Avatar Adi Da Samraj
and Swami Muktananda
A Confrontation of Dharmas
by the editors of the Dawn Horse magazine
Note: The following is an updated version of "Bubba Free John and Swami Muktananda: A Confrontation of Dharmas", originally published in The Dawn Horse magazine, Volume 2, Number 2 (1975). Links to further readings from the published Writings of Avatar Adi Da Samraj are also included following the article.
In the summer of 1973, Avatar Adi Da Samraj traveled to India in order to visit various Ashrams and other sites of significance.
Even before His departure for India, Avatar Adi Da had stated to His devotees that the visit was necessary, among other things, in order to purify and clarify His relationship with Swami Muktananda.
Ever since the final Events of Avatar Adi Da's "Sadhana-Years"-Submission (described in The Knee of Listening), there had been a basis for formal disagreement with Swami Muktananda's teaching that the "blue pearl" is the ultimate form of Reality.
Avatar Adi Da with Swami Muktananda
During Swami Muktananda's 1970 tour of the United States, Avatar Adi Da had asked him to confirm that the right side of the bodily apparent heart is the "locus" of Most Perfect Divine Self-Realization.
Avatar Adi Da continued His questions in a series of letters to Swami Muktananda in subsequent months, but they were never answered. However, Avatar Adi Da found corroboration of the unique function and significance of the heart on the right in the works of Ramana Maharshi.
Avatar Adi Da's approach to Swami Muktananda in India was then (in 1973), as at all times before then, in the grateful and respectful manner of a disciple. This was taken by some to mean that Avatar Adi Da was seeking a further initiation or grace through the 1973 visit. In fact, He was simply relating to Swami Muktananda in the same manner as He had previously done.
An interview was arranged between Avatar Adi Da and Swami Muktananda. It was to be based on a series of four questions Avatar Adi Da had included in a letter He had written to Swami Muktananda on the previous day. The questions represent a kind of dialogue and argument between the traditional (fifth stage) Yogic "point of view" of Swami Muktananda and Avatar Adi Da's Unique (seventh stage) Revelation.
By means of the confrontation implied in these questions, Avatar Adi Da intended to communicate to Swami Muktananda the Nature of His own Realization in contrast to the understanding of Realization characteristic of traditional fifth stage Yoga. It was a classic confrontation of Dharmas, for which there are precedents in the history of Spirituality.
The last of the questions Avatar Adi Da prepared for Swami Muktananda was in the form of a request for acknowledgement. It is traditional for a disciple to approach his or her Guru for testing and acknowledgement of Realization. In the past, Avatar Adi Da Samraj had approached Swami Muktananda for such acknowledgement, and it had been given.
On this occasion, Avatar Adi Da approached Swami Muktananda in the same manner, as if for the same purpose. Yet, it was with the clear knowledge that such acknowledgement could not — and, therefore, would not — be given, if Swami Muktananda confirmed his commitment to the Yogic "point of view" he had expressed in the past.
Avatar Adi Da's questions were designed to point out the irreconcilable differences between His seventh stage Realization and traditional fifth stage Yogic Realization.
Thus, in the absence of any acquiescence on Swami Muktananda's part, the questions were also intended to reveal the impossibility of any acknowledgement. As a result, the confrontation became not the grounds for the acknowledgement of Avatar Adi Da Samraj by Swami Muktananda, but for the formal ending of Avatar Adi Da's relationship to Swami Muktananda as Guru.
Present at the meeting in Ganeshpuri were Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Swami Muktananda, Professor Jain (a devotee of Swami Muktananda who acted as translator), Amma (one of the principal devotees in Swami Muktananda's Ashram), Uma Berliner (an American devotee of Swami Muktananda), and Gerald Sheinfeld (a devotee of Avatar Adi Da who accompanied Him to India).
The four questions had been written down by Avatar Adi Da and given to Professor Jain on the previous day. During the interview, the professor read each of the first three questions aloud, and Swami Muktananda responded.
In a Talk to His devotees some six weeks later, Avatar Adi Da Samraj explained why He committed the questions to writing, and why He did not debate Swami Muktananda's responses:
I did not intend to engage in any kind of confrontation, because there was nothing to win. If Baba's position was simply contrary, that is what I wanted to find out — and, if so, I just intended to leave.
I wanted neither a victory over Him nor a debate, and there was no desire to be involved in any kind of verbal game.
Rather than just trying to express Myself as well as I could through the translator, I felt that the real issues could not be sidestepped if I made a written document of the questions.
In the dialogue, Swami Muktananda reconfirmed his viewpoint. His responses, though meaningful in their own terms, seem not to show any comprehension of his former disciple's Realization.
Next: The "Blue Pearl" Bindu
The "Perfect Knowledge" Reality-Teachings
of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj
HARDCOVER limited edition with dust jacket
SOFTCOVER standard edition
This book was conceived by Adi Da Samraj at the end of 2005. He was first moved to make His own rendering, or "interpretive translation", of a traditional Advaitic text, The Heart of the Ribhu Gita, in order to elucidate (and thereby honor) its full meaning.
Adi Da Samraj then did the same with other great teachings from the traditions of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. In each case, He brought the essence of the instruction to the fore, with elegance and Illumined understanding.
Texts whose meanings were only partially (or cryptically) expressed even in the original — let alone in translation — suddenly shone forth, like rough gems cut by an expert hand.