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One Kitchen, One Stove...

To: Subject: One Kitchen, One Stove... Date: Tues, 12 May 2008 23:57:25 +0530 (IST) From: Madhusudan BABA "Nisha'r avsa'n halo, pu'rva'ka'she raun elo..." (P.S. 4614) Purport: In the eastern horizon the crimson colour is clearly visible. The night has passed away; the black darkness has vanished. Now the rising sun is calling and telling everyone, 'Open the closed doors and windows of your house. Open the door, open the door, open the door of your heart'. Indeed the night has vanished. The bondage of dogma and narrowness has disappeared from the mind. Those things which were unrecognizable and unknown in the past due to the cloak of darkness, now in the presence of effulgence those same things have became known-- part of my family feeling. I can see now that all are brothers and sisters; whereas in the past I was thinking that they are distant-- part of some other group. But now it is clear that everyone is mine. The dogmas of the mind have faded away. The birds of distant places are spreading their wings and coming close. The people who were distant in the past have become close, my own. Now in the advent of this crimson dawn, the darkness has faded away and the door of each and every house is open; each and every heart is open. There remains no dogma, no darkness, no bondage any more. A new era has come. Now the human heart has gotten saturated with the divine love. All are feeling close to one another as kith and kin. The cimmerian darkness has faded away; Baba, by Your grace, the age of neo-humanism has come today...
Namaskar, We know that it is the need of the hour to build up one single human society-- free from exploitation, groupism, and human-made disparities. Certainly this is the order of the day. And the whole humanity is anxiously waiting for that. Naturally then our Marga should be leading the way; but, when disparities are cropping up left and right within our own AMPS society, then how far are we able to live up to the task. How then are we able to guide the whole society. Because when differences are being propagated such that there are separate classes of workers--high & low; and when the family feeling in AM has become considered expendable; then where is the scope to unite the society based on universal feeling and cosmic brotherhood. Even then we must forge ahead and at the same time become more aware about to what degree our AM society is marked by such social disparities. This whole entire letter is moving in that direction. Because now even the most basic commodities are used to show a particular person's place or level.
For example, here in India, the standard of food is linked with one's prestige. Because only those who have money can get the wide array of delicious dainties. Otherwise, for common citizens, due to extreme poverty even getting a bare meal is often difficult. And in overseas countries those who attend upscale restaurants use that as a means to distinguish themselves as being above or better than others. Like this it all happens. And here is more about this issue. In the same house, if a servant or family assistant is helping the family, then usually they get an inferior type or lower class variety of of food in comparison to what is cooked for the house owners. So those servants are cooking and busy making different dishes and dainties in the kitchen, for the master; but they themselves do not have right to eat all those things. The servants cook separate food of a very low standard for their own meal. Such as rice and some ordinary type of vegetable. While on the other side they are engaged preparing several dozens of varieties of dishes every day, but they do not have any right to even taste those. If they do, that would be blasphemy and their masters would throw that food to the animals, thinking that it had become dirty. So the idea is, that there is a huge disparity in meeting basic needs with regards to food. In the house, a servant's food is completely different from the house owner's food. This is the common problem in general society, especially in so-called third world countries where the rich have lots of servants. And it expresses in a different way in so-called advanced nations where the wealthy go out to extremely fancy black-tie restaurants and get treated like kings and queens while millions of less fortunate people roam the streets hoping to eat someone's leftover bread crumbs. Baba wants to root out this thing. Because, this disparity in food is one of the great hindrances for forming one human society.
In Ananda Marga different festivals are there. And common food is served to one and all as Baba has given the dharmic slogan: "One kitchen, One stove, One human society". Prior to 1990 all Ananda Marg families here in our India, and within overseas margiis, Baba's system was being followed. But now we have all witnessed have witnessed, that in our Central Office, Tiljala, or Ananda Nagar and also in our Training Centres and in our overseas sectors-- the standard of food varies according to one's post. Clear-cut differences exist between haves and have-nots. Rich and poor. In this situation, cosmic unity and universal brotherhood are not possible. Baba wants that we should root out this serious malady. Because this problem is very serious, and it is a deep rooted dogma which causes terrible divisions, fractures, and schisms in the society. To remove this, Baba starts teaching this important point even to small children. That way everyone should grow-up in a way where they feel all are entitled to the same quality of food. That is why in His children stories books Baba has treated those who are eating delicious dainties and depriving their associates of the same Baba as demons in His children's story book. And that gives one clear-cut feeling that Baba appreciates that everyone in the family should sit at the same table and eat whatever they like according to availability for the whole family. Means, no disparity.
Here is one unique and special story, which clearly shows how the demon king was eating and enjoying so many luxurious treats by exploiting others and at the same time he did not care about the common people. The story is from Baba's book: "Golden Lotus of the Blue Sea". Here below are some excerpts from the story which demonstrate this point of extreme food disparities between the haves and have-nots. Baba's Story begins here.
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The demon asked to the prince- "You have suffered a great deal in my kingdom during these few days. I heartily wish that you should taste the delicious food of my kingdom tomorrow. I hope you realize that this country is famous for its fine foods." "The prince said, 'Is it so?'" "The demon answered, 'Yes, you know little about the pleasures of eating good food in this kingdom.'" 'Do you know what our daily menu is? We eat golden cakes fried in clarified butter, Pearl water mixed with coconut kernel, spiced Parble curry with salmon fish made of platinum and in the morning we brush our teeth with diamond powder!' Baba furthermore writes very critically. And here the teaching of AM Ideology is hidden. "The prince asked, 'Is there such an arrangement for everyone here?'" "The demon said, 'This arrangement is for us only--that is, for those who are learned, intellectual, rich, highborn and aristocratic. Those with whom you associate due to your ignorance--those poor, mean and illiterate people--where would they get such things? They neither know how to cook nor eat. They eat stale rice and scorched eggfruit and they brush their teeth with ash." So with planned way, the demon arranged thousands of varieties of foods from far places, in the royal feast to please the prince and enhance his (the demon's)prestige. And the prince came to the demons palace on special invitation to attend the feast. Upon his arrival he saw the huge array of foods. Some of them reluctantly, the prince tasted. Continuing this idea, Baba says, "The prince began to taste a little of each item; but his stomach was full after tasting only some of these dishes. Thinking that over-eating was bad for his health and moreover, that as he was supposed to leave early the next morning, eating too much at night would not be good, he quickly finished his meal and got up from the table." Baba gives some further, great ideological teaching in this children's story. After finishing his food, while all around it was dark, at that time one idea came in the mind of the prince. And he thought that 'I should go and see how the cooks are getting treated.' The prince thought- "'Let me see those cooks, servants and pages who prepared such delicious dishes and served them so elegantly', he thought. While passing by the servants' quarters, he suddenly reached the place where the kitchen staff were eating together after the day's hard labour. They were quite exhausted. Those who had cooked so wonderfully and served so carefully were eating only stale rice, scorched eggfruit and the sour sauce of some leaves, perhaps tamarind." So in the above paragraph, Baba described fully that serious disparity or injustice, exploitation is a regular phenomenon in the life of servants. What way they got treated. When the prince came to know all these things, he was feeling deep repentance for having eaten any food at the demon king's feast. Baba further continues, "The prince returned to his cottage with a heavy heart. So many thoughts were running in his brain. He was thinking that he had made a great mistake to eat and drink such delicious food and drink cooked and served by those poor people. The beautiful eyes of the prince were deprived of sleep that night." So Baba further continues the story, that in disturbed state of mind by seeing the pitiful condition of the poor people, the prince's heart was feeling uneasy, restless. And the prince took a vow to free the humanity. The story follows like this below, "He [the prince] was thinking continuously, "If I cannot free humanity from such meanness, what is the use of my education, my intellect? My coming to this earth as a human being bears no value."
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This is the end of the excerpt from "The Golden Lotus of the Blue Sea". In this entire section of the above story, first of all Baba has given the teaching that: (A) The demon king was enjoying alone and bragging about his high status. That time the prince wanted to know whether the common people get to eat the food which the demon is eating, or not. (B) In the demon king's feast, reluctantly the prince tasted very little of some of the items/recipes. (C) When the prince came to know that the common people or cooks are not getting the same type of food, then the prince felt extremely repentant for tasting some of the dishes of the "royal feast". (D) Feeling quite sad with a heavy heart, the prince took a vow to free the humanity from the exploitation of blood-sucking demons who do not provide the very food to the common public, which they themselves enjoy.
So all these entire teachings of Baba are like a polestar in our forward path of enlightenment. Whichever B or H group Dada or Sectorial, or anywhere irrespective of what is their post, position and how much money they have, it is the common duty and courtesy of each and every follower of Ananda Marg, all Ananda Margiis and WTs, to follow Baba's command. This is the basic fundamental teaching, that disparity in food should not be encouraged. What standard of food top posted Dadas eat in Ananda Nagar, they should provide at least the resident WTs of Ananda Nagar unit the same food. Same way all higher posted workers and indeed all in Ananda Marga should follow Baba's path. Otherwise how will margiis and WTs follow their leadership or understand how to compassionately guide other? Who can appreciate that some are enjoying innumerable dainties and in comparison general WTs are not treated the same way. So people and a few of our Dadas should show the behaviour of some civilized being and eat the same food as is being serving for the common margiis and WTs on the same dining table. So this food point is a very basic point. That, everyone should get proper food and ensure that the quality of food available for one is available for all in the greater family. This is very important because it is linked with Baba's teaching. So at least we should start bringing it into our practice and that will help in forming one family, and ultimately one human society.
To follow Guru's teachings and do's and don'ts is the real dharma. True margiis and WT's always adhere to this. That is the answer of all the questions. Baba says, "So you must under all circumstances give first priority and primary importance to dharma. Victory is assured to those who put dharma above everything else. Under no circumstances can they be defeated. Never have they been, nor are they now, nor will they be in future." (DKG, p.213) Namaskar, Madhusudan
This food point is very important. That, everyone should get proper food. Since thousands of years of this civilization, till today this serious malady has not been solved. So on the one hand it seems rather simple but on the other hand it is quite difficult. So Baba Himself in His different discourses, on various occasions He highlights this very point. And in the list of basic requirements, food is the first item which is seriously connected with one's existence. So for the sake of disparities based on food quality etc this runs counter to the ideals of neo-humanism. Unfortunately in our Marga there are not one or two but innumerable examples where such disparities are going on. Those wealthy Dadas and groupist leaders eat like kings whereas as general field workers struggle hard just to fill their plate and feed simple things to those around them. And when rich and poor meet for organisational purposes, then multiple kitchens are in vogue and according to the depth of one's pocket one is able to eat something of proper quality or not. And where money is there then sumptuous & decadent meals go hand in hand. Plus in our training centres the Trainer Dadas often eat tasty treats while the trainees eat simple vegetable. In the past various Dadas names have been connected with all the aforementioned disparities. But the situation remains unsolved. And without that then how to build-up a monolithic AMPS as well as one human society.
****************************************** Maharshi Patanjali: Incorrect
Baba says, "According to Patanjali, yoga is the suspension of mental propensities. But this interpretation of yoga by Maharshi Patanjali is not accepted by Tantra. Tantra says, the unification of jiiva'tma' with Parama'tma' is yoga. Sam'yoga means "unification", and yoga ityukto means "known as yoga". So here Tantra has moved a step further." Patna, 2nd September, 1978

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