IAM - AYUDH

National level trainers camp for AYUDH and IAM

A national level trainers camp was held in Amritapuri from Dec. 25th – 31st, 2015.  Participants from all over India came to become teachers of the Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) Technique and Amrita Yoga.  Individuals also learned how to lead youth groups and hold events under the Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara (AYUDH) umbrella.

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Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri inaugurated the camp and encouraged the trainees to lead spiritually centered lives and to carry forward the message of Sanatana Dharma with the light of Amma’s teachings.

The trainees were exposed to inspiring talks by senior monks of the Ashram. The talks, held in English, Malayalam, and Hindi, included topics such as The Importance of the Guru, Sanatana Dharma, and How to Have a Healthy Life with Natural Remedies. The sessions also focused on how science and spiritually can work hand in hand.

Dr. Vandana Balakrishnan, from the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), gave insights into her scientific research done on the positive effects of Integrated Amrita Meditation.

A camp participant, Ranjana (from Uttarakhand) said, “I do not know how Amma managed to bring me here from the far flung Himalayas to the other end of the country. I now only want to become Her instrument.”

“I feel blessed to be part of this camp. I hope to regularly practice what I have learnt here and also be able to teach it to others,” said Nilesh (from Pune).

At the conclusion of the camp, participants shared their inspirations and thoughts on how they will now carry the light of IAM, Amrita Yoga and AYUDH, to all corners of the country.

– Dass

Gita festival in Bali

November 26th, 2015, Bali, Indonesia

Swami Purnamritananda led a Bhagavad Gita event in Badung Regency in Bali.

Swamiji was welcomed by Prabhu Darmayasa from the Paramadhama Ashram, and Senator Arya Wedakarna.

There were talks on the Gita, cultural performances, and singing.
Attendees also chanted the 12th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, after which everyone participated in a meditation session held at the beach. Swami’s beautiful flute music filled the air as the sun set during the meditation.

The event also included the signing of a declaration recommending that all a copy of the Bhagavad Gita be placed in each hotel room in Bali and that the Gita become part of the standard school curriculum.

 

 

 

Bali International Interfaith Youth Program

22 November 2015 , Dinas Pendidikan Pemuda dan Olahraga Hall, Renon, Denpasar

Swami Poornamritananda was invited as a guest speaker at the Bali International Interfaith Youth Program 2015. This was the 3rd interfaith program held in Bali. Representatives from many religions spoke on this occassion. Bali is well known for its religious tolerance and is known as the Island of the Gods and the Island of Tolerance.

 

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Seed of Happiness from Amma’s teachings on Japan’s National Cultural Day

3 November 2015, Tokyo

On the occassion of Japan’s National Cultural Day, a special lecture was held in Tokyo Women’s Plaza, located in the central area of metropolitan city. Swami Poornamritananda addressed the gathering on the theme “How to Attain a Peaceful State of Mind – a Seed of Happiness from Amma’s Teachings”. About 300 people gathered to listen to the lecture.

The Woman’s Plaza is known as a pioneering institution for supporting women and has been a base for cooperation between Tokyo’s government and citizens to realize a peaceful gender-equality society.

 

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Programme in Kanazawa Buddhist Temple

30 Oct 2015, Ishikawa
The public program in Ishikawa Prefecture was held in the Koya-san Shingon-shu Daiohji Temple. The temple was originally built 1300 years ago, and was restored in 1745 after a damaging fire.


The program started with a Buddhist Sutra chanted by the female head monk. Swami Poornamritananda gave a spiritual talk about Buddha and Amma. At the end, participants asked passionate questions which were warmly answered by Swamiji. Attendees also participated in a meditation accompanied by Swamiji’s peaceful flute playing.

 

 

vijayaraksha

Vijaya Raksha: A movement for Respecting women on Navaratri

Students of Amrita University are using this year’s Navaratri festival to launch an initiative designed to make respect for women‬ and girls‬ both cool and a matter of personal pride. Named as Vijaya Raksha, started with the blessings of Amma, the campaign aims to bring a social change through a religious festival. It is initiated by the Vedanta Club of Amrita University, Bangalore, India, to bring awareness throughout the country using Navaratri as a platform. Vijaya Raksha is also about educating the next generation and creating awareness in each one of us about the divinity of Motherhood.

The mythology and culture of this land is so intrinsically woven around women that every element of it reflects the divinity and power in her. But, just as a tiger’s beauty is its own enemy, a woman’s treasured characteristics like love, compassion and piety are mistaken as her weaknesses. She is mistaken for the weaker section of the society. The result is what we see today— abuse and oppression of women. We have to change this. We are by her; we are for her.

As the campaign’s founders declared, “People worship the Goddess in the temple for 9 days, but the same people abuse the walking goddesses on the street. We have to change this. This is possible only if we start seeing the goddess in every woman”. They call this the “Respect Women Challenge” and have called on both students and other males nationwide to take the challenge and invite their friends and family to do the same.

Looking at the pictures of Vijayaraksha, Amma, who is on her Europe Yatra, currently in Paris, seeing the students efforts and enthusiasm, commented that “for so long in history it was men who were the breadwinners and protectors and thus it is in their genes to think that they alone are the doers and the protectors, etc. And so a change will not happen overnight. But at least these young men are trying. And women should also acknowledge their efforts and acknowledge that they are genetically predisposed in this way and therefore when they make efforts it should be appreciated.”

You may recollect that during Amma’s sadhana leela, she used to run towards little girls and hug them seeing them as Divine Mother. In her deep anguish of separation from the Divine Mother she would sometimes cry and scream aloud. Eventually they, too, came to understand that she was crying to see Devi. During these uncontrollable outbursts, one of her younger sisters would stand before her, assuming the pose of Devi, wearing a sari and cascading hair. In great joy, she would run to embrace her. If she should notice any girl when she was in this mood, she would run to her enthralled. Embracing and kissing her, she saw only Devi in all.

 

 

How to do
A man/boy who pledges to take up the vow of Vijaya Raksha should approach a woman/girl whom they are not familiar with and tie a raksha (a red thread) around her wrist. Do this with an attitude of respect. Then touch her feet and thank her for her contribution to society and her role in protecting humanity. Motherhood is the greatest blessing God has given her. He should acknowledge seeing God in her and should seek her blessings. Respect her Motherhood. He should also make her aware of the reason behind this movement. Do it on all 9 days of Navaratri.

Vijaya Raksha slogans
|| स्त्री रक्षा सृष्टि रक्षा ||Stree Raksha Srusthi RakshaProtection of women is protection of Nature
|| देवी रक्षा धर्म रक्षा || Devi Raksha Dharma RakshaProtection of Devi is protection of Dharma
|| मात्रुरक्षा मानव रक्षा ||Matru Raksha Manava RakshaProtection of Mother is protection of Humanity
|| विजयरक्षा विश्वरक्षा ||Vijayaraksha VishwarakshaVijayaraksha is for the protection of the world

Learn more at www.vijayaraksha.org, www.facebook.com/Vijayaraksha

amrita keerti

Muthukulam Sreedharan presented with 2015 Amrita Keerti Puraskar

27 September 2015, Amritapuri, Amritavarsham Amma’s 62 Birthday celebrations

Sri. Muthukulam Sreedharan was presented with this year’s Amrita Keerti Puraskarby the Honourable Governor of Kerala, former Chief Justice of India, Sri. P. Sathasivam on as part of Amma’s 62nd Birthday Celebrations.

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Sri. Mutukulam Sreedharan has been immersed in Sanskrit his entire life. His first major work in Sanskrit, Nava Bharatam, was published with support from the Central Government in 1976. Since then, he has published many works in the language, such as Vidyadiraja Vijayam, Nayakabharanam, Asrupuja and Dharmasthaliyam.

He has also written many books and translated many works into Malayalam, including Sri Narayana Charitamritam, Sri Vidyadiraja Charitamritam and Pancha Mahakavyangal. He has written two books based on the teachings of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi: Amritayanam and Amrita Gira.

Sri. Mutukulam Sreedharn he has been conferred with many awards including the Adi Kavi Puraskaram, the Tulasivana Puraskaram and the Kaviraja Puraskaram.

2015 Amritakeerthi Puraskar, award for cultural excellence, was presented to Mahakavi Sri. Muthukulam Sreedharan

independence day 2015

India’s Independence Day celebrations by AYUDH

15 August 2015

AYUDH Amritapuri performed the play ‘Bharat Mata Puja 2015’ in the main hall, while Amma was giving darshan. This night play was in connection with India’s Independent day celebrations. The play was based on the un-sung heroes of the freedom struggle. After the 40 minutes of play, the hall reverberated with the chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

One girl dressed as Bharat Mata, took the National tri-colour flag to Amma which she accepted and waved with such joy and innocence of a child.

The youths also made an India map with lamps. This celebration of ‘Unity in Diversity’ could create respect and love the hearts for the Motherland.

Earlier in the day AYUDH also conducted Amalabharatam, a city cleaning program in Vallikkavu town.

– Das

 

 

 

 

vavubali

Homage to the ancestors – more than a thanks giving

14 August 2015, Amritapuri

A mass ceremony was conducted at Amritapuri this morning. Vavu Bali, as it is locally known, is a traditional ritual where oblations are offered to departed ancestors. The ceremony is performed on Amavasi (new moon) in the Hindu month of Karkidaka.

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About 1500 devotees personally participated in this special Yagna, joined by thousands of others present at the ashram. Swami Turyamritananda lit the lamp to start the event, and various ceremonies were performed simultaneously in the Ashram’s Main Bhajan Hall and the Kali Temple, by Brahmacharis Tapasyamrita Chaitanya, Gurudas Chaitanya, and Shraddhamrita Chaitanya.

During the pujas, sweet rice was offered to all the departed souls, including forefathers and friends, as well as to animals and trees, along with the chanting of sacred mantras and prayers.

Step by step puja instructions were translated simultaneously into different international languages, allowing devotees from various parts of the world to participate.

After the conclusion of the ceremonies, the participants walked in a procession towards the shore to personally consign their offerings to the ocean. In this action, the fish in the ocean are also fed. Tharpanam, a ritualistic offering with water was also performed for the devatas (deities), rishis, and ancestors.

The ceremonies started at 7am and went on till around noon.

 

 

Later in the day, after the meditation session with Amma, one of the international devotees thanked all those who helped to conduct the Vavu Bali ceremony. In response Amma said, “We always have a thought of only getting, never of giving to others. We grew up because our parents have been giving to us. Now whatever we may give, we cannot repay for what they have given us. Through this ritual, we are showing our respect, out gratitude, towards our departed ancestors. Giving verbal thanks only remains as words, and doesn’t get translated into action. By partaking in this ritual, we are performing action – spending some time for others, spending some money for them, and chanting mantras. We therefore get purified, creating positive vibrations.

The people who have died might have taken a new birth or attained moksha. Even the remote villagers get their mail properly if the address is correct. You are even able to call him by dialing the correct mobile number. Or if the email id is correct, it will reach him wherever he is. Similarly, if your sankalpa is pure, when making offerings towards departed souls, the result will reach him/her even if he has taken another birth. In addition, we also get the benefit of the mantras and the good actions we do.

Actually, we have to show our gratitude to our parents when they are alive. This ritual is part of Sanatana Dharma, which believes in the rebirth. Whether you believe in this or not, whether they are reborn or not, we get a punya (merit) for the actions we do.

vavubali

For each action there are two types of results. Drushta Phalam and Adrusthta Phalam – the seen and the unseen results. When we feed a hungry orphan, we feel the joy when we see him enjoying the food we have offered – that is drushta phalam. The result is visible. By giving food we get some punya – merit. That is the unseen result, adrusthta phalam. If you are a sadhak, all that you are doing is done selflessly, the whole world will benefit.”

Stating the example of some of the ashramites, Amma concluded, “If there is a Sannyasi in a family, three generations before and four generations in the future will receive the merit of his Sannyas.”

– Kannadi

respact

‘RespAct’ Project against Cyber Bullying

One of the main projects launched by AYUDH Europe during their 11th Youth Summit was the ‘RespAct’ project against (cyber) mobbing in schools. To ‘kick-start’ the initiative, on Monday 13th July, all 250 AYUDH members visited the Theodor Litt Schule, a middle school with 500 students in the town of Michelstadt in Germany. The school had recently reported a lot of cases of (cyber) mobbing and the faculty had been struggling to find a strategy to counteract this alarming development. AYUDH collaborated with the school and implemented the ‘RespAct’ project, aimed at nurturing a climate of respect, empathy and inclusion in the school. Over the past six months AYUDH members from the fields of psychology, education and social work had been working hard on this topic and a large survey with students and teachers was made to give a better understanding on how to address the problem in the most effective way.

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The ‘RespAct’-event at the school began with the performance of creative skits by the AYUDH country groups and local students, highlighting problems associated with bullying and possible solutions. Lucia Rijker, the six time World Kick Boxing Champion, gave a stunning speech on how the value of ‘respect’ has helped her excel in the professional world of sports as well as in her personal life. She stressed on three aspects of respect, which she considered essential in creating a positive climate in school: respect for oneself, respect for the other and respect for the community. As a statement against bullying, all students, teachers and AYUDH members gathered for a group photograph on the schoolyard, forming the letters ‘stop mobbing’ (mobbing is the German for ‘bullying.’)

It was a great opportunity for some of the migrant students to open up and relate to an international group of young people, and discuss their challenges of integration and finding a cultural identity. The project was received with much acclaim. The local media covered the event widely. Mr. Stephan Kelbert, Mayor of Michelstadt, expressed his thankfulness to AYUDH for launching the initiative.

– Das