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Sixteen Points in Personal Life

Date: 10 May 2008 23:14:58 -0400 From: Donald_G To: Subject: Sixteen Points in Personal Life Baba "Tumi a'ma'y bha'loba'so bujheo a'mi ta' bujhi na'..." (P.S. 3358) Purport: Baba, I know this fact that You are loving me, but even then I do not understand it fully. You love me, Your smile is very sweet-- like a soft flower. It gives the expression of the crimson dawn. But after seeing this, even then I do not see. I do not see, I do not see. In the pitch dark night, You are ever-present with me. With full effulgence, You are showing me the path eternally. Since the very dawn You have graciously given me inspiration by singing Your songs. Even then, due to my own weaknees I fail to pay heed to Your divine call. Baba, You are the messenger of the ever-new. You Yourself are ever-new. No change happens in You; oldness never comes to You. You always remain ever-shining in my world of ideation, as my Polestar. I recognise You, even then I do not recognise or realise it deeply. Baba, You have deep love towards me. But because of my crude state of my mind I do not realise this eternal truth. Please grace me, keep me in Your shelter...
Namaskar, Here are some of our personal experiences my family and margii friends have had regarding our Sixteen Points and related guidelines on hygiene.
Our Sixteen Points, as we all know, stand as Baba's precise guidelines for how to advance on the path of spirituality. So for us, each and every point has immense value and great significance. Because there are potentially millions of rules and regulations in our human life, yet Baba has beautifully selected the most important ones to be included in our Sixteen Points. So we are certainly blessed. Even then it remains challenging for us to follow them all. Perhaps the points outlined below are easy for you, in which case you can help by offering tips and solutions. But to date, these below points have been difficult for my family (wife and three children) and / or margiis in my unit to follow.
We know our yoga postures or asanas are important, but this point remains difficult for us. Because after doing sadhana in the morning often we are in a hurry to go to work. And likewise in the evening after doing sadhana we are hungry from the long day and want to have something to eat. So getting asanas done twice daily is not an easy job-- at least in our household. Please excuse me, but I notice that some others in our unit also have that same difficulty. Because often at dharmacakra all of us skip asanas before taking food. And in general we have an open relationship with all the margiis in our area and we always talk about what things are difficult for us to maintain. And most agree that doing asanas regularly is difficult. Side by side, some of us only do our dances on dharmacakra days-- and never any other time. So this is another problem. Yet all of these things are included in Sixteen Points. And ultimately I enjoy doing them when it happens, but on a daily basis I remain incomplete in my approach. For instance, on the point of asanas, sometimes I think that since I did them in the morning then I can skip in evening. And other days I think I can skip in the morning because I will do them in the evening. All these types of justifications get built up in my mind. Of course the reality is that when I skip one time then the tendency is to skip again the next time. Whereas on those days when I do attend to my asana practice in full then invariably I feel better. Though I have not yet reached the point where I do both my asanas sessions using a stop-watch so that I can properly time each asana. This was recommended to me by two different family acaryas. And I can certainly see now it would be beneficial-- but to date I have not incorporated this practice, hopefully soon.
Baba is very strict, as we know, on personal hygiene and about cleanliness of the hand and fingernails etc. This point about keeping the fingernails neat and clean is one of Baba's health guidelines. Perhaps you might think this point is an easy one, but with our children we face nothing but struggle. Because our kids attend the local public school and at school many of the children like to keep their finger nails long, even the boys. And by this way a deep dark line of dirt forms underneath each nail. And even days go by and still the children will have this line of dirt underneath their nails. It becomes like one permanent design there. Even with the older kids this is a problem. And with these very same dirty fingers and nails the children eat their food and touch one another. Altogether it is unhygienic. And oddly enough, here in the west it is not limited to children alone. In my daily travels I come across various non-margii adults who also have dark lines of dirt underneath their nails. Even when I was in the doctor's office the other day, then the doctor himself had some nails that were caked with dirt. The whole scene is so ironic. Because the doctor's office itself is quite clean and sterile looking but underneath the doctor's fingernails there is a dark collection of dust and dirt. As I recall this type of thing is not so much of a problem in India and some other countries. But in Berlin, NY, and GT sectors, I have seen-- and others have commented as well-- that keeping long, dirty fingernails is not uncommon. But I have heard that regular asanas and fasting are challenging for those in Delhi sector as well. But those living there can best comment on this. Back to the point of unkept fingernails, unfortunately this trend has taken with my children as well. Ultimately my wife and I struggle and trim the children's nails and clean out the dirt. So to some degree the problem is addressed, but not entirely as we want the children to cultivate the habit of keeping their hands, fingers, and nails clean on their own.
Along a similar theme, Baba has given this related guideline:
"Do not put your fingers in your mouth and take them out repeatedly, and never cut your fingernails with your teeth." ('Social Norms', pt #23)
This also has been a challenge as many of our children's friends are constantly chewing on the ends of their fingernails. So this also our youngest child has begun to emulate. And once again this unhygienic habit of nail biting is not limited up to children. There are two colleagues in my workplace who are submerged in this unhealthy problem also. In general, this does not seem to be an issue with most margiis though.
There are a variety of other aspect of 16 Points that can be difficult to follow as well such as (1) regular fasting and (2) proper use of water. My wife and I are mostly adjusted with both of these points whereas we have had less success with the children. And other margiis have expressed similar concerns. And still there are some margiis who hold dharmacakra in their house yet fail to have a shaocamanjusa in the bathroom, just there is toilet paper. This leads us all to think that this family also is not habituated to the proper use of water. So these are some of the points that challenge us in our daily living. No doubt if I thought more then more points would come. But at present this is all I have time to write so I will stop here. Others should write in with their contributions as well. Because the more we recognise areas that need improvement and the more we can inspire one another, then the better off we all will be.
By Baba's grace, through 16 Points our capacities can increase thousands of times. And Baba says below, Sixteen Points is our right exercise. Baba says, "There should also be proper exercise for mental development and spiritual elevation - one should not neglect the mind or the soul. What is the best way to strengthen the mind? The best and proper way is to strictly observe the 16 Points. The more rigidly you follow the 16 Points, the more your mental strength will increase. It will increase so much that it will be more powerful than the collective mental strength of 100,000 people. In a psychic clash they will have to concede victory to you. A person who is physically strong can fight against eight, ten or twenty people at most, but no more than that. A psychically developed person, however, is able to fight against many more people. So you must endeavour to develop your psychic strength - this is your bounden duty. The more rigidly you follow the 16 Points, the more psychic strength you will acquire. It will not take you long. The only way to develop spiritual strength is to surrender everything to Him - the more you surrender yourself to Him, the more you will develop your soul. Such development will lead to not only 10,000 people surrendering before you, but the entire universe. This is right exercise. Exercise is necessary, not only in the physical sphere, but also in the psychic and spiritual spheres." (AV-7) Namaskar, Divyajyoti
Here is another benefit of Sixteen Points. Baba says, "Of course, if you follow Sixteen Points, your longevity will be greater." (AV-5)

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