Photography and the Sacred Archives

by Nick Elias

I first saw Adi Da Samraj in early February 1973, almost 30 years ago.

It was a small room in an old San Francisco Victorian and I remember the lighting was very bad. This is a significant detail from my point of view, because somehow or other I was the "official" photographer. Adi Da Samraj was wearing pin-striped pants and a dark v-neck sweater, and as I looked through the lens He was the embodiment of Relationship and Beauty and Light. His every movement and expression was full of utter Happiness and Grace.

In those few hours, and in the time we spent with Him in Golden Gate Park the following day (which was exquisite), I fundamentally lost all interest in photographing anything else. I have spent the rest of the years of my life photographing and documenting Avatar Adi Da's Life and Work whenever I have been able to, and the photographs I took on that weekend in 1973 are now in the Sacred Archives, along with practically every other photograph, every Talk, everything He Wrote, and every audio and videotape of Adi Da Samraj ever recorded.

That's about 200,000 slides (starting from when He was a baby), 400,000 "yellow pages" (as the original hand-written pages of His Writings are called), 14,000 audiotapes, 5000 negatives, 4000 videotapes, and perhaps 100 "super 8" films!

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