Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spiritual Camp -Part II

Priya arangan adiyars,

 Spiritual Camp -Part II    continues...............

          The children went on a field trip to Madhurakavi Nandavanam which is a very guarded and private garden of Namperumal. This is where very special flowers are grown for the daily use of Namperumal including plantain trees (Vazhaimaram) from which Naaru is used for making garlands for Him – Lord of the Universe.  It is impossible to get into this divine garden but the authorities were very kind and gave special permission to the camp kids to get an insider’s view of Namperumal’s Empire in Srirangam.

The fundamentals of philosophy as presented by Emberumanar were presented to kids in a simple and fun manner in the form of spiritual games. Children as young as 5 yrs played addictive games familiarizing themselves with the concepts of Paramatma, Jeevatma and the three types of Jeevatma. They also learnt the concepts of chit and achit in the form of group games.
During the second half of the camp the campers started working on their projects. One has to be there to truly appreciate the level of spiritual content that was being shared in a camp that is mainly meant for youth.  The Bhattar group was prepared in acting out numeral 1 to 10 in Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam.  The Azhwan group was divided into different teams and they were given esoteric topics to research and present in whatever way they desired. For e.g. some topics were Thirukkolur Penpillai Rahasyam, Thiruvallikkeni Penpillai Rahasyam, Kaisika Puranam, topics from Vishnu Puranam, Nava Vidha Sambandam and more.  It was both exciting and challenging for the volunteers to keep up with the energy of the campers whether they rehearsed for the stage performance with the Bhattar group or they streamlined the Azhwan group youngsters’ enthusiastic ideas for the respective projects. 

Youngsters from the Azhwan category were so involved in their project topics that parents were calling up at 10pm asking to send their wards home, when actually the youngsters in question were actually working on their projects at a mentor’s home! They only left after their parents called up 2-3 times asking them to come home. Another team came up with the idea of doing a play for their topic on their own. They prepared the script on their own and rehearsed without any prodding from an adult. In the evening, one could see the campers scouting around the temple town looking for material for their topic. 
The little ones in the Bhattar category very diligently memorized and practiced any number of lines given to them for memorization. The dedication, interest and enthusiasm of these kids were very inspiring to the volunteers. During the course of these 10 days, the faculty/volunteers formed a family like bonding having spent good part of the day together under one roof. When we realize that we are all children of God, atma bandhutvam is formed and is stronger than any deha bandhutvam we all share with our blood relatives.  Such atma bandhutvam is eternal and always sweet and never sours because it is a spiritual relationship not material.

     Don't forget to see the photos below:

1. Coaching in Camp

2. Visit to Madurakavi nandavanam

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