances of life, work, relationship, and so on — hence, back to square one again, the next morning. (As our Master has put it, we tend to think we are giving Him a gift when we "require" ourselves to go and sit in the meditation hall, where we are swiftly sublimed by His Transmission.)

The day that unfolds after you have gone to the Communion Hall in the early morning is not a vacation until nightfall when you go to the Communion Hall again. No. All the hours between the times when you go to the Communion Hall are the times of this same Yoga. You must do it persistently and artfully. Do not allow yourself the vacation of wandering into the content of the conditioned body-mind. The only thing it is going to show you is its conditioning, based on your egoic "self-possession" and denial of God. Your business is this Yoga, in the midst of your practice of it noticing this and that in order to apply a discipline of right life that is in conformity with Me, and in greater conformity with Me always.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Surrender the Faculties of the Body-Mind to Me", Ishta

The Reality-Way of Adidam is a comprehensive Way of life that originates from the zero-point of devotional recognition-response to Me. It is all based on maintaining and continuing that. It does not merely fill the hours in which one is participating in the culturally prescribed events. Your understanding covers the entirety of your life.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Meditation is the "easy street" of the daily practice, where Adi Da's Transmission is most readily connected with. It is a "tithing" of our total day, a mere fraction of it.[1] It is in the rest of the moments of the day — where we spend the bulk of our time — that the real sacrifice of self in practice is enacted (or not). It is when there is competition for our attention that we get to see how fiercely our attention and energy are bound by the longterm habits we have indulged. Money, food, and sex have been our very fixed "center of gravity" for many lifetimes, and that is why we have incarnated in the material dimension (i.e., as beings identified with the physical body) again in this lifetime.

Understanding this engenders a certain humility about what Realization is really going to require of us, and deflates fantasies of our Master serving as a kind of "Pied Piper" who easily distracts us from all of this, as we are led, dancing ecstatically, into another Dimension. There is certainly an aspect of practice that is like that (and which grants us the humor to endure the real heat of practice) — but it's not all "easy street"! The principle of our Way is indeed Divine Distraction; but the ego is a 350-pound person, the doorway into the Divine Domain is very narrow, and a whole lot of "weight loss" has to occur first before we can follow our Master through the hole in the universe.

There is just no way around it — everybody is Lawless. You listen to My Revelation-Word, or receive My Instructions relative to each aspect of the functional, practical, relational, and cultural disciplines, and you find yourself resisting in one way or another, because you have not lived a Way of life oriented toward God. You have lived the usual life, as your parents and everybody you grew up with did. You spent your entire life, at least the years before you became My devotee, before you even "considered" real Spiritual life. Therefore, in Spiritual terms you weigh 350 pounds! You have over-indulged yourself in every area. Every part of you is "fat", "inside" and "outside". Not just the body — everything is "fat". Your mind is "fat" with constant thinking. You are sexually "fat" and obsessed. Everything is "fat". Thus, every part of the discipline of the Reality-Way of Adidam is just an aggravation — unless you are really ready for it, unless you have truly Heard Me about it, unless you have suffered enough, or are perceptive and sensitive enough to what it is really all about.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Practiced rightly, Adidam is both "a hard school and a happy Way of life." Thus, as Adi Da puts it, the practice of Adidam must be even "muscularly" engaged in the beginning (responsively, but with a real will), when one's egoic "flabbiness" is at its greatest, and one's "center of gravity" is still (by karma, i.e., force of habit) very much "money, food, and sex", not God. As He has said, we must "live to God" for a significant length of time before the heat of practice turns to Light, the joy of God-Communion exceeds the pleasure of sex, and the Godward orientation becomes second nature, and will persist across lifetimes.

A man went to his Master and said, "Master, I feel like there are two dogs fighting inside me, a good dog and a bad dog. Which one is going to win?" The Master said, "The one that you feed the most."

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

The Realization associated with this Way . . . is a great Siddhi, a profound Realization. It is not something you can enter into based on mere reading and superficial attention to the possibility. You must enter into the exercise most profoundly, even muscularly and bodily. You must really do this Work and provide a vehicle for the Living Current, provide a Domain for It. Then the shell cracks and the heart awakens and the Bliss-Being expands to Infinity, but only when this Work is done, when all the knots are undone. And that is a literal, practical Work. It can occupy you for lifetimes, but you have been given the intelligence for It directly, completely. You are given all Help for It, so that the Process can be fulfilled in one lifetime, if you are devoted to It completely.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The Great Bird That Flies to the Heart", in The Dreaded Gom-Boo

Because of a personal "practice" that is always indulging weakness and always tending to go back to "square one" (which can be contrasted with a practice focused on "strength training" and establishing continuity and growth), we have remained largely a "student-beginner" culture.

What exactly is missing from this "addict's revision" of the Way of Adidam? What does the true Way of Adidam look like, in contrast?

Many so-called "Spiritual" seekers are just "Narcissus" in drag! They do not have enough gut for Spiritual life. They are not interested in the demand that is the True Guru. They are "dogs" who come to their master only for a "bone". A dog whose mind is set on the bone his master has will do any ridiculous thing to acquire it. The dog rolls on the ground and whines and barks and jumps through hoops. He does whatever he must, until his master gives him the bone. Then the dog runs away with the bone. He does not want to see anybody. He does not want anybody around him when he is chewing his bone. He does not want to be touched. He does not want to be approached. He makes a vital circle around himself, and he just works on his bone. And if it is a good, big bone, such that he cannot eat it all in one sitting, he usually hides it somewhere, to protect it, after he has finished his chew.

The dog does not go back to his master again until he is out of bone. He does not go to his master in order to be with the master, to delight in the master, to be mastered by the master. He only goes for another bone. Such is the ordinary "Spiritual seeker". "Give me Initiation into your Yoga. Give me the secret mantra. Give me the breathing exercise. Teach me the 'Kriya Yoga'. Give me Shaktipat. Give me the Divine Vision." The guy always asks for the "bone"!

Should he actually be granted one of those things (any one of the traditional forms of Initiation will do — mantras, energies, beliefs, and so on), the guy goes. He leaves to play his game with that technique or consolation. He consumes it in solitude. He does not want to be touched. He does not want to be interrupted. He does not want to be reminded of what is "outside" himself, that would require him to be in relationship.

I wait for My true devotee to come and surrender to Me. Satsang with Me is the relationship between My devotee and Me — not between the "dog" and his "bone". The relationship to Me is Satsang. That is the discovery. That is the process. That relationship is the Yoga.

The relationship between Guru and devotee is the Secret pointed to by the Great Siddhas. It is the esoteric Universal Process. It is the Single Means. It is Very Truth. Everything else — all "bone"-chewing — is only a ritual re-enactment of the process that occurs spontaneously and is alive only in relationship to the Guru. At best, it is a ritual re-enactment. Therefore, True Spiritual life is not the activity of Spiritual seekers. It is the activity of those who discover their Spiritual search is false, fruitless, founded in dilemma — a manifestation of the same suffering that other human beings are suffering. True Spiritual life begins when the Spiritual search is abandoned and Satsang with Me is begun. . . .

When you live that Condition, the relationship to Me, when you actually live Satsang with Me, it becomes pleasurable. It becomes easy, spontaneous. But as long as you resist that Condition, My Company and its implicit demand will make you darker, heavier, more obsessed with self-enclosure and the strategies of "Narcissus". . . .

I will never give the seeker a "bone". Those who have come to Me for "bones" are waiting in vain, because what they are hoping for is not going to happen. All of that drama of seeking has nothing whatsoever to do with Truth. . . . I have not come to satisfy My devotees. A satisfied devotee is still the same one he or she was to begin with. I am only interested in the utter dissolution of the entire limitation that appears as My devotee.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
from "Walking the Dog" in My "Bright" Word

Drawing on Adi Da's imagery of the dog with his bone, we might refer to this "addict's revision" of the Way of Adidam as "The Way of the Bone".

The genuine Way of Adidam is the cultivation and deepening of each devotee's relationship with Adi Da. True relationships are two-way, "give and take" affairs. In essence, what has been largely missing is our response (and, altogether, the responsive disposition that is a natural part of a loving relationship). What has been lacking (or insufficient) is the "giving back" part of that relationship, our gifts back to Adi Da:

  • responsibility for the moment-to-moment practice of submission to Him (through "radical" devotion and right life practice) throughout the day;
  • responsibility for closing all our personal "loopholes" in that practice (above and beyond adopting the general "right life" disciplines that all devotees practice: more here);
  • endurance of the associated tapas to the point of growth;
  • fulfillment of our collective responsibilities: serving His Great Calling to the point where the survival (and flourishing) of Adidam and our Master's Work here for the liberation all beings has been ensured for centuries to come.

It's worth remembering (as we talk about "giving back" to Adi Da) that Adi Da incarnated here already Divinely Realized. He had no egoic needs for "Himself". His "need" was (and is) all about liberating all of us, and establishing the Means for enabling that, in perpetuity.

I need all your love.
I am the Way wherein your love
drives to the Heart.
Do not think that I am here
without need.
If you do not love me,
the Heart has no way to the world.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
poem 12, Crazy Da Must Sing,
Inclined To His Weaker Side

Thus, even our "giving back" to Him is not for His sake but for ours — it's just the way the process of God-Realization works. One simply cannot Realize the Divine without completely sacrificing and forgetting the limited "self", and becoming completely submitted to and identified with the Divine instead.

So going back to square one repeatedly is exactly not the Way of Adidam! The Way is based on ongoing, mutual gift-giving between devotee and Guru. The devotee gives the Guru a gift of practice. This allows the Guru to give the devotee a greater Revelation. Based on that greater Revelation, the devotee can give the Guru the gift of even greater practice, even more sacrifice of self. In this way, a "virtuous circle" between Guru and devotee is created. Finally, at some point, the devotee is able to give the gift of his or her entire self. And this fullest gift enables the Divine Guru to give the devotee the Most Perfect Gift of Divine Realization.

Adi Da has always said that it is His disposition to grant us Divine Realization instantly . . . .it's just that we're not prepared to make the complete sacrifice of self in a single instant, so it becomes a progressive process. Adi Da always allowed for that necessary time and ordeal, preparing us to make the great Sacrifice. But what is not supposed to occur is an endless return to square one, because we bring no gift of greater practice, and therefore squander His Gift. . .

What we are giving is that egoic self and all its limitations and limited preferences, in exchange for Infinite Life. If we really understood that this was what the "giving back" was all about, we wouldn't struggle with it or resist it; we'd give it away freely!

You come to Me for another consolation, to prevent awareness of your suffering. You come for distraction, a fascination, a charming vision. You want to be consoled. But why do you want to be consoled? What state are you in that you should want to be consoled by Me? You are suffering! Yes? Since you are only suffering, why are you defending all of this nonsense?

It is time to be rid of all of that. It is utterly unnecessary. It can be abandoned! All of that is what I want surrendered as gifts around My Feet. I want to see your gift to Me of all the suffering, all the sorrows, all the long faces, all the usual Yoga, all the kriya Shakti, all the visions, all the beliefs, all the philosophies, all the conventional 'religion' and Spirituality, all your personal (and even racial) history. I want to see your attachment to birth and your fear of death. I want to Free you of all of it! Such are the implications of Truth.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"Walking the Dog", My "Bright" Word

So if we actually are interested in God-Realization, the "giving back" part of the relationship is what we must all correct now. Not fully playing our part in the relationship with our Guru is certainly the primary reason why we have remained largely a student-beginner culture. But most importantly, our self-understanding about this is urgently needed if we are to ensure the survival of Adidam in perpetuity. Even as our Master gave His lifetime to us, it is now our turn to give back to our Beloved Guru in a big way, with the rest of our human lifetimes, if we are to ensure that this first generation of Adidam is not also to be its last.

The worst mistake we could make now — in this "quiet" period that has opened up after our Master's passing (in which He is humanly silent but Eternally Present) — is to continue playing out the "addict's revision" of the Way of Adidam: by being childishly disappointed (or even angry) that the "hits" from Him have stopped (or slowed) or that our Guru's activities are no longer preoccupying us or keeping us constantly "contented". And then, in reaction: dropping out; or trying to find our "hits" somewhere else in typical "addict" fashion (whether with another Guru or through some "lesser samadhi" of food, money, and sex); or just retreating into a kind of longterm "sulk" or depression. It's important to distinguish the disappointment or anger of the frustrated addict in ourselves from our natural mourning at the passing of the human form of our Divine Guru — these are two very different things! (The latter is relational; the former, self-possessed.)

Indulging in "the Way of the Bone" has consequences beyond those of mere human immaturity, in that practice of the Way of Adidam is subject to spiritual laws, including the Sacrament of Universal Sacrifice (to which Adi Da is referring in the following passage):

If you enter into spiritual relationship with an Adept [a Spiritual Master], you must enter into His service. When the great gift of Spiritual Transmission is what you are receiving [twenty-four hours a day], your obligation for service is effective twenty-four hours a day. It is a lifelong obligation, a total obligation even as the Spiritual Master lives His entire life in obligation to devotees. People who do not express that consciousness cannot use [My Transmission]. They become guilty and build up too much residual self-energy through their non-service and non-surrender. Eventually they stop practicing because they can no longer justify taking the Gift of Spiritual Help. Then they just sit around with glazed looks on their faces.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, “I” is the Body of Life

The Divine Avataric Master Incarnates the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Divine Conscious Light in bodily (human) Form . . . Therefore, those who presume to live in the Company of the Divine Avataric Master are Given "experiences", but always according to the Divine Law. If they surrender themselves to the Divine Avataric Master, and if they constantly transcend themselves through devotional Communion with the Divine Avataric Master, under all conditions and via all psycho-physical functions, then they are Given the benign Destiny that purifies and Enlightens. However, if they approach the Divine Avataric Master like thieves, merely imitating devotees in order to gain "self"-glamorizing "experiences" and "worldly" status, or if they simply refuse the Divine Avataric Master, by their ego-possessed and "self"-meditative ways, then they are given the negative, or "self"-defining, destiny that binds the body-mind-complex to its own limits and excludes the Realization of the Divine Reality. This Is the Divine Law, and its effects are inevitable.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Law In My Company"

If we are not growing in practice, the fault lies not in the Way of Adidam, but in ourselves. The Horse will take us to God Knows Where, but only if we grasp His Tail responsively (in response to recognizing Him as the Divine Person) in every moment of every day. This time after our Master's passing is a wonderful opportunity for feeling how much our Beloved Guru has given all of us (and each of us) altogether over the years; how much we owe Him in return (not out of mere obligation — although that is certainly true too — but out of love, and resonance with His great Work of liberating all beings); how much we'd like to engage this Way to the point of real growth and Realization; and how much we want to make sure Adidam is always available to all future generations (including our reincarnated selves).

A few years ago, Adi Da made a useful analogy between His dog, M (then new, untrained, and not yet living with Him on Naitauba), and devotees at the "student-beginner" level, who are indulging in "the Way of the Bone", rather than practicing the Way of Adidam:

Adi Da with M, Iota, and Toto in Cow Catcher, 2006.
Adi Da with M, Iota, and Toto in Cow Catcher, 2006.

Adi Da with M, Iota, and Toto, 2006.
(click to enlarge)
M is not ready to live in My House yet, altogether. She's not prepared to just be there. It's the same with devotees. They can't come into My House yet. They're "wild" [like M]. They haven't been disciplined. They haven't embraced Me altogether and My Instruction, the practice, the collective responsibilities. They have no gifts. . .

So, it's something like with M. She'll go to school for a while. Hopefully, it will just be a few months, and she'll come over to Fiji. That's the way the gathering [of devotees] should be. But you've all been wasting My time, just repeating your error on Me over and over again, and trying to deceive Me by making minimal gestures and so forth. That's not going to school. That's not getting the training. That's not changing your act. And all of that is required...

The traditional sages would just make that measure of people. Various qualifications were looked for that essentially had to do with: you've gone through the school of the culture, the larger culture, and you're prepared with the necessary prerequisites for the great, Transcendental Divine Process. And if you don't have those characteristics, you shouldn't come. You would be dismissed from the sage's company. You wouldn't even get close to a sage personally. The measure would be made in advance. . .

Hearing [the first major milestone in the practice of the Way of Adidam] is not a mountain for those who are truly prepared for 1.1 approach [the level of practice just beyond the beginner's practice] to Me. It's right there on the tip of your tongue, so to speak. It is further established through Spiritual Communion with Me, but it's right there, because you've already established all the discipline and the practice, and so forth. True Hearing is right there to be confirmed in your life. . .

Adi Da with M
Adi Da with M.

Adi Da with M.
(click to enlarge)

People who move beyond student-beginner have dealt with themselves in those terms. That's why it's like M, you see. She's got to deal with some real "behavior" things. She's been a puppy, that's good; now, she's got to start to grow up, and she needs schooling to do that.

The same with the whole gathering [of devotees]: You've got to grow up. You've got to deal with your aberrations and incorporate your relationship to Me — in other words, incarnate it, bring it into your life and grow up. Get out of your dramatizations, your adolescent disposition, not wanting discipline — your not wanting [the obligation of] devotion, your not wanting obligation [altogether]. You don't want to be accountable. . .

Nothing about this Way is about taking huge time [to advance in practice], unless people make it so.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
February 12, 2006

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

Human beings tend to make overly much of My Teaching-Revelation as a verbal matter — as something with which to entertain their minds. My Teaching-Revelation is actually a process, not merely a verbal Communication. My Teaching-Revelation Is the process of "radical" devotion and right life that Is "Perfect Knowledge" . . .

The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
June 28, 1999

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

This metaphor of the ego as an unsubmitted and "un-washed" dog in relation to the Divine is utterly offensive to the ego. We like to think of ourselves as something far greater than a "dog"! (Even though, on the scale of the Divine, there is not much difference between human beings and dogs. And also: what else could we be but "dogs", when we engage in the revisionist "Way of the Bone" — not focused on cultivating the relationship with the Divine, but rather, preoccupied with acquiring and making off with the next bone, to be consumed in a private moment of self-satisfaction?) And, failing to spiritually recognize Adi Da as the very Divine speaking to us, some people (even devotees, at times) tend to react to His Words, as though they were the words of a common megalomaniac, aimed at belittling us and making much of "himself" — rather than the words of the Divine Person, aimed at liberating us from our otherwise horrifically limited destiny through submission to Him, the very Divine.

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

To refuse to recognize and surrender to the Divine — to insist on remaining identified with a limited, mortal, suffering, un-Happy body-mind that is truly nothing on the scale of Infinity — is, if rightly understood, truly sub-human . . . even though it is what most of us are doing (right now). In so doing, we are completely out of alignment with our True Nature, and we suffer the consequences. We should take all this into account as we read (and get offended! — but then illumined — by) the following passage that Adi Da deliberately wrote to offend the ego and to simultaneously Awaken us to our actual Divine Potential — and which He placed as the very "First Word" in His ultimate Scripture, The Aletheon, as a "lion at the gate":

Here and Now, I Will Tell You What Will Benefit You The Most, Because I Love You. . . .

If You Constantly Devotionally Commune With Me, and (Thus and Thereby) Whole bodily Forget Your ego-"I" of "self"-Contraction — Where Is doubt and anxious living? If You Whole bodily Forget Your separate and separative "self" In Me Now, Even anger, sorrow, and fear Are Gone. When You Abide In Whole bodily Devotional Communion With Me, the natural results of Your various activities No Longer Have Power To Separate or Distract You From Me (and, Thus, From My Own State and Blessing-Power). . . .

I Am The One and Indivisibly "Bright" Divine and Perfectly egoless Person That Is Reality Itself. . . .

Those who Do Not devotionally Recognize Me and devotionally Respond to Me — and who (Therefore) Are Without Faith In Me — Do Not (and Cannot) Realize Me. Therefore, they (By Means Of their own self-Contraction From Me) Remain ego-Bound To The Realm Of Cosmic Nature, and To The Ever-Changing Round Of conditional "knowledge" and temporary "experience", and To The Ceaselessly Repetitive Cycles Of birth and search and loss and death.

Such Faithless beings Constantly Refuse and Fail To Be Distracted By Me — Because they Are Entirely Distracted By themselves! They Are Like Narcissus — The Myth Of ego — At His Pond. Their Merely "self"-Reflecting minds Are Like a mirror in a dead man's hand. Their tiny hearts Are Like a boundless desert, where the mirage of Separate "self" is ceaselessly admired, and The True Water Of My Constant Transcendental Spiritual Presence Stands Un-Noticed, in the droughty heap and countless sands of ceaseless thoughts. If Only they Would Un-think themselves In Me, these (Now Faithless) little hearts Could Have Immediate Access To The True Water Of My True Heart! Through Devotional Turning Of body, emotion, mind, breath, and all of Separate "self" To Me. Even Narcissus Could Find The Way To My Oasis, In The True Heart's Room and House. But No, and Yet, the thinking mind of ego-"I" Is Never Bathed In Light — and, So, it sits, Un-Washed, Like a desert dog that wanders in a herd of flies.

The "Un-Washed dog" of "self"-Contracted body-mind Does Not think To Notice Me — The Divine Avataric Master Of its wild heart and Wilderness.

The "Wandering dog" of ego-"I" Does Not "Locate" Me In My Inherent "Bright" Perfection — The Divine Avataric Master Of Everything, The Intrinsically egoless Divine True Heart Of all conditionally Manifested beings, and The Non-Separate and Indivisible Transcendental Spiritual and Self-Evidently Divine Self-Nature, Self-Condition, Source-Condition, and Self-State Of all-and-All.

If "Narcissus" Will Relent, and heart-Consent To Bow and Live In Whole-bodily-Participatory Devotional Communion With Me, Constantly-To-Me-Responsively Surrendering all of body-mind-"self" To Me, By Means Of Un-Contracting Devotion To Me, Then — Even If That True Devotion Is Shown With Nothing More Than the "little gift" of ego-"I" (itself) — I Will Always Accept The Offering With Open Arms Of Transcendental Spiritual Love-Bliss-Love, Always Offering My Own Divine Immensity In "Bright" Return.

Therefore, whoever Is Given (By heart) To Me Will Be Washed, From head To toe, By All The True Water Of My Transcendental Spiritual Love-Bliss-Light, That Always Crashes Down On all-and-All, Below My Blessing-Feet.

My Circumstance and Situation Is At the heart of all beings — where I Am (Now, and Forever Hereafter) Divinely Avatarically Self-"Emerging" As The One and all-and-All-Outshining Divine and Only Person — Divinely Avatarically Self-Manifested As The Perfectly Non-Dual "Brightness" Of Love-Bliss-Full and all-and-All-Filling Transcendental Spiritual Conscious Light, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant As The Intrinsically egoless and Perfectly Subjective "Root"-Reality, Which Is Inherently Tacit Self-Apprehension Of Transcendental Spiritual, Perfectly Non-conditional, Perfectly Indivisible, Perfectly Acausal, and Self-Evidently Divine Being.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Divine Avataric Self-Disclosure"
First Word, The Aletheon

If we require ourselves to read what Adi Da is communicating here (in ecstatic, Revelatory language purposed toward Awakening the heart), not as an ordinary man but as the Very Divine speaking to egos, we see how ecstatic the Revelation that the Divine is here in Person truly is; and how absurd our resistance to submitting to the Divine — our True Self — actually is. Why would be committed to a destiny that is infinitely less than our True Potential?

Why, indeed . . . For the most part, it isn't even our choice.

We begin to understand that we are resisting largely because we are unconsciously programmed by our "modern", materialistic, adolescent, and anti-authoritarian culture to indiscriminately resist submitting to anything. This, in contrast to the traditional view of all saints and spiritual Realizers that submission to the Divine is essential in order to Realize anything great spiritually. The laws of how Spiritual Realization works don't change with the passage of time. But we, as a culture, can certainly get "dumbed down" spiritually, with the passage of time.

Our materialistic, adolescent, anti-authoritarian "cultural programming" is a very poor excuse for our remaining in what is essentially a hell, compared to Divine Realization! Compare your current state with Infinite, Eternal Happiness, and you'll get a sense for why Adi Da feels free to use language like "unwashed dogs", "slugs", "fools", "little hearts", "ten-watt light bulbs", etc. to describe the ego in its ridiculous commitment to remaining limited and un-Happy, and settling for only a few moments of limited pleasure in life, then dying.

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

* * *

Those who have advanced in the practice of the Way of Adidam (including the milestone of "Hearing" to which Adi Da refers in an earlier passage) can confirm that, central to that growth, is the understanding that Spiritual Realization requires genuine self-transcendence:

The Life-Force that is felt within the presumed-to-be-personal body-mind-complex is moved by willful or desiring acts to create circumstances of would-be ego-fulfillment. However, in Reality, That Life-Force Is Truly Universal (or Indivisible and all-and-All-Pervading) — not “inward” and personal (or ego-bound, or “point-of-view”-bound). Therefore, if That Life-Force is manipulated by “inward” motives to satisfy personal desires of all kinds, not only will the resulting satisfaction be only occasional and at most partial, but the Life-Force will Itself be always frustrated, since It cannot, by becoming subordinate to any patterns of personal desires, Fulfill Its Universal (or Indivisible and all-and-All-Pervading) Function As Prior Unity and (Thus and Thereby) Realize Its Intrinsic Divine Freedom in the conditionally arising world.

The human individual is immature — and always dissatisfied — until he or she out-grows mere personal desire (or even any search for ego-based “self”-indulgence), and, instead, lives on the basis of ego-transcending love (or the moment to moment transcending of ego-based desirepatterning), and thereby constantly demonstrates the Universal Moral Disposition of Prior Unity and the responsible intrinsic (or “root”) management of all functional and relational conditions of experience and action.

The truly mature human individual is, characteristically, free of all the intrinsically and inevitably frustrating limitations of conditional reality and the personal and collective relationship-politics of social egoity.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The ego-Culture of Desire and The ego-Transcending Culture of Love"
from Not-Two Is Peace

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

Self-transcendence necessarily takes the form of the surrender of one's "personal" preferences; the relinquishment of concern about (or fixation with) one's "own" state (emotional, physical, mental, etc.) through practice of "radical" devotion to Adi Da; and the giving over of one's "own" life to one's True Self: to the Viewpoint of the Divine and to serving Adi Da's Work of liberating all beings. One cannot realize God (or Prior Unity) without animating God's Viewpoint, without acting as though God's Needs were "one's own", and without ceasing to animate (or "be") the "limited self" or ego (by ceasing to indulge all its needs, preferences, and addictions).

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

In the following passage, Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani makes these points in the context of her own process of realizing the "Hearing" capability. The key to her growth was her shift in focus: to Adi Da's Work and Instructions, and away from her "own" preferences.

 Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani serving Avatar Adi Da Samraj as He Blesses a Holy Site at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary.

Now in direct relationship to my Beloved Guru, I went through a profound and extended reinvestigation and direct testing of the entire egoic structure of my life and consciousness. . . .

Beloved Adi Da asked me to begin to serve Him by passing on His Communications to His devotees. Beloved Adi Da's Instructions to His devotees encompass every aspect of human existence and everything required for the establishment of His Work in the world. And so, in this new service, I had to begin to do profound sadhana [spiritual practice] for the sake of others in a manner I had never done before. I had to relinquish my self-based concentration on my "own" relationship to Beloved Adi Da and in the simpler forms of service — such as cleaning, cooking, and caring for [Adi Da's children] — that, until then, I had been used to doing in His Intimate Sphere. Now I had to devote my life to His Work. This marked a profound turning point in me, a surrender of all personal preference.

Apart from passing on Beloved Adi Da's Instructions, He expected me to serve others in the right devotional understanding and reception of the Instructions given. This service obliged me to move out of self-meditation and obsession with my own emotion, and that is how the intensive listening-hearing process began for me.

During this time, I saw that, no matter how positive or negative or easeful or difficult any moment was, I was always doing the same thing. Through my Beloved Guru's Divine Siddhi [Blessing-Power], I saw that my body-mind was only self-contraction and that it was my own activity. I also saw that my Divine Heart-Master Stands eternally Prior to that activity of mine. And I felt a profound Liberation in being able to effectively resort to Him beyond the mechanism of self-contraction. This was not a mental process — it was a Revelation, a Gift, an Initiation into Communion with Him.

Thus, the Grace of hearing was awakened in me.

Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur Rani
in Carolyn Lee, The Promised God-Man Is Here

* * *

The dog in My House can do it. So can you.
"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."

"The dog in . . . My House can do it. So can you."
(click to enlarge)

Even the cat in His House can do it.
Even the cat in His House can do it.

Even the cat in His House can do it.

In one sense, Adi Da's passing represents an opportunity: it is much harder for us to engage "the Way of the Bone", now that our Beloved Guru is no longer showering us with physically tangible gifts that we can turn into "bones". In some sense, it is easier to practice the Way of Adidam in its true form — a relationship-based Way of devotional response and mutual gift-giving — now that He is no longer alive, because circumstances require us to learn (as Adi Da once put it) how to "cultivate a sheerly spiritual relationship" with Him:

Grief is good — it is a way of being attentive. But you must allow yourself to be transformed by My apparent absence — into a gathering of devotees most fully far beyond any realization of your common life that existed during the Lifetime of This Appearance. That is What I am Telling you. And I Expect you to print this, and to read it often, and to remember it, and to consult it when This One finally Goes.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Death and Birth Of the God-Man

The "Method" of My approach was this: I would turn the ones I met from fascinations of their own into fascination with Me. The last fascination is the Body and the lifetime Story of the Avatar of the Real Acausal Divine. And, then, I would disappear. Now, I have, finally, only disappeared.

When a human being has turned from habitual fascination with the ego's "I", and, from it, thence to fascination with Me, and, even then, when My Own Avataric Form has ceased to appear, then there is no one else or other to be known — but only "Perfect Knowledge" of Me, As I Am, is the Forever Residual Possibility.

When I have left you alone by the sea, there is nothing to feel or know, except the water itself.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The Meaning of My Absence", The Eternal One

This article appears in the sections

Adi Da's Divine Mahasamadhi and Adidam in Perpetuity
and Questions about Adi Da and Adidam


The word "tithe" comes from the Old English teogoώa, meaning "tenth"; the concept dates back at least as far as Babylonian times. Adi Da designed the length of daily meditation to literally be the traditional "ten percent" tithe: an hour and a half in the morning and an hour in the evening combine to 2.5 hours, just over one tenth of the 24-hour day. The practical import is that entirely devoting one tenth of the day to profound contemplation of the Divine without distractions should be enough to enable one to do the same for the rest of the day, even with all its potential distractions. That's the theory; but then one must actually do that moment-to-moment practice, making good use of the virtue bestowed by the tithe of meditation in the remaining 90% of the day.

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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