Archive for March 14th, 2011

From: “Mahendra Deva”

To: am-global@earthlink.net

Subject: Desire of Cowardly People

Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 08:51:08 +1000







In a recent discussion, one critical point came to the fore: Should we change our AM terminology and toss away certain terms used by Baba because those words now hold a negative connotation in the general society?


Before reviewing the specific example recently raised in a discussion forum, we should see Baba’s example.







During Emergency, many margiis were having a hard time starting and carrying out new social service programs because the public had a very poor regard for Ananda Marga. In those days, the name and reputation of Ananda Marga was very bad due to the false propaganda by Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s despotic regime. So the margiis made a motion and asked Baba for permission to change the name of Ananda Marga. Baba’s reply was very straightforward: “No.”


Hence even though the name “Ananda Marga” was misunderstood, controversial and poorly received in the general society, Baba was quite adamant that the name must not be changed.


We must keep Baba’s above example in mind in light of the recent suggestion to change the term “benevolent dictator” – or any other AM term for that matter – simply because the public has a poor opinion of the term “dictator”.


Here below are further points for everyone to contemplate.







1. JOINING OF TERMS: We have to remember that when two terms are joined together then they create an entirely different word and meaning.


(a) For instance, take the case of “Scotland Yard”. “Scotland” is a land area in the United Kingdom, and “yard” refers to a small patch of land in front of or behind a house. Yet when we put those two terms together, i.e. “Scotland Yard” then it refers to the “Metropolitan Police Service of London”.


(b) Likewise, when the terms “cup” + “board” are put together the term cupboard takes on a whole new meaning. As we all know cupboard means cabinet and has nothing to do with “cups” and “boards”. Similarly, nowadays in the west, the terms “boy” + “friend” when added together take on a whole new meaning. Boyfriend now means sexual partner, which is quite different from the literal meaning of a friend who is a boy.


(c) Same then is the case with the term “benevolent dictator”. When those two words are put together, then it takes on a completely new meaning. By itself, the term “dictator” might refer to a tyrannical ruler etc, but when joined together with “benevolent” then it refers to a selfless spiritual revolutionary who works for the welfare of the people.



2. MEANING CHANGES: Ultimately over time, the meaning of any word changes based on the activities and actions associated with that term.


For instance, if a particular group uses a very popular word – like flower – and carries out terrorist activities under that banner, then the people will begin to despise the word “flower”. Similarly, at this point in time the world may not like the term “dictator”, but when our benevolent dictatorship practically features great works done for the welfare of humanity, then people will naturally change their opinion about that term. They will understand that the old, singular term “dictator” has no bearing on the meaning of our dharmic phrase, “benevolent dictator”.



3. MEANING BY ASSOCIATION: Words take on a new meaning based on what they are linked with. For example: The name “King” is a common family name in the west. So if someone’s last name is “King” but that person is very poor or homeless, then the people of that area will associate poverty with the name “King”. They will not think of someone regal and rich.


The point being that a word takes on a new vibration and meaning based on its association.


Thus, when Baba’s Proutistic term, “benevolent dictator”, is associated with all kinds of dharmic and righteous works for the well-being of humanity, then the “benevolent dictator” phrase will reflect a very positive meaning even though it contains the term, “dictator”.


Here are further terms that changed in meaning due to their social context.


(a) Cult: This was looked upon as a dharmic term in the past but now due to fanatic religious cults in the west, the term cult is looked upon as radical and dangerous.


(b) Ideology: In the past ideology was viewed as a positive or neutral term, but now with the political rhetoric in the USA, ideology is looked upon as one’s own self-serving agenda.


(c) Yoga: The term yoga used to be related with Lord Shiva, Lord Krsna and the great Himalayan sages; now it refers to skinny females in tight clothing doing stretching exercises.


(d) Ponzi: This was originally just a person’s name and now it has come to mean anyone who commits financial fraud on a grand scale as done by Madoff.


(e) Selfishness: In past centuries, being selfish was looked upon as a very negative personality trait; now however with the ascent of materialism, doing for oneself has become the theme of the day. It is expected that one will be selfish and it is viewed as a good quality.


(f) Religion: In the past religion was looked upon as something noble and worthy; now in most countries, especially in the west, religion is seen as an antiquated institution with narrow-minded views.


(g) Gay: In the past it was looked upon as sinful and criminal to be gay; now being gay and supporting gay rights is seen as progressive and open-minded.


(h) Children out of wedlock: In the past having children out of wedlock was a mortal sin wherein one was totally ostracized from society; today having children outside of marriage is view as “hip”, “progressive”, and very “stylish” – all the stars do like this.


(i) King: in the past kings were treated as second gods and their every order was followed as law. Today however, the entire sense of the term has changed. People have no interest or desire to follow any particular king. Those days are long gone.


(j) Dictator: With the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Saddam and others, during the course of the 20th century the term dictator became something very negative.


So in all the above cases the meaning of the term changed with the social conditions or context. Thus when people see how a benevolent dictator can bring all kinds of great changes to the society and lead others onto the path of well-being, then that vibration and meaning of the term “benevolent dictator” will be viewed in a very noble way.



4. BENEVOLENT DICTATOR IN EVERY FAMILY In each and every family the mother is primarily the one who makes the decisions concerning the well-being, discipline, and growth of the children. It is the mother who loves and cares for everyone’s welfare. She in effect is the benevolent dictator of the household and by this way the family flourishes. So this concept of a benevolent dictator is not foreign to us. Rather it is part and parcel of everyone’s upbringing.



5. SHOULD WE CHANGE ALL “CONTROVERSIAL” TERMS: If we are going to change our term “benevolent dictator” simply because the general society holds a poor opinion of the term “dictator”, then so many other words in our Marga will have to be changed.


Indeed we will have to remove the swastika from the pratik because people have a negative view of the swastika symbol. Plus we will have to change our Supreme Command as people do not like “throw oneself into the tortures of animal lives” and there are countless aspects of our AM philosophy and terminology which we will have to change.


For instance, the term “revolutionary” strikes fear in some people’s hearts as they associate revolution with blood and battle, but in AM we use revolutionary in a totally dharmic and positive manner. But since the term revolutionary is controversial in the general society, under this pretext we will have to banish it from our AM books and vocabulary as well.


Or take the case of the word dharma. Baba uses the term “dharma” in Ananda Marga to refer to bhagavad dharma, i.e. living in a righteous manner, doing sadhana for one’s own liberation and serving the society. Yet the Hindus also refer to their Hindu dharma which means to base one’s life on the ritualistic approach of Hinduism, i.e. following the dogmatic caste system etc. Should we therefore remove dharma from our books as well.


If we were to adopt this protocol with each and every word that is potentially controversial, then there would be countless books and discourses given by Baba that would need to be changed and His divine ideas would be lost. Baba’s teachings are totally revolutionary and He uses words and symbols in a totally new way. We should be ready to strictly stand by His chosen terminology, lest His every discourse be changed.


The central notion is that Baba has given His terms and definitions and we should abide by His teachings and not get swayed by public opinion.



6. MORE CHANGES: Nowadays in materialistic societies, there are some parents who sexually abuse their children. Thus the terms mother and father have come into question. Yet in Caryacarya, Baba guides us that we are to respect both mother and father. Should we therefore change Caryacarya because in some unfortunate circumstances the terms mother and father have taken on a negative connotation.



7. CONDUCT NOT THE NAME: In this day and age, people are more concerned about the product than the name. People like Apple computers because of the product not the name per se. If in Ananda Marga, our leaders embody dharmic codes and we call such leaders as “benevolent dictators”, then everything will be fine. In contrast, if in the name of benevolent dictatorship all kinds of nonsense and wrongdoings take place, then the people will not tolerate it. So we should not be concerned about specific terms rather we should aim to manifest Baba’s dharmic ideal associated with those terms. If we embody those ideals then people will naturally grow to greatly respect terms such as benevolent dictator.



8. BABA’S DIVINE EXAMPLE: Then of course we have to keep Baba’s aforementioned example in mind. Baba outrightly told the margiis not to change the name of Ananda Marga just because the general public held a poor opinion of AM. Hence, by Guru’s example alone it is quite clear that we are not to change His given terms simply because the public holds a poor opinion of those words.



9. USE OF BRACKETS: If there remains much concern that people will not understand our term “benevolent dictator” – or other potentially controversial words – then whenever the term appears in our AM books and writings, we can insert explanations in square brackets [ ] to indicate what we mean by the term. Then the public will easily get the idea. But under no circumstances should we do away with or change Baba’s designated term, “benevolent dictator”.





As Baba’s disciples, our duty is to carry forth His message and teachings to the people, not change His terminology and guidelines according to the whims of the masses. We should take up this task with proper determination, then we will get success and the world will come to appreciate terms like benevolent dictator etc. Only cowardly people will wish to change Baba’s given terms. If we allow Baba’s terminology to be changed then His teachings will be tainted and we open the floodgates for xyz persons to change every word Baba has spoken. That is the very real danger. So we should stick by our principles and keep Baba’s original teachings as is. That is our duty.


Baba says, “Nindantu niitinipunah yadi va stuvantu: “If I am too concerned with those who praise or censure me, I will not find time to do my real work. As I have come to this world only for a short period, my only concern should be to keep on doing the duty the Lord has assigned to me. And while doing this allotted duty, I should remember that I belong to Parama Puruśa. I have come form Him, and I will have to return to Him – and to do that, I must complete my allotted duty.” (Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 12)


As His disciples we are also to safeguard the authenticity and veracity of His discourses. That means we are to keep them as is, and not change even one word. Only cowards – affected by public opinion – will be tempted to change Baba’s teachings. We will easily be able to recognise such persons. Whereas true dharmikas will stand firm on Baba’s teachings and guidlines.


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








Now let’s come to the present circumstance. Just the other day on the email, one respected Wt proposed that we change our Proutistic term: “benevolent dictator”. Here is what this Wt suggested:


“In my opinion there is no way that anybody will listen to us in the world if we use the term “dictatorship”…The world does not trust dictators.” (posted by one WT)


I have deep regard for this WT who is very brave. I do not know the reason why this WT raised this matter. I do not see any other weakness in their character so it is beyond my understanding why such a noble WT would raise this matter.


But now we all know that we must keep Baba’s designated term – “benevolent dictator” – as we are not to change His teachings nor His terminology. Plus, by our actions and selfless service, the common people will see that a benevolent dictator is an honourable term.





“Jyoti-ujjval pra’n’occhal tumi priyo…” (P.S. 2229)




Baba, O’ Parama Purusa, You are the Divine Controller of this vast

universe. You are the brilliant effulgence– full of vitality & saturated

& with the love. Baba, You are my dearmost. By Your own glory You are glorified.

O’ Parama Purusa You are ever-adorable.

Baba, I do not have the strength to catch hold of You. With my little

strength and with whatever means I have, I try to catch You– but it is

impossible for me. Instead I remain engrossed in my own self– unit “I”.

This ‘unit I’ is preventing me from coming close to You. Baba, please

transform my ‘I-feeling’, make it Yours.

Baba, with my own strength I will not be able to get You. With the

thread of the spider’s net I will not be able to bind You and hold You.

Because of this, please by Your causeless grace, allow Yourself to get

held. This is my only request to You. Please keep this open for Your


Baba, in my mind & in my heart, I have deep longing for You– to have

You close. Please grant me this by Your causeless grace. Baba please

come in my shravan, manan, niddidhyasan, & dhyana and make me Yours…




Proper Method of Sas’t’aunga Pranam


Baba says, “Prostration is called sas’t’aunga pranama…Of the five sensory

organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin), one, the skin, can be omitted,

and of the five motor organs (vocal chord, hands, legs, excretory and

genital organ), one, the vocal chord can be omitted. This leaves the eight

constituent parts. And the prostration made with these eight body-parts is

called sas’t’aunga pranama.” (APH-6, p. 398)


Note 1: As we all know, sas’t’aunga pranam is only done to Guru, not to

anyone else.


Note 2: Here following is the etymological meaning of the term sas’t’aunga.


sa + as’t’a + unga = sas’t’aunga

(with) (eight) (parts) = with eight parts


Thus, as Baba tells us in the above quote, “the prostration made with these

eight body-parts is called sas’t’aunga pranama.”


Note 3: In Baba’s small encyclopedia book known as Laghu Nirukta, on pages

337-38 Baba clearly defines that sastaunga pranam means to lie down in

front of Guru like a stick, completely straight. Specifically, when in the

lying posture, both the arms get extended straight over the head with the

palms together. Thus from the very tip of the middle finger down to the

bottom of the feet, one’s entire body will be one perfectly straight line.


Note 4: As a general rule, the amount of floor spaced needed to do

sas’t’aunga pranam is 2-3 feet more than the actual height of the person.


Note 5: In Laghu Nirukta, Baba also clarifies that the Personality to whom

you do sas’t’aung pranam does not derive any benefit per se. Rather those

doing this practice get 100% of the benefit in the psychic and spiritual

spheres. Hence this practice of sastaunga pranam is a scientific process

for acquiring greatness.


Note 6: For biological reasons, women should not do the mudra aspect of

this practice.



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