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Do You Want Your Child to Be Non-Margii

Date: Sun Dec 6 2009 08:04:36 -0000 From: P. Maher Subject: Do You Want Your Child to Be Non-Margii To: AM-GLOBAL Baba "Stabdha ma'navata' ja'galo go ja'galo..." (PS #366) Purport: The humanity which has been sleeping since ages in a deep slumber and being sunk in dogma was not able to think about anything. That humanity could not understand what is proper and improper-- nor could they follow any do's and don'ts or protest against injustices. Today, however, that humanity has become awakened by His grace. Those who were unable to speak, such persons got the courage to speak against negativity. All this happened by the showering of His grace, which touched the inner core of everyone and gave strength to one and all. The Cimmerian darkness of Amavasya is fading away. This all happened by His divine grace...
Namaskar, We all want our Marga to grow and every parent in AM wants for their child to become a dedicated sadhaka. After all, who does not want to have a beautiful devotional and ideological flow under their own roof. My husband and I certainly did. Unfortunately, with our eldest child, we could not gain success - by Baba's grace with our second, things have been much better in that regard. Perhaps other parents have experienced or are experiencing similar results as our family. The reality is that raising a margii child is no easy feat, especially in this ultra-materialistic era. But it is not at all impossible either. There are some excellent examples in our Marga, all over the world. There are however, no shortage of cases where things did not turn out too well. Here I wish to share some of the errors which we made due to ignorance - we were not aware, so I write today in hopes that others will avoid such issues. Also I will offer what has worked for us with our youngest. Of course, please, please, please, if you have anything to add - as I am sure all parents do(!) - please write in about this crucial point. You will be doing a big service to our entire Margii family. I look forward to hearing about it...
Oh Baba, this letter is not easy for me to write as the growth and development of our children has been quite trying for us. On the one side, our eldest child is fine in many regards, but admittedly he is not an Ananda Margii and at this point it seems that it will take nothing short of a miracle for this to happen. Here is the main mistake we made. With our eldest - a son now 26 - we just naturally assumed that as he got older he would see the value and rational approach of AM. We thought that he would organically understand how doing meditation and eating vegetarian was the best way to go - but it did not turn out like that at all. This was a big blow to our psyche and to this day I regret the choices we made in raising him. I naively thought that I should not push him into AM and that it would be "healthier" if this was something he decided on his own. After all, that was how my husband and I came into the Marga. So we let our son grow up in a "normal manner" - play, homework, video games, etc - without forcing him to attend AM functions or going to Marga retreats or doing sadhana together etc. He would go to friends' houses while my husband and I went to dharmacakra or any AM function. However, once on that loose leash, my eldest child just strayed farther and farther from the path. Today he drinks alcohol, eats meat, is covered by multiple tattoos, and has even experimented with being gay. I love him dearly, but I see that without my pushing and insisting when he was young (i.e. in his early childhood years), he just got pulled into the dirty current of materialism. It is those values and choices that govern his day to day life - not the ways of Ananda Marga. This has been the cause of so much tension, arguing, and regret in our household. Now he even criticises us for being in Ananda Marga - he thinks we are ignorant. It is a headache to live together or even visit. In the kitchen he eats meat and smokes cigarettes in the house. I cannot even begin to tell you all the problems. I really wish I knew back then what I know now. It is very painful to see and even more painful to admit. What was the point in my becoming a parent if I could not raise my child(ren) according to the precepts of dharma. Somehow it all got away from us.
One of the reasons I am writing about this is to recount the day Dadaji stayed with us for an entire week. Dada came at our request when I told him that our child could not be controlled. At the time our eldest was 14 and he was not listening to anything. We had known Dadaji for years and had complete trust in his evaluation. He could see very clearly what transpired within our family - with respect to our eldest. And he pointed out one key mis-step that my husband and I tripped over long ago. Dada reminded us that samskara plays a huge role in life. That is not to say that everything is pre-destined and that we should just be passive observers. Rather the opposite is true. Without a very positive samskara then coming into AM is not easy - a lot of help is needed. This is the point we missed. Rather than doing lots of kiirtan and sadhana with our oldest child when he was young, and always taking him to dharmacakra, we just let him play etc. We were too relaxed, when it was in those years (from 0 to 12) that we needed to instill the values & practices of Ananda Marga. On that occasion, Dada warned if we are not strict strict with our second child then our youngest will also fall into problem, but if we instill AM values early then everything will be fine. That was 13 yrs ago. And I have to say that Dadaji was absolutely right. Today our youngest in 16 and all is well, whereas I still regret how I raised my eldest, now 26.
Here is more of Dada's explanation - via a short synopsis. Then I will tell more of my story... All over the globe there are millions and billions of people who get caught up in the social norms of the day, and comparatively few who break away from those dogmatic traditions and steer clear of pseudo-culture and come into AM. Dada told that those not born in margii families and enter into AM is due to their extraordinary samskara combined with Baba's divine grace. These sadhakas had such a remarkable samskara that no matter what life situation they were born into, they would have come into AM. Then Dadaji explained that most of the population is not like that - including many of our margii children. For such persons to enter AM, it will take a huge amount of support and guidance from the parents from infancy through their childhood. Regular kiirtan, telling devotional stories, coming to dharmacakra, making friends with other margii children - all of these things and more are needed in order to bring our own children into the Marga. When I heard this it was as if I swallowed a rock. It seemed so plainly obvious when Dada explained this, but somehow as parents we missed the boat on this one. My entire adult life I assumed the opposite. I figured, "Oh, of course our child will choose AM" - and I waited and I waited and I waited, but it never happened. And now my oldest is far past his formative years, and he is making his own life decisions, and AM does not even come into the picture. When he was a teenager I tried to guide him but by then it was too late. I would give advice and he would argue and quarrel. It was then that Dada told me that I had to teach all this when he was young - then he would listen. During his teenage years when he was rebelling was not the time to teach - it just created more fights. Thus it was when my oldest was 13 and my youngest 3 that I made the switch in my approach. The result being that now nearly 14 yrs later, my oldest is far, far from the Marga and our younger son is an inspired and true Ananda Margii. I will tell the story about my youngest down below. So now I clearly understand that had I adopted a proper parenting approach then both my children could have become margiis. By Baba's grace that is what has happened with our youngest. And it could have been that way with our oldest, but I naively assumed that he would come on his own. I failed to realise that without an extraordinary samskara this would never happen.
Baba guides us that we are to guide our children along the path of morality and spirituality from a very young age. Baba says, "One should follow bha'gavata dharma from one’s very childhood, because human life is rare and is very precious...So a wise person should get initiated and should start sa'dhana' in his very childhood, or kaoma'ra." (SS-21) So Baba's guideline is that from the very birth of their child, parents should be very sensitive to the needs of the child and guide them along the path of sadhana. Baba says, "Parents will have to take on most of the responsibility for the moral and spiritual education of the child." (HS-1) And indeed, during DMC and general darshan, Baba always welcomed mothers who brought their young infants. Baba's teaching is that from the earliest age children should be raised along the tenets of dharma and when they are old enough to go to school, then they should go to an Ananda Marga school. Because the mind is very impressionable at the tender age of 5. What they are taught they will remember and follow with implicit faith and trust. For these reasons and more Baba guides us that parents must introduce their child to spiritual ideals very early on - further down in this email is that very beautiful account from Baba about how the great saint Madalasa raised her children. Then in addition to parenting, a proper education is needed that instills the right values in life.
Sa' vidya' ya' vimuktaye
Baba says, "The real meaning of education is trilateral development – simultaneous development in the physical, mental and spiritual realms of human existence." (PNS-18) For this reason Baba was vigilant that AM should establish primary education schools all over this earth, in every country, region, city and village. Baba's point is that from their birth right up through their childhood is when our children formulate their ideas and visions about the world and how they will live their live. What our children see and hear at that age makes a huge impact on who they become later in life.
While our Marga is the voice of bhagavata dharma, the various religions indoctrinate young minds into their dogmatic ways. And they do this by employing the very same techniques Baba recommends. They misuse this method to suite their own needs and interests. All the religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism - preach and teach their kids those principles from a very early age. They understand well that what a child sees and experiences in those younger years (from 0 - 12) will stick with them their entire life. Christians put their kids in Sunday school, Jews use Hebrew school, the Muslims put even their 2 year olds in madarsa (Islamic faith schools). In that ways they are able to indoctrinate their children into their dogmatic faith. While we are still struggling to implement Baba's ideas within the Marga, we need look no further than the dogmatic religions to see this approach in action. Unfortunately, again, the various religions employ this method to spread their dogma - not the glorious ways of bhagavata dharma. Thus our AM approach is grossly needed on this earth.
So it is really a question of parenting & schooling for those with regular samskaras, like my children. If they are guided in a particular direction they will have those experiences and ideals for life. Children remember and learn so much in those early moments. Now I really wish I always kept my oldest with me on my lap or nearby when doing sadhana. I did that with my youngest but not my older one. Coming into the Marga lies almost cent-per-cent with the families and then with the schools later on. Once again we can look to the dogmatic religions for proof. These days many Christian families are less strict than before, and the degree to which they are remiss is the degree to which the church loses followers in that area. This has happened to a large extent in Europe. In contrast, to the degree that parents are strict in their households - as is the case with many Muslim families - is the degree to which their children get fully indoctrinated into that approach. As parents in the Marga we should clearly understand this issue and put it into practice. Because unlike the dogmatic religions, we have all the wonders of the universe to share with our children. Our Marga is the path of dharma. Yet without our prompting and clear cut approach, our children will continue to miss out on this opportunity. And this is an injustice to them - and it is not the way we are to raise our children in service to Guru Dev.
Part of the problem that can happen is that we may feel that AM is something above and beyond the rest of life. There is so much to do as parents that we can get caught up just following the basic worldly checklist without putting proper emphasis on AM. When in fact it is the spirituality of AM that is the essence of life - not all that other stuff. We missed this lesson with our oldest child and instead got caught up in general societal values and in result our son did not develop into a sadhaka. We paid attention to his physical and mental (mostly) development like clockwork, yet never inculcated the spiritual side into his daily life, neither as an infant nor as a toddler and young boy. And now the sad reality is that this is not part of his life. I would not raise this point if I did not see this happening with other margii families. Many of the parents in my circle of communication are in the midst of similar circumstances - they openly say so. I suppose the main thing is not to rely on the idea that somehow magically our children will walk into the door of AM at the age of 18, when up until that time Ananda Marga has not been a major factor in their lives.
Here again Baba points out that root cause of the problem Baba says, "The main point is this: for want of a little care, children are deprived of the opportunity to become complete human beings, even though they have a human structure." (HS-1) Thus to bring our children onto the path of AM we cannot merely passively wait for that magic day to happen as if they will realise it with their own rational approach. Rather we have to be assertive and inculcate spiritual values within our children on a daily basis. If we do that our children become opponents and hate AM. That is what happened with my first born and I feel the fault is entirely mine - not my son's. The problem has escalated to such a degree that he does not merely passively oppose AM, but actively by eating meat, smoking, drinking alcohol and speaking badly about Ananda Marga. In India there is a saying that I have heard, "Those who kept their babies away and did not bring them to DMC etc , then those children got lost, never made it into AM and the whole house became hell." This happened with many margii families within in India and the essence of that problem has occurred with many families outside India, including my own. The point is that we must bring our young ones into the fold by including them in all Marga activities and building a strong social network for them. By Baba's grace we did this with our youngest and it worked out great.
Here is a short list of things we can do as parents to ensure our children grow to be strong sadhakas and active Ananda Margiis. Please add your suggestions too. 1. Create a community of friends by having our margii children play with other margii children; 2. Bring children to DC and organise a children's dharmacakra; 3. Have them in the room with you when you do your personal sadhana; 4. Sing kiirtan & bhajans with them throughout the day; 5. Tell them Baba stories before bed; 6. Inculcate a spiritual outlook in life; 7. We must remember that our kids see what we do and follow accordingly; 8. If child gets bullied or taught to be fearful of ghosts, then that is a lifelong problem; similarly if child gets raised in AM then they will think AM is their home and they will follow the basic do's and don'ts their entire life. Finally, may we all remember that we cannot teach someone about the danger of drowning after he has already drowned. Similarly we must not passively watch our children grow thinking that by their samskara alone they will make it into AM. We must be vigilant to guide them every step of the way they moment they emerge from the womb - and even before then.
Baba tell us that forming children into proper human beings is a big job, whereas producing children is often care-free and frivolous behaviour whereby children are often just a by-product of sex. The most difficult task is to make children into proper human beings. To do that we must follow the example of the great mother / saint Madalasa who taught her children from their very infancy about, "Why you have come into this world and what is your goal." Baba says, "“Dear son, although you are but a child in a small human frame, you are the veritable expression of the Supreme Consciousness. You are an ever-holy, ever-enlightened entity. As long as you think that you are only a small child, you are spiritually ignorant, but when you realize that you are a part of that Supreme Entity, you become that Supreme Entity, you become spotless (nirainjano’si).”...“My dear child, there is no black spot in your mind. You are spotless. You are unassailed by any kind of sin.” Sam'sa'ra ma'ya' parivarpito’si: “You are beyond the spell of the illusory ma'ya' of this mundane world. You are the embodiment of the pure and unblemished self.”...“This is how Mada'lasa' teaches her son.” (AV-7)
By Baba's grace we must teach our children about AM from a very early age. When we go to our Marga functions then all families should bring their children. If we instill the values of AM early then even if those children want to give up and walk away from AM then they will not be able to do it. Because that AM ways of life will be in their blood. In contrast, if keep our children separate then only those few exceptional children with only the greatest of samskaras will become Ananda Margiis, and all the rest will be lost in the sea of materialism and dogma. Baba says, "Children will become assets of society in the future to the extent that their parents or guardians discharge their duties properly." (PNS-1) Namaskar, Sulekha
Once there was a man who was about to be hung for the many crimes he committed. Before the hanging, he was granted one last wish and he requested to talk to his mother. When his mother arrived he asked her if he could whisper something in her ear. She said, "Why of course my son" and and leaned towards him. Then the man bit his mother's ear. The mother cried out in pain and asked, "Why did you do that?" The son replied, "Because you are the cause of my imminent death. All those years when I was a young boy stealing and thieving you never disciplined me nor told me that what I was doing was wrong. Because I did not get that important teaching, I grew up to be a criminal. And now today I am going to be hung." Here the whole point is that as parents we have a huge effect on what our children become in life. It is out duty to do right by them and bring them along the path of dharma, otherwise they will meet all kinds of troubles and even blame us for their problems - and rightly so. Baba says, "The mental outlook of children has already been moulded in a particular fashion by the influence of their family environment before they start school...Drawing on what they have learned in the family, the immature minds of children begin to learn about the world and understand it, and to receive ideas and master language so that they can express those ideas. Unhesitatingly they adopt their elders’ way of looking at the world. Hence the primary responsibility for acquainting children with the world lies with their parents or guardians." (HS-1)

A Crowded Approach

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2009 14:38:27 -0000 To: AM-GLOBAL Subject: A Crowded Approach From: "Ishvara" BABA "A'laker saurrathe saba'y nite tumi esecho..." - P.S. 1089 Purport: Baba, You have come with the shining chariot of divine effulgence. You have come to take everyone to the divine realm. You do not differentiate between who is great, who is meagre, & who is small etc. You listen to everyone's tales-- to everyone's feeling of the heart. Baba, even without seeing You, I have loved You. I am always feeling close & loving towards You. And even when I have not heard about You, I have been attracted by Your divinity. Baba, You are so gracious. You do not make judgements based on one's merits or demerits. You love all, unconditionally. And I understand that You are always present-- across all time and space. O' my dearmost, You have done so much for me, and in return You do not want anything. In spite of knowing about hundreds of defects in me, You have made me Yours and accepted me as Your own. Baba, You have showered Your causeless grace on me. You have come here on this dusty earth to take everyone onto the path of divinity. Baba, You are so gracious...
Namaskar, Nowadays this planet earth is going through a distinct transition. We all know that the pole-shifting is underway and becoming more pronounced every day. That is one aspect. And one of the intrinsic precursors to this monumental shift is the increasing occurrence of more and more natural disasters. This is what we are witnessing today. Indeed hardly a week goes by where an earthquake, hurricane, or tropical storm does not wreak havoc somewhere. And we know such disasters are only going to become more and more prevalent. This fact each and every Ananda Margii knows.
At the same time we have to develop the society in the best way possible. And for this Baba has given Prout-- which as we know advocates decentralization. Where each and every local community or area is self-sufficient in the socio-economic spheres.
Unfortunately, today the vast majority of the world has been built up around the capitalistic model-- where everything is focused on the city centers. Because by this way they can best exploit the masses. Baba says, "Capitalists want to produce commodities at the lowest costs and sell them at the highest profits. To produce commodities cheaply, there must be efficient transportation, cheap raw materials, cheap labour, cheap energy, adequate water supply, etc. No matter what form capitalism takes -- individual capitalism, group capitalism or state capitalism -- capitalists will always prefer centralised production. All these forms of capitalism are inwardly the same. Thousands of industries have grown up like mushrooms around Calcutta, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kanpur and Madras in India due to this capitalistic mentality." (PNS-16, p.62) And this uncontrolled growth of industries in cities has happened across the face of the earth: From Sao Paolo to Los Angeles, from Tokyo to Madrid, from Cape Town to Hong Kong, from Sydney to Mexico City. All these industrial centers grew up "like mushrooms" and suffer from all the ill-effects of centralisation such as extreme financial inequality and huge racial disparities. And not just that, the negativity of city life gets expressed in countless ways. Baba says, "There are also many other adverse effects of industrial centralisation. For example, in large cities it is difficult for people to remain healthy because of the scarcity of fresh fruits, vegetables and milk. Immorality and corruption are rampant. Thieves, criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics and anti-social elements easily conceal themselves, and prey on innocent people. Malnutrition, air pollution and water pollution, to name just a few problems, also exist. All large industrial centres presently suffer from these problems." (Prout-16, p.63) Thus the problems of city life are numerous and complex.
Plus, in this era especially one other definite loophole is that when natural disasters and calamities strike then it is very difficult for the people in the cities to manage. Of course natural disasters which occur anywhere are difficult. But usually the people in the countryside can manage alright. Whereas when disaster strikes in the cities then the city dwellers just get stuck & trapped there amongst the rubble with no hope of being safe or getting proper water or food. So this is one on-going and impending problem for most countries around the globe. And we are going to see the negative effects of this more and more. So in this capitalist era innocent people got sucked into the cities because there were no jobs in the countryside, small towns, or villages. The capitalists lassoed everyone into the cities-- where common citizens could be systematically exploited by top capitalists. This was the negative capitalist game plan-- to pile and squeeze a huge amount of people into a small place and profit from them all. And this we have seen. Due to this abnormal population density, when natural disasters inevitably strike in those city centers, then that'll spell tragedy for the common mass. To avert all this as much as possible, we should step by step follow Baba's Prout theory of decentralisation. Baba says, "Maximum socio-economic decentralisation is essential to ensure the social and economic liberation of human beings." (Prout)
However the capitalists cannot even conceive of decentralisation. They have absolutely no inkling of this. Baba says, "Capitalism will never support decentralisation, because capitalist production exists to maximize profits" which such cheating capitalists can do best in city life. (PNS-16) Hence in capitalism there must be cities. That is how they exploit everyone. Hence cities and capitalism are inseparable. And as the extreme problems in cities continues to rise and go out of control, then this will be the death toll of capitalism. This is one of the reasons why capitalism collapses.
By Baba's grace though in our Marga we are moving in this direction of Proutistic decentralisation through our Master Units, cooperatives, and countryside living. And as Baba says this is the road to success. Baba says, "PROUT is the panacea for the integrated progress of human society. It aims to bring about equilibrium and equipoise in all aspects of socio-economic life through totally restructuring economics. Without PROUT, socio-economic emancipation will remain a utopian dream. Only PROUT can save the world." (PE) Namaskar, Ishvara
Baba says, "Urban civilisation is one of the chief reasons of moral degeneration because many people are compelled to live undesirably in small, congested places. This is inimical to morality." (AFPS-2, p.13) Baba says "Cities become dens of corruption because of anti-social elements, but generally such things are not noticeable in villages. In villages everybody knows everyone else. Everybody knows the livelihood of their neighbours. But even after twenty years of living in a city people seldom get acquainted with their neighbours. They don't even know that there are many swindlers lurking in their midst." (PNS-15, 'Dialectical Materialism')
Baba says, "From the economic viewpoint decentralisation is an absolute necessity. With the exception of heavy industries and essential government offices, all industry should be shifted to the villages. To stop overcrowding in the cities this is the only feasible approach. Villages are not congested, so anti-social people will not be able to hide themselves there. If they try, the police can easily detect them." (AFPS-2, p.14) Baba says, "In a decentralised economy, people do not have to leave their homes to work in an industry, and consequently they are saved from the expenditure of maintaining two establishments. Moreover, decentralisation increases the possibility of saving labour, because people can earn their livelihood while simultaneously taking care of their household responsibilities." (PNS-16, p.61)
Baba says, "Do you feel that the seasonal order is changing and has been disturbed? The North Pole is moving closer to the tropical regions and the South Pole is coming closer to the western hemisphere on the opposite side of the tropical area. If in the eastern hemisphere the North Pole moves from north to south and in the western hemisphere the South Pole moves from south to north, what will be the effect in the earth's hydro sphere? The polar ice will melt and the ocean levels will rise. It will have its impact on the tidal waves throughout the globe... The season is changing -- big climatic changes are taking place." (Prout-17)
Baba says, "[When] a catastrophe comes, the human intellect will be able to overcome such a catastrophe... Let humanity rise, and let this development of humanity be more and more spiritually-oriented." (AFPS-7)
*************************************************** Physical Food and Future
Baba says, "Future generations will spend more of their time and energy on subtle psychic and psycho-spiritual activities, so their demand for physical food will decrease." (PNS-13, p.47)

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