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Oct 2018 – Jan 2019

Volume 7 Issue 3
A triannual bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

In this Issue

• Editorial

• Navaratri Celebration

• Diwali Celebration

• Sishudinam

• Sadhana Divas

• Spiritual Retreat
• Award For Didi

• Matru Puja

• Tiny Tots of Sandeepani at Malampuzha


• Samartha Bharat Parva and
Vivekananda Jayanti
• Republic Day and Kutumba Sangamam

• Other Programmes

• Regular Activities

• Article By Ma. Lakshmi Didi


Volume 7 Issue 3 -2- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

EDITORIAL
Lesson That Floods Taught Us – Idam Na Mama

Rightly has it been said by none other than Swami Vivekananda, that it is the tragedies
or personal grief that teach us better lessons than happy experiences. This lesson was
brought to mind again and again as we faced the tragedy that was brought to us through
the flood havoc.

The very first lesson was of the preciousness of drinking water. I remember how the
Great Saint Ramana Maharshi used to insist on every drop of water being used judiciously.
What a contrast – here we open the taps and use the water for washing or bathing, never
bothering to see the wastage of precious water through our negligent behaviour. The
recent floods brought torrents of water, but not a drop of it was drinkable. People waited
and waited for supply of drinking water. Has this lesson become part of our thinking our
Svabhava?
Next in line came the lesson from our food! Onam was round the corner and almost
all homes had stocked food for Onam celebration. Standing in queue for long hours in
consumer stores, Maveli stores, ration shops – wherever there was a possibility of having
an extra something, there we went to snatch it; often jumping the queue and more often
using wrong means! The great leveller that Pralaya was; took all that away, leaving us
fighting hunger, fighting for a morsel of food! Rich and poor waited side by side for the
food distributed by various agencies.
How much of clothes we acquire to keep up our status in the society! new, newer
and newest fashions, to clothe this decaying stinking body. Flood waters entered into
trunks and almirahs soaking the dress in dirty waters, making them unusable. They could
only be burned off! And then, one had to wait for some old used clothes brought by well-
wishers! Status got dissolved in the floods that entered uninvited into the homes!
So on and so forth – through sheer destruction of materials around, their
worthlessness was proved beyond doubt. One has to be careful collecting afresh the ‘junk’
once again.
If one had a philosophical bent, one could look upon the losses of the material wealth
and console oneself. ‘Idam na mama’. One is reminded of the story of King Janaka who
calmly repeated – if Mithila my capital is on fire let it be. Nothing of mine will be lost
thereby.
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Yes! Mother Nature has her own way of levelling us, catching up with our unwanted
possessiveness and pretensions. She destroys them mercilessly – may be through an
earthquake or floods or by any other natural or man-made calamities. Blessed indeed are
those who can stand apart and look at our losses and say ‘Idam na mama’. .

Navaratri Celebration
This year Navratri started on Wednesday, 10th October. As usual a beautiful collection of gods and
goddesses in the form of dolls 'Bomma' were kept on the stage of the Dakshina Hall. Daily lighting of
lamp and puja in the morning with the chanting of one chapter of 'Devi Mahatmyam' each day by the
inhabitants of Anandadham were regular features of the Navaratri celebration.

Asthami Day

The eighth day i.e. 'Asthami ' is to propitiate Mother Saraswathi and get her blessings, all students
placed their books, pens, pencil, instruments (musical etc) in front of the deity. The books were kept for
worship and children would get their books back only on the 10th or 'Dashami' day. Children from the
neighbourhood, Sishuvihar’s present students and ex-students totalling about 60 came to place their
books in front of Mother Saraswathi.

Navami Day- Kumari Puja

The ninth day ('Navami') morning witnessed 51 Kumari or girls of age 15 and below being worshipped
(Kumari puja) by their mother’s and inhabitants of Anandadham. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi guided in
performing of the puja. All the little Goddesses were provided with a steel plate, blouse pieces and sweets.

Dashami Day- Vidyarambham

On 19th October, Dashami day, children of Sishuvihar and the neighbourhood including older children
were seen arriving one by one holding hands of their parents, on time, for Vidyarambham ceremony.
Making them sit on her lap, Didiammuma (Ma. Lakshmi Didi) holding their hands, made the toddlers write
'Hari Sree Ganapataye Namaha' on a plate containing rice. The older children then wrote on rice by
themselves before they could take the books which they had kept at the feet of Goddess Saraswathi for
her blessings.

After the Dashami programme at about 10.30 a.m. all the children were led to the newly created park
named as 'Sishuvihar Vrindavanam'. Smt Vijayalakshmi teacher retd. principal of Govt. Higher Secondary
school, Kodungallur, who had sponsored of the Merry-go round, one of the play items in the park, was
invited for the occasion . Inauguration was done by the children themselves. From that day onwards the
park was opened for the Sishuvihar students as well as other children from the neighbourhood.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -4- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019
Volume 7 Issue 3 -5- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019
Diwali Celebration
On 6th November, 25 children of Samskar Varga groups of Aripalam, Edavilangu, Sringapuram
and Sishuvihar kids of UKG class along with their mother’s came for Diwali in the evening at 4.30 p.m.

Programme started with bhajan session led by Kum. Kokila. Then, games were conducted for the
children by Kum. Anushree. Ma. Didi then spoke to the children and mothers about the significance of
this Diwali day. Home-made sweets were served to all of them. At the end all the children and mothers
went to light lamps around the newly constructed park named ' Sishuvihar Vrindavanam'.

Sishudinam
Children are adorable. They are divine gifts that parents receive from the Almighty. Their eyes are full
of innocence. They smile when they receive love and admiration, they cry when it is their first day at
school away from their parents, they giggle when they mingle with their buddies,
and they signify nothing but the pure and faithful love. They truly symbolize God.
14th November is celebrated as children's day all over India. Childhood
memories are sweetest of all. They can be savoured for a lifetime. Children's day
celebration is fun for the little ones and is important for the parents too. Every
parent must understand the importance of children's day. Parents should be well aware about
the little desires of their angels. The 25 tiny tots of LKG and UKG of Sandeepani Sishuvihar put
up a short programme with the help of their teachers on 14th November which
is 'Sishudinam'. It began with an opening prayer, lighting of the lamp by three
'Sishu' Guests Master Arav, dressed as Chacha Nehru, Master Agneya dressed
as Swami Vivekananda, Kumari Anagha as Sister Nivedita. They were welcomed to the dais
by offering a colourful rose flower to each by the LKG tots. Sri Sudhakarji and Man. Didi
too sat with them to encourage them and give their blessings. Each of the tiny tots
presented either a song, rhyme or story. The tailoring students, teachers, YogaVarga members and
inhabitants of Anandadham were all present to watch them perform and encourage them!
Volume 7 Issue 3 -6- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Sadhana Divas
On 18th November both elderly QCI students and Samskarvarga children
paid their homage to Ma. Eknathji by pushparchana. Jeevanvrathis, Su.
Nilakshididi from Odisha Prant and Sri Srinivasji from Andhra and Telengana
Prant were present on the occasion. Sri Sudhakarji spoke to the members about
the nature of a ‘ leader’ in Ma. Eknathji.

On 19th November, Sadhana Divas, our Yoga satra and


Yoga varga participants celebrated Ma Eknathji’s 104th
birthday by offering floral tributes in front of his portrait,
after their regular practice of yoga, early morning and after a short talk by Didi.
Ma. Lakshmi Didi while talking to them explained the efforts taken by Eknathji in
building the Rock Memorial and Vivekananda
Kendra, with the spiritually oriented service
mission. Knowing the importance of yoga in
one's day today life, he made arrangements for
getting trained all the jeevanvrathis way back in 70s. She encouraged all
to hold on to this kamadhenu, the maha mantra’ jeevane yavadadanam
syat pradanam tatodhikam’ and make their lives purposeful and joyful.

Sandeepani Sishuvihar also celebrated Ma Eknathji’s Birthday on the same day. The parents, tailoring
unit students, yoga varga members assembled at Dakshina hall of Ananda Dham to celebrate the event.
All children were well prepared to play their roles. Bindu teacher, inhabitant
of Anandadham, welcomed all for the function. The programme started
with the prayers by all in unison. Master Arav and Agneya set the tone of
the function with their brilliant performance dressed as Ma. Eknathji and the
latter as Swamiji. The other children dressed as Ma. Eknathji, supported
them with their part, reciting from memory short paragraphs from Sadhana
Oru Tapas (Sadhana of Service –Malayalam version). Ma Lakshmi Didi in her
talk explained how Ekanathji made an impossible task possible and built the Memorial in short span of
time and encouraged all who were present to visit Kanyakumari to have first hand experience. The
programme concluded with paying floral tributes to Ma. Eknathji and chanting of Shanti Mantra.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -7- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Spiritual Retreat
17th December to 21st December, the people of Kodungallur were blessed by the Holy presence of
Srimad Acharya Swami Haribrahmendrananda Tirtha, who was to be the chief resource person for the
Spiritual retreat at Anandadham.

On 17th December in the evening at 8 p.m. Srimad Acharya Swami Haribrahmendrananda Tirtha of
Adi Shankara Brahma-vidya Peeth, Somashram, Uttarkashi, arrived at Anandadham. He was received with
Purna Kumbha. He got introduced to the students and devotees who were eagerly waiting to have a
glance of him.

Classes started from 18th, after the formal inauguration, at 6.15 a.m. Usual Kendra routine was
followed, with pratahsmaran followed by yogabhyas, before the classes started everyday at 6.30 a.m. First
session in the morning was taken by Swamiji on Patanjali Yoga sutras. This was followed by session on
Karma Yoga according to Swami Vivekananda conducted by Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi. After the session
by Didi, a session was conducted by Swamiji followed by Cyclic Meditation conducted by Sri Sudhakarji.

After lunch there was Veda chanting session conducted by Sushree Gayathri Didi from Bangalore. She
taught Purushukta to the Shibirarthis. After tea a third session by Swamiji continued upto 6 p.m

After this bhajan Sandhya and supper followed. 44 participants were blessed with the experience of
this Satsang.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -8- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Award for Didi


Sukratham Bhagwatham an organization of Bhagavata Devotees presented Sukratham Bhagavatham
Puraskaram to Ma. Lakshmi Didi on 20th December in a function held at Gangotri Auditorium, Ernakulam
to a packed audience. The august presence of Sri Udit Chaitanyaji, the great Bhagavatha exponent
added the devotional fervour to the occasion.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -9- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Matru Puja
Every year commemorating the birth anniversary of Holy Mother Sarada Devi’s Birthday, Sandeepani
Sishuvihar organizes Matru puja. Not only the present students of Sandeepani Sishuvihar but also the
children of Samskar Varga and children from the neighbouring houses, get an opportunity to learn how
to worship the feet of their mothers and grandmothers.
26th December morning was the Matrupuja. 25 children took part. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi guided
them.

Tiny Tots of Sandeepani at Malampuzha

January 2nd will remain a memorable day for Sandeepani Sishuvihar children and their guardians with
their excursion plan to the famous Malampuzha dam. The journey started at 6.30 am with the Ayyappa
Air Bus carrying 23 kids (only 16 were from Sandeepani), 31 parents and 2 teachers, with plans to halt in
between and visit other places of interest too. Around 8.45 am the group reached Peechi Dam where
they stopped to feast on the much awaited breakfast. After breakfast, they visited the dam and gardens.
Around 11:45 they started to their destination of Malampuzha, and on the way visited Palaghat Fort and
Hanuman temple. Lunch was partaken at the Childrens Park, Malampuzha. The children were enchanted
to see the vast collection of fishes and other aquatic animals in the aquarium and also the snake park.
They were thrilled to go up the dam through the ropeway. The various rides at the Park were equally
enjoyable. The beautiful flowers, trees and well maintained lawns made them happy and joyful and like
little birds and animals they jumped from place to place thoroughly enjoying the freedom from enclosed
walls (classrooms). They eagerly waited for the evenings’ light show which was a sight for Gods. At 7.00
pm they started back, had their food on the way and reached Kodungallur by 11.45 p.m.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -10- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Samartha Bharat Parva and Vivekananda Jayanti

The preparations for the Samuhika Surya Namaskar programme of 12 th January started in December
with the numerous Satra’s to prepare the students. Sri Joshy Ji conducted 3 satra’s at Kara D. J. Hall,
Kirtoli D. J. Hall and Paramkulangara NSS hall, with a total participation of 30 members. Apart from this
he also conducted 3 satra’s for 25 ladies and 15 parents of Sisuvihar. Smt Suja conducted 3 satra’s
constituting 13 students at Valsalayam, 10 members at Edavilangu and 6 members at Thrissur. Smt Mani
conducted a satra for 32 members at Elthuruthu. Sri Udayan conducted a satra at Vinayakapuram for 6
members.
Folk and patriotic group song competitions were held for the junior and senior students of various
schools of Kodungallur, on 4th January 2019 which was participated by 50 students from six schools.
With a view to spreading Kendra activities in Thrissur town this year, Kendra partnered with Sri
Ramakrishna Math and organized patriotic song and quiz competition on the eve of Swamiji’s Janma
Thithi. It was held on 25th January in which 150 students of 12 schools, accompanied by teachers took
part. The competitions were held at Vivekananda Vijnana Bhavan, Punkunnam Thrissur.

12th January - National Youth Day


Samatva Yoga Sangamam started on dot at 6 am on 12th January at Anandadham. Dr. M.V. Natesan,
Professor, Sri Sankara Sanskrit University, Kalady, Maj. Gen. Dr. Vivekanandan (Retd) and Man. Lakshmi
Volume 7 Issue 3 -11- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019
Didi were on the dais for the program. The program started with a Vedic hymn and setting the tone of
the program, and was followed by Ma. Lakshmi Didi’s welcome address. While talking to the students of
yoga she highlighted Swami Vivekananda's concept of yoga and Ma. Eknathji contribution of making
yoga as the core of Vivekananda Kendra in all its activities.
The subsequent talk by the distinguished Professor let the tune for the flow of Samatva yoga.
Effortless rendering of his talk and the numerous similes, filled the minds of Samatva yoga students and
made them feel the necessity for making yoga as part of their life. Given the minimum time that he had,
he did justice and filled their minds with inquisitiveness. The Major Gen. spoke from his vast and rich
experience and encouraged one and all to make yoga a part of themselves.
After the talks, Samuhika Surya Namaskar started led by Sri Joshi. To the tune of the ambience that
was set by the distinguished guests, he created the tune of Samatva yoga and made everyone follow the
breathing practices and Surya Namaskaram. The atmosphere was filled with vibrations of pranava
chanting. 285 members constituting yoga satra, varga, tailoring unit students, parents and students of
Sandeepani Sishuvihar took part.
On the same day, Swamiji’s Jayanthi was celebrated at Anandadham, Kodungallur by 10 am. Dr.
Lakshmi Piyush, HOD of Sanskrit department, Sri Krishna College, Guruvayur was the Chief Guest. She
inspired the prize winners who had come for the celebration, with her fiery speech. Talking to the parents
and teachers, she said that giving powerful thoughts of Swamiji and other inspiring thoughts, vibrating
with truth to their wards right from their childhood, would mould their wards’ characters and outlook,
thereby making them good citizens. Prize winning students were awarded. This time Amrita Vidyalayam
received the rolling trophy for patriotic group song whereas the Trophy for folk group song was shared
by Shantiniketan International School and GUPS Konathukunnu. Eleven meritorious students from
financially challenged families of GGHSS Kodungallur, five of them from class X th and five from the XIth
class were awarded scholarships worth Rs 500/- each and Kum. Nasreen of class XI received the Sridevi
Namboodiripad memorial scholarship worth Rs 1000/- for being best in studies. As usual prasadam
(constituting a sumptuous lunch) sponsored by Mr and Mrs Murali, Kendra’s close well-wishers, was
served to all after the programme.
On the 13th January Sishuvihar children along with Samskara Varga children celebrated Swami
Vivekananda Jayanthi in their own special way.
Dr. Sukumaran, an ayurvedic physician and a long-time associate of Kendra, was the Chief Guest. All
we're blessed to have the august presence of a Swami from Ramakrishna Math Sri Satyatmakananda to
bless the children. The program started with prayer and lighting the lamp by Ma Lakshmi Didi and Chief
Guest and little Ananthu dressed as Swamiji. Didi addressed the parents emphasizing the need to sustain
the values that are nurtured in Sishuvihar. Dr. Sukumaran too stressed the need for cultural education to
be preserved for posterity.
Rev Swamiji too gave his blessings. He appreciated the efforts taken by the parents and teaching staff
in dressing up each kid as symbolic characters from the puranas e.g, Siva-Parvathi, Rama-Sitadevi and
Volume 7 Issue 3 -12- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019
Lakshman with Hanuman, a dedicated farmer and his wife’s dinacharya, Sri Krishna, Sri Sankaracharya
and so on.
A tableau by Samskara Varga children was highly appreciated by all. The theme was jalapralayam and
the relief work by the voluntary organizations. Then each child presented their talents by uttering the
sayings of Swamiji. The efforts taken by the parents and teaching staff was highlight of the day. The
program ended with Shanti mantra.
On 3rd February, Swamiji Jayanthi was celebrated jointly by Sri Ramakrishna Math Thrissur and
Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation-Kodungallur at Vivekananda Vijnana Bhavan, Punkunnam
Thrissur. The programme started at 4 pm with Vedic prayers followed by deepa prajwalanam by Rev
Swami Nandatmajananda, Dr Jijin Krishna and Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi.
Dr Jijith Krishnan (Associate Professor of Medicine, Govt.Medical College, Thrissur) was the Chief
Guest. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi presided over the function. Sreemad Swami Nandatmajanandaji gave
the benedictory address. In her presidential address Lakshmi Didi introduced Vivekananda Kendra and its
activities and thanked Sri Ramakrishna Math for giving an opportunity to start the activities at Thrissur.
She drew the attention of the parents and teachers in inculcating the values in the students so that
strong foundation is laid down in them.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Pottore school children who presented an excellent patriotic song we're
the first prize winners in patriotic song competition. Dr. Jijin Krishna, Assoc. Professor at Thrissur Medical
College, gave an inspiring speech drawing number of incidents from Swamijis life, highlighting examples
to mould the life so that all can become worthy children of Swamiji.
Second prize winners Sandeepani Vidya Niketan, Thrissur presented their song to the accompaniment
of by music instrument which was appreciated by one and all. Paramekavu Vidya Mandir was in the
third position. The winners of Quiz competition were Paramekavu Vidya Mandir, Chinmaya Vidyalaya
came in second position and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Poochatty third. The best all round rolling trophy
for the best performing school went to Paramekavu Vidya Mandir.
While giving his benediction Sw. Nandatmajananda encouraged the children to adopt the teachings
of Swamiji and mould their life so that they become ideal children of Mother India.
The Chief Guest was presented with a token of appreciation by Swamiji and Lakshmi Didi. Post this
prize distribution which everyone was eagerly waiting for commenced. The rolling shield for overall
performance was given by Lakshmi Didi to Paramekavu Vidya Mandir.
Srimad Swami Satyatmakananda gave vote of thanks to one and all and programme concluded with
santhimantra.
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Volume 7 Issue 3 -17- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Republic Day and Kutumba Sangamam

The children and parents of Sishuvihar every year have been organizing the kutumba yogam with
participation of all. This time teachers and parents tried to involve the yoga students and tailoring unit
students and well-wishers to bring everyone under the umbrella of Kendra Kutumbam.
Being the 70th Republic Day, the programme started 9.30 a.m with National Flag Hoisting at Ananda
Dham by Man. Lakshmi Didi with children chanted the pledge, and sang the National Anthem.
All the children and parents moved into Dakshina Hall for the yogam to start. Didi lighted the lamp
inaugurating the yogam. Kum Kokila set the tone with her devotional bhajans. Sri Joshi gave simple
exercises making everybody active and on their toes. Sutapa Didi gave an action song for all to make
everyone attentive and active too. It was time to honour all those who stood totally with Kendra
throughout the relief activities that Kendra undertook in the recent floods. Sri Udayan, Sri Joshi and Smt
Lany were honoured with a shawl. Apart from these three all those who have been participating in all
Kendra Activities right from its inception shared their experiences and how associating with Kendra has
helped them to change the direction of their lives.
Man. Lakshmi Didi in her Republic Day speech highlighted the effect of Tyaga in our lives, (tyage neke
amrithatwa manasahu)and how Karma Yoga can help everyone to transform themselves. There were
games for parents and children. All the participants participated actively creating a festive atmosphere
with songs, games and Hindustani music and folk dance programme by our ex-Sishuvihar students who
have grown up. The whole day was really a Kutumba yogam, learning, sharing and above all enjoying the
bliss of togetherness.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -18- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Other Programmes
1) Workshop For Tailoring Students: One day workshop for Nivedita tailoring unit. The workshop was
inaugurated by Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi as the participants we're chanting the pranava mantra. Didi
in her inaugural address laid emphasis on self-transformation and become a role model for others
and requested all the mothers to make use of the opportunity of learning to stand on their own feet.
Smt Prabha teacher who is versatile in number of art forms like fabric painting and embroidery
introduced the students to the basics of the above arts. All we're engrossed in that till lunch time.
In the post lunch session it was family counselling. Smt Divya from Tejus, Irinjalakuda conducted the
lively interactive session with ease with the help of couple of students. In the end all the participants
expressed their opinion. Kendra honoured both the teachers of the tailoring unit The program
concluded with Shanti mantra.
2) Organisation Called Tapasya: A group of volunteers from the organization Tapasya organized a
yatra from Shornur to Kodungallur commemorating the event of Swamiji’s visit to Kerala as a
parivrajaka. Ma Lakshmi Didi addressed the public programs at Thrissur, Irinjalakuda and Kodungallur.
They we're given a reception at Vedic vision foundation.
3) Kerala Piravi was celebrated by the tiny tots of Shishuvihar with the help of their teachers and the
inhabitants of Anadadham on 1st November. A medicinal plant Indian Rosewood or simply Sissham
was planted in the park and all children took a vow to pour a mug of water on it each day'.
4) Flood relief aid continued, Vivekananda Kendra handed over a cheque of Rs 25000/- to the S.N.V.U.P
school at Elthuruth. The school suffered heavy losses, one of which was complete damage of their
library books worth Rs 25000/-.At a function in their school, Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi handed over
the cheque to the Headmistress Smt Shobhana, in the presence of Vidyarthidayini Sabha Chairman
Professor Ravi, Kodungallur Municipality Chairman Sri Jaitran Master, School manager Sri C.
Thamarakshan and the Ward Councillors Smt Parvathy and Sri Vaiju.
Volume 7 Issue 3 -19- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

REGUL AR ACTIVITIES

Yoga Satras
8 Yoga satras in all with average 10 participants were conducted during the months of October to
January. Out of these 3 satras were conducted by Sri Joshyji at Peramkulangara, Kirtali and Kara, 3 others
were conducted by Smt Suja at Thrissur, Edavilangu and Valsalayam,Sri Parameswaran Kutty conducted
one in Vinayakapuram and Smt Mani at Elthuruthu and 2 regular satras one each for ladies and gents
were conducted in the month of October and November at Anandadham.

Yoga Vargas
3 regular Vargas continued throughout the 4 months.Yoga varga and yoga satra leaders of Sringapu-
ram-Anandadham, Keraliswarapuram, Anjepalam and Moothakunnam decided that from 5th November
onwards, every Monday they all would gather at Andadham campus for Samuhika Surya Namaskar.
On 5th morning (Monday) at 6.a.m. Sixty one practitioners gathered at Anandadham's Sishuvihar
Vrindavanam for Samuhik Surya Namaskar. After this Ma.Didi spoke to the practitioners. She told them
that each of them should become the messengers of positive thoughts,by regular practising of this dis-
cipline called Yoga. Their lives could be examples to attract more and more seekers of this path of peace
and wellbeing. One's health is always in one's hand and Yoga is like a 'Kamadhenu' which provides
whatever one asks for -she said. It was a good start and needed to be followed up, all felt so.
Monday became a yoga day for all the students who have learnt Samatva yoga from Vivekananda
Kendra teachers. Students from different classes come together to know each other, to learn something
new. On 3rd January, Shatkriyas we're introduced for the Valsalayam group of students. All of them were
taught netra shuddhi jalaneti, sutraneti.. For many of them it was a wonderful experience. They became
so interested by seeing one doing Sutra neti, it became a matter of interest for all and they did success-
fully. Ma. Lakshmi didi addressed them laying stress on understanding and practicing the things whatev-
er they learnt. The day concluded with prayers.
For the morning Yoga Varga batch, on every Wednesday Yogasana practice session is conducted in
Kottapuram Public Park 2 km away from Anandadham. whatever one asks for -she said. It was a good
start and needed to be followed up, all felt so.
Monday became a yoga day for all the students who have learnt Samatva yoga from Vivekananda
Kendra teachers. Students from different classes come together to know each other, to learn something
new. On 3rd January, Shatkriyas we're introduced for the Valsalayam group of students. All of them were
taught netra shuddhi jalaneti, sutraneti.. For many of them it was a wonderful experience. They became
so interested by seeing one doing Sutra neti, it became a matter of interest for all and they did success-
fully. Ma. Lakshmi didi addressed them laying stress on understanding and practicing the things whatev-
er they learnt. The day concluded with prayers. For the morning Yoga Varga batch, on every Wednesday
Volume 7 Issue 3 -20- Oct 2018 - Jan 2019

Yogasana practice session is conducted in Kottapuram Public Park 2 km away from Anandadham.

Swadhaya Classes

Only two satsanghs classes during the 4 months could be conducted, one on DeviMahatmyam by
Girishji and the other on Jyotish Sastra by Sethumadhavanji.

Ganapathi Homam & Srichakra Puja

Every month on Purnima day, Ganapathi homam and Sreechakra puja is a regular feature of Anan-
dadham. These four months also it was performed as usual. All the inmates joined the puja and chanted
Lalita sahasranama.

On Kartikh Purnima day in the month of November, puja started with Ganapathi Homam by Sri
Dileep assisted by Sri Sankar of Karur Matham. In the evening the Ganapathi Temple was lighted with oil
lamps and all the inmates performed sahasranama archana.

Gandhi Peace Award

Vivekananda Kendra has been selected for the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2015 for its work in
Rural Development, Education and Development of Natural Resources. It carries amount of Rs one crore
and a citation. Vivekananda Kendra is involved in two kinds of activity one the Organizational and second
service projects, through its 830 activity centers all over the country.

Activities in Education

Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya VKVs are run in 37 villages in Arunachal Pradesh, 24 in Assam, one in
Nagaland & 10 in Andaman and 3 schools in the south India. A total of 75 Vidyalayas.

During 1962 Chinese invasion, because of lack of proper communication, our people of Arunachal
had to face many problems. Mananeeya Eknathji founder of Vivekananda Kendra realized that in absence
of strong sense of Nationalism, no amount of army can secure the national integrity for long and protect
our people there. Mananeeya Eknathji laid emphasis in Arunachal Pradesh in particular and North East in
general because of its geographical uniqueness. North East shares 98% of its border with international
boundary and only 2% with Bharat.

It was very difficult to work in Arunachal Pradesh during initial periods as there were no proper roads,
no conveyance,in addition frequent landslides floods etc. Children would come from villages as far as
seven days walking distance. Therefore, Kendra opted for residential schools. Seeing the transformation
in children today VKV has become a brand name in Arunachal Pradesh. The students excel in all fields,
science they shine at national and sometimes even at international level. They are good in sports. Thus
the schools have excellent academic results as well as the discipline and development of students are
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lauded all over. Alumni is in all fields like IAS officers, defense, education, entrepreneurs etc. 18 inde-
pendent schools are being run by the Alumni of VKVs in Arunachal Pradesh. The same story of excellence
continues in Assam, Andamans, Nagaland and southern schools which are run for rural children.

In the field of informal education

In the tea gardens of Assam Kendra runs 120 Anandalayas. This initiative deeply impacted the social
life of Tea Garden. It helped to improve quality of life of the garden labour and their children. Similarly, in
Odisha Deobandh (Sub-Division) in Keonjhar dist,there was high drop-out rate at the primary level, if the
child is not good at study at primary level, they used to drop out at 6th standard. After the Kendra
initiative drop-out rate came to zero, because of overall lift in the mood of the teachers and students.
Total 227 Anandalayas and over 200 Balwadis are run by Vivekananda Kendra.

Today the students do not get the character making education in a formal set up. Therefore for
students of schools as well as colleges Vivekananda Kendra conducts 565 Samskara Vargas for around
17,000 children and 147 Swadhaya Vargas for 2500 college students.

Youth development programs through a process of a quality test, one day workshops and residential
camps for 65,000 youth of around 748 colleges

Rural Development Projects (Tamilnadu, Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra)

Swami Vivekananda had insisted that along with economic development cultural and spiritual
development is also essential. Therefore the Rural Development projects of Vivekananda Kendra in South
Tamilnadu, in Nashik in Maharashtra, in Keonjhar and Sambhalpur district in Odisha, in Assam and in
Arunachal Pradesh focuses on the material wellbeing as well as all round development of the beneficiar-
ies. In the Balwadis for Small children nutrition is provided for them. Spotting rural talents and helping
them for school studies, leadership development for youth, weaving and tailoring centers for women,
skill development in plumbing, home-nursing, motor mechanic etc. for youth, Medical Centers, regular
medical and surgery camps, mobile medical vans and the scheme of Arogyarakshak for the interior areas
are some of our notable activities. “Adopt a Granny”- taking care of old women by giving them a pair of
cloth and monthly rations. Deepa Puja for rural women to educate them about health, hygiene and also
up-bringing of children.Amruta Surabhi- Fist full of grain kept aside everyday by the house holder or
Farmers contribute bags full of rice during harvesting period. Apx. 35,000 of Rice thus collected are used
for feeding, old women, Children and also given to Orphanages from time to time.

Vivekananda Kendra – NARDEP

Cost-Effective Constructions

• Dissemination of more than thirty five eco-friendly technologies


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• Conducting Training and Awareness Programmes

• Live model demonstrations for masons, engineers etc.


• Rural Building center
Water Harvesting Technologies

• Community water harvesting projects


• Roof water harvesting
• Deepening and Revival of traditional water harvesting structures
• Model for urban and rural rain water harvesting
VK-NARDEP was awarded Bhoomijal Samvardhan Puraskar – 2007 for its contribution to the conserva-
tion of ground water through community efforts by Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.
Sustainable Agriculture

• Biogas slurry based organic inputs for agriculture


• Backyard Azolla cultivation as bio-feed for poultry and livestock
• Organic formulations for growth promoters and pest management
• Documentation of traditional knowledge of agricultural practices
• Azolla technology received the NRDC (National Research Development Corporation) Social
Innovation award, New Delhi in 2008.

Indigenous and Holistic Health

• Green Health home


• Rural health awareness and mass medical camps
• Rural home health gardens
• Documentation of traditional medical knowledge
• Preparing herbal medicines through rural women SHG’s
• Green Health Home has trained more than 1000 doctors and vaidyas from Southern part of India in
the Art and Science of Varma Chikitsa since one decade. Now it has become a “Varma Resource
Center”.
Renewable Energy

• Construction of cow-dung based biogas plants throughout India


• Manual for biogas plant users and masons
• Awareness and training programme for masons and general public
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• Research for developing new models of biogas plant

• In recognition of its valuable contribution to the field of renewable energy and agriculture, it was
awarded the coveted International Ashden award in the year 2006.
• In the year 2009 VK-NARDEP received NRDC award for its project to generate biogas through
aquatic water weeds.
• VK-Nardep’s “Shakti Surabhi” Bio-methanation model received patents from Sri Lanka, China, South
Africa and India.
Inner sustainability and Networking

• Publishing books on sustainable development – more than 50 titles in Hindi, Tamil and English
• Refresher courses and motivation camps for government officials
• Networking with other voluntary organizations and scientific institutions
• Eco-camps for school and college students
Green Rameswaram

Vivekananda Kendra – NARDEP is working as a catalytic agent for creating Green Resilient Rameswa-
ram. It is working with many partner organizations, scientific institutions, local stakeholders, State and
Central Govt. The project was launched on 28th January 2014 by late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam while the
Action Plan was released by Honorable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 27th July, 2017.
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“AMBA TWAM ANUSANDADHAMI”


“MOTHER, UPON THEE I MEDITATE”
Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari
(From this issue we are bringing Ma. Lakshmi Didi’s interesting articles on Bhagavad Gita which she had penned in ‘Yuva
Bharati’ as it’s editor in the eighties of last century )

The supreme words of wisdom uttered by Govinda in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, are to be
meditated upon as “Mother” – the character-building, man-making influence, the unifying and
universalizing fore in our lives and above all, the consoling, comforting and all-encompassing love to
which we would all turn in our moments of crisis and psychyological collapse. Rightly has the Gita been
addressed as Amba – Mother, by the great savant, Madhusudana Bharati.

Mother is the backbone of our culture; She forms the omniscient, omnipotent substratum of the
entire universe and is worshipped in a hundred thousand ways. She is pranava, She is knowledge and
She is also the word. Deed is Mother, creed is Mother. Earth is Mother, wealth is Mother, river is
Mother, country is Mother the universe is Mother. Her’s is the influence that shapes the character and
destiny of the child. Her hands clean him up, clothe him and feed him. It is she who guides him to sit,
stand, walk and face the world. In times of crisis, it is her name that comes to our lips and it is to her lap
that we would like to retire. Mother instils the first lessons of discipline, self-control, self-confidence and
self-denial. No wonder the proverb says: “The hands that rock the cradle, rule the world”. Many of our
leaders and teachers have also seen in the Gita, this eternal motherhood. Mahatmaji writes: “It is (The
Gita) my Mother. I lost my earthly mother who gave me birth long ago. But this eternal mother has
completely filled her place by my side ever since. She has never changed, she has never failed me.
Whenever I am in difficulty or distress, I seek refuge in her bosom.” Vinobaji also adored and addressed
the Gita as his mother and says, “I am her ignorant child; whenever I falter or cry, she lifts me in her lap.”

T.L.Vaswani is another great thinker who recognized the mother in the Gita: “For 40 years and
more, I have clung to this scripture with the love of a child to its mother and today in the winter of my
life, I find in the Gita, a treasure, more precious than rubies and pearls.”

This is the considered view of all who gave approached the Gita with an open mind. She is much
more than a worldly mother. Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of British India, has made this
significant prophetic remark in his introduction to the first ever English translation of; the Gita by Charles
Wilkins (1784): “Works as the Gita would live long after the British dominion in India has ceased to exist”.
According to Swami Vivekananda, “The reconciliation of the different paths – Dharma and work without
desire or attachment – these are the two special characteristics of the Gita.”

Like the mythological Vamana, starting with a simple ethical problem which confronts Arjuna in the
battlefield of Kurukshetra, the Gita takes giant steps to cover the entire devotional philosophy, urging
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man to realise his highest spiritual destiny envisaged by the sublime metaphysics and theology
enshrined in the Vedic revelations.

What could be, in a nutshell, the meaning and purpose of life? What could be that philosophy
which when lived can take man from manhood to supermanhood and to Godhood? In simple terms, it
may be said that by enhancing the ‘unifying’ and ‘universalizing’ forces in his life, man can move from
imperfection to perfection. The former is the ultimate goal of all disciplines, austerities, sadhanas or
yoga, that is, centralizing and focusing the vital energies in us bringing them; under control and thus
strengthening and ennobling and integrating one’s personality. It is only then that the inner
potentialities can be brought to manifest. The second is to channelize the energy thus accumulated for
expansion, fulfillment and growth, directed towards serving everything in the universe. Swami
Vivekananda puts it as “involution followed by evolution”. In his own inimitable way he related it to
human life as “internal contemplation followed by external service.” Again, this principle forms the
backbone of the ideal of ‘renunciation and service’.

To a person in whom these two forces have been harmonized, the whole creation is nothing but a
grand display of these forces of unification and universalization. This is the very secret of Nature; this is
the science of sciences. This cosmic force operates from the gigantic galaxies to the invisible atom – from
ant to Brahma – as they put it in our scriptures. This cycle of matter to energy conversion goes on
eternally.

What could be the role of man in this great universal drama? To understand that, he has only to
look around again to Nature and her working.

There is the great sun illuminating the entire world and filling it up with its light energy. It must
have taken millions of years of condensation and concentration to create the dense matter with it before
it turned out to be an almost infinite source of energy burning itself off – sacrificing itself to serve the
creation for centuries to come. Look at the trees around. What are they for? The pigments in the plant
word only can capture effectively the immense amount of light energy falling on the earth and convert it
into all these forms of energy, food, fuel, and so on, by which man can make his life beautiful.

So must man realise his place and role in this vast creation. As a potential source of divinity he has
to convert himself to be an instrument to capture the divine energy, condense, concentrate, focus and
centralize unto himself as much of these positive cosmic divine forces and through him route them back
into the universe, to complete the cycle. In short, he must learn to make himself an instrument in the
divine play.

How can man attract this supra-human forces unto himself? Just as one pure tiny crystal can attract
to itself like molecules in a saturated solution, grow and expand, so can man expand his speck of divinity
and make it operative as a divine force. Through renunciation of all the unwanted dissipating forces
within him, through the power of his self-will, Sadhana and surrender, he can in this very life manifest the
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divinity.

The Gita gives all this great truth in its own captivating style in the background of the battlefield of
Kurukshetra. Keeping Arjuna as his instrument, Sri Krishna delivers this enchanting message, the essence
of living and working – his man-making philosophy.

The beauty of the Gita is its high relevance to the practical life of man. The psychological content
of Arjuna can fit into the turbulent, undecided mind of any modern youth, faced with real crisis in life.
The eternal values of this great philosophy which flowed out of Sri Krishna at the sight of the
psychological collapse of Arjuna, is applicable to all of us. Therefore, in it is the panacea for all the ills of
the world. Like a mother, the Gita can comfort and cajole and without hurting, open up the human mind
to receive divine grace and move ahead in its search for tranquility, perfection and oneness with the
Supreme. Such a unifying and universalizing philosophy, of such immense potency and applicability, is
hard to come by. It is all the more beautiful and charging, because it was uttered by one friend to
another to lift him up from deep depression and to open his eyes to the immense potentialities and
possibilities in his life.

Many are the commentaries on the Gita, starting from the one by Sri Shankara himself. As mother’s
love and her lap are equally available in all her children, even the most ignorant and rebellious child can
find comfort in her lap. May that comfort come to us and help us to wipe our tears and wash off the
stains of grief from our hearts. May it help us to invoke the manliness in us with the help of which alone
can the ‘unification’ of forces be achieved. May it also invoke the mother in us through which alone
‘universalization’ of our lives can be made possible.

In this Vivekananda decade of rightful re-channelization of youthful energy of our country, may be
most vibrant utterances of Sri Krishna, India’s symbol of eternal youth, penetrate deep into the hearts of
our young men and women, waking them up from their slumber of ignorance and help them to steady
themselves and fight, if necessary for their Dharma and their country.