Archive for October 3rd, 2009

"Baba told clearly that 'Cemetery sadhana is very encouraging for beginners.' "

"Baba told clearly that 'Cemetery sadhana is very encouraging for beginners.' "

Date: 3 Oct 2009 04:27:02 -0000
From: “Gurucharan Yadav”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Upavasa and Cemetery Sadhana


“Eso eso bandhu eso jiivaner prati nishva’se…” (PS 213)


O’ my dear most Baba, O my Bandhu, please come in my life. Please come
in my each and every breath. I want to remember Your name as my Ista mantra
always. When You come in my mind and sit on the white lotus, then Your
sweet fragrance permeates my whole being.

Baba except You I have no one. You are the only one with whom I can open
my inner heart. And that time I tell You all those things which I never
share with anyone. I express to You all my inner feelings. With no one else
can I do like this, only do I share these things with You, secretly.

O’ my dear most Baba, O’ Bandhu, please grace me and come in my life. I
am waiting in longing. Baba, I do not have anyone other than You…


As you may be aware, in some of His discourses Baba has clearly described
the distinct difference between these two words: fasting and upavasa.
Literally fasting means not taking food, remaining hungry. Starving then is
also one kind of fasting. So in doing fasting in the literal sense, one may
or may not have the ideation of God, Brahma bhava. That is why we Ananda
Margiis need not to practice austerities for 1 day of starvation, but we
have to do upavasa.

The basic picture is that if fasting is done along with the constant
feeling of God-hood, then in that case only can it be accepted as upavasa.

So if the whole day a person is busy doing different mundane things–job,
household activities, business, shopping– and he could not maintain the
close proximity of God, and he is not taking food and is remaining hungry
whole day, then that cannot be treated as upavasa.


Here one thing is very remarkable. Baba Himself does not tell us to do
fasting. But He guides us to do upavasa.

BABA says, “‘Upa’ means proximity. And va’sa means to live, to reside. So
the upava’sa word means to live near the Lord. In these days of fasting,
what the aspirants are to do? Mentally they should live near their Lord. On
all other days there remains a balance between external objective
adjustment, and subjective approach. An adjustment between objective
adjustment and subjective approach. But on these fasting, or upava’sa, the
aspirant remains more in proximity to the Lord than in other mundane
duties. That’s why these days are known as “upava’sa”. The word ‘fasting’
doesn’t carry the proper sense or the proper spirit of the term ‘upava’sa’.
To go without food, for this the proper word is anasan. ‘An’ means not,
‘asan’ means eating. And not upava’sa. So these ekadashii, amava’sya, and
purnima they are, upava’sa. Do you follow?” (BABA)

So about Upavasa in this above transcribed discourse, Baba has given us a
unique guideline which is unusual and unique unto itself. Because we know
that our system in AM is subjective approach with objective adjustment.
That means our fixed goal is Parama Purusa and in our day to day lives we
have to adjust with this material world. So while adjusting with our
worldly duties, the flow of sadhana should be maintained.

Naturally on regular days we have more freedom to do worldly works.
Generally speaking the quantum and time of worldly work is greater than the
amount we give for sadhana. That is our standard practice. And that is what
our AM ideology teaches us. But on the day of upavasa we have to do the
exact opposite. Most of our time should be utilised in spiritual
observances, and the least amount of time should be used for mundane

So upavasa should be spent doing various kinds of spiritual things, like
singing Prabhat Samgiita, chanting kiirtan, listening His discourses, doing
sadhana, practicing the various lessons, reading His books, Shravan, Manan,
Niddhidhyasan, dhyana, etc. Indeed, from small to big, all sorts of
spiritual practices should be done. By this way the whole day’s routine
should be managed. And that is Baba’s explicit guideline for upavasa.


Given this, the best thing is to keep this day off from worldly duties. No
shopping, not being engaged in any mundane objects, or in any type of
serious family obligations. That is the way which Baba is teaching us in
the above special discourse. Means maximum importance and emphasis is given
to sadhana; and less importance is placed on worldly things during days of

Of course the opposite is the case for general days. Because in general it
is accepted that one can give more time for their mundane job and
comparatively less time for their sadhana. But even then we should always
beware that the time of sadhana should never be squeezed down to something
meaningless. That also has its own importance.

So the overall sense is that Upavasa means on the day of ekadashii,
amavasya or purniima one should not eat food nor drink water and they
should carry on upavasa with more spiritual activities like manan, shravan,
niddydhyasana, japa, dhyan, kiirtan, svadhyaya etc. And the mind should not
be involved in crude worldly activities. Then that is upavasa.


Here are more of Baba’s teaching on this special point of upavasa.

Baba says, “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’.” (AVM 23, p. 36-7)

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)

BABA says, “On certain special days (the days should be fixed according to
the almanac lest people forget them), people should give greater importance
to spiritual practice than to mundane responsibilities; that is, their time
and energy during those few days should be devoted more to spiritual
practice than to worldly activities. These fixed days are called upava’sa
since during these days people, keeping their minds engaged in spiritual
matters, “live closer to God”. (NSS, Shivapodesha-3)


When one of the best places to do spiritual practice is in the cemetery
then that is one top-most place for the following upavasa. Because here
following is Baba’s unique guideline about the importance of cemetery
sadhana and how it should be practiced by one and all. About this no one
should have any complex or worry.

Indeed at the Manila DMC occasion when Baba went for field walk back in
1969, in the Philippines. That time Baba asked the question to the Margiis
– “From here, how far is the American cemetery?” And then Margiis replied,
‘Around one kilometer’.

Then, talking about the cemeteries, Baba told clearly that “Cemetery
sadhana is very encouraging for beginners.” All this talk was going on
while Baba was walking fast on the road. And many Margiis and WTs they were
following Him. as part of His entourage.

And there everything was recorded. Baba is clearly speaking “Cemetery
sadhana is very encouraging for beginners.”

(This entire audio file is on the above blog, just scroll down on the
left side.)

Naturally then Baba is giving the guideline to one and all to engage in
doing meditation in the cemetery.


The Propounder of Tantra, Lord Shiva, most of the time He was passing His
nights in the cemetery along with His disciples. And also His own son
Bhaerav and His daughter Bhaeravii were also accompanying Him and
practicing sadhana there. Indeed Lord Shiva passed many of His nights in
the cemeteries.

Baba says, “Shiva used to live in cemeteries, cremation grounds, lonesome
plains and on the different peaks of the Himalayas.” (VV, Disc 17)


As we all know the famous story. The first disciple Kalicharan got
initiation in the cemetery. This was blessing the special blessing of Baba.
And the place was none other than the wild cemetery of Kalighat, Calcutta
where so many antisocial elements were hiding. So see, when the birth of
Ananda Marga happened in the cemetery, then there should not be any complex
or doubt that cemetery sadhana is only for some but not for others. Rather
as Baba guides us it is beneficial for all– including new people.
So we should all wholeheartedly take up the practice of regular cemetery
sadhana, especially on days of upavasa. And according to one’s limitations
and strengths one should do. So if going at night is not possible due to
various reasons then at least one should try to go during daytime. That
also is beneficial. And that will inculcate more and more devotion into
one’s life.


Here below is Baba’s well-known guideline about devotion– bhakti, love for

Baba says, “The devotional sentiment is the highest and most valuable
treasure of humanity…the brightest jewel of the human heart. This element
of devotion the most precious treasure of humanity must be preserved most
carefully. Because it is such a tender inner asset to preserve it from the
onslaughts of materialism, one must build a protective fence around it…we
must not permit this highest human treasure to be destroyed.” (NH-LOI)


What Every Intelligent Person Should Do

Baba says, “Each and every intelligent person of the world, everyone who
has an iota of intelligence, should try to goad all their energies, all
their propensities unto Him. He is the Supreme Shelter. There is no
alternative.” (AVM-3, p.33)


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