Sep 9, 2014

Anand Marga: Tantric terrorists

P.R. Sarkar - guru of Fuehrer?
P.R. Sarkar - guru of Fuehrer?
India Today
September 9, 2014

"I have not committed any crime"
In their saffron coloured cotton garbs they look like Sadhus, yet they are far from being the traditional Hindu Sanyasis. They preach peace and non-violence but use violent methods to achieve their aims. They do not fit into the stereotype image of the urban guerillas, yet they act like any terrorist group in the world.
Through these contradictions the Anand Margis of India - the newest band of revolutionaries to emerge on the world political map - defy definition. They are as secretive as the Mafia and as well organized as the CIA. Their tentacles stretch from Calcutta to California, from Patna to Perth, from Bombay to Berlin and from Lucknow to London.

Their initiation ceremonies involve human skulls and are said to be as gruesome as those of the Mau Mau - Kenya's nationalist movement in the '50s.

Their objective is to achieve a revolutionary transformation in the lives of India's 650 million people through the ideology of PROUT - short for PROgressive Utilization Theory. It is a mumbo-jumbo of anti-marxist and anti-capitalist jargon which tries to capsulate the spiritualism of the East with socio-economic theories of the West. A pinch of humanism is thrown into it for good measure. Says one of its propaganda booklets: "Neither capitalism nor-so-called socialism nor the blending of the two could prove the saviour of humanity".

P.R. Sarkar - guru of Fuehrer?This ideology, they say, can be put into effect through the Tantra 'Yoga, a system of meditation supposed to produce the power of concentrating the mind upon anything whatsoever and lead its follower to the "path of bliss" or Anand Marga. Their motto: "The liberation of the self and service to the world. Their leader is a 56-year-old former accounts clerk with the Indian Railways described by his estranged wife as an "incorrigible homosexual".
At present Anandmurti, the title bestowed on P.R. Sarkar by his followers, is languishing in a Patna jail for the conspiracy to murder six dissidents of his movement. The present state of violence against Indian envoys in Britain, Australia, Nepal and Hong Kong, is aimed at achieving his release. From his prison cell he has denied any connection between the Anand Marga and the present spate of attacks.

Disillusionment set into Indian politics in the mid-'50s. The jubilation of Swaraj had turned into bitterness during that period. Old stalwarts like Ram Manohar Lohia were openly challenging Pandit Nehru and his Congress for more positive policies to alleviate poverty. Sarkar saw the opportunity and called a meeting of nine of his associates in Rampur Railway Colony at Jamalpur in Bihar.

At that meeting in Quarter No. 338 on 9 January, 1955, he promised to show them the "path of bliss" - or the Anand Marga. They formed themselves into a socio-spiritual organization called Anand Marga Pracharak Sangh. From that humble beginning, the movement soon mushroomed at home at well as overseas. Estimates of its membership range from 10 lakhs to 50 lakhs.

There are a wide range of people among its members - dustmen and doctors, policemen and politicians, soldiers and solicitors. Today it claims to have followers in 82 countries. At the beginning of this decade, 15 years after its inception, the Margis have divided the globe into nine sectors - with major centres of operations based in Delhi, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Manila, Nairobi, Berlin, London and Rio de Janeiro.

Avadhoots in Berlin - 'terrorist tentacles across the world?It has strong bases in Philippines and the USA. In New York it has established many Yoga centres. Its International Committee has successfully established links with the United Nations and leaders of the liberal opinions such as Lord Fenner Brodeway of Britain. At home their operations are divided into four zones - East, West, North and South with their headquarters in Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi and Banglore respectively.
Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar was born on 13 April, 1921 in Jamalpur. His Bengali parentage exposed him towards Bengali nationalists like Subhash Chandra Bose. He was known as a fortune teller and as a man with mystic power. As a child he displayed intense curiosity to frequent the Valley of Death in the forests of his home town where an entire company of British soldiers is believed to have vanished without trace.

He spent long hours in sadhana (meditation) on an isolated rock in the Valley. He used to tell his friends that a mythical tiger carried him to the Valley and back. An aura of super-national and extra-sensory powers surrounds him. Once when his mother chided him for his inability to learn Bengali, he wrote his name in five scripts - Bengali, Arabic, Roman, Devanagri and Tamil.

In a country where illiteracy is a curse such outbursts of literacy tends to alleviate a man to the status of superhuman. No wonder that his followers now regard him as a third Tarak Brahma (incarnation of God). The other two are Siva and Krishna. His followers reverently call him Baba.

Sarkar went to Jamalpur Railway High School and was later sent to Calcutta where he came under the influence of his uncle who practised Tantra Yoga. He tried his hand at journalism and had various spells as a sub-editor on the The Hindustan Standard, The Statesman and Ananda Bazar Patrika. But clashes with his editors made him quit "on his own accord."

Human skullus (left) recovered in a police raid, and (right) an Anand Marga meeting in LondonHe settled for clerk's job with the railways. He was a man with ambition and a passion for social justice. In a country like the USA his talents would have led him to a career in selling or advertising. In India he sublimated it to spiritualism - and began to initiate his followers into the mysteries of Tantric meditation.
The Tantra Yoga, say the Margis, is not black magic but a potent instrument for the liberation of the soul. In a world torn with strife, he offered refuge to those who were alienated by the materialistic norms of the consumer society. His followers were persuaded to believe in no other God except - Baba. They were made to chant Baba Nam Kevalam, Baba is the only truth. This slogan appeared on walls throughout India. In 1962 Margis even claimed that it was the divine power of the Baba that "repulsed" the Chinese during the Sino-Indian conflict.

Having assured himself a following, he began to indulge in politics. He began to propound political theories. He discredited Marx ("Communism makes a man beast") and Adam Smith ("Capitalism makes a man beggar") to propound his own socioeconomic philosophy called Prout.

A Proutist believes that man is a psychic-spiritual being and his spiritual emotions dominates his economic aspect of life. This is directly in conflict with the Marxist view that man's behaviour is dictated by economic factors in the environment.

The Proutists seek to develop human race through a common philosophy embodying mental, physical and spiritual contents; uniformity in the structure of the governments; a common penal code developed through common social norms concerning vice and virtue; and availability of bare essentials for human survival.

Proutist violence

Anand Margis have intensified their violent campaign to release Sarkar after the rumours that he was to be transferred from Bankipur jail, in Patna. They fear that his plane may be hijacked to a country which may be hostile to the Margis.

August: The Indian High Commission office in Canberra was gutted and the Consul-General's office in Sydney was stoned.

September 15: Indian Military attache in Canberra, Col. Iqbal Singh, was stabbed and with his wife, Darshan, kidnapped from their home.

October 19: Air-India sales representative stabbed in Melbourne.

October 9: India Tourist Office in London's New Bond Street had its show window smashed by a brick. A note tied to the brick threatened political assassinations. It warned: "Awake Mr Desai, or else blood will be on your hands."

November 1: A.S. Ahluwalia, an assistant in the Indian High Commission in London, was stabbed.

November 8: Bomb blasted in the grounds of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. No one was hurt.

November 8: The Indian High Commissioner in Hong Kong received a warning of violent action unless Sarkar was released.

The Proutists have claimed responsibility in all cases.

Through this ideology the Proutists hope to create a cosmic sentiment which would bring about a socio-political structure and usher in an era of world-nation based on spiritual humanism. When that state is reached Sadvipra Raj or rule by moralists will automatically follow. In achieving this goal, use of violence was not ruled out. For the Margi's the end justified the means.

With those objectives in mind the Margis swung into action. Although they preached uniformity and equality, a strict heirarchy is built into its ranks. Sadhak is the lowest rank. A sadhak graduates to tatvik when he has acquired enough knowledge about the Anand Marga ideology. A tatvik, who is allowed to teach and recruit graduates to become an acharya. A Margi adopts, a Sanskrit name when he becomes an acharya.

He renounces his previous identity and launches himself to propagate the message of Baba. He enjoys the power of initiation. After serving a probationary period as brahmacharya, an acharya becomes an avadhoot - one who has renounced all the creature comforts and surrendered himself to the cause of Anand Marga and its leader Anand Murti.

To make themselves effective throughout the whole strata of society, the Margis formed into various groups. In 1963 they lanched ERAWS (Education, Relief and Welfare Section) to run educational institutions. It is estimated that they run 400 schools to catch the young in their formative years.

The Volunteer Social Service (VSS) acts as "young soldiers" to organize functions for the Marga Universal Proutist Students Federation penetrates the schools, colleges and other institutions of learning whereas the Universal Proutist Labour Federation looks after the interests of the workers.

The Proutists Forum of India (PFI), the think tank, concerns itself with the conceptual aspects of Marga's ideology. Last month PFI merged with the Proutist Universal (India). Said its chief secretary, Sarvat-mananda Avadhoot: "We neither believe in nor support any misdirected violent activities anywhere in the world." The Proutist Block of India (PBI) is the political wing of the movement. Although the Anand Margis have disassociated themselves with it. The PBI has unsuccessfully contested elections for seats in Parliament as well as state assemblies.

How is the movement financed? Where does the money to run a press, a newspaper and schools come from? The Margis are at pains to explain that every member voluntarily donates two per cent of his or her earnings to the organization.

But the popular belief that the movement is financed from overseas still persists. The belief is further strengthened by the fact that some of the propaganda material bears the hallmark of expensive printing usually not available in India. All accusing fingers point toward the USA's Central Intelligence Agency - more so when Sarkar spares it from any criticism. India's RAW and CBI as well as Russia's KGB have been accused by Sarkar of discrediting his movement. But not the CIA.

The defeat in the 1967 General Elections left the Margis demoralized. In 1969, there was another incident which shook the faith of many a disciple in the cult. In August that year the Marga organized a Maha Chakra, its spiritual congregation, in Cooch Behar. It is said that some Marxists raided the conference and there were bloody clashes. Four avadhoots and some others were killed. Baba fled from Anand Nagar, the headquarters of the Marga, to Ranchi.

The entire organization is run on a fascist line. Baba is its Fuehrer. Dissent is not allowed. No one is permitted to express his inability to carry out a task. Naturally, dissatisfaction brew within the movement and in October 1971 the movement split. Sarkar's wife, Uma, left her husband to live with Sarkar s private secretary. With her she took a large number of those dissatisfied with Sarkar.

The Gandhi regime viewed with concern the activities of the Marga Intelligence reports revealed that the Marga was far more dangerous than any other extremist organizations, and the methods it adopted to achieve its objectives were sinister, cold-blooded and ruthless. In 1969, an alleged plot to assassinate top leaders and senior government officials was discovered and the would-be-assassin caught.

It was reported that he had with him a fist of persons who were supposed to help him in carrying out the task. The police conducted a series of raids on the Marga headquarters and branch offices. Human skulls, dangerous weapons, hypnotic drugs and incriminating documents were recovered.

Unable to stand the tyranny of the cult and to get rid of the guilt complex resulting from the many atrocities, some high ranking Margis including avadhoots defected. Sarkar felt that those defectors were responsible for revealing the secrets to the authorities. In 1970, he is said to have called his trusted disciples at Jamshedpur, where he was camping at that time, and set up a murder squad to get rid of the defectors. Following this decision six ex-Margis were reportedly murdered.

Sarkar's wife publicly announced that she had left her husband because it was impossible for her to be a silent spectator of what she described as inhuman, brutal and senseless happenings in the Marga. She said that the Marga was committing abominable and heinous crimes in the name of dharma. She added: "Though Sarkar had arrogated godhead to himself, he stopped to commit acts which the lowest in society would dread to pursue."

Bombay's Free Press Journal quoted Uma as saying that Sarkar indulged in sexual perversions with some of his women followers after assuring them that they were his wives in his previous births. According to Swami Vishokanand, a former private secretary to Sarkar, Baba got 17 avadhoots murdered.

Sarkar was taken into custody on 1 June 1971, and charged with abetting and instigating the murder of six ex-Margis. Efforts to secure his release on bail was rejected by the Patna High Court. The Supreme Court also rejected a petition for special leave to appeal against the order of the Patna High Court decision.

Agitation for his release then became an issue at home and overseas. His followers staged demonstrations outside the UN headquarters in New York in March 1973. Others held a 27-hour demonstration in Dupont Circle, not far from the Indian Embassy in Washington. In April a procession of the Margis in New Delhi clashed with the police near the Boat Club as they tried to force their way to Rashtrapati Bhavan to present a petition to the President.

To reinforce their demand, the Margis started threatening the government that unless Baba was released, the avadhoots would commit self-immolation. In April an avadhoot was reported to have committed self-immolation in Patna, a similar incident took place in Delhi on 24 April. The police however, said they had found that both the cases were of burning after death. In June 1975, 85 Congress MPs urged the government to weed out all the Anand Marga and RSS members from the administrative and educational services.

On 4th July, 1975, Mrs Gandhi's regime banned the organization. The ban was lifted by the Janata government in April this year. But so far it has refused to release its leaders.


Margis - on the path to 'liberation'What do the two triangles, the rising sun and the swastika signify? Acharya Sujit Kumar explained: The swastika implies the goal and the way of life of a Margi that leads to vijaya (permanent victory). The two triangles depict the karma (duty) and gyan (knowledge).
The blending of the karma and gyan through bhakti (devotion) constitutes the life of a Margi. The rising sun signifies the bhakti. Karma, gyanand bhakti leads to devotion, vital for the salvation.

The Tantras represent a philosophy comprehensive enough to embrace the whole of knowledge, a system of meditation which will produce the power of concentrating the mind upon anything whatsoever, and an art of living which will enable one to utilize each activity of the Body, Speech and Mind, as an aid to the path of Liberation.

Tan means to expand and tra means to liberate. The word Tantra, therefore, denotes the psycho-spiritual process which liberates a spiritual aspirant from bondages through the phenomenon of psychic expansion.

Anand Margis claim that their method of sadhana (meditation) is Tantric.

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