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Date: Fri 22 Feb 2013 13:03:36
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Lokesh@spiral…..
Subject: Misuse & Abuse of Public Funds #2

== MISUSE & ABUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS ==

~ Part 2 ~

(Note: This is the second letter in this series. A link to the first letter titled – “Big Questions About World Events” – has been appended below. All italicised sections in brown are quotes from the first letter. – Eds)

Namaskar,
The unfortunate trend is that the wealthy and the powerful leaders use public money for their own gain, at the expense of the well-being of the poor and suffering people. This problem is acutely evidenced during the planning & preparation of certain events like the Olympics etc. Such planners feel entitled to use the money in a way that suits them best, and utterly overlook the needs of the local, impoverished populace.

WEALTH OF ENTIRE UNIVERSE IS PROPERTY OF PARAMA PURUSA

Our Proutistic outlook is entirely different. Baba guides us that Parama Purusa – not any unit being – is the owner of all mundane wealth.

“The universe is the thought projection of Brahma [the Supreme Entity], so the ownership of the universe lies with the Supreme Entity, and not with His imagined beings. None of the movable or immovable property of this universe belongs to any particular individual; everything is the common patrimony of all, and the Father of all is Brahma.” (1)

In that case, where is there scope for the misuse of public funds in pursuit of self or group interest. There is none. Only materialists can indulge in this way.

MORE ABOUT THE PRESENT SITUATION

“At present, Brazil is gearing up to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be hosted in Rio. At minimum, estimates are that Brasil will spend nearly $35 billion to host these two events…While all these tens of billions of dollars are spent on these sporting venues, not less than 25% of Rio’s population, or 1.5 million people, are suffering and live without the basic necessities. The million-plus residents of Rio de Janeiro’s shantytowns (favelas) still find their lives controlled by violent drug gangs and that the crime rate in Rio ranks among the highest in the world, and many of them will be uprooted and relocated before 2014. Their lives will not improve an ounce due to the spending of $35 billion, just they will be forgotten.”

DISTINCT LACK OF FAMILY FEELING

Those who advocate the construction of extravagant new sports stadiums for the Olympics or the World Cup etc proclaim that life is not just about food, clothing, and shelter, but entertainment and amusement as well. For this reason, they feel it acceptable to spend massive amounts of public money on Olympic stadiums despite the presence of widespread poverty in that host nation.

The following analogy sheds light on this matter.

Suppose a child is sick, lacks food and medical treatment, and is living in a house that has a leaky roof, yet his parents are spending all their money on films, dancing, drugs, and night clubs, and there is no food or medicine for the child. In that case, who is going to be sympathetic to those parents? No one.

Similarly, we have to reconsider the ethic of those who build stadiums at tremendous public expense while much of the local population suffers and lacks the minimum requirements of life: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education.

Such persons do not look upon the entire population as their own. They suffer from a narrow-minded and selfish outlook, i.e. atma sukha tattva, or principle of selfish pleasure. They are involved in gratifying their own unit self, not thinking about others.

Proponents of the extravagant stadiums suffer from atma sukha tattva. Blinded by their own selfish vision, the wealthy leaders of society fail to see the pain experienced by common people who struggle for their daily needs. In turn, those wealthy leaders exploit the masses by adhering to their own selfish agenda. That is what we see happening in nations hosting the Olympics and World Cup etc. If those wealthier, empowered leaders were infused with sama samaj tattva (principle of social equality), then their priority would first be meeting the basic needs of the common people. Once accomplished, one could discuss other projects like stadium construction etc.

In that case, the issue of exploitation and suffering would not arise. Then those with means would help those in need and not indulge in their own selfish gratification.

Here the point is that only those with a very narrow and selfish outlook can think that vast amounts of public monies should be used for fancy stadiums for the Olympics etc, when large numbers of people in that country are starving and living in unsanitary conditions. In contrast, if one cultivates the ideal that this whole humanity is my kith and kin, then there will be no scope to waste money on extravagant sporting venues while naked children in that country beg for food and lack drinking water.

Please bear in mind that I am fond of sports and encourage participation and healthy competition in sporting endeavours. What I am not in favour of is extravagant spending on superfluous projects when brothers and sisters are suffering from lack of essential needs: Food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education. As we all know, this goes directly against the approach of Ananda Marga.

Only when the minimum requirements have been provided to all can we then think to invest in sports stadiums.

WHY MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS

Another cause behind the misuse of public funds is over-accumulation of physical pabula. There are some in society that have so much money that they literally do not know how to spend it – they just indulge in misuse. They pay extraordinary sums of money for clothing, intoxicants, x-tra fancy airplanes, huge number of cars, and in other frivolous and degrading ways. When in their own private life they are accustomed to the misuse of money, then they casually apply that same approach to public money. Because of their extreme over-accumulation of money, they do not know how to use money in a rational manner for social good.

IT IS A RECURRING THEME…

…PROUT IS NEEDED

So this is a recurring theme. Time and again, those in power spend huge amounts of public money on structures that will supposedly bring them prestige and fame, and the common people lay impoverished. So many extravagant structures were constructed at the expense and well-being of the public good. Such buildings include the Taj Mahal etc. Misusing public funds in this way invites crime, social unrest, and chaos. All because the state forces people into a situation of being have-nots.

When a nation indulges in constructing extravagant stadiums to impress others – while their own denizens lack the basic necessities – then that is just a superficial show. It is tinsel – nothing more. They have no substantial good to portray.

The only answer is Prout. Only the practical approach of Prout takes into consideration the welfare of the common people and encourages the rational distribution of public resources. Big money decisions based on a leader’s prestige will never get support in a Proutistic system.

Our policies are for the welfare of the people and Proutistic leaders are linked with the heart-beat of the masses. The torchbearers of Prout are not living in golden castles, aloof from the worries and needs of the general populace.

Prout Philosophy says, “The Proutistic social order follows the principle sarva jana hita’ya – that is, PROUT is for the welfare of all. Nobody is suppressed or oppressed. PROUT supports the rule of sadvipras. Only sadvipras can guarantee the all-round welfare of all groups of people because sadvipras represent the interests of all classes in society.” (2)

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS NEEDED

In both Caraycarya part 2 and “A Guide to Human Conduct”, Baba has given the strict guideline that individuals and families are not to go into debt to host social functions like marriages, baby-naming ceremonies, and festivals etc. That same type of approach should be taken with nations and international bodies. Host cities and nations of the Olympics regularly go deep into debt and often never recover, as happened with the 2004 games in Athens, Greece etc. So there should be strict regulations and guidelines about this.

I appreciate the solution offered in the prior letter:

“Various international organisations like the United Nations etc do not build new offices every time they hold a meeting. Rather they return to the same venue again and again. The same should be done with the Olympics. There can be 4 fixed sites around the globe. The Olympics can simply rotate through those 4 venues, returning to the same site every 16 years. That way each facility can be of a premium standard and well-maintained. An international board will manage the sites and distribute profits to all nations. During “off years” when the Olympics is not being held at a particular site then that location can be used for the Asia games or other competitions. This will bring regular use and income to each site. It will not be like the way things are now where an entire Olympic sporting complex is built for the Olympics, only to sit unused and fall into disrepair as soon as the games are over.”

PROUT POLICY:

SUPPORT COMMON PEOPLE;

DO NOT ALLOW PUBLIC FUNDS TO BE CONTROLLED BY CENTRAL GOVT

While we are in this transition phase of the height of the vaeshyan era, particular attention must be paid to those impoverished people. That is our Prout policy

In those lands where the World Cup and Olympics are held, and in those lands where huge airports are built and fancy rails are put in place for the wealthy, there are millions and millions of people living below the poverty level. They are overlooked by their governments and ignored by the educated elite. This must be corrected – the course must be changed. The way to proceed starts with the health, safety and welfare of the downtrodden masses. Failing that we will continue to see so many fall prey to starvation, neglect, and premature death. And a proper society will never be built.

Along these lines our Proutistic teachings put forth this following warning:

“It is desirable that the management of industrial, agricultural, trade and commercial enterprises not be in the hands of the central government or the world government (after the establishment of the world government). If it is, the common people will not get the direct or even the indirect opportunity to participate in the management of these enterprises. In such cases capitalists, opportunists or self-seeking politicians can easily take control of them and misappropriate public wealth.” (3)

THE SOLUTION IS PROUT

Baba has blessed us with all the resources and the right philosophy (i.e. Prout) to ease the pains of humanity. We are to act fast and protest the wrongs being carried out at present wherein huge monies are misused and wasted by the state for lavish events like the Olympics etc, while the people of that land lack even the most basic necessities to survive. There is growing awareness about this tragic issue – good people everywhere want to help – we should keep the flame alive and bring welfare to the people.

THE TEACHINGS OF PROUT:

WHAT ARE THE MARVELS OF CIVILIZATION FOR, IF PEOPLE ARE PREVENTED FROM MANIFESTING THEMSELVES

“To sadvipras [spiritual revolutionaries] the value of human life surpasses all other values. So states and scriptures, societies and religions, acquire significance only insofar as they develop humanity to the maximum through learning, culture, physical health and economic plenty. It is for the sake of developing humanity that civilization has so many institutions of different kinds, that states take their various forms, that theories proliferate, and that the scriptures abound in ordinances and regulations. What in the world does the state stand for, what is the use of all these regulations, and what are the marvels of civilization for, if people are prevented from manifesting themselves, if they do not get the opportunity to build good physiques, to invigorate their intelligence with knowledge, or to broaden their hearts with love and compassion? If, instead of tending to lead human beings to the goal of life, the state stands in the way, it cannot command loyalty, because humanity is superior to the state. According to Rabindranath Tagore, “Justice and law at the cost of humanity is like a stone instead of bread. Maybe that stone is rare and valuable, but it cannot remove hunger.”” (4)

“HUMAN VALUE TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER SOCIAL VALUE”

“It is customary to give preference to social value over human value. Sadvipras want to strike at the root of this custom. For them, human value takes precedence over social value. Human beings form the society, and hence human value must lay the foundation for the social value. In other words, those who show respect to human value will be entitled to social value. It was mentioned earlier that human value means nothing but to treat the joys and sorrows, hopes and aspirations of human beings sympathetically, and see them merged in Cosmic Consciousness and established in divine majesty. And if one is to elevate oneself to that sublime height, he or she will have to be supplied with an environment suitable to his or her physical, mental and spiritual existence. It is the birthright of everyone to make headway in their trifarious existence. It is the duty of society to accord recognition to this human right. Society has failed to do its duty, and that is why life is full of sorrow and suffering.” (4)

A GOOD NUMBER OF GREAT PERSONALITIES ARE WITHERING AWAY IN THEIR EMBRYONIC STAGE

“No one can say for certain that no great person might have emerged from among those wayward urchins whom we are wont to slight and hate. Women who have turned to prostitution for the sake of their physical existence might have grown into noble personalities if their agony had been appreciated sympathetically, and if they had been rehabilitated by society. But since society has nothing to do with human value, a good number of great personalities are withering away in their embryonic stage. The sadvipras will undertake to revive this neglected section of humanity. To them no sinner is contemptible, no one is a rogue. People turn into satans or sinners when, for want of proper guidance, they are goaded by depraving propensities. The human mind goaded by depraving propensities is satan. If their propensities are sublimated, they will no longer be satans; they will be transformed into gods. Every course of action of society ought to be judged with an eye to the dictum “Human beings are divine children.”” (4)

WE SHOULD NOT JUST GO AHEAD AND LEAVE THEM IN THE LURCH

“The significance of society lies in moving together. If in the course of the journey anybody lags behind, if in the darkness of night a gust of wind blows out anyone’s lamp, we should not just go ahead and leave them in the lurch. We should extend a hand to help them up, and rekindle their lamps with the flames of our lamps…”

“…Stop we must, otherwise the spirit of society is in jeopardy.”

“A rśi [sage] has said: Samamantreńa jáyate iti samájah [“Society is the collective movement of a group of individuals who have decided to move together towards a common goal”]. That is, whether people are pápii [sinners], thieves, criminals, or characterless individuals, they are so only superficially; internally they are filled with the potential for purity. The principal object of the sadvipras is to explore and bring this potentiality into play. They will accord human value to everyone without exception. Those who have done hateful crimes must be punished, but sadvipras will never hate them, or put an end to them by depriving them of food, because sadvipras are humanists. The pandits puffed up with vain glory could turn their attention to their books instead of attending on the ailing non-Hindu Haridas, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu found it impossible to remain indifferent to him. He took Haridas in his arms and nursed him carefully, and thus showed respect to human value.” (4)

MORE PROUTISTIC GUIDELINES

“That is, these days, a person who possesses wealth is respected and revered whereas a person without money is a person honoured by none. The poor, whoever they may be, have to woo the rich just for the sake of earning their livelihood. Human values have become meaningless, for human beings have become the means for the rich to earn money. The rich, having purchased the human mind with their money, are busy playing a game of chess with the other members of society. Bereft of everything, people toil round the clock to earn a mere pittance. Today the motto of people is, “I have to send some food particles into the apathetic stomach after somehow taking a dip in the muddy water amidst hyacinths.”” (5)

“Those who are at the helm of society, constantly suspicious of others, forever count their losses and profits. They have no desire to think about the plight of humanity. Rather, to gratify themselves they are ready to chew the human bone, and suck human blood. For the self-centred there is no place for feelings of mercy, sympathy or camaraderie. The railway stations and market places are full of half-clad beggars and lepers desperately stretching out their begging bowls, earning their livelihood in the only way they know. They are fortunate if anyone contemptuously flings them a copper coin. The old blind beggars sitting all day long on the steps of a bridge automatically lift their bowls whenever anyone walks past. But their hungry pleas fall on deaf ears. On the other side of the social coin, sumptuous dishes are being prepared to entertain the rich dignitaries. These contrasts ridicule the present human society.” (6)

“Today, those who occupy high posts are also respected. Dignity is attached to post or rank. A station master will take great pains to prepare the railway minister’s visit, but will never trouble himself with the inconveniences faced by the ordinary passengers. Luxurious houses are built for high-ranking officers while the poor live in shanty towns, barely protected from the elements. I don’t say that large houses should never be built, but that everyone should be provided the minimum requirements. “I admit that both rice and tasty dishes are necessary for people, but I shall not demand a sumptuous dish from the goddess of food until I see that India has been overflooded with an abundance of rice.”” (7)

“These days educated people are so proud of their erudition that they detest illiterate people and avoid the company of commoners. Thus they shun village life and live in towns. When the question of returning to the village crops up, they say, “What on earth would we do in a village? There’s not a single person to talk to. Only idiots live there.” This explains why almost all attention is focused on the urban areas to the detriment of the villages. While soliciting votes, political leaders pay a short visit to the villages with a mouthful of attractive promises. They promptly inform the ignorant populace about their great achievements in constructing huge dams; though perhaps village cultivation is becoming impossible due to want of irrigation. They give detailed descriptions about their plans to build bridges and bungalows and install television sets, though perhaps in that village people die for want of medicine, or beg for food in poverty-stricken desperation. And yet the common villagers constitute the backbone of society. Even in the towns not everyone gets equal opportunities. The pavements have become the home for so many people. Rabindranath says, “There are always a number of uncelebrated people in the human civilization. They are the majority, and they are the medium, but they have no time to become human beings. They are raised on the leftovers of the national wealth. They are poorly dressed and receive little education, yet they serve the rest of society. They give maximum labour but are rewarded with ignominy – they die of starvation or are tortured to death by those they serve. They are deprived of all life’s amenities. They are the candlestick of civilization: they stand erect with the candle resting on their head. Everyone gets light from it, while they suffer the discomfort of the wax trickling down their sides. In this way, the dishonest of humanity or the neglect of human values has become a social malady.””(8)

SUMMARY STATEMENT AND REVIEW

Here in review: The point is that only those with a very narrow and selfish outlook can think that vast amounts of public monies should be used for fancy stadiums for the Olympics etc, when large numbers of people in that country are starving and living in unsanitary conditions. In contrast, if one cultivates the ideal that this whole humanity is my kith and kin, then there will be no scope to waste money on extravagant sporting venues while naked children in that country beg for food and lack drinking water.

Namaskar,
in Him,
Lokesh

Note 1: FINAL THOUGHT

As mentioned above, I am not against games and sports, only my concern is the commercialisation thereof. In the US, obesity is rampant, and games and sports are highly commercialised. The unfortunate result is that people think they should watch, not play. Yet real use of games and sports is for keeping a population healthy, active, and vibrant, but in the US and other nations that tenant has sadly been lost.

Note 2: COMMENTS FROM COMMON PEOPLE ABOUT THE OLYMPICS

The following comments are from this website: http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-the-olympic-games-a-waste-of-money

– I believe that the Olympic Games are a waste of money because there are more important things that the money used for these events could be spent on. If we stopped the Olympic Games, a lot of extra money could be donated to child hunger, cancer cures, and child hospitals. Think about the people in third world countries, starving and living without shelter. All charities ask for a small amount of money, yet countries spend millions on a sporting event. The Olympic Games boost economies and also boost pollution at the same time! We are trying our best to stop global warming and this is NOT helping! The native animals of each country loose their habitat to just a stupid car park or an expensive stadium. This can ruin the food chain. The Olympic Games just puts everyone against each other and puts hatred between each country.

– It’s a ridiculous waste of money for a 3 week sporting event – all because of the need to compete against other countries and win some medals!! Feed the poor, educate the masses, give the money to worthwhile needy charities!

– The Olympics are a waste of money

The money spent by countries on international sporting events, such as the Olympic game and World championships, is money wasted. It should be used for more important things such as curing malaria in LEDCs, improving infrastructure, and providing proper education for the adults and children from poorer countries.Billions of pounds are spent on these events just to watch people throwing javelins and shot putts around when it could be donated to charities so they could at least make a difference to this world by helping the people.

-Priorities

The Olympics represents a criminal diversion of funds away from the kind of projects and policies which would actually effect improvements in the health of the population. Merely claiming that ‘striving’ for the best compensates the masses who are paid off with a few weeks of sports saturated T.V. is not where public money is best sent. Society, as a whole, has greater, and certainly, more pressing needs. Hunger, poverty, ignorance etc. I do not propose aid to have succeeded when applied to foreign lands, however when spent domestically it can reap huge rewards.

– The Olympic Games are a waste of money!

If we stopped the Olympic Games, a lot of extra money could be donated to child hunger, cancer cures, charities, and child hospitals. Think about the people in third world countries, starving and living without shelter. All charities ask for a small amount of money, yet we spend millions on a sporting event. Athletes may get publicity, but aren’t human lives more important?

We are trying our best to stop global warming and this is NOT helping! The native animals of each country loose their habitat to just a stupid car park or an expensive stadium. This can ruin the food chain. The Olympic Games just puts everyone against each other and puts hatred between each country.

– of course it is

It is kind on stupid to have the olympics in the first place. They are a waste of money and very much a waste of time. Who cares if you win a gold medal in swimming or some other sport. That does not prove you are the greatest athlete in the world.

-of course it is a waste of money!

all you really need is a track to run a pool to swim a court to hit and a field to ride it doesnt have to big cant you just agree with me and give this money to the people who need it and inspiring someone this is like WE ARE SHOWING OFF how much money we can spend

– Pakistan and Afghanistan practice a pates but still want to kill loads of people.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are lead by the group of people – the Taliban who smashed the twin towers yet they compete in the Olympics. They destroyed Bali, yet they compete in the Olympics. It doesn’t provide friendly competition because their are still wars going on across the world yet almost every country competes even though they create wars. They don’t allow friendly competition so I conclude that it is a waste of money because it can’t provide friendly competition.

– The money can be use for other reasons.

The millions of dollars used building the facilities of the Olympic games should be used to give to the poor in Africa. Only when all the poor people have enough money to have a healthy lifestyle should we even think of spending millions of dollars building massive facilities that we don’t need.

– Olympic games are a waste of money!!!

Facts clearly state that where ever the Olympics were held; the country had to spend a big sum of money on advancements. A clear example is the recent London 2012 Olympics where Britain earned millions of USD through people who had a craze for watching this game. I mean the making of the movie in which the Queen jumps it had a a cost too, which included graphic designing etc.

– Yes

Because what about the poor people in Africa, Why think about money all time. What about people they have feelings (Naduh) but why think about money all the time when you can give to poor people instead of Having the money all by yourself when you earn enough already? Seriously what about people?

– Yes, believe the Olympic Games are a waste of money, this money could be spent on much better things.

I believe that the Olympic Games are a waste of money because there are more important things that the money used for these events could be spent on. There are starving kids who could eat if the money was given to them instead. There are also natural disasters that could be better controlled if there was more funding for them.

– There are so many other things we could spend money on!!!

I understand that there is a strong sentiment which surrounds the Olympic games, and it’s not that I have anything against them in and of themselves, but I think the amount of ceremony, media hype, and flare which is used is certainly excessive. Instead of using that money to further lavish the leaders of the globe and create a spectacle, we could be using these resources to SOLVE PROBLEMS!!!!

– Not the only competition

The games have put more than one economy in debt; one need not look further than Greece’s current state. Also, this is not the only forum for athletes to get together. There is also the pan-am games, the commonwealth games, and the world cup. The billions spent on the Olympics are just thrown away, and could be given to much worthier causes.

– Recall way back to 1972, and Colorado had been chosen for the ’76 winter games. We voters took the initiative on a state-wide ballot and voted by a good margin to deny the use of any public funds for the Olympics. It only took days to withdraw, and the IOC moved the ’76 winter games to Austria.What happened is that Colorado got a black eye in the world press (no big deal), and also a national reputation for being green, clean, low tax, frugal and smart. People and hi-tech firms moved to the state in larger numbers than ever, and our economy has been doing fine ever since.

– My rule of thumb: whenever a sports stadium or arena is touted as the centrepiece of a city’s long-term prosperity (as opposed to the prosperity of the developers, construction firms, and various cronies and hangers-on), it’s a grift. The IOC and local committees are no different in this regard than are major-league team owners.Spending taxpayer and/or private dollars on urban infrastructure is great, but that can be done without spending billions of extra dollars on short-term events and soon-to-be under-used facilities

– The Olympics is one big rip-off.

It’s all about making money, money, money for a few big companies and assorted Fat Cats.

£350 per household in the UK? With all the cuts you’re suffering? You’ve been ripped off.

– The Olympics are very much a second prize in today’s world. It can and probably will saddle us with huge debts ala Montreal and do little, if anything for anywhere outside of London. The World Cup is the biggie and we came NOWHERE in the run off for that blockbuster which would at least have spread the money around the country instead of centralising it in London. The attitude of people from the Midlands Northwards is, its London’s, nothing to do with us, we won’t benefit but we will be told to pay for it. At the end of the day the Government refused point-blank to consider bids from other cities.Stick them where the sun doesn’t shine.

– Have been to Montreal and the Olympic village is like a strange ghost town, apparently it took Montreal almost two decades to pay off the debt left from it’s olympics. British Columbia is left with a big sales tax after the Vancouver winter olympics and is saddled with debt.

– I think we ought to build a permenant olympics site somewhere for re use every 4 years so we don’t waste time, money and resources building these big nationalistic monuments

– The Olympics is a waste of money. The current bill is £3.3B, but apparently we can afford this whilst we make 100,000s redundant and stop spending money on the NHS.

– It’s a classic example of ignoring the real problems in the country and going for a project that only caters for 1/3rd of the population – if that – of the UK.

http://www.sailpay.com/blog/hosting-the-olympics-is-a-waste-of-money-read-these-lessons-from-greece-and-china-to-avoid-similar-investment-mistakes/

– The Olympic Games could have been made less extravagant and millions could have been saved to help the needy. Indeed, watching this spectacular event unleashing is like living a real boost of emotion.But then, is the feeling of these temporary emotions more prominent than the health of a human being ? We all know it isn’t yet we keep on hosting it. It is sad therefore to realise that mankind has adopted an egocentric culture.

– Athens Olympics Venues In Decay 8 Years After 2004 Games (PHOTOS)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/athens-olympics-venues-photos-abandoned_n_1739264.html

There’s still one group that loves the training pool for athletes at the former Olympic village in Athens’ northern fringe. Frogs.

They appear to delight in sitting on debris that floats on the half-filled pool’s murky waters.

The athletes village itself has fared somewhat better, turned into housing for workers.

Eight years after the 2004 Athens Games, many of the Olympic venues Greece built at great expense remain abandoned or rarely used. They are the focus of great public anger as the country struggles through a fifth year of recession and nearly three years of a debt crisis that has seen a surge in poverty and unemployment.

At the southern Athens venue for softball – a sport unknown in Greece and already out of the Summer Olympics – the occasional weed is all that remains on the dried-out field.

With no shortage of real beaches in Greece, the purpose-built beach volleyball stadium has seen minimal use in the past eight years, mostly just concerts.

Other Athens venues have fared better. The badminton hall has been converted into a popular theater venue, the former international Olympic broadcast center is a shopping mall and what was the main press center now houses ministry offices.

The old baseball venue has been used for the past two years by a fourth-division local soccer club – although some of the stands could do with a lick of paint.

The hockey venue hosted the Special Olympics last year, but material used in that event still lies abandoned around the rim.

The taekwondo and handball arena is occasionally used for non-sports events.

The main Athens Olympics complex is now mostly open to the public and its sporting venues are used by local teams or to host national championships.

Greek politicians, meanwhile, are still struggling to deal with those years of excess spending, and many economists still question the country’s future in the 17-nation common euro currency.

Note 3: LINK TO PRIOR LETTER ON THIS TOPIC

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/01/big-questions-about-world-events.html

REFERENCES:
1. Problems of the Day, pt #1
2. Prout in A Nutshell – 15
3. Problems of the Day, #11
4 – 8. A Few Problems Solved Part 2, Social Values and Human Cardinal Principles

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From: p.livingston@tjohns@co…
Subject: A Type of Idol Worship In The West
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 21:59:32 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net

Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:
(1) Prabhat Samgiita #2368;
(2) Posting: A Type of Idol Worship In The West;
(3) Trailer Quote: Science: What One Does Reaps The Consequences

Each section is demarcated by asterisks (*).

**** Here begins the Prabhat Samgiita ****

“Toma’r raunge raung mishiye cale, yete ca’i sumukhe…” (P.S. 2368)

Toma’r raunge raung mishiye
Cale jete ca’i sumukhe;
Ca’i toma’r tale tala melate,
Ta’la kat́e prati nimise,

Drŕha kare dhare toma’r pata’ka’
Egiye jete cai a’mi eka’
Toma’r a’shis’a sathe niye a’ma’r ma’the
Bhare bala a’ma’r buke,

Ekala’ chilam na’ a’mi kakhano
Saunge tumi, bhaya neiko kono
Tava ka’j kare ja’bo tava ga’n geye ja’bo
Diipta hoye tava shubha’loke

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, by surrendering all the colours of my mind – all the attractions and attachments of my mind – by surrendering everything unto You, (Toma’r raunge raung mishiye) [1] by dyeing my mind in Your colour, I want to move ahead. I want to move unto Divinity, by Your grace. Baba, I want to offer all my colours, vrttis, and longings at Your alter. My only desire is to move on the path, dancing according to Your rhythm, Your melody. Somehow I always lose the rhythm and melody. I want to synchronize my rhythm with Yours, but each moment I fail. I want to follow Your path, but I miss steps along the way, always.

O’ Supreme Entity, by Your grace, I am firmly holding Your flag in my hand. You have given me the one-pointed desire, energy, and duty to follow and spread Your ideology, Your teachings. You have instilled within me the feeling that even if no one else is coming along, still I will go on marching ahead on Your path. Your blessings always with me and my heart filled with Your strength, I am ready to march forward alone. Baba, Your grace is ever-showering on my entire existence. You are always along with me. You are always giving me strength in my heart to march forward. O’ my Lord, You have filled my heart with Your inspiration and grace. For this reason, obstacles and hindrances are meaningless – they never obstruct my forward movement

O’ Parama Purusa, I was never alone in the past, nor will I be alone in the future. You are always along with me. And when You are along with me, there is no question of any fear. Baba, keeping me resplendent in Your benevolent light, I will keep doing Your work, singing Your song. By doing Your work and singing Your song, I will go on moving on Your path of effulgence – keeping You in my heart. O’ Parama Purusa, You are always with me, You are eternally sweet and gracious…

NOTE FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #2368:

[1] Toma’r raunge raung mishiye: The following guideline from Baba offers a greater philsophical understanding of the first line of this song.

“Dye your mind with His colour. Those who have not done so cannot attain Him, for this very coloration is Prema or Divine Love. The differences in colour are signs of distinction; without these differences there is identity. No external sign of Sádhutá or virtue is necessary. Became sádhu within. Behind the external show of virtuousness of many so-called sádhus exists a pharisaic state of mind. Preserve the true dignity of the word, Sádhu…”

“That is why I say that you must bring about a revolutionary change in the flow of your judgment and thought, and see how, after overcoming your fascination with external colour, your mind becomes tinged with the His glorious colour. In Ananda Marga Sadhana, the method of withdrawing the mind from degrading tendencies, and absorbing oneself in the colour of the Great, is called Pratyáhára Yoga (the yoga of withdrawal) or Varńárghyadána (the offering of colours). All people have a particular attraction for one or another object or activity and as soon as they become attracted to an object, then their minds become coloured with the colour of that object. You can withdraw your mind from the colour of that object and dye yourself in His colour by offering Him the captivating colour of the object that has attracted you: this is the real Pratyáhára Yoga. The word Pratyáhára means “to withdraw” – to withdraw the mind from its object.”

“The main object of the Spring Colour Festival (Vasantotsava) is not playing with external colours; it is meant to offer Him the colours of different objects which have dyed the mind. When this practice of offering your own colours – your own attachments, becomes natural and easy, you will then merge in Him. Then you will have no need for any colour, for you will become colourless – you will go beyond the reach of any colour. Your unit-ego will become one with the Cosmic Ego. Whichever way you look you will see only Him in His ever-surging glory. There is no “I” nor “you”. By an everlasting, mutual pact the final curtain will have fallen on all clashes of “I” and “you”. At that stage, if you call Parama Brahma as “I”, you are right in calling Him so; if you call Him as “He”, you are equally right; and if you call Him as “you”, again you are correct. The extent of your attainment of Him will be proportionate to your self surrender.” (Subhasita Samgraha – 3)

== A TYPE OF IDOL WORSHIP IN THE WEST ==

Namaskar,
Around the globe, people feel the need to idolize or worship someone or something. This happens in the east and west. Unfortunately, in their attempt to satisfy this desire, they often go astray. Without thinking, they mindlessly select their idol, not realising that it is fictitious or mythological – i.e. not real. We see examples of this in both the west and the east. This is the common phenomenon.

BABA’S WARNING

First we should review Baba’s guideline where He warns us that fictional and mythological characters should not be taken to be real and worshiped or idolized.

“The value of mythology lies in this, in its contribution to mass education. If a narrative is devoid of the elements of mass education we cannot call it mythology. But it should be borne in mind that the events narrated are not true. Similarly, in modern times there are many novels and many plays which contain didactic elements for mass education. But the characters depicted in these plays are not real and they cannot be ritualistically worshipped with flowers and leaves of the wood apple tree. To make idols of them for the purpose of worshipping will be a great blunder. This kind of blunder is called pramáda in Sanskrit (the word pramáda is derived by adding the suffix ghain to the verbal root mad with the prefix pra). That is something with mistake in the beginning, intermittent mistakes in the middle and mistake at the end.” (1)

Baba’s teaching continues:

“I have already told you about the objective of a purána; it has educative value but the incidents are all fictitious. A particular novel of Sarat Chandra may be very good and people may be very much impressed by a particular character in it. But is it desirable to make an image of that character and worship it? Similarly it will not really be in the fitness of things to worship a mythological character or to start worshipping ritualistically some particular mythological god or a goddess. Such a deity is only a figment of imagination.” (2)

Unfortunately we see this happening in both east and west, where segments of the population accept a mythological or fictional character to be real. And then they worship or idolize that character.

WESTERN PHENOMENA:

ASKING JULIET FOR BOONS

Juliet is one of the main fictitious characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy: “Romeo and Juliet”. In that drama, written 450+ years ago, the young couple in love are embattled by family disputes and ultimately die a most tragic death, without ever being able to express their love for one another. It is the quintessential tragedy of western literature. And it is completely fictional – these characters are 100% imaginary – Mr Shakespeare merely invented them in his own mind.

Yet today, a Juliet website has been devised, and people from far and wide write in seeking solace about their romantic woes. Because of their deep emotional link with the female character Juliet – who never even existed in real life – people are writing to Juliet and pouring their heart. If they deem their romance to be similar in any way to that of Romeo and Juliet – i.e. if they are getting tormented by friends and family – then they write to Juliet and ask for her grace and promise that, “Just as you died for your lover, I shall do the same.” Juliet does not even exist, yet they are taking this fictional character to be their guide.

“Since the 1930s, letters addressed to Juliet keep arriving in Verona. As of 2010, more than 5,000 letters are received annually, three quarters of which are from women. The largest single group of senders are American teenagers.” (Wikipedia)

So this form of idol worship in the west is becoming more popular yet we should remember that it is based on 100% fictitious characters like Juliet.

It is just like if Indian people started writing to Laela’.

In the west, it is not just limited to their fascination with Juliet, but also Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Rocky Balboa and all kinds of fictional heroes from the world of pop pseudo-culture. People are enthralled by such characters and aim to emulate them in all kinds of ways. They dress, talk, act, and behave like them; they idolize them. They think that such characters will grant them strength, or fortune, or love, or whatever it is that they desire. They even name their children after such fictional characters.

EASTERN TRADITION OF IDOL WORSHIP

In the east, worshipers pray to a piece of stone, thinking it to be a god. In this manner so many mythological deities have been created. People ask and pray to their chosen deity for everything, thinking that entity to be real.

Then there is this example from the Sati temple. The imaginary mother goddess Sati jumped on the funeral pyre of her husband. So females pray to this goddess because they think that by this way they will not lose their husband to an early death – rather due to the boon of mother goddess Sati, they will love together forever with their spouse.

This, and many other examples like it in India, demonstrate how people become blinded. They worship deities that are wholly mythological, i.e. not real.

SIMILARITY BETWEEN EAST AND WEST

Thus we see that in both east and west people mindlessly accept fictional characters and mythological entities as their chosen guide. The chief cause behind this is that people mindlessly pour their hearts for such entities, without realising the harm they are doing.

Here again is Baba’s warning.

“The value of mythology lies in this, in its contribution to mass education. If a narrative is devoid of the elements of mass education we cannot call it mythology. But it should be borne in mind that the events narrated are not true. Similarly, in modern times there are many novels and many plays which contain didactic elements for mass education. But the characters depicted in these plays are not real and they cannot be ritualistically worshipped with flowers and leaves of the wood apple tree. To make idols of them for the purpose of worshipping will be a great blunder. This kind of blunder is called pramáda in Sanskrit (the word pramáda is derived by adding the suffix ghaiô to the verbal root mad with the prefix pra). That is something with mistake in the beginning, intermittent mistakes in the middle and mistake at the end.” (3)

Baba’s teaching continues:

“I have already told you about the objective of a Purána; it has educative value but the incidents are all fictitious. A particular novel of Sarat Chandra may be very good and people may be very much impressed by a particular character in it. But is it desirable to make an image of that character and worship it? Similarly it will not really be in the fitness of things to worship a mythological character or to start worshipping ritualistically some particular mythological god or a goddess. Such a deity is only a figment of imagination.” (4)

RIGHT EFFORT IS NEEDED

Unfortunately, innocent people in the east and west waste tremendous amounts of energy seeking boons and guidance from fictitious and mythological entities. Without carefully analysing the situation, they accept fake entities to be real. In that way, they can never advance in a meaningful way.

We should increase efforts to bring all unto the path of Ananda Marga. That will save people from being allured by imaginary guides and gods.

“The utilization of energy should be in the proper direction. If you have to move to the east and you start moving towards the west, your action will be considered full of prámáda, or madness. Ananda Marga has the correct way, through subjective approach and objective adjustement. While followers of Ananda Marga keep their eyes steady on the absolute, they do not ignore this relative world. They work for self-realization and social upliftment, and hence the utilization of their energy is never in vain. When the effort is correct and the utilization right, you will certainly reach the goal.” (5)

Namaskar,
in Him,
Pradiip
(Peter Livingston)

REFERENCES:
1. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 11
2. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 11
3. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 11
4. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 11
5. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, Your Personal Relationship with God

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

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Science:

What One Does Reaps The Consequences

“Action, whether good or bad, causes deformity in the mind, and in the process of regaining its normal form one experiences as reactions good results for good deeds and bad results for bad ones. After death mind takes the shelter of unit consciousness as reaction in its potentiality (saḿskára). The unit consciousness, in order to have those potential reactions expressed, will have to seek a body suitable for the expression of these reactions. For instance, Rama dies, and his mind takes the shelter of his unit consciousness (átman) as reactions in their potentiality (saḿskára). Rama according to his actions in this life should experience as reaction (karmaphala) the pain equivalent in mental measure to a fracture of an arm at the age of eight, the happiness of getting a fortune at the age of ten, and the suffering of becoming fatherless at the age of eleven. He will have to experience all this as his deformed mind regains its normal form. It is important to clarify here that the actual form of suffering is not predetermined. It cannot be said what might be the actual reaction of a particular action. For example, it is not preordained that if one commits theft his things of the same value will be stolen as a reaction. The suffering is measured in terms of mental suffering to the extent which was inflicted on others by stealing their property. Thus the measure of experiencing the result of an action is mental and is in terms of pleasure and pain, and the actual form of experience has relatively no importance. Rama has to experience the pain and pleasure of all these happenings, and so his unit consciousness will have to seek a body on rebirth, where an opportunity to experience all this will be available. In order to suffer the mental agony of loss of his father at the age of eleven years, Rama has to be born of parents where the father, according to his own actions, has also to die when Rama attains that age. If it is not so, Rama will not be able to experience his reaction (karmaphala) of the suffering of the loss of his father. Thus it is seen that unit consciousness and the potential reaction (saḿskára) cannot take shelter in any body for rebirth indiscriminately. A suitable body where the opportunity and field for experiencing their reactions (karmaphala) is available will have to be sought out. It is only in such a body that unit consciousness, along with total reactions in their potentiality, will seek shelter and be reborn.” (Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, What Is My Relation with the Universe and the Cosmic Entity?)
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Read Full Post »

From: Candra Deva
Date: Fri, Feb 08, 2012 at 21:35:56
Subject: Should I Rally Around My Infatuation
To: AM-GLOBAL

This entire email contains three distinct sections:
(1) Prabhat Samgiita and explanation;
(2) Posting About Ananda Marga’s Stand on a particular social issue;
(3) Trailer Quote.

Each section is demarcated by asterisks (*). Here begins the Prabhat Samgiita:

Baba

“A’ma’r sakal dukher ma’jhe ele tumi dukhaharan’…” (PS 1421)

Purport:

O’ Baba, You are Dukhaharan’ [1]. I was surrounded by sorrows & suffering; I was in big problem; my life was unbearable. You came with Your gazing eyes, silent footsteps, loving smile, and sweet face. Baba, You have blessed me and rescued me by wiping away all my troubles and suffering.

O, Parama Purusa, completely depending upon You with full surrender, in that very distressed and helpless condition, I called You and looked towards You. Raising both my hands in surrender I pleaded, “Baba, please save me; You are my only shelter. I take refuge in You. If You will not save me who will.” At that moment You rescued me by showering Your grace.

Baba, upon opening my eyes I see the effulgence has filled the sky. With Your august presence, the whole sky became enveloped in Your divine effulgence and my mind and heart became drenched in Your love. O’ Parama Purusa, holding Your lotus feet, singing Your songs, and remembering Your glory with all my heart, I surrender unto You…

NOTE FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #1421:

[1] Dukhaharan’: Parama Purusa is the remover of sorrows and suffering. That is why, among His infinite epithets and qualities, one of His names is Dukhaharan’ (Dukha= pain or suffering; haran’= to take away). In the Mahabharat era when the Queen Draopadi faced humiliation at the hands of her captors, she surrendered fully and was saved. The point is that being the Dukhaharan’, Parama Purusa removes a sadhaka’s afflictions. As we know afflictions are of three types: physical, psychic, and spiritual. So when any devotee is suffering from any trouble or torment in any realm of life then Parama Purusa Baba showers His grace and relieves them of their pain and suffering.

*** Prabhat Samgiita ends and now the letter starts ***

== SHOULD I RALLY AROUND MY INFATUATION ==

Note: If you know anyone who is gay and by mistake joined Ananda Marga, kindly share this letter with them or convey these ideas to them. Thank you.

Namaskar,
All kinds of weaknesses are accepted and approved in materialistic society. But in Ananda Marga, we are a man-making mission. There is no place for “sex for sex sake” in Ananda Marga. In Ananda Marga, sex is for procreation.

I know for years and years you have felt alienated in Ananda Marga. You want to live under the bright, brilliant skies of Ananda Marga, and at the same time continue your chosen mode of living. But that does not work because Ananda Marga philosophy does not appreciate “sex for sex sake”.

Thus when these days gay marriage is always in the news and gaining momentum, naturally you feel a sense of relief and victory. You may even feel vindicated and hope that one day this will be welcomed in Ananda Marga.

Now let’s review this situation and examine the stand of Ananda Marga on homosexuality.

ILLUSION

Like you, many in the gay community hold dearly onto the following notion:

“As I have a strong attraction for the same sex, then this practice should be honoured and I should have the right to marry as well.”

This is a very commonly held position.

PEOPLE HAVE ALL KINDS OF ATTRACTIONS

However we have to remember that people have all kinds of mundane attractions in life. But having the attraction itself does not justify the action.

For instance:
1) A person may feel sexually attracted towards children;
2) A person may have the attraction for countless sexual partners;
3) A husband may be attracted to someone and cheat on his wife;
4) A person may be attracted to having sex with animals.

Indeed about the latter, Baba has given one report.

Baba says, “Syphilis first originated in dogs, and through contact with them the human body got infected.” (Yogic Treatments)

Thus, because some were attracted to dogs and got sexually infatuated in that way, they contracted a terrible disease.

Here the point is that people have all kinds of attractions in life. Some are attracted towards money, towards sex, towards so many things in this mundane world. But simply being allured by the power of attraction does not by definition imply that the action is good, justified, or natural according to the standards of Ananda Marga philosophy. Rather it may cause a lot of harm and lead people astray.

That is why good people, conscientious people, will control any dirty attraction and not act upon it. They understand that attraction stems from a particular weakness of mind and it should be overcome.

ANANDA MARGA’S VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Each and every action of our human existence is geared towards reaching Parama Purusa. So all our thoughts, words, and deeds are for attaining that Supreme stance. This is what AM ideology preaches and teaches. Those actions which support this ideal are in consonance with Ananda Marga teachings, while we discourage those actions which inhibit this ideal.

POINT OF BIO-PSYCHOLOGY

In His teachings of bio-psychology, Baba specifically guides us how the human body is but a vehicle for moving along the path of spirituality. That is how it is to be used. To support and enhance this process we are not to allow lymph to be converted into semen other than for procreation. Those using sex as a tool for enjoyment are misguided. Because human beings cannot get satiation from any worldly engagement. (Note: Please refer to the book, Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy.) We are to maintain a maximum amount of shukra as this aids us in our spiritual journey.

IMPORTANCE OF RESTRAINT

So Ananda Margiis follow this clear-cut pathway by exercising control over these base propensities. In our Ananda Marga, our strict policy is that sex is for procreation only. That is Baba’s guideline.

When advising and guiding us on human sexuality, Baba has given the following mandate.

Baba says, “As regards the question of restraint and lack of restraint, the more one practises restraint, the greater will be their well-being.” (Caryacarya-3)

In a nutshell, it can be said that ‘sex for carnal pleasure’ or ‘sex to try and satisfy one’s animalistic desire’– i.e. just out of lust – is not at all supported by AM. This has no place in our Ananda Marga. Even animals do not behave in this way: They indulge in sex only to procreate, not for any other reason. If you see animals living around human beings doing otherwise, that is because of human interference / influence.

HOMOSEXUALITY: SEX FOR ANIMAL PLEASURE

But in homosexual & lesbian relations etc, their entire platform is ‘sex for the sake of sex’– just falling into lust and giving way to one’s animalistic propensities. When there is no possibility of procreation, then there is no rational support for that type of lifestyle. That is the teaching of Ananda Marga philosophy. Seeking true pleasure in this way is like searching for healthy, sentient food in the sewer.

So homosexuality runs contrary to the aim of human life, according to bhagavada dharma. When sex is supposed to be only for procreation – that is the only time that sex is supported in our AM way of life – then there is no logical support whatsoever for the ways of homosexuality / lesbianism, where sex is just an “animalistic pleasure-seeking” tool. Ultimately, such relations will just lead to one’s degeneration and degradation.

So the entire so-called culture of homosexuality runs directly contrary to the lofty tenets of our Ananda Marga ideological stand. Because homosexual and lesbian relations are just based on sexual expression.

SELF-DISCIPLINE IS NEEDED

Some confused persons may try to justify homosexuality by preaching the gospel of western “open-mindedness”. They may say that everyone is allowed to indulge in any way they please. However, that does not hold any ground in Ananda Marga; homosexual relations cannot be supported in our view, just as prostitution, smoking, meat-eating, and intoxicants are not allowed in Ananda Marga.

Ananda Marga stands for discipline and self-control, not indulgence and promiscuity. That is why the golden teachings of yama and niyama are given utmost importance and brought into the limelight. The literal meaning of yama is control. The practice and path of Ananda Marga begins with control. If anyone does not have the requisite control, they are in the wrong place.

It is just like if an alcoholic wants to become a margii then we cannot compromise and accept alcohol in Ananda Marga. Rather that person should be educated and goaded to give up alcohol and live according to Ananda Marga principles. Then they will be an Ananda Margii. Same with all vices; they cannot coexist with Ananda Marga. Rather those vices should be dropped and then we can welcome such persons into Ananda Marga.

That is, we should neither encourage nor support the practice of homosexuality; but we will certainly aim to help those involved to overcome this manner of living by introducing them to 16 Points and working for their overall growth and development.

WORLDLY INFATUATION AND ANANDA MARGA

Here again about worldly infatuation, in many cases people have their own justifications etc, but in the end these all stem from a point of weakness.

A person may be morbidly obese and suffer from high blood pressure. Yet he may see a big piece of cake or a Big Mac at McDonalds and feel attracted to eating that. This may be an attraction that they have. But who can say that this attraction is righteous – who can say that this attraction should be acted upon. Having the attraction is not the defining point of whether an action is proper or not.

For example, some may wish to drink a bottle of alcohol or do harsh illegal drugs. Here again, being allured to something does not justify the act or prove it worthy. In many cases, people have proclivity towards a particular habit because of their own personal weakness. It happens – commonly so.

It is very important that we understand which types of attraction are born out of human weakness and which desires lead us on the path of welfare. The two should not be confused. Unfortunately now in this materialistic era, many fall prey to the former, indulging in all kinds of activities out of weakness.

Just because one claims, “I am attracted to…”, that is not a proper justification for homosexual relations. In Ananda Marga, we do not appreciate base physical attraction in any situation, neither if a man is attracted to a man nor if a woman is attracted to a woman, nor a human sexually attracted towards animals. In neither case is it good; all lead to degeneration.

IN ANANDA MARGA: SEX IS FOR PROCREATION

Sex itself is nothing but a medium for producing offspring, i.e. for having babies. If two married people have sex for the sake of society building, i.e. having children, then that is most natural and supported.

If however, males and males or females and females just randomly engage in sexual activity purely out of lust, then that is their weakness. And ultimately, like many weaknesses, they will suffer the consequences.

Acting on lustful tendencies of mind is no different from other indulgences.

A heart patient will suffer from a heart attack or stroke if they continue to act on their attraction toward greasy foods. And there are so many examples. So when sex is for procreation, then we must understand that those randomly engaging in sex out of purely lustful attraction are not on the path of welfare. And they will suffer the consequences in the form of psychic degradation and physical diseases like impotency, cervical cancer, AIDS etc.

The central ideas is that when sex itself is for procreation, then when there is no possibility for a gay relationship to produce children, that relation too is not consistent with nature. One may have the attraction and one may justify therefore it is “natural”, but that attraction is born out of human weakness, not human dharma.

The conclusion is not that gay and lesbian relations should be outlawed. Rather a compassionate understanding should pervade our society and help and support should be offered.

No one should be left to wallow in this weakness of mind. None should be left to stand there and say, “I am attracted toward gay relations and therefore that is my right.” This type of defective logic should not be anyone’s lone battle cry.

MUST NOT SURRENDER TO WEAKNESSES

Our human society suffers so much these days and most often this suffering stems from indulging in human weaknesses. But we should recognise such things as defects – and not rally around them as being high ideals.

Again, as a child of Parama Purusa, I have deep feeling for you as my brother and sister. This is not an easy issue to deal with. Yet together we must examine the matter with a sense of vaeragya (detachment), then we can view the matter for what it is.

An alcoholic never likes to think that alcohol is bad. That comes from his attachment to that habit. The moment he is able to step back and see the big picture without projecting his own weakness or justification, then he will instantly realise that alcohol is not beneficial. So it takes a sort of detachment.

Same is the case with regards to homosexuality. Today, many are rallying around your cause of gay rights and gay marriage. Yet with a calm and balanced mind, detached from your preconceived notions, you can see how far this is proper & beneficial or not.

Then, I believe, you will see that it results out of human weakness.

HOW TO GOAD THE MIND TOWARDS PARAMA PURUSA

These days, especially in the west, weaknesses like homosexuality / gay rights are held as being highly progressive ideas. People speak proudly of it. But this is not the essence or crowning point of human life in Ananda Marga.

If people are taught from their very childhood about sexuality and spirituality and what our human organs are for, then that will steer most onto the proper path.

If we as a humanity understand that this results from a point of weakness and is not something great or broad-minded, then we can help people advance.

Ultimately we are to rally around those great ideals of neo-humanism and psycho-spirituality, and not get drowned in human weakness – whether that be theft, debauchery or homosexuality.

Then no one will say, “I hanker homosexual relations and therefore it is good and should be approved in Ananda Marga.” Rather people will aim for a higher goal in life, and not get bogged down in human weakness.

CONCLUSION

By Baba’s grace, ours is a dynamic human society where there is love and empathy for all, regardless of who they are and how they live. With this compassionate understanding.

Here I repeat:

But in homosexual & lesbian relations etc, their entire platform is ‘sex for the sake of sex’ – just falling into lust and giving way to one’s animalistic propensities. When there is no possibility of procreation, then there is no rational support for that type of lifestyle. That is the teaching of Ananda Marga philosophy. Seeking true pleasure in this way is like searching for healthy, sentient food in the sewer.

So homosexuality runs contrary to the aim of human life, according to bhagavada dharma. When sex is supposed to be only for procreation – that is the only time that sex is supported in our Ananda Marga way of life – then there is no logical support whatsoever for the ways of homosexuality / lesbianism, where sex is just an “animalistic pleasure-seeking” tool. Ultimately, such relations will just lead to one’s degeneration and degradation.

So the entire so-called culture of homosexuality runs directly contrary to the lofty tenets of our Ananda Marga ideological stand. Because homosexual and lesbian relations are just based on sexual expression.

Those so-called philosophies that preach that sex is for enjoyment and condemn gay relations are hypocrites. If they allow prostitution, alcohol, pornography etc but oppose gay relations, then they are hypocrites. Our stand on this issue of homosexuality is different from what the various religions advocate. Sex is only for procreation. That is the way srsti cakra (cycle of creation) works.

In Ananda Marga, sex is only for procreation. We should not forget that ours is Ananda Marga, the Path of Bliss.

BABA’S RELATED TEACHINGS

“The mental tendencies of appetite, sleep, fear and sex urge are found among humans and animals. So what is the difference between the two? The distinction between humans and animals is that humans have a sense of Dharma. Human beings practise Dharma, but animals do not. A person who does not pursue the path of Dharma in spite of being endowed with the human form is just like a beast.” (1)

“People run after money because they believe that they can maintain their lives under the shelter of money, that money alone can save them. They do not know that money can provide neither a permanent stability nor securely founded shelter. During the span of one’s life money will come and go several times. At times its glamour will dazzle our eyes and at other times the lack of money will make one cry from hunger. Not only money, but all finite objects have this characteristic. One uses finite objects with the intention of enjoying only one of their portions, then sooner or later the residue will be reached. That which is finite cannot permanently remain the object of your enjoyment or your permanent resort. The existence of all these things is dependent on other things – bounded by the limits of time, place and person. In philosophical terms the attraction for finite objects is called Ásakti and the attraction for the infinite is Bhakti.” (2)

“When this attraction is for any non-integral entity, or for any small entity this is called káma. When that attraction is for that integral entity, and the integral entity is only one and that one is Parama Puruśa – it is called Prema. When the attraction is for the non-integral entity, for money, for family, for land, it is called Káma; when it is for integral entity it is called Prema and the mental tendency during Káma i.e., the mental tendency during attraction for a non-integral entity is called Ásakti in Saḿskrta and the mental tendency during attraction for that Integral Entity is called Bhakti. Do you follow?” (3)

“Bhakti means to withdraw one’s attractions from all objects and channelize them towards Parama Puruśa. When the unit self is associated with the cosmic it is called “bhakti” or “devotion”, but when it is associated with the mundane it is called “attachment”. You must withdraw your mental propensities from all external objects – no matter what they might be – and channelize them only towards Parama Puruśa. Only when you direct them towards Him, can it be called bhakti. If you allow your mind to become fascinated by any other object, it is called “ásakti” or “attachment”. When your only desire is for Iishvara, it is called “Iishvara-bhakti”, but when that attachment is for wine, for example, it is called ásakti for wine. An attachment for any object other than Parama Puruśa is called “ásakti”.” (4)

“The meaning of the word bhakti is “attraction to the Supreme”. When the attraction is to something limited, it is called ásakti, and when the attraction is to the Supreme, it is devotion, bhakti. There is no compromise, no meeting point, between ásakti and bhakti, between attraction to the Supreme and attraction to the objects of the world. In ásakti, the feeling is that I get the object. In bhakti, the feeling is that I merge myself in Him. Where there is no desire, there the Lord lives. The Lord and the desire for the world, like the sun and the night, cannot coexist.” (5)

Namaskar,
at His lotus feet,
Candra Deva

REFERENCES
1. Subhasita Samgraha – 1, The Call of the Supreme
2. Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life – 2, Bhaktitattva
3. Subhasita Samgraha – 18, The Stance of Salvation and How to Attain It
4. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 7, The True Nature of Bhakti
5. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, The Bliss of the Devotee

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

*****************************
O’ Human Being

“O human beings, proceed on the path of Oṋḿkara towards subtleness. Do not run after the superficial, pleasant mirage dominated by tamoguńa. Establish yourself in sattvaguńa and then merge yourself into Brahma. Reach the point whence oṋḿkára has started. Awaken your latent dynamism through sádhaná and devotion, arouse your divine wisdom and merge that pure divinity into the endless stream of divine glory. Attain the Supreme state for which you have suffered tremendous privations. Today you have the most favourable opportunity to prove yourself as human being.” (Ananda Marga Philosophy – 4, Our Spiritual Treatise)
*****************************

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From: “Mirabai _”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Harmful Competition
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 21:54:33

Baba

== HARMFUL COMPETITION ==

Namaskar,
After years of heated debate and public pressure, the Pentagon (US military headquarters) lifted the ban and gave approval for women to fight on the front lines of the battlefield. In some western nations like the US, this has been a critical issue. Yes, women were allowed to serve in the military. No, they were not intentionally put in dangerous combat zones. Now – at least in the US – that has all changed. Over time, female soldiers will be put in positions of direct combat.

Event then the debate continues: Some women state that women should not be put in harm’s way on the front lines, while a very vocal group of women is demanding that women must be given the right to fight on the front lines and battle the enemy face to face.

In our Ananda Marga, we have our stand based on Baba’s teachings. As we know, males and females have different physical characteristics and capacities. In particular, males are also physically stronger than females.

Baba says, “”There are people who, in the name of giving equal rights to women in all spheres of life, want them to engage in heavy physical and mental labour which is unsuitable for them. Such an outlook is deplorable. It must be accepted that the physical bodies and nervous systems of women are not as strong as those of men, so men and women cannot work in identical areas. Apart from this, for physical reasons women cannot work in the same way every day of the month, and during pregnancy and the post-delivery period the ability to work strenuously is severely restricted. These points must not be overlooked.” (1)

“As in the societies of most other species, in human society also females are physically weaker than males. Because their nervous systems are weaker, their minds are also slightly weak. Nevertheless women have no less value in human society than men. Selfish men, however, have disregarded the value of women; they have taken full advantage, and are continuing to take full advantage, of their weakness. Although men have publicly declared that women should be respected as the mothers of society, they have actually relegated them to the status of domestic cattle and sheep.” (2)

“The physical and mental structure of a woman is such that even though she may have all the requisite ability to take care of her children, it is extremely difficult for her to bring them up properly and to adequately provide for food, clothing, education and medical care all alone; at the same time she has to keep her children with her or near her, or else it becomes difficult for the children to survive. Therefore if men, instead of women, take the main responsibility for providing food and clothing, while women, after duly attending to the needs of the children, where possible or in cases of necessity earn money by working either at home or outside, neither the children nor society will be adversely affected in any way.” (3)

“As the physical strength of women is less than that of men, the latter should always endeavour to save the prestige of women…Special attention should be paid to the comforts of women during festivals, at spiritual conferences, and on other occasions.” (4)

Furthermore, because males are stronger that is why games and sports are done separately: Women compete against women and men compete against men.

Clearly then females do not have the physical strength & stamina that males have. So less physical strength is a critical reason we do not support the recent decision to allow women to fight on the front lines.

STICK TO STRENGTHS & BE AWARE OF LIMITATIONS

In our Ananda Marga, we believe that one’s inherent capacity should be used for the welfare of society. Among their qualities, men possess physical might so they be the ones involved in strenuous activities like fighting on the front lines. In contrast, women possess their own set of strengths that can be applied for the betterment of society.

For instance, males do not have the right temperament or sentiment to raise infants. That is why in the west we see a rash of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS): “Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a form of physical child abuse that occurs when an abuser [predominantly male] violently shakes an infant or small child, creating a whiplash-type motion that results permanent brain damage and even death.” So it is the males that feel emotionally overwhelmed and challenged by the prospect of caring for infants. (See Note 1)

In contrast, females have greater sentimental feeling and greater attraction toward the baby. Naturally women are more suited to raising young babies and infants. In addition, Baba has furthermore said that Didis should demand running all the primary schools of Ananda Marga. Here the point is that wherever emotion and sentiment are paramount, then females will do that work better than males.

Whereas physically tough jobs like using a bulldozer or working on a garbage truck, or managing a chain saw should be for men.

Certainly, anybody can do anything – there are always exceptions – but generally women will harm themselves doing hard physical labor like fighting on the front lines. So the basic rule is that males should do physically demanding work and females should attend to sentimental jobs. When these roles are switched – i.e. when men involve in things that demand sentiment or when women attend to duties that demand physical might – then problems invariably arise.

This letter is not intended for fault-finding with or accusing any gender. This is for everyone’s welfare. We all have our limitations. Humans cannot glide or fly like birds without a machine so sane people do not jump out of tall buildings and try to fly in the sky. Likewise, regardless of our gender, we should be aware of our inherent strengths and limitations.

Around the globe, in the general society, females have been exploited so much that there has developed a certain competition between the sexes. Rather than being complementary to one another, there is the feeling of competition to outdo the other. Hence, many women have turned to trying to outgun their male counterparts in traditionally male areas of ability. This is an unfortunate development born out of years and generations of the exploitation and suppression of women.

ANOTHER CRITICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

Physical strength is not the only physical difference between males and females.

For instance, the female cranium is smaller than the male cranium. That is one basic physical difference. Generally speaking, a bigger cranium means more brain power. We see that in any species where the brain is smaller then it is less developed. And when the brain is bigger it is more developed.

However, humans are unique in this regard. Much of the brain capacity of humans goes unused. The human brain has a tremendous capacity. So regardless of whether one is a male or female, much of their brain power is unused. There is very little practical difference between males and females in this regard. You will find foolish males and intelligent female and vice versa.

Here is Baba’s teaching about the size of the cranium.

Baba says, “Generally the cranium of a female is smaller than that of a male. If you see the skull of a female skeleton, you will notice that the upper portion of the skull is smaller. Those who are eunuchs by birth have still smaller craniums…If a male becomes a female by biological processes, he will not suffer from headaches as such; he will have no difficulty. But if a female becomes a male, she will suffer difficulties because the cranium is smaller; that is, the brain is smaller.” (5)

Here the overall all point is that Baba clearly points out that there are distinct physical differences between males and females. But there is no need to develop a complex about why males and females are not equal in the physical might. Those trying to rebuff this idea are harming themselves.

REASONS WHY WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE PUT ON THE FRONT LINES

Here are some of the stated reasons being championed by women who feel women should NOT be on the front lines:

(A) “The female skeletal system is less dense, and more prone to breakages. There is also a concern that, in aviation, the female body is not as adept at handling the increased g-forces experienced by combat pilots…Furthermore, health issues regarding women are argued as the reason that some submarine services avoid accepting women…The Center for Military Readiness, an organization that seeks to limit women’s participation in the military, stated that “Female soldiers [are], on average, shorter and smaller than men, with 45-50% less upper body strength and 25-30% less aerobic capacity, which is essential for endurance”.” (Wikipedia)

(B) In order to compete with men physically, many women sacrifice their womanhood and take steroids to develop muscles etc. But this creates hormonal imbalance as well as psychic imbalance. In many cases, they lose their fertility. This point is embedded within a greater schema. When women aim to compete with men in male-oriented activities, then they end up harming themselves. Allowing women on the front lines to engage in combat is only going to exacerbate this problem. More women will suffer the ill effects of competing with men in male-driven endeavors.

(C) Another argument against the inclusion of women in combat units is that placing women in combat where they are at risk of being captured and tortured and possibly sexually assaulted is unacceptable. In a Presidential Commission report it was found that male POWs, while being subject to physical abuse, were never subject to sexual abuse, and women were almost always subject to sexual abuse.

CONCLUSION

It only stands to reason then that in our armies and combat troops, women should not fight on the front lines. That type of hand-to-hand combat should be done by males only.

We should not allow females to compete with males in this way: Females will be harmed, society will be harmed, and children will be harmed. There is no benefit in any direction.

Males and females are both the creation of Parama Purusa. Parama Purusa has made those physical bodies so we should not destroy them needlessly by competing with one another on the wrong front.

MORE OF BABA’S TEACHINGS ON THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND GENDER ISSUES

“In every sphere of life men have either substantially limited the rights of women, or made the ability of women to exercise their rights subject to the whims and caprices of men. Such an attitude never existed among the primitive human beings who lived at the dawn of human history. Nor had primitive men conceived of the deceitful practice of establishing their supremacy by keeping women in bondage in the name of social purity. Even today among primitive races we do not find significant lack of magnanimity concerning the freedom of women.” (6)

“Actually, when there is no question of women’s rights having been snatched away, there is no need for a movement styled on the trade-union movement. Whatever responsibility there may be in this regard, it is entirely that of men. If at all a movement is required, it must be implemented by men themselves. Today men should consider the needs of women and gradually restore to women the rights which women once entrusted to men out of feelings of helplessness or in response to their heartfelt sentiments.” (7)

“It must always be remembered that freedom, or liberty, and license are not the same thing. The concept of women’s freedom is good, but license should not be encouraged in the name of liberty. Giving license to either men or women could destroy the social structure in a short time. Hence those who are the most vocal in proposing the freedom of women must carefully consider the form this proposed freedom shall take.” (8)

“When we pay recognition to any simple truth, we should not be carried away by sentimentality. Only rationality based on humanism is acceptable. As children of nature, women should have the same access as men to light, air, earth and water. In fact, it is not a matter of granting rights to women, but rather a case of recognizing their rights. If, however, the recognition of women’s rights is treated sentimentally, it may result in great social disaster.” (9)

“In most countries society is patrilineal. The patrilineal system has some advantage over the matrilineal one. There are two main advantages.”
“The first advantage stems from the fact that it is not as easy to determine the identity of the father as that of the mother, and in the absence of any direct blood relationship the mother’s affection for her children is generally greater than the father’s. Under these circumstances the patrilineal system is much better, for it awakens in the father a proper sense of responsibility for his children and precludes the possibility of the children’s identity remaining unknown or concealed. And the father is compelled by circumstantial pressure to take responsibility for bringing up his children; and therefore makes an effort to properly preserve the structure of the family. (Among less-developed creatures, fathers rarely take care of their offspring due to the absence of this sort of circumstantial pressure.)
“The second advantage of the patrilineal system complements the first. Since the relationship between the father and the child is known, the mother naturally does not feel so very alone in rearing the child. The physical and mental structure of a woman is such that even though she may have all the requisite ability to take care of her children, it is extremely difficult for her to bring them up properly and to adequately provide for food, clothing, education and medical care all alone; at the same time she has to keep her children with her or near her, or else it becomes difficult for the children to survive. Therefore if men, instead of women, take the main responsibility for providing food and clothing, while women, after duly attending to the needs of the children, where possible or in cases of necessity earn money by working either at home or outside, neither the children nor society will be adversely affected in any way.” (10)

“I do not support the supposed wisdom of those who advise women to spend their lives with ladles, [[tongs]] and spatulas, because this is unrealistic. Necessity often compels women to discard this convention. Such a system may suit a handful of rich or upper middle-class people, but it has no value for day-labourers or the poor. Many of those who loudly advocate equal rights and the freedom of women, in reality keep their women behind a purdah or covered with a burka. Even among such families I have noticed poor housewives going to the market with their husbands to buy and sell, or to the fields, farms or coal mines, voluntarily taking on light work. Evidently, they cannot afford to behave ostentatiously and live indolently behind a lace curtain.”
“However, there are people who, in the name of giving equal rights to women in all spheres of life, want them to engage in heavy physical and mental labour which is unsuitable for them. Such an outlook is deplorable. It must be accepted that the physical bodies and nervous systems of women are not as strong as those of men, so men and women cannot work in identical areas. Apart from this, for physical reasons women cannot work in the same way every day of the month, and during pregnancy and the post-delivery period the ability to work strenuously is severely restricted. These points must not be overlooked.” (11)

“Social interaction: There are diverse views among those who formulate social codes concerning the free mixing of men and women. It does not require much logic to convince people that the final outcome of free mixing in an undisciplined society is unhealthy. It is also true, however, that the absence of social interaction creates a suppressed longing, a special attraction or an unhealthy curiosity, as does the denial of other desires. This may lead to illicit mixing, which eventually undermines social purity. A system that thwarts social interaction is nothing but an attempt to suppress the mind. Where there is illicit mixing, the only harm done to men is that they degenerate morally, but the damage to women is far greater, because they may be cast out of society in disgrace. Thus on the one hand, men and women will have to be free to mix together socially, while on the other hand, a well-thought-out code of self-control will have to guide their social interaction.”
“Those who want to keep their daughters away from the influence of modernism, and are therefore reluctant to send them to school and college, perhaps do not realize that long ago the waves of modernism intruded into the privacy of their homes without their knowledge. So their efforts to protect their daughters and themselves by following the custom of purdah and making women wear burkas, are entirely farcical.”
“The trend of the age is irresistible, for in this too there is dynamism. It is the duty of intelligent people to channelize the trend of the age towards the path of benevolence by applying their intellect. Neither the individual nor the society as a whole is capable of resisting the powerful spirit of the age. It knocks down anyone who tries to thwart it, and proceeds ahead with irresistible speed. Those knocked down and sprawled on the ground stare at it in utter helplessness, with dazed minds and vacant eyes, as it marches by.” (12)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Mirabai

Note 1: MORE ABOUT SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

Shaken baby syndrome happens primarily with male guardians, less so with female guardians. A mother who is truly attached with her baby can never do such things. Males are more apt to get frustrated and act inappropriately with the baby. Sometimes paid nannies and baby-sitters also act in this way. Why does this happen? Because, at that young age the baby cries, cries, and cries. Those not wholly attached with the baby can get frustrated and unnerved by that crying. They might shake the baby violently, but not the mother. Unfortunately, some mothers work full-time – i.e. competing in the male-dominated workplace – and then when she returns home tired in the evening, she might hire a nanny to help care for the baby. And that nanny may act inappropriately. This is yet another reason why females should not compete with males, neither on the battlefield nor in the workplace. Females must have their dignified place in society where they are not bound or coaxed into competing against males.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000004.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/nyregion/li-hangbin-goes-on-trial-in-shaken-baby-death-of-his-daughter.html?_r=0

Note 2: REFERENCES

1. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
2. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
3. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
4. Caryacarya 1, “Social Relationship between Men and Women”
5. Yoga Psychology
6. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
7. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
8. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
9. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
10. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
11. Human Society – 1, Social Justice
12. Human Society – 1, Social Justice

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Date: 19 Jan 2013 21:39:00 -0400
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Miguel
Subject: Big Questions About World Events

Baba

=== BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT WORLD EVENTS ===

Namaskar,
These days the ongoing trend is that countries, both the so-called wealthy ones and impoverished, spend huge money on constructing fancy buildings and glamorous stadiums to enhance the prestige of their nation for international sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup.

Yet side by side the living standard of their own citizens is shockingly low: shanty towns, no running water, lack of food, no clothes for the children, etc. This has been the unfortunate trend and now we see that continuing with the upcoming events in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

BRASIL TO HOST TWO BIG EVENTS

At present, Brazil is gearing up to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be hosted in Rio. At minimum, estimates are that Brasil will spend nearly $35 billion to host these two events. That figure does not take into consideration private sector and future public sector funding.

They are building 12 fancy new or renovated stadiums, airports, hotels and so many other works – and that is just for the World Cup. Two years later in 2016 there will be far more in place for the Olympics. Actually since 2009, Rio has been pouring money into construction in preparation for the Olympics.

While all these tens of billions of dollars are spent on these sporting venues, not less than 25% of Rio’s population, or 1.5 million people, are suffering and live without the basic necessities. The million-plus residents of Rio de Janeiro’s shantytowns (favelas) still find their lives controlled by violent drug gangs and that the crime rate in Rio ranks among the highest in the world, and many of them will be uprooted and relocated before 2014. Their lives will not improve an ounce due to the spending of $35 billion, just they will be forgotten.

And before anyone thinking that the $35 billion will jumpstart the economy let us not forget this recent history:

“Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, which were so over budget and rife with scandal and corruption that the benefits for the city were practically nil.”

So this is the long-standing problem. Host nations spend billions, the nation’s poor are trampled upon, and in the end there is little to show except financial debt and stadiums that will never be used again.

SYSTEMIC PROBLEM

So many other nations have been involved in similar propositions – both past and present, everything from the building of the Konark temple (Orissa) in the vipran era to countries hosting the Olympics in this present vaeshyan era.

In all such cases huge resources have been allocated by the state to create glorious structures and impress people across the world stage, yet side by side those living in the vicinity of those stadiums lack the basic necessities (food, water, shelter) and will never ever get the chance to enter or use those facilities either.

Should such activities be allowed to continue? What is the cause behind such maneuvers? What is Prout’s stand?

TWO MAIN CAUSES: Part 1

There are two main causes behind this current problem: (a) wastage of money, and (b) heartlessness and lack of concern for the suffering humanity.

Prout’s stand is for the rational utilization and proper distribution of all resources (physical, psychic and spiritual) and the very essence of Prout is about giving a voice to the voiceless, i.e. having heart-felt sympathy for those in need.

Thus whether it be the huge monies spent by countries like Greece (2004), China (2008), Canada (2010), London (2012) to host the Olympics or lavish airports in cities like Chicago or Bangkok, those governments indulge in tremendous spending to show the world how modern and perfect their land is, when in fact all around there is struggle and strife amongst the masses.

When governments procure just a little extra money then they embark on such prestigious projects and completely overlook the well-being of the common people – i.e. the very people whom they are supposed to serve. Plus those same leaders spend all their brain power convincing the common masses that this is indeed that right way to spend the state’s money. That is how both the over accumulation of physical and psychic resources plays out in these scenarios.

For instance, Greece spent every penny they had to host the 2004 Olympics – not only that they incurred a huge debt, from which they are still suffering today. So the huge amount of funds they poured into the Olympics failed to resolve so many internal issues for their citizens – things like education, job stability etc. Now today, their situation is even worse as their entire government faces bankruptcy. And one of the root causes is spending on lavish arrangements for the Olympics.

TWO MAIN CAUSES: Part 2

Side by side there is a heartlessness involved. The powers that be pay a deaf ear and blind eye to the suffering and want of the common people. Whether it be naked children, rotting schools, or food shortages, those wealthy bureaucrats justify that the poor people bring it upon themselves and the state is therefore not responsible. Or those rulers simply do not even give it a second thought. Whatever the case may be, with their callous hearts they overlook the suffering of their own people.

Huge state expenditures are made for events like the Olympics and the World Cup, yet when all is said and done, the common people receive no support at all. Just they were left to wallow in their own struggle while their elected and appointed officials revile in the glory of being a host on the world stage. For the sake of the prestige of a few, an entire people are made to suffer.

Such leaders live a heartless existence. They look away from those in need – i.e. their own people.

WASTAGE OF MONEY AT PAST SUCH EVENTS

One striking example of this is how South Africa spent 10 billion rand to erect a huge, new football stadiums for the World Cup 2010, yet that same country remains home to terrible poverty – and high criminal activity as a result.

It was reported that in 2002, that an estimated 11 million children (between the ages of 0-18) are living in dire poverty in South Africa and in the capital city itself there are 50 – 70 homicides a day. Plus there are innumerable other stark reports which delineate the extreme and dire situation in South Africa.

Yet all the countries financial and natural resources were used to hold the World Cup in 2010.

Prior to and during the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver B.C., there were lots of protests that this was the wrong way to spend the state’s money. After all, they constructed stadiums and venues to impress the world and built an Olympic village to house the athletes, only to tear down the village the day after it was over and watch those stadiums sit empty for the coming years. That is what has happened so many times in the past from Barcelona (1992) to Atlanta (1996) to Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008).

Each time the host country tries to impress the world with their modern construction and side by side cover up and hide their poverty.

The Olympics is certainly the biggest stage but it also happens with events like the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and even with university tournaments etc. In this vaeshyan era, maximum money is spent on sporting venues whereas in the past during the vipran era all the public monies were used for the construction of cathedrals and temples.

Nowadays in Europe, less than 2% of the population attends church in some countries, yet still there are huge cathedrals and church lands from the days when the vipras were in power and the church controlled much of the wealth. Those days also money was used frivolously at the expense of the welfare of the common people – just so that they could boast that they had the most elegant cathedral etc.

Baba says, “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)

OLYMPICS DOES NOT BRING PEACE

Some attest that the Olympics bring peace and amity. Let’s take a closer look to see if this or not. In 1936, Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics in Berlin and shortly thereafter World War II began. Throughout the Cold War period, nations like the US and USSR participated in countless Olympics, but that never eased political or military tensions. Likewise India and Pakistan have been participating in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games for years, all the while they have remained antagonistic towards one another. As Ananda Margiis, we should bear in mind that peace only comes with the eradication of exploitation. So long as there is exploitation there will never be peace, regardless of a country’s involvement in the Olympic games or not.

SOLUTION FOR HOLDING OLYMPICS

Various international organisations like the United Nations etc do not build new offices every time they hold a meeting. Rather they return to the same venue again and again. The same should be done with the Olympics. There can be 4 fixed sites around the globe. The Olympics can simply rotate through those 4 venues, returning to the same site every 16 years. That way each facility can be of a premium standard and well maintained. An international board will manage the sites and distribute profits to all nations. During “off years” when the Olympics is not being held at a particular site then that location can be used for the Asia games or other competitions. This will bring regular use and income to each site. It will not be like the way things are now where an entire Olympic sporting complex is built for the Olympics, only to sit unused and fall into disrepair as soon as the games are over.

BABA’S RELEVANT TEACHINGS

Ananda Marga philosophy says, “It is desirable that the management of industrial, agricultural, trade and commercial enterprises not be in the hands of the central government or the world government (after the establishment of the world government). If it is, the common people will not get the direct or even the indirect opportunity to participate in the management of these enterprises. In such cases capitalists, opportunists or self-seeking politicians can easily take control of them and misappropriate public wealth.” (2)

“That is, these days, a person who possesses wealth is respected and revered whereas a person without money is a person honoured by none. The poor, whoever they may be, have to woo the rich just for the sake of earning their livelihood. Human values have become meaningless, for human beings have become the means for the rich to earn money. The rich, having purchased the human mind with their money, are busy playing a game of chess with the other members of society. Bereft of everything, people toil round the clock to earn a mere pittance. Today the motto of people is, “I have to send some food particles into the apathetic stomach after somehow taking a dip in the muddy water amidst hyacinths.”” (3)

“Those who are at the helm of society, constantly suspicious of others, forever count their losses and profits. They have no desire to think about the plight of humanity. Rather, to gratify themselves they are ready to chew the human bone, and suck human blood. For the self-centred there is no place for feelings of mercy, sympathy or camaraderie. The railway stations and market places are full of half-clad beggars and lepers desperately stretching out their begging bowls, earning their livelihood in the only way they know. They are fortunate if anyone contemptuously flings them a copper coin. The old blind beggars sitting all day long on the steps of a bridge automatically lift their bowls whenever anyone walks past. But their hungry pleas fall on deaf ears. On the other side of the social coin, sumptuous dishes are being prepared to entertain the rich dignitaries. These contrasts ridicule the present human society.” (4)

“Today, those who occupy high posts are also respected. Dignity is attached to post or rank. A station master will take great pains to prepare the railway minister’s visit, but will never trouble himself with the inconveniences faced by the ordinary passengers. Luxurious houses are built for high-ranking officers while the poor live in shanty towns, barely protected from the elements. I don’t say that large houses should never be built, but that everyone should be provided the minimum requirements. “I admit that both rice and tasty dishes are necessary for people, but I shall not demand a sumptuous dish from the goddess of food until I see that India has been overflooded with an abundance of rice.”” (5)

“These days educated people are so proud of their erudition that they detest illiterate people and avoid the company of commoners. Thus they shun village life and live in towns. When the question of returning to the village crops up, they say, “What on earth would we do in a village? There’s not a single person to talk to. Only idiots live there.” This explains why almost all attention is focused on the urban areas to the detriment of the villages. While soliciting votes, political leaders pay a short visit to the villages with a mouthful of attractive promises. They promptly inform the ignorant populace about their great achievements in constructing huge dams; though perhaps village cultivation is becoming impossible due to want of irrigation. They give detailed descriptions about their plans to build bridges and bungalows and install television sets, though perhaps in that village people die for want of medicine, or beg for food in poverty-stricken desperation. And yet the common villagers constitute the backbone of society. Even in the towns not everyone gets equal opportunities. The pavements have become the home for so many people. Rabindranath says, “There are always a number of uncelebrated people in the human civilization. They are the majority, and they are the medium, but they have no time to become human beings. They are raised on the leftovers of the national wealth. They are poorly dressed and receive little education, yet they serve the rest of society. They give maximum labour but are rewarded with ignominy – they die of starvation or are tortured to death by those they serve. They are deprived of all life’s amenities. They are the candlestick of civilization: they stand erect with the candle resting on their head. Everyone gets light from it, while they suffer the discomfort of the wax trickling down their sides. In this way, the dishonest of humanity or the neglect of human values has become a social malady.””(6)

Namaskar,
at His lotus feet,
Mantreshvar

Note 1: REFERENCES

(1) Rahr-6
(2) Problems of the Day, #11
(3) A Few Problems Solved – 2, Social Values and Human Cardinal Principles
(4) A Few Problems Solved – 2, Social Values and Human Cardinal Principles
(5) A Few Problems Solved – 2, Social Values and Human Cardinal Principles
(6) A Few Problems Solved – 2, Social Values and Human Cardinal Principles

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From: dgp.1@mananerssmarket….
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:58:43 00:00)
Subject: Answer: Parents Who Had Police Arrest Their Teenage Daughter

Baba

== ANSWER: PARENTS WHO HAD POLICE ARREST THEIR TEENAGE DAUGHTER ==

Namaskar,
Many replied to the recently posted article (link below) about the parents who had police officials arrest their teenage daughter and her friend. Here below is a point-by-point evaluation, according to the tenets of Ananda Marga teachings and philosophy.

The following then is in response to the query: Was it appropriate and beneficial for the parents to have their daughter and her friend arrested?

PARENTS ARE TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE

– As parents, they are responsible for imparting proper ideals to their children. But this they failed to do: They are the cause, not the kids.

– Those parents had the power to forgive those kids for doing wrong as it was a mistake in personal life, not collective life. That is Baba’s teaching: To forgive people for personal mistakes, i.e. if they harm you personally.

Baba says, “In individual life you can extend maximum forgiveness – rather, the more forgiveness, the better.” (1)

But those parents did not take such an approach. Rather, by arresting their teenage daughter, those parents acted out of vengeance and spite.

– When the parents took that big step to call the police and have their child arrested, then they essentially ruined the short and long-term relation with their child. Instead of acting as benevolent parents watching for the welfare of their priceless child, they acted like agents interested in punishing a wrongdoer. Naturally, that child will always recall how their parents acted towards them.

HOW PARENTS TEACH THEIR CHILDREN TO LIE

Here are some of Baba’s key teachings on this topic:

“When the parents are about to go on a trip or go to a show, or when they are invited to a pleasant function or a social outing, the children may start whining or nattering to accompany them. At such times many parents tell lies without a qualm; somehow they dupe their children and leave. When the children realize what has happened, they also learn to tell lies; and to hide their intentions or their actions from their parents, they gradually start lying more and more.”
“Parents deceive their children in many ways. By calling sweet things bitter and pleasant things unpleasant, they prevent their children from enjoying them. But by disregarding parental injunctions and prying inquisitively, as is the wont of human nature, children discover the truth. Then they realize that their parents have been deceiving them. As a result they start deceiving not only their parents, but their friends and classmates as well. So it is abundantly clear that children are taught the first lessons in the arts of lying and deception by their own parents at home.”
“In a family it is natural that differences of opinion will arise among the adults; when they do, the adults should reconcile their differences considering each other’s opinions. Unfortunately they often lack the requisite mental make-up to reach an amicable agreement – each tries to convince everybody else of his or her viewpoint without caring about the opinions of others. The result is an outburst of unreasonable obstinacy – the adults lose all self-control and behave in a gross and vulgar manner. The effect on the minds of the children is disastrous. Children thus learn obstinacy from their elders. If the mother or those with whom the children spend most of their time is obstinate, the neglected children will, in most cases, become noticeably obstinate, and they will have to carry this psychic ailment around with them for a long time. If, on the other hand, as is sometimes the case, the wishes and desires (if they are not unreasonable) of children are fulfilled, the children will not have the opportunity to learn obstinacy.” (2)

PARENTS MUST IMPART MORAL AND SPIRITUAL EDUCATION

“It must be the teachers’ responsibility to impart knowledge, teach restraint in social life, and give instruction about all the various aspects of collective endeavour, but the parents will have to take on most of the responsibility for the moral and spiritual education of the child. It should be the duty of society as a whole to ensure that the children of immoral and unrighteousness parents are brought up as virtuous citizens. If possible such children should be removed from the unwholesome environment of their parents.” (3)

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY LIES WITH PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

“The mental outlook of children has already been moulded in a particular fashion by the influence of their family environment before they start school. No matter what or how much they learn at school, it is extremely difficult for them to free themselves from the influence of their family. Drawing on what they have learned in the family, the immature minds of children begin to learn about the world and understand it, and to receive ideas and master language so that they can express those ideas. Unhesitatingly they adopt their elders’ way of looking at the world. Hence the primary responsibility for acquainting children with the world lies with their parents or guardians. Children will become assets of society in the future to the extent that their parents or guardians discharge their duties properly.” (4)

“But who will impart moral training or education? Parents find fault with teachers, and teachers in turn argue that they cannot give personal attention to an individual child in a crowd of two or three hundred children. Although it is true that most parents are either uneducated or semi-educated, and while it is not unreasonable to expect that teachers will be well-educated, it is not proper to place the sole responsibility for children’s moral education on the shoulders of their teachers. Increasing the number of teachers in educational institutions may partially solve the problem of moral education, but the key to the solution lies with the parents themselves. In cases where the parents are unfit to shoulder this responsibility, the teachers and well-wishers of society will have to come forward and demonstrate their greater sense of responsibility.”
“Remember, humanity’s very existence is based on morality; when morality leads human beings to the fullest expression of their finer human qualities, then alone is its practical value fully realized. The concerted effort to bridge the gap between the first expression of morality and establishment in universal humanism is called “social progress”. And the collective body of those who are engaged in the concerted effort to conquer this gap, I call “society”.” (5)

GUILTY OF ENCOURAGING ANTI-SOCIAL MENTALITY

“Some parents may claim that it is impossible to maintain a balanced life in an age full of problems, where they are extremely busy with numerous activities. I maintain, however, that it is possible for an intelligent parent to avoid the mistakes I have discussed. If parents fail to carry out their basic duties, I am compelled to say that, although they live in society, they are guilty of encouraging an antisocial mentality. By encouraging their children to develop a criminal psychology, they give unnecessary trouble to the police. The main point is this: for want of a little care, children are deprived of the opportunity to become complete human beings, even though they have a human structure. (6)

ROLE OF SAMA’JA GURUS

“Whatever thoughts any small child, or boy or girl, or adolescent, youth, middle-aged person or old person may have in their individual lives, in family life it is the responsibility of the guardians of the family to control them. Children are generally like their parents. But the overall responsibility of guardianship lies with the samája gurus. They should see that no one’s thoughts cross the line from that which it would be better to forsake, to that which is actually punishable. And as in individual life, so in social life, the samája gurus should see that the collective thinking does not cross the line from that which it would be better to forsake, to that which is actually punishable. If, in spite of everything, people’s defective thoughts do reach the stage of punishability, indiscipline will affect the entire social structure. To put an end to the indiscipline and restore order to social life is the major responsibility of a sadvipra. For this reason there is no place for carefree relaxation in a sadvipra’s life. A sadvipra has to bear, and staunchly bear, the entire responsibility of protecting society. If the mentality of any group of the society reaches the punishable stage, sadvipras will have to form another and more disciplined group.” (7)

KEEPING BAD COMPANY CAUSES DEPRAVITY

“If the parents or older members of a family are quarrelsome, the children will also become quarrelsome due to constant association. Similarly, if the women of a family have a highly critical nature, the children will invariably become critical because they will learn how to criticize from their elders. Children will also tend to become depraved if they associate too closely with older children in schools or colleges. When they stay among children their own age, however, they generally play in an innocent, joyous way. Childhood companions should be selected with great care, but young children are incapable of doing this.”
“The base propensities which lie dormant in everyone are easily stimulated by constant association with bad people. Through the united efforts of parents, people living in the locality and educators, it may be possible to save children from bad company. But it is very difficult to save them from the evil influences which reside in their own homes or preponderate in their neighbourhood. The only way to overcome such influences is to popularize the ideals of dharma, spread moral education and train an honest police force.”
“In the modern world there is a wide variety of films which excite the passions and have a degrading influence on boys and girls, adolescents and young men and women. Such films create in cinema-goers the desire to emulate in their individual lives the criminal activities, the vulgar expressions of love, or the adventurous behaviour that they see enacted on the screen. This is another example of how keeping bad company causes depravity. Many cinema-goers imagine that the characters that they see on the screen are their actual acquaintances, but when they try to emulate these characters, they discover that the real world is much tougher than the world portrayed by the cinema. If their family ties are weak, if they are their own guardians or if they have no high ideals to inspire them, it will be extremely difficult, although not impossible, to save them from bad influences.
“As long as those who become criminals due to keeping bad company are not transformed into habitual criminals, they will return to their normal good behaviour as soon as they give up the bad company. Therefore, during the trials of such criminals, corrective measures should be taken only after giving due consideration to the company they keep and the influence of this company on their behaviour. But in the case of those who have become habitual criminals, simply removing them from bad company will not suffice, because they themselves are their own bad company. For them, stricter measures will be needed.” (8)

With regards to the current case, certainly those teens must have gotten such an idea by reading novels, watching films, or playing video games etc. That is why we say that society is responsible.

IN ANANDA MARGA KIDS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE (FOR THEIR WRONGDOING)

By reading Baba’s above teachings it is clear that kids are not responsible for their wrongdoing. The responsibility lies first and foremost with parents. They must inculcate moral and spiritual codes to the child. Next, teachers are responsible for inspiring students and imparting knowledge. And finally, society is responsible for the upbringing of the child.

According to Ananda Marga philosophy, here is the hierarchy of responsibility for the child’s proper growth and development:
1) Parents;
2) Teachers;
3) Society.

Here following are points for how to address the situation if the kids are older and more mature (i.e. above 18 years of age). Then these following steps are important considerations that may help to resolve some of the issues.

WHAT TO DO IN SIMILAR SITUATION

IF BOYS AND GIRLS ARE MORE MATURE ETC

– Another key point to bear in mind is that in Ananda Marga, if anyone does any wrong, then we follow Baba’a given steps for shasti – rectification. And the first step is: “First attempt to bring the guilty person around through sweet words.” (9)

As the article did not indicate that the girls were repeat offenders etc, then we can safely assume this is their first offense of this nature. In that case, according to Ananda Marga ideals, the parents should have talked to the children in a kind and gentle manner. Most kids are soft-hearted and by explaining things in the soft and safe way, the children might have immediately felt terribly about what they had done. This is a highly possible outcome, but it seems such an opportunity never came their way.

Yet this approach would have helped so much: The children would have understood their wrong; the children would have realised that their parents really do love them and are not out to get them per se; the children would have gained a greater perspective of the situation; and, the teens would have realised they themselves could have done things differently.

This is a distinct possibility if Guru’s teachings on shasti had been followed:

“First attempt to bring the guilty person around through sweet words.” (10)

KIDS WERE NOT TAUGHT ABOUT THE RULE

– From the outset, the parents may not have tried to teach and show their teenage daughter that their rule about internet use was for her well-being. If they spoke in a gentle manner, this could have been conveyed. But the kids were never lovingly taught this idea. Instead they felt that a harsh and unfair rule had been imposed on them. So they took action to side-step this rule.

YOUTHS TAKE RISKS

– First off, we have to bear in mind that these two girls are just teenagers. Their minds and bodies are not fully developed; their brain is not fully developed, including the frontal lobe which is critically important for evaluating risky situations. Being teens, only 15 years old or so, they cannot assess the inherent dangers of a situation. They did not consider the consequences of their action. The following article explains more about this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2396566/

– It seems quite clear that their intention was not to seriously harm their parents. If so, they would have inserted a lethal dose of that drug. Instead, they aimed to put their parents to sleep earlier. That does not justify what they did, but it does give a perspective of their overall motivation and intention.

KIDS PRISONS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION

– Once parents take the radical step of having their child arrested by the police, then it is basically certain that those kids will never remain at home again. As soon as possible they will leave their parents and never look back.

– Kids prison is not the right place to learn good habits. Rather in such institutions, detained youths (inmates) brag about the wrongs they did. When those kids tell everyone what they did, then those inmates will not be impressed. Rather they will say, “You should have done more.” In kids prison, prestige is earned by how much harm one has done. Teens will get all the wrong teachings in such a detention center.

– Kids prison itself is not the solution – that is purely a punitive measure where teen inmates will become emotionally and psychically scarred. Here we have to remember that in Ananda Marga, our approach towards justice is towards rectification; it is not punitive in nature.

Ananda Marga philosophy says, “People only have the right to take corrective measures and not punitive measures…for the preservation of society, if people want to take measures against others, those measures will have to be corrective, not punitive. Even if the judicial system is defective, if only corrective measures are taken then there is no possibility of anyone coming to any harm.” (11)

MUST PERSUADE TO DO GOOD – CANNOT FORCE IT

– Ultimately, the parents want their kids to be good. But one cannot make others become good through force – i.e. by threatening them and by having them arrested etc. That does not make a person good; goodness cannot be achieved through forced. Rather, to make a person good one must persuade, nurture, and encourage them.

“You can help someone to become good by making him understand, but no one becomes good through the application of force. You may persuade, you may bring them onto the path of righteousness by helping them to understand. This you can certainly do. If the sinner is engaged in sinful acts or keeps moving ahead on a sinful path, you can prevent that person from doing so by the application of force. But you cannot rectify him in this way.” (12)

AFTER BEING ARRESTED…

– After being arrested, the kids will have a poor self-image. They will not think highly of themselves, but will rather feel that they are lowly. This is the unfortunate psychic complex that they will suffer from: low self-esteem, i.e. that they are not good people.

– After being arrested, the future of those kids might be severely compromised. The distinct possibility is that their record may or may not be stained for life. Certainly if they try to run for public office their criminal history will become known to all. And even if they do not aim for public office, the police and society might always look upon them as convicts – in which case they will have trouble even getting a job. In many other fields of work such as childcare, nursing, counseling etc, they may be forced to give an oral or written response to queries about their past legalities etc. All because the parents chose to arrest those two teens, instead of talking to them in a caring and loving way.

Namaskar,
in Him,
Dharmendra

Note 1: LINK TO THE ORIGINAL LETTER ON THIS TOPIC

Here is a link to the first letter on this topic – and that posting contain the entire news article about this case of the parents having their child arrested.

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/01/domestic-issue-what-will-you-do-in-this.html

Note 2: CITATIONS

1. Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life – 11, Taking the Opposite Stance in Battle
2. Human Society Part 1, Education
3. Human Society Part 1, Education
4. Human Society Part 1, Education
5. Human Society Part 1, Moralism
6. Human Society Part 1, Education
7. Human Society Part 1, Justice
8. Human Society Part 1, Justice
9. Caryacarya – 2, Society, Pt # 28(a)
10. Caryacarya – 2, Society, Pt # 28(a)
11. Human Society Part 1, Justice
12. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 10

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

********************************************
One Should Assess Oneself on the Following
Baba says, “When human beings feel that, ‘Parama Purusa is my everything’, then that is called as sharan (shelter). No being can come under the sharan (shelter) of two different Entities. So what is the meaning of sharanagati (surrender)? When living beings give up their ‘I-feeling’ by withdrawing the mind from any other object and completely adopt the feeling that Parama Purusa alone is my everything.”
“Up to the time when any person is thinking that they are working with their own strength, then we should understand that the feeling of sharanagati has not yet come in them. And when human beings think that, ‘I am doing the work only with His strength’, it means the feeling of sharanagati has come in their mind. So when living beings start thinking that, ‘Whatever work I am doing, I am doing with His strength’, then they have the feeling of sharanagati.” (General Darshan, Patna DMC, 1970, [from audio tape])
Note: In general parlance people think, “I have done this or that”, but whatever may be, according to this quote such persons do not have sharanagati. In various meetings, sadhakas might brag, “I did this, or this was done by me.” They may think they are a devotee but they do not have sharanagati. All should measure their spiritual status by their inner feeling.
********************************************

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Subject: Re: Domestic Issue: What Will You Do In This Situation?
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 12:46:10 +1100
From: Marika and George Baumann
To: AM-GLOBAL

Baba

== RE: DOMESTIC ISSUE: WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THIS SITUATION ==

~ Part 2 ~

(Note: This is the second letter in this series; as it is very short, the first appears in its entirety below. – Eds)

Namaskar,
Of course what the girls did was wrong from both Ananda Marga and ordinary moral perspective. They cheated when they spiked the drinks, which is a form of lying. This is against Satya. Not only that, but they showed disrespect to the parents of one of them, and went against their wishes.

And not only that, but they secretly administered medication to them, which might have caused them real harm had they drank all of it. Where was their love for all creation, not to speak of their love for the parents of one of them?

So there is no doubt that the girls acted in an unethical way when average girls of that age would have been aware that what they did was wrong. Therefore, assuming that these girls are of average social and emotional intelligence, some form of negative consequence for them should flow from this.

In our family, and families we know, if something like this occurred, some significant privilege would certainly be withdrawn, like an exciting holiday cancelled or no computer access for a year. But much more important is to talk to one-another. If the girls did this out of unthinking teenage silliness or naughtiness, they should be given a stern lecture about thinking before they act, then forgiven if genuine contrition is shown. If there was malice in it, it is much more difficult. It may even involve therapy or mediation (not to be confused with meditation, though that is always good too!). Ideally, direct communication, involving really listening to each other should come first.

Reporting the incident to the police, and what is more, apparently pressing charges against them is something which I, as the often unsatisfactory father of three daughters and a son have never contemplated or had to contemplate. Nor has my wife. Nor have any of our friends. On the other hand, they never put drugs in our drinks or any equally immature or malicious acts like that.

Thinking about this particular situation, I would speculate that there must have been a great distance (lack of real connection and communication) between parents and children. Unfortunately being the grown-ups, parents are usually more responsible for this than their children.

The ten o’clock curfew for internet use seems reasonable, but this should normally be relaxed on some occasions, e.g. weekends and school holidays. Maybe the parents were fearful that while they were not watching, the girls might access inappropriate material on the internet. Whether this was a reasonable fear or not in this case, I don’t know.

But the fact that the parents went to the police and had the girls charged is immediately disturbing. Was this the last straw, were the parents at their wits’ end trying to discipline or control these unruly children? Reporting children to police often happens if parents feel physically threatened by their children, which in this case may be justifiable.

Or did they decide to take this action because they either couldn’t (consciously or unconsciously) or didn’t want to approach the children and try to have a deeper relationship with them? Many parents are busy and tired, and because they have no time or energy to develop a really loving relationship with their children, they might see the police as another service, like a school or a doctor.

I believe this is a mistake. Being arrested by the police must be a traumatizing experience for young people. Also, these girls, if charged and convicted, may get a criminal record. This would affect their work and other prospects for the rest of their lives.

So my conclusion is that, unless some of the parties are below average intelligence, or affected by drugs including of course alcohol, or the parents felt for some other reason that the relationship with their children had irretrievably broken down, reporting this matter to the police and pressing charges would not be advisable.

All the best,
George.

From: “Sushiila” s.u.bhakti@lab…edu
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Domestic Issue: What Will You Do In This Situation?
Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2013 11:21:48

Baba

== DOMESTIC ISSUE: WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THIS SITUATION? ==

Namaskar,
Please read the following short article where parents had their teen-aged daughter arrested: “A daughter and her friend allegedly put sleeping pills in the drinks so they could break a rule and use the Internet past 10 p.m.”

According to Ananda Marga philosophy, what is our perspective on this matter? As an Ananda Margii, what you you think should be done in such a circumstance – should the daughter have been arrested?

Awaiting your reply,
Yours in Him,
Sushiila

Girls accused of spiking parents’ milkshakes

A daughter and her friend allegedly put sleeping pills in the drinks so they could break a rule and use the Internet past 10 p.m.

Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
January 4, 2013

Two teenage girls were arrested in Northern California this week after they used sleeping pill-laced milkshakes to drug one girl’s parents because they wouldn’t let her use the Internet past 10 p.m., police said.

The incident unfolded in Rocklin — about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento — the night of Dec. 28, when the parents fell asleep about an hour after drinking milkshakes their 16-year-old daughter and her 15-year-old friend brought them from a fast food restaurant, Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka said Thursday. The parents woke up in the middle of the night feeling “really groggy” with “hangover symptoms,” Milka said, but had not been drinking.

When they woke up again the next morning, they still felt “really odd,” Milka said, and “figured that something was wrong.”

The couple went to the Rocklin police station and picked up $5 drug kits typically used by parents to test their children for drugs, Milka said. After the tests picked up traces of drugs, the parents contacted authorities and took their daughter to the police station.

Investigators later learned that the girls crushed prescription sleeping pills and put them in the milkshakes so the parents would fall asleep and they could use the Internet past the 10 p.m. curfew.

“Mom and Dad had the Internet cut off nightly at 10 p.m.,” Milka said. “The daughter wanted to use it past 10 because I guess they’re like most teenagers and the Internet is their life.”

The parents didn’t end up drinking all of the milkshakes because they were “kind of gritty” and “really funny tasting,” Milka said.

The girls, whose names were not released because of their ages, were booked on Dec. 31 in Placer County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of conspiracy and willfully mingling a pharmaceutical into food. Milka said it would be up to prosecutors to decide whether charges would be filed.

Milka said it was unclear what websites the girls accessed while the parents were asleep.

“It’s the first I’ve ever heard of it,” he said. “Kids are crazy these days.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0104-parents-drugged-20130104,0,6488064.story

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