In April of each year, Adi Da's devotees celebrate the inauguration
of His world-Blessing Work at 8pm on April 25, 1972 — the opening
of a small ashram (Shree Hridayam Siddhashram) and bookstore (Shree Hridayam Bookstore) at 6913 Melrose
Avenue in Hollywood, California, and the occasion of Adi Da's first
public Discourse. It was also the start of the Adidam community, then called "Shree Hridayam Satsang" ("The Company of the Heart").
This Spiritual Celebration (sometimes called Dharmavara)
has always been the time that we honor Adi Da's unique and incomparable
Wisdom-Teaching and His Revelation of Truth to the world. We acknowledge
that this is a World-Teaching — through the four congregations of Adidam, Adi Da (as Divine World-Teacher)
has provided a means for all human devotees to formally practice
sadhana in His Company.
The Gift of this Celebration is Ruchira Avatara Vani (or
Ruchira Avatara Vani-Vichara), the Gift of the Word: 
. . . and the Gifted calling, and the By-Me-Given Responsibility,
For Devotionally Responsive "Consideration" Of My Avatarically
Self-Revealed Divine Word, and Of All My Instructive and Revelatory
Avataric Divine Work, or My Avatarically Self-Manifested and
Forever Living and Me-Revealing Leelas.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The
Dawn Horse Testament
* * *
In April 1972, Avatar Adi Da established a small bookstore on Melrose
Avenue, Hollywood, which He intended to become a base for His Spiritual
Work, a place where He could gather with His devotees. He Himself
did the lion's share of the renovation, with help from a few of
What was to become Avatar Adi Da's Ashram center and bookstore
had previously been an embroidery workshop, a dry cleaner's, and
a photo-processing lab. Each time a new tenant had leased it, they
had merely added new equipment, partitions, and so forth, without
taking anything else out. Truckload after truckload of sheetrock
and plywood had to be pulled out and hauled away.
Sheinfeld: One day, while the few of us who were already
students of Beloved Adi Da's were working full speed to get
the bookstore and Communion Hall ready, Beloved Adi Da and
one of the students came into the center with two very large
wooden objects: the letter 'C' and the symbol '&'. They had
found them in an alley, where an advertising company had thrown
them away. The symbols were both quite large — five
or six feet tall and three or four feet wide. Beloved Adi
Da asked us to clean them up and paint them white so that
He could use them in the bookstore. The 'C', lying flat, was
perfect as a check-out counter. The ampersand was placed in
front of the entrance to the Communion Hall. It was a most
unusual object to encounter before entering the Hall! When
we asked its significance, Beloved Adi Da said, 'There is
only God! The 'and' is the problem.'"
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, See My Brightness Face to Face
The devotees who were helping Avatar Adi Da were amazed at His
endless energy. He just kept pushing and pushing, beyond the point
of exhaustion. One day, He fell over in His chair, having pushed
His body too hard. But, in a matter of moments, He was immediately
back at it. He worked for thirty days straight renovating the store.
before . . .
Finally, on the evening of April 25, Avatar Adi Da Samraj formally
began His Teaching Work, gathering with the small group of people
who had become His devotees in recent months, some of their friends,
and random individuals who had responded to a poster in the bookstore
There was a great air of anticipation and excitement. Some who
came had heard of "Franklin Jones" but had never read anything by
Him, as none of His books had been published yet. After the last
person had arrived, a total of about twenty people were present.
That night, Adi Da entered through a doorway directly behind the
chair at the front of the room. Once seated, Adi Da silently looked
around the room, making eye contact with everyone present. Then,
after some time, He closed His eyes and sat quite still. He looked
young and "Bright". He Radiated simplicity and ease. As He sat,
the room took on the feeling of Fullness, which was typical in His
Company. Some people closed their eyes, while others looked at Adi
Avatar Adi Da sat in silence for an hour, magnifying the Force
of the "Bright" to everyone in the room. Everyone showed their respect
by remaining silent and attentive. After a time, Adi Da stretched
from left to right in His Chair, as He characteristically does.
Then He said, in a voice so quiet that almost no one heard Him,
"Who will cast the first stone?"
No one responded.
And, then, in a completely engaging manner, He asked, "Are there
any questions?" Again there was silence.
"Everyone has understood?"
"I haven't understood," came the reply from one man in the room (Larry Geller).
"Explain it to me. You could start with the word 'understanding'."
And in response, Adi Da began His Teaching Work.
There is a disturbance, a feeling of dissatisfaction, some
sensation that motivates a person to go to a teacher, read
a book about philosophy, believe something, or do some conventional
form of Yoga. What people ordinarily think of as Spirituality
or religion is a search to get free of that sensation, that
suffering that is motivating them. So all the usual paths
— Yogic methods, beliefs, religion, and so on —
are forms of seeking, grown out of this sensation, this subtle
suffering. Ultimately, all the usual paths are attempting
to get free of that sensation. That is the traditional goal.
Indeed, all human beings are seeking, whether or not they
are very sophisticated about it, or using very specific methods
of Yoga, philosophy, religion, and so on. . . .
As long as the individual is simply seeking, and has all
kinds of motivation, fascination with the search, this is
not understanding — this is dilemma itself. But where
this dilemma is understood, there is the re-cognition of a
structure in the living consciousness, a separation. And when
that separation is observed more and more directly, one begins
to see that what one is suffering is not something happening
to one but it is one's own action. It is as if you are pinching
yourself, without being aware of it. . . . Then one sees that
the entire motivation of life is based on a subtle activity
in the living consciousness. That activity is avoidance, separation,
a contraction at the root, the origin, the "place", of the
living consciousness. . . .
There is first the periodic awareness of that sensation,
then the awareness of it as a continuous experience, then
the observation of its actual structure, the knowing of it
all as your own activity, a deliberate, present activity that
is your suffering, that is your illusion. The final penetration
of that present, deliberate activity is what I have called
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Understanding", My
"Bright" Word 
And so it began — hours, days, nights, weeks, years, decades
of Spiritual Instruction, in which Avatar Adi Da would cover all
human, religious, and Spiritual questions, examine every aspect
of life and consciousness, and Reveal every detail of the Spiritual
Process culminating in Most Perfect Divine Enlightenment.
The small gathering at the Ashram bookstore on that first night
had not the slightest idea that they were witnessing the birth of
such Revelation. In the thirty-six years that followed, Adi Da devoted
Himself to creating a vast repository of wisdom, and an entirely
new way of life — the way of devotional and Transcendental
Spiritual relationship to Him, to which He gave the name, "the
Reality-Way of Adidam", or simply — "Adidam".
All My Wisdom-Teaching is intended to be a direct address
to you. A relationship, in other words, is the context of
My Wisdom-Teaching of the Way of Adidam. This is what you
must come to understand and appreciate. Therefore, make your
study of My Wisdom-Teaching into a form of relationship with
Me, not just thinking about ideas by reading books.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, August 3, 1987
(click to enlarge)
You could still smell the wet paint when I first arrived. I sat down in the main area. Franklin was sitting by Himself, in a chair on a platform towards the back of the room. And He had a bright orange aura around His Head! My first thought was: they must have put an orange floodlight behind His Head.
While I was sitting, I thought to myself, "this place is going to close in a few weeks." Just as I was in this doubting mood, Franklin stood up and left His Chair. The bright, vivid halo followed Him, as He walked around the room!!!!
Years later, I was with the silent yogi, Baba Hari Dass, up
in Santa Cruz. I described my experience to him, and asked
him what an orange aura means. He wrote on his little chalk
board around his neck: "What you saw was not orange —
it was a combination of gold and red. It is extremely rare,
and is the sign of total fearlessness."
(click to enlarge)
Personal postscript at the end of
The Knee Of Listening in 1972. (Address is no longer valid.)