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Don't Support Your Friend If...

To: AM-GLOBAL From: Foster Davis Subject: Don't Support Your Friend If... Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 14:42:36 -0400 Baba "Ga'n sedhe ja'i toma'r tare, shun'abe tumi e a'sha'te..." (PS 4799) Purport: Baba, You are ever resplendent. On this moonlit night by Your grace I have lit the lamp of devotion and am sitting here surrounded by the vast darkness of my reactive momenta (samskaras). Baba, in this situation I am practicing Prabhat Samgiita, again and again-- to please You. Baba, I sing on and on with this hope: That You will grace me by listening. Baba, theoretically I know that You are with me always and that You are my my eternal Sakha'*, but still I wonder what type of relation is this of ours. Baba, You never spend time with me, & You never speak with me. Just You keep me all alone. And in that desperate state I become totally dry inside and I think that without You my entire life is like the burning desert, with no relief in sight. Baba, without You by my side, in Your absence, I am totally miserable. Baba, please grace me by coming. O' my dearest One, please give me a sign that You are listening to the calling of my heart. Baba, please come and tell me whether You are listening or not. After that, You are free to go wherever You like. O' my dearmost Baba, please be gracious and shower Your sweet smile directly in my mind so that it makes a permanently blissful impression-- imprinted forever in my memory-- like wonderful colours and decoration of alpana'. Baba, please be ever-gracious and reside always in my mental abode-- up till eternity... * Sakha'= Baba says, "'Samapra'n'a'h sakha' smrtah'. Where love and devotion are so overwhelming that it appears as if there is only one entity in two bodies, such a pair of persons is known as 'sakha''. The bhakta, the devotee, is the sakha of Parama Purus'a, because the bhakta can never think of himself as a separate entity from Him. Here he altogether forgets that he is separated from God. That is why Parama Purus'a is also a sakha' to His bhaktas and the bhakta is the sakha' of Parama Purus'a." (AV-6)
Namaskar, People naturally feel respect and gratitude for those who help them in a time of need. They consider that person a great friend - one whom they deeply revere and trust. Out of love and affection, they honor that friendship by lending their support in all aspects of life. This is the natural human psychology - this is the way most people conduct themselves. However, we all have to consider how far this approach is really viable, healthy, and beneficial. Throughout history and today as well, there are cases which stand as clear-cut examples of when to no longer support a friend. Even then, due to their strong sentimental attachment, innocent people get led down the wrong road due to their undying allegiance to certain friends. And in result, they have have to face the repercussions. We should all familiarize ourselves with this problem and know the way out lest we suffer terrible consequences.
While, there is a distinct need to address this critical issue within our Marga family - and that will be done in this letter - let's begin by examining one of the most famous cases from the past. Most are aware that during the Mahabharata era, the great warrior Karna was well known for his undying support of the wicked Prince Duryodhana. Here is how it came to pass. Throughout his life, Karna had been humiliated, mocked and abused. And in one public competition, he was disqualified and not allowed to participate because of his so-called lowly caste. At that point, Duryodhana stood up in front of all and preached the greatness of Karna and Duryodhana even parceled out a portion of his kingdom to Karna. From that day onwards, Karna gave Duryodhana his ever-lasting friendship and support. Baba says, "Throughout his life [Karna] was an out-and-out idealist. He was the most trusted friend of the Kaoravas. He has some striking points of similarity with Bhisma; for example, if someone did some service to him, he always remained faithful to him. He followed a code of simple morality." (Disc MHB) Because of Karna's sentimental link and heart-felt feeling for Duryodhana, he remained the most ardent and loyal supporter of Duryodhana, irrespective of what ills and misdeeds Duryodhana did. Bhisma, the grandfather was a bit better, as he at least warned Duryodhana of his wrongdoing, though it has to be noted that in the end Bhisma did lend his support. But Karna did not even utter a word of warning to Duryodhana about his sinful and wicked ways. Baba says, "As Bhisma, the grandfather, had accepted the food and drink of the Kaoravas, he continued to support them. Of course he tried in his own way to change the attitude of Duryodhana, but he didn’t exert pressure on him. Karna did not even try to change Duryodhana’s attitude, much less exert pressure on him." (Disc MHB) In that way, Karna lived under the false notion to remain obedient and loyal to Duryodhana up to the very last - regardless that Duryodhana was blatantly going against the collective well-being of the people. Such was the extent of Karna's simple morality. From the day when Duryodhana stood up for Karna in public, Karna gave his everything to Duryodhana even though Duryodhana was going against the spirit of welfare and the greater interest of society. Indeed, even the most devious acts by Duryodhana went without even a hint of opposition from Karna. He supported Duryodhana throughout - all because Duryodhana was his friend. All because Karna was guided by simple morality, not spiritual morality. Baba says, "Strict adherence to spiritual morality may lead to the parting of friends." (Disc MHB) Karna's duty was to warn Duryodhana of his wrongdoing and not blindly remain in such a friendship. More about this solution is written below. Ultimately, this friendship bound in simple morality led to Karna's untimely death in the pursuit of a dishonourable cause. We should never fall prey to such circumstances. We must not become the 21st century version of Karna. We must not sit idle or actively support friends when they are in the wrong - no matter how much they may have helped us in the past.
Unfortunately, the above incident is not a mere relic of the past. In their naivite and respect, many inside and outside of AM fall into the same category and meet a similar fate as Karna. For instance, suppose a young man was drowning or being beaten up on the street and someone came along and rescued him from his plight, then naturally that man will hold that person in high regard for having saved him. He will revere him as a great friend. It happens. And often times, even if that great friend does something wrong such as cheating at work or selling illegal drugs, that young man will not oppose his friend. Rather he himself will get embroiled in those nasty affairs and even get arrested one day. All because of his desire to be true to his friend. And there are so many cases of this nature. Here is another case for our review. A man comes forward to help a poor family in need, and in response that poor family will forever sing the praises of that man irregardless of what tasteless and harmful acts he does. That man may cheat on his wife or beat his children, but all the while that poor family will keep mum, only remembering how that man came forward and helped them in their moment of need. What they do not realise though is that by keeping mum, they become party to his sins. Anyone familiar with Baba's teachings on pratyavaya understands well that prakrti will not spare that poor family for their inaction. So under no circumstances should we support any friend who is acting against the spirit of collective welfare. Certainly in our day to day life - at school, at our job, in our neighborhood or community,a and in our Marga - we have seen such cases, where out of their undying friendship, naive people either get caught up in misdeeds or fail to come forward and do the right thing. So we should all be careful.
Tragically we also see such things happening in AMPS as well. Of course prior to 1990 with Baba at the helm, everything came full circle and all wrongs were righted. Since 1990 that has not been the case - out of loyalty and friendship all kinds of negative things are tolerated and supported. Here's how it goes. Margiis often feel great respect and gratitude to their acaryas or other workers. They think, "This Dada initiated me", or "This Dada help me marry off my daughter", or "This WT stood up for me in public", or "This Dada gave me sadhana lessons" etc. There are any number of things that might spark a margii to become totally sentimentally linked with one Dada and consider him their true friend. Later, even when this Dada does wrong and goes against the interest of society by tainting Baba's books, or eliminating BP rights, or promoting the dogma of Mahaprayan, then still that margii keeps quiet. Basking in their good feeling for that Dada, ie, their friend, they mistakenly think that "I must support Dadaji regardless. He is my friend and I shall remain faithful." This is the way it goes - various Wts and margiis are unwilling to oppose certain Dadas for their wrongdoing because of their friendly feeling for that Dada. But in so doing, that margii will one day get directly caught up in groupist misdeeds or they will remain a passive bystander. In either case, they are inviting grave consequences if not their own destruction, as parama prakrti will hold them accountable. Just as Karna paid the ultimate price for blindly following the ways of simple morality, so will we. Thus no margii should become party to misdeeds, directly or indirectly, due to their friendship or friendly association with one Dada etc.
Due to their sentimental feeling, people get confused and justify that, "This is my friend and what can I do other than support them." Such is the misguided manner of simple morality. Baba guides us that we are to do something different when we see one of our friends going against the collective interest and welfare of society. At that point we have to be strong and say, "Dear friend, I have deep respect for you - you have helped me a lot - but you must not do these things. It is my duty to tell you that what you are doing is not good - please, I request you to change your ways." Karna failed to do like this and that led to his downfall. But this is the way we are to address the problem. Often enough, those who have helped and guided us are in positions of greater power and respect, even then we have to come forward and clearly tell them they are doing wrong. After all they helped us in the past and now it is our dharmic duty to help them by steering them away from their nefarious acts. For us to simply leave their company without trying to help them is an injustice - one must never do like this. Always we have to fulfill our dharma and try to guide them away from their wrongdoing. It may be that our friend or benefactor will not pay heed to our words. Even then we should not give up. With our heart-felt feeling we should request them again to mend their ways. If still they refuse, then we have to pursue one of two options. At that point, (#1) we will either have to walk away from their company or, (#2) if we are able/strong enough, we should directly oppose them. Never though should we support them just because we deem them to be a friend who has helped us in the past. Baba says, "Spiritual morality that wins over simple morality, but common people always commit mistakes on this point. It is never proper to extend support to immoralists." (Disc MHB) Thus, even if a Dada has helped us or, initiated us, or opened the local jagrti, no matter how much sentimental feeling we have for that worker, if a Wt gets involved in harming the collective by indulging in gross behaviour, creating Fake Ananda Vaniis, or tainting the BP election process, etc then we must no longer support that Dada - no matter how much we may consider them to be our friend. As their friend, it is our duty to guide them onto the proper path as far as possible. If really they will not listen, at least we have put forth the proper effort and escaped the consequences of prakrti. Even then, due to their sentimental friendship and lack of viveka, a few margiis get bound up in that Dada's actions. Either they support him directly or they fail to tell him to refrain from such acts. And that is when people get into serious trouble.
We must always remember that by directly or indirectly supporting any wrong act, then we invariably get caught up in that negative karma. There is no escape. Baba says, "However good people may be, they commit some omissional and/or commissional mistakes – some do it knowingly, some unknowingly, but once they commit pa'pa, or sin, they cannot retract those mistakes, they have to suffer, they cannot escape the consequences." (AV-23)
By Baba's grace none of us should become like Karna and support wrongdoing just because someone is our dear friend. Nor should we move away from their company silently. By Baba's grace we must have the courage and stamina to verbally guide them away from their misdeed and bring them onto the right path. If the guilty party cannot mend their ways then at least we tried. The whole idea is that in no way, shape or form should we ever support those going against the collective welfare. Hence we must not support or remain silent with those Dadas who taint Baba's teachings, tear down margii rights, ruin Baba's scripture, and other such sins. If we fail to act and support such friends even in a small way, we too will face the consequences. By adhering to dharma, and not gluing ourselves to certain friends, we are bound to be victorious, by His grace. Baba says, "Whenever there is a war between dharma and adharma, you are sure to be victorious. You are not alone – dharma is with you, the benevolent intellect is with you, and I am also with you." (AV-7) Namaskar, Purusottama
************************************************** Good Teaching
Baba says, "Those who wrongly worship Parama Purus'a in the form of clay, iron, or other material substances, are ultimately transformed in Prakrtiliina*. And those who run around externally in hopes of finding Parama Purusa outside, they also be come Prakrtiliina." (15 May 1982, Hindi Section) Note: Those who are searching Baba in one or another holy land, they should be especially careful about this above teaching. *Prakrtiliina= This is one type of microvita which is under punishment of reaping of reaping its own negative samskaras.

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