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Archive for September 8th, 2011

Date: Thu 08 Sep 2011 18:56:28 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Kalyan Deva
Subject: How Advertisements Harm You

Baba

== HOW ADVERTISEMENTS HARM YOU ==

Namaskar,
Here is one fact and one myth that are highly relevant to life in this era.

FACT: People are bombarded all day long by corporate and company advertisements.

MYTH: People commonly think they are not affected by these ads. They think these ads are harmless

The reality, however, is that the overt and subliminal message of those ads both remain in the mind and alter one’s thinking.

As sadhakas we must gain a deeper understanding of this problem, protect ourselves, and educate and guide others.

Please read the following and determine for yourself how these ads are adversely affecting you; plus find out the way to overcome this hurdle.

REALITY OF MODERN LIFESTYLE

Nowadays we are surrounded by ads. Yet many adults – even sadhakas – remain in a state of denial. People think: “I do not get affected by ads”, or “I do not let the ads sway my decisions or self-image”, or “I have my own independent opinion so it does not matter whether I view or those ads not.” They think, “These ads are harmless and I am impervious to them” – such is their naiveté.

Ironically the reality is something very, very different. Those ads get set within the depths of the human psyche, become deeply embedded in one’s memory, and form a lasting impression in the mind.

Just look back on your own childhood. You probably can recall countless advertisements from those days, either from the billboards, radio, or television etc. You may remember the words and theme songs of so many commercials. Now in your adulthood, you may think that today’s ads do not affect you in the same way. But one should not fall prey to that misconception.

Advertisements dramatically affect one’s looks, self-image, purchases and so much more. People feel they should look a certain way, act a certain way, dress a certain way, and so much more. Such ads totally pollute the mind – booming their often degrading message again and again. Those ads are powerful and achieve their desired effect; no one should think otherwise, lest they be befooled.

PROOF THAT THEY WORK

The clear-cut proof that ads work is that big corporations spend huge money on advertising. They buy all the best strategists, artists, singers, and performers to create the most alluring ads. This is the modus operendi in this culminating aspect of the vaeshyan era. Big companies put all kinds of talented professionals on their payroll to help design and create crude ads that appeal to one’s baser propensities in order to sell their products.

Baba’s below teaching characterizes well the overall effect of these debased advertising campaigns.

Baba says, “Knowledge which creates numerous obstacles and problems for the human society is not at all wisdom, but merely the expression of mean propensities of mind. When nothing great is created, then cheap sentiments emerge for low-grade art, literature, architecture, sculpture, etc.; and when the sentient principle is overpowered by the mutative principle, and the mutative principle by the static principle, the cumulative effect is complete chaos.” (A Few Problems Solved – 5, Heterogeneity in Aesthetics)

And indeed this is what we see going on in the world of advertising. All kinds of degrading and degenerating messages are put forth to captivate an audience, to influence and favour decisions to purchase their products. The result is not good for the general society as it goads the common people toward meat, alcohol, and sex, and entices people to spend (i.e. waste) money on things they do not need.

If those ads did not achieve their desired result – i.e. increased sales, such companies would not have big advertising budgets. But they see the results – the more they spend on effective yet degrading advertising, the greater their financial return.

Now some big corporations in the west have more money than the federal government. So no one should think that they (i.e. you) are not affected by these ads. Consumers become the blind servants of those companies and contribute to their large profits.

Even then, some live in their own dreamland. They are stuck in the myth that those ads do not affect them.

Those who are rational, honest, and open-minded will readily accept this fact and take proper steps to remedy the situation.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

The only way to protect the mind from such advertisements is to never view them at all. Because invariably the crude message of those ads will creep into and eventually affect, if not dominate, your psyche.

That is Baba’s clear cut guideline:

Cakuna samvaro sadhu…

Baba says, “O spiritual aspirant! O Bhikśu! O monk! O devotee! You should have proper control over your eyes; whatever will have bad effect on your mind, you must not see it.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 14, The Fundamental Principles of Life)

Baba has issued the above warning for good reason.

When the mind comes in contact with those advertising messages via the sensory organs (eyes, ears etc), that message gets embedded in memory. At any moment that crude image or thought or slogan can come across one’s mental plate. There is no way to stop that once that message gets sent to the mind. That means, as soon as you see, hear, or read an advertisement, then that message becomes part of your psyche. There is no escape.

The only solution is to cut off your interaction with these degrading advertisements. Essentially that requires cutting any connection with with pseudo-culture activities and pop-art. No junk tv or movie watching; and being careful when watching and listening to a worthwhile, educational program. When you know the advertisements are coming on then turn off the machine – do japa or kiirtan etc – and then turn it back on in 2 – 3 minutes. It is better to miss some of the program than to see even 15 seconds of an advertisement.

Hearing this suggestion, you may think this is impossible to do and that there are just too many advertisements to avoid. Yet we have to remember: As sadhakas, anything and everything is possible. With proper determination we can move ahead in the right manner.

Failing that, one’s mental plate will become riddled by all kinds of negative advertisements and slogans. They will even pop into the mind when trying to do sadhana. That is why Baba has issued the aforementioned warning:

Baba says, “O spiritual aspirant! O Bhikśu! O monk! O devotee! You should have proper control over your eyes; whatever will have bad effect on your mind, you must not see it.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 14, The Fundamental Principles of Life)

The only permanent memory we should have is our mantra japa and we should eliminate all those distracting thoughts like advertisements.

Baba says, “The goal of one’s life should always be fixed before one’s eyes; it should never be lost sight of. When one remembers one’s goal twenty-four hours a day one develops the actual memory. In the scriptures, this sort of memory is called “dhruvásmrti”.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 4, The Ten Characteristics of a Dhármika)

SUMMARY STATEMENT

Considering this entire topic, no one should think, “I am not harmed by advertisements.” Because the fact that is you are consciously or unconsciously harmed by them. The only immediate or short-term solution is to avoid them entirely.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace the day is near when we will have an entirely new social order filled with uplifting messages, encouraging one and all unto the path of spirituality.

Baba says, “In no circumstances should cynicism or nihilism be encouraged; rather when the righteous and virtuous people of this world sit together and decide what should and should not be done, they will certainly find the proper path.” (A Few Problems Solved – 5, Heterogeneity in Aesthetics)

Namaskar,
Kalyan Deva

Note 1: TIME IS PRECIOUS:

MUST NOT WASTE TIME IN HARMFUL ADS

Baba says, “You should remember that in most cases human intellect and intuition are wasted in extravaganza, in useless pursuits; they are not at all utilized for constructive or worthwhile endeavours. And human intuitional power is also wasted in trying to exhibit occult powers. Such persons never get the opportunity to move towards Parama Puruśa.” (Yoga Psychology, The Cult of Spirituality – the Cult of Pinnacled Order)

Baba says, “Instead of wasting their time in idle gossip [and listening to advertisements], people should do kiirtana whenever they have time. Even if they have a few spare minutes, they should do kiirtana. It is foolish to waste time in useless pursuits.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 22)

Note 2: STATISTICS

– The American Psychological Association estimates that teens are exposed to 14,000 sexual references & innuendos per year on TV.

– On television, perpetrators go unpunished 73% of the time. This gives the message that violence is a successful method of resolving conflicts.

– A study of 1792 adolescents ages 12-17 showed that watching sex on TV influences teens to have sex.

-In a sample of programming from the 2001-2002 TV season, sexual content appeared in 64% of all TV programs.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Nabiina Pra’te ei arun’ a’lote…” (P.S. #19)

Purport:

Baba, by You grace the new dawn has come. In this new crimson dawn, with the rhythm of form, You have entered my mind. Baba You are so gracious: You know how to make us laugh and weep, You know how to play hide-and-seek. Baba by Your grace You have filled my life with Your radiant light. You know how to play the lyre, to weave endless melodies, to make the world dance in Your melodies and rhythms. And You know how to love the world with all its pains and pleasures. Baba You are so gracious, You are that most loving One…

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This Must Be Averted

Baba says, “‘Andham tamah pravishanti mudha ye ke catmahano janah.’ What happens to the person who runs after the external mundane things instead of the Self within? One day he finds himself surrounded by the blinding darkness (Andhatamasa). All around he finds nothing. When a person whose self has miserably degenerated, whose spiritual progress is altogether stopped, rushes towards matter, his whole existence starts getting crudified, his mind and Self get crudified, he forfeits the right even to be called a human being. This is indeed a miserable condition, an unimaginable circumstance.” (Kolkata, 1980)
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