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Old Hindu Dogma Getting New Colour in Ananda Marga

Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:21:54 -0000
From: Shankar Basu
Subject: Old Hindu Dogma Getting New Colour in Ananda Marga



A new "development" is taking place in our Marga.

One new dogma is piggy-backing itself on top of an existing one. In that way, this new dogma has been born.

Specifically, the existing Hindu dogma of shraddhanjali or punyatithi has been redecorated and given a place in Ananda Marga - not just in the form of so-called mahaprayan but also as an annual death day ceremony for Ananda Margiis who have passed away.

Unfortunately this has become a general trend in our Ananda Marga society.

Some may think this is something glorious, but when it runs contrary to Baba's teaching, then there is no question of it being something good. Rather it is a dogma that should be removed.




Since 1990, there have been innumerable cases wherein margii families choose to observe the anniversary of the death of their cherished relative.

For instance, someone dies on July 1st, then the prescribed system is to mourn and observe death death for no more than 12 days. That means, by 13 July, all public ceremonies and gatherings related with the mourning of the deceased must be completed. That is Baba's system.

But some families are opting to celebrate the death for years and years, by honoring the anniversary of the death each year on July 1. They mark those celebrations by reciting shlokas, distributing food and clothes, and garlanding the deceased margiis's photo etc. Just as is done in the Hindu dogma of punya tithi / shraddha.

To some naive persons this may sound "honorable" or "respectful", but it is totally 100% against Baba's system.



Of course we all know that Baba has firmly declared in Caryacarya that the period of mourning shall be 12 days - no more.

Baba says, "The period of mourning should not extend beyond twelve days." (Caryacarya - 1)

Thus to observe an annual death day ceremony is against Baba's guideline and against His wish.


However, certain families justify that when so-called mahaprayan is observed every year as shraddhanjali (dogmatic Hindu shraddha ceremony) in Tiljala, then why can't we (i.e. the family) observe the death of our dear loved one, each year on the anniversary of his death.

They innocently think that by honoring the death day annually, they are pleasing both Baba and their deceased relative. But in true sense they are satisfying neither. Because to please Baba one must follow His teachings and to please a deceased person one must honor their wishes. And most often, in the case of a Ananda Margiis, honoring their wishes means following Guru.

Thus by observing the annual death day, neither party is pleased. The deceased is not pleased nor does Guru approve.

Yet people have fallen into this trap because that is the prevailing Hindu dogma and that is what groupists like Sarvatmananda have popularised in Ananda Marga.

This is the predicament and the new dogma that is taking birth.



It is well known that the founders of MPD dogma treat their so-called mahaprayan program in Tiljala as a yearly shraddha ceremony.

The same Hindu dogma of "yearly shraddha" - observing the death of a human being year after year - has been named shraddhainjali and it is going on in the form of mahaprayan divas (MPD).

Each year, at so-called mahaprayan the shraddha mantra which is for general persons death, is repeated - with just a few changes. And side by food is served and gifts are given to the poor. Just like in the dogmatic Hindu shraddha ceremonies for deceased human beings.

Indeed, this is the common Hindu dogmatic platform in India. Each year, the shraddhanjli or punyatithi of deceased leaders like Indira Gandhi is performed. In that way, dogmatic Hindus garland their photo, offer food to the poor, and distribute clothing.

Since 1990, this same dogma has been going on in Ananda Marga in the form of the so-called mahaprayan occasion. Thus the so-called mahaprayan program in Kolkata is nothing but a mirror image of Hindu dogma - plus so-called mahaprayan is openly observed as a type of mourning / sad ceremony.

Whereas in AM, our annual festivals are marked by joy & celebration. No annual festival in AM is based on sorrow.

Baba says, "You may participate in all sorts of festivals which are blissful and free from defect." (Caryacarya - 2, Society chapter, point 35)


But see how the "founders" have described the dogmatic MPD program as sad and solemn, plus you will see by their description that they just copied the Hindu dogma of annual shraddha or punyatithi by doing mass feeding and distributing clothes etc.

Below is an excerpt from some of their emails that displays their typical way of describing the gathering.

"The Solemn Observation...With tears in eyes and hearts full of His memories...The anniversary of Mahaprayan of Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijii has been solemnly observed today...where His mortal remains were cremated...Central and global workers first went to His quarters to garland His Pratikrti and did Gurupuja in that vibrating room. Led by Ac. Kinshuk Ranjan Sarkar, all came to Baba's memorial ...There was mass feeding of more than a thousand poor people and about 500 persons were given new clothes...Kiirtan was made in Bengali, Hindi and English. Exactly at 3.30 pm, the Maha Kiirtan"

Over the years, this is the way or style the B group PRS has announced the gathering. And still this is going on.

As mentioned above, this very same thing happens at all dogmatic punyatithi programs across India. So this is not some glorious thing invented by certain Dadas, rather the so-called mahaprayan program is just the prevailing dogma that is common in all of India. Baba Himself condemns such antics.

Thus from top to bottom - the "solemnity" and sadness to food distribution etc - the whole so-called mahaprayan agenda is painted in the colour of the dogmatic Hindu shraddha ceremony. For that reason and more, mahaprayan is just one dogma.

Shankar Basu


This year, the Tiljala organisers are bragging that 4000 people will come to attend and that they had 1500 yesterday. So it is peculiar - because in the past, so many more used to attend, such as in the mid-1990's. Now, most just consider this to be a dogmatic gathering and do not attend. So the numbers are way down. To hide this truth, Tiljala inflates their estimates and pumps up their predictions, even then it is not an impressive number. Really, this is just a small, dwindling campaign - that is creeping toward its termination. No true devotee likes to go.

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