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Archive for April 4th, 2013

Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:
(1) Posting: B Group Selling Live Aquatic Animals to Kill & Eat
(2) Trailer Quote: Link Between Service & Sadhana
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #2329;

Each section is demarcated by asterisks (***).

== B GROUP SELLING LIVE AQUATIC ANIMALS TO KILL & EAT ==

Namaskar,
You may know that in many Ananda Marga units in Bengal, many Wts maintain various ponds for cultivating and selling fish in order to earn money. West Bengal is a huge fish-eating region; eating fish is such a way of life that they simply refer to fish as “water fruit.” Just as a desert is filled with cactus plants, similarly all across Bengal there are man-made and natural ponds. They are a common phenomenon. The ponds are maintained to store live fish for this community of fish-eating people.

To capitalize on the situation, certain B group Wts thought they should join in and do this as a business. Those Wts thought that selling fish to the people would be a good way to make money. Here is how it works.

Wherever they have ample space, on various Ananda Marga units they maintain large ponds that are stocked with fish. Then those Wts get the word out that the people are welcome to come and fish those ponds for a fee. Essentially, Wts sell “fishing rights” to locals, and in turn those villagers etc can come and catch and eat the fish from the pond.

The rates may vary from pond to pond, and may vary based on how many fish a person catches etc. But all along the basic idea is one: Wts charge locals a particular amount of money to come and kill the fish. You may have heard about this.

Now it is our duty to consider how far this is consistent with our ideals of neo-humanism.

As Ananda Margiis, we know that we are to honour and respect all forms of life and that we do not condone the cruel killing of any being, including fish.

USE OF PISCICULTURE

Baba has given the program of pisciculture, a key system for creating ecological balance and averting and solving the water crisis. Here is how it works.

All kinds of aquatic animals like crabs, oysters, and fish etc should be cultivated in ponds and lakes. By their very presence in those water bodies, that water is cleaned and kept at an optimal level. Trees and other vegetation should be planted around those lakes and ponds. That brings shade to the area, attracts rain clouds, and very importantly, brings birds to the region. Those birds will prevent the over-population of fish, ensuring balance.

The establishment of lakes and ponds is Baba’s system for water conservation. The presence of aquatic animals is key for its success. So that is the right use of fish in the Ananda Marga model of pisciculture.

To kill and eat those fish for human consumption is a direct violation of Baba’s given system.

Prout philosophy says, “Fish should be cultivated in lakes, dams and ponds because they help conserve and purify the water. Small fish can also be cultivated in the paddy fields during the rainy season. Fish are the natural food of birds, so they are an essential part of a balanced ecology.” (1)

Prout philosophy says, “Pisciculture should also be developed in ponds and lakes. The fish help to keep the water clean and the level constant because their breathing creates water and carbon dioxide. The fish inhale oxygen along with water vapour from the atmosphere as well as dissolved oxygen from the water. They synthesize water which is exhaled into the lake. This helps to keep the water in the lake at a constant level. If many fish live in a lake, hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water will be added to the size of the lake in the course of time. Each lake should also have an attached bird sanctuary, because the fish provide food for the birds.” (2)

Thus there is no scope for Wts to sell and kill fish in the name of pisciculture. That is not Baba’s system.

“THOSE THEY HAD TRUSTED AS THEIR FRIENDS ARE ACTUALLY THEIR ENEMIES”

Next Baba points out the hypocritical and bogus way that some humans treat animals. They superficially treat animals as friends one moment and then butcher them the next – often to get a profit. Is this not what B group Wts are doing with their fish.

“Passing through many lives as worms, insects, birds, and animals, they have undergone countless pains, miseries, tortures and humiliations. Take for example the life of a goat. A goat spends its life eating grass, until the day comes when the butcher grabs it, kills it, skins it and sells its flesh piece by piece in the market. That goat at one time had to live such a miserable life. But today it has forgotten all this. Through a process of forward movement, today it may have attained a human life.”
“Human life is more secure than animal life. Many animals live in the jungle where there is something to fear every minute; where the weak are the prey of the strong. To escape this atmosphere of fear and insecurity, many wild animals have sought refuge with human beings. They have been fed grass, leaves and other types of fodder until the right moment came to kill them for their flesh. Even today, this is generally what happens. Animals fully trust human beings; they trust them even up to one minute before their death. But when they see a person approaching them with a weapon in hand, they realize that those they had trusted as their friends are actually their enemies. Although human beings feed their animals, the love or attachment which they have for them is purely external. There is no genuine love in humans. This is how wretched animal life can be.”
“Every human being has had to pass through that sort of painful animal life in the past. But that does not mean we should be the cause of misery for those animals who have taken shelter with us today. On the contrary, we should have a merciful attitude towards them. A woman who has been badly treated or humiliated by her mother-in-law should be careful that she does not treat her daughter-in-law in the same way. Human beings should carry out their duties properly in the external world and should always ensure that no being suffers unnecessarily from any undue mistreatment. In the physical sphere, the rights of all should be protected.” (3)

“I SHOULD NOT KILL, I SHOULD NOT GIVE THEM ANY TROUBLE…”

As responsible human beings and as sadhakas, we should abide by Baba’s following teachings.

“We should live with the policy of “Live and let others live”.” (4)

Ananda Marga philosophy says, “For each and every living entity one’s personal life is the dearest thing. One loves one’s personal life very much. This is the rule, this is the characteristic of all living beings. But those people who understand this sentiment of living beings and love others with the thought, “I should not kill, I should not give them any trouble because they love their life as much as I love my own life”, are true sádhus and those who lack this sentiment are not sádhus, they are asádhu. Preaching the gospels of peace, and at the same time slaughtering chickens, is not a proper thing for a sádhu because the one who kills the chickens loves his life and the chickens also love their own lives. So that man lacks the universal sentiment of love. He is not a sádhu. A sádhu must be vegetarian.” (5)

Thus it is very clear that we should allow other beings to joyously live their lives, and we should not needlessly harm or kill them. That is our ethic in Ananda Marga. And that is Baba’s teaching. Certainly every Ananda Margii understands this.

Even then many of those Wt’s in Bengal have their set justification. They say, “What is wrong; we are not killing the fish; we are just charging the local people to come and catch fish on our land. If they did not fish on our land, they would fish somewhere else.” This is their rationalisation.

By that reasoning then, a villager would be able to invites goondhas (rough criminals) to come to his area and rob the local people, and in return that villager would get a percentage of the looting or booty.

So the justification given by those Wts does not hold any value.

A CASE OF DECEPTION

That is not the only justification they give…

B group workers also give the false justification that by keeping such fish ponds they are following Baba’s system of pisciculture. But this is absolutely wrong. As noted above, Baba’s system of pisciculture is for ecological balance and water conservation – not the wanton killing and selling of fish. Today’s capitalistic fishing industries exploit the fish for profits etc. But that is not our way; and no one should be led to believe that is Baba’s system.

Baba’s given program of pisciculture is for ecological sustainability, animal welfare, and the benefit of all beings – bar none.

NO QUESTION OF OVER-POPULATION

Then there are some who think that the pond will be over-populated by fish, if people do not come and go fishing in those ponds. But at about this, there is no need to worry about that. Before humans were on the planet, there were all kinds of animals all over this earth. To such persons, Baba has given the ultimate reply.

Baba says “Some people argue that animals have been created by Parama Puruśa for our food. I knew a certain person who used to say that if people do not eat goats’ meat, the world would become populated only by goats. And others said that if people don’t eat chickens, there would not be even a single inch of space on this earth – it would be filled with chickens! Now my point is, even though human beings do not eat vultures, is there a crowd of vultures in the world? How foolish such people are! People don’t eat earthworms – has there been an uncontrollable growth of earthworms on earth? Only out of excessive greed, people eat chickens and goats and are simply searching for logic to support their actions and cover up their weakness. This sort of cunning will not do. In the mobility of the psychic world, there are certain defective thoughts prevailing – that we humans are destined to rule this earth, and the creatures are destined to be ruled by us. You will have to fight against this type of psychology with the help of your strong weapon. What is that weapon? Neohumanism. All have the equal right to live here: this universe is for all. It is not the patrimony of human beings only. This is also the duty of Renaissance people.” (6)

NOT SADHU BUT PSEUDO-CULTURE

Clearly, Baba has given the mandate that we are not to allow or encourage fishing as we are to safeguard the well-being of every animal in this creation. We should not exploit, directly or indirectly, any creature in order to make a profit etc. This is not our way.

That is why it is so shocking that our Wts are involved in the selling and killing of fish in various parts of West Bengal. Rather such Wts should stand on the moral principles of Ananda Marga and teach the people the right ideals of life through their own conduct.

But this much many B group Wts do not do. Rather than maintaining the neo-humanistic vision of Ananda Marga, and rather than living the life of a sadhu, many Wts just given in to local, pseudo-culture values, and sell fish in order to make a profit. They think that since the locals are already involved in eating fish then what is wrong.

However, what if the local population was involved in prostitution or harsh drugs like heroin etc. In those cases also, should Wts step into the business ring and try to make a profit? Should we allow or encourage that? Certainly not.

Yet that is the very attitude that is plaguing our Ananda Marga at present.

USING DIRTY MONEY TO PROCURE THEIR OWN FOOD

For all these reasons and more, many are saying that such Wts are using dirty money to procure their own food. They have plunged themselves into a business that is against the ethics of neo-humanism; they have adopted a profession that goes contrary to the ways of right livelihood (samyak ajiiva) since they are making money by harming and killing other beings; yet by that way their are profiting and using that dirty money to purchase their own food. This is veritably a filthy cycle.

Here are more of Baba’s teachings that guide us that no one in Ananda Marga, including our Wts, should be involved in the business of selling and killing fish etc.

“WHY SHOULD I KILL AN INNOCENT CREATURE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF…”

Práńáh yathátmano’bhiiśt́áh bhútánám api te tathá;
Atmaopamyena bhútánám dayáḿ kurvanti sádhavah.

“Just as your life is extremely dear to you, similarly the lives of others are equally dear to them. A person who thinks thus and shows mercy on other creatures is really a sádhu, or virtuous person.” In order to become a virtuous person one need not give up one’s worldly life. When this idea dawns on one’s mind one realizes, “Why should I kill an innocent creature just for the sake of the gratification of my palate.” But then one may suddenly discover a different kind of scriptural injunction – “Oh yes, you may sacrifice animals in a particular way and the sacrificed animal will attain salvation.” People follow the scriptural injunction helplessly but in their heart of hearts they realize that the whole thing is irrational. Yet they cannot gather sufficient courage to go against the “scripture”. This sort of idea which impedes the progress of the mind is called “dogma”. A dogma arises from either a defective philosophy or a “scripture”. This sort of dogma should be rejected forthwith.” (7)

“HUMAN BEINGS ARE MORE CRUEL THAN VULTURES”

Ananda Marga teachings state: “Vultures are carnivorous birds. Yet it is found that they are not cruel or heartless. Usually, like eagles, they do not attack living humans or animals. Their habit is to eat the flesh of dead bodies. There was an incident in my childhood that I can still vividly recall. On the west of our locality there was a large field which bordered on a tributary of the Ganges. As the soil was not fit for cultivation nothing could be grown there. On the upper side of that fallow land was a mound upon which stood a large tamarind tree. A vulture lived in a nest on the tree. Beside the mound was the site for the disposal of carcasses. Cows used to graze in the field as did a few horses and sheep. Once an old cow came there and fell flat on the ground due to utter exhaustion. The veterinary doctor came and said, “The cow has no chance of survival. She is likely to die in a few hours.” The owner of the cow was a very kind-hearted man. He tried to save the cow in various ways but in vain. I noticed that as long as the cow was alive, she gently wagged her tail, even when her eyes were half closed. There was no other symptom of life, at least that is what it seemed to me. I also noticed that while her tail was wagging, the vulture stayed patiently in the tree. It came to eat the cow’s flesh only an hour after her natural death. Human beings are more cruel than vultures. Their hearts don’t melt even at the sight of tears of innocent birds and animals. Just to gratify their sense of greed, they mercilessly slit the throats of animals with sharp knives and swords and thus deprive them of the right to live, even while preaching the hollow dictates of religion.” (8)

“THEY GET CONTAMINATED BY THESE SAME DEFECTS”

Baba says, “Fish eat all kinds of things. Because of this, the positive qualities of those foods which they eat they may or may not get; but, certainly they get the negative qualities or defects of those foods which they eat. In addition, fish quarrel so much among themselves; they are quarrel mongers. They eat each other; they feel jealous towards one another; and also they have the tendency to wander around aimlessly in an indisciplined, disorderly manner. Because of these negative qualities of fish, since ages there has been the feeling amongst the general public that those who are fish eaters, they get contaminated by these same defects.” (9)

Amongst all of India, the most densely populated fish-eating area is Bengal. Indeed, Baba says that the main population of Bengal are kaevarta (fisherman community). There are a huge number of lakes, ponds, rivers, and water sources in Bengal; that is why fish flourish there. Thus in Bengal fish are known as water fruit. Except for very strict devoted margiis, most of them like to eat fish.

SUMMARY

B group’s present-day manner of fishing for profits directly contravenes all Baba’s guidelines on pisciculture. His divine mandates for pisciculture stand as a broad-based ecological approach for balance and sustainability. Fish are needed for the keeping healthy and clean lakes and ponds. Those bodies of water should furthermore be surrounded by trees. Birds will naturally flock to those tress and naturally control the population of fish. This is the keen way and role of our fisheries / pisciculture system. Whereas, B group’s short-sighted, greedy and heartless way of selling and killing fish to make a profit neglects all neo-humanistic values and undermines the spirit and use of Baba’s dharmic guideline on pisciculture.

Namaskar,
at His lotus feet,
Candra Deva

REFERENCES
1. Ideal Farming, Integrated Farming
2. Ideal Farming, Lakeside and Riverside Plantations
3. 2 January 1979, Patna
4. Discourses on Prout, pt #1
5. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 2, Keep Company with the Virtuous
6. Prout in a Nutshell – 9, Renaissance in All the Strata of Life
7. Yoga Psychology, Instinct and Devotion
8. Neo-Humanism in a Nutshell – 2
9. Shabda Cayanika – 20, Bangla, Disc #156

The section below this mark is an entirely different topic and not related with the subject matter up above.

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Link Between Service and Sadhana

“When you reach the closest proximity to the Supreme Consciousness, your mental waves will come in contact with His mental waves. Then you will understand what is to be done, and what will be the destiny of humanity in the near and distant future. Because of your spiritual progress, you will come closer and closer to the Supreme Consciousness, you will come in contact with His psychic waves. And in that state you will be able to render still better service to human beings, animals and plants.” (Subhasita Samgraha – 16 (H), p. 10-11)

Note: Without good sadhana rendering real social service is impossible.
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Prabhat Samgiita

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

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, O’ Supreme One, 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, how and why You are attracting me, that I cannot say. Baba, all I know is that 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. By Your grace, I will always hold Your divine image in my mind.

O’ Divine Entity, all the love I have in the deep core of my heart, and all the hopes and longings I have in my mind, all these desires and aspirations of mine are revolving around You. By Your grace, they get expressed through Your songs, dance, melody, and rhythms. O’ Parama Purusa, You are the focal point of my life; You are my everything.

Baba, by Your divine grace, I feel that You are guiding each and every aspect of my existence. There is not even a single ounce of confusion in my mind. Everything is very clear. Where am I, where will I go, and from where have I come: All these types of useless questions never creep into my mind. Baba, by Your grace, I do not even want to know these things. Just I am fully depending upon You: You know everything and that everything is in Your control. For me that is enough. Baba, You are my shelter, You are my anchor, and You are the Supreme Controller of this vast universe.

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

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