Monday, January 30, 2017

26TH JANUARY- KUTUMBA SANGAMAM



At Anandadham, early morning, the tiny tots of Sishuvihar came with their parents.The Samskar varga children were also present for the hoisting of the flag by Didi. Little Srihari led the  Pledge.

As usual like every year, 26th January is fixed for Kutumba Sangamam. This year the Kutumba Sangamam at Anandadham was one of its unique kind because it was the fifteenth year.Also because apart from  Sishuvihar tiny tots and their parents and grandparents and teachers, yoga varga members, well-wishers associated from the start of this project centre of Vivekananda Kendra, samskar varga children and their parents were also invited. It became a family of more about 150 members and so it was decided to introduce Kendra Varga to all present. 

Kumari Durga

The programme started with 'Sahana vavatu' and 'daivadashakam' led by the tiny tots. Deepa prajwalanam was by the representatives of all the groups. This was followed by the celebration of  our special child Durga's birthday. All her Sishvihar classmates chanted the 'Janmadinam mantra, and then she received the blessings of Didi. 

Our Samskar varg leader Sri Lakshmi's parents too took the blessings of Didi since it was their wedding anniversary. A short session of yoga followed. Then there were games like balloon bursting and filling the bucket for all age groups. Didi spoke to all urging them to attend all the programmes of Kendra.


Balloon bursting

Lunch was sumptuous because the dishes were a contribution from each family, hence there were a number of items. It was an opportunity for the elders to serve the kids. After food, there were one or two games again for the children. Kumari Lakshmi, her mother Smt Shanta and father Devdas received a token of love from Didi since they were present in all the fifteen years of annual Kutumba Sangamam without fail. By 3 p.m the programme concluded with Kendra prayer led by the tiny tots of Sishuvihar.



Smt Shanta and family





  

Swami Vivekananda Jayanti and Sister Nivedita 150th Anniversary Celebration



On 12th January, it was the day for the tiny tots of Sandeepani Sishuvihar. It was 'go as you like' for them. All the 15 tiny tots were dressed by their mothers as stalwarts of ancient and modern India. From Sri Rama, Mother Sita Sri Lakshmana and Sri Hanuman to Adi Sankaracharya and from Unni Archa to Sri Narendra Modi, all were present on stage. Sri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother and their Swami Vivekananda were there to bless the audience. Sister Nivedita and Swamiji accompanied by Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi lighted the lamp to start off the programme. Each character had  some message for the audience. Each child had beautifully mastered their short speech and delivered it in front the audience only to keep them spellbound with wonder!

Amongst the audience were the children's' parents, yoga varga and satra participants and the inmates of Anandadham. 



Mananeeya Didi while speaking to the kids tiny tots and the audience stressed the need of sowing the seed of this love for the Nation's heritage by introducing to them the great heroes of our land who made India proud by their patriotism, their spirituality and the multifaceted talents, who selflessly work for the upliftment of the Nation and who are a constant source of inspiration to all. It was a short but sweet programme appreciated by all.







Swamijis Jayanthi


   21st January was celebrated as Swamiji 
Jayanthi and Sister Nivedita 150th Anniversary. The Chief Guest for the programme was Smt Jyothi Unniraman, a very close well wisher of Kendra. The programme started with Sopana Sangeetam by famous Soupana Sangeet Singer Sri Eloor Biju from Paravur. 

Smt Jyothi Unniraman gave a brief sketch of the life and message of Sister Nivedita. Mananeeya Didi spoke on Swamiji. 

The winners of Patriotic and Folk songs, both juniors and senior presented their songs on stage. Prizes were given away by the Chief Guest. The Rolling Trophy  for the best Patriotic Song Group was shared by Govt.U.P School Konathukunnu and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Irinjalakuda and the Trophy for Folk song went to Shantiniketan International School, Kodungallur. Scholarships of Rs 500/-for financially backward yet high grade scorers of Govt Girls Higher Secondary School, Kodungallur were given to five students of Class X and five of Class XI. The highest grade holder of XI class too received an amount of  Rs 1000/- as  scholarship . The programme concluded with Shanti mantra.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

One day- Samskarvarga Prashikshan Shibir at P.Vemballur

One day Samskar Varga Prashikshan Shibir

Games 

On 22 January, (Sunday), a one day Samskar Varga prashikshan Shibir was conducted at P.Vemballur at Smt Mridula Chechi's (a well wisher of Kendra) house. 20 children attended . Leaders of Kodungallur Samskar Varga um Sreelakshmi and newly trained students of Edavilangu Kum Aiyana, Kum.Aparna,Kum. Archana and Kum.Ardra and Su Bindu, were the resource persons. From morning 9.30 to evening 3.30pm, children were trained in chanting of prayers, singing of a song on Swamiji,an action song on Mother India,  slogans, commands, Surya Namaskar, games and stories.

At the concluding session these children who come regularly for tuition at Smt Mridula Chechi's, promised to fix  every Saturday for samskar varga. They also shared their experiences  of the camp during the concluding session

Song session
Story telling session by Su.Bindu.

Concluding Session

SAMARTHA BHARAT PARVA

SAMARTHA BHARAT PARVA


SKIE CAMP AT NILAMBUR
The first of the 2 camps for the year 2016-17, was held at Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Palemad, Nilambur. The Asrama is headed by Swami Atmaswarupananda.

On 24th December the SKIE participants(one from class VIII and seven from class IX) along with four elders (three of them from SKIE team and a well-wisher) as their escorts had an exciting journey by the early morning train to Nilambur from Thrissur station. For some of the children, it was the first time that they were traveling by an ordinary passenger train.

During the train journey, one came across many an old multistoried thatched house, a rare spectacle in the modern town, impressions which would be everlasting in the mind of these city children. At Nilambur Road(Railway Station) by around 1:30 pm and were overjoyed to meet Swami Atmaswarupanandaji who had come down to the Nilambur station to receive them.

At the Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Palemad, Nilambur, the children did not loose any time and after a quick delicious lunch they started exploring the surroundings; Joy, excitement, curiosity at seeing the lush green surroundings with the red soil. The spirit and excitement of the children got the elders to follow....


Post this everyone retired for some time to freshen up for the Sandhya Bhajan. The Ashrama and its surroundings reverberated to the Omkara, kirtans, and chantings. Soon it was time for dinner and we were served with a sumptuous meal.

25th morning after Prarthana and yoga, it was time for a short walk and exploration. The experience of walking on a log bridge; Climbing up this small hillock, in the cool hours of the morning, to have a sneak peek of the sunrise. 

It was time to move out to explore Nilambur. The first stop was Aruvakode,  a small village situated close to Nilambur. Known for its fine pottery carried out by a traditional community named Kumbharan. The advent of globalization has literally killed this art form and it is Artist K.B Jinan who initiated the Kumbham Handicraft Project to revive the art form and save the people from the clutches of poverty. It is also said that the artisans originally belonged to Andhra Pradesh, and were provided land by the then rulers of the Nilambur Kovilakam.

A visit to Nilambur cannot be complete without the visit to Conolly's Plot. Named after H. V. Conolly, the British Malabar district collector, who was instrumental in the systematic planting of teak there. However it was Chathu Menon, a forest officer, who organized the planting of the saplings, and as like all other things the creator/inventor always remain obscured....nature is the best example. The initial plantation was about 1500 acres, of this abut 9.1 acres of teak were chopped off to meet the requirements of the allies in World War II.The two sides of the plot are bordered by the rivers Chaliyar and Kurinjipuzha, the other two sides by the dense forests of Kerala. Kurinjipuzha supposedly has the purest water in the region in all the seasons, it merges with the Chaliyar at the corner of the Conolly's plot. Nilambur Kovilakam, the seat of erstwhile Nilambur rulers was the next stop.   A visit to the teak museum, Nilambur was next on the card.

The children had a surprise visit from Sri Mahadev an avid traveller, Photographer and Managing Trustee of Sukritham Girls Home, Kozhikode. He was accompanied by Sri Manoharan.  Sri Mahadev introduced "Sukritham" and then transported each of us on a mystical journey to Shrikhand Mahadev and Kinner Kailash with his photo presentation.

On 26th morning after prathah smaran, yoga and breakfast we visited Karakkode Kavu and Sri Ramananda Asramam. 'Kavu' means sacred grove.The 'Kavu' is very unique to Kerala and is generally a self-sustaining ecosystem. It is believed that Parasurama the great sage had his penance in this area. The ancient Devi temple of Goddess Vana Durga represents the vision received by the sage from his penance.

'I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley. ....' "The Brook - Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson"
The beautiful Karakkoden Puzha a tributary of the Chaliyar river flows through the Ashram premises.....'I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles. ' The children were thrilled...and amidst their chatter 'I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever. '

Post the visit to the Kavu, it was trekking time,  walking along NH28 towards the Tamil Nadu border. The high energy of the children and group inspired the driver of our vehicle to join the trek..... And we keep blaming that children are always glued to TV and mobiles. Finally after a long walk we reached the border.

Back at Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Palemad, had a delicious lunch prepared by Narayanan Chetan. A short rest and it was time for krida. Swami Atmaswarupananda, who heads the Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, at Palemad, Nilambur to whom we are so grateful to, to accommodate us. The interactions with Swamiji were highly knowledge gaining and thought provoking for each of us in its own ways...In the front row, the first person from the left is Sri Narayanan Chetan, the person behind the hunger needs of all of us. The food was absolutely mouth watering and a big namaskar to him for managing the kitchen single-handedly. He even packed lunch for us to have on the train on the way back.


With memories, experiences, knowledge and lots of energy locked away inside the camp to a close.... eagerly waiting for the next one...

SAMSKAR VARG PRASHIKSHAN SHIBIR
Samskara varg Prashikshan Shibir was conducted from 29th to 31st December. Out of total 30 participants, one was from Thiruvananthapuram and the rest were from in and around Kodungallur. Three student resource persons and karyakartas of Madurai centre, Sri Braghaspathi, Arun and Karthik came with Sushree Sumitra didi, all the way from Madurai to train the children. Sushree Chaitanya, nivasi karyakarta from Thiruvananthapuram came to train the children in Science and Mathematics models.

Pranta Sanghatak, Sushree Radha Didi, along with Adaraneya Lalita Didi too were present to give overall guidance to the trainers. Apart from 8 participants out of 10 from Kodungallur who were present in the previous Prashikshan Shibir held in the month of April 2016, the rest were all new. 

The routine was from 9 am. in the morning to 5 pm in the evening. Within the three days, participants learned a lot of Sanskrit slokas, games, Suryanamaskar, slogans, commands and songs. They were also introduced to drama performance based on the stories on the life and message of Swami Vivekananda. The Science experiments based on surface tension, eye coordination etc and Maths models based on Geometry, were eye-openers for many of them.

On the concluding day, all of them promised to increase the number of members in their already existing Vargas, and also start new ones in their locality.  But for the guidance and active teamwork of all those who have been in the organizing team, the Shibir would not have been successful.

In the concluding programme Man Lakshmi Didi and Radha didi chaired the session. In her address, Sushree Radha didi highlighted the salient features of the camp and Man Didi told the children how values are important in their lives.

Matrupuja




Sandeepani Sishuvihar children celebrate Holy Mothers Jayanthi as Matrupuja day. This year it was celebrated on this auspicious Kalpatharu day, January 1st, All the Sandeepani Sishuvihar children and other neighboring children. with their parents assembled in Dakshina hall of Ananda Dham.   Man. Lakshmi Didi highlighted the significance of Matru Puja and Kalpatharu Divas. Later on, she guided the children to perform the Matru Puja in an orderly way. The hall was filled with the chantings of mantras and prayers. The joy and prayerful mood which children and mothers have experienced were visible in their faces and actions. The programme concluded with Shanti mantra. 

Swantanam

In the evening on the same day, 'Swantanam' the programme for senior citizens was conducted from 4.30 pm to 6 p.m. Dr. Geeta Swaraj, Ex-Principal of Maliankara college and a good orator and speaker was invited to talk to the group. When one reaches the stage of Vanaprastha, how one should spend one's life in the present times, was the topic of Dr. Geetha's talk. Using the examples from her own personal life and in a humorous way of her speaking ability, she kept the audience spellbound. In the end, she interacted with the vanaprasthis and gave some tips to lead a happy and joyful life

SAMUHIKA SURYANAMASKAR COMPETITIONS IN SCHOOLS
Surya Namaskar competitions were conducted for the students of classes VI to X, in 5 schools from 4th January to 14th January.420 students participated in groups of 12 at schools. From each of the schools a group of boys and a group of girls were selected and on  20th  January the final Surya Kiran competition was held where five groups of girls and 5 groups of boys totalling 120 selected students took part in the competition.Among the boys , Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Irinjalakuda got the first position and among the girls, Gurushree Public School girls were the winners. All the 420 participants received a book on Swamiji's life and message.
  
PATRIOTIC AND FOLK GROUP SONG COMPETITIONS

Group Competitions for Patriotic and Folk songs in the U.P. and Higher Secondary levels were held on 20th and 21st January. 7 schools  in both the group songs, and a  total of 150 students participated.





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MATRUPOOJA AND SWANTANAM on KALPATARU DAY

Kalpataru Day


January 1st is regarded as 'Kalpataru Day' since it is an annual religious festival observed by monks of the Ramakrishna Math monastic order of Hinduism and lay followers of the associated Ramakrishna Mission, as well as the worldwide Vedanta Societies.The event commemorates the day on January 1, 1886, when Sri Ramakrishna revealed himself to be an Avatar, or God incarnate on earth in the Cossipur Uddyan Vati.






Matrupuja

Sandeepani Sishuvihar children celebrate Holy Mothers Jayanthi as Matrupuja day. This year it was celebrated on this auspicious Kalpatharu day,  January 1st, All the Sandeepani Sishuvihar children and other neighboring children. with their parents assembled in Dakshina hall of Ananda Dham.   Man. Lakshmi Didi highlighted the significance of Matru Puja and Kalpatharu Divas. Later on, she guided the children to perform the Matru Puja in an orderly way. The hall was filled with the chantings of mantras and prayers. The joy and prayerful mood which children and mothers have experienced were visible in their faces and actions. The programme concluded with Shanti mantra. 



Swantanam

In the evening on the same day, 'Swantanam' the programme for senior citizens was conducted from 4.30 pm to 6 p.m. Dr. Geeta Swaraj, Ex-Principal of Maliankara college and a good orator and speaker was invited to talk to the group. When one reaches the stage of Vanaprastha, how one should spend one's life in the present times, was the topic of Dr. Geetha's talk. Using the examples from her own personal life and in a humorous way of her speaking ability, she kept the audience spellbound. In the end, she interacted with the vanaprasthis and gave some tips to lead a happy and joyful life.