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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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I S S U E

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A U G U S T

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The Philosophy of the Upanishads H.R. Chandrasekhar

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Handiwork of participants from the Decorating with Vegetables Workshop

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Inside This Issue Upanishads

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Janmashtami Pictures

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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

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India Trip

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Leaving the Woods

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Summer Workshops

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Workshop Pictures

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HTCC Library

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Song in the Woods

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Bhagwad Gita

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Quarterly Fiscal Report

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Donor Acknowledgment

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Community Calendar

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Current Programs

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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)

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