Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sri Aurobindo Society - June 2007

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: August 2007
The Beach Office of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry
On 15 August 2007, the 135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo will be observed. On this occasion the following two programmes will be organised at the Society's Beach Office, Puducherry:
1. Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society on 12, 13 and 14 August 2007.
2. A Study-Camp on Sri Aurobindo's "Essays on the Gita" by Dr. Mangesh V.Nadkarni will be held at the Society's Beach Office hall, Puducherry, from 17 to 26 August 2007. There will be two sessions daily: 4:30 to 5:15 pm and 5:40 to 6:40 pm.
All are welcome to the above programmes.
Recent Events
Sanskrit Orientation Programme: 7 to 9 May 2007
A Sanskrit Orientation programme was organised by the Society at its Beach Office, Puducherry from 7 to 9 May 2007. The Camp was conducted by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, who heads the Society's Sanskrit division. 30 participants from different parts of the country joined the programme. The participants were made aware of the amazing beauty and perfection of Sanskrit, a language with limitless treasures. The very name of the language means "refined" or "sculpted to perfection". The Camp is a step towards the revival of the Sanskrit language which has been relegated in Indian schools and universities. For a detailed report with pictures click here.
Education Camp - Study And Dialogues Cum Workshop: 20-28 May 2007
This year the annual All India Education Camp-Cum-Workshop was organised at the Beach Office of the Society from 20 to 28 May 2007. Fifty-two participants including teachers, educationists, principals, management persons and parents from various parts of the country attended the Camp. The details of the Camp will be given in the next month's Newsletter.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad Shakpura Sri Aurobindo Matrimandir, Chittagong (Bangladesh)
The opening ceremony of 'Debasangha Pathbhaban' of Shakpura Sri Aurobindo Matrimandir was held on 30 March 2007 with meditation, discussions and devotional songs. About 200 people attended the function. During his speech, Shri Chitta Prasad Talukdar, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Chittagong, told the participants to establish the basis of the Ashram through concrete activities, according to the ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The new building of the Matrimandir is nearing its completion.
News from India
Workshops by SAFIER Unit, Mumbai
SAFIER unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Mumbai, conducted "I Have a Dream - Workshops for Self Exploration and Creative Expression" on 26 & 27 March 2007 with the teachers of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, Malad, a school belonging to the Bombay Cambridge Gurukul group. Earlier safier had conducted a workshop with the Pre-Primary Teachers of the same school. This time, all the Primary teachers of the school participated in two batches of 25 each.
Moments of creative expression, by the participants
The chief aim of the workshops was to find the "Purpose of Life, Getting in Touch with Oneself." There were several activities designed to draw out the participants' innate creativity. In one of the activities they choose an idiom as a theme for enactment. All the participants came up with the different ideas and expressed themselves creatively. At the end of the workshop a story "What Difference Do You Make?" that reinforces the joy and honour of being a teacher, was given to all as a hand-out to take home. After the workshop one group of teachers came up with the idea that they would like to conduct such workshops regularly on their own as it was really helpful in their personal growth.
Here are some of the feedback from the participants: • This workshop has helped me to explore the little creativity in me and now I start believing it and work towards achieving the best from it." • I could actually introspect myself. I am a shy person but this workshop bought in some self - confidence in me." • I feel like a blooming flower from a small bud. It helped me to be myself - no matter what just give your best with confidence and the rest follows." • Made me realise that I am individual and not just someone's daughter, wife, mother, sister… and that I deserve to have some time for myself each day."
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) - 2-day Youth Camp
A view of the participants
Sri Aurobindo Society, Hyderabad Branch, conducted a two-day youth camp on 5 & 6 May 2007 at Sri Aurobindo Society Branch premises at Musheerabad, Hyderabad. Fifteen youths from various schools and colleges attended the camp. This was the first such camp to be conducted in the twin-cities area by the Branch.
Shri P.C. Swaroop, interacting with the participants
The camp began with an introduction to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville. Several of the participants had heard only a little about Sri Aurobindo, and were happy at the opportunity to know more. Diverse topics such as "Spirituality in the New Age", "Planes & Parts of the Being", "Purification of the Physical, Vital and Mental" were covered during the two days. Videos on Ashram Life, Ashram School and Mother's Life were also shown. Topics such as "Integral Education", "India's Present and Future" and "Spirituality in Daily Life" were well received by the participants. Anecdotes from the lives of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were interspersed throughout the sessions and this helped to bring out the essentials of Integral Yoga.
The speakers included Shri K.V. Rao, Shri P.C. Swaroop, Shri K.R.L. Narasimha Rao and Shri Srinivas Mulugu. The feedback of the camp was encouraging and it was felt that more such camps can be conducted with increased frequency in the twin cities.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
Prayer sung by Smt. Manonmani Rangaswamy. On the dais (L to R): Shri C.V. Chandramohan, Shri C.D. Ayyar, Shri A.V. Balasubramanian and Shri B.R. Kumar
A view of the participants
The Chennai Branch conducted Dr. K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar Memorial Lectures on 17 April 2007 at the Srinivasa Sastri Hall, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai. The programme commenced with lighting of lamp by Smt. Ambirajan, daughter-in-law of Dr. Srinivasa Iyengar, and a prayer sung by Smt. Manonmani Rangaswamy. Shri C.D. Ayyar, Chairman of the Branch, gave the Welcome Address. The other speakers were Shri A.V. Balasubramanian, I.A.S. and Shri B.R. Kumar, retired Dy. Director General of All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai. Shri M.K. Ramaswamy who regularly speaks at the Branch on Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's teachings, was felicitated during the occasion. Shri P. Alwar, Secretary of the Branch, gave the Vote of Thanks.
Pune (Maharashtra)
Prof. Shivajirao Bhosale lighting the Lamp, with Prof. Neelima Pathak-Dake by his side
The Centre at Vastunagar, Pune, organised a function to celebrate the final arrival of the Mother at Puducherry on 24 April 2007 at the Punnai Auditorium, Pune. Prof. Neelima Pathak-Dake, Chairperson, and Shri Ombale, Secretary introduced "The Vyaspeeth of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother" which was inaugurated by Prof. Shivajirao Bhosale. He spoke on "Supramental Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo and Supramental Mahayogini Sri Mataji". A slide show containing 85 slides, giving an idea of Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's Integral Yoga was organised. A Vote of Thanks was made by Shri Ashok Jawadekar.
Dehradun (Uttaranchal)
Yogi Shri Udai Kant Shastri, conducting the Yoga Shivir
Sri Aurobindo Society, Dehradun Branch, organised a Yogasana Shivir from 22 to 28 April 2007. The Shivir was conducted by Yogi Shri Udai Kant Shastri, an experienced Teacher and Assistant Research Officer (Yoga) at Morarji Desai National Institute of Yogasana (under the dept. of Ayush, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare), Delhi. 27 persons attended the Shivir.
Noida (U.P.)Sri Aurobindo Society, Noida Branch, organised a Yogasana, Pranayama & Dhyana Shivir from 24 March to 3 April 2007. Swami Satya Govind from Lucknow conducted the sessions in the mornings and evenings.
The Branch also organised a talk by Swami Vidyanandji on "Science of Living" at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida, on 4 April 2007. Before the start of the talk, Shri O.P. Dani, Chairman, briefly spoke about the arrival of Sri Aurobindo at Puducherry. The Branch has decided to have a Series of Five Talks by Swami Vidyanandji on every Saturday, starting from 28 April 2007.
Besides the above, activities including Meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan (School), Bhagavad Gita Path on every Friday, and programmes on Yoga and Dhyana etc. are held regularly. Bangalore (Karnataka)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Bangalore Branch, No.110, Gangadhar Chetty Road (facing Ulsoor lake), Bangalore - 560 042 (tel. nos. 080-25559885/25298684) will be organising a three day Youth Camp on 10, 11 and 12 August 2007, for boys and girls aged between 16 and 30 years. This is a free residential programme in English. Shri Kaivalya Smart will be conducting the programme. The main objective of the Camp is to awaken in the youth the aspiration for self-awareness and to open before them the vision of life in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as well as to inspire the youth to discover the aim of life and help them in realising it. Persons interested in participating in this programme may please contact Shri M.M. Bhattacharjee, programme co-ordinator, with their bio-data and a passport size photograph along with their contact telephone number, to the above address.
West Bengal State Conference
The annual conference of Branches and Centres of West Bengal was arranged at the Durgapur Branch on 7 and 8 April 2007. The Mother's flag was hoisted on 7 April, followed by collective meditation. Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee presided over the Conference and released the souvenir "New Dimension", published by the Durgapur Branch. Representatives of 20 Branches and Centres participated.
In the discussion pertaining to the centres and branches, concern was expressed regarding the drop in the membership in West Bengal. Shri B.K. Bajari and Shri Binod Ranjan Naha spoke on the topics "Why are we not doing traditional Social Service?" and "What is Sadhana and What are its Demands?" respectively.
On 8 April 2007 Mrs. Namita Sen spoke on "Role of Women in Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo" and Dr. Geeta Ghosh, Chairperson of West Bengal State Committee, on "What is Knowledge and its Practical Application in the Light of Sri Aurobindo". The Chief Guest of the concluding session was Shri V. Shyamsundar, Managing Director of Durgapur Steel Project.
Jharkhand State Conference
The annual conference of branches and centres of Jharkhand was held at the Ranchi Branch at Doranda on 14 and 15 April 2007. The conference commenced with hoisting of the Mother's flag on 14th April 2007. Over 200 persons attended. Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee, who presided over the function, spoke on "The Aim of Life". The other speakers include Shri P. Roy, Bhaiya Manoranjan, Dr. Jaya Mitra and Shri K.P. Sinha.
On 15 April 2007 Shri R.K. Bhatnagar, Chairman of the Ranchi Branch, welcomed the guests. Justice Shri P. Kohli, a Judge of the Jharkhand High Court, was the Chief Guest. He emphasized the importance of rising above the traditional religions which have fixed dogmas. The Addl. Director General of Police, Shri G.S. Rath, spoke on the contribution of Sri Aurobindo to humanity.
Hesal, Ranchi (Jharkhand)
On 16 April 2007 the Hesal Branch organised a question and answer session with Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee at the Branch.
Hazaribag (Jharkhand)
On 17 April 2007 Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee spoke at the Hazaribag Centre on the practice of Sadhana. He also addressed students at St. Columbus College, one of the premier colleges of Hazaribag and spoke on Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry.
Dehri-On-Sone (Bihar)
A Bihar State Committee meeting was organised by Dehri-On-Sone Branch on 14 & 15 April 2007. A play "Mahaan Rahasya", written by the Mother and disciples, was staged on this occasion.
Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
The Coimbatore Centre organised a talk by Shri N.V. Balu, Chairman of the Chennai Annanagar Centre of the Society, on 15 April 2007. The subject of his talk was "The Forces of the Mother in Action". The talk was followed by a question & answer session.
Udumalpet (Tamil Nadu)
The Udumalpet Centre organised a talk by Shri N.V. Balu on 17 April 2007. The subject of his talk was "The Mother is With Us".
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
Tirupati Branch of the Society celebrated the Mother's final arrival day at Puducherry on 24 April 2007. Shri M. Balarama Reddy, Chairman of the Branch, presided and spoke about the Supramental consciousness on earth. Shri K. Jayadeva Reddy recited Sri Aurobindo's Gayatri Mantra and translated it into Telugu.
Eluru (Andhra Pradesh)
The Eluru Centre celebrated its 10th anniversary on 1 April 2007. Shri B. Venkatramaiah, Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Committee spoke about the importance of reading 'Savitri'. Shri Ch. Harshavardhan Raju spoke about the multifaceted personality of the Mother.
Puducherry U.T.
Dr. J.P. Singh of Sultanpur was invited to the Mahatma Gandhi Post Graduate Dental Institute, Puducherry, to give a guest lecture on 30 April 2007. Dr. J.P. Singh spoke on "Spirituality and Professionalism". The other speakers on the occasion were Prof. Shyam Singh, Director of the Institute, Prof. Ramesh, and Prof. Srinivasan. The lecture was attended by the Under Graduate and Post Graduate students of the Institute.
Ambala (Haryana)
The 6th anniversary of the enshrinement of the sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo was celebrated by the Ambala Branch on 6 May 2007. The celebrations began with a collective meditation at 6 am with Sunil-da's music, followed by a collective reading of the "Book of the Divine Mother" from 'Savitri' at 10 am. In the evening after a brief meditation invoking the Mother's presence, there was a reading from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother interspersed with bhajans by the devotees. This was followed by a reading of Navajataji's "Half an Hour with the Divine". Shri Sharat Gupta spoke on the practical aspects of Sadhana from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The programme ended with a Bhajan expressing gratitude to Sri Aurobindo for establishing His physical presence at Ambala.

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