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Archive for February 1st, 2013

To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: How Ananda Marga Is Not A Religion
From: Nataraj.1948@.93@freenet…..
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:05:09

Baba

== HOW ANANDA MARGA IS NOT A RELIGION ==

Namaskar,
Some of the religions preach that on Sundays one should remember the Lord and lead an honourable life – that is their chosen holy day and all other days are for material pursuits. But even then, on Sundays, in their prayer and worship they pray for material or selfish gains.

Then there are other dogmatic religions that have selected Friday or Saturday as their holy day, where they approach their God for boons and grace. While on all other days they aim for material gain.

And verily all the religions fall within this module where a small portion of life is meant for prayer and worship, and even then that prayer and worship is not the aim or endpoint. Those prayers are for heightening their stature in their social life etc.

In that case, their religious engagements are a part of their social life. Every religion has partitioned its prayer practices to a small part of life which is not very visible and barely touches the seed of their existence. Rather they are governed by materialistic policies.

But in Ananda Marga, it is completely opposite. Ours is the path of pure spirituality where all practices and endeavours are for pleasing and serving the Supreme. And all social and worldly dealing are to be done thinking of Him. Thus those acts are not mundane ventures but rather a part of Brahma sadhana. Because the aim is not selfish gain but rather to serve Parama Purusa.

Only in the dharma of Ananda Marga do we see that living aspect of true spirituality ensconced into each and every cell of one’s existence.

ANANDA MARGA SPIRITUALITY IS THE VERY PULSE OF OUR LIFE

The path which Baba has shown us – the path of Ananda Marga is revolutionary since it is deeply ensconced in the nectar of spirituality. From birth to death and from morning till night, the life of an Ananda Margii is filled with spiritual practices and cosmic ideation. When one emerges from the womb and enters this world then immediately that infant is drenched in the ideation of Baba Nam Kevalam. And it continues on from there. Hence in Ananda Marga spirituality is our very heartbeat.

We all know that in our A’nanda Ma’rga Baba places tremendous emphasis on the dual approach of spiritual sadhana and social service. Both have a huge role to play. For that reason some may be thinking that our spiritual life and our social life are therefore equal in all regards.

Without going too deeply into the matter, this might be a logical conclusion one would make: Estimating that both are 50-50, i.e. the same size & of equal value etc. It is easy to surmise how someone might conclude in that fashion.

However, Baba’s divine teaching is something else. As important as our social life is, Baba here unveils and expresses the vastness & unparalleled nature of our spiritual approach in A’nanda Ma’rga.

Baba says, “Our spiritual life is not a part of our social life; our social life is a part of our spiritual life.” (1)

Thus, Baba’s above teaching establishes the supremacy of spirituality as He tells that everything falls within the scope of our spiritual life. That is, our spiritual life is not a subset of our social life; but our social life is a part of our spiritual life.

With this is mind, that means that our entire social dealing comes under that great umbrella of spirituality. Or, another way of saying it is that nothing comes outside of our spiritual approach. Everything is part and parcel of that. Hence, in Ananda Marga, we say that spirituality is the top-most thing– the summum bonum of life.

Baba says, “Spirituality is the summum bonum of life in all its aspects.” (2)

Here are more points which lead in this same direction– which highlight the greatness of spiritual life in Ananda Marga.

SUBJECTIVE APPROACH & OBJECTIVE ADJUSTMENT

In our Ananda Marga, Baba has given the tenet: Subjective approach and objective adjustment.

Baba says, “Your goal is the Supreme Entity. Yours is a subjective approach through objective adjustment. Your movement is towards the Supreme Entity. But while moving towards the Supreme Entity, you are to do all your worldly duties in the social, economic and all other spheres. That is, your hands should be engaged in worldly duties, and your mind should be moving towards the Supreme Entity.” (3)

The overarching aim and main theme of life for an Ananda Margii is to always have the mind focused on Parama Purusa. This is the aim and that is the approach. All endeavours in our social life are not ends of themselves. Those worldly engagements are not our approach. Those endeavours are to be adjusted to fit neatly within our spiritual approach. Thus our social life stands as a subset of our spiritual life.

This is further emphasized by our practice of brahamcarya. While living in the world and interacting with finite expressions we are to always ideate on the Supreme.

“The meaning of practising brahmacarya sádhaná is to treat the object with which one comes in contact as different expressions of Brahma and not as crude forms. By means of such an ideation, even though the mind wanders from one object to another, it does not get detached from Brahma because of the Cosmic feeling taken for each and every object. As a result of this, preya sádhaná (extroversial approach) is converted into shreya sádhaná (introversial approach).” (4)

Thus our approach is always subjective: Towards the Divine. And we adjust our worldly life towards this spiritual ideal. That is the flow of life in Ananda Marga.

This ideal is inherently link with understanding the purpose of life. The moment one feels their life is not for mundane meandering but for moving towards Parama Purusa, then one wholly understands social life is a component of their spiritual life.

OUR DAYS AND NIGHT ARE FILLED WITH SPIRITUALITY

By Baba’s grace in Ananda Marga our spiritual approach continues through the whole life. In the morning we greet and start the day with our practices of Guru Sakash and paincajanya etc, and the whole day follows in that flow: Doing sadhana, reciting our bath mantra, taking second lesson before our each and every work, ideating as we say namaskar, singing kiirtan etc. Each and every activity through the day is linked with the Cosmic Hub – Baba.

And then after dark we go for evening and night sadhana and ultimately take rest with His name on our lips – dreaming of Him. About this holistic ideal, Baba has given one divine sloka:

‘Kuru punyam ahora’tram’
Meaning: Do virtuous deeds day and night

In Ananda Marga we are ideating on Brahma during the day and performing our various works and duties and then when sleeping we are repeating our ista mantra or dhyana mantra during the night. In that way each and every second of the life is drenched in the sweet flow of spirituality.

A’NANDA SUTRAM:

ANANDA MARGA PHILOSOPHY IS SPIRITUALLY BASED

As we know, in Ananda Sutram Baba has outlined the whole of Ananda Marga philosophy in seed form. In sum, there are 85 Sutras in these five chapters. Yet the first four chapters – or the first 69 Sutras – deal exclusively with points of spirituality. There is no hint or mention of social life in these sections.

Then in His revolutionary approach in the final chapter of A’nanda Sutram Baba incorporates our social life and Prout – all neatly woven into the context of spirituality. Hence Prout is a sub-set of Ananda Marga spiritual ideology; Prout is a God-centered philosophy resting on the dynamic force of spirituality.

“Just to represent the spirit of “saḿgacchadhvam”, I propounded the theory of PROUT. So the entire theory of PROUT stands upon this Vaedika sermon of “saḿgacchadhvam”. ” (5)

By all this, we can all easily understand that in Ananda Marga spirituality is the main thing. This is the divine flow of life in Ananda Marga.

A’NANDA MA’RGA IS A REVOLUTION

The path of Ananda Marga is the top as our Marga maintains its stance of spirituality throughout all the realms of life. This is one of the reasons why we say Ananda Marga is a revolution – and far above the rest.

Here is Baba’s teaching from Ananda Sutram:

2-7. Tasmáddharmah sadákáryah

The above sutra means that dharma must always be followed – all the time, always. It is not that only on particular days or in particular moments one follow’s dharma. No, that is not our way. Each and every moment of life is for the practice of dharma and Brahma sadhana.

“Q. 46. What is the difference between ritualistic religion and spiritual sádhaná?”

“Ans.: – In almost all cases ritualistic religion ultimately encourages the fulfilment of materialistic desires. Generally, human beings want to acquire physical objects as well as name and fame. Sometimes, even after fulfilling their desires, they want to accumulate more. With that goal in mind they follow a ritualistic religion.”
“The practice of ritualistic religion is nothing but pursuance of the path of preya (mundane pleasure). Ignorant men even fail to realize that by following such a path they do not always gain the material objects they desire. Only the sinful religious and social exploiters gain from such efforts.”
“Spiritual sádhaná is an individual and collective process that leads toward all-round progress. This path of sádhaná may certainly be termed as nivritti. Liberation does not imply escapism from the world, but rather observing the world with spiritual ideation. There is no scope whatsoever for the desire for name and fame, for pomp and show, for religious exploitation. Rather, the co-existence of such desires with spiritual sádhaná is contradictory.”
“The ritualistic differences in various religions are quite marked. By accentuating these differences, medieval and even contemporary people did not and do not hesitate to cause heavy bloodshed. However, in spiritual sádhaná there is no place for the differences in nationality, race, language or religion. Everyone has a singular dharma named spirituality, and only this is worth calling dharma. Religions are not dharma; they are mere collections of rituals.” (6)

SPIRITUALITY IS BEYOND ALL RELATIVE BOUNDARIES

Here Baba once again highlights the supreme nature of spiritual life.

Baba says, “That ultimate and absolute ideal is the Cosmic ideal – an ideal beyond the scope of time, place and person. It is the Absolute, without and beyond relativity. It stands with its own lustre for all times and for every factor of the Cosmos.” (7)

This clearly shows that our spiritual life reaches far beyond the realm of our social life. And in this next teaching, Baba clearly details that the entirety of our social life stands as a part or component of our spiritual life.

“Q. 51. What is more important in life: Brahma sádhaná or constructive work?”

“Ans.: – The aim of a living being is Brahma Sádhaná. Just like having a bath, eating and sleeping, constructive work is also a part of Brahma Sádhaná. Therefore Brahma Sádhaná is more important than anything else.” (8)

SPIRITUALITY IS UNPARALLELED

OUR SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY IS A PART OF THAT

Baba furthermore reveals the awesome nature of spirituality and that taking this as their base Neo-Humanism and Prout has been formulated etc.

Baba says, “Spirituality provides a human being and humanity at large with that subtle and tremendous power with which no other power can be compared. Therefore, with spirituality as the base, a rational philosophy should be evolved to deal with the physical, psychological and socio-philosophical problems of the day.” (9)

And this shows that our social life is a part of our spiritual life and that our spiritual life extends far beyond that.

Keeping our spiritual ideal at the fore, Baba has given us the way to identify, address, and solve each and every difficulty of our social life. This is His great blessing on the humanity.

“Q. 53. There is no other alternative except Ánanda Márga to sustain human beings in their joint endeavours. Why?”

“Ans.: – A united human society is the prerequisite for the development of civilization. The collective desire for survival ensures society’s meaningful existence. The society is a dynamic entity and its survival indicates its inherent dynamism. When a group of people bound by the ties of a common ideology move together along a particular path, inviting fellow humans to join them to share their common joys and sorrows, theirs is a real movement; they are destined to be successful.”
“In this universe of rapid temporal, spatial and personal change, no specific economic, political, or religious structure can be the permanent aim of humanity. This is because theories are born in a particular temporal, spatial and economic context. People can move along the path of eternal progress only (1) by accepting the Cosmic Entity, who is beyond time, place and person, as the aim of life and (2) by continuing to do all their worldly actions while moving along that path towards Him.”
“Ánanda Márga is that path of progress, and that is why Ánanda Márga is the only alternative for the preservation of human existence and civilization. The external rituals, the so-called dharmas, are not dharma but mere religion. They are subject to change depending on time, place and person. By manifesting distinctions within themselves and outside themselves (such as the differences like vijatiya bheda, svajátiya bheda and svagáta bheda), religions, like other relative factors have invited the repression of humanity by creating dogmas, bloodshed and similar evils. Thus religion cannot bring peace to humanity.” (10)

MORE ABOUT SUBJECTIVE APPROACH – OBJECTIVE ADJUSTMENT

“The utilization of energy should be in the proper direction. If you have to move to the east and you start moving towards the west, your action will be considered full of prámáda, or madness. Ananda Marga has the correct way, through subjective approach and objective adjustement. While followers of Ananda Marga keep their eyes steady on the absolute, they do not ignore this relative world. They work for self-realization and social upliftment, and hence the utilization of their energy is never in vain. When the effort is correct and the utilization right, you will certainly reach the goal. I do not want you to wait life after life to reach your goal. You should realize the goal in this very life. Why will you waste even one precious moment of this life? Therefore fear not, success is yours for the asking. Go on making the correct effort.” (11)

UNLIKE THOSE DOGMATIC RELIGIONS

The path which Baba has shown us – the path of Ananda Marga is revolutionary since it is deeply ensconced in the nectar of spirituality. From birth to death and from morning till night, the life of an Ananda Margii is filled with spiritual practices and cosmic ideation. When one emerges from the womb and enters this world then immediately that infant is drenched in the ideation of Baba Nam Kevalam. And it continues on from there. Hence in Ananda Marga spirituality is our very heartbeat.

Some of the religions preach that on Sundays one should remember the Lord and lead an honourable life – that is their chosen holy day and all other days are for material pursuits. But even then, on Sundays, in their prayer and worship they pray for material or selfish gains.

Then there are other dogmatic religions that have selected Friday or Saturday as their holy day, where they approach their God for boons and grace. While on all other days they aim for material gain.

And verily all the religions fall within this module where a small portion of life is meant for prayer and worship, and even then that prayer and worship is not the aim or endpoint. Those prayers are for heightening their stature in their social life etc.

In that case, their religious engagements are a part of their social life. Every religion has partitioned its prayer practices to a small part of life which is not very visible and barely touches the seed of their existence. Rather they are governed by materialistic policies.

But in Ananda Marga, it is completely opposite. Ours is the path of pure spirituality where all practices and endeavours are for pleasing and serving the Supreme. And all social and worldly dealing are to be done thinking of Him. Thus those acts are not mundane ventures but rather a part of Brahma sadhana. Because the aim is not selfish gain but rather to serve Parama Purusa.

Namaskar,
in Him,
Nataraj

Note 1: REFERENCES

1. Poona DMC, 26-11-79
2. Idea & Ideology, p.77
3. A Few Problems Solved – 4, Subjective Approach through Objective Adjustment
4. A Guide to Human Conduct
5. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 3, Saḿgacchadhvaḿ
6. Tattva Kaoumudii – 1, Some Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy – Excerpt B
7. Idea & Ideaology, p.76
8. Tattva Kaoumudii – 1, Some Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy – Excerpt B
9. ‘The Cosmic Brotherhood’, 5 June 1959
10. Tattva Kaoumudii – 1, Some Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy – Excerpt B
11. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, Properly Utilize Yourself to Reach God

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