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Re: How Culture is One

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 05:34:12 -0000
From: Hariish Deva
Subject: Re: How Culture is One


"Maneri gahane tumi a'cho, a'cho prabhu sada' jege a'cho..."  (4380)


  Baba, You are always remaining in the depths of my mind-- You never
leave me. You always remain awake. You go on working day and night, beyond
the time. You never stop. Baba, whatever You want to do, You go on doing.   This whole expressed universe is Your eternal game. You are ever-present: beginningless and endless. You are ever intoxicated in Your divine flow. You are the Goal of everyone-- everyone wants You. You are remaining with one and all.   Those who are trying to come close to You by their virtuous deeds and shravan, manan, nididhyasana, & dhyana, only they are able to come to You. Only they are able to realise You and have Your grace and proximity. Baba,
You are grace-Personified...

                            == HOW HUMAN CULTURE IS ONE ==

                                          ~ Part 2 ~

Note: This letter is in reply to one margii brother who was inquiring about Baba's use of the term, demi-culture.

Yes indeed, Baba's use of the term, "demi-culture", is well known to senior margiis and those familiar with Baba discourses.

In fact, by Baba's grace, I was in His divine company for field walk (May 8, 1979) in Fiesch during His Berlin sector tour in 1979. And on that tour itself Baba used the term, demi-culture. For your reference I have appended portions of that field walk in point #3  below.


Here are further points for consideration:

1. All sadhakas are aware of His guideline that human culture is one and that so-called cultural wars, distrust, and clashes between one geographical areas will cease to exist when people accept our human culture as one.

2. These days what people commonly think of as culture or separate cultures are really nothing more than different modes of expression - not different cultures. Human culture is one and Baba chose the term demi-culture or mode of expression to represent the different ways people express our singular human culture.

                                     BABA'S FIELD WALK IN FIESCH

                                  CULTURE & DEMI-CULTURE

3. As mentioned above, on one field-walk in Fiesch, in reply to the margii Baba spoke the following lines about culture and demi-culture:

Baba says, "You see, I have said that the human culture is one. Only, there are different modes of expressions. Now, we may say demi-culture, regarding those modes of expression. There were during the Middle Ages, three distinct demi-cultures in Europe. One Prussian, another Latanic, and the third one Iberian. “Iberian” means Spain, Portugal, and Basque...."

Then the Margii states: In ancient times, one human culture. Although in ancient times there was only one human culture. Baba then corrects the margii.

Baba says, "Even now, human culture is one. There are local differences in eating and dancing. [But] that doesn't make culture." (Baba's Field Walk in Fiesch, May 8, 1979)

In His above teaching, Baba is clearly stating that human culture has been and remains one. Only we may say that the modes of expression, or demi-culture, vary. Those variations reflect the various ways how people eat and dance etc. That is Baba's use of the term demi-culture.

4. It is our duty to use these terms, demi-culture and modes of expression, in our day to day life. We should utilise Baba's given terminology of demi-culture in our: writing, art, literature, talks, lectures, presentations, stories, dramas and more. Gradually, by this way, Baba's teachings on culture and demi-culture will be propagated. The concept that human culture is one is a completely new idea. We have to help teach others by our practical daily use of the term, demi-culture.



5. At present, due to a lack of understanding, people think in an analytical (divisive ) way. They divide our singular human culture into many. And still this is going on.

Baba says, "Dogmas have taken root in the human mind. People cannot get rid of these false ideas because they have been injected into their minds since childhood. As a result, 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." (A Few Problems Solved, part 7)

Indeed on this point of culture, people continue to divide humanity to such a degree until finally each and every person carries their own separate culture. This is nothing but the path of analysis (division & factionalism) while ours is that path of synthesis (unity).

6. For instance, some think that there is both western culture and eastern culture. And by their path of analysis they divide western culture into parts like European culture and American culture. And they further divide American culture into so many parts: Italian-American culture, Native American culture, Chinese-American culture, African-American culture, Mexican-American culture, Guatemalan American culture, Filipino American culture, Japanese American culture, Greek American culture, etc.

If we continue to list all there divisions then there might be several hundred classifications. Because people from all over the globe are in the US and they carry their own demi-cultural label. In the same way, this type of analysis (division) can be done in each and every land. Tragically, through that lens there is a gigantic wave of differentiation and distrust.

                                             HUMAN CULTURE IS ONE

7. The solution is that irrespective of one's mode of expression or demi-culture, human culture is one. We are all human. We are bound by one paternal love of Parama Purusa. Wherever humans are born and raised they adopt local variations which vary from place to place. So there are local variations but in essence humans are not different from one another. Human culture is one.

8. Here again the central idea is that all human beings are one: (a) everyone greets, (b) everyone expresses happiness, (c) everyone has something they value or holds as an ideal, (d) people share and serve food together, and (e) many similar practices can be included in this list.

Irrespective of their so-called caste, language, so-called race or geographical areas, and level of education etc, all have these common qualities. That is why inherently human culture is one. By superficial look, it seems that people live in different ways and have a different culture, but these are local variations that we term as demi-culture.

The conclusion is that fundamentally human beings are one and there are various local differences and those differences are not cultural but rather demi-culture.

Baba says, "According to PROUT all of society has the same culture. There are local variations in the mode or state of cultural expression, but the expression is universal. While everybody eats, some eat by hand, others by stick and still others by spoon. Indian dance is based on mudrá or dance postures, and European dance is based on rhythm, but they do not represent two different cultures." (Prout Nutshell-15)



Here are some of Baba's further teachings on the point of culture:

(A) Here Baba puts forth the point that culture represents a wide array of human expressions.

Baba says, "It [culture] is the collective name for different expressions of life. People eat, enjoy hospitality, laugh on some occasions and shed tears on others, and thereby express life through various actions. The collective name of all these actions is culture." (Prout Nutshell-15)

(B) Next Baba further emphasizes how human culture is internally one with many external variations. As well-wishers of humanity we are to always rally around the common points. That will make society healthy. Those who highlight differences from one human being to the next harm society.

Baba says, "There are certain prima facie local variations, but there is no difference in the subterranean cultural flow of the human society. The difference is external and not internal. Culture is one for the entire world. Common factors for the entire humanity (that is, culture in the true sense of the term) should always be encouraged, but prima facie differences should never be encouraged. Those who encourage these differences help the fissiparous tendencies which endanger human progress. To establish a cosmopolitan cultural outlook, we have to wipe out prima facie differences through matrimony and other socio-economic blendings." (Prout Nutshell-4)

(C) Here below Baba differentiates between customs and culture. Customs are many whereas human culture is one.

Baba says, "Local variations will diminish if there is a close blending between different groups of people, because this will create common customs. In Nepal there is a blending of Hindu and Buddhist customs. In Bengal there is a blending of Aryan and Dravidian customs. These local variations are called customs. Thus local modes of expression bearing local or group specialities are customs, but the expression itself is culture. Therefore it is a mistake to readjust boundaries on the basis of language and culture. Indian culture and the culture of the world are one and the same. Readjusting boundaries on the basis of customs is not possible for customs may differ within the same locality." (Prout Nutshell-15)

(D) Finally, Baba demonstrates how there is both good culture (saḿskrti) and bad culture (krśt́i)

Baba says, "The particular expressions of life which are not considered beneficial to others are called krśt́i. To take a very common example, an English family, out of hospitality, may offer beef to an Indian guest who may not like it. The term saḿskrti also means culture. It is used in a good sense and is beneficial for all." (Prout Nutshell-15)

Note 2:                                  ONE MARGII'S QUERY

On 12/14/2010 01:12 AM, one margii wrote:

Namaskar, can you please reference where you got the definition of demi-culture.

I cannot recall Baba speaking of demi-culture.


                             Animals Are More Aware About...

Baba says, "A crow has a natural premonitive instinct regarding storms. An owl and to some extent a dog can sense beforehand the possible occurrence of an earthquake or some other unforeseen natural calamity of great magnitude. Such power of apprehending phenomenal vibrations exists not in ten or twenty but in innumerable species of birds.  Such a power is indeed of paramount necessity in their rigorous struggle for survival.  Such a power did exist, too, to some extent, among the prehistoric people.  But today, in this age of so-called civilization, human beings, having become extremely ease-loving, have lost that power through misuse and lack of necessity; just as their tails, their ability to move their ears and their capacity to hold things with their feet have disappeared.  Now the hairiness of their bodies and the strength of their teeth and nails are also becoming extinct.  The greater the pre-occupation of creatures with the struggle for existence, the necessarily gr
eater must be their power of premonition or prescience of impending danger, or else their existence will be effaced from the surface of the earth -- this is the law of nature." (SS-3)

Note: People often think that animals are lowly & neglected beings but that is not true. As Baba points out above, animals are far more aware about naturally occurring phenomena than human beings. On this point animals are highly instinctual and are always surveying the scene. They can forecast and predict a wide array of storms and natural calamities. In the above quote Baba indicates how humans also used to have such abilities, but now with the onset of modernity and a comfort-oriented lifestyle, humans have lost this skill. So now modern people are entirely dependent upon science to forecast the weather etc. But as developed as science is, scientists (meteorologists and seismologists) are still totally in the dark about earthquakes. They are unable to predict when and where an earthquake might occur; whereas various animals like dogs and owls have this unique gift. That's why the recent earthquake unleashed in Pakistan, many dogs reportedly started behaving abnormally. They were restless, walking around whimpering, and going in and out of the house constantly. The dogs knew about the impending disaster that was about to strike Pakistan, and parts of India. In contrast, modern scientists did not have a clue than an earthquake was about to occur. But the dogs know. And those smart people who understood why the dogs were upset were able to help themselves and others also. So in future, we should rely upon animals to guide us about when and where natural disasters will strike. While dogs know about earthquakes, crows know about cyclones. Similarly there are numerous animals that are acutely aware about impending storms and natural disasters.                                   

Extreme "Sadavrata" in USA

Date: 20 Dec 2010 05:28:18 -0000
From: "G Bhaskaran Reddy"
Subject: Extreme "Sadavrata" in USA


                             == EXTREME "SADAVRATA" IN USA ==
Recently an event took place in our Marga that causes us to stop and think about the way some in AM are doing "service". Read about this below event and see what you think.

                                           WHAT TRANSPIRED

On December 4th, it was reported that one Dada in California organised a food distribution program in the end of November during the "Thanksgiving" holiday in the USA.

Note: During Thanksgiving, many Americans sit down and eat turkey, i.e. the name of one big, wild bird that is similar in size and look to the turkey vulture. A turkey is two or three times the size of a chicken and can weigh up to 14kg (30lbs). And these wild birds are eaten during the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. That is the dogmatic tradition. As Ananda Margiis we categorically reject this tradition of eating meat and slaughtering animals.

Anyway, in doing his food distribution, this Dadaji got 7 Turkeys (i.e. big, dead, feathered birds). That means Dadaji collected 98kg (215.6 lbs) from the market and donated that meat on the occasion of Thanksgiving.

So we should all think how appropriate this is. Should one serve tamasik slaughtered birds, i.e. turkeys, to those in need. Is this the way we do service?

                                             SIMILAR FUTURE EVENTS

Collecting and distributing 98kg / 215lbs of turkey meat by one Dada for food distribution is extreme. Some say Dadaji has these future plans as well:

1. Distribute violent video games on Christmas to poor kids struggling in school.
2. Donate guns and ammunition to poor hunters;
3. Distribute cigarettes to poor & distressed tobacco addicts;
4. Distribute heroin to poor & distressed drug addicts;
5. Give arms to poor & distressed criminals / terrorists;
6. Distribute poison to the elderly for their assisted suicide;
7. Serve alcohol to poor people on New Year's Eve & other festival days;
8. Distribute machine guns to thugs and gang members;
9. Give high-fat sweets filled with hydogentated oil to poor & distressed heart patients;
10. Give foods loaded with sugar to poor diabetics;
11. Distribute sharp blades to poor & distressed pickpockets or robbers.

Please see the email appended below for further information.


Note 1:                            GOOD SPIRIT IS NOT ENOUGH

Here the point is that doing something with a good heart or with a good spirit is not enough. The overall effect of the action or service also counts.

With full sincerity if you offer poison to someone then they will still be harmed.

Those who do not have any idea of bhagavad dharma may say that Dadaji donated all those things with a good mind-set and we should not chase him. But one should know that doing sinful things with a good heart will not make that action virtuous.

Prakrti does not overlook such wrongs but rather punishes those going against bhagvad dharma. Here we should not only think by the angle of a greedy human; as neo-humanists we should think by the angle of those birds as well. Then it will not take time to understand this entire issue.

Dada should have given things for the people's weflare. That is the effect of AM service. He should have only given plant and grain-based foods, i.e. sentient foods. Because our approach is never to give away harmful or tamasik foods in the name of service. Not only that, birds have their own existential value, they are not to be slaughtered for human consumption.

But in Dadaji's case he gave something that is harmful - harmful both to them and the bird. So Dadaji's dealing caused the death of so many birds and he has to face the consequences. Such type of activity is sinful - not service.

All around the world there are margiis surrounded by so many meat-eaters, but we do not therefore sacrifice animals and birds and feed meat to others. No true Ananda Margii does like this.


Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 22:48:47 -0800
Subject: [AM-nCal] Service to Homeless, Service to DEER nor more, Service by Seminars, Service to Professionals [4 Attachments]

Service to Homeless Food Distribution

Thanksgiving is over and lots of Food is donated and under the direction of Dada Jiivapremananda, Mixed rice and Dal, 2 big containers of oil and 7 turkeys were given to the homeless.

Brotherly in His Service,

Ragu Das, SDM-LFT, 408-338-6495


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