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October-November 2012

Volume 2issue 4

A Bi-monthly bulletin of Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation

From the Directors pen


On october 2nd I happened to read once again an extremely beautiful poem entitled, My Teacher on Gandhiji by Maha Kavi Vallathol of Kerala. Suddenly it dawned on me how wonderfully fitting it is to Swamijis life and teachings including his adoration of this great Motherland of ours. On one side the poet extolls the Teacher and on the other side praises the country which gave birth to him. That led to a new meditation. What we want today is a super modern role model, different from Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, yet, thoroughly rooted in our spiritual heritage. Bedecked in crown, garlands and other ornaments or holding the insignia of an emperor no more attract our youth. Let them adorn our temples or palace museums. Let them listen to our prayers, grant or not grant us boons. For this Kaliyuga we need a new work model which will combine the yajna of Tretayuga and the yoga, dana, and dharmas of Dwapara. It should be a person, who in dress and behaviour would appeal to the modern youth. He should be a super intellectual, who can include the most modern scientific observations within the framework of our spiritual ideas. What we want is a practical vedanta which can fit Sanatana Dharma into the modern life situations. We want a technology which can transform our everyday work into a cosmic yagna and yield us cosmic dividends. We want a new tapas which can help us to manifest the best or divinity with in us. We want that socialism which will help man to rebuild himself as he rebuilds the society. We want that expansion of mind which can make us see God in man. We have enough ideas at present, which dissect man, his thoughts and emotions and finally destroy him and in the process destroy the social values. In his heart of hearts man yearns for that divine touch by which his rawness is healed and is made to mature into a golden ripeness whch will finally merge with the Godliness within him. Todays intellectuals revel in pointing out the weaknesses of indian life, exposing it in hideous terms before the world and getting laurels for themselves. Totally different, we want a genius who would place before the world, the immaculate, scientific ideals of Satya, Dharma and Yajna, link it up with most modern vision of the universe and thus provide a new dimension and relevence to Indian spirituality. All such conflicting and contradictory thoughts must have passed through Swamijis mind as he sat meditating on the rock on those eventful days of December 1892. The insights he received from the meditation made him hundred fold more confident, energetic and purposeful than he was, before reaching the rock. That should be the content of our meditation on the Sankalpa Divas, as we visualise Swamiji meditating on the rock at Kanyakumari at the lands end of India. May this Sankalpa goad us to a new thought and action.

Orientation Camp Navarathri Celebration Sishudivavsam. Diwali celebration Sadhana Divas Other programs held at Ananda dham Yoga vargas, Samskar vargas & yoga satras Lakshmi Didis tours. Visitors throughout the two months. House visit experience Article of the month

M. La shmi Kuma i

Up, India, and conquer the world with your spirituality! We must give the public only positive ideas.

Swami Vivekananda

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Kanyakumari Mahashibir
One half day orientation camp was kept on 13th October for the participants of the Maha Shibir (English) to be held at Kanyakumari. The participants were briefed about the Kendra and its activities through lecture and video shows by Didi and the others. Programme started at 9.30 am and concluded at 1-30 pm after lunch. Five female and three male participants were present. Out of them three boys and three girls were from Kerala Vyasa Samskrita Vidyapeetham, Kodungallur.

Navarathri celebrations started from 16th of October. A colourful bommakolu or display of dolls predominantly that of gods and goddesses, was decorated

by all the inmates of Anandadham. Neighbouring children came everyday evening to sing bhajans in front of the kolu. On the 18th a bhajana group Rappal Thevar madam performed bhajans. Many of our neighbours were present to

listen to the melodious bhajans sung by Mrs Alamelu of the group. The sound of Veena and Mridangam permeated the hall.

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As the tradition goes, on Saraswathi puja day coinciding with Durgashtami children keep their books in front of Goddess Saraswathi to be blessed by the Goddess of learning. Here too the students of Sishuvihar and the neighbourhood children around Anandadham kept their books in front of the kolu. On Dashami day, in the early morning, parents brought their children to attend the

Saraswathi puja. After the puja Didi talked to the children and parents who were present. For some tiny tots Didi performed the vidyarambham. Others were assisted to

write Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah on rice kept in plates and then they took back their book packets. Each of them opened their packet and studied their books for sometime as a mark of starting the studies on an auspicious day. Around forty children along with their parents were present on the occasion.

Each nation has a main current in life; in India it is religion. Make it strong and the waters on either side must move along with it. Swami Vivekananda

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Tiny tots of Shishuvihar dressed in different attires

of great personalities starting from

Chacha Nehru to Parivrajaka Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda in Chicago pose, Sri Narayana guru, Chattambi Swamigal, Sister Nivedita, Prof. Wright, Dr. Palpu, Bhavatarini the Goddess of Dakshineswar Kali temple with Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother. Many of them repeated short sweet messages one by one on the stage. It helped the audience to go back in history to the good old days when these great personalities actually met and conversed with Swamiji . This type of fancy dresses are not only educational for the tiny tots but also a lesson for the parents who, as they dress up their children, also equip themselves fully before facing their children with their searching queries.

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Deepawali, the festival of lights, was celebrated on the evening of 13th November. Starting from the Ganapathi temple near the gate, upto the main residential building jyothis decorated in the traditional way the whole of Ananda Dham.

Sadhana Divas was observed on 19th November, with a short programme. Thirty people including the parents of Sandeepani Sishuvihar along children, yoga satra and varga parpresent. Programme started with with their

ticipants were

introduction to the life and achievements of Mananiya Eknathji, followed by reading from the passages of Sadhanaa of Service in English and Malayalam. Next was Didis reminiscences on Mananeeya Eknathji followed by a song in Hindi. Programme ended with Shanthi mantra.

Calm and silent and steady work,and no newspaper humbug,no namemaking, you must always remember. Swami Vivekananda

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FOLLOW UP CAMP

Thirteen children attended the half day follow up camp on 28th Sri Krishnaswamiji Su. Rekha,

October. Sri Sudhakarji,

Bindu and Radhika were the resource persons. Apart from

prayer, song, games and story telling, there was also a workshop on friendship. GIRISHJIS LECTURE SERIES Regular monthly class on Lalitha Sahara namam of Sri Girishji, was held on 27th and 28th 0f October . There were no classes in November.

SHOULDER BAG LIBRARY, SALE OF VIVEKANANDA SAHITYA AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN Su. Bindu along with a vidyarthini inmate have taken up a resolve of door to door visit of the people of Kodungallur and sale of books of Swamiji and telling them about the Sarda Shati programme, every Sunday morning. Up to date they have visited more than 200 houses. There was good response from almost all the people. DEEPA PUJA Deepa puja was conducted by Su Bindu and her group in two places in Sringapuram. A total of 50 ladies and children attended. Mandala puja was also conducted in three houses as per their requests. This provoded an opportunity for the ladies to listen to Didi and getting informed about the long forgotten samskaras of our great heritage. Every month a Gita chanting class for children and mothers has been started in the Ganapathi temple premises of Karur Madam.

Our ancestors we regard. We must first recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins; .we must build an India yet greater than what she has been Swami Vivekananda

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GANAPATHI HOMAM AND SRI CHAKRA PUJA Ganapathi Homam and Sri Chakra puja were conducted by Sri Gurupadam group in the early mornings of pournami day, on 29th of October, on 28th of November ( Kartika Pournami ). Ganapathi temple was lighted with oil lamps on the Kartika pournami day.

DIDIS INTERVIEW BY TVM DOORDARSHAN KENDRA Didi was interviewed by the Thiruvananthapuram Doordarshan Kendra. The staff came all the way from Thiruvananthapuram. Smt Jyothi Unniraman interviewed Didi. Topic of interview was Swami Vivekananda. CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA AT ANANDADHAM On the 10th and 11th of November, musical programmes were conducted by the Kodungallur Kunnjunni Tampuran Smaraka Kalasadass in collaboration with Vedic Vision Foundation. On the 10th there was a musical concert by renowned vocalist Sri Muralidharan Unni with Vayala Rajendran on Violin, Palagaht Mahesh on Mridangam and Sri Deepu on Ghatam as his accompanists. On the 11th there was a Kathakali dance recital by renowned

artist Smt Ranjini Suresh as Ravana, Kalamandalam Adityan as Kumbhakarnan and Vaisak as Vibhishan. Nine other artists were also on stage playing the varied percussions. It is worth noting that Smt. Rajani is by profession an advocate and also she was the Municipal Chairman of Trippunithura Municipality. The topic of the dance was Ravanodhbhavam. Two hundred people were present as audience each day.

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SEVABHARATI SEVA SANGAMA 2012 On the 18th November 20 sevaks of Seva Bharati came to do shramdhan at Ananda Dham as part of their cleaning campaign of Kodungallur town. They were provided breakfast and lunch. On 24th and 25th November was a Seva Sangamam of the Seva Bharati for the women sevikas, at Anandadham. Didi was one of the speakers. Hundred ladies from all over Kerala took part in the sangama.

Ladies yoga satra was conducted in the months of October and November. 2 ladies in October and 3 in November attended .

Yoga Varga, Yoga Satra & Samsakara Varga & Pranayama Class
Regular Samskar varga is being conducted on every Sunday at Anandadham, from morning 7am to 9am. 1015 children attend every week. Half an hour Yoga class for school children is being conducted every Saturday morning 8 to 12 children attend regularly.

Yoga Varga separately for men and ladies is continuing regularly. 6 men and 7ladies attend. Yoga varga for working ladies is being conducted every Sunday from 11 am to 12 noon. Pranayama classes for ladies is being conducted regularly. 6 ladies have enrolled in this batch

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DIDIS PRABHASANAMS DURING OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER


5th October 14th October 20th October 21st october 21st october Suhrudam orphanage, Edavilangu, Mothers meet Sarda Shati Samaroha Samiti, Cherplassery Prasaram Sanskriti Sabha, Kottayam Vazhappath Rajarajeswari Temple-Edamuttam Geetha class for children and mothers at a Ganapathi temple, near Karurmadhom. 23rd October 24th October 26th October 27th October Bharatiya Vidya Niketan Chalakudy Kombathukadavu Devi temple Venmani Vidya Niketan, Guruvayur Sharada Math, on Swamijis 150th Birth anniversary Camp, Calicut Mothers meet at Chinmaya Mission, Calicut 28th October 4th November 14th November 15th November 16th November 17th November 18th November Revathi Pattathanam Vedic Conference, Calicut Thankulam Mahadeva Temple, Mala MES Asmabhi College. P. Vemballur Subramanya Temple, Kuzhur National School, Thiruvalla RK Mission youth camp, Mavelikara, RK Mission Camp for Nursing students, Thiruvananthapuram

Felicitation at Seva Sangamam of Sevabharati


Didi was felicitated by the Seva Bharati on the 24th of November at the Town Hall of Kodungallur for her dedicated efforts in spreading the message of Swami Vivekananda. The award consisted of a memento and cash award of Rs 10000/-

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VISITORS AT ANANDA DHAM


Forty ex students and teachers of RK Sarada Mission Schools of West Bengal including some of the sanyasinis of Saradamath visited Anandadham as part of their study tour in Kerala on 12th October

Sri Raghunandan and Smt Rajeswari, both yoga teachers from Bangalore visited ananda dham and spent three days enjoying salubrious atmoshphere of ananda dham and sharing their yoga experiences

Sri Radhkrishna Bhatji the well known Vivekananda devotee from Ernakulam visited Ananda Dham with forty youth, children and ladies and spent one full day in Ananda Dham. Didi talked to them on Swamiji and Shri Sudhakar explained to them the details of Vishwa Bhanu exhibition in the afternoon

Pravrajika Ishta Prana

of

Sarada

Mission,

Durban, South Africa and a few devotees visited Ananda Dham on 22nd November.

Life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive Swami Vivekananda

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Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari A Hindu family is a unique set up, an ideal Gurukula, where Sanatana Dharma gets woven effortlessly into the fabric of human life as simple life principles. The origin of an ideal family goes back to the beginning of creation when Purusha and Prakriti came together, heralding the advent of creation. They are the parents, the primordial cause for the evolution of the entire material world. The parental principles which give shape to worldly family through husband and wife relationship are just a reflection of the eternal union of Siva and Sakti. Therefore it is but natural that the principles which uphold the macrocosm or Samashti are the same as the guiding principles of microcosmic or Vyashtis family life. The degradation in values about which the so called intellectuals are crying hoarse these days is essentially related to our ignorance of the cosmic principles which uphold the universe. This degradation in the understanding unfortunately has its roots in the family and hence for the restoration of values, the unit to be upgraded is the family. When values are restored, sustained and preserved in our families, naturally the society will start getting the benefit and there would be all round improvement. Hence it is essential that we focus our attention on the fundamental and eternal values which preserve the sanctity of families. Nowhere in the world, in no other civilization or culture can we come across such wholesome ideals by which every human being can unfold the divinity within him or her just by leading a noble family life based on the model prescribed by Sanatana Dharma. Hence Grihasth - ashrama is extolled as an important landmark in the life of an individual. It is therefore necessary for every Hindu to start rectifying the basic mistakes from his family, as it is from here that life immortal should evolve. Instead of becoming units creating only excitement and pleasure our families should concentrate on becoming centres of dharma chakra pravartana. We spend crores of rupees to beautify the houses we live in, but unfortunately we do nothing to repair our real homes our lives which are so badly damaged and are in need of immediate overhauling. A few minutes a day if we set apart for cleaning up of our lives, untold happiness and peace can be ours. The first and foremost thing to do is to bring some regularity, discipline and cleanliness into our lives. When this is achieved we can easily find time and energy for the next move. Just like the doors of the jail were automatically opened when Vausdeva carried Sri Krishna in his

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hands, in the same way our own passage through the world becomes smooth and effortless the minute we decide to adopt Truth as the fundamental support of our existence as also our prime goal of life. Truth is the first and foremost principle to be understood and strengthened as It is the very source of all our vital energies. Once Satya gets established in life all other attendant good qualities take up their positions in our life. Any number of puranic stories are told, emphasizing this truth. Truth and justice add lustre and power to an otherwise dull family life. A house acquires the sanctity of a home through the effulgence emanating from Truth. The family members, specially children, must grow and get nourished in the positive ambience of Truth. Only from human beings centred in Truth can the quality of truthfulness radiate into the society. How to establish Truth in the family? Our rishis have provided a wonderful technique by which it can be done. Undoubtedly the living embodiment of Truth in the life of a being is the mother who can represent Truth in its entirety and in all its beauty. By worshipping mother through love, respect and sacrifice the children move nearer to Truth. Through mother the energy of Truth flows into and engulfs children. Mother is the cause and family is the effect. She is the fulcrum of the wheel of dharma. The value we attribute to Truth in our lives is directly proportional the care we extend to our mother. Lack of this one feature is the primary cause of value degradation and all the unhappiness and tensions in the homes today. To establish ones mother on the pedestal of Truth, the bijamantra to be used is matrudevo bhava. It projects not only the love and respect children should extend to mothers but also when contemplated on the deeper meaning, we can find in it the source of universal motherhood and how it should be absorbed into ones life. Such a contemplation would take us to the revelation how even ordinary women acquire the status of Divine Mother as they elevate themselves into motherhood- with its dominant traits of self-surrender, sacrifice, tolerance, sense control and unbounded capacity to love. These indeed are the qualities which can elevate and enlighten any man or woman. These universal qualities are to be acquired by all who aspire for macrocosmic expansion which leads one to deliverance from all that is petty and stiffling. Sri Sankaras famous composition Matrupanchakam extols all these qualities of a true mother. Every mother, bound though she be materially in her limitations, must still try to understand the magnificence of motherhood, imbibe it mentally to the extent possible and strive to manifest it to her capacity in her day to day dealings. Those who are able to achieve this expansion remain in the society as shining examples of motherhood. Whosoever comes under the umbrella of that universal motherhood get renovated in that eternal fountainhead of love. The more a mother acquires universal qualities of motherhood, to that extent she can be a centre for restoration of dharmic values. Fragmented minds are made whole again by their motherly touch. To stop the value degradation rampant in the society there is no better medicine than restoring centers of radiant universal motherhood in as many homes as possible.. A family rooted in Dharma is, like a temple, an asset to the society. It is a lighthouse of hope which can rescue the society from moral degeneration. The idol of that temple is the mother. One who disregards his\her mother is disregarding Truth and consequently from such a life

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all nobility, beauty and sanctity of life are drained out. This painful neglect of the mother (father is included) is the prime reason for value degradation in our society. Hand in hand with Satya goes the other eternal value, Dharma. Dharma can be understood as applied Satya as it is centred in the awareness of Oneness. Dharma is the invisible chain which links up Satya with life situations. Dharma envelops everything in the Universe, the celestial bodies far away from us as also each and every cell in our body. There is much truth in the saying Dharmo rakshati rakshita. In a life rooted in Satya, indeed, Dharma serves as an armour of protection. When a life gets rooted in Satya, silver linings of dharma naturally adorn that life. They support each other Satya and dharma. Man alone refuses to understand the significance of dharma and goes on stepping into abysmal depths of degradation. The third key thread to be woven into our lives is the time tested spirit of Yajna. It is the spirit of self abnegation in the understanding and practice of family members that transforms a family heavenly abode. Activities motivated by Satya and Dharma naturally turn into Yajnas. All Yajnas ultimately get absorbed into the infinitude of Truth. To fix Satya and dharma in day to day lives an easy way is the development of the spirit of yajna in all our actions. When a mother toils for the welfare of her family day and night forgetting oneself, with only one goal, that is, the good of her family, all her actions automatically imbibe the fragrance of yajna. Through each action she manifests the Oneness of Truth and thus becomes entitled to receive the Divine blessings which spreads first into the family and then to the neighbourhood. Yajna, carried out in different levels in the universe contributing to the welfare of the whole world, is the most significant factor upholding Satya and Dharma. Normally we know only about the yajna that is part of great ritualistic sacrifices and yagas. At the minuscule level the simple life of even a microbe is a yajna as it also is making its due contribution to the total macrocosmic interrelatedness and interdependence. At human level one of the beautiful expressions of yajna is the nishkama karma extolled by none other than Sri Krishna. For our worldly life we strive our utmost to find a monitory source for the upkeep of the family. So also we have to discover an eternal source of spiritual energy for our total wellbeing. We should create a fixed or recurring deposit to serve our daily needs for our spiritual up-keeping without which the dharma-chakra cannot be activated. The men folk are invariably hooked on to some project or other to make money for the household. Therefore it is left to the mother to discover an eternal spiritual source. That source is the treasure chest where all the unclaimed results of our nishkama karma get accumulated, which include all her sacrifices and service for the family. These deposits get accumulated in universal Cosmic Bank, constantly updated through correct addition of interest so that when the mother is in acute shortage of worldly help typical case that of Draupadi in the Kaurava sabha most unexpectedly blessings pour down from this inexhaustible Source. Worldly riches have nothing to do with this. This is something one can experience probably only in Bharat where we can come across very poor families, contented in what they have, with no complaints against anybody, rooted in their faith in the Almighty and diligently following the path of righteousness. They stand with a human dignity par excellence. We have to earn back this righteous dignified way of living and enrich

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and enlighten our lives. Raising the standard of Life, with real values added to it. We have to create chains of families where Truth, righteousness, sacrifice and tapas are integrated into the norms of life. In this connection it is worth remembering how the great rishis have given us most practical and elegant lessons in incorporating yajna into our lives through the concept of pancha maha yajnas deva, bhuta, pitru, rishi and nara yajnas. A scrutiny of the concept reveals a wonderful macro cosmic expansion possible for a human being by expanding his awareness to the universal level through an elementary understanding of the interconnectedness of all that exists in the universe. This is very much in tune with the holistic and environmental awareness, that the modern scientific approach is unfolding before man. We have seen the three magnificent pillars on which the microcosm of human life is supported and is also integrated with the macrocosm. There is an equally meaningful strong fourth pillar which links up the vyashti with samashti. That is tapas, that eternal striving which urges a human being to move forward in the path of evolution. Our five indriyas are, incessantly seeking pleasure and knowledge from the sense objects outside to satisfy their cravings through sabda, sparsa, rasa, roopa and gandha. If they are left to exhaust themselves through sense gratification no energy will be left for pursuing higher goals of life. Therefore willful attempt at sense control is the first step in tapas. This tapas is a recognition of the fact that the material world we live in, has no lasting truth in it and we should not waste our life going after the unreal. This movement from unreal to real is the essence of tapas. Practising tapas strengthens the will-power and makes the personality stronger and stronger to face the challenges at various vicissitudes of life. The experiences in life are neither good nor bad, but each one of them, when rightly understood is a step to move forward and onward towards realization of Self or Truth. The housewife should therefore be able to outlive the temptations of the material life as also those that torment the inner world irritations, jealousies, dissatisfaction, fault finding, unnecessary competitions, cheating, and spoiling husbands peace of mind by the vagaries in their thoughts, words, and actions. Innumerable are the occasions which can make a woman slip from the path of Dharma. What can help one to stick to the path, described as razors edge, is the advaitic or holistic vision and the conviction that nothing in this world really belongs to us, and everything good and bad are pervaded by the Divinity. Once we fall in line with this way of thinking we open ourselves to all the blessings, peace and happiness that abound in the macrocosm. Life turns into a beautiful song with no wrong note in it. Whatever good and positive things we think of will come to pass. Lord Vigneswara becomes our constant companion in everything that we do. Wonderful indeed are the benefits of macrocosmic expansion of human mind. Sad it is that man has no patience to experiment with Life Eternal. Hindu families are the only units in the world, which with their age old experience and time tested acharas and anusthanas can convincingly prove even today that all round happiness and welfare are the gifts of dharmic living.

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Realization of Truth is the goal of human existence. Nothing gives more power and energy to a human being than realization of truth. The Royal path to this goal lies in a life of righteousness or dharma. The energy for this dharma chakra pravartana is generated through yajna and tapas. It is the duty of every Indian, specially Hindu to uphold the tenets of our dharma by living its tenets. In fact Dharma transcends religion, cast, creed, etc. Dharma insists on every human being striving to realize the Divinity within and manifest it outside through his thoughts, words and actions. A family can become a Gurukula where true eternal values of life are effortlessly woven into the fabric of the lives of its members so that the journey of life becomes inundated with Ananda, bliss, peace and prosperity. These great macrocosmic principles are converted into the eloquent but simple formulae of love, sacrifice and service and fed into the understanding of the growing child primarily by mother, followed by mother and other relations who interact with children in the family. Into the yajna of life each adds one own ahuti, each different from other but each producing its own aroma of truth and understanding. Some modern psychologists have started calling this wholesome interrelationship as a quantum family where interrelationships play their key role in expanding the awareness of the person. We in India were fortunate that we had a ready made gurukulam in every home where the basic character building was achieved before the child was sent to his school to acquire his apara vidya. This is how India preserved her dharmic value from time immemorial. Now it is our turn to carry it forward so that the whole world benefits from it. For this women, should grow into universal motherhood and start radiating universal values.

House Visit Experiences


Based on our positive experiences on spreading the message of Ramayana and Lord Ayyappa through door to door samparka we decided to spread the message of Swamijis message through similar samparka. Two of the inmates carrying books by and on Swami Vivekananda, with attractive photographs and pictures embarked on a door to door campaign. Interesting responses awaited us. Some coldly said they are not interested in the literature, some rudely closed the doors on our face when told of our project. Some said they would send donations directly to Vivekananda Kendra and are not interested in middle men. Some demanded an authentic authorization from Kendra. In one house they said their son was good artist and draws pictures of Swamiji, and they are not interested in pictures which our volunteers carried. While a minority responded like this, majority of our neighbours received us with open arms, bought books in additions gave small donations. This was indeed a lesson which helped us to strengthen our will against the many odds we would be facing when embarking on spiritual mission. (experiences of shared by the team)

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