Any Margii who was around even up until the 1990’s knows the shadow that fell over us when just about the only thing the world knew, or thought it knew about us, was that we were terrorists.

We are not terrorists and never were, even if some of us were pretty hot headed back then. However the parallel in public perception between both radical Islamic terrorism today and the AM of yesterday, is worth looking at because it can give us pause to consider our own trajectory in the world, and to consider the blessings as well as the pitfalls of radical Ideology.

For example, the fact that the link in the public imagination between AM and terrorism is fading can tell us something about where we have come from, and how we have changed over time- for better and worse. Back in the 90’s I remember seeing an old Time magazine article with little AK47 icons scattered over a world map to indicate where we had our outposts. Wow! And I thought I was just doing yoga! Thankfully, times have changed.


Thank God the link in the publics mind between AM and terrorism is fading. We can actually get on with the powerful and positive mission of fighting oppression and spreading spirituality, without having to go into defence mode. Meditation is going mainstream. Service to the planet is hip. People are ready for change. Times have changed and people generally don’t think of AM as a terrorist organisation anymore.

But have we become less revolutionary? A friend of mine recently lamented that the ‘powers that be’ no longer fear AM. This was, in his mind, because we no longer appear to pose a real challenge to the prevailing power structures in society. PROUT does represent a deep challenge to capitalism and the prevailing power structures of neo-liberal economics. PROUT does offer revolution. But are we still truly revolutionary? Or have we become more comfortable and palatable to the mainstream? I don’t know if is just my perspective, but is our demographic in AM becoming more conservative and sensible? Are we less like the fringe dwelling, alternative thinking young revolutionary in the making that used to hang around the jagritis back in the 1970’s? We are not viewed as terrorist any more. Good. But have we lost our revolutionary edge?


While Ideology is central to our way of life, in the current media and cultural climate, the word ‘Ideology’ clearly has a negative implication. Ideology forms a large part of our spirituality, yet for many people in the world today the word ‘Ideology’ is associated with an unthinking and rigid commitment to a set of beliefs. A person can lose their humanity when they form an unbending commitment to a set of beliefs in the absence of heart-oriented common sense. For example, in her book Wild Swans, Yung Chan describes how in Maoist China, children betrayed their parents, sending them to prison and even torture because of a radical commitment to Maoist Ideology. Likewise, the age old conflict between Shia and Sunni Islamic groups is due to this sense of Ideology. The Sunni-Shia division arose when the Guru of Islam, Muhammad, left his physical body and conflict emerged amongst his followers as to who had the right to control his organization and his ideology.

However, Baba described Ideology, or Ádarsha, in a completely different sense. Baba described Ideology not as a set of beliefs or religiously condoned behaviors, but as a guiding psycho-spiritual intuition of the oneness of humanity in it’s common destination in the Supreme Consciousness. Baba writes- “It [Ideology] is an inspiration which has a parallelism with the Supreme Entity”1 and further that “the one Cosmic ideology …… is that one Supreme Entity – the Cosmic Entity – is the goal of all living beings. This spiritual sentiment will keep human beings united for all time to come. No other theory can save the human race.”2

The one Cosmic ideology ….. is that one Supreme Entity – the Cosmic Entity – is the goal of all living beings

Yet at times, it seems we have begun to have a smaller understanding of Ideology. In the wake of Suva Sector’s recent court case, I heard the divisions underlying the case described as due to fundamental Ideological differences between parties. How could that be? Surely both sides still see our Cosmic Desideratum as the One Supreme Consciousness? Has our understanding of Ideology begun to change? I was somewhat shocked to watch friends turn their back on friends, and to see Acarya’s turned away from retreats based on their commitment to one set of beliefs rather than another. I’m not educated enough about the court case to cast judgment either way. But when Margiis and WTs have an interpretation of Ideology that divides rather than unites us, I worry that something is going deeply wrong. Because Ideology has been such a driving force for dogma and mental rigidity, both historically and today,  I think that we have a duty to always think deeply and flexibly about what our beliefs are and the ways in which we cling to them. The parallel between the perception of radical Islamic terrorism and the historic perception of Ananda Marga can serve to remind us never to let our Ideology petrify to become a rigid commitment to any set of beliefs or behaviors. Our Ideology is not a fixed set of beliefs and behaviours, but a psycho-spiritual intuition of the oneness of humanity and all life on Earth.

We are not terrorists and never were. But the accusation of terrorism that has been leveled at us in the past can serve to remind us of just how radical our mission is, and give us pause to consider some of the pitfalls that can lie in the way of this radicalism.

1_ Prout in a Nutshell Volume 3 Part 15-“ The Existential Value of Ideology”.

2_ Prout in a Nutshell Volume 1 Part 5 –”To the Patriots”.



  1. My understanding of Prout is that we do service to humanity. We meditate to give us strength. Service is really key with self growth and awareness and creating good in this world. This need for service does not just exist in third world countries. There is a lot we can do in our lovely country of N.Z. in a ground roots way that doesn’t just involve trying to convert people to our way of thinking.

  2. Nice article. I think AM is less energetic in the world partly because the average age is probably a lot higher than it used to be. Older people are a bit less prone to shake things up.
    I like the points about ideology – not a set of beliefs that we hold but a cosmic wave that we try to realise. The ideology is One but it manifests in many ways like white light becomes a rainbow.

  3. Oh dear Kamalesh. just a teensy bit ageist don’t you think? Actually older people are wiser. Maybe you might find that out when you are older! “Energetic ” And ‘shaking things up” are a subjective terms. Maybe there are better ways to do things that involve tolerance and circuspection. Just saying!

  4. Good article. I don’t think “the divisions underlying the case” is “due to fundamental ideological differences.” If anyone asserts this, they either don’t have a good understanding of the case or they are making an underhanded remark to try and discredit the “other” side as having become religious or as having sold out. Let’s move on and focus on the ideology rather than the politics.

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