Chris Tong, Ph.D.


Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Question: I understand that one becomes a devotee on the basis of recognition of Adi Da as the Divine. Adi Da's Grace grants that Revelation, and that is what enables one to become a devotee. But once that Revelation occurs and one becomes a devotee, one never has any doubts again?

Answer: Absolutely not! That's a romanticized notion of spiritual practice. Spiritual Realizers (including Jesus of Nazareth) and great practitioners from Saint Teresa to Mother Teresa can all attest that "doubt mind" continues to arise, and Adi Da confirms this as well. But once the Revelation is given, we no longer need to take the doubts seriously.

This Part has several subsections:

1. Doubt Mind (and Its Endless Perpetuation) Versus the Revelation of Recognition

Adi Da has always acknowledged that doubts can arise, even after a person has a moment of recognition of Him as the Divine. For this reason, He has said: "If the Revelation [of God] is made clear in this moment, then make a solemn, eternal vow of absolute commitment to God-Realization, and commit yourself to do whatever is necessary for the sake of God-Realization. Devote this life to it, devote whatever time and space appear entirely to God-Realization."

This accounts for the practical reality that a crystal clear moment of genuine Revelation can be followed by many further moments that are not so clear, are clouded by ego, and in which that Revelation may be obscured, momentarily or for extended periods. But one should never let such less conscious, less Revelatory moments cause one to fall from a life that has been rightly organized around the moments of genuine Revelation.

The sun doesn't cease to exist, just because local weather conditions temporarily obscure it from the viewpoint of those under the clouds!


Adi Da Samraj[Devotees] experience Satsang with Me and the quality of Spiritual life in My Avataric Divine Company as something very enjoyable, very profound. Then, all of a sudden, they come to the first point of crisis in this Way of heart-relationship to Me. An insane compulsion, almost like a possession, overcomes them and seems to demand that they abandon this sadhana. They wake up one morning: "My Guru is no good. The gathering of devotees is no good. Spiritual life is no good. None of this has anything to do with me. I should leave and return to my previous, relatively happy existence." If they are able to hold on through a few of these episodes, they begin to see all of this as their own activity, not anything that truly reflects on this sadhana, and they become stable again in Satsang with Me.

When this form of crisis is (thus) overcome, then (at some point) a new one develops — just as suddenly and with equal force. Then they think: "The sadhana is good. My Guru is good. The gathering of devotees is good. Truth is good. Spiritual life is good. But I'm no good. I'm not ready for it yet. I'm not an 'old enough' soul yet. I'm still full of desires. I guess I'm supposed to seek for a while." This is the crisis of self-doubt. It is often topped off with the observation (so called) that "My Guru hates me." And, so, they want to leave — if only for that reason!

"Narcissus" is always a form of contraction, of separation, of leaving. But if you are able to pass through both of these crises — still holding on to Me, still maintaining a responsible refusal to exploit this subjective life-drama — then you can begin to settle stably into the Real Spiritual life of Satsang with Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, My "Bright" Word


Adi Da explains how this doubt of "self" and "other" is an inherent characteristic of egoity, which the ego enacts with everyone (including Adi Da):


The ego-'I' is 'self'-destructive and 'other'-destructive. The ego-'I' is a cornered rat. The 'self'-contraction confines the 'self' to a lesser principle of existence, a separate being. Everything associated with it, then, becomes a kind of surrounding, a kind of trap, a confinement. You alternate between the 'self'-doubting, 'self'-destructive orientation, and the 'other'-doubting, 'other'-destructive orientation until you become responsible, through 'self'-observation, for this confinement, this knot of egoity, and become coincident with the Totality of Existence, Divine Existence. Then you can begin to grow again, and not only in human terms, in the ordinary sense, but Spiritually, in the highest human terms.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
in a gathering with devotees in August, 1982


In terms of facilitating Adi Da's Revelation in your own case, endless questions expressing doubts about Adi Da, Adidam, or self will not serve to attune you with that Revelation, the prerequisite for becoming Adi Da's devotee. They only magnify doubt, and answers to them at best only relieve doubt (momentarily); they are self-oriented activities, whereas the activities that serve the Revelation do not return you to "yourself", but rather open you to the Divine Reality (that includes, but is greater than, "you").

More specifically, if you are someone interested in the possibility of becoming Adi Da's devotee, but have doubts:

  • addressing all your doubts will not give you Adi Da's Revelation, which is the necessary prerequisite for becoming a devotee.

  • On the other hand, receiving that Revelation makes all the doubts irrelevant.

Taken together, these two observations imply that the Revelation is taking place on a different, deeper "level" than the questions, the question-answering, and the questioner — hence the Revelation "pulls the rug out" from under the questions, the question-answering, and the questioner. The Revelation and the questions (or answers to them) have nothing to do with each other! The only connection is a negative one: the doubt, fear, or other reactivity engendered by questions (or answers to them, or lack of answers to them) can cause one to become closed to the possibility of this Revelation. In this sense, such doubts can cause one to choose not to invest the time visiting Adi Da's "Room" to the point where you receive this Gift of Revelation. And that would be a great loss, when one considers one's destiny altogether.


2. A Story of Recognition Dissolving the Questioner


When you recognize Me As I Am, there is no doubt in you.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "As I Am And In Plain Sight"
Part 21
, The Aletheon


Let me tell you a personal story that illustrates this point about different "levels". One evening, on the island of Naitauba in Fiji, I was Graced to be in a gathering of devotees with our Beloved Guru. He was dancing around the room, and we were all dancing around with Him. We were dancing to a song whose refrain focused on the words: "Me . . . Me." As the singer would sing those words, Adi Da would point to His own chest, and mouth the words, "Me . . . Me."

Of course, I knew that our Beloved Guru is the focal point of our practice, and the very means of our Realization, and that's what He was humorously indicating, as He pointed to Himself. But for some reason, in that moment, I suddenly entered into a contracted vision, where all I could see was a roomful of apparent cult members, all following their apparently megalomanical leader ecstatically, with me being the only one not caught up in and going along with the "delusion". It felt terrible: I had no desire to have this "vision", but I couldn't do anything about it. In that moment, it possessed me.

Adi Da instantly perceived where I was at, and just as the music reached the key line of the refrain again, He looked straight at me, pointed to Himself, and shouted: "ME, Tongue, ME!".[1] The Force of His Spiritual Transmission completely blew "me" away, and instantly I was restored to His Domain of Perfect Happiness and Perfect Non-Separateness. All doubt, all questions, all contraction was gone. It was like when the sun comes out: before and after; or when you have a moment of doubt in your intimate, but then her radiance and love toward you in the next moment makes you realize how unfounded and self-generated (and downright silly) your doubt was. I saw how I had literally contracted into that depressed state, and the doubts and questions were a product of the contraction. I saw how Adi Da had literally Blasted me out of it, and back into Him, into His State. I was beaming with happiness, and joyfully returned to dancing around the room with my Beloved Lord and my friends.


Everyone transmits. All of you are transmitters. You reinforce these limitations in one another and you transmit them to one another. Each one of you emits invisible forces that are locked up in limited messages that reinforce the same limitations in others . . . Realizers of one or another degree of Spiritual development likewise by nature spontaneously Transmit what they are. . . . Since everything and everyone transmits states of existence, since life, or existence itself, is participation in transmissions of all kinds, the best thing you can do is to associate with the greatest possible Transmission above all. . . . That is the great rule, the Great Law, the Ultimate principle of the Great Tradition.

The Spiritual Master is a Transmitter, an Agency of Transmission, like the Sun. The Sun never sets and is never changed. The Spiritual Master may appear to others as the Sun appears in relation to the Earth. Those people see the Spiritual Master through their own minds, through circumstances, through all kinds of problems, limitations, and ordinary human signs. They do not realize the nature of the Spiritual Master as Adept, as Transmitter. They think of the Spiritual Master as an ordinary man, and they think of themselves as people who are inherently incapable of the Spiritual response. But if you truly understand and become a practitioner, a devotee, then you understand the Spiritual Master as Adept. You see the shining perpetually. You see the Transmission, the Radiant Force of Consciousness in that person. He or she is not an ordinary person. His or her body-mind is simply a material focus. But you must see beyond the local weather that is the Adept's bodily appearance and circumstance. You must see the Sun.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, See My Brightness Face To Face


No amount of intellectual argument could have dissolved that depressed, doubtful state I had been in. It was literally an Awakening, a moment of recognition of the Divine, a radical "shift" to (and re-immersion in) the always already present Divine State, that did it. And the instant I was no longer in that contracted state, all my questions and doubts vanished as well. They were gone, but they also were obviously, utterly irrelevant.


In the Way of Adidam, meditation arises only in the heart-relationship with Me only under the conditions of Truth, already lived. There is Force in such meditation. For my rightly practicing devotee, meditation is an intense Fire. It is a marvelous Intelligence, a Brilliance, a Genius, a Living Force. It is not a pious attempt to quiet your little thoughts. It blasts the hell out of those thoughts! From the "Point of View" of the Living Divine Heart (or Truth Itself, or Reality Itself), there is no concern for all of these thoughts, all of these dilemmas, all of this mediocrity of suffering. All of that amounts to nothing. . . . When Satsang with Me becomes the Principle of your life, and Truth becomes the form of your meditation, thought is consumed. Such True Meditation is a Pressure under Which thoughts cannot survive.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, My "Bright" Word


* * *

"Are there any questions?" was one of Adi Da's favorite lines when He gathered with His devotees, and from it — the questions asked by devotees, and Adi Da's responses — came thousands of talks filled with extraordinary wisdom. He humorously said once that, collectively, we were an "Avatar of reluctance", whose resistance to (and therefore, weakness in) practice, along with endless questions, were what led Him to create His extraordinary and comprehensive Wisdom-Teaching.


You all, meaning the whole community, should be championing this Teaching, communicating this Way, stabilizing this institution, creating communities, keeping the literature available everywhere, in all kinds of languages, devoting yourselves to benign communication of the Way and practicing it in your place. That is what we should be doing in the future, not struggling anymore with the beginner's reluctance. That struggle has served its purpose, which was to motivate Me to Teach, to cover all the bases, to deal with everything. Now you have done it. That was really good! That was really great! That was a great job you did! (Laughter) You are collectively an Avatar of reluctance! (Laughter) Very admirable — may you be praised for generations! (More laughter) But you have now served your purpose, and now you must become a different kind of Avatar. It is time we made a change.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Grace of Indifference"
The Dreaded Gom-Boo


And from time to time, Adi Da would tell us that the deeper purpose of this exercise of gathering and answering our questions was simply to provide a means to keep us occupied — to keep us "in the Room" with Him — while He transformed our state with His Spiritual Transmission, dissolving the questioner in the Enlightened State of Divine Ignorance (also known as "Perfect Knowledge"). And that indeed was what would happen. Late in the night, He'd ask again, "Are there any questions?" And there would be none: not because we had asked every possible question, but because we ourselves had been dissolved.


3. Five Ways To Lose the Revelation

As mentioned earlier, it's quite possible, even likely (until recognition is established as a moment-to-moment capability), that a moment of crystal clear, self-authenticating Revelation a moment of recognizing Adi Da as the Divine will be followed by many moments that are less clear, in which (if one is not careful) one can doubt what was Revealed, or someone we know can introduce doubt. For instance, one of Adi Da's detractors reading this might twist around what I wrote, and suggest that the moment where I perversely envisioned Adi Da and His devotees dancing around the room as a megalomaniac and His cultic followers was not a moment of egoity on my part, but a moment of clarity, and His Blasting me with His Force, was His putting me under His "spell" again.

It is possible to doubt anything and everything! Even that which you held most certain in another moment. As a rejoinder to the traditional saying, "Faith can move mountains", an old Persian proverb proclaims, "Doubt makes the mountain which faith can move." (And indeed, this whole article is in some sense about faith — not "faith" of the belief-based kind associated with conventional religions, but as Adi Da uses the word: faith that is grounded in direct Revelation.)

That's why it's so important to have an understanding of, and clarity about, the entire process in which you are engaged (whether you are Adi Da's devotee or considering becoming Adi Da's devotee), so that, if and when a Divine Revelation comes your way that authenticates itself with crystal clarity, you allow every aspect of your being to be imprinted with that Revelation and the memory of the absolute certainty you feel; and intentionally make a part of your practice from then on to keep your eye out for the onset of doubts (from yourself or others) that might jeopardize your connection to that Revelation, and threaten the thread of practice capable of restoring that Revelation in any moment — just like you readily commit yourself at your wedding ceremony to keep your eye out for (and work to banish) anything that comes along in your married life that could work to undermine the love relationship you have with your intimate partner.

The process of repeated Revelation (to the point of Realization) can be undermined in any number of ways (and, as a result, never really take off):

  • I've seen a lot of people who never really allowed Adi Da's Revelation to deeply penetrate them (to the point of recognition of Him as the Divine), and so they rather easily moved on to other Gurus and spiritual alternatives. It's something like promiscuous people whose deep fear of commitment makes it difficult for them to enter into the real depth of intimacy, or anything but superficial relationships, which they leave at the first sign of difficulty, or when something new and attractive presents itself. They may even "get married" for a time (on the basis of temporary infatuation), but the label of "marriage" does not change their superficial participation in it, anymore than "becoming Adi Da's devotee" for a time (even years) changes a person's superficial participation in it, if that is their pattern.

  • I've seen a lot of people gain and lose the thread of practice which links one to Adi Da as the Divine. (Adi Da has referred to it as a "thread" because it is very delicate when one is still a beginner. Another useful metaphor is that of fanning the flame; if one does not actively fan the flame, the flame can go out.)

  • I've seen people confess God with absolute certainty in the presence of Adi Da, and then never return usually getting preoccupied by circumstances or by people who distracted them from the profundity of the Revelation they had received; or by allowing the doubts of friends or family to generate doubt in oneself, in spite of the Truth of the Revelation.

  • I've seen many people who — in the manner of "armchair" comparative religionists [2] — study many spiritual possibilities at a safe distance, feeling very "knowledgeable" about them all, but (fundamentally because of doubt and the associated inability to commit) never actually take up a life of practice within the living context of any one of these traditions; as a result, their only "fruit" has been a lot of knowledge about various Realizations, but no actual Realization. (Adi Da has sometimes called such people "spiritual pornographers" because they "get off" on reading the books, but don't actually participate in a living culture and a truly transformative practice.)

Perhaps all who have been touched by Adi Da will recognize Him as the Divine at some point, or be restored to that recognition but it might take lifetimes to restore that recognition, once lost. What I've illustrated here are primarily useful object lessons for what not to let happen in your own case, as you consider Adi Da, and open your heart to the Divine Revelation He offers to everyone. If that Revelation arrives, stay in the Room with It! Treat It like the precious Treasure It is.

Don't ever allow yourself to lose It.


4. Romanticizing Recognition

It's easy to come into this process with all kinds of fairy tales about spirituality, romanticizing what Spiritual Masters and Revelations should look like. Or having romantic (and naive) notions like, "The Truth will out" when what is more accurate (especially in this time, but to some degree, in every time) is, as Adi Da puts it: "God is great. But unfortunately for you, bullshit is greater!"

For example, when I was much younger, I had the romantic notion that when you received an authentic Spiritual Revelation, from that moment on you would live "happily ever after", in the certainty of that Revelation. I could even associate that notion with a scene in a particular movie that had made a strong impression on me when I was young. In Miracle of Fatima, a lifelong atheist and skeptic finally was shown an extraordinary miracle (the sun appearing to fall from the sky, but then being restored to its proper place [3]), causing him to slowly take his hat off, lift his eyes to heaven and say with great feeling, "Only the fools say there is no God." (The implication being that, from then on, he was a transformed man, and that he never had any doubt again.) Doubt was not a part of my romantic conception of spiritual practice!

But in fact, so long as there is still a mind to transcend (and especially before recognition and hearing have been established as moment-to-moment capabilities), there is still the potential for doubt, and for "dark nights of the soul" — as well-known spiritual practitioners and Realizers have confessed, from Mother Teresa to St. Teresa of Avila to Jesus of Nazareth (crying from the cross, Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?"). When one is Adi Da's devotee and has received this Revelation, it's best to be aware of this likelihood, and prepare for it ahead of time, so as to not be caught unawares at the appearance of doubt (either doubt of Adi Da or doubt of self), or without the self-understanding or the Spiritual means for restoring the Revelation. Just so, it's useful to know these facts about doubt before becoming Adi Da's devotee, so one doesn't romanticize that becoming Adi Da's devotee must coincide with not having any more doubts. Short of Divine Enlightenment, such a moment never comes!


Practice of the Way of Adidam is not a matter of being concerned about precisely what to do about these qualities that arise in you. It is a matter of remaining in your true Condition, which is Satsang with Me. There will be periods of dullness, of the tamasic quality, when you are just stupid, without any clarity whatsoever, when you do not remember anything about what you have understood, when you have no capability whatsoever to be intelligent, to speak clearly, to be direct with anyone, to feel that you have surrendered your separate and separative self. But that tamasic quality will always come and go. No one ever eliminates it entirely. It is always there, as one of the qualities of existence.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


 


RETURN TO "QUESTIONS ABOUT TAKING UP THE WAY OF ADIDAM"


[1]

Adi Da used to refer to me as "My Tongue", playing with my surname. And in any moment I wasn't recognizing Him, He'd shorten that to just "Tongue".

 
[2]

Read Adi Da's essay, "Beware of Those Who Criticize but Do Not Practice Religion", in Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House!

 
[3]

This vision of the sun appearing to fall from the sky, but then being restored to its proper place, guided by the Blessed Mother, is a documented miracle witnessed by tens of thousands of people on October 13, 1917. What is especially interesting, both from the standpoint of "comparative spirituality" and of being Adi Da's devotee, is to compare it with a similar miracle witnessed by one of Adi Da's devotees, L.H., in which she saw not the Blessed Mother dressed in a blue robe but a blue woman: "I became aware of a figure approaching the site. It was a blue woman who was obviously endowed with great power. I felt this woman was Kali, and I became afraid. She then began to show me her power: the sun changed position in the sky and changes were happening everywhere in nature. She was rearranging the universe. This is actually what I saw. I felt how I could be snuffed out by the power of nature, her power, at any moment." Thus the Power of conditional existence sometimes mysteriously manifests to individuals in the form of a Goddess (e.g., "Mary" to Christians, "Kali" to Hindus). But that's not yet the full picture of Reality. L.H. goes on: "Then, she smiled, walked over to the sacred photograph of Avatar Adi Da Samraj, and bowed low and fully to Him. In an instant I saw that with all her power, she, the energy and force of nature itself, was submitted to Supreme Consciousness Itself, and that she was there to serve the Divine purposes of Avatar Adi Da at His holy Sanctuary, and indeed in the world. My fear dissolved in love and devotion to my Spiritual Master. I felt again how life in itself was about change and endings. . . but, if submitted to the Divine, it can be lived by a different principle that of spiritual practice and inherently Prior Happiness which masters life itself. After that incident, I felt Kali visit me a few more times. She would come and stand beside me in our daily sacred celebrations of our Spiritual Master. She would not appear as a destroyer, but as a sister, celebrating with me our love of the Divine Consciousness in the form of Avatar Adi Da."


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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