Upasani Baba
Upasani Baba
Avatar Adi Da as a child, with family
Avatar Adi Da
with His family

Book Excerpts

The Avatar of What Is

The Divine Life and Work of Adi Da

by Carolyn Lee, PhD


Avatar Icon

A Spontaneous Prophecy
from Upasani Baba

From Chapter One,
by Carolyn Lee, PhD

The story that unfolds here is, by many signs, the story of the fruition of Swami Vivekananda's impulse to a Western birth, but in greater terms than he could have possibly conceived.

What could be the further destiny of such a deeper self?

What kind of human being could combine the Spiritual virtue of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda with a birth in the modern West?

In February 1939, the Indian Master, Upasani Baba, received a distinguished visitor at his ashram. The Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, head of one of the four principal monasteries founded by the sage Shankara, was welcomed for the Hindu feast of Siva Ratri (the traditional celebration of the marriage of Siva and Parvati).

In the course of conversation, the Shankacharya deeply lamented the moral state of India, the effects of materialism, the decay that he saw in its great Spiritual culture. Upasani Baba agreed. The degeneration that the two men were observing in India had its root in the secularism of the West, as they well knew. But what was to be done?

Transported by sudden inspiration, Upasani Baba proclaimed that an Avatar "would soon be born in a European [meaning Western] country".

"He will be all-powerful," Upasani declared, "and bear down everything before him. And he will see to it that the Vedic Dharma is firmly re-established in India."

Upasani Baba's prophecy was not premeditated. According to the account in the annals of his ashram, it was a spontaneous outburst. Without thought for Hindu orthodoxy (which would never countenance the possibility of a Western Avatar), he was pointing to a World-Teacher, one capable of Mastering both East and West.

The feast of Siva Ratri, when this prophecy was uttered, is a lunar celebration, the date of which varies from year to year. In 1939, Siva Ratri was on February 18, coincidentally the birthday of Ramakrishna.

On that very day, February 18, 1939, on Long Island, New York, a young married couple, Frank and Dorothy Jones, were celebrating Frank's birthday, which also fell on that day.

They had met a year or two earlier in Jamaica, New York. Frank's family was from Mississippi, and Dorothy was of Austro-Hungarian origin. They were good, humble people, hard-working, minimally educated, and members of the Lutheran church.

Eight and a half months later, they found themselves proud parents for the first time. On November 3, 1939, Dorothy gave birth to a son, Franklin Albert Jones.

There was some difficulty at His birth, as the umbilical cord was wound around the baby's neck, but the cord was cut without injuring the child, and He was taken home to the small rented house where Frank and Dorothy were living at the time.

A couple of months earlier, England and France had declared war on Germany, but America's involvement in the conflict was years away. And so Frank and Dorothy Jones looked forward to a peaceable future for their newborn son, with the unspoken assumption that He would become a window salesman, like His father.

In fact, 1939 was the fulcrum of a global change so momentous that it would be decades before the magnitude of the shift would be seen. Terror on an unprecedented scale was at the door.

By the time Frank and Dorothy's son was six years old, the world was facing the facts of the Holocaust in Europe and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan.

Hell had arrived not only in the form of years of devastating warfare across Europe and the Far East, but in the more pernicious form of a moral and Spiritual bankruptcy that time could not erase.

At this watershed in human history, the child called Franklin Jones, later Adi Da (or Adi Da Samraj), had come into the world. What was He like? His own words, from the beginning of His Spiritual autobiography, The Knee Of Listening, say it:

As a baby, I remember only crawling around inquisitively with a boundless Feeling of Joy, Light, and Freedom in the middle of my head that was bathed in Energy moving unobstructed in a Circle — down from above, all the way down, then up, all the way up, and around again — and always Shining from my heart.

It was an Expanding Sphere of Joy from the heart. And I was a Radiant Form — the Source of Energy, Love-Bliss, and Light in the midst of a world that is entirely Energy, Love-Bliss, and Light.

I was the Power of Reality, a direct Enjoyment and Communication of the One Reality. I was the Heart Itself, Who Lightens the mind and all things. I was the same as every one and every thing, except it became clear that others were apparently unaware of the "Thing" Itself.

Even as a little child, I recognized It and Knew It, and my life was not a matter of anything else.

That Awareness, that Conscious Enjoyment, that Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Space of Infinitely and inherently Free Being, that Shine of inherent Joy Standing in the heart and Expanding from the heart, is the "Bright". And It is the entire Source of True Humor. It is Reality. It is not separate from anything.

— The Knee Of Listening

So was this child the reappearance of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda? The answer is more complex and profound than a simple "yes" or "no". The answer has to do with an unspeakable process that is implied in the word "Avatar".


— from The Dawn Horse Press —

Avatar Cover The Avatar of What Is
by Carolyn Lee PhD

The extraordinary story of Avatar Adi Da's Divine Intervention in the world — from the foretelling of His birth, through the more than thirty-five years of His unique Avataric Teaching-Work, to His compassionate Blessing-Work.

5.5" x 8.5" paperback
152 pages


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