Thursday, November 23, 2006

Jyotipriya's Oriental Research library

Main Page » COMMUNITIES » .. LA Sri Aurobindo/EastWest Cultural Center » Projects Ongoing and Present Projects of the Center by Debashish on Tue 06 Dec 2005 01:29 AM PST Permanent Link
3rd Sundays of each month:
The Center has instituted a karma yoga program for each third Sunday of the month for volunteers to work collectively for the upkeep and maintenance of the various projects of the Center. The karma yoga session begins with a meditation and readings/discussion to focus on the right inner and outer attitude to works seen as yoga. Please check the Center’s schedule of events
At the present stage the resources and activities of the Center need more space and call for an expansion of the property. Such an expansion can be achieved either through relocation or rebuilding. We seek your goodwill and contributions to make this possible.
Other property-related projects include:
Upgrading of furniture.
Changing the carpets.
Ongoing projects of house maintenance, room cleaning, etc.
The garden provides us with ongoing projects of maintenance and renovation. Both in front and behind the building, the garden areas have been designed by Richard Alexander, a professional landscape architect whose voluntary services for the Mother have transformed with beauty the Center's surroundings. The upkeep of these areas is in the care of Dorian Schneidman, whose painstaking care in planting, watering, fertilizing and weeding is a day-to-day labor of love. The plants, mostly perennial, some annual, have been selected and arranged keeping Mother's Messages in mind. They include the principal varieties of hibiscus marked for the twelve powers of the Mother at the Matrimandir gardens and a Mother's mandala garden, with the petals now filled in with perennial succulents and other vegetation showing the colors of Mother's symbol. Entering through the sweet, fragrant jasmine arch at the front gate and following the garden paths to the very back is an uplifting experience preparing one's entry into the Guru's Atmosphere.
The Center is on the lookout for a regular gardener to help with the maintenance and upkeep of the garden. We have also been rethinking the garden so as to make it more inviting.
Gardening help from anyone in the L.A. area would be appreciated and funds towards planting and upkeep are always a necessity.
Inventory and Accounting:
The mundane functions of maintaining an updated inventory and keeping updated accounts have always been tedious and time-consuming affairs, but in some ways central to the material sadhana of the Center. Arriving at an intergated inventory and accounting system has always been a dream of the center. Today we are the closest we have ever been to achieving such a system, thanks to Keka Chakraborty who has written a customized accounting and inventort system for the Center. We are presently in the process of transferring operations to this software. Projects for the future which we hope will piggy-back on this system are: (1) a barcode scanning system for point of sales entries; and (2) a web-based income tracking system for online sales. Seetarama Sarma is looking into some of these options.
India Operations:
Import/Export activities of books and gifts from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville and other locations in India plus printing, storage, transcription, recording, editing and multimedia authoring activitiess are sought to be facilitated by setting up new operations for these functions based at the ashram. For this we seek to set up a branch of the East-West Cultural Center in Pondicherry which will draw its members from Center members and friends such as Amrita Banerji (now in Pondicherry) and Pravir Malik as well as ahram residents interested in aiding in and benefiting from the activities of the Center. The Center also seeks to purchase one or two apartments in the ashram area so as to operate a small guest house and an office space for its India operations. Donations are sought for these expenditures.
The Center houses a number of precious materials, establishing the historical link with the physical lives of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, many ashramites who have had close connections with us and Jyotipriya. These materials include letters, notes, photographs, unpublished and out-of-print literature, signed books and photos and objects used by the above-mentioned people. Archiving tasks include the care, preservation and display of these rare articles. Under archival functions also is the Stamp Collection project, inspired by the Mother's stamp collection and the department in charge of this function at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. We have stamps for exchange and are always in need of contributions towards archival supplies.
The Cataloging of Lecture and Music Tapes::
Organization, cataloging, digitizing and transcribing of the tape and minidisc recordings of the Center's study group sessions on Savitri, The Life Divine, The Practical Guide to the Integral Yoga and The Mother, talks given by visitors to the Center, plus all the music tapes from the Center's various concerts. File drawers and labels were purchased and Carol, Dorian, Dr. and Mrs. De, Debashish, Mark and Anie pitched in to help put them in order according to month, date and year for easier accessibility. Some of the tapes and minidiscs have been digitized and were temporarily offered through internet radio via the Center's web-site. Presently, studies at the Center are recorded by Ron Anastasia directly on the Center's iMac computer system and are in the process of being uploaded for "podcast" through the web portal SCIY (pronounced sky-y), now accessible at:
The Center houses Jyotipriya's Oriental Research library, a collection of valuable and rare books on Sri Aurobindo and on Indian Studies. An ongoing project to catalog these books on computer is in progress, headed now by Mahesh Krishnan. Our aim here is to be able to make this computerized catalog eventually available on the internet. At the same time, the library is in the process of expansion, trying to incorporate selectively from the explosion of scholarly publishing on South Asian Studies that has occurred in the last decade. Then there is the work of preservation and book-binding, for which we have to seek outside help.
The Center has also acquired an ink-jet color copier. Since ours is a reference library, copies may now be made in-house for necessary reading material, for a small fee.
Any contributions towards the library are welcome.
Book and gift-shop and mail-order sales:
The Center houses a small book and gift-shop, carrying a large selection of books from the Sri Aurobindo ashram and gifts such as calendars, photos and prints of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, ashram incense, wearable art, art cards from India, Indian Classical music CDs, jewelry etc. These items are also mail ordered and distributed to other retailers. Ongoing projects of shipping, purchasing, marketing, improving displays etc. are in process, for which we are always happy to have both manual and financial help.
We organize U.S. tours and local concerts for Indian Classical and devotional musicians, following the criteria of (a) Devotion, admiration and/or discipleship to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother; (b) Expression of both high level of perfection and creative originality; (c) Power to raise the consciousness; (d) Spirit of service to the Divine. An interchange with the world of Music is thus set up, which has enriched our lives with the beauty of the gandharva worlds and the lives of the musicians with the divine influence of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Several of the musicians hosted by the Center have gone on to visit the Sri Aurobindo ashram and offer their music there. Organizing tours and concerts and hosting the musicians are ongoing projects. The work includes public relations, publicity, clockwork co-ordination, concert arrangements and hosting. Sales of musical tapes and CDs are an offshoot activity of these music programs. Sangeeta Shankar (violin), Tarun Bhattacharya (santoor), Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (slide guitar), Partho Bose (sitar) and Shantanu and Durba Bhattacharya (vocals) were some of the musicians who have performed for the Center this and the last year. We have also started Indian classical music classes being offered by Suman Laha (instrumental), Nabendu Bhattacharya (vocals) and Arup Chattopadhyay (tabla).
The Center has purchased some high-quality playback and recording equipment, to be used for concerts as well as meditation and other recorded music. Donations to offset these and other necessary purchases will be welcome.
The Center continues to invite guests steeped in the insights of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to share their consciousness with us and with other groups in the U.S. Prof. Madhusudan Reddy, Dr. Maheshwari. Prof. Manoj Das, Prof. Arabinda Basu, Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni, R.Y. Deshpande and many others have all been invitees of the Center, who have come to the U.S. and imparted their special quality and knowledge to different groups here. Aster Patel, Ananda Reddy, Jerry Schwartz, Mira Nakashima and William Greaves were some of the eminent speakers we invited this and last year. Co-ordination and hosting activities support these tours. To make it possible for us to continue bringing speakers as part of Mother's global "exchange program", we seek your financial help for our Speaker's fund.
The computers at the Center are at the heart of much of its action. Established in 1991, on a modest scale, through a grant from the FWE, the main computer system has grown in power to take primacy in the multifold co-ordination and publicity activities in process. Making flyers, designing book, tape and CD jackets, and laying out the web site are all carried out from this computer. On the hardware side, the computer equipment is cared for and upgraded by Ashok Bose. Much more can be done through help from those who can use the graphics and WWW design capabilities of the computer. Funds for computer upgrades are also always necessary.
At present, to supplement the original computer system, a color laser printer has been purchased along with a new iMac computer and a new Fry's computer. The earlier central computer has been upgraded with a new motherboard and peripherals by Ashok Bose and Raghu Banerji. Donations to offset these costs are welcome.
Re: EWCC Projects. Savitri classes now on SCIY by rjon on Tue 06 Dec 2005 05:00 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Wow! I had no idea so much was going on at the Center. Thanks so much Debashish, for posting this detailed project summary. Btw, I've now uploaded to Audioblog all of the digital recordings of your Savitri classes we've been making on the iMac G5. They're all streamable on SCIY. You can view them at: Debashish's Savitri classes Next step is making them available as podcasts on Apple's iTunes site, which I'll be working on today and tomorrow. ~ ron

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