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The Gnosticon

This section contains the following subsections:

Introduction to The Gnosticon

The Gnosticon — pronounced "NOSS-ti-CON" and subtitled, The "Perfect Knowledge" Reality-Teachings of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj — is one of Adi Da's "Five Principal Books of Comprehensive Address".

Together, The Aletheon, The Gnosticon, and The Pneumaton comprehensively cover the wisdom and practices associated with the advanced stages of life (fourth through seventh stages):

  • In its simplest sense, "The Aletheon" means "The Book of Truth", and is a comprehensive description of the Divine Nature of Reality, the seventh stage Way of Adidam, and Adi Da's Divine Incarnation here which (when He is recognized as the Divine by Revelation) makes the seventh stage Way possible.

  • "The Gnosticon" means "The Book of Knowledge" [1]. In The Gnosticon, Avatar Adi Da examines the Transcendentalist Teachings (Teachings about the nature of Consciousness) of the Great Sages associated with the sixth stage of life in light of His own Revelation of the Transcendental Spiritual Reality-Way of Adidam.

  • "The Pneumaton" means "The Book of Spirit" (or "Book Of The Divine Spirit-Breath"). The Pneumaton examines the Teachings associated with the fourth and fifth stages of life (particularly as exemplified by the traditions of Christianity and Hinduism), in light of Adi Da's own Revelation of the Transcendental Spiritual Reality-Way of Adidam. The Pneumaton includes His rendering of the essential Spiritual import of the New Testament Gospels.

The Gnosticon was first conceived by Adi Da at the end of 2005. At that time, He was moved to make His own rendering, or “interpretive translation”, of a traditional Advaitic text, The Heart of the Ribhu Gita — in order to elucidate (and thereby honor) its full meaning.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Avatar Adi Da Samraj reciting His rendering of the Ribhu Gita
at Walk About Joy (near Tat Sundaram Hermitage)
December 11, 2005

(click picture for enlargement)

Adi Da Samraj then did the same with other great teachings from the traditions of Advaita Vedanta — including the Maneesha Panchakam ("Five Verses on Wisdom"), Shankara's Dasasloki ("Ten Declarations"), and the Devikalottara.

Adi Da Samraj continued to do the same with other great teachings from the traditions of Buddhism — including key statements from the Buddhist Sages Gotama Sakyamuni (known as “the Buddha”) and Nagarjuna.

In each case, He brought the essence of the instruction to the fore, with elegance and Illumined understanding. Texts whose meanings were only partially (or cryptically) expressed even in the original — let alone in translation — suddenly shone forth, like rough gems cut by an expert hand.

The conventions of making translations of traditional esoteric (Spiritual and Transcendental) texts are such that, typically, the translations are not done by Realizers — and, in many cases, not even by practitioners. Inevitably, if the rendering is made by someone who has not Realized the Truth of the text, then the translation — or the interpretation — will not have Realization as its basis. The presentation of a text of Reality-Teachings is a matter of Teaching Reality to listeners. Therefore, the right communication of such a text must be done on the basis of the Realization of Reality Itself. . . .

If Realization is true of the translator, then the Truth of any text can be re-spoken — or spoken now, in present time. Only in that case can the texts be made to fully speak the Truth, the meanings in the texts having been rightly located and rendered in language that is comprehensible.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Part 5, The Gnosticon

Such was the original kernel of The Gnosticon — an anthology of these masterful “translations”, together with discourses about the traditional texts (including those by Gotama Sakyamuni and Nagarjuna), given by Adi Da Samraj.

In the course of 2006, Avatar Adi Da transformed the nature of the book by adding many of His own Teachings relative to “Perfect Knowledge” of Reality — such as “Eleutherios” and “The Teaching Manual of Perfect Summaries” — as well as essays on “radical” devotion and right life. In order to present these Reality-Teachings in their full context as the apex of human wisdom, Adi Da Samraj also added essays He had written over the years about the more preliminary stages of human understanding, including commentaries on popular “God”-religion.

Avatar Adi Da’s final work on The Gnosticon (only months before His passing in November 2008) included the addition of the essays “Atma Nadi Shakti Yoga” and “The Boundless Self-Confession”.

Paul Muller OrtegaAdi Da Samraj has created a body of work that surpasses in its force and insight that of any other author and teacher of our time. . . . The present book [is] a mature document that culminates forty or more years of reflection and articulation on Adi Da Samraj’s part. I can only add my own humble invitation to all to plunge into its ecstatic waters and savor The Gnosticon. . . .

In the present volume, Adi Da Samraj uses his deeply insightful reading of a number of traditional texts, drawn from both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, as a means to clarify and specify the nature of these subtlest themes of knowledge and practice leading to the ultimate stages of attainment. It is precisely in the context of this commentarial enterprise — which, to my mind, constitutes a new moment in the great dialogue and transmission between East and West of the last century — that Adi Da Samraj appears to have been moved to articulate openly what he means and intends by the “perfect practice” and “perfect knowledge.”

This precious commentary seeks to illuminate and clarify a perspective that is beyond all relative points of view, and that is located in an ultimacy of attainment and vision that is beyond the capacity of any traditional text finally fully to articulate or express.

What we encounter in this book is nothing less than what might be called a new “avataric Veda,” a new “avataric Agama”: a new revelatory dispensation of profound originality and force which brings forward a deeply new perspective on matters of ultimacy, reality, consciousness, and the forms of practice previously predicated by the “great tradition” for their attainment. This book is, therefore, a deeply important document which recommends itself to the attention of both dedicated scholars and devoted practitioners of religion and spirituality.

Paul E. Muller-Ortega
Professor of Religion, University of Rochester
Author, The Triadic Heart of Shiva

The Gnosticon spans over a thousand pages, and is published in two editions:

Softcover edition.

April 2010 edition

now available

order here

Hardcover: limited edition.

April 2010 edition

now available

order here

  • Limited first edition print run of only 236 copies
  • Hardcover binding with gold-stamped title and black-stamped logo
  • Dust jacket
  • Ribbon marker
  • A unique 5" x 7" color photograph of Adi Da Samraj from page XXVI

Excerpts from The Gnosticon

You can read excerpts from The Gnosticon here:

  • Adi DaHinduism and Buddhism — Because of the differences between these two dispositions, the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism appear to be in fundamental disagreement relative to certain important matters. Thus, the Jnani (or "One Who Knows") and the Buddha (or "One Who is Awake") would appear to enjoy different Realizations — the former (in some sense) positive, and the latter (in some sense) negative, in relation to the cosmic principle. However, the distinctions are basically those of description and "method", not of Realized Liberation. Both enjoy the Realization of the Real Condition Prior to all cosmic limitation —and that Realization is (Itself) Liberation from the binding force of all limitations (whether gross, subtle, or causal).

  • In the Spirit of Buddhism — To enter into "Knowledge" of the human condition, one must enter into psychic relationship with the "world". Then one sees not only the "body" of the "world" but also its "mind" — its "subjective" (or subtle) places, and its degrees of "self". When even this "knowing" shows itself to be suffering, then Enjoyment is Awake — Prior to the birth of "worlds" and beings and "you-that-contemplates-the-Mystery". The "waking world" is a psycho-physical realm. Everything appears, then, as in dreams — in correspondence with one's tendencies, high and low. When this becomes clear, one ceases to identify with preferences, judgements, perceptions, reactions, "experiences", forms of "knowing", or the pursuit of strategies (high or low) — since this dream is all illusory, changing, and held in place by these very actions. When you Awaken, you are no longer concerned about the "dream world" — since it is all phantoms, "created" (in a moment) by tendencies that are the real "creators" of every circumstance of dreams.

Table Of Contents for The Gnosticon

The Gnosticon is divided into sixteen parts.

  1. Religion and Reality

  2. I Am The Divine Avataric Gift of The Bright — and of The Thumbs That Reveals It

  3. Atma Nadi Shakti Yoga

  4. Eleutherios (The Liberator)

  5. Reality (Itself) Is All The God There Is

  6. The Reality-Teachings of The Sages of Traditional Buddhism and Advaitism, Presented and Rendered By His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj

  7. The Book of The Gnosticon

  8. The Unique Sixth Stage Foreshadowings of The Only-By-Me Revealed and Given Seventh Stage of Life

  9. The Searchless Essence of Radical Devotion To Me

  10. The Only Liberating Discovery

  11. The Teaching Manual of Perfect Summaries

  12. The Reality-Way

  13. No Seeking / Mere Beholding

  14. As Is

  15. The Boundless Self-Confession

  16. Advaitasara / Nirvanasara

For a more detailed Table Of Contents, click here. To read Carolyn Lee's introduction to The Gnosticon, click here.

Adi Da's Earlier Writings and The Gnosticon

Adi Da has written many books and essays on the sixth stage of life over the years, and on the Perfect Practice within the Way of Adidam. The Gnosticon is His final and summary repository for all of that wisdom. Here are some of the predecessors of The Gnosticon.

The sixth stage traditions within the Great Tradition. These include certain traditions within Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism.
  • NirvanasaraNirvanasara (1983) — In Nirvanasara ("the essence of Nirvana"), Adi Da took two seemingly dissimilar traditions — Advaita Vedanta, whose focus is Self-Realization and non-dualism; and Buddhism, whose focus is the transcendence of suffering through realization of the nirvanic state — and identified both of them as sixth stage traditions. (The Gnosticon re-presents this same wisdom in summary form.) He then went on to identify "Advaitayana Buddhism" — another name for the Way of Adidam — as the culmination of the Great Tradition, which overcomes the various "sixth stage errors" and enables Divine Self-Realization:[2]

    Advaitism: Meditate on (or invert attention upon) the essence of self (or witnessing consciousness) until all objects are excluded and the Transcendental is Revealed.

    Buddhism: Meditate on (or clearly observe) all presently arising objects until the self (or the conventional sense of consciousness as individual and independent of objects) is overcome and the Transcendental is Revealed.

    Advaitaya Buddhism: Understand and directly transcend the contraction that generates the sense of self and of objects as conventions of limitation (independent of one another amd of the Transcendental), and so in every moment recognize self and objects (and the binding power of self and objects) in the Transcendental (or That which is always already Revealed).

    Avatar Adi Da Samraj
    "Advaita Vedanta, Classical Buddhism, and the Way of Radical Understanding"

  • The Basket Of ToleranceThe Basket Of Tolerance (1991) — The date refers to the only ("pre-publication") version that has been available in print to date. In fact, Adi Da worked on The Basket Of Tolerance for decades, right up to the end of His human life. A published version will be available soon.

    The Basket Of Tolerance focuses on the immense variety of historical expressions of the religious and Spiritual search, from prehistoric times to the present, and organizes them using Adi Da's "seven stages of life" framework. The core of The Basket Of Tolerance is a bibliographical listing of thousands of documents (multimedia: print and audio-visual), meticulously ordered by Avatar Adi Da in an elaborately subdivided sequence, to form a continuous "Argument". Avatar Adi Da introduces that Argument with a series of ground-breaking essays, and He comments on the bibliographical Argument, at numerous points, through a further series of over a hundred essays relating to specific books (or groups of books) in the bibliography, and covering a wide spectrum of topics. (Some of these essays have appeared in print as "The Basket Of Tolerance" booklet series. Visit the Dawn Horse Press site and enter "Basket Of Tolerance" in the on-site search engine.)

    Thus, among other things, The Basket Of Tolerance contains a bibliography of a wide range of sixth stage teachings, from the traditions of: Advaita Vedanta (both traditional exponents like Shankara, and modern teachers like Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj); Jainism (e.g., the teachings Shrimad Rajachandra, Mohatma Gandhi's teacher); Buddhism (the Hinayana, Mahayana, Zen, and Tibetan traditions); and Taoism (e.g., Lao Tse's Tao Te Ching).

    In this sense, The Basket Of Tolerance, when published, will provide the many specific instances of sixth stage traditions and teachings (along with commentary on specific teachings and traditions by Adi Da) that are summarized in The Gnosticon. Some of these are listed in the Bibliography of The Gnosticon.

  • Buddhism, Advaitism, and the Way of Adidam (CD) — A talk Adi Da gave on June 21, 1995, that summarizes in an easily accessible manner the similarities and distinctions.

Buddhism, Advaitism, and the Way of AdidamThe Way of Adidam is not ego-based. From the beginning it is about ego-transcendence. It is not about seeking. From the beginning, it is based on the understanding of seeking. Therefore rather than being about egoity and seeking, the Way of Adidam is about the magnification of the understanding of egoity and its seeking. It is about a Revealed Process that directly transcends egoity in every moment, rather than merely at the end.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Buddhism, Advaitism, and the Way of Adidam

  • What Is Required to Realize the Non-Dual Truth? The Controversy Between the "Talking" School and the "Practicing" School of Advaitism (The Basket Of Tolerance Booklet Series, Number 9) — An updated version of this essay appears in The Gnosticon, Part 6.

    While some of the Advaitic traditions offered forms of practice — for example, Ramana Maharshi's "Atma-Vicharya" (Self-inquiry) — many were more philosophical in nature. Some of them would take the Mahavakyas ("great statements") from The Upanishads (e.g., "I am That") and ponder them, with the presumption that meditating on (or extensive philosophical consideration of) these Mahavakyas would result in the Realization the Mahavakyas describe. Adi Da referred to this as the "Talking School" error, pointing out that mere intellectual consideration of Realization was insufficient for Realization. The "Talking School" error was a running theme in all His commentaries on the traditions of Advaita Vedanta.

    What Is Required to Realize the Non-Dual Truth?This distinction between the "talking" school (or Teachers of the "talking" aschool) and the "practicing" school (or Teachers of the "practicing" school) points to a basic controversy within the tradition of Advaitism. At least since the time of Shankara, both of these two schools (or interpretations of Advaitism) have existed.

    The "talking" school generally attracts those who have a minimal capacity for (or capable impulse toward) renunciation, Yogic (or Spiritual) discipline, and deep meditation, but who otherwise are habituated to constantly talk, listen, and think.

    Avatar Adi Da Samraj
    What Is Required to Realize the Non-Dual Truth? [3]
    The Basket Of Tolerance Booklet Series, Number 9

    Because many of us fit very well Adi Da's description of the type of person who tends to be attracted to the (generally fruitless) "talking" school, Adi Da's criticism serves as a cautionary tale to those of us who listen to some of His Own "Mahavakya" — e.g., "Truth is always already the case" or "You are not the one who wakes, or dreams, or sleeps. You Are the actionless and formless mere Witness of these states." — and misconstrue them to mean that no practice is required to Realize that.

The Perfect Practice within the Way of Adidam. The Perfect Practice is the most advanced form of practice within the Way of Adidam. The earlier forms of practice focus on freeing up energy and attention from the conditional body-mind. This is the prerequisite for the Perfect Practice, which takes places entirely in Consciousness Itself, and which culminates in Divine Self-Realization. Like sixth stage practices, the Perfect Practice is associated with Consciousness, and there are similarities and resonances with traditional sixth stage practices. However, the Perfect Practice is not itself a "sixth stage" practice. Like all forms of practice within Adidam, the Perfect Practice is based on the seventh stage Realization — on recognition of and response to the seventh stage Revelation from the start — via the Transcendental Spiritual relationship with Adi Da.

There is a clear sympathy between the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Reality-Way of Adidam (or Adidam Ruchiradam) and the traditional Non-dualist Teachings. Nevertheless, the Reality-Way of Adidam is not merely a re-statement or re-presentation of the traditional Non-dualist Reachings. The Reality-Way of Adidam is a new Revelation That Completes the Great Tradition as a whole — and Completes, then, the sixth stage tradition of the Sages. . . .

The "Perfect Practice" of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Reality-Way of Adidam has a unique characteristic that stands in contrast to the sixth stage tradition of the Sages. That unique characteristic is that the "Perfect Practice" of the Reality-Way of Adidam (or the practice of the Reality-Way of Adidam that is based on Prior Establishment of Transcendental Self-Realization) is Established not by philosophical argumentation, nor by "methods" of seeking via psycho-physical practices of one kind or another, but by Transcendental Spiritual Means — the Means of My Own Divine Avataric Transcendental Spiritual Self-Transmission. . . . The Transcendental Spiritual Transmission That is Self-Manifested by Me in the Blessing of My devotees Is (Itself) the Transcendental, Inherently Spiritual, and Self-Evidently Divine Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State (Itself).

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Sixth Stage Method Versus Perfect Practice
Part 6, The Gnosticon

  • Eleutherios: The Liberator (1982) — An early description of the Perfect Practice. An updated version is included as Part 4 of The Gnosticon.

    Be Consciousness (Itself).

    "Contemplate" Consciousness (Itself).

    Transcend everything in Consciousness (Itself).

    This is the (Three-Part) "Perfect Practice" — the Epitome of the Ultimate Practice and Process — of the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam (Which is the One and Only by-Me-Revealed and by-Me-Given "Radical" Reality-Way of the Heart).

    Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Eleutherios (The Liberator)
    Part 4, The Gnosticon

  • The Lion Sutra (1981) — Another early description of the Perfect Practice, which detailed the practice of Feeling-Inquiry (Hridaya-Vichara). More about Feeling-Inquiry can be found in Sutra 56 of The Dawn Horse Testament.

    Be the Inherently Perfect (and Merely Feeling) Witness Only, Not separate, Not related, Not needing, Not Seeking, Not following after, Not gaining, Not stressful, Not angry, Not reacting, Not emoting, Not Full of pain, Not desiring, Not Fulfilling, Not avoiding, Not Escaping, Not attached, Not losing, Not sorrowful, Not lost, Not Wondering, Not thinking, Not knowing, Not Full of mind, Not perceiving, Not experiencing, Not Right, Not bewildered, Not Complaining, Not Wrong, Not fearing, Not changing, Not Afflicted, Not empty, Not Satisfied, Not Deluded, Not "attentive", Not Moved, Not Discovering, Not "I", Not embodied, Not Released, Not Resisting, Not Even Understanding, but Only (or Merely) Being the One Who Is the Feeling Witness-Consciousness. . . .

    Stand Free, and Feel (What Is, and what arises), but Do Not Look (or become "other" than what arises).

    Do Not Indulge (or Luxuriate) In the act of attention (which is Always "other" than what arises), and Do Not Seek the Illusion-mind of objects, or others, or all "things", but Always Merely Feel (Like a hand feels into a glove) and Be the "Feel" Itself. . . .

    Therefore, I Say, Come To Rest (or Be Awake), Before "things" Happen.

    Come To Rest (or Be Awake), Prior To the Motion of separation and relatedness.

    Come To Rest (or Be Awake), Already Forever Arrived In My Great Hermitage.

    The Heart Is My Hermitage, Where (Even Now) the (inherently dualistic) feeling of relatedness (and All "Difference") Is Transcended In the (Inherently Non-Dualistic) Feeling of Being (Itself).

    Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Lion Sutra

    You can watch Adi Da reading part of the 1986 version of this text in the video below:

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"Gnosticon" has the same Greek root (γνωσιξ: knowledge) as the word, "gnosis", which traditionally means a "knowing" that is based on direct Revelation (rather than book knowledge or thinking). The term gnosis is most commonly used these days in reference to fourth to fifth stage esoteric Revelations (e.g., the early "gnostic gospels" of Christianity). However, in The Gnosticon, Adi Da specifically uses "knowledge" in the sense of sixth stage, Transcendental gnosis Jnana, in the Hindu tradition.

Both Buddhism and Advaitism propose a path that would transcend "ignorance" by means of "Knowledge" or Transcendental "Gnosis". . . . It is the purpose of this Revelation-Text (which I have named The Gnosticon) to Illustrate a right understanding of the Buddhist and Advaitic sixth-stage-of-life esoteric seeking-traditions and seeking-cultures of Transcendental (and Intrinsically Non-dualistic) "Gnosis" and, that having been done, to then Illuminate the Unique and Always Priorly Searchless "Radical" (or Always "At-the-Root") Reality-Way of Adidam, Which is the only-by-Me Revealed and Given seventh-stage-of-life Reality-Way of Perfectly Non-dualistic Transcendental Spiritual "Gnosis" (or of Intrinsically egoless and Self-Evidently Divine Self-Realization).

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Gnosis
Part 6, The Gnosticon


It is interesting to compare Adi Da's 1983 book, Nirvanasara ("the essence of Nirvana") which could just as well have been called Advaitasara ("the essence of Advaita"), since it explores both the Buddhist and Advaitic traditions — with Part 16 of The Gnosticon ("Advaitasara / Nirvanasara"), which is only eight pages long, and is truly the sara or "essence" of these traditions.


Of course the subtitle of this essay — The Controversy Between The "Talking" School and The "Practicing" School of Advaitism — is somewhat humorous in that "Advaitism" means "nondualism", and yet the essay describes these dual/dueling schools within Advaitism. Adi Da preserves this subtitle (and its humor) in The Gnosticon.


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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