October 2011 Newsletter


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Newsletter - October 2011
Chinmaya Mission Orlando - www.chinmayaorlando.org
“Delays are always dangerous, useless and barren. Today is the only day to attempt any great and worthy purpose.”  
– Swami Chinmayananda
Spiritual Diary
by Swami Chinmayananda

GurudevSittingContinuing with ourseries of maintaining a spiritual dairy, here the next 5 items from the 20 items listed out by Gurudev for a Spiritual Saadhaka to keep track of his spiritual development.

How many days did I fast? Fasting here does not mean abstaining from food continuously for long periods of time, such as 21 or 41 days. Fast regularly—once a month, once a week, or once a fortnight.

What did I give away in charity? Giving here means giving in thought, cash, or kind.

How many lies did I tell and with what self-punishment? A lie is something uttered against your conscience with a view of obtaining some advantage for yourself. During the act of lying, you will all the time be conscious of uttering something against your natural inclinations in order to surmount a real or imagined difficulty. Such conflicts will haunt you after the lie has been told and will become a stone wall in your spiritual practice. Do not allow yourself to console yourself by saying that the lie was small and did not affect anyone detrimentally. In all events, lying disturbs your mental poise. If you tell a lie, give yourself severe punishment, such as fasting or increasing the period of daily silence.

How many times was I angry, and how long did each attack of anger last? Anger arises out of nonfulfillment of your desires. Array the forces of tolerance, mercy, sympathy, and understanding of the weakness in yourself and in others in order to win a victory over anger.

How many hours did I spend in useless company? In all spiritual practices you should attempt to see yourself as a child who desires to come home after having stayed away for a time, charmed by some pleasant attraction elsewhere. In spiritual practice, this coming home is possible only if you scrupulously avoid useless company, thus creating a proper atmosphere for your inner work.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Blessed Self, Hari Om
 

Happy Diwali! The festival of lights symbolizes the experience of the "Effulgent Divine Self" within our hearts - "Shree Ram". When forces of negativity are destroyed by one's saadhana, Lord reveals in the calm silence of the heart that is light, peace and Love.  
 May Lord Rama bless each and every one towards the light of God.

In "His" Service  

Love,
Acharya Shailaja Nadkarni
President, Chinmaya Mission Orlando

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Diwali 2011 Greetings by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda

"Diwali is a festival of light of Knowledge and delight of realization. Happy Diwali to all!"

 
Upcoming Events
Event Date/Time Venue
Shiva Pradosh Pooja 08-NOV-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Thanksgiving Holiday
CMO closed on 27-NOV-2011. No Balavihar classes  
Chinmaya Mission Orlando
CMO Annual Function 11-DEC-2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Winter Break CMO closed on 25-DEC-2011 and 01-JAN-2012 Chinmaya Mission Orlando
Construction Update 
Hari OM!
It is hard to imagine the Mission without Annashree or the Sita Rasoi. And yet, it was less than 2 years ago that kids were being served snack in the walkway and families would rush home after aarti to prepare a quick lunch.  With God’s grace, Phase I of our construction project, the Annashree hall and kitchen, have far exceeded our expectations. The volunteers and children who devote their time each Sunday to cook, setup, serve and cleanup exude a sense of bhavana and seva that exemplifies what they learn in their classes each Sunday.

cmo2During the past year, Phase II of our building expansion has been slowly but surely moving forward through the approval process. We have substantially completed the plans for the building and have solicited bids for the construction. A major milestone was reached when we received the permit from St. Johns River Water Management District last month. The final step in the approval process is the building permit from Seminole County, which we anticipate we will receive in November.

At this time, the most important task at hand is to raise funds for this project. The addition of classrooms, offices, library and meditation hall will provide the much needed facilities our children need to continue their quest for knowledge of Hindu culture and philosophy and of the Indian languages and arts. This is an investment in our children and we urge parents and volunteers to support this project in whatever manner possible.
Respectfully,

Anuja Agrawal
Construction Committee
Illuminate Your Inner Self  : Excerpts from the writings of Swami Sivananda
The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul. He who Himself sees all but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon and the stars and the whole universe but whom they cannot illumine, He indeed is Brahman, He is the inner Self. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.

The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.

Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the heart is full of the darkness of ignorance.

O man! Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Realise the constant and eternal light of the Soul, which neither rises nor sets, through meditation and deep enquiry.

May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well as spiritual planes!
Enchanting Tales
Parable of the 3 Categories

ramakrishnaThree persons visited Ramakrishna Paramahamsa requesting him to reveal God to them. One was Vivekananda. Ramakrishna asserted that one could converse with God on a first-person basis. Realizing that Vivekananda was destined to serve God’s mission in a large way, and penance would be a barrier for this service, it was only at the appropriate time that Ramakrishna guided Vivekananda to the Lord’s Presence.

Another person asked Ramakrishna to reveal God. Without directly replying, Ramakrishna thrust the person’s head into water, and the man forced his head out, gasping for breath. Ramakrishna asked him, ‘What were you thinking about, during the past few minutes?’, and the person confessed that his attention was on getting out of water. Ramakrishna said, ‘When you become that desperate for realizing God, come to me, and I will guide you to His Presence.’

A third person came to Ramakrishna with the same request. Paramahamsa told him to learn the Bhagavad-Gita and consume grapes, and the person asked, ‘how many kilos of grapes and for how many days?’ Ramakrishna declared that the person would never be able to realize God. When the man pleaded with him, the sage explained, ‘You never asked me how many chapters of Bhagavad-Gita you are to learn, you were more interested in eating. How will God present Himself to you?’

There are three categories of persons: those who yearn for God’s presence, like Vivekananda did, and the intensity of their quest helps them comprehend God. The second category of persons is yet to desperately seek God; and it takes some time. The third category of persons is deep in the worldly perishables of eating, sleeping and leading a useless life.
Why do we do what we do?
 Why do we blow the conch?

When the conch is blown, the primordial sound of Om emanates. Om is an auspicious sound that was chanted by the conchLord before creating the world. It represents the world and the Truth behind it. As the story goes, the demon Shankhaasura defeated devas, the Vedas and went to the bottom of the ocean. The devas appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. He incarnated as Matsya Avataara - the "fish incarnation" and killed Shankhaasura. The Lord blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear and head. The Om sound emanated, from which emerged the Vedas.

All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of Om. The conch therefore is known as shankha after Shankaasua. The conch blown by the Lord is called Paanchajanya. He carries it at all times in one of His four hands. It represents dharma or righteousness that is one of the four goals (purushaarthas) of life. The sound of the conch is thus also the victory call of good over evil. Another well-known purpose of blowing the conch and the instruments, known traditionally to produce auspicious sounds is to drown or mask negative comments or noises that may disturb or upset the atmosphere or the minds of worshippers.
Divine Chants
Rama Raksha Stotra
Ramo rajamani sada vijayathe ramam ramesam bhaje,rama
Ramenabhihatha nisachara chamooRamaya thasmai nama,
Ramannasthi parayanam paratharam Ramasya dasosmyaham,
Rame chitha laya sada bhavthu may bho Rama mamudhara.

Meaning
Always victory to Rama who is the king of gems,
I salute Rama who is the consort of Lakshmi,
The Rakshasas who move at night were killed by Rama,
And my salutations to that Rama,
There is no place of surrender greater than Rama,
And I am the slave of Rama,
My mind is always fully engrossed in Rama ,
And Oh God Rama please save me. 
 
Delicious Living - Smiling Apples by Priyanka and Tara Chandra
The holiday season is here and this snack is sure to put a smile on your face! It's fun and easy for kids to make - and it's healthy too! 

recipeTaraPriyanka
Ingredients:

Red apples
Peanut butter
Miniature marshmallows
(Note: Gelatin free marshmallows are available at Whole Foods)
Preparation time : 5 minutes

Preparation Instructions:
  1. Wash and slice the apples into thin slices.
  2. Smear peanut butter on one side of each slice.
  3. Arrange miniature marshmallows to look like teeth on top of one slice.
  4. Place a second slice, smeared side down, on top of the marshmallows.
  5. The apple slices look like lips and the marshmallows look like teeth!
  6. Continue until you have used all the slices.
Enjoy your snack with your friends and family and remember to keep smiling!!
Poojya Gurudev's quote:   "To weep is folly and to smile is wisdom, keep smiling!!
 Word Search Puzzle

crossword_Oct2011

 

 Find the following hidden words in the puzzle

  • Diwali
  • Navratri
  • Chinmaya
  • Narakasur
  • ShreeRam
  • VijayaDashami
  • Garba
  • Dussehra
  • Diya
  • Rangoli
  • Fireworks
  • Pushpak
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Copyright © 2011 Chinmaya Mission Orlando