An Open Letter in Praise
and Testimony of Adi Da Samraj
Dan Sleeth, Ph.D.
Sleeth has been a devotee of Adi Da since 1983. He has worked
for many years in the field of human services as a mental health
provider. Dan earned a MA in general psychology and in counseling.
After receiving his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, he wrote The
Integral Ego as a vehicle for considering the non-dual
perspective possible in the clinical therapeutic setting. Dan
has served Adi Da in many different capacities, including public
outreach, regional manager, and ashram manager, as well as through
his writing and advocacy.
From the editors: The following is Dan's correspondence
with an adamant critic of Adi Da, who
had read some of Dan's material about Adi Da on the internet and written Dan
about it. Feeling this person's apparent sincerity,
genuineness, and concern for Dan's welfare, Dan responded candidly and directly. There
are three letters of response, presented here in chronological
order (comprising Dan's half of the correspondence).
1. Why Adi Da Should Be
Taken Seriously — Since you have challenged me to make the
case that Adi Da is someone who should be taken seriously, I will
do my best to explain at least why I do. The legitimacy of Adi
Da's work can be summarized rather easily, in three colloquial
propositions: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth; the truth that sets the heart free; the truth that explains
every aspect of reality. If you were to stop right now, you would
have all you need to understand why I hold Adi Da dear. But, in
that case, you would never know the reasons why I came to these
2. On Only Legitimizing
"Kinder, Gentler Gurus" — That you should prefer
kinder, gentler Gurus over challenging ones is certainly your
prerogative. One size does not fit all. Gurus who are confrontive
are not for everyone — by any means! However, you cross a line
of impropriety when you go beyond labeling Gurus merely those
you don't like, to labeling them inherently evil or to be avoided.
3. The Hero Of Giving
— You write: "One gets all these other demands: that one
worship, love and serve the personality of Da, that one give most
or all of one's time, energy and money toward Da and his organization.
Also it seems one is at the whim of Da and his cohorts."
In my mind, if any legitimate cases of real exploitation had ever
taken place — as opposed to situations in which one is simply
confronted with more demand than
they expected or wanted — much more would have been made of it
after all this time. As for claims that Adi Da is getting rich
off of His devotees: devotees stay in His company precisely because
of the extraordinary gifts they continually receive from Him.
They are utterly grateful for the opportunity to gift Him in return
— and in all kinds of ways: personal service, as well as financial
contributions to support His great work of liberating all beings.
Also, what often gets overlooked in criticisms of Adi Da is an
obvious financial reality: it costs a lot of money to do this
kind of work!