Tattvikas balance family life and inspiration of people for spiritual philosophy
Tattvika is the name given to instructors qualified to spread the philosophy of Ananda Marga collectively. At the beginning of the Ananda Marga, Baba wanted to spread the ideology fast and initially created the family acaryas to give speed to this task.
These first instructors were formed with little time after initiation and without formal training. They were ethical and dynamic people, and their conviviality with Baba enable them to this function. Later, with more experience and deeper knowledge in the philosophy, they were certified as tattvikas, that is, people qualified to teach Ananda Marga philosophy.
Currently, the process for the formation of tattvika takes place in reverse fashion: first, the aspiring margiis must fulfill certain requirements, such as already working for Baba’s mission for a long time, and then they can apply for the tattvika training. The training, in this case, lasts only a few weeks or a month, and also involves a qualifying exam. The margii (non-renouncer) can remain as tattivka or, later on, they can apply for family acarya training.
In the fourth chapter of the special series “Dharma Pracar Workers”, we will get to know a little bit better the life of two non-renunciate tattvikas, and understand their strategic importance for the work of pracar.
Liila Hass of Australia did her training to become a tattvika in India. For her, it is important that people new to the Ananda Marga community realize that there is great acceptance of family life, and that both family members and renunciates are perceived as capable of helping the mission to grow. She explains that the main criteria for becoming tattvika “is to be deeply in love with Baba’s mission – not only through spiritual practices, but through service; in this way, one can utilize the time the most and help the total development not only of the people, but also of plants, animals and the entire planet. “
However, maintaining a family life and working on the mission is a challenge, lived by Liila in an inspiring way, as she reveals when describing her routine of practices. She meditates regularly three times a day: before breakfast, before dinner and before bed. And whenever it is possible, she still adds a meditation at noon. To meditate four times a day is not a prerequisite for the tattvikas because it is understood and recognized that they have a family life and need to work in order to support themselves.
Besides meditation and asanas, Liila dedicates herself to studies, which she points out as fundamental. “It’s important to understand the philosophy deeply, not just for one’s personal growth, but also to help others. If someone asks me something about spirituality, I want to be able to describe it accurately,” she says. She advises that if one wants to become a tattvika, it helps to have a very solid knowledge of the philosophy and also to understand the organizational structure of Ananda Marga. Solid experience working in one’s trade (e.g. AMPS, WWD, SDM, etc.) is a must.
Lilla says that the first experience she had in initiating a person in meditation touched her so much that she could not put it into words. “Wherever we are, we can feel Baba all the time, if we follow his guidance, doing our practices, maintaining our spiritual development and some social service.”
The Italian Krsnaprya (Cristina Terribile), always thought of being tattvika, but waited for her children to grow a little more,until she did her training in December 2017. She told us that what inspired her was the love that, increased by spiritual practice, led her to go deeper and deeper into the path of Ananda Marga. For her, a tatvika who has a family “does her best to take care of the big family, but also of her own family”.
Krsnaprya works as a yoga teacher, teaches English and also has a cooperative offering courses – mainly yoga. She and her husband, the family Ghrii Acarya Kamalesvara (Christian Franceschini), organize seminars and publish spiritual books. She also engages in local Ananda Marga projects such as weekly retreats, seminars and dharmacakras. Another front in which she is involved, together with Liila, is the organization of a Prout retreat for women only, before the annual Prout Convention that takes place in Denmark, usually in all the months of July.
She describes with commotion the importance of being tattvika within the spiritual path. “It is usually said that when we are initiated, we are born again and we begin a new life. This is true: you start your real life when you start your spiritual life. When I became tattvika, I felt that it happened again, that a second spiritual life had begun. Being tattvika is something special because you feel that Baba gives you as a gift the opportunity to serve Him even better than before. It’s a great honor.”
*translated by Shiveshvara (Sebastian Diez)