Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

Ayudha Puja 2014

Ayudha Puja was celebrated in a grand manner at the Math on October 1st 2014. The programme began with a  video show for all the employees. 2 of our senior staff namely Sri Ramaniah and Sri Arunachalam spoke about their experiences at Chennai Math. Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj delivered a benedictory address. The programme concluded with a group photo of all the staff with the monastics of Chennai Math. Below are the photos taken on the day:

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Sri Sri Durga Puja Photos – 2014

September 30 Tuesday: Maha Shashti 06.30 am   Puja & Chandi Parayanam 10.30 am   Pushpanjali 04.45 pm   Sri Lalita Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana 06.30 pm   Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj 07.00 pm   Arati to Durga Devi & Bhajan Below are the photos taken on the day:
October 1 Wednesday: Maha Saptami 06.30 am   Puja & Chandi Parayanam 10.30 am   Pushpanjali 04.45 pm   Sri Lalita Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana 06.30 pm   Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj 07.00 pm   Arati to Durga Devi & Bhajan Below are the photos taken on the day:

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Swami Akhandananda Jayanti – Discourse by Swami Buddhidananda Sep 24 2014

Swami Akhandananda Jayanti was celebrated at our Math on September 24, 2014. In the evening, Swami Buddhidananda gave a discourse in English on the life of Swami Akhandananda Jayanti.

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Stories from the Life of the Buddha

1. The Wild Geese One day, as Prince Siddhartha was going through the royal gardens on his way to the river, a flock of wild geese, beautifully outlined against the sky, passed overhead. Devadatta, the Prince’s cousin, seeing the geese, shot an arrow into their midst and one of them fell, wounded, just in front of Siddhartha. He felt a tender compassion for the poor bird that lay bleeding at his feet. Lifting it up, he drew out the arrow very carefully, bound up the wound and took the bird with Him. Presently a messenger came to claim the bird, sent by Devadatta, but Siddhartha refused to give it up saying that it belonged to him who had saved its life, not to him who had tried to kill it. 2. The Buddha and the Wealthy Brahmin One day a wealthy Brahmin was holding his harvest-home, when the Buddha came and stood by with the begging bowl in his hands. The Brahmin got very angry and said, “I plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat. It would be better if you were in like manner to plough and to sow, and then you would have food enough to eat without begging.” “O Brahmin, do not get incensed at my begging,” the Buddha answered, “I too, plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat.” “You say, you are a husbandman, but I see no signs of it,” replied the Brahmin, “Where are your bullocks and the seed and the plough?” Then the Buddha answered, “Faith is the seed I sow and good works are the rain that fertilises it. Wisdom and good works are the parts of the plough, and my mind is the guiding rein. I lay hold of the handle of the Law; earnestness is the goad I use and diligence is my daughter. Thus my ploughing is done, destroying the weeds of delusion. The harvest that it yields is the ambrosia-fruit of Nirvana, and by this ploughing all sorrow ends.” 3. The Sacrifice of the Brahmin A certain Brahmin had made preparations for a great sacrifice in honour of one of the ancient gods of the Hindus. Whole herds of sheep and goats had been driven together, ready to be slaughtered when the day of sacrifice should arrive. Now, it came to pass that the Buddha visited this Brahmin, and as they sat together, discussing many things, the Buddha spoke of the sacredness of all life, whether of men or animals, of the pure heart and upright ways which are of far higher value than a sacrifice necessitating the shedding of blood. For nothing but his own unbroken efforts after right doing and right thinking can avail a man; he cannot rid himself of his sins and delusions by making innocent creatures suffer. As the Brahmin listened; the Buddha’s words sank deep into his soul. He was convinced of their truth. Determined to spare the lives of all those animals that had been driven together for the day of sacrifice, the Brahmin ordered that they should be given their freedom. So instead of being slaughtered, they were turned loose on the hill-side where they could roam at will, choose their own pasture, drink the clear water of the mountain streams and scent the cool and refreshing breezes that blew on the upland. 4. Angulimala Journeying in Kosala, the Buddha was warned not to pass through a certain forest, for here, in the deep recesses of the jungle, was the den of a famous robber chief, Angulimala. He was the terror of the whole country-side, for he lived by plundering unwary travellers and had committed many murders. He feared no one, and from the very palace of the king the cries of his victims had been heard many a time. All attempts to capture this desperate man had failed. So he continued his ravages unpunished. The people of Kosala now besought the Buddha not to expose himself to the dangers of the robber’s territory. But Gautama knew no fear and heedless of all warnings, he made his way straight to the den of the robber. Angulimala, enraged at this boldness, determined to slay the intruder. But when he saw the Buddha, calm and self-possessed, and heard his words of kindness, the robber hesitated. His arm uplifted to kill, hung helpless by his side and his wrath cooled like the embers of a dying fire. As the Buddha reasoned with him, he changed his purpose and, before long, had confessed all his sins and declared his faith in the Doctrine. When the people saw the new disciple following his Master, they were amazed and could scarcely believe that this was the same man who had been the terror of their land for so many years. Angulimala became a monk and was renowned for his holiness.

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Celebrate India – Celebrate Vivekananda: Chicago Speech Day – Lecture by Smt. Bharathi Bhaskar

When the question “What was the greatest speech ever?” was posed to six prominent writers by Intelligent Life, the culture-technology- lifestyle sibling of The Economist, Mark Tully, BBC’s former bereau chief for India, had chosen Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the first World’s Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893.

Referring to the New York Herald’s declaration that “Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions”, Tully noted that “He was relevant then and is relevant today for his constant affirmation that all religions are paths to God, and his call for tolerance.”

Through this extempore speech of 458 words, Swami Vivekananda rekindled the drooping spirit of his co-religionists through his proud declarations, “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance” and placed the ideals of India and her culture on a high pedestal for the world to appreciate and assimilate.

To commemorate the cultural and religious renaissance initiated by Swami Vivekananda, we conducted a programme on 11 September 2014 at the Vivekananda Cultural Centre. A 140 feet long banner was put up on the marina beach and more than 1000 people wrote Swamiji’s sayings on them. Sri Crazy Mohan, a popular Cine Artiste signed the first quotation. Towards the evening, the whole wall was filled with quotations. A programme was organised at 5:30 PM with Bhajans by Vivekananda Vidyalaya students, a rendition of the Chicago speech and a video display on the Chicago lecture.

Video Lecture delivered by Smt. Bharathi Bhaskar

Duration: 38 min

Audio Lecture of Smt. Bharathi Bhaskar

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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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Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture Series (Tamil) by Swami Paramasukhananda

The Srimad Bhagavata (or Srimad Bhagavatam) is one of the few main Puranas and a great Book on Bhakti (devotion). It consists of 18000 verses and is regarded as an encyclopedia of spiritual philosophy. Attributed to the sage Vyasa the Bhagavata (also Bhagavatam) illustrates religious truths with stories of ancient India’s saints, seers and kings. The book also deals in part with the life of Lord Krishna. Swami Paramasukhananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna Order will deliver the weekly lecture in Tamil every Tuesday at the Math Auditorium. The lecture will begin at 5.30 pm. All are welcome. Please refer to the monthly calendar for more information

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