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A Few Corrections For Ananda Sutram

Subject: A Few Corrections For Ananda Sutram
Date: Wed 28 Dec 2011 18:45:02 +0500 (IST)
From: Ram Sahay Deva



Our Ananda Sutram book is very good. However recently when I was reviewing the English edition of this text in a more careful manner, I found certain mistakes. One of the translators and publishers could not properly convey Baba's teaching. It is not anyone's fault per se - such mistakes happen - as sadhakas it is our collective duty to correct such errors.


As we all know, Ananda Sutram stands as Baba's seminal work in the realm of Ananda Marga philosophy.

Baba says, "The recognized book on Ananda Marga Philosophy is A'nanda Su'tram." (APH-4, "Our Philosophical Treatise")

Baba says, "A'nanda Su'tram is our philosophical treatise." (CC-1, "Svadhyaya")

Plus AM philosophy is completely new and unique - such a philosophy has never existed before on this earth.

Baba says, "The trend of thinking and the spiritual practices prescribed in our Ananda Marga are not only new but something quite different from the established ideas and practices...Never before in the entire history of this world or the universe, if it could be known to mortals, has a system of life...ever been correlated in such closely knit society as in Ananda Marga." (PNS-11)

Thus when Ananda Sutram is such an important book and when AM philosophy is totally revolutionary and unique, then it only stands to reason we should ensure this book is properly published & printed.


Here is one thing we should all be very clear about regarding Ananda Sutram. In the very early days of AMPS, Baba put forth the sutras of Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and dictated the purport of each sutra in Bengali. That is the source material of all other language editions of Ananda Sutram.

Those who are not aware think that Ananda Sutram is originally from Bangla but it is not. Ananda Sutram is Sanskrit because Ananda Sutram refers to the sutras, not the purports. All the sutras have been given in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit does not have its own script, they were written in Shriihars'a script. Plus the title itself is Sanskrit.

To review then, Baba gave the sutras of Ananda Sutram in Sanskrit and dictated the purport of each sutra in Bengali.


In the first chapter of Ananda Sutram, Baba is explaining how the entire expressed universe was created as well as how the unit beings eventually merge back into Parama Purusa. Baba's philosophy is of course flawless, and He explains everything in such a clear and concise manner.

So it is a bit of a tragedy that there is one key point from the purport of sutra 1-21 that has been wrongly published in the English edition - in two ways.

First the Bengali word pralaya (pra = special; laya = merging; hence, merging back into the Supreme) was translated as "utter destruction" in the final sentence of the English purport. That was a translation error. Second, certain editors or publishers put that same "utter destruction" phrase in brackets [ ] to indicate that as the proper definition of pralaya or pran'a'sha in the second sentence. That was an editing mistake.

But both of these instances are wrong because in that very purport itself Baba Himself defines pralaya or pran'a'sha as "when the object merges in its cause" - i.e. when the unit being merges into the Supreme.

Here it should be noted that "-laya" is common suffix that means merging such as vilaya meaning properly dissolved. And pralaya, of course means, merging into Parama Purusa.

Hence it is totally wrong to translate or define pralaya or pran'a'sha as "utter destruction". Dogmatic Hindus use the word in this way (explained further down in this letter), but not Ananda Margiis.

Initially, a translation error was made of the word pralaya, and then certain editors repeated that mistake. That is why now there are two mistakes in the purport of sutra 1-21.

Here is the sutra and purport of 1-21, for your review, as it appears in the current English edition of Ananda Sutram. See the mistakes for yourself.

1-21. Bhu'ma'vya'pte Mahati aham' cittayorpran'a'she
sagun'a'sthitih savikalpasama'dhih va'.

[When the aham and the citta merge into the Macrocosmic Mahat, the merger is called sagun'a'sthiti or savikalpa sama'dhi.]

"Purport: When after continued spiritual practice the mahattattva, that is, the “I” feeling, gets metamorphosed into the Macrocosmic “I” feeling, the citta of the microcosmic mind merges in the aham and the aham merges in the mahat. When the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran'a'sha [utter destruction]. Since the citta of the Macrocosm grows out of the Macrocosmic Aham, and the Macrocosmic Aham out of the Macrocosmic Mahat, when in pratisaincara’s
introversial movement the [unit] citta merges in the aham and the aham in the mahat, to call it pran'a'sha is quite logical and reasonable. The state of utter destruction of the citta and the aham and the state of all-pervasiveness of the mahat constitute sagun'a'sthiti [the state of transcendentality], or savikalpa sama'dhi [the trance of determinate absorption]." (Ananda Sutram)

In His unique explanation, Baba states that "when the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran'a'sha". Here the point is that when any unit being becomes one with Cosmic Consciousness then that is pralaya or pran'a'sha.

There is no ambiguity about this because in His 19 Oct 1971 discourse in Purnea, Baba designates an entire paragraph to describe the meaning of pran'a'sha. (Reference AV-27 (H), p.45 or AV-26 (H), p 90)

In that paragraph, Baba tells that if sugar could be converted back into sugar cane then that is pran'a'sha. Because pran'a'sha or pralaya means merging back into the source.

But, in Ananda Sutram 1-21, in square brackets [ ] the publishers inserted the phrase "utter destruction" as if that is the real meaning of pralaya or pran'a'sha. That is totally wrong. Plus in the final sentence, the original Bengali purport uses the phrase the pralaya yet that got wrongly translated as "the state of utter destruction".

Those are the two mistakes from sutra 1-21 of the English edition of Ananda Sutram wherein pralaya got wrongly translated and printed as "utter destruction".


According to Baba, when a jiiva'tma' reaches the apex stance of pratisaincara and, due to sadhana and His divine grace, merges back into the Supreme then that is pralaya or pran'a'sha because at the point the unit has merged back into its Source. In that case there is no question of there being "utter destruction" - the unit being has not been harmed, ruined or destroyed. Rather a blissful merger has taken place as the jiivatma has fulfilled its dharma and become one with Parama Purusa.

The dogmatic Hindu understanding of pralaya or pran'a'sha is destruction and unfortunately that wrong notion got inserted in Ananda Sutram by certain publishers.

Such Hindus believe that the whole world will be destroyed just as other religions harbor their own doomsday and Armageddon philosophies. We however do not subscribe to such beliefs and more about this is written below. Such fundamentalists do this to scare and trap others in their dogma.


Everyone who has a copy of the English edition of Ananda Sutram should cross out the two places where "utter destruction" appears in the purport of sutra 1-21. In that very purport Baba Himself has perfectly defined pralaya and pran'a'sha as "when the object merges in its cause, that merger is called pralaya or pran'a'sha".

Hence where "utter destruction" was inserted in brackets it should be deleted entirely, and where "utter destruction" was used as the translated text, that phrase should be crossed out and the word pralaya inserted. Then your personal English copy of Ananda Sutram will be correct, otherwise not.

And again there is no doubt about this. Because in His Hindi discourse printed in AV-26 (H) and AV-27 (H), Baba has specifically defined pran'a'sha as meaning merger into the Supreme Source. That is why there is no question of pran'a'sha or pralaya meaning anything else - there is no possible confusion. Baba is always meticulous on such issues wherein He gives His own dharmic explanation so people do not get misguided by traditional dogmatic uses. He has done the same with brahamacarya. In AM we have our dharmic understanding and traditional Hindu society has their limited dogma. Baba addresses both so there is no confusion.

If still the publishers would like to explain further about the meaning of pralaya, then they could use either a bracketed section signifying merger into the Divine or perhaps add a footnote and write a short paragraph. In that footnote, the editors can explain how when any thing returns to its origin or source then that is pralaya. Just like Baba did by giving the example of sugar being converted back into sugar cane. Ultimately the editors have the freedom to choose on such matters.

But to print the phrase "utter destruction" as the perfection synonym or translation of pralaya is totally misleading and wrong. Pralaya does not mean "utter destruction". That is just the dogmatic Hindu understanding of that term. In reality, according to Ananda Marga, pralaya means that sweet and blissful merger back into the Supreme - to return to the original source.

All in all the publishers are working hard on our AM books and they have made vast strides in making our books better. In this case then they could have done better.


In AM philosophy, pralaya means the merger back into the Supreme, by His grace.

The Hindus refer to pralaya as the demolition of this earth, or doomsday etc.

Here it should be noted that there are many shared words between AM philosophy and Hindu dogma that carry vastly different meanings: dharma, brahamcarya, samskara, brahmin, shudra, dvija, vipra, svarga, naraka, samadhi, yoga, yajina, murti, puja, Guru, and many more. There is the AM dharmic meaning and the Hindu dogmatic sense.

In the same way pralaya in Hindi means utter destruction and in AM it means merging back into the Supreme.

Only when Baba is referring to that Hindu dogma in order to dispel it - since we do not prescribe to any doomsday theory - then Baba uses the word pralaya in that sense.

Baba says, "Some philosophers, quoting the scriptures, say that a day of final doom will darken the Earth when the dead will rise from the grave. Others predict that a doomsday (pralaya)... will obliterate all forms of life. One should laugh at such illogical doctrines. According to A'nanda Ma'rga philosophy, this doomsday or pralaya will never occur...Thus, predictions of an imminent doomsday should be of no concern to you. It is nonsense; pralaya will never occur." (AV-7)

So in Ananda Marga, pralaya means the final merger back into Parama Purusa whereas in the faulty Hindu doctrine pralaya means the utter destruction of earth.

We must not confuse these meanings nor think that Baba gives an iota of credence to the dogmatic Hindu concept of pralaya. He only uses the term in that way in order to dispel that Hindu dogma.


Baba has graciously given has given a perfect philosophy and it is our duty to make all the books proper. We should start by correcting our own personal English edition of Ananda Sutram.

Those in Publications are trying hard and getting much better. Our intention in this letter is simply to make the printed English edition of Ananda Sutram mistake-free, not diminish the effort of those in Publications. Even then, if they were more careful, they could have done a better job.

We all need to make these important corrections in our copies of Ananda Sutram (English edition); please inform others in your unit as well.

Baba says, "The scriptures containing spiritual injunctions must be totally flawless." (NSS, Disc: 14)

Ram Sahay


"Jhar'er ra'te a'ndha'rete kendechilum van-ma'jhe..."   (P.S. 3199)


Baba on that very dark night when a big hurricane & thunderstorm was raging, that time I was crying alone in the deep forest. Nobody was there to understand the tale of my suffering. Nobody was close to me. Certainly You were there along with me, but due to my narrow outlook I could not feel Your presence.  And in the height of that wild storm big branches were breaking off from the trees and crashing down on the ground. And all those tender buds and beautiful flowers were also completely blown off from the limbs of the trees; those buds and flowers were crying bitterly. That very dark, horrendous night was so disastrous.

Baba, in the madhuvan* of my mind when that hurricane finished, then a sweet, soft, breeze started blowing by Your grace; and I began to feel Your divine, blissful vibration. And ultimately by Your great compassion that deadly night of the cimmerian darkness has passed away entirely; it is completely gone. Baba, You are the Saviour of all, the Benevolent Entity, the dearest one of my heart.

Baba, my most close One, by Your grace please come closer and closer with Your sweet, charming, & attractive smile...

*Madhuvan= Literally meaning "sweet forest"; But it refers to that remote, isolated, garden in the mind that is filled with spring blossoms, sweet fragrance, aromatic flowers, and a gentle & fragrant breeze. It is that tranquil mental abode  where nobody is present except the devotee and the Lord. And there the bhakta and Parama Purusa sit together ensconced in that very divinely intoxicated atmosphere and they share the loving feeling of their heart in a very close, intimate, and loving way.

Sadhana Symptoms

Sometimes a few margiis get confused by seeing others crying or rolling on the ground during dharmacakra etc. They think that the person doing like this is very exalted. But Baba says that when maturity of sadhana comes, then such feelings and expressions do not manifest externally. Baba says these things get expressed externally only in the case of very basicbeginners-- not with more developed margiis.

Baba says, "When sadhakas attain the capability to establish themselves in cosmic feeling for long periods, these ideations are confined to the mental body only and the physical body becomes calm to a great extent." (GHC, 'Iishvara Pranidhan' chapter)

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