Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha
|Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha|
Átmamokśárthaḿ jagaddhitáya ca |
(Self-Realisation and Service to the Universe)
|Formation||1 January 1955|
|Main organ||Central Purodha Board|
|Location in Sarkarverse|
Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha (society for the propagation of Ananda Marga), abbreviated as AMPS, is the foundation of Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar for which he is best known. Sarkar founded this global, socio-spiritual organization in Jamalpur, Bihar, India in 1955. From 1955 until his death in 1990, Sarkar frequently expanded the scope of AMPS and continually adjusted its inner workings.
Structure and organization of AMPS
AMPS is somewhat unique in having a strictly hierarchical composition that seeks a balanced yet full integration of renunciates with householders in a disciplined, coordinated cooperation. To implement this complex arrangement, Sarkar distinguished the structural and the organizational sides of AMPS.
Structural side of AMPS
The structural side of AMPS is the hierarchical command structure. It mostly consists of wholetimers (WTs) and local full-timers (LFTs). WTs are the renunciates of AMPS, either brahmacarii/brahmacarinii (novice renunciates) or avadhuta/avadhutika (senior renunciates). LFTs are mostly young margiis who have successfully undergone some training but are not (yet) prepared to commit to a life of celibacy. In fact, LFTs may continue in that capacity even after marriage.
In addition to WTs and LFTs, there are also some Purna Kalika Bandhus (full-time friends), PKBs. These are retired householders who have dedicated the rest of their lives to missionary work.
AMPS workers in the command structure (WTs, LFTs, and PKBs) are bound by some additional conduct rules that the general margiis do not have. Not only that, WTs have many more rules than LFTs and PKBs. These additional conduct rules mostly pertain to the standard of organizational discipline expected of these workers, but they also demand a very high standard of character and a universal social outlook.
The command structure of AMPS flows from the Central/Global level to the Sectorial level (the world being divided into nine sectors) to the Regional level and then to the Diocese level. Dioceses are divided into Districts, Districts into Blocks, Blocks into Panchayets (groups of villages), and Panchayets into Grams (villages).
The command structure of AMPS is largely driven by these supplementary conduct rules as well as an abundance of procedure orders, found in various guidebooks applicable to the different organizations, departments, or trades on the different levels (sectorial, regional, diocese, district, and so on). Sarkar himself dictated most of these procedure orders. Many of the procedure orders are public, but some are internal (confidential).
Organizational side of AMPS
The organizational side of AMPS consists of elected organizational positions and some elected top-level boards. There are also advisory committees and boards (ACBs) for various departments as well as some executive committees and boards, all of which are typically constituted by an elected officeholder. For example, the Purodha Pramukha (the highest authority in AMPS), the Purodha Board, and the Central Committee are all elected by the body of all recognized purodhas (purodhas in good organizational standing). The Purodha Pramukha is the ex-officio chairperson of the Purodha Board and also the ex-officio president of the Central Committee (often referred to as the president of Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha). As president of the Central Committee, the Purodha Pramukha has the duty and authority to form the Central Executive. The chairperson of the Central Executive Committee is the General Secretary of AMPS. The General Secretary has broad administrative and judicial powers.
Similarly, the tattvikas, acaryas, and avadhutas of AMPS have their elected boards to manage "all rules and regulations, punishment, discipline, and everything else regarding" themselves (subject to the approval of the Purodha Pramukha).
On the grass-roots level, the Bhukti Pradhana (a district or county head), Upabhukti Pramukha, Panchayat Pramukha, and Gram Pramukha are all elected positions. On the bhukti level, there is also an elected Bhukti General Committee, of which the Bhukti Pradhan is the ex-officio chairperson. In a similar manner as the Purodha Pramukha forms the Central Executive Committee, the Bhukti Pradhan forms the Bhukti Executive Committee. As with all of the above, broad guidelines are to be found in Caryacarya Part 1.
Scope of AMPS
Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha consists of a conglomeration of 18 wings or departments under a single heading called Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha General as well as a broad service-oriented department, the Education, Relief, and Welfare Section.
Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha General
Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha General (AMPS General) consists of 18 departments—
|1. Commerce||2. Construction||3. Dharma Pracar||4. Farm||5. Finance||6. Food and Care|
|7. Industry||8. ISMUB||9. Jagriti||10. Land||11. Master Unit||12. Press and Printing|
|13. Publications||14. Public Relations||15. Renaissance Universal||16. Society Building||17. Social Security||18. Women`s Welfare|
Education, Relief, and Welfare Section
The Education, Relief, and Welfare Section (ERAWS) department consists of 5 major sections:
- Education (with three branches: E1, E2, and E3)
- Relief (with three branches: R1, R2 (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team), and R3)
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Plants (PCAP) and Cheap Literature (CL)
- Tribal People's Welfare (TPW) and Ek Manav Samaj (EMS)
|1955||January 5 (Jamalpur): Sarkar founded the Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha.
January 9: Sarkar officially inaugurated the Samgha. The aim of the organization was two-fold: self-liberation and all-round service.
|1956||The first edition of Sarkar's Caryacarya Part 1 (social code for Ananda Marga) came out with several chapters detailing elements of the organizational side of Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha. Ananda Marga College was also founded at Anandanagar.|
|1958||On January 25, at Trimuhan (Bhagalpur district, Bihar, India), Renaissance Universal (RU).[note 1] "Renaissance Artists and Writers Association" (RAWA) boards were also founded.[note 2]|
|1962||Sarkar founded his order of renunciates.|
|1963||Education, Relief, and Welfare Section (ERAWS) of AMPS was founded. The service activities, such as schools, orphanages, and emergency relief work that had begun from the inception of AMPS henceforth were managed by ERAWS. AMPS registered its headquarters at Anandanagar, West Bengal.|
|1964||The Ananda Marga Board of Education was formed.|
|1965||Women’s Welfare Department (WWD) and Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) were started.|
|1967||The first acaryas left the Indian subcontinent to propagate worldwide the spiritual philosophy and practices of Ananda Marga.|
|1969||The first AMPS Sectorial office was created in "New York Sector" (whose jurisdiction is North and Central America as well as the Caribbean. The office was in Carbondale, Illinois, USA.|
|1971||On December 29, Sarkar was arrested and imprisoned on charges of conspiracy to murder.|
|1973||Approximately 100 local centers teaching yoga, meditation, spiritual and social philosophies in many countries of the world had been established.
On February 12, Sarkar was poisoned in Bankipur Central Jail, Patna. After coming out of a coma and recovering from other poisoning symptoms (including temporary blindness), Sarkar demanded a judicial investigation into his poisoning.[note 3] On April 1, with his demand unanswered, Sarkar started a protest fast, subsisting on no more than a daily cup of yoghurt mixed with water. Sarkar continued his fast for five years, four months, and two days. He broke his fast only after his acquittal and subsequent release from prison on August 2 of 1978.
|1975 to 1977||Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (Ladies), AMURTEL, was started.
1975 June 26: Under the state of emergency imposed by the Indian government of Indira Gandhi, Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha and numerous affiliated organizations were outlawed. Over 400 AMPS schools in India were closed down, and numerous AMPS workers and general members were imprisoned. This situation, together with the ongoing protest fast of Sarkar, led to a global campaign of protests by members of AMPS. During this period, several members of AMPS, committed self-immolation in protest. In the wake of those protests, three members of AMPS assaulted and injured an employee of the Indian Government in London.[note 4]
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Plants (PCAP) department was founded.
|1978||February 13 and June 15: Some members of AMPS in Australia were alleged to have been involved in violent acts to protest against the unjust detention and poisoning of Sarkar.[note 5]
July 4: Sarkar was acquitted on appeal.</ref>
August 2: Sarkar was released from prison.
|1979||May: Sarkar took two world tours, visiting much of Europe,[note 6] Jamaica, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Greece, Turkey, Israel. Sarkar was not granted a visa to the United States, and he was not allowed entry into Italy and the Philippines (despite having a valid visa for the latter country).[note 7]|
|1990||September 7: Sarkar founded Ananda Marga Gurukula.|
|1991||Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team received recognition as an NGO by the United Nations.|
|1996||The Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on government employees being members of AMPS and affirmed the legal status of the organization.|
- RU was the first of the 35 boards of AMPS.
- RAWA was founded during a Dharma Maha Chakra (DMC) held in Bhagalpur (at the house of Aniruddha Prasad, one of Sarkar's disciples).
- The poisoning causes serious health problems to the leader, partially damaging his sight.
- They were sentenced to a total of 12 years on 1978 (see Birmingham Evening Mail, Saturday, November 4, 1978).
- The accusations: 1)Bombing of the Sydney Hilton hotel during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting in Australia (on February 13) and, 2)Conspiracy to murder the leader of the Australian National Front, Robert Cameron (on June 15). Evidence subsequently produced in court showed that AMPS had been closely watched by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) since the movement arrived in Australia in the early 1970s. This included telephone taps, and other surveillance methods. Subsequent to the appeal to the High Court, a judicial inquiry in New South Wales cast doubt over police informer, Richard Seary, a prosecution witness, on whose affidavits the prosecution was primarily based (Responding to Custody Levels – Compensation for Miscarriage of Justice). After a long judicial history the main prosecution witness was recognized as unreliable and the AMPS members were acquitted (1-Alister v R ("Hilton Bombing case") (1984) HCA 85., 2-Alister v R ("Hilton Bombing case") per Murphy J (2) para 2 (1984) HCA 85., 3-Alister v R ("Hilton Bombing case") per Wilson & Dawson JJ para 17 (1984) HCA 85., 4-Parliament Hansard: Hilton Hotel Bombing, Government of New South Wales, December 9, 1991, accessdate=2008-03-13 (First motion for an inquiry), 5-Pip Wilson (February 13, 2003). Lies, spies and the Sydney Hilton bombing, (accessdate=2008-03-16, archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16), 6-Ben Hills. The Hilton Fiasco. SMH 12 February 1998, p.11 (accessed 6 September 2010)). The perpertrators have never been found. Evidence that Australian security forces may have been responsible led to the New South Wales parliament unanimously calling for an inquiry in 1991 and 1995. The Government of Australia vetoed any inquiry.
- In Italy Sarkar lands at the Milan airport but due to visa problems he was not allowed to enter the country.
- On April, Sarkar did not receive a visa for the USA due to his problems with the Indian government. (See MacDougall, C. D., 1983).
- He served in that capacity until his death in 2008.
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