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Archive for August 30th, 2010

From: “Mirabai”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: From One Extreme to Another
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:17:43

Baba

“Ma’nus’ jeno ma’nus’er tare sab kichu kore ja’y…” (P.S. 2192)

Purport:

Great persons– proper human beings– do everything in their life for
the upliftment of other human beings. In their mind they also never forget
that animals, birds, and plants also belong in their vast family. For such
sadhakas, no one is alien because in their heart they understand that each
and every being wants to survive.

Why do human beings remain crying, feeling isolated in their own
suffering after losing their path in the Cimmerian darkness. Our love and
care will bring everyone close to us; nobody will be left behind– crying
and suffering in frustration. On this auspicious crimson occasion we will
save everyone and provide them shelter from the burning flame of
illiteracy, starvation, and all kinds of troubles. Elevated human beings
come on this earth to serve everyone, all humanity plus the birds, animals,
plants, flora and fauna, & animate and inanimate objects– the entire
creation…

== FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER ==

Namaskar,
As we know the Tantra of AM is Madhyama Ma’rga, or ‘the middle path’.
Because with our rational approach, we can always find a balanced answer.
This is the beauty of our Marga.

Currently, right now around the globe, there are two extreme positions
being put forth with regards to certain women’s issue– in particular with
regards to dress.

On the one side there is the suffocating approach of Islam where females
are forced to be covered from head to toe in a “burka”; and in the opposite
corner there is the degrading approach of western capitalistic society
where females openly move around half-naked.

Needless to say, neither venue is doing the world an ounce of good– nor
are either of these approaches beneficial to the healthy growth and
development of our female population.

So let us take a look at the forces and mind-set behind these two divergent
ways as well as apply the balance of AM’s middle path. By that way we can
come up with a just solution: How females–and males– can present
themselves in public properly, i.e. in a comfortable yet sentient manner.

“THE MOST DIGNIFIED SECTION OF HUMAN SOCIETY”

First let us take at one of Baba’s famous guidelines. On 12 December 1979,
while addressing issues of women’s welfare, Baba beautifully expressed:

“You, as the most dignified section of human society
do something for the universal human beings”.

Here the point is that in our Tantra, ‘motherhood’ is regarded as something
very special and sacred. Because it is a mother’s great compassion that
instills love and warmth within the heart of each and every infant that is
born on this earth. Without that motherly love, children become drowned in
a sea of emptiness and rejection and their whole adult life turns into an
aimless search. Whereas those fortified with a mother’s tender love and
compassion develop into whole human beings who are ready to courageously
serve the society. Hence due to their motherly status, females hold a
special place in human society– and are deserving of tremendous respect.

Baba says, “Always endeavour to save the prestige of women. As the mothers
of men, women can claim this much as a right. Special attention should be
paid to the comforts of women during festivals, at spiritual conferences,
and on other occasions.” (CC-1, chap 24)

THE TRAGEDY UNFOLDING IN THE WEST

Unfortunately, due to an array of negative propaganda, the dignified and
motherly status in the west is all but lost– it is hardly present
anywhere. Now the streets, homes, recreation areas, and workplaces are
filled with females showing off the curves and slopes of their bodies–
leaving themselves half or 3/4 naked for all to see. This is the regular
way females dress in the USA, Europe, South America, Australia etc.

Again, I will emphasize that this is degrading display is totally rampant
in the so-called free societies of the west. As a margii sister living in
the west I find the whole thing quite appalling and outrageous– totally
intolerable.

Because with Baba’s guidance, we have come to elevate the standard of women
yet all around us females are being more and more objectified as mere sex
symbols. Even highly educated females are falling into this trap: They
think their chief asset in life is to be a sensuous showpiece to the male
eye.

NEGATIVE FORCES: HOLLYWOOD & SO-CALLED OPEN MINDEDNESS

While there are any number of avenues we can point to that are the cause of
the sheer degradation of females in the west, two of the most prominent
are: Hollywood and the dogma of open-mindedness.

Here Hollywood refers to the whole film, advertising, and pseudo-culture
industries of the west that project women as the mere sex toys of men. They
have created the female icon as all legs and top– with no real mental
faculty. Just more and more skin is exposed as the competing firms dress up
females in increasingly provocative outfits.

And the worst part of it is that women have bought into this: Consciously
or unconsciously they have come to believe that this is where their real
worth lies– in their ability to awaken and attract the male appetite.
So the projected Hollywood image of the half-naked women has become an icon
of western life– deeply embedded in the female psyche.

Some might say that we women are at fault– but in truth we are victims.
Victims of the male dominated capitalist society that has projected the
female body as the ticket to selling anything: films, computers, shampoo,
automobiles or anything under the sun.

Side by side it has become proof of one’s “open-mindedness” to accept this
half-naked approach of female life. Because for years and years the
dogmatic churches put harsh restrictions on female expression in society.

So in response to that era of extreme suppression, a whole new era of
so-called open-mindedness has developed. This is an opposite extreme where
females can ‘do what they want’– including dress in a way that exposes all
their body parts. And this is wholeheartedly supported by various western
men and women who want to project themselves as being open-minded– so as
to prove that they are not shackled by church dogma.

About all this much more can be said but certainly these are the two main
operating factors with regards to the acceptance and support of female
nakedness in the society.

ISLAM STEPS IN TO “RECTIFY THE MATTER”

In Islam it is taught that females should cover themselves from head
to toe. If they do not do so it is much like displaying themselves like
a “piece of meat.”

In that situation men will be tempted to devour them. In order to
prevent this, women must fully cover themselves.

Of course what so-called solutions such Muslims are going to offer we
are all well aware.

Their answer is to push women back in the stone ages: Dressed head to toe
in a burka, locked in a dingy home, barred from education, and enslaved as
one of several wives of their Muslim man.

About the strict female dress advocated by Muslims, Baba has said the
following.

Baba says, “Females were forced to cover their whole body by using a
burka’, but this is not at all logical or rational. This burka has little
eye holes or slits, and by looking through these holes females have to see
and move carefully while walking on the street etc. These are some examples
of inhuman tortures– a kind of animalistic treatment. Those who are
civilised people of a civilised society or country should not accept such
type of negative dogmatic rules. These are all nothing but dogma. These are
all the naked examples of dogma.” (Nagpur, MGD, 16 Oct ’79)

So while Islam may be quick to point out the defects of the degrading style
of dress in the west, the Islamic answer is not at all the guiding light.
Rather it casts females into the dark.

JUST ONE BIG REACTION GOING ON

So from one side to the other, there is just an extreme reaction going on
with regards to female dress. Because when one suffocating approach has
been in vogue for ages and ages then people over-react and move to the
extreme in the opposite direction.

That is part of the mind-set why in the west females are flaunting their
new-found freedom and exposing their bellies to the world. All done as a
show of their ability to ‘do as they please’ and as a slap in the face to
centuries of religious dogma.

And such over-reactions happen in numerous aspects of life.

In India there is a long history of taking strictly sattvik food, but now
the many people of India have taken solace in the vast array of
fast-food and junk-food items. Meat consumption has increased multi-fold.
So they are eating to their hearts delight and inviting innumerable problems for themselves. Although sentient food is a positive attribution whereas religious dogma is negative, still the point is that when people break away from any type of rule then often they sway far in the opposite direction.

That is why we see in the west a growing number of atheists. In response to
the antiquated ways of the church the people have given up God entirely.
This is just an over-reaction to the suppressive mandates of the church.
So this is one mental weakness where people jump far in the opposite
direction in reaction to a particular set of illogical parameters.

WHO ARE THE TOP-MOST WINNERS AMIDST THE TRAGEDY

The question then arises as to who is the big-winner in this ordeal. Some
may say females, but this is not true. Their “freedom” of being able to
dress half-naked has not brought many rewards. Date rape and sexual assault
are on the rise as the society has become infested with sexual innuendos
and it is often the females who suffer the most from the half-naked appeal.

And even if they are not sexually attacked, still the female mind has
become entrenched in the idea that we are mere sex toys in the hands of
males. In that case all the sentientness and dignity of women has been
lost. Gone is our divine motherly status and gone is the compassion of the
female heart. All of that has been sold out to sexual allurement. This is
the price the common women of the west are paying.

So is it the male gender that has benefited. That is also not true. Now
countless males have been tagged for life as wife-beaters, sexual
assaulters, and rapists. Their names have been permanently printed on
public websites such that they can never get a decent job again. Plus they
are totally barred from so many social activities. Rather they are under
constant watch by the police. Plus for all the males who have not been
accused of rape etc, it is also sad to note that often their mind is just
engrossed in female fantasizing. This can be evidenced by the gossip heard
in any tavern, move theatre, restaurant, board meeting etc. Males too have
been plunged in this degeneration.

So then who are the big victors? It is those greedy capitalists who have
won the game by profitting from people’s indulgence in carnal pleasures.
Because by this way the common public is just drowned in sunken lustful
thoughts and they keep a blind eye to capitalist exploitation.

So it is a big topic that is multi-dimensional in nature because the
tragedy reaches to all sectors of society– and most of all to females.

BABA’S BLESSING

Yet Baba’s divine blessing upon all females is:

“You, as the most dignified section of human society
do something for the universal human beings”.
(12 December 1979)

Why are women the most dignified? Because of their important role as
Mother. Not because of being show pieces of men’s carnal pleasures.

We should all keep this above golden teaching in the inner casket of our
heart and make it a reality in our social life.

Namaskar,
Mirabai

Note 1: DRESS: WHAT IS THE MIDDLE PATH

Instead of getting stuck in the dogma of religion or being enticed by the
Hollywood pseudo-culture of the west, we should adopt that Madhyama Ma’rga,
or ‘the middle path’. That is what we are to preach to the humanity and
indeed that is what we are doing.

Baba advocates that the dress of both men and women should be neat and
clean, appropriate to the occasion, and ensure safety and welfare to
oneself and the society.

Baba says, “You should wear dress according to your own preference and
convenience. It is proper to always wear clean clothes so that others do
not unnecessarily form a poor impression about you. While going out of
their house, women should wear simple and decent clothes and cover their
bodies properly. Dress norms for women may be slightly relaxed during
festivals, or when they are accompanied by male guardians, or when good
security arrangements have been made.” (CC-1)

Here below Baba further gives His rational guidelines with regards to dress.
Baba says, “There should not be any prescribed national or international
dress. Selection of dress depends upon the climatic conditions of a
particular place. There should be complete freedom in the choice of dress.”
(PNS-4)

Plus we should not give in to any religious dogma with regards to dress.

Baba says, “In social life no father would wish to see his widowed daughter
forced to dress in an austere fashion, persecuted socially, or debarred
from attending social functions. You must not support these things. Rather,
you must provide equal opportunities for all.” (5 November 1978, Calcutta)

By all this and His other teachings we can say that males and females have
great freedom in the selection of their dress. May it be comfortable,
practical, and befitting of our human integrity.

Note 2: A RISING UP IS NEEDED

In all facets of life– including with respect to dress– we should rise up
against depraving forces and establish humanity in its glory. This is
Baba’s explicit directive.

Baba says, “This cycle is life and life is a struggle; life is a fight. You
come from the abode of peace and go to the abode of peace, but life is a
constant struggle to maintain an equilibrium. Life is a fight against
depraving forces and degenerating propensities. But you are not only to
fight against these depraving forces, you are also to encourage elevating
forces. If you try to keep at a safe distance from this fight, you cannot
say that you are a human being.” (‘The Great Universe’)

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– The Solution –

Baba says, “Whenever there is a conflict between the brain and the heart,
intelligent people should respond to the call of the heart. The books in
A’nanda Ma’rga philosophy are all absolute knowledge. The proper mark of
identity of absolute knowledge is that it must be universal, rational and
psychological. Certain instances of absolute knowledge are as follows —
the goal of human life is the attainment of Brahma; human beings are the
progeny of Parama Purus’a…by dint of sa’dhana’ or spiritual practices
human beings gradually become divine.” (PNS-18,
p.10)

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