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The New York-born founder of a Hindu-derived movement currently known as Adidam, or ‘The Way of the Heart’, but, like Da himself, known previously by at least ten different names. Da was a disciple, first of Swami Rudrānanda, and then, in India in the late 1960s, of Rudrānanda's teacher, Swami Muktānanda, under whom he experienced some form of ‘yogic liberation’. He returned to America to form his own movement, initially known as The Dawn House Communion (1970). Da considers himself to be God in human form, and is worshipped as such by his followers. The beliefs and practices of the ‘Daists’ are eclectic, but draw heavily on Hindu and Buddhist Tantric models, infused with ‘crazy wisdom’. Since the mid 1980s, lawsuits by former members, and accusations of physical and sexual abuse have dogged the movement and its founder, who now lives in retreat in Fiji. Da is responsible for over twenty books, all published by his own house, The Dawn Horse Press.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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