Did Avatar Adi Da Say That He Is God?
What does Avatar Adi Da Samraj mean when he affirms perfect God-realization or identification with God? He has done so without reservation since the beginning of his teaching work in 1972. And yet it is this very affirmation that drew many students to him as spiritual master. We were attracted by the fact that Avatar Adi Da is not just another teacher of yoga or meditation. He offers a relationship with himself as the incarnation of Reality Itself, or Conscious Light, as the means to realize Real (Acausal) God, or the Divine Consciousness of Reality Itself.
God in Western and Eastern Cultures
It is understandable that some people may be offended or confused by the idea that someone affirms to have “perfectly realized God”. Until the twentieth century, traditions of God realization or Divine enlightenment were virtually unknown in the cultures and religious traditions of Western civilization, with the exception of a few notable saints and mystics, who were often persecuted and whose confessions were often suppressed, even within their own traditions.
Why has the idea of God-realization or “becoming one with God” been so consistently anathematized in the West? The taboo in the West against enlightenment or God-realization is based on the way mainstream Western religious traditions conceive of who or what God is. Western culture has typically been dominated by exoteric, or public and social, religious traditions that speak of God primarily as the supreme Being, a Divine “Other” who is separate from human beings as the Creator of the universe, an all-powerful and all-seeing deity who judges human actions and rewards and punishes people accordingly in this world and after death. Therefore, to affirm oneness or identification with “God” in a Western religious context is assumed to mean that the individual is claiming to be the separate, supreme, all-powerful God who is the Creator and Judge of the world and all beings.
In contrast, esoteric spirituality, or mysticism in various forms, is a common characteristic of Eastern religious and spiritual traditions, which frequently speak of God not as a separate Great Being or Divine “Other”, but as the Divine Condition in which all beings and all things appear and disappear. Therefore, God is understood as the true Self of every apparently individual self and the true or Divine Nature of the world. God realization or enlightenment is revered in such traditions as a state of profound awakening to one’s True Condition, the living Divine Reality-Condition of existence. In such confessions, there is no individual self to become all-powerful; there is only God. The ego, the apparently separate self, is recognized in these traditions to be an illusion. A principal focus of religious or spiritual practice is to surrender or allow the apparent self to be dissolved in the Divine Being or Consciousness Itself. Therefore, to affirm oneness or identification with God in an Eastern religious context means that the individual has “awakened from illusion”.
Avatar Adi Da’s Identification with Real God, or Reality Itself
Throughout history, remarkable men and women in both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions have dedicated their lives to the heroic ordeal of realizing Truth or Real God. Those who realize Real God to any degree often serve as teachers or spiritual masters to individuals who approach them as devotees for the sake of spiritual growth and realization.
When Avatar Adi Da affirms his identity as the Divine Being, he is not referring to himself as an apparent separate individual identified with an ordinary body-mind. Rather, in the manner of the great spiritual realizers in all traditions, he is speaking as his state of spiritual realization, of his identification with Reality Itself. As those who study his teaching and revelation discover, Avatar Adi Da is offering a unique and original spiritual process whereby the state of Divine Consciousness may be realized by everyone.
Anne H. describes her understanding:
Avatar Adi Da never claimed to be the creator-God, the deity that so many religions presume has made all this and who is "in charge" of it all. Instead, Avatar Adi Da communicated his identity with the Condition that is the true heart and the true self of everyone.
The reality of who Avatar Adi Da is, is not a claim to be believed, but a secret to be discovered. People from many religious and cultural backgrounds have recognized the truth of Avatar Adi Da’s affirmation of Divine Self-Realization and accepted him as their spiritual master. To such people, the recognition of who Avatar Adi Da is enables their participation in the process of realization in the Reality-Way of Adidam.
As Avatar Adi Da has written in The Aletheon:
Real God is not the "Cause" of anything.
Real (Acausal) God Is That within Which everything is arising.
Real (Acausal) God Is That Power of egoless Mere Being Which Is Vast, Infinite, and Beyond comprehension—Tacitly, Self-Evidently So.
Real (Acausal) God Is Reality Itself—all-and-All-Including and all-and-All-Transcending.
Real (Acausal) God Is That Which you must Intrinsically (or Always Priorly) Self-Realize in order to Be Intrinsically and Perfectly egolessly Liberated from all your apparent limitations.
Real (Acausal) God Is That Force of Being, That Immense Reality-Intelligence, That Incomprehensible Intelligence and egoless Perfect Force That Is the "Being-Reason" Why anything can be at all.
—Avatar Adi Da Samraj,
By Avatarically Revealing and Confessing My Divine Status to one and all (and All), I am not indulging in self-appointment, or in illusions of grandiose Divinity. I am not claiming the "Status" of the "Creator-God" of exoteric (or public, and social, and idealistically pious) religion. Rather, by Standing Firm in the Divine Position As I Am)—and (Thus and Thereby) Refusing to be approached as a mere man, or as a "cult"-figure, or as a "cult"-leader, or to be in any sense defined (and, thereby, trapped, and abused, or mocked) as the "man in the middle"—I Am Demonstrating the Most Perfect Fulfillment (and the Most Perfect Integrity, and the Most Perfect Fullness) of the Esoteric (and Most Perfectly Non-Dual) Realization of Reality.
—Avatar Adi Da Samraj,