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Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 13:19:38 -0000
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: Kamala
Subject: NY Retreat: Colourful Report

Baba

“Asha’ni ulka’ upeks’a’ kari a’lokatiirthe calo cali…” (P.S. 744)

Purport:

Baba by Your grace I will go on marching ahead towards the effulgence,
my Goal, by avoiding and overcoming all sorts of obstacles like
thunderbolts & meteors. By Your grace I will not be afraid of the thorns
and difficulties on the path. With Your strength, I will root them out,
throw them away, and move on and on. Baba, all my energy is coming from
You.

Baba, on the path of my forward movement, there so many insects &
nuisances. Plus various types of demons, ghosts, witches, and goblins
are trying to create disturbances and fear on my journey. But by Your
divine grace when I have fixed the determination in my mind to move
towards You, then until I will not rest until I reach the Goal. Baba, by
Your grace, with my feet I will go on crushing all the obstacles on the
path, no matter how insurmountable they may seem. Baba. Your immense
blessing is always with me. You are my Source and You are my Savior…

== NY RETREAT: COLOURFUL REPORT ==

Namaskar,
The annual gathering of the NY summer sectorial retreat at Ananda Kanan
(USA) was recently held. This is a short report about a few of the many
happenings of that conference. Others also are welcome to write in with
their view and accounts.

In the coming days, many other elements of this retreat will be profiled
so really everyone’s input is most welcomed.

IMPORTANCE OF MASTER UNITS

As many may be aware, Ananda Kanan, located in the Ozark mountains in
Missouri, stands at the main master unit of NY sector. It has now been a
hub for sectorial activity for years and years, nearly two decades or more.

Naturally then we expect great things from this MU, as Baba has
identified master units as an all-important representation of our Ananda
Marga way of life.

Here are a few of Baba’s dharmic guidelines about master units.

Baba says, “When Ananda Marga started touching every discipline of life,
it was then contemplated to establish the Master Units as the miniature
forms of Ananda Marga. As there are different nerve centres in the body
which control the function of the different limbs and organs, and which
are finally controlled by the mind itself, likewise the Master Units
will be treated as the nerve centres of the society.” (PNS-19)

Baba says, “These miniature forms of Ananda Marga will expand and
gradually terminate in the maxiature form and cover the whole universe.
Master Units will expand all possible services, particularly in the
fields of education, culture, economics and spiritual upliftment. These
Master Units will work to improve the fate, first of all human beings,
and then of all living beings.” (PNS-19)

Baba says, “Through Master Units and PROUT, we will elevate the standard
of the people in a few months or a few years.” (PNS-19)

Baba says, “With spiritual philosophy as the hub, we are to start as
many Master Units as possible.” (PNS-19)

By Baba’s above guidelines, it is quite clear that master units – like
Ananda Kanan – are to play a preeminent role in the representation and
spread of AM ideals.

As we all know, in countless reporting sessions as well, Baba has
emphasized the value and need for more and more master units, as these
mu’s are meant to carry the flag of our AM way of life in all respects.

SCENES FROM ANANDA KANAN:

EXPOSED DRESS BY DIDIS SETS BAD EXAMPLE

Baba has clearly delivered the message that the dignity of women shall
always be preserved and one clear-cut avenue of this is proper dress.

Baba says, “Women should wear simple and decent clothes and cover their
bodies properly.” (CC-1)

Unfortunately, at the recent July retreat in Ananda Kanan, two of our
Didis made a poor showing by tossing aside their avadhutika uniforms and
instead embraced the crude, pseudo-culture fashion of the USA.

Most everyone is aware the the US is the capital of pseudo-culture as
the vaeshyan powers of America have imposed crude values on the society,
including the objectification of women, i.e. showing females as being
mere sex tools of society. This is one of the main examples of
pseudo-culture in the land of the USA.

Somehow, two of our respected avadhutikas, fell into this trap, and
perhaps even worse is that they made a terrible example for our youths.
Our teenagers, and especially young girls, need a proper role model to
show them a higher way of living and presenting themselves. Because at
present in the USA, Hollywood’s half-naked starlets have captured the
attention of many young girls.

So teenagers girls need a role model: someone who will exemplify the
more noble ideals and expressions of human life, i.e. someone who will
be a living representation of the dignity of women.

Under normal circumstances, our Didis are that sterling example and
under normal circumstances, our master units would be such a place.

But at this retreat – as has happened too many times in the past at
Ananda Kanan pseudo-culture has taken root. Specificaly two of our
avadhutikas totally dropped their ideal and embraced the sensual ways of
pseudo-culture.

In particular, Didi Ananda Anuradha and Didi Ananda Raganuga tossed
their uniforms aside and wore skin-tight shirts and form-fitting jeans
such that every curve and shape of their bodies were highlighted. Their
clothes were so tight it looked as though their garments were painted
onto their bodies.

To be blunt, and please pardon the expression, but our revered
avadhutikas resembled “two dizzy bimbos” that one might see in a B-grade
movie, wherein the movie director is showing two ditzy females in some
shopping mall etc. The tragedy is that our Didis were reinforcing the
dogmatic and undignified way that females are represented in pop-culture.

The scene at Ananda Kanan was THAT bad.

Now here is the kicker. What were our Didis doing at the moment. Our
respected avadhutikas dressed up like that because they were going out
on a picnic with our youths – i.e. with our teenagers. As if this was
the ideal way to present themselves in front of our young,
impressionable youths at an Ananda Marga function.

TERRIBLE EFFECT ON OUR YOUNG SISTERS

All in all, this proved to be absolutely disastrous. Because all year
long teenagers in the USA are targeted heavily by corporations. The
entire capitalist machinery of pseudo-culture aims all its exploitative
powers at youths, especially young girls. They impose on these young
girls how they must look and act a certain way – wherein they are mere
objects of sexual allurement for men. We have all seen this in the form
of movies, advertisements, TV shows, internet images and in countless
other ways.

Baba says, “Another form of injustice in society is discrimination based
on sex. Instances of one sex being considered inferior to the other are
very common. Women in a sizable area of the world are considered as the
private property of men and are meant for their pleasure only.” (AFPS-7)

Baba says, “In the modern world there is a wide variety of films which
excite the passions and have a degrading influence on boys and girls,
adolescents and young men and women. Such films create in cinema-goers
the desire to emulate in their individual lives the criminal activities,
the vulgar expressions of love, or the adventurous behaviour that they
see enacted on the screen. This is another example of how keeping bad
company causes depravity.” (HS-1)

Tragically, our two avadhutikas failed to contrast this dark and
degenerating message by highlighting the ideals & aims of Ananda Marga.
When they went on that picnic with our youths, gone were their
avadhutika uniforms and out came their sexual pseudo-culture dress. Plus
they tried to make themselves look “pretty” and “alluring” in various
other ways.

Note: In particular, Didi Ananda Anuradha has an unfortunate weakness in
this regard. In past retreats at Ananda Kanan, she has used her esteemed
belt from her avadhutika uniform and used it as a girlie hair tie when
performing on stage. Plus she is no stranger to the beauty & feminine
cosmetics industry. So hers is a long and storied spectacle in this regard.

Really then, to have two of our main avadhutikas peel off their uniforms
in front of our youths and resort to the crude ways of pseudo-culture is
quite devastating. That shining star of an example is now gone and our
teens have nowhere to look for a proper way.

And all this is happening on the grounds of our Ananda Kanan master
unit, where AM ideals – like the dignity of women – are meant to be
embraced, not overlooked in favour of pseudo-culture.

IS IT ANY WONDER THEN THAT…

Given the above scene, and other instances like it, is it any wonder
then that the whole expression of young ladies and women at the Ananda
Kanan master unit fell from our ideal during retreat.

For instance:

1) It was not at all uncommon for our tender young females at the NY
summer sectorial retreat to wear sleeveless shirts to highlight their
tans etc. In their innocence they do like this. And even worse is that
when they raise their arms, such as during kiirtan and kaoshikii, such a
shirt becomes all the more revealing. But how can we tell them or send
them an indirect message not to wear such revealing clothing when our
esteemed Didis are doing the same thing.

Please understand, that there were many Didis at the retreat who really
do honour the code of being an avadhutika and take the cause of the
dignity of women quite seriously, yet all that is undermined when a few
Didis do things that “fly-in-the-face” of such ideals. Then the example
is lost.

2) Another common scene at the retreat is for our young teenagers to
pair off as girlfriend and boyfriend. That means touching, hugging,
kissing, holding hands, rubbing, massaging, and sneaking off together to
a lonely place. All these things have become quite the norm between our
teenage children while at Ananda Kanan.

Here again, that is not our ideal way – that is not what we want to see
happening on the grounds of our MU. Nor is this something that we should
support.

Baba says, “It should be remembered that a woman’s friend is a woman and
a man’s friend is a man.” (CC-1)

Our MU’s are places where we are to represent cent-per-cent of Baba’s
teachings, including restraint in social life and modest dealing between
males and females.

Yet our youths at these retreats are mostly involved in the “dating
game” which is so prevalent in America, which often results in teen
pregnancy, emotional difficulties, and disrespect for the human body and
condition. Sadly, this type of thing is happening on our MU grounds and
our youths are not to be blamed. They are bright-eyed beings with high
aspirations who need guidance and support from our AM leaders.

Yet when our leading Didis toss aside their own codes of conduct and
prance around in skin-tight dress to show off their bodies, then those
Didis do not have the moral courage – nor desire – to speak out against
pseudo-culture: period.

And the ones who suffer the most are our youths, as they do not get the
example nor guidance they so desperately need.

Instead all they hear from our acaryas is, “Don’t they look cute
together” or “How sweet they are” or “What a charming couple” or our
acaryas just simply smile. Believe it or not, that is the prevailing
message that our Dadas and Didis tell to these young couples of
boyfriend and girlfriend.

And the proof is that our retreats at the Ananda Kanan have turned into
the breeding ground for the dating game.

In that case, our young ones have no chance; of course they are going to
err.

3) Mixed sex swimming is another problem at our retreats. And once again
our youths are some of the main trespassers, though through no fault of
their own. Bathing suits in America are basically like wearing underwear
or under garments. One is essentially naked when swimming. To give
leeway for all our teens to swim together – girls and boys like – is
only asking for a hormonal brush fire. There are sure to be sparks.

Yet again, when at the same time certain acaryas have tossed aside their
uniform in favour of casual American dress in order to go canoing
(boating) etc, then those Didis have no place or voice to comment on
youths who are wearing typical – yet revealing – American swim suits.

So these are but a few of the things that many of us are noticing at the
retreat on our master unit. And this has been going on for years &
years. These are not isolated incidents.

Of course there are other issues like groupism, power mongering, and
more, but in the realm of pseudo-culture and male-female relationships,
the above is a glimpse or picture of what is happening on our AM master
unit of Ananda Kanan.

And the root cause is defective leadership.

Baba says, “Today there is catastrophe and misery in human society and
there is one reason: the defective leadership of society…Bear in mind
that people may be harmed or misled by even a small weakness or defect
in the conduct of an a’ca’rya. Just as it is the duty of a father to
educate his children properly by his good conduct, an a’ca’rya or
a’ca’rya’ should always instruct by their exemplary actions and words.”
(AV-31)

THERE ARE OTHER MANIFESTATIONS OF PSEUDO-CULTURE

The cultural programs continue to be problematic because still wt
performers and others are going on stage and showing off pop-culture rap
music and hip-hop dance, instead of the dharmic and dignified samgiita
of Ananda Marga. So once again we see Dadas and Didis alike shaking
their hips on the stage and losing themselves in American
pseudo-culture. This of course does not help things at all.

Please write in with other ways you have seen the ugly play of
pseudo-culture take root on our MU properties like Ananda Kanan.

Because this pseudo-culture is a menace to society and if there is any
place where it should be wiped out, it is on our AM master units which
are meant to be a nerve center of AM thought and conduct.

Here Baba warns us of the dangers & horrors of pseudo-culture.

Baba says, “This exploitation in the cultural sphere is accomplished by
the propagation of pseudo-culture. Every honest, virtuous, rational
person must fight against this pseudo-culture, and inspire others to do
the same. If this is not done, the future of humanity will be sealed.”
(NH-LOI, Disc: 7)

OTHER ASHRAMS IN THE US MAINTAIN THEIR SANCTITY

Often we hear, people say, “Oh come on, this is America, everyone has a
girlfriend, they all dress in scanty ways, etc”. These are the excuses
various AM leaders give in order to justify the presence of pop-culture
antics on our MU land.

But here is a wake-up call to such persons.

There are countless ashrams and retreat sites in the US where they
uphold the dignity of dress and separation of the sexes. So many gurus
have come to the west and their followers are maintaining proper social
standards. They may suffer from various Hindu dogmas or wrong spiritual
guidelines, but at least the good things they have learned about
spiritual life, they have the courage to follow.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of life on our AM master units
and retreat sites like Ananda Kanan. No doubt, Baba has given the
greatest teachings, yet when our leaders have neither the discipline nor
the courage to uphold those guidelines, then everything goes awash and
life runs rampant.

That is what we see happening at Ananda Kanan summer retreat programs.

BABA STORY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF UNIFORM

Here is one story that is highly related with our current problems.

One time Baba asked us all, “Why is it that the public is afraid of the
police?”

Various Dadas, Didis and margiis gave their answers. Baba was not
satisfied with their replies.

Then He said, “It is because of their uniform. If those police agents
are not in uniform then no one will respect them.”

Baba then concluded how all our Wts should be in full uniform whenever
in public or at any AM function etc. That will set the proper tone.

Unfortunately, very few of our Dadas and Didis adhere to this policy and
the negative affect is felt, seen and heard at our retreat gatherings.
Yes it is true that our margii parents can be a bit more stern with
their children at these retreats, but when our acaryas are not
representing Baba’s standard on this most basic point of dress, then
there is very little hope that we can pass the proper message to our
youths.

Until this problem is not solved, the ways of pseudo-culture and sexual
innuendos will be pervasive throughout the grounds of our MU’s during
our retreats, or at the very least in Ananda Kanan.

BABA’S BLESSING

By His grace the standard of conduct in our AM will soon rise and our
retreats and functions at our master units will be up to the proper
standard.

Baba says, “The sadvipras will install qualified persons in power, and
the social order which will be evolved by virtue of their leadership
will give due importance to one and all. In this new society based on
Neohumanism, everyone will find their life worth living. All will regain
their lost positions of honour.” (AFPS-2)

Namaskar,
Kamala

*********************************************
Ajapa – Japa & Adhyana – Dhyana

Baba says, “If a man constantly chants his japa mantra or meditates
ceaselessly, then the rhythm of this japa, the rhythm that adores the
Guru during dhyana, will act as auto-suggestion during the time of
sleep, although he does not remember it…A sadhaka with this capacity
continues his dhyana and japa even in sleep. This kind of japa is called
“Ajapa’ Japa”; that is to say, without performing japa, one is actually
performing it. And it is called “Adhya’na’ Dhyana”, which means that
without actually meditating, the act of meditation is going on.” (YP,
1991 Edn, p. 150-51)

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

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