A marathon Gita Jnana Yajna for the duration of 3 months was conducted by Swamini Niranjanananda at Adi Sankara Nilayam from February to April 2005. The small group of participants found it a rewarding experience as there was ample time to get into the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita. Swaminiji gave detailed explanations of the text with practical examples from daily life to show how the messages are relevant to us today. The morning meditation sessions were held to the shrine built in memory of Pujya Gurudev. The special poojas for Shivaratri, Ramanavami and Vishu Kani were also held there. Eminent visitors like Dr.Sasidhar and Prof.Vasudevan Potti also addressed the campers. Swami Advayananda's presence and benign words of wisdom were an added inspiration.
- Report from Tapovan Prasad, Monthly of the Chinmaya Mission Wordwide
Adi Sankara Nilayam, the maternal home and birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya, witnessed the celebration of Sankara Jayanti on May 13, with Shodashopachara pooja by Br.Vedanta Chaitanya and Smt.Vibhuti Shah. This was followed by maha-arati at the very room where Bhagavan Adi Sankara was born. The local residents took out a procession with a lamp lit from the Illom and a decorated picture of Adi Sankara to Kaipally, his paternal home at Kalady. Along the entire route they chanted stotras composed by Adi Sankaracharya. In the evening, Chinmaya International Foundation and Chinmaya Mission Ernakulam jointly organized a public meeting where Sri Ramachandran Nair, I.A.S (Retd.), formerly the Chief Secretary of Govt. of Kerala, was the Chief Guest. He spoke on the Vision and Mission of Adi Sankara. This was followed by a scholarly exposition of the Nature of Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta by Dr.Kanshi Ram, Reader of Hansraj College, New Delhi. Swami Advayananda, Acharya, Chinmaya International Foundation, delivered the benedictory address.
- Report by Smt.Sarala Suresh, Research Associate, CIF.
In connection with Sravana Purnima Day many literary contests like essay writing, elocution, Narayaneeyam recitation, antakshari, quiz etc. were conducted at Chinmaya International Foundation, Adi Sankara Nilayam, Veliyanad, on August 6 and 7. Nearly 200 students from schools and colleges in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh participated. The Chief Guest, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Vice-Chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit. Kalady, delivered the Sanskrit Day Address, highlighting the relevance of Sanskrit and its contribution to the different fields of knowledge. He also distributed prizes for the winners. Swami Advayananda presided over the function and blessed the gathering.
Sulabha Samskritam Course
Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji's vision of taking Sanskrit to the people took shape as the Sulabha Samskritam course conducted by CIF from 4th to 14th November 2005. The Acharya of this easy and unique way of learning Sanskrit was Br. Gagan Chaitanya. The delegates spent daily almost 6 joyful hours of studying Sanskrit. This camp was inaugurated by Pujya Swami Purushottamanandaji, senior disciple of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji. About 50 participants from the age group of 40 to 77 years assembled from various states of the country for the programme. Br. Gagan Chaitanaya's excellent teaching skills and enthusiasm set the mood of sincere and joyful learning amongst the participants. Age did not deter the campers to learn Sanskrit in right earnest, as the syllabus created by Br.Gaganji was phased and simple. The learning kit contained a textbook, a workbook, a Panchatantra Katha book, a Sanskrit joke book, samples of Sri Madhusudana Saraswathy's commentary on Bhagavad Gita as well as a learning aid 'CD on Easy Sanskrit'. This CD made the learning complete and the course more enriched.
The step-by-step method of learning - from alphabet to sentences; from grammar to scriptures enabled the participants to acquire a good knowledge of Sanskrit in a short time. A written test was held at the end of the course to assess each ones learning. This was followed by a quiz in which the campers participated enthusiastically. It was not just Sanskrit as a language that was taught, but a lot of insight was also given on our scriptures in these classes. This study was augmented by Swamini Niranjananandaji's talks on Chapter 12 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita in the evenings.
The Chief Guest, Prof. Krishna Kumar, noted Sanskrit Scholar, Vyakarana Pandit of the Sanskrit College, Tripunithura delivered the key note address in Sanskrit on valedictory function on Nov 14th 2005. He expressed his joy over the fact that CIF had made the maiden attempt to take the divine language to more people. Swami Advayanandaji and Swami Niranjananandaji gave the blessings note and encouraged the participants to study Sanskrit further. The campers bid farewell with a sublime feeling and with a promise to return for a future refresher course.
Release of Sulabha Samskritam CD and Book
On 23rd Nov 2005, the CD "Sulabha Samskritam" along with a textbook and workbook was released at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Powai by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji. Br.Gagan Chaitanya received the first copy. Copies were also given to Br. Samvit Chaitanya, Sri Rajagopal and Sri Ramalingam, Chinmaya Mission Nagapattinam. This CD is sure to help students to learn the basics of Sanskrit language and grammar.
- Report by Smt.Sarala Suresh, Research Associate, CIF.
Holy Gita Ready Reference Book Release
Swami Chinmayananda brought the Bhagavad Gita to the common man and Chinmaya Mission has followed it up with Jnana Yajnas in English and local languages all over India and abroad and massive Geeta Chanting Competitions for children, quiz programmes etc. Now a new tool in the form of a book has been brought out by Chinmaya International Foundation, which will be of immense help in a thorough study of the Geeta for the young and the old alike. This Ready Reference book classifies all the information in each chapter under four headings - Terms and Definitions, Thoughts and Concepts, Selections for Reflection and Verses for Memorisation. The presentation is in the question-answer format, listing out point by point all the information pertinent to the chapter. The most important thing to note is that the entire information is from The Holy Geeta, in Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda's own words. Thus it is a very good supplement to the study of Swami Chinmyananda's Holy Geeta.
Another very useful feature of this book is the Bhagavad Geeta Padanukramanika, an alphabetical index of all the padas (each pada is a quarter of the two line verses) of the Bhagavad Geeta. Generally only the first pada is given in an index. This is the first time that an index of all the four padas in each verse has been published.
The Bhagavad Geeta Ashtottaranamavali composed by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda is presented at the end of the book, along with the English transliteration and translation.
This book will be a cherished addition to any personal collection and a special asset in the libraries of all educational institutions.
This book was released by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji, Head of the Chinmaya Mission Worldwide on the Gita Jayanti on December 10, 2005 at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai, India.
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