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Giving Thanks In Ananda Marga

From: "Karma Rasa"  
Subject: Giving Thanks In Ananda Marga 
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 07:11:51 +0000 


"Maneri gahane tumi a'cho, a'cho prabhu sada' jege a'cho..." (4380) 


Baba, You are always remaining in the depths of my mind-- You never leave me. You always remain awake. You go on working day and night, beyond the time. You never stop. Baba, whatever You want to do, You go on doing. This whole expressed universe is Your eternal game. You are ever-present: beginningless and endless. You are ever intoxicated in Your divine flow. You are the Goal of everyone-- everyone wants You. You are remaining with one and all. Those who are trying to come close to You by their virtuous deeds and shravan, manan, nididhyasana, & dhyana, only they are able to come to You. Only they are able to realise You and have Your grace and proximity. Baba, You are grace-Personified... 

One time when Baba was going out for His field walk, many margii families had gathered round to see Baba as He came out from His house. At one point Baba lovingly gestured toward one of the margii children and the young child said, "Thanks." The child had obviously learned this from his parents. Baba smiled and gently said, "See, this young child is telling me 'thanks'." Everyone present clearly understood Baba's message: As His disciples and devotees, we are not supposed to offer "thanks" to Baba. This was the "hint" Baba was giving us that day, by His grace. That was the first and last time any of us ever heard anyone say "thank you" to Baba.

In our AM, we surrender to Guru, we offer our minds to Him, we sacrifice ourselves for Him, but we do not give "thanks" to Baba.

Baba says, "He knows everything that you know, and everything you do not know. Obviously there is no other way than total surrender to Him." (AMIWL-7)

Even during DMC, when so many margiis and acaryas would go on stage to receive a prize from Baba, then no one would ever say "thank you Baba". Instead everyone would lay prostrate to Baba in pranam or sastaunga pranam. In AM our standard is high, especially with regards to our relation with Baba. We are to give our everything to Him. In contrast, merely saying or giving "thanks" is something comparatively cheap or paltry.
This topic of "thanks" has come up because yesterday - the 4th Thursday of November - was "Thanksgiving Day" in the USA where "giving thanks" is looked upon as something very noble. During Thanksgiving in the US, people are giving their thanks in so many ways: To their Lord, to their faith, to their parents, to their friends and families, and to their communities. These are some of the ways the Thanksgiving holiday is expressed - as well as with lots of food and drink (tamasik).
However, in Ananda Marga, our approach is entirely different. With persons close to us, we have a relationship based on love and service. Due to feelings of closeness we do not say "thanks". Because we understand that the person helped us with their heartfelt feeling - not for any recognition or in hopes that we would say "thanks". As bhaktas, we are ready to do each and every thing for our close relations in service to the Supreme. This is internally understood - in that case there is no need to say "thanks", rather that would only demean the interaction & relation, as if the person helped you only in order to be "thanked". When in truth, the feeling and intent runs so much deeper than that. Of course, by your demeanor your close relation understands that you have respect and appreciation for their help and support - which goes far beyond the term "thanks". In our Marga, we only verbally offer thanks to those who are far or distant from us. Saying "thanks" is part of our social norms, but it is not something we use with those whom we feel a sense of intimacy and closeness. If someone whom we revere or if someone close to us does something for us, we will not say "thanks" - saying so will only brand that person as being distant. We only say "thanks" or "thank you" in more formal, business or distant relations. It is not used with close people and certainly not with Parama Purusa. Yet in the west, the Thanksgiving holiday and saying "thank you" is looked upon as quite honourable. This is used even between very close persons. Perhaps because the concept of service is less understood or because the relationship between family members is more distant, as people are more accustomed to living by themselves, not as part of a collective. Whatever may be, saying "thank you" is looked upon as something very gracious in the west whereas in our AM society it is not. We should all understand the ethic in Ananda Marga and at the same time keep in mind that many of the pseudo-culture holidays and festivals from the US - like Halloween & Valentine's Day etc - are being adopted by the rest of the world. This is sure to happen with Thanksgiving as well. We should be sure that we do not get affected; rather with a clear mind and heart we should be rationally grounded in our sentient manner. For all these reasons and more, this is a topic of importance for Ananda Margiis.
We should take Baba's lesson to heart and strictly follow the ethic in AM. With regard to Guru we are to offer ourselves, not our thanks. Baba says, "Remember, you have to offer your own identity – not money, rice plantains or other crude objects. The give-and-take of crude things is a business transaction. If you want to attain the bliss of Brahma, you must offer your own self. If you want to have the Great “I”, you must give away your own little “I”. You have to give the full sixteen annas, (the full rupee). Giving fifteen annas and holding back one anna will not do. You must completely surrender. To attain that Infinite One with the help of your mental concentration and strength, you have to surrender yourselves." (AMIWL-4) By Baba's grace in Ananda Marga, we all feel a very close and personal connection with Parama Purusa. We do not feel any distance or gap. In that case in sadhana or anytime we ideate throughout the day, the inner feeling comes, "Oh Baba, I love you so much, I am ready to do anything and everything for You." Thus, when we are ready to give everything with Him, then merely saying "thanks" is just a tinsel-like expression. Our link with Him is quite personal and full of the desire to serve Him. It is His grace. In stark contrast, in many of the dogmatic religions, there is a much more distant feeling with their chosen Lord and worshipers commonly give thanks to the Lord when receiving food, pay raises, and other mundane things. So theirs is an entirely different, more external approach, both in the devotional and social sphere.
By Baba's grace, our link with Him is based on devotion, service, and the desire to please Him. We do not give thanks to Him, nor to our close persons. Ultimately all are actions are done in service to Him - as we try to fulfill our debt to Guru by giving our all.
Tasmae Shrii Gurave namah
"I surrender myself at your altar. Namah means to “surrender”. Namah refers to the process called “Namo mudra'”. It means that all my expressions, all my dexterities, which are expressed through my ten fingers, have been brought to a point. That is, I surrender along with all my capabilities, all my dexterities." (AV-3) Namaskar, Karma Rasa
When we are addressing or communicating with our close persons then by our unspoken behaviour and love we express so much more to them than by saying "thanks", but certainly with people whom we do not know very well, then according to our social norms, saying "thanks" is quite appropriate. Baba says, "You should offer thanks to someone from whom you are taking service (by saying, “Thank you”). (CC-2, 'Social Norms', Pt #1) Baba says, "When someone is inquiring about your health and welfare, you should offer your cordial thanks to the person." (CC-2, 'Social Norms', Pt #25)
****************************************** Could Not Work
Baba says, "Spirituality is the summum bonum of life in all its aspects." (I & I, 'Cosmic Brotherhood') Note 1: We all know that spiritual sadhana is the ultimate human activity and the be-all and end-all of human existence. It is the sweetest expression of life and by the grace of Parama Purusa it is this sadhana which transforms ordinary humans into divine beings. Thus sadhana has an extraordinary role in human development and progress. Unfortunately one or another crude and foolish people proclaim that sadhana is just like doing nothing. Or they tell that doing sadhana is not as important as doing crude mundane things etc. By their dull and obtuse expression, we can easily understand the extent of their realisation-- that it is zero. Indeed their hearts are like a stone in the river. Even though they are totally surrounded by Parama Purusa, due to their stone-like heart not even the tiniest amount of devotion can get inside. Their existence is not something desirable-- not at all. So we should never put any stock in such ridiculous claims made by such dry people. Instead always may we remember that it is dharma sadhana which brings one up to the highest point & glorifying stance of human existence.

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