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Archive for July, 2010

To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: A Few Corrections For Ananda Sutram
Date: Fri 30 Jul 2010 19:45:02 +0500 (IST)
From: Ram Sahay Kulshresth

Baba

“Jhar’er ra’te a’ndha’rete kendechilum van-ma’jhe…” (P.S. 3199)

Purport:

Baba on that very dark night when a big hurricane & thunderstorm
was raging, that time I was crying alone in the deep forest.
Nobody was there to understand the tale of my suffering. Nobody
was close to me. Certainly You were there along with me, but due
to my narrow outlook I could not feel Your presence. And in the
height of that wild storm big branches were breaking off from the
trees and crashing down on the ground. And all those tender buds
and beautiful flowers were also completely blown off from the
limbs of the trees; those buds and flowers were crying bitterly.
That very dark, horrendous night was so disastrous.

Baba, in the madhuvan* of my mind when that hurricane finished,
then a sweet, soft, breeze started blowing by Your grace; and I
began to feel Your divine, blissful vibration. And ultimately by
Your great compassion that deadly night of the cimmerian darkness
has passed away entirely; it is completely gone. Baba, You are
the Saviour of all, the Benevolent Entity, the dearest one of
my heart.

Baba, my most close One, by Your grace please come closer and
closer with Your sweet, charming, & attractive smile…

*Madhuvan= Literally meaning “sweet forest”; But it refers to that
remote, isolated, garden in the mind that is filled with spring
blossoms, sweet fragrance, aromatic flowers, and a gentle & fragrant
breeze. It is that tranquil mental abode where nobody is present
except the devotee and the Lord. And there the bhakta and Parama
Purusa sit together ensconced in that very divinely intoxicated
atmosphere and they share the loving feeling of their heart in
a very close, intimate, and loving way.

== A FEW CORRECTIONS FOR ANANDA SUTRAM ==

Namaskar,
Our Ananda Sutram book is very good. However recently when I was
reviewing this text in a more careful manner, I found certain mistakes.
One of the translators and publishers could not properly convey Baba’s
teaching. It is not anyone’s fault per se – such mistakes happen – as
sadhakas it is our collective duty to correct such errors.

IMPORTANCE OF ANANDA SUTRAM

As we all know, Ananda Sutram stands as Baba’s seminal work in the realm
of AM philosophy.

Baba says, “The recognized book on Ananda Marga Philosophy is A’nanda
Su’tram.” (APH-4, “Our Philosophical Treatise”)

Baba says, “A’nanda Su’tram is our philosophical treatise.” (CC-1,
“Svadhyaya”)

Plus AM philosophy is completely new and unique – such a philosophy
never existed before on this earth.

Baba says, “The trend of thinking and the spiritual practices prescribed
in our Ananda Marga are not only new but something quite different from
the established ideas and practices…Never before in the entire history
of this world or the universe, if it could be known to mortals, has a
system of life…ever been correlated in such closely knit society as in
Ananda Marga.” (PNS-11)

Thus when Ananda Sutram is such an important book and when AM philosophy
is totally revolutionary and unique, then it only stands to reason we
should ensure this book is properly published & printed.

KEY FACT ABOUT ANANDA SUTRAM

Here is one thing we should all be very clear about regarding Ananda
Sutram. In the very early days of AMPS, Baba put forth the sutras of
Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and dictated the purport of each sutra in
Bengali. That is the source material of all other language editions of
Ananda Sutram.

Those who are not aware think that Ananda Sutram is originally from
Bangla but it is not. Ananda Sutram is Sanskrit because Ananda Sutram
refers to the sutras, not the purports. All the sutras have been given
in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit does not have its own script, they were
written in Shriihars’a script. Plus the title itself is Sanskrit.

To review then, Baba gave the sutras of Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and
dictated the purport of each sutra in Bengali.

HOW IT WAS WRONGLY TRANSLATED AND PUBLISHED

In the first chapter of Ananda Sutram, Baba is explaining how the entire
expressed universe was created as well as how the unit beings eventually
merge back into Parama Purusa. Baba’s philosophy is of course flawless,
and He explains everything in such a clear and concise manner.

So it is a bit of a tragedy that there is one key point from the purport
of sutra 1-21 that has been wrongly published in the English edition –
in two ways.

First the Bengali word pralaya (pra = special; laya = merging;
hence, merging back into the Supreme) was translated as “utter
destruction” in the final sentence of the purport. That was a
translation error. Then certain editors or publishers put that same
“utter destruction” phrase in brackets [ ] to indicate that as the
proper definition of pralaya or pran’a’sha in the second sentence. That
was an editing mistake.

But both of these instances are wrong because in that very purport
itself Baba Himself defines pralaya or pran’a’sha as “when the object
merges in its cause” – i.e. when the unit being merges into the Supreme.

Here it should be noted that “-laya” is common suffix that means merging
such as vilaya meaning properly dissolved. And pralaya, of course means,
merging into Parama Purusa.

Hence it is totally wrong to translate or define pralaya or pran’a’sha
as “utter destruction”. Dogmatic Hindus use the word in this way
(explained further down in this letter), but not Ananda Margiis.

Initially, a translation error was made of the word pralaya, and then
certain editors repeated that mistake. That is why now there are two
mistakes in the purport of sutra 1-21.

Here is the sutra and purport of 1-21, for your review, as it appears in
the current English edition of Ananda Sutram. See the mistakes for
yourself.

1-21. Bhu’ma’vya’pte Mahati aham’ cittayorpran’a’she
sagun’a’sthitih savikalpasama’dhih va’.

[When the aham and the citta merge into the Macrocosmic Mahat, the
merger is called sagun’a’sthiti or savikalpa sama’dhi.]

“Purport: When after continued spiritual practice the mahattattva, that
is, the “I” feeling, gets metamorphosed into the Macrocosmic “I”
feeling, the citta of the microcosmic mind merges in the aham and the
aham merges in the mahat. When the object merges in its cause, that
merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha [utter destruction]. Since the
citta of the Macrocosm grows out of the Macrocosmic Aham, and the
Macrocosmic Aham out of the Macrocosmic Mahat, when in pratisaincara’s
introversial movement the [unit] citta merges in the aham and the aham
in the mahat, to call it pran’a’sha is quite logical and reasonable. The
state of utter destruction of the citta and the aham and the state of
all-pervasiveness of the mahat constitute sagun’a’sthiti [the state of
transcendentality], or savikalpa sama’dhi [the trance of determinate
absorption].” (Ananda Sutram)

In His unique explanation, Baba states that “when the object merges in
its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha”. Here the point
is that when any unit being becomes one with Cosmic Consciousness then
that is pralaya or pran’a’sha.

There is no ambiguity about this because in His 19 Oct 1971 discourse in
Purnea, Baba designates an entire paragraph to describe the meaning of
pran’a’sha. (Reference AV-27 (H), p.45 or AV-26 (H), p 90)

In that paragraph, Baba tells that if sugar could be converted back into
sugar cane then that is pran’a’sha. Because pran’a’sha or pralaya means
merging back into the source.

But, in Ananda Sutram 1-21, in square brackets [ ] the publishers
inserted the phrase “utter destruction” as if that is the real meaning
of pralaya or pran’a’sha. That is totally wrong. Plus in the final
sentence, the original Bengali purport uses the phrase the pralaya yet
that got wrongly translated as “the state of utter destruction”.

Those are the two mistakes from sutra 1-21 of the English edition of
Ananda Sutram wherein pralaya got wrongly translated and printed as
“utter destruction”.

WHY IT IS WRONG

According to Baba, when a jiiva’tma’ reaches the apex stance of
pratisaincara and, due to sadhana and His divine grace, merges back into
the Supreme then that is pralaya or pran’a’sha because at the point the
unit has merged back into its Source. In that case there is no question
of there being “utter destruction” – the unit being has not been harmed,
ruined or destroyed. Rather a blissful merger has taken place as the
jiivatma has fulfilled its dharma and become one with Parama Purusa.

The dogmatic Hindu understanding of pralaya or pran’a’sha is destruction
and unfortunately that wrong notion got inserted in Ananda Sutram by
certain publishers. Such Hindus believe that the whole world will be
destroyed just as other religions harbor their own doomsday and
Armageddon philosophies. We however do not subscribe to such beliefs and
more about this is written below. Such fundamentalists do this to scare
and trap others in their dogma.

FIX YOUR BOOK: WHAT SHOULD BE

Everyone who has a copy of the English edition of Ananda Sutram should
cross out the two places where “utter destruction” appears in the
purport of sutra 1-21. In that very purport Baba Himself has perfectly
defined pralaya and pran’a’sha as “when the object merges in its cause,
that merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha”.

Hence where “utter destruction” was inserted in brackets it should be
deleted entirely, and where “utter destruction” was used as the
translated text, that phrase should be crossed out and the word pralaya
inserted. Then your personal English copy of Ananda Sutram will be
correct, otherwise not.

And again there is no doubt about this. Because in His Hindi discourse
printed in AV-26 (H) and AV-27 (H), Baba has specifically defined
pran’a’sha as meaning merger into the Supreme Source. That is why there
is no question of pran’a’sha or pralaya meaning anything else – there is
no possible confusion. Baba is always meticulous on such issues wherein
He gives His own dharmic explanation so people do not get misguided by
traditional dogmatic uses. He has done the same with brahamacarya. In AM
we have our dharmic understanding and traditional Hindu society has
their limited dogma. Baba addresses both so there is no confusion.

If still the publishers would like to explain further about the
meaning of pralaya, then they could use either a bracketed section
signifying merger into the Divine or perhaps add a footnote and write a
short paragraph. In that footnote, the editors can explain how when any
thing returns to its origin or source then that is pralaya. Just like
Baba did by giving the example of sugar being converted back into sugar
cane. Ultimately the editors have the freedom to choose on such matters.

But to print the phrase “utter destruction” as the perfection synonym or
translation of pralaya is totally misleading and wrong. Pralaya does not
mean “utter destruction”. That is just the dogmatic Hindu understanding
of that term. In reality, according to Ananda Marga, pralaya means that
sweet and blissful merger back into the Supreme – to return to the
original source.

All in all the publishers are working hard on our AM books and they have
made vast strides in making our books better. In this case then they
could have done better.

BEWARE OF THIS KEY DISTINCTION

In AM philosophy, pralaya means the merger back into the Supreme, by His
grace.

The Hindus refer to pralaya as the demolition of this earth, or doomsday
etc.

Here it should be noted that there are many shared words between AM
philosophy and Hindu dogma that carry vastly different meanings: dharma,
brahamcarya, samskara, brahmin, shudra, dvija, vipra, svarga, naraka,
samadhi, yoga, yajina, murti, puja, Guru, and many more. There is the
AM dharmic meaning and the Hindu dogmatic sense.

In the same way pralaya in Hindi means utter destruction and in AM it
means merging back into the Supreme.

Only when Baba is referring to that Hindu dogma in order to dispel it –
since we do not prescribe to any doomsday theory – then Baba uses the
word pralaya in that sense.

Baba says, “Some philosophers, quoting the scriptures, say that a day of
final doom will darken the Earth when the dead will rise from the grave.
Others predict that a doomsday (pralaya)… will obliterate all forms of
life. One should laugh at such illogical doctrines. According to A’nanda Ma’rga
philosophy, this doomsday or pralaya will never occur…Thus, predictions
of an imminent doomsday should be of no concern to you. It is nonsense;
pralaya will never occur.” (AV-7)

So in Ananda Marga, pralaya means the final merger back into Parama
Purusa whereas in the faulty Hindu doctrine pralaya means the utter
destruction of earth.

We must not confuse these meanings nor think that Baba gives an iota of
credence to the dogmatic Hindu concept of pralaya. He only uses the term
in that way in order to dispel that Hindu dogma.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace He has given a perfect philosophy and it is our duty to
make all the books proper. We should start by correcting our own
personal English edition of Ananda Sutram.

Those in Publications are trying hard and getting much better. Our
intention in this letter is simply to make the printed English edition
of Ananda Sutram mistake-free, not diminish the effort of those in
Publications. Even then, if they were more careful, they could have done
a better job.

We all need to make these important corrections in our copies of Ananda
Sutram (English edition); please inform others in your unit as well.

Baba says, “The scriptures containing spiritual injunctions must be
totally flawless.” (NSS, Disc: 14)

Namaskar,
Ram Sahay

****************************************
Sadhana Symptoms

Sometimes a few margiis get confused by seeing others crying or rolling on
the ground during dharmacakra etc. They think that the person doing like
this is very exalted. But Baba says that when maturity of sadhana comes,
then such feelings and expressions do not manifest externally. Baba says
these things get expressed externally only in the case of very basic
beginners– not with more developed margiis.

Baba says, “When sadhakas attain the capability to establish themselves in
cosmic feeling for long periods, these ideations are confined to the mental
body only and the physical body becomes calm to a great extent.” (GHC,
‘Iishvara Pranidhan’ chapter)

****************************************
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To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Theresa Maddox
Subject: Needs of Margii Children
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 23:41:12 -0400

Baba

“Toma’r katha’i bha’vite bha’vite, din cale ja’y kato na’…” (PS 2264)

Purport:

Baba, my days are passing thinking only about Your stories and tales. By
Your grace my time is spent involved in kiirtan, asana, sadhana, svadhyaya,
and ideating on You. All day long Your divine image is floating in my
mental plate– in my Guru cakra. Even then, when I sit in meditation then
You do not come in my heart. It makes me think I do not have any sadhana
and that is why You are not coming to me. For this reason I feel that the
intensity of my sadhana is not proper. Otherwise when I sit in dhyana. You
would bless me by coming.

Baba, by Your grace I feel in my heart that You love me; I can sense
that You understand my painful and melancholic longing for You. By Your
divine compassion I also know that You keep my ‘I-feeling’ and memories
with You. Baba, I understand that You are always thinking about me and
watching for my welfare. In spite of all this, Your love and my love could
not merge. These two things could not become one. Baba, You have not come
so I could not hold You and I could not get You very close. That is why
there is an aching pain lingering in my heart.

Baba, please mold me according to Your liking so that I can realise You
more deeply, more intimately. Baba, by Your grace I love You and You love
me, so do with me as You wish– according to Your desire. Baba, please give
me the realisation that there is no one other than You in this vast
universe. Sometimes I think my worldly friends are my true saviours and
that they are going to help me in my hour of need– up to eternity.
Sometimes I think like this. O’ divine One, please shower me in Your grace
compassion so I can realise in the core of my heart that only You are my
eternal shelter.*

Baba, please come in my heart…

ASTERISK NOTES (*):

* “Tumi cha’r’a na’i jagate kehai…”: In this last line of the above
Prabhat Samgiita the devotee wants the divine realisation that only Parama
Purusa is the eternal shelter. This same type of ideas expressed in Baba’s
below teaching.

Baba says, “Because of His grace, they will get energy or strength from
Him, and with that strength they will move forward. Without His grace, no
one can move even a single step forward. And for this people should always
remember that by their own efforts they do not make any progress, rather it
is due to the wish of Parama Purus´a that they make any progress at all. It
is the duty of Parama Purus´a to help them to move forward. This 100%
reliance on Parama Purus´a is called ‘Prapatti’ in the scriptures. Sadhakas
should always maintain the spirit of ‘Prapatti…– ‘Whatever takes place
in the universe and whatever qualities I possess is all due to His grace.
He is the Lord of everything; He is the machine-man, and I am simply a
machine’.” (SS-18)

== NEEDS OF MARGII CHILDREN ==

Namaskar,
Everyone wants that our Marga should flourish– both now in the present and
in the future as well. This earnest desire every sincere A’nanda Ma’rgii has.
Over the course of history each and every society has also realised that
for the successful continuation of their community, the children or youth
of that society must be brought into the fold. That is the common belief
and understanding.

The same is the case with our Marga: It is imperative that our margii
children grow up to be devoted and committed Ananda Margiis. This will be
good for their individual development; it will be good for the society; and
it will be good for the cohesiveness of our AMPS.

Unfortunately, from Ranchi to Kolkata, from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires,
from Bangkok to Tokyo, and from Rome to Johannesburg, our Margii children
are not making it into our Marga– not at the rate that is necessary. Too
many are falling between the cracks and not growing up to be involved
members of AM society.

However, it is sure that this situation is going to be properly rectified
in the coming days, months, and years. To this end, it is important to both
identify the problems and put forth practical solutions. And everyone
should also write in with their thoughts and suggestions.

As we overcome the present obstacles, more and more margii children will
become strong devotees of Baba and great sadhakas in the society.

DIFFICULTIES IN THIS PRESENT ERA

Perhaps the greatest hurdle of today for margii children is that they are
just plain outnumbered. In India the situation is a bit better in a few of
the village areas, but even then throughout the vast majority of Delhi
sector and certainly across the globe, our margii community is but a tiny,
miniscule number within the greater society. We are basically flooded by
the common masses in each and every region.

In such a scenario our child invariably attend schools where they are the
only Ananda Margiis or at best those margii children are part of a very
small minority. In that case those young impressionable minds are
surrounded by all the crude ways of the common people: From food to dress,
from after-school activities to conversation topics, and from
pseudo-culture to religious dogma.

Naturally then our margii children get affected by seeing what those around
them are doing. That is the reality of what is happening and we cannot
blame them for that. Rather it is up to us to make the situation more
favourable for them. And that is what Ananda Margiis across the globe are
striving for: To create sentient environments in which to raise our
children.

A CASE COMPARISON

Once when I was travelling across Delhi sector I came across a distinct
contrast between two “Margii” families. And that may shed insight into the
direction in which we need to move. Or it may just be a description that is
already quite obvious to you. Here is the scenario.

In one family, the margii parents had six children: Four boys and two
girls. And the father was extremely determined to raise them as true Ananda
Margiis. The mother was basically supportive but not quite so active in
this matter. All in all, despite being surrounded by non-margiis, those
children all grew up in a distinctly margii environment. They were all sent
to Ananda Nagar to receive an Ananda Marga education, when home then
special children’s dharma cakras were arranged for them, and from top to
bottom every effort was made to involve and surround the children with AM
activities. And the final outcome is that all six children grew up to
become devotionally inspired sadhakas who are solid participants in today’s
AM society.

In contrast, there was another Ananda Margii family where the situation
turned out quite differently. The father was a well-known, vigilant margii
who was stationed all across India for his governmental job yet wherever he
was placed then first and foremost he was doing Baba’s work. However in his
home he was quite relaxed and he felt that when the children get older then
he will introduce them into Ananda Marga. Unfortunately his wife was hardly
an Ananda Margii and sure enough as time went by the children hardly knew
of Ananda Marga. And when the time came that the father hoped to bring them
into AM, the children wanted no part of it. Already the damage was done.
Their minds and hearts were elsewhere. And that is why to this very day, in
his own home that father is nearly an alien. He worked hard to build AM
everywhere but there is not even a trace of AM in the very house where he
lives. And indeed his three children have grown and they have not an ounce
of sadhana in their lives and no relation with AM.

These are two case scenarios. Of course there are hundreds of
possibilities. Sometimes the mother is more of a devotee than that father
and various other scenarios exist. But one common factor seems to be that
the children need maximum positive exposure to AM in order to grow up to be
strong Ananda Margiis– otherwise it is a losing battle.

Of course this is a vast topic with so many perspectives and viewpoints so
here following are but a few of the innumerable positive solutions which
exist.

A FEW SOLUTIONS

These following are some possible ways to help make our children into good
sadhakas and established Ananda Margiis. These are things which we have
inculcated into the lives of our own children in our home as well as things
we hope to bring into their lives in the near future:

1. Bring them into AM life as early as possible. Their food habits and
bed-time stories should all be sentient based and flavoured with the
sweetness of devotion and neo-humanism.

2. By the age of three or four, try to make their formal education immersed
in AM ways of doing and thinking. Songs and games should be universal in
nature and kiirtan should be incorporated into their daily life. One minute
or two minutes before their various activities.

3. Margii children should be encouraged to play and interact with other
margii children. If there are no other margii families in the local school
district then try and make arrangements for margii children to play
together after-school or on the weekends. This is what we have done and it
has had a big effect.

4. On Sundays, it is very good to have two dharmackras: either one after
another or going on simultaneous. The latter may be better. In either
scenario it is needed for there to be a weekly children’s dharmacakra that
is perfectly AM based yet also suited to the needs and interests of the
children. The DC should be age appropriate where games, puzzles, song,
dance, meditation, stories, and philosophical tales are all merged into one.

5. The celebration of AM festivals is also a great way to bring children
into the flow of our Marga. Instead of them thinking that various dogmatic
religious holidays are the best time of year. Rather may we educate our
children about our AM festivals and in our own house those days should be
treated with a wonderfully festive and holiday atmosphere. By Baba’s grace
this suggestion which was told to us by our Didi has worked to a high
degree in our own home as well as with other local margiis.

6. Attending the sectorial retreats on an annual basis are also an
important aspect. The children should meet all our acaryas and be
comfortable with our AM way of life. Going twice a year to big AM retreats
throughout their childhood will help them establish the base that AM is
their home and family. Then even if they are not able to attend an AM
school, there remains a distinct memory of AM in their childhood.

7. Perhaps the golden rule is to bring AM more and more into the child’s
life from the very outset of their existence and to increase those
activities as the child grows. The content of their activities, the friends
they have, and the emphasis that we as parents place on AM all help to
establish our children onto the proper path.

No doubt this era is a difficult one but by Baba’s grace we can create that
special environment wherein we raise true Ananda Margiis. And indeed this
is Baba’s Supreme Command: “It is the bounden duty of every Ananda Margii
to endeavour to bring all to the path of bliss. Verily is it a part and
parcel of sadhana to lead others along the path of righteousness.”

BABA’S DIVINE TEACHING

As margiis, as mothers and fathers, as acaryas, and as sadhakas, it is our
combined and collective responsibility to bring each and every child of our
Marga into a spiritually inspired and devotionally way of living. All
should come into our AM society and become the pillars of the future
humanity.

Baba says, “Children will become assets of society in the future to the
extent that their parents or guardians discharge their duties properly.”
(HS-1)

BABA’S GRACE

By Baba’s grace as we follow His universal ideas our Marga will be flooded
with the grand participation of more and more of our children. May this
moment come at the earliest.

Baba says, “Move along the Path of Righteousness with the spirit of
Universal Fraternity, victory is yours. The blessing of Parama Purus’a is
always with you. [Athens, 11.9.79]

Namaskar,
Tarini

Note: WORKING TOGETHER

This is a vast and open topic– as well as a most important one. All are
highly encouraged to write in with their own successes and ideas on this.
There is no one answer, rather all have great contributions and suggestions
to make on the ways to best bring our children into the joyful, moral,
spiritual, and devotional light of Ananda Marga.

******************************************
LONGEVITY

Baba says, “Spiritual practice makes the mind calm and quiet, and maintains
the nerves in a state of equipoise; and thus spiritual practice increases
longevity. Those Vaishnavites who are vegetarians, who regularly sing
spiritual songs, do meditation, perform virtuous deeds and think pure
thoughts, live longer than ninety years.” (AV-33, p.113)

Note: By following the devotional cult of AM and abiding by general health
rules every sadhaka is ensured a long and healthy life. That is Baba’s
guarantee.

******************************************

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Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 22:46:07 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Pierre LeTour
Subject: How to Improve Sadhana: Part XI

Baba

“Tumi je path diye giyechile priyo, se pathe a’jo surabhi rayeche…” -2781

Purport:

Baba, even today Your sweet aroma remains lingering on that path– on
the path which You have traveled. Baba, the songs which You sang so
beautifully in tune and rhythm, those very songs are ever-present in the
deep core of my heart. Their lingering resonance still vibrates my entire
being.

O’ my dearmost Baba, I cannot ever forget Your blissful tales; it is
impossible for me to forget. Your divine advent in my mind is far more
significant than hundreds of lives of sadhana, & its penance. Baba, You are
the most meaningful thing in my life. By Your grace, You have presented
Yourself after my hundreds of lives of searching and longing.

Baba, even if You do not remain close to me, my mind does not go far
from You. By Your grace I always remain ensconced in Your blissful
ideation. Baba, keeping all my longings for You in my heart, I will go on
singing Your divine songs day and night. Baba, by Your grace You have made
me understand this truth: That to do any extraordinary task is impossible
for those who have a dry heart. Only those with innate love for You will be
able to climb over the insurmountable mountains. Others cannot because in
each and every sphere of life Your grace is everything. Without that
nothing is possible. Baba, by Your own qualities You have bound me with
Your divine love and by Your grace You always keep me under Your shelter.

Baba, Your sweet and charming aroma keeps me thinking about You
constantly…

== HOW TO IMPROVE SADHANA: PART 11 ==

Namaskar,
We know that nowadays the trend of so-called movement is from west to east.
No doubt fake yogis in the west are copying and downgrading the ancient
yoga tradition of the east. But far greater numbers in the east and in the
so-called less developed nations are emulating all aspects of western
pseudo-culture and lifestyle. Because most think that the western nations
and in particular the US are the top of the world. On the crude display of
money and false advertisments innocent people get led into this dogmatic
belief that the so-called first-world nations are number 1.

Of course for Ananda Margiis, we know well that Baba’s way is greatest
thing. Whatever Baba has directed then that is the best plan– in every
field of life.

Using His standard as the measuring rod, then those countries whose
traditional ways more closely resemble the approach of AM then they
comparatively better. Whereas those nations whose ways are opposite to AM
style, then their status is a step down. By using this simple formula then
we can get a clearer picture.

Of course the main goal here is not to prove one country as being better
than another. But rather to get all persons on the planet moving
collectively in the right direction– towards the path of dharma.

For instance let’s just take a practice which is done around the globe,
such as bathing.

BABA’S PERFECT SYSTEM OF BATHING

In point #6 of Sixteen Points Baba has given the most perfect, the most
scientific, and the healthiest way to bathe. In that way He beautifully
directs us that:

“Bathe should be done according to the prescribed system.”
(Point #6 of Sixteen Points)

Ands while there are many do’s and don’ts of His prescribed bath system,
some very basic ones include that:

1. Bath should be taken on a daily basis; twice daily in hot season;
2. Water should not be more than the body temperature;
3. Bath should be done from a sitting or kneeling posture.

At a minimum, these are some of the essentials regarding taking a proper bath.

And when done properly according to Baba’s entire system then bath has
innumerable benefits: (1) Freshness; (2) Shaoca (inner and outer
cleanliness); (3) Strengthens glands; (4) Energizes upper cakras; (5)
Enhanced blood circulation; (6) Mental Sharpness; (6) Overall positivity by
attracting positive microvita; (7) Spiritual zeal; (8) And so many more
benefits.

Then by looking west and east and seeing how they bathe we can easily get a
look at which nations are moving in the better direction– that is closer
to the perfect ideal of Ananda Marga. Because sometimes those feeling
inferior have better practices but due to their inferiority complex they
feel they should be like the dominant so called first-world countries of
the west.

Thus as Ananda Margiis we should eradicate such differences and open the
doors for all to follow Baba’s unique system of dharma.

Here follow then is a brief look from west to east.

GOING COUNTRY BY COUNTRY

For much of the modern era, France was looked upon as King of western
(pseudo)-culture and all were emulating the France’s glorified stance. And
while there are many ways to measure, just on the point of bath we can see
how far France was leading the way or not. Here it is a straight-forward race
because if nothing else the common French citizens were and are notorious
for not taking baths at all. Of course not all were like this but that was
the general trend and various French citizens were vocal and proud of the
fact that they did not bathe on daily basis. Sometime bathing only twice a
week. So by our common judgement we can see that this is not at all proper.

Likewise in the US, although bathing is done comparatively more frequently
than in France, but it is done with blistering hot water– and nearly
always from a standing position. So these two distinct drawbacks lead to
numerous problems in life from damage to the reproductive organs to mental
lethargy to improper hygiene to spiritual dullness.

In comparison the so-called third world countries of the east and other
lands follow a much more refined and healthy bathing system. Of course even
then there are exceptions such as some individuals who do not bath
regularly nor properly. But overall, such as in India, the common citizens
all bath every day. And the traditional way is with cold or less than body
temperature water, and various mantras and salutations they do. And not
just India but numerous other simple countries follow a traditionally more
natural bathing process that is better for the body and mind than what the
high-powered western countries do.

Even then nowadays throughout the east and various third-world nations,
much of the common mass is deeply interested in following the crude western
approach to bathing using a stand-up shower and hot water etc. As they
think that this will make them more respected or more civisilised. So this
is the dogma they sadly suffer from. And not just on the point of bath but
on innumerable points are like that where the comparatively simple and
better ways of the east get dwarfed by western pseudo-culture. So all this
is a mess.

And as Ananda Margiis are duty is to respected and encourage the dignity of
one and all and simultaneously bring everyone under the dharmic umbrella of
Ananda Marga. So on the point of bath and in all respects people should be
brought under Baba’s divine shelter and shown the proper way.

As always everyone– all sadhakas of AM are warmly invited to share their
own experiences about western and eastern nations and well as the dharmic
teachings of AM.

A FEW DHARMIC GUIDELINES

Here following then are some of Baba’s direct reminders and teachings.

In the following quote Baba is impressing upon us the need to bath using a
sufficient scrubber, not just soap with the bare hand.

Baba says, “Due to the accumulation of dead protoplasmic cells, a bad smell
arises in the body. The reason for this is not taking a proper bath and
washing away the dead cells.” (MVNS, p. 56)

Here below Baba is guiding us that during hot season and other times when
needed, bathing should be done multiple times a day.

Baba says, “Due to the secretion of smelly hormones, an unpleasant odour is
emitted from the body. Everyone should take a bath at regular intervals to
clean the body.” (MVNS, p. 56)

In the following quote Baba is giving a special health remedy for children
and senior citizens and at the same time reminding us that under no
conditions should the bath water be warmer than body temperature.

Baba says, “When children are massaged with oil and then bathed in
sun-warmed water it increases their vitality. Sun-warmed water is also
beneficial for older people, however for older people it is not good if the
temperature of the sun-warmed water is greater than the temperature of the
body.” (SC-3, p. 105)

In various other places Baba also guides us that for healthy adults taking
a cold bath is best.

BABA’S BLESSING

Baba says, “The man who is intelligent should, from his very childhood,
move along the path of proto-spirituality. The sooner a man starts and
moves along this path of psycho-spirituality, the better it is. He is the
blessed one.” (AV-12, p.75)

Namaskar,
Prakash

Note 1: SYSTEM FOR TAKING BATH

As everyone is aware, here following is Baba’s basic guideline for bathing.
Baba says, “First pour water on the navel. Then wet the region below the
navel by splashing water from the front. Then pour water from behind.
Thereafter pour water on the crown of the head in such a way that it
trickles down over the backbone. Then bathe all over.” (CC-3, p.1)

Then of course Baba has also given other points such as (a) Using a proper
cleansing agent, (b) Using a scrubber, (c) Using cool or cold water, (d)
Bathing in a seated position, (e) Not using hot water, (f) Not using
artificially scented soaps etc.

Plus, of course, afterwards we are to recite our “Pitr Purus’ebhyo namah”
mantra along with the proper mudra(s).

*****************************************
Real Wealth

“Ya’jinavalkya asked, ‘What would you like?'”

“Maetreyii replied: ‘Yena’ham’ na’mrtasya’m’ tena’ham’ kim kurya’m'”

“‘What will I do with things which will not remain with me permanently? Of
what use are the objects which will not establish me in
immortality?…’Please give me that thing which will remain with me
permanently, which I’ll be able to preserve forever, which will establish
me in immortality. I don’t want anything else.'”

“Then Ya’jinavalkya gave her a number of instructions, upon which a major
part of Raja Yoga is based’.” (AV-7, p.44)

Note: As described in the above quote: Really, worldly things cannot remain
with us very long. That is why ideal people run towards Parama Purusa.
Being Parama Purusa and Guru, Baba Himself has guided us how to reach Him.
On this point, we are extremely fortunate to at least have gotten the path.
Now our main duty is to follow it.

******************************************

Read Full Post »

From: “Gagan”
To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: Desperately Searching For Love…
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:06:05 -0000

Baba

== DESPERATELY SEARCHING FOR LOVE WITH DOGS ==

Namaskar,
Here below are a few articles depicting the scene of pet care and, in
particular dog care, in the US nowadays. The rich and wealthy are
spending $43 billion annually catering to their pets accessing services
like pet resorts, spas, & personal trainers etc. Yet side by side, in
the US there remain 2 million homeless people, 15 million jobless and
unable to get the minimum requirements needed for life, and millions of
children go to bed every night hungry.

In addition people have become totally emotionally linked with their
pets such that they kiss their dogs and have their dogs sleep with them
in the same bed at night. Tragically in this materialistic, techno-age
society, people have become alienated from one another and from
spirituality and instead invest all their emotional attachments and love
unto their pet, i.e. dog. In a nutshell, that is the situation these
days in the US.

So on the one side dogs are treated lavishly and given top-grade care,
and on the other side there are millions of homeless people in the US
who have nowhere to live and no food to eat. Such is the growing dichotomy.

Our first and foremost duty is to take care of humans and then animals;
indeed when our fellow brothers and sisters are hungry and dogs are
treated like kings then what kind of society is that. Certainly we are
to love all beings, including dogs, but not at the expense of or instead
of human care. Such are the parameters of our AM ideology.

Baba says, “In many countries the cost of the monthly meat ration for
the dog of a rich person exceeds the salary of a teacher.” (HS-1)

Here the point is that we are to care for our fellow human beings first
– humans should not be second-class citizens in favour of dogs etc. We
should first ensure all humans are properly housed, fed, cared for,
clothed, and educated.

Unfortunately, nowadays, billions and billions of dollars are spent on
luxury items for dogs while around the globe there are at minimum 2
billion people living in ghettos, slums (jhuggi-jhopari), and shanty
towns etc. Such people live without clean running water while
innumerable dogs in the US drink filtered water out of silver bowls.

The situation has really become over the top. This is how capitalism
works: The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Those with
excess money become degraded.

Baba says, “Where there is over-accumulation people tend to misutilize
wealth by indulging in their baser propensities rather than their finer
ones.” (“Three Causes of Sin)

The wealthy in the US spend more on indulgences for themselves and
extravagances for their pets than helping the suffering humanity. Such
people are involved in sin, according to Baba.

Indeed, the amount of money ($43 billion) spent on pets in the US is
more than the gross domestic product of 110 nations around the globe,
including countries like Sri Lanka ($41 billion), Guatemala ($37
billion), Kenya (32 billion), El Salvador (21 billion), Iceland (12
billion), and Nepal ($12 billion). Or how about this: what the entire
country of Mongolia spends in ten years is equal to what rich pet owners
spend in a single year.

Please read below to learn how pampered dogs have become in the US,
whereas people shun other humans who are in need.

Namaskar,
Gagan

Michael Schaffer: America’s Going To The Dogs

“Pet fashion shows, Chihuahua social networking, veterinary
antidepressants [and] ambulance-chasing animal lawyers” are just the tip
of what Philadelphia-based journalist Michael Schaffer says is a kind of
pet-obsession iceberg in the lives of the American middle class.

When Philadelphia-based journalist Michael Schaffer’s dog started
messing the house and barking non-stop while he and his wife were at
work, he went to his veterinarian for help.

“It’s called separation anxiety,” his vet said. “There’s a drug for that.”

And while Schaffer and his wife had promised themselves they wouldn’t be
like those pet owners who spend a fortune on their pets, they sprung for
the antidepressants anyway — and then he wrote a book about it.

In //One Nation Under Dog,// Schaffer explores the $43 billion industry
that’s grown around our obsession with our pets and how that booming
market reflects our evolving ideas of consumerism, family, politics and
domesticity.

But One Nation Under Dog is no dry industry analysis: It’s a book, as
Schaffer explains on his Web site, that’s meant “to say as much about
how contemporary humans live as it does about the modern lives of dogs
and cats.”

Schaffer has worked as a writer and an editor at the Washington City
Paper, U.S. News and World Report and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

~ FROM DOGHOUSE TO OUR HOUSE ~

By the time we finally saw Murphy, we’d driven the two hours of highway
from our house in Philadelphia to what felt like the last rural place in
all of New Jersey. We’d nosed through the town— over a pair of railroad
tracks, past a warehouse, down a short road. And we’d gingerly tiptoed
past the chain-link fence that held Boss, the massive Saint Bernard at
the shotgun-style home opposite the town’s small-scale animal shelter.
My wife spotted him first, an oddly undersized example of the same breed
running around the muddy melting snow in the kennel’s yard: “It’s
Murphy!” she exclaimed.

We’d spotted the pup a few days earlier on Petfinder, the Web site that
lets prospective adopters eye hundreds of thousands of potential
adoptees from shelters all over the United States. For a long time, we’d
visited the site as a diversion, a way to kill time at work staring at
snapshots of wet noses and wagging tails and drooling jowls. We’d e-mail
links back and forth, each of them attached to a heartbreaking story of
how this particular dog was a sweetheart who really needed a place in
some family’s happy home. Eventually, we got to thinking that it was
about time we became that happy family.

And then we stumbled across the page that featured Murphy, his tongue
drooping, his watery eyes staring cluelessly from inside a cage that
turned out to be only two hours away. When we arrived that morning, we’d
been talking about him long enough to feel like he was already part of
our household. The woman who ran the shelter mashed a 100-length
cigarette into an old tin of dog food as she led him over. As they got
close enough for us to see the matted dreadlocks on Murphy’s back, Boss
began growling. “Don’t mind him,” the woman said, as the guard dog’s
growls turned to angry barks. “Boss don’t like other dogs.”

Murphy, though, was another story. He was sweet and cuddly and goofy,
exactly as we’d wanted. Of course, we tried to stay skeptical. Knowing
little about dogs when we started thinking about getting one, we’d
searched for wisdom in a book on how to adopt an animal. Don’t let those
heartbreaking shelter stories trick you into getting an animal you can’t
handle, it warned. Put them through the paces now, or suffer later. So
in the ensuing half hour, we tried the book’s suggested tests as best we
could. We put food in front of him and then snatched it away. No
growling. A good sign. We put more food in front of him and then pushed
his face away as he ate. No nipping. An even better sign. The shelter
manager gazed with dismay at this spectacle of anxious yuppiehood: one
of us reading reverently from the book, the other vaguely executing its
tests on the befuddled dog, neither of us quite sure what to do next.

Following the book’s instructions as if they were holy writ, we asked
how Murphy had wound up in the shelter— and then steeled ourselves
against what we’d been warned would be a maudlin spiel designed to
undercut doubts about a potentially troublesome pooch. The dog, we were
told, had been brought to her kennel twice. First he was turned in by
someone who the manager suspected hadn’t been able to unload this
especially runty runt of his litter: Murphy was eighteen months old and
63 pounds at the time; ordinary male Saint Bernards can weigh in at 180.
Next he was returned by a woman who couldn’t housebreak him.

“But she was some kind of backcountry hick,” said the shelter manager.
“She didn’t even know what she was doing.” Ever since, Murphy had been
waiting in a cage next to Boss’s yard, staring up at people like us.
“Look,” she said. “I don’t much care about you, but I do care about him.
And if he goes and bites someone, someone like you will put him down,
right? Since I don’t want that to happen, I’m telling you: He don’t bite.”

The logic was pretty good.

The dog was pretty sweet.

The time was pretty right.

And so we said yes, signing some not quite official-looking paperwork
the adoption document identified the dog as “Murfy”— before forking over
one hundred dollars and agreeing to take into our lives a Saint Bernard
with fleas and dreadlocks and a stench somewhere between warm bunion and
rotten tripe. The shelter manager whipped out a syringe, planted what
was purported to be a kennel cough shot into Murfy/Murphy’s snout, and
wished us well. We coaxed the dog into the backseat of our Honda, where
he promptly fell fast asleep.

As we began the drive home, we felt a bit proud of ourselves. Not for us
the fancy breeders sought out by so many in our sweetly gentrified
corner of upscale America. Not for us the genetically perfect beagles
and bassets and Bernese mountain dogs whose poop is sanctimoniously
plucked from city sidewalks in recycled blue New York Times
home-delivery bags. We’d gotten a dog, yeah, but we weren’t going to
become, like, those people— the ones who shell out for the spa days and
agility training and homeopathic medicine for their animals, the ones
who laugh it off when their puppies frighten children away from the
neighborhood playground, the ones who give up vacations and promotions
and transfers in order to save pooches with names like Sonoma and
Hamilton and Mordecai from having their lives disrupted. No, not us.

That’s what we were telling ourselves, anyway, when the PetSmart came
into view along the edge of the highway. “We should go in— get some food
and stuff,” said my wife. “It’ll just take a sec.” Thus began our
unwitting journey into the $41-billion-a-year world of the modern
American pet.

It didn’t take long to realize that the line between sober pet owner and
spendthrift overindulger wasn’t as clear as I’d imagined.

I started thinking about that very subject an hour or so after Murphy
nosed his way into the PetSmart— at around the time the
exhausted-looking staff at the in-store grooming salon told us there was
no way they could attend to our filthy new pet today; we ought to have
made reservations a couple of weeks in advance. My wife, who’d grown up
with a dog and had roughed out a budget when we started thinking about
adopting one of our own, hadn’t been aware that salon grooming was such
a standard piece of contemporary pet owning that chain stores had
weeks-long waiting lists. Still, without having to shell out for a wash,
we made it out of the store that day for under $200. Murphy had a new
bed, a pair of collars, an extend-o-leash that expands up to twenty-five
feet, a variety of chew toys— that he’s never used— and other goodies.
The spending seemed like basic, ordinary stuff.

But as anyone who’s read one of the dog-owner memoirs that seem to
occupy about half of the weekly New York Times best-seller list could
confirm, it was no onetime expense. It’s a basic law of pet
storytelling: Just as the romantic comedy vixen must wind up with the
guy she’d vowed not to marry if he were the last man on earth, so too
must the beloved dog stomp and scratch and poop on your very last nerve—
and chow down on your shrinking wallet— before weaseling his way into
your newly receptive heart. No surprise, then, that four years later
Murphy has gone through a variety of ever newer beds (he seemed not to
like the old ones) and redesigned collars and leashes (we wanted to try
the special ones that are said to keep dogs from pulling too hard) and
still more chew toys (we have a PetSmart discount card now and live in
the eternal hope of finding one he likes). He also owns Halloween
costumes (too adorable to resist), reindeer antlers (ditto), and a
picture of himself with Santa (alas, ditto once more).

He has been implanted with a LoJack-style microchip that will help us
find him if he gets lost.

His food— or should I say “foods”— comes from that burgeoning market
sector known as “superpremium.”

He’s stayed at an array of upscale local kennels— sorry, pet hotels—
when we’ve gone out of town.

On other trips, when we took him along, he got to stay in our hotel
room. One place left a doggie biscuit on his doggie bed and sent up a
babysitter when we went out.

Did I mention he’s on antidepressants? The vet diagnosed his anxious
howling when left alone as “separation anxiety,” and it turned out there
was a pill for it.

Or that he has a professional dog walker? In fact, the current one is
his second; the first dropped him because she had too many clients.

Or that when we tote up the numbers, he’s proven responsible for an
eerily large portion of our social life? Dragging us into the
neighborhood park on a daily basis, he’s introduced a wealth of new
neighborhood characters into our life. One of them was a cat whom
Murphy— to his lasting regret— found shivering in a hollow tree. We
brought her home and named her Amelia. And then there were two.

Then we decided to add a human baby to our flock. We’d known this would
mean prenatal treatments for my wife. It was a bit of a surprise,
though, when other prenatal attention focused on treating Murphy.
Worries about how the dog would react to that new child sent us
scurrying into the pricey orbit of one of our city’s best-known dog
trainers for six weeks of private lessons. Unfortunately, her take on
canine behavior was so different from that of the guy whose classes we’d
first taken upon adopting Murphy that we went scrambling to the massive
pet-care section of our local book superstore, where we have purchased a
veritable library of books about how better to raise pets.

In fact, both pets hover around all sorts of other spending decisions,
poking their snouts into our deliberations on things like furniture (“I
like it, but Amelia would rip it to shreds”) and— most painful of all—
our purchase of an SUV (between a new baby, a Saint Bernard, and a Honda
Civic, something had to give).

Despite all those early vows of pet frugality, I’ve not felt especially
strange about any of the choices we have made. At the time, each of them
seemed mundane and obvious: A dog needs walking when his owners stay
late at work; furniture and cars ought to match a household’s needs;
and, particularly with a baby in the mix, it makes eminent sense to work
on a large animal’s behavior. I would say that the story of Murphy and
us isn’t the story of a couple whose priorities were upended by a
heart-meltingly adorable animal but, rather, the tale of a household
engaged in what has become the normal way to raise a four-legged member
of the family. And yet when I tote it all up, the truth stares at me
with its own big, wet eyes: I’ve seen those people, and I’m one of ’em.
If you have pets in contemporary America, you probably are, too. Pleased
to meet you.

There are an awful lot of stories about pets in the media these days,
but nearly all of them fit into two basic categories.

Category number one is that old standard: the tearjerker, the tale of
the abused and the abandoned, the victims of indifferent owners or dire
shelters or youthful sociopaths or simply the cruel hand of fate. The
years I spent researching this book were a big period for such stories.
In Pennsylvania, a high-profile political campaign focused national
attention on puppy mills, the high-volume, low-standards facilities
where dogs are often kept in gruesome conditions as they churn out
litter after litter of merchandise for the nation’s pet stores. In
Virginia, the indictment and imprisonment of Atlanta Falcons quarterback
Michael Vick on federal dogfighting charges turned into a full-blown
media circus as reports detailed the dozens of pit bulls brutalized at
Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. And all across the country, the deaths of
hundreds of cats and dogs who ate tainted pet food pulled back the
curtain on an ill-regulated multibillion-dollar industry that happened
to feature some of the world’s biggest corporate names.

The sob stories stand in dramatic contrast to the second, and possibly
even bigger, category of pet reportage: the pampered pet tale, the
gape-jawed peek at the animal kingdom’s most coddled critters— and the
masseuses, chauffeurs, and pet-set fashionistas who cater to them.
Whether they take the form of a local newspaper detailing the opening
of, say, Duluth’s first luxury doggie spa, or of a sober national
magazine like BusinessWeek dedicating its cover story to the booming
U.S. pet industry, the pampered pet tales feature amazement— and hints
of disdain— at what many pet owners now see as ho-hum basics of life
with an animal. Yet while there’s a small army of activist groups, and
no shortage of scholars and reporters, who have dedicated themselves to
uncovering the root causes behind the sad and often criminal stories in
category one, there’s far less material examining the dramatic cultural
and economic changes that underlie the zany stories in category two.

This is a book about those changes. It’s a story about how America’s
housepets have worked their way into a new place in the hearts, homes,
and wallets of their owners. In a relatively short period of time, the
United States has become a land of doggie yoga and kitty acupuncture and
frequent-flier miles for traveling pets, a society where your inability
to find a pet sitter has become an acceptable excuse to beg off a dinner
invitation, a country where political candidates pander to pet owners
and dog show champions are feted like Oscar winners. Sure, some tales of
pampered pets still have the occasional ability to amaze us. Take
hotelier Leona Helmsley’s will, for instance, in which the “Queen of
Mean” left $12 million to a lapdog named Trouble while giving nothing to
several of her own grandchildren. Such far-fetched stories are part of
what scholar James Serpell calls the roi s’amuse tradition of pet tales:
The king amuses himself. But for the country’s 70 million non-Helmsley
pet-owning households, other examples of everyday luxury, once
unimaginable, seem de rigueur. Yesteryear’s table scraps have been
replaced by this year’s home-delivered doggie dinners.

What happened? It’s not like the animals have changed much. As any
nostalgic pet-owning memoir will illustrate, the party in the
relationship that changes is inevitably the human. Historians tell us
that we’ve always been suckers for that doggie in the window. But
exactly how that love manifests itself, and just who gets to go to the
barnyard dance, has evolved dramatically. Compared to our
subsistence-farming ancestors, we’re all kings now. So compared to their
ancestors, our pets live like princes.

Tales of pet keeping can be traced back to ancient societies. Tales of
animal pampering are nearly as old. In China, the Han emperor Ling was
so enamored of his pets that he elevated them to the rank of senior
officials in his court. Ling’s dogs got the best foods, slept on ornate
carpets, and were given personal bodyguards. For most of history,
though, ordinary people had to be spectators for such amusements. They
always had animals around, of course, like cows or chickens. But for the
most part, even the animals who weren’t there to be eaten had work to
do, herding sheep or pulling carts. Until recently, few people could
afford the variety of animal classified as a petthe one with no
productive job whatsoever.

And so it was up to the blue bloods. Members of the Athenian aristocracy
were said to pay twenty times the price of a human slave to buy
especially esteemed dogs. In Japan, the seventeenth-century shogun
Tsunayoshi so loved dogs that he made it illegal to speak of them in
impolite terms; he instituted unpopular new taxes to pay for his own
collection of one hundred thousand canine friends. In Uganda, the
despotic nineteenth-century king M’Tesa’s love for dogs prompted
courtiers to curry favor by keeping their own pets. In Britain, the
lapdogs in the entourage of Mary, Queen of Scots were clad in blue
velvet suits; she snuck one of her beloved brood to her own execution,
where it was discovered after Mary was beheaded. King Charles II, whose
passion for dogs was such that he once placed a newspaper ad after one
of his pets went missing, became the namesake of his own line of
Cavalier spaniels. After the Glorious Revolution placed William and Mary
on the throne, the couple sparked a new fancy for pugs from William’s
native Holland. The British Empire has waxed and waned over the
centuries, but Queen Elizabeth II still travels with her pack of corgis.

The connection between pet keeping and power remained true even as
royals gave way to tycoons atop society’s pecking order, and as pets
began to prowl the fault lines of class conflict. Nineteenth-century
Parisian pet-keeping fashions, with a proliferation of books, coats,
collars, bathing outfits, and the like, might have put even contemporary
Manhattan’s pet scene to shame: Could fancy doggie day cares compete
with wealthy flaneurs walking pet turtles through public arcades? But
even as Europe’s newly rich were embracing an ever-changing set of
pet-keeping fashions, there were great concerns over the supposedly
dangerous animals that belonged to the urban under-class. Moneyed types
worried that the blue-collar dogs had picked up what they saw as the
violent, unclean customs of their human companions. The solution to this
alleged problem: exorbitant animal taxes intended to put the squeeze on
proletarian pets. Only rich pet owners would do.

Well-tended animals also became standard upper-crust accoutrements in
the new nation across the Atlantic, where all people were supposed to be
able to reach the top, and to bring their animals with them. As early as
1899, Thorstein Veblen, the great student of American pageantry and
pomposity, sussed the secret meaning of pet ownership for the Gilded
Age’s elite: Pets were living emblems of conspicuous consumption. “As he
is also an item of expense, and commonly serves no industrial purpose,
he holds a well-assured place in men’s regard as a thing of good
repute,” Veblen wrote in his celebrated Theory of the Leisure Class, the
book that brought us the term conspicuous consumption. I’m so rich, the
industrial dandy’s logic went, that I can afford to feed— and house, and
bathe, and clean the tumbleweeds of shedding fur from— this totally
unproductive creature. In an age when many people still forced their
children to sing for their supper, or at least work in a factory for it,
this was quite a concept.

This is not to say that pet keeping was limited to such consumers, or
that it could always be ascribed to such cynical motivations. American
pet keeping existed, often in fairly elaborate forms and at spots up and
down the social ladder, well before Veblen took on the pet-owning
leisure class. The inhabitants of pre-Columbian America hunted or
domesticated a variety of animals, but what we now understand as pets
came across the Atlantic with the Spaniards. Diaries that predate the
Constitution tell of beloved family cats. In the mid-nineteenth century,
there was a craze for imported caged birds. By the twentieth century,
pets were a way for powerful politicians to make themselves look more
down-to-earth— the exact opposite of Veblen’s notion. President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt’s Scottie, Fala, was a national celebrity, traveling
with him to war conferences and visiting defense plants; the dog’s
breeder published his own book in 1942. Presidents ever since have
deployed pets the same way— although FDR was probably the only one
threatened with congressional investigation over pet pampering, the
result of false rumors that he had dispatched a destroyer to retrieve
the dog after Fala was accidentally left behind in the Aleutian Islands.

Pet keeping continued to evolve with the country, following each era’s
ideas about kindness, domesticity, and comfort. The lapdog in the
millionaire’s mansion became the golden retriever in the suburban
backyard; the kitten from the litter of your neighbor’s tabby became the
kitten you took straight from the SPCA adoption center to the
veterinarian’s spaying practice. Everyone knows dogs are supposed to
teach you about love and loyalty and fun. But I found something I had
never expected when I first glimpsed my dog’s sweet, dopey face: the
story of modern America. In the chapters that follow, I travel to
diverse corners of our pet kingdom to experience the often surprising
ways that pets like Murphy serve as a fun-house-mirror reflection of our
changing notions about such universal subjects as family, health, and
friendship— and more historically specific topics like bureaucracy,
justice, consumerism, and the culture wars.

Maybe the most telling change involved a very small piece of
architecture, once ubiquitous, which I saw very little of as I journeyed
around the new world of America’s pets, pet owners, and pet businesses:
the doghouse. Yes, one firm makes a $5,390 structure modeled after a
Swiss chalet. But for the most part, though we still talk of people
being sent to the doghouse, the physical structures have disappeared
from our landscape. Their occupants have moved indoors, to be with their
families, in far bigger doghouses: ours.

From ONE NATION UNDER DOG by Michael Schaffer. Copyright (c) 2009 by
Michael Schaffer. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.

====

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2007
The High Cost Of Pet Care

Pets may be wonderful companions, but owning one is a big responsibility
that includes a financial commitment.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association
(APPMA), Americans spent $38.4 billion on pets. The association says
that 63 percent of American households own at least one pet and there
are almost 74 million dogs and 90 million cats living in the country.

Food is one of the greatest expenses for dog owners, costing an average
of about $241 per year. The Early Show veterinary correspondent Dr.
Debbye Turner said people can also cut costs on food. Although premium
brands are usually more digestible for pets, if you can’t afford them,
no-name brands are fine.

Visits to the veterinarian are also pricey. A regular visit for a dog
costs about $211 and for a cat, it costs $179. Dr. Turner said you don’t
have to be rich to afford owning a pet.

The most efficient way to avoid extra costs is prevention. Having your
pet vaccinated, spayed, neutered and getting their teeth cleaned will
prevent a host of health-related problems down the road that will cost a
lot more than the cost of the preventative care.

“The first year is most expensive,” she said. “You have all those
full-time costs. You buy the food bowl. The litter pan, the leash, plus
initial vet visit for de-worming vaccinations. They are more extensive
the first year, they get better after that.”

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the average cost
of neutering a cat in 2002 was $62 and $106 for a dog. The average cost
of spaying a cat was $99 and $142 for a dog.

Some veterinary clinics offer wellness or preventive care programs for a
monthly or yearly flat rate that covers the cost of a yearly exam,
vaccination boosters, maybe even test for intestinal parasites. For
example, The Banfield Hospitals at PetsMart offers a plan that ranges
from $15.95 to 34.95 a month and covers routine exams, vaccinations, and
heartworm test. A premium plan covers X-rays, blood work and teeth cleaning.

Comparing the cost of preventive care to the cost of treating a
preventable disease, it is clear that the upfront cost worth preventing
the pain and suffering to your pet, and your wallet.

Here Are Some Estimates:
# Cost of a kidney transplant: $7,000 or more
# Cost of canine cataract surgery: $2,000 – $3,000
# Cost of cancer treatment: $5,000 or more
# Cost of chemotherapy: $2,000
# Cost of surgery after animal is hit by a car: $3,000
# Cost of diabetes maintenance: $600 – $1,000 a year

Some companies provide pet insurance. Most policies cover accidents,
like being hit by a car, other injuries, diagnostics like MRI’s, CT
Scans, Ultrasound, plus radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and surgery.
Policies can cost anywhere from $9 to $200 a month, depending on the
coverage you’d like, the breed, age and health condition of the pet.

Most policies carry a deductible — usually $50 — and have maximum
amounts that the company will pay for particular procedures. Some
companies even require that you take your pet to one of the approved
veterinarians on their list. Many policies will not cover an old pet,
certain breeds, or a pet with a previous condition. Only 2 percent of
pet owners currently utilize pet insurance, but Dr. Turner said it is
worth exploring, especially if you have a new pet.

The APPMA says that boarding a dog usually costs about $202 and boarding
a cat costs $119. At least for dogs, miscellaneous costs for things like
toys, training, grooming and vitamins and nutritional supplements, are
the most costly, averages about $380. Miscellaneous costs for cats
average about $149.

“It’s going to be $1,000 a year for a dog, $700 a year for a cat,” Dr.
Turner said.

Read Full Post »

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 23:44:18 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Jawaharlal (Jawaharlal_T@banknet…>
Subject: We Are Not At All…

BABA

“Malay va’ta’se madhu nishva’se ke go ele mor phulavane…” P.S. 1801

Purport:

O the Divine Entity who are You who has come in my flower garden in this
spring season with a sweet and charming smile. When I saw You for the first
time I was surprised, and it was difficult to think that such an attractive
Entity would be here. I wanted to look towards You more intimately but I
could not, that time I was sitting in the flower garden unmindfully.

I couldn’t even hear the footsteps of Your arrival, & You did not give
any hint or clue before coming to this garden. So I could not receive You
properly nor could I offer You a garland. You have graced me by coming here
but You have not cared about receiving an invitation. Please tell me, O’
Divine Entity, who are You?

Understanding Your liila is impossible. Within a flash You become tough and
then in the next moment You are as tender as a flower– like a garland of
love –so sweet and charming. O divine Entity You cannot be understood. You
are Infinite–no beginning, & no end. Through the practice of sadhana and
dhyana I am surrendering myself at Your alter.

Baba You have graced me by coming to my mental flower garden…

== WE ARE NOT AT ALL HINDU ==

Namaskar.
Sometimes I go along with different Dadas to do pracar work in and around
my district, region, and to other places also. And it is surprising that
when talking to non-margiis then they say that AM is like the Hindu
religion. And the people ask, “Swamiji, are you Hindu?’ And our Dada (i.e.
Swamiji) replied ‘yes’. Hearing all this while moving around India with
Dadas was surprising for me. And then I wondered if Dadas in overseas areas
identify themselves as Christians or Jewish etc.

What happens overseas I cannot say, but here in India I see all this going
on; but I did not say anything or oppose. Because then Dadas may not like
to have me around. But this is the common experience that I saw when moving
about with various Dadas. And if we are moving about on the train and then
common people sometimes approach our Dadas and ask if they are Hindu or
not. Because not always on the train do they wear their turbins etc. And
again Dadas reply in the affirmative about being Hindu. And then sometimes
they further justify that the practices are same as Hinduism: fasting,
puja, kiirtan etc.

By this way our Dadas get more respect. And some overseas Dadas also come
and move around the dogmatic holy places here in India and when I ask them
about why they do like this, then they reply that ‘Indian soil, Hinduism
etc are just like Ananda Marga’.

So due to certain lack of understanding Baba’s teachings then this dogma
about AM being a form of Hinduism is still prevailing. Because not in one
place but I am two trips outside– one to Balii, Indonesia and one to
Africa. And both the places some of our Dada link themselves up with
Hinduism, especially in Africa where they even registered as Hindus.

Of course, solid Ananda Margiis are not blind in this way but some who are
less strong get involved in these types of interactions. So because some
Dadas are regularly giving such replies I thought that we should get rid
from the confusion and have written these following things.

NOT LIKE THE DOGMA OF HINDUISM

In beginning period, before 1960, Ananda Marga was facing serious
opposition from the dogmatic Hindu priests. By seeing the way and different
teachings of Ananda Marga, it superficially looks like Ananda Margiis are
Hindu. Because fasting, puja, and sentient food, meditation, so many
similarities. And in Hindu religion also, some or other form, some or more
degree, all these things are present. And then, no doubt in Hinduism these
things were mixed with various sorts of dogma and that made them
unpalatable for rational persons.

SO MANY OFF-SHOOTS OF HINDUISM

Because in India, in this 19th and 20th Centuries, many off-shoots came
from this Hindu religion. Just like “Yogada’ Matha” started from Swami
Yogananda. And Ramakrsna Mission with Ramakrsna Paramahansa, and
Vivekananda. Then Arvind Ghos in Pandicheri. And Hare Krsna started by
Prabhupada. Also Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, who started Transcendental
Meditation. And so many swamis like Swami Rama, Acarya Rajanish, then
Divine Life, Swami Shivananda etc.

All these above founders and religions are just a little modification of
Hindu religion. So many dogmas are there. In other words we can say, these
all are reformist type. They don’t like for major change. Because these
yogis they were ordinary human beings so they did not have courage to fight
against dogma. So age-old dogma of caste system, and different disparities
and domination of priests etc, and so many more dogmas they did not even
touch those points. And that was not enough for all-round progress for
everyone. So, Ananda Marga was the need.

SOME OF THE EARLY DHARMIC HISTORY OF AM

In the beginning, when Ananda Marg started in 1955, many people started
thinking that this too was one off-shoot of the Hindu religion. But later
on they found that domination of priests was not there, that’s why
exploiter priests they became agitated by seeing AM.

In India the Brahmins were treated as superior by the dogmatic Hindu
culture. To distinguish their personality, all dogmatic Brahmins they keep
one sacred hair (antenna) on their head. In local language, sacred hair is
called as tiiki or teek (pig tail). Or some areas, churki.

So-called brahmins they can cut all the hair from their head, up to just
half-inch long. But on the top of their head, around the sahasrara cakra,
minimum one square centimeter up to one square inch sometimes area, and
those who are strong fundamentalists, pandits, they keep around four square
inches reserved for growing the hair. So in the top of the head, those hair
which is left to grow, they grow up to four, five, seven, ten inches.

Whatever it may be. So from distance it is looking like one antenna of hair
on the head. It is just like one television antenna on the house looking
completely different from the rest of the house, clearly seen from the
distance.

WHY THE HINDU DOGMA KEEPING SACRED HAIR??

The question is that, why Hindu priests are keeping such an antenna on
their head. What is the reason? What is the benefit? Priests they like to
identify some difference from the common society, so they get more respect.

Because Christians and Muslims, they don’t keep. General aboriginal public
of India cannot keep it whereas the Aryans community in India public of can
keep, and priest can keep longer and biggest one. Longest sacred hair. In
short we can say that this sacred hair – this antenna – is one sign of
Hindu believers. Still in the villages this dogma is going on.

WHY THE HINDU DOGMA KEEPING SACRED THREAD??

Another dogma is also very prevalent. That is, keeping sacred thread. On
their body directly Brahmins are keeping one thread, which starts from the
left shoulder and goes down diagonally to the right waist. And then back up
the back, tied up to make one ring around the body.

When babies are born, then they do not have right to put this sacred
thread. But when they are grown up, one ceremony happens when priests get
alot of donation. And they use certain chanting. And bless with that sacred
thread (yajina-upaviit). And this special yajina-upaviit only brahmins can
keep. Only certain caste. Not vaeshya, ksattriya, shuddra, such persons cannot
keep. Even those who belong to Hindu religion. On this point of yagyopavit,
brahmins supremacy is established. Only brahmins are allowed to do. Earlier if
anybody who belongs to so-called lower caste, even of Hindu religion, is
trying to wear, then they will be punished.

As I described above, there are two serious external symbols of their
supremacy. One is sacred hair (antenna), and another is yajina-upaviit that is
sacred thread. All these yogiis those who were just reformist type, and as
I described their name and religion above, they did not try to touch this
dogma. For them it was impossible to oppose this. So although these dogmas
were creating huge disparity even within Hindu religion itself; but
the sentiment was so strong that if these yogis would have opposed this
then they themselves would have been crushed to zero. So all these above
yogis, reformists, their followers are keeping all those things if they like.

NOT SACRED, JUST SOBER

Here is the real history of how the sacred thread came into being.

Baba says, “Most of the people in the Vedic age drank excessive amounts of
fermented juice, called somarasa, and ate meat, including beef. After the
advent of Shiva, in the time of the Yajurveda, people were encouraged to
rear cows to produce milk and to discontinue eating meat. Nevertheless,
many people in the Vaedic age were alcoholics, and even those who
performed religious rituals had great difficulty carrying out their
duties properly. Consequently, a custom was introduced which made it
compulsory for priests to wear a deer skin across their shoulders, called
upavita. This clearly identified the priest so that he would not be
served alcohol while conducting religious ceremonies. Gradually, over
the course of time, the deer skin was transformed into a thread. Today
this thread is the symbol of the Brahmin caste in Hindu society.” (PNS-16)

AM = ONE HUMAN SOCIETY

Since beginning when AM started in 1955, Baba started a system of ‘One
Human Society’ and gave the slogan “Ma’nava Ma’nava Eka Hai”. It was very
clear by Baba’s approach itself that Baba started initiating everybody,
without any caste differentiation. But before coming of AM in 1955, only
brahmins were allowed to do sadhana.

Not only that, Baba has hammered on the head of the dogma with sledge hammer.
And He has made the rule that before taking initiation, they have to remove
their sacred thread and sacred hair. So on the point of removing these two
so-called sacred things, brahmins became strong deadly enemy against AM.
Because Baba has hit on their life source. Livelihood. In other words, the
existence of these so-called Brahmins was threatened. So, these so-called
brahmins opposed AM with their full strength, tooth and nail.

So AM is not at all dogmatic Hinduism rather it is something much, much
higher. So we should all think and review on this so as to avoid making a
wrong picture in the future. Because after all the world is changing fast
and the dogmatic religions are falling our of favour. So we should present
our Marga as the dharma that it is and not sink into the depths of the
dogmatic religions like Hinduism.

And of course most margiis and field workers are indeed following directly
in Baba’s dharmic footsteps– and by keeping the saffron flag high we are
reaching our Goal.

BABA’S BLESSING

Baba says, “Parama Purus’a has blessed you with the hands to work and legs
to move; has infused you with the stamina to act; has endowed you with
practical intelligence, so make the best use of them in the fight against
the demons. You must not sit idle relying on fate. Be vigorously active.”
(Ananda Vanii #46)

Namaskar
Jawaharlal

Note: Those days were not just peaceful, sweet days of Jamalpur. Those who
are thinking that it was just era of “Vraj”, they do not know the real
history. Baba was inviting direct confrontation against all sorts of dogma.
Many Margiis suffered alot when they cut their sacred thread and hair. They
were opposed by their relatives, their friends, their other village
neighbors. And threatened, and so many places they got beating also.

All these things happened, mostly in rural area of India. And several
thousand Margiis suffered and faced the problem. And they did not bow down.
Remained as bona fide member of AM and fought against dogma. All negative
people they created huge opposition. Like thunder or hail storm. But they
remained standing undauntedly. Only surrendering at Baba’s feet, this was
possible. So much struggle those Margiis faced.

******************************************
Proper Plan of Life

Baba is revealing how ignorant, short-sighted people think and plan in
their dogmatic way.

Baba says, “Some people consider that one should start intuitional practice
in old age when a person has more leisure, after one has spent the prime of
one’s life earning money. People are afraid that they may face insecurity
and difficulties in their old age if they do not accumulate enough wealth
before their bodies weaken with age, rendering them incapable of hard work.
They regard the prime of life as the period intended for earning money, and
old age with its decreased capacity for hard work as the time to remember
God. They are labouring under the misconception that hard work is not
necessary for intuitional practice and that old age is therefore the proper
time for it.” (AMEP, ’98, p.131-32)

Now here following Baba is giving the answer.

Baba says, “Whoever is born is bound to die and one is constantly
approaching death, not knowing when it will come. It is never certain if
one will live to grow old. Yet people reserve the most important work of
practising sa’dhana’ for the time when the body has become completely
enfeebled and the fatuous mind of old age has become entangled in the
reactions of this life to such an extent that it is afraid of starting
anything new. Ordinarily it is fear of one’s approaching death that makes
one think of God in old age. One’s evil deeds begin to haunt one, and one
starts praying and imploring God to save him or her from the consequences
of one’s deeds. There is no value in remembering God in old age, when it is
not possible to concentrate the mind due to the weakness and disease of the
body and its preoccupation with the reactions (sam’ska’ras) of the deeds of
this life. The mind then is caught up in the infirmities of the body, in
the diseases of old age, impending death, and most of all, in memories of
past incidents, and it is impossible to concentrate it. For these reasons
one is incapable of intuitional practice.” (AMEP, ’98, p.132)

Note: This problem is such a common ailment that 99.9% of the people in the
present society are caught up in this whirlpool. And by this way their
whole life gets wasted. It is our duty to think again and again and reach
the conclusion about what is the best approach to utilise this priceless
human life.

******************************************

Read Full Post »

Date: Mon 26 Jul 2010 22:58:16 -0000
To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: How to Improve Sadhana: Part X
From: “Ishvara”

Baba

“Aungane mor na’hi ele yadi, maner mukure bha’sio…” (PS 3019)

Purport:

Baba, since You have not come in my courtyard– my home, then please be
gracious and blossom in my mental mirror. Baba, since You have not come
within the scope of my perception, then please come in my ideation. Baba,
please come in the depths of my sadhana. O’ my dearmost You are
ever-gracious; You have come. For me You are everything; whatever You want
to do is blissful for me. Baba, if You do not want to say anything, then
just remain here with me smiling sweetly. Your sweet smile satiates my
heart. O’ my dearmost You are so gracious.

Baba, in search of You by Your grace I spent so much time doing so
many practices– shravan, manan, and nidhidhyasana– but alas I could not
get You. O’ Baba, so many ages passed doing tapasya– trying to get You.
Finally, by Your sweet touch the long, dark amavasya night has finished.
Gone are the days when sadhana was just an ongoing struggle and it was
difficult to move ahead. Now by Your grace I am advancing on the path of
divinity– the long, dark night of amavasya has finished. Baba, today in
this effulgent crimson morning, please grace me by removing that final
layer of cimmerian darkness from my mind. Baba, please remove the shadows
of avidya maya from my inner abode and shower me in Your divine effulgence
and make me Yours. Baba, now all that is left is this one final request
that You shower Your grace me so I can attain that eternal stance of divine
enlightenment.

Baba, I have a deep desire to have You. By Your grace, You have made me
understand that by singing and chanting Your name, and by ideating on You I
can get You. Because You have told me that sadhana, kiirtan, japa, dhyana,
and ideating on You is not futile. As one thinks, so one becomes. By
thinking about You I will get You. That is why I go on doing all these
devotional practices– in order to get You and quench my eternal thirst.
Baba, please shower Your causeless grace and sweet flow of Your divine
compassion, and keep me eternally under Your loving shelter. Since eternity
I have yearned for that divine love; please fulfill my eternal longing.
Baba, with my own merits and qualities I cannot get You. Please shower
Your grace by keeping me always at Your lotus feet…

== HOW TO IMPROVE SADHANA: PART 10 ==

Namaskar,
On this grand planet, most people never get any proper teachings in their
life.

Baba says, “Even after getting human life, only a few get the opportunity
to listen to dharmika discourses.” (AV-3)

So being Ananda Margiis we have been blessed with the special grace of Baba
as He has bestowed upon us all the teachings of dharma and encapsulated
them in His wonderful gift of Sixteen Points.

POINT #6 OF SIXTEEN POINTS

Here following then is one of His dharmic guidelines of the 16 Points:

Baba says, “Bathe according to the prescribed system.”
(Point #6 of Sixteen Points)

So, as we all know, bathing is an important aspect of our spiritual life.
In particular, proper bath rejuvenates and revitalises our entire
existence. And it does this primarily by both cleaning and cooling the body.
Here are some other specifics about our practice of bathing.

SOME SPECIAL GUIDELINES FROM BABA

Baba says, “When taking a bath, all parts of the body, in particular the
arm-pits and groin, should be cleaned properly. Soap, oil, and comb should
be used every day. The body hair should never be cut, especially in the
armpit and pubic region.”

In our daily routine, invariably we move our arms and legs to perform
various tasks. And by this movement, frictional heat gets generated–
especially at the joints. Yet the human body cannot remain healthy when
excess heat is generated in those areas. To combat this, nature has
provided a very good system: During puberty hair grows in those joint areas
and that helps to dissipate the frictional heat, thus allowing the body to
naturally cool itself. And this is especially beneficial for the glands.
The question may then arise that if joint hair is so important then why is
it that babies and children do not have hair on their joints also-after all
they generally born with hair on their head.

And the reason is that children’s bodies are not fully developed, and that
includes their glandular system as well. So for them when their joint areas
invariably become heated from their various activities then it does not
have a negative effect on their glands– as those glands have yet to be
developed. Thus children have no real need for hair in their joint areas.
But for teenagers and adults it is extremely important.

NATURE’S WONDERFUL WAY

The thing is nature does everything in its own special way– according to
the proper timing. For example when babies are born they do not have teeth.
And that is best. Because in those early years all their nutrition comes by
sucking the mother’s breast. And if infants had teeth it would infringe
upon and negatively affect that natural process. But later on when time
comes for those same young children to start eating solid food then
according to nature’s way those children develop teeth. So nature arranges
everything in the proper time.

In the same way joint hair grows on the human body exactly when it is
needed– not too early and not too late, just at the perfect time.

FULL BATHING SYSTEM INCLUDES MAINTENANCE OF THE JOINT HAIR

So for teenagers and adults joint hair satisfies a particular and special
function within the body system; because that hair is needed for the
all-around balance and health of the body.

But some people– in their ignorance– cut the hair of the joints thereby
inviting various diseases which result due to the improper functioning of
the glands. And in addition when the glands get overheated the sex vritti
also becomes active– if not dominant.

For all these reasons Baba has included within our bathing system the point
to keep the joint hair clean by oiling and combing it on a regular–
daily– basis. By this way the glands will function properly and the body
will maintain optimal health.

So part and parcel of our bathing and cleaning process is paying proper
attention to the joint hair. Here again is Baba’s pointed guideline.

Baba says, “When taking a bath, all parts of the body, in particular the
arm-pits and groin, should be cleaned properly. Soap, oil, and comb should
be used every day. The body hair should never be cut, especially in the
armpit and pubic region.”

Namaskar,
Ishvara

Note 1: SYSTEM FOR TAKING BATH

As everyone is aware, here following is Baba’s basic guideline for bathing.

Baba says, “First pour water on the navel. Then wet the region below the
navel by splashing water from the front. Then pour water from behind.
Thereafter pour water on the crown of the head in such a way that it
trickles down over the backbone. Then bathe all over.” (CC-3, p.1)

Then of course Baba has also given other points such as (a) Using a proper
cleansing agent, (b) Using a scrubber, (c) Using cool or cold water, (d)
Bathing in a seated position, (e) Not using hot water, (f) Not using
artificially scented soaps etc.

Plus, of course, afterwards we are to recite our “Pitr Purus’ebhyo namah”
mantra along with the proper mudra(s).

******************************************
Why Sadhana is Difficult

Baba says, “When we engage our minds in crude thoughts, our minds lose
their capacity for subtle thinking. When our minds constantly entertain
animal-like thoughts, that is a sort of crude thinking. Conversely, when we
think subtle ideas, our minds distance themselves from mean or petty
thoughts. A person can keep his mind engrossed in a crude thought up to a
certain limit, which limit depends upon his mental constitution. If a
person is told to think of his pet dog for twenty-four hours, that person
will surely be able to think of the dog for some time, but after that
period, he will feel bored and start contemplating something else. It is a
psychological fact that that person’s human mind will not be able to keep
itself engrossed in the crude thought of a dog for a long time. Likewise,
if an ordinary person is asked to contemplate subtle ideas for a long time,
his mind will feel repulsed after some time, because his mind is not used
to adjusting itself to subtle vibrations for a long time. Thus the human
mind functions within a limited scope of actions of certain specific types
and durations. Here also the mind has to function within certain
limitations, certain bondages…”

“Human beings represent a mixed state of animality and divinity. We can
say human beings are like a stage between water and land, that is, on the
one side there is land, on the other side there is water. The path of human
life extends along the subtle midline between the two. Standing on this
delicate precarious line, most human beings lean towards animality: because
human beings carry over the full experience of past animal life, but they
do not have the experience of divine life…but once they do gather courage
to move forward, they realize the greatness of that path of eternal bliss.”
(SS-21, p.29)

Note: In His above teaching Baba is revealing the reason why doing sadhana
is difficult for some people. Here the whole point is that people like
activities according to their psychic standard. People like to do what
their mind is habituated to thinking about. That is why very crude people
like the company of drunkards and drug addicts; and that is why strong
sadhakas like to spend hours and hours in meditation. Because the mind
moves according to its accustomed pabulum. So if one is in an in-between
stage then they will not like the company of drunkards nor will it be easy
for them to do sadhana. Because their mind is neither very crude nor
habituated to that subtle practice of meditation. And if one does not
practice sadhana then they will just continue to involve in their regular
activities– not progressing at all on the spiritual path. So it is
important to note the mind is dynamic; it can change. Through ardent
practice one can train the mind by doing sadhana and then it will become
more and more accustomed to being in that subtle state. Eventually it will
become fully habituated to doing sadhana. This is the natural law. Because
as the mind gets more accustomed to subtle things then it will naturally
move towards sadhana.
******************************************

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From: “Marc Pele”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Re: Ghosts Exist: Keshavanandji Says
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 14:39:46 +0000

Baba

== RE: GHOSTS EXIST: KESHAVANANDJI SAYS ==

Namaskar,
Recently one respected Dada wrote in with some concerns about the
letter, “Ghosts Exist: Keshavanandji says”. Their letter is appended
below for your review. But their basic premise is that the fear of a
ghost is the same as the fear as snake and that what Dadaji has written
in his book is fine.

Here following is a point by point reply:

1a) The fear of a snake is a real fear; it is founded; snakes exist in
this world and can bite you.

1b) The fear of a ghost is totally false – dogma. That fear is unfounded
as ghosts do not exist. So one cannot equate having a fear of snakes
with having a fear of ghosts. It is not at all the same thing.

Note: There are some who have a general fear of spiders, rats, insects
etc, and but that fear is not the same as “ghosts”. Insects and rats
exists whereas ghosts do not.

2a) Snakes can be controlled; they are a known entity. If one is bitten
then they should be taken to the hospital for treatment.

2b) Ghosts cannot be controlled; they are an unknown entity. Ghosts can
fly, they can eat you; and there is no standard, logical process to get
treatment for treating an attack by a ghost.

3a) Baba does not say that snakes do not exist. He readily states that
snakes exist so to write a Baba story about the fear of snakes is not
contradictory.

3b) Baba does say that ghosts do not exist. He outrightly denies the
existence of ghosts in His teachings so to write a Baba story about the
fear of snakes is contradictory. If someone claims that Baba said that
ghosts exist, then that is totally wrong. One is propagating something
that Baba never told nor supports. It is similar to someone claiming
that Baba says that Ananda Margiis should smoke tobacco and drink alcohol.

4a) Snakes only exist in certain limited environments – they do not roam
anywhere and everywhere. They do not live in cold regions etc

4b) So-called Ghosts can go anywhere and get you anytime – they are not
limited in any way. Their domain has no bounds.

5) At present around the globe – from poor countries to rich countries –
people suffer from the mental disease of fear of ghosts. In some places
it is very disastrous and other places it is more controlled. In the
last one century alone, tens of thousands of innocent people have been
brutally tortured and killed after being branded as being captivated by
ghosts.

The fear of ghosts is especially high in tribal communities such as in
Africa etc. Certain populations strongly believe in the existence of
ghosts. They are totally submerged in this dogma. And in places like
Nigeria (Africa), if any bad thing happens to a family then the local
Christian priest will say that it was caused by one of the children who
is a ghost. They will then do all kinds of torturous things to that
innocent child: put nails in their head, pour boiling water on them, and
so many other painful things. All because that poor child has been
branded as a ghost.

This fear of ghosts leads people to commit so much harm. It has even
become a big business in Africa wherein priests are charging huge money
to rid families of ghosts. For more about this read:

Thus in no way shape or form should we as Ananda Margiis contribute to
such atrocities by encouraging this false, dogmatic fear of ghosts. Nor
should we present to the public that Baba and AM supports the existence
of ghosts.

6) If Dada Keshavananda had written that the so-called ghost is just
product of one’s own imagination and that Baba has given the medicine to
fix this psychic fear, then that would have been fine. But Dadaji writes
as if ghosts really exist and that this claim is supported by Ananda
Marga and Baba.

It should have be stated as follows: If one does sadhana and repeats
their mantra then they will be cured of their psychic disease of seeing
ghosts via their own imagination.

Namaskar,
Mahendra

Note 1: LINK TO POSTING

Here is the link to the initial posting on this topic.

Note 2: HERE IS DADAJI’S LETTER

Here is Dadaji’s letter which was written in reply to the initial posting (i.e. note 1).

On 07/23/2010 09:03 PM, Dadaji wrote:

> Namaskar
>
> It is relative on how you perceive the story.
>
> There is a person, who had problem “capture by ghost” and the margii
> help using Baba’s technique this free that person from Ghost problem.
> For me it does not give indication that ghosts exist.
>
> Like someone afraid of snake, but there was no snake. There was a rope
> coil like snake, and one margii free that person from fear of snake
> by telling him that here is no snake but rope.
>
> Freeing someone “fear for snake – which is rope coiled like snake”
> does not mean we also mis-perceive the rope as snake!
>
> Freeing someone from Ghost fear, does not mean we believed in ghost!
>
> Namaskar
> Dada
>
>
>

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