The Dreaded Gom-Boo – Introduction – Part 2

The Dreaded Gomboo or The Imaginary Disease That
Religion Seeks To Cure.

A Collection of Essays and Talks on the “Direct”
Process of Enlightenment.

By Da Free John.

Compiled and edited with an introduction and commentary
by the Renunciate Hermitage Order.

Table of Contents


Part II: Renunciation

Introduction to Part II

The practitioner of the radical Way that Master Da Free
John Teaches must have a right understanding of the
“spiritual character” that develops in the course of
practice. Master Da uses the term “free renunciate” to
characterize the disposition of one who has attained to the
Realization Awakened in the seventh stage of life, but one
must also have realized the disposition of renunciation to
begin this Way. As Master Da explains:

The renunciate disposition that I consider with you is
the Enlightened disposition. It magnifies or matures in some
sense that we can recognize when it becomes a way of life,
and at the degree of perfect maturity the explosion from the
center is perfect and absolute. But fundamentally the
disposition of renunciation must be present from the
beginning. The question you must answer from the very
beginning is, “Will you grasp this principle and become a
practitioner?” Not will you merely practice the outer
features of the discipline and habits associated with our
unique culture, but will you practice as someone who has
truly “heard” and “seen,” who has been converted from the
problem, converted from always trying to solve some problem,
overcome some dilemma, or achieve some release.1

The Demonstration of the Free Adept might pose a problem
to the dualistic Western mind that equates renunciation with
the ideal of asceticism. But if we rightly understand
renunciation as self-transcendence, we are liberated from
the dualism implied by the conventional opposites. To the
mind of the Tibetan, Drukpa Kunley is a great

Drukpa Kunleys life shows us a liberated mind that is
free from the preconceptions, preferences, bias, and mental
activity that bind us in tension and fear, and shows us a
way of life that frees us from emotional attachments and
family ties. He gives us a vision of mad indiscipline and
free wandering, and having accomplished the goal of his
Dharma in one lifetime, he demonstrates a deceptively simple
example and inspiration.2

Kunley is one of Tibets most popular saints, a “mad lama”
and a Tantric initiator honored and recognized throughout
Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. In Kunleys “secret biography” we
discover a Free Adept who requires us to look beyond our
conventional notions of the actionless and passive ascetic
to discover that renunciation is characterized by the
fullness of life, love, free emotion, service, humor, and

The following tale illustrates the principle of
renunciation founded not in separation from the world of
relations but in compassionate service and spiritual

As the story has it, a young girl named Namkha Dronma
looked out her window and saw the mad Lama resting in her
yard. She was inspired to sing him this song:

“Resplendent beggar resting on the ground,

Are you not Drugpa Kunga Legpa?

Please listen a moment to this maidens song!”

She then praised the mad Lamas compassion and spiritual
virtues and asked him to stay with her and “to this
friendless virgin give perfect understanding.” Kunley,
recognizing her devotion and intelligence, accepted her as a
devotee and prepared her to receive initiation and spiritual
instruction. In return he sang her a song about

“I am the Duty-Free Drugpa Kunley

And in whatever land I roam

I live for the sake of others.

But I am unable to give realization

To those who have no devotion,

So if you wish to gain Buddhahood now

First show your faith and devotion.”

The woman then served him a fine meal and chung, the
Tibetan beer, of which Kunley was quite fond. Kunley asked
why she was not married. When she replied that she was still
a virgin, he assured her, “We will do it slowly.” After
smearing a little ghee, or clarified butter, on his “flaming
thunderbolt of wisdom,” he made love to her, gave her
esoteric spiritual instruction, and stayed with her for
several days, expounding to her the great process of
meditation. Then he sent her into the mountains to meditate
and Realize what he had taught her.3

In this part of the book, Master Da discourses on the
necessity for renunciation. As the following quote from
Master Da makes clear, renunciation is the inevitable
expression of a life of spiritual practice.

The process of truly spiritual growth is not negative. It
is not motivated by mortal fears or the psychic illusions of
inwardness. It is simply an expression of the Realization of
the freedom inherent in ultimate God-Communion.

Somewhere between maturity in the fourth stage of life
and the ultimate developments of the seventh stage of life,
the liberated being becomes fully established in
acknowledgment of Divine freedom relative to all aspects of
human psycho-physical existence. When the acquired
obligations of human birth are fully transcended, the
continued existence of the individual becomes free of the
force or implications of all mortal, experiential, and
circumstantial limitations. Then the individual is present
only as spiritual love, free of the self-defining and
self-limiting power of all the positive and negative
consequences of past, present, and future human

Motiveless renunciation, or truly humorous and free
transcendence of the human circumstance, is inevitable in
the course of the Way that I Teach. Therefore, at some point
in the process beyond maturity in the fourth stage of life,
the individual necessarily acknowledges his Condition in God
and becomes a true or motiveless renunciate.

In the face of the necessary burdens of human
circumstance, the only freedom is in Divine Wisdom,
spiritual ecstasy, practical self-transcendence,
desirelessness, equanimity, and natural or motiveless
renunciation. Only such a disposition is the ultimate, true,
and mature fulfillment of the Way that I Teach.4

d* * *


1. Da Free John, unpublished essay, “Renunciation and the
Renunciate Order,” June 17, 1980.

2. Keith Dowman, trans., The Divine Madman: The Sublime
Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley (London: Ryder and Co.,
1980), p. 8.

3. This tale was paraphrased with quotations from The
Divine Madman, pp. 137-39.

4. Da Free John, unpublished essay, “Renunciation and the
Renunciate Order.”


The Dreaded Gom-Boo – Table of Contents