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April 2 V.V.S Iyer Jayanti

April 3 Ramanavami

... a book on Price:Rs.60/Philosophy, Pages:176 Religion and Spirituality with a Hindu perspective.

April 10 Bhagavan Mahavir Jayanti

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April 13 Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti

April 13 Jalianwala bagh Massacre

April 14 Ramana Maharishi Smriti Din

...Sister Nivedita Price:Rs.20/Pages:46 on her master Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda’s Contact us: vkpt@vkendra.org talks on Hinduism
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April 14 Sri Adi Shankaracharya/ Sri Ramanujacharya Jayanti

out station cheque London becomes colourful
The festival of Holi was traditionally c e l e b r a t e d a t B A P S , Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden on Tuesday 10, March 2009. The sacred images in the Mandir were adorned with beautiful coloured clothing. Devotees from all over London and the UK braved the damp weather to enthusiastically offer their prayers on this most auspicious day. Visitors expressed their gratitude that they were able to bring their children on this auspicious day to witness and participate in the traditional way of celebrating Holi and many were very pleased at the way that the arrangements for the festival were made. Prior to these celebrations. The Prince of Wales, accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall visited The Swaminarayan School, London, on the afternoon of Wednesday 4, March 2009 to celebrate the festival of Holi.

Life laughs at you when you are unhappy, Life smiles at you when you are happy, But life salutes you when you make others happy

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Know Thyself Grow Thyself

appiness
Sqn.Ldr.Dr.P.Ramani

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appiness is a wonderful feeling. Happiness brings anything and everything to everyone

Happiness guarantees a healthy life; keeps everyone relaxed, paves way for a more conducive domestic and official environment, increases productivity promotes healthy relationships, eases tension and stress amongst colleagues. When you are happy, you charge the environment with your happiness. You will be able to see visible changes in your friends, colleagues and others when you keep them happy. The changes that occur out of happiness in a group of people are positive indicators for a

healthy society. To feel happy or otherwise depends upon individual ability or capacity. It depends upon one's attitude to life or how one views at things that happen around. There are things, on which we can exercise control. There are many things which are beyond our control. We must try to develop a mental state in which we should be able to receive whatever we see or find with equanimity (a calm state of mind, which means that you do not become angry or upset, especially in difficult situations. One must develop a strong attitude to set goals and objectives, make efforts to realise them and develop a mindset to accept the successes and failures with equanimity. Before our scientists scored a definite success in the launching of Sandrayan, they had several setback earlier.
Yuva bharati - April 2009 7

Their is one of the pursuits of accepting things as they happened with equanimity and a policy of never yielding to mental pressures at the times of failures or complacency during successes. Such an attitude not only keeps you free from pressures, but also trains you to move towards God because nothing can move on this earth without His Grace. There are some who always feel contented and try to look at the positive side of things and feel free and happy. Such people always entertain happy feelings and make others feel happy. Happy people can alone infect others with their happiness. Happiness thus derived, results automatically in good feelings, warmth and affection and promotes healthy relationships. Such healthy relationships promote greater understanding amongst the colleagues. A relaxed ambience in an organisation ensures greater productivity. People free from stress and strain stay healthy for longer periods. Healthy people of a society are the real assets of any nation. There are a number of factors that really contribute to the well-being and happiness of individuals. The nine factors that ensure happiness are: 1.Sustaining sense of Humour. 2.Being Helpful (Helping others) 3.Building and Binding Harmonious relationships 4.Bringing Hope (injecting Hope into the Self and others) 5.Keeping a Cool Head. 6 . P o s s e s s i n g a c o n s i d e r a t e , g e n e ro u s and large Heart. 7.Choosing a Humanistic approach to solving problems. 8.Showing your Human face (Keeping away your animal face). 9. Living healthily.
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1. Sustaining sense of Humour Children are usually endowed with a sense of humour. As they grow, they face problems and get worked up due to a number of reasons. Hence, we should decide to emulate the child. When we try to sustain ourselves with our sense of humour, everyone will seek our company. Thus, they will turn out to be friendly with us. How will you sustain a sense of humour? It all depends on us. The other day, I happened to propose a vote of thanks. During the course of my speech, I said, “Dr.Murali has been a source of inspiration all along to us.” Dr.Murali didn't waste a single moment to interrupt and said “Thank God, I have not been a source of perspiration”. The whole audience burst into laughter. Hence, we may believe that we should not miss any single opportunity to exploit it to our advantage and sustain our abilities to be humourous. 2. Being Helpful Our forefathers have always advocated lending a helping hand to the others. The person who helps some one is great. The person who receives such help is greater as he provides an opportunity for a person to help. Let the noble thought of caring and sharing be everywhere. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Timely help makes the receiver of such help over come big hurdles. There is a bond and good-will created between the 'receiver'/'seeker' and 'giver' of such help. 'Help thy neighbour' is the keyword. 3. Building and Binding Harmonious Relationships Each and everyone is a unique person in the society. Each one is important. Nobody is big.

None can ever be branded small. Everyone should try to understand the problems of others and try to contribute at least a little towards removing the problems of others. Everyone should be ever ready to find solutions for the problems any member of a society may face in any context. Trying to understand and appreciate others problems’ and finding solutions in every possible way is probably the best way towards seeking harmonious relationships. Providing space for others and trying to be proactive in any situation means millions for the well-meaning people. The bonds and relationships thus created promote good feelings amongst the members of the community. A harmonious environment creates an atmosphere free of tension. 4. Bringing Hope We should firmly believe that everyone around us in the organization works towards the organizational goals. Hence, we should hope to achieve the results by our sustained efforts. Such a confident feeling instills hopes in everyone. Thus, we can dream of the bright future. After all every human being has to hope against hope and it is certain that good things will happen. 5. Keeping a cool head When we perform our job, we should always hope that we shall be winners at the end of the day. We should keep our cool heads despite difficulties. Never, we should we become emotional or influenced by other undesirable external forces. 6. Heart A person may be at top of the organization or at

the bottom. What is essentially required is that he/she must have a heart. The feelings and emotions of people should be respected and reciprocated. One has to be sincere, loving and caring. 7. Humaneness All human beings should prove their worth by their kindness, sharing mind and a caring attitude. Everyone must sympathize with others especially with those who are at a disadvantage. 8. Be a Human/Have a human face Are you a good human being? You can be anything, a scientist, a technologist, an engineer, a doctor, a professor or a businessman. But the most required thing of a person is that he should be a good human being. Whatever your status may be, ensure a human face and be an ambassador of happiness. 9. Health Once you ensure all the above, you may not have stress or strain. You are bound to live a healthy life. Only a happy human being can keep himself/herself healthy. Health (Physical, moral and spiritual) is the real wealth. An organization full of healthy people can generate a lot of good will and enthusiasm, which will result in better productivity. Better productivity will facilitate better living conditions and happiness of all.

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Book Review
This book is an attempt to sensitize the reader to the immensity of the terrible tragedy. The book is divided into three parts. The first part shows lucidly how Tibet was an organic part of the Indo-Chinese spirituality, synthesizing Vedic-Buddhist streams from Indian mainland and indigenous spirituality of Tibet called Bon. The book claims that Tibet was the land known in ancient India as Trivishtapa. The book decisively exposes the emptiness of one of the persistent Euro-centric myth about Tibet. The Western stereotype of Tibet being forbidden isolated and a Shangri-la, with its implications of being remote and quite out of this world, is false. Tibet in the past was an active, sometimes a dominant, player in the cross-cultural pollination of Asia. (p.66) The cultural and spiritual links between Tibet and India through both Vedic religion and Buddhism is well brought out. Documentation of this aspect of Tibet is very much needed as the occupying communist China is fast destroying these links and has had considerably cruel success. For example the hoax of misinterpretation of a Stele by the Chinese propaganda machinery to provide historic validity to the absorption of Tibetans into Han ethnic majority of Chinese population has been vividly brought out in the book (p.75). The book gives a detailed account of the non-violent struggle of the Tibetans against the occupying forces of China (pp.85-102). It is also the internal crisis of Dalai Lama who had to face the wrath of the youth of his people when he expressed his determination to walk the path of non-violence. As against such non-violence the brutal strength of China stands in stark contrast in the book.

ook Review: Tibet from Tranquility to Turmoil Authors: Sudhakar Raje, Thubten Patel, and Vijay Kranti; Publisher India First Foundation. Price Rs. 300/: 2008

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The book under review is a book on a tragedy at both political and civilizational scale. The Indian population has been highly de-sensitized towards this tragedy that is still unfolding. Right in front of our eyes one of the important contributions of Indian culture and spirituality to the world, is getting destroyed mercilessly and most cruel in the way. The book brings out the cruel facts of Marxist suppression of Tibetan religion and culture. 1.2

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million Tibetans killed; demographic change made by settlements of Hans; erasing of culture from the memories of the children through an educational system that aims more to brain wash and indoctrinate than to educate. And the 'civilized' world, which stood mute spectator to the Bengal Famine caused by British imperialism and Jewish holocaust caused by Nazis, also stands mute as the cultural genocide and population displacement ravish the face of Tibet. Its mineral wealth-looted away into China (pp.50-58). Today China has a massive expansion plan in this part of Asian region. And it did not start today. It started when it tasted the blood of victory in Tibet and when the ideological vested interests in the Nehru government betrayed Tibet politically and damaged India's foreign policy ethics spiritually. The book provides a comprehensive summary of how the Tibetan government in exile works and has made a remarkable achievement in preserving the culture of Tibet and taking forward the civilizational knowledge of Tibet in tune with the modern changing world. This is no small achievement given the fact that Tibetans are always in the danger of losing their culture given the predatory nature of theo-vultures that prey on the traumatic displaced people like Tibetans. On the whole the book is a must read for every Indian who is concerned about the preservation of Tibet and how we as a nation failed our civilizational responsibility to the people who looked at us with admiration and spiritual respect. This book takes a significant step in making us realize that historical truth for those who do not learn from history are often doomed to repeat its saddest pages.

Readers' Voice
Congrats for bringing out a wonderful issue. When the whole country was going gaga over the so called Oscar achievement, you've hit the nail right in the head. The article on pub culture was also an eye opener. The entire discussion in this issue has been (mis)guided by the media. This perspective needs some introspection – Varsha Mathur, Thane, Maharashtra I feel it odd to read the sloka in the English script on the invocation page. I request you to print the sloka in Devanagari Script as was practiced hitherto – Sri Narayan Govind Joshi, Dombivilli, Maharashtra I am eagerly awaiting the next issue of Yuva Bharati. It is springing a surprise and developing with each and every issue. Hats off to the new team – Roopesh Chandra Sharma, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh I am very much delighted by seeing the short Sanskrit verses published in Yuva Bharati along with their meaning in English. While I strongly believe that this serves the purpose of many a reader, I still feel a little more is need to complete our mission. Please give the word to word meaning of the verse so that it will additionally serve the purpose of propagating the hidden treasure of Sanskrit language – Prof Ch. D V Paradesi Rao, Hyderabad YB is turning out to be a wonderful magazine. With so many new columns to be introduced, we are waiting with excitement and expectation to go through them – Anoop Rathod, Alwar, Rajasthan I was not able to believe my eyes. What a change Yuva Bharati has undergone! I have gone through several feel good magazines. But this one is special. Paper quality has also improved. There are some mistakes which mars an otherwise wonderful book. – Soumitri Bhattacharjee, Kolkata, West Bengal The magazine is improving a lot. The layout and design is very good in some pages, but lacks consistency. Some pages are done in a hasty way – Srilekha Goswami, Baripada, Orissa

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Eco Dharma

No Creator and More Ecology!
S.Aravindh
e all agree today that the dominant human civilization, which is essentially Western, on the planet is simply an ecological disaster for every one. But we seldom ask the question why. Is it because of modern technology as many Neo-Luddites allege? Is it the punishment by God for a Godless modern society? Or is it something deeper – something inherent in this dominant civilization of humanity? Lynn White, a Professor of medieval history of Europe, wrote a famous paper trying to trace the historical roots of current ecological crisis of the Western civilization. He concluded that what people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things in their environment. He argued that the Western civilization is built on a theology that was fundamentally exploitative of the natural world because of the assertion of man's dominion over nature, which in turn establishes a trend of anthropocentrism. Further this theology makes a distinction between man (formed in God's image) and the rest of creation, which has no "soul" or "reason" and is thus inferior.
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So ultimately how you view your relation to nature depends on the creation mythology of your culture. And how you internalize that myth. In the case of India, there is no one narrative of cosmic origin. Every community has a local mythology of creation. No single creation hymn takes upon itself the task of projecting it as “the True account of creation”. The reason may be that all these creation myths are realized as narratives that form a par of the possibility of the mother of all creation hymns - Nasadiya of Rig Veda. Origin of the Cosmos is presented here as the open-ended mystery for meditation and wonder – not conclusion and theology. Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen? Whence this creation has arisen – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not

linked to their tangible value as medicine and for other purposes. Ficus species are valued by Hindus and Buddhists in the Asian region and by the traditional animalistic societies of Asia and Africa. (Conserving the Sacred, 2003) European theologies and ideologies have always placed man as the dominating ruler over nature. Worldviews contrary to this were denounced as demeaning humanity. Even secular worldviews of the West did not liberate themselves from this theological dictum. Thus Karl Marx wrote of Hinduism as “a brutalizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell down on his knees in adoration of Kanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, the cow.” It is interesting what a Marxist state that should have seen man as “the sovereign of nature” did to ecology in and around the nation it governed. Professor Murray Feshbach, of Georgetown U n i v e r s i t y, a l e a d i n g a u t h o r i t y o n environmental problems in the former Soviet Union points out that the Soviets left a continent and a half with fouled air, polluted rivers and untreated sewage. The toxic mess that Marxists created was so great that even the region's vastness cannot absorb the damage. (Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege, BasicBooks, 1992) As against such a toxic mess the “monkey and cow worshipping” Hindus managed amidst all their problems, 14000 sacred forests. If only those who swear by Western theologies and ideologies, have taken a leaf out of the ecological visions of the ancient India they despised, colonized and tried to destroy!

– the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only He knows or perhaps He does not know. No creator, No specific moment of creation and hence no special place for the humanity to be the sovereign of all that is created. Such an openended wonder can take in its bosom all kindergarten varieties of creation myths and tender them for the value it has for the psyche and prune it not to become the only truth. So each species, plant, animal or even a village community becomes a center of the universe in its own right and simultaneously a strand in the infinite. A renowned Indian ecologist Prof. P.S.Ramakrishnan observes: The lowest level in the hierarchical organization of the concept of the sacred but a higher level in social evolution is the concept of sacred species. These socially selected species are valued for cultural or spiritual reasons. For example basil (Ocimum sanctum) and need (Azadirachta indica) became sacred as part of a conscious decision by Hindu society that was

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Cover Story

Latvia : from cross roads to hope...

Latvian team led by Ramants Jansons: clad in their Ethnic dress.

he impact of Abrahamic faiths has been devastating in a diverse scale. The very fact that all nations and peoples of the world had practiced and preserved indigenous ethnic religions and ancient traditions has been erased from the memory of those very nations. The only remnants of such traditions are mostly substance of myth and folklore. With a view to revive and revitalize all such ethno-religious traditions, International Center for Cultural Studies organized the third International Conference and Gathering of Elders, in collaboration with the World Congress of Ethnic religions, the National Counsel of Elders Mayas, Xinca y Garifuna de Guatemala. The venue was Nagpur and the theme was Renaissance of Ancient Traditions: Challenges and Solutions.

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As in the past conferences, the Nagpur conference saw the congregation of delegates from many religions and traditions– Mishmi, Apatani, Adi, Nyishi, Mizo, of India; Yoruba, Gikuyu, Tongo, Zulu, Asante of Africa; Maya, Okanagan, Navajo, Cherokee, Tahitian from Americas; Romuva, Dievturība, Druidism from Europe; Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Parsi Zorastrian of Asia. Vivekananda Kendra's Chennai centre played host to the delegation from Latvia. They practice the Dievturība, the traditional Latvian way of life. An insight into the revival of Dievturība can be gleaned from the following interview.

Interview With Ramants Jansons, Who Led

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The Latvian Delegation And Astra Lasmane 1.Tell us about the movement that is trying to revive the ancient tradition Ramants Jansons: “Dievturība” means 'Worshipping God” in Latvian. It is not a movement, it is our national religion. It is our ancient way of life. Three deities form the primary triumvirate of Dievturība are Dievs – The supreme God, the Creation itself; Laima – the Goddess that decides our Fate; Māra – the Mother of all material elements. 2.Having experienced both communist and capitalist rule, what do you feel about these systems? Ramants Jansons: Capitalism and Communism are very similar in their effects. These systems are trying to destroy national and native cultures throughout the world. The effects of communism are very clear in Latvia: nearly 1/3rd of the population of around 2.5 million were killed, families were separated and children killed. Old people were deported to Siberia in trains. Among these deportees were all great national leaders like Ernests Brastiņš who revived Dievturība.

Ernests was killed in 1942. All national

Ramants Jansons re l i g i o n s w e re i g n o re d a n d s e v e r a l denominations of Christianity were registered as “traditional” religions. This system is still in place today. We are striving to get the national religion of Dievturība registered as a traditional religion. Capitalism is different in different countries. In our country, all native industries have been destroyed: the fisheries, sugar industry, agriculture, all of them have been destroyed. It has created an artificial economic crisis. Our people are having to suffer through unemployment. The systems followed by the

Latvia is a Baltic country in Northern Europe. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia. The capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians are descendants of the Balts and have inherited the Baltic culture. The Latvian language along with the Lithuanian, is the only existing members of the Baltic language family. Historically, Latvia was known for its amber in the ancient and middle ages. Farming was the main occupation until the 20th century. The ancient Balts were nature worshippers. This made them heathen to the Christians and therefore the Baltic region was the consistent target of 'crusades'. The conquest of the Baltic region was initiated by the Germans under the guise of 'crusades'. The Germans had the region under their control until the 15th century. From the 16th century onwards, the Baltic region was under the control of Lithuania, Poland and Sweden in succession. By the beginning of the 18th century, Latvia came under the Czarist Russia, and remained under Russian control till the end of World War I. Latvia was invaded and occupied by alien military forces thrice in the last century. First, it was the

Yuva bharati - April 2009 11

private banks are not helping either. There is a rise in individual greed and even family elders are not being taken care of. There now exist only two classes of people in Latvia: the super-rich and the extremely poor. Pensioners are very poor and their income is not enough to make ends meet. Young people are greedy and are lured to gain money in crooked ways like associating with the mafia. 3.What do you feel about India's tradition and culture? Astra Lasmane: There is a great similarity between Dievturība and Indian culture. Goddess Laima is like Goddess Lakshmi. Fire worship in both traditions is very similar. Even the numbers are very similar. The traditional ornaments also have a similar design. Swastika for example is commonly used in our religion also; it refers to a fire-cross. The cloth with these symbols tells us our future and the future of our nation. This is used in our rituals. We also have traditional symbols that are very similar to these (points to Aishwarya kolam). Our regular rituals also are performed at sunrise or sunset, just like it is done here. Like in Indian tradition, living in harmony with nature is inherent in our religion also. 4.In your efforts to get your people back to the roots of their ancient tradition, do you think India has a role to play? Ramants Jansons: There must be a great role for India to play; because our people are small in number. The forces that are working against the revival of our tradition are very strong and organized. Ancient knowledge is of great value for all nations and countries. It is very important and significant to teach this to people who have lost their ancient culture. When the rebirth of ancient religions happen, there will be no wars. It is only the artificial religions that are leading

Soviet forces in 1940. Then it was Nazi German Occupation in 1941-44. Again by Soviet Union from 1945-91. These periods of occupation by the alien forces marked one of the worst bloodsheds in history. The Red Army soaked Riga, the capital of Latvia in real red, with its mass executions of people who resisted the occupations. History has shown that any illegitimate occupier would try to legitimize their occupation by terming it as liberation. The Soviet Red Army was no exception. Children were made to study a new version of history and sing paeans about the so called liberation. In 1991, Latvia gained its political independence. And now Latvia is searching for its lost roots.

*Photos courtesy: The three occupations of Latvia 1940-41. Published by Occupation Museum Foundation*

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to wars. In Israel and Palestine, they have been fighting and this war seems endless. Conversion to Christianity is sparking a lot of conflict everywhere with native religions. Against such

Astra Lasmane: When under the Soviet Union, people of many different nationalities lived in Latvia. There are differences in acknowledging Dievturība, the Latvian way of life because of this. There have been many marriages between Latvians and Russians, Ukrainians etc. So there is a lesser strength of the culture. To an extent, there is an increase in the number of people following Dievturība. The summer solstice festival, which is one of our most important festivals, is steadily drawing more youngsters. 7.Are these international conferences helping your efforts? Ramants Jansons: Yes; A big yes. We already mentioned how our voices are strengthened through these conferences. Also, these conferences enrich our knowledge about various traditions. Not only for us, but for every delegate, it is a great learning because all of us are coming together. I must say I have a wonderful feeling to meet all these representatives from all cultures, especially people from your country. And we are extremely grateful for you efforts in organizing all t h e s e c o n f e re n c e s , y o u r hospitality and your kindness. It is a divine feeling.

forces, we need to organize ourselves and India is helping us to strengthen our voice. 5.Are there any laws to protect the ancient traditions in your country? If not, are there efforts that are undertaken to bring them? Ramants Jansons: No, there are no laws to protect the national religion of Dievturība. But we are striving to get them. Our traditions are not recognized as cultural heritage of Latvia! Our rituals are not acknowledged as cultural; the marriages done in the system of national, natural religions are not recognized by law. Even the birth of a child, is not recognized. These questions were discussed in the conference at Nagpur. We are trying to bring some laws. As yet, we haven't had any positive results. They close their ears trying hard not to hear our voices, which is why we are participating in international conferences to raise our issues. Such problems for native religions are significant all over Europe: Lithuania, Poland, Germany, France, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, everywhere. 6. Can you tell us how your way of life is received by the general populace in Latvia?

Interview and Photographs : Vasanth.P. V.V.Balasubramanian

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Our Heroes

A Pillar Of Strength
S.Shivsankar

Kamban's Ramayanam. He was the comrade-inarms of Veer Savarkar. He was notoriously known to have trained revolutionaries like Madanlal Dhingra and Vanchinathan in the use of guns. He was the editor of the Desabakthan. His fiercely patriotic and revolutionary ideas garnered for him the charges of sedition by the British. He is none other than the scholar, poet, patriot and revolutionary Varahaneri Venkatesa Subramaniam Aiyar. e is regarded as the father of the modern Tamil short story. He translated the Thirukkural into English and created the work A Study of

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He is lesser known of the freedom fighters from South India. And a fighter he was until being stolen away by time. He hailed from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. His effervescent

“Memories of those momentous years and trying days rise in a flood and, struggling to find a vent, keep knocking at the gates of our heart. How we wish we could have spoken of them all and recited our reminiscences …How we long to write of the goodness and gentleness of disposition - how when betrayed thou stood unshaken, how thou served them who owned thee not and how thou suffered when unbeknown and modest, and made not the slightest mention of it when thou got known - how we long to write of it all. But our pen is a broken reed. The noble story of thy life must for the time being, nay, perhaps for all time to come, remain untold. For while those who can recite it are living, the time to tell it may not come, and when the time comes, when all that is worth telling will no longer remain suppressed and will eagerly be listened to, the generation that could have recounted it might have passed away. Thy greatness, therefore, must stand undimmed but unwitnessed by man like the lofty Himalayan peaks. Thy services and sacrifices must lie buried in oblivion as do the mighty foundations of a mighty castle.” Veer Savarkar on V.V.S Aiyar.

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love for the motherland evinced Veer Savarkar to declare that, “For indeed he was a pillar of strength, a Hindu of Hindus… one of the most exalted representatives and perfect flower of our Hindu civilization - ripe in experience, and mellowed by sufferings and devoted to the service of men and God, the cause of the Hindu Sanghatan was sure to find in him one of its best and foremost champions in Madras.” He entertained only one dream, one thought in his mind, throughout his life – the Freedom of his Motherland. In November 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, he was being forced and threatened to leave Pondicherry by the French. This was because the French were pressured into exiling Indian refugees (read

patriots) by the British. He then ardently wished to bequeath a legacy for the future generations to come, since he had no idea of where his destiny would lead him to. He fructified his desire by translating the wisdom of Thiruvalluvar into English as The Maxims of Thiruvalluvar and published it in March 1915. So engrossed by the work was he, that even when the policemen came calling in search of non-existent fugitives, whom he had hidden in his closet, he would be busy writing, while they ransacked his house! His date of Birth falls on 2nd April. Let us remember such a noble soul.

Web trotter

world's largest gathering of women…
An annual cultural assertion by Indian Women ! An estimated thirty lakh women devotees from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu converged on streets leading to theAttukal Bhagavathi Temple at Thiruvananthapuram.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Women-devoteesthrong-to-cook-rice-on-streets/articleshow/4250548.cms

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Editorial

It's ordained, let's assert..
illennia ago pilgrims from around the world came to India because this land offered them enlightenment. Persecuted nationalities and religions came to this land like a child in pain running back to the comforting safety of its mother's lap. Every religion every tradition found a niche under this magnificent banyan tree. This is India – Eternal India – the land that gives everlasting life. This is the land that produced noblest spirituality that never frightened humanity with the nightmares and kindergarten fairy tales of eternal heaven and hell. Instead this nation offered absolute freedom to the seeker and the persecuted. It remains so to this day. Millennia ago in Europe the wrath of a Bronze Age male sky god descended on a pagan population which was disorganized and showed foolish Theo-magnanimity. This was a god who invented an eternal hell for disbelievers and who notoriously declared that those who are not on his side are naturally his enemies; the Fire of his wrath would keep the land in darkness for the next thousand years. Temples were destroyed. Deities were demonized. Sacred groves were cut off. Libraries were burnt. Women of wisdom were branded as witches and tortured. Whole populations of disbelievers including children were massacred. Thousand years of darkness, witch hunts, holy inquisitions, spreading of colonial plague through the continents, monumental slave trade that ripped apart millions of families in Africa, untold and immeasurable human sufferings, gas chambers and holocaust and two world wars – all these would come to pass before the stranglehold of this monotheistic
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god would slightly loosen from the western land. And now again we hear voices. Tender voices of course; voices that ask for Theo-diversity; voices that speak against exclusivist tyranny of closed religious dogmas. These are rebellious voices that celebrate the age-old gods and goddesses of this planet and its cycles and celestial cycles too. Even as they raise their voices their eyes and hearts search for that land in the earth where as the poet said “ the mind is without fear and the head is held high” and “where knowledge is free” And their search unfailingly brings them to the land of Advaita and Nalanda – India. This nation too has the scars that the Bronze Age god inflicted. Some scars are still bleeding. But even then, hopes are pinned on this nation as this is the only land where ancient civilizations can still trace their lost roots. Dreams are weaved by those who are in such a search that this cradle of all civilizations will lead to a new world order bereft of conflicts and violence. The mantle is waiting, let's assert.. S.Aravindh YBET

Lest we forget Not an Ordinary Youth
S.Shivsankar

pril 30 1908, was an important day. On the evening of that fateful day, the first bomb was thrown – for the independence of India, for the downfall of the British Empire. It was planned and executed by two revolutionaries, who belonged to the group Yugantar. But surprise! Their average age was just 19! The first armed revolutionaries were teenagers. Those two youngsters were Khudiram Bose (19) and Profulla Chaki (20). Their target was D H Kingsford, then Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta. He was infamous for his harsh punishments and orders, which he meted out in grand measure to Indians. Kingsford, who got wind about the threat to his life, cowardly fled to Muzaffarpur, Bihar. However, he did not change his crooked ways. The two young men followed him to Muzaffarpur. On that evening, the two young revolutionaries stationed themselves outside the club, regularly frequented by Kingsford. When the carriage arrived, the two youngsters attacked it with their bombs. Unfortunately, instead of Kingsford, the carriage contained the wife and daughter of Pringle Kennedy, a barrister. The police chased the two youth. Profulla Chaki shot himself dead on being cornered. Khudiram was arrested at Waini railway station. Khudiram was sentenced to death. He embraced death at the gallows with exuberance

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on 11 August, 1908. The prison authorities, who normally witnessed the weak minds and pale faces of those sentenced to death, got a shock when they saw a buoyant youngster. Khudiram, hale and healthy, welcomed death with peace and happiness. This incident was the spark that destroyed the British Empire. It moved patriots like Tilak and Savarkar and Bose, who in turn shook the very foundations of the Empire, until the empire lay in ruins.

It is a great thing to take up a grand ideal in life and then give up one's whole life to it.
Swami Vivekananda

22 Yuva bharati - April 2009

Yuva bharati - April 2009 3

Grey Matters

Duty To Choose The Right
A.Sudarshan

here are exams all over; not just for the students but for the politicians who manage to get tickets and for us – the voters-too. We have tolerated half a decade of inaction against terrorism, under performance, misguided policies, communal appeasement, devastating foreign policy, irreparable financial policy and irresponsible response to security threats. Students would cram the entire year's syllabus in the last few days and get through to the next year. Politicians in power will cunningly try to cover up for their ineffectiveness through empty promises, distributing monies or gifts, appeasing minority sections, slandering opponent contestants, reworking alliance equations and what not. Both students and politicians will pass the test.

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But the real test at this hour is for the voters. We are left with no excuses to cover up any inefficiency, lack of clarity or indecisiveness on our part. We can pass this crucial test only by managing to identify the real issues that haunt our country today. And of course, by identifying individuals and parties that will make efforts towards solving these issues. For this, if we look for support from the media, we will continue to remain foolish and let ourselves down again for the next five years. Obvious attempts are being made by all forms of mainstream media to keep the voters clouded about the real issues on hand by consistently bringing to the forefront, irrelevant ideas, insignificant incidents and nonissues while relegating the real ones to the back. The media has started its campaign much ahead of the political parties. Looks like, it has a lot of interests vested on the outcome of the polls, even more than the contesting parties. It has devised a poll strategy for itself. The issues, whatever they may be would get squeezed and fitted in the frame of incidents like those that took place in Kandhamal and Mangalore, with the sole underpin being casting a section of the political class as anti-minority. Let us identify the real issues. Wrong economic policy that fueled farmer suicides, weak home department that allowed free run for the terrorists, confused approach with regards to happenings in our neighborhood, lethargic political response to prompt information about attacks through sea route and many more debacles in the past few years are all not going to be raised by the media at this crucial hour of election. Quite understandably, it has a more significant agenda; a self inflicted responsibility in highlighting extreme cases like some glass frames being broken in a remote church of Karnataka. For the noble media, Mohd Afzals are certainly not as dangerous as Muthaliks. "Nothing official about inflation" is a slogan in the campaign website of a leading newspaper which has tugged for itself the work to campaign and lead india instead of informing the public impartially.

Adventerous television anchors fix political alliances, media houses overstep their limits to campaign for political parties, articles are being written to relieve the ruling government of its failure to control price rise. After all, the voter’s thinking is being influenced by the mighty and powerful to fulfill their vested interests. Whether the media's effort is conscious and conspired is not the debate here. The issue rather is that, we have a right to be aware of real issues. We have a right to be free from influences of vested interests. Media is not going to help us identify our ideal candidates. We need to help ourselves. Voting is not merely our right. It's pretty much our duty. We have a right to know who stands for our nation, culture and thought. We have the duty to show the door to those politicians who believe that we are disunited lot as a community and that can be taken for granted. We have a duty to vote for the right - for the right person, for the right party, for all the right reasons. On an average only 55-60 % of the people go to the polling booths. The party that comes to power secures not more than 30% of the total votes. Effectively less than 20% of the population decides the fate of the country. If we desire to change this situation, we need to show our collective strength. A small collective act of ours, will not only pave way for strong governance for the next 5 years, but will also leave an everlasting impact on development hereon.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. - Martin Luther King Jr.

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Yuva bharati - April 2009

Common genetic traits

Aryan Theory demolished
Kumar Chellappan

n international team of genetic scientists has ruled out the theory of Aryan invasion of the Indian subcontinent. “The age old argument that there was an Aryan invasion of the sub-continent is simply bunkum. Scientific studies prove that there is no such thing as Aryan Indian or Dravidian Indian. Genetic high resolution studies carried out by us prove that all Indians are derived from same grand-grand parents who arrived here 60,000-70,000 years ago from Africa,” Dr.Gyaneshwer Chaubey, a scientist of the team, told Deccan Chronicle. Dr.Chaubey, a member of the scientific community at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Estonia, said the research also proved that all Indians had common genetic traits irrespective of the regions to which they belonged. “It took us four years to complete the study and we analysed 12,200 samples to reach this conclusion,” said Dr.Chaubey. “Genetic studies help us to establish relations between populations. We focused on the paternal (Y Chromosomes) and maternal DNA genealogies. The data which we generated does not support any major influx to the subcontinent other than the earlier arrival of migrants from Africa.” He said. “The present day caste/creed/religion is of indigenous origin,” said Dr.Chaubey.

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Genealogy The age old argument that there was an Aryan invasion of the Subcontinent is simply bunkum.
Courtesy : Deccan Chronicle Dated: 2nd March

The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness.
Swami Vivekananda

Yuva bharati - April 2009 27

Vivekananda Kendra Samachar
Chennai
On 1st March 2009, in Swadhyaya Varga a renowned blogger, Sri Anand Ganesh from Bengaluru, gave a talk on National and AntiNational forces on the Web, stating that it is very difficult to get nationalistic view point in main stream media. He emphasized the importance of articulating our view through the web. Citing several blog spaces which had good positive view points and had a large reach, he also explained that this could be future main stream. He further explained that this importance is already felt by various sections as the antinational forces have already started occupying the space to a considerable extent. 25 Swadhyayees participated in this. On 15th March 2009, “Expressions” – a workshop on writing was conducted. Sri B.R.Haran, prominent writer and journalist and Sri P.Ramaniji, Prof. Emerites, Director, PRIST University conducted the workshop. Sri Haran spoke on the need for the right thinking people to express themselves on vital issues and also the need to occupy the space in Media. Sri Ramani explained about the nuances of writing and how to articulate our views. 35 people participated in this workshop. academic performances has convinced their parents about the efficacy of our Personality Development programmes. The result was a wonderful response from parents when Kendra Organized Kudumba Sammelan in the month of February 2009. Prof. Mrs.Vidya Thai Naval from Thane was the Chief Guest of this event. There was a group discussion among the parents about what they expect from their children. There was also an exhibition for children on Swamiji's life and message.

Arunachal Pradesh
Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Project: Arun Jyoti, Arunachal Pradesh organized a Free Medical Operation Camp from 16th to 21st February 2009 at Coal India Hospital, Margheritta, Assam. A team of seven volunteer doctors from Remote Area Medical (RAM), Knoxville, U.S.A. came for the noble cause. They were:
TDr. Gangadhar Maddiwar, General Surgeon TDr. Vinayak Kulkarni, Gastroenterologist TDr. Anuradh Kulkarni, Anesthesiologist TDr. Mohini Gehani, Anesthesiologist TDr. Krishna Deshpande, General Surgeon TDr. Harish Pariaini, Internal Medicine TSmty. Sandhya Deshpande, Trained Dietician.

Ambarnath
The children from the poor and under privileged families from old Ambarnath area have a new source of succor in the form of Vivekananda Kendra, Ambarnath Branch. Gone are the days when education and overall developments were the privilege of rich and affluent families with the support of Principal, teachers and staff of Dhyanamruth Vidyala. Vivekananda Kendra is able to bring a smile within two years of its efforts there. A marked improvement in the

Coal India Ltd., North-East Coal Fields, Margheritta collaborated with Vivekananda Kendra for this camp. In the camp eighty nine patients from remote villages of Arunachal Pradesh were examined. Thirty four of them were operated for Appendicitis, Gall Bladder stone disease, Uterine and Lumps & Bumps. The Mobile Medical Unit of Vivekananda Kendra, Arun Jyoti screened the patients from the last week of December. They visited Tirap, Changlang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, East

28 Yuva bharati - April 2009

Siang and West Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The target group was the poor and needy patients. The camp was inaugurated by Dr. Debashis Sarkar, General Manager, Coal India Ltd., Margherita on 16th February. In his speech he appreciated the work done by Vivekananda Kendra in North- East and assured help in the future also. After the completion of Free Operation Camp, the Mobile Medical Unit started the follow up programme with personal visits to patients. VIMARSH- INDIA: FOREIGN POLICY OPTIONS AND CHALLENGES BEFORE THE NEXT GOVERNMENT A Country As Large As India Should Not Be Dominated By Anybody, But Should Have An Independent Foreign Policy Vimarsh, the monthly discussion series of Vivekananda Kendra International was held on 27th February 09 at 6.30 pm in the premises of Vivekananda Kendra International, Chanakyapuri,Delhi. The topic of the Vimarsh was 'India: foreign policy options and challenges before the next government' and the speaker was Shri Rajiv Sikri, the former secretary, ministry of external affairs. Shri Ajit Doval, the honorary director of VKI gave a brief description of the hostile environment in which our nation was placed. Sri Rajiv Sikri said that, as we are living in an era of globalization, everything ranging from mind to terror to economy is being globalized. We have to formulate a policy which should enable us to maintain an international balance without tilting in favour of any country. We should not allow ourselves to succumb to any pressures exerted by any nation because that will lead to undesirable consequences. For example, after the nuclear deal was struck with USA, our old strategic ally Russia did not feel very pleased with it and it increased the price of the nuclear submarine 'Admiral Groshkov' by 400 %.

We have to be very clear regarding what position we wish to seek in the international scenario. We should emphasize more on relationships with our neighbouring troublesome nations like China, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc, and formulate strategic techniques to confront their conspiracies. We should never allow any emotions associated with any cultural factors to undermine our international strategies, such as India and C h i n a b e i n g n e i g h b o u r s f ro m t i m e s immemorial, Bengali fraternal ties between India and Bangladesh etc. We should make it very clear to China that Tibet has always been a region having provincial autonomy and it was China's responsibility to make the atmosphere in Tibet conducive enough for the refugees to return and get rehabilitated. He pointed out as China claims Tawang to be their a part of their nation, on the grounds of the 5th Dalai Lama having been born there, India can also retaliate by claiming Kailash-Mansarovar as they have been associated with our Hindu mythology. He also mentioned that if the need arises, we should not hesitate in adopting subtle techniques such as an efficient exploitation of Indus water sharing agreement which we had with Pakistan, which would lead to the drying of rivers there and subsequent droughts. The most important points mentioned by Shri Rajiv Sikri was that with the information explosion and all pervasive media, foreign policy diplomacy is not restricted to the Diplomats in external affairs ministry. It is now a public domain. Effective building of public opinion and mature media management have become need of the hour. The talk was followed by interaction with the audience which comprised of various outstanding personalities like Admiral KK Nayyar, Commodore H. S. Puniya, Brigadier R K Gupta, Shri Sanjeev Sanyal.

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Saffron Quark

V.V.Balasubramanian Group activities increase social bonding.

ociety is not j u s t a aggregate of individuals, even if they are vast in number. It is what those individuals have in common; do in common. To bind people from individuals to communities, communities to societies and societies to nation, various factors are involved. The most important bond is culture. Culture, as many think is not just meant for disciplining an individual's personal chores, but also to make a person more pliable for social interaction. This aspect has been dealt in the form of festivals and ceremonies in our country. Once when Sri Rama asked his Guru Sage Vashista, the reason for apparent lack of enthusiasm among the people in spite of the ideal state governed by him, his Guru said that security, meeting the needs of people, prosperity and absence of conflicts will not suffice to bring cheer into the minds of the people. They need some reason to celebrate; through celebration they will all come together. When a person sees that others are also happy like him, his happiness multiplies. Real happiness is not selfish. Therefore, in order to make people exude happiness, realize that everybody else in the society is also happy and share their happiness with others, this was his advice to Sri Rama. This
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essence of our culture, though lost i n o u r ritualistic performance a n d exhibitionist tendencies to showcase our material prosperity is still alive t h o u g h dormant. If rekindled, this spirit will work wonders, in guiding humanity into peaceful coexistence. Now evidence from psychology and neurology is emerging to explain how tactics like organized marching and group activities can work to exert influence on the mass. A recent research by Scott Wiltermuth and his colleagues of Stanford University in California have found t h a t activities performed in unison, such as marching or dancing, Scott Wiltermuth increase loyalty to the

group. He states that it makes us feel as though we're part of a larger entity, so we see the group's welfare as being as important as our own. Wiltermuth's team separated 96 people into four groups who performed these tasks together: listening to a song while silently mouthing the words, singing along, singing and dancing, or listening to different versions of the song so that they sang and danced out of sync. In a later game, when asked to d e c i d e whether to stick with the group or strive for personal gain, those in the nonJonathan Haidt synchronized g r o u p behaved less loyally than the rest (Psychological Science, vol 20, p 1) There are instances where this wonderful technique was used against humanity. Fascist leaders like Hitler and Mussolini had the ability to bend millions of people according to their will. Those societies, were unable to check this when it was put to undesirable use. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who has authored the book The Happiness Hypothesis, thinks this research helps explain why fascist leaders, amongst others, use organized marching and chanting to whip crowds into a frenzy of devotion to their cause, though these tactics can be used just as well for peace, he stresses. Community dances and

group singing can ease local tension, for example - a theory he plans to test experimentally (Journal of Legal Studies, DOI: 10.1086/529447). What was developed in our country to bind people into a nation was used in other places to develop a herd mentality. Haidt says our brains are geared to mimic our peers. It needs a man endowed with supranormal qualities to break this hegemony as the society tends to behave like a herd when it is groping in such darkness and it will be very difficult to come out of it. The very essence of festivals and ceremonies in our country is to emphasize the importance of sharing, care for environment and love towards all beings. In the last century, in our country, Lokmanya Tilak used the Ganesh Chaturthi festival to mobilize people and infuse nationalistic fervor in them. Festivals and celebrations harness relationships, reduce stress at the societal level and works as a universal force. Such wonderful truths of Bharat, hitherto termed as myths are now corroborated by the scientific mind. Noble ideas bind people and evolve them into harmonious lot. Ignoble ideas sink people into herds. A H i t l e r a n d M u s s o l i n i prompted the west to study the human behavior patterns and understand the factors involved in influencing individuals into societal behaviors. Let Rama and Krishna, further evolve them from that trough to the crest of harmony, peaceful coexistence and enthusiasm.

24 Yuva bharati - April 2009

Web trotter
We, The Nation(s) Of India

India breathes through her multiplicity, not her fragmenting voices
National identity is to a nation's well-being what the immune system is to the body's health. The over-stressed body succumbs to external and internal threats, and eventually death, as its immunity weakens. Similarly, a nation stressed by a vacuum of identity, or multiple conflicting identities, or outright confusion, can break up. Just as the body's immune system needs constant rejuvenation, so too a nation needs a positive collective psyche for its political cohesion. http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41.asp?filename=Ne170109we_the .asp

Nothing can change by changing our faces,

Yuva bharati - April 2009 25

Web trotter
German scientist trains farmers on ancient Indian vedic homa therapy
To deal with the impact of climate change in agriculture, farmers in Himachal Pradesh are being trained by a German scientist in the ancient Indian vedic homa therapy. http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20090319/824/tnl-german-scientisttrains-farmers-on-a.html

everything can be changed by

Facing the Change

Pranams to Sri Ramana Maharishi on his Smriti Din on April 14
26 Yuva bharati - April 2009

YUVA BHARATI
Voice of Youth
Vol.36 No.9 Chaitra-Vaishakh 5111 April 2009

CONTENTS
Editorial
GREY MATTERS

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Founder-Editor Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade Editor P .Parameswaran Editorial Consultants: Nivedita Raghunath Bhide Prof. P .T.Santha Prof. P .Ramani Editorial Team: A.Sudarshan P .Vasanth S.Shivsankar S.Aravindh V.V.Balasubramanian Marketing: D.Krishnamoorthy H.Gnaneswara Rao Design & Layout V.Senthil Kumar Editorial Office: 5, Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005. Ph: (044) 28440042 Email: vkpt@vkendra.org Web: www.vkendra.org Single Copy Rs. 10/Annual Rs. 100/For 3 Yrs Rs. 275/Life (10 Yrs) Rs. 900/Foreign Subscription: Annual $25 US Dollar Life (10 years) $250 US Dollar (Plus Rs.50/- for Outstation Cheques)

Duty to Choose the Right A.Sudarshan
Know Thyself Grow Thyself

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Happiness Sqn.Ldr.Dr.P .Ramani
COVER STORY

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Latvia: From cross roads to hope
ECO DHARMA

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No Creator and More Ecology S.Aravindh Book Review 18 35

Published and Printed by L.Madhavan on behalf of Vivekananda Kendra from 5, Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Chennai - 600 005. at M/s.RNR Printers and Publishers, 8, Thandavarayan Street, Triplicane, Chennai - 600 005. Editor : P.Parameswaran.

Yuva bharati - April 2009 1

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