Adi Da Biography

Adi Da or Franklin Jones was an American spiritual leader, writer and founder of the religious movement, ‘Adidam’.

Adi Da
Quick Facts

Nick Name: Adi Da Samraj

Birthday: November 3, 1939

Nationality: American

Famous: Spiritual & Religious Leaders American Men

Died At Age: 69

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Also Known As: Adi Da Samraj, Franklin Albert Jones

Born in: Queens

Famous as: Founder of Adidam


Spouse/Ex-: Nina Davis (m. 1965)

siblings: Joanne

children: Shawnee Free Jones

Died on: November 27, 2008

place of death: Naitaba

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Founder/Co-Founder: Adidam

More Facts

education: Stanford University (1963), Columbia University (1961), Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

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Better known as ‘Adi Da Samraj’, Franklin Jones has brought not only a new belief system to this world but also introduced a new set of spiritual techniques under the movement called ‘Adidam’. He was an energetic, radiant, enigmatic and yet, controversial spiritual leader to have emerged in the later part of the 20th century. Inspired by eastern traditions and the Advaita Vedanta schools of Hinduism, he was a devotee of Swami Muktananda, all through his life. A mesmerising and eloquent speaker, Jones offered discourse on philosophy and gave an in-depth insight into devotional and spiritual traditions of the eastern religions to western followers. He was a proficient author and authored over 60 books on spirituality during his lifetime. He was also an artist and created some of the most intriguing works of digital and photographic art which has been displayed across the world. As a young man, he was inquisitive and asked questions about the meaning of life and the cause of suffering. Many of his followers affectionately address him as an ‘avatar’.

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Adi Da
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born as Franklin Albert Jones in Queens, New York, he was mostly raised in the Long Island, where he attended the Lutheran Church along with his family.
  • In 1961, he graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
  • In 1963, he graduated from the Stanford University with a master’s degree in English literature.
  • In 1964, he moved to New York City and became a student of Albert Rudolf, an oriental art dealer and self-styled spiritual guru.
  • He attended the St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Seminary in Tuckahoe, New York, for a brief period of time.
  • After his graduation he lived with his girlfriend Nina Davis and stayed at home doing drugs, meditating and reading books, while his girlfriend went to work in order to support him financially.
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Later Life
  • In 1969, he went to India, where he became a disciple of the Swami Muktananda, who allowed him to practice Siddha Yoga and also teach it to others.
  • He opened a book shop in Los Angeles where he would regularly deliver lectures that were inspired by the Advaita Vedanta schools of Hinduism.
  • In 1970, he sold and gave away all his belongings in Los Angles and travelled to India in order to live in Swami Muktananda’s ashram and become his devotee.
  • Three weeks after he arrived at Swami Muktananda’s ashram he was disappointed with his experience there and returned to New York after touring Europe and the Middle East for a period of two weeks.
  • In 1973, he went to India again and visited Swami Muktananda and asked him if he had the potential to become a ‘Mahasiddha’, upon which the swami disagreed.
  • In late 1973, he founded the Dawn House Press, a publishing house that he used to publish all his books.
  • In 1974, he told his followers in Los Angeles that he was ‘the divine lord in human form’ and he also founded the religious movement called ‘The Dawn Horse Communion’.
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  • In 1983, he moved to the Fijian island of Naitauba along with 40 of his followers.
  • In the mid-1980s he was accused by many of his followers to be brainwashing people who come to visit him and he was also accused of sexual abuse and assault. These resulted in lawsuits against him.
  • In 1972, he founded the new religious movement called ‘Adidam’, which is inspired by principles of Hinduism and proposes concepts like ‘karma’ and ‘reincarnation’. The movement had followers from many countries across the world.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • After he graduated from Columbia University, he began using drugs and lived with his girlfriend, Nina Davis in Palo Alto. He married his girlfriend but they eventually divorced.
  • In 1967, he experienced an anxiety attack while he was a student at Philadelphia's Lutheran Theological Seminary.
  • In 1972, his autobiography titled ‘The Knee of Listening’ was published.
  • On January 11, 1986 he experienced a severe physical and psychological crisis due to stress.
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  • Adi da experienced the third breakdown of his life in 2000. Earlier, he had predicted that by the year 2000, the entire world would recognize him for his unique spiritual realization. When this did not happen, he experienced the breakdown.
  • He has three biological daughters all from different women and also has an adopted daughter.
  • He died at the age of 69 after he had a cardiac arrest at his home in Naitaba, Lau Islands in Fiji.
  • During his lifetime, he created many digital photographic arts, which were displayed in exhibitions across Italy, Amsterdam and New York City.
  • This well-known American spiritual guru had more than nine polygamous partners including Playboy model Julie Anderson.
  • This American spiritual master and spiritual writer once stated that he is an incarnation of Swami Vivekananda.
  • This spiritual author changed his name eight times throughout his life.

See the events in life of Adi Da in Chronological Order

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- Adi Da Biography
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Last Updated
- November 10, 2017

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