Unique Features of the Collections

In the early 1970’s, when Avatar Adi Da's students first began approaching Him, He organized finite collections of essential books and other materials that served as guided study of particular ideas and aspects of religious and Spiritual practice. These early collections and “booklists” were always designed to be studied in the specified order. Thus, Avatar Adi Da Samraj began, and has continued, to arrange traditional books and other materials into ordered collections to present an argument, from first document to last.

The principal Great Tradition collections of the Adidam Library are of multiple media. Books, magazines, audiotapes, compact discs, videotapes, and DVDs all may appear on a single shelf at the same time. The senior principle is always the “Grand Argument” of the Great Tradition. Avatar Adi Da has also freely placed excerpts of books and individual articles within the collection, such that, for example, one part of a book may appear in a fifth stage section, and another part may appear in a sixth stage section, in the case of a tradition with expressions in each of these stages represented in a single book.

This freedom of organizing the collections of the Laughing Man Library should be noted as a sign of how complex the Great Tradition itself is, and how the seven stages of life schema has not been created to merely “pigeonhole” different traditions. (In fact, none of our collections has simply seven sections corresponding to the seven stages.)

Similarly, between different collections, a document may appear in one section in one collection, and a different in a different collection. A good example is the book, The Divine Madman (available from The Dawn Horse Press), about the “crazy-wise” Tibetan Buddhist saint, Drukpa Kunley. This book appears in a section about the history of sexuality in the Basket Of Tolerance collection, it appear in a section about the tradition of the Guru-devotee relationship in the Epitome of Traditional Wisdom collection, and it appears in a section about legends and mythological heroes in the Seven Schools of “God”-Talk, Real-God-Realization, and Most Perfect Divine Awakening collection.