May 2009 Newsletter

Newsletter - May 2009
Chinmaya Mission Orlando -
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him”
- Swami Chinmayananda 
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. 
Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda
“Is Guru necessary for seekers?” asked some one when Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji visited a college in Hyderabad. His prompt answer was “yes, at least to answer such questions!” 
Swami Tejomayanandaji described him as:
“I saw him as a perfect jivanmukta purusa- a person liberated while living. Many a time I have felt that it is easier to describe Brahman [the supreme Reality] than to describe a jivanmukta. We find many verses in our scriptures in praise of such an enlightened soul. One such characteristic that comes to mind is that the enlightened person is one who is free from worrying over the past or being anxious about the future, one who is totally detached and objective in dealing with the present. Pujya Gurudev himself used to speak about such a person as someone like a mirror. A mirror accepts everything, rejects nothing, reflects everything, but keeps nothing! Pujya Gurudev indeed was that jivanmukta purusa.”
Swamiji never stopped teaching. His every movement and action, no matter how simple, became a lesson in conscious living, dynamic loving, and joyous acceptance of the divine law.
Swamiji’s description of a God-realized soul aptly characterizes himself.
“His life itself is a scripture, his words are hymns, his actions are blessings upon the world. He is the fulfilled, the perfect. In such an accomplished man, we watch God and His play.”
The following verse from Totakaashtakam would aptly apply to Gurudev or any sadguru:
 “Bhava eve bhavaan iti me nitaraam
  Sama jaayata ceytasi kautukitaa
  Mama vaaraya moha mahaajaladhim
  Bhava Shankara desika me saranam”
Knowing that Thou art verily the Supreme Lord
There arises overwhelming bliss in my heart
Protect me from the vast ocean of delusion
Be Thou my refuge O Master !


Blessed Self, Hari Om


Divine grace as Sun, is falling upon us all; we have to learn to purify ourselves and bask in "its" Presence.
With the grace of God and blessings of Shri Gurudev,we are completing the Balvihar Session this month; to restart in August 2009. Every end of our study is the beginning of the next higher study.
Children performed so beautifully with grace and enthusiasm in Gita chanting competition that they almost revealed the presence of God. It is not what they win but what they learn and purify their minds by chanting the verses of Shrimad Bhagadvad Gita.
Chinmaya Mission is now entering its First phase of construction of dining hall and kitchen. Let us pray for its successful completion and let us ask blessings from Mother Annapoorna.

In "His" Service

Dr. Shailaja Nadkarni
Chinmaya Mission Orlando 

Upcoming Events
Event Date/Time Venue
Final Exam for Balavihar students Sunday, May 17th 2009  Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Service Day for students of all classes Sunday, May 24th 2009   Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Prize distribution for 2008-2009 school year and final day of Balavihar for this school year. Sunday, May 31st 2009  Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Discourse on Tatvabodh by Dr.Shailaja Nadkarni - Summer 2009 Sunday, July 5th 2009 till End of Summer  Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Gyan Yagna on Chandogya Upanishad by Br.Prabodh Chaitanya in the morning and Bhagavatam Canto 4 in the evening. August 11th 2009 - August 15th 2009 (More details as they become available)  Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Tabla and Vocal classes by Pt. NandKishor Muley (New beginners batch). Register   Starting August 2009 every Sunday between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm               Chinmaya Mission Orlando 
 Note:  Construction work of Dining Hall and Kitchen will start in June 2009 and is scheduled to end in September 2009
Excerpts from ‘Vision of the Bhagavad Gita' – Swami Tejomayananda
The Bhagavad Gita is a manual for living that offers a complete philosophy of life, each verse guiding us to a new understanding of ourselves. Let us first have a clear understanding of the word “life”. Life is a series of experiences and at every moment we are required to make a choice. Most of us are not always certain which is the right action to take and therefore there is a conflict.
Shakespeare in his famous play, Julius Ceasar said, “To be or not to be,” which we may paraphrase as “To do or not to do.” Sometimes we decide on an action, but when it comes time to carry out we begin to doubt. This inner conflict of how to make the right choice in every situation is common to all. And in order to resolve it, we need to be able to think clearly. For those who have clarity of thought, life is simple and uncomplicated. The most important thing is to learn the art of right thinking. Knowing how to think is more important than knowing what to think.
We should also have a vision of life in its totality. And in the light of that vision, all problems can be resolved easily. Whatever challenges we meet with in life be it illness, emotional trauma, financial hardship, and so on, our response will vary according to our level of inner maturity and our vision of life.
Take ill health, for instance, one who has faith and inner maturity tends to be more accepting and will consider the illness as a temporary situation and suffer much less. While a person who lacks faith and who has a narrower view of life will be more fearful and suffer greatly at only the hint of a disease. Once we know the art of clear and logical thinking it becomes easier to deal with various situations that we encounter in life.
In Gita Lord removes Arjuna’s ignorance so that with wisdom and discernment he may confidently confront the difficulties placed in his path. It provides us “Krishna-cure’ to make our lives sublime.
[Excerpt from “Sri Krishna: The Master and His message” by Sadhu Vaswani]
Says Krishna:
In sorrow not dejected,
In joy, not overjoyed!
Outside the influence of passion,
Of fear and anger
Ever calm in sorrow and joy-
Such as one is wise, indeed!

Let the sense-storms sweep over thee!
Stand thou – firm, unafraid!
Lose not self-control! So mayst thou regain
The kingdom of the Spirit!

Be master of thyself!
Shake off the yoke of flesh!
Live as Lord, not servant, of the senses.
Do thine earthly duty, free from desire!
Shun not work!
Gita Chanting Competition - Pooja Chandrasekhar



My name is Pooja Chandrasekhar. I am 13 years of age in the eighth grade. I have been attending Tapovan since 2002, when I was seven years old. I have been learning the Bhagavad Gita and participating in the competition since then. I like getting involved in the Bhagavad Gita competition because it benefits me by both testing my reciting skills and improving my Sanskrit pronunciation. I enjoy participating in the competition because it is easy for me to learn the chapter. I do not have to spend hours of hard work in trying to memorize each verse because, luckily, I am good at committing verses to memory.

In previous years, I learned the chapters 3, 7, 12, 13, and 15. Each chapter concentrates on a specific quality of human behavior. For example, chapter 3 focuses on Karma Yoga. This year, the chapter was 13, which is about the Purusottama Yoga. The Bhagavad Geeta is an extraordinary poem. It is the conversation of Sri Krishna teaching Arjuna the values and tenets of Hinduism. Simultaneously, it is a lesson for all people, especially children. This is why it is considered the fifth of the Vedas.I have always enjoyed listening to Vedic chanting in temples. I love singing and listening to Carnatic classical music. Chanting has a musical and soothing quality that lingers. I like listening to Swami Brahmananda chant the Bhagavad Gita.

It is always fun to participate in the Bhagavad Gita competition. I want to continue taking part for years to come.

Hari Om! 



  Gita Chanting 2009 Competition - Winners

Under 5 Years
 1st Place  Aditya Nambiar
 2nd Place
 Aneesh Cherukuri
 3rd Place
 Manasi Prasad
 5 Years
 1st Place  Isha Jigajinni, Pravallika Ghantasala
 2nd Place
 Uma Menon
 3rd Place
 Ritisha Suresh, Sanjeev Gurshaney
  6 to 7 Years
 1st Place  Pranav Abbaraju, Pranav Gupta
 2nd Place
 Sanjana Prasad
 3rd Place
 Kashyap Sreeram, Aishwarya Babuji
  8 to 9 Years
 1st Place  Siddharth Reddy Vasepalli
 2nd Place
 Nikhil Reddy Banda
 3rd Place
 Archana Banda, Karthik Sreeram, Ankit Jajoo
 Over 9 Years
 1st Place  Tara Nibhanupudy
 2nd Place
 Vansh Nambiar
 3rd Place
 Pooja Chandrasekhar
Enchanting Tales


The Grass Eating Lion


Once a pregnant lioness attacked a herd of goats. Due to over exhaustion of springing on her prey, she delivered a cub and died immediately. The cub grew up in the company of goats. The goats ate grass and the cub followed their example. They bleated and the cub bleated too. Gradually, it grew to be a big lion all the while believing that it was a goat. One day, a lion attacked their herd. It was amazed to see a grass eating lion. Running after it, the lion at last seized it, whereupon the grass eating lion began to bleat. The lion dragged it to the water and said, “look at your face in the water. It is just like mine. Here is a little meat. Eat it.” Saying thus, it thrust some meat into its mouth. The grass eating lion would not eat it, and started to bleat again. Gradually, however it got the taste of the blood and came to relish the meat. The wild lion said : “Now you see, there is no difference between you and me. Come along and follow me into the forest.”

So, there can be no fear if the Guru's grace descends on one. He will let you know, who you are and what your real nature is. 

Why do we do what we do ?

Why do we ring the bell in a temple?


Is it to wake up the Lord? But the Lord never sleeps. Is it to let the Lord know we have come? He does not need to be told, as He is all knowing. Is it a form of seeking permission to enter His precinct? It is a homecoming and therefore entry needs no permission. The Lord welcomes us at all times. Then why do we ring the bell? 


The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound Om, the universal name of the Lord. There should be auspiciousness within and without, to gain the vision of the Lord who is all-auspiciousness. 

Even while doing the ritualistic aarati, we ring the bell. It is sometimes accompanied by the auspicious sounds of the conch and other musical instruments. An added significance of ringing the bell, conch and other instruments is that they help drown any inauspicious or irrelevant noises and comments that might disturb or distract the worshippers in their devotional ardour, concentration and inner peace. 

As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja) we ring the bell, chanting:


Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam
gamanaarthamtu raakshasaam
Kurve ghantaaravam tatra
devataahvaana lakshanam
I ring this bell indicating
the invocation of divinity,
So that virtuous and noble forces
enter (my home and heart);
and the demonic and evil forces
from within and without, depart.      
Divine Chants
Guru Shlokam
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshvarah
Guru Shakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah
Meaning: Know The Guru To Be Brahma Himself. He Is Vishnu. He Is Also Shiva. Know Him To Be The Supreme Brahman, And Offer Thy Adoration Unto That Peerless Guru.
Akhanda Mandalaakaaram
Vyaaptam Yenam charaacharam
Tatpadam Darshitam Yena
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Meaning: Guru can guide us to the supreme knowledge of THAT which pervades all the living and non-living beings in the entire Universe (namely Brahman). I salute such a Guru.
Delicious Living - Malai Kulfi

Recipe for Malai Kulfi by Ms. Hansa Patel



2 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
8 oz. Heavy cream
1/4 cup pistachios, coursely ground
Pinch of elaichi
Few sliced almonds and/or pistachios (optional)
1. Pour the can of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy whipping cream in a bowl.
2. Add elaichi powder.
3. Mix it with manual beater or in a mixer.
4. Add coursely ground pistachios.
5. Pour the mixture into aluminium or Popsicle containers.
6. Freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.
7. Dip the container lightly in warm water to easily remove the kulfi from the container.
8. Server either on a popsicle stick or in 1 inch thick slices.
9. Garnish with sliced almonds and/or pistachios (optional).
Variations: Add mango pulp, chikoo or strawberries for a a tasty variation. 
Poem in Hindi by Ms. Geeta Pandit


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