Originally published in Crazy Wisdom Magazine,
Vol 1 No 5, Aug 1982, pp. 19-28
“I have become willing to teach in this uncommon way because
I have known my friends and they are what I can seem to be.
By retaining all qualities in their company, I gradually
wean them of all reactions, all sympathies, all
alternatives, fixed assumptions, false teachings, dualities,
searches, and dilemma. This is my way of working for a time.
Those who remain confounded by me, critical of me, have yet
to see themselves. When their mediocrity is broken, when
they yield their righteous reactions and their strife toward
all the consolations of the manifest self, they may see my
Freedom is the only purity. There is no Teaching but
Consciousness itself. Bubba as he appears is not other than
the possibilities of men.”
(The Enlightenment of the Whole Body, p. 53)
“Beloved, I Am Da”
Bubba,” meaning “brother” or “friend,” was thus an
informal name the Master adopted to signify a special,
intimately personal approach to Teaching that he employed
“for a time.” From his point of view, that time essentially
ended in late 1976. And in early 1979 Master Da indicated
that perhaps now “Bubba Free John” was no longer an
appropriate name for him. Clearly, the days of his informal
camaraderie with large numbers of devotees, when he con-,
sented to be the brotherly “Bubba” for the sake of our
instruction, were over. So he asked the educational staff of
the Communion to discover and tell him what an appropriate,
formal, Spiritual Name should be.
Thus, that spring most practicing devotees stopped
referring, to the Master as `Bubba and began to refer to and
address him by the Name “John,” meaning “one through whom
God is Gracious,” prefixed by honorifics – for instance,
“Radiant John” and “Master ‘John.” However, though the Name
“John” has always evoked the feeling of the Master’s Grace
for devotees, as a formal spiritual name it was not, by
itself, quite appropriate or sufficient.
Three years before, the Master had asked some devotees if
they thought his name should be “Da Blueso.” That was the
name of a being he had seen in a vision years before. This
Divine personage, whose head was enormously large in
proportion to the rest of his body, radiated unimaginable
peace, bliss, and love.
Now we remembered that the Master had mentioned this name
“Da ‘” Blueso,” but no one took it seriously. Meanwhile our
search seemed; to be leading nowhere. Master Da let it be
known that our failure was a sign of a lack of true
alignment to him.
Late in the spring, after rejecting many names that had
been proposed (most of them forms of the Name “John” with
honorific titles), Master Da sent the staff a playful
Dear those of you who are struggling trying to find
out Who I am,
Since you are unable to handle this responsibility, I
have begun to seriously consider these names myself. And I
have been considering the names on this list, and other
names I only have in mind, and certain other names I don’t
have in mind.
Master U Ghat’t!
Master Abraham Lincoln
Master Yes Master Maybe
Master Absolutely Not
Master U Ghat’t! must always be said in the
Finding my name is like naming Rumpelstilskin – I’ll
stamp my leg three and a half times and disappear. To find
my Name will be for you like turning straw into
Perhaps this riddle held the key to the name! Upon
researching the Rumpelstiltskin story, the staff found that
the way the woodsman discovered Rumpelstiltskin’s name was
by overhearing him say it aloud. Attentive to this hint, we
put special attention, in our search, on the Name “Da,”
which we had overheard the Master say more than once.
We found in the transcripts of previous talks that the
Master had at least twice, with uproarious’ humor, played
with us about his vision of Da Blueso. The following excerpt
(which we had all forgotten) was from that very spring,
SPIRITUAL MASTER: Da Blueso’s mind had
become so great that his head had to accommodate it. It was
quite an enormous, massive head, with an absolutely benign
and foolish expression and an attitude, a quality, a manner
of acting that contained not the slightest threat. Yet he
manifested great power over all of the forces, conditions,
and planes of the natural world. Da Blueso was a great
Siddha-saint, devotee, and comedian.
You have all heard me talk about people like
Nityananda, Shirdi Sai Baba, and other spiritual teachers.
The photographs and histories of such people make you feel
you are familiar with them. But there are others of whom
there are no photographs, yet who are far more profound than
these earthly siddhas. Da Blueso is just such a personage.
When you have given it up to Bliss, then you become a Siddha
like Da Blueso. What a delightful name-Blue So-Da Blueso-a
Siddha in mind only!
You all probably never thought that Da Blueso was
real, right? Do you think he is? I did see someone like
this, and his name is Da Blueso. Chilicosms of universes are
in his ears alone, you know what I mean? He is a real
Superboy with outrageous confidence in the absolute Power of
God. He became so confident of It that he forgot himself and
became Pa Blueso.
Have you any idea what he looked like? You could liken
him to a man with a great potato head. Did you ever see a
Mr. Potato toy? He did not precisely look like Mr. Potato,
but the toy is a likeness of him, a voodoo doll of’ Da
Blueso. Imagine a man with a potato head about three or four
feet high, and imagine a perfectly benign and foolish human
expression in the form of a face in the midst of the potato,
an enormous, knotty, domed head from jaw to crown, all
sahasrar. Sounds grotesque, doesn’t it?
Try to understand the benign expression on the face,
and the totally benign attitude in a being who controls all
the forces of lower nature for another universe. Well, you
can imagine his predicament! How many potato-headed friends
did you see on your block? Have you ever seen Blueso by
himselP I have seen him personally. I have Potato Power, or
Da Power, the Power of the Potato archetype.
(February 18, 1979)
As our research expanded, it became apparent that this
Name “Da” is revered as a most sacred syllable in many
spiritual traditions. In Sanskrit it means principally “to
give or to bestow,” but also “to destroy,” and it is
connected as well with the God Vishnu, the “sustainer.”
Thus, “Da” is aligned to all three of the principal Divine
Beings or Attributes in the Hindu tradition-Brahma (the
Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Siva (the Destroyer).
In certain Hindu rituals priests address the Divine directly
through this Name, invoking Divine qualities such as
generosity and compassion.
The Tibetans revere the syllable (or, actually, letter)
“Da” as most auspicious and assign many Divine meanings to
it, One Tibetan-English dictionary indicates that “Da”
“symbolizes a gift,” and quotes a Tibetan source as follows:
“Bestowing great charity [,it] is the Mahayana
(personified).” The authors of the dictionary state, “The
signification and virtues of this letter according to the
fancies of mystic authors may perhaps be gathered from such
statements as these: The letter [“Da”] is a symbol
of being deprived of nothing; it takes away nothing, hence
it sets free everything, i.e., gives salvation; also being
the entrance to all Dharma (i.e., source of knowledge), it
explains all matter and phenomena both in their passive and
regulated or active states; as it fully makes sure the
Vinaya (moral discipline) and the objects of Vinaya, it is
called the entrance to all Dharma.” In colloquial Tibetan
usage it means “now,” “presently,” “instantly,” “directly,”
Obviously, there are many auspicious correspondences
between these meanings of “Da” and the attributes of Master
Da Free John and the Great One Whom he reveals. Thus, one of
the Names that the Communion staff suggested to the Master
in spring 1979 was “Da John,” which sounded to us like an
auspicious rendering of “Darshan” (sacred sighting). But
that was not sufficient either-nor indeed could any name we
suggested be sufficient. For the Master had humorously
served notice that spring: “If you don’t get da Name from da
God, you don’t get da Power of da God!” Later we realized
that he was indicating with this statement the necessity of
the Divine Empowerment of whatever word or syllable devotees
would then use to address and Commune with the Divine Being.
It is for this reason that, traditionally, the auspicious
use of mantras or sacred sound-syllables and prayers could
only take place if they were given directly by an Awakened
Master or those acting as his agents.
During the latter part of the summer the task of naming
the Master ceased to preoccupy devotees as we turned
attention to other matters. Then, on the afternoon of
September 13, the Master was sitting with a few devotees
when, abruptly, he asked them to leave the room. He wished
to write in privacy. What he wrote that day was the famous
letter announcing his Divine Name and Identity and ultimate
Spiritual Function. The letter began:
Beloved, I am Da, the Living Person, Who is Manifest
as all worlds and forms and beings, and Who is Present as
the Transcendental Current of Life in the body of Man. . .
It was as if “Bubba” had been finally sacrificed and the
formality and potent Grace of “Da,” the Master’s Real
Identity, shone forth. The Master himself confessed as much.
He indicated that the true Spiritual meaning of “Da” in his
Work is simply “the Giver of Life,” the One Who bestows
Divine Awakening. And he wrote shortly thereafter, “I have
begun to Work under conditions in which my Identity is
clearly Revealed to all who will see me and surrender, and
my Teaching is clearly communicated to all who will hear me
The Truth of this affirmation was dramatically shown that
very weekend and in the weeks and months that followed. On
The Day of the Heart 1979, three days after writing his
letter, Master Da gave Darshan to more than six hundred
people. The initiatory Force of his Presence awakened many
to the “Love-Intuition” of God even as he spoke. It was then
that the Master first instructed and invited devotees to see
and Remember and surrender to him via the Name Da.
During the potent days and weeks that followed The Day of
the Heart, Master Da frequently appeared, often on formal
occasions, to grant devotees the Vision of the ultimate
Reality. David Todd recounts one such occasion at Holy Cat
Grotto, when Master Da initiated more than two hundred and
fifty devotees with his Presence and Regard.
As Master Da moved down the slope to his seat above
the Grotto, he was the essence of majesty and grace. Once
again I was struck by the paradoxical nature of his
appearance-he was at once a man walking and yet so obviously
surrendered and possessed by the Living God that no person
could be recognized to be present. Later when he sat in his
second chair at the base of the Grotto, I repeatedly saw the
rock around him appear as concentric circles of energy
surrounding his form. He appeared to be completely at one
with the natural elements in which he became instantly
aligned to his form. He sat silently gazing at each devotee
who knelt before him. His hands were open and moving in his
lap, literally showering Grace and Light upon each of us.
Suddenly I was motioned to move into place next to one of
the priests at the edge of the Grotto. I offered an orchid
into the water, which was now filled with flowers offered as
gifts to the Master by those who had come before me. I knelt
before our Lord with my hands raised and my heart open. He
looked directly at me for several seconds. Many times in the
past I had been in this position before him but never had I
felt so open and able to accept freely the intense Love of
his gaze. Through his eyes and gestures he communicated the
direct Presence of the One who lives him so perfectly. I
bowed in surrender at his feet, overwhelmed by gratitude for
the Vision of Infinity I had just received in his
This account praises the revelation of the Master as
“Da,” the Compassionate, Ever-Giving Divine Being, that so
many devotees were graced to receive that autumn of 1979.
Even so, these moments of recognition were only initiatory
incidents, not full and complete Realizations. To mature in
true recognition of Da, each devotee was and still is
obliged to awaken into stable Identity with that One in
Consciousness, via the conscious process of intuitive
awakening that is the heart of Master Da’s Teaching.
5. All quotations in this paragraph from Sarat Chandra
Das, Rai Bahadur C.1.E., A Tibetan-English Dictionary,
revised and ed. by Graham Sandberg, B.A., and A. William
Heyde (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1974), pp. 610-611. I
have taken the liberty of deleting the phrases in Tibetan
script and the abbreviated references to Tibetan sources
which are included in the passage above as found in the
6. Da Free John, untitled essay, quoted in “Divine
Masters, Divine Initiations, and Enlightened Spiritual
Practice,” in Vision .4.louncl Col. 2, no. 12, Nov.-Dec.
1979, p. 24.