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Sanatan Dharm Par Upkaaric Sabha Newsletter

Upkaaric Jyoti Price: 100

Issue No. 3 April 2018

Swami Aksharananda's Hindu New Year Message

- Reclaiming Our Heritage

Excerpt from speech originally delivered on March 18, 2018 at the Lima Shiva Mandir.

a bigger and bigger event. The Hindu new year must be recognised in Guyana, so our people will know that we are not the people of yesterday. We have an ancient heritage and culture.


he Hindu New Year in this case is referred to as Varsha Pratipada (the first day or tithi of the year). We are now in the year 2075 using our current calendar system. I'm sure you are aware that people all over the world have their own dates to mark what they call new year. The calendar used dominantly by the West is called the Gregorian calendar and we are in the year 2018. This is the one we follow for our day to day business. The Chinese have their own new year, the Muslims have their own new year. There are different calendar systems used all over the world. In India, there are three main systems of dating. There are some regional is another important one which we also mark called ones in addition to these three main ones. Yugabda. It means the year in which we are in Kali Yuga. We are in the first part of Kali Yuga. It has been One of the three is known as Vikram Samvat. This calculated by scholars in India that the beginning of was started by a great king named Vikramaditya in the Kali Yuga coincided with the end of the Mahabharata year 57 BCE. This is the one which we follow at the War. As per calculations, we are in the year 5120 moment and we are now in the year 2075 according to (Yugabda). Vikram Samvat. This system is prevalent in Northern India and corresponds mainly to the Hindi speaking Remember that we are also only into the 2nd day of the area of India. life of Brahma. Bhahma's lifetime is equivalent to 1 day Another important one is called the Shalivahana Samvat and is a different way of counting. This is prevalent mostly in the Southern part of India. Finally, the Government of India has its own national calendar. However, persons use their local calendars for tithi and dates for religious functions rather than the national calendar.

in the life of Bhagwan Vishnu. And Vishnu's lifetime is equivalent to 1 day in the life of Bhagwan Shiva. To calculate this in human years is an insane amount of years. This tells us that we are a people whose history and culture go back to a very very ancient time. Our history (as Hindus) did not begin in the year 1838.


I would like to speak about our ancient heritage and reclaiming that heritage. We can do a lot more to When our pandits read our sankalp, they would refer celebrate our Hindu new year. Let's put up banners to the year Vikram Samvat. In addition to this, there across the country and send greetings and let it become

Gayatri Mantra The G훮yatr카 Mantra, also known as the S훮vitr카 mantra, is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10), dedicated to Savitr, a form of the sun. Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire our intelligence.

We live in a time where people say 'What's the point in looking back? That we are Guyanese. If you want, go back to India.' Why should we not go back to India? Why should we forget that connection with India and our heritage? Once that connection with our heritage is broken then we are lost, gone forever. In many ways, we have already lost that heritage. The question is, can we reclaim it? Yes, I think we can. We already have a foundation in Dharma, we have not lost everything. That is a strong platform, a strong foundation on which we can launch a revival. I want to express my sincere congratulations to The Sanatan Dharm Par Upkaaric Sabha for all the good its doing in this area. Every European country, including the United states of America, trace their ancestry and history back to Rome and to Greece although they have their own history. There are places in America named Rome and Athens. Why do they do that? Because they want to ensure they do not lose contact with what they believe to be their heritage. These countries don't talk about their origin from when independence happened, they go back to the times of Caesar and the ancient Greeks. The Jews, for example, are scattered all over the world, but every Jewish person sees Jerusalem as their centre. They may have never gone there but they know that is home for them. They maintain that link, that connection. In America, places are called New England or New York. All these are names taken from England. They want to make sure that connection remains with the ancient country. There is a place in Berbice called Calcutta. I don't know if there is any other place in Guyana with an Indian name. Long ago in the sugar estates, there was a place called Rampur. Apart from our mandir names, we don't have a Mathura or a Kashi or an Ayodhya in Guyana. We don't have that link. Trinidad was more successful in this area, they have a few Indian names for places. It is important that we retain that connection. There is nowhere in the world where people break with their heritage or their history. The tendency now is for lots of people working for revival. I'm not saying we shouldn't be forward looking. We can be forward looking and still maintain those links. As a matter of fact, those links are important for us in going ahead. So brothers and sisters, we should reclaim our Please turn to page 11


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Things to know about


By Pandit Tarrah Ram Chowbay


oday in our religion (Dharm), the common man and woman are at a loss as to what is to be done, and how it’s to be done, when a dear one passes on into death. This article is therefore meant to help them in understanding how some of the things that we see done today, are to be done. All contents in this article will be supported by quotations from our texts. Nothing written in this article is meant to change what the pandits do, but will be very useful to many who seem to be at a loss where our ceremonies are concerned. We will compare what is being done today to what our scriptures say when the rites for the departed – SHRAADDH – one done by our families. If we should go to these ceremonies and are very observant, you will see things done by the presiding pandits which are questionable and therefore make our minds ask whether we did the right things, which are supposed to bring some help to the departed soul. Keeping in mind that we can’t help the body which has to be cremated and which the Garur Puraan describes as “detestable and unfit to touch”. (C:9, v:40) We’ll try to guide you with quotations from the Garur Puraan, hereinafter referred to as G.P., which is accepted as the best guide to all the ceremonies from the time of death to the last SHRAADDH in the 12th month so that we can ensure things are done to help our loved ones in the way recommended. The GARUR PURAAN itself seems to have been tampered with to satisfy the desires of the BRAHMINS of old. In the introduction, SRIS CHANDRA VASU in summoning up the Garur Puraan, said “… and here is a rich field which the Brahmin priestcraft of Indra, preying on the gullibility of the votaries, has exploited

(Part 1 of 3)

to its extreme extent. For every sin there is a penance and also a pilgrimage, with its concomitant result in the shape of so much fee to be paid to the Brahmin.” It is the same in Guyana, where those who call themselves Brahmins and pandits, demand so much ‘Seeda’, slippers, umbrellas, lamps, pots and even gold and cow. They make you believe that these things are necessary, or else the soul of the departed can have no peace. Some even go as far as to stop the ceremonies and send the relatives to purchase these things. Those very said things are later grabbed by these merciless pandits. “No longer it is the gift to a deserving man that washes away sins”, but to the pandits who are poorly read and whose lifestyles are no example to follow, and who use all their capabilities to drive fear in the minds of those who are then distressed and who do no understand the rules and laws of the ceremonies. They (the pandits) must understand that nothing goes unpaid and their evil acts will bear bitter fruits to them and their families in the years to come. This article is therefore meant to help you, the ones that are disadvantaged, in what you can do to assist your loved ones at departure. As we said before, all quotations will be from the Garur Puraan and other relevant texts, with chapters and verses so you can verify them yourself. Please keep this article and pass it on to others. It will be a three-part article so you need to read all and therefore keep part 1 until you have the rest. The word SHRAADDH on page 715 of the BHARGAVA Dictionary is translated to mean “The offerings of food, water, etc. to the Brahmans in

honour of the manes”. While we know some help comes to the soul because of relatives of the deceased giving to the deserving ones, the Garur Puraan C:8, V:91-94 declares “So one who desires his own welfare should make unending gifts according to his wealth to a learned Brahmin. The gift of even a little wealth, presented with one’s own hands is unending and in time effectual. He who has (give) gifts as provisions, goes happily on the great way, otherwise the man suffers pains on the path. All the gifts made by human beings in this world, clear the way for them on the path of the world of Yama.” “Knowing all this one should give with one’s hands while still alive. Life is transient, who can give afterwards?” G.P. C:8, V:100. It is clear from verses 91 – 94, that the gifts that one gives should be “according to our wealth”, and therefore there is no fixed number of gifts that must be gotten as is told to us by some pandits. The number of gifts varies according to our stature. Our gifts too should be to deserving persons and to Brahmins who are learned. Giving with our own hands surely bring us help in the path to Yama and even in our next life. Umbrellas, shoes, pots, beds, lamps, provisions, etc. are all good gifts to the poor, whose life we are suppose to uplift. We are not told to depend on relatives to give. Start to help others today and you really will be helping yourself for the hereafter. In the UMAA SANGHITAA of the MAHA SHIVA PURAAN in chapter 1, it clearly states what the ‘daan’ that we give when alive does for us. The chapter begins with what kind of daan gives us See page 5

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Puja - The Concept THE PURPOSE OF LIFE


n Uttar Kand, of the Ramayan, Bhagawan Shree Ram declares that it is indeed a great fortune to have a human body. Why is this so? The gift of human existence affords us the opportunity to know God. It is ONLY through the human body that we have the rare privilege to serve, experience and merge in God. Some have succeeded in realizing God in one lifetime. Shree Ram teaches that the precious gift of human birth is the doorway to MOKSHA or LIBERATION. Our main purpose is to use this body, which is temple of God, for the practice of SADHANA or righteous, noble actions. This will indeed free us from all sorrows until we finally experience supreme bliss and happiness. Having been blessed by the compassionate Lord with the precious gift of human life, do not waste it trying to satisfy the numerous materials cravings of the mind. Instead, give up the quest for worldly objects and surrender to God. The time to start is NOW and the place is HERE. Do not wait, for tomorrow may never be. Make a sincere and desperate effort to fulfill life’s purpose (i.e. union with God) and be free from the cycle of births and deaths. WHAT IS PUJA?

PUJA is paying homage, honour and respect to God in a tangible way. It is an outpouring of one’s love to God using ingredients such as leaves, flowers, fruits, water etc. In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9 Verse 26, Bhagwan Shree Krishna states:PATTRAM PUSHPAM PHALAM TOYAM YO ME BHAKTYAA PRAYACCHATI TAD AHAM BHAKTY UPAHRTAM ASHNAAMI PRAYA TAAT MANAH Whosoever offers to me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, that pious offering of the pure in heart, I delightfully accept. In this verse the Lord does not discriminate between one individual and the other on the basis of physical prowess, appearance, sex, age, caste, merit, intellectual ability or any other attribute or quality whatsoever; even

all the possessions in the world is no guarantee of God realization. God cannot be bought or sold. Expensive rituals are not necessary. Genuine love alone causes God to look after his devotee.

his pure devotee, Vidura, and accepted a meager love offering of SAAG or bhaji.

The mention of simple, inexpensive articles of worship in this verse indicates that anything which can be easily obtained is offered as long as those articles are offered from the heart overflowing with love. The following illustration further helps to clarify this point.

Ideally, PUJA or worship should be performed without seeking any rewards. In addition, PUJA should be done with SHRADDHA (Faith), PREM (Love) and BHAKTI (Devotion).

After a period of exile, the Pandavas met with Bhagwan Krishna who himself went to the court of Duryodhana’s father to negotiate a settlement. To maintain an outward show, Duryodhana made elaborate preparations for the reception of the Lord. When invited to dine, the Lord refused the sumptuous dishes offered by Duryodhana.

To know God, one has to become God-like. God is the embodiment of purity. Therefore to know him one has to become pure. Puja or worship helps to purge us of all negative qualities and tendencies. It purifies us, thus making us God-like in nature. It also provides us with an opportunity to give thanks to God for his numerous mercies which are showered upon us daily. Through the medium of Puja, direct contact is made with Divinity within us and this lifts us spiritually.

Questioned about the reasons for his refusal, Bhagawan Shree Krishna gave the following reply: “Meals are taken under two circumstances:1. When meals are offered with genuine love they are worthy of acceptance and 2. When one is starving one may satisfy one’s hunger with whatever is available”



If performed with the right attitude, Puja frees us from the world of mundance existence and ends the cycle of births and deaths. It merges the JIVA (individual soul) with the PARAMATMA (God).

The Lord further stated that both these conditions were absent.


However, the blessed Lord, after leaving the royal palace, immediately went to the humble cottage of

See page 4


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Puja - The Concept... From page 3 The Ramayan (Lanka Kand) states that upon completion of the bridge to Lanka, the Blessed Lord Shree Ram proclaimed, “this is a most delightful and excellent spot; I will install an emblem (Lingam) of Bhagawan Shiva here.” So saying the great sages were invited and the articles for Puja were brought by the disciples. Shree Ram then installed an emblem of Lord Shiva. That All-Powerful Lord then performed Puja according to the method enshrined in our Vedas and ONLY then did he proceed to Lanka. (That sacred spot where he performed puja is now known as RAMESHVARAN and it is a place of pilgrimage for millions of devotees). This indicates to us that it is ABSOLUTELY necessary and indeed imperative to offer our adoration to God before we embark on any undertaking. Devotees who invoke the Lord’s blessings are actually protected, directed and guided by the Divine hand throughout life. In Aranya Kand of the scared Ramayan, Bhagawan Shree Ram chose to visit his devotee Sebari. She welcomed Shree Ram, washed his feet, seated him comfortably and offered him the most delicious fruits of that time. In essence, what the devotee Sebari did was PUJA or worship. The washing of the feet (PADYAM), the offering of the seat (ASAN) and the offering of food (NAIVEDYAM) constitute an important part of traditional PUJA. DOES PUJA END ON THE BEDI/ALTAR? Puja must be translated into our everyday living. Every action we perform should be an act of worship (offering to God). This, in effect, is KARMA YOGA (the yoga of action), one of the pathways that leads to salvation. In today’s world, unrighteousness plagues humanity. There is a dire need to practice the noble ideals recorded in our sacred texts as we make this journey of life. The time has come when we must not only preach the noble scriptural injunctions but make them come alive in our everyday living. When we perform actions with the thought that we are making an offering to god, then we are truly serving and worshipping the Supreme Being. When

we perform our daily duties, we should do so in the best way possible. We should make an extra effort when serving by giving nothing less than our best. Remember that “service to humanity is service to GOD.” Performing our duties thus, we would not engage in any adharmic or unrighteous actions which would hinder our spiritual advancement. When performing any task we should remember that “Work is Worship; Duty is God.” Always be aware that Puja is performed, not once a year, but everyday of our lives. No one can eat to satisfy another person’s hunger. No one can drink to quench another’s thirst. No one can breathe to keep another alive. In like manner, no one can pray to satisfy your spiritual needs. You must do it for yourself. You must make that effort. You must set aside time to pray. That appeal to God must come from the innermost recesses of your heart. This very thought is expressed in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 6, Verse 5). UDDHARED AATMANAA’TMANAM N A’ T M A A N A M AVASAADAYET A AT M A I ’ VA H YA AT M A N O BANDHUR AATMAI’VA RIPUR AATMANAH One should lift oneself by one’s own efforts and one should not degrade oneself; for one’s own self is one’s friend, and one’s own self is one’s enemy. You are a friend of yourself when your thoughts, words and actions lift you spiritually and draw you closer to God.

Upkaaric Jyoti You are an enemy of yourself when the acts you perform are unrighteous, immoral and degrading. The deeds we perform now, not only affect the quality of life in the present but also determine our future. Hence we must be extremely cautious of the thoughts that occupy the mind since these are reflected in our speech and actions. Be vigilant, control the mind and ensure that the seeds sown are noble, righteous, uplifting and pleasing to God. In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 27, Shree Krishna States: YAT KAROSHI YAD ASHNAASI YAJ JUHOSHI DADAASI YAT YAT TAPASYASI KAUBTEYA TAT KURUSHVA MADARPANAM O son of Kunti (Arjuna), whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you bestow as a gift, whatever you practice as austerity, offer it all to me. This verse clearly indicates that any act becomes an act of worship, if offered to God. By doing so, life itself becomes PUJA. By worshipping God in this manner we are sure to achieve liberation. Supreme bliss will reign now and in the hereafter. AUM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI

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Things to know about Shraaddh... what kind of help.

From page 2

“Those who give umbrella goes on shady path. Those who give beds to the poor and deserving, goes along after death as if in shaded by flowers. Those who create parks and gardens goes along as if in airplane. Those who create mandir and home for Sanyaasees and orphanage, find wonderful houses on their path to Swarg…” and there is a beautiful katha to remind us of our duties when we are alive and not after death. DEATH So what happens at death? G.P. C:9, V:39-40 “ When the lord of breath departs, the body falls like a tree, unsupported as stricken by time. The motionless body left by the vital breath becomes detestable and unfit to touch…” It is to be understood by those statements, that the faster we get rid of the body, the better. So preparing to cremate the body, NOT BURY, should begin. Even though the relatives will be in shock and despair. The first thing the males must do after the body has been taken care of is to have the shave of the head and face. We MUST NOT wait for the 10th day to do so. “… then the son(s) should have the shave, along with all male relatives in order to remove the sins (because of attachment to the body). The son(s) who does not have the shave when father or mother dies, how can he be called a son, the helper through the ocean of changefulness” G.P. C:10, V:4-6 A son in Sanskrit is called PUTRA – meaning he who saves the parent from the “hell” called PUT, by taking on the duties of cremating the parent(s) and observing and performing all ceremonies to be done for the departed. Shaving of the hair is the first sign of disconnection with the dead person, for we must know that the connection with the transient brings no help, but connection with the soul is recommended because that is everlasting. In any home where death has occurred, all offerings and poojas should discontinue immediately. G.P. c:13, v:32 “Until the Sapinda (12th or 13th day) has been performed, the mendicant should not accept alms and guest offerings should not be accepted. The daily and occasional ceremonies should be discontinued. “ In the

home and among the Kul that is closely connected to the deceased, there will exist uncleanliness. By giving alms and offerings, we spread that uncleanliness. People who are observing Vrat and poojaris in temples and those that are somehow connected to Poojas, should not partake in any eating or drinking in such home until the Sapinda rites are performed. Because of such uncleanliness we also must stay away from the murties, but can still pray in the mind. Food cooked in the home at the time for the family should be vegetarian food, which helps to prepare our thoughts for the important ceremonies preceding cremation and afterwards. DAY OF CREMATION “In the morning of cremation the corpse should be bathed in clean water and adorn with sandal paste, garlands or the clay of the Ganges. Having covered it with new cloth, with his sacred thread on his right shoulder (male) we should pronounce the family name and offer rice balls.” G.P. c:10, v:7-9. It is quite clear here that mala etc. can adorn the corpse, whereas we are told that that cannot be done by many pandits today. It is not necessary to purchase new clothes if the person has such nor is it necessary for very expensive ones. What happens is the people try to show off with expensive clothes on the dead body instead of buying them for the living parents. These rice balls mentioned are the first 5 of 48 that are to be offered before the ceremonies for the departed are completed. “… these 5 rice balls are to ward off evil elements which can disturb the cremation and the body.” G.P. c:10, v:7-9. Relatives can go around the body in an anticlockwise direction to disconnect one’s self from the ‘detestable and unfit body’. We must note here that the GARUR PURAAN has not stated whether we should go around the body clockwise or anticlockwise, but because we do not want to attach ourselves to the corpse anymore, we use the anticlockwise way so as to detach ourselves. When someone is alive, we would do so around them in a clockwise direction.

as follows. 1st – place of death or from where the body is taken to be cremated. 2nd – half way journey (average) to the cremation site. 3rd & 4th – in both hands of the corpse. 5th – on the Chitta / Pyre. These are not Pindas given in “panchack”, which we’ll discuss in our next part of this article. During the journey to the cremation site, the body should be moving with the feet first always, which is generally the opposite of birth. And the face of the corpse must always be covered. When going up or down stairs though, this feet first system is not recommended, keeping in mind that having the head lower than the feet can cause poisonous gases and fluids to come out of the body which will be very harmful to persons close by. We must make sure that the face is covered and the head is higher, especially in today’s funeral where we keep the body for many days before cremation. The body should then be rested on the ground on arrival at the Chitta, with the head to the north and this is the way it should always be while even at the home. We must note here that we are not dealing with any pooja, hawan, tarpan etc. which the pandit will have to do in the ceremonies, but we must also note that there are many differences in these too (some of which will be discussed later).

Death brings a reversal of all such things. The Garur Puraan also recommends for the son(s) to take the body on their shoulders “… to repay the debt of constant kindness by the parents.” c:10, v:13.

This has brought us to the end of Part 1 of these discussions and so in part 2 & 3, we will continue to guide you on things like: who can do the Shraaddh, picking up of bones, counting of the days for all the ceremonies, gifts, and how it should be shared, Pandhak, time for ceremonies to conclude, 10th day rites and its purpose, whether 12th or 13th day pooja etc. and their purposes.

These first 5 of 48 rice balls (Pinda) should be given

May Lord Krishna bless you.


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The Value Of


Raam Naam

nce there was a Mahatma who lived on the outskirts of a city. He had a disciple who served him faithfully. One day the disciple approached the Guru and begged him to give him a mantra. The Guru, being pleased with his service, readily agreed and fixed an auspicious day for giving the mantra. On the appointed day, the Guru whispered the mantra softly in the disciple’s ear. After the initiation was over, the Guru told him to keep it a secret and not to divulge it to anyone. The disciple accordingly uttered the mantra secretly within himself so that even the man sitting next to him would not know what the mantra was.

One day he went to the river for a bath. After his bath he sat for a long time under a tree silently repeating the mantra. As he sat there doing his japa, several persons came to the river to take a bath and they were loudly chanting the Rama Nama. When the disciple heard it, he was very surprised, because this was the very mantra that his Guru had given him as a very secret one. Yet everyone appeared to be familiar with the mantra. Why had his Guru said that it was secret? Disturbed by this thought, he could no longer do his japa. He rushed to the Ashram, went straight to the Guru and asked, “Teacher, you told me that the mantra you gave me was a secret one. Today I heard many people taking a bath in the river repeating the same mantra. Why did you say that it was secret?” The Guru smiled. He took out a small shining stone from his box, gave it to the disciple and said, “Take this to the city. Show it to different people there and ask how much they would pay for it. Don’t sell it, just ask in different quarters and bring it back.” The disciple took the stone and left. On the road, he saw a vegetable vendor carrying a basket of vegetables on his head. The disciple showed the stone to him and asked what he would give for the stone, if it were sold. The vendor turned the stone around in his hand, weighed it and said, “It is not of much use. Still, I can use it now and then as a weight to sell my vegetables. I shall give you half a kilo of brinjal for this.” The disciple thanked him and went on his way.


Next, he met a wood-cutter to whom he showed the stone and asked what he would give for it. The wood-cutter closely examined it and said that it looked shiny. His son would love to play with it. If it were sold, he would be willing to give 370 KG of firewood for it. The disciple thanked him and went further. Reaching the market place, he entered a rice merchant’s shop and showed the stone to him. The rice dealer said that it looked like an artificial diamond. He would give one bag of rice for it as it could be used in a necklace. The disciple thanked the rice dealer and went on. By now his interest was thoroughly aroused. What was the real value of this stone? He went into a goldsmith’s shop and showed it to him. The goldsmith examined it minutely and said that he would give a thousand rupees for it. Really! The disciple thanked the goldsmith and approached a diamond merchant. The moment the merchant saw it, he exclaimed in surprise, “Where did you get this fine diamond? It is priceless. Even if I sell all my wealth, I will not have enough to pay for it. Nobody in our city can really assess its value. So don’t be in a hurry to dispose of it in our small town, but go to a big city. There you are likely to get its real worth.” Wonder of wonders! How the value of the stone changed from person to person! The disciple thanked the merchant and returned to the ashram. He reported to the Guru the various offers that had been made for the stone.

The Guru nodded his head and said, “This is the case with Ram Nama too. All the people may know it, but who knows it’s real worth? Just as the diamond merchant was the only one who recognized the value of the stone, so also only the sadhaka who perfects himself by the continuous repetition of the Lord’s name knows its real value. To all others its real value is not known.” Now the disciple understood what the Guru meant when he said that Rama Nama was secret. He strove hard with faith and devotion and soon became enlightened.

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Find the following words in the above word puzzle. Rama - Son of King Dasaratha & Queen Kausalya. Sita - Wife of Lord Rama Janaka - Sita’s father. Ravana - King of Lanka Lakshmana - Brother of Rama Dasaratha - King of Ayodhya Bharata - brother of Rama, son of Queen Kaikeyi. Vishwamitra - Guru of Rama and his brothers. Vasishtha - Guru to King Dasaratha Kaikeyi - youngest wife of King Dasaratha, Mother of Bharata Sumintra - youngest wife of Dasaratha Kausalya - first wife of Dasaratha Shatrughna - son of King Dasaratha and Queen Sumitra Sugriva - Rightful king of the vanaras Bali - brother of Sugreeva Hanuman - Advisor to Sugriva. Angada - Son of Vali, nephew of Sugriva. Vibheeshana - younger brother of Ravana Kumbhakarna - Ravana’s brother. Kevat – boatman


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Surya Namaksar



iterally translated as sun salutation, Surya Namaskar means paying homage to Lord Surya. This age old practice was designed by sages on a scientific basis to bring about a harmonious development of body and mind by giving proper exercise to every part of the body and keeping the mind alert.

BENEFITS These powerful yoga poses have a great impact on the



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heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs – the whole body from top to bottom. It purifies the blood and improves blood circulation throughout the body and ensures proper functioning of the stomach, bowel, and nerve centres. It revitalises your body and


deaths due to diabetes and high blood glucose

deaths caused by diabetes


adults have diabetes


Main types of diabetes


Diabetes can lead to complications in many parts of the body and increase the risk of dying prematurely.


Heart attack



Kidney failure

Body produces insulin but can’t use it well

A temporary condition in pregnancy

Stroke Blindness

Body does not produce enough insulin




refreshes your mind, leaves you feeling energetic throughout the course of the day.



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Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provides an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet. It is both a Yogic exercise and a form of worshiping the sun. The sun is the life source for this planet. In everything that you eat, drink and breathe, there is an element of the sun. Surya Namaskar comprises a sequence of 12 yoga postures. One round of Sun Salutation consists of 12 yoga poses (asanas). One set consists of two rounds of Sun Salutation; first stretching the right side of your body and then switching to the left side.

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Helps lose weight - when done at a fast pace, Surya Namaskar can give you an excellent cardiovascular workout helping you to lose weight. The postures will help stretch your abdominal muscles while helping you shed pounds around your belly. Helps strengthen muscles and joints - Surya Namaskar offers you a good way to stretch and strengthen your muscles, joints, ligament, as well as the skeletal system. The movements can also help improve the flexibility of your spine. Gives glowing skin - Surya Namaskar improves your blood circulation that aids in bringing back the glow on your face; preventing the onset of wrinkles, making your skin look ageless and radiant. Ensures a smooth running and better functioning digestive system – these poses will help increase the blood flow to your digestive tract resulting in better functioning of the intestines. The forward bend pose will help increase your abdomen space which will aid in releasing the trapped gases from your system. Helps cope with insomnia - The asanas will help calm your mind, giving you a good night’s sleep. You can improve your sleeping patterns by the practise of Surya Namaskar. Ensures regular menstrual cycle - Surya Namaskar can also be beneficial for women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycles as it helps regulate it. Regular practice of the movements can also help in easy childbirth. Brings down blood sugar levels - the movements of the sun salutation also aid in bringing down your blood sugar levels and help keep heart diseases at bay. Keeps anxiety at bay - It helps improve your memory and nervous system and also helps calm you down and get rid of anxiety. It normalizes the activity of the endocrine glands, especially the thyroid gland. Helps detox - Due to the active inhalation and exhalation process, the lungs are thoroughly ventilated and the blood remains oxygenated. See Page 11

Sanatan Dharm Par Upkaaric Sabha

Surya Namaksar....

Upkaaric Jyoti

From Page 10

This also helps in detoxifying one’s body by getting rid of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.

heritage. Observing Varsha Pratipada is one stone in building that super structure of reclaiming our heritage. There is nothing wrong with Hindus calling this area Kailash. Why can't we say Lima Shiva mandir is in Kailash? And Kailash is a part in Lima. If sufficient people do it, it will be accepted. In Cornelia Ida, people call the last street 'Swami Street'. It's become accepted with the passage of time. But it is a lot more than just names of places.

Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach and after taking a bath. It should be done in a clean, airy place facing east. The 12 positions should follow one another with unbroken rhythm. Each position should be held for about 5 secs. 6 complete inhalations and exhalations are made. After completing the Namaskar, relax the body completely in Shava Aasan (corpse pose).

In India itself, there is a challenge emphasising its link with the past. There are violent debates, persons unwilling to accept that Hindus are their ancestors. But India has been a Hindu land and it's that India we reclaim. That's our India. Our India is not the India of a political party or the constitution of India.

Step #1: Pranamasana (Prayer pose) Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet. As you breathe in, lift both your arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in a prayer position. Step #2: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose) Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears. In this pose, the effort is to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers.

Step #8: Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

Step #3: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)

If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.

Step #4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose) Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Bring the right knee to the floor and look up. Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms. Step #5: Dandasana (Stick pose) As you hold your breathe, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor. Step #6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts or points) Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit. The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor). Step #7: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture. You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up. As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward. Ensure you’re stretching just as much as you can; do not force your body.

Swami Aksharananda's Hindu New Year ... From Page 1

How to

Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, beside the feet. Keep the hands fixed in this position and not move them until you finish Step 10.


Breathing out, lift the hips and the tail bone up, chest downwards in an ‘inverted V’ (/) posture.

Step #9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose) Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look up. Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor. Step #10: Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose) Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary. Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees. Step #11: Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose) Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward. Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretch backwards. Step #12: Pranamasana (Prayer pose) As you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in a prayer position. This completes 1 round of Surya Namaskar. Now repeat for the other side of the body (pushing back the left leg instead in Step 4).

This heritage which I speak about has not been limited to Hindus alone. What India has done for the world, every Hindu would be proud of. We gave Science, Mathematics & Medicine to the world. When we speak of reclaiming our heritage, we have to talk most importantly in terms of our spiritual heritage. The world is hungry for peace of mind, the world is hungry for happiness. And it is the Hindus who have taught this world that your happiness is only in your own self, nowhere else. It is only when we come to that ancient message given by the Hindus and which is now being discovered by the west that we will find peace. Look in your own self for your happiness. It is in the self alone that there is happiness. Every time we look for happiness outside, we are searching for it in the wrong place. If you depend on happiness outside of you, you will lose. That person or object we think is the source of our happiness will not be there forever. This is the spiritual heritage that India has given to the world. What is the basis of law? I must not be hurt, therefore I must not hurt. All laws are based on that one fundamental principal. I don't want pain, so I must not cause pain. That is the principal of Ahimsa, of non violence. There is a lot more to talk about in reclaiming our heritage. We have lost language, food, clothing, music. All these are important parts of our heritage. Ask yourself, whose music, food, clothing are integrated in our lives today? Whose culture and values are we copying in terms of our day to day existence? Sisters and brothers, when we talk about reclaiming our heritage, it is all of this I'm talking about. I honestly believe that if there is anywhere in this country where it is possible for us to do that more successfully, it is on the Essequibo Coast. Essequibo is still the beacon of Sanatan Dharm. The Sanatan Dharm Par Upkaaric Sabha is one of the only organisation that I know which doesn't have a political connection and that is one of your greatest strengths. Hari Om Shanti.

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Head Office - WDs Mall, Lot 110 Charity, Essequibo Coast Tel: 771-1630. Email:  Facebook: upkaaricsabha/  Website:


Spiritual Leader – Pandit Tarrah Ram Chowbay (Tel# 771-4100) Acting President – Bhai Sahadeo Biragie (Tel# 619-5598) Secretary – Bahengie Chandrawattie Coomal (Tel# 630-3323) Treasurer – Bhai Rampersaud Gopaul (Tel# 651-0439) Asst. Sec/Trea – Bahengie Darshanie Lall (Tel# 672-3182) Public Relations Officer - Pitajee Deleep Singh (Tel# 616-8900) IT Officer - Bhai Mahendra Chattergoon (Tel# 628-9374) Organising Secretary - Sunita Hardyal & Kamlawattie Sharma

List of Affiliated Mandirs • • • • • • • • • •

Pomeroon - Shri Sookdeojie Ashram Charity - Ishwar Jyotie Mandir Better Success – Vishnu Mandir Paradise - Shri Krishna Mandir Walton Hall - Prachalak Mandalee Devonshire Castle - Jamuna Teerath Mandir Hampton Court - Hari Dwar Mandir Sparta - Seeta Raam Radhe Shaam Mandir Lima - Shiva Mandir Richmond - Saraswatie Mandir

Upkaaric sabha 2018 Newsletter  
Upkaaric sabha 2018 Newsletter