Free Daist Communion
An Advaita Vedanta (Hindu) religious community founded
and headed by Avadhoota Da Love-Ananda (born Franklin
Jones). It was previously known as the Dawn Horse fellowship
and the Johannine Daist Communion. A religious seeker, in
1960 Jones began to study with Swami Rudrananda (1928–73),
an American-born disciple of Indian spiritual teacher Swami
Muktananda (1908–82). Rudrananda guided him to a Lutheran
seminary. Then in 1968 he went to India to visit Muktananda’s
ashram. While there he had a deep experience that led two
years later to his entering what he called a permanent state of
‘‘Sahaj Samadhi’’ (trance). It is believed by his followers that he
had surrendered that condition at the time of his entering this
present incarnation at birth, and that his lifetime of seeking was
an attempt to recover it while still in the embodied condition.
Jones began to teach small groups of students shortly after
the 1970 experience. Then in 1973 he made a pilgrimage to
India, during which journey he changed his name to Bubba
Free John, understanding ‘‘Bubba’’ to be a familial way of denoting
‘‘brother.’’ Later in the 1970s he became one of the
most well known of the new spiritual teachers (gurus) to emerge
in America. He was distinctive for his confrontational style of
teaching, especially for placing his students in stressful conditions
to enhance their learning. All his lessons were meant to
show the futility of the search for meaning in sexuality, material
possessions, and various psychic and spiritual experiences.
The teachings were leading toward a form of Advaita Vedanta
that he called ‘‘the way of radial understanding.’’ At the
heart of Vedanta is denial of the illusion of the separateness of
our individual selves from the ‘‘all-comprehensive divine reality.’’
We aware of this illusion but live in a somewhat forgetful
state. Our realization of our true state tends to occur in stages.
In his attempt to bring his students through the various
stages of enlightenment Bubba Free John has on several occasions
changed his name, indicating a new phase of his work. In
1979 he withdrew from public work and became known as Da
Free John, ‘‘Da’’ being understood as ‘‘giver.’’ In the mid-1980s
he took his present name, more informally known as Heart
Master Da Love-Ananda.
In 1991 there were approximately twelve hundred members
of the Free Daist Community, the majority in North America.
Heart Master Da Love-Ananda resides at the group’s retreat
center in the Fiji Islands. Last known address 750 Adrian Way,
San Rafael, CA 94903.
Bubba Free John [Franklin Jones]. No Remedy. Lower Lake,
Calif. Dawn Horse Press, 1976.
Da Free John [Franklin Jones]. The Dawn Horse Testament.
San Rafael, Calif. Dawn Horse Press, 1985.
Da Love-Ananda. The Holy Jumping Off Place. San Rafael,
Calif. Dawn Horse Press, 1986.
Jones, Franklin. The Method of the Siddhas. Los Angeles
Dawn Horse Press, 1973.