An Overview of
Santosha Adidam

(page 3 of 5)

The fundamental argument of Santosha Adidam centers around the structure of the human mechanism and how that structure relates to the process of Spiritual growth-for the complete course of Spiritual practice must encompass the gross, subtle, and causal dimensions of the being. Avatar Adi Da acknowledges the accuracy of the Hindu description of the human structure as composed of five "sheaths" (or "bodies")-and He gives His own precise definitions of each of these sheaths (see Section V of Part Three and the first three Essays "The Traditional (and, Otherwise, Readily Verifiable) Observations and Analyses of the Human Being" in Part Four). The five sheaths include, in order of increasing hierarchical seniority:

one gross sheath
     the physical body

three subtle sheaths
     the body of personal life-energy (including emotion)
     the lower mind (conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind)
     the higher mind (the "I" of mind, or root-mind, including the central will and discriminative intelligence)

one causal sheath
     the separate-self sense

In Santosha Adidam, Avatar Adi Da describes how the complete Spiritual process of the Way of Adidam is a matter of progressively taking responsibility for the fundamental ego-activity of self-contraction, in the context of each of the five sheaths. Because each of the five sheaths is a distinct realm of experience and activity, the disciplines that relate to each of the sheaths are distinct. Therefore, one of Avatar Adi Da's principal purposes in Santosha Adidam is to describe the disciplines (ranging from diet to sexuality to community living to the fundamental practice of devotional Communion to different forms of meditation practice) that relate to each of the five sheaths (and, thereby, to the progressive course of the Way of Adidam through the first six stages of life, culminating in the Realization of the seventh stage of life).

When all the disciplines (practical, devotional, and Spiritual) of the first six stages of life have done their work, then the apparent individual being is capable of being Gracefully Drawn into Most Perfect (or seventh stage) Divine Enlightenment, the State of Inherent egolessness-and, therefore, the State that is Prior to all five sheaths (which define individual existence). This is the culmination of the Way of Adidam.

In addition to defining the five sheaths of the human being and their relationship to the Spiritual process, Avatar Adi Da also gives, for the first time in human history, a precise description of the two fundamental "Circuits" that constitute our primal structure. The first of these is associated (in its two "halves", or arcs) with the gross and subtle dimensions of existence, while the second is associated with the causal dimension of existence and the potential transcendence of even the causal dimension.

The first "Circuit" is what Avatar Adi Da calls the "Circle". Contrary to the view held by the Kundalini-related traditions of India, Avatar Adi Da Reveals that the fundamental pathway in the body through which both natural life-energy and Spiritual Energy flow is not simply a path of ascent from the perineum to the crown of the head, but (rather) a continuous Circle flowing down the front of the body (from the crown of the head to the perineum) and then flowing up the back of the body (from perineum to crown). The frontal line of the Circle is associated with the gross dimension of existence (and, therefore, with the foundation-or first, second, third, and "original" and "basic" fourth-stages of life and practice), and the spinal line of the Circle is associated with the subtle dimension of existence (and, therefore, with the advanced-or the "advanced" fourth and the fifth-stages of life and practice).