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Aug 2017 – Sep 2017

Volume 6 Issue 3
A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

In this Issue

 Editorial

 Raksha Bandhan
 Independence day & Ramayana month con-
cluding programme
 Chowmasik Baithak– Dakshin Pranth

 Onam celebration

 Sri Krishna Jayanthi

 U. B. Day celebration

 Navaratri celebration

 Vijaya Dashami

 Sthanik KPS

 Regular Activities

 Article By Ma. Lakshmi Didi
Volume 6 Issue 3 -2- August 2017 - September 2017

EDITORIAL

The most fundamental question “who am I?” was first formulated by the Seers of
India who were scientists par excellence in their own way. These seers of Vedic age sought
an answer for it not through investigations in the world outside but through deeper and
deeper contemplation on their own selves. The most fascinating aspect of this enquiry was
the discovery of the Unity of Existence and the magnificent way the individual could be
linked up with the whole, finite with the Infinite, Vyasthi with the Samasthi. It is this
mega comprehension of the interconnectedness, interrelatedness and interdependence of
all that exists in the universe that led to the formulations of truly character-building,
man-making and universe-building ideas which became established as the eternal values of
life. Later, they got codified into satyam, yajna, ahimsa, asteyam, aparigraha and so
on, which were all integral parts of that totality, Dharma. Satya and Dharma thus came
to be the pillars of Vedic Vision and it is their transfer from one generation to another
that made Sanatana Dharma the most vibrant, eternal culture and way of life in the
whole world.
To sustain the eternal nature of values they must be transferred wholesomely from
one generation to another and that has to be achieved through sacred human relation-
ships, especially that of parents and off springs. Enlightened God oriented yajnas - actions
centered in Satya and dharma, devoid of himsa would ensure the wellbeing of the children
and perpetuation of the values in life. Such children would never think of belittling, insult-
ing or injuring their parents. They in turn practise and perpetuate these values and
acharas so that their progeny also get well established in Satya and Dharma. This is how
the great Indian ideal of Sanatana Dharma has been built which is still a wonder to the
whole world. Upholding these values as part of one’s inner awareness leads to, in Swami
Vivekananda’s words “atmanomokshartham“for one’s enlightenment and “Jagadhitayaca”
for the welfare of humanity. Any value if it is to be truly valuable it must find its niche in
one’s own inner awareness and should become manifest in all that one thinks and does.
Lack of such an awareness and vision is what has landed our world in utter chaos,
where each generation loses more and more its value orientation. To preserve the eternal
values in the society parents should practise selfless actions filled with renunciation or
“yajna” which are always God oriented, because He is the final dispenser of all happiness
and bliss.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -3- August 2017 - September 2017

“Love, Truth and unselfishness are not merely moral figures of speech, but they form
our highest ideal, because in them lies such manifestation of power”, says Swami
Vivekananda. How to actualise the truth or values of these ideals and make them the
power behind our character is what the Vedic Seers were concerned about. Undoubtedly
eternal values can be preserved in society only through glorified subtle connections
established between parents and children through a variety of value building exercises or
acharas.

Adaranjalikal
Shri Vasudevan Namboothiri, member of the SKIE team, Teacher and Friend
passed away on August 26th, 2017. Condolences and Prayers.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -4- August 2017 - September 2017
Raksha Bandhan
Early morning, on the occasion of Rakhi Purnima, Ganapathi Homam and Sri
Chakra Pooja were performed by Sri Sivan Ji and his assistant from Karumatra
Gurukulam. Ma. Didi tied Rakhi on the hands
of Sishuvihar Kids and their parents. What
Rakhi Bandhan really means, was explained by
Didi. This was followed by prayer and distri-
bution of sweets.

Independence Day & Concluding Programme Of Ramayana Month
This time Independence Day celebration and concluding programme of Ramayana month were
clubbed together. The National flag was hoisted by Ma. Didi. The tiny-tots of Sishuvihar along with their
parents and inmates of Anandadham were all present. Samskar Varga children too had come to watch
the flag hoisting. For all children, the best part of the Independence Day celebration is when they receive
laddoos after singing the National anthem Ma. Didi spoke to the children and their parents regarding the
importance of attending the Independence Day celebration.

The next programme was at 10 a.m. As a part of the concluding of the Ramayana month, a talk on the
need to know Ramayana was arranged. The talk was delivered by Prof. Shantha Kumari of Rashtriya Sam-
skrita Pratisthan, Puranattukara, who was the Chief Guest. She started with the Karma Theory and how
one is responsible for one's own karma. For example, Sita Devi was kept enclosed in Ashoka vanam be-
cause she had kept a pet bird confined in a cage. She stressed the importance of perseverance and con-
tentment. She gave the example of Sumitra who received the yajna Prasad from both queens Kausalya
and Kaikeyi because she showed no reaction when King Dasaratha, divided the Prasad between the first
two queens. With examples from Ramayana, she tried to convince the audience, the need for studying
Ramayana and conveying the message to the next generation, in order to build up a healthy environ-
ment.

After the talk, prize distribution followed. On the 13th August (Sunday), a quiz competition on Rama-
yana was conducted at Anandadham. It was in three categories. For the first category, it was an oral quiz
for the children, right from Sishuvihar to the Samskarvarga group i.e. from UKG to class IX.The second
category was kept as a detailed narration of all the 35 panels of the mural painting showing some of the
scenes from Ramayana which was exhibited in the hall. This was for class XI and above including SKIE
children. The elderly ladies and gents fell in the third category and they were given a questionnaire on
Volume 6 Issue 3 -5- August 2017 - September 2017
the whole of Ramayana, which they had to answer in writing. Thus all people could participate. Master Ab-
hiram of class III, Samskar Varga participant, won the first prize in the first category level I and
Kum.Anushree of Class VII, Samskar Varga Shikshak, won the first prize from level II. Kum Drishya again
Samskar Varga Shiksak, of class XI, got the first prize in the second category and Kum Bindu, Sishuvihar
teacher and the one behind popularizing Ramayana Parayana house to house during the Ramayana
month, received the first prize in the third category. Ramayana parayanam was also kept for those who
were interested in chanting from Adhyatma Ramayana. Prasad distribution was done at the end of the
programme.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -6- August 2017 - September 2017
Volume 6 Issue 3 -7- August 2017 - September 2017
Ganesh Chaturthi And Onam Celebration
As always on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, there was Ganapathi Homam and Sri Chakra
puja. Just as ' On that day just as Onam' is celebrated in every school and institution, here at Anandad-
ham too there was 'Onaghosham' for the Sishuvihar tiny- tots, and then Sisuvihar closed for a 10 day
Onam vacation. The parents joined in for laying of 'Pookalam' and also for the feast that followed.
Yoga Varga Group were also invited for Onam Celebration from 10 am in the morning. The ladies to-
gether created a beautiful pookkelaam. Amongst the LKG kids, one was dressed as King Mahabali and
another as Vamana. Next followed the community feast wherein each mother had cooked some delicacy,
and hence there were many dishes for the feast.
104 coupons were distributed among the local poor residents on the occasion of Thiru Onam. Each
coupon was worth Rs 300/-, with which the recipient could buy what they wished from a particular Con-
sumer shop directed by Vivekananda Kendra. Ma. Lakshmi Didi gave away the coupons.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -8- August 2017 - September 2017

Chowmasik Baithak - Dakshin Pranth
Vivekananda Kendra Dakshin Prant Chowmasik Baithak was held on 19th and 20th August 2017 at
Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation, Kodungallur. Apart from the karyakartas of Kodungallur,
there were 31 karyakartas who had come for the Baithak. 21 members were from Tamil Nadu, 7 from
Karnataka and Mysore, and 3 from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The baithak began with bhajan sandhya in the evening at 6.30pm. At 7.30 Su. Radha Didi welcomed
all karyakartas and introduced Ma. Hanumantha Raoji, Ma. Lakshmi Didi and Ma. Sudhakarji. It was an
informal session in which self-introduction of all the workers was followed by a sharing of experiences by
the Ma. Didi and other elders.
On the 20th, the morning sessions included report presentation by various branch and project cen-
tres. Post lunch session was kept for planning for the next four months. Concluding session was from
3.30 p m to 4.15 p m. Ma. Didi blessed all the karyakartas with tokens of her affection. Almost all the kar-
yakartas left by 20th night.

Sri Krishna Jayanthi
The much-awaited Sree Krishna Jayanthi was celebrated on 12th September at
Anandadham. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi along with one of the 'tiny Krishna started
the celebration by lighting the lamp.
She gave a short speech on how celebrations like
this get imprinted on the children's mind and it
helps them to think positive and live a life of val-
ues. The hall was buzzing with the sounds of the
naughty Krishnas, dressed up by their moth-
ers. Some girls were also dressed up as Radhas.
There were a total of 32 Krishnas (including 7 ba-
bies) and 8 Radhas. All the children dressed nicely
came on the stage and posed as Krishnas with their flute in hand
or Radhas with their earthen pots on their heads. It was a really beau-
tiful sight to see the children happy and smiling. After their posing
was over and the judges had given their comments, children were treated with sweets and prasadam.
`Uriyadi `or 'breaking the pot', a traditional challenging game was the next item. The children participat-
ed in it enthusiastically. At the last was the most interesting part. All the children received small gifts
from Didi for their achievements!
Volume 6 Issue 3 -9- August 2017 - September 2017
Universal Brotherhood Day Celebration

On the auspicious day of 11th September in the morning hours,
the inauguration of the six-month Yoga Certificate Course in Mala-
yalam, under Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, was done by deepa
prajwalanam from the hands of Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi. 10 partici-
pants (7 ladies and 3 gents) were enrolled. The last day of registra-
tion is 30th September. The course is to begin from 7th October

Ma. Didi spoke to the participants regarding the uniqueness of
this course. It will not only give an opportunity for systematic study
but also unfold the inner capacities or potentials of the practitioners
and expand their outlook. It would give them an opportunity to come out of their individual shells and
become a part of the society, understand their relationship with the society.

They were given a brief explanation about the 6 months course and introduced to the organizing
team by the course coordinator Sri P.C. Sudhakaran, a close well-wisher of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vi-
sion Foundation. In connection with the U. B. Day, a series of com-
petitions for school students were held at Anandadham, after the
Onam vacation on the 18th, 19th and 20th of September. 20 schools
(CBSE and State board) were approached out of which 15 respond-
ed. 150 students took part in various competitions in the junior and
senior level.

On 18th September, there was painting competition for students
from classes V to X. 40 children took part. The topic for the juniors
was ' My beloved pet' and for the seniors ' Water'.

On 19th September, English and Malayalam elocutions for the Junior and senior sections were con-
ducted. 114 students participated.

On 20th September, two quiz contests were conducted. One for
the high school level students, the topic for which was 'India's con-
tribution to space science'. The second was for the Upper Primary
level and the topic was 'Ramayana'. Seven schools were present for
the quiz meant for seniors, whereas twelve schools were present for
the junior quiz contest. 95 students participated.

Concluding programme of U.B. Day celebration was on Wednes-
day, 27th September. Srimad Swami Sadbhavanandaji, President of
Ramakrishna Math, Thrissur, was the Chief Guest. The programme included a short prayer by the UKG
tiny-tots followed by a short speech by Master Ananthashree of UKG, dressed as 'Chicago Swamiji' from
Kendra's Sandeepani Sishuvihar; speeches of Swamiji were recited in English and Malayalam by the prize
winners of the elocution competitions held for the juniors and sen-
iors on 18th September and Swamiji's quotations recited by the tiny
tots of Sandeepani Sishuvihar. Revered Swami Sadbhavanandaji and
Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi spoke to the children about the signifi-
cance of Universal Brotherhood day. At the end, prizes were given
away to the winners by the Chief Guest. This year, because of their
excellent performance and total participation, students of SN Vidya
Bhavan, Chentrapinni, were the winners of the rolling shields for
both Malayalam and English elocution competitions. Hira School,
Kaipamangalam from the junior group and SN Vidya Bhavan, Chen-
trapinni from the senior group were the first prize winners in Paint-
ing competitions. The group from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kodungallur was the winners of seniors’ Quiz
contest and S N Vidya Bhavan students were the winners from the junior group.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -10- August 2017 - September 2017
Volume 6 Issue 3 -11- August 2017 - September 2017
Navaratri Celebration

Navratri started on 21st September.Navratri, the nine-
night festival, honours Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi,
and Goddess Saraswathi in the South. It is known as
Bomma Koluvu in Andhra Pradesh and Navratri in Tamil
Nadu and Kerala. Navratri is observed as Dusshera in
Karnataka, where it is observed for ten days. The main
event during Navratri in is the display of dolls and idols –
Kolu and the placing of Kalash, which represents God-
dess.

At Anandadham too there was a beautiful decora-
tion of the stage with dolls of different types, including
the ten avatars. Daily chanting of the Devi Mahatmyam and puja and offerings to the Devi during all the
nine days were observed by the inmates. On Maha Asthami
day a bhajan session was arranged for all the students who
had come in the evening to offer their books for Mother Sar-
aswathi's blessings.

On the Maha Navami day, Deepa puja with pushpaarchana
was performed by all the students and their mothers who had
come the previous day.

On Vijaya Dashami day, Vidyarambham (Ezhuthiniruthu) is
performed in many temples of Kerala. It is believed that it is
the most auspicious day to write the first letter by a child. Par-
ents brings the small children of two to three years to temples
to perform Vidyarambham (Ezhuthiniruthu). It is a grand festival in Panachikkada Saraswathi temple in
Kottayam, Thiruvullakkavu in Thrissur and Mookambika Temple of Vadakkan Paravur. Vidyarambham is
also performed in Guruvayur temple and many other temples
of Kerala. In general older children have to write the alphabets
on rice or sand and according to custom only after this cere-
mony child becomes entitled to take the books offered at the
feet of Mother Saraswathi and write or read. The tiny tot’s
children sit on the lap of the guru and the guru writes ‘Hari
Shree Ganapataye’ on the child’s tongue
with a golden ring. Then, the child writes
‘Hari Shree Ganapathye Namaha’ in Mal-
ayalam with the right index finger, with
the help of the Guru, on rice spread in a
plate.

At Anandadham too, it was a sight to watch all the tiny tots of Sishuvihar and all the
other children from the neighbourhood come and write on rice and take their books
which they had offered for puja. About 50 children and their parents had come alto-
gether out of which 30 of them were the tiny tots of Sishuvihar and the neighbor-
hood. Ma. Didi and Sri Sudhakarji wrote on their tongue and made them write on
rice. After this, all received payasam prasadam.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -12- August 2017 - September 2017
Sthanik Karyakarta Prashikshan Shibir

KPS at the Sthanik level started at 3 p.m. on 30.09.2017 with the registration of the shibirarthis. 26 of
them registered out of whom, 7 karyakartas were from Thiruvananthapuram, 1 from Aripalam, 6 from
Edavilangu, 2 from Thrissur, and 10 were from Kodungallur. 10 members were present in the organizing
team. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi addressed the Karyakartas after lighting the lamp. Su. Radha Didi, Prant
Sanghatak of Dakshin Prant talked to the shibirarthis on the objective of KPS. There was group wise Ice
breaking so that most of them could feel at home. Bhajans, supper and in the end a PowerPoint presen-
tation on Vivekananda Kendra and its activities- Kendra Parichay beautifully explained by Ma. Sudhakarji,
made the day truly worthwhile

The second day started with wakeup call at 4.30a.m. Morning Prayer was at 5.15 a.m., followed by yo-
ga, pranayama, shramanubhav, sessions by Ma. Lakshmi Didi, and Su. Radha Didi, group discussion, prac-
tice of chantings and songs, games and commands, breaks for breakfast, lunch, tea, and supper. A num-
ber of video clippings on the inspiring lives of well-known young achievers and discussions based on the
clippings, was the last item of the day before they went to bed.

On the third day, usual routine was followed up to lunchtime. After lunch, preparation for the con-
cluding session was kept to get maximum participation from the shibirarthis. Concluding session was
from 3 pm to 4 pm. In her concluding address Ma. Didi talked on the qualities needed for a karyakarta. In
revealing their shibir experience many of them felt that they should put more effort on practising what
they have learned in the Shibir, so as to gain confidence and at the same time experience the thrill of
'seva'. Ahuti satra was arranged so that all the Karyakartas could take the resolve for their future work
and offer it at the feet of the Holy Trio.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -13- August 2017 - September 2017

REGUL AR ACTIVITIES

Yoga Satra
6 ladies and 14 gents were enrolled in yoga Satra during the months of August- September

Yoga Varga

15 ladies and 10 gents regularly attended the Yoga Varga

Ganapathi Homam and Sricakrapuja
On 7th August- Rakhi purnima day and 6th September, Ganapathy Homam and Sree Cakra Puja was
conducted by the students Karumatra Gurukulam

Sandeepani Sishuvihar
All 24 students were present during the month of August and September.

SKIE classes
Classes went on regularly in the month of August. Due to Onam vacation, there was only a single class
in the month of September.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -14- August 2017 - September 2017

MOTHER AND MOTHERLAND
Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari

Janani janmabhoomica swargaadapi gariyasi

There is no relationship in the world so spontaneous, sacred, and at the same time natural, as that
of the child towards its mother. It is through the mother that a new life is shaped and released into the
world. It is the warmth of a mother’s love that first puts its imprint on the offspring. A mother who has
no love for her child, is something abnormal, unnatural. Hence, the great Acharya sings,”Kuputro jaayate
chet kwachidapi kumaataa na bhavati”(“A bad son may be born but a bad mother is not possible”).

Why is mother so ennobling a phenomenon? Mother is indeed the embodiment of true love –
who gives, asking for no return – except the well-being of her child. From the time of conception, hour
after hour, day after day, her thoughts are centered on her child and there is no sacrifice that she would
not do for the sake of her child. Night after night may be spent without sleep. Her own comforts are set
aside. She would rather give her food to her child than appease her own hunger. In the face of danger, a
father may take to his own heels for his personal safety but not a mother, who would jump readily into a
fire or water at the cost of her own life to save her child. No wonder even the Lalitha Sahasranama
begins, addressing Devi as Mother. The Divine Mother is traditionally assigned the first and foremost
place in the order of worship.

Can anyone of us adequately describe and pay back the immense debt we owe to this deity of
deities – one’s own mother? The love with which she has fed us, the care with which she has taught us to
take steps, the concern with which she has watched us grow into adults, the sweat, toil and tears that lie
behind all these- can there be any parallel to a mother’s love? One of the finest expressions of this
mathrubhakti has again flowed out of the Great Acharya – Sankara Bagavatpaada, the Saintliest of sages,
renouncer par excellence, and the profounder of Adwaita!

The story goes that as per the promise he had given to this mother before he took sanyasa, he
promptly reached her bedside at the time of her death. By composing his famous Vishnubhujangam, he
called on the Vishnuparshadas to come and take his mother into Vishnu’s abode. However, before
consigning her body to the flames, looking at his mother, in a reminiscent mood, the Acharya’s mind
goes back to his childhood, and with a heart filled with love, adoration and gratitude, the great seer from
whose mouth gurgled out the profound Soundaryalahiri gives forth five inimitable verses
(Mathrupanchakam), on the glory of motherhood. No more eloquent expression exists on the beauty
and grandeur of motherhood. The first of the verses translated simply runs thus:
Volume 6 Issue 3 -15- August 2017 - September 2017

The sorrow caused by the uncontrollable pain at the time of giving birth (to me), the spell of
weakness due to the distaste caused by me while you were carrying me, the misery you had to put up
with for one year with wet and dirty bed because of me – all these leave alone- (no one can do anything
in return) for the agony of carrying me for ten months is itself something that even the most exalted son
cannot repay, in any form of action. Oh! Mother! Unto you my salutations.

If even an exalted soul like Sankara, who brought so much credit and glory to his parents, to his
place of birth and to the country at large, and who gave to the world an unparalleled philosophy, feels
himself humbled in front of the mighty gush of his mother’s love. Can anyone of us, ordinary mortals that
we are, ever compensate the debt we owe to our mother?

Our history is replete with stories of how mothers have played an all- important role in the
character building of their children. Chatrapati Shivaji is quoted often as a classic example. Swami
Vivekananda till his last, held his mother in great esteem and love and always took care to see that no
suffering came to her.

This adoration of mother and seeing the entire creation as manifold expressions of the Divine
Mother, are typically Indian in nature. It is a very unique feature of Indian culture that to all that we give
respect and adoration, which are characterized by more of giving than taking, we spontaneously add the
prefix Mother and put them on a pedestal higher than the highest and dearer than the dearest – Mother
Ganga, Mother Earth and so on. Mathrudevo Bhava thus became the first injunction from the Guru to the
disciple. Love of mother is truly an Aryan trait. Out of this came the sanctity of family life, the strong
family bonds and family disciplines which naturally found their way out into the adoration of
womanhood at large. All the great seers and sages, even of the modern times, refer to all women as
mother and addressing them as such got rid of the last traces of lust from their minds. Sri Ramakrishna
showed by his own supreme example, how the love towards the Divine Mother can percolate and
sanctify his love for his wife, thus giving a rare meaning to the conjugal life and raising his wife into
Divine Motherhood.

What apparently started as a simple habit of loving and worshipping the mother, became a strong
force of loving and worshipping the motherland and all her noble attributes – her geographical features,
her culture, her traditions, her faith, her resources and so on. Not only was there no artificiality in it, but in
addition, it was a spontaneous, instinctive outpouring of a human heart, towards its own very source of
life. The beauty and uniqueness of motherhood became superimposed on the Motherland. Rooted in this
faith, life lost its monotony and took a new dimension altogether. Transcending the limits of motherland,
such a heart could easily expand to visualize the whole universe as the Playground of the Divine Mother
and effortlessly express his attunement with one and all in the words Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
Volume 6 Issue 3 -16- August 2017 - September 2017
What is there so great in a Mother? Mother represents the very womb of creation – the source
from which we have derived our being. She is an irreplaceable link in the chain of creation. Again, she is
the symbol of the all-pervading great Yajna- and spirit of offering, asking for no return, the basic
principle underlying Lokasangraha – welfare of the world. Blessed indeed are the homes where ‘Mother’
is truly loved, respected and worshipped. A rare peace, harmony and prosperity surround such homes.

When mothers became shy of their motherhood and lost their motherliness, Mathrudevo Bhava
lost its meaning too. Mothers lost their hold on children, families lost their sanctity, societies lost their
cohesiveness the nation its integrity. National wealth was looted, her territories seized and national
values became degraded.

Children should be brought back to the mothers, by none other than mothers. Mathrudevo Bhava
should be the first lesson in character-building. Children should realize the virtues of motherhood, the
values it enshrines, the principle of cosmic law of creation, and the spirit of Yagna that motherhood
symbolizes. Out of this love and adoration for a mother would gush forth a new love for the Motherland
and all that she holds, and last but not the least, love for the entire humanity.

Yaa Devi Sarvabhooteshu Matruroopena samsthitaa
Namastasyai namstasyai namastasyai namo namah
.