Invoking our relationship to Adi Da Samraj

Adi Da Samraj and The Basket of Tolerance

081103 V Q981.  “What is the truth?”

Adi Da Samraj appeared as a supreme and unique Avataric Divine Adept Realizer during the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Because of the time in which He lived, it was incumbent upon Adi Da to clarify for modern men and women, all of what had come before. In earlier eras, men and women were generally  confronted with a single religious or Spiritual tradition, or perhaps some one or two variants or contrasting traditions. Today go into any bookstore with a significant section of Spiritual books, or “surf” through the Internet and you are confronted with an endless variety of competing religious and spiritual ways, each claiming to be the answer to all of your questions.

In 1979, Bhagavan Adi Da penned an introduction to the booklist He was composing at that time, which was humorously titled, Yoga and Other Heresies.  The introduction was titled, “The Truth that Transcends the Body-Mind of Man”, and it speaks of  the necessity for there to be a higher understanding relative to all of the varied spiritual realities of the time.

Humanity is shrouded and sometimes instructed by the great mass of cultural mind.  Each individual is minimized and sometimes expanded by the universal show of ideas. And among this crowd of conceptual influences is the most profound core, which consists of all the forms of religious and esoteric spiritual presumptions.

Particularly in the time in which we now live, when the ideas of all the provinces of Earth are now gathering together for the first time in human history, and all the absolute dogmas find themselves casually associated, to be judged like a crowd of silly Napoleons or mad Christs in an asylum, the complex mind of Everyman is remembering itself all at once.  Therefore, we are obliged to discover the Truth again by penetrating the bizarre consciousness of all the races combined as one.

Those who are seriously involved in the study and agonizing practice of religious and esoteric spiritual teachings are now confronted by a great mass of doctrines, absolute creeds, sacred histories, secret formulae, and perfect paths?  What is the Truth?  What stands out in the wilderness of doctrine as singly as the “I” of the body mind?”

P1070367Adi Da’s clarifying work is His concept of the Great Tradition itself. As we have briefly indicated above, the Great Tradition is Bhagavan Adi Da’s term for the entire “Wisdom-Inheritance” of mankind. He writes in His extraordinary masterpiece of commentary on the spiritual ways of the past, Nirvanasara:

What I call the “Great Tradition” is that entire mass of traditions, reflecting all of the seven stages of human existence, that is the common inheritance of all of mankind in this time of universal communication, interrelatedness, and interdependence. It is no longer appropriate or even possible for individuals, cultures, or nations to justify absolute independence from other individuals, cultures, or nations–and it is no longer appropriate or possible to grant absolute or ultimately superior status to any historical Revelation, belief system, or conception of how things work. The entire Great Tradition must be accepted as our common inheritance….p. 198 Nirvanasara

YE4Q7347In the preface to The Basket Of Tolerance Bhagavan Adi Da breaks the Great Tradition down into various parts such as: “the historical traditions of truly human culture, practical self-discipline, perennial religion, universal religious mysticism, esoteric (but now openly communicated) Spirituality, Transcendental Wisdom, and Perfect (or Divine) Enlightenment”.  Thus, the Great Tradition includes not only what might be termed religious and spiritual wisdom, but the total wisdom heritage of mankind.  Thus, science, psychology, and studies of health, sexuality, and diet for instance, are as much a part of this Great Tradition in its foundation stages as higher spiritual phenomena and ultimate transcendental wisdom fall into its advanced and ultimate considerations.  Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work is to view the entire Great Tradition as a single whole which has discrete parts and a unique structure, rather than simply as an amorphous structure of unrelated components, and divergent orientations.  The use of the term the Great Tradition does not create a synthesis out of the elements that make it up. Rather, it orders them as a whole in such a way that each of them can be seen in relationship to one another.  A right understanding and use of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Instruction transforms all of the various aspects of this Wisdom inheritance from a conglomeration, into a single understanding. Therefore, a sense and logic becomes evident, and as we will discuss, this “basket” of the Great Tradition allows tolerance to shine forth.  Continues Bhagavan Adi Da in Nirvanasara:

By allowing the process of world culture to develop through the conflict of self-contained systems we have, in effect and in actuality, placed the world in the hands of self-centered lunatics (as if all of the madmen and madwomen who imagine themselves to be Cleopatra, Jesus, or Napoleon were given principal offices in each government and institution in the world). Therefore, I call for the universal acceptance of the total tradition (or Great Tradition) of mankind as the common inheritance of mankind.  And, rather than merely put all these eggs in a basket to be sampled at random (or in one soup, to be tasted all in one bite), I have communicated a critical approach to understanding and transcending the limitations of the Great Tradition of human existence.

Therefore, all the “Holy Books” are our books, and all of us must go to school and be transformed in our minds by the Great Tradition.  Only a critical approach to our inherited and traditional cultural and philosophical limitations of mind and action can purify us of the habits of brute conflict and self-delusion. Nirvanasara p. 198-200

083108_YE4Q7269_web2. Bhagavan Adi Da, The Parama Guru or Master of the Great Tradition

A point which must be made is that there was no Great Tradition before Bhagavan Adi Da brought His own Divine Self-Realization to the fore. There was only the mass of doctrines, orientations, and points of view.  But Bhagavan Adi Da’s unique sadhana and Realization has made possible His description of the single Great Tradition, with its seven stages of life (which will be discussed below).

Bhagavan Adi Da was born already in the Divine Self-Realized Condition. But, in order to learn all the ways of mankind, He assumed an ordinary persona at the age of two years old.  His Divinity gradually receded in that presumption, and the next almost thirty years were spent regaining the Divinely Enlightened Condition. Through that process, Bhagavan Adi Da covered every inch of the territory of the seven stages of life.  He had every variety of experience of every aspect of the developmental process.  And He likewise appeared at the unique time of intercommunicativeness, where all of the traditions have come together all at once.  Thus, He was able to apply His unique Divine Self-Realization to everything that has come before, and to make sense out of it.  But previous to this point, we could not speak of the Great Tradition as a whole. Every orientation tended to exclude one or another aspect of the process, or give an undue influence to some other part.

Bhagavan Adi Da has stated:

There never was a Great Tradition until I put it in the form of The Basket Of Tolerance, you see. It’s not logical in and of itself. It’s logical because I placed these books in relation to one another, and explained it to you, and showed you the form of it, you see. There’s no book out of which I could have gotten that comprehension. . . .

I’ve shown, how rightly understood, the Great Tradition, of which we are all the inheritors, taken as a whole, speaks to [all the stages of life]. Only understood correctly however, organized correctly, made sense of by a Realizer. Only in that case can you see that the Great Tradition is a whole, is single, does express the Great Matter in all of its parts, you see. The Great Tradition doesn’t stand as a Great Tradition without that understanding, without that interpretation which I’ve given you. The Basket Of Tolerance allows you that understanding. . . .

So through this The Basket Of Tolerance, I speak in the voice of the Great Tradition, rightly understood, presented in this fashion. And of course there are a number of elements that are not even there in the Great Tradition. Many of them you can only find in my own Teaching. There are some coincidences there, some agreements, but much of it is not there. You will not find anything about this fundamental narcissism, fundamental understanding, hearing and so forth in the Great Tradition. You will not find anything about the Ultimate demonstrations of the seventh stage of life in the Great Tradition. You will not find a right comprehension of the significance of the signs in the stages of life in the Great Tradition. They’re just given as they are for their own sake, as if they are to stand on their own, you see. . . .

Devotee: Then, Love-Ananda not to only mention Your Word, but Your demonstration in life to practitioners. I mean, you cannot find that anywhere.

ADI DA: That’s another thing you will not find in the Great Tradition before, because all previous Realizers arose within an existing tradition, some sort of previous acculturation relative to greater matters and so on. This is the first time where it’s been necessary. It’s the first opportunity for a Siddha such as I Am, you see. This is why this is the first time it’s happened. Humanity has never been organized as it is now, never been inter-communicative as it is now. You could never say there was a Great Tradition before. It could never [have] been known. 5-28-87

Adi%20Da%2019913. Booklists and Bibliographies–Historical Interlude

I have written a thorough introduction to The Basket of Tolerance at Bhagavan Adi Da’s direct Instruction in 1991 or so. Matt Spence had been working on an earlier version and Bhagavan Adi Da told me that I needed to do it, since He had Worked with me on The Basket of Tolerance for so many years. So Matt graciously turned over his materials to me and I thoroughly researched the archives and put together that 160 page introduction. That included a full and “didactic” (Bhagavan Adi Da had Himself asked for this, using that word) description of the Seven Stages of Life. It is not my purpose in this post to recreate that introduction. Instead the rest of this post is intended to be a “progress report” on the work that is being done in the Adidam Library at this time. But first a little historical interlude on Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work with booklists and bibliographies.

Once a year, for the August celebration of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work of the “prophesied completing of the Great Tradition” I do a presentation and talk about some of this material.  But that celebration itself has become somewhat confused. Sometime after Bhagavan Adi Da’s Mahasamadhi, Jonathan Condit and Ruchiradama Quandra Sukhapur themselves put their heads together and devised the yearly cycle of celebrations. The name of the celebration of the “prophesied completing of the Great Tradition” was derived then, I am sure by Jonathan. I was asked if I could come up with some special date in August (the month that they wanted to have be for this celebration) that related to Bhagavan Adi Da’s work on The Basket of Tolerance. No particular date was there, and so the date when Swami Muktananda wrote the letter to Bhagavan Adi Da, giving Him formal “permission to teach”, August 6, is the date used for this celebration. Obviously that was an important day to Bhagavan Adi Da at the time, but He Himself has stressed that really that acknowledgement meant very little. Swami Muktananda did not feel that Bhagavan Adi Da was fully Realized in any case, and Bhagavan Adi Da’s eventual Teaching Work was in no way based on Swami Muktananda’s letter or permission, but was based on Adi Da Samraj’s own Divine Self-Realization, or Re-Awakening.  But the whole situation of the celebration is now so confused, trying to combine the events of that day and that letter, with Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work with the Great Tradition, that I rarely have sufficient time to talk about the latter.  So in this post, I will talk about that more, and about the present state of the work that we have been doing in the Adidam library

Over the years that I have been with Bhaga.van Adi Da, He has always been working on a booklist or bibliography.  When I first came into the community in Los Angeles in 1973 there was the “traditional spiritual reading list”.  The small pamphlet had on the cover the Dawn Horse logos of the Dawn Horse Communion printed on yellow cardboard stock. It was a number of pages. Very pristine. This was before the seven stages of life concept even existed, but it was broken down into sections based on the orientation of the authors/content of the books.  Bhagavan even before His Divine Re-Awakening at the Vedanta Society Temple had always owned books and arranged them according to a special order.

thCASJD7YLthCAFS9FYNInterestingly enough, Bhagavan Adi Da’s mother and father were not literary people in hardly any way. Adi Da was not exposed to books or fine literature through them. There were not books of significance around the house during Adi Da’s childhood. Bhagavan Adi Da has told us that they hardly read. Bhagavan described what an incredible revelation it was to Him to read The Lost Years of Jesus Revealed by Charles Francis Potter during His freshman year at Columbia. He said that it greatly helped Him to let go of a naive orientation to Jesus of Galilee and religious belief altogether. It was later during the Palo Alto years in the spring of 1964, that Bhagavan Adi Da read the passage from Carl Jung’s Psyche and Symbol regarding an out-of-the-body experience. It had a tremendous impact on Him and lifted the “heart-depressive ideas and assumptions” that Adi Da had taken on through the books Adi Da had read earlier. He began “ravenously read whatever material I could find that dealt with occult phenomena, miracles, religious and Spiritual philosophy, and all matters relating to the process of liberation”.  To the left of this text, there is a picture of Adi Da in the IMG_2294cabin that He stayed in at Tunitas beach. He is sitting in front of His bookcase. And on very clear versions of this picture,  I can see the books arranged in a particular and unique ordering.  Adi Da Himself frequented many bookstores. As His Librarian I received the books which Bhagavan Adi Da turned over to the library. For example, He went to Samuel Weiser’s bookstore in Manhattan, Gilbert’s Metaphysical Bookstore and the Bodhi Tree Bookstore in Los Angeles, the East-West Bookstore in Palo Alto. (He once sent me to several different bookstores in Palo Alto that He had remembered, in serach of a particular book.)

There were many, many booklists that Bhagavan Adi Da put together over the years. Most never saw any active use. He was once in the Archives of Adidam with Craig Lesser, when the Archives was just the little stone building that is adjacent to Land Bridge Pavilion. I was up in the library. An attendant came up to the library and handed me about twenty “yellow pages” of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Handwriting, written on both sides, with a booklist. He had told Craig, “This does not need to be in the Archives. They are not going to use it here. James should have it.”  And so it was delivered to me. (It later found its way back into the archives in 1988.)  But this was just another list that Bhagavan Adi Da had put together. He created several lists that were arranged according to stages of practice. In other words, as one advanced in practice, there was a particular reading list for that stage. The lists contained books, but also contained a few articles that Bhagavan Himself had picked out. Bhagavan Himself would go through a certain number of magazines which we subscribed to for Him, and He Himself would pick out the articles that He would want added to the list. The magazines would often be given to me with little notes on them in Bhagavan’s own writing, specifying the article that He wanted included. Or sometimes He would mark in pencil the passages that He wanted on the booklist.

One very extensive list that Bhagavan Adi Da worked on was called “Holy Books”. It was over a thousand books. Adi Da wanted it published with descriptions of each book, We put so much work into this book. writing the descriptions, entering the bibliographic information. Just before the Valley Fire I saw the completed manuscripts. In fact I had a very extensive history of some 50 pages on Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work with books and the library in the 1970s and early 1980s. All of the copies were lost, so I am saying a little here.

IMG_2295Some of the bibliographies did make it into print. Adi Da published a very short booklist in No Remedy published in early 1976. This was intended for beginning devotees and was about 25 books or so. There was a longer list published in Breath and Name: The Initiation and Foundation Practices of Free Spiritual Life. It was a list customized to the earlier stages of practice. For more advanced practice there was the list that was published in The Paradox of Instruction: An Introduction to the Esoteric Spiritual Teaching of Bubba Free John. It was a couple of hundred books in length. And there was a bibliography that  Adi Da had  published in the Vision Mound magazine of December, 1978 of a few hundred books, entitled “Primary Traditional Literature”. I worked closely on this list and Adi Da was adding books up until the last minute. I had a copy of the published magazine with Bhagavan Adi Da’s Own Handwriting in it making changes to the list.

It was particularly wonderful to work with Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj on the bibliographies that were being prepared for Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun on exercise and yoga, the bibliography for Love of the Two-Armed Form on sexuality, and the bibliography for The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace on diet. (The sexuality and diet lists were massive, the sexuality about 900 books and the diet list about 1400. Bhagavan Adi Da Reviewed all of the books for them, and I typed out the lists for His Review. But they were never published in the books themselves.)  And we also did a bibliography for The Enlightenment of the Whole Body, although this was only relative to the Realizers that were mentioned in the book.

thCAO9U1WJI would like to tell here a story about the Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun bibliography 

One day in spring of 1977, I was told that Bhagavan Adi Da had a project for me. I was not told what it was, but I was told to bring index cards and a notepad and meet Adi Da at 11:00 one weekday morning on the porch in front of Temple Eleutherios.

I met Him there with a bunch of Health Research Publications books in a large  cardboard box, published out of Mokelumne Hill, Ca. I remember that we looked at them out on the porch.  I have spent many hours with Adi Da assisting Him while He looked at books, and it was always very wonderful to feel His simple attention as He Reviewed books. Adi Da always got great amusement out of the Health Research books, which were on the “fringe” as intellectual considerations, and He would laugh at some of the kooky points of view.

Then Bhagavan pulled out His keys and said, “Let’s go in and I’ll show you the project.” He opened the door and we walked into the room a few feet. Immediately I could see piles of books laid out neatly in rows on the floor. Temple Eleutherios had Bhagavan’s Chair at the end, and then to the right of that at the rear was the door into His Office, or own Sitting room, now known as His Sukra Kendra.

We moved up to the books and He explained to me that these books laid out on the floor were  the reading list for Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun. There were some fifteen rows, extended out from right to left.  I had been acquiring all of these books for Adi Da over the past months, and I knew that Adi Da was working with them. It was wonderful to see them all here at once. One by one Adi Da gave me the name or title for each of the stacks of books, which I wrote down on my pad. And then He told me to come back and to write down the bibliographical information for each of the books on an index card, and order them in the very specific order that Adi Da had laid them out on the floor. And then I was to type it all up for Adi Da’s Review. I told Adi Da that I understood what He wanted and that I would get it done. He told me to get some keys from security.

So over the next week or so I wrote down all of these titles and accomplished this project. The bibliography appears on pages 236-243 of the third revised edition of Conscious Exercise.  Adi Da wanted me also to make these same books available for purchase through The Dawn Horse Book Depot, so that people would be able to make use of the books.

Over the course of the week or two that it took before the list actually was turned in to go with the rest of the manuscript, a few new books were added, but essentially the books on the floor were the bibliography.

It was wonderful to work in Temple Eleutherios this way, because often when I would go in, I would hear Beloved Bhagavan making noises in His Office right behind me. I could “feel Him” so close as I worked. He would clear His throat or cough, and it was really wonderful to hear the sounds of Him so unguarded and just by Himself and quiet.  A few times the door would suddenly open, and Bhagavan would come in to see how I was doing.

On these occasions I could ask Him questions about how He wanted the wording to go on the bibliography, and I also would make some suggestions about a companion book that might be added, which I would bring over and add to the stack if He assented.

IMG_2093On one occasion being simply alone with Bhagavan in Temple Eleutherios surrounded by books, I asked Him, “What is it about books Bubba that you appreciate so much?”  Having now already worked with Him and books for several years, I knew that He had a great resonance with them. Adi Da did not answer back immediately. I could tell that He was feeling into the whole matter. Because we were alone there was no reason for Him to have to speak quickly. He finally said, “Books, words, pages. When I talk to any of you, you are all over the place. You can hardly put together an intelligent sentence, much less a real train of thought. But with a book, the author presents a thought out entire consideration that can be looked at complete. That is what I appreciate about books.”

Of course the reading list that we worked on for many, many years, up until The Basket of Tolerance, was “The Seven Schools of God-Talk”. The essentials of that list are still there in Bright Behind Me.

4. Why Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj asked us to study the literature of the Great Tradition as part of our practice of Adidam

Now I am afraid in all of this the forest is getting lost for the trees. The point of these reading lists or bibliographies is that Bhagavan Adi Da wanted and expected His devotees to study the books of the Great Tradition. He encouraged this and often was critical that we, as an Adidam culture, did not engage this practice. There are many Teachers who have told their devotees not to study the books of any other Teacher. There are many Teachers who have encouraged their devotees to avoid using the mind in reading books altogether. But Adi Da was always working on a booklist.  This was an essential part of His Work as the completing Avatar. He clarified and made sense out of the entire Great Tradition through this Work.  He put a tremendous amount of time into this Work. There were many periods of several months where it was the primary Work that Bhagavan Adi Da was doing. This is not the place for me to write a full history. But I simply want to say that in its time for many years, this Work was as important to Bhagavan Adi Da as His Image Art Work was to Bhagavan Adi Da at the end of His Life. In fact He said that He would not have been able to “retire to do” His Image Art Work, had He not already accomplished the Work as clarifier and completer of the Great Tradition.

The reasons that He wanted us to do this study of Great Tradition books were several, and I will give here a simple description:

1) He wanted us to develop “discriminative intelligence”. Any time we would read anything, Bhagavan Adi Da expected us to bring the “tools” of the Seventh stages of life, and His Own Teaching to the study of that text. He wanted us to not just read and absorb the contents of what we read mechanically. He wanted us to bring an intelligence to it that allowed us to see what was really being said. The Seven stages of life themselves are based on the esoteric anatomy of the human body-mind. And Bhagavan expected us to see what we read in terms of what aspect of body-mind, gross, subtle, or causal, was being addressed by that book.  He told us that “If you use this tool, then there is no need to be confused because you can identifythe unversals within all the particulars”. (August 19, 2004).

     In the case of every book, probably every book you will read on The Basket Of Tolerance list, you’ll find something about it that you will identify with, or be moved somehow to believe it or be enthusiastic about it. You’ll find yourself feeling this way. Notice it. Examine it. Examine the principle being proposed by that author, or that tradition or whatever, because it is somehow speaking your own mind or feeling. Examine it rather objectively then. What is the limit being proposed.  What is the stage of life, the point of view being manifested there? ” 8-5-87

080113_Veranda_062) He wanted us to be well-informed about the entire Great Tradition, and overcome our fundamentalism and provincialism. Bhagavan Adi Da was not Himself at all xenophobic. He wanted us to know the inheritance that we all received through the history of the experiments in Spiritual growth and development in the various traditions of the single Great Tradition.

3) He wanted us to see what was unique about His Teaching, what was a common teaching that is found in various strands of the Great Tradition. Very often devotees have expressed with some degree of exasperation say, “Oh my gosh, this tradition talks about this matter that I thought only Adi Da talked about.”  One could not appreciate the uniqueness and completing nature of Adi Da’s Avataric Revelation without reading the Great Tradition. It inspires in us an appreciation for Adi Da’s Gift of the complete Radical-“Reality” Way of Adidam.

4) He wanted us to be inspired by the great individuals in the Great Tradition, and given faith through the fact that there have been people who have matured greatly through serious Spiritual practice. And not only relative to yogis, saints, and sages of the higher stages of life. He also encouraged us, when fasting, to read books about fasting, when learning about yoga, to study books on yoga asanas. In other words to be inspired by those that have engaged specific disciplines successfully, rather than the consumer culture of television, in which life is only about gross self-fulfillment.

Here is a beautiful summary of the way that Bhagavan Adi Da wanted us to conduct our study of The Basket of Tolerance:

You are not supposed to just read these books and indulge in the personal views of the author and indulge in your own illusions, and presume that maybe this one particular point of view is true. That is a childish or adolescent approach, that is college-level academic nonsense. Why is the book there?  What kind of discrimination are you supposed to bring to it? What is its import? What is its moment in the argument? What does it have to do with you? That is the real question. And what does it represent that you must overcome in yourself? What is its particle of representation in this great process?  I am here to give you basic guidance, and then you are go have to struggle  with yourself [in confrontation with these books]. . . just dealing with yourself, and not just indulge in these authors and their illusions. They are dramatizing illusions that you must deal with in yourself, and that is why they are there [on The Basket Of Tolerance as suggested books for you to study]. . . So even though I have given you a great deal of guidance, it still requires you to struggle with yourself, and not just indulge in these hairy authors and their illusions. They’re dramatizing limitations that you must deal with in yourself, and that’s why their books are there.  So I’ve addressed all these books in general in the preface to The Basket Of Tolerance. Use that then, along with the commentaries in The Basket Of Tolerance, to study with discrimination these expressions, these communications. They’re not presented to you as ideals or ultimate shiny examples of the perfect truth. And you will in any moment, like I say in the preface, presume that this point of view, this expression, is sufficient, you know, this consideration, this realization, is perfect or substantial or enough or great or enough to cause me doubt or justifies doubt. You’ll get into all these kinds of mental dispositions because that’s what the mind is all about.

The mind is a hog. The mind is a fat-bellied pain in the ass. It changes from hour to hour to hour–it is your suffering, it is the obstacle, it is egoity.

The Basket Of Tolerance is a great display of mind. And it registers in you, and it tends to delude you. Therefore, use my  consideration, so that you will not be deluded. Use it to understand yourself, to inform yourself further by discriminative consideration of the Great Tradition itself and discriminative involvement in that tradition or in those ideas, those communications, those points of views, those tendencies.  Always you must address it in this way. You must do sadhana with The Basket Of Tolerance.

It’s not a slice of the ultimate, or the great bright star of shining magnificence. It’s a display of limits, an argument of limits. Even the books in the seventh stage section of The Basket Of Tolerance expose a variety of limits that you must understand by considering my argument, observing yourself, understanding the seven stages of life, understanding the great process as it is, studying all the books that precede the seventh stage list, all of that. But at every point in the study of the list you must be prepared to study it with discrimination and be free of it, not attached to it, not deluded by it.

It’s really the study of yourself. It’s the argument of the ego in its progressive transcendence. You must use me, my Company, my Word to help you–not merely believe it, [but] consider it, make it one with yourself intelligently, and bring that to bear on the study of all of these representations of mankind. Every book on the list must be approached that way.  It’s a sadhana.  And if you do not do it that way or you do it otherwise, then every book is some sort of delusion, it’s a whore, some sort of peripheral lover, some sort of opportunity to become distracted, consoled, and so on, deluded by yourself.

It doesn’t make any difference what these various authors say, you will delude yourself if you are deluded at all. But they propose mind forms, you see, that are in you, within the realm of your possibility. You’re going to have to struggle with every book, and you should, struggle with every one as you struggle with every moment of your life. It is a struggle, it’s an ordeal. That’s what The Basket Of Tolerance is for, don’t you know?


5. The Three  Active Booklists

At the time of Bhagavan’s Divine Mahasamadhi there were three booklists or bibliographies that were active, and a fourth that was the overall “research list”. These are:


1. The Basket of Tolerance, which now has 18,000 books, DVDs, tapes and cds.

2. “The Eptiome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list, which is likely about 6,000 now, almost all books, a few DVDs  no CDs.

3. “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list, which is 3100 and has only two DVDs on it and no books.

4. “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list or category also called the “Library Supplement”.

As can be seen from the chart above (sorry about the poor quality screen grab), the lists were concentrically inclusive. In other words, any book that went on the smallest list, the “Esotericism” list, was automatically on the “Wisdom” list. Any book on the “Wisdom” list, was automatically included on The Basket of Tolerance.  And everything  on these three lists was included in the general category that is “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list, or “Library Supplement”.

So now let me go through these four lists and explain about them.

The Basket of Tolerance began in 1986,  just after Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj’s Avataric Divine Self-Emergence. (Previous to this, as described above, there had been “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list. )  Bhagavan Adi Da took a few books from “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list in the Qaravi Village library with Him in the car on the road to the Matrix (I remember about 18 or so). These few books were the beginning of what grew and grew into The Basket of Tolerance.

Bhagavan Adi Da added books to The Basket of Tolerance and was passionate about every book added. The order was very important to Him and very specific.


Showing Bhagavan Adi Da a proposed placement to “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list, Huge Helper Library, March 1984

At some point when The Basket of Tolerance got really large, too large for anyone to try to fully read or study, Bhagavan began the first “Epitome” list, which was originally just called “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom” list. In the beginning there was The Basket of Tolerance list and the short “Epitome list” was on the end. It became “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list when Bhagavan’s Own books were added to it.  This became His Passionate focus, working on this list.  And He had the librarians (myself only at this point) begin to determine where to place the books on The Basket of Tolerance. He used to tell me where to put them (put this book with the kundalini yoga books, put this book in the 4th stage Christian section).  But He continued to do all of the placements for the Wisdom list.  From the time that Bhagavan Adi Da moved to Fiji in 1983, and it was still “the Seven Schools of God-Talk” list, He had expected me to do the final placements. The main booklist was in California, and He couldn’t do it anyway. But it was quite a demand to be given this responsibility. During the “Love of the God-Man” celebration in March, 1984, Bhagavan had me with Him in the library. And He Reviewed each of the placements I had made and discussed them with me.  He kindly called the ones that He felt I had not placed correctly, placements that were “arbitrary”. For a number of years He checked  my placements, and then He no longer double-checked these.

As He continued to add books to “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list, at some point that list got very large. And so He began another short and small list which was titled “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list.  And He did all the placements personally on this. That is the list that Bhagavan Adi Da kept with Himself in Indigo Swan.

So now let’s talk about the difference in the lists themselves. Here are Bhagavan Adi Da’s Words about this from June 26, 2005

The Basket of Tolerance actually gives a systematic way to understand all these things, that’s all of the orientation as to which stages of life, and on and on and on.
And then, I have an Epitome of what there is to understand about all that, presented in a small scale form. It’s essentially an argument about it all.
What is the summation of traditional esotericism? Well, it’s epitomized in that smaller list, which I am now actively developing.
And “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom” is expanded further. It includes more kinds of subjects, some of which are not especially what you would call esoteric in some strict sense. More involved, in some of it at any rate, with social wisdom matters, practical disciplines and so on, and just more material in general, expanding on the various subjects. And it’s presented in a different kind of a structure, one that more or less corresponds to the main list, The Basket of Tolerance.
Whereas “The Epitome of Traditional Esotericism” is organized as an argument. It’s short, relatively speaking, and book by book, is a concise argument or presentation of the summation of traditional esotericism.
Traditional Wisdom is otherwise presented in the categories of The Basket of Tolerance main list, and yes, all of it is a kind of argument. But it’s structured differently, in terms of the various subjects and so forth, as on the main list.
Then there’s the main Basket of Tolerance list, which is obviously much expanded from “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom”, but it’s that from which “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom” list is taken.
And then there’s “The Seven Schools Library”, which is a repository of virtual limitless amounts of material. But from which any specimen within it can be looked at.

Again there is the main list, even it is broken down into some sections to which special attention is drawn, and others are secondary.
Then there’s “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom”, which epitomizes the main list.
And there’s “The Epitome of Traditional Esotericism”, which epitomizes the import of the totality of the Great Tradition, relative to its fundamental esotericism.
The whole structure, includes the main library with the totality of “The Seven Schools” list–which is an open-ended repository, in other words, it’s limitless virtually, and includes even all the literature in the world, whether it’s in the Library or not.

080408_Qaravi_06 (2)When these Words were spoken in 2005, “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” was a much smaller list. It continued to grow and Bhagavan Adi Da added more books relative to social wisdom, diet and health, sexuality. But it remained its own argument with its own structure, different than the other two lists, which include a structure that is modeled on a more sequential structure based on the Seven stages of life for most of the lists. Also, at the end of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Life, He Reviewed a tremendous quantity of books in the area of literature and art. These two topics (“Word and Myth” and “The Way of Art”) make up nearly half of the quantity of “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotercism” list altogether, some fifteen hundred books.  These two lists were sometimes taken off the “Esotericism” list and just put on the “Wisdom” list. And then they would return to the “Esotericism”. This went back and forth, and they were put back on the “Esotericism” list in May of 2008.  Of course because they were part of the “Esotericism” list at the time of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Mahasamadhi, they will always remain part of that list.

So towards the end of Bhagavan’s Life when He would review books He would determine:

1. Which books went on The Basket of Tolerance
2. Which books went on “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list
3. Which books He felt were more for just background research,  and should go on the larger “Library Supplement”, or “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” category
4. Rarely, He would say to get rid of some book that He found particularly “smelly”

At the end of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Lifetime, He no longer gave any tips for where to place the books on The Basket of Tolerance. And He did not Himself indicate which books should go on  “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list. He wanted the librarians to do that. We were to go through the books which He had put on The Basket of Tolerance, but which He did not put on “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list, and choose the most important ones, books which helped to make the list more complete, to add to “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list. And then we should place the books onto this list ourselves.


Remains of Word and Mirror Pavilion after Hurricane Tomas

For a while we used to have a duplicate of everything on The Basket of Tolerance in the library at Word and Mirror.  Several times I received the question from Bhagavan Adi Da asking me to suggest to Him which books should be kept on the island and which books should be returned to California. He would tease me if I wanted to keep too many books on the island, saying that “we are not going to be keeping books here in the Library just so that James can have them around and study them.”  At a certain point Bhagavan Adi Da  felt that it was just getting too large to try to have the entire Basket of Tolerance on the island, and it should be a selective list. And so about half of The Basket of Tolerance was at Naitauba at the time when Word and Mirror Pavilion burned down as a result of an electrical fire in the midst of Hurricane Tomas. (This was a tremendous tragedy. Bhagavan Adi Da has spent thousands of hours in that space which had become Sacred through His Physical Presence there. And besides all of these books and the place where Bhagavan Adi Da had sat and worked for so many years, we also lost two special collections of books. The Fijian-oriented collection of books which had been left to us by Raymond Burr from 1983, and the childhood books that Bhagavan Adi Da had given to His daughters when they were young.)

So when Bhagavan Adi Da would Review books, which He did up to His Passing including the very last day of His Life, He would keep the ones He was putting on “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list. He would Himself determine where each book should be placed on this list. In shorthand we call this list the “Esotericism” list or sometimes the ESSTE list (just as we call “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list, the “Wisdom” list for short, or ESSTW. And The Basket of Tolerance books would accumulate at Naitauba and then every once in a while get shipped back to California.

6. The Booklists Active at the end of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Lifetime

In actual fact, Jonathan Condit, who served as both Bhagavan Adi Da’s main editor, and “in location” librarian, was too busy to do hardly anything in the way of figuring out where to place The Basket of Tolerance books, or which books should go on “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism list.  He was diligent about presenting books to Bhagavan, but otherwise, He was just way too busy with the demands of the editorial process with Bhagavan Adi Da. (During the last period of time, Bhagavan Adi Da Reviewed on the average about 6-7 books each day, as well as perhaps 5 music CDs for the various lists.)

YE4Q5810It was a shame, because before Bhagavan Adi Da came back to California in 2005, He gave Notes saying that He wanted to spend a lot of time in the library. And that He expected to see laid out all three lists so that He could work with them. The Basket of Tolerance, the ESSTW,  and the ESSTE.  Here is His Note from June 26, 2005, just before returning to California and giving His Instructions relative to the library:

In this case, when I go there, I don’t have the opportunity to look at the whole list here, because it doesn’t exist here. And it isn’t intended that it all be here, but it is supposed to all be in the mainland Library.
I want to see the entire Basket of Tolerance on those shelves-the main list.
Then I want to see “The Epitome of Traditional Wisdom” complete, and I want to see “The Epitome of Traditional Esotericism” complete.

Once Bhagavan was in California, He asked if He could come over to work in the library. He wanted to select books off of “The Seven Schools of God-Talk” list and put them on the other lists, and see what books on the “Wisdom” list might be candidates for the “Esotericism” list.

But the lists were never prepared.  In the midst of so many other responsibilities that Jonathan and the editorial staff maintained, The Basket of Tolerance placements were not done. And the “Wisdom” list was in a sorry state of incompletion as well. It would have caused Adi Da great distress to see that this work had just not yet been accomplished.

I was called back formally  into the library in 2005. I had always helped and assisted, ever since I had brought Jonathan and others into the library and went on to primarily devote myself to other service.  Bhagavan was at Tat Sundaram and there was a period where there were a lot of editorial mistakes being made. Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work was being disturbed. So I was to take over as much of Jonathan’s responsibilities in the library as possible, so that he could devotee his time more exclusively to his editorial service.

When Bhagavan Adi Da returned to Fiji from The Mountain of Attention in early 2006, He had told us that we could bring the books from His Office at the Manner of Flowers over to Bright Behind Me. We did this, and the “Esotericism” list is wrapped around Bhagavan Adi Da’s Desk in Bright Behind Me, surrounding Him as it was in Indigo Swan.

We have used the words of Instruction from Bhagavan Adi Da in 2005, as to what He wanted created in Bright Behind, that He wanted to see all three lists physically complete in the library, The Basket of Tolerance, the “Esotericism” list and the “Wisdom” list.

But when Bhagavan Adi Da passed in 2008, there were  1500 or so books and articles of the 3,100 on the “Esotericism” list that we did not have in California at all. These Bhagavan had put on the list that He kept in His Office in Indigo Swan between 2006 and 2008. We did not have a single copy of these books.

From the picture above of concentric circles, you can see that any book on the “Esotericism” list is automatically on the “Wisdom” and Basket of Tolerance lists. We so would need ultimately 3 copies of the books.

This seemed miles off when we discussed things at our library meetings. We had to just start with getting a complete Basket of Tolerance.

And it took a couple of years for the books that Bhagavan Adi Da had placed on The Basket of Tolerance books to arrive back in California and be cleared of mold and ready for placement. Luckily nearly all of them left Naitauba  before Hurricane Tomas destroyed the library there.


Books waiting placement on The Basket of Tolerance, Bright Behind Me


Another row of books waiting placement on The Basket of Tolerance

There were thousands of books to be placed on The Basket of Tolerance. That was the first job. Massive mounds of books were there to place in what was on the floor when Bhagavan Adi Da left the Mountain of Attention, in then from the shipments from Naitauba of the books that He had added to the list from 2006 through 2008.

And then we had to buy our first copy of the 1,500 missing books (and articles) from the “Esotericism” list, because we could not place them on The Basket of Tolerance if we didn’t have them.

The library at Bright Behind Me does not have a book-buying budget. This is not something provided by the tithe of devotees or the 5% given to the Holy Domains or another similar source. We are funded primarily by devotees using the link. (Which can be found by going to  Devotees buying things from using this link, gives us about 8% monetary return on anything that this purchased. This has built to the place that we are now receiving approximately $2,000 each month. This is our primary book buying budget. We also  get books sponsored as gifts to Bhagavan Adi Da given on celebrations by devotees. This is a big help. And finally we get the occasional donor donation. With all of the other worthy financial needs in Adidam, it takes someone with a unique appreciation of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work with the Great Tradition and the booklists to make this kind of direct donation, but the few we have received have been directly put into book purchases. (I have personally not taken a salary from Adidam since the mid-1990s.)

Besides books there were hundred of music CDs which needed placement. My gratitude goes to Robert Shaffer for the first “go round” on the music placements. And then there were so many articles, a great many of which were on Advaita Vedanta, which needed placement as well.

A word about book placements:  it is one of the most challenging services that I have done. The ordering of the books on The Basket of Tolerance was of the greatest importance to Adi Da. He has written in the front matter to The Basket of Tolerance in an essay entitled, “The Collective (Exoteric and Esoteric) Gathering of the Great Tradition”:

    The order and the groupings in which I have presented the various documents listed in The Basket Of Tolerance is very specific and intentional. By this order and these groupings, I have generated (and allowed the Great Tradition to demonstrate), by each of the summary lists of The Basket Of Tolerance (from beginning to end, entry by entry), a continuous and progressive “Grand Argument”. This “Grand Argument”, followed with sensitivity, discrimination, and intelligent understanding, guided by the framework and the interpretive tools I have provided for this purpose, and studied (seriously) in a manner (and to the degree) that appropriately corresponds to the special necessities of the individual, should grant any one a basic education in the total Great Tradition and in all the traditional fundamentals that must be “considered” even by modern practitioners of the Wisdom Way.

I have had the opportunity to sit beside Him while He was placing books on The Basket of Tolerance and have seen the time and importance that He did this with. And I have, embarassingly, inadvertently, misplaced a book that He had already placed on the list, and seen how disturbing this was to Him and what a disservice it is.  I have always studied and been amazed at Bhagavan’s Own Placements, and how Masterful they are. Having now spent hour after hour studying the structure of the list, I have laughed aloud sometimes, seeing the way He created some sections, and the perfect flow between one section and the next. In doing my placements I have not wanted to disturb that at all. But sometimes, new books have required tremendous creativity from me in how to deal with a situation and both honor the new material and the list that is already existing.  I have to constantly be turning to Bhagavan Adi Da throughout this service to allow His Blessing to come “through me” as it were. Sometimes the placement of a book is obvious–a biography of Shirdi Sai Baba goes right next another biography of Shirdi Sai Baba that Bhagavan Adi Da has already placed. Other times I have spent half a day on a single book and still not been satisfied with the placement.

Interestingly, in a way that only some may understand, sometimes I feel Bhagavan indicating to me through the feelings in my body, and a communicativeness that is sometimes verbal and sometimes non-verbal whether I can be satisfied with a placement or not. Sometimes I have walked away from a placement, only to be called back. Sometimes three different placements all seem plausible to me. I have to look at the material being placed, look at the lists (all of them) for any clue, and stay in my feeling. And sometimes just return another day or another time.  At the beginning I was discovering nooks and crannies in the list which I had not realized were there before. But after hundreds of hours, I believe that I had seen all of the list and could best determine where any book might go.

BBM-39Until I came to the art and literature sections. This required so much study of me. Every night I would study art and literature survey books, trying to ground myself in enough of the basics so that I could do intelligent placements. I already had this with the other sections of The Basket of Tolerance with my lifetime of study of this. But art and literature and primarily among these the art, was a great challenge. By this point, I had become quite skilled in the process of placement, but the requisite background in knowing he subject matter was very time-consuming.  I solicited all the help from others in the community I could get, but this is a very specialized knowledge.

LCS screen

Library Database


Closeup of row of books in Bright Behind Me library from The Basket of Tolerance, showing “green dots” indicating book placed by librarian, rather than Avatara Adi Da Samraj

It was a momentous occasion when all of the books on The Basket of Tolerance were placed. It was several years of work. We do not have a great way of following this, and it doesn’t really matter, but our guess from using the Database is that some 6,000-7,000 books, CDs, and articles were placed by us on The Basket of Tolerance. We have taped a small colored sticky dot on the spine of every book, CD, and article that we ourselves placed on the list. This is so that any visitor to the shelves of the library can see what Bhagavan Adi Da Himself had placed. And then how we emulated that pattern as fully as possible. And it is also marked in our library Database so that it can also be seen for historical purposes what Bhagavan Adi Da’s Own Placements were and which we the librarians made. We are still presuming that there may be some books or articles which are outstanding, and we are currently pouring through our database to double-check on this.

So when all the placements were made on The Basket of Tolerance, the next project was to turn to “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list. The first job was to place again approximately 1500 books that were on the “Esotericism” list now to the “Wisdom” list. Doing this, I tried to use Bhagavan Adi Da’s own ordering as much as possible. But as Bhagavan Adi Da stated above, the “Esotericism” and the “Wisdom” lists are structured differently.  For example, the “Wisdom” list begins with the Guru-devotee relationship as the essence of the entire Great Tradition. Whereas the “Esotericism” list begins, after many of Adi Da’s own books, with high Advaita as the essence of esotericism, and the Guru-devotee relationship books are on the list much later on.

After all of the books were placed on the “Wisdom” list from the “Esotericism” list, I now turned to looking at the books that Bhagavan Adi Da had added to The Basket of Tolerance that He had not added to the “Esotericism” list, to see which should be added by the librarians to the “Wisdom” list. Then these were placed.  There is a lot of proofing and double-checking to do, but this was accomplished just prior to the Valley Fire in 2015.

The next project that we turned to involved continuing to work to have all three lists present in Bright Behind Me, as Bhagavan Adi Da had wanted done in 2005. There had been a retreat a couple of years previous in which people working both with Bhagavan Adi Da’s Image Art with Da Plastique and those working with The Orpheum Trilogy had come to the Mountain of Attention. They had visited the library as part of their retreat. At that time, all we could show them was the art section and the literature sections on The Basket of Tolerance.  The books from the “Esotericism” or ESSTE list were integrated into the rest of the books in these sections on The Basket of Tolerance. So you could not see Bhagavan Adi Da’s “Esotericism” argument in any place just by itself. So we went to work buying a second copy of all these books, both relative to the first half of the list, which is the more Spiritual and religious and life-practices sections, and then the literature and the very expensive art section.  This was worked on when I returned from India in December and January, and here and there until the present.


Packets of books arriving for The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom list, March 2016


Empty packets awaiting recylcing

The next project has been to create in physical form “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list. This list was a shambles in Bright Behind, kind of the bastard child of the lists, left to the librarians, neglected. What I mean by that, is that any time we might need a book from the other two lists, we just randomly took it from what might be there on the “Wisdom” list. It was greatly diminished in number of books from what it had once been. And since Bhagavan Adi Da had begun working on the “Esotericism” list, it was not touched hardly at all. As mentioned above, in our earlier meetings when we were just getting going on really doing the work in front of us, having a physical “Wisdom” list, with a third copy of the books, seemed a pipe dream.  Now I got to work earnestly on creating it. Over a thousand books were needed to do this, and we used the monies which we had accumulated from devotees’ generously being willing to use the link to purchase these. As I write, we are getting pretty close to this list being


“The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Wisdom” list on floor in Bright Behind Me library (We hope to be able to shift the shelves soon to get these off the floor)

complete. Books have been pouring in every day and we are adding them to the shelves. It is wonderful to see this list, in its expanded form, actually physically manifesting. It is no longer a paper list, but it can be view and preserved in physical form. Of course it has severely taxed the space we have in Bright Behind Me. We have had to put rows of books on the floor to fit everything in. But we are at work in plans to more advantageously re-arrange things, using the extra storage for books which we have both in Huge Helper and off the Sanctuary.

061223_007There is one caveat. There were very, very few books on art and literature on the “Wisdom” list.  When doing the placements for “The Way of Art” and “Word and Myth” sections, some 1500 books, instead of integrating the “Esotericism” books into the structure of the “Wisdom” list, as I did with all the other sections, I integrated the few books on the “Wisdom” list, into the “Esotericism” structure for these two sections which Bhagavan Adi Da had already created. Thus these two sections on the “Wisdom” list, are basically the same as they are on the “Esotericism” list. So we have not bought a third set of these books. These are very expensive–I would estimate at $60,000 to $75,000 which we do not have. We also do not have the room for them in Bright Behind Me. But mostly, if someone would like to see these two sections from the “Wisdom” list, they can simply view the “Esotericism” sections. At another time, when there is more funding, and when there is an expanded space available, this will be created.

7. The Future Growth of the Adidam Library

Until now, I have very intentionally tried to guard every dollar available to the Adidam Library to complete these three lists. I have done very little of purchasing of new books. Essentially our library is excellent up until 2008, but the new publications since then are hardly represented. This is not what Bhagavan Adi Da wanted. He wanted us always to keep up with new publications and continue adding to the lists just as He had during His Avataric Physical Lifetime. I have purchased a few items as they relate to the great Realizers who are Bhagavan Adi Da’s “likenesses” as He once called them, and a few other topics. I have purchased some special books in India, and Jonathan Condit has purchased some books particularly relating to the “Way of Art” and “Word and Myth” sections for devotees to give as gifts. First things first, and the library had a lot of catching up to do.  Buying new books in the pattern of what Bhagavan Adi Da would want and expect is something that is natural to do, and we will resume doing it soon. These books themselves, of course, will need to be placed and that is a big job to keep that going!   Here are some Notes from Bhagavan Adi Da on the continuing work of Adidam Library. These again are from June 26, 2005.

     The Basket of Tolerance is very full. “The Epitome of Traditional Esotericism” is also at this point. So these are patterns of literature and so on, that act as a guide to those who can do further recommending of material to Me, and so on, so that I can just do the review cycle.  There are always new books. New things come out, more research is done. Things are improved in terms of the understanding of this, that and the other thing.
So it really can never be absolutized. [It should always in] totality [be] in a form that’s up to date, and in the future, can always be added to and modified as I do constantly.
In fact, it can be ongoing for the institution, even beyond My physical Lifetime, to be doing that. You use what I have done as the pattern that’s the basis for elaborating it further based on added research, and then responsible people in the institution would even, beyond My physical Lifetime–or My time of paying any attention to these things and working on it some more–would make additional entries.
But just put them in on a different basis, with some kind of an indicator that shows that these were selected by the scholarly servers, by whatever name of reference. But they may be selections based on My Instructions and the pattern of books that I’ve established. And these are simply updating the various subjects and so forth, based on newly available scholarship, and new research, new material. That will always be necessary, so it’s an ongoing responsibility.

A word here: I am looking for an individual who is interested in continuing on the kind of activity that has been described in this post. I am happy to help train this individual or group of individuals to do this kind of work. It would be better for there to be someone now who could be trained by myself, and also have contact with Jonathan Condit and others, to learn how to perpetuate this service to Bhagavan Adi Da’s Work with the Great Tradition. I became a devotee in 1973, but in 1974 began purchasing books for Bhagavan Adi Da, and have a lot of experience and some self-understanding relative to this.


Akkalkot Maharaj (?-1878)

One night I gave a presentation in Huge Helper lobby to devotees including a number of members in Bhagavan Adi Da’s Household. They went home after the presentation and talked to Him about what I had communicated in the presentation. It was focused on the life of Akkalkot Maharaj, a guru of the 19th century and one of the individuals that Adi Da had referred to as His “Likeness” in the first edition (1985) of The Dawn Horse Testament. 

The next morning I received a message from Bhagavan Adi Da. He said, “Tell James that the Teaching is not in books. It is on His backside, given by My Foot, on the day of His Initiation.”
8. The Use of The Basket of Tolerance by the entire world

    So [the use of the tools of The Basket of Tolerance] has to be made into a working capability, not only for devotees, but for people in general. It’s a fundamental tool that’s usable by everybody in the world virtually, to comprehend, understand, the entire consideration of mankind–ancient and ongoing.
It’s a means to understand it; it’s not just a collection of it.
So this working tool, which is a fundamental Revelation and Gift of Mine to everyone, has got to be made to serve its purposes–My purposes–which is to extend this understanding and this knowledge, and this study into the world, to everyone, for all the positive, beneficial reasons that that’s worth doing.
There have to be services provided by the institution that enable this tool of understanding to be made usable to people, and that conveys that understanding through all kinds of means: publications, book services, course work, presentations, everything about the Way.
The cultural process altogether of the Way is an ultimate consideration of Wisdom. So it’s how it is lived.
It has to be made to work. It’s now so reduced to virtual nothingness that it’s not having any effect. People don’t know about it, even.
People have to understand what this Gift is, this Revelation, what it is, what the tool is that I’ve Given to everyone.  June 26, 2005

8.  The Future of the Indigo Swan collection at Adi Da Samrajashram

Indigo Swan, Adi Da Samrajashram


Bhagavan Adi Da’s Sandals outside Indigo Swan while He is inside

A brief note. As has been stated above, in Indigo Swan was the literal “Master list” of the “The Epitome of Seventh Stage and Traditional Esotericism” list. From what I have heard, the roof lifted and then came down on a mid-section of Indigo Swan. The best indications I have is that about 25% of the books were lost (many soaked together like “bricks” I have been told). That would be approximately 700-800 books.  I have heard that Gawain Weaver, our art conservator, spent time with the books, and they have been being dried out. The remaining 75% were not soaking to begin with, just condensing dampness. They have gone to Naamleela’s music studio where there is air conditioning and a dehumidfier. In the midst of everything else, there is no plan for what should happen with these books. They were not used for any research purpose or editorial purpose. They were being kept as the Sacred Collection of books that Bhagavan had personally Handled and Touched.

Bhagavan’s Office, Indigo Swan, is right on the water. It is one of the most vulnerable of all of the locations at Adi Da Samrajashram. So in the current understanding, I have heard no one say that the books should return there. There is a consideration that they may come back to California or a new structure made for them. There are a certain number which we do not have in California, but only scans. Bhagavan Adi Da’s principle was not to keep rare/irreplaceable  books in Fiji, but to have photocopies there. After I told Him that a particular book was rare, on several occasions, I hand-carried it back to California and Bhagavan Himself was happy with the photocopy. Now, in the wake of Cyclone Winston, there is an understanding that this principle must be implemented and so we are working on immediately returning the rare/irreplaceable books to California.


  1. mike

    hey James.

    better late then never to thank you for the comprehensive description of the beginnings of and maintenance of The Basket Of Tolerance .
    i’ve been a volunteer at The Evanston Library on Monday mornings for the last few years, my job is managing and stocking the ‘ 50 cent room ‘ on the 1st floor . That gives me some small appreciation for whats involved in taking a book from one place, a cart on wheels in this case, looking at it for a moment or longer, and then placing it on one of the many shelfs there in the 50 cent room in the library . i’ve re-labeled all the shelves but still struggle with finding the right shelf for lots of books .
    i can only just imagine standing book in hand at the library in MOA and agonizing over the right place to put a book Adi Da had valued in the right place.
    i would i am sure still be standing there an hour later reading the book .

    • Leslie

      Thank you so much, James, for this thorough history and Leela of The Basket of Tolerance. It all comes alive in your description of the years and service involved, as well as Bhagavan’s Regard to this expansive inclusiveness of writings.

  2. Clayton Masterson

    How fortunate you are, having the opportunity to be surrounded by books and Adi Da. You have some excellent karma. There is little I enjoy more in my life than standing amidst the great works of human culture. There is something magical about books.

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