Thursday, November 28, 2013

Time well spent


Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:


Priya arangan adiyar


Time is a valuable resource made available to us for a specific duration of time.  Its value is well recognized by several intellectuals.  There are several prescriptions for judicious use of this limited resource.  Yet, the best laid plans fall apart in the face of the swiftness and uncertainty of the world.

However we engage the time available to us, the results of the engagement are far from satisfactory or provide us momentary pleasure.  The latter puts bare the irony of our existence when we seek to escape reality by temporary distractions.  Yet, we are accustomed by habit to fall prey to the same forms of engagement over and over again.

A little wisdom sees through the unworthy nature of these engagements and seeks a more meaningful use of whatever time is available.  In the answer to this lies one of the important ideas taught by our elders -  that time ought to be spent in experiencing the auspicious attributes of the Lord.   

It is not necessary to impose what comes naturally and is desirable.  Even if every reason for engaging in this activity is removed, it still remains that the thought of the auspicious attributes of the Lord is extremely pleasing and enjoyable, and hence desirable.  

Srimad Bhagavatam says that the wise immerse themselves in the nectarine pass-times of the Lord and stay removed from the afflictions of samsara.

Having known that this engagement is both desirable and useful, the immediate next question is on how to go about this piece of advice.

We are fortunate to have several great saints before our times who have experienced the glories of the Lord through His grace and sung from the depths of the experience, that there is little to invent for our simple selves.  Most of their experiences are condensed in the form of delectable stotras.  

The stotras have formed an extremely useful medium of reaching the esoteric essence of Vedanta to all people.  Once learned, they allow us to reflect on these meanings and experience the Lord through them.  That the stotras are the distilled essence of the wisdom of our acharyas endears them to all of us.  

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan Svami of Secunderabad is a noble soul who appreciates the importance of stotrams.  He is a disciple of incumbent pontiff of Srimad Andavan Asramam.  He devotes his time to teaching stotrams to young children.  Svami Vedanta Desika has been prolific in gracing us stotrams and they are the main focus of our svami.   During the months close to Margazhi, the focus shifts base to Thiruppavai.  For the children who attend these classes, their learning of the children is tested by conducting competitions.

When this author spoke to the svami, he insisted that this was only made possible by the kindness of Srimathi Padma Venkatesan who had allowed the use of her premises for conducting these classes for any period of time, and the guidance of Sri U Ve ES Mukundan Svami of Desika Stotra Pata Ghoshti in Secundarabad.  

Srimaan Trust, as part of its monthly Kainkarya Vandanam, honoured this noble soul for his significant contribution towards making the ageless hymns of our elders popular among young children.  This would enable people to engage their spare time in more meaningful ways.  We hope that Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan Svami’s kainkaryam sows the seeds of devotion in many more hearts and attains even broader reach.  

The photos of Kainkarya Vandanam can be viewed at :



Monday, November 25, 2013

Discourse @ Mumbai - 29th Nov to 1st Dec.


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Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
SriBhagavat Ramanuja Siddantha Prachar Sabha, Mumbai, has been propagating SriVaishnava Sampradayam in Maharashtra.
This Sabha has invited our Founder Acharya, SriParasara Badrinarayana Bhattar Swamy to deliver a series of discourse at various places in Mumbai beginning the 29th (Friday) of this month till December 1st (Sunday). The invitation detailing the places and topics can be viewed in the link.
All Bhaagavathas in Mumbai are requested to avail this opportunity of being part of the Sathsangam. 


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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Permanent healing....


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Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

When a person suffers from illness, it is not sufficient to remove the symptoms of the problem. The core of the ailment must be identified and removed forever. Succeeding in this role marks the victory of a physician.
Such ailments can affect not only our physical well being but also our mental wellness. In many cases, it is the absence of mental health that affects physical health adversely. Some forms of physical illness cannot be cured until the mental health is restored.

The threats to the mind cannot be treated as any different from those to the body. The grieving mind needs to be healed, healed from the root cause of the ailment in the same way as it is done for the body. However hidden it may lie, the source of ailment can be discovered to rest in ignorance and its release depends on availing medicine of knowledge.

Knowledge obtained by individuals must strike at the root of the problem and deliver the person from such inflictions. The Lord Himself performed this role to perfection. When Arjuna was struck with grief born out of misplaced compassion, He did not deliver a superficial address to merely reverse Arjuna's decision for the moment, but went deep into the root of the problem, the base from which the fountain of sorrow had sprung, and cured it through an exhaustive treatment of truth.

When the root cause of the problem is not addressed, and people are only taught "skills" to survive in the world, several other problems surface. It is no mistake of the individual that he is ill equipped to handle such situations. It is the collective failure of human-kind to prioritize the needs of the individual.  As a new born baby is rushed to be vaccinated even before it grows, the first form of education that must be imparted is the the knowledge of the self. Only such individuals can be truly nurtured by other forms of education.  That is when education becomes liberating instead of burdening.

 It is difficult to find physicians who can effect such cures. Those who intellect stands far from deceit and incorrect methods are Acharyas, and are regarded as scholars. The association with such men destroys the ignorance of others; (conversely associating with ignorant men only breeds further ignorance.) These intelligent men are verily the lamps whose lustre of knowledge is capable of removing the darkness of ignorance. Hence, when one sees such men, one must seek the person with interest and be enlightened by his teaching.
The students of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam were visited by such an opportunity.  The erudite scholar and preceptor, Sri. U.Ve. K.B. Devarajan Swami graced the Gurukulam students.  The Swami owes his wisdom to several yester-year stalwarts and has himself nurtured many scholars in our tradition carefully following the methods laid down by our elders.  The association of this Swami is a blessing to anyone, more so our students who are always excited to learn. Swamy’s spiritual knowledge was initially watered by none other than Mahvidwan Sri U.Ve.Prathivadi Bhayankaram Annangarachariar swamy. He not only learnt the Srivaishnava philosophy from him but was directly educated on the conduct of a SriVaishnavite from him. The initial days under the bright beam of PBA Swamy paved way for his further accomplishments and benedictions.

In his early days of employment in Chennai, Sri Devarajan Swamy lived in bachelor quarters. Owning to little flow of money, he never had the luxury of using private vehicles and used only public transport. Long journeys took him to the place of discourses and he listened with rapt attention to the words of the maters. Many a days, his long trips denied him his dinner. He used to come back, drink a couple of glasses of water and go to sleep. Those days, (which were far more than we can imagine) the accumulation of knowledge settled his hunger pangs and gave him sound sleep. Even to this date, he travels enormously. The constant cultivation of athma shakthi has enabled him face great adversities. And when someone goes to him to laud his speech, he smiles gently and replies “Acharya krupa”.

Staying close to the students, the master enriched the intellectual content of his pupils through his experience and wisdom.  It was appropriate that the Swami also delivered a discourse (click for Photos) on the greatness of Swami Nammazhvar in Swami Koorathazhvan sannidhi. 

Srimaan Trust bows to this physician for the soul, marking our monthly vidvad-vandanam.

The photos shot during the honour are here :



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Unfolding before you this 10th....


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Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,
We often think we draw only spiritual/ Vaidika messages and lessons from temples. It may seem so but a better insight would change our perspective. But when it comes to Srirangam temple, a lot can be drawn explicitly even in loukeeka aspects of life.
Very many groups of Bhaagavathas are involved even in a normal purappadu( procession ) of Namperumal. The Bhaagavathas come at the right moment and deliver splendid service to Namperumal. But the beauty lies in the way Namperumal gives His bahumaanan ( honour) to each of them. At appropriate timings in the purappadu or after it, He honours each of them. Reward immediately on completion of dedicated service.
The world seems to have drawn from this beautiful gesture of the Supreme Persona. Afterall He is the first acharya of the Guru-parampara. Are we not to draw from Him? Srimaan Trust too has drawn from Him too. Come the 10th of this November, every child who has participated in every event will be honoured. Every volunteer who has sacrificed his personal time and life for kainkaryam will be honoured. Students of the Gurukulam, who have left their family at such young ages to master spiritual knowledge and do service to the Lord will be honoured.
The Annual day is a visual, aural and mental recap of all the Blessings showered by Lord Ranganatha and SriRenganachiar on the Trust and its activities. Cultural programmes too are envisaged.
            EVENT : ANNUAL DAY OF THE TRUST
( Lot of programmes planned including prize distribution)

DAY : 10TH NOVEMBER 2013 ( SUNDAY)

VENUE : SOUTH CHITRA STREET ( NEAR ICICI BANK)

TIME : 5.30 P.M ONWARDS

We request each of you to wish the children studying at different levels ( Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam, Acharyah and Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham) of the Trust grand success in all their endeavours and also the children from other schools who have participated in all the competitions and contests conducted by the Trust. Do wish for the health of the volunteers who have shown utmost zest in performing disciplined service to the Lord and His adiyars.
Find below the link of the invite:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Online free classes for children ! Register !


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Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Shri Manavala Mamunigal (Varavaramuni), the last Acharyah in the venerable galaxy of Srivaishnava preceptors lived a life of humility and devoted service to the SriRamanuja darsanam. The time swamy was nearing the end of his divine tenure on earth, he kept at the kainkaryams unrelenting. With utmost difficulty, he wrote on the Palm sheets (olai). Seeing him at work with the pen and paper, his close sishyas Sri Koil Annan swamy and Sri Prathivadhi Bhayankaram Annan swamy prayed at his feet thus “Oh! Acharyah! Thou hast spent an entire life working for our salvation. Now that old age and its infirmities pose impediments in Your effort, why take the trouble to pen down? Why not stop?” SriMamunigal called them close since he could not converse in a loud tone. He said “It is not for you that I am slogging. It is for the salvation of your children and grandchildren and the future generations that I am using my last remaining energy.”

Such has been the heart of our Poorvacharyas. Each Acharyah looked beyond self and lived a life to bring eternal happiness even to unknown souls.

Srimaan Trust ever wishes to draw from the lives of the Acharyas and put them to practice so that the society at large in greatly benefitted. One such effort is the FREE ONLINE TEACHING of the works of Azhwars and Acharyas for children.

PROCEDURE

DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL SKYPE

ADD OUR SKYPE ID “srimaan.bhattarkuzham”

CLASS TIMINGS : 7.30PM TO 7.45PM FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

CLASSES ONLY FOR CHILDREN

Your dear child can live at any corner of the world and get to know our sampradayam. We are sure none of you would miss this opportunity for your children.

Register now. Classes have commenced.
For any specific doubts contact our volunteer : 09150403470

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Prahlada's classroom...


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Sri:
Srimate ramanujaya nama:
THIS DEEPAVALI, CLICK HERE TO LIGHT THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN.

Priya arangan adiyar,

In Sri Vishnu Puranam, Prahlada teaches Hiranya on what constitutes education and what constitutes enterprise.

tatkarma yanna bandhāya sā vidyā yā vimuktaye |

What does not bind us to samsara or the cycle of birth and death is action.  That is knowledge which liberates the individual.

In Mudhal Thiruvandhadhi, Svami Poigai Azhvar explains this concept in greater detail.  “oṇ tāmāraiyāḷ kēḷvan oruvanaiye nōkkum uṇarvu” - uṇarvu is knowledge, oṇ tāmaraiyāḷ is Piratti or Sri who emerged from a beautiful lotus.  Her kēḷvan or consort is Lord Narayana.  

True knowledge is always focussed on Srimannarayana.  Azhvar gives some examples to drive home the point.  The first example is the flow of rivers.  All rivers have to eventually reach the sea.  There is no other possibility.  The beautiful lotus always blossoms towards the Sun.  In the same manner, knowledge always blossoms by being enlightened about Srimannarayana and has Him as its ultimate content.

The endeavours of Srimaan Trust are aligned with this concept.  It is focused on making people, especially youngsters more aware of Namperumal and Nacchiyar.  There is no dearth of material to create this awareness.  There are numerous hymns and experiences of our preceptors which can be used as the boats to make this journey.

Focusing on school children, Srimaan Trust made a compilation of two important stotrams graced by our acharyas - one explaining the greatness of Namperumal and one explaining the greatness of Nacchiyar - Sri Ranganatha Stotram and Sri Sthavam.  The students were grouped into four sections containing three classes (from class one to class twelve).  The material was prepared and distributed among school children.  

Around two hundred children from different schools signed up to learn and experience Namperumal and Nacchiyar through these hymns.  The volunteers of Srimaan Trust had set up five centers based on the location of the students’ residences to enable the students to recite the hymns in a seamless manner.  The efforts of the volunteers was very significant keeping in mind the varied background and age profile of the participants.  

To test how well the students had learned the hymns, an event was organized in Acharyah school where the participants were tested in the presence of scholars who donned the role of judges.  An important positive from this event was the enthusiasm of the student community in learning about our tradition and obtaining spiritual knowledge.  Another positive was the systematic and organized efforts of the volunteers in co-ordinating and conducting the event.  
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In consequence, the classroom of Sri Prahlada just got bigger!

Please click here to view Prahlada's class :