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Must Not Fall Prey To...

From: "Will Chaucey" To: Subject: Must Not Fall Prey To... Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 23:11:48 Baba "Toma're khunjechi tiirthe marute...bujechi rayecho manete." (P.S. 2203) Purport: Oh Lord, because of my blindness in the past I was searching You in various tiirthas, religious places, and in the caves of treacherous mountains-- but unfortunately I could not get satisfaction anywhere. In return I only got frustration, pain and agony. And You remained still further. In this way I wasted so much time and money and invited frustration. I did not understand that You are very close and intimate to one and all. So in my ignorance I was searching You in various places. This was my blunder. Baba, by Your grace today samvit* has come in my mind. Now my eyes are open. By Your grace, I realised that You are remaining and smiling always in my heart, in my mind...
Namaskar, Every place on this globe, nay in this universe, is our homeland. From west to east, and north to south, all are our very own brothers and sisters. Every region is part of our home territory. We care about everyone and all places. Today, however, a desperate cry is needed to warn margiis and non-margiis alike from falling into western ways of living-- modern pseudo-culture. Although the US is suffering from a flailing economy and a poor international reputation on political stage, American pseudo-culture is tops in all respects. People think it is great, modern, & fantastic. That is why, by & large, the entire eastern world and so-called developing nations are running headlong after American-Euro (or Euro-American) fashion and lifestyle-- which ultimately causes a severe cultural inferiority complex, exploitation, as well as degradation of mind. Of course everyone is aware about all of this, but even then it is not easy to stop. It is like standing beneath a mudslide. You know it is coming but even then it is difficult to escape. The only way out is more and more awareness and vigilance.
Here is but a short list of Euro-American trends that are spreading like wildfire and these apply to both margiis and non-margiis. Tragically all these things cause various types of inferiority complexes, degradation, or both: (1) HANDSHAKE: Now everywhere the 'handshake' is in vogue. In India, no common citizen does namaskar anymore. Those business people and youths in India think that their cultural approach of doing namaskar is useless and they think to be 'modern' and 'proper' one must shake hands. And this is happening throughout Africa, SE Asia, and so many lands. All of which causes an inferiority complex where people are embarrassed by their own culture's habits and customs. The handshake also leads to the spread of germs and diseases, and for sadhakas it causes degeneration of mind as they will lose some of their prana or shakti by that type of crude touching habit. Lastly, a handshake has no spiritual significance. For all of the reasons and more Baba has strictly forbidden us from shaking hands. Baba says, "Do not shake hands with anyone, because it is unhygienic." (CC-1, 'Methods of Salutations') Unfortunately, while most margiis use the namaskar greeting with one another, many also engage in shaking hands with the general public. This should be curtailed and stopped. It may seem awkward or it may seem weird, but as soon as one establishes oneself in this habit, it will be very easy to maintain and most sentient. One way to manage is when greeting or walking towards someone then stop a few feet away from them and bring one's hands (palms) to their heart, or do the complete namaskar mudra. (2) ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Just as the above point of shaking hands applies to margiis and non-margiis, similarly this one does as well. At present on this earth, the English languages is the vishva bhasa, or world language. So everyone has a need to learn it-- BUT not at the expense of one's own mother tongue. One's own language should not be then regarded as shameful or outdated. In one's own house or office or familial relations, one's mother tongue should be used. Unfortunately, many villagers feel embarrassed by their local language and instead feel it should be buried and gone forever. We must never allow such a syndrome to occur, yet right now this crude reality is shaking our Marga throughout the Indian sub-continent. Others can tell whether this is happening in other countries or not. (3) WESTERN DANCE AND DRESS: This is happening in multiple ways. Gone are the traditional ways of dress in business meetings-- now only a tie and jacket or the western suit is good enough. That is one end of the spectrum. On the other side, revealing, erotic, and narcissistic dress of the US is fast spreading around the globe. No doubt, some countries like France have had a history of risque dress, but now in so many eastern lands, the young girls etc are dressing like western Hollywood divas. And it gets worse each and every day from revealing tops to scanty bottoms etc. So much so that in the state of Louisiana (USA), a Congressman recently tried to make such dress illegal, but his plea was rejected. Unfortunately, the US has successfully exported this crude image all over the world. (4) FAST FOOD: Now the US is no longer the only nation that is home to clogged arteries. With the spread of fast food and prepared meals and the like, these bad food habits are everywhere. Even people in countries like India, Vietnam, and the Philippines are losing not only the skill but the desire to prepare their traditional foods. Because fast food is seen to be modern and great. (5) AMERICANA TV & VIDEO: Now there is a Hollywood in each and every country, either creating their own American style films or simply rebroadcasting US television.
As Ananda Margiis we must be strict to maintain our AM culture which Baba has given. Modern pseudo-culture is a fast spreading disease that is like the plague or even worse. It rots a person from the inside out. One loses their soul and degrades their body by these ways. So no one should think that 'everything from the west' is modern and great-- it is not like that. Unfortunately, by copying western ways often one is just inviting more problems into their life. Because as soon as one feels inferior about their own culture then they are prime targets for exploitation. And on the top those western pseudo-culture things are degrading. About this whole topic, voluminous essays can be written: the theories, the exploitation, the loss of culture, the degradation of humanity. But that you all know already. So the above is just a reminder of about the specific presentations of pseudo-culture that is now eating away at our human society. We should not fall prey to such things.
By Baba's grace, He has given us strong guidelines and all the needed life practices to keep us safeguarded from pseudo-culture. If we adhere to 16 points we will not only be able to save ourselves but the whole humanity as well. Baba says, "If one’s spine is shattered, it is impossible to hold one’s head erect. Can those whose necks and backs are crushed under the weight of pseudo-culture, be expected to hold their heads high in any sphere of life? Hence it is the bounden duty of every rational person to save innocent people from pseudo-culture." (NH-LOI) Namaskar, Vinay
****************************************** Sadhana Point: Steps For Better Sadhana
Baba says, "Moksa karanasamagryam bhaktireva gariyasii." Meaning: "Bhakti is the best way to moksa or salvation, the approach of bhakti is the best." (AV, part 6) Following is the sequence for better sadhana practice: (a) Half bath or full bath (b) Left nostril open (c) Shasha'unga'sana (hare pose): a few rounds (d) Shavasana (corpse posture): briefly (e) Sing Prabhat Samgiita (f) Sing Kiirtan loudly and dance Lalita Marmika (g) Sastaunga Pranam (h) Bhutashuddhi (i) Asanashuddhi (j) Cittashuddhi (k) Generate longing or devotion for Parama Purusa / Baba; (Note: this is the last phase of cittashuddhi.) (l) Repetition of mantra with meaning, longing & devotion to become one with Parama Purusa / Baba. (Note: This point is applied in first and 6th lesson equally.) (m) Other various lessons (n) Guru Puja (o) Final sastaunga pranam Note 1: Regarding points (e) and (f), only listening to Prabhat Samgiita or kiirtan is not sufficient as that will not bring about the desired result. Rather one should sing Kiirtan & Prabhat Samgiita with their full heart.Because by singing the mind gets more involved in comparison to justlistening. Note 2: Generating devotional longing is a highly significant aspect. It is the most important step of our sadhana. If one does everything but this point is lacking then sadhana will be futile or dry. And if the arousal of devotion is done successfully then one can reach one's goal without any delay. It has been made known by various acaryas that this point is in acarya diary.

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