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Date: 22 Jun 2013 11:21:34 -0000
To: ananda-marga-universal-forum-3@yogasamsthanam.net
Subject: Story: My Repentance

Baba

== STORY: MY REPENTANCE ==

Namaskar,
After waiting three-and-a-half hours on the platform in the grueling sun, finally there was an announcement indicating that the train was coming. I gathered my bags and readied myself to board the train. To date, I had been an acarya for seven years and had learned how to “manage” acarya life. Everything had gone well with Rajuji and the rest of the margiis in this locale but now it was time to move on.

THE SOP (STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE) OF SOME WTS:

HOW THEY DECEIVE MARGIIS ON FASTING DAY

I was doing what had become a common practice of the day amongst some acaryas:

Leave town on the day of ekadashii and then arrive in the next place and announce to everyone that I had fasted the previous day, when in fact the night before the margiis had fed me a delicious “pre-fasting day” meal. This was the way things had developed in WT life, unfortunately. I learned this “fasting technique” from my supervisor and had seen this ploy successfully carried out by any number of workers. Certainly many workers are doing their dry fasting sincerely, yet there remain some Wts who do not observe Baba’s directive about regular fasting.

At first I was too nervous to do it – to deceive margiis about fasting. But over time I became accustomed to it – until finally it became no big deal. I was doing it all the time.

LEAVING RAJUJI’S

So the night prior I took full belly at Rajuji’s house and then headed off to my next destination. While on the train I slept some, read the parts of the newspaper that was circulating around our train car, and talked with some of the other travelers. In this way the time passed and my 4 hour journey was nearly complete.

ARRIVING AT VERMAJI’S

The train slowed as it approached the upcoming stop and finally the train came to a complete halt. I grabbed my bags and descended onto the platform. The margiis were expecting me. I looked up and down the platform – knowing that they were sure to come and greet me. I did not see anyone.

Then from behind I felt a few tiny hands grabbing onto my gown. I turned around to see the shining and smiling faces of three young boys. These were Vermaji’s sons. I knew them well and their joyous presence meant that Vermaji was also close by.

In a moment, Vermaji approached with folded hands and a warm look in his eye. I had been here just two months ago and it was good to be back. Immediately, Verma welcomed me and inquired about my health etc. And then the five of us went together to catch an auto-rickshaw in order to head to Vermaji’s house.

Along the way the boys were silently looking at me the whole time and Vermaji and I talk about the news of the day. Plus we discussed various plannings for his unit such as talks, pracar programs, the upcoming PMSA event, and he gave me a summary about how things at the school were going.

MY LIE:

“I FASTED YESTERDAY”

Finally, as we approached the house, Vermaji asked if I was fasting today or not. I told him that I had fasted the day prior. He was very happy to hear this as he said his wife was preparing a special meal for my arrival. And he said that he himself was fasting tomorrow, which I knew to be true. Because whenever, given the option between fasting on a Friday or a Saturday, then always Vermaji would choose Saturday. He had told me as such on earlier visits and I knew him to be sincere in this.

I ATE ON EKADASHII, WHILE VERMAJI FASTED

Anyway once he understood that I had fasted yesterday, then when we entered into the house he said I should attend to my evening duties and sadhana etc, because dinner would be ready in a short while.

So I arranged all my things accordingly and did whatever I did etc, and sure enough in a short while the call came for dinner.

And that night Vermaji and I ate and spoke about all sorts of organisational dealings, financial arrangements, and I gave him all the news about where I had just been. Like this the evening passed and soon we were off to bed.

The next day came and went quickly. As planned, Vermaji did his fasting and I arranged my own food and attended to various inspections at the school and dealt with other affairs. And the day after I left for my new destination. That was a Sunday.

My mind was feeling relaxed and I did not think twice about having played that fasting drama with Vermaji. I figured it was good he fasted and I justified that what I do is my business and that is all. I consoled myself and justified in my mind that Wt life is tough – often it is not even possible to get proper food – so what is the harm in eating on fasting days. That was my excuse or alibi for skipping fasting. So my mind was nonplussed or unaffected by the fasting drama as it had become a way of life.

AN UNEXPECTED EVENT

Tragically that next Tuesday, one of the very elderly and senior margiis from Vermaji’s bhukti passed away. And margiis from all around came for the shraddha ceremony, including Rajuji.

And that is when the whole thing leaked out.

HOW I GOT EXPOSED:

MY DUPLICITY ROSE TO THE SURFACE

Because in passing, Rajuji and Vermaji discussed about various happenings and they naturally talked about their recent visits with me, since it had only been a few days earlier that I had stayed with them both. And in their own way, it came to pass that Rajuji mentioned that his wife had prepared me a special pre-fasting day meal. And in response Vermaji said that that was impossible because his own wife had prepared me a special meal for my post-fasting day. And within one or two sentences my whole drama got exposed – 100%. They understood that neither I fasted at Rajuji’s house nor at Vermaji’s house. Rather I had lied outrightly about the whole affair.

CS DADA’S REACTION:

YOU CAN SKIP FASTING BUT DO NOT DECEIVE THE MARGIIS

I came to know about all this because both Rajuji and Vermaji are respected and senior margiis and in an effort to straighten the situation out they talked to my chief secretary – not my direct in-charge. Needless, to say CS Dada was very displeased with my behavior, and he scolded me that ‘If I wish to skip fasting then I should keep myself hidden in the jagrti and not play such dramas with the margii families’. Then he got even angrier at me as said that, ‘This ruins the reputation of all acaryas.’ Even though we both knew well that some Dadas – around 10-20% of the workers, depending upon the sector – regularly skip their fasting days.

Anyway, the difference being as CS Dada put it was that, ‘I had gotten caught and lost the faith of the margiis’.

Then CS Dada instructed me that as a point of rectification I was to tell my story to all – and by that way it would serve as a reminder for me not to do such things again. For that reason I have now written this entire chapter to all of you.

Here I wish to add that it must be duly noted that at least 10% to 20% of all workers sincerely do their dry fasting, although they may or may not follow the proper procedure for breaking fast. That is to say on breaking fast morning they may only drink 1 glass of water and then eat some bananas without every cleansing the digestive tract in the proper manner. But the actual fasting, these workers follow sincerely.

FEELINGS OF REPENTANCE:

I WANTED TO BECOME BETTER AND REPAIR MY TARNISHED IMAGE

Actually I did not have to do what my CS Dada told; I did not have to share my story with all. Because nowadays– since the last 4-5 years – no worker listens to their supervisors. Rather people do as they like. Some skip their departmental meetings entirely, others just engage in private business, and some are not very obedient or strict in conduct rules.

So in that atmosphere I did not have to write my story to all of you about how I cheated on my fasting day. Because after all, what could CS Dada do to me – next to nothing. In that way I was quite tempted to just overlook my punishment.

But in retrospect I figured that I should do it as a means to reaffirm myself to Baba’s ideals. Ultimately I want to follow 16 Points and I do not wish to deceive anyone. Rather I aspire to become an acarya in the true sense of the term. And I thought writing this letter would help in this regard.

So for this reason I have recounted this story and by Baba’s grace this will help me to rectify my misdealing as I want to be sincere in 16 Points and become a model wholetime worker of Ananda Marga.

Not only that, in hopes of repairing my tarnished image and bad name, for a long time after this transpired, I would ensure I was at a margii’s house at the time of fasting so I could fast in front of them. I wanted them to physically see that I was doing it properly. I could not live with them thinking that I just skipped all my fastings. So to prove myself, I always arranged to be with margiis on fasting day as a way of redeeming myself. This went on for months and months until I felt I had regained their trust and repaired my reputation.

Here following are some of Sadguru’s teachings related with this entire affair.

SOME OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF FASTING

By following the practice of regular fasting, one’s entire body gets a chance to recuperate, thereby inviting better health.

Baba says, “During fasting the body’s organs get a good rest, and the healing process is more rapid.” (1)

Plus in this next quote Baba advises us how by fasting we will decrease our dependence on food and develop ourselves in other arenas.

“You should not depend on food too much. This is why I have prescribed fasting on four days a month for some people and two days a month for others, and personally I have proved by fasting for five years and eight months at a stretch that if people try, they can remain without food. If one’s dependence on food decreases, one will gain more freedom in a particular aspect of life.” (2)

HYPOCRISY:

DECEIVING OTHERS ABOUT DRY FASTING

“To say, “I’m doing a dry fast” after having secretly drunk a glass of water is the height of hypocrisy.” (3)

DHARMIKAS NEVER GIVE WAY TO HYPOCRISY

“An honest person should never resort to hypocrisy in any sphere of life.” (4)

“There cannot be any hypocrisy in dhiiras. Hypocrites may be traders of religion, but the dharmic cannot be.” (5)

“There is no place in a devotee’s life for hypocrisy – the devotee’s thoughts, words and actions will never be contradictory. These simple and straightforward people will say what they think and do what they say.” (6)

“No indulgence should be given to hypocrisy.” (7)

HYPOCRISY IS THE WORST TYPE OF DEALING

“Activities harmful to the Marga, hypocrisy, theft and the persecution of women are the greatest crimes. Such criminals should be categorized as mahápátakiis (great sinners) and severe measures should be taken against them from the beginning.” (8)

RAMPANT PROBLEM NOWADAYS

“In all spheres of life these days, people think one thing, say another thing, and do something entirely different. That is, hypocrisy is now at its peak.” (9)

MUST OVERCOME HYPOCRISY

“Struggle is the essence of life. Yours should be a pauseless struggle against corruption, hypocrisy and animality.” (10)

“Spread out the sermons of amity amongst the humanity. Remind one and all that the establishment of human excellence does not lie in hypocrisy but in simplicity and sincerity…” (11)

REPENTANCE BRINGS RECTIFICATION

“One is seized by a feeling of repentance when one realizes (either from within or with the help of a second person) the impropriety of one’s action.” (12)

“Someone might have committed a pátaka [sin of commission], but after that wrong action feels repentance, and compensates for the harm his or her action caused. After such repentance and compensation, the action is no longer a sin. Suppose someone has stolen a thousand rupees from someone else. If after this theft the thief feels compunction and returns the money – better, however, with the inclusion of interest thereon – and begs forgiveness, that will mean that the person’s sin has been washed away. The person should no longer be called a sinner.” (13)

REPENTANCE AND KIIRTAN WILL SAVE YOU

“If, knowingly or unknowingly, you have committed any mistake or any sin, then your repentance and your singing kiirtana, wholeheartedly, will free you from all sins. So, your future is always bright, never dark, never dark.” (14)

PARAMA PURUSA IS AWARE:

HE KNOWS IF YOU ARE FASTING OR NOT

Anyone who thinks they can eat on fasting day and get away with it is a fool. Because even if one tricks the margiis and even if one justifies the situation to himself, even then it is a guarantee that Parama Purusa will know what you did.

“Parama Purus’a knows all the three phases of time: the past, the present and the future. Nothing is beyond the periphery of His supramundane knowledge…Suppose you eat something on the fasting day of Eka’dashii, thinking that perhaps Parama Purus’a will not know it. Certainly He will know about your secret eating, and He feels amused at what His little child is thinking. Not only the boys – the girls also make the same mistake. Perhaps on fasting day they eat chocolates and think, ‘I am eating secretly – no one can see it.’ This is defective thinking, because Parama Purus’a knows everything – nothing is hidden from Him.” (15)

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONDUCT

“Your ideal is represented by your conduct. Your learning, your social or economic status have nothing to do with your ideal.” (16)

Namaskar,
At His lotus feet,
Dada

REFERENCES
1. Yogic Treatments, Appendix
2. AV-7
3. AFPS-6, The Spirit of Society
4. Liberation of Intellect – Neo-Humanism, Disc: 7
5. SS-21, Nityánitya Viveka
6. AV-7, How Should a Devotee Behave?
7. AFPS-3, The Importance of Society
8. CC-2, Society, pt #29a
9. NSS, Disc: 10
10. Ananda Vanii #11
11. Ananda Vanii #57
12. APH-8, The Acoustic Roots of the Indo-Aryan Alphabet
13. AV-9, “Take Refuge in Parama Puruśa with Unswerving Attention”
14. AV-12, The Real Value of the Human Entity
15. Subhasita Samgraha – 12
16. A’nanda Va’nii #13

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Aja’na’y chile, ja’na’-ma’jhe ele, tabu katat’uku ja’niya’chi…” (PS 3544)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, in the past You were completely unknown to me. I could not conceive of You at all; You were remaining in Your fathomless state of Nirguna Brahma. I had no idea about You. O’ my Lord, today, with Your infinite beauty & charm You have come as the Taraka Brahma. You have loved me and placed me on Your Lap. You have entered into the stream of my mental consciousness. You have come in my proximity, in my awareness, in my dhyana. Even then how little I can understand of You; how little I can grasp of You. O’ Parama Purusa, the more I know You, the more I realise that I do not know. The amount of my ignorance goes on increasing. I always feel like there is a lot to know about You. O’ my Dearmost, You are beyond my mental conception; Your endless love knows no bounds.

O’ Divine One, this universe is filled with innumerable expressions. My mind goes on thinking again and again wondering why I like all these diverse manifestations, but I cannot come up with the answer. I cannot reach to the depth of the matter. O’ my Dearmost, the sweet flower fragrance, the blackness of the clouds, the grandeur of the mountain, everything, whether good or bad – all I like because of You. Your beauty and grandeur is expressed through the flora and fauna, through this entire creation. Everything in this universe is attractive and pleasing to me. O’ Parama Purusa Baba, because everything comes from You – because it is all a reflection of You– that is why I find all the expressions to be completely charming. O’ Divine One, You are the reason.

Baba, I have sat for sadhana thousands of times but still I have never had You in dhyana up to my heart’s content. I have not been able to hold You so close in the deep recesses of my heart. O’ my Dearmost, I always hope that You will reveal Yourself fully to me; but up till now I could not get You very, very close. Thus far I could not intimately serve You in my mental lotus, in my Guru cakra. That I could not do. Even then in hundreds and millions of ways, my mind rushes towards You, trying to pull You close to me, into the bosom of my heart.

Baba, please be gracious and eternally remain with me, as my most intimate and dearest One…

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

~ PART 3 ~

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

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

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

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

BABA’S GOLDEN SYSTEM

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

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

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

OVER-EATING THE NIGHT BEFORE SPELLS TROUBLE

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

A FEW OF BABA’S IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR BREAKING FAST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GREAT RESULTS

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

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

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

WHAT ONE WT HAS PUBLISHED IN THEIR BOOK

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

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

WATER DRINKING

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

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

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #1

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

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

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

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

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

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

EATING BANANAS

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

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

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

These are Baba’s expressed teachings about breaking fast

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #2

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

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

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

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

THE ANANDA MARGA PRESCRIBED SYSTEM:

WHEN TO TAKE FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAULTY RECOMMENDATION #3

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

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

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

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

MISREPRESENTING ANANDA MARGA ON THE PUBLIC PLATFORM

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

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

MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE BOOK

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

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

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

BABA’S WARNING

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

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

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

ONLY BABA’S TEACHINGS ARE BEST

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

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

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

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

BABA’S RELATED TEACHINGS:

FASTING IS NATURE’S WAY OF HEALING AND BALANCING

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

MORE ABOUT UPAVASA

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

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

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

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

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

Here following Baba says more about the process of upavasa.

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

Namaskar,
In Him,
Satyanarayan Deva

Note 1: LINKS TO EARLIER LETTERS ON THIS TOPIC

#1: Upavasa Posting Part 1

#2: Upavasa Posting Part 2

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Date: Sat, 06 Apr 21:08:58 -0400
From: Donald_G
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Luna, Lunar, Lunatic, Fasting

Baba

This entire email is composed of 2 parts:
(1) Posting: Luna, Lunar, Lunatic, Fasting
(2) Prabhat Samgiita #126
Each section is demarcated by asterisks (***)

== LUNA, LUNAR, LUNATIC, FASTING ==

Namaskar,
With the coming of the new moon, we should once again reflect on the importance of our fasting system.

Baba has given all the practices of Ananda Marga for our health and well-being. His guidelines are beneficial for every human being. One reason for this is that our Ananda Marga practices abide by the laws of nature. Everything we do is consonant with the natural world.

And this applies to our fasting system as well – it is done according to the phases of the moon. By this way we are able to grow healthy and strong and avoid disturbances to our body and mind caused by the pull of the moon.

EFFECT OF THE MOON ON THE BODY

It is commonly known that the gravitational pull of the moon affects the human body. And in particular during the periods of the new and full moon, it adversely affects the human structure.

“On and around the times of new and full moon, one may observe that the gaseous and aqueous factors in the body rise up into the head and chest, creating an uncomfortable feeling.” (Carycarya – 3)

In essence, Baba guides us above that the moon pulls the liquid portion – or the water of the body – upwards and that creates undue pressure on the “head and chest”.

So just as it is scientifically proven that the tides of the ocean are dictated by the phases of the moon, similarly the liquid factor in the human body is also affected by the phases of the moon.

During the period of the new and full moon, the pull of the moon impairs the functioning of the human body by drawing the gas and liquid upwards.

That is the well-founded idea in Ananda Marga. That is Baba’s explicit teaching.

AS GOES THE BODY, SO GOES THE MIND

By our system of yoga, we also know that the mind and body are highly linked. Thoughts affect the health of the body, and the condition of the body affects the mind, positively or negatively.

For example, suppose you are sitting outside and involved in a deep discussion. Suddenly a poisonous ant bites you on your leg. Even though that bite occurred on the leg – and not the head, that bit will be a distraction to the mind, and you will lose your train of thought. This is the way it works.

Generally speaking, when the physical body is affected, then the flow of mind is altered as well.

So when the body is adversely affected by the moon – due to uneasy pressure etc – then the mind is also affected. This is the common theorem. Because if there is a problem in the body then the mind will be drawn to that pain or that discomfort, in which case the mind will not function in its normal manner.

This we all know and we have seen often in the case of people who suffer from most any physical disease or syndrome. General citizens suffer tremendously in the psychic sphere due to physical illness. This always happens – unless one is properly or even highly developed in the spiritual realm etc.

But even then, even if one is highly spiritually evolved, if the entire body is put under anesthesia then the mind becomes dysfunctional. Thus, there is a very clear and direct link between the body and mind

LUNACY AND LUNATICS

So now we come to the point of the full moon, our fasting, and irregular and abnormal behaviour. Because when it is sure that the moon affects the body, and the body affects the mind, then it is clear that the presence of the full moon changes one’s mental condition, and hence behaviour.

This is evident by the languages as well.

The Latin word for moon is ‘luna’. And not coincidentally, that ‘luna’ is the root of the words ‘lunacy’ and ‘lunatic’.

It has long been observed that abnormal behaviour – or lunacy – increases at the time of the full moon.

More extreme types of crimes are seen during the full moon; there are more visits to counselors & social workers; hospital visits are increased; and various types of unusual behaviour is more noticeable during times of the full moon. This is the commonly human experience.

The yogic response is that since the body is negatively affected by the full moon, the mind also gets negatively affected. That is why Baba recommends we fast during the periods of the full and new moon as that will counteract the harmful effect of the new and full moon.

Baba says, “On and around the times of new and full moon, one may observe that the gaseous and aqueous factors in the body rise up into the head and chest, creating an uncomfortable feeling. Therefore, if a person does not take food at these times, these factors will be drawn down from the higher portions of the body to the lower portions, thereby alleviating the uncomfortable feeling.” (Caryacarya – 3)

OUR ANANDA MARGA PRACTICE

So the moon certainly affects the body which then infringes upon the normal functioning of mind. Just as the affect of anesthesia on the body causes the mind to become dysfunctional.

To counteract the effect of the moon, Baba directs us to fast during the periods of the new and full moon.
By following Baba’s directive to fast during those lunar periods, we are rescued and saved from the harmful effects of the moon – both in the physical and psychic spheres.

One thing is also certain: When the physical body is adversely affected, such as during the time of the new and full moon, then sadhana is difficult. Because of undue pressure in the higher cakras etc.

Fasting alleviates the problem cent-per-cent. Because there is no excess water that can be pulled higher up in the body which creates an uncomfortable feeling in the chest and head. Hence, sadhana can easily be done.

And fasting also protects us from other ill effects of the moon such as indigestion, headaches, and, yes, lunacy.

Our Ananda Marga practice of fasting during the full and new moon periods, either 2 times monthly or 4 times monthly, keeps us physically healthy, mentally balanced, and spiritually inclined. The benefits occur in all three realms.

SADGURU’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace, by following the guidelines of 16 Points, such as fasting etc, we can move smoothly and swiftly ahead towards our cherished Goal.

Baba says, “In order to march ahead on the road of human welfare, we will have to strengthen ourselves in all the arena of life. The complete seeds of welfare in all the spheres – physical, mental, moral, social and spiritual – are embedded in the sixteen points. Hence be firm on the sixteen points.” (Ananda Vanii #45)

Namaskar,
In His service,
Divyajyoti

Prabhat Samgiita

PS Introduction: This below song can be interpreted both literally as well as metaphorically. When taken literally it represent the passing of one calendar year. When view symbolically, it can be understood as moving from one phase into a whole new era: From one’s old life into a new life.

“Ek parikrama’r halo anta…” (PS 126)

Purport:

By the grace of Baba, the New Year is on the horizon; it is about to come. One cycle of the seasons is complete. The days are passing; the years are flying by. Time is moving on. So many flowers have wilted and fallen to the ground; so much fruit have ripened and fallen to the earth. So many things have happened; so many events have transpired; so many life experiences have come and gone. How the year has passed.

This year was enmeshed in the very marrow of my existence; it was part of who I am. The year passed with so many joys and so many sorrows, with so much laughter and so many tears, with so much song and dance, as well as with so much disappointment and heartache. So many positive and negative things have happened in my life. Alas, this year has passed to some unknown place, waning into the far-off oblivion – now today it is gone.

Those who come on this earth – those who have taken birth – one day pass away and go. And those who have departed from this mortal world, one day return. Everyone leaves only to come back again. Those who float in the distant blue sky, return in newer and newer forms, shapes, and ways, by Baba’s grace. The New Year is on the horizon; it is about to come. One cycle of the seasons is complete, by His grace…

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Date: 29 Mar 2013, 21:37:41
From: “Piyusa Deva” 


Baba

This letter contains two parts:
1. Posting: Re: Upavasa: Why & How to Prepare & Break #2
2. Prabhat Samgiita #4380

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

~ Part 2 ~

(Note: This is the second letter in this series. A link to the first letter has been appended below. – Eds)

Namaskar,
As we all know, fasting is a special practice whereby one’s entire system gets cleansed and purified. By allowing the organs to rest and collect the toxins, the body gets the opportunity to rejuvenate itself. Breaking the fast properly with a thorough cleansing process is an indispensable feature of fasting – otherwise much of the benefits are lost.

Each and every Ananda Margii understands that Baba has blessed us with the gifts for a fruitful life. He has graciously bestowed upon us the needed tools, guidelines, and “know-how” for a pristine and sweet existence. And while so many of His teachings lead us in this direction, certainly His divine guidelines about fasting are also an essential ingredient. It is by this wonderful process of regular fasting that our whole entire being gets cleansed and purified – in all the realms of life: physical, mental, and spiritual. And that propels us forward towards our cherished Goal.

So by doing the whole fasting and breaking process in a sincere and complete manner, an innumerable amount of “health and wealth” is aroused in the human structure such that the body and mind glisten with purity and lightness.

BABA WATCHES FOR OUR WELFARE

That is why we all know that Baba Himself is very strict with all margiis and acaryas on the point of fasting. He wants that we should derive all the many benefits from this great practice. Indeed, in multiple ways, He reminds us that always He is watching. This following teaching is leading in that exact manner.

“Suppose, a gentleman is undergoing fasting, and secretly in a closed room, he takes chocolate. ‘No one will know, nobody will know.’ But it is not so. His unit cognition will know that he has taken chocolate. And similarly, the Cosmic Father will know that in a particular room one unit body took chocolate very secretly, and that unit body is still thinking, that the fact that he took chocolate on a fast-day is not known to anybody. It is known to everybody. Nothing is a secret.” (1)

Hence, Baba is acutely aware of exactly what happens – as well as what does not happen – on our each and every fasting day. And He wants that we sincerely follow His guideline as this is for our welfare.

BABA POINTS OUT ON THE POINT OF FASTING

That is why in dharma samiiksa and in all types of reporting sessions, Baba used to point out sadhakas on the point of fasting in front of one and all. And if one person was pointed out it was understood that if others are also falling into this same category then they should also rectify themselves. That was the spirit. It was not just that Baba was speaking to only one individual on such occasions.

Some people would wonder why Baba was pointing out margiis or Wts in front of the collective, as opposed to informing them individually. The reason for this is that Baba did not have the time to speak to each and every individual on each and every particular point. So by highlighting a particular sadhaka’s mistake in front of the collective, then if 4 or 5 others were doing the same wrongdoing then naturally they would get also alarmed. And the feeling would come that they too should rectify themselves. As they understood that Baba is very concerned and strict on this point.

Plus, another reason is that naming the defects on the collective platform was a good way of reminding one and all. Because day after day or every few days if He was pointing out a different margii or Wt on the point of fasting, then it automatically became a reminder to all those present that this was something important. So if anyone was attending the reporting for an entire week or two week period, then they would get numerous reminders.

And invariably they would spread that idea to others who did not attend.

Here we should keep in mind that as Guru Baba was pointing out the defects of disciples from the very beginning, not just in later years. From the Jamalpur era up to the grand DMCs in the late 80’s, Baba would point out, benevolently scold, and His shower love. This was all done for our welfare. By this way we could grow and move on towards Supreme fulfillment. Baba is the dharma Guru and His special quality is to both love and punish.

“The preceptor must also be nigraha (capable of inflicting punishment) and anugraha (capable of bestowing grace). One who punishes only or who bestows grace only is not an ideal preceptor.” (2)

WHY POINT OUT IN COLLECTIVE SETTING

Hence overall there were at minimum two distinct reasons for pointing people out in front of the collective:

(a) A lack of time to speak to everyone on an individual basis and by this way it was a good reminder to one and all. Thus within a short period Baba could rectify and instill proper practices within countless sadhakas within the entire Marga. Overall we can say it was His special technique and blessing.

(b) Baba is very strict on the point of fasting. And He wants that we should all be sincere on this very point. As He tells us again and again in various ways that indeed He is always watching our each and every action to ensure our welfare.

Here then are more points about the great benefits of fasting.

UPAVASA PURIFIES THE PHYSICAL BODY

On the physical plane, fasting plays a direct and significant role. Because the whole health and balance of the physical body revolves around the stomach. Non-sadhakas may raise their eyebrows about such a statement, but those with just a little inner understanding about their bodily systems and functions recognise that the stomach is the nucleus and the most integral organ for maintaining human health on a day to day basis.

Because only in the case of the stomach does something from the external environment actually enter inside the body. And that “something” which enters is food which gets deposited directly into the stomach; and then in turn the various nutritional (and not-so-nutritional) components get distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. But the stomach is the starting point.

So if the stomach is not in good working order and if it cannot do its job properly, then the immediate effect is that the limbs and the various body parts and organs get adversely affected and diseased.

And what results are problems like: Acidity, gout, rheumatism, obesity, skin diseases, and ultimately cancer, heart disease, and more. All of this starts with the initial onset of difficulties in the stomach. And in numerous chapter of Yogic Treatment book, Baba clearly describes this. Yet, as we may have experienced, the practice of regular fasting naturally controls all these problems. Because before any real difficulty develops the health of the human body is restored. That is why most sadhakas do not suffer from the aforementioned physical ailments and diseases. Instead we enjoy a strong state of health.

And if per chance any problem does arise, then in numerous chapters of His Yogic Treatment book, Baba prescribes fasting as a cure. Hence fasting is an excellent resource and remedy for various physical ailments and diseases as it helps purify the entire body

“Fasting is also included in the scope of Pramitaha’r, because it gives rest to the digestive organs and frees the body from so many ailments.” (3)

“During fasting the body’s organs get a good rest, and the healing process is more rapid.” (4)

Thus those who fast regularly maintain a healthy and vibrant existence and find that the body becomes completely habituated and adjusted to this cycle of fasting. Such that the body is anxious and ready for the next fasting as the day approaches. This is the common experience of many sadhakas. And by this way the body keeps itself neat and clean.

UPAVASA BRINGS MENTAL CLARITY AND SHARPNESS

In addition, on the mental plane also fasting has a tremendous effect. Because we have all experienced that after a big meal we tend to feel sleepy, tired, and even a bit dull. This is the common problem and the reason behind this is that when we ingest food then that blood has to race to the stomach to help in digestion. And in that way less fresh oxygenated blood goes to the brain.

So during fasting none of the body’s crucial resources get diverted towards the stomach. In which case the body can better support one’s mental functioning.

That is why on fasting day sadhakas experience a distinct clarity of thought and mental freshness. The mind is flexible and sharp as it is not dragged down by bodily functions such as digestion.

Another everyday example of this phenomenon is that just before an exam or important meeting or debate, then no student or professional person will eat a large meal. Otherwise their mental faculties will be significantly hampered.

That is why in numerous traditions people proclaim that a light stomach equals a light mind. And fasting is an exceptional method for enhancing mental concentration and energy.

UPAVASA INVITES BENEFITS IN SPIRITUAL LIFE

The benefits of fasting in spiritual life are well known to all. No doubt initially at the very beginning one may feel that it is difficult to do sadhana on fasting days. But with just a little effort many sadhakas experience very good sadhana on those days since all of the body’s energy can be utilised for spiritual pursuits. And Baba’s guideline below is pointing in this same direction.

“As a result of fasting, the poisonous and unproductive waste of the body gets destroyed and expelled. Moreover, the energy that is not expended in digesting food can be utilised for other purposes. Therefore, a fast day is an excellent time for sadhana.” (5)

FASTING IS NOT ONLY FASTING BUT UPAVASA

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

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

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

“These fixed [fasting] days are called upavasa since during these days people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters ‘live closer’ to God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their humanity is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation.” (7)

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

Here following Baba says more about the process of upavasa.

“Upavasa in the sense of fasting is also useless…if one does real upavasa that can do a lot. The scriptural meaning of uspavasa is– by derivation– upa which means “near”, and va’sa, which means “to stay”. Upa’vasa therefore means “to make the mind stay near Parama’tma'”. In other words, it means to withdraw the mind from thoughts of physicalities and keep it near Parama’tama’. The sanskrit word for fasting as such is anashana [remaining hungry / starving].” (8)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Piyusa

REFERENCES
1. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 12
2. Ananda Marga Ideology Way of Life – 9
3. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 12
4. Yogic Treatments, p.95
5. Caryacarya – 3
6. Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 6
7. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, p.188
8. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, p. 36-7

Note: LINK TO FIRST LETTER IN THIS SERIES

http://am-global-01.blogspot.com/2013/03/upavasa-why-how-to-prepare-break-part-1.html

“Maneri gahane tumi a’cho, a’cho prabhu sada’ jege a’cho…” (Prabhata Samgiita 4380)

Purport:

Baba, O’ Divine Entity, You remain always in the depths of my mind – You never leave me. I am never alone. Baba, You are always awake. You go on working day and night, beyond time. You never tire or stop. Baba, whatever You want to do, You go on doing.

O Parama Purusa, this whole expressed universe is Your eternal game. You are ever-present: beginningless and endless. You are ever intoxicated in Your divine flow. You are the Goal of everyone – everyone wants You. You are remaining with one and all.

Baba, only those trying to come close to You by their virtuous deeds, shravan, manan, nididhyasana, & dhyana, are able to come to You. Only they are able to realise You and have Your grace and proximity.

Baba, You are grace-Personified…

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Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:

(1) Posting: Upavasa: Why & How to Prepare & Break – Part 1
(3) Trailer Quote: Children Learn Deception In The Home
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #801;

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

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

~ Part 1 ~

Namaskar,
As we all know, fasting is one of the significant and important gifts which Baba has graciously bestowed upon us for maintaining human health and leading a spiritual life. This entire letter discusses numerous aspects of the practice of fasting – including the all-important point & practical method of how to break fast.

Here following are many of the topics contained in this entire subject:

Universal and Natural Law ~ Animal Existence vs Human Life ~ Nature’s Perfect Remedy: Fasting ~ Animals follow Natural Law, Human Eat Mostly out of Greed ~ Fasting for Health: A Purification Process ~ AM’s Approach to fasting ~ Fasting and Longevity ~ Humans Know How to Break ~ System of Breaking ~ Wrong Breaking Invites Harm ~ Water Needed for Digestion & Whole Body System ~ Work of the Small and Large Intestine ~ Proper Cleaning Necessary ~ Use of Lemon Water ~ ‘Rounds’ for Breaking ~ Individual Needs ~ Gentle Process ~ Maintain Prama when Breaking ~ Warning and Guidelines ~ Stages of Cleaning ~ What and When to Eat ~ Taking Banana ~ Baba’s Special Blessing ~ Baba’s Complete System ~ Proper Interest and Care Needed ~ Optimal Health ~ Suggestions from Others ~ Healthy and Happy in All the Realms.

HUMANS ABUSE THEIR FREEDOM

Parama Purusa has created this world in a well-balanced way. And within this creation there is both animal existence and human life, with a unique difference separating the two.

Animals are fully bound by natural law. They have no option but to strictly adhere to the rules of prakrti; whereas human beings have been given freedom or dominion to make choices and exercise their will, within a certain degree.

Yet nature itself has been devised in such a perfect way that animals always advance and benefit from following natural law. In that sense, animals are comparatively more fit and healthy than common human beings because animals are forced to follow nature’s ways, while humans have some scope to go against natural law, should they desire. And this whole equation, with regards to animal life and human life, is especially true with regards to food and fasting.

FASTING: A NATURAL LAW

For example, when an animal gets sick, in their natural way they refrain from taking food until they regain their health. Refraining from ingesting food – i.e. fasting – is the very tool by which animals heal themselves and recover from their sickness. So animals do not eat food for taste per se, but as a means of survival and recovery according to the dictates or laws of nature.

So Parama Purusa has created this beautiful universe in such a way that everything goes on according to natural law. Within this, fasting is a special method for curing oneself if the body is not functioning properly.

HUMAN FOOD HABITS: IMPROPER & PROPER

Sometimes humans disobey natural law, and in this materialistic era especially, some persons eat food excessively out of greed. When they see food, they desire to eat it – whether it suits them or not.

Those human beings – who are sensitive and follow the codes of yogic life – develop an inner sense of when to take food and when not. When the body is sick then they do not like to eat food. And that is the natural system to cleanse the body, enhance its functioning and make it perfect and pure. For thousands of years yogis have been following this approach.

Through fasting, toxins and waste are removed; and the body is given opportunity to recover and ultimately reach to a higher state of functioning and wellness.

FASTING IN OUR ANANDA MARGA

Hence in our Ananda Marga yogic style of living, Baba has given the system of fasting (upava’sa) whereby He directs us to observe ekadashii as a fasting day. Some also fast on purnima and amavasya. In both cases, whether 2 or 4 times per month, fasting brings about a beneficial effect on the entire body.

By following this system of regular fasting the body becomes conditioned such that directly before the next ekadashii arrives one can internally feel that another fasting is needed.

Those who do not fast are deprived of the unique health benefits; their health breaks down, diseases crop up, and their health problems linger, and ultimately get multiplied.

In the end, they have no choice but to surrender themselves to a local doctor and begin the process of taking medicine on a regular basis.

Baba has given fasting as part of Sixteen Points and Baba has also said that by following 16 Points one will extend the length – and enhance the quality – of their life. So there is a vast difference between those who follow Sixteen Points and those who do not. Those strictly following points like fasting will get an extra 15, 20, or even 30 years of quality living. Thus, for optimal health fasting is a must.

DIFFERENCES IN FASTING: HUMANS & ANIMALS

In their own ways, both animals and proper human beings fast. But some vast differences exist between the two.

(a) Animals fast when the body is sick, but humans fast during sickness, as well as on amavasya, purnima and ekadashii in order to cleanse the body. As a matter of regimen, a person should not eat when sick or when not hungry.

(b) Animals do not know how to properly break their fast, whereas humans have been given the technique.

And it is by breaking fast properly that the body is able to maximize the benefits of the fast. Unfortunately some are not aware how to break fast.

HERE ARE MORE UPCOMING POINTS

~ System of Breaking ~ Wrong Breaking Invites Harm ~ Water Needed for Digestion & Whole Body System ~ Work of the Small and Large Intestine ~ Proper Cleaning Necessary ~ Use of Lemon / Lime Water ~ ‘Rounds’ for Breaking ~ Individual Needs ~ Gentle Process ~ Maintain Prama when Breaking ~ Warning and Guidelines ~ Stages of Cleaning ~ What and When to Eat ~ Taking Banana ~ Baba’s Special Blessing ~ Baba’s Complete System ~ Proper Interest and Care Needed ~ Optimal Health ~ Suggestions from Others ~ Healthy and Happy in All the Realms.

Indeed, fasting is one special process for achieving and maintaining optimum health. As Ananda Margiis, we have all realised the various positive effects of fasting, such as ridding the body of toxins, increased longevity, and enhanced quality of life etc.

Certainly then fasting is a unique purification process and one most significant aspect of this practice is the approach to breaking the fast.

HOW THE BODY IS AT THE END OF THE FAST

By doing a 24 hour dry fast – i.e. without water – and going 32 hrs without food, the body obviously becomes dehydrated. Hence the body is in a very delicate and sensitive state. In that case, if one breaks the fast in an abrasive or hasty manner then not only will they be unable to derive the many benefits of the fast but it will create harm to the body.

PREPARING FOR FASTING

If you are planning to fast the next day then eat a little less quantity for dinner / evening meal. If this approach is followed then cleaning will go more smoothly on breaking fast day.

Other preparations include:
1. Be sure to have 2 – 3 hours of time in order to complete the whole process
2. be sure to have a lemon or lime available for breaking fast
3. be sure to have salt available for breaking fast
4. Be sure to have a few (2 – 3) ripe bananas available.

A FEW POINTS OF AWARENESS

Before getting into the specifics of breaking fast, it should be mentioned that one, two, or even three glasses of water is not nearly enough for the breaking process. In their naivety, some people might drink 1 – 2 glasses of water and then immediately start eating varieties of foods etc, but that way of doing is off base and should never be done.

Rather on breaking fast morning first the digestive system should be cleaned thoroughly – from top to bottom – with water. And when that has been done completely, then solid food can be taken, but not beforehand.

BREAKING THE FAST ITSELF – A “HOW TO” PROCESS

1. Squeeze ¼ or ½ of a lemon or lime into a bowl (ceramic, wooden or glass or BPA-free plastic or anything thing – but not metal.

(The size of the bowl should be least 1 liter. Be sure that the individual cells of the lemon or lime are broken to maximize the juice. That will help bring more juice.)

2. Add 2 teaspoons (flat not heaping) of salt to the lemon / lime juice and mix.

3. Add 1 liter of warm water. (If you add hot water then leave room to add cold water from the sink.)

4. The lemon salt water mixture should be distinctly salty to taste – but not overly salty. If your mixture is not sufficiently salty then little by little more can be added. And if really it is already too salty then simply dilute your mixture by adding more warm water.

(Please be aware: Too much salt will invite nausea and even vomiting – you will be able to recognize this immediately by the taste; too little salt will not allow you to break the fast properly: The lemon-salt water mixture will be misdirected to the urethra, instead of cleansing the colon. Those with high blood pressure should be careful about the use of salt; for those in proper health, kindly know that this salt solution will be eliminated from the body in the next hour or two, so there will not be much of a lingering effect of all this sodium-chloride.)

5. Drink the lemon salt water mixture. Not in one gulp per se, but in a series of comfortable sips and swallows over the course of a few minutes or less, without bloating the stomach. Be careful not to take too much time.

6. After finishing this initial round of salty lemon water, walk around for a few minutes – either in the fresh air or indoors. Do not remain in a seated position. Either stand up or walk.

7. You may gently stretch the upper body by raising the arms on the inhale and then exhaling and gently bending to the side. And repeat by bending to the opposite direction. This gently helps to hasten the cleansing process. If you wish and it is comfortable you can bend fwd and back a little bit, but do not go extreme.

Do not sit down and remain still as that will severely hinder the process of clearing. Do not create pressure when you bend forward and back as the belly is full of water.

8. As soon as you feel ready drink the next round of lemon salt water: ¼ or ½ lemon or lime with 2 flat teaspoons of salt, mix, then add 1 liter of warm water.

(Note: It is important not to wait too long between rounds. As soon as the stomach feels comfortable one should again drink. Do not wait more than 10 minutes or so – if you can start drinking the next round before then that is fine.)

9. After the second round, be sure to walk around and bend the torso side to side – or a little front to back. Remember, do not sit down or remain still as that will severely hinder the process of digestion and clearing.

10. If you do not have a strong urge to go to the bathroom immediately, continue to walk and drink warm water with a lesser amount of salt. Lemon is not needed. (1 or 2 liters can be taken.)

11. By this process of drinking & walking, a strong urge will come to go to the toilet– within 1/2 hour to one hour, if you have not eaten too much on the eve of fasting (too much of normal food and or normal of “rich” (high protein and fat).

IF YOU FOLLOWED UP TO NOW AND STILL NOT BREAKING

Note: If the salt water mixture was misdirected to the urethra instead of cleansing the colon, it means that not a sufficient amount of salt was used or you ate too much rich food before the night before fasting. But really for most people 2 teaspoons of salt per liter of water for the first two rounds should work fine.

12. Initially, a very strong smelling brown waste matter will be released from the colon. Thereafter, more and more solids and liquids will be released via the. This will also be brown at the beginning. But do not worry thinking you have been stricken with a severe case of diarrhea. This is the initial stage of cleaning out the digestive track.

13. Once this process of clearing the digestive tract has begun, switch over from drinking a lightly salted mixture and begin taking pure fresh water without any salt. This fresh water will help hydrate the body and aid in the cleansing process. Drinking 1 or 2 liters is quite helpful – both for clearing and re-hydrating.

14. In this process of cleansing one might visit the toilet between 3-5 times, or more. Or you may go less frequently but sit for longer periods. Do not suppress the urge, when the impulse comes go straight to the toilet.

15. The waste material will turn from brown and somewhat solid to yellowish and liquidy until finally being a completely clear liquid. Once completely clear liquid comes, be assured the entire digestive tract is clean – including the intestines, colon, and stomach etc.

16. By this entire process of cleansing a very light and healthy feeling will consume the body. One will feel very happy, fresh, and energetic.

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

18. After taking a few bananas – be careful not to overeat or fill the stomach – wait until the onset of a a strong feeling of thirst. Then drink a little bit of water, and when a strong feeling of thirst returns, drink a little more water. This will help in digesting the bananas.

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

(a) If one chooses to take fruit then only eat fruit – not grain or vegetables – and avoid taking citrus fruit.

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

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

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

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

TAKING PROPER CARE

One should also keep in mind that breaking fast is a highly individualized thing. And one should be gentle and listen to one’s own body when undergoing this entire process.

So altogether, this is one very important and a delicate subject; it needs personal interest and proper care to see what is good and working well for you.

GREAT SIGNIFICANCE OF FASTING

Baba has included upava’sa (fasting) as its own exclusive point in Sixteen Points.

“Observe fast as prescribed.” (1)

And in His supreme ‘Secrets for a Long Life’, Baba lists upava’sa (fasting) as its own entry.

“upava’sa (fasting) at Intervals.” (2′)

And furthermore in Yogic Treatment pointedly remarks how upava’sa (fasting) helps restore the body to it balanced and natural condition.

“During upava’sa (fasting) the body’s organs get a good rest, and the healing process is more rapid.” (3)

UPAVASA IS MORE THAN JUST FASTING

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

“‘Upa’ means proximity. And va’sa means to live, to reside. So the upava’sa word means to live near the Lord. In these days of fasting, what the aspirants are to do? Mentally they should live near their Lord. On all other days there remains a balance between external objective adjustment, and subjective approach. An adjustment between objective adjustment and subjective approach. But on these fasting, or upava’sa, the aspirant remains more in proximity to the Lord than in other mundane duties. That’s why these days are known as “upava’sa”. The word ‘fasting’ doesn’t carry the proper sense or the proper spirit of the term ‘upava’sa’. To go without food, for this the proper word is anasan. ‘An’ means not, ‘asan’ means eating. And not upava’sa. So these ekadashii, amava’sya, and purnima they are, upava’sa. Do you follow?” (4)

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

“These fixed [fasting] days are called upavasa since during these days people keeping their minds engaged in spiritual matters ‘live closer’ to God, and any possibility of mental degradation is averted: their humanity is not endangered by the lengthening shadows of annihilation.” (5)

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

In Ananda Marga, sometimes we may use the term ‘fasting’, but in reality one means upavasa. It is just that due to the lack of a proper English term that we may say ‘fasting’.

BABA’S BLESSING

I can never forget how in one general darshan, Baba has given the guideline that although animals know how to fast, only humans know how to break their fast properly. Those not aware about this technique should be taught at the earliest. That is Baba’s guideline.

ANOTHER BABA’S BLESSING

“When you are in a mood of pleasure, you should distribute it throughout the universe– let all the hearts of the entire created universe dance in ecstasy. This is the goal of the day: you are for all, you are for the Neo-Humanistic progress of the entire universe.” (6)

Namaskar,
In Him,
Prabhu Deva

Note 1: MORE POINTS COMING

In a follow-up email some further points about this important topic of upavasa, healthy, and wellness will be sent. At the same time others should also share their insights and experiences

Note 2: FASTING ON PLANET EARTH AND BEYOND

We know that our Ananda Marga system of fasting is based upon the cycle or phases of the moon. Yet Baba also guides us that when human beings move to other planets then accordingly the system of fasting will be based on that planetary system etc.

REFERENCES:
1. Point no. 8 of 16 Points
2. Caryacarya, Point no. 5, ‘Secrets Long Life”
3. Yogic Treatments, p.95
4. Ananda Vacanamrtam – 6, Upavása
5. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, p.188
6. A Few Problems Solve – 5

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

*************************************
Children Learn Deception In The Home

“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.” (Human Society – 1, Education)

*************************************

Prabjat Samgiita

“Tumi a’ma’y bha’lo besechile, a’mi toma’r pa’ne ta’ka’i ni…” (PS 801)

Purport:

O’ Parama Purusa, You have loved me and showered me in Your divine blessing, but I did not look towards You. I did not care or pay heed to Your love. Baba, You have graciously bestowed everything upon me. But I did not give You anything in return. Drowned in my own selfishness, I did not surrender at Your alter. In spite of that You love me. Baba, You are do gracious.

O’ Parama Purusa, in those deep, black foggy days of my life, when I was feeling helpless, isolated, and lonely, then You gently held my hand and consoled me and You lovingly kept me along with You. In bleak those foggy days, You got wounded on the thorny path, but I did not apply any ointment to ease the pain. I was so selfish.

O’ Divine Entity, You are so gracious, You always help me in each and every circumstance. In my sorrowful days, when in danger, and when my heart is broken, always You console me by filling my entire being with Your sweet nectar. Even then, in the grand universal arena of Your divine liila, I could not become useful in any work. Due to my own lethargy, my existence could not be utilised. Uselessly, I wasted my time. In spite of this, still You love me.

Baba, O’ my Dearest; You are my own; You are my everything; You have showered Your causeless grace and made me Yours…

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Date: Sat, 05 May 2012 22:56:09 -0000
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: Hariish Deva
Subject: Ananda Margiis’ Status

Baba

== ANANDA MARGIIS’ STATUS ==

Namaskar,

Baba says, “Most people spend their lives on this planet eating and drinking. Sometimes they contract diseases, their stomachs become distended, and they die. But there are certain exceptional people who say, ‘No, we have not come to eat, drink and make merry.’ Those who lead licentious lives foolishly get involved in brawls and fights, but the exceptional people say, ‘No, we don’t want to live such a life, we have to lead an ideological life on the path of “A’tmamoks’a’rtham’ jagaddhita’ya ca.”

“Those people who are society’s exceptions are extraordinary people. They alone will build human history. Others cannot and will not do it.”

“These exceptional people are sometimes seen as lunatics by the naive public, but the fact is that these exceptional people do something new and constructive for society.”

“You should also know that you are exceptions. You too will do something great, will build up something historical.” (9th January ’79)

The life of each and every good margii is looked upon as something peculiar in the eyes of the common people. The reason is A-grade margiis are not involved in the religious dogma or materialistic ways of common people; plus all margiis are practicing yoga, kiirtan, sadhana, eating only sentient food, and following progressive ideas. So margiis’ thinking and living
and socializing are quite different from the common public. That is why the common public thinks margiis are peculiar people. But sincere margiis are not worried about this; rather they know that this is one merit. Such margiis are great exceptions and they are also the vanguards of the entire society. All sincere margiis are making the path which the common public will
tread in the very near future.

Namaskar,
Hariish Deva

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Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 19:39:47 -0000
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: J.Deva
Subject: How You Can Save Money

Baba

== HOW YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ==

Namaskar,
In this day and age, people waste a lot of time trying to earn more and more money – laboring anywhere from 8 – 10 hours daily, or even 18 hours in a single day.

Plus most people are totally worried about money – so they think about earning money even when they are not working. They eat, sleep, and dream about it.

In this way their entire psyche and days are consumed.

The general psychology is to earn more and spend more. That becomes their entire life – that is the unfortunate truth. The tragedy is that this human life is about so much more than just collecting money. Human life is far larger than this.

To resolve this critical issue, Lord Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji has given a beautiful way of living that is very easy for everyone to do. And by following His guidelines, you are sure to save huge amounts of money.

So if you are suffering from any sort of financial worry or fiscal need, then read this following letter.

THIS LETTER IS FOR EVERYONE

The guidelines in this letter are for everyone. If you are already an Ananda Margii or a sympathizer of the Marga, you will readily see how much you are saving by following AM practices. Plus you may get some new tips as well.

And if you are not yet an Ananda Margii, then by reading the below you will get a clear-cut vision how following our AM way of life will benefit you financially.

Hence this letter is for absolutely anyone and everyone who wishes to save money and live a financially secure life.

NO INTOXICANTS (Part 1)

In Ananda Marga, as we all know, or as new people will soon learn, we do not use any intoxicants – none. This is the first great way of saving money by leading life as an Ananda Margii.

Cigarettes, beer, wine, and hard alcohol are all getting taxed verily heavily by the city, state, provincial and federal government. So the prices of these substances is skyrocketing.

Indeed recently the tax on cigarettes in NY state went up $1.60 to a total of $4.35 on taxes alone, so a pack of cigarettes now costs $9.20 (on average) in NY, and more than that in New York City. Smoking a pack a day over the course of a year would add up to more than $3,650.00 at a minimum. And this type of increase is happening everywhere. The same thing is going on with regards to alcohol.

Since in Ananda Marga we have no interest in or use for cigarettes, or any of these other legal intoxicants like alcohol etc, we are saving a huge amount of money. Just ask any ex-smoker or ex-drinker and they will most assuredly tell you about all the money they are saving by quitting their dirty habit.

NO INTOXICANTS (Part 2)

Then of course there are the illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroine etc. These all cost a huge amount of money – it is big business – but for Ananda Margiis this is a non-issue entirely. Hence big $aving$.

Included in this topic are other health costs and legal fees. If one is using intoxicants of any kind they will certainly have to spend more money on doctors fees, health concerns, insurance premiums, hospital care and other medications etc, since those intoxicants will ruin their health.

In addition, drinking and driving is illegal so if one gets caught by the police they will incur big legal fees in order to clear their name and stay out of jail, if possible. Same is the case if they are caught using illegal drugs. Not only are the drugs expensive and addicting, but one have to spend huge money on attorney fees to clear their name in a
court of law.

So from multiple angles, our clean way of living that is free of any and all intoxicants saves us a lot of money. That is the first great savings for being an Ananda Margii.

FOOD

Our style of eating, i.e. our vegetarian diet, is also a big money saver. In most places, fresh fruit and vegetables are far less costly than meat – both on our wallet and our health. Our daily or weekly shopping is less expensive plus we will not face all the health issues that hinders meat-eaters. So we will not have to pay those big medical bills either.

Various studied show how eating home-prepared vegetarian meals foods is cheaper (and healthier!) than a meat-based diet. Also always look into buying foods in bulk – one can save huge money this way.

There is much more involved in this point of food, but I think most of us are aware about them. And already there is a lot of information out there about the extreme financial and health costs of a meat-based diet.

The only further point that is worth raising on the point of food is that as Ananda Margiis we do not dine in restaurants or hotels. Of course the reason we do not do this is because those places are not sentient: The dishes themselves are dirty, the ingredients are unknown, and the cooks are non-sadhakas. So that is why we do not dine in such establishments. But, on the top, eating in these restaurants is an expensive habit. By not frequenting such restaurants we save a lot of money. What average people spend on a single meal in a restaurant is enough funds for wise, vegetarian shoppers to eat for 1 or 2 weeks at home.

GAMBLING

So much of the world indulges in gambling – either in casinos, or on-line, or at sporting events, or in lotteries, etc. The tragedy with gambling is the the “house” always wins. People waste their time and hard-earned money and come home empty handed. Not only do they lose their money, but they lose their mental balance as well as gambling is
an addition. People go so far as to sell their most valued possessions in order to support their gambling habit. Indeed, even the great King Yudhisthira lost his entire wealth and property in a game of dice. Such are the ill effects of gaming and gambling.

Our Ananda Marga does not allow for this at all.

Baba says, “The habit of making wagers is extremely undesirable. You must avoid lotteries and gambling.” (CC-2, Society, pt#38)

When there is no gambling then there is no question of losing money or wasting away one’s time. This is an absolute money-saver.

LOANS

In our present era, this is a big, big point. So many people around the world, especially in the materialistic western nations, make it a hobby or even career in life to spend money which they do not have.

People incur debt by taking big loans to pay for things that they cannot afford: clothes, fancy meals, i-Phones, sports cars, gadgets, and so much more. By this way they lose money in two ways: Firstly by purchasing a costly item which they do not really need; secondly by having to pay the interest on the loan for that item. Hence it is a double loss.

Yet all “modern economies” around the globe are based on this faulty precept. Not only do individuals and families indulge in this, but entire cities, counties, states and even whole nations embark on this defective manner of taking loans to pay for things they cannot afford.

From beginning to end this is a totally costly and mentally taxing affair. People stay awake at night wondering and worrying about how they are going to pay back their loan. And countries even go totally bankrupt – that we are seeing today.

In Ananda Marga, Baba is entirely against the idea of taking a loan or incurring debt for superfluous items.

Baba says, “To purchase, by incurring debt, serge where tweed will do, or gaberdine where serge will do, is surely against the principle of aparigraha.” (GHC)

Indeed the entire spirit of aparigraha is to live in a simple manner, within one’s means. This is only possible if oe can to cultivate the requisite santosa (mental ease), such that a person will not senselessly run after material goods. As Baba points out in many discourses, the practices of aparigraha and santosa are closely linked.

Baba says, “Human desire knows no end. Millionaires want to become multimillionaires, because they are not satisfied with their million. Ask the millionaires if they are happy with their money. They will say, “Where is the money? I am somehow pulling on.” This answer indicates their ignorance of aparigraha. But such feelings have another adverse effect on body and mind.”

Here Baba continues His discourse.

Baba says, “Out of excessive fondness for physical or mental pleasures people become mad to earn money and amass wealth. As money becomes the be-all and end-all of life, the mind gets crudified. Constant hankering after money results in negligence of one’s health, and this makes the body unfit. Therefore, santos’a sa’dhana’ lies in being contented with the earnings of normal labour, without any undue pressure on the body and mind. To remain contented, one has to make a special type of mental effort to keep aloof from external allurements.” (GHC)

Hence by following yama and niyama and doing sadhana, one can easily become adept at the points of aparigraha and santosa. And this will lead to saving so much money – huge amounts.

Because without aparigraha and santosa, one will become a prisoner to the consumer mentality of “buy this” & “buy that” which is so infested within capitalism.

Hence this topic of loans in highly linked without our mental state and yama and niyama. When the mind is balanced one will steer clear of all kinds of unneeded purchases as well as unnecessary loans, thereby saving tremendous amounts of money.

OTHER WAYS OF SAVING MONEY

BY FOLLOWING OUR AM WAY OF LIFE

Here is a brief list of other ways any sadhaka of the Marga will certainly save money. Again, anyone can follow this approach and get the financial benefits. I invite others to comment and elaborate on these below points.

– Fasting: By fasting 2 or 4 times monthly, we save 1 – 2 months worth of food over the course of the entire year. Plus fasting purifies the body and keeps us disease-free, and away from expensive medical visits.

– Marriage: In some traditions huge money or dowries are paid to get one’s children married. We do not subscribe to such dogmas. Our social ceremonies are free.

– Tiirtha / Pilgrimage: Traveling to so-called holy lands like Mecca, Jerusalem or Varanasi each year is an expensive proposition. In AM, we do not have such destinations – the only tiirtha in AM is Guru cakra.

– Birth & Death: Here again these entail social ceremonies that do not cost any money in AM, whereas in the dogmatic churches and temples, moderate to large sums of money need to be paid. Plus without a large payment, one will not even find a spot in the cemetery or get a good casket, whereas in AM the body is burned at no expense to the deceased or their family.

– Hobbies: In AM, our only hobby is social service and helping others whereas in the so-called first-world nations average citizens spend enormous amounts of money on hobbies and recreational activities. Thus we save a lot in this department as well.

– Psychic Disease: Sadhana keeps the mind balanced and without sadhana people encounter so many mental problems: frustration, depression, angst, phobias etc. In that case they have to spend huge money on psychiatrists and psychologists.

– Inferiority Complex: Anyone with an inferiority is bound to be exploited. Sadhana will free the mind from such complexes.

– Religious Taxes: In most of the religions, the tax for the average member is 10% or so of their total income. In Ananda Marga it is only 2%. Thus we save 8%.

And there are a multitude of other ways in which we save money. Everyone should write in with their experience of how they save money by being an Ananda Margii

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace He has given us the perfect system for living in this era of economic struggle and strife. By following His life principles we are bound to save large sums of money and feel relaxed about our financial picture.

So if anyone is suffering from economic turmoil, just become an Ananda Margii or redouble one’s efforts in following 16 Pts. Then one will be worry-free and unencumbered by economic problems.

Let us remember that human life is short and it is meant for sadhana, not getting caught up in financial concerns.

Baba says, “One should not forget that human life is short. From the moment of birth one slowly and steadily advances towards death with every passing second. This short period of time from birth to death is human life. Human beings have come from the world of invisibility and at the end of this short span of time will return to the world of invisibility. Those people can be called intelligent who utilize every moment of their short life engaged in spiritual practice.” (APH-4)

Namaskar,
Jagatmitra

Note 1: BABA’S SPECIAL ORDER ABOUT LOANS

Here furthermore is another of Baba’s special guideline about taking loans.

Baba says, “I am also giving one more advice in regard to aparigraha. If any Margis have to spend on anything in addition to the fixed expenditure (for example, expensive clothing, ornaments, articles of furniture, marriage, building, etc.), they should, before incurring such expenditure, obtain a clear order from their a’ca’rya, unit secretary or district secretary, or any other person of responsible rank. Similarly, permission is to be obtained before taking loan from any businessman or money-lender.” (GHC)

Note 2: GOOD FOR ONE AND ALL

In this materialistic era, the mass of people weigh most of their decisions on money. People want to know what is most economical. This plays into our favour as this entire letter aims to show the innumerable ways how living life as an Ananda Margii is the best bank for your buck. So this is a good pracara strategy: Save money by becoming an Ananda Margii.

In addition, challenging or severe economic times are mounting, so as Ananda Margiis we need not worry so much since in a multitude of ways our way of life is the most economical. It is a better deal fiscally.

By the above listing of points, it is easy to see how and why our AM ways of life is great in all realms of life, including financially.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Ajuta chande esechile tumi nacite nacite ha’site ha’site…” (PS #146)

Purport:

O’ Baba, with the resonance of melody and in the manana [1] of my heart, and the jingling of the ankle bell [2], You came in countless rhythms, dancing and smiling, smiling and dancing.

You came with the resonance of melody; You came with the manana of my heart, You came with the jingling of the angel bell. O’ Lord you came, You came with the resonance of melody, O’ Lord You came.

You came with the manana of my heart, O’ Lord. You came with the jingling of the ankle bell. O’ Lord, with the resonance of melody, and in the manana of my heart, O’ Lord You came. In the manana of my heart, and the jingling of the ankle bell, O’ Lord You came.

If I blossom as a flower on the branch, then You become fragrance and fill me always. If I become the distant sky, then You become blue and fill me always. [3] O’ Lord, You fill me always. As a blue color You always envelop me.

If I become the distant sky, then You become blue and fill me always. O’ Lord, You fill me always. You surround me from all the directions, You came in countless rhythms, dancing and smiling, smiling and dancing.

O’ Baba, I am never alone. You are always with me, no matter what. You are ever gracious, I surrender at Your lotus feet…

NOTES FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #146:

[1] Manana: The contemplation or ideation of the Supreme Entity by repeating the Lord’s name in the mind. This special process Baba has described in-depthly in His various teachings of AM devotional and spiritual life.

[2] Jingling of the Ankle Bell: This song carries great symbolic and is the poetic expression of what the sadhaka feels in dhyana. So the “ankle bell” is not a physical bell attached to one’s ankle nor does it refer to some type of bell that Parama Purusa is wearing around His foot. Rather when the sadhaka realises and feels the proximity of Parama Purusa in deep dhyana, then one hears this ankle bell sound within. That is the meaning of this metaphor in the song. One hears this ankle bell sound when in His close proximity. The phrase – Parama Purusa has come with His ankle bell – is just a poetic expression that holds greater symbolic meaning.

[3] Two More Metaphors: The metaphor of the sky and its blue color indicates how they are inseparable. The sky and blueness cannot be made distinct from one another. The two are inextricably inter-linked. In the same way the devotee and Parama Purusa are inseparable. Similarly, the flower cannot be separated from its fragrance; where there is a the flower there is fragrance and where there is flower fragrance there is the flower. The two are completely part and parcel of each other. Here again this refers to the inherent link between the Lord and the bhakta. Parama Purusa is always with the devotee – one cannot remain separate from the other. Parama Purusa comes with His omnkara dhvani (eternal sound) the bhakta gets attracted and merges in Him.

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