Bubba Free John and Ramana Maharshi


The Dawn Horse Magazine, Vol 2, No. 2. Inside Cover
The Guru, His Sources, and His Devotees

“The secret of the Guru is like the secret of sadhana. The separative principle in the individual is there to be continually understood, continually purified, so that the connections are constant at every level of existence. “

(The following is an excerpt from a talk Bubba gave to his devotees in Los Angeles on Prasad Day, April 8, 1973, several months before he departed on his pilgrimage to India.-Ed.) 

QUESTION: Why are you going to India?

BUBBA: Unimaginable numbers of beings, energies, and processes outside this world generate and cooperate in spiritual work in this world. Wherever the real spiritual process is awakened at any point in time and space, it is the product of the spiritual process that exists prior to time and space and also within all the levels of time and space or manifest existence. So behind our work are all the Siddhas and all the great activities that transcend the Earth plane.

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 to him for the sake of the work itself. There are others with whom my contact is in subtler dimensions–Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, Shirdi Sai Baba, 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 this work.

The real force of this work can move only when I do not exist as an exclusive entity. It is only when the channels for this work are pure, absolutely open, unqualified, that the event can take place without difficulty. So it is inappropriate for someone who is the immediate instrument for spiritual life among his devotees to appear in any sense as an exclusive, independent source, because there is no such source. Everything is only instrumental. The Guru is not Guru by virtue of being independent, some guy who made it. He is Guru by virtue of his function, which is to present no obstacle to Truth, and to maintain a radical connection to Truth.

There is a stage in this work in which there must be perfect release, absolute surrender, dissolution. It has nothing to do with Franklin’s personal sadhana, transformation, and realization. Wherever this function of Guru arises, there must be this surrender, because the function of Guru is very different from the state of realization. One who understands or has realized something is not himself Guru. Guru is a function in which even liberation, realization, and understanding are dissolved. There must be nothing.

During the first year of the Ashram I needed to be involved in an almost muscular way in formal Satsang in order to awaken the internal process. Now my activity as an apparent individual is dissolving more and more all the time. God performs this work. That is what is remarkable about the Guru, The Guru is called God and acknowledged as God in the traditional Ashrams because that is exactly what he is. But he becomes that by disappearing, not by appearing. The function of Guru exists only where the exclusive individual’s life has been turned utterly, made utterly available to the higher life. Then, without his especially doing something, everything he does becomes a manifestation of the Divine Force, communicating, teaching. The teaching is of no value unless it is going on twenty-four hours a day at every level from the solid mass of the atoms to the most sublime unmanifest Reality.

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. If that proper connection is maintained, all the Siddhas become active in this work. And they all should. The Siddhas are the functional expressions of God manifesting in the various planes, some in the Earth, some just outside the visible world, and then all the way “up.” The individual Guru living with his disciples and devotees is the focal point. Behind him it spreads out and ultimately includes the Divine in its Perfect sense.

The Guru always looks to make himself obsolete. He does this not as the ordinary man makes himself obsolete by dying, but by sharing his functions. The human Guru does this in two directions: toward the sources of his work, and toward his devotees and disciples. At the level of the Ashram, a bit at a time, I give over my functions to others. Soon there are many, many people working in the Ashram who have a particular aspect of this function for which they are responsible, until at last the Teaching is completely given in the world, and is alive in many individuals, in writings, places of meditation, and so on. All the functions that were alive in the Guru eventually are given out and exist independently of that human individual who appears as Guru. At that point he is obsolete in his appearance. His functions then exist external to his individual appearance.

Just so, in the other direction, on the spiritual level, he is always looking to establish that open connection to the sources of Truth. He looks for all those functions to exist on their own and also through him. Ultimately, he looks toward the perfect connection, the Divine contact, to be perfectly operative in him, to completely dissolve his independence.

The secret of the Guru is like the secret of sadhana. The separative principle in the individual is there to be continually understood, continually purified, so that the connections are constant at every level of existence. The same is true in the Guru. The separative tendencies that even exist on the super-cosmic levels must be undone so that the channel is perfect. Then the God-influence in the world becomes direct. That is the significance of a Siddha-Guru. He maintains a connection from the Divine itself down into the world, so that influence can directly affect human beings who are still involved in the separative life to various degrees.

It is the responsibility of the Guru continually to dissolve, so that the connection is perfect, so that no matter who comes to him, no matter what level of enjoyment or realization his disciple or devotee has maintained, there is still more. It is one of the requirements of the job. That is why you see such individuals always curiously involved with other teachers or spiritual sources. The Guru is very paradoxical. He is always doing odd things. But generally, what he is up to is becoming obsolete.

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