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Archive for August 9th, 2011

Date: Tue 9, Aug 2011 21:54:28
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: V.J.K. Deva
Subject: Re: Read News: Which Group Is Best?

Baba

“Jamiin a’sama’n tumha’ra’, tumha’ra’ jaha’n sa’ra’…” (P.S. 4335)

Purport:

Baba, this earth & this vast blue sky belongs to You. Not only that, but this entire universe is Your property. You are the sole owner of everything. I am Yours; You are mine. I want to move according to Your direction. You are my everything. You are the source of all energy. Whatever strength the sun has, it is coming from You. Similarly
whatever fragrance comes from the flower garden, that is Your fragrance. You are the divine Entity which decorates everyone’s heart. Baba, You are always with everyone in sorrow as well as in happiness, equally. You are always residing in my heart; in Your longing my eyes are showering tears. Baba, You are the controller of everything. This entire created world belongs to You. You are mine and I am Yours…

== RE: READ NEWS: WHICH GROUP IS BEST? ==

Namaskar,
After reading the recent post about the goings-on in the various groups, a few of us got together and spoke at the jagrti. We collectively came up with replies to common mentalities that we encountered upon the release of this news. Plus by reviewing Baba’s divine teachings, we studied His two-fold approach for stopping such sinful behaviour and inspiring such workers back onto the path of Supreme Benevolence.

MENTALITY #1:

BEST IS TO KEEP QUIET & WAIT – DON’T CRITICISE

Mentality:

There are some who think that it is inappropriate to point out the defects of responsible parties, like our AMPS leaders, in public. Such persons prefer things should be handled in more of a hush-hush manner. After all, they say, human weakness is common and we should simply solve these problems behind closed doors. Stay positive – be patient – and refrain from criticizing anyone, ever. This is the way some in our Marga think.

Reply:

Actually such sensitive matters could be kept hidden if the current administration / group leaders were taking these matters seriously. If a given ruling body or government or organisation is not corrupt then there is no need to highlight those misdeeds in the newspaper or the public forum. Because the government or organisatoin itself will weed out the problems and make everything alright.

However, the key point is that when the government or leadership itself is indulged in criminal activity and covering up those sinful activites – as is the case in our Marga today – then there is no other way than to bring forth the issues on the public stage, heighten public awareness, and garner support from the general margiis.

MENTALITY #2:

BABA NEVER BROADCASTED THINGS PUBLICLY

Mentality:

Some state that in Baba’s presence negative things were not broadcasted in public. So they feel that in the post-1990 era we should strictly adhere to this same method.

Reply:

Yes, it is correct to say that Baba did not “air” such matters in public. The reason is that Baba was taking such matters very seriously within the 4 walls of His reporting sessions. He Himself was delivering justice and never supported sexual misconduct. The culprits were always punished for their welfare. So there was justice from within our Marga and hence no need to go public.

But these days in our Marga, there is hardly any justice – or we can say no justice. The leaders look the other way; they pay a deaf ear and a blind eye toward immoral dealings. All they care is if a person supports their agenda or not.

In today’s so-called justice system in AMPS, there is all kinds of isms like: Casteism, nepotism, favouritism, hatred, and much more. The innocent are victimised and the perpetrators move freely as heroes.

In such a desperate situation there is no way other than to highlight those wrongs and ask for margii support.

We can also look at it this way. In the general society, if government corruption is not allowed to be highlighted in a given land, then the outcome is ghastly and disastrous. See what happened in the communist-era USSR where 25+ million people were sacrificed (gulag). And there are so many other examples from the history.

Still today, Russia and China do not want their black deeds published – those who write are jailed. This has gone on for decades – nobody knows what is really going on.

The idea is that wrongdoing must be brought to the surface and not be kept secret. Pressure is needed to stop those wrongdoers from this heinous activities. It the those at the helm are not going to correct these affairs, then others must create pressure.

On a related note, the media should be in the hand of courageous moralists, not cowards. And whenever events are recounted in public about wrongdoing etc, then that information must be checked for accuracy, confirmed, and rechecked. That is the way to proceed: The news must be 100% correct.

MENTALITY #3:

ONLY WHISPERING ALLOWED

Mentality:

Some people think that talk of any wrongdoing should only be whispered in the ears of a select few, and not written in the email, blogs, or printed papers.

Reply:

This is also one utopian idea – keeping quiet or within the inner circle is not the answer.

Look what happened in the case of the Catholic clergy with child molestation. They were just whispering in the ears of their higher authorities and shoving the matter under the rug. These molestation cases and sexual indiscretions were going on for decades and the higher-ups only continued to cover up the matter. Until ultimately the putrid smell started oozing out and the whole world became aware of what was going on. By that time the scandal was of epic proportions where thousands and thousands were abused, hundreds of priests were punished, and the Catholic church got a very bad name.

Here is a similar history. Buddhism began in India, but the Buddhist monks and nuns were co-habitating and involving with one another physically. The Indian public became outraged and Buddhism was essentially banished from India.

We do not want such an event to occur with our Marga as well.

MENTALITY #4:

KEEP QUIET AT ALL COST – JUST IGNORE IT

Mentality:

Some think it best to pretend that nothing happened at all – just ignore it all.

Reply:

The problem is that whether we write about it or not, if something sinful is going on then it will appear in the newspaper – one way or another.

Of course nobody wants this to happen. So best is that people should not do such wrongs which they do not want others to know about. The absolute answer is to prevent the issue entirely by maintaining moral conduct.

Indeed in this day and age of digital everything, you can’t hide. Concerned margiis are writing today to prevent all this from coming out in the public papers and courts of law. That is what happens when scandals grow in size. We want to nip the problem in the bud.

MENTALITY #5:

THERE IS NO BENEFIT OF EXPOSING WRONGDOERS

Mentality:

Some people feel that exposing wrongdoers has no distinct benefit. The news flickers for a moment and then fizzles out. So then why do it at all.

Reply:

Actually it is well founded that writing publicly helps wrongdoers mend their ways. Out of fear of being exposed they stop their misdeeds. Nobody likes to be exposed in front of an entire community. Exposing misdeeds is a very powerful tool.

And indeed such a strong tool is needed because the force of avidya maya is also quite strong. People easily get lulled under the iron grip of maya. To shake them from that trance of ignorance, huge external pressure is needed. Exposing someone on the public platform is one form of external pressure. Out of the fear of incurring negative propaganda, people are forced to refrain from sin. This is one distinct way of controlling their behaviour.

Earlier Baba Himself was giving direct external pressure but these days there is no pressure exerted from within the organisational structure – zero.

On the spiritual plane, devotees think that Baba is watching them 100% of the time and that serves as a form of pressure to refrain from wrongdoing. But for crude people the situation is entirely different. They think that Baba is gone, passed away, not living here, far away, and that Baba cannot see what is happening. So they do not feel any pressure in that sphere of life. Thus with crude people, the only option is to apply massive external pressure. When their misdeeds are highlighted in front of all, then that pressure helps bring that onto the right path.

At the same time it should be noted that writers should be benevolent minded, i.e. doing for the welfare of others and not for revenge, prestige, or vengeance. And their reports must be totally accurate.

OUR DUAL APPROACH:

PRESSURE AND PERSUASION

Actually our approach for dealing with wrongdoers and sinners is two fold: (1) external pressure or the application of force, and (2) persuasion, or encouraging them and convincing them to be better.

Here following is Baba’s teaching about this dual approach.

Baba says, “You can help someone to become good by making him understand, but no one becomes good through the application of force. You may persuade, you may bring them onto the path of righteousness by helping them to understand. This you can certainly do. If the sinner is engaged in sinful acts or keeps moving ahead on a sinful path, you can prevent that person from doing so by the application of force. But you cannot rectify him in this way.” (AV-10, The Witness-ship of Parama Purusa)

So our approach is two-fold. By applying force externally or exerting pressure we can prevent people from committing sins. If they feel fearful or scared that they will be exposed, then that external pressure is sufficient to keep them from wrongdoing. Other forms of external pressure are the threat of jail and fear of losing wt ship etc.

The pressure most available to us as Ananda Margiis is public exposure. If a worker thinks that if they do wrong they will be exposed in front of all, then they will certainly refrain from that misdeed.

As Baba says, however, the application of force or pressure does not rectify a person or make them good, but it can prevent them from doing harm. Our second tool then is persuasion. By encouraging them to do good and be good, people can verily rectify their crude behaviour and become great sadhakas. So this technique we must also employ.

One of the best forms of persuasion we can employ with our Wts is to say: “You have dedicated yourself for the great cause – not carnal pleasures and animalistic propensities. You have come on this earth to do great work for Parama Purusa – you must never forget this fact. Yours is a most noble life.”

By this type of encouraging manner, we can persuade and inspire them to adopt the path of righteousness.

After all, every Wt has dedicated their life for the great cause. Initially they did not plan to do such sinful things. So we have to tap into that sentient inner desire and persuade them to be great.

Here I request every margii and wt to communicate with those doing wrong and convince them that they dedicated their life to project the gospel of neo-humanism and bhagvad dharma. We must persuade them- by phone, email, or face-to-face etc – that their attraction must be towards Parama Purusa only.

Any other type of attraction is asakti (mundane attachment like opposite sex, prestige, money etc) leads to degradation.

By this this sort of dual approach, by Baba’s grace we will get success:
(#1) With the force of external pressure, we can infuse fear in them that if and when they do wrong then we will expose them in front of all. By this way they may refrain from plunging in sine.
(#2) And then, through persuasion, we may open their mind and inspire them to live for a high ideal.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace everything will come in proper flow soon in our Marga. These days we are most certainly dealing with various indiscretions, but by adhering to His teachings in all the realms, it is certain that we will quickly turn things around and build a brilliant AM society and lead the way forward. So none should lose hope – our path is bright.

Baba says, “Those who have accepted the Supreme Entity as their goal – those who really believe in universal humanism and reflect universalism in the fullest measure – are alone capable of constantly maintaining proper adjustment, for under the influence of a spiritual ideal their temperaments become great and benevolent. Due to their benevolent idealism and mental development they naturally look upon all with love and affection. They can never do any injustice in any particular era or to an particular individual.” (Prout Nutshell-6, Dialectical Materialism and Democracy)

Namaskar,
Vidyasagar

***************************************
Divine Play

Lord Baba says, “There is a fight between bhakta and Bhagava’n, as you know. It was started in — when? Beginningless time. And we don’t know whether it will go on up to endless time. The fight is about what? Bhagava’n says: “O bhaktas, O devotees, I am here because you are here. My name, Bhagava’n, would become meaningless if the bhaktas were not present, because a name becomes meaningless if that name is not used by anybody as a mode of address.” Suppose a man, a particular gentleman, is Nirmal. But if there is no one in the universe to call him Nirmal, then that name “Nirmal” becomes meaningless. “And so you are superior to me,” says Bhagava’n. “O bhaktas, You are superior to me.” And the bhaktas say: “O Parama Purus’a, Thou art the very fundament of my life, very base of my life. I exist because you exist.” (Ananda Vacanrtam-34, p.62)
***************************************

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From: “Vinay Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: News: Religion Going to Its Grave
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 13:19:17

Baba

== NEWS: RELIGION GOING TO ITS GRAVE ==

Note: The following introduction is related with a news story about infighting between evangelical Christians over the authenticity of “Adam & Eve”. For your easy reference the article about this is appended below. Or you may listen to the sound file on the upper left side of the blog, Evangelicals Question Religion.

Namaskar,
As we know, the various religions are based on dogma and blind faith.

Nowadays, science is developing fast. With the advancement of science the self-contradictory ways and hypocrisy of religion are being quickly unmasked.

Clash has started between religious followers and priests within the evangelical community. Things are on the brink of chaos. It is very interesting to hear their discussion.

This is not just happening in the US; this is happening all over with all the religions. The religious leaders are trying hard to convince youths to keep the faith, but those leaders are failing miserably. They have no scientific evidence to convince people about an outdated religious dogmas.

Indeed the days of these religious dogmas are numbered.

MUST PROPAGATE AM IDEALS

This is prefect time to propagate Ananda Marga philosophy and our scientific creation theory which Baba has beautifully described in His books: Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, Idea & Ideology, and Ananda Sutram.

Why is this the best time? Because there is a vacuum created by the downfall of these dogmatic religious theologies.

If we fail to propagate the teachings of Ananda Marga, this vacuum will be filled by some other unwanted, suffocating theory like atheism, or some other type of degrading and dogmatic belief.

Now is the crucial time; may this be a wake-up call for all Ananda Margiis. We should rally and propagate our Ananda Marga creation theory which is scientific, rational and logical in all respects.

Namaskar,
Vinay

Note: Please read the below article or listen to this sound file, Evangelicals Question Religion.

Evangelicals Question The Existence
Of Adam And Eve
by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
August 9, 2011
Let’s go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam’s rib.

Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe this account. It’s a central tenet for much of conservative Christianity, from evangelicals to confessional churches such as the Christian Reformed Church.

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.”

Researching The Human Genome

Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, it’s clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can’t get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, “You would have to postulate that there’s been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.”

Venema is a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. The group was founded by Francis Collins, an evangelical and the current head of the National Institutes of Health, who, because of his position, declined an interview.

And Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century. Another one is John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently. He says it’s time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.

“Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost,” Schneider says. “So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”

‘Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith’

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.

“From my viewpoint, a historical Adam and Eve is absolutely central to the truth claims of the Christian faith,” says Fazale Rana, vice president of Reasons To Believe, an evangelical think tank that questions evolution. Rana, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio University, readily admits that small details of Scripture could be wrong.

“But if the parts of Scripture that you are claiming to be false, in effect, are responsible for creating the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, then you’ve got a problem,” Rana says.

Rana and others believe in a literal, historical Adam and Eve for many reasons. One is that the Genesis account makes man unique, created in the image of God — not a descendant of lower primates. Second, it tells a story of how evil came into the world, and it’s not a story in which God introduced evil through the process of evolution, but one in which Adam and Eve decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.

Over four centuries, language from the 1611 translation has woven itself deeply into our culture. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, says that rebellious choice infected all of humankind.

“When Adam sinned, he sinned for us,” Mohler says. “And it’s that very sinfulness that sets up our understanding of our need for a savior.

Mohler says the Adam and Eve story is not just about a fall from paradise: It goes to the heart of Christianity. He notes that the Apostle Paul (in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15) argued that the whole point of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection was to undo Adam’s original sin.

“Without Adam, the work of Christ makes no sense whatsoever in Paul’s description of the Gospel, which is the classic description of the Gospel we have in the New Testament,” Mohler says.

Intellectual Rift

That’s only true if you read the Bible literally, says Dennis Venema at Trinity Western University. But if you read the Bible as poetry and allegory as well as history, you can see God’s hand in nature — and in evolution.

“There’s nothing to be scared of here,” Venema says. “There is nothing to be alarmed about. It’s actually an opportunity to have an increasingly accurate understanding of the world — and from a Christian perspective, that’s an increasingly accurate understanding of how God brought us into existence.”
This debate over a historical Adam and Eve is not just another heady squabble. It’s ripping apart the evangelical intelligentsia.

“Evangelicalism has a tendency to devour its young,” says Daniel Harlow, a religion professor at Calvin College, a Christian Reformed school that subscribes to the fall of Adam and Eve as a central part of its faith.

“You get evangelicals who push the envelope, maybe; they get the courage to work in sensitive, difficult areas,” Harlow says. “And they get slapped down. They get fired or dismissed or pressured out.”

Harlow should know: Calvin College investigated him after he wrote an article questioning the historical Adam. His colleague and fellow theologian, John Schneider, wrote a similar article and was pressured to resign after 25 years at the college. Schneider is now beginning a research fellowship at Notre Dame.
It’s actually an opportunity to have an increasingly accurate understanding of the world — and from a Christian perspective, that’s an increasingly accurate understanding of how God brought us into existence.
‘A Galileo Moment’

Several other well known theologians at Christian universities have been forced out; some see a parallel to a previous time when science conflicted with religious doctrine.

“The evolution controversy today is, I think, a Galileo moment,” says Karl Giberson, who authored several books trying to reconcile Christianity and evolution, including The Language of Science and Faith, with Francis Collins.

Giberson — who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia — says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.

“When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face,” Giberson says. “The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.”

Abandoning Theology?

Fuzale Rana isn’t so sure this is a Galileo moment: That would imply the scientists are correct. But he does believe the stakes are even higher in today’s battle over evolution. It is not just about the movement of the earth, but about the nature of God and man, of sin and redemption.

“I think this is going to be a pivotal point in Church history,” he says. “Because what rests at the very heart of this debate is whether or not key ideas within Christianity are ultimately true or not.”

But others say Christians can no longer afford to ignore the evidence from the human genome and fossils just to maintain a literal view of Genesis.

“This stuff is unavoidable,” says Dan Harlow at Calvin College. “Evangelicals have to either face up to it or they have to stick their head in the sand. And if they do that, they will lose whatever intellectual currency or respectability they have.”

“If so, that’s simply the price we’ll have to pay,” says Southern Baptist seminary’s Albert Mohler. “The moment you say ‘We have to abandon this theology in order to have the respect of the world,’ you end up with neither biblical orthodoxy nor the respect of the world.”

Mohler and others say if other Protestants want to accommodate science, fine. But they shouldn’t be surprised if their faith unravels.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/138957812/evangelicals-question-the-existence-of-adam-and-eve

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