6. Relationship with an Ácárya/á

In the absence of any previous relationship, and depending upon their respective ages, the relationship between the ácárya/á and the initiate will be that of an elder brother/sister and a younger brother/sister. In case the initiate is younger in age, he/she may greet the ácárya/á by touching the ácárya/á’s feet. Even if the ácárya/á is younger in age, initiates may touch the ácárya/á’s feet in greeting if they wish. The initiate must not do sáśt́áuṋga prańáma(1) to the ácárya/á. These rules apply among fellow disciples also. The ácárya/á should always be addressed in respectful language.

1956, Jamalpur

7. Methods of Salutation

There are three methods of salutation: (1) sáśt́áuṋga prańáma [prostration], (2) carańa sparsha prańáma [bowing and touching the feet] and (3) namaskára [salutation].

(1). Sáśt́áuṋga prańáma: Sáśt́áuṋga prańáma is a symbol of simplicity. It is to be done only to Márga Guru. It signifies surrender to the ideology. Women can do salutation by touching the ground with the forehead instead of full prostration.

(2). Carańa sparsha prańáma: Carańa sparsha prańáma means to touch the feet of a revered person with one’s hands and then to touch one’s forehead with those same hands. This prańáma should be done only to those who command high regard from the worldly or spiritual viewpoint. As far as possible, do not do carańa sparsha prańáma except to persons such as these. Never do carańa sparsha prańáma to people whom you do not regard, whoever they may be.

(3).Namaskára: Namaskára is done by bringing the palms together and touching the ájiṋá cakra [the mid-point of the eyebrows] with the thumbs, without bowing. It can be done to all regardless of their age, because this mode of salutation is used with the ideation that everyone is the manifestation of the Supreme Being.

Do not shake hands with anyone, because it is unhygienic, and do not do kurnish [a kind of court salute signifying submission to one’s authority] to anyone, as you are not anyone’s slave. Kurnish is a symbol of slavery, so as a form of salutation it is strictly forbidden.

1965, Jamalpur

8. Páiṋcajanya

At five o’clock every morning, sádhakas [spiritual aspirants] will assemble at a jágrti, and where there is no jágrti, at a fixed convenient place, and participate in singing five minutes of Prabháta Saḿgiita, in performing fifteen minutes of kiirtana, and lastly in performing ten minutes of collective meditation. This should be the practice on all days of the week except Sundays. On Sundays, there should be singing of ten minutes of Prabháta Saḿgiita, performance of fifteen minutes of kiirtana, and performance of at least ten minutes of collective meditation. This programme is known as páiṋcajanya.

1986, Kolkata