My root-guru, Adi Da Samraj, passed a year ago this Thanksgiving in Fiji. He was 69. I was a devotee of this great God-realizer from the age of 22 until I was 37. He not only profoundly transformed my life and consciousness, but, I think, helped transform the entirety of contemporary Western spirituality, even though he is not nearly as widely known as he is influential.
On this anniversary of his passing, I remember him with gratitude, and look back in amazement at his legacy. Please know, words fail here. To speak about Adi Da is to nominate oneself as one of the blind men reporting on the elephant. Adi Da was one part Jesus Christ, one part Picasso, one part Nagarjuna, one part Marlon Brando, and one part Genghis Khan. And more…
In recent years Ken Wilber has offered well-reasoned criticism and chose to be judiciously circumspect on the subject of Adi Da (after enduring extreme opprobrium for his previous high praise) but he never disavowed what he had previously written about Adi Da’s remarkable body of original Dharma. “Da Free John’s teaching is, I believe, unsurpassed by that of any other spiritual Hero, of any period, of any place, of any time, of any persuasion” and “it is becoming quite obvious that no one in the fields of psychology, religion, philosophy, or sociology can afford not to be at least a student of Da Free John.”
Think of ideas such as “the self-contraction,” the idea that “the ego is not an entity but an activity,” the phrase “always already,” the idea that “the end of the path is the Way from the beginning,” the idea of the “paths of yogis saints and sages,” and his “seven stages of life.” All these seminal phrases and insights entered our contemporary spiritual conversation through Adi Da. Not to mention his remarkable Sacred Image Art.
So I invite you to take in (and be uplifted by) a blast of unparalleled spiritual transmission by contemplating the teaching and person of this awesome and challenging God-Man. Here is a very brief selection of some of my favorite excerpts from his writings and videos.