A Glimpse of Him in Truth
author never became a devotee of Adi Da, but has always appreciated
Him, and expresses that gratitude here.
Even those who had doubts or reservations about Adi Da as a person
never doubted that He was an authentic spiritual genius. Just what
He accomplished in His life, in His literature, and in His art,
has never been remotely approached by any other spiritual teacher
in history. Many of His books stand as the definitive treatments
of certain subjects from the spiritual point of view: Easy
Transmission of Doubt, Love
of the Two Armed Form. His first two books — His autobiography
[The Knee Of Listening]
and The Method
of the Siddhas — are extraordinary masterpieces. Many
of His books are taken verbatim from spontaneous talks He gave .
. . and yet they read like Shakespeare.
I remember how I first became aware of Him. It was 1972. I was
22, and had been practicing TM [Transcendental Meditation] for four
years. I had even met Maharishi personally. Maharishi in person
was a radiant being with beautiful, magnetic eyes. He became my
standard for a teacher, and in particular I was fascinated with
eyes. I was walking past a row of books in a health food store and
I looked at this book just in passing. (It was The
Knee Of Listening.) I was caught by the picture of the man
on the cover and His eyes. Almost without volition I found myself
saying to myself, "My God, that man has extraordinary eyes." I looked
again and was just floored. They were the most stunning eyes I had
ever seen or could imagine.
Later (after I had left the TM scene and also spent seven years
in an ashram in New Mexico), I returned to studying Him intensely.
I read all of His books (at that time around forty
volumes) some several times. I began to have dreams of Him.
To this day they are the most precious experiences of my life. In
the dreams He was exactly as He described: Like your most intimate
spiritual friend, and too, this friend was the very force of love-bliss.
I remember how I never wanted to be in any state but the state of
communion with Adi Da I knew in my dreams.
At the time I was living with a lady who was one of the very first
western devotees of Osho [Rajneesh]. She had known Him in a hotel
room in Bombay with only two other western students. She loved Osho
so much. Her love for Osho always humbled me — because I am
an opinionated fellow and this was the time of all of the Oregon
ranch stuff, and it tended to push a button in me. But she would
always disarm me by her simple and true love for Osho and what she
had received from Him. On her part, she thought my fascination with
Adi Da a bit obsessive. She even asked me why I was always reading
His books. I told her simply that if she ever had a dream of Him
she would know. One day in the morning she woke next to me with
a sweet smile and told me that she'd dreamt of Him. She said, "Now
I know; you were right, to be with Him is to be in heaven."
I knew and was friends with many devotees of Osho at the time.
One was a film professional who had done almost all of the filming
in the ashram in India. He too knew I was really into Adi Da. One
day we were having lunch and he said, "You know, I remember
one day someone showed Osho the book, The
Enlightenment of the Whole Body. Osho examined it and the
pictures of Adi Da and then said, 'If you can be with this man,
you are with a true Buddha.' ". . .
I will tell one story. It was told to me in great confidence,
a confidence I am probably breaking by telling it publicly. I don’t
care. The man is gone from this earth as the body/persona; and I
just want to relate this one incident, which seems to say something
about Adi Da and the way that
In the early days when He was "Bubba Free John", an incident
occurred in His ashram where one of His devotees, who was an ex-Green
Beret, beat another devotee badly in a fight. Bubba had the ex-Green-Beret
fellow brought to Him and questioned him intensely about what had
happened. Bubba told him that the only way he could do such a thing
was that he did not feel what he was doing, the pain he was inflicting.
Bubba asked him if he would like to fight his Spiritual Master —
if he would like to fight him. The fellow was ashamed and
said no, no. But Bubba wouldn’t let him off the hook and egged him
on to the point where they actually stepped outside and fought tooth
and nail. Evidently Bubba got the worst of it and was rather smashed
up afterwards. But then He had the fellow come into the house again
and discuss it. Bubba asked him if he could feel now what he was
doing with his violent behaviour. The man confessed he could and
that he was completely shattered by the realization.
You know, it is okay to be skeptics
with cynical humour . . . But if you are serious, I think that you
can acknowledge that there is also Dharma with a capital D. That
Dharma is almost always incarnated in the form of a Guru; at least
traditionally that is where all of the great Dharmas have come from.
The Guru may be a relatively benign character on the personal level,
but He may not be; He may be "a difficult man", crazy
even to conventional points of view. But only His devotee knows
the Guru in Truth. That devotee has the best, most accurate "point
of view" of Him.
I was never fortunate enough to have been a true devotee of a Guru.
I was closest to Adi Da. I was an appreciator of Him, and occasionally
let into His world by Grace to catch a glimpse of Him in Truth.
I will never forget Him and am only grateful that I ever heard of
Him, that I could read His books, that I saw a picture of Him, that
I heard stories of Him, that He touched my life and my dreams.
This article appears in the section, Adi
Da's Divine Mahasamadhi
and the section, Finding