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Shanthi Sandesh

Hindu Temple And Community Center Of Mid-Missouri 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202-2043 http://shanthimandir.missouri.org (573) 814-1286 V O L U M E

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History and Evolution of the Hindi Language - Arun Jain

N amaste!

Inside This Issue Evolution of Hindi

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Hinduism

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Birds of a Feather

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A Peek in to the Divine

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Mind your Language

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Bhagavad Gita

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Republic Day

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Bal Sandesh

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Bring People Together

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Math Puzzle

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The Myth of Eclipse

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Thyagaraja Aradhana

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Pongalo Pongal

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Republic Day

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HTCC contest details

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HTCC Celebration

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Violin Concert

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Guru Nanak Jayanthi

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New Year & Thiruppavai

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Pongal

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Skanda Sashti

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Consumer Confidence

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Donors

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Community Calendar

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You may have heard that greeting, when visiting Indian friends and relatives here in the US or in India. It’s a common Hindi greeting similar to “Hello”. The literal translation of it is “I bow my head to you”. Chances are that you are one of over 2 dozen folks who participates in the Hindi classes and have heard it in there. If you do not attend but have an interest in learning Namaste basic conversational Hindi, swing by Shanthi Mandir on the 2nd and 4th Sundays and we can get you started. You may even bump into few Non-India-origin adult students that are learning Hindi at the Mandir! The word Hindī is of Persian origin and literally means "Indian". The word was originally used by Muslims in north India to refer to any Indian language: for example the eleventh-century writer Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī used it to refer to Sanskrit.

Hindi is part of the Indo-Aryan (Indic) language family in the northern plains of India. The Indo-Aryan languages are a branch of the IndoEuropean language family. SIL International (See Note 1) in a 2005 estimate counted a total of 209 varieties of Indic, the largest in terms of native speakers being Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu, about 540 million), Bengali (about 200 million), Punjabi (about 100 million), Marathi नमःते (about 90 million), Gujarati (about 45 million), Nepali (about 40 million),Oriya (about 30 million), and Sindhi (about 20 million), with a total number of native speakers of more than 900 million. History The earliest evidence of the group is from Vedic Sanskrit (1500 BCE), the language used in the ancient preserved texts of the Indian subcontinent, the foundational canon of Hinduism known as the Vedas. In about the 4th

century BCE, the Sanskrit language was standardized by the grammarian Panini, and is called "Classical Sanskrit". Outside the learned sphere of Sanskrit, vernacular dialects called Prakrits continued to evolve. In medieval times, the Prakrits diversified into various Middle Indic dialects referred to as “Apabhransa", spanning roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The two largest languages that formed from Apabhransa were Bengali and Hindi; others include Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, and Punjabi. Though there is no consensus for a specific time, Hindi originated as local dialects such as Braj, Awadhi and finally Khari Boli after the turn of tenth century. The Sravakachar of Devasena (dated to the 930s) is now considered to be the first Hindi book. In the span of nearly a thousand years of Muslim influence, such as when Muslim rulers controlled much of northern India during the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, many Persian and Arabic words were absorbed Continued on page 4

trustee families who have contributed to the success of our capital drive to date. We t is hard to believe that we quarter was no different from gratefully acknowledge their are into our third year of the earlier seven quarters with donations on Page 14. They serving Columbia! As has been many significant developments join the 12 trustee families who the tradition, we heralded the to report. Our Capital have been major benefactors New Year with a session of Campaign, under the able of HTCC from the start. With meditation led by Kate Walker leadership of Holalkere your support, we will vigorously and a fine devotional program Chandrasekhar, has got off to continue our Capital Campaign put together by Hema an excellent start, thanks to the in 2008, until we achieve our Srinivasan highlighting our efforts of many dedicated target. The Mandir’s ownership youth. Like most young members. In the short few base has also grown with the organizations growing to serve months since the campaign addition of many new lifetime the community, every quarter began we have reached 40% members. As of now, our in our early life has seen of our target of $250,000. We lifetime membership stands at Continued on page 3... significant developments. Last warmly welcome 13 new

Message from the Executive Board

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HINDUISM - A CONVERGENCE OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND SPIRITUALITY - G. Lakshman

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Ancient India has survived because Hinduism was not developed along material but spiritual lines. Mahatma Ghadhi

his is the age of 'cynical agnosticism'. We refuse to believe that what we perceive with our senses is but a microscopic and limited manifestation of a larger and unfathomed reality. We tend to focus on the superficial and expect to find the 'Inner Truth'. We have been profoundly influenced by the Western attitude that the ultimate 'Truth' can be discovered by scientific methods alone, although the consensus from the latest developments in modern physics, cosmology and medicine squarely points to the contrary. Cynical agnosticism is essentially born out of colossal ignorance and intellectual arrogance, and proclaims the primacy of Homo Sapiens as the centre of universal reality. Hinduism recognizes that Man readily falls prey to this web of delusion and has, therefore, developed a cogent and comprehensive rationale for understanding and reaching the ultimate 'Truth' - the Brahman. Hinduism has no origin, nor a single preceptor. It is Apourusheya, meaning it has no human origin and it is a divine revelation to Rishis during their spiritual experiences. Hinduism offers a refreshing intellectual and scientific approach to unravel the universe as we perceive it and paves the way to experience the 'unseen' reality. Hinduism is a blue-print for a life that can lead us to experience the Divinity inherent in us. Hinduism, therefore, is the path that gives us the knowledge of the seen and unseen universe, provides us with a scientific approach to strengthen our physical, psychological and spiritual personalities and enables us to realize the infinite potential within us. The name 'Hinduism' is really a misnomer, created and perpetrated by the historians for simplicity of classification. Hinduism refers to

our internal energies and bringing out the full potential of our inherent capabilities. This is detailed in Patanajali's Yoga Sutras. Meditation, yoga and poojas (rituals of devotion and worship) are based on a deeper and fuller understanding of the human being in his entirety. They elucidate the Mind-BodySpirit paradigm that modern medicine is barely trying to understand. The principles of Hinduism are based on the understanding of the 'complete' human personality, not merely the physical and physiological framework. Hinduism has always championed the inquiring mind and encouraged active discussion of its spiritual wisdom and philosophical thought. It is precisely for this reason that we have six systems of philosophy, more correctly called Darshanaas, which clearly exemplify the profound expanse of intellectual stamina that is the basis of Sanaathana Dharma. These are Nyaaya, Vaiseshika, Saamkhya, Mimaamsa, Yoga and Vedaanta. They represent the intellectual approaches to reconcile the philosophical and spiritual aspects of the Hindu thought. It is extraordinary to realize that Hinduism is universal, it applies to one and all. The law of gravitation does not depend upon our faith to act on us but our lives will be much simpler beginning to recognize the and without accidents if we existence of 'consciousness', understand and follow the law. without which our knowledge of Similarly, Hinduism gives us the the universe will remain road map for an accident-free incomplete! It is, therefore, futile life and can get us smoothly and to try to evaluate the scientific swiftly through the spiritual veracity of the concepts and transformation. It can make our tenets of Hinduism from the lives full of joy and bliss. Just standpoint of physics, chemistry like the law of gravitation, it applies to all human beings. If and biological sciences. we believe in it and follow the Human beings need to break Dharma, we will be practicing out of the physical barriers which limit their ability to realize Hindus. If we choose to play 'cynical agnostics', reveling in their mental and spiritual potential. Hinduism has laid out idle criticism we will be poorer a very effective strategy to make for it, with lives filled with misery and painâ˜Ż us more efficient for focusing

'Sanaathana Dharma', a profound strategy for the ordinary (Jeevatman) to become the extraordinary (Brahman). It is the universal law that governs all phases of human existence; physical, psychological and spiritual. It describes the mental and spiritual horizons that encompass the physical universe that we are familiar with. It is important to point out here that eminent Nobel Laureates, who have worked all their lives investigating the threads that hold this universe together, believe that this universe is not a random event but a minute part of a larger creation with 'cosmic consciousness'! According to Sanaathana Dharma our material world is encased in five successive sheaths or koshaas,- Annamaya Kosha (matter), Praanamaya Kosha (energy), Manomaya Kosha (consciousness), Vignaanamaya Kosha (knowledge) and Aanandamaya Kosha (bliss). We have to tread past the first four koshas or horizons to reach the ultimate 'blissful' state. It is gratifying to know that modern science is


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Birds of a feather: Hindi and Urdu Language - Arun Jain

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he term Urdu arose in 1645. Until then, and even after 1645, the term Hindi or Hindwi was used in a general sense for the dialects of central and northern India. There are two fundamental distinctions between standard Urdu and standard Hindi that lead to their being recognized as distinct languages: the source of borrowed vocabulary (Persian/Arabic for Urdu and Sanskrit for Hindi); and the script used to write them (for Urdu, an adaptation of the Perso-Arabic alphabet written in Nasta'liq style; for Hindi, an adaptation of the Devanagari script). Urdu was earlier called Zabān-e-Urdū-eMu’allah, lit., the "Exalted Language of the Camp". Earlier, terms Hindi and Urdu were used interchangeably even by Urdu poets like Mir and Mirza Ghalib of the early 19th

Message from the Executive Board Continued from page 1

a strong 59. Our membership drive for 2008 is underway. We already have several new members in 2008 in addition to the renewal of many of our 2007 members. Please remember to renew your membership, if you have not already done so. Please also consider upgrading your annual membership to lifetime membership. The lifetime dues provide the HTCC with a strong ownership base and steady stream of revenue for delivering quality devotional, education, cultural, youth and service programs. Please pencil in March 14-15 in your calendars. This is when we have scheduled our Second Anniversary Celebrations. The ad-hoc planning committee for the event chaired by Arun Jain comprising almost a dozen active members has been busy for the last several weeks putting together the details of the week-end of fun and reflection. Once the details are finalized, we will make them available to our members and friends through our web site and other direct mailings. This year an inspiring theme has been chosen for the celebration. It is "We Can Make a Difference". We owe the idea to this year’s Reflection contest organized by the Missouri PTA titled “I can make a difference”. “Service” to the community is truly one of our pillars as our signboard proudly proclaims The celebration will include a banquet and entertainment on Friday night, devotional programs and a business meeting on Saturday morning and will be topped off with a pot-luck lunch. The 2007 annual report, Samarpanam, will be released at

century (rather, the politics of religion and ethnicity terms Hindwi/Hindi was portrays them as two separate used more often). By languages since they are written in 1850, Hindi and Urdu two entirely different scripts. were no longer used for Before the Partition of India, Delhi, the same language. Lucknow, Aligarh and Hyderabad Other linguists such as used to be the four literary centers Sir G. A. Grierson of Urdu — none of which lie in (1903) have also present Pakistan. Colloquially and claimed that Urdu is linguistically, the distinction simply a dialect or style between the Urdu and Hindi is of Western Hindi. insignificant. This is true for the Hindi is only northern half of the Indian contrasted with Urdu in subcontinent, wherever neither the way both were learned vocabulary nor writing is Mirza Ghalib written. Urdu is the used. Interestingly, if Urdu is official language of Pakistan and also an written in Devanagiri script, it will be official language in some parts of India. To assumed as Hindi and vice versa. The a common unbiased person, both Hindi popular examples are Bollywood songs and Urdu are same (Hindustani) though and gazals☯ the banquet. Interest and weather permitting, our Devotional Programs Committee also plans for a Havan on Saturday evening. As a part of the celebration, the HTCC Youth Activities Committee is organizing several contests with the same theme - "We Can Make a Difference". These contests include literary arts, jingle composition, and visual arts. The contests are open to youth and adults alike. Details of the contest guidelines are included on Page 10. On the programming front, our newly initiated Tabla classes are going strong. A group of 9 dedicated students, including 3 continuing students, have been at it for several months now. Satheji teaches once a month at the Mandir and we car-pool once a month to his home-based studio in Chesterfield, MO. Another new program, Amritvani, coordinated by Mrs. Mona Puri plans to meet at the Mandir every first Saturday at 6:00 pm. The group met for the first time on February 2. The hour-long program includes singing hymns in praise of Lord Rama. We would encourage members interested in this program to join this group. Last November, we participated in the inter-faith thanksgiving celebration that has now become a regular event. Many children and other adult members participated in Thanksgiving Around the World held at the newly inaugurated Congregation Beth Shalom facility on Green Meadows Road. HTCC was represented on the planning committee for this event by Aniruddha Raychaudhuri. Mandir special events during the last quarter included Skanda Sashti, Talk on Divine Mother (of Shri Aurobino Ashram) and Guru Nanak Jayanthi. Short write-ups for some of these events are included

elsewhere in this issue. Early December also saw action from our newly formed HTCC Cultural Programs Committee. The Mandir played host to a scintillating violin concert by Purnaprajnya with accompaniment provided on the Mridangam by Shiva. Our regular program offerings in the devotional, educational, cultural, youth and service areas are continuing to flourish and faithfully serve the Columbia community. As always, this issue of the Shanthi Sandesh is packed with informative, interesting and thought-provoking articles. The lead article in this issue History and Evolution of Hindi by Arun Jain provides an interesting perspective on the language, its many regional dialects and its Vedic origins. On a somewhat related subject, Saroj Mohan provides useful insights on Sanskrit, a language used for most, if not all of the Hindu scriptures. The thoughtprovoking article by Dr. G. Lakshman presents arguments illustrating the convergence of science, philosophy and spirituality in the practice of Hinduism. At a time, when the economy is on many of our minds, timely information from Srinath Gopalakrishna allows us to better appreciate the coupling of consumer confidence and the economy. Last but not the least, besides these fine articles, we have an interesting smorgasbord of creative effort by our youth in the Bal Sandesh section of our newsletter. Happy reading! And as always, see you at the Mandir☯ Vellore S. Gopalaratnam Inder Khurana Visala Palaniappan Anuradha Rajagopalan


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History and Evolution

Complete tomorrow’s tasks today, today's tasks now. If the moment is lost, when will the tasks be done? Sant Kabir

language in several states.

Number of speakers According to the 1991 census of India (which encompasses all into Khari Boli and was called Official status the dialects of Hindi, including Hindustani. those that might be considered Evidence from the seventeenth The Constitution of India, adopted in 1950, declares Hindi separate languages by some century indicates that the in the Devanagari script as the linguists—e.g., Bhojpuri), Hindi language then called "Hindi" official language (rājabhāshā) of is the mother tongue of about existed in two differing styles: the Union (Article 343(1)). Hindi 337 million Indians, or about among Muslims it was liable to is also enumerated as one of the 40% of India's population that contain a larger component of twenty-two languages of the year. According to SIL Persian-derived words and International's would be written down in a script Eighth Schedule of the Constitution Ethnologue, derived from Persian, while Hindi speaking of India, which about 180 million among Hindus it used a states in India entitles it to people in India vocabulary more influenced by representation on regard standard Sanskrit and was written in (Khari Boli) Hindi Devanagari script. These styles the Official Language as their mother eventually developed into tongue, and modern Urdu and modern Hindi Commission. The another 300 respectively. However the word Constitution of India has million use it as a "Urdu" was not used until stipulated the second language. around 1780: before then the usage of Hindi Outside India, word "Hindi" could be used for and English to be Hindi speakers both purposes. The use of number around 8 "Hindi" to designate what would the two million in Nepal, now be called "Urdu" continued languages of communication 890,000 in South Africa, as late as the early twentieth for the Central Government. 685,000 in Mauritius, 317,000 in century. It was envisioned that Hindi the U.S., 233,000 in Yemen, This state of affairs continued would become the sole working 147,000 in Uganda, 30,000 in until the Partition of India in language of the central Germany, 20,000 in New 1947. Hindustani was replaced Zealand and 5,000 in Singapore, by Standard Hindi as the official government by 1965 (per while the UK and UAE also have language of India, and soon the directives in Article 344 (2) and Article 351), with state notable populations of Hindi Persian words in common governments being free to speakers. Hence, according to parlance were slowly replaced function in languages of their the SIL ethnologue (1999 data), by Sanskrit words, in a bid to own choice. However, a combination of Hindi and Urdu make the language more languages makes it the fifth "Indian". In contemporary times, widespread resistance movements to the imposition of most spoken language in the there is a continuum of Hindi– Hindi on non-native speakers world. Urdu, with heavily-Persianised (such as the Anti-Hindi According to Comrie (1998 Urdu at one end and agitations in Tamilnadu) lead to data), Hindi is the second most Sanskritised Hindi at the other, the passage of the Official spoken language in the world, although the basic grammar Languages Act (1963), which with 333 million native speakers. remains identical. Most people From 1991 to 2008, the speak somewhere in the middle: provided for the continued use of English, indefinitely, for all population of India has grown by Hindustani. official purposes. However, the about 36% (from 838 to 1,198 Standard Hindi constitutional directive to the million), so that the number of After independence, the central government to champion current speakers may be Government of India worked on the spread of Hindi was retained expected to be roughly a third standardizing Hindi, instituting and has strongly influenced the higher than those given above. the following changes: policies of the Union • standardization of Hindi government. Note 1 - SIL International is a At the state level, Hindi is the grammar: In 1954, the worldwide U.S.-based non-profit Government of India set up a official language of the following evangelical Christian states in India: Bihar, committee to prepare a organization whose main Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, grammar of Hindi; The purpose is to study, develop and Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, committee's report was document lesser-known released in 1958 as "A Basic Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, languages in order to expand Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Grammar of Modern Hindi" linguistic knowledge, promote and Delhi. Each of these states literacy and aid minority • standardization of Hindi may also designate a "co-official language development. SIL spelling language"; in Uttar Pradesh for • standardization of the International is the sister instance, depending on the Devanagari script by the organization of Wycliffe Bible political formation in power, Central Hindi Directorate of Translators, an agency the Ministry of Education and sometimes this language is dedicated to translating the Bible Urdu. Similarly, Hindi is Culture to bring about into minority languages☯ accorded the status of co-official uniformity in writing and to Continued from page 1

Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub ?

improve the shape of some Devanagari characters. • scientific mode of transcribing the Devanagari alphabet

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A Peek into the Divine - Saroj Mohan

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anskrit is known as "Deva bhaasha" the divine language, the language of the "Devas". Sanskrit is the mother of most of the languages of India like Hindi, Malayalam and, many foreign languages like German, Russian etc. For example sugar in Sanskrit is called "Sharkarah", "Shakkar" in Hindi, "Zukkaro" in German and "Sugar" in English. It is a fascinating study. Rishi Panini was the greatest "Vyakaranacharya" (one who knows the grammar) of Sanskrit. He was respectfully called Bhagavan Panini in those times. Sanskrit is an accurate, pure and phonetic language. Most of our ancient literature was sung

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and kept alive by chanting, through "guru shishya parampara" (teacher and disciple). Later they were collected, compiled and written in Sanskrit by Rishi Veda Vyasa . They were the four "Vedas" and eighteen "Upnishadas". He also wrote "Mahaabharata" the great epic of all time. "Bhagavad Gita" is enshrined in the middle of "Mahaabharata". It is said that even after doing this great amount of work, he was neither content nor blissful, so he wrote "Shreemad Bhaagavat Puran", in most magnificent Sanskrit. Again the gist of all the above mentioned scriptures, were told in enchanting stories for easy understanding for all. From the

evolution of life on earth to fully evolved human being in form of Shree Krishna "Sat Chit Anand" is expressed for the benefit of humanity in "Shreemat Bhaagavat Puran." Later Adi Shankaracharya united India through Sanskrit by establishing four "Mathas" on four corners of India. "Upanishadas" were the "Saara" or gist of the huge "Vedas ". The fruit of a tree is like the gist of what we can get from the tree. The value of milk is judged by its butter content. Similarly, the gist of ancient Indian philosophy is in the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita is a doorway to self realization, peace and happiness to all at all times. It is imperative for our youth to enter this doorway and explore the magnificent horizon which, leads to divinity

Mind your Language: Dialects of Hindi - Arun Jain

indi covers a number of Central, EastCentral, Eastern, and Northern Zone languages. Since the dialects form a continuum, there are no sharp boundaries, and they are conventionally divided more simply into a Western and an Eastern group. This group excludes varieties sometimes claimed for Hindi, such as Bihari, Rajasthani, and Pahari. Thus Hindi proper includes — Western Hindi (of which Sauraseni is the immediate precursor): Braj, spoken in western Uttar Pradesh and adjacent districts of Rajasthan and Hariyana. Hariyanvi or Bangaru, spoken in the state of Haryana and some outlying areas of Delhi. Bundeli or Bundelkhandi, spoken in west-central Madhya Pradesh. Example – “Unke kaje humne je galle ka byapar karo.” (We started this cloth business for him) Kannauji, spoken in west-central Uttar Pradesh. Kauravi or Vernacular Hindustani, spoken to the north and northeast of Delhi. Khari boli, the standard dialect, generally identified with the grammatical core of Kauravi (vernacular Hindustani), but displaying features of other dialects and adjacent languages, as well as non-Indic languages such as Persian. It forms the basis of the standard registers of Modern Standard Hindi and Urdu. Eastern Hindi (of which Ardhamagadhi is the immediate precursor) Awadhi, spoken in north and north-central Uttar Pradesh. Bagheli, spoken in northcentral Madhya Pradesh and central Uttar Pradesh. Chattisgarhi, spoken in southeast Madhya Pradesh and northern and central Chattisgarh.

Non-Hindi regions in the Indian subcontinent Bambaiya Hindi, the dialect of the city of Bombay (Mumbai); it is based on Khariboli dialect, but heavily influenced by Marathi and Gujarati. Technically it is a pidgin, i.e., neither is it a mother language of any people nor is it used in formal settings by the educated and upper social strata. However, it is often used in the movies of Hindi cinema (Bollywood) because Mumbai is the base of the Bollywood film industry. Example – “Nako, apun ko nahi mangta.” (No, I don’t want it) Dakhini, a dialect of the Urdu language that has fallen out of use in recent times, was spoken in the Deccan region of southern India, centered on the cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai. Dakhni dialects are an amalgam of Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Kannada, and Telugu. Example – “Kaayaku kuch-kekuch afsana banaya tu?” (Why did you make up any story?) Kalkatiya Hindi, another Khariboli-based pidgin spoken in the city of Calcutta (Kolkata), Shillong, etc., heavily influenced by Bhojpuri and Bengali. Arunachal Hindi is a regional dialect and is an amalgamation of Hindi and the various tribal dialects of the state of Arunachal pradesh. Words such as 'Yamtar', meaning "pickle" are spoken instead of 'achaar' and so on. Outside the Indian subcontinent Mauritian Hindi, spoken in Mauritius, based on Bhojpuri and influenced by French. Sarnami, a form of Bhojpuri with Awadhi influence spoken by Surinamers of Indian

descent. Fiji Hindi, derived form of Awadhi, Bhojpuri and including many English and native Fijian words, is spoken by Fijians of Indian descent. Trinidad Hindi, based on Bhojpuri, and spoken in Trinidad and Tobago by people of Indian descent. South African Hindi, based on Bhojpuri, and spoken in South Africa by people of Indian descent. Hinglish "Hinglish" is the use of Hindi and English, combining both, in one sentence. This is more commonly seen in urban and semiurban centers of population, but is slowly spreading its root into rural and remote areas via television and word of mouth, slowly achieving vernacular status. Many speakers do not realize that they are incorporating English words into Hindi sentences or Hindi words into English sentences. This highly popular mixing of both the languages in most parts of northern and central India has grown from the fact that English is a popular language of choice amongst the urban youth who find themselves comfortable in its lexicon. It is already the medium for imparting education in many schools across the nation. The advent of cable television and its pervasive growth has seen the masses exposed to a wide variety of programming from across the world. Another factor contributing to the spread of Hinglish is the popularity of Bollywood films. Examples "Dad, time kyā huā hai?" (Dad, what is the time right now?). "Aunty, mujhe mall se jeans lenī hai." (Aunty, I want to buy jeans from the mall)☯


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Shreemad Bhagavad Gita - Saroj Mohan

hreemad Bhagavad Gita is the crest jewel of ancient Indian scriptures. Bhagavad Gita is an eternal magnificent song sung by Lord Shree Krishna to his beloved friend and disciple Arjuna. Bhagavad Gita is established in the middle of great epic "Mahabharata" (written by Rishi Veda Vyasa) like a beacon light which illumines both the sides of the great battle field. This war was fought between sons of Kauravas and Pandavas. Symbolically, it is a war between Dharma and Adharma. The blind

Kaurava king Dhritarashtra refused to give even an inch of their rightful kingdom to Pandavas. So in spite of Shree Krishna's efforts for peace, the war did take place. King Dhritarashtra's blindness symbolizes ignorance, ego and, wrong kind of attachment for his sons. Arjuna is a noble warrior and a sensitive human being. He felt sad, confused and deluded at the prospect of fighting and killing his own kinsmen. It is important to note here that in times of stress and uncertainty, whom do we turn to? Arjuna turned to the Divine. Thus the divine song Bhagavad Gita appeared for the benefit of humanity. It is a dialogue between disciple Arjuna and Lord Shree Krishna.

Bhagavad Gita has eighteen chapters and seven hundred verses. It is like a bouquet of eighteen beautiful flowers. Each one is unique in itself and yet as a magnificent creation, which leads to the same Goal. There are three great pillars of Gita, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga and Gyan yoga. The first six chapters are for Karma yoga, next six for Bhakti yoga and last six for Gyan yoga. These are three great highways to Self-realization, peace, love and bliss for all at all times. According to the different aptitude and temperament of a person, any of these can reach the Goal. This matchless scripture can be explored only through chapter by chapter. This magnificent journey is available to all who want to take it☯

Republic Day 2008 Celebration - Ravi Thawani

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ike every year, Republic Day 2008 was celebrated by Cultural Association of India (CAI) and Bal Sabha on January 26th , 2008. The celebration that lasted seventy-five minutes started with the Bal Sabha Children’s Choir singing the customary “Van-DeMataram” followed by Indian and American national anthems. Bal Sabha Children’s Choir was led by Varsha Pherwani. Ms. Bandhana Kotoch, the outgoing President of CAI welcomed the gathering. After the CAI Treasurer’s report, Ms. Kotoch continued with the installation of new officers. The new President of CAI welcomed the new students and announced that Ranadhir Mitra was chosen as the faculty advisor. The stage was then turned over to Bal Sabha for the cultural program. Manjula Narsimhan was the Emcee for the rest of the program. The cultural program started with a

Patriotic songs “Desh ki Mitti”, and “Rang de Basanti Chola” sung by the Nishant Jain set the patriotic mood for the audience gathered at the celebration. Song “Chitthi Aayi Hai” sung by Uday Shriniwar, an MU student, took most of us sitting in the audience mentally back to India- the invocation dance dedicated to country that we love. Goddess Saraswati performed Kolattam Dance performed by by Priyanka Tejwani, Suryanshi Ashwath K, Kavin, Maya C, Rawat and Nila Palaniappan. Naimish, Ashwath E, Nila, The dance was performed with Prerna and Shreyas dressed in grace and poise by the young colorful traditional costumes ones dressed in traditional reminded everyone of the rich costumes. cultural heritage of India. The talk by Prerna Srinivasan Vote of Thanks was given by about “Republic Day” celebration Ravi Thawani. in India was quite informative Instrumental music by Maya, and prompted Dr. Mitra to come Prerna and Ashwath brought the to the stage and enlighten cultural program to a close. everyone present regarding the To top it all off, Bal Sabha fact that the date January 26th , children and their families drove 1930, (before the Independence) to CiCi’s Pizza for dinner. The was actually the day evening ended on a very happy “Declaration of Independence” note with over 30 people joining was signed. the traditional pizza party. We all Song “Jai Jan Bharat” was very eagerly look forward to the well sung by Naimish and Republic Day -2009 and beyond ☯ Nithya.


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Newsletter of Bal Sabha of Columbia, MO

Bal Sabha Officers President Ravi Thawani Vice President Varsha Pherwani

Feb 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE H

appy New Year 2008. This year Shanthi Mandir has a competition for various creative contribution with the theme "We can make a difference". Bal Sandesh encourages all of you to participate in this. Details are provided on Page 10. This first issue of 2008 has many interesting stories on myths, festivals and holidays. There is also an award winning essay on Martin Luther King's day. We have many drawings and the usual Math challenge. Bal Sandesh needs active participation from the members. Please send your contributions early☯

Secretary/Tresasurer Manjula Narasimhan Cultural Secretary Currently vacant

Editors

Bal Sandesh Coordinator Hema Srinivasan

Bal Sabha Kudos

How to bring people together Mohana Ratnaparkhe

Chess Competition: Ashwath Kumar Arjun and Nidhi Khurana, Vikram Arunachalam and Rohit Rao all competed in the 2008 Missouri Junior chess championship. Ashwath placed second in the 6th grade and Rohit placed sixth in fifth grade. Ashwath won 3rd place in a local anti smoking writing competition sponsored by Missouri state Medical association Alliance. In the GPML (Great Plains Math League) math contests held in Saint Louis, Ashok Cutkosky won first place in target and second place in sprint. Ashwath Kumar, sixth grade, Smithton middle school placed second in Hickman's first annual Kewpie Math Classic. In the National Youth Action chess championships held in St. Louis, November 16-18, Vikram placed 7th nationally in the K-12 blitz section and 10th nationally in the K-9 section. Vikram Arunachalam, Maya Cutkosky, Athreyo Ghosh, Nahosh Katti, Nidhi Khurana, Ashwath Kumar, Urmila Kutikkad and Nikhilesh Sharma all represented their schools in the Math Counts Chapter competition on Saturday, Feb 9. Bal Sanedsh congratulates one and all☯

6th Grade, Smithton Middle School

Swami Vivekananda

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ow can we complete Martin Luther King Jr’s dream? Cooperating, working together, collaborating are some helpful ways to bring cultures together and fulfill Martin Luther King Jr’s dream. But the question to everyone is “how?” Well there are many ways to do it. Have an open mind to make friends and be willing to get a chance to know each other. You don’t want to say or hear the words “I can’t do it”, because you can and you know it, you just need to show it. You want to be open to meeting new people. You should make friends with other cultures by understanding their feelings. Try sitting with them at lunch to figure the similarities between you and the person sitting next to you. Go to their homes. Try to learn their lifestyles, learn what they eat. Try to learn about them, their family’s lifestyle and everything else about them. Invite them to

Math Puzzle - Ashok Cutkosky 11th Grade, Hickman High School How many positive integers n satisfy (160n) ^50 > n^100 > 3^200?

your home. Those are great ways to make friends with other cultures. You should learn their language, how they sing and don’t make fun. Look at them as a person and not just as a member of a group. Look for people who need more friends and just like I said earlier try to know them. How do you know them at school if you don’t go to their homes? Well, ask them questions like what is your name? Where were you born? And where are you from? And you can add some more things to make the topic interesting. Don’t judge them by their looks or where they are from and what they like and dislike. Judge them by thinking if you are comfortable with them. There are lots of differences and you have to deal with them but first deal with the similarities. (Essay published in “The Garden of Humanity: Cultivating a community of Diversity” , Columbia Values Diversity Celebration, Thursday January 17, 2008)☯ Answer: 150 solution: n^100>3^200 is the same as n^100>9^100, so n>9. (160n)^50 > n^100 is the same as 160n>n^2. Since we know n is positive, 160n>n^2 means 160>n. Therefore we have 160>n>9, so we have 160-9-1=150 possible values.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

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The Myth of Why the Sun Passes the Moon Aswath Kumar, 6th Grade, Smithton Middle School

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ne particular meeting of the gods, the moon came unexpectedly. While the gods were attempting to discuss important issues, the moon kept bragging about how important he was to the Earth and how helpless the other gods were without him. The gods were sick of hearing him brag and brag, and brag. They decided to try another meeting without getting him involved. Despite their best efforts, the moon kept coming to the meeting and showing off. This became an issue, since the gods were so preoccupied with the moon, they couldn’t concentrate on the real problems they faced. They tried to trick him and mislead him to going to the wrong meeting at the wrong time, but the moon was smart, and he was not easily tricked. After much thought and hard efforts, the

gods decided to call upon Solarcis, the god of the sun. Solarcis was very busy on Earth, having to shine for the humans all of the time, so he wasn’t able to come to any of the meetings, let alone leave the Earth. Since Solarcis couldn’t come to the gods, the gods came to Solarcis. Poseidon, the god of the sea, sent rainstorms over the whole Earth to allow the Sun to take a break and talk with them. The gods secretly told Solarcis the issue, and left quickly before the moon could come and figure out what was going on. Solarcis came up with many plans, that wouldn’t work. He knew trying any heroism would cause a problem on Earth. He couldn’t leave his work. Also, getting rid of the moon would only cause chaos and confusion to the people and animals on Earth. After much thinking, Solarcis came up with a

plan. One normal day, the moon started to brag to the other planet gods of how he was so shiny, and important to the humans. While he was doing this, Solarcis put his plan into action. He started to move with the Earth faster and slowly crept on the moon. As the moon was speaking, Solarcis blocked him off to the rest of the gods and Earth, so no one could hear him or see him. The moon was astounded, and he stopped bragging. As soon as the moon stopped bragging, Solarcis moved backed to the normal orbit, and allowed the moon to shine. Every time the moon began to brag, Solarcis would immediately block him off again, making the moon invisible to the rest of existence. That is what Solarcis does every time the moon brags and what now we call a lunar eclipse☯

A Sheep

Nithya Balaji Pre-School

The GrandPiano Shreyas Srinivasan 2nd Grade Paxton Keeley

Thyagaraja Aradhana

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Naimish Balaji, 2nd Grade, Paxton Keeley Elementary School

like Carnatic music. St. Thyagaraja was a very famous composer of carnatic music. He wrote a lot of songs (kritis) on Lord Rama. I like listening to some of his songs. Every year thousands of musicians sing the five gems of Thyagaraja called Pancharatna kritis with a large orchestra of violin, flute, veena and mridangam etc. This grand music festival is called Thyagaraja

Aradhana. The day on which the great composer attained moksha or samadhi (left the earth for heaven) is celebrated as the Thyagaraja Aradhana. This is to honor saint Thygaraja. It is held at Thiruvaiyaru, a place in Tamil Nadu in the month of January on Pushya Bahula Panchami. Thousands of music lovers from all over the world will come, watch and sing with the great musicians. Saint Thyagaraja has composed lots of devotional song in praise of Lord Rama. He spent most of his life at Thiruvaiyaru.

The Aradhana is a week long festival. A pandal (temporary shelter) is put in front of the Samadhi of Thyagaraja where the musicians sit and perform the pancha ratna kritis. At the end of the last kriti, arthi is offered to Thyagaraja. This year is the 161st Thyagaraja aradhana which was held on Jan 27th. One day I would like to go to Thiruvaiyaru with my family to pay my respect to the great saint who has given us more than 1000 songs. Here in Columbia we celebrate Sargam a classical program in the month of March where local musicians perform☯


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PONGALO PONGAL Ashwath Elangovan, 2nd Grade, Columbia Independent School

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and then adding jaggery and decorated bulls. nuts. The moment the rice The following day is Kaanum boils and flows out of the Pongal. Traditionally people pot, people shout “Pongalo visit their relatives (Kaanum: Pongal”. Sugarcane is also to see) and friends. But in part of the Pongal tradition. cities people mainly go to The next day is Maattu beaches and parks to have Pongal. It is the day when fun with their family. cows and bulls are If you want to see a “Real decorated with paints, Pongal festival”, the place to flowers and bells. It is a way go to is any village in the state of Tamil of thanking them for all their hard work. It is Nadu, India☯ really fun to ride a bullock cart with

Photo Gallery

ongal, a harvest festival is celebrated by millions of Tamils all around the world. It marks the beginning of the Tamil month Thai. It is actually a four day festival. Bhogi, the last day of the Tamil month Margazhi is the first day of the Pongal festival. It is celebrated traditionally by burning old things. The following day marks Thai Pongal. People pray to the Sun God on this day. Chakkarai Pongal is offered as a Prasadham. It is traditionally prepared in a new earthen pot by boiling rice with milk

Republic Day - Prerna Srinivasan, 7th Grade, Smithton Middle School

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anuary 26th 1950 is one of the most important days of the Indian history. It was on this day that the Constitution of India came into effect and India became a republic. The country finally realized the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and other numerous freedom fighters that fought for India’s independence. So what did they do about it? They officially made Jan 26th a national holiday called “Republic Day”. Today Republic Day is celebrated with great pomp and joy all over India. But it is celebrated in a grand style in India’s capital, New Delhi. It starts off with a solemn reminder of the sacrifices of those who willingly died for the country in free-

dom movements and other wars for sovereignty. Then the president presents awards to those in the armed forces for their outstanding courage in the field and to civilians who have distinguished themselves by the acts of courage. To mark the importance of the event, every year a grand parade takes place at the capital from Rajghat along the path of Vijay path. The different regiments of the army, the Navy and the Air force march past in all their finery and official decorations even the horses of the cavalry are attractively decorated to suit the occasion. The crème of N.C.C. cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honor to participate

in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms. After the parade comes a pageant of wonderful displays from different states in the country. The moving exhibits show scenes or activities of people in those states and the sounds and music that come with each display. Each display shows the diversity and richness of the culture and tradition of India and the whole show gives a festive feeling to the event. The parade and pageant is broadcast by the National Television and millions watch it in every corner of the country. The patriotic fervor of the people brings the country together. Every part of the country is displayed on this occasion, which is why it makes Republic Day the most favorite of them all☯


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We Can Make a Difference

HTCC Second Anniversary Celebration Contests Unleash your creativity! Age Groups: Group I: 3 - 10 years, Group II: 11 - 18 years, Group III: 19 years and above Please send your entries on or before Feb. 22, 2008 via e-mail to htcc.youth@gmail.com Please drop off your entries for the Visual Arts Contests at Shanthi Mandir Guidelines for each category and associated deadlines are given below

Literary Arts

Jingle Composition

Visual Arts

Essays, Slogans and Poetries must be in English and address the theme of the contests and the anniversary celebration “We can make a difference”. The entries should be the original work of the contestant. Entries for the Essay Contest should be limited to 500 words Entries for the Poetry contest should be limited to 150 words The Slogan must start or end with “We can make a difference”. Limit slogans to 25 words (including the theme). Essay, Slogan and Poetry entries must all be submitted digitally in MS Word format

The jingle composition should be submitted in a digital format (submissions of any commonly used audio formats are acceptable) and address the theme of the contests and the anniversary celebration “We can make a difference”. The composition should be the original work of the contestant. Duration of the jingle should be limited to 30 seconds. The jingle should be in English and can use background music if desired. Entries must be submitted as email attachments

Paintings, Sketches and Photographs must address the theme of the contests and the anniversary celebration “We can make a difference”. The entries should be the original work of the contestant. Unless justified for the type of composition, all hardcopy submissions should be in a letter-size format (8.5” x 11”) Paintings and sketches can be on any flat media (paper, canvass etc. including multimedia collages). Photographic entries should be printed on photo paper (photos can be digitally altered) Submit details of the entry via email Organizers will arrange for dropoff of the hard-copy entries soon after the deadline by contacting the contestants.

For all the three contest the following rules apply Submit your entries on or before February 22, 2008. Please include the participant details along with your submission (in the e-mail—not the Word document). These details should include: Name, Grade, School, and contact e-mail/phone for youth and Name and contact information for adults.

HTCC reserves the right to publish entries submitted for the above contests in any of HTCC’s publications and displays

Bal Sabha meets at Shanthi Mandir every fourth Sunday of the month from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Bal Sandesh needs you! We welcome submissions of all types (reports, poetry, short stories, artwork, puzzles, jokes etc.). Work can be submitted to the Editors or the Parent Advisor. We prefer electronic version of the submission (e-mail or diskette). Artwork can be submitted on paper. Older kids interested in volunteering to serve on the editorial team should contact the Editorial Staff or the Parent Advisor. Editorial Staff Ashok Cutkosky Maya Cutkosky Sheela Lal Vidya Mantrala Chaitasi Naik Meghna Srinath Anchal Sethi Adithi Vellore Parent Advisor Hema Srinivasan

Phone 445-2854 445-2854 445-9290 446 0865

E-Mail asho44124k@yahoo.com

446-8403 514-0486 446-0063

pyari_ajnabi@hotmail.com vidya.mantrala@gmail.com chaitasinaik@hotmail.com meghna022@gmail.com danzingdivas@yahoo.com vsadithi@aol.com

445-2854

srinivasanh@missouri.edu

By the study of different religions we find that in essence they are one. Swami Vivekananda


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We Can Make a Difference - HTCC Second Anniversary Celebrations - Arun Jain

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pring is the time of hope, of possibilities; when the Mother Nature is brimming with new life, both among flora and fauna. It seems as if the year is celebrating the past chapter of achievements with a final bow before it moves on to herald the next. In a similar spirit, it is that time of the year when we get ready to celebrate the Anniversary of the HTCC and all the wonderful milestones we have added to our list of accomplishments this second year. Come join us on the weekend of Mar 14 and 15, 2008 for a community celebration of another momentous year in the young life of the HTCC.. The theme for this year is "We Can Make a Difference." Yes, we can. We can make a difference as a community through worship and service. As individuals, we can show compassion and make a difference in our own small and humble ways. Collectively, it all accumulates to an ocean of caring and well-being that positively impacts our kids, our families, our community and our neighborhoods. To get revved up and to get everyone involved with the theme, we are organizing a contest in literary arts, visual arts and musical compositions open to all members of HTCC, kids and adults alike. The deadline for all submissions is Feb 22. Please refer to the Shanthi Mandir website for further details. The HTCC Anniversary Banquet is planned for Friday, March 14 at Courtyard by Marriott (3301 LeMone Industrial Blvd, Columbia Tel: 443-8000). Registration and reception starts at 6:30pm, followed by a mouth-watering dinner at 7pm catered from St. Louis. We have a wonderful entertainment program for the evening starting at 8:30pm. The out-of-town musical group Aradhana with lead singer Dhiren Buch is sure to set our feet tapping, and also take us down memory lane. The Banquet tickets are available online 24x7 at tickets.ivarta.com and from several HTCC members. You can avail of early bird discount, if you buy tickets by Feb 29: Child

under 3 years at $3, Youth (3 - 10 years) at $12 and Adults (10+ years) at $20. For 10 or more tickets purchased together, you can even get 10% off on the total amount. Reserve early, as capacity is limited. If you miss the early bird discount regular tickets may be available from Mar 1 thru Mar 12, but tickets will not be on sale at the door. Regular ticket prices, after Mar 1, will be Child under 3 years at $5, Youth (3 - 10 years) $15 and Adult (10+ years) $25. We are planning to set up an adjacent room for kids, with supervised fun. Youth dinner tables will also be available in this adjacent room. (are your older kids looking for the farthest distance to sit from their parents’ table?). There will be additional kid-friendly dinner option (a.k.a. pizza) available in this room. Saturday religious programs will be held at Shanthi Mandir on Saturday, Mar 15 at 10:30 am. Puja will be performed by priests from Prem Prakash Temple, New York. It will be followed by a pot-luck lunch. Please contact Kala Kumar at Kala.Skumar@gmail.com , if you can provide help with the pot-luck lunch. The priests will be available for performing a collective Havan puja at the temple on Saturday evening. Please contact Chandra Rawlani at RawlaniC@yahoo.com , if you need further information or can help with the devotional program. Samarpanam, the HTCC Annual Report for 2007, will be released during the banquet. This will be an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach the Indian American community with targeted advertising while also supporting a worthy cause! We are also offering Personals - A great way to share that special message from your family and friends. Reserve your spot for a personal message in the Samarpanam by contacting Gagneesh Rawat at gagneesh_rawat@yahoo.com before Feb 25. We need help from all businesses and all community members in support of Samarpanam. Please refer to the Second Anniversary page on the Mandir web site (http://

shanthimandir.missouri.org/ SecondAnniversary.htm) for the options and rates available. You can make a difference by being a Patron! To bring you a quality banquet and weekend celebration program, we need help from the community members to underwrite the costs of the program. We invite our patrons to support the events at any one of the 3 levels of support - Silver: $250-499 (2 complimentary tickets); Gold: $500-999 (4 complimentary tickets) and Platinum: $1000+ (4 complimentary tickets). In addition, Patrons (with your permission) will be -

• Recognized in the annual report Samarpanam

• Listed on the banquet website tickets.ivarta.com

• Receive a complimentary greeting ad (Personals) Please contact Gagneesh Rawat at gagneesh_rawat@yahoo.com by Feb 29 at the latest, to assure a recognition in Samarpanam. Something new and exciting this year will be HTCC Second Anniversary Souvenirs, available for sale throughout the Anniversary weekend! We will be taking orders for Polo shirts embroidered in three colors with HTCC logo and T-Shirts screenprinted with 3 colors with HTCC logo. Polo shirts are $18 for all adult and youth sizes; and T-shirts cost $8 for adult sizes and $7 for youth sizes. Please refer to the details on the Mandir web site (Second Anniversary page) for the available sizes, shirt and logo details. Similar to last year, we will also be selling a DVD that includes HTCC highlights of 2007, for $5. DVD and shirt orders received by Feb 29 will be available for pickup on the day of banquet and through the anniversary weekend. We will continue to accept orders later, but will need to coordinate pick-up of the items. Please grace the occasion with your presence, and help celebrate the HTCC Second Anniversary on March 14 and 15. Together, We Can Make a Difference☯

Congrats Gopal! - 2008 Columbia Values Diversity Award Dr. Vellore Gopalaratnam and Jonette Ford were named co-winners of the individual award and the Office of Creative Ministries was the organizational winner of the 11th Annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards. The awards were given at the 2008 Columbia Values Diversity Celebration at the Holiday Inn Select Expo Center on Jan 17. The awards are given to an individual/family and an organization/group that have made significant contributions in promoting appreciation for diversity and cultural understanding in Columbia. The award citation for Gopal says “Throughout his life Gopal has complemented his professional and personal accomplishments with community service….Inspired by the teachings of great individuals like Rev. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal has worked to enrich the community by enhancing dialogue, promoting diversity, teaching tolerance, fostering equality and celebrating shared human values”☯


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HTCC Fall Violin concert - Hema Srinivasan

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TCC Cultural Programs Committee organized it’s first classical music concert on Sunday, Dec 2nd, 2007. It was a wonderful beginning, culturally, musically, financially and audience enthusiasm-wise When you say December all music and art enthusiasts who know Chennai

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Guru Nanak Jayanthi -

uru Nanak Jayanthi is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru and the founder of Sikhism, was born in the month of kartik (October/November), and his Birthday is known as Guru Nanak Jayanthi. The religion of Sikhism preaches that there is one god but that he is formless. That is why Sikhs do not worship idols. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was succeeded by nine other Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhs. Their birthdays, known as

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will immediately think of the music season. We in Columbia had our own music concert this December 2nd with a combination of Carnatic and Hindustani violin concert by Dr. B. Purnaprajna accompanied by Mr. Shiva Narasimhamurthy. Purna and Shiva filled the Mandir with a spirited, impressive and moving performance. They began with Saveri Varnam, Sarasud followed by Vathapi Ganapatim

in Hamsadhwani and continued with Purna's own exciting alapana in Saraswati. After a couple of hours of varied pieces some fast like Bandtu Reeti and some dancing like the boat song, Purna took us through a Ragamalika of Carnatic and Hindustani Ragas ending with Purandara Dasa's kriti Bhagyata Lakshmi Baramma in Madhyamavati. We are all looking forward to the next concert☯

Kusum Malhotra

Gurpurabs, are occasions for celebration and prayer.

We celebrated Guru Nanak Jayanthi at Shanthi Mandir on November 22, 2007. The prayer was led by our guest Giani Jagtar Singh from Kansas City .

We want to thank the Giani ji for visiting and making this celebration extra special in spite of his busy schedule. The prayer started with Jupji Sahib followed by kirtan, AnandSahib and Ardas. The program concluded by sharing Prasad and Guru Ka Langar prepared by the participating devotees. Special thanks to Chandra Rawlani and Ranjit Bal for arranging Gianiji’s visit. We thank all volunteers who made the special Gurpurab possible. With your support the Kirtan group can organize several such special celebrations during the year☯

New Year and Thiruppavai Recitations

hen December comes around, it is not only time for snow and snow holidays but also time for Thiruppavai Recitations and the delicious ven pongal prasadam. Kothai also known as Andal has set an example for us by practicing this vratam for thirty days with one poem for each day. People get up very early in the morning, bathe, get together and recite “Thiruppavai” the thirty poetic gems of Andal followed by short meditation or bhajans and Prasadam. This season of spiritual reflection also consists of the music season in India with concerts as well as the time for many spiritual and intellectual lectures on different topics. We in Columbia, Missouri, also got together and conducted the recitations, music and discussions. On New Year day,

we celebrated it in the Shanthi Mandir with meditations and recitation of selections from Thiruppavai and a short discussion of Andal and her example in leading the women (and men) of her day to take charge of their lives and work towards their goals with dedication, confidence and unwavering focus. Indeed, Andal learnt it from the example of the young women in Vrindavan and Gokulam who were friends of Krishna and she and her friends decided to pretend to be (and become) those girls in Vrindavan in their quest for attaining Krishna.

- Hema Srinivasan

Talking about the best in everything, Krishna says in Gita that “maasaanaam maargashirsho aham” meaning “among the months, I am Margazi” (dhauur in the current north Indian calendar). With this began the tradition of this great month of spiritual reflections through music, dance and poetry. Cast in today’s world, it is not mere recitation of Thirppavai verses that happens in this month of Margazi or margasheersha (or December –January) but this is the month where people get together and renew their commitment to work together for their common good☯


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PONGAL - Nandu Radhakrishnan

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followed by a variety of entertainment programs. The guests were eager to watch the entertainment show staged by children and adults. The extravaganza included classical and movie-based songs, dances, and a skit from South Indian folk-lore. A grand potluck dinner, including dishes both from the hosts’ and guests’

ongal was celebrated on January 20, 2008 at the Mark Twain Hall in Memorial Union of the University of Missouri-Columbia. The 13th Pongal/ Sankranti celebration, a much awaited annual event, was hosted by 25 families. It was a fullhouse with around 300 people. The aroma of South-Indian cuisine dominated any expensive cologne in the hall. The event began with the traditional Lamp Lighting Ceremony

kitchen, followed the entertainment program. This annual thanksgiving event always provides us a moment to reflect on the need to serve those less fortunate. Nonperishable food and monetary donations to the Central Missouri Food Bank was collected again this year during the Pongal Food Drive. Around $300 in cash and a large container of non-perishable food items were collected. A special thanks to all friends who helped with food preparations and to the Columbia Tribune and Missourian for their extended media coverage and publicity for the event☯

Skanda Sashti - Abirami Elangovan

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kanda Sashti was celebrated at HTCC on Nov 16th. HTCC members, friends and families participated in the event. The program started with the recital of “Skanda Sashti Kavacham” by the devotees, followed by other Murugan songs and concluded with Aarti . Skanda Sashti, the sixth day in the bright half of the month of Aippasi (Oct 15 - Nov 15), is celebrated in Shaivite temples all over Tamil Nadu, and with an extra measure of grandeur in temples dedicated to Lord Subramanya. Skanda Sashti commemorates the destruction of evil by the Supreme General Kartikeya, son of Shiva, and is

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celebrated with the dramatic enactment of Soora Samhaaram. Mention must be made of the grand celebrations at Tirupparankunram, Tiruchendur, two of the six (Aaru) 'Padai Veedu' temples of Murugan. At Sikkal, the festival image of Subramanya receives a spear, from the Ambal shrine, a day before the climax of the festival. The Story of Skanda Shasti is the story of the birth of Skanda or Kumara and the fulfillment of the purpose of His divine incarnation. "Devas were tormented by the asura (demon) Tarakasura. Skanda received an all powerful Vel (lance) from his mother

Parasakthi. Hence He is also Sakthi Velan. He engaged the armies of Simhamukha, Surapadman and Tarakasura on a six day battle and vanquished all of them on the sixth day. The Asuras were annihilated and the Devas were liberated. The sixth day (Sashti) of the waxing moon (sukhla) in the month of Aippasi (Oct/Nov) is celebrated as Skandha Sashti. Corresponding to the six days of the war over the evil forces, devotees undertake fasts, prayers and devotional singing to Lord Muruga. Most of the devotees stay in the temples during these six days. In Tiruchendur and Tiruparankundram events leading to the conquest of the Asuras are dramatized and enacted. Offering of Kavadi on Skanda Sashti is a form of popular worship☯

Consumer Confidence - Srinath Gopalakrishna

t this time, it seems the U.S. economy has an uncertain outlook. We all know that the housing and real estate market is down and all the hopeful presidential candidates want to talk about the economy and how they will try to create more jobs. The U.S. government is planning to “boost” the economy by offering some type of economic stimulus (tax refund) to households. The hope is that if consumers start to spend money, it will spur economic growth. But many consumers still remain uncertain about the economic future. One way to understand this is to look at the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). The CCI measures consumer attitudes about current and future economic conditions. It is based on a monthly survey of 5,000 households and gives details about consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data compiled by age, income, and

region. The CCI is a composite of two other indices – the Present Situation Index (weighted 40%) and the Expectations Index (weighted 60%). The Present Situation Index is based on two questions: How would you rate the present business conditions? What would you say about available jobs in your area right now? The Expectations Index is based on what people think of business conditions and available jobs six months from now. It also measures whether those surveyed think their incomes will be higher, lower or about the same in six months. How does the CCI affect the U.S. Economy? Consumer confidence is important to the economy because consumer spending drives 70% of economic growth. If consumers are uncertain about the econ-

omy, they will buy less, and the economy will slow further. If consumer confidence increases, then the economy will grow. It is important to note that CCI is a lagging indicator, which means it follows economic trends. It lags because most people don’t really feel that the economy has changed until after it actually has. Furthermore, the survey asks how easy it is to find jobs. Usually, it becomes difficult to find jobs after the economy has turned sour, that is, unemployment is itself a lagging indicator. The Consumer Confidence Index is watched by stock market analysts and investors to get an idea of whether consumer spending will continue to drive the economy. How does the Consumer Confidence Index affect the average citizen? If the CCI is trending upwards, this means that stocks will probably go higher, as well. If the index is too high, then the excessive demand it is measuring could trigger inflation, which could lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Higher interest rates could also increase the value of the dollar, which could reduce exports and make imports cheaper☯


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HTCC Statement of Accounts and Quarterly Fiscal Report For the period October 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007 Prepared by Visala Palaniappan, Treasurer, December 31, 2007

Balance Forward (on October 1, 2007)

$79,541.23

Quarterly Revenues Interest Income Interest income (FNB Money Market)

$1,164.29

$1,164.29

Membership: Lifetime Family Member Upgrade (LFM) 4 @ $950 Lifetime Individual Member Upgrade (LIM) 1 @ $570 Annual Family Members (AFM) 3 @ $50 Annual Family Member - Prorated (AFM) 1 @ $25

$3,800.00 $570.00 $150.00 $25.00

$4,545.00

$1,074.57 $52,874.00 $153.00

$54,101.57

$780.00

$780.00

Donations: Hundi Donations/Prayer Services Check Donations E-Pay Donations Facilities Use Donations: Mandir and Educational Center use donations Other Revenues Violin Concert Boone Electric Refund Yoga Classes

$426.00 $58.33 $134.50

Quarterly Expenses Maintenance and Supplies Upgrade and Repairs Utilities Special Events Printing and Mailing

$382.98 $68.84 $1,260.12 $538.94 $242.92

Total Quarterly Expenses

Welcome New Trustee Families!

Please welcome our new trustee families. Thank you for supporting our shared vision! Anil and Kusum Malhotra Arun Jain Balakrishnan Elangovan and Abirami Shanmugasundaram Bharath Srinivasan and Manjula Narasimhan Dabir and Pramila Viswanath Gagneesh and Aditi Rawat Kiratdas and Geetha Kutikkad Krishna and Sandhya Sharma Laxman and Rajeshwari Alreja Ravi and Meena Thawani Srinath Gopalakrishna and Uma Srinath Sudarshan and Nirja Loyalka Vinay and Roshni Rawlani

$618.83 $61,209.69

Total Quarterly Revenues

$2,493.80 $58,715.89

Net Income for the Quarter Ending Balance* (December 31, 2007)

$138,257.12

*$136,258.88 in FNB Money Market and $1,998.24 in BCNB Checking Accounts

Thank You! Donor Acknowledgement for November 15, 2007 - February 15, 2008 We gratefully acknowledge the following donors during November 15, 2007. - February 15, 2008. If we have inadvertently made an error in not including your name, please let us know. We will correct the error at the earliest available opportunity with our apologies. $15 - $51Violin concert donations Anand Balaji Chandrasekar, A. Chandrasekhar H.R. Cutkosky Gangopadhyay Gopalaratnam Katti Mitra Nagarkar Palaniappan Ratnaparkhe Rawat Ray Sharmas Srinath Srinivasan Viswanath

$1,000 - $1,999 Kul and Archana Aggarwal $3,000 - $3,999 Kiratdas and Geetha Kutikkad $4,000 - $4,999 Balakrishnan Elangovan and Abirami Shanmugasundaram $5,000 - $5,999 Arun Jain Bharath Srinivasan and Manjula Narasimhan Laxman and Rajeshwari Alreja Ravi and Meena Thawani Srinath Gopalakrishna and Uma Srinath Sudarshan and Nirja Loyalka Vinay and Roshni Rawlani

$15,000+ Anil and Kusum Malhotra


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Community Calendar (Feb. 15, 2008 - April 30, 2008) Unless otherwise indicated, all events are at Shanthi Mandir, 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202 Events listed in bold font are organized by HTCC. Events organized by other groups are in regular font. Apr. 5

Feb. 23

Saraswati Vandana, Knights of Columbus Hall Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Organized by Saraswati Vandana Samiti. Contact: Ranadhir Mitra (449-2644)

Mar. 6

Apr. 12 Maha Shivaratri Special Sai Bhajan Thursday, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Regular Sai Bhajan program will include bhajans dedicated to Lord Shiva. Contact: Vellore Gopalaratnam (446-0663).

Mar. 8

Maha Shivaratri Puja Apr. 13 Saturday, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Puja includes chanting of Sri Rudram, Chamakam followed by Shiva slokhas, bhajans and distribution of prasad. Contact: Srinath Gopalakrishna (446-8403)

Mar. 9

Mar. 14

Mar. 15

Sargam, Whitmore Auditorium May 3 Sunday, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Classical Performing Arts program organized by the Cultural Association of India, Contact: Ranadhir Mitra (4492644) HTCC Second Anniversary Banquet, Courtyard by Marriott, Friday, 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. May 10 This annual event will include a catered feast and live entertainment by Aradhana, a group from Columbus, Georgia led by Dhiren Buch. Contact: Arun Jain (761-4512) HTCC Second Anniversary Devotional Program Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Priests from Prem Prakash Temple in NY will conduct devotional program. Pot-luck lunch will follow. Contacts: Devotional program - Chandra Rawlani (446-5960) Pot-luck lunch - Kala Kumar (445-9579)

Ugadi, Stotler Lounge, MU Saturday, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Organized by Ugadi Group. Further Information: Meera Chandrasekhar (446-6143) Rama Navami Puja/Akhand Ramayan Saturday, Time and details to be announced Please visit our web site one week prior to the event to obtain detailed program and timings. Contacts: Hema Srinivasan (445-2854) and Chandra Rawlani (446-5960) Akhand Ramayan Sunday, Time and details to be announced Please visit our web site one week prior to the event to obtain detailed program and timings. Contact: Chandra Rawlani (446-5960) HTCC Garage Sale cum Mela Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Please visit our web site in mid-April to get further details. Plan to clean out your closets, support a worthy cause, and make your unused items get a second lease of life! Contact: Meera Chandrasekhar (446-6143) Buddha Purnima Talk Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Please visit our web site one week prior to the event for detailed program. Contact: Vellore Gopalaratnam (4460663)

Thank You! Please remember to upgrade/renew Lifetime Family Members 1. Aggrawal, Kul and Archana 2. Anand, Satish and Sushma 3. Arunachalam, Vairam and Alagu 4. Bal, Sharanjit and Ranjit 5. Banerji, Shanka K. 6. Basu, Asit and Sandra 7. Battula Ravindra and Vijaya Kattumuri 8. Chandrasekhar, Holalkere and Meera 9. Chaudhary, Kunal and Ritcha Mehra 10. Cutkosky, Dale and Hema Srinivasan 11. Dhand, Rajiv and Upinder 12. Elangovan, Bala and Abi 13. Faizer, Rumi and Archana Ramaswamy 14. Gangopadhyay, Keshab and Shubhra 15. Gopalakrishna, Srinath and Uma 16. Gopalaratnam, Vellore and Anantha 17. Gowda, Bhaskar and Shoba 18. Jain, Arun 19. Jashnani, Ghanshyam and Leela 20. Katti, Kattesh and Kavita 21. Khanna, Sanjeev and Vinita 22. Khurana, Inder and Jasmit 23. Krishna, Gopal and Santosh 24. Krishnan, Hari and Latha 25. Kulkarni, Rajesh and Indira 26. Kutikkad, Kiratadas and Geetha 27. Lal, Sunder and Nila Gupta 28. Loyalka, Sundarshan and Nirja 29. Mahal, Satnam and Jasvir 30. Malhotra, Anil and Kusum 31. Mantrala, Murali and Suryamani 32. Mitra, Ranadhir and Roma 33. Mohan, Rajiv and Sunilima Sinha 34. Naik, Yogesh & Rashmi 35. Nair, Satish and Jyotsna 36. Palaniappan, Kannappan and Visala 37. Panneerselvam, Ayyakannu and Gandhi 38. Patel, Nitin and Harsha 39. Pendurthi, Chalapathi Rao and Kavita

40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.

Puri, Ravi and Mona Raghuraman, Kannan and Anandhi Upendran Ramachandran, V and Anuradha Rajagopalan Ramadoss, Uma and Sasi Rangnekar, Nitin and Kirthi Ratneshwar, Srinivasan and Subbalakshmi Rawat, Gagneesh and Aditi Rawlani, Ramesh and Chandra Sadhu, Vijay and Smita Satpathy, Sashi and Namita Sehgal, Om and Santosh Sethi, Sanjiv and Punam Sethi, Yash and Anjna Sharma, Krishna and Sandhya Singh, Amolak and Kuljit Srinivasan, Bharath and Manjula Narasimhan Subramanian, Krishna and Raji Tejwani, Lokesh and Varsha Pherwani Thawani, Ravi and Meena Viswanath, Dabir and Pramila

Annual Members for 2008 1. Alreja, Laxman and Rajeshwari 2. Agrawal, Ganesh Kumar and Nitu 3. Balaji, B. S. and S. Akila 4. Bhaskaran, Rajagopalana and Vasanthi 5. Chandrasekhar, Anand and Chiengkham Baccam 6. Gupta, Ghanshyam and Manorma 7. Kumar, Senthil and Kalai 8. Malik, Sushma 9. Mohan, Saroj 10. Nagarkar, Sushama and Divya 11. Nathan, Vivek and Manjula 12. Premnath, Venkatesan and Vasanthy 13. Radhakrishnan, Nandhu and Selvi 14. Ramaswamy, Ram and Indira 15. Rao, Mohan and Kalpana 16. Sahota, Pradeep and Shaku 17. Sivaraman, M. and Sujata 18. Srivatsava, Pramod and Rama

19.

20. 21.

for 2008

Thiruvengadathan, Rajagopalan and Rama Kannan Tolani, Bhisham and Rajini Walker, Kate

Annual Members for 2007 (Renewal due) 1. Aroor, Annayya Rao and Sudha 2. Baskar, Muthu and Indumathi 3. Bathini, Venkat and Jyothy 4. Bhanuchandran, Rekha 5. Chokalingam, Anand and Smrita 6. Chokkalingam, Siva and Sheela 7. Garg, Nadish and Shallu 8. Ghosh, Arkashubra and Anuprita 9. Goel, Punit and Archana 10. Goyal, Munish and Monika 11. Halder, Jagabandhu and Pitu 12. Khanna, Ramesh and Pushpa 13. Kujala, Naresh Gandhi and Sriyala 14. Kumar, Adarsh and Sangeeta 15. Kumar, Rajesh and Aruna 16. Kuppusamy, Saravanan and Priya Ravindran 17. Nune, Satish and Padmaja Gunda 18. Pradhan, Prashanth and Meeta 19. Ratnaparkhe, Milind 20. Raychaudhuri, Aniruddha and Sriparna 21. Sternadori, Richard 22. Sunkar, Madhavi 23. Upadhyay, Ashish and Deepika 24. Venkitasamy, Chandrasekar and Lakshmi Prabha

The HTCC is grateful to the above families who have signed up as members as of February 15, 2008 If you would like to sign-up as a member for 2008, please visit our web site and download, complete and send off your membership application with appropriate dues. We sure would appreciate your support for all our activities. Please also consider upgrading your annual membership to lifetime membership. The lifetime dues provide the HTCC with a strong ownership base and steady stream of revenue for delivering quality devotional, education, service and youth programs.


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Current Programs at the Mandir Devotional Programs Open prayer time/Aarti Sai Bhajan Venkateshwara Suprabhatam/Vishnu Sahasranaamam Open prayer time/Aarti Amritvani (Monthly event) Kirtan (Monthly event) Educational/Youth Programs Bhagavad Gita Study Circle Tamil Classes Hindi Classes Bal Puja Bal Sabha

(Feb 15, 2008)

1st 1st

Tuesday Thursday Saturday Saturday Saturday Sunday

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

2nd/4rth 1st /3rd 2nd 4th 2nd 4th

Saturday Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday Saturday Sunday

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Saturday Wednesday Sundays

3:00—4:30 p.m. 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. Flexible for now

Service Programs Volunteering at Central Missouri Food Bank 1st Shram Daan (Labor Donation) Narayan Seva (Sai Group - St. Francis Home Lunch) 2nd Non-Perishable Food Collection (Ongoing continuously) Fitness and Cultural Art Programs Yoga Sessions* (fee required - see web site) Bharata Natyam classes (instructor fee required) Tabla classes (instructor fee required)

Shanthi Sandesh is a quarterly publication of the Hindu Temple and Community Center of Mid-Missouri (HTCC). It is published on behalf of HTCC by itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Publications and Communications Committee. Editors: B.S. Balaji and Gagneesh Rawat <shanthimandir_news@mchsi.com> or <shanthimandir@yahoo.com>

Directions: Take Exit 127 on Interstate 70, Head north on Rangeline Street, Right at first traffic light on Vandiver Drive, Left on Parker Street, Right on Holly Avenue, Shanthi Mandir sign will be visible on the right after 5-6 homes. (Note: Holly Avenue is immediately before the Sunrise Optimist building) Please visit our web site and send us your e-mail address if you would like to be included on the Friends of the Mandir distribution list to receive timely program notices.

http://shanthimandir.missouri.org

Shanthi Mandir

Hindu Temple and Community Center of Mid-Missouri (HTCC) 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202-2043

HTCC is registered as a Nonprofit Corporation in MO HTCC is tax-exempt under IRS Section 501 (c) 3


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