Comment on Bubba Free John’s Trip to India, 1973
Morgan Zo Callahan
Hi Dear Ed,
Much appreciation for your wonderful Beezone, humming with light, insight, critical-honest evaluations, religious tolerance, stimulating disagreements & re-connectings to many of our initiations in the late 60’s & 70’s from genuine spiritual masters such as Adi Da (Franklin Jones, Bubba Free John when I lived with him & his community). We also drank cooling spiritual waters from the living traditions of Ramana Maharshi, Buddha, Jesus, and in my own case, a guru-student relationship to a Jesuit priest, Fr. Francis Rouleau, S.J..(1901-1984)
I’m very thankful, Ed, for your posting the article about Franklin’s 1973 trip to India with Gerald Sheinfeld. It’s was so very interesting-illuminating to hear Franklin (Adi Da) comment on visiting Mother India.
I was a very happy member of the community when Franklin went to India; We welcomed, hugged, and kissed Franklin, back from India at LAX. He told us why he went and what happened on his trip; he seemed enlivened, bright, present, full of love for us & all, encouraging us to spiritual practice.
Franklin went to India to purify his connections to the deepest and real sources of his own work & more to the point, to demonstrate a process of discovering who we all are, who we “already are” as Franklin said.
“Just as there is a vast spiritual process behind this work and all true spiritual work, there are also certain individuals, Siddhas, and others, who are very directly involved with our work. Muktananda is the only one alive in the body, and it is very important that I purify my connection with him for the sake of the work itself. There are others with whom my contact is in subtler dimensions–Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, Shirdi Sai Baaba, Ramakrishna. I want to return to the places most intimately associated with these people and insure my proper relationship to them for the sake of the work…The Guru is one in whom there is nothing, no obstacle, and all the Divine functions on all levels down into the human become open, active, pure. So my going to India is the necessary discipline that I must observe in order to maintain the connection to all the intimate spiritual sources of this work.”
Franklin had already started his teaching work, but went to India also as a student & a spiritual Geiger counter to the most genuine, living spiritual influences in India & also criticized “cultic” spiritual teachers-communities.
Franklin said the people at Muktananda’s ashram had lost themselves in a kind of slavish conformity to “temple schedule” (hoping to get some of Muktananda’s shakti, “being good enough”) that they tended not to do the tough initial introspection of spiritual life, where you observe, reflect, begin to see your own tendencies & feel lots of heat, “tapas,” the bodily-emotionally felt knots in our minds, hearts, and guts, our doing the “self-contraction” away from always present Love.
I was very energized, edified. & inspired by Franklin’s insistence that the individual teacher is the servant of what’s real in spiritual transmission. The individual guru is absolutely submitted to the Divine & it’s in this sense Franklin says “I am That” because that’s all there is, only God, there’s no Franklin left. Franklin felt the spiritual influence of Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi in India; Franklin was emerging a a Siddha guru; he was ready to begin his own teaching in earnest.
Franklin was critical of cultism. Don’t make me, Franklin, the center of a cult where all attention is on me as an all-consuming attention. Do sadhana in relationship to me. At Heart, we are the same. Don’t always try to remember what I look like. Of course we will remember each other naturally. We don’t have exclusive intimacy with the Divine. We don’t have the only Truth. Many gurus may say if you worship me you will get benefits, but never enlightenment ourselves. I want you to realize My State is yours as well.
Franklin told us at that time: Live in the city if you choose; don’t run away from life, live creatively, happy, live communally, or if alone still live in relationship, whether in the country or city; whether a religious or a lay person, what are you always doing?, feel it, don’t do something to get rid of the contracted feeling, the dis-ease, rather observe yourself, see what’s prior to the self-contraction, find the source of attention; accept the Guru’s Grace, live with gusto as well as profound seriousness.
Thanks again, Ed.
Abrazos, tu hermano,