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N ovember 2011


VOL. 98, No. 11

ISSN 0042-2983

A CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL M O N T H L Y O F T H E R A M A K R I S H N A O R D E R

Started at the instance of Swami Vivekananda in 1895 as Brahmavâdin, it assumed the name The Vedanta Kesari in 1914. For free edition on the Web, please visit: www.chennaimath.org

CONTENTS November 2011

Vedic Prayers

405

Editorial

Holiness Personified

406

Articles

Religious Harmony—A Perspective Swami Paramasukhananda „ Ten Commandments for Teachers Markareddy „

427 434

Reminiscences „

Reminiscences of Master Mahashay Tarani Purakayastha

411

Compilation „

Kathopanishad: In the words of Swami Vivekananda

413

Travelogue „

Western Ghats Shrines in Karnataka—A Pilgrimage ‘Atmashraddha’

416

New Find „

Unpublished Letters of Swami Saradananda

425

Questions and Answers „

Social Issues and Spiritual Response Swami Brahmeshananda

432

The Order on the March

436

Book Review

441

Features Simhâvalokanam (By the Way)—410,

Sri Ramakrishna Tells Stories—431





Cover Story: Page 4


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The Vedanta Kesari Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004 h (044) 2462 1110 (4 lines) Fax : (044) 2493 4589 Email : mail@chennaimath.org Website : www.chennaimath.org TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS

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Cover Story

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, T. Nagar, Chennai Started in 1932, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, T. Nagar, Chennai, is located in the busy Pondi Bazar area, the bustling business hub of Chennai. The Ashrama runs many schools (nursery, primary, matriculation and higher secondary) where around 3500 students receive education, and a hostel (with 90 students) at its premises. The Ashrama has several libraries attached to its schools and a public library in its premises, besides a spoken English course and weekly discourses for the general public. The Ashrama conducts several other religious and welfare activities as well. The cover page features the front view of the shrine-cumprayer hall of the Ashrama. It is used by the hostellers as well as by devotees in that area. †

THE VEDANTA KESARI PATRONS’ SCHEME We invite our readers to join as patrons of the magazine. They can do so by sending Rs.2000/- or more. Names of the patrons will be announced in the journal under the Patrons' Scheme and they will receive the magazine for 20 years. Please send your contribution to The Manager, The Vedanta Kesari by DD/MO drawn in favour of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai with a note that the enclosed amount is for the Patrons' Scheme. (This scheme is valid in India only).

PATRONS

620. Sri Chetan Anand, Court Bhiwani Dist., Haryana 621. Smt. Maitrayee Ray, Maharashtra

The Vedanta Kesari Library Scheme SL.NO.

NAMES OF SPONSORS

4884. SVISS LABSS PVT. LTD, Ranipet 4885. -do4886. -do4887. -do4888. -do4889. -do4890. -do4891. -do4892. -do4893. -do4894. -do-

AWARDEE INSTITUTIONS

Teegala Krishna Reddy Engineering College, Hyderabad - 500 035 Bhoj Reddy College, Saidabad, Hyderabad - 500 035 Narayana Junior College, Moosarambagh, Hyderabad - 500 036 Siddhartha Junior College, Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Sri Sai College, Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Guntur Vikas Junior College, Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Sri Vani Junior & Degree college, Malakpet, Hyderabad - 500 036 Narayana Educational Institutions, Kothapet, Hyderabad - 500 036 Mahatma Gandhi Law College, L B Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Madhavaro Degree Law College, Saraswathi Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Narayana Junior College, S R Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 038 Continued on page 45


VOL. 98, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2011 ISSN 0042-2983

E

ACH SOUL IS POTENTIALLY DIVINE.

T HE

GOAL IS TO MANIFEST THE DIVINITY WITHIN.

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Vedic Prayers

Tr. by Swami Sambuddhananda

`ÀN´>mÌo U o Z e¥Umo{V `oZ lmoÌ{_X ²± lwV_² & VXod ~«÷ Ëd§ {d{Õ ZoX§ `{XX_wnmgVo && —Kenopanishad, 1. 8

(bmoH$… people) lmoÌU o with the ear `V² what Z not e¥Umo{V hears `oZ by what BX§ this lmo̧ the hearing lwV§ is perceived. VV² that Ed alone, only Ëd§ thou ~«÷ Brahman {d{Õ know `V² what BX§ this CnmgVo worship BX§ this Z not. What none can hear by the ears but that by which the hearing is perceived—know that alone to be Brahman and not this that people worship.



Man is to become divine by realising the divine. Idols or temples or churches or books are only the supports, the helps, of his spiritual childhood: but on and on he must progress. He must not stop anywhere. ‘External worship, material worship,’ say the scriptures, ‘is the lowest stage; struggling to rise high, mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realised.’ Mark, the same earnest man who is kneeling before the idol tells you, ‘Him the sun cannot express, nor the moon, nor the stars, the lightning cannot express Him, nor what we speak of as fire; through Him they shine.’ But he does not abuse any one's idol or call its worship sin. He recognises in it a necessary stage of life. —Swami Vivekananda, CW, 1: 16-17

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Holiness Personified Holiness Is . . . In a Sanskrit hymn on Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, says: Pavitram charitam yasyah, pavitram jivanam tatha Parvitrata svarupinyai tasyai kurmo namo namah. We bow down to her again and again whose character is pure, whose life is pure and who is holiness personified.

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to read Holy Mother’s biography would instantly agree to this description—she was holiness personified. She lived and breathed holiness. She was holiness itself—rightly is she called Holy Mother. But then, what is holiness? Does one become holy by externally giving up all worldly ties and objects, dressing in a particular way, having a specific name, eating sanctified food, living in an ashrama and following a specific style of living? Of course, these traits do indicate that a person is different from others; he is living differently and is perhaps holy. These are external marks and, in a larger scheme of life, they have role to play. They indicate something sublime is in the offing. And person endowed with these is likely to be on his way to holiness. These marks can protect him from many temptations, safeguarding him from the dangers of certain demands of the world. They may also be a reminder to him that he is treading a holy path. Holy Mother, referring to the ochre clothes of monks, said: T h e

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The ochre robe of a Sadhu protects him as the collar of a dog protects it from danger. No one molests a dog with a collar, as it belongs to someone or other.1

A holy person ‘belongs’ to God. His dress and other traits tell others that he should be given all the liberty and opportunity to practice his spiritual ideal. A bell is rung when one sees him—that one should also try to live a holy life. But holiness is more than external marks, though these marks work as preventive measures against pitfalls and temptation which spiritual path is beset with. Holiness, however, lies in the mind. It comes as a result of inner purity and an unworldly state of mind. Holiness lies in our motives and intentions; it comes from within, from a person’s state of inner evolution. And the greatest of tests of holiness, according to Swami Vivekananda, is unselfishness. He said, There is one thing which is the world and another which is God; and this distinction is very true. What they mean by world is selfishness. Unselfishness is God. One may live on a throne, in a golden palace, and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God. Another may live in a hut and wear rags, and have nothing in the world; yet, if he is selfish, he is intensely merged in the world.2

Unselfishness, thus, is the core of holiness. A holy person is free from selfish calculations and actions and is ever interested in

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others’ welfare. Holiness and unselfishness are interchangeable. He does not want to devote his precious energy and time to selfish and pleasure seeking pursuits. He seeks to give a higher turn to his energies. And succeeds. Bhagavad Gita (4.38) says that ‘nothing is more purifying or holy than [Supreme] Knowledge.’ But why is Supreme Knowledge holy? Because it frees us from all limitations of matter and makes us fearless, strong and undisturbed. Being established in Supreme Knowledge or Self-Knowledge, one becomes free from the booby traps of flesh and selfishness that entrap people stricken with pleasuredriven and self-centred living. A Holy Personality Sri Ramakrishna himself vouched for Holy Mother’s purity and holiness. Though married at an early age to Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother came to live with him only when she was physically matured. One day, Sri Ramakrishna told her, ‘I have learned to look upon every woman as Mother. That is the only idea I can have about you. But if you wish to draw me in the world (of illusion), as I have been married to you, I am at your service.’3 Holy Mother’s spontaneous response was, ‘Why should I drag you to worldly way? I have come to help you in your chosen path.’ Sri Ramakrishna said later, If she had not been as pure as she really was, if she had lost self-control and seduced me, then who can say if I too might not have lost selfcontrol and come down to the physical plane?4

To be completely unselfish, in the widest sense of the term, means to be endowed with the Knowledge of the Self. For as long as we are identified with our ‘lower self,’ with ‘me and mine’, our life and personality are yet to manifest their holy core. T h e

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Seen in this context, Holy Mother lived a life of complete unselfishness and, the resultant, forgiveness and compassion. She was kshama rupini tapasvini [an ascetic, embodying forgiveness], as Balaram Basu, an eminent householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, described her. She lived a life of austerities and worship—in the midst of her simple but holy life, first as daughter, then as wife, nurse and finally as mother. Her motherly attitude encompassed all creatures. She once said, He is unfortunate indeed who does not gain my compassion. I do not know anyone, not even an insect, for whom I do not feel compassion.5

Holy Mother was, as if, immersed in spirituality. And spirituality is described as the state of being established in Divineconsciousness, as opposed to body-consciousness or world-consciousness. In Holy Mother one sees her immersed in Divinity. She, of course, made no claims about it but her daily life, her reactions and responses to various events, persons and situations bespoke of it. Her life was the best example of holiness. Mother was given to practice of japam and prayer, even in the midst of most busy times. She would get up early in the morning and do japam and meditation before starting household chores. What she followed, she would ask others to take up also. Hence she would lay much emphasis on regular and systematic practice of spiritual disciplines. She said, It is very necessary to have a fixed time for these things. For it cannot be said when the auspicious moment [spiritual experience] will come. It arrives so suddenly. . . .Even in the midst of the most intense activity, one should at least remember God and salute Him.6

As to what and how much spiritual practices Holy Mother carried on all her life is the

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subject matter of an exclusive study. Suffice to say, Mother lived an intense spiritual life, but outwardly nothing much was visible. There was no display of spiritual practices. It was a silent and deep stream of spirituality and love.

At another time someone brought her two choice mangos. She wanted me to take them. I refused, knowing they were the last of the season and that she was very fond of them. ‘It would give me greater pleasure to have you keep them,’ I said. Her response came quickly; it was: ‘Do you think it will give you greater pleasure to have me keep them or give me greater pleasure to have you take them.’ This answer sprang spontaneously to my lips and seemed to please her very much: ‘It must give you greater pleasure because you have a larger heart to feel it.’

An Eye-witness Account Sister Devamata, an American nun and a close devotee of Ramakrishna Movement, lived for sometime in India. Apart from many direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, she met Holy Mother, and gave a touching and intimate account of Mother’s personality. Devamata describes her meeting with Mother:

Unbounded was her tender concern for every living thing. No human measure could contain it.8

She [Holy Mother] lived several long blocks away from the school [where Sister was put up]. I was told someone would call for me and take me to her; but I could not wait, so filling a smaller basket with some of the oranges I had brought and gathering up my other offerings I set out to find the way for myself. A strange gentleman seeing me staggering a little under my heavy load told his son to carry it for me and together we walked to Mother’s house. It was a new one. She occupied the second floor; offices of the magazine published by the head work were beneath. I passed hurriedly through the entrance hall and court, climbed a broad stairway, found Holy Mother alone in a room behind the Shrine and laid myself and my offerings at her feet. She repeated my name twice with tender surprise. Then she placed her hand in blessing on my head. At her touch a spring of new life seemed to bubble up from my innermost heart and flood my being. . . . We had no common tongue, but when there was none to interpret for us, she spoke that deeper wordless language of the heart and we never failed to understand each other.7

Devamata closes her account of Holy Mother’s holy living by the following words:

Sister Devamata had further glimpses of Holy Mother’s practical wisdom and selflessness during her interactions with her:

Giving and Not Holding Holy Mother taught by her example. She, as it were, had ‘covered everything with God’,

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Those who had the rare blessing of living with Holy Mother learned that religion was a sweet, natural, joyous thing; that purity and holiness were tangible realities; that the odour of sanctity was literally a sweet perfume overlaying and destroying the foulness of material selfishness. Compassion, devotion, God-union were her very nature; one scarcely knew that she possessed them. It was through the soothing benediction of a word or touch that one sensed their presence. Such lives are like a lake or river. The sun may draw up its waters, but they fall again to refresh the earth. So these saintly ones in body may be lifted from our sight, but their holy influence falls back upon us to revive our fainting hears and give us new spiritual life, new strength of purpose.9

Holiness, thus, is more in living than in displaying and claiming. And Holy Mother's life was an impeccable illustration of it.

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as the opening verse of the well-known Isha Upanishad tells one to do. She saw divinity manifest in everyone and yet she knew how to deal with each one as per his or her state of being or special needs. She gave and never expected anything in turn. As a verse from the Niti Shatakam of Raja Bhartrihari says, The sun causes the lotus to bloom. The moon on its own makes the lily to bloom. The cloud too, without being asked, gives water. Great souls always take the initiative to do good to others.

Holy Mother, of course, was aware of her divinity. Here is an instance: When Holy Mother was at Jayarambati [her birth place], the Brahmin woman cook came to her at about nine o’clock in the evening and, in keeping with the orthodox customs prevalent then, said, ‘Mother, I have touched a dog; I must bathe.’ The Mother said, ‘It is now late in the evening. Don’t bathe. It is enough to wash your hands and feet and change your cloth.’ The cook said, ‘Oh that won’t do.’

Om apavitrah pavitro va sarva-avstham gatopi va Yah smaret pundrikasham sa bahyabhyantarah shuchih. Whether a person is physically or mentally pure or impure, clean or unclean, in whatever condition he may be, he becomes pure internally and externally when he remembers the Lord.

Devotees palpably felt Holy Mother’s divinity. She showered her concern and compassion to all, without distinction. To her, her illiterate ‘village-sons’ were as important as her learned ‘monk-sons’. Just as an earthly mother cares not if her son is a ‘large man’ and showers her love and concern, so too Holy Mother looked upon all with love and compassion irrespective of their background. The compass of her love had grown so big that she excluded none. She once said, ‘I am the mother of all.’ And when seen as a human being, she represented a very exalted state of living. A Sanskrit couplet, describing persons of holiness, says that such people do not deviate from their own state even by the varied results of millions of karmas, are not afraid of multitudes of misfortunes, are not surprised at miracles, are not delighted by great pleasures, resemble ordinary people externally and are tranquil within, are the highest among sages.11

The Mother said, ‘Then sprinkle some Ganges water on your body.’ That also did not satisfy the cook. At last the Mother said, ‘Then touch me.’10

Here one is reminded of the Sanskrit verse which is chanted at the beginning of all ritualist pujas:

A befitting description of holiness. And of Holy Mother, who embodied it. †

References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Teachings of Sri Sarada Devi the Holy Mother, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, p.78 CW, 1.87 The Life of Sri Ramakrishna, by Romain Rolland, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, p.55 Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Gambhirananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, p.47 Teachings, p.152 Teachings, p.39 T h e

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Days in an Indian Monastery, Sister Devamata, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, pp.213-214 8. Ibid, pp. 214-215 9. Ibid, pp. 228-229 10. Sri Sarada Devi—The Great Wonder, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, p. 483 11. The Essence of Tripurarahasya, by Samvid, Samata Book, Madras, p.80

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Simhâvalokanam

From the Archives of THE VEDANTA KESARI (November, 1921-22, Pp. 199-200)

By the Way Hinduism gives the greatest freedom to every individual to choose his own image for worship; for the Rishis or seers who realised the Supreme Being [and]. . . found out the fundamental truth of human nature that individuals differ in their temperament and capacities. . . This freedom to choose one’s own ideal of worship, which is the birthright of every Hindu has produced its wholesome effect in helping the spiritual progress of everyone without thrusting upon him an ideal which may not be quite akin to his nature. Individualism of this type in the spiritual world may appear as preposterous to those to whom religion means assent to certain dogmas binding on all the members of the particular religion. But, if the Hindus have been thoroughly democratic in any sphere of life, it is in the sphere of spiritual life. Hinduism makes room for all sorts of views of Godhead from the purest monism down to polytheism. The Hindu is an image-worshipper but he is not an idolater, as Christian missionaries have understood him. Perhaps no other religion has suffered more at the hands of foreign interpreters as Hinduism. The Christian, and especially the Protestant Christian born and brought up in an atmosphere of church doctrines and articles of faith, with the firm conviction that Christ is the only Saviour of the world and that God cannot be worshipped in any finite object is apt to shudder in horror to see the image of Hindu gods and goddesses and hastily he rushes to the conclusion that the Hindus are an idolatrous people. The Moslem shudders equally to think that Christ is the only Saviour of humanity and all men must look upto Christ for their redemption. The Hindu affirms that he is not worshipping an image of earth or stone but the Omnipotent and Infinite Lord in and through it. Every time he worships an image, he apologises to the Lord for worshipping Him in a finite object on account of his inability to conceive Him in His absolute and infinite aspect. Ratiocinations and discussions are futile if they do not help a man to realise the truth and can satisfy only those who are not sincere in their search of truth. However a man try to think of God he cannot think of Him except through some image, for it is too true that it is no more possible for a man to think of a thing without some material image than it would be possible for him to live without breathing. The rationalist may condemn image worship but he himself, with the limitations of human nature, cannot go beyond it and talks like an irresponsible man. † T h e

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Reminiscences of Master Mahashay TARANI PURAKAYASTHA

Master Mahashay, Mahendranath Gupta, or ‘M’, was an eminent householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. He recorded the conversations of Sri Ramakrishna in Bengali and published them later as Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita (translated into English: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna). The following is the translation of reminiscences of ‘M’ from Srima Samipe, edited by Swami Chetanananda (Udbodhan Office: Calcutta, 1996), Pp. 177-80. Swami Chetanananda (the translator of the present article) is the Head of Vedanta Society of St. Louis, USA. He has to his credit several notable books in Bengali and English, translations as well as original. In 1930 after Durga Puja I went to Puri and Bhubaneswar with a friend. After our pilgrimage we returned to Calcutta and visited M. on the fourth floor of the Morton Institution. He had a large room with ordinary furniture. His bed was a simple cot with a deer skin covering. There was a table, a canvas easy chair, and a couple of benches. A glass of water was on the table. Pictures of Ramakrishna, Chaitanya, and Nityananda were hanging on the wall, and there was also a mridanga [a drum]. Some books were on a shelf. We were blessed to see him in his room. His face was calm, serene, and full of humility and devotion. His hair and beard were like sterling silver. His form was like that of a hermit. His eyes were loving and luminous. Sri Ramakrishna had once seen him in a vision in the company of Gauranga. M. was alone in his room. When he learned that we had brought him some prasad of Jagannath, he got a clean container and asked us to put the prasad in it. Then he asked us to wash our hands outside the room. We were amazed by his faith and his devotion for the prasad of Jagannath. He taught us how one should respect prasad. T h e

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Because we were carrying prasad, we had not yet bowed down to him. We now bowed down. He asked us to sit on the bench, and said: ‘Now, please tell me about your visit to Puri, the holy place of Lord Jagannath, so that I can visualize the Lord in my mind.’ We briefly described our visit to the deity while he listened very attentively. Then M. asked us whether we knew any monks of the Ramakrishna Order. We knew a few monks and we mentioned their names. Then he said: ‘Please keep in touch with those monks either directly or through correspondence. There are some monks who are absorbed in deep meditation and tapasya. They don’t like to spend time answering letters. When you write letters to that type of hermit monk, please say this: “I am not expecting an answer from you.” As soon as that monk reads your letter and thinks of you, you will be greatly benefited. Thus always keep in touch with the monks.’ This is how M. taught us the glory of holy company and how to maintain it. Then M. removed a letter from an envelope and said: ‘A monk wrote this letter to me. Please listen.’ He began to read: ‘Most

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revered Master Mahashay, I left my parents, my home, and everything else, and took the vow of sannyasa in order to experience the Truth and to realize God. I have been misusing my time and could not achieve anything. I have no peace of mind and am filled with sorrow. For that reason, I have come to Uttarkashi [a hermitage in the Himalayas] to practise austerities. Please bless me so that by the Master’s grace my mind will be focussed on the goal.’ After reading that letter M. said: ‘Yes, this time he will make it. He will make it. Because his mind is remorseful, his spiritual

journey will be favourable.’ M. did not mention the name of the writer. M. then told us: ‘Let us meditate now.’ He gave each of us a folded blanket to use as an asana, and he sat on the deer skin on his cot. We meditated till 10:00 a.m. M. got up and said to us: ‘Perhaps this is your lunch time. You may go now.’ We then bowed down to him and returned to our home. M. was a born teacher. Before saying goodbye, he taught us how to meditate. I saw M. again several times after this meeting, but I still cherish the blissful memory of my first visit. †

II Sri Ramakrishna’s Teachings F The ordinary man lives in the world and can and does fulfil his duties there, striving with affectionate zeal but without attachment to self, just as a good servant takes care of a house, although he is quite aware that the house is not his. By purity and love he is to achieve liberation from his desires. But only step by step with patience and modesty. F Only undertake those actions that fall within the limits of your purified thoughts and dreams. Seek not to flatter yourself with gigantic deeds. Undertake duties as small in size as your self-surrender to God. Then as your selflessness and purity grow—and things of the Soul grow very fast—it will pierce its own way through the material world and benefit others as the Ganga sprang through the hard rocks of the Himalayas and watered thousands of miles with her beneficence. F Do not be in a hurry, but progress each at his own pace! You are sure to arrive at your destination, so there is no need to run! But you must not stop! ‘Religion is a path which leads to God, but a path is not a house. . .’—‘And will it be a long one?’—‘That depends. It is the same for all. But some march for a longer time and the end draws near. . .’ F The potter dries his pots in the sun. Some are already baked, others not. The cattle pass on and tread them under foot. (Then comes death). . . The potter picks up the pots again, and if one is not quite baked, he replaces it on the wheel; he does not let it go. But when the sun of God has completed your baking, the potter leaves the remains, now of no further use on the plane of Maya, except for one or two finished vessels to serve as models for humanity.

—The Life of Ramakrishna by Romain Rolland, Pp.134-135

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COMPILATION

The following compilation from the nine-volume Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda attempts to present Swamiji’s thoughts in relation with the verses from the Kathopanishad. Of all the Upanishads, Swami Vivekananda loved the Kathopanishad most. He once told [CW, 6:456] his disciple, Sharat Chandra Chakravarty, to memorize the Kathopanishad. In many of his lectures, Swamiji quoted from the Kathopanishad. This compilation juxtaposes what Swamiji said in different contexts (references to the CW, are given in brackets) with the original verses. The Kathopanishad consists of two chapters, subdivided into 2 and 3 sections, and in all having 120 verses. Swamiji has referred to some 86 verses from different sections of the Upanishad. In this compilation only those verses which could be related to Swamiji’s words have been given; uncommented verses have been omitted. This compilation has been done by V. Radhakrishnan, a retired teacher of Mathematics from Pune, Maharashtra. (Continued from the October 2011 issue . . .) Wild horses and incompetent charioteer:

Yama explains, ‘those who are evil-doers, whose minds are not peaceful, can never see the Light.’ (2.169)

¸˚Á—<—dZi—Zw¬—<h ‚¸¯G“v i Vi¥Z ¥∆Z $ h˚¸v–wj¸Z<L ‚—fl¸Z<i ∆¨˝>ZÊZ H— ¥ZCsv: $$ 5 $$ He whose mind is not under control, and who has no discrimination, his senses are not controllable like vicious horses in the hands of a driver. (2.410)

¸˚h¯ <—dZi—Zw¬—<h ¸¯G“v i Vi¥Z ¥∆Z $ h˚¸v–wj¸Z<L —fl¸Z<i ¥∆ÊZ H— ¥ZCsv: $$ 6 $$ But he who has discrimination, whose mind is controlled, his organs are always controllable like good horses in the hands of a driver. (2.410)

¸˚Á—<—dZi—Zw¬—<h ‚Vi˚N“: ¥∆Z&{¯<f: $ i ¥ hÁ≈∆VZˆiZv<h ¥Ò¥ZCÒ fZ<π›ÍS><h $$ 7 $$ T h e

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¸˚h¯ <—dZi—Zw¬—<h ¥Vi˚N“: ¥∆Z {¯<f: $ ¥ h¯ hÁ≈∆VZˆiZv<h ¸˚VZ∆˘ ¬Ú¸Zv i ”Z¸hv $$ 8 $$ He who has discrimination, whose mind is always in the way to understand truth, who is always pure—he receives that truth, attaining which there is no rebirth.(2.410)

Controlled horses and competent charioteer:

Incompetent charioteer leads to the worldly:

Competent charioteer leads to emancipation:

<—dZi¥ZC<s¸`˚h¯ Vi:≈±›±Ó—ZtC: $ ¥Zv&¿—i: ≈ZCVZˆiZv<h h<…©LZv: ≈CVÒ ≈∆V˘ $$ 9 $$ Here is a beautiful figure. Picture the Self to be the rider and this body the chariot, the intellect to be the charioteer, mind the reins, and the senses the horses. He whose horses are well broken, and whose reins are strong and kept well in the hands of the charioteer

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(the intellect) reaches the goal which is the state of Him, the Omnipresent. But the man whose horses (the senses) are not controlled, nor the reins (the mind) well managed, goes to destruction. (2.169) Control the mind, cut off the senses, then you are a Yogi; after that, all the rest will come. Refuse to hear, to see, to smell, to taste; take away the mental power from the external organs. You continually do it unconsciously as when your mind is absorbed; so you can learn to do it consciously. The mind can put the senses where it pleases. Get rid of the fundamental superstition that we are obliged to act through the body. We are not. Go into your own room and get the Upanishads out of your own Self. You are the greatest book that ever was or ever will be, the infinite depository of all that is. Until the inner teacher opens, all outside teaching is in vain. It must lead to the opening of the book of the heart to have any value. (7.71) Fine perception: A prerequisite:

A∏ ¥—v∏` ¯ ¬Úh∏v ¯ ›Úfi>Z&v &ÁVZ i ≈±N“Z{hv $ øfl¸hv Á—›±Ω¸Z T¯·ΩZ ¥ÚÀV¸Z ¥ÚÀV∆<{`<¬: $$ 12 $$ This Atman in all beings does not manifest Himself to the eyes or the senses, but those whose minds have become purified and refined realise Him.(2.169) This, O Nachiketas, is very difficult, the way is long, and it is hard to attain. It is only those who have attained the finest perception that can see it, that can understand it.(2.410)

U<‘˛>h ”Z›±h ≈±Zˆ¸ —CZ<tTZvπh $ R¯C˚¸ πZCZ <i<{hZ ∆¨CÁ¸¸Z ∆¨›’ ≈s˚hÁN“—¸Zv —∆–wh $$14$$ Yet do not be frightened. Awake, be up and doing. Do not stop till you have reached the goal. For the sages say that the task is very difficult, like walking on the edge of a razor.(2.410) But it is very difficult… the way T h e

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is long and perilous, but struggle on, do not despair. Awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached. (2.169) Those who dare, therefore, to struggle for victory, for truth, for religion, are in the right way; and that is what the Vedas preach: Be not in despair; the way is very difficult, like walking on the edge of a razor; yet despair not, arise, awake, and find the ideal, the goal.(2.124) Know Him and be free:

‚{g∆V˚≈{`Ve“≈V™¸¸Ò hsZ&C¥Ò <iÁ¸V›wπ—Ç ¸h˘ $ ‚iZ®iwhÒ VÓh: ≈CÒ π±—¯ Ò <ifZϸ hwVƒÁ¸¯V• ¯ Zh˘ ≈±Vͯ ¸hv $$ 15 $$ He who is beyond the senses, beyond all touch, beyond all form, beyond all taste, the Unchangeable, the Infinite, beyond even intelligence, the Indestructible—knowing Him alone, we are safe from the jaws of death. (2.410) So far, we see that Yama describes the goal that is to be attained. The first idea that we get is that birth, death, misery, and the various tossings about to which we are subject in the world can only be overcome by knowing that which is real. What is real? That which never changes, the Self of man, the Self behind the universe. Then, again, it is said that it is very difficult to know Him. Knowing does not mean simply intellectual assent, it means realisation. Again and again we have read that this Self is to be seen, to be perceived. We cannot see it with the eyes; the perception for it has to become superfine. It is a gross perception by which the walls and books are perceived, but the perception to discern the truth has to be made very fine, and that is the whole secret of this knowledge. Then Yama says that one must be very pure. That is the

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way to making the perception superfine; and then he goes on to tell us other ways.(2.410411) This world is nothing. It is at best only a hideous caricature, a shadow of the Reality. We must go to the Reality. Renunciation will take us to It. Renunciation is the very basis of our true life; every moment of goodness and real life that we enjoy is when we do not think of ourselves. This little separate self must die. Then we shall find that we are in the Real, and that Reality is God, and He is our own true nature, and He is always in us and with us. Let us live in Him and stand in Him. It is the only joyful state of existence. Life on the plane of the Spirit is the only life, and let us all try to attain to this realisation.(2.174)

All these beautiful things that we see in nature are very good, but that is not the way to see God. We must learn how to turn the eyes inwards. The eagerness of the eyes to see outwards should be restricted. When you walk in a busy street, it is difficult to hear the man speak with whom you are walking, because of the noise of the passing carriages. He cannot hear you because there is so much noise. The mind is going outwards, and you cannot hear the man who is next to you. In the same way, this world around us is making such a noise that it draws the mind outwards. How can we see the Self? This going outwards must be stopped. That is what is meant by turning the eyes inwards, and then alone the glory of the Lord within will be seen.(2.411)

Chapter II Canto 1 Look within to become immortal:

Infinite not to be found in the finite:

≈CZf: N“ZVZii¯¸–wh TZ◊Z: hv VƒÁ¸Zv¸–` wh <—hh˚¸ ≈Z{V˘ $ ‚s π≥CZ ‚VƒhÁ—Ò <—<∆Á—Z π±—¯ Vπ±—¯ –v ©—Ó i ≈±Zs`¸whv $$ 2 $$

≈CZ<Å •Z<i ™¸hƒLh˘ ˚—¸Ë¬Ú: h˚VZÁ≈CZF˘“ ≈fl¸<h iZwhCZÁVi˘ $ N“<º·≥C: ≈±Á¸›ZÁVZiV_Rh˘ ‚Z—ƒ‘ fR¯CVƒhÁ—<VÍS>i˘ $$ 1 $$ The Self-existent One projected the senses outwards and, therefore, a man looks outward, not within himself. A certain wise one, desiring immortality, with inverted senses, perceived the Self within. . . .the first inquiry that we find in the Vedas was concerning outward things, and then a new idea came that the reality of things is not to be found in the external world; not by looking outwards, but by turning the eyes, as it is literally expressed, inwards.(2.175) That self-existent One is far removed from the organs. The organs or instruments see outwards, but the self-existing One, the Self, is seen inwards. You must remember the qualification that is required: the desire to know this Self by turning the eyes inwards.

Men of childish intellect, ignorant persons, run after desires which are external, and enter the trap of far-reaching death, but the wise, understanding immortality, never seek for the Eternal in this life of finite things. The same idea is here made clear that in this external world, which is full of finite things, it is impossible to see and find the Infinite. The Infinite must be sought in that alone which is infinite, and the only thing infinite about us is that which is within us, our own soul. Neither the body, nor the mind, nor even our thoughts, nor the world we see around us, are infinite. The Seer, He to whom they all belong, the Soul of man, He who is awake in the internal man, alone is infinite, and to seek for the Infinite Cause of this whole universe we must go there. In the Infinite Soul alone we can find it. (2.175) (To be continued. . .)

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Western Ghats Shrines in Karnataka —A Pilgrimage ‘ATMASHRADDHA’

(Continued from the previous issue. . .) Legend of Sringeri Travelling through winding roads and an enchanting landscape, with an occasional village on the way, we reached Sringeri in about two hours from Kalasa and proceeded to our place of accommodation near the Shankara Math. Sringeri is a hill town and taluk headquarters, renowned for Shankara Math, supposed to be the first of the four Maths established by Adi Shankaracharya, in the 8th century C.E. The Math is located on the banks of the river Tunga. The name Sringeri is derived from Rishya-shringa-giri, a hill where it is believed that the hermitage of Rishi Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa was located. Rishyashringa appears in an episode in the BalaKanda of the Ramayana where a story, narrated by the sage Vashishtha, relates how he brought rains to the drought-stricken kingdom of Romapada. The story goes thus: Sage Vibhandaka, by a curious combination of circumstances, became the father of a child, with a horn in the forehead, born of a deer. He found himself responsible for the proper upbringing of the child, whom he named as Rishyasringa. He thought that the easiest way to keep his son innocent of the worldly ways was to keep him in forest isolation. He succeeded to such an extent that when the child’s body matured into

manhood, he had never set eyes on any human being other than his own father. He was even unaware of sexual distinction.

Sage Rishyashringa meditating—a stucco figure It so chanced that a neighbouring kingdom suffered from a severe drought. The king Romapada was advised by his ministers that there would be rains if sage Rishyasringa, blessed his kingdom with the touch of his holy feet. Romapada sent a number of fair damsels to the forest to bring the sage. They were, however, afraid of sage Vibhandaka, and so approached the hermitage when he was absent. The innocent boy was struck with the contrasts when he saw them. Their flowing hair was unlike the matted locks familiar to him. The

… The author is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order. T h e

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delicious sweets with which they fed him were different from the fruits available in the hermitage. Instinctively he was attracted towards the women whom he regarded in his innocence as sages of a different type. Apprehensive of the sudden return of the father, they left Rishyasringa hastily with a parting invitation to come to their hermitage which was close by. After that meeting, the mind of the boy began to dwell upon them and became restless. He was troubled by painful but exciting sensation. He finally decided to go to their hermitage. He felt they would be able to remove his mental oppression. King Romapada, learning that the boy-sage had started from his hermitage, waited to receive him at the frontiers of his kingdom. The instant the holy sage stepped on the soil, the heavens opened up and poured down life-giving showers. The king, thankful for the favour conferred on him, showed his gratitude by offering the hand of his daughter Santha in marriage to the sage. Rishyasringa accepted her as wife and remained in the king’s palace as an honoured guest for some time.

raised hood, providing shelter from the hot sun, to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with

A stone work on the bank of Tunga river, depicting a snake protecting a frog from hot sun

the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he stayed here for twelve years. Thus came into existence the Sringeri Shankara Math.

It was during this period that Dasaratha, King of Ayodhya, invited him to officiate in the sacrifice named Putrakameshti, by which he was A view of Bharati Street, the main thoroughfare in Sringeri town blessed with four sons—Sri Rama and others. Sage Rishyasringa felt that his Sringeri is located in the heart of Malemarried life was not without its merits. It gave nadu, with the nearest railway station some him an opportunity to usher into this world Sri 100 km away. There are many buses from BanRama, the personification of Dharma.3 galore, Mysore, Mangalore for easy commuta-

It is believed when Adi Shankaracharya came here, he was impressed with the spiritual atmosphere of the place. As he was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a T h e

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tion. Sringeri town is spread around its main street known as ‘Bharati Street’, which is lined on either side, with shops, rest houses, small business concerns and residences.

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On the outskirts of the town is a degree collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Sri Jagadguru Chandrashekhara Bharathi Memorial College, started in 1965. Situated at a height of 2400 feet above sea level, Sringeri receives an average annual

charitable institutions as well as Shankara Maths in different parts of India. We walked through the modestly busy Bharati Street, at the end of which is the entrance to the Sringeri Math. On the left side

A traditional portrait of Adi Shankaracharya

Sri Sharadamba, Sringeri

rainfall of 150 inches and that explains its green cover. While the approximate population of Sringeri town is 5000, the town witnesses a continuous flow of visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;around 15,000 daily! Shankara Math, Sringeri As is well-known, Adi Shankaracharya established four Maths in four corners of India â&#x20AC;&#x201D;in the northern (at Jyotirmath, near Badrinath), eastern (at Puri) and western (at Dwaraka) quarters of India. In south, he established Sringeri Sharada Peetham, or Jagadguru Mahasamsthanam Dakshinamnay Sri Sarada Peetham, as it is called. The Math also owns and manages many temples, educational and T h e

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of the Street, we could see Shankar Niwas, the guest house maintained by the Math authorities, and a large parking area nearby, where a number of buses, cars, bikes and other vehicles were parked. A reception office and a bookshop selling books published by the Sringeri Math are located on either side of the entrance. The entrance to the Math premises was under renovation, with a large gopuram under construction. The premises is dotted with many ancient temples and other buildings, and we felt as if we had entered a different world, ancient and holy. A detailed map on a large board near the gate indicated the various holy sites and shrines inside and outside the Math

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campus. We were entering a place of history and spirituality more than 1000 years old! A document on Sringeri says, The records of the Sringeri matha bear ample evidence to the great regard and veneration which the several ruling princes of India, including the Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company had for the Acharyas. They had issued orders under the sign manual of their respective Governments that the Government officers should afford all help possible to the Acharyas in seeing that the commands of the latter in regard to religious observances or concerning religious delinquents were strictly enforced and carried into effect. These rulers realized that, if they did not interest themselves in the maintenance of the respective religions of their subjects, they would be really shirking a grave responsibility.4

First we proceeded to the temple of Divine Mother, called Sharadamba (Saraswati), the Goddess of learning and wisdom. The temple building is rather simple and austerelooking but as one steps inside, one finds many intricate stone carvings on pillars and the ceiling. Divine Mother’s image, seated over a shriyantra, is placed in a small shrine which forms a part of the large hall structure of the temple. There is a raised platform, with steel railings dividing the darshan area into two halves where devotees stand up and have the darshan. Mother Sharadamba’s image, made of gold, was exquisitely decorated and welllit. There was a deep sense of ancientness and sanctity in the atmosphere. We offered our pranams, sat for our prayers for a while and then did pradakshina of the shrine. At a corner of the pradakshina path was a ratha, some 15 feet tall, covered with gold plating, which, we T h e

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A front view of Sharadamba Temple

were told, is used for carrying the image of the deity around as part of temple rituals. We learnt that the original shrine, dating back to the time of Adi Shankaracharya, was small and simple. In the fourteenth century, sage Vidyaranya is said to have replaced the old sandalwood image with a stone and gold image. The temple structure itself continued to be made of wood till the early 20th century. After an unexpected fire that damaged the structure, the existing structure was built in the traditional south Indian style of temple architecture. We saw in the hall next to the Mother’s temple depiction of incidents from the life of Adi Shankaracharya through a number of beautiful paintings. The hall also has portraits of earlier pontiffs of Sringeri Math. The hall itself is quite attractive with several pillars supporting it. The paintings are placed at some height and they bring Acharya Shankara’s life to a vivid presence. A small shrine outside the Mother’s temple is dedicated to Sureshwaracharya, the Acharya who succeeded Adi Shankara as first

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Then we came to the grand temple of Vidyashankara—the stone temple generally seen in the pictures depicting Sringeri Math premises. The temple is located near the high bank of the Tunga river and is one of the finest examples of Indian architectural heritage. The Vidyashankara temple was built in commemoration of the 10th pontiff of Math, Sri Vidya Tirtha, around 1357-58 C.E. A great Yogi, Sri Vidya Tirtha commanded exceptional reverence from his disciples, Bharati Tirtha and Vidyaranya, and by the kings of Vijayanagara empire. The temple was built by Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka, the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire. It is built over the chamber into which Sri Vidya Tirtha retired in lambika yoga, consciously, to cast off his human body. The following facts explain the event in greater details:

The hall with paintings on the life of Adi Shankara

head of the Sringeri Math. Known as Mandan Mishra in his pre-monastic life, the great Acharya took to monastic vows as a fulfilment of the promise that if he is defeated in his scholarly debate with Adi Shankaracharya, he would take to sannyasa. He had an eight-day long debate and finally accepted Shankara’s views and thus he became a monk, and an eminent one at that! There are many Sanskrit works attributed to Sureshwaracharya such as Brihadaranyaka-upanishad-bhashyavarttika (a commentary on Shankara’s work on Brihadaranyaka-upanishad), Naishkarmya-siddhi, Taittiriya-vartika (commentary on Shankara’s work on the Taittiriya Upanishad), Mansollasa (commentary on Dakshinamurty Stotram of Shankara), among others. We offered our pranams to the great Acharya and went to see other shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses. T h e

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It is said that this image [of Sri Vidya Tirtha, worshipped at Simhagiri, 4 km from Sringeri] was shown by Sri Vidya Tirtha as the model of the shape which his body would assume after

Shrine dedicated to Sri Sureshwaracharya

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chamber for the Lambika Yoga, it should be sealed and the lid should not be opened for 12 years. Unfortunately, idle curiosity prevailed and someone opened it when only three years had expired. The body of the sage had disappeared and in its place was found, in the course of transformation, only the form of the topmost Linga shown in the sample. Bharati Tirtha and Vidyaranya were greatly perturbed. A side view of Vidyashankara temple They were informed by Vidya Tirtha in a dream that the promised the chamber into which Vidya Tirtha had phenomenon would not occur as his instructions disappeared. The model image at Simhagiri was were not followed. They were to install another itself consecrated as Chaturmurti Vidyeshvara Linga. Accordingly, a fresh Linga was conseand worship was instituted. crated under the name of Vidya Sankara over It is strongly believed that this great Yogi is still in the chamber in Lambika Yoga. It is said that the gods (deva ganas) worship him every night and that sometimes the ringing of the bells by them is heard at dead of night. For this reason, all the Srimukhas [official statements by the pontiff] issued from the Math today go under the seal of Sri Vidya Sankara only.5

The Vidyashankara temple is placed on a four-feet high platform with good space to walk around. One has to climb several steps to enter the temple. The niches in the temple have a number of sculptures from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mytho-

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logies. Inscriptions in the temple record contributions made by several Vijayanagara emperors, but the temple was probably built on an earlier Hoysala site, as it combines Hoysala and Vijayanagara architectural features. The temple architecture is also an exhibition of the astronomical expertise of medieval south Indian temple builders. The main temple hall features 12 pillars designated for the 12 signs of the zodiac, popularly known as Rashistambhas (zodiacal pillars), have symbols of the twelve divisions of the zodiac engraved on these pillars. A panoramic view of Sringeri Math from the bridge—with devotees at the landing steps to the river Windows and doors along the it is unsafe to get into the waters. temple walls are arranged such that equinoxes Our next destination was Narasihmasunrise views reach the deity. The temple is vanam, ‘the forest of Narasihma’. One has to an architectural marvel. The northern and cross a concrete bridge to reach there. One southern gates enable the sunrise view from 6 then walks through a well laid out garden at the hall during solstices. the end of which one finds samadhi-pithas We respectfully bowed at all the shrines [temples] of several revered Acharyas of the inside the temple and sat for a while admiring Math. We paid our homage to the Acharyas’ the rich architectural details of the temple and shrines which are situated in a row. the greatness of Sri Vidya Tirtha. There is a large enclosure nearby where deers could be seen grazing. Narasimhavanam and Other Places We then went to Guru Nivas, the place After coming from the temple, we where the present Acharya performs his daily climbed down the steps leading to the river puja of Chandramoulishvara, a sphatika linga Tunga. And what a sight it was! Hundreds of believed to be handed over by Adi Shankara fish, shoals of them, moving about freely near himself. While the Acharya performs puja, the banks of the river, awaiting puffed rice assisted by two or three Brahmins, the students offerings by the pilgrims. When the rice was from the Veda Pathashala run by the Math, thrown at them, many fish would come chant in their sonorous and enchanting manner ‘running’, some even jumping up to catch the well-known Chamaka Prashna (i.e. Rudra the rice grain. We too offered some puffed Prashna) and Namaka Prashna, two hymns rice and sat on the steps of the river banks for from the Yajur Veda in praise of Shiva. A sometime. number of devotees sat in front watching the As the river Tunga takes a turn near the Acharya performing puja. Math, the place is full of whirlpools and hence T h e

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Sadvidya Sanjivini Pathashala

Interiors of the library building

The present Sringeri Shankaracharya, His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha Swamiji, is the 36th Acharya in the line of illustrious pontiffs who have adorned the seat of Jagadguru. We made pranams to him and he made kind enquiries about the places we came from and the type of seva that we were engaged in and offered us some fruits as prasad. We then went to the beautiful library containing books on Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit literature in general. The library has several thousand books and one could see spiritual and religious magazines from all over displayed in the reading room. The library is located close to the Gurukulam, called Sadvidya Sanjivini Pathashala, where young brahmacharins were seen scurrying around. Housed in a specially designed brick structure, the Pathashala reminds one of the ancient ashramas of Rishis. We spoke to some of the young students. Learning of chanting of Vedic hymns and Sanskrit grammar are main subjects taught to the students. Red terracota structure, with wooden pillars and railings and red floor created a mystique ambience. Beyond the Pathashala, near a side road, is located the ancient temple of Kaal-Bhairava. T h e

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A small shrine, located atop a small hill, the temple was clean and calm but there were no devotees seen nearby. A lonely young brahmachari, perhaps a would-be priest, sat at one corner of the open hall, practising chanting of Vedic hymns. A voluminous book of Vedic hymns, in Kannada script, was open in his lap but he rarely looked at it. He kept chanting, unmindful of us. We were much impressed with his concentration, command over Sanskrit, sonorous chanting and dedication. As we were returning to the main gate, near the bridge, two elephants belonging to the Math were returning. For some unknown reason, one of the elephants stopped suddenly, and a nervous mahout called us near, with the elephant placing its trunk-snout over our heads as a blessing! It was indeed a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;heavyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience. Near the main gate of the Math we visited the large kitchen-cum-dining hall which the Math maintains. More than 15000 pilgrims are fed here daily, we were told. We were cordially welcomed at the place and we partook of the steaming hot dal-payasam. We were impressed by the kitchen which was clean, well organized and full of activity sans noise! We saw rice and sambar being served

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The temple at Kigga felt himself called back to his native forest with its holy atmosphere. He retired to the forest to spend the remainder of his life in divine contemplation. When he shuffled off his mortal coil, a lightning issued forth from his body and disappeared into the Shiva Linga he was worshipping as a symbol of formless Absolute.

Food being served to devotees in the dining hall

through steel trolleys. One could see heaps of steel plates stacked methodically for the devotees’ meals. The Math also provides free mid-day meals to some of the schools nearby. We also visited the Kali temple7 located on the outskirts of Sringeri town. Housed in a small, traditional Malenadu house, with sloping, tiled roof, the temple is one of the important temples. Kigga—the Temple of Rishyashringa A visit to Sringeri remains incomplete without visiting the temple dedicated the sage Rishyashringa. Of Rishyashringa, it is said that after living in the Kingdom of Romapada, he again

This Shiva Linga is in the temple at Kigga, a village about 10 Km from Sringeri. Unlike others, this Linga is invested with a horn on its head, to commemorate the merger of the sage Rishyashringa. The Shiva Linga that was worshipped by the sage Vibhandaka and into which he himself disappeared in the end is on the summit of a hillock. This is situated in the centre of Sringeri town. The Shiva Linga is known as Malahanikaresvara and is worshipped even today.8

After a rich experience at Sringeri, we next proceeded to Udipi, the celebrated coastal temple town of Sri Krishna. (To be continued. . .)

References 3.

4. 5.

The Greatness of Sringeri, published by Jagadguru Mahasamsthanam Dakshinamnay Sri Sarada Peetham, Sringeri, Dist. Chickamagalur, Karnataka, p.11 ibid, p.22-35 Ibid. p.55 T h e

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sringeri Adi Shankara is believed to have established the four guardian deities at Sringeri—Kalikamba, Hanuman, Durga and Kala Bhairava, in the four corners of Sringeri. ibid, p.12 N O V E M B E R

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Unpublished Letters of Swami Saradananda1 Math. Belur. Howrah. India. Aug 2nd 1900 My dear Granny2 I thank you for your kind letter of July 18th. It seems as if you have taken the thing relating to my question, too much to heart. I am so sorry I have pained you thus by asking you the question. I believe the question of the Swami to me does not show any want of confidence in you but just a little mistrust in me. He suspects that I Swami Saradananda tell you anything and everything & sometimes gives these thrusts to probe how far his suspicions are true. So please put all these out of your mind. My experience with the S.V. has shown that he has a very loving but suspicious mind & he suspects even in the midst of his love. That is why he is never happy & never gains the joy of confidence yet goes on loving for he cannot help it. My dysentry is almost cured & I have begun again my Sunday talks at Bagbazar. The doctor says I will be quite well in a week more. But the strange part of it all I am feeling as strong as ever. It might be the action of the medicine, you need not be anxious dear Granny, for I am sure to be well in a week more. I thank you for the copies of the Illustrated Figures. We are all glad to have little pub at the Paris Exposition from here. I believe Santi is with you now & feeling well & strong. Has the voyage been a happy one to her! My kindest regards to her. We are all glad to hear of Margotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. It is good to know she will be able to begin her Indian work soon. I am so sorry to hear of dear Miss Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s illness. Has she come to you yet? My kindest regards to her when you meet. Remember me kindly to Dr.Janes. He must be very happy to be able to run away from his work for a little time. My mother sends you her love & Sarada Devi her blessings. I thank you for your kind permission to draw upon the amount which you have extra[?] in the Bank. But I will not do it unless I am sorely pressed. One must always learn to cut his coat according to his cloth. The only thing that I am thinking of doing is to advance Rs.30/- per month to my father & mother is I find they are too hard pressed. I am sure you will have no objection to it as I will pay them Rs.30/- only per month for the first 6 months of 1901. T h e

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The famine will go down in a short time, rain having fallen in many places. I cannot tell how happy I become when I think of you & there seldom or never goes a day without a thought of you. May all blessings be yours for all times & peace that never knows end. With kindest regards to you & Santi, I am as ever, Affecly yours Saradananda.

Aug 30th 1900. Math. Belur. Howrah India. My dear Mrs.Bull â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Your very kind letter of Aug 11th has reached me last mail. I thank you for it. I am glad to know you have found Swamiji so well. It looks as if your impression is not one of the brain but from a higher source. I thank you also for sending the enclosed order of Swamiji to put the 30000 in the fixed deposit. I have received a letter from him too, this mail in which he has found fault with the general account of the work, I have sent to your care. He has asked me too to have opinions of all here in the case of transferring the Math land & property to Srimati Sarada Devi. I have told you my opinion about it that all the members here will be only too glad to see their Holy Mother provided & cared for that way. Only I am not sure as she shall accept the offer. I will write to Swamiji the same. I am sorry to hear from Swamiji the Trust Deed has not reached him yet. I hope to hear its arrival by the next mail. I am feeling better though not as strong as formerly. The dysentery has been cured but I am feeling low & weak. Perhaps it will pass off in a few weeks. However I will not have my post to take a change until Swamiji returns & takes charge of everything. Our Holy Mother is still in her native village & not very strong in health. She has desired her love & blessings to you all. My father is seriously ill. My mother & friends send loving greetings. Kindly tell Jane I have received her kind letter dated Aug. 3rd only last mail. My kindest regards to Mrs.Briggs, yourself & all friends. Ever yours Saradananda P.S. Kindly forward the enclosed to Swamiji with our respects.

References:

1. A direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna 2. Mrs. Sara Bull, an American disciple of Swami Vivekananda

Courtesy: Ramakrishna Museum, Belur Math T h e

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Religious Harmony—A Perspective SWAMI PARAMASUKHANANDA

The Unity Behind Diversity The great Seers or Rishis of Sanatana Dharma discovered long ago that ‘unity in diversity’ is the scheme of universe. Rig Veda (1.164.46) says, Truth is One. Wise men describe It in many ways.

Variety is the law of nature. No two persons are born equal in every respect—physically, mentally and morally. One dish cannot satisfy all the members of the family. Nor is it desirable. This difference and variation is what constitutes life. Death-like uniformity would be the cessation of all life. Hence no one method of worship of God can suit everyone. No single faith or religion can serve as the faith of the whole humanity. Yet, everyone is proceeding towards God in his own way. Says Sri Krishna in the Gita (4.11): Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.

passing through a prism splitting into many colours (called VIBGYOR) illustrates this point quite well. It is like approaching the Infinite ocean of Reality. Each one of us approaches the ocean of Reality with our cups and takes up some of that ‘water’ and it takes the shape of our cup. Again, the cup is filled up to the full measure when we empty its previous contents. Likewise, the more we empty ourselves of our selfishness, the more the reality fills up our heart; the more we cleanse it of the worldly attachments and attractions, the more the effulgent light of the divine reality is reflected in it. The Shukla Yajur Veda (XXXII.1) says: It is the same pure Brahman, which is the absolute that is manifesting itself as the Fire, the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the Water and the God Prajapati.

In a similar way, Srimad Bhagavata (I. ii.11) says:

Whatsoever form any devotee seeks to worship with shraddha—that shraddha of his do I make unwavering.

The Supreme Truth to be sought after, is described by enlightened ones as Non-dual Consciousness. It is variously called as Brahman (by the Vedantins) as Paramatman (by the votaries of Hiranyagarbha) and as the Bhagavan (by the Bhaktas).

The great Rishis found that there is One Truth behind the mass of variations. The spiritual reality unites all, transcending all limitations of time, space and causality. The difference is only one of form and not of content. The example of a white beam of light

Hence different religions are the diverse facets of the One Eternal Religion, the religion of Oneness of Reality which aims at the realization of the Divinity as Self. One may choose to call that Divinity as Brahman, Atman, God, Ishwara and so on. One may

And again (Gita 7-21),

… The author is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order at its branch at Ulsoor in Bangalore, Karnataka. T h e

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recall here Sri Ramakrishnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anecdote of six blind men who touched different parts of an elephant and formed their idea of elephant based on the part that they had touched. Finding this Oneness, this search for the common bond of kinship that unites man to man and man to all beings, is the essence of Eternal Religion. Guided by this Universal idea of Oneness, based on the realization of Rishis, Hinduism never believed in or professed a particular doctrine as the single faith, nor went out of its way to convert others to its own faith. Doctrines bordering on the lowest form of fetishism to the highest form of absolutism find honourable place in Hinduism. Spiritual Evolution While this idea of oneness of existence is true, it needs inner growth to realize it. One cannot take a quantum jump out of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nature and overnight become a changed man. And spiritual growth is a slow process, a growth from within, and the seeker has to be gradually prepared for receiving higher ideals of religion. He has to be led step by step to see higher and higher aspects of Reality, until he is able to see the highest transcendental Absolute. We should take them from where they are. Says the Gita (3.26), One should not unsettle the understanding of the ignorant, attached to action; the wise one, (himself) steadily acting, should engage (the ignorant) in all work.

According to Hinduism it does no good to the worshipper if he is told to give up his attachment all of a sudden. The nearer we approach the Reality, the clearer becomes our perception of it and broader our perspective. We are thus prepared for higher conception of the Reality. We can avoid all hatred, bitterness, and suffering if we approach religion bearing this truth in mind. T h e

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Meaning of Harmony Harmony does not mean uniformity. It means accepting and practising unity in diversity. In the context of religion, harmony is not to be attained, but to be discovered by a seeker by deepening his God-consciousness. As to why inter-religious harmony is needed, let us consider the following: Y Religion is the outcome of manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inner urge for Freedom, for the Infinite. Different religions represent different aspects of that struggle. Y Religion is not man-made. It is made by God and it is His will that there should be many religions to suit different tastes of peoples. So try as they may, the so-called powerful religious leaders cannot erase out other faiths. Y History of the world shows that, theological validity and emotional security, which are indispensable for higher human goals and peaceful society, cannot be provided by any atheistic/materialistic philosophy. Y Religions of the world alone have the required strength and resilience to fight all social evils and restore ethical values, and to guide humanity towards higher goals of life. Y To achieve this, all religions will have to forge a united front based on universal aspects of every religion. Y No faith can afford to be exclusive, especially in these days of globalization. They have to find ways and means to come together. This is the challenge of the times thrown to all the religions of the world. Y Neither can religions afford to fight and destroy each other nor is any attempt to bring together the people of various religions under the banner of one religion possible. History is the proof for the failure of this attempt. Y Swami Vivekananda declared this in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893:

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If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world, it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. If anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance, ‘help and not fight, assimilation and not destruction, harmony and peace and not dissension’. Y Much of the misunderstanding, dissen-

sion and quarrelling among the religionists is because they fail to recognize the distinction between true religion which is based on universal principles and religion as an institution comprising particular forms, ceremonies and doctrines. What is needed, therefore, is, not the change of form or ceremony, but a proper understanding of the principles behind them and the transformation of the character of the worshipper. Y He, who exalts his own religion and favourite Godhead and decries other religions and Gods, is actually decrying his own religion. Y Even the most peaceful attempts in converting others, though successful numberwise, are a failure from the point of view of the acceptance of the faith. It is through holding on to Truth that religions grow and not otherwise. Inter-religious Dialogue Y The aim of these dialogues must be: ‘Let noble thoughts come to us from every side’ (ano bhadrah kratava yantu vishwatah). Y The Inter-religious dialogue is not meant to convert the other to any particular T h e

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faith. Nor it is for establishing its own prejudices. Prejudices undermine peace and harmony and keep millions of people from all over the world in darkness. Y An in-depth knowledge of one’s own religion will be of much help in enabling one to develop an attitude of mutual respect. Y Every religion consists of three components 1. Rituals and Ceremonies 2. Mythology 3. Philosophy / Theology Y The necessity arises for every religion to re-examine its doctrines and practices from time to time, separate the chaff from the grain, and set its house in order, which, in turn, creates a better climate and atmosphere to compare notes with other religions in a fruitful way. Y Truth can be expressed in a hundred different ways. Take the following three apparently contradicting statements of Christ. ‘Our Father which art in heaven’ ‘Kingdom of Heaven is within’ ‘I and my Father are one’. Though apparently contradictory these words are expressions of the same Truth from three angles. Hence there must be some attempt to redefine and reinterpret ancient texts of every religion. We must find out the modes of resolution and affirmation. There should be, therefore, a complete stop to hatred and violence in the name of God and religion. Instead of converting others, let us spend the same energy in growing spiritual and noble. The world would have been far more peaceful with One Universal Religion. A universal religion must include all stages of spiritual evolution, from imageworship to absolutism. A religion built around a particular personality may satisfy some, but certainly not all.

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Swami Vivekananda’s insightful words about the true meaning of religion: Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these—and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.

Conclusion Human life is precious. Let us stop wasting it in meaningless controversies and rather seek God. Mere holding on to insti-

tutions and doctrines will not make us fulfilled but holding to God will. As the well-known saying goes, ‘Better be ready to live in rags with Christ than to live in palaces without him.’ If we live in the presence of God, every moment of our life, our mind will find everlasting, peace and happiness. Losing the Lord, whatever one gains in the world, is actually a loss only. Let us remember: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ In simple words, true religious harmony lies in inner purity and sincerity of purpose. It lies in understanding each other which comes from spiritual growing up. †

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Self-Knowledge Means Liberation Self-knowledge alone can confer true liberation. It is the liberation of not only the soul but also the mind. By raising the blaze of spiritual consciousness, Self-knowledge frees us from the bondage of highly personalized life and separative existence. Swami Vivekananda beautifully describes this liberation through Self-knowledge: One day a drop of water fell into the vast ocean. When it found itself there, it began to weep and complain just as you are doing. The great ocean laughed at the drop of water. ‘Why do you weep?’ it asked. ‘I do not understand. When you join me, you join all your brothers and sisters, the other drops of water of which I am made. You become the ocean itself. If you wish to leave me, you have only to rise up on a sunbeam into the clouds. From there you can descend again, a little drop of water, a blessing and a benediction to the thirsty earth.’ Liberation through Self-knowledge is not only cessation of sorrow and suffering but also bliss. Cessation of sorrow is not in itself happiness; happiness is something positive. Tasting the overpowering bliss of the Self, the liberated soul goes beyond all sorrow and suffering. —The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness, by Swami Adiswarananda, p.191

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Sri Ramakrishna was a master-story teller. While he spoke of profound spiritual truths and mystery of human life, he amply used stories, anecdotes, examples and analogies to drive home his point. At times, while narrating a story, he would even make gestures and change the tone of his voice to bring in a lively element in his narrative. The following stories, mainly culled from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai) are an attempt to present before the readers Sri Ramakrishna’s rich storehouse of stories which are both illuminating and simple.

12 Disciple and a Dog A guru said to his disciple, ‘It is Rama alone who resides in all bodies.’ The disciple was a man of great faith. One day a dog snatched a piece of bread from him and started to run away. He ran after the dog, with a jar of butter in his hand, and cried again and again: ‘O Rama, stand still a minute. That bread hasn’t been buttered.’ (p.293) Parable of the Three Friends Once three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly appeared before them. ‘Brothers,’ one of them exclaimed, ‘we are lost!’ ‘Why should you say that?’ said the second friend. ‘Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God.’ The third friend said: ‘No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree.’ The friend who said, ‘We are lost!’ did not know that there is a God who is our Protector. The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn’t want to trouble God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God. It is the very nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his life is to keep his T h e

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Beloved from even being pricked in the foot by a thorn. (p.229) Parable of the False Ascetic One night a fisherman went into a garden and cast his net into the lake in order to steal some fish. The owner heard him and surrounded him with his servants. They brought lighted torches and began to search for him. In the mean time the fisherman smeared his body with ashes and sat under a tree, pretending to be a holy man. The owner and his men searched a great deal but could not find the thief. All they saw was a holy man covered with ashes, meditating under a tree. The next day the news spread in the neighbourhood that a great sage was staying in the garden. People gathered there and saluted him with offerings of fruit, flowers, and sweets. Many also offered silver and copper coins. ‘How strange!’ thought the fisherman. ‘I am not a genuine holy man, and still people show such devotion to me. I shall certainly realize God if I become a true sadhu. There is no doubt about it.’ If a mere pretence of religious life can bring such spiritual awakening, you can imagine the effect of real sadhana. In that state you will surely realize what is real and what is unreal. God alone is real, and the world is illusory. (p.233)

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Social Issues and Spiritual Response SWAMI BRAHMESHANANDA

QUESTION: How to deal with a person who cheats us? ANSWER: Why do you get cheated? You must be vigilant and never get cheated. Sri Ramakrishna had once scolded one of his disciples who was cheated by a shopkeeper. If you think that you have been cheated and if you have means, you may punish the cheat by taking legal action against him/her. QUESTION: Sri Ramakrishna said that ‘Service to man is service to God.’ But, these days, we find people abusing us, cheating us or suppressing us to go ahead of us. Should we consider such people also ‘Shiva’ and serve them? ANSWER: Sri Ramakrishna used to narrate the story of the elephant and the Mahout. Both are Narayanas or Gods but we must follow the instructions of Mahout Narayana and save ourselves from the mad elephant Narayana. Sri Ramakrishna would say that although a tiger also is God, we must make salutations to him from a distance and not go close to him. We should not confuse between absolute truth and empirical truth. The absolute truth is that every one is God. But, in practice we must consider many factors. That does not go against the absolute truth that every one is God. We should be careful about dealing with people who are cheats or who try to harm you; at the same time, consider in the heart of your hearts that they too are forms of God. Divinity resides in everyone. QUESTION: Sometimes we face certain situations when we have to take tough decisions and

people give various suggestions. If Narayana is present in all, then whom to listen? ANSWER: While deciding anything, let us keep in mind time, place, person and situation. Let us not confuse our mind with listening to everyone! That be like going in different directions at the same time. QUESTION: What is the most effective way to fight corruption? ANSWER: One can think of various methods of dealing with corruption. Government tries to solve it through laws and legal actions. However, a spiritual person tries to solve the problem through individual character-building and spiritual transformation. No amount of laws or acts can solve the problem of corruption unless the citizens are themselves honest. Each one must feel one’s own responsibility in building a corruption free society. There is a story which can demonstrate this point: A king wanted a tank to be filled with milk in the night by each citizen pouring one litre of milk into it. The next morning the tank was full of water. Every one poured water thinking that his one litre will not be noticed in the large amount of milk. If every person had considered that it was his duty to put milk, then the tank would have been filled with milk and not water. That is the problem with the issue of corruption in public life. QUESTION: Swami Vivekananda has said that after Vaishya Yuga, Shudra Yuga will come. How? ANSWER: According to Swami Vivekananda in each society there are these four

† A former editor of THE VEDANTA KESARI, the author is the Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Chandigarh. T h e

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castes: Brahmin or the priest, Kshatriya or the warrior, Vaishya or the trader and the Shudra or the labourer. These four castes rule society in succession. He has also described the advantages and disadvantages of each of the four yugas, dominated by these four castes. At present, we live in a Vaishya Yuga where there is economic exploitation. This as well as the natural course of events would lead to the Shudra Yuga. QUESTION: What are the means of avoiding or escaping the shudrahood of the Shudra age? ANSWER: Swami Vivekananda has suggested two means of dealing with such a situation. First, he declared service, seva, which is considered the swadharma of Shudras, as the Yugadharma. He started service activities run by the higher caste people. In the centres of the Ramakrishna Mission, monks belonging to higher castes serve all, irrespective of their caste and creed, with dedication and in a spirit of service to God. In this way, the dharma or the special characteristics of the Shudra yuga is being sublimated. Swamiji also envisages Brahmin Yuga after the Shudra Yuga. Hence, he symbolically initiated a number of people belonging to lower caste into Brahminhood by investing them with sacred thread. Finally, each one must understand his responsibility in making the coming age or yuga more congenial for living by leading a moral life dedicated to the twin national ideals of renunciation and service to humanity. QUESTION: How to protect the Indian culture from becoming materialistic at a time when globalization and westernization are fast spreading? ANSWER: Globalization cannot be avoided nor can the influx of western ideas. Swami Vivekananda wanted a combination of the best of the West and best of East, especially of the Indian culture, combined together. T h e

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Every sincere person, while getting exposed to materialistic ideas, must hold on to his ancient cultural values, and try to put them into practice. Even in the West, people have got fed up with materialism and are turning towards yoga. A number of westerners are now sincerely studying various Indian religious schools. That must encourage us to hold on to our cultural values. Although it is a fact that the onslaught of materialism and westernization through the media is relentless, the condition is not hopeless. Individuals or the groups of individuals can by sincere effort, put the cultural values into practice. Regular study of Indian scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and works of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda can, to a great extent, help in this direction. QUESTION: How to involve children in the practice of meditation or various yogas as they want some incentives or expect results immediately? How can we give them this value education? ANSWER: We cannot blame children for their lack of interest in yoga and allied subjects. Much greater responsibility of inculcating values into children rests on the teachers and parents. Unless parents lead a disciplined life, practice yoga and meditation regularly, avoid seeing T.V. (which is a major cause of destruction of values) themselves, children cannot learn by themselves. Children must be taught values through stories and multi-media. The animation CD on Hanuman, for example, has become extremely popular with children. Besides, there are a number of ways of motivating children and the educationists know them. A number of religious institutions including some of the centres of the Ramakrishna Mission have evolved various value education programmes. One may approach them for help and guidance. Above all, be a role model. Â&#x2020;

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Ten Commandments for Teachers MARKAREDDY

The Taittiriya Upanishad says, ‘Revere your mother as God; revere you father as God; revere your teacher as God’ (matru devo bhava, pitru devo bhava, acharya devo bhava). Indeed, respecting the elders, especially teachers, is indeed an important part of the learning process. While this is true for a student, the teachers should deserve to be treated with such honour and respect. Just joining as a teacher in a school or college will not automatically make someone deserve admiration and respect due to a teacher. What is needed for a prospective teacher is to become a good teacher. What makes for a good teacher, particularly in today’s context? A teacher has to follow what may be called guru-dharma, the righteous way of teaching his pupils, besides being a role model. Education is a process of developing one’s personality, and not just gaining a certificate and skills. Swami Vivekananda defined right education as a process by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded and one learns to stand on one’s feet. This is the best way of overcoming the evils of selfishness, violence and materialism which cause our personal and social problems. There are many ways to define and explain the characteristics of a good teacher, based on Indian cultural ethos and the needs of the day.

1. Teach Well. This is the primary duty of a good teacher. He should make the subject understandable and interesting to student. He should be able to inspire students to work hard and study further. This includes taking care of the slow learners or weak students, as also controlling the unruly ones. As Swami Vivekananda says, ‘The only true teacher is he who can convert himself, as it were, into a thousand persons at a moment’s notice. The only true teacher is he who can immediately come down to the level of the student, and transfer his soul to the student’s soul and see through the student’s eyes and hear through his ears and understand through his mind. Such a teacher can really teach and none else.’ 2. Update your Knowledge and Skills. This is like sharpening a saw. A blunt saw is of little use. Hence one needs to always sharpen the saw of one’s knowledge and teaching skills. This can be done if a teacher develops a reading habit. He should read books on his subject, current affairs, general knowledge, autobiographies of great persons, scriptures and so on. To teach, one has to learn. 3. Use Innovative Methods. A good teacher should go out of the way to make his subject more interesting. This would require being creative and innovative. He should especially try to encourage the weak students. He can make use of songs, painting, playacting and so on to make his subject lively.

A medical practitioner by profession, the author is the convener of Swami Vivekananda Chaitanya Samithi, Porumamilla, YSR District, Andhra Pradesh, and is associated with Ramakrishna Mission, Kadapa. … T h e

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4. Develop Good Rapport with Students. Only when a teacher can win the hearts of students, he can be an effective teacher. A good teacher should call every student by his or her name. He should never humiliate the student but encourage the young ones by making positive comments, constructive criticism and appreciation. He should make inquiries as to how a student is doing—healthwise, study-wise and so on. 5. Help in Building Good Character. A teacher should learn the art of shaping students’ character. He should know how to chisel out an image of honesty and purity from the raw stone called a student. He should help him develop moral values, good habits and thinking skills. Aiding a student to think means to help him develop the capacity to separate good from bad, fix goals in his studies and life, develop the ability to face failures and disappointments, develop courage and will power. Let him impress on the young minds Swami Vivekananda’s words, ‘All power is within you. You fail only when you think you are weak. If you think you are weak, weak you will be. And if you think you are strong, strong you will be.’ One can also teach the students the basic techniques of mind control taught in the ageold system of Yoga such as rhythmic breathing, meditation and prayer. A young student should be taught the habits self-introspection— to think over his goals and activities everyday in morning and evening. He can be taught the habit of recollecting what he has learnt or done and what he needs to do the next day. While speaking of the benefits of mind control and self-discipline, students should be cautioned of the harmful effects of bad habits. An everyday talk of just 5 or 10 minutes and a prayer session before beginning a new lesson can be of great help. T h e

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6. Rapport with Parents. No teaching can go on effectively without the support of parents. A good teacher should discuss with parents the various aspects of their ward’s progress and make practical suggestions that would help the student. 7. Develop Institution. One should contribute to the place of one’s work by maintaining clean, beautiful and peaceful environs. Teachers can help grow plants and trees. One may try to get financial support from local people and leaders in order to increase the school infrastructure and facilities for students. Teachers should avoid indulging in petty politics for it has an adverse influence on student’s mind. One should cooperate and coordinate with all for the betterment of students. That is the primary objective of being a teacher. 8. Teach Citizenship Virtues. A teacher should try to create awareness about the rights and responsibilities of being a good citizen. While this may be a part of civics text book, until a teacher makes these things practically accessible to the young minds, these remain only dry, intellectual concepts. 9. Community Service. A good teacher should try to play his role in celebrating birthdays of great men, National Youth Day and other events. He can involve the students in community services such as cleaning and organizing. Creating awareness about safe drinking water, prevention of communicable diseases and social evils such as drinking and gambling are also necessary. 10. Being a Role Model. Above all, a teacher should be a role model. The Gita says (3.21): ‘Whatever the superior person does, that is followed by others. What he demonstrates by action that people follow.’ It is the teacher’s personality that makes the deepest impression on a student. As someone said it, ‘What you do is so loud that what you say I cannot hear.’ †

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 Celebration of the 175th Birth Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna  The following centres celebrated the 175th birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna. (Main programmes conducted by them are given against their names.) Agartala: devotees’ conferences at Sabroom and Bikhora in South Tripura on 22 and 23 September respectively; altogether about 1000 delegates participated; Chengalpattu: processions, devotional songs, talks and cultural programmes at Thirumani and Keezhakaranai villages on 3 and 18 September respectively; Hyderabad: 126 satsangs (spiritual retreats) from February to August 2011 in which altogether about 14,000 devotees took part; Kamarpukur: guardians’ convention, teachers’ convention and cultural programmes from 4 to 12 September; Kanchipuram: residential spiritual retreat from 23 to 25 September in which 375 persons participated; Kanpur: art competition on 14 August and youth convention on 11 September, in which respectively 210 and 260 students participated; a sadhu sammelan (monks’ convention) on 18 September in which 75 sadhus of different denominations participated; Khetri: three-day lecture programme from 29 to 31 August; about 200 devotees attended it every day; Lucknow: free cancer detection & awareness camp and religious discourses on 3 September, and spiritual retreat on 4 September; Ranchi Morabadi: meetings on the themes ‘Harmony of Religions’, ‘Harmony of four Yogas’ and ‘Harmony of Science and Religion’ on 11, 18 and 25 September respectively; Silchar: devotees’ convention on 25 September in which 480 devotees participated; Swamiji’s House: intra-faith dialogue on 23 and 24 September in which representatives of various Hindu sects participated; the General Secretary inaugurated the two-day programme. †  Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda  At the initiative of Asansol centre, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Bhava Prachar Parishad member Ashramas in Burdwan district organized a twelve-day Vivekananda ratha yatra (procession of Swami Vivekananda chariot) at Asansol, Burdwan and some nearby towns. Swami Smarananandaji, Vice President of the Ramakrishna Order, inaugurated the yatra on 19 September. The junction of National Highway-2 and Vivekananda Sarani near Asansol centre has been renamed ‘Vivekananda Mor’ (Vivekananda Junction) by Asansol Municipal Corporation. Swami Smarananandaji unveiled the plaque on 19 September. Delhi centre conducted an interfaith meet on 10 and 11 September in which 13 religious leaders of 9 faiths presented speeches. Each of these speeches was followed by an interactive question-answer session with the audience. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, delivered the inaugural address and Smt Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, gave the valedictory address. About 1000 persons from various faiths attended the meet each day. T h e

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Delhi Ashrama held an all-India online competition for school students. The first phase of the competition attracted 52,787 entries from 8989 schools. Nearly 1000 students were selected for the second phase. The following centres also organized various programmes to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. (Main programmes conducted by them are given against their names.) Agartala: a classical violin recital at Viveknagar on 17 September which was attended by about 400 persons; Chennai Vidyapith: an exhibition on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda; Kanchipuram: a youth camp on 23 September in which 450 college and polytechnic students participated; Kankurgachhi: a youth convention on 11 September which was attended by about 1000 youths and 150 teachers and guardians; Khetri: four interactive lecture programmes from 21 to 23 September; altogether about 2800 persons, including 2600 students, attended the programmes; Limbdi: talks on Swami Vivekananda from 15 to 17 September; a total of about 4000 students and 250 teachers attended; Mangalore: a seminar on the theme Education for Character and Nation Building for BEd students on 21 September and for college students on 22 September; about 550 BEd students and 500 college students participated; Mumbai: a seminar on Human Excellence beyond Academic Excellence on 17 September in which about 250 persons from various institutions, including administrators, heads, educators, academicians and students, participated; Pune: a service project contest in which 47 teams of youths executed different service projects for a month in July-August and submitted their project reports with photographs, videos, etc to the Ashrama; Saradapitha: a lecture programme on Swamiji and Youth organized by Shilpamandira on 7 September; Swami Smarananandaji presided over the programme; Silchar: youth conventions on 23 and 24 Seminar at Mangalore Ashrama September in which respectively 255 school students and 146 college students participated. Â&#x2020;  General News  The renovated prayer hall of the Vidyarthi Mandiram (hostel) at Bangalore Math was inaugurated on 9 September. On the occasion, a public meeting and a number of cultural programmes including a presentation of Ashtavadhanam were held. Avadhanam is a literary performance popular from the very ancient days in India. It involves the partial improvisation of poems using specific themes, metres, forms, or words. It requires immense memory power and tests a person's capability of performing multiple tasks simultaneously. All the tasks are memory intensive and demand an in-depth knowledge of literature, and prosody. The tasks T h e

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vary from making up a poem spontaneously to keeping a count of a bell ringing at random. No external memory aids are allowed while performing these tasks except the person's mind. At the Bangalore function, the Avadhanam was presented by Sri Ganesh Ashtavadhani of Bangalore. An Avadhani refers to the individual who performs the Avadhanam. † Chennai Math held a three-day antaryoga (spiritual retreat) for devotees from 19 to 21 August, in which 380 devotees participated. The antaryoga was organised to mark the birthday of Swami Ramakrishnananda, the founder of Chennai Math and the apostle of Sri Ramakrishna to South India. The programme included bhajans, chanting, lectures, question-answer sessions and so on. On 12 September revered President Maharaj released at the Institute of Culture, Gol Park, the 8th Volume of the Cultural Heritage of India published by the Institute. The annual convocation of Vivekananda University for the Faculties of Disability Management and Special A bhajan session during the retreat organised by Chennai Math Education (DMSE) and General & Adapted Physical Education and Yoga (GAPEdY) was held at the University’s Faculty Centre in Coimbatore on 17 September, in which 185 and 231 successful candidates respectively of the above faculties were awarded degree and diploma certificates by the General Secretary, who is also the Chancellor of the University. The Vice Chancellor of the University delivered the convocation address. At Purulia Vidyapith, Swami Smarananandaji inaugurated the newly constructed children’s park, swimming pool and lawn tennis court on 25 September and the new block of monks’ quarters on 28 September. Two students of Deoghar Vidyapith, Nilanjan Ghosh Dastidar and Shwetank Sharan, secured the first and second ranks respectively at the State Level Science Seminar Contest 2011 organized at Ranchi by the State of Jharkhand jointly with Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata. Swami Smarananandaji laid the foundation stone for the proposed guesthouse at Bagda Math on 25 September. †  Awarded the Highest Science Award in India  Swami Vidyanathananda (Mahan Maharaj) of Vivekananda University has been awarded the prestigious Shanti Swamp Bhatnagar Prize for the year 2011 in the area of mathematical sciences. Named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), it is a rare distinction conferred upon scientists below the age of 45 for outstanding contributions to science and technology. The following extract from the CSIR Director-General to Mahan describes in short the value attached to this award: 'It is a rare distinction conferred upon scientists who have demonstrated exceptional potential in science and technology. The award derives its value from the rich legacy of those who won this award before and added enormous value to Indian science. I am certain that this recognition would encourage you and your group to scale new heights in the years to come. Now, the nation will look upon you with high expectation.' As far as our knowledge goes, this is the first time that a scientist from an institution located in Eastern India has received this award in the field of pure mathematics and the fledgling Vivekananda University and its Department of Mathematics are the youngest to achieve this distinction. Swami Vidyanathananda, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, joined the Ramakrishna Order of monks at its Chennai branch. †  Relief News  1. Flood Relief: Odisha: Heavy, incessant rains in some parts of Odisha last month caused widespread floods, affecting thousands of families in the State. Our three branch centres in Odisha conducted primary relief work among flood-affected families. Details of relief operations are given below. T h e

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(a) Bhubaneswar centre distributed 13,255 kg chattu (gram flour) and 5663 kg biscuits among 9200 flood-affected families of 48 villages in 6 blocks of Jajpur and Cuttack districts. (b) Puri Math centre distributed 3500 kg chira (rice flakes), 175 kg gur (molasses), 70 kg milk powder, biscuits, soap-bars, detergent powder, 1400 mosquito coils, etc among 700 flood-affected families of Satyabadi and Puri Sadar blocks in Puri district. (c) Puri Mission centre distributed 14,795 kg chira, 892 kg sugar, 250 kg biscuits, 84 kg milk powder, 2544 candles and 1800 matchboxes among 2959 flood-affected families of 30 villages in Gop and Delanga blocks of Puri district. West Bengal: (a) Our Malda centre continued its primary relief work among the flood-affected people in Malda district. The centre distributed 6100 kg rice, 731 kg dal (pulses), 1024 kg biscuits, 6716 kg chira, 3500 kg salt, 548 kg edible oil, 1636 kg milk powder, 2300 kg potatoes, 920 saris, 230 dhotis and 257 lungis among 352 flood-affected families of 12 villages in Ratua and Harishchandrapur blocks of the district. (b) Swamiji’s Ancestral House & Cultural Centre, Kolkata, distributed 200 saris and 200 dhotis to flood-affected people of Athpur and Manipur villages in Sandeshkhali-ll block of North 24-Parganas district. 2. Distress Relief: The following centres distributed various items, shown in brackets, to needy people: Baranagar Math (430 saris, 40 dhotis and 180 children’s garments), Belgharia (3532 saris, 2688 dhotis, 203 lungis, TIM shirts, 2592 pants, 1050 frocks, 1382 salwar-kamij [women’s garments],1469 woollen garments and 2408 blankets among 2245 poor families in 6 blocks of Hooghly, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur and Purulia districts), Jalpaiguri (500 saris and 200 children’s garments), Nagpur (1011 school uniforms, 3033 notebooks and 1011 pens to 1011 needy students of 22 schools), Naora (140 saris, 400 lungis and 265 children’s garments), Rajkot (3000 kg wheat flour, 1500 Relief materials being reached by boats kg khichudi [cooked food], 150 kg edible oil, 75 kg spices, 150 kg sugar, 30 kg tea and 300 chaddars among families affected by heavy rainfall in Bhuj district), Silchar (912 dhotis and 1189 saris), Vrindaban (800 kg rice, 800 kg wheat flour, 400 kg salt, 200 kg mustard oil, 200 kg dal and 100 kg sugar). 3. Rehabilitation: West Bengal: 16 houses built by our Purulia centre for poor people at Jhalda, Purulia district, in collaboration with the Govt. of West Bengal, were formally handed over to the beneficiaries on 5 September. † For relief photos etc, please visit www.belurmath.org/relief.htm  News from South Africa Centre  On Wednesday, 21 September 2011, the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa completed and handed over a Skills Development Centre to the Abalindi Welfare Society, Inanda, one of the rural districts of the Durban T h e

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Municipality. The Project encompasses fully fitted divisions of sewing / upholstery, metal-work, blockmaking and painting. The project costs South Africa Rands: Two million (Indian Rupees: 1.2 crores). †

The the new building (left) and the equipments for training inside—Durban Centre

175th Birthday Celebrations of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna  Satsang in Every Home—A Proposal In today’s consumerist culture, depression and emptiness of life have come to reside in many homes, leading to unhappiness. Forming or participating in a holy association called Satsang, therefore, could be the best spiritual solution to overcome such difficulties and problems of life. Let us use this opportunity to bring spiritual culture to our homes and strengthen the spiritual roots of Indian civilization. The following are some of the suggestions in this regard: 1. You may organize the Satsang in a house or a temple. 2. A Satsang can be conducted on a weekend either weekly, bimonthly, or once in a month. 3. Decorate the pictures of Holy Trio (Sri Ramakrishna at the Centre, Holy Mother on the left and Swamiji on the right) on a clean table/bench. 4. Offer flowers, lamps and incense to create a holy ambience. 5. A Satsang session can be of one hour duration which should include namajapa (5 minutes), Meditation (5 minutes), bhajans or chanting of Bhagavad Gita, Ashtotram or hymns like Sahasranama (15 minutes). Performance of deepa aradhana (arati) can begin and conclude a Satsang session. 6. Read for 20 minutes Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna or Life and Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna. 7. Contemplate for a while how to live in accordance with the holy sayings. 8. Make a simple pure offering of fruits/sweets and distribute it as prasad to everyone. 9. In the Satsang, the participants can share his/her actions that were beneficial to others. 10. You may also invite monks to be a part of the Satsang sessions. These are only simple guidelines. Depending upon one’s capacity and the opportunity available, one can organise these Satsangs. One can include anything else that could add to the spiritual quality of the occasion. You can register your Satsang and send the details to Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai. The Math proposes to provide anyone set of books such as Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Life of Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Holy Mother and Life of Swami Vivekananda, which are offered at the Lotus Feet of Sri Ramakrishna, for study at the Satsang—as Prasadam from the Math. [This is applicable in India only.] Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai - 600 004 



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For review in THE VEDANTA KESARI, publishers need to send us two copies of their latest publication.

THE WORLD PARLIAMENT RELIGIONS 1893

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By Lakshmi Niwas Jhunjhunwala, Translated from the Hindi Original Viswa Dharma Sammelan, 1893 Published by Advaita Ashrama, 5 Dehi Entally Road, Kolkatta 700014. 2010, hardbound, Pp. 208, Rs. 80. This book, as its very name implies, deals with the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. In this work, the author first covers the background and the events that converged to the holding of this Parliament. The problems that Swami Vivekananda had to face and the events that facilitated his attending this Parliament are given in the next chapter. His experiences in America before the commencement of the Parliament are covered in the following chapter. The proceedings of the Parliament that lasted seventeen days are given in brief in the next chapter and this is the main theme of this book. The developments in India following Swamiji’s return to this country are contained in the Epilogue. That this book in brief allows the readers to have an overview of the Parliament held in 1893 is its unique feature. For the first time in the history of mankind, this Parliament facilitated the coming together of all the principal living religions of the world under a single roof with intent to understand each other better and clear the misunderstandings that prevailed till then. Selected speeches of some of the delegates quoted in verbatim and extracts thereof from yet others given in this book show clearly the wide divergence in the understanding T h e

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and thinking that was prevalent in the religious arena at that time. In going through the proceedings of the concluding session of the Parliament, one cannot fail to notice and also appreciate the love, affection and mutual respect this Parliament was able to create in the minds of the delegates in spite of their diverse religious convictions and commitments. This Parliament is also of particular importance to Hindus. Because of the excellent way in which Swami Vivekananda presented this religion at the Parliament, it enabled the Western world to get to know Hinduism better and clear up many of the misconceptions they had about this religion. It also resulted in Swamiji staying in America for nearly three years thereafter in response to their request and on his return to India founding the Ramakrishna Mission in the year 1897. Though there were four other delegates from India to the Parliament, the world knows hardly anything about them or their contribution. This book will be of much use to students of religious studies and in particular ‘comparative religion’. Both the cover design as well as the price is attractive. This book will certainly be a valuable addition to libraries and private collection of book lovers. __________________________ H. SUBRAMANIAN, BANGALORE

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A VEDIC LIFE By Pavan Kanwar Published by New Age Books, A-44 Naraina PhaseI, New Delhi - 110 028. 2011, Paperback, Pp. xv + 163, Rs. 225. There has been a widespread conspiracy of

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elimination that has been going on in the Indian educational scene. In the name of (pseudo-) secularism and mis-guided rationalism, text-books have been shorn of inputs from the priceless heritage of India. This is yet another instance of ‘aping the West’, without realizing the roots of the problem. The West has no living tradition of literature, ethics and philosophy and so have to do without them. The Greek-Roman pantheon has been forgotten, the temples lost forever. Hence there is a barrenness of emotion in their remembrance of life past. Athene or Zeus are superb figures, but they have not the ability to move the modern heart. On the contrary, when there is drought, our people sit in rows and anxiously scan the sky when Varuna japam goes on by those well-versed in Vedic ritualism. When someone is very sick, Mrityunjaya homam is undertaken with deep faith. When a newly wed daughter is sent away with her bridegroom, the Vedic chants are recited to bless to be an empress in her new home (saamrajni bhava). Recently the ‘Athiratham’ ritual held in Panjal, a village in Kerala, showed how Vedic rituals can lower the level of microbe contamination in water and soil. Yet, the younger generation is not taught to revere and study the Vedas. When the elders consider the Vedic hymns as a set of colourful jargon docketed with pantheism, why blame the ignorance of the young? Fortunately those days of German philologists who played havoc with Indian culture and history are gone. The Aryan invasion theory has been discredited. The Vedas are not considered anymore as pantheistic abracadabra. Books like A Vedic Life fill the lacuna in our educational system to teach the coming generations about the power that has been encapsulated in the Vedas by the ancient rishis. By enumerating the major components of the Vedic culture, Pavan Kanwar has shown that all these together form the great Vedic tradition. Philosophy? You have the whole of Uttara Mimamsa beginning with the ‘six points of view’ and culminating in Advaita that posits universal brotherhood. ‘In monism harming others is the same as attempting to harm yourself at a fundamental level.’ When introducing the ancient Indian concepts, Pavan Kanwar adroitly brings in the current diction gathered by the Internet generation. With the three gunas of Rajas, Tamas and Sattva, for instance: T h e

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‘Apart from the Vedic tradition, it is present in the Chinese system as Yin, Yang and Chi, and in the European system as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. In modern science it is seen in the form of the electron, proton and neutron.’ Even Rama, Sita and Hanuman (or Rama, Sita and Lakshmana) can be seen as the cosmic triad Purusha, Prakriti and Prana. The cosmic gods are very much a part of this Vedic stream and form no contradiction to Advaitic thought. It is a fascinating way of projecting the received tradition. Nature without and the worlds of consciousness within are scientifically twined to project the synthesising genius of our ancients. The author also proffers an explanation for the presence of rishis among human beings and evil persona as so many levels of consciousness in the evolutionary ladder. This takes us to the presence of symbols and metaphors. So much for the Brahmanda (the universal). The second part of the book takes us to the Pindanda (the individual). The author skilfully walks on the rope that connects the Paramatma and the Jivatma (though the rope itself may also be a superimposition, if we take the Advaita viewpoint). The scientific basis of Vedic life and literature is given a sharp scrutiny. One thing is clear. Our ancients always preferred a holistic view of life. To them medicine is administered only for the material envelope. Thus the word for healing is ‘chikitsa’ that shares the root word ‘chi’ with Chit (consciousness). The detective in our author also finds a triad in medicine: Kapha, Vata and Pitta in his educative sections on Ayurveda. The Vedic stream had taken the knowledge of astronomy and astrology to insightful heights. Jyotisha is ‘the science of the stellar light of consciousness’. Already what had been recorded in Jyotisha texts are being proved right by modern science variously as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and the rest. There is then the yoga system. What is of immediate interest in this section is Kanwar’s view of caste. According to him the three gunas prescribe the caste system: sattva— brahmin, rajas—kshattriya, tamas—vaisya and the lowest form of tamas—shudra. Seen in this context, it is obvious that caste is determined by our gunas and not by birth. The author introduces the reader to Tantra also. A Vedic Life amply corroborates what great thinkers and practitioners of yoga have said in the twentieth century. The Vedic life is not an

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obsolete page in our long history but a living, pulsating and extremely relevant experience that we ought to go in for, if we wish India to fulfil Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy and become the guru of the world. ___________________________ PREMA NANDAKUMAR, TRICHY

SRIMAD BHAGAVATA By A.D. Bhattacharya Published by Akshaya Prakashan, 208, M.G. House, 2 Community Centre, Wazirpur Industrial Area, Delhi - 110 052. 2010, hardback, Pp.200, Rs.250. The Padma Purana says that when Krishna was about to depart from this world of human affairs, Uddhava was inconsolable and wanted Krishna’s presence to help men bear the effects of Kaliyuga. Immediately the compassionate Lord directed his glory and shakti into the Bhagavata and plunged into its oceanic spread. Since then, this epic fruit of the Bhakti Movement has sustained Sanatana Dharma in a million ways. A.D. Bhattacharya gives a brief resume of the Purana’s twelve Books. Pibata Bhagavatam rasamaalayam … Parikshit spent the last seven days of his earthly life listening to the history of Vishnu’s varied incarnations. Was it for himself alone that he prayed to Shuka to tell him of Krishna’s avataras? No! Born mortal, each one of us has but literally seven days on this earthly planet. The stretch of time matters little in this span. Once we realize this truth, why waste one’s time in activities that bring no solace to the soul? But where is one to find time in this speed-obsessed life which has become a technological nightmare? A.D. Bhattacharya, deeply immersed in the Bhagavata world and a translator of the Purana into Bengali has chosen significant spaces from each of the twelve books and presented them as a flowing stream. The brief Preface draws our attention to the central theme. Satyam param dheemahi (meditating on the taintless and immortal highest truth or reality in the Purusa—Supreme Lord Vasudeva). The devotee is able to rest in peace T h e

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because of the assurance that the Lord will descend in times of adharma and apply the correctives so that mankind can find peace and achieve liberation. The narrative begins on the banks of Saraswati where Narada tells Vyasa that depression and dissatisfaction can be overcome only be singing the glories of the Lord. Vyasa then proceeds to record the Bhagavata. So many unforgettable scenarios: Daksha’s sacrifice, Dhruva’s incandescent devotion, the illumined soul of Jadabharata, the supreme devotee Prahlada, the ascension of Ajamila, the deliverance of Gajendra, the surrender of Ambarisha, the wisdom of Rantideva, the soulful figure of Vamana. Page after page the divine story unfolds itself to remind us that the Divine is no figment of man’s imagination but an experiential reality in this creation. Krishna’s history is enchanting as always. Sri Bhattacharya has indeed done a commendable job in presenting the ocean of Bhagavata in a handy book. There is but one flaw in the book. The narrative would have gained near-perfection if it had been read thoroughly by an English editor. Often the feeling one gets is of a direct translation from a regional language. The abruptness in the style is disconcerting. The art of elegant variation needs to be cultivated with such narratives. One instance would suffice: ‘Gradually Bhadra and Lakshmana also joined as Sri Krsna’s principal spouces (sic). Dwaraka with eight principal spouses of Lord Sri Krsna became the land of divinity, matching Vaikuntha. In some wise people’s opinion the eight principal spouses of Lord Sri Krishna was the eightfold power (Sakti) of Lord Sri Krsna.’ (p. 147) Hopefully there will soon be another edition with such defects removed since Krishna’s life is of perennial interest to the common reader as well. ___________________________ PREMA NANDAKUMAR, TRICHY

PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE Edited by Amulya Ranjan Mohapatra Published by Readworthy Publications (P) Ltd. B-65, Mansa Ram Park, Near Master Palace New Delhi - 110 059. 2011, hardbound, Pp.124, Rs.495. This work consists of a collection of thoughtprovoking articles written by some experienced and

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distinguished writers on the topic of peace and its imperative to human society. In the present world, tension and turmoil, stress and strain, worries and anxieties continue to persist and peace is a distant dream. Sure, people do crave for peace, but they have neither a clear concept of what is required to achieve it nor do they genuinely work for the same. As it is a relative term it is very difficult to define the term peace. As the editor aptly puts it, ‘It may not be possible to give a precise definition of peace. The notion of peace is very wide and comprehensive. It includes freedom, happiness, joy, ecstasy, perfection, bliss, beatitude, calm, silence, quietude’ and so on. These articles bring out clearly what peace really is, its different dimensions and what is required to be done both individually and collectively to achieve the same. The first article deals with the significance of peace chant in the Upanishads. This is followed by Dr. Karan Singh’s article on the quest for peace in its different dimensions, namely, the peace within to be sought through yoga, then within the family, then in the society—that comprises of different areas like religious communities, caste, linguistic, professional associations and political organizations—the nation or state, and finally the entire world. Swami Ananyananda in his article ‘Man in quest of Peace’ brings out how in spite of advances in science and technology, and many cures tried by him in political, economic, scientific, technological, etc., none of them could yield enduring peace to man. Peace can be attained only if he turns his gaze inwards and develops faith in the ultimate guiding principle of the universe. In his article, ‘Peace and Human Evolution’, Dr. Sampooran Singh explains that peace can be attained only through a paradigm shift from the mechanistic patriarchal world-view to a holistic and ecological view. According to Swami Bhavyananda, peace is a pearl of great price and to acquire it in daily life, man must be ready to pay the price for the same, and that entails repeatedly nurturing the good tendencies and developing indifference to the lower urges from the sub-conscience. In ‘The Anatomy of T h e

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peace’, Swami Prabuddhananda explains how International Peace is an end product of a chain – starting with peace within the individual, then the family, then society and finally in the nation, and how the Vedantic concept ‘I and my brother are one’ will help in attaining this. According to Shri R.R. Divakar, individual peace and world peace are inseparable and what is required is genuine eagerness to progress without conflict and according to Swami Mridananda total peace is that state of mind in which the potential divinity in an individual becomes an actuality and that will be possible only when one gives up desires, cultivates contentment, abides by the will of God, and devotes to a spiritual life. The tenth article by Swami Jitatmananda under the caption ‘Peace and the World of Science’ beautifully expounds the development of modern science and the role it can play in bringing about a relational convergence of religion and science and how the latter can contribute to bringing about world peace. In the next article Justice J.N. Ray analyses incisively how international law can be used as a lever to remove the three main obstacles to world peace, namely, the denial of democratic rights to a large section of humanity, [in the present day, the greatest threat is from such religious ideologies which stoop to conquer the whole world and enslave the entire humanity.] the wide gulf between the haves and the have-nots, and the threat of nuclear power. The editor in his concluding article summarizes what peace really is saying: It is a natural phenomenon. . . Our mission in life is to seek peace. Peace is filling our being within and without. We have to realize the peace, which is very subjective by nature. Peace is our ways and forms of life. The goal of our life is to achieve peace. No one dislikes peace. It is our birthright. It is within us. It is eternal bliss and joy.

The rich resource for both individual and world peace that is available in our scriptures is well brought out in this article. The entire collection is worth reading and their contents worth examination in depth and contemplation. The get up of the book is very good, but as the price of the present edition is rather high, it is desirable the publishers bring out a low priced edition as well. __________________________ H. SUBRAMANIAN, BANGALORE

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The Vedanta Kesari Library Scheme Continued from page 4 4895. 4896. 4897. 4898. 4899. 4900. 4901. 4902. 4903. 4904. 4905. 4906. 4907. 4908. 4909. 4910. 4911. 4912. 4913. 4914. 4915. 4916. 4917. 4918. 4919. 4920. 4921. 4922. 4923. 4924. 4925. 4926. 4927. 4928. 4929. 4930. 4931. 4932. 4933. 4934. 4935. 4936. 4937. 4938. 4939. 4940.

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Sri Nagarjuna Degree & PG college, S R Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 038 Sikkim Manipal University, Malakpet, Hyderabad - 500 036 Global PG college, Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 036 Sri Chaitanya Co-education Day Scholars, S R Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 038 Sri Gayatri Educational Insitutions,S R Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 038 Little Flower Junior College, Uppal, Hyderabad - 500 039 Sri Junior college, BOD Uppal, Hyderabad - 500 039 Institute of Aeronautical Engg, Dundigal, Hyderabad - 500 043 Vijaya Ratna Junior College, Nallakunta, Hyderabad - 500 044 Hindi Mahavidyalaya College, Nallakunta, Hyderabad - 500 044 Sri Chaitanya College, Miyapur, Hyderabad - 500 049 Sai Sudhir college, ECILcil, Hyderabad - 500 062 MLR Institute of Technology, Dundigal, Hyderabad - 500 043 Dr B R Ambedkar college, Bagh Lingampally, Hyderabad - 500 044 Sri Chaitanya Co-education Day Scholar, Nallakunta, Hyderabad - 500 044 Prathibha Junior College, Nallakunta, Hyderabad - 500 044 Womens Degree College, ECIL, Hyderabad - 500 062 Sri Chaitanya Co Education Day Scholar, ECIL, Hyderabad - 500 062 Sri Chaitanya College for Boys, Bachupally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Sikkim Manipal University, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Narayana Junior College, Kuktpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Pragathi Degree College, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Vivekananda Degree College, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engg., Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Sri Chaitanya Co-education Day Scholar, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 JNTU College of Engineering , Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 ICFAI University, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 MNR Degree & PG College, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500 072 VNR Vignana Jyothi Engineering, Bachupally, Hyderabad - 500 072 Narayana Junior college, KPHB Colony, Hyderabad - 500 072 Vasavi College of Engineering, Gandhipet, Hyderabad - 500 072 Sri Devi Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Engg. College, Gandhipet, Hyderabad - 500 072 Symbiosis Institue of Technology, Shameerpet, Rangareddy - 500 072 Tee Gala Ram Reddy College, Meerpet, Hyderabad - 500 079 Administrative Staff College, Somaji Guda, Hyderabad - 500 082 Sri Chaitanya Co Education Day Scholars,Yousuf Guda,Hyderabad - 500 083 Chaitanya Bharathi Institute, Gandipet, Hyderabad - 500 075 Birla Institute of Technology, Shameerpet, Rangareddy - 500 078 Villa Marie PG college for Girls, Somaji Guda, Hyderabad - 500 082 ICFAI Placement Network, Panjagutta, Hyderabad - 500 082 Army College of Dental Science, Yapral, Hyderabad - 500 087 Pragati Mahavidyalaya PG college, Koti, Hyderabad - 500 095 Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, Gandipet, Hyderabad - 500 171 DAV Junior College, Neredmet, Hyderabad - 500 556 DRK Institue of Science & Technology, Kutbullapur, Hyderabad - 500 855 Malla Reddy College of Engg, Jeedimetla, Hyderabad - 500 855


T h e 4941. 4942. 4943. 4944. 4945. 4946. 4947. 4948. 4949. 4950. 4951. 4952. 4953. 4954. 4955. 4956. 4957. 4958. 4959. 4960. 4961. 4962. 4963. 4964. 4965. 4966. 4967. 4968. 4969. 4970. 4971. 4972. 4973. 4974. 4975.

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Osmania Medical College, Koti, Hyderabad - 500 095 University College for Women, Koti, Hyderabad - 500 095 Deccan College of Medical Sciences, Kanchan Bagh, Hyderabad - 500 258 Narayana Junior College, Vanasthalipuram, Hyderabad - 500 661 ICFAI Univeristy Dontanapally, Shankarpalli, Rangareddy - 501 203 Vardhaman College of Eng, Shamshabad, Hyderabad - 501 218 Srinidhi Institute of Science & Technology, Ghatkesar, Rangareddy - 501 301 Mediciti Hospital, Medchal, Rangareddy - 501 401 Azad College of Engineering, Moinabad, Rangareddy - 501 504 MNR Medical College & Hospital, Medak - 502 307 TRR College of Engineering, Patancheru, Hyderabad - 502 319 CVSR College of Engineering, Ghatkesar, Rangareddy Dist - 501 301 Nalla Malla Reddy Engg college, Ghatkesar, Rangareddy Dist - 501 301 Vidya Jothi Institute of Technology, Rangareddy Dist - 501 504 Nova College of Engineering, Singaram, Rangareddy Dist - 501 512 RRS College of Engineering, Patancheru, Hyderabad - 502 319 Gurunanak Engineering College, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad - 505 450 CVR College of Engineering, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad - 505 450 Bharat Institute of Engg, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad - 505 450 Auroras, Engineering College, Bhongiri, Nalgonda - 508 116 Vignan Institute of Technology, Nalgonda - 508 284 Vijaya Institute of Technology, Vijayawada - 520 001 Amritha Sai Institute of Science & Tech, Vijayawada - 520 001 Sri Indu Group of Institutions, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad - 505 450 Bharat Institute of Technology, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad - 505 450 Kamineni Medical College, Nalgonda, 508 254 PRRM College of Engineering, Shabad, Rangareddy 509 217 Koneru Lakshmaiah College of Engg, Kothapet, Vijayawada - 520 001 Sri Viveka Institute of Tech, Nuzvid Road, Vijayawada - 520 001 MVR College of Engg, NH-9 Road, Vijayawada - 520 001 Vikas College of Engg & Tech, Vijayawada Rural, Vijayawada - 520 001 SRK Institute of Technology, Vijayawada - 520 001 Dhanekula Institute of Engg & Tech, Ganguru, Vijayawada - 520 001 GDMM college of Engg & Tech, Vijayawada - 520 001 Potti Sri Ramulu Engg & Technology, Kothapet, Vijayawada - 520 001 To be continued . . .

India’s Timeless Wisdom

Agå_mZo Vnmod{¥ Õ… gå_mZmƒ Vn…j`…& nyO`m nwÊ`hm{Z… ñ`mV² {ZÝX`m gÒ{V… ^doV&² & By forbearing humiliation [or criticism], one’s merits [punya] is increased and by getting praised, one’s merits are decreased; by accepting adoration, one's merits are decreased and by being criticised, one gets liberation. —Traditional Saying


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Kala Babu Kunj A Humble Appeal Kala Babu Kunj is the ancestral house of Sri Balaram Basu, an ardent devotee of Sri Ramakrishna, in the holy land of Vrindaban. After the Mahasamadhi of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi visited Vrindaban in September, 1886 and stayed in this house for almost a year. In later years the place was further sanctified by the second visit of Holy Mother and all other direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna including Swami Vivekananda. In 1907, Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama had its humble beginning in this same house. With a view to develop this sacred place into a befitting memorial, we have acquired a portion of the house and renovation work is progressing apace. We are urgently in need of Rs. 1 Crore for the completion of the project. We earnestly request all devotees and well wishers to donate generously for this sacred cause. Cheques/Drafts may please be drawn in the name of ‘Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Vrindaban’ and sent to the address below. All donations are exempt from Income Tax under section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. We hope to dedicate the memorial in a befitting function in September 2012 which marks the 125th Anniversary of Holy Mother’s visit to Vrindaban. Devotees are welcome to visit the site and donate any artifact or photo related to Holy Mother or Vrindaban which can be exhibited on a permanent basis at the site. As is well known, Sevashrama is running a 165-bed Charitable Hospital for the service of ‘Rogi Narayan’ since last 104 Renovation of Kala Babu Kunj under progress years. We appeal to all kind hearted persons to donate generously for this noble cause. Donations to Infrastructure Development and Corpus Fund can avail 100% tax exemption u/s 35 AC of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Donations can also be directly deposited into our AXIS Bank account (A/c No.: 9100 1001 8246 169; IFSC: UTIB0000794). Yours in Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Suprakashananda Secretary

RAMAKRISHNA MISSION SEVASHRAMA Swami Vivekananda Marg, Vrindaban, Dist. Mathura, Uttar Pradesh – 281121 Phone : 0565-2442310, Fax : 0565-2443310 E-mail: info@rkmsvrind.org Website: www.rkmsvrind.org


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To be Released on 17th December 2011—the Birth day of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi

Digitised Archives of Brahmavadin —the first magazine started under the inspiration of Swami Vivekananda Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission publish several journals in English and in many Indian and foreign languages. The first journal, however, published ‘under the advice and with the encouragement of Swami Vivekananda’ was the Brahmavadin, which means ‘The Messenger of Truth’. Swamiji conceived the idea of bringing out a journal when he was in America during 1893-1897, and he wrote to Alasinga Perumal, a close associate and admirer of Swamiji in Madras. Brahmavadin made its appearance in Madras on Saturday, 14 September 1895. Though it was not an official organ of the Ramakrishna Mission, it played an important role in highlighting its earliest philanthropic activities and thus contributed to the furtherance of the ideals of the Ramakrishna Movement. After the demise of Alasinga in 1909, its publication was irregular and the last issue of Brahmavadin was brought out in 1914. Soon after, the Brahmavadin’s legacy was continued by a new journal, The Vedanta Kesari, started by the Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, and has been in circulation ever since. The proposed CD will contain, for the first time, the entire collection of 19 volumes (1895 to1914) of Brahmavadin in a digitised format, with search facility indexed author-wise, title-wise, year-wise and by keywords, plus other features. A treasured collection and a researcher’s delight! Price: Rs.300/- per CD Pre-publication offer: Rs.200 per CD (Valid upto 30 November 2011) Packing and Posting charges: Rs.60/- (within India) For order of 10 or more, packing and postage is free (For overseas orders, shipping charges vary as per destination) Draw your DD in favour of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai and send to: The Manager, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai – 600004 Website: chennaimath.org Email: mail@chennaimath.org YOU

CAN ALSO BOOK ONLINE


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Sri Ramakrishna Karnamritam A Poetical Hymn on Sri Ramakrishna in Sanskrit, By Ottur Bala Bhatta Translated by Swami Tapasyananda pages. xvii + 134, Rs. 32/Plus postage Rs.23 for a single copy. Worship of Sri Ramakrishna By Swami Hitananda, Transltated by Swami Atmapriyananda pages. viii + 238, Rs. 45/Plus postage Rs.23 for a single copy. Stories of the Devotees of Lord Shiva (Illustrated) pages. 80, Rs. 90/Plus postage Rs.25 for a single copy. The Sixty-three Nayanmars—An Introduction (Illustrated) pages. iv + 50, Rs. 50/Plus postage Rs.23 for a single copy.

For Chanting Only Sanskrit original, in Devanagari script, large font-size Srimad Bhagavad Gita—Moolam pages. iv + 108, Rs. 25/Plus postage Rs.22 for a single copy. Sri Devi Mahatmyam—Parayanam pages. iv + 148, Rs. 50/Plus postage Rs.23 for a single copy. No request for VPP entertained Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004

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Facets of Freedom

NEW RELEASE Pages vii + 278

Freedom is the only condition for growth. But freedom also brings responsibility. Again, in the context of self-discipline, what is true freedom— freedom of the senses or freedom from the senses? Finally, ultimate freedom from all bondages, say the Hindu scriptures, is the highest goal of life. These and many more aspects of the idea of freedom are the subject matter of this book. It is an attempt to explore various aspects of freedom in its widest sense, dealing with a whole range of freedomrelated issues, mundane and spiritual. Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004 Price: Rs. 60/- + Postage: Rs. 23/- for single copy. No request for VPP entertained

SRI RAMAKRISHNA ADVAITA ASHRAMA (HQS: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math) P.O. Kalady, Ernakulam - 683574, Kerala Phone:0484-2462345, Cell:9447051231 E-mail:srkaadv@dataone.in

An Appeal The Ashrama has been running a free hostel for the poor, underprivileged and orphan children from classes V to X since 1936. They are provided with food, uniform, accommodation and education up to Xth Std. absolutely free of cost. They are admitted in the school managed by the Ashrama within its campus. There is an urgent need for repair and renovation of the old hostel buildings and for creating a ‘Hostel Corpus Fund’ of Rs. 2 Crores for maintaining the hostel with 100 boys smoothly in the years to come. We appeal to the generous public and well wishers to donate liberally for this most essential educational project. Donations towards the activities of the Ashrama are exempt from Income Tax under 80G. Cheques or Bank Drafts may be drawn in favour of ‘Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama, Kalady’ and sent to the above address. Donations also can be sent directly through RTGS/NEFT to our A/c No. 338602010009164 at Union Bank of India, Kalady (IFSC Code: UBIN0533866). Swami Amaleshananda

Adhyaksha


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Ramakrishna Mission, Jaipur Gautam Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur-302001 Ph: 0141- 2228704, 9414042638 e-mail:rkmpinkcity@gmail.com An Appeal for the Universal Temple Dear devotees and friends, Affiliated to Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math in 1988, the Jaipur Ramakrishna Mission has been conducting many cultural, educational and spiritual activities for the past two and a half decades. Located in the heart of the historic city of Jaipur, which was blessed by the visit of Swami Vivekananda and many direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, the Jaipur centre has taken up the construction of a temple of Sri Ramakrishna in its premises in fulfilment of Swamijiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wish to have a temple of Sri Ramakrishna in Rajputana. The temple will also have an Educational and Cultural Hall in the basement. An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view of the proposed temple We are in urgent need of funds for completion. We request you to contribute generously to this project. The names of the donors will be prominently displayed at a suitable place. You may sponsor any of the items of construction (such as flooring, stone-cladding, domes, wooden door, electrification, painting, grill work, railings, staircases and others) in the fond memory of your near and dear ones. We appeal to all kind-hearted people and philanthropic institutions to extend their geneConstruction in progress rous help to this noble cause. All contributions will be thankfully accepted and acknowledged. Please draw your cheque/demand draft in favour of Ramakrishna Mission, Jaipur. All donations are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. With prayers and good wishes,

Yours in the service of the Lord, Swami Hridananda Secretary


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RAMAKRISHNA KUTIR Bright End Corner, Almora—263 601, Uttarakhand Phone: 05962-254417, E-mail: rkutir@gmail.com, rkutir@yahoo.in

Appeal for Restoration Ramakrishna Kutir (Ashrama) at Almora, Uttarakhand, was founded in 1916 by Swami Turiyananda and Swami Shivananda (two direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna) at the behest of Swami Vivekananda. The Almora Ashrama is a retreat centre where monks and devotees of Sri Ramakrishna come to live in its spiritual atmosphere and get peace of mind. The place is imbued with the spiritual vibrations of Swami Turiyananda’s holy and austere life. The Ashrama also conducts welfare activities for the poor hill people and needy students. Last year we distributed 5000 woollen blankets to the victims of devastating rain that hit Almora district. Unprecedented rains and cloud burst in September 2010 in Almora resulted in tremendous landslide, gorges, cracks and land-sinking of the Ashrama premises. The changed land contour has damaged the temple and other buildings. Our engineers have suggested abandoning of an old building and rebuilding of other damaged ones. Hence we appeal to all devotees and general public to extend their helping hands to restore the Ashrama buildings. The restoration of land, at least, should be completed before the next rainy season in 2011. After that we shall have to start the construction of the damaged buildings. For this entire restoration and reconstruction work, we need more than 2 Crore rupees.

Cheque/Draft may please be drawn in favour of ‘Ramakrishna Kutir, Almora’ and sent to: Ramakrishna Kutir, Bright End Corner, Almora, Pin - 263 601 (Uttarakhand). The name of the donors of 2 Lakh rupees and above will be displayed in prominent place, if he or she wishes. All donations to Ramakrishna Math are exempt from the Income Tax U/S. 80G of the I.T. Act. Swami Somadevananda Adhyaksha


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Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Muzaffarpur

Swami Vivekananda Path, Bela, Muzaffarpur – 843 116, Bihar,

Phone: 0621-2272127, 2272963 E-mail: rkm.muzaffarpur@gmail.com Website: www.rkmmuzaffarpur.org

On the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda Very humbly requests you to contribute towards

Eye, ENT, Dental Hospital cum Diagnostic Centre For a place where health infrastructure is very poor and people are really deserving. Our Present Infrastructure : Oldest Eye Infirmary (30 Bedded) in North Bihar established in 1947, General dispensary, Dental, Homeopathy, X-Ray, Pathology etc.—all in a dilapidated condition. Our Vision: To develop a Speciality treatment in Eye, ENT and Dental,Various OPD Sections, Well equipped Clinical Lab., R & D Section, Modern Diagnostic, Paramedical Training and Doctors & Staff Quarters The cost of First Phase: Construction of Hospital Building—Rs.1.70 Crore Equipment, Maintenance, etc., Rs.80 Lakh, Permanent Fund Rs. 1 Crore Work in Progress: Foundation stone laid on 1st January, 2011 (Kalpataru Divas) Foundation work completed on June 30, 2011 Plinth level work started. But we are in dearth of funds.

Front Elevation of proposed centre

Foundation Work

Tie Beam, Columns

We appeal to our devotees, friends, well-wishers and donors to contribute for this noble work. It will be truly a palpable homage to Swami Vivekananda whose heart bled for poor humanity. With Prayers to the Holy Trio for you and yours, Swami Bhavatmananda Secretary All contribution made to our Ashrama are exempted from Income Tax u/s 80G of IT Act 1961. Any contribution can be made by Cheque/Draft in favour of ‘Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Muzaffarpur.’


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NAVAJEEVAN BLIND RELIEF CENTRE (FREE HOME FOR THE BLIND, ORPHAN AND AGED) TIRUCHANOOR, TIRUPATI - 517503. Ph : 0877-2239992, 9908537528 [Mob.] E-mail: sreenavajeevan@gmail.com Website: www.navajeevan.org

An Appeal 33 Years of Service to Humanity 1979 - 2010 1. Navajeevan School & Hostel for Blind Children

– Tirupati & Orissa

2. Navajeevan Free Eye Hospital

– Tirupati

3. Navajeevan Free Home for Aged

– Tirupati, Rishikesh & Chennai

4. Navajeevan Harijan Sewa Ashram

– Kothapeta

5. Navajeevan Sharanagati Vridhashram

– Tirupati

6. Navajeevan Orphanage

– Parlaki Mudi [Orissa]

7. Navajeevan Rural Medical Centres

- Berhampur [Orissa]

8. Navajeevan Eye Care Centres

- Serango [Orissa]

9. Navajeevan Orphan Homes

- Visakha & Saluru

A Humble Request for Donation 1. Sponsor one day Annadan to Blind Children and aged

– Rs. 5000/-

2. Sponsor 5 IOL Cataract Eye Operations

– Rs. 7000/-

3. Sponsor one blind child or Orphan child for one year

– Rs. 6000/-

4. Sponsor one poor aged person for one year

– Rs. 5000/-

5. Sponsor one free eye camp at Rural/Tribal area

– Rs. 50000/-

6. Vidyadan—Educational aid for one Child

– Rs. 2000/-

Donor devotees can send their contributions by cheque/DD/MO to the above address on the occasion of birthday, wedding day or any other special occasion and receive prasadam of Lord Balaji Venkateswara of Tirupati as blessings. Contributions to NAVAJEEVAN BLIND RELIEF CENTRE, Tirupati are eligible for Tax Relief U/S 80G of Income Tax Act.

‘We can attain salvation through social work’ – Swami Vivekananda K. Sridhar Acharya Founder/ President


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‘Western Science and Vedanta should be taught together.’ —Swami Vivekananda Win Awards — Rs.1000/- to Rs.5000/-, by preparing an explanatory list of science experiments which demonstrate Vedantic truths. Examples: Vedantic Truths

Science Experiments

1.

There is unique unity behind the baffling diversity in this world and Universe.

1.

Light rays through prism shows seven colours - light spectrum. All living bodies are made up of protoplasm and cells.

2.

The world is within you like pictures in the mirror.

2.

The cinema pictures on the screen are actually in the film in the projector. The pictures on TV screen are in the DVD in the Disc or in the pen drive and the computer.

3.

The world is an illusion appearing as real by the magic of the mind.

3.

Virtual reality and participatory video games, etc.

Many other Vedantic truths. Please send your write up to the address—Yogi Protoplasm, Yogi Rama Thapovanam and Rishi Marga Mission, Annareddypalem, Duvvur (SO), Sangam (Mdl), Nellore Dist. - 524 306, A.P. Mobile No. 9177823133. Please give your name and address with biodata and mobile no.

Printed and published by Swami Asutoshananda on behalf of Sri Ramakrishna Math Trust from No.31, Ramakrishna Math Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004 and printed at Sri Ramakrishna Printing Press, No.31, Ramakrishna Math Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Editor: Swami Atmashraddhananda


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Ramakrishna Mission, Rajahmundry Swami Vivekananda Road, Rajahmundry – 533 105, Andhra Pradesh Phone: 0883 247312, 2478127. Email: rkmcharitydispensary@gmail.com

Hospital on Wheels—in the Tribal Areas Since 1984 Ramakrishna Mission at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh has been rendering Mobile Medical Services for tribals. Equipped with doctors, medicines, and diagnostic facilities, we go to four backward tribal areas (Rampachoodavaram 52 km from Rajahmundry, Potavaram 45 km, Velagapalli 69 km and Jaderu 80 km) located in East Godavari district. Periodically we also go to other interior tribal areas where medical facilities are not available. Many poor patients suffering from common ailments to serious diseases like malaria, hepatitis, diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV are treated free of charge. A well equipped mobile bus known as Hospital on Wheels, carrying most of the modern diagnostic facilities such A Hospital on Wheels Camp as a pathological laboratory, 20 MA X-ray unit, a portable scanner and other facilities, literally brings medi-care to the very doorstep of poor and neglected tribal folks, helping them recover and lead healthier life. To make this facility available to a larger tribal populace, we invite corporate houses, welfare associations, philanthropists, well-wishers, sympathetic and generous people to participate in this noble work. They can do so by fully or partially sponsoring the expenses incurred towards purchase of medicines, laboratory reagents, X-ray films, scanning pictures rolls, transportation fuel or other consumable expenditures for conducting mobile medical camps. A Hospital on Wheels Camp, sponsored by you, will be held under your banner with comprehensive medical services provided by our eminent doctors and paramedic staff. This will usher in a new hope and joy into the lives of the poor and the suffering. The expenditure for Hospital on Wheels Camp on a single trip, covering a distance of 100 km, treating an average of 500 tribal patients, is between Rs. 25,000/- to 35,000/-. The cost may vary depending on accessibility of the place, distance, type of patients and other factors. We welcome you and your friends to visit these Hospital on Wheels Camps either as volunteers or as visitors. We look forward to your generous sponsorship in the spirit of ‘Service to the poor and the deprived is Service to God.’ You can send your contributions by cheque or draft favouring ‘Ramakrishna Mission Rajahmundry’. All donations to Ramakrishna Mission are exempted from Income Tax under section 80 G of I.T Act 1961. Yours in the Service of the Lord, Swami Aksharatmananda Secretary


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Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Malda - 732101, West Bengal Phone: 03512-252479 Date: 12.09.2011

Appeal for the Construction of a Charitable Dispensary Dear Sir/Madam, Established 87 years ago, the Malda Ashrama of the Ramakrishna Mission is a branch of Belur Math, working for the poor and needy people in this small town of North Bengal. We serve the illiterate, ailing people, flood-draught affected people irrespective of caste, creed and religion as per the ideas and ideals of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda. We run an allopath and a homoeopath dispensary for poor slum dwellers and we have a mobile medical service for rural people. We provide free medical care to about 30,000 people. The Ashrama runs a high school (H.S+2), a Kindergarten & a Primary school in the Malda Town. Two rural primary schools are being run for tribal children who are first generation learners. Besides, we are also running six free coaching centres in remote village areas. We regularly distribute school uniform, dhoti, saree, blankets, food-packets, etc., to needy village people. We propose to construct a Dispensary Building to accommodate departments of Homoeopathy, Allopathy Medicine, Eye, ENT, Dental, Paediatric, Gynecology, Pathological Tests, etc. The cost of construction for the proposed building is around Rs. 60 lakhs. We request you to lend a helping hand to make this humble project a success. For donations of Rs. one lakh and more, the donorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name will be displayed in a suitable place in the ground floor on marble plaque. All donations for this noble cause are exempted from Income Tax u/s 80G of Income Tax Act. 1961. A/c. payee Cheque / Draft may be drawn in favour of Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Malda. With namaskar,

Yours sincerely, Swami Parasharananda Secretary


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The Vedanta Kesari Regd. with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under No.1084 / 57. Postal Registered No. TN / CH (C) / 190 / 09-11 Licenced to Post WPP No. 259 / 09-11 Date of publication: 26th of every month

Teach yourselves, teach everyone his/her real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come, when this sleeping soul is roused to selfconscious activity. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Swami Vivekananda

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The Vedanta Kesari November 2011 Issue  

The Vedanta Kesari November 2011 Issue

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