Function is Absolutely Identical to the Divine
And Yet it is Specific and
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
talk was given by Adi Da (Bubba Free John)
on November 20, 1975, and appeared in Dawn Horse, No. 4 Vol 2, Number 2, April
DEVOTEE: You have talked about this before but I didn't quite get it —
about how the responsibility for the Guru-function continues after you leave.
How does that happen exactly? I just don't get it at all.
DA: Well, it is not really possible for you to get it at all! You can think of
the Guru as some absolutely realized influence that is not other than God and
that just happens to continue to have a body and a psyche and to be able to talk
and influence people. And you can imagine that at the end of the lifetime the
Guru is reduced to the soup of God and has no more influence than God already
did before he was born.
God has zero influence, as you well
know! God is simply the eternal or absolute Condition. In itself, the Divine has
no influence, no effect upon these karmic lives. They are going on according to
their own laws. It is only when the agency of the Divine appears in the levels
of manifestation that it can take responsibility for the transformation of these
lives, these destinies.
So you must understand that the Guru
is not of the kind that at death returns to the soup. The Guru is a specific agent
and he continues to have functions in the gross plane, in the subtle plane, in
the causal plane, in all the transcendent planes. The Guru reaches down through
all these dimensions and appears as an effect, an influence, in all places, independent
of his gross consciousness.
For instance, I have several hundred
people within the Ashram alone who are in one way or another my responsibility.
They have visions and kriyas in Satsang, they have dreams, they have changes in
their lives, they have all kinds of experiences that they relate specifically
to me. Yet they relate these experiences to me as if I have the same relationship
to their experiences as I have to talking to you now. If this were the case, then
for you to dream about me, I would have to know when you dream and then do something
about it. But what if there were five hundred other people having the same experience
in a dream tonight?
Clearly I do not have such a relationship
to experiential phenomena. They are the reflections of the forms by which people
comprehend their relationship to me. The mechanisms that produce these phenomena
are impressed upon the karmas in those individuals. I do not have to stay up all
night to create phenomena! If these dreams and other experiences happened the
way people think they do, I would say, "Okay, Andrew needs a dream about the gorilla
chasing him, and here I go!" And then I would sit down and think about Andrew:
Okay, I'm the gorilla now, get frightened! Okay, now I'm chasing
That is not the way it works. Not that it
never works like that. There are times when I do have a very conscious involvement
in what happens to somebody. Sometimes I want to heal somebody and I do that.
Sometimes I want him to have an experience in life, and I create that. If I want
to teach him a lesson, I do that. If I want him to have a dream of some kind,
I give him that. There are times when I am aware of such involvement with people,
could remember it, could tell you about it. But those are uncommon incidents.
Fundamentally I do not have a relationship to phenomena through the lower mechanisms
of mind and psyche. My relationship to the life-process is of a prior kind that
has nothing whatever to do with the mechanics of the whole affair of manifestation.
All I am doing is being present. I do not have any material
or mechanical influence upon you whatsoever. And yet, these experiences occur.
Well, that is the law. They happen without my intentional involvement with the
mechanics of things. And as this influence arises during my life, it will also
continue to arise after my life. That influence is not other than me. I am the
root of it in my specific function, not as the absolute soup, but in my specific
function, which is fundamentally unspeakable and not definable, but which is nevertheless
real, concrete, and specific. My function is absolutely identical to the Divine,
and yet it is specific and unique. However, it is not in itself bound to the mechanics
of things. The mechanics of things reveal my specific function as efficiently
as a computer.
DEVOTEE: So your influence remains even in other
lifetimes for individuals once they are connected to you?
DA: It remains with those whose connection is with me, even those who are now
on this earth and who do not know Bubba Free John in the body. That influence
is working on them at this moment. They are having dreams, they are having experiences
because of my work. And yet they have never read a book about Bubba Free John,
have never heard about him, have never seen him in a vision that they can remember!
Nevertheless my work with them is just as specific as it is with you who know
me in this body. And it is the same after my death. The only apparent difference
is that my influence continues without any agency,
without any appearance whatsoever of Bubba Free John in the manifest planes.
work of my gross life, my manifestation in this form, is to establish this transcendent
connection to devotees, to establish individuals as devotees in relationship to
me. Then after my physical death in this gross plane, those who have known me
in the body will relate the transforming events of their sadhana to me. But their
transformation will not involve my specific and conscious intervention any more
than dreams involve my specific and conscious intervention now while I am alive.
One of the things that really amazed me, not too many years
ago, after the period described in The
Knee of Listening, was that it did not make any difference what state
of life Franklin Jones lived. I could continue the same work absolutely and the
condition of my ordinary life did not make any difference whatsoever. (However,
this is not true of any of you!) But it was very clear that what happened in this
body did not make any difference whatsoever. This discovery was very amusing to
me. It made it very possible for me to begin to do in this body what was necessary
to transform the lives of students. It became possible for me to do my work. That
work was not only necessary for me to do, but it also became possible when I saw
that what I had to do did not change anything. The theatre of my work with students
still involves the same so-called negative effects in the gross being. I still
have to go through a purifying time to get the body and the gross life and its
qualities stable again. But even my involvement with you in the theatre of this
gross life does not change anything fundamentally.
All the changes
in the planes of manifestation do not impinge upon this realization, nor do they
impinge upon the realization of the perfect devotee. He or she may fulfill the
law and still appear very ordinary. It is very mysterious!
at you! Your basic assumption while sitting here is that you have this body and
you live in this place of other bodies and solid arrangements. And you feel a
little energy getting into it sometimes and you think, and you realize some kinds
of higher intuitive knowledge, and sometimes you get sifted out of that and just
feel blissful and detached from it — although this is very rare! But there
comes a time when you enjoy the absolute realization of your own Nature and Condition.
After that you may, for lawful reasons, modify your appearance in the gross plane,
in the subtle plane, in all the higher causal, super-causal, transcendental planes
above. You could appear as an idiot or a saint in any of these places.
is written in The Knee of Listening
that the man of understanding is all kinds of opposites. He can appear as all
kinds of changes. Some of them are highly prized by conventional people as very
pure and saintly and others are anathematized as completely the opposite. Yet
I have had to fulfill all the roles that are described at the end of The
Knee of Listening. I have had to fulfill all those roles and completely
identify with them, completely fulfill all the obligations. Yet there was no loss
of the realized point of view at the foundation of such theatre. When you assume
a role, however, you are that. Then you have to struggle. You are not free.
even though a realized life may also be communicated or dramatized outwardly in
all kinds of ways, Truth itself is absolute. The realization is single. There
is only God. There is no complication, there is no limitation, there is no suffering,
there is no destiny even in the midst of limitations, destinies, worlds, appearances,
birth and deaths. None of that has any significance whatsoever. Even so, manifest
existence is a great enjoyment for one who lives this realization. Yet it is also
a great realm of suffering for those who do not enjoy such realization.
now you all take life very seriously. Not only do you have the physical body to
deal with, but you also have all other physical things to deal with that are like
the physical body, which you regard to be your limitation. After you have dealt
with your life in the physical dimension for a while, at some point you begin
to perceive energies, and this aspect of life becomes sort of magical. You think
you are basically energy and not this gross body. There are energies everywhere
that permeate everything. You can even manipulate them with a little intention.
And then you realize, no, you are not all those energies and
you are not that body either. You are a consciousness and you can make decisions.
You can go up and you can go down and inside and out and you can make things happen
and not happen and appear and not appear — you have fantastic powers. So
you get involved with that realization for a while, going from here to some other
place in this life and after death. And then you realize that you are not that
either, that you are this great mind with absolute knowledge of everything. Everything
happens within this great mind — material things happen and energies and
movements happen, thoughts happen, intentions and dramas and games happen, but
they do not have anything fundamentally to do with you. You are this completely
rested, absolute Consciousness that controls everything without doing a thing.
And then you realize you are not that either! You are just Bliss.
You have nothing whatever to do with the universe or a body or an appearance or
a life or a destiny. You do not even know about all that. You do not think about
it, you do not make anything happen. You just rest in this absolute infinite sort
of soupy blissfulness. It is so marvelous and wonderful! There is nothing happening
at all. You do not feel limited by anything. You just feel completely graceful
And then you realize that you are not that either!
You are Consciousness and you do not have anything to do with anything! You don't
feel blissful, you don't feel not blissful. You don't see anything, you don't
not see anything. You don't identify with it, you don't not identify with it.
There is nothing! Just this Consciousness. And you interiorize fully into being
You do not do anything for a long
period of time, then all of a sudden — Zap!
You see everything
again, and you realize that all this stuff — up and down, in and out, high
and low, inside, outside, now and then — is an expression and a modification
of you, that you are that absolute Consciousness. You do not have to do anything,
but you do not have to not look at it either. It is all you! Every moment of it
is you. You don't go anywhere. Things happen, but you don't care. You are That.
And then suddenly — you realize that you are not that
either! You realize that all this stuff — high and low, in and out, up and
down, now and then — is you, not a modification of you, but you. Suddenly
you can be a body, you can appear somewhere, you can incarnate, you can do anything.
All this stuff is you and at the same time it is not you — it doesn't make
any difference! It is God. Everything is God, this one Reality. It is you! It
happens, it doesn't happen, it's bad, it's good — it does not make any difference
You persist in this realization because there is
nothing beyond it. You cannot leap into some consciousness that is not it because
you were there just a moment ago! Now your enjoyment has no definition whatsoever,
no destiny, no relationship to anything. It cannot be specified and it cannot
be isolated. It cannot be separated out. It is not an alternative to anything.
Everything just continues to happen, everything becomes yourself, everything is
happy, everything is marvelous. This enjoyment is the grounds for absolute dissolution
in which nothing else occurs. You do not go anywhere, life does not become blank.
Things continue to happen. But your realization becomes completely unspeakable.
And beyond that realization nothing may be said, nothing may be defined, no destiny
may be described, no work you do may be described, nothing may be said about it
at all. Everything happens perfectly from that moment, and there is nothing that
may be said about it that makes any sense whatsoever.
who enjoy such realization and who appear in any manifest plane are stuck in the
paradox of that enjoyment. They cannot make any sense out of it really. They do
the best they can to try to establish this enjoyment in others through all kinds
of weirdo influences. They try to make sense, but they do not make sense. The
work of such so-called individuals is paradoxical, it is eternal, it is not really
describable, but it is the most perfect and specific and necessary activity in
all the manifest worlds. It is the work of the Siddhas.