News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
136th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: 15 August 2008
On 15 August 2008, the 136th 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:
On 13 and 14 of August 2008, a series of talks will be organised by Sri Aurobindo Society at its beach office, Puducherry.
From 16 to 20 August 2008, Dr. Alok Pandey will conduct study sessions on one of the Works of Sri Aurobindo at the Society's Beach Office, Puducherry. Sessions will be held from 5:00 to 6:45 pm. All are welcome.
All are welcome to the above programmes.
Talk in Tamil
Shri M.S. Sundararajan will deliver a talk in Tamil on "New Creation" at the Beach Office of the Society on 15 August 2008 at 10 am.
Recent Events at Beach Office Sharanam - an inspirational rural training centre
Sharanam - an inspirational rural training centre
'Sharanam' is an inspirational rural training centre, presently under construction at the Lake Estate, nearly 10 km west of Puducherry. The project is part of Sri Aurobindo Society's village development programme for the two Panchayats of Poothurai and Perambai on the borders of Puducherry.
The design of Sharanam reveals a sensitive response to the cultural and climatic context of rural Tamil Nadu. It demonstrates the use of innovative and appropriate building materials and sustainable technologies in its construction. It integrates green building practices such as passive solar cooling, complete rain water harvesting and waste management.
Sharanam has served as an instrument for upgrading skills and development amongst the local rural population. For more information, visit http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in/sharanam/home.html
Some Special Days in August 2008
16 August 2008 - Raksha Bandhan
The festival of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is celebrated this year on 16th August. On this day, sisters tie an amulet, the Rakhi, around the right wrist of their brothers, praying for their long life and happiness. Raksha means protection, and Rakhi - a special ornamental bracelet - is a symbol of the chaste bond of love between the brother and the sister. In the northern parts of mediaeval India, women used to tie Rakhi round the wrists of men they could count upon, regarding them as brothers. The festival is an occasion to strengthen the bond between a brother and a sister.
Here is a luminous answer from the Mother when someone asked about human relationships:
Q: What is the best relationship between two human beings? Mother and son? Brother, friend or lover, etc? All the relationships are good in principle and each one expresses a mode of the Eternal. But each can be perverted and become bad due to the selfish falsehood of human nature which prevents the vibrations of love from manifesting in their purity.
24 August 2008 - Sri Krishna Janmashtami
Sri Krishna, as a child
Janmashtami (also known as Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami) is a festival dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna to commemorate his birth on this earth. This year it falls on 24th August, and on this day during midnight, the whole story of Sri Krishna's birth will be enacted by the devotees in their houses and many delicacies, prepared out of milk and curd, will be distributed as prasad (food made sacred by offering to God) to everyone.
In his letters to sadhaks, Sri Aurobindo mentions about Sri Krishna:
Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and Bhakti; as an incarnation, he manifests the union of wisdom (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.
The boy with the flute is Sri Krishna, the Lord descended into the world-play from the divine Ananda; his flute is the music of the call which seeks to transform the lower ignorant play of mortal life and bring into it and establish in its place the Lila of his divine Ananda.
News from Branches and Centres
News from India
25 May 2008: A one-day workshop was conducted by a young Dutch boy Coos, on cross-stitch embroidery, with a group of girls and boys. Coos also embroidered a beautiful Mother's Symbol and gifted it to the Paigmberpur Centre.
Madhulika and Vasudha, having their session with the middle group
Session with the Village Pradhaan
Vasudha and Madhulika, trying their hand at ploughing
11 - 30 June 2008: A 22-day Summer Workshop was conducted by two volunteers: Ms. Madhulika, a second year Economics Hon. student from SRCC College and Ms. Vasudha, a second year student doing Political Science from LSR College.
The age group of participants for the morning sessions was from to 4 to 12 years. The focus was faculty development based on Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's vision of education. This was followed by stitching sessions where mutual learning happened between village and city youngsters. In the evening, sessions were held with young adults.
Post dinner we had study groups, reading of Sri Aurobindo's books 'Savitri' and 'On Education'. It was the first introduction to Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's works for the volunteers from Delhi. In between the girls from Delhi also learnt about organic farming, theory as well as its practice.
Noida (U.P.) - July 2008 Programmes
Special Programmes 18 July 2008: On the occasion of 'Guru Purnima' Collective Meditation was held from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm. About 30 devotees and their families took part in the above and all of them paid tributes to the Holy Relics installed at the Centre.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan 5, 12, 19 and 26 July 2008: On 5th , 12th , 19th and 26th July 2008 Dr. Puneesh Taneja came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, Stories, good manners and discipline were conveyed to the children in an interesting manner. Children were told about teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and all of them paid tributes to them at the Holy Shrine.
Health Treatment by Acupressure Therapy: Acupressure Treatment for two hours daily from Monday to Friday by Mrs. Sudha Kesharwani at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan is going on well. While giving treatment, she is also using the relevant quotations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and the persons coming for acupressure treatment are evincing keen interest in them. Free Eye Check-up/Consultation on every Sunday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan: Free Eye Check-up/Consultation is being organised on every Sunday, for two hours from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm by Dr. P.S. Chauhan, Eye Specialist and Project Director, National Blindness Control Programme, Govt. of India, at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida.
Development of Women: Sewing & Tailoring Classes: Sewing & Tailoring Classes are being conducted daily from Monday to Friday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Smt. Jaishree Nigam and about twenty ladies are learning the same. The Director, Jan Shikshan Sansthan of Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, has recognised the two courses of 'Dress Making' and 'Embroidery' being run at the Bhavan.
Other Activities: Besides the above, regular activities of Meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Library, Playing of spiritual audio/video CDs etc. are held.
The Bangalore branch organised a 2-days residential youth camp on 14 and 15 June 2008 at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Ulsoor, Bangalore. There were 24 participants including 11 girls and 13 boys, besides 12 more observers. Prof. Kittu Reddy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram conducted this camp in English. The objective of the camp was to make the youth aware of the Psychology of Social Development in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The participants also got a glimpse of the original concept of our caste system.
Talk on Ishopanishad: Talk on 'Ishopanishad' in the light of Sri Aurobindo, by Shri Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.), was held in The Hall of The Life Divine on 7 June 2008 at the Delhi Centre. Shri Tiwari gave a detailed explanation of the first shloka of Ishopanishad.
Photography Exhibition: Students of Creative Photography department of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication had their first annual exhibition from 14 - 18 June 2008 at Alliance Françoise, Delhi. The exhibition was inaugurated by Jatin Das, an eminent painter. Nearly 40 photographs depicting 'Life' were displayed. Mr. Ragu Rai, who is the mentor of the course, applauded the students for their efforts.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Chennai branch organised the following talks during the months of May and June 2008: Date Topic Speaker 01.05.2008 "The Mother's Presence" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy 04.05.2008 "Nothingness to Infinity" Shri Janakan 11.05.2008 "Amrutha" Shri Venkat 18.05.2008 "Prof. K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy 25.05.2008 "Three Places" Shri S. Rangarajan 01.06.2008 "The Mother on Day to Day Life" Smt. Malini Narayan 01.06.2008 "Blank Page" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy 08.06.2008 "Sri Aravinda Annai Amudham" Shri Tenkasi Ganesan 15.06.2008 "Sri Aurobindo's Withdrawals" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy 22.06.2008 "Gowri Teacher" Shri Venkat 29.06.2008 "Om Sri Aurobindo-Mirra" Shri Mohan All the talks were well attended.
A study camp was organised during 12 - 15 May 2008 at Ompuri. Smt. Ranjanben Vaidya delivered a series of talks on 'The Life Divine'. The daily programmes at the camp also included flag salutation, Sun-prayer, March-past, Asanas and Pranayam at dawn. About 40 devotees attended the camp.
The first phase of river bank protection work at Ompuri has been completed. The officers of the Forest Department of the Government of Gujarat at Nadiad and Matar extended commendable support, help and cooperation for the plantation on the river bank.
Biaora (Madhya Pradesh)
The Biaora centre organised a programme on the occasion of 'Guru Purnima' on 18 July 2008. The programme started with yogasanas, recitation of Durga Stotra and some poems and prayers by Shri S.D. Bharadwaj and Shri Ojha, Secretary of Biaora Centre, followed by readings from 'The Mother' and 'Synthesis of Yoga'. Shri Manoj Sharma from Bhopal, as keynote speaker, spoke on the "Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and its Relevance". The others who spoke were Shri Ratanpura, SAS State Committee Member from Ratlam, and Dr. Tripathi, Head of the Department of Sanskrit in Sagar University. A large number of public and many people from the village attended the programme.
The Mussoorie Centre organised a Yoga Shivir in Radhakrishna Mandir, Kulri, on 15 June 2008. It was well attended by people from different walks of life.
Mirambika - Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi
If you are looking for ways to make your life… •Richer •Different •More Creativethe following courses, starting from August 2008, would interest you:
1. Certificate course on Pre-school Childcare and Education A course for teachers, would-be teachers, and even parents: The course teaches you how to provide the developmental inputs needed to educate, strengthen, discipline and refine the body, mind and intellect in light of the child's divine essence, in order to develop the child's potential to its fullest.
2. Certificate course on Personality Enrichment A course for those who want to enhance their career as well as their personality: The course shows the way forward to develop skill sets which recruiters look for, and skills which would rejuvenate you and remove bottlenecks.
3. Certificate course on Creative Writing A course for those with the itch to write: Writing skills can be learnt and the innate potential for creativity tapped. Through a series of lectures on writing skills, unique characteristics of different types of writing, writing assignments, and interactions with writers, illustrators, editors and publishers, the students will be exposed to the world of writing.
4. Certificate course on Yoga A course for those aspiring to teach yoga: The student would get an in-depth knowledge of the philosophy and practice of yoga with special reference to Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The student would be able to bring yoga into his/her own life and also give instructions for the common yogic practices.
Duration of each course: 3-4 months Seats: 20 per course
How to apply: The application form may be obtained for Rs.100 from the Mirambika office, or downloaded free from our website. For further queries, you may contact the organisers by post, telephone or e-mail: Mirambika Research Centre for Integral Education and Human Values Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi 110 016 Phones: 2686-3741, 2656-7863 Fax: 011-2685-7449 E-mails: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.mirambika.org ; http://www.sriaurobindoashram.net/ ; www.collaboration.org/centers/delhi
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