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.