You are on page 1of 28

Jun 2018 – Sep 2018

Volume 7 Issue 2
A triannual bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

In this Issue

• Editorial

• Opening Of Sandeepani Sishuvihar

• Visit YCC Students To Kanyakumari

• International Yoga Day Celebration

• QCI Coaching Class For Level I

• Gurupurnima Celebration

• Ramayana Month -Karkatakam

• Independence Day Celebration

• Devastating Floods And Following Re-

lief Work
• U.B Day Celebration

• Regular Activities

• Article By Ma. Lakshmi Didi
Volume 7 Issue 2 -2- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

EDITORIAL

Yoga is becoming more and more acceptable since the time tested human development
programme won international recognition. This is indeed a giant step taken by our
ancient heritage wisdom. For many yoga is just a fanciful idea of self-improvement at the
physical level. For some it is a little deeper, affecting one’s psychological ‘self ‘. Whatever it
may be, nobody can deny that when properly studied and integrated into one’s self-
awareness, it can work wonders. One can get double promotions in the process of
evolution and self-enlightenment, which till now was a subject unknown
Apart from its all important role as an ‘evolutionary’ guide it can become a magic
wand for mobilizing ourselves. How it can be done is well enunciated by Sri Krishna in His
inimitable treatise of Bhagavad Gita. The motivating dynamo in the magic wand or it
could also be used as a torchlight to brighten up the dark corners of our day today life.
The battery charger is the famous idea behind ‘yoga- citta vritti nirodhah’. How
beautifully and effectively Patanjali has summarized the effective aspects of yoga into this
sutra and made it into a torchlight for self-improvement.
Let’s take that magic wand or torchlight and go round the big mansion of our life. The
cleaning up should start from the waking up in the morning. The tamasic and lazy
inclination are the first darkened patches to be removed and that can be done by
reminding ourselves of the positive and negative aspects of our sleeping. Mind is the victim
which is played upon and compelled to drag the night effect into the daylight .By
reminding oneself of the sutra one has to steady oneself. The light of the knowledge of the
sutra must make us act in the right way with control over our mind. In the same manner
each and every action has to be pulled out of the clutches of tamas and made to fall in
line with the sutras direction.
When all our actions are lighted up by yoga, Karma becomes Karma yoga at the
emotional level they turn into Bhakti yoga – adoring and worshipping the Supreme, at
the control room of our mind the power exercised by the yoga makes the mind lighted up
by Raja yoga. The last but not the least is to turn our knowledge seeking faculty to drop
the unwanted information collecting dustbin into a centre of Viveka and Vairagya where
Vidya also gets lighted up by yogic torch. There is a leap from ‘Apara’ to ‘Para’. This is
how yoga can be integrated with each and every aspect of our life and take us into our
ward in the path of evolution.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -3- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Opening Of Sandeepani Sishuvihar
Eighteen tiny tots were newly enrolled in LKG of Sandeepani Sishuvihar on
Monday June 4th when school re-opened after the long vacation. After the
admission forms were duly filled by the parents, a parents’ meet was
conducted for both the UKG and LKG. In the meeting Mananeeya Didi
welcomed the kids and their parents and gave an introduction and insight
into the uniqueness of Sandeepani
Sishuvihar. Didi explained to the parents on how the tiny tots will be
introduced to activity based learning partly based on the teachings of
Madame Montessori, so that along with formal learning their base will
become strong enough to face the stresses of higher classes. Kendra
members and teachers were introduced to parents by Su Bindu, who is
charge of the Sandeepani Sishuvihar. A short ceremony which included lighting of lamp by the youngest
child, welcoming each new child by Didi, with a flower, and sweets were distributed. The children felt at
home and started playing with the toys; the first day experience of school.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -4- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Visit Of YCC Students To Kanyakumari
8 YCC students from Kodungallur, attended the 15 days classes of YCC held at Kanyakumari from
19th May to 2nd June. The final assessments of the six month long non-residential YCC course which
started in the month of October at Anandadham- Kodungallur, were also conducted by the faculty at
Kanyakumari.

IYD – transforms into Yoga Saptaham
The promotion of yoga seeped into every nook and corner of Kodungallur and brought with it the
multifarious benefits to the common man, woman and children, influencing them to include it as part of
their daily regime. “A journey from illness to wellness” says our honourable Prime Minister. By expanding
our yoga activities we are also paying homage to the founder of Vivekananda Kendra, Mananeeya
Eknathji whose vision way back in 1972, had made yoga the core of Vivekananda Kendra. Yoga Saptaham
was conducted from June 21st to 27th, by Vivekananda Kendra. This has been the practice for the last
three years, and it promotes the ideals of our great teachers.

On June 21st morning mass yoga was practiced at Anandadham from 7 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. The
programme started with the lighting of lamp by Man. Lakshmi Didi. She addressed the participants
highlighting the role of yoga at individual, and cosmic level and requested all the participants to make
yoga as part of their day to day life. The participants included Yoga Varga and Yoga Satra members,
Yoga Certificate Course participants and XII class school girls of Govt. Girls Higher Sec. School
Kodungallur. A total of 110 participants were present in spite of the heavy rain. The programme ended
with shanti mantra.

On the same day 10.30 to 11 a.m. one of the YCC students Dr. Midhun, conducted a class for the
students of Sisu Vidyaposhini School, Eriyad on the occasion of IYD. Smt. Jayalakshmi conducted classes
for Saraswathi Vidya Niketan, Edavilangu students, their parents and teachers. She also conducted
classes for students of Ala UP School and two schools in Poya. Smt. Seeba was invited to conduct yoga
session for Nehru Yuva Kendra at Karumatra.

Ma. Lakshmi Didi and Sri Sudhakarji were invited on this occasion to talk on Yoga, at Sri
Sai Vidyapeedham, Anthikad, and Thrissur. In the evening at Kovilakath Village and Matru Samiti at Shiva
Kshetram, Thiruvalur, Smt Jayalakshmi conducted a class for the mothers, and their children. She
introduced the term Yoga for the first time to the mothers in Thiruvalur. Smt Suja Nair, Y.C.C student had
her concluding function of 10 days Yoga Satra at Palackal, Thrissur. On the occasion of I Y Day, she had
also invited the relatives and friends of the satra participants.

On the 22nd, 23rd and 25th June advanced Yogasana competitions were held at Anandadham for
various age groups of students in three batches including LP, UP and H.S students. 75 students from 8
Volume 7 Issue 2 -5- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

different schools participated. On the same days during the evening
hours, concluding sessions of 10 to 13 days yoga Satra conducted by
Yoga Certificate Course students were held.

On June 24th morning there was a meet for the aspiring students
who were willing to prepare for QCI examination of Ayush Ministry,
Govt of India, who were looking for guidance from Vivekananda
Kendra.
On June 27th for the concluding function many yoga practitioners
trained by the YCC students, the prize winning students with their
guardians, yoga Varga members, gathered at Panicker's Hall, West
Nada ,Kodungallur, to participate in the celebration. Apart from prize
distribution, there was also the felicitation of our YCC students who
had successfully completed their course conducted by our
headquarters Kanyakumari Certificate Course. Each YCC student was felicitated by Ma. Lakshmi Didi with
a lighted lamp, a book and a shawl or ponnada. The Chief Guest of the programme was Sri Narayana
Bhattathiri, a well versed Sanskrit scholar and former Acharya of Vivekananda University at Belur Math. Dr
Panicker and his wife, the owners of the Panicker’s hall, also graced the occasion with their
presence. Each of the prize winners of Yogasana competition demonstrated a few asanas before the
prize distribution. HDPY Sen. Sec. School, Andipilikavu, with the highest points in the Yogasana
competitions received the shield. The Principal and Manager of the school were also present to receive
the shield from the hands of Didi and Dr Panicker’s total of 120 people were present.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -6- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018
Volume 7 Issue 2 -7- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

QCI Coaching Class For Level I
July 14th was the designated day for registration of participants for the QCI class; 16 students
registered. The syllabus and other requirements were briefed to the students by Sri Sudhakarji. Formal
inauguration of the class was on 21st July in the presence of Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi. 5 more students
registered to bring the told number of students to 21. Classes have been fixed on every Saturday from
9am to 5pm. Resource persons will be from among the Kendra inmates and well-wishers in Kodungallur.

Gurupurnima Celebration
On 27th of July Ganapathi Homam and Sreechakra Puja were performed by
Dr. Karumathra Vijayanji, founder, Gurupadam Karumatra, an institution that wel-
comes seekers to enrol themselves to learn scriptures and scriptural practices.

Children of Sishuvihar along with their parents came to pay their respects to
Ma. Didi. Public celebrations of Gurupurnima happened on 29th evening. Yoga
varga practitioners, YCC students and QCI students about 50 in number, gathered
in the Dakshina hall. Mananeeya Didi spoke to them on the importance of Guru.
Guru Strotam was chanted together followed by guruarchana (in front of OM Ka-
ra ) with flowers.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -8- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Ramayana Month- Karkatakam
The month long project of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation, to popularise Adhyatma Ra-
mayana chanting(parayanam) in every house, starts from the first day of the Karkataka
month. Karyakarta Sushree Bindu, along with her group members visit house to house daily and chant
relevant passages from the Ramayana and make the hosts perform pushparchana. At least 30 houses
and a number of temples invite them during this month. Houses which do not have the Ramayana book
are presented with one so as to inculcate in them the habit of chanting. Amongst the various temples,
this year there were invitations from the Vinayaka temple at Lokamaleswaram and Shiva temple at
Moothakunnam. Su Bindu went to Lokamaleswaram and Smt Sulochana went to the Sivan temple, to
chant the Adhyatma Ramayanam in the early hours of the morning. In all 31 houses were visited during
the whole month of Karkatakam.

On 12th August Ramayana Samarpanam, a, two hour programme was arranged. The bronze idols of
the Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana including Hanumanji’s, were kept on stage. The programme started
with parayanam of the stuthis from the Adhyatma Ramayana like Ahalya stuti, Parshuram stuthi and
Kabandha Stithi. Following this was Sangeet archana by budding artists Kumari Neha Nair and her broth-
er Siddhartha Nair, Smt Jayashree Satheesh of Paravur – a well-known vocalist and Sri Sanjay Raj, another
local vocalist.

After this followed pushpaarchana with Rama and Hanuman Ashtottara chanting. At the end a talk by
an Ayurvedic practitioner Dr C Padmajan, a devotee of Sri Rama. He elaborated the various characters in
Ramayana and stressed on the regular study and chanting of Adhyatma Ramayana and not limit the
parayanam only for the Ramayana month. The programme concluded with arati of Sri Ramachandran
and Prasad distribution
Volume 7 Issue 2 -9- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Independence Day Celebration
On 15th of August this year, 2018, when the whole country was celebrating the 72nd Independence
Day of India, at Anandadham the experience was quite different and unique. Early morning at 6.30 in
spite of incessant rain, more than 60 yoga practitioners in uniform gathered in the hall to perform
Samuhika Surya Namaskar and a few asanas.

Due to the rains national flag hoisting had to be done in the hall. All the students of Sandeepani
Sishuvihar with their parents were present for the flag hoisting programme. Sri Sudhakarji hoisted the
flag. The parents had parallelly planned for Onam celebration on that day. Fresh flowers of different
colours were bought. A beautiful ‘Pookkolam’ (design or rangoli with flowers) was created by the
mothers. Lots of games for children were conducted by the parents. Prizes for the winners were all
vegetables like yam(chena), Snake gourd, Pumpkin etc. wrapped in shinning papers to look attractive.
There were lots of laughter and jokes, dances and merry making with the children, their parents and
teachers. Lunch followed after this. All kinds of delicacies brought by the mothers were served. After the
nice sumptuous lunch all departed.

It was after the programme that the inmates became aware of the rise in water level of the canal
adjacent to our compound and by night the water had entered the compound! The beginning of a
devastating flood and gruelling experience.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -10- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Devastating Floods and Following Relief Work
August 15th 2018, the day and the night will remain in the memory of all for many years to come. The
heavy downpour of the day had the rivers, back waters and canals overflowing. By the 16th water had
entered the rooms on the ground floor and three cottages at Anandadham. Most of the people from
neighbouring houses had already moved by as early as 1 am on 16th . No one had anticipated this
calamity, hence the limited number of boats, both public and private could hardly cope up to the
demand of moving people, let alone property. The rising waters removed the demarcation between
roads and canals. The inmates along with our pet dog Acchu moved to our well wisher Smt. Padma
Adikal’s house which was located close to the Bhagavathi Amman temple. One had to literally wade
through hip deep water to reach the main road.

The flood water rose further and by 17th it was close to 7 feet at Anandadham. In other places it was
even higher. The flood situation in the entire state turned very grim and most parts of Kerala were
submerged. There were many deaths reported from different parts, and people were being evacuated to
schools/public buildings located on higher ground level. Power supply, Communication network, and
drinking water supply was disrupted; Navy was deployed to evacuate the stranded.
It was only by evening of 19th that the flood waters started receding. Thousands of displaced families
were given shelter at Govt Girls School, Govt Boys School, Amrita Vidyalayam, O.K Hall. etc. in and
around Kodungallur. In each camp there were around 1000 homeless people. Most affected areas of
Kodungallur were Elthuruthu and Kavilkadavu, which were by the side of the back waters. Many families
from close by places like Moothakunnam, Andipilikavu, Vavakad etc. were given shelter in the camps
The current state of deluge in Kerala is reminiscent of that monsoon, almost a century back(1099 ME),
when ‘God’s own country’ was transformed into a calamity zone. “It seemed as if the skies had been
ripped apart as the waters burst out endlessly, transforming the bountiful scene into one of catastrophe,”
writes historian Manu Pillai about the ‘great flood of 99’ in his book, ‘The Ivory throne’.
By the last week of August people started returning to their whatever was left of their “home”.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -11- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Flood Relief and Rehabilitation works in Kodungallur
Vivekananda Kendra Kodungallur under support from our headquarters in Kanyakumari undertook
Flood Relief and Rehabilitation works in and around Kodungallur. As early as August 18 th Kendra started
it relief operations, by helping with cooking of food which was being done by Seva Bharathi for the
various relief centres in and around Kodungallur. With the water starting to recede by late 19th evening
further relief service of Vivekananda Kendra were coordinated from the Kendra Campus at Anandadham.

Kendra started its Relief Operation on 18th August by helping in cooking food for around 1500
affected people in one relief centre with Seva Bharati. After water receded from Vivekananda Kendra
campus, further services were coordinated from Kendra Campus.

Families returning back to their homes from the relief camps were
confronted with the serious issue of wells contaminated by the flood water,
and with no water supply from the Municipality, Vivekananda Kendra started
to supply drinking water to about 150 house around Anandadham. Access to
the narrow lanes of the village areas was
accomplished using a smaller vehicle
carrying a water tank of 1000 litres for distribution of drinking water.
Along with this Kendra started providing lunch for about 300 people a
day which also included packaged drinking water. This started on 24th
and continued for couple of days. Cleaning material consisting of
brooms, wiper, bleaching powder, gloves, masks, and chlorine liquid for water purification was
distributed to 50 houses within the vicinity of Anandadham.

While the drinking water supply was being done, a preliminary survey was also done and 342 houses
were identified. The identified families were distributed cash coupon to the value of Rs. 500/- which they
could redeem for necessary provisions from the nearby cooperative store, as a Phase I activity. A small
program was arranged in which Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi, Director, Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision
Foundation Kodungallur presided over the function. Shri Sudhakarji Sushree Sutapa, Sri Raghunathji
(Kendra Jeevanvrati Karyakartas), Smt Padma Vivekanandan, Sri Premanath and all the workers of Kendra
were present along with the beneficiaries. Sudhakarji explained to the people how they could utilize the
token for purchasing the needy items of their choice worth Rs. 500 from Coop Consumers Stores,
Kodungallur. Ma. Lakshmi Didi told the people that, Kendra buildings and its premises were also under
water for 4 days and we are also equally affected by the flood, like them. Even then, keeping in mind
Swami Vivekananda’s call “Serve man, Serve God”, Kendra Karyakartas plunged into action to help the
fellow beings in their distress and suffering. We appealed to the people of our country to join in the
great task of relief work with Kendra and the help started pouring from different parts of the country by
well-wishers and kind souls.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -12- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018
Volume 7 Issue 2 -13- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018
Volume 7 Issue 2 -14- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Smt. Padma Vivekanandan, wife of Rtd Major General Vivekanandan, addressed the beneficiaries and
encouraged the people to face the situation with courage and cooperate with Vivekananda Kendra in the
Relief works. Later, two counters were arranged to distribute the Relief coupons manned by Kendra
Karyakartas. They collected back the tokens that were given to them at the time of selecting the
beneficiaries and distributed Relief Coupons to them. Snacks, drinking water and cleaning items such as
hand gloves also distributed among them. A register with address and full details of the beneficiaries
was also prepared for further Relief and Rehabilitation purpose.

Relief materials such as medicines, clothes, sanitation items, food items- rice, pulses, and biscuits, milk
powder which came in from Mumbai, Pune and Bilaspur were sorted out and kept ready for distribution.
The two volunteers from Jnanaprabhodini who brought the medicines from Pune left after spending
couple of days in the relief camp. We had received 57 bundles of clothes from Lioness Club, Bilaspur,
and Chhattisgarh. Kendra Karyakartas sorted and segregated them as blankets, bed sheets, shawls,
ladies, gents’ and children’s garments. On 28th, people were allowed to take them as per their choice
and the whole lot was distributed by 29th evening. Also, 200 men were given a set of one lungi and one
undergarment. Around 100 people got cleaning materials such as phenyl, room cleaner and disinfect-
ants. Other organizations and schools also started distributing food packets to some of the families who
had come back to their houses and cleaning work was being done. Hence by 30th, Kendra concluded
lunch distribution with a grand feast.

Two batches of Kendra Karyakartas led by Shri Sudhakarji and Shri Raghunathan went around the
affected area from Undakadavu to Pullut bridge, to see the actual situation of the returning families from
Relief Camps. About 1700 families were visited and identified the beneficiaries for the second stage of
Rehabilitation by Kendra. A list was prepared and a token was issued with their Aadhar Number (to avoid
any kind of misuse or duplicity). The survey continued for two more days. The data collected was
extensive as compared to the earlier survey with details like number of children studying in various
classes, their loss of dress, uniform and study materials, any health problem after coming back home
from relief center, damage of the houses, loss or damage of items of livelihood like tailoring machine,
fishing net etc. Kendra decided to leave out some families for now, who though affected by the floods
were able to start afresh on their own.

The final list was for 400 families who were asked to come to Kendra on 3rd September at 10:30 am
with the token and identity document. There were couple of families who had not returned from the
relief camps, such families were also provided with the tokens. Hence the total families were more than
400. It was also planned to provide lunch packets and packaged drinking water for all those who come as
they would get late in reaching their homes.

Phase III started on 31st August with a full fledged Medical camp which continued for a month.
Medicines for the camp were contributed by Jnanaprabhodini team from Pune. Doctors and medical
assistants were from within Kendra’s well-wishers. A small function was arranged in the main hall
Volume 7 Issue 2 -15- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018
Volume 7 Issue 2 -16- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

‘Dakshina’ at 2:00 P M. Ma. Dr Lakshmi Kumari, Director, Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation,
welcomed the public and introduced the medical team. In her brief welcome address, Lakshmi Didi
mentioned that, if some medicine was not available in the camp and the patient could not afford the
cost, they could buy it from a nearby medical store identified by Kendra by showing the prescription;
Kendra would pay for the same. The Medical team consisted of Dr. Suresh Babu (retired physician and
Kendra well-wisher), Dr N.M. Vijayan (retired physician and Kendra well-wisher)), Dr. Krishnan Nam-
boodiri (retired Govt hospital Civil Surgeon) and Dr. Satish (Orthopaedic surgeon). Mrs Lany, Mrs. Ajitha,
and Mrs Raji assisted the doctors by dispensing medicines and as nursing assistant. In his inaugural
address Dr. N.M Vijayan, informed the people about the possible health problems which can affect them
if proper care is not taken. He also mentioned that many cases have been reported in and around
Kodungallur due to the spread of dirt and contaminated water. He advised the public to take advantage
of the camp and prevent diseases. General check-up and distribution of free medicines would continue
on all Fridays and Tuesdays from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM up to September 28th 2018. It was planned to
extend the camp after 28th September if required. On the first day 52 people came in for consultations
and were provided with free medicine and health advices from the medical camp.

A simple function was arranged on 3rd September at 10:30 AM at Kendra. Dr. M Lakshmi Kumari
chaired the function. Sri Anapuzha Muralidharan, well known author and a renowned primary school
teacher (Rtd) was the Chief Guest. He emphasized the need for public cooperation with Kendra in all
their activities which are primarily aimed at the welfare of the people. Shri Sudhakarji briefed everyone
who were gathered on the how the materials will be distributed to the beneficiaries. He also declared
Kendra’s extended Relief and Rehabilitation program. As part of the plan some selected people would
get a certain amount for minor repair and maintenance for their houses, some fishermen would get
financial help for purchasing fishing nets and a number of women would get trained in tailoring. Women
who were already trained in garment stitching or similar Kendra would provide assistance in marketing
the same. Kendra offered to provide a sewing machine to individuals if they would participate in the
training program and offer services (tailoring) for a period of 1 year. A series of counselling program’s for
students, women and men has been planned. Both the programs would begin in the month of October.
All the three local body members representing the area also attended the function. In her concluding
address, Lakshmi Didi highlighted the generous contribution of Kendra well-wishers all over India and
the need of developing highly potential qualities of Tyaga and Seva. Later, the relief materials were
distributed to the beneficiaries. It included: plastic mats, dhotis, saris', bed sheets, bathing towels,
washing soaps, bath soaps, 20 litre plastic buckets, plastic mugs and one kilo bleaching powder. A 2 litre
pressure cooker for each of the families was planned for 11th September. Lunch packets were also
distributed to all who came for the program.

The news of Kendra’s aggressive relief work in the area around Anandadham quickly spread to
adjacent villages and towns. Requests started coming in from other localities around Kendra. Shri
Volume 7 Issue 2 -17- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Sudhakarji and Shri Raghunathan with some Staniya Karyakartas went to see the places and affected
people.Shri Sudhakarji and Shri Raghunathan with some Staniya Karyakartas went to see those places
and affected people., Areas like Vavakkadu and Oottukadu were very badly affected. Hardly any relief
work had been done by any other agencies. After the visit to these areas, it was decided to distribute
rice, sugar, tea leaves, and salt, cooking oil, some masala and pulses for 100 families in Vavakkadu. In
Oottukadu, plastic mats, ladies, gents, and children’s garments, bed sheets, bathing towels and cleaning
materials were found urgently needed for at least 100 families. So these things were distributed on in
both the areas.

On 24th September, the balance of the items for relief were distributed. Beneficiaries who had not
come on the previous day collected there kits. Around 400 people turned up on 24th although the items
available were only for about 200. The rest were given something for now. The second of the medical
session camps functioned in the second half with Dr. Vijayan, Dr. Suresh Babu and Dr Namboodiri. 51
patients came in for consultations. 30 TT injections were given, and the medicines for next four days were
given to the patients. For medicines that were not available Kendra, arrangements were made to get
them from the local drug stores. Sri Vinay, Kartik and Tushar of Jnanaprabhodini, Pune took permission
to leave from Man. Lakshmi Didi after having a first hand experience of post flood operations.

On 6th September as part of the Phave IV, 60 girl students each of Govt. Girls Higher Secondary
School, Kodungallur received a kit that contained a school bag, 5 to 10 note books, one Geometry box,
pens and pencils 2 each, clothes for one set of school uniform from Ma. Didi organised as part of a small
function in their school. Similarly on 7th September another 60 girl students of Govt Boys Higher
Secondary School Kodungallur too received uniforms and study materials from Ma. Didi. The same day
100 families of Pallamthuruthu received kits with food items worth Rs 600/- each. On 8th September 100
flood affected people of Vavakad, in adjacent Ernakulum district were also provided kits. Both these 200
families were identified by our yoga students who stayed in those areas.

11th September, alongwith the anniversary celebrations of Swamij’s Chicago address, 320 beneficiar-
ies where provided with a 3 litre pressure cooker each. On the 12th four Fishermen received new fishing
nets with the blessing of Ma. Didi. The nets were worth about Rs. 15,000/-. Another set of 300 flood
victims identified by our yoga students and well wishers received kits containing provisions, clothing and
mats and bed sheets. On 26th September, 33 ladies from the localities around Kendra, registered their
names for the tailoring class named as “Nivedita Swasraya Parisheelana Kendram” which started on 30th
September. Two teachers and a supervisor will look after the centre. The course will be of three months
duration, free of cost. This training centre has been planned for a year for the time being, with the idea of
rehabilitating the ladies (housewives) who have suffered much losses due to the floods.

This quantum of relief work was only possible for the whole hearted contribution of our well-wishers
from all over India, Our special thanks to Jnanaprabhodini group of Pune, well-wishers of VK Madurai,
Volume 7 Issue 2 -18- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Bharathiar University of Coimbatore’s NSS team who sent a truck load of materials including eatables,
clothes and other essentials, Rotary Cochin for getting us 1000 litres of bottled drinking water from
Kinley, well-wishers of Rajasthan and Gujarat, VKV students of Arunachal Pradesh and Valliyoor, Sri
Samasta Mahajan of Mumbai, who contributed maximum for the relief work. Sri Pradeep and team from
Coimbatore and last but not the least but for the seva of innumerable volunteers including Yoga Varga
karyakartas, YCC karyakartas, QCI coaching students, parents of Sishuvihar students, SamskarVarga
karyakartas, well-wishers and neighbours. A Herculean task.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -19- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018
Volume 7 Issue 2 -20- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

U.B Day Celebration
The 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's famous address at World Parliament of Religions, Chi-
cago, was celebrated by Vivekananda Kendra as Universal Brotherhood Day with a lot fervour. In this
connection, a number of competitions were planned for the school children. As most of the schools had
been badly affected by the sudden floods, only the students of three schools viz. SN Vidyalayam- Chen-
trapinni, Amrita Vidyalayam and Shantiniketan International School- Kodungallur, registered their names.
On 6th September, there was painting competition for Junior (class V to VII) and Senior groups (classes
VIII to X ), in which 20 students participated. After lighting of the lamp, Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi spoke
to students, encouraging them to perform with full vigour and concentration. Topic for the junior classes
was ‘Scenes from Ramayana' and for the senior classes it was' Incidents from the life of Swamiji'.
On 7th September, Elocution Competitions (English and Malayalam) which was to by heart and deliv-
er the speech of Swamiji (selected from the first and last speeches delivered by Swamiji in Chicago Par-
liament of Religions) in which 33 students participated. While speaking to the competitors Didi asked
them to think that while delivering the speech, they should feel as if it was an offering at the feet of Swa-
miji because it was because of this great patriot saint that we are able to lead a dignified life today. It was
because of Him that the world came to recognize the greatness of our culture. On 11th September, a
public function was held. Sri Piyush a young Vedantist from Thrissur was the Chief Guest; along with him
on the dais were Retired Major General Vivekanandan - a close well-wisher of Vivekananda Kendra and
Ma. Didi. Along with the prize distribution for the winners of schools, distribution of pressure cookers for
about 350 flood affected people, was also held. This time the winners of rolling trophy for Malayalam El-
ocution was Amrita Vidyalayam and that of English Elocution was SN Vidyalayam. After the Shanti man-
tra, all were given prasada. 400 people attended the Universal Brotherhood programme. After the pra-
sad, previously selected beneficiaries were given 3 litre pressure cookers as a relief measure.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -21- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

REGUL AR ACTIVITIES

Yoga Satra
10 ladies and 20 gents enrolled for Yoga Satra in the month of June , July and August.

Yoga Varga

Average 10 ladies and 15 gents regularly attended the yoga Varga.

Swadhaya Class

All the regular activities such as Yoga Satra, Yoga Varga, Purnima puja, Swadhyaya with Girishji of
Irinjalakuda, Sishuvihar (school), went on in the usual way.

We need your SUPPORT! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation
right now. Please send us your PAN details at vkvvf@vkendra.org , post
your online payment, bank and account details
This is a project for the children, of the children, by the
children. Get blessed by sharing the joy of building this
Children’s’ Park. Your contribution may be directed to:

Account Name : VKVVF
Account Number: 0758101127166
Bank Name : Canara Bank, Kodungallur Branch
IFSC Code : CNRB0000758

Alternatively you can also Sponsor an item in the Playground.
All `10,000/- and above donations will have business/family name on
permanent plaque displayed at the park.

‘Leave your mark
in the Annals of Time’

for
Vrindavanam
Volume 7 Issue 2 -22- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Role of Women in Revitalising Hindu Dharma
Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari

“The spiritual path is Rama, but the spiritual culture is Sita. Rama must win and save Sita or he cannot
fulfil his destiny.” This significant observation was made not by a Hindu, nor even by an Indian, but by a
critical American who, after intensive study, travel and interactions with Indians, strongly feels there is
much that Hinduism can offer to the world, groping in spiritual darkness. David Frawley concludes his
chapter on the “Value of Hindu Culture for the World” in his thought-provoking book Arise Arjuna with
the above meaningful statement. “Restoration of Rama to his rightful place is no doubt important, but if
Hindu dharma is to regain its glory and make its impact on the present-day world civilization, “Sita” the
spiritual power and essence in Rama’s life must also be given her place by his side. The restoration and
revitalizing of the Hindu dharma lie in the hands of the present-day daughters of Sita, the women of
India”.

Stree moolah sarva dharma, was an oft quoted statement of H.H. Paramacharya of Kanchi who was
equally emphatic about the role of women in enhancing dharma. One is also reminded of the call of
Swami Vivekananda to our women, to emulate our great heroines like Sita and Savitri, the ever-inspiring
examples of women, who, in the available context, keeping to the accepted norms and traditions
prevalent in the society lived extraordinarily meaningful lives thus becoming divine channels of dharma
and helped to restore the values which would otherwise have disappeared from the society. They, thus,
contributed their mighty share to keep up the pristine purity and dignity of womanhood, enriched our
heritage and fertilized the culture from which heroes and heroines could spring up when the course of
history awaits the birth of heroes and heroines who would restore our Motherland to her glory, but alas,
the cultural “soil” seems to have almost lost its productivity!

The slithery dragon of materialism, emitting poisonous fumes of sensualism, in the disguise of
“modernism”, has crept into our homes. Our children and our youth, who unfortunately have not been
given any immunising dose of spiritual awareness, are rapidly falling as its prey. In the prime of their
youthful fancies, alas, the parents themselves are unaware of the damage. They do not foresee that as
evening sets in for them, they would be unceremoniously pushed aside, bereft of love and care, to fend
for themselves, lonely and miserable, having nothing else to do than eagerly await the mercy of death.

If mothers do not care, not only the sanctity and security of our homes will be destroyed, but the
most wonderful family tree of ours, rarest and best in the world, will wither away, leaving no role model
for the world to emulate.

Women in Traditional Role

The glory of womanhood lies in the fact that she is undeniably one half of the divine nature which
is “connected with the making of forms” which gives the soil in which forms are developed, which
Volume 7 Issue 2 -23- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

nourishes them, guards them, protects them; in a word, the mother side of nature… the woman
represents the material side of the manifested universe which is necessary for the manifestation of
spirit… woman occupies a special place in nature, nay she is a replica of Nature. She has also been
recognized as an embodiment of Divine forces whenever there was need for the exertion of Divine
Energy to annihilate terror-striking evil forces. Thus she is worshipped “as the refuge of the world and at
her feet all worlds find rest.”

From such illuminating concepts emerged the Hindu ideal of marriage, totally bereft of any idea of
rivalry between the partners, who were the two sides of a single whole, representing also the happy
union of intellect and emotion. Harmonious blending of the directive force of the intellect and the
impulsive force of the emotion provides for the creation of ideal human type. Rivalry between these two
forces would be disastrous at the individual, collective or universal level. Unfortunately, today’s society is
rampant with this rivalry in manifold forms, at manifold levels. Women should think of rectifying this
mistake and bringing health, happiness and harmony into the homes from where it should start radiating
into society. To create ideal homes is as much important as and much more necessary than creating
various institutions for the welfare of the society. To be a good housewife is indeed a great challenge
and at the same time a most wonderful opportunity to serve the nation.

Women : Index of Civilization
It is often said that the position of women in any civilization is an indicator of its stage of evolution.
A study of Indian history proves the truth of this statement. Dr.Annie Besant, who dearly loved India and
dedicated herself for the service of our nation, in one of her lectures on women says: “You may search
the history of the world, you may turn over the pages of world literature; nowhere will you find stronger,
sweeter and more beautiful womanhood than you find in the ancient literature of India. Many are the
Western thinkers and philosophers who have underscored this perfection of womanhood attained in
ancient India which has never been excelled anywhere at any time.
What a glorious tribute, which brings with it also the onus of a great responsibility. We have to
understand our national responsibility at this critical hour in our nation’s history. Our mothers should
not just remain as inactive and “irresponsible” housewives. We can all play a part in solving the problems
of our country the moment we realise that we are also part of the problem. By indiscriminately allowing
free entry to material glitter and glamour of all kinds we have in fact invited darkness into our homes.
Every effort should be made to retain the natural spiritual light which an ideal home radiates into the
society. Women should learn to light the lamps of happy contended life.
Our Glorious Inheritance
Because we have “inherited” the holistic universal Hindu dharma we have turned blind to its real
magnificence and significance. Starting, from the simplest and elementary spiritual awareness expressed
in the worship of the ugly and crude forms we have ascended stepwise to the realization of the One
Volume 7 Issue 2 -24- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

Ultimate Truth, to the most dizzy and almost “unattainable” heights of Vedanta philosophy. The
grandeur of Hindu dharma is that still we have managed to link them all up in a beautiful, unbroken
brilliant chain through the creation of diverse forms of rituals, worships and sadhanas for personal
satisfaction, an enchanting variety of ceremonies and festivals for community interactions, myriads of
soul-stirring forms of dance, music and art forms, illuminating and holistic practical sciences like
ayurveda, vastusilpa, astrology, astronomy, yoga, meditation and so on, and transcending all of them, an
immeasurable and invaluable treasury of spiritual and other literature which are a source of wonder and
inspiration for the entire mankind.

Our youth should realise and be convinced that there is nothing to be ashamed of in the
cultural and spiritual heritage of the Hindus. To a world spiritually starved and culturally deprived of
deeper cultural nourishment there is much that Hindu traditions can offer. Women can make their
significant contributions in this field by enriching and enhancing the beauty and spiritual content of our
various traditions and customs. They should truly educate themselves to draw from our vast ancient
sources and present them scientifically, holistically and convincingly to modern minds, breathing a new
life into our spiritual culture.

A case in point is our traditional dances. From a source of entertainment, efforts to earn a
livelihood, or an expression of devotion, today Indian dance forms have emerged as the most articulate
forms of physical expression, achieving an unusual integration of body, mind and spirit, a harmonious
blending of science, arty and spiritual yearning. The result, serious students from all over the world come
crowding into our traditional and modern dance schools all over the country. They come transcending
barriers of races, religion and language to sit at the feet of Indian gurus, finding in Kathakali, Kathak,
Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, etc., an outlet for their deep spiritual aspirations. So is the story with
our music, Ayurveda, Yoga and now, Vastusilpa. What a wonderful opportunity it provides for our
talented women to deeply nourish themselves, to revitalize our heritage and simultaneously wean the
younger generations from the catastrophe of addiction to the degenerating and debilitating culture of
‘modernism’!

Revitalization Process
To be consciously involved in the revitalization of dharma in our country we must understand the
grand integration that exists here between religion and culture and between the life of the individual,
society and dour national goal. It is difficult to define culture but it is generally agreed that “culture” is a
consolidated human value arising out of, or resting on the perfect equilibrium of, three fundamental and
wholesome values of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. These are indeed the three values which make
human life worth living. Beauty has to be added to human life through conscious, deliberate self-effort
of man. It must then transform itself into goodness and get manifested in his interactions with the
society, which as Swami Vivekananda puts it, is the moral gymnasium to teach man his responsibilities,
duties and also to reveal the potentialities hidden within him. Truth is indeed the ultimate goal for the
Volume 7 Issue 2 -25- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

pursuance of which according to Hindu dharma, the entire human life is to be dedicated. Therefore,
spiritual aspirations of the individual man, of a group and in the special context of our nation, our
national ideal, give our culture its special coloured flavour. It is thus seen that culture is a very fertile
field which should be consciously preserved and nurtured by all if our nation is to retain its uniqueness
and contribute its share to enrich and ennoble human life.

Material aspirations of man leave him little time to devote to the cultural side of human life. This
does not mean that men are not making their contributions. Certainly they are. What is of importance is
the integration of these cultural values with individual human lives so that individual, society and the
nation unify themselves without any error of parallax. National ideals, writ large on the widescreen of
our nation’s life, have to be recast and remoulded into simple poetical and practical expressions of day-
to-day life adding truth, beauty and goodness to human life at every stage. This exercise should start
from the very childhood, implanting proper wholesome “samskaras” in the children and guiding their
mind and intellect towards the immense possibilities that our grand cultural and spiritual heritage
offer for total human development. Where “enlightened” mothers preside over homes, man-making and
nation-building values get inbuilt in the home culture. Values of life, meaningful traditions and customs
are nurtured and passed on from generation to generation by parents in which the lion’s share belongs
to the mother.

Beauty culture has become part of modern life. That beauty is only skin deep. Beautification of life
through consciously nurturing positive impulses, living time-tested values and cherishing elevating
customs and traditions must come next. These would help to create an atmosphere where beauty gets
enhanced by the addition of goodness, which should then flow out into the society as beneficent acts of
sacrifice and service. A feeling of oneness and concern for the welfare of all is a must if the human soul
is to evolve further in its psychosocial scale and reach out to the ultimate expression of life, namely,
Truth. This is the grand lesson which our Indian heroines, though confined to their homes and leading a
life of simplicity and austerity, have taught the world. Through the consolidation of Truth in their lives as
purity and chastity they demonstrated that they could also become embodiments of perfect knowledge,
perfect love and perfect action. Out of their wombs have come heroes and heroines who have added
lustre to our heritage.

From “ism” to Dharma
If Hindu Dharma is to survive as a value-based way of living, it should be liberated from the
dogmatic doctrinaire framework of an “ism” or exclusive “religion”. Dharma should reflect Truth in all its
facets and in human life it manifests as Truth, Goodness and Beauty which, as earlier explained, are
closely interlinked. Human life, to be meaningful, must have knowledge of the One Ultimate Truth as its
root and awareness of the Whole as its shoot. This tree of has to be nurtured through shraddha, bhakti
and a host of other virtues which are expressions of the above three fundamental values. Out of these
has to be woven the fabric of life, whether it be of the individual, community or of the entire humanity.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -26- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

This delicate, intricate and very difficult job of cultivating values and virtues through “samskaras”,
traditions, customs and at a different level through religion, art and literature is the job of enlightened
human beings. Women with their natural instinct for beauty, goodness and truth can glorify these
through their chaste and pure life centered in love, sacrifice and service and enrich their home and
society. Rooted in them, how she can integrate her inner and outer life and respond to the demands of
modern life is the biggest challenge before her.

Spiritualization: Key to Revival
One of the greatest tragedies which is perpetrated by the mechanical and materialistic science is
the structuring of the human mind into a mechanical mo7uld, camouflaging it as “scientific”. The result
is that we have lost our innate intuitive ability to solve our problems in any other way than the
mechanical. The belief gained ground that violence and terror have to be confronted only through
violence and not through any alternative ethic of compassion, love or understanding. Not having made
use of them for long, these ever fresh springs of human life, like a neglected and unused well have either
dried up or lost their potency. These eternal springs have to be revived and brought to use again.

From time immemorial we in India always sought solution to our problems from our spiritual base.
Our emperors of ancient days had great spiritual giants as their Raj Gurus whose counsel they sought on
all matters, spiritual and temporal. It is the holistic approach they provided which became renowned as
our “dharma”, which was ever in tune with truth, ever in line with human evolution and ever congenial for
the welfare of the community. We have to regenerate such a spiritual awareness again if Hindu dharma
has to pass successfully through the present-day vicissitudes.

In the absence of any truly gigantic fountainhead of spiritual power, who can bring the whole
nation to a moral awakening, each one of us must be concerned with the revival of dharma and the
survival of Bharat as a spiritual light house and must get busy discovering simple spiritual truths within
us, cultivate them in our own homes. Fortunately for us, our mothers, though most of them are unaware
of it, are still holding the keys, specially those who still cling on to the virtues of unselfish love, sacrifice
and service. It is their breed that has to be protected and preserved, as Manu has said, by husbands and
sons for rebuilding our nation.

Emancipation and Empowerment of Women
Much is talked about these days on the empowerment of women. What does it really mean?
Economic self-sufficiency and independence no doubt bring a lot of self-confidence, stability and solace
to women but it doesn’t equip them to face up to challenges at a deeper level within themselves, within
the family or in the society. This is clearly evidenced by the large number of physical abuses, divorces,
suicides, etc., which are on the increase among even highly educated women. The answer lies elsewhere.

For a woman to attain her full stature she should know how to tap the eternal spring of divine love
and power, deeply hidden within her. In this discovery lies her true emancipation and empowerment.
Volume 7 Issue 2 -27- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

This alone will help her to break all bondages and enjoy true freedom, equality and fulfillment.

Empowered thus, women can show the way how to encounter hatred with love, callousness withy
concern, violence with non-violence, and compassion and self-interest with selflessness. She must take
the initiative to restore primacy of heart and make every intention and action an expression of love,
kindness and concern. She alone can break the barrier between the inner and outer worlds and create
wholesome harmony, because she has the capacity to visualize the whole – the inter-relatedness of the
whole – and respond to it with the whole of her being. This is very much needed today to face the
unprecedented global, environmental and social challenges. All this could be achieved only through
conscious nurturing and expansion of the spiritual dimension in themselves.

Women’s education, empowerment and emancipation along these lines are very urgently wanted.
To quote Annie Besant again:

In order that women’s influence may be preserved; in order that she may not lose her hold over the
respect as well as the hearts of her husband and her sons; in order that she may really be one half of
humanity, as she ought to be; in order that she may play her part well in the home, may train up her sons
as they ought to be trained in order that she may exercise an elevating power over the children round
her knees, may prove worthy mother to worthy sons;…

Relevance of this view is borne out by a very recent comment made by a Western devotee of
Ramakrishna:

Speaking about Indian culture I would like to say that Indian women should become more aware of
their cultural and spiritual heritage. They should consciously foster it, not only for their own good, but
also for the coming generations. It is the new life that is now born and raised in India which will
determine the quality of the future generations. I hope today’s mothers will not get diverted by the tinsel
and trash offered from outside, but hold on to the old high values, and continue to develop the tradition
of true motherhood. It is this motherhood, selfless and loving, which is held highest in any responsible
society. It is this which the whole world is in need of.

The West is realizing the foolishness of breaking their homes. The importance of family as the most
vital institution is being emphasized by more and; more writers. Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall in their
captivating book, The Quanltum Sopciety, urge men and women “to reinvent family for establishing
peace and harmony in the world.” To establish a stable and meaningful family, men and women should
enter into “committed intimate relationships” through which they can discover their innate potentialities.
Children born into such families have the rare feeling of security, strength and self-confidence, the
foundation to build a purposeful life and a great nation.

Home is indeed the kindergarten for cultural cultivation, university for cultural enrichment and
embellishment and indeed the haven for total fulfillment. Neglect of homes leads to degeneration of
society. Rebuilding of the society and our nation must start from home again, because therein lies the
Volume 7 Issue 2 -28- Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

remedy for the ills of meaningless “modernism”. The preventive measures to safeguard the health of the
society and that of our nation are to be taken not in the health care centres but in our homes presided
over by great and sensible mothers committed to our national values and ethos.

Such women are wanted today not in ones or twos but in thousands. Through them Sita must Live
on, to lead dour Motherland once again to its pinnacle of Glory.

Man’s friends at the flood affected houses

Related Interests