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Further Questions about Recognition

The following questions came up for readers of Chris Tong's 5-part article, The Significance of Recognition in the Way of Adidam.

Question: Based on what you wrote, it seems that what Adi Da called the Way begins with recognition of Him. In which case it shouldn't necessarily develop over time or otherwise involve any particular progression of "something" through time such that that "something" evolves into the Way. It isn't anything that any devotee can do. The Guru does it, when the Guru is Recognized. Is that right?

Answer: Yes, the core of the Way of Adidam is what Adi Da calls "The Guru Yoga": the liberating work that Adi Da does as Divine Guru. The Divine meditates His devotee. As Adi Da puts it: "It is My meditation that is consequential." Ultimately, the Divine acquires the body-mind of His devotee entirely — in this sense, the Way of Adidam is all about God-Possession, to the point where all limited identity is dissolved and we also Realize that there is only God:

Through My devotee's complete responsive surrender to Me Divinely Avatarically Self-Revealed and Transcendentally Spiritually Self-Given As egoless, Indivisible, Acausal, Perfect, and Self-Evidently Divine Reality Itself every aspect of the human form and context becomes a conduit for My Divine Avataric Activity and Influence.

Therefore, ego-transcending responsive surrender to Me is the always sufficient practice.

All the rest of the only-by-Me Divinely Avatarically Self-Revealed and Self-Given Reality-Way of Adidam (or Adidam Ruchiradam) is Awakened and Demonstrated by My Divine Avataric Grace.

As soon as I Acquire a devotionally-responsively to-Me-surrendered conduit, all of the rest of the Way Is Mine to Happen.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Surrender-Response"
Part Twenty-One, The Aletheon

On the other hand, the Way of Adidam does require something — everything, ultimately — from the devotee. It is not something that proceeds automatically, like a machine, or is just "done to you" by the Divine.

If you move into a relationship with Me, then the Divine Process begins to duplicate Itself in your case. It is not as if you are a robot that is being transformed by some computer no. The Process is a living and human relationship to Me. But that Process has nothing to do with the conventional "doctor-patient" and "mommy-daddy-baby" games. Irresponsible people cannot enter into this Process. . . .

You must be responsible for yourself at the human level, and in a profoundly uncommon way. You must live the discipline of ordinary life. You yourself must be love under all ordinary, daily conditions. You must make this change in your life. There is no way whereby you can be relieved of this necessity and nobody else can do it for you. Nevertheless, all of that ordinary responsibility simply prepares you for the right relationship to Me (in and As My Divinely-Avatarically-Born bodily human Divine Form and Person).

I Am your Unique Advantage, because I Am Present in the same kind of bodily form as you Manifested via the same kind of physical structure, the same kind of nervous system, the same kind of brain. In My Case, however, all these mechanisms are Conformed to an Absolute level of Functioning, such that your entering into Communion with Me brings changes even at the level of the psycho-physical body that you present to Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Super-Physics of Divine Enlightenment"
Part Three, The Aletheon

It is Enchantment, but it is not "magic". As Adi Da said from the beginning, it is a relationship, not a technique. So it is not something the devotee does himself or herself. But it is also not something that the Divine does, without the cooperation of the devotee. It is a relationship in which both the Divine and the devotee actively participate. (Adi Da's talk, "The Divine Does the Yoga" is a good reference.)

The winds of Grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail.


Nothing in [the devotee] is one with God. So the Divine Activity is generated to make that person one with God. The Divine does the Yoga. The Divine Assumes His Oneness with the devotee. He does not create means, methods to be generated in dilemma, experiential paths by which to realize that Oneness He simply Establishes It.

The way for such a devotee, then, is simply to be a devotee: to simply live that relationship as the Principle and Condition of his life. And if he does that, then the conscious and formal Qualities that are native to the Divine Condition are generated spontaneously and intelligently within him.

The apparent (or conditional) instrument of that Divine Work is the human Guru and the human devotee they are a single instrument. The relationship between them makes them a single instrument. The reason there must be a relationship created a mutuality is so that there will be constant connection and communication on many levels.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The Divine Does the Yoga" (RealAudio | MP3: 53MB)

And the devotee must be recognizing Adi Da as the Divine, if what occurs is to be the Divine Yoga (as opposed to just egoically feeling the effects of the Divine in one's body and mind, perversely converting the Divine Yoga into a mere and temporary egoic "hit").

Adi Da lays out the "division of labor" very clearly:

The Divine Process is not magic. You must respond. Beings must respond. You must do the work. Otherwise, you are controlled by the structures of your own adaptation, and no great thing occurs. . . You must cooperate with my Divine Avataric Grace. . . I Bring you the Gifts, the Revelation, My Teaching Word — everything — but you must respond.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, March 23, 1994

An ancient text says: "Mankind does not know. Only the Horse knows". Therefore, you must grasp the tail of the Horse, or the God-Realizer. Grasping the tail of the Horse is your devotional, self-surrendering, feeling-Contemplation of Me. The Horse takes you (I take you) Where there is to go. The Horse knows. I know. You do not know.

Your devotional feeling-Contemplation of Me is not an end in itself, and it is not the means of your Liberation. It is simply your responsibility, your connection to Me, whereby My Grace comes to you and makes the Way of the Heart for You. This Guru-Yoga, this Ishta-Guru-Bhakti, this Realization by My Blessing, is the great esoteric secret of the Great Tradition.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"The Master Is the Means", Ishta

So the Horse takes us but we have to grasp the tail of the Horse, in order for the Horse to take us. As Adi Da points out, our "grasping the tail of the Horse" isn't what liberates us the Horse Taking us is what liberates us. But grasping the tail of the Horse in every moment is an absolute prerequisite. If I say "I'll take the car to drive downtown", then it's definitely the car that will get me there, but of course that does depend on my getting in the car!

And just as our recognition of Adi Da as the Divine is our part of the "division of labor" in the God-Realizing Way, His recognition of us as the Divine is His part of it. That is the Meditation that is consequential:

The sixth stage error is the root-error of differentiation, dissociation between the phenomenal and the Transcendental. In other words, it is the origin of non-Recognition. . . .

My Transmission to you is That of the seventh stage Awakeness. . . . These so-called things are merely apparent, they're not binding, they're just an apparent play upon the Radiance of Divine Self-Consciousness, and Recognized as such. There is nothing but the Radiance, They are simply Radiant. As Recognized things, they do not dissociate themselves from the Divine Self-Consciousness.

So everything becomes "Brightened" by this Power of Recognition. And so you see, it is the fundamental Siddhi I exercise. The Blessing I Give is not manufactured in the body-mind, or from the body-mind point of view. I don't Bless via mechanisms figured out somehow in the body-mind. I Bless As I Am, and My Blessing is the simple Recognition of you, Divine Recognition of whatever. The apparent body-mind can seem to be involved in it in various ways, too, talk about it or whatever, but it is just this Divine Blessing Recognition, My Regard, or you even entering into the Sphere of My Radiance, devotional, and Communing with Me. My Presence is the Power of the "Bright". It's Unique Siddhi. It's just That. Everything is Recognized. Everything is "Brightened" therefore by My Presence. And My perhaps Giving you My Regard at times [during My human lifetime], but fundamentally you giving Me your regard, all the faculties submitted to Me into Communion with Me, to the point of Communion with Me, moment to moment. . . .

This is why in The Dawn Horse Testament and some other places, wherever I use the word "you", I capitalize it. The Dawn Horse Testament is an eternal conversation in the Place of Realization, in the Heart. So I may discuss in The Dawn Horse Testament all kinds of things that are associated with your apparent entanglement [1], but I always address you with a capital "You." You are the God I have come to Serve, that capital "You". My Recognition of You is what Gives You the Power of Realization. . . .

So you see, you have to know Who I Am. You have to make use of the knowing of Who I Am. It's not just some nice idea. To find Me As I Am, to know Who I Am, is the basis of your Contemplation of Me. So it's nothing to be coy about. It's something to be found out and be changed by. And then also you won't require Me to assume your likeness. You'll simply want My Sign as It Is. . . .

I Recognize You as the Divine Person. Because I do that with You, you must do likewise! I Recognize You. You must recognize Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Paradox of Entanglement
The "Brightening" Way Talk Series

It is not so much that you turn to the Guru. The Guru turns to you. By the time you realize that you have turned, you have become nothing. It is not really the drama of turning to the Guru, it is the drama of living under the pressure of the Guru's having turned to you. A piece at a time, you begin to feel like you have done some turning. That may be the way it seems to you, but that is really not the way it is.

It is true. Under the pressure of the Guru's turning to you, you only feel the absence of your turning, the absence of your submission, the absence of your sacrifice in total. The sensation of that self-knowing, that understanding, that insight, serves the crisis that the Guru is producing in relationship with you. So you are indeed under an obligation to turn perfectly, but that demand is paradoxical.

It is nothing that you can fulfill. It is something that you must fulfill. So it is sadhana, it is heat, it is tapas, not perfection. It is not you that becomes perfect. God is already perfect, and God absorbs you. You become perfect by becoming nothing, by absorption in the Divine. Nobody does that. How could you possibly do that? How offensive to think that you could possibly do that.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Garbage and the Goddess

The principle of the relationship between the Spiritual Master and devotees is that He includes them in the field of His light. The literal physics of the physical universe is involved in that fundamental process. Through right relationship, the devotee enters into the aura, the field of energy, of the Spiritual Master. That field of energy works on the field of energy of the devotee, drawing it, through sympathy, into the same condition as the field of energy of the Spiritual Master. Before that absorption becomes complete, there is much that the devotee must learn, and much adapting and evolving he or she must do, until, at some point, he or she realizes permanently the same state as the Spiritual Master in the domain of energy. From that point the devotee does the same work that the Spiritual Master is doing bodily, which is to radiate the physical body to the point that it becomes energy.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Primal Urge for Sanctuary

Heart-Recognition of Me Is A Matter Of Heart-Feeling Who And What I Myself Am, Altogether.

If You Heart-Recognize Me, then you Feel My Bright Divine Self-Condition, Prior to Your own limited and mortal condition.

Heart-Recognition of Me Is Prior Even to the now of passing time.

Heart-Recognition of Me Is The True Present, Always Already The Case.

If you Truly Heart-Recognize, or Feelingly Locate Me, then moment to moment, You Totally, psycho-physically Respond To Me, And You Let Me In.

In That Case, the body-mind ceases to be an instrument, of merely mortal bondage, and instead, Becomes A Mechanism, Wholly Aligned To Me, In Heart-Communion With Me.

Then, the living and active body-mind Becomes The Great Divine Process of Heart-Communion With Me, And Thus, Of Spiritual-Communion With That Which Is Inherently Satisfactory.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

* * *

While this metaphor of grasping the tail of the Horse makes practice sound very obvious, the reality is that many of Adi Da's devotees have not yet grasped the tail of the Horse (on a moment-to-moment basis).

First, one has to make sure it is the Horse's tail (and not one's own!) that one is grasping that is what recognition is all about. The Divine Guru Yoga only can take place when one is in the egoless state of recognizing Adi Da as the Divine. Otherwise, it most definitely is one's own tail one is grasping (regardless of what unusual things one might be experiencing in the body or mind) when one meditates, or does any form of practice in the Way of Adidam.

Second, one has to keep holding on, in every moment, if any Realization is going to occur. (In this article, we've used other metaphors for this, like "fanning the flame".) Many devotees have had moments of recognition, but then they fall out of that they let go of the tail of the Horse. Then, in effect, they have to start over again. The Way doesn't really become effective until there is the recognition capability, the ability to keep grasping the tail of the Horse in every moment, no matter what arises.

So already, in what I've described, there is much required of the devotee. But it is not something one is doing as an ego. Rather, it is a counter-egoic practice one is doing as an egoless response to recognition of Adi Da in every moment. To develop the recognition capability requires extensive conversion of the body-mind to all the "right life" habits [2] that serve to free up energy and attention, both for the sake of the Revelation (that is recognition) and for the sake of greater self-understanding. This self-understanding is required to overcome all the patterns of egoity that cause us to let go of the tail of the Horse over and over again (typically because we are reacting to something, or are engaged in seeking something — even Adi Da, or recognition — unconsciously and out of force of habit).

Being responsible for developing the moment-to-moment recognition capability is our part of the Guru-devotee relationship. There would be little required to developing this recognition capability — and little difficulty in the entire process that is ultimately God-Realizing — if there were no egoity, or if the force of egoity were weak in contrast with the Force of the Divine. But the force of egoity is great, and — for those of us raised in Western culture (that's essentially everybody, these days) — egoity is programmed (from early childhood on) in an absolute commitment to materialistic self-fulfillment. As Adi Da put it:

God is Great. But, unfortunately for you, bullshit is greater! That is why the appearance of the Adept does not impress people as it should.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Baptism of Immortal Happiness
The Dreaded Gom-Boo

* * *

So the entire way is based on recognition of Adi Da as the Divine, and can't really begin until that has been established as a moment-to-moment capability. Recognition forms an initial "threshhold", below which true practice cannot occur. But (in answer to the first part of your question), recognition does develop from there. It's like pregnancy. You can't be half-pregnant. There is an initial "threshhold" of "becoming pregnant" that is a "black or white" matter (or, I suppose, a "blue line or not" matter, depending on which pregnancy test one uses). But then, once pregnant, you can be more and more pregnant, until you give birth. Just so, there is "progress" in the Way of Adidam in that recognition of Adi Da as the Divine does develop further (through all the Forms of the Divine [3]): the Revelation of seeing Adi Da where one recognizes Adi Da as Spiritual Presence; the transition to the Perfect Practice and the identification with Consciousness Itself where one recognizes Adi Da as Consciousness Itself; and Divine Self-Realization Itself where one recognizes Adi Da as all there is:

The Way is to yield the self, the self-contraction, in all of its faculties, to the degree of Samadhi, and then to be drawn in that Samadhi to My Perfect Position, Prior to the body-mind, and enter into That Most Profoundly until you Realize there is only Me. And in that Realization it will be the same as to say that there is only You.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Paradox of Entanglement
The "Brightening" Way Talk Series

And all of this proceeds on the basis of a continuing "sacrifice of self", as one first becomes aware of, and then transcends, the deeper layers of egoity, including the form of egoity associated with the causal body attention itself (and the sense of separate self altogether) in the Perfect Practice. There is no Realization without self-transcendence or renunciation. So this continues to be our part of the Guru-devotee relationship as the Way of Adidam proceeds.

The Revelation is the seventh stage Revelation from the start. But it is a "stepped down" version of the Revelation because of the various aspects of egoity that have yet to be understood and transcended. It is always received in a way that is in accord with one's present identification. If one is still identified with the gross body (as we are at the beginning of the Way), then the Revelation occurs in a way that reflects that bodily identification. The seventh stage Revelation is only revealed in its fullest Form when all forms of conditional identification (gross, subtle, and causal) have been completely transcended when identification with the entire "body-mind-self" complex (what Adi Da has called "the whole body") has been transcended.

So God never "develops" or "changes" as the practice proceeds. But our recognition of God develops, as we progressively transcend increasingly deeper forms of egoity. If we could sacrifice the entirety of our egoity in the first moment of recognition of Adi Da, then we would be enlightened in an instant. It's possible, in principle! But in practice, we ourselves have neither the understanding nor the willingness to perform that great a sacrifice at the very beginning, and so the Way becomes a progressive process, reflecting our own increasing self-understanding and our growing willingness.

You are not used to being submitted in this instant with the full force of the feeling being. You are armored against such submission. That is why the first level of our Way, which involves listening to the point of hearing, is so profound. It calls you to confront my Argument and to consider it all together, with every aspect of the personality, in the emotional domain. . . . I am fiercely interested in having everyone practice the ultimate discipline, but we cannot manufacture such a circumstance overnight simply because that would be the best way for it to be.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Your Hidden Destiny, July 31, 1983
Hear Me Heart-Deep

God is always in the disposition (and always has the Power) to grant instant Enlightenment to all beings. It is always we not God who make time out of the Way.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


Return to "Taking Up the Way of Adidam"


as an apparently separate individual in conditional existence.


For a good introduction to Adi Da's wisdom and instructions on "right life", read Part 9 ("What is Radical, Right, and Perfect?" about the three elements of practice: radical devotion, right life and Perfect Knowledge) — particularly the essay, "The Necessary Foundation Of Right Life" — in Volume III of The Aletheon. Also to read: Right Life Is Free Participation In Unlimited Radiance and The Sacred Space Of Finding Me.


See "The Dawn Horse Vision" for Adi Da's beautiful visual depiction of this.

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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