Abhidevananda

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Abhidevananda
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Born USA
Diiksa 1971
USA
Location in Sarkarverse
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Abhidevananda has been a leading figure in Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha (AMPS) for more than 40 years. In that capacity he carries the titles of Acarya (one who teaches by example) and Avadhuta (renunciate monk in the Shaivite tradition). He has toured the world extensively, initiating many thousands of people worldwide into the practice of yoga and meditation.

History

  • 1971-1972 In early 1971, at the age of 20, Abhidevananda was initiated into Ananda Marga by Ac. Raghaw Prasad in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Later that year, Abhidevananda met his Guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (aka Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar and Baba) in Patna, Bihar, India. A few months later, in early 1972, Baba gave Abhidevananda his first Sanskrit name, Abhiik Kumar.
  • 1973 Abhidevananda underwent training in Varanasi to be a monk (avadhuta) of Ananda Marga.
  • 1973-1978 Abhidevananda was posted in charge of Ananda Marga throughout Australasia. In that capacity, he spread yoga and meditation around the region and started numerous service projects, mostly in Australia. Perhaps most notable among Abhidevananda's service projects in Australia were several primary schools, two secondary schools, and the first Ananda Marga land project outside of India (near Stanthorpe in Queensland). In Australia, Abhidevananda also started a national magazine called Dharma. Abhidevananda also produced a much appreciated, Australasian newsletter for Ananda Marga, called Pranam. Under Abhidevananda's guidance, Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha became influential in many alternative movements throughout Australasia but especially in Australia.[1]
  • 1973-1978 Abhidevananda started the Free Baba campaign, aimed at securing Baba's honorable release from an Indian prison. Abhidevananda remained a leading figure in that movement until the release of Baba from jail, after acquital, in 1978.[2]
  • 1978-1982 Abhidevananda organized sports outings across Europe and later launched national social movements around the continent (a movement for republicanism in England, a movement for the unification of Germany, and some independence (anti-Communist) movements in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia).
  • 1981 Abhidevananda was initiated by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (Baba) into the practice of Kapalika meditation and confirmed by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti as an avadhuta. At that time, Baba gave Abhidevananda the Sanskrit name by which he is currently known.
  • 1982-1990 Abhidevananda spread yoga and meditation around Africa, primarily in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. In 1989, Abhidevananda organized a major relief operation in Zambia after torrential rains there. Appreciating Abhidevananda's work, the Government of Zambia appointed him as the official liaison between the government and all of the NGOs involved in the relief operation. That relief operation was also appreciated by Baba, who designated it as the standard for all AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) relief operations around the world. Later that year, Abhidevananda wrote the official "AMURT Relief Organizer's Handbook", published by Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha.[3] Since then, Abhidevananda has remained involved with AMURT globally.
  • 1991 Abhidevananda was initiated into the difficult and advanced Vishesa Yoga and received all of the lessons of the complex system in that year itself.
  • 1991-1993 Abhidevananda helped organize the global structure for AMURT.
  • 1994-2016 Abhidevananda spread yoga and meditation around the Middle East, primarily in Israel. Currently, he resides mostly in Israel.
  • 2012 Abhidevananda founded AmRevolution, Inc. (Absolutely Methodical Revolution), a registered non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) with a mission to propagate the progressive ideas of Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar through various media, including an on-line encyclopedia, books, films, seminars, and the like.
  • 2013 Abhidevananda launched Sarkarverse, "the wikipedia of all things Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar".
  • 2014 Abhidevananda took up a 15-year project of translating the mostly Bengali songs of the 5,018-song collection of Prabhat Samgiita into English. Currently, the first 700 songs have been completed. Abhidevananda also began work on a feature-length documentary film about Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar. Though financial support for the project has been less than encouraging, Abhidevananda's team continues work on the project and insists that it will be finished.

Controversy

Abhidevananda is a naturalized citizen of Australia. In mid-1978, the Australian government briefly withdrew Abhidevananda's passport. However, within a few weeks, after sustained protests by members of AMPS in Australia, the Foreign Affairs minister, Andrew Peacock, invited Abhidevananda to Canberra, where an accommodation was struck. The Australian Government, however, was less than forthright in their implementation of the deal, first seeking Abhidevananda's arrest in Nepal and then in Germany. In both cases, Abhidevananda was quickly released from custody. (In Germany, it was almost instantaneous. However, in Nepal, it took three days, because the Government of India had threatened that they would consider it an act of war by Nepal if Abhidevananda were to enter India through Nepal.)

A bit over a year later, when it again seemed that Australia was reneging on the deal, delaying the issuance of a replacement passport (with a normal duration of five years, rather than the one year on his expired passport), Abhidevananda sought political asylum in Sweden. After his application was accepted by the Swedish Government, the Australian Government issued Abhidevananda the required passport, and the matter was resolved. This history, in particular the two known and verifiable cases when the Australian Government sought the arrest of Abhidevananda while abroad, was reported to the Commonwealth Ombudsman in Australia, but no action was taken on the complaint by that office.

In April 2016, a book authored by Rachel Landers was published in Australia. In that book, Landers accuses Abhidevananda of being responsible for the Hilton bombing and a host of other crimes, all based on evidence that is at best double hearsay. Landers knew how to contact Abhidevananda but chose not to do so. In her own words, Landers "made a vow not to trust the living".[4] The first review of the book by T. Manning on Amazon has panned the book as "very poor history" and adds a caution regarding "false advertising". That review also takes note of Landers's opportunistic intent to make a movie from her book. (Landers has even selected the actor whom she would cast for the role of Abhidevananda.)[5]

Abhidevananda has never been charged with or convicted of any crime, and there is no known legal case outstanding against him with Interpol or in any country.

Publications

Abhidevananda is recognized globally, both within and without Ananda Marga, as an authority on PROUT, Neohumanism, Ananda Marga spiritual and social philosophy, Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha organizational matters, and Prabhat Samgiita. In that connection, Abhidevananda has been a prolific writer of articles, books, and assorted presentations. He has also produced one film on PROUT[6] and is producing another film at this time, a documentary on Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar.

A partial list of the books published (and, in most cases, authored) by Abhidevananda are as follows:

References

  1. ^ National Archives of Australia. Government Reports on Ananda Marga in Australia
  2. ^ The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Terrorist Organization Profile: Ananda Marga
  3. ^ Ac. Abhidevananda Avadhuta (1989) Relief Organizer's Handbook 
  4. ^ Who Bombed the Hilton by Rachel Landers, Epilogue, NewSouth Books, April 2016
  5. ^ They Should Make A Movie Of That: Who Bombed The Hilton?, Rachel Landers, 2016 May 2
  6. ^ PROUT (The Movie), Ac. Abhidevananda Avadhuta, 2010