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What is the News?

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 05:36:11 -0000 To: From: Subject: What is the News? Baba "A'ka'shabhara' a'jake ta'ra'..." (P.S. 2523) Purport: Baba, the sky of this amavasya night is filled with the stars. The sweet, nectar-like breeze is blowing mildly. The mind is floating in divine ecstasy from the known to the unknown world-- towards its final destination. Baba, ensconced in Your ideation, my mind is getting lost in Your divine bliss. Baba, the lily flower is constantly looking towards the sky; the aroma of flowers is emanating all around. They have forgotten themselves and lost their awareness about their own unit existence. They restlessly move in the attraction of one call. Baba in Your longing I am sitting alone, counting the stars. I understand that by Your grace I have lost myself in this beautiful atmosphere and the attraction of Your love. Baba, You are ever-gracious and You are always remaining by my side and guiding me. Baba, on this amavasya night my heart is yearning and longing for You. Please grace me by coming closer and still more close...
Namaskar, Generally people live in this world without any definite plan or program. Most are unaware about the greater meaning and aim of life. They proceed onwards in a whimsical fashion. This is the common way of human beings. It was like this in the past and it is like this today also. Certainly, people have short term material goals such as getting a job, finding a spouse, buying a house, producing children, and purchasing a car etc, but rarely do they think about getting old, and least of all about death. These latter aspects people do not consider. Rather they naively think they will remain on this earth forever. They think of this place as their permanent abode. Hence they remain basically oblivious of the reality: Just as one day we have come onto this earth, one day we will also go. This fact no one likes to consider. No one plans in this way - it is extremely rare.
Baba, being the Sadguru, has come to enlighten human beings and show us the right path. And indeed in countless discourses, stories, and analogies, Baba reminds us - time and again - about "What is the right path." This idea He has given on so many occasions. Why? Because it is the nature of human beings to get caught up in avidya maya and take this world as their permanent residence and the entire reality - when in fact it is just a relative truth. We've come here only for a short while and nothing in this world is lasting. But people forget about this fact. That is why Baba brings this point - i.e. that human life is short - to the fore again and again. He has given this teaching in Caryacarya (CC-II, 'Sadhana', point #8), philosophical discourses, stories, shlokas, analogies, and in all kinds of ways. Because we human beings constantly forget that this world is not our permanent reality. People live as if they are going to remain on this earth forever. In contrast, Baba does not talk about the theory of gravity in dozens and dozens of discourses. Why? Because already as a people we are aware that gravity exists and we do not forget this fact. So there is no need for Baba to remind us of this. But about the greater meaning and temporary nature of life, people regularly forget about this. Always we slip back into ignorance. Hence Baba brings the point again and again. Here following is one such unique teaching.
One day a yaks'a approached the great king Yudhisthira. The yaks'a asked: "What is the news?" (Note: The sense of his question was what is the real situation of this material world.) In reply king Yudhithira told: "The material world is like a frying pan. The sun is the fire; the day and nights are the fuel. The passing seasons are the stirring ladle and time is cook. All living entities are being thus fried in this pan. This is the real news of what is happening in the material world which is a miserable place full of ignorance." Such was Yudhisthira's colourful and insightful reply and this is yet one more way that Baba has brought this critical matter that we have only come onto this earth for a short time. (Reference: AV(H)-29 chapter 14) And certainly in so many ways Baba has discussed this point including during one famous discourse in Bombay.
The interesting thing about the Yudhithira's above analogy is that the yaks'a is asking "what is the news". The yaks'a is not asking about philosophy, ethics, nature of life or anything esoteric like that. The yaks'a is asking the news, yet such was Yudhisthira's reply. Why? Because that really is the news. Whenever people are told something that they do not know then it is news. Due to avidya maya people commonly forget that they are moving towards their death. They do not remember the transient nature of life on earth. People take money, prestige, beauty, attraction and all their worldly attachments to be of a permanent nature. All their plans and programs are based on this idea. They see new-borns come onto this earth, but they never think that one day they will go. So Yudhisthira's reply that human beings are in a frying pan proceeding towards death is indeed news. It is just like if a coup happened years ago but just today more revelations about the coup were reported then that would be news. Or when archaeologists find new fossils. This is also news because human beings were not aware about these events. Thus the fact that slowly, slowly we are going towards death - that is also news. People think this place is their permanent abode. With that as their reference point, their behavior, values, logic and reasoning becomes skewed, even polluted. All of their priorities are based on the false notion that they will remain here forever and ever. And indeed most live their life in this way. They collect cars, chase after the opposite sex, seek out fame and fortune. They talk all these fleeting things to be the essence of life. If they thought otherwise, people would keep away from useless activities like harassing others, fighting, looting, and material pursuits etc. And they would do more sadhana and help others. But this is not the case. Just look around and see for yourself. Thus, Yudhisthira's teaching of thousands of years ago is as relevant today as it was then. That is why this is the news.
Baba's divine guideline is that we are to complete all important works (sadhana and service) very soon. There is no guarantee how long we will survive on this earth. That is why Baba says do all good works immediately because human life is short. No one decides when they will come and no one decides when they will go. Baba says, "The scriptures say, Grhiitvaeva keshes'u mrtyurn'a' Dharma'caret: that is, during spiritual practice one should think that the god of death has already started pulling one’s hair – that one’s death is imminent. And accordingly one should work sincerely and vigorously; one will have to do a great many noble deeds within a short period." (SS-11) Thus we have not a moment to spare. None should get caught up in the whirlpool of maya and think this world as permanent. None should chase after frivolous things. All should bear in mind that we have come here for a limited period and we have a great many works to do. This is the main outlook of any sadhaka. One should think: My life is for spiritual practice and serving others, not carnal pleasures. All Baba's teachings are my food for moving on the path divine. I must not get swayed by the glitz and glamour of avidya maya. I am to remember that I am being cooked in one frying pan and moving towards my death. I utilise my energies for sadhana, not mundane allurements, then I will achieve eternal life, by His grace.
By Baba's grace He reminds us again and again that our human life is a unique opportunity given to us by Parama Purusa. As human beings we are to take advantage of our free will and do something great - attain Him. That is what Baba is telling us in Yudhisthira's analogy. Most of the scriptures of old are filled with thousands of pages of dogmatic teachings and one has to swift through all those things in order to find an ounce of truth. Ananda Marga is not like that. Baba has given us only the most pertinent guidelines to get success: Remembering the Goal of life is one such guideline. May we always following His teachings and never get caught up in the whirlpool of maya, thinking this world to be our permanent abode and chasing after fleeting fancies. If we remember the news of the day, we are bound to move on the right path, by His grace. Baba says, "If you are asked by God, “What do you want?”, what should you say?" "You must say, “O Lord, I want your blessings so that my intellect may move along the right path.” You know that the intellect is the cause of your downfall or evolution. So when your mind gets proper direction, what else would you require?" (AV-21) Namaskar, Virendra

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