- Adi Da Samraj
- (1939– )teacher of “Crazy Wisdom”Adi Da Samraj, a U.S.-born guru, teaches his idiosyncratic philosophy and discipline to a small but devoted international following, mostly in English-speaking countries.According to Adi Da Samraj’s autobiography, he experienced a state of perfect awareness of ulti-mate reality from the day of his birth as Franklin Jones on November 3, 1939, on Long Island, New York. At age two he relinquished that state in order to experience human limitations completely. From 1957 he studied philosophy at Columbia Univer-sity in New York. Beginning in his college years Jones engaged in a spiritual quest that led him to Swami RUDRANANDA in New York City and eventu-ally to Swami MUKTANANDA, the famous practitio-ner of Shaivism and siddha yoga. From childhood, Jones reported many experiences of KUNDALINI (awakening divine energy), mystical revelation, astral travel, and superconscious identification with higher beings, but he found that these powers were not valuable because they were not expres-sions of his real nature. In 1970 at the Vedanta temple in Hollywood, he experienced a reawaken-ing and realization of his ultimate nature; he knew his oneness with SHAKTI, divine energy. He left Muktananda and became a devotee of Shakti.In 1972, Jones began to teach his “radical” understanding of a spiritual path that includes devotion to a guru and self-observation. He opened a small ashram in Los Angeles and began to attract devotees. During a trip to India he adopted the first of what would become many new names for himself, Bubba Free John. At first he worked with students in a traditional way, but in the late 1970s he adopted the “Crazy Wisdom” approach to spirituality. In 1979, he changed his name to Da Free John. In 1986, his name became Da Love-Ananda. In the late 1980s he became Da Avabhasa (the Bright), in 1990 Da Kalki, and finally, in 1995, Adi Da Samraj. The completion of his work of revelation, he says, is signified in this last change of name and his title of AVATA R.In 1983, he acquired an island in Fiji for his community, then called the Johannine Daist Communion. Today Adi Da’s spiritual movement is named Adidam, or the Way of the Heart. A central teaching of this path is that all seeking requires constant activity, a factor that, in itself, prevents conscious realization and perfect hap-piness. Because the means used on any path are always changing, no method of seeking is ever permanently successful. Adi Da asserts that he has attained the Most Perfect Happiness and can transmit this divine Self-realization to others. Thus, a devotional relationship with Adi Da is the source of divine Self-realization. The Way of the Heart employs meditation, study, worship, com-munal living, and dietary and sexual disciplines as means for “radical” understanding and com-munion with Adi Da.The educational organization of Adidam is the Laughing Man Institute, which propagates the teaching of Adi Da around the world. Adidam also has a publishing vehicle, the Dawn Horse Press, which publishes The Adidam Revelation Magazine and books about and by Adi Da.At the turn of the 21st century Adidam reported over 1,000 members worldwide, the majority of whom live in the United States. Centers have been opened in New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, and Fiji. Ashrams currently are located in Fiji, Hawaii, and northern California.See also Bonder, Saniel.Further reading: Saniel Bonder, The Divine Emergence of the World-Teacher Heart-Master Da Love-Ananda (Clear-lake, Calif.: Dawn Horse Press, 1990); Adi Da Samraj, Avatar Adi Da Samraj and the First 25 Years of His Divine Revelation Work (Middletown, Calif.: Dawn Horse Press, 1997); ———, The Knee of Listening (Clearlake, Calif.: Dawn Horse Press, 1973); ———, See My Bright-ness Face to Face: A Celebration of the Rachira Buddha (Middletown, Calif.: Dawn Horse Press, 1997).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.