ERAWS

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School Project

The real meaning of education is trilateral development - simultaneous development in the physical, mental and spiritual realms of human existence. This development should enhance the integration of the human personality. By this, dormant human potentialities will be awakened and put to proper use. Educated are those who have learnt much, remembered much and made use of their learning in practical life.a. Read More

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Relief Project

AMURT's mission is to help improve the quality of life for the poor and disadvantaged people of the world, and those affected by calamity and conflict. We encourage and enable individuals and communities to harness their own resources for securing the basic necessities of life and for gaining greater economic, social and spiritual fulfillment, while honoring their customs, language, and religious beliefs. Read More

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Welfare Project

AMURT have established children's homeswho are orphans anddestitute children," Academy for Light" clinic for the blind, "New Life Asylum" for lepers, Handicapped home for the physically disabled. Maternity clinic for pre and postnatal care, old age home.

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About Author and His Contribution

Lord Shrii Shrii Anandamurti jii was born on Vaisha'khi Pu'rnima in 1921 at Jama'lpur (Bihar). He has been attracting people by His deep love for humanity and guiding them along the path of self-realization. Adjusting the ancient science of Tantra Yoga with modern scientific temper to meet the needs of this age, He propounded a very scientific and rational spiritual philosophy and a system of practical disciplines for Physical fitness, Psychic development and Spiritual progress.

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Brief Histroy of Ananda Marga

In 1939 Baba Anandamurtiji initiated Kalicharan Bandyopadhyay into meditation, this was the start of spiritual teaching at the early age of 17. From 1941 until the early 1950s Baba worked as an accountant at the Indian railways headquarters in Jamalpur, Bihar. He taught the techniques of ancient tantra meditation to a select number of his colleagues and gradually more and more people were drawn to the spiritual practices he taught.


On November 7, 1955, at the first gathering of meditators, Sarkar officially inaugurated Ananda Marga Pracharaka Samgha (the Organization to Propagate the Path of Bliss). The first volumes of Sarkar's writings were published, including Guide to Human Conduct, Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy and Problem of the Day. In 1959 Sarkar propounded Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT), a socioeconomic theory that is based on Neo-humanism and cardinal human values.


In 1962 Sarkar created the order of monks and nuns (renunciate ministers or acaryas) and eventually training centers (Prashiksana Matha) were established in different parts of the world: Ydrefors (Sweden)[1], Davao (Philippines), Varanasi and Bangalore (India) and Ghana (Africa). These ácáryas are "wholetime workers" and fully ordained ministers. In 1963 the Education, Relief, and Tribal and Women's Welfare Section (ERAWS) of Ananda Marga was founded. The service activities, such as schools, orphanages and emergency relief work, that had started from the inception of Ananda Marga were now managed by ERAWS. Ananda Marga registered its headquarters at Anandanagar, West Bengal.


In 1967 the first acaryas left the Indian subcontinent to propagate Ananda Marga spiritual philosophy and practices worldwide throughout the nine sectors in the world. The first Ananda Marga New York Sectorial office (whose jurisdiction is North and Central America and the Caribbean) was opened in Carbondale, Illinois, USA in 1969, and by 1973 had established approximately 100 local centers teaching yoga, meditation, spiritual and social philosophies to thousands. In 1971 Sarkar was imprisoned without a trial for allegedly conspiring to murder several former members of the organization. Under declared opposition from the Indian government, Sarkar received a life sentence (Barker 1989: 168), which was overturned in a re-trial in 1978. On Feb. 12, 1973 he was poisoned in Bankipur Central Jail, Patna. His demand for judicial investigation into his poisoning symptoms were not granted by the authorities and consequently from April 1, 1973 he started fasting on one glass of yoghurt water until his release, five years and four months later.


From 1975-77 Ananda Marga was banned under the state of emergency imposed by the Indian government of Indira Gandhi. Over 400 of its schools in India were closed down, and numerous ministers and adherents were imprisoned.


Sarkar's imprisonment led to a global campaign of protests by followers, while Margiis maintained his innocence and said an attempt was made to poison him in prison that severely damaged his health and temporarily affected his sight. As a political protest against the imprisonment of their guru, a few members of Ananda Marga committed self-immolation in the late 1970s.


In 1986 Sarkar began to propound the theory of Microvita, small, subtle entities which he said are the foundation of all existence. Research on the field has begun by the Microvita Research Institute, but their progress and findings are still in the developmental stage. P.R. Sarkar died on 21 October 1990 at 3:10 pm. In 1991 Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team received recognition as an NGO by the United Nations.


In 1996 the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on government employees to be members of Ananda Marga, started by opposition governments in the emergency period, and affirmed the legal status of the organization.


Organization


Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha (AMPS) is a hierarchical organization led mainly by senior Wholetime ministers. The Global Office is the main representative organ of AMPS, led by the General Secretary. Globally the organization is divided into 9 sectors, each named after a primary city in the sector:


Delhi Sector: the Indian sub-continent


Hong Kong Sector: North-East Asia [2]


Manila Sector: South-East Asia [3]


Suva Sector:Australia, Pacific region [4]


New York Sector: North and Central America and the Caribbean [5]


Georgetown Sector: South America [6]


Berlin Sector: Europe [7]


Qahira Sector: Balkans, West Asia, North Africa [8]


Nairobi Sector: Sub-Saharan Africa [9]


All activities are coordinated through the nine Sectorial Offices.


Each sector is further subdivided into regions, which again are further divided as per needs. Each of them is led by a senior official, namely the Sectorial Secretary, Regional Secretary, and so on.


A separate entity of AMPS is the Women's Welfare Department (WWD), established first in 1977. WWD was started to empower women to contribute and alleviate suffering of women in many parts of the world. WWD is designed to be led by women for the service and betterment of women, children and the community at large through education, social work, and local initiatives.


AMPS also strives for development of humanity in all other spheres of life. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association (RAWA) is an organization for the development of the fine arts. RAWA regularly arranges cultural training and events. The official social welfare and development organization under AMPS is Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, or AMURT. The joint branch of AMURT run specifically by women is called AMURTEL, or AMURT Lady-Managed. AMURT arranges both emergency relief during disasters, and long term projects such as building of schools, clinics, children's homes and other assets for community development.[7]


The Ananda Marga Association of Yoga Educators (AMAYE)[10] was started in 2006 as a forum for research, discussion and sharing of knowledge about Ananda Marga Yoga & Spiritual practices.The annual conference of AMAYE is coordinated by Prashiksana Matha/CNS-Sweden every year in July from Ydrefors, Sweden.


Ananda Marga Gurukula [11] was founded by Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijii on September 7, 1990 in order to build Ananda Marga University with its headquarters at Anandanagar (India) and to bring together the entire neohumanist education movement under its overall academic guidance and direction. The educational network of Gurukula now runs over 1000 schools in India and other continents.


Ananda Marga Gurukula


A'nanda Ma'rga Gurukula (AMGK) is engaged in creating a worldwide network of Neohumanist Schools and Institutes to hasten the advent of a society in which there is love, peace, understanding, inspiration, justice and health for all.[8] Reflecting the broadness of Sarkar's universal vision, AMGK has become a multi-faceted organization, with different branches dedicated to the upliftment of humanity through education, relief, welfare, the arts, ecology, intellectual renaissance, women's emancipation, and humanistic economy. All these institutions are based on neo-humanist educational philosophy.


In 1990, the Ananda Marga "Education Relief and Welfare Section (ERAWS), which grew to an global network of about 1,000 neo-humanist schools and institutes, culminated in the founding of the Ananda Marga Gurukula University, with links to several hundred self-reliant eco-village projects ("Master Units") throughout the world. AMGK is actively engaged in the following projects: building an educational township at Ánanda Nagar, West Bengal, India, on a 525 square kilometre campus; and supporting the building of a global eco-village network (Master Units), ranging from 5 acres (20,000 m2) to 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) each, in over 120 countries. The headquarters of AMGK is in Ánanda Nagar, West Bengal, India. AMGK Inc., is its global liaison office, located in Ithaca, New York. Its Chancellor operates from office located at Ydrefors, Sweden. The "Neo-Humanist Schools and Research Institutes", affiliated with AMGK, publishes a bi-annual newsletter, the Gurukula Network, in May and October.


AMGK is headed by a chancellor (kulapati), who is supported by a steering body (cakradhuri), and an academic council (mahasamiti). AMGK is an autonomous "Board of Education" for all AMGK schools and institutes run as per neohumanist philosophy.NHE-Forum of AMGK deals with K-12 education and CNS-Forum of AMGK concentrates on higher education.


Disciplines and Practices


Spirutual Teachings and Practice


Tantra yoga, as interpreted by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti in the books Discourses on Tantra, volumes 1 and 2, is the practical philosophy which serves as foundation of Ananda Marga. ("Tantra" means liberation from darkness, the root "tan" meaning darkness, and "tra" liberation.)


Sensual or erotic tantra, as the term "tantra" is often mistakenly associated to in the West, is not a part of the original tantra nor of the Ananda Marga tantra tradition. Sarkar, in his book on the historical Shiva, Namah Shiva'ya Sha'ntaya, and on Discourses on Tantra Volume 1, explains the difference between the left path tantra, the right path tantra and the middle path tantra, or the subtle path tantra, by giving a clarification of panchamakara, also known as the 5 Ms. The practitioner of Ananda Marga tantra yoga sees the nature of the mind as a "trapped monkey" striving to escape from its cage. The tantra path is the path of the brave, because it requires the practitioner to follow strict disciplines as to their spiritual practice. Meditation is the main practice of this tantric tradition, and through it the practitioner struggles to overcome weaknesses and imperfections. Through daily meditation the practitioners face their minds' deepest secrets and contents, and to proceed in the practice s/he must manage to overcome whatever obstacles s/he faces in the path of self emancipation. Because the path may be specially challenging in the beginning, often requiring changes of lifestyle habits and mental breakthroughs that supersede dogmas and ingrained irrational beliefs, many people stray temporarily from the path when not able to succeed in triumphing over the initial difficulties.


The basis of Ananda Marga practice is covered by a set of rules called the Sixteen Points. The Sixteen Points guide the practitioner of the tantric path on both spiritual and social aspects.


Meditation


In the tantric tradition of Ananda Marga the spiritual aspirant is called a sadhaka, and he practices sadhana. Sadhana signifies the effort through which a person becomes completely realized.


In the tantric tradition the spiritual master, the guru, plays a special role. The guru guides and leads students on the spiritual path that is likened by yogis of knowledge (jina'¡niis) to a sharp razor. Through devotional practices however, the spiritual path is compared to the all-round struggle of a blooming flower. It is also stated in the tantric tradition that the student doesn't find the teacher, but the teacher finds the student.


When the aspirant decides to follow the path of bliss, s/he will be initiated by a qualified meditation teacher called acarya, Sanskrit for "one who teaches through example". An acarya is most commonly a monk or nun, but in the Ananda Marga tradition there are also family acaryas. In the initiation the aspirant makes a commitment to practice meditation and to live in harmony with the universal balance, and is then taught the technique itself. The aspirant is then required to keep the individual lessons personal.


Shrii Shrii A'nandamurtiiji taught many systems of meditation such as Pra'¡rambhika Yoga, Sa'dharana Yoga, Sahaja Yoga and Vishesha Yoga.[citation needed] In addition, he also taught Kapalika meditation to many sanya'¡sins. His system of yoga can be termed as Ra'jadhira'ja Yoga, Tantra Yoga, or simply "Ánanda Márga Yoga". The basic Ánanda Márga meditation system is called Sahaja Yoga, meaning 'simple yoga'. The sahaja system consists of 6 meditation techniques or lessons. The lessons are taught one by one, on a personal basis. There is no specific system as to when one can learn a new technique, but it depends on the level of interest and dedication of the student. Thus some students learn all six lessons in a year or two, while some complete all lessons in over 20 years. There is also a set of higher meditation lessons taught by Ananda Marga to advanced practitioners committed to dedicate more time for spiritual practices and universal service.


Tantra


The six-pointed star is an ancient tantric symbol Tantra is established at the roots of the spiritual practices in Ananda Marga, the yogic path propounded by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. He has spoken extensively on the topic of Tantra, whose speeches were further published in various volumes.


According to Shrii Shrii A'nandamurti, tantra was first systematized by Lord Shiva, also called Sadashiva, who was an enlightened yogi living in the Himalayas about 7000 years ago. Tantra had its origin in India and South Asia. Tantra in its Káshmiirii and Gaod'iiya Schools did exist before Shiva, but in a scattered and crude form. Shiva was born and brought up in an environment of tantra, although it was not classical tantra. He was the original propounder of tantra, collecting, developing and systematizing all its branches. Anandamurti explains that the practitioners of higher tantra would look upon things from a broader point of view, renouncing all narrow thinking. They would always strive hard to advance the welfare of the masses. Through self-realization and selfless service they would overcome the fetters of the mind, such as hatred and shame. The unprepared practitioners who followed the less-developed or crude Tantra would yet behave in the opposite way, indulging in casteism, superstitions of untouchability, and in manifestations of hatred and envy in relation to other groups.


"A person who, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, aspires for spiritual expansion or does something concrete, is a Tantric. Tantra in itself is neither a religion nor an 'ism'. Tantra is a fundamental spiritual science. So wherever there is any spiritual practice it should be taken for granted that it stands on the Tantric cult. Where there is no spiritual practice, where people pray to God for the fulfilment of narrow worldly desires, where people's only slogan is "Give us this and give us that" â€" only there do we find that Tantra is discouraged. So only those who do not understand Tantra, or even after understanding Tantra do not want to do any spiritual practice, oppose the cult of Tantra."


Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar


Tantra In Ananda Marga


Today's practical philosophy and yogic practices of Ananda Marga are not only deeply rooted in the ancient original Tantra of Shiva, but further develops Tantra to refine it in a system of personal development balanced with two wings of social transformation, Neohumanism and PROUT. Thus Tantra is central in the teachings of Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrti. In projecting the future he weaves continuity, infusing the ancient philosophy of Tantra with new insights in human psychology, social theory and in each individuals' roles as spiritual and socio-economico-cultural-political beings. Ánanda Márga Tantra has a broad metaphysical base which allows for ways of knowing, feeling and processing which go far beyond intelectuality or limited rationality. Priorities are given to the spiritual development, as Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrti notes, "spiritual life controls all other arenas of human life." [10] Ananda Marga Tantra is a principle, a science which if practiced will lead to the desired objective. The essence of Tantra is to awaken the latent spiritual force in the human personality and unify oneself with the Cosmic Consciousness. It is not a religion or empty philosophy which can be confined to the realms of abstract speculation or theoretical debate. Tantra is a process of subjective transformation, which may be practiced by anyone irrespective of gender, cultural background, education, social status or intellectual evolution, as an adequate system of spiritual endeavor is the birthright of all. Tantra does not discriminate by any racial, genealogical, political, national or economic differences amongst human beings, as the later might form the basis for one human group to assert superiority over another. Tantra does, however, give recognition to individual vigor and the development of latent human potentialities, which make some people outstand in their lives. Consequently Tantra puts greater emphasis on human values than on social values.


Guru And Discipline


For success on the path of Tantra, the proper preceptor and the proper disciple are both essential. So the first step in Tantra is the selection of a competent preceptor by a worthy disciple. According to Tantra, disciples are of three categories. The first category disciples acquire spiritual knowledge when they are in close contact with the preceptor, but as soon as they are apart from the preceptor they forget all his/her teachings. The second category of disciples learn many things from the preceptor with great hardship, but do not take proper care to preserve those instructions. They lose their hard-earned knowledge out of negligence. The best category of disciples carefully preserves deep in their minds and hearts whatever they have learned from their preceptor by wisely putting those teachings into practice.


Yoga and Physical Exercises


The physical practice of Ananda Marga comprises yoga A'sanas, mudras, bandhas, pranayama, self-massage and two specific dances, kaos'ikii and tandava. Sentient diet and fasting are also considered integral part of yogic practices. Sentient diet is a vegetarian diet which is also devoid of particular vegetables which disturb the mind for spiritual practices, such as onion, garlic, leek, chives, mushroom, etc. Ananda Marga also advocates physical restraint based on a scientific approach which considers the phsycal, mental and spiritual spheres of life, advising for instance that sexual intercourse more often than four times a month is generally detrimental to a person's overall well being. (CaryaCarya Part 3 - Physical Restraint)


Yoga Asanas


The Ananda Marga system of yoga comprises 42 yoga ásana postures which were specifically selected by P.R. Sarkar for their complementary benefits to health and for preparing body/mind for meditation. In the Ananda Marga system yoga asanas should be performed at least once a day, but preferably twice, in the morning and in the evening. After the practice a full body massage and final relaxation is performed.


Kaoshikii


Kaoshikii, the "dance for mental expansion", is a physico-psycho-spiritual exercise which can be performed by all and consists of 18 mudras aligning with 6 physical postures, each associated with a specific idea. The spiritual ideation is carried along with the dance in order to establish a subtle link with the divine, while strengthening body and mind and making them flexible. There is also a claim that the exercise strengthens the nervous and endocrine system to give full body balance.


Tandava


This is a vigorous dance associated with Shiva in his cosmic dancer image of Nataraja. The name tandava is derived from the Sanskrit word tandu, which means to jump. This dance is only performed by male followers in Ananda Marga because of its testosterone producing effect, which consequently strengthens male characteristics in body and mind. The dance is performed to imbue the practitioner's mind with courage and honour, dispelling all sorts of complexes and fear, even fear of death itself. Thus the dance also has an associated ideation. The dancer starts off with the two arms outstretched, the left arm with an open palm, and the right arm with a clenched fist. The dancer ideates holding a human skull in the left hand, symbolizing death, and ideates on holding a knife in the right, symbolizing the fight for life. The actual objects (human skull and knife) may be also used [12][13] The dance starts with a vigorous jump and landing in a position of bent knees. Another jump follows, and the dance continues in a jumping manner lifting one leg then the other continuously.


activities


Ananda Marga runs yoga and meditation centers, schools, children's homes, food distribution centers, disaster relief programs, medical clinics, integral community development projects and other services, carried often through its service branch, the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, AMURT & AMURTEL. The AMURT organization, founded in India in 1965, has projects in over 80 countries. Emphasis is placed on solving the problems of the local people, whatever they may be, by empowering them in managing all their personal and social resources for the prosperity of all. [edit]Spiritual and social philosophy The philosophy of Ananda Marga is one of universalism. It is a synthetic outlook, recognizing the one limitless supreme consciousness, both transcendental and manifested in all. This universe, having been created by the Supreme Consciousness, is existing in the Supreme Entity, and as such all created beings are children of the Supreme Being, part of the one universal Cosmic family. Thus we are all brothers and sisters, connected in love and consciousness by the bonds of Cosmic fraternity. This world of diversity has evolved out of unity (Supreme Consciousness), and we must continually strive to see the unity within all diversity and act accordingly. Thus, the social outlook of Ananda Marga recognizes that the welfare of the individual is inextricably linked with the welfare of the collective, each relying on the other for its existence and dynamism. Everyone has the right to equal opportunities of life and development and as such there should be no discrimination on the basis of superficial barriers such as race, nationality and religion. The Spiritual Philosophy of Ananda Marga covers a vast range of topics and can be learned from P.R. Sarkar's publications. A short list of the essential elements of Ananda Marga Spiritual Philosophy: 1) Cosmology 2) Realms of the Mind 3) Biopsychology 4) Life, Death and "Sam'ska'ra".


Ananda Marga advocates a world of justice, security and peace for all. To this end Ananda Marga gives a practical, rational, and systematic way of life for the balanced development of all human potentialities: physical, psychic and spiritual. It is a system that incorporates practices that are beneficial for personal and social upliftment. These range from proper hygiene and diet, yoga postures, to a scientific technique of meditation based on morality and leading to complete peace and inner fulfillment. It recognizes that a balance is needed between the spiritual and mundane aspects of existence, and that neither one should be neglected at the expense of the other. Hence, the goal of Ananda Marga is "self-realization and the welfare of all".


The Social Philosophy of Ananda Marga can be categorized under the topics: 1) Neohumanism 2) Education 3) PROUT (the Progressive Utilization Theory).


Symbology


Pratiik - The Symbol of Ananda Marga


The emblem of Ananda Marga The pratiik is a yantra, and summarizes the ideology of Ananda Marga in one image. The pratiik is composed of two interconnected triangles where one points upwards and the other points downwards. In the center of the triangle there is a rising sun, and in the core of the rising sun a swastika.


Interpretation


Triangle pointing downwards: signifies inner development, knowledge, insight or meditation. Triangle pointing upwards: signifies external action or service to all. In one's life the two basic aspects, the inner and outer, need to be continuously balanced. Therefore the inner knowledge without action is meaningless, and the deeds without proper guidance from within are fruitless.


The rising sun signifies progress or devotional awakening which arises from the balance of inner development and external service.


The swastika represents spiritual victory, the goal of life, which is all-round fulfillment and spiritual emancipation. (Svastika comes from the Sanskrit word sv (good) and asti (to be), literally meaning absolute positivity, goodness, or perfect life)

 

"They are "educated" who have learned much, remembered much, and make use of their knowledge in everyday life.  Their virtues I will call education."

— Shri Shri Anandamurti jii Ananda Marga
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Education

Real Education is that which leads to libration.

We should remember that morality, spirituality and humanity, and a happy blending of occidental extroversal science and oriental introversal philosophy is the very foundation of our education.

Education is the most potent medium to bring about a progressive revolution in society. Education in the view of Ananda Marga is not mere imparting of alphabetical knowledge or mundane knowledge; it is a powerful instrument to effect the trifarious development of the human personality-physical, mental and spiritual.

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Welfare

  • Self-realization and service to humanity are the twin objectives of Ananda Marga. The Education, Relief and Welfare Section of Ananda Marga (ERAWS in brief) shoulders the main responsibility for social service. The range of service that ERAWS organizes and conducts is suggested by its different branches-Education section to establish and run children's homes and retiring homes, Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (registered as a United Nations NGO in its own right) to carry out disaster relief, Medical section to conduct Medical camps and build hospitals, and Tribal and Backward People's Welfare Section. There are ladies' wings also of each of these branches.