Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati passes
2015 was a year of great personal sadness and loss for the students of Shri Dayananda Saraswati Society as we heard that our revered Guru Pūjya Swami Dayananda Saraswati was ailing. Before we began every class in that year we prayed for his well being.
On the 24th of September 2015 we received news that he attained Samādhi. From people in the highest echelons of power in India from the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Ācāryas across the nation, countless disciples and students across the globe, vast numbers of Indians and peoples of other nations mourned the passing of a living sage into time. His legacy immense, lives touched immeasurable, his contributions and vast works stay on as his living embodiment. Every prayer, chant and Vedic knowledge we learn from Swamini Vinayananda we know that this is due to the great parampara she comes from. We are a small nation and a small town oceans away from India but we owe a great debt and are full of gratitude to Pūjya Swami Dayananda Saraswati for his vision.
Our only prayer is that we will always strive and be good torch bearers of the values of Sanātana Dharma he so rigorously defended and sought for us to value and to assimilate in our daily living. His books and expositions on the Bhagavad Gītā and other Vedic texts are a source book for countless seekers of the truth.
The clarity of his vision is seen in every sentence of those books, each and every one a treasure hold of Vedic wisdom that he has made available to us. We are privileged to be born in his time line and for the opportunity to receive him and to listen to his words in Malaysia.
- On the 10th April 2015 the ashram had the privilege to welcome Swamini Sivatmananda Saraswati and Shrimathi Geetha. Both are dear friends of Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati and we were happy to receive them. During their stay Swamini Sivatmananda held a discourse on Ramaṇa Mahaṛṣi’s beautiful and well known text “Upadeśa Sāram”. The discourse held on the 11th, 12th and 18th April 2015, covered all 30 verses of this legacy left by Ramaṇa Mahaṛṣi. The time spent with Swamini Sivatmananda was blessed, as many benefited from the satsangs with her.
During their stay they visited some of the well known places of interest in Ipoh. They spent time visiting a well known recreational park in Ipoh, the Dr Seenivasagam park, Hindu temples and other well known landmarks. They were accompanied by the children studying at the ashram who were delighted to spend time in their company. On the 8th of May 2015 a visit to Cameron Highlands was organized to the famed tea estates and rose gardens there by Shanthi Somasundram. After gracing us with their presence for more than a month they returned to India on the 13th of May 2015.
- On the 2nd November 2015 Swamini Shivapriyananda from Mentakab, Pahang visited the ashram. During her visit she gave a discourse on a delightful folk melody which had wonderful spiritual insights.
- In December of 2015 we had the opportunity to hear the beautiful vocals of S Darshana and T S Sowmya, two promising and upcoming Carnatic singers who have performed extensively in India. Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati blessed their musical journey bestowing on them the title the Dayananda Sisters. A 3-day workshop with them was organized at the ashram for students interested in learning Carnatic music, devotional songs and bhajans.
- In December of 2015 we were graced with the presence of Swamini Atmaprakashananda who during her time with us gave several spiritual discourses in Ipoh as well as in Kuala Lumpur.
Programs in 2015
- On the 25th of April the ashram organized a visit to offer monthly provisions for the children of the families in need.
- From the 2nd to the 4th of May 2015 Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati was invited to give talks in Seremban.
- On the 11th and 12th of July 2015 Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati conducted a 2 day camp on the topic “The Way and View of Life”. The presentation incorporated the use of visuals in slide form for better understanding.
- On the 23rd August 2015 Swamini Vinayananda conducted a camp in Kuala Lumpur on two topics “Stages of Life” and “Consequences of our Actions”. The presentation was supported by slides for the easy comprehension of the participants.
- From the 23rd to the 27th December Swamini Vinayananda conducted a 5 day school holiday program for children on moral values.
Ongoing classes in 2015
In 2015 the classes were Bhagavad Gītā on Mondays, Tuesdays – Chanting, Wednesday – Sanskṛt class, Saturdays a children’s class for Sanskṛt, Sunday mornings a children’s class which covered chanting, thevaram and moral values. On Sunday evenings, Swamini Vinayanada held a class in Kuala Lumpur which included chanting, Sanskṛt and Bhagavad Gītā.
We record our deepest gratitude to Mr Arunasalam for teaching the children thevarams. Mr Arunasalam is much sought after in many temples for his immense knowledge of thevarams. We are privileged that he has given his time and shared his treasure of divine songs with the children in the ashram who needless to say are gifted to learn these thevarams from him.
Regular and Annual Prayers in 2015
The ashram has continued with its monthly Dakṣināmūrthy pūjā held on the 16th of every month, Pradośam bi monthly, Lakṣmī Pūjā on the 1st Friday of every month, Śaṅkara Jayanti, Guru Pūrṇima, Varalakṣmī Pūjā, Viṣṇū Sahasranāma on Saturdays of Puratāsi month, Sarasvati Pūjā and the year ended with Gītā Jayanti.
A memorial celebrating our revered Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati was organized in Kuala Lumpur by Swami Satprakashananda in Kuala Lumpur. It was a grand ceremonial event and eminent Ācāryas from Swami Dayananda Saraswati lineage were invited to attend the ceremony at the Sri Kandaswamy Kovil in Brickfields Kuala Lumpur.
We were fortunate that all Ācāryas who attended the event came to Ipoh to grace us with their presence from the 12th to the 14th of September 2016. We felt greatly blessed to receive them, and having all 7 of them in the ashram was akin to receiving the blessings of 7 Saptaṛṣis. The visiting Ācāryas were His Holiness Swami Sakshatkritananda Saraswati, Swami Aiswaryananda Saraswati, Swami Nityashuhanandaji Saraswati, Swami Prayananda Saraswati, Swami Vijayananda Saraswati, Swamini Shivapriyananda and Jay Shankar.
A public talk by His Holiness Swami Sakshatkritananda Saraswati on “The Bhagavad Gītā’s Way of Life“ was organized at the Syuen Hotel on the 13th September 2016. The program was a great success.
The students at the ashram were further blessed to listen to discourses and have satsangs with the visiting Ācāryas over 3 days. A truly rare treat and unique time in our lives. A tour was organised for the ācāryas to see Taiping, a city blessed with the highest rainfall and which is the birthplace of Swamini Vinayananda Saraswati. The Ācāryas graced the Arsha Vidya Ashram in Taiping and the students there had the opportunity to receive them.
Shanthi Somasundram took Swami Sakshatkritanandaji and Swamini Vinayanandaji to see the limestone hills within which the Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple and the statue of Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) are housed.
Ongoing classes in 2016
In 2016 the classes in Ipoh were Bhagavad Gītā on Mondays; on Tuesdays, chanting; on Wednesdays, Sanskṛt class; on Saturdays a children’s class for Sanskṛt; and on Sunday mornings a Children’s class covering chanting, thevaram and moral values.
On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings Swamini Vinayananda held classes in Taiping on Bhagavad Gītā and chanting.
On Sunday evenings Swamini Vinayanada held a class in Kuala Lumpur which included chanting, Sanskṛt and Bhagavad Gītā.
Regular and Annual Prayers in 2016
The ashram has continued with its monthly Dakṣināmūrthy pūjā held on the 16th of every month, Pradośam prayers bi monthly, Lakṣmī Pūjā prayers on the 1st Friday of every month, Śaṅkara Jayanti, Guru Pūrṇima, Varalakṣmī Pūjā, Viṣṇū Sahasranāma on Saturdays of Puratāsi month, Sarasvatī Pūjā and the year ends with Gītā Jayanti. In 2016, the anniversary of the ashram was grandly celebrated with an auspicious Homa.