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Should Prostitution Be Legal

From: "Daniel Guttirez" To: Subject: Should Prostitution Be Legal Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 10:01:28 +0000 Baba "Toma'ke ja'y na' bhola'..." (P.S. 2347) Purport: Baba, by Your grace You have bound me in Your divine attraction-- love. Always I am calling and thinking about You, yet You are not satiating my heart's desire by coming close. Baba, when I long for You and the feeling of melancholy is unbearable then my heart begins to ache. Baba, in that longing and pain, the feeling comes in my mind that it is best just to forget You. Because then at least the pain which is lingering due to Your absence will not remain any longer. But the more and more I think that I should forget You, then my deep longing and yearning for You only intensifies-- and my heart becomes more and more restless to get You. Baba, I am longing for Your causeless grace, please come...
Namaskar, Should prostitution be legal? It may sound like a moot point, a foregone conclusion, or even an outlandish suggestion, especially in the minds of Ananda Margiis; but it may be something we are all confronted with more and more in the near future-- both outside and inside AM. So we should all be ready with the appropriate & Proutistic response.
Many margii readers may surely be thinking that 'the oldest profession'-- ie prostitution, has no legs to stand on and is a thing of the past; and 'there is no way that it will come to be accepted in AM circles'. And hopefully so, even then we should be aware of societal trends as they sometimes have a habit of sneaking our way. As is commonly seen, in some parts of the globe-- like Europe, parts of Asia & elsewhere etc-- the sex industry, and with it prostitution, is gaining both (a) greater popularity, and believe it or not, (b) acceptability as well. Why popularity? Well for one thing it is a "great money-maker". And in this capitalistic era, where money is king, then that is enough for some sections of the business world to embrace it. Consider this statistic:
"Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and the sex industry has revenues estimated at nearly US $1 billion a year."
And the Netherlands is one of the smallest countries on the planet-- imagine the size of the profit if it were legalised in China. And, indeed, at present in China, the dark way of prostitution is being resorted to more and more by young rural girls who are looking to make their way in the world.
"Fifteen years ago [in China], you didn't find sex workers in remote areas and cities. But now it's prevalent in every city, every county."
Given this, it may be just a matter of time before certain industrialists capitalise on it. So that is a mere glimpse of the popular perspective from certain financiers. And from the perspective of the general populace, prostitution is something that is not so under the table anymore. Amongst 'users' it is also rising in popularity.
"One of the most popular attractions is the Highway from Dresden Germany to Prague. It's lined with hundreds of Brothels and thousands of independents working along the highway."
"The world's oldest profession is highly visible in Berlin. As night falls, the ladies of the night parade the Oranienburger Strasse in the heart of the capital."
So in various regions of the world-- either due to economic woe in former Communist countries, sexual repression in the Middle East, or sexual acceptance in Europe or Singapore etc-- there is a growing market and interest in prostitution. So much so that even legal magistrates are changing their tune.
"A recent decision by a Berlin judge could well trigger a change in Germany's attitude towards prostitution... Judge Percy Maclean said the profession was now broadly accepted."
Thus in this debauched era, in some nations even the courts are giving way to the tidings of prostitution.
And perhaps, the most dangerous thing about this trend towards prostitution is that it is being embraced by certain 'western progressives'. In the name of 'freedom' and 'open-mindedness', more and more are thinking that prostitution is ok. They reason, 'Let the people do what they want' and 'Why should we be confined to narrow-minded Christian beliefs' etc. Hence, just as the right to abortion and gay marriages have become the happy song and voting ticket of countless so-called progressives, prostitution may not be lagging far behind. This issue also they will soon champion, if they haven't already. And if nothing else this spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e in the general society, and even within AM.
By now, some may be thinking that what is the need to discuss this on our Marga forum. Prostitution is not a new issue and why should we be concerned about it. Well for one thing, we are responsible for the proper growth and development of humanity and we should know its trends. So when prostitution is rearing its ugly head more and more, then we should be aware. And secondly, and perhaps a touch scarier, is that there is an ongoing trend that what becomes popular with the so-called western progressives also gains acceptance in AM. That is the history. For evidence of this, we need not look any further than the issue of homosexuality. This is clearly a thing that, in theory, is not at all supported by AM ideology, yet its toes have entered the front door of Ananda Marga, and it is no secret how this has happened. In the western mind-set, homosexuality has gained huge momentum such that gay marriages or same-sex marriages are not only becoming more and more prevalent, but they are becoming legal in many states and countries throughout the western world. And many heterosexual progressives blatantly support this as they think it makes them look more broad-minded, since by this way they are going directly against the Christian beliefs & the Catholic church, both of which are looked upon by 'progressives' as being stagnant in the social sphere. So for this reason homosexuality has become a major force in western social and political circles. And it does not stop there, from this 'progressive' front, such ideas about homosexuality have leaked into, if not spilled into, Ananda Marga. Because now not only are various Ananda Margiis less apt to say or think that homosexuality should be addressed and treated as a social disease, as Baba says it should; but in our Marga, various outspoken activists and self-proclaimed lesbians are given a high place in our AM society. They are treated as 'icons' in some regards. And the source of this problem stems from the fact that so-called progressives in the west hail the cause of homosexuality. Even various Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie refuse to marry until gays enjoy the same right to marriage in each and every state, city, and town. So it has become 'hip' to support homosexuality-- it defines one as being "open-minded". And this very defective mind-set has crept into AM. Some in the Marga have gotten caught up in the chase along with western 'progressives' such that those same fashionable outlooks like "homosexuality go, go, go" have snuck into AM. Please excuse me for saying so but some of our Dadas are have very recently been involved in homosexual realtionships. But because homosexuality is so accepted in the general society, when a Wt indulges then it is not seen as such a bad thing. (Note the aforesaid case is well known and I have the details and first-hand information.) And if we are not careful, the way things are going, within 2, 5, or 10 years, in AM we may see a similar acceptance of prostitution-- all because it has been accepted by certain western progressives. It may seem like a far-off scenario, but actually it may be closer than we think. And best is to get our stance straight from the very beginning, lest some get sucked into the so-called progressive western mind-set, as has happened with the issue of homosexuality.
Just to clarify, our perspective in AM is not that homosexuals should be shunned & banned forever and ever; rather according to Baba such persons should be rectified and treated. Because theirs is not a natural way to live and we should not let our brothers and sisters fall prey to this approach. With full compassion, our manner is to adopt a stance against this abnormal way of life and through 16 Points guide such people how to mend their ways. And our view should be made clear and must not be at all ambiguous or contradictory. We should stick to our AM ideals, and have full empathy towards those lesbians and help them to be cured.
All this goes to show that the issues supported by 'progressive western intellectuals' has a habit of sinking into AM. So we should be careful. Because as prostitution is becoming more and more rampant around the globe due to so many defective trends such as the massive numbers of refugees, poverty, pseudo-culture, and a crude fascination with sex, its prevalence is allowing it to gain acceptance into the so-called progressive think-tank. Little by little this is happening. And we do not want the next step being that some in AM also start thinking that prostitution is fine and well so that they will be embraced as being 'open-minded' by various so-called progressives. That is the main issue, or potential issue if we look a touch further down the road.
In this degraded era of Kali Yuga when so many crude vices are cropping up in so many aspects of our social life, our standard is to stick to AM ideals and now be swayed by any so-called progressives. Surely, on one is AM supports the notion of prostitution but as the thinking of society changes, no one in our Marga should get swayed, for any reason. Here then are but a few of Baba's strict guidelines on this matter. So just as in the case of homosexuality, Baba's approach towards prostitution is equally clear. Baba says, "The repugnant social disease of prostitution is also a creation of the vaeshyas. As a result of excessive wealth the vaeshyas lose their self-control and their character on the one hand; and many unfortunate women are forced by poverty to descend to this sinful occupation on the other hand." (HS-2) Baba says, "Because of injustices against women with respect to their social rights and because women are economically crippled, a section of women is compelled to take to prostitution. Although there are many causes of this profession, these are the main two. Ananda Marga recognizes that women are as dignified human beings as men. Ananda Marga, in addition, wants to encourage women to be economically independent of men. The system in which characterless men swagger about in society while fallen women are denied proper opportunities despite their sincere desire to lead an honest life, can never be supported by justice." (28 January 1958 RU, Trimohan)
By Baba's grace as we spread the ideals of AM to the four corners, our universal human family will grow in a sentient and nice way and recognise the inherent value of all. Baba says, "In this new society based on Neohumanism, everyone will find their life worth living. All will regain their lost positions of honour." (NHNS-1) Namaskar, Dinesh
******************************************** Special Formula of Tandava
Baba says, "Tandava: As long as a dancer remains above the ground, he derives much benefit; when he touches the ground, then those benefits are assimilated by the body. That is why in the tandava dance there is much jumping, because jumping requires the practitioner to remain off the ground for a fairly long period of time." (NSS, p. 23)

Mahaprayan (Death) of Shrii Arvind Lal Sahadeo jii

Date: Sat 26 Sep 2009 10:20:36 -0000 (GMT) From: Singh_Manindra Subject: Mahaprayan (Death) of Shrii Arvind Sahadeo jii To: AM-GLOBAL Baba
Namaskar, Today it is with sadness that we announce the mahaprayan of our dear respected brother Shrii Arvind Lal Sahadeo of Ranchi. Many are aware of Shrii Sahadeoji's exceptional service to the Marga. He played a big role in VSS and served as Baba's bodyguard during DMC etc. In addition he created a master unit in his village area (discussed below), among many other important works. But perhaps his greatest contribution was Shrii Sahadeoji's opposition to dogma within AMPS: 1) From the beginning, he protested against the so-called mahaprayan program as he fully believed in Baba's eternal presence. (Note: Here it should be qualified that there is such a thing as both real mahaprayan and fake mahaprayan. Real mahaprayan remarks the death of any ordinary human being. This is the proper use of the term: to note a person's departure from this earth. That is the way mahaprayan is to be used. Then there is the fake, or so-called, or dogmatic mahaprayan and that is when certain agents try to apply the mahaprayan term to Parama Purusa Himself. This is totally inappropriate because when Baba is that Divine Entity who is beginningless and endless and resides always in our heart, then it is totally wrong to proclaim that He is gone. That is why rational margiis are protesting and labeling the Oct 21st program as so-called mahaprayan. So-called means that something is fake. Parama Purusa is eternal, thus for groupists to declare his "mahaprayan" is nothing but so-called mahaprayan. Mahaprayan only really happens in the case of human beings.) 2) At that time, Shrii Sahadeoji was Bhukti Pradhan of Ranchi which is a huge unit. Back then opposing groupist dogmas was no joke - it took great courage. 3) The groupist powers tried to victimise him. Because at that time Sarvatmananda was also raising money for the dogmatic memorial project in Ananda Nagar and sending his stooge Parmeshvarananda to Ranchi to collect money. There was a lot of pressure to give money - but Shrii Sahadeoji refused to give even one ruppee for those dogmatic and groupist projects. He was telling that the memorial of Parama Purusa is this entire creation, not some limited building on a small piece of land. A memorial is made for a human being, not for Parama Purusa. One cannot propagate his glory via one building. 4) Shrii Sahadeoji also fought for margii rights, BP rights, and protested scripture distortion. It is well known that with his own personal money Shrii Sahadeoji established the master unit at Gumla in Ranchi diocese. An MU Dada was living there with him. So Shrii Sahadeoji's activity and service in AM was widespread and varied. But even then that was no all. As many will certainly recall, Shrii Sahadeoji was extremely active in pracara: 1) He was a bank manager near a university and he would regularly bring students for initiation and would invite Dadas to give lectures at the university. 2) He was also responsible for bringing his entire family into AM. His wife and children were previously involved (up till '85) in the idol worship of Santosii Ma (Mother Goddess Santosii - one mythological deity). So even though his wife's father was a family acarya, it took the dedication of Shrii Sahadeoji to bring his wife onto the real path of AM. 3) Shrii Sahadeoji also ensured that his own laokika father took AM initiation as well. Finally, here is one very telling account. In 1989-90, Baba needed full-time care of a doctor. This was a big sacrifice because it demanded that AM doctors give up their own practice and personal commitments to go to Baba and work for one month at a time. Doing this was a big maneuver because one would have to leave their own medical work for an entire month. But Shrii Sahadeoji convinced his wife who was a doctor to engage in this service to Guru. And by Baba's grace his wife became one of Baba's personal physicians and served very admirably in this capacity. Thus, Shrii Sahadeoji's life was full of love, dedication, and commitment to Guru and Ananda Marga. His is a big loss to our AM family. Tragically, Shrii Sahadeoji's suffered two strokes over the course of the last few years. Even then, with his tantric spirit he was able to overcome paralysis and engage in service work for the organisation. But it was on 5 Sep 2009 that he suffered his 3rd stroke from which he could never recover. It was that last stroke that led to his mahaprayan. Shrii Sahadeoji's mahaprayan took place at 3:30pm Friday, Sep 25, 2009. At the time of his mahaprayan, Shrii Sahadeoji was under medical care in Ranchi and he ultimately died in Modi Seva Sadan. He is survived by his wife and two children. On the occasion of his mahaprayan (death), let us remember our dear brother who always wanted to serve the Marga and who created a master unit for the propagation of AM ideals. It is sad to see him gone, i.e. mahaprayan. By His grace, we can all take solace in the blessed truth that by his mahaprayan Shrii Sahadeoji has reached his final abode unto Baba's lap. At least now his long struggle with strokes and paralysis is over. Baba has taken it upon Himself to save our devoted brother and grant him salvation. With deepest respects, Yours brotherly, Manindra
* Mahaprayan (Death): Many are aware that mahaprayan (death) is the common term used in India and especially in Bengal to describe the death of an honoured or even ordinary person. In that way the newspapers of Bengal are regularly citing the mahaprayan (death) of various persons of society who died or passed away. Some may get confused and wrongly think that the word 'mahaprayan' (death) is one extraordinarily devotional term to be used in association with Parama Purusa. But that is not at all the case. Rather to do so is only to undermine the eternal presence of Parama Purusa. That is why no devotees ever use the word 'mahaprayan' in reference to Lord Shiva or Lord Krsna. Because Lord Shiva and Lord Krsna exist eternally. Then there is no question of Their mahaprayan (death). And for those who need still more technical proof then all this can be clarified quite readily by referencing the dictionary. Specifically in the Samsad Bengali-English dictionary on page 742. Checking there it will be confirmed that the word 'mahaprayan' means death. Which is why it used to refer to the passing away of even common citizens.


Date: 26 Sep 2009 16:19:39 -0000 From: "Liiladhar Karn" To: Subject: Self-Test Baba "Saba're kari a'hva'n saba'i a'ma'r pra'n'..." - P.S. 2945 Purport: Here goes the clarion call to one and all. Everyone is my own; everyone is my pra'n'a; everyone is close to my heart. We are all collectively singing the song in unison and moving towards the Goal-- Parama Purus'a. Nobody should remain left behind. We should carefully see that nobody should cry in the society, remaining as downtrodden or as neglected one. We are all singing the marching song of life collectively, with one tune and one melody. There is no difference between one human being and another.Everyone's desires, hopes, and inspirations are the same. We are all moving on one path with the inspiration of the great ideology, which will lead towards greatness...
Namaskar, In our Ananda Marga, Baba has clearly declared in countless discourses that bhakti is the best. We have all heard or read how Baba proves the superiority of bhakti over the paths of karma and jinana. The Ananda Vacanamrtam series alone is filled with dozens of discourses along this theme. Naturally then, all in the Marga aspire to be top-grade bhaktas. Every sadhaka wishes to consider themselves as a devotee. Invariably, though, some fall in the category of being a karmi or jinani. So the question is: How to tell who am I? How can we know what we are. This letter is a "Self-Test" for determining how far one is a tried and true jinani or not. The goal is not to judge anyone else, but to learn more about oneself. After all, if one thinks "I am a devotee" when in true sense they are something else, like a jinani, then they are just cheating themselves. No one should be confused about who they are. All should be able to answer this question: "Am I a bhakta, karmi, or jinani?" Then one can best address one's own personal growth and development on the path. To get the proper answer, honesty is needed, as well as some critical points detailed below. (Note: For your ease and reference, after the signature, there are some links to other postings defining a bhakta, karmi and jinani, according to the standard of Ananda Marga.)
Some may foolishly reason that it is not important to know whether "I am a jinani or not". However, by reading Baba's strong statements below, it becomes quite evident that one should know whether or not they suffer from being a jinani. Without knowing, one will be unable to take steps to rectify the situation, in which case their efforts for spiritual attainment will be totally wasted. Baba says, "Unless a spiritual aspirant is able to get rid of these defects [of jin'a'nam], the aspirant cannot be established in kevala' bhakti [non-attributional devotion], which is absolutely essential for the attainment of Parama Purus'a. The wise will, therefore, adopt such a conduct as to save themselves from the evil effects of jin'a'na." (AV-23) Baba says, "In order for sa'dhakas to save themselves from the evil effects of jina'na, they must learn how to get rid of those effects, and thus preclude the possibility of allowing their jina'na to be converted into bandhya' jin'a'na [sterile knowledge], which is so much in evidence among the intellectuals of today." (AV-23) Thus, no one should suffer the horrors of being a jinani. All must know their true colour and advance along the path of devotion - that is the only way. Being caught in the whirlpool of jinana only means ruining one's spiritual life, as Baba clearly warns above. Thus everyone one of us in AM should know their own nature, and in particular if one is a jinani or not. This is self-test to be done internally. This is not about looking at others.
Typically we might classify a jinani as one who creates their own theory or someone who thinks that "I know" etc. But there is a more telling attribution of jinanis than that. First and foremost, a jinani is one who accumulates knowledge only for knowledge sake, and not for practical use. This may sound unusual, but actually many do like this, including a few in our Ananda Marga. For instance, there are some who are eager to learn all the ins and outs of sadhana only so that they can deliver a high sounding talk on meditation - or write a fancy article. In their own life they have absolutely zero desire to perform sadhana. Such a person is a classic jinani. So one should all ask oneself: Have I ever done like this - even to a small degree? Then there are those who seek out all kinds of philosophical knowledge about Baba's teachings only in order to preach to others and impress them. In their own heart, they themselves neither wish to apply those principles nor do they even believe those precepts. Once again, one should reflect and think: Have I ever done like this - even to a small degree? Then there is this dramatic characteristic of a jinani: Such a person will vigorously lecture or convince others about points which they themselves do not believe in their own heart. Yet they will preach those words in order to gain the respect of others. Such a person is a classic jinani. For instance, a jinani can give a big talk on samskara theory without even an ounce of feeling in their heart that there is such a thing as samskaras. Likewise, a jinani can deliver a resounding oration on Taraka Brahma without even feeling in their heart that Baba is God incarnate. And not just that, but jinanis can talk about asanas, diet, yama-niyama etc, even when they themselves do not care about those practices. That is why Baba Himself speaks so strongly and disparagingly of such jinanis. Baba says, "It has been observed that those engaged in the acquisition of jin'a'na lose touch with practicality." (AV-23) They chase after knowledge merely to enhance their own prestige - not for any greater good like social service nor for their own spiritual practice. So one has to frankly think about one's own motivation for acquiring knowledge and decide if "I fall in the above categories", even remotely so. If one does, then that means I am either a full-blown jinani, or at the very least, jinan oriented. Of course the proper approach to acquiring knowledge is to enhance one's ability to serve others and to practice in one's individual life. Knowledge for the sake of prestige etc is just a huge liability. No one should walk around like this. They may posture themselves as being smart, but in reality they are ruining their life. Baba says, "The wise will, therefore, adopt such a conduct as to save themselves from the evil effects of jin'a'na." (AV-23)
Actually, these days many religious professionals are jinanis, especially in the west. They read huge piles of books, preach the word of god, but live a most ordinary or even degrading existence. In all the dogmatic religions this happens - to some or more degree as most religions have drifted far from whatever spiritual base they may have had in the beginning. Now many religious professionals preach & study to earn money or to enhance their career - not to share what they themselves have practiced and realised. And they get huge prestige for their knowledge. Whereas in AM, devotion is the highest quality, but even then many fall prey to jinana. Please excuse me but we see this phenomenon with various Central Workers and other top Dadas. They can gracefully deliver a phenomenal lecture on the importance of Guru and dharma - or so many other topics - yet when they leave the lecture hall or the book signing, they pay little heed to Guru's teachings. They have little or no desire to practice those divine words in their individual life. This is the classic sign of being a jinani. So in our own everyday life, one should pay heed and evaluate what one's aim is in gaining knowledge. If it is for anything else other than serving others and practicing, then that accumulation of knowledge falls in the category of jinani. Then one is seeking out knowledge for selfish reasons: prestige, ego satisfaction, social standing etc. In that case when one gains knowledge one will think, "I am great, I know so much." When in reality as sadhakas, one should think that Parama Purusa is great. After all, all one's energy comes from Him, without His divine force, no jiiva con do anything. So it is foolish to think that, "I am great." Buttragically this is the classic jinani mentality. They forget Parama Purusa is doing everything and instead believe that they themselves are grea. In that case it is extremely difficult if not impossible for one to surrender to the Supreme. And without surrender, spiritual success is nothing but a distant dream. Thus one should not fall prey to a jinan oriented mentality. That is disastrous.
Learning or acquiring knowledge is only useful and beneficial if (a) done to serve Parama Purusa and His creation and (b) applied to one's practical day to day existence. Beyond that the gaining of knowledge is nothing but a liability and turns one into a jinani. Rather we are to follow Baba's below premises. Firstly Baba guides us that bhaktas are to use their knowledge and skills for service only, and not to enhance one's prestige as jinanis do. Baba says, "When devotees serve the universe they do it with the feeling that they are serving the manifestation of Na'ra'yan'a only to please Him...The direction of Jina'nii is not working here." (SS-19) Secondly, Baba guides us that learning and knowledge only have value when applied to our own way of living. Baba says, "Educated are those who have learnt much, remembered much and made use of their learning in practical life." (PNS-18)
We all want to get success in spiritual life. So one should all honestly consider one's own status and motivation. What is my aim in acquiring knowledge. How sincere am I to practice what I have learned. Or do I fall in the category of the jinani - the person who acquires knowledge merely to show others? If so then maximum efforts should be made to remedy this. And it is possible to rectify one's status. Someone who is a jinani today will be a great bhakta in the future. All are on the move and the sooner one knows their own status, the faster they can move on the path of devotion. Sometimes people think jinanis are only those who are scholarly. And while it is true that scholars are prone to the path of jinana, in addition, anyone seeking knowledge for the sake of petty gains (ego, bragging rights, prestige, status) is certainly a jinani. With a little bit of honesty one will can easily discern where they stand. This is the self-test we should administer to ourselves - today. We should not waste any time. One should find out: What am I.
By Baba's grace, all have the potential to walk the path of devotion - nay speed ahead on the path of devotion. No one should get glued to the path of jinana, neither knowingly or unknowingly. The above test can help address this. Baba says, "You are not a small or insignificant human being, you are the very child of Parama Purus'a. It is your birth right to be established in the immortality of infinite life. Keeping this supreme fixed in your memory, proceed to the supreme goal with utmost devotion, and you are destined to attain the greatest fulfillment." (APH-4) Namaskar, Liiladhar

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