Part of my comment is a reaction to the debate over Adi Da as a "Realizer." It's often seemed to me that Da and his followers put lots of time and energy into his claims as a "Realizer" (this includes the gushing praise that Ken Wilber gave Da in the past). Is "Realizer" just a piece of jargon with no clear plain English meaning... a fuzzy word for devotees to project all sorts of fuzzy ideas onto?
Hell, it's happened to me more than once that I've left my apartment and realized that my fly was undone. That makes me a realizer. I don't see the point in making grandiose claims and comparisons about that realization (even though it was quite useful when it occurred). Isn't it enough that I simply zipped up and kept walking?
Anyway, here's what I wrote:
Former Follower and Critic Says:
> Criticizing Da is claimed to be the same as criticizing all
> great Realizers–but it is ok for Da to claim only he attained
> the so-called highest stage not other Realizers who were not
> fully enlightened according to him. The truth is it is only Da
> that is being criticized as not being Realized, not these great
> Realizers. Da is not widely recognized as a great Realizer
I've done lots of work with computers (as an MS Excel expert). When people come to me with their computer problems, I don't waste time telling them that I'm a great Expert, or comparing myself to other Excel Experts, living or dead. I just fix their problems, and once they see that it works, then they're happy.
Some spiritual teachers operate like this also. People come to them wanting to understand themselves, and explore how to live their lives and relate to others. The teachers point them to practices and inquiries, and encourage them use these pointers to find truth for themselves. None of this requires the teacher to make any claims about their own greatness, what a wonderful "Realizer" they are, or to judge any other teachers living or dead.
So the important issue to me is... what, if anything, about Da's life, words, actions, and death... is helpful to any of us as we live our actual lives just now? I see that as a useful line of inquiry, and everyone can try and see for themselves whether they find any of Da's words etc to be useful. The whole issue of what a "Realizer" is, of whether or not Da was one, of what other living or dead teachers were superior or inferior... all of this is a different issue entirely (and for me personally, not the issue I find interesting).
Also... we can exercise care re how much weight we put on whether or not a teacher is "widely recognized." Following a crowd, believing in things because they're widely recognized by others, can sometimes be a useful strategy. But we can also look into things independently, seeking whatever's most helpful to our particular life situation. In that case, we examine what best works for ourselves, and it becomes irrelevant whether or not masses of other people recognize it.
> I think it’s natural to grieve our loved ones for a time
I don't see any problem with grieving. Some people have the idea that life ought to be non-stop bliss. They try to ignore or deny grief and sadness in themselves, and criticize it in others.
All of this is rooted in the initial idea: "I want to be happy all the time." That want can be questioned also. Maybe it's possible to keep a clear mind, in which it's no problem to be happy sometimes and grieving sometimes, healthy sometimes and sick sometimes, alive for a while and then dead. A clear mirror reflects each moment as it is, beautiful or ugly, without making it into a problem.
In addition to the conversation at nonduality.org, there's also in-depth open discussion of Da's death at the New Lightmind Forums. Another great resource is the Adi Da Archives, a critical site with extensive info, stories, and reflections by ex-devotees. Further posts on the topic, including the "succession" issue, appear on the Forest Wanderer blog.