Integral World Psychologists and Pundits

The following was posted on the Integral World Forum in response to David Lane’s comments on Brad Reynolds essay ‘Defending Adi Da Samraj” (

Mr Lane,
I’m sorry to read of your inability to understand the complexities of the spiritual path. (see David’s post, help you let me first start with a Rumi quote:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there….(where) ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense”.
Mevlana Jelaluddin RumiIn reading your essay above and also reading some materials on Integral World (Reynolds, Benjamin) that discuss Adi Da Samraj’s alleged unethical behaviors that date back to 1974 during the so called ‘Garbage and Goddess’ period. I would like to remind you and your readers that caution should always the rule when approaching anyone in the role of an authority and personal responsibility the moral law.
The issue of course is how can individuals who ‘claim’ enlightenment do hurtful things under the name of truth? Setting aside for a moment the problems of contemporary Western teachers such as Andrew Cohen or Genpo Roshi, why would a great sage such as Upasani Maharaja throw a rock and hit Avatar Meher Baba in the head and cause it to bleed? If Adi Da, also a self-confessed Avatar of this age, is enlightened how could he do what some people experienced and perceived as negative actions while in his company?
If answers or ‘rationalizations’ are given, as you so rightly point out, they are usually from believers or bhakti-infused devotees in the form of it’s a ‘teaching demonstration”. One such example of this is a story about the Great Saint Shirdi Sai Baba from the book, ‘Shri Sai Satcharita’:
“They both decided to go to Shirdi. They came from Korallah to Rahata where Tatya’s Munim brought them to Shirdi. Baba abused and beat him and he was often afraid of Baba. But Dixit allayed his fears saying it was a blessing in disguise”.
If anyone were to inquire as to the condition of an enlightened being, which is suppose to be about love, how can “wacking” someone around or performing strange sexual behaviors be consistent with bliss, love and awakening? How does this ‘square’ with truth and enlightenment? It simply doesn’t square with anything! It doesn’t. And it can never be ‘reconciled’ with our notions of enlightenment or what is good, right and true. What then are we left with when we hear and read stories of abuse and deception? Aren’t ethics a part of enlightenment? What is going on here? Are these stories an abuse of power founded in ‘unfinished’ psychological issues of a guru or teacher and then rationalized by them and their followers as a ‘teaching demonstration’? Or are these behaviors ultimately a paradox in minds of some, a crucible for others and a big red flag for most! None of this behavior, ‘crazy-wise’ or whatever you’d like to call it, can ever be ‘rationalized’, legitimized or made to conform to conventional ideas of morality. The intersection is zero. If they fall anywhere on a spectrum of morality, they fall on the side of ‘wrong’ and depending on their circumstances potentially ‘abusive’ and maybe criminal.
That said, people should be cautioned before entering into a spiritual relationship with a teacher, guru or anyone given an authoritative position. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was remembered by Jack Kornfield to have said,
“My advice to you is not to undertake the spiritual path. It is too difficult, too long, and it is too demanding. What I would suggest, if you haven’t already begun, is to go to the door, ask for your money back, and go home now.” He said, “This is not a picnic. It is really going to ask everything of you and you should understand that from the beginning. So it is best not to begin. However,” he said, “if you do begin, it is best to finish.”
Finally, we are left with a paradox and a razor’s edge as Somerset Maugham wrote in his 1944 book, ‘The Razor’s Edge’. “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over, thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard”. He took this warning from the Hindu classic Katha Upanishad written 1,000 years before Christ.
The idea of spiritual abuse is not a new phenomenon. In the Old Testament, God spoke against those who operated in their own authority while abusing the very people they were to bless. In Jeremiah 5:30-31 we read, “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”
Not only should one be aware of false prophets and priests who abuse their power (see the movie ‘Spotlight’) but it’s clear from ALL sources the spiritual path ITSELF is dangerous. Why is it dangerous? Why doesn’t it evolve into mindfulness and relaxation exercises that help the ego function better? Why must it also include Milarepa’s ordeal with Marpa? The reason the spiritual path is dangerous is because it is not just about ‘a loving father’ or about a ‘radiant’ mother called Mary or Shakti. It is about a stark confrontation with Truth, Reality and God and the dissolution of whatever keeps us from That. It fundamentally about dissolving the Grand Illusion that we exist as somehow separate from That.
It is clear to any mature student of philosophy and spirituality the path (as opposed to ‘the religious life’) is a double edged sword. This is evidenced in temples and churches that look magnificent from the outside but once inside require more than people bargained for. At first the appearance is inviting and attractive…and then the light turns into a fire.
So, the moral here is CAUTION. For most, it’s best to stay in the sandbox. Dilatants, pundits and philosophers should follow the rules they learned as children. Live with and be guided by the admonishments of parents, teachers, authorities and governments. “STAY AWAY FROM CULTS AND GURUS’.
But, if you find yourself sensing something more than the clamor of these overseers then go onward. Step forward into the dark unknown regions described in the ‘Iron John’ story, and go deeper. Be very careful. Don’t lose your discrimination. Be watchful. Comment, warn and condemn when need be.
But please, don’t ever convey the impression that you have the full story. Don’t act like you really know what’s going on. The further down the rabbit hole you go the more things shift, melt, morph and change.
If you wish to be spectator, commentator, pundit or philosopher than be cautious as you sit at the ‘right’ side of truth. Have your disclaimer ready when you bear witness. The disclaimer you should make to your readers is this: you do not have all the facts. The truth is you fundamentally don’t know. You’re guessing. The best you are able to do is to imitate a scientist. You can formulate a problem, gather evidence, listen to people, study and consider the data, and then, from an admittedly limited point of view, you can draw a conclusion.
Your disclaimer should read something like:
“This is only my best guess. It does not reflect the full truth. Any conclusions you draw from my statements are solely your responsibility”
As a writer and a commentator you should always remember that your statements and conclusions can have influence. They might be crucial to the development or the retardation of those who give their faith, trust and hope to you. Tread lightly, not only for the good of others but also for yourself. Remember that the sword of Manjushri cuts both ways.

Adi Da’s Passing – Mahasamadhi

The death of Adi Da – Adi Da Mahasamadhi – The passing of Adi Da

Adi Da Samraj

Taken the day before he passed

Listen to audio of Adi Da (Bubba Free John) describe the

Purpose of The Human Guru – 1974

Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj

Divine Mahasamadhi


9:05 pm, Wednesday, November 26th PST

My Real Divine Avataric Work has only now Begun

Listen to Adi Da
Embodiment of Purusha

(01:18 sec)

full talk

Read a Leela
written 8 months after the passing of Adi Da by Michael
Shaw, devotee

Terry Patten – Integral Heart – Blog

Memoriam: Adi Da Samraj —

of No Seeking


“In 1972 I became aware of
Franklin Jones…I was graced with, or maybe just lucked
into, an intense five-year relationship with Franklin as my
spiritual teacher”

DEVOTEE: As the Guru sheds the physical body, is it the
Divine Force that becomes alive in the disciples and other
people who live in relationship to the Guru?

BUBBA: Sure. Then the devotees of
such a one become the functional means for the presentation
of that Force in the world. They have that living
relationship with the Guru, who is now gone in his ordinary
human form. Their relationship is unbroken, so the activity,
the Divine Siddhi that was the Guru continues to manifest
through them as a community.

– 1973

BUBBA: …communities tend to become not communities, but
cults. They tend to be centered in the personality of a
Guru, directed to that Guru as a form of

It is the community re-enacting the
ritual of the ego that people all enact individually. So
they never become a community, and they never turn outward
and become functional and truly live this Siddhi. They
remain inward directed, always concentrating on this one who
is gone. I have told you that the Guru comes to manifest
that Satsang that existed prior to his physical birth.
People don’t relate to that. After the Guru’s death they try
to relate to that Satsang that he apparently generated
during his lifetime.

So they go around trying to remember
what he looked like and carrying that whole cult of his
personality, instead of truly living the Divine Satsang that
he was here to communicate while he was

– 1973

“My promise to devotees is the same that all the Siddhas
have declared*: I am with you now, as I have always
been, and I will always be with you. My Function is without
beginning or end. The work I do in my psycho-physical form
is temporary. it is done in order to re-awaken The Way
itself. Therefore, my human life is only a moment. But the
purpose of my work while alive is to establish The Way of
Understanding in Satsang for the coming generations of
mankind. And the special inheritance of my devotees will be
the Community, the Teaching, and the Living Places I will
create and reserve among you.

Bubba Free John, October 18,

*When in 1953 Guru
Dev (Swami Brahmananda Saraswati Shankaracharya of
Jyotirmath) left this mortal frame and attained nirvana…I
became very sad, very sorry, very morose, the entire world
was emtpy for me and I did not understand what to do without
Guru Dev. Just a minute or two seconds after Guru Dev
appeared to me and was scolding me;

“What a fool you are! You have
been with me for all these many years and you heard my
discourses too. Why should you be sorry today? And you think
that I am gone, where am I gone? Till now whenever you
wanted to meet me , you had to come to the place where I
was, and today when I have attained nirvana, I am
everywhere, I am omnipresent, Where have I gone? Very
foolish for you to mourn on this occasion. I am with you,
here, there, everywhere. Why should you be

pp. 308-09 The
Biography of Guru Dev
Vol II, Paul Mason

“My psycho-physical form is mortal, a function of the

and Name

“When this life of Bubba Free John (Adi Da) is abandoned,
the Person and Siddhi of the Divine will continue to be
manifested to my devotees in exactly the same way I have
made known to them while I live. And the Community of my
devotees will remain in the world as my very incarnation. It
will continue to serve as the fundamental and living
instrument whereby my work will be extended beyond my
lifetime.” – June 7, 1974

and The Goddess – Chapter 10

“The kernel of Liberation…is conscious realization of
complete oneness with the Brahman. It makes little
difference whether this occurs in an embodied state or in a
disembodied one.”

Yoga-Vasistha – The Character of the Liberated Living

I think the guru’s psycho-physical death is a lesson of
the same order so everybody has to get it together without
having to die the same lesson can be taught if it’s
necessary. The same lesson is already being taught by my
withdrawing in various ways into isolation, just leaving
things alone in various ways for periods of time.

“the guru’s psycho-physical death is a lesson of the same
order so everybody has to get it together. Without having to
die the same lesson can be taught if it’s necessary. The
same lesson is already being taught by my withdrawing in
various ways into isolation, just leaving things alone in
various ways for periods of time. My withdrawal not just a
way of becoming independent of the ashram. It’s a way
of requiring the ashram to take on its proper function.
It’s not an abandonment. It’s a form of teaching
in which things are done at the right time and in the proper
way the ashram does begin to fulfill its functions better.
It also begins to be Satsang more as it is, not as a cultic
life with a human individual, but it’s life in God in
divine communion, so the guru takes on opportunities he must
take in order to place his devotees in that more perfect
Satsang. The Ashram is still very childish, people require
very childish consolations when they should be busy doing it
instead of expecting me to be something like an entertainer
or a consoling presence and get them into line, week after
week. Why should that be necessary anymore.”

unpublished talk – 1974

The Mystery – Death – The
Perfect Insult

“(My work is) the same that all the Siddhas have
declared: I am with you now, as I have always been, and I
will always be with you. My Function is without beginning or
end. The work I do in my psycho-physical form is temporary.
It is done in order to reawaken the way itself. Therefore,
my human life is only a moment. But the purpose of my work
while alive is to establish the way of Satsang for the
coming generations of mankind”.

and Name

“…it should be presumed that this transmission will
continue through my Agency…after my death. Spiritual
Agency, once established doesn’t come to an end with
physical death. I will be functioning through tangible
Agency of those who are in this plane, capable of receiving
it. They won’t even have any particular sense necessarily of
having some association with me in a subtle form, an astral
form, that looks like I did during my life….But the Siddhi
itself will remain obvious to them…and the cycle will not
be interrupted.”

Adi Da

“My Work…is mysterious to me. I cannot explain it
really…you all must progressively adapt to
something that has happened that even I cannot explain

Adi Da Samraj,

This is a bardo, a transitional place – in other words, a
transformation of mind…that is what it really is. You
cannot merely…believe it…it is not a doctrine. I can
only Confess to you My State. Either you recognize Me or you
do not.

February 16, 1983,
is not a Gentleman, and I Am That One

The entire function of the human
guru’s appearance in the world is to create devotees. Once
devotees are created, it isn’t necessary for there to be a
human guru. The eternal guru, who is also that human guru,
is always present, and devotees are always in touch with
that one. The creation of devotees is what is necessary, not
the creation of more gurus.

I Said It?

“I see death as just a drawing back in of this extension
here. My so-called death will just draw this psycho-physical
being back into the Position in which I am already living.
This body is not my position.”

if the Universe Were to Disappear in

“It seems trivial to say that everyone dies, but it really
is the case. Love your way beyond it. Do not take it. The
heart cannot accept it. Don’t. You cannot know about it
altogether, but you can trust it.

How do you get to trust it?
Seriously ‘consider’ this matter with Me. The
Heart is faith, it is trust. Where there is no emotional
contraction in the midst of conditions, that is faith, that
is absolute trust. You do not have to be sold on it by
adding a belief structure. Understand. Enter into
heart-Communion with Me for real, and not by self-concern,
but through this response to Me. Then the Law becomes



become energetic in your devotion to Me. You must all become
un-“knowable” to yourselves in the
“Play” with Me.

You must all become so disturbed in
your center that you have no reach to yourself, but, in
spite of your reach, in your simplest activities, you
express Me without “knowledge”– and This Is the
Force of My Intrusion upon Which I Depend, and upon Which My
Continuation is Guaranteed.

When I see all of that multiplied in
My devotees, then I am free to Abandon This Body. You may
consider It somehow unfortunate, but It will

When I see in many of you the energy
of true devotion in My Company, in all kinds of relations
with Me, then I Know that My Birth has Begun. These signs of
your enthusiasm and freedom are My Birth-Pangs. They are the
signs of My Ending in the Body.

These signs demand that Ending, in
order to be instigated and furthered, in order to be refined
and defined. Now This Body must Go. When you see this in one
another, know that the Work of This Body is

“If any one Wonders How This Can Be So, Let him or her Study
The Great Tradition Of The Esoteric Spiritual,
Transcendental, and Divine Realization Of Truth. Let every
one who Will Study The Great Tradition Understand That,
Although The Way Of The Heart Is A New and Most Full
Revelation Made Under the circumstances arising During The
Physical Lifetime Of My Now Speaking Bodily Human Form, It
Is Also The Eternal and Ancient “Secret” Way That Is The
Seed Of All Religions”.

Dawn Horse Testament – Chapter

“It is only in the next
generation beyond this body that the factuality of this
circumstance becomes apparent”

Death is My Birth
– July

“the Guru is not of the kind that at death returns to the

…..”(my influence) remains with those whose connection is
with me, even those who are now on this earth and who do not
know (this) body. That influence is working on them at this

Are Not That Either

November 20, 1975

Sister Death
– On the
Remarkable Departures of Illumined Beings

Ron Boyer, Laughing Man Magazine, 1981

Guru’s feel pain?
– “it is
immaterial to him where and when he leaves the body. Some of
them when passing appear to suffer, others may pass while in
Samadhi and quite unconscious of the outer world, while yet
others may just disappear from sight at the moment of

A Sadhu’s
Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi by Sadhu Arunachala (A.W.

My Death

Bubba Free John 4/17/76

my death, no one will ever see me, but my work will

Breath and Name

“I will yield utterly to the condition of Siddhi and Person
of God, and, therefore, I will remain only Perfectly

Age Journal – 1976

My Death

Garbage and The Goddess

lovers are the cause of my birth

Enlightenment of the Whole Body

body of the Guru is not God

An excerpt from, The Decision to Eat, 4/4/76

withdrawal of my human influence will change

Bubba Free John, 1976

There is no birth either on this or the other side (of the
world). A compound thing (samskrta) originates from its
conditions. Therefore it is sunya by its nature. This fact
comes into the range of knowledge of an omniscient one.

of Nagarjuna


For those who want
more ‘details’ of Adi Da’s death I recommend going
Da Up-Close

November 26, 2008 – The day before
his death

The Temple at the “Brightness”

Divine Mahasamadhi Site

Da Articles


Da Books

Da Audio

Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar

perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is
absolutely no difference between us”

XX, 128-133

All copyright
materials are used under authority of the Fair Use

State Code, Title 17)


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Seven Stages of Life

“In The….Way Of The Heart, There Is A Great Secret In This Matter Of Transition From Stage Of Life To Stage Of Life: The… Way Of The Heart Is A Process That Is Both Progressive and Instant”
On transcending the Stages of Life

Also see:

The Seven States of Eternal Life – Chapter 6 of The Way That I Teach

Birth Until Death: The Culture of Resurrection

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: My Teaching shows how the fundamental human structure is the base for all persuasions, all ideas, all religions, all esotericism. The base for that is the gross, subtle and causal structure underlying human consciousness. And every idea, version or tradition is based on dominance of one or another of those functional bases–gross, subtle or causal–without exception. It covers the world.

My Revelation exceeds all of that. However, it does not say it is all garbage. It just sees it in a system-based way, a system-based means of understanding, so that you will then understand why this Teaching is a unique Revelation that is the Crown of the Great Tradition, and puts it all in order.

It does not say, “none of those other dimensions are useful”. It just speaks of them all as being progressive. Yes, they are ego-based, but so is the human being — so it is not about saying they are all just wrong.

The Way I have given as a discipline covers all the stages of life. The Way of Adidam is not just a transcendentalist way. It covers the entire thing from the beginning, everything gross, everything subtle, everything of a causal nature — not merely exploited for the sake of developing those possibilities, but covered in the sense that you must go beyond them — and there are disciplines that relate to all of the potential kinds of experience. [March 3, 2006]

The following is from ‘The Next Option’ an introduction to the teaching of the Johannine Daist Communion published in 1984. It was published to introduce the teachings and get support for the institution.

Other parts are taken from ‘Sunlight on the Water’ published to introduce the teachings of Da Free John as it related to children’s education and was a source book for the community school ‘Big Wisdom’.
See Education, or My Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of Life
Also see:
The Seven States of Eternal Life (Enlightenment of the Whole Body)

The Seven Stages of Life

The teachings of Adi Da Samraj as it relates to the development of the human individual

It is the Truth upon which the Way of Radical Understanding or Divine Ignorance, as Taught by Master Da Free John, is founded. Therefore, Enlightenment cannot he a matter of progressive attainment. It is, as the Adept affirms, always already the case. But this is to be Realized, which is a matter of free attention and energy. The purpose of spiritual practice is to gradually release our attention and energy from their contracted habit patterns of fixation upon seemingly finite objects and goals. In this way we become more and more open to the possibility of the radical intuition of the Happiness, or Truth, that Outshines all phenomenal states of body and mind.

This occurs as an autonomous process, guided by the Transcendental Attraction of the Adept, of increasing magnification of the tacit intuition of our prior Condition. No ego based, strategic method of self-improvement is involved. As Master Da Free John has discovered and elaborated, however, the spiritual process unfolds in clearly discernible stages, what he calls the Seven Stages of Life.

The model of the seven stages of readaptation to the God-Realized Disposition is unique to the Way of Radical Understanding. It furnishes a structure that allows us to fully examine and rightly evaluate our spiritual and human growth as well as the mass of spiritual teaching and experience that informs our psyche. In other words, the framework developed by the Adept Da Free John permits us to go beyond the taboos and presumptions of conventional religious and secular culture in our consideration of human existence and our personal growth. It is thus a most direct instrument for augmenting self-observation and self-understanding, both being necessary tools of a self-transcending approach to life.

From another point of view, the seven stages can be viewed as a school offering seven lessons about self transcendence the essence of true spirituality. Most people have failed to learn the lesson of even the first stage of life, and so the spiritual practitioner, generally speaking, begins by readapting to what might appear to be very ordinary human functions and responsibilities. It is only after he (or she) has assumed full responsibility in a more ordinary level that higher spiritual processes can occur.

STAGE 1 (Birth to Age 7)

The first stage of life, occupying the years from conception and birth to age seven, is the stage of the individual’s vital-physical adaptation to the world. He learns “simple’ skills like focusing with the eyes, grasping and manipulating objects, walking, talking, assimilating and convening food and breath into energy, controlling bladder and bowels, and so forth.

This is the stage that basically occupies us from conception to seven years of age (or the beginning of true socialization and complex relatedness). It is the period in which we must adapt to our physical individuality and basic physical capacity. Thus, it is not only a period of physical adaptation, but of physical individuation. That is, we must gradually adapt to fully functional physical existence, but we must achieve physical individuation, or physical (and thus mental, emotional, psychic, and psychological) independence from the mother and all others. When this stage is complete, we will not exist in isolation but in a state of conscious relatedness to all others and the world of Nature. Thus, the fulfillment of the first stage of life is marked by the beginnings of the movement toward more complex socialization, cooperation with others, and sensitivity to the total world of Nature.

Sunlight on the Water
Chapter 1
March 1, 1983 – MASTER DA FREE JOHN:

“Education, or My Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of Life.”

Each of the seven stages represents a unique period of adaptation and transcendence, and each subsequent stage is built upon fulfillment of the process of adaptation and transcendence in all previous stages. Therefore, we must clearly understand what special education or schooling must be engaged in each stage. The first stage of life is basically the period of physical adaptation to our functional existence, though other forms of adaptation begin to occur as physical adaptation matures. In addition to the obvious process of physical adaptation, what must also occur at this stage is physical individuation. This means that the child in the first stage of life must realize that he or she is an independent physical personality. In other words, he or she must break the dependency connection to the mother. This is a kind of unconscious connection to another being in which nurturing occurs. The individual must achieve physical independence and therefore mental and emotional independence from the mother.

It is only on the basis of individuation from this one-on-one bond, or more to the point, this “two-who-are-one” bond that the individual can move out socially, into the whole field of relationships. The first stage is complete when we can see the beginnings of a movement toward a more complex socialization with adults and peers, and toward cooperation with others and sensitivity to the total world of Nature.

I should also indicate that the stages of life overlap one another. There are seven stages of life, but there is a period of time at the end of each of the first six stages wherein some characteristics and capabilities of the next stage begin to appear. Thus, toward the end of the first stage of life we should expect to see the signs of individuation, socialization, cooperation, sensitivity to Nature, and so forth. When these signs show themselves stably and significantly, then the schooling of the second stage of life becomes appropriate and inevitable.

STAGE 2 (Years 7-14)

The second stage of life is the stage of the development, integration, and coordination of the emotional-sexual or feeling dimension of the being with the gross physical. Just as in the first stage the individual learns about and is expected to become responsible for the assimilation and elimination of elemental food, in the second stage he must learn about, adapt to, and engage a new dimension of sustenance or food: He must become sensitive to the Life-Current or Energy that pervades the body and all of life, and learn to align body, emotion, feeling, and breathing in a basic disposition of love or relational sacrifice. In this way, the young personality learns to transcend reactive emotion, tendencies toward neurotic inversion, and habits of self-destruction and other-directed aggression.

Sunlight on the Water
Chapter 1
March 1, 1983 – MASTER DA FREE JOHN:

“Education, or My Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of Life.”

STAGE 3 (Years 15-21)

The third stage of life relates to the development of mind and will, as well as the integration of the vital-physical, emotional-sexual, and mental-intentional functions. This stage marks the transition to truly human autonomy wherein the first two stages of life are adapted to a practical and analytical intelligence and an informed will, and the individual gains responsibility for, and control over, his vital life.

It is important to recognize that the maturation through and beyond the first three stages of life is not a matter of “growing older and wiser” in the conventional sense. Rather, the individual’s entrance into the fourth stage of life begins with the awakening of the “psychic heart.” In this stage, the Life-Force or Spirit-Presence is felt to exist independent of, or senior to, the body-mind. By cultivating a conscious relationship to this Presence, the spiritual practitioner begins to demonstrate and enjoy the spiritual qualities of faith, love, and surrender. Thus, devotional surrender to the Living Reality is the essential feature of the fourth stage of life.

p. 34

Taking into consideration the level of sophistication of teenagers, a fairly detailed study of the Teaching” means a basic study of the Teaching and the disciplines. This would entail the study of our practice of diet, exercise, general health principles, service, social life, and those disciplines of meditation that are appropriate at this stage and age. In also includes the study of various other technicalities and the philosophical bases of the conception of the processes of conductivity (or how to be associated with the Life-Current) and real meditation,6 the structure of the world, and so from from a spiritual point of view. These subjects would be on the curriculum for formal, regular, and continuous study by third stagers, along with the conventional subject matters that must be part of everyone’s schooling.

Apart from this, the individual should develop sensitivity to the deeper psyche, or the spontaneous processes of mind that are deeper than ordinary thinking and the social personality. Thus, appropriate meditative exercises of a devotional type should develop in this stage, and the exercise of imagination should, even as earlier in life, be emphasized and rewarded. In addition, the individual should be taught to be sensitive to dreams, even to keep a regular diary that describes nightly dreams and experiences in meditation. And the contents of dreams and meditative experiences should be frequently discussed with adult counselors. In this manner, the individual will develop an

5. “Conductivity” is, in general, the capacity of the body-mind to conduct, or be surrendered into, the All-Pervading Life-Current. Such conductivity or surrender is realized through love, or radiant whole-body feeling to Infinity, and such love involves coordinated engagement of body, breath, and attention in alignment with the Universal Current of Life-Energy.

6. Real meditation, or what Master Os calls the “o Concious ness,” is the senior practice and responsibility Elf practitioners in each stage of the Way. Founded upon true “heating” of the Teaching, or release of self into the Transcendental Condition of Divine Ignorance, it is the discipline of conscious surrender of attention in the Divine to Transcendental Being.

awareness and a with all of its ex subtle or astral I experiences, ex phnomenon, and so

Sunlight on the Water
Chapter 1
March 1, 1983 – MASTER DA FREE JOHN:

“Education, or My Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of Life.”

STAGE 4 (Years 21 and beyond)

The fourth stage of life marks the beginning of spiritual life and true humanness. In this stage the individual’s psychic depth is awakened and adapted to profound intimacy with what Master Da Free John calls the Life-Current.

Unlike the first three stages, which unfold in a semiautomatic fashion, the fourth stage of life and all the other higher stages have no fixed period of time. Rather, they depend entirely on the individual’s qualities and application to the practice of self-transcendence.

The realization of the physical, emotional, mental, and moral responsibilities of the first three stages of life provides the necessary foundation for the testing and transformation in the higher stages of life. Without that basis one may come to enjoy yogic or mystical experiences, for instance, but remain unable to exercise real intelligence, freedom, and love under the most ordinary of human circumstances.


The fifth stage is associated with the mystical aspect of spirituality. The individual’s attention is withdrawn from the theatre of external activity and experience and inverted upon the inner world or ‘subtle physiology” of the brain-mind. The mystical ascent of attention through the psychic centers of the body-mind is conditioned by the nervous system. Experience in this stage reaches its peak in the state of conditional “formless ecstasy” or nirvikalpa samadhi. This elevated state of consciousness is only conditional and temporary, because it still contains the seed of a differentiated self.


The sixth stage of life is the profound stage of “ego-death or the transcendence of the separative self-sense. It implies the transcendence of the mechanism of attention itself and thus of the sense of being a subject over against objects. It represents the individual’s Awakening to Transcendental Consciousness, the “Witness” of all conditions. However, this Realization is exclusive of all objects, because it is founded on the inversion of attention. Thus, the individual intuits his essential Identity as the Transcendental Consciousness hut fails to include the objective world in his Realization.


What is the seventh stage? It is simply that Disposition in which your response to the Divine is complete. What are the stages previous to that? They are just stages of less than complete response, in which certain dimensions of your existence are not yet in the responsive condition or disposition, but which are somehow locked, contracted, unopened. ”
Adi Da Samraj, November 10, 1980

In the seventh or ultimate stage of life the Liberated or Enlightened “individual recognizes everything as a modification of the Radiant Transcendental Being. Now the Transcendental Self is no longer pitted against the phenomenal world. Instead, the world is recognized as continuously arising in the Ultimate Being, which is co-essential with the absolute Self-Identity. This sacrificial act of moment-to- nli)ment recognition of the true nature of phenomenal existence continues into infinity. That is the Disposition of Sahaj Samadhi or native Ecstasy.

In moments where no conditions happen to arise, the Liberated being is immersed in Transcendental Formless Ecstasy (or the Condition of nirvikalpa-samadhi that occurs against the background of Sahaj Samadhi). Master Da Free John also refers to this Disposition as Divine Translation.

In Sahaj Samadhi, which is a permanent Condition.

Sunlight on the Water
Chapter 1
March 1, 1983 – MASTER DA FREE JOHN:

Also see:

See Education, or My Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of Life
The Seven States of Eternal Life (Enlightenment of the Whole Body)

Also see:

The Seven States of Eternal Life – Chapter 6 of The Way That I Teach

Birth Until Death: The Culture of Resurrection

Five Skandhas


by Chogyam Trungpa

To understand more precisely the process of confirming the solidity of I and other, that is, the development of ego, it is helpful to be familiar with the five skandhas, a set of Buddhist concepts which describe ego a five-step process.

The first step or skandha, the birth of ego, is called “form” or basic ignorance. We ignore the open, fluid, and intelligent quality of space. When a gap or space occurs in our experience of mind, when there is a sudden glimpse of awareness openness, absence of self, then a suspicion arise: “Suppose I find that there is no solid me? That possibility scares me. I don’t want to go into that. That abstract paranoia, the discomfort that something may be wrong, is the source of karmic chain reactions. It is the fear of ultimate confusion and despair. The fear of the absence of the self, of the egoless state, is a constant threat to us. “Suppose it is true, what then? I am afraid to look.” We want to maintain some solidity but the only material available with which to work is space, the absence of ego, so we try to solidify or freeze that experience of space. Ignorance in this case is not stupidity, but it is a kind of stubbornness. Suddenly we are bewildered by the discovery of selflessness and do not want to accept it; we want to hold on to something.

Then the next step is the attempt to find a way of occupying ourselves, diverting our attention from our aloneness. The karmic chain reaction begins. Karma is dependent upon the relativity of this and that–my existence and my projections–and karma is continually reborn as we continually try to busy ourselves. In other words, there is a fear of not being confirmed by our projections. One must constantly try to prove that one does exist by feeling one’s projections as a solid thing. Feeling the solidity of something seemingly outside you reassures you that you are a solid entity as well. This is the second skandha, “feeling.”

In the third stage, ego develops three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its projections: indifference, passion and aggression. These impulses are guided by perception. Perception, in this case, is the self-conscious feeling that you must officially report back to central headquarters what is happening in any given moment. Then you can manipulate each situation by organizing another strategy.

In the strategy of indifference, we numb any sensitive areas that we want to avoid, that we think might hurt us. We put on a suit of armor. The second strategy is passion–trying to grasp things and eat them up. It is a magnetizing process. Usually we do not grasp if we feel rich enough. But whenever there is a feeling of poverty, hunger, impotence, then we reach out, we extend our tentacles and attempt to hold onto something. Aggression, the third strategy, is also based on the experience of poverty, the feeling that you cannot survive and therefore must ward off anything that threatens your property or food. Moreover, the more aware you are of the possibilities of being threatened, the more desperate your reaction becomes. You try to run faster and faster in order to find a way of feeding or defending yourself. This speeding about is a form of aggression. Aggression, passion, indifference are part of the third skandha, “perception/impulse.”

Ignorance, feeling, impulse and perception–all are instinctive processes. We operate a radar system which senses our territory. Yet we cannot establish ego properly without intellect, without the ability to conceptualize and name. Since we have so many things happening, we begin to categorize them, putting them into certain pigeon-holes, naming them. We make it official, so to speak. So “intellect” or “concept” is the next stage of ego, the fourth skandha, but even this is not quite enough. We need a very active and efficient mechanism to keep the instinctive and intellectual processes of ego coordinated. That is the last development of ego, the fifth skandha, “consciousness.”

Consciousness consists of emotions and irregular thought patterns, all of which taken together form the different fantasy worlds with which we occupy ourselves. These fantasy worlds are referred to in the scriptures as the “six realms”. The emotions are the highlights of ego, the generals of ego’s army; subconscious thought, day-dreams and other thoughts connect one highlight to another. So thoughts form ego’s army and are constantly in motion, constantly busy. Our thoughts are neurotic in the sense that they irregular, changing direction all the time and overlapping one another. We continually jump from one thought to the next, from spiritual thoughts to sexual fantasies to money matters to domestic thoughts and so on. The whole development of the five skandhas–ignorance/form, feeling, impulse/perception, concept and consciousness–is an attempt on our part to shield ourselves from the truth of our insubstantiality.

The practice of meditation is to see the transparency of this shield. But we cannot immediately start dealing with the basic ignorance itself; that would be like trying to push a wall down all at once. If we want to take this wall down, we must take it down brick by brick; we start with immediately available material, a stepping stone. So the practice of meditation starts with the emotions and thoughts, particularly with the thought process.


Manjushri said to Buddha, “World-Honored One, I have long cultivated good roots and have acquired extensive and profound wisdom. So, as soon as I hear anything the Buddha says, I understand and believe it immediately. However, other living beings may doubt Buddha’s sincere words. They might believe them temporarily but they cannot hold the words in their hearts, and will begin to doubt them and then to criticize them. I hope the World-Honored One can provide more detailed information about Bodhisattva Kishitigarbha, Mahasattva, and tell us what this Bodhisattva did. What kind of vows did this Bodhisattva make that allowed him to achieve this inconceivable thing?”
The Bodhisattva Kishitigarbha Vow Sutra

Manjushri, …made a vow: “From now on for countless aeons, I will provide all kinds of possible ways to relieve all beings from suffering. I will not become a Buddha until they have all been released from pain.” So, even after such a long time, he still has not become a Buddha and is still a Bodhisattva.
The Bodhisattva Kishitigarbha Vow Sutra

comments from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Adi Da on the Bodhisattva vow:

From Chogyam Trungpa:

Student: You spoke of the vajrayana path as one that could lead to enlightenment in this lifetime. Yet in the bodhisattva vow, we vow not to enter enlightenment until all sentient beings have become enlightened. That seems to present a contradiction.

Trungpa Rinpoche: I don’t think so at all. That’s the trick of the mahayana path; it helps you to give up. You’re not going to attain enlightenment at all; you’re going to work with sentient beings. And the idea in vajrayana is that you’re going to attain enlightenment in one lifetime. Both work together. In mahayana, the idea that you’re not going to attain enlighenment cut your spped, your ambition. In the vajrayana, you develope pride, vajra pride, and dignity. Actually, both amount to the same thing. You can’t become buddha in any case at all. Youless, unyou, nonyou, is going to attain enlightenment. That logic holds true all the way along. You can’t attain enlightenment. Maybe nonyou can attain enlighenment. Good luck!

The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa, Vol. 4, p. 191

From Adi Da:

The true Bodhisattva is not one who in any sense prevents his or her own Enlightenment in order to first Enlighten others. How can an un-Enlightened being Enlighten anyone else? Rather, the true Bodhisattva is either pursuing ultimate Enlightenment or else he or she is already fully established in the Awakened Wisdom of true Enlightenment while still alive. The Enlightened Bodhisattva is a true Buddha or Transcendental Siddha. And such an individual may intentionally remain in the phenomenal worlds through countless rebirths in order to Awaken others – but this does not involve the prevention of his or her own Enlightenment. The Buddha’s or Enlightened Bodhisattvas or Awakened Siddhas that constantly or periodically reappear in the phenomenal worlds for the sake of Helping un-Enlightened beings always reassert their Enlightenment in each lifetime. What they prevent is not Enlightenment but the Hinayana form of Nirvana.

One Who Practices Bodhicitta

1. Bodhisattva Practices 10 Paramitas (Bhumi)

2. Forty Six Way in Which a Bodhisattva Fails

3. Ten signs of a Bodhisattva (10 Bhumi’s)

Evolution of Adi Da – Franklin Jones to Adi Da Samraj

The Evolution of Adi Da Samraj – from Franklin Jones to Adi Da Samraj

“One has to open to receive, if one is closed you can’t get it, you will only get yourself reflected back”
“Realization is not an end of the process but a beginning”

The Beezone

To understand the transformation and enlightenment of Adi Da Samraj it is important and necessary to understand that Enlightenment or Realization has a yogic or energetic process associated with it.

In some individuals a ‘spiritual transimission‘ is associated with their Realization and a function is then associated with that, i.e. Guru Function or Transmission which takes place in a larger Cosmic or Universal Process, which has a play in the evolution of the world(s).

1970 – Franklin Jones

‘Attains’ full Enlightenment at the Vedanta Temple in Los Angeles.

Shakti and Siva merge.

People begin to come to him and his teaching begins, The Way of Understanding

In this period Franklin becomes enlightened, but we have to remember there is a ‘force’ associated with his presence. Many who were with him in Los Angeles prior to him opening the bookstore testify to his extraordinary presence, even in locations he had been in a presence could be felt. This presence is the siddhi or shakti power associated with Franklin which he describes the days leading up to his enlightenment ‘experience’ in the Vedanta Temple in Los Angeles. “I went to the temple and asked Her to come and dwell permanently in me, and always to manifest Herself to me wherever I was. When I left I felt Her with me, and when I arrived at home, I continued to feel Her constant Presence Filling the space.”
Vedanta Experience

The Shakti and Franklin’s enlightenment are tied together. What becomes apparent when you read Adi Da’s writings and witness his ‘evolution’ one can see a ‘pattern’ of changes and a sort of development that matches his ‘seven stages of life’ teaching, obviously referring to the higher stages of human development.

It is important the remember that the ‘individual’ Franklin Jones or the identity of the separate individual was no longer there. Many people who have had contact with Franklin Jones at this time (and later) comment on the ‘absence’ or ‘death’ of a separate person. “No one was there” is a common observation when commenting about what Adi Da appears as.

Adi Da himself talks about this:

“I don’t have any sense of identification with this life. I don’t have any images about it that particularly impress me as being my own. I mentioned to you how, after the event in the Vedanta Temple, I would sit down and meditate and other people’s minds and bodies would arise. I would work with them just as if they were my own, and it was all my own, without any sense either of identification with or separation from any of it. It was just the pattern arising to be meditated. just so, there is no sense in me of identification with these vehicles at the level of life.”
Garbage and the Goddess – chapter 13

So now he apparently enters the true Bodhisvatta phase of life. Not the phase where he relinquishes his enlightenment but now becomes a direct agency of the Enlightened state of Mind.

For the skeptics this is where they bow out (or react against). They bow out because the whole thing becomes ‘other worldly’ and no longer reflects their physical or psychological understanding of how the world works. It just gets too weird. And it does!

There is the body and the natural identification with it, there are memories and habit patterns of mind and body.
Dissolution of the habit-energies of attention

In his notes after his realization he writes:

“I have one motive now in the midst of all of you. It is to be heard. I appear now as a communication. I am the other side, who speaks in time and space, I am that One. The Universe is my present work. My efforts are not in the great search. All my efforts, my force, is creative, emerging, appearing and making possible the universe of love. Thus, you can understand the reason for my appearance in my present form. I am not Franklin. I am the universe of love. I am all of this. Franklin is a form of my speech. He has no independent existence. Therefore, he does not appear separate from me, nor from you. His moods are my own, and also those of the present time, But I am the universe of love. And I will be heard.”
Crazy Wisdom, Vol 6, No., March/April 1987, p.9

Acknowledgment ? Franklin looks for historical references to his ‘experience’ and understanding

Previously – Swami Muktananda’s letter 1969 giving him the right to teach meditation to others “according to the rules of the lineage.” (Saraswati order).

Also see:

The Spiritual Instructions of Swami Muktananda

1973 – Bubba Free John

Franklin visits Muktananda to propose four questions. He does not get any answers or acknowledgment.

He returns with the name Bubba Free John.

Teaching demonstrations begin
“clear to me that the primary reason why people fail to practice this Way truly is that they do not yet take the Lesson of life seriously”
“The Knee of Listening is sufficient by itself, as a description of the Way and its Realization. But it is perhaps not sufficient as a source from which people can generate practice and Realization. That required all the theatre of Teaching and all the elaborations.”

Acknowledgment ?

1975 – December 1st –
Announcing the Way of Divine Communion
“The obligations of the way of Understanding are more severe, and its communications are more complex. The way of Divine Communion is simpler in concept, and its disciplines are obligatory only to the degree each individual chooses or finds the capacity in any moment.”

1976 – The Yogic Process

“The Blessed Lord said : This imperishable Yoga…handed on down the line, the King-Sages knew. This yoga by great efflux of time decayed in the world, O Parantapa. This same ancient yoga hath been to-day declared to thee by Me, for thou art My devotee and My friend ; it is the supreme Secret.
Bhagavad-Gita, Discourse ii, verse 22.

The “cosmic birthday joke”
from: The Divine Emergence of the World-Teacher – pp. 163-4
On November 1, 1976 druing a conversation with devotee Master Da began to feel ill and feverish. He thought a fast would be good and said the symptoms were signs of a Yogic process or purification occuring. The next day the symptoms were beginning to develop to such a degree he went into seclusion. This purification was rather quick and in a few days was out of seclusion and talking again with devotees. He described this purification as a ‘death’ experience similar to the one in his seminary days in Philadelphia in 1967.

This event started a process of relative seclusion and his asana of “Standing Firm”.

Read in Enlighenment of the Whole Body, p.81 paragraph – The seventh stage if full

1977 – Bubba Free John returns to India and visits the Ashram of Ramana Maharshi.

Bubba receives full ‘Acknowledgment’ of his realization from Ramana and also simultaneously from the Cosmic Mandala.

Acknowledgment = Revelation
Communion and Identification with
Ramana’s Living Presence.

“It was at the crucial moment, then, that Heart-Master Da began to fully ackowledge a startling truth: The Enlighened Process occurring in Him was no long being mediated, catalyzed, or even corroborted in any way by any conditional agent whatsoever – even another Enlightened Adept ….. He was truly “alone in God”.
pp.170, The Divine Emergence of the World-Teacher

“I can now be available to those who will know how to make use of Me, who will value a relationship with Somebody who is not longer psycho-physcially constricted….(one) who represents a pure Agency of Absolute Intensity.”

1979 – Da Love Ananda

On September 13, 1979, Adi Da sat down and wrote a letter to his devotees confessing that his name is “Da”, the One Who is “Manifest As all worlds and forms and beings”.

1986Divine EmergenceRevelation Years – World Teacher – Teaching Work to Blessing Work – Yogic Descent

Beezone paraphrase:

“You will not be able to understand it because it is a demand and until you are able to accept that demand it will be unacceptable to you.”

Spiritual event, initiated (not an event in itself) on 1/11/86 and is continuing

January 11, 1986, was a sudden and spontaneous transition…. to My Work as the Eternally Free-Standing, and always presently “Emerging”, Divine World-Teacher. It was a Transition in My Disposition from My Work of Submitting to others…. to simply Surrendering My human Body-Mind into My own Self-Condition.

April 11, 1986 formally accepts “sannyasa diksha” accepting the name Love-Ananda.

Aug 1988, Adi Da speaks about the Emergence:

“I have not wanted to say very much about this process…this process cannot be accurately communicated through language… one has to sensitize themselves…”

In the beginning Adi Da tried to describe the event in terms of what others perceived it to be…death….but that was not actually the event, “I simply allowed people their own experiential perception….and tried to help them understand what they had perceived”…

Submitting the body to devotees changed to Surrendering the body into Self-Condition.

Not a physical death and resurrection.

What was unique was a ‘turnabout’ in My own Disposition relative to the body.

Before the Emergence there was a submission of the body to others, I could teach them……I used my own body as a means of identification by submitting to their condition…reflecting people to themselves.

In a moment this method was relinquished….due to the failure of My Teaching Work…this was a despair collapse bodily and emotionally….and utter relinquishment of the body…giving up the body…

then the turnabout…the despair disappeared…no more giving the body up to death…I was simply (as always) simply ‘standing In and As my True Nature

Sacrificial Act unique kind of Tapas ..producing more Brightness…

Not a death but a yogic swoon (Bhava Samadhi)

Began as a struggle with devotees

Talk by Kanya Tripura Rahasya :

Ecstatic proclamation about the uniqueness …whose appearance surpasses anything that has ever existed

“Most profound acknowledgment that one may make of Adi Da”

In her talk she hoped “his message” (Divine Emergence) would transform your understanding of his birth.

His message is most profound and fundamental.

He is no longer working with just devotees but the whole world.

Establisheds the Advaitayana Buddhist Communion which acknowledges the relationship between the Way (That He Teaches) of Adidam and the Great Tradition as a whole.


Shakti told him “Stand Firm”.

March 16, 1988

1991 – Da Avabhasa

“Da Avabhasa” was the primary Name used in public by Avatar Adi Da Samraj from 1991 through 1994.

In 1991, Avatar Adi Da was presented with a song praising Him as “Avabhasa”. Avatar Adi Da Received the words of this song as an acknowledgment of Who He Is, indicating, on the last day of April 1991, that He accepted “Da Avabhasa” as one of His True Names, and the principal Name by which He was to be called. Though it is no longer used as His primary Name, “Da Avabhasa” is still an appropriate reference to Avatar Adi Da

1994 – Adi Da

On September 7, 1994, Adi Da Samraj experiences another Yogic Event that signifies His Divine Work has come to Completeness.

“Adi Da” is the principal Name of Avatar Adi Da Samraj.

The Name “Adi Da” was Revealed to Adi Da (then known as “Da Avabhasa”) on October 7, 1994. “Adi” is a Sanskrit word that means “first”, “primordial”, “source”. It is additionally defined as “primary”, “beginning”, “commencement”, and “first fruits”.


In early 1997, Adi Da Samraj experiences a profound physical ordeal that corresponds to the creation of a new Text, Hridaya Rosary.

2000 Lopez Island

He later Revealed that, in that event, He had completed the “opposite” of His Yogic Descent in 1986 — while His Avataric Divine Self-“Emergence” was the completion of His Descent into the realm of conditional beings, the Lopez Island Event was His Direct Ascent, to the Primal “Bright” Spiritual Self-Condition of Conscious Light

April 16, 2000

I cannot describe My Blessing Work in a way that makes all that much sense to you except to say that I actually participate, all the time, in the events and circumstances that potentially effect the global possibilities of mankind’s survival but I do so outside of the physical.

This is a work in progress – August 2007

Also see:

The Wisdom and Practices of Adidam

Can the Guru Awaken Others

Can Guru’s Awaken Individuals?
Yes and No

The question of whether or not a Guru can enlighten individuals/devotees is a very complicated and complex question. The question can be answered in both the afirmative and the negative. But in both cases the subtle aspects of the question still remain.

It is said in the traditions that a Guru or Teacher is necessary because “Enlightenment is virtually impossible without the guidance and Grace of a God-Realized Teacher”.1 It s also said, “that which is to be Realized is in the Divine Self Position. And It is to be Realized not by appealing to something outside yourself”.2

The answers then can fit both common types of misunderstandings. One group of people will say ‘yes’ and then follow any teacher or guru in a child like manner. And the other more independent type of individual will say ‘no’ and try to enlighten themselves, or better yet, claim they are already enlightened!

Can we address this question without the traps of childish beliefs or adolescent arrogance? IS there a mature approach that is not compromised by self-emptying nor self-assertion?

“The Gurus” presiding presence, the most powerful force, can do wonders: save souls, give peace of mind, even give liberation to ripe souls. Your prayers are not answered by him but absorbed by his presence. His presence saves you, wards off the karma…..The jnani does save the devotees, but not by sankalpa, which is non-existent in him, only through his presiding presence, his sannidhi (Divine presence).”
‘Talks’ is from S.S. Cohen from his book Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana Maharshi

A disciple and devotee of the Great 20th Century Indian Sage, Ramana Maharshi, Sidney Cohen asked this question to his Guru. He asked, “can the Guru make his disciples realize the Self”, Sri Ramana answers it in this way:

“…the Guru does not bring about Self-realization, but simply removes the obstacles to it. The Self is always realized. So long as you seek Self-realization the Guru is necessary. Guru is the Self. Take the Guru to be the real Self and yourself the individual. The disappearance of this sense of duality is removal of ignorance. So long as duality persists in you the Guru is necessary. Because you identify yourself with the body (and mind), you imagine the Guru to be the body. You are not the body, nor is the Guru. You are the Self and so is he. Th(is) knowledge is gained by what you call Self-realization”.

In his comments on this Cohen says, “Bhagavan does not recognize the possibility of transmitting a power to a person to make him realize the Self. In fact no such power is at all necessary. What is necessary for the cognition of the Real is not an addition but a subtraction – the removal of the sense of duality with covers the One consciousness.”

“I found over time, that the Way is a process of self-understanding – a process continually Served by the penetrating Insight and Compassion…’of the Guru’. I discovered that the practice…was a constance revelation of my own activity, not just one “final” moment of observation…”
The Perfect Alternative – Kanya Samatva Suprithi

It is clear that the Guru can awaken and individual who puts his or her attention on the Guru. Is this then a permanant change? is the devotee now awakened? Of course the answer is NO, the devotee is not awakened, permanently. As Cohen says, “All that the Guru can do is to help (the disciple) correct (his) false identification (with mind, body and self).”


The Guru activates and initiates the student/individual/devotee. The Guru can’t ‘remove’ karma’s of lifetimes. The Guru can not permanently change the destiny of the individual, and magically change ones life into a divinely enlightened condition.

In an early talk4 Adi Da (then Bubba Free John) says:”If your approach to me is wonderful and full of love and sacrifice, as it should be, then all the karma that must be seen, that must become your responsibility, can be shown to you easily. I am willing to it to be shown to you in a dream or in just a brief moment, some little circumstance that come and goes. I am perfectly willing for you to understand that dimension that you must understand in yourself on just such an occasion. I am willing for these karmas to pass in easy ways, in dreams and simple circumstances. But if you approach is not whole, not direct, not one of service, consciously lived all the time, to the degree that you do not live such sadhana in my Company, you must suffer your karmas as they stand. They will still be awakened in you by the force of this Company that you keep with me, but they will be awakened in gross ways, as they tend to appear outwardly in your life, outwardly in the waking state. Then the process has to be very dramatic and heavy.”

In this Process of Translation, we pass as if through a point in space, at the root center of the heart. All awareness converges on that point in a kind of spiral or vortex. And that point is so small it is without dimensions, or any conceptions, or any objects. The independent self seems to dissolve in this narrow Passage ..It is a Transition through the infinitesimal space of the Heart.”
Adi Da Samraj, 1978

“….it is not me putting my attention on you, it’s you putting your attention on me”.

In a little phamplet put out by Kanya Samatva Suprithi called “Your Suffering Is Your Own Activity”, Kanya Samatva describes her one aspect of the process of understanding and resource to the Divine One, in the form of Adi Da Samraj:

“In this moment I heard the Teaching for the first time. I understood the difference between one who really practices the Way of the Heart and one who entertains the concepts and ideas of Spiritual practice. I also saw that the only real alternative to my suffering stood before me – in the Form of Sri Da Kalki. In the Way of the Heart, I only had to turn to Him and call upon His Grace, apply His Teaching, and relinquish my self-made efforts.

Here we have a testimony to the ‘process’ of Spiritual Awakening in the context of the Guru and Disciple relationship. This process is a progressive one, over time (could be years or lifetimes) but still a process.

Kanya Samatva Suprithi goes on to describe the second aspect of this process, which is Grace, or Divine Help. This Divine Help is necessary since “Understanding” or True Understanding can not occur on our own ‘creature power’. Divine Help is absolutely necessary.

The beginnings of the spiritual process in a devotee are simply his being lifted experientially into the non-conventional order of perception and cognition, in which there is no ego, no separated existence, no dependence on the self-limiting perceptual drama, no confinement to conventional forms of cognition. Then he seems to come back, through the same media of psycho-physical experience, to his ordinary humdrum life……This going up and coming down becomes ever more rapid, to the point where there is no more apparent coming up and going down. Then there is simply direct realization, happiness under conditions of all possible functional states, high or low. That is the perfection of the devotee.
Adi Da Samraj

Chogyam Trunpga – The Role of a Teacher

“In the vajrayana, it is absolutely necessary to have a teacher and to trust in the teacher. The teacher or vajra master is the only embodiment of the transmission of energy”.

In the Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa, Vol 4 (Shambhala Press 2004) is the first of three volumes that presents Trantric Buddhism, a subject Trungpa was reluctant to talk about in his early teaching years. He was reluctant because of the immaturity and materially based mind of the young American mind set.

In Buddhism the role of the Guru is paramount, absolutely essential for one on the path of the Buddha. In fact the Guru is the principle by which the tradtion is kept alive, the lineage. Without the Guru there is no living tradtion.

In the beginning stages the Guru is not called a Guru but a Spiritual Friend. Someone who works with the student in a manner of ‘meeting of minds’. He describes it as the mind of the teacher expanded to include the mind of the student and vise-versa. And as the student advances the role and function of the Guru become more and more important in the development of the student and here is where the Spiritual Friend becomes Vajra Master.

“Relating with the vajra master is extremely powerful and somewhat dangerous”.

“The vajra master could be quite heavy-handed; however; (s)he does not just play tricks on us whenever he finds a weak point”.

“…. the vajra master is a human being, someone who has a karmic debt to pay as a result of the intensity of his compassion. The dharma cannot be transmitted from the sun or the moon or the stars. The dharma can only be transmitted properly from human to human. So there is a need for a (Guru) vajra master who has tremendous power – power over us, power over the cosmos, and power over himself – and who has been warned that if he misdirects his energy he will be cut down and reduced into a little piece of charcol (burned up).

It is extremely important to have a living vajra master, someone who personally experiences our pain and our pleasure. We have to have a sense of fear and respect that we are connecting and communicating directly with tantra”.

Function of the Spiritual Master

In The Whole Body of Enlightenment, Adi Da (Da Free John) writes “The human Spiritual Master is an agent to the advantage of those in like form”. If a disciple enters into the company (not just the physical presence, but the spiritual presence of the Spiritual Master), then the ‘literal physics’ of ones existence begins to change.

Here is the key to understanding this complicated and paradoxical question. We begin to see and hear, that this is not a ‘one time’, ‘do it and get it over with deal’. It is a process that has transformative powers far beyond any possible logical or scientific explanation, yet absolutely true.

This fundamental understanding must ultimately rest in Ignorance. Because the summation of our existence is Mystery, absolute, unqualified confrontation with what we cannot know. Any movement to ‘know’ is a contraction of mind on feeling, a feeling of fear and the action of ‘grasping’. Enlighenment is, in the end, an private and isolated matter.

1. Enlighenment and the Transformation of Man. Selections from talks and essarys on the spiritual process and God Realization. Editors notes p. 152.

2. Adi Da Samraj, The Parential Deity and the One to be Realized, Feb 7, 1983

3. Sidney Cohen’s book, Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (1959, p.96)

4. The Dawn Horse (Vol 1 Number 2, Dec 1975), entitled “Lay It At My Feet