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Archive for April 16th, 2013

Baba

This entire email is composed of 2 parts:
(1) Posting: Re: What Do You Think About Tips, Bribes, Gifts & Seva;
(2) Reader Comment: Re: Depicting Baba In A Very Negative Way – Unfortunately;

Each of the above portions is separated by asterisks (*******)

== RE: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TIPS, BRIBES, GIFTS & SEVA ==

~ Part 2 ~

Note: This is the second letter in this series; a link to the first letter has been appended below for your easy reference.

Namaskar,

“Baba does not want extra money given to anyone performing a job as this leads to the degeneration of the individual and the disintegration of society. In that sense, a tip and a bribe are essentially the same exact thing. The one receiving the tip becomes personally degenerated because all day long he is thinking about money instead of doing his job; and the problem in collective life is that tips lead to partiality. Those who give big tips receive preferential treatment, while those who do not have money to give a grand tip are forgotten and labeled as “cheap” or “penniless” or “worthless”.

That is why the common acronym for tips is: To Insure Prompt Service.

Those who tip big get treated with high respect and their every need and wish is satisfied. Those common people who do not have the funds to tip are overlooked and neglected…”

“Just think how terrible it will be if the police or fire department do not respond to your emergency call since they do not consider you to be a big tipper. That is the reality which even exists today in many countries. Or imagine if you went to the doctor and they refused to see you because you were not a big tipper. When we think of the matter in this light, does it not create an unsettling feeling in the mind.

Viewing the situation in this manner, it is very evident that tips will bring injustice and stagnancy in the society, just like bribes. Preferential treatment becomes the rule of the day, not true human feeling.”

This analysis is very good. Thanks for raising this important topic. Here I would like to share a story by one of my close friends who was there that time.

STORY OF GOENKA FAMILY TIPPING / BRIBING IN ANANDA NAGAR

COMMON MARGIIS COULD NOT GET FOOD

All along it has been my regular habit to give “healthy tips” to labourers and related personnel.

But I cannot forget one incident that took place in Ananda Nagar in the early 1990’s. Those days the Goenka and Agrawal families used to stay in the new Ananda Marga Institute of Technology (AMIT) building during DMS.

Accordingly, Dada Kalyaneshvaranandji used to arrange a special cook to prepare food for those staying at AMIT (Ananda Marga Institute of Technology).

For three days, during DMS, the cook was putting forth his entire effort to please the Goenka family. The cook would not listen to or give attention to anyone else, i.e. those not giving large amounts of money for those three days. This created problems for many during the DMS time. And some simple people were wondering why the cook would not even look their way. Then the answer became known to all.

The reason the cook would not help anyone else was that he was receiving Rs 400 as “Tip” from Goenka Dada at the end of DMS. Therefore, the cook was doing nothing else except trying to please the Goenka family. Yet, the cook had been employed to cook for all, as everyone staying at AMIT had paid a fee to the in-charge for meals etc. But the cook was only attending to Goenka’s family since they were giving the “tip”.

So, due to a “tip”, the cook did not attend to his allotted duty in an impartial manner. Rather he was giving exclusive attention and preference to those giving big tips and he would do nil (nothing) for those giving smaller tips or not giving at all. Because of the big tip, the cook was partial to one rich man’s family and he (the cook) blatantly disregarded others. This striking example clearly shows the negative effect that tips have on society – even our Ananda Marga society.

At that time I started thinking that a tip is like a bribe to get a special favour.

Since reading your letter I have decided to permanently stop this ill-conceived convention of tipping others. It is not at all good, rather harmful. Baba does not like it and it is not good for society.

I hope that every genuine Ananda Margii will follow Baba on this point. We should refrain from giving tips, and, side by side, devote energy and time to fighting for higher wages and better working conditions for those employees working for tips / low wages.

TIP AND BRIBE ARE THE SAME

As clearly outlined in the first letter of this series and as depicted in the above story by a close friend, both tips and bribes are bad. Essentially tips and bribes are one and the same. Both have a deleterious effect on society where the wealthy get goods and services and the common person is left out. That is the basic outcome.

Now let’s examine some related scenarios.

NEIGHBORHOOD FAVOURS

Suppose your neighbor is going away for a few days and they need someone to watch over their property, feed their animals, or water their plants etc. You know they need help and you come forward and offer to help, without wanting or expecting anything in return. That is the right spirit. That is a neighborly favor.

All neighborly favours should be done with a service motive – purely to help them. It is unilateral. You help and desire nothing in return.

The moment a neighborly favour is don in the hope of receiving in return or with the hope that when you go away then they will watch over your house. Then, according to the tenets of Ananda Marga, it is no longer a neighborly favour but rather a form of business.

Whenever something is given to someone in exchange for work performed or anything else, then that is a transaction or a form of business. There is a giving and a receiving involved; it is not unilateral.

“Business is always mutual. If you want one kilo of sugar you will have to pay for it: you give something and they will give you sugar. So business is mutual, not unilateral.” (Subhasita Samgraha – 21, Jaeva Dharma and Bhágavata Dharma)

Neighborly favours must always be done in the spirit of service – i.e. offering help. The moment something is desired, received, or given in return, then it is a business relation, not a neighborly favour.

GIFTS

What is a gift?

A gift is when someone gives freely out of the goodness of their own heart. There is no mutual exchange; there is no consideration of post or privilege. The giving is based purely on one person’s heart-felt feeling for another. That type of feeling is a gift.

Here Baba explains more about it. Baba says that if with the sweetness of their heart someone offers you something, then we should gladly accept it.

“If a person wants to feed you out of genuine intimacy, you should take that food happily, even if it is just grains and vegetables.” (Caryacarya – 2, Society, Pt #37)

Here the main point is that the person is giving purely out of affection without any ulterior agenda or motive in mind. Actually to truly know if you are giving someone a gift or not, tremendous honesty is needed. One has to look at one’s own motives and intentions very carefully.

One has to ask, “Why am I doing this?”. One must be cent-per-cent sure that there is no underlying motive to gain an advantage in any way, neither professionally, nor personally, nor socially, nor economically. Once there is an iota of feeling in the mind that a gift is given for such purposes, then that is no longer a gift. It is a tip or a bribe – or at the very least a business deal. So one must be very strict and honest about their intention.

Generally speaking, one gives gifts to friends and family members – not to anyone else. Gifts are given only to those with whom you have a loving relation.

Note: Nowadays, in certain countries, various politicians receive “gifts” via special interest groups. These special interest groups represent professionals, business leaders, and corporations such as drug companies, doctors, oil companies etc. So “gifts” are given to encourage politicians to attend to the agenda of the various special interest groups. This happens in democracies where capitalism is in vogue, as well as in totalitarian regimes etc. In all such cases the term “gift” is a euphemism. The reality is that a bribe is being given as the donor expects something in return. And if that donor or corporate entity does not get special privileges, then they will never give that “gift” again. That is why we can say that all such political gifts are bribes.

SEVA
Having reviewed the points of (a) bribe, (b) tip, (c) neighborly interactions, and (d) gifts, we now reach the point of seva or service.

What is service or seva?

With respect to this current posting, when someone gives something to someone in need, without wanting anything in return, then that is service.

For instance, suppose you see someone on the roadside suffering from malnutrition and you give them food to eat – and you do not want any payment or prestige in return – then that is seva.

“Sevá [service] is always unilateral; you give something in sevá but take nothing in return. This is sevá.” (Subhasita Samgraha – 21, Jaeva Dharma and Bhágavata Dharma)

Seva is a big part of our Ananda Marga way of life.

The noted difference between seva and a gift is that seva is performed for those are in need of help – one may or may not know the individual personally; in contrast, a gift is given to a close relation, whether they be a friend or family member, who is not in need of any help at the time.

MORE EXAMPLES OF HOW TIPS NEGATIVELY AFFECT SOCIETY

Here below Baba points out further examples of how tips lead to the degradation of society where the common people are denied basic goods and services.

HOW TIPS RUIN HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CARE

(A) In this following example, Baba reveals how even hospitals where patient care is supposed to be top priority are riddled with problems surrounding tips, bribes, and preferential treatment, or even worse – no treatment at all.

“On the one hand there are good doctors sincerely serving poor patients on their own initiative, and on the other hand we may observe immature young doctors proudly boasting to each other about their career prospects. Regrettable though these things may be, I do not feel that there is any reason to lose hope.”
“Countless complaints can be made against doctors and the medical profession. Although it would take a lot of space to list them all, let me briefly mention a few: patients have to settle for adulterated medicines unless they bribe the pharmacist; sweepers, orderlies and nurses do not take proper care of a patient’s needs unless they are tipped; a patient writhing in pain may be rebuked instead of being given medicine; if one does not call the doctor at least once for a personal consultation so that that doctor can earn some extra money, one may be unable to secure a bed on one’s next visit to the hospital; a medicine that is supposedly out of stock in the hospital can be illegally purchased in a nearby shop at an exorbitant price; without bribing the doctor a sick patient will not be admitted to the hospital; during the compulsory medical examination for a new job, all the medical staff put out their hand for a bribe; the doctor in collusion with the optician fails many people in their eye tests so that they will have to buy glasses; hospital patients are served food which is cheaper and of poorer quality than what they are entitled to; milk and fruits reserved for patients are consumed by the hospital staff; spurious drugs and injections are administered to patients. Such grievances are endless. Some are extremely serious, involving accusations of such irresponsibility that it is difficult to believe that people actually have these experiences.” (Human Society – 1, Various Occupations)

Thus in all such medical institutions, there must not be any scope for tipping – zero. And not just in hospitals, but but the same should be the case for dharmasalas (hostels), and other organisations. Tips merely give way to employees and workers, even doctors, failing to do their jobs. Tips also invite problems for the common members of society who cannot get goods and services due to not being able to give a large enough tip.

CLERKS, TEACHERS, ENGINEERS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE

INDULGE IN IMMORALITY AND CORRUPTION;

WEAK MINDS INDIRECTLY CRITICIZE INJUSTICE BUT CANNOT DIRECTLY CONFRONT IT

WHY THE EDUCATED DON’T OPPOSE CORRUPTION

(B) Here below Baba points out the awful conditions in those countries where the educated stratum of society gives way to bribes and tips, and accept gifts in exchange for professional favours.

“One may ask, “Why does the public not do something to rectify the situation?” Some maintain that these problems only occur in underdeveloped countries and that the people there tolerate evil because they are unaware of their rights. But is this correct? In underdeveloped countries there are educated people who staunchly support the different political parties and who can provide the people with leadership. Although they cannot inspire the whole society, they are certainly able to solve some of the problems. So why do they not do so? The reason is perfectly simple. A large section of the upper stratum of society is involved in corrupt practices. That is why uneducated people do not have the courage to raise their voices in protest, prevent immorality and take corrective measures against the corrupt elements active in every sphere of society.”
“A large number of clerks, teachers, engineers, government officials and business people who comprise the so-called educated section of society indulge in immorality and corruption in their respective professions. Their weak minds indirectly criticize injustice but cannot directly confront it. Thieves can criticize other thieves in a society of thieves, but they cannot offer suggestions in a society of honest people because their lips will quiver and their hearts will palpitate; the condition of corrupt educated people in the upper stratum of society in underdeveloped countries is similar. The Second World War has further complicated the situation.”
“The characters of such people have to be transformed and they will have to become honest, otherwise none of the evils in society will be eliminated, none of the problems will be solved.”
“So it is madness to hope that the efforts of the government alone will eliminate the problems in the medical profession, as if by magic.” (Human Society – 1, Various Occupations)

“WHY NOT EARN A HUNDRED THOUSAND RUPEES

BY PAYING A BRIBE OF A THOUSAND RUPEES!”

(C) In this following section Baba points out that the public not the government is at fault in such circumstances.

“Usually the public blames the government for such lapses, but in my opinion, if anyone is to blame, it is the public itself. The government is not an individual who accepts bribes or encourages immorality. The government does not support the distribution of spurious drugs. If the distribution of spurious drugs ever does get sanctioned by the government, it is due to the mistakes of immoral officials. They surrender their humanity to the rich out of greed for money. Dishonest business people are aware of their own guilt and are constantly troubled by it, but they receive encouragement from greedy and mentally-weak police and anti-corruption officials. Why not earn a hundred thousand rupees by paying a bribe of a thousand rupees! Most business people wait for the right opportunity with this type of outlook. For these reasons I do not blame the government for such immorality. Now, let us return to our topic. The key to solving the medical problem is in the hands of the public. This is the actual truth of the matter.” (Human Society – 1, Various Occupations)

SUMMARY

As we know, Baba’s teachings are practical and meant to be applied in daily life. Theoretical understanding of His guidelines alone is not enough. On the points of tips, bribes, neighborly favours, gifts, and service, we should be cent-per-cent strict. Then we can be a proper example for society.

The only exception to the above was well outlined in the first letter:

“In certain countries one cannot get the basic necessities of life (such as electricity, water, heat etc) without bribing local officials and administrators. Or if your house is robbed, the police will not do anything unless you offer a bribe – then they will start their investigation, otherwise not. In such situations – due to pressure of circumstances – one will have to pay a bribe. At the same time it is imperative to take a strong stand.”

“If someone through pressure of circumstances forces you to offer a bribe, do not forgive that person till he/she is reformed.” (Caryacarya – 2, Society, Point #24c)

CLOSING MESSAGE

Here we conclude this letter with these words from Sadguru Baba.

“To turn people into real human beings is the burning issue today, the greatest challenge. There are very few people who can take the lead in this undertaking, this sacred endeavour. Today tormented souls look to the purodhás [spiritual vanguard] of society with great expectations.”
“Politicians cannot provide what is needed. During the last six thousand years of human history, they have failed at every step. Hence, it would be wise for them to resist the temptation to try and take the lead in any sphere of society.” (Human Society – 1, Various Occupations)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Ram Dayal Deva

Note 1: LINK TO FIRST LETTER ON THIS TOPIC

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-do-you-think-about-tips-bribes.html

**************************************

BABA

To: anandamargaglobalnewsletter
Date: Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 7:22 PM
Subject: Re: Depicting Baba In A Very Negative Way – Unfortunately

== RE: DEPICTING BABA IN A VERY NEGATIVE WAY – UNFORTUNATELY ==

Namaskara,

LUDICROUS STORY FROM JY BOOK

Baba has just entered onto a train with Anant Prasad Thakur and the following scene takes place:

“Baba [was] sitting across from a group of [non-margii] teenagers, one boy and three girls. Baba asked the boy in a stern voice who the girls were. It was a tone I [Anant] was quite familiar with. The boy replied that they were members of his family. Suddenly Baba started rebuking him. “You bastard, you liar.” The boy was shocked. Baba started telling who the girls were and where they were from. The moment he began exposing the unsavory relations between the four of them, the teenagers fled the compartment. The rest of the passengers were astonished to see this.” (JY, p. 211)

Such is one of the many false and misrepresentations of Baba’s personality in this book.

SUCH A STORY IS ILLOGICAL & UNTHINKABLE

Firstly, nobody can say that Baba ever behaved in this manner and use such language with margiis, let alone non-margiis, or anyone at all – in public view on a train or anywhere. Baba would never scold and abuse non-margiis in this way, especially not youths. Indeed, Baba would generally overlook the conduct of margii teenagers, let alone non-margii teenagers. So this above episode and outlandish encounter is completely outrageous. Baba would never behave in such a manner, yet that is how He is depicted in this book – throughout the entire publication. This is very unfortunate.

Top of all, it is unthinkable that Baba would ever use the term or call anyone a bastard. That is way off base. (end old quote)

It is a great job exposing such a book with many (this story being just one) falsehoods or mis-representations of our Baba.

For me, I know He could not say such a thing from the thousands of Baba stories I have heard for more than 35 years. I have heard stories from margiis and acaryas that represented many different sectors and cultures. I traveled with many dadas from India and I never, ever heard anything near to this horrible depiction of Baba.

My actions and thought have not been 100% pure prior to and even while practicing Ananda Marga Tantra throughout the years. When I received Dharma Samiiksa, Baba scolded me in front of a small number of Indian margiis (maybe 6) and He never used foul language. He raised His voice and told me to follow 16 points.

During PC, Baba went over the negative things I had done throughout my life and was very sweet and gentle towards me when I expressed remorse and promised to be an ideal son of Baba. He actually talked about me and my promises in the room as if there were someone or some other beings who were there listening; I still wonder about that part.

During various reporting sessions with Him, He never called me names or publically humiliated me. Never. I was still not following 16 points 100%.

There are even more private moments with Him that I will not write about at this time, but I will emphatically state He was always thoughtful and caring with me. He would only say positive things about me to other acaryas. That is the Baba I know.

He never, ever verbally abused me in anyway. He used kind, thoughtful, sweet, and encouraging words for me to forget the past and start anew. That is the Baba I have come to know, and not this garbage I am reading in Devashish’s book.

I hope others come public and express their personal observations of Him to debunk the untruthful stories before they get out of hand.

Brotherly Yours,
Vyasa

Note: LINK TO FIRST LETTER ON THIS TOPIC

http://www.am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/04/depicting-baba-in-very-negative-way.html

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