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Archive for March 23rd, 2012

From: “Arjuna Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Deliberate Attempt to Eliminate One’s Life
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 21:38:02 -0800

Baba

== DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO ELIMINATE ONE’S LIFE ==

Note: Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S…. When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana. (Wikipedia)

Namaskar,
These days euthanasia, ending one’s life prematurely, is an approach that more and more are seeking in this materialistic era. As Ananda Margiis we should be clear about AM’s stand on this critical issue and be able outline a clear-cut response.

BABA STORY ABOUT ENDING ONE’S LIFE

A margii medical student from Gwalior once went to Delhi to see Baba. During that PC, Baba recounted one fateful event from years earlier.

The margii (who at this time had yet to be initiated) was visiting his father who was terminally ill with cancer and on death’s row. The father asked his son to grant him just one wish.

The father said, “Before I ask, I want you first to promise to carry out my wish. Do you promise?”

The son said, “Yes father, I promise.”

The father made his final request to his son: “Please give me a powerful drug that will take my life.”

The young man was shocked and in a quandary as to what to do. The dilemma forcefully griped his mind and sent him into a stark downward spiral – a state of deep depression.

Overwrought, the young man then decided to take his own life as he could neither bear watching his father die slowly nor could he agree to his father’s request to end his life. So the young man stood at the edge of the Yamuna river just on the cusp of ending it all. His guilt was too much to bear.

In that dark night, a strong voice in the distance suddenly shook the young man from this act and that stranger safely led the young man back to his house.

Time passed and that young doctor became a margiis.

In PC, Baba asked the him, “Who saved you that night when you were contemplating suicide?” The young margii intuitively felt that Baba Himself had come to rescue him.

Baba went on to explain in that PC that as a doctor he should not feel guilty about not agreeing to his father’s request to end the life. A doctor’s duty is to serve and help a patient survive. Never should one assist another in dying. Rather one should feel blessed to be able to serve the patient in life.

Hearing thus, the margii felt totally relieved and revived and thereafter carried out his medical duties courageously and faithfully.

BABA’S GUIDELINES ON DYING

Baba very clearly guides us that we should never give way to lowly feelings wherein one wishes to end their life. Life is invaluable and to be utilised to its fullest.

Baba says, “You cannot afford to waste any part of your precious life.” (Subhasita Samgraha, part 19)

Thus there is no scope for prematurely ending one’s life via medical maneuvers. In AM we honor the mind, and if the mind is capable enough to think that life is not worth living, it means that mind has enough shakti to ideate on Parama Purusa and / or help others in the psychic sphere. Thus rather than allowing a person to voluntarily end their life prematurely, they should be guided toward psycho-spiritual practices. That is our first and foremost reply.

Euthanasia, or the forced arrival of death, is verily a form of suicide, or assisted suicide. And that is not at all condoned in our Marga.

Baba says, “Those who commit suicide, do it when their mind is in a negative state. It is unnatural.” (A Few Problems Solved, part 6)

Thus we should not be swayed by any of the theories or arguments that are floating around today that life can or should be ended prematurely in some circumstances. Under no circumstances should that happen.

Nor should one sit idly waiting to die. That is Baba’s distinct directive.

In one of His discourses from Gorakhpur, Baba graphically describes that one must not lie down in bed meekly – accumulating bed sores – waiting for death to arrive. In that case, better to rise up, expend one’s last drop of energy and be active in sadhana and social service. One should do something to help others with whatever strength and stamina one has. In the due course death will come, and at that time, as far as possible, one should be involved in sadhana and serving humanity.

Indeed in so many discourses Baba has declared:

“Marte marte ka’m karo, ka’m karte karte maro”
“Die while working, and work even while dying”.”

Thus Baba is giving us two distinct teachings:
1) Do not take one’s own life prematurely;
2) Be vigorously active utilising all one’s strength – that is far better than lying listlessly waiting for death to approach.

THE DOGMA OF MATERIALISTS

In today’s world, where most are involved in so many material pursuits, then people become depressed and fall prey to gloomy thoughts seeing their physical body demise.

They fail to think about greater aims in life, “Who am I, why am I here.” Rather they consider this world only for name, fame, post, and sensual pursuits.

They become deluded into thinking that since life is only for sensual pleasures so if the body is not working properly, then best is to end the life.

They think, “Why should I live if I cannot engage in my normal array of instinctual pursuits.”

Then the part two is that they fall prey into another defective mind-set.

They falsely conclude: “At least if I kill myself, I can get rid of my suffering and maybe find a better life somewhere else.”

When in fact the truth is that one is tied up with their own samskaras. One may be able to run away from their house or hide from the police, but mother prakrti will always find them. In that case, how silly to think, “I will start off “clean” in a new place.

Rather, by dropping into the dogma of euthanasia one will just acquire yet another negative samskara – because killing oneself is itself a sinful deed that will create a horrible samskara.

Thus no one should fall prey to the materialistic avenues of premature death or the dogma of trying to find better things through death, i.e. in the afterlife. All these false notions and faulty justifications arise when one feels that the physical body is everything.

Baba says, “Materialism tends to forget that the crude physical body and its vital energy are not the whole of human existence – that the most priceless assets of human beings are their psychic wealth, their spiritual treasures, and their most beloved entity, Parama Purus’a, the Lord of their life.” (Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Disc: 18)

Utterly devoid of spiritual vision, people think that their life is totally tied to their physical body – physical pursuits.

Whereas in AM, ours is a spiritual ideal, as Baba guides us above.

REASONS GIVEN BY THE STATE

At present, various states, governments, and countries have been debating the matter of euthanasia, or the voluntary act of deliberately giving up one’s life.

They cite various reasons for this to occur: sickness and disease, incapacity to walk, see, or hear, debilitating accidents, loss of limbs, and religious reasons as well.

For all of the above and more, such advocates claim it is reasonable for one to prematurely end one’s life.

But again this is a purely materialistic outlook. What they fail to realise is that life is not for physical pleasure but for pleasing and surrendering to Parama Purusa. And, so long as one can think one has the capacity to please and serve Him.

And actually, the loss of one’s physical gifts forces one to face one’s vulnerability. This then makes it easier for one to surrender to the Lord. Whereas when one is at full strength and bossing others around, then who thinks that they should surrender to Parama Purusa – already they feel impregnable.

So there is a spiritual gain in losing one’s physical prowess.

But the materialist just thinks, “Without my full physical force I prefer not to live, and If I die my suffering will be over.”

And those in the bind of religious dogma think that, “If I take my life I will gain redemption and escape my pain and problems here on earth. After ending this life, I will end up happily in heaven. Why don’t I go to heaven now. The golden palace is waiting for me in heaven.”

What they do not realise is that one may escape from the police or from one’s enemies etc, but one cannot escape from their negative deeds and samskaras. From this, there is no escape or running – not even by death.

REASONS TO LIVE

Of course, in Ananda Marga life is viewed as vital to one’s progress and there are so many reasons to continue living. Furthermore, there are numerous reasons why one should not succumb to the destructive ways of assisted suicide or euthanasia.

1) One’s samskaras can only be exhausted while alive and that one should use the physical body on this earth in order to finish all one’s past unexpressed samskaras.

2) After death, the mind cannot function without the brain. After death, there is little difference between and an animal mind and a human mind. It is just a mind along with its unexpressed samskaras, whether good or bad. All waiting for rebirth.

3) If a person ends their life intentionally, i.e. assisted suicide, then that creates yet another bad samskara. Why? Because if a person commits suicide then they will face that negative samskara of deliberately destroying their body.

4) When the body is debilitated then feelings of helplessness arise, and that brings feelings of surrender – the highest calling in life. Thus this time of life should be used for spiritual growth and not wasted in euthanasia.

5) If one has the active awareness to make the decision to choose to die, then they have enough awareness to do sadhana. Sadhana only needs the feeling of “I am”, “I exist”, and “I do” and then one can practice meditation.

6) So long as the brain is functioning then should one not be taken off life support. If the brain is working, one can do sadhana even if the motor organs are not working. If one suffers brain death (vegetative state) as determined by doctors, that is the sole requisite for ending life support because then one cannot do sadhana.

7) Part of our spiritual approach in life to ask Baba to, “Please grace me and give me strength to face any and all suffering and setbacks in life.” Especially in dark periods of life or when sick, one should take this ideation.

8) One should always remember that one can become one with Parama Purusa with the right ideation – it takes just a moment. Proof of this is the terrible villain Valmiki who in the course of a few moments expressed his repentance with great sincerity and thereafter became known as a great saint.

9) Another important thing is that one cannot do sadhana without a physical body. Baba has said many times that even the devayonis must get the human framework if they wish to gain salvation. That is the only way to finish one’s sadhana.

And it is well known that the famed guru Swami Lahiri Mahasaya came to Baba multiples times in a body-less form and begged Him to grant him a body with which to complete his sadhana.

10) One should not give way to feelings of nihilism (i.e. this world is misery). This is not appreciated by Ananda Marga. We do not agree with Buddha’s teaching. One must not fall prey to feelings of misery and instead cross the ocean of maya.

11) As long as one is able to think, then one can ideate on Him. No matter how grave one’s problems one can always cry for the Lord.

All of the above speaks to the importance of keeping one’s physical body as one precious vehicle for manifesting one’s spiritual ideal. There is no scope to do assisted suicide when the brain stem itself is still functioning.

TWO CONCLUSIVE POINTS

1. Those who think that after death they will live joyously in heaven want to conclude this life and rejoice in heaven. Certain dogmatic religions believe in this. As Ananda Margiis, we do not adhere to such dogmatic concepts. We know that one cannot escape their samskara. If you die, or deliberately terminate your life, you will be reborn and face that samskara. If you commit suicide then you will also face the negative consequences associated with intentionally destroying your body.

2. Those who do not believe in samskara theory think that by eliminating their body they can put an end to their suffering. But they do not know that wherever they go they will have to face their suffering. So then why not face it here and now?

LIFE IS IN SERVICE TO THE SUPREME

No matter how desperate things get, when drowned in any problem or difficulty, we can only say, “O’ Parama Purusa please grant me strength to serve You – then my life will be successful.”

Tragically those with a materialistic outlook can never conceive of this idea. Thus it is imperative that all understand the inner spirit of one’s human life and its utilisation.

Baba says, ‘The only aim of life is spiritual practice – the realization of the Supreme. But the body, composed of the five fundamental factors, and the mind, which is related to this body, are in this physical world. So spiritual practice cannot be sustained by ignoring this physical world. People will have to conduct their lives in such a way that their mundane duties are properly discharged without disturbing their spiritual practice, which is the primary goal of life. Thus people will have to continue their spiritual practice as the primary mission in life, and at the same time fulfil their worldly responsibilities, considering them to be allotted by God.” (Namah Shivaya Shantaya)

BABA’S BLESSING

No one should get duped or confused into thinking that there is any positive aspect of euthanasia. It is a faulty plan and foolhardy approach for solving one’s problems. May we all live with the notion that we have come here to serve Him. Then we are sure to lead a successful life, unperturbed by the comings and goings of worldly life.

Baba says, “Progress along the path of devotion is sweet and smooth. However the one who advances only a short way along the path of knowledge is soon assailed on all sides by the laments of the parched desert. No matter what the nature of one’s sa’dhana’ might be, one will have to practice sa’dhana’ in this world; one will not get the opportunity after death. It is up to you to choose between the path of divinity and the path of animality. But remember, the highest fulfillment in life lies in Brahma sa’dhana’. The attainment of immortality lies in the pursuit of this path. Only through Brahma sa’dhana’ can one properly evaluate life and attain genuine progress. The fulfillment of a bud lies in its unfoldment, not in its withering. Those who spend life in the pursuit of limited mundane objects allow the bud of their lives to wither, and regress along the path of negative Pratisaincara to suffer the eventual miserable plight of becoming as inert as bricks, stones or iron, what to speak of dogs or cats. This process of crudification will lead to the total annihilation of their latent humanity.”

“An intelligent person should not follow the path of annihilation, but the path of spiritual unfoldment. The pursuit of dharma is the path leading to progress. Life reaches a glorious culmination and supreme fulfillment only in this pursuit of dharma.” (Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life, part 8)

Namaskar,
Arjuna Deva

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Madhur mohan tumi cita-rainjan a’cho sada’ sa’the sa’the…” (3580)

Purport:

Baba, You are very sweet, most attractive. You have coloured my mind in Your colour. That is why You are Cita-Rainjan [1]. Always You are remaining with me side by side. You have removed the despair and filled my heart with Your love. All the darkness & hopelessness was removed by that light.

Baba, You are beyond the scriptures, intellect, logic, and reasoning, You are above all these; You are Alakha-Nirainjain [2], beyond description. Infinite and unblemished. Only You can shatter the bondage of avidya maya – the mirage of negative attraction– and grant salvation. Baba, You are the most charming, the most sweet, my own…

END NOTES FOR PRABHATA SAMGITIA #3580:

[1] Cita-Rainjan: Baba guides us & we all know that devotion is that unique ingredient which allows one to advance in the spiritual field. Without innate love for Parama Purusa one can never succeed. By Baba’s divine grace, in His role as Cit-Rainjan, He is that Divine Entity who colours and saturates the mind of sadhakas in the fountain of devotion. Baba says, “‘rainjana’, which means ‘the One who colours’ – that which colours the mind.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam-1) So He is that Cosmic Being who graciously showers devotional love into the heart and mind of the bhakta. And by such overwhelming Cosmic grace, the devotee becomes immersed in Supreme bliss and comes in the closest proximity with that Love Personified Entity: Parama Purusa.

[2] Alakhanirainjan: (‘Alakh’ means ‘invisible’; ‘nir’ means ‘no’; ‘ainjan’ means ‘black spot’.) Of the infinite attributions of Parama Purusa, one of which is that He is invisible and blemishless– totally pure and perfect. That is why He is known as Alakhanirainjan. Because in this world unit beings are bound by their past actions, by their samskaras; and this creates a black mark in their mind. But being Alakhanirainjan, being both invisible and blemishless, Parama Purusa is totally beyond the realm of sense perception and beyond the realm of samskara. His mind never gets stained. He remains eternally pure and spotless.

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Rising Up

“Ghuma’ye theko na’ a’r jago tvra’, a’rt ma’navata’ d’a’k diye ja’y…”

O’ brothers and sisters, let us no longer remain in slumber. We should get up without delay. The crying humanity is calling us; the people are in desperate need of our help, support, & service. We have to give the proper response by waving the flag of neo-humanism and thus usher in the new dawn– whereby humanity is united. Taking Baba’s divine Name, we have to remove their cry and suffering by forming one human society. Let us not delay– the situation is urgent… (Prabhat Samgiita #4872)
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