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Re: How To Console The Bereaved Family #2

Date: 23 Mar 2013 21:43:57 -0000
From: "jagadiish Devaa"
Subject:  Re: How To Console The Bereaved Family #2


This entire email is composed of 2 parts:
(1) Posting: Re: How To Console The Bereaved Family #2
(2) Prabhat Samgiita #324;


~ Part 2 ~

(This is the second posting in this series; a link to the first posting is appended below. - Eds)

"Baba's main ethic is that in a psychological way, people's minds should be goaded away from sorrow. Those in mourning should not be forced to suffer unnecessarily. In His discourse, Baba gives us so many practical guidelines for how to help a grieving family. Acknowledgement of their sorrow and diverting the mind upwards are two of the key elements of Baba's guideline."

Consoling the bereaved, conducting death ceremonies, and handling the dead body are important issues. At some point in life, we all have to deal with such matters and guide others as well. So it is our duty to follow Baba's explicit guidelines and be ready ahead of time to help others during such sensitive occasions.


Indeed Baba has dedicated an entire discourse to this important matter and put great value on how to handle a person's death. That way we can minimize the grief of those in mourning by diverting the mind away from their loss. During this difficult time, we can help them redirect their mind towards Parama Purusa. This has been addressed in detail in the first letter of this series.

Here are some of the ways this should be applied in our practical life experiences.

In the unfortunate circumstance that one of our respected persons passes in a far away place, we should know what to do. If certain in-charges decide to (a) hold onto the body of one of our esteemed acaryas or margiis in one place, or (b) ship that body all the way across the country, planet, or in the future from one planet to another planet, (c) put the body on ice until the next retreat or DMS etc, then that drastically slows down the entire grieving process. That deepens the pain and agony of the grieving family as they are sunk in woe for a prolonged period.

Instead of gaining closure in a respectful and timely manner at the place of one's passing, the whole process of cremation is delayed. Those in mourning will indefinitely be plunged into feelings of loss and sorrow. They will be tormented by their grief for a much longer time. That is the main concern.

Additional drawbacks include the huge effort, time, and money spent in transporting the body across an entire continent or land mass to a new location. So this notion of transporting a dead body over a long distance to be cremated should not ever be entertained. Nor should a body be kept on ice until the next DMS etc. Both of these approaches go wholly against our AM system.

In the last year or so, such types of suggestions were given in specific cases in our Marga. So this is the dogmatic trend we need to be aware of. Baba does not appreciate this as He wants that the mind of those in mourning be diverted toward the Supreme so their suffering is minimized. Yet if their loved one is not cremated for weeks or even months, naturally those grieving family members will not get any relief. That is why the cremation and shraddha ceremony should be done in a timely way - within a 12-day period, as outlined in Caryacarya.

If any delay occurs in cremating the deceased, those in mourning are forced to undergo psychic suffering for a longer period. Baba does not at all approve of this. Baba places maximum importance on the care and comfort of the surviving family members by diverting their mind.


In the west, sometimes they keep the body for some time as that is the religious tradition and there are funeral homes for storing the body. Some naive margiis started doing this. But they are just blindly copying Christian and Judaic dogma. That is unfortunate. Baba wants that the deceased person should be cremated in a timely manner, not in a prolonged, drawn-out affair.

Some of the prevailing Hindu dogmas include transporting the deceased to a holy place or tiirtha like Varanasi, and paying priests big bags of money to perform the shraddha, lest the deceased turn into a ghost and torment the grieving family, as well as the entire village and greater community. More about this is below.


Let's review a few possible scenarios to make this entire matter more clear.

If a margii or an acarya dies in India and their laokik home or posting was in New York sector, then there is no need to send that body back to NY. Nowadays, due to the advancement of science, some communities do this. But, in our Marga, that is not our way.

Every person in the Marga considers this entire universe to be their homeland. To delay the burial, cremation, and shraddha ceremony by transporting the body halfway around the world has no rhyme or reason. Rather it is harmful.

WARNING: Baba does not want that family and loved ones of the deceased to be mourning for a longer period of time. Rather the day of the death itself their mind should be diverted toward a spiritual outlook. That is our way.

This whole entire matter is not just related with family margiis but with wholetime workers too.


In the unfortunate occurrence of PP Dada dying in a plane crash in Berlin sector or Nairobi, then there is no need to bring that body back to DMS or to central office wherein the body will be kept preserved for future generations like that of Lenin. Rather those local people in Berlin or Nairobi will respectfully manage all related affairs in the appropriate manner. The main point being: There should not be any delay in the respectful and honourable ceremony for handling the death - whether one be a family margii or wholetimer.


If we do not pay heed to Baba's order, then it sets the stage that in the future, the bodies of our esteemed acaryas and margiis will always be subjected to long travel in order to reach Ananda Nagar or some other master unit; plus some will think that the body should be held until the next retreat or DMS - be that 5 weeks or 5 months - so that maximum people can view the body. This is the uncomfortable, dogmatic ritual that we must not allow to become a reality. Such proposals have been put forth, but this is not our way.

You can imagine what will happen when there are Ananda Marga acaryas in every village on this earth, i.e. millions of acaryas. In that case, each and every day - for one reason or another - there might be the loss of a few dozen or few hundred workers. Then if all need to be transported to Ananda Nagar for a grand burial process and / or ceremony, everyone will be involved in managing the bodies. Plus, we will have to have our own air fleet, and verily everyone in Ananda Marga will be involved in travel and ceremony preparations. This is highly impractical.

And not only that, but what about in the future when people live on different planets, then they will have to hire a spaceship to bring the body across the solar system to reach Ananda Nagar.

The rational approach is for local people to handle all said affairs in a timely and honourable manner.


We have to remember that Baba's main teaching is one should divert the mind of those in mourning. They should not be reminded again and again of their loss. Rather we are to help goad their mind in a different direction - i.e. towards Parama Purusa - so they may gain a sense of peace.

Another key important point is that the shraddha ceremony aims to bring closure and comfort to the surviving loved ones. It has a big effect on the psychological state of those in mourning; that is the main benefit. The shraddha ceremony has no bearing on the future of that deceased soul.

"The departed soul does not get any advantage from the shráddha ceremony [memorial ceremony]. It is only meant for the psychic satisfaction of the person performing it." (1)

If the deceased person was a sincere sadhaka and had one-pointed devotion for Baba, Parama Purusa, then they will get mukti or moksa. In which case the deceased person is not there to listen to your shraddha.

If a person was poor in sadhana and not practicing regularly then he will get rebirth. In that case also, he will not be witness to the shraddha ceremony. The deceased may already be taking new life.

In either case - whether moksa or rebirth - the shraddha ceremony is done for the well-being of the surviving members of the society, not the deceased.

Those who think that the deceased person will receive the food and clothes offered to others at the time of shraddha are dogmatic.

The cremation ceremony is a time to bring closure for the family and relatives. Hence it should be done in a timely manner lest they undergo more suffering.

Baba has strictly placed a 12-day limit on the period of mourning and the completion of the shraddha ceremony. But, the sooner it is done the better. And, of course, there must not be an annual celebration or remembrance of that death day. Rather as jiivas, we are to move on psychically.


Here is one inherent danger of preserving the deceased body or erecting a tomb to honor the deceased. Then one will have given too much importance to the deceased and have no psychic space left to think about Baba as one's object of ideation is something else.

Tadekaḿ smarámah tadekaḿ japáma
Tadekaḿ jagatsáksiirúpaḿ namámah.

Our Guru's teaching guides us what to ideate upon:

“If I remember anyone, I will remember only that One Entity and not many. If I repeat anyone’s name, I will repeat only the name of the Lord. If I ever salute anyone, I will salute only the Supreme One and no one else.” (2)

Thus if anyone is involved in transporting or keeping the dead body for weeks or months or making a tomb etc, then that goes against the spirit of Baba's aforesaid shloka. If you do not understand, then read Baba's teaching again.


In the Hindu religion, there is one dogma of carrying the dead body to holy places / tiirthas. Then they will get a special place in heaven. That is why from all around the globe Hindus carry the dead body to Varanasi for cremation. Those who do not have sufficient money cremate the body wherever they can and then carry the ashes to Varanasi, or any of the other holy places / tiirthas.

In India, this Hindu dogma has entered into Ananda Marga. When Nigamanandji died in Delhi, his body was carried to the "tiirtha" of Ananda Nagar. His supporters are trying to make one shrine there. Already a huge tomb has been constructed for Nigamanandji. The dogma is being spread around that by visiting that tomb and doing sadhana then then one will get special grace.

In the most recent DMS als this was going on: People were visiting Nigamanandji's tome and bowing their head as they asked for boons in the form of marriages, progeny, court case victories, monetary gain, and much more. They think that if any problem comes then the "sage" will bless. That is the propaganda going on

If you visit Ananda Nagar, you will find many persons visiting in order to get some grace of Nigamanandji. Those margiis who are strict in Ista oppose this type of dogma.

Actually, Acintananda spent a lot of money to make huge tomb of Nigamananda so that when he dies, then his surviving factional members will make a big tomb for him and by that way his glory will be preserved forever in Ananda Nagar. This is his great desire.

This type of mentality occurs when a person is affected by avaranii shakti of avidya maya, unfortunately. This Dada thinks that by this way after his death his prestige will shine forever.


Baba has graciously given all the requisite instructions and guidelines for how to deal with death. By following His guidelines, the grieving family members will be properly cared for and attended to, and the deceased will be cremated in a timely manner.

Here following is how Baba beautifully concludes the shraddha ceremony.

Sarve’tra sukhinah bhavantu sarve santu nirámayáh;
Sarve bhadráńi pashyantu na kashcid duhkhamápnuyát.
Oṋḿ shántih oṋḿ shántih oṋḿ shantih.

[Let everybody be happy; let everybody be free from all physical or psychic ailments; let everybody see the bright side of everything; let nobody be forced to undergo any trouble under pressure of circumstances… Oṋḿ shántih, oṋḿ shántih, oṋḿ shantih.]

Jagadiish Deva


The carrying of the dead body to holy tiirthas etc is very common in Hindu dogma and now some are borrowing it and bringing it into AM. It is not accepted, but due to their ignorance and group allegiance certain avadhutas did it anyway.

Hindus  do shraddha because of their fear of ghosts, but in AM we know that such ghosts do not exist. That is just dogma. Hhere in following para it illustrates why Hindus do shraddha.

Here is another dogma from the Hindu religion on this point of shraddha: If the shraddha ceremony is not done then the deceased will become a ghost and harass the family, friends, villagers - everyone. The will bring disease, struggle, strife, loss, accidents and all kinds of troubles. With this fear, the common people are terrified of what will happen if they do not arrange the shraddha ceremony for the deceased. This is the dogma they suffer from. We know that there is no such thing as ghosts - just it is dogma. So they pay / donate Hindu priests huge amounts of money to preside over the shraddha ceremony. Thus in Hinduism, their shraddha ceremony is done for the "benefit" of the deceased and for the surviving members - that way they will not be tortured and harassed by any ghost or face serious problems.

Of course in Ananda Marga we do not subscribe to such dogmas or superstitions. We know that the shraddha ceremony is only done to support the grieving family; it brings a sense of closure so they can ahead in life. Finally, the shraddha ceremony, like all our AM ceremonies, is free of cost.

Finally, dogmatic Hindus do yearly shraddha ceremonies also. That system has been imitated by the Kolkata faction and that Tiljala team called "mahaprayan". They just copied this from other religious dogma. Unfortunately from that yearly "mahaprayan" shraddha ceremony which was invented by B group, some dogmatic people have applied this an annual ceremony for their deceased loakik relations.


1. Caryacarya Part 1, Shráddha Ceremony
2. Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life -11, Relativity and the Supreme Entity

PS intro: This below Prabhat Samgiita, song #324, is a neo-humanistic song given by Baba on 10 March 1983. Thereafter Baba expressed this same theme in His RU address and DMC discourse of 28 and 29 May, respectively. In both those discourses He has given the same type of idea but in greater detail. However, as the DMC speech has still not been translated into English, a portion of Baba's RU speech is cited below, after the purport of the song. In that RU address, Baba is specifically telling that everything is the expression of Parama Purusa: He is expressing Himself throughout this manifested universe. That is the central idea of His RU discourse and Prabhat Samgiita #324 is based on this same concept.

"Moder dhara' ru'pe peyeche toma'r ru'per sa'je..." (PS 324)


O' Lord, this world has become beautiful because of Your infinite charm. That is why I behold You everywhere in all Your creations. When I look at any expression then I see that You are there. You are expressing Yourself in that form. Baba, You are expressing Your grandeur in the form of all these created entities-- animate and inanimate. Baba, You Yourself are One but Your expressions are many. You express Yourself in innumerable shapes and forms. You are hiding within Your creation.

O' Parama Purusa, You are present everywhere-- in all the flows. Nothing is outside Your mental arena; everything is within the purview of Your mind. That is why nothing is ever lost. I am in Your mind and I do according to Your desires. This entire creation is in Your mind and I am one part of that. I am working according to Your exact wish. Because this entire creation is Your thought projection.

 O' Supreme One, O' Parama Purusa, You are present in each and every thought. Whatever human beings think is known to You since You are the Witnessing Entity of that thought process. Baba, You are very vast: Everything is in Your mind. Baba, You are very small: You are present in everyone's thoughts. Baba, You are smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. Baba, even by mistake I do not think that besides You anything else exists. You are everything.

 Baba, by Your grace I always think that You are the quintessence...


Note 1: Here is a portion of Baba's RU address of 28 May 1983 wherein He is expressing this same type of idea as has been expressed in the above song.

Baba says, "Neohumanism includes within its scope not only human beings and animate creatures, such as plants and animals, but all inanimate entities as well, for the scope of Neohumanism extends down to the smallest particles of sub-atomic matter... Why should the love and affection of developed human minds be restricted to human beings only? Why should it not include all living beings, including plant life? This is the new explanation of humanism - neohumanism - for within neohumanism the entire animate world is included...And that golden day is sure to come when that perfect stage of structure, that is, unit existence in the intra-atomic world, will be reached, when human intuition will realize that the essence in the sub-atomic world is pure Consciousness." (NHNS-1)

Note 2: Materialists think that everything comes from matter while Baba's AM philosophy states that everything comes from Brahma. This then is the fundamental difference between the crude world view of materialism and our spiritual outlook. Needless to say, our spiritual perspective changes our whole view of this universe as well as our relation with it. Materialists think that the world is for their self-satisfaction only whereas in AM we think that we have come to this world to serve others since all are the expression of Parama Purusa.

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