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Introduction – Do Not Misunderstand Me

 

THE CHRISTIAN

Adi Da Samraj has always had a strong and deep connection
to Christianity. He grew up in a Christian culture and was
very devote in his practice. What follows is the evolution
of his understanding from believer, practitioner to a crisis
and Revelation in his understanding of Christianity.

From the time in his childhood where he grew up as a
devote Christian, and a believer in the deliverance of Jesus
Christ. It wasn’t until he attended Columbia University in
the the hope of learning more about becoming a Lutheran
Minister that his doubts and faith were crushed.

As a youngster he was a very devote Christian. During his
adolescence was an acolyte in the Lutheran church, and
served in the altar and regularly the church took communion.
During his young adult live, Franklin attended the Lutheran
Theological Seminary in Philadelphia as a candidate for
seminary training. It was at the seminary he learned Greek
as to read “Biblical” Greek texts (original Greek) as his
course of study required, which gave him a basis to
understand the documents and writings of the early Christian
tradition.

In his autobiography in The Knee of Listening, Franklin
Jones (Adi Da Samraj) writes about attending the Lutheran
Theological Seminary and Columbia University as time of
expanding his knowledge and laying a foundation for
understanding a broader view of the world and its various
intellectual and religious traditions. While at Columbia, he
writes:

“I was deeply impressed by his attitude and that whole
formidable crowd of lecturing thinkers. It seemed like an
appropriate place to expand in my doubts, but I was puzzled
how one of the highest institutions of our learning could
represent itself as anything but the bearer of truth. I soon
learned that the truth was always in research in such
places. They are not institutions of truth but of
doubt.

I began to read the deposits of our culture. And all
my idols lost their power. To begin with, I learned that the
holy Christian truth was anything but the guiding form of
our civilization. There is a thesis emphasized in all the
little bits of thought generated in a university education.
In that thesis man is described as necessarily mortal,
functionally conditioned and, at best, creative as a social
animal. His universe is described as materially prior to
conscious life, and it is chronically understood without
recourse to spiritual or religious propositions.

Every book I read and every course I took emphasized
this thesis in some unique way. This experience very quickly
destroyed even the latent image of Christ that I had stored
up in childhood. A book that deeply affected me early in my
freshman year was The Lost Years of Jesus Revealed, by
Charles Francis Potter. Even the church seemed to proclaim
the absence of its own truth. In a chapter entitled “The New
Jesus,” Dr. Potter wrote:

The new “demythologized” Jesus, seen from afar, is
already stampeding the more canny modern theologians to the
new ark of safety, the Barth-Bultmann Bandwagon, where they
chant the new Christian (?) mantra, ‘The Resurrection was
not something that happened to Jesus, but something that
happened to the faith of his disciples.’ In other words, the
myth of the Resurrection still saves, if you have faith
enough to believe that myth is sometimes closer to truth
than is history.

Rev. Dr. Charles Francis Potter, The Lost Years of
Jesus Revealed (Greenwich, Connecticut, 1962), p.9

After about six months of “education” I went to my old
pastor with my doubts. I wanted to know if the resurrection
and ascension of Christ, his miracles and power, and all of
the doctrine of God had any support in evidence He was
unable to offer me a single means of faith. Instead, he
tried to make a mockery of educators and psychologists. He
railed about John Dewey and progressive education. And he
let me go home with a prayer to God for our
salvation.

From that time I was passed into the terror of my
doubts. I could not possibly overemphasize the effect of
those doubts. I was completely lifted out of the ease of my
childhood. My mind sank into despair and actual terror. I
had fixed my freedom and joy into the image of Christ, and I
had long ago given over the support of my happiness to the
Church. Now that symbol was wrecked by the same ones who had
carried it through time.

My doubt grew overnight into awesome fear. I felt as
if I were living under the threat of death. Life, it seemed
to me, was only dying and afraid. I had not a single reason
for joy. I saw no faith in anyone, no inexplicable grace. I
saw only the constant drove of civilized men, a long history
of illusions sewn up in the single foundation of a muscular
mortality. There was only death, a constant ending, a rising
fear, a motivated forgetfulness and escape.

I became profoundly aware of conflict and suffering
everywhere. There was only struggle and disease, fear and
longing, self-exploitation and emptiness, questions without
answers. In every man I recognized the complex of doubt.
Then I understood the root of conflict in my parents and the
necessity for illusions, for exotic pleasures, for relief
and distraction. I knew there was not a single man who had
overcome the mystery of this death I knew this education
would only be a long description of fundamental suffering,
since all were convinced of the truth of mortality.

From then my schooling ceased to be a serious study. I
knew that from beginning to end it had only one object to
proclaim, and I had learned it already. From its effects in
me and in all mankind, I knew this model of learning was not
sufficient. I hadn’t a single objective reason for joy,
except that I remembered the “bright.”

And so began a pilgrimage for Franklin Jones (Adi Da
Samraj) that lasted for two months, June and July 1979.

This work he was involved with was and essential part of
his spiritual understanding of the truth of Christianity,
the teachings of Jesus and the power of the Holy Mother,
Mary.

THE HOLY MOTHER

Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj) attended Columbia and
Stanford University with always a ‘hidden curriculum’ of
discovering the truth. This hidden curriculum lead him
through many trials which eventually turned him back into
the Christian faith.

While Franklin was in India in 1970, at Swami Mutananda’s
ashram he had a ‘visitation’ from the Holy Mother, Mary.

“I began to walk down the road to Bhagavan Nityananda’s
shrine, where I would meditate in the early afternoon. The
Shakti was powerfully and freely present there, and I felt
that this place was the source for my instruction now. When
I would sit there the Force would surge through my body, my
heart and mind would become still, my head and eyes would
become swollen with a tremendous magnetic energy, and I
would simply relax and enjoy the silent depth of
consciousness in that Presence.

Then, one day, as I worked in the Ashram garden, I felt a
familiar Presence, but one that I had never sought or known
as a reality before. I stood up and looked behind my
shoulder. Standing in the garden, with an obviously
discernible form, made of subtle energy but without any kind
Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ!

My first impulse was huge laughter. I had spent years of
my total non-sympathy for Christianity. I felt I had
religious dues. I felt I had paid my religious dues. I saw
that whole religious tradition ritual communication for what
were really matters of direct consciousness, pure
self-awareness, and Vedantic conclusions about reality. Now,
as if I were faced with a cosmic joke, I stood in the living
Presence of Christ’s Mother!

What is more, my Christianity had been largely of the
Protestant variety. I had no predilection for Catholic
symbols. Christianity, insofar as it was meaningful at all
to me was a theological experience of truth. I had no
devotional inclination to its separate and unique symbols. I
never once assumed that “the Virgin” was any more than a
religious symbol. I felt she was a secondary creation of the
church, with no relation to the historical person who was
the mother of Jesus. I never believed she was a Divine Being
with present significance for humanity. Even during my brief
involvement with the Orthodox Church, I was not moved by its
Mary and Christ. I only found a temporary sympathy there for
my own peculiar mysticism. And Christ, although he had a
devotional importance in my childhood, seemed to me to have
no reality independent of the conclusions I had realized in
my Vedantic meditation.”

Franklin was then directed to go on a spiritual
pilgrimage to the holy places of Christianity in Jeruselum,
Italy and Spain for the next two months, being guided by the
Virgin Mary.

From June and July Franklin was guided by the Holy Mother
and after his visit to Fatima, “great shrine at Fatima” in
Portugal, Spain the guidance of the Holy Mother was
transformed into an understanding that would from then on be
the guidance of Franklin’s life.

“True spiritual life is not a search, or an effort of
ultimate self-transformation, but it is an ascent. All its
actions are practical, having limited, efficient ends. it is
not involved in the ultimate and desperate effort, the
narcissistic drive for supreme immunity and power. The
ultimate aspects of genuine spiritual life are outside the
realms of cause and effect, of all goal-directed,
transformative effort.

The ascent is the natural movement of faith, drawn by
the risen Lord. It is simply the rising tendency, the
aspiring, surrendered spire of energy and love. It is not a
yoga, a willful means to a self-transcending end. It is
already a relationship to the Perfect One, an unqualified,
unburdened bliss. It is a cooperative ease of joy that
purifies in spiritual fire. It is the Form of
Reality.”

“The movements in vision and the mind had almost
ceased. They came again only on occasion, as we went to the
ancient holy places. But they were no longer in the form of
visions and religious motivations. They were only the sense
of Presence and power that is generated in genuine holy
sites, whether in the Hindu temples and shrines of the
Gurus, or in the ancient temples and churches of the Virgin
and Christ. Now I approached them with great love,
understanding, and a direct experience of the reality that
they manifest.

I now have a critical understanding of the various
“paths” and religions. I had been entirely emptied of the
movement in myself toward any path or goal. Thus, not only
Christianity became understandable and its true life
recognized to be reality itself, but also Vedanta and all
the paths of the Gurus.

My own way had become a simplicity of direct
understanding and enquiry.”

“They are infinitely Returned,

 But I am eternally Present.

 One who knows me

 Is free from liberation

 And desires.

 One who neither seeks

 Nor lusts,

 I no longer prevent from me.

 Those who are sought

 For liberation

 Are an imitation of my

 Symbol.

 They lead men into the Great Search,

 In caves, seclusions and their homes.

 But I am

 One who cannot be found,

 Unless I reveal myself.

 I lead men home to

 Everything

 Today.

 But I am always with them.

 I am He.”

 

22 June 1970