Archive for February 24th, 2011

Gardabha Sa’dhana’

Date: 24 Feb 2011 09:17:38 -0000

From: “Indrajit Deva”

To: am-global@earthlink.net

Subject: Gardabha Sa’dhana’







Simplicity, sincerity, and honesty are some of the main pillars in the

life of any sa’dhaka.


Baba says, “The most valuable treasures on the path of human progress

are honesty, simplicity and spiritedness. In no stratum of life should

you allow the standard of honesty to deteriorate…” (AV #54)


Even then, it happens that people veer away from these truths, on

occasion or even more frequently. And that leads to the devaluation of

that activity or practice, as well as the degradation of the doer, of

the person.


That’s a wee-bit of the philosophical side, now let’s delve into

everyday practical examples.





Suppose you are invited to a grand feast at someone’s house. To

celebrate, that host has the finest chefs prepare the tastiest

delicacies and dainties for everyone to eat. Not because because he

wishes to serve the community with love and affection, but rather

because he wants to make an ornate show of the affair and bring prestige

unto himself. Proof being that if you cannot attend his feast, then he

is not the least bit sorry or remorseful, because he will just get

another person to replace you– someone else who will pay him honor and



Under such conditions, when there is not the least bit of service

mentality and the host is just giving a feast with huge pomp and show in

order to heighten his own prestige and self-satisfaction, then attending

the program and eating that food is totally inappropriate. Because in

that case that food is nothing but donkey’s food, or gardabha’nna.


Baba says, “If food is not given with that heart-felt feeling and if

one’s own life is not in danger due to starvation, in that condition

then any food offered is donkey food, Gardabha’nna. So one must not eat

that food.” (Summary of SC-20, p.163-64 [Bangla])


Thus under no circumstances– unless we are going to starve to death–

should we eat food that is presented as a show of one’s wealth and

greatness, because that food is nothing but donkey food, or gardabha’nna.


And we all know that in His practical life, on many occasions Baba

refused such food on various occasions whenever wealthy people or

dignitaries invited Him to dine at their house just to impress Him.





This type of ‘donkey’ syndrome– doing for show only and not out of

one’s heart-felt feeling– is not limited to the realm of food only.


We have all seen various kiirtan players or bhajan singers who perform

solely to display their own musical or lyrical talents, and not to serve

and please Parama Purusa. This happens across all religions and faiths

and occurs in our Ananda Marga as well.


Kiirtan is all about singing to please Parama Purusa– for His glory,

not one’s own glory. And the essence of bhajans is to share one’s inner,

heart feeling with the Lord, and not to procure attention for oneself.


Yet at retreats or dharmacakra, sometimes it can happen that a person

might lead a kiirtan or bhajan in order to win over the admiration of

others. If this is done consistently, again and again, such performers

run the risk of being converted into microvita at the time of death.


That said, it is not just the musicians who are prone to such downfalls.

Sometimes a kiirtan or bhajan participant may dance with such

extroverted tendencies or sing with such ego that it is quite evident to

all around that that person is doing just in hopes of drawing attention

to themselves– so that others will think they are a great devotee.


All such displays devalue one’s approach fail to bring one close to

Parama Purusa. That is why Baba calls these misguided attempts as:

Gardabha kiirtan and gardabha bhajan, i.e. donkey kiirtan and donkey






Then of course this can happen in the stratum of sadhana as well. Before

giving an example, it has to be said that by Baba’s grace, the sincerity

and earnestness in spiritual practice is quite high in our Marga, so

this letter by no means aims to cast doubt that abc or xyz persons are

doing donkey practices. Most are fine and okay– this is just a general

letter for everyone’s awareness and knowledge. After all, each and every

person knows there own situation best.


Now let’s say someone rarely does sa’dhana’ in their own home etc, but

then when they go to the jagrti or to a retreat, then suddenly they

start sitting for long, long sadhana, as if that is their regular way

each and every morning and evening. And not only that, but when they

close their sadhana then the first thing they do is open their eyes and

slyly scan the room to see if others are taking notice of how long they

sat. And if still they do not feel that they got the attention they

deserved, then during meal time they will casually say that, ‘It was

very good to be able to sit for 3hr sadhana today etc’, and then quickly

scan the eyes and faces of others to see if they were impressed or not.


From, all these instances, we can easily understand that that person is

doing sadhana not to please Parama Purusa– not to serve Him– but

rather to bring name, fame, and prestige unto themselves. They want

people to think that they are a great sadhaka. That is why their sadhana

is nothing but donkey sadhana.





Okay, let’s say someone you know does do donkey kiirtan, or donkey

bhajan, or donkey sadhana on occasion. Even then it is not the worst

thing in the world. It is not as bad as doing no practices at all.


No doubt donkey kiirtan, donkey bhajan, and donkey sadhana can cause

false vanity and an overblown ego etc, but by Baba’s grace our AM

mantras are so strong that in a moment of quietness while repeating the

mantra, even if one was initially motivated by selfish desires, one may

develop sincere love for Parama Purusa. And that is the greatest



After all, we have all come from somewhere. In the past ages, we may

have been nature worshipers or even idol worshipers, and then gradually

that feeling gets more refined until by Baba’s grace we are given the

opportunity to come onto the tantric path, and develop sincere love for

Parama Purusa.


So all is not lost for those involved in donkey practices. Certainly

such approaches should never be encouraged. But one day, those involved

in such things will develop sincere love for God. So there is light at

the end of the tunnel for those currently stuck in donkey sadhana.





Baba says, “Remember, everyone is entitled to sa’dhana’. For this,

nothing neither pedigree, education, knowledge nor any asset, is

necessary except only two things – implicit faith and sincerity. Arouse

these two things through your will-power and victory is yours, it must

come.” (AMIWL-5)









Here is more about what Baba has to say about donkey food.


(a) Donkey food (Gardabha’nna) is that food purchased with ill-begotten

money or sinfully earned money.


(b) If someone feeds you with deep love, respect, and affection and that

feeling is conveyed through their expression, talk and conduct, and by

feeding you they feel blissful (“Toma’ke kha’iae a’nandit hobe”) and

very content, and if you do not eat then they will feel pain, in this

situation whatever food you eat in their house– even if it is just

boiled grass– will be treated as priityanna (proper & sentient food).

Any meal or food not prepared under such ideal conditions is donkey food.


(c) So if food is not given with that heart-felt feeling and if one’s

own life is not in danger due to starvation, in that condition then any

food offered is donkey food, Gardabha’nna. So one must not eat that food.


Note: In western society that food which is not fit for human

consumption is typically labeled as ‘dog food’. And a similar idea Baba

has conveyed above by the term donkey food– “Gardabha’nna”.


(Summary of SC-20, p.163-64 [Bangla])





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




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


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…





To Do Great Work


Baba says, “The meaning of the ‘Sam’gacchadhvam’ Mantra should be

realised in life. Always remain united. Solve all problems, big or

small, with unity. Consider misfortune of one as the misfortune of all–

an injury to one as an injury to all.” (CC-2, ‘Society’ chapter, point #34)


Note: So long as Baba’s above teaching is not put into practice, one

cannot do great work. Devoid of this one’s life will be as meaningful as

the life of a termite or ant etc. In our practical life we should be

strict in following Baba’s teaching.



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