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How to Improve Sadhana: Part III

From: "Daniel Bromberg" To: Subject: How to Improve Sadhana: Part III Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 07:01:46 +0000 Baba "A'mi toma'r na'me toma'r gane jiivan ka't'a'bo..." (P.S. 2455) Purport: Baba, You are the be-all and end all of my life. You are my everything. I will spend my whole life singing Your song and propagating Your glory, by Your grace. I will satiate my heart, by pleasing You in all the ways: doing Your sadhana and executing the work that You like. Baba, it is the eternal law of this creation that whoever has taken birth will go. Coming and going is the Cosmic rule. Nobody can take anything along with them. Only one thing goes along with -- Your love & Your devotion. That remains always along with-- in this world as well as that. Baba, I will only get You when I move on Your path ceaselessly, by Your grace. Baba, I do not know where You reside. Wherever You are, close or distant, please always keep me next to Your eyes. Baba, by Your grace, with the pull of my longing and love, I will bring You close. And when You are sitting next to me then I will sing the song for You to listen to, up to Your heart's content. Baba, let every moment of my life pass in pleasing You. Baba, please shower Your karuna on me so I can march forward on the path which reaches to You...
Namaskar, It is commonly known that Baba has given the Sixteen Points for the health, hygiene, and welfare of the entire society. And by following His natural teachings of Sixteen Points, sadhakas will live longer lives and the entire humanity will flourish. All this is well understood and wholeheartedly accepted by each and every Ananda Margii. In that spirit of forward movement and sharing here following is a short, exploratory look into the second component of our Sixteen Points. Hopefully others will also contribute their reflections and thoughts on this important topic.
First off, as a reminder, we should keep in mind that the practice of circumcision is the invention of the Semitic religion(s). And that their common followers became habituated to it. This is the basic history. And Baba Himself says like that. Yet in revolutionary fashion Baba also unveils how this dogmatic practice of circumcision got spread around and absorbed from one religion to the next. Baba says, "Long ago the Jews started practising circumcision. When Moses converted some of his contemporaries to Judaism, and later when Mohammed converted some local people to Islam, neither prophet dared to instruct their new followers to discard the old customs they followed, consequently the old customs continued after their conversion." (PNS-21) Hence in the above quote Baba is revealing the fact how some prophets like Mohammed etc just accepted this unnatural practice of circumcision in order to establish their own teachings amongst the people. Otherwise they could not have converted them. Altogether then, this is one display of how a particular dogma gets transferred from one religious community to the next. It is just like how Shankaracarya incorporated numerous dogmatic Buddhist teachings into Hinduism. (Reference: 'Religious Dogmas', PNS-16) And not only that, here below Baba furthermore exposes the way in which practices like circumcision become the common way in certain communities. Baba says, "Human beings readily accept traditions without seeking the reasons behind them. Since ancient days the semites have been observing the practice of circumcision. Moses and Mohammed accepted this system which today has become tradition." (HS-1) By all this we can begin to think and decide what way Baba is guiding us to move ahead. And we should discuss what should be our approach. Here are some further things for consideration.
As sadhakas we should always remember that Parama Purusa Himself has designed the human body and this entire creation in a particular way. Accordingly, all His designs have a special benefit and satisfy an important need. Then why should we disturb His creative process by unnecessarily cutting part of the human body at the time birth-- as is done with the practice of circumcision. Rather cutting goes counter to the natural process. Just like how Baba says that cutting the body as a means of birth control is extremely dangerous as it goes against natural law.
Thus we should consider whether at the time of birth if there is a need to circumcise male offspring. Or is doing so unnatural. And not just then but right up until adolescence the foreskin can remain attached as is and there will not be any harm. The medical evidence suggests this very idea. So the natural benefit is there that it will protect the glands and the entire region from infection, plus other advantages. And then when one reaches adolescence, then for reasons of hygiene and to protect against germs one can keep the foreskin pulled back. So we should think and consider what is Baba's explicit direction in Sixteen points. One distinct approach is: (1) To allow the foreskin to remain as is from birth up until one reaches puberty; (2) At the start of adolescence the foreskin should be kept away-pulled back.
Only in a few, rare cases whereby upon reaching adolescence the foreskin will not pull back properly-- and it will only come up partially-- then in that uncommon instance a small incision can be made to loosen the foreskin and allow it to pick up. So really speaking then only a small cut need be made; there is no need to remove or cut away the entire section. Just a small incision is made, but in common parlance some might say that a circumcision was done. But just for lack of a more precise term they speak like that. But again all this happens only in those rare occasions-- less than 0.01% of the time.
And indeed all around the globe countless civilisations and communities follow this natural process of keeping the foreskin. From India to Africa to the South Pacific and around the globe it is like that. Rather only those limited subsections of society which got affected by the dogmatic ways of the Semitic religions adopted this practice of performing circumcisions at the time of birth.
(A) Read here for more critical facts on the dogma of circumcision. (B) Read here to find out why it is faulty to think circumcision helps prevent AIDS. (C) This letter contains key points from Senior Acary Diary:
By Baba's grace all Ananda Margiis are now understanding the value and teaching of this point - we know that circumcision is not part of Sixteen Points. The cloud of dogma surrounding this confusion has been lifted. Baba says, "The flame of a lamp lights up countless lamps. The touch of a great personality wakes up innumerable sleeping hearts. In the same way, the eternal glow of the boundless élan vital of Cosmic Consciousness has been illuminating the life-lamp of universal humanism since time immemorial, is illuminating it, and in future will do so even more intensely. That is why I say, the future of the human race is not dark, rather it is strikingly resplendent. So proceed on, ignoring the frowns of darkness." (Ananda Vanii #49) Namaskar, Dharma
Now more and more in the general society people from all walks of life are recognising the inherent value and beauty of keeping the body in its natural state upon birth-- and turning away from the old-fashioned, Semitic practice of circumcision. And in their search for a natural way various communities have begun making recommendations which are remarkably similar to the teachings which Baba has given on this point. Hence, in this time of grand transformation, even this point is not going overlooked. So we should all keep our - sharp eyes, think deeply on Baba's guidelines, and not lag behind. Rather, by Baba's grace, let us always remain a step ahead so that we may guide and help the common masses in their search for a new way of living.
Baba says, "Using birth control methods which deform the bodies of men and women or destroy their reproductive powers forever cannot be supported, because at any moment this may result in a violent mental reaction in them." (AFPS) Similarly cutting the body unnecessarily in order to pursue the dogmatic Semitic practice of circumcision is not supported by natural law.
A couple persons may be thinking that this second point is an open and shut case-- i.e. that there is nothing to discuss or ponder. Because either at the time of birth males are circumcised, or, if not, one will have to pull back the foreskin later on. As if both the options are equally fine and good. This might easily be some people's perspective. Or even some may be working under the assumption that circumcision is the favoured manner or ideal course; and that only if this procedure is not done then, in consequence, one will have to manage by pulling the foreskin back. A few may be adhering to this outlook. After all circumcision is such a common practice in various parts of the world. At the time of birth I was also circumcised, as my laokik parents are not margiis. So as Ananda Margiis we should take a look if really the matter is like that and then explore what is the proper and natural way. Kindly write your thoughts.
It is our moral duty to follow each and every point as sincerely as possible. Baba says, "What comes from Parama Purusa is Apta Vakya (eternal truth)... You should follow only Apta Vakya. You should remember that the Sixteen Points are your Apta Vakya." (AV-2)
*************************************** Difference Between Literate & Educated
Those who have studied the books but did not bring those teachings into practice may be termed literate but they are certainly not educated. Baba says, "Educated are those who have learnt much, remembered much and made use of their learning in practical life." (PNS-18, p.38)

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