Monday, April 30, 2012



Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amavaasya / Kali Yugaabda 5114 / Nandana Chithirai 8 (April 20, 2012)

Posted on April 29, 2012. Regret the unavoidable delay. – Moderator.


Jadav Payeng, 47, has single-handedly grown a sprawling forest on a 550-hectare sandbar in the middle of the Brahmaputra. It now has many endangered animals, including at least five tigers, one of which bore two cubs recently. The place lies in Jorhat, some 350 km from Guwahati (Assam, Bharat). It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life. The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. Leaving his education and home, he started living on the sandbar. He watered the bamboo plants morning and evening and pruned them. After a few years, the sandbar was transformed into a bamboo thicket. He then decided to grow proper trees. Soon, there were a variety of flora and fauna which burst in the sandbar, including endangered animals like the one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger. "After 12 years, we've seen vultures. Migratory birds, too, have started flocking here. Deer and cattle have attracted predators," claims Payeng. The Assam state forest department learnt about Payeng's forest only in 2008 when a herd of some 100 wild elephants strayed into it after a marauding spree in villages nearby.

From a report by Smt Manimugdha S Sharma in THE TIMES OF INDIA, April 1, 2012.


Dungar loves his brother so much that he didn't think twice about jumping into a fire to save his disabled brother when their father Haathi Singh wasn't at home. He is the youngest among the 2012 Republic Day awardees, but knows no fear. Dungar jumped into flames to save his disabled brother on March 27, 2011. A fire had broken out at their hut in Rajasthan. Their father was away. Dungar and his brother Mahendra tried to run outside. While Dungar managed to run to safety, Mahendra got caught in the fire. Hearing his cries, Dungar immediately jumped into the flames and brought him out safely. Villagers then informed the police and called an ambulance. 'I love my brother very much. I could not have let him die,' says Dungar, who wants to become a Hindi teacher. (This year (2012), 24 children - 8 girls and 16 boys – received the National Bravery Awards on the occasion of Republic Day. Dungar is one among them).


A few months back, one Shri Gurumurthy was brought to the SG MET hospital in Erode. He had met with a road accident and was suffering from brain hemorrhage. His was a poor family and they had on hand only Rs 5,000. While no other corporate hospital would have admitted the case without paying an advance of Rs 50,000, the hospital performed a surgery on him which cost the hospital over Rs 88,000, excluding the fee for doctors. A month after he was discharged, Gurumurthy went to the hospital of his own and remitted a sum of Rs 30,000 with the words: "Sir, you saved my life. I do not know whether I would have been alive today had I gone to some other hospital." Says Dr. Marimuthu  Saravanan, chief medical officer of the SG MET hospital: "It is words such as these that give a doctor the fulfillment of his life. This is medical practice." The commercialization of medical profession was unbearable to him while he served a corporate hospital at the beginning of his career. He quit the job and started serving the poor and needy by founding Sri Ganapathy Medical and Educational Trust. 486 well wishers including 86 doctors joined the trust. (Based on a report in ANANDA VIKATAN, Tamil weekly, April 25, 2012).      


Hindu Munnani workers and supporters in the pilgrim town of Thirukalukundram, Kanchipuram district (Tamilnadu, Bharat), celebrated a recent victory for Hindu pilgrims. Now they can view Nandi unhindered. A little flashback here: The Nandi in question is the first one among the 8 around the ancient Veda Gireeswar (Shiva) temple at the foothills of the holy mountain venerated as an embodiment of Vedas by the devout for millennia. Performing Giri Pradakshina of the hill is considered as worship of Vedas. Thousands throng the place for Giri Pradakshina. But the illegal structures put up by a ward councilor with political clout completely encircled the first Nandi and pilgrims were unable to have a mandatory Darshan of Nandi prior to worshipping Shiva. For 25 long years this intrusion continued, till Hindu Munnani workers led by district secretary Shri Mani, protested to the obstruction. A struggle for 7 years ensued. A recent petition to the state government by the Hindu Munnani had the desired result. The illegal structures were demolished and the Nandi came into view once again. (As told to Team PANCHAAMRITAM)


Among those who never doubted Swami Vivekananda during his lifetime was Leo Tolstoy. The restless Russian was especially keen for writings on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda's own guru. Two years before his death, Tolstoy wrote, "Since 6 in the morning I have been thinking of Vivekananda," and later, "It is doubtful if in this age man has ever risen above this selfless, spiritual meditation." Harvard philosopher and psychologist William James was fascinated by the 31-year-old Indian and quoted at length from Vivekananda's writings in his seminal work, "The Varieties of Religious Experience." Novelist Gertrude Stein, then a student of James's at Radcliffe, reportedly attended Vivekananda's 1896 talk at Harvard — which so wowed the college's graybeards that they offered him the chairmanship of Eastern philosophy. He declined, noting his vows as a monk. A later convert to the mystic's writings was Aldous Huxley, who wrote the foreword to the 1942 English-language edition of "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna," which he described as "the most profound and subtle utterances about the nature of Ultimate Reality." Along with his friend Christopher Isherwood, Huxley was formally initiated at the Vedanta Center in the Hollywood Hills, where the two sometimes gave the Sunday lecture, often attended by their friends Igor Stravinsky, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Somerset Maugham and Greta Garbo. From an article in the NEW YORK TIMES,  October 2, 2011, with the headline: `How Yoga Won the West'.




Lord Mani said...

Dear moderator, thank you very much for mentioning my story. However, I am a man, not a woman. Perhaps you could change that.

Thanks anyhow!


Manimugdha S Sharma
The Times of India
New Delhi