Happy Raksha Bandhan

What Raksha Bandhan is and What it Means to Me

by Namita Soni

It’s that time of the year again where mothers remind their daughters to start preparing trays lined with sacred threads and their sons to save up their money. Why? Because today, Sunday is the auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan. This occasion is usually celebrated on the last day of the Hindu Lunar Calendar which usually happens to be August. It has been observed in my family ever since I could remember. Every year, without fail, I will find myself tying rakhis for my brothers, giving them hugs and then waiting for my presents. I’ve seen my mother doing the same, even going to the extent of sending the rakhis overseas to her brothers whom she could not tie for in person.

As I grew older, the significance of Raksha Bandhan was explained to me. I understood that tying the thread signifies the bond between the siblings, the love and joy shared. In turn, the brother vows to protect his sister, regardless of whether she’s the older one or the younger one. So why celebrate? What’s the big deal? Well, the history of Raksha Bandhan goes back decades, with countless tales of how it came to be. One of the most special ones is about how Krishna had cut his finger and Draupadi had ripped a strip of cloth from her saree and tied it around his wrist to stanch the bleeding. Touched by the gesture, Lord Krishna vowed to protect her.

Eventually, over time, it became a very significant tradition and with all the tales and stories blending in together, Raksha Bandhan became a holy occasion where we tie rakhis around the wrists of our brothers to celebrate our relationship and togetherness with them. So, if we can celebrate Teacher’s Day, Mother’s Day and even Children’s Day, why not celebrate the bonds we have with our siblings? Thank them and remind them that you’ll always be by their side, no matter if distance or years were to separate them. That’s how I feel about it. It’s not even about what I get in return anymore, but the fact that after everything, I can always rely on my big brother to help me out and protect me if I can’t handle myself. So, here’s wishing Happy Raksha Bandhan to all my brothers and thanking them for all the years protecting me and spoiling me. Wouldn’t be here without my bhaiya ❤

Geeta Ashram Youth would like to wish one and all a Happy Raksha Bandhan 🙂

Shrimad Bhagavad Puran Katha Saptaham: The Countdown Begins!

 

 

The Shrimad Bhagavad Puran is one of Hinduism’s eighteen great Puranas. Originally written in Sanskrit, it tells the stories and pastimes of Lord Krishna, thus inculcating love and devotion for the Lord. 

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to listen to the Shrimad Bhagavad Puran Katha by Prabhu Yagneshwar Das, conducted in English at Geeta Ashram Malaysia. Come and transport yourself to Brindavan for 7 blissful days 🙂

Click here for more details. 

Happy Teachers’ Day!

Happy Teachers’ Day!  By Saranya Naidu

Dedication.

The only word that comes up in my head when I think about a teacher. A teacher is someone who touches our lives and instills knowledge in the head of the mundane. One who adds colours and brightens up the world for a student. They impart
knowledge that guides us through the bumpy road of life. They are the captain of a student’s ship. Yes they allow the waves of obstacles to hit the ship but never allows that ship to sink. Teachers and Gurus are the people we spend most of our lives with. It’s fair to say that they are our second parents. They come to class everyday, rain or shine to nurture the fawns who one day will majestically lead the world in goodness. A day dedicated to them is not enough as that is not what they want. For the heart of a teacher yearns for the success of their student. How selfless can one be? Wanting their students success.
I can never repay all my Teachers and Gurus for the support, encouragement and love that they have showered me in.

May Bhagavan bless their beautiful soul. 
Happy Teachers’ Day!

Happy Shivaratri 😃

The Geeta Ashram Youth would like to wish each and everyone a blessed Shivaratri! 🙂 

May happiness and peace always surround you and your loved ones! 

For those who would like to learn more about this auspicious day, click here!

Om Namah Shivaya!

Shubh Ram Navami

The Geeta Ashram Youth would like to wish each and every one a very Happy Ram Navami 🙂 May Lord Rama shower his blessings upon us always 🙂

 

Do enjoy our article below, written by our youth – Vithal Narula, extolling the glories of Lord Rama, inspiring us to be better people 🙂

Ram Navami is the birthday of Lord Rama, which falls on the 9th day of the month of Chaitra. It is the day when Lord Vishnu was born as the elder son of Dasaratha, the King of Ayodhya. The purpose of His reincarnation was for the destruction of Ravana. Lord Rama was the prince of the Ikshvaku race. He was virtuous and of manly strength. He was the lord of the mind and the senses. Brava and valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was the master of all the divine weapons, and a great warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a defender of the weak and the protector of the righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers of the mind, He was well versed in all sciences – in military science as well as the science of the Self.

Deep and unfathomed like the ocean, firm and steadfast like the Himalayan mountains, valiant like Lord Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya. Though fierce like fire on the battlefield, He was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara Hills, patient like Mother Earth, bounteous like the god of wealth and righteous like the lord of juctice himself. In the pains and griefs of His people, His heart swiftly sympathised with the sufferers. In the festive scenes which held them in joy, He like a father, shared their joys. By His honour and heroism, as well as by His gentleness and love for His subjects, He greatly endeared Himself to the hearts of His people. Such a great person was Lord Rama!

Though Ram Navami is a major festival which celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, it is widely celebrated by the worshippers of Lord Shiva, too. It is considered auspicious to undertake a fast on the day of Ram Navami, in the name of Rama. The objective of the fast is not to ask for special favours of the deity, but to seek perfection as a human being.

Lord Rama’s primary message is: fulfill your duty without any selfish motives. When he was exiled to the forest, Lord Rama did not complain “but that’s not fair”. He did not fight back in anger. Rather, he helped His father fulfill a promise; He lived according to His duty as a son and as a future king. He did not once think about himself, His own comforts, His own “rights”. Rather, he abided by His dharma and His duty.

Ravana’s ego led to his own demise, first the demise of his spirit and heart, then the demise of his body. he thought he was the one who ran everything. He thought that he was the ‘doer’ of it all. On the other hand, Lord Rama, was always humble, and he never took credit for anything. Even after he victoriously slew Ravana, he reported it to Sita only as, “and this is where Ravana died.”

As we celebrate this holiday, we revel in Lord Rama’s birth, let us ask ourselves, “Has the Rama taken birth inside us? Has the good in our hearts taken birth?” Ram Navami is not only a holiday about Lord Rama. It is a holy day, about examining ourselves. Life is so short. We know when the end will come. For how long do we want to let Ravana live in us? For how long do we want to be controlled by Ravana? We must give birth today to Lord Rama in our hearts.

Jai Shree Ram. Shubh Ram Navami.

Janmashtmi 2014 @ Geeta Ashram Malaysia

The children of the Ashram put together a wonderful performance for Janmashtmi this year!

Here is a montage of some of the pictures from all the skits 🙂

The Gopis, Gopalas and Cows with Little Krishna

The Gopis, Gopalas and Cows with Little Krishna

Brahma Being Blessed by Krishna

Brahma Being Blessed by Krishna

Egoism: A Downfall & Two Wolves

Egoism: A Downfall & Two Wolves

God Will Save Me

God Will Save Me and Everything Happens For A Reason

Vasudeva Sarvam Iti & Two Wolves

Vasudeva Sarvam Iti & Two Wolves

These pictures and more are available in a CD!

You may purchase them from the Geeta Ashram Youth @ RM10 each

(all proceeds are channelled to the Geeta Ashram Building Fund)
A Collection of Photos from Janmashtmi 2014 @ GAM RM 10 each

A Collection of Photos from Janmashtmi 2014 @ GAM
RM 10 each

We have also shared the scripts of our teenage skits for all to read and enjoy 🙂 You can find them here.

We will soon be sharing the story of Janmashtmi! Look out for it soon! 😉

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

There’s no other love like the love for a brother. There’s no other love like the love from a brother.

– Terri Guillemets

Historically, Raksha Bandhan is an ancient concept where queens used to send rakhis to their neighbourhood brothers as a sign of love and token of brotherhood. However, with most traditions, the entire concept of it has changed over time. Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means “the tie or knot of protection“. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a Rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances. The festival is also an occasion to celebrate brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members, sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women.

Rakhi

Having my Rakhi tied!

As with most Hindu festivals, there are a number of rituals that are usually carried out during this auspicious day. The sisters will usually shop for rakhis or even make their own out of colourful thread sometimes adorned with decorations or amulets. Meanwhile, the brothers will buy gifts for their sisters. On the day itself, the sisters will tie the rakhis on their brother’s wrist, followed by a simple prayer for the brother’s prosperity, good health and happiness and an aarti. Then, the sisters will feed their brothers sweets with their hands. In return, the brothers will then gift their sisters with the aforementioned gifts, and of course hugs are given and received left, right and center.

Personally, having grown up with three elder sisters and a number of cousins whom I regard as my sisters, I’ve always looked forward to this day. It’s a simple reminder to me that I am appreciated and I truly feel it does strengthen the bond between a brother and a sister. Only downside I could possibly think of is that my wallet is significantly lighter at the end of the day! 😉

 The Geeta Ashram Youth would like to wish A very Happy Raksha Bandhan to one and all!

by Vithal Narula

Previous Older Entries