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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Reception Accorded To Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi at Kodungallur

   Programme started at 10.30a.m. with Shishuvihar UKG students leading the prayer which was followed by the lighting of lamp by the Chief Guest and the members on stage. Dr. M.S. Muralidharan, Director of Hindi Prachar Kendra, Kodungallur, was the Chief guest for the programme. The whole programme was conceived and executed by the parents of Sandeepani Sishuvihar.

The Chief Guest in his speech stressed the importance and need of the hour for value education which would help children in the long run as they grow up and start planning for their future and goal in life.  They would then effortlessly use their discriminative power to follow the path of sreyas rather than fall prey to the numerous evils of the present. Hence more and more children should be introduced to spirituality and not mere academics. He was full of praise for the selfless service rendered by Mananeeya Didi who is a friend, philosopher, and guide for the people who approach her.

Others on the dais were Sri Gopalankutty Menon, a retired teacher and poet, Smt Anandavalli, retired teacher of OK school,Kodungallur, Dr. Sanjeev Prabhu Parent representative, Major Gen. Dr. Vivekanandan (Retd) a close well-wisher of Vivekananda Kendra and  Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi.

Didi was honoured with a Ponnada by the Chief Guest and 'Mangalapatra' by Sri Gopalankutty Menon a well-known poet, popularly known as 'Nimisha Kavi'(one who can compose poems instantly). Many well-wishers expressed their happiness that Ma. Didi was chosen for the AmritaKeerti Award. Among them who congratulated her, were counselors of Kodungullur Municipality Smt Asha Latha, Smt Parvathy, Smt. Rekha, Sri Shaji principal of HDPY School, Andipilikavu,  Sr Venugopal, President OKAY Yogam, etc. The representative of the parents Dr Sanjeev Prabhu, informed of the plan to build a small children's' park in the premises of Anandadham campus for the Sandeepani Sishuvihar children as a tribute to Ma. Didi. Everyone was requested to contribute wholeheartedly to this Project. The first contribution was by Smt. Shanta Devadas and Sri Devadas, parents of Kum. Lakshmi an alumnus of Sisuvihar(first batch).

Sri Shally introduced Ma. Lakshmi Didi to everyone present. Kum. Drishya and Smt. Jaya Radhakrishnan meticulously anchored the program.

Ma. Didi expressed her gratitude for the love and affection showered on her. Didi emphasised on the opportunity that she got to play(even though trivial) in the conservation of the India's culture and heritage. She requested one and all to give a portion of each of their time for the welfare of others, and join them in their times of joy and be a pillar of comfort and hope in times of sorrow.

The programme concluded with Shantimantra. Everyone dispersed after a sumptuous lunch.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Service, though selfless, should be duly recognized and encouraged. If the knowledge, wisdom, and talent of those who serve society are ignored and left to languish, it is society’s loss. In order to prevent such tragedy, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math has conferred its annual Amrita Keerti Award since 2001, distinguishing people who have made significant contributions to Indian Culture and the Vedic tradition. The goal is to assist the preservation of the ancient and enduring human values of Sanatana Dharma.The awards are presented each year on Amma’s birthday. 

Two categories of people are eligible to receive the award: those engaged in writing original, in-depth studies of India’s spiritual texts and those dedicated to constructive social or national service. Sannyasins are not eligible for the award, as their service is part of their spiritual practices. 

This year the awardee has been selected by the five-member committee and decided to honor a woman who has dedicated her life for spreading the message of Swami Vivekananda throughout the country for the last four decades. Ma. Lakshmi Didi has been selected unanimously for the Puraskar this year. The same was awarded to her this year AMRITHAVARSHAM64 by Mata Amrithanandamayi Devi on 9th October in a function wherein top dignitaries from all over the world participated. This is a happy occasion for all the workers of Vivekananda Kendra and its well-wishers for whom Ma. Lakshmi Didi has been a source of inspiration 

Sri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, presenting the Amrita Keerti Puraskar to Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari in the presence of Mata Amritanandamayi on Monday.

Man. Lakshmi's Didi reply after receiving the award

My most humble Pranaams to most revered Mother Mata Amritananda Mayi Devi, her huge retinue of highly devoted and dedicated disciples, sevikas and sevakas, most respected dignitaries on the stage, and brothers and sisters who have assembled here to partake the Prasad which Amma distributes on her birthday everywhere.

All of us have heard the story of the squirrel who helped Sree Rama during the construction of the Great Ramasethu, how, picking up sand grains and putting up in the Sethu he made himself immortal receiving the grace of Sree Rama. Amma’s contributions to the welfare of humanity and preservation of Hindu Dharma cannot be described even by thousand tongued Anantha. What wonders me is how in this mammoth service programmes she could recognize this small squirrel and confer her blessings on it. I humbly accept the award, taking it to be recognition by the Divine Mother Herself executed through our beloved Mother.

Such an occasion demands that I express my gratitude to all those who were responsible for making me what I am today. First in the line is my adorable father who put up the strikingly attractive picture of Swami Vivekananda in Chicago posture in our home and opened up the spring of guru-bhakti when I was just 12 or 13 years old. It was he who lighted up the Vivekadeep in my heart. Later my mother saw to it that this Vivekadeepa doesn’t get extinguished and when the call came permitted me to offer my life at the feet of my master at Vivekananda Kendra. It was Swargeeya Agamananda Swami who awakened in me the very first waves of spiritual yearnings. Those were further nourished by the two great teachers of modern India, Swami Ranganathanandaji and Swami Chinmayanandaji. It is through them that I tasted the practical Vedanta of Swami Vivekananda.

Even with such a treasure chest in my possession, the attractions of materialistic life kept their grip on me like an octopus. It was none other than Swargeeya Eknathji Ranade, the Master Builder of Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Founder of the spiritually oriented service mission Vivekananda Kendra, who pulled me out of that mire and handed over the responsibility of looking after Vivekananda Kendra as its Mother. Thus was fulfilled my dream of surrendering my life for the service of Swami Vivekananda. This award reminds me of the magnificent gift which Eknathji gave me by which I rediscovered myself. The cumulative effect of all the love and respect with which the well-wishers of Vivekananda Kendra all over India received me have now become consolidated in Mata Amritananda Mayi’s choice of me to receive the Amrita Keerthi Puraskar.  This will definitely add a special glow to the evening of my life. To mother, I offer my shathakodi pranaams.  My thanks also to the selection committee for choosing me. Last but not the least, once again I assert ‘Apara Mahima Guru Mahima’. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017


(Kodungallur from 30.09 2017 to 2.10 2017)

KPS at the Sthanik level started at 3 p.m. on 30.09.2017 with the registration of the shibirarthis. 26 of them registered out of whom, 7 karyakartas were from Thiruvananthapuram, 1 from Aripalam, 6 from Edavilangu, 2 from Thrissur, and 10 were from Kodungallur . 10 members were present in the organizing team.  Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi addressed the Karyakartas after lighting the lamp.  Su.Radha Didi, Prant Sanghatak of Dakshin Prant talked to the shibirarthis on the objective of KPS. There was groupwise Ice breaking so that most of them could feel at home. Bhajans, supper and in the end a powerpoint presentation on Vivekananda Kendra and its activities- Kendra Parichay was beautifully explained by Ma.Sudhakarji.
The second day started with wake up at 4.30a.m. Morning prayer at 5.15 a.m, followed by yoga, pranayama, shramanubhav, sessions by Ma.Lakshmi Didi, and Su. Radha Didi, group discussion,  practice of chantings and songs, games and agnyas, breaks for breakfast, lunch, tea, and supper. A number of video clippings on the inspiring lives of well-known young achievers and discussions based on the clippings, was the last item of the day before they went to bed.
On the third day, usual routine was followed up to lunchtime. After lunch preparation for the concluding session was kept to get maximum participation from the shibirarthis. Concluding session was from 3 pm to 4 pm. In her concluding address Ma.Didi talked on the qualities needed for a
 karyakarta.In revealing their shibir experience many of them felt that they should put more effort on practicing what the have learned in the Shibir, so as to gain confidence at the same time experience the thrill of 'seva'.  Ahuti satra was arranged so that all the Karyakartas could take the resolve for their future work and offer it at the feet of the Holy Trio.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Navratri started on 21st September.Navratri, the nine-night festival, honours Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswathi in the South. It is known as Bomma Koluvu in Andhra Pradesh and Navarathri in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.  Navratri is observed as Dusshera in Karnataka, where it is observed for ten days. The main event during Navrathri is the display of dolls and idols – Kolu and the placing of Kalash, which represents Goddess.
At Anandadham too there was a beautiful decoration of the stage with bommas of different types, including the dashavatars.Daily chanting of the Devi Mahatmyam and puja and offerings to the Devi during all the nine days was observed by the inmates.
On Maha Asthami day a bhajan session was arranged for all the students who had come in the evening to offer their books for Mother Saraswathi's blessings.
On the Maha Navami day, Deepa pooja with pushpaarchana was performed by all the students and their mothers who had come the previous day.
 On Vijaya Dashami day, Vidyarambham (Ezhuthiniruthu) is performed in many temples of Kerala. It is believed that it is the most precious day to write the first letter by a child. Parents brings the small children of two to three years to temples to perform Vidyarambham (Ezhuthiniruthu). It is a grand festival in Panachikkada Saraswathi temple in Kottayam, Thiruvullakkavu in Thrissur and Mookambika Temple of Vadakkan Paravur. Vidyarambham is also performed in Guruvayur temple and many other temples of Kerala. In general older children have  to write the alphabets on rice or sand and according to custom only after this ceremony child becomes entitled to take the books offered at the feet of Mother Saraswathi and write or read. The tiny tots children sit on the lap of the guru and the guru writes ‘Hari Shree Ganapataye ’ on the child’s tongue with a golden ring. Then, the child writes ‘Hari Shree Ganapathye Namaha’ in Malayalam with the right index finger, with the help of the Guru, on a bed of raw rice. 
At Anandadham too, it was a sight to watch all the tiny tots of Sishuvihar come and all the other children from the neighbourhood come and write on rice and take their books which they had offered for puja.About 50 children and their parents had come altogether out of which 30 of them were the tiny tots of Sishuvihar and the neighborhood. Ma. Didi and Sri Sudhakarji wrote on their tongue and made them write on rice. After this, all received payasam prasadam.