Friday, November 02, 2007

All those who are interested in a conscious, harmonious and progressive self-transformation

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
17 and 20 November 2007 - Maha-Samadhi of the Mother
The Mother
The Mother left her body on 17th November 1973. Her body was laid in the Samadhi on 20th November. The Mother's room will be open for darshan for devotees on 17 November 2007.
On Her life's aim, here is what the Mother once wrote:
"I am French by birth and early education, I am Indian by choice and predilection. In my consciousness there is no antagonism between the two, on the contrary, they combine very well and complete one another. I know also that I can be of service to both equally, for my only aim in life is to give a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo's great teaching and in his teaching he reveals that all the nations are essentially one and meant to express the Divine Unity upon earth through an organised and harmonious diversity."
When pressed about the details of her physical life, this was Her brief reply:
"Do not ask questions about the details of the material existence of this body; they are in themselves of no interest and must not attract attention. Throughout all this life, knowingly or unknowingly, I have been what the Lord wanted me to be, I have done what the Lord wanted me to do. That alone matters."
24 November 2007 - Siddhi Day
24 November 2007 is a very significant day, especially for the devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as it marks the 81st anniversary of the Siddhi Day - The Day of Victory -, the descent of the Sri Krishna Consciousness or the Overmental Consciousness into the physical. This was the first decisive step towards the Supramental Manifestation which took place later in 1956.
About this event Sri Aurobindo later wrote in a letter:
"The 24th November [1926] was the descent of Krishna into the physical…. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually, the descent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Overmind leading it towards his Ananda."
The 24th November 1926 is also the day when the Sri Aurobindo Ashram came into being. It is therefore the planting of the seed which has how grown into a huge and mighty banyan tree with a presence all over the world.
And this is what the Mother once explained to the children when she was asked why She and Sri Aurobindo created the Ashram at Puducherry:
"My child, that is why the Ashram was created... because, in France, I was always asking myself: How can one find the time to find oneself ? How can one even find the time to understand how to become free? So then I thought: a place where material needs will be sufficiently provided for, so that if one truly wants to become free, one can do so. And the Ashram was founded on this idea, not on any other -- a place where people would have enough to live on so as to have time to think of the True Thing."
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.
Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey 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.
Some Special Days in November 2007
8 & 9 November 2007 - Deepavali / Diwali
Deepavali - the Festival of Lights
8 & 9 November 2007 will be celebrated as Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, more popularly known as Diwali, all over India. It comes 21days after Dushehra and Celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile. To celebrate this event, people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit up their houses with lamps. According to another legend, it is on this day that Lakshmi emerged from the ocean during the samudra-manthan, the churning of the ocean. Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of prosperity and wealth and it is believed that she visits everyone's house during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all.
In West Bengal, Kali Puja is performed on Diwali as it is believed that on this day Kali killed the wicked demon Raktavija. In South India, Diwali is celebrated signifies the killing of the evil Narakaasura by Sri Krishna. Another Southern legend associates Diwali with the killing of the demon king Hiranyakashipu by Lord Vishnu during his incarnation as the man-lion Narasimha.
During the festival, the houses are lit with rows of lamps symbolising the kindling of the inner light that drives away from our lives the darkness of falsehood and ignorance. Exchange of traditional sweets with relatives, neighbours and friends forms an important part of the celebrations.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee's Visit Abroad
Shri Gopal Bhattacharjee was on a tour to Europe and USA from 8 August - 25 September 2007.
In Germany he gave talk on "Sri Aurobindo and his relevance to the Present day happenings of the world". He also had many group discussions regarding sadhana, work etc.
At London he was invited to give a talk on Sri Aurobindo on the occasion of India's 60 years completion of Independence.
At USA, Sri Aurobindo Society, Plattsburg, organised a meeting at North Country Cultural Association Hall. People from all walks of life attended the function of Sri Aurobindo's birthday held on 9 September. Dr. Michaela Albl, Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Society, Deutschland, Germany, attended the function and gave a talk on Sri Aurobindo and her personal experience in sadhana as well as the work of the Society in Germany.
News from India
Workshop for learning Sanskrit (Mumbai)
A seven-day workshop for learning Sanskrit was held in Mumbai from 13 to 20 of October. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Sanskrit Research Coordinator, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry. Twenty-five participants took part in the workshop. During this period Dr. Mishra also addressed the students and teachers of Bombay International School and J.B. Pettit School of Mumbai and explained to them the importance and relevance of Sanskrit. He gave two talks at the Sri Aurobindo Society Centre, Sahakar, Mumbai. The two topics were: "Sanskrit - A Creative Force" and "Sanskrit - An Ever Living Language".
Dr. Mishra also went to K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham to have a discussion with Dr. Kala Acharya, Director of the Institute. He proposed a few plans for a true and effective propagation of Sanskrit, and invited them to work together in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry. Dr. Geetha Mukundan, Head of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Ali Yavar Jung Nation Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, was convinced by Dr. Mishra's presentation of the phonetic system of Sanskrit in which he explained that Sanskrit can be a powerful tool for speech therapy. Dr. Mishra also put a few proposals before them and invited them for collaboration.
Date-wise Programme Details:13 Oct. '07 11:00 am to 1:00 pm: "The Wonders of Sanskrit Alphabet", Power Point presentation by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra at Sterling Apartments, Peddar Road, Mumbai.5:30 to 7:00 pm: "Sanskrit - A Creative Force", a talk by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra at Sri Aurobindo Society Centre, Sahakar, Mumbai
14 Oct. '075:30 to 7:00 pm: "Sanskrit - A Living Language", a talk by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra at Sri Aurobindo Society Centre, Sahakar, Mumbai
15 Oct. '0710:45 to 11:45 am: "Amazing Sanskrit", a talk delivered at Bombay International School for the students of class nine.
16 Oct. '078:00 to 9:30 am: "Amazing Sanskrit", a talk delivered at J.B. Petit School for the students of class nine.10:30 to 11:30 am: Interaction with the students of pre-primary section of J.B. Petit School.
17 Oct. '079:00 to 10:00 am: Interaction with the students of upper-primary section of J.B. Petit School.2:30 to 4:00 pm: Meeting with Dr. Geetha Mukundan, Ali Yavar Jung Nation Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai.
18 Oct. '079:45 to 10:45 am: Interaction with the students of class five of Bombay International School.12:00 to 1:00 pm: "Relevance of Sanskrit", a talk delivered at Bombay International School for the students of class six and seven.
19 Oct. '071:00 to 2:30 pm: Meeting with Dr. Kala Acharya, Director of the K.J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham, Vidya Vihar, Mumbai.
Workshop on Learning Sanskrit: From 13 to 20 October everyday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Sterling Apartments, Peddar Road, Mumbai.
Noida (U.P.)
1. SPIRITUAL DISCOURSES 6 October 2007: A talk on the topic "Sri Aurobindo Ke Jeevan Ka Adhyatmik Paksh" by Shri P.M. Saxena, Retd. Deputy Commissioner (Trade Tax), was organised at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida. The talk was attended by about 35 devotees & their families.
Shri S.K. Jain, Secretary and Shri V.M. Tiwari at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida
View of devotees at the Talk
13 October 2007: A talk on "Relevance of Upanishads" by Shri Vishnu Mohan Tiwari, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.), was organised at the Bhavan. About 30 devotees and their families participated in the programme.
2. EDUCATION Sanskrit Classes: Sanskrit Classes at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Shri B.B. Pant, Vice President, Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan, are being conducted daily for one & half hours from 9:30 to 11:00 am. Twenty students are learning Sanskrit and the course will continue up to December 2007.
Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: The School opened for children who belong to economically backward families starts daily with Pranam and Prayer to the Mother & Sri Aurobindo. On all Thursdays in October 2007 (4, 11, 18 and 25 October), Air Marshal Vishnu Mohan Tiwari and Commodore D.D. Chopra came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan for about two hours. 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, along with children of the School, also visit the Holy Shrine and pay tributes to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
3. HEALTH Acupressure Therapy Training Camp: From 8 Oct.'07 to 15 Oct. '07, an Acupressure Therapy Training Camp was organised at the Bhavan. The Acupressure Training was imparted by Mrs. Sudha Kesharwani, Acupressure Therapist, in association with the Acupressure Shodh, Prashikshan Evam Upachar Sansthan, Allahabad. Nine participants benefited by the Programme.
There is also the Acupressure Treatment for two hours daily, from Monday to Friday, by Mrs. Sudha Kesharwani at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan that is going on regularly. While giving treatment, she also uses relevant quotations of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and the persons coming for acupressure treatment are evincing keen interest in this approach.
4. DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN Sewing & Tailoring Classes: Sewing & Tailoring Classes are being conducted at the Bhavan by Smt. Jaya Nigam. About twenty ladies and girls are learning the same.
Besides 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 being held regularly.
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication (SAIMC), New Delhi: Convocation Day
View of the outgoing students with the Chief Guest Dr. Kiran Bedi
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication (SAIMC) - a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society -, Delhi, held its convocation for the fourth batch of successful students on 22 September 2007 at the Hall of Divine, Sri Aurobindo Society, New Delhi.
It was an exhilarating and proud moment for SAIMC when the students of batch 2006-07 received their well earned diplomas from the Chief Guest, Dr. Kiran Bedi. They were presented their Post Graduate diplomas in a specially designed folder which was tastefully hand-painted with the Flower of Progress on it and a quotation by the Mother. This was to remind the students that they should constantly progress in life in a positive way.
Delivering the convocation address, Dr Kiran Bedi said that journalism has to progress by giving information to educate and eradicate the social evils of our society. There is a necessity today to have a sustained movement of excellence, and media students have a great role to play. She said that she has great expectations from media students passing out of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication as they were trained differently and would rise in their profession to become models for others to follow. Taking a leaf out of her interaction with the media during her illustrious career, Dr Kiran Bedi advised the students to be fearless and "write the truth that you can defend".
Chief Guest Dr. Kiran Bedi, addressing the Students
Addressing the students, Shri Vijay Poddar, Member, Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society, elaborated on the principles of Integral Teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and its importance in today's world of cut-throat competition.
Wishing the students a bright future, Mr. Poddar advised them to be careful in what they write. He asked them to be very thorough with their research and assimilate the thoughts before they begin to put down the words on the paper.
Ms. Meera Juneja, Hon. Secretary of the Delhi Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society, wished the students a successful career and asked them to emulate the chief guest, Dr Kiran Bedi in following one's conviction.
Mr Rahul Dev, senior journalist, advisory board member, SAIMC, advised the students to choose the right path in their professional life and be fearless in following it.
After the special invitee's words of advise, it was time for the Head of Departments of Journalism Mr. Ramesh Menon, Advertising & Public Relations Ms. Sulina Menon and of Audio Visual Communication Mr. Arumughum to wish the students. The H.O.D.s wished the students well for their future and urged them to shine in whichever field they choose to work in. At the end they all had a single most important suggestion - to work hard.
As a gesture of appreciation, ex-students of SAIMC thanked the faculty and the institute for infusing confidence in them, helping them to shape up their career.
To showcase the work done by SAIMC students, a 20-minute film 'Dark Streets' directed by ex-students was screened. The film portrays the story of street children of Delhi who became victims of drug abuse.
Ms. Daljeet Wadhwa, Director, SAIMC, in her vote of thanks urged the students to define the definition of success in their view, not in contemporary worldview, and dare to dream and have the conviction and the courage to follow it up till it is realised.
As dusk fell, the entire Institute looked festive with the decoration of flowers and lighting of diyas all around. It was time for goodbyes and looking forward towards a bright future with the foundation made by SAIMC firmly in place. The students who were passing out dined with the present students and faculty.
Thiruchi (Tamil Nadu)
The flower decoration in front of the photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
View of the Exhibition
The Thiruchi Centre celebrated their 4th anniversary on 2 October 2007 at KAPV Hr. Sec. School, Thiruchi. An exhibition of Flowers and their Spiritual Significance and books and photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was held throughout the day. The event was inaugurated by Shri A. Kaliyamurthy, Dy. Commissioner of Police, Thiruchi. About 250 varieties of flowers and rare photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were exhibited. About 2000 people visited the exhibition. In the evening an open session on the topic "Towards a New Dawn" was held. Dr. M. Ponnavaikko, Vice Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, Thiruchi, presided over and Shri N.V. Balu, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society Centre, Annanagar, Chennai, gave a special address. The talks were attended by about 300 devotees.
Addada (Andhra Pradesh)
Participants of the Youth Camp organised at Addada
Shri Maataaravinda Divya Jeevan Kendram, Addada, organised a Youth Camp from 11 to 13 October 2007. Students in the age group 18-26 belonging to various places of the State participated in the Camp. In the beginning of the camp the participants were given an introduction of Sri Aurobindo and His Ashram. On 12th and 13th mornings Suryanamaskaras and exercises were given as a part of physical education. Shri B. Venkatramaiah, Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Committee, Shri P.C. Swaroop, Vice Chairman, Prof. K.V. Ramana, former Vice Chancellor of Andhra University, Shri K.V. Rao, Shri K.R.L. Narasimharao and Shri Harshavardhana Raju were the resource persons. Talks on various topics like Integral Education, Spirituality in New Age, Importance of Sanskrit etc. were given.
Eluru (Andhra Pradesh)
A collective reading of 'Savitri' was done in the Eluru Centre for twelve days from 24 August to 4 September 2007. Everyday the members studied chapter-wise the Telugu translation of the Summary on Savitri of Shri M.P. Pandit and some chapters from text of 'Savitri' by Sri Aurobindo. On the 12th day there was a collective chanting of Sri Aravinda Naamam and distribution of Prasad.
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
Two books, namely 1. Yoga and Zen and 2. Emerson's Orientalism, both authored by Dr. K.V. Raghupathi, Lecturer in English, Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa, were released at a function organised by the Tirupati Branch on 30 Sept. 2007 at the Sri Aurobindo Vidyalaya complex. Shri M. Blarama Reddy, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Tirupati Branch, presided. The books were released by the chief guest Prof. A. Ramachandra Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa.
Neyveli (Tamil Nadu)
The Neyveli Centre celebrated its 33rd anniversary and the 135th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo on 16 September 2007. Shri M.S. Sundararajan of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, was the chief guest. He gave a talk on "The Mother's Guidance in Day-to-Day Life". Prizes were distributed to the winners of the Essay competition in Thamizh, held for the students of Sri Aurobindo Vidyalaya, Neyveli, on 25 August 2007 as a part of Sri Aurobindo's birth anniversary celebrations, the topics being "Life of Sri Aurobindo" and "The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo" wherein 20 students participated.
Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu)
The Cuddalore Centre celebrated the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and the Centre's 4th anniversary on 26 August 2007. Shri C. Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of the Centre presided over the function and the chief guest Shri K. Balasubramaniam of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, spoke on "Sri Aurobindo and Sri Annai's revolutionary work on Children's Education". Shri S. Mahalingam, Shri Varadarajan, Shri M. Subash and Smt. Dhanalakshmi from Auroville participated in the function.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, gave a talk on "Living the Teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother" at the Chennai Branch of the Society on Sunday the 7th October 2007. The talk was attended by about 150 people. At the end of the talk there was an interesting interaction with the devotees present.
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)
The Jabalpur Centre organised a Seminar on 3 October 2007 on the "Destiny of India". The Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly was the chief guest. Shri Manoj Sharma, Vice-Chairman of Madhya Pradesh State Committee of the Society, was the main speaker. Essay competition and Photo exhibition were also held on this occasion.
Sri Aurobindo Complex Trust (SACT), Bangalore (Karnataka)
The 135th birth anniversary of Maharshi Sri Aurobindo and the anniversary of India's Independence were celebrated on 15 August 2007. Shri Ajit Sabnis, Managing Trustee, SACT, spoke on "Hierarchy of Minds" - an insight into Psycho-Spiritual Analysis of a Human Being in the Light of Sri Aurobindo and His journey from Mind to Supermind.
Sanskrit Day was celebrated in the school on 22 August 2007. The speaker was Mrs. Arathi, Arts & Sanskrit Scholar, Vijayanagar. Teachers Day was celebrated on 05 Sept. 2007. The speakers were Shri Ajit Sabnis and Shri AVM S.S. Lahiri, Trustee.
Apart from the above, the regular activities at the Complex are Weekly Satsangs by devotees on every Wednesday coordinated by AVM S.S. Lahiri, and weekly collective meditations on every Monday.
Jaipur (Rajasthan)
The following visits and programs were undertaken during the visit of Shri Pradeep Narang:20 Sept. '07: Visit to Children's Corner program to view & assess the progress.
21 Sept '07: One-day Orientation Camp at Centre: The selection was through invitation and lots of questions were raised and answered. Some of the subjects were The message of Sri Aurobindo, Meditation & its practice and Living in Yoga. Shri Pradeep Narang dealt with all the subjects & contributed in making the session lively.
22 Sept '07: Participated in 'Nature Quest' program at Central Park which is completely devoted to study of names & spiritual significance of flowers.Besides the above, the 47th Foundation Day of the Society was celebrated with study of 'Savitri'.
35th National Convention of the Company Secretaries at Jaipur: 20-22 September 2007
Shri Pradeep Narang was the chief guest at the valedictory function of the 35th National Convention of the Company Secretaries held at Jaipur on 22 September 2007. The theme of the Convention, which was held from 20 to 22 September, was "Excellence Through Business Value Addition". Shri Narang spoke at the valedictory function on "Management By Consciousness - Applied Spirituality". He emphasised that this is the best way of achieving the highest level of perfection in tical and value based management.
Dhar (Madhya Pradesh)
On 15th October 2007 Dhar Centre, Madhya Pradesh, organised a seminar on "Sri Aurobindo Ke Alok Me Bharat Ki Niyati" at its place. Shri Manoj Sharma and Dr. Suman Kochar spoke on this occasion. Shri Sudhir Vyas made the introductory address. Prizes were also distributed to the winners of an essay competition on Sri Aurobindo. Recitation and distribution of the small booklet 'Durga Stotram' also took place.

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