Crazy Wisdom – The Monthly Journal of the Johannine Daist
Vol. 4 No. 5. – May 1985
“Happiness is the Difference”
by Daji Advaita Bodha Deepika
Editors note: This a selected portion of the article, the closing section. – Beezone
I now turn to the present and to our own sacred and praiseworthy tradition. I do not need to seek confirmation from the more established traditions in order to acknowledge Master Da Free John and His Teaching. The spiritual greatness of this man and His Way have been “proved” to me Face to face, through countless acts of love, humor, and brilliant Teaching, and cultivated internally via the unceasing river of His spiritual Benediction, a Conscious Light that widens and deepens beyond the limits of the body-mind, revealing an uncharted sea of Bliss known by the ancients as “the Ocean of Immeasurable Happiness.”
Let me thus turn you to a day in the life of our honorable, even if a little unusual, Sacred History.
After a morning of writing in His tiny office at Tumomama, Master Da was persuaded by devotees, who thought He would enjoy a little leisure, to take His lunch at the seaside. The outing was attended by a devotee who had been serving at the Sanctuary and was invited to join the Master. This curious fellow is a much-loved friend of Master Da, and I have often likened their wonderful relationship to that of Ramakrishna’s love for Girish Ghosh, the skeptic, carouser, and renowned Bengali actor. His eccentricities notwithstanding, Master Da has a great fondness for His friend, and, when they were together, welcomed his frank and always endearing conversation.
While they were sitting on the beach, our friend began a lengthy dialogue about many subjects of interest to him. He began by asking, “My Lord, have You ever heard of ‘the Fibonacci sequence‘?” Master Da replied that He had not, but if the questioner felt this was pertinent to spiritual life, He would be willing to consider it. Hours of conversation passed between the two men, sitting in the Hawaiian sun, one full of questions about mathematics, spiritual personalities, economics, historical cycles, psychism, and the other-let me put it this way-simply Teaching.
The day was over, but their conversation seemed to have only begun. Our friend had become so engrossed in his conversation with Master Da that he insisted Master Da accompany him to dinner so as not to lose the thread of their dialogue.
My memory of this night is still clear. We were seated around a white wicker table in the corner of a garden patio, surrounded by beautiful large tropical plants, waiting to be seated for dinner. The image of their two contrasting faces, bonded in indissoluble union by speech, or really by some unspeakable, invisible adhesive, impressed itself upon my consciousness then, and the image is still with me today.
Master Da and His devotee in their trance are transfigured. It is there in the look on their faces. No fear or doubt is registered in the expression of Master Da –
only the dignity and serenity of a Knower of Truth. His is the language of the Heart, a language that very few have understood. Now from His mouth the most loving words are falling upon the soul of this devotee. His rugged face softened, full of wonder.
“My Lord, You have been most gracious to me in answering all of my questions. And if You would be so kind, I have but one last nagging thought which I would put before You. It is this: What if something terrible happened to the American government, affecting the Constitution, and freedom of religion was no longer permitted, so that we could not openly practice our Spiritual Way of life? And what if America suffered a revolution like in China where all of the sacred books were destroyed, so that Your magnificent literature was no longer available to people? And what if, forbid, devotees were separated from one another,
dispersed to different countries, and unable to practice in community? What would become of You and the Teaching and the community of devotees?”
His weighty “what if’s” stunned everyone, because these were precisely the kinds of questions no one likes to think about. But they were serious questions for him, questions that had to be faced. Master Da replied:
“First of all, there is no reason for anything like that to happen. Even if it did, don’t you know that what I am Teaching can never die? The Way of Truth does not end. History changes. Civilizations appear and disappear. People and philosophies and religious movements come and go. But the Great One cannot be removed or replaced. No one can ever that Realization away. The Adepts come again and again
in every era. It is this very Realization that is the essence of renunciation. The true renunciate is someone who has given up the ego, someone who has transcended himself or herself and Realized the Radiant Consciousness That Stands Prior to the mind, the body, and the world of Nature. The of Nature is constantly beginning, changing, and coming to an end, but the Truth and the Great Way transcend the realm of changes. What we enjoy can never die. No one, no experience, not time or space, not even death can destroy this Supreme Realization. God is the Happiness for which all beings are seeking.”
Only in the depths of the heart is a man at peace with the world. By Master Da’s choice of words and the tone of His voice and the sublimity of His gestures, you know that here is a man wholly occupied with drawing all into that depth, of holding open the eyelids of the world to that Vision of inexhaustible Light, until the truth of that Light is no longer deniable. All the faces were aglow, transparent to the Light Source in their midst. Not a single word was uttered. All the hearts were calmed by the Holy Presence.
“Sir, your table is ready”
Just then our saucy hostess, who had been annoyed by our seeming indifference at first but who had grown very curious, informed us that our table was ready. “Oh, and by the way,” she asked, “you’re not tourists, are you?”
“Nope, we’re not tourists.”
“Are you in the theatre?”
“Depends on what you mean by theatre, but no, we are not part of what you probably mean by theatre.”
‘Well, I just wanted to say that you are different from
anyone I’ve waited on before.”
“Yes, really. You’re different, and that’s
nice. And I hope you enjoy your meal.”
We were seated in a small private wing of the restaurant. The Da Presence was Radiant. A distinguished waiter brought us the menu. Our friend insisted that we try the wines. The waiter brought the first bottle of wine and, displaying the
label, explained that this was an excellent year. He opened the bottle and offered Master Da the first taste. But it wasn’t quite right. Too sweet, the Master explained. An alternative selection was recommended. It was better, but not adequate. Finally a third choice was made. “Estate bottled, with a marvelous aftertaste, the waiter said hopefully.
“What is your name, sir?” Master Da asked the waiter.
“My name is George.”
“Are you all right, George?”
“Why of course, sir,” the waiter answered.
“Are you certain, George?”
“No problems?” the Master asked.
“No, sir, none at all.” George said.
As George pondered these questions, Master Da unexpectedly posed an entirely different query:
“Well, if you don’t mind, would you ask the busboy to try his luck at bringing us the next wine?”
Disarmed for a moment, George hesitated and then looked amusedly at Master Da, exclaiming, “The busboy?!”
Although at first taken aback by this unusual request, he did find humor in the situation and admitted he felt the criticism of the wines was correct. The only complication was that he would have to get permission from the management
to allow the busboy to serve us. Ordinarily, this would not be permitted, but he saw no harm in asking. Returning to our table, he informed us that at first, the manager had said no, but that the hostess had intervened on our behalf, explaining, “They are very good people. They are just a little different, that’s all.”
So the young busboy, who had taken a break from college and was working to earn some extra money, marched to our table with an unsettled look on his face. “Could you assist us in choosing an appropriate wine to go with our
meal?” Master Da said to him. “I’ll certainly try, sir,” he replied.
In order to help the young man make the right choice, Master Da gave him a fascinating discourse on the two most famous cuisines, the French and the Chinese, explaining that the Chinese were by far the greater because it’s gustatory
science had been developed upon the spiritual principles of “yin” and “yang,’ and with the intention or satisfying more than taste alone.
George, who was now serving as our busboy, was staring at the Master. When the Master finished explaining our choice of cuisine, based on the principles of the Chinese Taoist philosophy, George leaned over my shoulder and whispered,
Next Master Da instructed our resurrected busboy, who was now reeling like an expert in the esoteric culinary sciences, to take the unacceptable wines and give them to the employees in the kitchen with our blessings.
“Thank you, sir.” And off went our busboy, who had just undergone an unexpected promotion to headwaiter of the most exclusive room in the restaurant.
As our new waiter diligently went about his task of serving the meal, our attention naturally turned to George, who was trying his best to be enthusiastic about refilling our water glasses. “George, are you sure everything is all
right with you?” Master Da asked, not at all mockingly. He had been concerned about George since noticing him. A few moments later George found himself considering the first “fundamental question” (“Are you the One Who is living
you now?”), and next the Argument about self-understanding.
Sure enough, Master Da had been right. This man was going through a very difficult moment in his personal life. He told me, “I can’t believe I am telling my customers my problems, in the midst of serving them, or trying to serve
them, their meal.” But he quickly added his appreciation, admitting that he was relieved to get his problems off his chest. “The gentleman,” he said,
referring to Master Da, “gave me some good advice, and I appreciate His kindness.”
No sooner had Master Da finished with George than our young waiter returned with our meals. “Are you religious?” the Master asked him.
“Well, I was brought up a Christian, if that’s what you mean.”
“I mean do you practice religion?”
“No,” said the waiter, “but I do believe in God.”
“Ah, you believe in God, you say. Well, have you ever seen God or felt God?” Master Da asked.
“No,” the young man said ironically, “I can’t say I have ever seen or felt God.” And he smiled as if he had gotten the joke.
For twenty minutes Master Da talked very earnestly and compassionately with the young man. He became totally concentrated in their conversation. Everyone at the table, including George, was fixed on their interaction. This was not a joke. In just a few minutes he had become intensely interested and available to the Master’s Wisdom.
Then the Master began to praise Jesus and to give the young man instructions, describing the relationship between God the Father (the heart on the right), Jesus (the crown or the “sahasrar”), and the Holy Ghost (the Circle of conductivity). He told the man how to breathe in the Circle and feel from the heart.
By this time all of us were absorbed in Communion, some with our eyes closed, and some just sitting with our eyes bugged out and our bodies flowing with that ever-loving joy we call “the Presence.”
The Master asked the young man if he understood Him. He replied, “I think so.” The Master then told him it would take time, but if he practiced daily, he would see and feel God, and that would make him Happy.
In reflecting on this story, it occurs to me that Master Da did what He always has done, which He cannot keep Himself from doing. He was Teaching. This story can be seen as a paradigm for His entire Teaching Work. He had quietly turned
the worldly environment of the restaurant into a setting for Spiritual Transmission.
The hostess lost a little face but gained Darshan for her service. The waiter George underwent a reality consideration for which he was very grateful. The management consented to change their rules and showed a sense of humor in allowing their most humble employee to serve their most important guest. The young man was given spiritual instructions that yogis seek for lifetimes to
hear. And the kitchen staff had received the “spirit” in a form they were easily able to appreciate. Master Da had conducted a “religious ceremony” affecting not only the devotees present at the table but also the employees of the restaurant.
George and the busboy were generously tipped for their service. And as we were leaving the restaurant, the cashier asked the hostess, “Do you know who that man is? He looks so happy. And His friends are so happy. They’re different, aren’t they!”