Education

Unique Method of Women’s Emancipation

I  have read a story of women’s emancipation in an online news paper and as such I am awe struck to write this article. The true story placed below is based on the phrase ‘’ Where there is a will, there is a way’’.

This unique experiment takes place in a barefoot college at a remote village, Tilonia in Rajasthan, India. This institution is started by a social entrepreneur, Sujit Bunker Roy in 1972. This college has broken all social stigmas wherein the poor women condemned to be restricted to the kitchen and discouraged to study by their husbands are encouraged  to learn and earn in an unique way. People are obsessed with the certificates. As such this college simply doesn’t give any certificate or degree after completion of the course, which is generally of six to nine months duration.

They prefer teaching older women rather than men who come from nearby villages, who have no patience and run away to find some job as soon as some certificate is given to them. So their students comprise poor illiterate grandmothers who had to face abusive drunken husbands throughout their lives. Some students come from far of Countries like Africa to learn the More >

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Nature – The Provider

There is a saying in classical Indian poetry that a lake, a tree, a saint and the rain are all symbols of benevolence, i.e., they are constantly giving to others. If we spend some time to think about this, we can learn much about the act of benevolence from such elements of nature.You may ask how can we learn to give from a mere tree? There is a wonderful story, which is a true incident that took place in Saurashtra, that best illustrates this.   One day, the King of Bhavnagar was relaxing in the garden surrounding his palace. There was a high boundary wall separating the garden from the outside road. Just at that time, a poor Brahmin and his young son were walking on the road. It was very hot and the young child was extremely hungry. He noticed a high mango tree beyond the palace garden wall. The tree had bent across the wall and there were ripe mangoes on the outstretched branch.Forced by temptation, the boy picked up a stone from the road and threw it at the stem of the fruits. His aim succeeded and he caught a beautiful ripe mango. Unfortunately, the stone exceeded the target More >
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Nature is the Guru – Sri Sarada maata

There is nothing that one can ignore in this nature because it is all pervaded by the supreme God.  Each element of nature whether it is a person, animal, plant/tree, hill and river etc. depends on each other and one cannot survive without the other.Shree Sarada mata gives us the message that we can learn from everybody.

When Maata was a small child, She was cleaning a room and upon finishing, she threw the broom to a corner. Then She heard the voice of Sri Ramakrishna say, “Hega, you threw that broom? See how beautifully you cleaned the room with that very broom and now you threw it? You must respect your tools as well as your actions. Cleanliness is next to Godliness?” Then Mother bowed down to the broom. From then on She would bow down to it everyday. Maa said that, Thakur Ramakrishna told Her, “If you respect each and every one of your actions, you will get me.”

Respect is an important part of learning. To illustrate this, Maata has shared these stories with us. These stories teach us how to learn and how to become divine. We can learn every moment from every thing because Mother Nature is More >

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The Teachings of Paramahamsa

 

God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the top. You can reach it by stone , wooden, bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. One should not be unilateral in thinking, ‘My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false.’ God can be realized by means of all paths.

It is enough to have sincere yearning for God. Infinite are the paths and infinite are the options.  

”I had to practice each religion for a time — Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. Furthermore, I followed the paths of the Saktas, Vaishnavas, and Vedantists. I realized that there is only one God towards whom everyone intends to reach; but the paths are different”.

 Truth is one; only  it is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many Ghats. From one Ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it ‘Jal’. From another Ghat the Muslim collects water in leather bags and call it ‘Pani’. From the third the Christians take the same thing and call it ‘Water’. Suppose More >

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Merits of Bilva- The Divine Tree

  There is nothing that one can ignore in this nature because it is all pervaded by the supreme God.  Each element of nature whether it is a person, animal, plant/tree, hill and river etc. depends on each other and one cannot survive without the other. They complement each other for their survival and existence.  So much so, plants and trees are an integral part of human or animal life and without plants/trees a man or an animal cannot survive. Each part of the plant like root, stems, barks, leaves and flowers are used in Hindu rituals. Apart from spiritual significance there is also an element of health consciousness and environmental protection involved in its usage. Even today these leaves/herbs are very much used in preparing Ayurvedic medicines meant for curing several diseases. Apart from this, they also act in a divine way of controlling pollution, be it water or air.        In Hinduism, plants/trees are worshiped and are treated as embodiment of God since Vedic days. There is no worship or ritual in Hinduism without the usage of plants/trees in some form or the other. They are considered as divine personification  for the soul and puja material of each Hindu God More >
Bheeshma

Truth & God

  The Mahabaratha war is about  to begin. One day  Lord Shri K rishna is resting in Dwaraka in his room and Duryodhana comes to meet him. Krishna is aware of his arrival but feigns sleep. Duryodhana sits at Krishna’s head waiting for him to wake up. Arjuna arrives and seeing Krishna asleep, sits at his feet.   Krishna wakes up, sees Arjuna and asks him when did he come. Arjuna replies that he had just come, but Duryodhana had been waiting there before him. Krishna looks at Duryodhana in surprise. Though Duryodhana had come first, Krishna says he saw Arjuna first and gives Arjuna the choice between Him and his soldiers (Narayana sena) as help for the battle.    Arjuna promptly chooses Shri Krishna. Krishna underlines that if Arjuna chooses Him, it will be only Him and he will not take part in the battle. Arjuna humbly agrees and reiterates that Krishna is enough for them. Duryodhana who was worried lest Arjuna asks for Narayana sena, is very happy to hear this and accepts the other choice – Narayana sena.    Duryodhana triumphantly boasts to Bheeshma that he opted for Krishna’s soldiers whereas the Pandavas had chosen just Krishna who will not even take part in the More >

Driving towards uncompromising values

Values / Ethics can be defined as moral principles that a person or a culture adheres to. These are a basic requirement for human life. These act as the fundamental force to sustain the society. Lesser the values, more chaotic the world becomes. These play the role of a foundation stone – be it the building of life of individual, family, society, nation or world as a whole. A firm base of values is must for a happy and successful life. Some values to be considered to be inculcated in children are -

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Respectfulness
  • Sacrifice
  • Loyalty
  • Compassion
  • Heroism
  • Perfection
  • Liberty
  • Generosity

An aware school culture with focus on the part of school teachers and management to exhibit these by self-implementation can go a long way. Also there has to be planned effort on the part of the school to catch any compromise on values on the part of the students and work effectively with parents to take corrective measures before it gets too late. There are interesting ways which different schools have adopted – like sharing inspiring life stories of great men who have exhibited these values and appreciation to students found living these values. So do check out how your school is working on this, and once you More >

The Significance of Hindu Lunar Month Magha Masam

As per Hindu lunar calendar the month in which full moon day coincides with Makhah (Maghah) star, that month is denoted as Maagha masam which occur during the calendar months of January-February.  Makhah also means Yagna and Lord Vishnu is referred to as MahaMakhah (Sri Vishnu Sahasranama sthothram sloka # 47) the presiding Deity of Yagna. The Lord is also worshipped through the medium of Yagna.  Maagham is a Sanskrit word Ma+Agham. Ma means not present and Agham means sin, evil, malefic, annoyance, suffering, grief and Maagha masam is the month which is highly meritorious, auspicious and free from any sin or suffering.    Lord Maha Vishnu in the name of Maadhava is the presiding deity (Masa Niyamaka) who governs the month Maagha Masam and to be worshipped.  We find a reference to the words Madhava in sloka #8, 18 and 78 of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama Sthothram.  Madhava means one who is the consort of Goddess Lakshmi Devi, one who is the bestower and Lord of superior knowledge.  Astrologically, Kethu the Mokshakaraka is regarded as the ruling planet of Magha star and Pithru Devathas as the presiding Deities. Maagha masam, the eleventh month as per Hindu lunar calendar is considered More >

Developing Impressive Personality!

Personality is the impression that a person creates on others. In the context of our article, we will take the scope as personality traits which are outwardly observable in children. These include –

  • Physical appearance – This is the first impact one makes on others. Cleanliness, proper clothing, smartness, cheerfulness and a robust health play an important role.
  • Extrovert vs. Introvert – Extroverts tend to be more outgoing, gregarious, assertive, and interested in seeking out excitement. They tend to human interactions and generally take pleasure in large social gatherings. Introverts, in contrast, tend to be more reserved, less outgoing, and less sociable. Introverts tend to have fewer numbers of friends and may enjoy solitary activities like reading, writing, music, drawing etc. Some children can even be ambiverts, with some kind of balance of extrovert and introvert characteristics.
  • Energy / Activity Levels – Not necessarily related to extroversion/introversion, children can have outward energy levels which range from being hyper-active to super quiet. For some children, making them sit at one place without any limb movements for few seconds can be herculean task while some kids are relatively very calm and quiet.
  • Self-Confidence – It is the confidence in one’s own abilities which helps in taking up responsibilities and initiatives.

Inculcating Character in Children

There is an ancient saying that “A wealthy person without a good character is as good as dead”. Right from ancient times, building an impeccable character has been considered as one of the most important aspects of upbringing of an Indian child. In our tradition of past thousands of years, we see that persons of high purity in character have only been able to find respectable place in the society and recorded history. Also, it takes little efforts to find tons of people born on this land having sacrificed everything of theirs on the path of dharma and didn’t let even an iota of doubt get casted on their character. In fact, across other cultures and civilizations as well, this has been given more importance than both the wealth and health aspects.

There are 3 facets of character that we can broadly classify into:

Personal Character – This is reflected in how an individual behaves or makes decisions at personal level in day-to-day life. This is directly proportional to the inner strength of a person.

 Group Character – This is reflected in how an individual behaves when not alone. This may differ from group to group. Family as a group can have distinct character so More >