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Archive for April 25th, 2013

== UPAVASA FASTING: WHY & HOW TO PREPARE & BREAK ==

~ PART 3 ~

(Note: This is the third letter of this series. Links to the first two postings have been linked below. Those letters outline many, many points on the benefit of fasting including step by step, detailed instructions on how to break fast. – Eds)

Namaskar,
Around the globe there is a growing interest in human health & wellness. To that end, people are trying innumerable types of tonics, diets, pills, surgeries, procedures, and remedies to increase their quality of life. But unfortunately, while many do progress, most fall in the wrong direction.

By Baba’s divine grace we Ananda Margiis are in a unique position. He has graciously bestowed on us all the inner secrets and special tips for living a long and prosperous life. Among these many wonderful guidelines, one very helpful process is Baba’s unique system of fasting & breaking fast – as it cleanses and purifies the entire body.

In the general society most have never even heard of fasting, or never tried it. And those who have done it often proceed via improper instructions, thus causing more harm than good. However, in Ananda Marga,
Baba has blessed us with the perfect and ultimate system.

BABA’S GOLDEN SYSTEM

As every Ananda Margiis is well aware, Baba’s expressed teaching is to fast from sunrise to sunrise – thus giving the body’s organs ample time for complete rest and rejuvenation. This is one unique aspect.

And another speciality of the Ananda Marga system of fasting is the special emphasis which Baba places on breaking fast properly. On numerous occasions Baba Himself has told that animals know how to fast but only humans know how to break fast. The point being that there is a definite and proper way to break fast – and this is how the toxins get removed. Thus a wrong technique such as haphazardly breaking fast or prematurely filling the body with food will ruin the entire detoxification process.

Hence Baba has put forth the idea that everyone should follow a rational and systematic approach for breaking fast. And as a review here are a few of those teachings.

OVER-EATING THE NIGHT BEFORE SPELLS TROUBLE

As a general rule, it is important not to overeat and stuff oneself the night before fasting. Certainly we have all seen how this is a common tendency; but, overeating is to be avoided as it delays or even disturbs the body’s cleansing process and makes it difficult, or even impossible, to break fast properly. So to maximize the benefits of a fast, one should take care about the quantity of food taken the evening prior.

A FEW OF BABA’S IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR BREAKING FAST

Note: The first letter in this series detailed a step-by-step process for breaking fast and cleansing the system. A link to that letter has been appended at the bottom of this posting. What follows directly below are general overall guidelines for the morning of breaking fast.

[A] Baba guides us that we should give ourselves plenty of time the morning of breaking fast to attend to our spiritual practices as well as for the actual process of breaking fast. Doing everything in a rushed or hurried manner and then running off to the office or catching a bus is not at all advisable. Instead, that will just create more problems as the body is in a very delicate state and needs proper time to re-hydrate and gain energy. Hence, as most require less sleep the night of fasting one should rise early the next morning to have a maximum amount of time for sadhana etc.

[B] Another invaluable guideline which Baba has given is the great emphasis He places on drinking water and hydrating the body.

“To maintain the internal functions of the body without hindrance and to maintain the internal liquid balance, everyone should drink a sufficient quantity of water.” (Yogic Treatment, Appendix A)

And Baba continues to explain that on normal day a healthy person should drink 3-4 liters as a baseline. So on breaking fast morning when the body is dehydrated it is obvious that we should also drink a very “generous” amount of water – and not just a single glass.

On the morning of breaking fast, drinking an ample amount of water fulfills two distinct purposes. Firstly, by ingesting a minimum of 2-3 liters of lemon salt water the body is able to cleanse itself from top to bottom. The toxins are pulled from the entire body and the entire length of the digestive tract is made sparkling clean.

Thereafter, by drinking fresh water, the second task is accomplished. And that is to re-hydrate the body because after a 36 hour dry fast the body is in need of water. Thus after cleaning the body with lemon salt
water one must drink another liter or two of fresh water to properly hydrate the body. As described in prior postins, this two-fold process of water drinking has to be completed prior to taking any solid food.

[C] When the body is cleansed and hydrated then one can eat a few ripe bananas by chewing them properly to promote smooth and easy digestion. This will give some calories to energize the body and when these bananas have properly settled in the stomach (approximately 20-25 minutes) one should again drink water before taking a light meal of well hydrated rice and vegetables or other food commonly available in your locale.

[D] So these are some of the key points yet no doubt there are various other detailed steps about breaking fast that others have already written about.

GREAT RESULTS

The grand outcome of all of this is a dynamic and wonderful cleansing process which consumes the entire body.

“As a result of fasting, the poisonous and unproductive waste of the body gets destroyed and expelled.” (Caryacarya – 3)

Thus by Baba’s complete system of fasting and breaking fast all the toxins get removed and the body becomes vibrant and pure.

WHAT ONE WT HAS PUBLISHED IN THEIR BOOK

In a book, one WT has published “tips” how to break fast, yet what is written in that book runs counter to Baba’s perfectly prescribed system and guidelines. For the awareness of all and to clear the matter entirely, we should all be aware about the defective approach being advocated by this WT.

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

WATER DRINKING

Per the Ananda Marga system, one should drink 3 – 4 liters of water (or more if needed) on the morning of breaking fast. Initially, for the first two liters or so, that water will be heavily salted, lemon water, and the as one begins clearing and cleansing, the water will be less salted, until finally one will drink fresh water, i.e. without any salt.

Here the emphasis is on drinking sufficient quantity of water to both cleanse and then rehydrate the system. One lone glass of water will never be enough.

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #1

But instead of follow Baba’s expressed guideline, that WT recommends: “Break the fast the next morning after sunrise with a glass of lemon juice (about 1/4 of a fresh lemon in a glass of water), with a little salt or honey.”

As we know, drinking only a single glass of lemon water on the morning of breaking fast will never ever suffice. That is like placing a tiny drop of water in the desert. A mere small glass of water is nothing compared to what the body really needs.

Furthermore, one cannot cleanse the body with that paltry amount of fluid. In which case, all the toxins, previously undigested food, and other waste material will just sit and linger in the body, when fasting is the time when those toxins etc should be evacuated. And that is what occurs when one follows the proper system for breaking fast, i.e. drinking a sufficient quantity of water (3 – 4 liters at minimum).

Unfortunately, if one adheres to what this Wt wrote in their book and drinks only 1 glass, then those dirty substances remain in the body and release their negative microvita, causing the degeneration and destruction of the various glands and organs.

Thus on multiple levels, this incorrect guideline of drinking only 1 glass of water is wrong and harmful as it goes against Baba’s expressed teachings. So no one should do like this; we should warn others also. Unfortunately one WT published this faulty suggestion in their book.

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

EATING BANANAS

After one has fully cleansed the entire digestive tract whereby only clear fluid is released from the body, soon thereafter one will feel hungry. Please refer to the below citation:

“Within ten to fifteen minutes a slight feeling of hunger will come. At that point, you should eat 1 – 2 very ripe bananas – or 3 if they are very small. The bananas should be soft and ripe – not green and hard. Chew them slowly and thoroughly to generate and mix with the saliva.”

Here the point is that the first food after breaking fast will be soft, ripe bananas. This is very soothing for the body as these bananas also help coat the lining of the stomach. When eating the bananas, proper care should be taken to chew them thoroughly so the banana is sufficiently mixed with saliva. This is a key element for promoting proper digestion.

These are Baba’s expressed teachings about breaking fast

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #2

But instead of follow Baba’s expressed guideline, that same WT recommends: “Then eat 1/2 or a whole banana slowly, biting off small pieces and swallowing them whole without chewing.”

So after drinking only 8 ounces or 1/4 liter of water, now this WT is recommending to eat a banana without chewing it.

Yet for sound health, Baba’s explicit teaching in Yogic Treatments book is that all the food taken into the body must be digested properly. And part and parcel of this process is chewing since this act of chewing awakens and stimulates the digestive enzymes and produces saliva in the mouth – thus allowing for proper digestion. That is why we must always chew our food.

But on this most sensitive time of taking the first solid food after a fast, our WT is putting in black and white that one must not chew their food, i.e. swallowing the banana pieces whole. So this is another negative guideline, given by this same WT, that is contrary to Baba’s teaching.

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

WHEN TO TAKE FOOD

After one has fully cleansed their system and properly ingested a few ripe bananas, then after some time (20 – 30 min) one should again drink small amount of fresh water. This will temporarily quell any feelings of hunger, and, more importantly, help digest those bananas.

Thereafter, a strong feeling of hunger will arise. This might take an additional 20 – 30 minutes or more. The main thing is to ensure one truly feels hungry. Then at the time, one should eat a very simple, and well hydrated meal.

“After strong hunger comes, take some easily digestible food such as cooked rice etc. Here are a few ore options as well.

(a) If one choose to take fruit then only eat fruit – and avoid taking citrus fruit.

(b) if one chooses hydrated rice and vegetables (kichuri) do not mix fruit with that rice dish.

(c) Top of all avoid heavily spiced or oily food, or processed food. Avoid eating too much dry food like bread, or acidic food like pasta. Aim for more simple food: like soups and kichuri.

(d) Later on in the day, after your second round of food is digested, then it is ok to take some citrus fruit if you wish.

Throughout the day, care should be taken to continue to drink plenty of fresh water in small amounts, but not at the same time as eating. This will help ensure the solid food gets digested properly and it will also keep the body hydrated.”

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #3

But instead of follow Baba’s expressed guideline, that same WT recommends: “If possible, wait a 1/2 hour and then eat your breakfast.”

So lastly, after not cleaning the digesting tract and without properly hydrating the body, and after not chewing a banana, now the guideline has come from this WT to eat breakfast after just a short gap of time, or even right away if needed.

Without question, this type of approach will create a terrible “train-wreck” in the stomach. In that dehydrated condition, unchewed food is being mixed with a full meal of new food and that is all getting mixed into one mass along with the toxins and waste that never got released from the system. All of which spells disaster for any human being.

This is not the proper way to break fast. No one should do like this. Yet that is what one Wt wrote in their book.

MISREPRESENTING ANANDA MARGA ON THE PUBLIC PLATFORM

The greater tragedy is that what this Wt wrote was done on behalf of all of Ananda Marga. Guru’s name is cited in the text and it says Ananda Marga on the title page etc. That is 100% misleading. Because Baba has given all the best teachings for leading a healthy and sentient life, including all requisite points for diet and fasting. But now if anyone reads the book written by this WT, they will get the wrong impression; they will just see so many faulty guidelines – all done in the name of Baba and Ananda Marga. That reader will quickly conclude that Ananda Marga is not the path for them.

If this worker had written all these wrong guidelines in their own name that would have been bad, but manageable – in some sense. But they did not do like that. They put all those bogus guidelines in the name of Baba and Ananda Marga. That is the terrible tragedy. Because I personally have seen that this book is being sold around the world, in so many sectors, and at so many retreats etc.

MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE BOOK

It is highly unfortunate that the involved WT has written these misguided ideas in a published book that has been translated into multiple languages and circulated all around the globe. Hence the problem or tragedy is two-fold, at minimum.

Firstly, hundreds or even thousands of readers have already been misinformed and anyone following those printed suggestions has been taught the wrong technique for breaking fast – thus causing them harm and difficulty. The book was written to help others yet here the opposite effect is happening.

Next, when this point of breaking fast is wrong then simple readers may think that all the points in the book are wrong. This would be a natural conclusion to arrive at. In which case the common people may also blame that the book’s recommendation of a vegetarian diet is also harmful. Thus this is another negative outcome or possibility.

BABA’S WARNING

This WT erred from the path because they tried to invent their own way that was not at all consonant with Baba’s guidelines. Otherwise what can be the cause. And even worse is that they put those things in print – thus misguiding all. So before following anyone’s professed recommendations we should always evaluate how far those things are truly proper or not. This is Baba’s warning.

“Whatever people learn from the external world – be it from a book of facts or a learned discourse, or any source of knowledge – is ‘prapta vakya’ or ‘relative knowledge’. It is sometimes correct, sometimes incorrect.” (Prout in a Nutshell – 18, p. 6-7)

Thus in the world there a countless books full of wrong information like the section of the book about breaking fast written by our WT.

ONLY BABA’S TEACHINGS ARE BEST

Baba’s teachings are best. They are the Supreme Guideline. Thus whether in the realm of sadhana or fasting, by following His way we will always proceed along the road of progress and welfare.

“Knowledge directly from the Cosmic Mind is true and beneficial for all people in all ages and in all countries. It is called ‘apta vakya’ or absolute knowledge. The books in Ananda Marga [i.e. Baba’s books] are all absolute knowledge.” (Prout in a Nutshell – 18)

This then stands as a brief, corrective summary of Baba’s teachings on fasting and breaking fast. No one should fall prey to the faulty guidelines offered by that Wt, i.e. Didi Ananda Mitra in her book “Food For Thought.”

For more detailed guidelines of Baba’s prescribed system, please refer to the first two letters of this series. Links to those letters are appended below.

BABA’S RELATED TEACHINGS:

FASTING IS NATURE’S WAY OF HEALING AND BALANCING

“Since ancient times many non-human creatures have considered fasting or deliberate abstinence from food as their natural medicine. You will notice that dogs and certain other animals abstain from eating if they feel a little ill. You also often do not feel like eating when you feel somewhat physically out of sorts. Some contemporary physicians advise their patients, and even pressure them, to eat even when they do not have any appetite. This, however, goes against the laws of nature. It is natural for a sick creature to feel an aversion for food, unless they suffer from the disease of overeating. By not eating, certain organs of the body enjoy a temporary rest. As a result, after the fast the organs are rejuvenated and reenergized and a feeling of wellbeing returns to the physical body. So not only in the case of prehistoric humans, in the case of the prehistoric animals as well, the ancient, pure and chief medicine was fasting or voluntary abstention from food.”
“There is a basic distinction between voluntary abstention from food and upavása. Voluntary abstention from food (svecchá-anashana) means to not take food willingly in order to keeping the body healthy (an + ashana = anashana). Ashana means “eating”, so anashana means “not eating”. This abstention from food certainly helps to heal disease. However, imposed abstention from food does not have the same effect because forced abstention creates a suppressed agony in the mind which upsets the mental balance and at the same time also upsets the physical balance.”
“Upavása is undoubtedly a kind of voluntary abstention. However, at the same time there is to some extent a withdrawal of physical activity and a gradual directing of ones mental propensities towards closer proximity with Parama Puruśa. Upa means “near” and vása means “to stay”. Thus the etymological meaning of the word upavása is “to remain near the Lord”.”
“So as I was saying, upavása not only has the benefits of voluntary abstention from food. In addition, this practice is especially helpful for maintaining mental balance, that is, upavása is a medicine for both physical as well as mental maladies. There is no doubt whatsoever that a person’s mental strength is reinforced if he or she observes fast in a systematic fashion. This is a truth that has stood the test of time.” (Shabda Cayanika – 5, Kulya to Kuvela (Discourse 34))

MORE ABOUT UPAVASA

Here below Baba colorfully describes how we are to spend our fasting days.

“‘Upa’ means proximity. And va’sa means to live, to reside. So the upava’sa word means to live near the Lord. In these days of fasting, what the aspirants are to do? Mentally they should live near their Lord. On all other days there remains a balance between external objective adjustment, and subjective approach. An adjustment between objective adjustment and subjective approach. But on these fasting, or upava’sa, the aspirant remains more in proximity to the Lord than in other mundane duties. That’s why these days are known as “upava’sa”. The word ‘fasting’ doesn’t carry the proper sense or the proper spirit of the term ‘upava’sa’. To go without food, for this the proper word is anasan. ‘An’ means not, ‘asan’ means eating. And not upava’sa. So these ekadashii, amava’sya, and purnima they are, upava’sa. Do you follow?” (Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 6)

And Baba’s next guideline further details how fasting days are perfect for an enhanced spiritual routine.

“These fixed [fasting] days are called upavasa since during these days people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters ‘live closer’ to God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their humanity is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation.” (Namah Shivaya Shantaya, p.188)

By all this we an understand that on fasting days one can enjoy heightened spiritual awareness and thus deepen their devotional link with Parama Purusa– Baba.

Here following Baba says more about the process of upavasa.

Baba says, “Upavasa in the sense of fasting is also useless…if one does real upavasa that can do a lot. The scriptural meaning of uspavasa is– by derivation– upa which means “near”, and va’sa, which means “to stay”. Upa’vasa therefore means “to make the mind stay near Parama’tma'”. In other words, it means to withdraw the mind from thoughts of physicalities and keep it near Parama’tama’. The sanskrit word for fasting as such is anashana [remaining hungry / starving].” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, p. 36-7)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Satyanarayan Deva

Note 1: LINKS TO EARLIER LETTERS ON THIS TOPIC

#1: Upavasa Posting Part 1

#2: Upavasa Posting Part 2

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Baba

== Re: Example of False Baba Story ==

Namaskar,
I read the posting (appended below) and it was shocking how that story attempted to paint Dada Dineshvaranandji as emotional not devotional.

Here is a first-hand account that shows how Dada Dineshvaranandji was devotional. (See the letter by Dada Abhidevanandji directly below)

So we have to be very careful. Those suffering from the psychic disease of narrow sentiment will introduce dogma by the medium of Baba stories. That is what has been attempted to be done here by Dada Maheshvaranandaji.

How far Dada Maheshvaranandaji is guilty, but he has some responsibity for publishing, keeping, and circulating such stories. Best is Dadaji should critically read and evaluate those stories and not blindly circulate those based on falsehood.

Let us not forget that through the medium of fake stories, it was depicted in the Mahabharata that Lord Krsna had the flag of the monkey god on his chariot. By this story, many people accepted the bogus idea that Lord Krsna is a devotee of the monkey god – Hanuman.

So stories are the medium for bad people to propagate nasty ideas.

Already such stories have entered into our Ananda Marga such as with the “merge in misson” dogma. (See links at the very bottom of this email.) This dogma entered Ananda Marga via the dogmatic “merged in mission” story.

Another instance is that B group injected the story that Baba came in dream to Shrii Kinshuk ji telling that (Kinshuk) should accept the top post.

Verily there are many such stories.

Because story is such a powerful medium, that even if it is glaringly bogus, even then various intellgient magiis became addicted to this bogus claim of “merge in mission”.

Namaskar,
Chandra Devii

**********

Behalf Of Acarya Abhidevananda Avadhuta
Sent: Wednesday, 24 April 2013 6:25 PM

Subject: 40th Anniversary of Ac. Dineshvaranandaji’s
Self-Immolation

BABA

Namaskar all,

On 1973 April 24, Ac. Dineshvarananda self-immolated in Delhi in protest
against Baba’s imprisonment. It was a last-minute decision.
The worker who had announced that he would self-immolate on that day lost
his resolve. Dineshvaranandaji came forward to save the honor and prestige
of Anandamurtiji and Ananda Marga. While dancing kiirtan, Dineshvaranandaji
poured kerosene over his body and lit a match.
Singing ‘Baba Nam Kevalam’, he expired.

Of all the Ananda Marga workers that I have known, Ac. Dineshvarananda
Avadhuta was perhaps the best example of tejasvita (spiritedness).
Moreover, his spiritedness stemmed from a deep devotion to Baba. In early
1972, I encountered Dineshvaranandaji in a rare state of samadhi, a state
associated with the monthly secretion from the pineal gland. With bloodshot
eyes, he leaned on my shoulder and stumbled about like a drunkard. At first
I was confused. Soon, however, it became crystal clear to me that
Dineshvaranandaji’s intoxication was of a divine sort.

On this day, forty years after Dineshvaranandaji’s supreme sacrifice, may we
all resolve to emulate Dineshvaranandaji’s constant readiness to surrender
everything – even life itself – at the lotus feet of our beloved Gurudeva.


Abhidevananda Avadhuta

Baba

== EXAMPLE OF FALSE BABA STORY ==

Namaskar,
Here is one story from Dada Maheshvaranandji’s collection. Please read it carefully and see whether it is proper or improper. Here the story begins:

Those who have not just got one touch from Baba but have sunk deep in the delight of His darshan have experienced a whole life of miracles.
Baba once said in a darshan in India that those people who are satisfied with feeling psychic oneness with Him attain Savikalpa Samadhi and that those who are not satisfied with this, and who want physical oneness with Him attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (of a high order). One such great soul was Acarya Divyanandjii Avadhuta. He was fervently devoted to Baba. When Baba was poisoned, he worked very hard to fight for an investigation, but was unsuccessful.
Then he took the vow of self-immolation. He used to be always in samadhi and his whole body was red with bliss. He stopped taking food as he said that he did not want to take the food of this planet, which had treated Baba so heinously. As flames devoured his body, Divyanandji died in bliss, saying “Baba Ho! (O Baba!)”.
Later Baba commented about both Divyanandji and Dada Dineshvaranandji (the second person to commit self-immolation in protest against Baba’s imprisonment). Baba said that in front of others, He could not show anything but that when He was by Himself, He would weep for them. On another occasion, Baba commented that Divyanandji died in devotion and therefore felt no pain, but that Dineshvaranandjii died in emotion, and thus he had felt pain.

OUTLANDISH IDEA

Please re-read this line from the above story:

People who are satisfied with feeling psychic oneness with Him attain Savikalpa Samadhi and that those who are not satisfied with this, and who want physical oneness with Him attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (of a high order).

This is an outlandish idea that has nothing to do with the teachings of Ananda Marga and we will discuss this point in the near future. Kindly watch for future letters that address this false notion.

MAIN THEME OF THIS LETTER:

MOTIVATED BY DEVOTION NOT EMOTION

Clearly the above Baba story is false and inappropriate. While there are many problems with the store the key line from the story that I am addressing in this lettter is:

“Divyanandji died in devotion and therefore felt no pain, but that Dineshvaranandjii died in emotion, and thus he had felt pain.”

The following comments are based on this above line.

1. Baba came out of jail in 1978 and then on 12 Feb 1979 in honour of Niilkantha Divas, Baba delivered a very descriptive general darshan and told the exact number of Wts who sacrifcied their life for the cause of dharma. In that count, Dada Dineshvaranandji was included. By this way, Baba clearly indicated that Dada Dineshvarananda was a devotee, so his death was not motivated by devotion, not emotion.

2. That is the proof that Dada Dineshvarananda’s action was motivated by devotion.

3. To read this entire entire letter click below:

http://www.am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/04/example-of-false-baba-story.html

Also for those interested here are links to the way they used story to implement the “merge in mission” dogma:

#1: http://www.am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/about-that-famous-bogus-quote.html

#2: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-2.html

#3: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-3.html

#4: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-4.html

#5: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-5.html

#6: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-6.html

#7: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/10/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-7.html

#8: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/10/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-8.html
#9: http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/10/re-about-that-famous-bogus-quote-9.html

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