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In the Name of Bhakti, People...

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:19:06 To: From: Miguel Subject: In the Name of Bhakti, People... Baba "Nabiina Pra'te ei arun' a'lote..." (P.S. #19) Purport: Baba, by You grace the new dawn has come. In this new crimson dawn, with the rhythm of form, You have entered my mind. Baba You are so gracious: You know how to make us laugh and weep, You know how to play hide-and-seek. Baba by Your grace You have filled my life with Your radiant light. You know how to play the lyre, to weave endless melodies, to make the world dance in Your melodies and rhythms. And You know how to love the world with all its pains and pleasures. Baba You are so gracious, You are that most loving One...
Namaskar, In our Marga, the term 'bhakti' is well--known and commonly used in our daily talk and interactions. We say things like, 'He has a lot of bhakti', or 'Bhakti is the greatest attribution', or 'I only follow the path of bhakti' etc. Then of course some think, 'I am an acarya so I must have a lot of bhakti', while others contemplate, 'I am the bhukti pradhan so I have a lot of bhakti'. We have all seen and heard how the term bhakti gets used in the above ways, when in fact such things may have little or even nothing to do with true bhakti. So we should take a moment to reflect on what is real bhakti, especially since it is only bhakti that can lead us to our cherished Goal.
Baba is quite clear that bhakti means having one's mind directed only towards God, and not towards any other object or desire. Baba says, "Bhakti means to withdraw one’s attractions from all objects and channelize them towards Parama Purus'a. When the unit self is associated with the cosmic it is called “bhakti” or “devotion”, but when it is associated with the mundane it is called “attachment”. You must withdraw your mental propensities from all external objects – no matter what they might be – and channelize them only towards Parama Purus'a. Only when you direct them towards Him, can it be called bhakti. If you allow your mind to become fascinated by any other object, it is called “a'sakti” or “attachment”." (AV-7) Thus no external qualification or mundane desire has even one iota to do with bhakti. If anyone thinks, 'I am an acarya so therefore I am a devotee', or if one thinks, 'I organise many service projects so I must be a great devotee', this is all nothing but self-befoolery. Because using external things to build a case for one's internal amount of bhakti is meaningless. The operative phrase in the above quote is, "only towards Parama Purus'a". If the mind is goaded only towards Parama Purusa, then it is bhakti. That is the real meaning of bhakti. If one's mind is only involved in serving and pleasing Parama Purusa. That is not to say we should forgo or abandon all worldly activities, that is not our way. Rather we should ensure we are doing those worldly activities for pleasing him, and not out of our own unit desire for worldly prestige etc. As Baba points out, if the mind is separately or simultaneously involved in any other longing then it is known as a'sakti or attachment, i.e. the path of degradation. Baba says, "When the attraction is for the non-integral entity, for money, for family, for land, it is called ka'ma; when it is for integral entity it is called prema and the mental tendency during ka'ma i.e., the mental tendency during attraction for a non-integral entity is called a'sakti in Sam'skrta and the mental tendency during attraction for that Integral Entity is called bhakti. (SS-18) Hence the degree to which we are attracted by or infatuated with money, name, fame, respect, position, is the degree to which we are off the path of bhakti. Bhakti, then is a very pure and internal desire to attain Parama Purusa. And for this tremendous honesty and love are needed. We may be able to masquerade ourselves in front of others so they think we are great bhaktas; but we cannot fool Parama Purusa in this way. He sees our inner-most desire and knows how far we have pure bhakti or not.
The main thing we should keep in mind is that bhakti (love for God) and a'sakti (mundane longing) cannot co-exist. The degree to which we harbor one is the degree to which we are remiss in the other. Baba says, "The attachment for a finite thing is an expression of extroverted energy, whereas the attraction for the Infinite is an expression of the introverted energy. That is why these two can never co-exist." (SS-1) And Baba points out that even our most worldly intimate dealings can take us away from the path of bhakti. Baba says, "Do you love your son? No, no you don’t love your son. You love Brahma in the form of your son. By loving your son as a son, you cannot love the Lord. Where there is the feeling of son, there is no Lord and where there is the Lord, there is no son." (SS-1) So even harboring seemingly tender feelings for our loved ones drags us on the path of temporality, and away from God-hood.
Neither should one get caught up in the misconception or dogma that to become a true bhakta I should give up my sons, or renounce my parents, or become some type of hermit etc. Rather, we have been given various responsibilities, and they are to be managed. As we know, performing worldly duties is not antithetical to the path of devotion. It is only when we get infatuated by those worldly expressions that it infringes on our devotional experience. So that is what we must be careful about.
The answer given by Baba is that we must view all as the manifestation of Parama Purusa. That is the way to live in this world without sacrificing our devotional longing for Him. Baba says, "The ascription of divinity to objects means the pursuit of the Infinite, leaving the finite behind. Are you feeding your son? No, no, you are feeding the son-like manifestation of Brahma. Are you tilling the field? No, no you are serving the finite manifestation of Brahma with your plough. Really speaking, the ascription of divinity to objects precludes their material enjoyment, as the objects then merge in the non-material Supreme Brahma." (AMIWL-2) To do this we must be very honest and clear. Material Indulgence and bhakti have no place together. Seeing all as Him means seeing all as an opportunity to do service, not satisfy worldly passions such as post, power, lust etc. Thus thinking of making more money, garnering huge respect, or even becoming PP have nothing to do with getting devotion. Only by truly following brahmacaraya, are we perfectly consonant with the path of devotion.
This all leads to the point that only true bhaktas can serve the humanity. Invariably, non-bhaktas, or degraded bhaktas get attached to one worldly expression or another-- either their wife, or their country, or their job, or their community etc, in which case they will view the rest of the world in a biased manner. There are countless examples of this happening nowadays. That is why only the bhaktas of Parama Purusa can promote the cause of universal welfare on this earth and throughout the universe. See Him in everyone, the sadhaka can them maintain equanimity and serve others without favouring one person or another.
We can say that there are three basic approaches. The top most is to love only Parama Purusa all the time. Then one is truly established in bhakti. Second is when one loves Parama Purusa sometimes, and then on other occasions love towards mundane things is dominant. This is quite common. Many of us may find ourselves in this position. In that case, more kiirtan and sadhana are needed. The next lowest phase occurs when in their ritualistic worship of Parama Purusa, one prays for something mundane. That is very crude and must be avoided entirely. Baba says, "If a man wants to become a devotee of the lord but in the mind of his mind, if he thinks that God will make him pass his examination – here the esana (longing) is not one but two...When something is demanded from God the esana becomes two. Hence the time is completely wasted...When the esana (longing) is not [only] for Paramatman but [also] for something else, it is known as asakti (attachment) and not bhakti." (SS-20) There is no scope for this type of approach in AM; we should all keep the mind a thousand miles from such a crude and dogmatic way.
Lastly, what is the logic or rational for following bhakti. How should we convince ourselves when the mind is down or how can we convince others. Well, we can say that the path of bhakti is the blissful way to live and that only should be followed. even then that might not always do the trick of convincing ourselves. In that case another route is needed. And that route is: Other than the path of bhakti there is no other path. Every other entity in this universe will leave you one day. Every other longing will create a samskara. Every other longing is ephemeral. Baba says, "Under the influence of avidya' people believe that the finite objects created by static Prakrti are their own. They think, “my horse, my son, my daughter, my wealth,” and believe that with these objects they will live eternally. But the fact is, all these limited objects will desert them after sometime. Nothing that can be called one’s own will remain." (AMIWL-8) We have come onto this earth for a very short period; our window of opportunity is small. So we must utilise our time in the right pursuit-- that pursuit which will free us from the suffering and bondage of maya. That is the only way. In that case, only the path of bhakti is the answer. Whether we like it or not, that is the only avenue for advancement.
Everyone in AM likes to think they are bhaktas because we know this is something great, but only those who really have internal longing for Him-- and no other desire-- truly qualify as real bhaktas. Thus it is for each and every sadhaka to estimate for themselves how far they are on the path of bhakti. By Baba's grace, by remembering Him we are all sure to attain this most blessed stance. When we think, 'I want only You, then Baba cannot keep us away'. Baba says, "Therefore, O devotees remember the Lord’s name, else all your efforts will be reduced to cipher [zero]. Under all circumstances and during all activities, cling firmly to His name." (SS-1) Namaskar, Mantreshvar
Baba says, "The meaning of the word bhakti is “attraction to the Supreme”. When the attraction is to something limited, it is called a'sakti, and when the attraction is to the Supreme, it is devotion, bhakti. There is no compromise, no meeting point, between a'sakti and bhakti, between attraction to the Supreme and attraction to the objects of the world. In a'sakti, the feeling is that I get the object. In bhakti, the feeling is that I merge myself in Him. Where there is no desire, there the Lord lives. The Lord and the desire for the world, like the sun and the night, cannot coexist." (AV-23) Baba says, "In philosophical terms the attraction for finite objects is called a'sakti and the attraction for the infinite is Bhakti. Ra'ga or rakti means both the attraction for the infinite and attraction for the finite objects." (SS-1) Baba says, "One may have attachment towards physical objects as well as towards Parama Purus'a. The attachment to physicality is called a'sakti or vis'aya'nurakti, while the deep attachment to Parama Purusa is called para'nurakti or bhakti." (AV-33) Baba says, "The meaning of the word “para'nurakti” should be considered. Rakti denotes raga or attachment. Anurakti means maintaining attachment with or being attracted by a particular entity after having understood its meaning. Anurakti is of two kinds. The anurakti for the Supreme Brahma or Infinite Cosmic Consciousness is para'nurakti. The Anurakti for Brahma under the sway of prakrti or the anurakti for the crude manifestations is termed apara'nurakti. God is an object for para'nurakti. When the aspirant considers the Supreme Brahma to be his own, it is termed bhajana' or bhakti." (SS-1)
Baba says, "Do you love your son? It is perfectly right that you should, however, when the son dies, you will experience great pain. Is it not so? The son is preya, a finite entity. He cannot live till eternity. He will depart and make you weep. But if you treat your son as the expression of Brahma in the form of your son, then you will never fear losing him because Brahma cannot be lost in any span of time. He is present around you in all the ten directions." (AMIWL-2)
Baba says, "Take, for instance, an unstable or transient thing, such as your son. He is constantly progressing through changes, and so you are. Neither of your two entities will remain forever. If you regard him as the only support in your life, it will certainly not be wise, for your son may leave the world any day, and you will moan his loss with bitter tears; or you yourself may leave the world, making him an orphan. This applies in the same way to wealth, power, etc." (Matter & Spirit)
Bhaktirbhagavad bha'vana' na stutirna'rcana'
Baba says, "Being merged in the constant thought of God is devotion. Devotion is not related to the chanting of hymns or ritualistic worship with different paraphernalia. A devotee may perform these, but they are not an indispensable part of devotional sa'dhana'. (AS, 3-12)
********************************************** This Must Be Averted
Baba says, "'Andham tamah pravishanti mudha ye ke catmahano janah.' What happens to the person who runs after the external mundane things instead of the Self within? One day he finds himself surrounded by the blinding darkness (Andhatamasa). All around he finds nothing. When a person whose self has miserably degenerated, whose spiritual progress is altogether stopped, rushes towards matter, his whole existence starts getting crudified, his mind and Self get crudified, he forfeits the right even to be called a human being. This is indeed a miserable condition, an unimaginable circumstance." (Calcutta, 1980)

NY News: Came Back to Haunt

Date: Sun 28 Mar 2010 17:01:28 -0000 To: From: P LeTour Subject: NY News: Came Back to Haunt Baba "Tumi je path diye giyechile priyo, se pathe a'jo surabhi rayeche..." 2781 Purport: Baba, even today Your sweet aroma remains lingering on that path-- on the path which You have traveled. Baba, the songs which You sang so beautifully in tune and rhythm, those very songs are ever-present in the deep core of my heart. Their lingering resonance still vibrates my entire being. O' my dearmost Baba, I cannot ever forget Your blissful tales; it is impossible for me to forget. Your divine advent in my mind is far more significant than hundreds of lives of sadhana, & its penance. Baba, You are the most meaningful thing in my life. By Your grace, You have presented Yourself after my hundreds of lives of searching and longing. Baba, even if You do not remain close to me, my mind does not go far from You. By Your grace I always remain ensconced in Your blissful ideation. Baba, keeping all my longings for You in my heart, I will go on singing Your divine songs day and night. Baba, by Your grace You have made me understand this truth: That to do any extraordinary task is impossible for those who have a dry heart. Only those with innate love for You will be able to climb over the insurmountable mountains. Others cannot because in each and every sphere of life Your grace is everything. Without that nothing is possible. Baba, by Your own qualities You have bound me with Your divine love and by Your grace You always keep me under Your shelter. Baba, Your sweet and charming aroma keeps me thinking about You constantly...
Namaskar, It has been four years since one group changed the NY sector by-laws in their own favour, and today their actions have come back to haunt them. They are being bitten by their own deeds, yet hoping that the rest of the sector will bail them out. All the details are clearly outlined below.
As we know, Baba's guidelines on unity are sublime. Unity means rallying around a common spiritual ideology and Goal. Baba says, "Human unity is purely an ideological unity, which means unity in the psychic sphere. Where there is psychic unity, physical unity will also occur. In the realm of unity, unity is always psychic ideological unity means unity in the subtlest level of the mind." (Talks on Prout) Our definition of unity then is moving together toward the Supreme, not any worldly or selfish outcome like post, power and prestige. That is what our samgacchadhvam chant is all about: Uniting our minds for the great cause, not any small-minded pursuit. So unity in AM is a high endeavour.
Unfortunately, these days in AM, the word unity itself has become misused or misunderstood as all the groups try to rally adherents in the name of unity and one group even tried to call themselves as such. As Ananda Margiis it is our duty to once again ignite the spirit of real unity in our Marga. No group interest should be served, only we are to do according to His wish. To that end, we should clearly understand what is happening now in NY sector, as it is a mere microcosm of what will invariably unfold wherever groupism is in vogue.
See here what is happening in NY sector. In a nutshell let's review a bit. Four years ago, in the early monthly of 2006, one Dada and his group X captured the hearts and minds of some of the senior margiis in NY sector. In order to keep his power, that Dada convinced margiis to change the by-laws of NY sector. Why? Because group Z who was controlling Centre wanted to appoint a new SS. But the leader of group X did not want this to happen. He wanted the power for himself. By offering top posts and prestige to certain senior margiis, this Dada and his newly made subordinates (i.e. Board of Directors) changed the by-laws of NY sector to state that group Z could not appoint a new SS without the clear approval of the NY Board of Directors. That was the way things were distorted. Time passed like this. Now, see what is going on... In Feb 2010, group Z had enough and hired a legal team to take action against group X and the Board of Directors of NY. The legal team sent a letter informing the group X and his Board of Directors that they are no longer the legal managers of AMPS in NY sector and that they had to relinquish all AM assets etc, including their cherished posts. Today, in Mar 2010, the Dada leading group X and his Board of Directors find themselves in a jam. They tried to negotiate themselves out of trouble, but it did not work. Now they have no choice but to fight back in the courts, which is both a time consuming and costly affair. So they have written a letter appealing to NY margiis to help out. Of course, in this tainted era, no group is pure - neither X nor Z. But it is ironic, that all along the lead Dada of group X and his Board of Directors acted unilaterally to control NY sector by distorting the established by-laws etc, and now that they are in trouble of losing their grip (as well as a pile of money) they are appealing to the mass of margiis, whom they've been treating all along as second class citizens. Now see here what the margiis have to say about this.
At minimum, two brave and clear-thinking margiis sisters (one in NYC and one in Los Altos, CA) have come forward and made a dharmic stand. The sister in NYC has outlined a number of points of concern about the way things have been been going in NY sector the last few years. Here is what she says: "There is no excuse from SO that margiis are not sent this information" "As a Margii and the rest of us, we have the right to know information about any issue concerning Ananda Marga from the existing Ananda Marga Inc." "How can we truly accept the legality of Ananda Marga Inc Board of Directors when a portion of the original By Laws was changed without informing, consulting the General Body of Ananda Marga that itself is illegal." "The Tenure of Board of Directors must be clear...The General Body must be able to select / elect their officers, board of directors ETC. and there must be an official communication...given to all members of the General Body." "This periodical communication should give accurate report of what is going on..." "Now that there is a lawsuit, WHY is it that only now the Names of the Board of Directors appear in our Screen reaching out for help to handle this lawsuit and LAWSUIT was never officially communicated to ALL by mail or in person thru a meeting with the local unit." "Is it not hypocritical?" That was the pointed letter from one margii in NYC. In addition, the margii sister from Los Altos (who was one of the first to publicly break the story) has given some excellent points. One of the main themes in her letter is that of moral responsbility by those Board Members. See here what this margii sister has written. "I feel strongly that the Board of NYS should shoulder the financial costs of their legal case since it involves them specifically and does not in any way help the sector nor benefit general Margiis. All the members of the Board are well able to pay their legal costs and BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY HAVE CREATED. Let Margiis and simple WTs continue to do their missionary work and support their local units. I hope the Board of Directors do not have plans to have the Margiis pay for their own power games. I consider such, along with that credit card for dharma pracar I keep seeing advertised, exploitation." By their expression it is quite clear that the mood in NY sector is not to support any group in their contest or slug-fest for power. Others have also come forward in this respect. The margiis want to see the ideological expression of Ananda Marga, not the crowing of power of any group through the US court system. Now it is quite apparent how the selfish misdeeds of group X and their Board of Directors has come back to haunt them. They distorted the legal foundation of AMPS in NY sector to gain power, and now that same legal system has come back to bite them.
Here the main ideological point and Baba's divine teaching is that we should never tolerate division. Group X broke away from group Z to capture NY sector. No doubt group Z is unjust, but breaking away is not the answer. That is a common ailment that plagues humanity. Baba says, "As a result [of the dogma of groupism], one human society is divided into different nations, and one nation is divided into different religions; religions also have different castes, and caste also have different sub-castes – what kind of situation is this? We have only learned how to divide and subdivide humanity, and we never learned how to unite the people. This is all due to the defective teachings of dogmas." (AFPS-9) Then what is to be done. When group Z is in power and if group Z is abusing that power, then a consciousness raising movement must happen within the Marga about the injustices and exploitation done by group Z. And then mass psychic pressure must be applied to group Z until they reform their ways or leave. That is our avenue for fighting groupism and exploitation - applying pressure on the wrongdoers, not creating a parallel group. Once a second group is formed that only compounds the problem and sets the tone for more and more groups to be created. And that is what we see happening today in AMPS. However picking up all the pieces of all these factions is not so easy. Putting the parts back together is a difficult job. That is why the main strategy is to keep the organisation whole and correct the wrongs - not jump ship and create yet another faction. Unfortunately, that is what group X did as well as so many other factions. That only worsens matters. But they do this because it appeals to their selfish interest. They want power and it is easy to grab the power by creating a separate club or group and appointing oneself as the leader etc. Their whole entire outlook is based on material lust and control. They think they will live on this earth forever and the crowing glory is to rule the roost. This is their manner - but it will never bring unity, just groupist strife. Hence an entirely new mind-set is needed. One must think, "My life is short, I have come on this earth only for a short while. I do not want any post or power, just I want to serve Baba and His creation and spread His ideals." When one thinks in this way, then they will never tolerate any exploitation nor will they rush to grab the chair either. They will establish His teachings within the organisation and beyond and bring unity amongst all beings. This is Baba's divine guideline and this is our way. The whole episode in NY sector is moving in a faulty direction because all parties involved are just interested in power and post. Their fight has nothing to do with ideology. Their concern is not the right printing of Baba's discourses, nor margii rights nor proper BP elections nor the elimination of Fake Ananda Vaniis. These factions are only in it for their own power. That was what led group X to change the by-laws and that is why their wrongdoing from 4 years ago has now come back to haunt them.
By Baba's grace, He has blessed us with all the teachings to resolve the current problems. All we need to do is follow His guidelines - nothing more. Unfortunately, when various groups chase after the post at any and all cost, then unity is but a dream. Knowing this, we should all take concerted efforts to reform the ways of all groupists and bring about that era of peace and happiness into our Marga. Baba says, "However, psychic or ideological unity may be affected if we encourage the exploitation of one group by another. So to avoid this there should not be any scope for exploitation in society. And to ensure this we have to start a new order to safeguard the interests of the exploited masses. So for a proper social synthesis what we require is a common philosophy of life; that is, ideological unity." (PNS-15) Namaskar, Prakash
In the above letter, group X is the EC faction led by Tiirthananda and his chosen Board of Directors and group Z is the Rudrananda/Nigamananda faction and their selected NY SS, Vimalananda. One thing should also be noted. For years and years, Tiirthananda and EC were the right hand cadre of Rudrananda as they thought this would bring them post and power. When it did not yield them any fruit, they split up and went on their own. So their fight is just based on selfishness, not universal welfare or ideological unity. One noted group not mentioned in this letter is the Tiljala faction. Suffice to say here that they too have their stated agenda but they could not capture or compete for power in NY sector.
Here is the list of EC's Board of Directors of Ananda Marga, Inc. (NY Sector). It is these people are who in danger of losing their shirt in NY sector so all of a sudden they are appealing to others for help, when all along they have been quite aloof all these years.
Ac. Tiirthananda Avt. Ac. Rainjitananda Avt. Ac. Vedaprajinananda Avt. Avtk. Ananda Vibha Ac. Ac. Devanistha Valmiki Vishva Deva Vinaya
These letters were posted four years ago when it became known that some in NY sector had distorted the by-laws. This is the history of what took place.
*************************************** Health Guideline
Baba says, "In order to digest starches and carbohydrates, the saliva of the mouth must help at the preliminary stage. Chewing food brings an adequate quantity of saliva into the mouth. No sooner does the food mixed with saliva enter the stomach than the liver and the pancreas are enabled to start secreting their bile and digestive fluids. So unless food is chewed well, the liver can never function properly." (YT, p.1) Note: In the fast-paced life of this 21st century, people no longer give themselves proper time to attend to their basic life duties, such as eating food. Instead people just rush off from one appointment to another and "grab a bite to eat" along the way at any number of drive-thru, fast-food places. In their hectic pace, instead of chewing their food they just inhale their meal, nearly swallowing it whole. But this way of "eating" is terribly hazardous to the health and invites many diseases. As Ananda Margiis we should spread Baba's above teaching to the members of the general society so that they may be benefited.

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