The Kara Seva Shibir 2011, conducted from 15th to 22nd May , was my first shibir. After having heard so much about it from my seniors, I was eager to be a shibirarthi and work at Shri Chitrapur Math.
Kara Seva Shibir May 2011
Report By -Manali Bijoor (Santacruz )
The Kara Seva Shibir 2011, conducted from 15th to 22nd May , was my first shibir. After having heard so much about it from my seniors, I was eager to be a shibirarthi and work at Shri Chitrapur Math. Shibirarthis from various sabhas in Mumbai assembled at Sion on the afternoon of 14th May to board the bus to Srivalli. One could sense the longing for the Math, the excitement of participating in the KSS and the eagerness to excel as karasevaks in every shibirarthi. The 17- hour journey fostered many friendships.
The morning of 15th May welcomed us in Srivalli where just the serenity of the Math eased our tired muscles. After Dhoolbhet and breakfast, PP Swamiji inaugurated the Shibir and addressed us, voicing His expectations from the 43 participants assembled from Sabhas all over India. His words inspired us to make the best of our 8-day stay at the Math and work to improve society in the process of our own spiritual refinement. A typical day at the KSS would include an early morning session at the Kembre Farms where our physical tasks varied from transportation and stacking of hay to raking dry leaves to weeding of ponds. The reward for our hard work was the tender jackfruit grown on the farm itself ! Returning to the Math for breakfast, we would then assemble at the Dhyan Mandir for a morning session conducted either by a sanchalak or a guest speaker.
‘ Tumka Amgela Mathacho Parichay Kitlo Assa?’, conducted by Udayapachhi Mavinkurve aquainted us with some rituals such as Dhoolbhet, Purnakumbha Kalasha,Padaprakshalana, Paduka Pujan, Phalamantrakshata, etc. Another session conducted by her, ‘Guruparampara – A Flow of Grace’ gave us a brief glance at our glorious Guruparampara through the ages. Her third and last session was on the life, times and philosophy of Adi Shankaracharya as also his immense contribution to the amalgamation of the numerous sects of Hinduism.
Mayurmam Kalbag conducted two sessions, namely ‘Power Of Aum’ and Teachings From The Guru’.In the first, he taught us the benefits of chanting AUM in five different manners. In the second, he spoke about the role PP Swamiji plays in our lives as guide, mentor, teacher and preceptor. He inspired us to emulate the qualities of PP Swamiji in our personal and professional lives and wittily encapsulated the entire session using the acronym SWAMIJI.
The morning session on the day of Paduka Pujan by shibirarthis was dedicated to flower -weaving and garland -making, under the supervision of Mirapachhi Balsawar . The myriad of colours, sizes and fragrances truly soothed our minds.One morning we were divided into two groups- while the girls were taught Shri Devi Anushthana,the boys were taught Shri Gayatri Anushthana. Another session, Konkani Culture, conducted by Sudhirmam Balwalli and quiz by Smitapachhi Nagarkatte was a fun-filled activity that tested our knowledge of Konkani language, idioms, delicacies, jewellery, etc. Pritipachhi Panemangalore conducted a game that taught us the importance of effective communication.13 shibirarthis were fortunate enough to be blessed with Mantradiksha.
Evenings at KSS meant visits to various sites in and around the Math. At the Shri Parijnanashram Vastusangrahalaya, Sumapachhi and Sanjaymam Kaushik showed us the artefacts personally collected by PP Shrimat Parijnanashram Swamiji III. The main attraction, however, was the 150- year old ratha,which was being overhauled. We also updated the Notice Board and printed new labels for the artefacts. As part of the introduction to the Math’s Parimochana Project, we visited jasmine fields and witnessed a weekly Sangha meeting.We had a first-hand experience of how this project is helping rural households rise above the poverty line.
The outing to Panchavati Hill was blessed by the gracious presence of PP Swamiji who introduced us to the basics of Ashtamurti Upasana. Dr. Gaurishmam Padukone conducted a guided tour of the Goshala explaining the importance of Gomata,utility of the Goshala, various breeds of cattle,biogas plant,etc. . Other visits included one to the Samvit Sudha, where we saw the ladies from nearby villages being trained in tailoring and embroidery ,to the Srivalli High School where students who had recently passed their SSC examination were felicitated and to the Shambhulingeshwar Temple where Adi Shankaracharya is supposed to have initiated his disciple Hastamalaka. Our last outing was to the picturesque Jaali beach, where after indigenous games conducted by Pritipachhi and Dilipmam Basrur, PP Swamiji interacted with the shibirarthis.
We also performed Bhajana-seva during Paduka Pujana, Teertha Vitarana and Ashthavadhana Seva and Bhojana-seva by serving devotees visiting the Math.
On the concluding morning , all the shibirarthis put up a cultural show where the performances ranged from an acapella to a ghati dance and Sanskrit jokes to a skit. PP Swamiji then blessed us with Ashirvachana and Phalamantrakshata. Soon after, we all departed for our respective sabhas, content and fulfilled,looking forward to attending the KSS next year !
Truly, the KSS transforms the youth into a yuva, yuva into shibirarthi and shibirarthi into a sadhaka...