Spiritual Recognition of Adi Da > Adi Da's Uniqueness as Seventh State Adept Realizer

A Conversation with Adi Da Samraj about
His Uniqueness as a Seventh Stage Adept Realizer

Donald Webley

Donald Webley was born in Jamaica and came to the United States to study physics. His professional life took a turn when he became a medical legal consultant. He became a devotee of Adi Da Samraj in 1980. He wrote several introductions and commentaries to Adi Da's books and helped make Avatar Adi Da's Art known in the world.

Donald's story refers to Adi Da as a "Seventh Stage" Adept Realizer. For more on Adi Da's "seven stages of life " framework, click here.

Donald WebleyThis story concerns Adi Da's Samraj's Revelation of His [Spiritual] uniqueness. This occurred at Adi Da Samrajashram (the Fijian island of Naitauba) on March 5 and 6, 1993 when I was graced to be on retreat there and was able to pose some questions to Him questions that seemed relatively insignificant to me at the time. I had no idea about the torrents of Blessing and Revelation that would result.

I arrived on Naitauba on February 26. I remember as I fell on the beach in the gesture of gratitude that all devotees make as they arrive on Adi Da's Hermitage Island, and an intuition, a flash, a feeling, passed through me, that Adi Da was not simply a great Realizer but that He was the heart's desire of all beings. I did not attach a great deal of significance to this feeling. I thought that it was simply just a passing moment of recognition of His greatness. But it was an intuition of what was to be revealed during my retreat.

This was a period in which Avatar Adi Da spent many hours responding to His devotees' questions. I worked in the editorial department of the Dawn Horse Press, and we had just finished putting together a biography of Ramana Maharshi. There was an introduction to that book written by Adi Da in which He made certain distinctions between His Work and Ramana Maharshi's work. I did not understand these distinctions fully, so I asked Adi Da about them at such a gathering, on March 5.

I said something like, "Beloved Adi Da, You have said thus and so about Ramana Maharshi's work and thus and so about Your Work. Now, as I understand it, You are both seventh stage Adepts why is there this distinction?"

As a preamble, it is important to point out that at that point His devotees did not understand His uniqueness. We were not in a position to understand, and He had not made the Revelation. We all understood that He was a seventh stage Realizer and that His Teaching had a unique clarity. However, we believed that perhaps, almost certainly, there had been other seventh stage Realizers who taught in a limited form in the fifth or sixth or fourth stage mode simply because of the cultural and institutional circumstances into which they had been born. We understood Adi Da Samraj to be, certainly, a Realizer of the highest type, but we had no idea of the depth and fullness of His Incarnation and His Revelation.

When I posed that question to Adi Da, it was on the basis of this kind of understanding. His response was, "Well, are you sure Ramana Maharshi was a seventh stage Realizer?" That stopped me in my tracks. My response, which I did not verbalize aloud, was "Well, didn't You say that he was?"

That was the beginning of a consideration about Ramana Maharshi's teachings and his life demonstration, the import of which was whether Ramana Maharshi, in his life as it is recorded, in his teachings, in his mode of living and his demonstration, showed the signs of seventh stage of life. Was that the case, or did he show the signs of an ascetic in the sixth stage of life? It was a long consideration, in the course of which Adi Da discussed all aspects of this matter with us to the point where it became clear that there is not in fact the evidence of seventh stage Realization in Ramana Maharshi's life.

Before I became Adi Da's devotee, I had studied and practiced Zen Buddhism with two different teachers. I had had quite a bit of exposure to Tibetan Buddhism, although I had never been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Adi Da has spoken very highly of Shakyamuni, the Buddha, and so I grasped at this straw. I said, "Beloved Adi Da, well what about the Buddha?"

In all His Written Teaching Adi Da has always referred to the historical Buddha as the Buddha Gautama, or Gautama the Buddha. Now, as a former Buddhist, that was a little jarring to me because Buddhists never refer to the Buddha as Gautama. It is akin to calling Avatar Adi Da Samraj "Franklin Jones". The Buddhists always refer to him as Shakyamuni which is a title that means "silent sage of the Shakyas", the clan to which he was born.

But when I brought up the Buddha, for the first, and as far as I know, only, time Avatar Adi Da referred to him as Shakyamuni. I did not have to say anything about that. He began by addressing me about the wandering of my mind. He said, "I am right here. I am your Master. The Buddha existed 2,500 years ago. What difference does it make?"

But, nevertheless, He took us through a very similar consideration, at the end of which it was clear that as far as the recorded teachings of the Buddha and what is known of his life are concerned, there was no evidence of seventh stage Realization.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj has taught and spoken about a four-stage Yoga, beginning with seventh stage awakening, the Yoga of Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference and ultimately Divine Translation. There is no record or even hint of this Yoga in the traditions and certainly in nothing written by or attributed to Ramana Maharshi or the Buddha.

So at the end of this conversation, which went on for quite some time, it was clear that according to the available evidence, neither the Buddha nor Ramana Maharshi was a seventh stage Realizer. And this was surprising to everyone in the room. So, again grasping at straws, I remembered that in The Basket of Tolerance, Adi Da mentions a certain number of books six or seven as seventh stage texts. And I said, "Beloved Adi Da, what about the Tripura Rahasya, Diamond Sutra, the Platform Sutra of Hui Neng?" And He interrupted me, reciting the other books in that group. And I said, "Well, You have said, Beloved Adi Da, have You not, that these are seventh stage texts?" And He corrected me, saying "No, I have said that texts contain elements suggestive of the seventh stage of life."

Adi Da went on to say that they were products of a tradition. I said, "So therefore, one cannot conclude that they were written by an individual in the seventh stage of life?" And He said, "No. One cannot." I was left with the clear inference that seventh stage Realization had not appeared in anyone's case before Adi Da's unique Revelation.

It is important to remember that this was a consideration, not a proclamation. In other words, Adi Da did not, at this point, say, "This is the case that Ramana Maharshi was not, the Buddha was not . . .", He led us through a process and allowed us to come to our own intelligent conclusions. At this point, Jonathan Condit, who is Adi Da's senior editor, who had been a formally ordained Buddhist monk before becoming a devotee of Adi Da, and who was the person in the gathering most familiar with Adi Da's Teaching, asked the question that had been at the tip of my tongue. He said, "Beloved Adi Da, even though Your devotees praise You for Your integrity in leading us through this great consideration, allowing us to understand for ourselves what is represented by the great Adepts of the past, we know that You, by virtue of Your Divine Siddhis, know what Realization is true in the case of anyone at all." And the Avataric Great Sage, Adi Da Samraj sat silent for a moment He received Jonathan's confession and praise and, as if conveying a great secret, which in fact He was, then said, very softly, "All right then. The Buddha was a sixth stage Realizer. Ramana Maharshi was a sixth stage Realizer."

Then Ruchiradama Nadikanta referred to a conversation that had occurred several nights before about Jesus of Galilee. Adi Da said, "And Jesus was fifth stage." One could have heard a pin drop in the room; we all understood that we had just been given a great Revelation, a Revelation beyond our wildest imaginings. We understood that Adi Da was telling us that seventh stage Realization had not existed in anyone's case before His birth.

To understand how revolutionary that was to our understanding, I will tell you a humorous story. Jonathan telephoned a devotee on the mainland who is a great scholar of Adi Da's Teaching, and told this individual that Avatar Adi Da Samraj had just Revealed that He was the first seventh stage Adept. This individual said, "Oh, no. That's impossible. He's just playing with Don Webley!" Now, that is not a comment on this person because that really was our understanding, collectively. We did not know, did not understand the One into whose company we had been drawn. We did not understand His greatness.

That night, shortly after the end of the gathering there was a torrential downpour. Fiji is a tropical country and Naitauba is a tropical island. I had grown up in the tropics and I had seen tropical downpours, but this was no ordinary tropical downpour. It was as if the heavens opened, and the heavens and earth were acknowledging Adi Da's great Confession.

The next evening we gathered again with Adi Da, assuming that He had made His great Revelation. We had no idea what further Revelations He was going to grant us. After perhaps an hour and a half of conversation, Jonathan asked Avatar Adi Da various questions. Then Adi Da referred, out of the blue, to the conversation of the previous night, and wanted to know if I had anything more to ask. I said "no", that He had answered most of my questions. He very humorously responded, "Most?" I then went on to praise Avatar Adi Da, and I acknowledged to Him my understanding that the torrential downpour was the earth's own acknowledgment of His Confession.

The Avataric Great Sage, Adi Da Samraj then said, "Understand further, I am not the first seventh stage Adept in the sense that there will be other seventh stage Adepts. The great Work that I do is once and for all time. There will be other seventh stage Realizers. My devotees will be Realizers of the seventh stage, but it is neither necessary nor possible for there to be another seventh stage Adept." In other words, as He said, by His Birth, by His Appearance, by His Revelation, by His Divine Re-Awakening and Work, He had brought into the earth and the conditional realm altogether the Spiritual Powers and Divine Grace that now makes possible the seventh stage Awakening in the case of all others. And He went on to say that the completion and fulfillment of His great Work, His Divine Work, will be the Divine Translation of all beings.

This was something we could not have imagined. Everyone in the room was overwhelmed by the sense of gratitude that this relative few of us who are His devotees have been graced to witness the central event of all cosmic manifestation, the Appearance in human-time of the Divine Person, the One in Whom all beings, worlds, and conditions arise. The purpose and fulfillment of His Birth is the Divine Translation of the entire cosmic domain, in other words, to draw all beings and the entire universe into His own Divine Condition.

When I had returned to my senses, I asked Avatar Adi Da Samraj by what means it had occurred that we few were thus fortunate? He was silent for a moment and very quietly said, "You are only the first. All beings will eventually come to Me."

It is important to understand that on this occasion, as on any occasion when Avatar Adi Da Samraj grants a Revelation and gives the Teaching, He does not just say it. The Siddhi of His Very Being communicates the truth of what He is saying to the heart and entire body-mind of His listeners. The potency of Adi Da's Confession of His own uniqueness was thus indelibly imprinted in our hearts, beyond all possibility of doubt.


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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