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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Self Realization- Nachiketa’s Story
May 2011 Inside This Issue Self Realization
HTCC 5th Anniversary Devotional Program
Essence of Life
Sri Rama Navami Celebrations
Quarterly Fiscal Report
he central theme of Katha Upanishad is the beautiful story of Nachiketa and his conversation with Yama, the lord of death. Nachiketa sought Yama in his abode and had the courage to ask him about the great mystery of what comes after death. “Some say: ‘He is!’; others say: ‘he is no more’. Resolve this mystery for me.” The ensuing dialogue reveals the path of self realization and Moksha, the release of the Atman (soul) from the bondage of rebirth and material life. Katha has some deep philosophical and poetic passages. This ancient work no doubt preceded the Bhagawadgita which deals with the same issues in depth. In this brief article I touch upon the essential points and refer the reader to the original text for details. The word Nachiketa is derived from 'na chiketas,' meaning ‘that which is unperceived.’ Naturally it refers to the quickening Spirit that lies within all as fire
e congratulate and warmly welcome the incoming HTCC officers, Ravi Thawani, the re-elected VicePresident of the Executive Board (EB), Abirami Elangovan, the EB Treasurer, and Leela Jashnani, the reelected HTCC Board of Trustee. We also acknowledge Manjula Srinivasan, the outgoing EB Treasurer, for her dedicated service to HTCC. Our special thanks to Gagneesh Rawat, Srinath Gopalakrishna, and
H.R. Chandrasekhar remains latent in wood. The nature of Atman is eloquently
described in the Bhagawadgita: Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachit Naayam bhutwa bhavitaa vaa na bhuyaha Ajo nityaha shashwato yam puraano Na hanyate hanyamaane sharire | Gita 2-20 “The knowing self (atman) is never born; nor does he die. He sprang from nothing, and nothing sprang from him. He is unborn, eternal, abiding and primeval. He is not slain when the body perishes. “ Before we proceed further let us go back to the story of Nachiketa. This charming story is typical of the technique adapted in ancient texts of Hinduism which embed the most complex spiritual and philosophical
details amidst stories that lure and grab the attention of both the literate and illiterate alike. The inclusion of Bhagawadgita smack in the middle of an exciting battle scene in Mahabharata is a case in point. The story of Nachiketa goes like this. There was once a man named Vājashrava. He sought a gift from the gods. To please them he performed a Yajna, a ritual sacrifice. As a part of this enterprise, he made gifts of cows to the clergy as prescribed by the holy books. But he was greedy and gave the weak and barren cows, the kind of which no one would want. His son, Nachiketa, watched this in horror. His tender age and social norms forbade him from giving a direct advice to his father to make a worthier offering or nothing at all. "To which god will you offer me?" he asked his father. Vājashrava was upset by the hidden meaning of the question and remained silent. When Nachiketa repeated the (continued on Page 2)
Message from the Executive Board Bharath Srinivasan, in conducting the 2011 HTCC elections and to you for your participation in the election process. Our members are keys to HTCC’s success and your engagement at the Shanthi Mandir has helped us evolve over the past 5 years, while building on our core strengths. The HTCC’s 5th Anniversary devotional program was
celebrated on February 26 with a havan performed by Mr. Sateesh Bhagwat and the HTCC annual banquet was held on March 18. We have received many compliments for the 5th anniversary celebrations. Planning these events was a remarkable effort and dedication under the leadership of Ravi Thawani (continued on Page 2)
Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being (Brahman of the Upanishads) that continuously dissolves to recreate in the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation of the universe . Lord Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.
Fifth Anniversary Celebration Accounts Summary Prepared by Ravi Thawani and Manjula Narasimhan May 15, 2011
$14,328.50 Revenues Banquet tickets $7,120.00 Donations $538.50 5th Anniversary memento $525.00 Samarpanam advt Silent auction
Expenses Banquet hall Devotional program Dinner and dessert Entertainment program Samarpanam printing
$8,981.72 $2,100.00 $250.00 $4,136.55 $828.58 $1,666.59
Nachiketa’s Story Continued from page 1
Nachiketa learnt the lesson taught by Yama and repeated it question, he blurted out: "To back to him. Death do I give thee." Yama spoke again: "I grant As a dutiful son, Nachiketa thee, furthermore, that this would obey the words spoken sacred fire be known for ever by his father, though in haste. by thy name; thine is the fire Nachiketa thought: "I shall be that leads to Heaven." neither the first nor last that The third boon sought by fares to Yama. Yet what will he Nachiketa was the answer to do with me? It shall be with me the mystery of death and there as with others." So Nachiketa after, which I referred to at the went to Death's wide home, beginning of this article. Yama and waited there three days tried to avoid the question by without food or water. Death saying: "Even the gods do not was on a journey. When Death know this; this is a matter hard returned, his servants said: to fathom. Ask me any other "Nachiketa waits three days boon." Nachiketa would not be unwelcomed; Soothe him with dissuaded and stood firm. an offering of water, for all is Yama relented and spoke of lost to him in whose abode a the goal of sacred wisdom, of guest waits unfed." goodly works and faith. He Yama apologized to his guest taught him the sacred Pranava who had come to him on his - Om! own, and offered three boons. “This word is Brahman, the "Grant to my father peace and supreme. If you comprehend to know and welcome me when this word, whatever you desires I return," asked Nachiketa. will be Yours.” Yama smiled and answered: Then Yama elaborated on the "Be it so." nature of the Brahman, the Nachiketa asked again: " In the ultimate spirit and the path to world of Heaven there is no fear; there is neither hunger, nor old age, nor fear of death. Reveal to me the sacred fire that leads to Heaven and immortality." Then Yama described Agni, the sacred fire, how to build its altar, and how to dispose it off.
self realization. indriyebhyah paraa hy arthaa; arthebhyas cha param manah manasas tu paraa buddhir buddhir aatma mahaan parah mahatah param avyaktam, avyaktaat purushah parah purushaan na param kinchit, saa kashthaa saa paraa gatih This passage in Cantos 1.3.10 -11 describe the nature of the Brahman. Similar passages can be found in the Bhagawadgita and the Brahma Sutra. I refer the reader to the previous issues of Shanti Sandesh for details. Briefly we can summarize the passage above: ‘Beyond the senses reside the objects of sensory desire; the mind is beyond the objects; Beyond the mind is the intellect and the Atman lies beyond it. Beyond is the unmanifested and the eternal spirit is beyond that. There is nothing beyond the spirit; There lies the final destiny.’ “Arise, awake! Having obtained your boons, learn the meaning of them. Sharp as the razor’s edge, difficult to tread is the path of self-realization. So say the learned sages,” concluded Yama and blessed Nachiketa. Thus having learnt the wisdom taught by Yama, and finding Brahman, Nachiketa was freed from death
April and May marked nonstop readings of Ram Charit Manas, These celebrations helped us Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and Sri not only generate net revenues Hari Gita at the Shanthi Mandir. of more than $5,000 to benefit The Bhaktas manifested their the Mandir but also reflect on unfettered devotion and our accomplishments and our dedication by actively strategy for the future. We are participating in these readings. in the midst of implementing the With God’s grace, all these HTCC Medium Term Plan and yajnas were successfully making steady progress performed. It was also towards our capital campaign encouraging to see more target of raising $150,000 by dialogue among devotees on the end of 2011. An the mysteries of life. In this accompanying chart on Page 1 issue, the feature article, titled shows that we have already “Self realization - Nachketa’s raised 33% of the target story” by H.R. Chandrasekhar, amount and additional 11% has builds on that spirit of inquiry – been pledged.. We would like an attempt to understand the to invite you to be a part of our path of self-realization. plans by participating actively, Summer is already in the air. sharing your time, expertise, The Youth Activities Committee and ideas for serving our is developing several programs community, and opening your for our youth and adults. So heart and donating generously. please stay tuned. We hope
you have a wonderful and refreshing summer. As we conclude, our prayers are with families affected by the recent tornadoes and floods that have caused devastation of communities in and out of Missouri. We are looking for volunteers and ideas to assist these families and to help the Facilities Committee (contact Kuttikad Das) for upkeep of the Mandir, flower bed planting and weeding. We look forward to seeing you all at the mandir.
Executive Board Continued from page 1
Inder Khurana Ravi Thawani Meera Chandrasekhar Abirami Elangovan
khand Ramayan, the nonstop 24hour reading of the Ram Charit Manas (in Devnagri script) by the devotees of Shri Rama, was organized at theShanthi Mandir during the weekend of April 16th & 17, 2011. The story of Lord Ram has been told over and over again from one person to another as a conversation for the benefit of the society at large. The most famous of these are the Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas. Ramayan (by sage Valmiki) is considered the first Sanksrit epic. Ramcharitmanas(by Tulsidas written in 1574 AD), is the version in Awadhi which has been more accessible to the masses, so much so that it is considered the holiest of the holy books in Hinduism, found in every Hindu house and its verses are used as idioms in Hindi (Perfect Example: Raghukul riti sada chali aayi, praan jaye par vachan na jayi).Ramcharitmanas is divided in seven main parts. Each part illustrates specific deeds of Lord Rama. Balkand: It includes events related to birth of Lord Rama, killing of demons by Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman, wedding of Lord Rama and various other features and characters. Ayodhyakand: The main events included are: Preparation for crowning of Lord Rama, two boons of Kaikeyi, exile of Lord Rama, and death of King Dashrath, meeting with Bharat at Chitrakoot. Aranyakand: It includes the following main events - Panchvati, Story of Shurpankha, Golden deer, Ravan-The king of Lanka, Shabri and search of Sita. Kishkindhakand: Important proceedings are – Meeting with Hanuman, Sugreev and Bali. Sunderkand: Main events are: Entry into Lanka, Sita in Ashok Vatika and Lanka on fire, crossing of ocean, Lord Rama and Vibhishan.
Lankakand: Main events included in this part are: Creation of bridge, Indrajit, The first battle of Ravan, Kumbhkaran, Meghnath and Lord Rama’s battle, Princes of Lanka, The second battle of Ravan, Victory of Lord Rama. Uttrakand: The last part of Ramayana includes: Get together of Bharat and Hanuman, Welcoming of Lord Rama, Crowning of Lord Rama as king, and Sita’s ordeal by fire, Ramrajya. Tulasi Ramayana deals not only with the basic principles of religion but also their
can bring about the necessary change within himself. The importance of Satsang is highlighted by Tulsidas in this verse: “ Binu Satsanga Bibeka Na Hoi, Rama Kripaa Binu Sulabha Na soi”. With this in mind and in keeping up with the annual tradition of HTCC, “Devotional Committee” Chairperson Chandra Rawlani organized the “Akhand Ramayan” Paath this year. With God’s grace and the immense devotion of all the members, the “Akhand Ramayan” (non stop reading of Ram Charit Manas) was started on Saturday April 16th and performed successfully at the Shanthi Mandir. By Sunday morning, Shanthi Mandir had turned into Ayodhya Dhaam. All the devotees were chanting the story of Shri Rama with unmatched dedication and love. We are grateful to everyone who assisted in completing this year’s “Akhand Ramayan”. Shivendra Shukla and Gopal Krishna ensured that the protocol for undertaking the Ram Charit Manas was properly followed throughout the event. Punam Sethi was instrumental in identifying readers and in developing a schedule of reading to match the availability of the readers. Nirja Loyalka practical application to life- “Hoi Sukhi Jo and Kusum Malhotra coordinated the food Ehi Sara Paraee” meaning He who dives and Prasad for the event. Main readers deep into the Manas (mind) Lake will showed up on time with Chandra Rawlani achieve happiness. Tulasi also says that & Bandhana Katoch who stayed at the Whoever reads or listens to its recitation Mandir all night reading Ram Charit with full understanding and translates its principles into action, shall be freed from Manas. The devotees too participated actively in singing. Mona Puri led the the evils of Kaliyuga and become a “Hanuman Aarti” and “Ramayan Aarti”. devotee of Bhagavan Sri Ramachandra. Thanks to all the members who helped He shall thereby be completely free from during “Akhand Ramayan” and all of you suffering in every form. “Jo Ehi Kathahi Saneh Sametaa, Kahihahi Sunihahi who attended the Paath and Puja. This Samuzi Sachetaa Hoihahi Rama Charana event would not have been possible without God’s grace and and your unfettered Anuraagi, Kali Mala Rahita Sumangal Bhaagi”. enthusiasm. We look forward to continuing The Ram Charit Manas teaches how man the Akhand Ramayan. Jai Siya Ram!
Akhand Paath Guru Granth Sahib
n April 21st to April 23rd, a special function of AKHAND PAATH was held at Shanti Mandir in a Sikh tradition. HTCC members and people from all walks of life and community joined the function. Akhand Paath is a three day continuous recital of Guru Granth Sahib, a holy book of Sikh religion. Two Gyani ji ( sikh priests), Gyani Jagtar Singh ji and Gyani Bachittar Singh ji came from Kansas City Gurudwara along with two sikh volunteers named Mr Jarnail Singh and Mr. Manjit Singh to help to read Guru Granth Sahib continuously without interruption for three days. Volunteers from the community served food and drinks continuously for three days and nights. On the third day after the completion of uninterrupted reading of Guru Granth Sahib, Ardas(prayer) was held followed by Kirtan a mesmerizing recital of Hymns from Guru Granth Sahib based on Raagas with live music. Langar, a traditional service of food was served and provided by dedicated devotees of HTCC. Langar was delicious and consisted of variety of North Indian dishes and sweets. It was a beautiful memorable function thoroughly enjoyed by each and every one
HTCC 5th Anniversary Devotional Program Ritcha Mehra Chaudhary
indu Temple and Community Center’s (HTCC) fifth anniversary was celebrated with fan fare in Columbia, MO on 26th of February, 2011. The devotional program lasted for about 4 hours and was packed with Ganesh Puja, Havan, Bhajans and a presentation about the future renovations of the temple building and a sumptuous potluck lunch. Since the elephant headed Lord Ganesha is worshipped at the beginning of all rituals and ceremonies, the anniversary celebration started with Ganesha Puja. Since HTCC is poised at a crucial juncture with various expansion plans it was indeed a time to invoke the “remover of all obstacles”. The Ganesh Puja was followed by Havan where offerings were made to the “Fire Deity”. These ceremonies were performed by Mr. Sateesh Bhagwat, a resident of Chicago, Illinois, who has been a regular at various other religious occasions here in Columbia. This was followed by devotional singing by several members of the
community. This melodious program was followed by a presentation about the future architectural renovation plans for the temple building by Dr. Gopalaratnam on behalf of the HTCC “Medium term Plan committee”. The HTCC-MTP also presented the blueprints for the renovations. The ceremony ended with a sumptuous potluck lunch
Essence of Life
would like to share a beautiful story that I have read recently. The title of the story is “Essence of Life” and it truly spells out the real essence of life. A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large empty jar and started filling it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them in to the jar and shook the jar slightly so that the pebbles roll in to the open areas between the golf balls. He asked the students again if the jar was full. They all agreed it was. He then continued adding a box of sand to the jar and of course the sand filled up everything else. He asked one more time if the jar was full. The students responded with an infamous “Yes”. The professor then poured two cups of coffee
Pranavi Tella in to the jar, effectively filling up the space between the sand. All the students started laughing at the same time, trying to guess what’s going on. After all, it’s a philosophy class and it’s absolutely a big puzzle. “Now”, said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things in your life like your family, children, faith, health and your favorite passions. The things that only remain in your life and would still be full if everything was lost. The pebbles are other things that matter like your job, house and car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff. “If you put the sand in to the jar first”, he continued, “there is no room for pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy for small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical for your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” One student raised her hand and asked, “what about the coffee in the jar?” The professor smiled, “I am glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.” I would like to end this with one of my favorite quotations about life, “Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come”
Newsletter of Bal Sabha of Columbia, MO
Bal Sabha Officers
President Ravi Thawani Vice-President Smrita Dorairajan Secretary/Treasurer Abirami Ilangovan Cultural Secretary Alagu Arunachalam Bal Sandesh Coordinator Hema Srnivasan
al Sandesh wishes one and all a very Happy New Year . Many Indians celebrate new year in March or April with Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Vishu, Tamil New Year, Baisakhi and so on . Congratulations to all the graduates as another academic year comes to an end. This issue of Bal Sandesh has article on Holi Celebration, Bal Sabha Clean-Up Columbia, 2011 and a write up on HTCCs 5th Anniversary Celebration. Please send in your articles, poems, drawings and all other creative works for Bal Sandesh. Bal Sandesh joins the members of Bal Sabha in giving a huge welcome to Mrs. Smrita Dorairajan as the new vice president! The Editors
Holi Celebrations Neeta Thawani-10th Grade Boonville High School
oli is the celebration of the coming of spring; a time for laughter, fun, and colors. This year, Chandra-Auntie organized a gathering at the Mandir in celebration of Holi. The day after the HTCC Banquet I got up, showered, and put on some old clothes in preparations for the festivities awaiting me. We drove to the Mandir and everyone was in the yard, I walked outside and was immediately overwhelmed by everyone there. A good two dozen people came rushing at me and BAM! I had color on me from head to toe, and Tarang-Bhaiya continued to say my hair
didn’t have enough color and my cheeks weren’t pink enough. After we ran out of colors, everyone gathered inside to share in food and wash off. For some reason almost everyone had a hard time getting the color out of there hair except Tarang. When we asked him about this, he told us he had put oil in his hair! I accused him of cheating, and he said it was being well prepared. I cannot wait until next year; hopefully we’ll have even more people to participate and maybe I’ll even remember to put oil in my hair so the color is easy to get off. Although it was quite some time ago I still remember having to shower for half an
hour just to get the color out of my hair, but even through all the pain, you have to love Holi
Bal Sabha Clean-Up Columbia 2011 Ravi Thawani
aturday, April 9th , 2011 was established as a “Columbia Clean Up” day by the Volunteer Services Department of City of Columbia, MO. On this beautiful Saturday morning, Bal Sabha youth gathered at “Ridgeway Elementary School”- the adopted spot by Bal Sabha, to participate in the citywide clean up. Six adults and seven youth used the protective gloves, safety vests and trash bags provided by the city of Columbia’s Volunteer Services to perform the clean up duty. They picked up the trash from the grounds of the Ridgeway
Elementary School and also cleaned the trash off the streets around the school grounds. It was a perfect day for outdoor activity. Both the adults and the youth
enjoyed the comraderie and the good weather. Altogether they cleaned for 45 minutes during which time six (6) bags of trash were collected. After the trash collection, and some photopraghs, everyone enjoyed refreshing beverages and snacks provided by Bal Sabha. The youth also enjoyed the playground equipment at the school before heading for their homes. Bal Sabha will organize another Clean up in October, 2011. Hope to see you all in the Fall!
HTCC 5th Anniversary Celebration Reshma Khanna - 12th Grade Rock Bridge High School The sun began to set on the evening of Friday, March 18. The empty Peach Tree banquet hall was soon humming with activity as members of the Shanti Mandir community arrived for an evening of celebration for the Mandir’s fifth anniversary. The evening started off with a social hour and delectable appetizers, as members took a look at the wide variety of jewelry, showpieces and other items in the silent auction. Dr. Meera Chandrasekhar, secretary of the executive board, opened the program with a welcome address, which was followed by the Benediction from Dr. H.R. Chandrasekhar and members of the Vedic Society. The hum of the sitar music and the harmony of voices served as a beautiful medium for important
messages, which were translated to the audience through a slideshow. An inspirational message from the president of the executive board, Dr. Inder Khurana,
Samarpanam, by Dr. Ranadhir Mitra. Over a delicious dinner, everyone enjoyed a DVD presentation by Dr. Nandhu Radhakrishnan and Dr. Anand followed .“We are on an upward Chandrasekhar that provided a window back into the past five trajectory,” he said. “With the years of activity at the Mandir. blessing of the Almighty, we are Entertainment did not end here, poised to grow and serve our as Lavanya Narayanan of community.” Next, Dr. V.S. Indianapolis swept the audience Gopalaratnam presented plans away with vocal music, after for the renovation of the Mandir, which Shivakumar Shivasankalp which included expansion of the and Rajesh Satpathy had Mandir to about double its everyone tapping their feet to current size, as well as some scintillating instrumental increased parking space and fusion music. Rajendra Kedlaya, other features that allow the Aadithya K.S. and Soumyashree Mandir to be fully ADA then took everyone back in time compliant. This presentation with an amazing Yakshagana was followed by a capital performance depicting a story campaign update by Dr. H.R. about Jambavati Kalyana Chandrasekhar, and the release After a vote of thanks by Dr. of the HTCC Annual Report, (Continued on Page 8)
KUDOS Tia Rawat (2nd grade) won two 1st Prizes in MillCreek Elementary School for her entries in Literature and Visual Arts category in this year's PTA Reflections contest "Together we can..." . Suryanshi Rawat's (8th Grade) PTA Reflections entry was among the selected entries from the Jeff Junior High School for advancing to the Missouri Statewide contest.. Chess: Several Balsabha members competed in the state scholastic championship Saturday,
February 26. There were a total of 32 players representing 13 schools. Tim Cambell of Mid Missouri Chess Academy says that "all of them played with honor and great competitiveness. I was proud to have such a fine group of scholastic players representing the Mid Missouri chess community.". Vikram Arunachalam took home the second place trophy in the High School Board 1 competition. Vishnu Arunachalam was a medalist in the 3rd grade and
under competition. Kudos also to Ashwath Elagovan, Yash Khanna, Shreyas Srinivasan, Akhil Elangovan and Rohan Rao for their competitive placements in the Chess competitions. Neeta Thawani secured the top rating in the district music festival in two consecutive years and moved on to state music festival. She was rated #2 for her Timpani Drum Solo Performance at Missouri State Music Festival in April 2011
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.
Bal Sabha meets every fourth Sunday of the month from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Shanthi Mandir
Editorial Staff Maya Cutkosky Neeta Thawani Nidhi Khurana Prerna Srinivasan Vikram Arunachalam Parent Advisor Hema Srinivasan
Phone (573) 445-2854 (660) 882-5317 (573) 874-9647 (573) 445-0033
hose who overcome great odds in life inspire others to succeed. He was raised in abject poverty, and mostly self-educated. He went on to become the 16th President of the United States - Abraham Lincoln. Born of a Jewish family, he was subjected to bitter religious prejudice Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister. He was spit upon, and crucified, yet he forgave all - Jesus Christ. Striken with infantile paralysis, he was the only President of the United States to be elected four times - Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Burned in a schoolhouse fire as a lad of 3, he was told he would never walk again. He went on to set the 1934 world record for running a mile in 4 minutes, 6 sec – Glen Cunningham. The third of seven children of a poor Italian family, his golden voice led him to perform 863 times at the New York Metropolitan Opera – Enrico Caruso, tenor. Born in a Nazi concentration camp, and paralyzed from waist down, he is probably the world’s most famous violinist– Itzhak Perlman. A thalidomide child was born with a dwarfed, twisted body and no arms. With the aid of mechanical devices, he learned to play the electric organ, steer a motor boat, and paint – Terry Wiles.
Kusum Chandrapal A cancer-ridden leg of a handsome Canadian was amputated, but he still ran across Canada to raise $1 million for cancer research – Terry Fox.
A British fighter pilot loses both legs in an air crash, continues to use his artificial limbs to fly RAF planes, is captured three times by the Germans in World War II and escapes three times to safety – Douglas Bader. Labeled too stupid to learn – Thomas Edison. A hopeless alcoholic, he went on to found Alcoholics Anonymous – Bill Wilson. Told she is too old to start painting at 80 - Grandma Moses. Afflicted with periods of deep melancholy, unknown during his lifetime, he painted “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night” – Vincent van Gogh. Blinded at 44, he wrote “Paradise Lost” 16 years later – John Milton.
Branded dull and hopeless, he flunked out of 6th grade, but he became one of UK’s most famous Prime Ministers – Winston Churchill. Punished with poverty and prejudice, she became the first woman Prime Minister of Israel – Golda Meir. Pitted against sexual discrimination, she went on to receive two Nobel Prizes – Marie Curie. A young Missouri boy who loved to sketch and draw was told he had no talent – Walt Disney. Called a slow learner, retarded, and written off as uneducable, his hair is almost as famous as his theory of relativity – Albert Einstein. A crippled child whose only home was an orphanage went on to found Boy Scouts of America – James E. West. Due to a short illness, this child lost the ability to see or hear. She became an American author, political activist, and lecturer – Helen Keller. An obscure South American Orchestra desperately substitutes their 19-year old assistant Chorus Master for their conductor, and he eventually becomes the music director of NBC Symphony Orchestra – Arturo Toscanini. It is you, whose names do not appear here, but deserve to, to whom this column is dedicated
Yoga Corner Ritcha Mehra Chaudhary
ycle of Breathing and its Control Before we proceed with the description and learning of various asanas (postural movements) we need to learn some terms related to the process of breathing. These terms are:
manner. Keep a rhythm of 5 as a starting point and then slowly increase it to 10. An example of a rhythm will be- slowly inhale (purak) to a count of 5, retain the breath (kumbhak) to a count of 5, exhale (rechak) to a count of 5. Then stay in shunyak to a count of 5 after which start the process again by inhalation.
Purak: (Breathing In): Continuous inhalation or breathing in i.e. Benefits filling the lungs fully with oxygenated air. Kumbhak:(Holding Breath): Retaining air in the lungs for some Practicing control of breathing makes us aware of the “Prana” or times. energy flowing through our body. It helps in relieving stress and Rechak: (Breathing Out): Exhaling the air slowly in a continustress related disorders. It also helps in making our mind more ous rhythm. steady Shunyak: Remaining without any air inside the lungs after exhalation. Inhalation Breath control is a very important aspect of Yoga. Most of the (Purak) Asanas that we will learn in this series require control of breathing by following a breathing rhythm involving combiSuspension of Breath nations of some of the above aspects of breathing. Suspension of (Kumbhak) Sit is Sukh-asana or Vajra-asana as described in Breath (Shunyak) previous issues. Do not try and change anything, Exhalation just focus on your “cycle of breath” and its rhythm (Rechak) without any interaction. In the next phase, practice inhaling and exhaling in a controlled
Shri Rama Navami Celebrations Hema Srinivasan
hri Rama Navami is the birthday of Sri Rama. Rama means one who gives happiness or joy. On April 10, Sunday morning, Columbia devotees of Sri Rama came together to experience this joy by performing Ashtothra Puja at the Mandir followed by Bhajans and songs to celebrate Sri Rama Navami. Actual
Sri Rama Navami, birthday of Rama, on the ninth day of the lunar cycle, (Navami) fell on April 12. At the Mandir, we celebrated it on 12th evening with chanting of Nama Ramayanam and Hanuman Chalisa. followed by aarti and Prasad
Mind Lifters– Dada J.P Vaswani Maya Cutkosky played flute in the True False film festival. Maya along with Hema on Veena and Sankalp on violin played in several venues a medley of light and classical Indian music. Photo is from the event in the Missouri Theater
(Compiled by Meena Thawani) thought for every day of ending knows, the bliss that no one can take away from him. the week Is this not his birthright?
MONDAY Are You Passing through a dark period of your life a period of trials and tribulations? Is your mind confused? Do you find yourself at a dead end – knowing not where to go? Then offer the simple prayer:“O Lord! Thy will be done!” And a way will be shown to you! To live through. TUESDAY When God sent man to the earth, he sent him with the command: “Give” Man is meant to be a giver. He must give all he has – his time and talents, experience and wisdom, prestige, influence, wealth, his life to those in need. It is only then that he can experience -ananda the joy that no
WEDNESDAY Every individual has his destiny to live through. Do not imprison anyone: do not cling to anyone. Set everyone free! That is the meaning of true love. THURSDAY Be wherever God has placed you! Do the duties allotted to you, sincerely, honestly, faithfully, earnestly! And help as many as you can to lift the load on the rough road of life . FRIDAY Conditions are always good, never bad. We need to know how to make
There is only one religion, the religion of Love; There is only one language, the language of the Heart; There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity; There is only one law, the law of Karma; There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.
5th Anniversary Celebration Continued from Page 6
ples bringing out some ballroom dance moves to slow beats from the sixties, followed by an open floor dance party DJ-ed by Reshma Khanna. Mohandas Gandhi once said, “A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” That evening, we proved these very words, as ing wrapped up with some cou- we saw that we preserve our
Sathya Sai Baba
Dr. Ravi Thawani, it was time for some special recognitions for dedication and contributions by Dr. Ravi Thawani, Leela Jashnani, Manjula Narasimhan and Bharath Srinivasan. Without the efforts of such devoted people, the Mandir would not be where it is today. The even-
good use of them. The man who waits for conditions to improve may have to wait till eternity! SATURDAY Two things must never be forgotten by man: 1.That his earth life is transitory, ephemeral, like a bubble which at any time, may burst. 2.That his goal is God! Nearer, my God, to thee! SUNDAY I must never forget that every thought I think, every word I utter, every action I perform, every feeling, emotion that wakes up within me, is recorded in the memory of nature. I may be able to deceive those around me. I may even deceive myself. But I cannot deceive nature
culture through our community, and that the thousands of miles between us and India is not enough to deter us. Everyone went home with a sense of fulfillment, and is already looking forward to next year
Shreemad Bhagavad Gita– Part 13 Saroj Mohan
ased on the preceding installment of this series it is clear that actions performed in the enlightened state of awareness are the best for a Karmayogi. Lord Krishna emphasizes this fact in numerous different verses described here. Shri Krishna, in the 20th verse, describes in many ways the state of a perfect Karmayogi . Shri Krishna says, “The person who has absolutely no desire for the fruits of his action, (no Karmaphal askti ) who is totally detached from worldly attractions, attachments and is completely surrendered to the Parmaatma, ever content in himself is a true Akarta yogi. His actions are inaction indeed. Even though performing his actions with perfection, he is not doing anything.” (There is no “doer ship” in him.) In the 21st verse, Shri Krishna talks about the actions of a self-realized saint, whose bodily actions do not incur any sin. Shri Krishna says,“ The saint whose Antahkarana or heart and emotions are pure and he who has total control over his sense organs, who has abandoned all possessions, without hope or Aasha and expectations, even though performing his necessary bodily actions, does not incur any Papa or sin.” So far, it is clear that merely actions do not create reactions or Karmaphala, good or bad consequences. Only when they are done with egocentric desires for selfgratification then they can incur sin, good and bad fruits that keep the cycle of duality active. A saint is free from ego so his mere bodily actions do not incur sin. In the following 22nd verse Shri Krishna expresses the personality of a Nishkama Karmayogi or ego free, unselfish performer of actions, and how he is free from Karma bandhana or the bondage of reactions. Shri Krishna said, “The person who is happy and content with whatever is available without desiring for anything, who is totally devoid of jealousy, free from shackles of duality or pairs of opposites like good and bad etc, even minded in success and failure, is free from the bondage of actions even though he is doing actions or Karma.” A Nishkama Karmayogi must have the above mentioned qualities. To be a perfect performer of actions and be one who is free from the bondage of worldly dualities. For such a Karmayogi work is worship, he is an instrument in the Divine play. The 23rd verse elaborates on the same subject. Shri Krishna says, “The person whose attachments are all totally finished and one who is free from ego, liberated from bodily attachments is a perfect Karmayogi. His Chitta or mind and heart are constantly in the contemplation of the
Atma or Self, such a Gyani’s actions have dissolved in to inaction, Akarma.” With the mind centered in Knowledge, always aware of the Reality, a truly liberated, wise, Karmayogi’s actions are dissolved into inaction, Akarma. The 24th verse is very interesting. In the non- dual state of Self –Realization, there is only ONE. So all actions and functions are happening in the magnificent Reality, which is the changeless, eternal, substratum of ALL, on which this whole Universe is superimposed. In Vedanta it is called the Bramhan. According to this school of philosophy Atma and Bramhan are one. Just as on the substratum of ocean, waves rise, exist for a short time and then dissolve into the ocean, similarly on the substratum of Bramhan this transient universe is super imposed by primordial ignorance. In the light of true knowledge, the darkness of ignorance is dispelled and Oneness of the Reality is experienced. This is also a famous verse chanted throughout in India before meals. It has a significant meaning. In this verse the metaphor is taken from Vedic Yagnas. In the performance of a yagna, four things are important and necessary. At first, a deity is invoked for whom the offerings are made; the holy fire in which the offerings are poured; the items which make up the offering such as butter and grains etc.; and lastly, the performer of the Yagna. Oblations were offered in the sacred fire in Vedic rituals to evoke the blessings of a deity or Deva for the purpose of that particular Yagna. Shri Krishna says,“ The deity for whom this Yagna is performed or offerings made, isBramhan, the Havi or the offering materials are Bramhan, the holy yagna fire is also Bramhan as well as the performer of the Yagna is Bramhan too. The fruits of a thus performed divine
yagna, is Bramhan too.” A Self-realized sage’s, actions are inaction. This is a complete picture of an enlightened, perfect Karmayogi. Two kinds of Yagnas are mentioned in the 25th verse, one called Deva yagna and the other one Bramha yagna. In objective Yagna, you offer or sacrifice Havi or materials like butter and grains etc. to a deity, a Godhead or Deva, for the welfare of mankind. Bramhan yagna is subjective. In this kind of yagna, a selfrealized yogi performs and offers all the actions of his Indriyas or sense organs in Bramhan, it is possible only by Oneness of his transcendental state. Deva in Sanskrit means, illumination. It is important to understand that every being and things are illuminated by Bramhan, Parmatma Himself. The awareness of this fact is the difference. Some perfect Nishkam Karmayogis performs Yagna, objectively and some do Bramanyagnas by being in a non-dual state, in the fire of Brahamn, subjectively. Shri Krishna says, “Some yogis perform Deva Yagnas with great perfection and some offer their sacrifice in the fire of Lord Parmatma himself.” The 26th and 27th verses describe subjective Yagna, done by different yogis. Shri Krishna says, “Some Yogis offer their hearing etc. sense organs in the fire of restrain or Sanyam or self-control. Others offer their sound and other sense objects in the fire-of-senses.” In this verse two methods of subjective Yagnas are expressed. Some yogis restrain their hearing etc, five senses by controlling and burning them in the fire of self-control or Sanyam. They stop themselves from indulging in wrong things; things which are not conducive to self-realization. Others control their minds from outside stimuli of objects. The out side objects distract the mind, so they control it by prayers and sound of Vedic chants. In this way Indriyas or senses are burnt in the fire-of-senses itself or Indriya agnishu. Thus instead of indulgence in sensuality they are divinized and they are in the constant contemplation of God alone. In continuation of the same subject, in the 27th verse, internal purification or Antah karan shudhi is explained. Shri Krishna says, “Some Yogis offer all their actions of sense organs and the functions of breath in the light of gyana or Self- knowledge; they offer it all in the fire of Atma sanyam or self control; or total surrender in Paramatma Himself.” In the fire of knowledge, desires and passions of sense organs get burnt. In the knowledge of Non-dual Reality, the Self, all sufferings and passions of duality get dissolved. Wisdom purifies the heart and mind of the seeker
HTCC Quarterly Fiscal Report For the period January1, 2011 - March 31, 2011 Prepared by Manjula Narasimhan, Treasurer, April 30, 2011 Quarterly Revenues Interest Income Interest income Membership: Annual Family Membership Annual Individual Membership Lifetime Family Membership Donations: Check Donations Hundi Donations/Prayer Services Capital Campaign Facilities Use Donations: Mandir and Educational Center use donations Other Revenues: Fifth Anniversary Celebrations
$650.00 $210.00 $1,000.00
$1,086.00 $534.00 $10,100.00
Total Quarterly Revenues
Quarterly Expenses Administrative Fifth Anniversary Celebrations Lawn and Garden Maintenance and Supplies Printing and Mailing Special Events Start Up (Harmonium) Utilities
$377.81 $8,855.16 $200.00 $494.67 $302.79 $49.03 $71.10 $1,692.63
Total Quarterly Expenses
Net Income for the Quarter
Thank You! Donor Acknowledgement, February 1, 2011 â€“ April 30, 2011 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. $50 and under Basu, Asit & Sandra Cutkosky, Steven & Srinivasan, Hema Mohan, Rajiv & Preeti Ratneshwar, Srinivasan & Subbalakshmi
$201- $450 Ajit, Vasudevan & Deepa Batchu, Sudhir & Priya Gupta, Ghanshyam Loyalka, Sudershan & Nirja
$51-$100 Khare, Rajendra & Pratima Nair, Satish & Jyotsna Linda Jones Lowenberg Parashar, Tarang Mantrala, Murali & Surya Chaudhary, Kunal & Ritcha Tella, Pranavi Chowdari
$1001-$1300 Haryani, Vijay & Paras Rawlani, Ramesh & Chandra
$101 - $151 Sankarnaryanan, Kannan & Vasantha Krishna, Gopal & Santosh Vellore, Gopalaratnam & Anantha Shukla, Shivendra & Asha
$5000 and above Katti, Kattesh & Kavita Thawani, Ravi & Meena
Please donate or pledge generously to our Capital Campaign 2010-2011
Community Calendar (May 15, 2011–September 15, 2011) Unless otherwise indicated, all events are at Shanthi Mandir, 2006 Holly Avenue, Columbia, MO 65202. June 19 Annual Bal Sabha Bike Ride to Rocheport Sunday, Time and Meeting Location TBD Contact Ravi Thawani (email@example.com)
Aug. 27 Janmashtami/Shri Krishna Jayanthi Puja More details will be posted on our web site a week before the puja. Contact Chandra Rawlani (573) 446-5960
Guru Purnima Special Sai Bhajan Thursday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Prasad welcome Contact: V. S. Gopalaratnam (VSGopal@aol.com)
Aug. 20 HTCC Youth Day and Bal Sabha/Bal Puja Picnic Saturday, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Dexheimer Shelter at Cosmo Park Contact Ravi Thawani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ganesh Idol Making Saturday, 3:00 p.m - 5:30 pm We will make Ganesh idols for the Ganesh Chaturthi Puja. Clay working and making of idol open to all interested. Wear work clothes. Contact V.S. Gopalaratnam (email@example.com)
Sept. 10 Ganesh Chaturthi Puja The Puja also marks the Sixth Anniversary of Shanthi Mandir. Expect a grand celebration of this special festival. More details will be posted on our web site a week before the puja. Contact Chandra Rawlani (573) 446-5960
HTCC 2011 Summer Workshops MAKING WAVES: SOUND BYTES AND PLAYLISTS (13 years and above) 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 4, 2011 Contact : Vellore S. Gopalaratnam (VSGopal@aol.com) ORIGAMI FOR BEGINERS 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday, June 6, 2011 Contact: Nandhu Radhakrishnan (Radhakrishnann@health.missouri.edu) BUILD A TELESCOPE AND EXPLORE MOONS OF JUPITER AND RINGS OF SATURN 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturdays, June 11, 2011 and June 18, 2011 Contact: H. R. Chandrasekhar (Chandra@missouri.edu) GOLF CAMP 1 Hour (TBD), Wednesday, June 15, 2011 Contact: Jasmine Sangha (firstname.lastname@example.org) EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MS OFFICE, PDF, E-MAIL AND ATTACHMENTS 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, June 18, 2011 and June 25, 2011 Contact : Vellore S. Gopalaratnam (VSGopal@aol.com) PHOTOGRAPHY : CAPTURING WONDERS OF NATURE Time TBD, Saturdays July 9, 2011 and July 16, 2011 Contact: Anand Chockalingam (email@example.com) DANCE: RHYTHM N JOY– INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF BHARATNATYAM 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., July 14, 2011 Contact: Smrita Dorairajan (Dorairajans@health.missouri.edu) VOLLEY BALL KNOCKOUT MATCH Time TBD, Saturday, July 23, 2011 Contact: Nandhu Radhakrishnan (Radhakrishnann@health.missouri.edu) Contact Nandhu Radhakrishnan, Chair, HTCC Youth Activities Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org (823-8252) for details regarding all the HTCC Youth Summer Workshops. Volunteers are needed to arrange Tennis, Carrom, Table Tennis and Chess Tournaments
HTCC Fifth Anniversary Memento Own a precious keepsake to mark the fifth anniversary of HTCC and help raise funds for the Mandir. The mementos include a silver coin (approximately 5g in weight, 1 inch in diameter) of one of the Hindu deities (Ganesh and Balakrishna) to mark the auspicious occasion. The coin is mounted on a custom designed mat incorporating the peace invocation or Shanthi Mantra “Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhina” from the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad. The two-tone 4” x 3” metal frame provides a pleasing contrast to all other design elements. The memento will also serve as a very memorable gift to friends and family. All proceeds from the commemorative keep-sake will benefit HTCC as the production costs have been donated by a few members. Contact: Gopal at VSGopal@aol.com or call him at (573) 446-0663 to order your memento ($25 each).
Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 286 Columbia MO 65201
Hindu Temple and Community Center of Mid窶信issouri (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 Kirtan (Monthly event) Educational/Youth Programs Tamil Classes Bal Puja Bal Sabha
(February 15, 2011)
Tuesday Thursday 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. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1st /3rd 2nd 4th
Sunday Sunday Sunday
3:00 - 5:00 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.
Saturday Sunday Sunday
10:15 - 11:45 a.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 Yoga 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 its Publications Committee. Editor: Tarang Parashar <email@example.com>. Formatting help from B.S Balaji (Hyderabad, India) is greatly appreciated.
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.