Posts Tagged ‘Current Social Issues’

"The system in which characterless men swagger about in society while fallen women are denied proper opportunities despite their sincere desire to lead an honest life, can never be supported by justice."- Baba

"The system in which characterless men swagger about in society while fallen women are denied proper opportunities despite their sincere desire to lead an honest life, can never be supported by justice."- Baba

From: “Daniel Guttirez”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Should Prostitution Be Legal
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 10:01:28 +0000


“Toma’ke ja’y na’ bhola’…” (P.S. 2347)


Baba, by Your grace You have bound me in Your divine attraction– love.
Always I am calling and thinking about You, yet You are not satiating my
heart’s desire by coming close. Baba, when I long for You and the feeling
of melancholy is unbearable then my heart begins to ache. Baba, in that
longing and pain, the feeling comes in my mind that it is best just to
forget You. Because then at least the pain which is lingering due to Your
absence will not remain any longer. But the more and more I think that I
should forget You, then my deep longing and yearning for You only
intensifies– and my heart becomes more and more restless to get You. Baba,
I am longing for Your causeless grace, please come…


Should prostitution be legal? It may sound like a moot point, a foregone
conclusion, or even an outlandish suggestion, especially in the minds of
Ananda Margiis; but it may be something we are all confronted with more and
more in the near future– both outside and inside AM. So we should all be
ready with the appropriate & Proutistic response.


Many margii readers may surely be thinking that ‘the oldest profession’–
ie prostitution, has no legs to stand on and is a thing of the past; and
‘there is no way that it will come to be accepted in AM circles’. And
hopefully so, even then we should be aware of societal trends as they
sometimes have a habit of sneaking our way.

As is commonly seen, in some parts of the globe– like Europe, parts of
Asia & elsewhere etc– the sex industry, and with it prostitution, is
gaining both (a) greater popularity, and believe it or not, (b)
acceptability as well.

Why popularity? Well for one thing it is a “great money-maker”. And in this
capitalistic era, where money is king, then that is enough for some
sections of the business world to embrace it. Consider this statistic:

“Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and the sex industry
has revenues estimated at nearly US $1 billion a year.”

And the Netherlands is one of the smallest countries on the planet–
imagine the size of the profit if it were legalised in China. And, indeed,
at present in China, the dark way of prostitution is being resorted to more
and more by young rural girls who are looking to make their way in the world.

“Fifteen years ago [in China], you didn’t find sex workers
in remote areas and cities. But now it’s prevalent in
every city, every county.”

Given this, it may be just a matter of time before certain industrialists
capitalise on it. So that is a mere glimpse of the popular perspective from
certain financiers.

And from the perspective of the general populace, prostitution is something
that is not so under the table anymore. Amongst ‘users’ it is also rising
in popularity.

“One of the most popular attractions is the Highway
from Dresden Germany to Prague. It’s lined with
hundreds of Brothels and thousands of independents
working along the highway.”
“The world’s oldest profession is highly visible in Berlin.
As night falls, the ladies of the night parade the
Oranienburger Strasse in the heart of the capital.”

So in various regions of the world– either due to economic woe in former
Communist countries, sexual repression in the Middle East, or sexual
acceptance in Europe or Singapore etc– there is a growing market and
interest in prostitution. So much so that even legal magistrates are
changing their tune.

“A recent decision by a Berlin judge could well trigger a
change in Germany’s attitude towards prostitution…
Judge Percy Maclean said the profession was now
broadly accepted.”

Thus in this debauched era, in some nations even the courts are giving way
to the tidings of prostitution.


And perhaps, the most dangerous thing about this trend towards prostitution
is that it is being embraced by certain ‘western progressives’. In the name
of ‘freedom’ and ‘open-mindedness’, more and more are thinking that
prostitution is ok. They reason, ‘Let the people do what they want’ and
‘Why should we be confined to narrow-minded Christian beliefs’ etc. Hence,
just as the right to abortion and gay marriages have become the happy song
and voting ticket of countless so-called progressives, prostitution may not
be lagging far behind. This issue also they will soon champion, if they
haven’t already.

And if nothing else this spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e in the general society, and
even within AM.


By now, some may be thinking that what is the need to discuss this on our
Marga forum. Prostitution is not a new issue and why should we be concerned
about it.

Well for one thing, we are responsible for the proper growth and
development of humanity and we should know its trends. So when prostitution
is rearing its ugly head more and more, then we should be aware. And
secondly, and perhaps a touch scarier, is that there is an ongoing trend
that what becomes popular with the so-called western progressives also
gains acceptance in AM. That is the history.

For evidence of this, we need not look any further than the issue of
homosexuality. This is clearly a thing that, in theory, is not at all
supported by AM ideology, yet its toes have entered the front door of
Ananda Marga, and it is no secret how this has happened.

In the western mind-set, homosexuality has gained huge momentum such that
gay marriages or same-sex marriages are not only becoming more and more
prevalent, but they are becoming legal in many states and countries
throughout the western world. And many heterosexual progressives blatantly
support this as they think it makes them look more broad-minded, since by
this way they are going directly against the Christian beliefs & the
Catholic church, both of which are looked upon by ‘progressives’ as being
stagnant in the social sphere. So for this reason homosexuality has become
a major force in western social and political circles.

And it does not stop there, from this ‘progressive’ front, such ideas about
homosexuality have leaked into, if not spilled into, Ananda Marga. Because
now not only are various Ananda Margiis less apt to say or think that
homosexuality should be addressed and treated as a social disease, as Baba
says it should; but in our Marga, various outspoken activists and
self-proclaimed lesbians are given a high place in our AM society. They are
treated as ‘icons’ in some regards.

And the source of this problem stems from the fact that so-called
progressives in the west hail the cause of homosexuality. Even various
Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie refuse to marry until
gays enjoy the same right to marriage in each and every state, city, and
town. So it has become ‘hip’ to support homosexuality– it defines one as
being “open-minded”.

And this very defective mind-set has crept into AM. Some in the Marga have
gotten caught up in the chase along with western ‘progressives’ such that
those same fashionable outlooks like “homosexuality go, go, go” have snuck
into AM.

Please excuse me for saying so but some of our Dadas are have very
recently been involved in homosexual realtionships. But because homosexuality
is so accepted in the general society, when a Wt indulges then it is
not seen as such a bad thing. (Note the aforesaid case is well known
and I have the details and first-hand information.)

And if we are not careful, the way things are going, within 2, 5, or 10
years, in AM we may see a similar acceptance of prostitution– all because
it has been accepted by certain western progressives.

It may seem like a far-off scenario, but actually it may be closer than we
think. And best is to get our stance straight from the very beginning, lest
some get sucked into the so-called progressive western mind-set, as has
happened with the issue of homosexuality.


Just to clarify, our perspective in AM is not that homosexuals should be
shunned & banned forever and ever; rather according to Baba such persons
should be rectified and treated. Because theirs is not a natural way to
live and we should not let our brothers and sisters fall prey to this

With full compassion, our manner is to adopt a stance against this abnormal
way of life and through 16 Points guide such people how to mend their ways.
And our view should be made clear and must not be at all ambiguous or
contradictory. We should stick to our AM ideals, and have full empathy
towards those lesbians and help them to be cured.


All this goes to show that the issues supported by ‘progressive western
intellectuals’ has a habit of sinking into AM. So we should be careful.
Because as prostitution is becoming more and more rampant around the globe
due to so many defective trends such as the massive numbers of refugees,
poverty, pseudo-culture, and a crude fascination with sex, its prevalence
is allowing it to gain acceptance into the so-called progressive
think-tank. Little by little this is happening. And we do not want the next
step being that some in AM also start thinking that prostitution is fine
and well so that they will be embraced as being ‘open-minded’ by various
so-called progressives. That is the main issue, or potential issue if we
look a touch further down the road.


In this degraded era of Kali Yuga when so many crude vices are cropping up
in so many aspects of our social life, our standard is to stick to AM
ideals and now be swayed by any so-called progressives. Surely, on one is
AM supports the notion of prostitution but as the thinking of society
changes, no one in our Marga should get swayed, for any reason.

Here then are but a few of Baba’s strict guidelines on this matter. So just
as in the case of homosexuality, Baba’s approach towards prostitution is
equally clear.

Baba says, “The repugnant social disease of prostitution is also a creation
of the vaeshyas. As a result of excessive wealth the vaeshyas lose their
self-control and their character on the one hand; and many unfortunate
women are forced by poverty to descend to this sinful occupation on the
other hand.” (HS-2)

Baba says, “Because of injustices against women with respect to their
social rights and because women are economically crippled, a section of
women is compelled to take to prostitution. Although there are many causes
of this profession, these are the main two. Ananda Marga recognizes that
women are as dignified human beings as men. Ananda Marga, in addition,
wants to encourage women to be economically independent of men. The system
in which characterless men swagger about in society while fallen women are
denied proper opportunities despite their sincere desire to lead an honest
life, can never be supported by justice.” (28 January 1958 RU, Trimohan)


By Baba’s grace as we spread the ideals of AM to the four corners, our
universal human family will grow in a sentient and nice way and recognise
the inherent value of all.

Baba says, “In this new society based on Neohumanism, everyone will find
their life worth living. All will regain their lost positions of honour.”


Special Formula of Tandava

Baba says, “Tandava: As long as a dancer remains above the ground, he
derives much benefit; when he touches the ground, then those benefits are
assimilated by the body. That is why in the tandava dance there is much
jumping, because jumping requires the practitioner to remain off the ground
for a fairly long period of time.” (NSS, p. 23)


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Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 07:27:06
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Gay Marriage: Stand of A’nanda Ma’rga
From: Jiivendra


“Ja’du nagariiya’ se a’ya’ hya’y ek ja’dugar…” (PS 4062)


The Parama Purusa, the Divine Musician from the magical world of music has come. Look all around. Now everything is dancing in His love. Everyone’s heart is filled with His love. The whole universe is dancing, the waves of the ocean are dancing, the black bee is also dancing on the flowers.

Everyone is intoxicated with His love– knowingly or unknowingly they are dancing in His flow. Oh the Parama Purusa divine Musician, what have You done. The hearts which were sleeping in frustration, they have bloomed again. They have gotten new life. The spirituality which was lost, You brought it back. The resonance of the Cosmic vibration is audible everywhere. The music is filled inside and out. Oh Parama Purusa You have filled this entire universe with Your love…
Each and every day in the courts, in congress, in coffee shops, in
bookstores, and in the town hall, heated debates are going on about
gay-lesbian or same sex marriages. All are getting involved: Politicians,
“progressives”, church officials, professionals, students, and of course
gays and lesbians. Some say “YES”, some say “NO”, and some say “I DON’T
KNOW”. All together this issue of gay marriage is a pervasive topic in the
society, especially in our western, materialistic countries.
As A’nanda Ma’rgiis, it is important for us to know our AM / Proutistic
stand on each and every social issue. Because by this way we will be able
to implement Baba’s divine ideals and solve society’s problems at large.
So when in certain parts of the globe the issue of Gay-Lesbian marriage has become such a burning topic, we should investigate the matter and pointedly understand and formulate our ideological stand– based on Baba’s teachings, of course.

That way, now and in the future, we can help the society move ahead in the proper direction. Plus it will allow us in AMPS to hold a unified stance on the issue.

So gaining clarity about Baba’s position about gay-lesbian marriages holds numerous benefits.

As we explore this topic of gay marriage– i.e. marriage between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman– we should first take a look at some of the foundational points of materialistic life. Because this will give us insight into why in the west the issue of same sex marriages has gained so much momentum and come to the fore.

And we should also recognise that off-shoots of this are beginning to
sprout in China, India, and other countries– as materialism spreads more and more. So this topic of gay marriage is multiplying and fast becoming a global issue. This we are all going to see– and are seeing.

So we should know our AM stand on this important issue. Because as things like gay and lesbian marriages spread in the society then they all tend to creep into AM. And this we are seeing at this very moment. So in numerous ways, and in various angles, this issue of gay marriage is going to affect and touch us all.

That is why we can say it is a burning issue and demands our utmost care
and attention so we can give a reasonable and rational solution- thereby
helping one and all.

Before writing anything further let it be known that no person in our human family is bad or depraved, per se. In AM, we do not believe that criminals are inherently bad nor do we believe that people are “bad” based on their sexual orientation. So our approach is not about labeling people, but rather about seeing the divine within all. That is why we focus on recognising those life practices which Baba espouses: So that our human potential can be realised and the best human society can be built. That is the chief aim of this entire discussion.
As we delve into the matter of gay marriages, we should take a look at the
fertile ground in which it has taken root by examining the way of life in
our materialistic countries.

While in AM our approach to life is basically spiritual, in stark contrast,
in the crude, capitalistic society, sex has become the way of life. That is
the overriding emphasis in life and society: Sexual appeal, sexual
relations, sexual looks, and sexual dealings. People rake in huge profits
off of sex and people’s self-image is based primarily on sexual allurement, especially women. Because the misguided idea reigns that the ultimate satisfaction in life is achieved by sex– not through any other way. In the materialistic approach, they do not believe there is anything higher than sex.

So sex is one of the main forces in materialistic life. This is evidenced
by nearly every image in the society: On the billboards, on the TV, in the
movies, in social relations, and in all the ways crude sex has taken hold
of every aspect of life. Such are the degraded and lowly ways of
materialistic life.

Hence although human desires are infinite, due to a lack of spirituality,
in the materialistic societies they try to satisfy their human longing
through sex.

So when sex holds such a high place in the society, in that case, in this
materialistic era, especially in our western countries, the institution of
marriage is grounded in the idea of being a legalised sexual union between two people. For years and years this has meant a legalised sexual union between a man and a woman, i.e. a heterosexual marriage.

Here the critical point is that in materialism, the basis or the foundation
of the marriage system is sex. Marriage allows for two persons to carry out sexual relations in an “upstanding way” in the society. And whatever else they wish to do in their married life is entirely up to them. No greater responsibility is involved.

Marriage then becomes nothing but a ticket for becoming accepted sexual partners in the society. That is the way it works in the materialistic west. Because sexual satisfaction is the aim of such marriage, not raising children nor building a strong society. These outcomes, such as children,are nothing but the by-product of sexual oriented marriages. Children are not the main thing in materialistic marriages. But in AM, raising healthy, idealistic children is the aim of our marriage system. That is the vast difference between our AM and the materialistic nations.

So in certain western countries where marriage is just an avenue for sexual deeds, step by step, gays and lesbians are forming the opinion then that they should also be allowed to marry and be looked upon as upstanding citizens in the society.

Because the gay and lesbian communities argue that when marriage in the general society itself means a legalised sexual union between two people, then why should there be discrimination about whom those two people are.

Why not extend those rights of a sexually based marriage to everyone. Why not allow a gay marriage between a man and a man, or lesbian marriage between a woman and a woman. Let these types of same sex couples also partake in this marriage system, since sex is the main prerequisite. Why should there be discrimination that only a male and a female can marry. This is the main logic that gays and lesbians put forth about why they should be allowed to marry.

Because when the whole materialistic society is based on sexual involvement and when those male-female marriages are based solely on sex, then naturally gays and lesbians feel that they should also be allowed to marry.

Because they see that when sex is the chief ingredient in forming a marriage, then gays and lesbians feel that they are worthy candidates for marriage– since they satisfy that prerequisite of sexual relations.

Indeed gays and lesbians have gotten so much momentum in this regard that so-called progressive citizens in these materialistic countries have also adopted this stance. Because they also know that marriage in the materialistic countries is a sexual engagement. In that case such heterosexual progressives wrongly reason that if a man and woman have the legal right to hold sexual relations, then gays and lesbians should also have this same sexual freedom and social right. So they also say that marriage should be offered to gay and lesbian couple also. After all, why should we discriminate against anyone. This is their so-called open-minded view of things. This is their “progressive” outlook. All because in the materialistic societies they see sex as being the basis of marriage. But of course in AM we know that marriage has a higher purpose and sex is for procreation– for producing children– not for rampantly satisfying one’s carnal pleasures.

Of course the church and political conservatives have their own narrow-minded reasons for holding an oppositional stance. So this battle is going on between them and those pro-gay marriage activists.

But, all in all, it can be seen that, the tide in society is moving towards the stance of legalising gay and lesbian marriages. Because when marriage in materialistic societies is only based on the sex, then the point comes that therefore anyone doing any type of sex should be allowed to marry.

This is the faulty conclusion that results– all because marriage in the west is based on the idea that sexual relations are everything. There is no higher idea in mind.

Whereas in AM we know that marriage is a beautiful avenue for building a healthy society and sexual relations are used just as a means to bring children into the world.

Even then as this debate about gay marriage spills over into our AM discussions at our retreats etc, then some simple margiis have also formed their own opinions.

They reason that since Baba has granted equal rights to all and since He has proclaimed that there should not be any differentiation in the society, then in that case what moral right do we have but to extend the institution of marriage to gays and lesbians. This is the way some naive margiis view the situation.

Because when the common public is involved in sexual romance marriages, then a few margiis also get confused. And not only do they support gay marriage in the greater society but they approve of it in AM as well. That is why today in Berlin and Suva sectors, gay marriages are going on in the open. Margii sisters are marrying other sisters. And many confused margiis lend their support. Silently or openly they are accepting these gay marriages in AM.

But by this way those confused margiis forget that in AM the institution of marriage is not based on sex. And they fail to realise what Baba means by equal rights and no discrimination. That is why they misapply Baba’s teachings by accepting gay marriages.

So all in all, in various regards, there is mounting confusion over this entire issue of gay marriage– both inside and outside our Marga.

But if we take a more careful, holistic look at Baba’s teachings then the matter becomes crystal clear.

As we know, in AM, life means movement along the divine path– the path of bliss. Our unique philosophy stands on this blessed sutra:
A’tmamoks’a’rtham’ jagaddhita’ya ca
So in our Marga and in our social framework, each and every aspect of life revolves around this special ideal. How we eat, how we sing, how we work, how we pass our days etc. Each and every action is infused with this spirit self-realisation and service to humanity, including our approach to marriage and family life.

Because our AM way of life moves ahead on this grand mission of spiritual attainment and social welfare.

Thus when sex itself is not the basis of all our social interactions, then
naturally the institution of marriage takes on a whole new flavour. Because in AM marriage is not a mere passage way for sexual relations. Rather marriage is a dignified institution for building a strong and healthy society. Marriage is the pathway for raising children in healthy
environment with a stable home that includes both a father and a mother. This is Baba’s guideline (Reference NSS, Disc 4, 7, 8, 9).

Because in AM, the marriages are for supporting one another in a spiritual way so that when it is time to procreate then the husband and the wife will be able to raise their children in a sentient and spiritual way. Thus marriage is the building block for generating a strong, well-knit human family.

So spirituality is the basis of our AM marriages and the purpose of such
union is for society building– not sex for the sake of sex.
For all these reasons in our AM, we cannot support gay and lesbian
marriages. Because those marriages are based only on sex– they have no
redeeming social value; they are not for society building.

Once again the whole problem about gay marriages stems from the fact that marriage in western materialistic countries is based on sex.

But when we reflect on this point more deeply and realise the true aim and value of marriage in AM– that it is for society building– then there is
no scope for there to be gay and lesbian marriage, neither inside the Marga nor out.

Rather with tender heart and understanding way we should work with gay and lesbian people to engage more deeply in a spiritual approach and side by side we should experiment with the best counseling techniques to give support to those in the homosexual community so they might develop and grow in a healthy way.

Here is Baba’s blessing that ensures that marriage be a stable and bonafide institution for building a healthy human society.

Baba says, “The Sanskrit equivalent for marriage is viva’ha (vi – vah +
ghain): it means, after the ceremony, the man and woman can no longer live as libertines or as irresponsible so-called family people. They have to discharge their full obligations as bhartta’ and kalatra, responsible
husband and responsible wife.” (NSS: Disc 9)


Although the Christian church does not support gay and lesbian marriages, we cannot say that the church is in line with the ideals of Ananda Marga. Because since long the church has adopted the view that females are mere objects of enjoyment for men. Often the church has demoralised the stance of women. In that case we cannot at all proclaims that their dogmatic view is consistent with the AM dharma. This is a whole other chapter of discussion, but in a nutshell this is what it all boils down to.
Need of the Day
Baba says, “The newly awakened humanity of today is anxious to herald the advent of one universal society under the vast blue sky. The noble and righteous persons of all countries, bound by fraternal ties, are eager to assert in one voice, with one mind, and in the same tune that human society is one and indivisible.” (AFPS, pt 2 p.25)

Note: Nowadays in our Marga society, a few are forgetting this truth. They should understand that this is not in the favour of dharma. Rather the call of dharma is to form one human society.


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