Why Adi Da Worked with Us the Way He Did

Lynne Wagner


Lynne WagnerLynne Wagner became a devotee of Avatar Adi Da Samraj in 1974. She lived in the Hermitages and Sanctuaries of Adidam and served Adi Da personally for nearly 20 years. Her career as an elementary school teacher started with the first Adidam private schools, and included years in public elementary and secondary schools, where she specialized in the arts and English for second-language learners. She received Adi Da's direct Instruction in the traditions of Eastern and Western spirituality and sacred art, and started painting Indian miniatures under His Guidance. Lynne now creates original fine art portraits and figurative paintings.

To understand why Adi Da Samraj Worked with people as He did, you have to appreciate the fact that He accepted students who were completely unqualified. Our cultural background had not readied us for contemplative life, meditation, selfless service, true devotion to a Realized Spiritual Master. All we had to recommend us was a passionate attraction to Adi Da and a sympathetic response to the Truth of His written and spoken Teaching.

Why did Adi Da Samraj Teach in the way He did? Because of us: His would-be students and disciples, those who came to Him for Spiritual Instruction. We approached Him thinking we were prepared for spiritual life, but in reality, most of us wanted to get something from Him. We were seekers, burdened by our gross life tendencies, addictions, neuroses, self-indulgent or self-destructive habits, our need to be fulfilled and consoled. We arrived at the door of Adi Da's house laden with personal baggage and begging Him to relieve us of our suffering. The pile of karmic refuse we brought with us was enormous.

I feel certain that if the Great Sage, Adi Da, had been approached by individuals who were truly prepared to receive and make right use of His Spiritual Transmission, He would have Worked quite differently. He would not have been obliged to make so many lessons regarding money, food, and sex if His students had not been totally obsessed with the possibilities of exploiting the body, the mind, and experience. His Way of Teaching was in fact dictated by those who asked to be taught. That He accepted us at all is evidence of His Compassion and willingness to Bless all beings.

I was continually amazed at Adi Da's tolerance and unconditional love for me and all the other worldly people He Taught. On countless occasions, after listening to His Enlightened Discourse on the nature of conditional reality and Non-Conditional Reality, hearing Him patiently expound on the Truth for many hours, watching us for signs of real understanding and Spiritual awakening and seeing us uncomprehending, distracted by our desires, thinking about lunch or having sex with the person who sat next to us or falling asleep right in front of Him, I would think, "how can He stand to be with us?"

Had we approached a traditional teacher like Marpa, unprepared as we were, most of us would probably have been outright refused, turned away at the gate, denied access to the treasures of spiritual wisdom.

As Adi Da's students, we claimed to care about the process of Divine Self-Realization, and He took us seriously. Once the relationship with a devotee was established, Adi Da assumed that person was there for realization. We vowed to do whatever it took to be free of our bondage to the body-mind and the world. But many of us refused to see what He was trying to show us about ourselves, because our self-obsession and unlove was ugly and we could not look at what the mirror reflected. We reacted to Adi Da's Instruction, betrayed His Trust, and turned our backs on Him. Worse, we blamed Him for doing exactly what we asked Him to do.

I have personally done this many times. I always said I wanted to be liberated, but I have resisted the very Help Adi Da has offered when the burning away of karmas became too intense. "To hell with the raw diet I need a steak! Renunciation is just not for me! I'll never be enlightened in this lifetime, anyway!" And so on. I have a long list of excuses, reasons not to practice, ways to let myself off the hook.

Adi Da Samraj suffered us profoundly, yet never, ever refused or abandoned us. In my experience, He is far more committed to the Spiritual Awakening of His devotees than any of us can possibly be. He proved His unconditional love by countless acts of Forgiveness and Compassion. He cared more for His students than He did for His own life, health, or reputation. He did not reserve Himself or hold back, calculating what the Work might cost. His integrity is perfect. He is our greatest Advantage, if only we will accept His Gifts.


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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