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VISHWA BHANU A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation
VISHWA
BHANU
A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

Editorial

150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of

Bhagini Nivedita at Kochi

SKIE Residential Camp Nilambur

Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir

Matru puja and Swantanam

Surya Kiran

Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi

Celebrations

One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir

Republic Day and Kutumba Sangamam

Regular Activities

News from Thiruvananthapuram centre

Up mothers, conquer India with your

In this Issue

spirituality - Part II

VISHWA BHANU A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation • Editorial • 150th Birth

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EDITORIAL

Truth, Purity and Unselfishness are the basic ingredients of a good person.

Here are listed the practices memory for that A to Z of character

  • A) Avoid telling lies

  • C) Avoid exaggeration

  • E) Avoid hatred

  • G) Avoid hurting others

  • I) Observe our mind indifferently

  • K) Help others as much as you can, at least pray for others

  • M) Avoid dependence on others

  • O) Respect others thoughts

  • Q) Beware of fame and wealth

  • S) Have company of positive thoughts

  • U) Avoid attachment during practice

  • W) Avoid irrational thinking

  • Y) Have faith in will power

  • B) Avoid hypocrisy

  • D) Avoid jealousy

  • F) Avoid finding fault with others

  • H) Stay alone for sometimes every day

  • J) Listen the sound of heart

  • L) Avoid expecting return from others

  • N) Smile at others

  • P) Feel anger as an alarm of destruction

  • R) Feel nature’s contribution to your life

  • T) Avoid weak thoughts

  • V) Have faith. in practice

  • X) Grow the habit of sacrifice

  • Z) Have faith in the self, before God.

Compiled from ‘Fear the evil in our life’, Bulletin of the Ramakrishna Institute of Culture - January

2017.

Truth, purity, and unselfishness — wherever these are present, there is no power below or above
Truth, purity, and unselfishness — wherever these are present,
there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor
thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the
whole universe in opposition.
Swami Vivekananda
..

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150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Bhagini Nivedita at Kochi

As part of Kochi International Book Fes-

tival

2016,

the

organizing

committee

of Samarpanam, celebrated the 150th Birth

Anniversary celebration of Sister Nivedita

on

5th

December 2016.

The programme started

at

5

pm with

a

short prayer by Sushree Sutapa.

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Dr Vinaya Ramamurthy, Executive Committee member, Samarpanam welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the Chief Guest and the dignitaries on the dais. Dr Lakshmi Shankar, General Convener, in her introductory speech, gave an indication of the fire power that was to follow.

-3- 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Bhagini Nivedita at Kochi As part of Kochi International Book

Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi, Chairperson of Samarpanam gave

the presidential address and cited the inspirations derived

from the book

‘The

Master

as

I

saw

Him’.

Sri

Eldhose Kunnappily, MLA, shared his thoughts on the plight of

modern man and his un-ending desire for worldly posses-

sions.

Eldhose Kunnappily, MLA, shared his thoughts on the plight of modern man and his un-ending desire

Srimad Swami Bhadreshanandaji Maharaj and Pravrajika Sumedha Prana Mataji of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Vytilla and Sri Sarada Math, Ernakulam respectively shared their thoughts on Sister Nivedita.

Smt. Meena Vishwanath, Academic Consultant, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, rendered the felicitations. Srimad Swami Nan-

datmajanandaji Maharaj, Editor, Prabhuddha Keralam held the audience spellbound with Vanichithrapuja, in which he drew a picture of Sister Nivedita as a poem on her was being sung. The vote of thanks was

-3- 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Bhagini Nivedita at Kochi As part of Kochi International Book

accorded by

Dr.

Jyostna G Nair.

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SKIE Residential Camp Nilambur

The first of the 2 camps for the year 2016-17, was held at Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Palemad, Nilambur. headed by Swami Atmaswarupananda. On 24th December the participants including 7 students from IX th class and one from the VIII th class accompanied by four elders, reached the private Bus Stand at Kodungallur, by 6:45 am. After the initial travel to Thrissur by bus, everyone had an exciting journey by train to Nilambur. At the Sri RamakrishnAshrama, Palemad, Nilambur, the children did not loose any time and after a quick delicious lunch they started exploring the surroundings; Sandhya Bhajan followed at dusk. The Ash-

rama and its surroundings reverberated to the Omkara, kirtans and chantings. On 25th morning after Prarthana and yoga, it was time for a short walk and exploration. The experi- ence of walking on a log bridge; climbing up a small hillock, in the cool hours of the morning, to have a view of the sunrise was a new experience. After breakfast it was time to move out to explore Nilambur. The first stop was Aruvakode, a small village situated close to Nilambur. Known for its fine pottery carried out by the traditional community of Kumbharans. The advent of globalization has literally killed this art form and it is Artist K.B Jinan who initiated the Kumbharan Handicraft Project to revive the art form and save the people from the clutches of poverty. It is also said that the artisans originally belonged to Andhra Pradesh, and were provided land by the then rulers of the Nilambur Kovilakam. A visit to Nilambur could not be complete without the visit to Conolly’s Plot. Named after H. V. Conolly, the British Malabar district collector, who was instrumental in the systematic planting of teak there. However it was Chathu Menon, a forest officer, who organized the planting of the saplings, and as

like all other things the creator/inventor always remain obscured

nature

is the best example. The initial

.... plantation was about 1500 acres, of this about 9.1 acres of teak were chopped off to meet the require- ments of the allies in World War II. The two sides of the plot are bordered by the rivers Chaliyar and Ku- rinjipuzha, the other two sides by the dense forests of Kerala. Kurinjipuzha supposedly has the purest wa- ter in the region in all the seasons, it merges with the Chaliyar at the corner of the Conolly's plot. Nilambur Kovilakam, the seat of erstwhile Nilambur rulers was the next stop. However, we were not able to see the interiors. A visit to the teak museum, Nilambur was next on the card. After lunch in the Ashram, the children had a surprise visit from Sri Mahadev an avid traveller, Photog- rapher and Managing Trustee of Sukritham Girls Home, Kozhikode. He was accompanied by Sri Mano- haran. Sri Mahadev introduced"Sukritham" and then transported each of us on a mystical journey to Shrikhand Mahadev and Kinner Kailash with his photo presentation. On 26th morning after prathah smaran, yoga and breakfast all visited Karakkode Kavu and Sri Rama- nanda Asramam. 'Kavu' means sacred grove.The 'Kavu' is very unique to Kerala and is generally a self- sustaining ecosystem. It is believed that Parasurama the great sage had his penance in this area. The an- cient Devi temple of Goddess Vana Durga represents the vision received by the sage from his penance. Dr. Dharmananda Swamiji, is the present head of Sri Ramananda Asramam. After the Kavu, it was trekking time, walking along SH28 towards the Tamil Nadu border.The high energy of the children and

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group inspired the driver of the vehicle to join the trek. Finally after a long walk the

border

was

visi-

ble. With memories, experiences, knowledge and lots of energy locked away inside, the camp was over on the 27th morning.

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Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir

Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir was conducted from 29th to 31st

December. Out of total 30 participants, one was from Thiruvananthapu- ram and the rest were from in and around Kodungallur. Three student resource persons and karyakartas of

Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir was conducted from 29th to 31st December. Out of total 30 participants,

Madurai

centre,

Sri

-8- Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir was conducted from 29th to 31st December.

Braghaspathi, Arun and Karthik came with Sushree Sumitra didi, all the way from Madurai to train the children. Sushree Chaitanya, nivasi karyakarta from Thiruvananthapuram came to train the children in Science and

Braghaspathi, Arun and Karthik came with Sushree Sumitra didi, all the way from Madurai to train

Mathematics models.

Mathematics models. Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to

Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to give overall guid- ance to the trainers. The routine was from 9 am. to 5 pm. Within the three days, participants learned a lot of Sanskrit slokas, games, Suryanamaskar, slogans, com- mands and songs. They were also in- troduced to drama performance based on the stories on the life and message of Swami Vivekananda. The Science experiments based on surface tension, eye coordination etc and Maths models based on Geome- try, were eye-openers for many of them. On the concluding day, all of them promised to increase the number of members in their already existing Var- gas, and also start new ones in their locality. But for the guidance and active teamwork of all those who have been in the organizing team, the Shibir would not have been successful. In the concluding programme Man Lakshmi Didi and Radha didi chaired the session. In her address, Sushree Radha didi highlighted the salient features of the camp and Man Didi told the children how val- ues are important in their lives.

Mathematics models. Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to
Mathematics models. Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to
Mathematics models. Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to
Mathematics models. Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to

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Matru puja

Every year, Sandeepani Sishuvihar children celebrate Holy Mothers Jayanthi as Matrupuja day. This year it was celebrated on the auspicious Kalpatharu day, January 1st, All the Sandeepani Sishuvihar chil- dren and other neighbouring children. with their parents assembled in Dakshina hall of Ananda Dham. Man. Lakshmi Didi highlighted the significance of Matru Puja and Kalpatharu Divas. Later on, she guided the children to perform the Matru Puja in an orderly way. The hall was filled with the chantings of mantras and prayers. The joy and prayerful mood which children and mothers have experienced were visi- ble in their faces and actions. The programme concluded with Shanti mantra.

-9- Matru puja Every year, Sandeepani Sishuvihar children celebrate Holy Mothers Jayanthi as Matrupuja day. This

Swantanam

In the evening on the same day, 'Swantanam' the programme for senior citizens was conducted from 4.30 pm to 6 p.m. Dr. Geeta Suraj, Ex-Principal of Maliankara college and a good scholar and orator was invited to talk to the group. When one reaches the stage of Vanaprastha, how one should spend one's life in the present times, was the topic of Dr. Geetha's talk. Using the examples from her own personal life and in a humorous way, she kept the audience spellbound. In the end, she interacted with the vanaprasthis and gave

In the evening on the same day, 'Swantanam' the programme for senior citizens was conducted from
In the evening on the same day, 'Swantanam' the programme for senior citizens was conducted from

some tips to lead

-9- Matru puja Every year, Sandeepani Sishuvihar children celebrate Holy Mothers Jayanthi as Matrupuja day. This

a happy and joyful life.

a happy and joyful life.

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Surya Kiran

Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to X, in 5 schools from 4th January to 14th January.420 students participated in groups of 12 at the intra school lev- els. From each of the schools a group of boys and a group of girls were selected and on 20th January the final Surya Kiran competition was held where five groups of girls and 5 groups of boys totalling 120 se- lected students took part in the competition. Among the boys, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Irinjalakuda got the first position and among the girls, Gurushree Public School girls were the winners. All the 420 partici- pants received a book on Swamiji's life and message.

-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to
-10- Surya Kiran Samuhika Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to

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Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations

On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots of Sandeepani Sishuvihar. It was 'go as you like' for them. All the 15 tiny tots were dressed by their mothers as heroes of ancient and modern India. From Sri Rama, Mother Sita Sri Lakshmana and Sri Hanuman to Adi Sankaracharya and from Unni Archa to Sri Nar- endra Modi, all were present on stage. Sri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda were there to bless the audience. Sister Nivedita and Swamiji accompanied by Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi lighted the lamp to start off the programme. Each character had some message for the audience. Each child had beautifully mastered their short speech and delivered it in front the audience keeping them spellbound with wonder!

Amongst the audience were the children's' parents, yoga varga and yoga satra participants and the inmates of Anandadham. Mananeeya Didi while speaking to the kids and the audience stressed the need of sowing the seed of this love for the Nation's heritage by introducing to them the great heroes of our land who made India proud by their patriotism, their spirituality and the multifaceted talents, who self- lessly work for the upliftment of the Nation and who are a constant source of inspiration to all. It was a short but sweet programme appreciated by all.

21st January was celebrated as Vivekananda Jayanthi and Sister Nivedita’s 150th Anniversary. The Chief Guest for the programme was Smt Jyothi Unniraman, a very close well-wisher of Kendra. The pro- gramme started with Sopana Sangeetam by famous Soupana Sangeet Singer Sri Eloor Biju from Paravur. Smt Jyothi Unniraman gave a brief sketch of the life and message of Sister Nivedita. Mananeeya Didi spoke on Swamiji. The winners of Patriotic and Folk songs, both juniors and seniors presented their songs on the stage. Prizes were given away by the Chief Guest. The Rolling Trophy for the best Patriotic Song Group was shared by Govt.U.P School Konathukunnu and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Irinjalakuda and the Trophy for Folk song went to Shantiniketan International School, Kodungallur. Scholarships of Rs 500/-for financially backward yet high grade scorers of Govt Girls Higher Secondary School, Kodungallur were giv- en to five students of Class X and five of Class XI. The highest grade holder of XI class too received an amount of Rs 1000/- as scholarship. The programme concluded with Shanti mantra.

-11- Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots
-11- Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots
-11- Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots
-11- Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots
-11- Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots

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One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir

On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan Shibir was conducted at P.Vemballur at Smt Mridula's (a well-wisher of Kendra) house. 20 children attended. Su Bindu along with Kum Sreelakshmi who conducts Samskar Varga in Kodungallur and newly trained students of Edavilangu Kum Aiyana, Kum.Aparna, Kum. Archana and Kum.Ardra, were the resource persons. From morning 9.30 to evening 3.30pm, children were trained in chanting of prayers, singing of a song on Swamiji, an action song on Mother India, slogans, commands, Surya Namaskar, games and stories.

At the concluding session these children who come regularly for tuition at Smt Mridula's, promised to fix every Saturday for Samskar Varga. They also shared their experiences of the camp during the con- cluding session

-14- One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan
-14- One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan
-14- One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan
-14- One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan

Republic Day and Kutumba Sangamam

At Anandadham, by 9.30 a.m., the tiny tots of Sishuvihar came with their parents. The Samskar varga children were also present for the hoist- ing of the flag by Didi. Little Srihari led the Pledge.

-14- One day Samskar Prashikshan Shibir On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan

Every year, 26th January is fixed for Kutumba Sangamam at the Ken- dra. This year the Kutumba Sangamam at Anandadham was one of its unique kind because it was the fifteenth year. Also because apart from Sishuvihar tiny tots and their parents and grandparents and teachers, yo- ga varga members, well-wishers associated from the start of this centre of Vivekananda Kendra, samskar varga children and their parents were also invited. It became a family of more about 150 members and so it was de- cided to introduce Kendra Varga to all present. The programme started with 'Sahana vavatu' and 'daivadashakam' led by the tiny tots. Deepa prajwalanam was by the representatives of all the groups. This was followed by the celebration of our special child Durga's birthday. All her Sishuvihar classmates chanted the 'Janmadinam mantra, and then she received the blessings of Didi.

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Our Samskar Varga leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it was their wed- ding anniversary. A short session of yoga followed. Then there were games like balloon bursting and fill- ing the bottles for all age groups. Didi spoke to all urging them to attend all the programmes of Kendra.

Lunch was sumptuous as the dishes came as contributions from each family, hence there was no dearth of items. It was an opportunity for the elders to serve the kids. After food, there were one or two games again for the children. Kumari Lakshmi, her mother Smt Shanta and father Devdas received a token of love from Didi since they were present for all the fifteen years in annual Kutumba Sangamam without fail. By 3 p.m. the programme concluded with Kendra prayer led by the students of Sishuvihar.

-15- Our Samskar Varga leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it
-15- Our Samskar Varga leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it
-15- Our Samskar Varga leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it
-15- Our Samskar Varga leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it

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News from Thiruvananthapuram centre

On 22 Kalpataru Divas, VK Thiruvananthapuram started its first Swadhyaya Varga on the auspicious occasion of Kalpataru Diwas

(01/01/2017), in the premises of VK Thiruvananthapuram. Topic chosen for Swadhyaya is Ishavasya Upanishad. Dr.Murugan, retired Director of Kerala Higher Secondary Board is the Acharya for Swadhyaya. 25 people partic- ipated in the Varga which is

On 22 Kalpataru Divas, VK Thiruvananthapuram started its first Swadhyaya Varga on the auspicious occasion of
-16- News from Thiruvananthapuram centre On 22 Kalpataru Divas, VK Thiruvananthapuram started its first Swadhyaya Varga

to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in YouTube was also initiated.

to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in

Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi at Vivekananda Kendra Thir- uvananthapuram was orga- nized as Kutumba Milan as part of Swami Vivekananda Jayanti cel- ebration on 8th Jan 2017 Sun- day at Sri Ramakrishna Ash- rama,Nettayam. Swami Mok- shavratanandaji Maharaj, the president of Sri Ramakrishna Mission and Ashram Shas- tamangalam and Adharaneeya Radha didi were the chief guests of the day. Swami Mok- shavratanandaji Maharaj gave margadarshan to the gathering and Adharaneeya Radha didi introduced Vivekananda Kendra to the audience. The program included Yoga (sookshma vyayam) and then games for children and a group discussion on Adarsha Bharatiya Griha for elders. A Yoga In- structor Certificate was issued to Kum.Nidhika.A.R, who suc- cessfully completed 6 months YCC at Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari. About 80 people participated in the 3 hours program.

to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in
to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in
to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in
to held on first and second Sundays of every month. Process for uploading the same in

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R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S

Yoga Satra

4 ladies and 7 gents were enrolled during the months of December and January as Yoga Satra partici- pants

Yoga Varga

As usual 15 lady participants and 10 gents regularly attended the yoga varga daily.

-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies
-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies
-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies
-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies

Samskar varga

-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies
-17- R E GU L AR AC TI V IT IE S Yoga Satra 4 ladies

Samskar Varga was conducted at 12 places regularly every week. On an average 15 children participated.

Ganapathi Homam and Sricakrapuja

On all the pournami days ie on 13th December and 12th January, Ganapathy Homam and Sri Cakra Puja were conducted by Karumatra Dr.Vijayan’s disciples. Evening Vishnu Sahahstra nama archana was also performed by the inmates of Anandadham.

SKIE programme

SKIE Classes were held on Second Saturday–Sundays and third Sunday of December and January. The SKIE sessions concluded for this academic year.

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UP MOTHERS, CONQUER INDIA With YOUR SPIRITUALITY! Part II

Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari

Yes, we must learn to integrate our inner life, our faith, convictions, ideals, experiences with our outer day to day activities so that the veil of subject- object differences falls away and we stand rooted in

our innate glory. It is here that woman scores over man. Love is the best medium to dissolve away the veil and as a mother, when she fulfils herself with the wholeness of being one with her offspring, she enjoys the finest expression of Truth in real life. She has to build up on that beginning. This is when the inside and outside merge into one. What is needed is a small savings campaign of building up spirituality from tiny little day-to- day experiences. We have to take a lesson from the Government’s small savings programme of mopping up the savings of people through Post Office Savings and so on. The woman’s organisation Self-

Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) had its beginning in Mrs. Elabehn helping the poor women save a wee bit of their daily collections for future use. Many women who were leading a borderline existence suddenly found life brightening up before them and with financial security a new identity came to them. What we have to save are droplets of natural spiritual energy which otherwise leak out from our lives without our knowledge, denying us one of the finest opportunities we have for rebuilding our lives and our homes. When we accumulate spiritual energy in small inconspicuous ways nobody can stamp us as a ‘fanatic’ or ‘fundamentalist.’ Even those close to us may not notice it or take it as a fancy and ignore us. We don’t create any disturbance around and that is our strong point. Nobody can take away or deny us the joy and thrill of everyday life. We remain within the four walls of our homes or office, wherever it be, and bring a new energy of love and creativity to enfold our mundane chores. We can take a lesson from the Gopis of Vrindavan. Once they centred themselves in their love for Sri Krishna they allowed it to flow freely from their subjective ‘inside’ to the outside immersing and transforming everything that appeared in its way. When they pounded rice, churned buttermilk and sold it, picked flowers, washed the cattle or cattle shed or talked to their pet birds and animals it was this love for Sri Krishna that permeated everything and everywhere. Suddenly, the utterly mundane lives of those Gopis were transformed into something supremely sublime, earning the adoration and worship of personages like Sri Suka. A wife, at least in the early days of her married life, has her life centred in her love for her husband and for her everything has an aura of her love. When she becomes a mother that love is made very pure as it is devoid of even traces of lust and jealousy. Her home has now as its centre her love for her children. A very good starting point indeed. All that is needed is that centring be reinforced with a new faith, a new urge to reach out to the spiritual Truth within and superimpose it on the acts of love and service without.

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After centering our lives on this axis of our spiritual Truth of Oneness we can go about restructuring our external lives in many many ways, each attempt opening out a new vista of the beauty and mystery which are hidden in the Creation. After such an empowerment we must concentrate on the all important aspect of developing the courage ‘to be’ what we really are and get rid of all the artificial and superficial airs and symbols. Many women have no time to look after their children and their home but they may be members of this society or that engaged in children’s programmes, to help women, etc. The work is good no doubt, but it doesn’t serve the real purpose of self-empowerment. At home you are a different person than what you are outside. There is a widening gap-- the error of parallax goes on increasing. Simplifying and straightening our outer life would help us to find time and the mind to reorganize our inner life; this will help us more and more to add beauty and charm to our outer lives. Sri Krishna in Chapter X of the Bhagavad Gita tells us that all that is glorious and beautiful in the world is a part of Him. That is from where we have to start our small savings of mopping up spirituality from the mundane life. We must consciously bring our awareness to bear upon all that we enjoy in life. The glory of the sunrise and sunset, the awakening of the world at the enlivening touch of the sun’s rays early in the morning, the gentle breeze playing on the leaves - from the blade of grass to the big trees around us - the tiny birds and butterflies hopping from flower to flower kissing their message of love and appreciation on to the new blossoms, watching the sunlight emerging through the canopy of tree tops, squirrels and birds playing hide and seek in their off-times -well, the whole world is filled with beauty and harmony arising out of the symbiotic interdependence and interrelationships which the Almighty has devised, a part of which is our own family life. Women with their God-given sense of wholeness can slip into this ever-widening circle of mutual adoration and understanding- if only they choose, if they care. When we discover this wholeness in creation and learn to absorb it unto us and start adding to the wholeness within and around us, our capacity to love, tolerate, accept and above all, positively give and take, become more intense and rewarding. The Real ‘mother’ wakes up inside. The only condition to acquire this gift is to establish a connection with the unknown - the Invisible. Spirituality is not acquiring something from outside, it is a giving up - sacrifice - renunciation - of our small self and selfish interests and motivations so that the fountainhead within us starts gurgling out.

It is in this context that we should learn to appreciate and value the role of silence in our lives. The best absorption can take place when we are silent, physically and mentally, when our mind is alert, ready to listen. It is through silence that we can refine and deepen ourselves. The importance attached by Gandhiji to silence is too well known. That is the time when all our energies are concentrated towards inner growth and, of course, towards God. Our reflective ability grows in silence. Many things which we keep hidden from the outside world, which might be hampering our expansion, come out in the silence of our mind, and unable to find support and sustenance, wither away for good. They no longer appear in their troublesome aspect, but just as fleeting thought vibrations. It is in the silence that our individuality

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gets affirmed - ‘to be’ what we really are. We meet ourselves in silence, heal ourselves in silence, accept ourselves in silence and renew ourselves in silence. In India, the creative power of silence is acknowledged from time immemorial. Sri Dakshinamurti, an aspect of Lord Shiva as a Teacher, taught through silence. Sri Ramana Maharshi also influenced people more through silence than through his utterances. Housewives have a lot of time, provided they are not part of the rat race of living - when they are alone. Instead of spending it in dissipating activities, like gossiping, reading some trash, watching character destroying TV programmes, if they could use it to create fields of creative silence within when they are in communion with something energizing within themselves, they can not only conserve their energy, but also enrich themselves spiritually. Hours or minutes of silence can be incorporated into our lives - filling some odd leisure hour here and there. As we wait for the children to return from the school when the mind is alert and watching we can open it further, to be one with all the mothers, all their children and all the beauty of the children growing up. As we stand at the gate of the school, whose heart does not get filled up at the sight of children rushing from the school? - bundles of joy rushing about here and there in all seriousness, reminding each other of their ‘silly’ transactions, so on and so forth; life is full of beauty and harmony if only we open our spiritual vision. Tagore provides a lot of such pictures when our minds are held silent, restful and alert at the Invisible Presence. Adding up like this moments, minutes and hours we would be creating small savings deposits of energizing and invigorating spiritual energy within. As the quality of silence starts deepening, the colours and forms of trees, sounds of the chirping of birds, movement of leaves, everything becomes a source of joy and gives a deeply relaxing sensation. Slowly, without anybody noticing it, these precious moments can be made into a regular meditation at a particular part of the day. Loneliness stops to worry us, work doesn’t tire us when the inner life is restored even by a minute fraction. As we understand ourselves better and integrate ourselves with the totality of experience there is a tremendous growth within. Slowly our relationship with everything takes on a new meaning and an aura of Truth. This is a natural spontaneous growth affecting the body - mind - spirit complex and hence is a highly integrated experience. This is the journey from the fragmented to the Whole and is the best way open to many of us - housewives and mothers to combat the divisive tendencies of the purely material life of today with its immense demands, problems and tensions. To make India assert her spiritual power, we women can have this small saving spiritual deposit scheme which can certainly add to our nation’s spiritual wealth at his critical moment.

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