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Archive for May 5th, 2013

Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:

(1) Posting: Baba Story: About Grand Buildings;
(2) Trailer Quote: Character of Great People;
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #1154;

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

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== BABA STORY: ABOUT GRAND BUILDINGS ==

About the Storyteller: Tarachand Jain, PU BP, of Jaipur, Rajasthan is a very senior Ananda Margii. Tarachand Dada worked in the Transportation Dept, Rajasthan State Roadways, as an Asst. General Manager. Here following is his story. – Eds

Namaskar,
This is the story of what happened one time when I saw Baba. One question came in my mind about the Vivekananda Memorial (built in 1970) which was under construction those days.

The followers of Vivekananda were collecting huge amounts of money from all around India for the construction of their grand memorial in Kanyakumari in South India.

That time when I was with Baba this matter came in my mind. So I raised the point with Baba.

MY QUESTION TO BABA

I said, “Baba, the followers of Vivekananda are collecting money to make a memorial.”

I waited for His reaction.

Baba asked me, “What is your opinion?”

I remained quiet.

BABA’S REPLY

Then Baba explained, “Building such a memorial is a waste of resources. If Swami Vivekananda saw this he would not appreciate this being built. Rather he would condemn it. Such monies should be used for social service. In the world, when so many are without food, medicine, medical care, clothing, housing and education and when hospitals and schools and other social structures are in dire need, then constructing such a memorial is a huge waste. It is a misuse of financial and natural resources, time, and energy. Best would have been used to expend that money to help the suffering humanity.”

Hearing His words, I realized how seriously Baba was taking this situation. Baba gave two essential points:

(1) The memorial was a blatant misuse of resources; and,
(2) Vivekananda would not approve of such a memorial.

I remained quiet and contemplated Baba’s explanation. I thought that we are fortunate that in our Marga we do not have this type of waste. At that time, back in 1970, I thought like this.

Namaskar,
Tarachand

Note: The entire cost of construction of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in 1970 was crores of rupees. That was a huge amount of money those days. Back then India was not like it is today. It was still newly independent and struggling in its early days of nationhood.

REFLECTION

After reading the above story by Tarachand Dada, it is very clear that we face this same key issue in our Ananda Marga as well – unfortunately. What Baba Himself warned us against, top Dadas are doing.

In the post 1990 era, the hard-earned money of so many margiis has been wasted in the construction of various memorials and temples in Ananda Nagar, Tiljala and Jamalpur. This is all just a waste of money and a misuse of resources.

At present in Ananda Marga, we do not have ideal institutions where our kids can come and learn in a neo-humanistic manner; and, indeed there are so many other social service projects and institutions that demand our attention. There are so many centers, medical care units, etc that need to be made. We do not have such facilities right now yet that is the need of the day. So it is shameful that since 1990 some Dadas have diverted huge funds to the construction of memorials when Baba clearly does not support such things.

We must right our ship and use all our resources – financial and otherwise – for the betterment of society and implementation of the projects Baba outlined for the welfare of humanity.

As Ananda Margiis we should understand that Baba was not just against the building of the Vivekananda memorial, but verily condemned any such memorial. Here below Baba uses the example of the Konark temple in Orissa to point out the injustices and waste surrounding the building of any type of memorial.

“While money has been spent lavishly for the construction of beautiful places of worship, money has never been arranged for food, clothing, housing, education and medical care for the welfare of the poor. While for four full years all the state revenues of Orissa were spent for the construction of the Konark temple, during that period not a penny was spent for human welfare. Needless to say, the history of all countries is replete with such examples.” (1)

By all this we can easily understand that the construction of memorials is an anti-Ananda Marga idea. Those doing so are most unfortunate; they could not understand Baba’s teaching.

Indeed nowadays in Ananda Marga there are so many memorials such as the ones in Tiljala, Jamalpur Tiirtha, and Ananda Nagar. Plus they are planning on constructing more.

It seems some Dadas have begun competing in a temple construction contest with the Sikhs, Jains, and Hindus. At present the Hindus are wasting 600 crores of rupees on a gold temple for the goddess of wealth Laksmii.

“More than 400 gold and coppersmiths from the Thirupathi Thirumala Devasthanam are said to have worked for six years to craft the Rs 600-crore gold temple located on 55,000 sq ft of land on a 100-acre salubrious stretch in Malaikodi, about 6 km from Vellore in north Tamil Nadu. [Plus countless laborers and specialists have workes numerous years on other aspects of the temple.”

Yet side by side, countless people in India lack pure drinking water and suffer from severe food shortages. Many are dying of starvation yet this astronomical sum is being spent on this temple / memorial for goddess Laksmii. Those religions are bereft of a lofty ideology so they are wasting their money, time, and resources in constructing large, gaudy temples for show. But why should Ananda Margiis do like this. We have a lofty ideology and we know what should be done.

Ananda Marga should be a beacon of light and not be prone to following dogma. So certain Dadas must give up their habit of constructing memorials.

It is good that margiis have stopped giving money to Dadas for constructing these dogmatic memorials. That is why such buildings remain unfinished. Now those same unfinished buildings should be used for philanthropic works like schools, medical clinics, food distribution centers etc. That will be the real dharmic use of such buildings.

In no way, shape, or form, does Baba want memorials to be built. Rather His desire is that all our energy and resources should be used for the upliftment of humanity. We should all keep the above story in mind and move according to His direction.

“We will not deviate an inch from our ideology, nor will we allow others to do so.” (2)

Namaskar,
in Him,
Vinay Deva

REFERENCES:
1. Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization, Ra’r’h – 6
2. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Shiva’s Teachings – 2 (continued) (Discourse 14)

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

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Character of Great People

“Alas, what suffering an animal has to bear at the hands of cruel humans! But the animal is absolutely innocent. It is not a born enemy of the human being that if a person does not kill it, it will kill the person, just as a tiger or an insect does. I shall continuously make efforts to see that human beings refrain from such cruel acts of violence.” If one sees someone doing noble work, as a result of which the progress of the world is accelerated and the path of human welfare is widened, then one should think: “The noble work of this person will remain written in letters of gold in human history. I shall give my full support to this person in their noble endeavours…I shall help them in every possible way.”
“If one sees a person engaged in deleterious activity, then one should think: “On account of the pernicious activities of this person, people are going to the dogs, this person is striking at the root of long-cherished austerities, forbearance, benevolence, and so on. I shall never support such misdeeds.”” (Shabda Cayaniká Part 4, Disc: 27)
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~ PS #1154 ~

Song of Neo-Humanism

The following review of Prabhat Samgiita #1154 is comprised of four distinct sections:

(A) Transliteration
(B) Line Meaning
(C) End Notes
(D) Special Note on Spelling & Pronunciation

Please be sure to read each section carefully as they build upon each other. Please do send your suggestions, comments and thoughts.

TRANSLITERATION OF PS#1154 –

Tumi esechile, a’lo jvelechile, dhara’ya esechilo ma’novata’
Bha’lobesechile, sudha’ d’helechile, ma’nase jegechilo komalata’

Vibheda buddhite shatadha’-chinno, a’gha’te dharitrii chile diirn’o
Sa’ra’ dehe ta’r vyatha’r cihna, bahiya’ ber’a’to vasuma’ta’

A’lo jvele dile, ks’ate pralep dile
Ka’r kii vedana’ d’eke shudha’ile
A’shva’se a’taunko sara’le, Bolile a’mi a’chi kleshtra’ta’

LINE MEANING OF PS #1154

O’ Parama Pursa, O’ Lord, You came and lit the lamp [1], thereupon humanity came onto this earth. You showered Your love, poured the nectar, and a tender [2] loving feeling was aroused in the mind.

Mother earth [3] was being ripped apart by constant blows and battering [4] – torn asunder, into hundreds of pieces, by this divisive intellect. She bore on her body wounds from her pain and suffering.

O’ Lord, You lit the lamp and applied ointment [5] on her wounds. You asked about the pain of those who were suffering. You gave Your assurance, removed the terror, and told, “As Kleshtra’ta’ [6] I am always here to remove your suffering.”

O’ Parama Purusa Baba, You came and lit the lamp of neo-humanism and spirituality, and by Your grace humanity came on this earth…

END NOTES FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #1154

[1] Lamp: Here lamp refers to neo-humanism, spirituality and Ananda Marga philosophy.

[2] Tender: Devotional.

[3] Mother Earth: This refers to the entire creation including all living beings like plants, animals, and humans. So it should not be taken literally to mean just the dirt, rocks, and soil of this planet.

[4]Blows and Battering: Humanity has been divided and hurt by so many dogmas and isms like casteism, racism, provincialism, nationalism, factionalism, groupism, selfishness, materialism etc. That is what is meant by the blows and battering of mother earth.

[5] Ointment: Parama Purusa has graciously applied the ointment of seva (service), sadhana, universal love, 16 Points, Prout, and neo-humanism. By this way the wounds and sores of humanity can be healed.

[6] Kleshtra’ta’: [Klesh (suffering, pain) tra’ta’ (permanent reliever)]; This is one of the names of Parama Purusa. He has innumerable qualities and attributions – one of which is to permanently, not temporarily, remove the pain and suffering. In this role, He is called Kleshtra’ta’. All in all there are three types of relief, and in this instance Parama Purusa is graciously providing permanent and lasting relief.

SPECIAL NOTE ON SPELLING & PRONUNCIATION

Here are some notes on the use of phonetic spelling.

For instance, take the English words “know” or “knowledge”. Without having first memorized the pronunciation, people will pronounce those words as “Ka-now” or “Kay-Now” and “Kay-Now-La-Di-Ge”,respectively. Simply sounding out the letters will not produce the desired result. Because in the English language, spelling and pronunciation must be memorized. Otherwise it is not possible to pronounce words properly.

Same is the case with Bengali.

For example, in the first line of the above song #1154, the actual spelling of the third word is esechila but unless one knows Bangla, they will mispronounce it. Hence we have given the phonetic spelling, esechilo. By this way even new readers will be able to pronounce the words correctly when listening to and singing the song.

Here is another example. The actual spelling of the two words in the third line is
chinna and diirn’a, but that will not yield the proper pronunciation for non-native speakers; hence, we spelled them as chinno and diirn’o, respectively. With this phonetic spelling, readers will get the right pronunciation. Indeed there are many such examples.

Only native Bengali speakers – or those extremely fluent in Bangla and familiar with Prabhat Samgiita – will pronounce all the words correctly. Yet everyone wishes to listen to and sing Prabhat Samgiita and enjoy the song. If the lyrics are written in a technical manner then people will not be able to pronounce all the words properly. Hence the decision to write it phonetically.

With regard to the repetition of certain lines when the song is sung, while listening to the song you will just have to be alert and adjust accordingly as all the original lines are present.

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Date: Sun 05 May 2013 20:38:03
From: Niramala.1
Subject: Mahaprayan of Shrii K.C. Bhalla ji
To: ananda-marga-universal-forum-1@yogasamsthanam.net

Baba

== MAHAPRAYAN (DEATH) OF SHRII K.C. BHALLA JI ==

Namaskar,
It is with much sorrow to share with you news of the recent mahaprayan* (death) of Shriii Kailash Chandra Bhalla which occurred on 01 May 2013 at the Umaria master unit, Raipur, India. At the time of his mahaprayan he was 91 years of age.

Shrii K.C. Bhallaji became a family acarya back in 1961 and involved in many works for Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha. So Acarya K.C. Bhallaji was a very senior member with a long history in Ananda Marga. In his later years, Acaryaji suffered from various ailments and was essentially bed-ridden.

May we all take solace in the fact that Shrii K.C. Bhalla ji was a devoted bhakta of the Lord. Certainly he will attain mukti or moksa, accordingly. Baba will lovingly bestow His grace.

With deepest regards,
Namaskar,
at His lotus feet,
Nirmala

Note 1: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL MAHAPRAYAN AND FAKE MPD

Here it should be qualified that there is both real mahaprayan and fake mahaprayan. Real mahaprayan marks the death of any ordinary human being. This is the proper use of the term: To note a person’s departure from this earth. That is the way mahaprayan is to be used.

Then there is the fake, or so-called, or dogmatic mahaprayan.That is when certain vested interests try to apply the mahaprayan term to Parama Purusa Himself. This is grossly inappropriate because when Baba is that Divine Entity who is beginningless and endless and resides always in our heart, then it is entirely wrong to proclaim that He is gone.

That is why rational margiis are protesting; because the Oct 21st program is so-called mahaprayan. So-called means that something is fake. Parama Purusa is eternal, thus for some vested interests to declare “mahaprayan of Parama Purusa” is nothing but so-called mahaprayan.

Mahaprayan only really happens in the case of human beings, not Parama Purusa.

Note 2: ASTERISK NOTE ABOUT MAHAPRAYAN

* Mahaprayan (Death): Many are aware that mahaprayan (death) is the common term used in India and especially in Bengal to describe the death of an honoured or even ordinary person. In that way, the obituary columns of the newspapers of Bengal regularly cite the mahaprayan (death) of various persons of society who died or passed away.

Some may get confused and wrongly think that the word ‘mahaprayan’ (death) is one extraordinarily devotional term to be used in association with Parama Purusa. But that is not at all the case. Rather to do so is only to undermine the eternal presence of Parama Purusa. That is why no devotees ever use the word ‘mahaprayan’ in reference to Lord Shiva or Lord Krsna. Because Lord Shiva and Lord Krsna exist eternally. Then there is no question of Their mahaprayan (death).

Those who think that Baba is a mortal human being celebrate Mahaprayan on a particular day of the year related with Baba; but, in the true sense, Baba is Parama Purusa so He is eternal and there is no question of His mahaprayan.

And for those who need still more technical proof then all this can be clarified quite readily by referencing the dictionary. Specifically in the Samsad Bengali-English dictionary on page 742. Checking there it will be confirmed that the word ‘mahaprayan’ means death. Which is why it used to refer to the passing away of even common citizens.

Note 3: STORY- SITTING ON BABA’S LAP MEANS DIED?
(contributed by one margii)

Recently after dharmacakra, a senior margii was recounting his experiences of having dharma samiiksa with Baba.

He said, “After being punished by Baba, then He called me close and placed me on His lap – I remained there for some time soaking up His love – and He blessed me.”

We all enjoyed hearing about his personal account with Baba during dharma samiiksa. When he finished telling his story, there was a call for questions. Various people posed their queries.

QUESTION BY A NEW MARGII

Towards the end, one new margii raised his hand and asked, “How did Baba bring you back to life?”

Everyone stared at the new margii in amazement. There was a look of astonishment all around – people were really shocked to hear him say this.

The new sadhaka sensed that something was awry.

He said very matter-of-factly, “I thought that sitting on Baba’s Lap means that he (the margii) died – that is why I asked that question.”

This was quite eye-opening for those of us in the room: Through our language and expression we had unknowingly taught someone to think that being on Baba’s lap is the equivalent of death. Because it seems that nowadays people only use the phrase “Baba’s lap” when a person has died, such as “Let him rest peacefully in Baba’s lap”, as if all who have died have accumulated there. Many emails have been written this way.

MUST NOT ONLY REFER TO DEATH

At that moment I thought that everyone, new and old, should be clear about the real and devotional meaning of this phrase, “being on Baba’s lap.” It should not become stigmatized such that it only means death. Because in its true sense, the phrase “being on Baba’s lap” really does carry a highly devotional and sweet feeling.

It is just like how a small child sits on its parent’s lap. In a similar way, a spiritual child (human being) sits on the lap of Parama Purusa. By Baba’s grace this can happen anytime in one’s sadhana, especially in dhyana. Such a phrase then should not become stigmatized because too many people only use it at the time of death.

We should be careful that we do not relegate “Baba’s lap” only to the point of death. All these following terms and phrases also only refer to death:

ve bhagavan ko pya’re ho gaye
(he has been loved by God)

ve svarga sidhar gaye
(he has gone to heaven )

ve guzar gaye
(he passed away)

mahaprayan hoyeche
(he died)

We should ensure that the same death connotation does not get attached to, “being on Baba’s lap.” Because the phrase – “being on Baba’s lap” – is a devotional experience that can happen today itself in sadhana, and especially in dhyana. The phrase “being on Baba’s lap” should not lose this quality and only mean death. It should not meet the same dark fate as happened with the term harijan.

MUST NOT MEET SAME FATE AS HARIJAN

As we all know, these days in India nobody uses the term harijan to mean “a devotee”. Whereas 70 years ago it was used in that way. The term harijan did mean bhakta. But ever since the time of Gandhi when he glued the harijan term to the lowest so-called caste, i.e so-called untouchables, nobody uses the the harijan to mean devotee. Never. Because the term harijan has been stigmatized to mean “untouchable”. Nobody uses it to mean “devotee”, but that is the original and true meaning of the word.

The phrase, “sitting on Baba’s lap”, should not meet a similar fate. It should not lose its devotional quality and just refer to one’s death. That will be very negative.

A VERY DEVOTIONAL EXPRESSION

There are thousands of recorded stories by sadhakas where they use the phrase, “on Baba’s lap”, when describing their experiences of being with Baba: He used to bless them and bring them on His lap. People should understand the deeply devotional value of this expression, and not just think that Baba’s lap means death, i.e. that you can only sit on His lap at the time of death. Still today there are thousands of margiis walking this earth who sat in Baba’s lap. And not only that, there are countless more sadhakas who were blessed by Baba in dreams and dhyana wherein they sat in His lap. And still today this deeply devotional experience is attainable by sadhakas, by His grace.

There are so many ways an aspirant can reach unto Baba’s lap including in sadhana and especially during dhyana. That is the main idea that should be preserved. Sadhana is a devotional practice and one can sit on Baba’s lap in dhyana. We should make it cent-per-cent clear to one and all that the phrase, “sitting on Baba’s lap”, does not mean death.

RECENT EXAMPLES

Here are quoted lines from recently posted emails on various forums, wherein the writer uses the phrase – “in Baba’s lap” – with the occasion of death:

– “We are sure that Baba has taken him in His loving lap.”

– “May his soul rest in Baba’s lap for ever.”

– “Let her rest peacefully in Baba’s Lap – which she always desired.”

– “now he is in beloved Baba’s lap”

– “May his soul get peaceful place in His lap”

– “He is now in BÁBÁ’S loving lap”

– “May Baba bless him with a seat in His lap.”

– “May BABA accept him in HIS divine lap!”

– “May Baba take him in his eternal loving lap.”

All of the above lines are commonly written at the time of death. Of course it is fine to write like that. Here the point is that this same phrase “in Baba’s lap” should be used when describing one’s devotional practices and experiences as well.

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Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:

(1) Posting: As You Grow Older, You Gain Many Things;
(2) Trailer Quote: Divine Guideline in Dhyana Process;
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #838;

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

== AS YOU GROW OLDER, YOU GAIN MANY THINGS ==

Namaskar,
Those who are born will one day die, yet in that process of aging, people gain many positive attributions and useful qualities.

Typically speaking, people are very scared of growing old. But one need not be scared or worried. Old age is not just wrought with diminishing abilities and deteriorating faculties etc. Rather, as one gradually ages, they continue to grow and develop – their outlook becomes more mature based on their accumulated life experiences.

So those who think that people become decrepit and useless in old age are naive; such persons are victims of the shallow thinking of materialism.

DROWNED IN THE WAVE OF MATERIALISM

One of the key reasons for addressing this topic – i.e. value of old age – is because so many are living the lie of materialism. In materialism, superficial beauty is everything. With this message being sounded throughout the commercial avenues, the common people have succumbed to this outlook. Knowingly or unknowingly, common citizens want to look young and verily older adults are trying to compete with teenagers in this regard. This has led young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults to get cosmetic / plastic surgery. They change their shape and form, and use so many cosmetic products to shine their face, paint their nails, and pretty themselves. They are sunk in the notion that their superficial beauty defines whom they are. In that way, they overlook their inherent psychic strengths and life experiences and waste their money and time in cosmetic beauty. Alas, they become depressed realising they will never be 18 again. This is the sad state of affairs wherever materialism has come into play.

Shockingly, this same debased outlook has spilled over into our Ananda Marga as some of our very own wholetimer Dadas and Didis have made the mad dash towards cosmetic charm. Instead of honing their practice and engagement in Sixteen Points, some of our Wts are involved in dyeing their hair, colouring themselves, and participating in all kinds of beauty parlor treatments. Baba clearly guides us to shape the mind in a spiritual manner, yet certain wholetimers are plunged in materialistic beauty pursuits. These workers are supposed to be the guiding light of humanity yet see how they have become trolls of materialism. This gives a sense of the outrageous allurement of materialism and superficial beauty – even our monks and nuns got affected. For more about this WT beauty competition read the letter (link) appended at the bottom of this email.

Even then, many, many Wts remain unscathed by the blows of materialism and are committed to the spiritual ideal. So we should not think that our entire Wt cadre is involved in this way. Rather we should not underestimate the force of materialism that it even had the power to swallow whole a few of our Wts. In that case, how will general members of society withstand the sparkle fo materialism.

That is why it is our clear-cut duty to rise above keeping the mind fixed on Him and be an example to others – otherwise how will they ever be able to esacpe the rough seas of materialism.

THE PRESENT DICHOTOMY

Traditionally in the west and wherever materialism reigns, old-age is looked upon as something bad; whereas in the various eastern traditions, old-age is seen as something venerable.

Even then, the distinction is not so clear-cut. Often we see a stark dichotomy.

For instance, in the western nations, in many fields, the experience that comes with being a senior person is highly valued. Supreme court justices, university presidents, top lawyers, chief engineers, detectives, etc, in all these fields, age and the accompanying life experience are embraced as great qualities and characteristics. In those arenas, the wisdom, experience, decision-making, and contemplative abilities of seasoned veterans and aged professionals are respected.

For the most part, it is primarily the pseudo-culture film and beauty industries that place such a tremendous emphasis on skin, youthfulness, and superficial beauty. In those enterprises, experience and mental capabilities are not valued.

So this is the dichotomy that exists in many places: Some arenas of life value old-age and others not.

In Ananda Marga, we agree with and support the idea that those who have lived into their senior years and old-age have much to offer society. Their values, manner of thinking, and life experiences bring forth a wealth of knowledge and insight. That is why Baba has directed that the senior persons should oversee collective functions and play a leading role in various aspects of our social life.

THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE

Here we can say that one of the main benefits of having lived on this earth for a longer period is experience. Experience is that great teacher. People learn from their own life interactions as well as from the stories and tales of those around them. This builds a mature and valuable outlook.

In addition, although in old age the body may have started its path of moderate degeneration or worse, one’s brain and thinking capacity can remain extremely sharp and pointed far into the later years. So in those arenas where success depends more upon the psychic realm, then aged persons are better equipped for the job.

That is why we see Supreme Court justices, parliament speakers, heads of state, professional counselors, economic advisors, ministers and so many others taking on huge responsibilities in their later years – and they are respected and honoured for their work and contributions.

DOGMATIC RELIGIONS ALSO FOLLOW THIS MODEL:

VALUE OF EXPERIENCE

The same holds in the field of religion. Catholics always choose an elderly, senior person as their pope. They never choose a dashing, handsome young man; always they select someone in their later years – whose body is weak – but whose brain has accumulated much experience and insight.

And not just Catholicism, but in all the religions and in our Marga also, we place great emphasis and value upon the contributions and guidelines of older people. Because due to their diverse experiences, their mental outlook has become more mature.

So in a word, we can say that experience is one key characteristic that accompanies aging. Such experience is invaluable.

PSYCHOLOGY CHANGES:

SEE WORLD AS TEMPORARY

A second distinct quality that arises within aged people is a more spiritual outlook. That does not mean that all older people are more spiritual than younger ones. Rather, within the context of one’s own life, their spiritual outlook often heightens with age.

As one ages, they realise that this life is transient and that they will not live forever. They see their friends pass, money come and go, and so many changes. By this way, their feeling that this world is impermanent multiplies as they age. Naturally that brings forth a more spiritual vision because the only option left is to seek out that which is permanent.

In their youth, most could not conceive of the idea that they will one day die; they did not consider their own mortality. Rather as youths, one took great risks and did daredevil things, thinking that they are indestructible etc.

But as one ages the psychology changes and people are forced to think about the ephemeral nature of this created world. Everything is temporary. One is forced to more deeply consider what is beyond their own unit existence. So that is another benefit of aging.

And this sort of psycho-spiritual approach is heightened when one is suffering from a grave disease. Then, they are faced with the prospect of their own death in a more direct manner. This leads them to consider and / or strengthen their connection with the divine world.

BENEFITS OF AGING

Nobody looks forward to growing old, and often people think that aging just means futility. But in Ananda Marga – and in various communities where one’s mental prowess is respected – then one’s advanced age brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. By this way, they are in proper position to guide others as well as adopt a holistic spiritual outlook.

IMPORTANCE OF ELDERLY IN ANANDA MARGA

In our Ananda Marga, great importance and tremendous respect is given to senior persons based on their life experiences and long-term endeavour. Here are a few of the many ways in which this occurs:

“In absence of the ácárya the ceremonies can be conducted by the senior man present. The presence of the ácárya is desirable since he enjoys considerable esteem. Ácárya is also more conversant. He combines esteem with efficiency.” (1)

“Plant the tree while mentally reciting guru mantra. Then while pouring some water on the tree, everyone will recite the following with the ácárya/á or a senior person leading.” (2)

“All the social festivities are parts of Brahma sádhaná. It is meaningless to wait in expectation of the ácárya. For this reason alone, it has been laid down that an elderly man can conduct the function in absence of the ácárya. The potentialities of vested interest persist if things are reserved in the hands of a particular group.” (3)

Here following are further important teachings from Sadguru Baba.

#1: LET PEOPLE LIVE FOR A HUNDRED YEARS OR MORE

“Many people are under the wrong impression that perhaps the people in ancient times lived long lives. In my opinion this idea is not very correct. Had it been so, then why is it maintained in the shloka, “you should aspire to live a hundred years”. It is not true that many people lived a hundred years. Then only the lifespan of a hundred years was considered to be something covetable. In fact the people would not lived very long years. Life in those days was full of struggles. A gorilla in a wild environment lives about 22 years. If it is brought to a zoo and provided with good food and if it is kept free from any worries and anxieties then the gorilla may live about 28-29 years. Life in a zoo is comparatively safe – free from worries of wild life. Life in ancient days was not in the least carefree. It was full of struggles and dangers. There were struggles amongst human beings, between human beings and animals, and between animals. So human life was rather short-lived. Now the average longevity of human being is on the increase. People of those days would bless the juniors – “Shata sharadaḿ jiiva” – Live a hundred autumns. That shows that the lifespan of a hundred years was not usually the longevity of an average person. “Shata sharadaḿ jiiva,” “Shatáyurbhava” [“Live a hundred years”].”

“Let people live for a hundred years or more and engage themselves in noble deeds.”

Nányathe tehasti na karma lipyate nare.

“If a person wishes to live a hundred years for the promotion of human welfare his life will really be a meaningful existence. Such a person will never fall into the bondages of reaction, because all of his actions are intended for public welfare.”

“Thus if people continue to perform deeds for public welfare then they will be able to avert the bondages of action. They will not be required to be reborn in a world to reap the consequences of their actions. Good deeds produce good reactions and bad deeds produce bad reactions. To reap the good reaction and bad reaction they will not be required to come to this world, if they perform deeds with the sole intention of public welfare and not any other intention. Then they can avoid being trapped into bondages of actions. Then the welfare of others brought about by his deeds will be considered a reward for his deeds. This is the life of a real person – a righteous person. This is the reason for which human beings have come to this world.” (4)

#2: AS LONG AS I EXIST I WILL LIVE A GLORIOUS LIFE

“There is a common notion that people in ancient times lived longer than the people of today; but this is incorrect. Rather due to scientific progress and advances in medical science, as well as spiritual progress in Tantra Yoga, modern humans are living longer lives than the ancients. People in the olden days hardly lived longer than forty-five years; but today people live much longer. To live a life of one hundred years was a rare accomplishment in those days. And thus the sage said, “Human beings may pray to God for a long life of one hundred years – in order to perform noble deeds” (otherwise why should they drag on their existences unnecessarily?). In the present-day world, there are a few people who have passed the age of one hundred, but not very many…”

“But although the human beings of today may live even longer than that, mere survival is not enough; what is important is to live a dignified life. The excellence of human life lies in action; it is through action that human beings survive. They should aspire to live long while performing noble deeds; it is futile to live just like an earthworm. Indeed, each and every human being should vow, “I do not know how long I will survive; but as long as I exist I will live a glorious life, not an ignominious existence like that of an earthworm.””

“Human beings have to earn their livelihood and perform their assigned duties. The degree of physical labour they have to perform depends on the economic condition of their land. The citizens of those countries which are socio-economically developed have to perform less physical labour; instead their intellectual labour has increased. This is the natural law. The human beings who lived one hundred years ago used to perform much more manual labour than do those of today. Those who washed clothes used to stand in knee-deep water. This type of life for years on end markedly reduced their longevity, and thus washermen and women did not live longer than forty to forty-five years; their excessive physical labour would shatter their health. Due to their lack of knowledge of hygiene and absence of spiritual practice, their life-spans were shortened.”

“Spiritual practice makes the mind calm and quiet, and maintains the nerves in a state of equipoise; and thus spiritual practice increases longevity. Those Vaishnavites who are vegetarians, who regularly sing spiritual songs, do meditation, perform virtuous deeds and think pure thoughts, live longer than ninety years.”

“Now, one may say that some people like Vivekananda did not live long; but the cause of their early death was excessive labour. Extreme physical labour definitely reduces one’s longevity. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived [less than fifty] years; he could perhaps have lived longer, but due to excessive labour, he could not survive. He undertook long tours throughout India on foot. Shankaracharya did not live long, either, because he also toured India on foot; he walked from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas. This extreme physical labour told upon his health; otherwise he could perhaps have lived longer.”

“I want you all to live long – but you must live glorious lives, not like those of earthworms. Your lives should be bustling with activity.”

“Human beings always yearn for the destruction of the evil forces, for the removal of darkness and the flooding of effulgent light. Let your dynamic forward movement make your lives ever joyful – see that you never lag behind, or slump down dejected. No human being wants this. Rather let your slogan always be, Caraeveti, caraeveti [“Move on, move on”]. Let the chant of your forward movement be ever on your lips.” (5)

#3: WORK EVEN WHILE DYING

“Why do you want to live for a hundred years? To do more and more work. You want to live long because you hope to do more and more work in this life – being goaded by this desire, you wish to live a long life. So in the psychic sphere one must always remember that one has a mission in life, and just to materialize that life, for proper practication of that mission, one is to remain in this world; otherwise one must not remain here, one should retire from life as early as possible.”

“Once I said, “It is good to die working, but still better to work even while dying.” So one should always bear in mind, “I am alive in this world for the fulfilment of my mission. This is the reason I am eating, dressing, sleeping. Apart from this, I have no worth.” And if one ever lives a life without a mission, then in that case, no endeavour in the psychic sphere will bring success. If you do not want to work, if you do not want to serve the world, you will become a burden on the world. It would be better to leave the world than to live as a burden on it. Human life should be enriched with intense activity….”

“Why do you undertake a mission? Átmamokśarthaḿ jagaddhitáya ca [“For Self-realization and for the welfare of the universe”]. You certainly undertake it in order to promote the welfare of the world. Along with this you have to take up another mission, and that is to bring about your own spiritual salvation. If one does not try for one’s own salvation, if one does not do spiritual practice, one can never serve society. It will be totally impossible. When you take a vow to work for your mission, just remembering that vow will not make it possible for you to win salvation, though through that vow you can serve the world.” (6)

#4: ONLY HERE FOR A VERY SHORT SPAN

“Human life, you know, is a measured one. Human beings come here for a very short span. If during this short span one tries to go through all the scriptures it will take more than one thousand years? And one is only here for approximately one hundred years. So, going along the path of jinána is a mere waste of existence. And karma is infinite and the human structure is a finite one, with limited stamina and limited capacity. So the path of bhakti is not only harmless, but the wisest one and is the approach of the most blessed people. So my advice to you all is to move along the path of bhakti. It is the best route.” (7)

#5: DEATH IS IMMINENT – WORK SINCERELY & VIGOROUSLY

Grhiitvaeva kesheśu mrtyurńá Dharmácaret

“That is, during dharma’caran, i.e. dharmic pursuits [following yama and niyama, service, svadhyaya etc] one should think that the god of death has already started pulling one’s hair – that one’s death is imminent. And accordingly one should work sincerely and vigorously; one will have to do a great many noble deeds within a short period.” (8)

STORY:

“ONLY COBBLERS IN YOUR ASSEMBLY”

MUST SEE DEEPER VALUE NOT JUST SUPERFICIAL IMAGE

Looking to Ashtavakra’s deformed body, the guards of King Janaka were amused.

Ashtavakra retorted, “Do not judge a person by his appearance and age, judge him by what he knows. Inform your king that there is a person ready to challenge the great minister Bandhi.”

The king came and was surprised to see a small deformed boy. He asked a few questions and was greatly impressed by his knowledge. King Janak soon arranged for the debate with Bandhi.

The Pundits and philosophers, all burst into laughter on seeing the queer form of “Ashtavakra”.

The boy (Ashtavakra) too reciprocated with a burst of laughter but in a loud way. Everybody got enraged.

King Janaka asked the boy “Why you are laughing young man?.

To this “Ashta vakra” said, “Oh King! I thought you called Vidwans and Pundits to assemble here but I find only “cobblers” in your assembly. ”

They roared, “How dare you call us ‘cobblers”.

Then the boy Ashtavakra calmly replied, “You all laughed at the twisted form of my body which is akin to leather. Only those who work with leather is conversant and they evaluate leather. Hence, there is nothing wrong in my calling you all as ‘cobblers”.

Janaka saw reason in the argument of the boy. Everybody who assembled there hung their head in shame.

Hence we should never criticise any based on their outer form.

To everyone’s surprise Ashtavakara defeated Bandhi in no time and secured his father and others.

This is the message as i already showed in my answer: ””Do not judge a person by his appearance and age, judge him by what he knows”” (9)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Paramatman

References:
1. Tattvika Diipika, part 5
2. Caryacarya – 1, Tree-Planting Ceremony
3. Tattvika Diipika, part 5
4. Ananda Marga Karma Yoga, “Kurvanneveha Karmmáńi”
5. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 33, You Must Live Glorious Lives
6. Subhasita Samgraha – 24 Incantation and Human Progress
7. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 6, Bhakti Is the Best
8. Subhasita Samgraha, part 11
9. http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120524205446AATo24s

Note 1: LINK TO LETTER ABOUT WT BEAUTY COMPETITION

http://www.am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/04/wt-beauty-competition-dyeing-hair.html

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

******************************************
Divine Guideline in Dhyana Process

“In the fourth phase the relationship is just like a piece of paper; the unit consciousness of the spiritual aspirant is one side of the paper and the Cosmic Consciousness of Parama Purus’a is the other side of the paper; they are inseparable, one cannot be removed from the other. By His effulgence the unit existence, the existential faculty of the aspirant gets lighted, gets illumined. With His illumination the aspirant is to move forward and enjoy the Supreme Beatitude and the Supreme Composure.” (Subhasita Samgraha -18, p. 13)

Note: Here above Baba is indirectly guiding about the last part of the practice of dhyana– which every sincere sadhaka practices regularly.
******************************************

************ Prabhat Samgiita

“A’mi a’ro keno kichu bhuli na’, shudhu bhule tha’ki tava na’m…” (P.S. #838)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, it is so unfortunate and painful, that I always forget Your divine name. I cannot remember it constantly, because worldly things always come in my mind. And those mundane things I always remember, only I forget Your name. Baba, please grace me. I want to remember Your name all the time – within each and every breath and respiration – but alas I forget.

O’ Divine Entity, although I don’t chant Your name and remember You, even then I can see that You love me. Baba, by Your grace I always feel Your love, especially when I look towards You. You are very charming and gracious. You are the most magnificent One. When, by Your grace, the stars shower from Your heavenly effulgent bosom, then the effulgence from those particles fills my heart with divine ecstasy.

O’ Parama Purusa Baba, You are the most compassionate One. The divine love which You have poured in my heart always vibrates my being and brings me to the divine world. Baba, by Your grace, today I do sastaunga pranam to You again and again with that tune and melody which You have resonated in my heart & mind.

Baba, please shower Your causeless grace on me so that I always chant Your divine name…

Read Full Post »

Baba

This entire posting is composed of 3 parts:
(1) Posting: Tamasika Akhanda Kiirtana;
(2) Trailer Quote: Way to Bring People into Ananda Marga;
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #1103;

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

== TAMASIKA AKHANDA KIIRTANA ==

Namaskar,
This entire letter is related with akhanda kiirtana and its sentient practice.

BABA’S APPROVED APPROACH: SENTIENT KIIRTANA AT DMC

Under Baba’s divine guidance at DMC kiirtana was always done in dharmic fashion and the sanctity and speciality of kiirtana was always strictly maintained, never sacrificed or compromised in any way.

In this regard, in particular, during all the DMC programs, males and females did not sing kiirtana together at the same time. Rather kiirtana was always done separately; and surely everyone who attended DMC remembers this. When the males would sing, the females would practice meditation. And when the females would sing kiirtana, the males would engage in spiritual practice. This arrangement helped ensure that a strong and sentient vibration was created that would allow the mind to easily flow upwards and become more elevated, by Baba’s grace.

EVERYTHING IS SEPARATE IN ANANDA MARGA

We have to remember that Baba has arranged life in Ananda Marga where we we maintain our sanctity by adhering to certain codes of conduct, not by compromising with our values. In the realm of male-female relations, our proper standard is separation, not free and sensuous mixing of the sexes.

Baba has mandated that everything in Ananda Marga should be separate: For example WWD, our relief activities (AMURTL), reportings, social service projects, LFT trainings, etc. There are all separate along gender lines.

Here is a more complete list for your review:

1. Jagrtis are not shared between males and females for staying over or for office work.
2. Co-education is not practiced with students above 8 or 10 years of age, i.e. or above the age of puberty.
3. During dharmacakra, seminar, and classes, sadhana is done in distinctly different rows.
4. The organisation itself has an entire separate wing for females, WWD or Women’s Welfare Department.
5. Prout, AMURT, VSS etc also have separate sections for males and females.
6. Reporting is done separately.
7. LFT, Tattvika, and Acarya training is separate for males and females.
8. In-Charges are not mixed. Males are in-charges of males and females of females.
Note: Only in Central Office will the head of WWD be controlled by the General Secretary.
9. During DMS, kaoshikii was also performed separately. And still this practice is maintained for DMS.
10. Females do guard duty for females, and males for males; it is not mixed.
11. Akhanda kiirtana is done in a separate manner.
12. Madhur Sadhana is done according to gender, not with the opposite sex.
13. In any gathering, females & males do not participate together for games and sports.
14. All public processions are organised keeping males and females separate.
15. And there are so many systems in place that ensure strict separation of the sexes.

Furthermore, in Caryacarya Baba guides us that the more separation there is between males and females, the better it is. (1)

OVERSEAS STYLE OF MIXED-GENDER AKHANDA KIIRTANA

Unfortunately what is going on nowadays in akhanda kiirtana sessions at some overseas retreats is just opposite to this. Because at these akhanda kiirtana programs males and females are dancing together. Here ‘together’ does not merely mean that the females and males are together in the same place.

Rather in reference to overseas akhanda kiirtana, the term ‘together’ together means that males and females get completely intertwined – even smushed next to each other – where males and females are touching and pressing up against one another. This severely disturbs and compromises the whole experience of singing akhanda kiirtana.

For those who haven’t seen it, here is a descriptive account of what happens in a typical overseas-style akhanda kiirtana program.

The females form one circle around the puja table which is placed in the middle of the room. And then directly surrounding the female circle is a circle of males. In this way, dozens and dozens of females and males are dancing extremely close by, right next to each other in an enclosed environment.

At this gender-mixed, akhanda kiirtana program, invariably bumping, rubbing, and brushing occurs between members of the opposite sex. Because there is an inner circle of females and an outer circle of males and everyone is moving round and round, so both circles tend to lose their shape and some females rub up against the brothers circle, and likewise some males brush up into the female circle. In that way various types of physical contact happens. Because initially people try to close their eyes, dance, sing, and walk around the akhanda kiirtana circle – all at the same time. In that approach, members of the opposite sex end up knocking into and rubbing up against one another. This happens commonly in the daytime and even more during the nighttime akhanda kiirtana when the room is darker. In that case varieties of touching is going on between male and females, especially when it is crowded.

WHAT EFFECT THIS HAS

The basic idea is that if 2 brothers bump into each other during an akhanda kiirtana session it is pardonable and not quite so detrimental to one’s mental flow. The same is the case if two sisters touch. But when males and females touch and inadvertently rub or bump into one another during akhanda kiirtana that is completely disruptive to the flow. That is why a growing number of overseas margiis are feeling suffocated by this type of akhanda kiirtana program. Because the margiis are involved in trying to elevate the mind and prepare the mind for sadhana, yet in our akhanda kiirtana program various types of touching and bumping is going on – as well as other distractions – which degrade the mind.

On the one hand, there is the touching problem between members of the opposite sex and then there are other issues. Because in these akhanda kiirtana sessions if any brother tries to look at Baba’s photo they end up seeing so many females. Because in between the puja table and the brother’s circle is the unbroken chain of dancers in the female circle. In that case, Baba’s photo is virtually blocked by the female line. And if a male tries to see that photo there is a swirling movement of females; and instead of seeing Baba that male will lay their eyes on the faces of so many females.

A similar type of distraction occurs for those females who wish to exit the akhanda kiirtana circle in order to do sadhana. Here also a problem occurs because they are surrounded by males. And when the akhanda kiirtana is very energetic, females will try to find an opening whereby they can sneak through the male circle. But often one accident or near accident occurs where the members of the opposite sex collide.

Other associated difficulties also arise. But whatever the nature or specific details of the problem, the result is the same. Due to a flawed approach of akhanda kiirtana, one’s ideation and concentration get affected and in that way the mind is not able to get purified – rather it is degraded by persistent contact with the opposite sex etc.

ONE OR OTHER WAY MIND IS COERCED TO GO IN NEGATIVE DIRECTION

When both genders are dancing side by side in akhanda kiirtana and they are taking great care not to bump one another, then they are not ideating on Parama Parama. Rather they are thinking, “Do no bump the opposite sex, do not bump the opposite sex.” After all, mind is one so the person doing kiirtana cannot simultaneously think of “not bumping the oppoiste sex” and ideate on Parama Purusa. It is not possible. Only when the akhanda kiirtan is gender separated can sadhakas focus exclusively on Parama Purusa because then they need not think about “not bumping the opposite sex.”

For this reason, the mixed gender akhanda kiirtan degrades the mind and one cannot concentrate fully on Parama Purusa. That is why it is tamaskik. Because most of the time, in one way or another, one is forced to think about the opposite sex, not Parama Purusa.

WHO CAN FORGET THE MIXED-GENDER TRAIN

Here we should bear in mind that the dogma brought into overseas akhanda kiirtana is not just of a single type. Rather it ebbs and flows according to the so-called creativity and energy of the injector of dogma.

For instance, at one New Year’s akhanda kiirtana at Ananda Kanan (NY), a senior male member physically linked together with many young 14 to 20 year old females in tow behind him. That means in the akhanda kiirtana itself he formed one ‘train’. This senior male created one line where all the males and females alternately held onto the shoulders, or waist, or hips, or hair of the person in front. In that way, one male-female train was formed right in the middle of the kiirtana hall. Like this, various off-shoots can occur.

BUMPING INTO SOMEONE FROM THE OPPOSITE SEX RUINS THE SPIRITUAL FLOW

So in our current overseas style of doing akhanda kiirtana, the purpose is not solved – rather the sentient practice of akhanda kiirtana is severely compromised. Because the main idea of akhanda kiirtana is to go close to Parama Purusa, but our current format of overseas-style akhanda kiirtana undermines this great endeavor. Because one has to be aware about not bumping into someone from the opposite sex and other related problems – in which case ideating on Parama Purusa cannot be done.

When the mind is distracted and not focused then true japa cannot be performed.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, “The mere repetition of mantra will not serve any purpose unless there is a rhythmic parallelism between incantative flow (the flow of the mantra) and the mental flow (the flow of the mind). To perform japakriya’ while harbouring harmful thoughts is futile. One can only attain success in japakriya’ if all the psychic propensities are diverted towards the deep spirit of the mantra.” (2)

“The mind runs in one direction towards its object of fascination; its object of ideation lies in another direction…In the midst of such choas ideation on Parama Purus’a is impossible, even in billions of kalpas [ages].” (3)

By these guidelines, it is clear that we should take care in the way in which we organize our akhanda kiirtana programs so that the environment is most conducive toward focusing on Ista. Unfortunately, the way things are now, one’s mind gets rerouted towards sensual thoughts. Even if one does not wish this to happen, that is the practical result when males and females are bumping into one another. Then there is no question of having proper ideation on the kiirtana mantra.

All in all, the overseas style of akhanda kiirtana is artificial culture, or pseudo-culture, or fake culture. Because according to Baba, proper culture means raising the mind to higher values – not towards the baser propensities. When talking about culture Baba says that culture means that expression which motivates the mind toward subtler aspects, introversial. Tragically, this does not happen in our overseas-style, akhanda kiirtana programs.

PROPOSAL FOR OUR OVERSEAS RETREATS:

ONE GENDER SING AND DANCE KIIRTANA, AND THE OTHER GENDER WILL DO SADHANA

Hence at our overseas sectorial retreats etc, a proper solution is needed. And the best example to follow is Baba’s. Here we have the opportunity to advance ahead by following the exact same approach which Baba Himself has approved. Namely, when males are dancing and singing kiirtana, then females can sit at a moderate distance and do sadhana. Thereafter, we can switch. Females will sing and dance kiirtana, and the males will be do sadhana.

On multiple accounts – i.e. for many reasons – alternating sadhana and kiirtana between males and females is in concert with Baba’s system. The main reason being that Baba Himself has guided us that we should do like this. And in His presence it was done in this very fashion, separately between males and females. And by that way the whole sanctity of the DMC was maintained – sentient and pure.

Thus, during our akhanda kiirtana program at sectorial retreats etc, then males and females can sing kiirtana separately or alternately, as described above. Then the problem of bumping into or touching members of the opposite sex will be eradicated.

Overall males and females can still participate in the same program in the same hall, but kiirtana would be sung and performed separately. In that way it would be consistent with the spirit of what was done during DMC and our other Ananda Marga programs.

ANOTHER BENEFIT:

GOSSIP TIME TURNS INTO SADHANA TIME

It is sometimes seen that some margiis & Wts skip their sadhana during this type of overseas-style akhanda kiirtana. Because just they were moving around the circle with members of the opposite sex, and after a while someone might leave the akhanda kiirtana – without doing sadhana. Just they casually walk away. They may go outside the hall and gossip, or attend to mundane activities, or go for sports or music rehearsal, or get food or have some snack. So after kiirtana they fail to do sadhana. And they miss out on all the benefits and the overall environment gets disturbed.

Any sadhaka more established in sixteen points etc does not do like this. But some few others haphazardly depart from the akhanda kiirtana circle and skip their sadhana.

So by adopting the sentient kiirtana system that is approved by Baba, then this problem of skipping meditation will be easily resolved since in the sentient style of kiirtana, sadhana is always done afterwards. That is Baba’s method.

Taken altogether, at our overseas akhanda kiirtana programs we should seriously consider refining our approach from rajasik to sentient. That will act as a special boon for one and all.

For all these reaons discussed above, it is clear that mixed gender akhanda kiirtan is tamasik because in so many various ways it degrades the mind.

KIIRTANA PLAYS A SPECIAL ROLE:

INCREMENTAL ELEVATION OF MIND

According to Baba, kiirtana plays one special role. It often happens that when one sits for sadhana the mind does not like to initially move in that direction. Some build-up is needed. It is just like if you want to climb the steps or drive your motorcycle then must progress systematically – immediately you cannot reach up to the 10th step and immediately you cannot put the motorcycle in the top gear. Rather one must proceed incrementally.

The same approach Baba has created with our spiritual practices. Because when the mind is involved in worldly things then starting sadhana instantaneously is not easy. So Baba has given different steps: bhajan, kiirtana, sadhana etc.

After singing bhajans the mind gets a little pointed and thereafter kiirtana is done. During bhajans people usually sit, but in kiirtana everyone stands up and dances; one’s whole existence becomes involved. The basic guideline is that during kiirtana all the organs are engaged. Aspirants are chanting the kiirtana mantra with their mouth, seeing Baba’s photo with their eyes, hearing the Baba-Nam-Kevalam mantra with their ears, plus the arms are raised in the air in surrenders and one’s feet are dancing according to the system to awaken and energise the sahasrara cakra.

In this way, all the limbs and organs are involved: the ears, mouth, hands, eyes etc. In this condition the mind has no scope to run away – and if it tries then it gets redirected and again focuses on the Goal. That is the specialty of kiirtana.

So if kiirtana is done independently or according to the system as practiced in India then fine, but in collective overseas kiirtana certain obstacles are created that hinder the entire kiirtana practice.

KIIRTANA IS TO PREPARE THE MIND FOR BETTER SADHANA

One other great benefit is that by doing kiirtana before sadhana, then sadhana will be greatly improved. In this way Baba guides us that after kiirtana sadhana should always be done. Because kiirtana is one special way to prepare the mind for sadhana.

“I have already said, and I repeat it again, that now the time has come to manifest the glory of kiirtana. And I also want to say further that those who wish to attain spiritual progress in their sadhana will have to do more and more kiirtana. By kiirtana, the mind becomes pure, and with this pure mind, one can do sadhana.” (4)

“kiirtana [is] the most essential aid for sadhana.” (5)

“If the mind is made pure even for five minutes by kiirtana, then if you do sadhana for only five minutes, your sadhana will be very good – you will surely attain spiritual progress.” (6)

By this, anyone can see that kiirtana is one special practice and if done properly then the mind gets purified; but if done incorrectly then that purification process does not occur. And one will also miss out on improving their sadhana – that will not occur.

SENSUOUS MIXING OF THE SEXES ON THE STAGE

When our entire Ananda Marga way of life is separated along gender lines, it is shameful that today we are allowing the free and sensuous mixing of the sexes on the stage during our RAWA cultural programs. This sets a bad example for those young dancers and thrusts them into the world of pseudo-culture. Plus it is degrading for the audience to watch. It is a negative scene from all directions.

And like this in all aspects of life in Ananda Marga, wherever we look or examine the situation it is clear that the activities and dealings is distinctly separate with regards to males and females.

BECAUSE IT ‘FEELS GOOD’ IS NO JUSTIFICATION

When people do something just because it “feels good” then often they have divorced themselves from higher ideals. Because only they do that thing because it “feels good” – they do not use their logic or rationality. But they continue ahead in their ways regardless. This may be the case with why in overseas sectors this mixed akhanda kiirtana between members of the opposite sex is going on.

“Whatever human beings do, motivated by A’tma-Sukha Tattva, is for the sake of pleasure. This principle of selfish pleasure rests on dogma…They observe that these dogmas are based on A’tma-Sukha Tattva; but they think, “I don’t care whether it does good or harm to others, because at last I have enjoyed some pleasure!” Being motivated by this idea, they enslave themselves to dogmas. In the civilized world, even educated people knowingly follow dogmas because they have a desire in the back of their minds to attain some mundane pleasure.” (7)

Those who follow atma-sukha tattva can never lead or serve the society.

KIIRTANA MAKES ONE VICTORIOUS

“Kiirtana is not only helpful in the realm of spirituality, but also in all spheres of life; it banishes physical troubles and tribulations as well. Kiirtana fights against all mundane difficulties and finally one becomes victorious.” (8)

ONE WHO DOES NOT DO THIS WASTES ONE’S LIFE

“He has given you your organs. Utilize them for Him. With your voice sing His name, His praise, His kiirtana. With your mind think of Him. One who does not do this wastes one’s life. And where people have only human frame but not human mind tell them this message.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 30, You Live According to God’s Desire)

MA IN 700 LANGUAGES WILL NOT MAKE IT

“The mind will have to be made one-pointed through sadhana, and the best means for achieving one-pointedness is kiirtana. Kiirtaniiyá sadá harih. Human beings should always do the kiirtana of the Lord. When one does kiirtana the mind becomes one-pointed within a short time. Then one sits for sadhana and while sitting there is progress, the mind becomes spotless, everything is gained. The human being will have to rush towards Parama Puruśa. Nobody can become a jinánii by reading books. A person earns real knowledge by rushing towards Parama Puruśa and coming into his close proximity, and one who earns this real knowledge attains liberation or salvation. For this, one who does not know their abc’s will make it, and one who has an MA in 700 languages will not make it. This is a different world, a different matter altogether. An intelligent person, therefore, will move forward single-mindedly on the path of sadhana, and in order to prepare his mind for sadhana that person will certainly do a little kiirtana. I have said this before in several places and I am saying it again: kiirtaniiyah sadá harih, that is, one must do the kiirtana of the Lord, the kiirtana of Parama Puruśa. And why must one do the kiirtana of Parama Puruśa? Because one of his names is Hari. Hari means: harati pápaḿ ityarthe harih, that is, he who steals the sins of the unit being is Hari.” (9)

ALL THE ORGANS ARE KEPT PREOCCUPIED WITH THE DIVINE

“When kiirtana was first invented, the psycho-philosophy behind it was this: at the time of kiirtana, the vocal cord sings, the ears hear, and the hands and feet dance, and thus all the organs are kept preoccupied with the divine. They are not allowed to move wherever they want but are kept engaged. There is a popular Indian superstition that when ghosts are not kept busy they break the necks of their prey. Similarly, if the sensory and motor organs are not kept engaged in the attainment of the divine, they may lead one astray. Kiirtana is therefore most beneficial as it keeps all the organs fully engaged in a spiritual pursuit. However, while doing kiirtan, if one listens to anything else, the mind will be diverted. Suppose, while doing kiirtana, one lady asks another, “Well sister, what did you cook today?” This will also be heard by the practitioners of kiirtana. To prevent these undesirable sounds from being heard, it is advisable to play some instrument during kiirtana. A mrdauṋga [a kind of drum] or some similar instrument should be used, but one should not play any heavy-sounding instrument like a d́hák [a large drum played with sticks], a d́hol [a loud drum] or a gong. The mind prefers to hear a sweet sound, like that of the mrdauṋga, than a harsh sound. Some time ago I mentioned that Bhola Mayra said that when the cookawing of crows and the beating of drums stop, human ears get some relief. People do not like to hear such harsh, unpleasant sounds. The sound of the mrdauṋga may not be perfect, but it has one quality: it is very sweet. Thus, whenever a distracted mind hears the sweet music of a mrdauṋga, it returns to the proper place. A remarkable science lies in kiirtana.” (10)

WHAT DO YOU GAIN BY DOING KIIRTANA?

“What do you gain by doing kiirtana? Several sense organs become engaged. The tongue is occupied. So during that time you won’t have thoughts like, “I will eat this, eat that;” no kind of greed will remain. The sense of taste and taste buds are obstructed. The ears are busy hearing the kiirtana, so they have no scope to go elsewhere. The mind is always thinking of that, so it also has no scope to go elsewhere. And if kiirtana is combined with dance then one’s attention is directed to the rhythm of the dance. As a result of the dance, hormones are secreted from the glands. So under no circumstances can the mind degenerate. There is no way for it to go down. This is the way of the wise.” (11)

KIIRTANA AVERTS THE DEGRADATION OF THE HUMAN MIND:

WHENEVER YOU FIND TIME, DO KIIRTANA LOUDLY

“Kiirtaniiyah sadáharih one should always sing the glory of the Lord. It is the frailty of human beings that when a few of them group together, they indulge in criticizing or mudslinging others. This leads to psychic degradation. In fact people should perform such actions which will lead to psychic elevation, actions which give the mind no scope for degeneration. The easiest way to do this is to sing the glories of the Supreme Entity whose very thought automatically elevates the mind. Chanting the name of Parama Puruśa aloud is called kiirtana; For, the vibration created in the atmosphere by kiirtana will influence others also. But if one’s mental ideation is conveyed only to Parama Puruśa without affecting other human beings, this is called bhajana. So bhajana is purely personal; it has no collective aspect. Kiirtana is more beneficial than bhajana, and hence it is said kiirtaniiyah sadá harih: whenever you find time, do kiirtana loudly and you will never become degenerated because by chanting the Lord’s holy name the mind remains elevated. Mudslinging and criticizing is thereby stopped forever, and hence kiirtana averts the degradation of the human mind. You should always remember that in every sphere of life – social, political, economic, psychic, and spiritual – you should always follow the principle of “taking the opposite stance”: there is no exception to this rule. Victory will surely be yours.” (12)

We should not follow the aforementioned tamasika akhanda kiirtana style but rather a sentient gender-spearated manner of doing akhanda kiirtana.

Namaskar,
in Him,
Ramesh

REFERENCES:
1. Reference: CC part 1, Chapter 24
2. Discourses on Tantra – 2
3. Discourses on Tantra – 2
4. NHNS-2
5. Bliss of Kiirtana, p.5
6. NHNS-2
7. NH-LOI, ’87, p.37
8. Bliss of Kiirtana, p.8
9. Ananda Vacnamrtam – 9, Discrimination in Rights
10. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 8, Sádhaná, Abhidhyána and Kiirtana
11. AV-10, The Supreme Entity – the Non-Doer
12. AMIWL-11, Taking the Opposite Stance in Battle

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

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Way to Bring People into Ananda Marga

“Ánanda Márgiis should never compel people to follow Ánanda Márga philosophy. Rather, they should always inspire people along the path of spirituality by encouraging selfless service, sacrifice, good conduct, spiritual practices, the development of all-round knowledge, etc. Ananda Marga is a comprehensive mode of living based on spirituality, and in Ananda Marga sádhaná, dhyana and japa are Atmic or Dharmic jiivika.” (Prout in Nutshell – 16, Three Types of Occupation)

Note: In Ananda Marga, we do not subscribe to the policy of forced conversions; whereas, this approach is prevalent in many of the religions where they convert their prey under the pressure of the sword or by brute force. This is especially true of the Semitic religions. They did this in the past and they are doing at present also. In Ananda Marga, we do not support that modus operendii. Rather people come to accept Ananda Marga by their own free will and desire after understanding and learning the fundamentals. A similar approach should be taken with one’s own kids also. Do not force them to participate, rather logically convince them, little by little.
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Prabhat Samgiita 1103

PS Intro: Throughout Baba’s vast collection of Prabhat Samgiita, in most songs the devotee and Parama Purusa are communicating with one another. In some of the songs the style of conversation is direct while others are indirect. When the style of expression is indirect, no one should conclude that the sadhaka is having a conversation with another sadaka. That is not at all the case. Rather, the bhakta is communicating with Parama Purusa – using indirect language.

In the below song, in the first two stanzas the sadhaka is indirectly talking to Parama Purusa. The sadhaka is expressing his feelings and referring to Parama Purusa in the third person – yet all along he understands that Parama Purusa is there – listening. It is only in the third stanza, the sadaka is addressing all of creation, with the knowledge that Parama Purusa is also listening.

“Dharmo a’ma’ri sa’thii, dharmo a’ma’ri pra’n’…” (PS 1103)

Purport:

Dharma is my eternal companion; dharma is my very life. I only accept and follow Parama Purusa Himself because I am His gift. He alone has graciously blessed me with human life. He alone has granted me my existence. It is His grace.

Since the first dawn of my life, He has been with me each and every step – in my every breath, watching, guiding, and protecting me. And only He will remain along with me until the final moment of my life. I always follow His path – His teachings – never forgetting His blessing.

O’ inhabitants of the three worlds – wherever you may be – go on singing and dancing, immersed in His divine name. Remain ensconced in His ideation – in His sweet flow, and go on singing His divine songs, i.e. singing His glory.

O’ Parama Purusa, O’ Baba, You are my eternal companion. You are always with me. Baba, I love You…

Note: In the above song, dharma means Parama Purusa. They are one and the same. Parama Purusa has countless names to reflect His infinite qualities and attributions – one of which is Dharma itself.

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