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Archive for May 15th, 2013

Baba

== RE: BABA’S GUIDELINE: CELEBRATION OF ANANDA PURNIMA ==

~ Part 3 ~

(Note: This is the third letter of this series. Links to the first two letters are appended below. – AM Universal Moderators)

Namaskar,
This year Ananda Purnima is on Saturday, 25 May. Here are more of Guru’s guidelines for how to celebrate this grand event – our most important festival.

As we know, Ananda Marga is the path of bliss. The systematic yogic lifestyle and the 360 degree spiritual-cum-social outlook leads the entire human family to march ahead in unison. Part and parcel of this collective movement is our participation in social functions because it is by these blissful gatherings like Ananda Purnima that we are able to glorify Baba, renew ourselves, and attract more people on the collective train of dharma – generating greater momentum to move ahead.

SOCIAL FUNCTIONS:

A GREAT UNIFYING FORCE

In His discourse “Social Psychology” Baba tells the following in the section on collective social functions.

“Many of the ills of society develop because people do not care to know other members of society. This may not only mean ignorance of the condition and difficulties of others, but also leads to intolerance and a lack of interest in the affairs of the other members of society. Common social functions bring different members of society together and are therefore a great unifying force. By performing certain functions collectively, all the members are engaged in doing the same thing for some time, and this brings about a feeling of unity and interest in others.”
“In Ananda Marga such common social functions are especially encouraged. Milita snána [collective bathing] and dharmacakra [collective meditation] provide grounds for common social functions in the physical, psychic and spiritual fields. Common participation in such functions is a very great unifying force. The participants in such functions will have no intolerance for each other, and will instead get more united. Such functions are, therefore, a great unifying force.” (1)

Verily social functions like the upcoming Ananda Purnima celebrations give society a tremendous boost to advance: Such programs help inspire people to grow together. Plus social functions generate more enthusiasm and propulsion on the collective pathway – with the result being that all types of good things suddenly become possible.

By such functions humans can solve various problems. Now the need of the day is to build a single human society. Naturally, social functions help; by this way, various people come together in a social and spiritual way, and in that process become far more accepting of one another. Social functions generate family-feeling, i.e. “a feeling of unity and interest in others.”

Here below are more of Baba’s teachings and guidelines on the celebration of Ananda Purnima and how social functions positively affect our Ananda Marga.

SOCIAL FUNCTIONS BASED IN SPIRITUALITY

Not only do Ananda Marga social functions give a huge injection of inspiration, but these grand gatherings – which Baba has designed – goad and guide everyone deeper into the spiritual realm. This in turn brings permanent peace. So although the name is a social function, but its base is spirituality.

In direct contrast, in the general society social parties end up being nothing but degenerative events that promote and satisfy animalistic desires & carnal pleasures. Just people are rushing madly after worldly pleasures and transient pursuits.

So a very unique aspect of our social functions and festivals – like Ananda Purnima – is that they goad the mind toward the Supreme Self – that apexed point of human realization.

INCORPORATING FOOD INTO THE CELEBRATION

Here are more guidelines on this grand celebration.

High quality meals should be made available to any and all who attend. The most practical and rational way to do this is for margiis to contribute to this program according to their liking and means.

Basically, donations should be requested from all the margiis – on a sliding scale. According to their capacity they can contribute. So there should not be a certain fixed fee for every margii. Rather, donations should be based on one’s financial condition. Those with more money can offer larger donations and those with financial constraints can give smaller amounts.

So everyone should contribute something and if a person has the feeling and ability to give a bigger financial donation, that is welcomed. Along these lines, it is okay to let wealthier margiis give more, if they wish.

However, the amount donated should not be revealed publicly. That would be insensitive and humiliating for those donating smaller amounts. One idea is to set-up a special, hidden donation box; then people can offer even the smallest of donations and still feel comfortable. May we always remember that it is the feeling behind the giving that is most important, not the amount.

By and large though, money should not hinder anyone’s participation. Everyone should be encouraged to participate and bring their entire family, as well as their close friends. That will make for a joyous celebration and it will give us the opportunity to create new margiis.

All along, we have to find the right balance. That is why there should be a sliding scale, with no stated minimum amount. The main idea is that the food at programs like Ananda Purnima should be accessible to all. With a progressive donation arrangement that aim is entirely possible.

Actually what we have seen here in India is that often in Delhi Sector someone steps forward with great enthusiasm to cover the cost of the entire program. But this should only be accepted when the person has sincere feeling for Baba and the overall spirit of the celebration. If offered out of pomp or show, then such monies should be politely rejected.

“If a person wants to feed you out of genuine intimacy, you should take that food happily, even if it is just grains and vegetables. But if someone invites you only to make a show to people, never accept his/her food.” (2)

Finally, special food should be made available for all attendees. There will be one kitchen: The same type of food for all, which is of top quality, yet very simple and sentient.

SEE THAT ALL JOIN IN THE FESTIVAL OF ANANDA PURNIMA:

COLLECTIVE MEAL IS IMPORTANT

“Humans are social beings. So every human being likes utsava. It is the desire of all that they will rejoice unitedly. In Europe Puritanism failed in the end, only because the Puritans failed to care for the desires of the general public. They preached their theory only to a handful of devotees of knowledge.”
“Ananda Marga is for the general public. So, considering the necessity of the general mass, proper importance has to be given to the Utsava in social life. Enthusiasm in a utsava is the greatest in the children, in the tender aged boys, in the youths and last of all in grown ups. In the programmes of a Utsava, therefore, you shall think for the children first. Their sweet stammering noises ensure the success of the Utsava. But whatever arrangements you may make for the children, the youngsters, youths, or for the grown-ups, make that there is no dearth of discipline even to the minutest extent anywhere. Let there be complete harmony…”
“A grown up man does not like that others should call him grown up. An old man does not like that others should tell him old. Do you know, why they do not like to be said so? The adults or the aged are nearing death. This means that one is drawing nearer death as one grow up and this is why one does not like to be told grown up or old.”
“Taking this for granted regarding human psychology, you shall arrange for two or three items in the programme for the old to enjoy, so that they may think at least for a short time that they are not old, they have sufficient energy still left in them.”
“Take pains to see that all join in the Utsava. Give full opportunity to all the artists to make a display of their talents in art. Remember that taking food together is a special feature in a Utsava, without which half of the pleasure of a Utsava is marred.” (3)

THE MEANING OF UTSAVA:

FRESH INSPIRATION TO LIVE

“People often feel bored with their humdrum lives, with their mechanical routines; thus a fresh start must be created through festivals or utsava. The root verb su means “to be reborn.” Su plus -al suffix = sava. The substance which produces new vigour in the body is called a’shava, or wine. Similarly ut + su + al = utsava, which means “festival.” “Ut” means “towards up” and “sava” means “life” ; so utsava means “an occasion which gives human beings fresh inspiration to live a new life.” (4)

“I HOPE THAT YOU WILL MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS” – BABA

“When people become tired and uninspired, when they can no longer look towards the future with hope, when their colourful dreams are shattered, at that time the sweetness of a festival brings new joy and vigour in life. Thus in individual and collective life, the importance of festivals is tremendous. One should always remember that festivals should be such that all can take part in them without any ostentatious display of wealth, and with an upsurge of their life force. And these festivals should be conducted in such a way that people take part in them from a spontaneous inner urge. I hope that you will make such arrangements so that all are attracted towards your festivals which will be more and more charming – and this will bring about your collective welfare.” (5)

MUST NOT USE FIRECRACKERS

Many units have stopped using firecrackers during our Ananda Marga festival celebrations. Baba’s expressed guideline is that firecrackers are a waste of money, create huge pollution, and invite serious injuries. Furthermore firecrackers are a carcinogen. Thus firecrackers are dangerous and wasteful on many levels. They should not be used at our programs. Instead the funds used for purchasing firecrackers should be directed toward enhancing our narayan seva & relief work that very day. More about this is noted below.

BABA’S GUIDELINE AND CONCERN FOR ALL

“Ensure that those who enjoy the celebrations also get thereby healthy opportunities for their physical growth, mental development, and spiritual progress.” (6)

“The humans of today are possessed of spirited intellect and accomplished wisdom. They are keen to advance with rapid step shattering the shackles of dogmas. They will no longer be entrapped by the illusion of opportunism. The rays of the crimson dawn of a new humanity on the eastern horizon have started weaving textures of colours on their eyelids and in the subtle recesses of their minds. As for those who have been dreaming of keeping humanity imprisoned by dogmas, their days are numbered; their blissful dreams are being shattered to pieces. I call upon all enlightened people and say: “Go ahead with courage. The humanity has been awaiting you. Establish it in the excellence and grandeur of glory.” (Ananda Vanii #53)

“Knowing oneself is the real knowledge; serving all with the ideation of Náráyańa, the real action, and the vow to please Parama Puruśa the real devotion.” (Ananda Vanii #25)

Namaskar,
in Him,
Manomaya

REFERENCES:
1. A Few Problems Solved – 7, Social Psychology
2. Caryacarya-2, Society, Pt #37
3. Táttvika Diipiká (Dvitiiya Parva)
4. A Few Problems Solved – 5, p.18
5. A Few Problems Solved – 5, p.18
6. Caryacarya – 1, p.42

Note 1: BABA CONDEMNS THE USE OF FIREWORKS

(A) In the below story Baba specifically warns us about the use of firecrackers – on multiple levels:

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2012/11/baba-story-teaching-on-fireworks.html

(B) Here is a more technical letter along with a human interest story about the dangers of firecrackers:

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2011/07/deadly-practice.html

Note 2: EARLIER POSTINGS FROM THIS ANANDA PURNIMA SERIES

#1: This first letter discusses:
Mahasambhuti’s Advent / Ways of Celebrating / Gift Giving / Sports Games / The Arts & more

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/05/babas-guideline-celebration-of-ananda.html

#2: This second letter discusses:
Celebrations in each unit / Samgacchadhvam spirit / Importance of Festivals & more

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/05/re-babas-guideline-celebration-of.html

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Baba

This entire posting is composed of 2 parts:
(1) Posting: Ananda Marga System of Collective Bath
(2) Prabhat Samgiita #3016;

== ANANDA MARGA SYSTEM OF COLLECTIVE BATH ==

Namaskar,
As we know, Baba guides us that collective bath is a key element of our social functions and festivals. Here are some critical points to ensure collective bath is done properly – in accordance with Baba’s teachings.

MALES AND FEMALES DO NOT BATHE TOGETHER;

AND, THE BODY IS DISCREETLY COVERED

In Ananda Marga, collective bath does not mean that males and females will bathe together. It is done very discreetly and separated by gender, unlike in materialistic societies where commonly males and females reveal a maximum degree of bare skin and go swimming together, i.e. half-naked or even fully-naked.

So the body is more covered during the collective bath in our Ananda Marga system, than when co-eds frolic and swim together in materialistic communities. Thus there is a stark contrast between the two. Our manner of collective bath is gender-separated and upholds the dignity and sanctity of our spiritual values, whereas the materialistic approach to collective swimming etc is sensual and degrades the mind.

PROPER FLOW OF MIND

Thus in our collective bath system, the spiritual flow is maintained as the mind may continue to rise from the muladhara cakra to the sahasrara cakra. In contrast, in materialistic swimming parties etc, the mind gets completely degraded – from the sahasrara cakra to the svadhisthan cakra – whether one wishes to admit this or not.

HOW IT IS ACTUALLY DONE

In conclusion, for collective bath, males and females will go to different sections of the building when doing collective bathing indoors. If the weather is warmer they may bathe outside by the river or lake. If done outside, males will go to one secluded part of the lake or river, and females will go to a completely different place that is hidden and out-of-sight. In either circumstance, in this gender-separated system, particular parts of the body will be discreetly covered. The covering will be loose enough so one may wash properly. By this way, females are neither naked nor exposed in their collective bathroom or outdoor bathing area, nor are males naked in their collective bathroom or outdoor bathing area. Both maintain proper dignity in their gender-separated settings.

If one is bathing alone in a private / locked bathroom, then one need not cover themselves. The covering is used for all avenues of gender-separated, collective bathing – whether indoors or outdoors.

THE OVER-ARCHING AIM

Why is the overall aim of this aspect of our collective bath system? To preserve the sanctity and keep the mind flowing from lower cakras to higher ones. That is the goal.

Here are more of Baba’s guidelines about collective bathing.

ANANDA MARGA ENCOURAGES THESE TYPES OF SOCIAL FUNCTIONS

“Collective social functions. Many social problems arise due to lack of magnanimity, such as not properly understanding or respecting the views of others. This not only keeps people apart, but also makes them hostile to each other. People come together in different festivals and social functions which foster mutual bonds of unity. When they participate in such activities and remain engaged in the same type of collective action, they develop the feeling of temporary affinity. Ananda Marga encourages these types of social functions. Collective bathing and collective meditation on special occasions are as good as common social functions.” (Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell – 4, Our Social Treatise)

A GREAT UNIFYING FORCE

“Collective social functions: Many of the ills of society develop because people do not care to know other members of society. This may not only mean ignorance of the condition and difficulties of others, but also leads to intolerance and a lack of interest in the affairs of the other members of society. Common social functions bring different members of society together and are therefore a great unifying force. By performing certain functions collectively, all the members are engaged in doing the same thing for some time, and this brings about a feeling of unity and interest in others.”
“In Ananda Marga such common social functions are especially encouraged. Milita snána [collective bathing] and dharmacakra [collective meditation] provide grounds for common social functions in the physical, psychic and spiritual fields. Common participation in such functions is a very great unifying force. The participants in such functions will have no intolerance for each other, and will instead get more united. Such functions are, therefore, a great unifying force.” (Prout in A Nutshell – 2)

PART OF ANANDA PURNIMA CELEBRATIONS

“Ánanda Púrńimá: Collective bath with snána mantra, twice collective Iishvara Prańidhána and Varńárghyadána, collective noon and night meals, merry celebrations, spiritual conferences, annual meetings of workers, children’s sports, and procession with táńd́ava dance.” (Caryacarya – 1)

Namaskar,
Gunamaya Deva

Prabhat Samgiita #3016

“Jiivaner uts hote je srote bha’siya’chila’m…” (P.S. 3016)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, since the very origin of my life – since eternity – in which current I was floating, in that very flow, You were also present. But I did not see You.

O’ Divine One, You were with me day and night, ever-awake, holding the lamp of effulgence in Your hand. But that time I could not recognise You.

O’ my dearmost Baba, still today You remain along with me. Indeed each and every single moment You decorate this grand universe in hundreds of forms, shapes, and colors. Baba, You are always dancing in that divine vibration, but I did not see You because I was keeping my eyes closed.

O’ Parama Purusa, O’ Baba, since eternity You have been along with me. Today You have made me realise this very cosmic truth: I am surviving only due to Your boundless grace, affection, and love…

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