Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"How the Leftists and the Rightists have tried to diminish Sri Aurobindo" by Dr. M.V. Nadkarni

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
Education Camp - Study And Dialogues Cum Workshop: 20-28 May 2007
Participants of the Camp
This year's Education Camp-cum-Workshop was organised at the Beach Office from 20 to 28 May 2007. Fifty-two participants including teachers, principals, school management persons, parents and educationists from 10 States of the country participated in it. The objective of the Camp was to introduce the principles of Integral Education as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and also how to impart it to children. The programme of the Camp covered, in a balanced way, both the theory and the practical aspects of Integral Education.
On the first day, after an introduction by Vijaybhai to the nature of the Camp, Dilipbhai and Kalaben explained the way in which education takes place in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) of the Ashram, right from the KG level. From the next day onwards, the morning sessions started with the "Exploring Integral Education" by Shivakumar where the principles of integral education were introduced by first exploring the various parts that constitute the child - the physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual - and then explaining how each part has to be developed so as to make the education complete and integral for the child. Maitreyee took up the topic of character development in children with examples drawn her interaction with children.
Dr. ALok Pandey, speaking on "Qualities of a Teacher"
Dr. Alok Pandey, through his session on "Qualities of a Teacher", brought out the core values of a teacher and how the Supreme Lord himself shines as a best example of this. The sessions on "Application of Integral Education" by Surekha-di, and "Making A Transition to Integral Education" by Sraddhalu delved into the problems faced by the teaching community in implementing Integral Education, and there was a free sharing of many suggestions towards solving them. The session on Sanskrit by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra discussed the importance of the role of Sanskrit in nation building and also revealed the beauty, charm and the wonders of Sanskrit language with numerous examples taken from the vast body of Sanskrit literature available to us.
Project Method sessions
With a view to offer an alterative to the present cumbrous learn-by-rote system, a dynamic learning process through project method was introduced in the afternoons. After an introduction by Uttama on the 'Project Method' the participants divided themselves into smaller groups in order to try out the project method under the general topic "Human Body", covering the following subjects, with their respective facilitators:
Language Teaching (noun, verbs, simple sentence construction, creative writing in English) - AnjanabenScience, Sense development - MaitreyeeArt & handicrafts - Sushanto & Abhipsa Dance, music and free expression through the body - Surabhi
Physical education & Faculty development activities
The afternoon sessions of the Camp saw them at their eager most, as the participants were introduced to many interesting physical education activities like obstacle race, relay race, co-operative games etc. which could be played by children in a small space or even inside a small hall. In the early mornings, there were sessions of Yogic exercises to tune their mind and body, and the uplifting chanting of Sanskrit shlokas. The participants were also taken to the KG and Primary sections of the Ashram school and shown the educational aids used by the teachers there. During a separate session, Shankar, a teacher from Auroville, explained the important things to be taken care of by a KG teacher and also demonstrated how a KG class is to be conducted. Two of the Ashram ex-students, Devdip and Tejas, candidly shared with the participants their experience as students of the Ashram's Centre of Education.
"Nature Awareness" by Richard
There was a special session on "Teaching Maths" by Dilipbhai, where he showed several games and techniques through which Maths could become an endearing subject to children. The participants also had a session with Richard on "Nature Awareness" and got a chance to enjoy the splendour of early morning Sunrise over the Bay of Bengal in Puducherry. Visits to the Ashram departments and Auroville, the International Township, were also arranged.
"I Have a Dream" - workshop on Theatre
On the last two days, a short workshop on theatre under the title "I Have a Dream…" was conducted by Rashi, an accomplished theatre artist, and assisted by Vivechana. It provided an opportunity to the participants to bring out their innate abilities spontaneously, by shedding off the obstructing self-inhibitions. Another session, on "The Prolonged Miracle" by Trupti, extended their sense of wonder by opening up their senses to the geometrical wonders hidden in Nature and in human body.
As the Camp drew to a close, many felt within themselves a change of perspective towards children and Education itself, and all the participants resolved to make a conscious attempt at implementing the vision of Integral Education at their places, in whatever way possible, on their return. Visit by the Students of J.B. Petit High School, Mumbai - 4 to 8 June 2007
Students of J.B. Petit School, Mumbai
From 4 to 8 June 2007, a 5-day Camp was organised by Sri Aurobindo Society for the students of J. B. Petit High School, Mumbai. 29 girls studying in 9th and 10th Standard of the school, accompanied by 10 staff of the school, came to Puducherry for the Camp. These girls are students of Yoga (optional subject provided by ICSE Board) and the Camp was organised in collaboration with the Yoga teacher of the school Ms. Anahita Sanjana. The sessions were mainly conducted in the morning from 10:00 am to 11:45 am and in the afternoon from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
"Creativity through Origami" conducted by Abhipsa
On the 4th of June the students had an interactive session with Dr. Alok Pandey, where he welcomed them to the Ashram and Sri Aurobindo Society. He also introduced them to Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga and the Life at the Ashram. In the afternoon, they were divided into two groups for activity sessions. Over the next two days in the afternoons, Anjanaben engaged the students in various free body movements accompanied by different types of music as a spontaneous expression of the physical and emotional parts of their personality. A session on Origami by Abhipsa had them make use of various shapes and figures to give expression to their creativity, using the medium of paper. The day ended with an interactive session by Maitreyee on the various issues faced by teenagers.
Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni, speaking on 'Savitri'
Vijaybhai, interacting with the students
On day two, Dr. Nadkarni-ji took up the subject of evolution, the role of Ashram and the children of the future, in brief. He also introduced them to Sri Aurobindo's revelatory epic poem, the longest in English, 'Savitri' by reciting some very beautiful and inspiring passages from it. In the afternoon they visited the international township Auroville, founded by the Mother. On the third day morning, they had a session with Trupti on "The Prolonged Miracle…" where she dwelt upon the beauty of geometry and the hidden miracle of this geometry in Nature. This was followed by an interactive session with Vijaybhai on . In the evening, they all visited the various activities at the sportsground of the Ashram. The day ended with a small workshop on "Fear - Its Causes and Cures" conducted by Maitreyee.
Session on "Prolonged Miracle" by Trupti
Shivakumar, on "exploring through our Senses"
On 7th June, the participants visited the different departments of Ashram. On 8th June in the morning they had a session on Art with Sushanto-da. In the afternoon, Sampadbhai introduced them to Sanskrit alphabets and the also touched upon the wonders of Sanskrit language. The day ended with a session with Shivakumar on exploring the world through the sense of sound. On the 9th they left for Mumbai, after an engaging week at Puducherry.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad London (U.K.)
The High Commission of India, in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Society, U.K., is organising Sri Aurobindo's Life and Works Exhibition and Programme at the Nehru Centre in London on the occasion of the completion of 60 years of India's Independence on 15 August 2007.
Nairobi (Kenya)
Ten sets of booklets were presented to the Loresho Eye Hospital, Nairobi, by Bhartiben Patel. These booklets will be kept in the Hospital's Reception Room. Shri Ramesh presented copies of various Messages and Prayers of the Mother to the Rose of Sharon Academy Primary School. He attended the National Breakfast Prayer, now an yearly event, held at the Safari Park Hotel and also took the opportunity to address a meeting of the senior staff members of Athi River Mining Company upon invitation. He spoke on several issues in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
The representatives of the Kenya Girl Guides Association arriving at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Nairobi
On 8 June 2007, three members of Sri Aurobindo Society, Nairobi Centre, presented 22,000 mini booklets on 11 different titles to the Kenya Girl Guides Association, at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Nairobi. The Project Manager of the Association received the booklets with much gratitude.
News from India
Noida (U.P.)
1 May, 2007: A special collective meditation was held on the occasion of 2nd Anniversary of Enshrinement of Sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida. About 30 devotees and their families participated.
Swami Vidyanand-ji speaking on "Science of Living & Mantric Healing"
A view of the audience
5, 19, and 26 May 2007: A series of Talks by Swami Vidyanandji on "Science of Living & Mantric Healing" were organised on 5, 19 and 26 May 2007 at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. The topics covered were yogasanas, Pranayama, and mantras. The participants evinced keen interest in the programme.
Shri Arun Naik speaking on the topic "Science of Living"
12 May 2007: A Talk on "Science of Living" was given by Shri Arun Naik at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. It was attended by about 35 devotees and their families. 26 May 2007: Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan organised a Cultural Meet on 26 May 2007. The children of the Niketan exhibited their talents. An Educational Film was also screened on the occasion. Prior to the Cultural Meet, the students had appeared in an examination conducted by the Government Primary School, Mamura. As an outcome of this examination, 24 students have received admission in the Govt. Primary School.
Pratapgarh (U.P.)
A Seminar on "Yoga and its Objectives in the Light of Sri Aurobindo" was organised by the Pratapgarh Centre on 27 May 2007. About 55 persons attended the seminar. The main speaker, Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman of the Sultanpur Branch of the Society, spoke on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. The other speakers were Dr. Avinash, Chairman of the Pratapgarh Centre, Shri Ravi Pratap Singh and Shri Udai Raj Mishra. The Seminar ended with a questions & answers session. Small booklets were distributed to all.
Sultanpur (U.P.) Ram Raji Girls Intermediate College, Sultanpur, organised a talk of Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman of the Sultanpur Branch of the Society, on 31 May 2007. Dr. Singh spoke on "Aspiration for Perfection in Action". Mrs. Kusum Singh, the Principal of the college, proposed the Vote of thanks. The Hindi version of the booklet "Remain Young" was distributed amongst all those who attended the programme.
Aurangabad (Maharashtra) - Antarnad Summer Camp for Children
Aurangabad Centre organised the Antarnad summer camp for children of age 8-14 years. This was the 6th summer camp organised by the centre. It was a 5-day camp with a variety of activities. Children from different schools participated this year.
• Each day started with prayer and meditation. • All the activities were so designed to encourage children to improve at their imagination, creativity, concentration, understanding, team-spirit and fearlessness. • The activities included marble-painting, craft-work, making mud articles, creative writing, impromptu story telling, dance & drama etc. During all these activities the children were allowed to perform according to their imagination and thinking, and so all participated very enthusiastically. • Children were taken to a picturesque and peaceful place, in order to spend "A day close to Nature". • They were taught Kannada and Oriya songs and also the national song 'Vande-Mataram'. • Last day's concluding session was a sort of informal get-together of parents and the senior members of the Centre and the camp participants. All the camp participants gave presentation of different things they learned during the camp. They also performed a beautiful drama and dance programme. • It was followed by an open discussion about the integral education system envisioned by the Mother of Sri Aurobind Ashram. Mrs. Smita and Mr. Arvind Deshpande whose son Chaitanya had studied at the Ashram's Centre of Education at Puducherrry, spoke about the school and shared their experiences.
New Delhi
Darshan Day was celebrated by Sri Aurobindo Society, Delhi Branch, on April 24, 2007 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. On this occasion, Shri I. K. Gujral, Former Prime Minister of India, was the Chief Guest. Bharatanatyam dance was performed by Santanu Chakraborty in the Hall of The Life Divine at the Society's premises. The function was attended by over 200 people.
Vadodara (Gujarat)
The Women's Council of the Society's Vadodara Branch organised a Training Camp for Women in Fibre Painting, Cut Work, Bandani etc. from 16 to 21 May 2007. More than 30 women participated.
The Women's Council organised another Training Camp from 21 to 25 May 2007, for decoration on earthen pots, flower vases, colouring the fabrics, making artistic greeting cards etc.
Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh)
Shri Bharat Singh Zala spoke on "Sri Aurobindo - Avatar and His Works" on 28 May 2007, and on "The Mother, Her birth and works on the basis of Savitri" on 29 May 2007 at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Pitha, Khandwa. More than 50 persons attended the lectures.
Annanagar, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Annanagar Centre of the Society organised two summer courses on Integral Yoga from 2 to 12 May, and 21 to 31 May 2007. These courses consisted of lectures and practical training on Pranayama, Meditation, Asanas, Chitta Shuddhi, Concentration techniques etc. About 30 persons participated in these courses.
Godavarikhani (Andhra Pradesh)
The Godavarikhani Centre of the Society organised a lecture programme on various aspects of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga on 31 May 2007. Dr. T.V. Nagaranjani was the keynote speaker. The Chairman of the Centre Shri Ganta Narayana presided over the function which was attended by teachers, students and some heads of educational institutions.

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