News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) Upcoming Events
17 and 20 November 2008 - Maha-Samadhi of the Mother
The Mother left her body on 17th November 1973. Her body was laid in the Samadhi on 20th November. The Mother's room will be open for darshan for devotees on 17 November 2008.
On Her life's aim, here is what the Mother once wrote:
"I am French by birth and early education, I am Indian by choice and predilection. In my consciousness there is no antagonism between the two, on the contrary, they combine very well and complete one another. I know also that I can be of service to both equally, for my only aim in life is to give a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo's great teaching and in his teaching he reveals that all the nations are essentially one and meant to express the Divine Unity upon earth through an organised and harmonious diversity."
When pressed about the details of her physical life, this was Her brief reply:
"Do not ask questions about the details of the material existence of this body; they are in themselves of no interest and must not attract attention. Throughout all this life, knowingly or unknowingly, I have been what the Lord wanted me to be, I have done what the Lord wanted me to do. That alone matters."
24 November 2008 - Siddhi Day
24 November 2008 is a very significant day, especially for the devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as it marks the 82nd anniversary of the Siddhi Day - The Day of Victory -, the descent of the Sri Krishna Consciousness or the Overmental Consciousness into the physical. This was the first decisive step towards the Supramental Manifestation which took place later in 1956.
About this event Sri Aurobindo later wrote in a letter:
"The 24th November  was the descent of Krishna into the physical…. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually, the descent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Overmind leading it towards his Ananda."
A view of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
The 24th November 1926 is also the day when the Sri Aurobindo Ashram came into being. It is therefore the planting of the seed which has how grown into a huge and mighty banyan tree with a presence all over the world.
And this is what the Mother once explained to the children when she was asked why She and Sri Aurobindo created the Ashram at Puducherry:
"My child, that is why the Ashram was created... because, in France, I was always asking myself: How can one find the time to find oneself ? How can one even find the time to understand how to become free? So then I thought: a place where material needs will be sufficiently provided for, so that if one truly wants to become free, one can do so. And the Ashram was founded on this idea, not on any other -- a place where people would have enough to live on so as to have time to think of the True Thing."
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, [revised address] No.9, Saint Martin Street, Puducherry - 605 001.
For further information, accommodation etc., write to The Secretary Women's Council Sri Aurobindo Society Puducherry - 605 002. E-mail: email@example.com
Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on 'Savitri' - 22 to 28 February 2009
Dr. Alok Pandey will conduct Study Sessions in Sri Aurobindo's epic "Savitri" at the Society's Beach Office from 22 to 28 February 2009. As usual, there will be two sessions daily between 05:00 and 07:00 pm.
Recent Events at Beach OfficeIntensive Awareness Programme - 30 Sept. to 3 Oct. 2008
An Intensive Awareness Programme, as a part of a series, was organised by Sri Aurobindo Society at Pondicherry from 30 September to 3 October 2008. The objective of this programme was to make representatives from our centres, who were invited selectively, aware of the important aspects of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga as applicable to practical living. Emphasis was laid on subjects related to which questions are put by visitors who visit our various centres.
Following are the subjects covered and the speakers who dealt with them: Subjects Speakers Sri Aurobindo's Yoga Alok Pandey Spirituality, Religion and Occultism Devdip Ganguly Delight Kaivalya Smart Parts of our Being Ajit Sabnis Meditation & Concentration Alok Pandey Illness and Cure Alok Pandey What is Hinduism? Matri Prasad True Education Shivakumar Destiny, Death and Rebirth Alok Pandey Science and Spirituality Sraddhalu Prayer and Mantra Sraddhalu Society's Work Vijay Conclusion - Feedback from delegates Pradeep Narang and Alok Pandey
Such programmes, Mother willing, will be organised regularly to enable more and more persons from our centres to take advantage of it.
Camp for Students of Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore - 8 to 12 Oct. 2008
A 5-day education camp was organised by the Society for a group of three Acharyas and six students from Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore. A general introduction to the Ashram and Educational methodology as revealed by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was given to the group by Dr. Sampadananda. Shivakumar spoke on the topic "Spirituality & the Role of Youth" and later had an activity session on How to Develop the Senses". Dr. Matthijs Cornelissen of the Ashram spent a whole day on explaining in depth the process of Integral Education.
Devdip, an Ashramite, took them to the Centre of Education and explained the way education takes place there, which was later followed up with a visit to the Sportsground. Dr. Ananda Reddy of SACAR held sessions with them on the deeper meaning of the Vedas and their relevance and applicability in today's life. A visit to Sharanam - an inspirational rural training centre of Sri Aurobindo Society, was arranged where they sanctified the atmosphere with vibrant Vedic chanting. There was also an interactive session, in Sanskrit, with Chinmayee-di, after which Shivakumar concluded the Camp programme by highlighting the task ahead for the teachers and students of modern India.
Visit by Students of Panduranga Shastri Vidyapeeth, Mumbai - 8 & 9 Oct. 2008
Eleven NRI students from Panduranga Shastri Vidyapeeth, Mumbai, visited the Ashram on 8 & 9 Oct. 2008, and the Society arranged introductory sessions about the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Society and Auroville. Shivakumar, Dr. Sampadananda Mishra and Sushanto of Sri Aurobindo Society interacted with them, answering their questions regarding Integral Yoga.
Camp for Students of Bombay International School, Mumbai - 26 Oct. to 1 Nov. 2008
Nine students and Principal of Bombay International School, along with Anahita Sanjana and three of her Yoga students, were at the Ashram for a 6-day educational camp organised by the Society. The students were of about 14yrs. Old. The Camp was co-ordinated by Maitreyee. The sessions included an "Introduction to Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and the Ashram" by Shivakumar, "On Self Development" by Shri Sraddhalu, "On Sanskrit" by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, "Origami" by Abhipsa and "Developing Concentration" by Shivakumar. There were also visits to Auroville and going around the Ashram. After the camp, on their way back, on 1 Nov. 2008 they visited Thiruvannamalai and Shri Ramana Maharishi's Ashram as well.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad
Visit by the International Secretary
Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee, International Secretary, Sri Aurobindo Society, visited Germany and USA between 20 August and 24 September 2008. In the Society's Weinheim Centre, Germany, he spoke on "The significance of Sri Aurobindo's birthday celebrations". He also conducted a study circle on Sri Aurobindo's "Synthesis of Yoga" and "Letters on Yoga" from 24 to 31 August '08. On the 1st of September he gave a talk on "What is Spirituality?" in a private gathering. Later he spoke on "How to Practice Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo" at Fortzheim, about 150 kms. away from Weinheim.
In the USA Shri Bhattacharjee conducted a study circle at the premises of Sri Aurobindo Society, Plattsburgh, on Sri Aurobindo's book "Life Divine" from 8 to 13 September '08. Sri Aurobindo's birthday celebration was organised by the Society in collaboration with the Cultural Association of Plattsburgh on 14th September. Shri Bhattacharjee spoke on "What does Sri Aurobindo stand for?" On 17th September at Burlington Shri Bhattacharjee met a group of people and discussed with them the solution to terrorism in the light of Sri Aurobindo.
On 20 August 2008, three members of Nairobi Centre presented 6000 booklets in twelve different titles to Gertrude's Children's Hospital at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Nairobi. The hospital has received four previous offerings of booklets over the last three years. The hospital expressed its gratitude and said that the booklets benefit and enlighten the patients and the hospital staff.
News from India Tiruchi (Tamil Nadu)
The Tiruchirappalli Centre celebrated its anniversary on 2 October 2008. Ms. K.G. Meenakshi, Correspondent, Sivananda Balalaya, Trichy, presided over the meeting. Smt. Anandhi Durai, Jt. Editor, Panimalar, Chennai, gave a talk on "Because Thou Art". Approximately 200 people attended the meeting.
Glimpses of the Exhibition, inaugurated by Shri Alexander Mohan, Commissioner of Police, Trichy
The Centre also organised an exhibition of books, flowers and their spiritual significance & photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Alexander Mohan, Commissioner of Police, Trichy. A separate sales counter was also put up. About 1,000 people visited the exhibition and enjoyed it immensely.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Chennai Branch organised the following lectures during the month of September 2008 as a part of the celebrations of Sri Aurobindo's birth anniversary:
Date Speaker Topic 01.09.2008 Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Radha's Consciousness" 07.09.2008 Kavimamani Elayavan "True Silence" 14.09.2008 Shri Janakan "Life Divine" 21.09.2008 Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Ordinary Outlook" 28.09.2008 Shri S. Rangarajan "Two Levers to touch the Soul"
In addition to the above, Shri M.K. Ramaswamy delivered a series of lectures on The Mother's "Prayers and Meditations" every Saturday between 06:30 and 07:00 pm at the end of daily collective meditation.
Activities in Madhya Pradesh
Yog Shivir at Nowgong: Nowgong is one among five Relics Centres in Madhya Pradesh. Here Holy Relics installed on 04 April 1987 by Shri Chandradeep ji. From 1 to 15 Sept. 2008 a Yog Shivir was organised at Nowgong centre in M.P. Yogasanas and health tips along with some general information on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was given to the participants. About 60 Participants (25 women and 35 men) attended the camp. On 14 and 15 Sept. Dr Rajiv Dixit spoke on "'Remain Healthy Without Doctors And Medicines".
Foundation Day of SAS celebrated at Bhopal: To mark the foundation day of Sri Aurobindo Society, Bhopal Branch, a programme was held at Bhopal on 19 Sept 2008. Shri Manoj Sharma, Vice Chairman of M.P. SAS, spoke on the objects and general functioning of Sri Aurobindo Society. Dr D. N. Joshi narrated the various activities of Bhopal Centre since its beginning. A healthy discussion was held for more efficient working of the Centre.
Programme on Indian Culture at Rewa: The Padra Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a programme on 'Indian Culture' at Raipur (Karchulian) in Rewa District in Madhya Pradesh on 22 Oct. 2008, under the title "Sri Aurobindo aur Bhartiya Sanskriti" (Sri Aurobindo and Indian Culture).
Glimpses of the Programme on Indian Culture at Rewa
In the house packed courtyard of Higher Secondary School, Raipur (Kar) about 300 students of senior secondary classes attended the programme. About 50 members of the teaching staff and members of Society were also present. Dr. Motilal Varma, member of SAS State Committee; Shri Ramesh Mishra of Saligramam Centre (Chennai, Tamilnadu); Shri Prakash Verma of Jabalpur; and Shri Amar Singh Dangi of Bhopal Branch were the special guests.
Glimpses of the Programme on Indian Culture at Rewa
The programme began with chanting of shlokas from Vedas and Bhajan by Ms Anubha Bhattacharya of Mahasua Centre. Shri Harish Sharma, Chairman of Padra Centre, delivered the welcome speech. Shri Desh Narayan Sharma made the introductory speech. Shri Manoj Sharma (Bhopal) was the keynote speaker. With relevant quotations from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he emphasised that Spirituality is the essence or soul of Indian Culture. Dr K.N. Verma (Mahasua) presided over the functoin. Vote of thanks was given by Principal of the School Mr. P.V. Khare. Noted poet Shri Ram Saroj Dwivedi conducted the programme. Newly published booklet of SAS (Hindi zone) "Ideal parents, Ideal teacher and Ideal Child" distributed freely along with other Hindi booklets received from SAS (Hindi zone) Head quarter Noida. Prasad was distributed to all, after the programme.
Noida (U.P.) - October 2008 Programmes
Bhajan Sangeet: View of Smt. Madhavi Chandolikar; Shri Rajesh Chandolikar accompanied on Tabla and Shri Yashovardhan on Harmonium
View of Audience: (front row - Right to Left) Sh. R.C. Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India; Sh. T.N. Chaturvedi, former Governor of Karnataka; Sh. Mahesh Prasad, IAS and others
Bhajan-Sangeet: A programme of 'Bhajan-Sangeet' on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother by noted singer Mrs. Madhavi Chandolikar, was organised at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on 10 October 2008. Shri Rajesh Chandolkar accompanied on Tabla and Shri Yashovardhan on Harmonium. The performance was extremely scintillating and the participants greatly appreciated the programme. About 140 devotees and their families including Sh. R.C. Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India; Sh. T.N. Chaturvedi, former Governor of Kartnataka; Shri Mahesh Prasad, IAS; Shri Vijay Poddar, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society (Hindi Zone) and others participated in the programme.
Annual Conference (Hindi Zone) 2008: Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society (Hindi Zone) is being organised in Noida on 6 & 7 December 2008. Apart from the organisational meeting of the delegates, three sessions on 'Indian Culture' will be held. For more details, please contact Dr. S.C. Tyagi, Ramjiwan Nagar, Chilkana Road, Saharanpur-247 001 (Ph : 0132-2653877) or Shri Suresh Gupta, Sri Aurobindo Bhawan, C56/36, Sector-62, Noida-201 301 (Ph : 0120-3263313). All are cordially invited.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 28 October 2008: The children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan celebrated Deepavali festival by holding competitions like 'Diya Decoration', 'Painting Competition' etc. Gifts were given to all the children besides prizes to winning participants. Sweets were also distributed on the occasion.
2, 9, 16 and 23 October 2008: Dr. Puneesh Taneja came on these days to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, Stories, importance of good manners and discipline were explained to the children.
Health: Treatment by Homeopathy: Homeopathy Dispensary for two hours daily from Monday to Saturday by Dr. Ajay Srivastava at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan is going on well.
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 reading of "Savitri", meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Library, playing of spiritual audio/video CDs etc. are held.
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
A largely attended special meeting was organised on 21 September 2008 at the lecture hall of the Sri Aurobindo Vidyalaya, Tirupati, at which 'Saraswathi Putra & Sahasravadhani' Dr. Medasani Mohan, Director, Annamacharya Project, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, spoke on "Sri Krishna Tattvam" in the Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam.
Guntur (Andhra Pradesh)
On 27 September 2008 Shri P.C. Swaroop gave a talk at the Guntur Branch on the "Relevance of Sri Aurobindo for Modern Times". Shri B. Venkatramaiah presided over the function. Felicitation was given to Shri Mantena Krishnam Raju, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Khajipalem, Andhra Pradesh. About 60 people attended the programme.
Andhra University - Sri Aurobindo Annual Lecture
The Andhra University organised the 6th Sri Aurobindo Annual Lecture on 26 Sept. 2008. The talk was delivered by Lt. Gen (Retd.) Ashoke Chatterjee, Director, Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research (SAIIER), Auroville. The subject was "Indian Heritage in the Light of Sri Aurobindo".
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society delivered a talk on "Triple Transformation" on 21 September 2008 from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon. About 50 persons participated. After the talk there was a question-answer session.
Shri K. Pawan, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Patiala branch interacted with the students of different schools on 4 October 2008 from 12:30 noon to 02:00 pm on "Self Development". About 45 students attended in this interactive programme. On 4 October evening and 5 October morning Shri Pawan held Study Sessions on 'Savitri'.
Sri Aurobindo's birth anniversary was observed by the Chakradharpur Centre on 15 August 2008. The celebrations started with the hoisting of the Mother's flag by Chairperson of the Centre followed by meditation on the Mother's organ music. Children of the Children's Corner sang songs and read a few pages from the book "Sweet Words of the Sweet Mother". A library was inaugurated in the Centre by Shri Shyama Pada Sinha by placing the copies of "Savitri" in Hindi, English and Bengali.
Sri Aurobindo Complex Trust (SACT), Bangalore
The following talks were held at the Sri Aurobindo Complex, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore: On 25 August 2008 Prof. Manoj Das spoke on "Conquest of Death - Dream or Reality" On 4 September 2008 Prof. Chandrashekar Rath spoke on "Vedas & Upanishads in the Light of Sri Aurobindo".
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