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Current Trend: Neglected Child

To: From: "Blissful Tide" Subject: Current Trend: Neglected Child Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 23:17:06 Baba PS Intro: This below song represents that extremely high stance of devotion wherein the bhakta has an irresistible desire to get Him. It is similar to a small infant who has the deep desire to have its mother: then that child cries solely for its 'maa', due to its strong love and attachment for its mother. Likewise, in this song, the bhakta can think of nothing else than his Ista, and in that highly devotional state, tears rain down out of a heart-felt love for Parama Purusa. So the devotee is already close to the Lord yet yearns to get Him closer and still more close. That is the great devotional longing that this song represents. And that is why the sadhaka is crying-- because he wants that Baba should grace him by coming closer. Such ardent longing for Parama Purusa is evidenced in the lives of extraordinary sadhakas like Surdas, Mirabai and other great bhaktas. "Priyatama prabhu a'ma'r, toma'ri tare ankhi jhare..." (PS 1412) Purport: O' Prabhu, my most Beloved, I love You so much but I am not getting You. You are remaining far. My eyes are showering tears for You day and night. I am crying for You. Baba, please come, I want You in a more intimate way. O' my Lord I am searching for You. Where are You, in which far distant, unknown place have You gone-- I do not know. Baba, You have left me by the sarita' tiire [1]-- by the river bank-- bound up in my bundle of samskaras, while You Yourself have gone to some divine land. O' Baba, I am crying for You. Please grace me by coming close. Baba, by your grace I only know You; only You are my Goal. Many crave name and fame or have attachment for their homeland or country etc. O' my Lord I only love You. Everything I do is only for You-- to please You. When I sing and dance it is only for You, when I play Prabhat Samgiita, it is only to serving and pleasing You-- to fulfill Your desire. I do not sing Prabhat Samgiita to show off my own greatness and musical talent, but rather to make You happy. Baba, by Your grace, whatever ego I have, it is only sentient ego [2] for You-- all my thoughts and deeds are revolving around You, not for satisfying my personal petty desires. By Your grace, whatever I think, whatever I do, is for You-- to please You. Baba, I may be a lowly sadhaka. I do not feel that I have done a lot of sadhana in my life. Because of this, perhaps for this reason You are keeping me distant. Perhaps that is why You are neglecting me and leaving me all alone. Neither do I have good deeds to my name, nor are my thoughts pious, nor is my ideation pure. Is this why You have forgotten me and left me and gone to some far distant unknown heavenly abode, and not returned back [3]. O' my Lord, please grace me by coming close. Baba, I long for You and I surrender at Your alter-- You are my Goal, You are my everything... NOTES FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #1412:
[1] Sarita' tiire: (Literally sarita' means 'river' & tiire means 'bank'
or 'shore') The river means the river of bhava-- sometimes depicted as bhava sagar (ocean)-- the bundle of samskaras that one has to cross to reach Parama Purusa. That is the analogy being made here. The devotee is sitting by the river bank wondering how he will cross the river of samskaras and reach to Parama Purusa, Baba. Without His grace, one cannot cross that river or ocean of samskaras. And without exhausting all these samskaras one cannot get mukti or moksa. So His grace is needed. All in all, the devotee is longing to get Him and in that longing he is making the loving accusation to Parama Purusa-- 'Why have You left me and gone to some divine land while I sit here by the river bank surrounded by my samskaras'. [2] Abhiman: In Sanskrit the term 'abhiman' means 'sentient ego'; where as in Bengali 'abhiman' not mean 'wounded pride'. Depending on the song, one has to evaluate the scene and determine which meaning is more appropriate. [3] Here in this last portion of the song, the devotee is trying to do sadhana and bring Parama Purusa in his close proximity. Since it is difficult, the sadhaka makes this loving accusation towards Parama Purusa that 'You have gone away'. But it does not mean that really Baba has gone. Just it means that He is not coming as close as the sadhaka desires. In his heart of hearts, the bhakta thinks that Parama Purusa is close by and listening to his complaint. So it is just a loving accusation by the devotee in order to bring Parama Purusa close. It is similar to how in our day to day life we use such expressions with our very close people, with our nearest and dearest relations. One might say, 'Why did you leave me', 'why did you abandon me', 'why did you forget about me' etc. All these expressions people use when they are extremely close with someone. Children say such things to their moms etc.
Namaskar, All around the globe, people are flocking towards capitalism-- towards that grand mountain of materialism. While the political reputation of the USA around the globe may be in decline, the 'Americana' way of living is at an all-time high. This is what everyone is chasing. Home Depot this, Wal-Mart that, fast-food here, java there. Not to mention the outrageous spread of cheap Hollywood values across the seven seas. However, it is this very Americana way of life that is causing the degeneration and fragmentation of the society. And perhaps in no sphere of life is this more evident than with the (mis)treatment of our children, where the greatest crime against kids these days in the west is that many parents simply do not care about them. Rather children are looked upon a 'headaches'. This is the trend in the materialistic west. And indeed it begs the question, in this grossly self-centered era, 'Are children merely by-products of sexually indulgent relationships?'.
With Lord Shiva and the start of true family life on this earth, children were always seen as the sparkle and joy of life. Mothers were dedicated solely to the upbringing of their children and fathers were providing a supportive home environment where the raising of the children was foremost. In such conditions, children were welcomed into the world with abundant love and affection. And in many countries around the globe this may still be in the case, especially in our so-called third-world nations where the family bonds are still in-tact. In those countries, still children are given maximum attention and care. However, with every passing moment, the globe is turning towards the seemingly glamorous ways of the west-- most notably towards Americana fashions etc. Yet we should keep our eyes open and recognise the harsh reality of the materialistic way of life, where among other things, child neglect is rampant & on the rise.
A wealthy couple enjoying the sensual pleasures of so-called marital life place their young infant in its own bedroom way down the hallway and keep a battery operated intercom as the sole link between them and their child. Every night passes like this with the child all by its lonesome while the parents pass one passionate night after another. And then every morning that same wealthy couple dispatches their young one off to the nearby child-care establishment for ten hours while they go off to their lucrative jobs. And the cycle goes on-- where there is hardly any human connection between them and their child. A 28year-old single mom with four kids holding a full-time job struggles desperately to raise her children while the father remains a no-show. In the struggle for financial survival and in her own personal & dating endeavours as she herself also hopes to remarry, the children are mostly left to grow on their own-- with little or no parental supervision, guidance, or care. For their ease, a mom and dad leave their new 4x4 pick-up running with the three kids in the back as they dash in to the store. After scurrying around the shopping mall to get what they need, the new-age mom and dad decide to sit back and relax before returning to their rambunctious children who await them in the back of the pick-up. The parents chew and chat over baked goods and coffee and then casually return back to their fancy rig only to find their three children lying unconscious-- totally asphyxiated-- in the back of the truck. And indeed there are numerous scenarios where the children are merely left to their own devices-- growing up in a cold, bleak, and hostile world where they feel alienated from themselves, their parents, and the society.
In a nutshell child neglect occurs when apathetic parents do not care for the psychic, physical, emotional, and medical needs of their children. It may sound ludicrous but it is oh-so-common in the "developed" nations of the west. How could it be? What is the cause? While there are many side causes, the root issue is capitalism itself-- the self-centered way of life where even grown parents chase after their personal, lustful pleasures and ignore the needs and care of their children. This is the outcome of capitalism: Extreme selfishness where even mothers and fathers view their own children as obstacles and hindrances to their own pursuits of self-satisfaction and glory. In the sex-oriented west, the concept of motherhood has been all but forgotten and instead females are looked upon as objects of pleasure-- and indeed the mass of females in the west have bought into this paradigm. Due to horrific advertising, male-dominated values, and a lustful way of living, the female is not looked upon as a mother and care-giver but rather as an object of lust and desire. And with the notion of motherhood mostly lost, children come into this world as by products of sexual relations and grow up neglected due to those same sexual relations. This is the way so many "families" are developing in the west.
All in all such conditions are far worse than animal life. Because at least in animal life, there is a distinct mating season and thereafter the mother and father follow their natural course in caring for their offspring. It is not that the parents continue on and on in their sexually-indulgent ways like depraved humans. No, no, no, rather those animals pay heed to call of nature and follow their animal dharma of feeding and nurturing their young. Whereas in the depraved modern world, many so-called parents neither follow human dharma nor animal dharma and instead indulge in the heat of selfishness. In that chase for carnal pleasures, children are forgotten, brushed aside, and treated as invaders. In that case such so-called parents are far below the animal standard; theirs is just a debauched life that only misguided humans could concoct. Even animals do not give way to such crude ways.
The result is that each and every day we hear on the street corner or read on the internet how children suffer due to extreme neglect in their home lives. This suffering may take place in the emotional sphere, in the psychic sphere, in the physical realm, or a combination thereof. Regardless, this type of neglect burns a big hole in the human heart-- it leaves children reeling and spinning for the rest of their lives, wondering where is there love in this world. With that parched human heart, they wonder why they have been born and feel disconnected and alienated from the world around them. This is the "gift" that so many parents in this modern world give to their children-- and to the society. Because one day, in 20 or 30 years, these very neglected children will grow up to be the leaders of the society, in which case what kind of leaders and parents can they be. How can they be entrusted to steer the society when they themselves did not receive the requisite love, care, and guidance needed for a human infant. And verily, we see the effect of this in their teenage years where kids engage in gross crimes where they burn schools, murder their teachers, engage in mean sexual crimes, and the list goes on and on. Yet we expect them to turn it all around upon reaching adulthood-- never. Such neglect starts in their childhood and the ill effect never leaves them. When parents neglect their babies the scar is lifelong.
In such dilemma, what is one to do. How do we start to correct the matter. Aside from inculcating the habit of spiritual practice and preaching the values of yama and niyama, in our Marga we also have some direct intervention techniques. Baba wants for balanced people who are morally and spiritually developed to produce more children. Baba says, "If people of sublime intelligence and brilliance reproduce more offspring, it will be very beneficial for society." (AFPS-9) And side by side, Baba states that in certain cases we should take direct intervention and not allow certain imbalanced people to produce children. Baba says, "It will be harmful for society if mentally deficient, naturally delinquent or insane persons produce many children. In fact, society will be benefited by the permanent destruction of their reproductive capacity." (PNS-13) Thus these are two of the direct intervention measures Baba has given. And perhaps most importantly, in numerous places Baba states the children are the collective responsibility of one and all in the society. It is our collective moral duty to ensure that all children are given ample love and affection and raised in a nurturing and supportive environment. Baba says, "The responsibility for nurturing and bringing up these children will have to be taken by the society or the government." (PNS-13) And indeed the whole jatakarma ceremony-- the social functions of giving recognition to the new-born-- in our Marga is based on this universal tenet, that all are responsible for the upbringing of every child. This runs directly counter to the small minded ways of capitalism where selfish pleasure runs rampant. With the wholesome outlook of our Marga, we can ensure that none are ever neglected-- wherein all are given the right and place to grow in a proper way-- showered in love and affection.
By Baba's grace, He has put forth the premise that all in the universe are to be cared for as our own. This moral debt and responsibility we owe to every person-- to every newborn. By this way the society will grow strong and prosper-- and all will feel part of the whole and loved. Baba says, "You must remember that the newcomer who comes to your society for the first time is fraught with every human prospect, potentiality and possibility. ...You belong to a company of pilgrims. Why should you then allow anybody among you to starve or to lag behind? You shall not allow such a circumstances to creep up in any way, as it will mar the very charm of pilgrimage." (Tattvika Diipika-4) Namaskar, Pradiip
Here are but a few of the many alarming statistics regarding the rampant problem of child neglect in the materialistic west-- in the Americana way of life. * "Child neglect is the most prevalent form of child maltreatment in the United States. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), of the approximately 903,000 US children who were victims of abuse and neglect in 2001, 59.2% suffered from neglect alone, including medical neglect. According to the NCANDS, 35.6% of child maltreatment fatalities in the United States in 2001 occurred as a result of neglect" * "Child neglect, which is 63% of all substantiated cases of child abuse, is the most common form of child maltreatment reported to child protective services. It is defined as a "type of maltreatment that refers to the failure to provide needed age-appropriate care," such as shelter, food, clothing, education, supervision, medical care and other basic necessities needed for development of physical, intellectual and emotional capacities." * "More children suffer from neglect in the United States than from physical and sexual abuse combined. During 2003, 60.9 percent of victims experienced neglect."
****************************************** To Solve the Problem
Baba says, "All the urges and longings should be channelised and directed towards the Supreme. If this is done indomitable psychic force and invincible spiritual energy will grow from within. This will enable people to solve all the world's problems--economic, social, cultural, big and small. Unless one develops oneself in this way, as an ideal human being, one will not be able to solve any problem, no matter how madly one beats one's chest or how loudly one shouts slogans." (AMI-10, p.758) Note: In the above quote Baba guides us that spirituality is an indispensable quality to solve the world's social problems, become a Prout leader. That means only with the great force of true spirituality and by serving others can one be an ideal Proutist and lead the society along the golden road of welfare. However on & off again a few persons start thinking that non-spiritually oriented activists can be ideal Proutists. They get duped into thinking that any atheistic so-called social leader who shouts aloud their battle cry for public welfare in the street has all the requisite qualifications to be a Prout leader. But Baba gives the reply to those harboring such an imbalanced idea by guiding us that devoid of spirituality service mentality does not sprout in the mind.

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