This website is named “Divine Distraction” which refers to the basic principle of the Way which Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj has given–the relationship to Him. From the earliest days He has made it plain that the Divine-Realizing process is not about any techniques or methods. It is about the relationship to Him lived always in the present moment. When Adi Da began to Teach in 1972 there was in His Teaching communications more of an emphasis on self-understanding. However by the end of 1975 He saw that the unique process of the Way of Radical Understanding was not something that most of His devotees were able to practice with simplicity. Thus on December 1, 1975, Bhagavan passed on to His devotees a letter which announced the Way of Divine Communion.
This letter sent a shockwave through our community, with great clarification and Grace given simultaneously. Here is the first paragraph of the letter which Bubba Free John (his name at that time) called “The Way of Divine Communion”.
“For all who are only now becoming available to the process of transformation in the Divine, I have established the Way of Divine Communion, which is the simple way of living submission and attention to God. Many will respond to My Teaching, and all are welcome to approach The Free Communion Church, who are simply suffering the common failures of life. To all of them, I simply say, come happily, with the urge to happiness, to peace, to love, and to a better realization of your born life. The Lord of all the worlds is Radiant before you. If you will direct yourself, with whatever power or capacity you can find within yourself, to the service and awareness of the Divine, the Services of God will be given to you.” pg. 15, The Way of Divine Communion: The Foundation Practices of the Free Communion Church, by Bubba Free John
As soon as this letter was made available to us, all of us became focused and absorbed in considering this new way. And in the midst of this time, Adi Da decided to take a vacation with a few members of His intimate household. He first traveled to the Caribbean. And it was there, on December 16th, that He gave the talk that was titled, “Divine Distraction”. This talk used the metaphor of Krishna and the gopis to describe the overwhelming attraction of the God-man as the basis of all practice. The consideration of the Attraction to the Guru as the Graceful foundation of Spiritual life remained forever after a cornerstone of Adidam.
However, even though the talk was given on December 16th, it was not heard by devotees until a couple of weeks later. Of course in those days there was no internet. And the talk itself was recorded manually in Bhagavan’s Company and was only available to hear once Adi Da had returned. He had continued on to Mexico on this trip and then returned to Persimmon. We had heard of this talk which we were told was very important and a key consideration for all of us. But we had not heard what it actually said, nor heard the tape itself.
So towards the very end of December, when Adi Da was back at what we now know as The Mountain of Attention, we all gathered one winter afternoon in Land Bridge Pavilion to hear this talk. There was plastic on the side walls of the Pavilion that used to go up for the winter, and then come down in the summer. All of us knew that we shouldn’t miss this talk, and that it was a really important communication. We all sat on the floor facing Bhagavan’s Chair, while the cassette tape was put in the machine and then we heard Bhagvan’s Voice from a ten days or so before speaking these words:
The ancient legends of Krishna and his gopis are an allegory of Divine Distraction. As Krishna wandered about in the fields, the women who tended the cattle would see him from day to day—and, in spite of themselves, they would wander away and leave their posts. They completely forgot about the cattle. They forgot to go home and cook for their husbands. They wandered about where they thought they might find Krishna—and, when they found him, they gazed at him as he sat in the distance somewhere. This legend is a play upon the Love-“Bonding” between the Divine Manifested in human form and ordinary people. The gopis became madly involved in an absolute Attachment to Krishna—and, as a result of this Attachment, they became more and more ecstatically absorbed in Divine Communion.
The foundation of the practice in My Avataric Divine Company is exactly that Attachment. If such Attachment does not develop in relation to Me—not cultic attachment, but Divine Attachment—if that Attachment is not the case, completely overwhelming your life, and Distracting you from the conventional destiny to which you are otherwise disposed (in your patterned tendency to seek the fulfillment of your desires, your inclinations, and the ego-consoling opportunities inherent in your existing circumstances), then the practice of Real devotional and (in due course) Spiritual life in My Avataric Divine Company cannot exist.
The gopis simply left the cattle. They did not say, “I’m not going to tend cattle anymore! I’m not going to submit to my desires, my tendencies, my job!” They did not make any such decisions. They simply forgot about the cattle. They were so Distracted, so in love with Krishna, so ecstatic, that they just forgot to go home. It never even occurred to them to go home. They never worried about “Should I go home, or should I stay here? Should I watch the cattle, or should I go look for Krishna? Should I discipline myself?” They did not create a problem out of their sadhana or out of their relationship to the Divine.
My devotee is involved in just this kind of ecstatic devotional relationship to Me. When that devotional relationship to Me becomes the condition of your conscious existence (fully, under all the conditions of life), then the force of limiting tendencies is weakened—not by your doing anything to your tendencies, but by virtue of the fact that you are no longer even involved with them. If your relationship to Me is essentially ordinary, mechanical, mediocre, not a form of devotionally turning to Me, then you are not doing the sadhana I have Given you. In that case, you may (perhaps) be intending to do some other kind of conventional sadhana, but you are not doing this sadhana (of the devotional and, in due course, Spiritual relationship to Me). In that case, you are not involved in the sadhana of Truth, you are not involved in Divinely Self-Realizing sadhana, you are not involved in the Opportunity that is made available in human time through My Function As the Divine Siddha-Guru.
As the tape was played, all of us fell more and more into our love for Adi Da, our attraction to Him, and our distraction by Him. We all started to feel Him strongly as if He were in the room with us. These words penetrated us deeply and made us happier and happier. And as the process was growing and we were falling ever more deeply into our relationship to Bhagavan Adi Da, He suddenly Physically, in His Body, walked into the Pavilion. But He did not walk to His Chair in front of everyone. It was almost like He did not want to take our attention away from His Communion, His Talk. He came into the room and sat directly on the wooden floor with all of the rest of us. With His back to what was then called Great Food Dish, now Darshan Adytum. He was wearing a yellow kaftan.
Needless to say, with His Arrival our devotional fervor and ecstasy took leaps and bounds. We were melted in our love for Him. He sat there, and simply smiled and beamed His Divinity to us. It was so amazing, that this one to whom we were all Attracted was here with us now. In the Body. He simply Sat there and allowed us to gaze at Him while the tape continued to describe the relationship that we must enjoy with Him in order for Spiritual practice to be effective. Yes, it was attraction, but we were all so attracted. No one had to tell us to be attracted. He was just so attractive that it blew our minds. At one point He actually says that the attractiveness is not His physical features, but His Divinity. As were listening to the talk, at one point Bhagavan Adi Da says, “I’m not even pretty”. And devotees protest that–they affirm that He is pretty. And then He sings a bar from the song from West Side Story, “I’m so pretty”. As we sat in the room with Adi Da, His humor and liveliness just melted us more. He sat there, not saying a word, while these words by Him continued to played on the tape:
“I am not present here merely in order to “rap out” a philosophy or to distribute techniques that you may apply to yourself, depending on your intelligence. I Am Present in the world in order (now, and forever hereafter) to Offer a (most ultimately) Divinely Liberating relationship to all those who are willing to assume such a relationship with Me, to all those who have the capability to be Distracted by Me (in an absolute love-relationship that is more and more Distracting). But, if that love-desire-Distraction is not present in an individual’s life, then this sadhana of the heart-relationship to Me cannot begin.
The foundation of the sadhana in My Avataric Divine Company is precisely the kind of Distraction that is allegorically described between Krishna and his gopis. You must flee to Me from all your life—not from your obligations, that is not what that allegory is all about—but from the fundamental distraction by yourself, your own tendencies, your own conditions, your own belongings, your own relationships, your own hopes, your own beliefs, your own thoughts, your own reading, your own mystical intentions, your own philosophical presuppositions. You must flee to Me from all that. It must be completely uninteresting to you. It is certainly not interesting to Me!
Just as you cannot argue someone into loving you, so human beings cannot be argued into the Distraction of Divine Communion. The Opportunity to enter into Divine Communion can be offered, and a circumstance can be provided in which people can approach (and become sensitive to) That Communicated Presence, That Divine Power. But, apart from making the Opportunity openly available and providing a circumstance of approach, there is no argument whatsoever.
I am completely without argument. There is nothing I can do to convince you of the Truth of the Way I have Revealed and Given, nothing I can do outwardly or verbally that would (in and of itself) fundamentally convince you of the relationship you must enjoy with Me in order to fulfill the practice of the Way of Adidam.
Falling in love with someone is not something you can argue yourself into doing. Initially, falling in love is a form of distraction, of absorption, without any reasons—and, if you were to examine it in order to find a reason for it, it would (perhaps) seem unreasonable to you, not justified. . . .
Once there is that Distraction, the theater of your development is in the hands of the Divine.
Krishna taught the gopis by playing upon their Attachment to him—and, by Grace, they learned. But all they learned was to be more and more absorbed in the Divine. Their minds were overwhelmed by this Distraction, and all their petty tendencies to return to their secure positions in life were constantly undermined. . . . There is no insurance, there is no guarantee, there is nowhere to go. There is no end-phenomenon in the love of Real God. That love is, in and of itself, the Truth.
The same approach is necessary for all, and it is represented in the allegory of Krishna and his gopis. Without that distraction by the Guru in God there is no sadhana in any form in anybody’s case. Once that distraction exists and the movement of the individual begins to become governed by the intuition of the Divine, the enjoyment of the Divine, then all the disciplines, the theater, the lessons, the responsibilities, the Teaching, and all the rest begin to appear, according to the individual’s capability and state of existence.”
In the late 1980s Adi Da asked me if I could prepare a book on the Guru-devotee relationship based on His Instruction. This was published as Love of the God-Man. However, because it was so large, again at Adi Da’s specific Request an abridgement was prepared which we named Divine Distraction. It came out in 1991, and was reprinted once. All copies are now sold-out from The Dawn Horse Press, although it can be found as a used book on Amazon and from other sources. Adi Da asked for Divine Distraction and Love of the God-Man to be brought up to date and reprinted. It is a project that is underway.