News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
The Mother's First Arrival at Puducherry - 29 March
The Mother in Japan
The Mother came to Puducherry on 29 March 1914 and met Sri Aurobindo for the first time. The Mother, after Her first meeting with Sri Aurobindo, wrote in Her diary:
It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.
The day, 29 March 1914, was also the beginning of what has now grown into the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and a worldwide spiritual movement.
There will be a collective meditation at 7:45 pm in the Ashram playground on this day.
Recent Events131st Birth Anniversary of the Mother - 21 February
The Mother's 131st anniversary was observed on 21 February 2009 at the Ashram with a collective meditation around the Samadhi from 6:00 to 6:30 am. The devotees visited the Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's rooms from 4:30 am to 6 pm. In the evening, there was a march-past in the playground with the Vande Mataram song played by the Ashram band. This was followed by collective meditation.
Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on 'Savitri' - 22 Feb. to 1 March 2009
The Savitri Study Sessions, conducted by Dr. Alok Pandey, were held at the Beach Office Hall, Puducherry, from 22 to 28 February 2009, with an additional session at 5-6 pm on 1st March at Savitri Bhavan, Auroville. The Talks were regularly attended by about 200 devotees from all over the country.
Some Special Days in February 2009
Holi - 14 March
Colours of Holi…
Holi or Holikotsava, one of the most colourful of Hindu festivals, is celebrated on 14th of March this year. According to some legends, Holi was instituted to commemorate the killing of Holika, a female demon, by fire, when she tried to kill Prahlada, a great child devotee of Lord Vishnu.
It is also a Spring festival, celebrated over two days. On the evening of the first day, bonfires are lit, usually in a public place, to re-enact the scene of cremation of the she-demon Putana who was sent to kill the baby Krishna. On the second day people throw coloured powder and water at each other in gay merry-making. The first day is the Holi proper, and the second day is called Dhuleti or Rangapanchami (ranga - colour, panchami - fifth day). Ranga-panchami was originally the fifth day as the festival was earlier spread over five days and was celebrated till the fifth day of that fortnight.
News from Branches and Centres
News from India
Shri Kaivalyabhai, speaking on 'Sri Aravindopanishad'
A view of the audience
Study Talks by Shri Kaivalyabhai Smart on "Sri Aravindopanishad" were held on 25 & 26 Jan. 2009 at the Sri Auorbindo Sadhana Kendra, Ahmedabad.
Noida (U.P.) - February 2009 Programmes
Talk on "Atma Parichay - Atma Vikas in the words of The Mother" by Shri Hans Dholakia
A view of the audience
Special programmes:14 February 2009: A talk on "Atma Parichay - Atma Vikas, in the words of The Mother" by Shri Hans Dholakia was organised at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on Saturday, the 14th February, 2009. About 20 devotees and their families participated in the programme.
The flower decoration of symbols Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
21 February 2009: The Noida branch celebrated the Mother's Birthday by organising collective meditation from 7 to 7:30 pm. About 50 devotees and their families attended the collective meditation. On this auspicious occasion, Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and the Holy Shrine were lit with lamps and Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's symbols made with flowers were displayed. In the morning, free stationary and sweets were distributed to students of the school being run by Sri Aurobindo Society, Noida Branch.
Study Circle: (a) On every Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon in the month of February 2009, about ten devotees took part in reading books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The books 'Sri Aurobindo - An Introduction' and 'What is Hindu Dharma' were read.
(b) Second Thursday of every month from 4 to 5 pm has been fixed for Reading from the book 'The Mother' and bhajans. On Thursday, the 12th Feb. 2009, ten devotees took part in reading of the book 'Maataa' and sung Bhajans.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 7, 14 & 21 Feb. 2009: On every Thursdays in February 2008, Shri Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) and Dr. Keshav Rattan came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, stories, good manners and discipline are taught to children. Impact of their visit is being felt on the behaviour of the children. The visiting dignitaries along with the children also visited the Holy Shrine and paid tributes to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Free Music Classes for Children: Free Music Classes have been started twice a week at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Smt. Anamika Sengupta from 21st February 2009. About twenty students are attending the music classes.
Health: Activities of Treatment by Acupressure Therapy, Homeopathy Dispensary, Yogasan, Pranayam and Eye Check-up/Consultation at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, are going on well.
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.
Sri Aurobindo Complex: Sri Aurobindo Marg, J.P. Nagar 1st Phase, Bangalore - 560 0781) Sri Aurobindo Society State Committee Karnataka participated in Book Exhibition at National College Grounds, Basavanagudi, Bangalore from 25th December to 31st December 2008, on the occasion of Spiritual Programme on "Ahimsa Shanti Dhyana Maha Yagnam" organized by Bangalore Pyramid Spiritual Society. Response was very positive.
2) 1st January 2009, New Year Day was celebrated at Sri Aurobindo Complex. Group meditation at Meditation Hall between 10.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. was held followed by distribution of message cards & prasadam. A unique Film Show on "Science of Meditation" was screened. Devotees, Staff of Sri Aurobindo Complex & Mirambika School participated.
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Dehradun (Uttar Pradesh)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Dehradun Branch, organised a talk by Dr. S.C. Tyagi on 1st February 2009. The programme began with meditation and readings from Savitri. Dr. Tyagi spoke on the subject "The Meaning of Spirituality (in the light of Sri Aurobindo) and the place of Meditation in Sadhana (in the light of The Mother)". About forty persons were present in the programme. The programme ended with Prasad distribution. Booklets were also distributed among the members present.
Ballia (Uttar Pradesh)
The Ballia Centre organised a Seminar on 8 February 2009, at Bothia. The subject of the Seminar was "Practical Aspects of Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy". Shri Neeraj Shekhar, Member of Parliament, was the Chief Guest. Dr. J.P. Singh, Vice Chairman, U.P. & Uttarakhand State Committee and Dr. Umesh Chandra Dwivedi, Prof. & H.O.D., Department of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University, were special guests.
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
A one-day Youth Camp was conducted at the Mantra School of Management in Hyderabad. The camp had twenty-five participants. Topics covered included Planes & Parts of the Being, Discovering one's Goals & Aspirations and Spirituality in Daily Life. Topics such as Gratitude, Courage, Difficulties, Success etc. were covered with quotations from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Preeti Chottai and Srinivas Mulugu conducted the camp, with the help of Mr. Raju, Director of the MBA College, who provided all the amenities.
Kovvur (Andhra Pradesh)
The Kovvur Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society conducted a Youth Awareness Programme on 28 Dec. 2008 at the ABN & PRR College of Science, Kovvur. About 150 undergraduate and postgraduate boys and girls participated in the programme. Shri P.C. Swaroop and Shri Harshavardhan conducted the programme. The subjects covered were 'Who am I' and 'Aim of Life'. A video on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was also shown to the participants.
Hanamkonda (Andhra Pradesh)
The Hanamkonda Branch of the Society celebrated the Relics Enshrinement Day on 25 December 2008. The Chief Guest was Shri K. Surendracharya and the speaker was Shri Kongara Bhaskar Rao.
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
Dr. Suresh Chandra Sharma, Chairman of the Gwalior Centre, addressed a gathering in the Jiwaji University, Agricultural University, and Sri Sarada Sangh at Gwalior on 12, 16 and 17 January 2009, on the topic "Remain Young" in Hindi. The booklet published by the Society on the subject was distributed to all who attended.
The construction of the school which began in February 2003 is almost complete. The school has two floors of 3000 sq.ft. each. The school has made a mark for itself in Dharwad.
Gulbarga Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a programme on 26 January 2009, by school children of Meerambika School for New Age at Sri Aurobindo Dhyan Mandir, Gulbarga. The Programme started at 9:00 am, in which children presented the item Fancy Dress. Chief Guest Dr. Sujatha Jangamshetty, Member Karnataka Natak Academy, Bangalore, gave away prizes to children. Ms. A. Radha Devi, District Forest Officer, Gulbarga hoisted the flag. About 200 people attended the programme.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Chennai branch organised the following talks during the month of January 2009: Date Name of the speaker Topic 01.01.2009 Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Delayed Golden Day" 04.01.2009 Shri S. Rangarajan "Sri Aurobindo Shows the Path" 11.01.2009 Kavinjar Chandramohan "How to face Difficulties" 18.01.2009 Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Early Experiences" 25.01.2009 Smt. Malini Narayanan "Sri Aurobindo on Gita"
Patna Centre organised a state level programme on 17 January 2009. It was attended by quite a few centres of Bihar and Jharkhand. Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee, Joint Secretary & International Secretary, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry, attended the programme. Shri D.N. Gautam, D.G.P., Bihar, was the Chief Guest. Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee spoke on "Sri Aurobindo's Ideals and their Relevance in present day Conflicting Situations". Shri D.N. Gautam spoke on "Spirituality".
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