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Archive for December, 2011

Date: 31 Dec 2011 21:33:57 -0000
From: “Divyacaksu Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net, dayal@igc.org
Subject: Baba Story: I Felt Ashamed

Baba

== BABA STORY: I FELT ASHAMED ==

Note: The below is a first-hand account from Ramchandra, an extremely senior margii from Rampur Colony in Jamalpur .

Namaskar,
As I have told in an earlier account (link below), in my public life, I did not want to be seen or known as an Ananda Margii. I was plagued by this split personality. In my personal and inner life, I wanted to be with Baba and work for the mission; in my public and professional life, I did not want to be associated with the Marga.

MY PUBLIC LIFE

When I was out in public – moving around my hometown of Jamalpur – and saw another Ananda Margii, I would quickly turn the other direction, hide my face, or move away. I did not want to do namaskar to any margii in public.

I thought people would say things like, “Oh look, Ramchandra has also been brainwashed by those Ananda Margiis.”

Because of the controversy always swirling around AM and its poor reputation in society, I thought I should keep myself arms distance. Hence, from an external and social perspective, I remained aloof from AM.

VERY ATTRACTED TO BABA

Internally, things were quite different. I longed to see Baba and always wanted to have a glimpse of Him. Behind closed doors I would attend all kinds of Marga functions and in my heart there was always a fervent desire to go close to Baba.

In essence, this was my mind-set those days and that will give you insight into what I am going to share with you now.

HIDING FROM BABA

One day I was walking down the street and out of the corner of my eye I saw a saffron robe – the type that our avadhutas wear. I immediately became alert and began to duck (squat) so no one would see me. I was sure that Baba must be nearby. And indeed there He was – walking with His entourage in my direction. To avoid being seen I hurried into a local store and hid behind the counter. My plan was to stay there until Baba passed by. That way no one would suspect me of being affiliated with Ananda Marga. So I hid. But while in my hiding spot a deep yearning arose in my heart to have just a quick glance at Beloved Baba. I could not resist this devotional urge. So I slowly lifted my head and looked around the counter in order to see Baba; by that point Baba and His entourage had clearly passed my hiding spot. Yet at the exact moment when I had lifted my head to see Him, Baba turned around and looked directly towards me with His palms together in a folded-hand blessing.

HIDING FROM BABA (AGAIN)

Then there was a second such occurrence.

I was in the street when I suddenly noticed that Baba’s car was coming towards me from the opposite direction. I did not want to greet Ananda Margiis in public or do pranam or sastaunga pranam to Baba in public. So I quickly shifted my position to the very edge of the area and stood behind other people. I was completely blocked from view. No one in Baba’s entourage could see me. The car passed by – no one said a word or called my name. Success. At that moment, I felt an upsurge of devotion and wanted to at least have a quick look at Baba. I changed my position so I could ready myself to see Baba’s car as it drove off in the distance. The moment my eyes and head were in position to see Him, Baba turned completely around in His vehicle and looked back with His folded hands blessing, looking directly towards me.

Now, years and years later, I feel repentance for having been so shy and meek in those early days.

By the way, I entered AM in the 1960’s. Internally I wanted to be an Ananda Margii and was attracted to Baba’s magnetic personality. I was initiated, began practicing sadhana regularly, and ultimately was blessed to receive PC with Baba.

REFLECTION

The above story recounted by Ramchandra ji holds key insights into how the level of devotion affects one’s personae and behavior.

When one’s devotion is lower then they feel shy, even ashamed, to express their spiritual way of living in public. That is Baba’s stated teaching.

Baba says, “Those who are reared in the cradle of materialistic ideologies, feel shy or ashamed at first to sit in meditation in the presence of others.” (Subhasita Samgraha, part 3, p.86)

And indeed this is what we saw in Ramchandra’s story. In those early days, because of his lower stage of devotion, he felt shy to behave as an Ananda Margii in public. Similarly in the west – and in many areas where materialism reigns – people are very hesitant to express their spiritual life in the public domain.

For instance, a person might refrain from using their Sanskrit name at their job even though this is Baba’s directive (reference Caryacarya), or one may feel embarrassed to sing kiirtan in public, or so many things they may be afraid or worried to do. In all such cases it is due to a lower feeling of devotion. One loves Baba no doubt, but that love is not enough to overcome their feelings of insecurity.

However, as one advances on the path, they will develop the requisite courage and nothing will obstruct their forward movement in the spiritual realm. They will always stick to their ideal – regardless of what others think. That too is Baba’s teaching.

Baba says, “Let those well-versed in ethics criticize me or praise me, as they so desire; let Lakśmii, the goddess of wealth, either be gracious enough (because of my activities) to reside in my house, or, if she prefers, go elsewhere; let death visit me today or decades later. It makes little difference to me. Wise people will never withdraw from the path of ideology, the path which they accept as their ideal.” (NKS, Disc: 2)

And indeed later on, Ramchandraji was an exemplar in this regard – all will attest to this. And this is what we should aim for: Deep ideological zeal in life, without compromise.

When anyone has deeper devotion for Baba they will do anything and everything for Him – never swayed by public opinion or other mundane channels. Such persons keep their ideological stance always.

In conclusion when a person has lower feelings of devotion then they may not like to call themselves an Ananda Margii and when their devotional standard is higher they overcome all such feelings of shyness.

Here is another way of thinking about it.

When devotion is less then the sadripus (six enemies) & astapahas (eight fetters) control the mind. In that case one is terribly affected by fear, shyness, anger, envy and so much more. And when, by His grace, devotion is more, then people rise above such feelings. When their attraction to Parama Purusa is deeper then all feelings of shyness go away and that sadhaka becomes an embodiment of AM ideals.

Namaskar,
Divyacaksu

Note 1: MUNDANE EXAMPLES

Not just in the field of devotion, but in all realms of life, when a person is deeply affected by a particular tendency then they will express that urge in public, not caring about what others think or say.

For instance, suppose one receives some upsetting news at the office then they will not like to cry in public. They will control their tears. But when that news is so devastating that they are totally overcome with grief and sorrow, then that will overpower all feelings of shyness and they will cry in front of everyone.

Likewise a person with a little bit of greed will control that tendency when they are around others, but when they are overwhelmed by greed then they will grab all the money or eat all the food in front of others – they will not be concerned about what people think about them.

Note 2: EARLIER STORY TOLD BY RAMCHANDRA

Here is the link to the previous devotional story told by Ramchandra:

http://www.am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-story-how-omni-loving-baba-attracted.html

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Kare ja’tra’ halo shuru, bhule gechi se katha’…” (699)

Purport:

Baba, when my journey started I do not know; it is not in my mind. I have completely forgotten the day when my journey towards You started. Since many lives gradually You are attracting me. By Your grace I am moving in that divine liila– reducing the radius gradually and coming close to You. On the way how much I suffered, on the path how many thorns have pierced my feet and created hindrance in my forward movement. Those memories related with the problems and pain are not in my mind.

On the journey towards You by Your grace I came across the burning desert, which was so much torture of fiery blaze and sometimes I also got drenched with heavy rain– thunder and storm. But You always gave me the strength and non-stop You are bringing me close to you. So many spring seasons and its beauty has come and I got intoxicated with that attraction. And in Your longing, in Your divine attraction You filled my heart with devotion and I sang the song and kiirtan with heartfelt yearning and longing. Like this in my life sometimes dark and sometimes effulgent has come and gone. And gradually I have reached close to You under Your shelter.

Baba You are very much gracious. You are my everything…

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From: “Mahendra Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Unique Comparison
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:12:34 +0000

Baba

“Tumi ekat’u ka’che eso, a’r ekat’ukha’ni heso…” (PS 1909)

Purport:

Baba, please grace me by coming a little more close, and please smile a little softly. Baba, by Your grace, my penance to get You will remove the cimmerian darkness of my mind. That I know. And please shower Your sweet and charming smile like a full moon.

I know this cimmerian darkness of my mind is not eternal. So much mental blackness and stains, hundreds of times comes and goes from my mind. Yet this deep, all around pitch darkness, pervading everywhere, will leave while keeping its head low in defeat. Baba, You love the divine effulgence– not the darkness.

By Your grace, I will not accept defeat at any cost. I will remain holding only Your lotus feet. Whatever people may say, whatever may happen, I will remain pure and blemishless, by Your grace. Baba, You are my beginning and my end– You are my Goal.

Baba, please come close and grace me by Your divine love…

== UNIQUE COMPARISON ==

Namaskar,
Most are aware of the recent death of North Korean leader Kim Jung IL and most know that his son Kim Jung Un has been coronated and declared the new “supreme leader”.

This posting contrasts the reign of power in North Korea with some of the trends found in our Marga since 1990.

HOW COMMUNIST LEADERS OPERATE

As we know, both capitalism and communism are materialistic philosophies with one chief difference being that in communism individuals do not have personal property. There is no private ownership. Everything is owned, i.e. hoarded, by the state.

Furthermore, communism is purely atheistic with absolutely no acknowledgement of God; there is only matter. Those at the helm are completely focused on material wealth – nothing more. Because it is matter-centered, not God-centered. For them, matter is the be-all and end-all of life.

For this reason, communist leaders hold onto their top posts for as long as they survive on this earth. As individuals they do not own anything, so to enjoy all the glory, plunder and wealth, they keep their position with the state till the very end of their life. Time and again decrepit communist leaders die sitting in the top chair and ensure their progeny inherit their position.

THE SITUATION IN KOREA

In North Korea, the current family has been ruling for three generations. Kim-II Sung, the grandfather of this current lineage, ruled from 1948 to 1994. Upon his death all power was seamlessly transferred to his son, Kim Jung II, who ruled from 1994 to 2011.

This past week saw the death of Kim Jung II and once again the power as been passed from father to son. Kim Jung Un, the third ruler in this legacy, has since taken over the reins and been declared the “supreme ruler”. In this way this family dynasty has exploited the society and kept the power in their own hands.

Their basic approach is to hold onto the power right up until the time of the death, so they can keep their position and enjoy all the spoils, luxuries, wealth and prestige – all the while grooming their chosen son to be next-in-line for the crown. This way they can pass their wealth and privilege to the next generation.

Similar things we have seen going on in communist Cuba.

APPLYING THIS TO ANANDA MARGA

As 2011 winds down, we should be completely frank and analyse our own house.

Since 1990 so many things have happened, and now, 21 years later, we should take definitive steps to right those wrongs. To achieve that, both awareness and honesty are needed.

In theory as well as in practice, many dedicated workers in our Marga feel in their heart that Parama Purusa is everything. They keep Baba in their heart and work tirelessly thinking of Him.

Sadly, a large number of central workers follow their own separate outlook. For them matter, not spirituality, is everything and in order to keep their facilities and comforts – like cars, big bank balances, servants, prestige etc – they sit on the chair forever and ever. They are totally unwilling to give up their post. They keep it up to their death in order to cash-in on the benefits, regardless of whether they can do their job or not.

Then they use this next technique to keep the power within the “family”. Our purodhas may not have sons or daughters but they do have stooges. These purodhas do everything to ensure that after their own demise their stooges will be in power.

Considering the above, is there not a striking similarity between the North Korean dynasty and the groupist regimes of Ranchi and Kolkata. All those controlling AMPS in the early 1990’s are veritably the same people pulling the strings today. They got a taste of the power and do not want to give it up.

BABA’S TEACHING

Those who are naive think that Baba wants central workers to hold onto the hold post up till their death. But that is not at all correct.

It is Baba’s mandate and indeed His manner that workers must not be allowed to stay in the same post for more than 3 years. Invariably they will develop some worldly attachment to that place which is detrimental for their all-round growth. That will inhibit their ability to lead the life of a monk.

For this reason, since the inception of AMPS, this rule was strictly followed: No more than 3 years in any particular post. This rule is not hidden – everybody is aware about it. Just ask any senior margii or avadhuta. This is one of Baba’s procedural orders or related codes.

Still today this rule is actively followed throughout the entire organisation, except for with our central workers. They just cling desperately onto the post in their lust for crude power just like communist leaders.

MUST NOT CLING TO THE POST

Yet Baba emphasizes that those aged, elderly persons must not cling onto the post when they are unable to carry out the responsibilities. If one is sick, or senile, or unable to manage, then they should give up the post, and their position should be handed down to a younger, more fit person. This applies even to the post of Purodha Pramukha. Those who cling to the post are suffering from a psychic disease.

Baba says, ‘To get the post, to become controller, even aged people quarrel like children. ‘I want to become prime minister, I want to become prime minister.’ It is the childish play of elderly people. What is all this. Yes, these are all mental diseases; yes, yes these are all mental diseases.” (MGD, ‘Lord of All Lords’, Patna, paraphrased from the original Hindi.)

A link to the posting detail the above guideline is cited below in the notes after the signature.

WT CONDUCT RULE:

DIGNITY OF THE LABOR, NOT THE POST

Here is another teaching from Baba wherein He is guiding workers to not worship the post but rather give maximum respect for work.

Baba says, “Workers should have dignity of the labor and not the dignity of the post. They have nothing to do with promotion, demotion, and revulsion. Whatever responsibility is allotted to them they are to do with maximum respect for the work.” (37 Workers Rules, Point #33)

Unfortunately the post 1990 leaders never adhere to this guideline from Baba.

THEY NEVER TRANSFER THEMSELVES

Furthermore, today’s purodhas do not allow themselves to be transferred from their top spots. If and when they are transferred it is always to another their high-level, cabinet position. They never accept a regional or district level posting.

Since 1990 you might not have heard of any purodha leaving their post. They only leave it on their death, not before.

This is the common points that today’s purodhas share with communists. Those purodhas who capture the power stay there with the plan of dying in that chair. That is their strategy.

SUMMARY, Part 1

In this way North Korea and AM are quite similar. Some may not like to hear such a comparison, but given the conditions of the day we are forced to make such a remark.

My request is that those at the helm be reminded about following the norms, ethics, and teachings as given by Baba. They should leave their materialistic habits and give up their posts accordingly. They must pay heed to Baba’s Wt guidelines.

SUMMARY, Part 2

In all communist countries like Russia, Korea, Cuba and even in the communist state of West Bengal, those leaders never left their post, not until they were overruled or dead.

That is also the 20+ year history in our Marga.

This is not some glorious chapter. Communists follow a matter centered philosophy and that is why they are so glued to the post. But in AM, we are not post-oriented, but rather God-oriented. Someone should share this fact with today’s top post-holders.

Why do people stick to they post? Indeed only pseudo-sadhakas stick to the post, not anyone else.

Our philosophy is great; our philosophy is God-centered. But these purodhas are not heeding the tenets of AM philosophy. God should be the goal – not the post.

Please write in with your thoughts.

Namaskar,
Mahendra

Note 1: HOW BABA WAS TRANSFERRING DADAS

No one stayed in the same post for years and years. Many may recall that Pranavananda was COS (Central Office Secretary) but many times Baba transferred to him to Kullu and other places. Plus Sarveshvarananda was GS but was then transferred away from Centre. And indeed on a regular basis Baba would transfer people from Centre. There are so many cases. That is why those days nobody thought they would stay in their same post lifelong.

Note 2: HAVE YOU HEARD??

You might have heard that Rudrananda is dreaming to become purodha somehow before his death. He may make some plot against the current people. Dada might even pressure current the current PP Dada to resign “voluntarily”.

Note 3: TWO IMPORTANT LETTERS

This first letter contrasts capitalists with communists. The first hoard wealth on the individual level, whereas communists must be linked with the state in order to enjoy the riches.

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/07/same-goal-but-2-opposite-approaches.html

Here following is the link to the letter where Baba is declaring that those aged people must give up the post and that the failure to do so means they are suffering from a psychic disease.

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-can-become-pp.html

***************************************************
Remedy

Baba says, “On imbibing cosmic ideation all kinds of ailments will be cured.” (PNS-8, p.19)
***************************************************

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Baba

== HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ==

Namaskar,

Happy New Year to all – to everyone – our entire family! [1]

We should read this following Ananda Vanii given by Baba, Lord Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji. This is His direct blessing – an original A’nanda Vanii. Why should we settle for a fake Ananda Vanii. The following can be read on 1 January 2012.

“The only creed of a spiritual aspirant is to love the Universal Consciousness and the creation. One must not be guided by any national, caste, linguistic or religious sentiment and must not tolerate any fissiparous tendency.” (A’nanda Va’nii #16)

Namaskar,
AM-GLOBAL Moderators

[1] Entire family: This refers not just to all human beings, but also the animal kingdom, the plant world, all animate beings and inanimate objects, and the expressed and unexpressed universe, i.e. this entire creation. All are part of our family.

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To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: A Few Corrections For Ananda Sutram
Date: Wed 28 Dec 2011 18:45:02 +0500 (IST)
From: Ram Sahay Deva

Baba

== A FEW CORRECTIONS FOR ANANDA SUTRAM ==

Namaskar,
Our Ananda Sutram book is very good. However recently when I was reviewing the English edition of this text in a more careful manner, I found certain mistakes. One of the translators and publishers could not properly convey Baba’s teaching. It is not anyone’s fault per se – such mistakes happen – as sadhakas it is our collective duty to correct such errors.

IMPORTANCE OF ANANDA SUTRAM

As we all know, Ananda Sutram stands as Baba’s seminal work in the realm of Ananda Marga philosophy.

Baba says, “The recognized book on Ananda Marga Philosophy is A’nanda Su’tram.” (APH-4, “Our Philosophical Treatise”)

Baba says, “A’nanda Su’tram is our philosophical treatise.” (CC-1, “Svadhyaya”)

Plus AM philosophy is completely new and unique – such a philosophy has never existed before on this earth.

Baba says, “The trend of thinking and the spiritual practices prescribed in our Ananda Marga are not only new but something quite different from the established ideas and practices…Never before in the entire history of this world or the universe, if it could be known to mortals, has a system of life…ever been correlated in such closely knit society as in Ananda Marga.” (PNS-11)

Thus when Ananda Sutram is such an important book and when AM philosophy is totally revolutionary and unique, then it only stands to reason we should ensure this book is properly published & printed.

KEY FACT ABOUT ANANDA SUTRAM

Here is one thing we should all be very clear about regarding Ananda Sutram. In the very early days of AMPS, Baba put forth the sutras of Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and dictated the purport of each sutra in Bengali. That is the source material of all other language editions of Ananda Sutram.

Those who are not aware think that Ananda Sutram is originally from Bangla but it is not. Ananda Sutram is Sanskrit because Ananda Sutram refers to the sutras, not the purports. All the sutras have been given in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit does not have its own script, they were written in Shriihars’a script. Plus the title itself is Sanskrit.

To review then, Baba gave the sutras of Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and dictated the purport of each sutra in Bengali.

HOW IT WAS WRONGLY TRANSLATED AND PUBLISHED

In the first chapter of Ananda Sutram, Baba is explaining how the entire expressed universe was created as well as how the unit beings eventually merge back into Parama Purusa. Baba’s philosophy is of course flawless, and He explains everything in such a clear and concise manner.

So it is a bit of a tragedy that there is one key point from the purport of sutra 1-21 that has been wrongly published in the English edition – in two ways.

First the Bengali word pralaya (pra = special; laya = merging; hence, merging back into the Supreme) was translated as “utter destruction” in the final sentence of the English purport. That was a translation error. Second, certain editors or publishers put that same “utter destruction” phrase in brackets [ ] to indicate that as the proper definition of pralaya or pran’a’sha in the second sentence. That was an editing mistake.

But both of these instances are wrong because in that very purport itself Baba Himself defines pralaya or pran’a’sha as “when the object merges in its cause” – i.e. when the unit being merges into the Supreme.

Here it should be noted that “-laya” is common suffix that means merging such as vilaya meaning properly dissolved. And pralaya, of course means, merging into Parama Purusa.

Hence it is totally wrong to translate or define pralaya or pran’a’sha as “utter destruction”. Dogmatic Hindus use the word in this way (explained further down in this letter), but not Ananda Margiis.

Initially, a translation error was made of the word pralaya, and then certain editors repeated that mistake. That is why now there are two mistakes in the purport of sutra 1-21.

Here is the sutra and purport of 1-21, for your review, as it appears in the current English edition of Ananda Sutram. See the mistakes for yourself.

1-21. Bhu’ma’vya’pte Mahati aham’ cittayorpran’a’she
sagun’a’sthitih savikalpasama’dhih va’.

[When the aham and the citta merge into the Macrocosmic Mahat, the merger is called sagun’a’sthiti or savikalpa sama’dhi.]

“Purport: When after continued spiritual practice the mahattattva, that is, the “I” feeling, gets metamorphosed into the Macrocosmic “I” feeling, the citta of the microcosmic mind merges in the aham and the aham merges in the mahat. When the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha [utter destruction]. Since the citta of the Macrocosm grows out of the Macrocosmic Aham, and the Macrocosmic Aham out of the Macrocosmic Mahat, when in pratisaincara’s
introversial movement the [unit] citta merges in the aham and the aham in the mahat, to call it pran’a’sha is quite logical and reasonable. The state of utter destruction of the citta and the aham and the state of all-pervasiveness of the mahat constitute sagun’a’sthiti [the state of transcendentality], or savikalpa sama’dhi [the trance of determinate absorption].” (Ananda Sutram)

In His unique explanation, Baba states that “when the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha”. Here the point is that when any unit being becomes one with Cosmic Consciousness then that is pralaya or pran’a’sha.

There is no ambiguity about this because in His 19 Oct 1971 discourse in Purnea, Baba designates an entire paragraph to describe the meaning of pran’a’sha. (Reference AV-27 (H), p.45 or AV-26 (H), p 90)

In that paragraph, Baba tells that if sugar could be converted back into sugar cane then that is pran’a’sha. Because pran’a’sha or pralaya means merging back into the source.

But, in Ananda Sutram 1-21, in square brackets [ ] the publishers inserted the phrase “utter destruction” as if that is the real meaning of pralaya or pran’a’sha. That is totally wrong. Plus in the final sentence, the original Bengali purport uses the phrase the pralaya yet that got wrongly translated as “the state of utter destruction”.

Those are the two mistakes from sutra 1-21 of the English edition of Ananda Sutram wherein pralaya got wrongly translated and printed as “utter destruction”.

WHY IT IS WRONG

According to Baba, when a jiiva’tma’ reaches the apex stance of pratisaincara and, due to sadhana and His divine grace, merges back into the Supreme then that is pralaya or pran’a’sha because at the point the unit has merged back into its Source. In that case there is no question of there being “utter destruction” – the unit being has not been harmed, ruined or destroyed. Rather a blissful merger has taken place as the jiivatma has fulfilled its dharma and become one with Parama Purusa.

The dogmatic Hindu understanding of pralaya or pran’a’sha is destruction and unfortunately that wrong notion got inserted in Ananda Sutram by certain publishers.

Such Hindus believe that the whole world will be destroyed just as other religions harbor their own doomsday and Armageddon philosophies. We however do not subscribe to such beliefs and more about this is written below. Such fundamentalists do this to scare and trap others in their dogma.

FIX YOUR BOOK: WHAT SHOULD BE

Everyone who has a copy of the English edition of Ananda Sutram should cross out the two places where “utter destruction” appears in the purport of sutra 1-21. In that very purport Baba Himself has perfectly defined pralaya and pran’a’sha as “when the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran’a’sha”.

Hence where “utter destruction” was inserted in brackets it should be deleted entirely, and where “utter destruction” was used as the translated text, that phrase should be crossed out and the word pralaya inserted. Then your personal English copy of Ananda Sutram will be correct, otherwise not.

And again there is no doubt about this. Because in His Hindi discourse printed in AV-26 (H) and AV-27 (H), Baba has specifically defined pran’a’sha as meaning merger into the Supreme Source. That is why there is no question of pran’a’sha or pralaya meaning anything else – there is no possible confusion. Baba is always meticulous on such issues wherein He gives His own dharmic explanation so people do not get misguided by traditional dogmatic uses. He has done the same with brahamacarya. In AM we have our dharmic understanding and traditional Hindu society has their limited dogma. Baba addresses both so there is no confusion.

If still the publishers would like to explain further about the meaning of pralaya, then they could use either a bracketed section signifying merger into the Divine or perhaps add a footnote and write a short paragraph. In that footnote, the editors can explain how when any thing returns to its origin or source then that is pralaya. Just like Baba did by giving the example of sugar being converted back into sugar cane. Ultimately the editors have the freedom to choose on such matters.

But to print the phrase “utter destruction” as the perfection synonym or translation of pralaya is totally misleading and wrong. Pralaya does not mean “utter destruction”. That is just the dogmatic Hindu understanding of that term. In reality, according to Ananda Marga, pralaya means that sweet and blissful merger back into the Supreme – to return to the original source.

All in all the publishers are working hard on our AM books and they have made vast strides in making our books better. In this case then they could have done better.

BEWARE OF THIS KEY DISTINCTION

In AM philosophy, pralaya means the merger back into the Supreme, by His grace.

The Hindus refer to pralaya as the demolition of this earth, or doomsday etc.

Here it should be noted that there are many shared words between AM philosophy and Hindu dogma that carry vastly different meanings: dharma, brahamcarya, samskara, brahmin, shudra, dvija, vipra, svarga, naraka, samadhi, yoga, yajina, murti, puja, Guru, and many more. There is the AM dharmic meaning and the Hindu dogmatic sense.

In the same way pralaya in Hindi means utter destruction and in AM it means merging back into the Supreme.

Only when Baba is referring to that Hindu dogma in order to dispel it – since we do not prescribe to any doomsday theory – then Baba uses the word pralaya in that sense.

Baba says, “Some philosophers, quoting the scriptures, say that a day of final doom will darken the Earth when the dead will rise from the grave. Others predict that a doomsday (pralaya)… will obliterate all forms of life. One should laugh at such illogical doctrines. According to A’nanda Ma’rga philosophy, this doomsday or pralaya will never occur…Thus, predictions of an imminent doomsday should be of no concern to you. It is nonsense; pralaya will never occur.” (AV-7)

So in Ananda Marga, pralaya means the final merger back into Parama Purusa whereas in the faulty Hindu doctrine pralaya means the utter destruction of earth.

We must not confuse these meanings nor think that Baba gives an iota of credence to the dogmatic Hindu concept of pralaya. He only uses the term in that way in order to dispel that Hindu dogma.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace He has given a perfect philosophy and it is our duty to make all the books proper. We should start by correcting our own personal English edition of Ananda Sutram.

Those in Publications are trying hard and getting much better. Our intention in this letter is simply to make the printed English edition of Ananda Sutram mistake-free, not diminish the effort of those in Publications. Even then, if they were more careful, they could have done a better job.

We all need to make these important corrections in our copies of Ananda Sutram (English edition); please inform others in your unit as well.

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

Namaskar,
Ram Sahay

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Jhar’er ra’te a’ndha’rete kendechilum van-ma’jhe…” (P.S. 3199)

Purport:

Baba on that very dark night when a big hurricane & thunderstorm was raging, that time I was crying alone in the deep forest. Nobody was there to understand the tale of my suffering. Nobody was close to me. Certainly You were there along with me, but due to my narrow outlook I could not feel Your presence. And in the height of that wild storm big branches were breaking off from the trees and crashing down on the ground. And all those tender buds and beautiful flowers were also completely blown off from the limbs of the trees; those buds and flowers were crying bitterly. That very dark, horrendous night was so disastrous.

Baba, in the madhuvan* of my mind when that hurricane finished, then a sweet, soft, breeze started blowing by Your grace; and I began to feel Your divine, blissful vibration. And ultimately by Your great compassion that deadly night of the cimmerian darkness has passed away entirely; it is completely gone. Baba, You are the Saviour of all, the Benevolent Entity, the dearest one of my heart.

Baba, my most close One, by Your grace please come closer and closer with Your sweet, charming, & attractive smile…

*Madhuvan= Literally meaning “sweet forest”; But it refers to that remote, isolated, garden in the mind that is filled with spring blossoms, sweet fragrance, aromatic flowers, and a gentle & fragrant breeze. It is that tranquil mental abode where nobody is present except the devotee and the Lord. And there the bhakta and Parama Purusa sit together ensconced in that very divinely intoxicated atmosphere and they share the loving feeling of their heart in a very close, intimate, and loving way.

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Sadhana Symptoms

Sometimes a few margiis get confused by seeing others crying or rolling on the ground during dharmacakra etc. They think that the person doing like this is very exalted. But Baba says that when maturity of sadhana comes, then such feelings and expressions do not manifest externally. Baba says these things get expressed externally only in the case of very basicbeginners– not with more developed margiis.

Baba says, “When sadhakas attain the capability to establish themselves in cosmic feeling for long periods, these ideations are confined to the mental body only and the physical body becomes calm to a great extent.” (GHC, ‘Iishvara Pranidhan’ chapter)
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Date: 27 Dec 2011 20:14:33 -0000
From: “G Bhaskaran Reddy”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Baba Story: “Why I Fell Sick”

Baba

== BABA STORY: “WHY I FELL SICK” ==

Note: Family Acarya Babanji of Bihar had many personal experiences with Baba. Here below is Ac Babanji’s first-hand account of how he became sick while in the course of duty and what Baba told him.

Namaskar,
In 1963, as a member of the Bihar Military Police (BMP), I was dispatched to Agartala, i.e, far eastern India, by my commanding officers. I was assigned to do military patrols and border control work along the Indo-Bangladeshi border. It was an unusual and special appointment within the BMP.

BABANJI’S PROMOTION

However, before ever knowing that I would be promoted and transferred from Bihar to Agartala by my military supervisors, Baba called me to Him.

He said, “I will be sending you to eastern India soon to do some pracar work.”

Hearing Baba’s words I was puzzled as a transfer to that area could only be done via a promotion. And I was wondering how will I ever be promoted when my military supervisors do not appreciate my way of living. I was following all AM practices and my bosses lived in their own way. So how would they give me such a promotion. Those were the types of thoughts swirling in my head.

In a few weeks, I was ordered by my BMP supervisors to appear in an examination. The examiner asked me all kinds of questions, many of which surprised me. But, not only did I pass the examination, I got the top score.

I was then promoted and given the assignment in Agartala. This was nothing but Baba’s special way of working. Now I would be able to do His pracara work in eastern India.

REACHING AGARTALA

AND SENT BACK TO JAMALPUR

Once I reached Agartala, then by His grace, a lot of pracar work was going on. So many margiis and Wts were created. Baba was arranging everything – there was a huge flow of activity.

After some time however, I became seriously ill and had to return to Bihar for treatment. I was thinking I must have done some mistake, otherwise what could be the reason for my sickness.

When I reached Jamalpur, I went to see Baba.

Those who were around told me, “Now Baba is going to eastern India – why have you come to Jamalpur.”

All I could reply was, “Nothing is in my hand. Baba is the one controlling my movements. He sent me to Agartala and now Baba has brought me here.”

So I remained in Jamalpur for some time and tried to get better. In due course, Baba returned to Jamalpur and I got the opportunity to see Him.

MEETING WITH BABA

The first thing Baba told me was, “Why did you commit those wrongs?”

Immediately, I began wondering what wrong I had done.

Baba then said, “What about that incident.”

I was mentally pondering my role and duties, trying to figure out where I erred. Still in my mind I was thinking that knowingly I did not do anything wrong.

Suddenly a scene flashed in mind of one encounter when I ordered a shooting where some culprits were injured.

I said, “Baba, knowingly I did not do anything beyond my call of duty. I was ordered to manage the border security. The government gave me my orders and I had to follow them.”

Baba said, “Yes, the government gives you orders, but then it is your duty to use your viveka when carrying out that order.”

Actually on the border between India and Bangladesh, people in Bangladesh were chopping and stealing trees from India. Basically they were smuggling wood. My duty was to watch and guard the border as well as protect my troops. I was very concerned that if my troops were attacked and harmed then I will be blamed.

Baba told, “When carrying out your duties, you were excessive in meting out punishment. You took strong punitive measures against even innocent people. That was not the rule and against all codes and regulations.”

Then that whole fateful scene flashed in my mind, I immediately realised my mistake and understood how some innocent people were also harmed. Baba made everything perfectly clear.

Baba said, “You had to undergo the reaction for your wrongdoing. That is why you became sick and that is why you are here now.”

Now I understood why it all happened. In Agartala, I became sick and my senior commander told me to go for treatment. I remained sick for 2 – 3 weeks. My problem would not go away. Finally the doctor told me that this climate is not good for me and that I should go back to my home area. Thus I made the trip back to Bihar.

Of course, now I understand that the reason why I became sick in the first place was due to my harmful actions.

REFLECTION

In the above story told by Ac Babaniji, there are many things to be learned.

1. As sadhakas we have to be careful when undergoing any suffering, such as when Ac. Babanji became sick. At that moment we should critically analyse the matter and do introspection and see if we made a mistake or not. Animals cannot do this type of self-analysis; and ordinary humans do not do it. As sadhakas, we must do it. Because there is no effect without a cause. We should clearly understand the link between our past actions and our present condition.

2. By the grace of Guru one may intuitively receive His guideline so that we may then change our course of action, if needed.

3. Crude and egoistic people do not reflect on the reactions of their actions and therefore invite more harm and more severe reactions, unto themselves. In the case of Babanji also, if Baba had not pointed out the problem, then Babanji would not have had any idea of his wrongdoing and he may have erred further. Baban ji is not alone in this. Rather, that is the norm: Errors are not pointed and hence people do not realise their wrongdoing.

4. Let’s take an example of how those in power might abuse their position: Suppose a policeman is ordered to arrest Mr X, then a very bad and notorious police officer will go to Mr. X and abuse and beat him mercilessly. While a good human being who is a policeman will arrest Mr X without using excessive force.

5. One must be very careful about their dealing and use their vivek (discrimination) when following orders. That will make things much better.

6. When any non-margii sinner does any injustice then they may not face the consequences immediately. In which case they will continue in their wrongdoing. But for sadhakas it is not like that. Ananda Margiis will face their reactions very quickly because in this life a practicing sadhaka must get mukti (liberation). So they must get the lesson quickly and be deterred from continuing their sinful ways. Otherwise mukti will not be possible. So for Ananda Margiis the cycle of action and reaction must be exhausted in a very short time period.

Here is Baba’s teaching from Ananda Sutram about how people learn from their good and bad actions:

Hitaeśańápreśito’pavargah (3-7)

[The requital of an action is guided by the (divine) longing for welfare.]

Purport: Even behind the requital of an act (the fruits that follow the completion of an act) lies the divine desire of benevolence. The punishment for an evil act teaches one to keep away from evil doings. The reward for a good and benevolent act teaches people that they will never get such a reward if ever they commit an evil act.
(Ananda Sutram 3-7)

7. Parama Purusa made this type of system (i.e. karma theory, or action and reaction theory) to help sadhakas remain on the right path. It is His grace.

Namaskar,
Bhaskaran

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“A’j prabha’te a’lor pa’the nu’tan phuger ba’rta’ dile…” (P.S. 2001)

Purport:

Baba, today in the dawn You came and gave the message that a new era is approaching. You told me to open my eyes and see how the darkness has faded away. And that humanity has gotten liberated from the serpentine noose of ignorance, staticity, and dogma. The humanity which was stunned by exploitation, injustices, and the tortures done by demons, today that very humanity has developed the inner strength to kick out those demons and get free. O’ Lord, You are the charioteer of the chariot of effulgence, and You have come here to guide everyone towards the Cosmic Goal. In addition You have also brought a basket of hope and inspiration; and that You are showering that upon everyone. Baba, You came and sang the song of hope and showed us the path towards enlightenment. What was needed everyone got from you. Baba You came in the dawn and gave the message of the new era– that of neo-humanism…

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Health Guideline

Baba says, “Deafness is not a disease by itself, unless it is congenital. It is an after-effect or reaction to some other ailment…Excessive use of quinine or similar poisonous medicines for a long time reduces the power of hearing.” (YT, p.43)

Note: The intake of allopathic medicines contribute significantly to deafness. One can see this reaction especially in the case of small kids.
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Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2011 18:08:24 -0400
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: “Giriish Deva” ”
Subject: Our AM Books Before ’90

Baba

== OUR AM BOOKS BEFORE ’90 ==

~ PART 1 ~

Namaskar,
Understanding the way Baba’s discourses came into print grants us deep insight into the current state of our AM books.

For instance, some of His discourses were recorded live; some were not. Some publications were meticulously proofed by Him; some were not. Some chapters were given by dictation in private and reviewed over and over again; while other discourses were spoken openly in public for all to hear.

So there are many ways in which the source material for our AM books was given. And our main goal is to ensure that those discourses which were recorded get printed properly, consistent with the original cassette. Unfortunately, up until now that has not been happening.

Here we are going to investigate why some of our AM books– that contained recorded discourses– were not printed properly prior to 1990.

GREAT SPEED OF THE WORK

We all know that up until 1990, our organisation grew and progressed at speeds never seen before on this earth. Baba’s working style was so fast and its breadth was so great, that still today it is difficult to comprehend.

PUBLISHING BOOKS OF RECORDED DISCOURSES

In that era of tremendous speed, Baba delivered a huge number of discourses, most of which were recorded. In turn, due to the fast pace of the work, those discourses were printed and published – even though He knew that those printed versions were laced with errors. Baba knew, yet He had to move ahead in that fashion because there were countless other works to do and He was abiding by the natural limitations of being in human form. He had only limited hours in the day to get things done. Hence, to give the teaching that work should be done and accepting human limitation, He allowed projects to be completed that were not entirely correct at the time.

Yet He set-up a safeguard that since the original discourses were recorded, those books could be corrected in the future.

Such was the case with many books, including Ananda Vacanamrtam part 12. It was first printed in 1980. All the discourses were recorded yet due to the speed of the work, it was printed in a hasty manner with many errors. Yet Baba did not say anything. Why? Because He wanted to show that all the books should be printed. That was the overarching concept behind its publication at that moment: To show that AM books must be made.

It is just like when one baby is learning how to walk then the parents praise the baby for every step it takes, and they never criticise the baby for falling. Likewise, as the benevolent Father, Baba was encouraging His children when taking on new works, like the printing of books, even if the publication contained errors.

Plus, due to extreme time constraints, He could not stop all the other works to ensure that each and every syllable of the recorded discourses that make up AV-12 and other books were printed properly. Rather He set the tone that books should be made from those recorded discourses.

And with our own common sense, it is up to us to understand now that those books which contain recorded discourses should be done accurately.

HOW BABA WAS PRESSURISING

With regards to the recording of His discourses, Baba was very strict, especially after 1978. He knew that the speed of His organisational activities had increased tremendously– thousands of works were going on all at once– and the only way to ensure His discourses were properly maintained was to have them all recorded.

And one day, 15 October 1978, in Patna Baba showed His intensity on this very matter. He demanded from the Dadas responsible to show Him how His discourses had been recorded. He demanded to see the cassettes from the last so many days. Yet those Dadas had nothing to show. Baba became furious and He refused to give any more discourses until those Dadas promised to record them. Baba even charge-sheeted Ramanandaji in order to show His extreme displeasure.

(Note: As sadhakas we know that Baba expressed His sentient anger in order to lovingly guide us. Without showing such anger it was not always possible to teach us. But in reality any expression of “anger” was nothing but the outer expression of His divine love.)

Finally, those Dadas begged and pleaded with Baba that they had been negligent in the past and from this day forward they would record His discourses. Only then did Baba’s anger wane and He graciously gave more discourses.

THE STRATEGY OF QUICK PRINTING AND RECORDING

Here the whole point is that when things were going quickly in organisational life, Baba knew that His discourses had to be recorded, lest they become lost. There are a few exceptions in that post 1978 period where Baba specifically did not want a discourses recorded, for one reason or another. And that is discussed below. But on the whole, in that period of work, work, work, Baba knew that books would get printed with thousands of mistakes, as happened with the 1980 printing of Ananda Vacanamrtam part 12; yet He ensured that those mistakes would get corrected in due course since those discourses were recorded.

HIS TEACHINGS MUST NOT GET LOST

We all know that Lord Shiva’s teachings of seven thousand years ago got lost. Same is the case with Lord Krsna’s original teachings. Those Hindu priests created countless fake versions of the Bhagavda Giita. Even Buddha’s teachings, which were given only 2,500 years were altered and destroyed.

Baba was adamant that the same fate should not happen with His teachings. So with His coming on this earth, He cleared up the misnomers surrounding Lord Shiva’s and Lord Krsna’s teachings, as well as those of Buddha, and He also gave wonderful new material for the humanity. And the way He ensured it would make it through the ages was to have it recorded. That was His special plan.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

As His disciples, our duty is to carry out His plan and preserve His teachings by utilising those cassettes of His recorded discourses.

Back in 2008, Ananda Vacanamrtam was re-published yet it contains countless errors, many of which occurred in that 1980 printing. This cannot and must not be our standard. We should not just sit back and think, well it got printed that way before 1990 so we should print it that way again. This should not be our outlook.

Rather we are to understand and realise that those days work was going on at an incredible speed and Baba’s emphasis was on getting the books printed in order to teach us about the importance of recording and printing His discoursee. There was not tim to review every word. He knew those discourses had been recorded and that with our common sense we would review those recordings before printing future editions of the book. He has entrusted us with this task.

Plus we should also correct all the books that were translated into other languages from an incorrect printed version.

Of course He wants His discourses to be printed in a pristine manner; of course our AM books must be accurate. That is why He ensured that in cases like AV-12 the discourses were recorded.

Now today, it is our bounden duty to carefully use those recordings to ensure that all His books come in proper shape and proper form. No one should fall into the false understanding that since a book was printed in a certain way back in 1980, then those same problems should be repeated again and again with each and every printing.

Rather, with our rational minds, we should understand that any discourse that Baba chose to record should now be made perfect by referring to that recording. That recording is the very key to making the printed version proper. That is how we are to make our AM books perfect.

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace, He has given us all the tools to ensure the integrity of His teachings is maintained up to eternity.

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

Namaskar,
Giriish

Note 1: GENERAL TREND OF AM BOOKS

From 1955 to 1962, Baba was basically dictating His books word by word and the disciples were noting them down. And then Baba was reviewing those notes to ensure they were proper. And finally the book was printed. That was one phase of work.

From 1962 to 1970, many discourses were recored and many not, and many were lost in the Emergency period. Some of those discourses were published while others were not.

Finally in the post 1978 period, work was going on at such a pace that nearly all His discourse were recorded. And that recording is to be considered the original and true discourse.

There are only a few books in this latter period that come from discourses that were not recorded such as Neo-Humanism: Liberation of Intellect, Namah Shivaya Shantaya (only 2 discourses or so were recorded), and books dealing with grammar like Shabda Cayanika were not recorded. Hence those books came from via an entirely different method often times reviewed again and again by Baba through a careful and meticulous editing process.

But in those cases where the discourses were recorded, they went straight to publication without a lot of checking and re-checking, so now it is our responsibility that those printed discourses match the original cassette, lest we perpetuate errors of old as happened in the case of AV-12 (2008).

Note 2: NOT HAVE ARCHIVE MATERIALS WITH GROUPISTS

One key point in all of this is that our Archive materials that contain all the recorded discourses should not remain in the hands of various groupist leaders. Those archive materials must not be at the mercy of those factional chieftains.
Because for their own selfish ends, they may change, alter, distort, or hide Baba’s original discourses. This is the very real fear; so we must demand that all Archive materials be available for distribution to one and all. We must not
let the current pitiful situation last a day longer where all our archive materials are in the closet of one groupist party.

Note 3: GREAT SPEED OF THE WORK (cont)

We all know that before 1990, our organisation grew and progressed at speeds never seen before on this earth. Baba’s working style was so fast and its breadth was so great, that still today it is difficult to comprehend.

And in that great pace, naturally some of the things got done in extreme haste, such as having a school with only 5 students or printing a book without even reviewing it. Yet those projects were accepted because Baba was giving us practical demonstrations of all the things we needed to do.

If He simple had told us to do things which He did not show us in the practical sphere, then we might never do it; whereas if He practically demonstrated each and every work, then we would understand that that work needed to be done– and naturally over time we would learn how to do it correctly.

The creation of schools, the development of MU’s, pracara in new countries, posting transfers, daily newsletters in every samaj, the granting of PC, microvita demonstrations, organisational meetings with every trade imaginable, political protests, and yes the recording of His discourses and publication of His books, indeed so many things were happening all at once and there were so many phases of His work that still today it was difficult to comprehend.

Why was His speed like that? As we know, He had a very short span of time to show us all the things that had to be done on this earth in the future.

He wanted to show us that there should be a schools in every unit, and service projects in every block, and Prout rallies in every locale, and ponds made on every MU, and so many things He wanted to show us in seed form. So He had the organisation running in multiple directions all at once.

That was Baba’s perfect way of teaching us what to do.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Toma’r na’mer tarii beye bhese calechi sudu’re…” (3937)

Purport:

Baba, by Your grace I am rowing the boat of my life, singing Your name, and floating toward the spiritual world. Baba, because I am dancing in Your divine tune, I know I will never meet defeat– victory is assured.

Baba, with Your eternal song as my rudder guiding me along, I never feel lost or frustrated. Baba by Your grace in my life there is no hypocrisy. And by Your grace I do not suffer from the painful crocodile thorns of self-aggrandisement, (asmita’). By Your causeless compassion, my mind is pure and straight. O’ my dearmost, Your divine vibration encompasses everything. The zig-zag path, and the high tide & low tide– everything resonates in the divine sound of Your omnkara.

Baba, I do not have any desire to look back; I am moving forward towards You with my heart and mind. Baba, by Your grace I never lose the path or unnecessarily waste my time, because by Your grace I do not spend my days recalling all those old forgotten memories of my distant past. Always You keep me marching along the path of fulfillment– towards You.

Baba, by Your grace I am under Your shelter, and in my sadhana and dhyana I always sing Your name. That is the main force moving me ahead towards You…

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One Should Assess Oneself on the Following

Baba says, “When human beings feel that, ‘Parama Purusa is my everything’, then that is called as sharan (shelter). No entity can come under the sharan (shelter) of two different things. Then what is the meaning of Sharanagati (surrender)? When living beings give up their ‘I-feeling’ by withdrawing the mind from any other object and feel that Parama Purusa alone is my everything.”

“Up to the time when living beings are thinking that they are working with their own strength, then you should understand that the feeling of sharanagati has not yet come in them. And when human beings think that, ‘I am doing the work only with His strength’, it means the feeling of sharanagati has come in their mind. So when living beings start thinking that, ‘Whatever work I am doing, I am doing with His strength’, then they have the feeling of sharanagati.” (General Darshan, Patna DMC, 1970, [from audio tape])
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Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2011 21:57:23 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From:
Subject: Even Small Things Help in Sadhana

Baba

“Bha’loba’si toma’y a’mi, keno ta’ ja’ni na’…” P.S. 2329

Purport:

Baba, I love You but I do not know why I love You. You go on pulling my heart– but what is the mystery behind this, that I do not understand. Baba, You are the divine effulgence of my dark heart. By Your grace I will never allow that effulgence to get extinguished. Baba, I will always keep Your love in my heart.

All the love I have in the deep core of my heart, and all the hopes and longings I have in my mind, all my desires and aspirations are revolving around You. And they get expressed through Your songs, dance, melody, and rhythms. Baba, You are my everything. Where I am, where I will go, and from where I have come, all these types of useless questions never come in my mind, by Your grace. Baba, I do not even want to know these things. Just I am fully depending on You– that You know
everything and that everything is in Your control.

Baba, You are always ever gracious on me. I love You; my whole existence is Yours…

== EVEN SMALL THINGS HELP IN SADHANA ==

Namaskar,
In recent times I have been struggling– more than usual– in sadhana. I did not know which way to turn for help. Life was busy and it seemed like sadhana was getting away from me.

Certainly there are so many high ideals to inspire us to move ahead, but those all seemed quite elusive to me at the time.

After talking with one acarya, I thought I should try and work from the ground up. So I took renewed interest in my asana practice as way to get back into a proper sadhana flow. Here I do not mean asanas as in all those postures that are currently part of the new yoga craze. Rather I am referring to the three or four sadhana oriented asanas as given by Beloved Baba.

By His grace, it has been these postures which have revived my sadhana practice. Of course there are many things that create a good sadhana flow including kiirtan, svadhyaya, satsaunga, second lesson, diet, intermittent dhyana etc. All these contribute significantly to our meditative state and success in sadhana.

At the same time, we should also not forget how seemingly small(er) practices like asanas also play an important, if not invaluable, role.

WHAT ARE THOSE ASANAS

In a nutshell, we are talking about shashaungasana, viirasana, padmasana, and siddhasana, all of which are featured and described in Caryacaraya III as well as in the Acarya Diary.

* Shashaunga’sana (Hare Pose): The real beauty and spiritual use of this asana is doing it before one’s sadhana practice. It helps calm the mind and breath and awakens and stimulates the pineal gland. So doing 8 rounds of this asana just before starting one’s sadhana practice is extremely useful.

Personally, I found this asana to be quite beneficial in focusing the mind on my sadhana endeavour. Without that, I find that my mind runs hither and thither.

* Viira’sana (Hero Pose): As we all know this is our 3rd lesson asana. In the past I always used to kneel on my knees without curling the toes underneath, because that was easier and more comfortable. But now I sit in the posture correctly. My acarya told me that without doing so, then 3rd lesson will not be strong. And without a pointed approach in 3rd lesson, then dhyana is basically a waste of time. So this viira’sana is essential for sadhana.

In the beginning, curling my toes underneath caused me great pain. But in just a short amount of time, the position became quite comfortable for me and I can better understand how it enhances concentration. Now, by Baba’s grace, when I am in this posture, my mind easily gets more focused and I feel strong energy swirl through my entire body.

* Padma’sana (Lotus Posture): Baba has placed great emphasis on this posture, especially in our practice of first lesson. In particular, it is helpful for doing our shuddhis. Because the whole import of doing our bhutashuddhi, asanashuddhi, and cittashuddhi is to withdraw the mind from worldly things and situate our mental feeling at our Ista cakra. And padma’sana helps goad the mind away from the physical realm. By first placing the right foot on the left thigh and then bringing the left foot over onto the right thigh, then that enhances concentration. To complete the pose, we then place the right hand on top of the left. Plus the tongue should be rolled back towards the roof of the mouth.

This we have all learned and know. Even then it is not easy. I was having trouble with this, and my entire sadhana program was falling to pieces.

By Baba’s grace, my acarya noticed that I was merely sitting in a lazy, cross-legged position in sadhana, so he gently guided me to take up the practice of sitting in padma’sana. In the beginning I could just barely get into the position, but I could not remain there long. Within five minutes, or even two minutes, I thought that my knees would explode. Over time, my endurance in this pose has increased such that now by Baba’s grace I can complete my entire first lesson in padmas’ana. And yes, it has been helpful for controlling the mind and allowing me to go deeper into my sadhana & mantra japa.

* Siddha’sana (Siddha posture): This asana looks relatively easy but is extremely difficult. Sometimes people refer to this as half-lotus so they think it is easier than padmasana. But in truth many find it much more difficult.

As my acarya told me, siddha’sana is to be used primarily for dhyana. That is the specialty of this pose because the heels are pressed in towards the muladhara and svadishthana cakras, thereby controlling & even numbing those lower points and their associated vrttis.

Once that area is suspended through this special process of siddhasana, then it is quite certain that at the very least the mind will not degrade, and with proper thought and psychic approach the mind will move from its home at ajina cakra and rise up to sahasrara cakra.

Although a difficult pose, this one has also been extremely helpful for me in getting back into a better sadhana flow.

Note: Due to the nature of this pose, it is not proper– due to anatomical reasons– for sisters to sit in this posture. Rather they should use a modified version thereof, or padmas’ana. Best will be to talk to their Didi about this.

ONE IMPORTANT POINT ABOUT DHYA’NA

One other interesting thing is this.

My acarya told me that in trying to do dhyana many people in fact have their mind in ajina cakra– not sahasrara cakra. Unbeknownst to them, some sadhakas do like this. My acarya says this becomes quite evident when he and other acaryas do lesson reviews– both of Dadas and margiis. And in that case, one cannot do true dhyana.

To help ensure the mind reaches up to the sahasrara cakra, one can lightly touch the very crown of the head as that will help goad the mind in that direction. Of course, without strong spiritual ideation and deep devotion, then the mind will not reach up to that pinnacled point. So touching alone will not suffice, but it can help if the other factors are alright.

TRY TO BECOME SIDDHA IN OUR SADHANA ASANA PRACTICE

Siddha means ‘accomplished’, ‘practiced’, ‘comfortable’, ‘established’ etc. We should become siddha in each of the four mentioned sadhana asanas. Of course we are not hatha yogis who practice thousands of asanas all day long. But these four above asanas are integral to a spiritually-vibrated sadhana practice. Specifically, siddha means being able to sit in postures like padmasana for 1, 2, or even 3 hours at a time without feeling any discomfort. Once the physical body is established in this pose, then the mental realm can truly delve deeper into the practice and sanctity of sadhana.

So we should all try to achieve a state of ‘siddha’ in our spiritual asana practice.

MANY FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO PROPER SADHANA

There are many factors that contribute to a vibrant sadhana practice. By Baba’s grace, that is why He has given us Sixteen Points and countless other teachings and guidelines. All these enhance our sadhana practice.

That said, when I was really struggling, then I found the aspect of our seated, meditative poses to be a helpful tool of rejuvenating my sadhana career. It may be a small piece to the puzzle, but maybe others will also find it helpful. That is why I decided to write this letter.

Others should also write in with their thoughts and reflections.

BABA’S BLESSING

Baba says, “The relation between the physical body and the mind is very close. Mental expression is brought about through the vrttis, and the predominance of the vrttis depends on different glands of the body. There are many glands in the body and from each there is a secretion of a particular hormone. If there is any defect in the secretion of hormones or any defect in a gland, certain vrttis become excited. For this reason, we find that in spite of having a sincere desire to follow the moral code, many persons cannot do so; they understand that they should do meditation, but they cannot concentrate their minds because their minds become extroverted due to the external excitement of this or that propensity. If a person wants to control the excitement of these propensities, he or she must rectify the defects of the glands. Ásanas
help the sádhaka to a large extent in this task, so ásanas are an important part of sádhaná.” (CC-3)

Namaskar,
Mukunda

Note 1: A’SANA PICTURES ARE NOT ALWAYS PROPER

Everyone should be careful when studying or learning any new asana. Because many of the drawings and displays of our asanas are not depicted properly or accurately in our AM Publications. This is something that will have to be fixed. Till then, always be sure to consult with an appropriate acarya or senior margii regarding the practice of asanas– i.e. consult with someone who himself is strict and established in their asana practice.

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