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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spreading the message silently

3RD AND 4TH JULY: M.Ed. students of Dr. Palpu Memorial College came to visit Vivekananda Kendra as a part of their project work which they were required to complete on a local institution. They found Vivekananda Kendra an ideal place where different man-making  and nation – building activities are going on. Man. Lakshmi Didi  was interviewed  on all the aspects of Vivekananda Kendra's, its origin,  and its expansion of activities and its impact on the society  lastly, the present status of the organisation.  

All of them were guided to visit Vishwa Bhanu; the Mural Exhibition on Swami Vivekananda and were he given the glimpses of Swamijis life and message. All of them were impressed by the paintings and they got all the information they needed for their project work through discussions with the inmates and literature available in our library. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upliftment of Indian womanhood – need of the hour

Dr. M. Lakshmikumari

To transcend the multifarious problems and confusions that riddle the human mind resulting from the feeling of dualism, it is necessary that the mind be exposed to the advaitic Truth - awareness of ONENESS. Advaita is the crest jewel of human thought, which our great country has upheld from time immemorial. Unless and until we in India fully comprehend the significance of advaitic thought and its special relevance for the survival of our multicultural nation, we may also, like many a nation of the bygone eras, soon slip into oblivion.

Matrudevo bhava’ is a mahamantra which contains within it a highly relevant, potent and practical message for universal peace and survival of mankind. For that very reason it is imperative that the strength and sanctity of motherhood be fully understood and made to manifest.

Is ‘advaita’ something ‘dry’ and ‘out of this world’ of day-to-day living? How can advaita be brought to inundate the multidimensional human feelings, emotions and transactions? If advaita is relevant as the Supreme Ultimate Truth, having nothing to do with human life, dry indeed it would be. But if it is allowed to descend from being mere knowledge in the brain, to cascade through and light up various human feelings and emotions, then something wonderful happens. Just as a seed soaked in water sprouts up putting up new leaves, just as a dry arid land touched by rain immediately gets covered with a green mantle of grass, just as a drying tree sprouts up all over again when watered so does the human mind gets enriched and enlivened, when the One Truth in the ‘advaita’ gets transformed into the ‘many’ in the human mind. Firmly rooted in Oneness, the human mind blossoms in the beauty of the diversity. In the treasure chest of the human mind there are any number of devices – emotions and feelings through which this wonderful transformation can be achieved. Like a musical instrument with many strings, mind can create an infinite variety of notes, unmake them and re-make them to create a harmonious orchestra of life if it so wills or vice versa. It is the awareness of advaitic truths that leads to harmony and peace. If this basic note is lacking only discordant notes emerge and such a life becomes filled with contradictions.

Standing on this pinnacle of advaita, how can this awareness of oneness be made part of the three main life-streams, Jnana Bhakti and Karma, making life extraordinarily rich and fulfilling! To understand this miracle God seems to have provided us with the glorious ideal of motherhood. In how many ways our Bharateeya culture has captured and expanded this ideal of motherhood! The Divine mother and her manifold bhavas as Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga, Parvathy and other forms - each in essence indicating the rich potentialities and possibilities of the human mind, Mother Ganges, Veda Mata, Gita Mata, mother earth, this wonderful mother land of ours and so on - each one reveals the immense spiritual potential power and sanctity that lie hidden in motherhood. One can raise oneself to cosmic proportion meditating on this mystery of motherhood and its unfolding in infinite ways in this universe. To help us enter into the portals of such a meditation we have in front of us one’s own dear mother in whose milk we had the first taste of Life Universal.
Motherhood represents the principle of inter-relatedness, inter-connectedness and inter-dependence that hold together everything in the universe. The first unit of this phenomenon is our family. The ever fresh fountain of love that gives meaning and preserves family, as a unit is none other than the uncrowned queen of the house, the Mother. That is why we address Divine mother as Sri Maharajni, the empress of the Universe. Just as proton, neutron and electrons are held together by indefinable and invisible magnetic forces in an atom so do the various units of a home held in place without creating any disharmony by the magnetic power of love that the mother embodies. The power of that magnet lies in its extraordinary capacity to evolve ‘Oneness’ through love, sacrifice and service. These form the true nourishments for the children more than anything else. In its absence children wither away and their personality gets distorted. Unhappy homes are the breeding grounds for creating imbalanced men and women who in turn disturb the peace and harmony in the society.

When we explore the very origin of maternal instinct and the mysterious spiritual power behind, it will naturally take us to that ultimate primary cause of the universe, the Divine Mother Herself. SHE is the source and cause of all creation - the primeval energy - the primary cause, the Ultimate Truth. So is She the original source of motherliness - cause and effect relationship that we notice everywhere in the universe. Therefore when ‘Matruchetana’ is awakened in any one of us man or woman, there is a spark of the original transmutation of the ONE Truth into many. If one cares to meditate on this original instinct of motherhood and expand that ‘bindu’ into an all embracing feeling of love - awareness of inter relatedness - one can raise oneself to Universal Motherhood, to the status of Sri Mata. One need not be a mother in the worldly sense to achieve this, as motherliness is a spiritual awakening and elevation. In her gets embodied all that is best in creation - beauty (Lakshmi), knowledge (Saraswati) and action (Durga). All Godly powers are at her service. Such a mother is not only an adornment to her family but also a blessing to the society and the nation. She belongs to all. Diversities get merged in that ONENESS of motherhood and so do all problems based on duality wither away in her divine presence.

Such an expansive feeling of motherhood is very much needed in our society to rectify the mistakes that we are perpetrating in the name of caste, creed, religion, race and so on. All fanaticism, violence, terrorism etc. have their roots in the misguided notions of dividedness. To replace them with love, kindness and tolerance, the easiest way is the way of the mother. Manmade barriers can be broken down, sanity restored and peace created when true motherliness is made to manifest (be it in a woman or a man).

Unfortunately, majority of today’s women have lost this capacity for spiritual expansion. Materialistic hankerings distort her personality; disturb her innate qualities as mother, making her selfish, greedy, vengeful and blind. When children are exposed to this unnatural motherliness they fail to develop sustaining qualities in themselves. When the mothers at home spread unhappiness and bitterness slowly the whole society reflects that and peace and happiness disappear. On the other hand when true motherliness blossoms in a mother there is an expansion of personality and all petty feelings disappear.

Is it really possible for an ordinary woman to achieve such heights of perfection? Answer is yes. Our Puranas are full of stories of such exemplary mothers. In recent history we have the wonderful example of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, inspired by whom Swami Vivekananda emphasised again and again the need to revive this Indian ideal of Motherhood for restoring the glory of our nation and to bring all round peace and well being.

Ramayana Month Celebration

17th and 18th July: marked the 1st and 2nd day of Ramayana month coinciding with the 1st and 2nd days of the month of Karkatakam. This year there was an extensive programme of two days in which well-known Ramayana devotees - Shri Chakrapani Warrier and Smt Suma, read through the whole of Ramayana. Sessions started from 8.30 in the morning and went on up to 6.30 in the evening, with short tea-lunch breaks. A number of local well-wishers took part in the parayanam session. It was a noble experience for some who had never had an opportunity to read the Ramayana fully. At the concluding programme Sri Chakrapani Warrier and Smt Suma were honoured by Sri R.M. Pavitran a close well wisher of Kendra.

As usual Kumari Bindu and her group have started visiting different houses for Ramayana Satsanga. This programme will continute for the entire month. In each house, the team read portions of Ramayana and involve the family members to take part in the puja and rituals. 

One Day Spiritual Retreat

Vivekananda Kendra offered bhiksha to Revered Swami Adhyatmanandaji of Sambodh Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram. He came with 45 students for whom he was conducting a spiritual study course for 51 days at a place called Moozhikolam, 39 km from Kodungallur. After the initial introduction, Swamiji addressed the gathering which included our local well-wishers also, on the importance of sadhana of formless truth as also the need for worshipping God in various forms. He used two stanzas from Bhagavad Gita chapters 7 and 9 to clarify points.

Following Swamiji’s talk Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi spoke on Swami Vivekananda’s message to the individual, to the Nation and to humanity at large. She used three imageries to emphasize the points, that of light man, of a sculpture and lastly how he released the world religions from the cages in which they were kept and allowed them to fly to the infinite freedom of truth.

All the participants were taken to Vishwa Bhanu Exhibition, wherein they were introduced to Swamis life and his visit to Kodungallur. Later on they all participated in Bhajan session.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


On the auspicious occasion of Gurupoornima, a day long programme was arranged at Aandadham. Ganapathi Homam and Sri Chakra Puja were conducted in the Dakshina auditorium of Anandadham in the early morning. At 10 a.m. there was a get together of all the yoga varga members around eighteen of them, some of whom are working as yoga teachers in different schools in and around of Kodungallur. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi explained about the significance of ‘Guru Parampara down the ages namely, Narayana, Padmabhuva, Vasistha, Saktrimaharshi, Parashara, Vyasa and Sukha and how during Vyasa’s time all the divine knowledge which the previous seers had passed on to their respective disciples orally, were codified into texts called vedas and later on puranas. It was on this day that the great sage Vyasa was said to have been born, hence this day is celebrated as Vyasa’s jayanthi all over India as a mark of respect for the great saint who is addressed as ‘Vishala buddhe’ in the Bhagavat Geeta. Chanting of the Guru Sloka and pushparchana were part of this two hour programme.
In the evening Adv. T.R.Ramanathan of Paravur, an advocate by profession and well-known for his profound knowledge and great oratory, spoke on ‘Guha Gurun Subrahmanya Swami’(Kartikeyan) and kept the audience spellbound. Nearly a hundred people attended.the programme.