Newsletter - April 2017
Ganesha and Kartikeya in Green Rameshwaram
The mount Kailasa, is the ancient mighty abode of the god Shiva which is piercing the veil of the infinite sky, ever transcending the unknown above. It stands as the bright and brilliant bridge between the heaven and the earth. Mahadeva, the great god Shiva is ever engrossed in his penance. However, when he opens his third eye, the eye of intervention, he creates new worlds and destroys for that the old degenerated worlds. He is the savior who drank poison of sins, falsehoods, vices so that mankind may have access to the nectar of virtues and truth. He gives boons to all who do penance for His blessings irrespective of their background, previous role, status or image. Whatever he thinks, plans and says is executed by his better half, Uma or Parvati who is Adishakti. She is the power of creation, power of sustenance, power of eventual destruction. She is the real mother of all of us, of humanity and entire creation. She is the earth, the Universe, She is Mother India, the ancient Punyabhumi. She is the power of Thought, Will and Action. It is her penance and love which forced Shiva to come down on the earth.
Pusam – Pipal
It is one of the most familiar trees in India. It is a deciduous tree, and reaches up-to a height of 25 m. The aerial roots are absent; the bark is grey and smooth. The exudation is milky. The leaves are simple, alternate and spiral. The new leaves are pink and the stipules are 1-1.5 cm long, lateral, ovate-lanceolate and puberulous. The petiole is 60-120 mm long, stout, glabrous, articulated with a gland at the apex below. The lamina is 5-13 x 4.5-12 cm, broadly ovate, base truncate or sub-cordate, apex caudate-acuminate, and margin entire, undulate, glabrous, shining and coriaceous. It is 5-7-ribbed from the base, the lateral nerves are in 8-10 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent beneath and looped near the margin. The intercostae are reticulate and prominent. The flowers are unisexual, inflorescence a syconia, sessile, axillary, in pairs, obovoid or globose. The twig wall is thick, the basal bracts are 3, 3-5 mm long, ovate-obtuse, silky-puberulous, persistent with the orifice closed by 3 apical bracts in a disc 2-3 mm wide. The internal bristles are none. The flowers are of 4 kinds. The male flowers are ostiolar and sessile in one ring, the tepals are 2, ovate-lanceolate, free and reddish. The stamen is 1. The filaments are 0.2 mm long. The anther is oblong and parallel. The female flowers are sessile; the tepals are 3-4, linear-lanceolate, free, brownish and glabrous. The ovary is superior, ovoid-oblong and 1 mm and red-brown. The style is 1.5 mm long and lateral. The stigma is rounded. The gall flowers are similar to the female. The Syconium is 4-8 mm across, ripening pink, purple or black. The achenes are smooth.
Renovation of Traditional Water bodies (Teerthams)
Teerthams, one of the very important water resources for the rural community in South India occupy a significant position in supporting livelihood for the rural poor and safeguarding the local ecosystems. After independence, the continuous neglect of these unique Teerthams due to encroachments has resulted in their deterioration and several small scale water resources becoming extinct. In this context, true to its mission of protecting the traditional water bodies since 1990s, Vivekananda Kendra has been undertaking rehabilitation and restoration of small scale water bodies in coastal island by building social capital and bringing back local management.
The spiritual significance
Water as purifier is known to all. Everyone take bath to keep them hygienic. All religions have given water a significant place in all their rituals to ward off the impurities or to initiate or for making resolves for new actions. Most of us intentional or unintentionally commit actions which cause harm to the living being around us and feel sorry for it. Over the period, our ancestors have shown pathways to be free from guilt and to invoke goodness of the individual through many deeds instead of condemning him forever. Rameswaram known for Teertham is associated with mythological stories conveying act of sanctifying of the people who have committed wrong.
Teertha Yatra to the Renovated and Revived Teerthas was organized for the local Purohits for the first time on 17.4.2017. Well-known Purohits Shri.R.Ramakrishnan, V.Subramanian, B.Swaminatha Sharma, Pakshi Siva Rajan, V.SundaramVadyar and Kripakaran joined this historic pilgrimage. They visited the following 12 Teerthams:
Kumuda, Parasuram, Brahma, Virega, Sahadev, Nakula, Arjuna, Bhima, Jambavan, Angada, Sugriva and Draupathi