Our Mathadhipati- Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji has initiated all sadhaka-s to do intense sadhana to commemorate the
Janma Divasa of His Beloved Guru – Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III. The dedicated group of teachers of Prarthana Varg have also been devising many creative, innovative and informative –cum-enjoyable activities to encourage our little ones to take a tiny step forward on their spiritual journey.
Here is a three-city report on how our children commemorated this
memorable day…. (September 2018)
On Sunday, 10th June 2018, 48 children and 10 teachers of all Bengaluru Prarthana Varga-s came together at the Shri Chitrapur Math Swami Anandashram Sabhagriha for the annual day-long Prarthana shivir- “Ravikiran” - organised to commemorate the Janma Divasa of P.P. Shrimat Parijnanashram Swamiji lll.
By 9.30 am Smita Baljekar and Smita Naimpally were at the registration counter greeting everyone as they came in. In fact, the seniormost children were also being trained to do the registration. Children from all the four Varga-s of Bengaluru Prarthana bonded with each other on this special day..
At 10am sharp the Sabha Prarambha Prarthana was recited followed by the Parijnanashram Trayodashi. Uma Trasi pachi addressed the children and explained it was the Janma Divasa of P.P. Shrimat Parijnanashram Swamiji lll on 15th June. She then showed them the invitation card of the shivir which had a sun on it and told them why the shivir was called “Ravikiran”. A Sunbeam copy with Lord Bhavanishankar on the cover was also shown to the children for identification. Ravikiran is its children’s section with story time, activity and a science file. Sunbeam was first started by PP Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji and it was earlier called ‘Ravikiran’.
“Surya namaskara” was introduced by Manju Jamalabadpachi to the children. Two Yuvati-s- Ananya Kallianpur akku and Nishtha Naimpally akku stood on the stage to demonstrate the asana-s. They started with warm- ups of stretches and neck and shoulder rotations before commencing with surya namaskara. Manju pachi wrote the 12 mantra-s of the surya namaskara on the white board and recited the mantra-s with each posture. The children repeated the mantra-s as they performed the surya namaskara 6 times. In the end they were made to relax by doing the “Shavasana”.
This was followed by a drink of fresh coconut water served to all the children, volunteers and teachers.
Ravikiran Rangoli activity- The children were asked why rangoli-s were made …some of the replies received were “To welcome God”; “The house should look colourful as you enter”; “For festivals “; “Amamma taught me how to make rangoli”- said Navya. A big beautiful sun with rays was drawn in chalk by Sudha Ullalpachi and Uma Savurpachi on the stage in front of the photograph of Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji. The children were divided into two groups and they came on the stage in an organised manner and daintily arranged flower petals into the pattern. Different shades of yellow, orange and red flowers were used to create the bright hue of the magnificent sun. White petals from Uma Savurpachi’s home- grown hibiscus were used for the eyes, tulsi strands were used to make Suryamaam’s moustache, red rose petals were used to create a smiley and the final effect was a dazzling and jubilant Ravikiran!!
The children were given print-outs of the “Paduka” for colouring and the meaning of the word “Pa-du-ka” was explained by Uma Trasi pachi. The paduka-s were coloured innovatively by the children and they pasted them in their respective Samvit Sudha HMPP scrap books. They were taught to write “Shri Gurubhyo Namaha” on top of the page above the picture of the Paduka-s. The books were then placed in front of the photo of Guru Swami on the stage as their offering.
Before lunch was served children recited shlokas, bhajans and teachers sang Guru sharanam and Smita Namipally pachi taught the children to sing “ Bola Jaijaikara” explaining that it is sung when Pujya Swamiji arrives in the Math.Naivedya was offered at the photo of Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji.
A sumptuous traditional lunch of aamras, puri, humman, dali toi, rice, dhanvi kheeri and puran poli was enjoyed by the children in the bhojan shala. The children recited “Brahmarpanam” shloka before partaking of the prasad bhojan.
Post-lunch the children were divided into three groups called “Bhakti”, “Shraddha” and “Nishtha” for playing the game “passing the batwo”. They were shown a power- point presentation by Smita Baljekarpachi based on the Anugraha stories from ourGuruparampara. Uma Savurpachi and Gayatripachi took turns to tell the stories according to the slides shown and in between the slides teachers would sing “Gurudevon ki amara shakti se” while the children would pass the batwo. When the temple bell was rung the child with the batwo would have to take out the article and the group would have to answer the question. The article would be connected to the story they had just heard from the Guruparampara .
Beena Savkurpachi made animal sounds on the microphone and the children had to identify the animal and tell its name in both Konkani and Sanskrit. Children loved this game.
Sadhana Kaikinipachi conducted ‘Riddle-Time’ based on the episodes from ourGuruparampara. She gave clues to make the children guess important names and words like “Gokarn” the place where our ancestors prayed for a Guru, “ Bhiksha” was connected to the Brahmin from Bankikodla and so on. Alongside, Smita Baljekar pachi showed relevant pictures on the projector screen. Sadhana pachi also played a number game where the child had to say aamras when the number was a multiple of 3. The children were very attentive and focussed while playing this game but they had fun too!
A Do- It –Yourself activity came next and the dish was -KalyaPhovu! Beenapachi taught all the children how to make this lovely dish which was the favourite of Parama Pujya Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji and is also offered to Lord Krishna on Gokulashtami.
The finale was - cake cutting.The main cake and cupcakes made by Yuvati Jayati Nayel akku were offered to Pujya Swamiji by placing them on the stage below the photograph. Shri ParijnanashramTrayodashi was recited and group photographs taken. Later the youngest children were made to cut the cake.
The children were also served prasad of sweet boondi, biscut ambode, jack fruit and cup cakes along with an orange flavoured drink. Ravikiran Shivir thus concluded on a happy and fulfilling note at 4.15pm after the recitation of Sabha Samapti Prarthana.
Report by Prarthana Varg Teacher Sandhya Nayel
VANDE GURUPARAMPARAM was selected as the theme for this year’s annual Prarthana Varga Shiviram held at Shri Anandashram Math, Khar on June 3rd to celebrate the Janma Divasa of our Parama Guru Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III.
The young sadhaka-s gathered at the Khar Math and registered their attendance for the event. After Sabha Prarambha Prayers, Padmini Balsekarpachi gave an introduction to our Divine Guruparampara, how it came into being and how it has been guiding us on the spiritual path.
The first activity of the day was a Yoga session by Shweta Manjeshwarpachi. Asana-s depicting some of our Hindu Deities like Lord Krishna in Sheshabhadrasana, Lord Rama in Veerabhadrasana, Natarajasana and Lord Hanuman Asana. These asana-s will help develop the individual’s strength, make him/her fearless, and able to focus on important aims in life. The children were instructed to focus on Our Pujya Swamiji’s photo to practise concentration to help enhance their ability in paying attention. The yoga session concluded with Pranam Asana or the bowing asana that replicates the posture of offering pranam-s to our parents, Gurus and our teachers. After the yoga session it was time to feast on some delicious snacks made by Gangavali caterers.
After that short break, the Santacruz Prarthana varg presented a skit on our Guruparampara. The skit took all the attendees on an ‘armchair journey’ through the glory of our Chitrapur Math at Shirali. It was the story of a Brahmin who lived in Bankikodla during the time of Parama Pujya Shankarashram Swamiji I. The story was penned by Mangala Chandavarkarpachi and scripted by Sujata Haldipurpachi. The story preached the importance of devotion to the Lord. After the beautiful play, the children were divided into four groups for a paleru.
The decorated paleru is used during our Holy offerings to Lord and / or during Paduka Pujanam or Gurupujanam. Beautiful and colourful flowers were distributed and children were asked to decorate the paleru in their own artistic ways. Replicas of Paduka-s, made out of cardpaper and silver foil were provided by Smita Nagarkatti Pachi. The decorated paleru-s were offered to the deities of the Khar Math along with Vinati Udiyawarpachi’s melodious bhajan “Guru Humare”.
Then, Aditi Mudbidripachi and Sangeeta Pawarpachi taught prasad-making. Children were taught to make panchakdaya - a naivedyam offered to Lord Ganesha. Panchakdaya is made up of five ingredients - Bengal gram powder, dry coconut, powdered sugar, khuskhus (poppy seeds) and cardamom powder. The second recipe was kallyaphow, a savoury dish enjoyed by Lord Krishna and offered to Him during Janmashtami. Kallyaphow is also offered as a naivedya at Parama Pujya Anandashram Swamiji’s Samadhi. Kallyaphow is mainly made of phow (beaten rice) and curd. Children enjoyed this session. It was now time for the children to have a healthy lunch. The best feature of this shivir was children sitting in a beautifully disciplined manner while having their lunch.
Post- lunch it was quiz time. Shilpa Mudurpachi conducted an amazing quiz session onour Guruparmpara, after which the children recited shloka-s in a session conducted by Sujata Haldipurpachi and Varada Soukurpachi. Each child was given an opportunity to chant shloka-s on the Guru..Next came game-time, fun-time. The children enjoyed outdoor games such as “Find your Math” and “find your partner” both planned by Srikala Sthalekarpachi and Kripa Chandavarkarpachi.
The next event was the cake cutting session. The yummy chocolate cake was baked by a Yuvati, Avani Mudbidri along with delicious chocolates made by Yuvati, Anuja Bondal. The cake was cut by children helped by Shilpa Mudurpachi and offered at the Lotus feet of Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III. The diya-s were lit and Shri Parijnanashram Trayodashi was recited by everyone. The children were given a beautiful frame of our four Gurus as a memento of the Shivir.
-Report by PrarthanaVarg Teacher Srikala Sthalekar
During Pune Sabha’sprahar on 14th June 2018, to commemorate the JanmaDivasa of Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III 10 children of Pune’s Prarthana Varg had the privilege of performing Shri Gurupujanam at Karla. They were -Nitya Kadle, Disha Sirur, Devanshi Gokarn, Kabir Bijur, Shambhavi Nadkarni, Vedant Heblekar, Shivaunsh Shirur, Santa Kadle, Abhiram Kumta and Om Sirur.
The Gurupujan was performed at four stations. Younger children offered akshata and flowers while the older children actually performed the Gurupujan.
Mankikar Gajananmaam who first initiated the children into Shri Gurupujan also participated.
Report by the Teachers of PrarthanaVarg, Pune