Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sri Badhri Swami’s Margazhi Upanyasam Program

 

Please find attached Sri Badhri Swami’s Margazhi month Upanyasam details.

Dates: 16th December 2010 to 13th January 2011
Venue: Salem Santhasramam
Timings: 0730 Thiruppavai Saaram, Sri Gunaratham Kosam
             1830  Sri Ranga Mahathmiyam

Upanyasam

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vedic Maths Coaching to Srimaan Trust Students

Following the article about our Trust in the Pengalmalar of Dinamalar, a volunteer came forward to teach the children of our SRIMAAN BHATTAR GURUKULAM and SRIMAAN BHATTAR KUZHAM, a novel method of arithmetic called Vedic Maths

The volunteer has been impressed by the various services of our Trust and wants to offer his share to the students’ society. His method of teaching Vedic Maths seems to minimize the efforts needed to memorize the tables and to solve the sums of addition, subtraction etc. in an easier way.

An introduction class was conducted on 14th November 2010 which proved to be successful in receiving appreciation from students and parents.

The volunteer has offered to conduct classes on Sundays for gurukulam and bhattar kuzham students. May he and his service be blessed by Acharyah!

Check out a few photos from the inauguration function:

You can also view the videos of this function here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emberumanar Arranges and Steers Forward Everything!

A Sacred Desire Fulfilled!

The fivefold sacraments (Pancha Samskara) should be performed on every Srivaishnava by an Acharya, so have directed all our Purvacharyas. A student of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam, Chi. Srinivas of Hyderabad was due to undergo this sanctifying ceremony. As his Acharya was in Hyderabad, he had to spare a few days for the same and the student as well as our Swami and Ammangar didn’t want his curriculum disturbed.

Hence Swami arranged to perform the function at Srirangam itself and the acharya of the student understood the situation and accepted to make a visit to Srirangam. Acharya of the student, modest and humble came over to Srirangam and administered the sacraments on the student to qualify him with the inextricable relationship with Paramathma.

After the ceremony was over, the acharya swami enquired and heard of the kainkaryams undertaken by our Trust and was much impressed and pleased. He evaluated the children’s performances and praised our Swami and Ammangar for their selfless kainkaryam for the uplift of Emberumanar Dharshanam. He also assured of his full cooperation in the kainkaryams of the Trust.

A quick photo of the function are attached here:

emperumanararrangeseverything

Monday, November 8, 2010

Basking in Holy Luminescence

The parents think…

How good does it feel when our children are with us for a festival but they hop from shop to shop to buy the sweets and savouries to celebrate the festival? Or does it not hurt when they prepare their own delicacies when we are around the corner?

Such were the ruminations of Periya Perumal and and SriRenganachiar on the eve of Deepavali. In such a magnificent residence ( Thiruvaranagam PeriyaKoil) of theirs, where, with every striking hour a new Prasadam is piously prepared, why should their children residing in close vicinity(read Srirangam) arduously cook their own Deepavali Bakshanams? Can’t the flower like Thirukkai ( Hands) of SriRenganachiar not dish out aromatic items for her dearest children?


Zap go the orders….

Instantly went the instructions to Her beloved son Sri Parasara Bhattar who immediately passed on the news to His descendents and thus the atmosphere at SriKoorathazhwan sannidhi was set abuzz with feverish festivity ! The sole aim being the preparation of Deepavali Bakshanams inside the Koil and under the strict supervision of SriRenganachiar and its distribution to the Kainkarya paras and also the less-privileged school goers of Srirangam.

Experts called in..

Srivaishnavites known for their expertise in Srivaishnava cuisine and also the subtleties of Koil Aacharam were invited and the preparations began in grand style. 4 hours of non stop soaking, stewing, mixing, cooking & frying followed and finally the much awaited Baadusha, Mixture, …………..? were geared up for consumption. 2000 pottalams(packets) of Badushas and 100 kilos of Mixture were readied drenched in the reverberation of Dvayam continuously uttered by the volunteers of Srimaan Trust.

Supervisors show the Green card…

The prasadams were placed before SriKoorathazhwan and Sri Parasara Bhattar whose Thirumukha mandalam seemed pleased as a sign of satisfaction as regards the quality of preparations . Overjoyed , the Descendents of Parasara Bhattar along with the volunteers of Srimaan Trust headed straight to the Thirumaaligais of Acharyapurushas adorning the streets of Srirangam and humbly served them the Bakshanams. Every A.Purusha family accepted the Prasadams with great warmth. One family was so joyous that they exclaimed they’ll stop all preparations at their Thirumaaligai from the following year and anticipate the Prasadam from the premise of Their eternal Parents!

Grace of The Couple permeates….


After the Divine exchange with the Kainkarya-para families , the volunteers paced their feet to Aranganayaki and South Ranga School . Addressing the congregation of over 1000 children, the volunteers explained the importance of Deepavali celebration and stressed the need to inculcate the Athma Gunas ( basic human qualities) embodied in our Scriptures. The children were rapt in attention and imbibed the crux of the teaching. The Volunteers ended the interaction with the distribution of Sweets and Mixture.

Needless to say, this Deepavali brought huge smiles in the Thirumukhams of SriKooratazhwan, Sri Parasara Bhattar , Kainkarya-Paras , the less privileged Children, volunteers …………….and of course the initiators of this whole happening, the Ever lovely and grace radiating Eternal Couple!

A few photographs from this divine occasion are shared below:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

DEEPAWALI KONDATTAM – Phase - I

Srimaan Trust is conducting weekly Spiritual Classes on every Friday for more than 4 years at South Ranga Middle School, Srirangam.  The students are being given the spirit and knowledge of spirituality and all the teachers cooperate very much in the mission.

As usual this year also Srimaan Trust arranged to issue Sweet and Savory pockets to school children on 02.11.10. All the children of South Ranga Middle school were issued of Sweet and savory pockets prepared at Sri Koorathazhwan Sannidhi. Smt. Suguna Teacher introduced Smt. Vijaya a dedicated sponsor of Sath kainkaryams without revealing her identity. The Headmistress and Teachers attended the function with appreciation and thankfulness.

The hall was filled with light from the happiness in the faces of the children. The Headmistress thanked the Trust for its continuous service to provide spiritual knowledge for the children added with appreciable prasadams every week.

May Sri Kuresa bless them with wisdom of Srivaishnavism ! You can view a few photographs from this divine occasion here:

Monday, November 1, 2010

A writeup on Gurukulam students visit to Gopurapatti

God is Omnipresent. “Engum vulam kannan” reverberates azhvar as declared by PrahladAzhvan in the puranas. Then why do we need to go to a temple to worship the supreme Lord?

In our house we have many rooms. All rooms are constructed in a similar way with cement and concrete and floors are tiled, still each room is given a different name and we prefer to cook only in our kitchen and read only in our reading room. Will you feel comfortable to take a bath in your kitchen or chat with your friends in a bathroom? Similarly though the Supreme Lord resides in each and every object in this world still it gives a pleasant feeling to give him a specific form and name and worship him as namperumal or Devaperumal in a serene atmosphere inside a temple.

Anyone cannot construct a house, it needs a well trained civil engineer who has learnt the nuances of constructing and designing the houses to lay proper foundation and provide a safe place for us to live. Similarly building a temple is also an art and has to be learnt under proper guidance. The pancharatra and Vaikanasa Agamas elaborates in detail on the temple architecture. Agamas are part of sastras that gives details about the temple worship from building the temple, placing the deity inside and then performing various rituals to maintain the sanctity of the temple.

An engineer constructs a house but when does it become a home? Difference between house and home is that house is just a neatly designed/constructed place that provides a roof for living. But home is a place where people dwell with certain code of conduct, principles, peace and harmony. House is just a insentient object but a home has life in it. So just building a temple is not enough so the agamas continue to explain the way the deities are placed and given life and procedures of samprokshanam etc. Does the duty of the mother end with just giving birth to the child? No. She needs to take care of the child with utmost care, bath the child, feed the child and give the child all it needs and mainly her love for it.

So the agamas then proceed to teach how the Lord has to be awoken with suprabhatham (Thirupalliyezhuchi), followed by thiruvaradhanam (morning, afternoon and evening prayers) and thirumanjanam (divine bath) and bhogam (feeding the Lord). The appropriate ways and times of worship are detailed in the agamas. Not stopping with the daily affairs the agamas also give details of the monthly celebrations and yearly special occasions viz., Brahmotsava, vasanthotasava, pavithrotsava etc.

So any novice cannot just enter the sanctum santorium of the supreme Lord and become a aradhaka. Only well trained people in the agama who are eligible to learn the same as detailed by the sastras can perform thiruvaradhana to our Supreme master who with utmost love and care for all of us has descended down in the form of archa roopi in various divya kshetrams.

Thhe Agama sastra. Thereby Agama learning is a very important field in the vaidhika education. Unfortunately the greatness of this education has not been realised by many in the past decades and hence there has been a sharp decline in the number of archakas who are well proficient in tereby a sad state has resulted in remote villages where many temples remain without proper aradhakas and some archakas take care of more than one temple in view of improving their revenue. How sad that the emperumans so close to the heart of azhvars and acharyas are now without anyone to take care of.

Keeping all this in mind, Our Srimaan Trust started the Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam in Srirangam to train small kids in the various fields of Vaidhika and Lowkika education. The students of this gurukulam stay full time and learn Vedas, Agamas and divya prabhandham combined with their academic education. Part of the students who are getting training in pancharatra agama have now completed their initial course of study and hence have learnt to do suprabhatham, thiruvaradhanam and thirumanjanam to the Lord and have now entered into the next course- Lessons onBrahmotsavam.

Theoritical learning can only enhance our knowledge but practical sessions enable one to experience reality. By the divine grace of namperumal and periya pirattiyar these small budding future care takers of emperumans got a very rare but interesting opportunity to put their learning into practice not just to the Lord in their gurukulam but to the emperuman in a real temple premises. Wow! What a challenging practical experience to the small kids!

Gopurapatti is a divya kshetram near Srirangam, where the Lord reclines on His serpent bed very similar to Periya perumal in Srirangam. The temple after renovation, is dwelling after completion of samprokshanam very recently.( SEE THE PICTURE OF GOPURAPATTI EMBERUMAN ATTACHED HEREWITH) Our Gurukulam budding archakas visited the temple very early in the morning last Monday well prepared for worshipping the Lord as per the agamas. Prasadam was prepared and taken in hand. Starting with waking the Lord with Suprabhatham each step by step procedure was done by the gurukulam students (9 of them are specializing in Agama) under the able guidance of their teacher. The satisfaction and happiness in the face of the kids who returned back cannot be explained by mere words. Enthusiasm filled each one of them. They seemed to have got more clarity and have developed greater desire to learn more and more.

Hope by the divine grace of the divine couples these kids will be blessed to get more such opportunities to learn, perform and become well trained Agama experts to take care of the divine kshetra emperumans close to the hearts of our revered azhvars and acharyas and thereby become wonderful guides to all the devotees who come to worship the Supreme Lord. Let them become torch bearers to remove the darkness of ignorance from the minds of the visiting devotees.

Let us all give our heart felt mangalasasanams to these children and also try to help in what ever way we can.

DSC01258

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Acharya School – A field trip to Madhurakavi Nandhavanam

It was on the sunny Wednesday, 27th October, Acharyah children were given an opportunity to learn Botany through natural exploration. That was a field trip to Madhurakavi Nandhavanam at Srirangam. This Nandhavanam is an extremely privileged flower garden. The flowers blooming here are exclusively for Namperumal. The herbs, leaves and fibre also trace their path to Namperumal’s Thirumeni. No flower under the sky other than those from this garden can adorn him!

This is a unique and apt place for us to induct Science and spirituality to our children. They went and felt all the plants they were allowed to. They had wide categories of herbs, shrubs, trees and climbers to watch, feel and learn. This concept oriented natural learning induces them towards scientific thinking. This real time model provides a concrete idea about natural science in the young minds.

Children also collected various herbs such as Tulsi, Thumbai, Keezhanalli, Kuppaimeni etc. Their collection included leaves, flowers and buds too. Once back to school,they  pressed the leaves in their record books for further study.

Children were taken also to the river bed  to have a view of thula Cauvery’s full fledged flow. Children had a look at the herbs and shrubs on the river bed too.The glitter in the eyes of the young ones seemed to encompass the whole area and furthered the beauty of shining pebbles on the river bed.

There was a cow its calf  in the garden. Our children fed them with bananas. That was a happy and healthy learning in the open area for our tine tots. The joy was evident not only in the children but also among the trees,flowers , the cow and the calf

Do check out a few photos out of this divine occasion.

You can also check out a video of this trip over here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nutrition in every Gulp ! - Key to healthy living

 

‘Nutrition’ is a word that has been lapped up by the present society with utmost fervor and inexplicable zeal. This nutrition concept which had been an integrated part of living in the days of our Acharyas and even our grandparents, has now assumed a very revered and ‘distinct’ position amongst us.

But we should remember that this new found infatuation with nutrition has not helped bridge the rift between diseased/ailment prone living and healthy / salubrious living. The primary reason for this is again our new found attraction towards the latest pseudo-healthy products inundating every visible shop in our vicinity. The plethora of advertisements in every possible media is culpable in this regard. A health specialist made a very thought-provoking comment in a famous daily .Here’s the exact wordings ‘ Eat anything that is made from a plant . Refrain from eathing anything made in a plant’ implying natural products are safe and products manufactured in Factories( Plant) are in some or the other way harmful. The amusing irony here is that we carefully choose the factory made eatables presuming they would nourish us !

To attain the ‘pink of the health’ status and built – to –last shareeram , the most important aspect is in seeking the remedy from amidst the innumerable products Namperumal has lovingly and aptly manufactured for us! When our birth followed the Rules laid by Him, when our body’s functioning follows the Blueprint designed by Him, when our growth pattern religiously adhered to his decree , then why ransack our Health by plunging into the quagmire of ‘artificial / away from Actual’ products ? Staying in absolute communion with the Namperumal developed world is the only elixir for the Nutrition seeker. And that’s what Srimaan Trust is precisely doing for the Gurukulam students.

The Gurukulam Students are a lucky lot. Well it is wrong to boast of the Trust being its volunteers but then this envy is quite irresistible for us ! Everyday, when we see the care and micro level attention tended to every thread of the children’s existence , thoughts of unfulfilled past clogs our hearts ( all written in utmost good spirit !) . The villainy of time has resulted in our being only volunteers of the Trust and the coveted status of ‘pupil’ has forever eluded us!

A day( we restrict this mail to the nutritional intake part alone) in the life of ‘Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam’ child begins in salubrious style. Waking up to 3 glasses of power –packed 18 daanya (cereal,lentils,nuts) porridge(Kanji) at 6 :30 am, the child breezes through the early full meal at 9 :30 am. The 18 daanya kanji is one of the best breakfast option. Nutritionists are insisting on a very healthy breakfast to enhance the well – being of the body. Some of them go to the extent of placing the breakfast very close to waking up. This would provide the much starved ( 8 hrs of sleep!) body a real boost. And when the breakfast is brimming with nutrients like the 18 daanyams, what more to ask for ?

The full meal at 9 :30am is a more racy and action packed prequel to the routine afternoon sleep inducing lunch. An aromatic variety of vegetables often mixed together in unique manner acts as an appetizer to the child. After the Shastric prayer (Pariseshanam) and savoring the vegetable salad, the child is fed with vegetable filled kozhambu. What all vegetables missed the opportunity of gracing the salad cup earlier, find their venerable slot here. Isn’t it a baghyam to be swallowed by the mouth that unrelentingly utters the sacred Vedas, Stotras and Divya – Prabandham ?! Satramudhu is special in gurukulam. Each day the improvising Srivaishnava cook tries enriching it with fruits like pineapple, grapes and others. The fruits join the bandwagon in style.

Come the sultry noon, respite is offered through curd rice accompanied by vegetable stew ( koottu) and pickles made from fresh vegetables sans preservatives and spices. (Gurukulam offers only Sathvika aaharam. The Founder Acharya is very stringent in this regard).

At around 5pm ,with the sun setting and cool Cauvery breeze engulfing the Srirangam dwellers, the gurukulam child is handed a cup full of dry fruits comprising Almonds ( Badam), Raisins ( Dry draksha ), Walnuts (acroot), Cashews ( mundiri) and soaked Groundnuts. Soaked Groundnuts are very healthy and provide excellent stamina. Another cup of a different variety of porridge also features in the 5pm session.

The dinner is very simple following the sastric saying ‘Breakfast like a kind, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’. This is another key to healthy living. The dinner, though simple ,is again nutrient centric. If dosai is made , it won’t be like the ones made routinely by us. Children love seeing and handling colours and we fulfill their wish with our culinary art. Variety of vegetables are added to the night meal be it dosai or idli or adai. When adais are prepared , a mixture of danyams are also added to provide the child with utmost nourishment. The 18 daanya adai is our speciality!

A cup of pure cow milk sums up the days nutrient intake. The protein rich milk is a must for growing children as protein is required for the body to repair tissues and preserve youth.

Apart from this dynamic routine, the Gurukulam has designed a chart to incorporate herbal medicines in the daily routine of students. Every Tuesday and Saturday the child  is given Kalisadhi Choornam. Thursdays are meant for Ashwagandhi Choornam . Everyday Nilavembu Kudineer is administered;Nilavembu builds up enormous resistance and guards the body from frequent fever & other infections.

How has this tailor-made nutrition  plan benefited the gurukulam children ? In a recent Dental Check up camp , the orthodontists were pleasantly surprised to find a negligible no. of students with dental problems. 95% of the children had a good dental health. The regular kashayam intake has proved a grand success in deterring foreign bodies from attacking the children. Frequent fever,cold,cough have become the rarest phenomenon in the Gurukulam children. Another splendid benefit of the nutrition plan is that the children readily eat and drink whatever is offered by the Trust ( unlike our protesting children back home). The children are seldom fatigued and are very active throughout the day.

A question may crop up in the minds of some /all of you. Being children of Gurukulam , will this cuisine not make them fall prey to the taste buds ? Well, do we think in this angle when it comes to our Children? Do we make bland food for them and cut down on tasty items? We cant imagine doing so. Its the same with these Gurukulam children. Their non-affluent background has resulted in their missing out the joy of childhood all these years. Now, they have become our Children and we shall leave no stone unturned in fulfilling the Parents role that we've assumed.

In this effort we also entreat you to play your role as a parent to these Children. The joy of assuming the role of guiding children other than ours is beyond the realm of words ! Do join us in this wonderful experience !

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Feed with Play

Feeding babies with play, teaching children with play is a very old Indian tradition adopted by western countries. In our old / Purana tradition, Srimaan Trust conducts a number of various ventures all towards imbibing the concepts and teachings of our Purvars / Purvacharyas to children.

Recently on 6th October 2010 such a venture a multifaceted competition was held for the students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam. Book of question bank was issued to each student of 7 teams (boys & girls aged 10 to 15). The groups of boys were named Azhwar Thirunagari, Thirukkudanthai, Thirukkurungudi, Thiruchitrakoodam and Thirukkurugur and that of girls named as Uraiyur and Thiruvarangam.

The competition was of 6 rounds. They were:

  1. Questions on vaibhavams of Mudhal Azhwars and Pillailokacharyar.
  2. Audio Identification – to identify the Upanyasaka from an audio clipping by the accent, voice, elocution etc. This also includedanswering questions based on the clipping.
  3. Visual Identification i.e to identify Azhwars and incidents on his life from visual clippings.
  4. Dumsarads – to enact the scene from a line of Thiruppavai which called for imagination, body language and extempore action.
  5. The rapid fire round in which the representative of each team should answer questions from Idhihasam, Azhwars, Acharyas Vaibavam etc. within 10 seconds, i.e to shoot at sound.
  6. The quiz competition was responsibly conducted by Revathi, who was also a student of our Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham.

All the teams tried to emulate each other in a very friendly manner and it was very tough for the judges to select the outstanding group. The Rapid Fire competition came as a tie-breaker and relieved the judges of selecting the exemplifying team. Thirukkudanthai Team was selected as the Topper by their skill of lightening action.

The competition is held in series to help the students to prepare and excel in the next chance.

Check out the photos of this divine function here: