Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shree Purna Yoga Peeth, Saraigovardhan Chetganj, Varanasi

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
4 April 2009: Centenary Year of Sri Aurobindo's Arrival at Puducherry
Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry
Sri Aurobindo came to Puducherry on 4 April 1910 to pursue a spiritual goal - the goal of supramental transformation - never before successfully attempted by anyone. While engaged in the freedom struggle in Bengal, Sri Aurobindo received an adesh (a Divine Command) to go to Pondicherry. In one of his letters to a disciple he wrote:
"Pondicherry is my place of retreat, my cave of tapasya, not of the ascetic kind, but of a brand of my own invention."
This year marks the centenary of his arrival at Puducherry - a most significant event which led to a revolution in the destiny of Man, bringing in the possibility of a New World, a New Humanity whose life will be based on a higher consciousness. From the moment of his arrival at Puducherry, Sri Aurobindo was constantly engaged in the tremendous work of laying the foundations of this new world.
He said: "We do not want to exclude any of the world's activities. Politics, trade, social organisation, poetry, art, literature - all will remain. But all will be given a new life, a new form..."
And then, his call for working collectively to achieve this goal: "If we are spread out everywhere as individuals, something no doubt will be done; if we are spread out everywhere in the form of a Sangha*, a hundred times more will be accomplished." [*Sangha: a collective body, divine fellowship]
24 April 2009, Darshan Day: The Mother's Final Arrival at Puducherry
The Mother came to Puducherry for the first time in March 1914. She returned to France in 1915 and then went to Japan in 1916. She returned to Puducherry on 24 April 1920, never to leave again. On this significant date, the Mother once wrote to a disciple:
April 24: The anniversary of my return to Pondicherry, which was the tangible sign of the sure Victory over the adverse forces.
It was then that slowly the Ashram grew and took shape around Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The 24 April is also celebrated in the Ashram as one of the four Darshan days. On that day, Sri Aurobindo's room will be kept open for Darshan to the visitors.

Recent Events 29 March 2009 - The Mother's First Arrival at Puducherry
The Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time on 29 March 1914, and later joined him as his collaborator in the great work of ushering in a new world of higher harmony and joy. There was a collective meditation at the Ashram playground in the evening.
Dr. Sampadananda Mishra's Visits in March 2009
Visit to Tiruvannamalai Dr. Sampadananda Mishra of Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry, visited Yogi Ramasuratkumar Ashram, Tiruvannamalai, from 12 to 14 March 2009 for attending a National Conference on the Influence of Sanskrit on Contemporary Languages. There, Dr. Mishra spoke about the relationship between Sanskrit and Oriya. The Conference was jointly organised by the SCSVM Deemed University, Kancheepuram, and Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram, Tiruvannamalai.
Visit to Kalady, Kerala Dr. Mishra was in Kalady, the birth place of Adi Shankaracharya, from 17 to 19 March 2009 for attending a National Conference on Evolution of Panini's Grammar. Dr. Mishra spoke on the philosophy of the concept of Apadaana in Panini's system. The Conference was organised by the Shankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala.
Visit to Auroville On 20 March 2009, Dr. Mishra, gave a brief talk on Raavana-chaaya or the Shadow Puppetry of Orissa, in the Adishakti Theatre, Auroville, which had organised a fifteen day workshop on Ramayana in Folk Tradition. He also actively participated in another session on Ramayana and interacted with the scholars and critics present there.
Some Special Days in April 2009
3 April - Sri Rama Navami
Sri Rama
Eight days after Ugadi (which was on 27 March of this year), is the birthday of Sri Rama, one of the two most popular and highly revered incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Sri Rama is said to have been born at noon on this day.
Many devotees of Sri Rama observe the Rama-navami vrata which commences from the previous night with fasting. The occasion is also celebrated with many religio-cultural programmes like Paaraayana or ceremonial recitation of the epic Ramayana (usually spread over the nine days from Ugadi), Hari-kathaa (discourse on mythological stories on Hari, an epithet of Vishnu, accompanied with music), classical music or devotional songs etc.
Here is Sri Aurobindo's revealing words on Sri Rama and his role on earth:
Rama… was the Avatar of the sattwic mind-mental, emotional, moral-and he followed the Dharma of the age and race.
[Rama's] business was to destroy Ravana and to establish the Rama-rajya-in other words, to fix for the future the possibility of an order proper to the sattwic civilised human being who governs his life by the reason, the finer emotions, morality, or at least moral ideals, such as truth, obedience, co-operation and harmony, the sense of domestic and public order,-to establish this in a world still occupied by anarchic forces, the Animal mind and the powers of the vital Ego making its own satisfaction the rule of life, in other words, the Vanara and Rakshasa. This is the meaning of Rama and his life-work…
…it was Rama's business to make the world safe for the ideal of the sattwic human being by destroying the sovereignty of Ravana, the Rakshasa menace. All this he did with such a divine afflatus in his personality and action that his figure has been stamped for more than two millenniums on the mind of Indian culture, and what he stood for has dominated the reason and idealising mind of man in all countries, and in spite of the constant revolt of the human vital, is likely to continue to do so until a greater ideal arises.

News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad
Nairobi (Kenya)
On 18 January 2009, Nairobi Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society held a Seminar on "Health Science and Spirituality -- contributing or contradicting in Present Times". The speaker was Dr. Ajay Chhaniyara who is a Consulting General/Family Physician in Nairobi. He has delivered talks on various medical issues/topics in various forums all over Kenya. His primary interest as a doctor is Prevention of Disease and Promotion of Health. About fifty people attended the seminar.
Dr. Chhaniyara emphasized on a holistic approach towards health. He also said that the next step for mankind to look for prevention of diseases and health solutions is in combination of 'Spirituality' and 'Science'. The secretary of the centre rounded up the talk by giving relevant quotations from the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Health and Healing. This was followed a by brief meditation.
On 11 February 2009, members of the Nairobi Centre presented three thousand six hundred booklets under twelve different titles to the Nairobi Women's Hospital. The booklets were received by the Patients Service Manager and another senior member of the hospital.
The Secretary of Nairobi Centre addressed the participants at a Seminar organised by the Institute of Certified Secretaries of Kenya held on 19 February 2009, and spoke on the topic "Role of the Company Secretary in running the affairs of a Company". The Seminar was attended by about fifty members from the company secretarial, accounting and legal professions. During the course of the presentation, apart from matters of legal compliance and governance issues, references were made to the divine governance in work. The Mother's words on 'Beauty', 'Listening to the Inner Law' and 'The Morning Prayer' were distributed to all the participants.

News from India
Porbandar (Gujarat)
Smt. Jyotiben, lighting the lamp
Jigneshbhai, Youth Coordinator, speaking during the Seminar
The Porbandar Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a one-day Workshop on Integral Education at Dr. V.R. Godhaniya B. Ed College, Porbandar. The main speakers were Smt. Jyotiben Thanki and Jigneshbhai. Following the talk, there was a Group Discussions on Real Education. The Workshop was attended by about 150 B. Ed. and M. Ed. students and teachers.
Vadodara (Gujarat)
The Women's Council of the Society's Vadodara branch organised a Seminar at the Sri Aurobindo Nivas on 7 and 8 February 2009. The subject of the Seminar was "Education in the Light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother". Smt. Mrunalinidevi Puvar, Chancellor of the M.S. University, Vadodara, inaugurated the Seminar. The Seminar started with the hoisting of the Mother's flag, accompanied with the Mother's recorded music.

Noida (U.P.) - March 2009 Programmes
Shri Shantanu Bhattacharyya leading the Music Programme. On Tabla, Sh. Malhar Mukherjee; on Tanpura, Ms. Sudipta Mandol and Shri Iman Dass
A view of the audience
Special programmes: 14 March 2009: Second talk on "Atma Parichay - Atma Vikas in the words of the Mother" by Shri Hans Dholakia was organised at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on 14 March 2009. About 50 devotees and their families participated in the programme.
26 March 2009: Noted Hindustani classical singer Shri Shantanu Bhattacharyya from Kolkota and his team presented a musical programme at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida, on 26 March 2009. About 120 devotees and their families attended the music programme.
Reading from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: (a) Second Thursday of every month from 4 pm to 5 pm has been fixed for Reading from the book 'Mother' and singing 'Bhajans'. On 12 March '09, seven devotees read the book 'Maata' and sung Bhajans. (b) On every Saturday from 11 am to 12 noon in the month of March 2009, about twelve devotees came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and took part in spiritual discussion & collective reading from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 7, 14 & 21 March 2009: On every Saturday in March Shri Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) and Shri D.D. Chopra Cdr.(Retd.) came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, stories, good manners and discipline are the subjects they dealt with. The visiting dignitaries along with the children visited the Holy Shrine and paid tributes to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Free Music Classes for Children: Free Music Classes twice a week are conducted at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Smt. Anamika Sengupta from 21st February 2009. About twenty students are attending the music classes.
Health: Treatment by Acupressure Therapy and Eye Check-up/Consultation at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan are going on well.
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 fifteen 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.

Digboi (Assam)
The Digboi Branch celebrated the Mother's birth anniversary on 21 February 2009. The first session started with the hoisting of the Mother's flag and meditation. In the second session Shri T.L. Dutta Sarmah, Vice-Chairman of the branch, read out a selected portion from the book 'The Mother', followed by meditation with the Mother's music for half an hour. In the third session in the evening there were flower offerings and meditation with the Mother's music. Shri S. Aditya gave a talk on the Mother, which was followed by a talk by Dr. N.K. Bhattacharjee, Chairman of the branch, on the Mother's vision. The programme ended with a cultural programme of devotional songs on the Mother.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Chennai branch organised the following talks during the month of February 2009:
Date Topic Speaker 01.02.2009 "Divine Forces and its working" Smt. Kanthalakshmi Chandramouli "To accomplish" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy 08.02.2009 "The Divine Umbrella" Shri Kavimamani Elayavan 15.02.2009 "Experiences of some people who moved with the Mother" Shri Janakan 22.02.2009 "Mantra for Integral Yoga" Shri M.K. Ramaswamy

Activities in Uttar Pradesh Allahabad A Seminar on "Indian Culture and Science" was organised by the Society's Allahabad Centre on 15 Feb. 2009. Dr. Vinod Chandra Srivastava was the Chief Guest. The other speakers were Prof. C.M. Bhandari and Dr. M.M. Varma.
Badlapur A Seminar on "Sri Aurobindo On Culture" was organised by the Society's Badlapur Centre in Badalapur, Jaunpur. Dr. J. P. Singh and Dr. Brij Bala Singh spoke on the occasion. Booklets printed by Sri Aurobindo Society were distributed to the participants.
Kanpur Dr. J.P. Singh spoke on the "Yoga of Sri Aurobindo" in Unnao, near Kanpur, on 1 March 2009. About 80 persons attended the function. Booklets printed by Sri Aurobindo Society were distributed to the participants.
Varanasi Varanasi Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society celebrated the Mother's birthday on 21 February 2009 in Shree Purna Yoga Peeth, Saraigovardhan Chetganj, Varanasi. The function started with the Mother's Music, meditation & bhajans. Prof. Umesh Chandra Dubey presided over the function. He spoke on "Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy". The main speaker, Dr. Rama Ghosh, Ex-Chairman, Philosophy Dept., Arya Mahila P.G. Gollege, Varanasi, spoke on "The Mother's Life". After the function, the booklet 'Mother -- Her Life and Mission' printed by Sri Aurobindo Society was distributed. On 4 March 2009, All India Radio, Varanasi, broadcasted a programme on the topic "Sri Aurobindo's Social View and Women" as part of its Grih Lakshmi Programme.

Activities in Madhya Pradesh
The activities in Madhya Pradesh in Feb.-March included celebrations of Mother's Birthday, Dr. R. B. Srivastava's visit to the Schools in Dauria and Putarya village, and Dr. Suman Kochar's visit to Amravati. The regional coordinators of MP have started working in their respected Regions.

Guntur (Andhra Pradesh)
A three-hour awareness programme of Sri Aurobindo's message for the youth was conducted at the Guntur branch on 15 February 2009. Shri B. Venkatramaiah, Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Committee, presided over the programme. Shri P.C. Swaroop was the resource person. About 75 youths participated in the programme.

Raipur (Chhattisgarh)
Raipur Centre of the Society celebrated the Mother's birthday on 21 February 2009, at the residence of Prof. K.P. Verma, Agriculture University Campus, Raipur. Professors of the University and 30 school children were present on the occasion. Ms. Anjali Mukherjee rendered bhajans. Dr. Indira Mishra, Chairperson of the Centre spoke on "Integral Education".

Dehri-On-Sone (Bihar)
Dehri-On-Sone Branch celebrated the Mother's birthday on 21 February 2009, with meditation in the morning from 6 to 6:30. At 5 pm the Mother's flag was hoisted with the chanting of Vande Mataram. Shri Vinod Marodia, Dr. S.N. Bajaj and Shri A.K. Mishra spoke on "Mother's Life and Her Mission". Dr. Dinesh Prasad conducted the programme. Dr. Uma Verma gave a vote of thanks. About 275 young boys and girls attended the function.

Dharampeth (Maharashtra)
The Dharampeth Centre organised a study camp on "Consciousness" from 10 to 15 December 2008. Shri Ashokdada Javadekar, a devotee, conducted the sessions. Booklets on 'Love' were distributed to all the participants.

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