News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Maha-Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo - 5 December
Sri Aurobindo left his body on 5 December 1950. The Body was laid to rest in the Samadhi after four days, on 9 December 1950. The body did not show any sign of decay or decomposition during this period. A few saw a golden spiritual light around the body. Our gratitude to the physical body of Sri Aurobindo was expressed by the Mother and has been inscribed on the Samadhi:
To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.
On 5 December 2008, there will be a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room. There will also be collective meditation around the Samadhi in the morning and at the Playground in the evening. We give below a quote of the Mother on the significance of Sri Aurobindo's work and how we can participate in the birth of the New Creation:
Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to announce the manifestation of the supramental world and not merely did he announce this manifestation but embodied also in part the supramental force and showed by example what one must do to prepare oneself for manifesting it. The best thing we can do is to study all that he has told us and endeavour to follow his example and prepare ourselves for the new manifestation. This gives life its real sense and will help us to overcome all obstacles. Let us live for the new creation and we shall grow stronger and stronger by remaining young and progressive.
Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on 'Savitri' - 22 to 28 February 2009
Dr. Alok Pandey will conduct Study Sessions in Sri Aurobindo's epic "Savitri" at the Society's Beach Office from 22 to 28 February 2009. As usual, there will be two sessions daily between 05:00 and 07:00 pm.
Recent Events at Beach Office17 and 20 November 2008 - Maha-Samadhi of the Mother
The Mother left her body on 17 November 1973 and the body was laid in to rest in Samadhi on 20th November. The inmates of the Ashram and the devotees paid homage to the Mother and visited Her room on 17 November 2008. There was meditation around the Samadhi from 6:00 to 6:30 am. In the evening the meditation was at 7:25 pm at the Playground. The message card distributed during the occasion can be viewed by clicking here.
24 November 2008 - Siddhi Day
On 24th November, the 82nd Anniversary of Siddhi Day - The Day of Victory - was celebrated in the Ashram to commemorate the descent of the Sri Krishna Consciousness or the Overmental Consciousness into the physical which happened in the year 1926.
The day was observed by a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room. There was collective meditation around the Samadhi in the morning and in the evening there was a march-past with music played by the Ashram band. The programme concluded with meditation at the Playground. The message card distributed during the occasion can be viewed by clicking here.
Some Special Days in December 200825 December 2008 - Christmas
The Christmas day has been celebrated in the Ashram for many decades. Once the Mother was asked by a devotee about the special meaning of the Christmas day as celebrated in the Ashram, and here is the Mother's response:
Long before the Christian religion made December 25th the day of Christ's birth, this day was the festival of the return of the sun, the Day of Light. It is this very ancient symbol of the rebirth of the Light that we wish to celebrate here.
Here is a Christmas Message from the Mother:
May the New Light illumine your thoughts and your lives, govern your hearts and guide your action. Blessings.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad
The Nairobi Centre held a seminar on 'Holistic Approach to Health and Healing' on 5 October 2008. The talk was delivered by Ms. Neela Shah, a member of Sri Aurobindo Society and a qualified Dietician, Reflexologist, Child Therapist and is also qualified to practice Bio-resonance Therapy. The theme of the talk was on good health and well-being by the practice of remaining in our centre and opening to a higher Force and Energy. Fifty four people attended the Talk.
The Nairobi Centre presented 850 booklets of Ideal Child, Ideal Parent and Ideal Teacher to Greenwoods Academy, Nairobi.
News from India Churchgate, Mumbai (Maharashtra)
A view of the participants
Sri Aurobindo Society Mumbai Branch organised a Youth Camp on 8 and 9 Nov. 2008. Shri Kaivalya Smart conducted the camp. About 25 youth between 15 to 25 yrs of age, along with 8 observers attended the camp. The Camp Timings were from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There was no fee for the camp.
The topics included were What is Youth, Perfection, Self-Introspection for Self Mastery, What is Success, How to Concentrate, What is True Happiness, and The Aim of Life. All the sessions were interactive, Shri Kaivalyabhai asked introspective questions which compelled the participants to think and observe themselves, he made them play some games which again asked for self-introspection, with many illustrative stories it became easier for the participants to understand new and deeper concepts. At the end of the camp certificates and sets of mini booklets were given to the participants.
Jaggayyapet (Andhra Pradesh)
A view of the participants
Shri PC Swaroop, speaking to the youth
The Jaggayyapet Centre organised a one-day Youth Camp (Yuva Shakthi 2008) on 23 November 2008. There were nearly 200 participants. Shri P.C. Swaroop and Shri Harshavardhan Raju were the resource persons. The topics covered were Courage, Youth & Aim of Life, Power-Point presentation on the Messages of Flowers, a brief sketch on the life of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother etc. Photographs of flowers, books and booklets of the Society were exhibited at the camp venue.
Noida (U.P.) - November 2008 Programmes
Special Programmes: Upcoming Event: Annual Conference (Hindi Zone) 2008: Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society (Hindi Zone) is being organised in Noida on 6 & 7 December 2008. Apart from the organisational meeting of the delegates, three sessions on 'Indian Culture' will be held. For more details, please contact Dr. S.C. Tyagi, Ramjiwan Nagar, Chilkana Road, Saharanpur-247 001 (Ph : 0132-2653877) or Shri Suresh Gupta, Sri Aurobindo Bhawan, C56/36, Sector-62, Noida-201 301 (Ph : 0120-3263313). All are cordially invited.
Dr. M.S. Agarwal giving a talk on "Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Darshan in Pondicherry"A view of the audience
31 October 2008: A Talk on "Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Darshan in Pondicherry" by Dr. M.S. Agarwal was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on 31 October 2008. He narrated the experiences of his childhood stay at Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Darshans of the Mother. About 30 devotees attended the programme.
Mother's Maha Samadhi Day, 17 November 2008: A collective meditation was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida, on the occasion of the Maha Samadhi Day of the Mother on 17th November 2008. About 40 devotees along with their families were present for the occasion.
Siddhi Day - Darshan Day, 24 November 2008: Siddhi Day was celebrated at the Noida Branch on 24 November 2008 with collective meditation and a brief talk on the importance of Siddhi Day was read out. About 30 persons participated in the programme.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 15th November 2008: Children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan, participated in "Khushiyon Ki Bahaar Mela" organised by The Family India. The get-together was a real success through the power of prayer. All young and old enjoyed being there. The children especially were happy with the performances on the stage, sports, swings (Jhoola), the meals etc. 1, 8, 22 and 29 November 2008: Dr. Puneesh Taneja came on these days to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. On 22 November 2008, Shri Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, Retd. Air Vice Marshal, and on 29 November 2008, Dr. Keshav Ratnam came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and engaged the children with poems and stories, and explained about the need of good manners and discipline.
Health: Treatment by Homeopathy: Homeopathy Dispensary for two hours daily from Monday to Saturday by Dr. Ajay Srivastava at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan is going on well.
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.
Other Activities: Besides the above, regular activities of reading of "Savitri", meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Library, playing of spiritual audio/video CDs etc. are held.
Raipur Centre inaugurated a hall on 15 August 2008, which has a meditation Centre and a library in it. Dr. Indira Mishra, Chairperson, spoke on the occasion. An interview on the "Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother" was telecast on ETV on 15 August. "Nai Duniya" a daily newspaper also published an article on the same subject. A Radio interview was also broadcast on 15 August at 10:30 am. Fifty-three saplings were distributed to people of a village for cultivation. The 15th August message cards were distributed to all.
Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
Sultanpur Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a lecture in the Anarkali Intermediate College of a Village of Sultanpur Dist. Dr. J.P. Singh of Sultanpur Branch spoke on "Life and Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother". All the members of the managing committee, teachers and the students listened to him in rapt attention. The School management agreed to become member of the monthlies published by the Society: 'Agnishikha' and 'Purodha".
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
The Ujjain Branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday on 15 August 2008. The quarterly magazine 'Shakhaki Patia Urvija' was released on this day by the honourable minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Paras Jain. Prof. S.K. Soni spoke on the occasion on topic "Sri Aurobindo: Yogi Poet" and Shri Aashish, a research scholar, spoke on "Sri Aurobindo: Bhagwat Prem and Radha Bhav".
Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh)
To mark the anniversary day of Holi Relics enshrinement, on 12 Nov. 2008, a sadhna shivir was held at Khandwa. Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma (Gwalior), Dr Suman Kochar (Indore) and Shri Sujanmal Ratanpura (Ratlam) spoke on the ocassion.
Bangalore (Karnataka) - 3-day Youth Camp
The Bangalore branch held a 3-day residential youth camp on 26, 27 and 28 September 2008 at the Bhavan. There were 18 participants including 5 girls. Some of the sessions of the camp were "Success and True Happiness", "Religiosity", "Morality", "Spirituality", "Self Introspection for Self Mastery", "How to Meditate" etc. and a Quiz programme. Shri Kaivalya Smart conducted the camp with examples, relevant short stories, practical experiences and interaction with the participants. The feedback from the participants was good.
Delhi - Samlin Healing Camp
Samlin Healing Camp was organized by Delhi Centre from 19 September to 11 October 2008. Mr. Bob Neal, one of the five Samlin Practitioners in the whole world, conducted the camp. This is a holistic form of healing for any back problem. Around 150 patients attended and benefited from this three weeks' camp.
A Bhajan Sandhya by Ms. Madhavi Chandoliker was held at the centre on 12 October 2008 in the Hall of the Life Divine. She sang devotional and classical songs and enthralled the audience in her melodious voice. Shri Vijay Poddar, Executive Committee Member, Sri Aurobindo Society, gave the Vote of Thanks. Around 70 people attended the evening.
Sri Aurobindo Public Library is now open to all from 10 am to 8 pm. The Library presently has a collection of about 18,000 books on various subjects. Its present resources are being used by some scholars, students of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, and residents of colonies around the Centre.
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication (SAIMC), Delhi, held convocation for its sixth batch of successful students on 21 October 2008. The Chief Guest Shri Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief, Tehelka, presented the Post Graduate diplomas and delivered the convocation address. The other dignitaries included Shri Rajeev Malhotra, Founder Chairman, Infinity Foundation; Ms. Rani Jethmalani, eminent advocate; Shri Rahul Dev, CEO, CNEB Television; Shri Vijay Poddar, Member Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society; and Ms. Daljeet Wadhwa, Director, SAIMC. Ms. Daljeet Wadhwa gave the vote of thanks. A dance performance was given by the students.
The Gurgaon branch organised a music programme 'An Invocation to the Mother Supreme' by the renowned classical singer Mrs. Madhavi Chandolikar on 11th October 2008 at the Unitech Country Club, Gurgaon.
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
On 8 and 9 November 2008, Society's Hyderabad branch organised a Youth Camp in Hyderabad which was attended by about 17 students. Shri Srinivas Mulugu, Shri K.R.L. Narasimha Rao and Shri Harshvardhan coordinated the camp. The subjects covered were related to the topics" India's greatness, aim of life, goal setting and achieving the goals in life, exploration of ones own personality and perfecting it, importance of Sanskrit, integral education, cultural and spiritual values and communion with nature.
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