Kara Seva Shibir 2012

Set in the serene precincts of our divine Math at Shirali, the Kara Seva Shibir 2012 was held from 13th May to 20th May 2012. It was an overwhelming and a spell binding experience for the 54 young and enthusiastic Shibirarthis.

Kara Seva Shibir 2012

Report by - Vinita Divgi (Ahmedabad Sabha) and Vaibhavi Patil (Bengaluru Sabha)

Set in the serene precincts of our divine Math at Shirali, the Kara Seva Shibir 2012 was held from 13th May to 20th May 2012. It was an overwhelming and a spell binding experience for the 54 young and enthusiastic Shibirarthis.

The central theme of the Shibir was focussed on the Kara Seva activity performed every morning at the Kembre farms – raking and heaping dried leaves, stacking firewood, and cleaning the water ponds – all of which were challenging tasks. The youngsters ebulliently completed the tasks that were assigned to their Tolis (groups). One truly cherished memory deeply etched in the minds of all of us is Pujya Swamiji’s surprise visit to the farm, while we were busy working. Pujya Swamiji gave each one of us a chocolate, which made us work even harder!
Our schedule at the Shibir began at 5.45am. After sipping a hot cup of tea, we assembled in the Rajangana for some stretching exercises, mainly for two benefits - strengthening the body and clearing the mind. Thereafter we left for Kembre farm to perform Kara Seva.

The indoor activities organised for us were enjoyable and informative at the same time, starting with the ice breaker session which was an innovative way of making us shed our nervousness and inhibitions. Later, we had a tour of the Math where we got to know about the significance of the Dhwaja Stambha, Ramanjaneya and Kshetrapal in the Rajaangan. Inside the Math, we paid respects at all the Samadhis and came to know about various vigrahas that were consecrated during the Tercentenary year of our Math after the culmination of the Guru Jyot Yatra. We also saw the Yajnyashala and family deities section. We also learned about the significance of the Shiv Ganga Sarovar, Pathshala, Goshala and other Administrative Structures in the immediate vicinity of the Math.

On the second day of the Shibir, the indoor activity was to weave Khotte for idlis, kholle in banana leaves along with the weaving of flower garlands. We had a great time using our creativity. The Theatre sessions were undoubtedly one of the most interesting sessions we had. From writing stories and enacting plays to preparing the full-fledged dance drama, our enthusiasm reached a peak during the session. We also had a session on our illustrious Guru Parampara. Tanvi Amladi enlightened us about the first seven Gurus that we Saraswats have been blessed with. The next part of the session, the following day, had all of us participating and presenting about our next four Gurus. The presentation was to be done in four groups so that everyone took active interest in the session. This activity gave us an opportunity to connect with all our Gurus, making it interesting and worthwhile. We could appreciate the significance of our rituals when we ourselves presented some excerpts from the book "Padaprakshalan to Phalamantrakshat". We also had separate sessions in which girls learnt how to perform Shri Devi Anushthaan and the boys learnt Gayatri Anushthaan. This not only allowed us to appreciate the importance of these rituals, but also sanctified us from within. Another blissful experience was participating in chanting the mantras when Parama Pujya Swamiji performed Shri Devi Poojan in the Math.

Teja Amladi briefed us about the Parimochan project that our Math has undertaken. We were then taken to witness an actual ‘Sangha’ meeting of the women who were beneficiaries of this project and had become self-reliant by starting their own small businesses. We felt a sense of pride when we met these confident and self-reliant women. The Vimarsha by Madhura Haldipur was thought provoking and revolved around the various efforts we put into our lives. We also had a session explaining to us the administration and functioning of our Math. We sang bhajans and stotras during Paduka- Poojan and Ashtavadhaan seva. We also got an opportunity to serve in the Bhojanshala.

Maithili Padukone took us through a vibrant Quiz which got the entire group energized and alert to the questions that were put across to us. We also had various fun-filled and enjoyable games that refreshed us throughout the week. The session on Diacritical marks was useful and informative because it would help us read Sanskrit words, written in the Roman (English) script with the correct pronunciation.
Our outdoor sessions included a visit to the Srivali School where we interacted with the Std. X children of the school. The dedication shown by these students in reciting the 9th Chapter of the sacred Bhagavad Gita with their clear diction and pronunciation was truly inspiring. The energy that filled the air was captivating. We also had some fun and frolic with them. We visited Samvit Sudha where we saw local women at work creating many beautiful articles. At the Vastu Sangrahalaya, we were amazed to see our rich heritage preserved with great care.
We also visited Panchavati which is surrounded by lush greenery and the place had some breath taking views. We were briefed about the upcoming project of planting holy trees at Panchavati by Nadkarni Arunmam. The visit to the Alvekodi beach was great fun. We played some games on the beach, sang bhajans and had an interaction with Pujya Swamiji.

To consistently do one’s Sadhana (Japa) and recognise the positivity in one’s own self and others was Pujya Swamiji’s message to all the Shibirarthis at the interaction we had with Pujya Swamiji at Panchavati. We truly learnt a Guru is a symbol of security, love and a treasure of great wealth. On top of the serene hill, amidst the idyllic surroundings, the setting sun and sounds of birds chirping, open eyed meditation – Ashtamurti Upasana – was a blissful experience. Concentrating on and connecting with nature recharged our batteries and filled us with vigour.

The presentation by Mr. Raha on the cycling expedition was interesting and the scenic beauty was eye catching. The following day, the bird watching session at Panchavati was a delightful experience.

The grand finale was the cultural programme which was enthusiastically put up by all the shibirarthis for our Parama Pujya Swamiji. Swamiji then lovingly blessed us with certificates and an Aashirvachan.

We had our Sanchalaks and the Upasanchalaks encouraging us, taking great pains to meet even our smallest need and making us feel at home. All these activities were a wonderful opportunity for us to grow, learn, share and enjoy. We are grateful to Lord Bhavanishankar, our sacred Guru Parampara and our beloved Parama Pujya Swamiji for all the blessings we have received. The Kara Seva Shibir was all-in-all an enlightening, enchanting and exciting experience which gave us the chance to strengthen our connection with our Guru, our Math and our Guru Parampara.

Om Namah Parvati Pataye Har Har Mahadev !