News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
19 September 2008 - 48th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society
The Headquarters of Sri Aurobindo Society at Puducherry
The year 1956 was a milestone in the spiritual mission of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as it was on 29 February of this year that the Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness took place. In the very first commemorative year of this momentous event, in 1960, Sri Aurobindo Society was formed on 19th of September with the Mother as the Founder and Executive President, "to make known to the members and people in general the aims and ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, their system of Integral Yoga, and to work for its fulfilment in all possible ways and for the attainment of a spiritual society as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo."
The Mother gave the following Motto for the Society:
The book A Glimpse of the Mother's Love and Action published by the Society, describes the genesis and growth of the Society and the Mother's way of working, as she developed it in its formative years. The Society has been growing over the years and has now more than 300 Centres and 70 Branches all over India and abroad. More details of the various activities of the Society are given here. http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in/activity/activity.htm
On this day we rededicate ourselves to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and to the realisation of the great future they have revealed to us.
Annual Seminar of the Women's Council - November 2008: "Organisation of Action in Life"
Organisation of action is the key to success in life. Life covers the whole gamut of our ideas and aims, our aspirations and endeavours, and our day-to-day physical activities and dealings. It is very essential to bring clarity and cohesiveness in our mind, a rhythm of harmony in our feelings and emotions and a flow of grace and beauty in our body's movements.
All who are interested are invited to attend Sri Aurobindo Society's Women's Council annual seminar on "Organisation of Action in Life" to be held on 21, 22, 23 November 2008, at the Society's Beach Office hall, No.1, Rangapillai Street, Puducherry - 605 002. For further information, accommodation etc., write to The Secretary Women's Council Sri Aurobindo Society Puducherry - 605 002. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent Events at Beach Office 136th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: 15 August 2008
15 August was Sri Aurobindo's 136th Birth Anniversary. At the Ashram the day was observed with a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room (kept open from 4 am to 7 pm), meditation around the Samadhi (6:00 to 6:30 a.m.), and March-past by the members of the Ashram's Physical Education Department at the Ashram's Playground in the evening. The day concluded with meditation.
Annual Lectures - 13 & 14 August 2008
A series of lectures was organised by the Society at the Beach Office in Puducherry on 13 and 14 August 2008. Members and workers from different branches and centres participated. There were questions and answers session talks by Prof. Manoj Das, talks by Prof. Kittu Reddy on "Sri Aurobindo and Parliamentary Democracy", Dr. Alok Pandey on "Reading Sri Aurobindo", a Powerpoint presentation by Shri Kaivalya Smart on "Sri Aurobindo in Surat", talks by Shri Sraddhalu on "The Outstanding Features of Integral Yoga", Shri Matri Prasad on The Concept of Evolution", Shri Vijay K. Poddar on "The Work Ahead". A session of Women's Council was also held on 13 August, on the theme of "Sri Aurobindo's India".
Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on "Summary of Savitri" - August 2008
From 16 to 20 August 2008, Dr. Alok Pandey conducted study sessions summarising 'Savitri' at the Society's Beach Office, Puducherry. Sessions were held from 5:00 to 6:45 pm. About 150 persons regularly attended the Talks.
Some Special Days in September 2008
3 September 2008 - Ganesha Chaturthi
This year Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha, will be celebrated on 3 September. In India all important tasks start with the worship of Ganesha -the son of the Supreme Mother and god of material knowledge and wealth - so that the work undertaken may be free from all obstacles. In his letters Sri Aurobindo writes:
"Ganesha is the Power that removes obstacles by the force of Knowledge;…"
"Ganesha (among other things) is the Devata of spiritual Knowledge."
Here is the Mother's first encounter with Lord Ganesha, as narrated by herself sometime during 1958:
"We had a meditation (this was more than thirty years ago) in the room where 'Prosperity' is now distributed. There were eight or ten of us, I believe. We used to make sentences with flowers; I arranged the flowers, and each one made a sentence with the different flowers I had put there. And one day when the subject of prosperity or wealth came up, I thought (they always say that Ganesh is the god of money, of fortune, of the world's wealth), I thought, 'Isn't this whole story of the god with an elephant trunk merely a lot of human imagination?' Thereupon, we meditated. And who should I see walk in and park himself in front of me but a living being, absolutely alive and luminous, with a trunk that long ... and smiling! So then, in my meditation, I said, 'Ah! So it's true that you exist!' - 'Of course I exist! And you may ask me for whatever you wish, from a monetary standpoint, of course, and I will give it to you!' "So I asked. And for about ten years, it poured in, like this (gesture of torrents). It was incredible. I would ask, and at the next Darshan, or a month or several days later, depending, there it was."
News from Branches and Centres
News from India
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) - Study and Research on Sri Aurobindo
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, has started a Ph.D. programme along with a Diploma and Masters Degree on Sri Aurobindo. IGNOU has started this course to help the younger generation to become aware of Sri Aurobindo and his immense contribution in several fields. The subjects covered are meta-physics, yoga, psychology, social and political thought, spiritual poetry and literature.
The Paigmberpur Centre celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday on 15th August 2008. Shri K. Pawan, Chairman of the Patiala branch of the Society, spoke to a group of young girls about the importance of Sri Aurobindo's birthday and India's independence on 15th August.
Audience listening to Dr. Anand speaking on Sri Aurobindo
The Mother's flag was hoisted. A team from Delhi along with Mrs. Kuku Mathur rendered songs. There were participants from 10 villages. Dr. Anand, an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi, spoke on Sri Aurobindo's life and vision.
The march past and the salute
This was followed by a cultural programme by the people of Paigmberpur. The programme started with a group of 65 people comprising men, young girls and boys and small children marching with the Mother's Flag accompanied by Ashram marching music. After the lighting of diyas by volunteers, all sang song "Vande Mataram" collectively, followed by the recitation of "Morning prayer by The Mother" by the group of elderly men.
The human pyramid, by the boys and girls of Paigmberpur
A play enacted by the women of Paigmberpur
Small boys and girls performed the human pyramid. The women of the village enacted a play, conveying the message that there is goodness in everyone, waiting to manifest - it is up to each one to put in the necessary effort to bring this goodness out in to their daily lives.
A beautiful dance was performed together by young boys and girls depicting a theme whichinspires one to move ahead in life by learning from the past. The song went like this: "Beete kal se humko sikhte jana hai..naye kal ki kal kal se pal pal sajana hai...."
Noida (U.P.) - August 2008 Programmes
Special Programmes: 9 August 2008: A programme of Devotional Songs & Bhajans on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Mrs. Kuntala Dasgupta was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on Saturday, the 9th August, 2008 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. About 40 devotees and their families participated in the Programme.
15 August 2008: The Noida branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday on 15th August 2008. There was collective meditation in the morning at the Bhavan. On this occasion a Homeopathy Dispensary was opened at the Bhavan. 110 saplings of trees were planted in the park opposite Sri Aurobindo Bhavan.
Shri Gopesh Goswamy giving the talk "Krishnastu Bhagwan Swayam"
23 August 2008: On this day of Krishna Janmashtami, a talk on "Krishnastu Bhagwan Swayam" by Shri Gopesh Goswami was organised by the branch at the Bhavan.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 15 August Celebrations
Salute to National Flag by Shri S.K. Jain, Chairman; Shri V.P. Goyal; Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and others dignitaries present on the occasion of 15th August
The branch celebrated the Independence Day & Birthday of Sri Aurobindo with members and their families and the students of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan on Friday, the 15th August, 2008, at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. At 10:00 am, the National Flag was unfurled at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Shri Suresh Kumar Jain, Chairman of the Branch, and Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director, Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Noida.
Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan's children offering prayers to the Mother
After offering prayers to the Mother, Dr. Puneesh Taneja explained the importance of 15th August, which is both the Independence Day of India and the Birthday of Sri Aurobindo. He also spoke about Sri Aurobindo's message delivered through the All India Radio on the eve of India's Independence, on 14th August 1947.
Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan's Children gathering
The students of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan sang patriotic songs, performed drama and folk dance. Sewing and Tailoring Training Course was running for the last four months with the collaboration of Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India. On this occasion, Certificates to successful students were awarded by Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director of the Sansthan. About 200 people attended the function and sweets were distributed to all.
2, 9, 16 and 23 August 2008: On 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd August 2008, Dr. Puneesh Taneja came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours on respective days with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, Stories, good manners and discipline were conveyed to the children in an interesting manner. Children were told about teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and all of them paid tributes to them at the Holy Shrine.
Health: Treatment by Homeopathy: Homeopathy Dispensary for two hours daily from Monday to Saturday by Dr. Ajay Srivastava at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan has been started from 15th August, 2008. On Saturday, the 23rd August 2008, medicines for preventing Malaria, Dengue etc. were given to 110 children.
Treatment by Acupressure Therapy: Acupressure Treatment for two hours daily from Monday to Friday by Mrs. Sudha Kesharwani at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan is going on well. While giving treatment, she is also using the relevant quotations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and the persons coming for acupressure treatment are evincing keen interest in them. Free Eye Check-up/Consultation on every Sunday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan: Free Eye Check-up/Consultation is being organised on every Sunday, for two hours from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm by Dr. P.S. Chauhan, Eye Specialist and Project Director, National Blindness Control Programme, Govt. of India, at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida.
Development of Women: Sewing & Tailoring Classes: Sewing & Tailoring Classes are being conducted daily from Monday to Friday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Smt. Jaishree Nigam and about twenty ladies are learning the same.
Other Activities: Besides the above, regular activities of Meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Library, Playing of spiritual audio/video CDs etc. are held.
Shri K. Pawan, Chairman Sri Aurobindo Society, Patiala Branch, delivered the following talks:
On 26.07.08 from 12.30 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. on "Self Development" to the students numbering approximately 30.
To members & devotees on 'Savitri' from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, 26.07.08 and continued it again on Sunday, 27.07.2008 from 10.30 a.m. to12.00. These talks were attended by about 30 devotees.
At Bhopal, on 14 August 2008, a programme was organised by M. P. Hindi Sahitya Acadamy with the active participation of Sri Aurobindo Society Bhopal. This programme was held at Swaraj Bhawan under the title "Sri Aurobindo ka Hindi Sahitya par Prabhav (Sri Aurobindo's Influence on Hindi Literature)." Dr. Devki Nandan Shrivastav from New Delhi was the keynote speaker. Shri Rajendra Mishra, Editor of Hindi magazine 'Veena" and Shri Indra Neel Chaudhari, Editor of the Hindi magazine "Kalindi" spoke on the topic. "Padma Shri" Dr. Ramesh Dave, noted Hindi Sahityakar, presided over the function. Dr Devendra Deepak, Director of Hindi Sahitya Acadamy of M.P., conducted the programme. Shri Mourya and Shri Satish Chitwar of Sri Aurobindo Society, Bhopal, welcomed the guests. A large number of general public and Sadhaks attended the programme.
Neyveli (Tamil Nadu)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Neyveli Centre, and SABDA, Puducherry, jointly took part in the annual Book Fair organised by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) Ltd., Neyveli, from 05.07.2008 to 16.07.2008. About 3 lakhs people visited the Book Fair.
Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Visakhapatnam Centre, released a book in Telugu titled "Sri Aravinda Tattwa Darshanam" written by Sri K. Bhaskararao and published by Shri K. Apparao.
The Centre arranged two talks by Prof. Kittu Reddy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, on 30th and 31st July 2008 commemorating the historic event of "Alipore Case and Sri Aurobindo in 1908". One of them was an interactive talk with the youth on Sri Aurobindo and the other was on Sri Aurobindo and his contribution. The two talks were broadcast by the All India Radio, Visakhapatnam.
The Centre also organised two public lectures by Prof. Kittu Reddy at the public library. On 30.07.2008 he spoke on "Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom Movement" and on 31.07.2008 on "Sri Aurobindo's Vision of India". Shri T.V. Ramana Rao, Chairman of the Centre, presided over the meeting and Prof. K.V. Ramana, former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University, introduced the speaker to the audience.
Prof. Kittu Reddy also participated in a lively interaction with the young students of Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir, Visakhapatnam, on 31.07.2008.
The Purnea branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday by organising a collective study of Sri Aurobindo's 'Essays on the Gita' and 'Savitri'. The Mother's flag was hoisted during the occasion.
Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu)
The Cuddalore Centre celebrated its 6th anniversary on 17 August 2008 with flower offering and collective meditation. Shri C. Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of the Cuddalore Centre, presided over the function. Smt. Sushila Melvani and Shri M.S. Sundararajan of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, spoke on the occasion. All the committee members of the Cuddalore Centre participated with enthusiasm. An exhibition of flowers and photographs was organised.
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
Lucknow Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a programme in the Nirala Hall of Uttar Pradesh Hindi Institute on 07.08.2008. More than 50 devotees participated in the event.
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