Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

Video Lectures of Short Story Prize distribution

Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam, the Tamil monthly of our order has recently conducted a short story competition emphasizing the importance of noble values of our tradition. Nearly 1000 stories on various themes like service, religious harmony, spirituality, humanity, cultural heritage, patriotism, social responsibility etc. were received. Among them were devotional stories, stories touching humanity through their hearts, family stories advocating love & concern, inspirational stories instilling confidence by relentless fight against failures, stories glorifying women and our nation, etc. Among the writers, many are young and new to the world of writing. It was wonderful to see great expressions of talent, feelings and their effective presentations emanating from the pens of these enthusiastic participants.

A Prize distribution function was held on 29th August 2014 in Vivekananda Culture Centre at Vivekananda Illam and prizes were awarded to the winners.

It is the 1st time almost all print media from Tamil Nadu participated in this programme. Sri Gurumurthy Columnist appreciated the social, cultural and spiritual contributions of the magazine to the society. He said that Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam is a magazine that is in demand and not merely sold. Two leading dialing in Tamil and Indian Express gave full coverage of it.

We are happy to inform you that our Tamil monthly Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam has reached the circulation 175000 copies.

Some of the video Lectures:

Lecture by Sri S. Gurumurthy – Policital & Economic Thinker

Lecture by Sri K. Vaidyanathan – Editor, Dinamani

 

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The Restraining of the Passions

Source: Compiled from the Bhagavatam Sk.7. Adh.15 A person should conquer desire by shunning the wish or determination to gratify it, and conquer the passion of anger by eschewing Kama [desire to gain particular objects], and covetousness by seeing the evil in all worldly things sought after, and fear by a thorough perception of Truth. He should get rid of grief and attachment through a distinct knowledge of what is Atman and An-atman [Self and non-self], and of hypocrisy by service at the feet of the great and association with them, and the interruptions of Yoga [concentration] by the force of silence, and avoid harm to other creatures by cherishing no love to the body and all its belongings. He should get over the troubles arising from other beings through kindness and mercy, and those caused by the gods through contemplation of the gods, and those arising in his own body and mind by strength of Yoga practices [Pranayama and the like], and sleep by using Sattvic food and the like. He should conquer Rajas and Tamas by means of the Sattva element and also Sattva by complete withdrawal from activity; and he may have all this conquest assured to him through his intense devotion to the Guru [spiritual teacher]. All the rules restricting the conduct and habits of man have but one purpose, viz., to serve restraining the six passions; and they would be only a source of mere labour and pain if they do not lead to contemplation and concentration. He who is resolved on conquering his mind should rid himself of all associations and give up all his belongings, should be alone and live in a secluded place, eating but very little. The wise man should slowly and gradually confine the mind to the heart by bringing it back from the several objects to which it has gone out, wandering under the force of passions. And the mind of the ascetic, who is thus day and night given to the exercise of control, becomes in a short time peaceful, undisturbed by passions, like fire without fuel to feed it. Then the mind, unassailed by desire and other passions and divested of all activity, rises to the experience of the blissful realisation of Brahman and would never again turn towards the Samsara [phenomenal world].

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Vivekananda Cultural Centre – Donor appreciation Programme (29th Aug 2014) Photos

Vivekananda Cultural Centre has been established by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, to commemorate Swami Vivekananda during 150th Birth Anniversary as an illustrious cultural rejuvenator of India and to provide training to Indians, especially the youth, in achiev­ing excellence through value assimilation. Apart from the generous help extended by the Government of Tamil Nadu by providing land and financial support, several others have also made significant contributions towards the construction of the building and establishment of the Centre. To felicitate these contributors, a special programme had been organized at the Vivekananda Cultural Centre on Sri Vinayaka Chaturthi Day, 29th August 2014. Photos of the programme:

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Short story competition – Prize distribution function (29th Aug 2014) – Photos

Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam, the Tamil monthly of our order has recently conducted a short story competition emphasizing the importance of noble values of our tradition. Nearly 1000 stories on various themes like service, religious harmony, spirituality, humanity, cultural heritage, patriotism, social responsibility etc. were received. Among them were devotional stories, stories touching humanity through their hearts, family stories advocating love & concern, inspirational stories instilling confidence by relentless fight against failures, stories glorifying women and our nation, etc. Among the writers, many are young and new to the world of writing. It was wonderful to see great expressions of talent, feelings and their effective presentations emanating from the pens of these enthusiastic participants.

A Prize distribution function was held on 29th August 2014 in Vivekananda Culture Centre at Vivekananda Illam and prizes were awarded to the winners. 

It is the 1st time almost all print media from Tamil Nadu participated in this programme. Sri Gurumurthy Columnist appreciated the social, cultural and spiritual contributions of the magazine to the society. He said that Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam is a magazine that is in demand and not merely sold. Two leading dialing in Tamil and Indian Express gave full coverage of it. 

We are happy to inform you that our Tamil monthly Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam has reached the circulation 175000 copies.

Some of the photos are given below

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Swami Advaitananda Jayanti – Discourse by Swami Lakshmidharananda Aug 24 2014

Swami Advaitananda Jayanti was celebrated at our Math on August 24, 2014. In the evening, Swami Lakshmidharananda gave a discourse in English on the life of Swami Advaitananda. Duration: 43 min

Listen and Download the Lecture                                               Downloading Audio

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The Way to true Devotion

Source: Compiled from the Bhagavatam Sk.ll. Adh.19

“I shall again tell thee of the most efficacious way to devotion to Me: Sincere solicitude to listen to My nectar-like stories, the constant singing of Me, a steady application to My worship, to sing hymns in praise of Me, enthusiasm in doing service to Me and bowing to Me, great attention to worshipping My devotee, to think that I am present in all beings, every movement of every limb taking place only in doing acts dedicated to Me; to sing only My qualities, to resign the mind to Me, to shun all desires, and for My sake to eschew money that does not point to My devotion, to abandon all enjoyments and comforts and to perform sacrificial acts, gifts, oblations, repetition of Mantras [holy sound-symbols] and the vows and tapas [austerity] dedicated to Me.

“Those men, O Uddhava, who possess the aforesaid virtues and resign themselves to Me, develop devotion towards Me. What other purpose yet remains for them to secure? When the mind is full of Sattva [calmness serenity and balance] and thoroughly serene is resigned unto Me, the man naturally gains merit of righteousness, wisdom and renunciation and attains to the state of Iswara [God with attributes]. The mind that is set on anything different from Myself, that is on any phenomenal object, runs astray with the senses, then it becomes very impure with Rajas [passionate activity] attached to bad things, and thus it becomes perverse and unrighteous.

“Whatever promotes devotion to Me is Dharma [Righteousness], and to realise the oneness of Atman [Self] is Jñana or wisdom; to be without attachment to the three Gunas and their products is renunciation.”

Uddhava said, “O Slayer of enemies, how many are the Yamas laid down as such? Niyamas, how many? What is Sama? What is Dama? O Krishna, what is forbearance or fortitude, O Lord? What is gift? What is Tapas? What is heroism, truthfulness, correct understanding? What is liberality? What is wealth or sacrificial act? What is Yajña and what is Dakshina? What is the good strength of man? What is fortune or gain? What is the highest form of modesty, what is Sri, what happiness, what misery? Who is a scholar? Who is a fool? What is the way and what is the wrong way? What is heaven and what is hell? Who is a relation and what is a house? Who is rich and who is poor? Who is helpless? And who is Iswara, O Lord of the righteous? May Thou be pleased to explain to me these points of enquiry as well as the contrary ideas.”

Sri Krishna said, “To refrain from harming others, to be truthful, not to appropriate others’ wealth even in thought, to be free from attachments, to avoid company, to shrink from evil courses, not to be storing or collecting wealth, belief in Dharma [righteousness], celibacy, cleanliness of body and purity of heart, continence, firmness, forbearance, fear of God, to repeat the Mantras, Tapas [austerity], enthusiasm in being righteous, hospitality, worshipping Me, pilgrimages to holy places and waters, working for the benefit of others, contentment, service to the Guru [teacher]—these are the Yamas and Niyamas. When practised, these virtues lead to all that men desire.

“Sama is to settle the mind devoutly on Me; Dama is the control of the senses, forbearance is to put up quietly with afflictions, fortitude is complete control of the senses, of sexual passion and of taste. To refrain from harming other creatures is the highest gift. To abandon desires is admitted to be Tapas. Control over natural tendencies is heroism, and truthfulness is to think of Brahman. Correct understanding is speech both sweet and truthful; absence of attachment to the course of Karma is cleanliness, and to be rid of the notions of “I” and “Mine” is Tyaga. The desired wealth of men is righteousness. Yajña [sacrifice] is Myself, the most Glorious One. Dakshina is precept leading to wisdom. Pranayama, or control of breath, is the greatest strength. Fortune is the state of Iswara, having the six attributes, the highest gain is devotion to Me. Learning is the erasure of difference in Me. Sri is shrinking from prohibited action.

“Absence of desire and other good qualities are the ornament, happiness is to be insensible to pain and pleasure, misery is the craving for pleasure to be derived from the fulfilment of desires. He is a scholar who has true Knowledge of bondage and release. The fool is he who thinks that the body and its belongings are the Self. The way is that which directs one towards Me. The wrong way is distraction of the mind. Heaven is the predominance of Sattva [the element of harmony and balance]. Hell is the predominance of Tamas [the element of indolence, lethargy and dullness]. The relation is the Guru [Spiritual Teacher], Myself, O friend. The house is the human body. The rich man is he who is full of excellent qualities. He is poor who is discontented. He is helpless who has not controlled his senses. He is Iswara who is not attached to the Gunas. And one attached to the Gunas is the slave.”

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Two Stories from the Life of St. Francis

 

1. The Sermon on the Corpse

One day, St. Francis complained to his brothers in the following way saying, “There is scarcely a monk on earth who observes perfect obedience towards his superior.”francis-of-assisi

Then his companions said to him, “Tell us, Father, what is perfect and supreme obedience?”

He answered, describing him who is truly and perfectly obedient under the figure of a corpse.

“Take a dead body and put it wherever you will. You will see that it shows no resistance, does not change its place, will not demand from you the things it left. If you put it in a chair, it will not look up but down. If you dress it in purple, it will but look paler than before. Thus he who is perfectly obedient does not ask why he is removed, does not care where he is placed, does not insist on being put elsewhere. He who is raised to some high office retains his ordinary humility. The higher he rises in honours, the more does he consider himself to be unworthy of them.”

St. Francis considered that to be perfect obedience which is attained spontaneously without asking for it. And he took that for supreme obedience wherein neither the flesh nor the blood has any part.

2. The Immodest Eyes

Among those virtues which he preferred and desired to find in the brothers after the foundation of holy humility, St.Francis liked above all the beauty and purity of pure-mindedness.

Therefore, endeavouring to train the brothers to keep their eyes modest, he used to describe the immodest eyes by the following parable.

“There was a pious and mighty king who sent two messengers, one after the other, to the queen. On coming back, the first one spoke about the message only in words without mentioning the queen, for he had guarded his eyes wisely in his head and not lifted them up to the queen under any circumstances. When the second returned he began, after having said a few words about the message, to weave a long story round the beauty of the queen. “Truly,” he said, “O Lord, I saw the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Fortunate, indeed, is he who possesses one like unto her.” The king replied to him, “Thou faithless servant hast lifted up thy immodest eyes to my spouse, and it is clear that thou wishest secretly to possess what thou hast seen.” Thereupon he ordered the other servant to be brought back to him and said, “What dost thou think of the queen?” “She seemed most excellent,” he said, “for she listened to me willingly and with great patience.” And the king turned again to him and asked, “But has she no beauty at all?” “That is for you to see, my Lord,” he replied, “My duty was to deliver the message.” Then the king passed judgment and said, “Because thou hast kept thy eyes chaste, stay with me in my own room because of the chastity of the body and enjoy my delights. But that shameless fellow must leave my palace in order that he bring not dishonour to my house.”

Soource: From the Specchio di perfezione by Brother Leone

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