The online Winter Retreat was from December 31 to Sunday, January 3, 2021.
The retreat started in the morning of December 31, with a yoga class, Dharma Cakra, and the opening ceremony. Ac. Diiptimanananda Avt. gave a class on Optimism in Prabhata Samgiita, explaining how the spirit of optimism in our philosophy and songs represents not only to have a positive outlook but also the feeling of fighting against obstacles like a creek flowing along towards the see disregarding all pebbles and obstacles on the way. The source of our optimism is the Supreme Consciousness that is inspiring us and giving us the blissful feeling that the benevolent will of the Supreme guides everything.
In the afternoon, we had a nine-hour Akhanda Kiirtana until midnight at Central Time, followed by a short meditation, Guru Puja, and Baba Video.
On January 1st, after the morning Dharma Cakra, we read the Ananda Vanii in the various languages of those present in the online conference. We had Margiis and Acaryas attending from more than thirty linguistic areas.
Ac. Gunatmananda Avt. is visiting New York Sector for the last few weeks. He is posted in Hong Kong Sector as RS Vladivostok Region and is taking care of the Far-East Russia Master Unit, Ananda Annapurna. Dada has recently written a new book on Microvita that is not published yet.
His lecture title was Microvita and Brahmacakra. The lecture went deeply into the mysteries of the creation of life and the role of Microvita in Pratisaincara. The talk sparked a lot of lively discussions in the Q&A session.
In the afternoon, Dr. Ravi Batra gave a class on the topic, The Future of Prout and the Global Economy. He started explaining that when the wage-gap increases due to increased productivity and stagnating wages, it should generally result in slumping demand. However, since the 1990s, the US Government has bridged that gap by borrowing money and driving consumer debt by lowering interest rates. The result has been skyrocketing profits of the mega-corporations while the middle-class and low-income people suffer, and more and more people live below the poverty line.
He then gave some solutions that could help solve the current crisis, such as using anti-trust laws to break up the big corporations, introducing a Federal bank offering 5 – 7% interest rates on credit cards, and other solutions to increase competition and release the monopoly grip of the Trans National Corporations (TNCs) and the big banks.
After Ravi Batra gave his outline of the current economic situation, some PROUT solutions, and how the Pandemic would set the economic stage for the end of Capitalism, the Margiis were enthusiastic about asking questions. The Questions were all posted on the Zoom chat area, and Ravi continued replying and discussing the topics that the Margiis brought up for the last 45 minutes of the class.
On the evening of January 1st, we ended with Katha Kiirtana. Many Margiis and Acaryas shared their experiences and heartfelt realizations. It was a very devotional evening, and we ended it with Avarta Kiirtana and Baba Video.
On January 2nd morning, Ac. Shiilabhadrananda Avt. gave a class on the topic, The Emergence of Ananda Marga on this Earth. It was a very interesting class, where Dada explained the historical need for Ananda Marga and how Ananda Marga has introduced many new things to this world.
On January 2nd, we had Akhanda Kiirtana and RAWA Program in the evening. Margiis and Margiis children performed instrumental music, dance, and Prabhata Samgiita. Sister Bhagwanti led the RAWA program. It was inspiring to see the Margii children perform better every time.
On January 3, we had Dharma Cakra in the morning, followed by breakfast and the Closing Ceremony. The Margiis shared their feelings, and were inspired, and had thoroughly enjoyed the retreat.