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Why Number is Not Increasing

To: AM-GLOBAL From: Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 23:19:58 Subject: Why Number is Not Increasing Baba Intro to PS: In this song the devotee is innocently sharing his inner heart feeling about that most loving Entity, Parama Purusa. Yet, unbeknownst to him, the very Personality whom the devotee is communicating with is none other than Parama Purusa Himself. So that is the unique aspect of this song. "A'ma'r gopan kathá jene niyeche…" (PS 1272) Purport: My Parama Purusa is my most close and most dear; He is surrounding me in all the ways; I remain under His eternal shelter. He understands all the vibrations of my mind, all the feelings of my heart-- all my secret tales. He knows me inside and out; He is aware about everything. He understands the pain and longing of my heart; He knows what is good for me and what is bad for me; what is for my welfare; and, what I should and should not do. All these things He understands well. Parama Purusa is my everything-- He is my Guardian. Indeed my entire existence is within the palm of His hand. He knows everything about me. Whatever I try hide to from Him cannot remain hidden for long; everything gets exposed. Because He is well aware about my situation. Whatever I think, He understands. Nothing can be hidden from Him. Everything is within His reach. He brings everything into the light of His awareness. He resides in the depths of my heart. And by His remaining there, my whole being gets saturated by His divine presence. So He is my most dear One. In my inner-heart and inner-mind He whispers sweet, loving things into my ears. Parama Purusa is living in my heart and He knows everything. Indeed He is more aware about my whole existence than I am myself. And He constantly guides me and keeps me under His loving care and shelter. In that way I am moving...
Note: At the bottom of this letter is reference to an upcoming, so-called pracara event in AM. Namaskar, Being a global organisation, our Marga should be burgeoning with more and more new members each and every day. Unfortunately, for years now, this just has not been the case. Our population has been quite stagnant, maybe even decreasing. While there may be a variety of reasons why our numbers are not on the rise, despite the phenomenal popularity of yoga around the globe, one clear cut reason is outlined here. This singular reason is related with relationships, connection, psychology, business, and money-- all rolled into one.
By nature people have the desire to serve others. As Baba tells us, the pillars of human dharma are: Vistara (expansion), rasa (flow), & seva. Thus, seva, or service is an innate characteristic of all human beings. And we see this day in day out. When a catastrophe strikes, then people from halfway around the world organise relief efforts and collect money to help the suffering. Despite the deep-seeded selfishness of capitalism, even then citizens & foundations regularly attempt to serve other peoples. Because this is a basic human tendency: To serve. And it is this fundamental tendency of mind which we should recognise in our own pracara efforts. Before giving more details, here is one Baba story to encapsulate the situation.
I remember long ago, back in 1970, when our first seminar series was held. Then a standard fee was set for the program. Everyone entering had to pay the same amount. As soon as Baba found out about this, He immediately ordered Dadas to remove the fee. Instead, Baba insisted that the seminar must be run on a donation basis. He explained that by this way people will feel more committed to the program since they voluntarily give their own money. In that case it is not strictly a business relation, but one wherein attendees feel an inner connection with the ideals and programs of AM. And that plants the seeds for a meaningful and lasting relationship. It creates a heart-felt connection, not just a business relationship. In addition, Baba explained that those who have money will give far more than what the fee would have been, while those who could not normally afford the fee to attend will also come. Hence in the end, more money will be raised and more people will come in contact with AM. The basic idea is that whenever we are involved in teaching and preaching AM ideals, everything from retreats to basic pracar events, then we should follow Baba's system and the program should be run on a donation basis.
Indeed, there are so many organisations around the globe that follow this approach. Everything from public radio stations to philanthropic foundations to AIDS relief agencies etc. Countless organisations not only survive, but verily thrive, on the donation-only approach. Because as Baba points out, by this way, you are annexing the public's heart. They are being called upon to decide for themselves if they want to support your activities-- as well as to what degree. Then they are not just mindlessly paying a nominal or moderate fee, but they are carefully evaluating your causes and seeing how far those ideals mesh with their own interests and values. So they are not just giving money but also forming an inner, emotional-cum-psychological link with the organisation. When our Marga has so many idealistic tenets, then naturally people will feel a kinship with our works and programs. And they will give and support us accordingly. And they will support us year-round as well, not just when we are doing a particular event. Plus those who cannot afford to pay financially will lend their skills in various other ways. And of course, the greater goal is to bring more in more into our flow and introduce more and more to Baba's teachings. So we should be strict in all our dharma pracar programs, new people retreats, sectorial seminars, etc; these should always function on a donation-only basis. Tragically, at present, our organisation has not been able to implement this approach of creating an involved system of donation-only programs. Rather things are mostly done on the business model, whereby each and every Dada becomes their own corporation. In the end, though, this is a losing approach.
Make no mistake, there is a definite time when we can engage in business transactions. If we have a cinema night then we can charge for the film; when printing AM books then those should be sold; we may sell clothes at festivals etc. There are so many ways for us to do bussiness. So there is no shortage of opportunity to engage in business activities. But that should not be our blueprint or aim when organising pracar activities. Because in pracar works our goal is not to make money per se, but to draw people closer. And while it might be tempting to make $300 or $500 on a given night for a pracar program, in the long run we will make far more than that by creating heart-felt relations with prospective margiis and potential sympathizers. And most importantly, our numbers will increase dramatically. Actually, it is entirely ridiculous to think that a global organisation can function off of the business efforts of a few Dadas. That is totally ludicrous. Even if we had dozens of Dadas making as much money as Citkrsnananda, still that would not be enough to support the varied projects we need to undertake in this world. Only public money can sufficiently support a dynamic organisational structure like ours. There is no other way.
If anyone in AM has the strong need or desire to do business, then it should be done under a separate name, and certainly not for any type of pracara activities like kiirtan programs, asana classes, sadhana lessons etc. So business can be done, but for the most part not done directly using the AM name.
Unfortunately, to date since 1990, we have not been able to make our Marga into that well-run monolithic structure. Most Dadas operate as their own financial enterprise and take in money any way possible. They do whatever they can to survive. This has had a most detrimental effect on our Marga: Most notably on our consistent failure to attract new people and create a sustainable way of supporting our organisation through long-term relations with the public. The above points may sound simple and straightforward-- even basic and obvious. But we are far, far from truly developing a donation-oriented style of operation. And that is one of the main reasons our numbers remain low.
If we can inculcate the real spirit of pracara and work within that donation-only framework, then we will create heart-felt connections will all sectors of society, and things will really blossom in our Marga. Baba says, "All genuine spiritualists will have to adjust with the level of the dusty earth inspired by the spontaneous love of their hearts. They will have to share the wealth of their developed intellects with others to lighten the sorrows and sufferings of humanity. Through their guidance and leadership, human thinking will take a new turn and move along an entirely new path. The latent spiritual power in human beings will be awakened. Through their effort and inspiration, the new people of a new generation will be armed with a bold new optimism and vision of the future, and march forward triumphantly." (AFPS-9) Namaskar, Parashram
On Monday, October 14, there is a crude, dogmatic kiirtan program occurring in Asheville, North Carolina in NY Sector. A family acarya (Vishvamitra) and top Proutist (Ramesh) have allowed their Prama Institute to host a kiirtan program where Durga puja chants and the like will be sung. Plus they will be charging $20 & $25 for the event. This is a clear-cut example of how NOT to do pracara. Firstly they are spreading dogma not dharma, secondly they are making the whole evening a business transaction. It is unfortunate & damagaing this event is going on. For more information please read:
***************************************** Link Between Service and Sadhana
Baba says, "When you reach the closest proximity to the Supreme Consciousness, your mental waves will come in contact with His mental waves. Then you will understand what is to be done, and what will be the destiny of humanity in the near and distant future. Because of your spiritual progress, you will come closer and closer to the Supreme Consciousness, you will come in contact with His psychic waves. And in that state you will be able to render still better service to human beings, animals and plants." (SS-16 (H), p. 10-11) Note: Without good sadhana rendering social service is impossible.

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