uvAcha Quiz – 7

Ajanta paintings depict scenes from the

  1. Mahabharata
  2. Upanishads
  3. Jatakas
  4. Ramayana

Which art did Jahangir mainly patronize?

  1. Architecture
  2. Music
  3. Paintings
  4. Sculpture

An overwhelming majority of the images at Ajanta are those of

  1. Vishnu
  2. Durga
  3. Buddha
  4. Siva

Miniature painting is made on

  1. Cloth
  2. Wall
  3. Paper
  4. Handmade paper

Which colours are used in the Rajasthani miniature paintings

  1. Tempura colours
  2. Water colours
  3. Oil colours
  4. Pastel colours

Answers for uvAcha quiz – 6

(a)    26th January  (b)  Republic day  (c)  Param Vir Chakra  (d)  Padma Awards  (e)  The most conspicuous bravery or self-sacrifice on land, air or sea, but not in the presence of enemy

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GRAND CITY FINALE – CYF 2013

CYF2013_CityEvent Invite

Music of the Fishes

A very pleasant cool morning breeze, birds chirping around, first rays of morning light emerge from behind the clouds to say hello to their lotus friends in the still lake.

Ankur and Rishi are on a stroll along the pathway by the side of the lake. Rishi glances towards the east, mesmerised by the beautiful painting on the morning sky takes a deep breath, eyes closed in tranquility… says “Thank You Lord for another wonderful morning!” and settles down enjoying the musical movement of fishes in the still lake.

“Whaw! that’s a wonderful sight, Rishi? We could not see all these fishes and colourful pebbles last night.” exclaimed Ankur

fish6

“You are right” agreed Rishi

“It is really pleasing to see this. Even though we were enjoying all the fun last evening, the tranquility and clarity of the morning lake is more enjoyable. What do you say Rishi?”

Both their glance fell on the water sporting boats, etc., at a distance on the other side of the lake.

“Last evening we were all blind to the beauty of the lake. We were busy with the sporting equipment, boats, etc., We could hardly see the bottom of the lake, what with the waves and mud spread all over.” explained Rishi

“Can I say, similar was the state of the mind. We were happy enjoying all the sports, games and activities around blind to the beauty and stillness of the mind.” asked Ankur

“You are right. The senses then were completely involved with the outer beauty, blind to the inner stillness and tranquility.” completed Rishi.

“Is this the reason we feel real happy and fresh early in the morning?” Ankur inquired further

“Just as the waves die down, mud settles and fishes come out to the top happily in the morning… thoughts die down and stillness of the morning calm makes the mind filled with peace and tranquility. In this state mind emits more alpha waves, has clarity and is more receptive” clarified Rishi

“Alpha waves! what are they?”

“Scientists have identified that our mind emits various kinds of thought waves. Alpha waves are the kind of waves which denote clarity and calmness. In this state the mind is clear, able to go into its depths, highly intuitive, creative and receptive. It is God-like or we may say closer to God”

“Is this the reason early morning hours are called as Brahma Muhurtham?”

“You may say so.”

“Then, this state exists even after doing Yoga Nidra. Then, is it right to call the period after doing Yoga Nidra also as Brahma Muhurtham

Rishi smiles and nods in agreement.

“If we are able to keep the mind in alpha state for most part of the day, children can study well and get good marks, adults can be more effective in their work, everyone can be aware of why they are doing what they are doing and there will be more harmony and peace around.”

“You are right, Ankur” Rishi smiles.

“Then, why aren’t people like that?” asks Ankur slightly disturbed.

“That is a much deeper and broad subject. Let us discuss that on some other day. For now… You can decide and be in an alpha state.”

Ankur smiles and gets immersed in the music of the fishes… Happily…!

Children Yoga Festival 2013 – Parents speak…

Post visit to Bihar School of Yoga during CYF 2013, a mother is now confident that her son is capable of taking care of  himself and can stand on his own legs…

 

A grandfather who was part of the CYF 2013 team to Bihar School of Yoga states that this should reach every child…

A Yoga teacher shares his experience of Ashram visit – CYF 2013 prize

Mr Veeravarman, Yoga teacher shares his experience of ashram visit, given as a prize to CYF 2013 finalists.

Faith Works Wonders

There was once a tribal who knew the divine spell (or mantra) to cure one from snake and other poisonous insect bites. His name spread far and wide. People from far used to come to him for cure. This news reached the ears of a learned sage. This sage was curious to know, how a tribal in some corner in the world can know mantras and also use them effectively. He wanted to verify if that was really a mantra or some black magic.

On moving with the tribal for some days, the sage was convinced that this is no black magic and he really knew the mantra. Now the sage was curious to learn the mantra. After all the sage was a jignasu (thirsty for knowledge) and he wanted to learn something he didn’t know. He then approached the tribal to teach him the mantra.

The tribal is now worried. He believed that the sage is highly learned and there is nothing in this world, which he could teach to such a learned man. Even if there is something he can teach him, how can he ask such a learned man to serve him before teaching? He could neither refuse the sage nor did he have the courage to tell the truth. He slowly mustered courage to say that the student should serve the master before he can learn from him.

The learned sage being aware of the guru-sishya parampara as mentioned in the scriptures, immediately agreed. After some weeks of service, the sage now a student requested his master to teach him the mantra. The master said the time has not come yet and he has to serve him for another year. The sage had no other option but to follow the orders of his master.

A year passed and the time has come for the master to teach the student…

One auspicious day after the morning bath, on the banks of the river the master and student settle down to transact the lesson. The master tells something in the student’s ear. The sage was not able to believe his ears. He still wanted to verify the truth and requests the master (tribal) to repeat the mantra. The tribal does so, as he felt obliged to teach a sincere student to his utmost satisfaction. Soon, the sage bursts out in laughter.

He shouts in utter dismay… “How on earth did I waste one full year serving an unlearned tribal to learn this nonsense?”

He then turns to the tribal and asks “Is this the mantra which is curing people from poisonous bites?”

The tribal nods in agreement.

The learned sage then felt he has the responsibility to clarify facts to the tribal and save him from bad consequences. He explains to the tribal that “This is no mantra to cure people from poisonous bites. It is in fact a mantra in praise of Lord Shiva… And you are uttering it in a wrong way. This may cause serious problems for you in future as there is a method and tone in which any mantra has to be repeated. Wrong pronunciations may result in dire consequences. Take care”

Saying so, the sage left the place.

The tribal had lots of regard to the learned sage and completely believed in what the sage said. So, he was afraid to use the mantra again. Due to pressure from the wise-men in the tribe, he did try out the mantra in a couple of instances. But it did not work. His faith in the mantra is broken and hence it lost the power.

The sage anyway did not believe in the mantra and never used it. Consequently the world lost the power of a mantra which can cure people from poisonous bites.

The fact however remains that the mantra was real. It was passed on in the tribe for several generations in guru-sishya parampara. They did not have a written script and knowledge was passed on from master to the student. It is possible that the mantra might have changed its tone over generations, but it worked perfectly because of the faith the tribe-men had on the mantra and the shradda (there is no absolute translation for this word in English… it is more than faith and absolute conviction) with which it was administered for generations. Once the faith is broken the mantra lost its power.

With absolute faith or “Shradda” any sound can gain power, without “Shradda” even the most powerful mantra can lose its power.

This story is based on a real incident originally narrated by HH Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji and extracted from a discourse by his disciple HH Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.

Unleash your Creative Abilities…

Are you a left hander…? Practice to write with your right hand.

Are you a right hander…? Practice to write with your left hand.

Neurological science state that various parts of the brain are connected with different points in our hands.

Proper use of both hands help stimulate various parts of our brain and unleash our hidden creative abilities. Experts suggest that writing with both hands is one of the ways to do this.

Come… let us develop this skill the coming month…

Jiva Vigyan – a confluence of the illuminati

Emerging Trends in LIFE-SKILLS Education – Contribution of Native Wisdom

Jiva Vigyan Logo

“The ideal therefore is that you must have the whole education of our country, spiritual and secular, in our own hands and it must be on national lines through national methods as far as practical”        – Swami Vivekananda

Ancient Indian scriptures abound with universally applicable life-skills wisdom. Ancient Indians evinced interest in the minds of people from across the world as they excelled in all spheres of life – economics, science, politics, astrology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, fine arts, philosophy, education, tourism, trade and commerce, etc. by integrating scriptural wisdom into their life-style. India was a leading world economy till about 4 centuries ago. Disintegrating our educational system from traditional wisdom by the colonial powers led to loss of national pride and rapid downfall of our society.

At this juncture when educational boards – CBSE, ICSE and state education boards are attempting to implement life-skills in education by giving enough weight-age to these skills in the grading pattern, there is a need to reach to the depths of this wisdom, revive and reach it to children with appropriate tools and methods as suited to the needs of 21st century.

Jiva-Vignan is a confluence of the illuminati – Principals and educationists of Chennai schools to create a path of light, life and wisdom in this direction. The confluence is aimed to stimulate thoughts in this direction among education heads and led by panelists who are authorities in our ancient wisdom with hands on experience in implementing.

Beginning with the end in mind… The program is an opportunity for the principals and educationists to share knowledge, experiences, learning, ideas and take back practically implementable ideas and tools to empower children.

The program shall be inaugurated Dr K Rosaiah His Excellency The Governor of Tamil Nadu on 19th April 2014.

In the current inaugural edition of Jiva Vigyan luminaries from Bihar School of Yoga share their wisdom and experiences in using Yoga as a tool for nurturing Life-Skills in children.

Apart from panel discussion, this session also includes paper presentation by the principals of Chennai schools on the topic “My experience in implementing Life-Skills in education” and more…

Look out for the April edition of uvAcha to learn more about the event and its outcomes…

CYF to CYF – Chennai to Chennai via Munger and Rikhia – A Transformational Journey

Manusshya uvAcha:

This article is a vivid description about the “Aptha poorthi of CYF 2013″(Children Yoga Festival 2013)

Yes, CYF 2013 has completed one year. Wow! It is one year old now. The grandeur of the celebration follows…

Even before the baby was born, it was pre-planned that the birthday would be celebrated in BSY (Bihar School of Yoga) Munger.

Satyananda Yoga Educational Charitable Trust conceived the idea of Children Yoga Festival in the new revised format and together with Ankur Learning Solutions ventured to take yoga to at least 50 schools in Chennai commemorating Golden Jubilee year of Bihar School of Yoga. The aim of CYF was to enable the children to look at yoga from a broader perspective. Following this invitations were sent to all the schools in Chennai. First festival was conducted at the school level. Whichever team got selected in the school level moved to the zonal level and the teams which got selected in the zonal level were awarded with a gift. The great gift was a trip to Bihar School of Yoga, Munger and Ashram in Rikhia. The entire trip was sponsored by the organisers.

The aptha poorthi celebrations begins now.

The teams which got selected in the zonal level (from various schools) started assembling in the central station on 11th February at 7.30am. With every school team a school teacher was accompanying and some anxious parents who wanted to accompany their kids agreed to travel with us. Volunteers from Satyananda Yoga Centre and Ankur also joined the trip. So the entire team that is 89 members in total began their journey… As they started chanting maha mrityunjaya for a hassle free journey, the train chanted its own mantra oh….chuku…chuku…

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For every school team was appointed a coordinator from Satyananda Yoga Centre. Special luggage tags were given to each and every baggage of the entire team for better identification. Members were asked to arrange the food for self on that day. Snacks were supplied in between every  meal. Children had lots of fun within their team.

Next day by noon we reached Kolkata and went to the waiting hall for refreshing ourselves after a long journey. After that the whole team boarded two Volvo buses for sight seeing. Sumptuous lunch was provided in packed boxes in the bus. mmm….. Yummy!!!

First we went to Vivekananda memorial house (the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda) and came to know more about Swamiji’s qualities and family background. A must see place for all Indians. The vigor and valor of a great person can be felt there.

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From there we moved to Victoria memorial but unfortunately we couldn’t make it in time and took snaps in front of the palace. Our eyes got stuck to a bhel puri wala. The sight of bhelpuri itself enthused the children and the disappointment of not visiting the palace vanished in no seconds. After having the delicious bhelpuri we headed to the station to catch the train to Jamalpur.

There was a great surprise in the train. Two children of the team were celebrating their birthday that week so the team had arranged for a surprise cake cutting. Both of them were in seventh heaven. The rest of the kids were accommodated (dumped) in one bay for cake cutting and enjoyment new no bounds.

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Next day morning we reached the ashram after having breakfast at the railway station. The first step into the ashram was exciting for each and every kid. The ambiance was so calm, beautiful, colorful, peaceful, graceful, divine and what not? The fullness that prevailed in the atmosphere pervaded into each and every one. This could be felt by the entire team.

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Later we were allotted rooms. In the evening we had dinner at 5.30 pm and attended a kirtan session. We didn’t take any effort to put gamakams during kirtan because the vocal cords were doing the job perfectly as the temperature went so low and we were shivering 🙂 . Next day morning kids had shaky yoga session viewing the moon and stars at 6am.

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After that all of us had breakfast and did seva. Evening CYF children gave a performance. As the luck had embraced those children, a miracle happened!!! Swami Niranjan came out to view the performance immediately after his Panchagni tapas for the day. Swamiji enjoyed the show thoroughly.

“Karuna pradayak gurudeva”

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Next day ashram was in full festive mood as Bala Yoga Divas was celebrated that day. Children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal (BYMM) gave wonderful performance followed by kirtan session by swamiji. Some children took mantra deeksha. We had feast that day. The love that ashram inmates expressed for the CYF children was immense.

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Next day morning we left for Rikhia from Munger after breaking fast in two Volvo buses. Again children had gala time as the volunteers were engaging them with some game or the other and continuous supply of snacks was there during that 5 hour journey.

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We reached Rikhia by 3 pm and were allotted rooms in Paramhans building. Children were so excited as there was no instruction given to them to observe mouna and they had a playground in the centre of the building. We just got them a bat and a ball. That’s it… They started playing mini T20 match. We stayed in Rikhia for three days.

All the three days children of CYF gave their performance in small portions.

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kanyas (girls) and batuks (boys) of Rikhia too performed there.

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On the final day all the CYF children, kanyas and batuks gave dance performance for a cine song.

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A delightful sight. By now CYF children from different schools of Chennai became one single group. Unity and cooperation between the children was astounding. Creativity among them was in full bloom as they were ready to present a skit also.

Yes… This is the success of the CYF. The baby is growing healthy. Throughout the trip children learnt…

  • Team work
  • Discipline
  • Waiting (perseverance and patience)
  • Unleashing the potential
  • Enjoying to the brim

If this is going to be the nature of kids in their daily life these children of CYF (Children Yoga Festival) as they grow, would converge at one point to form another CYF (Creative Youth Foundation) and there will be a transformation in the society for good.

Next day we started from Rikhia ashram by truckers and got dropped in station at Jassidih. Train to Kolkata would stop there for only 2 minutes. So the girls, ladies and elderly got into the train first while the male members along with some boys had to literally throw the baggage of 85 people into the train. Quite an interesting experience. We reached Kolkata and had special veg thali for lunch. 4 porters with luggage trolleys were arranged to carry all our baggages including the prasad  bags from the ashram. We all boarded the bus and went to Belur math… a splendid workmanship could be seen. From there we went to Dakshineshwar and then returned to station to catch the Howrah-Chennai Mail.

Children were really tired and they were ready to hit the bed but “waiting” was learnt as the train was at 11.35pm. Children were provided masala dosas specially brought from Haldirams. Kids were happy as they got dosas for dinner. After dinner, some small kids slept on the platform itself, waiting for the train to arrive.

At last we boarded the train to Chennai after making arrangements for lunch and breakfast for the next day. But the arrangements for dinner was still hanging. Everything went on smoothly till lunch. After that the organizers’ concern for dinner was reaching its peak. Even after attempting in two-three places they couldn’t succeed. This cannot be neglected as the group was big and kids were with us. It was then iota of doubt aroused among volunteers… “Oh! if the arrangement for 85 people itself is difficult, next year we are aiming for 108 schools. Is it possible?”

Bhagavan uvAcha…

As the organizers approached the train pantry for curd rice as last resort, TTE who was standing there came forward with a suggestion that he would be able to  arrange curd rice for 85 people from Iskcon temple. Immediately he spoke to Iskcon people in Rajahmundry and arrangements were made. When the train arrived Rajahmundry station, an Iskcon devotee handed over the curd rice (Thayir saadam – devamrutham) and said…

“Whenever you travel like this, please inform us before hand so that we’ll provide you food with varieties. So don’t bother about the food”.

We volunteers felt that these words were uttered by Lord Krishna himself and felt the grace and blessings of Lord for the next apatha poorthi.

Dhanyosmi !!!

To conclude… entire trip was like this. When you get a bee hive in your hand after chasing away all the bees carefully… as you squeeze it, drops of honey would fall on your taste buds drop by drop. It will be yummy isn’t it. Each and every drop would give you the same taste and it will never diminish. The CYF trip to Bihar was like that. Each and every moment carried the same degree of enjoyment. As the tongue lingers with the taste of honey our thoughts still linger around the trip.

We all whole heatedly wish CYF many more birthdays like this.

– Yoga Tattwa (aka Sumitra Vivek), Yoga Teacher & Volunteer – CYF

Satsang with Swami Satsangi

Lots of questions in the young minds…

“When the student is ready the teacher arrives”

Swami Satsangi, Peethadheeswari of Rikhipeeth, Jharkhand clarifies the doubts in the minds of children, teachers and parents alike.

“What is Tantra?”

“What is in a Mantra?”

“What is Panchagni Tapas?”

“How to find my Guru?”

“Why do Sadhus wear saffron robes?”

“Why poverty in such a culturally rich and wisdom laden Country?”

CYF 2013 team of 90 members from Chennai representing Children, Parents and Teachers from 10 schools take part in a Satsang with Swami Satsangi at Rikhia peeth.

Listen to Swamiji’s answers to above questions and more in a simple and effective language, within easy reach of young minds…

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