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Archive for September 15th, 2009

gay_marriage
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 07:27:06
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Gay Marriage: Stand of A’nanda Ma’rga
From: Jiivendra

Baba

“Ja’du nagariiya’ se a’ya’ hya’y ek ja’dugar…” (PS 4062)

Purport:

The Parama Purusa, the Divine Musician from the magical world of music has come. Look all around. Now everything is dancing in His love. Everyone’s heart is filled with His love. The whole universe is dancing, the waves of the ocean are dancing, the black bee is also dancing on the flowers.

Everyone is intoxicated with His love– knowingly or unknowingly they are dancing in His flow. Oh the Parama Purusa divine Musician, what have You done. The hearts which were sleeping in frustration, they have bloomed again. They have gotten new life. The spirituality which was lost, You brought it back. The resonance of the Cosmic vibration is audible everywhere. The music is filled inside and out. Oh Parama Purusa You have filled this entire universe with Your love…
== GAY MARRIAGE: STAND OF A’NANDA MA’RGA ==
Namaskar,
Each and every day in the courts, in congress, in coffee shops, in
bookstores, and in the town hall, heated debates are going on about
gay-lesbian or same sex marriages. All are getting involved: Politicians,
“progressives”, church officials, professionals, students, and of course
gays and lesbians. Some say “YES”, some say “NO”, and some say “I DON’T
KNOW”. All together this issue of gay marriage is a pervasive topic in the
society, especially in our western, materialistic countries.
WE SHOULD KNOW OUR STAND
As A’nanda Ma’rgiis, it is important for us to know our AM / Proutistic
stand on each and every social issue. Because by this way we will be able
to implement Baba’s divine ideals and solve society’s problems at large.
So when in certain parts of the globe the issue of Gay-Lesbian marriage has become such a burning topic, we should investigate the matter and pointedly understand and formulate our ideological stand– based on Baba’s teachings, of course.

That way, now and in the future, we can help the society move ahead in the proper direction. Plus it will allow us in AMPS to hold a unified stance on the issue.

So gaining clarity about Baba’s position about gay-lesbian marriages holds numerous benefits.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK HOW IT BECAME A HOT TOPIC
As we explore this topic of gay marriage– i.e. marriage between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman– we should first take a look at some of the foundational points of materialistic life. Because this will give us insight into why in the west the issue of same sex marriages has gained so much momentum and come to the fore.

And we should also recognise that off-shoots of this are beginning to
sprout in China, India, and other countries– as materialism spreads more and more. So this topic of gay marriage is multiplying and fast becoming a global issue. This we are all going to see– and are seeing.

So we should know our AM stand on this important issue. Because as things like gay and lesbian marriages spread in the society then they all tend to creep into AM. And this we are seeing at this very moment. So in numerous ways, and in various angles, this issue of gay marriage is going to affect and touch us all.

That is why we can say it is a burning issue and demands our utmost care
and attention so we can give a reasonable and rational solution- thereby
helping one and all.

A QUICK CLARIFICATION
Before writing anything further let it be known that no person in our human family is bad or depraved, per se. In AM, we do not believe that criminals are inherently bad nor do we believe that people are “bad” based on their sexual orientation. So our approach is not about labeling people, but rather about seeing the divine within all. That is why we focus on recognising those life practices which Baba espouses: So that our human potential can be realised and the best human society can be built. That is the chief aim of this entire discussion.
BASIS OF LIFE IN MATERIALISTIC COUNTRIES
As we delve into the matter of gay marriages, we should take a look at the
fertile ground in which it has taken root by examining the way of life in
our materialistic countries.

While in AM our approach to life is basically spiritual, in stark contrast,
in the crude, capitalistic society, sex has become the way of life. That is
the overriding emphasis in life and society: Sexual appeal, sexual
relations, sexual looks, and sexual dealings. People rake in huge profits
off of sex and people’s self-image is based primarily on sexual allurement, especially women. Because the misguided idea reigns that the ultimate satisfaction in life is achieved by sex– not through any other way. In the materialistic approach, they do not believe there is anything higher than sex.

So sex is one of the main forces in materialistic life. This is evidenced
by nearly every image in the society: On the billboards, on the TV, in the
movies, in social relations, and in all the ways crude sex has taken hold
of every aspect of life. Such are the degraded and lowly ways of
materialistic life.

Hence although human desires are infinite, due to a lack of spirituality,
in the materialistic societies they try to satisfy their human longing
through sex.

THE MATERIALISTIC VIEW OF MARRIAGE
So when sex holds such a high place in the society, in that case, in this
materialistic era, especially in our western countries, the institution of
marriage is grounded in the idea of being a legalised sexual union between two people. For years and years this has meant a legalised sexual union between a man and a woman, i.e. a heterosexual marriage.

Here the critical point is that in materialism, the basis or the foundation
of the marriage system is sex. Marriage allows for two persons to carry out sexual relations in an “upstanding way” in the society. And whatever else they wish to do in their married life is entirely up to them. No greater responsibility is involved.

Marriage then becomes nothing but a ticket for becoming accepted sexual partners in the society. That is the way it works in the materialistic west. Because sexual satisfaction is the aim of such marriage, not raising children nor building a strong society. These outcomes, such as children,are nothing but the by-product of sexual oriented marriages. Children are not the main thing in materialistic marriages. But in AM, raising healthy, idealistic children is the aim of our marriage system. That is the vast difference between our AM and the materialistic nations.

WHY GAYS AND LESBIANS ALSO WANT TO MARRY
So in certain western countries where marriage is just an avenue for sexual deeds, step by step, gays and lesbians are forming the opinion then that they should also be allowed to marry and be looked upon as upstanding citizens in the society.

Because the gay and lesbian communities argue that when marriage in the general society itself means a legalised sexual union between two people, then why should there be discrimination about whom those two people are.

Why not extend those rights of a sexually based marriage to everyone. Why not allow a gay marriage between a man and a man, or lesbian marriage between a woman and a woman. Let these types of same sex couples also partake in this marriage system, since sex is the main prerequisite. Why should there be discrimination that only a male and a female can marry. This is the main logic that gays and lesbians put forth about why they should be allowed to marry.

Because when the whole materialistic society is based on sexual involvement and when those male-female marriages are based solely on sex, then naturally gays and lesbians feel that they should also be allowed to marry.

Because they see that when sex is the chief ingredient in forming a marriage, then gays and lesbians feel that they are worthy candidates for marriage– since they satisfy that prerequisite of sexual relations.

Indeed gays and lesbians have gotten so much momentum in this regard that so-called progressive citizens in these materialistic countries have also adopted this stance. Because they also know that marriage in the materialistic countries is a sexual engagement. In that case such heterosexual progressives wrongly reason that if a man and woman have the legal right to hold sexual relations, then gays and lesbians should also have this same sexual freedom and social right. So they also say that marriage should be offered to gay and lesbian couple also. After all, why should we discriminate against anyone. This is their so-called open-minded view of things. This is their “progressive” outlook. All because in the materialistic societies they see sex as being the basis of marriage. But of course in AM we know that marriage has a higher purpose and sex is for procreation– for producing children– not for rampantly satisfying one’s carnal pleasures.

Of course the church and political conservatives have their own narrow-minded reasons for holding an oppositional stance. So this battle is going on between them and those pro-gay marriage activists.

But, all in all, it can be seen that, the tide in society is moving towards the stance of legalising gay and lesbian marriages. Because when marriage in materialistic societies is only based on the sex, then the point comes that therefore anyone doing any type of sex should be allowed to marry.

This is the faulty conclusion that results– all because marriage in the west is based on the idea that sexual relations are everything. There is no higher idea in mind.

Whereas in AM we know that marriage is a beautiful avenue for building a healthy society and sexual relations are used just as a means to bring children into the world.

WHY SOME MARGIIS ALSO GET CONFUSED
Even then as this debate about gay marriage spills over into our AM discussions at our retreats etc, then some simple margiis have also formed their own opinions.

They reason that since Baba has granted equal rights to all and since He has proclaimed that there should not be any differentiation in the society, then in that case what moral right do we have but to extend the institution of marriage to gays and lesbians. This is the way some naive margiis view the situation.

Because when the common public is involved in sexual romance marriages, then a few margiis also get confused. And not only do they support gay marriage in the greater society but they approve of it in AM as well. That is why today in Berlin and Suva sectors, gay marriages are going on in the open. Margii sisters are marrying other sisters. And many confused margiis lend their support. Silently or openly they are accepting these gay marriages in AM.

But by this way those confused margiis forget that in AM the institution of marriage is not based on sex. And they fail to realise what Baba means by equal rights and no discrimination. That is why they misapply Baba’s teachings by accepting gay marriages.

So all in all, in various regards, there is mounting confusion over this entire issue of gay marriage– both inside and outside our Marga.

But if we take a more careful, holistic look at Baba’s teachings then the matter becomes crystal clear.

WAY OF LIFE IN AM
As we know, in AM, life means movement along the divine path– the path of bliss. Our unique philosophy stands on this blessed sutra:
A’tmamoks’a’rtham’ jagaddhita’ya ca
So in our Marga and in our social framework, each and every aspect of life revolves around this special ideal. How we eat, how we sing, how we work, how we pass our days etc. Each and every action is infused with this spirit self-realisation and service to humanity, including our approach to marriage and family life.

Because our AM way of life moves ahead on this grand mission of spiritual attainment and social welfare.

THE STAND OF ANANDA MARGA ON GAY MARRIAGES
Thus when sex itself is not the basis of all our social interactions, then
naturally the institution of marriage takes on a whole new flavour. Because in AM marriage is not a mere passage way for sexual relations. Rather marriage is a dignified institution for building a strong and healthy society. Marriage is the pathway for raising children in healthy
environment with a stable home that includes both a father and a mother. This is Baba’s guideline (Reference NSS, Disc 4, 7, 8, 9).

Because in AM, the marriages are for supporting one another in a spiritual way so that when it is time to procreate then the husband and the wife will be able to raise their children in a sentient and spiritual way. Thus marriage is the building block for generating a strong, well-knit human family.

So spirituality is the basis of our AM marriages and the purpose of such
union is for society building– not sex for the sake of sex.
For all these reasons in our AM, we cannot support gay and lesbian
marriages. Because those marriages are based only on sex– they have no
redeeming social value; they are not for society building.

Once again the whole problem about gay marriages stems from the fact that marriage in western materialistic countries is based on sex.

But when we reflect on this point more deeply and realise the true aim and value of marriage in AM– that it is for society building– then there is
no scope for there to be gay and lesbian marriage, neither inside the Marga nor out.

Rather with tender heart and understanding way we should work with gay and lesbian people to engage more deeply in a spiritual approach and side by side we should experiment with the best counseling techniques to give support to those in the homosexual community so they might develop and grow in a healthy way.

BABA’S BLESSING
Here is Baba’s blessing that ensures that marriage be a stable and bonafide institution for building a healthy human society.

Baba says, “The Sanskrit equivalent for marriage is viva’ha (vi – vah +
ghain): it means, after the ceremony, the man and woman can no longer live as libertines or as irresponsible so-called family people. They have to discharge their full obligations as bhartta’ and kalatra, responsible
husband and responsible wife.” (NSS: Disc 9)

Namaskar,
Jiivendra

Note: HOW AM AND THE CHURCH DIFFER ON THIS ISSUE
Although the Christian church does not support gay and lesbian marriages, we cannot say that the church is in line with the ideals of Ananda Marga. Because since long the church has adopted the view that females are mere objects of enjoyment for men. Often the church has demoralised the stance of women. In that case we cannot at all proclaims that their dogmatic view is consistent with the AM dharma. This is a whole other chapter of discussion, but in a nutshell this is what it all boils down to.
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Need of the Day
Baba says, “The newly awakened humanity of today is anxious to herald the advent of one universal society under the vast blue sky. The noble and righteous persons of all countries, bound by fraternal ties, are eager to assert in one voice, with one mind, and in the same tune that human society is one and indivisible.” (AFPS, pt 2 p.25)

Note: Nowadays in our Marga society, a few are forgetting this truth. They should understand that this is not in the favour of dharma. Rather the call of dharma is to form one human society.

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