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Myth About AM

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 10:20:43 -0000 Subject: Myth About AM To: From: "Ram Baba "Toma'ke cine ut'ha' da'y Otaprotabha've tha'kileo dhara' na'hi ja'y..." (PS 3291) Purport: O' my dearmost, I long for You but alas You could not be held. Baba, in spite of that fact, You are ever-present with me always through Your ota-prota yoga*; even then it is not easy to realise You. Baba, Your sublime divinity remains beyond my reach. I could not get You. Baba, please be gracious and allow me to embrace You with all my heart. Baba, You are beyond time and space-- You everywhere and within everyone. By Your grace You remain in the supreme effulgence as well as in the cimmerian darkness. There is no place that You are not. In each and every moment, You are ensconced and divinely intoxicated in the tune, rhythm, melody, and bathed in the fragrance of my mental garden. O' gracious One, according to Your desire You make me cry or laugh. Baba, by Your grace You make me float like the deep blueness in the vast, expansive sky. Baba with Your mystical liila, You make me dance whatever way You like. Baba, I surrender at Your alter, please grace me by keeping me in Your shelter... ASTERISK NOTES (*): *Ota-prota Yoga= In 1984 Gwalior DMC, Baba has graciously told what the meaning of ota and prota yoga is in English. Ota yoga is "individual tactuality" between Parama Purusa and the unit entity; and, prota yoga is "collective tactuality" between Parama Purusa and all the entities, simultaneously. So in the above definitions, Baba is exclusively describing the intimate relation between Parama Purusa and His jiivas through His ota & prota yoga. Baba expresses this same devotional concept using slightly different language in the following discourse. Baba says, "What is ota-yoga? He as the Cosmic Father has a direct relationship with each and every entity of this world...All are His affectionate children. This is His ota-yoga. Each and every entity, animate or inanimate, has a direct link with Him. Just as ota yoga means the Cosmic Father's relationship with each entity individually, prota yoga means His relationship with all collectively." (AV-6)
Namaskar, There is one prevailing myth that floats in and around our AM circles - this letter addresses it. Please add your own thoughts and experiences.
Many are aware that the practice of ekadashii and the shloka of samgacchadhvam have been around for ages and are related with Hinduism. Plus Buddha's teaching of cakuna samvaro (control over the senses) and the eight fold path are well known. Then of course there is the Christian doctrine which preaches service and doing good to others. And finally, Muslims think of one another as brother & sister and oppose dogmas like idol worship.
Seeing these elements in the various religions may lead one to conclude that AM is just a mix of the various religions - as if Baba gathered the cream of all the religious teachings and combined them to form Ananda Marga. Some in AM (& outside AM) may think like that. However, that conclusion is totally false - it is just one myth. As Ananda Margiis we should be totally clear on this point and understand fully how AM is totally new and vastly different from the existing religions.
Perhaps the most striking point that differentiates AM from every religion is that only Ananda Marga has given a socio-economic theory. Only Baba knew that for dharma and spirituality to rise, there must be economic justice and social equality. For that reason He has given Prout. In contrast, some of the other religions have slowly become the stooges of capitalism; while Shankaracarya's Hinduism overlooked the material world entirely; and in general most religions have no clear-cut teaching for addressing socio-economic issues. In contrast, Ananda Marga has Prout: A comprehensive outlook delineating plans and programs across the entire socio-economic spectrum. Our overall approach is subjective approach through objective adjustment. And Prout is the ultimate tool for bridging the divide between a God-centered spiritual outlook and living in this material world. If nothing else then, Baba's Prout theory is perfect evidence that AM is totally new and revolutionary, and not a mix of the various religions.
How is it then that some have gotten confused and fallen prey to the myth that AM is just a mix of the various religions. Firstly, those who are not fully aware of Baba's teachings may have taken this myth to heart just out of their ignorance or laziness. That can happen. There is also another phenomenon at work. In order to do AM pracara in any region or place, one must make a link with the local people. The best way to make that link is through service - that is Baba's recommendation. Side by side however, often that link is made by pointing out similarities between AM and the local traditions, customs and beliefs. For instance, acaryas or margiis in India, might point to the many similarities (diet, language, yama & niyama, Shiva & Krsna) and shared history of yoga and Hinduism in order to convince people that AM is not something foreign but actually very close to their religion. Likewise in the Islamic world, an acarya or margii may point to the shared monotheistic approach. Both Islam and AM believe in the existence of one God. And by saying this again and again, that margii or acarya may really begin to believe in their heart that AM's doctrine of a single God really is just like Islam. And in every land such techniques are used, whether it be highlighting the similarities between AM & Christianity in the west or AM and Buddhism in the far east. In all such places, in order to do pracara, acaryas and margiis convince the locals that AM is very close to or nearly identical to their religion. Unknowingly, through this pracara technique, some of those margiis and acaryas may end up convincing themselves that really AM did stem from those religions. It is a type of self-hypnosis. That can happen and indeed it has happened. So that is one reason why this myth is alive in AM that really our Marga is nothing but a mix of the various religions. When in reality, AM is totally new and absolutely none of the teachings of the various dogmatic religions were brought into AM. That will become more clear by reading more of this letter.
The thing we have to keep in mind is that the truth is always one. For example 2 + 2 = 4. Just because a math teacher is preaching this fact does not mean that he borrowed it or stole it from another math class or teacher. Rather it just happens to be a fact or truthhood. So it is bound to be taught wherever logic and rationality are in vogue. Same is the case with Ananda Marga. Ours is the path of truth and dharma. And we may share certain principles like brotherhood, service, montheism with the various religions, but that does not mean that AM borrowed or stole those points from the religions. It just means that the truth is propagated in many avenues. Even then we have to be careful in admitting such a statement. Because the religions have turned the above points of brotherhood, service, and monotheism etc into veritable dogmatic practices, wheres in AM those principles take dharmic expression.
The various religions preach dogma more than anything else. Thus although they may share certain points with AM - our presentation of that teaching is dharma whereas theirs is dogmatic. For instance, both AM and Islam embrace the belief that all are brothers and sisters. But the word "all" in Islam refers only to other Muslims. Theirs is a limited application of brotherhood whereas in AM our approach is totally universal. Every person is our brother and sister irregardless of race, nationality, and belief etc. Another example is that of service in Christianity. Although service is a shared ideal between AM and Christianity, their application of service can consist of service meat, preaching the gospel of hell, indoctrinating the dying into Christianity, and all kinds of other dogmatic things. So although we both appreciate the practice of service, AM's approach to service is quite different from that of Christianity. While the Hindus may be aware of the glories of astaunga yoga, ekadashii, yama and niyama etc, mostly they do not practice those things and when they do it is often in a very watered down or dogmatic manner. Thus despite the seemingly shared terminology and practices between AM and the various religions, our way is unique and quite different from the dogmatic religions. None then can claim that AM is merely a mix of the various religions.
Here is another facet of the conversation to keep in mind. Lord Shiva and Lord Krsna graciously gave many, many teachings and both these Divine Personalities predate the existence of most of the world's religions. Often we find that the religious dogma stems from watered down versions of Lord Shiva's and Lord Krsna's teachings. Thus rather than say that AM borrowed from Hinduism etc, it is probably far more correct to say that those Hindu priests, Christ, & Mohammed stole and distorted Taraka Brahma's earlier teachings. That also explains why there are remnants or shadows of certain dharmic teachings in the various dogmatic religions. And as to the uniqueness of AM, may we also keep in mind that Baba has given many things not given earlier by either of the Taraka Brahmas. Among many other points is that AM represents the first time that the philosophy of yoga has been given. Baba says, "The yoga philosophy was first propounded by Ananda Marga." (06 Jan 1979, Patna) Note for more about this reference: But with regards to the dogmatic religions, more often than not they took from Shiva and Krsna - and then watered down and distorted those teachings - and that is why such religions may superficially look like they are similar to AM. Top of all though, the comprehensive body of teachings of Ananda Marga have never before been given. That is why Baba Himself has declared. "Baba says, "Never before in the entire history of this world or the universe, if it could be known to mortals, has a system of life fully embracing the economic, social, mental and spiritual spheres ever been correlated in such closely knit society as in Ananda Marga." (PNS-11)
Ultimately, by His grace all knowledge comes from Him.
3-9 Brahmaeva gururekah na'parah. [Only Brahma is the guru, no one else.]
Purport: Brahma alone is the guru. Brahma alone directs the units to the path of emancipation through the media of different receptacles or bodies. No one except Brahma conforms to the real significance of the word “guru”. (Ananda Sutram) Thus the eternal teachings of life either come directly from God when He appears as Taraka Brahma or they come indirectly from God via those rishis who have linked their unit mind with Cosmic mind, by His grace. Some great yogis have been able to do this. In that case their words resonate with neo-humanism and are consistent with Baba's ideals. In contrast, the religions may claim to also preach the gospel of God, but when we apply our rational intellect we can easily see that their teachings are full of loopholes and inconsistencies. Whereas the teachings of AM are totally dharmic, perfect and pure. Because our teachings come directly from Him.
By Baba's grace the teachings of AM are entirely new. New in every way imaginable. So none should get confused into thinking that AM is a mix of the various religions. Baba says, "Ananda Marga is radically different from all concepts of philosophy as well as economic and social thinking. It is not a change which has evolved as a result of the evolution of the human mind and its economic and social environments. It is a revolutionary concept of life altogether different from any of the present or past ideas. It is a change which is independent of the cyclic changes due to the passage of time. It does not practise anything which is not new both in approach and practice. It is a revolution which makes life a reality. It teaches adjustment to life, rather than giving up the world by leading a life of useless seclusion. It creates people who are fit for every walk of life, who do not make any distinction among their fellow beings, and who are joined together as one world community. In our Ananda Marga all humanity, nay, all living beings (jiiva matra tare) have combined together in every walk of life." (AFPS-7) Namaskar, Ram
*************************************** Practical Aspect of Mysticism
Baba says, "Mysticism is a never-ending endeavour to find a link between finite and infinite." (AV-23, p.101) Note: Here Baba is indirectly giving the guideline that in the realm of devotion one should have a particular personal relation with Parama Purusa. And these relations are known as "bhava"-- whether they be sakhya bhava, dasya bhava, madhura bhava etc. So these various bhavas are that very "link between finite and infinite". Because with the help of these relations devotees gradually come in closer and closer proximity with Parama Purusa. Until finally by linking up in this way the sadhaka becomes one with Him.

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