By Avadhutika Ananda Aparajiita Acarya

When a person new to our spiritual practices talks to you about any aspect of it, and then asks you – what is the name of the organization you are associated with? What do you answer?

I think many will often answer – ‘Ananda Marga’.

Now, if I would ask you – what is the name Baba gave to our organization, or – what is the full name of our organization, I am sure you would say – ‘Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha’.

What happened to ‘Pracaraka Samgha’ through the years? Why do we use so often only the AM part, and forget about the PS part?

Is it because ‘Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha’ sounds too long? Are we just lazy to utter it fully? Or maybe it sounds too foreign? Hard to relate to for new people? Or…?

The fact is, on many occasions, most of us use ‘Ananda Marga’ much more than we use ‘Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha’.

So now, the question arises: Does it really make a difference if we use the short form or the full one?

I beg to say it does. It makes a big difference.

The simplest reason to justify why we should use more often the full form is – Baba gave it as such. No need to go deeper here, I am sure all understand the importance of Guru’s words and disciple deep desire to follow those words. When Baba himself chose this name – which reason can we have to alter or shorten it?

Another reason will be – the importance of the PS, ‘Pracaraka Samgha’ in our life.

‘Ananda Marga’ means ‘The path of Bliss’. ‘Pracaraka Smagha’ means – the society, or organization for propagating (the path of Bliss). Therefore, if I am merely a member of ‘Ananda Marga’ – that implies that I myself am walking on the path of Bliss. If I am a member of ‘Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha’ – that implies that I am a member of a society/organization, and that I take an active role in propagating the path of bliss. That adds a completely new dimension to it all. Each of us, once initiated, should be assigned a certain organizational affiliation, and each of us is bound to contribute our best to do Pracar. The added aspects are two – being an active member of that society (having a role at a certain department/trade and fulfilling organizational duties) and being active in propagating its activities and ideology.

Philosophically speaking – one cannot walk the path of Bliss and not be compelled to propagate it. Those two parts are inseparable. Walking the path means shouldering the responsibility to help others find and walk it. This is also nicely reflected in our Supreme Command/Guidance. The Spiritual aspirant duty is never only toward herself/himself. That would make for a very narrow and selfish path. That is the Pracaraka part.

We are also not free agents. We all were initiated within a certain system, through an Acarya who is representing the organization, and once initiated; each Margi should be assigned an organizational duty, or designation. That is part of the system Baba installed. If Margis do not take part in the organization – how else can there be any Pracar effort? How else can society change? That is the Samgha part. Samgha also means that we are part of the society, part of the one family that walks on the path of bliss.

The beauty of the name Baba gave – ‘Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha’ is that it reflects this deep universal principle; it is the society for propagating the existence of the blissful path and for helping others to tread it while we ourselves continue to walk further and further on it, closer and closer to the Divine.

While repeating this name more often, we may be reminded of this sublime teaching as well as the responsibility we chose to take on ourselves to have an active part in this society/organization as well as help others along the path of Divine Bliss.

So next time someone asks you – what is the name of this organization – what will you answer? And how will you explain it?