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DMS News #4

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 06:45:12
Subject: DMS News #4


"E kii toma'ri liila', toma'ri khela'..." (PS 544)


  O' Parama Purusa, what a supremely divine play You have created; what a grand liila this is of Yours. Baba, on the one hand You are virat*, and on the other end of the spectrum You are hiding in each and every tiny molecule. Baba, You are formless; yet, You are floating Your raft in this expressed universe. You are manifesting Yourself in the multifarious expressions of this world. Baba, You remain both in the expressionless cosmos as well as within each and every unit entity. Baba, Your divine liila is beyond conception.
  Baba, You are omnipresent. Where are You not; You are everywhere. Baba, by Your grace, You are in the depths of my mind; You are in the soft, gentle breeze; You are in the fragrant flower pollen; and, You are in the beautiful blue sky. Baba, You are everywhere. When I contemplate Your greatness, then I cannot find any direction where You are not. Baba, by Your grace You make those who think You full of immense longing. You fill their heart with an irresistible attraction for You.
  Baba, Your exquisite love knows no bounds; it is vast and limitless. Baba, by Your grace, You make meagre beings into something vast, great and immortal. Baba, You look upon everyone with equal love and affection. You never discriminate between one human being and another between the virtuous and the sinners, between the dharmic and the adharmic, between the good or the bad. Baba, You graciously lift everyone onto Your lap. You accept all. Baba, with Your soft, lotus hand, You lovingly shower Your causeless grace-compassion.
  Baba, Your divine liila is unfathomable. Nobody can conceive of the greatness of Your liila. It is very beautiful and has no comparison...


*Vira't'a= Literally meaning immeasurable, unfathomable etc. Only Parama Purusa is virat, not any worldly entity.

Baba says, "Parama Purus'a is very great, very very great. When the greatness becomes immeasurable, unfathomable, it is called vira't in Sam'skrta. Parama Purus'a is very great and very vast." (PNS-17)

Baba says, "Anything big having no boundary lines is known as vira't'a in Sanskrit. Parama Purus'a is vira't'a." (SS-21)

                                    == DMS NEWS #4 ==

Note: This letter addresses a dynamic array of significant & critical points.

It is quite common at Ananda Nagar DMC / DMS to present the cho dance. This happened repeatedly in Baba's presence and He would regularly explain the significance and symbolism of this local dance. That way everyone could understand what was happening.

Unfortunately, at this recent January 2011 DMS, the cho dance was not properly introduced. There was no explanation about the theme or subject of the dance. Hence, many margiis were complaining that it was boring- and rightfully so.

Because, when one does not know the theme, spirit, or significance of any dance program, then naturally one would find it to be boring. Only kids below the age of 7 will enjoy it because children like anything that features costumes.

Just think about it. When you were a small kid then you liked playing with toys but when you became an adult you no longer liked playing with those toys. Even if such toys are lying around the house you avoid them. But when you were a small kid you became enthralled playing with those dolls and toys; however as an adult you do not like to even think in that way. Due to the lack of a proper explanation, the cho dance became like one children's play.

Adults want to know the import and significance - not just see some glossy costumes. Without that the dance seems like a meaningless ritual. That was the complaint of many who attended the January 2011 DMS at Ananda Nagar.

But as it noted below, the cho dance is not just a silly ritual or dogmatic drama.

                              WHY PERFORMED AT THE PEAK OF DMS

Before going any further, let's investigate why the cho dance is always done at the peak of DMS just prior to PP Dada's speech. The purpose is to awaken the audience and make everyone feel fresh again. After all during the occasion of DMS, people walk around the campus all day and feel tired after their evening food. So a well-done drama will help revive them and the audience feel alert and awake.

Think of it this way. The cho dance is similar to a speaker telling jokes to make the audience feel fresh and alive. Otherwise a long drawn out monosyllabic speech is boring and hard to listen to.

All in all, the fine arts can be done anytime, but the cho dance is done at the height of DMS when most of the attendees are in the pandal. The program is meant to revive the audience.

But this time at the DMS, this effect was not achieved as the cho dance program was so boring that people remained sleepy. All should understand the importance of cultural program.


Here below, in His discourse "The Practice of Art and Literature", Baba pointedly tells us how to make short dramas and mystery dramas like the cho dance more interesting and exciting for the audience.

Baba says, "If there are complications in the plot, it is desirable to let the reader or the audience first form a rough guess about the plot and then introduce suspense, instead of introducing it at the very beginning, for this will help them to appreciate the suspense more." (Prout Nutshell, part 10)

So up above Baba first tells us that the audience should get an opportunity to figure out by themselves what is going on. And in the next guideline down below, Baba warns that if the audience cannot understand that crux of the story, they will become confused and even bored.

Baba says, "Otherwise, if the audience has not even understood the suspenseful plot, the desire for release from the suspense cannot be intensified; rather people spend their psychic energy more on pondering over what they do not understand in the complicate plot, instead of being curious about what is coming next." (Prout Nutshell, part 10)

Finally Baba describes how the above applies to stage performances like the cho dance and screen plays.

Baba says, "In my opinion this applies equally to both screen and stage plays and dramas. The difference between the two is that the assistance that the author of a screen drama derives from the art director or the studio-technicians, the author of a stage drama does not. The latter has to arrange the environment through the media of the dialogues of the different characters." (Prout Nutshell, part 10)

So that is Baba's key guideline as well. The director of stage dramas must create a dialogue or narration to keep the audience aware of what is going on. Since the cho dance typically has no dialogue, only dance, then those directors must incorporate a narration or some type of explanation for the audience.

Baba says, "Cho dance, which is performed after battle during times of rest in the military camp, has more mudra in it. The dancer only dances, and does not sing. Another person sings and narrates in song what is taking place." (Prout Nutshell, Part 18)

One point to keep in mind is that cho dance is based on a long mythological story like the Ramayana. But the cho dance itself is relatively short. Only those familiar with the greater story can enjoy the cho dance drama because they know each and every section of the main story. Those not familiar with the bigger story find the cho dance to be dreary and boring, like a silly children's play. This problem can only be solved when the main theme of the story is narrated beforehand.

                                    NOT JUST A MEANINGLESS RITUAL

Actually the cho dance is not a ritual.

Dogmatic rituals are senseless, illogical traditions. For example, when the Hindu priests perform certain customs in their worship like spreading holy leaves or ganges water when chanting Sanskrit verses. Participants do not understand what is going on - can the priests give any rational explanation. So the audience thinks, "Let the priest do what he likes." Such type of event is nothing but a dogmatic ritual.

But the presentation of the cho dance is not a ritual. Ours is not a mindless tradition to be carried out for ever and ever. There is a reason to it; there is a logical explanation behind the presentation of the cho dance. The only problem was that at this past DMS no responsible organiser took the time to explain the meaning of the dance to the audience. That was the main problem.

                              MORE IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT DMS &

                          THE PRESENTATION OF THE CHO DANCE

Here following are points to consider regarding the use of the cho dance at DMS.

                                         VALUE OF THE FINE ARTS

1. Ananda Marga recognises the fine arts which include both dance and drama etc. At all our collective functions the fine arts are presented in one way or another: The singing of Prabhat Samgiita, dramas, plays, reenactments and so much more.

2. If people follow the same routine day after day then life becomes boring. In order to bring some interesting change and break up the monotony of daily living, festivals, like DMS, are needed. They garner enthusiasm. Song, dance, dramas, and music are all key elements of any festival.

                                         DISPLAY OF LOCAL DANCE

3. Because our annual DMS functions are held in Ráŕh the best local dance should be displayed. This cho dance is the best of Ráŕh that is why it is displayed. This is not one mindless ritual. There is a theme of every cho dance.

Regrettably, this time the theme was not explained to the audience that is why it was boring. Best is to explain the meaning and style of the cho dance beforehand. That way people know what is going to transpire in the program. Then they will take interest.

4. Our annual DMS program aims to guide the margii audience what to do in their local unit. For instance:  At DMS margiis go twice daily for dharmacakra; margiis should try and do this in their unit as well. And there are so many other examples. People go to DMS to learn our AM way of life and return back home with the inspiration to practice those things in their unit as well.

5. But it does not mean that they should practice the cho dance in their native land, irrespective of where one is living. That is not the idea. The idea is that the fine arts should be cultivated and guided by AM ideology, i.e. where the goal is the Supreme, not crude matter or material longings. In that spirit, at cultural program in their units, margiis should present any local sentient dance or drama etc.

Baba says, "Fine arts lead human beings to the trans-sensory realm; hence sádhakas (spiritual aspirants) should not discourage fine arts; rather they should support them, directly or indirectly. (Caryácarya, part 2)

Furthermore, if an annual DMS is held in Brazil or Iceland, then the cho dance will not be displayed. Rather some other local sentient dance will be performed.

                                          ART VS SO-CALLED ART

6. Within the domain of the fine arts, there are two distinct avenues: Art inspired by the Divine entity Parama Purusa and "art" motivated by animalistic propensities.

In this present era, most of the "so-called-fine arts" are born out of the lower propensities / vrttis. Hollywood and Bollywood are full of this. Actually it is not art. And we do not want such types of crude displays in AM.

So whatever local dances are shown in our various units should goad the mind upward towards the Supreme. Bad art is not art rather something else, just like how all chemicals are not necessarily medicine, they are just poison.

Baba says, "I said that art is for service and blessedness and not for art's sake." (Prout Nutshell, part 17)

Baba says, "That which moves along with the society, that which takes us to the real path of benevolence, to the path of growth and fulfillment, is called literature. “Art for art's sake” is not acceptable; rather the expression should be, “Art for service and blessedness.”
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 2)"

                                          CLOSING THOUGHTS

7. The conclusion is that the cho dance at DMS is done as an expression of the fine arts and to teach margiis that when they go back home they should also do something similar in their local unit: A dance or drama that get its inspiration from the Cosmic Entity. That display must be sentient. For this very purpose, at every AN DMS the cho dance is presented. It is not a ritual mindless or dogmatic.

8. It is the duty of up and coming artists to develop new stories and dance / dramas. It is not that the cho dance has to be performed. New plays can be written and presented such as how our Marga defeated the communists. One must not just rely on the old cho dance as the only display of our cultural dance dramas.

9. That said, te only thing truly wrong about the cho dance at the Jan 2011 DMS was that the theme and story were not explained. That is why it was hence boring for the margiis. I think the organisers will be more careful in the future.

Baba says, "Mańipurii dance, folk dance, Cho dance and Ramvasa dance all have a predominance of mudra. Ramvasa dance has less mudra because it is a war dance. Cho dance, which is performed after battle during times of rest in the military camp, has more mudra in it. The dancer only dances, and does not sing. Another person sings and narrates in song what is taking place." (Prout Nutshell, Part 18)

Unfortunately, at this past DMS, no one properly narrated or explained what is going on - that is why all thought the cho dance is boring.


Note 1:                            DMS NEWS POSTINGS #1 - #3

If you did not receive the first three DMS news postings, kindly write us and we will share those with you.

                            WT Conduct Rule: Dealings

Baba says, "Supervisory workers will have to take proper care of each of their supervised staff in all respects." (Pt #2 of 'Six Additional Rules')

Note: This is a very significant rule but these days supervisory bosses are more focused on emptying the pockets of their subordinates. This is the only "care" they do. In future when standard of devotion in supervisory workers is higher, these rules are likely to be followed in which case the situation will be better.


  1. Suddenly i can see a lot of fishes on this site. Is this to lure the bengalis? U know bonks love eating fish...and they have opened the floodgate of 'Unity' as well.

  2. Dear Parashram da'da',

    Namaska'r. In DMC's held in Tiljala,Ranchi,Medinipur,Sambalpur
    whre I'd got chance to attend by Ba'ba''s Grace I'dn't seen any
    dance/RAWA on 2nd day evening before His discourse(on occasion of RU).
    Towards the end part of DMC's in A'nandnagar I'd seen cho dance as a
    part of encouraging local folk dance in front of Ba'ba'--it is acceptable
    for ma'rgiis. Ba'ba' used to explain. Since Jan'1991 onwards it has become
    customary for both the administations-Ranchi & Kalikata to show the
    perfomance of hired cho dance artists in Anandanagar DMS's in front
    of the so called PP/MGR.I don't understand whether there is no other
    other local art/cultural programmes other than cho to be encouraged
    in Anandanagar.

    It has become a totally farce to conduct such programmes just because
    it was being done in Ba'ba's physical presence.It seems both the groups
    are trying to equate PP/MGR with Ba'aba'.Really it is impossible,
    it can never happen----

    Without any explanation it is really boring for ma'rgiis.

    I appreciate your comment.

    Thanking you
    Brotherly yours


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