Saturday, June 29, 2013

People who matter....


Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,

With Satvika people around in this world who make us realize the fleeting nature of materialism and its onslaught on our happiness, we lose the basic desire for materialistic things and with loss of this unending desire loop, we lose the uncontrolled raw passion for life, and with the loss of passion, we as an ATMA get to realize the ULTIMATE TRUTH.

Satsangathwe nissamgathwam,
Nissamgathwe nirmohathwam,
Nirmohathwe nischala thatwam,
Nischala tathwe jeevan mukthi

 These are the very famous lines from Bhaja Govindam that emphasize the importance of Satsangam in our daily lives. Sathvik people in our lives keep our Blood Pressure and stress at bay too!

Srimaan Trust had long initiated this practice of Satsangam, well known as Srimaan Satsangam. The main aim of this initiative was to get people together on a single spiritual platform. Socializing over Vedam and Divya Prabandham is far more beneficial that over a cup of coffee or tea, is it not?

Koodi irundhaal Kodi Nanmai – A very famous Tamil phrase is on the same lines. The Gurukulam children are the heart of this initiative. They help plan the Satsangam, decide on the veda paraayanam and the activities part of Thirumanjanam to be performed. Prasadams are made with utmost dedication at the Gurukulam and taken for the Satsangam. The deity of the Gurukulam ‘Kasthuri Rangan’ would be dressed for the occasion and taken on the shoulders of the Gurukulam children. At an age when children want branded tee-shirts and branded Jeans and …..everything branded to dress up themselves, the children of the Gurukulam seldom think about what they wear. Their concern is how Kasthuri Rangan would look on the streets.   

This initiative has already gained momentum in and around Srirangam. Bhagavathaas now want the Srimaan Satsangam to be arranged and performed at their respective homes to experience the Spiritual flow in and around them. As part of this ongoing initiative, this time, the Satsangam was arranged at Mrs. Gomathi’s, another Bhagavathaa’s home.

The deity, His Consorts and the children were welcomed with great warmth. The children, with divine energies, got into action from the first minute. Thirumanjanam, Veda Parayanam and Divya prabandham sevai were performed. A whole bhaagavatha crowd gathered at this Sathsangam.

 The main intention and aim of the Satasangam initiative is to gather momentum to walk on the Spiritual thought process. For some, it’s the first kind of experience, for few, it’s a blessing to be part of this regular event, and for the rest, it is the beginning step towards a Spiritual peep into oneself.

 Realizing the ultimate truth is the responsibility of every Atma, of every human being who carries this body as a carrier of Karmas. Such satsangams’ emphasize, add value to this realization within each of us. These get-together’s help become part of a group of people, who have already started their journey spiritually.

We, as spiritual aspirants, need to organize such Satsangams at our houses and also recommend them to those close to us. People with experience know the value of Satsangams and what it can do to one’s life. Let others too experience it.

Click below for the photos:

https://plus.google.com/photos/117130310845842769959/albums/5894093347759730817?authkey=CN3omfG_ssKfZQ
-- 
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lord's guest, Our guest

Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

The roads were decorated with banners and flags, streets neatly cleaned and decorated with flower petals and colourful kolam/rangoli designs. The sounds of priests chanting Vedas and scholars reading Puranas came floating in the air along with the fragrance of different varieties of fresh flowers gathered by the gardeners. Amidst so much pomp, Lord Rama, Sri Sita and Sri Lakshmana landed at Nandigram to return to Ayodhya.  They were welcomed by soldiers, warriors, ministers, musicians, courtesans, poets, artisans and all other inmates of Ayodhya. The long wait was over. The lengthy exile got ended. Everyone was set to coronate Lord Rama their king. Similarly, in the year 1371, Namperumal completed his exile of five decades (Muslim invasion) and decorated His throne at Srirangam.

However, the infrastructure for performing utsavams and other rituals were still in a poor condition at Srirangam. Then, the kings of the region decided to collect funds and renovate the infrastructure at Srirangam. It took a period of 12 years to complete all these works and start performing utsavams once again. Finally, in the year 1383, during Chithrai month, an auspicious day was fixed and Bramhotsavam was performed. This utsavam was called Viruppan Thirunal and the Chitharai Thiruther was a landmark event. Since then, people from various places flocked to Srirangam to witness this festival every year.

The devotees come every year with a sole objective to witness this grand utsavam of Namperumal. But who will take care of these devotees and provide them food for those who have come from distant places? This year, Srimaan trust got the opportunity of providing hospitality to these devotees who are just like guests attending a function at our home. Gurukulam Taligai Swami with the help of volunteers of Srimaan Trust and children of Gurukulam/Bhattar Kuzham prepared prasadam at Gurukulam itself for these devotees and shared it to everyone. They also offered buttermilk and panakam to everyone in order to beat the heat in the afternoon hours. More than 500 people ate. They were of all age groups and belonged to all the segments of the Hindu Community.

During the day of Chithrai ther, even walking on the streets is a herculean task due to the crowd of devotees moving around the place. On such a day, these volunteers have carried the supplies through the crowded streets and distributed food for all the devotees. In our Sampadayam, Thirumangai azhwar, Koorathazhwan have performed Thadheeyaradhana kainkaryam (offering prasadam for devotees) on a massive scale. It is a privilege that Srimaan trust was also engaged in such a kainkaryam which would have pleased Emperuman and the Poorvacharyas to a great extent.

Find below the link for the snaps of the distribution:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/117130310845842769959/albums/5875292300825196641?hl=en&authkey=CMXgk5yV6se_tgE


-- 
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Monday, June 17, 2013

A fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.

Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,


Beginning with fresh vigour...

“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” asked a writer. Education should educate and not make one a drum full of information, a warehouse of data or a loft full of litter with nothing lofty in it. True education should inspire one to grow independently and also motivate one to uplift the fellow beings.

“Acharyah- School for leaders” was formed with the view to inspire children to widen their vision and look beyond self. The school reopened for the academic year 2013-14 on the thirunakshtram of Namazhwar (Kuzhandhai muni is the name of Azhwar. A child saint. Hence every year the school begins on his thirunakshtram). The children here come with no fear of teachers or carry no baggage of books or boredom. They come freely, accumulate knowledge with the aid of facilitators (teachers are called facilitators here) and go home with renewed energy. This year, the first set of children has moved to standard 1st batch students have come to 2nd Standard. May your kind mangalasasanams be with the children. The children have been made to move from one rented premises to another these years. May your efforts bring in our own building to house the children.

LIVE LAB

This year, a "Unique lab" has been established at Acharyah. A lab where children will face Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and physics head on in person. The children are already lapping it up with enthusiasm and we are finding it hard to pull them out of the lab. Just as reading improves language,games will improve math. Hence we are in the process of establishing a Math Lab.

Gurukulam too begins...

The children of the Gurukulam too are back from their holidays and have begun their next year’s journey. When asked what they did during their holidays, most children came up with the answer that they visited divya desams and learnt the nuances of aagamas, diya prabandha and veda recitation styles in those temples. Even while holidaying, they never ceased to learn.Well, their thirst for knowledge and love for learning did amaze us. This year, each group of children have been set specific goals with respect to each sphere of learning (spiritual and loukeeka education) and we all shall pray that they reach the goals on time and put a step forward in their career.

The sacred act of moving near...

The word upanayanam means to bring near. A child, when he reaches the age where his mind settles for streamlined learning (usually 7), is introduced to Supreme Knowledge. He is sent on a mission to know reality, to know oneself and to know the resident within the self. This mission is grandly inaugurated with the sacred thread ceremony. Just as a bird has two births, one from the mother as an egg and then breaking out of the egg, a thrai varnikas have two births, one from the womb of the mother and another from the womb of illusion ( Maya of the Supreme).

Chiranjeevi Venkatakrishnan was born in Calcutta and now lives in Chennai. Life had been a struggle for this boy who has his mother as the sole breadwinner in the family. We received a request from his mother to conduct his upanayanam. And the Trust wholeheartedly accepted this wish and the volunteers have made arrangements to conduct the upanayanam on the 19th of this month.

It is for such assistance to people in need that our Trust functions unrelentingly. Do bless this child who’ll step into the spiritual world on the 19th of this month.

-- 
ever-in-divine service,
kainkarya sree,
Srimaan Trust
http://www.srimaantrust.com/
http://blogs.srimaantrust.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SrimaanTrust
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Friday, June 14, 2013

No time !! is it?

Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,
 
“There is no time” – is the common refrain of the day.  As we shuffle between our chores and are bent by the weight of expectations, we blame it on time for being unreasonably harsh in the treatment it metes out to us. 
If there were only more time  …
They say that the advancements that are made around us are designed to make easy lives. We are invited to embrace a new world that is far cry from the troubles faced by our ancestors. 
Let us consider some reasonable doubts.  If life just got easier, shouldn’t we be having more time?  Shouldn’t there be lesser things to be worried about?  The reality mocks at our claims of advancement, and ridicules our hurrahs of achievement.
It seems as if we are running very fast chasing a dream, only in the wrong direction.  In the place of simplicity we have complications.  In the place of trust, there is suspicion.  Replacing human effort with machines alone does not seem to have solved our problems.  The reason is we are not machines to have only material requirements.  A car can run by a dosage of fuel.  Life cannot run likewise.  Beyond the experiences received by the senses, there are several emotional, moral, ethical and spiritual requirements without which humanity would be rendered rudderless and lose purpose of existence.
When these requirements are not met, there is chaos and discontent.  People find themselves lost in the myriad of complications surrounding them.  Envisaging these problems, the ancient sages showed the way of a disciplined and moral life with a high spiritual quotient.  They taught us how to deal with the apparently unreasonable treatment encountered by us in our lives.  Their way helped us understand and regard life with a mature mindset.
The most fundamental and celebrated of human ethos is the act of helping.  There is little use of trumpeting about high morals if one cannot lend a helping hand to those in need.  Individuals cannot rise by themselves.  The society has to mature as a whole.
The challenges in today’s world only make this method more attractive.  It is not easy for an individual to engage in spiritual affairs if one’s fellow brethren are lost in trouble. 
Actions, however small, can have a lasting impact and can trigger a change in the society if they are noble and done with good intentions.  To practice, oneself, and to encourage others to follow this path, our Trust, in continuation of its efforts to help those in need, catered to the domestic needs of a very poor family by giving them a grinder. With large family members, the family was is desperate in need of a grinder. Hence,the help. The younger members of this family have taken a deep interest in the activities of the trust.  The help extended by the trust would go a long way in addressing the concerns of the family and enable them to serve the Lord and our society in a more active and productive manner. 
Alone we can do little; together we can do so much more.
The picture taken during this event can be viewed here :

https://picasaweb.google.com/117130310845842769959/HelpGrinderForTheNeedy?authkey=Gv1sRgCNqQ9LixgMb5HA#5873544029244026034

-- 
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Monday, June 10, 2013

From Weakness to Victory : A journey.

Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Please go down your memory lane and wear the hat of the crucial year you wrote the 10th Board Exams. The year was not your Board Exam alone. We don’t mean your peers here. We mean your family members . The year tested the skill and patience of your strict father, anxiety filled mother, a sister or brother with sudden responsibility to reach you ashore and the frequent relatives dropping into your house to discuss your studies and future prospects. Incidentally it also tested your ability to shove through the hype created universally. But just think, without the support of entire family, how would you have done what you did? Beyond everything, it was the moral boost provided by them that gave you the impetus to run the exam race successfully.

What then, is the position of the Gurukulam children who don’t have their family here but have to do well in their exams? Well, the results are out now and they stand testimony to a few things.

Four Gurukulam children wrote the 10th Board exams this year and all of them have cleared the exam with very good marks. All the four are students learning Aagamas, Vedas, Divya prabandham and instrumental music. All the four are children who perform the utsavam of the gurukulam deity with utmost care and love. None missed the aagama class and divya prabandham class till 3 months before the exam!   

Balaji topped with 81%. He is a student from Erode who joined the Gurukulam in the midst of a troubled personal life. He lost his father when young and the family was surmounted with problems when the Gurukulam admitted him. By nature, the boy is very calm and obedient. He has a penchant for doing upanyasams too. Every day, this child has been looked after as their own son by founder’s family and the volunteers of the Trust. The emotional support and his focus have reaped him a very good percentage in the exams.

Manibalaji from Therazhundur is a very interesting personality. He is like a duck. A duck, when viewed from the exterior seems to be swimming with no effort. But go beneath the water and you will see its ceaseless paddling. This boy looks absolutely cool from the outside. But his focus is enormous and his courage extraordinary. His love for divya prabandhams and their vyakyanams is tremendous.

Sairam from Therazhundhur is devoted to Devaraja, one of the presiding deities of Therazhundur. The child was without much focus when he was admitted into the Gurukulam. With years of continuous effort from the teachers and volunteers of the Trust, he regained his focus and showed enormous interest in everything he learnt. And the exam result is a definite proof of the selfless effort of the volunteers and his positive response. He is an encyclopedia of utsavams of various divya desams. He knows minute details of emperumans in various divya desams.
   
Srinivas hails from Vishakapatnam, Andhra. Tamizh was alien to his before a few years. Today, he has scored excellent marks in Tamizh in the Board exams in addition to other subjects. This child can be described in two words. An Aagama expert. His fondness for aagama and its application has made him dear to very many people. And as the child showed great interest in the aagamas, the gurukulam sent him to various places to master aagama and enrich his knowledge. Today, he has done everyone proud by the marks he has scored.  


All these children are financially very weak. Their families have pinned their hopes on the success of these children. With the Grace of Namperumal & Nachiar and the untiring efforts of the entire team of volunteers has given a new ray of hope in the lives of these children. The mother of Badri, an old student of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham slogged day in and out to teach these children.

It is to be remembered that these children did not have good primary of secondary education as we had. Their families had deserted the idea of imparting loukeeka education to them. But we had faith in the divine grace of the Divine Couple of Srirangam , the dedicated volunteers of the Trust and one more person………….YOU. The results have reinstated our belief in Their Grace and your support.


EVERY CHILD HAS GOT THE POTENTIAL TO ACHIEVE GREAT RESULTS. WE NEED TO PROVIDE THEM THE ENVIRONMENT. FOR THESE 4 BOYS, THE GURUKULAM PROVIDED SHADE, GAVE WATER, NEVER KEPT THEM HUNGRY AND DEPUTED DEDICATED TEACHERS TO TEACH THEM AND GUIDE THEM. HENCE, THESE CHILDREN HAVE SPROUTED SO VERY WELL. WITH YOUR PERENNIAL SUPPPORT, ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN OF THE GURUKULAM TOO WILL COME UP IN LIFE AND MAKE ALL OF US PROUD.   

The photo taken on the last day of their exam is here (left to right: Balaji, Sairam, ManiBalaji and Srinivas)

Inline image 1


-- 
ever-in-divine service,
kainkarya sree,
Srimaan Trust
http://www.srimaantrust.com/
http://blogs.srimaantrust.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SrimaanTrust
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Self Evaluation....

Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Knowledge is gathered from various sources. Consciously or otherwise, we keep learning from the events around us. A man's knowledge is attributed to four sources - 1. the teaching of the preceptor, 2. discussions with classmates, 3. by one's own previous intelligence, and 4. with experience.

The Vedic system greatly values knowledge. Our tradition is endowed with a pantheon of saints and scholars, who were peerless in their understanding of spiritual matters. Their knowledge was immense and all scriptures found the favour of their lips. In contrast to the modern situation today where no one is clear of the implications or the quality of education obtained and knowledge garnered, the traditional methods put a lot of emphasis on the evolution of a mature thought process. We have highly evolved systems of reasoning, logic and grammar which are study with great awe around the world even today. Philosophers engaged in discussions on highly technical issues. People related to their understanding by actual personal experience, that finds expression in much of our theological records. Knowledge has a well defined purpose, both in this life and beyond.

We are also home to the system of rigorous examinations. The purpose of a real examination is not to pronounce victors or losers (as we have it today). It is not a way of grading individuals and setting thresholds for passing the test. It is worth considering the purpose and meaning of these numbers, these tests and the great indian rat race.

A real examination is a one by which one gains a better insight into oneself. It is an invaluable help rendered by the examiner who lets the individual know how well his education has advanced thus far, and what sort of corrective action is required to improve further in the future. In this sense, knowledge can be a purpose unto itself. It has paramount importance. By being tested in different places by different people in different ways, one knows oneself better. The defects are better understood and with serious thought, a way can be evolved to rid oneself of such shortcomings.

The Ubhaya Vedanta Pravartana Sabha has been functioning in the holy city of Melkote for the past 110 years. The efforts of great scholars culminated in the formation of this sabha. every year, for the past 110 years, just before the utsavam and during the utsava celebrations of SriRamanujacharya, test is conducted for the entire nation in the areas of Vedam, Vedantam and divya Prabandham. From olden days, great and erudite scholars have have been at the helm of affairs, conducting the test, evaluation the students. And on the day of Bhagavad Ramanuja's thirunakshtram, just before His sannidhi, the children are honoured with prizes. And the children also seek the blessings of the Jagadacharya.

To help the students of Gurukulam evaluate their knowledge in Divya Prabandham and Vedam it was arranged that they take part in examinations - both oral and written - at Thirunarayanapuram.(Melukote) in the Ubhaya Vedanta Pravartana Sabha .Four students took part in the examinations. They were able to pass the examination successfully and earned prizes. But more importantly, they got an opportunity to assess their own learning so far and surely emerged more intelligent about themselves than before.

The photos can be viewed here :

https://picasaweb.google.com/117130310845842769959/DIVYAPRABANDHAMEXAMMELKOTESBGSTUDENTS?authkey=Gv1sRgCNue7dzh16zaIw

-- 
ever-in-divine service,
kainkarya sree,
Srimaan Trust
http://www.srimaantrust.com/
http://blogs.srimaantrust.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SrimaanTrust
231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Retreat in heat.... - Final

Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Veedhipradhakshinam and Kollidam cleaning
Kaveri is regarded to be more sacred than the most sacred rivers of this world. It is said that all the other rivers including Ganga come and bathe in Kaveri to ward off their sins. Since the times immemorial, Kaveri has the speciality of embracing Srirangam with her two arms Kaveri and Kollidam. But due to various reasons, the river is subject to lot of pollution in recent times. The width of the flowing river itself has reduced drastically. So there is a desperate need to save this sacred river from the kind of treatment meted out to her. The children at the camp, therefore, came to the banks of Kollidam to clean the river banks. Before arriving at the banks, the children cleansed the streets by chanting the sweet verses of Amalanadhipiran. The cleaning operation took place for a few hours. All plastic items, plastic wrappers and other non degradable waste were removed from the river bed and the waste was collected in huge gunny bags which was appropriately disposed. There were around several kilograms of waste that filled upto twenty gunny bags! But the magnitude of garbage at the river bed was much more than this! That should tell us the magnitude of pollution, the river is subjected to. It was only a humble effort to clean the river but to send in a strong message to the campers and the inhabitants of Srirangam to realize the need to keep the river clean.
https://picasaweb.google.com/117130310845842769959/SummerSpiritualCampMay2013Day5?authkey=Gv1sRgCJiV8-y1pLuVNA

Valedictory function
The knowledge we gain becomes useful only when it is put to practice. Indeed, if that knowledge is able to change our way of living and mend our ways accordingly, then the purpose is solved and that is only the true indication of knowledge. But on the lighter side, one would also love to display whatever one has learnt. At this summer spiritual camp, even though the children had taken home a very strong message for their way of life, on a lighter note, they showcased their knowledge as well as talent through various performing arts. On the final day, the children were packed with fun and enthusiasm about their stage performance. Some of them sang, some danced, some enacted a drama and there were even debates on certain philosophical aspects of our Sampradayam. Such performances served the purpose of reinforcing whatever they had learnt during the camp. It also kindled the aesthetic sense in them. Altogether the camp was a great fun for everyone. The program was graced bythe chief guest, Acharya Purushas, kainkaryaparars and the parents. Some parents were so impressed by this camp that they themselves turned into volunteers and assisted in various activities during the camp. Ultimately, anything that comes along with spirituality is only useful and anything that comes with spirituality is joyful. We are awaiting for more such fun in the future.
https://picasaweb.google.com/117130310845842769959/SummerSpiritualCampMay2013Day62013?authkey=Gv1sRgCMDz-8fq7ZfsnQE