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Baba Story: Wrong & Negative Comparison

Subject: Baba Story: Wrong & Negative Comparison
Date: Fri 10 Feb 2012 19:57:25 +0530 (IST)
From: Madhusudan Deva



Note: The following is a first-hand account by Shrii Ramadhar ji, an important margii from Bihar.

I had gone to Puri (Orissa) to attend a religious Hindu pilgrimage. While there I stayed at the Ramakrishna Mission ashram. I immediately noticed how neat and clean the ashram was - including the kitchen and dining areas. All the plates and utensils were absolutely spotless. I was very impressed by the cleanliness and how organised it was. I was praising them about their excellent hygiene; and whomever I came across I told how the Ramakrishna Mission keeps a very clean ashram.


Some months later (1989-90), I went to Tiljala for my designated duties and to attend some programs. Certainly, over the years, I had been to Tiljala many, many times, and on this occasion I was really bothered by how dirty it was. When I went to eat in the kitchen, all the plates and the utensils were sticky and oily. This was very unappealing to me and I immediately recalled how everything was pristine and proper at the Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Puri.

While moving around Tiljala that day I told a few people about how beautiful the accommodations were at the Ramakrishna ashram and that their kitchen was spotless. Yet here in Tiljala all the eating utensils and plates were grimy, greasy, and sticky. In this manner I spoke with some around the Tiljala compound.


Later that same day I had the opportunity to see Baba. Immediately upon entering and being called in front of Him, I noticed that He seemed quite displeased - I did not know why.

Baba looked at me and said, "You know those monks in the Ramakrishna mission use chewing tobacco (khaeni), plus they eat fish. Not only that, Vivekananda smoked and still today some smoke tobacco. They have many dirty habits. So you see, externally they may appear to be very clean, but internally they are not. Now see my sannyasis. They do fasting 4 times per month and do not eat any tamasik food. Their standard of code and conduct is far higher; there is no comparison. Dharma is measured by the conduct, not by superficial matters."

Baba then recited one shloka, "Acaranat dharma". [1]


Hearing Baba's words I immediately realised my mistake. I understood why He was displeased and why He telling me this now.

Mentally, I begged forgiveness and vowed to never praise the cleanliness of the Ramakrishna Mission ashram ever again. I understood the shallowness of my assessment and gained a deeper appreciation for our way of life in Ananda Marga. This positive feeling has remained with me ever since, by His grace.



The above story recounted by Shrii Ramadhar contains many valuable teachings and some very pratical guidelines as well. One of which is to be keenly aware about comparing our Marga with other service organisations.

Some margiis, in the recent past, have unfortunately equated non-margiis as being sadvipras. And then of course there is Dada Maheshvarananda who has held communist and Marxist leaders like Chavez as being a sadvipra. Still others in our Marga think that Ana Hazare is better than Ananda Margiis. Not only that, they think Hazare is a great Proutist and sadvipra. Yet another margii expressed that we should become great like Swami Ramdevji. These are the types of comments that are circling around. When I hear such things I am appalled and again reflect on Baba's above teachings: The speciality of our Marga is our ideal and conduct, not any type of social status or mundane wealth etc. We should not fall prey to the fleeting fame and glamour of others and forget our ideal.

Unfortunately, some in AM just complain about the poor monetary standard of our Ananda Marga jagrtis, units, and schools, as well as the situation of our Wts. And they compare our projects less favourably with Christian institutions whose buildings are grand and fancy. But this is not a healthy outlook or approach. Rather we should adopt a distinctly positive and assertive stance.


For instance if a person sees the poor situation of one of our schools and jagrtis, and if in the course of addressing the problem they discuss some of the negative points with the aim of trying to improve the overall situation, then that is most welcome. That is a very positive, pro-active approach; i.e. constructive criticism.

That would be similar to a mother complaining to the doctor about her baby's poor health in order to cure her child and fix the problem. The mother's complaining to the doctor is not just done out of frustration, exasperation, or for the sake of complaining without any intent to resolve the situation. Rahter she is complaing out of love for the welfare of her baby.

Let us take another example: If someone criticises that sick human babe and in comparision praises a healthy pig saying it is better than the human babe, then the mother will not appreicate it. I think we all understand this analogy.


To complain about something just for criticism's sake with no practical intent to fix the problem is a very bad approach. If somone talks about the deficienicies of our AM projects with this atttitude, that is not at all appreciated. Why? Because there is no interest to make things better. It is similar to how the police complain to the courts about a person in question. The policeman's aim is to punish not rectify or purify.

Such a negative approach is especially bad with related with AM activities.


Why? Because our Ananda Marga has so many positive attributions in comparison to the dealings of other organisations and movements. Thus when something in the mundane sphere, like the cleanliness of the kitchen utensils, is not up to the mark then we cannot outrightly reject everything and label it as being low and useless, because we have so many other plus points that are not found elsewhere.

For example, our schools may not have palatial buildings with air-conditioning. We may even be holding classes underneath a tree. But when our schools are bastions of neo-humanism, then that is far better than a school with a great, big building that is filled with dogmatic preachings and teachings.

Likewise, our wts may have certain shortcomings but they are far superior to monks of other organisations who are paid a salary and indulge in all kinds of degrading and dogmatic behaviours. Other monks may have a good name and gain social recognition but that is not the basis upon which we should calculate who is great and who is not. Rather one must see the qualities of the human being: Whose life more strictly adheres to dharma, i.e. sixteen points.



I remember when Baba arrived in Chotijamin village in Bhagalpur. He sat in a small grass hut with a thatched roof that served as our AM jagrti, and He was praising how it was so beautiful to hold dharmacakra in our own jagrti. It was a very blissful occasion and He blessed everybody that day.

By this we can understand that Baba does not place any value on the size of the building or any other superficial quality, rather He appreciates the ideal and conduct.


In the story recounted in the main portion of this email, Ramadharji was thinking about the lowly standard of AM jagrtis and how dirty they are; and he was furthermore aiming to criticise without offering any substantial avenues for fixing the situation. This was not his proper approach nor good intention, just criticism. That is why Baba was displeased with him and corrected his mind-set.

Ultimately, this type of defective mind-set should not be encouraged. AM ideology and our AMPS organisation are ours. Whatever shortcomings exist, we should try to fix and collectively address those matters in order to improve the situation, and not just indulge in criticism for criticism's sake.

Those who are good margiis will set their sight on fixing the situation. That is constructive criticism which is very positive as in their heart of hearts they are working to make things better.



In the above story Baba recites one shloka and here below is more about its meaning.

Baba says, "Ácárańát dharmah, that is, “Dharma is the assemblage of all your conduct” – the way you eat, the way you speak, the way you perform sádhaná. If your conduct is good, dharma is with you; if your conduct is not good, dharma is not with you." (Subhasita Samgraha-21, Niiti and Dharma)


Intro to PS: The below song is a chorus song where devotees reach to Baba to do pranam...

"Esechi sakale a'mara' dale dale pran'ati ja'na'te nite a'shiirva'd..." (PS #4942)


Baba, we all have come to You to do sastaunga pranam and receive Your blessing. We do not want any wealth, prestige, or any boon. Only we want Your prasad. That is nectar for us; that will be everything. 
Even before our asking, You have given us everything ahead of time. With my hand extended, I went on receiving all those things that You gave. And whatever my hand came in contact with, I felt those things turn into gold (sentient).

Baba, everything is saturated with Your divine grace. And You have made my whole existence move in the direction of shreya and paramartha.

Baba, You know me better than I know myself. Baba, we have come here collectively in front of You to surrender, to do sastaunga pranam...

How Sadguru is Still Present

Baba says, "The entity by whose grace one comes into contact with  Sat...that entity, or rather, that framework through which Parama Purusa is  working or Ta'raka Brahma is functioning, is the Sadguru." (AV-3, p. 48)

Note 1: And here below Baba defines the meaning of 'Sat'.

Baba says, "Sat, the non-changeable Entity, the non-changeable stance, the non-changeable Nuclear Entity around which so many electrons move". (AV-3, p. 48)

Note 2: That Sadguru still exists and one can see Him through our various spiritual practices. In that way one can have His loving communication and grace-- everything. So the form upon which each and every sadhaka ideates upon Him in sadhana, that form is the Sadguru. And through the medium of that form every disciple gets His blessing. And that is why still today when an acarya initiates anyone they say that your Guru is Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji.

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