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Archive for June 21st, 2013

21 Jun 2013

Baba

This entire posting is composed of 2 parts:
(2) Posting: Spirit Behind Ananda Marga’s Vivaha System;
(1) Prabhat Samgiita #886.

== SPIRIT BEHIND ANANDA MARGA’S VIVAHA SYSTEM ==

Namaskar,
To bring anyone on the path of dharma a proper environment is necessary and for that one human society is needed. Towards this end, Baba has taken numerous steps.

On the one hand He has involved deeply in repairing addressing and solving society’s ills. In this way And He has exposed and given the solutions to cure society from: religious dogmas, casteism, racism, communalism, sentiments, exploitation, untouchability, color, economic disparity, etc. Indeed Baba has addressed so many inequalities and injustices in the society.

Simultaneously Baba has infused one very positive feature for humanity – His revolutionary concept of society building: Which includes both the creation of WTs and the formation of revolutionary marriages.

Society building ensures a certain stability and dynamism as well as the love and compassion necessary for enabling people to grow in a healthy and proper way. So this is one key for developing one human society.

And indeed when that society is formed then there will be huge scope for people to grow in all sorts of ways and devote maximum time for spiritual pursuits and ultimately become one with Parama Purusa.

So society building has a special role.

REVOLUTIONARY MARRIAGES:

IDEAL TOOL FOR SOCIETY BUILDING

Revolutionary marriages (RM) are a special feature of our Ananda Marga way of life and come within the scope of the society building department of AMPS. Actually the main basis of marriage in Ananda Marga is society building.

In the past Lord Buddha also neglected this important social factor so he could not form the society properly. Lord Buddha’s teachings were deficient in this regard. And many religions also have not been able to create solid systems and ideals for marriage. The materialistic societies around the globe are also severely lacking on the point of marriage.

The tantric system of marriage is 7000 years old and holds a special meaning and practical presentation. We have seen this in our lives especially in DMC when Baba used to give blessings to marriage couples.

BABA’S MARRIAGE BLESSING

First the newly married couple would approach the dais and do sastaunga pranam to Baba. And then with both of their hands the couple would jointly offer a flower garland to Baba. Then Baba would then place His own hands around their hands and join them in holding the mala (flower garland).

Then Baba would graciously bless their marriage: “Be like Shiva and Parvati, go on doing your worldly duties along with your psychic and spiritual pursuits, be the assets of the entire civilisation, and by your service the whole society should be benefited.”

Baba also used to repeat the mantra ‘Shubamastu…’, meaning ‘May you be blessed’.

And then He would give the mala to the bride. To English speaking margiis Baba used to say, ‘little girl take this mala and keep it with you’. And when He spoke to margiis in Bengali or Hindi this was the translation: ‘mother keep this garland along with you’.

Hundreds of times during DMC we have witnessed how Baba used to give His marriage blessings. And always He would begin by saying, “Be like Shiva and Parvati…”

Here the special significance of ‘Be like Shiva and Parvati’ is that during Lord Shiva’s entire married life He took care of Parvati and watched over her physical, psychic, and spiritual development; and Parvati took care of Lord Shiva as well. Their marriage was ideal. It was not based on material satisfaction or gain, but rather a high ideal. It was starting point of building one human society.

NO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PAST

Prior to Lord Shiva’s advent society was not properly formed. One key reason for this was that there was not a proper system of marriage. Instead, most were involved in libertine type of relations – especially the males.

The ones who suffered most then were the children and their mothers, but especially the children. Basically males did not accept any responsibility. So the whole responsibility of the child’s physical, psychic, sentimental, and spiritual welfare rested upon the mother alone. And it was just not possible for a single mother to manage all aspects of raising and providing for the child. The condition of the baby and mother was terrible.

LORD SHIVA’S CONTRIBUTION

Then Lord Shiva took advent. For the first time in human history He graciously gave the system of marriage. And that marriage system was primarily for the welfare of the child. So that child could receive the requisite love and support to one day become a bonafide member of the civilized society.

In this same spirit, Baba has created the society building department in our Ananda Marga.

THE PRESENT SCENE:

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MATERIALISTIC AREAS & IN OUR ANANDA MARGA

Unfortunately in today’s materialistic countries, the true spirit of society building is not followed. Wherever materialism reigns, children are not properly cared for rather they are a by-product.

That is why we often see that children are not able or allowed to live along with their mothers, or sleep and get love and affection from their mothers even in nighttime. This results for any number of reasons: The parents might be divorced and the mother may have to work 3 jobs, or the parents are grossly involved in their careers and ignore their children, or there are other reasons. Unfortunately this is the common fashion these days: Children are often ignored and neglected whereby the child feels alienated from their surroundings.

In our Ananda Marga society the situation is improving a lot, but in the true sense society building has not yet taken proper shape. If we look back over the history we will find innumerable examples how the letter and the spirit of Baba’s given marriage system has been compromised.

But I have deep faith that with firm determination we will reach to the goal which Baba has established.

MUST PROPERLY PRESENT THE POINT OF VIVAHA

Baba has graciously given various special teachings for building up a spirited & singular human society. Each point has its own unique aspects and beneficial results – including His divine teaching on ‘vivaha’.

However, certain publishers have defined vivaha in an ordinary and mundane way. Yet we know Baba’s grand guideline of vivaha is not common and ordinary, but extraordinary.

POINT SOCIETY TOWARDS A SPIRITUAL GOAL

Since the very beginning in 1955, Baba’s has graciously guided us to form one human society. Because the whole aim of the Ananda Marga mission is Atmamok’s’a’rtham’ jagaddhita’ya ca – ‘self-realisation and service to humanity.’ But without building up one human society this can never be achieved. So Baba has taken strong steps to form a single human society whereby people can move towards their spiritual goal.

NEVER DONE BEFORE

In the past neither Lord Shiva nor Lord Krsna could do this. They were engaged in other ways and could not manage the strong planning necessary to bring the entire humanity within one thread. But Baba has indeed taken up this great endeavour.

BABA’S DIVINE TEACHING OF VIVAHA

Baba’s following teaching makes this subject more clear.

(A) LORD SHIVA INTRODUCED THE IDEAL

OF THE MARRIAGE SYSTEM

“Prior to Shiva, there was no system of marriage in human society. And as there was no recognized marriage system, the matrilineal order was in vogue, because it was easy to identify the mothers. In the case of the fathers, it was impossible to identify them. Shiva, for the first time, introduced the system of marriage which has continued until this day. The Sanskrit word for marriage, viváha (derived vi – vah + ghaiṋ), literally means “to follow a particular system”. This system of marriage is known as Shaeva viváha. According to this system, the bride and the bridegroom will equally share full responsibility for their marriage, without any consideration of caste or community.” (1)

(B) BABA PRESENTS THE HISTORY OF THOSE EARLY HUMANS:

FROM LIBERTINE WAY OF LIFE TO MARITAL FAMILY SYSTEM

“At the beginning of evolution, humans used to lead libertine lives without any consideration for family obligations, but they gradually developed a family instinct. However, that family instinct was no different from that of the elephants, lions, pigeons, etc. Due to this inborn instinct, males and females arrived at a loose but workable compromise regarding family life. But in that there was no sense of responsibility born out of a developed conscience; rather, due to their loose relationships with each other, one person used to desert another and go anywhere he or she liked. The number of such libertines was very high, and they used to disturb the peace and harmony of the so-called family members and become the cause of many serious quarrels.”

“The male libertines would not take responsibility for their offspring. They used to wander freely, and as a result, the entire responsibility for raising the children in their infancy would devolve on the mothers. But it was not possible for the mothers alone to bear the responsibility of maintaining the children, as a result of which many children died in early infancy. Those who survived felt themselves to be in a sea of troubles after they were weaned from their mother’s breast-milk. Then they would be deprived of their mother’s love, since she had to take care of the next baby. Those were the days of the prehistoric humans…The life of the libertines was just like that of the animals.”

“Shiva made the rule that regardless of whether women were capable or incapable of earning a livelihood, men would have to take on the responsibility of supporting them; thus the Sanskrit word for “husband” is bharttá. The word bharttá is derived from the root verb bhr + suffix trń; the root bhr means “to support” and bharttá (in the first case-ending) means “one who supports someone”.”

“As a result of this arrangement, it became easier for the women to maintain the children, since they were relieved of the onerous responsibility of providing their food and clothing. Not only that, when the children became a bit older the direct responsibility for their maintenance shifted from the mother to the father.”

“It was not easy to know the fathers of children even in the case of the so-called householders, far less in that of the libertines. Children would know only their mothers. And after they were weaned, they would forget their mothers also. Thus being deprived of motherly love and affection at a very early age, they had no opportunity to develop the sweeter and finer sensibilities of the human mind. The human mind, the human intellect, was nipped in the bud; those people had no opportunity to blossom, to gladden the heart of the world with their sweet joy. By declaring the males to be bharttá [husbands] Shiva fulfilled a major portion of His task for human society.”

“But Shiva did more than that: He declared that women must be kalatra, which means that women must discharge their obligations to their husbands and their children in such a way that the latter will not have the least difficulty.”

“Those who accepted this new arrangement were declared married, and the other members of their society would be witnesses to the marriage ceremony, to bless the newly-married couple and pledge their cooperation to them. The Sanskrit equivalent for marriage is viváha (vi – vah + ghaiṋ): it means, after the ceremony, the man and woman can no longer live as libertines or as irresponsible so-called family people. They have to discharge their full obligations as bharttá and kalatra, responsible husband and responsible wife.” (2)

(C) VIVAH MEANS TO

LIVE LIFE IN A NEW WAY WITH A SPECIAL TYPE OF RESPONSIBILITY

“Vi – vah + ghaiṋ = viváha. The root verb vah means “to flow, to lead”. Viváha means “leading one’s life in a new way with a special type of responsibility” [in both Sanskrit and Bengali]. In the most correct Sanskrit, however, the word for “marriage” would be formed vi – úh. An alternative spelling is with u (not ú). Vyuh + kta = vyud́há (meaning “a married person”).”

“An unmarried person remains somewhat free from responsibilities. As a result they get the chance to discharge some greater duties outside their small family. Even though they go outside the house for other work, it is not against anyone’s interests. Vyud́há means a “married person who shoulders a greater family responsibility and begins a new style of life.””

“Hence, when an unmarried girl or boy gets married, his or her life begins to flow down a different channel. Various responsibilities devolve on them. They can no longer afford to take their responsibilities lightly.” (3)

Namaskar,
in Him
Diindayal

Note 1: MISTAKE MADE BY PUBLICATIONS DEPT:

OVER AND OVER AGAIN THEY WRONGLY DEFINE VIVAHA

So vivaha is one special way for developing the society; it is a revolutionary form of marriage that brings the fulfillment of human potential through responsibility, commitment and spiritual growth. Vivaha cannot merely be defined by a single mundane term, i.e. marriage. The Sanskrit word vivaha cannot merely be translated or defined as marriage. The ideal of vivaha is so much more than that. That is why Baba Himself takes several paragraphs to explain the meaning of vivaha. Baba never merely defines vivaha as marriage.

As we all know, nowadays marriage mostly means one mundane love marriage where males later divorce when their sensual desires get directed towards some younger female etc. A person might marry 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 times. That is the common way nowadays. And each time it is defined as marriage, but that is not at all what vivaha is all about.

Unfortunately if you search for a definition of vivaha in the note sections of various Ananda Marga books, you will find that certain members of the Publications Dept merely define vivaha as marriage. That means in certain specific sections like the glossary and the footnotes, the publishers themselves chose to define the ideal of vivaha as marriage:

For instance:

(a) In the book, “Sarkar’s Short Stories Part 1” – the publishers inserted a footnote in the story – “The Headmasters’ Contest”. Here is the entirety of that footnote: “Viváha is the Sanskrit word for marriage.” So they merely defined vivaha as marriage when in fact it is so much more than that. Remarkably, the publishers took special efforts to create a footnote for the term vivaha. In that situation they could have described vivaha in so many positive and practical ways according to Baba’s dharmic explanation. But instead they merely defined it as marriage. That is completely misleading to the reader and it undermines the ideal of vivaha.

It would have been far better if those in charge defined vivaha as ‘the special system of a dharmic marriages first introduced in Lord Shiva’s time’ or ‘a union between husband and wife based on fulfillment of an ideal’ etc. Any of these type of definitions would been much more appropriate. Because to only say ‘vivaha = marriage’ is very misleading.

(b) In the book, “The Awakening of Women”, the publishers inserted a glossary and in that glossary they merely defined vivaha as marriage. They wrote one word – that’s it. Here again the publishers created a special place to define and describe the term vivaha but they failed to use any of Baba’s dharmic tenets. Yet vivaha itself is such a key component for the upliftment of humanity and grants women and mothers an entirely new status. And in the book “The Awakening of Women” the publishers utterly neglected to put a proper definition of vivaha in the glossary. That undermines the very purpose of the book.

It would have been far better if those in charge referenced specific sections of Baba’s discourses and direct the reader to learn about vivaha in that manner. Or if they wanted a shorter definition for their glossary they could have defined vivaha as ‘the special system of a dharmic marriages first introduced in Lord Shiva’s time’ or ‘a union between husband and wife based on fulfillment of an ideal’ etc. Any of these type of definitions would been much more appropriate. Because to only say ‘vivaha = marriage’ is very misleading.

(c) The Ananda Marga Dictionary published in 2005 falls into this same problem. If you look up vivaha in the Ananda Marga Dictionary all you will find is the singular mundane term ‘marriage’– nothing more. By this way people will think that vivaha just means one mundane love marriage where males later divorce when their sensual desires get directed towards some younger female etc. It would have been far better if those in charge defined vivaha as ‘the special system of a dharmic marriages first introduced in Lord Shiva’s time’ or ‘a union between husband and wife based on fulfillment of an ideal’ etc. Any of these types of definitions would been much more appropriate. Because to only say ‘vivaha = marriage’ is very misleading.

Just imagine if in the dictionary someone defined dharma as ‘religion’ – without saying anything more. Then people would think dharma was just something dogmatic. How misleading and unjust that would be. Similarly to define vivaha using one simple mundane term like marriage is to do injustice to the ideal of vivaha because nowadays the marriage term is so commonly abused in as the divorce rate is 75% in some states and males regularly cheat on their wives, and vice-versa.

So in this materialistic era where the institution of marriage has nothing to do with the dharmic ideal of vivaha, the publishers of the Ananda Marga Dictionary must not define vivaha as ‘marriage’. The Dictionary definition must carry the inner spirit or dharmic quality of the term. Because Ananda Marga means dharma; so without that, the goal of making an Ananda Marga Dictionary remains unfulfilled, lacking, or faulty.

Note 2: NOT AN ISOLATED EXAMPLE – RATHER A PERVASIVE PROBLEM

The problems associated with the Ananda Marga Dictionary’s definition of vivaha do not exist in isolation. Verily there are dozens and dozens of terms – even hundreds – that are improperly defined in that Dictionary by those publishers. Unfortunately, many of the definitions do not reflect Baba’s given teachings of Ananda Marga. That is why the entire dictionary needs a critical review, not just one single definition.

Note 3: IDEA IS GOOD; PERFORMANCE WAS POOR

Overall, the idea of making an Ananda Marga dictionary is very good – if done properly. That means the dharmic definitions must be given according to the word and spirit of Ananda Marga ideology. Then surely it will be beneficial.

But when a Dictionary itself offers misleading, incomplete, and wrongful definitions, then that undermines the entire purpose of making a dictionary. Rather it is harmful. Best will be if stringent efforts are made to create a proper, well-referenced dictionary based purely on Ananda Marga ideals.

In conclusion, the term vivaha might also be defined in this way: A special union between a husband and a wife based on a dharmic ideal where both parties shoulder a great responsibility in raising a family while caring and watching for each others physical, mental, and spiritual development – plus we should always refer them to Baba’s discourses that offer a more explicit explanation.

REFERENCES
1. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Disc: 2
2. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Shivokti 3
3. Shabda Cayaniká Part 19

******** Prabhat Samgiita #886

“A’j toma’y pelum notun sa’je mor manoma’jhe…” (P.S. 886)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, by Your causeless grace, today I have gotten You in a more loving way in my mind. You have come in a new form in my dhya’na. It is Your grace. Earlier my mind was busy and involved in a variety of works – both positive and negative. But now there are no such distractions. My mind is one-pointed and only ensconced in Your love.

O’ Divine Entity, the path that I was moving on was a zig-zag path. There was no hope or relief. My life was covered in darkness, day and night. By the attraction of Your divine love I looked towards You. O’ my dearmost, my most loving One, by Your grace the wheel of my chariot has just turned. In my dead river, a flood of sparkling fresh water has come. Baba, now my life has become effulgent.

O’ Parama Pursusa Baba, in the past there was black darkness and after that it was even more black. The whole atmosphere was totally bleak; my whole life was shrouded in darkness. Baba, You are so gracious, You have come with Your divine effulgence. You have come with more and more divine effulgence. O’ my Lord, now in whichever direction I look, it feels very blissful and loving. I feel Your divine presence in my heart and all around me. Baba, You have stolen my mind and made my heart full. My heart has become full with Your love.

Baba, today You have blessed me by coming to me in a more intimate and loving way. You are so gracious. Baba, I love You…

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