Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PANCHAAMRITAM 121 - 130

PANCHAAMRITAM 121

Poornima, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Purattaasi 9 (September 26, 2007)

ONE

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams (born in 1965) said the following two things: 1. While addressing a Rotary Club function in Bharat she said in the presence of her father: "When I landed up in Naval academy I had to adjust to military discipline. The RSS culture of discipline in our family came in handy for me at that stage since my father had been associated with the RSS." 2. While addressing a meet under the aegis of the Ahmedabad Managament Association she also spoke on Ram Setu without using the term. She lent credibility to Ram Setu when she said: " I took pictures of the bridge between India and Sri Lanka from the space station". (Sunita Williams, whose father Dr. Deepak Pandya hails from Gujarat (Bharat), arrived in Ahmedabad on September 20, 2007 on a week-long visit to Bharat).
Courtesy: Shri Ram Madhav of RSS

TWO

“I have investigated nearly 500 reincarnation claims in India. Seventy-seven per cent of them were authentic. Children who talk about previous lives usually do so between the ages of 2 and 5. They display corresponding behaviour that is unusual for their present circumstances but is appropriate for the behavior of the deceased person whose life they claim to remember.Some children have facial features, gait or mannerisms corresponding to their claimed previous personalities; some even have birthmarks or birth defects attributed to the previous lives. At death, the physical body perishes but the non-physical component survives and after an interval, becomes associated with a new physical body. On the basis of meager data that we have, we can't make generalizations about whether or not everyone reincarnates. But what I can tell is that every one does not remember a previous life”.

(Dr Satwant K Pasricha, a NIMHANS (Bangalore) Professor of Clinical Psychology, is a leading national authority on reincarnations, employing rigorous scientific methods to investigate reincarnation claims since 1974. These words are from his interview to Neha Tara Mehta of THE HINDUSTAN TIMES; August 4, 2007).

THREE

Gangadevipalli is a little village on the Warangal-Narasampet road, Andhra Pradesh (Bharat), but is sending out a big message. The village has a population of 1270. It has been enforcing prohibition for the last two years. The village is spotlessly clean and there are neat signboards indicating wards. There are cement roads without a crack, drains without garbage clogging them, and toilets in all houses. And compliance with family planning is hundred per cent. The panchayat takes initiative of its own: it provides cable TV connection to each house at nominal rates. Tax compliance is total in this village. The Rajiv Rural Development Foundation and the Indian Academy of Study and Research saw all this for themselves and adjudged the village as the best panchayat in the country for 2007. ‘‘I am delighted at the honour to our village. It became possible because all the residents were willing partners,’’ says proud sarpanch Shri. K Rajamouli. Impressed by the civic sense of the people, the government had upgraded it to a special panchayat in 1995.

Based on a report in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, August 21, 2007.

Idea: Shri. S. Krishnamoorthy, ‘Sadhana’, Trichy-620 003.

FOUR

Imagine a school where children upto standard V sit on the floor, cross legged in the classroom. Shoes, socks and tie do not form part of the children’s uniform. There is no regimentation for achieving “100 pecent results” here. The school starts with Yoga and Meditation. Total personality development with special emphasis on health of chidren is the norm here. Karnatic sangeetham and Pranic practice in the campus highlight the accent on nurturing Bharatiya culture. Chidren are encouraged to take to vegetarianism. The lunch box of every child is checked to ensure it contains fruits and vegetables. To cap it all, it has been adjudged “the best school in the district”. It is the CAMBRIDGE KRISHNAGIRI MATRICULATION SCHOOL in Krishnagiri, Tamilnadu (Bharat). No wonder, children love to come to his school even on holidays. The founder of this school Shri C.D.Sanathkumar has never gone to a school himself in his life, as he was hit by polio when he was two years old. But he dreamt of an ideal school and saw to it that his dream comes true. 1,500 poor and needy children and their families of this backward district reap the benefit of it all happily.

Source: www.cambridgekrishnagiriindia.com

Idea: Shri. K.Srinivasan and Shri. S. Moorthy

FIVE

Maheswari, a young Sevika of Rshtra Sevika Samiti, was traveling by the Dharapuram-Kodumudi bus. She was to alight at Vellakovil, her village. By her side sat a middle aged woman with extreme sorrow writ large on her face. Maheswari began to converse with her and learnt that the sad woman was about to commit suicide by jumping into the flooded Kaveri river. It seemed domestic misery was the reason. By the time the bus halted at Vellakovil, Maheswari had persuaded the woman to get down from the bus; she took her to her house in Vellakovil. There she fed the woman and consoled her and successfully dissuaded her from her suicide attempt. Then, Maheswari managed to see that the woman rejoined her family living in nearby Nanjiyampalayam. Years later, soon after her wedding, Maheswari took her husband Shri Murugesan on a “pilgrimage” to Nanjiyampalayam and introduced the woman to her husband, who is the Uttar Tamilnadu Prant Seva Pramukh of RSS. No wonder, the life giving Seva of the bride was promptly appreciated by the bridegroom.

As told to Team Panchaamritam by Shri Murugesan on September 2, 2007.

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PANCHAAMRITAM 122

Amaavasya, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Purattaasi 23 (October 10, 2007)

ONE

Highlighting the importance of ''green cover'' inpreserving the eco-system, the villagers of Sirumoolai in Coimbatore district (Tamilnadu, Bharat) solemnised the 'wedding' of Peepul and Neem trees, at Muniappa Swamy Temple. While the groom, the peepul tree, was 'clad' in a dhoti and towel, the 'bride', the neem tree, wore a saree. Priest Krishnaswamy officiated the rituals yesterday when he tied a yellow thread around the neem tree, symbolising the wedding. People believe that the 'eco-marriage' will conciliate Muniappa Swamy, the grama devata, and bring good rains, heralding prosperity, Veluswamy, a villager, told UNI. The special ceremony would amount to deification of trees, urging people to preserve them, he added. Invitations for the wedding were circulated in 14 neighbouring villages for the last one week and the 'guests' were expected to donate for the wedding. The wedding was followed by a feast, after special sacrifices to propitiate the deity.

Based on a UNI report, August 8, 2007 (www.newkerala.com).

TWO

An elementary school teacher goes to school. What is special about it? She gets up at 3 in the morning, walks 18 kilometres through the hilly tract carrying provisions for a week and reaches her school by 10 AM. That is on Mondays. During weekdays she stays in a room in the village where the school is located. Sushri. Lalitha, (Vishnu Bhavan, Sambhuthangi, Kottoor, near Kattakkada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Bharat) has been going through this routine for the past 10 years. Despite many close encounters with wild buffalos and elephants, she continues to light the lamp of knowledge in few tribal children of the Podium tribal settlement. Villagers, most of them Vanavasis (“tribals”), escort her to safety. After all, it is for the education of their children that Lalitha takes such risks. “It is for the first time that the Vanavasi children of the village learn to read and write and that is an inspiration for me”, says Lalitha.

Based on a report in MATRUBHUMI, Malayalam daily of September 5, 2007); www.talent-kerala.net; Idea: Shri. S.S.Narayanan

THREE

Chera Tabey is a village in the Karbi Anglong district of Assaqm, Bharat. Children from this village had to attend a Mission school, 3 kilometres away. Students were converted to Christianity even at the admission stage. Others were given the Bible and were made to ridicule their traditional deity, the Tony Polo. Not only that. The children started to deny the fact that Arunachal is part of Bharat. The villagers were upset over this. Ranjan Tado along with three of his young associates, Jaisingh Pye, Lucky Tinjhu and Vaspi Entipi, drew a detailed plan to start a new school. They contacted Sridhan Singh Rukmi, then in charge a cluster of Ekal Vidyalayas (one teacher schools). Sridhan Singh visited Chera Tabey and sensed the mood of the villagers. He got a survey of the village conducted. Thus, the ground work for starting an Ekal Vidyalaya was completed. The young friends went door to door and ensured that the children are enrolled in the Ekal Vidylaya. All this was over by April, 2007. Children began to quit the Mission School to join the Ekal Vidyalaya. By June, the teachers of the Mission school also gave up their jobs and the Mission school was closed down.

Based on a report in SANGH MARG, Rohtak, August 28, 2007.

FOUR

Environment-friendly engineer Shri Prashant Valde of Gujarat arranged 6,500 diyas (earthen oil lamps) to illuminate a wedding dinner hall precisely to avoid using electricity. Guests appreciated the benefits of such an arrangement: They said: “oil lamp is good for the eye”, “the oil lamp repels mosquitoes” and “it is our tradition”.

GUJARAT PATRIKA, July 28, 2007 (www.vskgujarat.com).

FIVE

A girl child with just one hand was born into a poor family. The girl grew up in Gandhi Gram and in Avvai Ashram. She is now a postgraduate, and more important, she is serving the differently-abled women living in villages around Madurai (Tamilnadu, Bharat). She is Amudha Shanthi. She got an accountant’s job soon after she completed her education. But she resigned her job to be able to attend to the needs of handicapped women. She founded THYAGAM, a service organization that provides vocational training and encourages saving habit.

Based on a report by Smt Uma Balakumar in DINAMANI KADIR, October 7, 2007.

Idea: Shri. Krishnaraj.

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PANCHAAMRITAM 123

Poornima, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Iyppasi 8 (October 25, 2007)

ONE

In Meghalaya, Bharat, Khasi craftsmen and artisans of yesteryears not only worshipped but even "consulted" Vishwakarma, the "divine" engineer known as Ublei Biskorom or Ublei Khadar Kamar in Khasi, on some finer points of engineering before taking up any new construction work. "Konjro Dkhar, my grandfather and a famous engineer, used to take suggestions from Ublei Biskorom before finalising any new design," says Laitpharson Passah, who now runs one of the oldest fabrication workshops in Shillong (Meghalaya) after the death of his engineer father, Bah Girin. "Yes, our father told us that our forefathers used to seek guidance from U Biskorom," chips in Laitpharson's sister, Kong Yo Passah. She teaches Physics in the Seng Khasi College. "We of course cannot imagine doing that," she confesses. "In ancient times, men used to gather at a place called Sohsynnam in Lawbah village on the day of puja to talk with U Biskorom," recollects Yo's mother, Kong Silbi Passah. Kong Silbi, too, is an award winning teacher form a city school. For years, Kong Silbi, her son and daughters and grand children, have been gathering at their family workshop on the occasion of Viswakarma Puja. "Khasis, who believe in the indigenous faith, do not perform any ritual or worship any idol. We simply clean up our tools and workshop and offer prayers to U Biskorom. We also distribute mithai (sweets) to all those who come to our workshop," Kong Silbi explains the simple Khasi way of observing the day. "And of course, there is no work on the day of the puja" (This is interesting because missionaries have gone out of the way to prove that the Khasis have nothing in common with Hindus. Seng Khasi is a term used to denote Khasis who adhere to their tradition).

Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, September 18, 2007.

Idea: Smt. Sujatha Nayak.

TWO

Indian metallurgists have developed a type of corrosion-resistant iron that construction engineers would love. And vital clues for it came for Delhi's famous Iron Pillar that has been standing tall for over 1,600 years. Developed by Ramamurthy Balasubramaniam and his former student Gadadhar Sahoo of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur, the iron contains phosphorus and shows remarkable resistance to corrosion, especially in concrete. “This is a significant first step in the possible commercial (large-scale) use of these irons,”says Balasubramaniam. The IIT team successfully produced ductile phosphoric irons by driving the phosphorus away from grain boundaries through clever alloy design and novel heat treatment. Ironically, Bala's material is not new. It was being made by Indian ironsmiths centuries ago. Bala says he got the clue for developing this material from the six-tonne seven-metre tall Delhi Iron Pillar. The test samples developed by the IIT team remained fresh after three months of being immersed in solution, simulating the corrosive concrete environment, whereas the best commercially available steels got rusted. In another experiment, they embedded the samples in concrete to simulate actual conditions and obtained similar results. Tanjore Anantharaman, author of the book 'Delhi Iron Pillar – the Rustless Wonder' and Bala's former teacher at the Benaras Hindu University, says phosphorus was long suspected to be behind the pillar's corrosion resistance. “It was Bala who proved it.” That was in 2000. Bala thanks his forefathers for the success. “I am of the firm belief that ancient Indian metallurgists had the empirical knowledge that high phosphorus content ores resulted in corrosion-resistant iron. They did not create this material by accident.”

Based on a report by Shri. K.S. Jayaraman of IANS in http://www.indiaenews.com

THREE

Eric Miller (emiller@sas.upenn.edu) is a Ph.D candidate in folklore in the University of Pennsylvania, USA. His dissertation is on Tamil children’s songs and games and language learning. To conduct research on the ancient Tamil epic Silappadhikaaram (the epic of the anklet) he walked in the footsteps of Kannagi – from Poompuhar to Madurai, to the western mountains. Writing about Silappadhikaaram Eric says, “all the political leaders of the world should know the story of Kannagi and of the Pandian king Nedunchezhian. The great hero of Silappadhikaaram – after Kannagi – is the Pandian king. He punished himself when he realized that he had made a mistake. Such self punishment by leaders is a tradition in India – another example being the king Manu Needhi Cholan, who punished his son for killing a calf. This tradition is one reason that India is a moral leader of the world” (Page 115).

From a recent book, ‘GLIMPSES OF HINDU GENIUS’ by Shri, Ravi Kumar; Suruchi Prakashan, Jhandewala, New Delhi – 110 055. Rs. 100.

FOUR

Those who question the historicity of Shri Ram, should take a lesson from the discoveries of Dr. Ramavatar Sharma, who spent 24 years of his life in personally visiting 214 places where Ram had stayed during the 14 years he spent in forests, as also 23 places where Ram had accompanied Sage Vishwamitra upto Janakpur. He has photographed all those temples, lakes, rivers, ghats, huts etc. where Shri Rama treaded. Ramavatar has also prepared a map of them all. The great effort put in by Dr. Ramavatar is a slap on the face of all those who are denying the very existence of Shri Ram.

Shri. K.S. Sudarshan, Sarsanghchalak of RSS, in his Vijayadashami speech

at Nagpur on October 20, 2007. (www.rss.org).

FIVE

Shri. Richhpal Singh and Shri. Raghubir Singh, two of the five crew members of the Delhi-Jaipur Palace on Wheels train (who had sustained serious burns when a boiler tube of the train burst at Delhi Cantonment on October 3, 2007), succumbed to their injuries at Safdarjung Hospital. They had braved their severe burn injuries (upto 98%) and had brought the train to a halt at the next station so that the lives of passengers could be saved. “Both are our heroes”, said Northern Railway officials, justifiably.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, October 19, 2007. Idea: Shri. M.Jayaraman.

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PANCHAAMRITAM 124

Amavaasya, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Iyppasi 23 (November 9, 2007)

ONE

An autorikshaw driver ascended the dais at a function at a school in Chetpet, Chennai and he was cheered with thunderous applause. Shri. E. Mahendran, who lives in Muthamizh Nagar in Kodungaiyur, Chennai (Tamilnadu, Bharat), has been driving an autorickshaw for three years. In September, a passenger asked him to take him from General Patters Road to Ripon Building and back to GP Road. When the passenger got off he forgot his bag. Police said the bag contained a cheque for Rs. 58 lakh, a laptop, cash, a mobile phone and other documents. “I discovered it only later. By then I had two or three more savaris (trips for passengers). I did not know where to search for the man, so I handed over the bag at the Police Commissioner’s office. Said Mahendran He was honoured for his honesty with a shield, medal and cheque. Harish L. Metha, chief traffic warden, presented him with a cheque for Rs. 2,000. At the end of the event, Road Safety Patrol cadets shook hands with Mahendran and got his autograph.

Based on a report in THE HINDU, November 4, 2007.

TWO

Tucked amidst the picturesque green hills of Raypur (Karnataka, Bharat), lies Akshaya Patra Kitchen, arguably the largest kitchen in India and perhaps, the world. While the record books have largely remained silent about it, it is indeed a spectacular feat of modern science, with nearly 13 tonnes of rice, 5 tonnes of raw vegetables and 4 tonnes of dal utilised daily to provide meals for 1.8 lakh children in 763 schools covering Hubli, Dharwad, Kalghatagi and Kundgol taluks of Hubli district. It resembles a factory with a three storeyed building spread across an area of 2.5 acres, having steam boilers, steel cauldrons, exhaust systems, conveyor system and high speed cutting machines along with workers in uniform with gloves and caps. The kitchen has been built as per the ISO 22000 standard which is an international food safety management standard.Cooking operation works in a topdown fashion, with the washing and cutting taking place on the second floor, cooking on the first floor and the packing on the ground floor. On the second floor, vegetables stored in the cold room are chopped and grated using high speed cutting machines. Around 1.25 tonnes of rice can be cooked in 15 minutes and 1200 litres of sambar in 45 minutes on the first floor. The cooked rice and sambar are passed to the ground floor via chutes where they are stored in stainless steel containers specially designed to retain heat upto a maximum of six hours. The introduction of the mid-day meal schemes has made an impact in the region in terms of enrollment ratios. A study conducted by A C Nielsen shows that average enrolment in class V has increased by 31 per cent after the programme was initiated (Akshaya Patra kitchen is run by ISKCON with support from Infosys).

Courtesy: Lion Shri M.Thanga Velu, Chennai 600 084;

Idea: Smt Sujatha Nayak, Guwahatti.

THREE

Every Sunday, 64-year-old Manilal Dungershi Dand, a retired businessman, is present at a huge godown near Jain Mandir, Mazgaon near Mumbai (Maharashtra, Bharat). He is here for children, waiting with a treasure of toys and books, which are stacked in about 70 cupboards that occupy only a little portion of the huge godown. He turned a portion of his godown from where he ran a spice business, into a toy library in 2001. Come Sunday, 30 to 40 children visit his godown. The party goes on from morning till noon. (Most of the kids belong to poor and lower middle-class Muslim and Marathi families of Mazgaon). The walls are colourfully done up with pictures. Besides toys and books, there are crayons, puzzles, carom boards, education video material, broken benches and every conceivable thing that could make a child's day. But it's not only about having a good time for the children, they also learn to grow responsible. The kids, when entering their playzone, have to deposit Rs 10 with their uncle. The amount is reimbursed when they leave, even if they break some of the toys. He also teaches origami (Japanese art of paper sculpting) to the children. Manilal would scrounge chor bazaar and other second-hand goods markets where he bought toys at a cheaper rate. Some of his days are spent at the pediatric department of J J Hospital where the children get to play with toys while recuperating.

Based on a report by Shri. Ketan Tanna

in THE TIMES OF INDIA, August 27, 2007;

Idea: Shri. Ashok Chowgule.

FOUR

The heritage of zinc metal is unique to India. In a way, it is a tribute to the technical excellence of our ancient people who pioneered the zinc extraction for the first time anywhere in the world. The chief evidences are: the existence of ancient mine workings, smelting (metallurgical) sites and artefacts – especially the zinc-based alloys, notably brass recovered from the archaeological sites. There are a number of ancient zinc-lead mines at Zawar, 45 kms south of Udaipur city (Rajasthan, Bharat). Extraction of zinc metal from its ores had posed problems during the earliest times in other countries in the world and metallic zinc was rarely reported in antiquity. The main reason being it required extreme reducing conditions for its extraction, as it would form only as a vapour in furnace. A breakthrough was achieved a long time ago as recorded in our ancient (Sanskrit) literature: Rasarnavam Rasatantram (500 BC), Rasaratnakara (2nd century AD) and most notably in Rasaratnasamuchchaya (late 13th century AD) where a detailed description of the process of high temperature distillation that was developed and applied in this country for extraction and purification of the zinc metal from the ores is mentioned. The smelting activity was at its peak between 1300 and 1600 AD. The technology of production of zinc metal was unknown in Europe and other countries in the western world, until W Champion produced zinc from its ore at Bristol, England in 1736. There are unconfirmed reports that Champion's process of distillation was exactly the same as that existed in India, suggesting that the technology reached England from Zawar. The main incentive for continuous production of zinc metal was probably to prepare high quality brass (an alloy of zinc and copper) not only for making vessels for domestic use, but also for casting images of gods and goddesses.

Based on an article by Shri K R Raghu Nandan,

Former Deputy Director General, Geological Survey of India,

in DECCAN HERALD, August 7, 2007.

FIVE

Many mainstream businesses in Houston, Texas (USA), are catching on to Diwali -- the popular Hindu festival of lights -- and marketing to the area's growing Indian population. Companies are busy building rapport with the many Indian American clients and employees, just as they have for Christmas. The Houston area is home to about 75,000 people of Indian descent, according to the latest census figures, though some community leaders put the figure at more than 1,00,000. For the first time, Houston-based Reliant Energy plans to send Diwali cards to more than a thousand small-business owners of Indian descent this year, the Houston Chronicle reported. Hilton Corp's Hampton Inn is also sending greeting cards and sweets to its Indian-American franchisees. Hewlett-Packard, Reliant Energy and Anderson Cancer Centre will hold annual Diwali celebrations at their local offices, which will include traditional Indian snacks and sweets like samosas and ladoos. Greeting card maker Hallmark has launched special Diwali cards; porcelain figurine maker Lladro has launched a line of Hindu deities. Wells Fargo and Citibank are running special promotions. This year, both are sponsoring local Diwali celebrations, placing special ads in local South Asian newspapers. On Oct 29, legislators in the US House of Representatives approved a resolution recognising the significance of Diwali. More than 20 lakh people celebrate Diwali in the US.

From www.indiaenews.com/america/20071108.

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PANCHAAMRITAM 125

Poornima, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Karthigai 8 (November 24, 2007)

ONE

At present there are around 30 IT shakhas in Bangalore. The RSS holds IT milans on a regular basis and the last one to be held was during the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war on Independence. During such important occasions, the IT wing of the RSS sends out messages through social networking sites to its members, who in turn will have to spread the message around to likeminded persons. The RSS says that it has been working since the past six years on this concept and it is picking up very well now. The members are largely in the age group of 25 and 30. At least half of them are new to the RSS ideology. The RSS says that it is impressed with the response it has got so far and this has prompted them to open up similar shakhas both in Pune and Hyderabad where many IT companies are based.

(Based on a report in www.rediff.com/news - November 12, 2007).

TWO

Adhivakta Parishad is the all Bharat forum of nationalist advocates manned by Swayamsevaks. The Haryana chapter of the Parishad achieved remarkable success in persuading contending parties from going to court by settling their disputes out of court. This may look odd. But it is true. The advocates had the goodness of heart to ensure speedy justice and simultaneously reducing the burden on courts at the cost of their own income. (As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM)

THREE

Swayamsevaks of RSS serving people is a common sight throughout Bharat. The Jammu-Kashmir state is no exception. The predominantly Buddhist Laddak area in the state presented a peculiar problem. Every woman had to marry 3 or 4 men. Afraid of opposing this custom, the womenfolk married Muslims of the area. In the process, they were converted to Islam. RSS studied this in depth and in 2001 arranged for a meeting of RSS chief Prof. Rajendra Singh and Dalai Lama. After this meeting, Dalai Lama declared that thereafter, Laddaki women and men shall adhere to the Dharma of ‘one man – one woman’ norm. With that, women converting to Islam fearing multiple marriages came to an end. Also, a large number of converted women returned to their ancestral fold.

From an interview of Shri.Premchand Goel, Akhil Bharatiya Seva Pramukh of RSS in the Deepavali special number of VIJAYABHARATHAM, Tamil weekly, November 9, 2007. Interviewers: Shri. Chokkalingam and Shri. Nagalingam.

FOUR

Swastika, not the Red Cross. That’s the emblem that the Aarogya Bharati, the RSS wing of medical practitioners, is asking its members to use instead of the international symbol. Some members of the organisation, registered in Bhopal, have already started pasting Swastika stickers on their vehicles and in their clinics without inviting much attention. (But, the symbol was promoted in a big way on November 18, 2007 in Nagpur where the organisation — it’s an umbrella of National Medical Organisation (for allopaths), Vishwa Ayurved Parishad and Ayurved Vyas Peeth (for Ayurveda practitioners) and Homeo Samaj (for Homeopathy practitioners) — distributed stickers to all members). “We are not against the Red Cross but Swastika is a symbol of Indian culture,” Aarogya Bharati’s national secretary M S Deshpande told THE INDIAN EXPRESS. The organisation, registered in 2004, wants Rishi Dhanwantari’s anniversary to be celebrated in India as National Health Day — not April 7, the World Health Day, which marks the constitution of the World Health Organisation.

Based on a report by Shri Milind Ghatwai in

THE INDIAN EXPRESS, November 13, 2007.

FIVE

Samskrita Bharati, known the world over for its 10 day spoken Samskrit shibirams, introduces ever new schemes to enhance the Samskrit fraternity. 18,000 school kids have joined in its latest ‘Bala Bharati’ course in Tamilnadu. Work among America born youth of Indian origin is catching up. Sushri Sowmya, one among them, is a Vistarika (full time worker) of Samskrita Bharati in Los Angeles. In October, the all Bharat conference of Samskrita Bharati was held in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) in which 807 delegates from 553 places participated. Well known Yoga master Shri Ram Devji spoke at the valedictory function in Samskritam. He assured that one page in his YOGA SANDESH magazine (circulation: 5 lakh copies) will be devoted to spoken Samskrit lessons.

DESHIYA SAMACHAR, Chennai, November, 2007.

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PANCHAAMRITAM 126

Amavaasya, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Karthigai 23 (December 9, 2007)

ONE

Shri. Govindaraju (42), an auto driver living in Tirupathy Nagar, Kolathur (Chennai, Tamilnadu, Bharat), was washing his vehicle. He found a bag left behind by someone in his auto. There were a few gold rings and Rs. 10,000 in cash in it. He handed it over to the city Police Commissioner’s office. It was found out that one Husaira Banu of Puthur (Trichy) who had purchased the jewels in T. Nagar, had engaged the auto to go to Mylapore. While getting out of the auto she had left the bag behind. The bag was restored to the owner and Shri. Nanjil Kumaran, the Police Commissioner, rewarded Govindaraju in appreciation of this good deed.

Based on a report in DINAMANI, November 12, 2007.

TWO

Germany-based percussion whiz Shri. Trilok Gurtu, son of veteran Hindustani vocalist Shoba Gurtu, says in a talk with Kanjira artist Shri. Selva Ganesh (son of Ghatam maestero Vikku Vinayakram), “the greatness of this system (Bharatiya Sangeet) is that you can fit into any musical scenario. I remember playing a symphony with John McLaughlin (a Jazz great). They gave me 200 pages of notation. I was puzzled. I then worked on it on the basis of our system of calculation and brought it down to a single page. Finally I did not carry even that page to the stage. My co-musicians looked at me wide-eyed. And I told them, ‘don’t worry, it is all in my mind.’ That is the power of Indian music”. He goes on: “When artistes abroad ask me about the tala patterns and the calculation method, I tell them to go to South India, the hub of classical music. Nothing can match the Carnatic percussion system”.

From THE HINDU Metro Plus, November 27, 2007. (Idea: Shri. S.Murthy)

THREE

Two 15-year-old schoolgirls, Vidhi Goradia and her friend, found a phone on the cemented seaside bench at Marine Drive (Mumbai, Bharat). A discussion followed. The friend: ‘I don't own a mobile and my parents were just about to buy me one. How lucky am I to find this’. Vidhi: ‘Do the right thing and return it.’ Added Vidhi: ‘Had I lost my mobile, I would have felt very bad. We have to return it. (Reporters from READER'S DIGEST left 30 mid-priced mobile phones in public places in Mumbai and then watched how people reacted, as part of a unique survey. The survey in the world's 32 most populous cities saw Mumbai finishing fifth along with Manila and New York. In Mumbai, home to a very large number of poor, finders returned 24 of the 30 telephones. Slovenia's capital Ljubljana topped the list, returning 29 of the 30 'lost' telephones. Toronto came at the second spot with 28 telephones, followed by Seoul (27) and Stockholm (26). The telephone recovery in some of the wealthiest cities was poor. (Sydney as well as London: 19). The READER'S DIGEST in its August 2007 issue said that all the seven women who found Reader's Digest phones in Mumbai returned them.

Based on a report in bestofindya.com

FOUR

Shri. K.M. Purushotthaman was the Regional Transport Officer at Kannur (Kerala, Bharat). He never took bribe. He had won nearly a dozen good service entries and many awards from the Motor Vehicle Department. He was a cancer patient. In spite of that he had put in 24 years of unblemished service. He was relieved from duty at Kannur on May 23, 2007 after being transferred to neighbouring Mallapuram, following false charges against him by unscrupulous elements in the department. The 50-year old Purushothaman was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his office room on June 4, 2007. He chose this end instead of giving up the Dharmic (righteous) path.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR VARAMALAR, November 25, 2007. Idea: Shri. M.Jayaraman)

FIVE

"Uncle, if you've an old working computer, give it to me. I'll pass it on to the poor tribal children so that they can learn English." That's eight-year-old Karan Dravid of Bengaluru, speaking on his own, no cues, no prompts. He enjoys mingling with tribal kids in BR Hills, teaching them English every weekend and during vacations. Mumbai-based NGO, India Development Foundation, has roped in Karan as young ambassador to promote rural empowerment initiatives. He's a whizkid — knows six languages, including French; he memorises Samskrit shlokas. His school: Kendriya Vidyalaya, MEG Centre. Says his father, Shri Sai Prem Kumar, an engineer: “Karan, at three, was inquisitive and had good memory. An answer to his query would be etched in his mind and he'd interpret in his own way." "Once he wanted to know why some children didn't know English. I told him they were poor and hence couldn't go to school. Since then, he has taken it upon himself to do something for the poor," Kumar recalls. Without parents' knowledge, Karan met his Principal, talked his friends into mobilising a load of shoes and clothes for the children at BR Hills Empowerment School. "He had ensured his friends don't give too old or torn clothes," says Karan's mother Smt. Kalpana, who works in the excise department. Karan is also interacting with reputed schools to get the students work for the poor.

From THE TIMES OF INDIA, November 25, 2007. (Idea: Smt. Vasantha)

OOOOOOOOOOO

PANCHAAMRITAM 127

Poornima, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Margazhi 7 (December 23, 2007)

Posted on December 25, 2007. Sorry for the 2 day delay.-- Moderator.

ONE

Sheik Mahaboob Subhani is the eighth generation nagaswaram player in his family which belongs to Chilakaluripetta (Andhra Pradesh, Bharat). The family believes that the first generation forefather, Hussain Saheb, was blessed by their village goddess Munimandamma with bheejaksharam and granted a boon that nagaswaram playing will continue for at least seven generations in the family. Subhani’s wife Kaleeshabi Mahaboob also is an accomplished nagaswaram player. Says Subhani, turning emotional: “In 1981, we went to the Tiruvaiyaru Tyagaraja festival to pay homage to the saint-poet. Having gone there without our instruments, the most unforgettable thing happened. Renowned Nagaswaram vidwan Sheik Chinna Moulana Saheb, who had just finished his concert, offered his nagaswaram to me, and his grandson’s to my wife. Normally, instruments are never parted with, by vidwans. This is what we call Divine intervention.” In Subhani’s house at Srirangam, adorning the wall is the imposing portrait of Sringeri Saradamba. They have named one of their two daughters Meera Bai. For the couple, not a day passes without a practice session that spreads over five hours.

From an interview of the vidwan couple by Shri. V. Balasubramanian;

THE HINDU, December 14, 2007

TWO

The Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) , Chennai, is on a major research initiative to capture the hidden mysteries of the mridungam. Announcing this, Dr T Ramasami, secretary, department of science and technology, Government of India, said on December 23, 2007: “the mridungam is built by traditional artisans. If subsequent generations do not inherit the skills, there will come a time when the mridungam will end up as an obsolete instrument. Our mission is to sustain this art form for a long period of time.” This initiative is a follow up to the suggestion made by mridungam maestro Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Sir C V Raman himself had made some pioneering efforts in this field. According to Dr Ramasami, any form of art which was entirely dependent on artists and artisans would bring variety but not sustainability.

Based on a report in DECCAN CHRONICLE, December 24, 2007.

THREE

The scorching Delhi heat forced me to take a 'rickshaw' as no other commuting mode was available because of Delhi bandh! I was elated to be able to bargain with the 'rickshaw wala' for just 5 rupees. I was sitting on the rickshaw like a queen, ignoring the plight of that poor rickshaw chalak. The rickshaw had hardly moved half a meter ahead and this old man suddenly stopped and told me to wait. He said, "Beta! Main abhi 2 minut. mein aaya [Child, I shall be back in 2 min]". I got scared and wondered where he had gone; I was expecting him to come back with some other notorious people … I was a bit relieved to see him returning alone in exactly 2 minutes! I noticed a strange kind of satisfaction on his face. He said, "Beta! Shukriya! [Thanks]". I asked him why he was thanking me. Tears welled up in my eyes when he told me, "Beta, you gave me 5 rupees, I went to a small temple nearby. I prayed to God offering 2 rupees out of those 5. I used 1 rupee to pray for myself and my family and I used the other rupee to PRAY FOR YOU!" Now, this really touched me when he said, "Beta, I prayed for you because you came as an angel in my life today. I did not have anything to eat or drink since morning, I did not have a single paisa. Suddenly, you came and paid me 5 rupees, and I could at least have a cup of tea and 2 biscuits with the remaining 3 rupees. I have prayed to GOD to keep you happy throughout your life and you keep bringing smiles on faces like us". While I had bargained for MY happiness, this Rickshaw chalak has offered money to pray for MY happiness!!

From the CONTRIBUTE column of www.msn.co.in by Smt. Manpreet Juneja, November 13, 2007. Idea: Shri. S.S.Mani

FOUR

Nearly 40 years ago, a young Indian doctor located ruptures in the retina of a British patient. He used a specialist instrument to squirt tiny amounts of frozen gas into the eye, triggering a natural process of scarring that caused the damaged retina to heal. Within a day or two of the 40-minute operation, the patient was out of his bed and walking around. The patient: Shri. Gordon Brown, now Prime Minister of Britain, had a detachment of the retina in his left eye after an injury sustained while playing rugby as a teenager. The young Indian doctor: Shri. Hector Chawla. Had not the doctor restored the vision, the young man “would almost certainly have gone blind and the life of Gordon Brown – and the recent history of Britain – might well have been very different”, writes THE TIMES (London) ONLINE on December 24, 2007.

FIVE

Kancheepuram MLA Smt. Sakthi Kamalammal of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) spent a day at a narikurava settlement in Kalakattur village panchayat near Kanchipuram (Tamilnadu, Bharat) recently to highlight the plight of the narikuarava people (a roaming tribe) living in makeshift dwelling units. The narikurava community members, who were residing at Vagiriyar Nagar in Kuruvimalai hamlet in Kalakattur village panchayat, received the MLA and narrated their ordeal of having no proper roof over their heads. They expressed their gratitude by clapping their hands and dancing around the MLA. Their plea for permanent houses on the present site was just as many of their children were enrolled in nearby schools and some of the men and women were employed in private establishments in the town.

Based on a report in THE HINDU, December 18, 2007.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO

PANCHAAMRITAM 128

pancha is five in samskritam; amritam is nectar

Amavaasya, Kali 5109 Sarvajit Margazhi 23 (January 8, 2008)

ONE

Dr. Krishnaraj Rajalingam, 30-year-old molecular biologist from Bharat, has won a prestigious and highly competitive award from the German research foundation. Krishnaraj, working at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, has been chosen for the 1.3 million euros (Rs. 7.25 crores) award. With this award, Rajalingam, born in Mayiladuthurai in the Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu, can now establish a fully independent research team anywhere in Germany for the next five years. The major focus of his research is on understanding programmed cell death. Understanding the molecular machinery of cell death in detail will enable scientists to develop rational drugs against various pathological conditions, including cancer, said. Dr. Krishnaraj,

Based on a report in THE HINDU, October 8, 2007.

TWO

The organs of war veteran from the Indian Army, Brigadier Shri. Y P Bakshi, who was shot dead at his residence in Meerut on January 4 by unknown assailants, were donated to the needy, including a serving soldier on January 6, 2008. Surgical teams at the Army Hospital here worked in tandem to transplant the liver into a serving soldier with cirrhosis and one kidney into a 14-year-old. The second kidney has been sent to AIIMS for transplantation. One cornea and heart valves have been stored for use on needy recipients. Smt. Kamini Mehta, the daughter of the slain brigadier and her husband, Maj Gen P K Mehta, who has retired recently from the Army, readily agreed to donate the organs of Brig Bakshi so that others in need of various organs could get a lease of life. The mortal remains of the slain brigadier were consigned to flames on January 6. The Armed Forces have been promoting organ donation and over 1000 serving personnel, veterans and their families have already pledged to donate their organs (UNI).

From www.webindia123.com

THREE

When one enters the five anganwadis on Ayyanarappan Koil Street in Erode, Tamilnadu (Bharat), one will be surprised to see the cleanliness. A mild fragrance is felt. In each anganwadi, 25 poor children are studying. Usually the Government do not sanction any chair or bench for anganwadis. But in these centres one can see plastic chairs. The teachers themselves clean the centres. Children are trained to place their footwear on stands kept at the centre. Food for the 125 children is prepared in a hygienic way. Teachers too join ayahs in serving the food to children. Only boiled water is provided for the children. Teachers take care in inculcating good toilet practices in children. C. Parimaladevei, G.S. Manjula, K. Dhanalakshmi, C. Thulasimani and M. Renuka are working in these anganwadis since 1982. The teachers themselves bring pictures, charts and materials from their houses to teach children. Parents of the students said that they were immensely happy with the dedication of these Most of the parents are daily wage earners. They are happy that their children are getting good education. The teachers have secured, through donations: chairs, tables, etc., worth Rs. 40,000 for the anganwadis.

Based on a report by Shri. R. Sundaram in THE HINDU, December 29, 2007.

FOUR

It is interesting to note that water scarcity brought out the nobility latent in the villagers of Jambuduraikkottai, a hamlet in Nilakkottai Panchaayat Union of Dindigul district, Tamilnadu (Bharat). When they found out that struggles and demonstrations to press their demand for drinking water came to naught, they hit upon a plan. They decided to save rain water by digging a reservoir. There was no government land available nearby. They were not deterred. They donated 14 acres of land (6.1 lakh square feet) to the Panchayat. They also extracted a written assurance from the village authorities that the land would not be used for any other purpose.

Based on a rport in DINAMANI, December 29, 2007

FIVE

Ancient Indian swordsmiths used nanotechnology that led to the development of the legendary Damascus Sword. The legendary sword was used between 1095 AD and 1270 AD to intimidate European invaders of the `holy lands' of the Islamic civilisation in what came to be known as the Crusades. Robert F Curl, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry revealed this at the 95th Indian Science Congress at Visakapatnam. Damascus steel was first made by experts in south and south-central India as long ago as around 300 BC, he added. Curl Jr reminded that even Tipu Sultan used a sword of such high quality steel in his wars against the British in the closing years of the 18th century. Sir Walter Scott in his book Talisman mentions, this about a sword made of Damascus steel, `a curved and narrow blade, which glittered not like the swords... but was, on the contrary, of a dull blue colour, marked with ten millions of meandering lines...' Curl Jr explained that the `meandering lines' were nothing but those caused by fine carbon nano particles which provided toughness.

Based on a report by Shri. Nirad Mudur in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, January 7, 2008.

PANCHAAMRITAM 130

Amavaasya, Kali Yugaabda 5109, Sarvajit Thay 23 (February 6, 2008)

ONE

On January 28, 2008, by 9.15 in the night, Shri. Sundaramoorthy, living near the Chingleput – Arakonam rail track in Devanoor village, heard an unusually loud noise from the track when a train passed by. He told his son Shri. Ganesh Kumar (19) to inspect the rail track for any possible damage. It was pitch dark. Anyhow, his son, an electrician, felt the track with his feet and started walking, dragging his feet, without losing contact with the track. Soon he found out that the rail track near his house was damaged. By now, he saw a train approaching. He decided to stop the train. He ran into his house, picked up a red colour saree of his sister and started running along the track, waving the red saree. The locopilot, noticed the unusual red signal and applied the brake. The train ground to a halt 400 metres from the point where the track had developed a crack. The railway staff and the passengers were all praise for Ganesh Kumar for his presence of mind that saved so many lives.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, January 30, 2008.

TWO

Pathologist Dr. Himmatrao Bhavaskar hails from Jalna, Maharashtra (Bharat). He worked in Bhiwandi near Mumbai, where 30 % deaths were caused by scorpion bite. He discovered that the PRAZOSIN tablet available in medical stores is a cure. He saved many with this tablet. He used to sleep in the night outside his house in Mahad under a net so that patients were not sent back. His workload increased. He traveled from village to village explaining the treatment to doctors, treated more than 4,000 patients and brought down deaths due to scorpion bite to less than 2%. In 1986, in a single month, 65 patients survived. It was published in LANCET, the renowned medical journal. Prazosin is used today on scorpion bites and snake bites. Countries like Israel, Peru and Brazil use it.

From an interview of the doctor in FROZEN THOUGHT, April, 2007.

THREE

From Jammu-Kashmir to Kanykumari, Swayamsevaks of RSS recite everyday, the Bharat Ekatmata Stotram in which are included the names of saints and savants of Bharat. The batch of Shaivaite saints known as the 63 Nayanmars celebrated in Tamailnadu, is one such. Of the 63, Kannappa Nayanar, the hunter, is the one who offered his eyes to Lord Shiva. He is said to have lived in a forest near Uttukkoor in the Arakonam Cudappa in Andhra Pradesh (140 kms from Chennai). Shri. S.K. Palaniswamy of Coimbatore, who retired as an official in the Commercial Tax department, studied Shaiva Siddhanta and that inspired him to visit the places associated with all the 63 Nayanmars across Tamilnadu. With some difficulty he located Uttukkoor associated with Kannappa Nayanar. He decided to install a statue of Kannappa in Uttukkoor. With the support of the local people, Palaniswamy accomplished his mission in February 2008.

Based on a report in OM SAKTHI, Tamil monthly, February 2008.

FOUR

‘WORLD’S FIRST EVER NEWS SELLING AGENCY’ – That is the title of a researched article by Shri. G.T. Kulkarni in a compilation, WEBS OF HISTORY, brought out by Indian History Congress and Institute of Development Studies, Kolkatta, West Bengal, in 2005. The news agency referred to here is ‘Khemkaran Manasram’ based in Delhi (Bharat). It kept on dispatching news relating to Delhi and Northern regions to the Peshwa in Poona from the early 40’s of 18th century (Reuters came into being in only in 1851). ‘Khemkaran Manasram’ that had its own network of contacts, existed till 1795. The newsletter was of size 40 by 13 cms with SRI RAM in devnagari script inscribed on top. The text was in Persian language. The messenger of the newsletter received the remuneration on delivery at Poona. News was periodically updated with a caption ‘just now our reporter says’.

From WEBS OF HISTORY, published by Manohar 2005 (Page 148).

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