Issuu on Google+

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

4 ,

I S S U E

3

A U G U S T

2 0 0 9

The Philosophy of the Upanishads H.R. Chandrasekhar

I

Handiwork of participants from the Decorating with Vegetables Workshop

T

Inside This Issue Upanishads

1

Janmashtami Pictures

2

HTCC Executive Comm. Bal Sandesh

n the whole world, said Schopenhauer, there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life - it will be the solace of my death. Here, excepting the moral fragments of Ptah-hotep, are the oldest extant philosophy and psychology of our race; the surprisingly subtle and patient effort of man to understand the mind and the world, and their relation. The Upanishads are as old as Homer, and as modern as Kant. The word is composed of upa, near, and shad, to sit. From "sitting near" the teacher, the term came to mean the secret or esoteric doctrine - confided by the master to his best and favorite pupils. There are one hundred and eight of these discourses, composed by various saints

3 5-6

India Trip

5

Leaving the Woods

6

Summer Workshops

7

Workshop Pictures

7

HTCC Library

8

Song in the Woods

8

Bhagwad Gita

9

Quarterly Fiscal Report

10

Donor Acknowledgment

10

Community Calendar

11

Current Programs

12

he lead article for this issue focuses on the philosophy of the Upanishads. The Upanishads are relatively less known than the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the four Vedas - yet they constitute in many ways the core practices of the Hindu way of life. This article by H. R. Chandrasekhar provides a succinct introduction to one of the most exhaustive and important collection in the Hindu scriptures. We are hoping that this introduction will lead to further discussions in our community - discussions that delve deeper into the Upanishads, and what it means to us today. This issue of Shanthi Sandesh also includes contributions from our youth as well as the continuing series of articles on the Bhagavad Gita. The Fall festival season at the Mandir got off to a great start with the very well

curing warts; sometimes they impress us as the profoundest thinking in the history of philosophy. We know the names of many of the authors but we know nothing of their lives except what they occasionally reveal in their teachings. The most and sages between 800 and 500 B.C. They represent not a vivid figures among them are Yajnavalkya, the man, and consistent system of Gargi, the woman who has the philosophy, but the opinions, honor of being among the apercus and lessons of many men, in whom philosophy and earliest of philosophers. Of the two, Yajnavalkya has the religion were still fused in the sharper tongue. His fellow attempt to understand-and reverently unite with the simple teachers looked upon him as a and essential reality underlying dangerous innovator; his posterity made his doctrine the the superficial multiplicity of cornerstone of unchallengeable things. They are full of absurdities and contradictions, orthodoxy. He tells us how he tried to leave his two wives in and occasionally they order to become a hermit sage; anticipate all the wind of Hegelian verbiage; sometimes and in the plea of his wife they present formulas as weird Maitreyi that he should take her (continued on Page 2) as that of Tom Sawyer for This article is excerpted from The Story of Civilization—Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant, The Principles of Upanishads by S. Radhakrishnan and Passages from Chandogya, Katha and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads.

Message from the Executive Board attended Shri Krishna Jayanthi/ Janmashtami puja. The youth put together an adorable dance in addition to several other shloka/song recitals. We played the “maakhan chor” routine with a candy-filled piñata and welcomed Bala Krishna at the stroke of midnight with inspiring bhajans. Several photographs from this event grace this issue of Shanthi Sandesh (Page 2). We were also thrilled that so many of you could join us to make Ganeshji’s idol for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi Puja (Saturday, August 22). The youth who participated in this fun event, played to their heart’s content with the cotton reinforced clay as they made laddus, modaks, mushika vahana, and yes, Ganesh too. This event also marks the

fourth anniversary of Shanthi Mandir. The sentimental attachment to this festival for all of us is evident, given that we started devotional services at the Mandir, on Ganesh Chaturthi day in 2005. We have come a long way since then, thanks to the good grace of Vighna Vinashaka (the remover of obstacles). Thanks to the HTCC Elections Committee, chaired by Gopalakrishna Srinath, and ably assisted by Das Kutikkad and Arun Jain, we welcome Ravi Thawani as the new VicePresident and Manjula Narasimhan as the new Treasurer of the HTCC Executive Board. We also warmly welcome Leela Jashnani as our new Elected Trustee. The terms for all three (continued on Page 4)


PAGE

2

SHANTHI Upanishads (continued from Page 1)

“There is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life - it will be the solace of my death” Schopenhauer

Janmashtami Celebrations August 15, 2009 Clockwise from left: Here comes the yummy dinner; Govinda aala rey - kids and adults help break a pot of candy; Scramble, scramble and get that candy, everyone! Five young singers sing a bhajan; Above: Krishna sits on a decorated Jhoola inside the Mandir;

with him, we catch some feeling of the intensity with which India has for thousands of years pursued religion and philosophy. And then Yajnavalkya was about to commence another mode of life. "Maitreyi!" said Yajnavalkya, "Lo, I am about to wander forth from this state. Let me make a final settlement for you and that Katyayani." Then spake Maitreyi: "If, now, Sir, this whole earth filled with wealth were mine, would I now thereby be immortal?" "No, no!" said Yajnavalkya. "Of immortality there is no hope through wealth." Then spake Maitreyi: “What should I do with that through which I may not be immortal? What you know, Sir-that, indeed, explain to me. “The theme of the Upanishads is all the mystery of this unintelligible world. "Whence are we born, where do we live, and whither do we go? O ye who know Brahman, tell us at whose command we abide here. . . . Should time, or nature, or necessity, or chance, or the elements be considered the cause, or he who is called “Purusha" - the Supreme Spirit. India has had more than her share of men who wanted "not millions, but answers to their questions." In the Maitri Upanishad we read of a king abandoning his kingdom and

going into the forest to practice austerities, clear his mind for understanding, and solve the riddle of the universe. After a thousand days of the king's penances a sage, "knower of the soul," came to him. "You are one who knows it’s true nature," says the king; "do tell us." "Choose other desires," warns the sage. But the king insists; and in a passage that must have seemed Schopenhauerian to Schopenhauer, he voices that revulsion against life, that fear of being reborn, which runs darkly through all Hindu thought: "Sir, in this ill-smelling, unsubstantial body, which is a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, feces, urine, wind, bile and phlegm, what is the good of enjoyment of desire? In this body, which is afflicted with desire, anger, covetousness, delusion, fear, despondency, envy, separation from the desirable, union with the undesirable, hunger, thirst, senility, death, disease, sorrow and the like, what is the good of enjoyment of desires? And we see that this whole world is decaying like these gnats, these mosquitoes, this grass, and these trees that arise and perish. . . . Among other things there is the drying up of great oceans, the falling-away of mountain-peaks, the deviation of the fixed pole star, . . . the submergence of the earth. . . . In

SANDESH

this sort of cycle of existence what is the good of enjoyment of desires, when, after a man has fed upon them, there is seen repeatedly his return here to the earth?” The first lesson that the sages of the Upanishads teach their selected pupils is the inadequacy of the intellect. How can this feeble brain, that aches at a little calculus, ever hope to understand the complex immensity of which it is so transitory a fragment? Not that the intellect is useless; it has its modest place, and serves us well when it deals with relations and things; but how it falters before the eternal, the infinite, or the elementally real! In the presence of that silent reality which supports all appearances, and wells up in all consciousness, We need some other organ of perception and understanding than these senses and this reason. "Not by learning is the Brahman (or Soul of the World) attained, not by genius and much knowledge of books. . . . Let one renounce learning and become as a child. . . . Let him not seek after many words, for that is mere weariness of tongue. The highest understanding, as Spinoza was to say, is direct perception, immediate insight; it is, as Bergson would say, intuition, the inward seeing of the mind that has deliberately (continued on Page 3)


VOLUME

4,

ISSUE

PAGE

3

Upanishads (continued from Page 2)

closed, as far as it can, the portals of external sense. "The self-evident Brahman pierced the openings of the senses so that they turned outwards; therefore man looks outward, not inward into himself; some wise man, however, with his eyes closed and wishing for immortality, saw the self behind. If, on looking inward, a man finds nothing at all, that may only prove the accuracy of his introspection; for no man need expect to find the eternal in himself if he is lost in the ephemeral and particular. Before that inner reality can be felt one has to wash away from himself all evil doing and thinking, all turbulence of body and soul. For a fortnight one must fast, drinking only water; then the mind, so to speak, is starved into tranquility and silence, the senses are cleansed and stilled, the spirit is left at peace to feel itself and that great ocean of soul of which it is a part; at last the individual ceases to be, and Unity and Reality appear. For it is not the individual self which the seer sees in this pure inward seeing; that individual self is but a series of brain or mental states, it is merely the body seen from within. What the seeker seeks is Atman, the Self of all selves, the Soul of all souls, the immaterial, formless Absolute in which we bathe ourselves when we forget ourselves. This, then, is the first step in the Secret Doctrine: that the essence of our own self is not the body, or the mind, or the individual ego, but the silent and formless depth of being within us, Atman, The second step is Brahman, the one pervading, neuter, impersonal, allembracing, underlying, intangible essence of the world, the "Real of the Real," "the unborn Soul, undecaying, undying, the Soul of all Things as Atman is the Soul of all Souls; the one force that stands behind, beneath and above all forces and all gods. Then Vidagda Sakayla questioned him. "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya? He answered, . . . "As many as are mentioned in the Hymn to All the Gods, namely, three hundred and three, and three thousand and three. " "Yes, but just how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Thirty -three." "Yes, but just how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Six. " "Yes, but just how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?” "Two. " "Yes, but just how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"

"One and a half." "Yes, but just how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "One." The third step is the most important of all: Atman and Brahman are one. The (nonindividual) soul or force within us is identical with the impersonal Soul of the World. The Upanishads burn this doctrine into the pupil's mind with untiring repetition. Behind all forms and veils the subjective and the objective are one; we, in our deindividualized reality, and God as the essence of all things, are one. A teacher expresses it in a famous parable: "Bring hither a fig from there." "Here it is, Sir." "Divide it." "It is divided, Sir." "What do you see there?" "These rather fine seeds, Sir." "Of these please divide one." "It is divided, Sir." "What do you see there?" "Nothing at all, Sir." "Verily, my dear one, that finest essence which you do not perceive-verily from that finest essence this great tree thus arises. Believe me, my dear one, that which is the finest essence - this whole world has that as its soul. That is Reality. That is Atman. Tat twam asi - that art thou, Shwetaketu." "Do you, Sir, cause me to understand even more." "So be it, my dear one." This almost Hegelian dialectic of Atman, Brahman and their synthesis is the essence of the Upanishads. Many other lessons are taught here, but they are subordinate. We find already, in these discourses, the belief in transmigration, and the longing for release (Moksha) from this heavy chain of reincarnations. Janaka, King of the Videhas, begs Yajnavalkya to tell him how rebirth can be avoided. Yajnavalkya answers by expounding Yoga: through the ascetic elimination of all personal desires one may cease to be an individual fragment, unite himself in supreme bliss with the Soul of the WorId, and so escape rebirth. Whereupon the king, metaphysically overcome, says: "I will give you, noble Sir, the Videhas, and myself also to be your slave. It is an abstruse heaven, however, that Yajnavalkya promises the devotee, for in it there will be no individual consciousness, there will only be absorption into Being, the reunion of the temporarily separated part with the Whole. "As flowing rivers disappear in the sea, losing their name and form, thus a wise man, freed from name and form, goes to the Divine who is beyond all. Such a theory of life and death will not

3

please the Western man, whose belief is as permeated with individualism as are his political and economic institutions. But it has satisfied the philosophical Hindu mind with astonishing continuity. We shall find this philosophy of the Upanishads - this monistic theology, this mystic and impersonal immortality - dominating Hindu thought from Buddha to Gandhi, from Yajnavalkya to Tagore. To our own day the Upanishads have remained to India what the New Testament has been to Christendom-a noble creed occasionally practiced and generally revered. Even in Europe and America this wistful theosophy has won millions upon millions of followers, from lonely women and tired men to Schopenhauer and Emerson. Who would have thought that the great American philosopher of individualism would give perfect expression to the Hindu conviction that individuality is a delusion? Brahma If the red slayer thinks he slays, Or if the slain thinks he is slain, They know not well the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again. Far or forgot to me is near; Shadow and sunlight are the same; The vanished gods to me appear; And one to me are shame and fame. They reckon ill who leave me out; When me they fly I am the wings; I am the doubter and the doubt, And I the hymn the Brahman sings☯ HTCC Executive Committee for 2009-2010 The Executive Committee comprises elected Executive Board and appointed Committee Chairs and Assistant Treasurer HTCC Executive Board for 2009-2010 President – Vellore S. Gopalaratnam1 Vice President – Ravi Thawani2 Secretary – Inder Khurana3 Treasurer – Manjula Narasimhan4 HTCC Committee Chairs for 2009-2010 Capital Campaign2 – H. R. Chandrasekhar Communications1 - Gagneesh Rawat Cultural Programs4 – Hema Srinivasan Devotional Programs1 – Chandra Rawlani Educational Programs3 – Sanjeev Khanna External Relations1 – Leela Jashnani Facilities & Renovation2 – Bharath Srinivasan Financial Policy4 – Krishna Sharma Library3 – H. R. Chandrasekhar Membership1 – Dabir Viswanath Operations & Maintenance2 – Shuba Ratneshwar Publications1 – Sandhya Sharma Safety and Security2 – Kiratdas Kutikkad Scheduling3 – Inder Khurana Service Programs4 – Mayukh Ghosh Youth Activities3 – Nandhu Radhakrishnan Assistant Treasurer: Kusum Malhotra ——————–--———————————Superscript numbers identify Executive Board liaisons for various standing committees


PAGE

4

SHANTHI Executive Board Message (continued from Page 1)

Youth getting hands-on experience at the Creative Shutter Bug Workshop

Duty without love is deplorable. Duty with love is desirable. Love without duty is Divine Sathya Sai Baba

of these HTCC officers expires March 31, 2011. With the elections behind us, the new Executive Board met a few weeks back, and constituted the new HTCC Executive Committee (Page 3). As always, this group, responsible for day-to -day operations of the Mandir and all our programs and services, represents a good blend of experience and enthusiastic newcomers. We warmly welcome Bharath Srinivasan (Facilities and Renovation), Gagneesh Rawat (Communications), Mayukh Ghosh (Service Programs), Sandhya Sharma (Publications), Sanjeev Khanna (Educational Programs), Shuba Ratneshwar (Operations and Maintenance) as new chairs. Kusum Malhotra joins us as Assistant Treasurer. We greatly appreciate the contributions of retiring chairs B.S. Balaji (Publications and Communications), Manjula Narasimhan (Service Programs), Meera Chandrasekhar (Operations and Maintenance), Rajiv Mohan (Library), Ravi Thawani (Facilities and Renovation). Undoubtedly, we will continue to rely on their support, leadership and organizational skills as we plan ahead. We also welcome Chandrasekhar, who rejoins us as chair of the Library Committee. There are already many interesting projects brewing in the Library Committee as the write-up on Page 8 details. In this connection, we gratefully acknowledge the generous book donations from Robert and Mary Bussabarger (Bob is an Honorary Member of the HTCC) and from Gerald Barrier (retired MU Professor of History and owner of South Asia Books, the largest South Asia specialty book store in North America) as well as the donation of four glass -door book cases from the Chandrasekhars to house these new collections. Our Youth Activities committee has been very busy during the summer break. The workshops organized by this group included: Abhinaya - An Introduction to Odissi Dance, Creative Arts Workshop Stenciling and Stamping, The Creative Shutter Bug, Art Workshop - Decorating with

Vegetables, Mumbo Jumbo of Accounting Numbers, and the ever popular Math Workshop. We thank Nandhu Radhakrishnan, the prime mover, and the workshop coordinators - Aditi Bandyopadhyay, Anjna Sethi, Vellore Gopalaratnam, Pramila Viswanath, Inder Khurana and Ashok Cutkosky, respectively. The HTCC Youth Activities committee with assistance from Bal Sabha and Bal Puja groups will host the Youth Day/Picnic on Sunday, August 30 at the Nickell Shelter of Cosmo Park from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. Please join us to recognize our youth and also have fun playing games and enjoy picnic treats together. We are also planning to have the creative works from participants at the Creative Shutter Bug workshop exhibited at the Youth Day/Picnic. Summer also allowed us to work on landscaping to improve drainage near the air conditioning unit through a combination of Shram Daan and hired help. The air conditioning unit which was disconnected since early winter to allow for plumbing repairs was reconnected in time for the hot summer. The Shram Daan team ably led by Das Kutikkad, Ravi Thawani and Mayukh Ghosh and assisted by yours truly, has been taking itty-bitty bites into the long handy-work backlog at the Mandir. With the good fall weather approaching, we could use several extra pairs of hands to take care of weeding, planting and fertilizing at the Mandir. Please be generous with your donation of time and effort. Contact Das/Ravi/Mayukh if you would like to volunteer. We have a long list of tasks that are age and physical-ability appropriate for every volunteer. The HTCC Cultural Programs committee successfully launched Bhakti Sangeet, a program of vocal devotional music of the light classical genre. This Saturday evening program which debuted in July will continue as announced from time to time. Two such evenings of devotional music have been held to date with more to follow later in Fall. Fall is the time we bid farewell to our graduates and we have four from amongst us headed for college. We are truly proud of all their accomplishments and wish them well as they head to

SANDESH

colleges of their choice. Vellore Adithi is headed to the University of Southern California to pursue a degree in Anthropology, Ashok Cutkosky plans to attend Harvard University, Roshni Rawlani is to join Northwestern University enroute to a medical degree and Sangita Sharma is pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. In the natural scheme of renewal, their departure allows us to welcome a new team at the helm of Bal Sandesh, our youth section in this newsletter. Maya Cutkosky, Anchal Sethi, Neeta Thawani, Nidhi Khurana and Prerna Srinivasan take over as Editorial Staff for Bal Sandesh, ably guided by Hema Srinivasan as Parent Advisor. Our devotional calendar for Fall includes besides the regular Mandir festivals of Devi Jaagran/ Navaratri, Dusshera/Vijaya Dashami, Karva Chauth, Deepavali, Skanda Sashti, the interfaith Thanksgiving event. This year HTCC plays host for this celebration that brings together all of Columbia’s faith groups. Please mark your calendar for this event on November 22. We look forward to your active participation as has become the tradition over the last three years. Additional details on this Columbia-wide celebration will be forthcoming in the next few months. During the four years we have been in existence, we have come a long way in providing dependable service to our community. Our devotional, educational, service, outreach and youth programs have served Columbia's Hindu community as well as other Columbia residents very well. We greatly appreciate your constant support, encouragement and volunteering to make this happen. As we stand at the crossroads of the next phase in our growth, the Mandir needs the support of our community and your family in particular. Please let us or other officer of HTCC know if you have questions or suggestions with regard to our operations and plans for the future. And as always, see you at the Mandirâ˜Ż Vellore S. Gopalaratnam Inder Khurana Manjula Narasimhan Ravi Thawani


VOLUME

4,

ISSUE

PAGE

3

Newsletter of Bal Sabha of Columbia, MO

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

5

August 2009

EDITOR’S NOTE T

his is the last Bal Sandesh issue for Editors Adithi and Ashok. Bal Sandesh wishes them well. We welcome Anchal, Maya, Neeta, Nidhi and Prerna to the editorial board. This issue has articles from Prerna and Shreyas about their India trip and a poem by Maya with a short story. Bal Sandesh wishes every one a happy and successful new academic year☯ Editors

Our India Trip Prerna and Shreyas Srinivasan, 9th Grade, West Junior and 3rd Grade Paxton Keely

T

he Adventure started on our first day in New Delhi, which for Shreyas and I, was the first time ever. Our first day out and about, we went to a place called the Qutab Minar, which is the world’s tallest brick minaret. It was built during the rule of Qutb-ud-din Aibak. Later that day we went to the famous Lotus Temple which is a place of worship for the Bahai faith. The temple itself was beautifully structured and reminded me somewhat of the Sydney Opera House. The next day we went to another famous temple called Akshardham which is a temple for Bhagwan Swaminarayan. It was a very interesting that they had many ways of telling his story. The point was that it was told in such a way that you would never get bored. The day after we stopped by the marvelous India Gate and took some time to look at the “Amar Jawan Jyothi”. This monument symbolizes the everlasting loyalty and sacrifice from the men and women of Indian Military. This was followed by some ice cream and a good night sleep to prepare ourselves for the biggest attraction yet to come. After sunrise the whole family piled into our white Ambassador (a brand of car popular in India) and off we went to Agra!!!! On the way, we stopped at many cities and religious sites of Lord Krishna such as Mathura, Brindavan, and Gokul. We saw a lot of monkeys in these towns! Once reaching Agra we hit a straight course to the Taj Mahal. By the time we got there, Shreyas and I were bouncing with joy in our seats hyper and excited. The moment we saw it,

we was stunned. There it was, standing before our very own eyes. It was too beautiful. Way better than it looks in pictures. Since the rest of the family has seen it, my mom, grandma and great-aunt sat down in some shade while my uncle, Shreyas and I went inside. The inside, I felt, was even better with thousands of designs. On 26th of June, we’re back on a plane and off to Chennai. After reaching home and getting another good night sleep, my grandma, my mom, Shreyas and I went to my mom’s older sister’s house in a place called Saligramam for a family reunion. After that weekend, we spent the following week in Besant Nagar where my mom’s oldest sister lives near the splendid beach on the shores of Bay of Bengal. This followed more family reunions, where we met two more cousins. During that week we went to a place called Dakshina Chitra which have replicas of many different southern states like Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There we saw how they make saris on a hand loom and Shreyas made a pot on an old fashioned pottery wheel. My mom and I got mehendi (henna) done up till our elbows!!! The way the houses were all neatly replicated was very fascinating. Then it was our

last full weekend, all of my mom’s sisters and families piled into a rented bus and we set off course to Mahabalipuram, a city rich in temples. Mahabalipuram was remarkable for the fact that there were a lot of carvings which mostly all carved out of the same rock. The carvings had a lot of various architectural influences from the Romans, Greeks, Buddhists and much more. The Shore Temple was one out of five temples. Now four are completely submerged by the ocean and are underwater and only one remains and not in a very good condition. There were five rathas or chariots. The five rathas were Draupadi’s Ratha, Arjuna’s Ratha, Nakul – Sahadev’s Ratha, Bhima Ratha and Yudhishtira’s Ratha. 21st of July, our bags were packed and we are at the airport. My grandma and my favorite great-aunt came to see us off. After many good byes and “Be good and don’t trouble your mother” type remarks, we left to go to our gate. Prerna kept waving until she could see them no more. While boarding the plane, we thought back about the fun times we had during the summer vacation. The times we went shopping for hours on end, the many great adventures, the way Prerna tried ever so hard to speak Tamil, our mother tongue, and much more. But we were also happy that we were coming back home☯


PAGE

6

SHANTHI

SANDESH

Leaving the Woods Maya Cutkosky, 9th Grade, West Junior Solution to the puzzle from the last issue It was a trick. Although there is a whole lot of seemingly important information given, we cannot tell who will be there first, because we don’t know how fast the sister walks!

All smiles after an afternoon of challenging math problems?

T

he beautiful voice gently flowed across the trees, so soft that the animals that had taken roost in them barely noticed and those that did thought little of the sweet yet melancholy tone. Alone on a half-sheltered rock from where the singing originated, wind playfully making patterns in her hair and cooling her almost tearstained face, sat the sole recipient of the music. It was as she had sang, nature cared not for her plight, nor did any of the outside world… For what was wrong with her life? She had

everything anyone could ever ask for. She had parents who cared for her who were well off enough to manage without her. She had older siblings who were arguably the most talented people in the state, one in math and music, the other in engineering and art, yet they never used it to discourage her. She even had talent, and had a chance to excel in the areas that she wished, if she made an effort. She just never seemed to be able to make such an effort. All she wanted to do was get in a corner and escape from the world, either by reading or by singing; it made little difference to her. It made her happy temporarily and that’s all that mattered. “Nelvriza!” That was all that mattered, despite what everyone, including herself, might say. “Nelvriza!” The voice was getting more emphatic in its callings. That was alright. Nelvriza didn’t feel like singing anymore. Her emotions were all used up, and now all she felt was a cheerless tiredness. Quick as a rabbit, she jumped off her rock, and slowly she

trudged back to the house listening listlessly to the bird calls and rustling leaves that weren’t even attempting to be concerned at her departure. The world, as usual, could go on without her, whatever she managed to delude herself into believing. Nelvriza sighed, called, “coming mother!” and ran the rest of the way to the door. …Or tried to, at least. The caller happened to be outside and intercepted her before she could go in. “Have you done your school work” She sighed. If she was so unimportant, why couldn’t she be left alone? “No,” she replied angrily and made a scrabbling escape to the deceptively safe-seeming sanctuary of her room. The whirlwind of paper, books, and general things that decorated the floor failed to keep anyone from coming, especially if there was something that she was suppose to do. Nor did it hide schoolwork, except on the annoying occasions that it was actually finished and she just wanted to turn it in or use it to help on another assignment☯

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 Neeta Thawani Nidhi Khurana Prerna Srinivasan

Phone (573) 514-0486 (573) 445-2854 (660) 882-5317 (573) 874-9647 (573) 445-0033

Parent Advisor Hema Srinivasan

(573) 445-2854

E-Mail danzingdivas@yahoo.com booneville.kid@hotmail.com n_khurana@yahoo.com

srinivasanh@missouri.edu


VOLUME

4,

ISSUE

PAGE

3

7

HTCC Summer Workshops Nandhu Radhakrishnan

T

he Youth Activities Committee organized a variety of workshops this summer that attracted kids and adults alike. The following workshops were well attended and well received by the community. Abhinaya – An introduction to Odissi Aditi Bandyopadhyay, renowned Odissi dancer conducted a workshop on the art of expression, Abhinaya, and introduced some concepts involved in classical dance forms. Attendees not only learned valuable tips on improving their performance but also had a master class experience by demonstrating their talents that was later fine tuned by the instructor. Creative Arts – Stamping and Stenciling Anjna Sethi’s workshop gave the kids hands on experience in making greeting

cards. The kids were focused on using stencils and stamps to unleash their creativity. The group enjoyed putting their skills together and design cards for Fathers’ Day. One need not say how much this meant to the family. The Creative Shutter Bug This workshop clicked really well among photography enthusiasts. Gopal, exposed the secrets of photography to wow one and all. The science behind apertureshutter settings in a camera made sense when the participants had a chance to shoot pictures around Shanthi Mandir. He also gave a demonstration on the possibilities of using Adobe Photoshop to enhance photographs and embellish them with creative effects. The participants plan to exhibit their skills on the Youth Day picnic (see Page 11). Don’t miss it. Math Workshop The most popular workshop every season was once again conducted by

Ashok Cutkosky. It is always a challenge to tutor a group having participants at several different levels. Ashok kept them busy and tweaked their skills to perfection. The kids knew that they could count on him. Creative Arts – Decorating with vegetables Pramila Viswanath impressed the kids with what they can do with vegetables and a peeler. The participants were thrilled to see their talents flowing out in ease. Fish, frog, swan, flower, you name it, they made it (see pictures of the creations on the cover page and Page 8) Mumbo Jumbo of Accounting Numbers What do accountants mean when they talk about financial statements, balance sheet, and profit? How can you tell a company is doing better than its competitor? The participants of this workshop had the chance to learn all these concepts. It was a two-day workshop that Inder put together and it was All Profit No Loss!☯

Clockwise from top left :(a)Abhinaya,(b)Mumbo-Jumbo of accounting, (c) Creative Arts workshop, (d) Math workshop, (e and f) Blooms at the Mandir offer good subjects for the creative shutter bugs, and (g) Decorating with Vegetables crew

a

g

f

b

c

e

d


PAGE

8

SHANTHI

SANDESH

Recent Developments at the Shanthi Mandir Library H. R. Chandrasekhar

O

Thanks for the donation of four new glass-door bookcases! We gratefully acknowledge the recent donation of four glass door bookcases from H.R. and Meera Chandrasekhar to the Shanthi Mandir Library. Above photo shows youth volunteers on the library committee who helped assemble the bookcases. If you would like to volunteer on the HTCC Library Committee, please contact H.R. Chandrasekhar, the Library CommitteeChair. We could use the services of youth and adults who are passionate about books!

ur ambitious project to house a unique and extensive collection of books at Shanthi Mandir, which began more than three years ago, may be close to realization thanks to recent events. We were fortunate to receive generous donations by two scholars who have nurtured a long association with India. Professors Robert Bussaburger (retired professor of Arts and an honorary member of HTCC) and Gerald Barrier (retired professor of History and owner of South Asia Books, the largest book store in North America housing books on the Indian subcontinent). have devoted a large fraction of their career to study and research post-independent India. They have donated a valuable and extensive collection of books on

religion, art, history, philosophy, architecture, languages, science, and politics of India, for young and mature readers. With this donation our collection has more than doubled. This has given impetus to revive and energize the Library Committee that has been dormant for some time. The Library project began in 2006 due to the financial support that came earmarked for the library. Part of the donation of by Dr. N. Mathialagan and family of St. Louis (Wife Sumathy and daughter Nevatha), who were former residents of Columbia, helped us to put together four handsome book cases, thanks to the Shram Daan volunteers.

Major contributions by Dr. Murari Nagar and yours truly, gave us the initial pool of money to get the first consignment of about one thousand books. An active group of youngsters and parents worked on cataloguing these books. The new donations by Professors Bussaburger and Barrier far exceed our existing collection. Hence a revival of the Library Committee is paramount to take stock of this valuable gift. We invite you to take part in this great adventure of establishing a unique intellectual resource that will benefit the Indian Community and the general public☯

Song in the Woods Maya Cutkosky, 9th Grade, West Junior “The water turns from where I am, leaving me alone. The leaves whisper in the trees, telling me to go. Over yonder, there’s so much to do Yet still I stay here, singing and singing, For with nature I belong, and from music I come. “I can hear far away, the calling of chores, How easily with this recitation, I remember mine, Incompetent I am, yet that doesn’t make me sad, For as long as I can sit here, singing and singing, Only with nature’s music, shall I find peace and joy. “The day’s heat lingers over me, then leaves me abruptly in cold. The cool winds tease me joyfully, leaving me suddenly in heat. Never welcome, do I seem in this foreign land But here I shall remain, ever singing and singing, While with nature and music, I have chance to belong.”

Bottom Left: Flame Spitter by Arul Sethi, Bottom Right::Edible flowers? Created at the Decorating With Vegetables Summer Workshop


VOLUME

4,

ISSUE

PAGE

3

9

Shreemad Bhagavad Gita - Part 6 - Saroj Mohan

I

n the May 2009 installment (Part 5) of this continuing series on the Bhagavad Gita we observed that a Sadhaka could be led astray by giving in to his/her senses whereas a Sthitapragnya is a person who is in command of his/her senses by being detached from the fruits of his/her good deeds. The state of an ordinary worldly person and a self realized one is described in Verse 69. The difference is remarkable. It is a very potent verse with a deep meaning. At first we will review the literal meaning and then delve deeper into its more profound message. Shri Krishna tells Arjuna, "Night is the time for all living beings to sleep, but it is like day for the Sthitapragnya. He stays wide awake by night when the world is asleep but he sleeps by day when the world is awake." During the day worldly people are restlessly busy in fulfilling their selfgratifying desires. In spite of all their efforts they are neither happy nor satisfied by the transient fruits of their actions. A Sthitapragnya sees this ignorance as a dark night. He is an unattached observer, peaceful in his pure steady mind only aware of the Divine play all around him, so he is asleep to that reality. In the night the world sleeps but he is awake. It means in the darkness of ignorance a Sthitapragnya is awake in the self effulgent light of Infinite pure consciousness. It is like day for him. So what the dark night of ignorance is for the sleepy world is the day time of enlightenment for the Sthitapragnya. Shri Krishna tells Arjuna in verse 70, "Just as many rivers flowing down from all directions, enter the deep and full ocean without the ocean being disturbed by them, similarly all Kamanas or desires and pleasures of the sense organs disappear in Sthitapragnya without creating any disturbance in him. He has realized the allpervasive, peaceful, blissful Self or Parmatma. So, in his self effulgent state there is eternal peace and bliss. He is not desirous of any Bhogas or transient pleasures." Shri Krishna described the state of such a Sthitapragnya once again in Verse 71. He says," Totally renouncing all desires such a man happily moves in the world, with out any attachment and ego. Such a true Sthitapragnya finds and enjoys the divine peace and bliss." Desires are the root of all sufferings in the dual world; once the non-dual, self-effulgent Parmatma is realized there is no sorrow, only bliss and peace. In the last and concluding verse (of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita), Verse

In the previous chapter of Sankhya yoga, we saw the fundamental principles of creation and human development, which consist of mental, emotional and intellectual evolvement, up to the transcendental experience of the Self. The Self-realization is a subjective experience of the supreme Reality. Arjuna was not clear in his understanding of the superiority of Gyanayoga over Karmayoga, so Arjuna sought clarifications from Shri Krishna. Arjuna asked, “O Janardana, If you think Gyanayoga is superior to Karmayoga, then O Keshava, why are you engaging me in this formidable and horrible Karma of fighting the war with my own kinfolk? I am so confused; please tell me, unequivocally, what is good for me. Shri Krishna clears Arjuna’s confusion in great detail in the 3rd verse of Chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita: Shree Krishna says, “O Anagha or pure hearted Arjuna, In the very beginning of this world there were two kinds of Nishsthas or the beliefs, paths or methods So we have come to an end of the of achieving the goal of the self-realization, journey of a seeker of Reality. We one which is followed by Sankhyayogis, understand the transient, ever changing and the other one by Karmayogis.” Both mortal Jeevatma, eternal Atma, Parmatma, paths lead the seeker to the same Goal, in importance of Swadharma or imperative which the One-ness of entire existence is duties of life with Dharma, Karmayoga and realized. This knowledge is enlightenment. finally a beautifully painted picture, in After knowing this great grand Reality, we magnificent words, of Sthitapragnya. Thus see that all this is the Divine play in Infinite concludes the second chapter. consciousness. This is the state of Gyana, which is realized by a Gyanayogis. Absolutely free from ego, without any desires, for the fruits of his actions, a Karmayogi reaches the same goal. knowing the One-ness of all, the seeker The most vibrant third chapter, of the becomes the instrument of Divine, magnificent bouquet, the Bhagvad Gita, is performing all his actions as worship to Karmayoga. Him, the Parmatma. There is no “doership” It is very popular with the people of and “enjoyership” in him. It is a play of active and vigorous mental and physical Divine in its full glory. This is perfect temperament, eager to serve the world. In Karmyoga. this chapter the method of achieving union Shri Krishna, clarifies in the previous or Yoga with the Divine through Karma or verse that the two kinds of Nishthas or actions is addressed. The question is how paths, namely, Karmayoga and can an ordinary Jeevatma reach the goal Gyanayoga are neither superior nor inferior of Self realization or Parmatma through actions? Only in an enlightened state, work to each other. Individuals may find one of these paths more compatible to their becomes worship. A perfect Karmyogi is temperament☯ an enlightened person. 72, there is the description of Bhrahmi Sthiti or the unbroken state of awareness in Bhraham, Pure Infinite consciousness. Shri Krishna says,"O! Partha, the one who has achieved this Bhrahmi sthiti or pure awareness, does not ever get attached or deluded again in this world. At the end (when he leaves his body till then) he still stays in that supreme state of bliss and peace."


PAGE

10

SHANTHI

SANDESH

HTCC Quarterly Fiscal Report

For the period April 1, 2009 - June 30, 2009 Prepared by Visala Palaniappan, Treasurer, July 15, 2009 Quarterly Revenues Interest Income Interest income Membership: 2009 Annual Family Members (AFM) 3 @ $50 Donations: Check Donations Hundi Donations/Prayer Services Facilities Use Donations: Mandir and Educational Center use donations Other Revenues Summer Workshops Samarpanam advertisement (late payment)

$1,989.84

$1,989.84

$150.00

$150.00

$376.00 $427.00

$803.00

$265.00

$265.00

$85.00 $205.00

$290.00 $3,497.84

Total Quarterly Revenues Quarterly Expenses Lawn and Garden Maintenance and Supplies Printing and Mailing Special Events Start-up Upgrade and Repairs Utilities

$118.11 $1,394.72 $12.27 $72.00 $60.72 $247.02 $1,310.37

Total Quarterly Expenses

$3,215.21

Net Income for the Quarter

The Vedas are the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery, and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual world."

$282.63

Participants at the SummerArt Workshop

Thank You!

Donor Acknowledgement, April 1– July 31, 2009 We gratefully acknowledge the following donations made during the above period. 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.

$24Thawani, Ravi and Meena

$250-499 Loyalka, Sudarshan and Nirja

$25-99 Gopalaratnam, Vellore and Anantha

$500-600 Chandrasekhar, H. R. and Meera

Swami Vivekananda


VOLUME

4,

ISSUE

PAGE

3

11

Community Calendar (August 15, 2009 - November 30, 2009) Unless otherwise indicated, all events are at Shanthi Mandir, 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202 Aug 15

Shri Krishna Jayanthi/Janamashtami Puja Saturday, 6:30 pm -12 :30 a.m. There will be slokas, music, dance, and bhajans. Prasad/dinner served after aarti. Contact Hema Srinivasan at 445-2854, or hemaxsrinivasan@gmail.com for participating in the program. Contact Punam Sethi at 514-0486, punamsethi@hotmail.com or Sushma Malik at 4470645 for helping out with the Prasad (simple dinner)

Aug 16

Making of Ganesh idol Sunday, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. A fun activity initiated for the last several 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.

August 22

Aug 30

Other scheduled devotional programs during Sept. - Nov for which details will posted on our web site a week before each event Sept 19

Navratri Devi Jaagran

Sept 27

Dussehra/Vijaya Dashami Puja

Oct 8

Karva Chauth Celebration

Oct 17 Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Oct 24 Saturday 6:00 - 8:30 pm The Puja also marks the Fourth Anniversary of Nov 7 Shanthi Mandir. Again this year the Mid-Missouri Marathi Mandal have volunteered to take the lead in Nov 22 organizing the Puja. Contact: Yogesh and Rashmi Naik at 634-6041 or yogeshvnaik@hotmail.com if you would like to contribute to the program.

Ganesh Chaturthi Puja and

Fourth Anniversary of Shanthi Mandir

6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shanthi Mandir

HTCC Youth Day Bal Sabha/Bal Puja Picnic 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 Nickell Shelter, Cosmo Park Recognize our youth Fun games/Desi games Photo exhibition Mars versus Venus “tug-of-war� Pot-luck treats

HTCC Youth Day / Bal Sabha / Bal Puja Picnic Sunday, 4:00 - 8:00 pm. Nickell Shelter, Cosmopolitan Park. A day of fun to recognize and reward our youth. Picnic open to all age groups Contacts: Games: Nandhu Radhakrishnan at 823-8252 or radhakrishnann@missouri.edu, Pot-luck dinner: Anjna Seth at 449-8993 or anjna45@hotmail.com

Deepavali Puja Skanda Shashti Puja Guru Nanak Jayanthi Interfaith Thanksgiving (HTCC is playing host to this annual community celebration organized by the Interfaith Council of Columbia)


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

(August 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: Sandhya Sharma <sandhya.sharma@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


ShanthiSandeshV4N3