Classes in the early years 2011
With the Sri Dayananda Saraswati Society’s new ashram established at its premises at 33, Jalan Mohanlal the activities of the ashram were full and varied. Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati continued teaching the Bhagavad Gītā, took new texts like Sādhanā Pañcakam, revisited Tattvabodha with the students as well as espousing many other valuable texts.
Students with particular talents came forward to offer their services. Mrs. Shobana Jagatheisvaram a well known vocalist and a student of Mataji taught Canatic vocal and Bhajan classes to interested students. Mrs. Yoges Muthiah and Mrs. Kamala Ramamurthy shared their expertise in Yoga by providing weekly Yoga lessons. An exceptional student Mrs. Vijaya Varun with a gift for espousing the Purāṇas delighted the children and adults alike with her retelling of the Vālmiki’s exquisite Rāmāyaṇa in weekly classes.
Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati also taught Vedic chanting to students and this created beautiful divine vibrations to ring in and through the ashram.
Public Events and Eminent Guests
- The students had the good fortune to welcome Mr. Vasu, a Tamil scholar and knowledgeable in Vedānta from Penang to the ashram weekly. His discourses on the beautiful Kaivalya Navaneetham text was enlightening to both students and members of the public who attended.
- On 30th August 2011 the Shri Dayanandaa Saraswati Society collaborated with the Society for Inner Resources Development (SIRD) and organized a one day public workshop entitled “Family Values Workshop” at the Tropicana Grand Ballroom and Banquet Hall, Coliseum Square, Ipoh. The workshop was conducted by the eminent Swami Bhūmananda Tirtha and his disciple Ma Gurupriya from Kerala, India.
- The objective of the one day workshop was to highlight the role of spiritual values in achieving peace and harmony in the household. Swami Bhūmananda Tīrtha also took time to visit and grace the Shri Dayanandaa Saraswati ashram the same evening. He held a private satsang with students. He was pleased to hear that life transforming Vedānta classes were being conducted at the ashram.
- On the 10th of September 2011 Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati conferred the “Daya Sindhu Award” on Dr Shiva Prasad a well known and much respected ayurvedic doctor from India who had served the Ipoh community for many years. In recognition of his outstanding service the award was given to him at a public event organized by the Greentown Cultural Society.
- We were privileged in the early years to have numerous other honoured visitors. Swami Shantatmananda from Rishikesh India visited the ashrams in both Ipoh and Taiping. He was with us from the 12th to the 17th November 2011 and during that time he fruitfully gave us discourses. In Ipoh at the ashram we had the opportunity to listen to him speak on Śaṅkarācārya’s Bhaja Govindam and in Taiping the topic was “It is Here and Now”.
- On the 12th and 19th December 2011 Swami Śivagurunathan a disciple of Chitramuthu Adigalar from Sri Lanka gave a discourse on Vedānta and conducted a session on meditation. Both the talk and the session on meditation was of great benefit to all who attended.
Classes in the early years 2012
Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati continued to conduct regular Bhagavad Gītā, Vedic chanting and children’s classes in 2012.
On the occasion of the ashram’s 1st Anniversary a series of dance, musical and drama performances were put up by the children studying at the ashram. A great deal of time and effort were put in by the parents and children to make the necessary costumes and props for the performances. The children were rewarded with gifts of bags, stationery, books, watches, chocolates and sweets which were handed to them by Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati.
From the 30th November to the 2nd December both Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati and Bhaskara Caitanya conducted a camp on the essence of Bhagavad Gītā for 30 children.
From the 6th to the 23rd of December, one chapter of the Gītā was read every day. One student presented a summary of that chapter and a satsang on that chapter was conducted by Bhaskara Caitanya. On the 24th of December Gītā Jayanti was celebrated.
In 2012 the emphasis was on activities for children. The activities centred on their progress and development. There were numerous classes for them, including temple visits to teach them the proper way to pray. The children visited the Murugan temple on Lahat Road and the Maha Ganapathy temple which was built by Hindu railway families when they first settled in Malaya more than a century ago. They learned the importance of doing Seva by cleaning the temple premises, after which they chanted and sang bhajans.
Swamini Vinayananda conducted bi monthly Pradoṣam prayers and the monthly Dakṣiṇāmūrti prayers on the 16th of every calendar month.
Public Events and Eminent Guests
On the 12th of January 2012 Srimathi Sarada Nambi Aruran from India graced the ashram with her presence and presented beautiful renditions of much revered thevarams. Her explanations of the thevarams were much appreciated by all who had the good fortune to attend.
A series of weekly talks on how to read astrological charts was conducted by a well known astrologer in Ipoh Mr Subramaniam Singaravel. The first talk started on the 14th March 2012. The talks were useful and informative for all.
Swami Kṛṣnananda from India visited the ashram on the 26th March 2012 and sang several Tamil Vedānta songs and delivered his profound insight into their inner meaning.
On the 26th April 2012 the ashram was graced by Swami Satprakashananda from Kuala Lumpur on the occasion of Śaṅkarā Jayanti.
On the 5th of August 2012 a Food and Fun Fair was held at the Rayan Cultural Hall. There was great support from the public and the months of hard work by members of the society paid off. There were food stalls providing popiah, laksa, thosai, puttu, curry puffs, cakes, ice cream, dry goods and a jumble sale. There were game stalls, henna counters. Pūjya Swami Dayananda’s books were displayed for purchase. A slide show of the society’s activities was screened. A talentime show for children was also organized with every participating child receiving a gift.
In September 2012 Bhaskara Caitanya returned to Malaysia after successfully completing the 3 year Vedānta course set by Swami Dayananda Saraswati at the teaching centre in Nagpur. The Society is proud to have him back and grateful to all members of the society and public who donated to fund his education and stay there. He has since his return immersed himself in all ashram activities and teaching the children’s classes with Swamini Vinayananda. He is also giving classes in Sanskṛt, chanting and conducting satsangs on various topics.
On the 22nd March 2012 we provided 60 tables and chairs to pupils at the SK Methodist Buntong. The children had been using chairs and tables discarded by other better provided schools. The chairs and tables were neither size nor height appropriate for the children. So to give the children a sense of well being and pride in their school which hopefully translates to pride in their work we provided them with the above mentioned tables and chairs.
Prepared by : Shanti Lingam