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Fanaticism: Boon & Curse

Date: 09 Jun 2011 20:12:02 -0000
From: "Indrajit Rai"
Subject: Fanaticism: Boon & Curse


"Malay va'ta'se madhu nishva'se ke go ele mor phulavane..." P.S. 1801


O the Divine Entity who are You who has come in my flower garden in this spring season with a sweet and charming smile. When I saw You for the first time I was surprised, and it was difficult to think that such an attractive Entity would be here. I wanted to look towards You more intimately but I could not, that time I was sitting in the flower garden unmindfully.

I couldn't even hear the footsteps of Your arrival, & You did not give any hint or clue before coming to this garden. So I could not receive You properly nor could I offer You a garland. You have graced me by coming here but You have not cared about receiving an invitation. Please tell me, O' Divine Entity, who are You?

Understanding Your liila is impossible. Within a flash You become tough and then in the next moment You are as tender as a flower-- like a garland of love --so sweet and charming. O divine Entity You cannot be understood. You are Infinite--no beginning, & no end. Through the practice of sadhana and dhyana I am surrendering myself at Your alter . Baba You have graced me by coming to my mental flower garden...


Being fanatic about a particular idea or path can either be a boon or a curse - it all depends upon what one is being fanatic about.

For example being fanatical or extreme in following AM ideology is great and by doing so one will become divine, whereas being fanatical or radical in following one of the dogmatic religions is harmful and one will become a beast.

As Ananda Margiis and disciples of Baba, we should be perfectly clear about this and not be swayed by common perspectives which preach "moderation" in the following any path.

Unfortunately, recently some have terribly misunderstood this entire issue and in the process even glorified one Didi who contravened Baba's teachings on dharma by eating tamasik food.

So we should all beware, lest we fall from the divine path of AM.


For centuries the common people have seen how fundamentalists and radicals in the dogmatic religions have created hell in the society. Christians have stoned people to death, Muslims have eliminated women's rights and chopped the hands of innocent people, and there are so many other examples.

That is why the general citizens always say: "Do not be radical or extreme. Such fanaticism is not good. Be moderate and tolerant in your approach."

Essentially what they are saying is entirely true. Following the dogmatic religions cent-per-cent will cause many problems.

But what the common people do not realise is that AM ideology is different. It has been given by Parama Purusa Himself and is grounded in rationality and logic. It is perfect - free from defect - and based in science. Thus our path is not an ism, but rather a scientific approach.


In one specials discourse, Adhyamatic Unmada Kii A'vashyakata' (Hindi) in AV-28, Baba reveals the inner secrets of fanaticism.

Baba says, "To do any concrete work - good or bad - it needs fanaticism. Those who have this tendency and are bad then they will be demonic; in the same way to do any good work there must be fanaticism (zeal) and such persons will become assets of the human society. No one can hinder their progress. For attaining Parama Purusa, the ultimate goal, there must be fanaticism - "I must get Him." Then success is sure. Spiritual fanaticism is very important - not religious fanaticism. If there is religious fanaticism, then they form a group and that is fanaticism. And what is spiritual fanaticism, "I will do everything for my ideology. For me, living and dying for ideology are the same. For me the most important thing is my ideology." (summary of original Hindi)

Thus Baba's point is very clear. Fanaticism is needed to do anything lasting work in this world. But being fanatic in following the dogmatic religions is very bad and one will commit untold harm, whereas being fanatic in following the dharma of AM ideology is a top attribute and one will bring much welfare to the world and attain Him.


Because of the rhetoric in the general society about fanaticism and being extreme, a statement was issued which reveals the depth of their confusion on this issue.

They wrote: "Taking Baba's guidelines to the extreme is not really doing a service to anyone."

However, the above statement directly contravenes Baba's teachings.


In so many discourses and in so many ways, Baba has again and again repeated that we must be strict in dharma, uncompromising in following Ista and adarsha, and that we must be 100% faithful to our ideal.

Svadharme nidhanam' shreyah paradharmo bhaya'vahah

Baba says, "It is better to die as a human being [following bhagavad dharma] than to live as an animal (DKG)

Nindantu niitinpun'a'h....

Baba says, "The Sha'stras say that a person must stick to his ideals irrespective of whether he receives praise or abuse, whether wealth comes or wealth goes, whether he lives a thousand years or suffers death the next moment. Such a person is called “dhiira”. My direction to you is to be Dhiira. You must stick to your ideals in spite to everything. In this lies your spiritual growth." (AV-1)

Baba says, "Fight for your Ideology. Be one with your Ideology. Live for your Ideology. Die for your Ideology." (A'nanda Va'nii #14)

Thus from His discourses to 16 Points and to so many of His mandates, Baba says we must be strict in our ideal and never deviate from Ista or adarsha. And by this way, we will be able to do great works on this earth and serve everyone. Those who are sincere are able to generate more sympathisers.

Whatever else may happen in this world, so long as we are firm in AM teachings then everything will be proper. This we must always remember.


Unfortunately, some - in support of the point that we should not be strict or extreme in following AM - have insisted that one should be loose in following Baba's teachings.

To that end, he has shared this following account about one Didi. They wrote:

"I know of a Didi who was invited to dinner with Celebrities and Politicians to receive a huge some of money for her children's home. Apparently the soup contained onion, however she politely consumed the soup knowing that her actions were not for her own benefit but for her children and project and of respect to the donors who had provided a tremendous gift to her project."

So the above is glorifying the fact that this Didi left her ideal in order to please certain politicians and for the sake of getting some money. This is indeed a tragedy and the wrong way to live one's life. We must never adopt such an outlook.

Baba's clear-cut teaching is that we must never compromise our ideals for money, name, or fame.

Otherwise what is next for this Didi. For the sake of money and pleasing politicians today she has eaten onions - what will she do tomorrow? Drink alcohol, eat meat, or perhaps even do something worse. Indeed, once one compromises on their ideal, there is no end to the depth of their fall.

For a few pennies, Didiji left her dharma. This is a cheap way to live and will produce no fruit. That means one can be purchased by capitalists at any time. And those capitalists will recognise this fact and they will think that Didiji is weak and that with money they can get her to do anything. In that way, they will tempt and purchase Didi each and every time. Because they will think that she is just one cheap lady. Likewise, because our Central Dadas have swerved from that path of dharma margiis have lost respect for them. Whereas if those Dadas had been fanatic in adhering to AM ideology, their respect would not have washed away.

So we must never do like this. To do anything great in this world and to earn the respect of others, one must be vigilant to follow their ideal. That means as Ananda Margiis - whether one is WT or margii - we must always follow His teachings. That is our main duty and that is the way to bring welfare to ourselves and others. That is the way to earn others respect and propagate the gospel of AM.


For further clarification about this we need look no further that one real incident in Baba's life.

One time, in the 1960's when AM was in need of money for schools, jagrtis and service projects, one wealthy capitalist named Hanuman Prasad Podhar who owned the famous Giita Press in Gorakhpur came to see Baba.

At the time Baba was in Bettiah and Hanuman Prasad arrived there and insisted that he should be initiated by Baba, not by any Wt or family acarya. The margiis and Wts were reluctant but ultimately agreed since they felt they will need to get money from this wealthy many to support AM schools etc.

So they brought Hanuman Prasad to Baba's door and he was allowed to enter. Hanuam Prasad approached Baba with a bag of money in his hand which he promptly offered to Baba. Baba took the money, then walked over to the window, and dropped the bag of money outside.

Seeing this Hanuman Prasad ran out of the room to go get the money.

Immediately, Baba went to the door and locked it and Hanuman Prasad was never allowed inside again. Baba then scolded all the margiis and warned them to never compromise and be purchased by any capitalist ever again.

By this above story - which is a famous story in AM - we can understand that no amount of money should ever divert us from our ideal. That is Baba's guideline.

Thus we must not be at all swayed by the general populace about the point of fanaticism as happened with the confused margii who thinks that we should not be extreme in following AM and that Didi was proper by deviating from her ideal in order to accept money.

Rather it is our duty to bring this margii to the point of proper understanding. As Ananda Margiis, we must value ideology above all else - then and then only can something great be done on this earth.


Only by being ultra-strict in following bhagavad dharma can we bring relief and justice in society. The stricter the better - there is nothing to be lost in being more vigilant. Only there is something to be gained.

The more adherent we are in helping the poor or eliminating exploitation, the greater the result. There is no drawback by being fanatical in following the dharma of Ananda Marga. It will make the society pure and the sadhaka divine. On this point, there must not be even one ounce of confusion lest we fall from our ideal for some silly or crude reason.

It is not like the religions where fanaticism is bad and moderation is necessary otherwise one will end up harming or even slaughtering others in the name of their dogmatic teaching.

That is why moderation is needed in religion but is not at all useful on the path of Ananda Marga.


By Baba's grace He has given us a great ideology and by following it strictly all kinds of great things will happen on this earth. None should get confused like the above margii and mistakenly think that we should be sloppy or lazy or relaxed about following AM teachings.

Baba says, "Where the question of benevolence and malevolence is concerned we will not deviate an inch from our ideology, nor will we allow others to do so. One cannot promote human welfare if one bothers too much about public criticism, about the reaction in the papers or among the voters." (NSS, Disc: 14)



To prove the importance of being strict in Ista, in one reporting session Baba told the following story. Two disciples were on top of a tower: One was Muslim the other Hindu. The Muslim jumped off with firm faith and Allah and safely reached to the ground. The Hindu saw that and immediately thought that Allah saved him and was unsure if Ram could do the same. So when jumping from the tower the Hindu had doubt in his mind and died from the fall.

Of course this was one joke or story, and the point is not that we should be Hindu or Muslim. Baba's teaching is that one should have firm faith in Ista & Adarsha and as Ananda Margiis we must have firm faith in Him and His teachings. Then no harm can come to us. Whereas if we have doubt or are remiss in following His guidelines, then we are doomed.


Nowadays there are a few terms that are seen upon as negative in the modern world - words like ideology, cult, svastika, fanaticism. And when applied to worldly things they are not very good terms. But in the path of AM, we have our own outlook and approach. In AM those terms - ideology, cult, svastika, and fanaticism - all have great meaning and value in life. So we should not deviate from these ideals just because the general society finds these terms to be problematic or harmful. We should not let their ignorance or misunderstanding misguide us. Rather it is our duty to educate them on the stance of AM.


Because AM is not an ism but rather a scientific approach, there is no need for moderation. Just as the astronauts of NASA are strict in following their scientific techniques, and Olympians are strict in following their training regimen, similarly we should be strict in 16 points. It is not that being too strict will be harmful. Rather strictness in 16 points is that way to success - in that regard the more strict the better.

About our AM Dances

Baba says, "You know Lalita Ma'rmika dance used during Kiirtana is a purely spiritual dance, and Kaos'ikii is a psycho-spiritual dance - it starts on the psychic level and culminates on the spiritual level. And Ta'n'd'ava is physico-psycho-spiritual."

"In Lalita Ma'rmika, the position of the arms is above 90 degrees. This denotes that it is a Mudra' - in Sam'skrta it is called a 'Mudra'. This mudra' means, 'O Supreme Creator, Thou art mine and I am Yours. I am Thine'." (AV-12, p.31)

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