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  • Arise ! Awake ! Stop not, till the goal is reached.

    July, August, September, 2017

    Om Namo Narayanaya

    Badarikashrama Diary

    April began with the Sri Sundarakanda Ramayana of Gowswami

    Tulsidas, held on the first Saturday of the month. A sincere dedicated

    ever-growing group devotees joins together in the singing of the 5th

    book of the Ramayana featuring Hanuman. The next Sunday we

    marked the beginning of Chaitra Navaratri with Sri Durga Homa fol-

    lowed in the evening with Mataki Chowki with Sri Ma Durga Bhajan

    Mandali. Sri Ramanavami Puja continued the Chaitra Navaratari fes-

    tivities with kirtan by Suman and Sargam Shah. The yearly Sri Rama-

    navami Music Festival organized by Veena maestro and teacher, Sri-

    kanth Chary. took place on the 8th and 9th. Nineteen Carnatic Music

    schools participated in the 2-day event with many exceptionally talent-

    ed students, both instrumental and vocals. The schools graciously pro-

    vided refreshments of many South Indian dishes throughout the two

    days. Hanuman Jayanti Celebration with the chanting of Hanuman

    Chalisa for 108 times concluded the observances for Chaitra Navaratri.

    The month ended with Sri Shankara and Sri Ramanuja Jayanti with talk

    by Sri Annaya Deshpande who gave a very clear account of the phi-

    losophy of Sri Shankaracharaya. Suman and Sargam began the service

    with compositions relevant to the philosophy of Sri Shankaracharya

    with Bhaja Govindam and others.

    In Many, the unexpected passing away of Sri Ram Saxena, a dear

    devotee of our ashrama, saddened everyone and plans were made for

    a memorial service. Mangala along with Radha Ramamurthy gave talks

    to all the classes of Sri Bishop ODowds World Religions Classes, in-

    structor Kris Koffer. Mangala also began a series of meditation classes,

    which concluded in May. The primary focus of the month of May was

    our 33rd Anniversary Celebration on the 20th and the 21st. The 20th

    was the cultural program. It began with Ganesha Puja by Srimat Swami

    Vishnumayanandaji Maharaj, and prayers by Rev. Dr. Arlene K.

    Nehring, Eden United Church of Christ, Hayward.

    Ganesha, Wat Sri Suphan, Chang Mai, Thailand

    Thailands earliest settlers, the Mons, whose existence dates back to the sixth and eighth centuries, embraced Hindu culture and religious practices and built many temples to Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is known here as Phra Pikanet and Phra Phikanesawora and presides over the arts, learning and commerce. He is invoked for good luck and success. While Buddhism is Thailands official reli-gion, Hinduism co-exists with it comforta-bly. This is evidenced by the fact that the governments Department of Fine Arts features Lord Ganesha in its emblem. An image of Ganesha sits on a pedestal in front of Central World in Bangkok (earlier known as World Trade Center), where worshippers stop by to make offerings. Many media businesses have a Gane-sha shrine at the entrance to their offices. The ritual of commencing daily business with a prayer to Ganesha is a widespread practice. When profits are good, Ganesha is worshipped, as in India, with modaks, fruits and sweets. His image is turned up-side down when business hits a low. The Royal Brahmin Temple, Bangkok, has some of Thailands oldest Ganesha images. At Phang-na, a 10th century bronze idol was discovered with inscrip-tions in Tamil and Thai.

    Na Me Bhakta Pranashyati My Devotee Never Perishes

    Sandesha

    Veena students, Ramanavami Music Festival

  • Mangala was a guest speaker at the San Franciscos Vedanta

    Society as part of their annual Memorial Day Retreat. She spoke

    on Spirituality in Everyday Life. A Memorial Service for Ram

    SaxenaJi was held on the 15th. It was a beautiful tribute to a won-

    derful human being who contributed much joy and wisdom to

    many people with his emphasis on the Ramayana and Kabirdas.

    June month included the monthly Sri Sundarakanda Ramayana

    of Gowswami Tulsidas, Sri Satyanarayana Swami Puja with kirtan

    and the Sri Bhagavad Gita talk and Kirtan with Suman Shah and

    Sargam Shah. Kabir Jayanti was a major function in the month.

    Devotees of Kabir Das sang a number of compositions of Kabir

    accompanied by dolak, tabla, and harmonium. The event was or-

    ganized by Bharti Bhakta. On the 24th, Mataki Chowki was held

    with the spirited singing of Sri Ma Bhajan Mandali. Prasad was

    sponsored by Kiran Mittar and family. Everyone was moved to join

    in the singing and rhythms. Gurmeet Singh provided exceptional

    accompaniment on the dholak. He also revealed another talent

    by playing the harmonium and singing accompanied by his son,

    Sanjeet on tabla.

    June concluded with the annual Mira Bai Festival with Rita Sahai

    and the Vasundara Choir. This year was a narration of Mira Bais

    life interspersed with bhajans with many original compositions of

    Rita. The choir consisted of over 25 people with a section of young

    people who were featured on several pieces. It was a delightful

    and significant way to remember the devotional life of a dynamic

    spiritual personality who has influenced devotees for hundreds of

    years. They were accompanied by Pradosh Sarkar on tabla.

    Sri Ma Durga Bhajan Mandali and Odissi Dance by students of

    Nataraj School of Dance, directed by Sima Charaborty continued

    with spiritual entertainment. One panel discussion on

    Growing Up in America as a Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Jain and

    another on Embracing the boundaries with those who had em-

    braced another tradition other then their original tradition,

    created an interfaith atmosphere of acceptance.

    Music was also contributed by Paul Keim, a minister from the

    First Presbyterian Church, Hayward. Finally a Unity Mandala

    Workshop was led by artist, Salma Arastu which was a collabo-

    rative art project. Sunday was the traditional Samuhika Sri

    Satyanarayana Swami Puja and Katha. Rita Sahai and her senior

    students, Rajnish Kamat and Vivek Anand began the worship

    with their devotional kirtan with original compositions by Rita.

    The mandir was filled beyond capacity, overflowing with devo-

    tees worshipping the Lord Satyanarayana. Swami Vishnumaya-

    nandaji led all in the group worship. Mahaprasad was provided

    by the Ahuja family. The event was covered by TV Asia. The

    video is available on our Facebook page.

    Earlier in May we observed Buddha Jayanti Celebration.

    Gayatri Sadhana Day included Gayatri Mantra Japa for 3 hours

    followed by Gayatri Homa. Doug Flegal, Chandra Dey, and Man-

    gala attended the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade in Castro Valley

    along with other members of the Eden Area Interfaith Council.

    Devotees at Samuhika 108 Sri Satyanarayana Swami Puja

    Swami Vishnumayanandaji, puja, altar decorations.

    Mataki Chowki, Sri Ma Durga Bhajan

    Mirabai Festival: Rita Sahai, Vivek Anand, Rajnish Kamat

  • On April 1st Surmani Dattatreya Velankar, an extremely talented

    Hindustani musician, performed a Hari Katha on the life of Swami

    Vivekananda. On the 11th Srimat Swami Omkaranandaji Maharaj

    performed a full moon Sri Satyanarayana Puja and Katha. Ma-

    haprasad was offered to all.

    May began with a purnima Sri Satyanarayana Puja and katha

    on the 10th. Many devotees attended, offering fruits and flowers.

    Those who sponsored the puja sat beside Swamiji to make offer-

    ings to the kalasha. The young children in their simplicity and

    devotion were eager to offer flowers. The puja concluded with an

    inspiring katha and distribution of Mahaprasad. From May 1st to

    25th, Badarikashrama Vidyashala held summer classes for 8th and

    9th standard students. They reviewed and polished their skills in

    English and Mathematics. From 9 AM to 12 Noon, they attended

    classes then concluded each day with a thirty-minute yoga class.

    A Teachers Orientation Workshop took place at Badarikashrama

    Vidyashala for both existing and new teachers. From May 15th to

    21st, senior teachers of the Vidyshala led workshops according to

    their expertise. From May 22nd to 28th, the best and brightest

    educators from Karnataka led a series of outstanding workshops.

    L Satyanarayana, a retired Head Master from Bengaluru High

    School, with 41 years of teaching experience, spoke on the sub-

    ject of Social Science, the topic Activity Based Teaching. Re-

    nowned educationalists Dr. Sameera Simha, Chairman of Silicon

    City College, Bengaluru, and Professor Muralidhar led an ex-

    cellent workshop on Concept Based Teaching. Prof. Jaya-

    simha, with great enthusiasm and clarity, spoke on the subject

    of Mathematics Understanding Teaching. A doctor of Psy-

    chology, Mr. Kiran Kumar from Mysore, compared the educa-

    tion systems between the East and West and explored the

    hidden potentials of each student. The workshop concluded

    with talks from Dr. Kamakshi Nagendra, who eloquently spoke

    on Dharma and morality in education followed by Prof. Veda-

    vathi, who with deep understanding, discussed English gram-

    mar. On June 1st, Badarikashrama Vidyas