Understanding – Adi Da’s First Talk – April 25, 1972


April 25, 1972

Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj)

Franklin Jones (Adi Da)


“I am here in order that seekers may understand their ways. Understanding is always the understanding of seeking and not the embrace of any kind of object.” unpublished 1970

“The way of understanding is founded in the radical truth that is fundamental to existence at any moment, in any condition And it is also the genuine basis for creative life, prior to all the magical efforts toward healing, evolution and the victorious appearance of “spiritual” life.”

The Knee of Listening

The Method of the Siddhas

The Dawn Horse Press, 1973. Part One,


On April 25, 1972, the date of this talk, Franklin invited devotees, disciples, students and seekers to approach him for the first time at his Ashram(1) in Los Angeles. A group of about 30 people assembled in a newly renovated storefront at 6913 Melrose Avenue, in a Hollywood business district. As they arrived, they were ushered into a modestly sized hall, passing through the small bookstore that faced the street. There they sat quietly, waiting for the evening’s event to begin. It was on this date that his public work truly began. Before this time, prior to the creation of his Ashram, he taught only a few intimates. But since that time he has been involved in a progressive and open communication and demonstration of the way of Truth, the way of the Siddhas or “Completed Ones,” who come in the forms and activities of God.

Once seated, Avatar Adi Da began to gaze silently around the room. He Radiated simplicity and ease. As He continued to sit, the room became thick with the feeling of Fullness characteristic of His physical Company.

After a few minutes, He closed His eyes and sat quite still. Some of the people in the room also closed their eyes, while others continued gazing at Avatar Adi Da. Everyone showed their respect by remaining silent and attentive.

After about an hour, Avatar Adi Da stretched His body from side to side, left to right, signaling the end of the silence.

Then he spoke in an undertone barely audible to anyone but Himself, “Who will cast the first stone?”

Then, addressing everyone in the room in a clear voice, He asked, “Everyone has understood?” As Avatar Adi Da spoke these words, the room was silent in response. Then a man near the back of the room stood up and declared that he had not understood.

FRANKLIN: Are there any questions? (the people who were in attendance say the first statement of Adi Da was “Who will cast the first stone?”

No one replied, so Franklin spoke again.

FRANKLIN: Everyone has understood?

QUESTION: I haven’t understood. Explain it to me.2

FRANKLIN: Very good. What haven’t you understood?

QUESTION: Well, you said “Did everybody understand?” and everyone seemed to understand but me. Would you explain it to me?

FRANKLIN: Explain what?

QUESTION: Well, you could start with the word “understanding.”

FRANKLIN: Yes. There is a disturbance, dissatisfaction, some sensation that motivates a man to go to a teacher, read a book about philosophy, believe something, or do yoga.

(next portion cut)

QUESTION: Franklin, I have to go, but I have one more question. You said the Siddhas live as the heart. What about the mind? Do they live as the mind also?

FRANKLIN: What is it?

QUESTION: Do they live as the mind as well? It is connected with the heart.

FRANKLIN: What mind?

QUESTION: What mind? The mind that they exist in. There is only one mind.

FRANKLIN: There is? Which?

QUESTION: Of course their brains are functioning too. Right?



FRANKLIN: What is the point you are trying to make?

QUESTION Well, I asked you the question about the mind.

FRANKLIN: Yes. What mind?

QUESTION: What mind?

FRANKLIN: The brain?

QUESTION: Yes, the brain.

FRANKLIN: Ah, well that is something very specific. You are talking about the brain, or the “One Mind”?

QUESTION: Well, there is only one mind, of course.

FRANKLIN: You are talking about the mind now, and not about the brain?

QUESTION: Well, I was asking you what is the relationship between the two. Between the mind, the brain and the heart.

FRANKLIN: You are talking about the physical heart?

QUESTION: Not necessarily.

FRANKLIN: Well, which?

QUESTION: You can answer whichever way you like.

FRANKLIN: I do not have need for the answer. What specifically are you asking?

QUESTION: Well, actually you answered me, because I wanted to see what you wanted to say.

FRANKLIN: No, that is not what you wanted to see. Don’t play games. I am not here to entertain. All these little dramas you are playing have no place. I have no interest in them, and neither have you. I am not here to “lay something on” to you. I am not concerned with that. If you want to discuss something with me for a real purpose, that is something else. But if you want to play at polemics, and idle cleverness

QUESTION: That’s not what I want.

FRANKLIN: No, no. That is what you want.

QUESTION: Do you think that is what I am trying to do?


QUESTION: Why do you think that?

FRANKLIN: What is all of that? (pointing to his expression)

QUESTION: What is what?

FRANKLIN: What has all of that (pointing to his expression) got to do with anything, hm? You are very upset. What are you upset about?

QUESTION: I’m not upset at all.

FRANKLIN: Yes you are, my friend. (to another) Does he look upset to you?

ANOTHER: Yes. I recognize that. (to the questioner) You know what that is? It is fear stone cold fear.

FRANKLIN: Something here is upsetting you. I would like to talk about that. That would be worth talking about.

QUESTION: I don’t feel upset.

FRANKLIN: You don’t feel the least upset?


FRANKLIN: Very good.

QUESTION: If what you say of me were true, why would I have come here tonight?

FRANKLIN: I think you have good reasons for being here, but I don’t think that is what we are dealing with at the moment. Before we can deal with your good reasons for being here, you must overcome the social dilemma it represents to you. Yes? The whole spiritual life or thinking associated with spiritual life which you bring here is perhaps somewhat threatened. Well, that is fine. But we have to get beyond simply being threatened by one another. And before we can get beyond that, it must be acknowledged. The obviousness of it must be acknowledged. The obviousness of our strategy, our cleverness, our inability to be direct, to love. We must acknowledge this creation of artifices. All of that must be understood. If you have not understood that, what is there to defend? I could sit here and have a discussion with you about the mind, the brain, the heart. But what does all of that have to do with anything? Hm? We could talk about the shape of clouds. But what is going on? What is this sensation, this feeling that you have, that everyone has?

QUESTION: What sensation do you speak of? I am not sure what you mean.

FRANKLIN: Exactly. What is that sensation that you have at this moment? Your awareness?

Read the book

The Method of the Siddhas