By Rajesh Alreja
The author explores the teachings of the late Adi Da Samraj, a spiritual teacher of repute
A voice is heard. It speaks to you personally – personally to your innermost heart, personally to your deepest longing for happiness and for liberation, timeless and profound, like a scriptural passage from the Upanishads or the Bhagavad Gita. In it, you discover a flow of meanings emerging mysteriously from a time and place unknown.
“Beloved, I am Da, the living person, who is manifest as all worlds and forms and beings, and who is present as the transcendental current of life in the body of man. To realize me is to transcend the body-mind in ecstasy. To worship me is simply to remember my name and surrender into my eternal current of life. Even the body-mind and the whole world will be shining with my life-light if I am loved. Only love me, remember me, have faith in me, and trust me. Surrender to me. Breathe me and feel me in all your parts. I am here. I will dissolve all your bewilderment. Even now, you inhere in me, beyond the body-mind and the world. I am joy and the reason for it.”
Uttered in a spontaneous expression of divine ecstasy, Adi Da Samraj first confessed these words on September 10, 1979, a day that marked the 9th anniversary of his divine re-awakening at a Vedanta Temple in California, USA.
Seven years earlier on April 25, 1972, the western born avatar first began teaching to a small group of spiritually curious, predominately western young men and women who had come to see him. Over time, in their consideration and study of the great spiritual traditions of mankind, Adi Da’s devotees began to notice some similarities between their Master and a particular historical spiritual figure from India. In response to their inquiries and growing maturity, Adi Da began revealing the nature of his present time incarnation vehicle in the west, something that he had been reluctant to do for many years in order to avoid fascination and distraction. Adi Da said, “I agreed to be born in the west, having been, for so much time in my service to humanity, not a westerner, but born in the east as a Hindu. This person standing before you, serving you, a traditional realiser, even a celibate, was wedded to the eastern culture for centuries, and then assumed responsibility to be submitted by birth, not merely to get on an airplane, but by birth to be submitted to westerners, to serve them in all ways necessary for the sake of their enlightenment, their realisation, and to do it all without the least withdrawal.”
Yoking the opposites
Because of this unique conjunction and submission to a western circumstance, Adi Da revealed a way of life, which transcends the tendency to exclude one or another dimension of reality. Adi Da taught that neither seeking for happiness by turning ‘inwards’ (more characteristic of eastern cultures) nor seeking for happiness by turning ‘outwards’ (more characteristic of western cultures) are ways to realise ultimate truth and perfect happiness. Rather, truth is of a prior nature and necessarily ‘always already the case’, before the search for happiness through inner or outer experiences begins.
While Adi Da taught that reality is ‘always already the case,’ and is our very nature, he also asked his devotees to be free of the illusion that one’s life need not be profoundly transformed for real spiritual growth to occur. The transformation of which Adi Da spoke, involves the transcendence of seeking in all its forms, based on the understanding that all seeking is founded on a root error of identifying with the body-mind-complex and living from that point of view. Adi Da said, “True spiritual life is not just a change in your mind. Much more than an ‘inner awakening’, a ‘good feeling’ about everything must take place. There are literal changes in the nervous system, literal changes in the chemistry of the body, literal changes in the structural functioning of the chemistry of the brain. You cannot realise such changes in a weekend. They are a living process of growth.”
Questions often arise when an individual begins a spiritual quest about whether or not to ‘leave the world’. Adi Da asked his students to allow themselves to feel the wound in the love they feel towards their family and friends, and to feel the ‘heart-breaking sorrow’ that are inherently associated with the knowledge that one day they and their loved ones will die. This awareness keeps us open and sensitive to our deep need for God without dissociating from the relationships we hold dear. Adi Da’s calling is to live in this realm of true love, beyond all self-protective gestures of attachment and detachment:
“Love does not fail for you when you are rejected or betrayed or apparently not loved. Love fails for you when you reject, betray, and do not love. Therefore, do not stand off from relationship. Be vulnerable. Be wounded when necessary, and endure that wound or hurt. Do not punish the other in love. Communicate to one another, even discipline one another, but do not dissociate from one another or fail to grant one another the knowledge of love. Realise that each one wants to love and to be loved by the other in love. Therefore, love.”
To love so fully and deeply, requires great devotion to what is beyond, because it is a letting go of one’s self-defensive patterns and the core life strategies that give the illusion of security. Eventually such devotion moves a person to renunciation of the search for fulfilment through all conditional objects and experiences, both material and spiritual.
So how can the reality that is prior to all conditional objects and experiences be intuited in this moment and become the foundation of an authentic practice lived out over time? Just as the sun cannot but illuminate and give warmth, Adi Da is an awakener, a transmission-master who radiated the prior condition of reality. That divine and radiant consciousness is felt bodily as an all-pervading blissful presence, and is discovered when one comes into contact with Adi Da’s teachings, art, and holy places. He called his devotees to live a surrendered life of ‘radical’ devotion, right life, and perfect knowledge,’ in relationship with him until the fullest realisation of that bright reality outshines all darkness, all unhappiness, and even the knowledge of a conditionally existing world.
The grace of the guru
Adi Da left the body in divine mahasamadhi on November 27, 2008, but his spiritual presence is alive and active in the lives of his devotees. His gift to all is the offering of a heart-relationship to him in the ancient and time-honoured manner of guru-devotion. He explained why this is necessary, “The Divine, as is, must be self-revealed, by grace. The ego is up to seeking in order to achieve it, to take heaven by storm, and so on, by method, by stealth, by cleverness, by techniques, by thinking it out. It is a lie. None of those means can achieve the divine.”
Adi Da spoke about this dilemma, “When you try to break through the ego’s dilemmas yourself, to discover the truth yourself, you find that you cannot do any such thing, not to the degree of most perfect divine self-realisation. That discovery breaks the heart and makes it possible for you to be distracted by what is beyond your egoic self.” Thus, the way that Adi Da taught requires an un-armoured heart, and a willingness to be in a truly surrendered relationship to the divine guru, the one in whom the reality-awakening power is tacitly felt and known from the first moment of contact.
Through the spiritual grace of the guru, the ecstatic state of free being awakens, and the surrendered devotee confesses the great and liberating truth, “I was not born. I cannot die. I did not begin. I will not end. I am. I am beyond form, quality, and description. I am. I am consciousness. I am love-bliss. I am smaller than the atom. I am larger than the universe. I am. am. I am.” (from Ruchira Avatara Gita by Adi Da Samraj)
For more information about Adi Da Samraj, please visit www.adidam.in or call 9810326972.
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