Question: There is a strong all or nothing quality and a rigidity to the culture of Adidam which reminds me of orthodoxy. You either totally surrender or you don't, you either vow for eternity or you don't. What has so attracted me to other Eastern paths has been the open access to Dharma and Sangha. With Adidam the goods, so to speak, are held back (until one commits for eternity) which, for me and possibly others, increases resistance. I can appreciate that the guidelines  were clearly laid out by Adi Da.  I just think they are counterproductive to attracting  participation in the community. I also realize that it is my issue that only I can resolve. I appreciate your willingness to continue to clarify and support this neurotic middle aged Jewish guy in making sense of all of this.

Actually, there is much more to it! It is exactly not a matter of one day getting up the courage or the will to go beyond one's resistance and sign the vow.

If you were brought up in the Jewish culture, perhaps the main thing you learned as a kid about "comparative religion" was to discriminate between "orthodox" and "reform" Judaism, focusing on the notion that the key difference between the two alternatives was strictness (as well as the latter being more of a cultural than a religious choice, since the "reform" presumption is that God didn't write the Torah). There really isn't a notion of Spiritual Realization per se associated with either choice, so that was not part of your consideration. And now you are projecting that same distinction onto Eastern paths and Adidam, "grading" some as having a degree of strictness more like the "reform" alternative, and others (like Adidam) as more like "orthodox" Judaism — and expressing a personal preference for the less strict "reform" alternatives.

But this evaluation of Adidam (evaluating it solely on the basis of "strictness", not on the Realization offered) misses the entire point of the Adidam Offering! Adidam is not belief-based. It is not a conventional religion, with "commandments" that you are supposed to conform to in order to be a moral person. Adidam is a Revelation-based Way, whose sole purpose is Spiritual Realization. I can't emphasize this enough! And I don't think we devotees do a good enough job in communicating this.

Let me say it again: Adidam is a Revelation-based Way. This means (amazingly enough!) that you are not to become a devotee until a miracle occurs: the direct Revelation to you that Adi Da is the Divine Person. It is the exact opposite of getting up the will to do it. In some sense, you don't choose It; It chooses you. It doesn't "choose you" in the sense that the Divine Person is deciding when to give you this Revelation, and "holding back" until then. No — the Blessing for enabling this Revelation is constant (bold added by us):

I ... (now, and forever hereafter) Work Universally, and with all — even before (and forever after) they become My formally practicing devotees. This ... Universal Divine Transcendental Spiritual "Conductivity" Is the Process by Which apparent individuals become My formally practicing devotees. This Process began immediately with (and after) the Great Event of My Divine Re-Awakening — when I spontaneously began to Meditate countless "others". Thus — in Truth, and in Reality — all bodies are My Body. In Truth, and in Reality — all beings are My Very Self. Therefore, I Do the Universal Divine Transcendental Spiritual "Practice" of the Whole — and I Do the Divine Transcendental Spiritual "Practice" of every part and every being within the Whole. I Meditate all ... and (Thereby, Most Ultimately) I Divinely En-Light-en all ... by (Actually, Really) Being all. ... Therefore, My Divine Avataric Work is in every place, and in every being, and in every "thing" — until the Divine Translation of the entire Cosmic Mandala of all places, and all beings, and all "things". This ... Is the Foundation of the ... Reality-Way of Adidam.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Aletheon

So as Adi Da has said for years (and spells out the "why" more precisely in the above passage), it is His "meditation" of us (not anything we do per se) that is consequential in terms of actual Realization, and even becoming a devotee.

But even though it is not sufficient or the core of what transforms us, our meditation on Him is essential, to allow Him to do His Work with us. (To use another of Adi Da's metaphors, about the "division of labor" between Adi Da and His devotee: Grasp the tail of the Horse; the Horse will then take you — but you must be grasping the tail of the Horse.) So your receiving this always-given Revelation (and becoming a devotee of Adi Da on that basis) depends on It catching you in a moment of sufficient heart-openness, and in the presence of the means for transmitting this Revelation. And when exactly that will happen is a matter of Grace. But just as "chance favors the prepared mind", so Grace favors the person who is steadily immersing themselves in the Means for transmitting this Revelation. It is a relationship from the beginning. Adi Da is always Transmitting Himself. But the Revelation depends on you being open enough to Him that Adi Da can reveal Himself to you.

This is completely different from orthodox Judaism, or any of the Eastern paths. None of them is offering God-Realization, made possible by God appearing here in human form. In contrast, that is the communication and offering of Adidam. Everything else is secondary to that communication. It's not about meditation techniques, breathing exercises, culture, community, etc. Those are completely secondary to the primary communication: God is here in person.[1]

The eternal vow is only to be taken by people who have received that Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine Person. This is why Adi Da says (bold added by us):

In that dual sensitivity [to the limits of conditional existence and to one's heart-impulse to Perfect, Eternal Happiness], you must receive My Avataric Divine Self-Revelation and make the Eternal Vow of devotion to Me, such that your practice (moment to moment) is the commitment to True Happiness, the commitment to Realize Me — and not merely the oblivious "commitment" to wander in the searches and the results of your egoic (or self-contracted) impulses.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Dual Sensitivity at the Origin of the Divine Way of Adidam

First the Revelation; then the Eternal Vow. It is also why the Eternal Vow begins:

Beloved Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj, I recognize and acknowledge Your Divine Person to Be the Eternal Source of Perfect Divine Grace, the Divine True Heart of all conditionally manifested beings, the Very Divine Person Who Avatarically Self-Manifested in bodily (human) Form for the Sake of the Divine Liberation of all-and-All. Thus, I recognize and acknowledge Your Divine Person to Be my Eternal Divine Avataric Master.

You cannot say this — you cannot and should not take this vow — without having received the Revelation that allows you to recognize Who Adi Da is. No one should be saying these words on the basis of belief or "faith". Revelation alone is the sole basis for speaking this vow.

Without Revelation, living beings do not know that what they are longing for is restoration to the Divine Domain. Divine Incarnation is required, and My Divine Avataric physical human Lifetime has been a Process of that Incarnation. The Way of Divine Enlightenment, then, becomes devotion to Me, devotion to That Which Is Given by Real God uniquely for the Enlightenment, or Realization, of beings. The Way cannot be perceived, contemplated, realized, or fulfilled apart from Revelation. It is not knowable otherwise. The Way that I have ‘Considered’ with you can be found only by Revelation.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, July, 1987

In Truth, My Divine Avataric Reality-Teaching Is My Self-Revelation of My Own Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State.

Therefore, if I am devotionally recognized, the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is Revealed.

Indeed, the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is found only if I am devotionally recognized — because Adidam Ruchiradam Is participation in Me.

Adidam Ruchiradam Is the Process That Spontaneously Unfolds if I am devotionally recognized.

Adidam Ruchiradam is not a practice that is engaged merely because someone is moved by Me (or relates to Me) as an "objective other", or as a Teacher-Master in some not-yet-most-profoundly-recognized sense.

Whole-bodily-responsive devotional recognition of Me Is Divine Translation.

There is not anything "in between".

There is no "cause-and-effect" process "in between".

There is simply whole-bodily-responsive devotional recognition of Me — Abiding in That and As That.

Whole-bodily-responsive recognition of Me Demonstrates itself (at last) As Divine Translation — the Transcendental Spiritual Self-Awakening of the Divine "Bright" Spherical Self-Domain, the Intrinsically egoless "Brightness" That Is the Divine.

Real God Only.

Such Is My Divine Avataric Self-Revelation.

I Am That.

Therefore, if I am devotionally recognized, the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is Awakened.

If I am not devotionally recognized, there is an enormity of "world" and ego-"self" to be figured out, and there are always a lot of things yet to seek and do.

When I am devotionally recognized, there is not anything to do anymore, because there is no "problem", and (therefore) no basis for seeking.

None whatsoever.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Boundless Self-Confession
in Part 24 of The Aletheon

Conversely — and this is the key point for you — IF you receive the Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine Person — your Own True Nature — you won't have the slightest difficulty signing the Eternal Vow, or any problem with the notion of surrender (into your own True Nature). As Adi Da has said: "If that 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." You happily, willingly want that moment of Revelation to last forever, to last for all eternity! You never want to leave the Divine State Revealed in that moment — and the eternal vow, surrender, and the entire practice of the Way of Adidam, all completely resonate with your own deepest, heartfelt desire to never leave the Divine State that was Revealed, to never lose the Revelation that was Given in a moment of Grace.

If the Divine Reality were obvious, the commitment to God-Realization is instant. Therefore, anyone who is not living a life of complete dedication to God-Realization is fundamentally simply someone who is not certain of God. “Consider” My Company. Consider all of this and examine the Great Tradition with discrimination as I Call you to do. Then Realize a commitment to God-Realization. Be made serious by this Revelation and conduct your life accordingly then.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, July 2, 1988, in A Mastered Life

What exactly is the nature of this Revelation of Adi Da as the Divine Person, that enables someone to begin the Revealed Way of Adidam? It certainly is not based on the Judeo-Christian notion of "God" or "Divine Person" as the one who created the universe, or is in charge of the universe now, or is omnipotent, or omniscient. Instead, it is based on the notion of the Divine Person as the Source of the universe: this entire universe is arising in the Divine Consciousness. It literally is a modification of the Divine Consciousness, in much the same way as a dream I have at night is a modification of my consciousness.

Once in a very rare while, a circumstance arises that allows the Divine Consciousness to appear in its own dreamed universe as a human being, enabling others to awaken out of the dream and Realize the Divine State. That is what happened in Adi Da's case. But that Adi Da is just such an incarnation of the Divine Person must be Revealed to you.

This doesn't mean you have some kind of "vision" (say, of Adi Da coming from the Divine Domain and incarnating here). The Revelation is not really a matter of visions, or any other kind of experience (although some devotees do have such visionary experiences too). Rather, here is how you know when you've received the Revelation that is recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person, upon which the entire Way of Adidam is based:

  1. The Revelation is an immersion in the Divine State Itself. That utterly "changes the game" for one who is so immersed!

  2. That Revelation convicts one of the Divine Reality: there is a State that is perfectly Happy, perfectly Free, and which transcends all conditionality: life, death, and all forms of suffering, and that one can always connect with (and ultimately, Realize perfectly).

  3. Because the Source of that Revelation is the contemplation of Adi Da, it is tacitly clear that Adi Da is none other than that Divine State, here in Person. It is tacitly clear that contemplation of Adi Da is what restores us to that Divine State, consistently and repeatedly. That Divine State, and Adi Da, are not separate from ourselves. (In other words, Adi Da's "Spiritual Transmission" is not like a radio transmitter, from "over there" to "here".) Rather, the Revelation tacitly makes clear that we are arising in that Divine State, in Adi Da as Divine Person. That Divine State also immediately reveals the Perfect Non-Separateness of Reality. Therefore, it is completely clear that the "devotional relationship" to Adi Da is not of the "me/other" kind between two apparently separate beings, but rather of the "me surrendered into my very Source" kind.

    I am not the ego's "other". Those who heart-recognize Me "Know" this — and, therefore, they do not relate to Me as "other" to their egoic separateness. . . . The Way of Adidam Is The "Radical" (or Always "At-The-Root") relationship of Inherently Perfect (and Always ego-Surrendering, ego-Forgetting, and ego-Transcending) Devotion to Me — not the relationship to Me as ego's social, institutional, or "religious" (or merely ceremonial) "other", but the Priorly egoless recognition-response relationship to Me (as I Am).

    Adi Da Samraj, "Radical" Transcendentalism

    And so the Revelation is not of an experiential kind per se — great visions, sounds, or the kind of thing we might conventionally tend to associate with the word, "Revelation", from our traditional religious backgrounds — but rather a taste of the experience- and experiencer-free, non-dual Divine State Itself. But it also equally clear the Adi Da's appearance here, as an "apparent other", an incarnate human being, has provided the means by which from now on we can locate our very Source directly.

  4. In receiving this Revelation, it is tacitly obvious to all of us that our own egoic activity is the only reason we haven't already realized this Divine State perfectly — because what we (always) experience, in our contemplation of Adi Da as Divine Person, is (a) the Divine State; and (b) our egoically imposed limit on that completely unlimited State. It is tacitly obvious that the profundity of our practice (or lack thereof) in any moment is what is determining the degree of Realization. But even those of us who are spiritual beginners are directly aware of (and, in this sense, are "given") the Ultimate Realization from the start, even as we also see the self-activity we are going to have to transcend perfectly (over time) in order to realize that Ultimate Realization perfectly and permanently. As Adi Da puts it: the Way of Adidam is a seventh-stage Way from the outset. The repeated Revelation is always immersion in the Divine State. It is not Divine Enlightenment Itself yet, because it is not yet permanent and perfectly Realized. However, our own egoic activity — what we have yet to understand and transcend — is Revealed because it stands out, in contrast to the "Brightness" of the Divine State. To put it another way: By virtue of the nature of the Revelation, every one of us is already in a position to bear witness to the Ultimate Realization of the Way of Adidam, even though we still may be spiritual beginners.

  5. Having the means to be immersed, non-separately in the Divine State (through the devotional relationship with Adi Da) in any moment from now on is so obviously the Ultimate Treasure anyone could wish for, that no one who realized this would ever give up that Treasure simply because of personal resistance to the notion of vows, the disciplines, unusual behavior on the part of the Guru, etc. Rather, one happily takes on the disciplines, because, the Divine State having been Revealed, no one wants to leave it — but, until Divine Realization, disciplines are needed to remain in (or be constantly restored to) that State. Disciplines are also the expression of that State: we don't need to do all the things we usually do to seek happiness (from eating junk food to having an orgasm), if we are already happy!

(1) - (5) above are what you understand when you receive this Revelation.

Bottom line: once you actually receive this Revelation, you won't have any problem with "an Eternal Vow"! What you will be aware of is that you could lose what was Revealed — and nothing in you wants to do that, ever (for all eternity). No one wants to lose Perfect Happiness, once one becomes aware of its Reality. That's why you willingly sign the Eternal Vow! That's why the word, "eternal", poses no problems for you. Because you want the Perfect Happiness that was Revealed to be your Real State forever. The State of Perfect Happiness is every heart's deepest impulse. That's why everyone talks about wanting to be happy, or happier. It's just that our materialistic culture has no awareness that Perfect, Eternal Happiness actually exists or that there is an always available Source of It (in the form of Adi Da). So moments of limited happiness are what we usually aspire to, in our presumption that "that's as good as it gets".

I should also point out that — from a philosophical standpoint, there are not many contexts in which it even makes sense to talk about an Eternal Vow . . . but this is one of them. In order for a vow to be eternal what you are vowing to or about has to be something that actually endures, independent of changing circumstances, independent of what any or all future lifetimes may look like. We can't even make an "Eternal Vow" of love, commitment, or fidelity to our spouse, since we have no way of ensuring that we will be together in future lifetimes! The best we can do is a vow in this lifetime: "till death do us part". An Eternal Vow could only be conceived in terms of something that is actually eternal, and the only thing that is eternal is the Divine State, the Divine Person, our very Source; and our relationship with the Divine, with Eternity, with that which is prior to time and space. Everything else passes. So in fact, our relationship with the Divine Person — with that which is always already the case and doesn't change with circumstance — is the only context in which we can make an Eternal Vow, even in principle.

So what should you do if you haven't yet received the Revelation I described above, but nonetheless are attracted to Adi Da (because of His Wisdom, because you feel His Spiritual Transmission, or whatever the reason) and are interested in doing everything you can to enhance the possibility of receiving this Revelation? Your best bet is to immerse yourself in the contemplation of Adi Da: His Word (books, websites, audios, etc.), His Image (photos, videos, etc.), His Art, supporting and serving His Work of liberating all beings, etc. The Revelation will then be Given to you, sooner or later, in some Graceful moment!

Becoming a devotee of Adi Da is not like joining a club. It is not like joining the exoteric versions of the Eastern paths, to which your question alluded. It is more akin to joining the esoteric versions of those paths, which were carefully protected from casual curiosity seekers and to which few were allowed entrance. Unlike the traditional approach in ancient times, we don't "guard" the Way of Adidam from curiosity seekers. Rather, in this era of global interconnectedness, we want as many people as possible to be aware of this extraordinary opportunity. Nonetheless, to take advantage of this opportunity requires the same seriousness as the traditional esoteric Ways, western or eastern. Only, rather than this seriousness being primarily a matter of a sober assessment of conditional existence and an application of personal will (as many have mistaken becoming a devotee of Adi Da to be about), this seriousness is primarily based on a personal response to Revelation. But it is a joyful seriousness! Like the joyful seriousness associated with preparing for one's wedding, after having fallen in love. As Adi Da once put it, Adidam is "a hard school, but a happy way of life."

Over the years, Adi Da engaged in an ongoing process of refining the "entrance requirements" for becoming a devotee. From a historical viewpoint, it has only been since about 2000 (and the time of the Ruchira Dham Event) that He really began focusing on "recognition of Him as the Divine" as the starting point and basis for taking up the Way of Adidam — changing not only the language of the Eternal Vow to reflect that, but the language of His Teaching altogether. (This is most evident in The Boundless Confession and Volume 7 of The Aletheon.) The timing is not surprising, in retrospect, because all that occurred with the Ruchira Dham Event made that Divine Revelation more transparent and more readily available to all than ever before.

Since Adi Da made that clarification, I don't think we, as a Mission, have done as good a job as we could in clearly communicating to those interested in the possibility of becoming a devotee what is meant by the "Adidam Revelation" — I suspect a significant number of people have taken the Eternal Vow (even becoming Second Congregation devotees) who haven't received the Revelation I described in (1) through (5) above. (They perhaps have felt Adi Da's Spiritual Transmission in some sense, but that is not the same thing as recognition of Him as the Divine.) If so, that was a mistake, and shouldn't have been allowed to happen. Adi Da Himself has confirmed this many times by speaking of the lack of the necessary recognition of Him among devotees. This is not a criticism of people's practice, or a criticism of anything people can intentionally "change" (one can't "will" oneself to recognize Him as the Divine Person — it's a Revelatory Gift); it's simply a criticism that implies people were allowed to be called "devotees" prematurely. But hopefully we (as a Mission) will make this clearer over time — I certainly am doing my best to clarify it for you here!

Once this is clearly understood, it is also clear that there may be a lot of people (like yourself) who would like to have a means for immersing themselves in this preparatory process of coming into Adi Da's "Room" as often as possible, to the point where His Revelation is received. I think we also can do a better job in creating such a living community (we might call it, "Friends of Adi Da") for those of us (like yourself) who are attracted to Adidam and Adi Da but have not yet received the Adidam Revelation in its fullest form of recognition of (and on that basis, response to) Adi Da as the Divine. And in this sense I think you are exactly right: we can create a more vibrant community of pre-Adidam "friends". But actual practitioners of the Way are a different matter altogether: they can only be those who have received this Revelation. You are in some sense right in intuiting the difficulty of taking up the Way of Adidam without having received this Revelation. It's not only difficult — it's impossible!

Indeed, the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is found only if I am devotionally recognized — because Adidam Ruchiradam Is participation in Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Boundless Self-Confession
in Part 24 of The Aletheon

This response is meant not to discourage the reader, but rather to clarify, inspire and move you to do what is required to receive this extraordinary Revelation, this miracle which many otherwise ordinary people have received, by doing the necessary preparation. As I said earlier, your best bet is to immerse yourself in the contemplation of Adi Da: His Word [2], His Image (photos, videos, etc.), His Art, serving His World Work, etc. We will do our best to help you with this "immersion" process. And that Revelation will be Given to you by Grace, sooner or later — guaranteed!



This continues to be true now as well — even after Adi Da's human lifetime — because of all the means Adi Da created to "imprint" Himself on the conditional universe: His various forms of Agency and Instrumentality.


Especially The Boundless Self-Confession, or Volume 7 of The Aletheon, which make crystal clear how devotional recognition of Adi Da is the necessary prerequisite for taking up the Way 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.

Technical problems with our site? Let our webmaster know.