April 2018 – May 2018

Volume 7 Issue 1
A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

In this Issue

• Editorial

• PDC –Kovilakath

• Sishuvihar Students’ Tour To Kanya-
kumari

• Ramayana Saptaham

• Atmavikas Shibir I

• Atmavikas Shibir II

• Workshop

• Yoga Satra’s By YCC Students

• Special Programmes In The Campus

• Regular Activities

• Article By Ma. Lakshmi Didi
Volume 7 Issue 1 -2- April 2018 - May 2018

EDITORIAL

Cultural Nihilism

Summer vacation is over. New academic year has started. Parents and children are all
tensed up about what awaits them in the New Year. Which school is the best as also
prestigious? What are the rates of donations in different schools? What is a course to be
taken? Uniform, book transport, extracurricular activities etc., etc., would make a big hole
in the family budget, once the child starts going to school.

But unfortunately, not a single parent is worried about the cultural values imparted by
any particular school, how it would help in the character building- man making process of
the child, which should actually be their prime concern. That it is not as is because there is
a cultural nihilism of which no parent is aware of or worried about.

This cultural nihilism which entered India’s educational arena first as a very tiny
infective virus during the foreign invasions, has found a very fertile field for its self-
propagation and destructive manipulations, unfortunately, in the post independent
‘secular’ India. It is a source of great worry for those who love this great country and its
glorious culture, in this strengthening of which lies the wellbeing of the entire humanity.

Innumerable are the quotes which you can pick up from the world renowned authors
and scientists like Mark Twain, Max Mueller, Roma Rolland and a host of others who
‘knew’ what India really has and what she can share with humanity. Sister Nivedita, Dr.
Annie Besant, Mother of Pondicherry are some of the great lovers of India who were able
to delve deep into India’s soul and benefit by it. Unfortunately, present day’s young
Indians are not exposed to any of the great thoughts expressed by these lovers of India.

How to overcome this cultural nihilism? This should engage the attention of all those
who love India and her glorious spiritual heritage. A silent revolution should start from our
homes, slowly re-establishing the sanctity of our homes and the sacredness of the human
relationships which thrive there. Let us remember that each neglectful thought, word or
action would push our country and its people into the abyss of cultural nihilism. Let us
take it up as a holy duty to stop this sad downward slip learning to express in our lives
the glory that is Bharat.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -3- April 2018 - May 2018

PDC -Kovilakath
With the start of Summer Vacation, there is demand from different organizations in and around
Kodungallur, for PDCs or Atma-Vikas Shibirs to be conducted by Vivekananda Kendra. From 2nd April to
4th April a three-day non-residential Shibir was conducted in the Tripurasundari temple premises of
Kovilakath Dharma Sabha, Edavilangu. Shibir started from 9 a.m.46 children from classes III to class X
registered. Smt Padmaja, Yoga Varga member, conducted the Shibir. Sri Tarun from Mysore Kendra
center and Kum.Drishya and Kum Anushree (SamskarVarga leaders) together conducted games and
Yoga classes. Professor Vijaya Lakshmi, a regular visitor of Swadhaya class conducted the crafts class. Smt
Padmaja told them stories on 'confidence ' and 'concentration' from the life of Swamiji and from
Mahabharata. YCC students Smt Suja and Smt Sajitha spoke to the children on Personality development
and Indian Culture, on the first two days of the camp.

On the concluding day, there was a drama competition based on the stories told in the last two days
and a quiz on all the different things they had learned in the camp. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi and Smt
Simji Ajithan (Ward Counceller) were invited as guests for the concluding function. The children put up a
short sweet programme. Tokens of appreciation were given to each child by Didi.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -4- April 2018 - May 2018

Sishuvihar Students’ Tour To Kanyakumari
After the closure of the academic session of 2016-17, the students were taken for a two day pleasure
trip to Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram on 6th and 7th April.

The 56 member team consisted of 20 Sandeepani students and their
parents, ex- Sandeepani students and their parents, Su.Bindu teacher and
her relatives. They started for Kanyakumari by bus on 6th evening and
reached Vivekanandapuram on 7th early morning. They were lucky to enjoy
the sunrise as soon as they stepped into Vivekanandapuram.
Throughout the day they could visit almost all the exhibitions
inside the campus and could also visit the Rock memorial and
Wandering Monk exhibition.

The next day while returning they visited the two famous
temples of Thiruvananthapuram, Sri Padmanabha temple and
Attukkal Devi Kshetram. They returned to Kodungallur by late night.

Ramayana Saptaham
A week long Adhyatma Ramayana Sapthaha Yajna started on 19th April by 10 am with Ma. Lakshmi
Didi's opening words. For the first time a Ramayana Sapthaham was conducted at Kodungallur. Follow-
ing Didi's words Swami Ayyapadas, Secretary of Kshetra Samrakshana Samithi, addressed the gathering
and highlighted the need of the hour to gather, understand and consolidate our samskaras and the per-
petual wisdom from our puranas and itihas.

The Sapthaham formally got to a start with Sri. A K B Nair, Yagna Acharaya accepting a copy of the
Ramayana from Swami Ayyappadas. Aramana Karat Balagangadharan Nair popularly known as Sri. A. K.
B. Nair is a renowned scholar and the first Acharya to introduce the concept of Ramayana Sapthaham.
Smt. Anandavally wife of Sri. Nair assisted in the rendering of Ramayana. Sri O. C. Govindan Nam-
boodiri performed the Puja rituals.

The bronze idols of Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman specially donated by Sudhakar’s family
were kept at the Ganapathi Temple awaiting the auspicious time when the idols would be carried to the
yagna vedi. Around 12 noon it was time for the agamanam of Sri Rama and Lakshmana to the yagna ve-
di. With the rendering of nadaswaram in the background and chantings of Hare Rama, and led by Ma.
Lakshmi Didi the small group with lighted diyas and thalam welcomed and accompanied Lord Rama and
Lakshmana to the yagna vedi.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -5- April 2018 - May 2018

Next to occupy the vedi was Sita Devi, on the next day and then it was time for the arrival of Sri Han-
uman Swami. The daily chanting was from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. All the chapters of the Adhyatma Ramayana
were recited and explained with its relevance in the present modern situations.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -6- April 2018 - May 2018

Atmavikas Shibir I

A seven days’ Atma-Vikas Shibir for classes 7th. 8th and 9th class students, was conducted at Anan-
dadham from 25th April to 1st May. 24 students from different schools in and around Kodungallur, at-
tended the shibir. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi inaugurated the Shibir, with the lighting of the lamp on 25th
morning.

The theme of the camp was 'enrichment through storytelling’. The daily schedule of the camp was
from 9 a.m. to 5.15 p.m., which included besides storytelling Vedic chants, patriotic songs in Hindi and
Malayalam, one lecture session, yoga, creativity and Krida yoga. There were 8 people in the organizing
team.
The students were grouped into four, each group having a group leader from the organizing team.
Daily duties were allotted to each group so that the camp could run smoothly and the students could get
the experience of Shramasamskar with full responsibility.

The concluding day of every camp had a hectic schedule for the day. May 1st 2018 was the conclud-
ing for this year's first Atma Vikas Shibir for children of class 7 to 9. After the morning Prarthana and
Chantings, children got together into their respective groups to practise their drama. Some of the chil-
dren were asked to express their experience of the Shibir. One of the group leaders got into preparing
the Shibir report. Apart from the respective dramas children also practised patriotic songs (Hindi and
Malayalam), and a small group practised Yoga Asanas. Children also arranged their individual craft mod-
els. The concluding program was scheduled for 3:00 pm. After a sumptuous lunch the final rehearsals
Volume 7 Issue 1 -7- April 2018 - May 2018

were practised.

The program started with the arrival of the Chief Guest Maj. Gen. (Dr.) P Vivekanandan (Retd.). Deepa
Prajwalanam was done by Ma. Lakshmi Didi and Maj. Gen. Vivekanandan. The master of ceremony was
Kum. Athulyaputri. Ma. Lakshmi Didi welcomed the Chief Guest and parents. She touched upon the im-
pact of the camp on the overall development and thinking of each of the participants. She emphasized
that if a participant consecutively attends the camp every year for couple of years it would develop in the
individual a keen sense of deeper understanding of their own self and their surroundings, thus nurturing
an ideal family built on the foundation of our traditions and samskaras, consequently building a strong
society and the world at large.

The Maj. General in his address emphasized upon important areas for overall development of an indi-
vidual. A good listening capacity is of primary importance, coupled with discipline. A self-disciplined life
must not be a result of fear, but of love and respect. Man is a social being, hence it is vital to be able to
work in teams and one should be a good team player. Always give your 100% attention in anything and
everything you do, said the Maj. General. Welcome speech was by Kum. Devapriya. This was followed by
the reading of the Shibir report by Kum. Sreelakshmi. Kum. Averin, Nandana, Swathy, & Master Athmaj,
Abhinav and Srihari shared their experiences of the weeklong Shibir.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -8- April 2018 - May 2018
Volume 7 Issue 1 -9- April 2018 - May 2018

Atmavikas Shibir II
The second Atma-Vikas non-residential Shibir for the children of classes III to
VI started from 3rd May and concluded on 8th May. Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi
inaugurated the Shibir.

37 children from 9 different schools of Kodungallur and 2 chil-
dren from Thiruvananthapuram participated. The daily schedule of the Shibir was
from 9 am to 1 pm. Children were grouped into five after the five rivers of
Punjab- Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej. Each group had a group leader
who was either a Samskar Varga leader or SKIE student. The day began with the teaching of Vedic
chants, patriotic songs in Hindi and Malayalam. This was followed by a session
on 'Art of Storytelling' which was the theme of this camp. Sessions on creativity
were conducted by the group leaders, Sri Amal and Kum Lakshmi.

They taught the children how to create useful items from
waste e.g. Candle -stands with pistachio shells,
vases, caterpillars, dolls, table mats and 3D houses using
old newspapers and clay models using 'shilpakar'. Games
and Suryanamaskar were taken by group leaders-Kum. Sreelakshmi and Kum.
Anushree. Classes on storytelling were conducted by Sri. Sudhakarji and Sri Vasu
Master, a dramatist from Perinjanam.

On the fifth day, there was an interactive session on health and proper diet, by Dr. Arun, a neurologist
by profession. On the sixth day, the concluding programme was put up by the children. They had invited
their parents for the programme. A display of their creativity was arranged for their parents and the Chief
Guest to see. The Chief Guest was Smt Saraswathi teacher, Principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Vidya
Mandir, Kodungallur. The programme started at 12 noon and ended by 1 pm. The parents and the Chief
Guest were thoroughly impressed by the short but sweet programme.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -10- April 2018 - May 2018
Volume 7 Issue 1 -11- April 2018 - May 2018

Workshop
A two days’ workshop on leadership skills was conducted at Anandadham for the students of classes
X, XI and XII. 15 students (6 from Edavilangu, 5 from Aripalam-Vellangallur and the rest from Kodungal-
lur) attended the camp. The workshop was inaugurated by Mananeeya Lakshmi Didi. The sessions were
from 9.30 am to 4 pm. On the first day, Sri Sudhakarji conducted the sessions. Several group wise activi-
ties were given to the students so that they themselves could recognize and be aware of their own skills
they possessed and those they were lacking while performing the activities. The basic qualities required
to become a leader were also discussed. A few video clippings based on excellence through everyday
practice, perseverance an essential quality of a leader and having a vision of the goal for achieving suc-
cess.

On the second day, Sri Ramesh master an NSS trainer conducted the morning session. He made the
students realize, through various games and activities, how a short term goal and along with it, a long
term goal is a must, to be a leader. In the concluding session, students expressed their gratitude for hav-
ing given the opportunity to be a part of the camp.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -12- April 2018 - May 2018

Yoga Satras By YCC Students

As a part of their Yoga Certificate Course the candidates were to conduct three yoga satras of ten
days duration with a minimum of 15 participants.

Smt Seeba conducted classes for 20 ladies in her locality from 2nd April to 11th April. Smt
Jayalakshmi conducted three satras simultaneously for 25 children for one hour in the early morning and
50 ladies divided into two groups one from 4 pm to 5pm and the other from 6pm to 7pm. From 4th April
to 14th April. Smt Suja conducted two yoga satras one for 30 women in the evening and the other for
the children in the morning from 6th April to 16th April. Smt Mani conducted three satras simultaneously
for 55 ladies in two groups in the evening hours and for the 15 children in the early morning hours.
Among the gents, Sri Joshi conducted a yoga satra in the first week of May, for 20 participants in the
early morning hours and Sri Parameswaran Kutty conducted two satras simultaneously for 46 partici-
pants in two groups in the evening hours.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -13- April 2018 - May 2018

REGUL AR ACTIVITIES

Yoga Satra
3 ladies in the month of April and 7 gents and 2 ladies in May were registered for the monthly Yoga
Satras.
Yoga Varga

3 yoga Vargas with an average of 10 ladies and 15 gents went on regularly.

Swadhaya Class

Sri Girishji conducted 2 classes monthly for 50 people on the topic Devi
Mahatmyam.

Ganapathi Homam and Sricakrapuja
Ganapathi Homam and Sri Cakra Puja were conducted on each pournami day
in the early hours.

We need your SUPPORT! Please consider making a tax-deductible
donation right now. Please send us your PAN details at
vkvvf@vkendra.org , post your online payment, bank and account details
This is a project for the children, of the children, by the children. Get
blessed by sharing the joy of building this Children’s’ Park. Your contribu-
tion may be directed to:

Account Name : VKVVF ‘Leave your mark in
Account Number: 0758101127166 the Annals of Time’
Bank Name : Canara Bank, Kodungallur
Branch
IFSC Code : CNRB0000758

Alternatively you can also Sponsor an item in the Playground.
for
All `10,000/- and above donations will have business/family name on Vrindavanam
permanent plaque displayed at the park.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -14- April 2018 - May 2018

Home, Sweet Home
Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari

East or West, home is the best, Swamiji used to repeat.
Home is what holds a family. It is the kindergarten where life’s primary lessons are taught. Home is
the cooking pot where the ingredients of character are blended together by the mother, supervised by
the father, supported by the relatives and nurtured by the neighbours. The result could be a
Shankaracharya, a Jesus or a Hitler, a saint, a MAN or a brute.
The fragrance of our home we carry all our life. So also the imprints of pain and suffering, if that
were all that were available. ‘Child is the father of man’, says the old dictum. Its truth is ever being
affirmed. Still, we are tending to neglect our homes. When homes are shattered, naturally, our bigger
home, the Earth, is broken to pieces.
The primary, yet the most important and difficult lesson, we learn from our homes is how to
integrate oneself with the whole. In fact, this is the only lesson to learn in life, because, this is the
cornerstone of good character and, hence, of a successful life. Integration at individual level leads to
health, at higher and higher levels, to happiness, harmony and finally, to spiritual emancipation.
Education, culture, religion etc. are so many ways and means of teaching man this art and science of
integration. Yet, the very basic education is obtained at home.
It all starts with the recognition of Oneness which, at the intellectual level, is referred to as the right
understanding, at the emotional level, as Love (comprising all the multifarious shades of positive human
relationships) and at the physical level, as sacrifice and service. It is from the mother that the child picks
up the essence of all these, such as, his or her unbreakable links with the mother, the interrelationships
that exist among the family members as also the interdependence amidst them. It is this fundamental
interdependence that takes the form of mutual duty which makes home an institution where give and
take are practised elegantly, backed by love and understanding. Even aggressiveness of the elders are
submitted to by the youngsters as a means of learning and correction without dislike, malice or hatred.
Primary lessons in health and hygiene, caring for humans, animals, plants and so on, are the elementary
lessons one learns at home. How to relate ourselves with the Supreme Being is another important quality
we acquire from our elders.
All these basics start at home with the mother and child, extend to the father and other family
members and then extend beyond the ‘narrow domestic walls’ to relations, neighbours and so on. If
these ingredients are well instilled and imbibed, it leads to the development of a Universal Being. If not,
we get bound up in family entanglements which weigh upon us as a bondage. Children should be taught
to look at the world through the window of their home and made to feel that ‘home’ is a part of the
bigger nest which our universe is.
Volume 7 Issue 1 -15- April 2018 - May 2018

Besides this regular routine business of growing up in a family, there is the potential expansion that
is achieved as the family itself grows. In the Indian tradition, there are any number of occasions in the
family when the whole family with all its branches and branch lets come together, mostly in a mood of
jubilation to share joy, and occasionally to share grief as well. These are the times for the
interrelationships to be recognized, reinforced and reciprocally accepted. On such occasions, one is ready
to give up one’s personal considerations, comforts and compulsions and integrate oneself with the whole
as one. Our social laws demand a variety of give-and-takes involving people of all strata in the society.
Thus, each one on the social ladder stood to benefit for all the little acts of service and sacrifice that the
family was called upon to do. Omissions and commissions were bound to be. It was left to the largeness
of the individual to forget and forgive and thus grow in stature.
Gone are the days of a marriage taking place in homes. They are now tailor-made, including the
bridal make-up. Except for the bride and groom (we may even get a set crowd if we insist upon it) all else
is available in 5-star-hotel weddings which are getting into fashion as a status symbol. When you attend
one such show one feels lost and lonely, as nobody even bothers to welcome you in. Alas, we forget that
what we gain in pomp and show is lost in family social well-being!
We also forget that through all these, we are demeaning the glorious heritage of our nation and its
message to mankind as a whole. When bonds of integration of man to man are destroyed, how will the
society be held together? Disintegration of the nation is a natural sequence.

Gurudev Tagore must have had all this in mind when he wrote:
Where the mind is without fear
And the head is held high
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not broken up
Into fragments by narrow domestic walls…..

Today, our homes are small, the family is small, but that is no reason why our world should be small.
These are the days of ‘extended’ families. Let us learn to extend our hearts also in proportion so that ‘our
minds are led forward into ever widening thought and action’ into the ‘haven of freedom’.

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