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Ananda Marga meets the Mayor of New York

On April 15th Ananda Marga representatives met Mayor of New York Bill De Blasio . Arish Sahani worked hard to make the meeting possible during a fund raising event in Brooklyn. Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta and Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta presented to the Mayor Ananda Marga books and an outline of a service project intended to help the homeless population in New York.

(In the picture above from the left Steve Wilhelm, Arish Sahani, Mayor Bill De Blasio, Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta, Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta)

 

The Value of Sadhana by Bhaskar

Dada Diiptimanananda recently stayed at my home for a couple of days. In that short time, I learned a lot. One thing I learned about was the value of sadhana. Dada would mention more than once how something like being sick or healthy or eating the right thing or not eating the right thing effected his sadhana. He protected his sadhana the way a successful businessman would protect his business. Would you not agree that one’s sadhana is more important than any business?
Time is valuable. Why? One reason is because we get to do sadhana. Many of us waste valuable time when we could either be doing sadhana or preparing to do sadhana. If you are honest with yourself, you will find that sadhana ranks as one of the most important if not the most important things you can do in life. One must not only find time for sadhana. One must also cherish sadhana and take care of it, tending it as if it were a garden. When you waste valuable time, you don’t get it back again. When you don’t take care of your sadhana, you lose that valuable time for meditation. It is like an athlete who must take care of the body so that he or she may be able to perform optimally during an athletic event. For sadhana, one must care for all koshas (layers of the mind), including the body.
Therefore, we have astaunga yoga: an eightfold system whereby one can care for every aspect of one’s existence so that one’s sadhana can become more and more powerful. Though maintaining this system with regularity, punctuality and care is difficult, the results are so rewarding that they far outweigh the difficulty. Yama and Niyama, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi are the eight parts of astaunga yoga. (Respectively, Yama and Niyama are codes of conduct and morality; asanas are yoga postures; pranayama is breath control; pratyahara is withdrawal of the mind from external objects; dharana is the first lesson of Ananda Marga, a core lesson on which other lessons are built; dhyana is the sixth lesson of Ananda Marga, the other core lesson, which is complete absorption into Supreme Consciousness; samadhi is the result of all other practices, it is God-realization.) These parts of tantric yoga have such complexity that entire books can be written just on each part, and such books have been written and will continue to be written. As useful as it is to read about these practices, even more useful is the actual practice of them, which is a great challenge. Indeed, possibly the greatest challenge one will ever face in life is the striving and struggle to follow all parts of astaunga yoga. The reward is worth the challenge. We have been put on this earth to realize God.
The more highly one values one’s sadhana, the easier it is to follow astaunga yoga. This is a secret to following the system: value your sadhana. What does it mean to value your sadhana? It means that you want all layers of mind and your physical body to be pure and healthy and at optimal performance so that your sadhana has these qualities.
What we value arranges our life, giving priority to what we value most. If your sadhana is something you value highly, you will arrange your life in such a way as to make sadhana a priority. It will be abundant and of high quality. One basic measure of how to produce this effect is consideration of the three gunas, or bondages: satvic (sentient), rajasic (mutative), and tamasik (crude). Staying away from anything tamasik, and preferring satvic over rajasic, is a good way to begin to produce higher quality sadhana, moreover, any sadhana at all, as the practice of taking anything tamasik, such as tamasik foods and media, and allowing one’s mind to wander into dark places such as anger, bitterness, resentment and fear, will have a coercive effect. One will not want to do any sadhana at all! Conversely, if you stick with a sentient diet including sentient media (whatever your mind takes in has a strong effect on you), and if you stay, as much as you can, in a positive mindset and spend your time feeling loving and happy,
you will maximize your sadhana and it will be optimal.

Service to All – Ananda Marga in New York Sector

Ananda Marga is engaged in serving all segments of society without any distinction. In the most recent weeks several events have taken place which have been promoted by Ananda Marga in New York Sector.

The Seminar in Boston Region saw the special participation of Prof. Ravi Batra who gave a very inspiring conference call in which he explained several aspects of PROUT related to the present day situation in USA and in the world.

The Seminar had three classes given by Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta (on the left) Acarya Sarvajiitananda Avadhuta (in the middle) and Acarya Anudhyananda Avadhuta (on the right)

The school of Ananda Marga started in New York very recently have now 14 students and the number seems to be increasing as the high quality program is affordable by low income families in the neighborhood. In the picture some of the students with Ananda Marga Board representatives Acarya Dhruva , Arish Sahani and LEAD co-founder Andrew Lee.

Several Senior Citizen Centers and Temples in New York benefit from the classes of yoga and health consciousness given by Ananda Marga representatives. The response is always positive as the community is eager to learn by practice the secrets of long life and vitality.

Interfaith Events in New York

Ananda Marga has been invited on the panel discussing with other leaders of different denominations the Holy Scriptures like the Bible, the Koran, the Veda, the Avesta, etc.

In all events Ananda Marga representatives Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta and Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta have presented the distinctive universal and scientific traits of Ananda Marga philosophy with much appreciation and participation from spiritual leaders and audience.

Those interfaith events are part of a global peace process that some international organization like HWPL and Gathering of Lights are promoting. The results are very encouraging as meetings and conferences force people to come together and share beyond the Scriptural texts.

Sometimes the sharing in the form of Spiritual Chants from all faiths and Spiritual Dances from all traditions which is a very enriching and uplifting process.

We thanks very much the organizers of HWPL and Gathering of Lights for being part of their events and we look forward for the coming ones.

Microvita: are they the missing link between Consciousness and Nature?

by Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta

It has been a trend of thoughts that lead me to this quite composite question. The idea that Consciousness and Nature communicate through Microvita. Here we are talking about three terms that are quite vast in interpretation according to different schools of spiritual thought or philosophies. Consciousness, Nature and Microvita. The last term is for sure the most unusual or uncommon in philosophical discussions as  it has been introduced by the philosopher Shrii P.R. Sarkar in 1986 and since then there has been a search for Microvita and the formulation of different theories and methodologies for their study.

While the study of nature has proceeded very well today forming what is known as science, Consciousness has been taken as a field of study only very recently. Research on meditation has been conducted in several academic circles and places in order to bring  it in the scientific field of exploration. Several people has been plugged to complicated wave analyzers while doing meditation discovering the different areas of the brain which are getting excited or stimulated.

The thesis that I wish to put forward is that consciousness as it is immaterial cannot be studied in a physical setting or medium. The nature of Consciousness is beyond matter and even beyond nature. In my opinion only sadhana or meditation can help to get Consciousness in the field of science by discovering and analyzing the missing link between Consciousness and nature which are Microvita.

Why the leaves of the trees spring off almost at the same time making the trees dressed of green almost overnight? Who is telling them to dress up all at the same time? Microvita. It is Microvita that communicate at instant time frame “wake up” “it is time to get out and enjoy the sun”.

In nature there has been several non linear processes that suggest the idea of subtle entities who link Nature with Consciousness. Nature is by itself a conscious entity otherwise it would be called matter and not nature. The law abiding to matter are not the same abiding to Nature. For example it is known that in chemistry any reaction happens with a certain probability. It is not an absolute condition. Maybe 90% of the time the reaction happens and another 10% inexplicably the reaction does not happen. Why? Because the Microvita level in the components might be different. It is not only a matter of purity of the component. It is a matter of “charge” or we can say “vitality” of the chemical compound. We have to logically conclude that a chemical compound is not just matter. There is something else that make it behave as Nature – always changing. Change is the basic fundamental law of Nature and it does not apply to matter as we know it. In matter we look for replication and equality of conditions. In Nature not a single atom or molecule is exactly the same.

So this is the beauty of nature and how it differs from matter. Subtle Microvita cannot come under the scrutiny of the most powerful microscope. As a matter of inference if not observation by highly conceptualized minds, Microvita can be very big and also very small. So it is not the size that makes them invisible. They defy the traditional laws applicable to time, space and observer. They travel beyond the speed of light and they may occupy variable spaces in different forms. Microvita are sensitive to environmental factors like smell, they are influenced by sentiments. They lead us towards the understanding of Consciousness as the ultimate reality. A reality who is perceivable through Nature only in a very tiny fraction.

Where we go from here? to do more meditation. To start circles of study on Microvita based on more and more meditation. Meditation is the key for solving all the problems and all the mysteries of the Universe. Only meditation truly speaking can change the world in a better one. Yes, maybe hard to believe as it is hard to meditate but as a meditation teacher I made my point. Eventually everybody sooner or later will have to come to some deal or agreement with meditation independently from which faith or core believe system they consider to belong. Better sooner than later. The world is suffering. People are suffering , both in the mental and physical spheres. Consciousness is beyond suffering but Nature is tattered by the marks of sufferance when the law of Nature cannot function unhindered. When people cannot laugh and be happy as a natural expression of human life. The fundamental meaning of life is love. Love as the force of attraction towards the Beloved, the Creator, the Matrix, the Infinite, the inexpressible an unbound Happiness that permeates the whole Universe and beyond. Love is more than just a word or even a sentiment with its transient nature.  Love is the fundamental binding agent of the whole cosmological order.

Om Shanti. Peace to All.

Seminar in Gatineau, Canada

On March 25, an Ananda Marga Seminar took place in Gatineau (Quebec), from 9 am to 5 pm. The venue was the Cabane-en-Bois-Rond, a very beautiful place. We were altogether nine persons (including 2 children). We were able to cover all three topics: “The Intuitional Science of the Vedas-1”, “Gurusakasha” and “Theory and Practice”. Classes were given in the French language. Brother Iishvara was particularly inspired and is looking forward to future seminars; and has offered to help more and more in organizing them.

Yoga at University of Ottawa

Good news from Ottawa, Canada: On March 18, we had an Ananda Marga meditation and yoga workshop at University of Ottawa​. From 9 AM to 2 PM. Nine students attended. We had a yoga class, an introduction to Kiirtan with Baba Nam Kevalam, introduction to meditation, two lectures with topics 1) “Balancing my student life with spiritual meditation” and 2) “Strong unity, happier human society”. We had also a substantial lunch together.

Stars under the Stars – Homeless people by Penn Station in New York

I believe it was Sunday. I received a call from Arish Sahani telling that if I wanted to help the homeless the best place to start was by the Penn Station at 34th St in Manhattan. He also proposed to go together and explore the situation.

Monday morning I could not wait to reach there. I had purchased a bansuri flute two days before and as soon as I spotted an homeless person I went close to him. As he asked me a quarter I proposed to play the flute for him. The result was amazing! From a double down position in which he miserably was, little by little he straighted up his back. I didn’t say a word of explanation. I stopped playing and I started to sing Baba Nam Kevalam with a strong and emphatic voice moving the hands up and down according to the tone of the notes. He brighted up and he started singing along first with a feeble voice and than with some body in it. Finally without saying a word he took talking along the sidewalk, reborn.

That is when I called Sahaniji telling that I was already at work on the designated spot. “Give me two hours”. Two hours later we were talking with Charmaine who is homeless after having a bad experience in the shelter system. She lives on the side walk in front of the main entrance of Penn Station together with her boyfriend and she is always engaged in helping and organizing. An amazing personality with previous experience in telemarketing. Originally from Guyana she guided us in the life of homeless people giving us the confidence to work for their welfare directly. She invited us to the food distribution happening around 10 pm every Monday and Wednesday in order to introduce us to the main organizers. That evening Raviji, Mamaduk and Wayne as PCNY inthestreets served fresh baked pizza and chocolate chips cookies to around 40 or 50 homeless in queue. I was one of them.

Matthew is young and homeless. He passes the night in front of the Old Navy store on 33rd St. He saw me playing the flute and he wanted to give a try. Why not? He did few sounds and then he went his way with his friend also homeless.

Kega is from Africa. Father from Nigeria and mother from Kenya. She speaks Swahili and she is a natural actress. Full of joy she goes around with her electric guitar. We sang and drummed together for a good hour or so and then she indicated me the best place to get cooked food until 12.30 pm .

The Church of the Holy Apostles on 9th Avenue corner with 28th Street serves fantastic meals all week. There were at least 100 people in the church which is transformed in a gorgeous dining hall with round tables and live piano music. Everybody is so friendly and at the tables there is a light atmosphere inviting for conversation. It is heart warming to witness that homeless people are served and treated with utmost respect and quality. But their needs are more than food.

With Sahaniji we want to help them not only in their basic needs but also providing them with opportunities for education and training from Yoga and meditation to art and music including film making. As I went for the second day to meet my new friends I asked Charmaine about making a movie. She immediately replied that she had it already in mind and she would agree to record her life story. Ideas are becoming reality very fast. With Sahaniji we are talking about a website where to channel all the ideas that started with Active and Productive Homeless and are now evolving in something even more creative and engaging. What about “Stars under the stars – Promoting the Talents of the Homeless people”. Check it out soon at http://stars.ampsnews.org