Archive for June 1st, 2009

Date: 01 Jun 2009 23:49:05 -0000
From: “Manoj Shaha”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Dharma Raks’ati Raks’itah


“Tumi bhul pathe cale esecho…” (P.S. 2007)


Baba, by mistake, anyhow You have lost the path and come to my home. I
do not believe in fate or fortune. And this I also know that I do not have
any wealth or virtue. Your auspicious arrival is simply due to Your grace.
You graced me by coming to my home– Your arrival has nothing to do with my

You have come here to change the burning desert into the greenery. To
revitalise dried-up, half-dead plants and transform them into blossoming
flowers and luscious fruits. Baba, with Your arrival, everyone has gotten
new life. Those who were depressed and hopeless, You brought a smile to their
face and placed a song in their throat. By this way You decorated them with
a garland of jewels.

Baba, now I understand that only You are mine; I do not have anyone
else. Except You there is none that I can say is mine.

What I have and what belongs to me, everything is Your causeless
grace. I think You thought all these things and You deliberately made a
mistake in order to come here to my little hut. You did this mistake
knowingly and with full awareness. Baba, You have come to my place; You
have graced me. It is due to nothing else than Your causeless grace that
You have come…


Our Guru Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji has taught us to follow dharma at any
cost. That is why in His discourses He says, ‘Dharma raks’ati raks’itah’,
those who follow dharma, dharma saves them.


But nowadays dharma is quite controversial. In India people think that
their religion is dharma and in AMPS groupists think that their team’s agenda is
dharma. That is why groupist people challenge that, ‘Come on my side, dharma
will be victorious’; ‘Neutrality is not good’; ‘Follow dharma’. And like
this these groupists go on, but their “dharma” is just their own
narrow-minded agenda.

One day while I was walking on the road I heard one butcher talking with
another butcher. And he told that ‘it is my dharma to kill 5 goats every
day with my hand’. When I heard this then I thought that what type of
misguided dogma is related with the term dharma. See how much this term is
abused and misused.


Without going into a more lengthy discussion, in a very brief way anyone
can conclude that in our Ananda Marga Baba has taught the true dharma.
Following dharma means strictly adhering to 16 Points.

Because 16 Points is the cream of all those guidelines which Baba has
taught for practicing in regular life. And in 16 Points one point is
upavasa, fasting.


We know that Baba has designated 4 days for fasting per month; and these
are mandatory for WTs. And He has designated 2 mandatory days for family
people. That is ekadashii.

But according to His teaching if one practices 4 times fasting per month
then that is very good. But at least 2 upavasa in any month, everyone will
have to do. In the case of senior citizens though, Baba has relaxed this
rule. That means seniors have to do upavasa but they need not do fasting
without water. Fasting without water is for healthy persons only.

Anyway, on this point all the margiis know the significance of fasting, its
definition, when to do, how to do, and how to conclude it. That means how
to observe fasting and how to break the fast.

But there is a special teaching related with upavasa which often enough
many of us are not following. So that needs constant reminding.


So here are the following Baba’s teachings:

Baba says, “These fastings are called upavasa in Samskrta…`Upa’ means
`proximity’. And `Vasa’ means `to live’, `to reside’. The word `upavasa’
means then, `to live near the Lord’. `Upavasa’ – one these days of fasting,
what are all spiritual aspirants to do? Mentally they should live near
their Lord. On all other days they are to remain balanced between objective
adjustment and subjective approach. On these days of fasting, however, on
these days of upavasa, one remains in closer proximity to the Lord than to
one’s mundane duties. That is why these days are known as `upavasa’. The
word `fasting’ does not represent the proper sense or proper spirit. The
Samskrta term for going without food is `anashana’ – `ana’ means not,
`ashana’ means eating – not `upavasa’. But these ekadashii, amavasya and
purnima days are days of upavasa.” (AV-6)

And here again Baba is guiding us that on days of upavasa one should
introvert the mind and focus upon Him.

Baba says, “Upavasa in the sense of fasting is also useless…if one does
real upavasa that can do a lot. The scriptural meaning of uspavasa is-by
derivation– upa which means “near”, and va’sa, which means “to stay”.
Upa’vasa therefore means “to make the mind stay near Parama’tma'”. In other
words, it means to withdraw the mind from thoughts of physicalities and
keep it near Parama’tama’. The sanskrit word for fasting as such is
anashana [remaining hungry / starving].” (AV-23, p. 36-7)

Below is another golden teaching about upavasa.

Baba says, “These fixed days are called upavasa since during these days
people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters, ‘live closer’ to
God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their humanity
is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation.” (NSS, p.188)

And in this following teaching Baba is giving the point that those who
think about food on fasting day are not up to the mark.

Baba says, “Upavasa (fasting) means living nearer to God. `Upa’ means near
and `vasa’ means living. During ekadashii upavasa the mind of a
devotionless person will be in the stomach and not with Parama Purusa.”


Living constantly with Him that is the beauty of upavasa.

So the conclusion is that those who follow dharma, they will be victorious.
And dharma is nothing but 16 points. And indeed it is really beautiful that
if one follows 16 Points then Baba’s grace is always showering on that
person. That is why Baba says be strict in 16 points.

Baba says, “…In order to march ahead on the road of human welfare,
we will have to strengthen ourselves in all the arena of life. The complete
seeds of welfare in all the spheres – physical, mental, moral, social and
spiritual – are embedded in the sixteen points. Hence be firm on the
sixteen points.” (A’nanda Va’nii #45)


Note: Human life is for sadhana. Everyday sadhana should be done but
especially on upavasa days sadhana is better. Because one’s whole energy is
pointed in a single direction. Those who have deeper experience they
realize this otherwise the common feeling is that on fasting days the body
gets tired. And physical, psychic, and spiritual work are all difficult–
people say like this. But those who are sincere in sadhana, they realize
that fasting is the best day for meditation. Because upavasa is interlinked
with pointed sadhana. That is why this letter has been written.

Remarkable Future

Parama Purusa BABA says, “As life becomes increasingly easy, there will be
greater opportunities for intellectual pursuits. A day will come when there
will be hardly any need for human beings to work. This may sound strange
today and perhaps we might not like to hear such a thing, but that day
will surely come. Physicality will be transformed into more and more
intellectuality, and intellectuality will be transformed into the
culminating point of spirituality.” (PNS-17, p. 36)


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