FAQs about Adi Da & Adidam > Adi Da's Teaching Over Time > Words in Context

A Framework for Exegesis:
Understanding Adi Da's Word in Context

Chris Tong, Ph.D.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj at work writing in Picture Perfect Art Studio, 2006
Avatar Adi Da Samraj at work writing in Picture Perfect Art Studio, 2006

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Abstract: To rightly understand Adi Da's Teaching Word (from 1970 through 2008), we must know exactly when He wrote or spoke it, and the context in which He wrote or spoke it. And to pin down that context, it is useful to evaluate the talk or essay or passage along seven different dimensions, which are presented and described in this article. Many of these dimensions identify specific long-term processes that occurred between 1970 and 2008 (for example, Adi Da's unfolding seventh-stage process, which passed through the stages of Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation). These processes largely account for the changes in Adi Da's communications over time, and understanding these processes enables readers to rightly interpret such changes.

Versions of Adi Da's Teaching from many different periods of His work with devotees are easily accessible on the Web these days. Without an in-depth familiarity with the processes mentioned above, the newcomer to Adi Da's Teaching-Word can all too easily be confused by differences in Adi Da's communication over time, and can come up with "explanations" that bear no resemblance to the actual processes and factors that led to the differences. Hence, this article — which is largely a response to the many questions we receive of the form, "Adi Da said X in the 1970's and then Y in the 1990's and the two communications seem inconsistent; can you reconcile them for me?".

This article is also a response to misunderstandings we receive such as "I preferred 'Bubba Free John' of the 1970's to 'Adi Da' of the 1990's and later!" Someone with a fuller understanding of the entirety of Adi Da's life, work, and purpose has a great appreciation (that only grows with time) of every phase of His life and work. Such a person knows exactly why and how "Bubba Free John" of the 1970's gave way to "Adi Da" of the 1990's and later — and why that is to the great benefit of us all!

This article is aimed at serving that fuller understanding in all who read Adi Da's Teaching.

Sections in this article:

  1. Motivation for this article
  2. Exegesis: what it is and why it is useful in Adidam
  3. Exegesis as means for right interpretation of Adi Da's communications over time
  4. Seven dimensions for exegesis of the texts of Adidam
  5. Dimension 1: Where Adi Da was in His seventh-stage process
  6. Dimension 2: Adi Da's understanding of His own life, work, and Agency
  7. Perfect Dis-Entanglement: Adi Da's multi-decade process of understanding and embracing His Avataric Divine Work and Its uniqueness
    1. How Adi Da's understanding of the Vedanta Temple events changed over time
    2. Adi Da as Divine Incarnation: not omniscient, but the most extraordinary learner
    3. How Adi Da's understanding of Ramana Maharshi's Realization changed over time
    4. "Seventh stage Adept" as a one-time occurrence in the history of the universe
    5. Ramana Maharshi: One further consideration
  8. Dimension 3: The Force of the Divine versus the force of egoity
  9. Dimension 4: The maturity of the Adidam culture
  10. Dimension 5: Temporary (or partial) viewpoint vs. conclusive "summary statement"
  11. Dimension 6: Which "voice" Adi Da was using when He spoke or wrote
  12. Dimension 7: Adi Da's use of special terminology
  13. The 80/20 rule as a goal for a good framework
  14. Summary

This article appears in
Questions about Adi Da and Adidam and
The Books of Adidam


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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