A Summary of Avatar Adi Da's Divine and Spiritual Work
From Da Love-Ananda Mahal
August 1, 2002 - May 19, 2003
After arriving in August 2002 at His Kauai Hermitage, Da Love-Ananda Mahal, Avatar Adi Da began intensive work in three areas – advancing His extraordinary photographic artwork, completing the primary text of His written Teaching, and initiating a new retreat process for His devotees.
Begun just five years ago, Avatar Adi Da's body of photographic artwork has now grown to more than 20,000 images. The subjects of these images include people, the natural world, a universe of man-made objects, and inconceivable combinations of all three.
This work began a new phase on September 3, 2002, when one of Avatar Adi Da's devotees gave Him a disposable underwater camera. Using this and several other disposable cameras over the course of five days, He produced 300 underwater images that ultimately became "The Plastic Camera," the first of His underwater photography suites.
That gift of a disposable camera sparked a continually evolving process, with Avatar Adi Da working intensively on His underwater (and "over-water") images nearly every day since. Outfitted from head to toe in a wetsuit, He wears a 30-pound weight belt and carries a 10-15 pound camera around the set for hours at a time. He works so exhaustively shooting on the concrete floor of the pool that devotees need to replace His dive gloves and booties every week, as well as the suit itself when the elbows or knees wear through.
While no one can truly know the full mystery of what Avatar Adi Da is accomplishing through His artwork, many serving the process have intuited that the reach of His work extends far beyond the images themselves.
Within the religious traditions, stories tell of masters working with material objects to bless and bring about changes in their devotees and the larger world. The Indian saint Shirdi Sai Baba, for example, was seen at times rubbing coins from a little bag he kept, repeating the names of certain devotees, focusing blessings upon them through this physical device.
Similarly, those who have witnessed Avatar Adi Da's incredible art process have no doubt that He is doing significant Spiritual Work with each image He creates.
On April 8, a showing of Avatar Adi Da's art opened at the Louis Stern Gallery in Los Angeles. More than 300 people came to opening night at the small gallery, standing shoulder to shoulder to view Avatar Adi Da's art – with a crowd staying more than 90 minutes past the scheduled closing time, impressing even the seasoned gallery owner.
Just prior to the opening, a website dedicated to Avatar Adi Da's art was posted at www.daplastique.com. Please visit the site to see some of these remarkable images for yourself.
While engaging His artwork, Avatar Adi Da worked extensively in the two other areas mentioned above. One of these was to complete His final review of The Dawn Horse Testament the primary text of His written Teaching. The other was to begin a retreat process to bring as many devotees as possible from around the world into His physical Company.
A core part of the process of the Way of Adidam is participation in retreats in Avatar Adi Da's physical Company. Devotees are invited to such retreats once the necessary foundation of self-discipline and devotional practice has been established. On these retreats, devotees sit daily with Avatar Adi Da in silent contemplation of Him. And it is during these silent sittings that people are directly Initiated by Him into the real Spiritual process. After His arrival at Da Love-Ananda Mahal, Avatar Adi Da began calling for a retreat circumstance in which devotees from all over the world, with proper preparation, could come sit with Him and receive His Spiritual Transmission. These retreats began in late October, and are presently continuing.
Devotees who have attended these retreats have been forever changed by the experience. They return to their daily lives visibly brighter from having tasted the limitless happiness that is Avatar Adi Da's Gift, and with a determination to make this Gift available to everyone.