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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.