Teaching as He has in the cultural wasteland of the modern West, Avatar Adi Da has been confronted by individuals approaching Him with a seemingly endless variety of wrong notions, fantasy orientations, and cultic beliefs relative to Spiritual practice and the relationship to the Sat-Guru. He has said that not a single individual approached Him with genuine self-understanding and an appreciation of the laws inherent in the Guru-devotee relationship. Thus, as the years of His Teaching-Work with aspirants progressed, Adi Da found it necessary to require people to demonstrate greater and greater preparation and understanding before they could approach Him as Divine Guru. All of this rigorous preparatory discipline and study reflects Adi Da Samraj's utter commitment to prevent His devotees from indulging in the errors of cultism and nominal practice, which have historically all too often undermined the practice of true religion, reducing it to sheer exotericism. The true Sat-Guru must deal effectively with the presumptuousness and other delusions of his or her beginning devotees.
Beyond ego-based fascination with the Guru
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: “In the Ruchira Avatara Gita, I Speak critically of the conventional (or childish, and, otherwise, adolescent) orientation of "Guru-cultism". Such cultism is a tendency that has always been present in the religious and Spiritual traditions of mankind. Anciently, and in the present time, both true Spiritual Masters and ordinary Wisdom-Teachers have been "cultified", and (thereby) made the merely fascinating Object of a self-contained popular movement that worships the Spiritual Master as a Parent-like Savior, while embracing very little of the significant Wisdom-Teaching of the Spiritual Master.
The error of conventional cultism is precisely this childish, and (otherwise) adolescent, and (altogether) ego-based orientation to fascination with Spiritual Masters, Wisdom-Teachers, "God"-Ideas, myths, sacred lore, inherited beliefs, traditional propaganda, and psycho-physical (or merely body-mind-based) mysticism. And the cultic tendency in religion and Spirituality is the essence of what is wrong with conventional religion and Spirituality…. Unfortunately, those who are merely fascinated by Spiritual Masters are, typically, those who make (or, at least, transform) the institutions of the religion and the Spirituality of their Spiritual Masters. And true practitioners of religion and Spirituality are very hard to find, or develop. Therefore, religious and Spiritual institutions tend to develop along lines that serve, accommodate, and represent the common egoity—and this is why the esoteric true Teachings of true Spiritual Masters tend to be bypassed, and even suppressed, in the drive to develop the exoteric cult of any particular Spiritual Master.”
Beyond childish and adolescent approaches to the Guru
One of the key mistakes we make in our egoic assumptions is to think that “Avatar Adi Da” is just another human being like us—thus, we either seek His attention childishly or adolescently resist the process of surrendering to Him as the Divine. This occurs when we see Him either as the “God in charge of everything” or as a mere human being, without understanding that His Human Body is completely submitted to (and thus a vehicle for) His Spiritual Presence and Divinely Perfect State.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: “The mature individual or true devotee is free of childish and adolescent approaches to the Spiritual Master. He is neither childishly dependent, as upon
a parent, nor adolescently independent, as in revolt against a parent. Rather, he turns to the Spiritual Master freely, in love and service, in gestures of surrender to the Process and the Reality that are always Present and Awakening in that Company. Such an individual is not motivated by the [un-Happy] dilemmas and the self-protective searching for solutions that characterize the usual man. He has been awakened to intuition of his own Real Condition and to the native activity of love in service… Thus, he is not bound or afraid. He is free to surrender in love to the Agent of his own Destiny, and in such surrender in love he fulfills the Law of practice wherein Grace may be given and transformation made.”
[The Enlightenment of the Whole Body]
The key to the right relationship to the Sat-Guru is a true understanding of Who That One Is, and, therefore, what is actually being offered in the Guru-devotee relationship. Such a Sat-Guru has not become "God" in any exclusive sense, as the Supreme Being apart from all others. Rather, the Spiritually Awakened Sat-Guru is one who has (to one or another degree) transcended his or her egoic activity and has thus Realized Identity with the Divine Condition that is also the Identity of all beings. Such a Sat-Guru brings that Blessing to others as a gift, calling them to also take up the practice of self-surrender in which they will more and more fully Realize the same Condition.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: “Do not practice the 'childish cult' of superficial and ego-serving emotionalism (full of wanting dependency, and empty of faith), and do not practice the 'adolescent cult' of non-feeling (willful, self-absorbed, abstract, and independent)—but always practice (and cultivate) the true. . .Way of devotion to Me. . . .
Neither Real God nor the Divine Heart-Master is your Parent. Therefore, do not expect Real God or the Divine Heart-Master to justify or protect or preserve or fulfill your egoic want and separateness. . . .
You are Called, by Me, to surrender your separate and separative self in Real God. . . .”
[Ruchira Avatara Gita]
Do not believe in the Guru
It is easy for us to relate to Avatar Adi Da Samraj improperly, in a manner that serves the purposes of ego-fulfillment rather than ego-surrender. Thus, it is important to remember that no one is asked to "believe" that Avatar Adi Da is the Divine. He has even said, "You must not believe in Me." Why? Because mere belief is not transformative. Only what is revealed in one's real experience of body, heart, and mind altogether (rather than mind only) can transform the being.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: “Mere belief in a ‘Savior’ or a ‘program’ of ‘Liberation’ is not sufficient. . . . All beliefs, all conventional and consoling religions, all merely strategic religious and Spiritual methods, are extensions of the self-contraction.”
Therefore, Avatar Adi Da does not offer you a set of beliefs, or even a set of Spiritual techniques. He simply offers you His Revelation of Truth as a free gift, to respond to as you will. And, if you are moved to take up His Way, He invites you to enter into a direct Spiritual relationship with Him. Those of us who have taken this step have found the Spiritual relationship to Avatar Adi Da Samraj to be a supremely precious gift, a literally miraculous blessing, the answer to our deepest longings—greatly surpassing anything we have ever experienced or even imagined to be possible.
from Divine Distraction: A Guide to the Guru-Devotee Relationship
by James Steinberg
What are the right and wrong ways to approach the Guru?