Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sri Aurobindo Society - December 2006

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
Anniversary Celebrations of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education - 1 & 2 December 2006
Physical demonstration at the Ashram's sportsground
The Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education was started in a very small way by the Mother on 2nd December 1943. The Centre tries to engage the students in a "Free Progress System" which is, in the Mother's words, "a progress guided by the soul and not subject to habits, conventions or preconceived ideas." The Centre has now grown to accommodate about 450 students with 150 teachers.
As part of the anniversary celebrations of its 63rd year, the Department of Physical Education of the Ashram will be presenting a beautiful physical demonstration on the theme of "Harmony & Beauty" at the Ashram's Sports ground on 2nd December 2006. There will also be a dance drama on Sri Aurobindo's Sanskrit work "Bhavani Bharati" in the Ashram's theatre in the evening of 1st December.
Maha-Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo - 5 December 2006
Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo left his body on 5 December 1950. The Body was laid to rest in the Samadhi after four days, on 9 December 1950. The body did not show any sign of decay or decomposition during this period. A few saw a golden spiritual light around the body.
Our gratitude to the physical body of Sri Aurobindo was expressed by the Mother and has been inscribed on the Samadhi:
To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.
On 5 December 2006, there will be a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room. There will also be collective meditation around the Samadhi in the morning and at the Playground in the evening. We give below a quote of the Mother on the significance of Sri Aurobindo's work and how we can participate in the birth of the New Creation:
Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to announce the manifestation of the supramental world and not merely did he announce this manifestation but embodied also in part the supramental force and showed by example what one must do to prepare oneself for manifesting it. The best thing we can do is to study all that he has told us and endeavour to follow his example and prepare ourselves for the new manifestation. This gives life its real sense and will help us to overcome all obstacles. Let us live for the new creation and we shall grow stronger and stronger by remaining young and progressive.
Dr. M.V. Nadkarni's forthcoming Series of Talks
The Society will organise a study camp by Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni at its Beach Office hall from 23 February to 5 March 2007 on Sri Aurobindo's "Savitri". As usual there will be two sessions daily 9:00 to 10:00 am and 10:30 to 11:45 am. The talks are open to all.
Currently his talks on Sri Aurobindo's "Essays on the Gita" are underway, from 26 November to 4 December 2006, at the Beach Office.
Recent Events
17 and 20 November 2006 - Maha-Samadhi of the MotherThe Mother left her body on 17th November 1973 and the body was laid in to rest in Samadhi on 20th November. The inmates of the Ashram and the devotees paid homage to the Mother and visited Her room on 17th November 2006. There was meditation around the Samadhi from 6:00 to 6:30 am. In the evening the meditation was at 7:25 pm at the Playground. The message card distributed during the occasion can be viewed by clicking here.
24 November 2006 - Siddhi Day
On 24th November, the 80th Anniversary of Siddhi Day - The Day of Victory - was celebrated in the Ashram to commemorate the descent of the Sri Krishna Consciousness or the Overmental Consciousness into the physical.
The day was observed by a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room. There was collective meditation around the Samadhi in the morning and in the evening there was a march-past with music played by the Ashram band. The programme concluded with meditation at the Playground. The message card distributed during the occasion can be viewed by clicking here.
Annual Seminar of the Women's Council - 2006: "Progressive Friendship with the Divine"
The Women's Council of Sri Aurobindo Society organised its annual Seminar, on the theme of 'Progressive Friendship with the Divine', at the Society's Beach Office on 21, 22, 23 November 2006. The detailed report will be published in the next issue of our Newsletter.
Some Special Days in November - December 2006
25th December 2006 - Christmas
The Christmas day has been celebrated in the Ashram for many decades. Once the Mother was asked by a devotee about the special meaning of the Christmas day as celebrated in the Ashram, and here is the Mother's response:
Long before the Christian religion made December 25th the day of Christ's birth, this day was the festival of the return of the sun, the Day of Light. It is this very ancient symbol of the rebirth of the Light that we wish to celebrate here. And, here is a Christmas Message from the Mother:
May the New Light illumine your thoughts and your lives, govern your hearts and guide your action. Blessings.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad Singapore Centre
The Singapore Centre organised a two day workshop on Vedic Chanting on 27 and 28 October 2006 in which about 30 participated. Ms. Gopika from Puducherry guided the chanting very effectively and taught chanting of simple mantras like 'Om' and 'Sahanaa Vavatu'. All the participants of the workshop are eagerly looking forward to more chanting workshops, the next of which will be organised in January 2007.
News from India
Bijapur (Karnataka)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Bijapur Center, has published a booklet in Kannada "Maatru Sahasra Naama", which is a collection of 1000 names of the Divine Mother, for free distribution. This booklet was released on the auspicious occasion of Naraka Chaturdashi, the 20th October 2006, at 6:30 pm, at Shri Hingulambika Mata Devasthana, Bhavsar Nagar, Bijapur. Members from Society Centres in Bijapur attended the function.
Shri C.V. Hiremath releasing the booklet "Maatru Sahasra Naam".To his right is Shri Purushottam Galgali
The function was presided by Shri Purushottam Galgali. Shri C V Hiremath, Deputy Director for Public Instruction for Bijapur District, was the Chief Guest. Also present on the dais were Shri P. N. Kulkarni, Secretary of Bijapur Centre, Dr. Jagadish, Zonal Secretary, Shri S. M. Awati, Education Coordinator (Bijapur-Urban), and Shri P. K. Date, Education Coordinator (Bijapur-Rural).
The function began with a prayer recited by Smt. Parimala Joshi. Shri S.C. Shedashyal introduced the Guests of Honour to the audience. Shri C V Hiremath released the booklet "Maatru Sahasra Naam". Shri P N Kulkarni introduced the audience to the booklet, which was followed by the felicitation of the chief guests. Shri P.K. Date shared his experiences of his visit to Ashram and Sri Aurobindo International Education Centre.
Sri C.V. Hiremath spoke as the Chief Guest. Shri Purushottam Galagali, delivered the presidential speech, during which he explained to the new members of the Society the Mother's Symbol and it's importance. He also gave a brief overview and interpretations of a few names in the Sahasra-naam. Shri Venkatesh Kulkarni presented the Vote of thanks.
All the Centres of Karnataka may contact the Bijapur Center for free copies of the booklet, at the following address: Smt. S K KulkarniSri Aurobindo Society - Bijapur Center#38, Sri Mira Kripa, Shakti Nagar,Bijapur - 586101.Ph: 08352-272458
Noida Branch (U.P.)
Shri Vishnu Prakash Goyal, Vice President, Sri Aurobindo Society State Committee for U.P. & Uttaranchal, lighting the lamp to mark inauguration of the school Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan
Darshan Day - Maha Samadhi Diwas:: A collective meditation was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhawan, Noida, on the occasion of Maha Samadhi Day of the Mother, on 17 November 2006. About 45 persons participated. Before the collective meditation Shri O.P. Dani, Chairman, Noida Branch, briefly spoke about the life and teaching of the Mother. Further, in the morning of the Maha Samadhi Diwas, a school for the children from a poor background was opened by Noida Branch, to which about 75 children came. The school has been named "Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan".
The collective meditation at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on Siddhi Diwas
Darshan Day - Siddhi Diwas:: A collective meditation was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhawan, Noida, on the occasion of Siddhi Diwas, on 24 November 2006. About 40 persons participated. Shri O.P. Dani briefly spoke about the importance of Siddhi Diwas.
Paigemberpur (U.P.)
15th August 2006: The Paigemberpur centre celebrated the occasion with a march past with Mother's Flag, followed by reading of some inspiring words from Sri Aurobindo. After that, the children performed a drill, followed by bhajan singing and prasad distribution.
Dussera: On the auspicicious occasion of Dussera, for the first time in the Centre, there was a collective silent meditation with the Mother's new year music. After that all the men lit a diya, the women lighted agarbattis and the children recited shlokas. Many people of the village attended this programme.
Shri Kaivalyabhai speaking to the students
Students, wrapt in listening
Talk by Kavalya Bhai: A talk was held at Poornanand College in Jaspur by Kavlyabhai on "Being a Good Indian".
Porbandar (Gujarat)
Participants of the Camp, during the Prayer session
The Youth Council of Porbandar Branch organised a two-day Youth Camp on 28 and 29 October 2006. The Camp consisted of prayers, self introduction, talk on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Jyotiben Thanki, warming up exercises, surya namaskar, group discussion on "Happiness" based on the writings of the Mother, questions-answers session with Jyotiben Thanki, talk on "A Call to the Youth of India" by Devpurkarji, Vande Mataram song teaching, guided meditation by Jignesh Prasnani etc. About 40 students participated. Booklets on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Ideal Child and writings on Happiness by the Mother were distributed. It was the fourth youth camp in Porbandar and it was very successful.
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
Dr. M.V.Nadkarni giving the Talks
The Gwalior Centre arranged the following talks of Dr. M.V. Nadkarni:
28 October 2006 - 'Introduction to Savitri' 29 October 2006 - 'Sri Aurobindo Society - The significance of our role in its work
Maj. General S.N. Mukherjee, Vice Chancellor of Laxmibai Institute of Physical Education, offering floral pranam to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
On 29 October a Symposium on "Education in the Light of Sri Aurobindo" was also organised. Shri Vijay K Poddar, Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh & Chhatisgarh State Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society, presided over the Symposium. Maj. General S.N. Mukherjee, Vice Chancellor of Laxmibai Institute of Physical Education, was the Chief Guest. Dr. M.V. Nadkarni and Dr. S.C. Tyagi spoke on the subject. Dr. Nadkarni also spoke on 'New Directions in Higher Education in India'.
Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh)
Sri Aurobindo's sacred Relics were enshrined at the Khandwa branch on 12 November 2006 at 10:30 am. The ceremony was performed with devotion and care. About 200 people attended the ceremony. The sacred Relics were installed by Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, and Shri G.S. Gour, Secretary of the Khandwa branch.
After the enshrinement ceremony, talks on Sri Aurobindo's Yoga and the importance of Sri Aurobindo's sacred Relics were delivered by Shri Pradeep Narang, Shri Nandakumar Singh Chauhan, Member of Parliament, Khandwa, Dr. Suman Kochar, Vice Chairperson of the Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh State Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society, Dr. Suresh Tyagi, Secretary of the Hindi Zonal Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society, and Dr. Alok Pandey of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry. The function was presided over by Dr. Prem Jaiswal
Ranchi (Hesal branch), (Jharkhand)
On 15 August 2006 a drawing competition was organised to celebrate Sri Aurobindo's birth anniversary. About 90 students participated in three age groups.
On 2 September, 2006 a programme on child nutrition was organised in which advice regarding child nutrition was given by eminent local doctors. About 50 women with their children attended the programme.
Jaggayyapet (Andhra Pradesh)
The Jaggayyapet Centre organised an one-day youth camp on 12 November 2006. The theme of the Camp was "Youth and the Future of India". About 100 students from seven colleges, chosen on the basis of an essay writing competition on the topic "Honest work is Body's Prayer to the Divine" and "You can serve the Nation and God through your work alone", participated in the Camp. Shri P.C. Swaroop, Co-ordinator of A.P. Youth Activities presided. Shri K.V. Rao and Shri K. Bhaskara Rao gave talks on the following topics:
1. All Life is Yoga2. Yoga is Perfection in Action3. Work is Body's Prayer to the Divine4. You Can Serve the Nation Through Perfection in Duty
Prof. K. Prakasam, Principal, SGS Degree College, and Shri V.J. Rama Rao, Manager, Saptagiri Grameeva Bank, gave talks on "Challenges before the youth in Globalisation" and "Aim of Life" respectively. An interactive session on "Positive thinking" and "Positive action" was organised by Shri T. Joshi, Personality Development expert.
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
The 7th anniversary of the enshrinement of Sri Aurobindo's sacred Relics was celebrated at the Tirupati branch on 12 September 2006. Shri M. Balarama Reddy, Chairman, Tirupati branch, presided over the function. Shri V. Subba Rao, Secretary of the A.P. State Committee of the Society was the Chief Guest. He spoke on the importance of the sacred Relics.
The second stage of four more class-rooms of Sri Aurobindo Vidyalaya were inaugurated on this occasion. Shri B. Venkatramaiah, Chairman of the A.P. State Committee, spoke on the efforts being made by the Tirupati branch members to construct a meditation hall, a library, and furnish the guest rooms.
Godavarikhani (Andhra Pradesh)
The Godavarikhani Centre conducted an inter-school Gita chanting competition for the primary and high school students on 8 October 2006 under the Chairmanship of Shri Ganta Narayana. 138 students participated in the competition.
Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
The members of the Indore branch meet every Thursday and Sunday in the morning. Writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are read, followed by collective meditation.
The branch organised an Art Development Shivir from 11 May - 25 June 2006. Forty ladies were given training in Stitching by Shri Gopal Chawda, in applying Henna by Kumari Namita Neema, and in playing Tabla by Smt. Madhvi Chandolkar.
A Yoga and Meditation Shivir was organised from 17 May - 4 June 2006, at Vaishnav Bal Mandir, in which 60 persons participated. Dr. Suman Kocher, Secretary of the branch, conducted the Shivir. The participants were given orientation in Asanas, Pranayama, Yoga-nidraa and the Teaching of Sri Aurobindo.
Jaipur (Rajasthan)
The Jaipur Centre organised a two-day Study Camp on the 13th chapter of the Gita conducted by Shri Kaivalya Smart of Surat branch on 14 and 15 October 2006.
16 October 2006 Shri Amod Kumar arranged a talk by Shri Kaivalya Smart on "How to think" to the gathering of about 150 students at a school at Jaipur.
Mumbai (Maharashtra)
Shri Kaivalya Smart organised a one-day Camp at the Dombivli Centre on the occasion of their annual day on the 29 October 2006. The Camp was conducted in Tamil by Shri N. Thiruvenkatam, Chairman of Tamil Nadu State Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society.
Shri N. Thiruvenkatam also gave a talk in English at the Churchgate branch on 28 October 2006.
Vadodara (Gujarat)
Vadodra Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society has published a 68-page book "Sri Aurobindo and Baroda" in English, covering the period of 13 years of Sri Aurobindo's stay at Baroda. Copies of the book are being freely distributed to Sri Aurobindo Centres and the devotees who are genuinely interested in the subject, till the stocks last. Those wishing to get this book can send an M.O. of Rs.5/- per book towards the packing and forwarding expenses to: Sri Aurobindo Society - Vadodra Branch, Sri Aurobindo Nivas, Dandia Bazar, Vadodara - 390 001.
Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)
The Allahabad Centre organised a meeting on "Form and Manifestation of Supermind". Dr. J.P. Singh, Development Secretary, Uttar Pradesh, gave the introductory speech. Dr. Devki Nandan Srivastava spoke on the subject.
Raibrelly (Uttar Pradesh)
A Seminar was organised in Raibrelly on "The Life and Teachings of Sri Aurobindo". The speakers were Dr. J.P. Singh, Dr. J.N. Lal and Dr. Arvind Prakash. The function was chaired by Dr. Malik
Dr. M.V. Nadkarni gave a talk at the Delhi branch of the Society 30 October 2006. The subject of the talk was "To know oneself is to forget oneself".

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