Supportive Disciplines in the Way of Adidam

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A Prototypical Example: The Discipline of Diet

Avatar Adi Da Samraj provides a succinct summary of the dietary discipline that maximally free up energy and attention, which He refers to as the “minimum-optimum diet” (the word, “minimum”, signifiying something akin to “low maintenance”):


The right and optimum diet is (necessarily) a conservative diet. In right (or effective) practice of the Way of Adidam, dietary discipline fully serves the submission of personal energy and attention to the Great Process that becomes Most Perfect Divine Self-Realization [Awakening]. Therefore, the right and optimum diet must be intelligently moderated in its quantity and carefully selected in its quality, so that it will not burden the physical body or bind the mind (or attention) through food-desire and negative (or constipating, toxifying, and enervating) food-effects (and ingestion-effects in general), and so that (along with the necessary additional “consideration” and really effective transcending of aberrated, anxious, or even excessive private habits and patterns relative to food-taking and waste elimination) it serves the yielding of free human energy and attention to the great (and necessarily, Devotional) process (of self-surrender, self-forgetting, progressive self-observation, eventual most fundamental self-understanding, and, altogether, more and more effective self-transcendence) that is the necessary foundation of the Way of Adidam. Consequently, right and optimum diet must be natural, fresh, whole, wholesome, balanced, balancing, pure (or non-toxic), and purifying — or, in the language of tradition, “sattvic”. And right and optimum diet must be limited to what is necessary and sufficient for bodily (and general psycho-physical) purification, balance, well-being, and appropriate service.

In the Way of Adidam, right diet is whatever diet is the “Minimum Optimum” diet for good health, well-being, and full practice of the Way of Adidam, in the case of the individual. Therefore, there is no absolute standard diet, applicable to all cases, but there is a basic dietary orientation that should stand as a guide to all. That basic orientation (or general dietary rule) is to eat only raw (and sattvic) foods, unless (or except to the degree that) cooked (sattvic) foods are (in one or another form) necessary for good health and well-being.

In My experience (which is confirmed by tradition and by modern research and experimentation) the basic diet, or the diet that most fully and consistently meets all the requirements for right diet . . . is either an exclusively raw vegetarian (vegetable and/or fruit) diet or a maximally raw vegetarian (fruit and vegetable) diet (consisting of both raw and cooked foods in varying degrees). In either case, such a basic (or “Minimum Optimum”) diet is, as a general rule, limited to fruits, and (perhaps) seeds and nuts, and (perhaps) sprouts, greens, grasses, and other vegetables of choice, including (perhaps) a few root vegetables (such as carrots and beets, and perhaps some cooked, or even raw, potatoes), and also (perhaps) some legumes and grains (sprouted, or even soaked, or perhaps, in moderate amounts, cooked). In the case of such a dietary discipline, foods are taken in both solid and liquid forms (except during fasts, or during any period in which an exclusively liquid fruit, or liquid vegetable, or liquid fruit and vegetable diet is preferred), and the general rule is to take food in moderate amounts, without vitamins or other supplements (unless strictly required), and (as a general rule, consistently applied) without social “accessories” (such as tobacco, or alcohol), and (entirely) without social drugs, and (generally) without stimulants (such as coffee or tea), or junk food, or any food substances that do not qualify as sattvic substances or otherwise correspond to the types or quantities of food ordinarily taken.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


It is one thing to romantize Spiritual life, and talk knowingly about “disciplining oneself”. But it is another thing to do it! And, short of doing it, there is nothing like reading the details of a discipline that hits us in the “gut” the dietary discipline and getting a sense for how much we use food as a consolation, and how little inclined we (or at least most of us) are to adopt a diet like the one described above, despite its noble purpose, because it is boring:


You will perhaps be bored with this vegetarian diet, which, when compared to the great cuisines of the Chinese and the French, is extremely boring. But after a while you also begin to realize that there is nothing written that food must be interesting. No great revelations have pointed out that food, or anything else for that matter, must be interesting or distracting to the point that you feel the illusion of ecstasy. Even a fine meal with fine wine and traditional accessories is not God-Realization. How good does it feel? It feels good for only a few minutes. The hours and days that follow are filled with physical discomfort and aberrated energy and inclinations. [Avatar Adi Da Samraj has identified imbalanced diet as the source for many cravings and impulses sexual, emotional and otherwise that we wouldn’t necessarily even think to attribute to diet.] But as you persist in the discipline, eventually the natural pleasurableness of the diet appears, and the desires that previously motivated you in your eating and drinking weaken. The chemistry of the body changes, the blood chemistry changes, the cellular life is transformed, and the purifying phase begins to come to an end. Then you begin to observe the regenerative power of this way of diet, and you start to feel good. Thus, it no longer matters whether the diet is interesting or not. It is the same with this practice altogether. There is simply a right way to live.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Fire Must Have Its Way


  Understanding the aversion to being unstimulated, and the aversion to falling into the boredom, doubt, and discomfort that we are always otherwise avoiding, is central to self-understanding and the hearing capability:


The fundamental discipline is not to escape or avoid boredom, doubt and discomfort, but to transcend them, directly through the most direct Realization or Communion with the prior State of Happiness or Bliss. This is the essential process in everyone’s case. You will discover in yourself, always, the tendencies of boredom, doubt, and discomfort and the learned will to do things, physically, emotionally, and mentally, to escape this confrontation.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


Adi Da Samraj calls the diet He recommends the "searchless diet" [for more, read Green Gorilla: The Searchless Raw Diet], because it is meant to feed the body, but not feed the ego. It is simply lawful management of a body in Communion with the Living Reality, free of the need to use food as a means to solve any kind of problem or seek any kind of ideal in body or mind.

Needless to say, the ability and willingness to take up the dietary discipline, or any of the disciplines, whether individual or otherwise, does not materialize over night (though some people are already more inclined to it than others). Instead, as is the case with all the disciplines, it is a process of intelligent adaptation. To idealistically rush into it is as silly as to avoid it altogether, because rushing it is guaranteed to instigate a backlash sooner or later a kind of shock to the body-mind. We then drop the diet, and are left with a bad taste in our mouth, so to speak. So willfully forcing the disciplines too quickly and disallowing the natural adaptation process will tend to make us more complicated and more resistive to discipline than before we began. On the other hand, this observation shouldn't be used to justify taking years to adapt to something that is relatively straightforward! For example, a few months to a year of experimentation should be sufficient for full adaptation to the dietary discipline in a manner that "works" for one's particular physical constitution. A time frame like that is typical of dietary adaptation in general (whether done in the context of a spiritual practice or not). But the adaptation certainly is aided if (as is the case for a devotee of Adidam) one is engaging the new dietary practice in the context of practicing Ruchira Avatara Bhakti Yoga.

The process of adapting to a discipline has one more dimension to it worth mentioning. Remember when we first learned how to drive a car? We had to first just familiarize ourselves with and get used to all the different parts: the steering wheel, the brakes, the accelerator pedal, etc. The coordination of all that was quite a challenge at the very start! Even our sense of what is difficult was quite different from what it is now; I remember that, the very first time I drove up an entrance ramp onto the highway, the ramp seemed incredibly narrow, and it seemed like a very difficult task to keep the car in that narrow channel. Now, of course, driving up such a ramp is second nature, and it is humorous to look back at those first impressions.

In a like fashion, first becoming familiar with, learning all the aspects of, and beginning to practice one of the disciplines can seem intense, overwhelming, or at least something one has to consciously reflect on as one attempts to practice it. But, over time, all these disciplines become less a matter of remembering technical details, and more a spontaneous art, as driving now is for most of us.


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