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A Critical Correction in Human Society

From: Jineshvar Panda (J.Panda@kinetic...> To: AM-GLOBAL Subject: A Critical Correction in Human Society Date: Fri 06 Aug 2010 15:39:02 -0000 Baba "A'mi ca'i na' ei sabhyata', a'mi ca'i na' kut'ilata'..." (PS 1341) Purport: O' Lord, my life is for You and Your ideals. I do not want this pseudo-civilization. I do not want hypocrisy and cunningness. I want to float in the open, vast, blue sky-- in the boundless open air with the softness of the birds where there are no limitations or boundaries of dogma. I want more and more effulgence, free air, the great sky which is studded with stars. I want that very mind which is saturated with divine love and dharma where there is no presence of the bondages of crookedness, religion, groupism, or narrowness. Baba, I always keep Parama Purusa in my mind and my heart. His blessing and His grace is my everything. By His grace I will go on painting and covering the darkness with the fragrance of sandal paste. Whatever and wherever impurity is there, by His grace it will be removed. This superficial culture and civilization I do not appreciate. I want straightforwardness. And to lead a life under His shelter...
Namaskar, The role of morality in Ananda Marga is truly something dynamic and new, so there should be no confusion about our moral code and its effect. Unfortunately, due to a mistranslation, our book, Human Society (English edition, 2000) presents a definition of morality that strays from Baba's teaching. This is of great significance for two reasons: 1) Our definition of morality is very important because the morality term is often highly misunderstood and widely misused throughout the globe; as Ananda Margiis we must not harbor such confusion since morality is integral our AM philosophy. 2) When Baba uses morality in His discourses He presents a totally new meaning which is radically different from that of the general society. If His teaching on morality is not properly presented and hence not understood, many will misunderstand the entire discourse. We should all direct our focus to the "Moralism" chapter of HS-1 and ensure it gets corrected.
First, let's take a look at how our Ananda Marga's approach to morality compares with that of the major religions and even nations. Ina nutshell, in AM morality is that which helps the human mind proceed to Supreme Consciousness. Whereas in the various dogmatic religions, morality leads one toward their chosen dogma. For instance, in Ananda Marga our code of morality is yama and niyama and that invariably propels the sadhaka forward on the path to the Divine. Hence, our code of morality is completely universal. In stark contrast: (a) The morality of Hindus is based on brahmin supremacy wherein dalits (untouchables) are not allowed to wear shoes, use an umbrella or walk on the roads. In addition, Hindu morality preached that women must not hear the vedas or else molten lead would be poured into their ears. Plus there are any number of aspects of Hindu morality which do nothing but suppress certain castes and maintain the status quo. (b) The morality of the Christians was to engage in the crusades and kill non-Christians in the past; and now the morality of Christians is to kill animals and females are 2nd class citizens. Plus they employ various other codes that suit their convenience. So Christian morality deals with the self-interest of their religion and religious leaders. (c) The morality of the Muslims is to cover women from head to toe and claim that three women are equal to one man, and embark on various jihads etc. Indeed there is a whole slew of Islamic laws and moral codes that only seek to maintain the interest of those in power etc. (d) In places like US, Europe and other countries, the code of morality is always changing. In recent US history the moral code allowed slavery, and now slavery is illegal, whereas things like gay marriage which were banned in the past are now being embraced. It all changes according to the whim of the people. Likewise in Europe, prostitution is now legal whereas in the past it was outlawed. And there are so many examples of how the materialistic code of morality is just based on convenience - not welfare. They alter it according to their own interests during a particular era. In all the above cases, their code of morality is far from the cause of universal welfare; the morality of the Hindus, Christians, Muslims and capitalists is only for maintaining the status quo, nothing more. In Ananda Marga, the code of morality is totally unique as its sole aim is to bring one ahead on the path of salvation - and the tenets are universal as they apply across time, space and person, whereas the dogmatic religions and materialistic societies bend the moral code according to their individual interest. Our code of morality should be known to and followed by all as it leads to the emancipation of unit beings and brings universal welfare to society. Unfortunately, due to a critical error in the Human Society book, our definition of morality has been misrepresented.
Before examining the faulty translation, let's clarify morality as per Baba's teaching. In addition to being comprised of yama and niyama, in Ananda Marga morality has a distinct purpose and function. In His 1990 June DMC discourse, Baba pointedly identifies the role of morality. Baba says, "Morality propels the microcosms [unit mind] towards Him [Parama Purusa] without break or pause." (YP) We can easily understand then that morality is the force or inspiration which goads one towards Parama Purusa. Baba's definition is quite clear. And in various other discourses Baba puts for this same idea.
Now here see how the term "morality" has been wrongly portrayed in Human Society Part 1. "The ideological component of the unit mind, which provides the initial inspiration for the individual to attain that Cosmic state, is called “morality”. " (HS-1, '87 & 2000) The above translated lines wrongly claim that morality is a "component of the mind". And that is not true. It is not an aspect, layer or part of the mind - rather morality is an ideal or force that inspires the mind towards Parama Purusa. The above English translation is totally erroneous. Anyone familiar with Baba's ideological teachings will easily recongise this mistake. Because in Ananda Marga, morality means yama and niyama and yama and niyama is not a part of the mind; rather it is a guiding force that goads the mind along the path of Supreme Benevolence. Here then is how that line should read. The below reflects the proper idea - though professional translators should be able to render a smoother translation. But at the very least, the ideal of morality is not lost in this version. "The force, which provides the initial inspiration for that vishes' bha'vagat a'darsh (special ideological aspect) of mind to reach the Cosmic stance, is what I call morality." And indeed this above translation is consistent with Baba's other stated teachings on morality. Baba says, "Morality propels the microcosms [unit mind] towards Him [Parama Purusa] without break or pause." (YP) Hence morality is clearly a guiding force that goads jiivas towards Parama Purusa. And His other discourses support this teaching. Whereas there are zero discourses which portray morality as a layer or component of mind. Only the Human Society book does this and that is because it was wrongly translated. The situation is serious because our Human Society book is commonly cited at present & will be cited even more in the future. People reference this book to get Baba's teachings on all kinds of topics including morality. Hence this book must be correct. Another important factor is that morality is a fundamental aspect of life; it is widely used and referenced. Hence, the way things are now, our moral code will be propagated the wrong way as the very definition of morality in the Human Society book is off the mark.
As you may know, the Moralism chapter for the Human Society book was dictated by Baba in 1959 in Bangla. And that early Bangla version was fine. And the 1968 Hindi edition was also fine. Both reflected the proper idea of morality. And indeed the later Bangla editions of this particular line are also quite clear. "Maner ye vishes' bha'vagat a'darsh - ta'ke ei bhuma'bha'be paonchava'r pratham preran'a' joga'y - ta'kei bali niitiva'd." (PNS-1, Bangla '92, p.12) Then, as you read the below, you will notice how the Bangla got changed a little bit as the dashes ( - ) were removed. "Maner ye vishes' bha'vagat a'darsha, ta'ke ei bhuma'bha'be paonchava'r pratham preran'a' jogay, takei bali niitiva'd." (HS-1, Bangla '95, p.3) Even then the above Bangla reflects Baba's real teaching on morality. It is only when it got translated into the English edition of Human Society ('87 & '00) that the definition of morality was off the mark. Here again is that mistranslated line: "The ideological component of the unit mind, which provides the initial inspiration for the individual to attain that Cosmic state, is called “morality”. " (HS-1, '87 & 2000) Indeed the above faulty translation defines morality as being an actual component or part of mind, rather than an independent force which goads the mind. Because, morality in Ananda Marga means yama and niyama and those tenets are not a part of the mind - rather they direct the mind and one's actions along the path of emancipation. So morality is the inspiring agent or motivating force - not "a component of mind". Morality inspires and brings human beings to the path of divinity. Thus there are two problems with the aforementioned (mis)translation. a) Firstly, the language does not properly reflect the original Bengali. b) Secondly, the mistranslation actually puts forth a wrong definition of morality. Thus the problem is compounded by the fact that the philosophical message is also incorrect.
Here again is how that line should be rendered in your Human Society book, English edition. "The force which provides the initial inspiration for that vishes' bha'vagat a'darsh (special ideological aspect) of mind to reach the Cosmic stance is what I call morality." Everyone should put this line in their book - at least until a more official correction is issued by the Publications Dept.
Mistakes in our AM books may come on a few levels. 1) The most innocuous mistake is the "typo". That is when it is quite evident that a wrong word or misspelling was inserted into the text. This rarely becomes a serious problem and is easily corrected. An example of this might be if "one human society" got printed as "on human society" etc. 2) Then there are minor mistakes in translation that make reading the text difficult to understand but ultimately the book can be understood by reading the entire paragraph or whole page. In this case, the expression is convoluted by an error in translation, but the philosophical integrity of the discourse is not tainted. 3) Finally, there are the worst kinds of errors wherein due to a poor translation not only is the linguistic expression affected but the meaning and philosophical import is also distorted. In this case Baba's divine teaching has been negatively affected and the reader cannot get the right answer by reading the book. Such as a mistake might be where the wrong definition is given. These major errors have far-reaching ramifications. Unfortunately that is what has happened in our Human Society book (English edition '87 & '00). In that text, the definition of morality is wrong. That is the tragedy and critical problem. We should all ensure it gets fixed.
By Baba's grace He has brought us onto the path and is using us as His media for bringing others. Thus it is our bounden duty to ensure our own conduct is proper and that our efforts to spread His teachings - such as through the publication of Baba's books - is done carefully and precisely. Errors in His books means the false propagation of His guidelines. We must not fall in this latter category. Baba says, "The scriptures containing spiritual injunctions must be totally flawless." (NSS, Disc: 14) Namaskar, Jinaneshvar Panda
********************************************* Baba Story About Food
Once Ba'ba' stayed at Shrii O P Goenka' Da'da's house in Chennai on the occasion of DMC before 1970. As a matter of fact the Goenka family were strict in taking sattvika food; they didn't take onion & garlic & followed a purely vegetarian diet. His mother got an opportunity by His Grace to cook food & serve Him. As soon as Baba sat down for taking food, He asked, "Ma'(mother), is there any onion & garlic in this food?" She exclaimed,"B'aba', onion and garlic in our house - never!" Ba'ba smiled & replied, "It is my usual habit to inquire before taking food." This event was recounted personally by Shrii OP Goenka. Though Ba'ba' is the All Knowing Entity even then He used to inquire to ensure the food was sentient food. We have to take note and follow His divine example for being strict on sentient food. During WT reporting, Baba was regularly pointing out how Dadas were unknowingly ingesting onion and garlic when they were purchasing pre-made from the market and in hotels etc. Baba would abuse them harshly for taking tamasik food. Such Dadas were unaware that what they ate was tamasik but after Baba's scolding came to know that the veg food they ate in the market was prepared in a non-veg pot etc. So Baba pointed out their wrongdoing - this was a regular occurrence. By His grace, now most in AM know not to take food in a hotel or restaurant. This above story came to mind because of this following letter where one Dada regularly transgressed our code or sentient food. *********************************************

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