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Adi Da Samraj, born Franklin Albert Jones (November 3, 1939 – November 27, 2008) was an American-born spiritual teacher, writer and artist. He was the founder of a new religious movement known as Adidam.
Adi Da Samraj
Franklin Albert Jones
(1939-11-03)November 3, 1939
|Died||November 27, 2008(2008-11-27) (aged 69)|
|Other names||Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love-Ananda, Da Avabhasa, Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj|
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Occupation(s)||Spiritual teacher, writer, and artist|
|Known for||Founder of Adidam|
|Children||Four, including Shawnee Free Jones|
Adi Da initially became known in the spiritual counterculture of the 1970s for his books and public talks and for the activities of his religious community. He authored more than 75 books, including those published posthumously, with key works including an autobiography, The Knee Of Listening, spiritual works such as The Aletheon and The Dawn Horse Testament, and social philosophy such as Not-Two Is Peace.
Adi Da's teaching is closely related to the Indian tradition of nondualism.: 197 He taught that the 'ego'—the presumption of a separate self—is an illusion, and that all efforts to "attain" enlightenment or unity with the divine from that point-of-view are necessarily futile. Reality or Truth, he said, is "always already the case":: 198 it cannot be found through any form of seeking, it can only be "realized" through transcendence of the illusions of separate self in the devotional relationship to the already-realized being. Distinguishing his teaching from other religious traditions, Adi Da declared that he was a uniquely historic avatar and that the practice of devotional recognition-response to him, in conjunction with most fundamental self-understanding, was the sole means of awakening to seventh stage spiritual enlightenment for others.: 99 Chögyam Trungpa reportedly remarked that "[i]t is tremendously difficult to begin a new tradition" of spirituality, as Adi Da had done.
Adi Da founded a publishing house, the Dawn Horse Press, to print his books. He was praised by authorities in spirituality, philosophy, sociology, literature, and art, but was also criticized for what were perceived as his isolation and controversial behavior. In 1985, former followers made allegations of misconduct: two lawsuits were filed, to which Adidam responded with threats of counter-litigation. The principal lawsuit was dismissed and the other was settled out of court.
In his later years, Adi Da focused on creating works of art intended to enable viewers to enter into a "space" beyond limited "points of view". He was invited to the 2007 Venice Biennale to participate through an official collateral exhibition, and was later invited to exhibit his work in Florence, Italy, in the 15th century Cenacolo di Ognissanti and the Bargello museum. His work was also shown in New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Miami, and London.