Thursday, October 04, 2007

The true destiny of India and the role all Indians will have to play in order to achieve it

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
Annual Seminar of the Women's Council: 21-23 November 2007, on "Self-Transformation"
The very purpose of our life on earth is to transform ourselves into a being better, purer, higher, deeper and wider in consciousness so that our gross animal-human nature is transformed into the more beautiful human-divine nature. If we are not attuned to the process, the natural rhythmic force of evolution, we are pushed by the circumstances to move forward fast and thereby suffer due to friction with our natural and human elements around us.
All those who are interested in a conscious, harmonious and progressive self-transformation are invited to join us at the Society's Beach Office hall, No.1, Rangapillai Street, Puducherry, where a sincere group of seekers will introspect and deliberate, individually and collectively, on this topic in the Light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, from 21 to 23 November 2007.
For more information and accommodation, write to The Secretary - Women's Council Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry - 605 002 mentioning the type of accommodation required and in what range.
Dr. Alok Pandey's forthcoming Series of Talks on 'Savitri' - 25 Nov. to 1 Dec. 2007
From 25 November to 1 December 2007 a Study Camp on Sri Aurobindo's 'Savitri' will be held at the Society's Beach Office Hall. Dr. Alok Pandey will conduct the study camp. There will be two sessions daily in the afternoon: 5 - 5:45 pm and 6 - 6:40 pm. The talks are open to all. Our earlier announcement informing about Dr. Nadkarni taking this study camp stands cancelled, due to his sudden demise.
Recent Events
19 September 2007 - 47th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society
The 47th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society was celebrated at the Beach Office of the Society on 19 September. At 4:00 pm there was collective meditation with the Mother's music.
Dr. Mangesh V.Nadkarni passes away
Dr. Mangesh V.Nadkarni
Dr. Mangesh V.Nadkarni passed away on 23 September 2007 at the age of 74. A lover and follower of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he has lectured extensively in India and abroad on Sri Aurobindo's vision and the spiritual heritage of India. His lecture series conducted regularly at the Society's premises in Puducherry, on Sri Aurobindo's 'Savitri' and "Essays on the Gita" were very popular. He had recently authored a book "India's Spiritual Destiny - Its Inevitability and Potentiality", wherein he puts forth succinctly the true destiny of India and the role all Indians will have to play in order to achieve it.
Some Special Days in October 2007
12 to 21 October 2007 - Navaraatri and Vijaya Dashami / Dashehra
The Universal Mother in Her aspect of Durga
The Festival of Nine Nights (nava-raatri) this year begins on 12 October. During the festival, the Supreme Mother in three of her prominent forms is worshipped: on the first three days Durga, Goddess of protection and valour, on the next three days Lakshmi, Goddess of inner and outer harmony and prosperity, and on the final three days Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge and perfection. The tenth day, which falls on 21 October, is the "Victory Day", Vijaya Dashami or Dashehra. This day is regarded as the day of Sri Rama's final victory over the Asura king Ravana.
Another legend has it that on this day Goddess Durga slew the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura in a battle and became victorious. In Mysore, South India, Dushehra is a royal celebration. The demon Mahishasura is believed to have come from the city of Mysore and therefore it is the most affected by this event. A regal procession of decorated elephants, courtiers and court symbols wends its circuitous way to the Durga temple at the Chamundi Hill, decorated splendidly for the festival. On reaching the temple, prayers are offered to the goddess.
It is a time for the devotees to engage in various spiritual practices to make the entire ten days a period of deep inner growth.
Here is what the Mother says about the Victory Day:
Durga… who every year has to destroy her asura; and always she is compelled to begin again. It goes on in this way till the end of the reign allotted to the titans. When they will be banished from this world, it will not be thus any longer. But till then, that is as long as they are useful for intensifying the aspiration, clarifying the consciousness, for putting to the test the sincerity of people, they will be there. The day the test will not be needed, the day the sincerity will be pure and self-existent they will disappear. Then that day, Durga will no longer need to begin her battle over again every year.
Sri Aurobindo has said:
Durga is the Mother's Power of Protection. The lion is the attribute of Goddess. Durga, the conquering and protecting aspect of the Universal Mother.
Sri Aurobindo has also written a powerful and inspiring invocation to Mother Durga in Bengali. We present this time its English translation along with excerpts from its audio rendering.
Full English translation of Hymn to DurgaDownload excerpts of the recitation
13 September to 13 October 2007 - Ramadan & Eid - Ul - Fitr
Ramadan - the month of Spiritual Contemplation and Purification
For over one billion Muslims throughout the world, Ramadan is a special month of the year. Ramadan was traditionally held to be the month in which the first verses of the holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Mohammad. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God and self-control. During the month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day.
The sighting of the new moon at the end of Ramadan heralds the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking). It is a joyous occasion, during which the Muslims dress in holiday attire, attend a special community prayer in the morning, and visit friends and relatives by greeting each other 'Eid mubarak' or 'a blessed Eid'.
In India, the home of many traditions with a deeper spiritual unity underlying all, the Muslims celebrate Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr with traditional flavour. Especially in the Indian context, Sri Aurobindo has written in Karmayogin about the attitude India should have towards the Indian-Muslims who are an integral part of the country:
"We shall make it a main part of our work to place Mahomed and Islam in a new light before our readers, to spread juster views of Mahomedan history and civilisation, to appreciate the Mussulman's place in our national development and the means of harmonising his communal life with our own, not ignoring the difficulties that stand on our way for making the most of the possibilities of brotherhood and mutual understanding. Intellectual sympathy can only draw together, the sympathy of the heart can alone unite. But the one is a good preparation for the other."
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad Nairobi (Kenya)
On 31 August 2007 Sri Aurobindo Society, Nairobi Centre, presented 24,000 mini booklets in twelve different titles to the Ministry of Youth Affairs - a ministry specifically mandated to represent and address youth-related concerns in Kenya. Two representatives from the Ministry received the booklets with gratitude and were very sure that the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother will help the youth in building a better Kenya. The booklets will be kept in their various resource centres all over Kenya.
News from India
Srirangam, Thiruchi (Tamil Nadu)
The enshrinement of the holy Relics of Sri Aurobindo
The devotees visiting the Shrine
The enshrinement of the holy Relics of Sri Aurobindo took place at Srirangam branch at Pudur Uthamanoor in Thiruchi on 12 August 2007. The entire ceremony was as it should be - solemn and prayerful. Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, and Mrs. N. Bhuvaneswari of Srirangam branch together enshrined the holy Relics in a beautiful Shrine.
A view of the audience
Shri Pradeep Narang, Shri N. Thiruvenkatam, Chairman, Tamil Nadu State Committee, and Mrs. Prema Nandakumar explained the significance of the Relics and the devotion and conscious looking after which is required by the devotees of the branch. About 800 people participated in the function. Along with a souvenir, a small booklet on 'Savitri' was distributed to all the devotees.
Noida (U.P.)
Bhajan recital at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan
View of devotees at Bhajan Sandhya organised at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan
4 September 2007: 'Bhajan Sandhya' was organised on 4 September 2007 from 6:30-8:00 pm at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna. Before start of the Bhajan Sandhya Shri Arun Naik, narrated the story about Sri Aurobindo's experience of realisation of Sri Krishna in Alipore Jail. About 40 devotees and their families participated in the programme.
17 September 2007: Sanskrit Classes have been started at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. Shri B.B. Pant, Vice President, Bhartiya vidhya Bhavan and Shri Jyotish from Sanskrita Bharati have been teaching the students for one and half hours from 9:30 to 11:00 am daily. Twenty students are learning sanskrit and the course will continue for about two months.
19 September 2007 - Society's Foundation Day (a) Special Collective Meditation: Special Collective Meditation was held on the 19 September 2007 from 6:30-7:00 pm on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society. About 25 devotees and their families took part in the programme.(b)Sewing & Tailoring Classes: As a part of Women's Development Programme, Sewing & Tailoring Classes have been started at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan from 19 September 2007.
6, 13 and 20 September 2007: On every Thursdays in September 2007, Air Marshal - Vishnu Mohan Tiwari, Commodore - D.D. Chopra and General Sharma are coming to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacting for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poem, Story telling, good manners and discipline are taught to children. Impact of their visit is being felt on the behaviour of the children. The visiting dignitaries and the children also visit the Holy Shrine and pay tributes to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother regularly.
Besides the above, regular activities of Meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Pranayam & Yogasan, Library, Playing of Spiritual Audio/Video CDs etc. are held regularly. Further, free treatment of Acupressure from Monday to Friday from 3:00 - 5:00 pm are provided at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Mrs. Sudha Kesarwani. Similarly, the Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan is also running at the Bhavan.
Kuttapalayam (Tamil Nadu)
The human pyramid, formed by students
View of devotees at the Branch
The Kuttapalayam branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's 135th birth anniversary on 15 August 2007 with prayers, collective meditation, photo exhibition, significance of flowers, speeches, cultural programmes by the school students and sale of Ashram products etc.
Annanagar, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The book titled "Annayin Arul Vaakkugal 1000" (Part II 501-1000) compiled and translated from the collected works of the Mother by Shri N.V. Balu, Chairman, Annanagar Centre of the Society, was released by poet Sudar Murugaiah, General Secretary, All India Tamil Writers Association, on the 135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo on 15 August 2007. The book contains 500 quotations of The Mother under 15 topics like beauty, truth, perseverance, yoga, God, India etc. It gives a general idea of the Mother's teachings on the subjects concerned. The first copy was received by Shri Amudha Balakrishnan, Chairman, Amudha Educational Trust, who also gave prizes to winners of an elocution competition conducted in English and Tamil for the students of the matriculation & higher secondary schools in the neighbourhood of Annanagar.
On the occasion of the 135th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Aurobindo, an inter-college talk was organised by the Delhi branch. The following three topics were given to the students:
1. Sri Aurobindo as a Spiritual Leader 2. Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo 3. Sri Aurobindo as a Visionary
The panel of judges were Shri Ranjit Puri, Chairman of the branch, Ms. Rani Jethmalani, Ms. Sulina Menon and Ms. Vandana Chak.
16 students participated from several colleges in Delhi. Their presentation was impressive. The manner in which the students prepared the presentation over the span of a month on Sri Aurobindo's thoughts and teachings and did their presentations was commendable. The best three speakers rewarded with cash prizes were from Kirorimal Colege, Lady Sri Ram College and IIT Delhi.
Mrs. Meera Juneja, Secretary, Delhi branch gave away the prizes. Ms. Shruti moved the audience with her Chanting. Dr. Karan Singh, M.P., also attended the function. He recited two beautiful poems of Sri Aurobindo.
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
1. The staff and students of Sri Aurobindo Vidyalaya run by the Tirupati branch celebrated the 135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and the 60th anniversary of India's independence on 15 August 2007. The speakers touched upon the importance of day. The children recited rhymes and some shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita.
2. The 8th anniversary of the enshrinement of the sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo was celebrated by the Tirupati branch on 12 September 2007. The newly built Community Hall with the financial aid from Shri M. Venkataramana, MLA, Tirupati, was inaugurated.
The meeting held later on to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the enshrinement of the sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo was presided over by Shri M. Balaram Reddy, Chairman of the Tirupati branch. Er. K. Rami Reddy, IAS (Retd) lauded the help rendered by Shri M. Venkataramana, MLA, for constructing the Community Hall costing Rs.4.50 lacs with the MLA funds and requested him to extend similar financial help to construct Balaravindham Hall (Children's corner). Shri M. Venkataramana, MLA, in his reply promised to render all help in future also. Dr. Samudrala Lakshmanaiah, Special Officer, Purana Itihasa Project, TTD, speaking next eulogised the services being rendered by Sri Aurobindo Society members. Shri B. Venkatramaiah, IAS (Retd), thanked the MLA for the help. Dr. K.V. Raghavan, Secretary, Sri Aurobindo Society, Chittoor, spoke eloquently detailing the life of Sri Aurobindo and the relevance of the Relics which spread spiritual vibrations all around.
Panna (Madhya Pradesh)
Society's Panna Centre organised a seminar at Panna on 25 August 2007. The subject was "Sri Aurobindo Ke Alok Main Bharat Ki Niyati Aur Hamara Daayityva". Shri Manoj Sharma and Dr. K. N. VARMA (Mahasua) were the main speakers. Essay competition was also organised on this occassion. Ex-Maharani of Panna State has presided over the function. Dr. R.B. Shrivastav (Nowgong) and Smt Kalpana Arjaria (Jabalpur) also participated in the seminar.
Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
A Seminar was organised on 5 August 2007, at Durga Mandir, Ashoka Nagar, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. The Chief Guest was Dr. Anjane Kumar Singh, Chairman of Department of Philosophy of Gorkhpur University. He spoke on the topic "Yoga and some incidents related to Sri Aurobindo's Life".
Dr. J.P. Singh was the main speaker. He spoke on "Surrender, to observe the working of diving power as a witness and to see the presence of the Divine in every object".
The other speakers were Dr. Vivekananda Singh, Dr. R.D. Singh and Shri Ramchandra Singh. About 60 people attended the seminar. After the function booklets published by Sri Aurobindo Society were distributed to the participants.
The Sultanpur branch organised a seminar on "Preliminary Steps of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga" at Sultanpur on 15 August 2007. The discussion revolved around the principles and mechanism of implementing Sri Aurobindo's Yoga in life. Mr. I.D.P. Rai, C.D.O, Janpad, Sultanpur, was the Chief Guest. The speakers were Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Sultanpur branch, Dr. D.D. Pandey, Dr. D.P. Singh and Dr. R.S. Singh. The seminar ended with Vandana. About 150 people attended the function.
A Seminar was organised on 9 September 2007, in Mussoorie, Municipal Hall on "Youth and Building of Nation". The function was presided over by Shri Narendra Singh, Meerut, Chief Guest was Shri Vijay Poddar, Shri S.C. Tyagi the main speaker, the special speakers were Dr. J.P. Singh and Dr. Kiran Sood, and among other speakers was the Chairman of the Municipality, Shri Manmohan. Shri Satish Kumar conducted the programme. The Chairman of the Branch welcomed the audience.
Bangalore (Karnataka)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Bangalore branch organised a residential youth camp for boys and girls at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Ulsoor, Bangalore, for 3 days from 10 to 12 August 2007. There were 21 participants including two from Andhra Pradesh and one from Gujarat. Unfortunately, three boys from Orissa could not come due to sudden floods in their area. The Camp was conducted by Shri Kaivalya Smart from Surat, Gujarat.
All the participants enjoyed the camp which they found very interesting. They felt that through this camp they came to know many things and aspects of life which they were unaware of earlier. According to them, the most interesting topic was on "Self Introspection for Self Mastery" - covering five planes and parts of our Being viz., Physical, Vital, Mental, Psychic and Spiritual. The sessions on "How to Meditate", explaining the thought process and how they come, what they do and how to control them, was useful. They also liked the sessions on "Aim of Life and How to Realise it" and "What is Success and True Happiness". The participants opined that the unique feature of this camp was the step-by-step approach of the subjects covered and the practical examples given at each step to illustrate the points while covering difficult subjects in a simple, interesting and down-to-earth manner, with plenty of scope for interaction.
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
The M.P. State Committee organised a seminar on Destiny of India at Gwalior on 16 Sept. 2007. The title was 'Hamari Virasat Aur Bharat Ki Niyati'.
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
A seminar was organised at Jeevandeep Educational Institute, Varanasi, on 2 September 2007. The Chief Guest was Shri Vijay Poddar, Chairman, SAS Hindi Zonal Committee, who spoke on 'Utility of thoughts of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in our life'. Dr. Suresh Chandra Tyagi delivered a talk on 'Sri Aurobindo: Life and Message'. Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman of the Sultanpur branch spoke on 'Preliminary steps of Yoga and its objectives as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo'. There was a question-answer session in which Dr. J.P. Singh answered the questions of the participants on Sri Aurobindo's Yoga and Philosophy. Dr. Brij Bala conducted the proceedings. The function was presided over by Dr. V. Thakur, a famous eye surgeon. Special guest was Dr. A.K. Singh.
Ballia (Uttar Pradesh)
The Ballia Centre celebrated the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo on 15 August 2007. The celebrations started with flower offerings at the lotus feet of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and collective meditation on the Mother's New Year music. Shri Anand Singh, Secretary of the Centre, gave the details of the activities carried out during the year and future programmes. Shri Ram Tiwari, Chairman of the Centre, emphasised the necessity of collective sadhana and the usefulness of attending the weekly meetings at the Centre which are being held regularly. Shri Jagannath Prasad enlightened the gathering with detailed description of 'Auroville', its aims and present position. A DVD show on 'Auroville' was shown which was appreciated by all.
Hanamkonda (Andhra Pradesh)
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, the Hanamkonda branch conducted Essay Writing and Elocution competitions for the High School students. The topic for Essay Writing competition was "Indian Culture" and that of Elocution competition "Life Ambition". Prizes and participation certificates were issued to the winning students of various schools on 15 August 2007.
Tenali (Andhra Pradesh)
The Tenali branch celebrated the 135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and India's 60th Independence Day on 15 August 2007 at the Sri Aurobindo Vidya Kendram, Tenali. The celebrations started with the hoisting of the National flag by Shri S. Krishna Murthy which was followed by a march past and a patriotic song and a dance by the children of Sri Aurobindo Vidya Kendram invoking Sri Aurobindo's presence to grace the function. Shri K.R.L. Prasad, President of Sri Aurobindo Education Society, Tenali, who presided over the function, gave a brief history of Sri Aurobindo's life. Smt. A. Lakshmi, Principal Junior Civil Judge, Tenali, was the Chief Guest. The other speakers were Shri A.V. Reddy and Shri K. Bhaskara Rao. The function concluded with prize distribution to the students and teachers who participated in the essay writing competition on the topics "Sri Aurobindo and His Mission" and "About Integral Education" and vote of thanks by Smt. K. Sampoorna, Director of the school. Message cards were distributed.
On this occasion, Shri K. Bhaskara Rao, a member of the Society gave a talk on "World Problems & Sri Aurobindo's solutions" over All India Radio, Vijayawada.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
In connection with the 135th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Aurobindo the Chennai branch arranged the following talks during the month of August 2007:
01.08.2007 "Sri Aurobindo's notes on Supramental" by Shri M.K. Ramaswamy05.08.2007 "Freedom Movement and Sri Aurobindo" by Dr. Tirupur Krishnan19.08.2007 "Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo" by Shri M.K. Ramaswamy26.08.2007 "Kavi Chakravarthy Kambar and Baghawan Sri Aurobindo" by Shri Keelambur Sankarasubramanian
The above talks were well attended.
Dehri-On-Sone (Bihar)
The Dehri-On-Sone Branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's 135th birth anniversary on 15 August 2007. It started with meditation in the morning from 6 - 6.30 am. In the afternoon the function started with hoisting of Mother's flag followed by Bhajans and a talk delivered by Dr. S.P. Rai, Post Principal, Sinha College, Aurangabad, on "Sri Aurobindo and the Bright Future of India". The programme ended with distribution of Prasad.
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