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Our Vow on A'nanda Pu'rn'ima'

Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 23:42:37 -0000 To: From: Subject: Our Vow on A'nanda Pu'rn'ima' Baba "Maneri gahane tumi a'cho, a'cho prabhu sada' jege a'cho..." (4380) Purport: Baba, You are always remaining in the depths of my mind-- You never leave me. You always remain awake. You go on working day and night, beyond the time. You never stop. Baba, whatever You want to do, You go on doing. This whole expressed universe is Your eternal game. You are ever-present: beginningless and endless. You are ever intoxicated in Your divine flow. You are the Goal of everyone-- everyone wants You. You are remaining with one and all. Those who are trying to come close to You by their virtuous deeds and shravan, manan, nididhyasana, & dhyana, only they are able to come to You. Only they are able to realise You and have Your grace and proximity. Baba, You are grace-Personified...
Namaskar, One of the most wonderful days of the year for Ananda Margiis all across the globe is Ananda Purnima. This is perhaps the most joyous and charming festival that we have. For this is the time when our Beloved Baba has taken the vow to come on this earth as Mahasambhuti and shower us in His divine love. Ananda Purnima marks the occasion when He has taken the firm determination to infuse dynamism into our individual and collective bodies. It is the time when He has graciously come and made the world new all over again by bestowing upon us a new ideology and a new way of living. In turn, it is also a time-- a day-- when we should take a vow to commit to something more to serve and please Him and incorporate more of Ananda Marga into our own lives. This is one of the very blissful ways to think about our Ananda Purnima festival. And as we all know this most charming festival is now upon us, Monday, May 19.
As we live our lives, there is a tendency for things to become dreary and boring. It can happen to anyone. Because as colouful and exciting as this world is, still we get bogged down in our daily routines: Go to work; come home from work; wash the clothes; fold the clothes; pay the bills; check the email; attend to our appointments etc. Indeed, if we are not careful even our sadhana can become rote and mechanical. In that way, it can seem like we are doing the same thing day in and day out. Firstly then this magnificent festival day of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima is a time to rid life of any dreary quality and invite a sense of wonder and vitality. That is one of main characteristics of our festivals (utsava) in Ananda Marga. Baba says, "People often feel bored with their humdrum lives, with their mechanical routines; thus a fresh start must be created through [utsava] festivals...“Ut” means “above” and “sava” means “[[to take]] birth”; so utsava means “an occasion which gives human beings fresh inspiration to live a new life.” When people become tired and uninspired, when they can no longer look towards the future with hope, when their colourful dreams are shattered, at that time the sweetness of a festival brings new joy and vigour in life. Thus in individual and collective life, the importance of festivals is tremendous. One should always remember that festivals should be such that all can take part in them without any ostentatious display of wealth, and with an upsurge of their life force. And these festivals should be conducted in such a way that people take part in them from a spontaneous inner urge. I hope that you will make such arrangements so that all are attracted towards your festivals which will be more and more charming – and this will bring about your collective welfare." (AFPS-5) Thus, this coming day of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima' is a time to break the cyclic repetition of mundane life and bring in an entire new freshness to our existence.
Second, we can think of this day of Ananda Pu'rn'ima' as a time to take a firm commitment to move ahead in our spiritual lives. Just as Baba has blessed us by taking the firm determination of coming into this world as Mahasambhuti; similarly, we should commit to doing something more for our spiritual lives and His mission. Let this be our vow on this day of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima'. Because as we know, human life is a never ending fight against degradation degeneration. It is the fight between avidya maya and vidya maya-- both in our individual and collective lives. Being on the spiritual path, this fight becomes even more stark. Either we are falling prey to the allurements of this quinquelemental world or we are advancing on the path of spiritual realisation. Each and every moment of our lives this is happening. So this festival of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima' is a time for us to evaluate our course and commit to incorporating more of His divine ideas into our lives. This is the duty of each and every sadhaka. It is a time for us to leave our shortcomings behind and move forward on the divine path. That is another way to think of this wonderful occasion of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima'.
By Baba's grace He has lovingly brought us onto the path of realisation and service; He has infused within us the desire to do something great in life. As His disciples, on this holy day of A'nanda Pu'rn'ima', we should take the vow to live a life that is full of His Sixteen Points-- overcoming all degrading tendencies-- and become true mediums of His teachings. Baba says, "The very import of the history of human welfare is the history of struggle and strife. Even the sweet gospels of peace could not be preached in an environment of peace and composure. Devils did not allow the apostle of peace to work peacefully – that is why I say that peace is the outcome of fight." "This endeavour at the well-being of the human race concerns everyone – it is yours, mine and ours. We may afford to ignore our rights, but we must not forget our responsibilities. Forgetting the responsibility implies the humiliation of the human race." "In order to march ahead on the road of human welfare, we will have to strengthen ourselves in all the arena of life. The complete seeds of welfare in all the spheres – physical, mental, moral, social and spiritual – are embedded in the sixteen points. Hence be firm on the sixteen points." (ܱA'nanda Va'nii #45) Happy Ananda Pu'rn'ima' to all my brothers and sisters of the Marga! Baba is so gracious! Namaskar, Mahesh
On this coming A'nanda Pu'rn'ima' day, we may ask ourselvs, 'What type of vow should I take?'. I discussed this with my Dada and this is how he explained it to me: Our vows will be based on blessedness and benevolence-- on how to bring more of His teachings of Sixteen Points into our lives. So the overall theme of all of our vows will be the same, yet they may take different from one sadhaka to the next. For some who are not so strict in fasting, then this may be a time to commit to that practice. For those who need to be more regular in their asana practice, they might commit more to that. Depending on the person, the vow may take a different shape-- a different form. But in spirit, the vow will be the same: To please Baba by further advancing along the path of spirituality, by His grace and His grace alone. Surely we will be successful.

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