1, “Frogs and Walls”
Chapter 15 of the book Love of the God-Man, is entitled (using current language) “I Give The Gift That Is The Heart Itself: Adi Da Samraj’s Transmission of Ruchira Shaktipat”. The ninth section of that chapter is subtitled, “Other Forms of Initiation: Initiation through Speech, Laughter, and Leelas, through Objects Associated with the Sat-Guru, and through His Mere Regard”. In this post, I would like to focus on “Objects Associated with the Sat-Guru”. Hurricane Winston, did devastating damage to so many aspects of Naitauba. But perhaps the most difficult and tragic loss was to objects associated with Bhagavan Adi Da. So as a means of our processing and discussing this, I would like to speak of this dimension of Adi Da’s Gifts and Blessings and Avataric Appearance.
Objects associated with Adi Da are many and varied, and to write a full description of all of them would be more than a post, but a book itself. There are many different types. I will describe some of this below. What is understood is that the Spiritual Realizer has an influence or an impact on everything with which He or She comes into contact. He does not merely work Spiritually with humans, men and women. He or she also works with “frogs and walls” as Adi Da descriptively put it in a talk from 1975. I was present that afternoon, and He was sitting on a chair in what was then called Great Food Dish, now Darshan Adytum, at the Mountain of Attention (then Persimmon). His back was against the windows that face Temple Adi Da, and it was the afternoon, and He spoke these words:
“The human Guru has the vehicles useful to humanity and so he seems apparently to be serving human beings perhaps exclusively. But basically He is serving all beings. And not even individuated beings essentially. He serves the world-manifestation in total on every level. Above the world, within the world, in the lower dimensions of the world. And literally, not as a matter of amusement or an amusing metaphor, the walls do sadhana. Everything does sadhana. The particles of the air do sadhana. Plants do sadhana all creatures, inanimate things, material things as well as human beings, and beings beyond the human, within the human and so forth.
All of these dimensions are available to the Guru’s Siddhi and the Guru function. But that Guru function is in Satsang. It is silent, not apparently active. Activity is generated towards specific conditions, specific kinds of reception and so forth.
And that is one of the reasons why I’ve thought it useful for us to find a permanent place for our Work. Because the places in which this Satsang is generated in which it is lived and so forth become the very manifestation, the very form of that Siddhi.
So we’ve had many locations for the Ashram and have abandoned them one at a time. Persimmon [now the Mountain of Attention, which was the only Sanctuary at that time] is the only thing like a possible permanent location. And it is useful to have such a permanent location wherein this Siddhi is invested. Where it is made apparent. Just as it is made apparent through the Instrumentality of disciples and devotees.”
Here Bhagavan Adi Da makes it plain that He Worked on all levels. Just as He is describing Working with the Mountain of Attention, He later, of course worked with Naitauba and all of the Sanctuaries of Adidam, which He said, in fact, could be considered His Very Body Itself because of their intimate association with Him. And He Worked with the buildings themselves. I was present, along with others, with Adi Da in what is now the Sukra Kendra at the “Brightness” when He first stepped into that room on November 19, 1993. When He went into that space I saw Him looking up and down the walls, and in the corners of the room, Blessing them and associating Himself with them. He has told us that the “secret” of this process is that He does not see these rooms, or objects, or even people as “other” than Himself. But He immediately and fully Recognizes them as a transparent and non-binding modification of the same Divine Reality that He Is and that is Only God. And the mystery of it is, that once Bhagavan Adi Da has made that intimate association with any object, or space, or person, then that Sacred Link is established. And continues Always, Eternally, as part of the sphere of Blessing that Is Adi Da Samraj’s Avataric Appearance itself.
Adi Da strengthened this Sacred Link through continued association with places and things. Places and things (and people) that He spent a long time with, if they were receptive and if they did the “sadhana” of that relationship, became stronger and potent and more full. Many of us witnessed how when Bhagavan Adi Da sat at Seventh Gate Shrine at the Mountain of Attention, that He would time and time again, place His Staff on the Shrine containing the Murti images of His Hands and Feet. He would touch them directly with His Cane, or He would splash water on them, or simply gaze at them. Each time He was strengthening that connection and that link between Himself and that place. And Bhagavan described in the talk excerpt quoted above, “Frogs and Walls”, that such places do their own form of “sadhana”. He spoke of how when He returned on one trip from Hawaii to the Mountain of Attention, how He was interested to see what would be the quality of His Siddhi that remained Alive and present in His Office/Sukra Kendra behind Temple Eleutherios. And He said that He was pleasantly surprised to see how potently that place had maintained His Blessing Force. In other words the place itself, in a mysterious fashion, had done “sadhana” of remaining true to Bhagavan Adi Da, had remained receptive and embracing of His Spiritual Blessing, which He could tangibly feel on His return from Hawaii.
His Work, living at the various Hermitages and Sanctuaries of Adidam, has become effective in the sense that those places, all in their unique way, hold or maintain or are Alive in relationship to Him. And this relationship to Him is direct. It is not mediated through anything else, but itself is what allows these places to be His Agency. Of course He spent special time at Naitauba, and He described it as unique home or seat of His Work. But He described that all of the places were the same, truly.
This is from “The Universally Consequential Event at Ruchira Dham Hermitage” (The Aletheon, pg. 1721-3)
“I Am Eternally Seated in each and every one of My Directly-by-Me Transcendentally-Spiritually-Empowered Sapta Na Sannyasin Hermitages and Ruchira Sannyasin Sanctuaries—and Most Potently in each and every one of the Sukra Kendra I have Established in Those Hermitages and Sanctuaries.
Adi Da Samrajashram Is My Principal Seat of Transcendental Spiritual Presence and “world”-Work—but all of My Directly-by-Me Transcendentally-Spiritually-Empowered Sapta Na Sannyasin Hermitages and Ruchira Sannyasin Sanctuaries are Unique Agents of My Divine Avataric Transcendental Spiritual Presence and “world”-Work forever.
All of These Most Sacred Places must be preserved as the Great Divine Avataric Holy Places of Adidam Ruchiradam forever. …..
Just as This Body is, in due course, to Be Placed at Atma Nadi Shakti Loka, I Have, by Bodily Means, Transcendentally Spiritually Established Myself forever in every Sukra Kendra……
My Sukra Kendra at Atma Nadi Shakti Loka Has a Unique Primacy among all My Sukra Kendras.
However, in some sense, all of My Sukra Kendras Are the Same Place, and, therefore, all of My Sukra Kendras Are Equal.
My Sukra Kendras Are simply My Room.
Adidam Ruchiradam must be always expanding, always extending to everyone.
Adidam Ruchiradam must never be self-enclosed, or turned in on itself.
All My devotees must be activated in their whole bodily devotional recognition-response to Me….
On that basic, all My devotees must go out to all others, and live in relation to all others—rightly participating in the mission to all others by having become right themselves. “
So here Bhagavan Adi Da speaks of the unique Empowerment that He has by “Bodily Means”, Accomplished, that is present in all of the Hermitages and Sanctuaries. And then immediately next, He makes it plain that all of this is not to be a process that becomes “self-enclosed, or turned in on itself”. I find that just after the most profound description of the most profound places that exist in the world, His Sanctuaries and Hermitages, and specifically the Sukra Kendras in each of them, which are all essentially the same place He says, He tells us to be “always expanding, always extending to everyone”. I will come back to this point in another post, but I want to continue now to talk about the places and objects Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da by His “Bodily Means”.
Obviously by Bodily Means, Bhagavan Adi Da is not talking about a mere materialistic process. He is referring to the fact that the Avatar takes Form Bodily, concretely and specifically manifested in an Avataric Body. And creates Agency through many forms by means of that Avataric Appearance down to His Toes in Bhagavan Adi Da’s case.
- The Sacred Environments of Adidam
Fun house Laughing Mama
What I want to talk about here, because I feel that it is part of all our heart-wound at this moment, and because I feel that we need to culturally discuss and consider this entire matter, is the fact many Spiritually Empowered places and objects at Naitauba were “insulted” by the Laughing Mama. (Adi Da’s term for the Shakti power itself, “who” is signed by carnival island “fun house” lady). She acted as if they didn’t mean “shit”, but simply washed a tidal wave upon the beach at the Matrix and crashed into one of the most Sacred Spaces in Adidam and the world. I will go into this more fully, but first a little more about Sacred objects.
It is probably true that many if not most of the devotees in Adidam have not had the opportunity to go into the intimate environments of Adi Da. Many of us perhaps had the opportunity to go into the entry room at The Manner of Flowers and then into the Darshan Hall to sit with Bhagavan. It is likely the case if you had this opportunity, that you were not looking at the objects in the room, but only either at the “Bright” Beloved One before you in Darshan, or focused on preparing to see Him, or leaving His Company so full of His Divine Siddhi from having been with Him that you did not notice much. Likewise, if you were at Naitauba and had the opportunity to go into Bhagavan’s Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan when His Body was sitting there after His Mahasamadhi, it is unlikely that you would have noticed or “seen” much besides the Form of His Body Sitting there.
So I would like to say something about these places from the perspective of having had the Gracious opportunity to be in these places numerous times, and to have in some small way been involved in serving Bhagavan’s Establishment of the objects in these spaces.
Bhagavan Adi Da environments were extraordinary fields or realms of Blessing, in a perfect Harmony and Aliveness that cannot be described in words. They were so full of His Siddhi. As I write I am thinking primarily here of His Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, which of course was so ravaged by Cyclone Winston. But I am also thinking of the bedroom at the Manner of Flowers, which during the Valley Fire, myself and many others, helped to completely empty into Bright Behind Me to safeguard the objects. All of Bhagavan’s Environments are so special that devotees referred to them as the Divine Domain spaces. This includes places like Ordeal Bath Lodge at the Mountain of Attention which Bhagavan used, or His Library in Bright Behind Me which was maintained for Him. It includes Indefinable, His Residence in Qaravi Village at Naitauba, and His Bedroom at Tat Sundaram and “My House” at Lion’s Lap in which He spent a great deal of time in, during the very last years of His Life. The list could go on and on. But so primary among them are the bedrooms at the Manner of Flowers and at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, where His Physical Body lived the most time.
The Sacred environments in these places included His Personal Objects such as His Bed of course. And close by were His Clothes and His Canes and His Grooming supplies. All of those things so associated with His Body. All of these are treasures. They are Agents of His in the sense that through contact with them, and the Transmission that is Alive in them, we are put in contact with Bhagavan Adi Da. They bear a Transmission almost like a scent. (And His Oils were so present at Aham Da Asmi Sthan as well. Bhagavan had, during the last years of His Life, used scents so strongly. He had remembered how potently the scents were associated with His memory and remembrance of Swami Muktananda. And asked what were those scents that Swami Muktananda used most prominently. He used some of these scents, but also gathered about Himself and used so many scents during those last years.) All of the senses were engaged when you would enter into Bhagavan’s Environments. They were beautiful beyond measure to the eyes. They enveloped your feeling so immensely that at those times when I was in these spaces when Bhagavan Adi Da was not physically present, I would sometimes look around the room for Him, because it felt that He was there. You felt and feel “touched” in these spaces, because the feeling of Him in them is so profound.
And now I am coming to the objects themselves that were in the room. As devotees know, Bhagavan had many collections of objects that were special to Him. There were traditional objects, such as Tibetan Thangkas and bronzes and Indian paintings and bronzes, and things from all traditions of the world. (He valued in particular the pieces that showed the disposition of self-transcendence.) There were Disney objects, “icons of happiness” that were full of joy and laughter and transformed by His Transmission into Radiance. There were Teddy Bears, symbols of the illusion of relatedness, and paperweights, which Bhagavan intensely collected and used during the time when His Own Eyes were being stabilzed after glaucoma surgery. Fijian objects were particularly in Hermitage, and many of them collected in the front room of Da Asvamedhanath Bhavan. There were natural objects of beauty and Sacredness , golden cowrie shells (held sacred by the tuis of Fiji) and lingams and saligrams The spaces in Bhagavan’s environment were full of all these things and more.
Bhagavan used the objects in His Environments as “coins” for His Work altogether. Just as Shirdi Sai Baba had a bag of coins and would take them out late at night when others were sleeping. And the Hindu-Muslim Saint would run them through his fingers. The big five rupees coin–that was Shama. And the old 25 pice coin was Mahalsapathy. And he would use the coins as a way of remembering all of his devotees and working with them all one by one. Bhagavan Adi Da used the objects in His room that way. First of all, any gift given to Him by a devotee or a group of devotees was a way for Him to connect or link up with that devotee or group of devotees. He would often leave it for some time in a special place, until He had finished doing a particular “puja” with that object, and then He would put it in some other more “final” place. It was always very important to Him where He placed any object for He used them as a way of setting up a force-field or mandala of Blessing which He Himself knew and the rest of us could only guess or marvel at. Woe unto the devotee who unconsciously moved or misplaced one of the objects in Bhagavan Adi Da’s Environments. We learned back in the earliest years at the Manner of Flowers, when we were invited into Bhagavan’s House, or had the opportunity to serve it when He might be temporarily elsewhere, that we had to very carefully watch to not interfere in any way with the very specific placement that Adi Da made of the objects in His Environments. His Placement of them was extremely intentional, and He felt interfered with or violated if we unconsciously changed in any way the pattern which He had established. When Bhagavan Himself would decide to go through His Rooms and move things around and alter the pattern, it always felt to us that somehow the cosmos itself was being rearranged. It was something that felt to be of massive significance, when He would move around the objects in His Rooms.
Bhagavan Adi Da’s relationship to these objects was not how we would ourselves conventionally relate to them. No one could fully understand what they all meant to Him, and what the specific pattern was. Sometimes He would tell us some things. Sometimes if we had personal knowledge about a particular type of object or class of objects then we might have some insights into it. Often it was my service to write to Bhagavan Adi Da about the traditional art which He acquired. He would have questions about specific things within the picturings. It was a great pleasure to provide Him with some traditional understanding of the objects which He had. But He always cut right through any myths, trappings, or sentimentality relative to the objects He had around Him, and incorporated them into His Sacred Vision in a way that was true, right, aligning, and purifying for the entire world.
- “I want Indian bronzes”
I was involved in the last few years of Bhagavan’s Lifetime with being an intermediary in providing Indian bronzes for Him. In 2003, He had verbally expressed His Desire to have more of these. In the middle of His planning for Danavira Mela gifting for His Intimates, Adi Da had, with a humorous twinkle in His eye, asked, “What am I getting for Danavira Mela?” Gina Macione, who was working with the gifting at that point (and told me this story), replied to Him, “What do you want?” He answered, “I want Indian bronzes”. And so as part of that Danavira Mela, some Indian bronzes were given to Him. Soon after this I was asked by one of the Samrajya servers (Subra Sundaram) who knew that I was going to India each year, to start to learn how to provide these to Bhagavan so that He might receive them more directly from India, cutting out a level of middlemen that was raising the costs. So I invested myself in learning about them and finding them, and having them be sponsored so that they could be “enjoyed” by Bhagavan Adi Da. Besides many other items, in the last years of Bhagavan’s Life many of His spaces were filled with these small images of gods and godesses. Adi Da was and is the Master of the Great Tradition. He confessed to us that He and She Is Me. He did not worship these figures, but instead incorporated them into His overall Work of Blessing.
I would learn the traditional iconography of these figures, but how the Divine Person would use them, of course, is a tremendous and wonderful Puja that was mysterious beyond my knowledge. But it was clear that everything that Adi Da used was not for any personal reason, but for the uplifting and Spiritual liberation of everyone and everything. I could have my speculations. For example, Annapurna, the goddess of food, perhaps Bhagavan could use that in a way that was about feeding everyone. Did Bhagavan have such a statue to aid with world hunger. Siva and Durga and her family (including Santoshi) were about self-transcendence. So all of the objects represented either an individual devotee, or a part of the world or a traditional culture, or a Sacred archetype. Adi Da did not “say” much about this particular puja, so when He did talk about it, it was always wonderful to hear His description.
Small, primitive Durga Mahishasuramardini
On January 5, 2005, He received a small Durga in the style called Mahishasuramardini. Mahish is the water buffalo. Asura is a demon. Mardini is the liberator or Spiritual conqueror. So this image is Durga who liberates or Spiritually conquers the water buffalo demon, or the demon who has taken over the water buffalo. Here are Bhagavan’s Words speaking about receiving this gift from a discourse from Samraj Mahal:
“I received one gift today. It was a material gift from a couple of devotees. It’s a small old figure from India, a little bronze of a form of Durga, Devi figure, or if you like Universal Shakti figure, myth of the cosmic force, and this particular mode of the Durga is always shown standing on a water buffalo and usually driving a spear through it, or something like that – that’s the typical icon.
In this case the Durga was holding a kind of short sword or dagger, standing on the water buffalo and the water buffalo, instead of just being a natural looking water buffalo, was a water buffalo at the hind end and then there was a human torso at the front end with arms and a head and little fangs to show that this is a really stupid or demon-like character, stupid demon, not just a demon, and the Durga is holding this humanoid water buffalo by the hair, the top knot, it had long hair, and you can guess what’s going to happen next, you see, off with his head and, but that’s just presumed if you know the story.
Mahish demon being grabbed by Durga
It’s a sculpted image, so you don’t see the taking off of the head, but you can guess probably what’s about to happen there. She’s going to slay this demon and the story is that this demon is ignorance. It’s a stupid, low-minded demon, just as you even use the word demon in your, in the words you said to Me a few minutes ago. And so I received this, and I put it on the table next to Me as I received the reports and had to be put through some phone call with some people. Which was lucky for them because they weren’t in the room with Me and they could only hear Me raise My Voice rather than dispense the usual volley of rocks which might be traditionally expected or, well it’s certainly something to make envisioned momentarily [laughter]. Why not off with their heads, well, nah, but, [laughter] at least it was suggested by the little figure I received there. What was that supposed to be? The agenda for the day. Symbolically. So you all tend to come to me as stupid demons. Low-minded and ignorant….Something that needs to be transcended or overcome.” January 5, 2005
So it was rare that Bhagavan spoke of His relationship to these bronzes. Here He shows how He integrates this traditional image of Durga Mahishasuramardini into what is actually happening in His Own Life.
By having a whole galaxy of Sacred objects in His Environments and working with them, moving them, viewing them, adding to them, He was Working and arranging the entire Cosmic Mandala of forms. They were coins for Him. Adi Da really preferred the Siva/Durga side of things when it came to the statues, rather than the Lakshmi/good luck god or goddess. The self-transcending quality. We being the supercriminals, the ego, the Mahish. And these gods and goddesses were not simply myths, but living Realities to Bhagavan. It was not the technicalities of the iconography–although He noticed things in a way that was amazing. He had the Eyes to see. Bhagavan, by virtue of His total ego-transcendence, Knew somehow everything and could See it, and notice things that someone else, who might have handled that piece many times, had never noticed. But He invoked into them the Living Quality of the Spirit Force, the god power and goddess power.
Old bronze Ganesh
So Ganesh, who traditionally brings auspiciousness, and is invoked at the beginning of any puja, we can imagine to Adi Da was about Embracing everyone and everything. Durga, who bears all the weapons to destroy demons, was about the Shakti or Spirit Force Itself destroying the egos of all living beings. Mahakala, the Tibetan fierce “Lord of the Tent”, was one of Bhagavan Adi Da’s favorite images. He was a guardian figure in Tibetan Buddhism. One who, in the entourage or Spiritual galaxy, protected the Divine, by destroying the ignorance and egoity of anyone who approached full of themselves or with negative intent. Bhagavan Adi Da’s Circumstance was always vulnerable to negative forces, for whom the Supreme Lord of All the Worlds, as we knew Adi Da, was their opponent, and the Mahakala we can only imagine was Bhagavan’s Strength and Power of resoluteness. As He has told us, no one can stand up against the Truth, and that He could not in ultimate terms be Touched. To invoke Bhagavan Adi Da truly provides protection from all negative forces. But in conditional terms, there was and continues to be, a struggle for the Divine to continue to emerge. The Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston can be seen in these terms.
10-armed Ganesh with faced rubbed smooth through devotional rubbing
The people who made these objects were trying to reach to the Sacred. They were invoking the Spiritual archetypes. And Adi Da appreciated seeing signs of devotion on objects. Hindu statues that have been handled for hundreds of years, often lose their features. They have been rubbed and held and adorned with kumkum and ash, so often and so fully, that the features on certain parts of the stautes, most often the faces, are smoothed out. Literally rubbed out. And instead of that being something that detracted from the “value” of the piece, as might be considered in the “marketplace”, Adi Da preferred these images, loved the quality of devotion that was evident in this type of patina or surface look.
Painted bronze image of Padmasambhava
Traditionally statues in India are “brought to life” by the ceremony of “prana pratistha”, generally by a priest anointing its third eye or adding a touch of paint to the eye of a statue. Bhagavan, by virtue of His Divine Siddhis, invoked the prana pratistha or bringing to life of His Statues, spontaneously, by merely handling them. When Bhagavan received such an object He would pick it up and look at it Making comments about it Smiling at it. Speak to it. Handle it in all sorts of ways. In early years, when we would be in a discussion with Adi Da at the Manner of Flowers or Bright Behind Me, and we were not forthcoming with an answer, I remember Him humorously asking, His Padmasambhava statue, “Padma, what do you say about it?” He would often oil them, or arrange them in such a way in relationship to each other, that they became rested in the space of the room. And then henceforth they were part of His Sphere of Blessing. His relationship to time and space was such that when He handled them and associated Himself with them, then they were incorporated into His Sphere of Blessing.
It is said that the Divine Realizer is the center of the universe. By virtue of His total surrender of the ego, He has become One with All and all. So as He sat in His Room, He would have these objects surrounding Him which became part of His entourage, literally part of His Household.
- Adi Da Samraj’s Rooms
Bhagavan also spoke of Living in Rooms. And wasn’t the room at Aham Da Asmi Sthan the main room in the entire cosmos where He Lived, even if He wasn’t there physically? Archetypically, Adi Da has said that the Taj Mahal is the primal room. But in Living Terms, what other space was more associated with Bhagavan’s Body than the bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, and the entire living process. Spiritually, yes, the Sukra Kendras are the senior spaces, but in terms of the room or space where Bhagavan Lived. I am just thinking aloud. That was a primal room for Adi Da, where He was eternally Living, at the Matrix there, surrounded by all of those objects. And He established Himself there, even though at the end of His Life He was mostly living at Lion’s Lap, Spiritually He never left the Matrix. Just like He is living in all of His Bedrooms at all of His Sanctuaries. He had not left the Mountain of Attention, but was Alive there in His Bedroom at the Manner of Flowers, if we understand and relate to that space rightly. But most primally, as a living Space, His Bedroom was a Temple, a Sacred set apart space, where Bhagavan used these objects to create an environment of inclusive Blessing of All and all. And so these objects rounded out the picture.
James Steinberg at Tao Books bookstore
Bhagavan made it plain that we ourselves should not presume a relationship to traditional gods and goddesses. Because of my service to Adi Da, this point was made to me over and over again. As I have mentioned previously, when I came to Adi Da I was already employed at Tao Books, a Spiritual bookstore on Newberry Street in Boston. I had a collection of photographs of different Spiritual Masters. I had been looking for a Spiritual teacher for some time—had already been to Hasidic Jewish summercamp and seen the head of the Lubavitcher sect of Chabad Hasidism, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. I had seen Buddhist Teachers and Hindu Teachers and Sufi teachers and Shamans, etc. Tao Books itself had been started by students of Michio Kushi who was head of the Macrobiotics community in the United States, and I was part of this community for a couple of years. I am only saying this to tell you that I had a lot of “spiritual baggage” when I came to Adi Da, and continued to serve Him by starting the Dawn Horse Bookstore on Polk Street and being His librarian at the Mountain of Attention, and being a “diplomat” in meeting with other Spiritual Teachers. Literally some other devotees felt that I was a “traitor” to Adi Da because of my interest in all of these things. (Luckily a couple of members of Bhagavan’s Household saw my service to Him in a most positive light and helped encourage me.) But Adi Da over and over again “kept me straight” relative to all of this, by jealously guarding my attention. He always made it plain to me that I should be able to do my work within the various aspects of the Great Tradition, but never look to the left or the right, but only keep my attention on Him. He was and is all the Gods and Goddess, all the Spiritual Teachers that I might need. Everything was and is summarized or Realized in Him. He is my Ganesh, who I invoke for auspiciousness. He is my Siva, who destroys my ego. He is my Shirdi Sai Baba, who grants my prayers. There was no reason to turn anywhere else. As I wrote Him once in devotional fervor, all of the Realizers in the Great Tradition were just a speck of dust underneath one of His toenails. If ever I did not express to Adi Da that I understand this, He would correct me again. Over and over again, year after year. I sometimes joke and say that there is not a spot on my body where His Stick has not hit me for my Indian festishism (as He called it) or my obsession with the Great Tradition. As this process continued it became clear to me that every spark or fraction of any Realizer or figure of God or Goddess in the Great Tradition was simply part of the same Flame or Great Fire that is Adi Da Samraj.
So these objects that Bhagavan had in His Room were not for us important because of their traditional references, but because they were filled with or bearers of Adi Da’s Transmission.
The point being that we do not have a relationship to Ganesh or Durga ourselves. Perhaps if we were a Hindu-raised devotee we might. Bhagavan Himself did, and that relationship was His Alone.
- Relics in the Great Tradition
In the Great Tradition of humankind various objects, by their association with Spiritual Realizers or a presumed association with various gods and goddess have been venerated and worshiped as Sacred. Such objects, called “relics” in the Western context, have been used to empower or Spiritually enliven the temples, churches, and stupas in which they were enshrined. In Kandy, Sri Lanka there is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha that has had wars fought over it. In Kashmir there is a Mosque that is renowned for holding a single hair of Muhhamad. Christian cathedrals all hold some sort of relics of various saints, some of them rather ghastly (cut off fingers of saints with rings on them), and there are more pieces of wood from the holy cross upon which Jesus of Galilee was crucified than can be imagined. People would visit these places to have association with the relics there and every great Cathedral had some sort of relic in it. In fact they would boast about the relics they held to attract pilgrims.
It was traditional in some places and times to allow the relics to be viewed. At the Potala, the famous seat of the Dalai Lama, in Lhasa, Tibet, on special days a relic such as the Phurba (or Sacred Dagger) of Padmasambhava would be taken out to be viewed. The Phurba was taken out on the same day once each year. And devotees would line up in great lines to have a moment directly in front of it. Sometimes the relic or box containing it, would be touched to the head of the devotee. At the Vedanta Society Temple in Los Angeles, there are relics from the cremation remains of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Sarada Devi. These are kept downstairs. But one day a year they are brought upstairs and the devotees are allowed to be in their company. There are right and wrong associations with relics or presumed Sacred objects.
Mary on tortilla
Adi Da was highly amused by accounts of the face of the Virgin Mary “miraculously” appearing on a corn tortilla, or on the wall of a home of a devout Catholic believer. Even at the Mountain of Attention, there was a tree on the pathway up to Fresh Milk that had a configuration in the moss that made it look to be the face of Meher Baba. Adi Da humorously considered this with us. There was the “talking rock” that was found up near Red Sitting Man holy site, that was brought to Bhagavan’s Residence, then Bright Behind Me, in a basket, so that He could Himself “meet it”. There is a movie that Bhagavan Adi Da has put on The Basket of Tolerance called Picking Up the Pieces. It stars Woody Allen. In the movie a blind woman stumbles over the severed hand of a previously murdered woman, and has her vision “miraculously” restored. She proclaims that this is the hand of the “Virgin Mary” and the entire village starts to revere the hand and it continues to perform miracles on the villagers until the origins of the hand are revealed. Bhagavan Adi Da clarified this process of relics and miracles in an essay He has written for The Basket of Tolerance, which has been published as a small booklet, number 10 in The Basket of Tolerance booklet series, entitled “The Shroud of Turin and the Cult of Relics”. Here is an excerpt from that booklet:
The “Shroud of Turin” and the “Cult” of Relics
the Shroud of Turin
Although relics (or objects associated with a Transmitter of Spirit-Baptism) have a proper function in the real process of Spiritual Transmission, the “cult” of relics (or the pursuit of egoic consolation through the veneration of holy “things”) is (and has long been) a kind of craze in the Christian tradition (and popular religious traditions in general). And, since the late nineteenth century, the “shroud” itself has become the “scientific” subject of a uniquely modern “cult” of “belief-and-doubt”. Indeed, one of the principal (and entirely exoteric) functions of popular religion (whether before or during the age of the “cult”, or mass culture, of scientism) has been to periodically create this kind of “thing” mystery. And the difference between mere belief and mere non-belief in a mysterious “thing” is merely the difference (by comparison) between comfort (or consolation of the ego) and discomfort (or non-consolation of the ego). Therefore, neither Spirituality nor Truth Itself (nor ego-transcendence itself) has anything to do with either belief or the absence of belief.
If the authenticity of the “shroud of Turin” (as the actual–and, necessarily, two-thousand-year-old–“burial shroud” of Jesus of Galilee) is (at some point) generally accepted as having been clearly disproved, many may tend to be terribly fallen to their doubts (or, otherwise, to their materialistic and worldly minds) again, feeling they have been duped to hope by the perennial bunk of (“official” and “unofficial”) exoteric religious inventiveness. Indeed, these doubts (or even doubt itself) may dare to say religion itself is disproved and false–but true religion never was a “shroud” of hope (and even doubt and belief are merely an ego’s opposite states of mind).
True religion was–and is–the real and (more and more) ego-transcending Process of Real-God-Realization, or the Way of the progressive dissolution of all illusions (in the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Truth and Reality that, in their most basic disposition, even all religions proclaim). And that Process (or Way) has been proved authentic again and again by the Realizers who (each in his or her own manner and stage of Demonstration) have become a self-yielding sacrifice to (and in) the Only One Who Is.
Here Bhagavan Adi Da points to the fact that relics, have a “proper function in the real process of Spiritual Transmission”. Rather than a cultic attachment to any particular object and its traditional associations. And that genuine process is what has been interfered with by the loss of objects in Adi Da’s Environments in the wake of Cyclone Winston.
- Agent-Relics in Adidam
There are many different varieties of Agent Relics that were associated with Adi Da.
1) There were relics that were personal to His own Bodily Human Form, or circumstance that are part of the general Empowerment of His Sacred Environments. This would include the Wisdom Teeth, hairs and fingernails, containers of blood, etc. Occasionally these items were used in Empowerment Vessels in establishing Temples (hairs and fingernails). These are not generally to be taken out or viewed by devotees in any way, but simply to be used in the Empowerment of a Sukra Kendra or a Temple. These types of relics or Sacred objects were not kept in Aham Da Asmi Sthan and were not lost. They were typically kept in Sukra Kendras.
2) Sacred Objects that were specifically Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da to be used Spiritually. This includes the Sacred Padukas. It would also include Blessed Malas or Lingams that He Touched with the intention of Blessing, such as the lingam at the Manner of Flowers, etc. Any object which He Specially Touched with the idea of Empowering or Blessing it as a form of contact with His Presence. With lingams, Adi Da felt that devotees often made the mistake of thinking that the lingam stone itself was special and therefore should be worshiped just as a stone. No, it was the fact that a lingam is a “vessel” or “holder” of Adi Da’s Transmission and that is why it is special. He pointed out that we would not make this same mistake about a photographic Murti, understanding that it was not the photograph itself that was important, but only as a means to contact Bhagavan Adi Da Himself.
3) Sacred Objects Empowered or used by Adi Da in His Own Sacred Spaces that were for His Own use, and not associated with devotees. This includes the Durga Shakti Ma Sacred statues and all of the statues on Bhagavan’s Altars in His Sukra Kendras. He made plain that these had nothing to do in association with devotees and that our relationship was to Him, not to these objects. That their use was His Own Business and not ours. But because Bhagavan used them Sacredly and Intimately they are a special category.
Adi Da wearing the One-Faced Rudraksha Bead and other Sacred Malas
4) Sacred objects that were used by Adi Da in His Sacred association with devotees. This would be like the One-faced rudraksha mala and other malas that He Wore Personally. Or Shawls He Wore Or Canes. These are items that Bhagavan used in the Sacred occasions when He was specifically granting Darshan or Blessing with devotees. And therefore bear that kind of energy. It would feel to me that these objects could be viewed by devotees on very special occasions.
5) Sacred Writing Of course anything that Bhagavan Personally Wrote, the physical page upon which He Wrote it, has a special Transmission. These are sometimes taken out of the Archives at the Mountain of Attention and viewed by devotees.
6) Sacred Paintings/Art Creations. Any item which Bhagavan created digitally bears a special Blessing, as do His Published Books. But I am speaking here of the items that Bhagavan Adi Da created with His Own Hands, such as the Transcendental Cartoons, the She Paintings, the Orphic Fonts, etc. Again, the originals of these could be taken out and shown to devotees much like Bhagavan’s Own Writings, on very special occasions and in a special manner.
7) Objects that Bhagavan Adi Da Wore or Touched or were in Adi Da’s Environments. Here we are talking about the clothes that Bhagavan wore, as well as earplugs, sunglasses, etc. Or things which He Touched, such as His Cameras. This includes the books that He Touched. But virtually all of the Objects in Bhagavan’s Intimate Environments were Touched by Him or had association with His Body.
Anandamayi Ma Museum in Khankhal
Objects used by Shirdi Sai Baba
Now these were not things that Bhagavan used with any specific intention to Empower them in themselves. But by association with Him they all have Sacred significance. I have been to the Museums at the Ashrams in India. The one at the Belur Math associated with Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda is quite spectacular. They have the robe that Swami Vivekananda
Ramakrishna Museum, Belur Math, India
wore when he spoke at the Parliament of Religions. (Incidentally, they also have objects associated with his devotees, such as Sister Christine and Sister Nivedita.) But all Ashrams have these types of displays–every year I see the objects associated with Swami Nityananda, and two years ago I visited the Museum associated with Anandamayi Ma. There is a small group of items associated with Shirdi Sai Baba. Relative to books, as books in themselves, most of the damaged books that were in Indigo Swan can be purchased again (although there are perhaps 200 books that are rare, scarce, or simply unavailable). But because these books were touched by Bhagavan Adi Da, and sat in His Office at Indigo Swan, they are Sacred by association with Him. (Of course when the library in Word and Mirror burned down in the wake of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, we lost an entire collection of books that Bhagavan Adi Da had associated with.)
This area of objects that were Touched by Bhagavan Adi Da is very large. Of course we will have lost many items from Bhagavan Adi Da’s Bedroom at Aham Da Asmi Sthan, which was so full of items. I know how many very small statues and objects there were–literally hundreds. At some point, if it can be done, re-creating an environment for the Sacred objects in another place, created in the way that Bhagavan Adi Da arranged His rooms, would be optimum. In other words, Adi Da’s Bedroom would be re-created in a higher location and the Sacred objects put there. The re-creation could not be complete, but the general feeling could be re-created. I have been into Rang Avadhoot’s Bedroom at His Ashram in Nareshwar, which is quite powerful. Narayan Maharaj’s room at Kedgaon in Maharastra is also quite impressive and maintained now decades later. Bhagavan Adi Da visited this room on His trip to Narayan Maharah’s Ashram in 1973. Ramakrishna’s room is left essentially as it was at his death. People are allowed into it, but there are now guard rails that mark off the location and a priest is in attendance at all times when people come. I am not suggesting that simply anyone would come into Bhagavan’s Bedroom, but I believe that it should be available for some devotees for an initiatory occasion of simply sitting there. I believe that these spaces have to be actively used as they would be in any living culture. Bhagavan’s principle was never no access, but always right and appropriate access.
And at the location where Aham Da Asmi Sthan bedroom is, if there were sufficient funds, perhaps we would recreate that space with not the original artifacts, but replicas. Now there could be a few original special items that were originals, but they would be limited such that they could be removed easily and simply in the event of dangerous weather. But that would be very limited. And if we had sufficient funds, we could replace the objects in the room with replicas that were very good, rather than simply cheap items. They should be prepared as fully as possible with the limited finances available.
7) Items of traditional Sacred significance owned or associated with Adi Da. These includes the objects that were associated with the Gavdevi Temple in Ganeshpuri, India. It also includes the Sacred objects associated with traditional Teachers, such as the shirt that had been worn by Rang Avadhoot. These objects are typically honored in the Sukra Kendras.
8) Sacred spaces or environments of Bhagavan Adi Da. Such places of course were also Empowered by Bhagavan Adi Da, both intentionally and then simply by association with Bhagavan.
So when we lose Extraordinary Eyes, then this is a space that Bhagavan Adi Da had Empowered both intentionally and by association. Whereas a space such as Word and Mirror Pavilion was Sacred by His association with it over many years (working in the library, painting the She paintings) rather than by intentionally using it as a Sacred space. However, it is my feeling that the outlines or perimeters of all such places should be set apart as fully as possible. Now some places may be lost to us at the moment, such as the Franklin Square house in Jamaica New York, where Bhagavan Adi Da lived as a boy, or the house which we called the Reed House in Marin where Bhagavan Adi Da spent a great deal of time. But all such spaces should be eventually, as fully as possible, acquired by Adidam. A traditional example is what is called the Ancestral Home of Swami Vivekananda. For many years, this home was not owned in any way by the Vedanta Society, and even after it was acquired, it took many years for the families that had been living there to vacate. But now it has been restored, as fully as possible, to how it was when Swami Vivekananda grew up there. Another example was in Vrindavan where they re-created the office room of Swami Prabhupada, who brought the Hare Krishna movement to the West. Not only have they re-created the office room, but he sits there as a wax figure sitting behind his desk.And in his bedroom space as a younger boy. The Ramakrishna temple has re-created the hut that Ramakrishna was born in. Ridgely Manor, where Swami Vivekananda spent several weeks on his visit to the West, has been acquired by the Ramakrishna Mission as has the Thousand Island Cottage where he instructed devotees.
So it is my feeling that the location of the Extraordinary Eyes meditation hall should be marked and memorialized. Obviously, if we were strong and large as an organization, we would immediately rebuild it as closely to the original as possible. Even knowing that eventually it would be impacted by rising tides. It was there when Bhagavan Adi Da acquired the island in 1983 (it was the place where Raymond Burr used to show 16mm movies), and was a principal place where Bhagavan Adi Da Sat on so many Sacred Occasions. So if we had the finances, it would be worth re-creating such a Sacred spot. At the same time moving the Sacred items to higher ground. Certainly some sort of memorial, in other words a bronze plaque with appropriate wording should mark the place of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Chair, and people should not be walking over that space as a thoroughfare, etc. But it should be marked off.
9) Sacred objects gifted by Bhagavan Adi Da to devotees. These are typically owned by devotees. Many devotees lost some of these in the Valley Fire. Devotees own malas that were personally Blessed by Bhagavan Adi Da and many have special objects purchased in “Pazooza pujas” or gifted by Bhagavan Adi Da personally. So there should be some protocol for cataloging and willing these to either Adidam, or to relatives who will eventually will them to Adidam. This is also traditional. A pair of padukas Blessed by Akkalkot Swami will be in a family and go their children, and their children, until at some point they are no longer really devotes or do not feel that they can care for them, and so the padukas are given to the Akkalkot Maharaj Ashram.
7. The Psycho-Physical Nature of the World
When we consider the Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston, it is important for us to remember that the world is not merely materialistic. Bhagavan Adi Da expressed that we live in a world that is psycho-physical. He began to discuss this with our community in more detail when we began to do puja in Adidam. True puja is a psycho-physical process, and a genuine pujarist is aware that puja exists in a world that is responsive to prayer and actions calling upon forces, including the Blessing of Adi Da Samraj Himself. Bhagavan has always made it plain to us that we must accept responsibility for our actions and our thoughts and our behavior, and that we create our destiny and the destiny of Adidam through them. On October 21, 1980, I was present for a beautiful discussion with Adi Da, a portion of which was later published and now available as the CD, “The Bridge to God”.
The more psychically awake you become, the more you are aware of the psycho-physical nature of what you call the objective world.
Once you see that the world is psycho-physical in nature, you begin to appreciate the living condition of everything that arises in the field of experience — not living, perhaps, in the sense that a chair can get up and walk out of the room, but living in a magical sense. Your association with so-called inanimate objects can go through many changes. Association with an inanimate place, even just a room, can change. There are feelings associated with it, a sense of energies, emotions, moods, influences, all kinds of factors to which you become sensitive relative to so-called inanimate things, just as you can be sensitive relative to moving and living things.
It is not that you should just arbitrarily take up a view that everything is alive, as if everything were a creature. Rather, you must develop and mature in your psychic sensitivity to things and then begin to appreciate just in what sense everything is alive, and in what sense everything has effect and should be acknowledged as a force. Living things are significant to us because a force is associated with life. Inanimate things are also living in the sense that a force is associated with them. They are living in this sense rather than in the sense that they are mobile. Perhaps it is also true that they can move around. This is not totally out of the question, but it must be observed. At any rate, so-called inanimate objects are alive as forces and influences, and the forces can change and vary in our association with them.
This, then, is part of the magical consciousness that is natural to us: to awaken to this sense of the total cosmos as a living presence, a circumstance of forces. At the root of all these things, animate and inanimate, is Radiant Being, the Utterly Living Conscious Reality. Inanimate things, lower creatures, Man, Nature, the Earth, everything is a modification of That Which is ultimately perfectly Alive, Radiant, Forceful, Conscious, Existing. Thus, to have this sense that everything is alive is not illogical or somehow strange. Everything is alive as force, as energy, as psychic reality.
Adi Da had Himself made a point about this relative to purification and even natural disaster in the talk “The Urgency of the Teaching” which was published in Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House.
“The world, even the Realm of Nature as a whole, is founded on a righteous Principle. Therefore, the world will be purified without a doubt. The Force of the Divine pervades everything, and therefore, It also purifies everything in one way or another. If human beings, while they have the benign capacity to enter into God-Communion, will not do so, but instead create a corrupt culture, a subhuman order, then the purification will not occur within the ordinary and benign course of natural processes. It is then no longer a matter of some Adept’s saying a holy word or speaking the Truth whereupon everyone changes his or her approach to life. It would be good if as many as possible could hear the universal Teaching of Truth and respond to it. But if the Teaching alone is not sufficient then great upheavals necessarily occur. This is how the righteous Law works. It is not just that we pay our dues for past activity. A righteous Principle is positively at work, constantly to purify and to reestablish order.
Thus, there are periods of great negative upheaval in the world, including natural disasters, wars, and conflicts of all kinds. On the one hand, during these periods, the world pays its dues for failing to live by the Law. On the other hand, these times of upheaval are the evidence of a continuous process of purification. They are themselves a demonstration of the Law. At the end of these periods the Law is reestablished in righteousness.
It is very likely that we are entering into such a time of upheaval, because of the extent of the failure of human culture. There is simply no light in the world abroad today. There is nothing but corruption, nothing but the failure to accept the Way of God. ..There is absolutely no sign of the Way of Truth, except in rare instances of individuals and small groups of people. The Truth is essentially hidden and secondary. There is a long history of corruption in every area of human life, and the entire social structure of the world is devoted to subhuman ends and forms of self-indulgence. There are no signs of an imminent Golden Age in the disposition or the condition of humanity at large. Rather, the signs are of the necessity for a great purification, a great reestablishment of order, a righteous readjustment of the whole world.” Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Bhagavan Adi Da made it plain that the actions of human beings contributes to these events, these natural disasters. He spoke of this often in the wake of the great tsunami of December 26, 2004. Bhagavan Adi Da was heart-broken, angry, greatly involved in response to that event. He had in fact “seen it” even prior to the event itself happening. The gathering just before the tsunami, He told us “Blessings on those who pass today”. And I asked Him how He could have said that
JAMES STEINBERG: Beloved, on Saturday night, when You were blessing the Prasad, and You said “Blessings on all those who pass”, was there any conception in You of something specific that was going to occur, or did You just know …
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, it would be impossible for Me to tell you how I work, but did that have anything to do with this event that was going to happen? Yes. And there were also all kinds of modes of knowing it, including the way elephants know it, and there are also just ordinary reflections- ordinary meaning I see TV programs before I watch them and so forth, you see. There’s all kinds of modes of seeing and perception and so on that I could describe to you. There’s also just passages of mind and forms of all kinds that I read off, off the flow, you see. And so there were pictures and scenes including exactly the situation of some of these people, including things like being stuck in a situation where you have to choose among your children about which one you are going to hold on to and which one you are going to let pass into hell, you see. Seeing that, feeling it before the event. So there were things like that. And there were other dimensions to it that had a different characteristic altogether, but just that level of thing, you see. Why would I be seeing that? Where’s this coming from, you see? Some things like that are just at an ordinary, more ordinary psychic level that, after things happen, I look at those things like anyone might who had premonitory kinds of things happen and so forth, and say “Oh that’s why that was”, or else why else would it be? It wasn’t a premonition of a TV program, you see. But it was exactly the pictures.
You have to see My casual footsteps and hear My casual words. December 30, 2014
But relative to the tsunami itself, He was passionate about it, and talked about how it happened and what must be our response in terms of genuine practice afterwards.
Adi Da Samraj in midst of Discourse of December 30, 2004
So if you see the sorrowful, torn-apart faces of the people on television after the tsunami, you see, that’s not Jesus there. Take a moment! You can’t dismiss it. It’s not TV. It’s very impressive reality-TV, if you’d only get it. It’s a lesson for the world. This is the greatest disaster in history, in the particular terms of this immense, large area and all that it is going to require. There is no preparedness for it. And it is only the beginning of what is potential in the world. You pick up the news, newspapers any day and you’ll you’ll hear news about various things in the environment changing and so forth, and don’t you get the picture of what’s happening – the deaths, the diseases, the wars, the absurdity of politicians, just winging it on one another and using up the people like cockroaches? Don’t you see what’s happening?
Adi Da Samraj in midst of Discourse of December 30, 2004
And it’s not merely about becoming political. Everybody’s political in the sense that they live among human beings. Compassion, fellow sympathy should be inevitable if you are not armored. So everybody has political obligation, just face to face. You don’t have to become politically active in the larger public sense, but altogether all of humanity must become political. You are being used by politics. So it’s time you realized it. It’s not done between armies any more. The people are the fodder of war now. Don’t let it happen! Don’t agree to it! You are being propagandized into accepting a future that no one will survive. It’s not about becoming negative in the world. It’s about becoming entirely positive, but it’s about not just spouting slogans about it. It’s very straightforward.
Enter into co-operation, establish means that acknowledge the connectedness of mankind, and get on with your business. This isn’t just a game for gain, a competition like a sporting event. That’s for stupid people who don’t see what’s in front of their eyes. Wake up and see the suffering, feel it yourself, enter into a sympathetic disillusionment, a positive disillusionment. Then you will do the necessary things in the human scale, but you also practice the profound way of Truth, and not merely be true believers fighting for your tribal deity and your right to be false and murderously righteous. Don’t allow it! It’s up to you.
Be a renunciate and live to Realize Me. That’s My recommendation. It’s up to you. December 30, 2014
Here is another important comment, from January 14, 2005
Adi Da Samraj in midst of Discourse of January 14, 2005
I made Myself very clear, I think, in the time of this terrible disaster, which is still ongoing, that which happened as an event, you see, in the Pacific areas, terrible earthquake and tsunami event, in which 155 or so thousand now are counted as—more, presumably–and so on. But just all the other suffering of it, all of it. I suppose I made it clear to you something of what the implications of that really are, and how it affects the illusions in which you are living and the illusions in which you are even presuming to be devotees of Mine, you see. A lot of God talk, you see.
Here is a last comment in which Adi Da again speaks of the human element that brings about these natural calamities, this is from December 30, 2004, just four days after the tsunami:
Can you find any deity idea that would justify this, you see? It is inconceivable. You can’t attribute this to some Divine cause, absolutely not. It’s a terrible natural event, and whatever else is involved in it, human causes of whatever kind – energies of humanity or just every kind of environment and this and that and whatever somehow affecting the earth crust. Whatever you can theorize about or think about the maybe’s of it, it’s not completely off the wall to wonder about the human effect, however.
8. Causes for the Valley Fire and Cyclone Winston and our own self-inspection
The culture of Adidam is weak right now, the culture is not living as it should be altogether, and most of the current membership is rapidly reaching the elder years. I am listening today to one of the Avataric Revelation Discourses from 2005 as I am writing this post. It is just one picked at random, because I was looking for the comment about the Durga Mahishasuramardini which I quoted above. In this discourse, Avatar Adi Da was already criticizing our culture as a Mummery at that point, and calling for us to transform everything. He was already speaking of Himself as being a “prisoner” of devotees who were not practicing rightly. He said that this was often done unconsciously because we simply did not know how to relate to Him and were not relating to Him rightly. He says that we have already exhausted His Body through our non-response. He says that this is not a threat, but the statement of a fact.
I’ve exhausted Myself raising My Voice at you. It’s not worth My doing it anymore. It’s all up to you now. I just mustn’t do this anymore. I can’t survive it anymore. I’ve told you This Body is ill, it’s been made ill. You have to understand, I CANNOT continue this Incarnation much longer, strained as I am. You can take that as serious as you like or not. I am not threatening you, I am just telling you plain that I know you have exhausted Me, exhausted This Body and I cannot do this anymore and so that means this is finished.
This mode of association with Me in which you don’t have the obligation of practice and do not have the obligation of gifts or rightness and can simply relate to Me casually and act like the dumb buffalo demon, you see, and just talk absurdities at Me and carry on your absurdly ordinary subhuman existence, even your lowness, non-devotional, undisciplined, lives obsessed with money, food, sex, and social ego and social religiosity. January 5, 2005
Of course, things did not really change, and of course Bhagavan Adi Da took Mahasamadhi at the age of 69, a very young age considering how long people can live these days. I think that we have to confess to the fact that we did not allow His Body to continue because we did not bring Him real Gifts. And this confession is the beginning of a rightening that I feel that we have to allow.
This, of course, has continued after Bhagavan Adi Da’s Mahasamadhi. I am not in this post pointing any fingers. All of us who are devotees of Adi Da should take responsibility each individually. But I feel that we need to discuss this openly. Even after the earlier post that I have had pinned to the top of this website, “what is happening in Adidam?” we have had the really terrible news about the injury of a temporary staff member at Naitauba. Again, we should see this as a sign that something is amiss. Not to feel guilty or to point a finger at someone. But so that we can honestly look at the pattern and see where we need to change. As we can see, the pattern that we have established so far is one in which there is a destructive force that is being allowed to demolish Adi Da’s Environments and the Sacred spaces that He so painstakingly invested Himself in and established with the intention that they would be present forever.
It should be obvious to anyone who looks at Adidam that it is time for us to righten ourselves. The fact that our culture has been in such disarry creates a psychic vacuum which leaves Bhagavan’s environments unprotected by the psychic force of a true culture. Very far above in this post, I put in the sentence from The Aletheon:
All of These Most Sacred Places must be preserved as the Great Divine Avataric Holy Places of Adidam Ruchiradam forever. …..
So we obviously have failed in this in terms of the destruction that has been caused in some of these natural disasters. And to feel that it was just a practical failure is to only look at the situation very superficially and defensively.
We need to look at our own practice, at the structures of Adidam and how they may be misaligned. We need to all involve ourselves in the transformation of Adidam, rather than having all of the important decisions made by a small group that “know”. Bhagavan Adi Da was always critical of the “wolves and sheeps” phenomena, in which somehow a few of us think that we can make all the decisions for all the others, who seem to be or are assumed to be happy to sit on the sidelines, and perhaps complain or get upset, but altogether are reduced to inaction. All of us have to assume responsibility for this circumstance.
After the Valley Fire here there was an opening for a time where we were so shaken and stirred up that we allowed Bhagavan Adi Da to “come in” for a while. More deeply and truly. But it solidified again pretty quickly and within a month or two–by the time I came back from India in early December, 2015, I saw that things had gone back to business as usual for most of the devotees–particularly those who had not lost much or went back to circumstances that were congenial. The pattern really did not change–and the pattern now with Hurricane Tomas and the Valley Fire and Hurricane Winston is not protecting Bhagavan. What kind of a bead do we need on our malas to remember this? It would likely have to be pretty big.
In some of the reports we are hearing from Naitauba we are again hearing that things are opened up and Bhagavan Adi Da is “coming in”. That is wonderful. But a couple of things need to be said about that.
There is some counseling that is going on for some devotees who are still feeling the effects here in Lake County of the Valley Fire. (and truly—who isn’t? just drive from Loch Lomond down to Middletown and it is impossible to immunize ourselves from the vision that you get).
The counselors passed out a handout which describes the phases after a natural disaster. After an initial heroic phase where there is a lot of activity to get the basics together there is what they call the “honeymoon phase”. Here assistance is now readily available (water and food and electricity and shelter, etc.) and there is “optimism that everything will return to normal quickly”. It said that this phase does not last that long, but that afterwards there can be a longer period of disillusionment.
Obviously, this is a conventional model. And I do feel, as I expressed in the previous post, “What is happening in Adidam?” that Bhagavan’s Embracing Arms in some sense are being felt, and not just a conventional honeymoon.
We need to use this time, when things are still feeling shattered open and a lot of the normal self-enclosure is not in place to have a real conversation and to make changes. Obviously and always this should not be done as “case talk”. It should be done in the context of our whole-bodily devotional recognition response to Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj and our turning to Him. But He has always told us that there were times when we needed to take a good hard look at ourselves. This is one of those times. Otherwise, things will just shut down again, solidify again. And we will be telling ourselves a story or myth of how special it all is, when in truth there has been no change in the underlying pattern, and only temporarily getting through it all.
This post is certainly way too long and if you are still with me here, let me not presume any negativity about this. But instead to say that this necessary time of “consideration” and the ability to inspect ourselves, and to admit to our “pit of snakes”, is one of the great Gifts of Adi Da as the Avatar of Brightness, who incarnated down to His Toes. It is our virtue as a community when Bhagavan Adi Da was Alive that we were a Reality community. When things were right we did not live on the basis of myth, or “spin” or disembodied words, or any version of Adidam speak. Devotees truly practicing always have a healthy suspicion of themselves.
On September 23, 2004 Bhagavan said this in one of the Avataric Revelation Discourses
Part of the integrity of being a devotee of Mine is to have a fundamental and very serious mistrust of yourself. Don’t really take anything you say or think seriously. At least in absolute terms. Be true. Speak true. But, understand your experiences are all occurring within the context of bondage. And your thinking is all occurring within the context of egoity and presumptions that are virtually totally untrue. The entire mind is based on no true anything. [Laughter]So,whatever you’re thinking, they are the thoughts of a fool and a fake [laughter]. Once you’ve grasped this and accept it, you see, it’s very easy to be humble because you have a great deal to be humble about. [Laughter] And you’re freely capable then of observing yourself without any blinders on, you see.
All of us, myself especially included (suspicious for just having written such a long post) need to be willing to observe ourselves without any blinders. We are a community that is in the midst of a crisis.
Of course all devotees know that Bhagavan’s Teaching is eternal, and that He is the greatest Adept that has lived, and so forth and so on. And I have faith in His Accomplishing Power. But we, as a community have just witnessed two natural disasters within six months, and then one of our temporary employees having his leg severed.
In an Avataric Revelation Discourse, when Adi Da Samraj was talking with Reuben Weiss I believe, He told us that we might come to a time in practice in which we realized the fault of what we had been doing. He said that we might notice that everything that we had been doing for the past twenty years was off. That all of our practice was fruitless. Bhagavan Adi Da told us that even then, the only response that we could make at that point was to change everything and to start again. I believe that as a community we are at such a point.
Let’s have a real conversation, with humility, about what we might need to change? Can we not all take responsibility, instead of leaving Adidam in the hands of a few that obviously cannot handle the situation by themselves? These and many other questions are, I hope, raised by the events of this last period. I would like to hear what people are feeling?