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Feeding From Distance

From: "Manindra  Deva"
Date: 18 Jan 2012 22:53:06 -0000
Subject: Feeding From Distance


"Sukhe ele na'ko, shoke sa'ntvana' dite ele..." (PS 3091)


Baba, when I was feeling happy and content that time You did not come. Those days I was so enamoured with myself and I was so involved in my own glory that I did not even think to call You. So You did not come. But when I lost all that happiness and when I become drowned in my sorrows of self pity and when I was suffering and overwhelmed by various problems, then by Your grace You immediately came and consoled me. Baba in that desperate moment You graciously relieved me of my grief. Baba, I did not ever feel that You are mine. In this life I was always suffering from the vanity and ego of my own I-feeling. Those days I was thinking that 'I am everything'. Due to my ego I did not accept You as the Supreme One-- as my Goal. I did not take You as that most loving One who can solve all my problems; I did not surrender at Your feet. Baba, even then by Your grace You advented deep inside my heart and became mine. And now I understand that You are ever helpful and that You remain with me always.

Baba, those days when I was overwhelmed by that severe suffering, I did not outrightly tell You about my problems. I did not openly say anything. I did not express my pain to You. But because You are ever-present in my heart and because You are my eternal shelter, with Your infinite compassion You fully understood the desperate state of my mind-- You understood my sorrow. And by Your grace You instantly poured Your eternal sweetness and love. By Your grace You filled my whole existence with Your divine bliss.

Baba, due to my ego and vanity I could not recognise you. You were showering huge grace on me but I could not recognize that. I thought that due to my own qualities everything was happening. In those happy times I could not recognise You. Only did I begin to recognise You in my sorrow.

Baba, in my state of terrible suffering, when the mountain of misery started falling on my head, then all my friends left me. I was all alone. When I was happy then they were along with me but when I became sunk in misery all those friends disappeared. Baba, You are the exact opposite. When I was sunk in woe then by Your grace You immediately came and removed all my pains and troubles. Baba You bathed me in Your infinite love. Filling my I-feeling with Your bliss, You surrounded me each and every second. Baba, You showered Your grace and saturated my heart.

Baba, You are so gracious. You are love Personified. You have done everything for me. Baba, I surrender at Your alter...


In light of the ongoing muddle of groupism, many are turning towards their service projects as their main interaction with the organisation. This is true for both margiis and wts. Of course we all know that we must not ignore the rage of groupism and just resort to some goody-goody life. So the troubles of groupism must be tackled by one and all. At the same time as we engage in our service projects, here are a few things for us to think about.

We all know that service projects are an integral part of AM life. Yet how they are to be built up and how they are to be maintained is not always easy to know. Should the money come from afar or locally? Plus to what degree are financial donors responsible for ensuring their money reaches the mark. These are but a few of the many important questions and considerations. Here following then are Baba's important guidelines regarding how to build and maintain service projects.


How far is external monetary support helpful in any project where local people are not involved? Or what happens when a project is totally dependent upon donations from outsiders? We can gain insight into this by looking at the history of Ananda Marga and the general society also.


In one discourse Baba says that no structure can survive only depending on external help. Baba gives the example that if anybody is sick and you go on medicating him by external medicine injection, and if the body does not have its own vitality to pick itself up, then that external medicine is not going to work. External medicine is only helpful when the body is responding.

Or in other words, to give strength to the internal system of the body, some external medicine is needed sometimes. And that medicine does not do anything on its own; it just helps the internal system to pick itself up. In the case of a dead body where the internal system is completely defunct, then external medicine cannot help. If you go on giving medicines to one dead body, it will be useless.

It is well known in the Indian history that there was a very big university in Nalanda'. The name was - Nalanda' Vishvavidya'lay. It was situated in Bihar. As long as the area was ruled by Buddhists, then that university worked fine. Means, that university was completely dependent upon donation from outsiders and from the King. The local public was not involved. So when the kingdom changed rulers, then antisocial elements set the university on fire. And in the library, hundreds of thousands of books were there. Nobody cared about those things and the whole campus and buildings were burned one after another. It took several months to go on burning. Local people were apathetic. So this is one factual history.

So in India we can see hundreds of abandoned mosques and churches which are lying uncared for, since ages. They were running well when they were getting donations from the Mogul King, or Britishers. But when the kingdom changed and donations stopped, then the places became abandoned.


And other side, those mosques and churches which were supported by the public, they are still running fine. Or even better is that the Ashram system did not get rooted out during the Moghul or British rule because all the while the public supported the ashram system. So the conclusive idea is that if any project is run by or dependent on external support, then their fate is dark.

Thus on this very point, Baba's policy is not to take support from outside. Local people should be inspired to contribute and help the local projects. Otherwise they will not feel oneness with the project. And in most of the cases they will feel irritation. Or they will try to take away or root out the projects.'


Another important example is that within Bihar there are thousands of schools  situated in the small villages. And initially the government was granting money for the construction of their buildings. Thus with total help from the government, school buildings were made.

But villagers did not feel closeness with the project. They were thinking that "This is an outsider project", or that "this is a government building. This is not my building."

Keeping this view in their mind, they did not like to protect that building. Not only that, after some time it was found that those windows from the buildings disappeared. Some villagers had stolen them and were using in their house. After some time, the roof was also taken away, and used somewhere. This is not the tale of one or two places-- Hundreds of places are like that.

The overall theme being that when the local public thinks of something as a government building, then at first they don't feel closeness. They think it is others', not mine. And they misuse it or destroy it.

So this problem was going on for a long time. Then under pressure of circumstances the local government changed the plan. That, the building will be constructed by the villagers. And teachers will be supplied by the government. 50% share villagers should give. So when villagers with their own contribution made their house, then they protected that. And the program was successful.



On the point of external vs local help for AM projects, once Baba was giving guideline to all WTs. He told that "You must collect donation from the local public for the jagriti. Whatever money they are giving, that does not have only monetary value. But something more they are giving. If some person gives you donation of one paisa/penny, then with that one paisa that very poor person gives the sympathy of his heart to you/to your project or jagriti, childrens home etc. And if antisocial elements will try to destroy that project or jagriti or school, those who have given their donation, they will protest. And if donation has come exclusively from outside, and if the jagriti is set on fire by antisocial elements, then the villagers will not be so much affected."

Baba further told, "But if the villagers' money is also involved as a donation in constructing that jagriti, then they will think in their heart that THEIR property is getting destroyed. And they will immediately come forward and protect the property of the jagriti and protest against the negative people."'

Thus the basic fact is that to erect some building or project, local support is highly essential. Otherwise the fate of that project is in dark in the future. Suppose if money has come from outside, and local people are not feeling oneness with the project, then in most of the cases, they will feel detached. They will not save the building. And in many special cases, they will destroy that building-- Or hut, or whatever it may be.

That's why we have seen, in the case of our jagriti or any such construction, where local people did not contribute and money came from outside, then that project could not flourish.'


The question can also be raised that is there any occasion when we should get or accept help from outside-- from other countries?

And Baba's guideline is that in the case of a big disaster like an earthquake, cyclone, flood etc, when a huge population is highly affected, that is a special case. That time external help is highly needed. But for making a local project or some jagriti building or a school, external help is not needed.


Next scenario: If local people are not there, or if they are all non-margiis, then what should we do?

Baba says that first we should create margiis. And then immediately start the project. Side by side both the works will go. Without taking help from local people, if anyone does anything that will prove to be hopeless. One will not have any sentimental support from local people. Rather they will think that he is an outsider, or that he doesn't belong to them.

Because of all these reasons, Baba always emphasizes to do pracar among the local people. And one more related point is there. Doing pracar only among the outsider communities or migrant people, is not going to serve the purpose of Ananda Marga.


A critical case is that of Africa, where mostly Indian businessmen are occupying the money and political sources. And some WTs because of their ignorance or selfish interest, they focus on propagating AM among Indian businessmen who are living in Africa. But Baba was not happy in this situation. Baba used to emphasize and always take report about how many local people have been created.

One Dada was once telling in Africa at an Orange Farm, initially the project was made with external help, and it was a serious problem. Local people used to always come and take away/steal all the materials. And such example is not one or two. Hundreds of cases happened. We should take lesson.

External help was needed only, to build up Ananda Nagar. Because Ananda Nagar is our global headquarters. To make Baba's Quarter or road or rotunda, the local public is not going to help. Because they do not have direct interest in that. That's why Baba inspires one and all, all around the globe, to contribute for Ananda Nagar. That was the special case.


But in all the reportings which various workers attended since 1978 to '90, it became clear that Baba used to emphasize getting anything and everything done using the local help.-- Margiis and non-margiis are needed: Both. And then only, AM will flourish and school or any medical unit, projects, will be established. Permanently. Otherwise, feeding from the long distance is not going to help. We should take lesson from the past history.


There are two points here. First thing, each and every sector has their own problems and according to Baba's system, it is the duty of the margiis that they should take care about the local unit and their own sector. And that is their foremost duty. Neglecting one's own unit and helping others for the sake of name and fame, this is not a good tradition. And the second point is that taking external help is not going to solve the problem permanently. For making a school building, local people must come forward.


Ananda Marga itself is a proof, at present we have several hundred Ananda Marga schools in India, and 99.9% of them have been made by local contribution. And there are also many examples of Bengal where a school building has been made by external donation. And common people destroyed it and set it on fire. But many places in Bengal are also there, where local people were inspired to help and they are donating and protecting those things. Surely it is the duty of we margiis that we should think carefully, how far their money can be utilized in a better way.

Baba says, "O human beings, frame the social structure considering the needs of humanity. Do not try to do anything for your petty personal and group interests..." (SS-1, Ch.1)



And another point is that if we are the ones donating to a far distant service project and if due to mishandling of funds our money does not reach there, then according to Baba's teaching about tapah we are also to blame-- not just the crooked thief who captured our money. We also will incur negative samskara. Of course this is just a hypothetical situation, yet the point remains that the responsibility also lies with the donor. That is why intelligent margiis give to local projects where they can ensure that everything is proper and the money is going in the right direction. Then of course by this way the common public will also get inspired to donate because everyone likes to be part of a winning project. At the same time we should demand that there be transparency of the financial books-- ie proper accounting. And like this there are numerous points regarding service projects and financial contributions etc. Please also share your ideas on this important topic.


Baba says, "This has been our failing: that we neglected the spiritual faculties of human life, we neglected the cardinal spiritual points of life. If we are interested today in the welfare of this beautiful universe, we should try more and more to accelerate the speed of spiritual progress. If the acceleration of spiritual progress becomes tremendous, then not only in the human world, but also in the physical, psychic and spiritual spheres of the entire world -- and not only of the entire animate world, but of both the animate and inanimate worlds -- there will be tremendous progress. And this is what we want. Now we are anxiously waiting for that crimson dawn on the eastern horizon." (AFPS-5)

Note: Generally people do not realise this very thing which Baba has explained above. To understand this fully it needs agraya' buddhi (pointed intellect). Only those who are blessed sadhaka can understand that sadhana is the panacea.

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