The Sixteen Points: Our Fundamental Duty Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhuta

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The Sixteen Points: Our Fundamental Duty  by  Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhuta

The Sixteen Points: Our Fundamental Duty by Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhuta
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This book came to me by a miracle. My mother is 91, and enjoys reading stories to the children in her apartment building in Brooklyn. (She was a kindergarten teacher for 25 years in Harlem.) Occasionally I visit Family of Woodstock, a multiphase community center with shelves of free books, to find a childrens book for my mother. While doing so, I came upon The Sixteen Points. Because the cover is a colorful illustration of a man meditating next to a lion in a bed of lotuses, someone mistook it for a childrens book.I have been in the Ananda Marga Society for 39 years, following the 16 Points: the essentials of spiritual life according to our guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti.

I follow them -- or rather attempt to follow them, because its difficult to practice the 16 points perfectly -- but I dont exactly respect them. Over time, perhaps over-influenced by constantly reading Freud, Ive come to feel that I chose this practice out of a neurotic need for structure.

But Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhutas concise and rational exposition of the system surprisingly made sense.Most of these practices did not originate with Ananda Marga. For example, here are the first eight of the Fifteen Shiilas:ForgivenessMagnanimity of mindPerpetual restraint of behavior and temperReadiness to sacrifice everything of the individual life for the IdeologyAll around self-restraintSweet and smiling behaviourMoral courageSetting an example by individual conduct before asking anybody to do the sameActually, maybe the Fifteen Shiilas did originate with Ananda Marga.

Certainly the 4th one, which sounds a little strange when written out, probably did. (I kept the exotic British spelling of No. 6.)Oops, a cursory Google search suggests that yes, my guru invented these 15 guidelines. Now lets consider the problematic No. 4. Even if you dont exactly agree with the entire ideology of Ananda Marga, the intention to sacrifice your personal life to a Higher Good -- thats healthy. Otherwise, what are you living for? Your next shopping trip?



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