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Gardabha Sa'dhana'

Date: 13 Aug 2008 23:17:29 -0000 From: "Indrajit Rai" To: Subject: Gardabha Sa'dhana' Baba "Malay va'ta'se madhu nishva'se ke go ele mor phulavane..." P.S. 1801 Purport: O the Divine Entity who are You who has come in my flower garden in this spring season with a sweet and charming smile. When I saw You for the first time I was surprised, and it was difficult to think that such an attractive Entity would be here. I wanted to look towards You more intimately but I could not, that time I was sitting in the flower garden unmindfully. I couldn't even hear the footsteps of Your arrival, & You did not give any hint or clue before coming to this garden. So I could not receive You properly nor could I offer You a garland. You have graced me by coming here but You have not cared about receiving an invitation. Please tell me, O' Divine Entity, who are You? Understanding Your liila is impossible. Within a flash You become tough and then in the next moment You are as tender as a flower-- like a garland of love --so sweet and charming. O divine Entity You cannot be understood. You are Infinite--no beginning, & no end. Through the practice of sadhana and dhyana I am surrendering myself at Your alter . Baba You have graced me by coming to my mental flower garden...
Namaskar, Simplicity, sincerity, and honesty are some of the main pillars in the life of any sa'dhaka. Baba says, "The most valuable treasures on the path of human progress are honesty, simplicity and spiritedness. In no stratum of life should you allow the standard of honesty to deteriorate..." (AV #54) Even then, it happens that people veer away from these truths, on occasion or even more frequently. And that leads to the devaluation of that activity or practice, as well as the degradation of the doer, of the person. That's a wee-bit of the philosophical side, now let's delve into everyday practical examples.
Suppose you are invited to a grand feast at someone's house. To celebrate, that host has the finest chefs prepare the tastiest delicacies and dainties for everyone to eat. Not because because he wishes to serve the community with love and affection, but rather because he wants to make an ornate show of the affair and bring prestige unto himself. Proof being that if you cannot attend his feast, then he is not the least bit sorry or remorseful, because he will just get another person to replace you-- someone else who will pay him honor and respect. Under such conditions, when there is not the least bit of service mentality and the host is just giving a feast with huge pomp and show in order to heighten his own prestige and self-satisfaction, then attending the program and eating that food is totally inappropriate. Because in that case that food is nothing but donkey's food, or gardabha'nna. Baba says, "If food is not given with that heart-felt feeling and if one's own life is not in danger due to starvation, in that condition then any food offered is donkey food, Gardabha'nna. So one must not eat that food." (Summary of SC-20, p.163-64 [Bangla]) Thus under no circumstances-- unless we are going to starve to death-- should we eat food that is presented as a show of one's wealth and greatness, because that food is nothing but donkey food, or gardabha'nna. And we all know that in His practical life, on many occasions Baba refused such food on various occasions whenever wealthy people or dignitaries invited Him to dine at their house just to impress Him.
This type of 'donkey' syndrome-- doing for show only and not out of one's heart-felt feeling-- is not limited to the realm of food only. We have all seen various kiirtan players or bhajan singers who perform solely to display their own musical or lyrical talents, and not to serve and please Parama Purusa. This happens across all religions and faiths and occurs in our Ananda Marga as well. Kiirtan is all about singing to please Parama Purusa-- for His glory, not one's own glory. And the essence of bhajans is to share one's inner, heart feeling with the Lord, and not to procure attention for oneself. Yet at retreats or dharmacakra, sometimes it can happen that a person might lead a kiirtan or bhajan in order to win over the admiration of others. If this is done consistently, again and again, such performers run the risk of being converted into microvita at the time of death. That said, it is not just the musicians who are prone to such downfalls. Sometimes a kiirtan or bhajan participant may dance with such extroverted tendencies or sing with such ego that it is quite evident to all around that that person is doing just in hopes of drawing attention to themselves-- so that others will think they are a great devotee. All such displays devalue one's approach and fail to bring one close to Parama Purusa. That is why Baba calls these misguided attempts as: Gardabha kiirtan and gardabha bhajan, i.e. donkey kiirtan and donkey bhajan.
Then of course this can happen in the stratum of sadhana as well. Before giving an example, it has to be said that by Baba's grace, the sincerity and earnestness in spiritual practice is quite high in our Marga, so this letter by no means aims to cast doubt that abc or xyz persons are doing donkey practices. Most are fine and okay-- this is just a general letter for everyone's awareness and knowledge. After all, each and every person knows their own situation best. Now let's say someone rarely does sa'dhana' in their own home etc, but then when they go to the jagrti or to a retreat, then suddenly they start sitting for long, long sadhana, as if that is their regular way each and every morning and evening. And not only that, but when they close their sadhana then the first thing they do is open their eyes and slyly scan the room to see if others are taking notice of how long they sat. And if still they do not feel that they got the attention they deserved, then during meal time they will casually say that, 'It was very good to be able to sit for 3hr sadhana today etc', and then quickly scan the eyes and faces of others to see if they were impressed or not. From, all these instances, we can easily understand that that person is doing sadhana not to please Parama Purusa-- not to serve Him-- but rather to bring name, fame, and prestige unto themselves. They want people to think that they are a great sadhaka. That is why their sadhana is nothing but donkey sadhana.
Okay, let's say someone you know does do donkey kiirtan, or donkey bhajan, or donkey sadhana on occasion. Even then it is not the worst thing in the world. It is not as bad as doing no practices at all. No doubt donkey kiirtan, donkey bhajan, and donkey sadhana can cause false vanity and an overblown ego etc, but by Baba's grace our AM mantras are so strong that in a moment of quietness while repeating the mantra, even if one was initially motivated by selfish desires, one may develop sincere love for Parama Purusa. And that is the greatest achievement. After all, we have all come from somewhere. In the past ages, we may have been nature worshipers or even idol worshipers, and then gradually that feeling gets more refined until by Baba's grace we are given the opportunity to come onto the tantric path, and develop sincere love for Parama Purusa. So all is not lost for those involved in donkey practices. Certainly such approaches should never be encouraged. But one day, those involved in such things will develop sincere love for God. So there is light at the end of the tunnel for those currently stuck in donkey sadhana.
Baba says, "Remember, everyone is entitled to sa'dhana'. For this, nothing neither pedigree, education, knowledge nor any asset, is necessary except only two things – implicit faith and sincerity. Arouse these two things through your will-power and victory is yours, it must come." (AMIWL-5) Namaskar, Indrajit
Here is more about what Baba has to say about donkey food. (a) Donkey food (Gardabha'nna) is that food purchased with ill-begotten money or sinfully earned money. (b) If someone feeds you with deep love, respect, and affection and that feeling is conveyed through their expression, talk and conduct, and by feeding you they feel blissful ("Toma'ke kha'iae a'nandit hobe") and very content, and if you do not eat then they will feel pain, in this situation whatever food you eat in their house-- even if it is just boiled grass-- will be treated as priityanna (proper & sentient food). Any meal or food not prepared under such ideal conditions is donkey food. (c) So if food is not given with that heart-felt feeling and if one's own life is not in danger due to starvation, in that condition then any food offered is donkey food, Gardabha'nna. So one must not eat that food. Note: In western society that food which is not fit for human consumption is typically labeled as 'dog food'. And a similar idea Baba has conveyed above by the term donkey food-- "Gardabha'nna".
(Summary of SC-20, p.163-64 [Bangla])
****************************************** To Do Great Work
Baba says, "The meaning of the 'Sam'gacchadhvam' Mantra should be realised in life. Always remain united. Solve all problems, big or small, with unity. Consider misfortune of one as the misfortune of all-- an injury to one as an injury to all." (CC-2, 'Society' chapter, point #34) Note: So long as Baba's above teaching is not put into practice, one cannot do great work. Devoid of this one's life will be as meaningful as the life of a termite or ant etc. In our practical life we should be strict in following Baba's teaching.

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