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Vampire's Charity

Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 18:42:48 -0000 To: From: Subject: Vampire's Charity Baba "Madhur mohan tumi cita-rainjan a'cho sada' sa'the sa'the..." (3580) Purport: Baba, You are very sweet, most attractive. You have coloured my mind in Your colour. That is why You are Cita-Rainjan*. Always You are remaining with me side by side. You have removed the despair and filled my heart with Your love. All the darkness & hopelessness was removed by that light. Baba, You are beyond the scriptures, intellect, logic, and reasoning, You are above all these; You are Alakha-Nirainjain*, beyond description. Infinite and unblemished. Only You can shatter the bondage of avidya maya-- the mirage of negative attraction-- and grant salvation. Baba, You are the most charming, the most sweet, my own... ASTERISK NOTES (*): *Cita-Rainjan: Baba guides us & we all know that devotion is that unique ingredient which allows one to advance in the spiritual field. Without innate love for Parama Purusa one can never succeed. By Baba's divine grace, in His role as Cit-Rainjan, He is that Divine Entity who colours and saturates the mind of sadhakas in the fountain of devotion. Baba says, "'rainjana', which means 'the One who colours' - that which colours the mind." (AV-1) So He is that Cosmic Being who graciously showers devotional love into the heart and mind of the bhakta. And by such overwhelming Cosmic grace, the devotee becomes immersed in Supreme bliss and comes in the closest proximity with that Love Personified Entity: Parama Purusa. *Alakhanirainjan: ('Alakh' means 'invisible'; 'nir' means 'no'; 'ainjan' means 'black spot'.) Of the infinite attributions of Parama Purusa, one of which is that He is invisible and blemishless-- totally pure and perfect. That is why He is known as Alakhanirainjan. Because in this world unit beings are bound by their past actions, by their samskaras; and this creates a black mark in their mind. But being Alakhanirainjan, being both invisible and blemishless, Parama Purusa is totally beyond the realm of sense perception and beyond the realm of samskara. His mind never gets stained. He remains eternally pure and spotless.
Namaskar, Recently a few US capitalists began calling for charitable donations of millions or even billions by their fellow industrialists. In the general society, people are discussing and blogging about this, sharing their view. Most are praising this act while some are more critical about the exploitation perpetrated by such capitalists. This has become an issue of debate. Mostly however, people are confused. This is a very good topic for margiis to raise because Baba talks a lot about capitalism and communism in His teachings on Prout. Communism has almost died out but capitalism is still spreading. As Proutists, we should investigate whether the charity of these capitalists is something noble worthy of praise, or some type of scam that should be pointed out. Or should it just be ignored and left alone. We should review Baba's guidelines about this. Then, based on His teachings, we can can arrive at a conclusion about their approach.
This world is full of riches. Let's see who is real owner as well as who has the right to this property. No doubt, the capitalists are telling that they are giving away their wealth but who is the real owner. One thing we have to remember is that the ultra-rich have merely gathered all the wealth of this universe - they did not create it and it is not theirs per se. Rather they have hoarded it by cheating and exploiting others. Our Proutistic perspective is that all the wealth of the universe is the collective property of one and all because ultimately everything belongs to Parama Purusa. Human beings cannot create anything. Parama Purusa has created everything that is why it belongs to Him. Baba says, "We must not forget, even for a single moment, that the entire animate world is a vast joint family. Nature has not assigned any portion of this property to any particular individual. Private ownership has been created by selfish opportunists, as the loopholes in this system provide them with ample scope for self-aggrandizement through exploitation. When the entire wealth of the universe is the common patrimony of all living beings, can the system in which some roll in luxury, while others, deprived of a morsel of food, shrivel up and starve to death bit by bit, be said to have the support of dharma?" (POD, Point #1) Baba says, "These capitalists are the unworthy sons and daughters of the Cosmic Father because they go against the principle of cosmic inheritance." (PNS-15) Thus when the rich have created all kinds of rules and regulations in the form of tax codes, trade rules, and so much more that enhance their ability to exploit others and gather all the wealth, then they are cheating others out of their due. Because when everything is the property of the Supreme Father and all are His children, it goes against human dharma for some to hoard all the resources and wealth. That is a fundamental point of our Prout philosophy. Hence, each and every billionaire who has wealth to donate got that wealth by their anti-social ways and greedy mentality. In that case who can even think that such people are so generous.
A related point to this discussion is that this crude world is limited - and the money of this world is also limited. So if in their voracious thirst such capitalist accumulate all the wealth and property, then others will not have any. There is limited amount of money, not everyone can become a millionaire - what to say of a billionaire. If even one person becomes a billionaire then that means they have created a few million homeless people living under bridges, and in slums, ghettos, and shanty towns. All billionaires create this social problem because the money and resources of this world are limited. When we think about these billionaires we should analyse with this critical view in mind.
Right now in the west - especially in the US - there is a heightened awareness about the extreme greed of Wall Street, top CEO's, and big capitalists. The recession, the rise in unemployment, the homeless issue, and so many other social ills have created a growing sense of frustration. The people are becoming keen to the woes of capitalism and they have begun to express their angst. In some cases, the public has gone so far as to protest and petition outside the mansions and gated communities of such tycoons. That's why these executives have begun hiring security teams to protect their property. In the recent past, this was never needed. Considering all of the above, is it any wonder then some of the wealthy are devising ways to quell the masses by calling press conferences about their plans of great charity. How far these vaeshyas fall in this category, we have to think - but certainly this is the motivation for some capitalists. Here Baba has outlined a case from history that neatly parallels the present scene unfolding in the US. After Indian Independence, many of the people demanded economic justice. Thus in 1951, land reform movement was started by Acharya Vinoba Bhave - a disciple of Gandhi's. This movement became known as the Bhudan land movement. In collusion with other leaders, the aim of this movement was to calm the people's anger and quell the frustrations of poor people. Indeed, propaganda set forth in advance of the Bhudan land movement, the public became convinced that they would get their fair share & their economic problems would be solved. But in reality they were duped as the whole plan just a hoax - a sham. The rich people donated useless, barren, dry, rocky land to the landless laborers. In due course the whole plan was exposed and ultimately fell apart. So the poor people got nothing and their call for revolution was smothered. Baba says, "The contemporary Bhu'da'n movement [in India where the rich divided up and gave land to the poor]...As a result of this kind of movement, efforts to fight the exploitation of the vaeshyas decline because people think, "Why fight against rich people when they voluntarily distribute their land and wealth to the poor?" This aversion to fighting will somewhat lengthen the vaeshya age; because as the vaeshyas know full well, most of their donations are not genuine, but exist on paper only – and whenever they make genuine donations, they realize double the amount as profits in some other way. In the vaeshya age this type of rotten philosophy gets widely trumpeted in the newspapers." (HS-2) Today it is well known that the Bhudan land movement gave nothing to the poor - only they were duped. All were promised land, but 99.9% of the people received nothing and the few who did get something just got useless land. The Bhudan land movement proved to be nothing but a show of giving away useless land which the poor could never keep or harvest in order to diffuse their call for economic justice in India decades ago. Now, the same tactic is being employed in the US and other western nations. The common people who were outraged the the wealth and arrogance on Wall Street have become satisfied by seeing the apparent generosity of the rich. Most have gotten duped just like in the Bhudan land movement. Because as Baba points out, those donations by the wealthy are just part of one greater money-making scheme and along the way those vaeshyas gather name and fame and are heralded in the papers. Is that not what some of these top business tycoons are doing today. Here again Baba points out the key point of their strategy: Subsiding the frustration of the people and putting out their fire of revolution and demands for economic justice. Baba says, "These movements [like the Bhudan land movement] very carefully avoid an anti-exploitation campaign. They will only be advantageous to the capitalists because the fighting spirit of the people is tactfully suppressed." (TTP) So here Baba is showing that the ultra-rich make a show of giving away land, property and money in order to cool down the masses and avoid an uprising. This is their favoured strategy. For this reason alone then we should not stand back and say, "Oh these capitalists are giving away billions - what a great idea - that is so wonderful!". Getting dazzled by their display of so-called giving only diverts the minds of the people away from the day to day injustices that are going on. That is Baba's key warning and teaching about the Bhudan land movement analogy. We must carefully evaluate how far the same technique is being employed today.
One question that has to be asked is this: Why is it that the ultra-rich desire more? How is it those multi-millionaires became multi-billionaires. Here is the answer. In His below teaching, Baba points out how such capitalists suffer from a mental illness which expresses itself in the over-accumulation of wealth. Baba says, "In capitalism the psychology of the acquisition of material wealth, be it land, money, metal or other property, strongly predominates. Such crude psychic urges and psychic pabula remain unchecked and unbridled in capitalism and turn into a hungry profit motive in the market system. As a result, traders, industrialists and business people suffer from the psychic disease of accumulating more and more wealth by any means, even to the point of depriving other human beings of their basic requirements." (AFPS-8) Thus according to Prout, such wealthy moguls have gotten their wealth due to their misguided outlook and unseemly ways.
Since certain billionaires a making such an expose of their proposed giving. We should see if the rich are really doing any sacrifice and service by their giving or not. Here Baba points out how the value in giving lies not in how much you give, but under what conditions the gift is given. By this way, a few pennies donated by a blue-collar worker is worth far more than tens of millions given by billionaires. Baba says, "If a poor man thinks that he cannot render vaeshyocita type of service because he is devoid of money he is wrong. The charity of a few paise of the poor has the same value as a thousand rupees from a millionaire. Indeed the charity of these few paise is greater. Lord Krs'n'a attached greater importance to a handfuls of grains from Vidura than to the sumptuous royal dishes of Duryodhana." (SS-1) Baba says, "The measure of sacrifice is not its quantity or its grandeur. A sacrifice should always be measured in terms of the circumstances in which it has been rendered." (AV-31)
A very related view on this is that of Chanakya. Baba cites the early philosopher / economist Chanakya of 2400 years ago. Chanakya warned about the dangers of allowing business people to accumulate too much wealth. Baba says, "Chanakya said that a business person who becomes extremely rich is harmful to the state. If a king finds that somebody has become extremely wealthy, he should reduce the person’s wealth and property by imposing direct and indirect taxes on them. If he does not do this, the vaeshyas may destroy the structure of the government unless they can make it the tool of their exploitation. Chanakya also said that if the imposition of taxes fails to stop or control extremely wealthy vaeshyas, the king should poison them to death through a secret agent. These are indeed strong recommendations, but in that age of social darkness there was no alternative. Vaeshyas received the good advice that their responsibility was to earn money and undertake charity, not to hoard wealth." (HS-1) Thus Chanakya's guideline was to reduce the wealth of rich by either taxing them or by inspiring them to do charitable works - or even by harsher methods. But, with regards to his last suggestion, in our present era we can resort to other measures as there is no need to kill such capitalists. But as Baba Himself says, it was needed in those olden times. One thing note: Keeping billions for oneself and donating millions does not comply with Chanakya's teaching. Still the problem persists wherein some have huge wealth in which case they use their influence to interfere with the running of the state and harm society. For more about Chanakya please read:
Baba Himself has given even more explicit guidelines about what the wealthy should do. Baba says, "In order to be sadvipras they will have to come down to the level of the middle class (viks'ubdha shu'dras ), because they cannot live in indolent luxury on capital acquired by sinful means. In order to follow the principles of Prout, they will have to fight against sin and injustice, and in order to conduct such a fight properly, they will not be able to keep their wealth – they will have to become middle-class (viks'ubdha shu'dras )." (HS-2) Here, Baba's main point is that righteous persons cannot live far above the standard of the common people and still work for the welfare of humanity. It is not possible. They will have to give up their wealth. In our AM, there are rich people. We have to measure them by Baba's above guideline. That is the scale by which to measure whether they are true margiis or just scarecrows. Those who over-accumulate wealth cannot be considered as dharmikas or sadvipras. Such persons must not be placed on a pedestal.
In Carycarya, Baba gives fundamental guidelines about the various professions. Here is what He has said about those involved in business. Baba says, "Remember, for you the greatest opportunity lies in vaeshyocita seva' [i.e. financial service]. Specially ensure that the stores of the disaster relief section of the Marga remain full." (CC-2) Here the point is that the dharma of businessmen and industrialists is to use their wealth for the welfare of others - not hoard it for their personal luxuries and show. Specifically they are to actively engage in social service by ensuring the supply shelves of our relief teams are full. That means the dharma of capitalists is to finance all aspects of social relief programs. That is their social duty as given by Baba.
Here is another aspect to this discussion. Various business executives give to charity for their own gain. For instance, BP (British Petroleum) gave 1 billion dollars to various environmental watch-dog groups, and by this way BP took control of the boards of those non-profit agencies. The point is that when such capitalists give donations, they gain their favour and people develop sympathy for them. And ultimately they get more exploited. This happens everywhere. Baba says, "Among these vicious vaeshyas there are some who project themselves as philanthropic politicians. They also devour the people, but they shed a few false tears. They too have not discovered any real meaning in life. Their only aim is to fool the public in order to prosper in business." (HS-1) There is a classic example in India about this as well. In India, the Birla family has billions and billions of dollars and controls huge enterprises. For their so-called service work, the family builds extravagant temples and calls them Birla temples. They do not name the temples after certain gods or goddesses. Rather the temples are given the name Birla temple or Birla mandir. Such is their audacity. But the ignorant masses think that the the Birla family is quite generous. Now here comes the key point. The Birla family does not give hardly any money for these elaborate temples. Rather they collect the funs from their employees' paychecks. They get the money from their workers' wages. Such as fee or tax is called dharmada'. By this way they befool the public, gain their trust, and earn more money. Can we then claim that they are donating money - rather they are earning money.
All in all, the idea of such capitalists giving money is nothing but vampire's charity. They are greedy blood-suckers who are giving money away which that got by turning others into helpless beggars. That is all. And by this way the common people continue to be ensnared in their trap - economically destitute and unable to advance beyond the struggle for their basic existence. Baba says, "Capitalists create hindrances on the path of human beings to prevent them from becoming one with the cosmos – to prevent them from becoming great. So capitalism is anti-dharma and the actions of capitalists are also anti-dharma." (PNS-15)
By Baba's grace, He gives us the key way to solve this matter - proper force is needed to change the ways of such capitalists. Baba says, "Capitalists are immoral and are fighting a fratricidal war. Their internal urge is meagre and does not function properly. We have to apply external force to rectify their conduct. Nicely worded advice will not do the job." (PNS-15) Our Proutistic perspective is not about permanently condemning anyone - not even rapacious capitalists - rather our aim is to apply pressure and give them scope to become proper human beings. Baba says, "Each and every individual, whether they are a criminal or not, can claim a chance to rectify their conduct from the society. So in PROUT’s legal structure everybody should get ample scope for rectifying their character and conduct." (PNS-15) Namaskar, Mukunda
Perhaps the greatest pitfall in this for Ananda Margiis is to rush to judgment and label Gates and Buffet as conniving capitalists who have no true feeling for humanity - just a crooked deceitful agenda in mind. Because we all know that Baba has not an iota of good things to say about these capitalists. Baba says, "The capitalists of this modern world are anti-dharma, or antisocial, creatures. To accumulate massive wealth, they reduce others to skin and bones gnawed by hunger and force them to die of starvation; to dazzle people with the glamour of their garments, they compel others to wear rags; and to increase their own vital strength, they suck dry the vital juice of others." (POD, Point #1) Thus, as Ananda Margiis, we do not hold capitalists in high regard - rather we know what effect they have on society. However, our analysis must not end there because after all Gates and Buffet are choosing to give away lots of money to help others. They themselves may not be willing to sacrifice their own way of life and luxuries, but let's for a moment assume that such capitalists do have some decent feeling for humanity and are donating money to bring relief to the suffering. In that case, their giving may not come within the realm of tapah (sacrificing for others) but it does come within the scope of shaoca, or mental purity. Baba says, "A donation of ten rupees brings no physical discomfort for millionaires. It is, therefore, not tapah for them but this gift helps them in practising mental shaoca." (GHC) Here the "ten rupees" is just symbolic of any amount of money or donation wherein those capitalists need not undergo any sacrifice or hardship. So these big capitalists are not doing tapah. Baba says, "There must be one and only one purpose behind the practice of penance (tapah) and that is to shoulder sorrows and miseries of others to make them happy, to free them from grief and to give them comforts. " (GHC) However, Baba does acknowledge that so long as their giving is not motivated by business interest or greed, and they are giving selflessly out of a true concern for others, then they are practicing shaoca, i.e. mental purity. Baba says, "This gift helps them in practising mental shaoca." (GHC) So to be fair, we must at least keep this point in mind.
Should we now stand back and honor Gates and Buffet as being great adherents of mental shaoca - probably not. Nor however should we vilify them up to the bone. At least they are giving something and trying to champion certain causes. Not all do like this. But the situation does have many angles to it. What we can say is moguls like Gates and Buffet are merely the bad amongst the worst. They are not good vaeshyas but nor are they as bad as those rapacious capitalists who never give one penny.
The below teaching is highly related with the entire theme of this letter. Baba says, "The aspiration to become rich by exploiting others is a sort of mental malady. In fact, if the eternal hunger of the human soul does not find the real path leading to mental and spiritual wealth, it becomes engaged in the work of depriving other of their rights; it robs them of their material resources. If any member of a family seizes food from a store by application of mental or physical force, he certainly becomes the cause of misery to others. Similar is the case when a capitalist says, “We have seized wealth by intelligence and labour. If others have mental and physical potentialities they may also do it. Who objects to it?” They do not want to realize that the volume of commodities is limited whereas requirements are common to all. In most spheres, abundance for one individual takes the bread out of the mouths of others. It is a mental ailment not to understand this common necessity." (POD #7)
In other words, this week, two of the richest men - Bill Gates & Warren Buffet - held a press conference and called upon billionaires to give away half of their wealth to charity. There has been a mixed reaction by the general public. Many are clapping their hands and hailing this as a great show of generosity and humanitarianism; some are giving moderate praise and nodding their heads; and others are expressing their doubts, wondering if this is but an act of self-glorification, prestige, and personal benefit in the form of tax breaks etc. For the common person, it is not easy to know what exactly is going on. And indeed the situation is not so simple and straightforward as it may seem; one should not err by just taking it at its superficial face value. As Ananda Margiis, we can best understand this weighty issue by applying our knowledge of Proutistic principles. In His teachings, Baba has talked a lot about such acts by the wealthy. We should understand each and every point of His Proutistic guidelines so we can generate a fair analysis and teach the general populace. Because, when someone says, "What's wrong, I think it is great, let them give away their money - that's a fine solution", and when another says, "These greedy capitalists have no good will at all - they should just be annihilated", then we need to be able to rationally reply to these radically divergent claims, as well as all points in between. However, without a very clear, pointed understanding of Baba's teachings, it is not so easy. We will not be able to to convince people of our Proutistic stand. So we should all take to study and be vigilantly ready on this important point. Not knowing the right answer means being unable to propagate the ideals of Prout, extending the vaeshyan era, and being confused ourselves about what is what and who is who.

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