Friday, November 1, 2013

Prahlada's classroom...


Srimate ramanujaya nama:

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.  

In consequence, the classroom of Sri Prahlada just got bigger!

Please click here to view Prahlada's class :

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