Saturday, November 26, 2011
This year, the competition turned out to be a great attraction for the students despite there existing distractions at every possible direction. The eager participation provided great promise that our culture will sustain the onslaught of materialism and philistinism.
The final prize distribution function for the competition held at Chennai will be held on 27-11-2011. The invitation is attached. Please grace the occasion, listen to the thought provoking speeches of the great stalwarts who’ll preside over the function and bless the winners of the context. Spending a couple of hours by you for the children shall boost the motivation levels of the children as well as the volunteers of Srimaan Trust.
The invitation is here in this link :
When Shri Veda Vysya pondered these questions several thousand years ago, He discovered the one pill remedy called Srimad Bhagavatham. Shri Vyasadeva, the compiler of all the Vedic literature, foresaw the age we now live in deteriorating more and more through quarrel and hypocrisy. To help man not defeat the actual purpose of his human life, he compiled the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Srimad-Bhagavatam gives clear directions on how we can live a contented and happy life. It plunges us into the mystic ocean of “KRISHNA” and leaves us marooned in it for the rest of our life.
A mango fruit’s taste usually sticks to the tongue, leaving us wanting more. And the wonderful taste is enhanced if it is already tasted by a Bird or squirrel. Srimad Bhagavatham is described as the fruit that has been bitten by the Divine Sukar (Bird).
With a view to impart the knowledge of Srimad Bhagavadam amongst school children, Srimaan Trust has started taking classes at school with the aid of several Bhagavathas. One such initiative has materialized in a session at South Ranga School of Srirangam. This was followed by a session at Acharyah also. This time, the classes were taken by Shri Divya Krishna Dasan.
It is a Baghyam for these children to listen to the charitram of “ Vennai unda vaayan” at day and visit Him at His abode in the midst of Saptha Prakaram.
The photo link is here:
How old is Sanskrit? Well, it is as old as Emperumaan Himself which means, it has no origin, neither human nor divine. The exact antiquity of Sanskrit cannot be established with any degree of certainty. There were standard books in Sanskrit on almost all the disciplines in ancient India including science, technology, mathematics, astrology, astronomy, medicine etc. So, it is not as if Sanskrit is literature alone, including devotional literature, and nothing else.
But the decline of Sanskrit began with the establishment of the Muslim rule in India. Mohamad Ghazni was a raider who invaded India seventeen times only to loot India of its wealth. He had no intention of establishing Muslim rule in India. But, Mohamed Ghori, not only invaded India, but established Muslim rule in India in the twelfth century. He replaced Sanskrit with Persian, as the language of administration. Since then, Sanskrit was on the wane, though it did not become extinct, thanks to Emperuman’s bountiful grace and the efforts of our Poorvacharyas and several other Mahans of other Darshanams. Other than the vyakyanams and a few other works, most of the divine writings of our Poorvacharyas have been in Sanskrit.
When India became independent from the British rule, Sanskrit should have been adopted as the official language of India. But it wasn’t so adopted. And today, this blunder has resulted in our relegating Sanskrit to a position that was meant for foreign languages like French and German. Sanskrit is now a language that we can choose as second language provided our misbegotten foreign language fad lays in hibernation. But the irony is that the foreigners are smitten by Sanskrit.
Samskritha Bharathi has been taking several initiatives in promoting Sanskrit throughout India. They have toiled hard in taking Sanskrit to the masses and school going children. And Srimaan Trust has been pouncing at every chance to promote and spread Sanskrit. So when the people of Samskrita Bharathi approached the Trust for pooling in children for taking spoken Sanskrit classes, a meeting was arranged inviting the parents of SBK children and several others. About 50 students were enrolled in the classes. In a short duration, the children learned Sanskrit and began conversing in it.
Go through the videos and please control any envy that may naturally overpower you ( )
LISTEN TO A FREE FLOWING SANSKRIT CONVERSATION:
PHOTO LINK :
Work began a couple of days before the Grihapravesham. The volunteers, along with the past students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham (SBK) were engrossed in preparing the new premises for the Grihapravesam. The dedication shown by the past students of SBK cannot be described by words. Most of them didn’t leave the Trust for two days. Neither did they go to their houses nor to their workplaces (or college). Every action of theirs created joy and motivation in the minds of the volunteers. The motivation that they ought to create more such “ Kainkarya jewels” for sampradayam.
The muhoortham was between 6- 7:30 am on 16th. The new banner resplendent in shades of golden and red with “Eramanusan Ponnadi” printed on it, was slowly raised and put on the new building with the joyous shrieks of the volunteers. The whole building glittered in the light of the bright lamps and the glow was enhanced by the full smile of the Srivaishnavas present there.
At 6:30 am, with all the Bhagavathas assembled at ‘Eramanusan Ponnadi’, the auspicious cow along with its calf was brought outside the premises and go-pooja was performed. New vasthrams were put across the body of the cow and the calf. Sandhanam was ceremoniously sprinkled on them. Fresh Kunkuman was smeared across their forehead. An instant later, the Pravesham was done with Sri Parasara Azhagiyasinga Bhattar swamy and Ammangar, SriAasuri Madhavachariar swamy, all the Gurukulam students, donors and the volunteers entering through the front door. The environment was electric.
Immediately, the Holy cow and its calf made their way into premises followed by the Founder Acharya and His Dharmapathni. The Homa kuntham was placed in the second room at the ground floor. The Homan was awaiting the arrival of Pramahamsa Srirenganaraya Jeeyar swamy. And as expected, Swami arrived at the promised hour. Under His auspices, the Homan was conducted in which all the Gurukulam students participated. The whole building reverberated with the chant of SriSudarshana Azhwar’s Thirunaamam and Mantram.
Simultaneously as the Homam was progressing, the first floor was ready to feed the Srivaishnavas with Balabhogam. Majority of the volunteers, students of SBK and the students of the Gurukulam engaged in serving Balabhogam with each room getting filled simultaneously.
This was followed by the Gurukulam children bringing their Thiruvaradhana perumal , doing a splendid alankaram to Him and readying Him for the Divya Prabandha gosht. The gosthi was headed by one of the adhyapakars of Thiruvarangam Periya Koil. Important pasurams from all the Divya Prabandhams were recited. The Gurukulam children participated with utmost enthusiasm. Finally, the satrumurai was conducted and theertha prasadams distributed to all.
By noon many sthala –acharya purushas visited the premises and heaped their blessings. Sri Sirupuliyoor Annan swamy, despite his age, placed his Holy foot on the new building and blessed the Children.The alankaara thadeeyaradhanai was conducted at Sri Koorathazhwan’s sannidhi.
This shareeram of ours was given by Emperumaan to serve Him and His adiyars. But due to the Prakruthi sambandham, half our life is eaten away by sleep, a quarter in fulfilling the fads of the Indriyas. If at all our life is left, we spend try to spend it in Bhagavad and bhagavatha kainkaryam. But even then, how many Bhagavathas can we serve with our shakthi and time? Very few. But a building can serve innumerable bhakthas from its very inception. And it can go on and on for many years. “Eramanusan Ponnadi” is here to stand and serve Srivaishnava Sampradayam for posterity.
Like the Keerthi of Eramanusar, we pray the Lord of Thiruvarangam to keep the Kainkarya selvam of “Eramanusan Ponnadi” to last forever! We request each of you to visit Eramanusan Ponnadi and commence its kainkarya journey.
Kindly click the below link for photos:
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sriramayanam competition conducted for school chidren every year by our Trust has two stages. The first stage is the written competition based on Valmiki Ramayanam while the second is recitation competition. A child who has scored 60% in the written phase becomes eligible for the second phase. The second phase consists of recitation of jewel like shlokas from Sriramayanam, Samkshepa Ramayanam and Pasurapadi Ramayanam.
This year, despite the weather being so cloudy, no cloud was seen in the faces of the children and they participated with absolute excitement and enthusiasm. Each child excelled in his own way of expression and tone of recitation. Shlokas were explained with their meaning. The children almost performed Harikatha with actions for each shloka. The judges resorted to a tough questioning pattern where they asked questions like 'tell the Shloka that describes the most enviable quality of Raama? Tell the shloka that describes the craving of sri raama for seetha? And the children were exceptionally well in answering these questions. A 10 year old child from Nanganallur took the gathering by storm with her exemplary rendition of each shloka in a different Raagam. The nectar of Rama blended with the wonderful voice of the child and plunged the gathering into spiritual bliss.
Four judges were invited and the competition went on very nicely. Evey time the children explained the greatness of Rama as explained in the various works they have written in their hearts, every volunteer wished to rejoin school and participate in this competition !
For Nectar to eyes and ears, follow the link:
In our Sampradayam, the most important acharya is Sri Ramanujacharya. His importance is so evident that the Lord of Thiruvarangam, Namperumal, rechristened the name of this sampradayam with his name as Emperumanar darshanam or Ramanuja darshanam despite the likes of Brahmanandi, Bharuchi and other Great rishis of the Vedas contributing immensely to it and all the azhwars and acharyas dedicating their lives for the sampradayam far before the avatharam of Ramanujacharya.
Till date temples resonate with the sound of ‘ Ramanujarya divyagnya’ be the temple at Nepal or the temples at the Southern tip of India. No doubt this Acharya was the gift of Namperumal to this darshanam. His greatness is such that in most temples , it is His perumai that is sung as Gosthi (Ramanuja Nootrandadhi) for the thirunakshtram of any azhwar or acharya. Even for their own Thirunakshtrams, they wish to hear His praise ! That He was considered with great reverence by His predecessors and successors is no surprising a fact considering the magnitude of His personality.
But we shouldn’t think He was sought only to seek religious initiation or to solve philosophical problems. His acharya, Sri Periyanambigal sought His aid for every domestic problem of his. When His daughter came to a marriageable age, he called upon Ramanujacharya to seek a groom for her. When after marriage, the in-laws of the daughter demanded a servant, he sought Ramanujacharya for a solution and Swamy gave the best answer in the form of Mudhaliaandan. Swamy’s Muth was the single point where a variety of problems and difficulties queued up seeking solution and were resolved in the best possible manner.
Just by impersonating Him we won’t become Him. But following his footsteps will surely make us to His liking. And that is what each one of us is endeavouring for. Srimaan Trust is also in this endeavour. An old girl student of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham (SBK), after completing her academics was decided to be given in marriage to a bright boy good boy.But she wasn’t from an affluent family. How to conduct the marriage was the boiling question? And the parents were at the Trust’s premises for solution.
The first word of the Founder acharya and the volunteers was that this girl is Lord Ranganatha’s treasure which meant she was ours too. And conducting her marriage was our duty too. With these words they assured the parents of help in all forms. As a first step all the utensils needed for marriage were purchased and given to the parents. This was followed by monetary aid and will be followed by human resource aid.
And we pray the Lord who made Ramanujacharya the ubhaya vibhoothi naathar to give us more opportunities to follow the footsteps of Ethirajar!
The photo link of the utensils given for the marriage is here :
Friday, October 28, 2011
These two men were painters in Srirangam. They were basically poverty stricken. Added to that, a recent accident while at work left them with wounds throughout their body. But the malice of poverty prevented them from seeking medical aid. And somewhere, they heard the Trust’s name and approached it for help. The Trust volunteers were deeply moved by their story and immediately arranged provisions for their family and medical treatment for them. They are now better both physically and in their mindset. Many a times, we encounter people who ask us why the Trust ventures to help people outside the Srivaishnava circle. Every soul is part of the divine “Vasudeva Kutumbam”. It is from His womb that all of us have emanated. And every atma, being his property needs our care and attention. It is in this spirit that these two men were helped. Uplifting the people who are at the lower rungs of society is our dharmam and the Trust shall ever endeavour to be of assistance to the have-s not of our society.
Monday, October 17, 2011
At 6 a.m on the 6th of October, Namperumal, the beloved utsava deity of Srirangam, set on an expedition in his palanquin. The destination was the temple of Singaperumal famously known as Kaatazhagiyasingar, a temple located about a kilometer from Srirangam. The agenda of the expedition was to signify the killing of the Asuran named Vanniyasuran and to signify this, the very same evening Namperumal’s representatives( the Archakars) on his behalf ,struck cane arrows with brass heads at the Vanni Tree and also in different direction. This act of Namperumal was a reminder of his oath, the oath to protect the good and punish the evil. And this day is called Vijayadashami, the day that stands for victory.
Back in the Uthra Streets of Srirangam, the very same morning, Acharyah school was embellished with flowers and scents. The usually ebullient sun, was a bit hesitant in rising since a group of suns carrying satchel around their shoulders, bedecked in bright shirts and matching shorts strode their way into the Acharyah school premises. It seemed the finest pearls across the globe bequeathed their luster to the eyes of these toddlers, the diamonds their glitter to the face and gold its purity to their heart.
Vijayadashami celebrations began at 10 am. All the parents of Acharayh school were invited and all of their were present. Sharp at 10 : 30, the Gurukulam(SBG) students, under the guidance of Sri Raman Bhattachariar swamy conducted ‘ Vidyarambha Homam’. The Homan was a prayer to Hayagreeva Emperumaan, the Lord who is the Very repository of Knowledge and the bestower of knowledge. The Gurukulam children performed the Homan with utmost sincerity and keeping in view the well being of the Acharyah children. The very scene of one set of children( Gurukulam) doing a Homan for the well Being of another set of children(Acharyah) evoked tears in the eyes of the parents and the volunteers of the Trust. The Homan continued till 1 p.m and to the joy and astonishment of the parents and the faculty of Acharyah, almost all the Acharyah school petals stayed glued to the mat till the end of the Homam! In an age where the only power capable of keeping the children glued to a place is the television, the Acharyah children showed that they were special. They stayed despite the fumes from the Homan causing irritation to their eyes. They stayed despite their stomachs pleading for food. A Vijayam for the vision of the Trust on the day of Vijayadashami !
After the Homam, special prasadams prepared at the Gurukulam were distributed to the parents and children. Aksharabhyasam( teaching alphabets) was conducted for the new entrants. Each new child sat on the lap of a Gurukulam student and another gurukulam student held the hand of the new entrant and performed aksharabhyasam. So beautiful a scene! And to mark the auspicious occasion, teachers started a new chapter in each subject. And that very evening, Sankalpam was made in the name of all Acharyah school children and archanai performed at Srirenganachiar’s sannidhi.
Just as Namperumal struck arrow at the demon,signifying the conquest of the evil, the children of Acharyah need to strike arrows at their senses( indriyas) and keep them focused on acquiring, assimilating, understanding and finally spreading knowledge. If they are able to achieve this, then Vijayam will beckon them at every stage of their life. And let us pray the Gracious couple to confer upon them this Vijayam !
Please don’t miss the colourful and gleeful children of Acharyah :
acharyah vidhyarambam homam photos
acharyah vidhyarambam homam videos
Everyone is happy when appreciated. But for us at Srimaan Trust, appreciation is an indication that our performance of kainkaryam needs of be further fuelled. It is an indication that we have great hearts to stand by us and support us in achieving gargantuan Kainkaryams that await us in the near future; it is a sign of relief to us. Most importantly it showcases the Grace of Periya Perumal and Srirenganachiar; the Divine Couple have been monitoring and aiding in each step the Trust has taken.
All the appreciations directed at us are the mirror reflections of your own Kainkaryams, for, we are doing all the divine kainkaryams on your behalf. From the food, clothing, living premises and recreational activities, every joy of the gurukulam children is due to your benevolence. We ardently wish you accompany us in this Journey of Kainkaryam forever and satiate the thirst of our Poorvacharyas!
We are reproducing a few appreciative mails received by us. We thank the donors who’ve sent them and remind them/you that they (you) are the true recipients of the appreciation.
“ Sri Bhattar Swamy,
I don’t know how to write nice mails like this but could not stop myself from sharing my thoughts in my own crippled language. Please excuse me for that.
The mails from Srimaan Trust are very enjoyable. I don’t miss reading it. The photos and videos make the readers to live in Srirangam for that moment. Recently I visited Srirangam for couple of days to take part in our Respected Acharya Koil Gandhadai Annan swamy thirunakshatram (1 to 10th Oct ’11). I got the chance to enjoy the veda goshti by the kids from bhattar kuzham. Even though it was late in the evening these kids chanted with shradhai and w/o a swara bedham. Looking at the kid’s innocent faces, enthusiasm and intelligence I used to wonder how blessed they are to be brought up under such a care, compassion and guidance.
My very best wishes to the kids and mangalasasanams to Sri Bhattar Swamy”
“Dear Team, Hi !
The examples are great.
If your mails us regularly with these types of example it will help our children to grow well.
Please keep sending, Thank you for the team.
In the photos the young boys eyes are so bright with that itself we can know how good they have been developed.”
“ DAsan narasimhan pranams to the kainkaryaparas at the trust. my heart filled with joy and eyes with tears at this great "practicals" conducted by the children of the gurukulam. there cannot be any better way of doing practicals. i am sure He would have enjoyed the kainkaryam from the tiny hands of the children.”
“adiyaen dAsan, wonderful write-up . adiyaen krutagyathai for devareer mails, its adiyaen bhAgyam to receive all devareer mails.
wonderfully written, the content is very rich and crisp with more sampradAyic meaning....
adiyaen just recollects what is given by our poorvAcharyargal in the vyakyanam.. the same comparison with elephant and EmperumAn
for Swatantrym. this is being shown in the Avatharikai of Acharya hrudayam and also the Thiruvaimozhi first pAsuram (mayar vara mathi nalam)1.1.1.
Excellent adiyaen! Have been thoroughly enjoying your write-ups and have great liking for them.”
“After seeing the photographs, I wish I am atleast one amongst the Vidhyarthis of this great unmatchable Gurukulam. Let me hope to have this privilege at least in Adiyen's next birth.”
“Adiyen was out of Mumbai on official work and returned two days back which caused my delayed response although i did READ the mails while i was away but could not respond.
Once again the Kainkaryashree who had visited the Great Gurukulam and rendering his impressions and feelings gathered by him during his visit is immensely fulfilling our hearts too. The Children's love either to our Supreme Empurumaan or to the people around them being so pure, serving of Thadeeyaradhanam by the TWO vidhyarthis with love and compassion to saha vidhyarthis or to the Athithis up to their satisfaction as per the Srvaishanava Thadeeyaradhanai are very much felt in my heart while reading the same. Our heartfelt Congratulations to all the Kainkaryashrees involved in the running of Gurukulam.”
With very best wishes to one all
4th April 2011.
Adiyen is delighted to read all your mails and feel how these children are blessed by the Divine Dampathis for having an Acharya like you and an environment wherein, our samnpradayam is being imbibed in today's loukika world. I Pray the Divya Dampathis that more and more Srivaishnava children comes under this sphere.”
“ PRANAMS, Overwhelmed to see children perform these spiritual activities”
.....Smt. akila sanath
Exam days are days when every medical parameter would throw a fancy number when tested on us. The head would ache; the heart would beat from tip to toe, the legs would turn brittle and the stomach would sing never before heard songs. Added to this woe would be our bloodshot eyes and unkempt hair. Overall we would stand to win the appreciation of every mother who is desperate to feed her 2yr old boy if we just let the child have a glimpse of us.
But for our gurukulam children, exam is an enjoyment! For them it is a chance to get nearer Emperuman with their mastery of Kainkaryam. The exams are tension free but very exciting event for them. Unlike us, these children are tested not on the syllabus of that year alone but on everything they’ve learnt from the first day of Gurukulam. We at school learnt the reasons for various phenomenon occurring in the world and were ultimately tested on our knowledge of them. The Vedas call Emperumaan “ Sarva kaarana kaaranam”. These gurukulam children are so fortunate to learn the superficial kaaranam as well as the ultimate kaaranam. True education is education about the Supreme Being. Sashtras declare “ Yasmin Vignyathe sarvam aevam vignyatham bhavathi” meaning if one knows the original cause, the subordinate causes are automatically known. Hence if the true knowledge of Paramapurusha is obtained by us, no further knowledge need be attained in life since He is the final destination of the pursuit of knowledge.
Recently, we had the Annual Divya Prabandha parikshai of the Gurukumal children. With utmost grace, Sri Thirunarayanapuram Ananthanpillai Ranganathachariar swamy(popularly known as Kutty swamy) accepted to test the children. Swamy is an adyapakar at Srirangam temple and a master of Divya Prabandhams. The children were tested individually as well as in groups.
Swamy was very happy at the way the children performed. He also suggested improvements in certain areas like pronunciaton . He was more in admiration of their bonding with one another and their aarthi towards sampradaya kainkaryams.
The link to the photos is here for your viewing. Please view the same:
In continuance of the felicitation kainkaryam of various Bhagavathas in our Sampradayam, Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham(SBK) recently, under the ‘Sannidhi Vandanam’ scheme, paid homage to the Archakar swamy of Namazhwar sannidhi. Under the Sannidhi vandanam scheme, every month a Kainkaryaparar of a sannidhi is chosen and the children of SBK honour him with a small sambhavanai ( pooled out of their savings).
The archakar swamy of Namazhwar sannidhi has been in kainkaryam for many years and his devotion and dedication towards Azhwar has drawn him the respect and affection of all the Bhakthas. It was our Baghyam to have felicitated him on behalf of the donors and well wishers of the Sampradayam.
In another instance, Sri N. Viraraghavachariar swamy( lovingly addressed as Pattanna swamy ) , a great veteran of the Srivaishnava sampradayam was honoured under ‘Vidwath Vandanam’ scheme. Swamy, equipped in both Vaideeka and Loukeeka education has been propagating the Eternal Truths of our sampradayam through pracharams, Kalakshepams and Upanyasams. More importantly, swamy is running a Gurukulam by name ‘ Parashara Gurukulam’ under Vishvakshema Trust in the beautiful city of Mysore. The Gurukulam houses young Brahmacharees who are imparted both vaideeka and loukeeka education . These children are sure to take our sampradayam and sanathana dharmam to great heights. A detailed note on the Gurukulam is attached for your viewing. Please go through the same to appreciate the initiative of Swamy. Pattanna swamy was thrilled to see our children ( As he loves children) and gave them a very understandable and relatable guidance. The cheerfulness of Swamy threw light on the atma Gunas possessed by him. The SBK students were very elated to have received and honoured Swamy.
The photos of both Vandhanams are here for your viewing :
sannidhi vandhanam :
Vidwath vandanam :
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Why do we need an acharyan? Why someone in between us and the Supreme Being? How does acharyan aid us in attaining moksham ? These are the most frequently asked questions when someone enters the sampradayam.
Acharyan is like the lighthouse that stands in the shore and guides the ships caught in the sea to reach the seashore. Likewise, we are caught in the sea of samsara, the darkness of which has impaired our vision and has led to our losing the sense of direction in life. It is Acharyan who comes to our rescue by showing us the path that leads to the Supreme Emperumaan. Acharyan is that benevolent beacon that helps us bypass the ills of samsaric existence.
There might be a switch and an electric wire that connects the fan in our house. But simply turning on the switch will not make the fan work and give us good air circulation. We need electricity to run through the wire. Acharyan is that electricity in our lives. Our prayers alone won’t fetch us the Grace of SrimanNarayanan. We need Acharyan to recommend us to Him.
The Bright sun never fails to bloom the lotus that is in water, but if the same lotus separates from the water , the sun would only wither the lotus. Water is Acharyan, the Sun Emperumaan and we are Lotus. If only we have the sambandham of Acharyan will Emperumaan Cause blossom in our lives. Though we may have all the qualities of a Sharanagathan, Emperumaan will reject us without the sambandham of acharyah. Acharyan is someone who wipes out the ignorance that has enveloped our soul. He is the one who gives us Gnyanam of self and the supreme. And it is this Gnyaanam that entitles us a seat in the abode of Emperumaan. It is because of the lure of the ‘Acharya post’ that Emperumaan himself turned Geethacharyan.
When we have committed unpardonable mistakes and have ended up causing harm to someone, we seek their mercy. If we approach them , hold their hands and ask for pardon, there is a likelihood that they may not pardon us. But if we fall at their feet and hold them tightly, even if their heart is iron, it will turn molten and we would be pardoned. Seeking Emperumaan for Moksham is like the former example and seeking acharyan is like the latter. The three eyes of Shiva or the eight eyes of Brahma or even the thousand eyes of Paramapurusha cannot equal the Grace of one eye of Acharyan.
Acharya sambandham is like the Mangalasootram ( Thaali) that women wear. All the ornaments a woman wears would add her beauty and lusture provided the vital Mangalasootram bedecks her neck. If she loses the eligibility to wear the Mangalasootram, wearing any other ornament would only kill her beauty and charm. So even if a jeevatma possesses all the qualities of a Sharanagathan like Gnyaanam, Bhakthi and Vairagyam, the lack of Acharyasambandham would never lead him to the feet of Supreme Being.
Emphasizing the importance of Acharyas, Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham(SBK) has been regularly felicitating the Acharyas of our Sampradayam through a small scheme named ‘Acharya Vandanam’. The children of SBK have been tutored on developing savings habit. Every month end, the children pool their savings and keep it ready for the Acharyan who would visit them and bless them. An acharyan would be invited from any of the divya desams and would be duly honoured by the students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham. The children would render Vedam, Pasurams and Storas before him and that Swamy would bless the children with a short and enlightening speech.
This month was unique as the veteran Acharya purusha Sri Srinivasachariar Swamy hailing from Prathivadi Bhayankara thiruvamsam visited Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and accepted the Acharya Vandanam honour . Swamy is the grandson of Prathivadi Bhayankaram Gadhi swamy, the Kalakshepa acharyan of Mahavidwan Prathivadi Bhayankaram Annangarachariar swamy. Swamy is also the Owner and Nirvaha kartha of Bombay Phanaswadi Srinivasa Perumal Koil. Swamy has sishyas throughout India especially the North and West.Sri swamy’s shatabhishekam was recently celebrated with thousands of sishyas from North India flocking Kancheepuram to seek his Blessings. Swamy was very happy to see the children learn Sampradayam with great fervor. He blessed the children and prayed for their use in the Kainkaryams of Emperumaan.
The photos of Swamy and the Acharya Vandanam are here in the link. Sastras say the person who has celebrated Shatabhisekam is to be worshipped with the reverence that is offered to SrimanNarayanan. Please see the photos and seek the blessing of swamy (through the Photo) and bless the children of SBK.
Acharyah school children - talent exhibition.
“Who was the mastermind behind the establishment of the now world renowned and prestigious Indian Institute of Science? Was it the most radical thinking rationalistic scientists of yesteryear? Was it the most dynamic and influential politicians of the freedom era? Or was it the British men hailing from the Cradle of Industrial civilization and the self-proclaimed birth place of science? No, it was none of these men. It was none other than the man clad in saffron robe, the man who had renounced materialism. It was the man, in a foreign land, who stood before a congregation of people from various ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds and addressed them all as brothers and sisters plunging them into pin drop silence and awe. It was Swamy Vivekananda” exclaimed Gomathi, the Senior Educator of Acharyah school, in her inaugural speech of the Annual Parent Teachers meeting of Acharyah School held on 3rd September at the premises of the school.
Jamsetji N. Tata, the famous industrialist, happened to travel with Vivekananda by chance from Japan to Chicago and their meeting left an indelible impression in the mind of Tata. The spiritual aura of Swamy Vivekananda and his extraordinary view of Science wafted through the heart of Tata and he decided to set up the Indian Institute of Science under the aegis of the Swamy.
A view that has seeped into our heart from childhood is that Science and Religion are aeons apart and would never see each other even if they accidentally bump into one another. These views can prevail only due to double ignorance. The ignorance of both Science and Religion. Swamy Vivekananda is just one example to thwart this blissful ignorance. Our Indian history abounds with eminent persons who have journeyed through the ocean of Science and religion knowing them to be two rivers that confluence to form one ocean.
Spirituality and science are so closely knit that it needs great effort to see them separately and more so treat them as mutually exclusive topics. A leader needs great spirit, a grand vision, broad mindedness with no boundaries. A spiritual man essentially possesses these qualities and even more. And hence he suits the role of leader far more than others. Even for being successful in science, a spiritual bent of mind is quintessential. The study science in the light of spiritualism deepens the understanding of science and would throw a very unique perspective on science.
The above address of Gomathi was followed by the Principals address. She wanted the children to showcase their learning in front of their parents. A kind of talent exhibition was conducted. The children doing their second year at Acharyah exhibited their knowledge of Shabdas. Shabdas need lot of effort to memorize and recall. But for the Acharyah school students, it seemed like a breeze. One after the other, the children happily recalled the shabdas they learnt.
Next, the children, hardly 5 years of age, were adept in writing 4 digit numbers . It is to be remembered that in normal school setup, children write four digit numbers at a far later stage. The credit wholly goes to the system of teaching and the complete dedication of the teachers involved.
The parents were baffled at the way these children had mastered whatever they were taught.
After the Principals address it was the turn of the Founder Acharyah, Sri Parasara Badrinarayana to address the gathering .The thought provoking words of Swamy left the audience speechless.
The Founder Acharya focused on the traits these children have inherited from the ‘Acharyah ancestry’. We often ask this question either by self or are asked by others ; whether we plan to spend our life in loukikam or sampradayam ? We instantly reply ‘both’ as though we have been formally trained in the art of jugglery. But we have never been able to do justice to sampradayam. Either we get wedded to the back ache causing computer chair at office or get ourselves embroiled in family affairs that need our least attention. Thus the time we spend for sampradayam turns miniscule. But our longing for spending lot of time on sampradayam is not untrue. It is true in every sense. But the fact is our web of samsaram is seldom allowing us to venture outside its fringes.
The children of Acharyah have proved this ‘fact’ accepted by us wrong. Every day these children are mastering both the loukeeka skills and simultaneously imbibing all Sampradaic knowledge. If languages are taken these children are learning Sanskrit at lightening pace. Amarakosham meaning ‘immortal treasure’ contains the instructions concerning nouns and gender in the form of verses. This work forms a base for mastering Sanskrit. And the Acharyah school students can pop out verses as though they were rhymes. Panini, the father of Sanskrit Grammar, has made Sutras( Grammatical rules) which are very quite tough to master but are very important in the process of understanding sakskrit. The sutras are tongue twisters are enunciating them requires immense practice. The Acharyah school children, hardly 5 years old, keep singing the sutras like songs and are slowly gaining mastery over them.
When is comes to loukeeka academics, these children once again glitter brightly. They can locate places in the world map with ease. A 3 year girls mother was very happy in expressing that one night her child told she’ll write rhyming words at 8pm. The family thought the girl would write two three words and waited for her to commence. But the girl ended up writing 30 rhyming words!
Acharyah has taught the children discipline and thirst for knowledge. When a persons is dunked in water for a long time, he would come out gasping for air. His mind would be yearning for air. No other thought would even for a second enter his mind. The pursuit of knowledge should be exactly the same. The Acharyah school children are in this pursuit now.
All the parents felt that they never ask their children to study at home nor do homework. These children love studying and hence start studying, writing and experimenting with the subjects. Acharyah has implanted in them this devotion to the subject. The reason for all this is the spiritual knowledge that gets passed on to the children everyday.
The young petals of Acharyah are watered with Sampradaya knowledge everyday. Acharyah has customized the Montessori methodology of teaching to suit our culture. The children have attuned themselves to cater to the Sampradaic form of life and rise to the occasion when their loukeeka skills are in need.
Apart from all the above mentioned learnings, there is one trait that Acharyah wants the children to never lose. The children already possess it. But like us, with age and with the pollution of mind, they shouldn’t change. It is the pristine quality of praying to Emperumaan keeping the prayer and Emperumaan’s well being as its end. As children, we too went to temples and simply prayed, admired and loved Him. The prayer was the end, never a means to something. With adulthood came the habit of ‘ asking’ , ‘demanding’ emperumaan for things absolutely material or leading to a material gain. With age withered away our wisdom. Going to the temple started assuming reasons other than worshipping His divya mangala vigraham and praying for His good. The children of Acharyah would reach the zenith of success in life but stay children when praying to Him. In other words, they would retain the purity of childhood. Even if Acharyah doesn’t make these children “the best” in all fields of life, it will endeavour to keep their mental purity intact.
The Founder Acharya quoted the example of a 5 year old Acharyah school child who visited Kanchipuram and stood in front of Devadhi rajan and instantly recited ‘Devaraja Ashtakam’ composed by Kanchi- Poorna ( Thirukkachi Nambigal), the dearest and intimate Bhaktha of Devadhi Rajan. This Acharya ( Kanchi Poorna) was in the Kainkaryam of fanning the Lord every night. The Lord would enjoy this Kainkaryam and enter into a breezy conversation with Shri Kanchi Poorna. Such was their intimacy.
This child of Acharyah did not know what benefits he would get if he recited Devaraja Ashtakam. He did not know if he would shine in his studies, he did not know if he would get a new toy, he did not know if he would be showered with chocolates. He had been taught that reciting Devaraja Ashtakam would please Lord. That alone prompted the child to do so.
The Founder Acharyah, with great emotion declared that all the children of Acharyah would never shed this learning for the rest of their lives. In the instant case, the Archakar swamy at Lord Varadaraja’s sannidhi asked the child to come close to the Lord , handed him the divine fan and asked him to do Thiru aalavatta kainkaryam( fanning kainkaryam performed by Kanchi Poorna) ! Purely the blessing of Paerarulalan!
For the Children of Acharyah, life insurance cover or medical insurance is not the protection. The children are growing under the soft and caressing fingers of Srirenganachiar. What protection can those insurance covers offer than the shield of immeasurable love and compassion offered by Srirenganachiar? This shield shall protect these children even from the dreadful clutches of Karma. This shield will prevent emperumaan to punish them if at all they transgress any of His injunctions. The children would ever bask in the joy of possessing this shield than any of the bronze or metallic shields they may fetch in future for their loukeeka achievements. And Acharyah shall ever endeavour to fetch this shield for every child from the divine Lamp (Srirenganachiar) that keeps Srirengam in glitter and also ensure that they value this shield more than anything else in life.
History reveals that many of the educationalists, philosophers and spiritualists considered Bharatha desham as their destiny for seeking knowledge in their respective fields. Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori system of education visited India, spent time here in understanding our culture, tradition and our system of education. She went back rich with the knowledge of India’s way of education and incorporated it in her system of education. Thus what we teach today as a very effective foreign system of education is nothing but our ancestral property which had changed hands and has finally come back to us. This wouldn’t have happened had we kept our old education system intact.
All the institutions under Srimaan Trust run under the graceful eyes of Periya Perumal and Periya pirattiayar. What the Trust and Acharyah has achieved had never occurred even in our dreams . Periya Perumal has just used all of us( Srimaan Trust volunteers, the parents and donors) as an instrument in achieving his wish. We should all pray at His delicate feet that He uses us to the fullest extent in achieving his wish. That is the only way we can satisfy Him.
The children of Acharyah shine today like diamonds emanating immense radiance. The treasure within them has been unearthed by the krupai of Srirenganathan. Let us pray the Divya –dampathis that their glitter increases manifold in the years to come and let their contribution to Sampradayam be unmeasurable.
The parents were deeply moved by the views of the Founder Acharyah and prayed Emperumaan that Acharyah gets a new and bigger premise for accommodating children in near future. The Trust fervently hopes their prayers are heard by Periya Perumal and Srirenganachiar.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Among the various vahanams of Namperumal, the Yaanai (Elephant) vaahanam holds great significance. In Srirangam, as per custom, the Srivaishnavas with Yagnyopaveetham carry the palanquin or vahanams of Namperumal,Srirenganachiar, Azhwars and Acharyas. But the only exception to this usual practice is the Yaanai Vaahanam. People from all social backgrounds participate in the kainkaryam of carrying Namperumal in Yaanai vahanam around the Main streets of Srirangam.
The Yaanai is also the reflection of one of Namperumal’s qualities, the quality of ‘ Swatantryam’ i.e ‘ the virtue of unquestionable freedom to make decisions’. In olden days, when a king died without having a natural successor or electing a successor, the whole town would assemble at a huge ground. An elephant would be given a garland and the one on whose shoulders the elephant throws the garland would be elected the King. Many a times amidst great warriors, archers, wrestlers, men of great administrative capacity, men who hold senior positions in the Kingdom, men who possess riches, the elephant would choose a pauper, a meek man, a man who has never been in limelight. Can anyone question this decision of the Elephant? None. That is Swatantrym. Many a times we ask why did the Supreme Being do this to me. It should be remembered that He is a Swatantran. But the difference between Him and the elephant is that the act of the elephant is out of sheer ignorance but that of Namperumal is out of absolute cognizance of what He’s doing and in keeping our Hitham / well being in mind.
The Gurukulam students have once again exactly enacted the Yaanai vahanam with great fervor and joy. Do watch the videos and bless the children.
It is usually the habit of young children to imitate a person in the family who holds great appeal to them and their line of interest. For the children of our Gurukulam, it is the whole clan of Kainkaryapiras at Periya Koil who are their family and every member holds great appeal to them! Hence our Gurukulam children show equal love and devotion for each kainkaryam. The thiruvaradhanam they do to their perumal makes us wonder whether they treat the Supreme Being as Supreme or as their own child! The meticulous way they learn and recite the divya prabandham makes us think they were born adyapakars! Similar is their love for conducting utsavams to their perumal.
Srirangam is known for many things. In sampradaic parlance it is Bhoga mantapam. It is a bhogam mantapam not only for the taste buds but for all the senses. The most captivating feature of Srirangam is the almost 365 days of utsavam. It is the sankalpam of Namperumal to shower grace on the common man i.e the man who is surmounted by the problems of samsaram with every rise of sun and every rise of moon that he finds no time for the Supreme. For this, Namperumal, through various utsavams, reaches him.
Among all the Vahanams of Namperumal, Kudharai vahanam is the liveliest vahanam wherein Namperumal and the Kudharai compete in showing their prowess. The ‘Kona Vaiyyali’ of Kudharai vahanam is a must watch everyone.Here, the gurukulam children display their acumen in enacting the ‘Kona Vaiyyal’ with their perumal. The background gosthi is also sung by the gurukulam students from Periya Thirumozhi, the racy verses of which aptly match the racy pace at which the Utsavam is conducted. The pasuram is on the Narasimha Emperumaan of Thiruppiridhi ( called Joshi Muth) located in the Himalayan range.
It is a twin treat to watch the videos of the children as well as hear them recite the pasurams!
Do watch the videos and pour in your mangalasasanams for the children :
Sunday, August 28, 2011
On a sleepy Sunday noon, amidst the desolate streets of Srirangam, a devout volunteer of Srimaan Trust entered an apartment to handover a set of Sampradaya books asked by a donor. Finding the door no. and finally the owner, the volunteer was greeted with great warmth despite the oddity of the time of his visit.
The donor introduced his spouse, parents (all of whom were enjoying their summer siesta) and finally the cynosure of his eyes, his ‘children’. 3 in no. and studying in 2nd, 6th and 9th grades respectively, these lively children were engaged in one activity which seemed to engross all their senses and turn them oblivious of the volunteer’s presence. They were playing ‘WWF Cards’ (for those of you who aren’t aware of this, please break open your child’s wardrobe or peek into his cupboard or find it from the internet. A very addictive form of game with the single greatest benefit of blowing out your time and incidentally your brains too).
The donor cut a severe glance at them and turned his attention to the volunteer. He lamented that these kids spent their Sundays religiously playing this card game which had turned into an obsession for them. If he snatched away the cards, the kids would coolly tread to the next door and start afresh from their friends cards. The donor wished these children would spend time productively and at the same time entertainingly.
The volunteer came back contemplating the conversation with the donor and in a couple of days an idea struck him. These children want entertainment. They want to enjoy. They want to be together. They want thrill. They want suspense. They also want to kill time. Why not introduce a similar card game with Divya-desams and azhwars as the theme? A game in the lines of WWF Cards but with Emperuman,the creator of muscle as the entertaining factor and not the muscle wrenching wrestlers. Even the adults can play and enrich their knowledge of Sampradayam. So much spirituality can be injected into the human heart through such a game!
Thus, with meticulous planning and discussions, Srimaan Trust has come out with "Sampradaya playing cards". A set of 108 cards (each card depicting each divvy- desam). These cards are to be equally distributed among the players and the game would begin!
It is to be remembered that The Jagadacharya Shri Ramanujacharya was greatly impressed by children who played games involving Emperumaan.
The game would benefit the whole of your family in the following ways:
- Gain mastery in :
- Knowledge of each divya-desam.
- Name of Perumal and Nachiar.
- The total number of pasurams for a divya desam.
- The chapter( pathu) and padhigam in which it features.
- The Azhwars who’ve sung for the divvy-desam.
- The geographic distribution of Divya Desams since each card contains the Naadu (location) to which the divya desam belongs.
- Posture and direction of each divya desam Emperman.
- Cleanse the minds of the players since every throw of card would make them chant the name of the divya desam and emperumaan.
- Bring joy to SrimanNarayanan since a mortal (whether with Bhakthi or not) chants His name and His Divya-desam when playing the game.
- Have the sevai of each divya desa perumal each time the card is used.
- The air would be kept pure and pious where the name of Divya Desams and the Perumals of those divya desams keeps reverberating.
- The cards can be played while travelling on Yatra and note about the divya desam travelled to can be penned down on the back of the card for future reference.
- The cards can be easily handled owing to their palm size. The description of a divya desam in a book cannot be torn and taken to that divya desam but these cards are easily separable and can be carried easily.
- These cards can also be used for conducting quiz competitions among the children of the family.
Please place your order(s) at the earliest and keep ready the Navarathri gift now itself !