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Adi Da


8c.  Divine Heart Master Adi Da:


The Surrender to Love-Bliss & Way of the Heart

"This is the Highest and most Radical Teaching. Only Love, the Heart, or the Unqualified Radiance of Unqualified Consciousness, fulfills and transcends all inward paths, all experiences, and all relations of the self. Therefore, grow in the Way of the Heart until the Perfect Identity Shines as the Consciousness that transcends all bodily and mental states." (1978, p. 512)

     Adi Da is a contemporary spiritual teacher, an Avatar, a living master of the Great Tradition of esoteric teachings.  Born as Franklin Jones on Long Island, New York in 1939, Adi Da has experienced, throughout his life, profound spiritual realizations, states of samadhi and enlightenment.  These are documented in his autobiography and are evident in his many illuminated talks and writings.  In 1970, Adi Da is said to have permanently entered the condition of Sahaj Samadhi, recovering that Identity with the Transcendental Being-Consciousness.

    Throughout his life, Adi Da has experienced an inner condition which he calls “the Bright.”  He elaborates upon the nature of this state:

"Even as a little child I recognized It and Knew It, and my life was not a matter of anything else. That Awareness, that Conscious Enjoyment, that Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Space of Infinitely and inherently Free Being, that Shine of inherent Joy Standing in the heart and Expanding from the heart, is the “Bright”. (1995, p.34)

Adi Da’s heart was open to the Love and Bliss of the Heart, the Infinite Life and Identity, from the earliest years.  Over time he explored all possible realms of experience to arrive at a more complex understanding of what this condition is, and the dynamics of its deep nature.  Although Adi Da states, “I have always been Seated in the ‘Bright,’” many years of mystical experiences, further enlightenment and attainment, were necessary for the nature of the Bright to become apparent to Him, and for its potentials to be fully realized.  He recounts:

"The “Bright” had seemed to fade, progressively, in childhood and adolescence, but It had only become latent in the heart, while I followed my adventures from the viewpoint of the mind. The Heart Itself had been my only teacher, and It continually broke through in various revelations, until I finally returned to It, became It, and rose again as the “Bright.” (1995, p. 382)


As a God-realized individual, Adi Da teaches and transmits to others the “way of  the heart,”  helping them to realize the divine identity established as the All-Pervading Reality at the core of their Being, as the heart centre.  The Way of the Heart is the path towards recovering the “Perfect Identity,” which is “shining  as a Consciousness that transcends the body/mind complex.”  The heart embodies the “Unqualified Consciousness,” and the individual can recover awareness of this lost identity.


    Adi Da describes spiritual transformation as depending  upon the emotional conversion of the human heart from a condition of narcissism and self-possession to one of Divine Communion, and the realization of the Light, Love and Bliss inherent to the Heart.  In the normally subjective and identified state of waking sleep, the individual is contracted at the heart, and tied up in by the “knots” of the heart.   The Heart is the centre of the Real, of the Self, and this supports the ego differentiation, which connects spirit to matter.  The knot (or granthi) is the means by which ego differentiation occurs, and one then becomes steeped in ignorance.  The individual is self-divided and dissociated from his/her deep inherent feeling-intelligence.  The body-mind complex–the psycho-physical being–differentiates itself from experiences, separating self from the emotional demands of life and relationships.  Thus, individuals avoid deep relationships which require free emotional association and the opening of the heart in love.

    The heart contraction, as explained by Adi Da, entails a contraction from the All-Pervading Life Principle which is established as the root condition within the Heart.  The resulting emotional dissociation cuts off the individual body-mind complex from awareness of the Universal Life Energy, one’s primordial condition. 
     Adi Da refers to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and the Vedic teachings, in explaining the nature of the heart, the heart contraction, and the “knots” of the heart.  Ramana elaborates upon these mysteries explaining how consciousness emerges from the point within the heart and is then circulated through various nadis, or channels, within the subtle dimensions:

"The effulgent light of active-consciousness starts at a point and gives light to the entire body even as the sun does to the world. When that light spreads out in the body one gets the experiences in the body. The sages call the original point ‘Hridayam’ (the Heart). ... The Individual permeates the entire body, with that light, becomes ego-centric and thinks that he is the body and that the world is different from himself. ... The association of the Self with the body is called the Granthi (knot). ... the light of active-consciousness passes through a nadi (a channel) in the body. ... When the very bright light of that active-consciousness shines in the Amriti Nadi alone, nothing else shines forth except the Self. ... When Atma alone shines, within and without, and everywhere ... one is said to have severed the knot ... .  There are two knots. One, the bond of the Nadis and two, egoism. The Self even though subtle being tied up in the Nadis sees the entire gross world. When the light withdraws from all other Nadis and remains in the one Nadi alone, the knot is cut asunder and then the light becomes the Self." (1995, pp. 292-4)

    Adi Da depicts the process of self-examination and the change of heart required for spiritual practice and awakening.  The mind-body or psycho-physical being is transformed through the relaxation of the heart contraction and the subsequent awakening to the Heart.  In this case, there is a profound realization of the Transcendental Being, Radiance and Bliss which is the true root and origin of consciousness and being. Such a conversion involves a living realization that our  lives and the world arise each moment within the Spirit or Being of that Living Transcendental Being. Adi Da explains:

"The heart of the usual Man, or the emotional-psychic root-being of the unawakened individual, is chronically disturbed, contracted upon itself, dissociated from the Universal Life-Principal that is its own Condition, Help, and Origin. ... The Salvation or Happiness of Man is in emotional conversion, or the conversion of the heart from the automaticities of self-possession to the conscious Realization of Ecstasy, or self-transcending Love-Communion with the Universal Principle of Being that is Life. ... We must surrender to Life in order to be full of Life. The Life-Current is the “Holy Spirit,” the Divine Effulgence or Grace whereby we may be Transformed and made One with the Living and Eternal Divine Reality.  (1978, pp.13-5)     

         In Adi Da’s teaching, the individual Self is the Conscious Life and Light existing prior to the nervous system and the extended material body, and it radiates or expands from a fixed point in the region of the heart, identified by Adi Da with the right side of the heart, and chest.  This is beyond even the witnessing consciousness of the body-mind, underlying the usual ego condition.  The Free Soul intuits its Identity with the Transcendental Self, and can abide in its own prior state of Bliss and Unqualified Consciousness.  At different periods within his teaching work, Adi Da describes his teaching as the Way of Divine Ignorance, of Radical Intuition, of Whole-Body Enlightenment, and as the Way of the Heart.

    The True Self is the Transcendental Heart within the Divine Domain.  When the I of the Heart opens, all phenomena appear as illusory modifications of that Radiant Self.  A devotee, Bonder, elaborates upon Adi Da’s revelations:

"“The Heart” is God, the Divine Self or Reality. The Realization of the Heart is fully Conscious Awakening as the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Transcendental Divine Being and Person. The psycho-physical association of Transcendental Self-Realization with the bodily heart gives rise to the capitalized term “the Heart.” The Awakening to Transcendental Self-Consciousness is associated with the opening of the primal psycho-physical seat of Consciousness and attention, in the right side of the heart. One who thus Awakens generally becomes sensitive to the Current of Spiritual Energy at that location in the chest and feels the mind, or attention, falling into its point of origin there.

"Heart Master Da distinguishes the Heart as the ultimate Reality from all of the psycho-physiological functions of the organic, bodily heart.  The Heart is not “in” the right side of the human heart, nor is it in or limited to the human heart as a whole, or to the body-mind, or to the world.  Rather, the human heart and body-mind and the world exist in the Heart, the Divine Being. ...  Heart Master Da proclaims and always lives ... the God-Intoxicated Realization of the Heart." (1989)

The point of origin of consciousness does not exist within the physical heart, but the heart, the mind, and the world, exist within the Heart. This mystery teaching is based upon an alternative understanding of Space, wherein all things in the outer world are projections from a Divine Realm which underlies and sustains all things.  The world is within the Heart instead of the Heart being contained within the physical body.
 
 
    Adi Da compares the teaching of the Radical Intuition of the Transcendental Heart to other mystic teachings which involve raising the Kundalini energy through the spinal cord to the higher chakras.  According to yogic teaching, there are seven chakras or subtle energy centres within the subtle anatomy of human beings.  These include the crown and brow chakras associated with the crown of the head and the third eye,  the throat chakra, the central heart chakra, and three lower chakras associated with the solar plexus, the naval and the base of the body, the root chakra.  There are three chakras above the Heart Centre, and three below.  Kundalini and other practices may allow the individual to awaken the higher chakras, and thereby “attain the subtle body in the sky of mind,” experiencing diverse subtle realms of nature and acquiring various psychic powers.  Adi Da describes this process as ultimately leading to the same Enlightenment as the Radical Intuition of the Heart, but only after long cycles of birth and death within the material and subtle realms of existence.

    The Way of the Heart is the most direct route to Self, penetrating immediately to ultimate realizations:

"One Path proceeds by mystical ascent of the illusory inner self, or mind, via the Chain of Creation. The other proceeds by direct intuitive submission of the entire body-mind into the Radiant Source and Transcendental Matrix of all phenomena." (1978, p.107)

The former path is a more gradual process of enlightenment, moving through the levels of phenomena composing the chain of creation, and the different worlds of the higher psyche.  Adi Da states that this route will ultimately bring one to realize the Divine Condition of the Heart.  However, in Adi Da’s view, the yogic and mystic teachings which focus upon the opening of the third eye, (or ajna/brow chakra), involve a lower order teaching than does the ancient Heart Doctrine:  “A yogi who has fixed his Life-Force and attention into the brain-mind has not realized God or the Self.”  His/her attention has simply moved into the subtle dimensions of the Realms of Nature.

    States of samadhi, or enlightened consciousness, are rooted into the dimensions of the Heart.  Ramana Maharshi explains:

"When the yogin rises to the highest centre of trance, Samadhi, it is the Self in the Heart that supports him in that state whether he is aware of it or not. But if he is aware in the Heart, he knows that whatever states or whatever centres he is in, it is always the same truth, the same Heart, the same Self, the Spirit that is present throughout, eternal and immutable." (In Adi Da, 1995, p. 390)

Adi Da, since his Divine Re-emergence, exists in the state of Sahaj Samadhi, and manifested various extraordinary Divine Siddhis (supernatural powers) enabling him to perceive various realms of nature and to “meditate” other beings.  He writes:

"I spontaneously began to “meditate” countless other people, and also countless non-human beings, and countless places and worlds and realms, both high and low in the scale of Reality. I observed and responded to all that was required for the Awakening and the true (and the Ultimate) well-being of each and all." (1995, pp. 371-372)

    Adi Da has realized the “Divine Guru-Siddhi,” able to meditate others and to transmit directly the awakened condition of the Heart.  Thus he carries on his Divine Mission of Teaching, Blessing and Awakening other beings.  The leelas–the accounts and stories–of his devotees attest to Adi Da’s  state of enlightenment, and his capacity to envelop others within the “Bright,” throwing them into states of ecstasy and  entering them “in the form of light.”   Wes Vaught, a devotee, recalls:

“Adi Da lifted his Feet and placed them on my head. All stress left my being. A golden balm of sweet light poured through every cell in my body. A knot opened. I let go and His brilliant Radiance washed through me. I was home.” (In Lee, 1998, p. 79)

    The devotee “lives as the sacrifice of the whole body-mind” in love and service, and this creates a “superphysical and higher psycho-physical link” between the devotee and the Heart Master. “By means of the heartfelt regard or loving glance of the Spiritual Master, the devotee is Awakened, by stages, to the process of Initiation and Sacrifice into the Divine Radiance.” (1978, p. 253) 
   All of these processes involve forms of a higher physics and science, beyond the understanding of the contemporary sciences.  Adi Da explains:

"... there is something in the physics of the universe that makes it possible for a single or random individual to pass through the entire affair of Transformation in God, and then to bring others into the sphere of his existence, so that they may duplicate his Condition and be drawn into that entire and ultimate evolutionary cycle." (1978, p. 247)
 
Enlightenment is a literal change of the whole body/mind and involves some form of higher physics, especially the physics of light, zero points and higher dimensions.  All of this is part of what Adi Da labels “the superphysics of literal God-realization.”

    Adi Da’s world mission is to awaken humankind, through his illumined talks and writings, through his world Blessing work, and through the Grace of his direct Heart Transmissions.  Through surrender to the Divine Guru and meditation on his forms, devotees experience the radical awakening of consciousness and the deep dimensions of the Transcendental Heart.
 
Footnote:  Dr. Holmes is not a devotee of Adi Da, nor has he ever been involved in that circle.  However, he has found Adi Da's writings and teachings most profound among contemporary spiritual teachings, and congruent with his own experiences and realizations.
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