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Their Fall From Grace

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 23:53:19 To: AM-GLOBAL From: V.J.K. Rajpurhit Subject: Their Fall From Grace Baba "Sakal bha'ver a'dha'r tumi, toma'r na'me ja'i go mete..." - P.S. no. 787 Purport: Baba, You are the base of all ideations. By Your grace I am divinely intoxicated in Your name and song. Within my lonely eyelids I have an incessant desire to get You. Baba, the whole universe is filled with Your form. My mind is resonating in Your tune and melody. In fact, all the rhythms and all the songs have come on this earth to sing Your glory. Baba, the whole sky is filled with Your effulgence. Your august arrival has changed darkness into effulgence. And the iron door of the jail is pulverized into dust. All the dogma has disappeared. The whole universe is filled with Your divine effulgence. Baba, everyone is ensconced in singing Your name...
Namaskar, I remember that when I visited India before 1990, then our Wts commanded huge respect. All margiis viewed our acaryas with great reverence-- and deservedly so. Those who were in AM those days surely also remember this. However, since 1990, that respect has been waning such that at this present moment the overall regard for Wts is at an all-time low. And this also is not unwarranted. Here then is a look into how this shocking scenario has taken place: Where in such a short span of time the overall status of our acaryas has plunged deep down into the lower echelons of our AM society. I also recognise that there are some workers who margiis still regard quite highly; so we should also look into that phenomenon as well. How is it that some Wts have rightly maintained their dignified place as a wholetime worker for Baba. Lastly, those with experiences and stories about this topic are highly encouraged to share their insights.
Those pre-1990 days were truly special; we all viewed our acaryas as being extensions of Baba. Everyone felt special to be in the company of our Wts. Why is it? Was it magic? Why did our workers seem so vibrated those days? Well there are any number of theories that might account for this, but the underlying factor or root cause is one: Proper conduct. Those days Baba was adamant that all Wts must follow all the various codes of conduct. This pressure was placed on every worker as they knew that Baba would surely point out any laxness in this regard. So from morning till night, from their pre-dawn cold bath till their final sadhana before sleep, all our workers were vigilant to follow all conduct rules as closely as possible. And this adherence to the system had a big effect on their being. Because all Baba's divine guidelines aim towards turning human beings into veritable gods. Thus when our workers were sincerely involved in that pre-1990 era of carefully following all the conduct rules, then they really were on the path of life divine. And their vibration reflected this. That is why we all wanted to be near our acaryas. The force behind this great revolutionary era was, of course, Baba's ever-watchful eye. For that reason Wts were strict in following the conduct rules and the result was quite evident.
Astonishingly, a terrible 'fall from grace' has happened with many of our Wts. And here again the cause can be attributed to one root point: Poor conduct. Little by little with each and every passing day, month, and year, many of our Wts began to lose their habit of following those dharmic codes of conduct. It happened slowly, drop by drop, until finally we have found ourselves in the mud puddle that exists today. Because with Baba not physically present to exert pressure on our wts, and with Centre taking a blind eye towards wrongdoings and degrading behaviour, then all workers were just free to follow their various degrading vrttis. And that is what has happened. Here it is not that all fell directly into sex etc. This happened to some and that we all know about. Rather the more over-arching problem was the fall into materialistic values. That is the general trend that has happened to the majority of workers. Instead of chasing after Baba and His dharmic ideals, our Wts have taken to chasing after iPods, laptops, automobiles, video this, and MP3 that etc. Indeed some margiis have commented that now many of our Wts are like teenagers chasing after the latest gizmos and gadgets. This has become the common episode. And it is not just a superficial occurrence but has rather filtered into the mentality of our acarya culture. Because nowadays respect is generated within the Wts ranks based on what gadget one has and what car one drives. That is the debased mentality that has taken over. That is how they get their prestige: On what object they own, not on the depth of their sadhana. Until finally there are Citkrsnananda type of Dadas who are wholly dedicated for their own financial gain and nothing else. In that case, heavy-duty Swiss Bank Accounts entering into the tens of millions become the order of the day. Tragically this has the scene that has taken over these days. That is why many margiis and even other Wts have commented that rather than having acaryas who have dedicated their lives to Baba and dharma, we now have workers who have given their all to 21st century materialism. And the root cause behind it all is the failure to follow the conduct rules. That vigilance is gone from our Wts ranks. There are a few who sincerely follow and they have the respect of margiis accordingly, but the general trend is that any Wt can do as they like and no one will say anything about it. There is no external pressure from Centre or from their supervisors. Reason being their moral standard is also quite low. In that way, for the typical wt, their daily routine has become more mundane and their mental pabulum has become terribly materialistic. Because they are allowed to degrade themselves and fall into the common flow of the general society, as no one is there to point them out.
Here again it should be reiterated that the problem is not a subtle one. It is not that some Wts are faltering in pursuing the higher aspects of life or that some Wts are not using a scrubber to wash their backsides. The issue is not nearly so subtle or minute. Rather the mass of our wts are totally drowned night and day in crude de-based behaviour that can be witnessed with anyone's crude eyes. And it is this blatant disregard for the most obvious of conduct rules that is the chief issue at hand. When this gets resolved then we can work on higher values and less blatant shortcomings.
Is it any wonder than that when our wts are immersed in the chase after material things that margiis are giving less money to acaryas. Because when when a visiting worker shows up with a fancy travel bag filled with the latest marvels of the world of technology, then those family margiis, who themselves are struggling for their own survival, think, 'It seems this worker does not need any money as he has far more gadgets than my entire family'. Likewise when a margii enters into a jagriti and sees various workers in their own rooms watching the latest and greatest on their portable, wireless video palm-tops, then margiis think: 'What is the need to give such workers money. They can already afford everything that they want. And not only that, they are not going to use the money for mission work.' This is that idea that comes to the minds of so many margiis. So really, this has all led to an drastic reduction in donations given to our Wts. And that hurts those sincere workers the most-- i.e. those who really are doing Baba's work and need financial support. Yet it is the undeniable trend that much less funds are being given to our workers.
In the face of this degradation of our Wts, their status in the Marga is now most ordinary or even lower than that. No doubt groupism is at an all-time high, but any wt on their own can redeem themselves by keeping proper conduct. But in the absence of that, margiis find there is little redeeming value of such workers. For, if they are not dedicating their lives for Baba and acting accordingly, then what use are they-- how can we even call them acarya. Unfortunately, in some sparse corners, a few margiis, here and there, are almost rejoicing in this fall of our acaryas. And there are some margiis who seem to take great delight in kicking our wts. As if, finally they got the chance to step on them. A few margiis seem to behave in this way in that they seem happy that our wts have lost their flow and now they themselves can be top-notch in AM. But this is not the way. Overall it is a shame and terribly unfortunate that this disgraced fall has happened within our Wt ranks. It would have been far better if our Wts had been able to rise to the occasion and maintain a strict spiritual and dharmic flow amongst the cadre. That would have been a great boon for our Marga & the general society. So many great works & so much pracara could have been done. Hence, the fact that our Wts have fallen into mire is nothing to celebrate. Rather I yearn for those pre-90 days when our Wts were verily second gods. And surely by Baba's grace and with the hard work and cooperation of all, such glorious days will return where our Wts are tops.
Our acaryas are meant to stand as the real leaders of society. There is no doubt about that. Their role is unprecedented as they are the veritable pioneers who by their conduct and compassion will bring smiles to the faces of the suffering and inspire young and old alike to adhere to the tenets of spiritual life. This is their true glory. Family margiis can also lead but the leadership of our Wts is a vastly needed element for the welfare of the world. And when that is absent, the result is not at all good. That is Baba's strict warning. Baba says, "Today there is catastrophe and misery in human society and there is one reason: the defective leadership of society...True leaders should always be vigilant and think how to work best for human society." (AV-31, 'Conduct of Acarya') So when our Wts have fallen away from the acarya code of conduct, then that has a distinct domino effect. First and foremost then junior wts will be less inclined to follow those rules. And then that laxness will spread throughout the entire society. That is why Baba strongly emphasizes proper behaviour within our acarya ranks, otherwise things will not bode well for the Marga and the society on the whole. Baba says, "Bear in mind that people may be harmed or misled by even a small weakness or defect in the conduct of an a'ca'rya. Just as it is the duty of a father to educate his children properly by his good conduct, an a'ca'rya should always instruct by his exemplary actions and word." (AV-31, 'Conduct of Acarya') So without the proper conduct of our acaryas-- without them giving up their lust for material pursuits such as iPods etc-- then society will never be able to advance.
The solution to this whole problem is two-fold. Firstly, it is important for family margiis to help resuscitate our acarya culture. Oxygen should be administered little by little until our Wts regain their feet. And that 'oxygen' should come in the form of soft and gentle words, urging workers to abide by Baba's guidelines, if they are remiss in this regard. This is one of Baba's special teachings for building a strong wt cadre and a healthy society. Baba says, "All Ananda Margis, when they see other margis acting against the principles of yama and niyama, must make them shun this habit either by sweet or harsh words or by dealing even more strictly. Thus they will have to make the society strong. Henceforth I direct every Ananda Margi to keep strict vigilance on other Ananda Margi to make them practise the principles of yama and niyama." (GHC, 'How to Live in Society') So it is our duty to respectfully yet firmly point out the defects as they occur. Best is to first use gentle words in private and only increase the circumstantial pressure when needed.
The second half to the issue is for acaryas to take it upon themselves to re-evaluate their lives and take the firm determination to live a life fully based on Baba's ideals. And then step by step this will become a reality. Be strict on kiirtan, sadhana, asanas, and a sentient diet, and then naturally all the rest of the pieces will fall neatly into place. And indeed that high standard is what Baba wants for our acarya cadre. Baba says, "Those who have the responsibility to show the path to others should be of superlative character with the most refined conduct. They and their followers must move constantly towards all-round development and shreya. Persons who teach such well-regulated behaviour to others by their own conduct are called a'ca'ryas." (AV-31, 'Conduct of Acarya') And indeed, right now those Wts who follow the proper conduct are highly regarded and respected by margiis. And deservedly so. Whereas those Wts who just wear their saffron robe for show are systemically humiliating themselves and our Marga.
By Baba's grace, our Marga will quickly regain its form. As margiis and acaryas point out those Wts for their misconduct and as acaryas redouble their efforts to lead a spiritual life, we will surely see fast results and the cleaning of our Marga. Baba says, "O human beings! You are fortunate. The clarion call of the Universal has reached you. That very call is vibrating in every cell of your body. Will you now lie inert in the corner of your house? Will you now waste your time clutching ancient skeletons to your breast and moaning over them? The Supreme Being is calling you in the roar of the ocean, in the thunder of the clouds, in the speed of the lightning, in the meteor’s flaming fires. Nothing will come of remaining idle. Get up and awaken the clouded chivalry of your dormant youth. The path may not be strewn with flowers – an inferiority complex may seek to hold back your every advancing footstep, but even then you have to proceed onward, tearing the shroud of darkness. You will soon rend the thick darkness of despair on the way to the attainment of the Supreme State, and advance onwards in the swift-moving chariot, radiant with the sun’s brilliance." (SS-1) Namaskar, Vidyasagar
****************************************** SCIENCE BEHIND KIIRTAN
Baba says, "At the time of kiirtana, the vocal cord sings, the ears hear, and the hands and feet dance, and thus all the organs are kept preoccupied with the divine. They are not allowed to move wherever they want but are kept engaged. There is a popular Indian superstition that when ghosts are not kept busy they break the necks of their prey. Similarly, if the sensory and motor organs are not kept engaged in the attainment of the divine, they may lead one astray. Kiirtana is therefore most beneficial as it keeps all the organs fully engaged in a spiritual pursuit. However, while doing kiirtan, if one listens to anything else, the mind will be diverted. Suppose, while doing kiirtana, one lady asks another, `Well sister, what did you cook today?' This will also be heard by the practitioners of kiirtana. To prevent these undesirable sounds from being heard, it is advisable to play some instrument during kiirtana." (AV-8, p.13)

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