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Not Just A Ritual

Date: 16 Aug 2009 11:01:11 -0000 From: "Shivadayal Singhal" To: Subject: Not Just A Ritual Baba PS Intro: This following song can be taught to non-margiis as it belongs in the 'Krsnaliila' series. As we know, in Baba's Prabhat Samgiita collection, there are a number of songs about Lord Krsna. So when any program is organised related with Krsnaliila, then these songs are most useful to attract non-margii devotees who have love for Krsna. So this song is not for our regular devotional chanting. This is not a devotional song for Ananda Margiis. If anyone has any doubt or confusion about this, please refer to Baba's discourse: "Onm'kara and Is't'a Mantra". "Giitir ka'n'u priitir vrajer ka'n'u e anunay..." (3655) Purport: O' Divine Entity, O' Lord Krsna of the song, O' Lord Krsna of Love, O' Lord Krsna of Braj*, I have one request of You: O' Mohan, the divine Entity who is attracting everyone, please be gracious and shower Your infinite grace on me with Your radiant smile. O' Entity who can only be known through the realisation of divine Love, please come in the sweet grove of my mind, in my madhukanan. O' Lord Krsna, please be gracious. Please come with Your divinely attractive & most venerable appearance and grace me by residing on the lotus petals of my citta. O' Liiila'may, please grace me and come in my close proximity so that I need not wander around this vast earth in search of You-- seeking You in various tiirthas (holy lands) or in the distant dense forest or in the caves and caverns of the insurmountable mountains. O' Divine Entity who eternally resides in my heart, please shower Your grace-compassion on me with the heavenly waves of Your ocean of nectar. So that by Your grace I can sing the glory of Your blissful tales and spread the supreme effulgence of Your divine name. O' Lord, please be gracious and come deep inside my heart... *Braj= When the aspirant is withdrawing his mind from all worldly objects and desires and is instead goading all his psychic propensities towards Parama Purusa, then the sadhaka is no longer chasing after name, fame, money, post, power, position or other worldly things. Only the aspirant is trying to cultivate more and more spiritual longing: To accept Parama Purusa as their only Goal in life; to accept Him as their sole object of adoration. This type of mental state is braj-- where the devotees is playing with the Lord in that divine land, in the mind. That is the land of braj.
Namaskar, Each and every day after bathing we all recite our bath mantra, "Pitrpurus'ebhyo namah...". The meaning of this mantra holds great value in our human life and movement along the path of pratisaincara. However, often we find that its meaning is misconstrued within our Marga. It is not that people adopt the wrong meaning per se, but more commonly they miss the greater meaning. Or even worse, many just treat it as some type of ritual that does not have a lot of value. So let's take a look at its inner significance and see what our bath mantra is all about - according to Baba's divine precepts.
Generally, if you ask an Ananda Margii what is the idea of the bath mantra, they will often reply, "It is a salutation to our ancestors - a way of paying respect to our forefathers and predecessors." This is how people commonly respond and this is how I and others in my unit responded when asked this very same question. Because after all the first two lines are:
Pitrpurus'ebhyo namah Rs'idevebhyonamah
Baba says, " You are in this world, but before you so many human beings came...To all our forefathers who came into this world and left this world. So many people, so many millions of people, came during the last ten lakh years. So, Pitrpurus'ebhyo namah. “I do namah to those people,” because I am a continuity of those people in the flow of the human race.... During this long period so many things were invented by so many great people. Great people are known as rs'is...So, rs'idevebhyo namah – “I also do namah to those rs'is who invented so many things.” And the collection of their inventions is modern human civilization." (AV-30) So honoring our forefather and sages is a distinct aspect of our bath mantra. Plus we all know that pitr yajina, or service to ancestors, is a part of our AM way of life. Baba says, "Pitr Yajina means remembering the ancestors and the sages. As long as a person possesses the physical body, he remains indebted to his ancestors." (AMIWL-2) For all these reasons and more, some or more in AM commonly think that the bath mantra is all about recognising and remembering our ancestors - when in fact this is just a small part of what our bath mantra is all about.
While the above is a but a partial understanding of bath mantra, even more often the bath mantra gets treated in some ritualistic manner. People might recite it mindlessly or internally think that this is just some silly thing - not really part of our spiritual life. Then there are some who just repeat it at rocket speed such that they do not even know what they are saying - neither the meaning nor the actual words. In that sense bath mantra is regarded no differently from one religious custom such as putting ghee on the sacrificial fire etc. Of course not everyone falls in this category, but it is not entirely uncommon either. Here then are Baba'a main teachings on bath mantra. Everyone should evaluate for themselves how far they truly recite and ideate on bath mantra in the proper way. Only you can be your own judge.
In His discourse, "Ascribe Brahma-hood to All", Baba pointedly reviews every line of the bath mantra. He furthermore states that the essence of bath mantra is about linking every action of life with the Supreme. Baba says, "You should know its [bath mantra] meaning. It has closest proximity to this ma'dhuvidya', that is, this ascription of Brahma-hood to worldly work." (AV-30) Because after the first two lines of the bath mantra, the entire mantra focuses on Brahma.
Brahma'rpan'am' Brahmahavir Brahma'gnao Brahman'a'hutam; Brahmaeva tena gantavyam' Brahmakarma sama'dhina'.
As we know, the meaning of these lines is:
The act of offering is Brahma; that which is offered is Brahma; the one to whom the offering is made is Brahma; and the person making the offering is Brahma. One will merge in Brahma after completing the duty assigned to him by Brahma.
For Baba's full explanation of these lines, refer to the discourse, "Ascribe Brahma-hood to All". The overarching import of this mantra is to be completely immersed in madhuvidya, or second lesson. We are to see everything (the offering, the action, the Receiver, the doer) as Brahma and we are to remember this fact every day during each and every waking moment. That is the greater meaning of our bath mantra. It is is wonderful explanation of second lesson. Since bathing is daily component of human life, then what better way to remind us of our second lesson practice than with a bath mantra that goads the mind in this very direction. Thus bath mantra holds great significance and it should not just be regarded as some useless ritual or merely a prayer to our ancestors etc.
Here is more about how bath mantra can help us escape from the serpentine noose of maya. Typically, as human beings we are stuck in the endless cycle of action and reaction, of life and death. We are but a toy within the cycle of karma. We do actions, become bound, then have to undergo the reaction. There is no seeming escape. And as Baba remarked at one DMC, mostly people are involved in bad deeds. Baba says, "Think about how many of the deeds you performed before coming to the path of sa'dhana' were good and how many were bad. To tell the unpleasant truth, ninety-nine percent of your deeds were bad." (AMIWL-8) Thus we are bound by so many actions - many of which were degrading. That is the tough reality. And not only that, but when we do good actions and get good reactions, then with that heightened sense of confidence or arrogance, one again plunges in misdeeds. This is very, very common. For instance, due to their good work in the past, one acquires wealth or a position of importance, and then one uses that money for sensual pleasure and that high post to satisfy their self-interest. This is the case with so many - not just with Hollywood or Bollywood stars, but with even the person next door. For more about this phenomenon, please read: So the long and short of it is that - whether one does good or bad works - one becomes bound to those actions, and most of the time one ends up degrading themselves. That is why it is so difficult to escape the cycle of karma. One can go round and round for ions. Baba says, "The unit entities have been moving around the cosmic nucleus throughout will have to go round and round like the bullocks in the oil-mill in the endless cycle of creation, life and death." (SS-2)
The only way to escape this endless cycle of karma is to no longer create samskaras. Of course with His divine grace He can do anything, yet as human beings all we can do is lighten our karmic load. That means we have to undergo the reactions of past actions and live in this world without creating new samskaras. That is why our second lesson and bath mantra are so important. Because so long as we think that we are doing the actions, then a samskara is created - either a good one or a bad one. And ultimately those bind us. Plus, as noted above, when we reap the fruits of our good actions, then we often abuse those benefits and again resort to misdeeds. That only sets us further back on the path, hurling us in the direction of negative pratisaincara. So whenever our I-feeling is attached to an action, we are further binding ourselves, to some or more degree. But when we think that Brahma is the doer and we are merely serving His will, then there is no attached samsakara. And that is the inner value of second lesson and bath mantra. The bath mantra is a daily reminder of how we should ideate and practice second lesson. Because as we all know, this takes practice - constant vigilance and reminders. Our bath mantra is one such reminder. Every day - or twice daily - we chant and ideate that everything we are dong is for Brahma and that ever manifested being and object in this universe is Brahma. With practice - and with regular kiirtan and sadhana - then this mantra will not just be a set of words, or some bogus ritual, and the inner meaning - that everything is Brahma - will settle in the inner recesses or our mind and heart. Then, by His grace, we are sure to remember Him in all we do - always wishing to serve and please Him.
By His grace, He has given us all the tools to achieve liberation. We should be vigilant to incorporate the right and true practice of bath mantra into our daily life, lest we fall into demise or worse. Baba says, "Success and fulfillment in life lie in the spiritual pursuit. Only by pleasing one’s Lord through sincere spiritual practice can one attain freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Those who do not follow the spiritual path, even after being born on this earth in human form, can be said to be misusing their vital force and intellectual capacity. The wise say that such people are no better than donkeys." (AMIWL-7) Namaskar, Shivadayal
Our bath mantra helps us remember that everything is Brahma and Brahma is everything. This will give us force in life to surrender to Him and escape the clutches of karma, by His grace. Baba says, "When, due to the grace of Parama Brahma, techniques of intuitional practice (sa'dhana') are imparted to the unit mind through the medium of a Guru, the way to emancipation from bondages is opened, and the unit mind begins to transcend all sorrows and miseries. By virtue of this sa'dhana' one can also free oneself from the vicious cycle of karma, resulting in the a'tman getting immediate liberation from all mental bondages. Having relinquished the desire for finite objects in different places, in different forms, and in different ways, and having embraced the Supreme Original Entity, one attains the highest fulfillment. This attainment is achieved with the grace of Parama Purus'a in the form of a Guru. Hence there is only one Guru: the Supreme Entity alone is the Universal Guru." (AMIWL-7)
************************************* Know Your Rights in AM
Baba says, "Regarding the Sixteen Points, it was said that a'ca'rya/a's or senior persons would see if you were observing them properly or not. Similarly, I gave a directive to all that they should keep watch on one another. No one will exempt anyone else regarding the Sixteen Points...It is a question of human rights " (AV-23) Note: Pointing out and evaluating the behaviour of others is part of the self-cleaning system of Ananda Marga. All are Ananda Margiis - family people and Wts - but unfortunately pointing out is not allowed these days. If anyone speaks up they get victimised and outcasted. In that case the whole system of pointing out is disables and in result our AM society gets polluted. This is one of our fundamental human rights that must be granted to all Ananda Margiis, otherwise the wrong things will flourish in AM, such as groupism, power mongering and the like

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