I understand that one becomes a devotee on the basis of
recognition of Adi Da as the Divine.
Adi Da's Grace grants that Revelation, and that is what enables
one to become a devotee. But once that Revelation occurs and one
becomes a devotee, one never has any doubts again?
Answer: Absolutely not! That's a romanticized notion
of spiritual practice. Spiritual Realizers (including Jesus of
Nazareth) and great practitioners from Saint Teresa to Mother
Teresa can all attest that "doubt mind" continues to
arise, and Adi Da confirms this as well. But once the Revelation
is given, we no longer need to take the doubts seriously.
1. Doubt Mind (and Its Endless Perpetuation)
Versus the Revelation of Recognition
Adi Da has always acknowledged that doubts can arise,
even after a person has a moment of recognition of Him as the
Divine. For this reason, He has said: "If the 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."
for the practical reality that a crystal clear moment of genuine
Revelation can be followed by many further moments that are
not so clear, are clouded by ego, and in which that Revelation
may be obscured, momentarily or for extended periods. But one
should never let such less conscious, less Revelatory moments
cause one to fall from a life that has been rightly organized
around the moments of genuine Revelation.
The sun doesn't cease
to exist, just because local weather conditions temporarily
obscure it from the viewpoint of those under the clouds!
with Me and the quality of Spiritual life in My Avataric
Divine Company as something very enjoyable, very profound.
Then, all of a sudden, they come to the first point of
crisis in this Way of heart-relationship to Me. An insane
compulsion, almost like a possession, overcomes them and
seems to demand that they abandon this sadhana.
They wake up one morning: "My Guru is no good. The gathering
of devotees is no good. Spiritual life is no good. None
of this has anything to do with me. I should leave and
return to my previous, relatively happy existence." If
they are able to hold on through a few of these episodes,
they begin to see all of this as their own activity, not
anything that truly reflects on this sadhana, and they
become stable again in Satsang with Me.
When this form of crisis is (thus) overcome, then (at
some point) a new one develops — just as suddenly
and with equal force. Then they think: "The sadhana is
good. My Guru is good. The gathering of devotees is good.
Truth is good. Spiritual life is good. But I'm no good.
I'm not ready for it yet. I'm not an 'old enough' soul
yet. I'm still full of desires. I guess I'm supposed to
seek for a while." This is the crisis of self-doubt. It
is often topped off with the observation (so called) that
"My Guru hates me." And, so, they want to leave —
if only for that reason!
is always a form of contraction, of separation, of leaving.
But if you are able to pass through both of these crises
— still holding on to Me, still maintaining a responsible
refusal to exploit this subjective life-drama —
then you can begin to settle stably into the Real Spiritual
life of Satsang with Me.
Adi Da explains how this doubt of "self" and "other" is an inherent characteristic of egoity, which the ego enacts with everyone (including Adi Da):
The ego-'I' is 'self'-destructive and 'other'-destructive. The ego-'I' is a cornered rat. The 'self'-contraction confines the 'self' to a lesser principle of existence, a separate being. Everything associated with it, then, becomes a kind of surrounding, a kind of trap, a confinement. You alternate between the 'self'-doubting, 'self'-destructive orientation, and the 'other'-doubting, 'other'-destructive orientation until you become responsible, through 'self'-observation, for this confinement, this knot of egoity, and become coincident with the Totality of Existence, Divine Existence. Then you can begin to grow again, and not only in human terms, in the ordinary sense, but Spiritually, in the highest human terms.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
in a gathering with devotees in August, 1982
In terms of facilitating Adi Da's Revelation in
your own case, endless questions expressing doubts about Adi
Da, Adidam, or self will not serve to attune you with that Revelation,
the prerequisite for becoming Adi Da's devotee. They only magnify
doubt, and answers to them at best only relieve doubt (momentarily);
they are self-oriented activities, whereas the activities that
serve the Revelation do not return you to "yourself",
but rather open you to the Divine Reality (that includes, but
is greater than, "you").
More specifically, if you are someone interested
in the possibility of becoming Adi Da's devotee, but have doubts:
addressing all your doubts will not give you
Adi Da's Revelation, which is the necessary prerequisite for
becoming a devotee.
On the other hand, receiving that Revelation makes all the
Taken together, these two observations imply that the Revelation
is taking place on a different, deeper "level" than
the questions, the question-answering, and the questioner —
hence the Revelation "pulls the rug out" from under the questions,
the question-answering, and the questioner. The Revelation and
the questions (or answers to them) have nothing to do with each
other! The only connection is a negative one: the doubt, fear,
or other reactivity engendered by questions (or answers to them,
or lack of answers to them) can cause one to become closed to
the possibility of this Revelation. In this sense, such doubts
can cause one to choose not to invest the time visiting Adi
Da's "Room" to the point where you receive this Gift
of Revelation. And that would be a great loss, when one considers
one's destiny altogether.
2. A Story of Recognition Dissolving
When you recognize Me As I Am, there is
no doubt in you.
Let me tell you a personal story that illustrates this point
about different "levels". One evening, on the island
of Naitauba in Fiji, I was Graced to be in a gathering of devotees
with our Beloved Guru. He was dancing around the room, and we
were all dancing around with Him. We were dancing to a song
whose refrain focused on the words: "Me . . . Me."
As the singer would sing those words, Adi Da would point to
His own chest, and mouth the words, "Me . . . Me."
Of course, I knew that our Beloved Guru is the focal point
of our practice, and the very means of our Realization, and
that's what He was humorously indicating, as He pointed to Himself.
But for some reason, in that moment, I suddenly entered into
a contracted vision, where all I could see was a roomful of
apparent cult members, all following their apparently megalomanical
leader ecstatically, with me being the only one not caught up
in and going along with the "delusion". It felt terrible:
I had no desire to have this "vision", but I couldn't
do anything about it. In that moment, it possessed me.
Adi Da instantly perceived where I was at, and just as the
music reached the key line of the refrain again, He looked straight
at me, pointed to Himself, and shouted: "ME, Tongue, ME!".
The Force of His Spiritual Transmission completely blew "me"
away, and instantly I was restored to His Domain of Perfect
Happiness and Perfect Non-Separateness. All doubt, all questions,
all contraction was gone. It was like when the sun comes out:
before and after; or when you have a moment of doubt in your
intimate, but then her radiance and love toward you in the next
moment makes you realize how unfounded and self-generated (and
downright silly) your doubt was. I saw how I had literally contracted
into that depressed state, and the doubts and questions were
a product of the contraction. I saw how Adi Da had literally
Blasted me out of it, and back into Him, into His State. I was
beaming with happiness, and joyfully returned to dancing around
the room with my Beloved Lord and my friends.
Everyone transmits. All of you are transmitters.
You reinforce these limitations in one another and you
transmit them to one another. Each one of you emits invisible
forces that are locked up in limited messages that reinforce
the same limitations in others . . . Realizers of one
or another degree of Spiritual development likewise by
nature spontaneously Transmit what they are. . . . Since
everything and everyone transmits states of existence,
since life, or existence itself, is participation in transmissions
of all kinds, the best thing you can do is to associate
with the greatest possible Transmission above all. . .
. That is the great rule, the Great Law, the Ultimate
principle of the Great Tradition.
The Spiritual Master is a Transmitter,
an Agency of Transmission, like the Sun. The Sun never
sets and is never changed. The Spiritual Master may appear
to others as the Sun appears in relation to the Earth.
Those people see the Spiritual Master through their own
minds, through circumstances, through all kinds of problems,
limitations, and ordinary human signs. They do not realize
the nature of the Spiritual Master as Adept, as Transmitter.
They think of the Spiritual Master as an ordinary man,
and they think of themselves as people who are inherently
incapable of the Spiritual response. But if you truly
understand and become a practitioner, a devotee, then
you understand the Spiritual Master as Adept. You see
the shining perpetually. You see the Transmission, the
Radiant Force of Consciousness in that person. He or she
is not an ordinary person. His or her body-mind is simply
a material focus. But you must see beyond the local weather
that is the Adept's bodily appearance and circumstance.
You must see the Sun.
No amount of intellectual argument could have dissolved that
depressed, doubtful state I had been in. It was literally an
Awakening, a moment of recognition of the Divine, a radical
"shift" to (and re-immersion in) the always already
present Divine State, that did it. And the instant I was no
longer in that contracted state, all my questions and doubts
vanished as well. They were gone, but they also were obviously,
In the Way of Adidam, meditation arises
only in the heart-relationship with Me — only under the
conditions of Truth, already lived. There is Force in
such meditation. For my rightly practicing devotee, meditation
is an intense Fire. It is a marvelous Intelligence, a
Brilliance, a Genius, a Living Force. It is not a pious
attempt to quiet your little thoughts. It blasts the hell
out of those thoughts! From the "Point of View" of the
Living Divine Heart (or Truth Itself, or Reality Itself),
there is no concern for all of these thoughts, all of
these dilemmas, all of this mediocrity of suffering. All
of that amounts to nothing. . . . When Satsang with Me
becomes the Principle of your life, and Truth becomes
the form of your meditation, thought is consumed. Such
True Meditation is a Pressure under Which thoughts cannot
"Are there any questions?" was one of
Adi Da's favorite lines when He gathered with His devotees,
and from it — the questions asked by devotees, and Adi
Da's responses — came thousands of talks filled with extraordinary
wisdom. He humorously said once that, collectively, we were
an "Avatar of reluctance", whose resistance to (and therefore,
weakness in) practice, along with endless questions, were what
led Him to create His extraordinary and comprehensive Wisdom-Teaching.
You all, meaning the whole community, should
be championing this Teaching, communicating this Way,
stabilizing this institution, creating communities, keeping
the literature available everywhere, in all kinds of languages,
devoting yourselves to benign communication of the Way
and practicing it in your place. That is what we should
be doing in the future, not struggling anymore with the
beginner's reluctance. That struggle has served its purpose,
which was to motivate Me to Teach, to cover all the bases,
to deal with everything. Now you have done it. That was
really good! That was really great! That was a great job
you did! (Laughter) You are collectively an Avatar
of reluctance! (Laughter) Very admirable —
may you be praised for generations! (More laughter)
But you have now served your purpose, and now you must
become a different kind of Avatar. It is time we made
And from time to time, Adi Da would tell us that
the deeper purpose of this exercise of gathering and answering
our questions was simply to provide a means to keep us occupied
— to keep us "in the Room" with Him — while
He transformed our state with His Spiritual Transmission, dissolving
the questioner in the Enlightened State of Divine Ignorance (also
known as "Perfect Knowledge"). And that indeed was what
would happen. Late in the night, He'd ask again, "Are there
any questions?" And there would be none: not because we had
asked every possible question, but because we ourselves had been
3. Five Ways To Lose the Revelation
As mentioned earlier, it's quite possible, even
likely (until recognition is established as a moment-to-moment
capability), that a moment of crystal clear, self-authenticating
Revelation — a moment of recognizing Adi Da as the Divine —
will be followed by many moments that are less clear, in which
(if one is not careful) one can doubt what was Revealed, or
someone we know can introduce doubt. For instance, one of Adi
Da's detractors reading this might twist around what I wrote,
and suggest that the moment where I perversely envisioned Adi
Da and His devotees dancing around the room as a megalomaniac
and His cultic followers was not a moment of egoity on my part,
but a moment of clarity, and His Blasting me with His Force,
was His putting me under His "spell" again.
It is possible to doubt anything and everything!
Even that which you held most certain in another moment. As
a rejoinder to the traditional saying, "Faith can move
mountains", an old Persian proverb proclaims, "Doubt
makes the mountain which faith can move." (And indeed,
this whole article is in some sense about faith — not
"faith" of the belief-based kind associated with conventional religions,
but as Adi Da uses the word: faith that is grounded in direct
That's why it's so important to have an understanding
of, and clarity about, the entire process in which you are engaged
(whether you are Adi Da's devotee or considering becoming Adi
Da's devotee), so that, if and when a Divine Revelation comes
your way that authenticates itself with crystal clarity, you
allow every aspect of your being to be imprinted with that Revelation
and the memory of the absolute certainty you feel; and intentionally
make a part of your practice from then on to keep your eye out
for the onset of doubts (from yourself or others) that might
jeopardize your connection to that Revelation, and threaten
the thread of practice capable of restoring that Revelation
in any moment — just like you readily commit yourself
at your wedding ceremony to keep your eye out for (and work
to banish) anything that comes along in your married life that
could work to undermine the love relationship you have with
your intimate partner.
The process of repeated Revelation (to the point of Realization)
can be undermined in any number of ways (and, as a result, never
really take off):
I've seen a lot of people who never really allowed
Adi Da's Revelation to deeply penetrate them (to the point
of recognition of Him as the Divine), and so they rather
easily moved on to other Gurus and spiritual alternatives.
It's something like promiscuous people whose deep fear of
commitment makes it difficult for them to enter into the
real depth of intimacy, or anything but superficial relationships,
which they leave at the first sign of difficulty, or when
something new and attractive presents itself. They may even
"get married" for a time (on the basis of temporary infatuation),
but the label of "marriage" does not change their superficial
participation in it, anymore than "becoming Adi Da's devotee"
for a time (even years) changes a person's superficial participation
in it, if that is their pattern.
I've seen a lot of people gain and lose the
thread of practice which links one to Adi Da as the Divine.
(Adi Da has referred to it as a "thread" because
it is very delicate when one is still a beginner. Another useful
metaphor is that of fanning
the flame; if one does not actively fan the flame, the flame can go out.)
I've seen people confess God with absolute certainty
in the presence of Adi Da, and then never return — usually
getting preoccupied by circumstances or by people
who distracted them from the profundity of the Revelation
they had received; or by allowing the doubts of friends
or family to generate doubt in oneself, in spite of the
Truth of the Revelation.
I've seen many people who — in the manner
of "armchair" comparative religionists 
— study many spiritual possibilities at a safe distance,
feeling very "knowledgeable" about them all, but
(fundamentally because of doubt and the associated inability
to commit) never actually take up a life of practice within
the living context of any one of these traditions; as a
result, their only "fruit" has been a lot of knowledge
about various Realizations, but no actual Realization. (Adi
Da has sometimes called such people "spiritual pornographers"
because they "get off" on reading the books, but don't actually
participate in a living culture and a truly transformative
Perhaps all who have been touched by Adi Da will recognize
Him as the Divine at some point, or be restored to that recognition
— but it might take lifetimes to restore that recognition, once
lost. What I've illustrated here are primarily useful object
lessons for what not to let happen in your own case,
as you consider Adi Da, and open your heart to the Divine Revelation
He offers to everyone. If that Revelation arrives, stay in the
Room with It! Treat It like the precious Treasure It is.
Don't ever allow yourself to lose It.
4. Romanticizing Recognition
It's easy to come into this process with all kinds
of fairy tales about spirituality, romanticizing what Spiritual
Masters and Revelations should look like. Or having romantic
(and naive) notions like, "The Truth will out" when
what is more accurate (especially in this time, but to some
degree, in every time) is, as Adi Da puts
it: "God is great. But unfortunately for you, bullshit
example, when I was much younger, I had the romantic notion
that when you received an authentic Spiritual Revelation, from
that moment on you would live "happily ever after",
in the certainty of that Revelation. I could even associate
that notion with a scene in a particular movie that had made a
strong impression on me when I was young. In Miracle
of Fatima, a lifelong atheist and skeptic finally was
shown an extraordinary miracle (the sun appearing to fall from
the sky, but then being restored to its proper place ),
causing him to slowly take his hat off, lift his eyes to heaven
and say with great feeling, "Only the fools say there is
no God." (The implication being that, from then on, he
was a transformed man, and that he never had any doubt again.)
Doubt was not a part of my romantic conception of spiritual
But in fact, so long as there is still a mind
to transcend (and especially before recognition and hearing
have been established as moment-to-moment capabilities), there
is still the potential for doubt, and for "dark nights
of the soul" — as well-known spiritual practitioners
and Realizers have confessed, from Mother
Teresa to St.
Teresa of Avila to Jesus of Nazareth (crying from the cross,
Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani: "My God, My God, why have
You forsaken me?"). When one is Adi Da's devotee and has received
this Revelation, it's best to be aware of this likelihood, and
prepare for it ahead of time, so as to not be caught unawares
at the appearance of doubt (either doubt
of Adi Da or doubt of self), or without the self-understanding
or the Spiritual means for restoring the Revelation. Just so,
it's useful to know these facts about doubt before becoming
Adi Da's devotee, so one doesn't romanticize that becoming Adi
Da's devotee must coincide with not having any more doubts.
Short of Divine Enlightenment, such a moment never comes!
Practice of the Way of Adidam is not a matter
of being concerned about precisely what to do about these
qualities that arise in you. It is a matter of remaining
in your true Condition, which is Satsang with Me. There
will be periods of dullness, of the tamasic quality, when you are just stupid, without
any clarity whatsoever, when you do not remember anything
about what you have understood, when you have no capability
whatsoever to be intelligent, to speak clearly, to be
direct with anyone, to feel that you have surrendered
your separate and separative self. But that tamasic quality
will always come and go. No one ever eliminates it entirely.
It is always there, as one of the qualities of existence.
vision of the sun appearing to fall from the sky, but then
being restored to its proper place, guided by the Blessed
Mother, is a documented miracle witnessed by tens of thousands
of people on October 13, 1917. What is especially interesting,
both from the standpoint of "comparative
spirituality" and of being Adi Da's devotee, is
to compare it with a
similar miracle witnessed by one of Adi Da's devotees,
L.H., in which she saw —
not the Blessed Mother dressed in a blue robe —
but a blue woman: "I became aware of a figure approaching
the site. It was a blue woman who was obviously endowed
with great power. I felt this woman was Kali, and I became
afraid. She then began to show me her power: the sun changed
position in the sky and changes were happening everywhere
in nature. She was rearranging the universe. This is actually
what I saw. I felt how I could be snuffed out by the power
of nature, her power, at any moment." Thus the Power
of conditional existence sometimes mysteriously manifests
to individuals in the form of a Goddess (e.g., "Mary"
to Christians, "Kali" to Hindus). But that's not
yet the full picture of Reality. L.H. goes on: "Then,
she smiled, walked over to the sacred photograph of Avatar
Adi Da Samraj, and bowed low and fully to Him. In an instant
I saw that with all her power, she, the energy and force
of nature itself, was submitted to Supreme Consciousness
Itself, and that she was there to serve the Divine purposes
of Avatar Adi Da at His holy Sanctuary, and indeed in the
world. My fear dissolved in love and devotion to my Spiritual
Master. I felt again how life in itself was about change
and endings. . . but, if submitted to the Divine, it can
be lived by a different principle — that of spiritual practice
and inherently Prior Happiness — which masters life itself.
After that incident, I felt Kali visit me a few more times.
She would come and stand beside me in our daily sacred celebrations
of our Spiritual Master. She would not appear as a destroyer,
but as a sister, celebrating with me our love of the Divine
Consciousness in the form of Avatar Adi Da."