Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bring "Deepavali joy" to 800 children...

Srimate Ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Deepavali is an occasion when our mind is filled with serene feelings and our mouths with savories. Beyond all this, it is the warmth and love of the family that lightens our heart. The love of the parents and spouse and the glitter in the eyes of our children is our true Deepavali. The moments with them are what we cherish and always yearn for. When it comes to Namperumal and Srirenganachiar, it is the happiness of their adiyars that kindles their happiness and gives them satisfaction. And more than the grown adiyars like us, their pleasure is manifold increased if children are happy and exuberant during the festivities.

At Srimaan Trust, as Servants in the execution of the Divine Couples’ wishes, we celebrate Deepavalilighting up the faces of the children by preparing savories and distributing it to them. In addition, we also plan to honour the Acharya Purushas and the service-providers (Kainkaryaparas) of Srirangam temple by distributing the savories to them. To us the sparkle of happiness in the faces and hearts of the children and the bhagavathas is far more joyous than lighting up the sky with crackers.

This year, the Trust has planned to prepare savories at SriKooratazhwan sannidhi, Srirangam temple, and distribute to the following :

Number   (approx.)
Acharya Purushas
Archakas of Srirangam temple
Sripaadam thangigal of Srirangam temple
Every staff of Srirangam temple
Our Gurukulam (SBG) children
Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham children
Acharyah school children
South Ranga School children
Aranganayaki school

The following would be the prasadams that will be prepared, offered to Lord Narasimha and Sri Kooratazhwan and distributed to the above adiyars :

200 kg of mixture
1000 Mysore paahu
750 Jaangri

For the above, our actual cost is as follows :


It is only on such occasions that we can feel the happiness that pervades the heart of children and Bhagavathas. On such occasions, we are also reminded that “Mothering can be shared by several people”.It would be a pleasure to watch the mere scene of children tearing open the pack of sweets and thrusting them into their mouths. If this happens due to our humble contribution, the pleasure will double just as a mother watching her children devour her hand made delicacies.

And our Divine Parents would be very happy with the way we have celebrate the most celebrated festival of our Nation. Hence, we put before you to make your contributions to this Divine and of course, very sweet cause. As per the following words of a famous philosopher “it is not enough to be compassionate; you must act”, let us put to action the compassion within us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The right vision...

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Any organization relies on having the right vision to provide guidance and to offer scope for course correction.  The vision for the upcoming future is usually the first step in the planning process.  The vision usually provides the overall purpose for the activity.  It is based on the core values of the individuals or the organization.  There is an adage about missing the forest for the trees.  Having the right vision helps one to keep focus of the big picture while being dragged into various short term goals that consume one's attention.

Having a vision permits the individual to make sure that one's activities finally add up to the larger purpose.  When the activities do not add to the larger purpose, it is worth taking stock if these activities only add zero to the total sum or they go to the extent of subtracting from the benefits.

This leads us to the conclusion that the definition of the vision must be accompanied by the definition of a set of activities that are likely to advance towards the realization of the vision.  This would enable us to avoid performing an estimation of benefits or losses for every activity to understand the impact of the activity on the final goal.  

The system of Bhagavad Ramanuja is a harmonious synthesis of philosophy and religion.  In the philosophy, the ingredients of the system are identified.  This leads to the definition of the big picture and the general course to be adopted.  The religious part caters to the actual particulars that lead to the actualization of the vision gained through philosophy - the methods, mindsets and practices that have the potential to advance the determined vision.  It is no wonder that the ancient philosophical systems of our nation were called darsanas (or visions). 

The various activities of Srimaan Trust contribute in adding to the grand total. To achieve this result, the Trust needs to take into account different aspects and challenges that lie in its path and ensure that we do not miss on any parameter that leads to the success of the vision.  

This implies that in addition to spiritual progress, it is also necessary to take into account the physical well being of our students and volunteers. This involves guaranteeing that they have access to medical facilities and are well equipped to take advantage of various programmes of the Trust.

In tune with this objective, Srimaan Trust facilitated the testing of volunteers for eye ailments.  Five volunteers were found to require optical assistance for vision. They received spectacles from the Trust, presented by Sri U Ve Parasara Azhagiya Singa Bhattar Svami. The volunteers expressed great happiness at receiving this aid. They felt this service would help them serve the needy adiyars with greater care.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Lady Rescuer...

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

The external world so powerfully overwhelms our senses that we often lose touch with the core self. A man who is so deep in this samsara starts doubting many fundamental aspects of existence. Our sampradayam is called Vishishtadvaitam. The three fundamental units of our siddhantham are Eshwara( God), Chit( sentient – living beings) and Achit ( insentient –nonliving) . But the Chit and Achit are so closely bonded from the very beginning of Srishti that we find it hard to see them different. Unless someone tells us that the athma (soul) and the shareera(body) are different, that the eternal athma is merely encased in the constantly transforming body, that the death of the body does not mean the death of the athma…………..we take it for granted that both are the same. Such has been the bosom chumminess of chit and achit ! Our Acharyas give a beautiful example to explain this. A visit to the shop of the blacksmith would reveal that he melts precious and other metals and beats them into customer-chosen ornaments. The blacksmith diligently places the absolutely solid and inflexible iron on the fire. Initially, the iron is well visible to the eyes and one can differentiate it from the fire. But as time passes, we’ll be amazed to see that the iron isn’t visible at all! The fire and its flames alone are visible. This does not mean the iron has vanished! The iron still remains at the same position. But the constant exposure to the fire dissolves its personality and makes it look like fire. Similar are chit and achit.

To drive away these ignorance and instill in the mind of humans that the aim of chit and achit is to be in servitude to the Supreme Progenitor, Andal Devi took birth at Srivilliputtur, Tamil Nadu. Her untainted love for Lord Krishna, true spiritual leadership in guiding her fellow companions unto the feet of Lord and the composition of beautiful Tamizh verses have endeared her to all Spiritual aspirants.

The children of our Gurukulam celebrated the Tiruvadi Poora (birth day of Andal Nachiar ) mahotsavam with great enthusiasm. Following Her footsteps, the children rose early morning, bathed chanting the verses dedicated to Cauvery and set out to gather the accessories for thirumanjanam. A saerthi thirumanjanam of Kasturi Rangan (Gurukulam deity) and Andal was elaborately conducted with the reverberations of the Vedic chants followed by Divya Prabandha Sevai. While one segment of the children were engaged in the thirumanjanam, the others were inside the kitchen preparing special Akkara-adisil and the special course meal for the birthday Girl and Her Husband!

Inline image 1
Thirumanjanam being performed for Kasturi Rangan and AndalNachiar

Andal was beautifully bedecked in ornaments and the Garland worn by her was offered to the Lord who, crimson in thirumukham out of happiness, accepted it delightfully.

Inline image 2
Andal Devi with Kasturi Rangan

Evening saw the recitation of Nachiar Thirumozhi ( the second outpouring of Andal Nachiar). The little Birthday Devi was then put to Sayanam at night.

Click here for the photos :


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Food Insights...

Srimate Ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Cooking is an art and as a swami put it, "it is a srivaishnava lakshanam".  A Srivaishnava only consumes what has been offered to the dear Lord resident in his house.  Knowing to cook enables the devotee to serve the Lord by cooking delicious food.  He also does not have to rely on too many quick fixes and outside sources to satisfy his needs.

And there are lessons from cooking.  To prepare good food, all the ingredients must be mixed to the exact proportions.  Each ingredient adds a different taste and flavour to the meal and it is the combination of flavours that results in the perceived taste.  The perfect taste cannot be achieved by over-cooking or under-cooking, by adding excessive and less of ingredients.  It is a delicate process of balancing the various constituents that make up the final preparation.  That offers us a most important lesson in life - to be conscious of maintaining the balance.  Extreme indulgence and complete indifference are both dangerous, and can have a telling effect on the both the health of the individual and the quality of life.

The world wants us to indulge and take us away from this balance.  It takes various forms to tell us how nice it would be to spend a good deal of time in a particular adventure or retreat.  We are met on all sides by messiahs who proclaim that they have the solution to our problems (some we did not know even existed before we were told of them!).  They are all interested in our goodness of status, wellness of person and a life without care (as long as we can remember the passwords).  And yet many a time, we end up in our lives the same way as we did being very generous with the salt while cooking.  Some things are taken for granted; on the other side we feel we are getting too much of other things.  There are too many variables and few constants.  One takes the help of the Lord (the Great Constant) who delicately poised the mountain Mandhara on His back.  Our Vedic scriptures teach us that the Lord is the great balancer.  He is the fulcrum on which the world of sentient souls and non-sentient objects is pivoted.  He is unperturbed by what seems to be a ceaseless turbulence.
To infuse a semblance of balance is no easy task and none would disagree who have had to do the balancing.  It needs to happen on several levels and must be done meticulously for extended periods of time.  We need to identify the areas where we have the opportunity to get involved and make an impact.

We had one such opportunity to balance……

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL),  the power plant equipment manufacturer conducted an exhibition at Trichy showcasing various commercial products - the manifestations of the wonders that emerged from creative impulse of humankind. 

Our Srimaan Trust participated in this exhibition by setting up a stall to add the spiritual flavour - to deliver that oft forgotten thought that behind these manifestations of the mind exists the inspiration of the Lord.
​ While engaging in material indulgences, the world should always be reminded of its spiritual roots.

Inline image 1
The volunteers of our Trust explaining facts of our Sampradayam and the tasks taken up by our Trust 
Any object has purpose only when it is put into its context.  The wonders of mankind need that context without which they would be taken to constitute meaning that does not lead to actuation of its true value.  It would be as if the best food ever conc
eptualized had no helping of salt.  It is important to understand that meaning. That salt is not optional.  Usher in the divine.

​All the pictures of the stall are here in the link :​