Your many comments about Adi Da’s great let-go into Mahasamadhi inspired my following responses, which include further details about my own teacher’s unique and simple disappearance from this world.
I am sorry to hear of the Passing of Bubba Free John; I met him one moment as he was leaving a Sacred/Esoteric Bookstore in Los Angeles years ago when we were both young. His look in my eyes left an indelible Impression that still remains to this day. I was especially impressed by his teaching of “Avoiding Relationship” and how Enlightenment is already there Within at any moment. Nameste, John–Keep up the great Work!
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Adi Da in the flesh. Some arrangements were being made a few years ago for a meeting between Adi Da and me at his esthetically beautiful spiritual retreat in Northern California, the Mountain of Attention. The disciple negotiating the arrangements started getting a little, let’s say, political, with me. I then sent along my “endorsement.” I’m sure that if Adi Da was indeed enlightened he would have had a big belly laugh at my endorsement if it could have been delivered, which I don’t think it was. Later I tried to contact my go-between’s email address but it came up non-functioning.
My lady friend met Adi Da in a jacuzzi in Harbin Hot Springs, CA, way back around the same time you chanced upon him on the threshold of a bookstore. She also had a similar impression about him. He was a wonderful man and “Murti.”
I heard his rolling laugh in audiotapes: a deep and sonorous chortle that could reach into the darkness and give even a blue whale pleasure.
I once heard him sing. Being a former opera singer, I was struck by his vocal power and high baritone range. He was singing a song, I believe is called: “I am the Heart.” Adi Da might have been an accomplished Opera star if he had gone in that Samsarian (illusory-worldly) direction.
Singing is one of the easiest ways to connect with the heart. That is why so many devotional and meditative traditions use it– as they do dancing. Singing opens the heart, dancing opens the body-mind.
From what I can tell there was a lot of singing and dancing in Adi Da’s ashrams and meditation retreats. I sincerely hope his devotees have not forgotten to sing, dance and celebrate his passing.
As for one who has seen his own spiritual master taken to the burning ghats, one must celebrate the great gift of existence that a true spiritual teacher can be.
Adi Da’s passing reminds me of what my friend, and Osho’s doctor, Amrito, about his final moments relayed back on 20 January 1990, the day after Osho’s passing.
The account reminds me how even at the very end, Osho behaved in that simple, “all is good,” accepting, down to earth and often funny way he embraced life.
As you know, over these last few days Osho’s body has been becoming noticeably weaker. What you may not know is that he has also been in considerable pain. By the night of the 18th, the pain in his legs was so severe that he was not able even to come stand on the podium and be with us.
Over that night, he became weaker and weaker. Every movement of the body was obviously agonizing. Yesterday morning I noticed that his pulse was also weak and slightly irregular.
I said I thought he was dying. He nodded. I asked him if we could call in the cardiologists and prepare for cardiac resuscitation. He said, “No, just let me go. Existence decides its timing.”
I was helping him to the bathroom when he said, “And you put wall-to-wall carpet in here, just like this bath mat.” Then he insisted on walking over to his chair. He sat down and made arrangements for the few items that he has in his room.
“Who should this go to?” He said, pointing to his small stereo. “It is audio? Nirupa would like it?” He asked.
Nirupa has cleaned his room for so many years.
And then he went carefully around the room and left instructions for every item. “Those you take out,” he said, pointing to the dehumidifiers, which he had found too noisy recently. “And always make sure one air conditioner is on,” he continued.
It was incredible. Very simply, in a very matter-of-fact and precise way, he looked at everything. He was so relaxed, as if he were going for the weekend.
He sat on the bed and I asked what we should do for his Samadhi. “You just put my ashes in Chuang Tzu, under the bed. And then people can come in and meditate there.”
“And what about this room?” I asked.
“This would be good for the Samadhi?” He asked.
“No,” I said, “Chuang Tzu will be beautiful.”
I said we would like to keep his present bedroom as it is.
“So you make it nice,” he said. And then he said he would like it marbled.
“And what about the celebration?” I asked.
“Just take me to Buddha Hall for ten minutes,” he said, “and then take me to the burning ghats — and put my hat and socks on me before you take my body.”
I asked him what I should say to you all. He said to tell you that since his days in the [US] Marshal’s cell in Charlotte, North Carolina, in America, his body has been deteriorating. He said that in the Oklahoma jail they poisoned him with thallium and exposed him to radiation, which we only came to know when the medical experts were consulted.
He said they had poisoned Him in such a way that would leave no proof. “My crippled body is the work of the Christian fundamentalists in the United States government.”
He said that he had kept his pain to himself, but “living in this body has become a hell.”
He lay down and rested again. I went and told Jayesh what was happening and that Osho was obviously leaving his body.
When Osho called again, I told him Jayesh was here and he said for Jayesh to come in.
We sat on the bed and Osho gave us his final words.
“Never speak of me in the past tense,” he said. “My presence here will be many times greater without the burden of my tortured body. Remind my people that they will feel much more. They will know immediately.”
At one point I was holding his hand and I started to cry.
He looked at me, almost sternly, “No, no,” he said, “that is not the way.”
I immediately stopped and he just smiled beautifully.
Osho then spoke to Jayesh and talked about how he wanted the expansion of the work to continue. He said that now that he was leaving his body, many more people would come; many more people’s interest would show, and his work would expand incredibly beyond our ideas.
Then he whispered so quietly that Jayesh had to put his ear very close to him, and Osho said, “And remember, Anando is my messenger.” Then he paused, and said, “No, Anando will be my medium.”
At that point Jayesh moved to one side, and Osho said to me, “Medium will be the right word?”
I hadn’t heard what had preceded it so I didn’t understand.
“Meeting?” I said.
“No,” he replied, “for Anando, medium – she will be my medium.”
He lay back quietly and we sat with him while I held his pulse. Slowly it faded. When I could hardly feel it, I said, “Osho, I think this is it.”
He just nodded gently, and closed his eyes for the last time.
I recall Amrito lowered his microphone at this point, leaned forward and started to sob, as did many of us in the hall.
Suddenly a very loud and strident blast from the meditation resort’s Rooster Clock blared, “COCK-AH-DOODLE-DOOOOO!!!”
Tears immediately melted into peals of laughter.
A few years back Osho suggested we install a sound system wired across the resort to mark the passing of each hour with a rooster call. Sort of a funny way to remind all the people working and, visiting this teaming compound to “wake up.”
There are no tears of sadness at the passing of a master. Only tears of joy and an occasional COCK-AH-DOODLE-DOOOOO!!!
(21 December 2008)