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To Become A-Grade Bhakta: Part II

Date: Tue Dec 01 2009, 09:19:22 To: From: Subject: To Become A-Grade Bhakta: Part II Baba "Campak vane dakhina' pavane..." (PS 40) Purport: Baba, You have presented Yourself and come into this world with the resonance of music, in endless ways. You have manifested Yourself in innumerable styles and forms with rhythmic sweetness and beauty. Baba, all the pangs of loss, all disappointments, and weaknesses have been forgotten. Now everything is filled with Your divine charm. Baba, due to Your unfathomable grace, we have been able to know You, hear You, and see You in countless ways. Baba, if this had not been Your desire-- if You had not blessed us in this way-- then how could we have gotten You. Baba, what else is the cause except Your krpa', Your divine grace. O' Baba, You have come today with the beauty of rhythm and song...
Note: here is part one of this series Namaskar, In our lives, we all want to progress along the path of sadhana. This is every sadhaka's desire. And actually we do not just want to progress but we want to attain that highest, pinnacled state. And truly speaking, this desire to reach the top is only natural; it is an intrinsic part of our human approach. Because in each and every sphere of life-- whether it be politics, law, sports, music, or science-- people want to reach the highest realm. This is the way the human mind works. Everyone wants to reach the top-most rung. Thus when Baba has pointedly shown us what is the highest grade of bhakti, then surely we all want to reach to that place. Baba says, "[A-grade] bhaktas say, 'No, no I can share all my belongings with others, but not my Parama Purus'a. He is mine and mine alone-- He belongs to no one else. I cannot even think of sharing Him with anyone'." (AFPS-3) So when one has that type of intense love for Baba that they do not want to share Him with anyone else, then by His grace they have reached that highest state of bhakti. This is Baba's teaching. And now that we all know-- at least in theory, if not in practice-- that this is the highest level of bhakti, then surely as sadhakas we want to reach that sacred stance. We all want to feel in the core of our hearts that, 'Baba, You are mine and mine alone and I do not want to share You with anyone'. This becomes our Goal. And, by Baba's grace, we will reach that place. Because He Himself tells us that this is not difficult to do. Just it needs a little practice.
Even then some innocent persons may wonder, 'Does it really happen that one does not want to share Parama Purusa with others'. Because commonly, people think that Baba is the Guru for all Ananda Margiis so He is for everyone. This is a standard way of viewing things. But actually it does happen. Some do want Parama Purusa all to themselves and do not want to share Him with anyone. That is Baba's stated teaching. The question then is when does it happen. And, Baba guides us that it happens when one has a higher degree of love for Parama Purusa. If one has a normal level of love for Parama Purusa then it does not happen. But if one has more intense love for Parama Purusa, then internally the thought naturally arises that, 'Baba, You are mine and mine alone and I do not want to share You with anyone'. To best understand this state of mind, let us look at some examples in everyday life to see how this operates.
Suppose a mother has five children. Then those children with a normal standard of love for their mother will want to share her with all the other siblings. That is what happens if they have a normal degree of love. But the youngest-- the baby-- does not have a normal degree of love for the mother. That baby has deep, deep affection for its mama. For that reason that youngest child will cry out if the mother spends even an ounce of time with the other children. That baby will scream and wail until it has the mother all to itself. This type of intense longing to have the mother all to itself, such that the baby does not want to share the mother with others, is all due to that baby's higher degree of love for its mama.
And this result manifests in various types of pure relations. When children have very close friendship with someone then also they do not want anyone to intrude on them when they are together with their best friend. That is because they have deep affection for their friend. Or when a whole family is living together in joint fashion then they all become quite close and they do not want to lose one another. But when the children are sent away to live in hostels then they have less affection for their family members since they are not living together. And in that case they do not mind being away from their family or sharing their mother or father with others. So in general, when we have close relations with anyone such that we share our joys and sorrows with that person, then we do not want others to infringe upon that relation. Here the whole idea is that in our day to day life, when we derive any pleasure from anyone, then we do not want to lose that pleasure by sharing it with others. This is the human tendency. And not just in the world of humans, this happens in the animal kingdom as well. Because where there is a dominance of affection, then animals also do not like to share. For example, a mother lioness does not like to share its baby cubs with others. Likewise each puppy wants to be the first one to snuggle and cuddle with its mother. No puppy wants to share its mother with the other puppies. So in all realms of life this same principle is operating: Where there is an increased feeling of love and affection, then no being likes to share their cherished one with others.
And this same very theme is functioning in our spiritual lives as well. As one develops more love for Baba then they do not want to share Him with others. Then they will think that, 'Baba, You are mine and mine alone, I do not want to share you with anyone'. This is the quality of an A-Grade bhakta, according to Baba.
The question then remains how do we reach that realm. And Baba's guideline is to do more dhyana and think about Him throughout one's daily activities. Then our affection and love for Him will grow such that we will want Him all to ourselves-- not sharing Him with others. So just as when joint family members pass their days together then their closeness for each other increases, the same thing is true in our spiritual life. If we do more dhyana and serve Baba, and engage in His ideation, and talk with Him, then naturally our love and affection for Baba will flourish, bloom, & blossom. That is the magic recipe and that is the secret formula which Baba has given: To commit in a deeper way with our inner connection with Him. And then the result will come-- then one will think that He is mine and mine alone. Baba says, "[A-grade] bhaktas say, 'No, no I can share all my belongings with others, but not my Parama Purus'a. He is mine and mine alone-- He belongs to no one else. I cannot even think of sharing Him with anyone'." (AFPS-3) So all in all it is quite a practical formula. Because through practice & training this can be realised in life, by His grace. Then one will become an A-Grade bhakta.
By Baba's grace He has blessed us with the pathway to Him and we can develop that most intimate and loving relation with Him. Then each and every sadhaka will hold Him as their very own. Baba says, "What is really important is to meditate on the personal God and move towards Him. And this personal God is the Singular Entity, the Ta'raka Brahma. Ta'raka Brahma literally means a special manifestation of Parama Purus'a... He is the eternal companion of unit beings in their joys and sorrows - not a God in the distant sky but an understanding Lord in the house where they dwell." (SS-11) Namaskar, Virendra
One of the chief differences between AM and the dogmatic religions is that none of the dogmatic religions embraces the idea of developing a personal relation with their chosen god. Rather they tell that god lives in some distant realm-- in the seventh sky etc. This is their outlook. In that case how can one think that, 'my god is mine and mine alone'. It is impossible since the closeness of the relation is distinctly lacking. In contrast, our Ananda Marga is one with dharma. So our approach in AM follows all the natural flows of life; it correlates with the innate tendencies of mind. So in AM we intimately adhere to the principle that one should always try to develop a more personal and intimate relation with Parama Purusa. That feeling should grow and grow until ultimately one has the internal yearning that, 'Baba, You are mine and mine alone and I do not want to share You with anyone'. This is one of the unique aspects of Ananda Marga.
> > In order to move ahead let us take a look at one of the main ways that Baba > has given us for measuring one's standard of bhakti. > Baba says, "The bhaktas of the lowest category think, "As Parama Purus'a > belongs to all, so certainly He belongs to me as well because I am one of > the multitude." Thoughts of this type are not very congenial for one's > spiritual progress. The second category of bhaktas is slightly better than > this. They think, "Parama Purus'a is mine, and thus He must belong to > others also." That is, the bhaktas of both categories have no hesitation in > sharing Parama Purus'a with others. But the bhaktas of the highest category > think, "Parama Purus'a is mine only and He belongs to no one else." This is > the sign of an excellent sa'dhaka, and the spiritual progress of this > category is inevitable. "He is mine and mine alone and He does not belong > to anyone else" - this assertion is undoubtedly true." (SS-11, 26 February > 1971 DMC, Jammu) > So in His above guideline Baba acutely describes to us the three broad > categories of bhaktas. And by internalizing Baba's teachings we can easily > do self-analysis and understand where we are.
> Why is it that dhyana is necessary? Why is it that dhyana is the secret to > becoming an A-Grade bhakta? Because in dhyana one comes in very close > proximity with Parama Purusa and one loves Him and serves Him and shares > the feeling of their heart with Him. So much internal communication happens > that is completely personal. > And as this feeling grows more and more intense through dhyana then one > internally starts feeling that 'I do not want to share Baba with anyone, > Baba is mine and mine alone'. > So dhyana is the only lesson which gives us the training and requisite > bhakti to develop a more personal and intimate link with Baba. There is no > other lesson like this. But to do dhyana or to reach up to that heightened > stage of dhyana, other lessons are needed. All the lessons will serve as > support pieces for strengthening dhyana. And then with dhyana an intimate > feeling for Baba will grow more and more. > So the regular practice of all the lessons and doing dhyana will bring Baba > in a very close and intimate way. In which case that will make this highest > stance of bhakti attainable. > > Of course nothing can come about without His grace. So His blessing is > needed. And that He is surely giving. What we have to remember is that from > our own side, effort is needed. And proper effort in dhyana will raise one > to the highest standard. Because it is only in dhyana that one can nurture > and cultivate that intimate relation that 'Baba is mine and mine alone'. > This feeling can only arise in the mind through intense and sincere > practice of dhyana. That is Baba's teaching.

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