January 2011 Newsletter


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Newsletter - January 2011
Chinmaya Mission Orlando - www.chinmayaorlando.org
"The secret of action is to get established in equanimity, renouncing all egocentric attachments, and forgetting to worry over our successes and failures."

- Swami Chinmayananda

Spiritual Diary
by Swami Chinmayananda

As promised, the following are the next 5 items from the 20 items listed out by our Gurudev for a Spiritual Saadhaka to keep track of for his spiritual development. We will continue this series in the two newsletters that will be published later this year.
For how long did I engage myself in selfless service (karma yoga)? Any act of service, performed in a spirit of detachment, will further the growth of the noble qualities of love, tolerance, mercy, and so on. Learn to serve Him through the people you are helping.

GurudevSittingHow many mala (rosaries) of japa did I perform? One mala consists of 108 beads, with a mantra chanted at the turning of each bead. In order to do japa effectively, you must strive as far as possible to exclude all extraneous thoughts from the mind during the period of japa practice.

How many Upanishad mantras did I read? Read only a little each day, but digest what you have read and allow your mind to reflect over the great truths behind the words of the mantras.

How many mantras did I write? Mantra writing is the easiest way of fixing your concentration. Keep a separate notebook for this purpose, and regularly write about a page of your chosen mantra. While writing the mantra, do not speak or look around, nor move away from the work until the allotted amount is finished. This exercise will aid your concentration immensely, since you soak your mind with the ideal suggested by the mantra as you whisper and write: the hand is writing the mantra, the eyes are seeing the mantra, the mouth is softly chanting the mantra, and the ears are listening to the mantra. The mind thus becomes easily single-pointed.

How many hours did I observe silence? Keeping silence does not mean expressing all your thoughts in relation to the outside world by making signs. If you do so, your mind will be entertaining thoughts that relate to the objective world. The aim is to withdraw one's attention to the inner world of the spirit.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Blessed Self, Hari Om

May God Bless all with Peace and Divine Love on this occassion of the New Year.

Pujya Gurudev always pointed out that selfless service purifies our minds by exhausting vasanas and preventing the accumulations of new vasanas. Chinmaya Mission offers endless opportunities for Seva (Service) to suite our needs. We must participate in the activities with the understanding that it is for our own personal inner growth.

In the mind filled by seva, seeds of Sadhana flourish. Seva and Sadhana are two wings the seeker needs for the flight to Infinity. Let us work together with harmony giving more than what we receive. Two major projects ahead of us this year are the Classrooms for children and the Geeta Gyana yagna.

Let us all bask in the warmth of the glorious teaching of Lord in Sreemad Bhagavad Geeta and work in the spirit of True Yagna. May God shower his blessings upon all.

In "His" Service

Love,
Dr. Shailaja Nadkarni
President, Chinmaya Mission Orlando

Upcoming Events
Event Date/Time Venue
Start of Tabla and Vocal classes for 2011 session by Pt. Nandkishor Muley
Every Saturday and Sunday starting January 8th, 9th 2011.  Click here to register or for more information
Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Shiva Pradosh Pooja 31-JAN-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Mahashivaratri 03-MAR-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Holi Celebrations 20-MAR-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Geeta Chanting Competition (Chapter 12) 10-APR-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
 New Year 2011 Message by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda

guruji"A man with the right vision is concerned not only with how he can gain success for himself in a given field, but also with how he can include others in his success. So in the New Year let us broaden our vision making it all encompassing to live life successfully, completely and joyfully." -  Swami Tejomayananda. 

Construction Update 
Hari OM!

By Lord Shiva's grace and Gurudev's blessing, Phase II of the building expansion has been progressing nicely. A preliminary concept plan of the new building has been prepared and approved by the board and executive committee. Initial surveys, studies and analysis have been completed. The site engineer is in the process of finalizing our submittals to Seminole County. We anticipate that the permitting process will take approximately 6 month, which gives us just enough time to complete the funding process.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, Phase II is a large initiative and includes a substantial expansion of our existing facility. Our primary focus is to provide additional classrooms for our children. We will be adding 10-14 classrooms to accommodate the growth in our membership. In addition, we will be adding a meditation hall, improving the acharya's quarters and adding a new bookstore and library. We hope to be able to re-design the water retention areas to create a more scenic environment, while creating larger open grasslands and gardens.  

We welcome any suggestions and expertise you can share with us. Due to the size of the project, we will need help ranging from providing construction expertise to assisting with or managing components of the project. If you would like to assist in any way, please let me know.

Respectfully,

Anuja Agrawal
Construction Committee
Gyana Yagna by Swami Prakashananda - Oct 25th – Oct 31st 2010

By Pujya Gurudev’s and Pujya Guruji’s blessings, CMO had the honor of listening to and learning from Swami Prakashananda, resident Acharya of Trinidad and Tobago Mission during the Gyana Yagna held from Oct 25th till Oct 31st.

The subject of evening sessions was Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 5 - True Renunciation and the subject of morning sessions was Kaivalya Upanishad.

Chapter 5 of Bhagavad Geeta serves as a bridge between Karma Yoga (Chapter 4) and Yoga of Meditation (Chapter 6). Kaivalya Upanishad teaches about, Kaivalya, the state of liberation attained through renunciation and the realization SwPrakashanandaYagnathat one is verily Brahman himself. Swamiji delivered the discourses in a dynamic, energetic, humorous and effective style with many day to day examples and experiences that helped to drive home the concepts and importance of Karma Yoga, Sadhana and True renunciation to attain Moksha, the ultimate goal of life. Swamiji’s discourses on Chapter 5 helped us prepare for studying Chapter 6 during the Spiritual Family camp to be held in June 2011 in Orlando, theme of which is Meditation, being conducted by Pujya Guruji.

Swamiji’s thought provoking questions like "everyday are you living or dying?", examples from Pujya Gurudev’s life about detachment, concept of Vasana triangle,  his analogies of "Rope and Snake" and "Pure light passing through the film creating different forms and colors" reinforced the concepts of Vedanta. His quips such as "Arthritis and Arthleftis" and many other witty and funny words kept all of us engaged during the discourses.

On Oct 30th a Bhajan Sandhya was organized and Swamiji sang bhajans in a distinct style and the audience enjoyed thoroughly. Also many devotees sang bhajans, played Tabla and Veena. The evening uplifted everyone’s spirits.
On Oct 31st Swamiji interacted with the Balavihar children of all ages. He encouraged all children to do the right
thing all the time, being good and saying a firm ‘ No’ to wrong things. To further solidify the idea of being and doing good all the time Swamiji cited the example of Sri Rama. By being good Sri Rama was able to win over Ravana. Swamiji also engaged the children in a concentration game of singing “Radhe Shyam, Sita Ram”.

Swamiji’s dynamism and energy was very evident in everything he did, be it during the discourse or be it while preparing Trinidadian style tea/coffee or Thai curry in the kitchen, be it while interacting with children and the devotees during Bhiksha, Mahaprasad, Satsang after discourses.

All devotees at CMO appreciate and are blessed to have had an opportunity to have satsang with Swamiji and are grateful for the valuable guidance in our spiritual journey.

Our many many thanks to Swamiji.

Om Tat Sat. To view photos from the Gyana Yagna click here

Tuning To Excellence - Swami Chinmayananda
  

Living is not just an accident, it is an art. When you, with knowledge do it brilliantly that is where the performance is great. That becomes an art. If you get shackled by your own desires you will never be able to express yourself in the world outside.

gurudev_1Not that you must give up all your desires. It may not be possible. Keep your desires, a maximum number of desires. Choose out of them. Keep this as your goal. Dedicate yourself to it, uncompromisingly live up to it. Your performance changes and your entire life becomes excellent. If each day you have got a goal and a desire and next day you change the entire thing, you have not got that consistency of purpose. Look at the life history of all the great men, whether scientist or artist or politician, great statesmen and great authors, everyone kept one ideal and uncompromisingly lived up to it.

Threatening situations might arise, but they had the grit and the guts, the heroism to hold on to their ideal and live. They all reached great heights contributing to the society, at the same time, bringing about excellence in their own work.

Be it political, economic or social it does not matter, one ideal is necessary. Spiritual ideal is the highest to pump out of oneself the maximum excellence and a community or country with such people of excellence in it, has to come up. Have an ideal and consistency of purpose to put forth effort in the same direction, careless of success or failure. After a time you look back you find that you have already risen and along with your rise, you have raised the standard of the society also.

 
Enchanting Tales
Parable of the chameleon

Sri Ramakrishna: "Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red color on a certain tree. The second man replied: 'When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why do you call it red? It is green.' Another man who was present contradicted them both and insisted that it was yellow.

Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To settle the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he rchameleoneplied: 'Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions are true.

Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey, and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no color at all. Now it has a color, and now it has none.' "In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects.

God has attributes; then again He has none. Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon can appear in various colors, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no color at all. It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument.

"KabirDas ji used to say, 'The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.' "God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most. His love for the devotee knows no bounds. It is written in the Purana that God assumed the form of Rama for His heroic devotee, Hanuman.
Why do we do what we do?
Why do we say Shaanti thrice?

Shaanti, meaning "peace", is a natural state of being. Disturbances are created either by others or us. For example, peace already exists in a place until someone makes noise.

It is believed that trivaram satyam - that which is said thrice comes true. For emphasizing a point we repeat a thing thrice. In the court of law also, one who takes the witness stands says, "I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". We chant shaanti thrice to emphasise our intense desire for peace. All obstacles, problems and sorrows originate from three sources.

Aadhidaivika: The unseen divine forces over which we have little or no control likshantie earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc.

Aadhibhautika: The known factors around us like accidents, human contacts, pollution, crime etc.

Aadhyaatmika: We sincerely pray to the Lord that at least while we undertake special tasks or even in our daily lives, there are no problems or that, problems are minimized from the three sources written about above.

May peace alone prevail. Hence shaanti is chanted thrice. It is chanted aloud the first time, addressing the unseen forces. It is chanted softer the second time, directed to our immediate surroundings and those around, and softest the last time as it is addressed to oneself.
Divine Chants
hanumanThe Hanuman Mantra

"Manoojavam Maarutatulyavegam Jitendriyam
Buddhimataam Varistham,
Vaataatmajam Vaanarayoothmukhyam
Sriramdootam Saranam Prapadhye"

Meaning
I surrender to Lord Hanuman whose pace is rapid like wind and quick as the mind, who is very intelligent, who has constrained his sense organs and who is the son of Vayu (Pawan), the chief of monkey tribe and the messenger of Shri Rama. His pace is as rapid as the wind and as quick as the mind.

 
Delicious Living - Palak (Spinach) Ka Paratha by Manju Babbar

Ingredients

•  1/2 bag fresh chopped baby spinach
•  1/2 cup besan (gram flour) palakparatha
•  1 cup atta (wheat flour)
•  1 finely chopped green chili
•  2 tsp fresh finely chopped ginger  
•  1/4 cup finely chopped onions
•  1/3 tsp black pepper powder
•  1/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
•  1/3 tsp red chili powder
•  2 tsp coriander powder
•  1 tsp or amchuran powder
•  Oil 

Preparation Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Instructions
 

•  Put the chopped spinach in a bowl
•  Add both flours, ginger & onion and all spices
•  Mix it well
•  Add 1 tbsp of oil
•  Knead well  with water into a smooth dough
•  Divide the dough into individual balls, approx. four to five
•  Heat a tawa or non stick pan on medium low heat
•  Lightly grease the tawa or non stick pan
•  Roll out the dough balls, using dry flour as needed
•  Spread ½ tsp. of oil on the rolled out dough. Now fold into the shape of triangle or square
•  Roll out the dough again
•  Slide the paratha onto the tawa.
•  Use a little oil on both sides and cook until it is light brown
•  Serve the hot parathas with achaar (pickle) and or dahi (yogurt) ka raita

 Word Search Puzzle

Find the following hidden words in the puzzle

AHIMSApuzzleJan2011
ASHRAM
ATMAN
AUM
BHAJAN
BRAHMAN
DHARMA
GANESH
HANUMAN
KARMA
MOKSHA
RAMAYANA
SHIVA
UPANISHAD
VEDAS
VISHNU

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