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Archive for September 2nd, 2011

Date: Fri 2, Sep 2011 20:49:37
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: V.J.K. Deva
Subject: Who Should Be Initiated?

Baba

== WHO SHOULD BE INITIATED? ==

Namaskar,
I was in the room when a few dadas were talking about giving initiation. At first they were just giving their philosophies and approaches.

One started saying that he initiates people as soon as possible – that he will initiate anyone, anywhere. This dada felt that giving diiksa and assigning the mantra should be done speedily to one and all.

Then another dada looked up and said that this was not proper. Ananda Marga initiation is very special and one should show deep commitment before getting initiated. This dada began telling that he will only initiate a person if they only eat sentient food, have given up all kinds of intoxicants, and refrain from all sexual activity for a given time period. Then and only then will he initiate them, otherwise not.

A few others agreed with this perspective while others thought this was too severe and by this way our Marga would not grow. Then one dada chimed in that giving initiation is a lot of work and time-taking: “I am so busy with my work that I do not have time to do initiations. So I request other acaryas to attend to this duty.”

Then again someone said there should be strict limitations and restrictions on who could be initiated.

Some nodded in agreement but others were not pleased by this method and insisted that as acaryas their role was to deliver spirituality to the masses – “bring all to the path of bliss”. Finally a few others countered that it was essential to be selective in giving diiksa otherwise the sanctity of the Marga will be affected.

TWO DADAS TELL THEIR STORIES

While the above primarily reflects differing philosophies and approaches, two dadas did share real life experiences which also demand our consideration and thought.

One Wt recounted a very moving situation wherein a person came to him for initiation and dada thought about it and told the person to come back the next week. In that short span of time the person died; he never got the chance to recite a siddha mantra in this life. Dada felt that ultimately he had wronged that person and committed a sin of omission (pratyavaya) by not initiating that person right away.

Hearing this another dada said that he too had told an aspirant to come back in the next few days for initiation. In that period, dada was deported from the country and the person did not receive initiation as no other workers were in that area. This worker too felt remorse for not acting on the opportunity to give initiation.

So this brought in the factor of time: How quickly should one get initiated?

In response to all this two other dadas got involved in a debate. One dada was stating that he waits till a person is perfectly ready for receiving initiation – and that there is no other way. Then a second dada countered, “Oh I see, so every person you have initiated has become a Wt.” The first dada kept mum as he understood the inner meaning. On this point he had to admit defeat since so many of those whom he had initiated had left the Marga and left sadhana. No matter how hard one tries, not all you initiate are going to stay.

That second dada furthermore added that he prefers to initiate all kinds of people relatively quickly, so long as they express some basic interest in learning sadhana. Even then, he said it is surprising. Some who seem serious leave while others surprise him by becoming strong sadhakas.

Lastly another dada told that in the early days Baba Himself initiated so many people and the majority left after 1 day without ever doing sadhana.

KEY QUERY IN OUR MARGA

It was a very curious thing to hear all this. The important query remains: Who should be initiated?

There are basically two schools of thought:
(A) Some acaryas think that initiation should not be given unless one has deep spiritual longing and an ardent desire to learn meditation;
(B) Other acaryas think that basically anyone and everyone should be initiated as soon as possible if they are interested and ready to learn sadhana.

Which is the better and more practical pathway?

Of course this is a critical notion to set straight. It impacts the size and standard of our Marga and provides us with a clear-cut directive for how to move ahead with our pracara program.

Please consider the below and tell us what you think.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:

BABA’S GUIDELINES OF GIVING INITIATION

Let’s examine some of Baba’s given guidelines on this matter.

(A) Up until 1969, Ananda Marga enjoyed a very positive reputation in the general society. There were plus points in all directions and very few – if any – controversies. Baba was giving blessings, teaching sadhana, and solving people’s personal issues and illnesses. Plus so many demonstrations were given on samadhi. In that wave, so many high officials were taking initiation into the Marga and all their subordinates and family members were also coming. Everyone wanted to join the Marga and AM was growing fast.

(B) From a superficial perspective AM more closely resembles the vedic and Hindu traditions than other belief systems, so naturally more and more Hindus and in particular brahmins were entering the Marga. All along however, Baba wanted to ensure that no single community flooded our Marga. Otherwise they would form an overwhelming majority and drag in all their dogma. To prevent this, Baba firmly stipulated that one’s sacred hair and sacred thread must be cut before taking initiation. In contrast the religious symbols of Sikhs were not taken away because they were not a dominant force in AM.

(C) IN 1982, our Marga suffered the massacre at Bijon Setu and in that same year Baba first delivered His discourses on neo-humanism. Those days Baba wanted that we should have contact with more and more people. So He set down strict stipulations for our Wts. Baba mandated that every acarya must initiate one person each and every day. Not a single day should go by without giving at least one initiation.

The rule was that if one day passed without doing an initiation then that acarya would lose their acaryaship. If two days passed without giving an initiation then they would lose their avadhutahip. If three days passed without initiating anyone, then they were warned of losing their wt ship. And if 4 days passed, then one was expelled from the ranks. This was the strict formula that Baba set in place.

Under that extreme pressure, acaryas were giving diiksa in airports, on buses, at festivals, and in all kinds of places. They were just grabbing whomever they could and initiating them, especially if it was late in the day and they had not initiated anyone yet. The pressure was intense. None would let a day pass without at least initiating someone, somewhere. Even PA dada had to partake – no one was excluded and in that way the Marga grew quickly in those days.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

All in all it is our bounden duty to help everybody. We have to bring all unto the path of Supreme Benevolence. We have to go on doing without worrying about the results.

Suppose a dada teaches someone sadhana and that person practices for one day or even less and then leaves. Then certainly that person is not going to get mukti. But, in the next life they may again get a human body and become a good sadhaka. Simply because in their prior life they repeated a siddha mantra a few times. In contrast, if one is not initiated then after their death they may just be reborn as a lower being / animal.

So we have to see the big picture.

Our dharmic duty is to teach and initiate anyone who is interested to learn. That is what Baba wants.

And if someone is not interested then we should try to get them interested in order to teach them sadhana. If still they are not interested then do not teach them. After all we cannot force anyone.

The general rule remains that we should initiate one and all – anyone who displays even a remote interest in sadhana and spirituality. If you have a different opinion, please share your thoughts.

BABA’S BLESSING

I close this letter with two distinct teachings from our Sadguru Baba.

(A) First Baba guides us that liberation is a sure guarantee, but one cannot get mukti if they are not initiated and ultimately practicing sadhan. Thus, in service to others, we should be vigilant to initiate one and all.

Baba says, “Those who perform sadhana twice a day regularly, the thought of Parama Purusa will certainly arise in their mind at the time of death; their liberation is a sure guarantee…” (Supreme Command)

(B) Baba furthermore stresses the importance of getting all the lessons of sadhana in a timely way. But here again that is impossible if one does not at least get initiated.

Baba says, “Human life is short. It is wise to get all the instructions regarding sádhaná as soon as possible.” (Caryacarya – 2, Sadhana, point #8)

(C) Here below Baba graciously declares that “dharma is the property of the masses.”

Baba says, “Today, you should remember that Ananda Marga is not limited to a handful of honest and intellectual people. Rather, it is trying to rally thousands of people under the banner of one sublime ideology. I dedicate Ananda Marga in this DMC [Dharma Mahácakra: a spiritual gathering during which the Guru delivers several discourses] to all sections of society. Prior to this DMC, I would only discuss intellectual topics, but from this DMC onwards I have become a man of the people because I believe that dharma is the property of the masses, not the exclusive monopoly of a handful of so-called educated middle class elite. Dharma belongs to one and all. From this DMC, I recognize it as the property of the common people.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 7, Spiritual Truth Surpasses Everything, 3 January 1979, Patna)

Namaskar,
Vidyasagar

Note 1: GRADUALLY THEY WILL PROGRESS

We cannot wait for people to give up all their bad habits (smoking, drinking, eating meat, gambling, gaming etc) before giving them initiation. In this materialistic age, the pull towards crude activities is very strong. Most get wrapped up in such vices. And then to insist that they given them up before learning sadhana, that just is not very realistic.

Rather, we should initiate them – if they show a basic interest to learn – and if they practice then with that mental force, along with Baba’s grace, they will gradually give up their bad habits. This is the way it works. Take a look at what happened in your own life.

Indeed, early on, Baba was personally initiating so many who smoked cigarettes. And by practicing sadhana they gave up that degrading habit. Baba did not insist that they first give up smoking. First sadhana was given, the mind and body became more sentient, and then they were in prime position to lead a more pure life.

So we should not wait to give people initiation. If they are interested to learn sadhana, then they should be taught, regardless of their habits, vices, and addictions. They should be brought onto the path of meditation and slowly, slowly they will become adapted to 16 Points – or they will leave the Marga.

In either case, our duty is to teach those who are interested. Some will stay, some will leave, but by getting initiation all will progress, either in this life or the next.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“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…

***************************************
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.”
(AV-34, p.62)
***************************************

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From: “Gagan Deva”
To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: Why Should We Support Anna Hazare
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2011 07:17:25 -0000

Baba

== WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT ANNA HAZARE ==

Namaskar,
As Ananda Margiis, we must have a clear and pointed understanding – that cuts through all the hoopla – about the Anna Hazare movement.

Nowadays, noted scholars, journalists and social thinkers associate Anna Hazare and his followers with the extreme right-wing Tea Party movement in the US. In both cases, these new capitalists do not want any government interference. Rather they want free-reign to exploit the masses directly without any government oversight or regulations that would hinder or inhibit their movements.

The sound file below gives an objective review of this critical issue.

As we know in our Prout system, we do not support the platform that capitalists should be free to flex their economic muscles and exploit the common mass. The American Tea Party movement wants to get rid of government, but Prout does not support this ultra-right wing agenda. Prout’s stand is that government has a distinct role to play in regulating economic policy and protecting the people. We should not give way to the unbridled ways of capitalism. At the same time, any government must be honest and free of corruption.

Namaskar,
Gagan

Note 1: INTERESTING DISCUSSION ON ANNA HAZARE

Here following is a link to an interesting discussion with Anand Giridharadas and Santosh Desai about the efficacy and ways of the Anna Hazare movement in India. You may download the sound file and listen at your convenience:

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/08/25/hunger-strike

Anand Giridharadas, writes the “Currents” Column for the New York Times and is former Mumbai bureau chief for the paper. Santosh Desai, author of Mother’s Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India.

Note 2: INDIA’S PHONY TEA PARTY
The Hazare movement rails against politics,
when it should try to change it.
BY SADANAND DHUME

Is the Anna Hazare movement a triumph of Indian democracy? To judge by the self-congratulatory air on Indian television, in the press and on social media, the answer would have to be yes. Where else would tens of thousands of peaceful protesters, led by the moral suasion of a 74-year-old hunger striker, force an arrogant government to promise to act on their demand for a tough new anticorruption body?

But step back from this dominant narrative and the Hazare movement looks less like an example of what’s right with Indian democracy. In a smoothly functioning polity, the movement’s leaders—mostly educated middle-class professionals—would participate in conventional politics or else back politicians who share their convictions. But those comprising “Team Anna,” as the leaders are called, actually rail against political parties and elections.

On the face of it, India’s democracy looks remarkably similar to other parliamentary systems. The country holds regular elections and power changes hands peacefully. But while these are significant achievements—especially rare among postcolonial states—there’s also a glass-half-empty aspect.

To begin with, India’s urban middle classes have long opted out of electoral politics. About 70% of India’s voters live in villages, and even in the cities the middle class tends to be outnumbered by the poor and semi-literate. Many working professionals—the backbone of democracy in advanced societies—believe they aren’t a large enough constituency to influence policy and don’t even bother to vote.

The consequences of this dysfunctional political culture become clear if you compare the Hazare protests with the tea party movement in the United States. In both cases, a large chunk of the middle class has decided that politics as usual is not delivering the right policies. But while the Hazare movement holds itself above politics, the tea party has quickly turned itself into a force in the Republican Party and thrown up a clutch of prominent politicians including Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul and Nikki Haley.

If the tea party had simply mocked politics as Mr. Hazare’s followers do, its members would have contented themselves with only dressing up in revolutionary era costume and threatening to re-enact George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River unless Congress voted to lower taxes and balance the federal budget. No prizes for guessing which movement is more sustainable or likely to have a deeper long-term impact on policy…. (From the Wall Street Journal)

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