Tuesday, January 4, 2011


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Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amaavaasya/ Kali Yugaabda 5112 / Vikruti Margazhi 20 (January 4, 2011)


Gloria Arieira, a Brazilian and an authority in Sanskrit has translated the Bhagawad Gita and parts of the Vedas to Portuguese. So, if you are seeking spirituality in the holiday resort of Copacabana, Rio, then you will find it at Vidya Mandir, a school of Vedanta studies founded and run by Gloria. Gloria, who is visiting Kalady, with a group of 28 students, has been to Kerala before. A disciple of Swami Chinmayananda and of Swami Dayananda, Gloria's entry into the world of spirituality was after she heard Swami Chinmayananda's talk on Vedanta in Rio. That was in 1973. Gloria felt that her search for the greater meaning to life was answered. Dissatisfied with her search in other philosophies, she was drawn towards Vedic ways. Gloria learnt Sanskrit because it was the only way she could reach the depths of knowledge that she was seeking. The Bhagvad Gita and the Upanishads had to be read in the language they were written in. Gloria dresses like an Indian. Gloria, 57, is married and has three children, a lawyer, an engineer and one studying social sciences. Her husband is a yoga teacher. Does her family practise her way of life? She says that there is no compulsion to change. "The Vedic dharma does not ask for conversion. But the understanding of the Vedas changes life completely." Her children are proud of her work and value the Vedic tradition. Has her Indian-inspired spirituality taken her away from Brazil? "How can it? I am a Brazilian except that I see the logic, the higher order behind my learning Vedanta and teaching it to students in Brazil", she says. Based on a report by Smt Priyadershini. S in THE HINDU (Kochi) , September 8, 2010 .


An 18-day train journey across 12 places in the country with 400 people from all states talking about entrepreneurship, sharing ideas, meeting role models and devising innovative solutions for day-to-day problems: This is what the Tata Jagriti Yatra, which made a stop in Chennai on December 30, 2010, is all about. It is an annual affair organized by a Mumbai-based group. The participants are people in the 20-25 age group as well as working professionals above 25 and the aim is to expose them to unsung heroes. "The motto is to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship, both of the social and financial kind, by exposing them to individuals and institutions that have developed unique solutions to various challenges," said Raj Krishnamurthy, a board member of the yatra. In Chennai, the participants met Shri R Elango, an engineer turned panchayat president who has changed the face of Kuthambakkam, a small village. Kuthambakkam, near Chennai, is completely panchayat-led and a viable and profitable model with 59 self-help groups. The yatris are divided into 18 teams which come up with a plan in the sectors of education, agriculture and healthcare. The five best teams are given a seed fund to implement their ideas. "Five hundred million Indians live on Rs 40-120 a day and with this yatra we hope to address the problems of this chunk of the population," said Raj. (Tata Jagriti Yatra, Tel (India): +91 22 6453 5354 Mobile (India): +91 92 2323 1183, +91 93 2421 2434). Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, December 31, 2010.


Bobby Jindal, the Indian American Governor of Louisiana, has topped the list of US's popular governors in a new survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP). Jindal, who became the first ever Indian American governor of a US state in 2007, will be seeking re-election in October 2011. According to the poll, Jindal emerged with a 58 percent approval rating, along with 34%  disapproving of his performance. He is closely followed by Iowa's Governor. Although West Virginia's Governor Joe Manchin posted a higher approval rating (70 percent) than Jindal's, he has since left the gubernatorial mansion, having been elected US Senator.  THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, January 1, 2011.


Thailapuram, off Chengalpattu in Kanchipuram district (Tamilnadu, Bharat) celebrated the Deepam Utsav as a social festival on November 21, 2010. Usually, lighting of lamps in every Hindu household marks the Deepam festival. The event was unique that day in many ways. The nation (represented by a huge map of undivided Hindusthan – Akhand Bharat - drawn on the open ground in the middle of the village) was the centre of the ceremony. Mud lamps (Diyas) with the wick and gingelly oil were placed all along the borders of the country in the map.  Every holy city inside the borders was indicated by a similar lamp each, with wick and oil. At the outset, functionaries of political parties – AIADMK, DMK, PMK, etc., - responded happily to the call of the organizers and lit a lamp each, positioned at each holy city inside `Hindusthan'.  So did the caste leaders of several castes one by one. All cities from Amarnath in the Himalayas via Ayodhya down to Kanyakumari in the south were lit by these leaders of the village. While a lamp wais lit in a holy city, the organizers narrated its cultural importance as well as the effectiveness of Hindu unity in that city. The climax of the Utsav was this: when the entire village lined up and began lighting the lamps on the borders of the nation, the political and caste leaders joined the people. The Utsav was organized by Swayamsevaks of RSS in the village.  As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri G.Bhaktavatsalan, Saha Prant Prachrak , RSS, Uttar Tamilnadu.


Agriculturists of village Kachod in Ujjain Taluk, Ujjain District (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat) will not have to face water scarcity any more. They have a new check dam in their village now, which will save excess water.  It is a gift worth Rs 3 lakhs – for the benefit of  the villagers - by their fellow farmer Shri Dayaram Kaakkad, all India Vice President of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), the premier national organization of farmers founded by RSS veteran late Shri Dattopant Thengadi.  Dayaram has chosen the wedding of his son slated for January 25, 2011, as the occasion to give the valuable gift to his village. Incidentally, the theme for the forthcoming all India conference of BKS on February 4, 2011 in Ujjain is `conservation of water'. Farmers from 3 lakh villages will be carrying holy water from their villages and Sadhus including His Holiness the Kanchi Shankarachrya will perform Jalabhishekh to the presiding deity of Ujjain, Lord Mahakleshwar (Shiva). This has the purpose of reminding farmers that water is to be held in high esteem.  As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri Gopi, Tamilnadu State Organising Secretary, BKS.


LOCATIONS COVERED: Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Brazil and the USA.