Introduction to Avatar Adi Da’s Teachings
Avatar Adi Da Samraj (1939 – 2008) taught for 35 years and founded a new esoteric spiritual tradition, the Reality-Way of Adidam. He directly communicated a revelation of the true nature of Reality as “prior unity”, a universal, indivisible conscious force. While his teachings cannot be exclusively identified with the East or the West, the Way of Adidam can be seen as most closely philosophically aligned with the traditions of Advaita, Buddhism, and the larger shaktipat or Siddha tradition.
Avatar Adi Da's essential teachings are that:
The true nature of Reality is indivisible Conscious Light.
Our sense of separate self is an illusion, caused by our activity of “self-contraction”.
Transcending the illusion of a separate self reveals our true identity as Conscious Light, or Reality Itself.
A real spiritual master (who transmits the state of Conscious Light) is necessary to transcend the illusion of a separate self.
Although he spoke and wrote about many aspects of human life and culture, Avatar Adi Da’s primary purpose from the beginning of his work was to awaken people to the direct realization of Consciousness Itself, or Conscious Light, or Reality. He exhaustively examined what was necessary for anyone, in any place or time, to perfectly realize the Truth. Working in response to whoever came to him for instruction, he brought a radically new teaching into the world.
To prepare students for this awakening, he taught that it was our own activity, or what we were doing with our attention and energy in every moment, that prevents this realization. He began from the ground up, teaching us about our bondage to money, food, and sex, in order to establish a proper basis for his spiritual instruction and to prepare us for receiving his spiritual transmission. Avatar Adi Da’s intention was to establish the egoless process of Reality realization.
At the core of the Way of Adidam is the personal and spiritual relationship with Avatar Adi Da, that grows through a progressive process of deepening spiritual sensitivity and reception. Whether he was interacting with us personally or sitting with us in silent meditation, he was always transmitting the realization of his own "Bright" state. Those of us who were present had the opportunity to experience firsthand the ecstatically blissful nature of this state, the transmission of his realization of infinite Conscious Light.
The “radical” or “at-the-root” nature of Avatar Adi Da’s teaching, which goes beyond ordinary experience and activities, profoundly changed our lives. And his spiritual transmission continues to be present in the context of our daily lives and practice, in his empowered sanctuaries, in his written teachings, and in his works of art. It is our experience that to read or listen to Avatar Adi Da’s teaching with an open mind and heart is to allow oneself to be drawn beyond our ordinary life concerns, into a direct knowledge and appreciation of the true nature of Reality.
I became a student of Avatar Adi Da in my early twenties. I had been looking for an explanation as to why I sometimes feel open and connected to everything and at other times I feel trapped in my separateness and suffering. Through studying Avatar Adi Da's teachings, I discovered that he not only teaches about non-separateness, but that he himself is entirely that state. Avatar Adi Da calls this state prior unity or Conscious Light, and he offers the realization of that state to everyone. It is from this recognition of Avatar Adi Da as non-separateness or Conscious Light that I bow to him with respect and with an open heart.