May 2008 Newsletter

Chinmaya Vani (Chinmaya Mission Orlando Newsletter)
Newsletter - May 2008 Chinmaya Mission Orlando - www.chinmayaorlando.org
Everybody exists.
It is only the few who live.
To live, you should have an ideal.

- Swami Chinmayananda

GURU BRAHMA RUPA JANO,
SHIVE KA SWAROOP MAANO.

On May 8th we celebrated Guru Jayanthi by offering our pranaams to Sadguru Swami Chinmayananda and sought his blessings to live the values he taught. Children sang about the glory and importance of Guru in our life and adults shared their experiences with Gurudev.  swamichinmayananda.jpg

A small poem in Gurudev's remembrance

Ganges begins mission from Himalayas
And you started your mission from Himalayas !
 
Ganges spreads waters to feed life
You spread Gita to teach how to live life!
 
Ganges gives and gives water to us always
You did give knowledge and forgive our slips any ways!
 
Ganges roars loudly through narrow hilly paths
You roared to make us see through our narrow minded ways!
 
Ganges flows silently when passing through plains
Your silent gaze lifted veils that confuse our minds!
 
Ganges cleanses and purifies any thing it touches
Your teaching cleanses and purifies any mind it reaches!
 
Ganges tributaries carry same water with many names
Your disciples carry same teaching in many forms!
 
Ganges untiringly flows until it reaches ocean
Your timeless teachings continue to lift our vision!
 
Ganges shows grace at its every turn
You shower grace whenever we remember you in return!

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE  

Blessed Self 

Adorations and Salutations,

This beautiful world is the divine temple of God, and "He" only exists as the supreme reality. Great spiritual giants such as Sadguru Swami Chinmayananda can only awaken the spirtual power in seekers.

We owe our lives to such Masters who have ignited the flame of spritual seeking within us. Let us strive to seek the highest in this life alone.

We are blessed with these sweet little children as sparks of divinity amongst us. We are planning to expand the building and add more classrooms and a  prayer hall. Let us give them the best through our selfless and pure love.

In "His" Service

Love,
Dr. Shailaja Nadkarni
President,
Chinmaya Mission Orlando

UPCOMING EVENTS
Event Date Time Venue
Balavihar Teachers Training- Summer 2008 June 01 - Aug 10, 2008 10:30am - 12:00pm (Sundays) Chinmaya Mission, Casselberry
Discourse on Vivekachoodamani by Dr.Shylaja Nadkarni - Summer 2008 June 01 - Aug 10, 2008 9:00am - 10:15am
(Sundays)
Chinmaya Mission, Casselberry
Tabla Classes by Pandit Nandkishor Muley - Summer 2008 June 01 - Aug 10, 2008

11:00am - 12:00pm
(Sundays)

Chinmaya Mission, Casselberry
Discourse on Ashtavakra Gita Chapter 1 by Br. Vimal Chaitanya June 13, 14 2008 7:30pm to 9:00pm(June13)9:00am to Noon(June 14) Chinmaya Mission, Casselberry

 Summer 2008 Balavihar Teachers Training

Summer 2008 Balavihar Teachers Training     
Chinmaya Mission Orlando is very privileged to have a dedicated group of Balavihar teachers who volunteer their time in helping the children explore and imbibe the richness and diversity of our Vedic religion and culture.

During Summer 2008, Chinmaya Mission Orlando will conduct Balavihar Teachers Training program that will provide an opportunity for the interested members, parents and also existing teachers to learn and improve their proficiency in teaching the invaluable knowledge of Vedanta to the Balavihar children. This program not only helps one to become a better teacher but at the same time become a better parent.  If the kids plan to come along with parents, they can engage in other activities (Chanting, Arts & Crafts, Music - Tabla and Philosophy study) conducted by our volunteers.

  • Start Date:  01 June 2008
  • End Date:    10 Aug 2008
  • Time:              10:30am to 12:00pm

The highlights of this training program are

  • Learn Vedic Prayers
  • How to effectively teach Vedanta
  • Learn and teach Arts and Crafts
  • Japa and Meditation
  • Hands-on workshop 

If you are interested in this program, please sign up by CLICKING here


 Summer 2008 Tabla Classes by Pandit Nandkishor Muley

Chinmaya Mission of Orlando is starting TABLA classes from Sunday, June 1st, 2008. This will provide an oppurtunity to the interested members, youth and children to learn or improve their proficiency in playing the popular Indian percussion instrument. The Tabla classes will be conducted by world renowned Tabla Maestro Pandit Nandkishor Muley.
 

These are beginners classes and all participants above the age of 8 years are welcome to attend this 10 week course. Each class will be 1 hour long and will be conducted every Sunday from 11:00AM-12:00PM. Participants will receive a 'Certificate of Completion' by Pt. Muley ji after the successful completion of the course.  

The course fee is $200.00 for the whole 10 weeks. The fees are due at the time of the first lesson (June 1st). Participants are required to bring their own Tabla set. If you don't have a Tabla set, please send an email to info@chinmayaorlando.org so we can assist you in the purchase of Tabla set at a discounted price.

If you are interested in this class, please sign up by CLICKING here

http://nandkishor-muley.com/


 New Balavihar building project
exteriorplan_small.jpgThe plan for the new Balavihar classroom expansion Project was unveiled at the Fundraiser Banquet at Bahia Shrine, Maitland on April 12th 2008. As you remember Bhoomi Puja for this new building happened on December 23, 2007, with blessings of Swami Tejomayanandaji and various other Swamijis. The plan is to build   22 class rooms and a library spanning about 18,000 sq.ft of building space. This facilitates accommodating more students, classes and activities. The project has realistic goals that will be developed in multiple phases.   (Click for more info...)
 
 
First Phase 
 
 
  • 40 ft X 80 ft dining area (patio style)
  • New kitchen and serving area
  • Addition to Tapovan building
  • Positive usage of available land
  • To be completed by 2008 Fall session

Second Phase

  • Twenty two (22) rooms for 20 students in each
  • 1 large lecture hall 40 X 70 ft 
  • 4 office rooms 
  • Showers for possible camps 
  • 2 beautiful garden areas 
  • 2 open courtyards 
  • Classrooms ready by 2010

 Excerpts from “Manah Shodhanam’

The Mind: Our best friend and worst enemy  - Swami Tejomayananda
Gyana Yagna was conducted by Swamini. Shivapriyanandini ji on "Manah Shodhanam" a text written by Swami. Tejomayananda at Chinmaya Mission Orlando from March 20 -23, 2008. Following are excerpts from that lecture.

Regardless of whether a spiritual seeker is following the path of action, devotion, knowledge, meditation, or renunciation, the sole obstacle is one’s own mind. As we have seen, this is equally true in the secular field. All our spiritual practices aim at tackling the mind. Otherwise, knowledge by itself is so simple. The scriptures say that we are not the limited body or mind but we are the infinite Self, Atman, of the nature of absolute Bliss. I do not have to produce the blissful Self; it is already me. I must only drop my identification with the body and mind and discover this fact. Yet the mind does not allow this to happen very easily, and as long as we do not understand our true nature, we continue to condemn the mind.

In the Bhagavad Gita and Upanisads, it is clearly said that the mind alone is our best  friend and our worst enemy. The mind is the cause of our bondage and is also the means of our liberation. One should not think either of fighting or of conquering the mind, for such ideas inherently make it one’s enemy. What we really need to do is make the mind our friend, which it already is in reality; we just  do not realize it. All ideas of fighting, winning over, or conquering the mind are nothing but our attempts to understand it. When we do understand it, all impurities vanish. The person possessing a pure mind will be the most successful in any given field of life. Therefore, as spiritual seekers, we need to pay much more attention to this fact.

One thing which I have learned from my own experience is that every aspect of life demands attention; nothing happens automatically. We may study Vedanta, the Upanishad-s, or other scriptures, but if we do not pay any attention to our physical health then we will definitely suffer from physical problems. Just because one is a Vedantin does not mean that one is physically healthy.  Similarly, if one pays a lot of attention to the physical body and not to the mind, one may be physically healthy but not necessarily mentally fit.

In short, if we pay attention to our body, mind, and intellect equally, there will be a total and perfect integration of our personality. For this integration to take place, the only solution is to understand our own mind. When we do so, a great peace will be experienced which cannot be described in words. Once the mind is purified for the highest spiritual purpose of life, all other purposes are automatically taken care of.

 
 
 Discourses on Ashtavakra Gita Chapter 1 by Br. Vimal Chaitanya (June 13 -14, 2008)

Date/Time: 

June 13th 2008 Friday , 7:30pm to 9:00pm

June 14th 2008 Saturday, 9:00am to 10:30am and 11:00am to 12:30pm (followed by Aarati and Lunch)

Venue: Chinmaya Mission Orlando, Casselberry  

Details :   Ashtavakra Gita is contained in the epic Mahabharata as a dialogue between Maharshi Lomasa and the Pandava King Yudishthira just as Srimad Bhagavad Gita appears as a dialogue between Sanjaya and the Kaurava King Dhrutrashtra. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Sanjaya narrates the entire episode of how Arjuna was lifted from dejection and despair to a state of liberation by Shri Krishna through an exhaustive and logical application of the Vedantic principles. In Ashtavakra Gita, we find that as soon as Ashtavakra begins his discourse in response to King Janaka’s queries about knowledge and liberation, Janaka begins to chime in with perfect harmony indicating he just needed a little nudge in the right direction from his Guru.

It is often pointed out that Ashtavakra Gita can significantly help only those who are advanced seekers such as Janaka who have purified their minds and are engaged in deep reflection upon the universal truth and that for others it’s true significance will be summarily lost. Yet the directness of the message, the absence of any room for the mind to maneuver and the sublime profundity with which the subtle knowledge is conveyed is all so charming that once exposed any real seeker will find it difficult to turn away and not be drawn to it again and again as if by some unseen force of attraction.  

About Br.  Vimal Chaitanya

Br. Vimal Chaitanya is a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda. He taught Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and other Vedantic texts at the Chinmaya Mission of Orlando while in residence there. He has also given discourses at many U.S. centers in English, Hindi and Gujarati. Br. Vimalji has vast experience in teaching and is currently VP of Research at New Mexico State University.

  
 Gita chanting competition 2008

Gita Chanting Competition is conducted annually for Balavihar children at Chinmaya Mission Orlando. This event has grown in popularity with enthusiastic participation over the years. This year it was conducted on May 4 2008 at Kaivalya Hall and there were around 50 student participants ranging in age from 2 - 15 years! The topic of the competition for this year was Chapter 15 of Bhagavad Gita.

The philosophy behind Gita Chanting Competition is explained as follows
"Chanting initially introduces one to the world renowned Bhagavad Geeta. Naturally this leads to the study of the text, resulting in the gain of knowledge revealed therein. Knowledge translated into action becomes a way of living one’s life successfully and joyously. Thus CHANT – STUDY – KNOW – LIVE is the main purpose of this activity”.

Judgment Criteria for Gita Chanting Competition was
1) Memory 
- Fluency in chanting
- Need for prompting
- Request for picking another set of verses

2) Clear and proper Pronunciation
3) Tune & Presentation
- Posture
- Style
- Confidence level

4) Overall Effect 

And the Prize winners of Gita Chanting Competition for Year 2008 are ....

Group First Prize Second Prize Third Prize
Group 1 (Under 5 years)  Tara Chandra  Deepika Kannan, Jai Nibhanupudy  Maitri Jajoo
Group 2 (5 to 6 years)  Pranav Abbaraju,   Pranav Gupta  Aishwarya Babuji, Sanjana Prasad 
 Yumin Shivdasani
Group 3 (7 to 8 years)  Nikhil Banda  Niyati Shah  Akshay Shivprasad
Group 4 (9 years and over)  Pooja Chandrasekhar  Tara Nibhanupudy  Anushri Marar

 Youth Corner - Riddles

Q1) What is the easiest way to throw a ball, and have it stop, and completely reverse direction after traveling a short distance?

Q2) Whoever makes it, tells it not. Whoever takes it, knows it not. Whoever knows it, wants it not. What is it?

Q3) Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg are white," or "The yolk of the egg is white?"

 Youth Corner - Riddle Answers

A1) Toss it in the air.

A2) Counterfeit Money.

A3) Neither, because egg yolks are yellow.



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