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Vedanta Sandesh

The Free Monthly E-zine of Vedanta Mission

April 1999

HEARTY GREETINGS FOR SRI ADI SANKARACHARYA JAYANTI

"O Sankara - the best of aryans ! Sewa & devotion unto your feet is indeed the best thing one can ever imagine. Prostrating at your lotus feet is like being in Nandan-van, thoughts about you are comparable to taking resort to Kalpa-vriksha, description of your innumerable qualities is as impossible as describing the innumerable stars of akash-ganga (the Milky way), and your mere glance is enough to give heavenly joys to your devotees. Given a chance to serve you, your devotees consider even the joys of heaven as insignificant."

(Glorification of Sri Adi Sankara by Mandana Misra)

CONTENTS

SECTIONS

TOPICS

1. Preface :

Adi Sankara - One without a second

2. Vedanta :

The Three tenets of Vedanta

3. Know your scriptures :

Isavasyopanishad

4. Queries :

Questions about Prayers

5. Special :

Thoughts on Conversion issue-2

6. General :

Where am I ?

7. VM Activities :

Earlier : Yatra to Prayag etc., Sri Ram Navami celebrations at Vedanta Ashram.

Forthcoming : Gita GyanaYagnas at Mumbai, Ahmedabad and New Delhi, Sankaracharya Jayanti celebrations at Ashram.

PREFACE

Adi Sankara - one without a second …by Swami Atmananda

……….. In 788 AD in the lush green, sylvan surroundings of a Kerala village was born one of the greatest scholar, saint & son of India - Sri Adi Sankaracharya. Such was the impact of his dynamic & loving work that even after generations anyone sitting on his seat is highly revered by the masses of the country & world. Born two days after 'Akshaya tritiya' (this year Sankaracharya Jayanti is on 20th April) Sri Adi Sankara left his home early to seek knowledge of Self from Sri Govindbhagwatpadacharya who was staying on the banks of Narmada River. Sri Sankara was highly inspired by the great spiritual heritage coming down to us in the form of Vedanta, and decided to take up this goal of revealing the redeeming Self-knowledge to one & all. He wrote his famous commentaries on Upanishads, Brahma Sutras & Bhagwad Gita, apart from various Prakarana Granths (introductory texts) & Stotras (hymns). He was a prolific writer, a touching poet, a very hard-working sanyasi travelling continously all over the country, a far-sighted missionary, and also established the four Math to propogate this knowledge even in the years to come. He never let the caste considerations to come in the way even to bow to a man of real knowledge. The Sanatan Dharma propounded by Vedas got a new lease of life, the complex riddle of life became clear, the whole country was inpired once again, and the Nastik-dharmas were literally uprooted from the country. Buddhism thus flourishes only in neighbouring countries and not here, this was only the handiwork of that great compassionate master. Sri Sankara is even today a source of great inspiration & the best role models for all sanyasis & aspirants of Truth. His works today form the basis of all spiritual studies in all ancient & modern spiritual centers of Hindus.

Swami Chinmayanandaji in his commentary on Bhaja Govindam writes the following about this great Sage : (a)"An exquisite thinker, a brilliant intellect, a personality scintillating with the vision of Truth a heart throbbing with industious faith and ardent desire to serve the nation, sweetly emotional and relentlessly logical, in Sankara the Upanishads discovered the fittest Spiritual General". (b)"At his hands the great Sanskrit language became almost plastic. He could mould it into any shape and into any form. From vigorous prose, heavily laden with irresistible arguments, to flowing rivulets of tilting tuneful songs of love & beauty, there is no technique in the language that Sankara did not take up; and whatever form he took up, he proved himself to be a master in it."

We dedicate this issue of Vedanta Sandesh to that great Bharat Ratna, the immortal Sanyasi - Bhagwatpada Sri Sankaracharya.

VEDANTA SECTION

The Three basic tenets of Vedanta … by Swami Atmananda

Sri Sankara sums up the entire message of Vedanta in three crisp aphorisms - Sutras. They are (a) Brahma Satyam, (b) Jagat Mithya, and (c) Jivo Brahmaiva naparah.

Brahma Satyam :

Brahman is the all pervasive life principle, consciousness. Not the conditioned consciousness which manifests at the level of brain, but 'that' which exists before & inspite of the manifestation too. Not 'consciousness of something', but the very conscious principle as such. Contrary to what some people believe that 'life' is a product of some chemistry, the Upanishads thunder that Consciousness is that which isthe ultimate truth, the timeless & transcendental reality. It exists first and matter follows after. This is not only what the scriptures reveal, but also what is logical too. If we look at matter - the atoms, the electron, proton etc then we find that these things are so perfectly created & organised that there has to be some intelligence working. That which existed before to have brought about such an orderly & beautiful creation has to be a conscious entity. We can never imagine the whole process getting started with lifeless, inert matter. Consciousness alone has to be the first & eternal reality. Rest is created, and is thus perishable. That is what this sutra reveals. Brahma Satyam. The word satya means that which exists in all the three periods of time. Past, present & future. That which transcends time, and is thus timeless. That which exists at all times, that which cannot be effaced by time. Consciousness is that which not only exists at all times but also at all places. It exists as the very truth of all that is. It is the atma of everything - living or non-living things. It is our basic essence, our truth too. That is the God which we all worship.

Jagat Mithya :

The word Jagat embraces in itself this entire world, this cosmos. All that which is or can be an 'object' of our knowledge. It includes not only the gross but also the subtle 'objects'. The thoughts, emotions, the energy all come under this word 'Jagat'. That which is near or far, inside or outside, now or later, good or bad everything is part of this Jagat. This word has been described as reffering to that which is 'Jayate gachati iti jagat', i.e. that which is born & dies is jagat. Birth & death are movements in time. That which is in time constantly changes, there is a constant flux. Something starts this process of activation & manifestation of time and thus we see this dynamic flux. A realm of experience presents itself in front of us. What exactly starts this process is a different matter, but the point here is that all what is thus brought about is ultimately transient, is not ultimately there. It is comparable to being in a dream world. Something activates the process of dreaming, and when it does get activated we see a realm of experience which is not ultimately there. Mithya is that which is not there in all three periods of time. That which had a birth at a particular time and that which will certainly die at some point of time. It is there in this present moment, because of some reason - known or unknown. The above aphorism of 'Jagat Mithya' thus implies that all what is available for experience is transient.

Mithya also implies that which does not have the capacity to give us that which we basically seek. It is certainly beautiful,in fact very beautiful, it is also true that 'objects' of the world alone are useful for our worldly needs & purposes, but at the same time this is also a fact that we basically remain where we were. It is like eating a dream food, with which we never satiate our hunger. However much we eat the dream food, we will still remain basically hungry. Whatever we have sought in this world may have helped our life to get comfortable & organised, but has certainly not helped us in eliminating the fundamental desire 'to seek' something more. Like hunger the seeking still remains as it is. The only difference is that it now manifests differently. That which is Mithya does not have any independent existence, thus it is not really dependable, for the simple reason that it itself is perishable. What ever our heart basically seeks will never be got from this Jagat. That is the implication of this sutra. It is something to be seen in a detached way & not taking too seriously. Whatever happens in the world never really matters, knowing this a person should not plan to aggrandise & enjoy, he should rather serve & give. This philosophical tenet, which is a fact of life provides us a logic & basis for our religious values, culture & even the real goal of life.

Jivo Brahmaiva naparah :

This sutra means that 'every jiva - the apparent limited & finite entity is basically the infinite & limitless Brahman, and nothing else. The truth & essence of an indiidual is the truth & essence of this whole world or rather God. Every Jiva is basically God himself wearing a cloak of limited equipments, and moreover, identified with ones equipment he lives a limited & transient life. It is basically a case of non-apprehension followed by mis-apprehension of the truth of oneself. We take ourselves to be limited and therefore we are & remain limited. Body & all our equipments are certainly limited in time &space but 'I' who knows and objectifies all these is not. A seer is always different from seen. We are conscious of the body & mind complex so we have to be different from them. We are that which knows, that which illumines, that eternal life principle - Brahman. The Upanishads reveal that whoever knows his or her true reality is a healthy person, rest are diseased. They are certainly not at ease, there seems to be some bug in them. It is the bug of mis-apprenhension of ones true self as a limited guy. If we were really limited then someone 'could' have helped us, but when we just errorneously take ourselves to be limited then it is something which God also cannot do anything about, except come and provide right knowledge. It is we who have to pause, think, deliberate, meditate & realise. Everything of this individual gets changed, except the 'I' - the self-effulgent, blissful essence. One who knows that alone lives a true life which every human deserves to live. That alone was the secret of all saints, sages & even the avatar purushas. This alone is the real teaching of all our scriptures.

The awakening of limited Jiva to the realm of limitless Brahman is not a journey in the realm of time, but it is by transcending the very time, by right knowledge. Karma is a means to attain something in the realm of time, so it is not really relevent here. With karma we attain that which is unattained. In karma we turn our attention to that which should be rather than that which is. So in order to awake to our true self, one has to keep aside all cravings to 'do or achieve something'. One has to relax and be highly observant and see some fundamental facts of life & our true self. That which is limitless & infinite is not sometjhing to be attained but that which is to be known. It is already attained, one should realise that 'I am already that', We just have to directly know it. All sadhanas are directedonly for this ultimate goal of life. This is the objective of sanyas & Moksha. Drop the hankering for everything, relax, and see that which alone is.

Consequences of the opposite :

If a person does not understand & see these facts directly then it is obvious that the fellow will take resort to that which is its opposite. Lets see what will be the consequences of that. Such a person is too fascinated by the glare of the world, he will remain an extrovert, and also an eternal seeker. To live an ego-centric existence will be his destiny, and to face the music of egocentricity an unavoidable fact. Inside him there will always remain a sense of lack and outside he will continuously keep on seeking something or the other. He will take worldly things too seriously, and will be able to go to any extent for achieving such worldly things. Such people alone play dangerous games with nature and will still not be satisfied with it. Resorting to that which is opposite amounts to create & produce the devils. Communicating these tenets of Vedanta alone amounts to helping the individual in particular & also the world at large. This is what all Rishis declared, this is what Lord Ram & Krishna lived and this is what Bhagwan Sankaracharya worked & lived for. Lets go into these deeply and see these facts of life. Lets redeem ourselves with true knowledge.

KNOW YOUR SCRIPTURES

Isavasyopanishad … by Swami Atmananda

Isavasya Upanishad is an Upanishad found in the mantra section of Yajur Veda. Being in the mantra section it is highly revered by one & all, including those who take only the mantra section as the real Veda (i.e. the Arya Samaji's). This is one of the smallest Upanishads but on which highest number of commentaries have been written. Everyone has been drawing great inspiration from it. It has only 18 mantras and has a very fine & famous commentary written on it by Bhagwan Sri Adi Sankaracharya.

The Upanishad starts with the famous invocation of 'Purnamadah purnamidam', which has in itself the entire message of the Upanishad. It reveals that all 'this' what is perceived is that infinite reality, 'that' cause from which all this has manifested is also that. If we negate the roles of effect & cause of 'this' & 'that', then all that which remains is one non-dual reality alone.

In the first section of the Upanishad there are three mantras. The first mantra reveals the truth of life to a person who has a predominantly sattwic mind. It thunders that one should realise that there is only one divinity which exists & pervades all that is. Awakening to that realm is possible by letting go all that we hold on. This is facilitated by realising that nothing is really our's. The second mantra addresses itself to a rajasic person. It says that live an active, dynamic & selfless life. Never get attached & dependent on anything, yet work & serve on. Let no selfish motivations creep in. Living thus such a man also takes to the road of divinity & fulfillment. The third mantra addresses a man who is predominantly tamasic. It says that a person who insists on taking oneself to be that which he or she is not, condemns himself to a life of pain & despair. They will helplessly suffer.

In the second section (4th to 8th mantra) the 'nature of atma' and the 'fruits of true knowledge' are revealed. Atma is revealed as the transcendental & also the immanent reality - that which pervades all, yet is untouched by all. Grief and pain are transcended only by the true knowledge of Self. For an awakened one there is no occasion or question of any delusion.

In the third and fourth section (comprising the next six mantras) the Upanishad talks about the necessity of intelligent combination of karma & upasana in our sadhana, for the process of making the mind pure & sattwic. One should neither ignore action nor meditation. In meditation also one should intelligently include turning ones attention on the part & whole. One who does not follow this balanced approach faces drastic negative consequences.

In the fifth and the last section, the Upanishad reveals some beautiful & positive prayers. The prayers aim at invoking God's grace to help eliminate thte ignorance of Self and awaken to the limitless divinty within. The death of the finite & the awakening to the infinite. As is the case with all Upanishads this one too should be studied from a right teacher (one who is Shrotriya & Brahma-nishtha) with the help of the bhashya written by Sri Sankara, so as to understand the right implication of each word and suggestion. Given such a chance the vision expounded in the Upanishad will be a turning point in life. It will indeed be the greatest treat we can ever imagine.

QUERIES

Questions about Prayers ! … by Swami Atmananda

We recieved some fundamental & thus important questions regarding Prayers from Ms. Rajni Tiwary (Bahrain) <tiwary@batelco.com.bh>. Here are my replies :

1. Why should we pray ?

There are three basic objectives of prayers.

a) Facilitating fulfillment of our desires.

Of the various inputs required for the fulfillment of ones desires, one of the most important is to be clear & firm regarding one’s goals & aspirations, and have the confidence that ‘I can do it’. To pray to God basically implies bringing to mind one’s desires & goals - intensely & positively. It is strengthening ones Sankalpa - wish, and a ‘strong wish’ has its own profound effect on our lives & action. One may argue that we can anyway wish without giving it the garb of Prayer. Well yes, that’s what most of the people do, and they miss something great by not doing it in the form of a Prayer. Merely wishing something by deliberately keeping God out, not only brings all the unnecessary burden on ourself, but also becomes the cause of bringing about ego & arrogance, which are by themself the single most potent causes to bring about various negativities & a sense of isolation. In Prayers we wish for something - but to God, in the process we strengthen our sankalpa, and we are positive & confidant that ‘It will be done’. It is as though having the backup of some great power. Not merely some multi-national but lets say multi-cosmic power.

b) Strengthening our faith in the Existence of God, and bringing about devotion unto him.

By praying to God we also consciously & unconsciously affirm the presence of God. God is a fact of life. Anyone who says ‘God is not’ is the most thoughtless & an unscientific person who is in effect saying that there can be an effect without a cause, a creation without a creator. If God is a fact of life, and therefore it is intelligent enough to be aware of this fact of life and tune up accordingly. People who pray to God regularly bring about the right conditions in their minds to receive the ever flowing grace & blessings of God. Moreover the strong faith regarding the existence of God again has a very profound effect on the psyche of man.

c) Helping manifest various positive qualities in us.

Whoever regularly remembers God - an embodiment of infinite knowledge, power & various positive qualities, will also believe in the possibility of ‘being an embodiment of knowledge, power & virtues oneself too’. The mind continuously gets colored by the kind of company & thoughts we keep. Awareness of such a great, profound & positive power, colors his or her mind accordingly. The Vedas declare that God is not someone merely to be prayed but something to ultimately become oneself. God is our true potential. He is our real Self. Belief in God is belief in our infinitely potent & profound Self.

2. Where should we pray ?

The best place to Pray is where we get the best vibes. The ambience of the place should be such that the mind quietens by itself, feels elevated and charged with the thoughts about the presence & greatness of God. In that place there should be least distractions & disturbances. This alone is the real objective of Temples & other places of worship.

3. How should we pray ?

In an ideal prayer there are two things. Bringing to mind the presence of God, with all ones gratitude, love & respect, and bringing to mind ones goals & desires, if any. To begin with one should sit relaxed & quiet in some place which has a charged ambience. One should keep aside all other thoughts and bring to mind the thoughts of presence & qualities of God - intensely. It is this intensity which is the crux of the whole thing. The results are directly proportional to the intensity of emotions. Later one should bring to mind ones wishes & aspirations. It should however be remembered that it is not necessary to always bring to mind desires of worldly things. Prayers can be regarding invoking strength, knowledge, devotion or other positive qualities or merely expressing our gratitude towards someone who has blessed us with this life, capacities etc. He anyway helps fulfill of all our desires. Prayer can be in any language, because real prayer is basically done with ones heart & words are just means to express our feelings. It is not rattling out some verses in some unknown language, but expressing our gratitude with our entire feelings.

4. Are rituals absolutely necessary or can we dispense with them ?

Rituals have an important role to play, and at a particular stage are ‘kept’ aside too. They are physical manifestation & grossification of our feelings & convictions. Having love towards someone is good but physical expression of our feelings is certainly is better, it is like offering a gift or bouquet to our beloved ones. The importance of rituals can be easily understood by these gestures. Rituals are stamp of any culture too. They also help inculcate convictions in someone who are too young to go deep into facts & secrets of life. They help bring about discipline, but the most important aspect is that they help us learn the art of doing something intensely & holistically with full integrated personality, while taking God also in consideration in & through our actions. All our faculties learn to operate for one goal, including physical. When the mind is ready to be airborne then the ground of rituals is left. This leaving should be only when we have an inculcated the art of integrated & holistic action in our day to day life. Like a medicine leaving of rituals should always be after the advise of a specialist of this field i.e. our Guru. In our religion only the sanyasis are asked to stop all rituals. Rest should continue them in one form or the other.

5. What is best...japa, mantras or meditation.
Japa of mantras is stepping stone to glide into the portals of meditation. They are not alternates but stages. One should lead to the other. A person who can do Japa properly alone can easily take off in meditation. In Japa we invoke feelings while holding on to something comprehensible, while in meditation this intensity of feelings towards God helps us drop all comprehensible aids and this helps us awake to the transcendental & the incomprehensible. If someone cannot invoke feelings with the help of that which is easily comprehensible then there can be no chance of the fellow bringing about feelings towards that which is not even comprehensible. So one should learn to do Japa properly then other things will not be difficult.

6. Is it enough to live ones life performing one’s duties honestly with love and truth and avoiding all negative attitudes like fear, hatred jealousy etc. and inculcating positive attitudes of love.

This certainly is great, but does the question imply that such a person who wants to "inculcate positive attitudes of love" has aversion towards prayers - which is nothing but expression of love towards that which is the truth. Prayer is basically something which facilitates us to become like that. It is a great helpful aid, and is not something which replaces doing of ones duties honestly etc. I am sure with the above details this question would have got answered. Love & om.

SPECIAL SECTION

Thoughts on Conversions issue-2 … by Swami Atmananda

(Last month we had published a mail sent by Ms.Kanchan Datwani to the 'Arjunas Mailing List' on the conversion issue. This month we publish Poojya Guruji's reply to her)

Hari om !
It was a great joy to have gone through the beautiful analytical piece of work by Kanchan. How I wish that this objective, unbiased & in-depth way of thinking is inculcated by one & all. I wish I had seen this mail before dispatching the Feb issue of Vedanta Sandesh, I would have loved to include this too in it. With Kanchans permission I will do that in our Mar issue. All problems whether they are subjective or outside can be sorted out only by right understanding brought about by such objective analysis. We may at times differ here & there, and at times it may take some time to come to right answers but the hope lies here alone. Right understanding alone redeems, and such analysis alone is the means. Lets all encourage such an approach. Thanks Kanchan ! You are indeed gold.

I agree that more important than merely getting bothered about some flare ups is to go to the bottom of the issue. What is certainly of greater importance is to identify the motivations of different faiths. Your effort even though brief did address the main issue. Lack of tolerance of some faith in others is indeed proving to be a great problem. Some faiths have been, are & will continue to be a problem for all. It is also note-worthy that Christian Missionaries dare not even think of converting the Muslim people of their satan-land. Poor, ignorant & docile Hindus are their obvious targets.

I would however like to go a bit further and raise a still more fundamental question of ‘What is the basic objective of all religion? Are different faiths addressing some basic objective or not ? If the motivations & objectives differ then should we still let the name of religion be used to further the objectives of such groups & people ?’ As per our understanding religion is basically a package for holistic development of human personality. It takes into consideration the body, mind, intellect & also that dimension which transcends all this. It helps to bring out the best in a person. It helps create a truly complete, integrated & dynamic personalities. Real development of human mind calls for an atmosphere of complete freedom, no impositions by any saviours. Now if someone is not addressing this issue then do we still call that sect as religious one ? I think this issue too has to be addressed. Proper discussions should take place on these things and results of all propositions should be researched & verified. That way we can get the best of all. It is strange that neither any discussions have been initiated by powers that be on these matters nor have the people given any opportunity to know what religion is all about. People are kept in dark and others continue playing their sinister games. It was surprising seeing such a hue & cry at the time of proposal to introduce the study of non-sectarian & rather philosophical Upanishads etc in educational curricula. It was because of the magnanimous vision of these Upanishads alone that this country could harbor all.

Regarding Secularism I fully agree that greater understanding is called for. I however differ that secularism does not pose any danger to people of other faith. With the present definition of Secularism the extent of damage is unimaginable. A heritage of thousands of years is on the verge of collapse, not by positive opposition but by ignoring. It has become the resort of irreligious ones. A person professing secularism has to know the truths of life so deeply that he can have a magnanimity which embraces all & is personally not motivated by various factors which are seen to condition thousands of people of different faiths (the driving forces), such a person has to necessarily draw his strength, joy & inspiration from something which is just beyond the perceptual world. The others who also profess about secularism are those who have nothing to do with religion, they are too engrossed to fulfill their self-centered desires, they see no positive & practical role of religion. For them religion is a necessary evil, a product of weak & superstitious minds. They can never even imagine the dynamics of metaphysical dimensions on human psyche. Philosophy for them is a pastime of some impractical people who do not contribute anything ‘worthwhile’ to the society. Moreover such people never come & vote, so who cares about such abstract things. Absence of right knowledge creates conditions which help them to exploit religion to further their selfish ends. Can we imagine secularism alongwith ignoring religious education & heritage. Does this really imply that we respect all - sincerely. We have been educating millions to ignore religion and thats what we see around - indifferentism, as you call it. Not only that but a nation which competes for the position of the most corrupt nation in the world. Thoughtless living, dirty places, immoral relationships, bidding price for sons and a list of such shameful things. Very rarely you see that a person knows what he or she is doing, majority just follow like sheeps. Secularism in the hands of irreligious people brings about greater catastrophe. In direct opposition the person is at least truthful & is in front of you, but in such conditions you have to live up with liars, who just put up a front. Such people just let the religion rot, when they do speak they speak what the ignorant ones are doing in the name of religion. Such people eliminate the very respect for religion as such. They are doing more harm than others.

As per me the present political system is at the root of such misdeeds. Multi-party democracy is intrinsically divisive. It does not unite. Have any setup along with multi-party democratic setup, the whole fabric will be shortly torn & threaded apart. People have to literally discover differences and then magnify them only to present them as saviors. Two party democratic setup may prove relatively less destructive, but here also the party members for their own survival have to form groups & thus divisions. As long as people are educated & intelligent so long we can expect some proper basis of such groups, but in country like India, even in two party system we will have intra-sects on the basis of baseless things. The ideal will be to select & train a group of countrymen for the job of leadership, and give them the best possible education right from the beginning. They should truly be the best, who not only understand the economics, science, technology etc but also the effect of metaphysical factors in the creation of the human psyche. With such enlightened people around we can expect open philosophical discussions, sincere efforts to identify the real objective of religion as such, providing a free atmosphere to all to raise their understanding to great heights, and of course drawing a line clearly & firmly to discourage people to further their irreligious ends in the name of religion. Love & om.

GENERAL SECTION

Where am I ? A poem by Tim Gerchmez (fewtch@eskimo.com)

To be in the world, but not of it?

Some may consider themselves "above it";

Not I, no fear, I’ll take the chance,

of joining the party, of beginning to dance.

I ask myself first, "Then what world am I of?"

It seems to me, a world known as "Love."

A place that’s timeless and immense;

a vast expanse of Experience.

A world where BEING is everything;

A place where Heart has space to sing;

A Universe of Perception, no space, no time,

just pure Belonging, and rhythm and rhyme.

A world where I AM only free;

A place where I AM free from "me";

A No-space non-thinking vast dimension,

of creativity and Being, of Existence and invention.

---

This world, I think, how does one get there?

How does one get ego out of one’s hair?

The answer I know, yet cannot express;

An attempt to describe it would cause quite a mess.

It lies in a place where "apart" is a whole;

It lies in an area sometimes known as the soul;

Connected to Being, Connected to All

If one fights for it one will simply fall.

---

The only way to arrive at bliss;

To know that nothing is ever amiss;

Is to dwell in a land where "I" am not here;

This land that’s referred to is really quite near.

To get there is as easy as taking the risk,

Of allowing mySELF to cease to exist...

For to give up "me" is to get to be free

a freedom that allows ALL Humans to be

At-One with life and love and peace

If I go this place, "I" will simply... Cease.

VM ACTIVITIES

Earlier & Forthcoming Programs

Earlier Programs :

1. Yatra to Prayag etc :

A Teertha Yatra to Prayag, Kashi & Chitrakoot was undertaken alongwith Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji & her students. Devotees from Ahmedabad also accompanied the group. In the week long Yatra, the group first went to Prayag and had a dip in Sangam, the holy confluence of Ganga & Yamuna Rivers. Later they went to Varanasi and had darshan of Kashi Vishwanath, the famous Jyotirlinga at Varanasi. Annapurna & Vindhyavasani Devi Temples were also visited. While in Varanasi the famous pilgrimage center of Sarnath was also seen. The group returned to Allahabad the next day and left for Chitrakoot - where Lord Rama spent the major part of his Vanavasa. Parikrama of Kamadgiri Mountain was conducted and other nearby places like Spatika shila, Gupta Godavari were also seen.

2. Sri Ram Navami Celebrations at Ashram :

Sri Ram Navami was celebrated in a dignified way at the Ashram. Stotra chanting, Bhajans & chanting of Vedic mantras was followed by a Maha-Aarti at sharp 12 noon - the birth time of Lord Ram. This year the program was organised & conducted basically by the Ashram students & inmates.

Forthcoming Programs :

1. Gita Gyana Yagna at Mumbai :

A Gita Gyana Yagna to be conducted by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji is being organised at Bandra Hindu Association Hall from 29th Mar to 4th April. The texts will be Gita Chapter 15 in the evenings and Vakya Vritti in the mornings.

2. Gita Gyana Yagna at Ahmedabad :

A Gita Gyana Yagna to be conducted by Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji is being organised at Sri Ramkrishna Mission Hall, Ahmedabad from 7th to 13th May. In the Yagna Poojya Swaminiji will be conducting discourses on Gita Chapter 3 in the evenings, and the Isavasyopanishad in the morning sessions. The discourses will be in Gujarati.

3. Gita Gyana Yagna at New Delhi :

A Gita Gyana Yagna to be conducted by Poojya Guruji Swami Atmanandaji at DDA Community Center (opp B sector market) in the Vasant Kunj locality of New Delhi from 9th to 15th May. The text of the discourses will be Gita Chapter 7 and Drig-Dryshya Viveka in the evening & morning sessions respectively.

Notice Board

Sad Demise :

We regret to inform the sad demise of Sh.Rajendranathji Magow of Mumbai, who was a very sincere student & devotee of Poojya Guruji. He left his mortal coil few days before he had planned a visit to Vedanta Ashram, Indore. We offer our heartlfelt condolences to the bereaved family and pray for the departed soul. Hari om !

We also regret to inform of the untimely demise of Sh.Santosh Kumar Dikshit of Indore. Sh.Dikshit worked deligently in the early days of Vedanta Mission-Indore. He leaves behind his wife & two children. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family & prayers for the departed soul. Hari om !

Experimental Forums :

We are pleased to inform about the starting of three experimental 'Interactive Forums of Vedanta Mission' at the following Sites. Members are requested to join these forums and help us discover their potential & facilities :

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/vedantasangat

http://anexa.paralogic.com/vedantamission/index.lhtml

http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=SwAtma&mid=5

Sankaracharya's Photos :

We have uploaded three photos of Bhagwan Sri Adi Sankaracharya on the web. Use them as wallpaper on your screen, or send them to your friends. The Site Add are :

http://members.tripod.com/SwAtma/Photos/sankara1.jpg (Statue at Vedanta Ashram-Indore)

http://members.tripod.com/SwAtma/Photos/sankara2-4shishyas.jpg (Painting from Gujarat)

http://members.tripod.com/SwAtma/Photos/sankara3.jpg (Another statue in Indore)

Central Office of Vedanta Mission

'Vedanta Ashram'

E / 2948-50, Sudama Nagar

INDORE – 452 009. INDIA

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Tel : 91-731-486055, Fax : 91-731-789497

E-mail : vedantamission@usa.net

Home Page : http://members.tripod.com/vedantamission/index.html

Published by

Swami Atmananda Saraswati

OM TAT SAT