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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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HTCC Third Anniversary Celebrations - Bharath Srinivasan

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On to our fourth year

Inside This Issue Anniversary Celebrations

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Havan and Bhajan

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Akhand Ramayan

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Kudos, Math Puzzle

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Bal Sabha Updates

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Festivals of India

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Rama Navami Celebration

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External Relations Comm

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Earth Hour

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Shreemad Bhagavad Gita

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Quarterly Fiscal Report

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Donor Acknowledgement

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Community Calendar

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Current Programs

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he Hindu Temple celebrated its third anniversary with great splendor and tradition - with a devotional program on March 8th (detailed on Page 2) and a banquet on March 13th, 2009. The celebrations represent a culmination of the energetic series of events during 2008 and offer an opportunity to show appreciation for all the volunteer work during the year. The Annual Banquet: The banquet on March 13th was attended by nearly 300 individuals including members, guests and well-wishers of the community in addition to several interfaith invitees. The event was hosted at the Peachtree Banquet Center in Columbia. The attendees were dressed in colorful costumes and it turned out to be an evening of nonstop fun. Gopal’s welcome address was followed by an invocation offered by Chandrasekar. The prayer sought blessings from the Almighty for success in all current and future he lead article for this issue T focuses on the annual banquet and associated programs which were a part of the HTCC Third Anniversary Celebrations. Based on recommendations from the committee that analyzed fiscal data and revisited feedback from the first two such celebrations, this year we had our devotional celebration a week prior to the annual banquet. This new format allowed us time to enjoy both events to the fullest without the pressures of cramming these events into one week-end. The banquet also allowed us to recognize and induct four outstanding Columbia residents as Honorary

endeavors of HTCC and the Shanthi Mandir. Inder gave a short presentation on the State of HTCC with a focus on fiscal and programming information. Mitraji released Samarpanam, the 2008 annual report of the HTCC. Youth members Prerna, Ipsa, Trisha and Suryanshi helped distribute Samarpanam to all the guests at the banquet hall. HTCC Honorary Member Inductees: This year, the HTCC Board of Trustees inducted four distinguished Mid -Missouri residents as honorary members in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the community. As part of the

induction ceremony Mitraji first introduced Robert Bussaburger and highlighted his contributions to the community and he also elucidated on the connections of Bussaburger with India. Om Sehgal introduced Ginny Morgan and drew attention to her contributions to the community. Ginny Morgan accepted the honorary member plaque from Sehgalji. Inder introduced Nagarji and enumerated his accomplishments. Since Nagarji was unable to attend the banquet, the honorary member plaque was awarded to him at his home the following day. Chandrasekar introduced Art Robins and highlighted his contributions while presenting the plaque to him. Executive Board Officers honored: HTCC Executive Board officers Visala Palaniappan (Treasurer) and Anuradha Rajagopalan (VicePresident), who served the Continued on Page 3

Message from the Executive Board Members of HTCC - Robert Bussabarger, Virginia Morgan, Murari Lal Nagar and Arthur Robins. In addition to the lead article, accompanying writeups highlighting the contributions of these honorary member inductees (Page 3) and the devotional program to celebrate the anniversary (Page 2), round-off HTCC’s Third Anniversary Celebrations. Samarpanam, the HTCC Annual Report for 2008, also released at the banquet, reminds us of how far we have come since Shanthi Mandir first opened its doors to the community on that

auspicious Ganesh Chaturthi day in 2005. We also bid farewell to two members on the HTCC’s Executive Board, who have completed their assigned terms as officers of the Executive Board. Visala Palaniappan served as the Treasurer and Anuradha Rajagopalan served as the Vice-President of the Executive Board, first in an interim capacity, and later in an elected capacity. We gratefully acknowledge their services to HTCC and the community. Even while they will no longer Continued on Page 2


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Havan and Bhajans Highlight The Third Anniversary Devotional Program Vellore S. Gopalaratnam

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he devotional component of HTCC’s Third Anniversary Celebration was held at the Shanthi Mandir on Sunday, March 8th. The program comprised a Havan led by Shivendra Shukla with support from Asha Shukla, Toshi Sehgal and Inder Khurana. The event was very well attended. The spiritually

Smt. Nirmala Patil accompanied by Nilotpal Sanyal

Shivendra Shukla leads the Havan

uplifting Havan was so well received that it is hoped that it will become a tradition of the anniversary devotional program in the years to come. We were also very fortunate to have a program of bhajans following the Havan performed by Smt. Nirmala Patil. She was accompanied by Nilotpal Sanyal on the Tabla and Pandurangi

Patil, her husband, provided vocal support. The Patils specially travelled from Arkansas for the celebration. The devotional programs were followed by distribution of Prasad and a wonderful catered lunch, courtesy of Ramesh and Chandra Rawlani☯

the rains allowed ten-plus volunteers to undertake comprehensive spring planting in the flower boxes and berm in be serving on the Executive Board after the HTCC Elections front of Shanthi Mandir. This effort will, in addition to (to be held in June 2009), we providing us with an explosion of look forward to their active colors, keep us fully stocked participation and leadership on with flowers for the various the various HTCC committees. pujas in Summer and Fall. As this issue of Shanthi The devotional calendar for Sandesh goes to the press, the the year to-date has been HTCC Election Committee is sparse. However, this has busy planning to hold elections allowed us a breather to gear up for the above two Executive for the full slate of festivals later Board positions. In addition, we in Fall. A crisp write-up on the will also be electing an Elected Festivals of India by Ipsa and Trustee to serve on the HTCC’s Trisha Chaudhary gives a Board of Trustees. You should succinct round up of what one be hearing soon on the slate of can expect later in 2009. While candidates. Please exercise we have had few devotional your vote and show support for events to date in 2009, the few those who have volunteered to pujas held thus far have been serve us all. The terms for all of very well attended and received. these vacant offices expire on The significant events during the March 31, 2011. previous quarter included Maha Earlier this year, we Shivaratri, Akhand Ramayan undertook several projects to Paath, Sri Rama Navami, and upgrade the Mandir the devotional program of our infrastructure. We third anniversary celebrations. replaced the aging Several of these events have main water line to been detailed on Pages 2, 4 and the Mandir and the 7. The Havan we undertook as a Educational Center part of the devotional with new polymer celebration of the third lines. While anniversary, we hope, will undertaking this become an annual tradition at project, we also the Mandir. trenched-in Our Youth Activities hardwired Internet Committee is busy preparing for and telephone lines between the Summer Workshops for youth Mandir and the Educational and adults. All workshops are Center. The west door to the open to members and Mandir was replaced along with nonmembers alike. So please some long needed drywall work take full advantage of these in the prayer hall. The drywall wonderful opportunities to keep contractor also moved the our youth creatively engaged. furnace duct wall in the service The list of workshops is included closet to allow access for in the Community Calendar on removal of the last piece of vinyl Page 11, with contact person flooring containing asbestos. information if you require With this removal, the Mandir is additional information. The slate now free of asbestos. A team of of offerings include: Abhinaya volunteers from the Service An Introduction to Odissi Dance, Programs and Facilities and Creative Arts Workshop Renovation committees painted Stenciling and Stamping, The the prayer hall after the drywall Creative Shutter Bug, Art work was completed. A lull in Workshop - Decorating with

Vegetables, Mumbo Jumbo of Accounting Numbers, and the ever popular Math Workshop. In addition to these workshops, youth may also choose to participate in Shram Daan or other special service projects to be organized by HTCC’s Service Programs Committee. Please also note that the Bal Sabha is putting together a Field Trip/Bike Ride to Rocheport tentatively scheduled for June 28 (details on Page 11). This is also the time when we bid farewell to high school graduates. Four from our midst Vellore Adithi, Ashok Cutkosky, Roshni Rawlani and Sangita Sharma, take flight on to the next stage in their academic pursuits. We are truly proud of all their accomplishments to date and wish them well as they head to colleges of their choice later this Fall. We will miss their contributions to Mandir activities including the Bal Sandesh, the Library Committee, the Service Programs Committee, the Youth Activities Committee, and yes the Math Workshop! Thanks for all your contributions that enriched our community and the very best to all of you as you move on to the next exciting stage of your lives. This natural renewal allows the next generation of youth to take on leadership opportunities vacated by this talented group of graduates. We encourage the next group of high schoolers to bring new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to our HTCC committees. Please contact the Chairs of the various committees and youth groups such as Bal Sabha and Bal Puja if you would like to volunteer. And as always, see you at the Mandir☯ Vellore S. Gopalaratnam Inder Khurana Visala Palaniappan Anuradha Rajagopalan

From the Executive Board Continued from Page 1


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HTCC Anniversary Celebrations Continued from Page 1

community for the past three years, were felicitated for their dedication to HTCC and other community efforts. Youth Anniversary Program: Thanks to the efforts of Gagneesh, several craft activities were organized for the younger kids in a room adjoining the main banquet hall. Amy Messner graciously donated her time and talents. She and Stephanie Cox conducted several craft activities that kept the kids engaged and entertained for hours. The kids had fun participating in the various activities - painting necklaces, making shapes with play dough, animal craft activity and painting flower pots. The activities kept them busy for nearly three hours while squeezing in a scrumptious pizza dinner. The Year That Was … 2008, DVD Presentation: A DVD presentation of festivals and HTCC programs from the year past, put together by Nandhu, was played during dinner time. Post-Dinner Programs: After dinner, Raja Govindarajan of Kansas City accompanied by Amitabh Chowdhuri on the Tabla, delighted the crowd with songs from yesteryears in several Indian languages. Various interfaith invitees expressed their appreciation and enjoyment of the dinner as well as the musical entertainment. Bharath delivered the Vote of Thanks. Behind the Scenes… : To successfully execute a large event such as the anniversary celebration, it takes numerous dedicated people working together over several months. The planning for this event began in earnest nearly four months earlier. Leela contacted several local facilities before we zeroed-in on the Peachtree Banquet Center. Sanjeev took on the task of arranging for a five course dinner. He got the quotes from several establishments both in Columbia and St. Louis and the committee decided to go with Gokul of St. Louis. The sumptuous dinner from Gokul was well appreciated by all during the dinner. Kusum and Mitraji arranged for samosas from the India House. The sweets came from out of state and Meera took care of getting the yummy desserts. Gagneesh arranged for the youth group entertainment by arranging for Amy Messner’s services. Anjna arranged the pizza for the youth group. Meera was in-charge of the ticket production and sales coordination. The ticket prices were kept the same as last year to make it affordable for families.

A team was formed to sell the tickets. Ravi and Kusum were in-charge of finance and account keeping. Visala, as HTCC Treasurer served as a liaison with the finance committee to provide fiscal oversight. Punam and Priya along with help from several youth decorated the banquet tables and the foyer on the day of the event. Mitraji arranged for the postdinner entertainment by inviting Raja Govindarajan of Kansas City, who, along with Amitabh Chowdhuri, provided an evening of vocal light music in several

Indian languages to the accompaniment of the Tabla and Harmonium. Gopal and Gagneesh spearheaded the advertisement sale campaign for Samarpanam 2009 (the 2008 HTCC Annual Report). Gagneesh, Balaji and Gopal worked on preparation of Samarpanam 2009 magazine, one of the major undertakings of the anniversary celebrations. The HTCC Youth Activities Committee came up with the theme for this year’s celebration — “I have a dream…”. The committee under the leadership of Nandhu organized the contests in Visual Arts, Literary and Musical categories. Many youth members actively participated in these competitions. Select entries were published in the Samarpanam. The 2008 Annual Report among other things contained updates from the various committees, bio-sketch of the honorary inductees and an article on basic tenets and beliefs of Hinduism ☯

Our Honorary Member Inductees We inducted our first four Honorary Members at the banquet to commemorate our Third Anniversary. All four of our inductees have worked tirelessly to enrich our lives through their artistic, scholarly, spiritual and selfless contributions. Dr. Robert Franklin Bussabarger, a Ceramic Sculpture, Potter, Painter, Muralist and Author - an emeritus professor of Art at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He went to India in 1961 on a Fulbright scholarship. Over the last forty years, he returned to India with his wife Mary Louise eleven more times - to research and exhibit his own works. We also gratefully acknowledge Dr. Bussabarger’s donation of Art books to our Hindu Temple Library. Virginia Morgan, is a guiding teacher for Show Me Dharma Center and the former President of the Board of Mid America Dharma. She presented the wellappreciated Buddha Purnima talk in 2007 at Shanthi Mandir on Metta Bhavana (bringing loving kindness in our hearts and minds). She was also the driving force behind the hugely popular Krishna Das Kirtan in August 2008. Ginny has been a very good friend for many HTCC members and a devoted well-wisher and supporter of Shanthi Mandir programs. Dr. Murari Lal Nagar, an ardent devotee of Goddess Sarasvati, Nagarji has spent over 40 years in restoring, preserving and propagating the spiritual treasures of India, educating and enhancing knowledge on Indian heritage world-wide. He acquired Indian books and micro films at MU, one of the largest collections among US universities. He has contributed over 30 books and 60+ papers on ancient Indian texts, including a rare document over 200 years old. A sample of his work is found at http://www.missouri.edu/~umcellislibraryoms/. His work on OM, Omkareshvara and Omkara Mandhata can be found at http:// omshantimandiram.org/. Arthur Robins and his late wife Betty have been friends of Indian art and culture for decades. In Art’s own words (his Fulbright experiences in India) “The sojourn in India was beguiling and transforming for both Betty and myself. The heady thrills of exploring Indian culture have not been matched on any of our subsequent sabbaticals in East Pakistan, Iran and Malaysia”. Art and Betty have been ardent supporters of the Cultural Association of India and many India-centric activities in town, including our efforts to start the Hindu Temple in Columbia.

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Akhand Ramayan Paath - Gopal Krishna and Inder Khurana

Our Ramayan Readers We are grateful to our volunteer readers without whose efforts the Akhand Ramayan puja would not have been possible. If we have inadvertently left out your name, please let us know and we will make appropriate corrections at the earliest opportunity. Adarsh Kumar Ajay Asha Shukla Ashish Upadhyay Bandana Katoch Chandra Rawlani Gagneesh Rawat Gopal Krishna Kala Gupta Komal Raikhanghar Kusum Malhotra Mangal Gupta Manorma Gupta Meena Thawani Mona Puri Namita Satpathy Nirja Loyalka Punam Sethi Priti Mohan Rajeev Mohan Rajini Tolani Ranjitha Tiwari Ravi Puri Ravi Thawani Sanjiv Khanna Santosh Krishna Santosh Sehgal Shivendra Shukla Sushma Malik Upinder Dhand Vinita Khanna Yash Sethi

Devotees wait for Prasad distribution and lunch post Akhand Ramayan Paath

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ama Navami or the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight (waxing moon) of the month of Chaitra (March-April). Rama Navami is one of the most important festivals for Hindus, particularly for the followers of Lord Vishnu. On this auspicious day, devotees chant the name of Lord Rama and vow to lead a righteous life. People pray for divine realization through intense devotion towards Rama and invoke him for his blessings and protection. Many observe a strict fast on this day. The celebrations associated with the festival are extremely colorful, highly inspiring and instructive. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy ‘Ramayana’ is read in the temples. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day. In south India the "Sri Rama Navami Utsavam" is celebrated for nine days with great fervor and devotion. In temples and at pious gatherings the learned narrate the inspiring episodes of the 'Ramayana'. The Kirtanists chant the holy name of Lord Rama and celebrate the wedding of Rama with Sita on this day.

days such as around the birthday of a child or a spouse. It is often a 24-hour event with a lot of fun-filled activities in the kitchen, dining room, and the prayer room where Ramayana is recited. Special preparations are made days in advance of the event, which culminates two wishes. The King reluctantly with a Prasad lunch. Round the agrees, so Rama goes with his clock availability of food, sweets, and tea has become an beautiful wife, Sita, and his important part of the brother Lakshmana, leaving event. Readers sign up for their riches to live a simple life. different time slots to ensure In the forest the three meet the demoness Surpanakha who that there is no break in the reading. The recitation has to falls in love with Rama. Rama go on uninterrupted. That is why refuses her advances and Akhand Ramayan has features Lakshmana wounds her. She similar to that of a relay race. In flees to her brother Ravana, Ramcharitmanas, it is said, ruler of the island kingdom of Lanka. After hearing "Bhakti Sutantr Sakal Sukh Surpanakha's report of the Khani, Binu Satsang Na Paviya beauty of Sita, Ravana decides Prani" which when translated means that "the path of Bhakti that he must have Sita and (devotion) is a mine of all disguises himself as a comforts, but a person cannot wandering holy man to search get Bhakti without good for her in the forest. When company." That is the essence Rama and Lakshmana are of Akhand Ramayan - to pursue distracted, Ravana carries Sita the path of devotion in company off to Lanka. of other bhakts (devotees). The Sita mourns in Ravana's Columbia community celebrated garden in Lanka, while Rama the festival of Rama Navami at and Lakshmana enlist the Shanthi Mandir by organizing services of Hanuman, the the uninterrupted 24-hour long monkey king, to help them find reading of the Ramayana during her. Hanuman, able to make himself larger or smaller, starts March 28 – 29, 2009. Volunteer readers who participated in the his search for Sita by taking a Akhand Ramayan puja are giant step to the Island of Ramayana Story: Ramayana listed in the panel alongside this Lanka. Carrying Rama's ring he was originally written by Sage article. With the Grace of God, finds Sita and identifies himself Valmiki in Sanskrit and later and under the able guidance of translated into other languages. as Rama's messenger. Sita is Chandra Rawlani, Punam Sethi, delighted, but Hanuman is The Ramayana and other devotional committee caught and Ravana sets story is primarily members, the organization was Hanuman's tail on fire. about Lord Rama. Hanuman escapes and sets fire superb and the puja was very Retiring King well received. Shuklaji officiated to Lanka. Dasaratha of the devotional ceremony and Rama, Lakshmana, Ayodhya chooses many dedicated readers took Hanuman, and his monkey army Rama, the son turns reading the Ramcharit from his first wife lay siege on Lanka. The Manas (the version of monkeys make a bridge to Kausalya, as his Ramayana written by Saint Lanka, and after a long battle heir. His second Tulsidas). We would like to with spears, bows and arrows, wife Kaikeyi sincerely thank each and Rama kills Ravana. wants her son, everyone who participated in the Bharata, to be the Akhand Ramayan Tradition puja for their sincere efforts in and the Columbia Puja: The crown prince. Kaikeyi ritual of Akhand Ramayan Paath making this event a great calls in her two wishes success. We hope to continue granted to her by her husband, is common around Rama this tradition at the Shanthi and asks that Dasaratha banish Navami in temples in North Mandir in years to come☯ India. It is also popular to Rama to the forest for fourteen conduct Akhand Ramayan years and crown her son reading at homes on certain Bharatha as fulfillment of her


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Newsletter of Bal Sabha of Columbia, MO

Bal Sabha Officers President Ravi Thawani

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May 2009

EDITOR’S NOTE S

Vice-President Arpita Kumar Secretary/Treasurer Manjula Narasimhan Cultural Secretary Anjna Sethi Bal Sandesh Coordinator Hema Srinivasan

chool is almost over and summer is upon us. Bal Sandesh bids goodbye to Adithi, Chaitasi and Ashok and thanks them for their service as editors. We welcome Prerna, Neeta and Nidhi as new editors starting from fall 2009. Have a good summer. Tell us about all the exciting activities that you participate in the summer. We look forward to reading about your adventures for the next issue! Make sure you read the Bal Sabha updates and the proposed field trips. That sure will be exciting and lots of fun.

Bal Sabha Kudos

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al Sabha kids excelled in various areas during this past quarter. Congratulations to one and all for their accomplishments. Academic Awards: Suryanshi Rawat and Anmol Sethi of Gentry Middle School, received the Gentry Top Cat Award for excellence in Academics. Academic Bowl: Neeta Thawani won 1st place in the Academic Bowl within the school district. Her team was also undefeated in the tournament. Chess: Vishnu Arunachalam won 1st Place in Columbia Open Chess Tournament. Columbia Clean-up: Ipsa and Trisha Chaudhry, Prerna and Shreyas Srinivasan, Ashwath Kumar, Nahush & Sumidha Katti, Nidhi Khurana and Neeta Thawani were recognized for participating in the Columbia Clean Up on April 25th, 2009. History Day: Ashwath Kumar, Smithton Middle School won first place in the State History Day.

Knowledge Masters: Sangita Sharma of Rock Bridge High School won first place in State Level in Knowledge Masters. Music: Sangita Sharma, Rockbridge high School, won 1 rating at the Large Ensemble category at the State Music Festival. Maya Cutkosky received 1 rating for flute solo at the State Music festival at MU as well as the regional music festival at Fayette. Maya’s composition “Windy Night” was awarded honorable mention at the 2008 COMP State contest. She also earned Superior rating at the Missouri Music Federation for Piano Solo and Piano Concerto auditions. National Merit Finalists: Adithi Vellore, Sangita Sharma and Ashok Cutkosky all were National Merit Finalists this year. Adithi and Ashok competed in the Mock

Trial Tournament at Kansas City, and their team from Hickman High School won first place in the State and went on to the Nationals in Atlanta, GA. Science Olympiad: Nikhilesh Sharma of Jeff Junior High School won several medals at the Science Olympiad at the regional and placed fourth for Physical Science Lab at the State Level. Nikhilesh Sharma won silver medal at the National Spanish Exam. Spelling Bee: Prerna Srinivasan won the Spelling bee of West Junior High School and represented West Junior at the Regional Spelling Bee contest. Reflections Contest: Suryanshi's Reflections entry for Photography (Go Green title and WOW theme) scored 2nd position in School and received an Honorable Mention at the State level. The recognitions and certificates were awarded on May 2nd by Missouri PTA at a ceremony in Independence, MO☯

Math Puzzle - Maya Cutkosky, West Junior High School

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fter school ends at 12:00, Niña usually takes two miles long walk needed to get from her school to her home, with an equal probability of running at a rate of 6 miles/hour or walking at a rate of 3 miles/ hour and has an equal probability of waiting anywhere between 0 minutes to 3 minutes for cars.

When it rains, however, she takes the bus and runs the 300 ft to her house. Her sister always takes the bus but she walks, regardless of the weather. The bus route contains three stoplights. The fist takes 5 minutes to get to and turns green for 3 minutes and red for 6. It takes 2 minutes to get to the next one from there with is green for a minute and red for 3. The last light is reached in 6 minutes and has green for 2

minutes and red for 4. From there it takes 5 minutes to reach their bus stop. The bus has an equal probability of leaving anywhere between 12:00 and 12:10. Knowing that it has a 30% chance of rain and all the lights were green at noon, at exactly what time would you want to go to Niña’s house if you wanted to see her but not her sister? What are your chances of seeing her sister instead?☯


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President’s Corner - Bal Sabha Updates - Ravi Thawani

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Bal Sabha volunteers clean-up the Ridgeway Elementary School playgrounds and vicinity

al Sabha kids once again came out in large numbers for Columbia clean-up (spring). We have a few exciting proposals for field trips this summer for the Bal Sabha kids and families - a bike trip to Rocheport and a trip to Science Center in St. Louis. Also, the elections of officers for Bal Sabha are due this summer. Please find details on these upcoming activities. Columbia Clean-Up: Ten Bal Sabha children and six adults met at Ridgeway Elementary School on Saturday, April 25th 2009 at 10:30AM. After putting on protective gloves they started picking up the trash on the school premises and off the streets around the school premises. It was a perfect day for outdoor activity and everyone was enjoying the community service of cleaning around the school. They collected 10 bags of trash. The only unusual

item collected this time was a “dead bird”. After cleaning up for 45 minutes the children and adults shared a light snack and fruit drinks provided by Bal Sabha. This was a chance for all the children to participate in providing “community service”, enjoy the camaraderie of their peers and add a community service line item to their “resume”. Please sign up for “Fall Clean Up” coming up later this year. Field trip to Rocheport: Bal Sabha is planning a summer field trip to picturesque Rocheport on June 28th (please see Page 11). Children and adults who have prior bicycle riding experience are encouraged to ride their bicycles one-way from Columbia. Those who do not want to ride their bikes from Columbia to Rocheport are encouraged to join the bikers in Rocheport for a day of outdoor fun. Bikes can also be rented in Rocheport at a nominal hourly charge. Based on the interest from the members a “Canoe Ride” in Rocheport may also be arranged. Please watch your emails for further details coming soon. Trip to Science center in St. Louis, MO (proposed): Please

watch your E Mail for more details regarding this proposed field trip this summer. If there is sufficient number of people wanting to go, this trip will also be organized this summer. New ideas are solicited: All the members are requested and encouraged to provide your ideas for summer activities, monthly Bal Sabha activities so as to get the younger children get more involved. Please contact any Bal Sabha officer to share and initiate your ideas. Election of officers: New officers are needed by Bal Sabha for the year August, 2009 thru July, 2010. All the members of Bal Sabha are requested to either nominate yourself or someone you know for the following positions:

• President- presides over monthly Bal Sabha.

• Vice-President: Conducts monthly meeting in absence of the president.

• Secretary/Treasurer: Keeps record of the Bal Sabha meetings, activities and funds in the bank account. Please provide your nominations for Bal Sabha officers by Sunday, June 28th, 2009☯

Bal Sabha meets every fourth Sunday of the month from 3:00 5:00 p.m. at Shanthi Mandir 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 Anchal Sethi Maya Cutkosky Prerna Srinivasan Nidhi Khurana Neeta Thawani Parent Advisor Hema Srinivasan

Phone 514-0486 445-2854

E-Mail danzingdivas@yahoo.com

445-2854

srinivasanh@missouri.edu


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Festivals of India - Ipsa and Trisha Chaudhary, Jefferson Junior High School

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ndia is a land of many festivals- religious as well as folk. Some festivals welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings, saints, and gurus or the advent of the New Year. Some of the major Hindu festivals include Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Durga Puja, Saraswati Pooja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Pongal and Baisakhi. The timing of the various Hindu festivals is related to the movements of the sun and the moon and therefore varies every year. The first harvest of the season is celebrated in the month of January in various ways- Baisakhi in the state of Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Makara Sankranthi (January 14th) in other parts of India. Makara Sankranti/Pongal celebrates the resumption of the sun's 'journey northwards' where the days get longer. It is an event described in the epic Mahabharata (about 5000 years ago). Makara Sankranti is also the climax of the

associated with the birth of Lord Rama) and Dussehra respectively. The hugely popular festival of Dusshera is associated with a number of legends and is celebrated usually in month of October. On this day, Lord Rama (from the great Hindu epic Ramayana) killed the ten headed demon King Ravana of Lanka who had abducted his wife Sita. This festival is associated with colorful dances of Garba and Dandia in the state of Gujarat. Elsewhere this festival is associated with burning of effigies of Ravana and folk theatre “Ram Lila” This festival is followed by the festival of lights, Diwali which falls in October or November. Diwali celebrates the Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh Mela (one of the homecoming of Lord Rama from exile. It biggest Hindu pilgrimages). In the state of Kerala, Onam is celebrated as the harvest also celebrates the goddess Lakshmi, the festival in the month of August/September. goddess of wealth and is the New Year for the business community. Lamps are lit all It is associated with the legend of around the house, there is a feast, Mahabali, the mythical Asura king of fireworks and people exchange gifts. ancient Kerala. Ugadi is the New Year festival for the Next comes Basant Panchami (Basant people of the Deccan region of India means Spring and Panchami means the especially Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka fifth day). It falls on 5th day of the Hindu month of Basant (month of Januaryand falls in the month of March/April. In February). People wear yellow colored Maharashtra, Ugadi is known as Gudi clothes and worship goddess Saraswati Padwa. Besides these India also (the Goddess of learning). Kite flying is celebrates Budh Purnima (birth of Lord associated with the Basant Panchami day. Buddha), Guru Purab (celebrating Sikh The festival worshipping the mother religion), Mahavir Jayanti (birth of Lord Goddess Durga (goddess of Power) is Mahavir Jain), Christmas and several other celebrated twice a year – once in the tribal festivals like Bihu, Lohrii, Baisakhi, month of February or March (Basant), and etc. There is an old Hindi saying which again in the month of September or translated means “for the seven days of the October (Ashwin). On both occasions, the week there are nine festivals” and it is very puja is a nine-day affair with the last day true for India☯ coinciding with Rama Navmi (also

Rama Navami Celebrations at Shanthi Mandir - Hema Srinivasan

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ri Rama Navami, the birth day of Sri Rama, the role model for mankind, was celebrated this year on Saturday, April 4, 2009. We began with Ashtothra puja and joint recitation of various slokas on Rama, as usual. This was followed by singing of Nama Ramayanam and other songs on Rama by the sloka class children. The usual open prayer time with songs, bhajans and stories on Rama delighted everyone. A hall full of devotees performed Aarti for Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman seeking their blessings.

Shlokas from Ram Raksha Stotram: “Sri Raama Raamethi Rame Raame manorame Sahasra Naama Tattulyam, Sri Raama Naama Varanane” This shloka means “All the many thousand names of God are just Sri Rama in other words”.

“Raamaya Raama bhadraaya Raama Chandraaya vedhase Raghunaathaaya Naathaaya seethaayaa(ha) Pathaye namaha”

Prasad with traditional Neer More (buttermilk) and Panagam (sweet ginger drink) was distributed with the generous help of the volunteers and enjoyed by all☯

The above Shloka means “Salutations to Seetha’s husband Rama also known as Youth from the Shloka class sing Ramabhadra, Rama Chandra and songs in praise of Lord Rama Raghunatha”.


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External Relations Committee Updates - Leela Jashnani Hinduism's affirmation of tolerance “Ekam sat, vipraha bahudha vadanti” Truth is ONE, Seers express it in many ways….

Rig Veda

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hings were somewhat slow at the beginning of the year for the external affairs committee, but as the year progressed it became vibrant and exciting. Our first endeavor was to successfully plan and celebrate the Annual Dinner for HTCC. The dinner was a great success and we inducted a number of honorary members and honored them for their support and commitment to HTCC. Among them were Dr. Nagar, Dr. Bussabarger, Ms. Ginny Morgan and Dr. Robins. The next event known as ‘Lights Out’ and was a citywide event spearheaded by an

environmentally conscious group. They met in downtown Columbia to discuss and present ways of saving energy. Dr. Gopal was one of the speakers at this event on behalf of HTCC. In the last few weeks a young lady from the Columbia Missourian has been visiting and interviewing some members of the HTCC. She is majoring in Journalism at the University of Missouri and is working on a series of articles to be run in the Missourian over a period of time. This series will be throwing some light on race, religion and culture of the several immigrant communities that have made Columbia their home and their

integration techniques. The most recent activity of the External Affairs committee was playing host to a group of Journalism students, in reference to their class on Religion and the Professions. They visited the Hindu Temple headed by their teacher Debbie Williams. They were given a synopsis of the Hindu religion and a brief history of the Hindu Temple and its accomplishments in the brief period of its existence at Holly Avenue. We are enthused and excited to be involved with our community and hope to learn from others just as we share our ideals with them☯

Earth Hour Commemoration in Columbia - Gagneesh Rawat

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arth Hour was observed at two local community gatherings at Columbia, MO on Saturday, March 29th, 2009. This was the 2nd year that International Earth Hour is being observed all over the world. Residents gathered at 8th Street to watch the lights turned off on the columns and Jesse Hall dome while others gathered at the United Methodist Church on 9th Street for discussions and short readings and

ensuring sustainable growth. The beliefs and position of the various faith communities on caring for humanity, the earth, and sustainability were shared by the Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu community representatives. Gopal represented Hindu Community and brought out the presentations demonstrating significance of nature, each faith’s commitment to care preservation and recycling from for the environment and all living a Hindu perspective. things. The participants spoke about The event was organized some of the measures that they by Columbia Climate have taken to use sustainable Change Coalition in fuels and energy sources like conjunction with University solar panels and rechargeable of Missouri and Interfaith and energy efficient alternatives. Care for Creation, an Other residents voiced concerns interfaith organization of with the new nuclear power diverse faith groups plant that is planned to be built promoting care of the in Callaway County. earth through various Many Colombians activities in the Columbia participated like last year area. preferring to do it their own way Monta Welch, Event by turning off the lights and Coordinator and Director getting together with friends and of Columbia Climate neighbors in backyards, Change Coalition spoke enjoying the stars and a about the need for candlelight dinner☯ Columbians join concerned citizens around the world in saving money, reducing our environmental impact, improving our economy with “green” jobs and technology, creating greater national and homeland security, improving health with a cleaner environment, and educating about global climate change, all while having fun with our fellow Columbians!


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Shreemad Bhagavad Gita - Part 5 - Saroj Mohan This fifth installment of the continuing series of articles on Shreemad Bhagavad Gita by Saroj Mohanji focuses on the concept of evolving into a Stithaprajna (a person without attachment to the fruits of his deeds - one who is “established� in wisdom)

for sensuous pleasures, are not finished. But a self realized, true, Stithaprajna is over them. His internal and external desires are both non-existent due to his consciousness which is ever established in the Parmatma. He has no inner attachment for any thing because he is self realized and one with Parmatma." In the following verse Sri Krishna acknowledges that this is not as easy as it sounds. Sense organs and sensuous ri Krishna says," O! Paarth, the one who has renounced all the desires from pleasures are very powerful. They are not easy to control. He provides advice to his heart and mind and is ever content in overcome this obstacle. Himself, within Himself or Atmani eva atmanah tushtah; such a person is called Stithaprajna." To be content in oneself is the greatest achievement of human life. In the state of lower consciousness and transient duality, we are always discontent, hankering after perishable things and persons. When ignorance is dispelled and replaced by true knowledge or self-realization, there is no duality, only One Effulgent Self or Atma is existent, which is all pervasive. This great grand Reality is self fulfilling. There is no discontent, no dualities of hankering of desires, only peace and supreme Bliss. This is being content in Atma by Atma Itself Atmani eva atmanah tushtah. He says to Arjuna," O! Son of Kunti, these Sri Krishna continues," Such a person or powerful sense organs or Indriyaas Stithaprajna is not upset, disturbed or forcefully pull down a person who is trying perturbed by sorrow or elated by joy and happiness. He has no attachment, greed in very hard, to control them. They pull down the mind in to duality and spin them in the state of happiness. He is beyond the cycle of pain and pleasure relentlessly. love of attachment, Veetaraaga. He is Thus they destroy the efforts of a sincere without fear, Bhaya, and Krodhah, anger. man. So the only way is to control all the Such a Muni is called Stithaprajna. Stithaprajna has equanimity in sorrow and sense organs or Indriyaas from all external happiness. He is free from fear and anger. stimuli is to surrender them to me. With the mind and emotions totally surrendered to The wise one who is unattached every where, and is untouched by auspicious and me one should contemplate on Me. Thus the one, whose Indriyaas are in control and inauspicious results of situations is called whose intellect is fixed on me is a Stithaprajna Stithaprajna." This is explained very nicely in the 58th The 61 to 63rd verses enumerate other verse by a beautiful example. Sri Krishna says," Just as a turtle pulls in all parts of obstacles to control of the senses. He his body into his shell at the slightest explains that even by thinking of sensory danger, so does a Stithaprajna who objects and pleasures, one can form an controls his sense organs at the slightest attachment towards them. These thoughts risk of them running astray due to and desires lead to the creation of more sensuous pleasures. He who is ever desires and attachments. Unfulfilled untouched by duality and sensuous desires create anger which in turn pleasures, is called a Stithaprajna. His generates illusion and delusion. A deluded intellect is ever steady and established in mind plunges down to lower Infinite Consciousness." consciousness of ignorance, thereby In the 59th verse Sri Krishna points out a destroying the process of self realization. very important fact. He says," Some people Once the Smriti or awareness is gone a control their external desires forcefully, and total darkness of ignorance pervades. There is a spiraling from knowledge to restrain them but that is not real ignorance. Once the Atma Smriti is gone it renunciation. Their external desires are is total Vinaash or destruction from the suppressed outwardly but internally they are submerged in them. They revel in them highest plane, the abode in Paramatma." In verses 64 and 65th Sri Krishna says, mentally and emotionally. Their attachment

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"But the person whose sense organs are under his control and who is beyond the distress of dualities like attachment and hatred gains supreme peace and bliss. The one, who is pure in mind and free from duality, blissfully revels in the Divine. In this pure condition all the sorrows get dissolved. There is no misery of any kind. Such pure blissful person's or Sadhakas's intellect stays steady in Parmatma. Such a peaceful individual is called Stithaprajna," In the 66th verse the condition of an unsuccessful Sadhaka is explained. There are four levels in human mental and emotional state, the gross Mana or mind, Budhi or intellect, Chitta or subtle mind and Ahankar or the ego-centric mind. There must be purity and peace at all four levels, to be a Stithaprajna. Sri Krishna says to Arjuna,"O! Arjuna, Nasti Buddhi Ayuktasya or the one whose intellect is not well established in supreme awareness of Divine does not have Bhavana or pure feelings and without purity of Antahkarna or inner state of peace and purity there is no bliss and happiness. In this condition the unsuccessful "Sadhaka" becomes restless and, disturbed and a restless man cannot ever be peaceful." The condition of such a person whose mind and Indriyas are wandering in the sea of stimuli of the sense organs is explained in the 67th verse with the use of an appropriate example. Sri Krishna continues, "Just as the wind draws a boat into an ocean and makes it go astray, similarly a Sadhaka's mind wandering in enjoyments of sense organs is pulled down into dualities. Such a man lured by even one sense organ or Indriya is pulled down in to lower state of consciousness away from steady intellect in Paramatma. Pure Budhi is stolen away even by a fleeting attraction or attachment." Sri Krishna emphasizes this point in the next verse and says to Arjuna," O! Mahabaaho, therefore collect and control all the sense organs from their stimuli reestablish them in the pure steady intellect, in Paramatma. Such a Sadhaka who has totally and completely controlled his sense organs from their stimuli is a Stithaprajna". Just as a ship or boat gets tossed around in the strong blowing wind in the ocean in the same way, the pull and power of sense organs are extremely strong. Here Krishna has addressed Arjuna as Mahaabaho which means 'the one with very strong arms', the implied meaning is that it is very difficult to do so but a strong Sadhaka like Arjuna can do it. Self realization is a very difficult process, but a determined person will be successfulâ˜Ż

Nasthi buddhirayukthasya na chayukthasya bhavanaa. Na chaabhaavayatha: s(h)anithi: as(h)aanthasya kutha: sukham, Ch. 2 Verse 66 - Bhagavad Gita For a person without self-control, self-knowledge is not bestowed. For a person without self-control, contemplation is also not possible. He has no peace. For one without peace, how can there be happiness? Desire called Trishna (thirsting for sense-objects) is the enemy of peace. A man, who is always thirsting for sensual objects, can never be happy. He will be ever restless and his mind will be hankering for one object or other. Only when this longing dies, man enjoys peace. Only then he can meditate and abide in the Self.


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HTCC Quarterly Fiscal Report

For the period January 1, 2009 - March 31, 2009 Prepared by Visala Palaniappan, Treasurer, April 15, 2009 Quarterly Revenues Interest Income Interest income Membership: 2009 Annual Family Members (AFM) 19 @ $50 2009 Annual Individual Members (AIM) 2 @ $30

$23.69

$23.69

$950.00 $60.00

$1,010.00

Donations: Check Donations Hundi Donations/Prayer Services

$987.00 $594.84 $1,581.84

Facilities Use Donations: Mandir and Educational Center use donations Other Revenues Third Anniversary Celebrations HTCC Polos/T-Shirts

$390.00

$390.00

$8,055.00 $70.00

$8,125.00 $11,130.53

Total Quarterly Revenues Quarterly Expenses Start-up Maintenance and Supplies Printing and Mailing Special Events Third Anniversary Celebration Upgrade and Repairs Utilities

$294.80 $195.69 $145.75 $85.80 $6,642.95 $3,012.43 $2,379.09

Total Quarterly Expenses

$12,756.51

Net Income for the Quarter

- $1,625.98

Thanks Balaji, Akila, Naimish and Nithya! Last quarter, we bid farewell to a family that was completely immersed in volunteering at Shanthi Mandir. Balaji and family moved to India to be closer to their elderly parents. Balaji, Akila and the kids have been very active in numerous projects for the Mandir. As most of you are aware, Balaji served as the Chair of the HTCC Publications and Communications Committee and was instrumental in producing the Shanthi Sandesh, sending out e-mail notices to Friends of the Mandir and HTCC Membership, as well as maintaining photo and video archives for HTCC. Akila and the kids were very active in all the youth programs and were the back-bone of volunteer support for many Mandir devotional programs. We will miss their generous donation of talent and time. We wish them the very best as they reestablish their lives back home!

In the beginning ‌ Well deserved rest after getting the Shanthi Mandir altar ready

Thank You!

Donor Acknowledgement, January 1– March 31, 2009 We gratefully acknowledge the following donations made during the fourth quarter of 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.

$24Chandrasekhar, H. R. and Meera Jain, Arun Nair, Satish and Jyotsna $25-99 Gupta, Ghanshyam and Manorma Premnath Venkatesan Rawlani, Ramesh and Chandra Thawani, Ravi and Meena

$100-249 Batchu, Sudhir and Priya Gopalaratnam, Vellore and Anantha Sankaranarayanan, Kannan Shukla, Shivendra and Asha Viswanth, Dabir and Pramila $250-499 Loyalka, Sudarshan and Nirja


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Community Calendar (May. 15, 2009 - August 31, 2009) Unless otherwise indicated, all events are at Shanthi Mandir, 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202 Jun 6

Abhinaya - An Introduction to Odissi Dance Saturday, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Open to kids over the age of 6 and adults. Contact: Aditi Bandyopadhyay 446-9572, aditibandyo@gmail.com

Jun 13

Creative Arts Workshop—Stenciling and Stamping Saturday, 3:00 - 5:00 pm. Open to kids older than 3-4 yrs of age. Contact: Anjna Sethi at 449-8993 or anjna45@hotmail.com

Jun 20

The Creative Shutter Bug Saturday, 1:00 - 5:00 pm Supplement your creative skills in digital photography with advanced skills in digital photo enhancements using Photoshop to produce professional quality images for varied applications. Completed project photos will be displayed in an open exhibition in early Fall. Contact: Vellore S. Gopalaratnam 446-0663 or vsgopal@aol.com HTCC Math Workshop 3:00 - 5:00 pm. during July 6-10. Contact: Ashok Cutkosky, 445-2854 or asho44124@yahoo.com

July 6-10

July 7

Guru Purnima Special Sai Bhajan Thursday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Prasad welcome Contact: Anantha Gopalaratnam (446-0663)

July 11

Art Workshop Saturday, 2:30 - 5:30 pm. Hands-on art projects making paper dolls and/or decorations with vegatables. Further details will be available soon. Contacts: Nandhu Radhakrishnan 8238252 or Pramila Viswanath 445-6250 or pramilaviswanath@yahoo.com

Bal Sabha Field Trip to Rocheport, MO Fun games, bike riding, walking along the Missouri river on the MKT Trail, and a lot more!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bikers leave Columbia at 9:00 am sharp (Twin Lakes Area) Those driving arrive at Rocheport at 11:00 am Bal Sabha is planning a summer field trip to picturesque and historic Rocheport, MO in June. The field trip is designed to be fun outing including games, hiking and cycling. Bicycles can be rented at the Rocheport bike shop. For the more adventurous souls, we will have a small group of adults and youth (over 10 years of age) ride one-way from Columbia to Rocheport on bikes. We will make arrangements to help transport the bikes back to Columbia in a truck or van (bikers do not have to ride back on the return trip). Those interested can also arrange for “Canoe Rental” in Rocheport. Please contact Ravi Thawani at 660888-2917 or R_Thawani@hotmail.com for further information and for signing-up to participate in the outing. Bring along water bottles and bike helmets. Soda and light snacks will be provided at Rocheport.

July 15, 17

Mumbo Jumbo of Accounting Numbers. Wednesday, Friday 6:00 - 8:00 pm Have you wondered if the company whose products you buy is doing well? Is it succeeding? Is it competing? Will it survive? Prequisites: Algebra I and working knowledge of Excel. Contact: Inder Khurana 874-9647 or khuranai@missouri.edu

Aug 15

Janmashtami/Shri Krishna Jayanthi Puja More details will be posted on our web site a week before the puja. Contact Hema Srinivasan at 445-2854 or SrinivasanH@missouri.edu.

Aug. 16

Making of Ganesh idol Sunday, 5:00 - 7:00 pm. A fun activity initiated during the last few years, we will make the Ganesh idol for the Ganesh Chaturthi Puja. Clay working and making of idol open to all interested. Wear work clothes. Contact Gopal at 446-0663 for further details.

Aug. 22

Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Saturday 6:00 - 8:00 pm The Puja also marks the Fourth Anniversary of Shanthi Mandir. This year the Mid-Missouri Marathi Mandal takes the lead in organizing the Puja. Contact: Yogesh and Rashmi Naik at 634-6041 or yogeshvnaik@hotmail.com if you would like to contribute to the program.

Aug 30

HTCC Youth Day / Bal Sabha / Bal Puja Picnic Cosmopolitan Park Dexheimer Shelter, Sunday, 4:00 8:00 pm. A day of fun to recognize and reward our youth All age groups (including adults).

Contact Nandhu Radhakrishnan, Chair, HTCC Youth Activities Committee at 823-8252 for details regarding all the HTCC Youth Summer Workshops.


Shanthi Mandir

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1005734 Columbia MO 65201

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

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 Tamil Classes Hindi Classes Bal Puja Bal Sabha

(May 15, 2009)

3rd 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 - 7:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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

Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

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 Friday Saturday Sunday

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday Sundays Sundays

4:00 - 8:30 p.m. Flexible for now 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Service Programs Volunteering at Central Missouri Food Bank 1st Shram Daan 1 (Labor Donation) Shram Daan 2 (Labor Donation) Narayan Seva (Sai Group - St. Francis Home Lunch) 2nd Non-Perishable Food Collection (Ongoing continuously) Fitness and Cultural Art Programs Bharata Natyam classes (instructor fee required) Tabla classes (instructor fee required) Carnatic vocal music 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. Editor: Gagneesh Rawat <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


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