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Archive for February 5th, 2011

A Query about Marriage

Date: 05 Feb 2011 11:43:29 -0000

From: “Acintya Deva”

To: am-global@earthlink.net

Subject: A Query About Marriage

 

Baba

 

== A QUERY ABOUT MARRIAGE ==

 

Namaskar,

Is it really true that LFT’s must get married? Because many have noticed

how Dadas are highly concerned on this point and they often convince LFT’s

to either (a) get married or (b) in straight way those Acaryas inject in

the minds of those LFT’s that ‘if you want to remain celibate then become

WT’.

 

Under these circumstances, most of the time ultimately those LFTs do get

married. And by this way gradually our LFT system has gotten ruined or

paralysed. And the reason is obvious: In this modern world, doing social

service work full-time and simultaneously looking after one’s unit family

life and caring for the children is not possible.

 

 

LFT LIFE AND MARRIED LIFE DO NOT MIX

 

So we have seen that those inspired youths who were engaged in full-time

service to the society on the platform of AM, until they were married their

role and output was very good. They were hard working & dedicated. But as

soon as those same LFTs got married, they felt themselves surrounded by

innumerable personal problems of their own family, children, etc.

 

Then, struggling in this way between the two commitments of LFT and family

life, neither could they do full-time social service nor could they look

after their family life properly. In result their own children got

negatively affected and started hating AM.

 

Many examples are there of this – especially in India – where married LFT’s

continue in their dedicated work for AM but in that way their family got

disturbed in many ways. Partly because they hardly had any income and also

because of lack of time spent with the family. Then in that case the

children see that they are not getting what others have– not proper

clothes, education, or money and ultimately under such conditions they get

one negative impression of AM. The children feel that AM is the cause

of all their problems.

 

 

OTHER EFFECTS

 

Furthermore I personally know so many LFT’s who started suffering from

an inferiority complex. On the mundane level – i.e. earning money, worldly

comforts, family education – they felt they were not doing good. In that state

of mind when one is filled with an inferiority complex, it is impossible to

give the balm of peace to the suffering humanity.

 

Because if someone is suffering from psychic ailments of their own, then

how can they remove those same ailments in others’ lives. It is commonly

seen how many LFTs after getting married became so self-occupied & drowned by

their personal and own family problems.

 

And they did not have the time or opportunity to think on the matter of

social service. So on both the fronts they lost: Their marriage suffered

and their LFT life suffered.

 

Because they were leading the life of LFT so they did not care about the proper

job or earningsource. So when they were suddenly forced / convinced to marry,

then in a flash the situation went from positive to very negative.

 

We are also aware about many LFTs who worked for some time as LFT without

caring for their worldly qualifications and after getting married they

started feeling the need of proper money and job. In which case some of

them started feeling repentance that why they became LFT. And they began

questioning themselves that why they did not care about own career, degree,

diploma or proper job earlier. Because now their married life became one

nightmare.

 

So these are some of the common concerns, difficulties and problems related

to LFT life in our organization these days.

 

 

BABA’S GUIDELINE

 

Now let us see what our Guru says, then this disputed matter can be solved.

Because in this world everyone has their own logic. So if we investigate

what is Baba’s eternal truth and we keep that view in mind and start our

discussion then the outcome will be healthy.

 

 

REMAINING CELIBATE AS LFT IS A DHARMIC STAND,

 

IT IS NOT SINFUL

 

So on this point Baba has given a very significant and in-depth teaching in

the Namah Shivaya Shantaya book, section Shivokti 3. In this following

teaching Baba’s guideline is very straight forward. It does not have any

ambiguity nor is it convoluted. In clear-cut language Baba teaches us that

those who want to do something great for the general society or for the

welfare of one and all should remain unmarried.

 

Baba says, “Those who want to shoulder a greater responsibility out of the

dictates of a noble and great ideology and find it impossible to accept the

bondages of family life, should remain single.” (NSS, p. 115)

 

So Baba’s teaching is very clear and we have seen in the practical life

also that when LFTs are bound in marriage then it is very difficult for

them to wholeheartedly serve and give 100% time for the cause of the entire

humanity.

 

 

LFT vs LPT

 

One other point: If LFTs are involved both in their own family problems

and in for problems of general society then it means that they are

not giving full time. And in that condition they cannot be called as local

full-time worker– their situation will be LPT (Local Part-Time).

 

Because when the full form of the abbreviation of LFT means Local Full

Timer, then surely they have to give full-time otherwise they will not be

LFT. And full time cannot be given when one is in the bond of family life.

That is why LFT and married life are not working together.

 

So we have to think on this very point. Because nowadays our LFT system is

basically defunct. Means whatever was existing got deteriorated; and

whatever was existing lost its vitality.

 

 

NEED OF THE HOUR

 

The demand of the time is to create more & more LFTs because LFTs are the

full-time link between the common mass and WTs. Reason being LFTs are more

aware about their own local areas than WTs. So if our LFT structure is

functioning properly then our WTs will more easily manage our social

service programs of Ananda Marga. Otherwise, without the help of LFTs, when

Wts are transferred to new places then they face enormous problem to start

everything from the beginning.

 

 

BABA’S BLESSING

 

While there is much work to be done on this earth, by Baba’s fathomless and

with a solid AMPS structure– including a healthy LFT cadre– success is

assured.

 

Baba says, “Move ahead and wage war against all difficulties, every

impediment. Victory is sure to embrace you. Difficulties and encumbrances

cannot be more powerful than your capacity to solve them. You are all

children of the great Cosmic Entity.” (PNS-6, p.30)

 

brotherly,

Acintya

 

 

Note 1: PRESSURED BY WHOLE-TIMERS

 

Get married= WTs are telling or preaching to LFTs that either you

get married or become WT. There are some cases where LFTs do not like to

become WT b/c while living with Wts those LFTs saw first-hand many of the

negativities and Himalayan problems that WTs undergo, and their way of

exploitation to others and by others to them. So because of living close by

WTs and seeing all those things, then in that case many LFTs do not feel

comfortable to join along as a WT. This is one of the reasons. And those

LFTs who decide not to marry and remain as LFT then pressure comes ‘You

have to have marry otherwise I push you to be WT. Choose either one. You

cannot remain as LFT and unmarried’. In this situation innocent LFTs feel

themselves to be in an awkward situation. They find themselves standing on

one small rock between one chasm and one ocean. And with pressed mind in

uncomfortable state they half-hearted resolve that, ‘Oh, oh okay, if I have

to opt one then I have to choose married life.’

 

 

Note 2: PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

 

I have seen here in India that those LFTs who are unmarried, their

work is excellent. Since long time they are continuing their services and

welfare activities unhindered. But unfortunately those who got married

either they left their LFT ships or got plunged into the quagmire of family

life and they became dysfunctional in deep organisational involvement. So

they became liability on both the sides: family life and organisational life.

Here we can conclude that married life is needed and important for aspect

of society building; but for LFT’s it is proved as impractical.

 

 

Note 3: CRITICAL MISUNDERSTANDING

 

The root cause behind this entire LFT issue is the following

defective mentality: ‘That we WTs are dedicated & no one else can be

treated as a dedicated’. This sort of misunderstanding is the cause of

ruining the LFT structure.

 

When we know the truth is that LFTs can and should be just as dedicated as

WTs, because dedication is not something external only. That is why there

are many cases where it looks like someone is fully dedicated but in

reality that person is self-engrossed and involved only in their own belly.

So superficially they dedicated in that they wear the dress, but

practically they are not.

 

The point is that the dedication of sincere LFT is equally important as

that of good WTs. And when LFTs are allowed and encouraged to express their

dedication then great things can be done for Baba’s mission.

 

 

Baba

 

PS Intro: This following song is for teaching to non-margiis because it is

a song in reverence to Lord Krsna. Baba has written this particular Prabhat

Samgiita for devotees of Sri Krsna. In contrast, we Ananda Margiis are

fully devoted to Baba, Lord Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji, so when we sing with

our devotional heart then we sing to Baba– not Lord Krsna. In that case we

select one of the innumerable dhyana songs related with Baba. The point

being that for true devotees Ista is one and only one. For more about

pointed devotion and strictness in Ista refer to Baba’s colorful

explanation of the shloka, ‘Shriinathe…’, from AV-23, p.118.

 

 

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

 

“Ka’nu binu tha’ka’ na’hi ja’y…” (P.S. 3355)

 

Purport:

 

Without Lord Krsna, life is very miserable– surviving itself is very

difficult. Because Lord Krsna is that glittering Personality of my heart so

when He is not present then I suffer terribly from the pain of restlessly

longing for Him.

Day and night every moment I hear His flute in my heart. With the sound

of that flute, Lord Krsna is telling me that He loves me. And He tells me,

‘I love you, that is why I am calling you’.

The flow of my life is ensconced in His ideation and it goes on fighting

strongly against the deep fog and it is rushing with the high tide in a

hundred directions by His grace.

My life is very painful in the absence of Lord Krsna…

 

 

 

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

Time of Eating

 

Baba says, “This rainy season cucumber is called shashakphalam. This

shashaka phala is a favourite food of the shashaka (in English, “hare”).

For this reason its name became shashaka phala. However, one shouldn’t

think by this that rabbits don’t also love to eat cucumbers.”

 

“Cucumbers which are not grown in the rainy season, but which are grown on

scaffolds rather than being allowed to creep along the ground are also

called shashaka phala. If this shashaka variety of cucumber is left to

creep along the ground then it easily falls prey to insect attacks and its

fruit is destroyed.” (SC-3, Disc 19)

 

 

Note 1: According to Baba, it is highly beneficial if the small variety of

cucumber is eaten in the morning up to 11 o’clock. That is very good. And

in fact the earlier in the day it is taken the better; and guava falls in a

similar category. If such foods are eaten in the afternoon and late hours,

then it causes cough and cold. This idea Baba has guided in various

discourses / acarya diary.

 

Note 2: This cucumber is found around the globe and people use it in

salads; that is why it is important topic to discuss with one and all.

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

 

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Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2011 16:42:48 -0000

To: am-global@earthlink.net

From:

Subject: Ananda Marga Gatherings: Two Models

 

Baba

 

== ANANDA MARGA GATHERINGS: TWO MODELS ==

 

DELHI SECTOR SEMINAR & OVERSEAS RETREATS

 

Namaskar,

As we work to create a cohesive, family feeling in our Marga, here is a point that calls for our attention and consideration.

 

We all want our Marga to grow by reviving those who are less active and by attracting new people. As we all know, any organisation that is not attracting new people is step by step moving towards the cremation ground. And one day it will become extinct.

 

One very practical way of increasing our numbers is to understand and implement our donation-based seminar system. This differs drastically from our overseas retreat model and from our current DMS format.

 

Here then is a comparative list that contrasts our donation-based seminar model with our overseas retreat model.

 

General Note: In the Delhi sector seminar system – which is really meant for the entire globe – attendees come together for a three day program to study specific spiritual and social teachings. The overall aim is to present, learn and study certain aspects of Ananda Marga philosophy which is expounded in the “Seminar Notes” publication. That is the main emphasis. In addition, each and every hour of the day runs according to a schedule that includes dharmacakra, asanas, food, and related programs. The overseas retreats are similar in many respects but are often less intellectually oriented. Generally there is not a rigorous course of study involved as in the seminar system. Instead there might be more akhanda kiirtan or sadhana shivir etc and of course retreats follow a 24hr daily routine.

 

That said, here below begins a comparative study of these two models with respect to generating family feeling within our Marga community.

 

 

OVERSEAS RETREATS: FIXED REGISTRATION PRICE

 

1) At our overseas AM retreats, we adhere to a business model where all have to pay a fixed price for registration to enter the retreat and for accommodation and those who cannot afford it either cannot go or are forced to perform all kinds of menial chores in order to “pay their way”. More about this is described below. Our DMS functions at Ananda Nagar also follows this fee-based model with regards to accommodation and lodging etc.

 

 

SEMINARS ARE FREE FOR ALL ATTENDEES

 

CULTIVATES FAMILY FEELING & COMMITTED ANANDA MARGIIS

 

2) In contrast, throughout Delhi sector, the seminar system has long been in vogue. Per Baba’s prescribed format given in 1970, our seminars are free for all attendees. During the planning stages of the seminar, the organisers collect donations from long-time committed margiis who can afford to give. That is the main way the seminars are funded; in addition those organisers get food & supplies donations from local markets. By this approach, those who are financially poor or fringe margiis have the option to contribute or not. It is totally voluntary. The aim is to get maximum attendees and that can only be done if it is free for all. Yet all services – i.e. food & accommodation – are the same for all attendees irrespective of the amount of their donation. This is a good formula as all feel comfortable and welcome at the program. This generates family feeling.

 

3) One point to add here is that seminar attendance is mandatory for all Ananda Margiis. One must attend at least some level of seminar. The seminar cannot be compulsory if a fee is charged; that is another reason why it is open to all. By this wide-spread attendance, many people spend time together and this generates a family feeling. Seminars are looked upon as something special, hence all like to attend. For instance, if in one unit, there are 10 or 15 people who regularly attend dharmacakra, then the seminar for that same unit might attract 500 participants. It is a time for all to come together.

 

4) Part of the beauty then of Baba’s special seminar system is that attendees will not pay anything and the organisers will manage all the expenses by collecting donations ahead of time from committed margiis with financial means and by market contributions. Our seminars started in this manner and by this way the attendance at our seminars became huge. People are not pressured or strained by financial concerns. By this way, so many become more involved in the Marga and children of “fringe margiis” often grow up to become dedicated sadhakas based on their positive experience at these seminars.

 

 

OVERSEAS RETREATS ARE FEE BASED

 

5) The overseas retreat system is quite different. At these retreats, all are charged a fixed registration fee in order to attend and / or stay at the retreat site. This can be quite pricey for some. Unfortunately this fee-based system results in a double-loss. Margii attendees do not become emotionally attached to the community and those wealthy attendees who have more money do not pay their fair share – for them the fee is too low. But since that fixed-fee is what they are asked to pay, that is what they give. Whereas if it was based more on a donation system, those same margiis would give far more financial support.

 

6) In addition, because of the fixed registration fee at these overseas retreats, some margiis are scared away and do not attend as they do not want to beg for a discount. They feel humiliated. No doubt, at some overseas retreats the organisers may offer a discount if you are poor etc. In that case, you can pay a reduced tuition and / or pay via a “work assignment” by washing dishes in the kitchen. But this is all quite humiliating. The deal may be that if you are financially in need then you can pay less, but the feeling is that you are less respected and that you will have to “pay” in other ways by working long hours in the kitchen while others are in dharmacakra. This approach lacks the open-armed, welcoming feeling. But this does not happen in the seminar system.

 

7) Another way of looking at this is that in the overseas retreat system, people are penalised for not being able to afford the standard tuition. Whereas in our AM seminar system as given by Baba, there is no standard fee. The whole concept is based on the idea that everyone must attend at least one level of seminar and they need not pay anything to attend, only they must cover their travel expenses. The financial responsibility falls on the organisers and those who have more money. The overall benefit of this donation-based system is that it generates emotional attachment to the community. All attend: young and old, professionals and students, villagers and city folk – everyone. With this great family feeling, naturally the wealthy margii participants will have discreet talks with the organisers to ensure that everything is ok financially. That is the way things work in the seminar system.

 

 

THE BENEFITS OF MAXIMUM ATTENDANCE

 

8) Again, in our donation-based seminars, the goal is for maximum margiis to participate. That increases both our overall numbers and heightens our collective sense of family feeling. The overseas business retreat model most often fails to increase our overall numbers and lacks that overall family feeling due to financial constraints and pressures. As we all know, where there is no family feeling then that organisation dies.

 

 

ANANDA MARGA IS BHAGAVATA DHARMA

 

9) We have to remember that people come into AM gradually. All have come from animal life and it is not easy for people to leave behind all their bad habits and adhere to 16 Points etc. People do not become great sadhakas overnight and strict adherents of bhagavata dharma. Yet we want all to attend our programs because by this way people will grow and feel more attached to our Marga. If we pressure them for money, then they will not come at all. So our seminar and festival systems – which encourage maximum participation at no cost to anyone – is a great way to increase our numbers and bring people into the fold.

 

10) Those who are fringe margiis keep linked with AM by attending seminars in their area. DMS is often too far for them to travel and they do not attend DC because of lack of interest. So the seminar becomes one perfect stepping-stone for the entry and growth into the Marga. They come to seminars because of some faint connection with AM and because they believe in Baba. Since those seminars are free and indeed compulsory, that is why seminars our became large gatherings. And those attendees became more active margiis.

 

11) In this century, what people need most is love. People need to feel that they are a part of something great. And when we can create that welcoming feeling then people will feel attracted to come and attend. That will be a boon for our Marga – and naturally people will be inspired to support the program financially. It is a win-win-win situation: More attendees more funds, and a stronger more vibrant AM community.

 

 

RESOLUTION

 

12) As far as possible, our DMS programs at Ananda Nagar should follow this donation-based system, especially with regards to accommodations.

 

Namaskar,

Mukunda

 

 

Note 1: EMULATE SENSE OF DUTY FOUND IN OTHER RELIGIONS

 

In our Ananda Marga, Baba has given a call to duty but unfortunately we have not properly implemented that in our retreat system.

 

In contrast, the various religious followers like the Sikhs and Muslims feel it is their duty to attend to all kinds of mundane affairs at their retreat functions. Everyone participates in clean-up duty and maintenance work. They feel they acquire virtue by this way. Hence, whether rich or poor, all do this. There is no disparity in their place of worship and congregation halls. So all come; all attend; and participate as one family.

 

However, at our overseas retreats, many have noticed that some no longer like to attend anymore because if they cannot afford the standard fee, then they are burdened with an onslaught of chores and tasks, which are not asked to be done by those who pay the full amount. In that case those unable to pay the standard fee become indentured servants. This runs directly contrary to our family feeling. In the end, those who cannot afford the fee feel it is better not to attend at all.

 

 

Note 2: MORE ABOUT THE SEMINAR SYSTEM

 

The seminar starts on the central level. There is a trainer and attendees. Then those attendees of the central level seminar become trainers for the sectorial level seminars. And the attendees of the sectorial level seminar become the trainers for the regional level seminar. In this way it works all the way down to the district, block and village level. In addition, a publication is issued – “Seminar Notes” – which contains Baba’s teachings for that particular seminar. Throughout this entire process, each level of seminar is free to all attendees and is considered mandatory for all workers and margiis. Indeed, participation in the seminar is mandatory in order to attend DMC / DMS. So everyone has to go. This type of cohesive system naturally fosters great family feeling.

 

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