News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Bonne Année - Happy New Year 2009!
The New Year will dawn in the Ashram with meditation at 6:00 a.m. with recorded music. There will be a March Past at 6:55 pm and collective meditation at 7:45 pm on the same day. At the Society's Beach Office hall at 9 am, there will be a collective meditation with the lighting of lamps, followed by songs invoking the Presence and Grace of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and a re-dedication to their work.
Here is a New Year Message from the Mother:
Let this year bring you the power to smile in all circumstances. For, a smile acts upon difficulties as the sun upon the clouds - it disperses them. With my love and blessings. The Mother
New Year is also a time for making fresh resolutions and then carrying it out for a better living. Here is a most practical guidance from the Mother, regarding resolutions:
A little sincere and regular practice is worth more than a lot of short-lived resolutions.
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. All are welcome to attend this programme.
Recent Events at Beach OfficeMaha-Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo - 5 December 2008
On 5 December 2008, there was collective meditation around the Samadhi at the Ashram in the morning and at the Playground in the evening, to observe Sri Aurobindo's Maha-Samadhi day. A visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room was arranged in the morning.
Annual Seminar of the Women's Council - November 2008: "Organisation of Action in Life"
A view of the arrangements & self-introduction of the participants
The annual seminar of the Society's Women's Council on 'Organisation of Action in Life', was held this year at the Society Beach office hall in Puducherry, on 21, 22, 23 November 2008. 50 delegates (35 women and 15 men) from 9 states of India and one each from U.K. and U.S.A benefited from their active participation. It helped them to step back within and understand that organisation in action is possible only when we are organised within, when all the parts of our being are in tune with our psychic being which alone can bring clarity, cohesiveness and harmonious direction in life.
The early morning sessions from 6 to 7 am were conducted by Anjana Sarkar. She demonstrated and taught, in a very simple and effective manner, how one can awaken consciousness in different parts of the body and coordinate their various movements in order to remove blockages and bring balance, plasticity, strength and health.
A glimpse of the programmes of the Seminar
The programme started with an invocation and recorded organ music of the Mother on 'Let us try to collaborate'. The Mother's VCD was played with the Mother reading chapter 5 on Work from the book The Mother by Sri Aurobindo.
The subject of the seminar was introduced by Shri Pradeep Narang on the basis of Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's teachings. He explained clearly about our actions and their reactions in day-to-day life, the karmic law and how one can transgress one's bad karma by rising higher in consciousness.
A questionnaire on the subject was given to all the delegates for introspection and reflection, followed by free discussion in detail, in separate small groups, with a group guide to help. At the end, the questionnaire with answers culled from the Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's writings, was circulated to all.
'Organisation of Action' was explained from different viewpoints by speakers from various fields of life. At the end of the talks on the morning of the 23rd, another VCD was shown with the Mother's Mahasaraswati aspect of perfection in work along with Her reading this portion from Sri Aurobindo's book 'The Mother'. In the afternoon, the delegates presented a cultural programme in which they enacted 2 playlets based on the Mother's stories on action in life and also other items, viz. conversation in Sanskrit, songs - solo, dual and chorus, etc. concluding with the collective chanting of Om. All the participants then lined up to receive the Mother's prasad, a candle and a booklet on 'Work' by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, to be their ready guide in organising their daily action in life.
For a detailed report along with pictures, please see the January 2009 issue of 'Awakening to the Beauty of the Future', a monthly magazine published by the Women's Council of Sri Aurobindo Society. For more details about the magazine, please click http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in/journals/awake.htm .
Dr. Sampadananda Mishra's Visits
Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Chief Coordinator, Sanskrit and Indian Culture, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry, went to Mumbai on 9th of November '08 to conduct two workshops for five days. The first workshop was on 'Learning Sanskrit' and the second was on 'Sriaravindopanishad'. There were nearly twenty participants who attended these workshops.
On 27th of November he gave a talk in the Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow, on "Sanskrit: A Language to meet the Challenges of Life".
Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, giving a talk during the National Conference on Rig Veda
From 19th to 22nd of December '08, Dr. Mishra visited Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu, to conduct a 'National Conference on Rigveda' organised by the University of Spiritual Research, USA, and Satyachetana Educational Trust, Thiruvannamalai. As the Convener Dr. Mishra conducted the three-day conference and also presented a research paper on "Sri Aurobindo and Vedic Riks". Ms. Savitri Panda, who assists Dr. Mishra in Sanskrit research work, also attended the conference and actively participated in the group discussions.
Andhra Pradesh Annual Conference - 6 & 7 December 2008 The XIV annual conference of all centres and branches of Sri Aurobindo Society in Andhra Pradesh was held at the headquarters of Sri Aurobindo Society at Puducherry on 6th and 7th December 2008.In the opening session on the 6th besides the usual welcome address and submission of the report of activities throughout the State, Shri B. Venkatramaiah, Chairman of the AP State Committee, gave a brief account of the steps being taken in the State to carry the movement forward. Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, presided over the first session. In his talk he drew the attention of the delegates to the two great impending events viz. the centenary of Sri Aurobindo's arrival at Pondicherry and the Golden Jubilee in 2010 of the Society and the preparations to be made to celebrate these events.
On 6th December the second session started with Guru Pershad Memorial Lecture. The lecture was delivered by Shri Matri Prasad and the topic was "Spirituality, Religion and the effect of Adverse Conversions". This was followed by a talk by Shri A.V.N. Raju on "Indian Culture". In the third session Shri Vijay N Poddar spoke on "Psychicisation" which was followed by a talk on "Integral Education" by Shri Shivakumar. In the fourth session Shri P.C. Swaroop, Shri M. Srinivas and Ch. Indeevar spoke on the "Role of Youth" which was followed by a talk on "Parts of our Being" by Shri Ajit Sabnis. The first day's sessions ended with a cultural programme.On the 7th December 2008 the first session was an interactive session on all organisational matters in the presence of Shri Pradeep Narang, Shri Vijay N. Poddar and Shri B. Venkatramaiah. This was followed by a brief presentation on "Renaissance in India" by Shri Sushanto. In the last session Shri Pradeep Narang spoke on "Yoga in Daily Life". After this the delegates were taken to Arvind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry, for a visit.
News from Branches and Centres
News from India Hindi Zonal Conference
Shri T. N. Chaturvedi lighting the Lamp. Seen in the picture(L to R) are Shri Om Prakash Dani, Dr. Puneesh Taneja and Shri R.C. Lahoti Ji View of the audience participating in the two days annual conference
Sitting on the Dais(L to R): Shri Om Prakash Dani; Shri R.C. Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India, Shri T.N. Chaturvedi, former Governor of Karnataka and Shri Vijay Poddar, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society-Hindi Zone
The Hindi Zonal Conference held at Noida on 6th and 7th December 2008 was very successful in terms of organisation, attendance and above all the quality of participation. 141 delegates (including 50 from Noida) attended from 9 States, including West Bengal.
Talks given by Shri R.C. Lahoti, Prof. Harikesh Singh, Devki Nandan, Dr. Alok Pandey, and Shri Kaivalya Smart were very much to the point and well presented. The talks and convenership of different sessions by Shri Manoj Sharma (Bhopal), Dr. Anil Vajpeyi (Mathura), Shri K. Pawan (Patiala), Dr. J.P. Singh (Sultanpur) and Dr. Suresh Tyagi all added to the quality of the function. The people of Noida put in a tremendous effort in the overall organisation of the event.
Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh)
Dr. Alok Pandey, speaking on "Gita, in the Light of Sri Aurobindo"
A view of the participants
Ratlam Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society celebrated the 18th anniversary of Relics enshrinment at the Auro-Ashram in the form of a Sadhana-Shivir from 5th to 9th Dec. 2008. The book chosen for study was "The Essays on the Gita" by Sri Aurobindo. Dr. Alok Pandy delivered a talk on "Gita in the light of Sri Aurobindo". Devotees from various centres of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh participated in the five-day camp.
Sri Aurobindo Complex, Sri Aurobindo Marg, J.P. Nagar 1st Phase, Bangalore
On 14th November 2008 Children's Day was celebrated at Mirambika School for New Age (MSFNA). On this occasion Chairman, MSFNA, Shri Ajit Sabnis, felicitated the students who secured the highest marks in various subjects for the academic year 2007 - 08. A unique Puppet Show "Raja Satya Harishchandra" was organised in the evening at H.N. Kalakshetra, Jayanagar, Bangalore.On 17th November 2008 "The Mother's Withdrawal Day" was observed. Group meditation at Meditation Hall from 7:00 to 7:30 am was held followed by distribution of Message Cards.
On 24th November 2008 "Sri Aurobindo's Siddhi Day" was celebrated. Group meditation at Meditation Hall from 7:00 to 7:30 am followed by distribution of prasadam & Message Cards. Dr. Narayan Reddy released the News Letter of Sri Aurobindo Complex Trust. Shri Ajit Sabnis, Managing Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Complex Trust, delivered a talk on "Parts of our Being". Programme concluded with a question & answer session.
On 5th December 2008 "Sri Aurobindo's Withdrawal Day" was observed. Group meditation at Meditation Hall from 7:00 to 7:30 am was held followed by distribution of Message Cards.
Annual Day of Mirambika School for New age was celebrated on 9th December 2008. Pre-primary students performed various entertainment programmes from 10:00 am to 12:00 Noon. Primary & High school students presented the cultural programme from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. From 10th December to 17th December 2008 everyday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm a discourse on "Life Divine" by Master RK (Dr. Ramakrishna) was arranged at Sri Aurobindo Complex. Managing Trustee Sri Ajit Sabnis, Trustee AVM SS Lahiri and other devotees participated in the programme.
Noida (U.P.) - December 2008 Programmes
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan - the school opened for the underprivileged children is functioning well.
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.
Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society visited Bhopal on 10th and 11th Dec 2008. On 11th morning Shri Pradeep Narang spoke on ''Yog-Sadhana in our Daily Life''. In the evening he answered the questions of devotees at AURO MANDIR Bhopal. The shrine was decorated beautifully for the occasion.
Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
Dr. J.P. Singh of Sultanpur branch delivered a talk on 25 Nov. 2008 at the P.G. Dental Institute, Puducherry, on "Morality in Medical Practice".
Padrauna (Uttar Pradesh)
Padrauna centre organised a seminar on "Indian Culture & Spirituality". Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, and Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman of Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh) branch were the main speakers. About 200 people attended the function. Booklet titled "Remain Young" were distributed to all. The event was organised with sincerity and efficiency.
Tenali (Andhra Pradesh)
The Tenali branch celebrated the 24th November Darshan by organising meditation and hoisting of the Mother's flag. Shri Bhaskara Rao explained the difference between Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga as compared to the other traditional yogas.
Dehri-On-Sone branch organised one week Yogaasan Pranayam Camp from 9th - 16th September 2008 under the guidance of Swami Atma Akilesh Sarswati. In the morning men attended from 6:00 - 7:30 am and in the evening ladies did the Asanas from 3:30 - 5:00 pm About 80 men and 50 women benefited from the camp. Every day from 7.00 - 8.00 p.m. there were talks on yogaasan and pranayam.
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