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AM & Aging

Date: 14 Jul 2008 23:17:38 -0000 From: "Ramanuj Deva" To: Subject: AM & Aging Baba "A'mi toma'y cinini priyo, tumi a'ma'y sab diyecho…" P.S. 3856 Purport: Baba, O' my Dearmost, You have graced me and bestowed everything upon me. You have showered me in Your divine compassion. There is nothing that You have not done for me. All the good things in my life are because of You. Even then up till now I could not recognize how gracious and loving You are. Baba, today by Your ahetuki krpa' [1], I understand that You love me immensely and that You are so gracious. Now I understand that You are love personified. Baba You have given me infinite grace; I want to surrender my everything at Your alter. Baba, today, please accept my sastaunga pranam...
[1] Ahetuki Krpa: In the Pandal during DMC when one Dada was on stage reading his purport of Prabhat Samgiita #228, then Sadguru Baba graciously corrected his definition of ahetuki krpa in front of everybody to make the matter clear to one and all. Baba says, "In this universe of ours everything is causal; everything is hetuki. Everything is causal. Only three entities are non-causal, are of non-causal character. One is transmutation of non-attributional entity into attributional faculty. And second is creation of this universe. And the third one is the krpa of Parama Purusa. Parama Purusa is not to explain for His conduct when He does his krpa or where He attracts anybody towards Him. So these three entitities-- three items-- are of non-causal character. The ahetuki krpa, that is non-causal blessing or non-causal gratitude." (4 June 1990 MGD)
== AM & AGING ==
Namaskar, It is a fact that with each and every day that passes us by we become older-- our physical bodies age: A wrinkle here, a gray hair there etc. This is the common phenomenon. At the same time as sadhakas we have various tools and practices which combat this aging process, thereby keeping the body youthful and vibrant. That is one thing. Plus in our AM age is a respected characteristic. And of course one other point is that our intuitional faculty remains timeless-- completely unaffected by the passage of time. These are but a few of the many themes of this below letter. Kindly also write in with your own thoughts and suggestions.
It is the common feeling around the globe that no one likes to be said to have "become old". That's why if anybody calls an old person as "old", then that individual may become unhappy or feel inwardly irritated. That's why if one wants to give respect to an older person, in a very courteous and respectful way one has to use such a term as "senior citizens". All this is especially true when dealing with members of the general society.
There are various attitudes towards the elderly or senior citizens in different countries. In those places where materialism is more dominating, then the act of growing old brings a lot of tension and frustration. Because in such places, often, the family does not like to deal with its aged members. Consequently the life of those aging individuals becomes devalued. So older persons do not like to be called "old"-- since that is equivalent of becoming outdated and valueless. This is the tragic and defective mindset of those common people in materialistic societies. In direct contrast, in our spiritual way of life, the scenario is completely different. Aging brings respect & dignity.
Looking back at the ancient history of India, we find that "senior citizens" had a lot of respect-- far more than youths. This tradition is a tantric tradition. And Baba also honors this same trait. That is why throughout our various ceremonies and programs as outlined in Caryacarya, Baba gives maximum regard to our senior persons.
According to Baba, when anybody does sadhana and follows 16 points then their qualities grow and grow. They become greater and greater human beings. This is the unique equation. Because with the help of cosmic ideation, the periphery of the mind expands-- making them more perceptive and dynamic. And by this way, senior citizens do not remain selfishly engaged in their unit "I". That's why in most of the cases, in their old age good sadhakas dedicate more and more time for serving the society. But when people are stuck in a crude materialistic bent of mind, then old-age means being a 'headache' to others. That's why in European & many western countries, the grown children often do not like to live with their elderly parents. Because when throughout their entire lives those seniors were just indulging in their own selfish activity, then surely in their old age they will not be inclined to think about the welfare of others. Because their minds are drowned in the self-centered philosophy of materialism. However, in so many other countries which are not so materialistic, that's not the situation. In those community oriented societies, the elderly watch over the growth and development of one and all. So everyone in that society reveres the aged members. And even greater is the life of a sadhaka because after years and years of training the mind in a spiritual way, then in their advanced years sadhakas are completely consumed in the thought of the Parama Purusa and the well-being of all His children. In that case those older sadhakas are totally selfless and are generous towards one and all. Naturally then everybody likes to be in their company.
As we know, that human existence has three aspects: physical, mental, and spiritual. After 39 years, the physical body begins to move slowly towards old age. But this can be controlled or minimized most of the degree, by doing asanas, kaoshikii, and tandava. Those who have been practicing their asanas, kaoshikii, and tandava for many years can go on practicing those things as they progress into their senior years. And this will keep their bodies supple, flexible, and energetic. Sadhakas feel and look much younger than their actual age. All because of their life-long practice of yoga asanas and AM dances. The same is not the case for those who never did such yogic practices. Their bodies become stiff & rigid. And even if they have the desire to do something to counteract this they cannot start tandava at the age of 65 or 75 years of age-- and certainly not 95 years. Because their bodies are not conditioned or practiced in this sphere. Whereas even at the age of 100 sadhakas can do kaoshikii and tandava and maintain their lives.
The aging process affects not only the arms and legs but entire body including the brain-- our psychic center. That is why after crossing 50 or 60 years of age, the intellect of the common people starts to degenerate. Their nerve cells get weaker and weaker. People lose their memory and psychic faculty step by step until one day their brains cannot even function. That happens to many non-sadhakas when they become very old. However, in the case of devotees, this is not the case. Baba says, in Varanasi DMC 1984, "You should not depend only on intellect. Because intellect does not have a strong foothold. If you have devotion, then intuition will develop. And with that, you will be able to do better and better service to the society." So in the mental sphere, devotees depend more on intuition-- and that never decays. Because intuition is cosmic thought. And when the mind is goaded and guided towards that subtle approach, then their is no question of it "getting old". Rather the mind continues to expand and becomes more sharp and more pointed. But those who are depending merely on intellect suffer a lot. Because due to the onset of old age, their mental faculty will degrade more and more until finally there is strong possibility to lose all their intellect entirely. While those who have devotion in their heart easily are blessed with intuition by Parama Purusa Himself.
And in the spiritual field, if in their youth one did proper sadhana and mind got training in spiritual practices and it's natural tendency became to move towards paramartha, then there is no question of any problem in sadhana up to their last breath. Their mind will easily flow in the cosmic rhythm and sadhana will be natural and effortless. However if anyone does not do proper sadhana in youth, then it will be most difficult to begin when one has become old. So it is only Baba's great blessing on us how He has created this Ananda Marga and infused spiritual ideation into each and every aspect of the day and given us the mandate to do our practices of sadhana twice a day invariably.
By Baba's grace by keeping the mind focused on Him, then the great state of surrender comes in which case we will realise Him in this very life, in this very body-- blissfully going on doing anything and everything for Him. Baba says, "He will do what is necessary. You just go on observing Him, just go on doing His work and adhere to what He says with all your energy...Let that golden day come at the earliest and make your life effulgent." (SS-18, p.38) Namaskar, Ramanuj
For the physical body, indeed tandava and kaoshikii play a great role. They prevent old age. So there should be always effort to do proper tandava. There are three grades of tandava dance. Those who are youths, they should practice hard. To not only remain in brahma tandava or in vishnu tandava, but they should try to do rudra tandava. Baba says, "Now the fundamentality, or rather the primordial phase of Oriental dance, is ta'n'd'ava. It is not a very easy job either. The knees must cross the navel. When they cross the navel it is called Brahma ta'n'd'ava. When they cross the ana'hata [mid-point of the chest] it is called Vis'n'u ta'n'd'ava. When they cross this portion [indicates the throat], it is called Rudra ta'n'd'ava. It is very difficult to dance Rudra ta'n'd'ava. It requires long practice." (AV-12) In one discourse in Patna in 1978, Baba also gives the direction that when the tandava dancer jumps, and his body is in the air-- even for a fraction of a seconds-- then that is the most beneficial aspect. When a person does very good tandava, then the whole body flies in the air in quick succession. And again drops and again flies into the air. So the benefit is related with the time for which the dancer remains in the air. Suppose someone could stay in the air for one second. And another person could remain for two seconds. So accordingly the longer time one can remain in the air, comparatively more beneficial it is for the development of brain and nerve cells. There is a similar qualification for determining proper kaoshikii dance. Baba, in a Patna discourse, He revealed the secret. That, in proper kaoshikii, the body must bend or lean 45 degrees to the left and right as it moves in the dance. And that kaoshikii will be very beneficial. Otherwise, just "so-so kaoshikii" is not so helpful.
In various ceremonies of our Ananda Marga, the senior person present is to preside over the ceremony. For example: - In chapter 18 of CC-1 Baba has clearly given the mandate that the Marriage Ceremony of AM is to be officiated by two acaryas or, in their absence, the senior-most margii present will officiate. - In chapter 14 of CC-1 Baba has given that the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone of a new house is to be led by the senior-most person. - In chapter 15 of CC-1, Baba has stated that the house entry ceremony is to be led by an acarya, or in their absence then it will be led by the eldest person present. - In chapter 16, Baba states that the Tree-Planting Ceremony is to be led by the acarya or the senior person present. All these examples above prove that in Ananda Marga, senior citizens have more respect. They are not out-dated, or useless, or worthless. Rather their qualities grow day by day. And it will go on and on up to their last breath. The beauty of spirituality is in this.
Usually people avoid doing sadhana in the prime of their lives, thinking instead that in old age they will do meditation. But such persons will be at greatest loss. Many margiis and WTs I know with repentance confess, "Now that I am old have time, I cannot do sadhana because I neglected my sadhana earlier. Now in my old age the mind cannot adjust." This very thing Baba has written about in detail in the last few chapters of His book, Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy. But for those who have attended dharmacakra and done their regular sadhana practices, then thinking and ideating in sadhana is easy for them as they grow old.
****************************************** Baba Loves All
Baba says, "Bihar is rich in natural resources; and its human resources are also sufficient. Yet poverty is rampant. Without any delay, one healthy socio-economic planning needs to be prepared urgently for this land. It is the need to start this work. We cannot push Bihar, the golden crown of history, into the mouth of darkness." (Varna Vicitra, Pt-1 (H), p.66-67) Note: Baba is the universal Father and He loves all. That is why He encourages each and every local area and land. In the above quotation Baba is speaking specifically about Bihar-- yet Baba has told similar things about Rarh and numerous other lands. But a few narrow minded people get caught up in their groupist agenda. Thus when Rarh is mentioned then certain groupist leaders brag up and down as if Rarh is the top-most place. And they never get tired of singing the glory of Rarh. As if Baba only talks about Rarh and that Rahr is the greatest place. And on that account they propagate only those things which Baba has told about Rahr-- as if Baba did not speak about other places. Hence this is nothing but their narrow outlook or psychic disease. Because Baba encourages each and every area and Baba loves all.

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